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Monday, 29 July 2013

From Heff to Hottie

I, like most women stress about my weight. I have done since I can remember. I was a tubby child, not fat, just chubby. My mum took me to Weight Watchers for the first time when I was 9. I had to lie about my age in order to enrol as I was too young. My parents are total obsessives. They exercise every day and are painfully thin.
I battled with weight throughout my whole childhood. Diet after diet. I also had a 5 year spell through my teenage years of bulimia. I was taunted throughout my childhood for those few extra pounds. Kids are so, so cruel.
University happened and a few more pounds were added, I then got married to some one was quite obsessed about my weight and would often compare me to the size of my friends. One day after he moved the food away from me, I decided I was sick of being "slightly over weight" and took myself off to Weight watchers. I lost 2 stone and was a size 8. Yeyy!
Then after a divorce, re marriage to my wonderful husband and a baby, the pounds and very much crept back on, so I headed straight for Weight watchers again. I was very strict and lost more than 2 and a half stone very quickly. I was disciplined, but was on maternity and had time on my hands, so I spent a lot of time cooking and planning meals. I then started to train for a half marathon and was running about 25-30 miles a week which was great, I was the fittest I had ever been, but my appetite increased. After I ran the race the training slowed down, but my eating continued. I knew I had put some weight on, so I headed straight from my trusty Weight watchers. I have tried many diets, but this is the only one I really think works. Well, at least it works for me. It is flexible so I don't feel like I am being deprived of anything. Claire, my leader welcomed me back, but I was embarrassed. I am sure that many people come back, but I really felt like a failure. I had put on about 8lbs. Not the end of the world. I was still only a 10, maybe a 12 on my bottom half (there's alot of junk in my trunk), but I know I was not fat, but I was annoyed that I had put this weight on and felt like I had lost control. I only lasted a few weeks of classes and lost in total about 2lb. I had a melt down at one meeting because I had so much going on at work and with the shop, plus Scarlett had a bout of illness that lasted months and stopped her from sleeping. I was exhausted and stressed. I just couldn't cope with the extra pressure of loosing weight. So, I gave up.
I am now training for another half marathon and a full marathon next year. Things have calmed down a bit at work and Scarlett seems to be sleeping better (touch wood!), so I am going to give it another go! I am going to start this Wednesday at my Weight watchers meeting, and I am on a mission to loose one stone by the time of my race, 6th October. I will run that race a size 8.
I am going to keep a diary of my progress so that I can't cheat! I will share recipes and exercise tips. I would love anyone to join me and we can share tips and support each other.
From Heff to we come!!!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

