6 tips to help you feel confident in your clothes

I have always been a person that struggles to keep my weight in a healthy place – my entire life, it’s been something I worried about much more than I should. However, to stop it burrowing a deep hole in my tiny mind, I have come up with a few strategies to help me feel on confident on the regs, no matter WHAT  the scales say. 

So for me, it’s always how I feel in my clothes that bothers me, I hate them feeling tight and if I don’t feel comfy then it’s impossible for me to feel confident, sexy and if I am honest, to enjoy my day. So here’s my tips to feel fab in your clothes: 

  1. Have a wardrobe clearout. If there are things that you have in your wardrobe that you haven’t worn for over a year, donate them to a charity shop. I know that in the back of your mind, you are thinking “I will keep that piece because it’s nice and it might fit me again soon”. But here’s the thing, it’s true that if your weight changes, it might fit you again, but what’s also true is that every time you open your wardrobe, you are reminded by some of the things in there, that they don’t fit. No-one wants a disappointed sigh when they are choosing clothes! GET RID 🆗 My compromise, would be to pick your favourite outfit out of all the ones staring at you that you don’t wear and donate the rest. Let’s face it, if you ever did change your body shape, you are more than likely going to enjoy shopping for some new stuff! 
  2. Have a honest conversation with yourself about size. I know that over the years I have been SO many different dress sizes and I feel more comfortable in some than others. BUT no-one in the world needs to know your size and once you have your clothes on, not a single person in ANY day will ask you what size dress you are wearing. So my tip here would be, buy the size that fits you, even if it’s not the one that you feel comfortable at. This goes back to the first tip, that you must always strive to buy/wear clothes that make you feel like an utter legend, every single day!
  3. One big thing that I try not to do, it’s speak negatively about myself. This is my toughest challenge to be honest. But… I try not to say that my hair is a mess or my clothes look sh*t as words matter and if you hear them often enough, even from yourself, you might start to believe them. If I heard someone tell my friend their outfit was awful, I would JUMP to their defense pretty damn quick. So why would I say those things to myself. But I know it’s hard if you are in that headspace to find one thing you like, but it can just be something small like your earrings or your little thumb nail. Positivity spreads. 
  4. Ignore trends at ALL costs. There comes a time in your life, age irrelevant, where you realise what suits you and trends are exactly that. For example, I have hooded eyes and the current trend for winged eyeliner has seen me try SEVERAL times to perfect the flick, but always failing miserably. So earlier this year, I let it go 🐸. Work out what suits you, what makes you feel awesome when you put it on and go with that. 
  5. Never keep clothes for “best”. So I know this might be controversial for some of you, but I rarely keep clothes for best. If I love something, I just wear it. Obviously I keep things appropriate for the setting I am in, but I don’t leave a perfectly good dress/jumper/pair of jeans in the wardrobe for the right occasion, I just bloody well put them on. I might fall under a bus tomorrow and then I might not ever get a chance to wear it! 
  6. The final tip I think is the most important. Ignore Social Media. Everyone just posts their highlight reel and with the help of filters, excellent light and picking 1 “best” photo out of 100. It’s all too easy to look at your own face, look at social media and feel like you don’t measure up – but believe me you do. you 1000% do

It all starts with a smile, so even if you don’t feel like it, smile for a few seconds. I sometimes do this and if I look in the mirror (lets be honest phone camera), I look so sarcastic – which then makes me do a genuine smile 😛. 

So there you have it, as always, I would love to hear any tips you might have for walking with confidence. 

G x 

October Heroes | Lifestyle

I realised over the last few weeks that I am person that likes finding solutions to things.  For example, Problem: Can’t continually reach something in a high cupboard and so continually has to drag a chair from another room? – I am the person that just LOVES finding a pretty step stool that can be stored easily to stop the reaching and chair dragging! I am THAT person that simply loves a gadget and I have to say that when I find a good one, I am almost evangelical about it! 

So with this in mind, I thought I would share some of my October Heroes with y’all. First Up: 

Handbag within a Handbag

I flipping LOVE this! On my commute to work, I have to take my laptop as well as all the other sundries I like to carry. But at the weekend, I still like to carry my purse (and let’s face it, lots of other cr*p) and it used to do my head in switching from a bigger bag to a smaller one. But this mini bag makes my life so much easier. It acts as an organiser for inside my bag and so when I want to switch I just lift the whole thing out (it has handles) and transfer from humongous laptop bag to my pretty weekend bag. GENIUS! 

