Monday, 31 August 2009

Working the man woman look


Working the man woman look
Originally uploaded by mariecandme

New Crombie Blazer (Reduced from £325 to £65 people!!!), pretty dress and you can't see the biker boots - but they are there and it looks good!

Hypno left overs


IMAG0032
Originally uploaded by mariecandme

After ther first evening of Paul Mckenna telling me not to eat all the pies - I left most of my cerial. This lasted for about 10 days, then my belly overrules Paul and I ate all the pies... AGAIN.

August List round up

Hello All – I’ve been on holiday for a week, with no Internet or phone signal – so have been unable to tweet or write my blog. Hopefully the below will round up the month ok and highlight for the second time in a month how repellent I am to exercise.


“Spend summer with Flipper”
Lodger and I have managed to keep Flipper, Trevor and Heratio alive for a whole month now. Our conservation work is going OK. Husband nearly killed them by feeding them 500 x the daily amount of food they should have, but I managed to save them armed only with a sieve and a frown.


Watch the Birdie – by buying a heart shaped shaker bird feeder from Cox and Cox and attracting birds to my garden:
I’ve bought this and the post office are holding it hostage. Husband will collect it tomorrow and then I need to work out how to use it as a bird feeder, rather than a means to lure pray into the jaws of my murderous cat.

“Count pegging out clothes as exercise”:
This may work in London – where the sun always shines. But in Manchester August has been wet – so I’ve managed to peg my clothes out twice.. burning off all of 2 calories. Woohoo!

Visit www.oxfam.org/fashion to find some vintage bargains.
Nothing took my fancy on my first visit. But this is bookmarked so I can use it when trying to track down fashion bits and bobs.

Enter all competitions in the mag online.
Not won anything…. STILL.

Fashion

- Snap up a first drop of the season – I’ve already done this, it’s a pretty bow ring from Accessorise. It was also the cheapest thing on the page, but I LOVE it.
I’ve also managed to lose it, and noticed that it kept getting caught under the loo seat every time I went through the usual process of.. well going to the loo. I got a bit minged out thinking about all the germs that must be on it, so haven’t made a great effort to look for it.

- Reinvent my wardrobe staples and use them to work 4 of this season’s key trends. These staples include the Pencil skirt, reworked with “luxe accessories”, The White Shirt, reworked silk trousers. The Chinos, by teaming them with a chunky ankle boot, and the biker jacket, by wearing it with a dress. Looking at my bank account and the cost of said jackets, this may not happen.
I went with the Chinos and boots out of these 4 – And they do look cool. If I didn’t have bingo wings, I would look a bit GI Jane. It kind of reminded me of when I was 16 and lived in cropped tops and baggy army pants – carrying around a skateboard that I couldn’t actually skate on - It was just an obvious means to pull skater boys.

- For a cheeky take on the nautical trend, think anchors, ropes and sailing boats.
I picked up a pair of anchor earrings from an antiques shop in Stamford, which give me a nasty rash behind the ears.. But fashion is pain as they say… even if it hints at blood poisoning.
I wore them as earrings once, and ended up using eczema cream behind my ears for the rest of the month. Then I lost one in a club, so made the remaining one into a necklace, which looks better and doesn’t give me hives.


- Get tough with rock-chic in spikes heals and strappy shoe boots.
I’ve invested in some killer snakeskin KG strappy shoe boots. However – it took me 1 friend, 2 shop assistants and a near nervous breakdown to decide the middle ground where shoes and boots meet to create the “Shoob”.
I’ve still not worn these, I can’t! I keep trying, but I just can’t walk in them. They make me half a foot taller than my hobbit of a husband and make me walk like I’ve had a very good time with the England Rugby team. I’m going to wear them hoovering around the house until I have perfected how not to look like a complete tool.

- Six Key pieces to wear now and layer up later, this includes a white boyfriend blazer which I have, so can achieve at least one look… and some over the knee boots which I will pretend I haven’t seen as they would make my legs look like an ill formed black pudding.
I’m still ignoring the thigh-high boots thing. I walked past some in a shop window with Milnoids and casually asked “what do you think of those?” – She looked at me as if I had lost my mind, I felt this look justified.

- Feast my eyes on the hottest runway trends (and copy wherever I can without looking like a goon)
Umm everything made me look like a goon.

- Copy the tips and looks from the When in Rome fashion story. This includes wearing a fitted blazer over a pretty dress, wearing a simple crystal bangle, bucked biker boots, and a frilly white shirt.
I did this with a few dresses, my new Navy Crombie Blazer and my biker / cowboy boots. I love the look.. but my mum doesn’t. On a night out after a few glasses of wine, she took me to one side and enquired why I wasn’t wearing a nice pair of “Court Shoes” with my dress. To which I replied “don’t you like it with boots” which was met with a flat “NO!”. Oh well – you can’t please everyone… This is my fave look from Marie Claire So far. It also works with a pair of shorts and an American Apparel T shirt.. which I now have 3 off…. Oops!



Diet
Join the Marie Claire Diet club
I did the free trial for a week, and got some good tips of the forum. Then found fatsecret.com, which is free and links with my phone… so I’m using this instead – but not for the past week where I managed to eat all the ice cream on holiday.

Try Hypnotherapy to change the way I eat:
I’ve been using the Paul McKenna “I can make you thin” CD. Listening to it on my I-pod in a morning or at night. At first it was working and I was leaving loads of food… then my stomach must have overruled my brain and I started chowing down again. A member of the Marie Claire Diet Club forum told me about another guy called Glen Harold. Apparently his CD is even better – so I’m going to Swap Paul for Glen and see how I get on.



Watch Coco Avent Chanel:
See post on this from earlier in the month.

Find out which Marie Claire Blogger has a new man in her life:
I read a few of the blogs, but I couldn’t see who it was. I think its Katie Regan – the poor girl who I acted like a moron in front of at the book signing. But I’ve not found the post where it says she has.

Wilkinson Sword Advertorial:
Log on to www.wilkinsonsword.co.uk to redeem my £1 voucher off their new muff trimmer.
I was about to do this… but it was half price in Tesco, so I figured I would get the better deal instead.

Watch 4 Weddings:
If you don’t watch it… Watch it! It’s the best.

Listen to the 5 Album recommendations
- Gossip, Music for Men - OK
- Jack Penate, Everything is New – Really really good. I’ve never really rated him before, but his album is great to listen to.
- MSTRKRT, Fist of God – Still need to get
- Frankmusik, complete me – Still need to get
- Florence and the Machine, Lungs – Just Wondrous. I want to be her friend.



