Link to Website

How Not To Be A Writer - A (bad) day in the life of a typical author

The first thing I do each morning is make a strong cup of tea. I think about what I'm going to write as I drink it. So far so good. I have a quick look through social media, and two hours later I'm ready to write. So, I write my Facebook and Twitter posts, and then I'm ready to write. For real this time. Until I read through what I wrote the day before. so there's only one thing for it at this point:

Fingers poised over the keyboard, I hesitate. Maybe I should just check out Facebook. Again. Just to see if anything important has cropped up that I need to be reading about.

I was right, there was. But now it's time to write. My book. So, I finally manage to get a few words down on the screen. A lack of self confidence has taken over though. I think back to my first two books and panic. I felt like this when writing the first, but I was learning how to actually write a book, for God's sake. And truth be told, I couldn't really imagine anyone reading it at that stage. With the second, I got on with it straight after publishing the first so didn't have much time to think. But I did have days like this when I thought I couldn't do it, and that it was rubbish. Amazingly readers seem to be enjoying the books. Some are asking when this book will be ready to publish. This is my dream come true...but also a nightmare! What if they hate book three? What if they think it's nowhere as good as the others? What if they don't bother asking me anymore and find someone more worthy of their time? And what if I just gave up, too scared to find out? That will not happen. That thought is scarier than anything. So I need to:


As I tap away I remind myself of all the nice things people have said about my writing. It's the best feeling ever. But then my characters refuse to cooperate, and join ranks to mock and belittle me. 'We wouldn't do that!' They scoff. 'We wouldn't say such a thing!' They tut. I think about what my doctor said, and feel slightly better:

And he's right. I do! But unfortunately the clock isn't cooperating with me either. Maybe I should check out social media again. There could be a message needing my immediate attention. I'm fooling myself of course. Delaying tactics, because I'm having a bad writing day. I know that really, and I know this too:

So, I glance at the clock again, decide it's stopped, and that I can:

But tomorrow I MUST do the following, and somehow get there. 

I know I'm not the only one to feel like this, and that does help. So, in a moment of crazy confidence, I'm saying in public that my third book will be out by the end of the year. Written, edited and published. By saying this out loud to you, I will imagine you judging me if I don't. Badly. And that's the kick up the butt I need. So feel free to check up on my progress and give me hell if you see another post like this one (written by me, obviously) In fact, I'm counting on it!

Love Pippa x

Bailey The Rescue Dog's Diary

Hello everyone, my name is Bailey. Nobody knows why I ended up as a stray in Ireland. I wish I could talk, and so do Mum and Dad. They rescued me from Dog's Trust almost four years ago, only knowing that I'd been picked up as a stray in Ireland and brought over in the Dog's Trust van to be re-homed. I was at the centre two weeks before they visited the centre and saw me. This photo was taken on that day. I was sad and lonely. The staff were lovely though. They had to shave me because I was so matted. They wondered why I had a tooth missing and part of one ear too.

Anyway, apparently Mum and Dad fell in love with me straight away. But they couldn't take me home that day because the staff had to check the house to see if it was good enough for me. I cried when they left, thinking I wouldn't see them again. But I did, two days later. This time they led me to their car. I was nervous. I didn't like cars, but when we got to the house I was happy. There was a lovely bed waiting for me, and toys and treats too. Although everything was so nice, I was a bit scared. I wasn't sure what was going on, especially when Mum cuddled me. I thought everyone was going to hurt me, so I growled a lot at first. But eventually I realised this was my home forever. I even got presents at Christmas. I didn't like this present though. Do you think I hid my disgust?

We live round the corner from a park and I go there every day. My mum says I'm so slow and have to sniff every blade of grass. What's wrong with that? Doesn't she know that grass is social media for dogs? Lampposts and trees are too. I have to wait around for her when she's busy on that Facebook thing! Hey, guess what? My favourite word is car now! I love sitting on Mum's lap and sticking my head out of the window while Dad drives. It's cool. Dog's Trust said I'd never like cars, but they were wrong. We go to nice places in it. This picture was taken on the beach in Whitby where my mum is from. I love digging in sand.

