It’s been ages…

It feels like ages since I last posted, primarily because it has been.  Life has just been so hectic that I’ve not even had time to log on to read other’s posts, let alone find the time to write on.

Back at the beginning of April I started a new job in a different department at the Uni where I work as Finance and Operations Manager.  It’s a really great opportunity, and the fact I’m so close to the end of my MBA was what put  me in a position to apply for it.  It has been really full on though – I’m so busy and have to concentrate so hard.  The first few weeks I was coming home exhausted.  I’ve passed that stage now, but am so busy I am constantly thinking about what I need to do.  I think I’m going to be really happy there, but being new is horrible, and I just want to get to the position where I have everything under control like I did in the last job.  It’s one of those jobs I think is going to be really good for me career wise and personally, and make me a much stronger and confident person and provide lots of opportunities.

Alongside that I had to submit the last assignment for my last elective and am trying to work on my dissertation.  I have my final residential school next weekend, a midway report due in June, then a summer of writing up my dissertation (which I’m not looking forward to). So that is, well, mental!  I’m sort of at the stage now where I just want it to end and I want my life back.

Amidst all this, BF has been renovating our kitchen, which has included ripping out the ceiling.  I’m in our living room at the moment where the shelves are stacked with glasses, plates and everything that used to live in a kitchen cupboard until the work is finished and it can return to its rightful place.  The chaos of the kitchen makes it harder to keep the rest of the house tidy too, but I know at the end I’ll have an amazing looking kitchen, so despite the stress of it, it’s worth it.

So that has pretty much been my past 6 weeks!  We’ve made sure we kept Saturday nights free for champagne Saturday so we can actually spend some time together.  I wish I’d had more chance to take photographs of my outfits, but I’ve been leaving the house in a hurry that I’ve not been able to.  Instead, here is a montage from Champagne Saturdays and other things that have consumed my time over the past six weeks.  Hopefully after residential school I’ll have more time to think about what I’m wearing, and when the kitchen is done get back to baking too!

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A bit of a rant…

I was going to post up an OOTD photo, but since replacing my Iphone with a Nokia Lumia my photos aren’t that great.  ‘They’ told me the camera on the Lumia was supposed to be one of the best around, but so far I’m not convinced.  I think I’m going to hunt out my old Sony Cybershot and start using that again, unless I can perfect my technique with the Lumia – problem there is since we moved 80% of our things are still unpacked in boxes in the loft.  Until then, look out for a few webcam pics 🙂

For today, these photos are stolen, and this post is a bit of a nonsensical rant!

Does anyone else on Twitter keep seeing tweets about a product called Garcinia Cambogia?  I keep getting them as retweets from people I follow.  When I feel I’m being ‘spammed’, or I feel offended by bad language or just plain stupid tweets, I usually ‘unfollow’ people, but this time I didn’t feel that was even enough.

The tweet that started my rant yesterday was a link to a page all about Garcinia Cambogia and how 98% of girls use it to lose weight for spring break, with the following picture:

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My rantings start with the simple fact that the girl in the photograph on the left does not need to lose weight.  How many people do you know that would love to look like that.  You can tell from the photograph she is probably a teenager/early twenties – isn’t that the prime age people suffer from anorexia?  So why are we telling young girls with great figures they need to lose weight?

Secondly, the girl in the photo on the right (apparently the same girl after taking these wonder tablets) is, in my opinion, way to thin.  It cannot be healthy….and I’m not saying that out of jealousy or anything.  I used to be that thin.  When I was about 27 I had a bad period of anxiety and lost a bit of weight.  I was underweight anyway, but went down to 5 1/2 stone (about 77lb).  Even at only 5′ that was a low weight.  I picked up every bug going, felt so fragile, had bad skin and looked tired all the time.  I remember once when I was swimming someone asking me if I had an eating disorder because I was so thin.  People were worried about me, worried for my health.  I couldn’t find clothes to fit and I really looked like I would break.  Today, at 35, still 5′ tall I weigh 7 stone 12 (about 110lb) and am healthy, and I much prefer it.  I actually have a woman’s figure now, not a girls.

Furthermore, it’s not as though there isn’t enough pressure on young girls to have the ‘perfect figure’ anyway, with let’s face it, 90% of the women in the media being ‘beautiful’.  Even now at 35 I still see people on TV or in magazines and feel envy – though for me it’s mainly about the great condition of their hair or skin, but it is even now hard to see constant images of how we ‘should’ look in order to be beautiful.

Thirdly, this ‘magic pill’, Garcinia Cambogia isn’t actually that healthy.  It releases serotonin, which is the chemical in your brain that can affect your mood.  This can also affect appetite which is partly why it is claimed this can help weightloss.  However, anti-depressants, especially those in the SSRI family also release serotonin and prevent it from being reabsorbed into your body.  If you therefore take GC while on one of these anti-depressants you risk making yourself really ill from something called Serotonin Syndrome which is where your body releases too much serotonin.

