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Showing posts from 2014

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, back on Plan I go...

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It's been a few months - life's been hectic travelling to the wilds of East London (or South Essex depending on who you talk to) for work and to be honest I haven't had the energy or inclination to write. 
But it hasn't been all doom, gloom and traffic jams! As for the last two months, my work life has (temporarily) had a pattern to it as my secondment slowly came to an end (this will soon change - life will be busy again but that is how I like it!). So I seized the moment and joined Slimming World properly. 
As those have read my previous post will know, since my initial success and then plateau on the Dukan, three years ago(!), I have struggled to find the focus and found that the Dukan whilst good was not a long term fit - whilst I still only eat low fat dairy and proteins but I love carbs and am a picker!
So I put back on the weight I had originally lost (but not anything extra - I'm learning it's about the small wins!) and having tried weight watchers and ha…

NYNYStyleProject - Manicure Monday's

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As previously mentioned I have been joining in with the #NYNYStyleProject over on Instagram/Twitter on and off since it started and this month they added a weekly style prompt of Manicure Monday's. 
I have been following this prompt to a point - I have been painting my toes as I can't wear opaque nail polish at work, in fact I when working clinical shifts I avoid it, which is a shame as I love Gelish and swear that it the Gelish manicure I had back in the summer really helped improve the condition of my nails. 
My nails/cuticles/hands have become quite dry over the last few years - where once my nails grew quickly and the skin on my hands was soft and plump, because my job involves a lot of handwashing - it has effectively ruined my hands. 
Infection control in my clinical role is key - but did you know that good handwashing technique is just one way to prevent germs from harbouring on your hands - the other thing you must do is look after your skin and nails - because dry/broken…

Reconnecting with my artistic side

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As some of you may know or may have guessed from the page address I have a artistic side and love working in different mediums - I find painting a cathartic release and there are times like this week where I itch to pick up a paint brush and wile away the hours! 

I don't claim to be anywhere near as talented as my dear friend Georgina over at GeoLith - a trained artist who is fabulously talented and worth a visit or Clare - an amazing tattoo artist!  But if do have my own talents, which can be seen (and purchased) at my FB page LaharaArt or my etsy store. 
Of late my work has been child orientated, as I have been commissioned for bedroom art and baby shower gifts. 


However, my more grown up work leans towards a underwater/sea theme and I am really in love with Georgia O'Keeffe and would love to go on an artistic retreat in New Mexico to see the landscape and sights from which she drew her inspiration.

I have stood in front of Monets and Van Goghs and been captivated but to be befor…

Fashion Friday Plus Size - Week #6

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The last few weeks have flown by and whilst I haven't had time to take pics and write about it I have been following #FashionFridayPlusSize and I have also been very excited for September's #NYNYStyleProject prompts over on Instagram. 
Both have really made me look at what I am wearing and on non-clinical days have encouraged me make an effort at work as well as on my days off at home... I think I am beginning to find my style again! I just now need to feel physically comfortable in my clothing and aim for the lower end of the double dress sizes - but that's a blog for another day... 
Here is my chosen outfit of the week, which encompassed the style prompt of Black Boots... 

1. Black longline cardigan - Next  2. Black and White flecked skater dress - Primark 3. Black leggings (hidden out of picture) - New Look 4. Black wedge heel ankle boots - New Look
(which later got replaced by black ballet pumps as I wasn't comfortable driving in them) 
Finished off with my black and white…

I won't let M.E. stop ME! But what is it? you ask.

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For those who don't know, I was diagnosed with ME/CFS eight years ago. 

I would describe my level of ME as low to medium, I keep it at bay by pushing myself and trying take things slowly but not stopping completely and taking pain relief when needed (it use to be everyday but I can't deal with the additional irritability and grogginess!)
The job I do is definitely not ideal, it involves long shifts/night shifts, but it is a field which I am passionate about and which gives me the drive to move on and make the most of my own life, as I witness overcoming their fears and ailments. 
Granted, there are tough times like this week where because of work stresses and financial worries, on top of the physical side of work/life, I can feel a crash coming on but after living with this for so long I am able to recognise my own triggers and put into place contingency plans to hopefully put on the breaks - usually by booking a week off every couple of months to give me a chance to catch my bre…

Fashion Plus Size - A outfit for a casual Sunday with two of my favourite people!

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With still no hot water it has been a challenge to feel glam over the last week or so, but on Sunday, L and I were invited over to lunch with one of my oldest friends...
Whilst we only love 30 minutes apart, our hectic lives mean that we rarely get to see each other, but when we do it's like nothing has changed and we are back to being teenagers. We use to work together for the now redundant shoe shop 'Stead and Simpson' and it was there we became close - over a love of shoes and Sunday afterwork cocktails 
We are so similar, yet so different - J is very glam and a real die hard girlie, with a love of make up, sparkle and fun. She has always inspired me to make an effort with my appearance, and introduced me to Stila lip polish many moons ago - something I can not live without now! 
So when I knew we were going to be seeing her on Sunday, I wanted to make sure that I was bright and colourful but comfortable enough to play in the garden and the park with L! 
So out came my barg…

I am Frozen and I won't 'Let it Go!'

