Thursday, 18 December 2014

Life lately

Hi all, how is everyone?  I've been MIA for a while I'm afraid - I totally lost my blogging mojo for some reason.  It wasn't down to lack of post ideas or anything like that as I currently have 9 draft posts waiting to be published, life has generally just got in the way!  My pc (or internet connection, we're not sure which) is just not working properly either & the last post I did took over 2 hours to do as opposed to the usual 20/30 minutes, which really hasn't helped.  I've also been volunteering at the school again & have spent a LOT of time there in recent weeks.  It's all good fun though!

Anyhoo, I have a couple of hours until I have to be back at the school again(!), this time to help with the Christmas parties.  But first, let me fill you in on what I've been up to the last few weeks.

The Hubble & I spent a couple of days in Edinburgh at the end of November (you may have seen some of my photos on Instagram!)  We like to get away just the two of us now & again & had I not come down with a stomach bug in the night, it would've been perfect!!  Never mind, we'll just have to go again - what a shame!

We've also been really busy with sporting activities on the weekends recently.  Wee man plays rugby every Sunday morning, which the Hubble coaches & he's recently started golf lessons on a Saturday morning too.  However, these are held at the Carnoustie golf course so we drop him off for an hour then enjoy a walk along the seafront followed by coffee in the Carnoustie Golf Hotel.  Last time we went, I took a peek in the spa & have decided that in the New Year, I'm going to treat myself to an Elemis facial or two!  Well, that's if Mr F didn't pick up on the very heavy hints I was dropping & book me in for some treatments, ahem!!

I worked out the other day that I've bought 5 pairs of boots & shoes in 2 months, is that excessive?!?  One of my new pairs are the lovely Kendra Aviva from Clarks.  I wanted these last year so I'm glad I managed to pick them up with 25% off.  I bought them in the suede & I really think they are the most comfortable pair of heels I've ever owned.  I wore them last week on our Mums' Night Out (yes, it needs capital letters!!) & my feet felt fine, even after dancing for 4 hours!  Actually, they were so comfortable, I've just ordered the Crisp Kendra shoe in red as they're such a bargain at 50% off.  Let's hope they fit as well as the boots!  But no. more. footwear........for now, anyway!

I've got lots of posts that I need to finish up with lots of lovely new products to show off & I'm going to have a wee redesign of my blog over Christmas & New Year so don't worry if it all looks strange whilst I'm doing it!!

I hope you're all prepared for the big day & are feeling lovely & festive?!  Even my 6 year son knows the words to my Mr Bublé Christmas cd!!!  I'll be back soon!

Monday, 10 November 2014

I blame the babysitter!

I remember the day so well - our usual babysitter Jane had turned up to look after me & my sister & as she walked in, she handed us a bag of things to share out between ourselves.  In this bag was a huge collection of makeup that she was clearing out & my 8 year old self squealed with excitement!  We spent a happy couple of hours sharing out the goodies but the one item I really, really wanted - and that I hoped my sister wouldn't call dibs on first! - was a bright red lipstick from Estée Lauder.  I did end up with the lipstick & this was the day my love of makeup & beauty products began!

From that day on, I would take my crimped-hair self into town & my pocket money was spent in the local chemist buying all sorts of garish electric blue mascara & the only lipstick that made the whitest of teeth look like they were being subjected to 60 fags a day, Twilight Teaser (it was the 80s after all!), tiny cans of Insett hairspray that would leave my hair hard enough to take an eye out & the ubiquitous pink bottles of Impulse - I loved it all & just wanted to look like Madonna.......or Boy George, ahem!

Photo from Amazon

Photo from Sali Hughes Beauty

Now, 31 years later, I can't walk past Boots or Debenhams without going in & perusing the makeup aisles first.  I just love makeup - there, I've said it!  I love the whole artistry about it & how even the simplest of swipes with a mascara brush makes me feel sooooo much better.  If we have a big night out planned, 9 times out of 10 I'm not so much bothered about what I wear, but about what 'face' I'll be doing & do I complement or clash the nails?!  In fact, I've been known to choose my outfit after choosing what makeup I want to wear first! It's my favourite part of getting ready, whether for a night out or doing the school run & it would be extremely rare to catch me outside my home sans maquillage.

