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Saturday, 31 March 2012

An Ode to...... the 'lost' friend

This blog post is for someone in particular, and that person knows who they are...For the others that read this, please cherish your friends - don't lose them. I also hope that person does read this. This ode is to you, my lost friend.

I remember first meeting you and remembering just how in awe of you I was. I simply remember the sunshine that just used to radiate from you, your smile was hugely infectious and your warmth radiated from every pore. I never felt like I couldn't talk to you, despite how amazing you were. To me, you were famous, you were a star. I felt so stupid that first time meeting you properly, just sitting there and not properly being able to say too much to you and just grinning like a mad woman. We didn't meet though conventional methods and as the months went by, we used to laugh about it every time someone asked how we knew each other - but I liked it: our friendship grew more out of fate than out of purpose. You were every part of my strength. I leaned on you when quite frankly I didn't know where I was going, when things went out of focus you were always a text away. Never before did I realise someone knew exactly how I felt in life: that meant something to me. 

You gave me so much more than I ever gave you credit for, or could ever pay you back. You welcomed me into open arms to your work, home and circles of friends. That one night? probably the best night I had ever had in my life - never before had I laughed so much, danced in bare feet and felt like I had a friend for life. You were an angel to me and one I miss daily. Every day I wish you were still in my life - that will never ever go away - but the fact is, I was never the good friend like you were to me. I was not worthy to have you in my life and it hurts because I only have myself to blame. I was thoughtless with your feelings, chaotic with my actions, unreliable in my plans, deceitful in my reactions and messed up in life, and I ruined our friendship. But what I want to tell you, is that I will never ever forget what you gave me in life: and that was a true friend - even if it wasn't for long. I hate myself more than you could ever realise and there is nothing on this human earth that could change the situation. But for me? there is not a day I don't think about you, read about and pray for all the best to happen to you, because quite frankly you deserve everything good in this world and I simply hope that happens every day.

This ode is to you my lost friend, you are and always will be my star in my life and I am sorry for everything.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

One Item: Four Looks: Pastel Chinos

Pastel's really are everywhere right now: from dresses to trousers, from rings to shoes - it is everywhere. At first thought, I was quite sure that me and my curvy size 12 figure, was not going to get on well with this trend - despite how much I love pastel tones.

Putting on pastels automatically makes you feel summary, bright, breezy and a whole lot friendlier and despite my reservations pastel's do not essentially add pounds on, yeah who know! I have been easing myself into this trend: a ring here, a top there, but what I really want is to try the pastel trouser trend. I have seen many different types of pastel trousers but I have to be honest, most of them are unfortunately of a skinny style. For me, my figure and height, we do not and will not ever suit slim fit or skinny trousers. So for me, it has to be the pastel coloured chino - easy to wear, comfy, and versatile with the ability to dress-up and dress down. Want to know how versatile they are and how to make them work for every occasion? Well I've picked one item and made it suitable for every occasion and these chino's are a mere snip at £14.99 from H+M.

Chinos: £14.99 H+M, Striped Tank top £16.00 Topshop, Yellow Converse £39.99 Office, 'Love Me Not' necklace £7.50 Topshop, Yellow leather barell bag £40 Zatchels

Chinos: as above, Striped Blazer: £24.99 New Look, Sleeveless Peplum top £9.00 Matalan, Posie Garland necklace £258.00 Tatty Devine, Gold Block Heel Sandal £65.00 River Island, Metallic Satchel £120.00 Cambridge Satchel Company at ASOS

Chinos: as before, Bead Embellished top £38.00 Topshop, Cut-out Peep-toes £50.00 Debenhams, Gold and beaded necklace £8.50 Dorothy Perkins, Gold ring £12.00 Whistles at ASOS, Suede Clutch bag £27.00 River Island at ASOS

Chinos as before, Stripy Cowl Top £58.65 Isabella Oliver, Skinny Leopard Belt £50.15 Isabella Oliver, Tan Suede Loafers £30.00 ASOS, Mesh link gold necklace £12.50 Dorothy Perkins, Stripy rucksack £32.00 Accessorize 

There you have it: one pair of pastel chinos for 4 totally different looks. Now there is really no real reason as to why you too cant try pastel trousers.

