Friday, 27 September 2013

Eyes are the window to the soul

Or in my case, the windows to the gross itchy, tender, flaky and massively swollen condition that is blepharitis.

Some people I'm sure will say I'm over exaggerating and that there are more important things going on in the world than my little old eyes but this 'condition' just turned up one morning out of the blue, no warning, just hugely puffed up eyes that made me wonder if I'd been too tired the night before and had put something other than eye cream on my eyes at bedtime.

A week later and still there, someone mentioned blepharitis and so I googled it. 

"The symptoms of blepharitis often come and go, getting better or worse over a long period of time. Blepharitis usually affects both eyes and you may find your symptoms are worse in the morning. Your symptoms may include:

  • red, sore eyelids, which may also be swollen
  • a gritty, burning or itching feeling in your eyes
  • eyelids sticking together
  • crusting on your eyelashes
  • scaly or greasy eyelids
  • difficulty wearing your contact lenses
  • blurred vision"

Appealing yes?

So, I've always quite liked my eyes and make a thing of them with my makeup, one of James' favourite things about me is my eyes (What! Not my nagging about stuff?), so it has been actually really horrible not being able to wear eye makeup.  

In my job, I am regularly face to face with stockists and to not be able to finish my face properly with my eye make up is annoying, I feel I look unfinished, and they might think I've just rolled out of bed!

So after weeks of asking google, twitter and every chemist I pass (doc was useless) and getting nowhere fast as everywhere tells you it is uncureable, it turned out my sister knew of something to help!

Sorry for quality of pics, this is all being done from my phone while watching peppa pig, as I figure if I don't blog soon then I may as well just admit defeat and stop blogging! 

So after 3 applications of the wipes and 2 applications of the blephagel my eyes were 98% back to normal, I couldn't believe it!!

However, this morning on what is going to be a stressful day anyway with an extremely important business meeting this afternoon I wake up, look in the mirror straight away which has become my daily routine since the blepharitis showed its ugly self and was greeted with this 

Literally at the end of my tether, can anyone help??!!!  You can see how swollen the lid is, I normally have very deep sockets!!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Soap & Glory Daily Double

On visiting Boots on the pretence of buying nappies (translate as feeding my make up obsession) I popped my advantage card in the machine to see what new offers I had.

Buy a double daily eye stick for less than half price at £4!

I tried it this morning and dear god, don't make any mistakes because this product has serious staying power!

Only 3 shades available in my local, but I wonder if there are more as if so I'm in for the long haul.

The double ended pencil is so creamy, and I prefer the thinner tip to the Clinique chubby for eyes, it gives a much more precise application and you can get into the inner corners much easier.

If you've got a Boots card, I suggest you take advantage! (Get it?)

Friday, 17 May 2013

Jane Iredale Longest Lash

I've been on the hunt as you may know, for a decent mascara.  Length I am not struggling with, volume, I am.

I visited one of my stockists for work the other week (if you live near Stamford in Lincs you MUST go to essence of beauty ) and I always like to see what products sell well for them, to gauge what of my products would sell well, and we got onto the subject of Jane Iredale, who, although is a premium price, sells very well for them, because I guess once someone knows something works, they stick with it.  Tracy who owns the salon was wearing this mascara, and it sold me.  So although a very successful meeting, I left £26 down!!

It has fibres in it, which I was a bit hesitant about.  What if they come loose and shed in my eyes, and I end up with gross red watery eyes on the way to a meeting, etc etc. You know, those really life threatening situations ;)

It doesn't shed, and it coats the lashes beautifully, yes it does lengthen them, but it doesn't make my long lashes look spidery, due to the volumising effect too.  My biggest plus point for this mascara?  The squeezy tube.  Why don't all mascaras come like this?  It means you don't need to pump the wand in and out which as we all know (and ignore) creates a hive of gross bacteria to multiply into more grossness.  Also means that we can get all £26 worth of gunk out of it.  Win win. 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Arabel Lebrusan

A couple of years ago I had the joy of discovering Arabel, as we shared office space in one of those offices where you rent desks.  It was just off Sloane Square and she had her own jewellery brand Leblas.  Arabel has since rebranded under her own name, and I wanted to introduce you to her stunning intricate handiwork.

A big positive for me is that all of her metals and stones are fairtrade and fairmined, recycled and her website is completely transparent and honest about everything she uses.

