Tuesday, 31 August 2010

NOTD

Models Own - Champagne

Ok, ok I admit it....I've become a nail varnish hussy!  Not even 3 whole days with my beloved Miss Sweety and I'm on to the next!  I blame in part Daisy Kate of Fashion Stereotype for flaunting her Models Own haul and making me want!  I missed out on the 50% discount so have to settle for 2 for £8 in Boots.  £16 later and I'm pleased as punch with my four gorgeous new shades and shall eagerly be sharing them with you soon.

And whilst I'm mentioning lovely colours, I recently received a lovely thread collection for my Dogeared-inspired bracelets (not the best picture I know, I will be reshooting soon!) in lots of gorgeous colours...click here for a proper look and get ordering!  Special promotion, 4 for £5 of custom, handmade dainty bracelets!

Did any of you take advantage of the Models Own discount?  Which colours would you recommend?

T x

Monday, 30 August 2010

Reasons to Smile

So the bank holidy is nearly over - did you all enjoy it? 

Coupled with the fact it's Monday (admittedly not the best day of the week) I thought we could all do with a little sentiment to perk us up.

Here's my first Reason to Smile....
Autumn
Yup, it's nearly here.  The season of knitwear, tights and comfy boots is almost upon us.  And to me, that means one thing....winter is around the corner.  Ok ok, I know I'm a bit premature to be looking forward to Christmas but I just can't help it!

Which is your favourite season?  Are you all looking forward to putting away your skimpy summer clothes (did they even get much use with all this rain?) and digging out some cosy cardigans?

Watch out for next Monday's Reason to Smile!

T x

Book Review: Wolf Hall

Hello!

After collecting interviews for my In the Spotlight: Get to know your bloggers feature, it seems that the best bit of advice for new bloggers is to blog about things that you love.  I love, love, LOVE to read (so much so that Mr B calls me BW [Book Worm] rather than my actual name) and thought that perhaps it would be an interesting regular post to include on here.

The book I've just finished is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.
Following the success of historical fiction such as Gregory's 'The Other Boleyn Girl', Mantel "brings the opulent, brutal world of the Tudors to bloody, glittering life."  Quite a tagline right?  It focuses on the life of Thomas Cromwell (the guy who ultimately managed to get Henry VIII his divorce from Katherine of Aragon) from son of an abusive blacksmith to his role as Earl of Essex.  David Starkey has described Cromwell as "Alastair Campbell with an axe" and it seems that Mantel's aim was to make us reassess that description.

Right, so now onto the book itself.  It's difficult to read.  I anticipate that these historical books will be a bit heavy-going but this was beyond that.  One very strange thing is that Mantel rarely mentions Cromwell by name - it's always "he".  Which, as you can imagine, gets very confusing in scenes containing multiple male characters.  Luckily I'd read about this in a book review before I purchased Wolf Hall so I knew what to expect, but I can imagine that having not know that piece of information beforehand it would have been a complete mind-twister!

I have to admit that when I said "the book I've just finished..." I was bending the truth slightly.  Ok a lot.  Because I haven't finished Wolf Hall and even to me, that is just unacceptable.  No matter how bad the book is I refuse to put it down in the hope that it'll get better, or even just so that I don't disappoint myself.  Silly, I know, but there you have it!  I had to give up on this book 50 pages from the end.  As you can see from the picture it's a mammoth read of 650 pages....650!!!  And I'm sure I would have been still reading this book in a month if I'd chosen to finish it.  You see girls, it's very dry (a bit like this review I'm thinking....perhaps not the best book to start this feature off with?!).  After about 300 pages I realised that Cromwell isn't as bad as history would have us believe.  I started to wonder why we hadn't heard more of his personal life, where he took in people to his household and educated them, where he adopts his sister's children following her death from the plague.  My eyes have been opened to another side of him now.....I don't need another 350 pages about it!!  And the worst part?  This book isn't even the whole story.  Oh no, there's a sequel.  In fact, this book only goes up to the night of the death of Thomas More.  There's much more to find out in the next book.

But will I be reading it?  I doubt it.  I really commited myself to this book, and as a person who doesn't give up, I was gutted when I had to admit defeat.

