Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The night before

Tonight is my last night of complete freedom of choice. Well, not really because I will always be free to step away from this project, but luckily I’m stubborn so I want to see it through. Especially as I have been having a fat week and the pictures within the covers of Marie Claire seem more seductive than ever.

I’ve posted up my first picture - the beginning. For the record, it’s not the best representation of my current fashion sense as I was on my way to rock climbing with Lodger.

Rock climbing is another way my late 20’s episode is manifesting itself. Bear Grylls came to my work to talk to us not so long ago. I think his aim was to motivate us, the sort of “You can do anything if you try hard enough!” type of motivation. I’m not sure his aim was to motivate a clearly slightly neurotic 28 year old to start rock climbing, get a new tattoo - and devote a year of their life trying to find out the truth from the waffle in a leading glossy magazine.

So to start – my vital statistics
Weight: 10 stone 5.25 pounds (the heaviest I’ve been)
Waist: 30”
Hips: 39”
Chest: 34”
Upper arm: 12”
BMI: 22.37

I’ve also taken some pictures of all the things I’ve had to collect for the July list. Along with my feet and hands as a manicure and regular pedicures are part of this month. As my head is safely far away from my feet, I tend to skip around blissfully unaware that they are absolutely skanky. The macro on the camera has picked up details that until tonight I didn’t know existed. So hopefully they will look nicer come August.

So here we go. As from 7 am tomorrow I will be embarking on the first month of my life according to Marie Claire magazine. I hope you enjoy reading about it, because now all the fun shopping is over – it looks bloody awful!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Hippo Girl

It’s beautiful outside today, the sun is beating down in Manchester and the whole of Spinningfield’s workforce seems to have gathered around the giant screen, drinking beer and watching Wimbledon on their lunch hour.

But there is a downside to this lovely weather. It’s raining in Glasto (Poor Scouse), Michael Jackson has abruptly corked it (Poor nutty fans) and I’m having a mega mega fat day (Poor F”%king me!) .

This morning I put on a little summer dress that I bought last year and haven’t worn for ages. Walking past the glass buildings in Spinningfields at lunch, the memories of why reflected back and kicked me in the face. I look like a well dressed hippo. I have what Scouse calls “Turbo arm” and canckles.

I thought that I looked nice when I left the house, but what I always forget is that the false pose I hold in front of the mirror at home, is a far cry from my none concentrating, actually me that every one else sees reflection.

When I’m tramping through town in flats I can’t walk in, neck stuck out in the direction of the mission I’m on, the reality is a lot different to being stood up straight with my funny mirror pouty face. For years I was under the false impression that this was the reality. It’s only as I’ve got older that I’ve realised I don’t float around as an image of demure composure, more stomp about scowling throwing in the occasional trip up a curb for good measure.

Feeling like I do today is when I usually turn to glossys for the “answer”, resolve that I am going to completely overhaul my life, not do it, then feel crap. So I’ve found myself really looking forward to July today. Because this time, not only have I made the decision, I’ve done it publically and will look like a prize turd if I don’t carry it out.

I’ve now got everything I need apart from a bold towel and beaded bangle. Both of which I will buy on the net today. Lodger and Blondie have agreed to help me with the interval training, Scouse is spending some quality time with me being violated with a hose, I’ve booked my Laser treatment and hocus pocus food intolerance test with George and died my feet orange in my practice tanning. Oh, and I practiced eating celery today, and still firmly believe it should be reclassified from a vegetable to a toxic substance.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Fake Tan-trum

The world can let out a sigh of relief; the angry lady has left and has been replaced by a slightly overheated, clumsy, bloated one. Lunch time today was really muggy, and although I was already hot even before the weather decided to turn it up a notch, I couldn't take off my jacket. My stomach has been popping out from under my T shirt all day and winking at people in the office, it normally fits OK but there is no room for error. This mild flashing at my colleagues spurred me to Investigate the American Apparel T shirt on my lunch hour that was recommended by The Stylist..

On the way into town I passed Barnardos, remembering Kenco's promotion had instructed me to rummage around in a charity shop, so I thought I'd pop in and do just that. Straight away I noticed a big green and white patterned bag. One of the things on the July list is hang out with my slouchy bag this summer, but I have been struggling with the definition of slouchy. I couldn't work out the line a bag had to cross from being just a bit saggy to the realms of full on slouchy. It had been bugging me and the picture in the magazine was of a brown leather number that wouldn't fit into my budget.

This bag was definitely slouchy, it's like a sack and at £2.99 it fulfilled 3 points on my list.
A. Slouchy
B. Was from a charity shop
C. Would definitely not impact on my family financially.

I didn't have any cash though, and you had to spend over £5 to use your card. So I went off to American apparel to look at T shirts with the intention of going to the cash point on the way back.

American Apparel is a shop I would normally avoid at all costs. The window display scares me. All-in-one multi coloured Spandex numbers stretch over manikins, that, when I pass them, shout I am neither trendy or thin enough to carry off their clothes. It's like Gap on acid. Luckily I had been in once before with my cousin, Evil Jody's Brother who is the coolest member of our family. (He earns this accolade as he is in a band full time, has an afro and his girlfriend has piercings in unfathomable places). So I'd gotten over the fear with someone that was already familiar with the terrain.

