Hey everyone,

After a two week break (I have been on my jollies!) I am finally back with a new post.

A few weeks ago USN* very kindly contacted me and sent me through loads of their new products to try out. being a fitness fanatic myself of course I couldn’t wait to try them out. I knew USN as a brand through cycling as Emily Kay one of GB’s cyclists used to be on their cycling team years back. I also like USN’s ethos of #challengeyourself and it is especially fitting for me as although I regularly exercise I haven’t focused on my diet too much but since I am trying to tone up it has come at the perfect time.

As I have only had about two weeks testing ( I have been away for two weeks) today is going to focus on the taste of the products and how I have found them so far. At the end of the month I will focus on the if I have noticed any changes in the way I perform as I get ready for the Cannock Chase 10k and will have a long stretch of training with no holidays!

Tub of USN BCAA Power Punch

USN Core Series BCAA+ Power Punch

Admittedly, this was the product I was dreading trying the most. I am not keen on blue raspberry myself and it took a good week after I was trying everything else to face up to it. I even brought some Vimto to dilute the taste if needed! The taste is surprisingly good, it reminds me of those bubblegum lollies I used to eat when I was a kid. Although I will finish the product through testing I prefer BCAA in a tablet form so I can drink less fluid.

USN B4 Burn

B4 Burn Thermogenic Pre-Workout

I love, love, LOVE this product, I was sent the pink lemonade flavour and it tastes so good! I use it just before workouts to help increase my energy through workouts. It says to drink it half an hour before, but I found it to be too strong and felt sick half way through the circuit session. Therefore now I drink it up to an hour before.

USN Whey Protein

USN Essentials Dynamic Whey

I use whey so was most confident with this product. I usually use the Hi5 Whey as I like the taste (although I did love the USN Pro Recover Chocolate flavour however it seems as if they have discontinued it) so I was interested in seeing if it beat Hi5. Unfortunately as first I was gutted, it was a choir to get down my throat and was dreading having another 20 servings to get through me. However I seemed to have got used to the taste so it isn’t as bad now.

All of the above products came with a scoop in the tub/ packet which is super handy.

USN Creatine

USN Creatine Micronized Powder

I had never come across Creatine before so after a Google I found out that it helps in increasing the intensity of the workout which will help increase muscle mass. As I am also cutting out carbohydrates this means I am losing energy. Creatine helps with offsetting this.  Win – Win! It is tasteless, which is great as I am going to add it with water and drink it throughout the day at work.

USN Metal Pink Shaker

USN Stainless Steal Shaker

I already had a shaker that I brought myself from USN however this one is just lush. The metal means it is less likely to break than the plastic shakers. It was a welcome relief when I was exercising in the hot weather to pour cold water in the metal with the shaker helping keep my hands cool.

USN Plastic Shaker

USN Plastic Pink Shaker

A smaller version of my plastic blue shaker, there is not much I can say about it myself other than it is a tough durable shaker.

Have you tried USN products? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

  • I was very kindly sent these products by USN to review. All opinions are my own. 

 

When I was approached by Fotojet to review their online photo and graphic design editor. I was intrigued. With Fotojet, you can make anything from social media images to posters to magazine covers and flyers.     At first, I thought this is similar to Canva which is another online photo and graphic design editor. I use Canva a lot which is fab for those with limited graphic design skills and I am familiar with Adobe Photoshop (which I use less often!)  so wanted to see what else Fotojet could offer.

First impressions, well it looked very much like Canva when I first logged in and to use most tools and formats it is free but a stripped down version of Canva. This was because there wasn’t as many options than I am used to seeing when I log in to Canva.  Fotojet works in three sections these are the design, collage and photo editing sections. To use most tools and formats it is free but there is a paid version where you have a better choice of tools. With that I decided to create a few pictures to see how it worked.

Pink collage created with Fotojet

Essentially the method of creating images and designs it was very much uploading your images and dragging and dropping them. They had this lovely collage function which I had a go on and it certainly makes the blog look different.

I decided to edit a photo of myself and I was impressed at how improved the photos looked. The first photo below is the original photograph of me and the second one was when I had used the tint tool, my hair looks so much blonder and my skin looks so much better, not pale and pasty.

 

So would I recommend Fotojet? It is a nice little program, however I have used Canva a while and there are more editing options. So if you are a beginner or may find lots of tools over daunting or just want to create some social media images then it is fab.

Have you used Fotojet?

Toronto Sign

Planning a trip to Toronto anytime soon? Have a read about where I went and what I did in the three days I was there.

Niagara Falls

Image of Niagara Falls with a rainbow and  boat

You cannot come to Toronto and not visit Niagara Falls. I had booked a day trip with a tour company which included coach ride there and back, a trip on the Hornblower (the boat tour with the red googols!) and a stop at the Niagara-on-the-Lake village.

Niagara Falls

I really don’t know how to describe Niagara Falls, it is beautiful, the boat tour got you so close to the waterfalls. Afterwards whilst the others went on a helicopter ride, I walked down the street above the falls and you really get a understanding of just how much water goes over the falls and how wide the falls are. Away from the falls the retail outlets around there were really tacky, a lot of casinos, which is such a shame.

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Falls

This beautiful little town has the nickname ‘Loveliest Town in Canada’ and I can really see why. I hadn’t heard of this place prior of visiting and it mainly caters for tourism with the buildings kept in colonial style and it has some lovely green areas. Key events include the Shaw Festival, a festival featuring works by George Bernard Shaw, an Irish Playwright.  It is a great place to pick up some lovely souvenirs.

