New Job Update

New work is good although I’ve got an awful lot to learn about the print business, that’s for sure!

Everybody else has years of experience on me and all I have right now is a willingness to pick it up. Which is better than nothing, no doubt – and they knew it when they hired me. I’m not worried, it’s just the usual first week nerves and self-doubt sneaking in. (My old friends).

Ex-colleagues who’ve been through the grinder in my last work place understand the “Rocket effect”. How it knocks you down and fucks with your self-worth, making you feel like you have nothing to offer the outside world. It takes time to shake that.

I still worry about whether people will like me. But that’s human nature I guess, and I’m trying this time not to freak out. In the end I can only be myself and I am enough.

I must say it’s really nice to be in a new environment where everyone knows their stuff, and I can’t wait to follow suit. The smell of ink, the sound of the presses whirring – it’s all so new and interesting. Being able to see jobs through from beginning to end, well that feels like achieving something, you know?

So I’m a week in and I’m looking forward to the next, which will no doubt be busy, terrifying in places, educational and very satisfying. This is exactly why I needed a career change and I have to remind myself of this when I feel stupid for not knowing something. It’s brand new and it’s brave to make change – that’s why it’ll pay off in the end, because I want it to.

How was your week?

What I’m Digging: My ASOS Wish List

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Illustration by Garance Doré (Incidentally, this is how I look in my daydreams)

Now that I sit next to a bona fide fashion blogger (go check her out for yourself: tattyfrankland.com), I have started thinking more seriously about my own wardrobe.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I shoved on decade old jogging bottoms and neglected my overall appearance before (love sweats, nothing against them at all), it’s just that I had hit a bit of a wall, personal style wise.

Now I’ve been thinking a little more about breaking a few of the unwritten fashion rules I had set myself (and what are they for anyway, if not for annihilating completely?) and it’s been fun. I’m damn cute actually, when I want to be.

While this is definitely not a fashion blog, I love clothes and thought it might be fun to mix things up with a little What I’m Digging post. I have an ASOS wish list the length of my entire head, shoulders and body, so why not share eh?

I’ve broken them into handy sub sections: Sweet Treats (under £10), Think About It Splurges (under £25) and I Wish Wonders (the pricier end of the scale). Fun, eh?

Sweet Treats

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All clothing by ASOS

NB: I actually succumbed and purchased two items from this list while writing my post. Last expenditure for a while, I promise.

Button shoulder T-shirt, £8 (love the Magenta colour pop)
All over Burger socks, £3 (I need socks all the time to wear with my DMs)
Cath Kidston Cops and Robbers coin purse, £3.50 (Super cute handbag treat – bought!)
Sweatshirt with raw neck edge, £10 (I love a grey sweatshirt, very Flashdance)

Think About It Splurges

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All clothing from ASOS Curve, except tee and scarf, which are by ASOS

Hoes Before Bros long sleeved top, £20 (want)
Faces scarf, £18 (so chic!)
Yours Sincerely boyfriend T-shirt, £14 (an unusual shape for me but I love khaki and have a soft spot for slogan tees)
Navy sweat pants, £18 (despite the above comment re: sweats – I just bought these!)

I Wish Wonders

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Dress by ASOS, Coat by ASOS Curve

Midi-length Wasted Denim T-shirt dress, £19 (I adore this) (and just realised I placed it into the wrong category, oh well)
Real Leather embossed backpack, £55 (this is gorgeous and practical)
Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Africa Star Duffle bag, £126 (had my eye on this for a long time!)
Hooded Camel coat, £65 (love the colour, very un-me)

These all look very ordinary to the un-trained eye, but I am pushing back against my own Grab a Skater Dress and Throw It Over Leggings styling. I’ve decided to love that look but style more bottoms (skinny jeans, joggers, skirts) and tops (the aforementioned slogan tee, cute knits) together. Also get the hang of smart layering.

I hope to report back on how that’s going soon, but until then, I’m just going to sit on my credit card and be sensible about future purchases.

