Sunday, 25 October 2009
Another Marie Claire tip for feeling rich in bed, was to sup on champagne and chow down on some oysters. Ahh oysters, those little love molluscs that look like someone phlegmed up in a shell, and taste…well… like someone phlegmed up in a shell.
A few years ago, I attempted a romantic evening with oysters and Husband. I envisaged a wondrous evening; we would stare deep into each others eyes, declaring our love followed by lots of romping.
Having never bought oysters before, I toddled off down to Waitrose and sought out the advice of one of the staff there on how to get started. The staff member, which I now know to be a completely unreliable asset to that particular Waitrose, told me that before swallowing the oyster – I had to bite it first to kill it. If I didn’t do this, it would be alive in my stomach and have a little party in my gut.
This sounded fairly barbaric, but never the less I was hell bent on harnessing the aphrodisiac powers of these little creatures - and subsequently having a great old time with Husband that night in the bedroom.
Husband isn’t the biggest fan of shellfish on the best of days, so I was apprehensive to say the least when presented with the two slimy snot-like molluscs. I knew I had to lead by example and knocked one back, biting down on it first before I swallowed to make sure it wasn’t going to set up home in my tummy and breed.
Husband, grasping the shell looked unconvinced at my strained “mmmm” pat your tummy, yummy face. He put the shell to his lips and tipped the oyster in. Then came the romantic bit, the aphrodisiac bit, the bit that made Husband irresistible. He started to choke on the oyster, his taste buds and throat rejecting the salty snotty flesh. Running to the sink, he manager to perform his own mini Heimlich and flobbed the oyster back up into the sink. Where it slid around, in its own little puddle of salt water and spit.
This my friends, is not sexy. My libido, along with Husband’s did not kick into overdrive, rather recoil and beg for mercy. When I read out to Husband that oysters and champagne featured this month, neither of us were jumping for joy.
So we compromised. Using the saffron butter recipe from the Marie Claire September Issue, I fried off the oysters with some added chilli and ginger for good measure. Both husband and I managed to get them down with little fuss, made easier with a champagne chaser.
I must say, I did feel fruity that evening. But then I don’t know how much of that was down to the alcohol rather than the oysters. I don’t think oysters will be a regular addition to our menu - raw or fried. Husband knows that all he needs to do is have clean ears and haircut and I go to jelly, though if he turned up with a bottle of champagne more often, that certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing!
My friend Systems is not only very organised (hence how she earned her blog name), but also buff. She’s one of those annoying people who gets a buzz out of the burn. The enjoyment of exercise is a totally foreign concept to me. In order for me to enjoy it, it needs to be hidden or repackaged as something else. So a bike ride for example, is only enjoyable if it’s a romantic outing with husband. Swimming is only fun if it involves going to see lots of nice fish and running – well – I’ve still not managed to go for a run, going for lots of lunch time walks / shopping instead.
In the October issue of Marie Claire, there is an advertorial on how to get the perfect arms in 4 weeks. Week one is to use Dove hair minimising deodorant. This I can do! The second week ads in some cardio (lunch time walks as mentioned) and resistance training. Week three introduces exfoliating from head to toe and week four is giving oneself a good fake tan.
I decided that if I was going to do this properly, I needed to enlist the help of an expert regarding the exercise. Systems used to have a personal training business, so I went round to get some tips. Systems being Systems had not only devised me a plan, but had kindly gotten me a big ball and some sort of elasticised exercise band that would look better placed in a sex shop than a gym.
I nearly cried when we compared arm muscles. I have what is known (mainly by Scouse) as “Turbo Arm”. Turbo Arm often pops up on pictures where your arm is caught side on by a camera. Due to the arm being as toned as bowl of rice pudding, it sort of spreads out against my side, looking similar to a ham on the bone rather than a lovely toned bicep.
So two or three times a week I have been doing arm exercises with the rubber band and ball whilst watching TV. I don’t know the real names of the exercises because I managed to leave my plan at Systems’ house. So in order to remember them I have given them descriptive names such as bondage curls and sex face lifts, appealing to the memory banks of my incredibly immature brain.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
You have probably gathered that I love cake, Husband and booze by now. But one thing I really love that you may not have picked up on thus far… is old people. Old people warm my cockles, they seem to be the last generation with manners and their take on life the universe and everything is usually both wise, and more often than not hilarious.
I used to live next to a little old man called Sid. He was a super star. Everything about him is lovely. So much so that I’d get a burning urge to give him a great big cuddle every time I saw him (which I had to fight so I didn’t get into trouble for cuddling old people against their will). Then we moved, and there are no old people on my new road, no one that wears a shirt, tie and hat on a Sunday.
That’s why I was over the moon today to meet Gladys. I had arranged to meet Carol from Jireh Women http://www.jirehwomen.org/ at a local Church where she was giving a talk to the Women’s Fellowship. Gladys is the secretary and from the minute she sat down to talk to me, it took me all my power to not cuddle her senseless.
When Gladys realised why I had turned up, she sat with me right up until Carol arrived, introducing me to all her friends as “Josy” (which isn’t my name) and telling them why I was there. Her friend Elsie took great delight in telling me that she had stored her wedding dress in a Kwik Save bag for 40 years and that she could still get into her dress on her 40th anniversary.
