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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Guddi Jewellery

It's always nice as a blogger and general shopping addict when you make a new discovery, especially when the company is owned by an independent. I do get fed up of high street same same, so it's refreshing to find something that is not quite as main stream. Guddi is just that. Created by the lovely Inga who was inspired after travelling to India. The collections that Inga has chosen are bright and colourful and ooze Indian charm.







It was tough choosing which item I wanted to review. I generally stick to quite conservative jewellery when I'm at work, so it was nice to pick something which really made a statement and this beautiful chunky gold & pink necklace certainly does that!



I adore the bright pink collage of pinks and crystals, making it feel extremely feminine yet funky and chunky. This piece just makes an outfit. Wear with a LBD and the outfit is transformed.
Guddi.co.uk has a great collection of vintage/Indian inspired statement pieces, but also a rich collection of crystal collection at a very reasonable price, ideal of pressies.



Inga kindly also sent me this elegant duo, silver plated drop earrings and silver plated rose bangle I have actually worn these every day since I received them. Pretty and simple and ideal for every day.

Rose clasp bangle

Tear drop earrings




Take a look for yourself, I am sure that you will find plenty of parts that take your fancy, PLUS Guddi.co.uk is offering free delivery on all orders over £20.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Longing to be a Gym Goddess


www.gym-goddess.co.uk



If you have been reading my blog for some time you'll know that I have always been into my workouts. Pre Scarlett I was a real "gym bunny", but the reality of a child, work, business, uni blah blah it is not easy fitting in the gym. I'm not making excuses, I am sure that I could make the effort to get my butt to a local gym a couple of times per week, but the reality is, I don't want to leave the precious hour or two that I get with Scarlett after work. So, I have invested in a treadmill, free weights, a Dyna Band and have a fab PT session every week with the lovely Simone. I also enjoy running, I won't lie post my half marathon in Birmingham I haven't had to the same drive to pound the streets, although I know I need to push myself to get back to it,

Whether it be training at home, gym or outdoors there has always been a distinct lack of fashionable (yet practical!) gym wear. So when I discovered Gym Goddess I was spoilt for choice for bright, colourful sports wear. I chose this simple Tank Top in lemon. It is fully fitted to keep your bust secure, but the quirky mess middle which means that you get alot of area to your body with exposing too much!






Check out their website if you want to grab some quirky gym pieces that your friends won't have:-)

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Pretty in Pink Dress


As soon as there is a glimmer of sunshine I head straight for my summer wardrobe. There is no doubt that I am a dress girl. I always have been. I guess I am just more comfortable when I'm dressed like a girl. That's not to say that I don't live in my PJs at home, but when I'm out and about, I prefer a dress.

Pretty detail
This Sugarhill Pretty in Pink shift dress is a holiday essential. It's super bright, almost neon pink colour is best worn with a tan. This sleeveless shift dress has a real sixties vibe to it. As the colour  makes such a statement, the style of dress remains simple and classic.
We have just booked our holiday to Menorca, but we don't go until September. I wanted a simple beach holiday with plenty of sun and entertainment for Scarlett. I have quite a few work trips to make over the Summer so I will get to see the sunshine, even if I'm not bathing in it. My trip started today as I write this post from my hotel room in Bologna.

Ciao Ciao!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Are you suffering with writer's block?




You read a lot of posts about finding inspiration for content for your blog. It is a fact that everyone struggles sometimes. I don’t believe that ANYONE is that exciting that they have a never ending fountain of useful information that needs to be shared with people. One thing is without a doubt, the best posts are the ones written with passion. Have you ever read a review of a product and you can tell that the writer really is not that impressed and they are just writing what they think the company wants them to write, or what they think the reader wants to read.   Why bother?
Not only is it dull for the reader it must be dull to write! I am sure you have all experienced that feeling when you find a topic that lights your fire and you literally can’t type quick enough because you feel if you don’t type it quickly you will forget all of your great points? On the other end of the scale when you are struggling to find a topic and you try to start to write your post and you just aren’t feeling it? I always find that if I am super enthusiastic about a post then I want to finish it all in one go, if I’m not feeling it I write a bit and leave it. In my drafts I have about 10 posts that I have started, but never finished. Sound similar?
So what to do?


