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:
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
I visited all of the above, none of which changed my life.
Enter the Pandora Jewellery competition:
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:
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!
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 éclat.
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:
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