Overall, the best summary of Thomas Cromwell is found on page 465:
"When the cardinal [Woolsey] came to a closed door he would flatter it - oh beautiful yielding door!  Then he would try tricking it open.  And you are just the same.... But in the last resort, you just kick it in"

This book succeeds in re-educating us in the life of Cromwell, but this didn't have to be dragged out for 650 pages + another book.  If you love The Tudors on BBC2 (with the yummy Henry Cavill as the Duke of Suffolk) and you're made of stronger stuff than me, then perhaps you'll enjoy this book.  Give it a go if my review hasn't completely put you off....but I'd suggest getting it from a library rather than going out to buy the book.  Spend your money on make up instead!

Has anyone read this book already?  What did you think?  And what's the verdict ladies?  Would you like to see another book review?  I promise the book I'm reading now is more interesting!

T x

Sunday, 29 August 2010

NOTD

GOSH 595 - Miss Sweety

You'll have to excuse the state of my nails, I was so excited to try this new colour out I don't think I successfully removed all traces of the Barry M mint green I had on previously.  And don't look too close, or you'll spot the remnants of the Nailene nail glue that I still haven't managed to get off!

A nice nude with slight peachy/orange tones to it.  £5 for 8ml - I'm pleased with that!  What do you think?  Which is your favourite polish for the much coveted "Mannequin Hands" look?

My second post of the day, make sure you look below or click here to have a read about my trip to Brighton!

T x

Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Brighton, MAC and more!

Hey ladies,

What a perfectly lazy Sunday afternoon, sat plumped up against pillows with my beloved blogs at my fingertips and that classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks on the tv!  I need to take this opportunity to say wow 50 followers....I'm amazed that you all want to have a nosy into what I'm up to and want to say thank you very much for your support.  Thank you!

Phew it feels like ages since I've done a proper post....y'know, the one where I ramble on and on and bore you all to tears?  Yup, that's the one!  Well here I am again with another for you - enjoy!

So on Thursday I headed to Brighton with my bestie who was eager to spend spend spend in American Apparel...can't say I shared the sentiment.  (a) I'm not a dancer type to be running around in a leotard (not pretty, trust me) (b) Is it me or did everything seem a bit overpriced?  I know Toppers whacks their prices up but I feel like their clothes do have a certain quality to them; the fabrics always feel soft and they don't lose their shape.  Not saying that AA will lose their shape, but the colours overall left me uninspired and anything I did like was a whopping £50+!  £60 for a cardigan from a high street store?!  I'll pass thanks.  And instead, I'll spend my money on....
MAC! Ahh my old friend Make-up Art Cosmetics, how you make me smile.  After seeing the lipstick spread with Jessica Lowndes in this month's In Style magazine (which comes with free Body Shop bronze or rose cheek and lip tint btw), I decided that I had to have a new deep, vampy lippie.  According to MAC's director of make-up artistry, Terry Barber, in In Style: "I think make-up artists are bored with the smoky eye and are playing with dark lip shades instead".  Cue my trip to MAC with both my bestie and the shop assistant trailing behind as I searched for the perfect shade.  Cyber, Hang-Up and Media were at the top of my list, and Media made it into my shopping bag.  What do you think?  I felt unassisted in my quest for my inner vamp.  The shop assistant was lovely, but kept directing me to glosses for a "sheerer colour".  Am I rocking this trend on my own?  Or perhaps it isn't a trend after all?!  Would you go for dark lips?

 As you can see, a pot of primer also fell into my bag as well - oops!  It's my first primer and I honestly don't know what I was doing without it!  I chose Bare Study, a nude colour with gold sheen (top in swatch).  Very nice and you need such a small amount, I'm sure this pot will last for a long time.  I've swatched Media for you as well (the shade below), it's a lovely deep plum colour without being too purple.
Finally I've saved up enough Advantage Card points in Boots to get a decent freebie.  I had my eye on Boi-oing by Benefit but changed my mind after watching YMBB's youtube and hearing her review Origin's GinZing for eyes.  With the tagline "To brighten and depuff" how could I say no?  15ml for £20 but so far I've been dabbing my finger in the excess cream on the inside of lid to put on my eyes and you need a tiny tiny amount every morning (although I do it at night as well sometimes), so again I can see this lasting for quite a while.  Even though I didn't purchase it with cold hard cash, if I had I'd be very happy that it was money well spent.
Amongst All Saint, Aubin & Wills, various vintage stores down the lanes, we also headed to H&M.  I'm not a big fan of H&M at home....I just don't find Reading or Guildford all that well stocked and it's rare I find anything I like.  I'm a big fan of H&M in Brighton as I always find treasures to make me smile and this time didn't disappoint.  I picked up this gorgeous butterscotch faux leather jacket for just £9.99.  Yes!  £9.99! It's this season's shade, cropped and so so soft.  A bargain!  I also spotted this lovely nude top.  You can't really see in the picture but it's got a silky body to it with texture at the bottom and sleeves and a drapey neckline.  Bad description but nice top!  And it goes so well with the jacket.  Teamed with my nude shoes that I'm yet to wear and my outfit for a friend's birthday next week, my outfit's good to go!

