Monday, 31 October 2011

Pulling a Forest Gump

Running is my new love (and depending on time of day...hate).  We have days when we get on; we'll pound the pavement and do a decent distance/time and then there are days when nothing seems to go smoothly.  Running and keeping pace is extremely hard for a new runner, and certainly something I've had to tackle. I'd sprint off because I'd be so pumped and eager to go, only to find I'd be shattered 15 minutes later.

After doing my first half marathon in September I rested, but I've really struggled to feel motivated to get back out there.  The days are grey, chilly and the choice between that and my nice warm bed... you can guess who often wins! 
However, I have a 10k in Nottingham at the start of November, followed by a 5K Santa run in December and a half marathon in March next year. Phew! So I certainly need to get training.  
I've decided that by doing what I love best is the only way to get me motivated..which is of course shopping... no, no not for my normal stuff but the right running wear for the colder days.  I figure if I'm as comfortable as possible in any climate than surely I'll be happier to keep running.
Sweaty Betty has always been one of my favourite sports brands, their running gear slots fantastically with upcoming fashion trends but also the performance technology needed for good quality training clothes.  I had a good browse of their AW11 range and found some goodies.
Firstly getting a good pair of running tights is ontop of my shopping list.  Some how my Brooks running shorts won't keep my legs warm enough now (and could possibly be the reason I dont want to run at all!). 

Sweaty Betty - Nimble Run Tights - £70.00

 "Thermal running tight in insulating brushed back fabric, technical reflective flatlocked seams for increased visibility during dark winter runs."
I know they are a touch on the pricy side but I'll be honest if they work, keep you warm and make you feel happier (about cold mornings and dark evening runs)... then its good to invest.

Under Armour Core X Coldgear Tight Running Pants - Charcoal - £54.99


Not sure on the grey, but being me I like the added bright pink.  Good for running in the dark as well, so people can see you!

Next is Skins.  I have a pair of their 3/4 capri running tights and love them, but with it getting colder maybe its time to invest in something a bit warmer?  Skins tend to be a bit more expensive, but they are worth every penny.  

Skins Long Compression Tights - £61.27

I've gone for a of trusted Under Armour gear.
Under Armour Coldgear Compression Tights Base Layer - £37.99
 These were a reasonable £37.99 and for any of you ladies who still worry how you look whilst exercising, black is always a great option.

 I have yet to recieve these in the post, but I must say I'm looking forward to being warm when I run in the morning. 
Now onto tops. I usually....or should I say used to run in vest tops but with the weather starting to turn I know I need to invest in decent new long sleeved ones.  I need ones that allow my body to breathe and also keep me warm. Its tricky because you don't want to layer up too much as you'll get warm during your training session.  
First on my hit list is a Stella McCartney for Adidas running top.

Stella McCartney for Adidas Run LS Tee - Draco Blue - SALE £46.00
We all love to keep closely in fashion whilst training, I can't think of a better way than enjoying these Stella McCartney bargains. 
Fed up of dark colours?  Then the next top from Sweaty Betty is ideal for running during the winter and in colder months.

Sweaty Betty Chilli Resistor - £60.00

I like the fact its got a high neck to keep you warm.  The extra bit of colour is great for dark mornings and late evening running.  

Anyone fancy running in Leicestershire?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Get ready for the ....Clothes Show Live 2011

Nothing excites me more than knowing the Clothes Show Live is drawing closer.  It's often a sign that Christmas is truly on its way and that a big splurge on fashion bargains is on the menu!
As always the fantastic event is hosted at Birmingham's best, the NEC.  Hundreds of popular brands fill the exhibition halls floor, with many new upcoming brands to watch out for. There is always something for everyone and this year is certainly no exception...

There will be a live makeovers, live shopping, live celebrities, and live catwalk shows! This is apparently the most interactive Clothes Show to date, with plenty to see, do and plenty for everyone can get involved with! 
As always besides the bundles of clothes there are plenty of great celebrities, and this year is no exception! Clothes Show Live 2011 has a hot Guru Team onboard; the gorgeous George Lamb, presenter Jeff Brazier, make-up artist Rachel Wood, celebrity hairdresser Jamie Stevens, Clothes Show Live veteran Caryn Franklin, Take That dancer Jackson Williams, Tommy Hilfiger model Max Rogers and stylist Karl Willett. These eight will each be sharing their expertise throughout the year on the hottest new bands, latest celebrity gossip, trendiest fashion and best beauty tips. They will also be giving Clothes Show Live fans the inside scoop from the modelling, fashion and music world, along with news from all of the exciting projects they are working on throughout 2011. Plus other celebrites appearing include the stars from TOWIE!