Wick Trimmer

Now my second hero in October was a gift from someone that knows me VERY well. My lovely M bought me a wick trimmer. Now what the FLUFF is that you ask, well I am a secret candle hoarder, lighter, fancier and collector. But as the nights have drawn in, I might (definitely) have had some candles lit for too long and their long wicks have meant too much soot. So M treated me to a wick trimmer, which not only cuts down the wick of the candle to stop extra soot, it also catches the bl**dy thing as well!!!! I 💝 it! 

Too Faced Chocolate Palette

One thing that Instagram has done for me is invigorated my interest in make-up. I won’t ever be an expert, but I am definitely more up for experimenting and knowing what suits me. I bought a Laura Mercier palette a few years ago and loved it and on our recent trip to Barcelona, I treated myself to a Too Faced Chocolate palette. It’s DIVINE! It’s so pigmented and has some of my favourite colours. I’ve loved playing with and relish and occasion where I get to wear some of it. 

Also, mini shout-out for the All Nighter setting spray from Urban Decay. Helping my combo skin hang onto it’s makeup. FTW. 

LED Dressing Table Lights

For my 40th birthday, I was lucky enough to be give US Dollars for a trip abroad, but by some minor miracle, I didn’t spend them all whilst we were away. So with what was left, I bought a dressing table from Ikea. It’s perfectly positioned in our box room and my only bug bear has always been that the light isn’t great. The window is on my left and so the right hand side of my face is always in shadow, even with the “big” light on. I’ve tried a few different things, none of which quite worked, mainly because most “hollywood” style lights are straight where the mirror on my dressing table is oval. 

But finally on Amazon, I found these brilliant LED lights, which I have to admit aren’t the prettiest, but work perfectly. 

So as I said at the beginning, I love finding solutions and these have been some of my favorite this month. Hope you’ve had a good one and just for kicks, I will leave you with some pics from the awesome Halloween party we had… 

Till next time 

G x 

How are you?

How many times do you ask this question or answer this question in a week? As a standard this is how it commonly goes in my world:

“Hello, how are you?”

“Fine thanks, how are you?”

“Good, so I wanted to talk to you about…….”

This whole exchange takes about 3 seconds and then the conversation moves onto the topic at hand. Most people are not actually enquiring how I am, it’s just a way to say hello – a greeting. Which reminded me about something. 

You may have heard of a Doctor called Kate Grainer who was diagnosed with cancer, and she noticed that during her cancer treatment, hardly any of the people delivering her care introduced themselves to her. She became increasingly frustrated by this and started the #hellomynameis campaign, to encourage clinicians and caregivers to introduce themselves and make their care more personal. 

I loved this campaign and remembered it today when someone asked me how I was. The exchange was a perfunctory one and I answered in the expected way, but the truth is, it should have gone like this: 

“Hello, how are you?”

“Well I am sort of ok, but feeling quite stressed out after a difficult few weeks. I am dealing with a lot of uncertainty and it’s starting to take its toll both physically and mentally. My sleep pattern is AWOL and my IBS has flared up”

Because of my job I speak to lots of people during the day and I must get asked over 20 times daily how I am.  Almost 100% of the time I don’t give a real answer. I mean, obviously it’s not appropriate to tell a colleague you barely know about your IBS issues, but I think that the balance definitely needs to shift back the other way. We hear people say that “it’s ok not to be ok”, me included, but I still find myself not being honest in my answers. I am not sure why that is really? 

So if you have got all the way to the end of this post, promise me that the next time a friend or close colleague asks you how you are – you will tell them – be honest and I am positive you will feel just a little bit better and it will be worth it. 

G x 

Vegan Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

Serves 2

100g Arborio Rice

1/2 white onion (finely chopped)

100g Mushrooms (sliced)

1/2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar

4 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

500 ml of vegetable stock

Handful of fresh parsley

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Put the garlic and onion in a pan on medium heat and sauté until onion is soft
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute.
  3. Stir in the rice
  4. Quickly add the stock and the white wine vinegar
  5. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Add more hot water if required.
  6. When rice is cooked, stir in the nutritional yeast and chopped parsley.
  7. Seasons to taste and serve immediately.
  • p.s. Nutritional yeast was new to us and we got ours from Holland & Barrett. It replaces the Parmesan as it has a cheesy flavour!
  • I got a Tattoo!!

    So as you an see above, I got a tattoo. which is something I have been considering for a few years on and off and even when a few weeks before our holiday I erring on the side of getting one done, I was still going back and forth. 

