Thursday, 27 February 2014

OMCZ27 - Red Carpet Glamour

I have been a bad blogger and missed the last few Outside My Comfort Zone post, but hrre I am, back with a great one from Becky @ Does My Blog Make Me Look Fat.
Theme: Red Carpet Glamour
Becky wrote: 

As it is award season i would love to see some Red Carpet Glamour. Be inspired by some of the amazing outfits that have been down the red carpet and try and incorporate some of the key trends that seem to be appearing (colour blocking, bold colours, black and white) or even try and emulate your favourite stars red carpet look.  
I love this dress. That is it. I love the way I look in it, the compliments I get and how I feel in it. A year ago, I would never have worn anything like this. I never went near dresses, lace or anything that short, but I feel great in it. I bought this last year from Pink Clove and it is my 'go-to' dress for a night out.
I would happily wear this to a red carpet event as I really like the lace look of it, sexy but still elegant, even if I do say so myself!
Check out the other lovely ladies taking part in the OMCZ challenge.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Dirty Works

The last time I saw my tall twin Kim, which seems like a age ago now, she bought me a lovely bag of gifts. Yes, she is that great of a friend. It contained a book, some nail varnish, and a bunch of beauty products, and I have finally got round to uing some of the great DIrty Works products from it.
Best Foot Forward Foot Butter
Think of England Bath Soak
You Soft Touch Hand Cream
For the first time in a while,  decided to have a nice bath, so I gave the bath soak a try. It gave some great bubbles, and smelt lovely. This is made from Calendula Flower and Chamomile which were so nice. It made my skin feel so smooth afterwards, and I felt very relaxed. Whilst I was in there, I tried out the foot butter too. I just massaged it into my feet and left it on for a few minutes, then washed it off. I am a big fan of the smell of coconut, so that made me enjoy it even more! It did exfoliate my feet really well and I am looking forward to using this regularly to give me lovely looking feet ready for the summer. Lastly was the hand cream. I actually already have this as a smaller tube which I keep in my handbag. I love it. I really like the smell of it, and how it makes my hands feel.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Brightening Up

A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to decorate my dining room. We have lived here for 2 1/2 years and apart for some putting some magnolia on the walls just before we moved it, we haven't done a lot to the place. The only room I had painted was the lounge as I couldn't stand the bare plastered walls much longer. We have 3 walls in the lounge and I painted the largest middle wall a light blue, and the two end walls, I went for a deep turqoise colour. I must have done this about a year or more ago, and I felt that it was about time I did some more decorating.

Our house was built in around 1955 and hasn't had mush done to it since then. When we moved in, Mike and his brother fitted new worktops in the kitchen, plastered and layed laminate flooring in the lounge and did some much needed painting in the bedrooms. But, when it came to the dining room, the floor is parquet flooring, and the walls are wooden panels. We decided just to leave it as it was when we moved in as it wasn't a priority. Over the last few years, it has become more apparent how dark and dingy that room is, especially as it has no real natural light. So, I picked up a tester pot from Homebase, sanded down a little section and gave it a go. 

So the next week, I did some research about the best way to paint over wood panelling, and went out and bought primer, paint and brushes and got work. I had to borrow a sander from my in-laws as I tried doing it by hand, but it took me so long to do a little patch, and with the sander, I did all the walls in about 30 mins! 

So, I sanded, primed all the walls, painted the skirting boards/door frames, then painted the walls and, once Mike had put my accessories were up, I was so pleased with the result!

It is so much lighter, and looks so much bigger. I love my clock too! Bargain at £16 from a wholesaler near me. It was a lot of hard work, but well worth it. Now planning on wallpapering the entrance into my kitchen.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Earth Squared Handbag and Purse

A friend of mine owns a lovely handbag and accessory boutique shop in Kent, Number 39, and I spent a few days there last week helping her with her new website and drooling over some of the lovely things she has in her shop at the moment....