How to beat stress

This is not the normal post I write, but it does fall under health and fitness in every way!
This morning inspired me to write this. Wednesdays and Fridays I work from home. I know that as a full time working mum, I am lucky to be able to do this, but it is soooo stressful. To be honest I find most days stressful in some way. I think some people have the ability to cope with stress and others don't. I certainly fall under the don't cope well! I have got quite alot of my plate though. I work full time in quite a stressful sales job that requires a fair amount of travelling, I have the on line shop, the shop itself and a 20 month old. I don't help myself though, I add new things just to make me that bit busier, such as this little blog and I am also training for a marathon. I often don't realise how stressed I am, until I flip out over the most simple things. I am also quite grumpy at work and tend to rant quite a bit!
This morning things just got on top of me. I was trying to answer my e-mails, take calls and Scarlett wanted me to play. I have instant messaging on my computer, I need it so that that I can quickly talk to the office, but people really take advantage of it and use it as a way of getting my instant attention when an e-mail would have been more than adequate. I try and ignore it, but that constant "bleep bleep" along with the flashing icon is really hard to ignore, you also don't know if it's important. Scarlett was jumping on my knee, just wanting mummy to play. Then the guilt kicks in, " I should be giving her more attention". E-mails were coming in thick and fast and I just exploded! my heart was beating fast and I felt sick. I hate feeling like this. I closed the computer for 20 minutes and gave Scarlett my un-divided attention and calmed down. I know alot of people suffer with stress and anxiety, so I thought I'd put down my top tips!
  1. Exercise! I cannot emphasis how important this is! Exercise is the biggest, natural stress buster. Everyone is different, I enjoy running and I get a major high post run. The release of endorphins is a natural high. It also gives me time to reflect and think of new ideas. Many people hate running, there are so many other low impact things you can do yoga, pilates, cycling, dancing...whatever your bag is. Don't be lazy, just do it! You WILL feel better and of course there are all of the other major health benefits that go come with exercise.
  2. Listen to music. Simple, but effective. Everyone has emotions and memories linked to music. Try and keep to hand a few tunes on your ipod that remind you of happy, chilled times, maybe holidays? I love my 80s music. As a 70s born baby, I was brought up on 80s, a great childhood reminder. A bit of Club Tropicana cheers me right up!
  3. Niacin, also known as vitamin B3. You buy this in most health food shops. It is a natural anti-depressant. IT DOES WORK! I have tried and tested it. Please, please be careful with the dosage. My understanding is that it very high dosages cannot actually harm you (but I am not a doctor, so don't take my word for this), however, I would recommend a higher dosage that your average Holland and Barratt dose. I tried it. I bought a very high dosage, 10,000mg, recommended RDA for women 14mg. It is known as the "blushing" drug and it makes you flushed in high doses. I can confirm it makes you blush. It made me blush so much that I had to go to A&E as my whole body felt like it was on fire, like the most extreme sunburn. As I said it does have a natural high, so I sat giggling for 2 hours in A&E at my own stupidity! Not wanting to put you off, but in normal dosages it is very beneficial. A natural anti-depressant.
  4. Take control of a situation. Stress is often about not being in control. What is it you are not in control of? Take you take control back from the situation? If this is not possible, do something else that has been at the back of your mind that it adding to your stress, as simple as it is. It could be tidying a cupboard out, or paying a bill. You will feel better!
  5. Turn off all forms Skype, texts anything which makes you too easily accessible.
  6. Read a book.
  7. Do something creative. Even if you are rubbish at it! Try taking photographs, painting a picture or even baking!
    8. Start a blog! What better way of expressing yourself, talking about the things you enjoy, make new   friends and get rid of all of your frustrations than by writing a blog!
   9. Call a friend! A good gossip and moan about how you are feeling it fantastic, free therapy!
  10. My all time favourite GO SHOPPING!!! Treat yourself to something that you have wanted for ages and will make you feel special!!!

Hope some of these tips work. I really do believe that life is more stressful these days. There is so much pressure on women to be able to do everything. Multi-tasking is a must for the average women. Also, the fact that we are so easily accessible, makes is difficult to ever get away. Therefore, we need to make a conscious decision that we will not get stressed.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

It's raining, but it's hot-! How to dress in the English summertime

The weather is a constant conversation in the UK, but come on, we love it! It does make me chuckle how we moan and whinge constantly that it rains too much or we have poor summers, but what has happened recently? We are all moaning that it has been too hot! Well, it looks like it has changed again into a humid, muggy temperature. I must admit, this I am not a fan of.
The biggest issue I have is, what shall I wear? It seems wrong to wear summer dresses when it is raining! I had a good rummage in my wardrobe today and it look me ages to find something that I was happy with.
The result was this relaxed combo. A beautiful Sugarhill, cream and lace shift dress, and a cropped, fitted B.Young denim jacket, to complete the look, a aqua green triangle statement necklace and a large, reef Missco girl satchel, which is very on trend at the moment. I am not a real fan of flat shoes, although I have certainly had to re think the 6inch stilettos since Scarlett was born, so a nice cork, heel wedge is a happy medium. I still have a bit of a tan post holiday, so this outfit is a fab way to show it off! I am very happy with my choice, still in the summer mood, but a jacket in case it turns and a large satchel to carry daily essentials, including an umbrella!