Would you wear pastel trousers? what look is your fave?

Wednesday Shoe-Lust: the perfect boho sandal

At last! The sun is well n truly out and with that comes the moment we've all been dreading - the time to release our bare toes to the world! Now if like me your feet are more like trotters, then you need a good sandal to make them look lush! These sandals are just perfect for this weather and are so versatile! These caught my eye firstly for the animal print, but with tassel's, Aztec prints, and bright blue stones - these sandals are perfect for the holiday season with your bikini and kaftan, ideal for the office with some skinny black trousers, and even for the weekend in your denim cut-offs, and do y'know what makes them even more appealing - they are only £45.00 - I will be wearing these all Summer!

Get yourself over to River Island HERE

Would you wear these sandals?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Get Involved......

I am the cringe queen, there is not a week that goes by that I don't do something remotely embarrassing. Y'know, like walking around in town and a bug gust of wind goes up your dress to reveal not only your underwear, but your big ol' granny pants, or talking about someones parents/kids/friends and the person actually hearing you, or doing as I do best, falling over inappropriately all the darn time. Yeah, you've done it haven't you. Well, normally you'd keep all these hidden to yourself in some hope that no-one, and I mean no-one will ever hear about it. Well stop!

The lovely people at Kleenex need you! To mark the launch of their new Facial Cleansing Range, Kleenex are here as your saviours by helping to wipe away all those embarrassing moments. All you have to do is share your cringy moments via Kleenex's Facebook page HERE or tweet it to @KleenexCleanse you could win a personalised gift that will undoubtedly make the pain of said cringey moment disappear.. however it will not erase the memory of your bum from people's minds. Swings and roundabouts.......If you still don't have any cringey moments, then watch this

Yeah..... I know. So get yourself involved peeps!

Sometimes, the classics are the best.....

Anyone remember those day's where your mum and dad used to take you shoe shopping for school shoes? and remember that funny machine that used to measure your tootsies by squishing your foot from the sides and then from top and bottom? yeah, I thought so. I used to beg my mum to not take me to have this done, and wondered why oh why was I not one of the cool girls who walked around in a 1inch stacked heel. Instead there was me, in properly fitted flat sandals... back then I hated shoes and the whole task of buying shoes.

Oh how times have changed. As I've got older, I thank my mum for making me go to get my feet properly measured and the same brand of shoe that my mum picked for me back then, is now a firm fave with me now: Clarks, Now, I know alot of youngsters (harp at me!) overlook this traditional brand, but I tell you what, I simply love their new designs. Their new SS12 collections are simply gorgeous and it's obvious to see they are beginning to get the well deserved recognition they deserve - double page ad in April's InStyle mag anyone?

I have fallen so madly in love with their 'Girl About Town' collection. With a real vintage, whimsical, flirty and feminine feel about it, there is a real modern element - not just girly heels and ballerina pumps there's a nice juxtaposition with masculine brogues in feminine metallic's.... *sigh* I love it!

Bet you didn't think that all these from Clarks right? Sometimes it really is better to go with the classics. Quite frankly, I am still that Clarks girl just a little bit older and more glam.

An Ode to.............. Brunch

Gone are the days when it was just simply Breakfast and Lunch, when it was just two separate meals - no mixing it up, no new variations. That was also the time when I was a young girly and my dear mum used to make all the meals that I used to throw down my gob. Things were alot more simpler back then: simple tasks in life, simple thoughts, simple days and simple problems. Well I'm older now, and gone are the simple days, mores that shame right? but along with every-day confusion and the mundane problems, comes the good things about getting older and one of my faves is deciding what I'm going to eat and cooking my own meals, and in my humble opinion (or my food stuffed opinion) the best ever concoction of a meal is Brunch. This is my ode to you...

So your name sounds funny: Brunch - it's like some weird exercise move, like 'crunch' but your meaning is a good wholesome meal. Why do I bother with the boring breakfast and lunch when we can have you. You are the much more exotic variation in the meal world: you're the tall dark handsome kind that just oozes yumminess. The good thing about Brunch, is that I get my lie-in, we all know I cant function at the weekends without it, but you are the meal I can at ease - like moving in slow motion. It doesn't matter what time I eat you - this is the only time when laziness is a good thing.

