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Sunday, 24 July 2011

I'm now part of the 8-Mile group - Training update

Ooooo yeah *does a little dance* Yesterday, was the day I was scheduled to run eight miles, and boy oh boy,was I not looking forward to it. I had pretty much been on a roll this week with my training and had done two consecutive days of five miles, mainly to catch up after not doing any, but the mere thought of doing eight whole miles was enough to make me hide on the sofa for most of the day. However, I shoved on some Phil Collins (yeah and what say you!?) danced to Easy Lover and you know what - I was pumped for this!

I set off, and smacked that eight miles right on the nose, Oh yes, eight miles well and truly completed and I felt flipping amazing. I ran the whole way through, with no breaks. I finally feel that I've found my pace-where I'm comfortable, and hitting the eight mile mark, I truly believe, that maybe, quite possibly, I can do this half mara. It was most definitely a breaking through point for me!

So, there you have it, I'm now an official member of the Eight Mile group and I am fully pumped for me and the Team Bangs girls! Remember, you can still donate to us here - Every little helps people, we really do need your help!

Brooch-ing the subject

I've always thought of the humble Brooch as err, how do I say it, a little granny. I have images of sepia print photos of exquisite ladies, with gentle curled hair, a cardigan that is, of course, done up to the neck, pearls and of course a pretty little brooch. Which well, isn't really me is it....

My jewellery collection is modest, I pretty much love everything I own and like to think that I wear all of it, often, but in all honesty, I can safely say, I have never owned or thought about even wearing a brooch - I just didn't really get them - what do I wear with them? Can I wear other jewellery? Do I have to give off a certain look? I've often seen some very quirky brooches on people - worn differently, and I've always wondered why or how they got away with not looking like a eighty year old, however now,  I'm right there with them - I love them. Jon Richard jewellery have a collection of brooches that are so modern yet subtle, eye-catching but classy - they have completely got rid of the facade of what you would normally associate with a brooch and given it a whole new look - It pretty much sums up what Jon Richard do best, and that's changing and pushing forward the boundaries of jewellery as a whole, and instead of just being an 'accesory' its more of a proper part of your outfit.

The lovely and gorgeous Emma from Jon Richard sent me some amazing brooches to try out and change my mind over, what essentially is something my gran would wear. I was astounded at how beautiful each and every one of them is: the attention to detail, how easy they are to wear and the amount of compliments I got when wearing them! They are all so very different from each other, and I found myself choosing my outfit around a different brooch each and every day, which was something that I didn't expect, ever.

Overall, my opinion about the 'humble' brooch is well, its not really that humble, in fact they are flipping brilliant, and dare I say it, I am well and truly on one and desperately in the search of more variations of modern and some vintage ones - if any of you reader know of good stockists of vintage and non vintage - please do let me know!

What was your opinion about the Brooch? are you an avid Brooch-er?

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Why we're never happy with what we've got...

And no, I'm not talking about your man, well, not this time anyway, but something I'm sure most of us women can relate too is that of the straight Vs curly affair with our hair. I have pretty much my whole life been rooting for the straight team - Nothing wrong with curly hair at all - in fact I love the long tendrills of curly hair on everyone else, but not me.

I have been blessed or not blessed, with my Nana's wavy/curly hair - the type that no matter how much you fight it, if there is a slight droplet of moisture in the air, guaranteed my hair will go nuts and transform into something only Diana Ross would be proud of, but for a 13 year old girl, this was not really the look I was going for. My hair issues started from about the age I went up to Senior School at 11. I wasn't really aware of what looked half decent in the way of hair - I pretty much sported the whole 'hair to shoulders with big bangs' and yes, before you ask my mum did cut my fringe... alot. Before Senior school, my hair style, or lack of, wasn't really an issue but the more editions of Sugar magazine I read, the more I realised that my hairstyle was a rather big deal. My weekends were full of trying out all the new hairstyles, or the new hair accessory, ready to wear to school come Monday. What I didn't realise was one thing: My hair does not like moisture, any moisture. Rain, cold, mist, and even humidity made my complicated hair get even more frightful: The normally straight and smooth strands would soon turn Medusa like with a life of their own, all big, bushy and mad - this is never going to be any kind of look, least of all when you're starting Senior School.