What was your choice for today?
 Sugarhill Laila dress, B.Young denim jacket, triangle necklace and reef satchel


Monday, 22 July 2013

Kate has a baby boy! Post pregnacy outfits, a major dilemma!

B.Young Maxi dress and
B.Young denim jacket
Everyone is super excited about the arrival of the new royal baby boy!  I am not a royalist, to be honest, I am indifferent. I have no issue with having a royal family, I watched Kate and William's wedding, like the rest of the world and enjoyed it, but I won't be organising any street parties or have bunting hanging outside my house any time soon. However, a new baby? Very excited!   Anyway, as I felt a bit sorry for Kate today as she endured her very long labour, she also had the pressure of knowing all of the world was waiting for the birth. A flock of photographers sat outside the hospital desperately hoping to be the first to get the news into the media. This lead me to think about the dilemma many women face after giving birth, what should I wear?
If the baby is born in winter, it makes it slightly easier as you can hide in over size jumpers and maternity jeans, but summer time is so much more difficult! Everyone is keen to expose their tanned bodies and you are doing your best to cover yours. Your body is no longer pregnant, but far from your pre pregnancy body. You also have other issues to contend with such as leaking nipples, nice! It is all too sexy. So, what to wear? Most women do not want to wear their maternity clothes, from my experience maternity wear is dull, shapeless and very expensive. If most women are like me, you want to get back to feeling like a woman after 9 months of your body not being your own. So, how to dress like a woman, but be practical and cover those bulging bits? I think a maxi dress is the way to go. Generally they are over sized, so hide your tummy totally, they have thin straps to easy if you are breastfeeding. If you are feeling self conscious you can cover with a thin denim jacket. See above a great combo, roomy maxi dress teamed with a light denim jacket.
Another great dress is this denim dress, it pulls in very lightly around the waist, but gives ample room around the middle to cover any bulges.
Brighten it up with a bold, bright bag which are very easy to find and on trend at the moment. There is a huge choice, even be daring and add a bit of neon! If you are feeling a little more conservative and want to draw attention away from your body how about add a fab statement necklace?
The great thing is all of these can be worn for all the summer months.
I am sure that Kate will be back to her pre pregnancy shape in no time! Anyway, congratulations Kate and William!!! ....what do we think he will be called? My bet is George Louis.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Make a Statement with Jewellery

Statement jewellery is very on trend at the moment. I have always loved my chunky jewellery and think it is a great way to add a touch of bling to an outfit. For my birthday I received a great assortment of Topshop statement necklaces. They are not the cheapest, but I do love them. I have now got a  bit of a statement jewellery obsession and regularly adding to my collection:-)
I decided to add a few to our range so looked at Paisie jewellery and picked a few necklaces to try.
Ocean Blue Necklace

Ocean Blue Necklace
 I think this my favourite of all! It is the right size to not over power, but certainly make a statement. I find the colours beautiful and perfect for summer. It is made up of a fusion of 5 aqua shades, a sea like mixture of turquoise, white, mint, aqua and deep blue. It is made up of ribbon entwined around an chunky gold chain. I was surprised that it was quite light, rather than weighing me down.

Summer Forest Necklace
The Summer Forest necklace is a good accessory to go with a outfit than requires something more delicate. It reminds me of an Egyptian style necklace that was perhaps worn by Cleopatra. It is cluster of small multi colour rainbow beads held together by a thick gold chain. Again, it is a real summer piece. Perfect for warm evenings with a feminine dress.
Statement Gold Collar Necklace
This is a real statement piece. It is an "art deco" fan style necklace. It is made up of gold and multi coloured shards. It hangs just above the bust, ideal for a strapless dress. Again, I was surprised how light it was as it looked like a very heavy piece!
If you like any of these you can find them on line  at Scarlett Fashion

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Do Celebrity "Yummy Mummy's set us un-realistic goals?

