Saturday, January 31, 2015

Outfit of the Day

So as you can see, the snow that came on Wednesday has stuck around. Thursday turned out to be a snow day too.

We got a little more snow on Wednesday evening but not enough to deter me from setting off for work on Thursday morning. The other side of the city was a different story though. I got about halfway before getting stuck in...traffic. There wasn't actually much snow around but the traffic was mental. With Radio Leeds telling me that both my possible routes were a disaster I gave up. I didn't fancy sitting in the traffic to try to get home, but handily my aunt lives about 5 minutes away from where I was stuck so I headed to her house, hoping she was up as it was only just past 7.30am at that point.

I ended up working from my aunt's house for three hours (watching several heavy snow showers out of the window) and then set off home once the snow and the traffic had abated.

Saturday's outfit:
Sweater - Primark (gifted)
Polo neck & jeans - Long Tall Sally
Necklace - New Look (sale)
Slippers - George at Asda
Boots - Ukala by Emu Australia (c/o Sarenza)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Outfit of the Day

It snowed this afternoon so boots with heels weren't really the best choice I could have made for today. But you live and learn and I got home in one piece so it was all good. The thick sweater and the scarf were the best choice though as it was cold, so cold in the wind.

Striped pants - F21
Sweater - Bench (eBay)
Scarf - Long Tall Sally (sale)
Boots - c/o Sarenza

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shoes of the Day

This week i have bee selling some items on eBay and I feel like everything that didn't sell is kind of like a gift put back in my wardrobe. These boots are one of those items. They are only Primark ones but I love them. I bought them on eBay a couple of years ago.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Shoes of the Day

These are the boots I wore on Friday.  They are by Nine West and I bought them many years ago in the sale when Allders in Leeds was closing down.  They are a gorgeous dark brown leather and are pretty comfortable to wear.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

New Year, New Hair

It may be past mid-January (how did that happen? January is usually the month that refuses to die, yet here we are, more than halfway through it already) but I still feel like it’s a new year. I decided it was time for a change to my hair, to go back to my roots (as it were) and go dark again. As much as I loved my lighter colour, keeping up with it was proving costly and time consuming so one box of L’Oreal Mousse Absolute in Natural Darkest Brown later and I’m back to something resembling my natural hair colour. A big thank you to my little sister for helping me with the process.

This also means that I can use my hair extensions again (yes, having cut my hair shorter in October I now want it long again…it’s a girl thing) and enjoy the option of longer length hair when I want to.

The L’Oreal hair colour was really easy to use – the colour and developer are in conjoined cans and mix themselves when you press the pump. This probably isn’t a new thing but it was a revelation to me, someone whose only experience with home colouring was back when I was a teenage in the 1990s and you had to mix the stuff yourself, then put a plastic bag on your head whilst it developed to stop the drips… hands up who else remembers doing that!

With the mousse there’s no dripping (though you will need an old towel that you don’t mind getting stained with the dye) and it’s all so much easier. The results, as you can see, aren’t bad for someone who hasn’t coloured her own hair in about 15 years.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weight Watchers: Racking Up Those Activity Points

(first published on the WW site 02 September 2011)

I’ve been attending the gym for around 2 years now. I started out at a pay-as-you-go gym, doing a Body Combat class once a week. The time of that class became inconvenient though, and just over a year ago I moved to a slightly posher gym up the hill, which has more classes and a pool. For around 6 months I went swimming and trained on the machines under my own steam, but recently I have started going to classes and my motivation has increased no end. Even if the class is only 45 minutes long, it’s far easier to keep going when there’s an instructor shouting at you and everyone else is doing it, than it is if you are running solo on a treadmill and can stop whenever you want to.

I currently do Body Conditioning on a Monday and Boxercise on a Thursday, with Aqua Zumba on a Tuesday when it fits in. In addition, since I joined WW, I have been trying to walk to the shop and back most lunchtimes, and get out and do some form of exercise at the weekend – be it walking or cycling. Even if it’s just walking around the shops in the city, it’s still walking. The other night I had to go to a meeting so didn’t have time for the gym, but put on my Black Lace CD (no, I am not ashamed to admit I own one!) and did the dance routines for 20 minutes. I played Just Dance on the Wii and did some boxing on Wii Sports last weekend, which is brilliant exercise. My shoulders and upper back were aching the day after.

I don’t feel I do a vast amount of exercise each week, but I’ve managed to rack up an average of 26.6 activity points per week over the 7 weeks I’ve been tracking which I don’t think is too bad.