Most of my school life consisted of spending my entire time in the girls loo's drying my frizz-ball curly mop of hair under the hand dryer STRAIGHT and finding ways to walk to my lessons without going outside - it was a time consuming affair I can tell you. As the years went on, and after spending practically all my breaks/lunch hours under the 'dryer, I decided to get my hair chopped off - yeah big mistake! The shortness + the curls = AFRO HEAD, and on a white girl back in 1998 was definitely not a good look. It was then that I saved my hard-earned Saturday job cash, and treated myself to some hair straighteners, oh yes, the obsession had begun. Since that very day, I have not stopped the morning routine of un-medusa-liking my hair.. thirteen years this process has been going on, even when my hair has been short, as in crop! All this came to a very abrupt end last week - I somehow found myself with no access to a hair dryer or hair straighteners. Argh! This was a first for me, and not a good first, that's for sure, and for the first time, I actually had to let my hair dry naturally - and boy did it do that alright. Somewhere, out of nowhere, I found myself with a head full of curly/wavy hair! As I'm in a mid-growing out stage, the curls were ok, not brilliant as I would prefer them to be longer, but I could really see the true, natural state of my hair, and the best thing was? It wasn't crazy like I remembered, it was actually ok. I lived through the curly-ness from approx four days and by Jove, my hair felt so soft, shinier and much better conditioned.

I cant say I love the look, but I don't hate it either. What has shocked me is how my hair looks naturally - I know it's not rocket-science, but I cant believe I have been putting my hair under so much stress through the demands of my hairdryer and straighteners, just burning it away for so long!

Do you rate or hate curly/straight hair? Do you dry naturally? Any tips for a budding curly-nister (see, what I did there!!?)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Big Chill....

I'm not the busiest person in the world by no means: I have no kids, I'm not married and pretty much only have moi to look after, and yes, that is a struggle at the best of times. I work full time, I try to hold down a blog, I go to the gym as often as I can, am in training for half-marathon and I also try to have some 'Sarah-time' which mainly involves me partaking in hobbies of my own and hopefully divulge in the elusive thing people call: Chill out time.

Repeatedly I'm being told to chill out, or schedule in some relaxing time that is just for me. The past three weeks I've properly been training, as in taking my fitness/running/diet seriously, I have been told just how important it is to take time off for me - to rest my body, to recuperate, to build my strength up, relax my mind. In these three weeks, I have tried at least six times to 'zone out' and you know what? I just cant sodding do it.

The first few times I tried to do it and failed miserably, I didn't think much of it - y'know it was just one of those things, it'd get easier, la la la. well, did it heck. I have continuously tried, as hard as I can, to just take a step outside of the circle, to breathe, to relax etc etc - but should I have to try as hard as I have been, to just get some down time? I just struggle with the whole concept of relaxing and not doing anything... and you know why? I feel guilty.

No, I haven't done anything wrong, made a mistake, hurt anyone. I just feel guilty for doing nothing. Plain and simple. Every time I sit on the sofa, lay in bed, lean back in the bath with no laptop in front of me, no papers shuffling - I just think to myself there is probably something else in my life that I should be doing. Now like most of you out there I pretty much spend most of my time feeling fried - I'm tired and just a little bit stressed. I normally go to the gym straight from work, get home at half seven, try to eat properly, clean the house, possibly write a blog post and sit down, so all in all, even the sound of having a relaxing night in with the company of just me sounds pretty god damn amazing.... in theory.... In reality - not so. Even when I'm sat there, there are a million and one things whirring around in my head: I could be doing the washing, I could be ironing, I could be going out for a run, I could be writing, etc etc - this list is endless, until I end up stopping what I'm doing, which is well, nothing, and getting on with something that I, deem more worthwhile.