As soon as I walked in a very helpful shop assistant skulked over and asked if I needed "any help, man?" I realised that I paused a bit too long to answer because I was staring at what she was wearing. It was an all-in-one lycra catsuit vest, over which she had draped a see through eclectic blue T shirt dress… thing. I was in awe of her, I wanted to know how you wake up in the morning and think…

"Today, I have the confidence to wear an all in one cat suit, over which I will drape and see through electric blue t-shirt thing - And not only will I wear it to WORK - all that layeth their eyes upon me, will automatically think I am cool".

I mumbled something about a multitasking T shirt and she lead me down stairs. Before I embarked up on this T shirt mission, I though there were 2 types of T-shirts. Big bloke ones, and tighter smaller lady ones. She took me through colours, material types and neck lines. I finally settled for trying on a "tri-band" grey medium unisex T. I always thought Tri Band was something to do with mobile phones. Clearly I had been missing something!

I didn't expect much in the changing room, it was after all, just a bloke style T shirt. But when I put it on - I loved it. There was a difference in the material, and it did hang better - once I rolled up the sleeves I knew that even though this was a unisex T shirt, there was no way on earth I was going to share it with Husband. So I bought it there and then - Happy cotton (and polyester) anniversary me!

On the way back I popped into Debenhams to have a look at the sale. In the Warehouse concession, I spotted something familiar. It was the slouchy bag I'd seen in Barnardos, exactly the same design, but with a different pattern. It was on sale for £8, but I much preferred the pattern on the one in the charity shop. I rushed back, forgetting to pick up some cash on the way. But luckily when I walked back in the shop, I found a leopard print scarf for £2.50 that would look wicked with the Socks and Shoes fashion story.

You would think that today would be a great day ( I confirmed and booked the colonic today and subscribed to Marie Claire too) apart from one very disturbing discovery. I have been trying out my fake tan ready for my (UK- so no natural tan) holiday. I went on Caio.com to read some reviews about it yesterday; I thought I could pick up some tips from people that had already used it.

There were a fair few results where the girls were moaning that they had accidentally faked tanned the soles of their feet. "Knobs!" was my first smug reaction, assuming it was because they had lifted the soles of their feet when spraying the back of their legs. Just to make sure though, I checked the soles of my feet this morning and what did I find??? I AM A KNOB TOO PEOPLE! CHECK THE BLOODY PHOTO! And if you are reading this and laughing Lodger, I would check the soles of your feet first - I think I've accidentally coated the bathroom floor in a fine booby trap film of fake tan. I'm going to be so crap at this I can see it now. I f I don't turn out like Gisele, I'll definitely achieve Pat Butcher.

Monday, 22 June 2009

PMT and Hot Pink Lipstick

My PMT has kicked in full force today. I’m angry lady. An angry, swollen, sore, irrational lady. It started this morning when I woke up. I hurt, so much so that I thought moving may render me paralysed. Yesterday I went horse riding for an hour and the lesson was pretty intensive. In my rush to get to the lesson on time I neglected to put on a bra under my t shirt and hoodie. After half an hour, I was afraid I might be able to tuck my boobs into the syrups when I’d finished.

After horse riding, Husband and I decided that we would cycle over to my Aunties where we had gathered various fathers in the family to celebrate fathers day ( Guitar hero and lots of food – brilliant afternoon) and then cycle back.

This has resulted in how I feel now. Every muscle from my neck to my calves ache. If that’s how I feel after exercise I’m used to, I’m dreading the interval training even more now.

After I had managed to slide out of bed and manoeuvre into my clothes, Lodger and I picked up Blondie on our way to work. Blondie is a morning person, normally something I am grateful for as it wakes me up and puts me in a good mood for the day. I’ve not seen her for a week as she has been on holiday, and although I have missed her, lots, I still managed to be a bit of snarley cow of which I later had to apologise for. (Blondie has also agreed to do the interval training with me – she’s always up for that sort of torture, hence why she has an enviable figure and enjoys her food more than anyone I know)

After growling at her, I then turned my snarl to work. Work, which was quite frankly getting in my way of sitting at home, under a blanket eating cheese and chocolate, hating the world and feeling sorry for myself. Luckily I work with some very lovely people so I got through the day without throwing my computer or phone out of the window.

At lunch I decided to go to MAC to get the bright pink lipstick that is part of the mini makeup kit that Marie Claire says I should be taking on holiday. I had 6 empty MAC cases at home that has taken me 2 years to collect, which MAC will exchange for 1 Lipstick as part of their recycling policy.

Being slightly colour blind doesn’t help when choosing makeup, so I asked the girl on the counter to just give me the brightest pink lipstick they did. It’s called “Girl About Town” which I took to be a bit of a tenuous nod to the future of this project. I was very please but also very unsure if I could carry it off.

