Saturday, 30 April 2011

Blog until I can't Blog anymore

Dear World,

Ok, small minority who read my blog I have decided that hence forth I shall do my very best to blog something every day, even if it is just one word it will be here!

This is my Pledge to you! xx

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

ELF make-up

Well my daughters swear by ELF - eyes,lips and face, I thought mainly because they're teenagers and it's cheap but given the present economic climate I thought why not give them a go!

The site offers their basic, eyes, lips, face line all priced at just £1.50! Studio range, which in mostly priced at £3.50 and their mineral range priced between £3.00-£5.00 all well below usual cosmetic prices.

I placed my order on a Friday evening and by Monday I'd received a text(great service) telling me that my order had been dispatched and by Tuesday it had arrived! Very impressive delivery time!

I ordered a tinted moisturiser with SPF20, a mascara, 2 nail varnishes, a facial whip and using an offer code the entire order with a free lip gloss and free delivery came to, wait for it, just £11.50 absolutely amazing, I usually pay that for the mascara alone but would the cheap prices yield results?

The packing was nice not at all cheap looking, though not entirely sure about the blister packaging on the £1.50 items but in fairness what could I hope to expect for £1.50.

The tinted moisturiser I ordered was from the studio line and I was pleasantly surprised it went on easily and gave a lovely light finish, offered SPF 20 protection which is a great bonus for those of us who forget sunblock on a daily basis and only remember when it's hot and it made my skin look fresh and healthy so very impressed with this, I would give this a 9/10.

On to the mascara, again from the studio range this was supposed to give you length and volume unfortunately this was no where near as impressive as the tinted moisturiser it didn't lengthen or add volume even after 2 coats all I ended up with was sticky clogged eyelashes, I'm actually wondering if the mascara was at it's best as it was rather thick and clumpy, overall I'm afraid to say I wasn't very impressed and would give this just a 2/10

And now the nail varnishes theses were absolutely lovely! I chose a nude and a smoky brown priced at just £1.50 each, they both look fabulous on the only down side they chip quite easily but for one days wear well worth it and these I would also give a 9/10 mainly for the colour and ease of application.

Then there was the facial whip, this is a creme designed to use on as eyeshadow, blush and lip colour and priced at just £1.50,I chose the shade citrus, this gives a shimmery almost frosty finish great as an eyeshadow, quite nice as a lip gloss, but as a blush I found it a little too shimmery for my liking but I imagine on younger skin it would be lovely at 39 I prefer something a little more subtle. I would give give this a 7/10.

And last but by no means least my free Gift! now everyone loves a free gift and this was no exception, now usually I'm not a fan of lip gloss, I don't like that sticky feeling that you sometimes get but this one wasn't too bad and the shade 'mauve luxe' wasn't one that I would have picked but I actually really like it! it smelt lovely and had a nice taste, no I didn't eat it, you all know what I mean and it wasn't too sticky all in all a pleasant surprise and I would give this a 8/10

My overall experience with ELF was a positive one, would I order again? for certain items, yes. I would like to try the Mineral range so if someone from ELF happens to read this and would like to send me some to try, I'd be more than happy to review it!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Week 5 result erm I'm looking for the word that sounds like I'm blowing a raspberry!

Ok it's official I suck! Well I suck at this whole challenge I've set myself, at least in terms of weight loss and so I have come to the decision that I either I have a medical condition that is hindering me losing weight or I eat too much and I need to change tactics!

Me thinks it may be the latter!

I have thought a lot about this whole weight issue and I've been observing the eating habits of those around me, not in a weird anthropologist kind of way with notebook and binoculars, don't worry I haven't quite made it to that level of insanity........yet! Just my nearest and dearest and in particular one of my daughters who can eat anything she likes and never gains a pound and it's not just down to youth, it really is all about portion size all week I've studied what she eats, how she eats and how much she eats, ok I am sounding like a bit of a weirdo but my discovery is worth it! You see she does eat whatever she likes just not that much of it, she rarely cleans the plate ( I'm from the "there are starving children that would be grateful of that meal, you better finish every last bit!" generation)and she eats very slowly, so this week I will be doing exactly that, eating like a teenage girl! If only I could look like one again!