The reason for Elsie’s subject of conversation was because I was sat there with Gladys and a very large suitcase. In the suitcase was my wedding dress, and I was going to give it away.
In October’s issue of Marie Claire, I read the first editorial piece so far that genuinely moved me so much so that I had to act. The report is about a western lady who lives in Uganda, who organised a mass wedding to give the women and men in the camp hope. The dresses were donated by women in the U.K. and enabled a handful of women and men to move on from their past of unthinkable atrocities, and begin working towards a happy future.
Jireh Women is an organisation that is collecting wedding dresses to send over to Uganda for a new project. A wedding dress hire shop, the proceeds of which will go to Ugandan women to begin building their own business, enabling them a means to their own independent sustainability.
After reading the article I didn’t think twice. I love my dress, but it’s been hanging in my mum’s wardrobe for the last 2 years as a reminder that I’ve put on a stone since I got married. I can no longer get in it without spilling out of all the nooks and crannies and so my only reason for still having it was pure sentiment.
I’ve thought of a number of uses for it over time from selling it, to making teddies and blankest out of it for my first child. After reading the article however, I knew that this was the destiny of my dress and contacted Carol at Jireh Women to arrange getting it to her.
As luck would have it she is local, and even luckier still was in my area tonight. So I went over to the church she was speaking at after work and got more than I bargained for. Not only did I meat Carol and Pearl who were lovely, I also met Gladys and friends who I could have spent all evening with if I didn’t have other arrangements.
This is probably the most significant event to come out of my year long project so far. It was emotional giving away my wedding dress, I was sad to think I would never see or touch it again. But the thought of that dress working to contribute to future of the women I read about made it easy to hand it over.
I did consider replacing the dress in my suitcase with Gladys, but quickly reminded myself what was socially acceptable and lawful when it comes to the abduction of little old ladies, so returned empty handed and cuddled my cat once home instead.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Originally uploaded by mariecandme
Apparently sorting out my finances will improve my sex life; make me feel “richer” in the emotional sense. Last month, Husband and I took our eye off the ball financially, and it kind of got us into a bit of hot water. This is unusual for us as I am pretty stringent with our money in v money out, mainly due to sorting out the 4 years of money out and no money in that was my time at uni.
I’m not sure how this will affect our sex life though. Last month I was a bit footloose and fancy free with the finances. Buying my lunches rather than making them (ooh the danger), putting the odd thing on my credit card, and generally overspending because we let our hair down a fair bit (lock me up I’m TOO wild). This bad financial behaviour didn’t then transfer into some parallel sexual energy though. I wasn’t dancing around in naughty undies, getting Husband to talk dirty to me by spelling out naughty words on an upside down calculator. 58008 anyone?
My finances needed sorting anyway, so I’ve spent the last couple of hours sifting through the money in v money out for this next month. Working out payments, arguing with Husband, depressing myself with how little we have each to spend on fun stuff this month. Now forgive me, it may be a malfunction in my libido so you must not take this as red - especially from a measly sample of one. But quite frankly, the last thing I want now is to go and do rude things with Husband.
1. I’m pissed off at him because we just had a pointless argument about money.
2. I’m depressed at facing the truth, November is going to be no fun.
3. My eyes and brain hurt from all the working out
4. I’m in a bad mood, and when in a bad mood I want wine and cake, not rudies.
Maybe there is a lag time? Maybe I will wake up tomorrow feeling a weight has been lifted and pounce on husband? Maybe my calculator has nothing to do with my Libido at all.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
Originally uploaded by mariecandme
On Monday I went for my free Bobby Brown makeup lesson. I decided that I would take my copy of Marie Claire and show the lady the article on How To Look Expensive. This plan was foiled when I realised I had forgotten the magazine on my way to work that morning, so I needed to be sure that I could articulate exactly what I wanted well enough without having the picture to hand.
I’d had a bit of a hard day at work and was experiencing what I like to call “brain drain”. Where all the thinking and problem solving leaves a big empty space, and stringing a sentence together becomes like dropping a box of scrabble on the floor and them finding the letters to spell out what you want to communicate to the world.
“So, what are we doing today”
The girl behind the counter had nice make up on, it’s always a great sign when they don’t look like a clown or they have been punched in the face.
“Erm – I want to look expensive please”
The girl then laughed at me with a slightly confused look on her face
She sat me down and we worked out together that what I actually meant was, that I wanted to find a really nice red lipstick that suited my colouring. So she set to work, and my brain started to spark and jumpstart a little back to life. After 5 minutes or so we were having a good giggle, then her friend who was walking through the store turned up – and joined in the conversation.
It stopped feeling like I was in the middle of Selfridges and more like I was in a mate’s lounge having a good gossip. I liked this girl, I trusted her, I believed in her. I honestly thought that when I was released into the night, I wouldn’t have a big orange head and resemble Jackie Stallone, which has happened to me in the past. The time came when she applied the lippy, and with pride she stepped back and asked me to look in the big mirror.
I nearly jumped out of my skin! The lipstick was so bright, it made my hooker pink lipstick look like a dull moon to this lipstick’s big bloody bang.
What now? We were getting on famously! What do you do? Do you throw your arms around her in a vain attempt to hide your horror and save any awkwardness? Or do you say “What the F**K have you just done to my head?”.