My life and the things I do, are not going to save lives, I know that, but for some reason I just cannot shake the feeling that I'm being lazy by doing, well, nothing. Tonight for instance - it's Wednesday and my night off from the gym and my one opportunity in the week to do absolutely sod all, however what exactly have I done since I got home? Done two loads of washing, hoovered+mopped the house, done an hour session of weights, puts clothes away, done the washing up, danced around the living room and now write this blog post - this is not chilled. I just cannot do it.

I have tried lighting fancy shamancy candles that are supposed to emit some phantom gas that chills me out - well, I'm not being funny, but unless the candle secrets frigging sleeping gas there is no way that thing is gonna strap me down. That twinkly twankle Thai music CD, that is supposed to send me to a different zone in my head - yeah give me a bit of Guns n Roses over that any day, and lastly, running a bath and lying there, breathing in the aromatherapy oils - na, that don't work either, give me a rubber ducky instead! I just don't know what's wrong with me? if there even is anything wrong with me?! But all I know, is that it is a real struggle for me to not do anything without feeling so full of guilt. I was never aware that I put myself under pressure in my life, but perhaps that is what I'm doing - putting myself under this invisible pressure to just keep going - it is impossible and I'm pretty sure sooner or later, I will have to just take time out, but until I learn how to not feel like the incredible lazy-ass lady, I'm not sure I can just take this so-called time out.

How do you all feel? Do you have a relaxation schedule? Is there any hope for me?

*photos courtesy of weloveit.com*

Monday, 11 July 2011

Boot-ing The Boutique Run

As per my previous post, Saturday was a monumental day in not only my life but my short, stumpy-legged running life too - I was about to run my first proper 10k race at the Boutique Run in Battersea Park, London. Despite all the nerves I previously divulged (rambled on) prior to the race, when I was in the car, I really did genuinely feel sick.as.a.dog.

sexy, sexy!!! Before I got there..

I had pretty much railed myself up with adrenaline for the entire god damn day, and by the time it came to actually driving into London I was ready to cry and run all the way home - but err, did I!?!? Did I heck! Like a true Team Bangs girl I soldiered on, and despite all my nerves the only real reason keeping me there was doing it for fellow Team Bangs member, Jo Gifford, who unfortunately couldn't run this one with me.

Boutique Run was in fact, set out superbly, with the route all correctly labelled out - with the 5k lot doing one lap, and the 10k (idiots) doing two laps. Upon entering the 'Boutique Village' you were instantly taken into this sea of bright yellow vest tops (seriously, I needed sunglasses!) with loads of different entertainment tents dotted around with a stage at the end. Nothing was really open prior to the race as most of the entertainment, such as nails, hair, makeup etc were for 'after' the race had finished. All in all, if like me, and you got there all early and keen (yes, I'm a stickler for being early!) then there really wasn't much to do in the run-up. I ended up taking refuge on a deck chair, soaking up the sun and generally feeling like I wanted to vomit all over my trainers - fetching. At approx 5:46pm the whole herd of us, I say 'herd' cos I'm not really sure what you would call a massive group of yellow-vested girls, were told to stand by the stage in order for our warm-up. This was fun, if you like stretching, or should I say, smacking, other women round the face, or being trodden on by the lady in front of you - space was an issue. I hastened to add, I had done my own stretching prior to this 'just in case' - I was right too. Then it was a little after Six pm, when we were all lead round to the starting gate - if it wasn't for the fact I was crammed in, I probably would've legged it there and then (damn nerves) and before you know it, we were all set free. And off I ran!

The Start... Eeeek!

