Elaine goes Platinum!!!

March 31, 2015

Elaines goes blonde

I could just entitle this post Mid-life Crisis, attach a photo and leave it at that.

However, just in case there’s someone out there who’s wondering how much work goes into maintaining a headful of platinum bleached hair, I shall continue…

Why did I decide to go from dark brown hair (previously owned in original state for almost 40 years, discounting a few months here and there of henna and home-dye efforts, mainly around the teenage and young enough to just get away with looking like a walking zombie)…to outrageously bright platinum silver blonde?

I blame it partly on a mini mid-life crisis and also the fact that it was one of the few “So, what about if I…” spur of the moment questions that didn’t make my husband scream in horror. They are getting fewer and fewer by the way.

I’ve never liked or enjoyed my hair. Dark brown with a tinge of red in the summertime. Not thick and luscious; more Yoko Ono on a bad hair day when long; enough static to power half the state…the list goes on. Add to this list, the more ridiculous an ide, the more likely it is to fall into the Go Big or Go Home pot.

Like much of my life and psyche, there’s no middle ground.

Inspired by photos of other women who’d gone silver/grey/platinum, I booked myself a consultation at a great salon in the city. The chap who did my colour change is good at colour – word of mouth around town etc. As my husband said “If it looks terrible, you can always colour it over.” Nobody could’ve been more shocked than me at this acceptance of what his wife was about to undertake. Maaaaaybe, he was trying out a toddler-psychology-thing on me.

If you don’t react negatively, she won’t do it. The thrill will be gone.

Well, thankfully I don’t have the brain of toddler (¡) and I took his response as support. Of my mid-life crisis.

  1. Expect to be in the hair salon for hours. HOURS. Not being accustomed to having my hair professionally coloured, I had no clue that it would take 8 hours in total, split into 2 4-hour visits, a day apart.
  1. Expect to have people stand next to your chair and openly stare at you. Stylists and other clients. Stylists is fine (it’s a bit like work experience or when you’re in a psych ward and the resident brings in all the 1st year med students). When it’s another customer, it’s weird and remarkably uncomfortable.
  1. There’s a lot of back and forth chitchat between the stylists. About your hair. You are momentarily invisible at times. “You think her hair will handle another round or *makes slitting throat gesture*?”. Hold on mateyboy, I can SEE and HEAR YOU. I exaggerate, of course, but at points I did get a wee bit anxious at not being “in” on their discussions of what was happening to my hair.
  1. There will be a moment of What In God’s Name Have I Done, but it passes quite quickly. If the salon offers wine, just take it.
  1. Post hair colour change, the upkeep is humungous. There have been times that I’ve actually contemplated shaving all my hair off. I’m as vain as they come, but holy hell, is there a lot of maintenance. Oil, they said. To combat all the bleach. I have it all. Argan, Moroccan, almond, I’ve even used frigging olive oil (Santa Maria Novella do a lovely culinary olive oil, I do have standards).
  1. The roots appears after a shockingly short 7 days. Less Striking and more Skunk.
  1. I cannot wear the same colours anymore. Tiresomely, black makes me look evil. Not in the withering stare way (which I’m fine with) but in a mean, ugly old witch kind of way. Neutrals wash me out. Horrifyingly, red complements me. RED? ME? Changing the colours of my wardrobe is proving to be more life-changing than the colour of my hair.

All the negatives to one side, I am enjoying my new hair. My toddler asked why I painted it silver…I told him “Oh, for a change.” He replied “I LOVE IT!” Okay, so he responded in exactly the same way to the new table. My husband likes it – big relief. Not so sure he appreciates my walking around in our son’s vivid green frog shower cap “hydrating my hair”…

Do blondes have more fun? I’ve no idea. I know that people who say Sod It and dye their hair an outrageous colour do though.

Elaine

 

 

Elaine goes blonde

 

Street Style Sunday – Instagram Denim

March 29, 2015

Before I go any further I am shamelessly canvassing for votes to be nominated in the Brilliance in Blogging awards. I  believe I fit into the STYLE category best. I’ve been lucky enough to already have an award under my belt, but it’s been a little while since that award and I’d love to add another one such as this to my collection. There is also the chance to nominate yourself, if you’re a blogger, and lots of other blogs that you’re loving right.

 

 

Now back to normal business. The theme on my Instagram this week has unwittingly been denim. I’m having a little love affair with denim at the moment, especially 70’s inspired denim. My instagram following is growing amazingly well at the moment, so I thought I’d show you some of the highlights from this week’s feed. So not to bore you (if you do follow me on IG) I have tried not to show exactly the same pictures.

