Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Summer: I'm coming to get you, ready or not!

I know with the weather being as rubbish as it is we might not be feeling very summery, but believe it or not summer is just around the corner and I for one am sick of the rain so I have made a vow to get myself summer ready, come rain or shine!

The clothes are so lovely at this time of year, lots of girly floral patterns and pastels everywhere and if we don't act fast they'll soon be gone and the shops will be full of cosy jumpers and dark colours again. So I'm making a stand in the name of summer, it might have forgotten us but I certainly haven't forgotten it! I am on a fat fighting mission and even if it kills me I will be setting my legs free from the jeans and tights and getting them out!

And so to the point of this post, I was recently perusing the New Look website looking for something for a black tie do, of which they had very little that was suitable. However what they did have was lots of lovely dresses perfect for casual summer days and my holidays. I love New Look clothes at the moment, they just seem to be getting it right in all areas for me and the prices are amazing, you would pay double for the same thing in Topshop (boo, hiss).

I just love all of these dresses, my favourite for everyday, fun with the kids, lunch with the girls dress is number 2. It just looks so easy to wear, keep it casual with flip flops or sandals or dress it up with a pair of wedges. The bottom row of dresses I picked out as work wear really, as the dress code at work has recently changed to 'smart casual', the two words most dreaded by girls across the land! I prefer wearing dresses to trousers as tailored clothing doesn't really suit my body shape. My favourite of these is number 9, it's smart but still has that stylish edge to it with the collar, which I love.

There is one option there that maybe suitable for the black tie event I'm going to, which is number 6, I really love the colour and the style is one I know flatters my shape. I will need to get some sort of tanning action though as this colour can make my pasty complexion look washed out.

All of these dresses are very reasonably priced, the most expensive is number 6 at £54.99 but the rest of them come in at around £25 which I think is great value as all of these dresses I would get a lot of wear out of. However I'm not made of money so I will need to narrow it down to just a couple I think and that's the hardest part!

If you're also fed up of this damp and down right confusing weather and are also prepping for summer whether it likes it or not I'd love to know what you're doing to get in the summery spirit...

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Soap & Glory Hot Cloth Cleanser review

On my quest to get the perfect skin I have tried many products and many different cleansers, however I have never tried a hot cloth cleanser. For a while now I have wondered what all the fuss was about and I really want to try the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, but before I shelled out £34 on a cleanser I wanted to try a few out first.

The first I have tried is the Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser, now Soap & Glory is not a brand I particularly get on with so it may have been the wrong choice right from the start. It is one of those brands that I want to love and I rarely read a bad review of their products, but for me I have nothing but bother from all of their products I try!

If, like me, you're not sure what a cleansing 'balm' or hot cloth cleanser is, it's basically a cleanser in a cream form that you leave on your skin for a short amount of time then use a muslin cloth (this product came with one but I lost it after two uses?!) or soft flannel to remove the cleanser with the hottest water you can stand. I was worried this product might make my skin all red and inflamed but I'm pleased to say it didn't, it left my skin feeling very fresh and clean not to mention really soft. Unfortunately it did bring me out in a few angry spots the day after I used it, I carried on using it for a week or so to give it the benefit of the doubt but more spots just appeared.

So here I have yet another Soap & Glory product that I wont be using anymore, I think it may be time for me to give up on this brand and face the fact that it just isn't for me. Other than the break outs though I would say this is an OK product, it's not too expensive (around £10) and it did make my skin feel nice and refreshed (before the spots took over).

I'm thinking of trying the Liz Earl Hot Cloth Cleanser next before I go for the Emma Hardie, if you've used either of these I'd love to know how you got on.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Beat the bulge #1

A bit of a different post for you all today, although still along the lines of health and beauty. This week I finally decided it's about time I do something about my jiggly bits, and by that I don't mean the womanly curves I'm supposed to have I mean the extra muffin tops I've been carrying around. Yes I did say tops as in plural, as I definitely have more than one of the buggers!

About a year ago I started yet another diet, I had tried Weight Watchers more than a few times so I decided to give Slimming World a shot. I'd always been put off by the red day/green day thing as my love for vegetables stops at carrots and green beans so I thought it would be really difficult for me to do. Then I learned about the new 'Extra Easy' plan and it sounded a little more appealing. When I started I was the heaviest I had ever been and I felt pretty ashamed of myself for getting so heavy, I tried really hard and after 5 weeks I had lost 10.5 lbs. Then for some reason I stopped going, I can't really remember why but it must of had something to with missing a few weeks. Inevitably the weight started to pile back on, but I managed to maintain it pretty well for a while.

