Stop Wishing...Start Doing…

Let the lifestyles of the fit and fabulous inspire you to achieve that life you’ve always wished for...

Every issue I will share with you who/what inspires me to live a better life. This could be from the world of fashion, beauty, travel or lifestyle, depending on my mood, situation, or goals that I want to achieve. So stop wishing and start doing...


December Inspiration Board

This month’s board is inspired by Christmas with all the fun and indulgence that comes with it.

Christmas Food Drinks

Christmas Food Drinks

Christmas Food & Drinks: The main event for me at Christmas is all the decadent food and drink. It’s a time for me to indulge my food fantasies. I love watching the Marks & Spencer Christmas food adverts - everything looks so mouth watering and delectable. The biggest problem I have is choosing which desserts to have - so many choices - so little time to devour them all! I like to raise a toast to Christmas day with a glass of fizz and then spend the rest of the holiday inventing and drinking festive cocktails.
Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gifts: I always put a lot of thought into buying a gift for someone. I think about what that person does on a daily basis and what they are interested in, so I can buy them either something they can use all the time. **SPOILER ALERT** - or look away now darling husband... for example, my husband takes a laptop to work every day, so I searched for a beautiful leather bag to put it in - or something that they wouldn’t think of buying for themselves, that they will really appreciate. I prefer giving presents to receiving them, as nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing someone’s face light up with joy as they open their gift.
Christmas Party Dress

Christmas Party Dress

Christmas Party Dress: This is such a great time of year to get that LBD (Little Black Dress) out. The great thing about the LBD is it makes the perfect blank canvas. You can go crazy with the accessories - lots of sparkly jewellery or bright coloured shoes and handbags. You can go for the all black ‘classy’ look - try your hand at monochrome, or just throw on a statement jacket. One dress - so many options to choose from!
Christmas Party Beauty

Christmas Party Beauty

Christmas Party Beauty: You want to smoulder at your Christmas party. So think red carpet glamour. For me it’s all about the lips - killer lips which make a bold statement. Make sure your complexion is radiant with a soft, luminous glow - and the eyes - just like the LBD, the classic smokey eye never goes out of style and suits everyone - it’s timelessly sexy! Nails need that dipped in diamonds look, and finish off with a beautiful body shimmer and perfume.
Christmas Party Hair

Christmas Party Hair

Christmas Party Hair: For Christmas parties I want a hairstyle that looks luxurious. I am inspired by the hairstyles the stars wear and I love to experiment with different looks. It can be tempting to rely on a favourite ‘updo’, or a big blow dry - but step out of your comfort zone and try something different. From an uncomplicated plait to an elaborate ‘show stopper’ - the sky’s the limit. Just make sure your ‘crowning glory’ is in tip top condition and looking fabulous, so you can steal the show!
Christmas Films

Christmas Films

Christmas Films: After devouring Christmas dinner there is nothing better than stretching out on the settee, surrounded by family and ridiculous amounts of chocolate, ready to ‘cwtch up’ and watch Christmas films. Some of my absolute favourites are National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Muppets’ Christmas Carol, Home Alone and Four Christmases. And you also can’t go wrong with a bit of Disney. A cheeky glass of Baileys and I am one happy lady!

Tara HammettHurricane Tara - A force of nature!

‘You are what you eat’

What have YOU been munching on?

We all love a little, sweet munchie after our dinner don’t we?
Following one of the private group training sessions I take, one of the guys came up to me after and said, “Tar, after I’ve had my dinner and I’m sat there in front of the TV, I always fancy a little bit of chocolate or something to munch on. What’s the best thing for me to do?”

I said something like this...
You need to work out why you’re doing it. Is it because you are hungry?
You need to look at your evening meal and make sure you’re eating the right foods and the right amount for you.
Once you’ve had your evening meal, this should be enough for you to go to bed a few hours later, satisfied and sleep well.

Or, is it because of a CRAVING and a HABIT? Just mindlessly eating treats in front of the TV, not paying ANY attention at all.
THAT is a habit you need to be mindful of and work on stopping.
It will be hard at first, but never is EASY to get those things you really THAT body you want.
The more you make good decisions, the easier it is in the long term to make good decisions.

Really pay attention to what you’re doing and why.
Make your decisions on your commitment to your health and lifestyle, not your feelings at the time.