  • Read, Read, Read
There is nothing better than noising your way through other people’s blogs. I really struggle with time, finding the time to have a good read, but it is so easy now to access them you can have a quick glance in the morning as you’re waking up, in the bath, on the transport on your way home from work…there aren’t really any excuses. You will find certain blogs that just inspire you. If you have been reading my blog recently you will see that I have been taking a huge amount of inspiration from http://deliciouslyella.com/ a lady dedicated her life to clean eating. I have found a passion that I simply didn’t even know was there? Who knew how much I love cooking? Now I can’t get enough of these sites and every spare 5 minutes that I have I straight on looking for a new inspirational recipe of the day, or new ingredient that we fill me with energy that I have never ever heard of. Don’t worry if you think you’re copying, you’re not, “every poet is a thief” as they say. Generally, an inspiring post will get your juices flowing and you will simply take something from the post, not necessarily steal it.


  • Re invent yourself

When we start our blog, do we really know what we are doing? We have an idea or a passion and think, "I can write about that", but I don't know about you, but the more I write and read other blogs, the more I find that my style has changed. I originally wanted to write about Fashion. My love for fashion hasn't changed, but I have found a love for so many other things that I want to talk about. This is reflected in the layout of my blog as well. I was made up with my originally design, but now it is starting to annoy me and I want to go for a totally different look. I am currently in the process of having my blog re designed by the lovely Chaitra. I am so excited at the prospect of having a whole new look. It's almost like having a new hair do, you want to buy clothes to go with your new look. Having a new look on your blog inspires you to want to write. I simply can't wait to show off my new design:-)


  • Take a note book
I know that this has been said before, but it is vital. We find inspiration when we're not looking for it. It would be faux to take your laptop out an just start writing, about what? What we need is a journal of our thoughts, something we can reflect on and see what we thought about that day, what annoyed us, what made is joyful, maybe something that made us simply think about a topic that we have never really thought about before. If could be even as simple as something we saw or something we bought that day, but if you don't make notes you are likely to forget the important details that made you want to write about that subject in the first place.



  • Take photos
An important part of being a blogger is the art of taking a good photo. It is something many bloggers start off by being a total novice and develop a real skill for photography. The only way you can capture a moment is by taking plenty of photos. It seems like a bit of a bind at first and quite often you will find yourself taking pictures of very random things, but the best pictures come from a moment. It is so easy to take and delete pictures nowadays, there really is no excuse. Just flicking through your pics at the end of the day will spark an idea for a great post.

  • Take something from TED
Have you been on TED? It has a plethora (check me with the big words...) of great ideas. It is a site dedicated to people's opinions, thoughts, inspirations...what better to site to fill you with enthusiasm to write a great piece.

Well, I hope that you hope you feel inspired. I would love to hear your ideas of how to get over writer's block:-)


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

My Cactus Print Dress

I realised that I hadn't done  post about fashion for absolutely ages. When I started my blog my intention was to only talk about fashion (hence the name!), but as time has gone on I have found that I want to talk about other important aspects of my life; health, family life etc, However, fashion is still my passion and when the weather changed last week if filled me with excitement and made me want to dig out my Summer dresses and get my pasty legs out!


 This Sugarhill Cactus print dress is just the ticket. With capped sleeves you don't feel too exposed. I just adore the cute cactus print. It's so different and un-like anything I've really seen before. It is fitted just under the bust and almost resembles a tea dress with the quirky extras.


It has a cheeky peep hold back to add a Summer flair to it, just enough to flash a bit skin without going crazy. The dress buttons down the front and is longer at the rear.



It is certainly a great dress to start the Summer vibes.
Is it a YEY or a NAY???

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Grab yourself a free dress!!!

I haven't run a competition in ages! So I thought as Summer is quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to grab yourself a free dress from Scarlett Fashion. Just follow the rules above and I will be picking someone at random on Sunday 19th April.
I'd love to hear from more of you and I'd really like to know what you think of the website, any changes you think could be made. Your opinion REALLY matters.