So there we have it.  The rain came out just as we were leaving.  I took it as a sign that I was destined to spend money, as even the weather was on my side!  After a £9 carpark fee and massive traffic jam on the M25 we made it home.  Tired, arms laden with bags and purses much much lighter.  A very successful day methinks!

Where is your favourite place to go shopping?  I've just watched the famous "Port-o-bell-o Road, Port-o-bell-o Road" scene in Bedknobs & Broomsticks.  Ah the magic of Disney, which is your favourite film?

T x

Friday, 27 August 2010

In the Spotlight: Tattoologist

Welcome girlies to the first of my new regular feature posts...."In the Spotlight: Get to know your bloggers".  Every fortnight or so I'll be interviewing a different blogger.  These will include my favourite bloggers, the 'Big Bloggers' as well as new, up and coming bloggers who look to have promising futures ahead of them.

This fortnight's feature blogger is ....NA Ridyard of Tattoologist.
It was a cold Saturday afternoon when I discovered the inspiring Tattoologist blog.  Jam packed with photographs, this blog is a visual display of tattoo glory.  An encyclopaedia of tattoos perhaps.  From small and dainty tattoos to out and out works of art, this blog is bound to have a tattoo to suit all tastes.  Go and have a look.  I dare you to come away without feeling the inking itch.  But not only is she a fantastic blogger, N.A Ridyard is a sweet and attentative one too.  Regularly answering followers' questions via formspring, she also readily helps by posting photos of tattoos requested by readers.  Perhaps a beauty blog isn't the place you'd expect to see an interview with an all-out tattoo enthusiast, but we are all aware how closely tattoos and fashion are linked in today's society.  So without further ado, I introduce you to the lovely N.A Ridyard.

1.  Let's start relatively easy...sum yourself up in 5 words.
Constantly thinking up new ideas.

2.  What's your blog all about?
My blog is where tattoos, photography and fashion meet.  It only reflects a small part of what tattoos are all about, but it's the part that interests me the most.  The tattoos I post are mainly small and simple.

3.  What (or who) inspired you to start blogging?
The lack of good tattoo magazines in WH Smith.  As well as my own research for my own tattoos back then.  I remember finding all these great tattoos, but there wasn't one site where you could find them all collectively.

4.  What do you do for a living?  What do you hope to be doing ultimately?
I'm a student right now, when I graduate I will hopefully be doing something that I enjoy for a living, something where I can create.

5.  Have you got any tattoos?
Yup, it's in white though.

6.  Any plans for more?
As of now, nope.

7.  Can you tell us a little-known fact about the art of tattooing?
It hurts, haha.  Tattooing has been around for hundreds of years, and everyone has a different interpretation on tattooing.

8.  Where's your favourite place to see a tattoo?
Favourite place would probably be the wrist area, and the ribs.  Both can be covered up, as well as shown.

9.  Who is your ultimate tattoo icon?
Angelina Jolie would definitely be my tattoo icon.  Each one is perfectly placed, and her tattoos are gorgeous on their own, but also work well together.

10.  Do you prefer black and white tattoos or colour?  Or both equally?
I prefer black & white tattoos, having said that, I'm not saying they're better than colour tattoos.  It all depends on what the tattoo is etc.

11.  Pharrell Williams has recently had his tattoos removed from his forearms.  Do you think getting a tattoo is something that people are rushing in to these days?  Is there any advice you could give people considering a tattoo?
There have always been people who rush into tattoos, and some that spend hours researching.  There are plenty of people who don't regret their rushed tattoos, and there are people who regret the tattoos they spend hours researching on.  So it all depends on the design and the person.
My advice to people who are going to get a tattoo is to make sure they will like that design forever, and that it will be relevant forever.

12.  Which style of tattooing is your favourite?  E.g. old school, Japanese style...
I prefer simple black and white tattoos.  Especially words, I love word tattoos.