I settled for…
“ I really don’t think I have the confidence for a colour this bright” to which I saw a micro expression of annoyance, but then she sat me down and we tried on some different shades of red.
We finally found it, together, as the great team that we were. Bobby Brown’s Lip colour rouge a levres in Scarlet. I LOVE it. I’ve worn it nearly every day since. Its a bit more pinky than your normal pillar box red, but still has a 1940’s film start vibe when you wear it with eyeliner flicks.
The next day, I recreated the expensive look as I was going out with Milnoids to meet some new contacts at work. I made a real effort, putting on T dress and heels and felt really good all morning in the office.
The meeting went well, no tumbleweed blew across the boardroom when we were presenting and I felt positive as I stood up to shake the hands of those that attended. But as I put my hand round my back to find the arm of my coat, I noticed that my hand got caught on some unexplained fabric. As it dawned on me, I could feel my face beginning to burn up and a slight burn rise up my throat.
All day, that’s a good 8 hours people, I had been walking around my office, and now in this meeting – with the zip of my dress undone right down to my bum! Now everyone knew that underneath this woman with a lovely dress and “Expensive” looking makeup… Was actually someone who wears her tights up to her nipples for security and can’t get dressed in the morning!
Oh the shame. I am a loser.
Originally uploaded by mariecandme
Falsies make an appearance in October’s Marie Claire, which both excited me, and filled me with dread. Whenever I’m feeling a bit flush, I go to MAC and have one of their makeovers. For £25, you get your face done, but then get that £25 back in products. Usually I will include some falsies in this £25 and the makeup artist will apply them with one swift movement, making the whole operation look easy.
I’ve learned over time, that coming at your eye with a wispy spider’s leg coated in glue – is definitely not an easy task. I have since ruined every pair of MAC eyelashes that I have ever bought, due to the glue drying before I’ve managed to get the trajectory right. This is why it wasn’t my greatest moment when I decided to wear the falsies I had bought for October, to my friends wedding.
I followed the makeup tips and everything was going OK. I tried a number of tactics to avoid the act of applying the falsies, making a brew, getting dressed, drying my hair etc. But the time came when all I had left to do, was to apply the glue and somehow manage to attach the lash to my lash line rather than my eyebrow. This my friends, took me nearly 40 bloody minutes.
I’d stick one end down and the other end would flick up in defiance. “YOU WILL NOT KEEP ME DOWN” they seemed to scream as they put up a heroic effort to peel themselves away from my eyelids… taking my eye makeup with it. I started to panic, because it was getting close to the time we needed to leave in order to get to the wedding on time. My panicking consisted of faster but less calculated movements with the eyelash towards my face and then squawking at husband as if it was somehow his fault – even though he was in the kitchen and I was in the bathroom.
So I admitted defeat on one corner, and let this curl up away slightly, hoping that either no one would notice, or those that did would be too polite to say anything. I asked husband who is usually always a bit too honest and he said he couldn’t tell so I felt I was good to go.
The wedding was lovely, and the lashes stayed in place all day. Even after a fair amount of Vodkas and Wine and laughing. My friends, Mr and Mrs Z who were staying with us mentioned that they had been reading the blog and asked me what on earth I was thinking of when I bought my snakeskin shoe boots. The answer is – I wasn’t thinking, and I ask you again out there. If anyone wants to buy them off me for £50 email me at email@example.com. They have been worn only once and it’s only sheer luck that I didn’t break my neck. I need to walk before I can run when it comes to “fierce footwear” I think!
Mr Z writes a blog on here too actually - Check it out at http://betweensympathyanddetachment.blogspot.com
Sunday, 11 October 2009
I managed to lose my original pair of pink tights that I bought for the September list…. In my house. I’m not sure how I’ve managed to lose some blindingly bright hosiery, but they are nowhere to be found. They are probably hiding with my bow ring and one anchor earring. I’m not sure how I manage to lose so much stuff in a relatively small house!
I managed to find an equally bright pair in Gap last week, so thought I would wear them in the safest place possible. A very dark and dingy club. Only, my plan for the tights to be dulled in the dinge and dark of the basement club - went wrong the minute I was surrounded by friends and music. This is largely because I got a little bit giddy - realising that bright pink tights are kind of fun. I then proceeded to point and wiggle them in front of all that I knew there.. squealing – “look at my pink tights!” I can’t even blame alcohol this time because I was driving. I’ll definitely be wearing them again though, a bit of bubblegum glamour might just be what I need to brighten up the darkening winter northern skies.
I also recreated the glossy, smokey eyes from the October makeup tips. I’m not sure you can tell from the picture, but I really like the smokey, grungy make up. It makes me feel a bit mucky…. in a good way ;-)
Marie Claire has suggested a fair amount of exercise over the past few months. Some I have managed, some I haven’t. The manageable exercise, is the exercise I need to do in order to get somewhere I need to be. So ditching the lift and taking the stairs is easy to build into my day, as is chasing down the street after complete strangers.. Being so rubbish at exercise, I try to build a walk around town into my day too, using errands at lunch time as my motivation.
On Thursday I had a very important errand. To locate and buy… Sliver dip.
