Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Notes #5

These days I'm more likely NOT to be on the PR's lists for press days, mainly due to all the magazines I wrote for folding! Honest it wasn't personal, nothing to do with me. And lets not forget I'm a fair weather, not remotely elite blogger, meaning I don't count on that front either! I'm always amused by all of this, the vagaries of fashion promotion and yet I'll always love it.

Having been a jobbing fashion stylist and writer for over ten years I'm used to the fickle politics of fashion and equally I choose to work in a way that fits round my family, well the 8 yr old and the dog. They come first and work is well work. Work is important in terms of income and living. When I was a junior fashion assistant many many years ago, I loved press days as it meant I ate and got things. It was the late 80s times were hard! Now I attend a press day a) if I'm invited, see above and b) if I truly love the brand. Before, I needed to know the products for calling in for shoots or placing the item within magazines, now it is about keeping abreast and focused for the occasional piece I write. My new styling job has a different focus (more about this in another post) and all in all I'm too busy to take time out for press days.

Yet fresh back off hols I couldn't resist going to the Figleaves Christmas press day. When you are a girl who needs support Figleaves is a brand dear to ones bosom. Not only that it was in Claridges, a genius move in my book and as it turned out a delight for le jeune homme. I had to bring him as it was my time with him plus we had to hit John Lewis for school things.

Figleaves is the perfect place to find anything and everything you need when it comes to lingerie, swimwear and nightwear. It is my go to place for underwear, particularly bras. I can never find my size in store so I have to order from Figleaves. I have a favourite product, the Helena balconette  bra by Fantasie.  My only quibble with Fantasie is they don't do this bra in colours. I want a bright red, a cerise pink and maybe a cobalt blue. I love bright pink bras. I prefer to wear a bra that shows than not. Come on everyone knows you are wearing a bra! I don't want to pretend I am not. Of course there are occasions when the bra is discreet, that is what nude ones are for but on the whole I quite like a little glimpse of a bra strap in a colour other than black, white or nude. My plea to Fantasie is please indulge this fashion fantasy of mine.

Talking of fantasy there was a lot of *coughs* erotica going on in the bedroom at Claridges. In line with many other brands but with a definite 'proper' opportunity to provide boudoir lingerie Figleaves have reflected Fifty Shades of Grey. Having not read the books and being more likely see The Inbetweeners 2 than Fifty Shades I passed on the collection, although I did rather like the babydoll item. in their Figleaves London erotique collection.

My favourite items were the pink ruffle pants, a pair of green velvet slippers and some lovely cosy lounge around the house items, especially the cashmere items.

Much of the Christmas collection is perfect for treats and to put on the Christmas wish list. Drop hints now. And of course the 8 year old and I could have lounged around in the Claridges suite for ages, which we did!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Conversations #2

In reality this heading should read conversations with myself! But at some point I intend it to be a place where interviews are posted and other conversation as well. Back to me! My main conversation (in my head) and with a bf of mine, Rachel Hubbard ( follow her on twitter @RachelPrytherch) is about health, more specifically fighting the onset of middle age spread.

Rachel is a top sports and fitness person at Aberystwyth University. She has trained me and many others to within an inch of their life and their pain through laughing threshold. Literally, I have, along with many others, almost wet myself laughing thanks to her! Essentially I am in the midst of nagging Rachel to have a proper fitness blog and post more YouTube shorts on specific exercises.

I want to credit Rachel with the Dory Method of fitness. Before I explain further, it is important to clarify why this is so dear to my heart. There are two issues here one is vanity, the other is health. If we deal with the latter we have as a collective moved the notion of what is a healthy weight along in the last decade or so. I don't want to debate weight, there is lots on information on BMI, whether you agree with that measurement or not. Recently the goal posts have been moved downwards although not publicly aired ..yet. A few months ago I was interviewing an orthopaedic surgeon for a magazine. He was hard work because his views are quite brutal.  In fact one of the nurses confirmed that he is to the point always,  as his stock answer to a 20 stone patient complaining about their knee hurting is (brace yourselves) 'it's not your knee that is the problem it is what you put in your mouth.' She dutifully hands them tissues at this point.

Making people cry might seem cruel and hurtful but he has a point, and I used the opportunity for home truths. He didn't hold back. At 5'6" and shrinking (age and children are always a factor but I have a new exercise for this which is simple, hang from a bar as long as possible a few times a week, it stretches the spine) I am also at 10 stone borderline overweight. Of course being a fashion princess I couldn't help but blurt out about clothes size, I'm a comfy size 10 (read almost 12). He rightly pointed out my skeletal frame was small and it didn't need a layer or three of fat on it. We discussed what I weighed at 21 and he suggest to aim for it but allow some pounds for age. Well at 22 I know I was 54 - 56 kilos which is 8 stone 7 to 8 stone 11. Hence my ideal weigh should be 58 kilos, 9 stone 1. Well I'm 64 which is 10 stone 1. Oh heck I thought but then I saw this photo as posted by the lovely Wendy Brandes and vanity kicked health up the ruddy backside!

I'm in the middle in case you don't know! In double denim for Wendy and wearing my Ancient Greek sandals. In truth it is what I put in my mouth and the fact I've slacked off on the gym front.

Back to Rachel and her Dory Method, in short keep swimming! Not necessarily actually swimming but taking the determination of Dory (Finding Nemo folks!) to keep going to obtain your goal. Rachel is off on holiday and she quickly advised me to 'beast the gym', cut fats but not turn to low fat (too much sugar) just reduce proper fat, eat everything wholemeal, and give up alcohol! Yep small portions, no sugar and move more. Everything we know but then try to fad it all up so we can trick nature...er no! Back to the orthopaedic surgeon it is what goes into our mouth, reducing the amount is key as is dropping all processed foods. Wish me luck and much Dory-ness!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Notes #4

Basking in the post haze of a summer break, I'm having to motivate myself to get back into work and attempt some blogging. My dear old blog site is so behind the times! Have you seen people's supped up Pinterest and Instragams!

Before jetting off to Brittany and our campsite I was focused on being prepared. This required lots of household items to take so we were up and ready to go when we got to our mobile home. I decided to hit HEMA as we have a new one in Kingston upon Thames, one of three currently in Londonn. It is a joy of a store. I'd already got some knick knack make up pressies for friends from HEMA when it opened and I had spied numerous useful things at the time.

Back I went and stocked up on a large first aid tin, household items, shower things plus socks and a pair of swimming trunks, as well as a plastic box to lug everything in. Everything I bought was exceedingly useful and nice. The shower creme and the dead sea scrub were divine on a campsite holiday. I've also had a request for the first aid tin as a present, it is a fab design and makes you feel a better organised person!

The brilliant first aid tin and HEMA paper hanky packets.

Wipes, gloves and washing up liquid all ..yes.. HEMA! Soap just seen, Waitrose.

Have to say the scrub and cream oil shower gel were lush.

I bought some new nail and toe nail clippers plus the footcare cream. All winners

And the refuse sacks were very useful and sturdy. Here is the 8 yr old no longer petit garçon but le jeune homme taking the refuse sack to the campsite bins and the recycling in the supermarché bag from Super U.