I don't see a problem with this whatsoever.....but for some bizarre reason, other people do seem to have a problem with this & this really upsets me.  For starters, it's nobody's business if I want to wear red lipstick when I drop my son at school at 8.50am & secondly, I would never judge anyone for not wanting to wear makeup so I cannot fathom why someone would feel that they can judge me for doing so.  

One of oldest friends always asks why I wear 'so much' makeup everyday, that I don't need it blah de blah but the truth is, I wear it because I love it & I feel more like 'me' with it on.  At a size 16, I am larger than I'd like to be & more often than not, feel extremely body conscious so I love to make an effort with my makeup, it just makes me feel so much better about myself - is this wrong...or too vain?   And can I just state for the record, that a regular day for me consists of foundation (I have acne scarring & pigmentation that I'm just not comfortable baring to the world!), blusher, mascara & lipstick or lip balm & takes me 4 minutes to apply in the morning - I know this because I timed myself this morning!  It's part of my morning routine the same as jumping in the shower or brushing my teeth & is not something I can see myself foregoing anytime soon.  (Obviously, lounging by the pool somewhere hot would be the exception to this rule!!)

So opinions, is it really such a bad thing to do something that makes you happy every day?  Maybe I'm reading too much into things & my hormones are rearing their ugly heads again!  Is anyone else a makeup lover like me?!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lancôme Hypnôse mascaras

If I could only choose one piece of makeup to use for the rest of my life *hyperventilates at the thought*, it would be the mighty mascara.  My skin is not great at the moment so I always even it out with foundation & I do love slicking on a fabulous splash of colour on my lips but....I could live without both...if I had to to!  Mascara on the other hand.......

I think it's because I wear glasses that I love mascara so much.  My eyes seem to disappear into 2 teeny tiny raisins behind the lenses if I don't wear it & without it, I truly feel naked!  So needless to say, over the years I have gone through many, many tubes of the stuff, my favourite being L'Oréal False Lash Telescopic....until now that is, as I think I may have just found my new best friend!!  Enter Lancôme Hypnôse!

I was wandering through Boots the other day getting some of life's essentials, you know, cotton buds, toothpaste, nail polish *ahem* when the SA on the Lancôme counter asked if I'd like to try their limited edition mascara gift set.  I've read endless glowing reports of the Hypnôse mascara but I'll be blunt & say that the £22.50 pricetag has always put me off.  However, this box set of 4 (1 full size, 3 travel size) Hypnôse mascaras was on offer at £22.50 - frankly, it would've been rude not to.....!

The full size tube is the original Hypnôse, which I think is my favourite of the four.  It has a great hourglass bristle wand that grabs & coats every single lash with one swoop - it's fabulous!  It adds the perfect amount of volume & length for an everyday mascara.  Apologies for the photo quality on my pics, autumn natural light is not good for photos!!

Next up is Hypnôse Drama.  This is my least favourite of the four as I couldn't get on with the wavy brush on this one.  Although the end result was good, it took a LOT of cleaning up my eyelids as the 'waves' kept touching the skin & smudging everywhere!  This one will be passed on to my daughter (who has her beady eye on the whole kit - errr, no missus!!) & is the only one I wouldn't buy the full size version of.

The third offering is Hypnose Star.  This has a really bizarre wand that looks like a flat tapered Christmas tree from one angle, but turn it 90° & it's flat & slim.  I didn't have high hopes for this but it's amazing!  I use the larger flat side to apply the mascara, then turn the brush & use the thin side to wiggle from the base of the lashes to give great uplift!  I would say this one gives the best volume. Love it!

And last but no means least is the Hypnôse Doll Eyes.  Again, this is one that I've read many blog reviews on so was very keen to try it.  This has a conical shaped brush & just slathers on the formula in one easy swipe.  The tapered end grabs all the teeny corner lashes & is also great for the bottom lashes.  It gives the best length of all the formulas.

The formula is perfect for me, jet black, not too wet & thick enough to give serious oomph straight away.  It doesn't smudge or crumble, removes like a dream & doesn't give me next-day-panda-eyes, my new go-to mascara!  I can't find this set online although they still had them instore yesterday, but now at £30.00.  They do however, have this set online for £22.50!!