What are you loving this January?

 

 

Hoop There It Is

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I’ve slowly become obsessed with my hula hoop.

After I first purchased her, she spent a considerable time leaning against the wall in our hallway. Ignored for the most part, I was too shy to actually try her out. Luckily, with the encouragement of a friend who has taken a hooping course and is magnificent at it, we had a group session during one of our lunch breaks at work and a gang came along.

At first I seemed to be the only one just not getting it, but I’m finally there and getting stronger every time.

Last night I spent 35 minutes in our yard hooping by myself. Salt n’ Pepa’s Greatest Hits provided the soundtrack. Sassy seems to be the way to do it, since there’s a lot of hip action involved.

It’s pretty sexy, once you get over what a tit you look. While I was out there I bumped into every single neighbour we have and the reaction was mixed. The older men looked bemused, while the young couple next door to us thought it looked cool.

That’s the biggest thing for me I think, having gone from being completely non-active to being into keeping fit; getting over myself and how I look to others. Literally nobody cares.

Any way, I’m planning on supplementing what I already do with hooping to tone up my middle. This morning I can feel it in my abs and legs and it feels great. I do want to lose weight but almost as important to me is toning up considerably, so I am feeling pretty good and happy at the moment.

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I think about how much I have taken on in the last three months and I think it’s very much a credit to the gorgeous women I work with. They’re all fit and healthy and incorporate exercise into their every day, whilst still enjoying cake.

I don’t think I would have found the transition quite as easy or fun if it hadn’t been for them. So thanks for the encouragement and all the love, girls!

 

The Reluctant Baker

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Baking the right way

I baked a cake this weekend.

I was going to wax lyrical for a while about how inept I am in the kitchen but examining the evidence, I’m not sure that is the case. Based on cooking Christmas dinner last year for five people (successfully) and now this cake, I would have to describe myself as a perfectly adequate chef.

However, unlike my talented baker friends, I do not class this past time as one of my favourites. Given the choice, I would set foot in my kitchen only to replenish cups of tea and to grab a biscuit every half hour. I do, of course, feed the family, sometimes without complaint and that is about as far as my affair with domesticity goes.

But Mr Bee needs a cake for next Thursday and I’m a nice woman. Oh and he wasn’t convinced I could do it successfully so part of the appeal of this experiment was to stick two fingers up at him. I hate being told I can’t do something.

So he gathered the ingredients and I mustered the enthusiasm and together our peanut butter cake was born!

It’s delish by the way. I won’t include a recipe as this isn’t a baking blog but I was so proud of my handiwork that I took a bunch of pictures and they tell the story just fine.

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Ingredients / So far unused baking goodies / Messy kitchen
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Fresh out the oven / Success! / Details

In your face Mr Bee! For the record I should say he wasn’t being mean about my skills really. And he did sort of help, making sure I had all relevant utensils to hand and washing things up as soon as I was done with them. Basically, he was the perfect assistant.

What have I learnt from yesterday’s Bake Off? Well, I now understand the joy baking can bring. I’m ridiculously chuffed that it turned out so well and am also proud I can take some to work with me tomorrow. The girls in my office have all had a go at bringing the homemade cakes in and I’m always only too willing to eat them. Now it’s my turn!

Incidentally, if you’re a baker and would like to add some gorgeous ideas and recipes to your collection, check out my friend Boo at Lip Smackin’ Treats. She’s really good.

Now, for a giant slab of MY cake and a nice strong cuppa. Happy Sunday all!

Running, Man

vintageRunning2Running has been a mixed bag. I am now coming to terms with the fact that I am not naturally shooting about like a pocket rocket with the wind in my hair, and that every single step has been challenging. More so, that I haven’t fallen in love with it right away.

I am starting very slowly and could probably afford to push myself a little more, if I’m completely honest.

But I’m doing it. I’m doing it regularly and I’m getting a tiny bit better every time.

I am also learning how important stretching is and have been taking Cod Liver Oil tablets because my legs hurt so much when I run. Who even am I?

