luxe loungewear

Its cold in my house, we dont have heating, and whilst I want to be warm and comfy I dont want to look like a complete slob. Loungewear is often never flattering but a few nicer jumpers or cardys, some nice tracksuit bottoms which fall well ( wide leg for me, no pockets) and comfy jeans are a staple. I wear jeans and jumpers most days, I slip on the uggs for inside ( you can wear them outside if you like) and when I am ready to go out just chuck on a leather jacket wahey. If I am in all day or have just got out of the bath its a nice pair of tracky bums and a jumper combo for some quality house time…
What do you wear to relax? I used to wear my old clothes but I actually appreciate nice relaxation clothes to wear it makes that part of my day all the more enjoyable.

things that make life fabulous

As has been touched on in this blog I seem to take ideas of things which would be lovely and nice and great to do and turn them into a massive to do list. This in turn makes them things which become chores and less of an enjoyment.

There are some things which I have come across over the past few months which I would like to do. I want to write notes about them so I dont forget and whilst I may not have to do them tomorrow I would like to open myself to the opportunity of them within the next few years.

1. Working abroad. Yes I am technically abroad but I would like to go and do a contract in south america or tanzania. Fantastic experience for yourself and work and a definite on my to do list. Possible pre children or maybe in selected places with children as a family adventure. Life for yourself doesnt have to end… the adventures could just get greater.

2. Visit the cocos islands. These look amazing and are definitely just a stones throw from perth so are definitely on my radar for a quick holiday next year perhaps…. with us it is a case of balancing time and money.

3. The yacht week in south croatia or greece…www.theyachtweek.com

4. salted chocolate truffles… as per here. I will be making this in the very near future. Lindt with sea salt is great but this make take it to  a whole new level.

5. Cooking dinner. With more time on my hands I have been loving the shopping for ingredients, following the recipe and cooking. So much food porn on the internet so many recipes to try. I really do love food made with fresh, good quality basics… YUM.

6. Travel is amazing. I have done a bit of it in my time but I never want to stop.

www.history-map.com

7.Reading blogs I often get caught up in the amazing life of others. It could make me feel inferior but I realise that is how they make their life. Sometimes I do great things, sometimes I am homely and save money. I want to make an effort to stop a photo these things each day. I find it makes me stop to enjoy them. Instagram, happy snaps… I want to focus on the small and warm and large and fantastic things which make me happy.

8. I have been cutting back A LOT this year financially. I am happy to report I am on track with my goals and I would like to continue in this manner… being relatively frugal and spending on considered spends and outings. This last break I have splurged on fun with friends, items for work and a couple of things I needed. I am not sorry. I have lost nearly 10kg ( pending weigh in tomorrow), I have worked hard and I will not have a proper break next swing so I can afford it. Now back on track and pull it together to finish the year on target.

www.forbes.com

9. Family are so fabulous, I miss them so much. A teary conversation with my mum yesterday, a chat with my bro and two calls from my dad. Plus a call from a friend on the east coast, visits planned and the future looks rosy. I have a feeling the next year will fly by.

10. Scented candles… they make me feel like royalty. A bath, nice lounge wear, blogs, magazines, soft lighting and a wine glass of sparkling water or spritzer and it is my idea of heaven.

11. Reading. I hate wasting time… I hate being lazy. I class TV as lazy I do not class blog reading for a couple of hours or reading a book as lazy… that my friends is fabulous. As for tv I just record the junk I like and indulge when I am really tired. I love having it to watch when it suits but I dont have to make an effort to watch. I have the first series of downtown abbey on my ipad to watch at work… Yes I am behind!

12. Being outside. As it starts to warm and be sunnier I like to get outdoors every day.

 

What makes you happy

The weekend and what my kilos mean to me

Well howdy all… How are we? I’m doing grand. I have spent a lovely weekend out and about and with friends. Friday I hung out on the couch with the man all evening after Friday lunch with a friend and a shop in town. Saturday involved the long bike ride and DIY followed by dinner with the hubs and his bro at our house. Sunday was spent with friends at the shops and having lunch by the river..great day.

The next few days I have some jobs to attend to such as tax returns, cleaning the house, clearing out, speaking to family, writing notes, seeing friends and perhaps some rest?!? Or perhaps not.