This to me is also a little ironic, as, and I could be wrong, but I would think those suffering from depression or anxiety could be quite vulnerable and more at risk of falling for these sorts of adverts.

Which leads me to my fourth rant….the best way to lose weight is eat sensibly and exercise!  There are no quick wins, it’s about being healthy and sensible, people should be encouraged to eat fruit rather than chocolate or walk rather than drive if they want to lose weight, not rely on ‘herbal supplements’ that could be dangerous…

Especially when they don’t even need to lose weight in the first place!

Rant over!

Liebster Award!

I’m so excited, the fabulous Fahion Frenzy has nominated me for my first Liebster Award for my blog.  Thank you so much, this means so much to me.  When I started blogging I hoped people would like what I wrote, and I’m so happy to be part of this blogging community.

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I’ve come across some really stylish and talented people through their blogs, and so to be recognised for my contribution is awesome!  If you’ve not yet checked out  Fahion Frenzy‘s blog you should, it’s great for ideas and inspiration.

If you don’t know what this award is, it is aimed at discovering new bloggers, and what I love about it is that it’s awarded by bloggers, the people who actually read what you write, and share your passion.  It has just a few rules.

1. Mention the person who nominated you with a link to their blog
2. Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you
3. Nominate other bloggers with less than 1000 followers
4. Create a new set of 11 questions for your nominees to answer

11 things about me:

  1. I love cats
  2. I have unusually small thumbs
  3. My feet are tiny (size 2.5 UK)
  4. I love to write and have published a mini novel and poetry books on Amazon Kindle
  5. I get offended when I don’t get asked for ID when buying alcohol, even though I’m 35! (like to think I can still pass for 23).
  6. I love baking
  7. I keep all my shoes in special clear plastic shoe boxes
  8. I have over 40 pairs of shoes
  9. I have a drawer dedicated to things for my hair
  10. I’m in my final year studying for an MBA which I’ve been doing for the past three years while working full time
  11. Sometimes BF and I get dressed up in black tie and have casino nights just the two of us in our living room (online casino)!

My answers to Fashion Frenzy’s questions:

1)   Why do you blog?

I blog because I love to write, and love to read other people’s blogs. I love talking about clothes, beauty and fashion with others and this is a great way to do that with a much wider circle of people.

2)   What is a movie that you could watch all day, every day on repeat?

Breakfast at Tiffany’s; and not a movie, but I could sit through hours of Buffy repeats!

3)   What are 3 things you like about yourself?

The fact that I am generally a happy person, my drive and ambition to get through my MBA and my generosity (is it wrong I found that question hard to answer)

4)   What is one makeup disaster that you hate?

Looking in the mirror at 4pm and seeing my mascara has run and my foundation has gone; but what is worse is that no one tells me and I can be walking around for ages with black eyes!

5)   Who is you biggest role model in your life and why?

I have role models for different things.  I love my dad’s easy going attitude yet his ability to work hard.  I love my sister’s ability to make people like her.  I admire people like JK Rowling for creating a new world and being successful at it.  I admire Margaret Thatcher for doing what she thought was right, I admire people who become successful in the face of adversity.

6)   Flats or heels? And why?

Heels – partly because I’m only 5′ and they make me taller, but partly because I don’t feel smart if I’m wearing flats.

7)   What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I very rarely have any spare time as I’m usually working or studying, but I love baking which I try and do whenever I can.  I also love reading when I can, though to be honest I’ve not read a book about non-business subjects for a while!

8)   What is one item of clothing that you couldn’t live without?

My black blazer – it goes with so much, for work, for going out or for casual. It’s really comfortable, a jersey sort of material, a nice fitted style and I love it.  I think it may be getting a bit worn out but there is no way I’m throwing it out.

9)   What is your favorite thing in your closet?

That changes all the time.  Right now it’s a Vivienne Westwood orb necklace I got for Christmas.  I’ve worn it loads since getting it. It was a real surprise and I love it.

10) Best thing you’ve done for someone and the best thing that someone done for you?

I saved someone’s life last year.  I was at an awards ceremony for the Open Uni where I’m a studying and there was an elderly emeritus professor there. I found him coming out of the bathroom covered in blood. He had fallen over and smashed his head open.  I went into immediate boss mode, started ordering the hotel staff to call an ambulance etc… I did a bit of first aid and apparently I did the right thing and stopped the bleeding.  Plus I kept him talking to keep him awake.  It was pretty scary!
For me, the best thing someone has done for me is when my BF built me bespoke wardrobes and a cupboard designed especially to house 40 pairs of shoes, all to my design 🙂

11) What is your favorite print to wear?

Animal print definitely – but it has to be right.  Done well it can look great, but done badly it just looks tacky!

