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Self Care Sunday 11th February

This week was one of those weeks. I woke up on Monday morning with yet another sinus infection, this time accompanied by a sore throat. I felt so rotten that by lunchtime I had come home from work and was curled up on the sofa eating comfort food. I always crave baked beans and cheese when I am not well. Usually I would have it with mash but as I have been back on the Bodycoach plan there wasn’t a potato to be found in the house, so I had to make do with toast instead. It’s funny how our body craves certain foods when we are ill isn’t it? My husband is a little healthier than me and will normally tuck into bananas when he is not well. What about you? What is your comfort food of choice?

I have been suffering for about six weeks with ongoing sinus infections and headaches. I think it is a virus I picked up on the plane home from Portugal. As I first got ill two days after flying home from our Christmas holiday. The diffuser and eucalyptus oil I bought in early January has been a godsend and has been working overtime.

Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser and Mystic Eucalyptus Essential Oil both from Amazon

I spent the next two days at home curled up on the sofa. Working, writing up my assignments and watching box sets. My favourite at the moment is Life in Pieces which can be found on Amazon Prime. Each episode consists of four short stories based on different members of one extended family. It is very lighthearted and funny. I can highly recommend it. I can also recommend the remake of Dynasty on Netflix. It is a little trashy but very addictive and it definitely something you can totally switch off to.

On Wednesday I was cheered up when February’s Birchbox arrived. I have only been receiving these beauty boxes since November, when my husband bought me an annual subscription for my Birthday. I have been pretty impressed with the products I have received so far and they have helped me in my quest for self-care. I have only tried one of the products in this month’s 1970’s themed box. The Laqa and Co Blush & Highlighter. I wore it to work on Thursday, not that I needed any additional colour on my cheeks as the sinus infections have played havoc with my skin. But it gave a lovely dewy peach shimmer to my skin.

Birchbox UK Beauty Box subscription £10.00 per month plus delivery charge.

I went back to work for the last two days of the week, even though I still wasn’t 100% as I had a lot of work to do before the end of term. I did manage to escape early Friday though which meant I had time for a mini facial at home using some of my favourite Liz Earle products. I try to have at home facial every week but I have neglected this the last couple of weeks due to spending all my time studying and finishing the assignments for my Diploma of School Business Management. My quick facial routine consists of cleansing with Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish before applying one of the face masks. This week I opted for the Brightening Treatment Mask but I also like the Nourishing Mask too. After removing the mask with hot water and a muslin cloth I wipe my skin with the Instant Boost Skin Tonic before applying the Superskin Concentrate for Night. If you want to try any of these products pop over to Liz Earle. There are always special offers on the website. 

I felt a little better on Saturday morning, in time for a trip to London in the wind and rain to meet up with two of my Instagram friends, Liz & Alex. We spent a few hours at The Ivy City Garden where we enjoyed afternoon tea and champagne. It was lovely and such good value for money. The place is amazing. Definitely worth a visit. We are planning a return trip in the Summer so we can sit out in the garden area.

I made the most of being out out and arranged to meet my husband back in Kent for drinks. It was the first time we had been out of our Village for a night out since the beginning of January,. We enjoyed a couple of drinks and a little boogie and got home just after midnight.

The ruffle jumper I am wearing here is a recent purchase from very.co.uk and cost £14 in the sale. It also comes in red, which I am very tempted to buy.

I woke this morning feeling a little dehydrated but fortunately not hungover. We popped into town early to pick up some shopping and grab a full english breakfast at what I call the “proper” cafe. After a few chores at home I found the time for a little more pampering. My skin has been neglected recently and I am looking about 100 at the moment. I used both of these products, which are total opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of cost. The Elemis Frangipani Body Oil is a luxurious treat for the body. And it smells divine. It costs £37 and can be purchased here. The Lacura Soy Restorative Serum costs only £2.79 in Aldi and is just as good. I first used this serum last Summer when my skin was dry from the effects of the warm weather. When I finished the bottle I didn’t bother repurchasing as my skin was in good condition. But today I grabbed another bottle while I was picking up my weekly fruit and veg shop. I am hoping that it will help restore my skin condition and give me back a little radiance. It just goes to show though that the cheaper beauty products are just as good and you don’t need to spend a fortune.

I spent the rest of the day camped out on the sofa. Although I have struggled to find any me time this week. My husband and I have made sure that we are continuing with our couples self-care. This weeks selection from our Self Care jar was to cook a nice meal together. We cheated a little and bought the M&S Valentines Meal for Two for £20. It didn’t actually cost us anything as we had a M&S Voucher. We have bought this meal deal for the last two years. We never have it on Valentines Day as we don’t celebrate it. We both feel that we dont need one day of the year to appreciate each other as we do it all year round.