This sums up my world at the moment. I feel relaxed, I am sticking to my goals ( although this break has involved some extra spending) but nothing terrible. I socialise a fair bit but our tastes are cheap so you can afford to more often. I do not panic about the points as there is always a healthier option ( eat half save half for later), have lighter meals in the day, use weekly points and generally it works out. I have thought about rest, and made an option for it, but I don’t really need it. I think being heavier and less fit is hard work in itself. Although my lifestyle has changed a bit which may add to it I have more energy and less wish to sit down and veg out… Maybe it’s the weight loss or maybe it’s the sun being out???

I am also clearing out this week I will clean out all my old clothes and cull what is not needed dividing it up to sell on eBay and give away piles. I already got rid of most of my old non mineral makeup which no longer cuts the mustard… Now for the bigger clothes.

I have been thinking about the blogs I enjoy reading. They are full of hope, full of good will and full of fun. People living life to the max, being the best version of themselves they can be and enjoying themselves. Granted we need balance… You can’t be all work and no play or all play and no work but we can take the time to enjoy the little things each day.

My little blessings

Waking up with someone I love
Scented candles, a sofa and blogging with the cooking channel in the background.
Doing my makeup… Everyday is a little chance to be a supermodel ( I wish)
Choosing your outfit .. A chance to make yourself feel great… Who do you want to be today?
A clean house ( gimme an hour or two and I will have this)
Other blogs to read….

You want a list of my faves…? Ready, set, go

Keeping healthy getting stylish
Chocolate and raspberries
Salad and sequins
Buy now blog later
Me, my best and I
The Londoner
Dutchess roz
Miss Lucy loves
Girl meet life

Just a few of my latest reads google them as I can’t link from the iPad and I blew up my lappy… Doh!

Anyway, pop your feet up, grab a cuppa, count your blessings and read your blogs… And share with me

What’s your best blogs? Count your blessings…now…below…in my comments…

Things wot are making me happy

Well I am back, thanks all for the lush comments I will be responding ASAP! How am I feeling?pretty good actually. I have had a few wins this week, such as completing week 1 of couch 2 5k, and a few losses, such as pudding around 3 times in the week at work. I did very much stick within my point limits but definitely don’t want to get in the habit of wheaty puddings so often as it affects my tummy. Today I bought some dark sea salt Lindt for my fridge at work to have rather than sponge cake! I also get my permanent room at work next swing so I am happy.

This week I did an exercise class at work, couch to 5k week one plus a longer 6 km run where I just did the same intervals for longer.

On the subject of work wanna see a picture….?

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So I have stocked up with a few more items.. Some track suit bottoms, a jumper, a tracky top, a head torch for running at work, a wicking running top and a laundry bag most of which is for work. I also got some new bare minerals eyeshadows( I just am such a convert of mineral makeup I don’t really like my other stuff now), some mario badescu enzyme cleanser and korres eye makeup remover. Most stuff was cheaply from cotton on but I am so comfy in it and needed some warmer clothes for round the house.

Today we went for a bike ride round the river…

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We also bought some DIY items

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And I have spent the afternoon painting and cooking soup for dinner.

I was feeling a bit down about the deserts at work but hey I stayed within points. I think it happens when I under eat in the day. My average work day looks like this now ( as I am a creature of habit)

Breakfast: 2 poached eggs on whole grain ( spelt) bread with butter 7 pp
Snack: natural yog ( low fat) with prunes. 3 pp and really quite yum
Lunch: salad and chicken or soup depending on options normally around 6 pp
Snack: fruit and rice crackers 3pp
Dinner: roast meat or grilled fish and new potatoes and veggies …. 7 pp

This is around 26 pp plus I have a cappuccino and then some choc to get to the points I should be on.

At home I eat less as my days are not filled with work from 5.30 am until 6 pm and then exercise etc so I have….

Bfast; porridge with almond milk, cinnamon, banana and maple syrup. 7pp
Snack: cappuccino 2 pp
Lunch: soup 6 pp ( I make a big batch and try to have it as 1 meal daily at home)
Snack: Greek yogurt 4 pp
My other meal varies from sushi to salads to risotto to whatever but is normally around 8-10 points

That takes my total to around 26 as sometimes I skip the yogurt and leave room for a glass of wine or other treat if needed.

This is just my standard daily points I use my weeklies for treats, alcohol, or meals out. I seem to use ( generally as last week was higher) around 20 of the 49 but am now clocking up between 20-30 exercise points which may be why I was hungrier. I am trying to notice this so I can recognise it and fill up with more healthy food rather than eating puddings which I do t even like that much for energy… I am thinking bliss balls, coconut butter, peanut butter etc as options.

