Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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my 2014 via the medium of instagram

Apparently I became something of an Instagram addict this year (particularly the second half of the year, I discovered in making this post!), and I so rarely do monthly-instagram posts, I thought it might be a fun thing to do whilst I'm curled up on the sofa this New Years Eve, suffering from a particular evil bout of flu..

January was cold, and the start of my weight-loss journey, but was also spent in Edinburgh and Scotland, which was very exciting. February mean trips to London, for coffee, nutella brownies and art with my friend Tam. It also meant trips to Unravel for brightly coloured yarn. March was unseasonably warm, with strawberries and cream ate outside, sock knitting whilst watching The Good Wife, and celebrating Mothers Day. Apparently I did nothing in April but knit, but May was spent on a very sunny outing to the Southbank to see an old friend before she emigrated, more knitting and time spent outdoors. I also squeezed in a rainy trip to London before the beginning of June. June was more knitting, unexpected trips to A&E, exploring the Peak District and savouring every second at the allotment. I also sewed my first shirt, and enjoyed my first home-grown strawberries and cherries.

July involved more time spent at the allotment, and basically as much time outside as possible, at the nature reserve and the airfield, and speeding time in the garden, too. It was also the summer of iced coffee, homemade lemonade and some new glasses. In August I celebrated a milestone of losing 4st by admiring how my face had changed, making some tasty little chocolate protein bites, and saying a very sad goodbye to the allotment. It was also the month I learnt to make lemon curd, jam and chutney properly, and treated myself to some proper trainers, which was very exciting. I also went on walks to Savernake forest with my dad, ate at Le Comptoir Libonais with my mum, and made an almond cake for a friends birthday. In September I made an amazing blackberry yoghurt cake, and had a dessert-night in with friends - it was also the month that things turned colder, I was lucky enough to visit the Berkshire country fair and I made more lemon curd and jams than I care to count. Some fun nights in London meant early starts, and I spoilt myself by making amazing soups and wonderful cinnamon buns.

In October I stared full-time work, so my last few days before that were spent revelling in how nice autumn is in these parts, before bracing myself for some chilly morning starts and lots of coffee. I also treated myself to a new phone case, started a new book and bought a beautiful candle. October is the month of the Knit and Stitch at Ally Pally, so I took a lot of photos of the amazing view from the hill. I also treated myself to some new red lipstick, wore my mums ridiculously embellished bra for Breast Cancer Awareness, ate lots of homemade porridge and rice pudding.  I was also apparently pretty vain in October, but that's okay, right? Haha. I also spent time down in the New Forest for my mums birthday, and dipped my feet in the ocean. There was also time for more porridge, new handbags, shoes, candles and winter clothing before the month was out.

November was full of trips to the zoo, lots of coffee, alcohol, and long, sad car journeys up north. To compensate for hours spent inside a car, I dragged myself on amazing autumn walks and went out for burgers with friends. I also had some cosy nights in, ate pancakes, dressed in turtle-necks and trench-coats, and had a final, sad trip up north. Back home, things felt more wintry, finally, with soup and winter skies settling in. My December was full of heavy frost, eating clementines, and making croissants. I also put up the Christmas tree with my favourite baubles, and treated myself to some wine and chocolate whilst doing so. Christmas was truly upon us when I busted out the fairy-lights, sloe-gin and mince-pies, and the giant lopi sweater. I spent some time outside, enjoyed a beautiful sunset, and made some more croissants, too. I also received some beautiful presents, ate croissants on Christmas morning, settled in with a good book, and then got ill!

I hope you're all having a wonderful, safe NYE, and I wish you good things for 2015! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

all about that glitter: lips, nails and eye make up for new years eve!

Like Meghan Trainor and her penchant for bass and booty, at Christmas and New Year I am all about that glitter. I've recently been trying to mix up my makeup and try and get away from the eyeliner-flicks that have become my uniform, and what better time than December and January, when the festivities make it acceptable to wear glitter all day, every day. Plus, introducing flashes of glitter into your everyday makeup can help January not seem so long, dark and cold.
Read on for my favourite picks of nails, eyes, lips and some face staples to suit you for any situation at New Year..

