Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The FAT Truth - Skinny Doesn't Equal Happy

Pic from meggy.ology.com
On looking at their naked refelection in the mirror, most women don't like what they see. Most women think that by losing weight, they'd be happier. Well I lost weight (over 2.5 stone of it!), and guess what? I still don't particularly like what I see.

I've never been fat, but a year ago I was a size 12 on a large frame. I'm now a size 8 in most high street shops, and pretty slim (purely by excercising more and eating more healthily - there's no secret, sorry!) I'm glad to have been maintaining my current weight for a while, and certainly wouldn't want to lose a pound more.  When I reached my mid-teens, I guess I stopped growing upwards, but carried on eating the same way, so inevitably grew outwards, and the chub gradually snuck up on me.  I wasn't happy being a "bigger" girl, and thought that if I couldn't lose weight and be in my ideal shape as a young lady in the prime of metabolism, what hope was there for me in later life? I wanted to be slimmer, as that's the look I like, so what's wrong with taking control of your life and doing something about it? One thing I hate is when people are all talk and no action: so many of my friends are constantly whining about how they "want to lose a stone" or "need to slim down", but never got off their backsides and take action! Aggravating, no?

I've never had a boyfriend (but at the same time, never been particularly bothered about having one - go girlpower!), and I don't know if I thought that by slimming down and losing the extra inches of chub I'd suddenly be inundated with attention from boys, but I can tell you, that certainly has not happened. Maybe it really is true that guys don't care about girls being skinny.

So maybe it was subconsciously for the sake of other women. We tell ourselves that we have to be slim to be beautiful, and can't escape this idea. I'm very ambitious and am doing everything possible to give myself the best chance of getting my dream job after I graduate, and we all know that image plays a part towards getting ahead in life (whether we like it or not).

I also just wanted to have a healthy revamp. Afterall, what's the point in getting into bad eating habits at my age? I'm now much more educated about health and nutrition, and not only has my figure benefitted, but my brain and immune system and the like are certainly in better shape too.

But after all this, do I actually like my figure? Well, no is the answer. But I don't think many women ever do. Skinny girls (comme moi) want to be curvy (Kim Kardashian anyone?), and curvy girls want to be skinny. The trouble is that I have a boyish frame - that's to say pretty much straight up and down, with , like, no waist. I've always been this way, the difference is that I now have a slightly flatter tum, but at the price of my formerly curvy bum, and my previously small boobs now really are mosquito bites. Also, I now have knobbly knees and a rather protruding spine (which I actually managed to graze recently while doing floorwork in a dance class. I mean, c'mon! Who grazes their backbone!?)

However, I do prefer my figure now to the way it was a year ago. I love my slim legs, more defined face (I used to look like I had gobstoppers in my cheeks the whole time! No joke!), and feminine collar bones. I like having delicate wrists, and - as awful as this may be - it feels good when you notice looks from other women. Well, for the most part. I myself can't help but stare at stick-thin people, but not in an envious way, that's for sure.

So to sum up - I am happier now with my figure, but still not happy. We never will be until we reach perfection (which will never happen) because that's what society drills into us. It's a shame, but is there anything we can do about it? I love food, and would NEVER recommend doing anything drastic to lose weight, but at the same time, if you're really unhappy with the way you look, stop complaining, and do something about it! If you'd like to hear all my super simple and healthy weightloss, diet and fitness tricks, I'd be more than happy to share, so please just drop me a comment.

Skinny doesn't equal happy. Fact. Well, I'm pretty sure of it, but what do you think about this controversial subject? I'd love to hear your views on your bodies, diets, weightloss and anything else related. Drop me a comment...

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Installment 6 of 2011's Daily Micropleasures

Here we go - I can't believe I'm nearly a quarter of the way through the year, and the micropleasures just keep on coming!

