Christmas Parties Past

Oh how I just love this time of year, the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas are my absolute favourite! Last night we had our annual Christmas event that we host for the charities and community groups we work with. It was a great night and included carol singers, awards for community groups, dinner and a disco:


 Outfit of the day: statement necklace: Topshop, black peplum vest: Miss Selfridge, red skinny jeans: New Look, heels: Miss Selfridge

Doesn’t the room look great? Just for a laugh, here’s a picture of me at the Christmas event 5 years ago:


I was looking back at pictures of myself from the events over the last 5 years, I start off bigger as above, get smaller, then really skinny and then how I am today. Its a real comfort to look at those pictures and feel like I look much better at the in between stage – not at my biggest but certainly not at my smallest either :-)

I have to say my eating has been a bit random this week, I’ve found that I haven’t been meal planning as usual and therefore more random snacks have snuck in. Saying that it’s actually nice to go with the flow for a change. Here are some of the more decent meals I’ve had, and actually remembered to photograph!

Photobucket spelt egg white wrap with tahini, avocado, honey and bee pollen, mince pie oats with a chopped pear and peanut butter, salad with black beans, cucumber, red pepper and tahini miso dressing, carrot cake oats with raisins, walnuts and maple syrup, Thai red butternut and lentil curry with steamed kale and broccoli, squash frittata (based on my squash and chard recipe) with spinach on the side.

Un pictured have been dates dipped directly into a pot of almond butter (so so good!), yoghurt and fruit, chocolate and pecan popcorn and lots of home made gingerbread, more on that in a mo!

I have tried to keep up with normal workouts as much as possible, I dragged myself to the gym this morning but I think that will be the last early morning session for a while! The gym is so cold I’d rather wait until after work, defrosting the car in my gym gear does not appeal ;-)

  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: Spin Class + Kettlecise Class
  • Monday: REST
  • Tuesday: Cardio in gym – 30 minutes on machines, Body Pump class
  • Wednesday: Cardio in gym – 40 minutes on machines followed by a few core exercises
  • Thursday: 30 Day Shred DVD Level 2
  • Friday: Gym workout – 5 min cross trainer warm up then squats / chest presses / rows x 3 deadlifts / shoulder presses / bicycle crunches x 3 lunges / bicep curls / full sit ups x 3 (20 reps each using 14lb – 50lb bar) 10 minutes bike

On the Love List this week…


We used our posh tea cups, they are so pretty!

I mentioned that I’d made some gingerbread cake at the weekend and heavens it is the absolute bomb! I made some more during the week and tweeked the recipe slightly, topped with some cream cheese icing and brought into work for our Secret Santa get together! The recipe is coming very soon, it is husband and colleague approved and considering that James is a real fan of gingerbread cake and this is a reasonably healthy version I’m pretty damn happy with the recipe! Also…


Launching Uniquely Healthy! You guys have just amazed me with all of your support and positivity, I can’t thank you enough. If you haven’t checked out the giveaway or the site yet take a look. I posted my first article on the site, all about having a healthy Christmas and the first newsletter is due very soon as well. I am very excited about working with those of you that have been in touch! Also (yes there’s more!)…

Cookies! // a Christmas card from my Nephew Harry melting my heart // Skype chat with my wonderful friend and fellow IINer Nathalie // submitting funding applications for the Feel Good Factory // remembering how far I’ve come this year // biker boots keeping my toes warm // ridiculous bobble hats // coffee with my Mam and Dad, I love them so much!

In case you missed it:

What’s on your Love List this week?

Oooh I can’t wait for the weekend! James and I are going to a funk and soul night tomorrow, we know the DJ’s and its sure to be lots of fun. I’m just praying I don’t end up with a hangover! What do you have planned for the weekend? Have you been to any Christmas events or parties yet?


I’ve put together a two week quickstart guide to set you off on your journey, full of recipes, inspiration and advice. And it’s 100% FREE!