Join the Marie Claire book club :
I still can’t work out if I have done this or not. I Signed up to it at the book signing but have had nothing to confirm I am a member or how this works. I also can’t work out how to get the discount from Amazon on the book club books. Now I’m not a fool when it comes to this sort of thing – so I fully blame Marie Claire for not being clear enough or it just not working. PS – If you are reading this Marie Claire… my free gift turned up for my subscription… but for 2 months now…I’ve had no mags.

Beauty
Copy the “Kiss from a Rose” Make up looks:
I did this for the whole month - it looks pretty, but I don’t think my personality really lends itself to “Pretty”. I’m too much of a gobshite.

Supermodel secrets:
- Use a great concealer under foundation – Even a great concealer can’t hide my adult acne.
- Use a highlighter along the cheekbones for a pretty youthful glow – I did this every day too. It looks nice but didn’t knock the years off.
- Leave hair slightly damp when blow-drying as this give a more natural look. P.E.R.M – If natural also looks like a limp pot noodle then I achieved natural.
- Get my eyebrow shape right – I like the shape of my eyebrows, so I let them be.
- Twist up hair after washing and let it dry like that for a natural wave.
After 12 hours, my hair was still wet at the centre of the twist. This won’t work for me unless I’m prepared to have wet hair for nearly 2 days. My poor hair has had so much dying, curling and pulling that it soaks up water like a sponge.

- Use intensive hair masks and get hair trimmed regularly – Have done, I can’t say the difference is significant.
- Take hair related vitamin supplements. I have been doing this too – but I’m worried it will give me a beard and hairier legs. Surely it can’t just pinpoint the hair on your head. I swear my facial hair is getting worse and I have a new little forest on my big toe!?!.

Use an SPF 30 in sunny weather, ad a second layer 15 mins after the first to ensure full coverage. I have not seen the sun this month at all. I am depressed!


Benefit (yes… “Benefit” is the exact word used here) from calming and feminine rose these fragrances.
- Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb
- Korres Rose Wood, Blackcurrant, Cyclamen
- Paul Smith Rose Summer edition
- DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom
- Chloe The Rose
- Armani Prive Rose Alexandrie
I popped down to Kendal’s on my lunch hour and gave myself a squirt of these on different days. Poised… waiting for the benefits…. Nothing happened. Not even a compliment of “you smell nice”. I’ll go back to my trusty regular perfume.

August tells me to Sprinkle Ortigia Sicillia Geranium bath salts into a hot bath before bed for a great nights sleep. “They Smell divine and detoxify and purify skin”.. Ummm they also cost £17.50, which forgive me if I sound tight here, seems a bit steep for some bath salts in au de old lady flavour.
I couldn’t find these, but the Elves brought me some lovely rose ones as a house warming present. They make my bath smell nice, me smell nice and leave petals in the bath which feels luxurious. I’d be surprised if any bath salts can “Detoxify” skin – surely a good scrub does this anyway the rest is down to diet?

Exercise
“Forget Expensive Gym Memberships and burn fat for free”
This includes:
Following the tips on getting started with jogging. This starts with walking for 4 minutes and jogging for one – repeating 5 times. I can SO handle that. It also tells me to vary my route and terrain each time. What does worry me is: “Time your steps to the music you are listening to.” The majority of my Ipod runs at 70bpm or over. You won’t be able to see my legs they will be moving so fast!
This particular piece also advises me to:
- Prepare muscles before running with a muscle gel
- Wear a sweat proof UVA screen on my face
- Wear a transparent “Strengthening” facemask whilst working out… Is this with or without the sunscreen… surely this layering up will encourage zits?
- Wear a tinted moisturiser if you are worried about redness… is this including the above 2 layers? Blimey, I’ll start reflecting headlamps with all that grease!
- After running massage with a facial oil. I use Vitamin E oil on my face already, so will use that.
- Take a relaxing bath with muscle soak, before giving your body a massage. They then go on to suggest doing this with Clarins Energising Emulsion, which costs £20. I think August Marie Claire is choosing to completely disregard all this recession business, maybe I can find a more cost effective alternative.
- Exfoliate in the shower to prevent sweat giving my body spots. This is next to the paragraph that tells you to have a bath. So I have to have a bath.. Then have a shower. So not detrimental to the environment at all then?! I’m sure Flipper would have something to say about that.
12 ways to the perfect body
- “Alternate running, Skipping and galloping through a park.” Oh dear god, I’m going to get happy slapped.
- Breath my way to a flatter stomach by exhaling audibly when I curl up in a sit up.
- Put 30 minutes of motivational exercise music on my Ipod, with my favourite song at the end so I don’t stop until I get to it. Makes sense!
- Pop an A list Energy pill “Pure Xp Glisodin for £24.99. Apparently this prevents lactic acid build up.
- Get in the Zone.. by wearing a heart rate monitor.
- Shock my system. My heart sank when I read this, because it mentioned more interval training, but it actually says “Swap your cardio every 6 months to keep your mind and body interested”
- Stretch
- Increase incidental activity by giving the “lift the shift” and taking the stairs two at a time, same goes for escalators.
- Ditch the car and ride my bike to work
- Set challenges by trying to catch up with people 100 meters ahead or run with someone better than you.
- Fuel up by eating a bowl of light cereal a while before exercise
- Don’t clock watch… hmm how can I time my 4 minutes walking and 1 minute jog then?!
- Have a go on a powerplate:
o I did this, all my flab jiggled about, I got off.


Out of all of the above I managed to do the following:
-Fill my I-pod with running tunes
-Give the lift the shift – In one month I think I have only used the lift 3 times.
-Run after people 100 meters in front of me – this is great fun to do on my lunch hour when I have nothing better to do. Milnoids won’t join in though – bad sport.
- Breath out when doing sit ups. I think I managed a whole 60 sit ups this month! Arrrggg I hate exercise.

I’ll keep trying (Trying means thinking about it and feeling guilty when I don’t do it). Hopefully I’ll get as far as getting my kit on in September… one step at a time and all that. This is being written by someone who would rather miss the bus than run for it… so give me a bit of slack - it’s a big thing for me, getting out there and moving faster than a shuffle.



