Monday, 31 August 2009

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 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.


- 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!

Join the Marie Claire Diet club
I did the free trial for a week, and got some good tips of the forum. Then found, 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 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.

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?

“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!