When I got home Husband could tell I was having an attack of the Hormones. He tucked me up on the couch, gave me a cuddle then went to get me a Chinese. I put my bright pink lipstick on for when he got back to see his reaction.

Husband: Hahahaha
Me: What?
Husband: What’s that Lipstick?
Me: Do you like it?
Husband: Errr
Me: Well?
Husband: It makes your look different!
Me: Do I look like an Idiot?
Husband: Er no, It looks er cool – you just have these big bright lips on your head.

Hmm – I’ll post up some pictures when I’m on holiday and you will be able to see for yourself. I think it may be verging on drag queen chic. In the meantime I have kissed it all off over Husbands forehead as punishment for not just lying and saying it looks great. He’s currently in the kitchen speaking to Lodger completley unaware he looks like he’s been attacked by a hussy.

Flicking through the Marie Claire, I’ve noticed I’d missed some Top Eco Tips from a Kenco promotion.

These are:
Buy locally grown, seasonal produce whenever possible.
On Sunday I’m off to the Farmers Market to get my Husbands Meat for the month and some veggies and pesto

Go to the local charity shop and check out for designer bargains.
I’ll have a rummage for that beaded bangle in Oxfam in town on Wednesday.

Search out Organic or Eco friendly cosmetic brands.
Well after recycling 6 of my old MAC cases for a brand new lippy – consider that done!

Advertise unwanted white goods on Freecycle
The old telly will be going on there this week

Turn your daily ritual of a relaxing coffee break into a positive action for the environment.
What do Kenco want me to do? Plant a bloody tree every time I brew up? I’ve just run out of coffee at work, so I’ll buy some rainforest Alliance Kenco. I’ll concede that the purchase of their coffee brand is in fact the positive action of which they speak.

Right I’m off to try and placate the hormones by making something to eat that includes Nutella and stodge.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Advice from the Stylist

Its 2:30 on Saturday and I’m feeling dirty on the inside. Last night was my work mate’s (Milnoids) 30th and today all I’ve managed to do so far is move from the bed to the couch. I’m sat watching Britain’s next top model, yet to shower, brush my hair and teeth and put some clothes other than sweat pants and hoodie on. My cat just bit me, I’m sure it’s because I smell like a Gregs meat pasty.

On Thursday I signed up for the Marie Claire How to get published seminar, and as I pressed “Confirm” for the tickets, realised I’d be THAT person. That person that turns up to a swanky evening on their own, positioning themselves strategically next to the door where the staff are walking through with the trays of food and booze because they have no one to talk too. *groan* I’ll post an entry about how it goes after the event.

Thursday evening the Stylist came round. The Stylist is my ultimate partner in crime from our mischievous youth. When she moved to the big smoke and became the stylist for a famous pop star, I knew I would miss her massively – but what I didn’t realise until she had gone, was how much I relied on her as inspiration for not looking like a frumpy 9 – 5er.

Now she is back, it’s highlighted more than ever that for the past 4 years I’ve only really bought clothes that do for home and work, and that expressing who I am through my sense of style is all but a distant memory!

I showed her the blog and she seemed enthusiastic about the project. She also, like me recognised the outcome may not be as cut and dry as: this is A) an improvement on my life or B) A pile of old drivel designed to sell products and make women feel inadequate.

I quizzed her about the 2 fashion issues that have been bothering me the most.

Firstly the expensive T shirt article. Marie Claire has advised I buy the best quality T within my budget; listing T shirts from all over the fashion planes costing anything from £45 – a none descript Gucci number for £115!

The idea of spending more the £20 on a T-shirt (or any fashion item for that matter) seems ludicrous to me. Spending nearly £100 on a t-shirt then – I just wouldn’t know where to start! After showing her the article she told me she rates the T-shirts from American Apparel highly by means of quality for the money. I could almost hear my wallet exhale in relief to this!

What is even better is that they are unisex, some clever rolling of the sleeves takes them form man shirt to lady shirt (According to the pictures on the website) and so Husband can wear this too. A multi tasking T shirt, I love it! Finally, it’s our second wedding anniversary on the 14th of July, which is none other than cotton. Bonus! I managed to croak out this morning in bed, that I would like nothing more for my anniversary pressie than a grey unisex American Apparel T- shirt. To which Husband kindly agreed. Job Done.

The second issue was the men’s socks and shoes thing. I keep thinking about this. I’m starting to wind myself up about it because the whole idea just terrifies me. Maybe more so than the colonic! In Marie Claire’ words “Do team your boots or shoes with men’s socks to create a modern look.” The model in the picture looks great, and maybe striding down the streets of New York or London, men’s socks bulging out of your footwear is a completely acceptable concept. However I have visions of stepping out of my door into the streets of Stockport only to be chastised by someone in a tracksuit tucked into Ugg boots for my blatant fashion faux par.

The Stylist suggested buying flesh coloured socks, then maybe no one would notice. She is a genius, I love her. But I haven’t decided if this is cheating or not.