Brand new for 2011 is the Inspiration Stage, which is inbetween Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fair in association with Vintage Life Magazine and Sknitch. This stage gives visitors the perfect opportunity to revamp and update those new purchases, using those ‘sknitching’ techniques gained from the experts.  Ideal to make your purchases unique to your style and image!  Also new to 2011 is The Graduate Marketplace in association with More! Magazine offers recent graduates the opportunity to showcase and talk through their final year designs. There is also the chance to shop from graduates who have gone on to design, create and develop their own work in the fashion industry.  A great place to check out who could be the ones to watch in the future and purchase unique designs from fresh graduates.

As always with the Clothes Show  there is their main catwalk show.  Which, is not only a glamourous fashion show but also very entertaining with many themes.  This is all hosted in the Clothes Show Live’s famous Suzuki Fashion Theatre.  It definetely is a must see when visiting the show, and I promise to all those who have never been it will entertain and leave you wanting to shop all the more! The clothes on the catwalk aren't just designer, they are high street, sportswear and of course vintage. What more could you want?! 

With the catwalk shows, and inspirational stuff aside we are forgetting the key ingredient of the clothes show live.... shopping!  Oh yes shopping is top of the agenda for anyone visiting.  As always there are different zones to suit different tastes and styles.
Blue Zone
The Blue Zone brings together high-street, vintage, and boutique fashion, catering for those with an eclectic taste in clothing. This is the ideal area to find a quirky item to jazz up your everday outfit. You can even enjoy a gossip and a cocktail at Clothes Show Live’s Boutique Bar. Yes please  (I'll be having a cosmo!)
Purple Zone
The Purple Zone features all the  popular street and sports wear brands around, so whether a surfer, skater or boarder there’s a massive range of fashion urban streetwear labels to stay one step ahead of the crowd. You can often find a bargain too! 
Pink Zone
The Pink Zone has something for everyone. Home to the Style Studio in association with Cosmopolitan, The Pink Zone is the place to pick up inspirational ideas on all the latest hair and beauty trends. You can even get your hair done, ready for a night out after the event! 

Red Zone
With up to the minute, edgy and eccentric brands at incredible prices, the Red Zone is packed with the hottest fashions at the coolest prices. There are some seriously hot bargains to be had here.

I have been going to Clothes Show for many years now, I've worked there, I've been on school trips there and I've gone for a day out with friends. It gets better each time I go, and I promise (to all those who have never been) you will love every second.  You get bargains, discover new brands, get hints, learn new exciting tips... it really is worth going. 

Tickets are still available...but get in there quick!

2nd December - 7th December 2011

Standard £27: All day show entrance to Clothes Show Live + seat in the Fashion Theatre

Platinum: £39: All day show entrance to Clothes Show Live + premium seat in the Fashion Theatre
+ Goody Bag + Show Guide

Saturday Morning Autumn Cooking

I'm not a chef... instead I'm blessed with a chef!  I have been spoilt by my other half  as he is amazing in the kitchen (and so he should its his actual job!) but I'm not, I've barely cooked for us in the entire time we've been together. Shameful I know, I bet there are many woman reading this thinking "for goodness sake!" 
I think for me I've been afraid of cooking for the fear of doing it wrong. Once upon a time at school I won a cooking competition for creating a 3 course meal... and I was 13. I can only think is that I've become lazy by not cooking for myself. It needs to change, but with very little in the fridge where do I start?! With that in mind I decided to be a domestic goddess and steal one of my mums super powers... making a great meal from bits in the fridge. 
So let me take you through my Saturday morning... 
My little kitchen where I shall be creating!
My happiness pig to keep me motivated

My yummy Lasanga
My totally kitch Cath Kidston oven gloves - ready to take the food out of the oven
My Percy Pig M&S timer - who is my new best friend (and also helps me not burn the food!)

My masterpiece (go easy remember I don't do cooking!)

...My reward & some Saturday morning TV
Wasn't I clever bean?! So the boy shall be fed after he's been for a long afternoon cycle and I can nosh on it when I come back from my run. Delightful! 

What to make for a Sunday?!


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Seeking comfort

I'm sorry I haven't been very active this week, I've not been very well.  Seems that the change in weather, the stress of work and daily life has finally caught up with me.  I have been under the weather to say the least and instead of being my active self I've had to give in to duvet days and curling up on the sofa (oh shucks!)
Whilst being sat (doing very little other than watching ITV2 repeats of Gossip Girl) I was thinking about loungewear/nightwear.  I have some items I've held on to for years for the sheer comfort they bring me... but when is the right time to get rid and replace?  
In my student days I'd love nothing more than getting cheap pyjamas from Primark or novelty slippers to mooch about the house in, but they'd look tatty really quickly.
So what to wear when you are not going anywhere?  Whether you're poorly or not I think looking your best and keeping comfy is a top priority. It also makes you feel slightly better.