Follow my stars this month
“Feel free to bow out if you can’t hack the emotional pace”.
Well it looks like I couldn’t hack the emotional pace of running – so I bowed out! No excuses next month then. Boo!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

I come in peace! First contact with Marie Claire

Since starting my investigation into how Marie Claire may improve running up to the big 30, I have noticed that the cultural side of things (Books, Films, Music and TV) has been fairly successful.

I've been introduced to 4 weddings which is bloody awesome! 4 brides slagging off each other’s wedding - genius. It's so cutting, husband regularly develops TV tourettes at 9pm on a Monday shrieking "Bitch" and "Cow" at the nastier contestants on the show. I've been exposed to the wondrous Florence and the Machine, who is lyrically one of the best song writers I've heard in a very long time and a welcome break from my usual genre of choice. I’ve read Cold Comfort Farm that for a while, made me want to drive around English country lanes in an open top car, wearing inappropriately large dresses, bonnet and gloves - finishing sentences with "What What!"

This month, the book recommended for the "Best Books Ever" read is the Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wild, which again is a novel I would have never have picked up. So far it is brilliant. I've forced a copy onto Evil Jody and demanded she read it before the end of August for our 2 person book club. The only problem is, reading makes her eyes tired so she keeps falling asleep, she isn't make masses of progress. I may have to start reading it to her...

September's issue of Marie Claire has had a face lift. A new editor is in the driving seat and is making their mark by a subtle relaunch of the title. This has thrown all my rules of play out of the window, I was just settling into a routine and they have gone and bloody changed it all. The "Best Books Ever" recommendation has gone. It's been replaced by a double page spread of new books and their reviews. I don't want to choose from all these new books, I liked it when it was simple... there was a "Best Book Ever" - so it was the natural one to pick out of all the reviews and also a means to discover some classics that I otherwise wouldn’t have in my life.

I'm shit at reading! I like safe trash about celebrities or vampires or wizards or China. Carrying around books by Oscar Wild in public was great as it gave people (the wrong) impression I was a slight culture vulture. I imagined (rightly or wrongly) that if I was single, carrying books like this made me slightly more attractive to posh boys that wear scarves and have names like Olli and Ed - who may have previously prejudged me when I was carting around Jordan's Autobiography.

So - I thought this may be the perfect subject for me to write my suckey letter to the editor.

Dear Trish

I’m writing to congratulate you on September’s new look Marie Claire, the layout and new features are great. However, I noticed Marie Claire’s “Best Books Ever” recommendation was not in the new issue. This has inspired me to discover some great books I may never have picked up in the past, and it was recently the means in which our book club (another inspiration from Marie Claire) were deciding on our monthly read. It would be really sad if this has gone for good!

Yours truly,



To my surprise I got a response to this today.

Hi

Thank you for your email, it’s great to hear that you like the new format and features. With regards to books if you turn to page 274 within the Spotlight section there is a two page book review which I’m hoping will inspire you further and work for your book club. Please let me know if you have any more comments and I’ll pass them on to the Editor.

Kind regards,

Caroline Garland
PA to Editor-In-Chief

Oh Caroline – I don’t care about all these new books. I like the old books that make me look infinitely better read that I actually am. I need you guys to say “READ THIS BOOK” not give me 12 to chose from.. now I’m back to square one, because I’m only ever going to chose the books that are about celebrities, Wizards, Vampires or China! Arrrggggg!

Due to my aim being getting published on the letters page one day – I figured it was best not to write back with any more comments at this stage. So far all Caroline thinks is I'm someone that doesn't ever get to page 274 of the magazine. Probably best I keep it that way!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

The Mary remains Hairy

Both Husband and Lodger are away. Lodger has gone home for the weekend, and husband is on a stag do. He’s running around in a forest in Gloucestershire, dressed as Robin Hood wheeling a big rubber sword around. I’ll save you the infinite amount of dirty puns that have just flown into my proudly immature inner monologue.

So here I sit, hair stuck on end, spots (yep..still there), greasy face, old dressing gown quite alarmingly in need of a shower. I look and smell like an old kitchen bin. Bliss!

It was my second attempt at going for my laser treatment today, but unfortunately – my time of the month decided to move, without warning, from this coming Wednesday to today. I blame this on Milnoids at work. My womb was perfectly synchronised with hers to the day, then she went on holiday for 2 weeks, then I went on holiday for a week, came back and caught the swine. My poor ovaries haven’t known if they are coming or going since, but she’s back now and so hopefully they can sort themselves out - and we can get back to being growly and over emotional at exactly the same time again.

The last thing I want when I feel like this, is anyone near my lady garden. Even more so if they are wearing rubber gloves, goggles and zapping it with a machine that looks like it belongs off the set of Logan’s run. So It’s been moved again..

I’m not sure if I had PMT over-sensitivity yesterday, but I was paranoid when I was walking around Tesco that people were catching a glance at my outfit because it wasn’t really appropriate for the chiller cabinet on a Friday night. I was wearing the rolled up chinos and boots combo. I really like my Chinos, even if I did have to buy them in a 14… DAMN YOU GAP. Combined with my boots and vest, it looks a bit Tank girl, which makes me feel 16 again. But I’m not sure how well I carry it off judging by some of the glances I was getting! I wore it to work the other day, and some of the guys were very complementary – so maybe it’s all about not just what you where, but where you were it? Hmmm, this may be my second Marie Claire revelation.. Fashion is as much about those that see it and appreciate it – as it is about wearing it? This whole fashion thing may run deeper that the superficial vein I had always put it in.

My lovely workmates have noticed and said nice things about most of the outfits inspired by the August list so far. If my legs were not so white, (they are bordering on blue) – I would be feeling very confident about my clothes this month. This isn’t a feeling I’ve had for a very long time, and although I’ve spent a fair bit this month it’s been totally worth it. (Luckily I compiled the September list last night and it looks like it gives my bank account a bit of a rest!)

When I started this project, I thought I would waddle around dressed like a fashion victim for the majority of the time. But what I wasn’t prepared for was how actually paying attention to the fashion pages, is teaching me how to wear stuff I already have in different ways that look quite good (even if Stockport Tesco disagrees).

Friday, 14 August 2009

Coco Avant Chanel



Being the highly cultured swine that I am, immersing myself regularly in literary classics such as Twilight, Harry Potter and Jordan’s autobiography. It’s then only natural to assume I often can be found watching and stroking my chin at highbrow cinematic masterpieces……. such as err Twilight, Harry Potter and Jordan and Peter Stateside.