Now then, that being said. I do have a TREAT TIP for you. Have chocolate! Yep you read it right. Have it.
Next time you go to the supermarket, head down the section where they stock the coffee, tea and other hot drinks and look for Green & Black’s 100% Organic Cocoa. This is a SAVIOUR. One of the SIMPLEST ways of using it, is to make hot chocolate with it and ‘cwtch up’ and chill out. (Cwtch is Welsh and AMAZING BTW) or you could make ANY of my CLEAN recipes from my Chocolate cookbook. Available at

You can have it at breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Eat are what you eat!

‘Feel the fear - but do it anyway’

Too scared to commit?

Awwww - I’ve got this STUNNING client that I see every Wednesday at 3pm. She’s 82! What an inspiration...YET she ACTUALLY said to me this week - “Oh, I’m not a very good advert for you, am I?”

Are you serious?!?!

What an ABSOLUTE inspiration she is. EVERY week she comes to me for an hour as she continues to invest in her health. To stay strong. To stay as healthy as possible and to have a girlie goss! Trust me...82 year olds still worry about the same things we do! What I love about Val, is her continued commitment.

Commitments are a POWERFUL act, not a word.

Val shows up and I’m sure this important part of her lifestyle has been life changing for her.

How committed are you to something meaningful?

Something that you want so much that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen?

Like lose weight so YOU feel more self confident. Like putting more effort into a relationship so YOU are happier. Like doing those tasks in work so YOU achieve the success and results you want.

If you want something you HAVE to make a conscious choice to act in order to get your DESIRED result.

Now...many fall short on commitments on a regular basis. When things get difficult, we find reasons why we don’t keep our promises. We find excuses. We blame others.
(I’ll share a little blame story with you soon).

Maybe you’re only INTERESTED in losing weight. When you’re interested, you only do it when you feel like.

When you’re do it no matter what.

No excuses, just results.

No IF’s just HOW’s.

Right STRONG is your desire to lose weight? Especially now in the run up to Christmas. Without the compelling desire, you will struggle with losing weight and surviving the party season, and I guarantee once it’s all will be GUTTED that you put the weight on.

So you think you really want it?

You need to identify your actions. What are you going to do to get what you want?

Don’t be a spectator, be a participant. Visit and sign up to one of my programmes TODAY!

Remember it’s what you DO that counts. Our commitments shape our lives. They drive our results. They create awesome relationships and they build our character. Count on’s an empowering feeling!

‘Knowledge is power’

Women are often duped into believing the low calorie diet and aerobic exercise myth. This approach to weight loss rarely works and often creates damage to their body as a consequence.

Lift Weights - Why?

It gets your whole body working. When you do lots of cardio and unhealthy weight loss, you also lose muscles as well as fat, and all you’ll become is a smaller, squidgy version of yourself.

Want to change your shape? Lift weights!

You’ll burn more calories during and after your workout. With cardio only, you burn calories for a few hours. With HIIT/Resistance/Intervals, you burn calories for up to 36 hours later.

Keep fit & fab

“inspiration comes in many forms”

Auntie social

In this edition I’d like to introduce you to a new (occasional) columnist. Much as I’d like to tell you her real name, she’s agreed to write on one condition. TOTAL anonymity.

Just in case I was in any doubt, she sent me this to reinforce her demands point...

two can

Knowing her background, who was I to argue?! And I’m not such a strong swimmer as I used to be.

With sound advice, delivered in, at times, a ‘refreshing and robust’ way, she’s here to share her vast experience of people-watching, her own and her friends’ mistakes, to navigate the social scene and modern world... She’s wined, dined and partied on a global scale, so learnt a lesson or two along the way.

As she often says, “If you can’t set a good example, at least serve as a damn good warning!”

Dear Readers, I hand you over to the firm but fair, forthright and frequently fruity, ‘Auntie Social’.


One gal’s pearls of wisdom, to help you survive the festive season

The 12 Yays and Nays of Christmas

By: ‘Auntie Social’

Thank you Emma for your kind invitation to contribute to this issue. Like you, I believe we can make the most of what we have, with what we’ve got. We might have no choice where or how we start in this life, we do however have a choice as to where we’re headed. Done right, and with a little bit of foresight, planning and advice, we can try and avoid the potholes of life, and police custody suites along the way!

With the social niceties out of the way, let’s cut to the chase. Buckle up!

If the thought of the festive season sends you into a flat spin akin to the little Baby Jesus spinning in his manger at what Christmas has since become, let me be your very own ‘Auntie Social’. Whatever your age or circumstances, I’ll do my best to guide you through the minefield, or should that be winefield? to get you through, and out the other side of Christmas.


In no particular order, here’s my 12 Yays and Nays of Christmas so you can keep it sassy and classy, but not brassy!



