Friday, 10 January 2014

Hello, Stranger

Gosh it's been a while...

I literally didn't make one blog post in 2013, so, a year and a bit on, I decided to pick up where I left off.

2013 was a strange one for me, I welcomed in the new year at home, in my pajamas, feeling very poorly. A few days later I was in hospital, diagnosed with gall stones, still very poorly! My health shaped the majority of my year, until I had my gallbladder removed at the end of September. To spare the gory details, your gall bladder plays a more important part to your health and digestion than one might think and it was only when I had problems with mine that I even became aware that it existed.

Due to all this gall bladder malarkey, I ended up having to freeze my MA studies, after finishing the first semester. I managed to write two essays while sick and on heavy medication (god knows how they even made sense) and achieved commendable grades for work written in such circumstances. Being the perfectionist that I am, I wasn't totally happy with the results but have the second half of the Masters to pull back - starting this month!

Despite the big pile of poop that was most of my 2013, a wonderful thing happened - I got a job with my favourite make-up brand, Illamasqua! I cried my face off when I was offered the job and now work with some of the most wonderful women I have ever met and welcomed in this new year with my boy, some lovely friends and champagne - a real treat after not drinking for most of the year due to the old GB.

I work in this delicious store!

Also, on a slightly more superficial note, those who may have read this post from nearly two years ago, will appreciate how happy I am that I now have green hair! I decided to make the change in August and haven't regretted it for a single second. I get lots of interest and questions about it (as well as some idiotic comments from ridiculous strangers, but swings and roundabouts) and even had a customer from work book in with my hairdresser to get the same thing which is quite flattering. Here it is in all its glory:

This year promises to be quite exciting - finishing my MA (finally), moving house with Miles in September (into the house of my DREAMS) and hopefully some fun adventures along the way.

No doubt my time will be taken up with work and studying, but I'd much rather be busy than bored and ill like I was last year! I'm hoping I can blog, even just a little bit, throughout the year - I feel like it helps me get some of the hundreds of thousands of thoughts out of my head and written down - and if just one person enjoys reading it, that's a plus!

More to come another time, but bye for now!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

A (Relatively) Quick Update


It's been a few weeks since I last posted so I thought I'd do a quick update before I come back with a proper post super soon.

Of late, I've been busy with uni, work, trying and failing to lose weight for my 12 week challenge, working on my zine - Slimeball - with Katy and looking at pictures of cats on the internet.

In slightly more depth:
I've not been very successful with my 12 Week Challenge in the past few weeks. I'm 6 weeks, so half way, in and had some rubbish weeks recently - no loss, a gain, a loss, then a small gain - so as it stands I've lost about 6lbs which, although commendable, isn't where I was hoping to be at at this stage.
If I'm honest, I really haven't been trying very hard (...but I'm placing 80% of the blame the new coffee shop next to work with the most delicious cakes I've ever eaten) so I'm going to be making an active effort from now on!
6 weeks and 8lbs to go!

I haven't spoken much about my masters course on here, probably because I haven't had the time but it's going well! I'm struggling a little to balance uni, 2 jobs and a life but the life has definitely taken a back seat. There are some aspects of the course that I'm finding really hard but having had 3 years out of this kind of academia, I did expect it.
Everyone in my classes are incredibly intelligent, so sometimes I do feel like the dunce, but they are all so lovely and I can feel myself starting to get the hang of the work and the passion for the subject has certainly come back with full force!
My first essays (12,000 words in total) are in after Christmas so I'll be spending December stuffing my face with mince pies in front of the computer (the diet won't appreciate it but I'll need some fuel!)

Miles is delicious as always and it's his birthday a week on Monday so I'm really excited to give him his pres. After that it's Christmas shopping time and I'm such a festive nut, I'm definitely going to get carried away!

I had planned to do a proper post today but spent most of my day laying down with a migraine, feeling very sorry for myself. It'll come soon though I promise - I'm planning a haul post of my recent eBay purchases (perhaps it might inspire some ideas for christmas presents, it might not, but either way, give it a read!) I know a lot of people do these as videos but since I'm a dweeb on camera, it'll just be text and pictures...
Keep your eyes peeled for that!

