My Signature Looks Part 1

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I have wanted to create a blog post about my make-up for ages and I am so happy to finally write and publish this!

I absolutely love make-up.  I am absolutely one of those girls who has been obsessed by it from an early age.  I would spend hours, days even, experimenting with make up in my room and trying different looks when I was younger.  It has taken me years to understand technique and what works for me and to be honest I am still learning now, and still get it wrong!  I think thats the beauty of beauty, it is forever evolving and there are always new products to try, techniques to master, trends to brave and looks to try and perfect.  And that’s what I love about it most, its for everyone and there is something we can all try and there will always be looks to suit us all.  Its so vast and enjoyable, I love it!

For me initially, make up was an armour and to be completely honest it still kind of is.  Just not in a bad way anymore.  I used to use it to hide behind because of my complete lack of self confidence and esteem as a kid.  I felt like if I wore makeup, it would somehow make me a different person and my hang ups about skin, my looks, my weight or a combination of all 3 would somehow completely disappear.  Um no.  It did temporarily, but as I have got older I have realised that it’s a true cliche that it comes from within and loving yourself is something you have to learn, rather than something you temporarily feel when you put make up on your face or make yourself look different.

I feel much more ok about this in my 30’s than ever before.  I still have times when I feel like the same 13 year old with all those hang ups and they creep back in, but I am learning that my feelings were about confidence, a need for a change of lifestyle including eating and fitness and most importantly emotion that comes from learning to love yourself – thats all around you and not just in these things.    I cannot tell you how much of a big deal it is to share a blog post with pictures of myself with zero make up on.

It sounds ridiculous to some people, vain to others and to the rest, they get it.  There is absolutely nothing to hide behind.  My acne scars, blemishes and imperfections are no longer being hidden by lashings of foundation or layers of mascara.  Its pure, its real and its me.  And for the first time ever, this is ok!

Ironically, as critical as social media can be, its also played a big part in helping me do this.  A new generation of people saying, hey do you know what, this is me and I like myself and I am proud to show my bare naked face – it is so refreshing.  I realised that it was nothing to do with not wearing make up, it was everything to do with learning to be ok with me, when I was always the first person to put myself down.  I was always ok with me inside, but outside needed more self love.

Nowadays, I am happy that actually make up for me is more of a fun addition.  I love it!  People say, Oh why do you wear so much make up!?  And I reply – because I love it, I enjoy it, it makes me feel good and groomed and glamorous and who doesn’t love to feel like that!?  I do wear a lot at times and fake tan too, but it makes me feel good.  I love the natural look too and days at home when I love nothing more than to slather myself in moisturiser and nothing else.  And now that I am older its not because its overcompensating for a lack of confidence elsewhere (well, a little still maybe!), but I actually really like it!  I know some people mean it as a compliment which is nice but others say it because they think you look overdone.  Rude no?  I wouldn’t dream of saying to someone why don’t you wear MORE make up!?   Same goes.

So in the essence of make up being all things fun, I give you my first signature look.  I currently have 2, one is nude shades, shimmering hues and pinks and the other is red red red.  So lets start with the red, because in my opinion, red lips will always be in fashion and will always be a classic.  Fact – they always take a look from meh to fabulous – instant glamour guaranteed!    Having red lips actually makes me feel strong, even when I’m not – shout me a message if this is you too!

So red lips – you are my weekend plaything and I love you!

The Bare Naked Facts

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So Hola!  This is me!  A real life goofball in all my glory! Ha!

Laying the foundations

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My foundation of choice for everyday use is the Rimmel UK lasting finish foundation and the shade I use is 200 soft beige.  I like my foundations very matte with lots of staying power and this foundation is perfect for that.  I have tried so many, but this one lasts all day and gives the ultimate coverage.  I have combination skin and have an oily chin, forehead and especially nose!  Because of the coverage and literally lasting finish, I only really notice some oil right at the end of the day.

It also doesn’t need much touching up (if any!), only a little if you’re going from day to night.  I have tried so many foundations and a lot of the ‘matte’ ones are ok to start with, but by the end of the day my face almost looks sweaty – this does not do that at all and my skin looks fresh all day.  For me, being someone with olive and oily skin, its a revelation!  Insert hallelujah emoji!

I apply all over with a sponge and give a once over including my neck and jaw line to avoid the gravy line!  And then I apply a second coat to my eyelids, chin, nose and under eyes.  I also add a little to my lips.  TOP TIP – This gives a really good base for when applying eyeshadow, bronzer and lipstick or gloss.  When applied to my lips, I blot and then its a fantastic base coat for your gloss or lipstick.  They stay on much longer.

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Squze’ the pouting!  It gives the best idea of the contour and coverage!

Bronzed Goddess

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I have been using this Collection matte bronzer in Terracotta for years and years and years for my everyday make up!  I love it because its super matte and gives a gorgeous contour to your face.  I’m not a fan (shock horror!) of shimmer bronzers.  I like a matte bronzer and then to add shimmer with a powder or separate highlighter.