So for this week my 3 F challenge is still on with some quite different tactics, I'll let you know how I get on, oh and in case you're wondering I gained 2lb so I'm now heavier than when I started! See what I mean I suck!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

And now for something more serious

There was a conversation on the radio this morning about the effect of being raised by a single parent and they gave a statistic that something like 70% of children raised by a single parents are more likely to struggle in life, not achieve as well academically and every other negative connotation and stereotype that you can think of as a result of being raised by a single parent. Well I was the product of a single parent for a large part of my life my dad raised me and I have been both a parent in a relationship and a single parent and in my opinion it has more to do with the kind of parent you are and actually the area that you live and the people that your children mixes with that effects them not the fact that they had one or two parents, after all how good can it be for children to see their parents arguing every day? How can they possibly learn what a positive relationship is if all they see and hear is a negative. Far more damaging as far as I'm concerned.

The problem is when someone comes up with there statistics they're often not looking at the whole picture merely the thing that they wish to focus on so all too often it's not a true representation of what's going on and I can tell you from personal experience of living in nice area of the country and living in an estate it really is not just about the parents it is as much to do with environment, we learn as much from our peers as our parents and in an area where crime and drugs and antisocial behaviour are prominent it's all too easy for young people to be dragged in, come on be honest did you really listen to your parents all the time as a teen or did you sometimes aspire to be the rebel that you admired from afar (hopefully).

The other problem we face Is as a society we almost villainise our youth focusing on the negative you hear a lot about the minority of young people that are involved in crime but you hardly ever hear about the young people who are making productive use of their time, those
that belong to organisations such as cadet forces or take part in duke of Edinburg awards or those like my daughter who took part in something like a project called The Challenge, no we don't hear about them.

For me, I think that instead of focusing on who is raising our children, we should focus on how our children are being raised, putting the right things in place for parents to access, we all need a little help once in while and the stigma should be taken away from asking for it.
In schools the way our children are taught shouldn't just be about the academics we should from day one teach respect, empathy, understanding consequences not as a separate lesson just as a way of being and this in turn would affect behaviour in the classroom and children would be better equipped to learn.

Obviously the ideal scenario would be to be raised by 2 loving parents and I'm purposely not being gender specific here but sometimes life just doesn't work that way so instead of constantly telling single parents what they're doing wrong or what can go wrong let's focus on the most important thing how we help the children.

Rant over, let me know your thoughts.

Monday, 18 April 2011

End of week 4 update

I am not a happy me in fact I'm a really angry me, angry with myself! In a big big way!!! I have not got into the spirit of the challenge that I set myself at all, I have let life get in the way I have made excuse after excuse for myself and the end result is disappointment, disappointment that I haven't even made a dent in what I hoped to achieve and disappointment in myself for letting myself down. *pulls very sad face* actually a little near to tears as I write this, I am also hormonal which doesn't help but I need to figure out why I'm doing this, when I set out on my 3 F challenge I was filled with positivity I thought by this point I would have lost a stone and feel wonderful about myself well the reality is I let myself down and feel awful about myself!

So the results for this the end of week four drum roll this week, maybe the death march or something equally macabre would be more fitting .......

Weight loss.........................absolutely zero , I haven't gained any though so that is something but in four weeks I have upped and downed and stayed exactly the same! Did you read my self-sabotage post? I think I might be on to something.

I actually can't be bothered to put the rest down in it's usual style and order it just doesn't deserve that kind of attention!