There’s a myriad of makeup we can muster to get glammed up. However my ‘desert island’ must-have is mascara. Specifically - industrial strength, not-even-a-tsunami-is-gonna-shift-this type of mascara.

Why is this my ‘Yay’ of a makeup no-brainer?

If you’re reading this in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s winter. Chances are it’s going to be raining or snowing out there. A lot. It’s the festive season. More than likely a lot of some fizz and frivoloties are involved.

Throw in a heady mix of office parties, out with friends, or having a full-blown, tearful, stand-up barny with your significant other/mate/colleague/frenemy, chances are your eye area is going to get wet wet wet. If the soggy elements don’t get you, your tear ducts will!

Before you leave the house - or at least in your head - you’re probably looking something like this.

angelina jolie

Fast forward a few hours.

If you’re not careful - and the weather or tear ducts aren’t on your side - you could end up looking more like this.

alice cooper

**Auntie tip** no matter what your age, if you find your tears of laughter sometimes end up running down your legs, a Tena Lady is just the man for the job... You’re welcome!

What’s a gal to wear?

Quite possibly *the* number one headache/most-debated topic for the party season.

No matter if you’re cash rich and time poor, or limited budget with plenty of time to kill, what should be a time of fun, relaxation and enjoyment, soon turns you redder-eyed than a laboratory rabbit after online browsing, or sore tootsies from shopping trips. And you’ll quite probably end up spending your hard-earned cash on a panic buy.

Cutting through the quagmire of angst, let’s scrape ourselves off the ceiling, and return to basics.

First of all. Breathe! Stop. The world isn’t going to stop turning. The sky’s not going to fall in.
Next time you’re out, look at what others are wearing. Or not (you soooo *know* what I mean, and I’m no puritan!). Dare to be different.

Big, huge, fat ‘Nay’ in my book is getting into debt or despair from being a total slave to fashion or peer pressure.

A big ‘Yay’ is to dress for the body (and wardrobe) that you do have. Let the lemmings with more cash (or available credit, aka debt) bust the budget.

**Auntie tip** Take stock of what’s in your wardrobe. Invite trusted pals round - something alco-frolic compulsory optional - for a fresh take on what you have. Swap clothes/accessories.

Personal fave is a statement necklace. Many a gal pal (and stranger) has complimented and coveted my modest collection. I’ve gladly loaned them to pals to jazz up a classic wardrobe staple they already own. The most expensive necklace I own cost £20. Even eagle-eyed, fashion-forward friends have been oblivious to my ancient capsule wardrobe frock/top, as they’re too busy admiring the adornments.


If there’s one Achilles heel (no pun intended) I have, and that’s shoes. I am so NOT your stereotypical girly-girl, but when it comes to shoes... #swoon. Move over Cinderella and Imelda Marcos! But not at any price. Or more to the point - comfort. Yes. The dreaded ‘c word’. A word to make any self-respecting fashionista flinch.

Stick with me though.

Picture this. How many times have you been out and admired some ‘vision’ or #girlcrush with shoes to absolutely kill for? Posing or looking all poised? And then... Then... They start to move. And walk. And walk some more. Navigating the crowd, the bar, the dancefloor, the pavements, the cobbles.

Moving with a gazelle-like grace? Or do they resemble a rugby prop-forward (or hooker even. ‘Nuff said...) in drag, unaccustomed to wearing high heels?

In the words of the South Pacific musical “There is Nothing Like a Dame”. I’m not a betting woman, but chances are, you’re not a Dame of the realm or a panto dame. If you are - hello, and welcome! No offence intended. I love your work.

But unless you’re Dame Helen Mirren strutting her stuff on the Oscar red carpet in her self-confessed ‘stripper heels’, personifying the whole ‘car-to-bar’ vibe, or a pantomime dame, this is one style of footwear (despite the High Street’s shoe racks) that is a big ‘Nay’ in our book.

green dress

I’m not suggesting you have to wear flip flops (unless you’re on the beach or it’s summer). Although these steel toe-capped flip flops might come in handy to withstand the wear and tear of a typical night out in any one of our fair cities!


Bottom line: No matter how good they look on your #girlcrush or on you in the shop, chances are, if you struggle to stand in them, or walk from one end of the house to the other without going belly up, then there is NO WAY you will survive your night out. Ask yourself - do I want to stay upright-ish and classy for the evening? or do I want to look like a prop forward trying to skate on ice in high heels, and end up on crutches to see in the New Year? #NoBrainer

**Auntie tip** Marilyn Monroe swore diamonds were a girl’s best friend. Sorry Marilyn, but this gal, with her budget has to disagree (Lotto win pending...). When I carried a few extra pounds, and despaired of clothes shopping, I always comforted myself that a gal can *ALWAYS* find ‘shoes and accessories’ to fit! Diamonds can wait. For now...