My favourite thing is a glittery eye - whether thats mixed into a smokey eyeshadow, smudged along the waterline, or a wash of glitter along the lid with a sweep of liner. I particularly love creamy bases, my go-to's are the Illamasqua liquid metals - I have them in Superior (the blue), Surge (the gunmetal silver), and Solstice (the gold). They're great swept all over the lid or used as a base. I'm also a giant fan of the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Mirifique (black) and Epatant (silver). These look like an eyeliner or a cream base in the pot, but dry to a powdery consistency on the eye, which I'm a big fan off, as they are quick and easy to smudge into a smoky eye. I particularly love to use the silver Epatant with Urban Decay Zodiac - an amazing glittery green eyeshadow - all over the lid, with MAC Carbon (what should be a staple in everyones makeup bag, a true matte black) smudged along the lash line.
I also recently picked up this wonderful, matte grey Bobbi Brown Shadow Stick in Shadow which I've been using with my own little quad. It consists of MAC Copperplate (a cool-toned matte grey), Beauty Marked (an amazing glittery purple-black), Smoke and Diamonds (a beautifully soft, rich and pigmented shimmery grey) and a Grand Entrance (soft, shimmery champagne silver-pink): altogether they create a really beautiful smokey eye, particularly when paired with my new favourite eyeliner, the Bourjois Liner Clubbing and lashings of my favourite waterproof mascara, 17's Va Va Voom in Black.

Nails are one of those things you can definitely go all out with, I always think. If you're not that comfortable chucking glitter all over your eyelids, or worry over a red-lip, stick to eyeliner and paint giant chunky gold holographic glitter all over your fingertips. That particular culprit in question is OPI When Monkey's Fly, it's got amazing bits of gold foil and holographic glitter in, and looks great when layered over any dark polish. I'm really into dark greens at the moment, like Barry M Racing Green, and Essie's Styleonomics will forever be a favourite, with it's dark and gothy green-black. I received the green and white glitter Urban Outfitters polish in Snow Globe from a friend for Christmas and it looks particularly awesome over the Barry M green. You can never go wrong with a silver or gold at this time of year, but I find silvers suit my skin-tone better, so I'm more likely to reach for Leighton Denny Diamond Diva, with either an amazing H&M holographic glitter polish called Jo Is In The House layered over, or Essie's Hors D'ouevers (a sort of shimmery silver gold champagne colour) on top. And even though Christmas is done and dusted by December 31st, a dark or glittery red is a classic in my book, and my two favourites are China Glaze Ruby Pumps and the vampy dark red that is Essie's Wicked.

This is where the glitter theme sort of falls apart, because please don't wear glittery lipstick, I beg of you. As you can tell, I'm not being that adventurous with my lipstick this year, and thats because I'm shunning all the dark vampy lipsticks in favour of nudes and pinks, and it's weird for me but I'm going with it. I'm adding my favourite reds in here though, just because.
On the red spectrum, my all time, absolute holy-grail of dark red lipstick is NARS Fire Down Below (bottom of picture)I actually hunted for years for this, and it's the best true dark red I've found, not a berry or pink hue in sight, but has enough brown and blue in to make your teeth whiter, and not make you look like you're from the 80's. Honourable mentions go to Illamasuqa's Encounter, a good all-rounder red, but if you want a more sheer lipstick, you could try something like the YSL Volupte Sheer Candy in #7, which can be layered to that darker red, but goes on sheer.
However, I'm big into the pinky-nudes (I blame a Kardashian sister, though I'm not sure which one) and these are all my current go-to lipsticks from MAC. From the top down (to the left of the gold YSL colour) is MAC Blankety, a new favourite and is a bit paler than my lips, which  I love. In the middle is an oldie but a goodie in Plink!, and at the bottom, my true my lips but better lipstick, MAC Hug Me. I've been using them with the GOSH lip-liner Nougat Crisp to make it last as long as possible. I've just realised that maybe this is was being an adult is like, and not doing an neon pink lip on a daily basis...