I trawl the Internet for new recipes, new concoctions and variations on the tradition but most of all it has contain good ol' sausages and bacon. Throw in some hash browns, beans, perhaps some scrambled egg? how does that not sound like perfection. Eaten at a time in the day when in all other occasions it would be wrong, but no, no, no, you make it socially acceptable to chow down on you mid-morning - no guilt, just good food. nothing can beat you Brunch - I almost feel cool telling people I eat 'brunch' who does breakfast these days anyway.

Brunch, I love you, now get in my belly.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The search is over.......

Nope, not the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or for the perfect man - this is all about the perfect yoga trouser. I had recently blogged about my IBS cures and featured heavily, is the effect that Yoga and Pilate's has had on me and my symptoms (read it here)

Bringing an inner calm to me and my sluggish and troublesome digestive system, it has however bought me a new found unwanted hobby: bum flashing. Now before you all think I'm some sort of secret flasher (I am not btw) it's mainly down to the horrendous fit of most of the yoga wear on the market. Being of only 5ft nothing and with the tendency to get the dreaded IBS bloat, it is pretty hard to tick all my boxes. I have tried pretty much every brand, and even opted for normal gym gear but once again they are either too restricting on my full belly or too long and end up falling down - hence the bum flasher moments.

Resigned to the fact that I would never be all that comfortably dressed when partaking in yoga, my very good friend and beautiful lady, Karleen from Kilpatrick PR kindly introduced me to Manuka Life Yoga. Now I had been eyeing these guys up for a long time previous, but if I'm being honest, after all the other trials with clothing, I wondered whether they would be of any difference. Karleen knew my problems and insisted that the lovely people at Manuka could solve each and every one of these - I'm no easy customer that's for sure. After giving Karleen a list of all my requirements I received a small parcel in the post - these were the answer to my yoga trouser dreams!

I opened the parcel up to find the most beautiful purple yoga capri pants. I had tried 3/4 length capri's before but when the dreaded belly bloat comes around there is no way on this earth you can shoe-horn me in. With trepidation I pulled these on - the fabric was soft, almost baby soft, and slid nicely on. The fit round the mid calf was perfect - and with a gentle ruching around the bottom helping the capri's cling, but not dig in - they certainly were ticking the lengths and fabrics boxes that's for sure. Now onto the belly area - always a sore spot for me, but the waistband on these are literally amazing. They glided over my hips (don't think Ive ever had anything glide over my hips) and nestled onto my stomach perfectly. I purposely tried these on separately on a bad belly bloat day and the waistband gradually extended nicely over my belly again with no restriction or digging in. Not only were these so comfy, they have managed to mix the practical side with style - I actually looked good in these! There was no riding up,or falling down. They are clearly made and solely designed for yoga in mind.I also just couldn't get over how soft the fabric was. I have been testing these out for a good 2-3 weeks and I simply adore them. I am even (naughty) wearing them round the house - if only all trousers could be a little more forgiving like this.........

I am so grateful to Karleen, Kilpatrick PR and Manuka - Yes, I got these for free, but in all honestly, I am not sure if I've ever worn a better pair of yoga trouser. My only one small point would be: A: I'd like more colour choices and B: I want to buy everything.

Wearing the right yoga wear to me, is essential. I enjoy yoga and the difference it has on my life is massive - both physically and mentally - this is why I am so thankful for what would seem like such a materialistic thing to anyone else.

Do you struggle with finding clothes to wear for IBS? have you tried yoga wear?

*Despite the Yoga trousers being gifted to me, all views are honest and my own*

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Too old for flowers?

Food for thought: I often wonder whether one should adjust the clothes they wear for their age? Where do you start with this hey...... Well, upon looking for a pair of trousers to wear this morning I set my sights on these flowery lovelies - they bought a smile to my face, were of a comfy fabric and weren't too long and flowy to resemble coco the clown, but the real question is: am I too old? In myself I don't feel 'too old' and I wouldn't say I look it, but is there a time when I should put down the flowery trousers, hide away the heels and well, dress my age? I'm not sure and well, it's a little too early to pondering such a question this time on a Tuesday morning so I will keep wearing what I'm wearing.. this is a question for another time.

