It’s all about the confidence!

Last weekend I had a rare night out for my cousin’s hen do! I was really excited about a girl’s night out and put a lot of thought into my outfit. I wanted to dress up and feel gorgeous!
I decided to wear one of the Collectif dresses I got in the sale – the Polly shirt dress, and these super old Evans mary jane/t-bar shoes. I then spent forever trying to hunt down a matching bag!

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I settled on this vintage one I found in a shop called Hidden Gems on Etsy from a fantastically helpful seller who posted it out next day delivery to ensure it arrived on time!

I had a bright red nail varnish in my July Birchbox so I painted my nails – for the 1st time in over 10 years!

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I also decided to give pin curls a go – with proper old school setting lotion and everything! I did 1 practice run earlier in the week so this was my 2nd attempt:

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I teamed my curls with an inverted victory roll and my amazing Janine Basil wired head tie.

I’ve finally made friends with the Benefit ‘They’re Real’ eye liner – after a bit of practice I’ve managed to perfect a reasonably good flick – and this stuff seems to last forever and stays put all night!

Here’s the final look:

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And full length, with petticoat:
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I received loads of compliments! I was particularly struck by the number of beautiful (and much smaller) ladies who said ‘I wish I had the confidence to dress like that – you look lovely!’. It reminded me that confidence is a state of mind – not a number on your dress label. And that’s what I told them! 🙂 I hope I can carry that confidence with me when I take my bikini on holiday next week! :oO xxx

My birthday haul!

It was my birthday this week (33 – that’s still early thirties isn’t it?!) and I thought you might like to have a nosey at what I got…
Husband did an amazing job this year and got me these from Janine Basil who makes awesome accessories

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I’ve been admiring her stuff for years – since I tried setting up my own Etsy shop. My husband stumbled across it himself – unprompted – so he gets double Brownie points!
He also found these earrings – which match our (matching paper anniversary) tattoos…

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These are so adorable! I’d never even heard of Clorty Cat and I was super impressed with the sentimental significance of these.
My daughter chose this cute little radio clock from Paperchase

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which, as you can see, looks right at home with my kitch little jewellery box record player (which I bought in a ‘antique’ shop when I was 12). Impressive present selection for a 3 year old! 🙂

I also got a load of hair pretties and smellies from my sisters-in-law.

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You can’t beat a bit of Soap and Glory, in my humble opinion!

I also got these:

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And finally,  I also asked for money so I could pay for some sessions of cognitive hypnotherapy to address my (terrible!) relationship with food. I’ve been using Slimpods for a while but I realised (with the help of Sandra from Thinking Slimmer) that my deep seated issues with food would need a bit of extra support. She referred me to Dawn at Think It Change It who is able to give a bespoke personal service over Skype. So I’m looking forward to seeing how it will impact on my eating habits and my self esteem.

I’m very excited! I hope to be able to share my experiences here too. 🙂

So, all in all – I’m sure you will agree, I’ve been a lucky lady this year. 😉

Perfecting my Festival Look – Head!

With just over a week to go until my little family head off to the depths of Suffolk for our first family camping festival experience at Latitude Festival I’m getting super excited and starting to plan. Naturally, this planning extends beyond the practicalities and into the aesthetics – things (i.e. me) have to look pretty. As a mummy of 2 under 4s I don’t really get out much, so a weekend of letting my hair down means I want to look the part!
Now when I say ‘letting my hair down’ what I really mean is ‘cover my hair up’! I have a short, high maintenance bob – so 5 days without my straighteners isn’t ideal. But I’m not one to let a tiny detail like that get in the way!!!
I’ve explained in a previous post that I’m going for a vintage style – so a victory roll and a cool headscarf or 2 will hide a multitude of unruly hair sins! 🙂
I was struggling to find any bandanas or headscarves that would fit my head – so I asked some lovely #psbloggers for their advice. They didn’t let me down! Emily from Em’s Trends and Mel from Upon the Sea suggested I try Lush! I didn’t even know they sold scarfs – but they use them as sustainable gift wrap! Amazing! (And big enough for my giant head!)
I’ve bought two so far – and have another one on the way (found on eBay) so here’s an un styled first attempt:

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What do you think?! 🙂
Right. Now I’m off to zumba! 🙂

#JoyfulJune – A Massive Thank You!

I mentioned #Joyful June in an , where basically Debz at organised a ‘secret santa’ in June!

As I’m relatively new to blogging and to reading other blogs I jumped at the chance to get involved! (Plus, who doesn’t like to receive a parcel in the post, right?!)

I hope to be able to tell you some more about the gift I sent at some point, but for now it’s still anonymous – so you’ll have to make do with seeing what I received! It’s fresh out of the parcel – so here goes:

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I got some really sweet and thoughtful gifts, including something my secret gifter had made herself:
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As some of you will know, I’m a keen Crafty Carol and love handmade items – so receiving something handmade it awesome – especially something as cute as those teapot earrings! (And yes, I do think they’re good enough to sell!)

