Monday, 27 February 2017

The Anti Haul

I have seen these floating around the Internet, mainly on youtube, and thought what a good idea! The general gist behind them is to look at the current haul culture and, whether for ethical reasons or whatever, talk about what hyped products they won't be buying! On youtube it is mainly makeup videos, I have been watching Kimberly Clark talking about which hyped makeup products she won't be buying. However, The Anna Edit, did a fashion version and I thought yes this is what I need to do!

If you haven't already seen I am embarking on a 75 day spending ban and one of the worries is that at the end of it I will go crazy and buy so much stuff, and that really defeats the point of what I am trying to do. So I had a look around the Internet at the things that everyone seems to say you need in your wardrobe and these are the things I definitely DON'T need in my life.

Blazers. I have tried this in the past and in fact I have a really nice smart one in my wardrobe but it just has to go. I have broad shoulders anyway and whenever I put it on I always feel like I am dressing up like an 80s business woman and thats just not a look that makes me feel good.

Body Shapers. I bloody hate this things! They are uncomfortable and always pinch my fat and just displace it into the weirdest of places. Lets get this clear, no amount of spanx is going to disguise this lovely fat body of mine, its always here. So why do I put myself through the pain on squeezing into tummy holding in pants? Let it out and proud.

Chokers. I really dont like this look. Its just one of those things that I dont ever want to wear. I dont care if all the cool girls wear chokers, I am happy being uncool.

Jeans. It always suprises people when I say I don't wear jeans. Ok I recently bought a pair of really elasticated vintage mom jeans, but they don't count! Jeans to me and my IBS are so bloody uncomfortable I would much rather wear leggings or actually I am happier in floaty dresses and skirts.

White Shirt. It kind of goes with not really wearing jeans but also I am the messiest eater ever. I will happily tuck into a massive bowl of tomato pasta or a chocolate fudge cake but 9 times out of 10 at least one mouthful ends up down my front!

Charlotte Lucy

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

February Empties

Up until the weekend just gone I thought this post would have just one product! Then a bath on saturday got me finishing up 4 products in one go! Strange how things run out like that isn't it? You will have seen from my earlier posts I am currently on a spending ban! As I am not allowed to buy any toiletries (unless I run out of EVERY item in that stash) I am going to be having fun rediscovering things that have gotten hidden at the back of the cupboards!

I never thought I would find something to replace the st ives apricot scrub (which I have been devoted to ever since my mom bought me some as a teenager) but I think I have! This fits in with my cheap skate philosophy of not spending more than a fiver on skincare (Its £4.69 and usually on 3 for 2) Its really scrubby (is that a word?) but even on my sensitive skin doesnt leave it red!

Would I Repurchase?
But not at this current moment as I have another couple of scrubs to get through!  

Another teenage throw back! I remember my mom introducing me to Aussie Miracle when I was around 13 and for years it was the only haircare that I would use. Again it just creeps into my at £4.99 a bottle and usually one the 3 for £10 offer at boots. I have also occasionally spotted it in bargain shops for £1 and I really should have bought the whole shelf .... I digress. 

Would I Repurchase?
But again not right now as I have quite a lot of hair masks to use up!

I am so glad that this is finished! I got this free with a magazine ages ago and the scent just wasnt good! As for it being super toning well I would never have believed that in the first place! I would never ever pay £9 for a body wash when there are fabulous ones out there for about a pound!

Would I Repurchase?

Simple clear skin oil balancing facial scrub

I think they may have discontinued this one. I have had it a long while and its just pointless as a scrub as it doesn't feel scrubby in the slightest!

Would I Repurchase?

So this was another sample I got from either a birchbox or an event last year I can't honestly remember! It was really nice and I found that putting a few drops in my bath released a really nice uplifting scent! However it is rather pricey at £16.95 for 100ml.

Would I Repurchase?
Probably Not
Only because it's not in my budget though ... its a lovely oil! 

Another product I am glad to have finished! It smelt horribly, went tacky on my skin and just did nothing for my skin. For £19.95 a pot i definately would not repurchase this again!

So thats it for this month! Have you tried any of these products? 

Charlotte Lucy 

Monday, 20 February 2017

BODY POSITIVE: Loving your body even when you don't like it.

You might be really confused by the title, but bear with me here, I can explain ...

I remember as a child and more importantly as a moody teenager my mom and I would argue a fair bit. I would stomp up to my room or out to the park with the requisite "Life's not fair/you don't love me" dialogue and my mom would usually reply with the comment that yes she did love me but right now she didn't like me very much. 

Recently I have been feeling the same way about my body.

