Monday, 27 August 2012

Some Bank Holiday Organisation

Hi guys, how was your bank holiday? I hope you were doing something exciting. The husband and I had a lovely date night on Friday, followed by a day of shopping for me on Saturday! The last couple of days have been spent doing a bit of DIY and organising, and that is what brings me to this post.

Mr Nicholls and I moved into our new house less than a year ago and we are still sorting through things. I have yet to find the perfect dressing table, so I have had jewellery hanging around all over the place, kept in random pots, and hung on plastic hooks, which unfortunately has not related to the perfectly styled shabby chic look.

So I looked to the good old interweb for some inspiration. There are lots of great ideas out there for displaying jewellery but I don't really have the right space for this yet, so was intrigued by The Little Black Dress Jewellery Organiser. I had a quick look around, and found the cheapest version on Betterware.
The fabric is a very thin black canvas, that slips onto any hanger like any other item of clothing. There are 39 plastic pockets on one side and then 24 hook and loop velcro tabs on the other side - oh the organising possibilities. 

I was able to add in all my costume jewellery earrings, and rings into the plastic pockets, and looped my bangles, rings and necklaces onto the velcro tabs. 
I also had some brooches and some stud earrings which I thought looked better pierced through the canvas towards the collar. 

 OK, so it is not the most aesthetically pleasing of displays, but I love the fact that it goes into my wardrobe, and once closed the clutter is gone. Not only that, it is going to be so much easier to find what I'm looking for including some of my favourites...

. Butterfly Necklace from Accessorize worn at my brothers wedding . Initial necklace from Topshop . Silver and blue ring given to me by my husband when I passed my GCSE's . Gold and Sapphire Ring my Grandmothers eternity ring, worn at my wedding as my something old and something blue .

15 minutes of my bank holiday Monday well spent!

If you have a great way of organising jewellery, let me know as I'm still looking for inspiration.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Going for Gold

I am generally a very active person, despite having a desk bound job, although unfortunatly my body image reflects my love of food more than my love of all things active.

Recently I have been really suffering with painful calf muscles and a tightening around the ankles when I have been running or playing netball. I found that yoga and body balance (another post on this soon) have been helping to stretch out the problem and keep me a little more supple but I wondered if I was using the right equipment?

Don't get me wrong in order to keep fit, you don't need a fancy gym membership or even any fancy equipment, a simple pair of trainers, some shorts and the great outdoors would more than tide you over. However, I am aware that the trainers you put on your feet can make a huge difference, and I didn't think my £20 pair from Sports Direct were quite cutting it.

It has got to the point where any type of impact sport was too painful to continue and as my exercise levels have increased so has the pain in my right knee. Luckily a friend of mine is a physio and I had her take a look at me running, she was concerned about the way my foot twisted as I ran and suggested getting a proper gait analysis and a proper shoe to rectify the problem.

So armed with very little knowledge of what was going to happen to me, I toodled on down to Moti on Whiteladies Road in Bristol. My physio friend had recommended them to me, although I had initially heard of them via my fancy gym, as I got a 10% off voucher in my starter pack.

You don't need an appointment or anything, you just turn up. Chris was my server and he was so helpful. He first put me on the treadmill in a neutral running shoe, I ran for about 30 seconds and then he showed me the film. It was unbelievable! I could see my whole knee and foot twisting on both sides as I ran, although it was more pronounced in my right foot. No wonder it hurt so much to run.

He then gave me 2 different shoes to try, but with extra arch support and wizzy a whizzy chusioning system typ thing in the soles which he said would make it more comfortable. I got on the treadmill again with each pair and whilst I couldn't feel the difference in my running technique in such a short space of time, the difference on the video was amazing. My foot fell flat with very little twist at all!

I learnt a couple of things whilst I was there. First, that trainers used for exercise should be brought at least half a size bigger than your usual shoe size, and 1 whole size bigger would be ideal. This is to allow for your feet to swell as they warm up during your exercise routine, and to stop your toes bashing against the ends and causing damage to your nails. Also, that your trainers should be changed regularly, and no matter how often you use them at least within every 2 years as the grip and the wizzy compression pads will just not work in the same way.

I was really impressed with the customer service in Moti, they were very knowledgeable about running styles and about the products in the store. As an added bonus, by subscribing to their e-newsletter in store you get a 30 day guarantee on your new shoes and if they are not very comfortable or you do not notice any particular difference you can take them back (provided they are not covered in mud or really damaged).

I eventually chose the Asics GT-2170, which are a limited edition in podium colours for the London Olympic Games as they have subtle flashes of gold, silver and bronze. They weren't cheap but I got a 10% discount with my voucher, although they will give the discount to anybody who comes into the store armed with their gym membership card.