First of all looking at footwear... I hate cold feet especially when you're feeling ill.  So snuggling your tootsies up in warmth is top of my list! Below are two fab pairs of J.U.S.T Sheepskin slippers. Just like sheepskin fluffy boots, these slippers will definetely keep your toes warms!
Ladies Bonnington Sheepskin Slippers - £40.00

Ladies Ballerina Sheepskin Slipper - £45.00
The next  two pairs are Cath Kidston slippers
Cath Kidston Felt Slipers - £26.00

Cath Kidston Sheepskin Slippers - £46.00
Both Cath Kiston slippers are so beautifully created, I know they are a bit pricy but I guess if you do wear your slippers whenever you are at home... then surely investing isn't such a bad idea?

Next on my list is pyjama bottoms. Personally I prefer actual pyjama bottoms instead of sweats,  It makes me feel more here are a few out in the shops this season. 
I love the Fat Face Nalla Woven Pyjama bottoms, and they can be found on Surfdome for only £24.99.  Have a look at the turn up tab at the bottom, as this has a floral print for that extra kitch look!

Fat Face Nalla Woven Pyjama Bottoms - £24.99
Now for the more fun bottom prints.  Keeping under the Surfdome umbrella here are my favourite ones of the bunch...The Hatley Park Ranger Bear Pyjama bottoms , these are absolutely fantastic!  I love how relaxed they are, and the bear print just tops it off!
Hatley Park Ranger Bear Pyjama Bottoms - £27.99

If that's a bit too masculine for you, Hatley also have another great pair.  The Cat'S pyjama bottoms in pink.
Hatley The Cat'S Pyjama Bottoms in pink - £27.99
If the 'fun' pyjama bottoms aren't your cup of tea and you prefer a more subtle look, then Laura Ashley have a great pair for you! These fit in perfectly for the colder seasons, as they're covered in a snowflake print. These are the Laura Ashley Snowflake Print Pyjama Trouser,  which are very girlie and perfect for a night in front of the TV.

Laura Ashley Snowflake Print Pyjama Trousers - £30.00

When you get closer to the evening and the chill sets in...what do you immediately reach for? Your dressing gown or your other halfs jumper?!  I currently own a mint colour bog standard cheap effort of a dressing so Its certainly time for an upgrade, but what is out there?
Topshop have totally embraced this seasons spotty look with one step further. Yes that's right dalmatian style.
This fantastic Dalmatian Fluffy PJ Robe is perfect to pop on when getting cold.  It has a tie around the waist, pockets and comes in small, medium and large.

Topshop Dalmatian Fluffy PJ Robe - £28.00
If this one is a bit too much to put on, (especially after a heavy night out!) what about sophisticated dressing gown from Lebel? This gorgeous luxury Lebel Hush Navy Bath Robe is teamed with a tie of silky ribbon.  This is again on Surfdome and is in the sale for £31.48.

Lebel Hush Navy Bath Robe - £31.48

Carrying along with a more simple look, is the very well made dressing gown from The White Company.  A classic look and one which won't go out of fashion.  Yes, it is a lot of money.. but again if you want something that is going to last this luxury cashmere robe is perfect.
White Company Luxury Cashmere Robe - £295

Or actually sticking to this seasons Polka Dot trend, is the lovely Lilac Spot Robe from Next.  I love the two tones of purple on this robe and how soft it looks. The yummy robe is £26.00
Next Lilac Spot Robe - £26.00

Other than dressing gowns, I personally love nothing more than a bit of knitwear for my lounging about outfit. The chunkier and more textured the better!  I know there are hundreds of shops stocked full of oversized cardigans and big baggy knitted jumpers at the moment, but I bet a lot are really expensive.  If you don't want to break the bank and just want a bargain then have a look at my next find from ProdigyRed....

ProdigyRed Cadence Cowl Neck Jumper - £11.99

I'll admit its not a 'chunky' knit but it certainly screams "Snuggle!".  In a delicate light grey colour this fab piece is certainly in no way going to break the bank for £11.99.  It'd be my ideal 'loungewear' item but can equally be teamed with leggings and boots.  The choice is yours! 
Now for one that is certainly a winter warmer, the fantastic Red Batwing Chunky Jumper from Miss Selfirdge.  This almost looks a bit like a fishermans jumper with red splash.  
Miss Selfridge Red Batwing Jumper - £45.00

Instead of chunky knitwear you can always go for fluffy jumpers.  Equally has hot this season and equally as warm! I love this one from Miss Selfridge, and like the other jumpers I'd not only wear this for loungewear... I'd wear it with jeans or leggings.
Miss Selfridge Cosmos Jumper - £42.00

Alternatively the sweater style is a great look to throw on, and this River Island Grey Amazing  Print Top is perfect.  Nice and casual but a bit different, and only £20.00.
River Island Grey Amazing Print Top - £20.00