I unashamedly like trash, my usual criteria when watching a film is: “is it funny?” and “Does it have any blood in it?” If the answer to the former is yes, and the latter is no… then I’ll watch it. This, as you can imagine, drives Husband mad. Once, so much so, he threw a magnificent tantrum in a cinema’s box office, announcing to all around that he “Wasn’t watching the fucking Guru, I’ll go and watch that film about Dragons on my own!” then stomped off, leaving Sister-in-law and I to watch our funny film (which turned out to be crap), whilst he fed his manliness in another screen.

Coco Avant Chanel is a definite exception to this rule. When the August issue flagged it up as the film to watch I was really excited. I love Chanel. I love the timelessness of the classic pieces. So much so that last year I won some Selfridges vouchers, and spent them on a Chanel 2.5 Lamb’s skin leather purse for £320 smackers. It was my pride and joy and something I planned to pass down to generations when I was an old lady. This dream was snatched away from me, by a dirty little scrotum that took it from my bag in a club toilet back in April. The pain of realising I was a complete idiot to take it out with me in the first place, was so much, that I embarked on a Jagermeister binge in said club with Miss Systems and threw up purple sick for 2 days after.

There was one person I knew would want to come with me to see this. Nurse S. Nurse S is an advocate of labels. She comes from the ilk that if you pay more for something it will last you longer, quality over quantity when clothes are concerned, Vogue is a long lost forgotten book of the bible and Christian Dior should rule the earth.

So we met at Manchester’s only Independent Cinema (See.. I can do bloody cultured..!), where over a pre film dinner, she asked me not to disprove all that she knows is right and true in fashion magazines. I assured her, that the point of this project was to not disprove anything, it was to see, if I implemented everything that was advised… would my life genuinely improve for the better? I hope it bloody works to be honest, because I look like a potato today.

The film itself was really good. French, with English subtitles, Audrey Tautou was entirely convincing as Coco Chanel. Something I didn’t know about Coco Chanel which I do now is that according to the film, she did a lot of standing in different landscapes, looking a little quirky, staring wistfully into the distance. Oh well, Icons will be Icons I suppose. She also liked her fags, so probably smelled less like No 5 and more like my old Maths teacher. This aside, a very good call by Marie Claire, and it made me put another £1 in my New Chanel Purse savings tin that I started when I had the other nicked.

So a big thumbs up to the August film recommendation. That’s 2 films out of 2 now Marie Claire!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Flipper and friends


IMAG0035
Originally uploaded by mariecandme

Introducing Flipper

This August, Marie Claire urges readers to "Spend Summer with Flipper". It's referring to an 11 day volunteering project off the coast of Scotland. You pay FROM £995 and go and record the number of Dolphins and contribute to related conservation work. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving the Dolphins.... but £995? Am I the only one that thinks this is a bit steep for 11 days in a Fishing Village off the coast of Scotland... counting fish? However, on looking at the website, they are a "not-for-profit" organisation, and a good cause so I must just be naive the costs involved. (And slightly miffed that I don't have a spare grand to go and actually do it!)

As a compromise, Lodger and I went to the local pet shop on Sunday to seek out our own Flipper. We got distracted and were just about to buy a kitten, when reality ran in, slapped us in the face and reminded us we were there for a gold fish.

The child... er sorry man behind the desk seemed very knowledgeable in 2 things. Very bad jewellery and how many fish can go in a bowl without them dying.

"Please can I talk to you about fish"
"Yes"
"How many Gold Fish can go in that bowl" (I point to a standard round bowl)
"One"
"Oh - I really wanted more than that so they wouldn't be lonely"
"In that bowl, you can only have one"
"OK - What about that bowl" ( I point to a larger bowl in the shop)
"One"
"Oh, err right. so if I wanted 3 fish.. what size bowl would I need?"
The child points to a tank
"£30 was rather more than I wanted to pay..... can I put on of these weird fish in one of the small bowls?"
"No"
"Why"
"It will jump out, those fish are a bit crazy"
"Would you sell it to me, if I said I was buying it just to see that?
"No"
"Right...ummm" (Then I spot some very tiny Fish)
"How many of those can I have in this bowl"
"5"
"Will you do me a deal on 3" You have to haggle people!


So here are the new additions to our family, Trevor, Horatio and Flipper. In true Earthwatch style, I'm going to go in every morning and count them. This morning they were 3. Last night I found the cat with his paw in the water, husband, who is taking this conservation work very seriously ran in and saved them. So there has been no depletion in my Manchester pod thus far. Phew.

Friday, 7 August 2009

The Shoob Saga





I’ve been getting tied up with terminology (again) when trying to recreate the fashion stories in Augusts’ issue of Marie Claire. This reached a crescendo yesterday, when I finally decided which boots fell into the “Biker” category and after 3 weeks of looking, which pair I was going to buy. I had fully justified the cost to myself and any one else that would listen …..and then found that all my size had run out. My poor colleague at work had been tied up in my boot mission as I hadn’t shut up about it all afternoon. She ended up calling the Kurt Geiger hotline for me as I think she was worried I may run and jump off the balcony to face my death on the mezzanine floor if my size couldn’t be located.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t successful. So she had to endure me turning my monitor around every 10 minutes, repeatedly asking “What about these?”. By the end of lunch, I fear the only boots she would have approved, were ones that would fit in my mouth and shut me up.

The boot saga started mid July when I had started to prepare for August. The issue advises buying some strappy Shoe-boots because they are apparently essential to every woman’s life this season. The definition of Shoe-Boot bothered me though. I couldn’t decide where a strappy sandal ended and strappy shoe boot began.

I trawled the shops and the internet, just getting more and more confused as to what I was looking for and worrying about accidently buying a sandal. On one particular shopping trip, Blondie came with me to help me decide. We both ended up tottering around Selfridges in various styles with our work trousers rolled up, still not quite defining the criteria of a “Shoob”. When I absconded the poor shop assistant, pleading with him to tell me if the efforts I had on my feet were either a sandal or a shoe boot, he backed away slightly and told me that he thought they were a shoe boot. I think he was just telling me what I wanted to hear so I would leave him and his shiny shop floor in peace.

On closer inspection in the mirror however, I thought the pair in question were more shoey than booty, so left empty handed. I was comforted in the knowledge that even the shop assistants struggle with the differences. However, the stress must have overcome me, because by the time I had got back to work, I’d developed a rash on both arms that looked like meningitis. This day was the day I ended up in A&E until 8pm thinking I might not have any limbs left to attached these bloody Shoobs to if my bloods came back positive.