If it's good enough for Blair Wladorf...
5th March - Being early when you had thought you might be late.
6th March - Sunday night dinners en famille.
7th March - Wearing a ribbon in your hair.
8th March - The feeling after you finish a run. Even if it was only 10 minutes long before you collapsed in a heap, completely out of breath.
9th March - Getting into a bed made-up with freshly washed bedlinen.
10th March - Getting the last flapjack. Score!
11th March - When blossom appears for the first time each year.
12th March - Coming back to your parked car to find a space opposite so you can drive straight out. No-one like reversing, do they now?
13th March - Bonding over shared memories.
14th March - Singing at the top of your voice whilst driving alone. Yes, I may have received a few strange looks from passers-by...
Who wouldn't want one of these cuties?
15th March - Coming home to find a parcel waiting for you! Super exciting, no?
16th March - Winning a freebie competition! Thank you, handbag.com
17th March - When you throw rubbish at the bin and it actually goes in! (Thanks to my bro for that one.)
18th March - When someone says "hi" to you that you weren't expecting to do so.
19th March - A cloudless, blue sky. It's the simple things really, isn't it?
20th March - The smug feeling when you use a discount voucher.
21st March - Wearing new clothes. And it's doubly awesome when friend's notice and compliment on their newness!
22nd March - The smell of freshly-cut grass. Hello, Summer.
23rd March - Planning a surprise for someone.

Lovely little micropleasures, no? If you liked these, take a gander at the last ones here - they may just make your day a smidgen better.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Retail Therapy: My Spring Shopping!

Retail therapy is called "therapy" for a reason. It sure does make a gal feel better, and I sure as hell do crave shopping when I haven't gone for a few weeks. Heck, when I don't manage to go for months I get some serious withdrawal symptoms! So after finally managing to hit the high-street last weekend, I am one happy girlie. Sure, maybe my wallet is a smidge lighter, and my bank account is, well, less full, but the joy is totally worth it, I'm sure you'll agree? It may be completely materialistic, and yes, I know, "Money can't buy you happiness blah-de-blah-de-blah". But quite frankly, my lovely purchases have made me happy. There's nothing like getting a good bargain, finding something that fits as if it was made for you, or is perfect for a certain occasion, then wearing your new purchases for the first time, and getting compliments on your gorgeous new blouse/shoes/earrings (delete as appropriate). And I'd done a long waitressing shift the night before, so it's fine. *She says, convincing and reassuring herself*.

As my luck would have it, not one of the things I bought are featured online on any of the shop's websites, which just proves that you have to get off your bum and go to town (literally) to find what you really want. I must apologise for the quality of my pictures - everything looks a kajillion times better in real life, I swear! But here are some of the things (amongst a few cheeky others...) I treated myself to :

I got a gorgeous high-waisted, slightly A-line, denim skirt with a plaited, tan, leather belt round the waist from Topshop. There are quite a lot of these on the high-street at the mo, and I'd tried on a few in some other shops with little success in the fitting department. Topshop's however, despite being a smidgen more pricey (even with the ole student discount!) at £35, is perfection, and I can see myself living in this skirt for the upcoming months - even if it is over tights for a while yet! A plain denim skirt is a classic wardrobe staple, and I didn't have one that fitted me anymore (one of the downsides to losing weight).

A few weeks ago I came across some beautiful earrings in Accessorize, but didn't buy them. I really regretted that, and so this time made the effort to go and make the purchase (keeping my fingers crossed that they were still there! Don't you hate it when you go back to a shop to get something and find it's gone?! Damn how quickly stock comes and goes.) Luckily, they were still there... but even better: Accessorize now do a student discount! Huzzah! (Hopefully River Island and H&M will jump on the bandwagon next) So my £8 earrings only cost me £7.20 - Hey, as that supermarket says (I can't even remember which one... great advertising eh?), every little helps!

Nipping into Primark, I wasn't sure what to expect. People have told me I have "the Primark eye" - that is, I tend to be able to find the good stuff amongst, well, the rubbish. I hadn't been in for a while, and so was hoping I hadn't lost my gift - it really is great when people are gobsmacked that something I'm wearing is a find from none other than ole Prime. I came away (along with the rest of the world - Saturday afternoon + Primark = bad combo) with a beautiful pink, rose-print blouse. Perfecto for Spring! (And equally perfecto for my impending student debt.)

I do love a bit of River Island (particularly their new Chelsea Girl retro section), and was pleased to find this vintagey looking top. It's loose and light so looks lovely tucked into a fitted high-waisted skirt, but equally great over skinny trousers. Versatility - that's what we like to see! It's usually £25 (but, to be honest, I wouldn't have paid that much), but was one of River Island's "Star Buys" so had been reduced to £12! Me likey lotsy.