    However on the day I decided definitely yes, which was about 11:30am, by 15:00 it was done and dusted. I had googled previous English speaking tattoo shops in Barcelona and luckily enough there was a highly recommended one about 5 minutes walk from our hotel, namely Oxytocina here:

    On arrival we had a great welcome from the owner and the consultation was easy as, apart from the fact it was done in English, they clearly knew their stuff. I took in my own design and the gave me a little advice on sizing and placement (I originally wanted it on my foot, but was advised that it might not last as long, so I switched to my arm), and then before I knew it, I was sat having it done. 

    It took about an hour altogether and just 10-15 minute to do the actual tattoo. It didn’t really hurt (maybe 2/10) and I was THRILLED with the result. It’s quite a delicate tattoo, which was exactly what I wanted and I couldn’t recommend Oxytocina highly enough. 

    My insta explains the meaning behind me having YNWA on my arm and do you know what’s cool. Last year (2017) M had a “Forever Stone” laid at Liverpool’s ground, Anfield which also has a similar inscription…. 

    In fact, I filmed a VLOG for my YouTube Channel about it all too:

    Love 

    Gx 

    Barcelona Travels | Eating Out

    Travelling to a foreign country for the first time since being diagnosed as Lactose Intolerant was a worry for me. I furiously worried about having to try to explain my situation in another language. So you have to imagine my utter joy when I tell you how WELL I ate in Barcelona and wasn’t poorly once! 💃

    So the way I kept so well whilst being away had a couple of ingredients (if you’ll pardon the pun). 

    • In every restaurant we went to, everyone spoke English. 
    • We ate vegan wherever possible. 

    I mentioned in my post about some of the amazing thing we did whilst in Barcelona, that we went on a Runner Bean walking tour. Our first guide was a lovely guy called Miguel and at the end of the tour, he asked if anyone wanted food recommendations. We asked for vegetarian and he suggest a few places and of course, we found a few places ourselves. 

    Teresa Carles

    So I have to start with the MOST amazing food that we ate whilst we were away and this was one of Miguel’s recommendations. It seems Teresa Carles has a small group of restaurants in Barcelona, all with slightly different styles. The main Teresa Carles one, I would say is on the same level (if not the same style) as a Jamie Oliver restaurant, if you live in the UK. 

    The menus were in Spanish and English and of course as the restaurant has a healthy focus, it contained SO much vegetarian and vegan food that I almost squealed with excitement. 

    Our first trip we had a small wait to get a table, but when we did, we were seated on a large table with 6 other people. This is fairly unusual by British standards, but why not eh? In terms of food, on our first trip, I had something called a Portabello Freak & Do which was a gorgeous Portabello Mushroom dish with potatoes and M had a vegan lasagna. Both gorgeous and THEN we both had vegan cakes for dessert. Pure heaven..

    The food here was SO good that we also came back on our last day – the nicest food I have eaten in a VERY long time! 

    Flax & Kale

    Flax & Kale are also part of the Teresa Carles group  but had a slightly less formal vibe. However, the food was EQUALLY as delicious and I had a simple dish of mushrooms on toast which were cooked in Coconut Milk. I know this sounds simple, but the mushrooms tasted like the very best mushrooms risotto I have ever had! Highly recommend!! 

    Chok The Chocolate Kitchen 

    So of course, after an amazing meal, we had to try to have an amazing pudding and whilst on our way to somewhere else, we walked past Chok and this instantly became somewhere we had to try. 

    The had a selection of Vegan chocolate puddings and we eventually went for one that we thought was pistachio, but actually was Matcha when we got it back to our hotel! Still bl**dy lovely though. 

    Bacoa Burger

    So yes, Bacoa Burger isn’t vegan, but it DOES have vegan options. It also has a couple of different restaurants around Barcelona and we loved the one we found here: 

    They had lots of choices for burgers and the were delicious. Because they make each burger from scratch with options to add extras or leave things off, I was able to customise my meal without dairy. Plus they did actually have a vegan burger if I’d wanted. Bonus. 

    The Bio Centre

    The Bio Centre was another recommendation from Runner Bean and had a totally chilled and somewhat student vibe. It was dressed like you would imagine movie restaurant to be with fringed lampshades and quirky shelf decorations. So unusual. This was actually one of the few places where we didn’t take any photos of the food. Needless to say, we loved it and the food was gorgeous. 

    Deliveroo

    If you live in a city or any type of densely populated area then you might have already experienced Deliveroo, but this simply doesn’t exist where we live. Participating restaurants put their food on the Deliveroo app, you order and then a rider will collect it and bring it to your door. 

