Birthday

Had an usually quiet one this year, possibly because of it falling on a Monday. A Monday in January. A Monday in January when we’re all supposed to be extremely depressed.

This year, I have finally dug my heels in and said ‘No!’ I refuse to put up with having my birthday in a notoriously rubbish month. I hate the Winter and love the Summer. So I’m implementing a new tactic – an ‘official’ birthday that will happen in May.

Not that it wasn’t a lovely week. I had a family-oriented day on Monday, and saw friends for the rest of the week. My birthday also fell on a week when some crucial business/project type discussions have been taking place. All very exciting, but I’ve definitely been glued to my computer/phone too much.

Anyway, in the spirit of not posting my usual 1500-2000 words, I’ve decided to let the photos do the talking….

Healthy living: End of Week 1

With the zeal of anyone who has just started a new healthy eating/exercising plan, I raced through the week with few problems. There is no week easier than the first week when you’re changing your habits, as I’m sure most of you will know. Actually, the first couple of weeks are usually pretty golden. You’re evangelical about your new eating plan, and you tell anyone who will listen that they’ve ‘really got to try’ it, it’s ‘already made such a huge difference’. ‘Sugar? You know, you reeeeally shouldn’t eat that’, etc etc. You become a diet bore. You tend to see results quickly, depending on how bad a state you were in before. Everything is glorious, and you’re in a permanent good mood. Come weeks 3/4, it may well be a different story, but hey – let’s stick with week one.

I managed to exercise everyday, focussing on different bits of my body to exercise with Cassey’s POP Pilates videos. Then I’d finish off with 10-20 minutes of cardio. Saturday was an all cardio day, and I rediscovered Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo, a workout video (yes, video) I’d used to get me into shape in my teens. Ah, the sweaty nostalgia of it all. But that’s enough about my personal life, back to the exercising.

I was like a woman possessed – logging my food and exercise every day on MyFitnessPal.com, spending my ‘spare’ (haha) time on researching the best workouts to follow. I’m very happy to be following Cassey and her ‘blogilates’. She’s a lovely cheery presence and puts a smile on my face for the rest of the day. Useful, as I tend to workout in the morning.

Yesterday, I finally paid attention to the name that I’d heard floating around but had never really registered. Tracy Anderson. The great pretender, as some call her, or Gwyneth and Madonna’s personal trainer, to everyone else. She seems to have completely divided the fitness world. She has very strict beliefs, e.g. women shouldn’t lift more than 3lbs if they want to have thin arms. She’s created a form of exercise called ‘dance cardio’, and I’ve been told she tends to give little instruction and smile even less.

The programme of exercise that works for you is a very personal thing, so it was little wonder that I found such a dichotomy of opinion. I’ve danced for a substantial portion of my life, so can pick up routines quite quickly, and I don’t necessarily need a running commentary on it. I also hate doing weights, I really struggle to lift anything very heavy, so that side of things works for me to. The only thing to do was to try it. I looked up some of her free webcasts, along with a routine she did with Nicole Richie, and I absolutely LOVED them. It made me sweat (sorry, disgusting), which I welcomed as Pilates makes me sore but doesn’t yield any perspiration (was that less horrible sounding?!) I enjoyed all the hopping about and twisting round and kicking (sounds like my last date…badoom tish.) I liked Tracy, I found her to be earnest and not nauseatingly false.

So, I’ll be adding about 20 minutes of her to the end of my Pilates for next week, as I felt my cardio was lacking last week. I’ve also purchased the Snog healthy treats cookbook – £7.07 on Ebay as opposed to £17 in Smith’s. I love love love Snog, and it’s a beautiful book – I’ll blog a couple of recipes from it once I’ve tried them, so you can all join in. I’ve got a detox cookery class with Nosh Detox coming up on Thursday too, in South Ken. Should be fun, and I’ll report back on that too. I know it feels anti-instinctive to be doing this health kick now instead of January, but I just see it as getting a head start on my New Year’s Resolutions. I refuse to sit back, make excuses, and get even more unhealthy over the festive period. Let me know if you’re doing anything similar, or if you keep a fitness blog yourself

I promise these self obsessed health blogs won’t be the only thing I talk about these days – I’ve just been super duper busy setting up my jewellery business (nearly there, fingers crossed!), and my free time is either spent writing articles, or visiting spas and fashion events and things. I know, I know. It’s a tough life. But someone’s got to do it.