When Woolworth’s closed I didn’t bat an eyelid, stupidly thinking that Woolworths was not a retail outlet that made a difference to my life. That was until the day I needed some Dylon. Realising Woolworths was more than mini cans of pop and pick and mix, I ended up having to order the stuff off the internet
The same issue popped up last week when I decided to clean up an old cuff I had, in order to fulfil a fashion item from the September issue. Where on earth do you get Silver Dip from now Woollies has closed? I traipsed from one end of Manchester to the other, racking my brain as to where to look.
My first thought was Poundland, asking the advice of the sales assistant.. she looked at me as if I insulted her with my buffoonery – so I took this as a no and went on my way.
I took this little bubble of buffoonery over to the other side of the shopping centre and went into a jewellers, asking “where in town I might buy Silver dip?” The sales assistants all looked up, and chanted “Here?!” in unison. All were wearing an expression that led me to believe that in their heads, they had followed the audible “Here” with a in-audible “Of course you bloody idiot, this is a jewellers full of silver”
I spent the remainder of lunch at my deskcleaning up this piece of jewellery, which probably would have remained forgotten if it wasn’t for the September issue. I LOVE it and had ignored it for years after it had gone dull, grubby and lost the ribbon.
The cuff was bought at Sheffield Hallam Uni, made by a girl called Sarah on the metalwork and jewellery course. She has hammered a lace pattern into the cuff, and drilled holes in the back to lace up with ribbon. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since and plan to make a lot more use of it now it looks shiny and new again. I feel like a bit of an idiot for not cleaning it up sooner and think this may be the start of a silver dipping frenzy!
Monday, 5 October 2009
Originally uploaded by mariecandme
I was rocking my "Statement necklace" today at work.I'm not sure what statement I was making exactly, other than - "check out my ace new massive necklace!" Made and sent to me by the lovely Marika King www.marikaking.com.au It attracted more than one positive comment from people at work. Also I went for lunch with my mate Tann, and in his own way he paid me a lovely compliment which went something along the lines of.. "I like your head, I like this (Points at necklace) in fact I like your whole ensemble" Bless you Tann and your very male way of communicating!
I wore this with the chinos and boots outfit from August, with a simple white vest. I feel really comfortable in this outfit. It feels like me. The lovely Marika ships world wide, and is my cousin-in-law, which are 2 very good reasons to check out her site. This is definitely a nod to Marie Claire - it's been a long time since I've walked around in something a little more daring than normal and felt confident enough to carry it off. Having said that - I got November's issue yesterday and it's all about bloody jumpsuits. My friend H has one and it looks ace on her - but I'm only just getting to grips with socks and shoes.... A jumps suit seems a like running before I can walk.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Never the less, last night, as you may have read in my previous post I took a “legal high” at a birthday gathering. This “legal” over the counter capsule, had me loved up and chattering away to all in proximity, and one particular poor girl seemed to attract the attention of Gizmo and I for the majority of the evening.
I’ve rechecked Marie Claire’s “Rules of Making Friends” and it looks like on this occasion it may have been an EPIC fail.
1. Get Over It – This relates to letting go of old friendships that aren’t working anymore, so doesn’t really apply here.
2. Take it slowly – Not a chance, last night I think I was talking at about 100 miles an hour, offering advice to this poor girl about anything from getting business funding to being a model.
3. Don’t be too blue – Winner! I don’t think I could have been more on top of the world last night! I was, most definitely not miserable. Unfortunately my level of happiness is now making me cringe.
4. Keep Something Back – FAIL, I over shared to heroic levels last night, mostly inanely useless crap. The something I should have kept back was quite possibly everything that came out of my mouth. CRINGE.
5. Give and Take – Hmm the poor girl didn’t have much chance to do any giving, I was, by all accounts an oxygen thief in the conversation.
6. Be open to new sorts of people – I would have been hugging tramps if I had been given half a chance last night. It’s a good job we found a taxi right away. Left on the street for any longer outside the pub and I would have started offering love and advice to all the students milling around.
So it looks like these rules may have something in them. Because last night I did the exact opposite and It’s quite possible I repelled new friendships, rather than even leaving people feeling indifferent! Oh, well – you live and learn!
I decided to try the Smokey eyes and rock chick look in the October issue, and as I love any excuse to trowel on eye make up was really pleased with the results.
A bottle of wine and double rum and coke later, Gizmo turned up. Gizmo has been referred to by a different name earlier in the blog. I’ve decided to change her name because she has an innocent face that can get her out of any sort of trouble. Gizmo had been drinking since 2 in the afternoon and met us at nine, so was very well oiled and we needed to move on to start playing catch up.
We decided to move on to a birthday gathering on the other side of town, meeting Husband and H’s husband to be. Once in the pub, Gizmo produced a little bag of capsules she had bought over the counter at a local herbal high shop. I mean, how bad could they be? They were legal, they we herbal (so must be good for you!) and alarmingly labelled up as “Plant food” – but the legal and herbal bit won out so I ate one.
Fast forward 2 hours, husband had possibly told every person in the pub he loved them, had eyes like saucers and was bouncing off the walls. Gizmo and I had managed to both fit into one chair, and trap a lovely poor girl in the corner while we yabbered at her, only breaking to run off and yabber at someone else. Every time we were on our own we concluded that people couldn’t get away from us fast enough, but then forgot this, and carried on verbally hammering utter crap at anyone that was within a 2 meter radius.