I add a generous sweep to my cheeks, a very tiny amount to each side of my nose and just a touch to my chin and forehead.   For about a year now, I have also been using this as an eyeshadow and sweep a couple of layers across my lids.  I love the bronzed glow it gives without adding too much and because its been used in other areas on my face, its  perfectly complemented.

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What?!

Baby I want my Brows this Wwwwaaayyyyyyyyy! (Lady GG voice!)

Eyebrow grooming and eyebrow make up is a relatively new thing for me.   I have always plucked my brows, perhaps sometimes a little too much!  That comes from having a really bad monobrow as a kid!   But I only got into putting make up on them about 3 years or so ago.  My current fav is the Rimmel Brow This Way grooming kit and I love it because it has an all in one system.  It has a powder, a gel, a brush and a comb.  I groom with the powder and brush and then set with the comb and gel.

Queue power brows!

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Sorry its scruffy!  Too much overuse!

Lashes for Days

I’m an all or nothing girl when it comes to mascara.  The in-between one coat look doesn’t do anything for me at all and I envy anyone who can do this!  This mascara ticks all my boxes, ahem.   It sounds strange but I use 2 at a time.  This is my secret weapon!

One mascara is an older one and I use this as a base and apply 2 coats, the other is new and I apply ooooh – lashings of layers!  In between setting the coats, I apply either my lippy or gloss and then re-apply another coat.  Leaving each coat to settle and dry a little gives a good base for the next one.  I swear by this routine!  If you give it a go let me know how you get on and whether it works for you too.

I use this mascara everyday and it is the Rimmel Extreme Volume in Extreme Black.  It really does give you that ‘false lash’ effect – incredible!   I have had quite a few messages on instagram and people ask me too,  if my lashes are fake – thats how good this mascara is!

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Its all in the kiss

When it comes to my pout, I’m one extreme or the other.  I am either super matte or lashings of gloss.  The only time I’ll wear an in between is if I am having a light make up day or going to the gym.  Even then, it will be lip balm with a tint!  In between colours and pastel colours don’t seem to suit me, I experiment so much with make up and just find that these types are the ones which suit my skin tone the best and also don’t make me look washed out.  I also love anything which gives you a glow.

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So for this look it is – Chanel Baby.  My lipstick of choice is always, always, always matte – anything else just makes me look washed out and if I want sheen, I go for a gloss.

My absolute favourite red is Rouge Allure Velvet in Number 46.  I add one coat of lippy, blot and then re-apply.  When I blot I find it makes lipstick even more matte and also the lipstick has more staying power.

There is something very powerful and sexy about red lips, don’t cha think…

 

To Finish

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I have said it before (and before and before on several occasions), this product is absolutely amazing!

This is the best product I have found, ever!  I must admit I am not usually a girl that does body cream, I always have good intentions but then somehow either forget to apply it or I am in too much of a hurry to get my fluffy PJ’s, ahem, I mean glamorous babydoll on  in the evening and I never get around to it!

However, this is a game changer, and I am absolutely addicted to it.  The shimmer and glow of this product is insane and the way it makes your skin look is incredible.  I have never found anything which gives you so much glow and shimmer at the same time and makes you look absolutely sun kissed.  I AM HOOKED!   It also (seriously) disguises blemishes on your skin and smooths out lines and veins, it really makes your skin look airbrushed.  Honestly, its not like me to have such solid staples but this product is just incredible.  Did I mention how amazing this product is!?  And without fail I apply this every.single.day!

So what are your signatures looks?

 

Love Debs Xo

 

 

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I Love Balls – Energy Balls!

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So today (Sunday 25th February 2018) is one week until I run the Bath Half Marathon!  Eeep!  I am a mixture of all things excited, nervous, emotional and full of a lot of pride.

The week before a big race I like my diet to be completely committed to the cause.  I am a clean eater most of the time (80/20 lifestyle :-)) and when I am training I like to fuel my body right and to feel good (albeit those that follow my Instagram will know I like the occasionally cinnamon bun and a dirty burger!)  we also need to have fun right!?   But the week before the race I like to feel on top of my game.  Different foods work for different people and I have found that protein and a semi-gluten free diet make me feel the most energised and bouncy!  I am always constantly trying new foods and recipes to see what works for me.

So talking of bouncy, I have made these homemade energy balls.  I wanted something which would give me a sweet fix but also something that would give me a boost.  These little balls of fun are super tasty, quick to whip up and handy to keep in your bag.  If you’d like to give them a whirl, here are the deets:

Ingredients

100g Raisins
4 Egg Whites
50g Oats
25g Wheatgrass Powder
50g Ground Almonds
50g Peanut Butter (without palm oil)
50g Agave Nectar
25g Flaked Almonds

Howdya Make Em

Blitz the raisins and the egg whites together using a hand blender.   Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together to form a dough.  Roll into balls (the mixture should make about 14).

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to firm up those balls.  Then Enjoy!

Love Debs Xo

 

 

 

 

Waves for Days

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Howdy Sunshines!  Happy New Year!  I’m super happy to be back to blogging and I want to do so much much more of it, so thats exactly what I am planning to do!