Anyway I am off to watch my big fat gypsy wedding and wait for my latest coat of paint to dry.

What healthy snacks do you use ? Also do you want to see pictures of my last few shopping hauls? Just let me know.

Me and my face

Aaaah the face.. The face like the accessories become really important when you are not happy with the body.

‘but you have such a pretty face’

‘you have such a lovely smile’

These become the go to compliments people have for you when do not look the best in clothes. Don’t get me wrong I have days when I think I am a fox… I often then catch a glance in a mirror and realise I was wrong I am more dog than fox. I don’t love the way I look, I don’t hate the way I look ( well not everyday) but it annoys me I don’t look my best. My body is more Ricki-lee before than after and I have spots.

Spots WTF!! what the hell I am nearly 30 how are these allowed on my face?????? I certainly didn’t invite them. I suspect they are purely hormonal as I do not have that kind of greasy, oil slick, spotty teen thing going on. I am working more of a red, angry spot descending to flaky mess type look! BOOOOO.

The face basics… skincare. I have always been pretty good with this and the better I am at it the better my face looks. I have a small routine I have settled into but aside from some old favourites I probably havent found my perfect skin care yet. I have tried heaps and wasted heaps but in the words of U2

‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’

Skincare extends to body aswell so I will lump that in here with a quick run down of what I like… For those where I haven’t met my match please recommend to me… I need your help.

Am-

body brush my body – I am getting quite good at doing this and it makes me feel good.

Shower- I wash my face normally with a gel cleanser ( Skinstitut glycolic cleanser- this is the only thing to control my spots) and use a puff to wash my body with shower gel. I don’t like to moisturise my body in the morning as I feel sticky, especially in a hotter climate.

Face- a quick tone then I moisturise and put my slap on. For toner and moisturiser I am not picky. Currently I use a tea tree toner and aveda radiance moisturiser. I have started using mineral makeup and this makes a huge difference to the spots situation. I love it. I dont need all makeup to be mineral but definitely prefer the base to be. At present I am using maybelline and everyday minerals but I would like to branch out to a more glowy foundation ( perhaps arbonne?). My Lancome foundation lies unused in my drawer which has been my go to since uni days. I just hate the feel of it now.

PM-

Body- often a quick bath if I am not washing my hair. If I wash my hair I use my el cheapo organic shampoo and conditioner available from the supermarket, if not a squirt of batiste dry shampoo the next morning. I will moisturizer after my bath and my fave is a body oil when I am still a bit damp for some reason I prefer an oil to body butters etc. When I have used up these supplies I would like to try Dr Bronners 18 in 1 liquid soap.

Face- cleanse, tone and moisturizer. I use an eye make up remover.I use a cream cleanser,  toner and a moisturizer. I also use a muslin cloth with the cleanser which seems to make them work better. Once I have used up my current stock I would like to go back to the Liz Earle collection. For any aussies you have to buy online from the website in the uk but it is a really affordable cult product well worth a try. All organic and natural but really works well and they have travel sets if you don’t want to jump straight in. Currently I am using a homemade oil cleanser with a combo of sweet almond oil and glyerol it works amazingly to remove makeup and I just use this with a muslin cloth and ensure it is all washed off. I dont require moisturiser after this but I do sometimes use a rosehip oil before bed.

Once to twice a week I use a face mask ( I have no set one) and use biore pore strips as I am forever waging the war of the blocked nose pores ( much improved since the use of mineral makeup).

I hate wasting money on things I don’t use so have signed up to lusthaveit as an affordable way to test new products without too much outlay. Ideally I would love to streamline my products and just have a fail safe load which works for me.

Do you have a solution to this? what are your top make up and skin care tips?

You sleep downstairs……?

If you are from the Uk you will find this odd, probably, if you are from Australia you may think ‘you have an upstairs??’. There are quite a few differences between these two country’s.

Something you probably would not even consider when thinking of a move but one of the adjustments which was hardest for me. Sleeping down stairs. I didn’t feel safe and it felt strange.

‘But people can come in and get me’

Boy ( in  confused tone) ‘ so you can get out and away from them easier if you are downstairs’

 To be fair he has a point… but I am still not used to it and one day when I have really made it in this life I will have;

  • Clear skin
  • Size 10 jeans which do up
  • Louboutin shoes
  • an upstairs bedroom!