What I have done this week is bought myself some new clothes, I actually bought myself a gorgeous maxi dress that doesn't make people ask if I'm pregnant again! Don't you hate that? My usual response is no I'm just fat! Usually shuts them up! In fact the dress is actually really flattering so yay me on that one and I bought myself a gorgeous vintage sheer jacket in duck egg blue which actually looks fab with my slightly flared jeans so these are good things, I wish they were in a size smaller but they're not so my choice now is to actually stop making excuses, figure out why I'm self sabotaging and try to take getting slimmer and healthier seriously or Should I just accept who I am and just try to exercise more?

Come on people you tell me

Sunday, 17 April 2011

I used to look younger than my age then I had teenagers , I mean stress

I was looking at some old photo's from around 10 years ago and I was shocked I looked so young I mean amazingly young a lot younger than my 30 years that I was then and rather sexy if I do say so myself! And then I saw some pics of me taken a few weeks ago and I look old! Time has not been kind on me, I scrub up quite well don't get me wrong I can disguise some of the hideous but I have deep furrows on my forehead, jowls and the chin has started to slip into my neck , I'm painting a really pretty picture aren't I? So I was trying to think what could have caused this drastic ageing, was it lack of skin care regime? I don't think it can be that, I don't sunbathe and almost always where sunscreen, I don't smoke, I do drink but my liver still works so I'm sure it's not that then it dawned on me teenagers! Over the last 10 years I have had to deal with 5 teenagers the eldest is 24 now and the youngest teenager is 14 and anyone who has teenagers knows what that brings , it brings hormones, tantrums, testing boundaries, exams, love, sex, drinking, smoking, hating school, loving school, choosing colleges, looking for jobs and of course thinking that your mum is a bank with a never ending supply of money! Honestly where do they think we get it from?

This is what has aged me dealing with and worrying about my children, those out there with little ones, you think it's hard now wait till you tell your teenager to be in by 10 and you're phoning them and pacing the floors at midnight worrying if they're alive or dead and saying in your head they'll wish they were if they turn out to be ok, then that overwhelming mixture of relieve and anger when they sheepishly open the door at midnight! Oh the joys!

Thankfully my youngest 2 teenagers have been brilliant,I think I might have this parenting lark down! But the damage has been done! And I still have the little to go, I can't wait!

So to all my children I love you but I think you owe mum some botox and perhaps a face lift so be good, work hard and look forward to when you have children, I know I do!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Self sabotage and me

I do it all the time, I self sabotage, I start things and I don't see them through, I go on a diet and eat a great big slice of chocolate cake who am I kidding I eat the whole bloody cake, I break appointments, I back out at the last minute, do you see a pattern forming here? Yes that's right I am in fact the Queen of self-sabotage! When I say it like that it sounds like some comic book hero 'Queen of self-sabotage' watch as she fucks up her own life without the need of any super villain! ( wonder if it would sell? )

The question I ask myself all the time is why do I do it? I don't do it with everything so perhaps it fear of change, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown that prompts this behaviour.

Wow this is like free therapy I shall keep it up, explore how this all makes me feel, well let me tell you not very proud of myself I harp on about how it's better to have regrets about the things you have done than to have never tried and here I am with the realisation that I self sabotage, well not anymore I shall grasp the unknown with both hands, I shall act with spontaneity, laugh in the face of rejection and boldly face the unknown for I am just that kind of super hero! Or I could just try to move forward and stop bloody self-sabotaging!

To blog or not to blog that is the question

I think that is the question Shakespeare would be asking if he was around today don't you?

It would seem that everyone and his dog has a blog these days, some to share what's going on in their lives aimed primarily at their family and friends, some to share and promote their businesses,Then there are the blogs that review things and then there are people like me who just want to write,share their thoughts and hope that someone else will enjoy what they've written, do you?