13.  Which blogs do you like to read?
I love to read the typical popular blogs, style scrapbook, after drk, Carolines mode, happy because and fashion toast.  I've also recently come across Park & Cube, which I love.
I also like reading up and coming blogs; Cindiddy (http://www.cindiddy.com/) and Scissor Sisters (http://www.scissor-sisters-scissor-sisters.blogspot.com/)

14.  What can we look forward to on Tattoologist?
Hopefully you will see a Tattoologist book in the future!

15.  Any tips for upcoming bloggers on how to make their blogs a success?
Tips would be to blog and blog and blog.  Don't give up, it takes time.  And to blog about things that excite you, make you happy and things that you want to share with everyone.


I'd like to say a big thank you to N.A Ridyard for being my first interviewee.  Hopefully this blog was enjoyable to read and perhaps introduced you to a blog you previously hadn't read.  I really recommend you have a nosy at Tattoologist, if only for the beautiful photography.

What do you think of tattoos...yay or nay?  Do you have any?  I love to hear tattoo tales, so please share below!

Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of In the Spotlight!

T x

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

House of Harlow *Love*

All images taken from asos
How fabulous are these pieces?  My love for Richie has been cemented.  I love the rings, but Santander won't love me if I give in to temptation.  Perhaps just one....?

What do you think girls?  I need encouragement - should I go for it?!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Weekend antics

Hey girls,

So with la famille away on a holiday to Cornwall it's left to me and Mr B to be grown ups and look after the cats and Freddy the extremely loud hammie.  Mum didn't trust me with the dog, so she's headed off on holiday too at a dog hotel. 

It's been a fairly busy weekend, beginning with an early start yesterday to wave everybody off and take the dog to her "home from home" (as the leaflet put it).  As we were already out and about and so close to nearby Fleet we headed into town to try and find a birthday present for Dad.  Whilst we were there it was the perfect time to pop into Boots and spend my stored-up £5 vouchers.  Cue angry looking faces at the tills when a queue appears which hadn't been there when I decided to make the sales assistant put through £20 worth of vouchers.  It also gave me a chance to pick up the much recommended No.17 lipstick in Beehive.  A lovely neutral shade which gives more of a pinky sheen to my lips rather than an actual colour such as Mac's Snob or Speed Dial.  In fact it's quite similar to Creme d'Nude, perhaps better in some ways as it doesn't give off as much of a shiny glare.  Downside though, it's a funny shape which I find tricky to apply.  And it's got a funny taste/feel to it.  Reminds me of those cheap lippies you used to get as a child.  Alongside those fabulous peel-off nail varnishes.  Maybe it's just me though, I'm sure many of you have used Beehive.  What do you think?

I've become a bit addicted to Boots as I'm desperately trying to raise £1.50 more of Advantage Cards points so I can get Benefit's Boi-ing for free.  So whilst there I picked up some Lee Stafford products which had been recommended on other blogs.
Matt Fat Mustard and Hair Growth Treatment.  The Treatment is "for hair that never grows past a certain length" and has glowing reviews on Boots.com.  I'm yet to try it but along with my sea kelp tablets I'm hoping to have long luscious locks in a flash!  With regards to the Matt Fat, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I saw how tiny it actually is (60ml for £6.99) but the product itself makes up for this.  You squeeze out a small amount, tip your head upside down and (without looking in the mirror) apply it from root to tip.  You're allowed to look in the mirror when you tip your head back up the right way and then just tweak your hair into place.  My hair's down to just below my shoulder blades, so I'm not sure if it's just too long for this because I didn't really see much more than a mess when I followed these instructions.  I do however love this product for giving my hair a boost and an almost beachy look.  To achieve this I just squeeze a bit of the creamy product into my hands, rub it in and then scrunch my hair to get some texture.  You only need a small amount so I'm sure this will last me a while, and as it's so small it's a perfect size to pop in your handbag for styling on the go.
My Body Shop goodies arrived on Friday!  I got my first ever angled brush and a lip scuff in order to get a free eyeliner.  It's an eyeliner which is dual ended with one end for smudging.  It's really easy to use, you get good colour payoff and the smudger softens the lines beautifully.  Well worth buying two make up products to get this free.
This is my first lip scuff but seemed a good idea to smooth my lips in preparation for all the lipsticks I've been buying lately!  It's got a minty tingle to it and gently exfoliates your lips.  Well, I say gently, it's actually quite a scratchy sensation, but I like to apply a bit of lip butter on top to moisturise afterwards.

