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In which there is a wedding...

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Not mine, obviously; I'm sure I would have told you about that! It was my best friend's wedding so I was on chief bridesmaidly duty. I don't think I can write about it with any real clarity as the whole day (and it was a long day) whooshed past. But I can report that it was gloriously sunny, everyone looked beautiful and had an amazing time and it was just so much fun from start to finish.

It felt like quite a momentous day. Clearly it was for Shell as we've been planning and organising things for months now, plus she's now all married and grown up! But for me, it's the day I've been aiming for since Operation Don't Be A Fat Bridesmaid started last August and it felt wonderful to have achieved what I have in terms of weightloss. I even enjoyed a bit of a flirtation with one of the groom's friends - that wouldn't have happened this time last year!

There was quite a lot of being photographed which is really not my favourite thing but hopefully the professional photos will make me look all super glam and beautiful. I can't say the same about the pics below but I was quite tipsy in a lot of them so I'll just blame it on that.

The bride looking effortlessly casual and unruffled in the morning.

A random shot of my nails - I did them myself and I'm quite pleased with them!

Isn't she stunning?

My fellow bridesmaids

Following the black and white theme, the reception room and the cake.

It's me!

Mum and I

Shell and I - both a tad merry by this stage

And just to end up with, a photo of the happy couple. They are so adorable together. Neil got all choked up when saying his vows - there wasn't a dry eye in the house!

ps - Blogger is being really odd at the moment and not letting me comment on most blogs (at least not from this laptop), so please don't think I'm ignoring you!

A frock and a few film reviews

Monday, 24 May 2010

I'm quite enjoying this sunshiney weather. I even dared to bare my legs today which is something that hasn't happened for about 8 years. You can probably tell this by how pale they are! I don't tan easily; it's the legacy of a ginger grandad - I have nice red glints in my hair but also v. pale skin. The photo is a tad weird (note to self - learn how to pose more attractively) but hey ho.

Dress & cardi - Primark
Shoes - New Look

I'm in a somewhat rambly mood this evening so I think I shall now witter on about films. Not SATC2 (I may not even get to see that, can't find anyone to go with!) or Robin Hood (just cannot bear the prospect of it) but two smaller films that I've been to see recently.

First up, Four Lions

Now the initial premise is attention grabbing - a comedy about suicide bombers. But is it possible to make it actually funny or is it just there to shock? Well, I can honestly say it made me laugh out loud more than any film I've seen for quite a while. There's a mini debate going on via the Kermode & Mayo 5 Live movie show/podcast (if you don't listen to it already, you seriously should) about inappropriate audience laughter during it, as if people somehow feel more liberal by laughing uproariously throughout, but that wasn't the case when I went to see it. Lots of laughter, yes, but during the actual funny parts, not just for the sake of it. There are also a lot of unbearably sad moments as well and I think that's where the best writing lies. It's very subtle, very well written, very well acted and tragically comic.

And on the other side of the comedy category, a good old fashioned rom-com:

UK readers who live near decent sized towns/cities, get yourselves registered on See Film First. I've been signed up with them for a while now - I'm a complete sucker for free stuff! Basically they promote films by giving out free tickets to preview showings - some are a bit pants, some are great. But I like films and I like free stuff so I'll pretty much go and see anything.

I didn't have massively high expectations of this one but it was a sweet film really. Quite standard rom-com fare, with some laddish humour elements chucked in, but funny enough and quite engaging - a nice way to kill a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday. And I rather like films that don't have any big name actors in - I think people try a bit harder if there aren't any names to draw people to the film. It did amuse me that Trevor Eve was in it, playing an American dad - do they not have enough actors in America or something?

Going mental in MAC

Sunday, 23 May 2010

So then, Thursday saw Shell and I toddling off to MAC to have our makeup done for the wedding. Is this classed as a makeover? Makeup consultation? Anyway, not that it really matters, the main point is that we went to have it done. I am almost entirely clueless when it comes to makeup. I don't own much, I don't get most of the terminology and the need for a different brush for everything and I don't know how to apply things in clever ways. The plan was to get a professional to show me how it's done and then practise it myself so that I can recreate it myself on the day (we're not having a makeup artist when we're getting ready).

I must say, they're very good. Lots of explaining things in a non patronising way - especially good for clueless people like me - and I got this handy list thing of all the products used. The face looks nothing like my actual makeup though as I think half the stuff she used didn't show up properly on the paper. Anyway, it's fun to have it!

Girls who post FOTD pics, I am very impressed with you! I found it most difficult to take pics of my face in a way that actually showed off the makeup. I wasn't helped by the fact that we zoomed straight onto a dress fitting where I nearly fainted twice (!) and had to wipe most of it off as I was in a cold sweat (uck!!) Cue a slightly comedy moment though when Shell (whilst fanning the back of my neck to try and cool me down) said "Have you gone pale?", looked at my face and then declared "You've got so much makeup on that I can't tell."