When you've got a lot going on on your nails, lips, eyes, etc, I think it's always best to tone down the contouring for a day. That doesn't mean not making the most of what you've got though. I love Yves Saint Laurent's Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation - I wear it in BR10 because it's got a great, buildable coverage and still remains dewy and fresh faced, so you can use it accordingly where needed. When paired with it's sister translucent powder, YSL's Souffle D'Eclat, and then a little bit of NARS Albatross highlighter swept over cheekbones, it gives the dewy illusion with good staying power. I've also been really enjoying eyeshadow of late - a change from my usual eyeliner - so a good shadow primer is needed, and I've been enjoying the Rimmel Exaggerate. It's not god's gift to beauty, and there are much better shadow primers out there, but for it's price-point (£4.99) and if you're in a pinch and need it, it's pretty good. Also make sure to prep your lips before even going NEAR that red lipstick - I was given this amazing blueberry EOS lip-balm by a friend and I've been carrying it with me ever since. The egg shape still feels a little weird to rub on your mouth, but I'm getting used to it!

What will you be opting for on New Year's Eve? I mean, despite liver-damaging amounts of alcohol..!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

weekend wanderings #44

To round up this week, I've got a few admin-y bits to do.. I've found so many more beautiful things over this Christmas week (when I've actually had time to sit down and read blogs, and for the first time EVER, clear my Bloglovin' feed!) so some Christmassy bits and bobs may spill over into the New Year, but I'm sure you won't mind, right? (:

Also, I'd like to say a GIANT hello to all the new followers I've gained recently! Please, introduce yourself below and share your blogs, you might show up in a Weekend Wanderings next week..! 

And finally, the most exciting point for me, Uncia + Tigris is now found at! That's right, I levelled up! Haha. The links still re-direct, but I'm now all professional sounding, haha.

Friday, December 26, 2014

boxing day breakfast or brunch: drop scone pancake recipe

Well hello everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas Day and are gearing up for 2015 nicely. I thought I'd show you all a somewhat indulgent idea for a breakfast on a chilly Boxing Day morning.. 

A drop-scone (or an american style pancake, if you like) is one of my favourite things to make. They're so quick, so easy, and so amazingly tasty. They're a thousand times better than the ones you buy pre-cooked, and the batter only takes minutes to whip up. They'd be an amazing thing to pull together for a New Year's Day breakfast (er, brunch?) if you're all feeling a little fragile, and unlike croissants, require minimal effort. The hardest part is basically wondering how many you can scoff down before anyone notices.. 
(makes about ten-twelve decently sized pancakes)
- 125g self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 25g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 25g melted butter
- 100ml milk

1. Sift flour into a bowl, and yes, this is a rare recipe when I actually sift it. Generally I can't be bothered, but no-one wants a lumpy pancake. Stir in the salt and sugar.
2. Make a well in the middle of the flour, and add the eggs. Pour in a little of the milk and begin to beat.
3. Gradually add in the rest of the milk until the batter has a smooth consistency and drops drop from the spoon.
4. Place butter in a microwabable bowl and heat until melted. When batter is ready to be cooked, add the melted butter and stir in.
5. Heat a frying pan until a bit hotter than a medium heat and add something to stop pancakes sticking (I usually use sunflower oil, but just a little.)
6. Using a tablespoon or an ice-cream scoop, spoon the batter into the frying pan and cook.
7. When the pancakes are beginning to bubble, and have gone solid around the edges, flip the pancake over and cook until golden brown.
8. If using a small pan and making several batches of pancakes, keep a plate warm in the oven with the pancakes on. Serve immediately and eat hot with lots of butter, golden syrup, blueberries, nutella....

Recipe adapted from one by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

christmas eve sing-along spotify playlist

I don't know about you, but by the 23rd or 24th of December, I get sick of the same old Christmas songs and I need something different (I love Wham as much as the next person, but I just can't anymore).

Over the month I've been gathering my favourite festive songs, some well-known, others less so, and I've been singing along at the top of my lungs...whenever, pretty much, at work, to my family, in the car... As it's Christmas Eve morning, I thought I'd share these songs that I'm going to bore my mum with whilst we get ready for tomorrow..

So here I present my sort-of-alternative (but really not that alternative) Christmas playlist..If you know of any hidden gems, let me know so I can add it in.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

on losing weight: christmas bonus

I've been posting this On Losing Weight series about once a month now, for the last few months, and I'm really loving it. I think I've started to bore people with my constant talking about fat and sugar and protein and weight and all sorts of things that are interesting to me because this has become my life.. So I really enjoy nattering on about it here with you guys, and I love your support. I think the January edition will be a super emotional version of On Losing Weight as I'll have been on this journey for a year, but I want to talk about that giant elephant in the room in your weight-loss-plan that is Christmas.