    This was perfect for us when we were too tired to go out to eat, a sort of happy medium between hotel and apartment living. We ordered from

    The food we ordered was honestly so gorgeous that I couldn’t quite believe it. So yummy, so vegan, so much fun! 

    So there you go, it WAS possible to eat healthily(ish) in Barcelona and it’s certainly possible to eat Vegan. I loved every mouthful. 

    G x 

    Barcelona Travels | Places to Visit

    Barcelona is wonderful and having just spent a week there, I just HAD to share some of the wonderful places we visited and things we experienced. We felt like we only scratched the surface, so would LOVE to hear any recommendations you have too. Comment below  👇

    Sagrada Familia

    The Sagrada Familia (the Sacred Family) is one of the most iconic building in Spain as well as the most visited venue in Barcelona. It was the final work of renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. There is so much to see at what is now a basilica after a papal visit and it was WELL worth a trip. We decided on a guided tour which cost us 24€ each and we loved it. The tour took about 50 minutes or so and was in English.

    I personally loved the inside more than the outside as Gaudi’s work is really very unusual and I didn’t love it, but I DID love the inside as the stained glass was beautiful. 

    Camp Nou

    Camp Nou is the home of FC Barcelona and the 2nd most visited attraction in the city. Tickets were 25€ each and we easy enough to buy on arrival. It was fairly busy but not too mad at the time we went, but I imagine in Summer it would be HEAVING and so you might be better off going as early as possible in the morning. We paid a little extra with our tickets to get an audio guide, but I honestly don’t think we needed them as there was plenty of written information to look at.

    The tour includes the museum, the away dressing room and we also got to the the stadium itself from a a few levels including pitchside and the press boxes. I am not into football at all, but it was very good tour and there was something for everyone, even me! 

    Teleferic de Montjuic 

    The Teleferic de Montjuic is a cable car the goes up to the Montjuic Castle. It was only 5€ each and we were able to book this in advance. Google told me that the queues could be quite busy so we decided to go early. As it happened there was hardly anyone there really, so we didn’t have to wait at all. 

    There was a castle at the top which gave us stunning 360 degree view of Barcelona and we spent a happy 90 minutes exploring in the sunshine. Glorious. 

    p.s. the cable car takes 7 minutes from Bottom to Top and if you aren’t a fan a heights, it goes without saying, that this might not be for you! 

    I have left the very best till last……..

    Runner Bean Walking Tours

    M found out about Runner Bean walking tours as part of our pre-holiday research. We decided to do one on our second day and then again on our last day.  The tours are in English and last 2.5 hours and the first one we did was a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter with Miguel. It was FASCINATING and we loved every single minute of it. Miguel was able to show us around the intricate Gothic Quarter in to some of the smaller streets giving us such an insight into it’s history and architecture. 

    He was funny and charming and the time passed so quickly. But do you want to know the best part? The tour is FREE!!!! The idea is that people just give the guide whatever they thought it was worth to them. It was BRILLIANT!

    Miguel pointing out the Jewish Headstones that were stolen to build part of the wall!

    The second tour we took was with Ana and she walked us around Gaudi’s works. This tour was also free, but we had to buy a metro ticket to help us move between the the different Gaudi houses. Ana was so smiley and the 2.5 hours went SO fast. She had really interesting facts about every house and piece of architecture she showed us – I LOVED it! The tour ended at Sagrada Familia and despite having already been there earlier in the week, she still gave us some fascinating insights into the facades.

    I honestly can’t recommend these tours enough, entertaining, insightful and fun. Just the BEST was to see Barcelona IMHO. 

    We booked ALL of these trips online, with the exception of Camp Nou, which you are better off purchasing at the stadium, as tickets purchased online still have to be collected from a ticket office in Barcelona. 

    There was so much more we wanted to do, but just couldn’t fit everything in. As mentioned in my previous post about the technology we used whilst on holiday, we also visited the Zoo, but it was very tired looking with lots of construction. Do NOT recommend. 

    But overall we loved EVERYTHING and can’t wait to go back! 

    G x 

    p.s why not take a look at some of the technology we used in Barcelona to make our trip even more special. 

    Barcelona Travels | Technology

    Oh wow, we have just arrived back in the UK after the MOST glorious week in Barcelona, Spain. This post is one of 3 being published over the next week or so to highlight some of the things we did and some of the stuff we used whilst in Spain to make our life easier or trip easier to navigate – literally! 

    The first thing I am going to focus on is Technology. For those that know me in real life, know I am a proper geek, which I think is pretty awesome. I am always the girl finding a tech savvy way to get something done and so I thought I would give you a run-down of what we used…. 