When I first met her, I put her in touch with Sienna and Savannah Miller who personally chose beautiful rings that Arabel had designed and made, and they have been pictured several times wearing the jewellery since.  If it is good enough for the Miller sisters, then it's definitely good enough for me!

Her latest range, which I wish I had checked out sooner, as have been moaning I don't have a cute summer bracelet and would have loved for holiday is the friendship bracelets.

Filigree Friendship Rosette bracelet in Rose Gold £110 here

Filigree friendship bracelet with smoky quartz gemstone in yellow gold £155 here

Pay her website a visit here

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Well Worn Converse (like their owner)

I've been coveting the well worn converse for a while now, and have always had the pumps rather than the hi tops.  I really fancied the hi-tops as I keep seeing baukjen models (my favourite catalogue) wearing converse with skirts and skinnies, and think it really works!

I got birthday money early so I could start to restock my wardrobe with my new found size 10-12 body and James offered to get me the converse as part of my birthday present (the other present was a new pair of raybans also for holiday!)

So we got them, I love them and can't wait to wear them!!

£55 from schuh

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

In transit camera close-up

I was so excited to be one of the winners of Amelia's (view her blog here) thisworks competition!  One of my oldest friends used to be a Director there, so I became a fan of a few of their products, namely dry leg oil, but kind of forgot about them when she moved onto pastures new.

I still kind of think This Works is a very similar animal to Aromatherapy Associates, but I love their products too, so am not complaining.  However this gem is my new favourite product.

You massage it in like you would a normal moisturiser, until it has totally absorbed, however, this is not just a moisturiser.  It is a mask, AND a primer in one.

The pump application is brilliant, doesn't give you too much, I use 2 pumps for my whole face and massage it in gently, leaving my skin with a dewy finish, which comes through when you apply foundation over the top, so a lovely natural yet polished application.

one pump

I don't use a primer every day, as I feel really it is just filling in lumps and bumps, which can't be good, we use polyfilla to hide cracks in walls, and this kind of reminds me of what a primer does, so I just use it if I am in meetings all day and want my make up to stay in place, or on an evening out, but this is hard not to use every day because I love it so much.  It's firmly in my holiday make up bag.  Thank you so much Amelia!

thisworks have a deal on another one of their In Transit products at the moment, whereby you get a £29 product for £19 (enter code ITSD at checkout, view their in transit range here )

Monday, 13 May 2013

prepping for sun

It's been a year and 8 months since we last went on holiday, since we last stripped off and let the public see our bodies.  Which I don't think there is a pantone colour to describe at present.  Other than milky.

Bearing in mind we've not had many opportunities in the run up to the holiday to get our tan on, we decided to help ourselves along with beta carotene capsules, which we do normally if we remember, but felt this year was more important to, so that our skin has got some Vitamin A in it and doesn't have a complete sh*tfit when we get to Crete. 

In case you didn't know what beta carotene helps with:  it apparently strengthens your skin against rays of light - to accelerate the tanning process and reduce the risk of sunburn. Beginning a month before your holidays you can start taking supplements that contain antioxidant nutrients such as Beta Carotene, Vitamin A, C and E, which help to protect the body from excess free radicals that destroy healthy cells and promote the cell aging process.

We've also been taking Vitamin D, for a totally different reason.  James is definitely a summer person, dark mornings and evenings really take their toll on him, and we even tried a lumie light, which didn't seem to work, so I figured Vitamin D would be good for him as we get most of our vitamin D from sunlight on our skin.  Of which our beautiful country has definitely been lacking.  For me, it is for the same reasons, but also my mum has osteoporosis which is partially caused by lack of Vitamin D, and I seem to be inheriting every bad health issue she has had, so am trying to delay or fight off anything possible!

I need to start taking the Lambert fish oils as recommended by Caroline Hirons, so that is my next investment when I return from holiday.  Any other suggestions?

Sunday, 12 May 2013

You only get one face

So you need to take care of it (says she, who only got a skincare regime this year thanks to Caroline Hirons

I normally just put whatever suncream I use on my body, on my face.  So usually factor 6 piz buin.  So this year I figure it's a week before I turn 35 (shit, how did that happen please??) so I really should invest in a decent face spf for the beach.  Enter Clarins.

Now I'm not going to lie, I asked Caroline which I should buy, and she suggested shiseido or Clinique.  However, in Fenwicks Bond Street, Clarins had a GWP offer, and I have been desperate to buy one of their crystal balms, so figured I would try their sun cream for face too so I could get my freebies.  Plus, as much as I want to protect my skin, I still want to get a tan, I rarely burn, so wanted no more than factor 15.