In term time, the Stylist teaches at university, by a small twist of fate – she teaches Evil J’s friend who welded herself to my couch for 15 hours last Sunday. The Mad Head was snapped for a competition at graduate fashion week (she won) and the scarf she wore really caught my eye. It’s a union jack flag from River Island and would be perfect for both the nautical fashion story and the Girl about town socks and shoes nightmare.

Yesterday was pay day – woohoo! So I withdrew my monthly spends and hit the shops. This something I rarely do, and when I do, do it with a large amount of guilt. My fear of financial trouble is so strong that new clothes are low on the priorities, purchases are usually sporadic and impulsive or absolutely necessary. Resulting in a fairly dull wardrobe that doesn’t make me feel great when I’m walking out of the door.

I felt a bit liberated marching into town, specifically going to go and buy something. I did my usual however, of popping into a few other shops to make sure I was making the correct decision! I bought the scarf, and as I was wearing a blue striped vest and blazer, popped it on for the afternoon. The emotional association I have with clothes has long been confused and slightly negative. I would never in a million years thought of spending my hard earned cash on something as useless as a scarf in summer. But how can something be useless if it makes you feel a little more confident and you walk a bit taller. It sounds so fickle, but if you feel like you look drab, you walk around feeling drab? I’m starting to get something I have been missing here.

I also found a giant clutch in the sale in Warehouse, which is also part of the Girl About Town fashion story. Again – a giant clutch is something I would have never considered in a million years prior to starting this blog. But after using it last night for Milnoid’s 30th – found it the most useful thing ever. It manages to say “I’m making an effort with my bag people!” whilst hiding the fact you are carrying 2 decks of 20 cigs, a lighter, keys, a phone, by big purse, lippy, and if I really tried, I think I could have got Steve my guinea pig in there too. Practical fashion – this is something I have been missing out on. I associate practical with dowdy, and fashion with stupid and uncomfortable. The fact that the 2 can coexist is a revelation and can definitely sit in the epiphany box.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Does this inspire you? NOT REALLY!

Yesterday my big boss from London came to see us, so on Sunday night I conceded that I would make an effort for work. However, on trying to ply my eyes open on Monday morning - this all seemed to fly out of the window. I was so tired that the most effort I could manage, was putting on a dress (only because it didn't need ironing), scraping my hair (which blatantly needed a wash) back into a bun and putting on a bit of makeup. I looked dead, I felt pretty dead too for most of the day.

When I caught my reflection in the mirror midmorning, I looked tired, uncoordinated and my spots had broken through the shroud of cover up on my face and were waving at everyone shouting "look at meeee, I'm Mrs T's acne 10 years after I was supposed to arrive!!!"

I vowed then, that the least I would do when I got in was ask Lodger to help me fake tan. But by the time I had got home, cleaned the crack den of living room post Evil Jody et all veging out on Sunday, and cleaned out Kenneth and Steve my Guinea pigs, I just wanted to collapse.

I managed to make myself fish fingers and a tin of sweetcorn for dinner, and the cats some fish fingers as we had run out of cat food. Then plonked myself on the sofa to plan a calendar for my July list. Remembering what a client had said to me a few weeks ago, I decided to see if I could find any of the albums that July Marie Claire recommends on Spotify. I am truly now down wid da Kidz.

So the first Album I found was Chairlift - Does this Inspire you. The verdict - yes, it does inspire me.. to punch someone in the face! The first track was the sort of lyrically twee bilge you would expect to hear on a T mobile advert. Some bird twittering on about Strawberry's and buttercups and sponge cake and handstands or whatever. My ears were offended so they tried to block it out. I'm quickly offended by the inoffensive, folk pop with lyrics that try so hard to be quaint. I bet Radio 2 is already knocking down their door trying invite the band over for tea and biscuits. Duffy invokes a very similar reaction in me but involving slightly more stomach acid.

As the album progressed, it tickled my gag reflex a bit less, the music on it's own could have been verging on Ok in parts, but both the male and female singer's voice were too insipid. They made me want to go outside and eat some dirt to balance out the taste their warblings left in my mouth.

The second album was Little Boots - Hands. I can't work out if this album is genuinely really good, or it just seemed that way because I'd just sat through the Chairlift album. Anyhow, it was definitely less offensive to the ears. It had a bit of edge and although completely unmemorable as I couldn't tell you about a single track on there now - I do remember thinking it wasn't bad. Poppy, up-beat and not full of lyrics that would appeal to your mother and trick her into thinking she like "cool youth" music.

So that was 2 albums down off the list, listened to completely for free. I'm kind of enjoying seeing how much of this advice I can follow on a budget as it would be easy to get carried away with the spending.

Today has been very productive. On my lunch I went to the nearest Chanel counter to pick up my free mascara. When I went into the store, there was a massive sale on so I thought I would go and have a gander at some of the clothes to get an idea on what to buy for July.