At one point I insisted that everyone play “guess where my top is from” – because it was from Tesco, and for some reason I felt that this was vital piece of information that needed sharing. I’ve got holes in my memory but I’m absolutely certain of a few things.
1. I repeated myself
2. I said something inappropriately over familiar to someone I had just met.
3. I asked the same person the same question 2 or 3 times, forgot the answer - then asked it again.
4. I over shared
5. I told people I loved them
6. Judging by my throat this morning, I was talking about 10 decibels higher than I thought.
7. I talked a heroic amount of crap.
I lost all sense of self awareness, and accused husband of having saucer eyes and talking to much…. Completely ignoring the fact that my pupils had taken over my iris and I hadn’t shut up for about 4 hours solid.
We both woke up with the fear this morning – and both concluded that these “Herbal highs” contained as much herbs as a student’s shopping trolley. So I have no photos for you – because I was too busy talking, and I want to put last night in the “One to forget” draws in my brain’s filing cabinet.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
The book turned up last week, and as a joke – I asked lodger to open the package for me because I was cooking. She fell about laughing, mainly due to one of the contributors being called “Annie Sprinkle.”
So over the last few evenings I’ve been having a read. It’s full of really dodgy language like “Female waters” and compares sexual organs and functions to things like fountains and caves. This was enough to get husband, wetting himself…. With laughter.
There is chapter after chapter about how finding the G spot will seemingly ad to my female liberation, it’s history, it’s importance etc etc. OK, fair enough, but I don’t think I will ever be obsessed enough with it to read a whole book on it – especially when I’m still finishing the picture of Dorian Grey from 2 months back!
The book comes with diagrams, which completely befuddled husband, and this morning I had to spend a good 5 minutes convincing him not only of the orientation of said diagram but also that the things in the diagram actually existed. To which he exclaimed “this is the shittest diagram I have ever seen in my life”
I won’t be updating with you to the progress of discovery – mainly because I don’t think you ever started reading this blog to discover the inner anatomy of my love cave or whatever weird and wonderful way this book likes to describe it! But, as this is part of the Marie Claire project, rest assured it is part of October’s agenda. (Sorry Lodger!)
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Send a letter to the editor – Done, I’ve written about an article published in this issue about donating wedding dresses to Uganda.
Log on to Marieclaire.co.uk/fashionweek
Catch up with the Marie Claire Blogs
Enter the “Win The Ultimate VIP Party” competition
I’ve done this – maybe this will be my lucky month? I get finger ache typing my details into all these bloody competition forms. Surely I’m due for a win soon!
Watch this face: Carey Mulligan.
Apparently she is in a Brit film called The Education this autumn. If you want to come watch it with me drop me a line.
Fashion: Recreate as many of the below as far as my budget will allow.
I’ve just bought a holiday to Egypt – how very apt
Fabulous Fuchsia – give your wardrobe an injection of zing with shocking pink. Team with black and lashings of attitude:
This is great as I bought a limited edition London Fashion Week dress from FCUK in bright pink on the advice of Marie Claire last month. It looks ace and is bright pink woohoo.
Mix and Match Print:
This looks wonderful on the model, on my it would look like I had vomited on myself.
Buckle Up: “Striking and detailed, a fabulous belt will keep you elegantly wasted.”
I’ve just invested in a cool thin studded waist belt from ASOS. This not only sorts out October’s belt suggestion but also September and Augusts’ obsession with studs. With my snakeskin Kurt Geiger shoobs, baggy vest and skinny jeans - I may have an outfit that fits with this rock trend that seems to be emerging. Ooh it’s all coming together now!
Absolute ASOS: Justify your ASOS Love
See above! It also urges you to buy a Stephen Webster Mosquito ring. These aid the charity Malaria No More and as weird as it seems having a mozzy on your finger – it’s a brilliant ring. However it’s £50 so I may have to wait until next pay day.
Shoes That Make You Go Ooh. Look well-heeled in flashy, fluorescent footwear:
Oh dear, another ambiguous description “flashy, fluorescent” I’m going to get tied up in knots with what line a shoe has to cross to become flashy – and then also what line of brightness the shoe has to be to be fluorescent. Because fluorescent isn’t neon or is it? The shoes on the page don’t look neon – they just look bright.. God – It’s already starting. I may have to ignore this one for my own sanity.
What to wear for the weekend. Get your wardrobe ready for some R&R with these key casual pieces:
These Key pieces are various stripy sleved tops ranging from £30 - £260. So in essence, what Marie Claire is saying is.. buy a stripy jumper. Best thing about this… Is they suggest wearing them with some flat leather biker style boots, so I get to wear these some more! They also suggest carrying around a small dog (well in the picture anyhow.) Thus far husband has banned me from having a mini sausage dog – This may give my argument a bit more clout.
The chunky knit: Textured knits are everywhere this season and are a great alternative to the traditional coat.
Living in Northern England it would make sense for me to follow this trend and buy up all the thermal leggings and chunky sweaters I can. Only problem is that Husband has a mental block when it comes to doing the washing and tends to boil wash wool with repetitive gusto. So I doubt anything I will buy now would last through to winter.
On the very next page, after offering a traditional alternative to the coat…there is the Dress down coat! Whether it’s a parker a duffle or a Puffa (seriously – a puffa?! ) We all need a cosy shrug on coat hanging by the door:
Seriously – a PUFFA?
