So 12th Jan arrived and passed and the diet had yet to begin with biscuits, nuts and chocolates still hanging around from Christmas. Even now come March, my willpower is currently at an all-time low; in the words of Homer Simpson ‘oooh doughnuts!’ Stepping on to the scales, I nearly gave myself a coronary. I’m not going to share how much I was but suffice to say, it’s the heaviest I have ever been and losing a stone would only really be scratching at the surface!
Most women will tell you that January sparks the need for a diet and I overheard plenty of conversations about it on the train home from work. There is a tendency to look for a quick fix celebrity diet and I have become victim to this before with the 5:2 diet. This year’s fads appear to include the Paleo diet – where the only foods consumed are those that are believed to have been available to the caveman in the prehistoric era and the Vegan before 6 diet which is what its name suggests. We all would love to find that magic bullet but the reality is losing weight is hard and if you want to keep it off, it’s going to mean a lifestyle change – a diet is forever. All whilst we continue to stuff our faces with fatty, sugary foods and sit on our backsides – we are snookered! (Talking of Snooker, the things you do for love. I sat through over 8 hours of live snooker with my husband at The Masters, held at Alexandra Palace which I treated him to for Christmas).
I guess if I want to get bikini body ready by my holiday in May and then maintain it, I’m going to have to start swapping the chocolate for fruit, the alcohol for water and upping my exercise routine. Now with exercise the key is to find something that you enjoy and for me that is walking. I should have extra motivation to do it, as my husband and I need to get in training for the 26.2 mile Moon Walk in May to raise money for breast cancer research. Time seems to constantly be an issue but of course that is just a lame excuse really. I feel even guiltier when I log on to Facebook and see my sister in law’s latest plotted walk. Hopefully raising money will push me into it, so if your new year’s resolution was to think of others then here is your opportunity to fulfil that – follow the link to our fundraising page.
I feel the start of the year has conspired against my efforts to adopt healthy eating (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!) as I have been fortunate enough to have a busy social life involving food and alcohol (the dreaded empty calories).
For my sister-in-law’s birthday, we visited Eight in Rainham. This is a lovely boutique restaurant which can accommodate less than 25 diners on the ground floor but does also have an upstairs which is used on special ocassions or can be hired out. There is black sparkly wallpaper adorning one wall, a deep pink wall with a mirror shaped as a number eight and beautiful chandeliers cascade soft lighting over the tables. The food is delicious and I couldn’t resist the camembert wedges to start and pan fried salmon for main. The puddings are a bit of a let-down so I guess it marginally helps the diet.
My friend organised a cheese and wine evening round at hers and whilst enjoying the fine wine and range of cheeses, we amused ourselves with poker. I feel so grown up now we all have mortgages and opt for nights in rather than big nights out! I felt like dressing up a little for this so wore my red full midi tulle skirt purchased in the Asos sale with a black polo neck top from Oasis and some red suede heels I purchased in New Look. I accessorized with a long pearl necklace and clipped a red flower from Glitz4you, onto them.
I then got invited to dinner at another friends to see her new home she has just purchased which is a stunning Victorian semi in Tunbridge Wells. For that I wore a denim dress from New Look which was quite Alexa Chung in style with my black suede Kookai Boots and Swarovski crystal tights. Denim is very fashionable again this season with it even being appropriate to exhibit the long standing fashion no no of double denim. Alexa Chung has designed a capsule collection this year with sophisticated denim brand, AG Jeans and the famous Levi 501’s have also had a bit of a makeover, making them more fitted than previous designs.
Valentine’s Day came round – our first as a married couple. Now going out on the day is notoriously a let-down with restaurants cramming you in and ripping you off with a ‘special’ menu. We opted for something completely different this year and went for afternoon tea at our local garden centre, Dobbies. It was very civilised and great value at only £15 with a glass of Prosecco each.
I’m finding it hard to believe that we are already nearing the end of March and this is my first blog of the year, hence it is somewhat longer than usual – time is flying by.