ETA: I no longer attend the gym - it was getting expensive and they cancelled all the good classes. However, I get out for walks on my lunch break and at weekends where possible. As soon as the days get a bit longer again I will be back to taking walks after work too.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Distressed Jeans by H&M

For my birthday last April my mom got me some distressed jeans from H&M. They are boyfriend style and I very much enjoy wearing them. The distressing on them was the perfect amount for me and to stop them ripping any further I put some denim patches on the insides of the legs to strengthen them. This works well (although it can make the knees a bit baggy after a few wears but this can be fixed by washing the jeans) and also meant I could wear them in the autumn (ripped jeans are all very
well but how do people wear them when it’s cold out and not get chilly knees?).

However, as they are boyfriend style the look best with the legs rolled up a bit and therefore don’t lend themselves to being tucked into boots. To avoid cold ankles the best way I’ve found to wear them in the winter is to put a pair of tights underneath and/or to wear them with ankle boots.

Do you wear distressed jeans in the winter?

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

This Week…

It has been cold this week, we’ve had snow and high winds and as a result, I have been living in polo neck sweaters. Sure, I love me a good scarf and they really help to keep your neck warm, but there’s nothing quite like a polo neck (or turtleneck, if you’re in the US) for stopping the chill. I have quite the collection, not quite one in every colour but I’m getting there. I have thin ones for layering, thicker ones for wearing as top layers, and they all have super long sleeves as they’re from either Long Tall Sally or another tall range. They’re a classic look and are never likely to go out of style, purely because of their practicality.

Do you wear polo necks/turtlenecks when it gets cold?

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Weight Watchers: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes!

(first published on the WW site 27 August 2011)

For me, the biggest success of my weight loss is not the numbers on the scales, but seeing the way my clothes fit me better than they did 6 weeks ago. The day I decided to join WW was a Thursday and I was wearing a black and white polka dot pencil skirt. It was snug over my hips and kept riding up all day when I walked. Every second Thursday I wear that skirt again so I can track my progress visually as well as numerically. It's definitely getting looser! I have a style blog and I take outfit photos most days and from that I can look back and see how items fit me differently now.

I have just ordered a few A/W items online for the new season, most of them in a size 12 which I have not had the confidence to do for a while (I have been able to fit a size 12, sometimes, recently, but when ordering online I would always go for a 14 just to be sure it would fit), especially skirts and trousers. The only exception is a top from H&M which I’ve ordered in a 14-16 because H&M size down and in real sizes that is a 12-14 (EUR 40-42). And today I tried on a Primark dress in a size 12, quite straight cut, the skirt was a pencil skirt style, and there was not really any stretch to the fabric. It fit!

Back in 2006 I had a dress made for me when I was bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding. I’ve not worn it since and recently I’ve been scared to even try it on for fear that it won’t zip up. I’ve just decided that as a treat to myself, once it fits again, I will have it shortened to just below the knee (it’s full length at the moment) so I have it as an option to wear for weddings and other events. I’m away to try it on!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Shoes of the Day

I love, love, love these boots! They are so comfy with their blocky heel and their slightly padded rubber sole. I love the studs too.

Isn't it funny how trends change? Five or so years back I would never have dreamed of wearing ankle boots with a skirt. Yet here I am doing just that and it feels completely normal.

The boots are by Jana Rahbini and I got them from Sarenza with a gift card.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shoes of the Day

Today’s shoes (boots) were my red cowboy boots by Georgia Rose. If you have big feet (size 9 plus) Georgia Rose is a name worth knowing as she (they?) makes fabulous quality footwear and in styles that you will actually want to wear. These boots are bright red leather and I get compliments on them every time I wear them.

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Weight Watchers: Feeling Like a Fraud

(first published on the WW site 26 August 2011)

When I tell people I’m doing WW, I sometimes feel like a bit of a fraud. I’m 5’11” and a size 12-14, but I would like to be more of a 12. I know I am not fat, but I am bigger than I would like to be. I tell people I have lost 12lbs already and they go ‘that’s great, you don’t need to lose any more’. But my Goal is still 1 stone away. I know I looked good at my Goal weight and I know I will be more comfortable in myself when I reach it. So why do I feel guilty about telling other people how much I want to lose?

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Shoes of the Day

It rained/hailed/snowed on and off all day so for the short time I was out I wore my Steve Madden tan boots which were sent to me by Sarenza. I have worn these so much that the rubber is peeling off one of the heels and will need replacing. They're just so comfy!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Weight Watchers: Tips and Tricks for Healthy Eating

(first published on the WW site 25 August 2011)

The thought of ‘going on a diet’ is enough to put anyone off, but that’s what I love about WW. How it’s a diet, but nothing is off limits. The other night I had bacon sandwiches with melted cheese for my tea. Doesn’t sound like diet food does it? Since starting WW I have been buying thin cut bacon rather than the thick cut I am rather partial to, mean I can still have bacon but the PP value is lower per rasher. I use half fat cheese now rather than the full fat stuff. And I substitute margarine on my sandwiches for Dairylea Light – you can have much more of that for 1PP than you can even light marg.