Sorry about the lengthy post but I could rave about these all day long!! Have you tried them?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Quick update

Hi all,

Just a quick update to say that my home pc is very poorly at the minute - with all my blog photos on there, grrrrr - so bear with me until I get back to usual posts as I find it difficult/annoying trying to post from my ipad!!

I've got lots of new goodies to show you :)


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Autumn outfit - lunch date

                      Autumn outfit - lunch date

Autumn outfit - lunch date by fortytherapy

Oh I do love Polyvore, it's becoming very addictive!!  My latest outfit post, as you can see, is my ideal get-up for a lunch out with my fabulous husband - nothing too fancy or smart but I love it all the same.  We very rarely get to enjoy a nice, relaxed lunch these days so it'd be nice to smarten myself up a wee bit!

I've started with a really simple ivory jumper from Phase Eight at John Lewis, currently in the sale.  I love that it's not too fitted but is long enough to cover my bum & bits - nobody wants to look at that when they're eating thank you very much - or ever!!  It's quite a fine knit so I've added a nude vest to wear underneath from H&M - well, it says it's pink but it looks nude to me.

For the bottoms, I've chosen some comfortable high-waisted leggings, again from H&M, as is the gorgeous leather bag.  I've added these lovely wedge knee-high boots from M&S as I spotted them on their website & they very quietly - but very definitely - called my name!!  If I can actually zip them up over my wide calves, they're going in my basket.....

Camel coats are all over at the moment but I just can't find one I like enough to buy but this Mango cape, I love & would get an awful lot of wear from it.  The honey coloured faux-fur scarf from Next would look great with it as would the black hat & fabulous pony gloves & let's face it, they're all necessary additions in this cold, dreary weather!

The Citizen watch is another on my birthday wish-list, I love the splash of colour on the face.  And in keeping with the whole autumnal colour scheme, I'd stick with a nude lipstick & cocoa brown nails.

Do you love Polyvore too?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

NOTD Barry M Gelly ~ Coconut

As you can see by the sunny garden photos, I took these quite a while ago & forgot to post them, doh!!  This colour is waaaay out of my comfort zone, polish wise but after seeing it worn almost permanently by Kris Jenner & the Kardashian girls, I fancied trying it. (I know, I know...what can I say?  Watching KUWTK is my guilty pleasure....don't judge!!!)  So when my beloved Barry M released their summer shades & this little beauty Coconut was one of them, I had to try it!

I really, really love these gelly polishes, they're just so easy to apply & last for ages.  I used two coats but in all honesty, I would've got a more even finish if I'd used a ridgefiller base coat as you could still faintly see the ridges in my nails.  However, this is usual of very pale polishes & it certainly didn't detract from the loveliness of the colour.  I wasn't sure at all if it was 'me' but I found myself wearing it an awful lot throughout summer.

I managed 5 days before it chipped so not quite as good as the darker gellys but still great in the grand scheme of things!

It's very much a Marmite shade so do you love it or hate it?! ;)

Friday, 3 October 2014

Black, grey & berry


            Black, grey & berry

Black, grey & berry by fortytherapy 

Berry is one of my favourite accent shades to wear in autumn & winter so I'm pleased to see so much of it around at the moment.  I'm also extremely fond of wearing a titfer or two & there are some great ones on the shelves although this year I'll be wearing trilbys & fedoras rather than my trusty berets & beanies!

This outfit is so simple to chuck on for everyday but whilst it's not too cold yet, I've teamed it with a poncho rather than a coat - it also helps with the *whispers* hot flushes!!!

I started with the grey denim leggings from Next as I have these in 3 other shades & I love them, they're just so comfortable & a really great fit - completely hold in the muffin top!!  With them, I've added a simple white vest & over-sized jumper with faux-leather sleeve panels, both from H&M.  I know that unfitted tops are not the most flattering on me & make me look bigger than I am but I just feel so comfortable in them!  And as long as they're teamed with skinny bottoms, I can get away with them!!

The long black poncho is from Next, as are the black slouchy boots.  The fabulous berry coloured fedora is from M&S, not somewhere I go in much these days as my local store is not much cop sadly but I found this online.  The bucket bag is from H&M, they have some fab things again this season.  I think they've tweaked their sizings as I find the tops a much better fit on me at the moment.....or maybe I've dropped a couple of pounds?!