For my first comeback piece I wanted to share with you an amazing new product I have come across for creating that much love ‘tousled’ beach wave effect.  I have searched high and low for something which eliminates frizz, has staying power but also doesn’t give you that crunchy look.  I love curls, but they don’t suit me quite as much, where as waves suit my face shape so much more.  I researched a lot and studied tutorials about how to create this look and spent ages (still trying!) to perfect it.

So here is my attempt at a step by step guide on how to achieve this look.  Separate post to follow about my make up look too!  Love to know what you think and if it helps you!

Step 1:

Get ready to go from frizz alert to fabulous!

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Step 2

Give your hair a good brush to get rid of any frizz and so that it’s nice and smooth.   Then take large sections of your hair.  It’s important to take large sections as you don’t want the curls to be thin and ‘springy’.  Taking a large section of hair will ensure that a wave is created rather than a curl.

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Step 3

I use a Babyliss wand for creating these beautiful waves and finish off the look with a GHD IV Styler.  A wand is great because it’s so versatile and can create so many different looks.  To create this kind of wave, you want to start curling about 3 inches from the top of your head,  as you dont want the curl to be springy from the top as it will create the wrong effect.   The effect you want is to have a smoothness from the top and for the wave to then fall into itself all the way to the bottom.  Point the wand downwards as you are curling it.  (And yes, trying to take pictures of yourself whilst holding a hot wand is bleedy difficult – DO NOT TRY THIS BIT AT HOME!).  Note cute fairy lights on the stairs!

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Step 4

When wrapping your hair around the wand, ensure that you leave about an inch long piece of hair at the bottom.  Do not, repeat, do not, wrap the whole section around the wand.  Leaving this bit of hair the bottom un-curled helps create the overall look.

Sounds strange but you’ll know what I mean when you’ve curled it.

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Step 5

This is the effect created!  Beautiful waves rather than springy curls, giving a softer finish.   By not curling that bottom bit of hair creates that loose finish that you need and adds extra bounce to the middle of the wave, rather than creating too much weight at the bottom of the curl.

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Step 6

Continue around your whole head, taking large sections as you go and smoothing where you need to.   The bit at the end that you shouldn’t curl, secure it between your thumb and index finger if you can.

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Step 7 

Once you’re happy you have curled every section, run your fingers through the curls and ‘pull’ them down and smooth.  Don’t be afraid to do this!

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Step 8 

The shot before the miracle product!  The right side looks exactly like the wave effect I want and so I continue to ‘pull’ down and smooth the other curls down to look the same as this.

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Step 9

The Piece De Resistance!

Now – this product!  *Insert Hallulah emoji!” It gives completely the right effect for this look.  As I’ve mentioned, it adds volume without crunch and gives that silky glow to your hair whilst smoothing it at the same time.  It’s by Tresemme and called Make Waves Sculpt and Define Spray Gel from the their runway collection!  I absolutely love it!   It’s also fantastic for refreshing your hair if you are going from day to night.

I have used this so much over the Christmas period, especially for when I have after work drinks.  I don’t even need to re-curl my hair, I just spritz this on and it instantly revitalises my hair and gives it that just prepped look.   Here is the link to their website with the product details:

https://www.tresemme.com/uk/products/other-hair-styling-product/runway-make-waves-sculpt-&-define-spray-gel.html

It deals with frizz, which is constantly a problem for me so another reason to love it!    And therefore fantastic for controlling your hair in the winter.  When it dries, it doesn’t have any stickiness and it smells really good without being overpowering.  It also doesn’t ‘stiffen’ your hair, your waves still tumble and move around, but most impressively they don’t lose their shape and therefore 10/10 for staying power.

The biggest thing I love about this product (could there be any more!) is that it beautifully adds a glow to your hair.  If you have colour in your hair like me, it brings out the colour and enhances it so that when the light hits your hair, the shine is amazing!

The bottle, packaging and branding are also a great eye catcher and look stylish on any dressing table.

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Step 10

Add some red lips and be fabulous!

When I use this product, I spritz at the front and continue around and push the waves ‘up’ at the same time to add volume.  I also use the old skool technique of putting my head upside down and spraying all over add the back! I’m not joking! It really does work and adds extra volume, some classics always win!

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READY!  (15 minutes late, but pah!  With curls this fab, they’ll forgive me!)

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This product beings out the shine in your hair and the light reflects off beautifully.

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Happy Waving!

Love Debs! Xo

Some outtakes – might be a fizz filled merry one too!

 

Candid Feelings – Part 1

The Struggle Is Real…

Feeling so sad recently has sometimes given me the inability to write.  Because writing is a therapy for me and often how I ‘switch off’.   When writing my blog, it gives me such joy and recently I have felt that I cant find the happiness to do that, even though I know it would really do me good.   I keep thinking, how can I possibly do things that make me feel good?  That doesn’t feel ‘right’.  It soon came to me that pushing through and doing things to make you feel good are what keep you from falling into oblivion, which is a very easy thing to do when you are feeling such sadness.