I use smaller slices of bread for sandwiches now, rather than chunky bread rolls, and couscous is far lower in PP than potatoes or pasta or rice if you need to bulk out a meal. Plus, a 50g (2PP serving) is absolutely loads!

For me my WW journey has also been about breaking habits. Snacking on fruit rather than Mini Cheddars or biscuits. Chocolate croissants (10 PP y’all!) once every 3 weeks or so, rather than several times a week. Resisting the lure of the new Krispy Kreme less than five minutes from my house. Being able to say no to that biscuit with your cup of tea because the thought that it will push you over your daily points is ever-present.

I do think the weekly points are a godsend though. You can eat out once a week and not worry about it. You can go over your daily points if you really want to and not worry about it. And despite these indulgences you can still lose weight. I was away this past weekend and we had dinner and tea out on Saturday (and I ate an enormous pizza on Saturday night), and then our hosts cooked a roast on Sunday (although as it was mid-afternoon it became dinner and tea combined) and I STILL managed to lose 3lbs this week (I weighed in this morning). If I had known WW was this flexible now, I would have joined months ago.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Shoes of the Day

These were Sunday's boots. They are from New Look and were a Christmas present from my mom so they're my newest pair.

Monday, January 05, 2015

How To Use Make Up To Look Better When You Have a Cold

The Friday before Christmas I caught a cold. Now don’t go feeling too sorry for me, I wasn’t that bad but the constant drippy nose was more than annoying. I spent the weekend make up free because, really, what the point when you’re not going out and no one is going to see you?

However, by the time Tuesday rolled around I was feeling much better and I had to go back to work anyway, but I was still blowing my nose a lot. So here is my recommendation for a base that will stand up to several nose blows, and a trick to make you look more awake than you actually are.

First up, foundation. I have been using Max Factor’s Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation recently which I bought because it seemed to give good coverage, it was a semi-compact formula and it wasn’t too expensive (£12.99 in Boots and it was on a buy one, get one half price offer at the time). I found that by applying that, then putting Seventeen’s Miracle Matte powder over the top the result was a long-lasting coverage, even when blowing my nose a lot.

Secondly, the trick for making you look wider awake than you actually are. I claim no credit for this one as I saw it on Tati’s YouTube channel a few months back. Basically you need a white eye pencil (I like Rimmel’s Soft Kohl Kajal one, again because it’s cheap (£2.99 in Boots) and because it goes on easily and lasts) and you line your lower water line with it. This makes your eyes look bright and awake, a great way to fake it when you have a cold.

What do you do differently in your beauty routine when you’re feeling under the weather?

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Sunday, January 04, 2015

This Week…

Although it’s the middle of the winter, Christmas week was cold and very sunny. My Aviator sunglasses have been on my list of things to write about for a ‘This Week…’ post for ages now and they were put to good use whilst I was out and about over the holidays. I got them for free from Amazon back in April with a gift voucher I won at work (they were only £1.69 anyway) and I love them. I’d never had Aviator style sunglasses before, preferring the huge oversized variety, so a gift voucher seemed like a good opportunity to try them out. I wore them all summer and they are fab.

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Friday, January 02, 2015

New Year, New Me

Long time readers of this blog will know that back in July 2011 I joined Weight Watchers. I wasn’t really overweight, but my weight was starting to creep up and I didn’t like it. So I decided to do something about it and I joined Weight Watchers (WW) online and lost almost 2 stone (12.7kg / 28lbs), reaching goal in October 2011. Over the past three years I have kept most of it off, mostly by following the WW Filling and Healthy method (quite loosely at times it has to be said) but have gained a little back and it’s time to get back on the wagon properly.

When I started WW I started a blog on the WW site, mainly to log my favourite tips and tricks that helped me along the way. I’m going to republish those posts here over the next few weeks so that I can remind myself of what worked, lose those pesky few lbs and get back to my goal weight.

Are any of you in WW or Slimming World or any other weight loss programme?

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Thursday, January 01, 2015

Morlands Slippers

My slippers usually come from a supermarket clothing line, or another, similarly priced shop. So when the lovely people at Morlands offered to send me a pair of sheepskin slippers I jumped at the chance. On the website the slippers looked comfy and cosy, and when they arrived I was not disappointed.

They are a ballerina style and are a lovely deep burgundy colour and feel to be very good quality. The sheepskin lining is thick and when I put them on they were very cosy. I’ve worn them a few times over the holiday season, and they are especially useful for taking to people’s houses when visiting. They are just as comfy and cosy as they look – I just have to remember not to go outside in them (I have a habit of just popping out to the dustbin in my slippers) as the soles are leather and won’t stand up to getting wet.

Morlands is a British company based in Glastonbury, Somerset. Established in 1870 they specialise in sheepskin-lined slippers and boots, and they also make gloves and scarves. They currently have a sale on so check out their website for some cosy sheepskin bargains.

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