Right, this was supposed to be a quick update so sorry for rambling on, though it's no surprise I'm sure!
I'm off to bed to watch Drop Dead Gorgeous (in my top 10 fave films of all time) as I have work tomorrow - I'll be more interesting soon, but until then, here's a picture of me with a lovely cat friend I met in London.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

12 Week Challenge - Week Two

So it's week two and despite really being rubbish this week (pulled pork sandwich at Red's and pizza for tea twice!) I still managed to lose 1.5lbs!

I genuinely thought I would have gained something this week but hell, I'm not complaining!

Heading to London this weekend to see my delicious best pals Lexi and Zoe so I will try my best not to drink my weight in red wine but so far so good...

Week Two:
Weight lost: 1.5lbs
Overall weight lost: 5lbs
Weight still to lose: 9lbs


Thursday, 4 October 2012

12 Week Challenge - Week One

So the first week is over and I tentatively stepped on the scales this morning to weigh in for the first time.

After a disappointing sneaky mid week weight check I was expecting a 1lb loss, max, but I've lost 3.5lbs!

This is after a week including a no holds barred trip to cattle grid for my pal mig's birthday meal (I ate EVERYTHING) and 2 takeaways (though I chose the healthiest options available...) as well as the occasional cookie/chocolate fail so I'm really impressed!

I decided that rather than spend precious money on a gym membership just yet, I was going to try workout videos and was pointed in the direction of - the online tutorials are free (even better) and everyone had good things to say.
I have to admit, as a total beginner, the site was a little confusing to navigate and the first videos I saw were so beyond my ability, but I found a great 30min yoga 'flow' video and have really enjoyed doing that a couple of times this week.
I'm a bit stretchier than I thought and it left me feeling super chilled out so I think I'll be keeping this up!
If anyone has any other yoga tutorial/DVD suggestions let me know!

I'm going to brave some faster paced workout tutorials this week too so I'll let you know how that goes!

Doing WW this week has made me realise just how much I snack. Mainly on biscuits. That's been the biggest change for me - swapping biscuits or toast for fruit (which is 0 points) has probably been the hardest part but it's clearly making a difference!

I'm still yet to find a goal dress so more on that another time...

So at the end of week one:
Weight lost: 3.5lbs
Weight still to lose: 10.5lbs


Thursday, 27 September 2012

12 Week Challenge

Today I rejoined weight watchers.

It was just over a year ago that I stopped tracking my points and trying to lose weight and finally I decided to start again.
I only did weigh watchers for 6 months (if that) and lost nearly 2 stone but I got lazy and figured I could maintain the weight on my own (I have zero willpower when it comes to food and am terrible at exercise so I was very wrong).
Needless to say, the weight slowly crept back and, according to the horrifying chart that has kept my details from last time, I've nearly put all the weight I lost, back on. (Nice one.)

I haven't always struggled with my weight, I'm very tall and that's usually quite handy if you gain a couple of pounds because no one notices. I used to be a lot skinnier (and obviously, being a young girl, thought I was fat) but age and medical issues (that's a whole other story) caused me to gain considerable weight in a very short period of time. I finally decided to get off my sizable behind and do something about it last year and was so impressed with the results.
Old clothes fit me, I felt healthier and, unlike every other diet I've tried, (slimfast I'm looking at you) I wasn't hungry and actually quite enjoyed myself!
Tracking your points with weight watchers is super easy, you can get an app for your phone which helps calculate the points of pretty much everything and because I'm too shy to go to meetings, I can do it all online. It's a healthy, non crash-diet way of losing weight and they give you heaps of advice at every stage of the process.

So, having got up (for the second time) off my derriere, I'm setting myself a challenge.

There are 13 weeks (ish) left of 2012 and I am giving myself 12 of them to lose a stone.
I currently have no plans for New Years Eve, but I am going to find a delicious dress in a smaller size and aim to get into it in time for the countdown.