So here is my haul.
I actually have loads more of the mini's but they are already packed.  I told the lovely lady on the counter that I was going on hols, so she literally poured samples into my bag, I couldn't have been more excited if she had been pouring giant Cadburys buttons into my mouth.  (actually, that's not true, I'd actually commit murder for someone to do that for me since being on the diet).
Can I just say Oh.My.God for the crystal balm.  If you look closely you can see the clear veil of sheen around the colour on my skin.  I love this, and REALLY struggled to choose out of 2 colours, but glad I picked this one, it is shade 01, Crystal Pink.
I picked the body lotion as one of my GWP's as I don't buy into this whole aftersun hype, I figure a moisturiser is a moisturiser, and if it's free, and it's clarins, then that works for me!  If i'm wrong, please tell me!
The Extra Firming Day cream I am really interested to try, so will do a review on it in the coming weeks.
Anything from the Clarins range i'm missing out on???

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Travel Companions

I hate taking 250ml bottles of shampoo on holiday and I hate taking my bottles of foundation on holiday, as I invariably need to use a darker shade by the end of it, so it's wasted space for that 33rd top I HAVE to take with me plus it is usually marble flooring throughout and I will undoubtedly drop 65quids worth of make up all over the floor.

I quite enjoy buying the mini's, slightly galling when I know the cost to make these items having been in the miniature industry for 8 years in my first job, but still, they are giving me more weight to use for clothes, so I will stop moaning.

This holiday I have decided to choose the Charles Worthington minis. 
How good they are remains to be seen, but I like the idea of spritzing my hair throughout the day. 
I then bought this little stack of pots, which I will be decanting my wonderful Emma Hardie Moringa Face Balm into, plus my 2 different foundations and one application of my favourite body scrub ever from Neom Organics to keep my body in tip top tanning condition!
Last but not least, my hair is always up on holiday, it's quite ombre at the moment, so much lighter at the ends, so found these little pretties in Accessorize, the group of hairbands will all have been lost by the end of the week, I am the person that keeps hairband brands in business, as must buy 2 packs a month!  The little item on the right is really cute, a normal hairband, but with a hard gold coloured ring to hide the band.  The 2 bits cost me £6.
Anything I'm missing?



Friday, 10 May 2013

always the mothers job

As a kid I remember my mum getting a bit 'prickly' a few days before our family of 4 went on holiday.  I just thought she was a bit odd about it all, until I became a mum.

Difference is, my mum had a husband who was rarely home, 2 daughters, a dog and 2 cats.  So as well as packing for 4 people, she also had to sort out kennels, cattery, or taking the dog to our grandparents for them to have, as well as wash, iron, clean the house (which she literally did as we were leaving, she would hoover us out of the front door), sort the currency out and then some.

I just have James, Max and I.  I normally would pack for James and I before Max came along anyway, just because men are rubbish at packing, and I quite the jigsaw puzzle feel of doing it, and the satisfaction of when you are finished you can close the cases without needing John Goodman to sit on them to close them.

Then I went upstairs to start on it and was faced with this

This is our spare room.  Or should I say, the holiday crime scene.  Now I must point out, that Maxs stuff is in line with the trunki on the top of the pic.  James is one row at the bottom of the picture.  Mine is the massive collection in the middle, other than the swim nappies (don't do them in my size).

You might think, oh not bad for a 2 week holiday for 3 people.

It's a 1 week holiday.  6 nights where we will need clothes, as the first day we get there late.  This isn't everything.  Shoes aren't on there.  Toiletries aren't on there.  I have 2 wash loads drying on the airers, and of course there is no sun today to dry them, so I have jeans on the kitchen floor so that the underfloor heating dries them.

I had to walk away and close the door quietly.

Feel for me please.  I have to do this in between finishing work which has been a manic last day, picking Max up from Nursery as James doesn't finish work until 7pm tonight, going to Lighter Life for my weigh in, and doing dinner.

Mum, I bow to your greatness.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Gelish in Tiger Blossom

Not much to say here other than look at my pretty coloured nails!

Gelish in Tiger Blossom

If you live in London and haven't had Josie in your house to give you the best, neatest manicure or pedicure of your life, then shame on you. 

This is a gorgeous colour, it's more coral than it looks in the picture, she uses OPI Cajun Shrimp on my feet to match it, but i'm not going to give you nightmares by posting pictures of my feet.  Or as James calls them, plates of wood.

