Friday, 25 October 2013

Whoa whoa whoa, she's a lady...


I feel like last week's dress and this week's dress are kind of ladylike which is hilarious because I'm an embarrassment who you should never invite to your garden party. I'll get really drunk, it'll be inappropriate. And I don't like cucumber sandwiches. I don't get the point. Like, add some cheese, for god's sake. Or some ham! Or leave out the cucumber and put in tomatoes! Cucumber is HORRIBLE in sandwiches.

Maybe this post would be more sensible and ladylike if I wore sensible and ladylike dresses more often. But you see what happens when I try to act ladylike! Bad things! I do like the dress though. It's a little long and respectable for me (see, I'm not ladylike) but it's super pretty and flowery and nice. And sometimes it's nice to wear something a bit different - like, I really want this orange coat, even though it's totally not my style. Where's the defined waist? But it's so COOL. Of course, a floral dress isn't that different for me. I suspect I'm talking rubbish.

There is so much going on this weekend, SO MUCH, that it's super weird to me to have an outfit post up today that is nothing to do with it. It's like posting a tropical themed outfit at Christmas. CONFUSING TO THE BRAIN. This weekend is the culmination of a year's worth of fun and planning and secrets as my best friend in the entire world is getting married tomorrow. HOORAY!!! So I'm going to pretend that this post isn't scheduled and go and drink some champagne now. Even though the wedding isn't until Saturday. IT'S ALWAYS TIME FOR CHAMPAGNE.

Dress c/o Great Plains
Shoes - New Look
Belt - Tesco

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Oh I wish it could be Christmas every day...


Here is an incredibly badly kept secret - I bloody love Christmas. And although it's not even Halloween yet, I am already way over that ghostly night of wonder, and fully on the Christmas train. I've bought candles that smell like apples and am scoping out dresses with sequins on and, er, yeah, I've totally bought a couple of presents already. What? They were right THERE! It would have been silly not to!

I'm kind of the worst. Last year I was that person who had finished all their shopping before November was out. I don't really know what happened to turn me into this unbearable Christmas control freak. Well, maybe generally being a control freak and loving Christmas happened. Yeah, that sounds right.

Here are some ways in which you can become a lame Christmas control freak like me!

1. Spend literally hours on Pinterest. You should have boards for Christmas decorating, Christmas baking, Christmas crafts and also secret gift lists.

2. Make a spreadsheet! SPREADSHEETS ARE COOL. Also, if you keep it up you can just make a new tab every year, and then you can go back and cross-reference with what you bought your Mum in 2009. So interesting!

3. Listen to everything your friends and families say REALLY INTENTLY so then in December you can be all like 'HEY LOOK I GOT YOU THIS HANDBAG YOU SAID YOU LIKED BACK IN FEBRUARY HOW CLEVER AM I???' and your friends will be all like 'Dude, stop shouting. But thank you!' These are nice handbags aren't they? Not a hint. Okay, a little hint. Mulberryyyy.

3a. The problem with being a 3 kind of person is that you feel like you lose the ability to make subtle hints.

These Charlotte Olympia flats are also amazing. HINT.

4. Refuse to make do with shop bought Christmas cards and make your own! And then be all like 'Oh, this old thing? Yeah, took five minutes.' Maybe this year I will have fun with stamping! MAYBE I WILL.

5. Be that person in your office who announces when the seasonal food and drink comes out and then report back every time you try a Black Forest Hot Chocolate or a festive bake or a Christmas Panini. You should also be that person who starts hashtags like #christmaspaniniday. PEOPLE LOVE THAT PERSON.

6. Set yourself a stupidly complicated Christmas project, spend hours on it and then do nothing with it. Like make a gingerbread house! Depressing newsflash - those things are really hard to eat. Royal icing is like cement. Hansel and Gretel lied to us.

7. Tell people the same Christmas tips every year such as 'Buy plain giftwrap so you can use it all year long!' and 'Make sure you try every item of seasonal food and drink at least once!'

8. Get really annoyed because you want this list to be divisible by 5 but you can't think of any more points. DAMNIT.


What the hell am I talking about? I'm not the worst. I'm the BEST.

~+~
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Friday, 18 October 2013

You look so good in blue, you look so good in blue.

Sometimes I think the dresses you completely fall for are the ones that you wait to wear. You can't wear them just ANYWHERE. They're not like the dresses you can't wait to put on, to wear to work, to a party, to dinner... these dresses are special. This is one of those dresses. I bought it SUCH a long time ago and popped it in my wardrobe. Every now and then I'd try it on, sigh, instagram it, and put it back. Not today, dress.

Of course, eventually you get to the point where you just HAVE to wear the dress, because you love it so much that not wearing it is a crime. So you decide to wear it to your nephew's 2nd birthday party. It gets lots of compliments. Mums and kids smile at you, and secretly you know it's because of the dress.