One of the fashion stories is all about hues, colours that really don't compliment my blue grey skin tone, but the advice on the page was that they should be worn with fake tan. Nestled in the rails of the Kookai concession was a fine Knit top in a blush colour for £10. Unfortunately, due to being built of wood, I don't have the dexterity to get round the back of my dress and unzip it. The last time I attempted to get out of this dress alone, I was drunk in a hotel room and trying to eat a fillet of fish at the same time. It was one of my lower moments, but after 30 minutes of a Houdini like struggle I managed to wrestle out of it. I don't have that sort of time on my lunch break, so decided to buy the top and take it back if it doesn't fit. (Bloody Kookai and their obscure sizing scale)

Then with a few minutes to spare before my lunch was over, I booked in some laser treatment and a food intolerance test which, reading up on it looks like hocus pocus, but it's free at a local health clinic so I'll report back on that after the event.

I also did a bit more research into this interval training. It looks pretty nasty (In the context that my exercise levels are currently 0 and this would mean some form of physical effort). Lodger may be up for this, and maybe my friend Blondie - she's a doer, she tends to be up for any form of physical torture because where I am made of wood, she is largely made up of Wheatabix and finds it all a. easy and B. enjoyable (Freak). Apparently I have to have a base fitness level before I even begin to endure this http://www.losebellyfatworkout.com/ - But check out the fat guy on the home page and what he became after 8 weeks of interval training. Not only did he lose weight, he became a fit man and a fit WOMAN. Wow.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

And so it starts

The last few days have been eventful to say the least.
On Friday I called Scouse, explaining that I have suitably lost the plot thinking far too much about what I can’t change in 18 months time. My 30th – the BIG 3.0, the age where I look back on my 20s and either decide whether or not I made the most of that particular chunk of my life. (This was no surprise to Scouse, our brains work in extremely similar ways.)

On mentioning that by planning to live my life solely via the advice given by Marie Claire, to see if this will bring my life inline with the perfect ideas within it’s pages she was not phased. This then turned to delight when I mentioned that one of the first things I had to do in July was go for a colonic and if she came I could get a deal on 2. In her own wonderful Scouse dialect, she though this was “Boss!”

On Friday, my cousin, “Evil Jody”, (nicknamed so by my friends as we are very similar, but she’s just that little bit darker) came round to watch a film and eat copious amounts of cheap pizza with me. I spent the first half of the film entering all the competitions on the Marie Claire website to ensure I didn’t miss the closing dates. So that is one job out of the way.

The morning after Husband and I needed to go into Manchester to pick up our new mountain bikes. While we were in town I figured I’d pick up some of the stuff on the July list. I went to Boots and managed to get the Garnier Body scrub half price, so this brightened my day. Along with this I bought the foot buffer, foot soak, body oil and some spray Tan in a can.. Using my Boots points to pay off some of the bill the whole lot came to £22 which was a nice surprise.

Husband was Djing Saturday night, and as I’ve embarked on a major junk food binge pending the colonic and green soup diet, I was feeling a bit swollen all over. So I thought I’d use some of these lovely products to help myself feel better. I got as far as the scrub then ran out of time (or got board), but it illustrated that this whole looking amazing lark is going to take a lot of time and effort. I think I need to devise a daily list so I can tick things off.

The night out was great, and I was chatted up by a teenager, who’s opening line was a slurred “I’d like to drag you around by your plats” . Apparently this is as smooth as the kids get these days. But although there was slightly more effort than normal in my appearance by means of a bit of exfoliation, I didn’t stalk into the club gazelle like, smelling and looking glorious. In fact, I spent the first half of the night paranoid that one of the cats had pissed on my dress, then the second half of the night pissed, randomly asking my friends if I smelled of cat piss. This, I have now realised, would never increase my attractiveness. I wonder if there is a formula equating the depreciating level of attractiveness to the increase in alcohol consumption?

A few of us came back to my house to chill after the club, and at 5am we called it a night and went to sleep. At 8 this morning I started to stir, hearing shouting and punching sounds, confused not realising where they were coming from. As my brain engaged, I realised these sounds were coming from my front garden. I leapt out of bed, pulled on a hoody and flung open the curtains. Standing in my garden was a young lad.

“GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY GARDEN” was all I could shout in my slightly bewildered state,. The poor guy looked up and told me that he’d been jumped by a gang of lads who had caught up with him in my Garden as he’d tried to leg it. He was my next door but one neighbour.

I ran down stairs, wild perm everywhere (the perm and how it came about is a whole new blog, one that will hopefully warn others off EVER making spontaneous decisions in a hair salon and completely ignoring ones hair dresser when she consistently chants “you’ll hate this” with each roller) , zits having a little party on my forehead, hoodie and Husbands jeans. My eyes were black from where I’d not got my makeup off properly and my breath could kill an elephant at 1000 paces.

When I got to the front door, a few more neighbours had congregated outside. This was the first time I had met them all, this was my first impression. I tried to get the guy to come in for a brew, but I looked more like I’d been beaten up than he did and he declined.

And this brings me to now. I’m sat here eating crisps and chocolate again, watching Vampire films, looking like a fat vampire myself. So tonight I think I’ll have a go at fake tanning. The last time I attempted this, I looked like an umpa lumpa on growth hormones, so hopefully this new tan in a can stuff will merely take my skin from the blue grey it is today, to a bronzed vision that will not have my new neighbours wondering what sort of tramps have recently moved onto their road.