What to eat

Beavertails Food Toronto

As I was only there three days I didn’t really eat much away from the chain stores. However I did have an Beavertail from Beavertails Pastry. Honestly that place was amazing. Beavertails are pastry that are float fried. Mine was topped with Reece’s Pieces. Honestly if you go to Canada, it would be criminal not to try it.

Another place to go is Tim Hortons, Tim Hortons is as famous in Canada as Starbucks is to the US for hot drinks.

Where to shop

Toronto Eaton Centre is such a fabulous shopping centre if you want to spend, spend, spend. It is SOOO HUGE! They have lots of high street shops such as H & M and NYX. It is in the city centre as well so it is easy to travel on the subway.

Where to stay

I stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Toronto. It was lovely, it had an outdoor pool which was odd swimming and seeing sky rise buildings.

Have you ever been to Toronto? Let me know about your experience!

Back in April I went on my (first ever!) girls holiday to Warsaw in Poland. I had never been to Poland before so was particularly excited to experience a new country. Read on about what I experienced below:

Where I stayed

My friend booked an airbnb. It was a cute place and perfect for what we needed even though the beds scared me as they were so high! The flat was in a building that had been around since the war (which is rare for Warsaw) and had a catholic shrine in the middle of the courtyard, which wasn’t surprising since it is a Catholic country but I had never seen before. It was my first time I stayed in a airbnb place and have booked an airbnb place for my second trip to Poland in July!

Where I ate

Nocny Market

Nocny Market Neon Sign

Nocny Market

This was a cute food market located west of Warsaw. It was a bit out of the way and is located down a rather dodgy road but when you get there it just feels like you are at a food market that all the locals go too. There was a variety of food from burgers to indian to greek. Oddly enough there was a barbers and a tattooist if you fancy a trim or something more permeant to remind you of your stay…

Stara Kamienica

This restaurant is so cute! It had a saxophone player there! This posh restaurant had a variety of polish and european cuisine at a very reasonable price.

What I did

Gestapo Headquarters in Poland

We managed to pack quite a lot in a short amount of time. We visited the Gestapo Headquarters. This building is very imposing from the outside. It is a very small museum which inside consisted of all the individual cells that prisoners were kept in and you could read all of their engravings on the wall. Accompanying this there were interactive displays educating you on the impact the Nazi’s had on Warsaw. It was very informative and certainly worth a visit.

Pastel buildings in Warsaw Old Town

Old Town in Warsaw is another place you must visit whilst you are there. Old Town is an UNESCO World Heritage site and had been completely gutted during World War 2 and had been restored to as close as the area looked like between the 13th and 20th century.

Mały Powstaniec

We just got a free map which showed us all the places and statues that you needed to see and had a wonder around. We also went to Lazienki Park which is the largest park in Warsaw. It is so beautiful and I couldn’t help but take lots and lots of photos of the palace and the amphitheater.

Palace Gardens in Poland

Finally, I couldn’t forget the bar crawl in Warsaw, for 60 zolty you got 2 cocktails or beers, a free shot and entry into pubs and bars. I am so glad we did it just because it saves having to google all the individual bars yourself, it was also a great chance to meet some new people. It reminded me of my times at Uni!

Have you ever been to Poland? Do you have any recommendations for Krakow? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Blue vintage caravan selling cocktails

I went along to the Birmingham Seasonal markets in Brum today. It was located in Digbeth at The Bond Company. I had been to the winter market before and although it was very cold I had an amazing indian fish and chips and spiced apple drink. Part of the reason I went to the summer one was the Original Patty Men was going to be there and I heard good things about them so I was eager to try one.

What venders were there?

If you have been around the street food markets in Brum then you will recognise the vendors, as well as the O.P.M there was Bournville Waffle Company, Pietanic, The Middle Feast, Buddah Belly, Leave it to Esme, Low ‘n’ Slow, The Jabbywocky and Banh Cuon. There was also The Little Gin Company and The Bus Bar Company.

In addition to this there was an arts and crafts and food market indoors. Lots of vendors selling cakes and postcards which is always a great addition as you can take something away!  The vendors included: Peel and Stone ,BAKE, Pip’s Hot Sauce, Jam Vs Custard, Sarah’s Feisty Flavours, Buzzards valley, Barrel & Bone, Baladee, and The May Bakery.

The crafts included: Sarah Ray, Known as Unknown, Kimberley Simone, Dotmoth studio, Stained and Fused Glass Art, Curate, Hannah Stevens Illustration, Automaton Ceramics, Lily & Giraffe, How Brave is the Wren, Rolling Roses, Upsydaisy Craft, Tatie Lou, Kitty & Min, Lulu In Stitches, PrettyPolitical, CraftyBun Studio, The Peaky Squirrel

What did I eat?

Original Patty Men Burger

I had a strawberry and lime cider and Original Patty Men cheese burger. This will be an unpopular opinion but the cheeseburger was ok. I really did not understand what the hype is about. They do have a restaurant which I have been told I need to try so I am willing to give it another go. I also had shared a brownie from Bake which I have had before and was lush. Overall, it really was worth going for the £2 entry as there was so much on offer.

People at the Birmingham Summer Seasonal Food Market