I'm a lucky boy because my family love me. Guess what? Mum even put me on the front cover of her first book! Apparently Olivia's dog, Buddy, is based on me.

To buy this book click on the link below

What I like best though, is that every time she sells a book, she's giving some money to Dog's Trust to help them look after other dogs like me. I sometimes wonder if my friends there all got homes to go to. I hope so, but there will be new dogs arriving every day. Maybe you could rescue one? The trouble is, so many people want cute puppies. Do you like this photo of me? I think I look as cute as any puppy!

Right, I want to go for a walk now, so I'm going to give my mum sad eyes. She'll give in and take me. I'll be back to talk to you soon.
Hugs and woofs
Bailey xxxx

Tuesday 1st September

Hello friends. Last week my mum and dad went on holiday. Without me. What made it worse was that just before they left, they'd taken me to the park and I stood on a bee or wasp. I held up my paw and cried. I couldn't walk. They took me to that vet place. I hate it there! The day was getting worse by the minute let me tell you. I had two injections and soon felt better, but my mum was very upset. Not as upset as I was when they left me with my 'other family' to go away! I mean, I love them, but a guy needs his own bed when he's ill, doesn't he? They nearly didn't go. I should've played on my injury a bit longer. Anyway, I had a nice enough five nights with my friend. I like being at her house more than her being at mine. I don't have to worry so much about her trying to steal my treats. But I was excited when mum and dad arrived to pick me up. Things soon got back to normal, but we saw in the national newspaper that a friend from my kennel days was still there! We were shocked because I've been left four years now. The staff can't understand why nobody wants her. Poor Maxine, she's a lovely girl! Here's the link to her page, underneath her photos. She's at Coventry Dogs Trust, where I was rescued from. Isn't she sweet?

Mum and dad would have her, but they think I would hate having another dog in the house. They're right, but I do hope she gets a family to love her, finally. It makes me sad.
Anyway, it's time for my walk, so bye for now.

Hugs and woofs
Bailey xxxx

Wednesday 12th August

Hello again, friends. I've had a friend of mine staying for eleven nights. Fond as I am of her, It's hard for me because she's allergic to the treats I like. Mum can't leave them lying around for me when she's here. I was happy when her mum and dad came back for her. I stay with them when my mum and dad go away. That's okay, but it's always nice to get home. Don't go thinking she's my girlfriend. I have another female friend too, but I'm not into all that funny business. Anyway, even if I did have a girlfriend, I wouldn't live with her. I like my own space, so I guess I'm a confirmed bachelor. Women exhaust me!

Anyway, come and say hello. Speak soon!
Hugs and woofs
Bailey xxxx

Reaching Half a Century - Never Too Old To Follow Your Dreams

It's official - I'm middle-aged. Though strictly speaking I probably have been for years but just not realised it. At what age do you become middle-aged? Is it when you reach a milestone birthday? When your hearing and eyesight begin to struggle? Or when you check your plants in the garden before doing anything else each morning? I've never worried about age before, until my 50th birthday loomed. Panic set in. But then I decided I should be grateful I'm still around to see that birthday when so many people don't make it. So it was a time for celebration. I may be getting on, but I'm not ready to stop partying yet!

Pippa Franks is the name I write under. 
I'm also known as Cheryl 
(The Peril)

(My speech is around twelve minutes in)

They say life begins at forty. I'm not sure about that, but the year between being forty-nine and fifty has certainly been one of my most eventful. I got married last year, four days before my forty-ninth birthday.

My Wedding Link!

(My speech is around nine minutes in)

I've been writing for ten years, but finally published my first two books this year, not long before hitting the big 50. It hit me that life was too short to look back and regret not doing something, so I decided to just go for it. I'm so glad I did! Although I'm far from being a bestselling author, complete strangers are reading my books and enjoying them. The longest dream in history has come true!