Big fat healthy Snogs xx

Tracy Anderson, my new queen

Frozen yog - my new ice cream

 

You can come back home, back on your own

I had one last fling with London Fashion Week. Yesterday morning, I popped up to Vauxhall Fashion Scout (which was not in Vauxhall, but rather, sponsored by the car company). Now, at this point, I have to take some issue with the maps on my iPhone. I’ve never had an issue with it before, but either I’d put the postcode in wrong (hugely unlikely), or the Maps app had changed where the location was overnight (this is almost definitely what happened.) Anyway, I ended up heading off in completely the wrong direction, considering mounting one of Boris’s bikes, but ultimately totally stressing about. I was only in town for the two shows at VFS, and quite frankly, when you’ve paid THAT much for a train fare, you want to actually achieve what you set out to.

It was easy to work out when I was getting closer. In a world full of suits, just follow the girl with the green hair, or the chick with the turban, and you can be fairly sure they’ll be off to a fashion event. Picking up the pace to cover the last bit of ground – it was now 10.15, and the first show was due to start at 10. Thank god for dodgy Fashion Week scheduling, as I raced up, only to spot a giant queue snaking out of the building. I jumped in, and didn’t get in till around 10.35ish.

Vauxhall Fashion Scout is one of the up and coming showcases taking place during LFW, and has received lots of coverage, including Elle and Vogue. It was held in the Freemasons’ Hall in the City, and certainly the second show I saw, Elisa Palomino, made amazing use of that. We sat in a chapel (if Freemasons’ have ‘chapels’), opera rising up in the background, with models appearing outside the iron gates of the chapel and strolling in. It was an incredible show, and I’m still getting chills just thinking about it.

I had some time to spare before meeting Nanna for frozen yogurt, and decided to go and buy some flat shoes. I thought I’d pop up to Primark on Oxford Street, and decided that I wouldn’t get the tube, but would walk up. I went kind of a strange way, through Covent Garden and Leicester Square, and it took me about an hour. I was most definitely in need of those flat shoes by then, so nabbed a pair of teal flats with a crazy kind of bejewelled, feather detail. I also spotted the Holy Grail, the thing I’d been searching for – a black floppy 70s hat. I hardly ever let myself go shopping anymore, due to massive financial constraints, but to treat myself to two very cheap things instead of just grabbing armfuls actually felt more exciting. But that’s a story for another day.

Flats slipped on and bowler switched for the new floppy hat, I walked off again to Covent Garden. Now, frozen yogurt is something I’ve only fairly recently got into, but my god – if you haven’t tried it, you need to, NOW. We ate at Snog on Garrick Street. Pink guava and chocolate with brownie pieces, blueberries and raspberries. Seriously yum. After that, Nanna and I took a walk down to Somerset House to people watch. Having recently streaked her hair with pink (which has given me such serious hair envy I can’t even think about it that much), Nanna fitted right in. It was a lot quieter down there, but we did see a man in a geisha costume.

After a quick coffee pit stop, we wandered down onto the Embankment. This is one of my favourite things to do at this time of year. I love looking across at those great chunks of grey on the Southbank, glowering over the murky Thames. It’s so bleakly beautiful. We crossed the rive and perched ourselves in one of the few exceptions to the ‘grey’ rule: The Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Bar. I’d heard about this pop-up bar ages ago, and it lived up to expectations. Sadly, they were out of coconuts for us to drink from, but we settled for some kind of delicious strawberry cocktail. I was very taken with a clock showing English and Bombay times, illustrated by two men whose moustaches formed the clock hands.

Then it was home time. I was exhausted. I’d walked for about three hours in total. I read The Stylist. Some chavvy girls laughed at my hat on the train. Thank God I wasn’t a 6” something man dressed as a geisha.