Seriously, book a date with Josie nailsmakeupme

Hats off to my dad!

My dad recently went on a ridiculous holiday, he is 65, newly single, not quite ready to mingle, but had a disastrous holiday last year on his first holiday alone, and so this year decided to have a bit of action.  (ahem, so to speak)

So he decided to sign up for a ridiculous bike riding holiday.  Not a nice gentle easy breezy downhill cycle in a lovely forest.  Not my dad.  South America.  So I'm talking Nicaragua, Panama and Brazil......rainforests, vertical climbs, underneath waterfalls, the lot.  Strange man loved it.  (I should add here that he runs 11 miles at least once a week, so it wasn't like me deciding I was going to do the mad holiday out of the blue, that would be hilarious).  I should also add this was about 2 weeks after a knee operation.

Every holiday I buy a cheap straw trilby/panama style hat, so when dad said he was going to Panama and would be stopping off to watch panama hats be made, I begged him (didn't take much begging, i'm his baby) to get me one.  Which he did.  It's the right size, it's light, and best of all it's AUTHENTIC.  Even better, the authentic ones roll up for easy packing!  I googled how to roll it best and found this site (how to roll a panama hat ) and it has worked brilliantly.  Looks a bit odd, as have put a sock over it now to keep it rolled, X-ray machines will be interesting tomorrow! 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

restocking the wardrobe

The downside to having lost over a stone in the last couple of months is that it has equated to 2 dress sizes down and everything looks really scruffy!!

Finally, I can look at clothes that I previously hankered after, but knew I couldn't wear due to various lumps and bumps.....yes horizontal stripes, I'm talking about YOU!

So I started shopping around and fell in love with this dress from Baukjen (ahem, and bought it)

Drew Stripe Dress here

I then carried on browsing and the skirt that I really wanted last year, was at a ridiculously bargainous price of £26.70, (bought it) and I feel I can wear it with pride now that I have rediscovered my waist!

Print Drape skirt here
Annoyed that I couldn't stretch to the belt, but may use birthday money for that

Perfect items for my holiday coming up, but also love the skirt with that shirt or a white shirt for a summer day business meeting with a nice pair of shoes.

Still on my list (click on pics for links):

I would post pics of me in the outfits, but my legs are far too white at the moment, so will do after my hols!!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Avon Calling!

I know there are some haters of Avon out there, but I have to say, I am constantly surprised by their new products, and if Sam Chapman is featured in their catalogues, that is a good sign no?

I have seen various brands launching the matte lipsticks and haven't been too sure about them, but there was such a good deal in the latest Avon book that I got 2.

L - Pink Cuddle
R - Matte Crimson
They go on really smoothly and feel very moisturising.  The colour pay off is gorgeous, the crimson is a really naughty red, not pillar box, but a deeper, pinky, sexy colour.  Put it this way; I wouldn't wear it to go to a meeting (unless it was a meeting with my boyfriend) 

Pink Cuddle is a really cute pink that I will wear on holiday with just a bit of bronzer and a slick of eyeshadow for an early evening dinner.  It's a really great daytime/early evening colour

They stay matte, yet I can still massage my lips together (I thought it would feel like I had nothing on and would be unable to do that).

Will I give up my Clinique Chubby Sticks? No, but these are already in my handbag for when I fancy a change!

Don't forget when I reach 50 followers on GFC or Bloglovin, I will be giving away a l'Artisan Parfumeur scent, full size 100ml Seville a l'Aube.  Just click here, follow and leave a note to say you have! x 

GAP kids

In the nearly 2 years since Max has been in our lives I dread to think of the money we've spent on his clothes. However, we've definitely learnt where to shop.

GAP kids never fail us, they wash beautifully, no shrinkage, no fading and they are really good with their sizing. Pricing too in my humble opinion.

Their PJs is my subject today, since max stopped wearing babygros we bought several different brands for pjs but they either ended up round his ankles or the legs rode up to his nappy! GAP pjs are fab simply because they thought about them, they have cuffed legs so don't ride up and their waistbands are like pants elastic so not that thick puckered elastic.


My little ghoul thinks so too

Saturday, 13 April 2013

balance Me. It errrr, balances Me!

I got the YOU advent Calendar a little later than others, but it is DEFINITELY a case of better late than never.

balance Me's radiance face oil is something I have wanted to try for a while, since Caroline Hirons pointed out to me that I need to use an oil at night.  So the fact that this was in my box of goodies was so exciting!