Luckily, my prayers were answered when I discovered these amazing Carvella snakeskin strapy shoobs in the online Kurt Geiger sale. I think there is no denying that these are strappy, shoey and booty. I can’t walk in them, but lets face it, with shoes like that – walking is a secondary consideration to just making your feet look fantastical.


My second definition battle was, as mentioned the “Biker boot”. So I had a little meeting with my colleague over the desk on her views of what made a boot “Biker”. Her answer was confidently simple… Buckles.

I’ve scoured the net and shops over the past few weeks, trying to decide on 2 things. Firstly, how much money I was prepared to spend on these boots, and secondly what colour. Yesterday I made my decision. I was prepared to pay £90 maximum and I wanted them in brown.

This decision it seems, was too late, because not only had the Kurt Keiger ones sold out nationwide in a 7, so had the next 2 pairs that I liked too. If you haven’t guessed already, I hate parting with my money unless I’m sure I’m getting the best possible price, and I whatever I am buying I will get my wear out of. This is known in popular terms as being tight. It’s also possibly why, my wardrobe slowly turned from young and funky, to “will do for home and work” and frumpy over the last 4 years! So to make myself feel better, I’m rebranding shopping as “Investing”. Justifying all purchases as an investment into not looking and feeling like frump.

So at lunch today, I decided to venture out again on my boot quest. I went to the local department store that has concessions from all the major footwear retailers to compare brown boots with buckles.

Being built like a Purple Ronnie cartoon has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to footwear. My legs look good in strappy sandals, but I make most boots look like baggy wellies. I was getting increasingly frustrated in the shop, managing to make most of the beautiful boots look like I was going carp fishing.

Then something caught my eye. Nestled in the size 7 sale rack, that is always notably smaller than any other size every time, were the grey boots in the picture (that’s boots, not strappy shoe boots). I know they are grey, not brown but they will go with most of my stuff. I also think they may border on a cowboy boot, but then who said a cowboy couldn’t ride a motor bike? Who makes up these rules?! They have a buckle… so job done!

I’m going to wear the snakeskin shoobs tonight to a boat party, they make me about 8 foot 3. if you are passing Manchester ship canal tonight and see an Amazonian looking female with a mixed look of pain and pride on her face – give us a wave.

Hair drying naturally


IMAG0030
Originally uploaded by mariecandme

Well I followed the advice of Naomi Campbell, and twisted my hair up when wet, let it dry naturally and when let down it should have resulted in a gorgeous natural wave.
My hair already has wave, ala pot noodle. To turn into gorgeous and natural surely can’t be that simple?

The answer is.. it isn’t. I washed my hair, gave it a quick blast with the hair dryer to fend off a relapse of the swine, twisted it up.. and hoped for the best.

14 whole 6o minute hours later, I let my hair down to see the results… It was still bloody wet! It’s more like a pot noodle that I thought, it’s actually freeze dried and absorbs water. I’ve not tasted it, but I’d put money on my hair being spicy beef flavour.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Running Play list.. with errr no running.

I had every intension of going for a run today. Well, a 4-minute walk and 1 minute runathon. But before I could go, I had to compile my running play list on my I-pod. Due to being completely inept at using I tunes and loading my I-pod, it has taken me nearly 3 hours to put the following together.

Missy Elliot – Work It
Afrika Bambatta – Planet Rock
JoJo De Freq – Saturn Returns
M.I.A – 10 Dollar
Prodigy – Everybody in the place
Deep Blue – Helicopter Tune
Lethal Bizzle – Babylons Burning The Ghetto
Sway – Download
And for the big finish….
Salt and Pepper – Push it

And now it's dark, and Husband wants some attention. So this will have to wait until Saturday.

Rose makeup


Rose makeup
Originally uploaded by mariecandme

I decided to follow the beauty tips for the rose themed make up today. I feel a bit naked without eyeliner, but I think it looks quite nice!

Lunch Time Manicure and first drop of the season bow ring.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The August List

The August List

Sorry this is a bit late – but I’m onto it!

Attempt another letter to the editor


“Spend summer with Flipper”
This is in reference to a paid volunteering that costs nearly a grand to help with Dolphin research:
I won’t be doing this, but it doesn’t stop me buying a fish, calling it Flipper and spending my summer with it.

Watch the Birdie – by buying a heart shaped shaker bird feeder from Cox and Cox and attracting birds to my garden:
The only problem I see with this, is that my cat is a natural born murderer. Rather than skipping around my kitchen like Cinderella with blue-tits helping me with the washing up, it’s more likely I will be fishing out more carcases of the poor little buggers from behind the sofa.

“Count pegging out clothes as exercise”:
Umm – OK, if you say so Marie Claire, every calorie counts, even in multiples of 1s.

Visit www.oxfam.org/fashion to find some vintage bargains.

Enter all competitions in the mag online.

Fashion
This issue is crammed full of fashion, even if I had a hefty pay rise I couldn’t afford to follow it all. So I will do my best to follow as many of the below fashion instructions as I can whilst still being in a position to feed myself…. Wait a minute!.. Is this the secret all those stylish models have been hiding from us all? They can’t actually afford to eat?!:
- Snap up a first drop of the season – I’ve already done this, it’s a pretty bow ring from Accessorise. It was also the cheapest thing on the page, but I LOVE it.
- Reinvent my wardrobe staples and use them to work 4 of this season’s key trends. These staples include the Pencil skirt, reworked with “luxe accessories”, The White Shirt, reworked with a pair of bloody silk trousers. There is NO way I could make them look good or not ruin them! The Chinos, by teaming them with a chunky ankle boot, I think I can handle this! And the biker jacket, by wearing it with a dress. Looking at my bank account and the cost of said jackets, this may not happen.
- For a cheeky take on the nautical trend, think anchors, ropes and sailing boats. I picked up a pair of anchor earrings from an antiques shop in Stamford, which give me a nasty rash behind the ears.. But fashion is pain as they say… even if it hints at blood poisoning.
- Get tough with rock-chic in spikes heals and strappy shoe boots. I’ve invested in some killer snakeskin KG strappy shoe boots. However – it took me 1 friend, 2 shop assistants and a near nervous breakdown to decide the middle ground where shoes and boots meet to create the “Shoob”.
- Six Key pieces to wear now and layer up later, this includes a white boyfriend blazer which I have, so can achieve at least one look… and some over the knee boots which I will pretend I haven’t seen as they would make my legs look like an ill formed black pudding.
- Feast my eyes on the hottest runway trends (and copy wherever I can without looking like a goon)
- Copy the tips and looks from the When in Rome fashion story. This includes wearing a fitted blazer over a pretty dress, wearing a simple crystal bangle, bucked biker boots, and a frilly white shirt. I’m going to look like Russel1 Brand.



