Monday, February 29

Reality Bites. The one where I finally got on the scales.


Yep, it was a shocking moment, a la Bridget. Two stone heavier than I thought I was, three stone heavier than I have spent most of my thirties being. It's no wonder nothing fits properly and my pants keep disappearing up my bum. Three stone people. Arrrrgggghhh.

Obviously this is enough to make me want to throw on a pair of trackies and eat some ice cream before finally ceding defeat and buying new clothes a couple of dress sizes larger and blaming my impending forties. Except that about two stone appears to all just be on my belly. I am not merely apple shaped, I look pregnant, and I hate it. I have lost count of the amount of times that I have to have the awkward conversation with someone where I try to convince them that actually, no, I'm not pregnant thank you very much. It is depressing. It has gone past the stage where I can blame water retention or bloating due to stress.

I am simply overweight and I have to get off my butt and do something about it. I have always been a lazy girl and definitely no fan of exercise, previously blessed with a fast metabolism and a job that involved plenty of running around, sadly those days are now loooong past. If any of you happen to be experts on reducing belly fat quick smart I am dying to hear it, in the meantime this is me, ditching sugar and cake and strapping on my trainers...

Saturday, February 27

What on Earth are you wearing? The one where I talk about fashion.

Morning folks! So I'm aware that I have been pretty non-existent in this space this year so far but I think it's been a good thing. I've been recalibrating, rediscovering old passions, trying out a couple of other platforms, jumping back on to Twitter, really wrapping my brain around running a guest house including discovering the murky waters of online travel agents, upping my instagram game and lastly uncovering a long forgotten interest in fashion. Yep, clothes, style, make up. 

It's a bit like being a teenager again, only with totally the wrong shaped body. But y'know, the spots are still there (why do they suddenly reappear in your late 30s? Anyone?), the awkwardness of not being quite sure what suits you but suddenly having a very clear idea of what your desired style is and the same inability to style my hair that I possessed way back when. Then I cheated and got a 90's girl indie chop a la Louise Wener. Now I've gone for the vaguely French style of long fringe and longish hair, just, well being hair really. 

Having started stalking, ahem, following, various Insta lovelies such as Dress Like a Mum,
Mother Pukka and Now We Are 40 I had a bit of a realisation, along the lines of "Oh my goodness I don't have to be a frump!" To be honest I don't know when I had stopped caring but buying clothes to hide my wobbly bits instead of to celebrate me had become the habit, I hadn't bought myself a new pair of shoes in years, I put no thought in to my make up and only actually started a skin care routine this year. It was like I felt like I didn't deserve the time and attention it takes to make yourself feel good.

I read Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying and started my epic tidy (still to be completed) by culling my wardrobe of clothes that didn't bring me joy. Basically this left me with hardly any clothes. It was a bit of a revelation to be honest! That was when I started thinking about what styles I liked, what type of figure I realistically have, what I feel I should dress like for my day job (venue manager for private hire bookings and running a guest house), whether or not I want a work wardrobe and a non-work wardrobe etc. and I am gradually buying new pieces. It's fun.

I dug out my copy of What on Earth Are You Wearing? a tongue in cheek look at various fashion styles with gorgeous illustrations by Kat Macleod and decided to share it on my instagram feed, discussing the various items and styles for a bit of a giggle, it seems to have gone down well.

So far we have discussed such gems as whether to bring back opera hats (we like hats rather a lot actually), whether or not short curvy girls can rock a jumpsuit (overwhelmingly we felt no, but one gorgeous gal pointed us to Asos so the jury is still out), galoshes versus goldfish shoes, obviously this one was a little silly because who on earth even owns goldfish shoes??!

We discussed leopard print (YES! Have you seen my profile picture?!), sequins (another resounding yes although we don't wear them enough) and bumbags (apparently also yes, unfortunately I remember the horrible cheap ones we had in the eighties though so I'm still not convinced). One lady who sure as hell can rock a bum bag though is Hannah Marcotti, check her out ;)

I have recently downloaded the marvellous How To Be Parisian so now of course, not only do I now have fabulous hair and a growing stylish new wardrobe I am also basically a sexy Parisienne. Have you read it?

Anyway, it's good to be back and I expect you'll be seeing me over here more regularly from now on. But for now...

Au revoir,

Thursday, December 3

The encyclopaedia of essential oils

I picked up this book a couple of days ago as a bit of a study guide, it was half price in a local store so I couldn't resist. When Julia Lawless wrote this book back in 1992 it was the first time anyone had collated this type of information in to one place. From what I have read so far it is a fantastically informative book and I am looking forward to working with it over the years to come, for sure it will be one to treasure.

I've always liked to add a few drops of essential oils to my bath and rely on tea tree oil for all types of things. Recently I haven't been able to keep up for my own demand in scented candles; rose, sandalwood, jasmine, lavender, amber, lily. and yesterday I bought an essential oil citrus diffuser with lemongrass which is so uplifting. My favourite recent candle addition is my Heaven Scent aromatherapy anti stress, it is lavender and bergamot, smells absolutely divine and is very relaxing.

I think that I have some sort of nesting - self care cycle going on of late, a huge desire to make our home more welcoming, relaxing, cosy, a space that you walk in to and feel instantly relaxed. Bringing lots of nature finds home, adding to my plant collection, extra cushions and now the layering of scents are all helping create the peaceful environment I want to feel at home.

I'm looking forward to learning more about aromatherapy, essential oils and herbalism and sharing that knowledge here... for now though, off to work.

Wednesday, December 2

Life through my lens

These past couple of months I've been able to spend more time outside than I usually would in the autumn and it has done my soul the world of good. October was unusually warm so we were out and about every weekend day and through November I had booked Thursday's off and spent them volunteering at a small vegetable farm, on a huge piece of land known as the Earth Trust which is absolutely beautiful. The dark mornings and early evenings have been more manageable with the amount of time that I have spent outside and I have spent plenty of time with my eyes wide open searching for the beauty out amongst the browns, greys, the decay, the falling leaves, the rain and the mud. And I have found it. It has been a magical season.

December is definitely more on an indoor month, Christmas shopping, card writing, present wrapping, decorating, recharging... it has a magic all of it's own.

So this is how life is looking to me lately... magical. I have my magical lens' on that I guess are pretty similar to a pair of rose-tinted glasses, allowing me to see things with a sprinkle of fairy dust. Perhaps that is why I felt the urge to blog again, to capture the magic that I'm choosing to surround myself with that cannot be captured in a photograph. To remind myself that despite not yet being able to capture and share it on my instagram yet (because the light is all wrong) I have a vase full of eucalyptus, beautiful ilex berries, rosehips, pussy willow and a flower whose name I have forgotten that has been spray painted silver which looks absolutely gorgeous and is one of the first things my eyes search out each time I arrive home. I can try to weave with words here what I cannot quite glimpse with my lens... another view of my world.

I have to go and get ready for work now, here's to another day of searching for the magic...