Wednesday 25 January 2012

When Size Matters.

Sorry in advance this is going to be a mini rant about the latest issue of my weekly mag!

Yesterday I bought the new issue of Look magazine. I buy it every week because I will be the first to admit I like a bit of scurrilous gossip. I do have a level mind you, I find so many of the weekly  magazines aimed at women dumbed down to the point of insult, I like my gossip but notin a Janet and John format.

On the whole I like Look magazine because it has LOTS of clothes in it and I love looking at clothes. I can't be bothered with the likes of Vogue which in my opinion is pretentious beyond words and right up it's own arse when it comes to clothes and fashion. (this is my personal opinion.)

Article-wise I would say Look has followed the pack and dumbed down over the last few months, which is a great shame.

Fashion-wise they have appeared to be right on the nail, championing proper sizing and using size 14 and 16 models in most of their shoots and on the catwalk of their live show. Brilliant says I except they do seem to have double standards about it and this weeks issue was a casing point.

We have praise for Christina Aguilera  'Long live her gorgeous curves' they cry using the picture below.

We see them raving about the new Ann Summers campaign using the model Lucy Moore who was voted for by the buying public and therefore won the photoshoot. 'Looking Hot!' they crow.

Then we have an article about this season's new trends.

Spring 2012 'Underwear as outerwear' is going to be HUGE this season they say, curves are IN!

Yet they use this shoot of Rosie Huntington Whiteley.

Now Rosie is a beautiful young woman, but curvaceous she ain't! Jesus that top actually has wrinkles on the cups because she has nothing to fill it. Surley there are a million and one other models who could have done justice to underwear as outerwear? 

Rant over.

Monday 23 January 2012

Power Outage + Unexpected Shopping Trip = Overindulgence!

So today was the first dental appointment, I had myself all psyched up to lie back and think of England when 5 minutes before I left the house the phone rang. It was the receptionist at my dental practice saying there was a powercut so they were going to have to cancel my appointment. On the one hand I was relieved, partly because they had caught me before I had headed over there and partly because I was dreading it, but on the other I was 'NOOOOO' because I really just want to get this show on the road and be fixed.
Anyhoo they have bumped all my appointments along and next week gets to be the big first appointment instead.

Which meant here I was with an unexpected afternoon off work. I did briefly toy with jumping on the next train and going back in (I do have over 100 applications waiting to be processed!) but in the end I took a trip into town with a bag full off things for charity. Now part of the reason I had a bag for charity is because yesterday I finally bit the bullet and tackled the hideous mountain of shoeage that was in the hallway. It was getting to the point where you could hardly open the door..... Lucky for you I didn't take a before picture, but I am happy to show an after.    
                                                       behold my tidy hallway!
Note middle shelf is for Himself. Top, bottom and floor are mine! These are of course my 'downstairs' shoes, there are also 'upstairs' shoes currently located in 4 different places!?!

*oh the shame*

On that note, Saturday I also blitzed the bathroom from top to bottom. I have finally found another shower curtain I like enough to replace my gorgeous elephant one which really is past it.
            Ok yes it's also got elephants on it too but really did you expect any less from me??

Anyway I dropped my bag off stuff at the Shaw Trust shop, went to Wilkinson's for some bird food and headed home via every charity shop in town! Oh yes.The plan was for a charity shop overload.

Now I have read on various other blogs how this is THE time to charity/thrift shop because the world and his dog has spring cleaned and filled the shops to bursting with their unwanted goodies.

Clearly this is not the case in my town! In fact if anything a couple of the shops were horribly empty looking, the Shaw Trust being one of them. The lady behind the till nearly had my arm off at the elbow when I offered her my bag of things.
I browsed and browsed and came away with one green headscarf and that was it. Bah.
                                                         Is that it? Really?

No you may be thinking hang on one minute here, a 50p headscarf is hardly overindulgence and you would be right.