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It's been over a week now since we have had hot water... When it first happened last weekend, I thought 'oh that won't be a problem, we have boiler insurance, it'll all be sorted by mid week'... I was WRONG! 

The boiler repair man came out on Wednesday, took one look at the boiler and told me yes he could fix it BUT wouldn't be doing it that day(!) as he couldn't touch the Magnaclean filter that is fitted to the pipes as it isn't covered. Yet, such filters (particularly this make) is now recommended by Heateam and insurers, to prevent scale and sludge messing up the boiler and causing insurers a big payout! 

However, he'd come back and fix the £400 worth of parts, that had been caused by water damage from a leaking Magnaclean,  once we had got a independent plumber out to fix it (like this was a favour!)
Queue much too-ing and fro-ing with Domestic and General, the people on their claims team tried their best, they have agreed that the terms and condit…

Review: Bed Head - Small Talk

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A few weeks back I mentioned that I had purchased Small Talk and I promised myself that I would try it out properly and write a brief review... 



What does it do? The packet and my hairdresser both recommended it as a 3 in 1 product to use as a thickener/energiser/styliser to help lift hair and give the layers some volume and definition. 
My hair is fine but there's lots of it, so it appears thick, but it needs to have the frizz that's developed in the front since having L controlled, whilst not being weighed down.  Scarlett had used this on my hair when finishing it and had advised to use a pump of small talk on damp hair before styling - so once I had washed my hair I put 1 pumpful of Small Talk into the palms of my hands and distributed it through my hair avoiding the roots. It felt sticky and at first made the damp hair difficult to brush, although  through as it dried, I did notice the difference in the smoothness and my hairbrush began to glide through. 
Once dried my hair di…

Autumn fashion overhaul...

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When I got up this morning I was greeted by a crisp chill in the air, which can only mean one thing - Autumn is on it's way! 

With this realisation, comes the excitement that with it brings new fashion into the shops. 

As a child I'd spend hours looking at Mum's new Freemans catalogue at this time of year coveting all the 'winter white' and 'russet' coloured clothes (cream and burnt red to you and me!) picking out entire outfits and spending hundreds of pounds in my head... 
Today, there is not much of a change, except instead of the catalogue, I can happily lose hours online looking through my favourite shops, but because I am a 18-22 depending on the shops, I am limited and until the past season, recent fashion hadn't inspired me much and wasn't necessarily to my taste! 
Then low and behold... All my favourite styles and shapes from the 90s, began hitting the shops! 
So, inspired by #FashionFridayPlusSize I am on a mission: To turn my wardrobe(s) back i…

Fashion Friday Plus Size - My first link up - Week 3...

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I’ve been following Innocent Charm Chats blog for over a year now and LOVE her fashion posts and style, which is all about embracing your figure and loving/celebrating the fact your curvy rather than hiding away.  If you've read my previous post you will realise that I am struggling with my weight and not loving my size right now.  So when I saw a tweet about starting a #FashionFridayPlusSize I decide as part if my 30th birthday overhaul, I wanted on board. I want love what I am wearing, feel comfortable and embrace fashion in a way that suits my shape... I seemed to lose my style when I left fashion retail and gained a few sizes and now I want it back!   I didn't get around to sharing an outfit in the first two weeks -  so starting week 3 of #FashionFridayPlusSize here is my chosen outfit: 

Sleeveless Leopard Print Skater Dress - New Look Inspire (Last Year) 
Pendulum Cut Jacket - New Look Inspire
Black Leggings - Primark 
Bronze Glitter Sandals - Dorothy Perkins 
Finished off with …

Birthday surprises and pampering...

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Last Saturday was my 30th Birthday, D and L surprised me by arranging with my sister to book me into Ultraviolet to have a Gelish manicure and Therapy pedicure. 

D wanted to book me in for a facial so that I could have a proper spa day but Pia and my Mum advised him that as Ultraviolet don't do Dermalogica and I hadn't found a place locally that I liked since my beauty therapist many years ago had left the salon I use to use, he would be best to stick with the nails... 
I was a happy girl anyway. I booked in the manicure to follow my hair appointment last Tuesday, but they were fully booked, so they couldn't fit me in for the pedicure until the end of the week - brilliant for them and it meant that I got to spread out my birthday treats. 
So, following my hair appointment (I will be blogging about that later), P took L for dinner and left me to enjoy a lovely hand massage and have a beautiful Gelish French manicure. 
L wanted me to have Mr Tickle orange nails, and I was tempte…

The Salon Experience - follow up blog!

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The tradition of drastically making over my hair on my birthday started on my 11th Birthday (19 years ago!) when I lopped off my hip length hair. Having done similar when she got her first job and moved out, Mum encouraged me to make my own decision - in her words: 'it's only hair, it'll grow back.' 