The M&S hand creams smell lush (and my hands feel super soft):
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My parcel also included some nommy nom noms (some of which are ‘guilt’ (or at least ‘sugar’) free!):
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I’m already a subscriber myself, so I’ll be using the voucher to get one of the kids boxes sent to my home address for my littlies to share. 🙂

I was also touched by one of the comments in my gifter’s letter:
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She wrote: “I know you’re excited to see your little surprises but, I wanted to take this opportunity to say that people like you help younger girls to embrace their body! Thanks!!!”

Thank you Secret Gifter for those very kind words (that’s exactly the reason why I started blogging – to help spread the words that it IS OK to feel good about yourself, regardless of your dress size. It’s taken me 32 years to start to believe it!) and for all of the lovely prezzies! I love them all!

I hope I get to find out who you are so I can thank you properly!
XXX

My Slimpod journey – part 1!

I’ve mentioned Slimpod and Thinking Slimmer a few times here, and on Twitter and Facebook. So I thought I’d explain a little more about it and the impact it has had on my life.

I Tweet quite a lot, after the birth of my 2nd baby I was talking to various people on Twitter about the fact I was unhappy with my post-natal body and someone somewhere (I can’t even remember who now!) suggested Slimpod.

To say I was ‘sceptical’ is an understatement! But the concept seemed simple – listen to a relaxing mp3 every day for 21 days, set myself goals (short term, medium term and long term) and list 3 positives every day. None of that seemed particularly scary,  it wasn’t very expensive (compared to a slimming club!) and it claimed to address the underlying issues. It also focused on inch-loss rather than weight-loss, which made sense to me. Most attractive of all – it wasn’t a diet! 🙂 I kinda thought ‘what harm can it do?!’. I’ve been classed as ‘morbidly obese’ (a term I despise) since my teens and have tried various diets (including all th NHS plans) so I was up for trying anything at that point.

There’s also an online community who share their experiences, who were (and still are) really welcoming and supportive. I checked in with them, set my goals (for example fitting into the dress below), downloaded my Slimpods (I chose Drop 2 Dress Sizes (or more) and a chocoholic one) and I was set.

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Initially, I did see some significant weigh loss (I’ve gone down 2 dress sizes and lost about a stone!). But my successes are so much wider than that! I feel like a different person! And here’s why…

1. I have discovered the real nature of my eating habits. I’m a binge eater. I can recognised my emotional triggers and can (sometimes) overcome them. I need to do a lot more work here, but being aware of it helps. Aside from the binging, I’m now in tune with my full signals and can stop eating during meals. Simple but effective! 🙂

2. I love myself and my body a little bit more. My confidence has grown massively. I think this is mainly down to the Slimpod community and from writing down positives (almost) every day. Positive reinforcement has been so powerful for me. I used to find myself in a downward spiral of feeling shitty, eating junk and then feeling bad because of it… that doesn’t happen at all anymore! I do eat junk but I don’t carry it around with me as emotional baggage. That’s been liberating!

Now I focus that positive attitude on looking for new clothes or things to do to make me continue to feel good about myself. Twitter led me to some inspirational body positive bloggers like Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and Pamper and Curves who have helped me to see that I can be happy and beautiful in the skin I’m in.

3. I’ve discovered I don’t hate exercise! 🙂 my middle school PE teacher did nothing to motivate me (thanks Mr Thompson :() and although I’ve dabbled in all kinds of exercise over the years I’ve never managed to sustain anything particularly high energy. But hearing other exercise avoiders turn over a new leaf motivated me to get out there! I tried zombie c25k – like actual running!!! Now I’m a regular zumba and boot camp attendee (thanks to Liarna’s Fitness Classes in Colchester) because I enjoy it, I’m not embarrassed to go and be the ‘fat slow one’ and can feel the my fitness improving!

Before Slimpod, I had no idea I could feel good about myself, no matter my size. Size is relative and it shouldn’t impact on my state of mind. I spent my teenage years and twenties hating my body. Nobody should be made to feel like that. But now I appreciate what my body can do. It has grown and carried two perfect babies, it’s pretty supple and has fabulous natural rhythm! – what more do I need?! Why shouldn’t I dress it in clothes I love?!

So now I do. I’ll continue on my Slimpod journey – I’d like to be able to finally tackle my relationship with food. And when I do, I know I will lose inches as a result. But I’m not hung up about it like I was.

The main reason I want to lose a few more inches is so I can wear these amazing dresses…!

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They’re gathering dust in my wardrobe and that just won’t do!

I’ll keep you posted! 🙂