For in the sales I did buy myself this.....
Now there is a story here. I do in fact already own a rather splendid sewing machine. It belonged to one of my Mum's friends who like my mother is a qualified seamstress. She was heading to Canada and couldn't take her machine with her due to voltage differences so sold it to me for £50. It was an incredible and generous bargain as it was a VERY expensive all singing, all dancing, sew your frock and make your dinner at the same time kind of machine and far, far more than I would ever need when it came to a sewing machine. At the time we were renting another house and there was nowhere for me to have 'the wonderous machine' set up so I left it at my parents house. As it so happened my mother's own machine died about 18 months later, she asked if she could use mine until she got a new one and so 'the wonderous machine' was lost to me forever, cos once my mother got her mitts on it there was no way I was getting it back!!

In all honesty it doesn't bother me because as I say my mother is a seamstress by trade and she can do so much more with it than I ever could, or would. She uses it in the way it deserves to be used (also she is happy to do all my complicated sewing jobs on it!)
So when my friend spotted an amazing half price deal for the machine above I decided to go for it too. It has had great reviews as a beginners sewing machine which is all I want really. Now I just have to see if I can actually remeber how to use one..

Finally I finish unashamedly with yet another new frock. It spoke to my rock chick self and it was in the sales.

*goes off whistling*

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Oh I do Love the Bracing British Seaside.

This weekend Himself and I sallied forth to Margate to visit his parents, fix his Mum's computer and for me to catch up with my sister as she didn't get to visit over Christmas.
By heck it was freaking COLD. It was sunny, but the wind off the sea was positively arctic. I have to say the traditional health giving qualities they ascribe to 'bracing sea air' must be true because my cold has most definitely gone and I feel tip top, especially now I am toasty snug and warm back home in my house!

As ever we spent the weekend dashing around fitting in visiting everyone. Saturday morning we were up early (no lie-in sob sob). I headed out to see my sister and my dear friend Kay and Himself set off in search of a new pair of trainers, before some freelance work for his old boss and fixing his ma's computer.
I think I had the best plans for the day don't you?
 We took a brisk walk into Margate across the park where even the poor birds were shivering in the trees.
I know some people think they are almost like vermin but I love the fact there are little green parakeets in the parks around Thanet. It never ceases to bring a big smile to my face when I see them.
This was just too bizarre however.....
                                        yes that IS santa handcuffed to the railings!

Anyways I had a lovely catch up with my sis over tea and cake. Kay arrived and we had more tea, more cake and more gossip. Another friend Elka called in and we decided to walk to a nearby garden centre. We had a blissful afternoon browsing and ended up in the cafe drinking yet more tea and eating yet more cake!

Diet what diet?

They had a whole load of left over christmas decorations among which were these Elton-tastic glasses.

Well you have to try these things on don't you? Except me, I stayed strictly behind the lens! I did buy a couple of cute decorations for my tree. Now I just have to find somewhere safe to put them until December.....somewhere where I will still remember they are by December.....oh

Saturday night we had dinner with Himself's parents. His Mum was brilliant and changed the planned roast dinner with all the trimmings to mince and dumplings with boiled potatoes so I could eat it safely, bl;ess her heart.  Having spent £5000 on her own teeth last year she was very sympathetic.
We then did serious damage to a winebox whilst battling over the Scrabble board.

Sunday we had a lovely lie-in and then headed off for a stroll along the sea front and a leisurely breakfast. Breakfast was heaven but dear lord I thought I would die of cold getting to it!

 On top of that we walked through the old market place which is all wonderful junk shops, quirky galleries and vintage clothes stores. My idea of heaven and Himself's idea of hell.
He marched me purposfully past it all, intent on breakfast. All I could do was gaze wistfully in the windows as I was hustled by :-(  
Next time when it is warmer I shall tell him to bugger off somewhere else and I shall have a blissful browse!

Other than that we went to see The Iron Lady. I can't say I enjoyed it exactly, but I will say Meryl Streep was just mesmerizing and thoroughly deserves her award nominations.
I think I must have been subliminally influenced because I found myself buying this bargainous and rather Maggiesque frock, which I can't wait to wear when it's a tad warmer!

  It has chiffon sleeves and a pussybow neckline. I might take a better picture this weekend possibly even with me in it, bet you can't wait?

Friday 13 January 2012

An Advert Too Far.

 I have recently found my Hotmail email account has started to show adverts down the right hand side, and no matter how many times I click on ‘hide ads’ they keep on reappearing every time I do anything at all, let alone log in and out. Unlike the constant but small adverts of Facepage which on the whole I can blank out, these are huge and invasive and VERY annoying. As I can’t avoid them I am now being driven mad by the content of some of them.