Some of handbags that she sells is from a company called Earth Squared. The 'about us' on their website describes them as....
"Fabulous and fair trade! Earth Squared blend modern design with traditional weaving and embroidery skills to create a fabulous selection of ethically made gifts for all age ranges and pocket sizes. The Earth Squared range of fashion accessories includes stylish and practical hand bags in a variety of fabrics and styles, complementing jersey scarves in a range of fantastic colours and luxurious silk and velvet accessories."

I was loading some of their products into the database and a few of them caught my eye. Especially their new range of linen spot bags and purses....

So, after perusing the bags they had in stock, I went for the Meg handbag in grey. And, I was lucky enough that she also had a matching coin purse which I couldn't resist....

The coin purse has a main zip along the top, and then a small front zip pocket.

The bag has a top flap which fastens with a magnetic clasp and a clip fastener at the bottom. I liked this as it is nice and secure. The shoulder strap is a nice length, especially for my height, and is a lovely size. Big enough for the essentials, but nt too big that it will get filled up with everyone else's bits!

Inside, it has a zipped pocket, and a mobile phone pouch. I have been using it for the last few days and I really love it. It is really well made, and the fact it is fair trade makes me love it even more.

Check out more of their products here, plus the website for Number 39 here.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

I Feel Good

You know sometimes when you spend ages getting ready for a night out, an event or even just a blog post, and the reflection in mirror isn't what you hoped?  This challenge is for those times when you look in the mirror, no pre planning involved, and think "I look good today".   

We all have our good days and our bad, but this challenge is to record those good days and to remember that confidence, at any size, is beautiful.

I haven't been very well this week, full of cold and feeling like poop. So, on Wednesday, I had a PTA meeting to attend, and I just felt like making an effort after spending a day and a half in bed! Also, it had been raining continuously for days, and I wanted to stick two fingers up at it! So I got dressed, plaited my hair, and wrapped up warm and in my waterproof coat and headed down to the school.

Check out the other ladies taking part.

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Long and Tall of It - Active Wear

This month, Kim and I are looking at active wear on The Long and Tall of It, and I have to say that I don't own any specific clothes for when I work out/exercise as I am mainly doing walking and cycling at the moment. I do do a bit of a cardio session using YouTube videos when I am at home if I get a spare 15-20 mins and need to get active!

So when I go for a walk, I usually wear something along these lines...

I wear my comfy skinny jeans with a jumper, especially at the moment with the crappy weather, my waterproof coat. I find that I work up a sweat in this, so don't like to have too many layers on. Footwear, at the moment, is my walking boots I purchased from Aldi about 2 months ago. They give me great support around my ankles, are are good for walking through the mud and puddles!

When I get to go cycling, my choice of clothing looks a bit like this....

I wear leggings with either my denim skirt and a long top, or with one of my Asos skater dresses. This may sound weird, but I like to make sure the people behind me don't get a look at my lower back/top of my bum! So I like to make sure I am either wearing a really long top, or the dress to keep me covered. I have yet to find a store that sells active wear that is long enough for me! Depending on the weather, I will either wear a light cardigan, or in the rain, my waterproof coat. Again, I don't want to get too hot, so I don't like to have too many layers on. As for footwear, I go for my Converse style pumps I bought from Tesco a while ago, men's section as usual for my large feet.

If I'm doing a quick work out at home, I throw this on...

These are just some men's jogging bottoms I bought from Asda, and then just a plain vest top from Sainsburys. This outfit is lovely and comfortable and easy to do my work out in. I had to opt for men's jogging bottoms as all the women's ones that I tried were way to short, and I don't like them flapping around above my ankles whilst I am trying to work out.

I did mange to find some great activewear on the Marisota website.

Firstly, I was really pleased that they did trousers with 32 inch leg, so would be perfect for me, and with the elasticated ankles, would be great for cycling. They are £35 and look really comfortable. The vest top is classed as a yoga top, but is a nice long length, still not sure whether it would be long enough for me, but looks lovely. Something I need to invest in is a sports bra. I have big boobs. Fact, and especially when I work out at home, and try star jumps, they kind of get in the way. So this bra looks like it would hold them down! and for £30 seems like a good piece to invest in. The fleece gilets would be great for when the weather gets a bit nicer, but I still don't want to be completely exposed to the wind. And I really like the look of the step for £25. I could do a good workout with that bad boy!