I've thrown in a berry shaded matte lip crayon & nail polish too for good measure, sometimes a bit of co-ordination is good!  And I may just have sneaked this gorgeous Tissot watch on to my board too!  This is what I'm hankering after for my 'big' birthday next year from the hubby.  I've been leaving several hints lying around & have pointed it out to him in the jewellers - several times! - but unless I physically glue a picture of it with instructions where to buy it, I don't think it'll sink in.  Bless him, he's not great with hints!!!

How do you feel about berry shades?

Friday, 26 September 2014

NOTD Nails Inc ~ Belgrave Place

I haven't done a NOTD for a while so thought I'd pop this wee beauty up for you!  I picked up Nails Inc 'Belgrave Place' from the Boots clearance shelf for just £2 a couple of months ago & when I can actually get it back from my daughter, I'm getting a lot of use from it!

It's such a fabulous colour, almost navy blue in some lights but a brighter royal blue in brighter conditions.  Either way, it's a beauty & has the exceptional quality that Nails Inc usually offers in a polish.  One week, no chips & no wear.....amazing!

Such a great shade for the impending season change!

Monday, 22 September 2014

New hair part deux!

Thanks for all of your suggestions last week!  I arrived at the salon last Thursday morning ever-so-slightly resembling Monica in Barbados (apologies if you've never seen this episode of Friends!!) due to the fine drizzle outside but having a much clearer idea in my head of what I wanted.

This was only my second visit to The Hair Warehouse in Dundee but in just those two sessions, I feel like my stylist Kirsty actually understands what I'm trying to achieve - even when I'm not entirely sure myself!!

I explained that the current colour of my hair just wasn't doing it for me & showed her my (many) Pinterest photos of what I liked.  She explained what was achievable & she was honest enough to suggest that being that much lighter wouldn't suit my skin tone.

So between us, we decided to take my hair slightly darker again but quite golden with blonde ombré underneath & round my face......and I love it!!  I feel so much more like me again being darker but the ombré really lifts it & stops it from being too much of a block colour.

Here's a couple of very grainy (ie crappy!) phone photos!

After cutting some more layers in & then rough drying, Kirsty curled my hair using Cloud Nine straighteners (which, in her opinion, are better than GHDs btw!)  I love this soft curled effect but annoyingly, I can only do one side of my hair well myself - anyone else have this problem?!  You can see a photo of the back of my hair on their website.

As expected, my hair is feeling a wee bit parched at the moment after all the abuse I've put it through since July but I'm using hair products containing argan oil which is leaving it feeling fantastic!  

So that's me feeling more like me again!  And for those of you who don't get the 'Monica' reference, here you are......!!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

New hair & Pinterest addiction!

As some of you may have noticed from my wee profile picture, I had an awful lot of hair lopped off at the beginning of July - about 16" in fact!  My hair is naturally thinning at the moment (see this post) & teamed with a disastrous haircut back in April when my stylist did not stop cutting & thinned it out far, far too much leaving it thin & straggly, I decided to cut it all off & start again.  That's the problem when you wear glasses & have to remove them at the salon, you can no longer see how much is being taken off until it's too late!  I've since found a new stylist....

At this point, I decided to start lightening my hair too as although I adored the colour of my hair, touching up my white roots every 3 weeks was becoming a real chore.  I thought by going lighter it would disguise my roots for a bit longer.  But I'm still not quite happy with my barnet!

This is what I started off with.....

Actually, this is quite an old photo, it was even longer than this!  When I first had it cut off & had the first lot of highlights, this is how it looked....

....and a couple of months down the line with even more highlights in, I'm now at this stage.....

(Apologies for the photo, it was late & I'd had a glass or 3 of vino at this point!!!)

You can see how much it's grown in just 2 months & I'm now having a cut & colour dilemma.  Do I keep it shorter like in the first photo, which I like the length of but involves much more styling than I'm used to or grow it to about shoulder length, so I have the option of tying up? (I do miss being able to have a messy bun!!!)

I'm also torn with the colour aspect of it.  I can't go back as dark as I was due to the shocking white roots problem but I'm still not entirely sure being blonde is 'me', if that makes sense!  I do like it but at the moment, it's just too in between. It either needs to be significantly blonder like these.....