So for anyone reading this, if there's something in life that you really want, go for it! Determination isn't relevant to age. Neither is having the mindset of 'I'd rather try and fail, rather than fail to try.' My mum used to say that sometimes in life you have to take a chance. She was right.  And maybe, just maybe, an older age can be beneficial rather than a negative in many cases. Like writing for instance. I can write about many different ages because I've either been many of them, or I know somebody of every age group to relate my characters too. 

You're never too old to follow your dream!
(unless it involves being a lion tamer. Let's leave that one to the young, they can run fast if need be)
Love Pippa x

Monthly Musings

Hi, welcome to my Monthly Musings post. I'll be chatting about writing, publishing and life in general.

This year has been amazing and it's not halfway through yet. I'm glad about that, because that means a birthday I've not been looking forward to has arrived. They say age is just a number. That may be so, but when you're talking about the number of lines and wrinkles, it's not good! Oh, well, back to happier thoughts...

For the last ten tears my dream has been to publish a book. Finally, this year, I've done it. Twice. I'd been patient, waiting for the right time. Then I figured I could be waiting for eternity. What exactly was I waiting for? Someone to beat a path to my door, begging me do do it? No, of course not. The reason I waited and waited was because I was terrified. Could I really write anything worth reading? There was only one way to find out: do it! So I did. And it's been amazing. For years I used to dream about strangers reading my books and enjoying them, but it seemed far-fetched. Yet it's actually happened. The novelty of hearing someone tell me why they loved the books will never wear off. Obviously not everyone will like them and that's fine. I don't like every book I read either. But as long as some people enjoy them, then I'm happy. I write for two reasons:
1) I have to write, it's everything to me
2) I love entertaining readers

It's not easy calling myself an author. It somehow doesn't seem deserved. But it should do for this reason: I've struggled through the novel writing process and typed The End. I've taken criticism and knock-backs and kept going. I've done everything I needed to do, including seeing rejections as simply part of the journey I'm on. I've been lucky enough recently to have had positive feedback from the professionals, and took all their words of encouragement on board, learning from them in the process. I think that probably makes me an author, do you? I never in a million years thought this would happen:

Chick Lit Plus Review Of The OMG Test

Chick Lit Plus Review of The Seventh Day of May

Writing is a lonely job, just you and your characters. It's easy to get paranoid and have bad days. One of the best things to have happened to me this year, is meeting so many other writers in the same boat as me. We help and encourage each other and that's vital for your sanity. Although we're never likely to meet in person, we feel as though we know each other and there's always someone to help. One writer friend in particular is now one of the closest people to me. I can't imagine not having her in my life.

I'm writing book three at the moment. Obviously my dream is to be in a position to write full time and call it my job. Who knows if that will ever happen, but even if it doesn't, I'll still write in every spare moment.

If anyone out there is thinking of publishing a book, go for it! As I keep saying, it's better to try and fail, as opposed to fail to try. Just in case anyone is interested, the links to my books are below :-)

Love Pippa x

                                                                   The OMG Test

                                                              The Seventh Day of May

Thursday 30th July

Hi peeps, where has this year gone? I can't believe how quickly time is passing. They say that happens when you get older. Along with failing hearing and eyesight. And a compulsion to check every plant in the garden with your first cup of tea each morning (or maybe that's just me)
It's strange how a wilting flower can suddenly spoil your day. When did this take over from worrying about a bad hair day? I must face the fact that I actually became middle-aged long before I reached my 50th birthday recently.  

I can't honestly say that I like having to say my age anymore. Half a century! Really? But then, I'm lucky to have reached that age. I shouldn't be despondent, it's something to celebrate. And celebrate I did!

Without sounding too dramatic, I really think life is too short to be terrified of following your dreams. Instead, we should be terrified of NOT following them, shouldn't we? I got married and published two books in the space of nine months. Crazy, but exciting.