If you're really daring (and not going anywhere public)... then maybe the onesie is for you? Where I live it's a student based town and alot of the students like to go food shopping in their onesies...  Not my bag but each to their own!  
Anyway, so the onesie is cute and will totally keep you toastie all over. Primark gave us some cheap versions and now Topshop has decided to stamp its mark with the Fairisle Print All in One. The print is amazing, it's very old skool ski school and very 'Christmas jumper' esq....making it all the more adorable.
Topshop Fairisle All In One - £30.00
Or for a onesie that is a bit more pricy go for a design from OnePiece.  Like this delicious Lusekofte Dark Pink/White
Now again this has the same sort of snowflake print like the Topshop one, but has the print along the hood, bottom of the legs and upper part of the OnePiece.  It appears utterly snuggly and I'm becoming all the more eager to invest!
OnePiece Lusekofte Dark Pink/White - £140.00

If all these clothing items fail to keep you warm then you could alway hug a teddy, pinch your loved ones heat or even grab a Cath Kidston adorable hot water bottle! This Motif Hottie is ideal for those colder evenings.
Cath Kidston Motif Hottie - £28.00

Like many when the cold weather sets in I tend to go into human hibernation.  I don't do well with going out in the chilly evenings, lugging a big coat along, and teaming all my outfits with tights. Its not for me, so I may have to give in and get a onesie and the entire box set of 24...   Should keep me going for awhile! 


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What's my name?

Most ladies who have watched Sex and the City have in some way envied Carrie Bradshaw's outfits. Whether it be her sky scraper heels or her outrageous fashion statement clothing... we've all been there!

One iconic item worn was her 'Carrie necklace', which was her name delicately written in gold on a short chain. The question is, is it okay to wear your own name around your neck? I  do think if its small and well made, It doesn't matter. As you can see the font on this pendant below is simple and curvy, making it beautifully feminine. So what is not to like?

This is a great piece of jewellery, the same necklace and ones like it can be found at Jewellery Personalised . There is a complete section dedicated to named jewellery, you can chose if its in gold or silver, the type of font and obviously the name.  There are different types of gold and silver available; yellow gold, white gold, sterling silver, gold-plated on sterling silver and even the choice of adding diamonds or charms. 

So like the photo above you can create your own copy of Carrie's necklace with your own name or you can and be a bit different.  I don't tend to wear gold so the very kind people at Jewellery Personalised created me my very own silver 'Anna' necklace.  Something that is very simple and can easily go with absolutely anything. 

I adore my new necklace!!

On average a stirling silver named necklace is around £28.00-£30.00 with yellow gold being around £95.00.  It all depends on what you're after.  I prefer simple jewellery personally, but Jewellery Personalised make the options endless. So you can go crazy if you like, and its  also quite a nice idea for a Christmas gift.

What do you think? xxx

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

October - Casual Look

My word I'm sleepy this week. I've managed to pick up a cold and a sore throat which, has left me tired, cranky, and poorly sick. Snotty hankies and soothers aside...apart from that I've been enjoying the delights of the Autumn colours in the shops.  
I'd say Autumn is my favourite season, it used to be Summer... but since we don't hardly have a summer in the UK i've demoted it and promoted Autumn.  I'm babbling again... sticking to the point now....
All the shops have rich warmth in all their clothing ranges and such texture in their items.  I'm especially loving Topshops colourful skinnys.  I do have a pair of red skinny capri jeans, but they've been packed away.. and its now time for rich autumnal tones. 
I love the rusty colours of the Topshop Baxter jeans  RRP £40.00... these are  actually in Cinammon.  Watch out though as these are a lot bigger in size than you think.  They're quite stretchy. I'm usually a size 10 or a 12 in jeans and I needed these in an 8.

So with these lovely colourful jeans in mind I teamed an outfit together....without realising its actually a full on Topshop outfit! Apart from the rasberry coloured handbag in the first photo which is Next.

The top was a bargain in the Topshop mid-season sale for £20.00.  Which can equally be used as a top to wear on a night out, as it's see through.  I added a simple black cami underneath.  It has lovely floral detail and small buttons all the way up the back.

 It's a bit  of a bargain outfit to be honest, apart from the jeans.  The shoes were in the sale for £15.00.  Not so ideal when the weather becomes freezing.  However, I can still feel my toes after wearing them today... so I'm guessing we're okay for now!
 This heart pendant was £8.00 from Freedom jewellery and has been my favourite jewellery item for months.  It goes with anything and jazzes up any outfit.  Long pendants are very in and vary in style and look, so you can change depending on the image you're after.
So this is one of my Autumn casual day outfits.  It's all about the rich tones... not to mention keeping warm!