Sunday, 28 July 2013

My 30 before 30: July Update

As well as Monday seeing the arrival of the most famous (and eagerly anticipated) baby in the world right now, it also marked my half birthday. Whilst I'm definitely one for celebrating this kind of thing, it did bring home to me the fact that not only did I have just 6 months left as a twentysomething, but also that I now only had half a year to attempt to complete my 30 before 30 list! Shall we say never gonna happen?! Seriously though, whilst some of the goals on my list may be a little out of reach, I'm still going to attempt to achieve as many of them as I can and I can't deny the sense of satisfaction I feel when I make even a little progress. So, with that in mind, here's a little summary of how I'm doing just over halfway in:

6.  Complete Couch to 5K - I've made a rather hesitant start on this over the last couple of weeks. I'm currently still on week 1 as I've been finding it a struggle to fit 3 runs in a week, especially as the recent hot weather has made exercising much more of a chore, even in an air conditioned gym! I have got a vague exercise routine worked out now, so I'm hoping that using this as a guide will help me to stay more focussed and committed.

7.  Have a ruthless clear out of my wardrobe and drawers - this is still a work in progress. Over the past month I've taken most of my summer clothes out of storage (aka a holdall in my loft!) and put many of my winter clothes back in their place. Whilst doing so, I was also able to sort out a couple of bags of too small summer clothes which I donated to the local charity shop. I also made good use of a day off work on Friday by sorting out the clothes that I had hanging in my hall cupboard and filling 3 more bags with too small/ out of style clothes.

9.  Read at least 24 new books (2 per month) - whilst still quite a way behind where I intended to be at this point in the year, I am still keeping up with my reading. Over the past month, I've added "Where Are You Now?" by Mary Higgins Clark to my Read in 2012 list, and I'm currently about a third of my way through "Revenge Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger.

13.  Go on holiday somewhere new - two weekends ago, I went on a camping trip with some of my closest friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. We stayed near Skipton in North Yorkshire, and whilst I've visited several places in the UK, I'd never stayed in that part of England before so I've decided to class my 2 night trip as a holiday somewhere new!

20.  Organise at least 5 social events for me and my friends - I've wanted to see Ghost - The Musical ever since it premièred a couple of years ago. I did actually have tickets for the last time it visited Manchester, but had to forfeit my trip due to coming down with mumps a few days before. When I found out it was coming back, therefore, I knew I had to go no matter what. I rounded up a couple of other girl friends to go with me and the three of us saw it last Friday. And I'm pleased to say it was amazing...definitely well worth the wait!!

21.  Watch at least 10 new (to me) films - a couple of weeks ago a few friends and I had a movie night where we watched the fantastically awful Swamp Shark. There's quite a few of us in my social group that love bad creature features so it was a great choice! On the subject of bad films, I've also recently watched Street really hasn't been a vintage month for film watching, has it?! At least it means I've made more progress towards this goal I suppose!

And that's my half time progress report! Not fantastic, but definitely better than nothing :-) And what have you been up to lately? Whether it's big or small, if you want to share your story with me I'd love it!

'Til next time...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

What's in my Wardrobe Wednesday: Dress(ed) for Success

Hello! Now here's a blast from the past, I haven't written a What's in my Wardrobe post in what seems like forever but, as it was one of my most popular blog features plus a series that I really enjoyed writing, I've decided to give it another whirl! I've actually had these pictures floating around on my phone for a couple of weeks already, but have only just got round to putting them up now. As the title suggests, they're of some of my favourite dresses or, more specifically, some of my favourite work appropriate dresses. I love wearing dresses for work, they're just so easy to throw on and are pretty much a complete outfit by themselves; perfect for those occasions when you can't really be bothered coordinating tops to bottoms to accessories! As the weather's hotting up, I've deliberately chosen to feature dresses that are suitable for wearing in summer, although I have also layered most of them up with blazers and/or cardigans plus opaque tights during the cooler months too. So, without further ado, here they are:

 Black and Cream Chevron Shift Dress - Matalan
This is quite a recent addition to my wardrobe and a dress that I really fell in love with at first sight. I'm quite drawn to a monochromatic palette, especially when it comes to workwear, and I also really liked the quirky chevron design and the fact that it has an exposed zip on the back (not seen here). This dress is also a perfect length, meaning that I can wear it with either opaques or nude tights without feeling overexposed, which is a definite bonus. Finally, whilst I've only ever worn it for work so far, I get the feeling that it's going to be really versatile and can imagine myself dressing this down with some high tops and my trusty denim jacket or up with high heels, fancy jewellery and a slick of bright lipstick. When I do remix it, I'll be sure to let you know!

