January 2016

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...


January Inspiration Board

This month’s board is inspired by the new programme I have started with my personal trainer Tara, in order to achieve my dream body. The programme is 15 weeks of super clean eating and hitting the gym 5 days a week. Am I scared? I’m terrified! But I’m also excited to see my hard work pay off. Let my quest begin...

Body Inspiration

Body Inspiration

Body Inspiration: Jennifer Lopez is famous for her acting, singing, dancing and her killer body. With curves in all the right places, a “booty” with its own insurance policy and many fan clubs dedicated to it, she is without a doubt the number one body inspiration for many people - myself included. I want an idea of how my body could look, if I put in the time, effort, hard work and dedication it takes to achieve a body like hers.
Exercise Inspiration

Exercise Inspiration

Exercise Inspiration: I am totally committed to exercise - I train in the gym with Tara on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I train myself in the gym. I use the HIIT (High-intensity interval training) sessions from Tara’s DVDs, which have a great variety of fun, fat burning, full body toning and fitness-boosting workouts to get stuck into.

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Food Inspiration

Food Inspiration

Food Inspiration: As well as the exercise, I also fully commit to following a proper, nutritious eating plan. To achieve this I follow Tara’s Creative & Clean Recipe Books. I get to eat real, delicious, healthy food which increases your energy, boosts your metabolism and immune system, helps support fat-burning and sustains weight loss, including indulgent chocolate treats which taste like heaven.

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Beauty Inspiration

Beauty Inspiration

Beauty Inspiration: Apart from wanting my body to look and feel amazing, I want my skin to look and feel amazing too. So working from top to toe, my daily routine includes: Face: After doing my facial exercises I use a Clarasonic device with Charlotte Tilbury’s Multi-Miracle Glow, rinse it off, applying Magic Eye Rescue and Charlotte’s Magic Cream. Body: I start with body brushing. Using a good brush, start from the ankles, working your way up towards the heart, using gentle, circular motions. After showering, I lavish on a luxurious thick body moisturiser. Feet: I use the Emjoi Pedi Professional Pedicure device which leaves feet smooth in seconds, and round off with a moisturising foot cream.
My Journey Inspiration

My Journey Inspiration

My Journey Inspiration: I have a dedicated notebook where I record that day’s food and drink intake, along with what exercise I have done. I write about how well I have slept, my mindset and how I am feeling. I am accountable for everything I eat, drink and the exercise I do. This really helps with keeping me on track. It’s great to look back and see my progress and how far I’ve come.
My Reward Inspiration

My Reward Inspiration

My Reward Inspiration: This 15 week programme is going to be long and hard for me. I need a reward, a goal to aim for, something fabulous to look forward to. A holiday - somewhere hot and sunny, where I can relax and enjoy some down time. I’ve booked to go to Jamaica after the programme ends. The thought of being in my swimsuit on the beach inspires me every day. When Tara knocks the door, ready to put me through my paces - I just think of being on the beach in Jamaica, feeling fabulous - and suddenly it all seems worth it… I cannot wait to show you how all my hard work pays off and I will be sharing the results with you, including ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos in the April 2016 Issue of emmaheaven.com. But just before I go, I want to share a secret and some personal good news with you. I have just completed the first week of the programme. I am so proud and thrilled to tell you that I lost 9lbs in my first week!!! It just goes to show - you get out what you put in!

Tara HammettHurricane Tara - A force of nature!

‘You are what you eat’


Well... how are you getting on?

Bored of the salads, restriction, obsessing over food and feeling like you wanna CAVE AND DEMOLISH SOME GOODIES?

It doesn’t have to be like that.

You can still eat INCREDIBLE food AND lose weight.

Here’s a delicious recipe for you to tantalise your tastebuds:

Tandoori Chicken & Veggies

Tandoori Spice

Mix the following spices together and add to a dry hot pan. When you can smell the spices remove from heat.

Hurricane Tara recipe1/2 tbs cumin seeds
1 tbs coriander seeds
1/2 tbs ground ginger
1/2 tbs ground garlic
1 tbs paprika
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbs garam masala

This can be kept in an airtight container for 4-6 weeks.

Place your chicken breast strips (roughly 180 - 200g per person) in a plastic bag and cover with some of your tandoori spice, and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours. The longer you leave the ingredients, the more the meat will absorb the flavours.

When ready to use, fry your chicken strips in a little coconut oil. When the chicken is nearly cooked throw in the veggies (here I added orange peppers), and cook for a further 3-6 minutes, getting all the peppers coated in the spices.