Some days, my head actually feels so full, like I cant think clearly because it’s trying to process so many things at once.  The day before I started writing this post, I actually felt like I was losing my mind, it is the strangest feeling.  I wanted to run, literally run.  I wanted to get in my car, drive to an airport, get on a plane to wherever and just sit somewhere and cry.  I remember feeling like this when my Mum was ill.  I remember feeling like I just wanted to bundle her up in a lovely big fluffy throw, put her in my car and go somewhere together she loved to make her happy.  To make the pain go away, to make her smile and to run away from the hurt we were feeling and to somehow escape the pain of the reality of what we were facing and make it normal again.  To be us, to be happy and to be the normal giggly pair we always are.

Some days I appear ok, and people will say “oh you seem ok” or “yeah you are doing really well” but inside you think no I am bloody not, and when they say it you feel guilty for appearing to be ok.  On one of the days I was writing this post, I was having a conversation with someone and I was “appearing to be ok”.   I actually felt like I wanted to get through the conversation very quickly, stop smiling and retreat back to quietness.  Somehow, the noise of our conversation made me feel like I couldn’t breathe and I wanted to stop ‘appearing to be ok’ as quickly as possible.  Fucked up?  Yep!  So…trigger…blog post – rather than a panic attack.

When I first started writing this post, I was about to to go to charity event for Cornwall Hospice.  A wonderful cause and something very close to my heart.  It was so very hard, but it did do me good to be surrounded by good people, be social and to even talk about the very thing that makes my heart feel so heavy.  The one thing that struck me the most was that I couldn’t believe I was now someone who had a story to tell about my own immediate family.  I think that it’s times like that when it hits you the most.  At times it feels surreal and those times the rawness and reality of it hits you like a tonne of bricks, almost like the first time you were told.

What also prompted me to write this post is because I should talk about the way I am feeling, because for me, writing and getting things in ink (or the modern day ‘type’) is a way to release.  I have found that it makes me feel the same way as running does,  like it’s the only thing which gives me clarity somehow.  The more I tap away or the more I pound the pavement, the better I feel and the more re-energised I am.  Its like you are getting all your words in order in your mind by letting them out.  It’s very personal, more like a diary but I think it’s important.

I want to talk candidly about this, I want to talk openly about these feelings.  So many times I hear people say that they didn’t deal with how they felt, that they pushed it away and far away from the front of their mind.  I never used to understand this, I never ever understood how you could physically and emotionally do it.  Unfortunately now I do.  At times, you feel absolutely so broken, like you could literally crumble into 1000 pieces.

When I first started writing this post, my Mum flew away about a month before.  I know now that I was in absolute shock, so much so that I was in autopilot.  The whirlwind of seeing her, holding her and making the most of every moment, to seeing and supporting my family to making arrangements, it was all distracting my mind and now its stopped, I have literally gone “oh fuck, I now have to deal with this”.  And I am not doing well at all.  Publicly, I seem “ok”.  I am the girl who will try and have a laugh, want to make people laugh, make conversation, have banter, have a flirt and try and make people feel good.  Privately, I don’t mind admitting, I am an absolute fucking mess.  I literally cannot believe my Mum really is gone, I can’t even bring myself to say the ‘D’ word and whenever I think I wont see her, my whole body feels like its going to go into meltdown,  all I literally feel is panic.

It’s a terrible thing, a tragic thing.  To happen to anyone no matter who it is.  It feels like a physical pain that wont heal and you feel like you will never feel ok again.  A good friend said to me very honestly (which I liked) that it’s absolute bollox that time is a healer.  I believe her.  She said that instead time moves on and what happened to you will always be huge, but it wont be magnified and other things will surround it.  It’s a very good way to describe it and it does make a lot of sense.

I miss my Mum so much.  I miss her all the time, I think about her all the time and even though I am engaging with people, I’m not really there.  It’s getting harder and people have also started to notice that.  I have started to see people less, I want to retract and I need some time to heal.  I realise it is actually impossible to sit with people and try and be who you were before, without being absolutely inconsolable either right there and then or afterwards.

On the occasions where I have tried to be strong, socialise and put a brave face on it, I feel absolutely exhausted by the end and I am literally a sobbing mess by the time I leave or they go home.  This is also weird territory for me.  I am normally a very social person, but at the moment I feel I only want to be around those that know me really well, well enough that I can sit there and cry if I need to or talk through things.  Not be unnecessarily strong and ok.

I am talking about my Mum a lot, the situation, the experience and I can honestly say it really helps me.  I find it harder when I don’t.   Right now,  I am just rolling with my emotions and letting everything in and out when it comes.  If I cry at work, so be it.  If I cry at my desk, at the shops, at the gym so be it.  I will make no excuses and just explain that I have had a bad day.   I will not put a bottle stopper on this.  Everyone is different, and I really don’t judge,  everyone has to deal with things how it fits with them.

I however, used to bottle things up as a kid, my emotions, my problems, everything.  But I learnt quickly that it comes out, it always does and I can proudly say I dealt with it well and my confidence grew from that point, albeit it took a VERY long time.  Ironically and quite tragically, it was my Mum that was my biggest rock to get through it.  Around her I felt safe, she was my safety net and made me feel beautiful and that I should have the confidence to be just as good as everyone else because I deserve things as much as them.