Luxurious Leather. Sexy and Sassy and fabulously tactile (And bloody expensive), this season’s leather pieces scream glam rock.
I need to get real here. Unless I get a hand me down, I can’t afford any fashionable leather items that I might not be wearing next year.
Sweeping Statements. From full-on sparkle at Moschino to giant gems at Lavin. The catwalks’ bold necklaces are big news this season.
I love these big necklaces, I want one that I can wear on my holiday on the beach like in the girls in adverts for Ibiza clubbing albums.
Glam Grunge. Fierce fashion is creating a strong impression this season. But ensure you keep it feminine with sexy tailored pieces, high heels and gorgeous glossy make-up:
Cool – I’ve just bought a black dress with zip details from FCUK as the basis for some “Glam Grunge”. I really need to go out more to wear some of these frocks! also used the discount code in Marie C for 20% of at FCUK so that’s a winner!
The 80’s are back. (Again – yawn) But this time round, shapes are more daring than ever: Does anyone else not think that the 80’s was one large fashion mistake the first time round?
Easy Street: Embrace this season’s laid back elegance in relaxed modern tailoring.
Lost Weekend: Fall in love with autumns romantic chiffon and chunky knits. I’d love to, but I can’t find a chiffon dress for love nor money at the moment!
The Extra Factor: Bold and beautiful style-statement accessories add “wow” to any outfit.
Dark dramatic eyes – follow the 5 different ways to achieve this look. (This includes “Power brows” which quite honestly scares the shit out of me. Who ever found someone attractive due to their “Power Brows”?)
There is a step by step video on line on how to do this at marieclaire.co.uk/mctv
My Space – Book your bathroom for a 5* pampering session.
This article is all about recreating spa worthy results at home – but the prices of some of the products that Marie C is saying to use are more than an actual spar weekend (Including dinner!) on lat minute.com. So it doesn’t seem worth it to me.
There is one that seems affordable – the “Purifying Complexion Facial”, which when I read through – is actually just washing your face.
There are 4 massages to try which I am sure Husband can help me with, and 3 types of bath soak which I will try to make rather than buy as they are all around £20. There is also the suggestion of taking a cold bath straight after a hot bath to prevent water retention. I wonder if the beauty editor actually does this – or sits at home cackling at the thought of thousands of gullible sods like me sitting in cold baths with blue toes and heroic nipple erections?
6 teas to try in my home spa are as follows:
Stress = Green Tea
Insomnia = Wu Yi Oolong Tea
Weight Loss = Pu erh tea (Big in Hollywood apparently)
Problem Skin = Dr Stuart’s Skin Purify
Water Retention = Green Tea
Anti Aging = Green Tea (Dragon Well Green Tea is strongest on the market)
Bobbi Brown are doing free make up lessons in John Lewis and Selfridges.
Book a Giorgio Armarni make-up class in Selfridges. On the index page it says this is free – but when you get to the article you realise it’s actually £30 redeemable against products… sneaky! - I called to book and they had sold out.
How to look expensive – sexy shimmer. Maybe I can take this page down to Bobbi Brown and they can teach me how to do it!
Post a question to the Beauty editors at marieclaire.co.uk/askthebeautyeditors – I posted more of a plea rather than a question about my perm.
Recreate Kim Basinger’s hair in LA confidential. That should be fun and take me about 3 days to do
Use cushions to bring different looks into a room. (mix and match)
The best way to bring light into a room is to paint floorboards off white. In Manchester, it’s also the best way to make a room drop a few degrees in temperature.
Scented Candles are very personal and add atmosphere.
Chandeliers spread light into a room. Customise them with coloured glass paint.
Cook Jayne Middlemiss’ 3 course meal
Cook the 2 butternut squash recipes on the Fairy dishwasher tablets advertorial.
5 things I must not miss
Mercury Prize - too late – I missed it, but I’m very annoyed the wonderful Florence and the Machine didn’t win!
High Street Fashion week – I missed this too. This is the problem having mags cover dated the month after they are published.
Harvest at Jimmy’s
I actually got tickets to this! But it’s a 6 hour drive so gave them away because logistically we couldn’t manage it that weekend.
Jane Austin Festival – missed this too – um not doing too well so far!
Breast Cancer Awareness month – Phew this is firmly in October between the 1st and 31st. Wear it pink on the 30th of October, I can manage that.
Media – When it comes to what to watch and listen to, I’m only going to concentrated on the featured items. Otherwise I would be permanently in front of the TV.
Featured Film on the Month: The Soloist, drop me a line if you want to come see it with me.
Album on the month: Pixie Lott, Turn it up.
TV Program of the Month: Small Island BBC 1
Local auctions can be a treasure trove for furniture. Use Sand paper for a distressed look.
Read Year of the Flood or Juliet Naked – I’m still reading Dorian Grey from August so I need to get a move on!
There is an article in Octobers issue about a shop that provides wedding dresses to refugee women in Uganda. This is the first article I’ve read in the magazine that has solidified a massive lump in my throat and inspired me to do something truly worth while. I’m going to donate my dress to Jireh women which is an organisation collecting dresses for a shop in Kitgum, northern Uganda and for a second shop in Kampala. http://www.jirehwomen.org/
What you can do to boost your fertility:
1.Check your Fertility
Marie C suggests buying a £179 fertility test which tests the hormone levels and quality and quantity of eggs in your ovaries. I would think that this is something you would do if you don’t get caught after a little while, but I suppose there is no harm in a 21 day blood test with the GP to check my hormone levels anyway.