So there are no photos of it done properly, so to speak, but in the first outfit pic on my last post some of it still remains. The eye makeup lasted quite well though - this photo was taken about 10 hours after it was put on and there's only a bit of creasing:

I tried not to spend a lot, I really did. I was as sensible as possible - she used about 20 different products on me and I didn't buy all of them. But what do you do when you don't already own most of the stuff that you need to recreate a look? And quite frankly I'm bored of being sensible with money. I get no thrill from saving. So this time I ignored the voices inside my head shrieking "HOW much? On MAKEUP?!!", and handed over the credit card. It will get paid off in full once I get paid next week and the products will last me a long time so it's not the worst thing I could have spent the dosh on.

The full haul!
Face L-R - Mineralize Blush in Dainty, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Medium, Select Moisturecover in NW20 and Prep & Prime.

Eyes. Annoyingly I forgot to buy the Painterly stuff (I think it's a primer of some sort?) but L-R - eyeshadows in Mylar, Omega & Gazette Grey and pigment in Pink Opal, with eye kohl in Phone Number at the back.

Gazette Grey- bah to the camera for not showing it up well but it's got the most gorgeous deep shimmer to it and isn't deadening like a lot of grey eyeshadows.

Lips - lip pencil in Subculture and Cremesheen Glass in Boy Bait. The colours aren't as dissimilar as they look here! She did use a pinker gloss when doing the makeup but I'm really not a fan of pink so went for this slightly nuder shade instead.

Obviously not from MAC! My vague attempt to economise and take advantage of a 3 for 2 deal at Boots - 17 concealer stick in Extra Fair, eyebrow pencil in Natural Brown and bronzing powder in Light.

And these too, cos I realised I have virtually no makeup brushes and I wasn't paying MAC prices for brushes as well as makeup!! The handle on the Celia Birtwell foundation brush is just divine and I really liked the bamboo handled eco friendly set.

So that's it, no more makeup for me until 2011! Here's hoping I can manage to make myself look half decent for the wedding photos!

A couple of outfits

Friday, 21 May 2010

Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my last post - lovely to know that I'm not the only one who has those moments of extreme wardrobe crisis! I think I've got it out of my system for the time being though as I actually rather like what I've worn over the last two days.

Thursday's outfit was very casual and mostly based around the fact that I wanted to wear this beautiful scarf. Such gorgeous colours! Also it was a day of lots of dashing around and I can't cope with complicated layers and accessories when I'm busy as I get them caught on stuff or leave them lying around. Oh to be one of those glamorous creatures who can effortlessly pile such things on and look perfect in them.

T-shirt - DP
Jeans - Primark
Scarf - birthday gift
Makeup - courtesy of a fab blue haired and eyebrowed girl at MAC. I spent a shedload of money in there, eek! Tomorrow's post may well cover the haul.

Today's outfit was much smarter. You may have noticed that I don't exactly have to stick to any dress code for work - thank goodness, can't think of anything more boring than wearing black trousers every day! However today was the double whammy of being duty manager and being one of the assessors on a big interview day so I needed to look a little smarter than usual. I didn't intend to wear quite so much black but I am in love with this jacket, plus the linen skirt was a truly bargainous £2 in the sale yesterday and I was itching to wear it straight away. Also it's a size 14 and it fits, woo hoo!!! I wanted to mix it up a bit so shoved a casual vest top underneath and went for very floral accessories.

(I find it surprisingly difficult to photograph the back of my own head!)

Jacket & hair clip - DP
Vest - Primark
Skirt - Tesco
Tights - M&S
Shoes - Office
Ring - New Look
Necklace & earrings - Accessorize


Wednesday, 19 May 2010

I have been full of them today. Entirely shallow doubts, all outfit related. I think that I should perhaps be worrying about the big things in life but then again, my thighs fall into this category!

I'm not usually this bad, honest. I blame my first outfit choice of the day. I had a very pretty frock all hung up and ready to wear, then I tried it on and realised it was too big and too long and looked ridiculous. Argh! I was already running late and 4 other outfits later, all of which looked awful for one reason or another, I flung this on in desperation. I didn't realise until I got to work that perhaps someone my size shouldn't be showing this much thigh. Do I even like this top? Do the wedges go with the rest of the outfit? Does my hair look ridiculous? Should I have put some makeup on?

Top - DP
Leggings - New Look
Wedges - Office

But really, is any of that even remotely important? No it's not. So off I go to do something more interesting and less soul destroying than fretting about pointless, shallow things. And let's be honest, if it was that bad I wouldn't have dared post pictures of it!


Monday, 17 May 2010

Evening all.

I spent my Sunday doing one of my favourite things - watching galloping horses in beautiful countryside. We packed up a picnic, donned our waterproofs and walking boots (what, it's meant to be sunny in May?) and headed onto the motorway. We took a somewhat unexpected detour around Manchester due to the driver forgetting the difference between Salford and Stockport but we got there eventually.