We had a hard time, I wont go into detail here as it’s not fair, but lets just say when I was a kid, my home life, family life and school life at times were volatile.

My Mum sheltered me, we bonded even more because of it and as I got older I wanted to protect her and make her feel just as beautiful, happy and safe like she did for me.  It now seems impossible and quite cruel that I now have to face this without her, she was my buddy and we are so alike  For example we could browse shops and nik naks for hours, and be the only 2 people in the world who would put up with each other!  I miss my buddy.  I told her everything, she was my confidant, my best friend.  She would often say to me, “if soulmates exist in anyone and not just a partner, then you are my soulmate”  I will never forget that.  I do believe it exists in many forms too, just like she did.

Writing this post has kind of turned into a feelings diary.  At times I think I am good at articulating how I feel and other times I get so overwhelmed and sad that I can’t put it into words, it’s just an extreme depth of sadness.  Sometimes when I try to talk, the feelings are so un-explainable that I literally cant find the words.  It’s a funny one with me, because at times I also am very conscious of talking too much.  Some people like to listen and others find it hard to even ask, and at times I get so conscious that I am in danger of sounding so miserable and upset that I quickly change the subject, I get it in my head that people don’t want to listen and I feel very un-easy all of a sudden.

I don’t think thats a reflection of them, more me.  I am normally quite a bubbly person and like to find the good and positive in every situation, so when I am stressed or sad or upset, I normally try to cover it up and and only share with those closest to me.   In this situation, even I am not capable of that, smiles and laughter are quickly replaced in my head with guilt and opening up feels so painful that I feel like when I talk I wont be able to stop crying and I will break, so that way, its easier to cut the conversation short.

I live in a different part of the country to my immediate family and 2 weeks ago was my first visit back since…reality has hit me incredibly hard.  It was lovely to see everyone and have cuddles and comfort time, but the reality of my Mum not being there was almost unbearable.  Looking at her belongings, seeing her stuff, her home, her familiarities, it was so real.  There were also many poignant moments, my parents wedding anniversary and her birthday.  On a day I should be taking her out and celebrating, instead I am toasting to her memory – how is this possible?

I cried almost all the way up on the train, cried when I saw my best friend and other friends, when I saw my Dad, my Sister, My Niece and Nephew.  You go for dinner and there is someone missing.  Not having her there to cuddle, to chat to, I cant believe it.  She would always hold my face, my arm, she was always so loving and I loved that, she loved to make people feel loved and we need more of those people in the world.  If we did, it would be a completely different place.

As tough as these past two week have been, the one thing it has shown me is that it is ok to be sad.  This amazing woman, who I was privileged enough to be able to call my Mum, was absolutely monumental in my life.  She was a pillar, she was part of my foundation, my bedrock, part of my very make up, I am her.  And so, this Deb (I am talking to myself here) is going to take an extremely long time to sink in, to adjust and thats ok because I will never get over this, I just have to learn to see life different now that she isn’t here and adjust to that.

I don’t know how that happens, I can imagine that there will always be days when it feels like it happened yesterday, but thats ok too.  I need to give myself a break, stop expecting myself to feel strong and if I want to show the world I am upset, thats fine.  No-one is expecting me to be ok with this, whoever could?

As mentioned in the earlier part of my post, the charity event went really really well.  It was so tough I’m not going to lie and to be standing there now with my very own story seemed very surreal, to the point you don’t want to be saying it.  But it was humbling and I was so proud of the ladies for raising so much money and putting on such a fab night.  Thats the thing, some things are too soon and you never know how you are going to be until you do it.  As I mentioned earlier, I have retracted quite a lot over the last few months.  I wasn’t ready and to some degree I am still not, but I am taking each day as it comes.

One big Huge MASSIVE piece of advice I can give is, if you can, to try and turn the sadness into gratefulness of the memories and moments you had.  I know and completely understand that everyone and every relationship is different.  Also,  I am even finding it hard to follow this advice at the moment because thinking about memories makes me feel too sad, because of the shock factor and because I am in denial, anger and pain that this has even happened.  It’s too soon.  BUT I am trying to almost teach myself to think differently.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy they call it, I know too well!  Another blog post perhaps!  To be grateful, to be thankful and to be happy that the relationship, moments and memories were created with the most loving, beautiful and amazing woman that I am lucky enough to call my Mum.  My Mumma Bear.

Perspective is everything, a grateful heart is everything even in the most sadness and stressful of times.  It sounds like bullshit, it sounds like something from a Hollywood film that in reality just doesn’t work, but trust me it really does help if you can do this.

I said to my Dad, I would never have wanted to experience this, but we cant change whats happened and I would rather feel this pain knowing its because I loved my Mum as much as I do and because we had the best relationship and I was loved by her so very much, than never having experienced or feeling that love in my life at all.  She has given me that level of happiness, love, and contentment to carry me through and for that I love her even more.

