Week 2 - #SlimmingWorld - Body Confidence & Body Shaming Meme's

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thank you all for your support, I really was nervous telling you all I'd rejoined Slimming World and apart from the chest infection that is plaguing my body I'm feeling brilliant. I feel happy that my pain is reducing. I feel happy I seem to have a lot of support and I feel happy that no one has said stop posting about Slimming World. Yes I've had quite a few people unfollow me on Instagram and Twitter and I'm sad about that especially when I know who they are. I didn't think I was posting that much about it, so I will try and watch that.

In my second week I lost 6lbs, which was amazing. I was worried thinking my body might have gone into a defence mode from not eating. I've now lost 14lbs (A Stone) A Stone! Wow that is amazing for 2 weeks.

There isn't a food dairy this week as I spend from Friday - Monday in bed and I took the rest of the week off work sick. I know my loss is most likely a false loss and I'm hoping to maintain this loss. By the time this goes live I'll have been weighed again but as I type I have no idea how I've gone on.

Although there isn't a food diary, I will share a few photo's of some of the food I have eaten.

Home made fish pie, this was so yummy and a massive portion which I did finish. It had, broccoli, cauliflower, basa and I'm not sure how she did the sauce inside it but it was so tasty. 

While I was ill, I lived off toast, white toast, brown toast, fruit toast, toast toast, If I ever see toast again it will be too soon. The jacket potato was the first none toast item I ate in a week. It was really nice. I was surprised as it was a frozen McCain one. It does have some syns in and it was a little dry but I think I over cooked it. 

 My next none toast meal was a tuna salad, lots of vinegar on my tuna, which has always been my favourite way to have tuna. This was nice as it was the first meal that I could taste.

 A lot of people who do Slimming World live for recipes and different ways to cook. We don't, not really. We have a few firm favourites but recipes are not really followed and we tend to have things like roast meats, with veg but I digress. A recipe we have found is Jamaican Pepperpot stew, the recipe uses beef which we did try and it was good but we decided to use chicken (and we forgot to add butternut squash) and I think it was better.

Finally the best meal of the week was home made pizza, we use a warburtons sqaure wraps which are 8 syns each but worth it. This time round i'm all about using syns for meals over treats and this was well worth the syns.

What I wanted to use today's post for was to discus body confidence and body shaming. A few comments I have been left made me realise, while I'm not back at fully body confident I can be part of the process to help people become body confident and I might be a bit of a paradox while I feel vastly uncomfortable about myself at this very moment in time. If I went on holiday tomorrow I'd still wear a bikini. Where does that make me sit on the confidence scale? Is there a confidence scale?

As part of a support network for myself I've joined a number of closed slimming world groups on facebook and one of the biggest things that strikes me is the lack of body confidence. I don't want to point people out, they are closed groups and safe spaces. I want to give each person who says they can't wear jeans a hug and say yes you can. I want to get everyone of them in a room with a few plus size bloggers and say it's ok to wear jeans, It's ok to wear joggers, you can wear a dress, if you want to wear a dress. You are beautiful no matter what size you are. That label in your clothes does not make you who you are. On my first weigh in I was wearing size 24 jeans and a size 16 top. As an average I'm around a size 22 but as we all know it's not always right on the label.

Leading on from the lack of confidence is the body shaming. I'm still the eternal fence sitter and won't be dragged in to arguments but I'm sure every time a meme is posted, or if someone asks for outfit advice (because they're not being funny but.......) a little bit of my soul is destroyed. I'm not going to share the meme that infuriates me the most but it's a woman is a small bikini and some quip about I've bought it, i'm wearing it. It could be considered funny for a millisecond. I know lots of people sharing it but in reality if I took a picture of you on holiday and turned you in to a meme would you be happy.How can you expect people to feel confident when every few mins someone is poking fun at someone who is on the large side. Not even the large side in some cases.  Maybe I should say something, I know I should but sadly the trolls and keyboard warriors scare me a little but. I'll sit in my bubble and vent and fume and may be look a little bit miserable.