I have used this every other night in-between my Clarins Lotus Oil and yet it looks like hardly any has been used, and believe me, I use it generously!

I've had really bad congestion recently due to various colds Max brings home from Nursery, and I have actually been using the rollerball on this oil, to kind of massage and put pressure around my sinuses and it really has helped each evening.

But onto the product itself.  Firstly, it smells divine.  It is suitable for all skin types and although it states you can use it morning and night, I haven't braved the morning application yet, as don't know how long it would be before I could apply makeup.  I might try this next time I am working from home. 

I massage it into my face for a good few minutes, and then it says you can either put your moisturiser over the top of it, or just leave it on it's own, which is what I do at the moment.  I do notice a difference when I have used it, it is super absorbent, so you know it is getting to work straight away rather than just sitting as a layer of shiny grease on your face.  The next morning, I almost don't want to cleanse, tone and moisturise, as I like what I see in the mirror (a rarity!); I think the yellow of the oil works well with my skin tone and actually makes it look healthier!!

Big plus point?  Natural, high-performance, paraben and sulphate free, and BRITISH.

Do you have any other balance Me saviours, as I am keen to try some more, especially after meeting Sian and hearing the history of the brand at an event we were both training at!

You can buy balance Me here  and follow them on twitter here

Friday, 12 April 2013

Sleepless in Seattle

That's just me trying to be clever with post names.  It hasn't worked.

I was sent a bronzer and this Duo eyeshadow in 'seattle' from the lovely people at Smooch Cosmetics

I picked the colour without really thinking that similar colours are in my UD Naked 2 palette, but hey ho.

I LOVE this brand.  The pigment on these 2 shadows is amazing, just one sweep for a wash of colour, or build it up for much more drama.  Either way, I am going to be buying some of them in different colours, I have seen they have a new 'ladies who lunch' collection of eyeshadows which I have been eyeballing for a couple of days now.

They have glitter, but remarkably it doesn't have fall out, they are soft, so I really did expect a lot of having to clean up my cheeks, but no.

One of the best things about this little eye duo for me, is that Smooch haven't done what most make up brands do when they give you a couple of colours, which is to throw a useless little applicator that only Barbie could comfortably use.  I always moan that I would rather have more product without an applicator, than the other way round, and Smooch have done that.  Most women who use eye make up have proper brushes, so why waste your money as the manufacturer, and our money, putting in something that will go in the bin?  (bare escentuals pressed eye make up take note please!)

Staying power is great, pigment is great, sheen/glitter factor is great.  Not too much, but not too little.  Now that I am going to be hitting the big 35 next month, I am getting very conscious of whether I should be wearing glittery eyeshadows, as creases are becoming more apparent on my eyelids, but this is a perfect balance.

Keep 'em coming Smooch!

*PR sample

Don't forget when I reach 50 followers on GFC or Bloglovin, I will be giving away a l'Artisan Parfumeur scent, full size 100ml Seville a l'Aube.  Just click here follow and leave a note to say you have! x 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Lazy girls godsend, thank you Clinique

The days of spending 10 minutes using 2 or 3 colours a day on my eyelids are long gone.  I still take the time on a night out, or going for dinner etc, but it just isn't a daily must anymore!

Having said that, I will not leave the house without make up on.  I envy these women who say they are happy to slick some mascara and lipgloss on and head out, but I am not one of them.  I need my entire face of war paint on!

Popping Max to the nursery then working from home? Make up still goes on.  Why?  For me, it is a routine, I am getting ready for my day.  I am not, and never have been one of these people that can work from home in their PJ's, I need to 'go to work' and I wouldn't go to the office in my PJ's.

Enter Clinique and their wonderful Chubby Stick shadow tint for the eyes.  I'm already onto my second Chubby lip tint, and got a 3rd in my gift with purchase the other day (whoop!), so knew that the eye version wasn't going to disappoint.

L - Mighty Moss
R - Lots o' Latte
These are perfect, I can literally use the light brown while walking around getting Max's stuff together, then take a quick look in the mirror and blend with my finger.  Just a simple wash of colour, THEN I put on a slick of mascara (after carefully applying liner of course...)

These are really buildable too, I wait for it to dry, then apply more, and then a third time too, and the colour is really intense.  Becomes really bronze.

The Mighty Moss is beautiful, I have grey/green/blue (loosely translated as murky pondwater) coloured eyes, and this made the green in my eyes stand out.  I also found that they work great under the eyes too. 

