Progress and confidence


I feel a bit like I wrote my last post and it got a bit deep so I then dropped the mic and ran away. But hello! I am here.


And holy cow, it’s basically the end of February.  I knew 2015 would go by fast but it is disappearing in the blink of an eye. Tomorrow is 4 weeks until we fly to New Zealand and I suddenly feel the time crunch of it all – so much to do before the big day, but I know we’ll get there.



I’ve said it before, but I’ve had a bit of wedding dress body stress, and that has changed quite a lot since I last wrote about it.  My first dress fitting went really well, and the seamstress was fantastic and helpful and so, so cheap!  I almost fell off my bed when she told me how cheap it was going to be, and she had some excellent suggestions for amendments if I didn’t meet my fitness goals by the final fitting. I’ve got 11 days until the next fitting, but I’m feeling pretty happy with where I’m at so far. I’m still about 15-20lbs over where I (in a perfect world) thought I’d be on my wedding day, and about 25lbs over where I’d ideally like to be (which is actually lighter than I’ve been in geez, probably 15 years, so I’m just being pretty ambitious here), but since September I’ve lost nearly a stone (14lbs/6.5kg) and this year alone I’ve lost 8lbs, so I’m pretty stoked with that.



I know we’re all about not focusing on weight loss these days as a society, and accepting ourselves as we are, and I applaud that. But this to me was never about people thinking I was hot, or having a flat stomach, or buying into anything I’ve been told. It’s always been about my confidence level, and fitting into my clothes, and feeling healthy and strong.



The key to it for me has been diet (though yoga has been wonderfully beneficial as well) – once I started eating right, the cravings for stuff stopped, the self-control grew (like, I can have chocolate next to me and not eat the entire block, which a while ago was tough work) and I’ve become pretty obsessed with Nakd bars and stuff.  A huge help I’ve found has been not eating much at night/stopping eating before about 7pm – even when I’ve had an unhealthy day (cause, not gonna lie, there has been some fast food), I’ve managed to keep the weight loss going.

I also do a bit of 6:1/the occasional 5:2 and find that helpful too.  Not that common, though.  And more work to do!



Ultimately, it has been a huge boost to my confidence and to my happiness.  I still weigh so much more than I did 5 years ago, but my stomach is so much smaller, my thighs are awesome and I just feel good about my body for the first time in a long time.  Also, the yoga has contributed hugely to my mental health – my stress and anger levels have been pretty high over the last year, but they’re getting better.



I hope you’re all well and good!  I have some more posts planned for the next wee bit, so I’ll be back soon – especially to share some amazing shots I got while travelling last week.  And I’ve got my Edinburgh hen this weekend – super excited!





100 Happy Days – Lash perfect



As part of the 100 Happy Days project I thought I’d write a few posts about some things that make me happy.

Eyelashes make me really happy.



Well, let me clarify. Eyelash extensions make me really happy.

You see, despite the fact that I love having dark hair (especially a red-brunette with ombre ends as I do lately!), I wasn’t born this way, but in fact am naturally dark blonde. That kinda sandy, dusty kinda blonde. In the winter it gets a bit of a strawberry tinge to it, and in the summer it gets quite light. I also have light blonde eyebrows and white blonde eyelashes.  Below is my hair with highlights, my brows and my eyelashes with a light mascara on them:



And here are my lashes without any mascara (and slightly pencilled eyebrows):



I’ve always thought that without makeup, my eyes look quite small and I just don’t feel like myself. I’ve been wearing makeup almost daily (I usually skip Sundays) since I was 13, and regularly dyeing my hair since about 15, too. I wouldn’t probably leave the house without at least foundation and mascara – I have freckly pale-girl skin, and always have bags under my eyes with my sleep issues.



So in March 2012, after researching how it all worked, I bought a Groupon voucher for lash extensions, and went happily to my first appointment. We started with 214s (2mm thick, 14 long) and I turned into a Disney princess. I was immediately captivated.



And one of the magical things about it? the mornings. Oh the mornings. Waking up, foundation on, maybe some lippy, leave the house. My eyes were bigger and defined (hardly ever need eyeliner), I spent way less time worrying about make-up and my confidence level went up 1000x when out and about. I was hooked.

I started going every 4 weeks for in-fills, but soon discovered that I would need a full set more often than I planned for (£70 a pop when a full set!), so I’ve increased the in-fills frequency to every 3 weeks, so it’s quicker and cheaper.

I’ve also gone down to a more tapered effect – 212s in the centre of my eyes, going out to 213s around the edges. I can wear glasses/sunglasses more easily if needed, and I look more natural. I still go for the 214s sometimes if I’m on holiday or feel like a more dramatic look.

When I went to dark brown with my hair back in 2005, I used a darker foundation for a wee bit, which was silly. I then stopped doing that (so foolish, at 21) and started using eyeshadow to darken my eyebrows, to varying levels of success. Often it’d wear off, and I’d look funny, or it’d be too dark or my brows would look too thick. It was a bit 90s Brooke Shields, but much less babe.



More recently, now I’m sticking with the dark hair, I’ve started getting her to tint/shape my brows at the same time. I get a shape every 2nd visit, tint the other time. Seems to work for me. Above is after both lashes and brows have been done.

So. In short. I love them. I feel weird without them. And on a Sunday I don’t even bother with doing any other makeup now – I just get up.  I have a wee brush she gave me that is basically a clean/dry mascara wand – I brush down from the top and up from underneath in the mornings, and that’s it.  It keeps them from crossing over as they start to fall out and any issues from cropping up.



In the last year or so, my confidence has taken a hit in a few other ways, so this is one thing I do to make myself feel good!  I don’t get my hair dyed professionally, barely ever get it cut, never get my nails done or anything – this is my one way of getting pampered (and lying down with your eyes closed for an hour chatting is quite relaxing and fun, too).

How do they fall out? Well. Naturally, really. Do you know you have a lash “cycle”? Your lashes fall out naturally, which is why you find them on your cheek and can make wishes! I’ve only ever had a few instances where my own lashes have fallen out/come off with an extension, and that has usually been my fault, as I’ve been trying to remove an extension that is hanging down or poking me in a weird way, and I wiggled a bit hard.  I don’t have any patches where my natural eyelashes have disappeared, or anything.

I have had some eye issues/dryness, but this is more my contact lenses than the lashes. As long as I look after them, they last really well and my eyes are very healthy.

Do you have lash extensions?  Any questions, let me know.  Oh and I get mine done at Ivy! Amanda’s great, tell her I sent you.