One good things I've come to realise I'm much further along my journey than I originally thought.


Use 7 by Spring - A new Pan Challenge

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

We are still in early January (Mid by the time this goes live I guess) and I'm  already itching to add in another Project Pan into the mix. I've spotted a few people are doing a Use Seven by Spring challenge and I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring as well. 

I feel like I've chosen fairly easy items and ones that are already in use as well as ones that I've been meaning to use or need to use. A little bit of encouragement on the ways to the empties pile. 

Item 1 Nail White Pencil - I think this is from superdrug but It doesn't haven any writing on the barrel at all so I could be completely wrong. Whenever I start to grow my nails I always seem to buy one of these and I much own about 5 of them. Now my nails have started to grow a little but I'm going to try and use one of these pencils consistently  and see if I can work through at least one of them. 

Item 2 - Is two items and I've decided to put both of these in as I know I'll only get one use out of each. I got these in my work secret santa and I've been carrying them round in my hand bag. Fat lot of use they were doing in there. 

Item 3 - L'oeal Kids Tangle tamer - My hair get knotty so easily now it's longer and this is pretty good. They only thing I hate is the smell. The pear fragrance reminds me of cheap cider, which I really don't enjoy. 

Item 4 - Zoella Solid fragrance. I haven't tried a solid perfume since I was about 7 years old and in Zante on Holiday. They used to see (probably still do) fancy little pots of solid fragrance of all the big names. I bought this as I thought it would be good to keep in my bag, rather than carting round a bottle I always forget to use. I love the smell of this. It's really light and makes me smile when I smell it. I don't think the scent lasts very long, but for the price I'm happy I got it and I'm determined to make a dent in this. There is a very small one emerging. 

Item 5 - Herbal Essence Dry shampoo. This is the second time I've bought Herbal Essence dry shampoo albeit in a different flavour (scent) and I'm still really unsure. It seems to work well on day 2 or 3 hair but on day 1 hair (Freshly washed = day zero for me) it makes it look worse. The scent is good but It's a big tin and I want to work through it. I have a Lush Dry shampoo in my yearly project but as I'm trying to wash my hair less, I can get through a lot of dry shampoo. 

Item 6 - Essence Nail Art - This is a quick drying solution for when you've painted your nails. I've only every used it a few times and it does help nails to become touch dry really quickly. it's not a miracle and you do still need to wait a while for your polish to set properly but i'm lazy and impatient and i'm willing to give it a try. This was a PR sample almost 2 years ago and it works and I should use it. My nails have actually grown a little bit and as always my resolution is to keep them nice. It won't last but it's nice while they're here. Sadly I'm a lot messy. A LOT. as soon a my nail tips peek above the end of my fingers they fill with crap. and they always look messy. The nail pencil above helps massively but I really do need to keep them painted a fairly opaque colour so these drops will be used. I'm going to make sure if it. 

Item 7 - Bershka Nail Wrap. How cool do these look. Well let me tell you they were an EPIC fail. I have used these and they lasted about 7 mins. In fact they started to come off before they'd all be applied. I do have 2 more sets of these, a very cute pinapple print and ones with Panda's on. I don't know if it's me or the product that is just a but crap. 

In addition to the use 7 by spring I'm also going to do a rolling project of using up things from my samples drawer and try not to get more than one beauty box every few months. Most likey the Glamour box from latest in beauty as at least you know what you're getting. 

I've not decided how I'm going to do these yet. Whether to do them on a rolling basis and always have 7 items to use up or complete 7 then pick 7 more. Or A N Other way. Suggestions are very welcome. I'm also just going to tag updates on the end as it doesn't seem worth doing a whole other post. Does that seem ok? Or would 2 posts be better? Let me know. 