Diet
Join the Marie Claire Diet club
Try Hypnotherapy to change the way I eat:
As I can’t afford £100 sessions, I’m downloading a hypnotherapy CD “I can make you thin” by Paul Mckenna and also watching his TV program of the same name.

Watch Coco Avent Chanel:
If you would like to come and see this with me next week, email me at mylifeaccordingtomarieclaire@googlemail.com. Even better if you are on orange and want to go on Wednesday ;-)

Find out which Marie Claire Blogger has a new man in her life:
I know this isn’t me.

Wilkinson Sword Advertorial:
Log on to www.wilkinsonsword.co.uk to redeem my £1 voucher off their new muff trimmer. This advertorial also advises me to opt for lotions and potions containing Ginseng if I don’t have time for a powernap. God knows what that brain storming session was like for particular creative execution.. “I’ve got it..! we could tenuously link the time saving properties of trimming your Mary… to err, pills that keep you awake if you don’t have time for a power nap”. “Excellent – have a bonus”.

Watch 4 Weddings:
This started in July and so I’ve been following it already. It’s the BEST. Basically a format similar to Come Dine With Me, which is TV genius as it is… but with 4 brides slagging off each others wedding. Brilliant – I urge you to watch it. Good old Marie C for flagging it up.

Listen to the 5 Album recommendations
- Gossip, Music for Men
- Jack Penate, Everything is New
- MSTRKRT, Fist of God
- Frankmusik, complete me
- Florence and the Machine, Lungs
I’m really excited about the albums this month. They seem much more up my Strasse than the last pile of drivel. I’ve already Spotified (yes people.. still down with the kids!) Florence and the Machine and it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in the last 5 years. Shame on Marie Claire for not giving her 5 stars. Yes she’s bonkers and yes her lyrics are all based around fantasy and weird and wonderful happenings. But who can’t love a flame haired nutcase, singing about good trips, dancing around in a nighty with daisy chains on her head. She’s wondrous!

Join the Marie Claire book club :
I think I did this at the “How to get published” evening, but as my mind seemed to have been possessed by a brain-dead moron, I wasn’t sure what I was signing up to, so not sure if I did or didn’t. Anyway, I’ve roped Evil Jody into being in my book club. It involves wine and nibbles and the book to read is The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wild. I would never have chosen this book myself as it isn’t about a pubescent wizard, horney vampire, China, a celebrity or by Hunter S Thompson, which seems to have formed the criteria of my reading material over the past couple of years.. But I’m going with it, as so far so good with the Marie C book recommendations. If you would like to join Evil Jody and myself in the last week in August (Date still TBC) and be in our book club – email me at mylifeaccordingtomarieclaire@googlemail.com and get reading! (It would be ace if there was more than 2 of us and I have a sneaky suspicion Evil Jody hasn’t even started it yet.)

Beauty
Copy the “Kiss from a Rose” Make up looks:
I’ll take pictures and you can decide if I look like an English rose or like I’ve been punched in the face.

Supermodel secrets:
- Use a great concealer under foundation
- Use a highlighter along the cheekbones for a pretty youthful glow
- Leave hair slightly damp when blow-drying as this give a more natural look. Yeah.. I bet you don’t have a perm love!
- Get my eyebrow shape right
- Twist up hair after washing and let it dry like that for a natural wave.. ermm again, the perm will reign.
- Use intensive hair masks and get hair trimmed regularly
- Take hair related vitamin supplements

Use an SPF 30 in sunny weather, ad a second layer 15 mins after the first to ensure full coverage


Benefit (yes… “Benefit” is the exact word used here) from calming and feminine rose these fragrances.
- Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb
- Korres Rose Wood, Blackcurrant, Cyclamen
- Paul Smith Rose Summer edition
- DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom
- Chloe The Rose
- Armani Prive Rose Alexandrie
Marie C doesn’t elaborate exactly how I will “benefit”, so I’ll just have to swing by Selfridges on my lunch hour, sneak a few squirts of each and see for my self.

August tells me to Sprinkle Ortigia Sicillia Geranium bath salts into a hot bath before bed for a great nights sleep. “They Smell divine and detoxify and purify skin”.. Ummm they also cost £17.50, which forgive me if I sound tight here, seems a bit steep for some bath salts in au de old lady flavour.

Exercise
“Forget Expensive Gym Memberships and burn fat for free”
This includes:
Following the tips on getting started with jogging. This starts with walking for 4 minutes and jogging for one – repeating 5 times. I can SO handle that. It also tells me to vary my route and terrain each time. What does worry me is: “Time your steps to the music you are listening to.” The majority of my Ipod runs at 70bpm or over. You won’t be able to see my legs they will be moving so fast!
This particular piece also advises me to:
- Prepare muscles before running with a muscle gel
- Wear a sweat proof UVA screen on my face
- Wear a transparent “Strengthening” facemask whilst working out… Is this with or without the sunscreen… surely this layering up will encourage zits?
- Wear a tinted moisturiser if you are worried about redness… is this including the above 2 layers? Blimey, I’ll start reflecting headlamps with all that grease!
- After running massage with a facial oil. I use Vitamin E oil on my face already, so will use that.
- Take a relaxing bath with muscle soak, before giving your body a massage. They then go on to suggest doing this with Clarins Energising Emulsion, which costs £20. I think August Marie Claire is choosing to completely disregard all this recession business, maybe I can find a more cost effective alternative.
- Exfoliate in the shower to prevent sweat giving my body spots. This is next to the paragraph that tells you to have a bath. So I have to have a bath.. Then have a shower. So not detrimental to the environment at all then?! I’m sure Flipper would have something to say about that.
12 ways to the perfect body
- “Alternate running, Skipping and galloping through a park.” Oh dear god, I’m going to get happy slapped.
- Breath my way to a flatter stomach by exhaling audibly when I curl up in a sit up.
- Put 30 minutes of motivational exercise music on my Ipod, with my favourite song at the end so I don’t stop until I get to it. Makes sense!
- Pop an A list Energy pill “Pure Xp Glisodin for £24.99. Apparently this prevents lactic acid build up.
- Get in the Zone.. by wearing a heart rate monitor.
- Shock my system. My heart sank when I read this, because it mentioned more interval training, but it actually says “Swap your cardio every 6 months to keep your mind and body interested”
- Stretch
- Increase incidental activity by giving the “lift the shift” and taking the stairs two at a time, same goes for escalators.
- Ditch the car and ride my bike to work
- Set challenges by trying to catch up with people 100 meters ahead or run with someone better than you.
- Fuel up by eating a bowl of light cereal a while before exercise
- Don’t clock watch… hmm how can I time my 4 minutes walking and 1 minute jog then?!
- Have a go on a powerplate:
o I did this, all my flab jiggled about, I got off.

