The one trend I am obsessing over at the moment – shirring. I hadn’t even heard of the word a week ago. I have a few pieces with the detailing and have always loved it and suddenly kept seeing it across bikinis and dresses and across the tops of trousers and skirts. Its so delicate and feminine with a real youthful edge that just takes me back to childhood clothes.

I have pulled together an edit of some of my favourite pieces on the highstreet now… I’ve just ordered the rose ruffled skirt and the white beach dress ready for our family holiday. Hope you enjoy…x

And thank you for reading…

Ax

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After my little insta-poll the Zara edit definitely had the most unanimous ‘yes’. This was a dangerous exercise for me – I quite literally want to put each and every piece I have chosen into that virtual basket. So without further ado – here is my ‘if money were no object and I had a bigger wardrobe space’ edit of Zara right now. I have popped the links below each image for you. Enjoy.

And please let me know if there’s anything else specific you’d love for me to write about/edit in the comments below.

Thank you so much for reading…

Ax

 

White leather mules 

Beaded mini tote bag

Sequined ruffle skirt

Gold sandals 

Gold cage sandals 

White ruffle top

Snakeskin tunic 

Wooden handle tote

Linen dress 

Oval sunglasses 

Sateen dress

Sandy linen dress 

White and black top 

Pink blouse 

Green bag 

White dress 

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I am all for being beach body ready no matter what – i.e. it makes no difference if I am carrying a few extra pounds or not. I am proud of my body, what its done, what it does, its curves and its dimples. But I do like to take extra care of my skin before I hit the beach. Shed the Winter dullness. I find dieting impossible and I love carbs and red wine far too much, so body brushing, exercise, lotions and potions become my Summer prep best friends. And in this post I am going to be sharing what I have been using recently, what I love and what I will be keeping up all year round…

The Exercise

I am no fitness expert (In fact my husband often tells me I am the unhealthiest person he knows!) But I do go to the gym, if anything to make me feel less guilty about the wine and chocolate. I try and mainly do weights and body-weight exercises. I’ll warm up with a run or ten minutes on the cross trainer doing interval training. Then I will work on legs or arms alternatively. And I’ll always finish with ab work on the mats.

I also love going to classes if I can make the timings work with my work schedule and the girls. BodyPump is a new favourite – and spinning (but haven’t done that in months). And nothing beats a good swim for overall toning.

The Gadgets

Legology – I am a huge fan of this brand and have used their products for over a year now. The range was developed by award-winning beauty writer Kate Shapland to deliver a high performance solution to heavy legs and cellulite. When I remember I use the cup on the backs of my legs. Its a little strange – a vacuum cup which promotes deep drainage, circulation, skin firmness, tone and elasticity. Feels good to use though!

Elemis – I have just started using the new body toning formula with their body brush. I love doing the body brushing just before I jump in the shower. Its probably the hardest body brush I have used… at first I found it quite scratchy but now its quite relieving and feels like its really helping with my poor circulation.

The Lotions and Potions

Legology – As well as using their vacuum cup I love their formulas. They’re all designed to relieve fluid retention that makes legs puffy, tired and congested and which contributes to cellulite. I love the exfoliating salts and the daily lift which I have linked below.

SkinCeuticals – Vitamin C – do you use it? Know what it does? This serum is not cheap granted – but it delivers and you use just a few drops every day. It’s essentially an antioxidant formulation that helps to reinforce your skins natural protection against free radicals. It will improve any signs of photo-damage, the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and the loss of firmness. This is always my first step, followed by mouisturiser and then spf.

Sunday Riley – I am a fan of everything Sunday Riley does – and recently I have been using their CEO moisturiser. It’s a protect and repair formulation that as well as fighting signs of ageing it exfoliates to refine skin and provides a protective shield for your skin with something called ‘Exopolysaccharides’ – no idea what that is but I like it. And being a Vitamin C cream it sits well with my serum.

HelioCare – I am always banging on about this (sorry) but wearing spf 50 everyday is my new rule. I’ve so much sun damage (working in a sun-bed shop at university meant free sessions and I loved a tan!). This spf is favourited by beauty insiders and doesn’t cost the earth. I use the gel cream in ‘light’ but they also do ‘brown’ and I have just discovered compacts too – great for when you’re out and about in the handbag.

Elemis – The targeted body toning moisturiser, combined with daily massage is really supposed to help with reducing the appearance of cellulite so I have been using it across my arms, stomach and legs after I get out of the shower. It soaks in within an instant so I can just get dressed and out the door.

I’ve said before I am definitely more spit and polish than polished but they do say you must love the skin you’re in… and that means taking care of it.

Thank you so much for reading…

Ax

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I was overwhelmed by all the messages and comments on my post about finally seeking help for anxiety. I have always been very open about the fact I suffer from it and so had lots of questions and messages of support from others over the past year or so… but I hope by finally seeking help I can help encourage others to do the same.

I first started feeling more anxious than normal in the year after I had Vivienne. It was more a sense of uncertainty. Like I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing day to day. Going from a full time job commuting into London and a routine of a week… to having no set plans, just a baby and a sense of freedom that we essentially could do or go wherever we wanted. A lovely freedom looking back but at the time it gave me this strange sense of uneasiness.

I got on top of it and when I started working again, and writing the blog it had all but gone.

Then after I had Margot it reared its ugly head again. So badly. We moved house when Margot was just a few months old and that certainly didn’t help either. Then Vivienne being so unwell before Christmas and our horrid scare. It had got to the point where evenings were spent practising breathing techniques and reading anxiety books instead of relaxing and enjoying time with my husband. In the day I could just be walking down the road pushing the buggy… and out of nowhere my chest would tighten and the dreaded anxiety take hold. I couldn’t put my finger on the triggers. It was so frustrating as I am the sort of person that likes to figure things out (a magicians worst nightmare at parties) and with my background in psychology I always thought I could ‘sort myself out’.

Meeting with a friend that had similar feelings and finally took herself off to the doctors was the final push I needed. I made an appointment – thought I was going to vomit in the waiting room, cried my eyes out in the doctors room and then walked away with a spring in my step. I did it, I asked for help and now I have it.

Personally I think mine is a mixture of hormones post pregnancy and from past traumatic experiences – the death of a best friend, Viviennes meningitis at 18 months old and pneumonia at Christmas, a traumatic birth with Margot and the stay in hospital afterwards… things I perhaps thought I was fine about at the time and had ‘dealt’ with but are still there, little worries in my head.

I start CBT next month and cannot wait. I want to learn how to control my anxiety and I want to get on and enjoy my life without the constant intrusive feelings of being anxious. I am always such a happy person, love my life and what I do, my children, husband and my family… and these anxious feelings are so unwelcome. I am looking forward to updating you soon on how they’re gone… and for all those who might feel the same I urge you to seek help too. You cannot regret it.

Ax

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The little black dress – always the go-to outfit for those evenings you just don’t know what to wear and guaranteed to make you feel good about yourself. We all have one (I think..?) and the little black one-piece can do the same. A classic swimsuit that looks chic, simple and is universally flattering. No thought needed, just throw on with any shoes, any towel, any accessories. Everything goes with black. The simplicity of it gives it the nonchalant vibes.

I’ve linked some great budget one-pieces from just £15 below the inspo shots here… enjoy and thank you for reading.

Ax

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