I spotted another bargain online last night.  Are you fans of Tigi?  If you are you should head over to CheapSmells where they're all half price.  You can pick up a Tween pack for £12.48, with some being sold for only £9.98!  And with 95p postage, how can you go wrong?!  The Bed Head, Bed Head Men Catwalk, Love Peace & The Planet, S-Factor and Rockaholic ranges are all included so it's well worth a look.

I'm off for a bath to use my Hair Treatment before making my speciality - Philadelphia stuffed chicken wrapped in Parma Ham....the excitement of having to fend for myself!  But before I go I just wanted to share some of my creations with you.

I started making bracelets when I was a poor student desperate for a Disney Couture wraparound leather bracelet.  This was the first range I made
Not the prettiest colour in pictures I know, but good for the military trend!  Made from micro-fibre suede (more practical than normal suede, these can even go through the washing machine!) they come in a range of colours with silver or gold charms.
This is my take on the Dogeared three wishes bracelets, without the hefty price tag as theirs effectively wear off!  Again, in a range of colours with silver or gold or metallic black beads, and the silver and gold come in stardust effect as well.
Mr B was my photographer for this shot, and I'm not entirely sure how I ended up with a disproportionately large hand?  Anyway, this is what I came up with yesterday.  I think this may be leather with gold cheerio style loops.  I also picked up a khaki colour which I'm looking forward to making a bracelet with and a navy which I used to make my sister one.

What do you think ladies?  I love making bracelets but obviously can't wear them all myself, so I'm thinking of selling them on here.  £5 for the suede ones, £1.50 for Dogeared-inspired (this may change a bit depending on bead choice) and £3.50 for leather.  For an extra 50p you can have them with a gift box.  I'm not so hot on postage, so I'm thinking 50p for the Dogeared bracelet, £1 for the others.  Any thoughts?  Are these something you'd be interested in?

How has everyone's weekend been?  Did any of you go to V Festival? 

T x

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A little bit of everything

Hey all,

It's been a busy few days for me and it's been tricky to find time to do proper blog entries...so lots to catch up on!

As I mention before, I had a lovely lunch date with an old friend from work followed by a spot of shopping.  She needed to pick up various bits and pieces for V Festival and I couldn't help but get sucked in on the spending spree!  Having said that, the only thing I can remember purchasing was this blazer....
Every year when blazer season comes around again I'm always on the lookout for a blazer which just "works" for me.  I'm an odd shape; with a narrow waist, tiny shoulders, big boobs and big hips, so the blazer trend never seems to look right  on me.  This blazer seems to work though and was on sale for £8 in Primark.  I had my eye on it before when it was full price but always talked myself out of it so when I spotted it on the sale rail I thought I had to give it a go.  The love affair with my leather hoody is still going strong though so I'm yet to don my blazer for an outing!

On Friday I popped out again with another friend for lunch (don't you just love time off work?) and bought some of those lovely chunky wooden letters.  Apologies for the lack of picture, but I'm hoping you all know what I mean....white wooden letters?  A friend bought me one in my initial and since I've been on the hunt for items when I move out I thought it'd be a nice touch for me and Mr B to have one each.  He wasn't quite as enthusiastic as me, but oh well!  I also picked up a nice italic wall plaque which says "Dream" in the same style.  I'm planning to have a shabby chic boudoir/dressing room/library when we move and it'll look perfect in there.

As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday me, Mum and my younger sister headed down to Southampton to hit the shops there.  It was all really in aid of the Hollister store for my sister, and I have to admit I spent most of the journey winding her up about it.  The clothes she's bought from there are ok, but nothing fashion-forward and I find them all really overpriced.  That said, when we got there I backtracked slightly and ending up exiting the store with a Hollister paper bag adorning my arm....
I'm not really a joggers sort of girl but these are so soft, fit really nicely and weren't all that expensive.  I've also told myself these will be an investment, as on attending the gym on Monday I realised that all of my gym trousers are from my "fat" days and so don't actually stay up when I attempt to exercise.  And I don't know if you can see from the picture, but these were entitled "Awesome Butt Sweatpants".....what girl can say no to that?!  Especially when I am getting increasingly fed up with the amount of comments I get telling me to pull my jeans up as for some reason they just won't stay on around my bottom!

