Saturday, March 03, 2018

My Brilliantly Easy Banana Bread Recipe

My Brilliantly Easy Banana Bread Recipe
Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash/Splasher
My momma bear-in-law first made this banana loaf while me and Mark were visiting over the New Year and never having banana bread before, it absolutely blew my mind and I knew I had to recreate it in my own kitchen, and blog about it.

The loaf I made specifically for this recipe includes a smidgen of vanilla protein powder but please know that you absolutely do not have to add any whatsoever. It's perfectly yummy both ways!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What I've Learned in the First Month or So of My Health and Fitness Journey

Health and Fitness Journey Hints and Tips for Beginners
Photo by Carissa Gan on Unsplash/Splasher
Balance: You can eat healthy a majority of the time but still have a treat or a cheat meal every once in a while. That one treat or one meal isn't going to completely undo the progress that you've made.

You're allowed to love food. You're allowed that one slice of cake, or an ice cream cone (yum), or a small pizza, or a burger because guess what? It's not automatically going to make you gain all of the weight back or completely mess up your progress! Which brings me to my next point...

Food: Food is not a punishment. It's nourishment. Food should never ever be used or seen as a punishment. Whatever you did or ate yesterday, you still need to eat today. You need to eat to live. Love yourself and your body enough to feed it healthy nutritious food.

Choice: There are always going to be choices to make and sometimes it's going to be really hard to say no or to choose the healthier option. And that's okay.

Rest: Rest is so important for your body when you're working out and leading a fit and healthy life. You can't be smashing it at the gym 365 days a year. Well, technically you can... Buuut it would be better for you if gave your body and your muscles time to rest and repair themselves. Take some time to switch off and just stop for a while. Your body will thank you for it.

Patience: It's going to take time. Becoming fit and healthy is a lifestyle change, and it's not going to happen overnight. It's going to take a while to break those bad habits that you have had for years of your life and to form new, healthier, habits. It's not a race it's a journey so take your time, enjoy the process, take in the scenery and just keep going regardless of whether you can see further up the trail or not. You'll get there in the end, I promise.

Goals: Think baby steps. Set small achievable goals rather than bigger ones. Setting smaller goals you can easily achieve makes you less likely to become discouraged and give up easily. Once you've completed that goal and ticked it off of your list or filled it in in your planner, create a new one. It'll help with your motivation and encourage you to continue and keep going.

Motivation: You're going to have good days and you're going to have bad weeks. Yeah, weeks. Your motivation will come. And it will go... Far, far away. It's normal, shit happens.

Do you have any helpful hints or tips? Or if you've just started your health and fitness journey like me, what's one thing that keeps you motivated?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Life Lately | What I've Been up to and How My Life is Changing

Life update about what I've been up to and how my life is changing in 2018
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
I haven't blogged since the beginning of February, and the month is now almost over. Although I planned to blog a little bit more this year, I feel like that's not really going to be the case anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be blogging but... I have a whole different mindset and perspective now and I feel like I've grown and changed as a person, even in these last two months. Crazy right? I'd really love my blog to grow with me so things are going to be changing a little bit on Notts in Cotton.

I'm going to be throwing it back to the old school days of blogging and my blog posts are going to become a little bit more chit-chatty and consist more of general life updates with a dash of my fitness journey rather than "10 Beauty Faves in February" or "5 Things You Must Watch on Netflix" kinda posts. Because let's be real for a hot minute, I'm not about that blogging life anymore. If that's your jam then that's awesome, it's just not mine and I don't want to do what every other blogger is doing anymore just to fit into a "niche". I want to just be me. I want to be real, authentic, relatable to some extent, and be more like a friend you sit down with on a Friday night with a big glass of wine and pour your hearts out to each other. Ya feel me?


Thursday, February 01, 2018

Meet My February Advertiser!

After what seemed like 365 days in January, we've finally made it to Febuary and it's time for you to meet my February Advertiser!
Eleanor MayEleanor May is a cute and geeky UK lifestyle blogger over on, a body positive enthusiast, and a lover of Disney, anime, k-pop and Japan. On her blog, Eleanor writes about her opinions, her life, travelling, and books. When she's not blogging she's usually found reading, geeking out, or snapping photos and like me, photography has always been a huge part of her life.


"I joined a gym… and I like it. That is something that I never thought that I would hear myself say but it’s a fact.
Sure, when I’m there, I want to go home but I still stick at it and power through. That’s because even though I moan the whole time that I’m there, I actually enjoy it."

Continue reading on Eleanor's blog...


Natalie xo


Friday, January 26, 2018

3 Things I Struggle With

3 Things I Struggle With
I've always been so stupidly bad at this ever since I was little. Waking up, rolling out of bed, trudging downstairs like a zombie and immediately eating is something that doesn't seem all that appealling to me. I need at least half an hour or so to wake up beore I can eat and sometimes that's just not really possible, especially if I have to be up and ready and out the door or I'm running late....

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Two Things That Have Pissed Me Off This Week

Two Things That Have Pissed Me Off This Week
It's not even the middle of the week yet but I have to get this out and rant somewhere. Let's be real, life is hard and sometimes things just piss you off no matter how hard you try to turn a blind eye and ignore the stupidly and douchbaggery that exists in the world. Sometimes you just have to roll your eyes, sigh heavily and angrily type out a tweet or two. But those tweets have now turned into a full blown blog post. Buckle up and grab a hot beverage, here are just two of the things that have pissed me off this week.

Monday, January 08, 2018

My Goals and Resolutions for 2018

My Personal Goals and Resolutions for 2018 Title Image
Hello lovelies, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year whatever you decided to do and whoever you decided to spend it with, I just hope it was special. I spent an early Christmas at my dad's with my partner, my step-mum, and my little sister, then I had Christmas Day and Boxing Day with my mum and my partner and our cat and then I finally travelled down to Surrey to spend the New Year with my partner, my momma bear-in-law and her partner and I got to ring in the new year on the sofa with a cheeky glass of bucks fizz! I recevied some lovely pressies but overall I'm just so happy and grateful that I got to spend the holiday season surrounded by my family this year, it really meant a lot to me.

This post was meant to be up the first week of January but in typical Natalie style I had to go ahead and start something else; which was re-branding my blog. So, Illuminated Heart is now Notts in Cotton! Unfortunately getting that and everything else it entailed sorted took a little longer than I anticipated - whoops! Nevertheless, I'm officially out of my blogging slump and obsessed with my blog again, I've restarted my newsletter and last but not least I've finally sat down to write my goals and resolutions for 2018. Grab a cuppa and let's get started, shall we?
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