‘Tis a sign of the times when the genteel souls at Royal Ascot had to add this ‘requirement’ to their dress code a couple of years ago. For the love of God/Buddha/Allah (Peace Be Upon Him)/A N Other (delete as appropriate), the shorter/skimpier the outfit, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, wear underwear!

Something. Anything. Say ‘Yay’ to Agent Provacateur. Spanx. Wonderbra. Sloggies. Grey saggy knickers. Sports bra. Whatever your poison. Choose your weapon wisely!

Even if you are an aspiring, wannabe, fame-hungry, Z-celeb-pleb-lister, a #GrowlerHowler #NipSlip #SideBoob is a big, huge, fat, enormous ‘Nay’. This is one commando you won’t want coming back to haunt and taunt you.

There’s a lot to be said for keeping some mystery and not having ‘it’ all on display. And there’s some sights best kept between you, your partner, and/or doctor.

Even if you don’t care, please spare a thought for those around you!

Now that you’re all dressed up, with somewhere to go, time to step out and party in style.

Social media

A blessing AND a curse. But come the Christmas office party, no good can come of using social media. Trust me. Unless you’re looking for a new job in the new year, getting caught in flagrante on camera or taking compromising pics of your colleagues/boss, is a big ‘Nay’.

**Auntie tip** If you are going to do tequila body shots off the office heartthrob, try and find a very dark corner - that should challenge even the smartest of phones’ camera settings! I’m reliably informed...

**Auntie tip** However, if you are hellbent on going all ‘candid camera’ to win friends and influence people, at least make sure your privacy settings on social media are set HIGH, and you can review pics you’re tagged in.


Even Royalty found out “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is a huge fat lie - ain’t that so your Royal Gingerness Harry?!

xmas party

If you don’t know where to start, grab a 10 year old kid - they’re usually pretty up to speed on most things tech nowadays! My nephew is available for a small fee if you get really stuck.


If you’ve been unfortunate like me in the lottery of facial expressions - mainly ‘bitchy resting face’ - chances are you don’t get chatted up often. And if you do, you either attract the kind of attention you don’t want, or you’re not exactly fluent in flirting.

And I’ve learnt the hard way that if a guy says “Do you like cocktails?”, that it’s not acceptable to say “Go on then, tell me some.” ‘Nay’. Unless he’s got an equally quick sense of dirty, flirty humour, in which case he’s a ‘keeper’! ‘Yay’!

**Auntie tip** If you have heeded our earlier advice about wearing underwear, and you happen to be wearing mistletoe-patterned knickers, AND you want to make a good impression, don’t ask your boss at the Christmas party if he fancies a kiss under the mistletoe...Just don’t. It won’t end well. Trust me on this.

Christmas decorations

Most of the year I lean towards a minimalistic style of decor. Less paraphernalia to dust and all that. And even though it’s tempting to be just as minimalist at Christmas, I’m no Domestic Goddess.

The attic has been raided, baubles unpacked, and lights untangled - or more precisely, binned after a toddler-scale tantrum, and a mercy dash to buy new ones.

Heaven knows we have enough to do at this time of year, without being on first name terms with our Henry hoover. Christmas is the time to relax, socialise, consume a bucket-load of Baileys and be a ‘Dyson-dodger’. Housework is a serious ‘Nay’ in my book. “Only dull women have immaculate houses.”

My house now resembles an explosion in a tinsel factory, and does a fabulous job dahhhhlings of concealing blending in with the pesky cobwebs Halloween decorations. ‘Yay’!


No great story ever started with a salad. But never agree to do something drunk, you wouldn’t agree to do sober!

Don’t believe me? Many a girlfriend has agreed to take part in a ‘fun run’ or marathon after too much to drink. And their feet have not lived to tell the tale. If you fancy a lifetime of slipping your hooves into flats - or worse - Crocs, then jog on sister! Don’t say you’ve not been warned.

If there were a drink called moderation, I’d tell you to order it. But I’m just ‘your’ Auntie, not your Nanny!
Have a fabulous Christmas and new year, and a wholehearted ‘Yay’ to another fun and fizz-filled year.


Festively yours,
Auntie Social

Tags: Stop Wishing...Start Doing…