On the plus side, I am goofily proud of my attempts even if I am currently hopeless. And when I don’t run, I walk. I walk like a bitch and am racking up all those burnt calories.

I have also lost a not too sniffy six pounds in two weeks. I know I wasn’t and am going to try not to measure my achievements in the numbers dropping off, but it’s hard not to. I’m losing weight, feeling better and my legs are toning up. It’s also been great for my relationship, all good right?

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My only minor niggle, which goes against what I just typed slightly: my husband is so much better at this than me. He can actually run and even though my sensible self knows I’m achieving things at my own pace, and is also proud that he is making changes he can be proud of, I have to fight against feeling deflated by it.

That’s so me though. I’m the exact opposite of competitive, I’d far rather give up and sit down than compete with anyone, even when I know I’m better. Which in this case I really am not.

So, you know, trucking along.

 

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

This isn’t a fitness blog by any stretch but I had to log my first run here, didn’t I? Since I’ve been flapping on about it for a while.IMG_20140403_125343

I went running this evening, starting off by doing half a mile of just walking. Once round the park I thought fuck it, why not just run a bit? So I did.

I can’t even run continually for 45 seconds. I was planning to walk for two minutes, run for one – that’s the method I’ve been ‘studying’.

45 seconds!

That seems pretty poor, I think. However, I haven’t run for at least fifteen years and I am carrying a lot of junk in my trunk (only too apparent when I am running and my arse is bouncing up and down behind me).

I know that sooner or later all the things I have been trying to change will come together to make running easier, or so I have to believe. A couple of my more active friends have assured me that they were exactly the same when they started.

As it is, I have to say that although I currently suck arse as a runner, I wanted to test myself in terms of running in public and whether I would actually be able to do it.

(I know that we all know that nobody cares and nobody bats an eyelid at joggers, but when you don’t feel all that great about yourself, you still think people with point and laugh).

I did it though and nobody cared.

Which is an epic win as far as I’m concerned. YEY ME!

 

 

Walk This Way

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These last few days I haven’t been doing much, except taking myself off on as many walks as possible. I haven’t even start running properly yet and I feel like the walks are making a difference already. Luckily for me, I am surrounded by lovely people who are only too happy to encourage and even join me!

My early morning walks with Mr Bee have been beautiful actually. Although I am annoyingly chatty (to motivate myself) and he likes to be quiet, we haven’t pissed one another off yet and it’s very nice to have half an hour where it is just us.

Life can be only too distracting and quality time is almost always buzzing with outside forces, so to focus can only be a good thing.

So, I’m on Day 3 of The New Me and I can say it is going very well. It might be a bit premature to believe that things have changed that much, but my core already feels stronger and I swear I’m holding myself up straighter.

Watch this space!

 

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

WLW-GirlPower_D8FA-gp2_4So, influenced by the babes I work with, I have decided to take up running, as a means to get fit but also to change things up. Mentally, physically and spiritually.

Yeah.

I’ve never really run before, barely even for the bus and my favourite thing to say is: “I’ll never run, unless someone is chasing me”.

I don’t know if my decision to do this is absolutely crazy or not, but I’ve spoken to a few people about it (because I have to talk about things a lot before I actually do them) and it seems that quite a few of my friends are secret runners.

I have always fancied the idea of it myself, and the image of me running into the middle distance with my ponytail flapping, M.I.A coaxing me on is a gorgeous one. I like it.

Perhaps running will become my thing. Perhaps all my worries will melt away once I start.

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Perhaps I will hate every minute of it and want to give up. I don’t want to though, I need an outlet and a place to think.

I need a place to practice my singing.

With that in mind, I’ve been taking care of the most important thing of all; The Running Playlist. Have no fear I shall be sharing more on this series as I continue my running journey.

Are you wondering why I’m not out running yet; choosing to just talk about it for now? I’m waiting for my good pair of trainers to arrive!

Do you run? Do you have any beginners tips for me? I am an open book!