....or I'm rather liking the balayage effect at the moment too.....

Or I could go to a golden light brown keeping the front blonder (as that's where my hair is now at it's whitest!!)

If it wasn't for the fact I'd get horrendous root glare, I'd be going this colour again for autumn!

So help me out please, do I keep it shorter or grow longer, blonder or more golden?  Seriously, I need help, I'm back in the salon on Thursday for the colour to be done again & I'd appreciate honest opinions!!!

You may have noticed that all but one of the images are taken from my Pinterest board (addicted much?!)  If anyone wants to have a nosy at my other Pinterest boards, you can find me here!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Autumn casual

                 Autumn casual

Autumn casual by fortytherapy

So there's a definite nip in the air in the mornings now, the cosy cardis are being unpacked & I get the urge to walk a lot more! I don't know what it is about autumn, but I love it when wee man has been dropped off at school & I can come back, harness up donkey-dog & take him over the park for a wander.

I've spoken before about how I have a mahoosive country park just across from our house & it's great walking round the reservoirs on sunny, crisp mornings.  I'm one of those annoying people who love this transitional stage from summer to autumn, the clothes are so much more 'me'!!

The above outfit is my standard sort of everyday, chuck-it-on outfit & what you'll mainly find me wearing on a daily basis.  I'm suddenly being drawn back to boot-cut jeans again after many, many months of skinnies & these from Next are gorgeous.  They're a slim boot-cut with a high-waist to suck in the muffin top - fabulous! - and are my preferred colour of denim.

On top is a simple white slub t-shirt, again from Next with a boyfriend blazer from Matalan.  I don't go here an awful lot but popped in a couple of weeks ago & spotted this.  I knew it'd be perfect to throw on & it was only £16, bargain!  I've also added a grey & white animal print scarf - just because I love it!

I spotted this Fossil bag on the John Lewis website & love it but I can't justify spending £129 on a cross-body bag so I'll have to find a cheaper alternative!

The red Converse are a staple item in my wardrobe & I've gone through many pairs of them.  I am actually in need of new ones again but I'm trying to hold out until we go to New York as they're much cheaper over there!!  And with such a plain colour outfit, I have to add a wee pop of colour on my lips & the Revlon Just Bitten crayons are fab for a hint of tint!

You may be wondering why there's a camera on my outfit list too.  I'd been looking at getting a new compact advanced system camera for all my travels next year but my husband pointed out a few weeks ago that I would then be lugging around a bigger camera & needing to change lenses etc so as a compromise, he went out & bought me this fab Fujifilm XF-1 instead - he's fab!!!  Although it's essentially a point & shoot camera, it's jam-packed full of extras & it's taking me ages to suss out all of the settings, hence why it comes out with me all of the time now so I can practise!!  But I so love the retro style of it & the fact it has a red leather casing!

I'm also loving Polyvore at the moment so expect a few more outfit posts coming up - I need to build up to WIWT posts with full-length photos of myself!!

*I wrote this post 10 days ago & have only just realised that I'd left it in draft form, doh!!!*

Monday, 8 September 2014

The one no one wants to talk about.....

Yes ladies, I'm talking about Cervical Screening!  I realise it's a a bit of a weird/TMI subject to discuss on here but I'd like to write about it nonetheless.  I knew I was overdue for my Cervical Screening (CS from now on) but like a lot of other things, it kept getting pushed further down my to-do list.  However, at the end of July I was reading a post from one of my favourite bloggers, Stacey from Expat Makeup Addict & it shocked me to the core to read that she had just been diagnosed as having cervical cancer.  She is only in her early 30s & by her own admission, she kept putting off booking in for a CS (which, like mine) was well overdue & she has now had to face the reality of not having children of her own due to having had a radical hysterectomy. 

I felt so deeply shocked after reading this post that I picked the phone up straight away & booked in for a CS, even though it would then be another 6 weeks until they could fit me in.  But last week, my appointment arrived so after some serious hair removal (ahem, ahem!!) off I went to the GP surgery.

I'll admit that I felt a bit nervous, after all, it's not a nice thought of what is about to happen.  But there are a lot of people out there who are petrified of getting this simple test done & I'd like to allay their fears a little by discussing the procedure.