GOOD LUCK PEEPS



Wednesday, 8 April 2015

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Monday, 30 March 2015

Top tips to stay healthy




Why I am currently obsessed with eating healthy






You may have noticed that my posts have been changing slightly. I used to only really talk about Fashion (hence the name of the blog!), but the longer I write, the more I want to talk about what is going on in my life and things that are important to me.
Food is one of them. I have always had a love-hate relationship with food. This means that I love it, but it hates me. I will admit I don’t have a healthy relationship with food. I struggled for years as a teenager with bulimia and spent most of my adult life, either on a diet or thinking about dieting or generally obsessing about food and my body. My parents are very weight conscious and obsessive about healthy eating, so this is definitely where it stemmed from. Plus, I was a chubby child, which is possibly the most horrendous thing to be at school. There is nothing that can scar you like cruel children calling you names. My ex-husband was also very weight obsessed, or should I say obsessed about my weight, always being critical. When I was about 25 I went to WeightWatchers and I actually did it. I lost about 3 stone and was a teeny size 6-8. I still wasn’t happy with my weight and would constantly fret about food and what I was eating. I struggled to sustain the weight and jumped up to a 12. Now I am re married and happy with my hubby and of course Scarlett I am at a healthy size 10.
I am not going to lie, I am still obsessive about food. I am, without doubt no where near how I used to be, and I really do feel you develop confidence as you get older, but now I think about food and the impact of food on my body.

A few weeks ago my mum recommended a book called “deliciously Ella”. I often buy into the healthy eating books, but never actually cook any of them, well I started with one of the recipes and now I am hooked. I have been a gluten free Vegan for the past month and I really am enjoying it! I cannot recommend http://deliciouslyella.com/ enough. The reason I really like and I guess stuck to it is because it is simple. Don't get me wrong, you need to invest in a few key ingredients that you perhaps would not normally have in your cupboard, but after that there is plenty to go at. I started off by only following recipes, but now I've started experimenting a little.



Garlic mushroom, Kale, avocado and olives

This is one of my little creations. I simply threw loads of ingredients together and whayhey I have this beaut of  dish. I baked the kale in the oven for about 15 mins, it makes them really crispy and gives a strong flavour, mushrooms fried with olive oil and a tea spoon of ground garlic (fresh is perhaps better, I was being lazy), olives and half an avocado, to add a creamy texture. It  is super filling, nutritious and I think yummy. I do think healthy eating is about changing your what you like. I would never have dreamt how delicious this type of food could be, but I think my taste buds have changed and I have stopped craving sweet things as much. The first week or two I did like need something sweet and don't get me wrong I still love something sweet, but I don't feel that need that I used to.
If I do fancy something a little "naughty" I can, but it's not naughty!!! These sweet potato brownies are just the ticket. They are stolen straight out of Ella's cook book, and I thank you Ella for introducing me to these bad boys. They super gooey and super sweet, and only made from natural ingredients and no refined sugar. They are very more-ish, but just beware, even though they are a very healthy alternative, they are high in calories, so don't eat the whole batch! You can find the full recipe here





 I have recently also splashed out on a Nutribullet which I am literally obsessed with. The things that you can do with this is AMAZING! Don't get me wrong, it's not cheap, a bit of an investment at £100, but I can imagine that I will be using this year after year and unlike most blenders it is so easy to clean. It is the perfect solution to a working mummy who wants to stay healthy. I practically use this for every meal, it takes seconds and it is so easy to clean. I would recommend this to anyone!



So, can I feel the benefit? Without doubt. I have managed to get rid of that almost sick, sluggish feeling that I used to get in the afternoons, I feel stronger, my skin and hair are so much better and my stomach feels amazing, I often suffer with bloating, but that seems to be completely gone.

I really hope that I can keep up this healthy living, it is great when you start feeling extra energy and a lifted mood. I can't promise that I will be able to eat like this forever, but I sincerely hope that I can keep the enthusiasm I have now and most importantly teach Scarlett about healthy eating whilst she is still so young.




Sunday, 22 March 2015

Why Blogging is the future



I have read so many derogatory comments recently about bloggers. General blasé comments with no facts to back them up, suggesting that bloggers are inferior to " journalists". I beg to differ.
It is obvious that bloggers who are not trained in writing may not be as articulate and express themselves with such sophistication as a "formally educated journalist", but does this mean that a bloggers content is inferior to that of a professional journalist? I think quite the contrary. A blogger, unless sponsored for a post gives a true, honest opinion that is not tainted by the newspaper/ magazine they write for. A bloggers only motivation is their enthusiasm and passion. Most bloggers make no income from blogging, they do it as a hobby, it is a way of communicating with the world about things that matter to them. They write when they want to, not when they are told to. They write when something interests and inspires them, not when they are given a story and paid to write about it.
Journalists have so many restraints. They have to consider who they are writing for and the impact it will have on their publication. Bloggers don't care. 