March 25th saw Sarah Jessica Parker turn 50 – so by way of celebration for my fashion icon, I give you my top 10 favourite outfits she wore as Carrie in Sex and the City, along with the one Sarah Jessica Parker wore to London Premier of Sex and the City 2 where I got to meet her. Carrie taught us to be confident in our fashion choices so that you can pull off anything – the candy girl outfit and pyjama/fur coat combo, illustrate this perfectly.
One Friday night in March, I went for a friends belated birthday drinks in Camden at a bar called Fifty Five. For this I opted to wear my new jeans – in the cut of the season – flared; a nod to the 70’s fashion. I teamed it with a grey boxy t-shirt and butterfly snood all from New Look, completing the look, drawing on the purple in the snood, with some purple suede wedges that a bought a few seasons back in the Oasis sale. The one rule to remember with flares is to wear wedges, platforms or block heels as stilettos just don’t compliment them. The more observant amongst you will also notice I chose one of my 70’s vintage magazine clutches (mentioned in my previous blog and seen in one of my favourite Carrie outfit pictures) to really set off the vintage look.
Last weekend a friend and I travelled to Ladbroke Grove/Notting Hill area for a long overdue girly catch up. For this outing I chose to wear my denim A- line mini skirt (another 70’s inspired look) with my pussy bow blouse with birds on and Ugg Boots as I knew we would be walking around a lot so opted for comfort for a change! My bag was my fast becoming favourite, magazine clutch again. My friend kindly loaned me her Prada sunglasses which I fell in love with and now have to have a pair! I have been meaning to visit this area of London for a while, immortalised in the Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts romantic comedy of the same name. It was largely run down until the 1980s but has now become quite a fashionable and affluent area with its beautiful coloured Victorian town houses and terraces. Portobello Road is what the area is best known for, which once housed the author George Orwell and is now home to the famous Portobello Road Market. It is filled with antique, shabby chic and vintage style shops, albeit with some well-known chain stores now interwoven. We spent a good while browsing and immersing ourselves in the bohemian atmosphere; as my friend commented very like Camden without the smell of weed! We then enjoyed afternoon tea at the Biscuiteers Boutique on Kensington Park Road. This beautiful shop sells iced biscuits for every occasion and also has an icing café where you can test out your own skills. The tea was beautiful; including an array of London themed iced biscuits and was a real bargain at £24 each which included two glasses of Prosecco.
The shop is stunningly decorated with what I would describe as blue willow wallpaper and a wall of vintage mirrors which gives a fantastic effect and is a stylish idea I might well steal for decorating any future house; which brings me nicely on to my exciting news of the month.
We finally took the plunge and put our house on the market and amazingly it sold in a matter of days to the first and only person that viewed it. This brings with it mixed emotions for me. After nearly four years of living there, it has become my home as much as my husband’s even though he purchased it long before we met. I love the history of it – it is a Victorian terrace built in 1897 and I really like all we have done to it; especially the reinstalling of a Victorian tiled fireplace in the dining room which was a great find on EBay, The North African inspired décor in the dining room, our Greek inspired patio, our sunny bathroom, our purple boudoir and my wonderful wardrobe.
The thought of a new house to decorate however is very exciting and now we have had our offer accepted on a lovely 1930’s semi, I am far more enthusiastic about the move in general. Suddenly bathrooms and wallpaper are becoming as appealing to window shop for as shoes – well almost! One thing is for sure I finally feel content to remain living in Rainham, especially now it has become somewhat of destination vintage; with a new café called Nutmeg which is very Cath Kidston inspired and does a beautiful cream tea as well as a shop called The Vintage Dove which sells various shabby chic gifts and runs craft classes upstairs. I am hoping to try their class in Autentico Beginners Furniture Painting as I am planning to upcycle the pine table and chairs given to us by my husband’s parents.
I wanted to end with an array of pictures of what was a much loved first home. Fingers crossed sale goes through and we don’t have to start the search again as it is extremely stressful. Until next time ….