Being bothered to put a face on

On the odd occasion over the last ten years or so that I’ve not worn make up, people generally say to me ‘ooh, are you feeling ok’. In fact, I came into the office really early before a conference in November and when I eventually got my makeup bag out, my boss said she was so glad because she thought she was going to have to send me home because I looked so sorry for myself! I’m definitely one of those people that just looks better with a little bit of something on.

In a half arsed attempt to not look like a knackered new mum, even though my clothes are generally covered in dribble, and my hair is attacked with dry shampoo rather than actually washed, I have made a real effort to put on some form of make up every day (except for the days that I will definitely not be leaving the house… oh and the day I came home from hospital- If people thought I looked a bit tired then, they were more than welcome to their opinion!).

I have got make up application down to an extremely fine art now- while Sid reclines on the bed for a bit of a kick around, I get a quick blast of bb cream, translucent powder, highlighter concealer under the eyes, brown eyeliner and mascara, eyebrow colour and tinted vaseline. Takes about 10 minutes and so far I’ve just been told ‘you look well’ (nb- I’ve never done this before, ‘well’ could be code for ‘a bit shit, but she’s just had a baby- humour her’… I’m not sure)

Here’s the makeup…
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Unfortunately for me, my skin, which following a small tweak in cleanser and moisturiser was pretty damn brilliant for the whole of pregnancy, has started rebelling again. I said as much to Mark, who said ‘yeah, I thought you were looking a bit blemishy’. Thanks husband, love you too. So I’m trying out all the different amassed cleansers that I have in a box in the bathroom- mainly gifts from the lovely Clarins lady after I had a pregnancy massage last year- I’m hoping one of them will do the trick… And now I’m thinking about that Clarins treatment again… and seriously wondering if I could just go for another- it was brilliant, and really good value…it’s not like they asked me for my scan picture or anything- I could just say I was a little bit pregnant. That’s not weird, is it?

Maternity wear is all a load of crap

You heard me- it really is!

I have now tried on an absolutely obscene amount of maternity wear, including, but probably not limited to..

-14 dresses
-4 pairs of tights
-16 pairs of jeans (at least!)
-1 jumper
-1 skirt

And out of all of that, I’ve actually got the following in my ‘wearable’ pile in the wardrobe:

-2 dresses
-1 jumper
-1 skirt

Come on now, shop people- I’ve clearly been putting the effort in so why have my efforts been so poorly rewarded? In one mammoth ASOS order alone, I ordered eight dresses, all the same shape, all the same size and all of which fitted entirely differently and only two of them enough to actually keep hold of even though I now realise the two just make me look fat, not pregnant

I’ve burst into tears on two occasions shopping for maternity jeans that are just too tight in the calf. The calf, for pity’s sakes, it’s not even like they wouldn’t fit on the hips or anything- I couldn’t get them high enough up to check!

Maternity tights are apparently the work of the devil too- I had two pairs from Marks and Spencer (black thick ones and flesh coloured ones, cos I’m very much like the queen in that respect- not a fan of the bare legged look) and they were both entirely different sizes- The black ones’ legs were about two feet shorter than the flesh coloured ones, and H&M tights, the so-called wonder tights that pregnant women everywhere seem to swear by, have these mad seams that just dug into my thighs and pinched every time I sat down.

I’d love to say I’m giving up on my quest to find nice-fitting stuff, but apparently I’m not- two more dresses are on their way from ASOS in the post as we speak! Glutton for punishment definitely springs to mind.

The only knight in shining armour has come in the form of a very nice jumper that my sister lent me, which came from Mama’s and Papa’s. Bravo, M&P, you’ve done something right, but I really do wish that you weren’t so blessedly expensive, so I might be able to actually afford to buy some stuff from your shop of wonder.

I’m vaguely resigning myself to wearing primarni fleece-lined leggings with the waistband rolled down and big tshirts/jumpers for the next four months, like some kind of 80s throwback or possibly just admitting defeat and confining myself to my dressing gown, and staying indoors until February

Fat lady fashions

Yes, alright, I know I’m not fat, I’m with child, but you can’t miss an opportunity for alliteration like that!