I'm not suggesting you get married (unless you want to) or publish books (unless you feel the need to have stress as your new best friend) but my advice (for what it's worth) is to do that one thing you've always wanted to do. Now. Why not? Unless it involves winning the lottery, of course. I'm still waiting for that to happen so that I can buy the Spanish beachfront villa with five bedrooms, roof terrace, hot tub and pool. But in the meantime I'll get on with finishing book three. In my chilly writing corner. I'm sure I'd write quicker by the pool at my villa. Or maybe not...but I'd love the chance to find out!
Love Pippa x

10th September 2015
Okay, where did August go? This year has gone so fast. It'll soon get round to the 'C' word, won't it? How crazy is that? So, what have I been doing with my time? Well...good question! The answer is a bit of writing, a lot of social media, a bit of marketing, a lot of social media. I've literally just written a post on this topic. I've decided that I am allowed to check social media with my first cup of tea each morning, but not again until evening. It's so easy to get drawn in to things, and lose track of the time, isn't it? But I've given myself a goal of finishing, editing and publishing book three by the end of the year, and I'm determined to stick to it. Here's the cover:

I finally have a website which went live yesterday. If you are interested in checking it out, here's the link:

My Website Link

I'll sign off for now, and I'll keep you posted as to whether my goal is in sight!
Love Pippa x

Tuesday 27th October
Hello, how are you?
As you may or may not know, I published my first two books this year. The third as mentioned above, has taken longer. I realised why: spending too much time on social media, especially Facebook. It's amazing how much time I wasted to be honest. I made the decision to come off social media completely until I typed 'The End.' I've done that, and am elated to have written 55,000 words in two/three weeks. Social media is important in this day and age, however, during my time off it I didn't miss much really. From now on when I'm writing a book, it's banned! What do you think? What does it mean to you? Could you live without it?
Love Pippa x

Thursday 3rd December
Where, oh, where has the time gone? They say time goes too fast as you get older. They aren't wrong. A month seems like a week just lately.
Finally I'm ready to publish my third book, Grace Me With Your Presents. It will be available on Amazon Thursday 10th December. I will be writing a blog post on that date, explaining what self-publishing entails. If any of you are thinking of going down this route, check out the post. I'll tell it like it is, good and bad with step by step instructions. I had to learn the hard way with certain things, so if I can help anyone and steer them in the right direction, I'll be happy. In the meantime, I'll be posting updates and special offers on my Facebook page, so come and join me there!

Here's the link:     Pippa's Facebook Page

Friday 11th December
Hi, and a happy Friday to you. Are you doing anything exciting this weekend? I think I will be sleeping through a lot of it. My third book of the year was released yesterday. There was a spell when I wondered if it would happen in time, but I got there in the end. Just. I'm trying to give my brain a rest before working on the next book. I think you need to do that sometimes.
If any of you are interested, I will be posting my experiences of self publishing over the next few days.
The link to my new book is below. It was nice to write about my hometown of Whitby. It has so much history and all the places mentioned are real, although the story is fiction.
Whatever you are doing, have a good weekend.
Love Pippa x

Grace Me With Your Presents

* * * * * * What's On Page 45 * * * * * *

In celebration of #ChickLitMay, participating authors will explain what's on page 45 of their chosen manuscript. I'm working Olivia Daly, from The OMG Test, very hard this week. She's still recovering from the Miss Chick Lit Beauty Pageant yesterday! So, page 45 of The OMG Test:

Olivia is attracted to Connor, but isn't ready to admit it yet. She does, however, want to impress him. Sadly things never go according to plan. Here, he's taking her on a mystery trip in his motor home. She's amazed it has a toilet and asks if it actually works. Then she asks if he can pull up and make a drink at the side of the road, or go to bed anytime he likes. Needless to say, he raises his eyebrows and tells her it's not a problem to stop the van and get into bed. She cringes. The outcome of the trip enriches her life, and gives the first indication that she's falling for Connor, big time.