Silk trim top: Topshop, Flowery trousers: Primark, Orange Cardigan: Topshop, Tan shoes: Topshop.

Monday, 12 March 2012

It's like riding a bike......

It's been a long time, a really long time. I went from 3-4 times a week, to nothing. Running - I bet you lot even remember me harping on about the fast "one foot in front of the other" sport that had quite frankly, changed my life. Well the cold weather happened, the dark mornings and evenings set in, Christmas arrived and altogether my will to get out there and run, had all but vanished.

Every day on twitter was a bit like lazy-ass torture for me, I was sat on my sofa seeking refuge in more tea and just 'another' cake/chocolate bar/bag of crisps,sausage sandwich (delete as applicable) and all the tweets from people who were going out for a run, with their distance/time, the exercise mad people going to zumba/body combat etc bombarded me... then there was me. I was once, one of them. What had happened? It seems my running mojo had well 'n' truly err, run off without me to a destination not filled with cake.

I had managed to get myself in a place where junk food and the sofa were the only source of solace - I didn't want to exercise, I didn't want to watch my figure, I wanted to just eat away the troubles - why not? But the more I was eating the more unhappy I became. It's when the waistband of your (once) baggy jogging pants digs into you that you know perhaps that last cupcake has to be the last one. So I went to go for a run.

Everything hurt, my performance was all over the place, and quite honestly, I hated every darn second of it, no post race endorphins here! So I stopped again, and went back to my shelter, my refuge, the place that was safe, the place where no-one judged me: my sofa. Bored yet? I started to ignore twitter, facebook, music even - anything that evoked my feelings to move my fat bum - IGNORED. Until I read a certain ladies blog, our Team Bangs leader: @bangsandabun This ladies tweets and website are all kinds of awesome - they literally lift me. I'm pretty sure I sound all kinds of corny, but its true. Bangs, or Mama Run as we call her, has taught me what it is to be a strong woman. I don't have a powerful, independent woman in my life, my mum is of the ages where the woman is there to pro-create and stay at home. Exercise, especially running, is something completely alien. But Bangs is exactly that - my strong powerful woman. After reading through her blog and following her tweets, I made the decision, my butt was coming off that sofa and it was going to be draped in DriFit.

And who would've thought... it's like riding a bike.

Was it easy? no. Was it fun? yes. The fact is, I got back on that bike and it all came back to me. I wasn't this cake-eating lazy fiend, I was a runner. I was the runner that Bang's found in me last year. Bangs journey, is my journey. She is everything I want to be in a person and she is my inspiration. We, as women, need strong powerful women to look up to - no more fluff, no more bitchy-ness and no more excuses.

On that note, I'm off to run.

*Since I first drafted this, the rather amazing Bangs has created a new site titled: Spikes and Heels. A fitness site that is all about being the bad-ass, all about the motivation and celebration of being a real woman, and kicking the calories and scales to the kerb. Go check it out HERE

When red stripes scream..

Monday mornings are a real Marmite thing for me - you either love it or well and truly hate it! Me? I don't mind the day itself, however what I don't like is the feeling of spending another week somewhere I don't really wanna be - enough of that.

This Monday morning when the light was filtering through my curtains and the birds started tweeting their hearts out, I lay there thinking about the day ahead and quite frankly all the good things that are in my life right now - sad much? possibly. After a settled, slow but good weekend, I didn't want it to end, so my mood was subdued. And you know what one does in this instance? I decided to scream my Monday-ness in the form of my top. Red is one of my favourite colours but lets face it, you need a serious amount of balls to really wear red - today is one of those. So today is a 'shout it from the rooftops' red striped tie up top, some sailor blue turn-up chinos, red patent ballet flats and some gold jewellery - nice enough for a Monday me-thinks.

What are you wearing today? what clothes scream your mood today?

*Red striped top: Primark, Blue chinos: New Look, Belt: New Look, Red Patent ballets: Marks and Spencer, Necklace: Primark*

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Flat feet........