Firstly we have the clever ‘British Mom’ who, for a start as she is from the U.K. would be a ‘Mum’ not a ‘Mom’, and has a marvellous ‘wrinkle solution’. Apparently not only do ‘Dermatologists hate her’  but the ‘Botox Doctors are furious!’
  All because she has a £3/£1 (depending on advert) ‘Surprising/Simple/Weird Old’ tip (depending on advert)  to make her look 35 when she is actually 57/55 (depending on advert). I have to say nothing so far has enticed me to click on the link, especially not the very obviously doctored before and after photos.
 I did give it some thought however and wondered why she was British, I like the fact she is clever but why British? I wonder is it because if I click on the link it will turn out that smearing shepherd’s pie on your cheeks twice a day is the secret tip. It would be simple to do, it’s certainly surprising and it’s most definitely weird! It is also a traditional British dish and therefore who better to ‘discover’ and promote it than a clever British person? On top of that if you can't find a celebrity who else out of all the British stereotypes is better than that doyenne of domesticity, the harassed yet apparently wrinkly British mum?

Did you see those amazing photos? One minute she was giving a prune a run for its money, the next there she is, with glowing peachy skin as smooth as a baby’s whatnot and all because of a little shepherd’s pie. Her husband can’t get over the change nor can he get over the smell but every dog in her home town worships and adores her. So they all lived happily ever after, so happily in fact that she has decided to generously share her secret with us all! (much to the chagrin of skincare specialists everywhere.)
                                                           Mmm Shepherd's pie!

The second lot of ads I shall discuss here are the ones that have had me positively ranting (just ask Himself!) They are mostly to be found on Facebook and have been around for a while. At the moment they sport a plethora of different pictures of the current nation’s sweetheart Cheryl Cole. 

Now clearly someone has done a little research, and when I say a little, I mean a little. 

They have done enough to know that Cheryl is the current nation’s sweetheart but clearly not enough to actually bother looking at any pictures of her. For let’s face it, if they have they would realise that for someone as tiny as Cheryl to lose ‘3 stone/2 stone/16lbs’ (depending on advert) of ‘Belly Fat’ (don’t get me started on the term belly fat!!!???!) with this one ‘Weird/Simple/Strange’ (depending on advert) tip then she would probably be dead! I mean does Cheryl even weigh 3 stone? If anything someone should be giving her a tip on how to put some fat on!
                      my personal favourite of the pictures of Cheryl they are using on their ads.

I know the logic behind these adverts. I mean if I knew I could go on stuffing my face and lounging on my fat arse and still lose stones by eating a grapefruit whilst standing on my head at 5.36pm on a Tuesday, I’d be down the shops buying grapefruits faster than Usain Bolt. I know the only way I am going to shift the extra pounds is by eating less, eating healthier and exercising more, but we all want an easy option, of course we do. The sad thing is if they had been a bit more clever with the advert they might get a lot more hits, even a cynic like me might have thought ‘Hmmm I just wonder.....’   
especially if they had refrained from talking of Belly Fat and Cheryl Cole, the two have certainly never met in this lifetime.

Himself reckons the only possible option for ‘one’ tip that gives massive weight loss is liposuction. I wonder though...... Shepherd’s pie anyone?

*edited to add, just checked out one of the adverts it's not liposuction it's colonic irrigation - NICE!*

Sunday 8 January 2012

Dresses, Accessories and more Dresses.

Hello all, I don't know about you but, I've been back at work less than a week and it already feels like longer! Having said that on the whole I am feeling pretty chipper. This despite the being back at work and catching a horrible cold from somewhere, no idea where, but it scuppered my plans to go out with friends on Friday night because I just felt too rough, bah.

I had a session with my Alexander Technique teacher on Wednesday that went really well. Until she told me all about her very similar tooth drama around Christmas time. She is definitely having to have an implant and it's costing her just over £2000, two freaking grand for one tooth!?! madness! and there I was about to find out what was going to happen with my tooth the next day.......