Connor asks Olivia if she drives. She tells him 'Only people mad.' She goes on to tell him about a driving test she took years earlier, where the examiner commented that she changed gears as if making a cake. 'I'm not sure what he meant though, I don't bake.' Connor asks if that was why she failed. This is her reply:
"No, there was an incident, I nearly ran a lollipop lady over." Olivia closed her eyes.
"Oh dear. Was she okay?"
"Yes, but unfortunately the same can't be said for her lollipop."

Although Olivia freely admits to not baking, she does tell Connor shortly afterwards that she can cook, and that her dinner parties are legendary. They are, but for the wrong reasons. She invites him to one, then panics.

I wrote The OMG Test on and off over many years. Not much of the early drafts remain, but the lead- up to the dinner party and the dinner itself were my favourite scenes to write, and haven't changed. To find out what happens, here is the link to the book. I hope you enjoy spending a bit more time with Olivia. She's lovely, but you certainly wouldn't want to be her!

The OMG Test

A percentage of all sales of the book go to Dogs Trust, and my own rescue dog is on the cover.

Grand Prize Giveaway

The lovely Whitney Dineen has very graciously offered to donate a prize package of her delicious caramels to this event.
A one-pound package of caramels from Whitney's Goodies The winner can choose their flavour from the list below.
This giveaway is open to USA residents only:

The girl Next Door (Creme Caramels): A scrumptious, full-bodied caramel. Old fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth bliss!
The Charmer (Chocolate Creme Caramels): This smooth, chocolate cream caramel will add panache to your day. An exquisite and elegant morsel, simply irresistable.
The Movie Star (Orange Creme Caramels): A timeless treat that will satisfy caramel fans of all ages. "The stuff that dreams are made of!"
The Bombshell (Lemon Creme Caramels): A bodacious bit of heaven with a bold citrus pallet. They will leave you satisfied and refreshed. Caramels are a girl's best friend!
Always a Lady (Rose Caramels): A delicate bouquet of rose essence infuses this lovely caramel: alluring, tantalizing and reminiscent of another era. They are perfect for weddings and bridal showers. A definite for ladies who lunch or breakfast at Tiffany's.

How To Enter:

To enter, answer the following question in the comments section below:

In 4 or 5 words, why do you think The OMG Test would be a good read?

Entrants must leave their full name, along with an email address. A winner will be chosen via on Tuesday, May 19th.
You may enter at each blog participating in this event, not just this one. You can find a full list of all participating blogs below. That's 36 chances to win! And, of course, you're sure to find lots of fab new books to read too!

And finally...thank you all so much for joining us to celebrate #ChickLitMay. We hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have. Don't forget, there's more fun to come, and in case you don't know, MissChickLit Beauty Pageant was held yesterday. You can find the links to that on the homepage.

Love Pippa x

What's on Page 45 participating blogs:

Kristina Knight
Laura Kenyon
Jayne Denker
Amy Gettinger
Gina Henning
Jennifer Ammoscato
Lauren Clark
Laura Chapman
Celia Kennedy
Jennifer Farwell
Glynis Astie
Clodagh Murphy
Stacey Wiedower
Bethany Turner
Franky Brown
Tracy Krimmer
Jillianne Hamilton
Catherine L. Hensley
Becky Monson
Georgina Troy
Zanna Mackenzie
Jennifer Collin
Monique McDonell
Samantha March
Sky Greene
Whitney Dineen
Maggie Le Page
Kathryn Biel
Meredith Schorr
Karen M. Cox
Rachel L. Hamm
T.A. Munroe
Heather Balog
Jennie Marts
Serena Clarke