Ooh and before I sign off, I just wanted to say a quick hello and thanks to my first and only follower so far. You’ve just made this all a bit real!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Colonic planning

I’m writing this from a hotel room in Bristol overlooking the river. I could write a poetic prose about the rain outside lashing down on to the water below, too fast for the circles to decrease, slashing the surface tension like a million hot knives, each crash merging together until the sound is just one long gush.

However, the sight is not poetic. It’s shitting it down. I’m coming down with a cold – and as an attempt to get rid of it quick, I’ve just inhaled a massive bowl of Japanese noodle soup with extra chilli. When I asked for the extra chilli in the restaurant, the waiter eyed me like I was the drunken westerner you get in every late night curry house. The one that orders “ the hottest thing on the menu”. I’m a bit of a wuss with spicy food though, so I got it on the side to add myself.

So I’m sat here, runny nose, Hollyoaks, spots (loads of) and the perm has come out to play. I’m so far away from Marie Claire perfect its unreal!

My preparation task today was to look up colonics, well the best priced colonic I could find. I’ve actually had one before, it must have been a mild trauma as I don’t remember much about it and I never went back. From what I do remember though, it lasted about an hour, it cost £60, she talked me into spending another £20 on some herbs that gave me the runs for 2 days and I didn’t feel any thinner.

I didn’t follow it up with 3 days worth of green soup though, maybe this is the catalyst to success (plus I went out that night and got extremely drunk which may not have been the best move).

So my options have been narrowed down to the Pure Life clinic at £50 (name sounds good – Pure. Life. Never thought that could be provided by a hose up the rectum), or the Ki clinic at £40. There is a catch however – to get the £40 price I have to take a mate, who also has to be willing to pay £40 to be violated with a hose.

One friend springs to mind immediately. For the sake of this blog we shall call her “Scouse”. Scouse has just got a new job, so I’m going to sell it into to her as a sort of fresh start, spring clean for mind and body. I don’t think it will be that hard, Scouse, like me, is a sucker for any hokey pokey that promises instant results on the weight front.

Plus, we have not spent some quality time together for a while, so this will obviously be the ideal opportunity to catch up.

I might call her now actually; I’m suddenly feeling a bit lonely. As I type, I have some Benylin cold and flu tablets to my right, which I’m chasing with a mini bottle of Gallo rose wine directly from the neck to my left. This could be construed as a fairly morbid scene if it were not for the grin on my face due to finding a free flapjack in the wardrobe.

Ooh a piece on the One Show has just come on about drinking 2 litres of water a day based on the advice of glossy mags! Amazing – the One Show KNOWS I’m sat here writing!!

They are getting Twins to eat identical breakfasts, one can only drink water – the other can only drink mixed drinks.

The result – no difference, the twin that was allowed tea and coffee showed no difference in hydration to the twin that was allowed only water.

They then made one twin drink 2 litres of water more than the other twin over a 24 hour period. The result – no difference! Both had the same colour wee.

Apparently anything but Alcohol counts towards the 2 litre of fluid intake. This my friends, is a revelation. Well done the One Show! Alas though, I have vowed to follow the advice from Marie Claire for myself. So for a month 2 litres of plain water each day will be on the menu. Mixed drinks will have to be instead of rather than as well as.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The July List

Imagine my excitement when on the front cover of July’s Marie Claire Bruno and Alessandra Ambrosio are screaming at me that I can “Lose pounds and banish cellulite” – not only that people.. the promise in this issue is to “Get a Bikini Body”!

2 things to note before I start this
1. What is the definition of a bikini body? They sell bikinis in sizes over and above a 10 – but judging by this statement – there is a specific body for this outfit, or lack of it and Marie Claire is going to help me get it darn it! Flicking though the pages, the images suggest that a bikini body, is as I have been conditioned to think over the years is a skinny wasp like frame, tanned to perfection topped with sun kissed flowing locks that look like they have been nowhere near the wind or sea.

2. Lose pounds and banish cellulite – judging by the creams and lotions that the magazine is advising me to use, the usage of “pounds” in this context is actually the little round gold kind. OH MY GOD, I won’t be spending £90 on a pot of what can only be described as bottled pleasantly scented witch craft.

I think that in order to get this experiment off the ground I need to decide on some rules and boundaries, the rules of engagement so to speak.

I won’t do anything that is of serious detriment to my health. So if in every issue I’m told to lose 7lbs, I won’t lose 7lbs every month over 12 months. This would be stupid.
I won’t allow this to impact financially on my Husband or any other family member, so if I’m told to by a £90 headscarf, I’ll try and source something similar within my budget. The point is to recreate to the best of my abilities resulting in ultimate happiness – not the dregs of dept due to having a pre 30s episode.
I won’t do anything that will get me sacked from my job
I will do absolutely everything else J

The list is a long one for July, getting things organised will be mission – but the prospect of glossy magazine to take me skipping into my 30s will spur me on. Deep breath everyone.. and so the list begins.