And then, maybe an hour into the party, a little girl asks you to pick her up and promptly wees all over your nice new dress.

If there's a moral to this story, it's probably that dresses are made to be worn, whatever happens. Or that machine washable items are always the best bet. And never pick up a child who is potty training.





Max C Dress - ASOS
Black suede heels c/o Spartoo

The giant parcel was a car transporter set for my nephew. I know - it's bigger than the average 2 year old! He loved it, though. Not sure there's any greater sight than a toddler losing his mind over a giant piece of plastic. This weekend, I'm avoiding my family because I'm coming down with a cold and don't want to inflict it on anyone. In fact, I'm overdue a massive sortout, so I'm going to clear out all the clothes that no longer fit and give them away or sell them online. Then I can buy more! Hooray!

~+~
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Thursday, 17 October 2013

You'd better work.


Check me out in all my exercise gear! In truth, I look like a Nike superfan. I’m honestly not, it’s just a massive coincidence that I had some credit on Spartoo and I liked the Nike exercise range best. I also figured I should replace my hairdye stained gym tshirts. I'm a classy bird, me.

Actually though, although I wear this ensemble to sweat and generally look hideous, I really like it. Trackie bottoms are always too long for my little legs and I spend half my workout pulling them up on the waist – even the ones that aren’t too big slip down. I don’t understand why. Leggings though, are perfect, because they stay put. Although these are proper exercisey leggings, I do have the fear that they’re seethrough. They don’t look it though, right? RIGHT? I’m going to buy more, anyway, because leggings for exercise are my new discovery that I love. And this tshirt is weirdly flattering. I get transfixed by how my tummy actually looks really flat in it. My tummy totally isn’t flat! It’s magic! It's a magic tshirt!

This sort of horrifies me though, because as a long time skirts and dresses devotee, I’m starting to wonder if I might be tempting myself to join the long t-shirts and leggings club. There’s nothing wrong with that club, of course, but it was not a club I ever expected to be in. Also, I’ve always been very firm about the fact that leggings are not trousers – just FYI, ladies. We can all totally see your pants. But I went and got this pyjama set from Primark, and was kind of blown away by how weirdly flattering it is, and so yeah. Maybe this is a thing. Where can I get leggings that are not see through, internet? Tell me! Oh god. Oh god. Are you going to say disco pants? I have always been certain that disco pants were not for me. And now I am thinking about them! I DON’T KNOW WHO I AM ANY MORE.


I’ve lost some weight recently, and originally this was going to be a bit of a long post about that. But I started writing it, and it was really dull. There’s a whole ‘nother blog for that, go there. I also did a post about it just last week! The short version: it was Weight Watchers, I really rate it, I still get to eat cheese. But actually, I lost the bulk of the weight with NO exercise. I gradually increased my walking, but I did next to nothing for maybe the first three months or so. I hit a plateau over the summer though, so I started going to zumba classes again. I love zumba. I have no grace at all, but it really doesn’t matter. And this is – pretty much – what I wear to do it in.

Okay, the shoes are not, but this is part of the ‘new me’ who apparently might be thinking about cheating on dresses with t-shirts, as I am kind of digging the whole wedge trainer thing. My little legs don’t actually look that little! I would not, obviously, wear these to exercise in, but for generally strutting about in whilst being comfortable AND tall (er) – it works. In truth, my exercisey footwear is a really REALLY ugly but comfy pair of New Balance trainers that are grey with pink and lime green bits. They’re hideous. But oh so comfortable. And ultimately, comfy wins. Comfy ALWAYS wins. (That said, I'm not ready to give up on a classic pair of heels just yet - I'm too much of a girlie girl at heart!)

Tshirt & Leggings c/o Spartoo
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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Snap happy.

I have a confession to make – I kill cameras. While I’m super careful of my precious DSLR, I’ve gone through more point and shoots in the last few years than I’ve had hot dinners. The problem is that I take the little cameras out partying and drop them or lose them or drown them… careless. So I tend to struggle on with the cheapest one possible, and the quality is so clear to see. But the alternative is lugging my DSLR around with me which is just not an option.

What I’m considering is spending a little more on a Compact system camera, because I think if I had one to be proud of, I wouldn’t be quite so reckless with it. That’s why I’m so careful of my DSLR, to be honest, because I know how much it cost! Plus, a more expensive camera would actually do all that fancy stuff that my DSLR does, like focus and, you know, work. It’s good timing then, that Sony have just bought out a compact system camera range – their NEX hybrid series are super small, but with a big sensor. Meaning it will still tuck in my handbag, but the photos will be amazing. You don't need to be a professional but the image quality from these pocket sized cameras will give amateurs the chance to experience photography like a pro. From the NEX 3N to the NEX 7, these cameras are all about taking quality photos- even in low light (so you can capture all those nights out). Yeah, I officially want one.