  1. Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue foundation samples - This comes with 2 shades natural which I tried last week and is a good match for me. I wasn't totally sold on the formula but the small sachet you get was only enough for one application. The other colour is called Vanilla and I'm thinking it will be too pale but I'm going to give it a try to see if the consistency is the same. It hasn't made me want to rush out and buy it but it has made me curious to see if I can buy a small weeks worth sample (Can you do that?) to give it a real test. it's around £26 for 35ml, which is over £10 more than I'm currently paying for the foundation I really like using. I can't see this being a sales conversion. 
  2. Benefit Airpatrol - An eye primer which I got through the post thanks to taking a chance on a link I was sent on Twitter. I couldn't decide if it was spam but it came from someone I know and trust and decided to risk it. I've only used this one so far and I forgot to check if I noticed any benefit to using it (Pun may have been intended, forgive me? ) It went on nice enough and I'll report back on this one. 
  3. 2 x Vichy Serum. One of these doesn't seem to have much in. I can't remember if I've tried it but as they are exactly the same I thought I'd count them as one. 
  4. Pixi Glow Tonic - I feel a little intimidated by this. I've seen a lot of You Tubers talk about it and say how great it is, but do I really want to fall in love with this? It's around £18 for 250ml. That's not a lot of product for a lot of cash in my eyes. 
  5. Melting Cleansing balm - I'm really not sure there is enough in the sample to get an idea if I like this but going to give it try. 
  6. Palmers face wash and day cream - these feel like quite generous samples. I might be a little naive but I didn't realise Palmers did anything other than body lotions so I'm interested to see how I get on with these. I'm going away for the weekend at the end of the month and I will take this and hope if does the full weekend. 
  7. Treseme - shampoo and conditioner samples. These will also come away with me along with a mini set I found this afternoon. My hair takes a lot of washing at times so I think I'll need more than this for the weekend but again it feels like a generous sample size. 


Weekend Break - Liverpool January 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

Last year myself and my mum started a new tradition of a Mini Break at the very start of January. This year we chose to go to Liverpool. 

Last year I went to a couple of events in Liverpool but I didn't have the chance to explore the city, when we were trying to decide on a place Liverpool seemed like an obvious choice. 

I did vlog part of the weekend, it's a silent movie as I didn't pluck up the courage to speak publicly, but I'm happy I have a video record of the weekend. 

It was a weekend of coffee shops, cake and whetherspoons. We had planned for it to be a shopping weekend but we both felt really underwhelmed by what was in the shops. I got a few bits from New Look but it was homeware and accessories over anything else and we bought a couple of books from Tesco. 

The easiest way to our hotel was to go past Cafe Nero so it would have been rude not to pop in, when we went to check in the room wasn't ready but they let us leave our cases so before we went back a coffee and cake was the order of the day.

We'd started our adventure on New Years day, my dad had kindly driven us to Liverpool and we'd promised him lunch out. He decided he wanted to go to an Italian Cafe he'd been too before but it wasn't open. We felt bad for him but he didn't want to go anywhere else so he left us and went to Morrisons for his tea (He wasn't grumpy, he doesn't really do meals out and decided it was pointless to go somewhere else just for the sake of it) On the Saturday morning we went to whetherspoons for breakfast and both felt a bit delicate. We may have had one too many bottles of prossecco from spoons the night before. A cup of tea and papa's Italian cafe was just what we both needed. 

There were a few places I wanted to try. Leaf of Bold street but when we went over it was packed to the rafter and people where queueing outside. We decided we weren't that desperate to try it but it looks lovely inside. May be next time. 

By Saturday afternoon, the sun had come out and we decided to wander down to Albert Dock. We picked the right afternoon as the rest of the weekend was a bit of a wash out.

I loved seeing the love locks, I've never really seen this done over here. I know one of the bridges on Oxford Road in Manchester has a few but I've only ever seen it in Europe before. 

This seagull was very happy to pose for a couple of woman so I took advantage of the opportunity to snap a shot of it for myself.

The sun was a lovely addition to the afternoon, as was seeing these Jelly bean works of art in one of the shops.