The meal we chose was amazing, Restaurant quality. We picked the runny scotch egg for starter and the rump steak with peppercorn sauce and potato rosti’s for main and side. I cooked some spinach and mushrooms which I had in the fridge.

The dessert was out of this world, a raspberry and prosecco bomb. I can’t event describe how tasty this was. One really wasn’t enough. We did leave the little box of chocolates for another day but obviously we managed to polish off the bottle of Rose Cava that came with the deal.

So the end of the week was much better than the beginning. It’s half term this week and I only have to work two days so I am planning on making the most of having some time at home to relax and recharge my batteries. I am planning lots of self-care. A few beauty treats, writing blog posts and reading some of the books I received for Christmas. We have no plans to go out but next week’s couples time is Board Game Night. So we will probably get a takeaway and a bottle of wine for our Saturday night at home. All we have to do now is decide which board game to play…. Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Othello or Monopoly.

I hope you all have a great week and manage to find some time to yourself. If you are celebrating Valentines Day I hope you are spoilt rotten. And for those of you at home with the kids, I hope it is not too stressful.

Thank you for reading.

Love

Melanie xxxx

 

AW Fashion · Budget Fashion · Fashion · Lemonade Lifestyle · Lifestyle · Shoppingmywardrobe · Style · Wardrobe Overhaul

Shopping My Wardrobe – Week 3

I started the working week sore and bruised and wearing the ankle brace once again after my little slip in the rain on Saturday night. And before you ask it was before the party so I can’t even blame alcohol !!

Just when I had started enjoying working my way through my collection on ankle boots I was back in trainers for the first three days of the week.


Monday – Floral is not something I find easy to wear. I can get away with it if it onkly makes up a small part of my outfit and is a bold colour. This dress from HM is perfect for me. A short shift dress, with pockets with bold pink and purple flowers on a black background.  I had to wear it today with black trainers but normally I would wear with black ankle boots.

Tuesday – One of my favourite outfits of the week. The whole outfit is Next and all a couple of years old. The trousers are so flattering. The trainers I wore today complimented the colour of the shirt and I received a number of compliments on my outfit today.


Wednesday – A day out of the office today at another School Business Manager conference in London. I opted for smart casual and rediscovered my love for these dark denim, high waisted straight leg jeans from Next. They are just so flattering. Mine are a couple of years old but you can still buy them from Next here.  The navy star print pussy bow blouse received lots of compliments on my Instagram post. I bought it from La Redoute earlier in the year. It is one of those items that just looks so much more expensive than it was. I wore trainers again but to stop the outfit looking too casual I added a navy blazer (Next) and nude shawl (Matalan). It also made for the perfect day to night outfit as after my conference I met up with my little sister for drinks in the City.

Thursday – Not much thought went into this outfit, tired and a little hungover meant that I just wanted something simple and comfortable to wear. Grey Trousers and Navy Tee (La Redoute) and Navy blazer from the day before. I added a blue snake skin pattern belt to just add a little pizazz to the outfit. I bought two of these belts in the Next Summer Sale. The other is yellow and they are a cheap way to add a little interest to plain outfits.


Friday – The end of a long tiring week and Friday the 13th called for the colour Red. This Blazer from La Redoute was one of my best buys in recent months. It is the statement colour of this season so I know I will get plenty of wear out of it.  The pussy bow blouse is a couple of years old from Next. The black slim tuxedo trousers (La Redoute) have a satin stripe down the side.  They are my “go to” work trousers and the ankle grazer length means they are perfect to wear with ankle boots such as my favourite “Chloe” dupes from Next.

I was so happy to get to the end of this week. I felt a cold coming on but that didn’t stop the husband and I popping to the local pub for our weekly catch up. A quick change after work into old favourite distressed girlfriend jeans. In fact the first pair of ripped jeans I bought four years ago from River Island. Recent La Redoute Burgundy Trainers and an old sparkly ombre jumper from Next. I added a quilted jacket with faux fur trim (Next) which I bought when we moved out to the countryside as we now walk everywhere and a heavy wool coat or leather biker doesn’t quite work.


For most of the weekend I didn’t even bother to get dressed. I was floored by a rotten cold so spent most of the time snuggled up on the sofa in my pjs. Both bought from Primark years ago. I don’t spend alot of money on nightwear or lounge clothes because I am slightly clumsy and inevitably I end up either spilling food down myself or covering myself in biro when I am working or studying. But I do like a good pair of socks and have two pairs of cashmere socks in pink and grey which were a Christmas present last year.