* Miss Chick Lit Beauty Pageant 2015 *

     Olivia Daly wiped a bead of perspiration from her brow. So much for the makeup she'd troweled on. Her stomach did somersaults worthy of an Olympic medal, at the thought of standing in front of thousands of people. But she was determined to be the focus of attention in a positive way for once. There was a first time for everything. The pageant winner would be jetting off on a trip for two, to the sun. A perfect honeymoon. Connor, her future husband, was in the crowd somewhere, with her boss, Gerry. She hopped over to the curtain and peered through. She could almost hear Gerry panting at the thought of so many scantily-clad girls. 
     Suddenly, she lost her balance. Despite clinging onto the curtain for support, she stumbled and fell onto the stage. The silence was deafening. There was only one thing for it: pretend it was planned. She crawled along the shiny floor, pausing to kick her legs behind her for effect. The costume may have been her downfall, literally, but it was her saving grace now.
I feel like a fool but as long as I pretend to swim, it'll be okay. They'll all think I'm clever!

     "That was quite an entrance." One of the judges stepped forward and thrust a microphone up Olivia's nose. "Tell us a bit about yourself."
     "Hi, my name is Olivia Daly, and I'm representing Shakespeare's home county of Warwickshire. I'm Miss Understood, and I'm a 26 year-old shop manager who adores pink. And my dog, Buddy. My dream is to one day find a cure for Choccochunky."
     "Chocochunky?" The judge's brow furrowed.
     "Yes. Eating chocolate makes you chunky. I'd love to find a way of taking out the calories." She beamed. "It would be as good for you as eating lettuce or raw carrots. But a lot tastier, obviously."
A murmer of approval echoed around the vast room, almost exclusively from the females.
     "That's an unusual costume, Olivia." The judge smiled. "A mermaid, hey? Is that what you'd wear to swim in?"
No, it's to make me look curvy, while covering my wobbly arse! 

     "Absolutely." She nodded. "If I lived near the ocean...and if I could actually swim, that is."
     "I see. So, what's the talent you're going to entertain us with?"
     "Juggling." Olivia took the three balls from the waiting assistant, and threw them in the air. One by one they fell in every direction, but her hands. She wiped clammy palms down her sequinned skirt, trying, but failing, to ignore the titters from the crowd.
     "Oh, dear," said the judge. "I bet you do it perfectly without a huge audience."
     "I've never tried juggling with balls," Olivia answered. "But I'm an expert at juggling credit cards. I thought as I juggled my finances so well, the balls would be a doddle."
The judge cleared his throat. "I see. Olivia, what would you do to make the world a happier place?"
     "Well, I'd start with Coventry. It was bombed in 1940 and all the Tudor buildings were lost, apart from one street. The city was rebuilt quickly in ugly concrete buildings."
     "So, you'd rebuild the city, back to its former black and white glory?" the judge asked.
     "Not quite." Olivia shook her head. "Tudor buildings are pretty, but all black and white is so boring, don't you think? I bet it was that stupid Henry VIII who brought in that rule. I'd bring in a new rule worldwide: every house would be painted at least partly in pink. I know a few men may object, they aren't all in touch with their feminine side. So, I suppose I'd let them off painting, as long as they had something pink outside."
     "Like what?" The judge grimaced.
     "Erm, well...maybe a pink pig statue. Or something."

     "Thank you, Olivia. You've been most entertaining. We'll see you later." Something in his expression told Olivia he wished this wasn't the case.
What does he know anyway? I thought it went amazingly well! Time for a drink, deserve it!


You can be a beauty Queen too with this $100 gift card US/Canada winner
UK winner - £65 gift card for Lush Cosmetics
Australia winner - $125AUD for Mecca

In order to be entered, you need to answer the same interview question as Olivia:

What would you do to make the world a happier place?