Have any of you been to Hollister before?  It was my first time and it was a bizarre experience.  When Mum said it was pitch black in there I thought she was just exaggerating and expected a shop that wasn't as brightly lit as we all expect.  No.  This is actually a shop in the dark with only one or two dimly lit wall-lights to help you see the mainly extortionate prices.  Perhaps that's how they make their money....

So with my sister spending a ridiculous amount on a shirt which frankly has nothing distinctive about it, we headed to H&M where I made it my mission to show her what she could have bought for the same amount of money.

The shirts don't look spectacular in this pic but they're a nice fit and will be good to throw on for work.  They can also be accessorized to give an outfit that military flair which is sticking around for AW this year.  The vest top looks huge but is actually a size 8 in that smocky style, hence the addition of a belt.  The body of the vest is a thin knitted material but it has lovely sheer panels down each side which add a nice bit of detailing.  I figured the belt would also help me avoid the "pull your trousers up" comments that I've been hearing so much of lately.
 
We were then 'Ladies Wot Lunch' in Nandos and I feel compelled to share this with you because of the bizarre attitude of the management there.  All of the vinegar bottles were lined up without lids, when I asked if there were any with lids I was informed that there weren't...."because people keep nicking them".  Ladies, are you with me in thinking this is the last thing I expected to be told?  You're Nandos - buy some more lids!  Or take the vinegar off the shelf?!

(Are you still with me on this huuuuuge post?  This is what happens when I don't blog properly for 6 days!)

After lunch we decided to do some general accessories shopping and I picked up these gems below.
It's the ring from Primark which I'm sure you've seen on many a blog, along with some white and gold aviators reduced from £16.99 to £4.80 in Accessorize.  The eye lash curlers are by Ruby & Millie and were only £3.50 with the Boots £5 voucher offer which is running at the moment. 

And finally, how could we leave Southampton without hitting Ikea?  As well as picking up lots of inspiration for when I move out, I also spotted these:

They're the perfect size for organizing and storing my make up, and were only £2.99 for two.  I also thought with the white theme they'll go quite nicely in the aforementioned boudoir!  Although Mr B did come home and ask me why I put all of my make up in "little bins".  Hmph....boys!

So that's me done ladies, although I did sneak online and order more goodies from The Body Shop when I got home yesterday.  Buy 2 make up items and get an £8 eyeliner free, plus 25% off was an offer I couldn't miss!

What do you think of my purchases?  Have any of you been shopping lately?  What bargains did you snap up?

T x

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Does my bum look big in this?

Hey ladies,

Isn't it great when you get in contact with a friend you haven't seen for ages?  And when the conversation flows so freely it leaves you with a warm feeling inside and a vow that you won't leave it so long next time?  On Thursday I met up with an old work pal who I haven't seen for 18 months and we had a great time; putting the world to rights, gossiping, followed by my all-time favourite....shopping.

Image taken from Nando's
First stop was everyone's favourite - Nando's.  It was here that when the conversation turned from work, to boys, to friends, to diets, that it raised some interesting questions about body image.  Or more specifically, mine.

A couple of years ago I was a lot heavier.  Through hard work and "lifestyle changes" (as the books would put it) I've lost 74lbs.  I am extremely proud of this achievement, but as blogger Alice Linley-Munro says in this month's Glamour magazine: "I just wish someone had told me that the physical act of getting slimmer is only half the battle."  I can't say I'm faced with all of the problems Alice has, but I can empathize with this statement.  At my heaviest I was wearing a size 16-18 and at the time it didn't bother me one bit.  Trouble now is that I have no idea what size I am.  I mean, I can measure myself and use sizing charts to find out, but I have problems believing that I am the size it says I am and still buy clothes in bigger sizes.

So I used our old friend Google to find out what was going on.  According to Thomas F. Cash, PhD, I am suffering from Phantom Fat, a condition quite common in women who have lost weight but have not adjusted their body image to reflect their new look.  More worryingly, Cash suggests that some women create a self-fulfilling prophecy by believing that they are carrying this phantom fat.

Image taken from MSNBC

Don't get me wrong, I am aware of the changes in my body.  I can now feel my ribs.  I have a collarbone again.  I've dropped two shoe sizes and more annoyingly I frequently hit my hipbones on worktops because I don't always remember that there is no longer padding there to cushion the blow.  My trouble is that I just imagine I always looked this way, just 74lbs heavier.  Or perhaps it's to do with my previous experience of myself at my (previous) lowest weight.  This would have been when I was 16 years old and a size 12.  I now weigh less than that but I just can't quite believe it.  I look at pictures of myself back then and imagine that I'll never be that size again, despite the fact that people tell me I'm smaller.  If I was a size 12 and (in my eyes) smaller then, how can the sizing charts can be right when they tell me I'm now an 8-10?