So this week I rediscovered my love for a straight leg. I found them to be really flattering. So maybe skinnies are on their way out. What do you think? Although maybe my preference is driven by the fact that I have added a few lbs since injuring my ankle last month. But whatever the reason I know I will definitely be wearing them again.

Thank you for reading.

 

Melanie xxxx

 

 

 

AW Fashion · Budget Fashion · Fashion · Lemonade Lifestyle · Lifestyle · Shoppingmywardrobe · Style · Wardrobe Overhaul

Shopping My Wardrobe – Week 2

I was pleased to finally be free from my ankle brace for the most part of this week. Which meant no more trainers. I could finally get my boots out their boxes.

I had a very busy week at school this week and several parental events which meant I needed to be looking my best. So it was all about the blazer this week. It doesn’t matter what you wear. If you pop a blazer on it can make any outfit look smart.


Monday – Black Cullottes (Next) and a cheap and cheerful shirt from Matalan. I bought the shirt earlier this year and have only worn it once. I don’t know why because it looks really lovely on and I received a few comments when I wore it this week.

Tuesday – Trying to squeeze a little more wear out of my Summer wardrobe. The Khaki 3/4 length trousers and pink tee were both purchased earlier in the year in the Zara sale. The trousers look great on but the quality is poor and the zip has broken for the third and final time. I added a Tan check blazer (HM) and Nubuck ankle boots (Next) to smarten up what would ordinarily be a casual outfit. The blush cape (Matalan) is a few years old and was perfect to throw on rather than a coat as the weather was still relatively mild.

Wednesday – Head to toe in Next. Their black workwear trousers are some of the best I have come across. Mine are about three years old and still look as good as new.

Thursday – Today I wore the prettiest of blouses. Found hidden away at the back of my wardrobe. I bought it from Next over two years ago. It has lace detailing along the hem, cuffs and neckline. Small pleats down the front and buttons all the way up the back. It used to be a little tight on the arms which is why it has been packed away at the back of the wardrobe. But I must have lost a little weight as it now fits perfectly.

Friday – My last work outfit of the week saw me wearing another very old shirt (Primark) that I found at the back of the wardrobe. Another one that looks more expensive than it was and prompted a few compliments from work colleagues.

I seem to spend the majority of my time in either work clothes or loungewear. Which this week consisted of leopard print joggers and a black sweatshirt (both Primark) So it’s nice to have the opportunity to either get dressed up or dressed down in jeans.


On Wednesday night I popped out for a few hours to the school’s PTA AGM, which just happened to be held in a lovely local pub. I only had an hour to eat and get changed after work so I just threw on a pair of Relaxed Skinny Jeans (Next) and a fluted sleeve fleece top that I bought from Primark earlier this year. It only cost £6 and to be honest I didn’t expect it to last more than six months. At that price you don’t expect it to wash well but surprisingly it still looks great, so I am pleased to get another few months wear out of it. I popped on my current favourite burgundy trainers (La Redoute) which look great teamed with pink. The weather was quite mild so I dug out an old Wallis Coatigan instead of wearing a coat.

Thursday night I was back in the pub again with my husband. We usually go to our local pub once a week, on a Thursday or Friday, to get the stresses of the week out of the way and have a catch up. This week I wore another pair of Next Jeans (Boyfriend fit) , Black Stripe Sweatshirt (HM) and Black & White canvas trainers (La Redoute) which you can see on @smalltownthreads #fridayfeet on Instagram.

On Saturday night we travelled back to where I used to live in London for a party to celebrate the 50th Birthday of my oldest friends sister. Usually I would play it safe and throw on smart skinny jeans and a dressy top but this time I wanted to try and make the most of the clothes I have hanging in my wardrobe. I have so many things that are not being worn. I popped a couple of outfit ideas onto Instagram and asked my followers for their opinions. I followed their advice and decided to glam it up in a sequin skirt (very.co.uk) which I teamed with a plain black top (HM) an old leather biker jacket from (Bay Trading Co – who remembers them) and Clarks suede ankle boots aptly named Melanie. The bag is old HM and as we were going to be travelling back late by train I threw on an black poncho (Next) that I completely forgot I owned.


We had a great night catching up with old friends, many of which I have known fro over 30 years. The only downside to the night was that I had a slight slip in the rain travelling to the venue and aggrevated my ankle injury.