This week I have taken a good hard look at myself in the mirror and realised that I can’t keep on wearing my ‘normal’ clothes for work, because they’re just getting too short at the front as they pass over le’bump, and they are making me look fat, not pregnant, which means I never get offered a seat on the tube, and I’m too much of a wuss to ask in case an angry banker tells me to fuck off.

I got up on Friday ready for a delve in the bag of maternity clothes that my sis had lent me. Unfortunately, my usual problem of ‘big fat arse is rather hard to dress’ reared its ugly head again- I’ve no idea why I thought i would suddenly look good in a style of clothing that has never suited me just because I was preggers, but i did. And i tried on every work-like thing in the bag and it all looked poo, with the exception of one dress that might be ok in a month or so’s time.

So i tootled into work, a bit dejected, still in my normal clothes, still no seat on the tube, and spent a good chunk of my lunchtime panic-buying on ASOS. £200 quid lighter, a big haul of stuff will be arriving next week (and I’m sure most of it will be going back, but it seemed silly to just order a little bit when it was the same delivery charge to order a lot!). Fingers crossed there’ll be some good stuff in there!

The last few weekends, I’ve been wearing a ridiculously uninspiring combo of primark leggings with fleecy lining (oh god theyre comfy!) and a long jumper. I’ve only got two of each and three weekends down the line was getting a bit bored of wearing exactly the same thing two days a weeks, but thankfully a final delve in the ‘maternity clothes bag of plenty’ bore fruit- a pretty cool studded jumper. Hoo-bloody-ray. I went out Saturday shopping feeling decidedly chipper to not be slopping about looking like a bag of crap. (I won’t mention the fact that I have spent the whole of sunday looking like a bag of crap in said fleecy leggings and a sweatshirt I normally go running in!
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So what are we wearing here then?
Quite a lot of primark, as is usual in my world- fleece lined leggings and cream sheer long shirt, currently in the shops. Jumper- Mamas and Papas maternity (but from two years back) and pirate boots- Dorothy Perkins- Christmas pressie last year from the lovely Mr Mark

To impatient to wait for…. Thursday night nail night

I am the proud possessor of some new birthday nail stuff- some colours, a rock solid top coat (if the bottle is all it proclaimed to be) and a nail art own which I’m struggling to get to grips with- my toe nails look very… artistic at the moment.

I decided not to wait for my official nail night and got straight down to it yesterday evening. The colour of choice, a Rimmel one- Punk Rock

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-it looks almost grey in the picture and it is pretty dark but is actually more of an indigo colour. Its a different shape bottle to most of the other Rimmel nail varnishes, which I’m assuming is because it’s posher (or at least something to do with Kate Moss) but given the choice, the traditional bottle with the thinner lid is a hell of a lot easier to control in my opinion

I’m sure the top coat would have been tip top had I not been quite so impatient and emptied a mop bucket before it was completely dry, so the whole thing has got a wee bit smudged at the edges, but I’m still holding out high hopes- it claims to stay perfect for ten days, you know!  It did dry pretty quickly, and there were definitely none of the dreaded sheet marks this morning, so for now, Sally Hansen for the win

Happy birthday to me

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A belated happy birthday to me, for yesterday I turned 32, and I’m pleased to say I felt very spoiled.

Had a lovely chilled out day commencing with tea and presents in bed- lots of lovely stuff from the inlaws, the garmin forerunner I knew I was getting from Mark, and somewhat brilliantly, a surprise in the shape of sims 3. Very exciting, I am a massive fan of the Sims and expect to waste great swathes of the coming weeks tending to my imaginary family.

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After a wee bit of a lay in, I took the forerunner for a gentle 2 mile spin- more on that to come, watched my crap telly of choice (homes under the hammer), started installing my sims, which took flipping ages, then took myself off to my mum’s for a spot of lunch and some more presents! I knew most of the things I was getting, because I picked them, but here’s a little selection…

Gold necklaces from Dorothy Perkins- one long one short
Navy blue and lolly pop print dress- Henry Holland
Black and pink floral dress- Ossie Clark
Dark blue fan print dress- Tenki
Tan woven sandals- Primark

All the dresses hailed from Debenhams, and the Ossie Clark one particularly I have coveted for months- could not have afforded it is it weren’t for a happily placed bank holiday sale and generous birthday present givers.

After a spot of lunch and a spot of shopping, mark for back from work and we settled in at mums for an immense curry, several glasses of prosecco, and a few argumentative games of cards.