The original skinny yummy mummy
Heidi Klum, 6 weeks after giving birth
Anyone who has had a baby knows that you put on weight. I don't mean baby weight, I mean fat weight. I considered myself to be careful about what I ate when I was pregnant. I continued to exercise, but only very gently. I was determined not to become a McDonald's muncher wearing sweat pants and Ugg boots, and I never did. I heard many different theory's about how much more you should eat whilst pregnant. The doctors believe that it should only be the equivalent to about one extra slice of toast per day, and that is in your last trimester! That's crazy. I was hank marvin by the end of my pregnancy. You cannot help but increase your food and no matter what any body says, it is comforting to eat chocolate, sweets, crisps...whatever your comfort food is. Despite the fact you know that as soon as that baby is born you have to stop eating as much, you can't help but have in the back of your mind, "well, I am pregnant". I am sure that there are the exceptions, but I would say for the average woman, we add a few extra, non baby pounds post pregnancy. So, why do celebrities not have the same cravings, or the same urges to eat and generally relax a little? Or are they that disciplined that they can simply control this?

I remember my first few days after giving birth. For someone who generally puts quite a bit of time and effort in my appearance, it was not top priority. My belly bulged like I was still a few months gone. My hair started to fall out at a rapid rate. I was, of course, exhausted! Like never before. I did not venture further than the local shop. So, how on earth do these celeb "yummy mummy's" appear shopping within a couple of weeks looking bright, sparkly and back in size 8 jeans?

I look at Heidi Klum, she was modelling in her bikini just six weeks after giving birth! Victoria Beckham is famous for giving birth and looking skinner then ever soon after.
As Scarlett slept I took advantage of my spare time and caught up on my celeb "trashy" mags. There seemed a never ending paparazzi trail of stunning women who had just given birth. I could help but feel like a real slob. I felt un-happy about the way my body looked. I started thinking that what my strict eating regime should be and when I could start to exercise. Why did I feel like this when I should have been loving every minute of my new life. I should have been absorbed by my new role as a mother and not when I could start running again.
I am sure that many women feel like this. I genuinely do not understand how these women can physically  get their body into the sizes that they do in such a short space of time.
I think as women, we really get the short end of the straw. Not only are we the ones to ruin our body and have to actually go through the pain of giving birth, but the media and celebs now make us feel as though we need to look beautiful and back to our pre pregnancy size straight away.
Scarlett and I
Please, please glossy mags can we have some pictures of celebrities who took their time returning to their pre body and enjoy being a mummy instead?

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Scarlett Fashion in Teen Vogue

Todays' Top Outfits from Our Favorite Personal-Style Bloggers Around the Globe
Editors' Favorites New Posts Top 100 Bloggers
by Michelle L. on Jul 05, 2013
Photographer: Wayne Lin Location: Midtown, New York City Dress by Scarlett FashionClutch by Scarlett Fashion Shoes by Guess
This beautiful navy blue dress from Scarlett Fashion was perfect to wear for Independence Day, especially when the streets of midtown were so empty. And of course, Lana Del Rey was the soundtrack to my 4th of July.
See the original post