 

70's denim flares

 

double denim

 

Get similar jeans from Topshop, Shirt from La Redoute,  Sunglasses from Boden, Trainers – Adidas Originals.

 

This week I was fortunate enough to be sent a FRAMECHAIN. I think I’ve needed one of these all my life. Not only do they look good but they are extremely practical too. Many of glasses have been ruined because I throw my glasses in  my bag and they scratched. I also have a habit of putting my glasses up on the head when the sun goes in, and stretching them. Now my glasses problems have been solved. Hallelujah.

 

frame chain

 

glasses and frame chain

 

Earlier in the week I went to a Mothers Meeting event with lots of other bloggers, in my favourite Sweaty Betty gear, to a super swanky gym in Kensington called Equinox. It was good to be networking and getting fit with other amazing mums.

 

equinox gym

 

In this picture you can see Adrienne from That’s My Mum, Heledd from Running in Lavender, Nina from Beauty and Buggy, Bonnie from Mama’s VIB, and Jenny from Mothers Meeting, all fabulous mamas I’ve met through blogging.

 

That’s it for this week. Hope you’re having a great weekend.

 

Nat x

 

 

Now it’s that time again for you to show us your style.

 

GET INVOLVED ON IG TOO– each week I will be reposting my favourite instagram style pic on my IG feed, all you have to do is tag @stylemesunday in your pic and hashtag #streetstylesunday. You can gain some new followers and it means more people can get involved with Street Style Sunday. Or just link up your IG url pictures to this link up.

To link up a blog post – Click add link.

Grab the Street Style Sunday badge (left hand column).

Comment on this post and one other post in the link up.

TWEET US , and remember to tag @stylemesunday – I will always retweet if you’ve tagged me.

I run this link up in conjunction with the lovely Laura from Side Street Style and KA from Life As Our Little Family.

Now get linking and have a look around at all the other fabulous style posts that link. It’s a great way of discovering new blogs you’ll love!

 


Linking up with:

 

 

You Baby Me Mummy

and

Mama and More

Colourful Adidas

March 27, 2015

There’s not much to say, the picture speaks for itself.

 

You need to check out Urban Outfitters now.

 

Click here to go straight to where you can grab one of these beauties.

 

 

 

Which colour is your fave? I’m loving the baby blue personally.

 

Nat x

Pilates by Elaine

March 26, 2015

Last week I wrote about pain management for my spinal arthritis. Today I’m following up and adding in Pilates.

Founded by Joseph Pilates, to treat wounded war veterans, it has become as popular as callasthenics (Hi, Jane Fonda and leg warmers) was back in the day.

As encouraged by my spinal doctor, a mixture of acupuncture and Pilates is highly recommended. The acupuncture will treat the inflammation and get the atrophied muscles back to life…the Pilates will strengthen said muscles to hold my spine correctly, thereby reducing the risk of inflaming the arthritis. God, that was almost turning into a maths problem for a moment. Deep breaths.

I’ve taken two Pilates one-on-one lessons at a new studio in the city. It’s called Kinesis and run by two phenomenal women, Alma
and Lissette. Both are gentle-natured with wicked senses of humour. Perfect. There’s even Cody, the pup that lounges about and loves everyone that comes in. The location is flooded with natural light, lovely art work lines the walls. It’s a very soothing space.

I have mild scoliosis and my spine curves inwards rather than to the side. Bottom line, I literally cannot straighten my lower spine.  It likely developed in my teens and isn’t severe at all, just an annoyance. See Mum? All the STAND UP STRAIGHT! was pointless…VALIDATION!!

It’s a relief to finally have found a Pilates instructor who doesn’t insist on me straightening my spine or else “the class is useless”. Alma is trained in the anatomy – for me, this is huge. I trust her with my back, my abs, and love that she constantly spots my positions, always reminding me it’s ok to sit “in my comfortable position” – in essence, a crunched down and inelegant position that has irked my mother for 30 years. Is there a Mother theme appearing here?!

I use a pregnancy throne to lie on. Yep, I do. It is the perfect shape for my back and allows me to do the simplest and most basic Pilates moves that have, in the past, caused immense muscle spasming and pain. I hold onto a trapeze bar which is spring loaded and off I go. Alma keeps a finger on the bar, as she has very quickly realized my genetic ability to self-injure with sports equipment. A bonus point.

I left the lessons with ZERO pain. Another milestone for me.

I’m alternating days for acupuncture and Pilates. I’m drinking my foul-smelling Chinese herbal concoction. I, for once, am taking this “exercise lark” seriously.

 

Elaine

My 5 best Denim flares!