Obviously, you're gonna want to stuff your face at Christmas. And I mean, why wouldn't you? (Except for the fact I am in crippling pain just looking at that fucking wheel of brie, thanks gall-stones.) It's all so good. Goose-fat roast potatoes, pot-roast beef, the chocolate, the cheese, the biscuits and crackers, the sausage rolls and the smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis, the homemade croissants... And I haven't even told you about all the wine, yet.

I have been watching my weight for pretty much a whole year, with the odd exception of weekends and meals out, I've been calorie counting every day, and gym-bound most days, too. So I am having a break, basically. Last week, I decided that I am not going to weight myself until Boxing Day, because I know a few pounds have crept back on. But when you've lost as much as I have, not even going mental at the cheese counter in Waitrose can make me gain all that weight back.

However, my one bit of advice (other than recommending that you go all Bruce Bogtrotter with a bowl of stuffing) is to just take it easy the rest of the time. Like I am telling you to go mad because it's Christmas, and if a western Christmas isn't about decadence, then what is it good for? (I'm joking, but you get the point.) Christmas only happens once, so drink what you like at the Christmas party, go out with your friends for dinner and have a starter, main and dessert and an alcoholic drink. Just maybe, be a bit stricter with yourself in the morning and at lunch; maybe try and resist those chocolates in the office or don't eat the whole bit of cheese...

I wish I could offer you some life-changing tip for keeping on track at this time of year, but really I don't have them. I mean, I'm enabling my whole family and making all-butter croissants for Christmas morning, so I'm not really a giant advocate for a healthy Christmas. And that is my point. My mum laughed at me the other day and said when you fall off the wagon, Clare, you really fall off. She meant it as a joke, but it's true, I've completely gone against all my hard work, but I don't really give a fuck. I don't mind gaining back a few pounds here and there because I know I am more than capable of losing it again!

Monday, December 22, 2014

winter walks

The weekend we found out that my grandmother wasn't going to get any better, I dragged myself out for a brisk walk around the lake. Looking back now, it was probably the last good autumn day we had, right before the quick descent into frosty mornings, dark evenings and wet afternoons. 

I never thought I would be one of those people that looks forward to exercise. What I didn't know as a chubby thirteen-year-old is that just because I didn't enjoy rounders in my PE kit, meant that I would hate all exercise, ever; really, I just hadn't found the thing I did enjoy. After a sad weekend cooped up in a car and feeling useless about things, I just knew I needed to do something. 

Maybe it is something to do with my need for control, but I felt like things were more manageable after getting air in my lungs. Maybe it's that when everything feels out of my hands, I can go and do something that I have decided on. Maybe, it is just that the ache in my limbs means I sleep more soundly, but whatever it is, it works, and I'm okay with that. It's hard to drag myself to a gym, at 5pm after work on a Monday night when it's icy cold, wet and rainy, but I am so much happier when I've been and I need to keep telling myself that. 

an early christmas present - four free christmas wallpapers!

I was trying to find a nice, minimalist festive wallpaper for my laptop this weekend, and was unable to find something that suited my taste, so I whipped up a couple whilst watching a Christmas film yesterday afternoon. I wondered if maybe you guys would like them too, so here is an early Christmas present on me! Click the above link, or here to download!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

weekend wanderings #43

(psst, sorry this post is so late, I've had a friend over this evening and I lost track of time!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

a lesson in patience, or how to make croissants

I think one of my defining characteristics is my lack of patience. With people, at appointments, in shops, at traffic lights.. and when cooking, particularly. So it's weird that I decided two weekends ago to make croissants. I've been wanting to try making them for so long, as there are few things I enjoy more than breaking into a hot croissant, slathering it in butter and jam with a fresh orange juice on a lazy sunday morning. After browsing recipes constantly, I decided that I needed a good two days off to do it. Two weekends back, I had my weekend off, and decided to go for it.. 

It was so worth it. I really enjoy those Jus-Rol croissants that you get in a can, mum used to make them for us as treats or at Christmas when we were little, so I really wanted these to be better than that. I can safely say that they are SO much better than that. 