Write a letter to the editor sucking up to them about one of their inspirational editorial pieces and win a goody bag.

Log on to marieclaire.co.uk daily

Enter a competition for a TV / DVD player online

Visit Chanel and get a free sample of their mascara

Visit the ejfoundation.org website

Visit the bibico.co.uk website

Visit redcross.org.uk

Visit Hattitradidng.co.uk

Visit naturalcollection.com

Enter the Pandora Jewellery competition

Buy the finest knit Jersey T-shirt I can afford in grey. This won’t be the £115 Gucci number they suggest, as the “I can afford” bit will be heavily influencing this point.

Gather together and “Essential” beech kit for my holiday this month – this includes Sandals, Beaded Bangles?! A bold towel, a big bag and straw hat. This is already an epiphany as thus far in my life it’s consisted of a towel, some sun cream and a book.

Swimwear for the curvier lady, luckily – I noticed I was curvy some time ago and so have said swimwear already.

Look into adopting a foreign child. I seriously doubt that I will go ahead and adopt one, but Marie Claire wishes me to explore the realms of starting my own Brad-Jolie tribe – I shall at least log onto the website and look into it. http://www.adoptingoverseas.org/.

Submit a photo to the Rankin Live competition. Apparently someone with a sense of “British eccentricity that defines our time” will stand the best chance. What is “our time”? I’m hoping the judging criterion is as ambiguous as this statement!

Visit the David Lord Charitable trust online dlct.org.uk

Change my search engine to Everyclick.com

Watch The Hangover at the cinema

Sky Plus Desperate Romantics on BBC1 in July

Have a romantic day out on the beech wearing Sandals, a “sharp sexy dress for summer day to night wear” – so getting changed is cheating that day I assume. A slouchy bag, a chunky sparkly bracelet and sunnies. – Oh and drenched in Impulses new fragrance like a teen who is trying to hide that they smoke from their parents.

Listen to the following albums:
La Roux by La Roux
Chairlift – Does You Inspire You
Amazing Baby – Rewild
Little Boots – Hands
Madness – The Liberty of Norton Folgate

Read Cold Comfort Farm

Try and book on to Marie Claire’s “How to Get Published” (Free Canap├ęs and goody bag so worth £20 me thinks!) evening in Bristol

Take a food intolerance test – If I am told I am allergic to chocolate I may not continue this blog due to ceasing to live.

Eat 5 small meals a day, every 3 hours between 7am and 7pm with my largest meal at 1pm. Not regimented at all then?!

Go for a colonic – OH DEAR. I will do this for you dear reader, as I’m not sure how being violated with a hose surrounded by scented candles and whale song could ever improve my wellbeing – but we shall see. This then has to be followed by 3 days of eating only green veg soup and drinking hot water and lemon. This so far seems like the pursuit of misery to me!

Cut out salt and eat more Celery and Parsley. This point also has a fair few obscenely priced options surrounding detoxifying soaks etc to lose excess water. So I have gone for the options that I can afford, not only that I hate celery so I’m hoping that my food intolerance test will show this up as an evil diet devil and I can just stick to chomping on parsley.

Take Spirulina. I don’t know what it is – but I shall eat it and it will maketh me a model.

Drink 2 litres of water a day. I need to google.. err sorry everyclick this and see if water in other drinks is included in this 2 litres. Otherwise I’m afraid I may start to leak. (oh and drink 1 more for every hours exercise I do)

Do interval training and lift weights. Hmm – the weights will be baked bean tins I think – and interval training will be bouncing on my trampette, then running round the block, then riding my I joy board, then a quick bike ride.

Think Positive (I love this one – especially if I have to do it at work) Lie down for 5 minutes every time I think I can’t lose weight and as I breath out “imagine letting go of your self doubt”.
Improve my circulation with Massage or use a cellulite massager. Here is a bit of positive thinking for you all, I don’t think I’ve actually got much cellulite – it’s a family thing, probably the trade off for facial hair and not being able to touch my toes. But none the less, no need to start spanking my bank balance for the brews and potions mentioned on these pages. However I will follow the dry brushing.

Sit on the edge of my seat every day to improve circulation. I’ve just been given a new chair at work that looks like it was ripped out of a Ford Capri. It took me 6 months of whinging about my back to get said chair, however, I shall perch and see if the traces of cellulite I do have get kicked into touch.

Go for Lazer treatment on your lady garden. Bonus, I’m already 2/3rds of the way through a course so this is all good!

Exfoliate like an expert – well apparently you can’t exfoliate like an expert for under £34. But further down the page it says “Zap Zits” using some Garnier body Tonic scrub which I can get with my advantage points so I’ll kill 2 birds with one stone there – unless I can get hold of some of this expensive stuff cheaper on the net.

Moisturise with a heavy moisturise after every shower. That’s EVERY SHOWER people, not just when you remember that you actually have body moisturiser or think you are onto a promise with the hubby.

There are many tips on how to lift the bust in this issue, as I am only an A – I shall be ignoring them completely as my breasts are largely ignored by the general public.