I started with a faster than normal pace, for me anyway, I wanted to try and get ahead and get the group split up a little, I wanted to try and find some space where I wasnt being constantly whacked with elbows. The winds were high and the sun was strong in places. With marked people around the route shouting words of motivation, it gave you a much needed boost. Most of the track was on fairly uneven tarmac and some on the grasses. I found myself pretty much gasping for some water half way through the first lap, and was disappointed to realise there was only water-stop throughout the whole course - this teaches me for next time to take my own. By lap two, I had got myself into a real stride and felt truly comfortable. The crowds had slowly disappeared as the majority of people were finishing the 5k, and I found myself enjoying the second lap. I started to falter, when I took a gulp of water the wrong way and pretty much thought I was going to keel over, I didn't however, which is always a plus-point. After the grass section, I knew that I was pretty much there. My knee was good, my pacing was good and feeling the adrenaline kick in, I blasted and ran as fast as I could to the finish. I had finished....... in 56mins 20seconds.

Happy was not the word!

Tired (sweaty) much!?!?

Yes, it was only a 10k, but ruddy hell, I felt like frigging super woman, and beleive it or not, I couldve ran a little longer to be frank, but I didn't - that would've been silly right?!? I cannot really begin to explain the sheer buzz I felt - I genuinely felt so so so proud of myself, I had ran the whole way, with no stopping. I hadn't really put a foot wrong and despite my initial fears, I actually loved every god damn second of it. The feeling that I got passing that finish line, was something else... an addictive something else too. It almost brings tears to your eyes - not only through exhaustion but through pride - my own body had just done that, me. After collecting my medal and lush goody bag, I headed home. Without my little Jojo there, I didn't really want to get dolled up etc, I literally wanted my bed!

Hooray for Team Bangs and hooray for myself (blowing my own trumpet much!?) and hooray for my vest top - even though I was emblazoned with the words 'SCRUFFY' over my bust, it definitely got me noticed, and after coming over the finish line, the commentator says, and I quote: "and here's Scruffy coming over the line, and not looking so scruffy" - make my day much!?

WERK the Scruffy.....

I'm not gonna lie and say it didn't hurt - that kind of exercise is always going to hurt. The thought of doing over double that for the half marathon is scary, but not as scary... I will get there. I was pleased to read that I placed 177th our of the 667 people running the 10k - not bad huh!? Thanks to everyone for their support, and Jojo - that one was for you chick!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Boutique Run.... Yes, Stylish running...

It's Saturday the 9th July 2011 - normally a 'typical Saturday would consist of housework and vegetating on the sofa to the Emmerdale and Corrie omnibus (don't judge!) but not today, oh no, today is my first proper running race! I am taking part in the Boutique Run -which is held in Battersea Park, London. You may all be going 'Wahey' where as inside I'm more.... *vom* scared.

I've been training for while, namely for Team Bangs on the Run2 and the Half mara, but for some very clever idea, I decided to sign up to this "little training" 10K run for giggles - giggles!?!? yeah, good one Sarah. I am chuffing scared.as. Yeah, fine, 10K doesn't seem like much, but for me, someone who could barely even contemplate running to the fridge for more ice-cream, this is a huge thing for me. Spurned on by the ever-so-awesome Jo Gifford we both signed up. The rest as they say is history.

I'm currently sat here, typing this blog post out like a loon to pretty much stop me combusting from nerves. 'Crapping it' would not be the best way to describe my demeanor right now, sweating anxious and nauseous pretty much does though. Boutique Run is a 5K or 10K race with lots of girly treats to pamper yourself with after, oh and a party! fun huh!?! Please note: the name on my race number.... I was having a funny five minutes and brain was not in gear.. Scruffy is the name of my rabbit and now I have to run the 10K with THAT on my bust... schmexy right!? I just really need to get through the race first....  Although sad news is that my Jojo is not running today: The curse that is endo, has made Jo take time out for herself and rest. I'm feeling sad, which is a completely selfish thing - I wanted to jog with her, giggle with her, spur each other on, and kick this 10K in the ass, but what makes me even more proud is knowing my Jojo is taking this time out for herself and is doing what her body is telling her - this girl will smash the 10K at a later date when she does St Ives and I'll be there rooting for this chica, cos she is sodding amazing.