I just used the first recipe I found, which happened to be Paul Hollywood's recipe - I figured his was probably a good recipe to use - however his recipe does has a lot of waffly wording in it, so I found a more condensed version on the website. I've combined the two below, with my own additions, so I'm not taking credit for the recipe but I've added my own comments...
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g salt, plus a pinch for the eggwash
- 80g caster sugar
- 10g instant yeast
- 300ml cool water
- 300g chilled unsalted butter (a good quality butter, I used President)
- 1 medium egg to glaze
1. Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, slowly mix in a little water until the mixture forms into a pliable dough.
2. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead well until it feels elastic, I find about 15-20 minutes of good kneading.
3. Place the dough in a lightly floured plastic bag, and place it in the fridge for an hour.
4. Return the chilled dough to your floured work surface and roll it into a rectangular shape, around 60x20cm.
5. Roll out the chilled butter into a rectangle about 1cm thick between two sheets of baking parchment, around 40x19cm.
6. Place the butter rectangle at one end of the the dough rectangle, covering two thirds of the dough.
7. Make a small cut in the butter (not going through the dough) and fold the dough third with no butter, over the butter layer. Then fold the remaining dough and butter third over this, to make a neat rectangle. 
8. Pinch the edges to keep the butter in, and then place in a floured bag and return the dough to the refrigerator to chill for a further hour.
9. Flour your surface again, and roll out the dough to a rectangular shape, around 60x20 cm. 
10. Fold one-third of the dough into the middle, then fold the other third down over it, so you have another rectangle. Return to the plastic bag and refridgerate for a further hour.
11. Repeat this process of folding and chilling two more times, then place in the bag again and chill overnight or for eight hours.
12. On a floured surface, roll out to about 45x30cm and cut into two equal strips and trim the edges with a knife. 
13. Cut the dough into squares and then into two triangles, or into triangles with a 12cm wide base and 15cm high.
14. Place the dough triangles on a floured surface with the narrow point facing you, pull it down slightly to length the crosisant. Then, starting at the wide base end, roll the triangle up over itself, you could then curl them in on themselves if you like. 
15. Place the shaped croissants on baking trays lined with baking parchment and leave to rise for 1.5-2hrs. 
16. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. 
17. Make an egg wash with a pinch of salt, and lightly egg-wash the croissants. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. 
How amazing do those layers look?! The lamination with the butter makes them taste amazing, they don't even need butter when eating them, which I really like to use. Just jam, because when they cook the butter in the layers melts and makes the dough so moist and buttery. 

There is no getting away from it, they do take a long time to make, but yes, they're definitely worth it! I know recipes that take days always say 'oh but they're worth it' and sometimes I go through all the faff and thing you know what, they're not worth it the hassle. You do need to have the time on your hands, but these croissants were hand-down the best pastries I've ever eaten. I've even got some dough chilling in the fridge as we speak, I'm making a batch this weekend and freezing them so we can have them on Christmas morning! I just ate with a selection of jams (pear and damson were the absolute best) but you could definitely have them with Nutella or something, or even put chocolate inside to make some pain au chocalat... 

So, to summarise my thoughts on the homemade croissant: some things that are a right faff are definitely worth inhaling eating, maybe I'm not as impatient as I thought, you can get a surprising amount of present wrapping done between rolling turns, I could never get tired of these.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Q #32

I wanted to post a sort of ~festive~ quote this week, but couldn't find anything that wasn't really cheesy. We had really beautiful weather today, and I luckily had the day off, as well as all weekend. I got all my irritating, errand-y bits out of the way today so I can enjoy the next few days for what they're worth (gold dust, pretty much!), like hoovering the house, getting my car washed, doing laundry and returning some bits and bobs. I managed to sneak in both an early morning gym session and a little walk around my estate in the chilly winter sunshine. It really felt wintry today, low golden sun and a brisk wind that I got all excited for the coming week.. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

it's not like christmas at all

I should probably apologise for not posting much this week, but life has just sort of got in the way. I had a hospital procedure done on Monday, and it was absolutely horrific, and I've been working a lot and trying to see all my friends and stuff before Christmas (I've been spoiled by them tonight, so cute) and that I'm not really apologising for. When you work in retail, you kind of forget what Christmas is like for normal people, spending time with their families, etc. I thought I'd share with you a few photos I've taken over the last couple of weeks with all the Christmas decorations in my house.