I now nominate:

Not Central Fashion

Dolls House Blog

Jordans Beautiful Life

High heels and high notes

My questions to you are:

1. Where do you best like to shop?

2. What is the most important factor to you when getting dressed in the morning?

3. What inspirational quote best sums up you?

4. Crop trousers – get ready for the spring or falling back in time?

5. What actress would play you in the movie of your life?

6. Why did you start your blog?

7. How would you like your blog to develop in 2014?

8. Perfect evening?

9. What is your favourite item in your wardrobe?

10. What do you think is the biggest fashion faux-pas?

11. What trend would you like to see come back into fashion?

Look forward to reading your answers and thanks once again  Fahion Frenzy.

So long 2013….you were a good friend. OOTD and reflections.

So, 2013 is over.  At the beginning of each year I set out a list of things I’d like to do or achieve in the coming year – sort of like resolutions, but more of a wish-list.  I can’t quite remember what I wanted to achieve in 2013, but I certainly feel like I achieved a lot in 2013.

The year started out like any other, slightly dull, feeling lethargic from the over indulgence of Christmas, and a bit of regret that another year of my life had passed and I was still in no better a position than I was the year before.  But a few months in, and everything started to happen.  First, we sold our house and bought our dream home in the loveliest street in the world and, whilst it’s going to take a long time to decorate it to our tastes, I’m loving every second of living here!  Then, I found out I’d won an award for my MBA for the PG Diploma part – student of the year for being the highest academic achiever in 2012…I got to go to an awards ceremony in London to get my award and stayed in a beautiful hotel.  Then my niece was born, and on first seeing her I fell completely in love with her and became the most gushing aunt ever.  Then I turned 35 and had a great birthday, then we had the best halloween ever, with over 100 kids coming to our house to trick or treat.  Then Christmas in our new home being the hosts for the first time.

Of course there were the downs too – having proper flu and being ill for weeks wasn’t pleasant, sitting the hardest exam of my life for my MBA, few stresses at work, but in the main I think the good by far outweighed the bad.

I think I bought or were given more than 10 pairs of shoes or boots (in fact I know I was) over the year, got a rolex watch which I got to spend a day in London visiting boutiques to pick out, mastered baking, and got back into writing by way of this blog.

For 2014, my list of things I want to do includes finishing and passing my MBA, filling my ‘shoe fund’ money box with enough money to buy some Louboutins, get more of the house done, stick to a strict routine with my swimming (at least twice a week, EVERY week), go back to Paris and entertain more.

But I start 2014 with a bad headache after too much Fizz last night.  My last day of 2013 was pretty good, and I’ve decided to post my first OOTD(s).

I had booked a massage for the afternoon – a deep tissue massage, the kind that hurts but in a nice way and you can feel your muscles relaxing and your shoulders sinking from their tight hunched position.  After that I was meeting BF for a late lunch/very early dinner in a local pub.  I wore a really casual outfit for this, one that was easy to remove for the massage but still chic enough for lunch.  I wore my favourite jeans with an animal print T shirt, and though you can’t see in the photo I put uggs on to go out.  What makes these jeans my favourite is that normally they are bootcut, which is the most flattering style for my traditional pear shape, but they are tight enough to put uggs on over the top to pop out.

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Jeans: River Island
Top: Topshop

After my relaxing afternoon, I had a few hours to relax before getting ready for our NYE drinks.  It wasn’t anything big, just a few bottles of fizz, some nibbles, music and watching the fireworks on TV….plus the concert I decided to put on after 5 glasses of fizz….but the less said about that the better.

I decided to go for a 60s look for the evening in the end.  I’d bought a gold sequin top from French Connection ages ago and never got round to wearing it.  I teemed it with skinny black jeans which I turned up at the bottoms – I find skinny jeans make me look out of proportion and I need something at the bottom to balance out my shape as I’m curvy around the hips (traditional pear).  I wore my new pony skin courts I got for Xmas and some chandelier earrings.

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Jeans: Miss Selfridge
Top: French Connection
Shoes: Jessica Simpson for Kurt Geiger
Earrings: Debenhams
Fizz: Laurent Perrier

For my make up, I put on some false lashes to give emphasis to my eyes, contoured with bronzer and went full on with bright red lips.

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Foundation: Boots No 7 (think it’s called protect and perfect)
Eyes: Boots No 7 eye pencil, random falsies, Boots own glue
Cheeks: L’occitaine bronzer
Lips: Liner – Boots No 7 liner with Mac lipstick in Dubbonet

For my hair, I did a sort of semi-beehive on the top sweeping the bottom over one shoulder and curling the ends.  I swept my fringe over and secured with numerous kirby grips and hairspray!  I really loved this look, I felt so glam, but comfortable, chic and relaxed at the same time.

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And for good measure, a picture of my cosy living room.

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Happy New Year…I hope 2014 is full of glitz, glam, fizz, shoes and awesomeness!!