I spent Sunday with my feet up on the sofa in leggings and sweatshirt (Next) catching up on Strictly and Cold Feet while hubby cooked a roast dinner in the afternoon. It was a lovely end to what had been a very busy week.


I am pleased to say I have not been tempted to buy any new clothes at all. And I am enjoying finding old clothes that I had forgotten about, which let’s face it is as good as buying something new.

So are you participating in the wearing my wardrobe challenge or the No spending in October challenge. If so, I would love to hear how you are getting on?

Thank you for reading.

 

Melanie xxxx

 

AW Fashion · Budget Fashion · Fashion · Lemonade Lifestyle · Lifestyle · Shoppingmywardrobe · Style

Shopping My Wardrobe – Week 1

Last Sunday I started the challenge ‘100 Days of Shopping my Wardrobe”. After writing my blog post, about my intention to wear what I owned and not buy anything new until the new year, a few ladies on Instagram have decided to join in. There seems to be a lot of posts around at the moment from people who realise that they are spending too much money and buying too many clothes. Instagram has that affect on people. Me included. I did exactly the same a couple of years ago. But moving out of London, and embracing a more relaxed and simpler way of life, made me realise I didn’t need half the stuff I had accumulated. I have discarded many of the clothes I had but I still have more than I need. When I carried out my Wardrobe Overhaul I listed all the clothes and footwear I owned. As I wear items over the 100 days I am ticking them off on the list. The idea of this is to try and wear everything (relevant to the season) at least once.

I am enjoying the challenge so far and for those who want a little inspiration to wear what they already own I thought I would share the outfits I am wearing on a weekly blog post. So here goes with the first of many…

Jeans are my favourite item of clothing as they are so versatile. It is so easy to throw on a pair of jeans and create and outfit that fits most occasions. These outfits were not worn for long. Day 1, Sunday, was worn for a quick walk to my local shops. It was a warm day so I threw on my light denim Summer Jeans (Primark) with a sleeveless navy tunic (Next) and white Converse. Sunglasses were also needed and these aviators with leopard print arms are a couple of years old (Next). On Thursday night hubby and I popped to our local pub for a couple of drinks. I wore dark denim relaxed Skinny Jeans and a cream waffle 3/4 sleeve top, which hasn’t been worn this year (both Next). Again I threw on my converse and also added a camouflage shacket that I bought a few months ago from Miss Selfridge.


Monday’s work outfit. Dress and Blazer (Next) and La Redoute burgundy trainers which are current.


Tuesday & Friday’s work outfits consist of Next workwear. All a couple of years old too. I am having to wear trainers everyday as I am still wearing an ankle brace following my recent injury. The Leopard Print trainers (Next Kids) looked great with a simple black shift dress and I teamed my Black Addidas Stan Smiths with culottes and a sleeveless ruffle top on Friday.


More from Next on Wednesday and Thursday. The exception is the footwear. Grey Snake Print trainers were teamed with black skirt and white ruffle. On Thursday I travelled to London for a School Business Manager Conference which meant I could dress down a little. I wore black skinny jeans, floral shirt and black blazer. The black Leather Rucksack is also from Next and I have had it for a few years now. It’s perfect for when I go on training courses. I wore my Stan’s again for the second time this week.


Last night hubby and I went out for drinks and dinner. Making the most of the weather being relatively mild I fake tanned my legs and popped on this popular HM black swing dress. I love that this hides the tummy so perfect for a night of beer, pizza and cheesecake. I decided to try and wear something other than trainers for the first time in four weeks. It had to be something comfortable that was not going to aggravate my injured foot so it had to be my favourite suede ankle boots from Next. I bought these last year. They are a bit of an understated Chloe Susanna dupe. With buckles and embellishments across the front. The bag is my Chanel dupe. A sale bargain from Next last Winter. Leather biker (Wallis) was a present from my hubby last Autumn. The leather is so soft and it makes a change from black. The beige suede wrap bracelet is old from Boho Betty (check out their website here).  I have a couple in different colours, they are great for dressing up a plain outfit. Finally the tassel earrings were a recent purchase from Boohoo.com.


I have a whole drawer devoted to Loungewear. Whenever I am indoors I always wear what I call “my slobbies”. This week has been a mixture of harems (Next) and old tee’s (HM). At this time of year I will also have a pair of thick socks and an old jumper to hand.

So there you go. My outfits from the first 8 days. Only 92 to go !! If you want to join in either the #100daysofshoppingmywardrobe or the #nospendoctober challenges then check out my Instagram page @melanie.lemonadelifestyle

Thank you for reading
Melanie xxxx