Being honest with myself, I'm probably not going to go to the gym very often, so this will mainly be down to dieting/general healthier eating, but I didn't go to the gym once last time and lost so much, I have faith!

I've always carried quite a lot of junk in my trunk, to put it nicely, but I don't mind that - it's my belly, arms and chins (plural) that I want to sort out now! Ideally, I'd have tiny legs and the same size bum as I do now, but that's never going to happen (and I don't think I'd balance very well) so a few inches lost from my thunder thighs would be a success.

I have to weigh in every Thursday for weight watchers so am going to attempt to track my weekly progress on here as well - knowing people will see it will push me even more to lose the weight!

I won't be divulging my exact weight because I am a little embarrassed, but I'll post about how much weight I've (hopefully) lost and maybe some progress photos too.
I've taken some 'before' photos but for fear of making people throw up, I'm not going to post them all.
Here is an unflattering, but honest picture of me now. I'm ill and tried to take a picture in something form fitting (so would usually make more of an effort...) but in 12 weeks, I'll take a picture in the exact same outfit and hopefully there will be a difference! I know I'm no Rik Waller but still...

Week 0:

If anyone has any weight loss tips (to do with, or separate from, weight watchers) let me know, and if anyone fancies joining in with a 12 week challenge of their own, it'd be fun to support each other!


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Lovely Bones

I recently bought an amazing bracelet and wanted to share it with you all!

My lovely friend Alice has a brand new little jewellery collection called blackroot and I couldn't resist buying this gorgeous skeleton bracelet:

It's the most adorable brass skelebones on a brown wax cord and is the perfect addition to my (ever growing) collection of skelton/skull/bones jewellery. I've worn it every day since I arrived home from work and found a little package waiting for me and can't think of anything that I could wear that it wouldn't go with! Also, it cost £3. THREE POUNDS. The word bargain doesn't even cover it.

Alice (being lovely and silly) also sent me two more bracelets (which I have taken a rubbish picture of, that doesn't do them any justice whatsoever) - one with a little silver St Mary pendant on a black wax cord, and the other, on black elastic with a six-pointed star - both super cute and so easy to wear.

I do love statement jewellery, like my new skeleton friend, but it doesn't have to be huge and sparkley to get my vote - I love the simplicity of these pieces - they can be worn alone or (if you're me) added to the mix of over accessorising an outfit!

So, follow the link here (hover over 'here') to visit blackroot's online store and buy everything (but leave some for me!)

Here are some more of my favourites -

Delicious huh??

On a side note, it was my induction at university yesterday (no, Barclays haven't sorted my career development loan out yet, but I'm just carrying on in the hope they hurry!) so I'll be posting about that soon.
Very exciting but very intense, a Masters is going to be no easy feat that's for sure!

I have a lot of reading to do in preparation for next week, so better get back to it.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Hard as Nails

For someone trained in make-up, I rarely talk about cosmetics on here. But I've recently got a new nail varnish that is totally worth raving about, so here I go...

Maybelline Forever Strong Pro in 'Extreme Blackcurrant' (number 5) - photo below.

I bought this bottle because I saw it in the bargain bin section at Boots (always on the hunt for cheap things!) and needed a new dark varnish since all of mine (and there are many) have gone AWOL.

The reason I feel this is worthy of a post is that I am really rubbish at painting my right hand (and often my left hand to be honest) and this is, by far, the easiest nail varnish I have ever applied. The brush, and thickness of the nail varnish itself mean that even someone as cack-handed as me can apply it flawlessly in a couple of strokes.
Plus, it's immediately the colour that it shows in the bottle - it only needed two applications before it was perfect and it's so shiny I didn't even need a top coat (good job really since mine spilt everywhere when we moved house) - delicious!

It says that it lasts up to 7 days on the bottle, but I'm a serial nail picker so no nail varnish lasts that long with me. I'm going to try my best this time to see if this will live up to its claim...

I'm yet to try other shades from this range and still have no clue why it was in the bargain bin, but I'm on the look out and will post any updates!

That's all for now, byeee!