Follow my starts this month
“Feel free to bow out if you can’t hack the emotional pace”. Blimey – looks like a hard month ahead then!

Wish me luck! Xxx

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

July Wrap up, still no sign of the super model!

Well July is over – did anyone even notice? For me, July flew by in a scramble of holidays, Swine flue, colonics and diet guilt. Those of you who are kind enough to read this blog regularly may notice 2 things relating to July and this project…

Firstly, I’ve not written for over a week. This is due to being in Devon, where the hope for an internet signal for my mobile internet, holds the about the same weight as hoping to see a unicorn wandering past the place I was staying. (Yes I was hoping for both and no, neither happened)

Secondly, I am still to publish the August list. There is a very poor explanation for this. I wrote it down – so far so good… then lost it. Damn. So as soon as my feet touch internet loving Mancunion ground tomorrow, I shall publish and update you to how it’s going so far.

I’m currently sat in a Hotel in Bristol, after leaving my good friend Hot Minge behind in Devon and making my way back up the country (you may think it cruel I give her this nickname, but trust me – it fits and she fully accepts it!)..

As usual when writing from Bristol, I’m sat here with the hints of a Japanese take-out smeared all over the hotel room desk, and a warming beer, which I had to frantically remove the top with my house keys in order to get into it. I’m sure the hotel would have taken a whole 5 minutes to bring me a bottle opener and I couldn’t look at the beer for that long without going slightly insane.

So lovely people– in my first month, what did I achieve and do I now look like Giselle (or similar super model)? Before I go through the list I’d like to ad a little pre face to July’s story.

When I started out on this project, I thought it would be easy, fun and something that I could slot into my life - and as a bonus end up thinner at the end. The reality is far from this. I over estimated my self discipline, free time and ability of my Husband to cope with my crackpot ideas. Never the less, now July has highlighted this, it’s just made me more determined to do better at August now the holiday and swine flu are out of the way.

I’ve written a little entry about each thing on the list – which makes this a rather long post. If you want a one line summary of how Marie Claire has or hasn’t improved my life so far – just skip to the end.

Write a letter to the editor sucking up to them about one of their inspirational editorial pieces and win a goody bag:
I didn’t do this, every time I started a letter, I got paranoid they would know who I was and what I was up to. I’ll keep trying to write something sincere, which is harder than you think when your letter is full of shit.

Log on to marieclaire.co.uk daily:
Done, and signed up to the RSS feed, I also get updates on my phone. I am at all times full in touch with Marie Claire

Enter a competition for a TV / DVD player online:
Done

Visit Chanel and get a free sample of their mascara:
I got this, can’t say it’s better or worse than any other Mascara I’ve used. I won’t be swapping my YSL one for this anyway.

Visit the ejfoundation.org website
Visit the bibico.co.uk website
Visit redcross.org.uk
Visit Hattitradidng.co.uk
Visit naturalcollection.com
I visited all of the above, none of which changed my life.

Enter the Pandora Jewellery competition:
Done

Buy the finest knit Jersey T-shirt I can afford in grey:
Now – this has changed my life. I absolutely LOVE my American Apparel T shirt. So much so that I insisted Husband had one too, which he has worn once – and I have worn about 4 times. I think he’s clocked my treachery!


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:
I managed to gather everything but the towel. Which was no big deal as the only time we hit the Beach was evening time and we were fully clothed. However, I did use the bag from my essential beach kit to carry home a very large smoked mackerel – so no one can deny it didn’t have its uses.

Swimwear for the curvier lady, luckily – I noticed I was curvy some time ago and so have said swimwear already:
But due to this glorious summer we are having, never got the opportunity to wear it on the beech.

Look into adopting a foreign child. log onto the website and look into it. www.adoptingoverseas.org:
I’m not sure if I was expecting a catalogue ala Madonna baby shopping, but you had to sign up so it went no further.


Submit a photo to the Rankin Live competition:
I did this and heard nothing. Probably due to the strange email I wrote to accompany it, insisting that I deserve to take part because I’ve done a course in Bee Keeping. Once sent I realised I may have got the wrong end of the stick realising they wanted quirky looking people, not quirky weirdoes.

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

Change my search engine to Everyclick.com:
I really wanted this to be a revelation. The concept is brilliant, a search engine that donates to charity. But for some reason it shuts down my browser at work and the few times it hasn’t didn’t find what I was looking for where Google did. So I was a little disappointed but will keep checking it to see if it improves.

Watch The Hangover at the cinema
Done – See post “The Hang Over, The German and The Teaspoon.”

Sky Plus Desperate Romantics on BBC1 in July:
I’ve started watching this whilst doing my Ironing. It’s OK; it runs on into August… Did I really just type that? God I’m turning into my mother!!

Have a romantic day out on the beech wearing Sandals, a “sharp sexy dress for summer day to night wear” 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:
See post “The Stench of romance”

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
I listened to all of these albums, 3 of which were tripe, little Boots was just Ok and Madness was the best of them all.

Read Cold Comfort Farm:
I loved this book; I’ve recommended it to a few people too. This was definitely one of the most positive things to come out of the July list.

Go to Marie Claire’s “How to Get Published” evening:
I’ve just been to this and made a bit of a tool of myself. The evening’s format was talks from writers and agents in the industry, followed by a book signing from one of the writers. I was already feeling a bit nervous as I was on my own, then the large lady that I was sat next to, readjusted herself in her seat and actually sat on me for the last half hour. I didn’t really know what to do and spent most of this time wandering what the socially acceptable response is to being sat on. Which I finally decided was to sit very still and pretend it wasn’t happening. When I was released and got to the front to get my book signed, I looked at the Author. She looked at me. I said “Please will you sign my book?” to which she looked at me with a glare that could only be read as “Why do you think I’m sat here – signing books?!” I went bright read, got my book signed and ran off.