Finally, yes, I wont go on much more cos A: I best get ready, and B :I'm probably going to wet myself with nerves/excitement. I actually couldn't even do this race or the half mara if it wasn't for the continued support from so many people: Bangs - who is our amazing, inspirational team leader of the team - you are my hero! Jo Gifford: who has helped shaped me, I couldn't of come this far without you, ALL the Team Bangs on the Run 2 girls, who ARE a force to be reckoned with, Mike at 121-what a powerhouse of support-thankyou! Mark - You are always supporting me and will be my cheerleader today! shake those pom poms! and the WHOLE of Twitter - you guys are BEYOND inspirational - I'm doing it for you all.

Right... best get my run on!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

When the party stops....

Oooo Friday night.... one of the best days of the week... you finish work, head home, sprawl out on the sofa and breathe. Normally, for me, its the end of a (usually) horrid week that has not only been busy but uber-stressful too - I pretty much wait and count down the days for 4pm on a Friday, not only for that, but for the opportunity to have that glass of wine.

Since the start of the year I've been embroiled in a Groundhog-day-circle of getting home at approx half four on a Friday afternoon, and after kicking off the perilous heels, I finally reach for that bottle of Rose that has been quietly chilling in the fridge all week long. Week in, week out, the same routine. However, being me, my one glass of chill out wine had pretty much turned into one bottle with no dinner. Not much of a problem I hear you say? But for the girl who does her best to resemble Bambi on ice at the mere sniff of alcohol, it is never going to bode well, let me tell you. As this year has gone on, I pretty much looked to finishing work on a Friday as a excuse to open the bottle of wine - it was giving me permission to drink away whatever had been happening throughout the week: good or bad. Yeah it's fun, y'know having that glass of vino, breathing that very heavy sigh of relief that the working week is over. For me, it gave me a sense of being, I was fun-Sarah, the chance to let what little hair I had, down. I felt like a whole new me as soon as I sipped that pink, chilled liquid  confident, happy, trouble-free,chatty, even witty, but at what point do you stop? For me, I didn't. Halfway through the first bottle, the stereo would come on, music loud, some gentle swaying to whatever is playing (normally always starting with a bit of Stevie Wonder, itd be rude not too right?1) and so it began. I'd carry on, drink after drink, bottle after bottle. Swaying quickly turned into full-on-living room party palace dancing (yeah, we've all been there) and yep, you guessed it, I'd be drunkity drunk drunk.

I'm twenty seven, not eighteen. Hangovers hate me, and I hate them - that feeling when you wake up: it hurts to even open your eyes, that overwhelming urge to pretty much sick-up anything that is left in your stomach, even after your blood has soaked up all the alcohol. Thankfully, I don't have children, I can barely cope with trying to organise a rabbit (and myself) in this state, let alone, a small person. Do I listen to this (ever-so) familiar feeling? Do I heck. Until one Saturday night, I pretty much went on a one woman mission to drink England (ok, maybe Berkshire) dry - I got dolled up, if you can call it that after 3 bottles of Rose, and went out on the town. What ensued was a night of hectic, horrible, nonsense that even now I cant remember what  fully happened. Just in case, I will repeat,  I'm twenty seven.

*Just some of the wino photos found on my phone*

The next day involved me dying at the hands of the alcohol that infested my body still, and to make matters worse, Mr Guilt came to keep the hangover company. I had acted like a prize twat, managed to piss alot of people off (you know who you are) and also managed to waste £60 in the process. I knew at this moment, this was the end of the this so-called free spirited love affair. That simpleton glass of vino, had turned into something I wanted just because I wanted to be someone else, that quite frankly I am clearly not. It had to stop, I had to stop. I'm by no means an alcoholic, but the binge-Friday/Saturday/Sunday was taking its toll. So I stopped. Since I joined Team Bangs and my training has increased, I have said no to any form of alcohol, and most of all on a Friday night.