A very chilled birthday was not over- I’ve managed to extend it for 48 hours! I park ran with the new watch, had a massive fried breakfast, a small nap and had an amazing dinner cooked courtesy of marky Mark- tea-smoked trout on mustard-dressed potatoes and rocket salad, with chocolate and ginger bombe for finishes and a very nice sauvignion blanc!

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Thursday night nail night

So I tried out my spangly new Maybelline bleached neons polish. I thought it wasn’t quite the right colour for my skin, but Mark said it looked lovely (I am a perpetual disappointment to my husband because I am a groomed princess stuck inside the body of a lazy scruffbag, and he quite likes it when I get jazzed up)

Things I learned:

*Ridge filler doesn’t make a blind bit of difference- it still took three coats of polish to make it look flat
*Don’t paint your nails and then go to bed 45 minutes later, or you will wake up with the imprint of the duvet on your polish
*Maybellline polish is freakishly gloopy and the brush is weirdly long- Found it a bit of a struggle to actually get it on my nails!

Anyway- taadaah! Pinky orangy washed out nails for your delectation (and I only went a tiny bit outside the edges, which I promise I cleaned up with a cotton wool bud!)
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…better go buy some new polish for next week!

 

#BEDM- Being Beautiful

… or attemting it, at least! Today’s ‘blog every day in May’ post is about fashion and beauty and grooming and that sort of thing.

Now I LOVE the idea of fashion and beauty and grooming and that sort of thing and dedicate huge amouts of time to window shopping and reading stuff, but on an everyday basis, I’m pretty slapdash. I’m not saying that I don’t need a little help along the way, but I’ve got reasonable skin, hair that tends to behave itself and am fair, so can get away with being a little lackadasical on the old hair removal front, so on the whole, I’m pretty minimal on the ‘routine’ front.

I have decided though, to try and make a little bit more effort with my nails- I love a bit of nail varnish, and have a veritable rainbow of polishes but the fact that I spend half my life with my hands in cake batter, and a fair portion of the rest of it destroying my nails opening up boxes of stuff at conferences, mean that my hands fall to the bottom of my (short) grooming list.

I was facebook stalking on a conversation that two of the girls I have riding lessons with were having, and they said they did their nails every Thursday night after our lesson, so I decided to take my cue from them and  painted them a minty green colour, in honour of the fact that it matched the tshirt I was going running in on Saturday. Three people commented on how nice it looked over the course of the weekend and on Monday, when it got a bit scruddy looking, and i dutifully took it off with proper remover, in contrast to my usual trick of picking it off over the course of a fortnight.
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I also indulged at the weekend in a new colour, a washed out coral from Maybelline’s bleached neons range. I saw a whole blog post about the range and took a liking to the coral heat colour. Can’t for the life of me find the original post now, but who knows, maybe the writer will happen across this and reveal themselves! and also picked up boots cuticle oil (to attempt to counteract my bad bad habit of picking at those bad boys when they start splitting) and a base coat, because I thought that my minty green looked a liittle bit ridgey.

So now i have a slightly greasy ipad screen from my cuticle oil application efforts, and am quite looking forward to Thursday night, when i get to try out my new groovy shade!

Post script- by the powers of the internet the bleached neons blogger has revealled herself- its Briege Flynn, from Rare Opals– one of the many blogs I’m now stalking off the back of Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day in May!

End of January overdraft update… and a German day day

Almost the end of the month, pay day had come and gone, and I am currently out of my overdraft.  Will likely be another skinty month or I’ll end up straight back in minus numbers but phew, I did it!

Didn’t end up spending much over the weekend-got my fancy dress outfit for Saturday’s surprise day out for a bargain price of £16, and the only money I spent all day was £3 on lunch on the way out and a tenner on a Chinese on the way home. There was a slightly hairy moment on Friday where I decided if pop into 24 hour tescos on the way home from a friends house, to pick up some face scrub and possibly some new leggings, but after a brief pause in the car park I turned around and drove out again.  Hooray for me!

So, total spend for the month = £120.30. Almost a tenner under what I was aiming at.  Yessss! Just need to make sure I don’t go backwards in February!  (Definitely need some face scrub though- my skin is grim!)