I adore going to watch eventing. There's a very specific atmosphere and it conjures up such great memories for me. It smells of trampled grass and the outdoors and picnics and ice cream and sunshine. There's a wonderful mixture of sounds - galloping horses thundering past, birds singing, the PA system blaring out results and updates, lots of barking dogs, giggling kids and the very English and polite sound of spectators clapping horses and riders that jumped the fences well. Dress code? There's a lot of tweed and expensive looking outdoorsy boots. Basic horsey girl uniform is jeans, lovely leather and suede boots, long sleeved stripy top or rugby shirt and gilet, all accessorised with expensive sunglasses, swishy hair and a dog on a lead. There are always lots of dogs. I'm clearly not cut out to even pretend to be posh - I don't like dogs!

We had a lovely day out. The weather was a tad temperamental (blazing sun one moment, freezing and windy the next) but we had much fun in the shops, watched a birds of prey display, some Pony Club mounted games (insane kids on insane ponies), drank some scrumptious cider and had a fab walk round the course. Chatsworth is a stunning place and we go all the time but it's always nice to explore parts that people don't usually go to (ie outside the main house and gardens).

Ann & Mum sheltering from the wind!

The winner of the big competition, Sam Griffiths and Happy Times.

Zara Phillips (the Queen's granddaughter).

One of the best horses in the world, Headley Brittania. Tiny, feisty and brilliant.

And a random series of photos. I'd love a proper camera with a giant lens so I could take some really good photos when I go to watch the eventing but I am generally impoverished so it's a long term aim. In the meantime I think I do alright with my crappy camera. Action photos aren't easy!

Here Come The Girls

Saturday, 15 May 2010

It was my best friend's hen night last night. Well, I say night, but we actually started off at 3.30pm and I didn't get home till after 4am. We all had a truly fab time though - we won money at the races, watched Alexandra Burke sing live after the last race, then went for a delish Thai meal and out for lots and lots of dancing. There were loads of us out - Shell has an enormous family so there were cousins and aunties everywhere you turned.

Sorry about the quality of the pics - the camera on my phone is not great and space in the bag didn't allow for a proper camera to come out with me!

Shell, the lovely bride to be. Her dress was stunning - shame it hasn't photographed so well.

Ruth, rocking a gorgeous maxi dress. She's only half an inch taller than I am so if she can do it, so can I! I will track one down, I will...

Claire, the 4th member of our little gang, lives up in Newcastle and was stuck at work supervising her A Level students do their exam practicals, so she couldn't make it. Boooo to the stupid exam timetable, we missed her!

Oh and me? I went for the following:

Dress - Purple @ DP
Leggings - M&S
Jacket, necklace (which I've worked out is actually meant to be a headband!) & corsage - DP
Ring - New Look
Wedges - Dolcis
Bag - um, George I think, It's ancient.

The corsage started off as a hair clip but it kept sliding off and irritating me so it got shoved on the jacket instead. It clashes a wee bit with the print of the dress but what the hell. I don't object to clashing florals.

A hastily snapped one before I left the house might be a little more in focus. It shows off the footwear to better effect anyway. I LOVE these wedges. I've had them for years and they're ridiculously comfy. I was on my feet yesterday for 13 hours, several of which were spent dancing, and they didn't hurt at all!

Despite the fact that I look a bit bizarre in it, I must just finish up with this picture. Squeeee! For those of you who don't follow racing, it's Tony McCoy. Bit of a hero of mine, 15 times Champion Jockey and winner of just about every big race going, including the Grand National this year. Ruth and I were all "You ask him if we can have a photo" "No, you" "No, you!" How old are we?! We got brave eventually and he was ever so nice.

It's Thursday, I'm running late and I can't think of a title...

Thursday, 13 May 2010

I love blogging for many reasons, but one key one is coming across wonderful things at random. I'm a regular reader of My Edit and What Would A Nerd Wear and both of them are taking part in Dress Your Best Week, a nifty little idea from Academichic . It's all about switching your thought process and instead of dressing to hide your flaws, dressing to highlight the parts you love the most.

Now I'm coming to this late (as always!) and I freely admit that I would struggle almightily to do this for an entire week but I think it's a really positive concept and some of the posts are wonderfully touching to read. Can I be positive about my body for a little while? Hmm, probably not. I don't actively loathe everything about my body anymore and believe me, I spent a long time doing that, but there is still something within my brain that adds a big but to any positive sentence I try and think. I love my hair BUT it's stupidly uncontrollable...I love my eyes BUT I have silly get the picture.

For the purposes of today I am going to be proud of my calves. No buts allowed. They are so much more shapely than they used to be and I am revelling in covering them in funky coloured tights and showing them off with lovely heels. Today's outfit certainly drew attention towards them!

Dress - Primark
Tshirt - M&S
Tights - DP
Shoes - Faith
Bangle - Shared Earth
Ring - New Look

I bought this ring on a whim yesterday - well, it was only £3, who could resist? It's made me smile everytime I looked at it today. So pretty and chunky and lovely to the touch. Apparently it comes in other colours - I may be back for more!