I'm not saying I'll stay like this forever, but what I do know, is that I wont be touching any form until the end of September and in the three weeks of consuming nothing, I have loved it. I feel fresh at weekends and raring to go.

Hangover - I don't like you and you don't like me, and I'm much happier without you.

If you go down to the woods today....

There is most definitely a big surprise.... For look what the ever-so-lovely Maggie Angus has bought us for the A/W11 period. Now I know A/W seems a long way off, but lets face it peeps, we're already in July (seriously, where has this year gone!?!) and it is high time that we all start getting our outfits mentally prepared for the onslaught of thick woolly jumpers that are going to be invading your life (and wardrobe) - boring I know, but one sure fire way to style it up, is with an eclectic piece of jewellery.

As a certified Maggie-holic, I pretty much follow everything this little lady does anyway and following the rather huge success of her previous ranges this Summer, a look that I am still coveting (who can get enough disco diva bling anyway!) Maggie Angus brings us a new collection that brings her and her accessories right back to nature, well, the woodland really. As Angus's third collection we head into the wild at night and pounce on the wonderful and magical world of nocturnal creatures. Bold striking silhouettes of deer, bears, foxes and owls are created by the crystal glare of the the moon - this doesn't sound just like an accessory collection, more like an expedition right!?

Here are some sneak peeks from the new collection:

Cosmic Bib Necklace (also avliable in black) £34.99

Moon & Stars earrings £9.00

Noctua Owl Brooch £26.99
Stag's Head Necklace £24.99

Ursa Bear Necklace £29.99

Wild Fox Ring £12.00

Wild Nature Necklace £25.99

For more loveliness, go check out Maggie Angus site here as I just know that this lovely, and well deserved, lady is going to get bigger and better!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

July Reads....

I've really got into reading lately, and no, it's not because I've just learnt how, its just recently I've been learning to take the proverbial 'time out' and relax - my relaxation happens to be reading. It's relatively inexpensive to have reading as a hobby, especially if you do like me and get most of your books from a Charity Shop. Sometimes, new releases sold on the High Street can be from £6.99 Paperback and even more Hardback - this is not a cheap hobby to have! In my opinion, Charity Shops are the way forward, and if not these, try car boot sales, or Ebay!

I currently have 56 books on my shelves - all new. Now, I never really considered myself a sentimental hoarder, but judging by this piece of information, I most certainly am - a book whore! I recently bought 4 more books, and only realised the 'true' extent of my 'problem' when I tried and failed to fit them on my shelf - this is why I decided, I best start reading them! So, here I am, I am a right ol' bookworm: I read in my lunch break at work, in the evenings, even in the bath - turn everything off and tune in, it's great! I've decided to review the books I read, obviously without giving away too much - aren't you lucky!?!?

After The Party - Lisa Jewell

Now, I'm not what you call a technical reader - I tend to like the 'easy reading' kind, where you don't have to think too much. I like my mind, and me, to be transported elsewhere, to a dreamworld, to experience something far away from my actual life. When I read the below, I thought this book was that indeed.

'Eleven years ago, Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary fell in love. They thought it would be forever, that they'd found their happy ending. Then two became four, a flat became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And life wasn't quite so simple anymore. Now the imaginable has happened/ Two people who were so right together are starting to drift apart - Ralph is standing on the sidelines, and Jem is losing herself. Something has to change. As they try to find a way back to each other, back to what they once had, they both become dangerously distracted - but maybe its not too to recapture happily ever after'