I shall leave you work a picture of myself in a polyester dirndl at Saturday’s day day (or tag tag if you speak german) and a record of other mad stuff from the day

Highlights included….
-Almost everyone getting dressed up in lederhosen
-An impressively themed house, with a proper bar in a tent in the back garden (which nearly blew away in the high winds) complete with steins, beer on tap, wood clad walls and pubs head trophies
-An oompah band…. Well, a very cut down oompah band-just the two, but apparently the full band played to 4000 people at the Alexandra Palace for their last gig- a bit different to 30 people in someone’s front room!
– Currywurst, saurkraut and stew… cos it’s not a German themed evening without a currywurst!

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Dia de los muertos costume

We had a halloween gathering to go to at the weekend, and after a fair bit of piddling around the internet, gathering costume ideas, I decided to go for a Mexican day of the dead sort of theme.

First of all, a head piece. In the summer, it might have been easy to pick something like this up, but being outside of the festival/pseudo hippie season, it wasn’t to be, so I made my own.

It turned out to be pretty easy-a wire three strand headband (bargain price of £1 in primark), a bunch of red fake flowers from the range and a tiny bunch of yellow flowers from the wedding bit of hobbycraft. Total cost, about a fiver

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The big bunches of fake flowers generally have a smaller wire that’s been stuck into the fake stem, so first step was to pull the big red flowers or of the stems, leaving the wires in tact.

Then it was really easy to weave the wires into the headband, ending up so the flowers tilted forward rather than straight up.  Then I did the same with the little yellow flowers, to fill in the gaps. I had some red ribbon in the cupboard so tied a length on each side and called it a day

Face-wise, I bought some white liquid foundation and a block of black colour from a fancy dress shop.  The foundation just went on with fingers, although I think I could have gotten a smoother cover with a sponge (and if I did it again, I’d do my ears too!), and the black was wetted and then applied with an old eyeshadow brush around the eyes sockets. I did the lip lines with black khol eyeliner and finally cheated and got Mark to do the petals round my eyes… far too fiddly to do in the mirror!
Happy halloween!

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Swirly dresses

A few weeks back, I was having a bit of a panic about what to wear for an impending birthday shindig. The destination, a cabaret/supper club, the Wam Bam Club, and not particularly wanting to get my arse out in frilly knicks and a corset, I decided a slinky dress was the way forward. Cue lots of searching for a slinky dress that would fit over my ample backside, and rather slim waist.

It wasn’t to be, sadly and after perusing all the shops in the vicinity, and most of ebay looking for a perfect vintage find, I had to admit defeat and go for something slightly less slinky, but rather glamourous none the less- This to be precise (not that you can see the bottom of it, but to confirm, it’s a full circle skirt at the bottom, falling a few inches below the knee- felt very 50s film starry):

Me and the mister

Rather pleased with the effect in the end, teamed with a cocktail hat, fur shrug, and finally a non-shirley-temple attempt at curling my hair (more on that later- It took a night in bed in rollers and a hairnet to achieve!). Whaddaya reckon? Do I pass?

Here I am with the other girls I went with, pratting around on a big bed-sofa type thing- very comfy

A brief bit about my evening- Many many drinks drunk, so I can’t tell too much, but the cabaret (2 burlesque acts, a comedian, 1 boylesque, one acrobat) was pretty good, although the burlesque was a bit… unimaginative… Not that I’ve seen a huge amount of burlesque, but this seemed a bit blah in my humble opinion. Comedian was good though, not that I can remember her name now! The downside- service charges! Now I don’t mind tipping a waitress at the end of a meal,  but I’m not in America and certainly won’t do it every time a drink is brought to my table- I’ll just go to the bar, except that was frowned on. And I very much resent paying a 12% service charge to pay for drinks on my debit card. Especially when you’re buying a bottle of wine that cost close to 30 quid- That’s quite enough of a markup already thank you very much- I don’t even think Ryan Air charge that much to pay on card! AND I really hate it when bars ‘only serve double measures’- Granted the amount I drink is down to me and me alone- Nobody’s standing there with a pipette, forcing it down my throat, but you must admit it does make it a bit harder to control your intake if the bar will only serve doubles, right? Sorry Wam Bam, I know you’re in the middle of one of the most touristy bits of London, but I did go home feeling rather ripped off by the whole experience