2. Ask Mum
“If your mother had her menopause in her 40’s, it’s likely you will do the same” hmmm I’m absolutely sure that she didn’t, because over the past year my mum has embarked upon a flushing, forgetful emotional rollercoaster of a personality which kind of makes me think the menopause beast may be up on her now.
3. Stop Smoking.
Women who smoke go through the menopause 2 years earlier than those who don’t.
I have a about 3 cigs every 3 weeks when they accidentally fall into my mouth after a few glasses of wine. So I shouldn’t think these would be knocking years off my fertility.
4. Cut out trans-fats
So for the whole of October I need to look for “Hydrogenated Vegetable Fat” on food labels.
5. Get a (fertility friendly) life.
This means maintaining a healthy weight, cutting back on sugar and refined carbs. Eating more fibre, take daily exercise and eat one serving of full fat dairy a day.
Visit mynewhair.com and make a donation. This is a charity that provides wigs to those who have suffered medical hair-loss.
Follow the rules of making friends
Apparently, no matter how many friends you have there is always room in your life for more. Do you want to be my new friend? If so contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work through this bizarre magazine article together. I thought friendship was something natural, but apparently not.
5 ways to enrich your love life
1. Sort out your finances. Money is the most common cause of conflict, but don’t let it ruin sex. (Umm how can money ruin sex – what sort of couple goes to bed with their bank statements?) Getting back in the black can lead to great foreplay. (I’m sure there is a dirty innuendo there!)
2. Feel rich by having more sex. A US study has found that increasing intercourse from monthly to once a week brings the equivalent happiness of an additional £30k income. Yes – maybe so – but it won’t get me the heroically overpriced leather jackets you keep slapping all over your mag pages will it?!
3. Teach your man how to give you a G spot massage. Read Female Ejaculation and the G Spot by Deborah Sundahl. Who dares me to read this in the canteen at work?
4. Slip on a pair of socks. Bizarrely, research shows that 80% of women that wear socks in bed are able to climax, versus 50% with naked feet. Well I’ll be climaxing on my own then will I – Husband will be about as turned on as disconnected tap.
5. Get a taste of the high life with Oysters and Champagne.
Oh dear no! Last time we tried this it was an EPIC fail as Betty would put it. Rather than creating an air of sexual tension and romance, Husband knocked back an oyster and then immediately flobbed it back up into the sink like a giant greeny. It was about as sexy as a naked Margaret Thatcher on a cold day. They look like massive bogies in shells! Maybe we can cook them and smoother them in some sort of sauce for this!
4 weeks to Party Perfect Arms
Week One – Prepare to bare your underarms by using Dove Hair Minimising Anti-perspirant
Week 2 – “Get into shape with regular work outs: Half an hour of aerobic and half and hour of resistance exercise is ideal.”
Week 3 – Exfoliate Daily from head to toe but don’t be too zealous.
Week 4 – Apply some fake tan to you’re your new, super-smooth skin and you’re ready to wow.
Enter the competition on dove.co.uk/minimise
The Stargazer suggests you demand lots of space this month. Claustrophobic feelings are looming. Rather than pulling the pin on a promising twosome , make your misgivings known a colleague or lover may need time out too.
Letter to the Editor
I’ve already written this and got a response! I didn’t win letter of the month though booo!
Enter the Luxury weekend in New York Competitions – Done
Enter the Paul Edmunds Cut and Colour Comp – Done
Enter professional make over comp – Done
Join the “Have you ever cried at work” debate at www.marieclaire.co.uk/officelife.
I did and you can see this on the website.
Catch up with Katy Reagan’s dating Blog
Book Club book
I’m still reading Dorian Grey, funnily enough, when you work full time and try to do everything Marie Claire tells you to do, you don’t have much reading time.
Log on to marieclaire.co.uk/travel for “Staycation ideas” – Did this, then booked a holiday to Egypt… oops!
Log on to Kiva.org to discover a more targeted way of giving to charity
I’ve checked this out and it looks good. Something to consider when I’ve got back in the green after paying for my holiday.
Log on to www.marieclaire.co.uk/womanheartfilm for free preview tickets for Julie and Julia - this has sold out unless I want to go and see it in Staines… which I don’t! So will have to do this earlier next month.
“Watch this face” – Relating to actress Charlotte Riley, so I need to watch something with her face in it.
I still haven’t caught anything with her face in it, but I’ll continue to keep my eyes peeled!
Cook Gizzi Erskine’s menu for a dinner party, whilst wearing a little black dress and playing Gizzi’s playlist.
Done – See the post Dinner and the dead rat.
This month I worked the French Lady look (Today in fact), The masculine feminine look, The Tough Bohemian look, got a style statement cuff and bought some fierce footwear went out in some bubblegum glamour
See Michelle Obama’s top ten fashion moments at www.marieclaire.co.uk/michelleo
Go go Michelle O! - Done
Michelle Obama’s tips for being universally loved
1. Curb your inner toddler, pass on tips, introduce friends to each other and see your popularity sore.
2. Weave personal anecdotes into your argument. This helps win people over and makes your point without being boring.
3. When faces with a daunting social event, research something of interest to the people you’ll meet so you can focus on putting them at their ease.