First & foremost, this does NOT hurt in the slightest, not one tiny bit.  It wasn't even uncomfortable, there were just a few seconds where it felt weird - like something was tickling me deep down in my belly!!  I was in & out of the treatment room in 9 minutes & 8 of those minutes were spent getting my blood pressure taken & generally nattering with the lovely nurse about early menopause, living in France & exams!  She left me to get undressed behind the curtain & I hopped on the couch & waited for her to come back in.  She covered me with paper towel at this point so I didn't feel quite as exposed & then did what she had to do.  One difference I noticed to my last CS was that they now use plastic speculums so you get none of the shock of a cold, metal one being inserted - much better!!  No word of a lie, this part took a measly 50 seconds to do - yes, I was timing it & I explained I was going to do a blog post on it.  She was very pleased with any sort of information getting 'out there' about CS as it really does save lives.  This link will explain more about the procedure.

Later on that evening, I did experience some cramping (about a 5 on a scale of 1 -10!) but it was nothing that a couple of paracetemol & a warm wheatie couldn't fix.  I also had light spotting the following day, which can be normal I believe so again nothing to worry about & I should get my results in 2 - 3 weeks.

At the moment, CS is offered to women between the ages of 20-60 in Scotland & 25-64 for the rest of the UK (I strongly believe the age limit should be lowered to match Scotland though).  So I really just wanted stress the importance of booking in for CS, especially if any of you are overdue for your test, hopefully it'll remind you to book in asap! A 9 minute appointment every 3 years is really not a lot to ask.

*Edited to add information!*

Monday, 1 September 2014

Clarks A/W 2014 wishlist

                    Clarks A/W 2014 wishlist

Clarks A/W 2014 wishlist by fortytherapy

So whilst perusing the Clarks website this morning, as you do, I've noticed that they've got some really great choices again for this season.  There are quite a few pairs that have made my wishlist, if only my budget would allow me to have them all!!  From top to bottom starting on the left;

Orinoco Jive in Brown £89.99
I had a pair of these last year in black & I just love them.  I wore them to death last year but I think they'll last another winter so I'd like to get them in brown for this year.

Freckle Ice in Navy £44.99
Another duplicate of ones that I had last year, although in red rather than navy.  These are ridiculously comfortable & unlike a lot of other ballet flats, the front comes quite high up meaning your toes aren't gripping onto the soul for dear life to stop them slip-slapping off you feet as you walk!  So glad they're available in navy (but please reintroduce them in red too Clarks, I need another pair!)

Busby Folly in Dark Tan £69.99
I love tasseled loafers but find a lot of other ones have the same problem as ballet flats, they come too low on the toes.  These look higher up so I'll be trying these on instore.

Hotel Chic in Black Interest Leather £65.00
I love the mix of leather & patent on this pair of tasseled loafers.  Slightly less chunky looking than the Busby Folly, not sure whether I prefer that though!

Hamble Oak in Dark Green £59.99
I know everyone & their dog had a pair of Hamble Oaks last year but I still love them & the dark green is a great colour.

Nessa Clare in Black £110.00
Another duplicate of boots I've bought in the past.  I bought these 2 years ago (when they sure as hell didn't cost £110!!!) & are the only riding boot style I've found to fit my wide calves.  Although my calves are wide, my feet & ankles aren't so usual extra wide fitting boots as like baggy wellies on me.  These are the perfect fit & very comfortable.  Mine may last another winter but if not, I would repurchase (might have to wait for a voucher code though!)

Amos Kendra in black Suede £69.99
I love these shoe/boots (shoots?).  I have many (many!) pairs of shoes that I can no longer wear as they're just too high for me now, I seem to have lost the ability to walk in them so I'm going to eBay them & replace with new ones!  These are the perfect height for me now & will go with pretty much everything.

Kendra Aviva in Black Suede £79.99
Again, for the reasons above re heel height.  I tried these on last winter & loved them then so this year I definitely want to get them!

Movie Retro in Dark Grey £89.99
I have a similar pair to these in black but I love the dark grey colour of these & the quilting on them.  Not sure I can justify buying them but I'll certainly be trying them on (and consequently talking myself out of purchasing because I'll inevitably love them!)