I will keep writing about this, its cathartic.  And if you are feeling blue, have experienced similar, message me.  I would love to hear from you and above everything keep strong.

Love Debs Xo

Those Happy Endorphins…

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Sweaty Betty – Mid Run Selfie, Obvs

I’ll admit it.  I definitely used to be someone who never identified with exercise or any kind of healthy eating regime.  Roll forward about 10 years and nowadays it is extremely trendy and albeit very much on our radar to be looking after ourselves and being aware of what we eat is what we are.

I found this regime when I got absolutely fed up with feeling the way I did.  Overweight, never happy with pictures of myself, unconfident and generally not happy with the way I was feeling.  It was the kick up the arse I needed to take my exercise and diet seriously and to understand that moderation is key and you can’t expect to fill your body with shite and then feel a million bucks (though I do know 1 or 2 lucky people who can do this!).  When I finally realised my weight wasn’t down to me just being ‘big boned’ or ‘oh it’s in my genes’  I knew that these for me, were just excuses.  However, it is very recently that I realise how important my exercise, and namely running, is good for my mind as well as my body.

I always knew that running made me feel ‘good’ and gave me a focus.  And I finally understood what all those crazy people were on about when they said that exercise made them feel amazing.  I know now and realise just how important running is for keeping me feeling balanced.  And whilst mental health and feeling good and having an outlet for feelings is very much being discussed at the moment, it got me thinking that this is my therapy.  Talking, laughing and lots of love and hugs help too so feel free to always give lots of that to me too.

Through recent experiences,  I have seen so much good in people.  And love is something in which you very much reap what you sow.  No matter what I am going through I always try to be nice, have time for those that need me and always offer a laugh, hug and smile.  Yeah of course, I have my off days like we all do when I can be a miserable cowbag (ha – this autocorrected to cowboy!) but generally I try to always be kind.

Someone once said to me, why do you always put yourself out for people at the expense of your own time and stress?  My answer was simple (and cheesy).  Because it’s true what they say – always be kind to people because you never know when you might be the one who needs that kindness in return – and lots of lovely hugs too.   And fuck me, thats turned out to be so very very true recently, my closest and others who have become close, have been amazing.    I also apologise here for my constant swearing,  but I thought it was important and about time that my personality should come out a little more in my blog posts…

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Beautiful Mountain Top Run in Spain

As well as all this amazing love and affection, running is what is keeping me from going a little more crazy.  When I run, I feel like me.  I feel revitalised and for those minutes I am running, I feel like I am slowly running towards gaining back control of how I feel.  In times of extreme stress and emotional pain, you never ever know how you are going to feel until it happens.  How you deal with it is personal to you, but the fact that you deal with it is so important.  I don’t mind sharing a secret with you here, and its something I have eluded to in previous blogs.

When I was younger, I suffered from extreme blues.  Some might call that depression, and perhaps it was, but I don’t like to bound that word around like a ping pong ball, because its a serious subject.  For most of the time, I locked those feelings away.  They eeked their way out in other ways and its only now I am older I realise its important to deal with those emotions.  They aren’t weakness and they certainly aren’t something to be ashamed of.    I have slowly worked through this over the years and I guess to meet me know you would never know, but thats how it should be.  Because those times should be building blocks and stepping stones to help you gain strength, clarity and a sense of whats important to you to make you feel happy.

To me these emotions and thoughts are your mind and body trying to make sense of what is happening to you and it coming out as being extremely scrambled.  Some of us find ways to un-scramble those emotions, for some they are far too extreme.

I have 2 big types of therapy (well actually I have 3, but it could be before the watershed when you are reading this, therefore I will refrain from talking about that…the Big O helps, so maybe I will write about that in another blog post…queue up that sex and the city music).  It’s music and running for me.  Oh and lets not forget the big stuff like love, travel, laughter, shopping, a big ole piss up and food.  But when you are down you are down, and I love sex more than I love food, so you can imagine that when I am off my food something is very up.  (Sorry to my Niece if you are reading this, I bet she is squirming in her seat!).

To combine music with running therefore is my ultimate euphoria.   It helps me bring myself back to my inner centre of gravity.  When I am feeling sad and very stressed,  I get quite anxious and literally do not know what to do with myself.  And recently this has been my biggest feeling.  This is not an everyday occurrence thank goodness and thankfully I can handle a large amount of stress, but when it gets too much even for me, I have to move.  Literally.  I feel like running away, I feel like I can’t make sense of anything and literally want to run.  So I do.   For those that follow me on IG, you’ll know that recently things that have happening would have made me want to do this.   Those big things in life which throw you completely into turmoil are not to be underestimated.

And thats ok.  We are human, we can’t be expected to function 100% all the time and be ok everyday of the week.   We have days when we aren’t ourselves and something will tip the balance.  But if we learn to understand what makes the scales tip back the other way, it helps so much to feel like yourself again.   And what so many people have said to me recently – its ok to not be ok.  Its true.  I am finding that the best way to deal with how I am feeling is to let it out, run with it and feel it.