Ahh it really does all give me a lot of joy. Is that wrong? Who feels the same as me!? Let me know...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

My Springtime Wish List

Spring is upon us! Well, that's what we're being told by the fashion world. Mother Nature, on the other hand, can't seem to make her mind up quite yet. But I am seriously craving some Springtime retail therapy to snap up the new collections and trends, whether I'll get the chance to wear any purchases in the near future here in temperamental England or not. Every Spring we see a resurgence of florals, nautical and brighter colours. I suppose it's only natural. Here are the items I'm currently on the lookout for:

Office Dandy Doll Loafer - Tan Leather

Now I'm not sure where this desire has come from, but I'm really craving some tan penny loafers. It seems random as I can't even remember seeing them in a mag/on a celeb/on a friend, but I suppose fashion is fickle like that, isn't it? These beauts above are £65 from Office (or £59.50 if you can get a cheeky student discount! Score!), and perfectly tick the box. I love the tassle, holey details and solid heel. Preppy, geek, granny chic at its best.

River Island Light Denim Skinny Jeans
Next on my wish list is a pair of acid wash, distressed skinny jeans, somewhat like the pair above from River Island. These lovelies, as you can see, are currently only £33.74 due to there being a sweet 25% during what is apparently "Denim Week". (Who knew?) I find it difficult to find a good-fitting pair of jeans, because, well, my legs are pretty skinny (don't hate me!) and thus even skinny jeans end up sagging in the wrong places. I've never had a pair from River Island, but they offer sizes 6-18 and three different lengths, so it looks promising!

ALDO KRUGH Women's Peep-toe Heels
How gorge are these!? I would really like some neutral, chunky, day-time heels, and these ones from ALDO may just fit the bill! They have a certain Spring-time feel, don't they? I can just imagine myself strolling down the high street in the sunshine, complete with a floppy hat, floaty dress and sunnies. Bring on Summer, eh? Well actually, I'm pretty tall, so don't really wear heels on a day-to-day basis, but I like the idea of them. These cuties are a bit of a stretch for most students at £70, but I reckon they'll go with everything... and I've decided I really want them now! Better start saving...

So until I can go shopping (roll on this weekend), I shall continue browsing online and tormenting myself. Why don't I just shop online, you ask? Well, I just don't like it. Extra postage costs, and not knowing if something really fits my body type distresses me. Old-fashioned? Maybe so, but hey. Here's to Spring!

Friday, 4 March 2011

2011's Daily Micropleasures - installment 5

Continuing my New Year's Resolution of noting down a micropleasure each day, thus not forgetting the little things in life that make me smile. I have to say, by noticing things every day that could be my daily micropleasure, I really am appreciating life's little joys. Try it!

17th Feb- When you get to a clear patch after driving through fog. Ahhh it's so clear now!
18th Feb - When you've done longer on a gym machine than you thought.
19th Feb - Using a new toothbrush for the first time.
20th Feb - Friendly strangers. Not overly friendly in a creepy way, though...
21st Feb - Discovering a nice new cafe.
22nd Feb - Unexpected freebies! Whoop whoop!
23rd Feb - Freshly-painted nails.
24th Feb - The sound of horses trotting.
25th Feb - Sitting down with a cup of tea and a magazine. Ahh, that hits the spot.
26th Feb - Making up with someone after an argument.
27th Feb- When your bed is warm from an electric blanket.
28th Feb - A red traffic light turning green as you aproach it.
1st March - Finishing a long blog post.
2nd March - Getting the new issue of your fave magazine each month.
3rd March - Bare tree silhouettes infront of a sunset.
4th March - The warmth of the sun on your face. Just re-typing this has made me smile.

Anyone feel just a smidgen happier? Have I brightened your day just a little? Hope so! And if you liked that, here's a link to the last installment. What are your micropleasures? Spread the joy and let me know...

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Yummy foodplaces I found round Carnaby Street in Soho, London.