When I bought the book I did kinda think it was your sub-standard 'namby-pamby' romance novel, which is, by no means, bad news - I do sometimes like that. But remember that saying: don't judge a book by its cover? yeah - this sums this book up brilliantly. The book starts with a (must-read) prologue and moves onto Part One, which is set one year earlier (than the prologue) which then moves to Part Two that moves to one year later, finishing on Part Three. I'd never read a book that was set in different timing structures before, so was instantly intrigued. I understood and sided with the character, Jem. her life and voice in the book was very real - it was almost like Jewell herself was in the book. What I originally thought was going to be a simple story soon proved me wrong - with some astonishing revelations that literally shook me, I found myself pondering, from page to page, about what the characters were feeling and what I would be doing in the same position. Jewell cleverly managed to write, equally, and fairly,  about the two characters separately and as a pairing: I felt I got an insight into both Jem and Ralph's mind without even wanting to take sides. From thinking I'd sided with Jem first, I quickly found I could understand and feel where both of the characters were coming from and could understand both of them and no longer took sides.  There are some real twists and turns in this book, and subjects that you normally wouldn't find in your normal 'chick-lit' novel, it really was a real page turner. Granted, from the beginning it seemed a little slow, but trust me, there are some real juicy revelations that even I didn't see coming. When I got towards the end, there was a genuine part of me that really didn't want it to end, it was that good.

A great unexpected read! You can go buy here, or look out for it in your nearest Charity Shop.

July's Cover Stars

So I'm a little bit late, but hey, here goes!

Here's my months picks of good and bad covers:

Vanessa Paradis - Vogue UK July
I pretty much god damn love this cover! Vanessa gives off real class to a somewhat ordinary looking cover. With a simple, neutral coloured background, The styling is second to none: with the decadent encrusted jacket that is seductively placed against bare skin. With barely there make-up, Paradis does what she does best: look simply amazing with, what looks like, minimal effort. A grand cover for July - spring, fresh and classy.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley - Elle UK July
Never really a big fan of our Rosie - probably because I'm insanely jealous: not only is she gorgeous but she is going out with everyone's favourite meat-head Jason Statham. This cover is sublime - gorgeous, sensual, classy and oh so sexy - that pretty much describes Rosie all over right? The styling is hitting the nude trend right on, and is heavily high fashion. Rosie's posing is perfection and is eye-catching for both Males and Females alike. A real, grown up cover for Elle - but is pretty much 'samey' for Rosie.

Adele Adkins - Glamour UK July
How amazing is it to see our very own Adele on the cover of Glamour magazine! I don't think I've ever seen Adele look so fresh, youthful and happy as she does on this cover. It may be because for once, the girl isn't wearing black and her hair is BIG, but lets face it, Adele isn't known for being High Fashion, and that's a shame (lets not get me started on the 'weighty' issue) The cover suits the month of July and I praise Glamour for picking Adele to grace the cover - long may it continue.

Claudia Schiffer - Harper Bazzar UK July
One of my absolute favourite covers for the sunny (well, we can wish) July period. Claudia Schiffer pretty much smoulders in front of any camera lens but teaming with this seasons favourite Gucci stripes, amazing headwear and the almost standard beach-y scene. I love the simplicity of this picture - it's just hot. Sometimes simple is the best.

Daisy Lowe - InStyle UK July
Boring much? I like the stark background and the bright red, but what I don't like is 1-Daisy Lowe, and 2- the substandard 'bored' looking pose. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and investigated inside the magazine and once again I found the shots too impersonal - nothing friendly or welcoming about the shoot. The styling is not great, I would've liked to of seen Daisy put a brush through her hair, perhaps smile and possibly look like she enjoys being a model.... tough life. Disappointed InStyle..

Cat Deeley - Red Magazine UK July
Oh yes, and Red Magazine do it again. This vibrant cover would've been pretty much brilliant with any woman on the cover, but teaming Cat Deeley along wtih this scene is perfection. Deeley, known for her natural, Bohemian looks and the the natural hammock scene go together like a match made in heaven. Displaying this seasons 'Brights' trend, but also styling it in an easy accessible way is a sure fire way to grab my attention. Love it Red.

Until next month...

Team Bangs goes to Nike and my efforts to be witty

It's been a while since I updated you all on the Team Bangs - Half Marathon story, and boy has it been busy, busy, busy! A week and a half ago, us lovely girlie's got the opportunity to go to the Nike shop over in Covent Garden to be generally spoilt god damn rotten and to also, eeeek, meet all the other members of the Team Bangs- exciting non?!