Sony have produced an infographic showing that – sorry boys – size does matter. I especially like the point about large eyes. I mean, I’m practically an owl.


Sponsored Post 
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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Don't look now.


So do you remember a few weeks ago when I was all like ‘I FOUND A COAT THAT I LOVE AND I NEED THIS COAT AND I WILL BUY THE COAT AND BE LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND THE SCARY WOMAN FROM DON’T LOOK NOW’ I’m sure you do. It was pretty much all written like that. Kind of obnoxious.

WELL. I have not bought that coat – although I do still intend to – but I have bought another coat that actually fits all the requirements of the aforementioned post WAY better. For a start, it HAS a hood. For another start, it is pretty much exactly the same as the coat the scary woman from Don’t Look Now wears. Also, I had an ASOS voucher and then found a 15% off discount code, so it ended up being super cheap! HOORAY!

Have you seen Don’t Look Now, by the way? It’s terrifying. Terrifying. Mostly it’s just a really depressing film about a bereaved family but then it gets horrifying. I am tempted to spoil the end just so you don’t ever watch it. It’s not very nice.

This is me, bounding around a field like a buffoon.

Anyway. This is my coat! I ran around a field near my house and made my mum take photos of me. Last year I also took my new coat photos by running around a field. It’s obviously my thing. THAT coat, by the way, doesn’t fit me any more, so is up on ebay RIGHT THE HELL NOW. Go and buy it! It’s really nice. I wish it DID still fit me. Super warm, too.

This coat though, is very nice. It’s not the warmest ever, so it’s good for right now – I think I’ll need to go a bit warmer when the winter gets going though. But I love the hood, and the cut. I’ve always wanted a duffel, but they’re often a bit boxy shaped, and they do nothing for me. This has my favourite, a defined waist and a full skirt. Perrrrfect. I will probably end up buying the Miss Selfridge coat though. Basically what’s going to happen is that I ranted for years about not being able to find the perfect red coat and then I’ll end up finding like fifty. AND I’LL HAVE TO BUY THEM ALL.

The day I took these, I was also trying to break in my first ever pair of chunky black Doc Martens. Turns out they totally hurt your feet at first! Who knew?


Coat - ASOS
Boots c/o Spartoo
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Friday, 11 October 2013

Pink, it was love at first sight.


It hardly seems like five minutes ago that I was like ‘Okay you guys, I know that I go to a lot of weddings.’ BUT! I’ve only actually been to two this year. Just two! That’s not THAT many. Oh, wait. This post is about a wedding I went to a couple of weeks ago. Just three! Three weddings! That’s not that many!

Okay and maybe there are two more coming up in the next few weeks. Just five! That's... okay, quite a lot. I’m just great at weddings, okay? People want me there. I’m gifted at drinking all the wine, dancing like a lunatic and crying at the ceremony. And usually at the speeches. I just love them. I love them so much. I haven’t got any booked in for next year yet, and I am bereft. Is anyone getting married next year? Can I come?

I’d just like to clarify that the above is NOT how I get invited to so many weddings. Honest.


This wedding was for Gemma. Remember the cake? It was her cake! I will be posting independently about the cake, because it turns out I have a lot to say about the cake. Cake. But anyway, what was lovely about the wedding was the level of involvement all her friends had. On our pod at work, we had her hair stylist and makeup artist, a bridesmaid, the person who did the reading, and me, the baker. I love that – I think that sometimes weddings can seem a bit impersonal, but all my favourite ones are the ones where you can tell they’ve thought about everyone there, and got people involved. Plus, I like to be involved. Because I’m a meddler.

Dress - Debenhams
Fascinator - Crown & Glory
Jewellery - Topshop & Swarovski
Bag c/o BritStitch
Blink Court Shoes c/o Spartoo

I wore an old dress from Debenhams (first featured here) which I’ve just realised is what I did at the last wedding I went to. Oh – and the dress from the wedding before that was also Debenhams! It’s good for wedding outfits, we all know that, right? I love this dress though – it’s super colourful but has always been a bit tight. And yeah, it was still a little snug, but it was nice to wear something that felt like it fit. All my clothes lately seem so stretched. :( Also, I picked up this adorable little fascinator from Crown & Glory which just matched perfectly. In fact, I put a photo on Instagram when I was trying to decide which of the options I’d bought to wear, and you can barely see it against the dress. Now that’s good matching, right?

I didn’t bring my trusty Compeed anti blister stick and it meant I was out of my patent red heels and into my flats before dinner had started. The lesson here is always bring the anti blister stick. Always!