While working at the fabulous Cosmo offices last week, I found myself in the equally stylish area of London, Soho. The Cosmo offices are right next to the famous Carnaby Street, full of quirky shops and trendy cafes - how people manage to go out for their lunch break without getting distracted by the window displays at the very least is beyond me! So while I was there (and being the foody that I am) I made the most of trying out some new snack/lunch/treat spots... and here are my top picks:

    a Pure wrap - yum much?
  1. Pure This is an amazing little place I accidentally stumbled across on my last day working at Cosmo - and believe me, if I'd found it any earlier, I definitely would have gone back. It was bustling with busy people grabbing quick lunches at the time, both to go and to eat in, and I'm not surprised that it's so popular. There's a choice of ready-made salads (or you can make your own), sandwiches, soups and the like... but that doesn't sound particularly special does it? Well, one of my fave things was the cute mini side pots of yumminess you can buy, either as a side or a snack. Still doesn't sound particularly interesting. Well the combos were just amazeballs - for example, honey-roasted root vegetables with home-made houmous. Divine, no? And I love that it's all really healthy. I'm a big veg fan, and you can never really buy veg as a snack on the go, except here at Pure. They have two sites (Goodge Street and Beak Street), you can order online before you pick up, and get it all delivered. They also do loads of fab breakfast options and fresh smoothies and juices too - yum! I feel I'm not realy doing Pure justice - I suggest you head online to see the full menu and find out more... but really, you've just got to go and try 'em out! You definitely won't regret it.
  2. Joe and the Juice - literally opposite the NatMags building, you'll find this fabby juice bar. They're originally from Denmark, but have two places in London - Broadwick Street and Regent Street (both run by some rather charming Danish young fellas, which never hurts). I'm not sure where the name comes from, but I like it, and I like what they do even more. Utterly delumpcious freshly squeezed juices right infront of your eyes. I had a raspberry, banana and apple cup of yum for a mid-morning boost, and felt all the better for it. They do also do coffees, sandwiches and other snacks, but the juice is the main attraction. One of the chatty guys behind the counter offered me a free ginger shot while I waited (I don't know why... maybe I'd worked my charm back at him!), which I must say, definitely gave me a kick, and you can ask for extra ginger in your juice if ya like. Give 'em a try!
  3. Food Secret - this is a brilliant little place, just down from Joe and the Juice on Broadwick Street. Amazing for lunch, but also for brekkie too. They have the most fantastic selection of delicious wraps, sandwiches, pittas, salads, soups... and of course, you can make your own if you like. The staff are delightfully friendly and helpful, and the ambiance is so peaceful and pleasant. Another popular place at lunchtime, it's really well organised, with everything separated into sections - meat, vegetarian, fish etc. What I also liked was that they had full menus out, so you could look at everything on offer and then make an informed decision. I don't know about you, but I hate it when I order my food, then see something else I would've preferred. Food Secret is also great if you like to check your nutritional info or count your cals, as they have it all displayed on the packaging (as well as online) which is always useful for keeping in shape and healthy. They have a fab website, where you can order online and find out all about them - go, go, go!
  4. Yuforia - simply amazing. I'm not sure what else to say. I flippin' LOVE this place! It's an utterly fantastic frozen yoghurt place. The Americans cottoned on to the awesomeness of froyo a while ago, and I'm seriously hoping the trend will catch on here in the UK. Not only is it totally delicious (in a choice of flavours... naturally, I went for chocolate), but it's totally healthy and fat-free too. The guy there told me there's less than 100 calories in a small portion, which, for the record, wasn't exactly small. But the best thing is that you can top your froyo with whatever you what - fruit, fudge, chocolate sprinkles, mini Oreos, nuts, granola, many-a-flavour-of-sauce... And boy, did I go to town! You can also push the boat out and get a warm waffle with your froyo on top. They are located right opposite Pure, so why not stop-off for your pudding after a yummy lunch? (There's also one in Covent Garden!)
So those are a few of my faves. Woud love to hear what you think if you've visited any of them, or any other fab places for munching! Bon appetit!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

My first-hand experience of London Fashion Week - February 2011

Cute Mulberry tote
I am a very lucky girlie. Shall I tell you why? Well I'm going to anyway: I got to spend a few days working with the Cosmo fashion department at London Fashion Week (last week)! Now I know you've probably all read all the details of fashion week already (I went away on a teensy holiday straight afterwards you see, so unfortunately couldn't blog about it any earlier), so I shan't just tell you everything you'll have already read elsewhere, I'm just going to give you a brief summary of my experience: what I loved, learned and generally thought. Afterall, not every student gets to mingle with the FROW (that's front row, dahling) girls, do they?

First of all, I have never seen quite so many stylish, quirky, well-dressed people in one place in my life. It is aboslutely inspiring! You know if you go out to your local city centre on a Saturday afternoon, you'll come across the odd guy or girl who's got their own chic/quirky/down-right-stylish look going on? Well, Somerset House (the home of London Fashion Week, and a stunning building in itself) was over-run with these types. Seriously - some of the best people-watching you could ever hope for!