I wouldn't have the time or patience to so anything like this but I'm quite in awe if how good they looked.

When ever we go away we always find a point of reference to have a a meeting point or a way to guide us home and the Christmas tree soon became our point. We wanted to use a lighty up reindeer but there were just too many of them to make it a real point of reference. 

On the Sunday I braved the weather to pop up to Georges Hall to see the Poppies, I wish the weather had been better but I'm so glad I saw them.

We stayed at the Novotel and despite it being very busy we had a great time, it's in a really good position and has a pool. We picked it because it had a pool but only used it once. I also managed to find at 8% discount code via my Work's Bupa membership scheme which is always a nice bonus. I need to remember about that for future trips away. 



Sunday, January 24, 2016

I feel like I've flooded my social media feeds with a lot of my pictures for the a year with my camera project that I'm doing but I wanted to blog about it as well. 

8 years ago I started a blog which was based on a photography project called HSMS and I'm still friends with the people I met as part of that challenge. Back 8 years ago I didn't really realise I'd become a blogger and it's what got me hooked. That blog is still around somewhere. 

Last year I came across the instagram tag #1day12pics (I'm not even sure that is the right one) Which was devised by Emma Davis who is a photographer and I signed up to a free online course she was running but I have an email folder full of her emails that I haven't read. 

This year the prompts came through with a new challenge. To spend a year with your camera improving and learning. I've been through many, many camera's in these past 8 years and while I have improved (I think) it's always good to remind myself that I do know what I'm doing and actually take my camera off auto. 

The first lesson was to start a collection, something to take pictures of all year and something you can track your progress. 

I'd had decided to pick drinks, but I think I'm going to change it to liquid. This is a little more inclusive and I'm not tied to always taking pictures of my brew. I'm not happy with any collection pictures I've taken so far and they are living in a facebook album for now. 

Lesson two was to understand the 18% grey rule. In a quick explanation this is where a camera tried to make everything 18% grey. Over exposing white and under exposing black. This isn't something I'd heard of before but it makes a lot of sense. 

Task 1 was to take two pictures. White on White and Black on Black to see how your camera reacts. 

My camera has two auto settings. Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto. I tend to leave it on Intelligent Auto but I'm not 100% sure which setting it was on. You can clearly see it has over exposed the White on White. I did manage to take a picture which was almost true to life but I have no idea what setting that was so for now and until I learn what I should be doing it I'm excluding it.

 I felt like I was struggling to find black items to use so in the end I used a black suedette skirt and a mask I bought for halloween. I'm quite shocked at how under exposed this picture is. I didn't even try to fix this. I'm excited to learn ways to take better pictures.

Lesson two was to look at Aperture.

Again the task was to take two pictures. The first with the  picture at the lowest setting and another that the highest setting.

 I'm not happy with either of these pictures. I didn't really understand what I was doing and after uploading my pictures to the Facebook group, I've got some good tips and they helped to point out which was which as initially I couldn't see a difference. This picture has a slight blurred background. I needed to get in tighter and this should help. Someone else mentioned about changing a setting on my camera to have a single point of focus. I've tried looking at the manual but I can't work out how to do this. 

 Picture Two - F22

I think I need to dig out my tripod and try these again. I'm off to Harrogate for the weekend so I'm planning to redoing this challenge along with what ever lesson three will be.

I was initially worried about sharing these with the group as there are so many amazing photographs already uploaded but I got help rather than criticism. People are willing to ask for help and provide it and that makes me really happy.

I'm looking forward to seeing how my skills change and progress.


Project Pan - Finish 16 in 2016

Saturday, January 09, 2016

In 2015 I did roughly 3 project pans and I really enjoyed doing them but I only achieved limited success.  

I admittedly did better than expected and used products I would normally ignored but I didn't achieve what I wanted to. 

This year I am aiming to finish 16 products.

I feel thiless products are acheiavle targets.  Some are from previous pan challenges others haven't been included before.