If you are thinking of starting up an exercise routine or running, or have already started running and would like a little more advice I would 100% go and get this done, I know that loads of running stores do the gait analysis so go and give it a try.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The 5 things I hate most about dieting!

1. Food guilt

That cheeky hot choc from Starbucks (other overly expensive, ponsey coffee shops are available), that reduced cake in Tesco, or even a Friday night takeaway. There will come a point after you've thoroughly enjoyed devouring every last morsel when the food guilt will set in. This is the point when you will start to feel low, disappointed in yourself and usually bloated!  All of a sudden that satisfaction you had previously obtained has dissipated in a single second and you have to look for your next happy fix….

2. Food food everywhere and not a drop to eat

All of a sudden you think, sleep and dream of food. It is everywhere, flashing up on your internet home page, adverts on the side of a bus and that Express supermarket that you could previously walk pass without as much of a sideway glance is suddenly giving you a large fluorescent light smile and talking to you "look at all the lovely goodies I have in here for you"! Everything becomes a mission; retail therapy, a weekend away and a Sunday lunch with the family becomes a minefield of shoulds and most importantly 'should nots'. 

3. Skinny girls

Not only is there food everywhere you look, but you only have to turn your head to see a skinny. You start to compare yourself to them and feel you are being judged by them and you think to yourself "B***h, why does she get to look like that and God has dealt me this hand…not fair!" The worst type of skinny girl is most definitely the gym bunny. They are disgustingly toned, wear make up at the gym (I mean what is that about) and they will always stand at the front of the class, showing off their enviably pert bottom, while you flail around looking like a large sweaty hippo at the back. After class you will over hear saying how they feel awful they ate 6 extra grapes at breakfast this morning, so they might head to the cross trainer. You think…T**T!

4. Exercise

I like my sofa, actually that is an understatement I love my sofa. On the other hand I do like playing netball and I do like gym classes like Zumba and Body Combat. But the thing with dieting is the rule that you also have to exercise. It is drummed into you from day 1, eat less, exercise more and you will lose weight. Nothing wants me to curl up in my slanket with 10 re-runs of Come Dine With Me more than having to get up, put on lycra and
stand in front of mirrors, jump around and get sweaty!

5. Failure

So far I have never succeeded at a diet and this is an unusual trait for me to recognise. I usually succeed, I have a good academic career, a career, and to be honest I do usually get what I want. However, I have been 'dieting' since I was 20 years old, and I am now 25 but I have put on weight every year. I start in earnest as we all do, not always in January but I become the perfect WW or Slimming World participant or Slim Faster but eventually it fizzles out and I don't make goal. I've never really reflected on my failure, but probably because I always find a way of justifying it to myself and those closest to me, that is "well its just not my priority at the moment, I'm focusing on wedding/house/career/getting to world 8 on Super Mario/watching The Hills" or whatever BS I can think of at the time. The truth of the matter is I hate failure in whatever guise it comes in, but so far failure has always been part of my dieting experience and I don't like it.

Monday, 20 August 2012

My Favourite ... Fragrance

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting" - Christian Dior

My fragrance and I met thorugh an old housemate. Calvin Klein Euphoria was on her dressing table and whenever she wore it I always thought it smelt beautiful. After the housemate and I went our seperate ways, I went and brought some of my own (I thought it was a bit wierd to buy it before that point) and therefore my relationship with this fragrance has lasted longer than with the ex-housemate and now ex-friend (a story for another time) and I hope our special relationship will continue for many years to come!

In a typical Calvin Klein style the bottle is relatively simple with no fussy bottle top or bright colours. A modern and simple cuved shaped with a metallic silver front, back and cap, the side are glass which beautifully show off the deep lilac colour of the fragrance. An understated addition to my beauty shelf! I love the minimal flash of colour, and it is actually one of the colours I used as inspiration when decorating our master bedroom. 

I am not a huge fan of light or flowery scents and this is neither of those things. It is quite strong, and actually a little masculine when you get the intial smell, and I love it!

The fragrance experts tell me that it has top notes of pomegranate and a heart of black orchid with woody undertones that make it a relatively musky smell with the masculine edige that I have mentioned. 

This is definitely an unforgettable fragrance, and I can always tell when other people are wearing it as they walk past me. It has it's place on long balmy summer nights and is strong enough for the winter months when you might like something with a little more depth. 

My little 30ml bottle was down to its last few spritzes and I decided to treat myself to another bottle as I can't wait until the usual birthday/christmas haul. 

I've used Fragrance Direct a few times and have always been impressed with the good prices (this is still one of the cheapest prices for this fragrance that I have found) and very quick delivery. I ordered this on Thursday lunchtime, paying for standard delivery and it arrived on Friday morning. To boot, I got 7% cashback by accessing the site via Quidco (a whole other post). 

So next time our out shopping go and have a little sniff and tell me what you think. Link to your blog and let me know what your favourite fragrance is?