I LOVE my soft curves. I love my messy, tumbling curls that always make me look a little dishevelled. I love that the skin on my face is pretty easy to manage, as apart from the odd hormonal spot, I have never suffered with bad skin. I love that my lips allow me to kiss the wonderful man that I married every single day. I love that I have a voice and I can speak out about things I am not happy with. I can also use this voice (and frequently do) to sing along at the top of my voice to musical soundtracks, imagining myself as the leading lady. I love that my small boobs don't always require a bra! OK I might have giant nipples, but free the nipples right? In the summer especially I can just throw on a floaty dress, some sandals, sunnies and a hat and off I go out to enjoy the world. I love my tiny waist which can give me the illusion of an hourglass figure. I love my large hips that I can shimmy and shake and my legs that take me all around the house dancing when I am cleaning.

However recently, I haven't been liking my body. I have mentioned before I suffer from both physical and mental health issues. I am happy to report that the anxiety and depression, through a combination of medication, loving my body etc have been relatively under control. The Physical Health though? Bloody nightmare.

I had been feeling fatigued for a few weeks now and had made an appointment to see my GP tomorrow (which I am still going to) to discuss the fact my Vitamin D levels are dropping lower and lower. Last Tuesday I had a bleed. Luckily it wasn't anything serious but it left me exhausted, dizzy and pale. I had to cancel my shifts for the week which i HATE doing and really give myself a rest. My IBS flared up at the same time and left me unable to eat anything for a couple of days and its only now 5 days later that I have started to feel a bit more on my feet.

So it's times like this when you don't like your body that it needs more love! Some of the things I have done this week to show my body that I still love her when she's being a bitch include:

  • Smothering myself in Soap and Glory Righteous Butter, head to toe on a daily basis
  • Wearing the comfiest PJs I own. No bra, nothing that feels uncomfortable
  • Spending a chunk of time naked, because letting my skin breath is the best!
  • Looking at my pale, tired face in the mirror and telling myself that even though I am sick, I am beautiful
  • Eating chocolate. Once my belly was a bit more settled!
Loving your body isn't always easy. I know I thought body positivity was like a switch and once you had turned it on that was it. No its not always going to be easy, but it will be OK. You have you to work on loving yourself, and the days it is the hardest is when you need it the most!

Charlotte Lucy

Friday, 17 February 2017

Wear My Wardrobe in 2017: Weeks 5 & 6

There are only four outfits this week. 

No I haven't worn then same outfit multiple times. Well, not the ones pictured here anyway!

If you live in the UK you will know that it has got bloody cold all of a sudden and if you don't already know I dont do well with the cold. My problem is with my fibromyalgia my temperature settings are all over the place. So I start off with layers and then get too warm, then end up carrying my layers around with me and then get grumpy that I am carrying too much. So in a bad mood, this last week has consisted mostly of work uniform, gym clothes and pjs. So anyway, here are the four outfits I managed to put together in the last fourteen days!

Left: I felt like a milion dollars in this dress! I have had it years from h+m and it doesn't get nearly as much love as it deserves. I paired it with this beautiful red cardigan which I got from the British Heart Foundation. Its so beautifully soft and originally from Pep&Co which I had never heard of! 

Right: This dress again doesn't get enough love (see a theme here?) and is a lovely long sleeved floral dress that I bought from the Marie Curie shop in Coalville. Its a real vintage John Lewis and just feels like it was made for me! I paired it with my new to me faux leather jacket (which you may have seen in my January Buyers Archive)

Left: You haven't even seen this dress yet in a buyers archive but I had to wear it! Its quite thick denim and convered in butterflies and couldnt resist it. Originally Dorothy Perkins but I got it from Age UK

Right: This skirt I love but I havent really found a way to style it yet and on this day I threw it on over a black dress!

I hope that I can try and get my mojo back a little bit. My mood tends to reflect how I dress and at the moment while I have not being feeling well my mood has meant that what I dress is has to be comfy and cosy ... which is why I have lived in pjs and leggings!

Have you seen my previous weeks? 1 2 

Charlotte Lucy

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The 75 Day Spending Ban!

Hello my name is Charlotte and I am a shopaholic.

In fact this isn't the first time I have said this or the first time I have tried to calm my ways. The problem is I always give myself massive loop holes or break it halfway in. I wanted to do a 100 day spending ban but that would take me past my holiday in May and as you know, I have given up diet culture and that means I need some swimwear and shorts that fit my current body rather than the ones I usually buy to slim into. 

However, starting today, I am on a spending ban for clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, skincare etc. I am such a bargain hunter. I buy things because they are amazing value, not necessarily because I need them! So when something runs out I am allowed to replace it, or if my tusty leggings rip I am allowed to replace them but thats about it!