March 24, 2015

What is there not to love about flares. I’m planning on gathering a large collection. I’m even wearing flares as I type, I posted about them just now on my instagram account, which inspired me to knock up this post.  At the moment I have 2 pairs and one on the way. They are all very different. Some flares are tight to the thigh and some flares are baggier. Some flare from the hip, knee or calf. Whatever type you like to wear (and I like them all), most have these common traits:  They tend to be high-rise so no embarrassing underwear flashing. They hug in all the right places, especially the bum, making it look as peachy as pie! You look longer and leaner and therefore they have a magical slimming effect.

 

If you have not been convinced yet to get your cheeks into a pair of these beauties from the 70’s just take a look at my top 5 best flares on the market, and embrace this spot on trend with both hands.

 

 

Flares – £40

 

Flares £185

 

Flares £58

 

Flares £255

 

Flares £35

 

Is this trend for you?

 

Which flares are you loving?

 

Nat x

 

One Day Young

March 23, 2015

ODY_HMP_LowRes_COVERshadow

 

Do you remember the first day after you gave birth?

 

Did you feel love, terror, anxiousness, or all three like many of us. There is no right or wrong way to feel, it’s a bizarre time and probably like nothing you ever could have imagined.

 

HMP_JennyLewis_ODY_LianaArcher

 

 

 

For me the day after my first was born I don’t really remember very well. I was in another world high on drugs after a mammoth journey through labour, a transfer from the birth centre to hospital, an emergency c-section, watching them give my daughter oxygen because she wasn’t breathing and then her ending up in the neonatal unit (in a nutshell), that whole period for me was more like a whirlwind than anything else.

 

 

HMP_JennyLewis_ODY_Clemmie

 

Skip three years and a bit after an elective c-section and a surreally calm experience, I cherished the day after and subsequent days with my new baby. I knew what I was doing, I had a strangely calm baby, and I did not want to leave the hospital because I knew just how precious this alone and bonding time was (it helped that I had my own room admittedly).

 

 

HMP_JennyLewis_ODY_LaureTyrick

 

 

These photos, by Jenny Lewis, conjure up the feelings I experienced with both my babies. They also remind me distinctly of being a midwife, this is how I saw women, this is what they looked like to me. No make up, tired, happy, scared, but strangely beautiful. When you see a mum with a newborn baby on her chest and the love literally pouring out of her, I defy anyone not to be affected emotionally. The beauty and rawness in that moment, those days, are something that Jenny has captured with stunning perfection.

 

HMP_JennyLewis_ODY_HazelRudy

 

And that is why I want to get my hand on this stunning book and why I think you need to too.

 

The book is available from Hoxton Mini Press, and it’s called One Day Young, by Jenny Lewis.

 

Natalie x

 

 

Linking this post up with:

 

Mama and More

Street Style Sunday – What Mother Made

March 22, 2015

I have featured What Mother Made before on Style Me Sunday when I showed you their SS15 collection, but never before have I had the chance to actually dress my children in their wares. Now I can see firsthand what the quality of design, fabric and execution is really like. And I’m impressed. Handmade from a studio is Dalston, East London, you may have mistakenly thought the clothes would resemble something your granny could knock up for the kids. But I can reliably confirm the clothes are nothing like you or your granny could knock up (despite the name) unless that is either of you are a skilled tailor. And even then I defy you to come up with a design, using the stunning locally-sourced fabric they seem to have an expert eye for, with an attention to detail you’d expect from any good retail store. Only this time you will be safe in the knowledge that no children were harmed (or exploited) in the making of any garment you choose to buy from this label. Usually for British made and handmade clothing you expect hefty prices but this label have clearly tried very hard to make their pieces surprisingly affordable. See website for individual prices.

 

For the pictures below we pretended we were going on holiday, so we grabbed a suitcase and a hat and off we went for a mini vacation on my bed!

 

what mother made

 

what mother made

what mother made

 

 

 

The other little ragbag wasn’t playing ball with our little photo shoot game (despite my best bribing skills), but I did manage to quickly snap these to show you these lovely dungarees we were sent.

 

 

what mother made

 

what mother made

 

A couple of pieces from the SS15 collection. But go to What Mother Made website because they have so much more fabulousness for the little ones there.

 

 

Now we can’t wait to see your style too for Street Style Sunday – it can be any post related to style.

GET INVOLVED ON IG TOO– each week I will be reposting my favourite instagram style pic on my IG feed, all you have to do is tag @stylemesunday in your pic and hashtag #streetstylesunday. You can gain some new followers and it means more people can get involved with Street Style Sunday. Or just link up your IG url pictures to this link up.

To link up a blog post – Click add link.

Grab the Street Style Sunday badge (left hand column).

Comment on this post and one other post in the link up.