So armed with my picture of Teri Hatcher, circa Superman, I begun the hairstyle journey that has led to today. It's safe to say, Mum has always been there to encourage me to try something and if it doesn't work fix it.
Up until I had L, I regularly had time and money to have my hair done, but with children priorities change and as my favourite stylist (and oldest friends) is one of the top stylists in his salon, therefore is currently out of my budget! 
So I have been on the hunt for the salon experience that I could afford. My sister has a friend - Kirsty - who is a brilliant and very affordable home stylist, who always fits me in at the last minute and always cuts m…

Going blonde... Review of Ultraviolet's hair services

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A few months back I wrote about how I had discovered a lovely local beauty salon called Ultraviolet at a charity fundraiser and that I intended to treat myself once a month there. Unfortunately until now life has prevented me from making it to the salon, either due to lack of time or lack of money. 

However, since my last blog my 'baby' sister P, has become their receptionist and occasional make up artist (she has found her calling!) and last night put out on their FB page that they had had a cancellation today with Hannah one of their junior hairstylist... Well I needed my hair coloured, as my roots were getting close to half an inch long and at just £10 a treatment on 'Trainee Tuesdays', how could this be passed up?
So this morning having left L with Nana (and jumping on his Auntie P), I went off to Ultraviolet for a little bit of me time. 
I have been into the salon once previously, when P dragged me in about a month ago to have a colour correct treatment following my …

Wish lists... Week 1

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Inspired by Kara over at Innocent Charms Chats weekly posts of an item she covets, be it big/small. I have decided to do similar.

A few items on my 30 things for my 30th list are aimed at giving myself a style overhaul & a kick up the bum, as I have become lazy with how I dress/style myself due to lack of time and finances. 
So really this list is a) to show myself what I have been missing and b) a nice little hint to D about things I like, as let's just say that he prefers to play it safe and take me shopping... However, I would quite like the occasional surprise! 
So here is my pick for Week 1:




A beautiful laser cut purse from New Look which has a matching bag and would go wonderfully with these shoes I got from eBay for a bargain! 







Bloglovin

Well I am now officially signed up to bloglovin - this could either be a good thing or a horrendous idea, only time will tell! 
If you wish to follow my blog over there I would appreciate the love and some feedback on if anyone actually enjoys my ramblings (I write for me but I am not going to deny that knowing others have read my thoughts does bring a smile to my face and makes me feel a better on a bad day). 
You can follow the widget to find me there and if anyone has suggestions for blogs to read please give me a shout - I am always looking for something to read on my commute/downtime on a long night shift! 



FREEDOM!

The last few weeks have been a little bit manic at work, internal and external factors have led to me being all over the place and I haven't had time to stop and think let alone write... 
HOWEVER! I have managed to pass my driving test - whoop! Granted I am just waiting on my Dad finding the right car, it has to be an automatic with a small engine and according to L it NEEDS to be purple, as that's Mummy's favourite - I think I have managed to convince him that the colour doesn't matter as long as we can get to the zoo... Having said that I saw the car I have wanted for years the other day - a vintage Beetle and it was purple and sparkly! Shame that a) It was a manual, b) it wasn't for sale and c) I could never have afforded it at the moment! But as I whispered to it when passing - one day my friend, one day, especially as L spotted it too and got extra excited - 'Look Mummy, your car!' my boy knows his Mummy well!  
Since passing last week, I am yet to get b…

The benefits of a protein packed breakfast

I wrote last week about my new favourite breakfast, and I have since read that there has been a recent study that has revealed that by eating a large protein packed meal at breakfast you can have a positive effect on your metabolism.

There is an old adage that you should breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dine like a pauper. This new study recommends you do just that - as by starting your day with a protein based meal your blood-sugar balance becomes more stable (explains my lack of headaches!!), prevents a surge in insulin which promotes fat storage and can also prevent bloating later in the day = the appearance of a flatter stomach (and who doesn't like that idea!)
As our metabolisms peak at around mid day there is some sense in the idea that by eating your biggest meal then, you are making the most of of it and in theory you will burn more calories then you have consumed. Well, if you have a normal metabolism! Mine has been well and truly thrown out for almost six y…

Hello weightloss and goodbye Diet Coke

Three weeks ago I took on the challenge of no. 4 on my list... I tried to start looking after myself by restarting the Dukan diet, but to be honest this time around I have found it a struggle to give up fruit and vegetables, so as I have heard so many good things from other bloggers and twitter users such as @tiasmum12 about Slimming World that I have decided revisit it and see if this time around it would work for me. Almost four weeks in and whilst I haven't stuck to it 100%, I have still lost 4lb! Meeting one of myself imposed targets of 2% 
I never realised before how much cheese I consumed daily. I always said it was a sweet tooth and love of bread that was my downfall, when in reality it appears to be my love of combining cheese, meat and sauces. Oh the amount of syns I have discovered I use to eat! 
But with SW if I am clever and use my healthy extras and syns wisely then nothing is really forbidden and I am truly enjoying it. 
In fact I have found a new breakfast for after a …