Shopping down under

How many of you would consider shopping something you are good at? Me too, in fact I would say its one of my strongest talents. As I grew up nothing was a greater pleasure than shopping with my mum or friends and spending all my hard-earned pennies on bargains and things I needed/ didn’t need/ thought I needed.

Now lets move to a whole new country, with only a suitcase, a suitcase largely filled with jeans and clothes to wear in the outback whilst you are at work, and it means you need to shop…A LOT! As I moved over here I had one suitcase and I needed more clothes so I shopped or I tried to. Then I started an office job and I needed more clothes for the office and I tried to shop again. I was rubbish at shopping here, I didn’t know where to go for what and it became a nightmare. A nightmare which I took on and shopped my way through.

Lets talk about style, as I have mentioned previously, I am a little (read: lot) larger than I would prefer and I like clothes which are probably plainer, flattering and covering. I have a definite style though, definite likes and things which I need in my wardrobe. Nowadays I use my situation of living across two hemispheres to my advantage.It works as the seasons are out of sync the things I need are often on sale in the UK. I shop in Australia and the UK. Before I go home I save up and do a massive high street shop in the UK. I also shop online from the UK. In australia I do not have the selection of Sydney but there are a few things I have learned and brands I have learned to love.

Lets share, and please share your hot tips in the comments so it can expand my shopping world.

  • Australia is not cheap, Perth is definitely not
  • The selection is not the same as in UK
  • There is no Primarni down under

Whinge over there is some great stuff here.

  • Witchery– seems really expensive at first but I love it. Witchery items wash well, wear well and you can count on them to have a wearable version of high fashion. There are rules though for shopping at Witchery I generally don’t shop full price (they always have a sale rail), get a witchery card they are forever emailing you deals and also use the online store to see the full range as it seems to vary between shops.
  • Cotton-on– Cheap, cheap, cheap I love this for my basics, the cotton feels nice and its great to get your basic tanks etc. Also for high fashion items you want to try but not invest too much in.
  • Jeans West– fits best and for me it does. This is my aussie jeans store.
  • Wish for pretty items
  • Quirky circus ( in myer) for pretty items
  • Tokito for work clothes
  • Charli ( available in transit) the best maxi’s I have found so far.

That covers the basics. For extra items I use a variety of sources.

  • Harbourtown- ours now contains french connection, mimco, whittner, nine west and is great to pick up bargains from. Its no Swindon outlet village but it will do.
  • The outnet.com (net a porters outlet store)
  • I still stock up at M and S from the uk for my undies ( the plain day-to-day ones)
  • My nice undies ( I normally have about 4 sets) are currently calvin Klein from an outlet shop last time I was in the uk.
  • ASOS– ships to Australia with a great range of uk clothes
  • Boohoo.com.- cheap Asos
  • Urban outfitters– love this stuff for more unusual pieces.
  • Uniqlo– cheap, nice basics. A japanese brand.
  • Bershka– again cheap, much along the lines of zara and mango
  • All Saints– I love their clothes again the sales rull applies.
  • Reiss– Lovely clothes sale rale only again for me.
  • Noa Noa
  • People Tree– for fair trade clothes

Other Uk brands I am loving at the moment include;

To spend or splurge?

As you may have seen from above there is a spending scale on which I work. Generally I spend more on accessories and items which I can keep whilst loosing weight. Sad I know, I definitely don’t lack positivity and always think it’s not worth spending much on jeans etc as I wont fit them for long as I am about to morph into a supermodel. Has it happened no.. the last 2 pairs of jeans I have had ( prior to WW) are Jeans west size 14 curve embracers, whoops! Tanks and under tops I buy cheap as I replace them a fair bit over here. The weather is hotter, the armpits are sweatier I normally have a few tanks on the go then replace them all every 6 months or so. Leggings also used to be a cheapo items but the witchery wide bands are only $30 a pair and are so much for flattering. I had a $20 voucher plus 25% discount code so got 2 pairs delivered for just over $30 this week. WIN!!!

You may notice that some of the Uk brands recommended above are some of the more expensive high street brands and this is because I use their online stores often only in the sales. I do shop in much cheaper places when I go back to the uk but like to try on and feel the fabrics etc first.

I wait for the sales to buy heels and going out shoes- whittner, witchery, mimco all lovely shoes all leather which is a requirement for me. Same for handbags.