So what do you think ladies?  This post isn't fishing for compliments...after all you haven't seen me to be able to give any.  It's about body image.  We all compare ourselves to other girls and question whether we measure up in the size stakes.  Or at least I do.  But how accurate how your comparisons?  Recently my lovely mum (who very rarely says anything remotely complimentary) informed my that I look "positively frail" when compared to somebody at work who I, hand on heart, think I am the same size as.

Or perhaps you think it's all a load of rubbish.  Labelling problems that didn't need a label.  As Jeremy Clarkson put it on QI - "Why do we have to name everything?"  I'm in two minds.  I know this is a psychological issue (if we would even call it an "issue"), but by giving it a name are we placing too much emphasis on something which maybe just needs time for us to change?  I have to admit, my thoughts on the existence of the condition called "Phantom Fat" changed when I read another online article which suggested that to change negative body image all I need to do is, among other things, start walking around in the dark, lie down with a book on my tummy and try to move it with my (non-existent) muscles to my chest or even just walk around backwards.  These suggestions led to serious doubts in my head.

So a slight change of pace in today's post ladies and I do apologise for it's length.  However I'd love you know what you think.  Have any of you lost weight and find it hard to adjust to the new you?  Are you still plagued with the idea that you're the size you were when you started your diet?  Or do you think that this is all a load of rubbish?!

Thanks for reading
xx

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

"Do you love it?"

Image taken from Marie Claire


Image taken from Just Jared

Why why why can't I ever achieve that fantastic Richie laidback look? No matter how many sea salt sprays I apply, I just can't encourage my hair to get a crease - let alone a wave!  Any hints or tips on how to emulate the Nicole Richie hippy-hair vibe?

She's come such a long way from those early days of The Simple Life, where she was always the star of the show in my eyes.  The pampered princess with a wicked sense of humour!  Looking at her now she is 100% fabulous, whether she's walking the red carpet in a gorgeous maxi dress, or dressing down in a fab pair of jeans....she's a style icon with a look that is all her own.  Well, perhaps Rachel Zoe had something to do with it but no one makes me want to copy like Nicole does!

See the Disney Couture bracelet on her wrist in the second pic?  Amongst others I've made my own versions of these, I'm thinking of advertising them for sale via this blog so keep your peepers peeled!

What do you girlies think?  Are you a fan of Nicole?  Who's your hair envy of the moment?

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Wishlist

Hello ladies,

Whilst I'm looking out of the window wishing for the sunshine to come back I thought it would be a good time to note down some of my other wishes that I'm currently keeping my fingers crossed for:

1.  MAC lippie - Jazzed. 'Nuff said
2.  The perfect white tee.  I am forever on the lookout for that white t-shirt which will provide me with the effortlessly cool dressed-down LA look.  I am yet to find it :(  Any suggestions on where to look?
3. Long hair.  I'm religiously taking my sea kelp tablets with every meal to try and make this wish come true!
4. Coco decoeur top. My new fave tops, I've got my eye on this funky tee from cocodecoeur.com
5. RayBans - Specifically these Jackie Ohh II beauties as spotted on Pearls and Poodles' blog ; I'm wondering if my love for these sunnies has just stemmed from the fact that they look so gorgeous against Milly's caramel hair....don't think they'd look as amazing against my darker hair :(
6.  This scarf.  It was on my wishlist, but as usual my uncontrollable shopping instinct has lead to a purchase of this.  I justified it with the 20% discount code I found online though!
(Image taken from asos.com)
7. A new tattoo.  I know what I want it to say, just no idea where to put it!  I'm tempted by ribs (a la Megan Fox), but I know I'm too much of a wimp to go through with it there.  Apparently my body has adrenaline issues and I've pretty much passed out during each one of my three tattoos, so it has to be somewhere relatively pain-free.  I'm quite liking the back, as in Angelina Jolie's "Know your rights" tattoo.....what do you think?  Are tattoos a yay or nay for you?

My wishlist could go on and on, but unfortunately I'm due to go with my big sis to my stepmum's house to do her hair.  Obviously, being the hairdresser out of the two of us, my sister is dying the hair.  I think I've just been roped in to provide company on the journey.  Ho hum, with Mr B absent with my car it gives me something to do!