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Designer Keeps

When it comes to my wardrobe, I have a very eclectic mixture of clothes and accessories. I am often swayed by what is in trend at that time, which is dictated to us my the mass media, but I like to think that I tend to stick to colours and styles which suite my build and colouring. I will also buy from anywhere if I like the outfit or accessory. My collection consists of many Primark and New Look pieces alongside quite a vast range of designer dresses, bags and shoes. I am a fan of a few designers; I adore Mulberry bags and I am lucky enough to have a husband who understands my love for these bags and often treats me to a new bag. Although, this has certainly decreased post Scarlett! I also love Jimmy Choo and Louboutin shoes. I like Marc Jacob dresses for the simple style and good fit. My ultimate goal is own a vintage Chanel bag and a Hermes Birkin...
This lead me to think about looking a few of my favourite pieces every week and a brief look at the designer. This week, I'd like to show you a lovely orange, Alexander McQueen clutch bag. This was an impulse buy, which I treated myself to. It was most certainly a want product as apposed to a needed one. I have an abundance of small clutch bags. I love the idea of the clutch, but generally don't get much use out of them as I (A) don't go out as much since having Scarlett and (B) need something much larger to carry all the guff that is needed with a small child. I have tried to get as much wear out of this as possible though and I think with most bags like these, they are classic and rarely age. I love the colour of this clutch. I adore bright colours and think that a bag is a great way to introduce colour into an outfit. Often we want to wear a conservative colour, but feel a little dull, a bright bag is the perfect touch. I only have this bag and  the classic Alexander McQueen skull scarf in black and red. I am still un-sure on this purchase. I think I committed the ultimate sin and bought it as it was very much in trend. I can't say I have the same fondness for the scarf as I do the clutch. I think I was sucked in by the mass marketing of this scarf.
I remain un-decided when it comes to Alexander McQueen designs on the whole. I do like many of his bags, particularly the ring clutch, but I have never really seen any clothes that I have been that drawn to.
McQueen was brought up in a council flat in London. He was the youngest of six children. It is reported that he knew he was gay from the age of six. His passion of clothes came from making dresses for his sisters as a child. He left school with almost no qualifications, but managed to get an apprenticeship with a Savile Row tailors. This is where his career began. After he he won a place to study fashion at Saint Martins and achieved a Masters degree. His entire graduation collection was bought by Isabella Blow, it was from here that he launched his successful fashion career.
McQueen's success and reputation grew and he was famous for lavish, un-conventional fashion shows, all with a shock factor. He worked with all of the ultimate celebs and became famous for his "bumsters" low rise jeans and ofcourse the iconic skull to which he will always be remembered.
On the 11th February 2010 McQueen was found hanging in his West London flat. No major reason was given, but he was known for having severe depression and anxiety and tried to suppress this with heavy drug use.

Dress from Yumi at, necklace from Topshop, bag Alexander McQueen

It is such a shame that many talented people's lifes end in such a way and we must wonder if the average person from a working class background can cope with such adoration and live in this un-realistic bubble that many celebs in the fashion world do.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Summer Blues

I am no doubt still in holiday mode and have holiday blues today. This wasn't helped by the call I received at work today to tell me that Scarlett had chicken pox! Talk about a massive dive back into reality. In my sombre mood, I have decided to think about the sunshine and think happy thoughts! So, I thought I would share with you one of my other summer favourite dresses. This is a Little Mistress dress from it is called "peekaboo" as it has a cheeky backless part of the dress which adds that little air of naughtiness without having to "get it all out". It rests just above the knee, which for me is important as I am not found of my chunky legs and generally try to avoid anything unless it rests safely on my knee
or is worn with a heavy pair of black tights. In this weather, not a option! The top of the dress is made up of a cream lace over lay and the skirt of the dress is navy chiffon with a net underskirt to add a subtle 50s flair. It's fitted, so pulls you in at the waist. Great for summer, but I think a good all year round dress as it is perfect for weddings and christenings. Infact, one of my friends has just bought this to wear for her daughter's christening in September.

This maxi dress is an old wardrobe classic. It is from Topshop. I bought it about 3 years ago. It is uber long and reminds me of a Greek goddess. It just makes me feel so feminine and girly. I don't have to worry about pulling my skirt down when I walk or showing anything off, it covers all my bad bits and I think it is a classic. I teamed it up with my statement necklace of the month, also from Topshop. I lived in this dress when I was pregnant. It generally only makes an appearance once a year, but despite the rip at the bottom of the dress from where I fell due to the ridiculous length I refuse to throw it out:-)
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