I don't know what I was expecting when I started writing my blog part of me obviously hoped that I would be an overnight sensation and have hundreds of loyal followers hanging on my every word, I have one! bloatedcaterpillar I thank you! And one regular reader rhymeswithplague I thank you and you make me smile often but what I have realised is although obviously I would love lots and lots of followers ( needy huh? ) I love just writing down what I'm thinking getting all those thoughts out of my head to make room for some more! And in fairness I need to work more on my blog, organise it, add all the recipes that I had originally planned but the reality is I am a bit of a moron when it comes to all things computer , when I was at school IT was optional and only the affectionately termed nerds and boys who wanted to spell out BOOBS on those long bits up paper took IT what was that about back then? was it computer programming? I really don't know all I know, I have taught myself learned along the way, even when I returned to learning 5 years ago it was mostly trial and error that got me through(bit like life) so you see when it comes to the technical side of things I am somewhat challenged, if someone would just put it in plain English that even a 10 year old could understand, actually scratch that all 10 years olds know how to do everything on a computer, plain English that a 5 year old can understand and I will be fine, failing that send me a 10 year old to teach me!

Yet again I digress really what I'm trying to say is blogging for me is about expression but
if you want to follow I'd like that too!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Food glorious Food!

No I'm not about to break out in song....although I could offer you a quick rendition! No I actually just want to talk to you about Food, I've been thinking a lot about it lately probably because I'm trying not to eat so much of it! Food is one of the things that ties every single life form together, we all have to eat something, we all have to fuel our bodies, now what we eat that's what separates us!

For me I love all food in fact the only food I can think of that I dislike with passion is pimento and I'm not that fond of fennel, really why would you spoil a perfectly good olive by stuffing it with pimento? and likewise why would you think that the addition of fennel would improve my salad, it won't!

I love food, for me it's not just fuel it's the enjoyment of creating a meal from all these different ingredients that singularly are nothing special but when combined together become an explosion of flavours, textures and something to be enjoyed and savoured.

I don't follow recipes as such but I enjoy to read them, to take inspiration from and make them my own but more often than not I make things up, I create, I think about tastes I like, combinations that work well and I just cook I don't weigh things I just guess, I probably have an eye for approximate weights from high school cookery or home economics as it was called when I was at school and that has stayed with me I guess. I don't even own a set of scales although I do mean to buy some so I can share my recipes in a more accurate way, the recipes that I have already posted have been guestimates and hopefully worked for you if you tried them.

And now having shared all of that with you I'm off to bake! Something low fat and healthy of course! .....As if!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Kids tv, what's going on

I'm not the biggest fan of letting small children sit glued to the television, but there are times like this morning that I just want that 5 minutes of quiet and I give in and enjoy the small amount of peace it affords me. Right now there are probably some parents recoiling in horror at thought of me using the television as a tool for a bit of quiet well what I have to say to you is lucky you! That you don't need 5 minutes of quiet! Me, I've been up with my daughter since silly o'clock and I need a quiet cup of coffee! Really you wouldn't want to see me without caffiene and neither would my family.

Now there are a few programmes that my daughter adores and I approve of, Peppa Pig is the most favourite and I approve, ignore the fact that it's talking animals for some reason since tv began it was decided that children would relate to talking animals, think muffin the mule etc but they at least speak English correctly, no made up words for Peppa and her family!

Then there are those childrens programmes that I cannot let her watch mainly down to my own pain and somewhat annoyance that they seem to want children to use some stupid made up language that I guess they think is cute, my annoyance is building, can you tell?

I'm thinking about such programmes as In the night garden, I mean seriously what is that about? No really I'm asking? Then there was Waybuloo, again made up language grrrrr surely these type of programmes do not encourage speech or at least not with the use of real words! It's not big, it's not clever and personally I don't think it's cute!

Then there are those programmes I just don't get, Jungle Junction! I'm talking about you! They're animals but they're vehicles and they have long twisting roads that go through the jungle , I just don't get the concept and frankly Miss Jolly's headlights disturb me!

I have a large age gap between my youngest and next child up and I was trying to remember what was on when she was little and her loves were bear in the big blue house, more talking animals but with some learning and morals and Barney again trying to teach children about caring and sharing etc and who can complain about that even if he was a giant purple dinosaur who sang annoying songs that stuck in your head!