Another differenceis that I've weighed my products I won't list the Wight in this post as I haven't got my  book with me but they will be listed in the next update.

Revlon lip butter in candy apple. This is a very sheer colour but it can be built up for a stronger look.

Revlon  balm stain in honey. This is very much a your lips bit better sort of look. I've eaten to include this in a couple of pan challenges BT could never  find it. I've never finished a product like this but have slotted a couple of you tubers who have so I want to include it.

Rimmel scandaleyes gossip green - this is a shadow penail and is really lovely  to work with anfd I should give it more love. 

Collection Lip Gloss - This one is a bit of a risk as I have no idea how much is in this, I've had it for a few months and used it a few times. It has to be one of the only lip glosses I really like to use.

So Susan Dual Brow Powder - I'm aiming to finish the paler side. I've already hit pan and there is a lot of product left in this but it would be nice to finish a full product. I'd also like to hit pan on the darker side.

Essesnce Stay Matte Powder in Matte Beige. I have hit a significant amount of pan so this is a challenge to completely use up a product. I love this product and I'd be tempted to buy a couple of back ups and get rid of all the other powders I've got as I just don't reach for them.

Essence Quattro Quad - I wanted to pan a palette but when it came to picking on it felt a bit over whelming and I couldn't do it do I've opted for a quad. The pans on these are fairly deep so I'm not sure how well I will do with it but I enjoy using all the colours and feel like I can at least hit pan on three of them in the next 12 months.

Essence Blush in baby doll.I had this in a previous pan challenge and my aim was to wear the pattern off the top rather than hitting pan but I achieved far more than I expected so I thought it would be another good one to include to try and use up a whole products.

Benefit High Beam - This is a much unloved product. I think I'm a little afraid of it if I'm totally honest so I thought it would be a good way to see if I can get on with it or decide it's not for me and get it out of my make up collection.

REN Lip Balm. I like to include a lip balm in these challenges, mainly so I make sure I use one and always keep it on me. This has a good thick consistency and in the past I've used it before bed but in the colder months I think it'll be a good one to keep on me.

Essence Eyeshadow Pencil - I have a number of these and they are quite under used but I always enjoy them when I do. This one is broken the lead tries to fall out. Which I didn't realise when I picked it so I'm hoping to get some use out of it before it's time to throw it away.

Makeup Revolution Lipstick - Another one from a previous pan challenge. I did well with this lipstick. I didn't like the colour initially and decided to include it to try and get some use out of it in that challenge but I loved it from the first use. It will be a shame to see it used up but I feel like it will feel really good to use a full product.

Benefit Eyeliner - I used to swear by this and used it loads when I first got it but I stopped using it and because I've had it for quite a long time I feel like I should give it some love again.

Maybelline Eye Eraser in Light  - Another carry over from the previous pan challenge. I did well with this and you can see the two lines so I'm confident I can use this. 

Lush Dry Shampoo - I've had this for a while and I go through phases of loving it and really disliking it. I keep going back to the old faithful batiste but I want to use this up and I think including it might discourage me from buying batiste and make me reach for this.


Boots - Over the Moon about...Haul

Saturday, January 02, 2016

I do enjoy a good sale and one of my highlights is often the boots sale but I have to say I felt a bit disappointed this year. 

I wasn't liking the look of many of the sets. But a couple did catch my eye. 

I picked up tworking sets from the over the moon about... range. I've never heard of this brand before and I'm guessing it's a boots exclusive?

The first set I will admit I mainly bought for the tin. It was reduced to half price so I paid £6 which I don't think is bad as it has 4 products inside and the tin is handy to have.

The products you get are:

A bath soak
Body wash
Body cream
Shower door

They are all in the scent mandarin and perchouli and smell amazing. 

The next item from the same range is a trio of hand creams.

I already have a huge stash of hand creams I need to work through but couldn't resist this set.

There are three differnt scents

Pink peppercorn & amyris, orange & lime and the the last one is mandarin & patchouli.

Have you treated yourself to anything from the boots sale so far?