I am not intending to go crazy when this finishes, but I am looking forward to May 1st when I can go shopping for my swimwear and shorts! Are any of you doing something like this? I am hoping to spend the time I would usually be shopping doing more at the gym, more time in the library and decluttering my wardrobe!

I am hoping to have a 25 day and 50 day update.

Charlotte Lucy

Monday, 13 February 2017

Im Holding A Screening Of Embrace ...

... but I need your help!

I have told everyone that I have spoken to in the last few weeks that this documentary has pretty much changed my life. It has started a ripple that I intend to continue and I am bringing it the the Odeon in Loughborough for one night only on International Womens Day (March 8th)

I need your help though! In order for this to go ahead I need to sell 62 tickets! This really shouldnt be as hard as I am finding it and thankyou so much to everyone who has already shared the event but I need to keep the conversation going and more importantly I need you to buy tickets in the next 12 days!

Please visit this link to reserve your tickets now and help me out!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Feb lust list

Thigh High Boots

I know, I know, every blogger and her dog owns a pair of these right? It started with this pair of Stuart Weitzman beauties that are more than my rent and then Kate Louise teased me with a more affordable, but still completely out of my budget pair and now I spend each night praying that the charity shop gods will deliver ...

I actually tried on the most gorgeous pair of burgundy ones in the New Look sale but the heels were far too high for me to walk in!

Oversized Denim Dress

I like to think of myself as a reasonable adult who isn't swayed into buying things just because a blogger I like is wearing them but genuinely Stephanie from Nerd About Town keeps pulling out these outfits that I think damn I need that in my life. If you saw this post you will see the last outfit I fell in love with of hers was fairly easy to recreate from my own wardrobe but now I am lusting after some oversized denim!

A plain black cropped jumper

I have quite a few midi skirts and high waisted bits now and I just feel like a plain black crop would make them so much more wearable in the current climate.

Thats it for this month!

I know only three things but I am really trying to almost curate my wardrobe. If you know me I am always on the look out for anything henry holland and also different coloured skater dresses but I am really trying to wear my wardrobe and make sure I make the most out of everything I am wearing at the moment! 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Ways I am going to EMBRACE my body from now on.

As you may or may not know, on the 16th January I attended a very special premiere in London for the UK launch of Embrace. As someone who has been pretty halfheartedly dabbling in the world of body positivity for a little while now I thought the film would be good to watch ... and it exceeded all of my expectations. So much so that I am planning to bring my own screening to Loughborough in the near future so watch this space!

I remember seeing Taryn's beautiful body when she posted a before and after shot with a difference. The before being that of the super fit model she had worked hard to become, and the after, softer with curves. The image exploded and went viral almost immediately ... Ashton Kutcher himself shared it! Taryn felt however that even though she was getting a hell of a lot of media attention, all of the rather fuzzy little segments of "Internet sensation" really didn't get to the bottom of why women hate there bodies or to why even when she achieved her "perfect body" she wasn't happy. 

Embrace was born. Tackling the issues surrounding why women hate there body Taryn travelled the world and met with all sorts of amazingly brave and beautiful women. I honestly think every woman can take something away from this film! So, in homage to Taryn, here are the ways I am going to be embracing my own body from here forward ...

1. Throwing away my scales and rejecting diet culture.

This is probably the most liberating thing I have done so far. The moment I got home from London they went in the bin. Why? Because a number that represents my pull of gravity is not a measure of my health, nor does it define my self worth. We have been blind-sighted by the media to believe that thin always equals healthy and fat always equals not and this simply isn't the case. I want to learn to listen to my own body, it knows what it needs and whether that is more food, more sleep, fresh air, I am going to give it that. 

2. Spend more time naked.

I love being naked in bed. Its one of the most joyous parts of my day when I get to strip down to my birthday suit and let my whole body be as nature inteded! In Embrace Taryn took part in a naked swim and seemed to have an amazing time so this year I am looking into going to a naturist spa for the weekend! Which is slightly terrifying I have to admit!

3. Ignite my passion for cooking and baking.

I love cooking and baking even though with my IBS and testing for food intolerance's it can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare, but in the recent years it has become a real chore. How can I make this recipe lower fat, am I eating enough fruit and veg, am I eating too many carbs, is an avocado really good fat? Aside, I love avocado. So I have had enough of this. I am going to cook and bake to my hearts content and listen to my body (and work with a dietitian hopefully on the IBS issues) 

4. Take more photos

I am forever guilty of not wanting my photo taken when I don't feel I look my best. You know what I realise though? When I look back at photos I very rarely comment on how I look in them. I look at the memories and say how much I loved that holiday or experience. 

