Monday, 23 July 2012

Monday Mumbles No.7 - Weekly Round-Up

It's been another hectic but fun week and here's what's been going on:

My car has officially died and will be heading to the scrap heap tomorrow. I've only had it for a few months and it's been nothing and now the head gasket has gone. Thankfully they're giving me £170 for it and coming to collect it but now I have to find myself another one!

Training has started in earnest for the Sahara trek in November - only 16 weeks to go so I'd better get on it! You can still sponsor me here!

More physio on my foot on Thursday which is really starting to get somewhere, it's really getting much better and I'm confident that with a few more sessions  I should be back to normal.

This weekend was the joint hen and stag do for 2 of our friends (Chris & Jen) who are getting married in a couple of weeks. We spent the weekend in a bunk barn in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales with about 18 friends. Time was spent drinking, eating, walking and playing silly games and everyone had a lot of fun.

The Happy Couple!
I also baked a few cupcakes for the weekend, using the skills I learnt at the Cupcake Decorating class I went on a few months ago taught by Charlotte from Restoration Cake - how do they look?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Tuesday Training No.4 - 16 weeks to go!

It has been brought to my attention that as of this week there are 16 weeks to go until the trek (eek!!) and I haven't really started training yet. Charity Challenge (the event organisers) have a 16 week training plan which they recommend so that is where I have started. The plan aims to build up the amount of hours you spend walking over the course of a week, starting at just 90 minutes of walking in week 1 and ending with 840 minutes in week 15 (week 16 is only 360 minutes so that you are rested before the trek starts).
I have created myself a training schedule (gulp!) for the next 16 weeks that I hope I can stick to, however the next few weeks are manic for me - 2 full weeks of travelling for work plus a 'sten' weekend (joint hen and stag do) and a wedding all to fit in - so I am just going to have to do what I can and hope for the best. Luckily while I am away for work both the hotels I'm staying at have gyms and we'll be going for a long walk as part of the 'sten' do, I just have to keep the motivation up to make sure it gets done!
As you probably know I have also been suffering from tendonitis in my foot which I've been having physiotherapy for, and while it is much improved I am still quite nervous about doing too much training as I don't want to aggravate it and make it worse again... what is a girl to do? 
If you'd like to help motivate me, please donate to my fundraising website... the more money I raise the more motivated I will be to make a good job of it!
Do you have any training tips for me?

Monday, 16 July 2012

Monday Mumbles No.6

Last week had to be one of the slowest weeks EVER! Not for any particular reason but when I woke up on Wednesday thinking it was Friday I knew it was going to be a long week.
The start of the week was fairly dull but on Thursday I had my 5th physio appointment for my tendonitis. Treatment has been going well but after an afternoon of standing up on Saturday it was fairly sore and it felt like she was digging for gold in my leg - painful to say the least.
Then on Thursday evening we had an appointment at our wedding venue (Field Place in Worthing) to talk about food and ask some more questions before we start sending out our invitations. The person there was extremely helpful and we're now ready to start sending out invites. There is still loads to think about but we are certainly on our way.
I treated myself to a set of Babyliss Heated Rollers so that I can start trying to figure out some of the fantastic vintage hairstyles I keep seeing - this pic is my first attempt at a Maryilyn Monroe style (apologies for the bad lighting!)

On Saturday we attended the evening reception of a friends wedding (CONGRATULATIONS MR & MRS DONLAN!!) and had a fabulous time. The bride was beautiful, the venue (St Martin's House in Leicester) was stunning, evening was a lot of fun.
I also treated myself to a whole heap of new skincare (the Clarins stuff that I told you about here) which although it cost a small fortune, it was Clarins Gift Time in John Lewis so I also managed to bag 3 other lovely products for free! I thought it was about time I gave my dressing table a bit of a clean to make room for all my lovely new products and it now looks like this:

What have you guys been up to this week?

Friday, 13 July 2012

Friday Fun

Back in May I saw a random tweet asking for hair models for a vintage styling workshop by The Vintage Hair Lounge and as I had a few hours owed to me at work I thought I'd do it. I've tried to do a few vintage hairstyles on myself by following some youtube videos but somehow they never turn out quite right so I hoped to maybe pick up a few tips while watching the stylists at work, and as a bonus I'd get a couple of nice photos at the end of it.
The workshop took place at a cool little salon in Clapham (The Witches Hut); I was to be modelling for Norina under the expert tutelage of Sharon & Gloria. There were a few other stylists, a make-up artist, Molly Dickie, to complete our vintage look and uber-talented photographer, Scott Chalmers, to capture their creations.
After a bit of a chat Norina settled on a style involving victory rolls which meant heated rollers, much coiffing, teasing and back-combing but as I hope you will agree, the result was pretty fabulous!

Hair by Norina Mingoia, Make-Up by Molly Dicky, Photo by Scott Chalmers
I'm definitely not convinced I could re-create this look myself but I picked up a few tips and I am now desperately coveting a set of heated rollers. I'm also considering a vintage-esque style for my wedding but I think this might be a little on the extreme side... food for thought though.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Wedding Wednesday - I'm a Winner!

I've never been a particularly lucky person and had never won ANYTHING up until about 5 years ago when I won a year's free gym membership, however that slightly backfired because not actually having to pay for the gym made me even less inclined to go! Since then I've won the odd raffle prize but nothing of note (actually that's a lie, I won tickets to go and watch Dancing on Ice being filmed which having never really watched the show turned out to be quite fun) but seeing all of the competitions that wedding magazines and blogs run I thought I might as well just enter EVERYTHING. Weddings are, after all, an expensive business so the thought of winning something I might have otherwise had to pay for or just not had was quite attractive.