Take a food intolerance test:
This gave me more than I ever bargained for. Rather than an allergy to a food, I have developed an allergy to the holistic hockery pokery that is kinesiology. See post “What is the opposite of a pen”

Eat 5 small meals a day, every 3 hours between 7am and 7pm with my largest meat at 1pm:
I tried at this, and for the first week was doing OK. The second week I was on holiday and although trying it was quickly driving husband mad - to the point he banned the regime as it was ruining his trip. Week three was swine flu, where I didn’t feel like eating at all, and by week 4 I’d given up based on the failure of the previous 2 weeks. I don’t eat 5 times a day most days, so this was only upping my calorie intake. I also don’t have a job where I can be guaranteed to be home before 7, so although it sounds fairly simple – this way of eating really doesn’t fit into my lifestyle, and it my weight increased in that first week, rather than decreased slightly as you would expect with extra meals thrown in.


Go for a colonic:
See post C.O.L.O.N.I.C *shudder*

Cut out salt and eat more Celery and Parsley:
This is truly a point to Marie Claire, before July I thought that Celery was the devil’s food. After forcing myself to eat it every day….. I actually quite like it!

Take Spirulina:
I really can’t see any physical benefits from taking this. It’s not stopped me from wanting to jump into a vat of melted chocolate on a daily basis and splosh around in it giggling like a maniac – which it supposedly does.

Drink 2 litres of water a day:
Done, my skin is a little better, but not much.

Do interval training and lift weights:
I did this 3 times, there was no guidance from Marie Claire as to frequency, and it was hideous, so I exercised up until the Swine Flu – then spent a week in bed.

Think Positive, 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”:
I did this once and felt like a twat. Not great when the idea is to let go of self doubt.

Improve my circulation with massage or use a cellulite massager:
I’ve been doing this in the shower nearly every day. I can’t see a massive difference, but my cellulite isn’t a big problem.

Sit on the edge of my seat every day to improve circulation:
I put a note in my calendar to do this every day. In fact, I’m doing it now – but it really hurts my back.

Go for Laser treatment on your lady garden:
The laser has broken at my clinic, so my appointment is being moved into August. I’ll report back on this torture once it’s been done. One massive problem with not knowing when it will be moved to, is I can’t fake tan as there is to be no pigment on the skin as it attracts the laser. Oh well, at least the soles of my feet can return to their normal colour for a change.

Exfoliate like an expert:
I bought the Garnier scrub, it smells nice, it err scrubs. Can’t say much more than that. It’s not a product I’ve used and thought I could never live without it again such as Touch ├ęclat.

Moisturise with a heavy moisturise after every shower:
I’ve been doing this and definitely had more compliments than usual of how nice I smell.

Vary the style of my shoe from day to day:
Randomly, I think I managed this about 90% of the time. Can’t say my feet are any happier.

Look up fivefingershoes on lovethoseshoes.com
Did this – would never buy them. They look like lizard feet.

Daily foot stretching at my desk, as per the recommendation of Doreen Baker – chief exec of the Association of reflexology:
I put a note in my calendar to do this daily. I haven’t noticed a difference but will carry on as I can’t see the harm either.

Massage each foot for 20 seconds each night to plump them up:
I did this when I remembered; my feet were no more “plump” when I woke than when I went to sleep. Though I love a good foot rub, so it’s a good excuse for me to get Husband to play with my feet.

Apply rich foot cream and massage feet from the foot to knee.
I did this whenever I gave myself a pedicure; my feet are starting to look a tiny bit improved. Though I have grown a little forest of hairs on my big toes which I noticed in absolute horror this Saturday.

Give myself 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:
I did this twice in July, and my feet look a little better.

Leave my foundation at home when I am on holiday this month. Only taking eye liner, blotting paper and bright pink lipstick:
*Groan* It’s not as if my face could catch the sun as there was no sun. So I just looked pale, with the same taste in lipstick as Jacky Stallone
.
Leave hair to dry naturally when on holiday:
I forgot my hairdryer, so this wasn’t hard. But to my perm’s credit, it kept itself on a low and I was able to tie my hair up fine.

For one day on holiday, leave my hair mask on all day:
I did this and then went to watch Harry Potter, not realising that an older person with greasy hair at a children’s film is NEVER a good look.
Spray Perfume in my hair and body oil on my body whilst on holiday:
Done – no revelation to be had here.. Move on people.

Make use of local resources for beauty products:
I found a box of “Norman’s Home Grown Cucumbers” in Southwold, used this to put on my eyes whilst in the bath one day. I’d forgotten how nice that actually feels!

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:
All done, but I’ve lost my nice pink jumper already. I’ve also go to hand it to Marie Claire, I’m won over with the socks and shoes thing…it looks really good.


101 fashion ideas. All nautical themed:
I managed to make the majority of my outfits this month look a little nautical with the aid of my new trusty union jack scarf. This has appeared in Augusts issue too thank goodness – so it was a good investment.

Enter the Swiss Spar Break competition:
Done

Have a lunch time manicure, but only use coral, fuchsia or electric blue nail varnish:
I felt like a teenager with bad taste in makeup for all of 2 days, wafting bright pink nails around until I could take it no longer and removed the offending polish.

Use a hand cream daily with SPF:
Apply daily nail and cuticle cream:
This is probably the biggest physical difference I have noticed this month. For the first time in my entire life, someone (the nail technician) called my once shitty nails “Strong and in good condition”. I’ve longed for good nails forever, and it seems that Marie Claire has the answer in simply errr… looking after them!

Once a week use my face scrub on my hands
I did this until last weekend, when my face scrub was removed from me by Manchester Airport and “Incinerated” which I thought a little drastic just because it was in a slightly too big bottle.

Use fairy Liquid this month (I’m sorry Ecover, I promise I will come back to you!):
Smells good, but I’ll be back to Ecover as soon as it runs out.

Take a deep breath after work every day and smile:
I put this in my calendar to do at the end of each working day. My boss read said entry and spent an afternoon paranoid that I hated my job so much I had to remind myself to smile in order not to go completely under. Instead, she now thinks I’m slightly bonkers for following the advice of an Orbit advertorial.

Follow my stars – apparently I will need to remind my partner that he is worthy of me:
Judging by what he has had to put up with in July, I need to remind myself how lucky I am.

Well there you have it!

No thinner, no prettier, no richer, a new found love of celery, great nails, an unnatural love for a grey t shirt and an unlikely ambassador for socks with shoes

Not a bad start, not a great start, 11 months left to get there