 Black and Cream Striped Skater Dress - Primark
Another monochromatic piece here, told you I liked this colour palette! I absolutely adore the skater style of dress as I find it really flattering on me, nipping me in at the waist and then skimming away from my stomach and hips. I also really like the lace inserts on the shoulders, I'm not too sure if you can see them clearly from the picture, but I just think they add some extra interest to a pretty basic dress. This is a little on the shorter side so I tend to make it more work appropriate with a pair of extra thick black opaques (my tights of choice.)

Navy and Red Polka Dot Dress - F&F at Tesco (Birthday present from friends)
This little beauty has got to be one of my favourite dresses full stop! I received it as a 29th birthday present from my friends the Entertainer and the Guitarist, and as I was opening it, the Entertainer told me she picked it as she thought it was very 'me'. And she was absolutely right, as it's basically everything I love about a dress in one package! From the navy and red colour combination to the fact it's polka dotted to the extra girly details like the peter pan collar and red tie belt, it's just perfect :-). I've accessorised this in a number of ways for work, sometimes teaming it with a navy blazer and navy patent flats, other times wearing it with a scarlet cardigan and black flats or Mary Jane heels. I've even gone for extreme colour blocking with red tights and my navy flats when I've been feeling especially matchy matchy!

Navy Dress with Cobalt Contrast Detail - Primark
Another blue dress here, I think the contrast detailing is especially pretty on this one, and I like the fact that it has an elasticated waist. It makes it a really forgiving dress, perfect for if I'm planning to eat a big meal or even just on a fat day! I might be wrong, but I think this particular dress has a bit of an 80's vibe, and I'd love to team it with some fuchsia pink accessories to really accentuate this. Again, watch this space!

 Peppermint Green Shirt Dress with Black and Cream Contrast Detail - Primark
Another Primark buy, I purchased this last year and it's something that I'm drawn to on warmer days especially, the mint green colour seeming a perfect fit for beautiful summer weather. It's another dress that I find really flattering, especially with the dropped waist and fuller skirt and I love its almost vintage style. I typically wear this with a skinny black belt to accentuate the waist, and whilst it's definitely long enough to wear nude tights with, I've also been known to wear it with black opaques and a black blazer or my black and cream Chanel style jacket on cooler days.

Black and Cream Polka Dotted Dress with Ruffle Detail - Primark
This is the oldest dress featured in this post, and I think I bought it shortly after starting my current job in autumn 2011. It's another Primark bargain, I estimate that well over half of my working wardrobe originates from there, and the cost per wear for this dress must be something ridiculous by now, I like it that much! I love polka dots, and the ruffle detail on the shoulders just adds that little something extra. The only thing with this dress is that it can cling to my stomach and legs due to the fact it's made from quite thin material, but it's not a major problem by any means and it's still super comfy regardless.

So there's a little selection of what's in my wardrobe, hope you enjoyed! Any comments or styling suggestions, just let me know. I always love reading your comments :-).

'Til next time...

Monday, 15 July 2013

This is Summer

Blue skies, warm  hot sunshine and refreshing summer breezes. Loving the beautiful warm mornings; loathing the sultry, sticky nights. The smell of suncream and the cooling relief of aftersun. Getting tan lines, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Beautifully bronzed shoulders and arms; legs that remain resolutely milk bottle white regardless of how much time you spend in the sun. Eating al fresco at every opportunity. Developing cravings for salad and fresh fruit but also devouring barbecued food and ice cream. Enjoying ice cold soft drinks and delicious rosé spritzers, preferably whilst soaking up the sun. Sitting outside, reading outside, making lists and plans outside, taking long walks...basically finding any excuse to get some vitamin D and loving every minute of it! Maxi dresses and mini dresses; shorts and sleeveless tops. And sandals and sunglasses, always sandals and sunglasses. Painting my toenails and wishing that my fingernails were long enough to do the same to. Buying brighter make up and plucking up the courage to try it out. Wishing that every summer day could be as glorious as the ones we're currently having. Making summer plans and living for the evenings and weekends when I can put them into action. Relishing every moment of this summer, and hoping that it doesn't come to an end any time soon.

This is my summer, what's yours?

'Til next time...