However over the past few weeks I have noticed a significant change in my weight and all of the clothes that fit nicely before have all become a little tighter and I just generally feel very uncomfortable. So it's time I took control and got myself sorted out once and for all! I have decided to try the Slimming World diet again as it worked well last time and I found it so easy to do, even though it does confuse me. By writing this blog post and making my weight public knowledge I am essentially shaming myself in to trying hard to lose weight every week. This is not something I feel comfortable with but as there are no meetings I can attend in my area due to my busy schedule I thought this could work the same way. 

My weakness is all things sweet, I love cakes and chocolate, I could eat cake all day long! I also have a terrible habit of having take away's sometimes up to 3/4 times a week, I always forget to take the meat out of the freezer and by the time we have got in and got the kids tea sorted and them in bed cooking is the absolute last thing I feel like doing. It's just too easy to reach in the draw for the take away menus and pig out, but not any more, I have eaten my last take away (maybe a bit optimistic) and I vow to plan my meals and cook every night!

So here goes the scary bit, last night I weighed myself and I was shocked to see that my weight had gone right back up to where it was a year ago plus 1 lb. I am now the heaviest I have ever and hopefully will ever be at 12 st 8 lb, I am a very snug size 14 and honestly I could probably do with a 16 in some clothes. My goal is to lose 1.5 stone by the time I go on holiday on 20th July, so I have 10 weeks, I think this is a realistic target as it means losing around 2 lb per week which is a healthy rate to lose weight at. I want to feel comfortable in my clothes and have the confidence to wear dresses etc. without hiding my legs in leggings all the time. 

Now I've put that out there it doesn't feel great I have to admit, I feel a little embarrassed about the whole thing but hopefully by doing this I will feel a lot more motivated each week knowing that I will be posting my weight on here. Just like in a meeting I will share with you all each week what I have been up to and how I have lost (fingers crossed) the weight. I will include any good recipes I come across and any tricks I find helpful when it comes to beating the urge to stuff my face with chocolate and biscuits. 

I know my weight could be a lot worse so I'm not getting too hung up on it but I just want to feel healthier and have a bit more confidence. If this sounds like you and you're looking for that extra push to get you motivated why not join me, we can have our weekly weigh in together and share all our tips and healthy eating plans, not to mention support each other! If you are interested tweet me at @Ashleigh_Fell and we can beat the bulge together!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Body Shop Rainforest Volume - No Silcones, No Colourants, No Parabens...No Good!

Ooopsie has been that long since my last post?!

I'm afraid this review is a bit of a downer, I've been putting off writing it as I really don't like writing negative reviews but the way I see it you have to be fair and impartial. It's no good just having a blog full of great product reviews as we all no in real life not all products do what they say they will, and I feel we bloggers have a responsibility to share the bad as well as the good.

So here goes my review of Body Shop Rainforest Volume Shampoo and Conditioner...

As I have fairly fine hair I am always on the look out for anything that can give me a bit of volume and movement, I have tried many different products some good some not so good. I am afraid Body Shop's Rainforest Volume Shampoo and Conditioner fall into the latter.

Other shampoos I have tried from the Body Shop have been really good so I was looking forward to trying this out, the smell was a bit odd but I was willing to look past that and had very high hopes. The fact it had not silicones in it was great as I thought it would mean it wouldn't leave my hair feeling heavy or coated, I couldn't have been more wrong!

It claimed to give me thicker feeling, fuller looking hair with more body, boost volume and shine without weighing my hair down. In my experience it did the exact opposite, it made me hair look really flat on the top of my head like it was being pulled at the ends and it felt horrid and after a couple of hours looked really greasy.

It also made my hair very fly away and static, which my hairdresser told me has something to do with whatever it was coating my hair with. I tried to give this product the benefit of the doubt and used it a fair few times before giving up, as I really do love other Body Shop products and I wanted to love this one, unfortunately it wasn't to be.

These cost £6.50 each as I got the 400ml size, they do a smaller size but I think it's not that much cheaper. I don't think these are cheap at all, especially when you can get better for a lot less in the supermarkets. I have now gone back to my Bumble & Bumble thickening spray and I think I'll just stick with that for now.

Have you tried these products, what did you think? Have you tried any similar products?

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