I did want to try the Intense Charcoal one, but no stockists seem to have it at the moment, have you tried it?

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Faking the bronze

Well it's the only option right now no?

I am so fed up of this weather, the 3 of us in the house are constantly with some ailment, Max brings home just about everything from Nursery, and we are on the countdown to May when we finally get a week abroad with some (please pleeeeease) sun.

In the meantime, although I have been trying to embrace paler skin, I have found myself reaching for the Smooch Bronzer (smooched) every day.  I was kindly sent this and another product (post to follow) a while ago, but I like to get some good use out of things before I 'yay or nay' them.

This is a definite yay.

The packaging can be a bit frustrating, it is the soft touch plastic which NARS also use, and although it is ergonomically very appealing and strokeable, it is not make up friendly, fingerprints and glitter gets left on it, and even when I wipe it, it's still not a nice black clean case.  The product itself though is a new favourite of mine so I am going to let the packaging issue slide.

in sunlight (yes SUNlight)
 You can see in the above picture that in the sunlight it contains some glitter, the name of the colour is 'smooched (highlighter)'  So I figure the main product is smooched, and obviously the 'S' is the highlighter, but it is so fine that you couldn't really use the highlighter on its own unless you use your pinky finger or an eye make up brush.  Swirl a huge bronzer brush over the whole palette however, and you have a gorgeous subtle smattering of colour on your cheeks, with just enough glitter to add some highlights, without looking like a disco ball.

This is now a permanent fixture in my makeup bag, and I can't believe I had never tried Smooch cosmetics before!  You can shop here and they are currently offering 25% off orders of £15 and over! 

*PR sample

Don't forget when I reach 50 followers on GFC or Bloglovin, I will be giving away a l'Artisan Parfumeur scent, full size 100ml Seville a l'Aube.  Just click here, follow and leave a note to say you have! x 

Friday, 29 March 2013

4 weeks into Lighter Life

I started Lighter Life Lite 4 weeks ago, and wrote a little piece about it here 

I said I would do weekly updates, but figure monthly is all you need, it's not THAT interesting.

So I had my 4 week weigh in last night, and wasn't looking forward to it as felt I had been hungry quite a bit this week which normally means your body may not be in ketosis (when our bodies are using fat for energy).  

I was totally dumbfounded when the scales said I had lost 5lbs!!  It's usual to lose anything between 1.5lbs-3lbs, so I am not quite sure what happened here, but I am certainly not complaining.

This now means that in 4 weeks, I have lost 11.5lbs.  My goal is 2.5stone, so I am over a third of the way there.  It means I may not reach goal weight in time for hols on the 10th May, but hell, I'll be a lot more confident in a bikini!

In measurements I have lost:

2inches off my bust (as a 34F, I am VERY happy about this)
2.5inches off my waist
2inches off my hips

This apparently means I have probably gone down a dress size.

This is such an easy diet for me, I was useless on weight watchers and slimming world as couldn't be bothered to measure stuff, so this is perfect for me just 3 sachets a day and then a yummy dinner in the evening.

Only downside to clothes are starting to look trampy due to being baggy, my skinny jeans are no longer skinny jeans, in fact Kat (@doesmybumlook40) this could be the answer to your boyfriend jeans....although if you lose any weight you would disappear!  So I am off to put my jeans in a 60degree wash, which apparently can shrink them by 1 size.  Hopefully not in length too...

Any suggestions in how to prolong wear in clothes while losing weight?  I refuse to buy new ones every other week, as much as I would love to.

Melissa Odabash Jamaica Bikini that I have my sights on here

Don't forget when I reach 50 followers on GFC or Bloglovin, I will be giving away a l'Artisan Parfumeur scent, full size 100ml Seville a l'Aube.  Just click here, follow and leave a note to say you have! x

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

If you want something, work for it

This popped up on my facebook page from one of my friends today, and it couldn't ring more true.

All I have seen on twitter and facebook recently is people moaning about things, that to be honest, are not out of their control.  Things that if they got up and made an effort, there would be no need to moan about.

You're not happy in your job, find a new one.  (been there, done it)
You're not happy in your relationship, move on. (been there, done it)
Not happy with your weight, do something about it (been there, doing it)
Want to earn more money, ask for more responsibility in your job (been there, done it)

I have no idea what has compelled me to write this, I think just because I am so fed up hearing people moan when I work my arse off as a mum, as an employee, doing extra things on the weekends to make a bit more money, just so I can have nice things and so does James.  We don't expect them to land on a diamond encrusted platter, we expect to work for them.  They also mean a lot more to you then too.