Post your answer by clicking on the comment box at the end of this post, along with your email address. A winner will be chosen via on Monday May 18th. You are free to enter the giveaway on not just this blog post, but also on each of the blogs participating in the pageant. That's nineteen chances to win! You will find the links to the other blogs below. 
Also, if you've enjoyed getting to know Olivia, the link to 'The OMG Test' can be found below too. Thank you for joining us to celebrate Chick Lit May. Enjoy the rest of the pageants!
Love Pippa X

The OMG Test

Miss Chick Lit Participant Links:

Laura Kenyon
Gina Henning
Tracie Banister
Cat Lavoie
Amy Gettinger
Celia Kennedy
Glynis Astie
Engy Albasel Neville
Tracy Krimmer
Cait Reynolds
Franky Brown
Monique McDonell
Colleen Oakes
Whitney Dineen
Maggie Le Page
Kathryn Biel
Rachel L. Hamm
Laura Chapman

Taking 'Ex' Out Of Exercise

I'm no fitness expert but I've done enough over the years to know what works and what doesn't.
Many years ago I got obsessed with exercising. I was in my early thirties then. If only I could get that obsession back now, age 50. I hate it, but I want to be as fit as I can be and look as good as I possibly can, so it has to be done.

At the beginning of 2014 I realised how out of shape I was and was very upset. I was getting married and going on honeymoon six months later, so that was enough motivation to get off my (big and saggy) butt. My husband and I had been looking into the beachbody workouts, Insanity mainly. We knew the clue was in the name, but we decided to give it a go. We were terrified! Rightly!

But it was nine weeks out of our life, and we were determined to give it a good go. So, when we were instructed by Shaun T to 'C'mon, y'all, letssss gooo,' we grimaced and got on with it. Two minutes in we were in a sweaty heap on the floor and that was only from the fitness test. The signs were not good. But we followed the programme, going at our own pace, until halfway through when my husband broke his ankle. This was NOT from doing Insanity. He was devastated, not just about his ankle, but because he couldn't finish the programme. No wonder, he lost three inches off his stomach in week one! My motivation to carry on was really put to the test then, but I persevered. Now, maybe I should explain something here. There was quite a lot of moves, especially some of the push-ups, I just could not do. So I didn't. Because rather than staring blankly at the screen, I thought it was better to keep moving and just do some of the other moves instead. Here's the results:

The first change was in my calves. They became shapely, not bulky. The muscles on the side of my legs also made an appearance early on. I call it 'the line' down the outside of my thighs. I love that! But it wasn't until I looked at before and after photos that I realised how much my body had changed. It was incredible. Most of my body fat had gone. I still needed to tone up certain areas though, that weren't quite there (not far off) so I had two choices:

Do Insanity another time through or do something else. I decided to do another beachbody workout, Brazil Butt Lift.

My main problem was in the butt and hamstring area which I wanted to tighten up. Make no mistake though, Insanity had improved it dramatically. Even cellulite was MASSIVELY reduced. Anyway, I got a shock when I started the Brazil Butt Lift workout. It was bloody hard! Even after doing Insanity. Don't be fooled by the name. The abs section is probably the toughest I've ever done! Leandro may speak gently, but he lulls you into a false sense of security! I did eight weeks of this and was delighted with the results. Not least because for the first time in my adult life I passed the pencil test! Hurray! so, I got married and went on honeymoon happy to wear a bikini. No more saddlebags and saggy butt. Why oh why didn't I carry on doing the routines at least two or three times a week?

A year on, we are three weeks into Insanity again. I know that seventeen weeks of sticking to these two programmes will get me where I want to be. And this time I AM going to continue. Next summer I'm determined to look how I want to look, even though I'll be 51 then. I believe that the problem with exercise as you get older isn't through age itself, it's lack of motivation as you age. Obviously we get more aches and pains naturally, but it is possible to achieve the same results as someone in their twenties. I know, because I did it!

If anyone is looking for an easier workout that still works well, here it is:

Yet again, don't be fooled by the name. It gives you a good workout all over. It's dated though. If you don't mind it being years old, it does work and quickly too. I still go back to it on and off. I wish Dan Karaty would do an updated version. I think I'll send him a tweet and ask lol.

I'm considering posting before and after shots when I'm done. But this thought is scary to be honest. However, if it will help people I'll do it!

Love Pippa x