Who said healthy eating has to be boring?!?

Eat amazing.....because you ARE! xx

‘Feel the fear - but do it anyway’

Life wasn't going exactly how she wanted it. Ever thought that life is full of Bull S***
Ever thought that it may be you?

Here's where I'm going with this.

The other day one of the TARAnsformers put a short video in the Detox group. It resonated with so many of the team.

She was having a bit of a tough time.

YES, she has a loving hubby, gorgeous children, great home, works hard at her job, she’s fitter and healthier than ever. BUT... Some obstacles were thrown her way.

"I'm sick of this, nothing ever goes the way I was planning it. Just when I feel things are looking better, something comes along. Why always me? now should be my time. Life is such B.S sometimes"

Loads of the team commented on the video. They felt the same so often.

Negative storytelling.
How often do YOU do that?

Life isn't fair.
All the bad things happen to YOU.
Everyone else has it NAILED.

Get out of your own way!
Sometimes life isn't easy. This is the same for everyone, but how you think and react to every situation is completely in your control.No matter what it is.

There is a lesson in everything, and your thoughts and actions to a situation are completely in your control.

No matter what it is.

I replied in the group with a video myself.
Even though many join the detox programme to detox with food so they can lose weight and get healthier. We also focus on our thoughts. Negative, sabotaging thoughts are also toxic to us.

Toxic to our energy, our feelings, our outlook on life, how we relate with others, how we love ourselves.

Stop with the excuses of why you don't get what you want especially when it comes to your body goals.

So many know what to do but don't do it.

You can read this little bit of inspiration now and be telling yourself every reason for why life isn't easy for you.

Why is it so much HARDER for you to lose weight than everyone else?

Why is it so much harder for you to think more positively compared to others?

Here's the truth - which can hurt sometimes - delivered with a large dose of ‘tough love’.

Ever thought you're full of it?

You're the reason why you don't get there.

You read my emails and posts and do NOTHING about it.

Instead of eating the healthy meals you know you should....you still choose the junk that keeps you where you are right now.

Instead of doing the quick HIIT workouts I recommend...you still bail off and say you were TOO BUSY.

Instead of chatting with someone, getting help or support...you still tell yourself lies and try to go at it on your own.

One thing is TOTALLY RIGHT, life is NOT easy... for anyone.

That's why we ALL need help, support, friends, someone to talk to.

But are you going to be proactive and create your life the way you want it? or are you just going to let things go by and react to what happens and get what you're given?
If you're reading this right now and you DESPERATELY WANT to like your body more.

You DESPERATELY WANT to lose weight.

You REALLY REALLY want to be happier.

BUT you don't do anything... because you think about:

  • Money
  • Will you like it?
  • What if it's hard?
  • Maybe, just maybe you're full of excuses still and need to get out of your own way.

How much do you want it?

‘Knowledge is power’

Ditch faddy eating - enjoy a healthy and balanced way of life.

There are many fad diets, which will tell you to avoid all sugars, avoid all fats, avoid all carbs, don't eat after 6pm, drink shakes only - the list goes on and on and on AND on! These fad diets can be quite restrictive and that's why they fail. Oh yes they will ensure you drop weight. But, the strict regime often means they are not a lifestyle change and therefore you quit the diet. You return to no regime at all and the weight goes on, plus a few extra pounds.

The truth is we need a wide range and variety of foods.

We need to eat carbohydrates, fats, protein and fibre... but we also need to make good choices. What would I recommend?

My top picks would be


Sweet potato



Butternut Squash





Beans (If you’re vegetarian)





Butter (from grass fed cows)

100% Nut butter






Green beans


All the above foods are an example of what to include in a healthy lifestyle. Cut out processed foods and replace with a colourful array of ingredients to make delicious, appetising meals for you and your family.

Keep fit & fab

“inspiration comes in many forms”

Auntie social

After her successful debut last month, Auntie Social is back to kick off the first issue of 2016 with her take on what’s been happening and appearing on the horizon.

Much as I’d like to tell you her real name, she’s only agreed to continue contributing on one condition. TOTAL anonymity. Just in case I waver, she sent me this again to reinforce her demands point... Knowing her background, who am I to argue?! secret river

With sound advice delivered in - at times - a ‘refreshing and robust’ way, she’s here to share her experiences 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, learning a life 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!”