Having just been for a run before I finished this post,  I also realised when I was running just why it is so important to me.  Because it’s just for me.  The times when I am running it is ‘my’ time, it’s my ‘me’ time.  It’s my time out, my zen, my time for my own thoughts and time when I am 100% dedicating something to myself.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

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And when in doubt, run it out

So I am back to running and I am loving it,  I am back to finding my happy places and this is most certainly one of them.  It makes me less of an anxious bitch (the same as coffee, I endearingly call this my ‘bitch juice’).   Even if I can only find 20 minutes in a day to do it, I will do it.  It somehow re-balances me.

So, how do you find your happy place and what is it?  There are many good things in life, sometimes we just have to look a little harder to see them when things are tough.   So upon re-discovering this and learning recently just how important it is to me, I have booked my next half marathon – yep Bath Half in March next year baby!  Training is on!

I really hope you have yours and if not I hope you find them.

Debs

x

This Months LookBook

I’m thinking of making this a regular feature on my blog.  Anyone else tired of their ‘nice’ clothes sitting in the wardrobe for months on end, waiting patiently to be worn on a night out, only to be overtaken by something else bought recently because you feel like you’ve got nothing to wear!?

Well, yes I am completely guilty of it.  So I’ve decided to wear my ‘nice’ clothes all week long including for work, including my ‘nice’ shoes as I feel its only fair to my wardrobe!

If you follow my Instagram feed, you’ll know that I love to play dress up and I really enjoy styling an outfit and putting it together.  Not only that, it makes me feel good, so who doesn’t want to feel good all the time?

Summer especially, gives us the opportunity to experiment even more with colour, bold prints and styles which are a little more daring.  I’ve really enjoyed my outfits this month and am trying to incorporate as much colour as possible.  The best part is also finding little gems in your wardrobe that you’ve long forgotten and styling them into modern and on trend outfits.  And this is probably why I find it so hard to throw things away!  Here are my favs from this month.

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 It would only be right to start this blog post with a nod to the perfect summer bag, and the straw beach bag trend is very much underway. Its a gang I’ve wanted to be in for ages but couldn’t find the ‘right’ one, until this!  I spotted it at a friends house and I immediately knew I wanted it too!  I thought she was going to say it was mega expensive but its from Primark and a bargain at £8!   It’s straw, massive, has a zip, has pom poms and is pink, whats not to love!?

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 I have had so many compliments about these trousers!  They are beautiful and an absolute steal at £14 from Florence and Fred at Tesco.  Every time I wear them, I get asked where they are from and I’ve had lots of the same comments on Instagram.  They went like Nutella on a crepe with this beautiful mesh bodysuit from Boo Hoo.  This was also my first time wearing a bodysuit and it definitely wont be my last, such a lovely addition to an outfit, they add an element of class and the shape you get from them is brilliant because it makes your outfit look svelte.  My rose gold metallic shoes are from Peacocks, a regular feature on my page and a lovely finishing touch.

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I have had these dress for about 6 years, I love it!  I first wore it to one of my oldest best friends wedding.  Again, I have had a lot of people ask about this dress, its so colourful and you would never fail to feel summery wearing it.  It’s from Dorothy Perkins, the cut is perfect and nips you in at the waist and the length is just right.  I teamed it with these gorgeous lace up shoes from Matalan.

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Black is the new black.  And black clothes can definitely feel summery.  This dress reminded me of a flamenco dress with its flared skirt, and the feather like tassels at the bottom add a feminine touch.  This dress is from Very, and the high neck also adds a smart feel which is why I felt I could wear it for work.  I team it with this B-A-Baracus, Pity the Fool (The A Team for all you youngsters!) multi chain necklace.  Again, this is such a versatile necklace, Ive had this for about 3 years and wear it all the time.  It goes with anything and adds instant va va voom.  It’s from Accessorize.

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Ugh, I love this skirt!  I am falling more and more in love with full midi skirts.  They tick so many boxes for me; instant glamour, sexy, right length, suits any body shape and they suit any colour and print.  This one is from H&M and has an almost scuba like feel to it.  The print is timeless and is also goes with heels or flats.  Annnddd – it has pockets!  An absolute bonus!  I love pockets and if I’m being honest, I get even more excited about buying something if I know it has pockets!  My top is from ASOS and is wrap around, so it went perfectly with this skirt.  My shoes, now these beauties are a new addition and are from Matalan.  They are sling back flats and the reason I love them is for the shape at the front.  I think this style is going to be big big big this summer and we’ll see lots of girls ditching their much loved heels for these stylish and comfy flats.

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When the weather is supposed to be like Summer, but it hits the skids, I tend to retreat back to trousers and long sleeves, but I don’t want to feel like I completely going back to hibernation.  For this look I teamed this gorgeous mustard H&M fine knit long sleeve top with these gorgeous navy cropped Primark trousers – these are new and are only £8 – they also come in a variety of colours!  Go get!  To add the My Wardrobe Utopia edge, I teamed with my trusty leopard print heels from Peacocks.  Another go to accessory which instantly makes me feel me.