I started off temping as a receptionist, on about 7k a year, I didn't go to University, I went to what my mum calls 'the university of life'.  aka the big bad bitch world.  Yeah I've had some terrible times in jobs, but I've also had some amazing ones, which even had me running my own business, until Max turned up and I wanted security in a full time job.

Karla Powell and Caroline Hirons are big examples of this, Karla was working very closely with MUA cosmetics, and then when she decided she had learnt all she could learn, she made the move to Crown Brushes.  Her previous boss then badmouthed her all over social media.  Disgusting behaviour, and not how I would expect a brand owner to behave.  In all my career, my bosses have always told me they are hoping to mould me enough to either go onto bigger and better things elsewhere, or to take their jobs! This guy obviously doesn't have that mindset.   Karla has worked her fingers to the bone, never complains, and I love reading about her challenging days and her tips, and look where it has got her.  BECAUSE SHE WORKED FOR IT!  Follow her on twitter here, she is very inspiring

Same with Caroline, who has been known for her profession for years, but now was recently asked to do workshops at Liberty.  BECAUSE SHE WORKED FOR IT.  Follow her on twitter here

None of the above happened by them moaning that nothing good was happening to them, they knew what they wanted, as do I, and went out and bloody got it.

Phew.  Rant over.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The lighter side of life

Post Pregnancy I lost pretty much all of my babyweight and then some due to Post Natal Depression.  It didn't matter what I ate, I must have just had so much nervous energy or stress, that the weight just dropped off.  Once I got onto my medication, that weight slowly crept back on!

I have done Atkins, the Cabbage Soup diet, weight watchers, you name it, I have tried various ways in my adult years to get back to my 21 year old body, that even my skinniest friends used to moan about, as I had such a flat tummy, without any exercise.  Bad eating, bad drinking and just bad lifestyle put pay to that.

If you read my blog you will know we have booked a holiday for the 10th May, one of which I am bouncing off walls, slap my thigh excited about, and then with that came that feeling in the pit of my stomach 'shit, that means I've got to wear a bikini' !

My mum recently did the Lighter Life diet, and lost near on 3 stone in as many months, so I figured I have full proof it works, she has always been a healthy eater, not a big drinker yet struggled to get the pounds off.

Me before starting, at 12stone 13lbs
So I joined up.  I don't own a pair of scales, never have done, I feel they are damaging, especially if on a diet as I personally know I would be on them every morning, and if I hadn't lost weight, would probably sack it off and go eat a muffin.  When I heard my weight, I nearly fell over, I can't believe I am about to tell a lot of strangers my weight, but I was 12stone 13lbs.  Ok so I am 5ft 10, but after checking my BMI etc, and my waist (I am NOT telling you that measurement), we decided I need to lose 2stone 7lbs.  People say they don't believe it, and I think because my mum is a retired image consultant, I have just always known the right styles to wear for my body shape, but my height probably helps me carry the weight better, but it's no excuse, I need to lose the weight.

I don't know why this is different for me, maybe because it isn't cheap, it costs me between £60-£70 a week in the food sachets and the weekly counselling group, so I think I am probably thinking, this is nearly £250 a month I could be spending on bags, shoes, make up, don't screw it up.

My choice throughout the day

So, the routine is that I have a Chocolate Shake for breakfast (not powdery like those gross slimfast ones, oh yeah, I tried slimfast too!), a soup for lunch, and then I either have one of the bars with a cuppa at around 5pm, or stretch myself until after dinner and pretend it is a mars bar for pudding!! Due to the fact I am on the light plan, it means I can eat a proper dinner, so I normally have a lovely bit of meat, with some roasted veggies, or a stir fry, or prawn salad.   You also need to drink at least 2litres of water a day.

First week, I was so thrilled, as I lost 4.3lbs!

Second week (last Thursday), i had lost 0.3lbs, so I had a massive downer on myself, it seems that I have had something that I shouldn't have (I blame the local pub for my mothers day dinner, where I asked for meat and veg but the veg was definitely covered in something).  I had been so excited to get on those scales, as clothes felt looser, My boss who had seen me the previous week noticed that I looked slimmer, and James keeps telling me I look so much narrower, so my LL coach says I must have lost more than that, as normally you will only notice visually if you have lost half a stone or more.  So whether it was clothes I was wearing, or the fact I had eaten before I got weighed, I'm not sure, but it has royally put a rocket up my arse to not be disappointed again!