Why is it that "journalists" have such an issue with bloggers? If their content is really that bad, why care? Maybe the future of the "journalist" is threatened by the popularity of the blog. 


It leads to the question, why is it now more popular to read a blog than to read a newspaper of magazine? Perhaps it is because the reader relates more closely to the blogger. Maybe the average  educated journalist is now out if touch. Maybe people people prefer to read about things that are written by people like themselves?

The power of the blogger is huge. It is certainly not to be dismissed. So Mr pretentious journalist who looks down on the blogger, think again! Maybe read a blog or two, you may learn something.







Saturday, 21 March 2015

I am a student!















This is pre university selfie! (Check out the un-expected blst of snow in the back!)
Well, I have made the decision to go back to uni to study a post grad in Leadership and Management at Lancaster University. I did my BA Hons in 1997-2001 (god I feel old!), I was keen to leave and get into the world of work. Well, 15+ years on I am well and truly happy to go back to study. This is mainly an independent learning course, which basically means home studying. Although, there are about 10 days throughout the year which are on campus. I know that many consider me crazy; a full time job, blog, online business, oh and a 3 year old, but I thought why not add something else into the haze that is my life. Managing a small team at work, I thought that the company would support me as the course is centred 100% around what you are doing at work and how to improve it. I was surprised (or actually was I really?) by the negative response I received by the company. It was made clear that they would not support this course. So, Ian and I agreed I should fund it myself. Sod them.



My first day at school

It is an odd feeling going back to university. It was like my first day at school, yet an old version of me! In many ways I felt old, as the fresh faced freshers looked so young, but on the other side I felt so young being back in this environment and all of the feelings of being at university came flooding back to me. it was in the same way you play a song and the memories come back, well the whole chilled environment brought back a feeling a feeling of freedom and youth.



There are about 15 people on my course, all from very different back grounds. I was surprised that I was in fact one of the youngest, I was expecting to be the granny. It was a totally different experience to my university days. Even though I was there out of choice, there was still a distinct feeling of " I could be doing something different"; whereas in this class everyone really wanted to be there. There was a keen vibe of enthusiasm. I felt super excited and whereas in the past I have always struggled with concentration levels, I was all ears and sucked up every bit of information that was given to me.
It really struck me how refreshing it felt to be in this environment. It is easy to get used to a stressed, pushy, aggressive work place, so when a group of people get together who are genuinely interested in what every one else has to say and listen and talk with enthusiasm it felt like a breath of fresh air.


Look at my lunch! I was totally spoilt for choice, not just in the different types of food, but also the fact every dietary requirement/need it catered for. It was so sophisticated, the kind of choice you would expect to find in a trendy cafe in Soho, not a student cafe. It was clear that student standards were much higher now then when I was a student. We just lived off cheap crap.


I think I forgot how enjoyable learning is. We get so bogged down at work by all the politics, back stabbing and general grief that we get on a daily basis ( is this everyone or just my workplace?) I realised that I am not really learning much at work any more. It also occurred time how little "actual work" we do at work. The majority of the day is filled with pointless meeting after meeting, procedures, office politics, the general whining of staff members and chit chats about how we are going to do something, I constantly hear "what is the strategy" but we spend that much talking about how we intend doing something in such fine detail that we don't get time to actually do it.
What I love about university is the genuine belief that you can make a difference. I don't want to sound so negative and bitter by saying that this is not true, of course it can be. I just think the anticipation of how your career will be is often more exciting that the reality. 
I am so much looking forward to my studies this year and hope to carry it on until I complete my MA. It has really made me look at things differently which is often hard to do when you get caught up in your every day job. Doing something totally different is such a eye opener and often the only way you can see things for what they are. I realise that I spend way too much time worrying and stressing about work. Why are we at work? OK to make money, of course, but surely we want to make a difference and feel that we are contributing and even actually enjoy our job. I am going to try my hardest to sit back at work when I'm getting upset or frustrated and really think about the importance of he thing that is making me upset. Is it really worth it impacting my home life and my health? 