I met some really interesting folk while just hanging around at Somerset House in between shows and exhibitions and the like. For example, a charming youg man named Samuel Sasiharan. He's currently studying at Central St Martins (like many a top designer once did), and I was very excited to see him featured in the street-style section of The Daily (London Fashion Week's, erm, daily newspaper) from the previous day! Remember that name, folks, I reckon we may be seeing big things from him in the future. That same day, I started chatting to a lady who worked for Channel 4! (I tell ya, there were so many camera crews around - I definitely didn't try to walk in the background of as many as I could), and it turns out she was there filming for a new TV show that'll be aired in September with Mary Portas. You heard it here first. I also met lots of lovely fashion journalists and bloggers from around the world, all there with fascinating stories, ideas and advice. There were some guys I didn't particularly enjoy meeting - two men: one a diet specialist, and the other a fitness specialist, who work with models. They were downright creepy, and didn't half make me feel guilty for buying a hot chocolate from the amazing Tom's Deli in Somerset House (hey, at least it wasn't a full on slab of cake! I waited until they'd left...)
The lovely Paloma Faith

Ahh, and you've probably been waiting to hear this part - which celebrities did I see!?
Well - I'll just give you a rundown shall I? there was Joy (the latest winner of Britain's Next Top Model), Hilary Alexander (The Daily Telegraph's amazing fashion director, and a bit of an idol), Olivia Palermo (I nearly had a heart attack to be honest - she is SO beautiful, and has ridiculously sleek hair), Paloma Faith (who was so sweet, happily posing for pictures), Alexandra Shulman (the editor of British Vogue, whilst being bombarded by a camp little guy wanting to work there), Louise Redknapp (who is also beautiful... tiny though), Amber Rose (only the ex-girlfriend of Kanye West!), that Jason guy from Dancing On Ice, the judge off Masterchef - John Torode, is it?, Sasha Wilkins (AKA Liberty London Girl - one of my fave bloggers), Susie Lau (another brill blogger - Style Bubble), Yasmin Le Bon (looking gorgeously and enviably tanned... she looked right at me too!) and - rather randomly - that Laura (the annoying one) from the last series of The Apprentice. I think that was the lot! To be honest though, I could've been standing right next to Anna Wintour herself at some point and just not noticed.

Going to the fashion shows
Ashish - blurry but a kinda cool pic, no?
Marios Schwab
Amanda Wakeley
 I went to some incredible shows, including Ashish, Marios Schwab and Amanda Wakeley amongst others (OK, so maybe for a couple of them I just managed to charm my way in to standing at the back, but hey! You do what you gotta do - we can't all have FROW tickets!) I also went to some shows of designers I'd never heard of, but absolutely loved! For example, the polar opposites of Joanne Hynes and Christian Blanken. Joanne Hynes (who'd left us lots of sweeties in our goody bags - score!) was so wacky, with big, bold prints and lots of colour; whereas Christian Blanken was all about chic, simple, minimalist lines in monochrome. It's so exciting to discover new designers (new to me anyway), and I adored them both.
Joanne Hynes
Christian Blanken
The exhibitions of smaller designers all round Somerset House were brilliant too: I went round them with Cosmo's fabulous Natasha Guiotto and Sarah Katchis, photographing bits and pieces they liked and might potentially feature or use in shoots in future issues of Cosmo!
Natasha and Sarah doing their thang
What else? Well, I don't think I've ever drunk quite so much Glaceau Vitamin Water in my life! It was one of the sponsors of the whole shebang, and thus was readily available for free around Somerset House (naturally, as a student, I'm used to making the most of freebies.) On that note, I did pick up a few freebies from show goody bags and around the place - some didn't give anything at all (stingy? I suppose it is a recession blah blah blah...) - but I came away with little shampoos, conditioners, a notebook, and other little things like that. All very lovely. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, anyway!

To sum up, my experience of London Fashion Week (and I didn't even go to the whole of it) was downright AMAZEBALLS! I absolutely LOVED it, despite being completely exhausted. How top fashion folk do a whole week's worth, then fly off round the world to do it again, and again, whilst staying up late partying away, I'll never know (and I'm meant to be the young, energetic student!) Well, fingers crossed that in the future perhaps I could be doing all that too :)
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