  • Tamzin

    You looked lovelt for the party Anazing the change in 5 years!! X
    Tamzin recently posted…Christmas In IrelandMy Profile

  • Shel@PeachyPalate

    Oh my god you really have transformed yourself! I’d never criticize anyone for being over weight, but you are a shadow of your former self in the best way possible! Props to you girl!
    Shel@PeachyPalate recently posted…Pumpkin Cake!My Profile

    • Laura

      Thanks Shel, its still hard to believe it was me!

  • Nicky @kabochafashionista

    Awwh you looked gorgeous Laura!! I still can’t get over the change that you’ve been through with your weight and it never ceases to make me smile to hear how happy you are now with that balance :)
    I SO cannot wait for that recipe! I am turning into a ginger-aholic at the moment and I just need moreee!
    Have a good weekend lovie xxx
    Nicky @kabochafashionista recently posted…Usual Life and AmarettiMy Profile

    • Laura

      Thanks Nicky, I think you’d love that gingerbread! I’m just writing up the post now, it is so yummy :-)

  • Jess

    Every time I see a picture of you from the past before you lost weight, I just have this huge sense of disbelief. It just doesn’t compute in my brain that it’s you! I don’t think anyone could ever guess you’ve lost so much weight and you weren’t always so slim – I think it’s because you did it the hard way and also it was gradual, so your arms are toned and you don’t have that empty, saggy look that people get when they lose a tonne of weight very quickly and usually without exercise. It’s so impressive.

    • Laura

      Thanks Jess, it is very strange looking at those pics because it doesn’t feel like me at all! I realised just after I posted this that its been almost 3 full years since I was at a healthy weight, when you read about how many people re gain it’s comforting that I’ve managed to keep it off :-)

  • Maria @ runningcupcake

    You look amazing- and just to be picky I think you should change “for a laugh” to “for some inspiration” because honestly you have made such amazing changes over the last few years. Big yourself up!
    That gingerbread cake looks amazing- we are having a Christmas breakfast at work next week- I think I am going to make mincemeat muffins for something with a Christmas twist- hopefully not too unhealthy either.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Mad for Christmas baking!My Profile

    • Laura

      Thanks Maria, I still can’t quite believe that was me its so strange! Mince meat muffins sound fabulous, I need to buy another jar of the Meridian stuff as mine has almost ran out!

  • LilyLipstick

    I love your party outfit. It’s amazing how much you have changed in five years. It’s great that you’ve now found a happy and healthy balance. Your gingerbread looks amazing! x
    LilyLipstick recently posted…Day-to-NightMy Profile

  • Heidi

    Wow sounds like you’ve been buy in the gym, I really want to start working out more! X
    Heidi recently posted…What I wore today – Zara knitted jumper and Primark heelsMy Profile

  • Jen

    I’m a long term reader but never commented before, you look so glowing Laura you’re a massive healthy inspiration! You look better than ever!

    • Laura

      Thanks Jen that’s lovely of you to say!

  • Amy @ Eat Workout Succeed

    Wow – what a before and after shot!!! You were still beautiful 5 years ago but i am glad that you are healthier now. I had to give up my job when i had Rowan so have missed out on the xmas work parties this year (sob)… but i do have plenty of toddler parties to attend – yay for jelly and ice cream!!!
    Amy @ Eat Workout Succeed recently posted…End of year resolution?!!!My Profile

    • Laura

      Thanks Amy! Oh I bet toddler parties are there very own kind of fun, enjoy!

  • Lauren (@poweredbypb)

    I’m working all weekend so not much else on the agenda although I did see the hobbit last night which was pretty good, although I didn’t like the high frame rate style. We had our work christmas party last weekend which was pretty fun.
    Lauren (@poweredbypb) recently posted…Marathon ReflectionsMy Profile

    • Laura

      I’m still undecided about seeing the Hobbit at the cinema, although I think I will probably have the same opinion as you if it has that style. Hope work has been ok!

  • Emma

    Oooo, that gingerbread cake looks divine! Can’t wait for the recipe. :)

  • emma

    Your health journey and weight loss is truly amazing! I’ve loved following your blog to see where you take us next! :-) Looking lovely missus! Can’t beat a bit of red lippie :-)
    emma recently posted…New Challenges, Diet Diaries and Lady Pain!My Profile