*** Disclaimer - all views expressed are very much Auntie Social’s own. Those of a sensitive disposition look away now. I think of her as the aunt at Christmas we all tolerate after a few too many sherries. Sometimes wickedly inappropriate, a heart of gold, never intentionally unkind, and leaving us with baited breath to see what zinger she’ll come out with next! ***


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


Auntie Social

Dear fellow Auntie Socialites

It’s great to be invited back. And so soon. Normally I’m only invited back if only to apologise. Hope everyone’s wallets and dignity survived the festive period? If not, have a gander at last month’s column and bookmark it for future reference.

This month I’m talking about what’s been grinding my gears (’pet peeves’), New Year resolutions, what’s tickling my fancy, dating sites and Valentine’s Day. Buckle up!

*** For those of a delicate nature or easily offended, you may wish to avert your gaze, as there’s some extra fruitiness in the air this month... ***

Pet Peeve #1

New Year’s resolutions

Do you make them? Quickly break them? Or disregard them? No prizes for guessing which camp I fall into.

Hands up who’s had their fill of reading their friends’ “new year, new me, new diet, yayyyy go me!!!!” posts in their newsfeeds?

And how many of those friends have fallen off the wagon already and filled with self-loathing?

Yup. Mine too. New Year New Me

image credit/copyright: Cross Stitch Bich

Annoying isn’t it? Frustrating too. Why do so many of us invest so much hope and look to that one date in the calendar as if a magic wand will be waved on the stroke of midnight, and we’ll become uber-disciplined, clean-living paragons of virtue.

Dry January. New diet. Quit smoking. More exercise. The list goes on. And on.

Admirable we want to wipe the slate clean and to improve ourselves. But in setting such a monumental task of trying to achieve that much change overnight, we are setting ourselves up for a fall.

If or when we fall at the first hurdle, we’re likely to throw in the towel, beat ourselves up and resume our ‘bad’ habits. Usually with renewed, self-sabotaging vigour! Back to square one we go. A masochistic game of snakes and ladders, with none of the fun, and all of the tears and tantrums!

If we want to make any kind of positive change in our life, there’s no time like the present. Not the 1st of January. Not tomorrow. Not next month. But now.

So what if you can’t go ‘cold turkey’ - and who isn’t sick of turkey after Christmas?! - start off small. Baby steps. One small change a week to pace yourself, to build on your successes. Whether that’s ditching sugar in your tea or replacing it with sweetener. Or a short brisk walk several times a week.

Get small ‘wins’ under your belt, and you’ll feel more competent and confident about adopting other positive changes. Confidence breeds more confidence.

Please, please, please, whatever you do, promise me one thing. DO NOT fall for those drink/herbal supplements promising quick weight loss. You know the companies I mean... ‘Get a Life’, ‘Forever Unforgiving’, etc...

Reckon we all know people who flog this stuff on social media, with sappy sales pitches cluttering up your newsfeed. “Yayyyy. I’m living the dream. #LovingLife. #WeightLoss. #YummyMummy. #Winning. Contact me now and find out how you can ditch the day job, love life, and be as smug as meeeeeee!”. [Note to self: Facebook cull at the weekend]

Dear fellow Auntie Socialites. There is no quick fix. The only pounds lost are £££s not lbs. No new positive, lifelong habits by the end of whichever soulless shake regime you’ve endured..

Some of us are tortoises. Some of us are hares. You know yourself best. Do what works for your temperament. I’m a confirmed tortoise. I don’t mean hard outer shell, soft underbelly... Slow and steady wins the race!

talk to yourselfIf you want some no nonsense tips on healthy eating and getting fit, check out Tara’s column in this issue. I recently signed up for one of her HIIT workout videos, which is designed for all ages and ability. After being surgically removed from the sofa which took me hostage over Christmas, even I was able to do the beginner level exercises!

If you are going to permanently quit anything at all this year, quit the negative self talk.

Change “I screwed up and failed spectacularly today because I am [.....insert personal insult of choice]”, into “I did my best today. What’s done has been done. This is what I will I do tomorrow to make it different and ensure I succeed.” Please be as kind to yourself as you are to others. 

I’ll put my soapbox away. For now....

What’s tickling my fancy this month

You’ve probably gathered by now I rather ‘enjoy’ a fruity turn of phrase. See ‘New Year, New Me’ image above if still in doubt.

I love nothing more than some ripe bawdy humour. The ‘lady’ who created that piece of ‘artwork’ has that in spades.

Imagine how much my fancy was tickled when I discovered her on social media?! A gal after my own heart. Albeit with a more (needle) pricked set of fingertips... Plus well hidden behind a cloak of anonymity.

cross stitch bitchLadies and gentlemen, I’m talking about the saucy sewing supremo to the bars, stars and lah-di-dahs, Cross Stitch Bi*ch!