    Google Maps

    Ok so Google Maps has been my long time navigation go-to when trying to find my way around  a new city, so I thought I would continue this in Barcelona. So the first thing I did when researching places that we might want to visit, including our hotel and places to eat, was to search for them in Google Maps on my iPhone X and then save them into a list. I then shared the list with M and so this meant that we could both continue to add things as we found them and we could both see. 

    I then made the map of Barcelona available offline, which involved a small download of the map, which meant that it didn’t drain my data (or battery) whilst away as it already had the map loaded. I have to say, this worked BRILLIANTLY! We used Google Maps every day as we walked for MILES from place to place – in fact I walked a total of 26.4 miles across the week, which was 70,280 steps!!!!! Wow. 

    MyTaxi 

    So, we mostly walked around Barcelona, but we did sometimes need to travel further afield or we were simply too tired to walk. When we did need a cab we used MyTaxi. In my research, I found that Uber didn’t really operate in Barcelona and so we set ourselves up with MyTaxi. 

    Much like Uber, we could hail a Taxi from within the app and set a destination so if, like us, you don’t speak to local language, the cab driver already knew where we wanted to go. 

    Once the journey was over, we could use the App to pay, having registered my debit card whilst still in the UK. Perfect and the epitome of stress free! 

    Google Drive 

    Another fab thing that I made use of whilst we were travelling was Google Drive which is an online document storage service. Everything I booked, including tickets and passes for things, I uploaded to Google Drive and then made them available offline. I then shared this with M so we both had access. This was SO much easier than having various bits of paper and also useful as most of the trips and activities were booked the day before and so we were simply unable to print things off. Have barcode on phone – will travel! This worked for Runner Bean Walking Tours,  Barcelona Zoo, Montjuic Cable Cars and Sagrada Familia. Also I kept our travel insurance and various other travel agent documents in there too. Perfect and never lost! 

    easyJet Boarding Passes

    We flew with easyJet for the first time and as it’s a low budget airline, I didn’t have high expectations. But I have to say, both flights were painless.  One of the things we did use were digital boarding passes, which were SO much easier for us. We were able to check in online for both flights up to 30 days before the actual flight (which we did) and this gave us our boarding passes. I downloaded the easyJet App and this then put the pass in my iPhone’s wallet. Once we were at the airport my phone detected where we were and my pass appeared in the lock screen. 

    We saw so many people faffing with large bits of paper, but the digital version worked best for us as, like most people, we are never without our phones, so it made sense. Also, due to already being checked in and only having cabin bags, we could arrive much later than usual! 🙂 

    Deliveroo

    I am going to do a whole separate post on how WELL we ate in Barcelona, but for now I just have to give a lovely mention to Deliveroo. If by some slim chance you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically a food delivery service. But rather than being limited to Chinese or Pizza, this service will go to your favourite (participating) restaurant and bring a whole RANGE of yummy foods. We used this a few times and were impressed every time. We ordered in the app from the menu the restaurant provided and paid using Apple Pay. The restaurant accepts the order and then within 20 minutes or so, we got a notification to say our rider was on his way. We could then  track where our rider was via a map in the app (rhymes! nice… ) and before we knew it, a guy on a bike pulled up to our hotel and handed us a bag with lovely food in it… 

    This was a perfect solution for us being room only in a hotel. Sometimes, after long day being out and about, we couldn’t be bothered to go out to eat, so this seemed like a happy medium. Nice food, but in bed!! Brilliant. 

    Happy Cow

    Continuing the food theme, we occasionally used an app called Happy Cow to find nearby Vegan or Veggie restaurants. It has great filters and even some photos of both the  place and food. I have been using this in the UK and it worked fine in Spain too. 

    and finally….. 

    Words with Friends

    Inevitably, travelling can mean lots of waiting around and so M and I resurrected an old favourite in Words with Friends. It’s a simple word game, like Scrabble, that allows you to play against someone in your contacts or against the computer or it will even match you up against another player from around the world. This kept us busy and if I am honest awake whilst we waited for our room to be ready when we first arrived in Barcelona! It’s really the small things sometimes. Also, I hate to admit it, M is VERY good at Words – he always beats me!! 😳

    **

    So those are all my tech recommendations for travelling in a new city – I have left out only one, which was an app we downloaded for Barcelona Zoo. But to be honest the Zoo was as crap as the app.. so 🙈 👎 I would love to hear anything else you have tried too. 

    As this is a small series, don’t forget to come back to see all the amazing Vegan food we ate whilst away – being dairy free has its advantages! 

    G x 

    p.s. Why not take a look at some of the places we visited