As the years go on, and yes, I get older, me and heels are moving more into what I would call a long-distance relationship. That's right, once me and the H.H used to be heavily involved (by heavily I mean how heavy footed I was) but now with my feet/bones/muscles the way they are and as the old(er) age gets to me I had to distance myself - yeah, on paper we're still like that *crosses fingers* but we both know that we are not spending nearly enough time together. I hate to say it, I even think I have fallen for someone else.....

Flat shoes, pumps, ballerina's - well, whatever you wanna call them - I LOVE THEM. Comfy and attractive (yeah, I didn't think I'd ever say those words together) I cant get enough. Normally my life would consist of tottering around on said H.H, with 'that' fear growing in my belly that, God forbid, I may come to an uneven piece of pavement and well, me and the H.H knew I was going over - but not with my trusty flats! More and more am I finding myself searching out new and lush looking flatties knowing that yes, I can look good in these and not show everyone my pants whilst I fall over (it only happened the once ok?) I do however find it hard to find really attractive flats. I like the simple kinds of ballet pumps, but sometimes I like a little pzazz with my flats, a little 'som'in, som'in'. Well, the other day, when I was simply meandering around my local Marks and Spencer, on my annual 'everyday knicker' shop (yeah, so what?) did I come across their ballet pump range. Err wow!

From leather boat shoes, leopard print, bows and toe capped flats - there really is so much in the humble M+S. I hate to say it, but yes, our marks and sparks do have a tendency to be a little 'older fashioned', yet lately, me and my tired feet have been stopping in here more and more. After being blown away at their S/S12 collection and now with their superb collection of comfy footwear, it seems M+S will not just be my pit stop for pants.
1- Round toe cut-out pumps £25.00 2- Round toe leopard bow pumps £25.00 3- Slip-on toe cap pumps £25.00

4- Slip-on Bow pumps £25.00 5-Leather round toe moccasin £29.50 6- Leather brown moccasin £29.50

7- Toe cap slip-on pump £19.50 8- Footglove pumps £35.00 9- Limited Collection round toe ballerinas £25.00

After much deliberation and at the risk of them shutting the shop on me, I purchased these lovelies (couldn't find them online)

Are you a H.H fanatic or are you leaning towards the foot saviours that are flatties? anyone else purchased from M+S?

Go check out their website HERE 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Wednesday Shoe-Lust..... Bionda Castana

I can't lie, I very nearly licked my computer screen upon catching a glimpse of these on StyleNest's website 'New Season Buys'. Whilst I love animal print, there is something so yummy about a good Dalmatian print, call me Cruella if you must! These monochrome lovelies are by Bionda Castana, which I'll be honest, I haven't heard of before (when you see the price you'll know why, not my budget that's for sure) made in printed satin these literally take my breath away. I want to wear them black cigarette trousers to work, with a flirty LBD for a night out... but mostly I want to sit and stare at them and kiss them...

Get them here at My-Wardrobe for the mere price of £425... but they are beautiful.

So who's buying me these??

Lightening my life.........

Over the years I have been pretty much every colour under the sun, going from light brown to red, to black to mahogany and then back to brown again, however my obsession with having blonde hair has never ever gone away.

I'm not sure what it is - is it the allusion that 'blondes have more fun', is it down to Kate Winslet and her beautiful locks parading over the glossy magazine, or is it the fact that blonde's are just stunningly gorgeous - there is something really pure about them, I know I love pretty much everything about being a blonde, or having blonde hair. Don't get me wrong, having all the colours are fun: red makes me feel quite fiery and energetic, browns make me feel more studious and more sophisticated, but there is definitely 'something' about being a blonde - I want to be Kate Winslet!

With the Summer season (hopefully) upon us soon, I have been staring long and hard at my current dark brown (with a tinge of red) hair colour - yes its nice but that familiar 'go lighter' urge is with me. I have been a blonde, as in peroxide, and na, it just doesn't suit me, but a warmer blonde, possibly caramel colour does, so here in goes my one-woman mission to lightening my Summer. With thanks to the colour experts that are Garnier Nutrisse (who I have always used before) they have released a collection of videos showcasing their Blonde tones and the trends for this season all narrated by their amazing (and colourful) colour expert Lyndell Mansfield - man, I want pink hair!

