21/01/2015

Workwear Inspiration

When I pictured myself in the workplace, I saw myself pencil-skirted, wasp-waisted, sharply tailored with killer heels and immaculate make-up.

The reality is, however, somewhat different. Pencil skirts and killer heels somewhat impede running up and down the stairs after your boss, carrying office equipment here and there and crawling under the desk to plug in or unplug said office equipment. Sometimes the mornings are too early for immaculate make-up and perfect hair, and on the whole the budget just doesn't cut it for anything remotely 'sharply tailored.' The twenty minute walk does preclude any kind of killer heel, but they do live under my desk, so I very much fall into that oh-so-80s trap of 'trainers to commute, heels at the office.' (Russell and Bromley loafers, I'm coming for you one day.)

I'm willing to accept all of the above. However, there have been a few too many occasions when I've found myself at work feeling scruffy and just a bit of a sartorial disaster. I have a few items in my wardrobe (dresses, shirt and trousers combos) that make me feel like I know what I'm doing in the workplace and in general, but frankly, they're too few.

Although my list of New Years Resolutions is already as long as my arm, I thought I would add "Get killer work wardrobe" to the list. With that in mind, I've been trawling pinterest for some inspiration, and thought I would share it below.


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I'm far too much a scruff bag for this to ever happen, but if I could please just transform into a Blair Eadie - Olivia Palermo super-groomed hybrid goddess, I would be extremely grateful. 

xxx

13/01/2015

Current obsessions

A few of the things currently helping me get through bleak January! I may be full of good intentions and resolutions, but the weather is definitely not helping me to keep them...



Instant transportation to a palm-tree lined beach, 50s style bikini tops and sticky blue cocktails.



I'm lusting after Russell & Bromley Chester loafers and Flynn Skye maxi dresses, not for the same outfit obviously....


Obviously I'm a sucker for anything backless and maxi. Constantly daydreaming about wearing these on a beach in Greece too, sand in my toes, salty hair, cocktail in hand, smell of coconut suncream in the air... hurry up summer.


This lot are keeping my skin happy, my eyes bright and adding little elements of much needed luxury.


Caudalie Vinosource serum, Chanel Élégante lipstick, Diptyque Feu de Bois candle, Benefit They're Real (worth the hype) and good old YSL Touche Eclat, but with a little sexy makeover.


Extreme girl crushing on Hannah Wants. (And she's coming to Edinburgh in March, yay!)



Every single recipe I've made so far from Natasha Corrett's Honestly Healthy books has been delicious, and I'm feeling really smug about my new super healthy dinners.


My favourite one so far is probably the caramelised pear salad  (this one) I recently made for Julia, and it was delicious! She loved it too - don't worry, I'm absolutely not subjecting my friends to paltry, boring, diet meals. The recipes are so good you can definitely serve them for others - they're not 'diet' recipes, just healthy ones. Win.

This NARS palette, And God Created Woman, is everything you could ever look for in a palette, brilliant title included.



I'm still just as into my Naked 1 palette and Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood as ever, but the NARS one wins for portability. I don't take anything else with me when I'm travelling now. In terms of eyeshadow obviously! Seriously though, it's perfect. Neutral, muted everyday eyes all the way up to seriously smoky and sexy eyes, and the texture and pigmentation are bang on too.


Surprise tulips are also warming my heart, and the perfect little precursor to an upcoming weekend in Amsterdam.

Other than these little things and summertime daydreams, I'm trying to spend as much time in the sauna as possible (warmth!), having lots of baths and drinking lots of baileys! Well you've got to balance all that healthy eating out with a bit of indulgence, don't you?

How are you battling through January? Any tips for beating the January blues?

07/01/2015

2015 Resolutions

It's that time of year again - I've got a list of resolutions as long as my arm and I'm full to the brim with good intentions! I love this time of year, I get to make list upon list of all the good things I'm going to do and the better person I'm going to become. Maybe I'll fail, but you gotta aim high, right? Here's a little breakdown of all my hopes and intentions for this coming year. 

Diet

I'm so obsessed with courgetti.

As unbelievable as this sounds, even to my own ears, I lost 19lbs in the course of 2014. I may have put 3lbs back on over the Christmas period, but, uh... festive flab doesn't count, right? I'm not entirely sure where those 19lbs have come from, as I certainly don't feel lighter to that extent, but hey, I'll choose to believe the numbers on this one. 

For 2015 I want that trend to continue. Despite my tendency and apparent fondness for silly fads like juice cleanses and weird protein only diets, these only serve to turn me into a grumpy, tired and headachey shadow of my typically well-fed and energetic self, and I think I ought to shelve them for good for 2015. 

Instead, I have bought three healthy recipe books - this, this and this - and I intend to spend more time in the kitchen whipping up healthy, nutritious and, above all, satisfying meals. Plus, I finally feel that I have the disposable income required to purchase such crazy things as fresh vegetables (!) and weird health food items like chia seeds, maca powder and spirulina. Yup, I'm that person now.

Fitness

Fitness hero, Kayla Itsines

I have yet to achieve any of those running goals I set for myself way back at the end of 2012.  I did however, almost run the Edinburgh half marathon. I was up to running 10 miles in the early part of last year, but overdid it (standard) and ended up with gluteal tendonitis, which was a pain in my ass. Literally.