I hope you're all having a lovely time at the moment readers, and please bear with me whilst I catch up, and hopefully I'll be back with an amazing recipe for croissants this weekend! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

weekend wanderings #42

(images from, and

Friday, December 12, 2014

Q #31

I feel very self-sufficient at the moment, and I am very happy about that. It's weird how much ancient incidents can mess you up, and stick about in your conscious. A recent bit of news made me feel at peace with something that happened a long, long time ago, I feel like it's finally something I can let go of, which is a relief.

(This is one of those quotes I saw floating about tumblr for the longest time, without being able to track down a source, which was really frustrating. I think I tracked it back to the right account, but please let me know if I am wrong.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

winter skin saviours

It always gets to mid-November, and my skin becomes a cracked, parched, sad mess. It really doesn't help when you're going from a super air-conditioned environment at work, to the virtually arctic temperatures outside, to an overheated house at home. Couple this with a sickness and period-induced-breakout, and basically my skin is a mess. Here are a few products I've been using to try and regain some control..

This is just my favourite hand cream du jour, but there are others out there. I picked this up for pennies in the staff shopping at work because the packaging was slightly damaged, and I love it. It sinks in well, leaves my hands feeling wonderfully soft, and smells citrusy, so what is not to love, really?

I've been loving this a lot of late, because I've been ill. It's an odd product, as I'm not really sure what you'd use it for in the summer, but I've been enjoying it slapped on my lips or around the edges of my nose at work to try and combat the particularly sore skin I have from blowing my nose 100 times a day. I've also been using it on my cuticles to try and prevent them from splitting, and it seems to be working a treat.

I think a side-effect of wearing makeup in dry hot and cold conditions has left me with some seriously unattractive dry skin around my eyes. I'd been using this up until a month or so ago when it ran out, and just sort of forgot to repurchase it, despite really liking it. When this dry skin appeared out of nowhere, I left it a few days before realising that I no-longer had this cream in my arsenal. With the wonders of click and collect, it was here the next day and already I've noticed an improvement in the skin around my eye. Similarly to the Watirose beauty balm, the product almost liquifies when it's heated up, and turns into a watery consistency that sinks into your skin. 

Unfortunately, I'm running severely low on this stuff, but it is my ultimate winter moisturiser. This stuff is thick and creamy and takes forever to be absorbed into the skin, so it's definitely not a morning product. I layer this stuff on at night before I go to bed, right down my neck and decollete and end up sticking to my pillow, but in the morning my skin loves me for it. It always looks noticeably plumper and more moisturised.

I had cracked and bleeding lips until I started using this.. they were gone in about two days, I didn't even know I could heal that quickly. It's also a fucking bargain at £1.50 in Sainsbury's at the moment, so I suggest stocking up.

When I need to wash my face, I always think that I don't want to be using something overly drying and foaming, stripping any moisture or oils my skin might might have left. I love to cover my face in this, leave it as long as possible, then use a hot muslin cloth to gently steam it off. My skin feels amazing, afterwards and so smooth and moisturised.

So anyway, that is what I've been using to combat this dry winter of ours, if you have any recommendations, please let me know, I'm always up for trying something new!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

weekend wanderings #41

Friday, December 05, 2014

Q #30

I recently posted a review of this book, and I'd had this quote saved from when I started reading it, and I had such high hopes for the book, I really loved the writing at the beginning. Unfortunately, the writing style gradually trailed off towards the middle of the book, and by the end I was bored of it. However, I really do like this quote, so I'm still posting it here.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

a personal gift guide (or, what I want for christmas)