After watching the video, I fell in love with being a English rose blonde - seriously, who wouldn't want to be one?! but with many different shades, easy to use applications and superb end result, my mind has been made up..... Im-a-going LIGHT with Garnier!

I bet you feel the same huh? how could you not want to be a blonde babe after seeing that video! What's your fave hair colour? have you gone blonde and loved it? Tell me what your colour story is!

This blog post was sponsored, but oh so true to my hair colour loves! Massive thank you's to Garnier and Handpicked Media.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Beating I.B.S - Part Two

Well, thanks guys and girls, you were all lovely peeps and enjoyed my rather 'too' in-depth insight to my IBS life. I knew there was many of you out there with cranky stomachs - remember you are not alone! Following on from my first post (catch it here) I've decided to carry it on with various posts about my quest to try and conquer this mis-understood condition, I'll try not to weird you out too much.

On my last set of Dr's appointments, and after months of moaning to the same Dr and receiving the same old darn information: 'stop stressing' (yeah good one) I received some surprising advice in order to conquer my IBS symptoms. It was one I had never heard of before, Yoga and Pilate's.
Of course I'd heard of the concept before, but try it? Na, not me. I had never had an inclination to want to stand like a mountain, lie like a corpse, and I sure as hell don't want to be a downward facing dog... Or so I thought. Pretty sure the blank expression on my face said it all, but the more the Dr explained why it would help, it seemed to make sense. Yoga and Pilate's isn't just standing in the above poses, its so much more than that. Yoga itself with its gentle stretching exercises and careful breathing can help release tension and reduce the effect of stress on the body - which of course one the main triggers for a 'pain in stomach' bout of IBS.

To me, this was all 'hear say' for me, if I wasn't breaking a sweat I refused to accept this as exercise, but with armed with a leaflet of 'easy' yoga poses and Pilate techniques, I decided to give it a whirl. It's not easy.... I struggled with the poses, knowing whether I was doing it ok with the correct posture, but mostly I struggled with breathing.. yes, breathing. I'm pretty sure at stages I was bent over double, legs everywhere and getting redder by the second from holding my breath, attractive non?? Over 4 weeks I finally reached 'the point' you know what I mean - I just 'got' how to do Yoga and enjoyed Pilate's. Everything seemed to fall into place: The slow, steady breathing came, I felt centred, the poses flowed and afters? yes, I felt all warm and content. Success! Question is, did it help my IBS? Success to that too.
As the weeks passed, I was partaking in my yoga and Pilate's sessions about 3-4 times a week for 30mins to 1hour and by Jove, it really did help. Gone was the cramping sessions, the burning sensations in the pit of my stomach, the sickness radiating up my throat and the constant bloating had decreased rapidly. Yes, I still feel a twat when I'm doing it but it really has helped. I've wanted to find the guts (ha ha) to go to an actual Yoga class, but in truth, my symptoms and IBS pains are a little too embarrassing so  have been going it alone and doing Yoga and Pilate's DVD's at home.

Both of these DVDs are cheap to buy on Amazon, and in truth I love them both. I started with the Leah Bracknell DVD as its alot simpler and I tend to do this when I need something not so intense, and as for Darcey Bussell - how amazing is she? yeah, well, I think that says it all - but go steady on it!

Now the only problem I do have is Yoga and Pilates wear.... Now, anyone of you sufferers of the dreaded IBS will know that the IBS belly will strike over and over again, and when it does strike, you want a nice expandable waist trouser that are fitted on the leg, wont fall down and look GOOD - is that so hard? it seems like it is. I have tried 4 different types of Yoga wear and they have either been too tight on the waist, expandable but too big so they fall down, too long in the leg that I stand on them and once again pull them down.... ho hum.... The search will continue, but in the mean time I shall continue to yoga-it with my bum showing!

Hope this helps some of you IBS sufferers - have any of you tried it? do you have certain moves that help? Do any of you have any yoga wear tips?

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