Back at the end of last year Weddings in Surrey ran a competition to win a Final Countdown Wedding Package from The Beautiful Wedding Company .
I entered the competition along with a mountain of others and didn't give it another thought. Then in January I received a phone call from Clare at The Beautiful Wedding Company to tell me that unfortunately I hadn't won but that she would like to offer a discount on her services which was very generous of her but as I hadn't actually been planning on having any sort of wedding planner I again thought no more of it.
A few weeks later I received another call from Clare; the original couple had cancelled their wedding (how sad!) and so they had re-drawn the prize and I had won. By this point I had forgotten what the prize even consisted of, but as Clare took me through the details I realised what a massive deal it actually was. Details of my prize can be found on the Weddings in Surrey blog, so go and check it out. Clare has been nothing but helpful so far, offering to help me source suppliers, even though my prize doesn't actually kick in until 8 weeks before the wedding.
Having never really considered having a wedding planner, now that I have one, I am so glad that I do! I have a tendency to get caught up in the details so I am looking forward to being able to hand everything over to Clare and relax on my big day.

Amazing huh?! Well that's not the end of it. I'm still entering competitions and in fact recently won another amazing prize... a beautiful and bespoke button bouquet from Beau Buttons. I had been coveting one of these for some time and was willing to splash the cash to have one but it now turns out I don't need to and I can spend the money on something else. Emma has already asked me the kind of thing I would like (cream with hints of purple and pink with a vintage feel) and I can't wait to see what she comes up with - from the pictures on her website I am very excited.

So that's my winnings so far. I would absolutely recommend all brides-to-be to enter every competition they can because you never know what you might win. I'm still entering competitions so fingers crossed for some more fabulous prizes!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Wedding Wednesday No.5 - Skincare

I know it's still 6 months until the wedding but having got all of the big things sorted I thought it might be a good idea to start thinking about my skincare routine, after all, who doesn't want to look good on their wedding day?
My skincare routine has always been a littlle haphazard at best ranging from not even taking my make-up off at night (a mortal sin in beauty terms) to a few weeks of a full on cleasnsing, toning and moisturising routine day and night (these never last for long however as I am somewhat easily distracted). Thankfully it appears that I am pretty lucky when it comes to my skin as I get few spots and not a wrinkle in sight so far. It does however appear rather dull and I have some fairly large pores on my nose and chin. So to get that happy glow that all brides strive for I headed to the Clarins counter in one of the House of Fraser department stores for a skin consultation (sounds scary but not at all).

I was greeted by Kayley and taken to a little table and chairs to talk about my current skincare routine; needless to say she was fairly disappointed in my current lack of routine but also flabergasted that I am in fact 29 and still no wrinkles (yay me!). We talked about my type of skin (combination - very common) and she suggested a number of different products that might suit me, writing it all down on a little form. At this point I was expecting the sales pitch to start, but instead she handed me a bag full of testers and told me to go away and try them all out and come back when I knew which ones I liked but to make sure I came back in the next 2 weeks so I could claim a free gift!
So here I am, beginning my testing; as i've started straight away i'm starting with the evening products which are a cleanser and toner in one and a night cream. I used the cleanser toner combo (
Water Purify One-Step Cleanserto clean my face of the days grime. Now my usual routine would have possibly (though probably not) have involved swiping my face with a cleansing wipe and hopping into bed, however this time I meticulously scoured every millimetre of my face with the cotton wool until not a trace of dirt could be found. I have to say I was quite horrified by the amount of gunk that came off my face... Gross!
Once clean it was time to move on to the night cream (Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Cream); my skin drank it up like it hadn't been moisturised in weeks leaving my face feeling fresh (no stickines or greasiness), smelling gorgeous and looking plump. A good start!
The following morning my skin felt pretty good so I washed it with my usual face wash (Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Face Wash & Mask) and then moved on to the next step (Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster) which goes on after cleansing and before moisturiser to give your skin a radiant boost. This product felt a little strange as it is a liquid which you are supposed to apply with your fingers so it felt like some of it just ran down my hands rather than ending up on my face. What I did manage to get onto my skin felt lovely and sunk straight in though. Finally onto the moisturiser (Daily Energizer Lotion SPF15) which was really light and left my skin feeling lovely and plump. Importantly it has an SPF in it as my skin is quite fair and I burn very easily.
Having now used all of the products for a few days my skin is feeling lovely and soft and by the end of the day it is looking much less shiny, which is great. So I shall be heading back to House of Fraser at the weekend to purchase myself these lovely goodies!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Monday Mumbles No.5

We've had a busy few weeks and here's what's been going on:

Andy and I went zorbing last Saturday which was hilariously fun (amusing video to follow). Andy actually bought the trip for my birthday back in April but we've only just got round to it.

Flights and hotel have been booked for a long weekend in Chicago at the end of July which I am really excited about. 

We went to see Flawless & the English National Ballet in their collaboration 'Against Time'. Again Andy bought the tickets for my birthday. The show was amazing, a real fusion of ballet and hip hop - it really made me want to get back into dancing which I haven't done since I sprained my ankle very badly 18 months ago.

We've confirmed our accommodation for the wedding... More on that another time.

I did a spot of shopping with my friend and bridesmaid Izzy where we went in search of some bridal skincare - I'll be telling you more about that in the next Wedding Wednesday.

We spent a bit of time doing things round the house - hanging pictures, re-organising drawers and other dull but necessary tasks. We also planted out all of our seedlings so we are now waiting for our crops to start producing, we have tomatoes (LOTS of them!), peppers, chillies, courgettes and squashes.

I've also got an exciting and hectic 6 weeks coming up with lots of travel, 2 weddings, a joint hen and stag weekend and a few other bits and pieces.
What have you guys been doing?
Take care x