I'm in the midst of that Christmas hell, where you're not sure what presents you've got for people, and you know you need to get stuff still for people and you're not really sure what to buy them... and when you're coming down with a hideous cold like I currently am, I really can't be bothered with thinking of presents for other people. Selfish, but true. I've been sort of partaking in that 'one presents for someone else, one present for me', hence a couple of new things have worked their way into my life (see above, new vintage handbag, new candles, and new black patent loafers). But anyway, here is what I want for christmas...
  • Tom Ford Black Orchid perfume, I sprayed it on recently, and it's all I can think about.
  • A new job, retail is hell at Christmas, particularly when you're sick & feeling under the weather.
  • A new Macbook, this one is slowly dying the more I use it.
  • To lose the last 15lbs before December 31st, it ain't gonna happen, but if I can shift another five, maybe, I'd be pleased. 
  • A maid, I'm fed up of cleaning my room to only make it a mess again when I'm dressing in the dark at 6AM.
  • The winter solstice, I need the days to start getting longer again like I need air.
  • To have all my blog posts ready for the next month, hopefully I can get ahead this weekend.
  • To be fluent in Italian.
  • A year's supply of Diptyque candles.
  • To eat my weight in Christmas biscuits, sausage rolls and cheese.
  • And approximately 2kg of mince pies. 
So if any of you lovely readers can make any of the above a reality for me, that would be amazing, thank-you!

Monday, December 01, 2014

on losing weight: fashion + clothes (etc)

What I want to talk about today is clothes. I used to post a bit of fashion-related stuff on my blog, back in the day, but as I've got older, I've found that I care less about what I wear, in general, as long as it's clean..
Finding clothes to fit me is something I think I'll always struggle with - as I'm not your average size, height-wise. I was talking to my brothers girlfriend recently, she's much slimmer than me, but we're about the same height, and she struggles to find trousers to fit her properly, so much so that she makes her own. So, I can't see my struggles improving in that department...
But recently since I've been losing weight, I've started caring again about what I wear. I'm not going to go crazy and buy all the clothes you see in Topshop because I'm really not that 'on trend', but I've got really into basics (exciting, I know). For example, I never used to wear jeans, now I'm on the hunt for a really good pair of them. (I was so pissed when I found out Topshop had replaced GAP in my local mall!)
Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent. I thought I'd talk about the pros and cons of finding clothes to wear - post-weight-loss.

  • Buying clothes in the middle of your weight-loss journey is an awkward one. Back in May/June I bought a lot of new clothes. I'd lost a lot of weight, it was my birthday, I want to look nice, etc. I got several pairs of new jeans, a few dresses.. I'm now almost 40lbs lighter. Just over a month ago, I got a new pair of jeans (a cheap pair from F+F as I'd learnt my lesson this time around) and, you've guessed it, they're too big now. I mean thats exciting, but it's not cheap. Be smart, if you think you're going to be losing more weight, wait. It'll save you money in the long run. 
  • Finding your current wardrobe doesn't suit you anymore is tricky, too. I used to be a fan of oversized baggy everything, hiding all my stomach and my arms and my thighs and anything that I didn't like. Now that I'm a bit more confident, all those clothes swamp me, and I look the same size I did before. It's a shame, one of my old-favourite shirts is just unwearable because it's too big now.
  • On a similar theme, re-learning my ~personal style~ is something I am still doing. I used to try and cover up everything I hated, but now I am happy wearing things a bit more close-fitting, but I'm not really sure what. I can't give you many pointers here, because I'm still in the midst of it, but I'm hoping that I'll get better along the way.
  • Finding little things about your new body that look good in clothes, is one of my recent favourite things. After trying on thousands of pairs of jeans, I've found that some make my bum look pretty good. And then I stop and think about that thought, that shit, my bum can look good in jeans. 
  • Whilst trying to figure out your new style is difficult, it can also be really fun. Clothes that you thought weren't options for you are now suddenly available, which is really fucking fun. I've been trying on all manner of random clothes when I go out shopping these days, to get an idea of what I like and what I don't like.
  • It's really amazing to be able to walk into a regular clothing store and know you'll find your size. (Well, most of the time that is. I was in a New Look the other week and found they didn't stock in-store above a size 12, what the fuck is that about, New Look?) 
  • Feeling more confident, generally. I spend a lot less time worrying about whether my shirt is too tight and clinging to bits I don't want, etc, because theres less bits that I don't want on show. It's exhausting, worrying about things like that constantly, and it's mad how much energy it takes up. 
  • Caring less generally, about what people think of my fashion choices, too. I used to worry that people were thinking if I wore a certain item of clothing (how dare that fat girl wear leggings, leggings are not for fat people, for example, is something I overheard once). I think this comes with growing up and giving zero fucks about life, also.
This doesn't mean that I don't have tantrums about clothes not fitting, like any other human being (well, mostly the women, I suppose) out there but things are improving for me..