Vary the style of my shoe from day to say – blimey, that will take a bit of forward planning.
Look up fivefingershoes on lovethoseshoes.com

Daily foot stretching at my desk, as per the recommendation of Doreen Baker – chief exec of the Association of reflexology.

Massage each foot for 20 seconds each night to plump them up

Apply rich foot cream and massage feet from the foot to knee. Timing for this wasn’t specified so I’ll do it weekly (Or husband will as I can’t actually get down there myself).

Give my self a pedicure by investing in a good foot file, giving each foot a 5 minute massage and slick of nail paint and dusting of talc. It sounds so easy, but talc and sticky nail varnish? Not sure I can cope with that.

Leave my foundation at home when I am on holiday this month. Only taking eyeliner, blotting paper and bright pink lipstick.

Leave hair to dry naturally when on holiday. Oh god, I have a perm, it was a mistake, now EVERYONE WILL SEE!

For one day on holiday, leave my hair mask on all day. Something tells me this won’t really work under the beating sun of Southwold.. but who knows?

Spray Perfume in my hair and body oil on my body whilst on holiday – not sure what disaster this will really avoid. But if it’s good enough for the sun kissed model in the fashion story – it’s good enough for moi.

Make use of local resources for beauty products. I wonder if exfoliating with sand counts?

Follow all three fashion stories via their tips –of which includes the sentence.. and I quote “Team your boots or shoes with men’s socks to create a modern look”. I would be hard pressed to find a matching pair in my husband’s sock draw, of which 90% of the contents are novelty socks anyway.

101 fashion ideas. Luckily this features a top I already have, apparently if I hang around the house in this, a pair of white kecks and a white trilby, I will be fashion. My lodger may be disturbed though.

Enter the Swiss Spar Break competition

Have a lunch time manicure, but only use coral, fuchsia or electric blue nail varnish. Interesting!

Use a hand cream daily with SPF

Apply daily nail and cuticle cream

Once a week use my face scrub on my hands

Use fairy Liquid this month (I’m sorry Ecover, I promise I will come back to you!)

Take a deep breath after work every day and smile. Even if I don’t want to.

Subscribe to Marie Claire

Follow my stars – apparently I will need to remind my partner that he is worthy of me.. Something tells me I will be doing his head in far too much this month to be kicking up a fuss.

Well there you have it
This is my list for July. Now what I need to do is start planning it all out – I’ll keep you posted.

The beginning of an Epiphany?

Hello there

I’d like to begin my blog with a big thanks for bothering to take a look. I’ve not written a blog before so at this point of it’s creation, I’m simply overjoyed that you thought the title was worth clicking on (unless it was a mistake and you meant to look at something else.)

The purpose of this blog is to diarise an experiment. An experiment that has been born out of my accumulating hysteria surrounding turning 30 next year.

Everything about me is pretty ordinary. I look ordinary, I have an ordinary Job, and live in an ordinary suburb of Stockport. I’m married, ordinarily and posses no experiences or achievement thus far in my life that propels me into the stratosphere of the “exta”ordinary.

As a child, this was not how I saw my life panning out. I was supposed to grow up looking similar to Giselle, become a DR (or a zoo keeper or lolly pop lady – at 4 I liked to keep my career options open), married to a rock star (preferably Damon Albarn or Liam Howlet), splitting my time between the house in the UK and the house in *Insert hot sunny location here*

At no point did I ever sit on my mother’s knee and exclaim that my dream was to grow up and be a “real life Media Sales Executive”, living in Stockport battling with debt and getting a bit fatter than I would like.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am truly grateful for everything I have got. A wonderful (patient) husband, my health and job that I don’t despise in the middle of a recession. These are all things to be proud of and thankful for. But one thing I also have is an addiction to Women’s glossy mags – and here, I think, lies the problem.

From pictures of perfect models, interviews with perfect celebrities, images of astronomically priced handbags, advice on sex, work, relationships and health, not to mention the raft of contradicting diet information, I’m left feeling, well, a bit shit really!

On a road trip to London this weekend, I decided to write down everything one particular magazine advised me to do in the month of June. This magazine was Marie Claire

There were no less than 66 items on my list. These ranged from entering competitions, visiting certain websites, reading certain books, letting my feet have some “fun” in bow embellished sandals to hanging upside down for 15 minutes a week to help my back??!! I began to wonder, if I actually did the 66 items on the list, would the accumulative effect actually mean that June would be better. If I wore some “statement Jewellery” with my swimming costume next time I was on the beech, would I be that one step closer to being Giselle?! Would actually following all the advice, every single bit, catapult me in to the extraordinary world projected from it’s pages?

Input = Output as they say, so I have decided that I’ll give it a go and see for myself – and would love it (if you have read on and are still with me) if you joined me for the ride.

So tomorrow I will go and purchase July’s copy of Marie Claire – and start the preparation for what I am at best hoping to be an epiphany and at worst hoping to be a bit of a laugh.

Thanks for reading and hopefully see you back here tomorrow.