Then when I think back to my childhood, I remember Bagpuss, The flumps, Jamie and his magic torch and The Wombles not sure what that say's but they're what I remember!

Children are not little idiots they are little humans who relate to things that translate to their lives just like we do, which is why they like watching babies and families and animals of any kind not just the talking variety and of course just like us they like fantasy but please no made up languages or vehicles that are animals seriously no more!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Is this a case of style over content?

Well it's the end of week 3 of my Fit, Fabulous and Forty challenge and I have made a number of steps toward being a more put together me but I can't help but wonder does it all really matter? Surely it's the person on the inside that counts? How I fill my mind not my body? But that's the thing that makes all of this difficult you can't see what's going on on the inside it's the outside that gives that first impression after all.

All that being said the psychological affects of feeling good about how you look can't be denied, I don't get to go out in the evening very often as an actual grown up, feel sorry for me and invite me out please! But last week I went out dressed up, in heels and wearing make-up and I felt good, I looked in the mirror and I didn't recoil in horror and my darling little girl said " you look so beautiful mummy " and that made my night if not my year! So perhaps feeling like the effort toward appearance is somehow superficial is wrong, if you feel better about yourself and it increases your confidence then it can only be viewed as positive.

So on with the challenge, at least until my birthday anyway!

Weight lost, zilch, nada very upset and annoyed with myself must try harder and I don't suppose going to a chocolate festival really helps!and at least I haven't gained weight.
Times at gym...................... Um I'm ashamed to say another big fat zero! But I have walked ALOT this week
Hair brushed ..................... Every day! I'm getting good at this one so hence forth I shall leave it off my list.
Make-up worn ..................... 4 count them 4 times! I have even moisturised every day and on a few occasions even put night cream on and let me tell you my skin is thanking me.
And now last but by no means least the style part of my challenge ........................ Ok hands up here I have worn jeans every day but in a different way if that makes sense,I've worn different styles of jeans, with more than just a t- shirt and I have only worn the uggs once and like I said I have even worn heels! My feet did not thank me for this I've spent 2 years at home with my little one and have had very few occasions where the wearing of heels were required.

I don't think I'm really getting into the spirit of my own challenge am I? This is a situation I have to rectify with some urgency, even with all I said at the start of this post when I weighed myself I was really disappointed that I hadn't lost any weight and I can't ignore that psychologically I felt so much better when I made an effort with my appearance and I'm pretty confident that I would have been viewed differently by others after all no matter what we say we do judge a book by it's cover even if what you see isn't always what you get!

So my real challenge this week is my weight,I must make a real concerted effort to not give in to temptation and to eat healthily!

Let's hope next week gives some better results x

Saturday, 9 April 2011

A night at the movies, Red Riding Hood, well kind of!

Never in a million years did I think that I would post a film review on my blog but I was fortunate enough on Thursday to attend the premiere of Red Riding Hood and I thought what the hey let me share with you my opinion and review of the film.
Cue Barry Norman film of what ever year type music ........

The premiere was at the Empire Leicester square a lovely venue as far as cinemas go but rather like a cattle Market that night and we were herded to our seats with the cry of "water and popcorn can be found on your seat!" Never one to turn down free food this obviously made me rather happy!

The comperes were djs from Kiss fm and they introduced the stars and the director who came on stage and briefly gave some comments on the film and working together. I have to say that the director Catherine Hardwick of twilight fame spoke about the film with such passion and animation that you could tell that it was a project that she really believed in and this led be to believe that the film might be good but unfortunately I have to say that it was mediocre at best, Though at times it was visually stunning.

Briefly,Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is the heroine with obligatory love interests in the form of Peter(Shiloh Fernandez) her childhood sweetheart and with whom she is very much in love with still as an adult and Henry(Max Irons) the rich blacksmith who she has been promised to by her mother.