Mezze Game in Taupe £110.00
I lurve these boots but between these & the Orinoco Jive, I'll be getting the latter.  I'll be honest & say that is purely down to cost, I'm not sure what warrants these being £20 more expensive?

So lots of gorgeous footwear around but has anyone else noticed that Clarks prices seem to have jumped considerably lately?  I know when you break it down into cost-per-wear they work out reasonable but I really baulk at forking out £100 for a pair of boots!!  However, they last really well, fit perfectly & are ridiculously comfortable & I just don't do bad shoes anymore, my feet can't take it!!!

What's going to be on your feet this autumn/winter?

Monday, 25 August 2014

So, early menopause is a b*tch.........!!

Now, I have been pondering on writing this post for a loooong time as it is just so personal but I figured there must be other ladies who are a similar age going through a similar stage in their life, so here goes.....!!

About 18 months ago, I had it confirmed after many sets of blood tests that yes, my suspicions were correct & I was going through early-menopause.  To be honest, it came as no shock at all as it runs in all the females on my mum's side of the family but still, I was only 38 at this point so it left me feeling a bit "oh bugger!" as I'm the youngest one yet out of our family.

I guess the point of this post is to fill you in on the joys of things I've been experiencing lately & basically, to have a bit of a moan & get it off my chest!

Irregular periods
So this is the main reason I thought I was beginning to go through menopause.  My periods became really irregular & I could go months with no period or have 3 within a month, fun yes?!  They are still very weird although seem to be dwindling again (24 hour long period?  Yes, that'll do nicely thanks!)

Ah yes, the dreaded facial hair!  Every day I have to have a wee plucking session to rid my chin of the foul black, spiky needles sprouting out of it.  Not nice but nothing a pair of tweezers can't fix!

Thinning hair
My hair has always been really thick but it's thinning so much, it feels like I have hardly any round my hairline.  I do of course, it just feels yukky.  But again, I can live with it.

Spreading waistline
This, I'm not liking!!  I've been many dress sizes over the years from an 8 to an 18 but I've always had a waist.  I have been feeling my waistbands getting a wee bit tighter lately & my tummy is definitely erm, spreading, shall we say!?  Nope, not liking this......

Mood swings
You think PMT is bad, it's not a patch on menopausal mood swings.  They've been that bad, I've been pissing myself off!!  I've had days where the stupidest little thing sets me off in such a rage, it's ridiculous.  But no amount of deep-breathing or counting to ten works, it just has to come out.  Unfortunately, it's normally my husband who bears the brunt of it, poor Mr F!!  Equally, I've had times where hysterical crying is flavour of the day!  I volunteer regularly at my son's primary school & one afternoon I'd gone in to help & the teacher hadn't received my email with all the project work on it ready to print.  Cue full-on meltdown in the staff toilet!!  I was sobbing that much, I just ran out the school & went back home.  Totally irrational but it all just felt too much & I absolutely could not function for the rest of the day.  Unfortunately, you have to go with the flow & get it out your system but there have been days where I've genuinely thought, "this is it, I'm actually cracking up!"  Not nice.

Hot flushes
I seem to go in cycles with these.  I can go months with nothing & then have a month where I'm getting full-on flushes.  It literally is like someone flicking a switch & the temperature rises, sweat springs from every orifice, my cheeks are beetroot bright & then 20 seconds later, poof, it's gone & everything's back to normal!!  Bizarre but bearable.

Humpf, this one I am certainly most unhappy with!  I've always had great skin, never had spots as a teenager, am meticulous with my skincare routine but still, I've developed acne on my chin - and sometimes cheeks - and it's bloody sore!!  I can tell when I'm having a hormonal surge as my chin just goes mental with big, angry red bumps appearing all over it.  My GP wants me to try & ride it out for the time being before prescribing anything stronger for it but this is the thing that's really getting me down to be honest.  God, that makes me sound so superficial but I feel really self-conscious all the time, I just don't like it at all :(

I was referred to the hospital to attend the Menopause Clinic (I know, I know, I laughed too!!)  The doctor I saw wants me to start with HRT due to the fact that I'm more susceptible to getting osteoporosis because of my age but I'm not sure about this yet, I'm still thinking about it. But the best bit, it's located within the Sexual Health Clinic (ie STD clinic) so the paranoia was setting in wondering if the teenage lads were thinking "hmmm, she looks too young for the menopause, I wonder if she's got crabs?!"  Definitely a day for no eye-contact, heh heh!!!