May the heavens be praised it is not as bad as was feared. I am just SO relieved I can't tell you.
It seems I have good gums! (who would have thought it? lol) so there is still a decent sized piece of tooth beneath the gumline apparently. On top of that the x-ray shows that the tooth actually has a full length root after all which wasn't expected. In a nutshell this means my dentist will be able to drill a post into the root and attach a crown. A much easier, much smaller, much cheaper job AND my insurance will cover it. HUZZAH!
Of course it will mean 4 lots of treatment, which I won't lie, I am absolutely dreading, but by the end of  February I will be fixed. :-)

Anyway you must be wondering about the dresses from the title. I spent my Christmas money plus a bit extra on the following four frocks. First up two Pearl Lowe dresses that were in the pre-christmas sale. I do love her dresses and they fit me well.

I loved the little stars on the second dress, it is actually a longer length dress and for once actually doesn't end at a stupid place on me because I am tall!

The next dress is by Red Herring, again I know their dresses fit me well and the cut is very flattering, I know it doesn't look it on this hanger but trust me it is, mind I have already started changing the sleeves! I didn't like the gathered effect very much.
Finally a glorious gold frock. I don't usually go for things as loud as this but somehow I couldn't resist it. :-)
I also got a few other little bits.....
I'm determined to be more experimental with my tights this year, usually it's black all the way for me but I got a few coloured ones in the sales so we shall see.
Finally I went to Superdrug and bought some MUA £1 lipsticks based on recommendations read on Twitter and in a couple of other blogs. The rest was from using the Boots points I had been saving up since last Christmas all reduced sales items. The best of which was the Liberty's vanity case.
My new Liberty's Hello Kitty vanity case. Shamefully I have more than enough make up to fill it too!

Finally this was my naughty December purchase. I can't believe I have forgotten to post a picture before now!!
I wasn't meant to be buying ANYTHING for myself but I spotted this on Etsy at a too good to be true price and had to buy it.

*edited to add* I forgot to say for the people who asked. The Scottie Dog jumper came from New Look.  

Sunday 1 January 2012

1st January 2012.

As my friend Gillian so succinctly put it on Facepage:

'Goodbye 2011. I won't miss you. You shithead.'

2011 has been a heck of a year and I'm very happy to see the back of it. Of course there were some great times among the bad, but on the whole it has been a tough and stressful year.Partly why New Years Eve night was spent quietly at home watching Poirot, (then the Hootenanny with Jools), drinking a little too much wine (which lead to me cooking chips at 10pm!) before heading off to bed a tad worse for wear in the wee small hours.
Today I am drinking tea, watching the rain and debating whether I have the strength to start taking down the decorations. I never see the point of keeping them up once I am back at work, so rarely leave it until the traditional twelfth night.

Having sunk into a bit of a misery this last week I am determined to start 2012 as I mean to go on. No more moping for me!
Yesterday we took ourselves off to Bath for the day, to have a change of scene if nothing else and of course browse the sales. I didn't go wild but I did buy a few lovely bits, which if nothing else it means I shall finally throw out the knackered old brassieres that I keep on wearing and sally forth into the new year fully upholstered in the lovely new ones I bought in the Marks sale!! Oh yes!

So resolutions/plans for 2012? Well I shall try to continue with reigning in the spending habits. I now realise last year's 'No Shopping' was far too ambitious for a self confessed shopaholic and will carry on trying to strike a balance between need and reckless spending.

I am determined to shift all the extra weight I added to my waistline last year and hopefully a bit more besides.

I want to keep on going to see exhibitions that catch my fancy. I am proud of me for taking myself off to various things alone rather than moaning about missing them because noone would go with me.I had some great adventures.

I am absolutely determined that after finally getting Himself to go on a holiday last year we shall do something this year as well! I know it's a long way off but I fancy Edinburgh in December. I have already made noises about it to Himself so we shall see......

I promise to finish projects and not keep leaving things half finished, or worse not even started whilst I get distracted by other things or far more shamefully by nothing at all.Coming home from work and slumping in front of the t.v until bed time has got to stop.

Of course number one priority on the list of plans is to get my poor tooth, or what is left of it, sorted. Not looking forward to that one obviously but needs must etc.

Anyway I must stop slothing here in my dressing gown doing precisely none of the above!! Onwards and upwards etc.

Here's to 2012.