What's made it on to your wishlist?

Take care lovelies
xx

P.s. I'm so chuffed with all the lovely comments you ladies have been kind enough to leave me, I guess a cheeky number 8 on my wishlist would be for more comments!  :)

Monday, 9 August 2010

Recent clothing purchases

Hi all,

Hope you're all well, thought I'd share with you today the latest clothes/accessories to have made it from the shop to my wardrobe!

Ok, so there's not much here but that's due to the fact that it's been make up and cosmetics calling out to me lately....a blog on that to follow soon!

First up is my Jessica Kagan Cushman bracelet.  I've lusted after these beauties for a long long time but could never justify the £90 price tag.  All that changed when I spotted that socharming.co.uk had a sale on, bringing the price down to a more reasonable £39.....made even better by a £10 off code they had running which meant I snapped it up for even cheaper - result!  Described by JKC's website as "part bumper sticker and part tattoo", mine is adorned with the phrase "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way" said by the fabulous Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  It's a gorgeous statement piece which adds interest to any outfit, and was a bargain when you think that copies of this style bracelet sell for around a tenner each.

Not quite so exciting is my new headband, which as you can see is in ever-stylish leopard print.  I'm always torn between cutting in a funky new fringe and growing it out completely (I love Megan Fox and in my head, because she doesn't have a fringe, of course if I don't it'll mean I look much more like her...warped I know!), and have recently been twisting my  hair back into the style of the minute french plait a la Kristen Stewart at the Eclipse premiere.  I spotted this headband in Claire's and thought it was a bargain at £3.50 and perfect for days when I don't have time for plaits.

Now these beauties I am truly excited about.  Many hours I have spent online searching for the perfect pair of nude heels and granted, these may not be the perfect pair, but they are the closest thing I've found to it without having to fork out an obscene amount of money.  Originally priced at £20 from New Look, I received 10% off due to a tiny tiny scuff on one of the shoes which, to be honest, I'm extremely likely to end up adding to so didn't mind buying an imperfect pair....especially as they were the last size 4s in the shop and no longer available online.

But now fellow bloggers, on to my all-time favourite purchase of the moment, perhaps of the season....

My absolutely delicious TopShop hooded leather jacket.  A while back I spotted a lady wearing this in Grazia magazine and was desperate to get my hands on it.  I found it online but it took a long time to appear in shops and when it did I was ready.  £50 for this versatile piece which adds an injection of attitude to a simple jeans and vest outfit, it's my definite staple of the summer.  A little hot mind you, but so worth overheating for a totally fierce look!

How about you?  What are your favourite new additions to your wardrobe?

xxx

Sunday, 8 August 2010

And so it begins....

Hello all,

The summer hols are well underway, but with Mr Bluebell taking off with my car to attend training courses in London my time off work has resulted in me becoming glued to the laptop trying to find a way to curb the boredom....voila!  Into my life appeared the wonderful world of blogs - how had I not stumbled upon these before?!  Quickly I have become obsessed with my new guilty pleasure and after four solid days of blog loitering have decided to take the plunge and become a blogger myself.

So perhaps I should tell you more about myself...?  Tabitha Bluebell is (not really) my name, but bear with me, at the moment I'm just dipping my toe in the waters of blogspot, I'm sure one day I shall unveil myself.  But for now, a quote from Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall' sticks in my head...

"It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires."

But I digress....I am 23 years old, work at a school and have a worryingly strong obsession with clothes, make up, hairstyles etc.  I noticed the other day whilst shopping with my mum and older sister; 50% of things I picked up were followed with the comments "Cheryl has one just like this...." / "I saw Cheryl in a magazine wearing this style...".  All of my handy tips were met with blank or (even worse) bored expressions.  How could they not care what celebrities were wearing?  And also, why did I know these things?!  So fast realising that my family and my lovely Mr Bluebell do not share my love of all things cosmetic I have turned to blogspot to share my obsession with likeminded people.  No, I don't claim to be an expert and no I don't plan to bore you all with news of what the fabulous Tweedy is currently wearing (I realise she can be a bit like Marmite).  This blog is the creative hobby I've been craving and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing my musings.

For now however, I think I've rambled on far too much for a first entry which no doubt nobody will even read...if you do happen to stumble across my corner of the web, please leave a comment.  Any feedback will be much appreciated.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday....it will soon be Friday again!
xxx