Check out more of Marisota's sports wear here.

Want It Wednesday - Underwear

I had a good sort out in our bedroom the other day, and I realised that I don't actually own any matching sets of underwear! The last bra that I bought was in Manchester from the Yours store in the Arndale Centre. I loved it so much! So, I took a quite evening to have a look through the Yours website and see what I could find.

1. Purple Passion
Black and Purple Animal Print and Lace Detail Bra £16
Black and Purple Animal Print Microfibre Brief with Lace Detail £8
I love this set. Purple is one of my favourite colours, and the added animal print detail looks lovely. 

2. Pretty Lace
Black And Gold Lace Panel Balconette Moulded Bra £18
Black Waist Clincher With Lace Panel And Gold Lining £16
I really like the style of the knickers in this set, and the contrast of the gold and black lace looks gorgeous. 

3. Pink Lady
Magenta and black animal balconette bra £18
Magenta and black animal suspender brief £10
This is a great set for Valentine's Day. It is so feminine and girly and the suspender brief adds a little sexiness to the set.

4. Sexy Spots 
Black Heart Flock Print Balconette Bra With Pink Bow Trim £18
Black And Pink Heart Print Flock Suspender Brief £15
This is another beautiful set for Valentine's Day with the pink ribbon/bow and the suspender brief. I think this has to be my favourite.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Juicing Journey So Far

I've been trying to be healthier for just over 5 weeks now, and as I have explained before, I have been using juicing as my new diet. I did well for the first few weeks of the year, losing a total of 16lbs in 2 weeks, which I was so pleased with. But then I seemed to fall off the track, as I thought I would. I had a mixture of bad days, period cravings and just general giving in. I had a week where I put on weight, another where I stayed the same, and last week, I lost 4lbs. 

Now it's not all my fault......I haven't really been able to do much walking as the weather has been horrendous! I don't really want to go out in the freezing cold, windy and wet weather and make myself ill, which I guess is the wrong way to think about it, but that's what I'm sticking to. I did find some great workout videos on YouTube, and with our new amazing Smart TV, I can play through the TV and do a workout in my lounge. 

We try to go cycling as a family at the weekends to a country park near Tonbridge as it's relatively flat for the kids, and we love it there. We went 2 weekends a go, and go extremely muddy as there were lots of puddles, and ended up having to leave earlier than planned as Jack managed to cycle straight into the middle of a massive one and have to stand in it in his trainers, so got soaking wet! Very funny though :)

So each week, about this time on a Sunday, I say to myself that I am going to be better this week, and I am going to stick to the juicing. But a good friend of mine stated something to me on Friday, that even if I am eating during the day, it's a hell of a lot healthier food than I was eating before. Which is so true. When we eat at weekends, my meal portions are smaller, I am not snacking as much during the day, and if I fancy something to nibble on, I am going for grapes and seeds, and not chocolate and biscuits.

I feel so much better in myself. I have more energy, I am sleeping better and feel more active. So all of that is a big plus for me, and the main reason that I wanted to do this. 

So here is a little snap of me from last week on a rare night out with Mike and friends :-)

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Access All Asos

Back last year, after seeing the buzz about #AccessAllAsos on Twitter, I thought I would have a look at what was going on. And I got really excited to see that there were a group of ladies picked to be Asos Insiders and they get first looks at new lines, invitations to events and other great goodies. So I decided to submit my details and see what happened. Then, an email arrived in my inbox saying I had been chosen! I was so excited! And it said to expect a parcel coming, and it did!

Time had obviously been taken into what each person got as they were very individual. I got some cute heart letter craft stickers which are so lovely, and a great light blue beanie to go with, as it was put, my luscious locks'. I do love a beanie!

I can't wait to see what adventures come next :)