For flats, ballet pumps etc I shop online from the uk where leather ballet pumps can easily be as cheap as 10 quid ( around $15 aussie smackeroos) and I don’t think you can get them here for that price. I may get a few pairs at once to save on shipping. I like shoes to be leather, I like to replace pumps each year as after a while no sock shoes get a bit fresh if you catch my drift.

So that’s the general plan, but then sometimes I go nuts and buy heaps and am remorseful for at least 10 minutes before I plan the next trip.

Any recommendations for me????? I would be keen to learn

Operation Miranda update

I wanted to take a minute to focus and work out a little plan for the week ahead. I know from my doctors results that my liver was a little sluggish so I want to do what I can to help it. At the moment I don’t feel like I want to do the full detox but I do want to include some aspects of it in my life.

So next week I will do some switches.

Instead of coffee green tea and detox tea where possible.
Hot lemon in the morning
Rice porridge breakfast, with LSA sprinkles and banana
Two fruit snacks daily
Soup often
Salad daily
Less meat more fish, eggs and veggie foods.

Last swing I was making an effort to ensure I ate all my points as the swing before under eating made me tired. So I have taken a selection of high point foods with health benefits for these occasions. Last swing I was eating what was available but the sponge cakes weren’t making me feel the best. I am not going to do a proper detox I am just going to try to implement these changes and good habits over the next few weeks. If I want coffee I will have one.

I also want to sweat daily as this really aids detoxification and drink heaps of Water to flush the system. Plus do some daily body brushing to help detox.

Sad news my yoga class has been cancelled so I will just have to focus on body balance at home and also actually do c25k starting this afternoon.

Today I have cleaned the house, baked a gluten free banana bread and am now chilling.

How do you relax? What switcheroos help you to get long term health?

The plan, wiaw

Ok so I am off to weigh in today and whilst I am comfy with that and feel like I am pretty balanced I also feel like I want to do a bit of a cleaner few weeks and up the exercise. I want to also see how this affects my weight loss so I will tweak up my work day which I have been ramping up to over the last couple of swings.

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Here is my workout plan, it has a rest day, and all classes are low intensity or just 30 minutes so I think this is quite balanced. I feel like I need to make an effort so it can become habit and I can unlearn lazy habits.

My eating when at work is fine but I would like to implement some operation Miranda tweaks so a day will be….

5am hot lemon and fruit

9am porridge or eggs

Lunch- soup and salad or salad with rice salad

Snack- fruit

Dinner- veg heavy and meat or fish or veggie option.

I am going to attempt to do as much vegan food as poss for the next week and quit the coffee and sugar for a detox. I also want to body brush each night and drink some detox tea to get my liver ship shape. The better the liver the quicker the weightloss. Plus 2l water daily.

For my next break I need more jobs to do at home so boredom eating doesn’t become a factor. I am not normally a boredom eater but I want to ensure I don’t get into bad habits so renovation is becoming a priority as is my tax return and some other jobs.

I am doing pretty well on the finance challenge, but today I did pick up some long wanted for items. I got the bare minerals mineral makeup kit and a mario badescu toner. I was pretty proud of myself as I just bought the necessities and will buy the other items once I have used up what I have. I also cleaned through my makeup set and have a few items which I don’t think work for me.

At home I have had a nice eating routine this week which I will detail in the wiaw below.

Am hot lemon
Blast- rice porridge with cinnamon And banana or gluten free banana bread, coffee

Lunch- fail safe salad- mixed leaves, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, Italian dressing, 1/3 avocado and 1/4 small piece Brie cheese or sweet potato cannellini soup

Today I have had a caramel shortbread snack (naughty but I loved it and am not sorry!)

Dinner- this has varied and I have made a proper meal each night. This weeks menus have included….grilled fish with broccoli and cauliflower mash, curry, chicken risotto tonight and our favourite recipe at the mo … See below

Taco bowls

These have become a fail safe fave meal for myself and the other half.

Fill a bowl half way with lettuce, add chopped cucumber. In a pan cook chopped onion, chopped capsicum and chopped tomatoes with a packet of taco seasoning. Once cooked stir in a tin of refried beans. Top salad with mix and add salsa, low fat sour cream, chopped avo and some treated cheese.

Voila.. Naughty but nice

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I will update the weightloss page after weigh in today.

Any amazing recipes for meals or meal ideas?