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Staying on the leopard print theme, I teamed this top from Primark, which has lace edging at the top with these fab cream trousers from Dunnes department store.  This look is a little more conservative but is perfect fi you have meetings or want to look professional but still have that stylish edge.  Teamed with heels it works perfectly for those colder July days.

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This outfit was my perfect throwback.  To a time when ombre was not only in your hair but also on your clothes.  To me, it still looks really trendy and thankfully the trend wasn’t ‘overdone’ to the point where you get sick of it and then it ends up looking unfashionable.   I bought this beauty about 3 years ago and still love it very much, its from Primark and I team mine with a gold better for that mediterranean vibe. It goes really well with flats too, so if you want to wear something to make you feel glam but not too over the top (question – can glam ever be over the top!  Que pondering emoji!).

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I mentioned this on my Instagram feed.  I love belts!  I used to be obsessed with them when I was younger and no outfit was complete without a belt. Even if the outfit didn’t need a belt and didn’t have belt loops, a belt was still present!   However, this is my first chunky belt purchase for a while.  Its the perfect addition and is by Ralph Lauren.  I cannot wait to wear this more and more and by styling it here one cold June day, made me realise that it is an all year round belt.  I cant wait to team this with a fine knit sweater, blue jeans, some white pumps and big sunnies.  I love summer, but this very concept makes me excited for Autumn!

Debs Xo

It’s not a diet…its a lifestyle

Brain Fud

Hey Sunshines!

I was recently delighted to be a guest blogger for Brian Fud, creators of a delicious new energy drink.  My published article is below, hope you enjoy the read!

You can view my published article here:    and also find Brain Fud on Twitter @BrainFud and Instagram @ Twitter or their website:

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I love strong brand names, the kind that when you hear it, you know exactly what it stands for.  After a long process and many years of going back and forth with diets, exercise and weight loss, I am now at a place in my mind (not including the odd ‘off’ day or two!) where I realise that what I get out is what I put in.

I was therefore delighted when a fantastic company called Brain Fud (Instagram @BrainFud and Twitter @BrainFud),  approached me to write an article around the topic of motivation and health.   Brain Fud are the proud creators of a natural energy drink, and as those who follow me know, I am all for fresh and funky!

When I read the email from Brain Fud, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about…balance.

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Where it all started – with funky trainers

 

I know what you’re thinking…not another blog post bleating on about making the right decisions, eating healthy and making good choices.  Well, in a way it is, but with a difference.

I don’t preach and I don’t expect anyone to have the same approach and ideologies to food and exercise as I do.  We are all individual and we all have our own views and ways of making things work for ourselves, thats what makes us human.  But what I do like to think, is that I can talk a little from experience.

The subject of lifestyle can be controversial.  We all know someone who is being criticised for being too thin, too large, too un-healthy, too fit and can’t let go, vegans, gluten free and those on some weird and wonderful detox, ya know, the kind whereby you eat cauliflower 4 times a day and loose 10 stone by the end of week 1…

I believe that you have to find what works for you.  I also believe that you can be either too one way or the other and the most important word is therefore ‘balance’.  When it comes to lifestyle, the most important aspect of course is health.  This comes into play whether you are under or over weight and it is so important that it is priority number 1.

I myself was always on the larger side of ok.  And in fact I wasn’t ok and at the age of 22 I had high blood pressure, could barely run for 3 minutes and was 2 3/4 stone heavier than I am now.  Fast forward 11 (ahem) years and my life couldn’t be more different from where it was then.  When I look back, the craziest part of it was that I had more ‘guilt’ about what I ate then, than I do now,  and I think thats because I knew if I didn’t get it under control, it would end up controlling me.

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For Me,  Goals and Treats keep my mind ‘balanced’.  One of my first 1/2 marathons.

 

Along with a radical change to diet, I was also very very honest with myself.  There was no more avoiding the scales, mirrors or ingredients about what I was shovelling into my mouth. I also found running, which has now become one of my great loves.  I have learnt so much, but more importantly I am still learning.

The biggest thing I have learnt is to find what works for me.  Whether it be a run in the morning in order that I can enjoy a dirty burger on a Saturday night or having treats on the weekend because I know that’s now not my norm.   Don’t get me wrong, if this isn’t you then that’s cool too and there are days when this isn’t me either.

The thing which has the biggest part to play here is moderation and making those metaphorical scales equal.  As long as you are healthy and happy and have found the answer to your own; exercise + diet = harmony, then I salute you.   Your mind has a massive part to play in this.  How you view yourself and how you think others view you too, so keeping your mind balanced is vital, this includes finding a happy medium between keeping yourself on track and motivated whilst also finding a happy medium in order that you can enjoy yourself.

After all, the biggest judgement comes from ourselves and if you can find your inner parity, then stick to it.  Have that greasy fry up on a Sunday, have that choccie bar in the afternoon and have the odd occasional cry when you feel like you’re just not getting there.   Just don’t unpack your suitcase and stay there because you deserve to have it all and thats when things spiral out of control.  Kick your heels and dust yourself down and pick up where you left off.

Everyday brings the awakening of a new start and a new opportunity, so embrace it to the fullest.

Love Debs Xo