I'm not sure if this kind of post will be interesting to you all or not, so please let me know if not, otherwise i'm planning on doing a weekly update.

Now I need to start exercising, which as far as I am concerned is the activity of the devil, any easy suggestions welcome, and if any of you have done LL, I would love to hear about it!

This is not a sponsored post.

Don't forget when I reach 50 followers on GFC or Bloglovin, I will be giving away a l'Artisan Parfumeur scent, full size 100ml Seville a l'Aube.  Just go to the giveaway post, follow and leave a note to say you have! x

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mothering Sunday

Happy Mothers day to any Mums reading this post, and for those of you that aren't, I hope you have spoilt your mum rotten!

I do feel that the card companies just use this Sunday as another excuse to get the tills ringing, but it is always something I have loved, whether it is buying just a £2 bunch of daffs for my mum, or splashing out, all it does is let your mum know that all those little things that she may think are insignificant, actually mean a lot to us.  I do regularly tell her I love her, and appreciate her, but this just makes it officially about her!

Now that I am a mum to Max (2 years old in June), I know how much hard work it is, you never stop, you always worry when they're not with you, and recently on a night away with work, how my heart ached for my boys at home!  My mum has told me that even though her babies are now 39 and 34 (ahem, make that 40 and 35 this year....I'm the younger one before you ask), she still worries about us and wants to always know we are happy.

This year I wanted to do something with a difference for my mum, so found this gorgeous and clever card for my mum on etsy

 I then came across @typographyoflove on twitter by pure chance and thought this would be perfect for my mum, she is a big softy, and loves anything that she can see you had to put some thought into.  Mel at Typography of Love offers you various templates which you can then give her 12 words that mean something to whoever you are doing this for, and adds them inbetween some others already on the template, you also choose the colours.  There was one word that was really not right for my mum so I asked her if we could change one, which she happily did without any question.  So below is my beautiful gift for mothers day for my wonderful mum.  (including the frame and delivery this was just £35)

 I was up with my mum in Yorkshire this week, so asked her to open it when I was there, and there were lots of tears, so I think she was chuffed!

Onto my second mothers day, and I received a beautiful bunch of flowers, a beautiful butterfly made at Nursery, and 2 very special cards, one from Max and one from James.  Now off to Mothers day dinner too!

Did you get anything special or do anything special for your mum?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

gal loves gel

I've posted about Josie before on the blog I used to guest post on with Clare, but now I have my own blog, I wanted to shout and scream about the wonder that is Josie Thirkell.

Not only is Josie a beautiful girl inside and out, but she is the most meticulous person I have ever met when it comes to her handiwork.  Ever since she first gave me a pedicure that lasted 6 weeks (and only because my nails grew, the paint never chipped), I knew she was a keeper.  For that reason, I've not let anyone touch my feet other than Josie in over 8 years.

I moved away from her a few years ago, and tried a few local nail technicians and phoned Josie nearly in tears sometimes as they had damaged my nails so badly, so made the decision to be one of these crazy people that drives 40mins just to get the nails/hair/brows done. 

 I was thrilled when Josie told me she decided to set up her own business, and even more so when she told me it was going to be in the comfort of peoples homes!

I've gone from fibreglass extensions, to Bio Sculpture, to OPI Axxium and now have gelish with Josie, my nails never grow past a certain length and when they do get a bit longer than usual, they split and peel.  (No this isn't down to the stuff my nails go through, although I'm sure it doesn't help massively, but I have had this problem with my nails long before I became a nail obsessive)

Gelish works for me, I'm not one of these people that needs to change her nail polish every 2 days, but I am one of these people that thinks the state of your hands says a lot about you, especially if like me, you are in meetings with people where you are selling beautiful products, and your hands are very visible.

This is my most recent gelish encounter, it's called rendezvous.

If you live in or around London you must give Josie a go, she is a professional make up artist too and has worked on some amazing shoots, so if you are looking for a wedding make up artist, it's worth speaking to her about that too.

Like I said, she will come to your house, or your office, I know several businesses that have paid for their staff to have a manicure as a thank you for their hard work, or just a bunch of girls who get Josie in over their lunch breaks.  Even better, get the wine in one night, and have a good old gossip while Josie gives you mani's and pedi's.   Tell her to bring her tanning tent too!

You can follow her on twitter here and you can find her prices here

Nails Makeup Me - Freelance Nail Technician & Make-up Artist