Forget flattering angles, my body is worthy of being photographed from ALL angles.

5. Fill my social media with people who make me happy.

One thing that Taryn said that has really stuck with me is that you need to fill your social feeds with images that make you happy. This doesn't mean that I am going to delete every thin person I follow on instagram, because a lot of them do make me happy. It means however that I am going to stalk the body positivity hashtags, unfollow accounts promoting thin as the only way to be and anyone promoting detox teas! I dont need that in my life. 

6. Dance more, swim more and do more yoga

When I was a paid up subscriber to the lose weight club exercise was a sole activity to but as many calories as I could to make up for the food I was going to eat. Well I say forget that. I love dancing (especially in my nuddy pants to Demi Lovato's confident - if you haven't tried it you are missing out) and I love yoga for its mental health benefits! I have purposely rejoined a gym that does all of these things AND has a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi

7. Wear more colour! 

Gosh I fell victim to the black is slimming brigade for far too long! But I always longed to fill my wardrobe with vibrant reds, emerald greens and cobalt blues. So from now on that's what I am going to be doing (there will be plenty of room in there for monochrome too, a girl has to have options, but not to hide or disguise anything!)

So there you have it! That's what I intend to do

Charlotte Lucy

Friday, 3 February 2017

Wearing My Wardrobe 2017: Weeks 3 & 4

Welcome to the second instalment of wearing my wardrobe in 2017! If you didn't see part one you can catch up on that here! I have to say I am pretty impressed with myself that I have made it four weeks already without repeating an outfit or forgetting to take a photo. Like I have explained before there wont be 14 pictures each time as I work nights and on those days I am working I go from PJs to uniform and back to PJs, which would be a little boring to see every week!

I feel that sometimes I can be really unimaginative when it comes to dressing even though I have a wardrobe bursting with clothes that I love I can get stuck in a bit of a rut of wearing the same leggings and jumpers and so I am trying to vary these things! That said there are a lot of jumpers at the moment because it is freezing cold in the UK.

I am giving clothes I'm not 100% sure on a kind of three strikes and you are out system. There are two pieces in this post that fit into this and I will point them out as I go along, but generally the idea is that if I find a piece I'm not 100% sure on I will give myself two more goes at styling it and if I am still not happy it will be donated!

Left: Inspired by the wonderful Nerd About Town I thought I could give a new life to this shirt and I really loved it. Its almost too long to be a shirt but too short to be a dress and Ive always felt a little uncomfy in it. However, after throwing my favourite mustard knit jumper over the top I enjoyed the outfit and it was perfect for a day of exploring London. Shirt originally New Look bought from LOROS and jumper originally Matalan bought from the British Heart Foundation. 

Right: This outfit was specifically for Charity Shopping. Underneath is a plain black vest top and plain black leggings. The jumper dress easily whips off for me to try on things in charity shops. Easy right? Jumper dress was £3 from the Cancer Research shop and originally from TU at sainsburys.

Left: this skirt gets worn again and again! I bought it ages ago for £3, when everyone was wearing button down denim mini skirts I bought this elastic one because you know IBS girl problems! The cat tee was a more recent purchase from the age UK shop 

Right: possibly one of my favourite purchases ever was this vintage M&S polka dot dress which was £1.99 from the Samaritans shop and just feels like it was made for my body! 

Left: it was cold and I needed something snuggly! My old faithful grey top (originally from H&M bought from extra care charity) went really well under this tasselled dress (originally Primark bought from LOROS) 

Right: This was one of those outfits that you throw together and then think damn that worked out well! The long sleeved leopard print dress was given to me by my mom but I wanted to break it up a little so threw on this denim vest (originally gap, bought from The British heart foundation) 

Left: You will have seen the shoes on my January buyers archive post and I just wanted to wear them straight away and so today I dressed from the bottom up. Trusty grey top as a base layer and this grey H&M dress (bought from age uk) which I'm honestly not feeling the love for! The problem is it's very short, strappy but thick. So I'm so confused as to what season it's meant for!  So I think this is being donated because I just don't think I can work with it. 

Right: I was going out with Kirstie for sushi and shopping and I was having a bad body day. I was feeling horrendous and just wanted to hide away and so dressed myself head to toe in black! At the last second I decided you know what I'm going to push myself to stand out and say hey world here I am and I'm fabulous and so threw on this bright pink fuzzy jumper from H&M.

Left: I bloody love leopard print (if you couldn't already tell) and this jumper I picked up from LOROS (originally H&M) with my new favourite buy! You will be seeing this in my February buyers archive  but it was £4 from the cancer research UK shop! It's a beautiful faux leather and is buttery soft! 