I'm a bridesmaid at the next wedding I'm going to, so THAT outfit is sorted, but I'm still debating what to wear to my November wedding. I'm coming very close to buying this stunning cobalt dress - I just love that shade of blue. Thoughts?


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Thursday, 10 October 2013

A pretty picture but the scenery is so loud


I couldn't not do a proper post about Avignon. Although we were only there for three and a bit days, it really did feel like a proper holiday. And although we had plenty of activities scheduled, we also had LOTS of relaxing time - spending Sunday morning lounging by the pool gossiping was a major highlight. Especially knowing that it was raining in the UK. Sorry, UK.

When we started planning Sha's hen, France was always the plan. After we both have spent most of the year dieting hard for her wedding, a break dedicated to the joys of wine and cheese was a no-brainer. And boy, did France deliver. Not only is the wine cheaper than water (REALLY) but, er, there was a lot of cheese.

Like, a LOT.
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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

We're all in this together.


I've been on a lot of diets, health kicks, call them what you will. Some have worked and some have failed miserably. But when they work, there's always been one thing I've done the same - have a buddy with me.

It's been nearly a year since I started doing Weight Watchers, and it's at the point now where I don't have to think too much about it. It feels pretty natural. And because a big part of Weight Watchers is about balance, I still get to have the things I love like cheese, chocolate and carbs. The three Cs of joy there, people. But this means that I don't struggle to go back to Weight Watchers if I have a day off-plan, or a weekend away. Doing Weight Watchers has allowed me to use my love of food for good, not evil. And I love it for that.

The thing you forget, though, when you've been on a plan for a while is how hard it is at the start. IT'S REALLY HARD. Because what you ultimately have to do is change some of your bad habits - if you didn't, you wouldn't have started the diet in the first place. Some habits are easy to change - like buying low fat mayo instead of full fat mayo. Some are harder - like cutting down on wine nights, opting out of Pizza Fridays, reaching for an apple instead of a biscuit, reducing your portions. And that's where having a friend to do it with helps.

I started Weight Watchers in January, and so the start of this year could have been really miserable. I could have spent my weekends not seeing my friends, avoiding temptation and feeling like I was never going to eat anything yummy again. But I didn't. I spent my weekends with my best friend Sha, and we tackled our new lifestyle together. I've lost two and a half stone since January, and Sha has lost a whopping FOUR... but we both agree that we wouldn't have done this well without the other one at our side.



Why am I telling you all this? Well, Weight Watchers has launched a new campaign - Together Is Better - and is aiming to show just how much easier and more fun dieting can be when you have someone doing it with you. So! Here are my top tips for doing it with a friend:

1. Go for long walks
I'm starting to get a bit more into exercise these days, but it's taken me a long time to get there. Because exercise kinda sucks, right? I know. If I didn't have to do it, I totally wouldn't. We found a way to get over the suckiness by getting into the habit of going for long walks together at weekends and in the evenings. We don't even really notice we're exercising because we're gossiping the whole time. We even walk to Weight Watchers together.

2. Replace booze with food
Last winter, our Saturday nights consisted of reality TV, nibbles and wine. Lots of wine. And replacing the wine with food seems like a bit of a weird concept given the whole diet thing, but the whole point of Weight Watchers is that you can still have nice food, you just have to be more aware of the bad stuff that creeps in. So we spent our Saturday nights trying out new recipes, like these awesome burgers (there's cheese in the middle!) and these pizzas and fajitas. Kept us busy, and we got to eat the results. And months later, we're still doing this - we made an awesome feta quinoa concoction this Saturday too!

3. Talk
We talked a lot. An awful lot. Still do. Some of our emails are shockingly dull - well, unless you care how many points are in which Covent Garden soup. It's not that weird for us though. We talked a lot about food when we were eating terribly, so talking about food when we're eating well is pretty normal. And having someone to ask for advice, to worry at, to bore with all the diet details does really, really help. Because if you're talking to each other, you don't have to force your non-dieting friends to listen instead. Honestly - a lot of them probably aren't that interested.

Before and after!

There's honestly no substitute for the support of someone close to you. I don't know what I'd do without my friends and my family by my side - sometimes I think about the amazing people in my life and I feel incredibly, incomparably lucky. Together IS better - not just for weight loss, but for life.

To celebrate the new Together is Better campaign, Weight Watchers are hosting a competition on thfind more about their Facebook page to win a brand new fridge and a fridge makeover for you and a friend, which you can find out more about here or via mobile here. There’s also three new special offers for anyone feeling inspired to sign up to Weight Watchers - losing weight needn't be expensive! Join for £11.95 a month & NO joining fee, or sign up to the Monthly Pass Offer for just £2.99 a week or join for £4.50 or £2.25 each when you bring a friend!

If you're wanting to live a bit healthier and change your approach to food, then I highly recommend Weight Watchers. It's definitely worked for us.

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