The story vaguely resembles the original but in such a vague way that you have to think about how this could possibly be an interpretation of a 700 year old children's fairy tale but the immortal Grandma what big eyes you have etc  are uttered so that kept with the original tale but not in the expected way and the introduction of the rather mad priest Father Solomon with some rather unorthodox ways leaves you feeling that the story need not have been based on Red Riding hood and could quite easily be just another girl meets boy meets werewolf story. having said all that there were some twists and turns and you were kept guessing about the identity of the werewolf right up until the 'surprise' ending so I suppose in that sense it kept you watching and you did walk away from the cinema still talking about the film even if we weren't raving about it so in that respect it had an impact of sorts.

All in all not a film I'd watch again but it was a lovely night out and there was FREE popcorn! so if anyone else would like to send me tickets to a free movie I'll happily review it and throwing in free food never hurts either! Just saying.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Fashion, style and me

As you know from my previous post when it comes to the style stakes I have one and that's jeans, jeans with uggs, jeans with Birkenstocks, jeans with plimsolls so really I guess you could say I actually have no style and just dress for comfort * pulls sad desperate help me face *.
The reason I am mentioning this again now is not just because of my 3 F's challenge but also because I have 2 weddings coming up in a months time and I have desperately been looking for something to wear for both of them, one is an all day thing, the other just an evening invitation.
One in London, one in Essex and no I won't be getting vajazzled for the occasion!

Anyway my hunt for the appropriate attire led me to thinking about fashion and style are they one and the same or are they two quite different things? I've always thought of fashion as the current trends we always say what's In fashion after all and I think of style as something personal, the right look for you so to speak, something that fits well, the colour complementing you, the style suiting you something that makes you look at the whole package not just the clothing but am I right? Really I'm asking?

The thing is I don't really know what suits me anymore I haven't really thought about what I where for a while now, my main criteria for choosing what to wear has been, does it fit? Is it clean? Does it need ironing? and like I said before I want to change that but where to begin?

There are also different considerations now compared to my youth in my youngers days I loved fashion I wore what I liked, I also liked to wear something a little different conformity was not for me and I liked to stand out but at 20 that's great at 39 not so much, come on be honest we've all looked at someone and the thought mutton dressed as lamb, come on be honest
you know you have!

So I am here in mild panic about where to look, what to wear and what suits me somehow I don't think jeans are going to cut it do you?

So I'm putting it out there any would be stylists tell me what to wear, I'm 5ft,5 , I'm a thankfully in proportion curvy size 18 hourglass bordering pear shape, quite pale with reddish brown hair and green eyes if that helps, with a limited budget so your mission if you choose to accept it, is give me some ideas what to wear and help me look fabulous!

Or a close imitation of something like it!

Should also add that I'm aspiring to be a size 16 by then!

Monday, 4 April 2011

BooHoo end of week 2

Well it's the end of week 2 of my challenge and I have made a few steps forward and as many steps back, I think I thought by willing it to happen and saying it out loud it would happen but damn it it looks like I'm actually going to have to work if I want to achieve anything!

So drum roll please end of week 2 goes something like this......

Weight lost...................... A big fat zero! I have actually gained 2lb hence the boohoo!
Times at gym..................... Um zero
Hair brushed..................... Every damn day baby! Even straightened it!
Make-up worn..................... Twice, see progress!
Jeans and uggs combo............. Wait for it....only 4 times I did wear jeans 2 Other times but once with converse and once with Birkenstocks so I'm not sure whether that counts but ta dah, I wore linen trousers one day so I see this a step forward!

I have to say that the psychological affects of doing my hair and make-up and actually looking in the mirror before I left the house were positive I think I walked a little taller and definitely felt better in myself so this is the way forward I just need to make the time and effort.

So it looks like this week I'm going to actually have to do something, I mean really do something so I must back away from the cakes and the leftovers and get my lazy unmotivated ass to the gym, I joke a lot but the reality is I'm not happy when I look in the mirror and the only person that can do something about that is me and possibly a good plastic surgeon!

So wish me luck offer me support and help me stay away from the cakes! Please really please!