TWEET US , and remember to tag @stylemesunday – I will always retweet if you’ve tagged me.

I run this link up in conjunction with the lovely Laura from Side Street Style and KA from Life As Our Little Family.

Now get linking and have a look around at all the other fabulous style posts that link. It’s a great way of discovering new blogs you’ll love!

 

 


Sleep deprived daze by Gemma

March 20, 2015

 

You may or may not have noticed that over the last few weeks my posts on the super Style Me Sunday have been a little sparse. I wish I could say that I have been up to lots of wildly interesting activities but unfortunately this would be a lie. The truth is that I am tired. More tired than I ever dreamt (when sleep was a normal nightly activity) I could be. Welcome to the world of sleep deprivation.

For an alarmingly large number of my fantastic friends 2015 thus far has been unbelievably shitty. So to spend my time complaining about how tired I feel seems more than a little indulgent. But I am tired and I know I’m not the only one.

This parenting gig whilst being overwhelmingly wonderful is also tough and the arrival of my gorgeous little boy has upped the ante. As I mentioned before, Raffy has long been doing some midnight raving resulting in sometimes as many as five wake-ups per night. Since then we have discovered our five month old (going on five year old) has his molars coming through. In the same period my clever Coco has also started dropping her daytime nap meaning some long days and even longer nights with my over-tired two (three counting me!).

Whilst I love my children deeply and accept that this is all part and parcel of parenting, it doesn’t make it any easier, and I am willing to admit there are some days when I feel I can’t cope. The endless slog of tears, tantrums and housework can all become too much and more than once I have wondered what I’m doing with my life. As I turn 32 this week I am aware that the big bags under my eyes and the small crop of sprouting grey hair makes me look older than my years, and I bet my bottom dollar that sleep deprivation has something to do with it. Without stating the blinkin’ obvious, sleep allows you to hold your head up high, appreciate the wonderful moments of which there are many, and deal with the daily grind. Without it, not only can you not think clearly, but it becomes difficult to deal with anything or regulate your emotions in anyway. Life can become overwhelming and a lack of sleep can make it difficult to see through the fog.

Thankfully I have a very forgiving husband who allows me to take out my frustrations on him, and miraculously when I feel things are getting too much and my meltdowns have scaled dizzier heights than Coco’s, I somehow manage to log a little more sleep and normal service resumes. There is a pressure to just keep going no matter what because as tired mums and dads this is our “job”, but please don’t. Whilst we absolutely have to make sure the children are fed and watered, we also have to look after ourselves and getting some much-needed kip is surely the first step.

I write this post as my two deliver a very rare and brilliant pre-birthday treat by taking a daytime nap at the same time. See you again when the stars next align!

Gemma x

 

IMG_1988

My London look

March 19, 2015

 

 

La Redoute is well-known for offering effortless french style at affordable prices. So they thought they’d have a little comparison with London looks and Parisian style. They asked me to pick an outfit from their website that correlates to the location of Richmond. So I picked double denim of course for some effortless chic and paired it with some trainers so I could spend the whole day shopping, strolling by the Thames, and exploring the delights of Kew Gardens. Then they paired us with a Parisian postcode to see how our looks compare. London Looks vs Parisian Postcodes. 

 

laredoute4

 

 

 

I was also asked me to name some local hidden treasures in my area. Well I’m pretty sure Victoria Park is well known amongst the locals, but I doubt it is on the radar of many tourists. As a family we love to go to Victoria Park on the weekend to feed the ducks, play in the awesome play areas for kids, and of course sample the deliciously aromatic coffees from the cafe.

 

 

la redoute

la redoute

 

 

la redoute

 

la redoute

 

 

La Redoute will be running some amazing competitions on their Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you check them out.

 

If you would like to see the Parisian bloggers hidden gem locations see the Pinterest board to find out.

 

What do you think of my double denim look here?

 

Nat x

 

 

 

My holiday edit

March 18, 2015

Here at the Style Me Sunday headquarters (ha) it’s mission holiday, in a couple of months we escape the humdrum and go to warmer climes. To say we are excited is an understatement. So the gym is getting frequented more than usual and the sugar jar is staying untouched, and of course I’m constantly scouring the internet for kaftans and what not.

 

Here’s what’s making me want to hit the gym even harder:

 

Necklace – £29.00

Swimsuit – £152

Dress – £65

 

Beach shirt – £30

Sunglasses – £12

Towel – £29.95

Romper – £98

 

Kaftan – £66

 

Swimsuit – £116

 

Top and shorts – £138

 

 

What do you think of my little holiday selection? And when and where will you be going on holiday this year?

 

Much love,

 

Nat x

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