I'm sure that there will be many posts about my "uni life" over the next year, but it has certainly made me want to try things that are out of comfort zone. Go on try something new! 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Sunday swimming




As it's been a chilled, healthy weekend, swimming seemed like the perfect day end to it.
Scarlett adores swimming and goes twice weekly with pre school, but to my shame, we rarely go together. She often asks, but life is just so busy and in all honesty, it's not my favourite sport. I am too much a girly girl and the thought of being splashed by kids, mascara running (OK I know I'm just swimming, but it makes me happy) and worst of all getting in and out of the pool in your cozy, hoping to god that you don't see anyone that you know. There also seems something a little gross about public swimming baths. Apologies if I am sounding a bit like a snob, but I am a bit of a clean freak. There seems to always be that old plaster floating by, the general thought of so many people's body dirt being mixed together in one place and how many people do actually pee in the pool? I am guessing more than I would like to contemplate. Anyway, putting all of this aside, it's healthy and a lovely way of spending some real quality time with my little princess.


Someone is excited






Some of the key benefits to swimming;



  • It burns fat
  • It's low impact so there is a lot less pressure on your joints, it's a great recovery exercise, also ideal for Arthritis
  • It uses almost all of the muscles in your body, making it a perfect all over body workout
  • Swimming helps soothe the mind
  • It's a sport that can be done with the whole family and doesn't matter the level of the swimmer or the fitness
  • Increases circulation
  • Builds strength and improves flexibility
  • Makes a stronger heart

For all these reasons I let my inhibitions go and we had a great time!

Scarlett is improving so much with her swimming and I feel quite sad because they are skills she's picked up when I've not been there to teach her (there is always something to feel guilty about as a working mum!). We bumped into loads of her friends at the pool so it was a real social affair.

She is now fast asleep on the sofa, another great benefit to swimming! 

Tonight is move night, we're watching Tarzan with popcorn:-)

I know that a lot of my posts are quite health orientated at the moment, but for me feeling healthy is all part of the fashion/beauty package. Unless we feel good inside and have energy then it's hard to find the motivation to make the outside look good. I have also noticed that I am more tired recently. Whether this is due to my busy lifestyle, or maybe I am just getting old..booooooo:-( I have started to take more of an interest in what I put inside my body. I have just ordered a whole loads of healthy goodies which I will show you all this week:-)

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend whatever you got up to! 

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Saturday's smoothie


Healthy juice ideas



Life has been super busy recently, so when a Saturday with nothing in the diary other than a training session arrives I take full advantage of doing very little. I enjoy pottering around the house. Doing little jobs that I don't get time to do during the week, arts and crafts with Scarlett and generally anything that times my fancy. I love my juice drinks and during the week pop to a fab local fruit and veg shop that also have an amazing juice & smoothie menu. I do like to create my own though, but Monday to Friday it is more effort than it's worth. It does create a bit of a mess, so you do need a little of time. Scarlett adores putting the fruit down the shoot, so it seemed like a great mother & daughter Saturday afternoon plan. Plus it's super healthy!









I picked a true melange of fruits and veg. I am sure that many of you juicing experts out there will be saying NO that doesn't go with that! But, I don't care. I just picked a mix of some of my favourite fruits and added  some super foods and threw it all in to see what the outcome was.




My sous chef

My ingredients:


  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Blueberries (super food)
  • Apples
  • Kale (super food)
  • Tea spoon of Coconut oil (super food)





There has been a lot of hype in the media about the benefits of coconut oil. It is now regarded as one of the new Super Food . Just a few of the benefits it claims to have (cos there are literally hundreds!) are:


  • It aids weight loss
  • Help Glucose intolerance, i.e helps control type 2 Diabetes 
  • Can be used as an intensive moisturiser 
  • Can help prevent sweet cravings
  • Boosts immune system




It can be a little messy, just some of the remnants ewwww!

The end result

OK, aesthetically it isn't the most pleasing (under statement!) although believe me or not, it was actually quite tasty. I threw a few ice cubes in to cool it down. The only problem was that I had to either drink it quickly or keep stirring it as in separated quite quickly.

Anyway I am full to the brim with Super Food goodness and even my top little helper has had a taste!



 
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