Right: I genuinely had a weekend of lets just throw on something and pretend it's an outfit! This jumper had amazing spiked shoulders and was only 99p even though it's originally from ax Paris. I did get avocado all down it! 

I feel like I've got into a bit of a monochrome rut and I think that reflects on how I've been feeling recently. I am going to try and include more colour next time!! 

Charlotte Lucy

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

January buyers archive

Started by the lovely Elise years ago now the Buyers Archive is a record of everything you buy that goes into your wardrobe. I have been following bloggers such as Hazel and Janet doing this for years and love seeing there end of year round ups etc and so I have made the commitment to start this year! I have posted some posts in the last year over on my Lifestyle blog but I have never really made the commitment to stick to it! 

As you will know if you read this blog I have commited to a 365 day Charity Shop challenge and I am really trying to be more selective with what I buy. I very rarely now buy things without trying them on and I am trying to condense my wardrobe. I was really shocked that i manage to wander around westfield in London (and shops we dont have in Leicester such as Pull & Bear and Stradivarius) and still not buy any brand new clothes! I did buy some underwear but like I said previously this is something I would never buy second hand!

Anyway ... on to what I bought. 

Rocketdog shoes, £3, Loros Loughborough 

One of the things I noticed towards the end of last year was that I dont have many pairs of comfy shoes. I would really like to purchase some vintage converse, but I am going to keep my eyes peeled. I spotted these Rocketdog pumps for the tiny price of £3 in the LOROS shop and couldn't resist them! They are so pretty and look unworn!

Bralette £14 and matching knickers £7 monsoon

Ok the next two purchases I totally blame on the film Embrace. I decided once and for all to forget diet culture, which as a seriel dieter shook me to the core. I threw away my scales (there is proof on my instagram: shoestringchicblog) and I wanted to buy some underwear that I felt hot in. I hate underwiring and luckily for me my tiny boobs are good without the support. I couldnt resist this lazy black set from monsoon but be warned this is a large and I am a 36a so there range of sizing is terrible. So sort it out monsoon!

Bralette £14 and matching knickers £7Accessorize

Same as above but these are floral lace ones! The kickers are a size 16 and they are strange. They fit but they are very very low rise and only just about cover!

Henry Holland floral crop tee, 75p, age U.K. Leicester

This is potentially my favourite purchase this month. I was drawn over to the bargain rail in my local Age UK shop (I always have a mooch and don't usually find much) and saw this! Its Henry Holland and it was 75p. It fits perfectly and I can't wait to wear it with my dungarees in true 26 year old dressed as a toddler style!

Peacocks grey tee £3 age uk Leicester

I also on the same shopping trip noticed this grey light knitted tee. Its high necked which I never wore until recently and its shorter at the front. I am really into layering at the moment and have a few pairs of patterned trousers that I havent known what to wear with so I thought I would give this a go!

Mango dress, £5, LOROS Leicester
I then went shopping with my girl Kirstie and I couldn't resist picking some things up! It was actually Kirstie who spotted this dress for me and I fell in love with the print! When I tried it on I wasn't 100% sure but decided to get it and I've tried it I at home with both tights and boots and sandals and I'm absolutely in love with it! I couldn't shake the feeling is seen it somewhere before though and lo and behold I found it was one of the dresses Hannah Gale was raving about in the summer!!

Faux Leather Jacker, B by Bernardos, £4 Cancer Research Leicester
This was a holy grail find. Some days you feel like the thrift gods have been reading your lust lists and just placed an item made for you in the shop. This biker jacket is perfect, looks unworn and cost me less than a McDonald's extra value meal! What's not to love really?

Mom Jeans, no label, £1, Cancer Research Leicester
These were a really last minute, caught out of the corner of my eye product that I broke my own rules by not trying on. These vintage high waist, elastic aged mom jeans were in my size and only £1 so I took a chance on them. I honestly can't decide if I love them or hate them but I'll be trying to style them up in the next month!

Ok so if you have seen my instagram (shoestringchicblog) you will see the issues that I had with this! I picked it up while I was shopping and didn't try it on! Im a size 14 and I got the 16 to be on the safe side and well you would have thought that I had accidently picked up a childs swimsuit as it wouldn't go past my thighs! So I ended up going back and getting a size 20 which fits me perfectly despite the fact I am a flat chested usually 14/16.

This Months Spend: £72.75
2017 Total Spend: £72.75

I winced a little bit of that especially as £56 of that is brand new stuff from shops which feels weird to me to buy! However for the next few months I am going to try and keep my spend below £50 a month!