Cross Stitch completely relieved my headache of ‘what to buy the person who has everything?’ dilemma as I scratched my head for Christmas gifts. And eagle-eyed visitors to bars will have spotted her unique artwork on their travels.

My wishlist and hit list of gifts for the coming year is taking shape. With her off-the-shelf items and personalised requests, I’m spoilt for choice.

Being the talented all-rounder that she is, Cross Stitch can turn her hand to cross-stitched items for christenings, weddings, funerals and Bar Mitzvahs too. The mind boggles as to what she does for the latter!

This lady isn’t all about the ‘earthy’ embroidery. Rumour has it that sweet nothings have been stitched on request at Cross Stitch HQ. But don’t shout about it. She does have a reputation to uphold after all...

socksOnline dating and Valentine’s Day

Move over Cupid, Auntie’s here with her poisoned arrow.

After contentedly spending the festive season as a singleton, with spring around the corner, this gal’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. (Profound apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson for trashing his poem, Locksley Hall).

Or as I’ve heard some call this time of year between Christmas and Valentine’s Day: ‘himbo limbo*’.

*noun: himbo - a male bimbo.
noun: limbo - an uncertain period; downtime.

To date or not to date that is the question?

It didn’t take long for Auntie to snap out of this romantic reverie after a few weeks in the world of online dating. A pros and cons dating checklist helped me decide.

In my short time back online, here’s what I (re)discovered, making me reach for the ‘delete dating profile’ button. #NoBrainer

Dating Pros

Similar to online shopping:

No need to dress up while you browse, and can do it anytime of day or night from the comfort of your own home.

Confidence boost:

My teeth aren’t as bad as I thought. Heck. At least I have teeth.

That’s it...

Dating Cons

“Oh I didn’t think we were meeting up.”

Ahem. Hellllloooo... we spoke an hour beforehand to arrange where and when. You suggested the date. All dressed up and nowhere to go...

Same guy immediately replies “Oh I crashed the car on my way to meet you.”

Which lie is it?! ‘Forgot’ or ‘On your way?’ Cheerio Pinocchio.

Game players and sexpests:
Profile says: “I’m sensitive, caring and know how to treat a lady. First date, let’s meet for coffee and get to know each other”.

Private message says: “U look gr8. Here’s a pic of my **** Where do u live babe? How about it?”

Ummm, I think that pic you sent was meant for your urologist. If I wanted to look at unappealing wastes of skin, blood and oxygen thieves, I’d watch trashy TV shows... Reported and blocked! Cheerio wannabe-lothario.

I don’t know who’s giving out dating tips on how to woo a lady, but they need sacking PRONTO!

Online dating is the time for putting our best foot forward. No second chance to make a first impression.

Josh’s Life on Mars column has style tips for men. Without treading on his toes, here’s a quick tip from me, fresh from the dating frontline:

White collar, blue collar, no collar. Great to have a work ethic and a job. Any job. I’m no snob when it comes to where you work. BUT...

Seriously. A pic of a guy ‘suited and booted’ in his Sunday best will always appeal more than one of him in his fluorescent, high-viz work vest.

Pet Peeve #2

Valentine’s Day

What a con. No bitter spinster bravado here. Another date in the calendar trying to tell me what to feel, think and do. And BUY.

Another commercialised event. Exacerbating feelings of inadequacy, source of needless arguments and angst.

If you love someone. Tell them. Tell them now. Thoughtful inexpensive gift optional.

This Valentine view isn’t shared universally, and it has caused problems with paramours when there’s mismatched expectations.

Him: “We’ve been dating for five minutes. Here’s some red roses. What did you buy me?”

Me: “What present? Why? What’s the occasion? You don’t give to receive. Anyway, why pay above the odds for red roses. I prefer yellow ones. I’d also far rather have Oscar pistoriousflowers ‘just because’ and on ANY OTHER DAY. Not because you’ve had a gun held to your head by peer pressure.”

If only we’d stayed in touch. I could have ordered this poem by Cross Stitch for him ‘just because’.

image credit/copyright: Cross Stitch Bich

OverqualifiedPlease lovely single, separated and spliced ones, save yourself some angst (and money) by not getting caught up in the Valentine hype. Remember there’s 364 other days - 365 this year #LeapYear - to tell someone you love them.

Have a great month everyone - and if *that* other Auntie wants to know why you’re still single, like it’s some kind of an affliction, show her this. It’ll keep her quiet for a bit!

Love Auntie Social xx

Tags: Stop Wishing...Start Doing…