For 2015, I've lowered the bar a little. There are enough stressors in life without adding ones you've created yourself. I've already started a very gentle training plan which should enable me to run the 10k in May, and I have set myself no speed goals for it this time. I've entered three races since I've been running regularly, all of which I've had to opt out of, because I've overdone the training and got myself injured. No more. My only goal is to actually run the race! 

In terms of other exercise, for the last twelve weeks of 2014 I was doing Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide, which I cannot recommend enough. The work-outs are quick, challenging and effective, the plan is easy to follow and structured enough for you to keep up motivation, and you can really feel your strength and fitness improving week to week. I'm starting the plan again this week, as I fell off the wagon a little as Christmas madness descended, but I can't wait to get going again. Follow Kayla on instagram for some instant gym motivation, and I really, seriously recommend getting the guide. I can't thank my friend Sarah enough for getting me into it! 


Academic





After having a look back at last year's resolutions post I see I was trying to teach myself Spanish through my iPad. That was a big fat fail. I think I did that approximately twice before abandoning it entirely. I studied French and German at university, and whilst my German is kept somewhat in check through my translation work, aside from translating a letter from the Belgian tax office at work, I haven't gone near French since I left university. So, I've bought myself a subscription to French Vogue, and when that arrives on my doorstep every month, I will make the effort to curl up with a cup of tea and a vocabulary notebook and get lost in the world of French fashion. 

Otherwise, I intend to take full advantage of all the cultural pursuits Edinburgh has to offer. I've got a trip to the ballet scheduled in for February and I'm going to make the effort to spend slow Sunday afternoons ambling round galleries or museums - especially as so many are free! There's really no excuse. I'd also like to read more. It's much too easy to sit down on the sofa after work and spend the evening with your eyes glued to some sort of screen. It's not good for the eyes and it's definitely not conducive to a good night's sleep, so more books for me in 2015 please.


Financial



STOP SPENDING MONEY IN STARBUCKS.

JUST STOP IT.

Stop, okay?

Travel
Athens
I really want to visit a new country every year from now on. I'm hoping that 2015's new country will be Iceland, even if I have to wait until December for that one. I'm imagining hot springs, geothermal spas, gazing at stars from the warmth of a hot tub, snowmobiling and maybe even dog sledding! Ah how amazing does that sound?

 I'm also determined to go back to Ibiza even if just for a long weekend, I'd love a quick weekend in Paris, because I've been craving it for far too long now, we're off to Amsterdam this month, and we're going to go to Greece sometime in late spring. My boyfriend is half Greek and spent his childhood in Athens, so I'm very excited to be taken around by someone who knows the country and speaks the language. Plus, hearing him speak Greek makes me a little weak at the knees...

In a dream world, there would also be a trip back to my beloved Germany, and maybe a week or two in Morocco, and a weekend in Krakow... a girl can dream!

Social



I adore my friends. But I can be quite a solitary creature. I'd like to make more effort to make plans with the people I want to spend time with, because time disappears so rapidly, and all of a sudden months have passed since you last hung out. I know it can be tough because we are all so busy, but more meals out, more mid-week meet-ups, even if just for an hour, more quick coffees at the weekend. It's not too hard to schedule in an hour or two there and there! I intend to make more effort, not just with the friends that I share a city with, but with those friends and family members who are more far flung. 

Wellbeing

Ultimate yogi, Rachel Brathen.

I hope that with a greater emphasis on eating well and exercising to a more moderate degree, 'wellbeing' will occur of its own accord. To help it along, however, I'd like to get back into going to bikram yoga quite regularly, go to bed earlier during the week and spent a little more time outdoors. I also think it's important for me to remember that the vast majority of the pressure and stress I feel is my own mind's creation, and that nine times out of ten I really should just take a deep breath, chill out, and stop worrying. 

Everything is fine, everything is going to be fine, and really, I'm doing an OK job. As much as I'd like to be a beacon of shining perfection in all areas of my life, doing OK is enough. We are all doing enough.


Pictures from pinterest.

04/01/2015

2014: A year in review

A lot happened to me in 2014.

I burned through six job titles, finally settling on one in July, and I'm now obnoxiously smug and irritatingly happy with my job.

I went to Ibiza for the first time, and most certainly not the last time.

I got myself some winter sun with a BFF on the sunny little island of Malta in October, where we kindly waited and kindly closed doors.

I walked an alpaca.

I saw Miley Cyrus ride a giant hot dog at the Hydro. For free!

I learned how to pole dance.

I went on a waltzer and it was so rough I felt as if my head was going to detach from my body.

I fell in love with Hannah Wants.

I ran the furthest I've ever ran and I've stuck at a rigorous exercise regime for the longest time ever.

I saw the Lady Boys of Bangkok perform.

I came to terms with liking Taylor Swift. And immediately bought 1989.

I did a juice cleanse!

I went to my first wedding, and it was wonderful.

I lay on the sticky ground of the smoking area at a club and watched the stars.

We listened to the Beatles 'I wanna hold your hand' on the taxi home, and everything was perfect.

Together we made big, big, wonderful plans for 2015.












































It was mad and wild and terrifying in places, but I couldn't have asked for a better year. I'm not certain 2015 could possibly beat it, but I have a strange feeling it will....

xxx