For me, meeting my other team mates was a huge deal: granted I had already spoken to many of them through the joys of Twitter and via email and they all seemed ruddy amazing, but there is something quite different about meeting people face-to-face: not something I find easy I have to admit. As some of you may or may not know, I have a real problem with that actual first contact - personally, I don't really think I'm all that great at meeting and greeting, creating conversation, engaging people or generally being entertaining. My normal guise is to act the twat, say something stupid in the sheer hope that someone will take pity on my idiotic behaviour and find it endearing - this doesn't happen often I have to admit. Needless to say when Thursday came around, I was pretty much beside myself in not only anticipation (this was Nike we were going to!!) but also with nervousness about meeting the others! My first thought was to leg it, but seriously, I am twenty seven for Lords sake - who does that!?! I went along, carrying my bag of nerves with me with nothing but the vision of all these hard-core fitness freaks wearing all kinds of spandex and to be jogging on the spot - y'know what? I couldn't of been more wrong.

The group of ladies I met were something else: a right mixture and all completely different to each other - but when grouped together - what.a.team. Confident would be one really good word to use to describe the team as a whole - each and every one of us has their own agenda for being in the team, own training plan and own abilities - yet when we're together in one space, we are just some sort of big fireball of energy! Personally, I've never been very forthcoming when it comes to describing my own abilities or dare I say it, what I'm good at. But being in the close company of the other Team Bangs members made me, how do I say it, more ballsy, more assured and dare I say it? more confident.

We all met outside the Covent Garden tube station and tottered our way off to the Nike running store - even though we had just met each other it was pretty much chat, chat, chat all the way to the shop. On arrival we were greeted by Nike PR, shown round the store and were given an agenda to the day and what was going to be happening in the month and weeks to come before the actual Race Day! The day went swimmingly, we all got on brilliantly and soon my stupid, almost childish, nerves disappeared. It was so pleasurable to be in the company of so many varied women - all so powerful and strong. I've never really had the opportunity in my twenty seven years, to experience women that are ballsy, caring, confident, happy and assured as this little lot. It soon became apparent to me just how amazing we all gelled as a team and ultimately this was so important for the dynamics of all of us getting through this Half Marathon.

We all took our turns in having a gait analysis which was personally something I really had hoped was going to happen - after experiencing some knee pain, I was hopeful that a correct trainer could possibly heal me. I was told my right ankle does tend to lean in more than my left, therefore putting pressure on my right knee - I was told that I needed a more lightweight and semi-supportive trainer to be training with, recommending Lunar Swift, and they were oh so pretty! We all had our gait analysis done, picked our choice of trainer and mooched around the Nike store, mentally coming up with a list as long as the half marathon itself -so much choice, so many items - it was nice to see that even sportswear can now fully be technical as well as stylish!

After our fabulous afternoon in the land of Nike, we all decided to pop off for some carb-fest pasta - off to a restaurant called Kitchen Itallia in Covent Garden. Now, my blog posts are never complete without a little rant right!?! yeah, so if you go to Covent Garden and you want good pasta and good service - don't go here! The Pasta was super yummy, anywhere that sells Goats cheese Tortellini is amaze, but the service was super crap to put it frank. We asked for a table for 13, it was about half 5 and the restaurant was absolutely, completely empty - you'd think they'd greet us with open arms, did they? no. The manager gave us the impression he didn't even want us there and hastily told us we had to be out within an hour - nice huh!? The food was good, service not so - but the best thing about it? was the women. All the girls are amazing in their own way, and if they read this, I thank them for making me feel part of a team for once, not like the recluse who used to get picked last for rounders at school. I'm in awe of every single one of them and I cant actually wait till race day!

Oh, by the way, have you been here? http://www.justgiving.com/teambangsontherun2 go go go!

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