4. Schedule intimacy.
5. Understand what works for your shape.
6. We can all benefit from focusing on strengths in any given situation, rather than apologising for the bits that don’t fit.
7. Being tactile can be an advantage, just don’t go over the top. Keep my touch light using subtle gestures.
8. Think of challenges and obstacles you can have fun overcoming.
I have kind of done all of the above at different points in the month – but I’m not sure I’m universally loved.
Next time I reach for chocolate, pause and ask myself: “What is this all about?”
I did, and as I suspected, It was about me, wanting to eat chocolate.
The rules of living together
Buy 2 tellies – done
But only one bed – done
Hire a cleaner –? I couldn’t justify this in the end. We are pretty good at sharing the cleaning.
Don’t eat his food – He baked a Ginger cake, which I have refused to eat, but it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped thinking about it. There. In the tin. Drizzled in Lime Iceing… DROOL
Be clear about what I want – I always have been, clean ears, no debt and a roll in the hay on the Sabbath! Can’t be much clearer than that now can I – everything else is a bonus.
See the post “There is Porn in my granny’s handbag.”
Follow the panadol packing guide on page 169 when packing for a break away. – I’ve not been away this month
Boost my lip colour. 80s inspired neon lip colours. See post “Enter the dragon, beware the hooker lipstick”
Wear shimmer for a day – See post “Darth and the Submarine”
Be bold with colour - See post “coloured Mascara”
Treat my hair to a weekly treatment. – Done
Use a sharp Kohl pencil to draw on eyeliner before a liquid eyeliner. See posts “The Flick” and “The Smudge”
Put foundation on lips before lipstick. Using a lip brush for precision. – I did this, it didn’t make a significant difference.
Use shading and lightening to bring areas of the face forward or make them recede.
You can see this in the picture of the “September hair post”. It looks good, I’ve been told I look healthier by a few people this month due to lashings of extra bronzer.
Think braids. At lacroix, a topknot was paired with plaits for a look that Malcolm Edwards called ‘Parisian Chic meets hip-hop with cornrows’
See “September Hair Post”
Make waves with a celebrity style that’s perfect for long locks.
As I suspected, the perm kind of gets in the way.
Have a complementary YSL perfect touch foundation consultation.
I did this and bought it – because I am a fool and was sucked in by the orange tentacle lady on the counter that slapped it on my face and baffled me with bollocks technology. It’s a foundation, not a bloody jet engine!
5 things I must not miss
Bestival: Sep 11th – 13th – I missed it.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s September 9th – Jan 9th, I’ve Booked it and will go in November
Cancer research Handbag Amnesty 1st – 31st September. I went into Cancer research and couldn’t see anything to do with this. I hadn’t got a spare hand bag with me in any case.
Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism, Manchester art gallery Sep 26th – Jan 10th. Haven’t done this yet, but there is still time.
London Fashion Week: Sep 18th – 22 – The stylist worked it this year, so I’ll get the gossip next time I see her.
Choose a book from the reviewed book list and read.
I still need to finish Dorian Grey – eek!
Watch Broken Embraces at the corner house.
I was meant to see this with Nursey, but we were crap at organising it. If anyone still wants to watch it – let me know.
Listen to Witney Houston, I look to You.
I can’t find this on Spotify, so not listened to it yet. I may have to download it properly.
Watch Material Girl on BBC1 – Missed it.
Don’t miss Running in heals E! - Hate it, the interns are so nasty!
Gunrush ITV- Missed it
Harpers Island BBC3 – missed it
Trinity ITV2 – I managed to catch an episode of this, it’s pretty cool. A bit dark, but I liked it.
Create a Kleenex cube – Done, see post
Mercury recons that now is the time to ask for a pay rise or call in debts. Much as you hate having to beg, needs must. Hopefully, you’ll then be able to make the most of the not inexpensive social opportunities offered by Venus. – Hmm, maybe I need to put my expenses claim in!
But never the less, as lovely as it may be, there is always room for a bit of a shakeup in the old bedroom department.
The talking dirty didn’t really work. First and foremost I’ve got a broad northern accent, have you heard dirty talk in a broad northern accent? To me it just sounds stupid. More so it sounded contrived, and didn’t so much as turn husband on rather it tickled his funny bone. Not THAT funny bone either. So I think we will shelve the dirty talk for future bedroom antics, until I actually have something poignantly dirty to actually say.
Setting the alarm half an hour early worked once or twice, but one thing Husband and I share a common love of is sleep. So the appeal in a morning lies firmly in favour of that extra half hours sleep.
Putting on some porn didn’t happen, because the porn DVD we had managed to request at Betty and the Ranger’s wedding turned up today. I blushed as I took it out of the envelope, then hid it away in my handbag, that I then realised used to be my Gran’s handbag… then everything started to feel a bit wrong, so I walked away from the handbag…,
I gave husband a back massage as per the article, which he really liked but relaxed him a bit to much, rather than have him spring into a ravenous sexual beast.
As for the rest – even for me it’s too far into the realms of over sharing – just be assured, we followed the article and as far as I am aware husband is neither scared or has any complaints.