So there we are, it's been fun central in my body for the last 18 months!!!  And to any other peri/early/post-menopausal women out there, I salute you & feel your pain!!!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Next A/W '14 wishlist

                Next A/W '14 wishlist

Next A/W '14 wishlist by fortytherapy 

Hi all, this sudden transition from summer into full-on wintery conditions has led to me making the most of the last couple of days of the school holidays & perusing the A/W catalogues!!  I've even resorted to lighting the bloody fire, can you believe that?!

Anyway, it's no secret that as much as I love the sun, winter is my thang!  Maybe it's due to the lack of skimpy clothes about & I can cover myself up again or maybe it's due to being acceptable (in our house!) to be getting into your pjs at 5.30pm, who knows....but I do love it & get excited when the shops start changing over their stock!!

Next have got some great A/W staples in just now, above is just a small selection of what I've seen.  I'm having a bit of a love affair with grey & navy this year, which is bizarre seeing as I seem to live in black.  But chuck in the gorgeous citrine crepe dress (which I'll order in 'tall' so it's a tad longer!) & a few tan accessories, namely brightly coloured scarves & a few titfers, and I'm a happy bunny!  I would also like to categorically state that I am LOVING the fact that capes are high on the radar for this season *cue happy clapping*

Has anything caught your eye in the new season collections yet?

Thursday, 7 August 2014


Hi all, I'm back!  I've got a few 'catch-up' blog posts planned but first, I want to share my very exciting news!  As you may know, my 'big' birthday is fast approaching & I've said since I turned 30 that on my 40th, I would love to go back to New York so in June, we finally booked it!

This is an adult only trip & my dad, step-mum, sister & brother-in-law are coming along too. We'd short listed 3 hotels, all in a midtown location so we could be pretty central to everything & when we came to book, we got the best deal in the Sheraton Times Square.  I'm ridiculously excited to be seeing the city I fell in love with when I worked there as an 18 year old again & I've been making lists like a mad woman!! Yes, even more so than normal (Paperchase is getting a lot of business from me at the minute!!)  The Sheraton looks beautiful too & is ideally placed between Times Square & Central Park.

But, but, doesn't end there! As I've mentioned before on a post, myself & a couple of great friends had decided we were going to have a trip to Marrakech.  For one reason or another, we didn't get round to booking it before & consequently, the flight prices shot up so we said we'd wait & try & get a last minute deal as we just wanted a cheap weekend away. 

However, last week I popped on to just out of interest & joy of all joys, they were advertising that they're now flying to Marrakech from Glasgow! This means we would only have an hour & a half drive to the airport as opposed to 5 & a half hours to Manchester so much, much better for us. And even better, after playing around with some dates, I found return flights for £80, bargain!!  So, was booked & another friend is now joining us too.

My ipad should have steam coming out of it from overuse at the moment as any spare minutes are spent googling restaurants & tourist attractions in NYC or perusing Tripadvisor looking for riads in Marrakech!  However, everytime I found a beautiful riad & thought "we won't find better than this", I'd find another one!  And then I stumbled across this little beauty, Riad Houma & just knew that this was 'the one'!  I quickly emailed the girls to tell them to look it up online & they all loved it so yet again, was booked, we didn't want to risk the rooms all selling out!!  It just looks so luxurious, I cannot wait to be lying on that roof terrace with a glass of vino in one hand & a trashy holiday read in the other, nattering with great friends!  Have a quick look at their website, the whole place looks divine.

I'm aware it seems that I'm being a bit spoilt with 2 city breaks within a month of each other but it's all very exciting as I very rarely get to go away anywhere & I've never had a 'girls' weekend abroad! It also takes the edge off turning 40 too *said with tongue firmly in cheek!!*  I'll try not to be a bore about it but I can't promise anything as I have lots of blog posts planned!!  I also need to dash to the shops to see if they have any summer season clothes left at all......

Have you ever been to Marrakech or New York?  Let me know your recommendations on things to do, places to eat etc!

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