Goodbye 2012, hello 2013

So here we are, in 2013. 2012 brought much sadness and I am glad to see the back of it, if I am honest. 2012 brought a fantastic new job for me and greatness, work wise for Mr Bouche. Little J passed his 11 plus with flying colours and 2012 had the potential of being a great year. However, Mr Bouche’s mum was diagnosed with lung cancer in February and sadly lost her fight in November.
It has been a difficult 12 months and some days are better than others. We are all grieving and Mr Bouche is finding it particularly tough. It is hard to start a new year on a positive note with the sadness that surrounds us. But, we are battling on.

I did make some resolutions last year which you can read here https://boucheinthecity.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/new-years-resolutions-goals/

Did I stick to any of them? Well, one maybe. I found my dream job and work wise I am so happy. I didn’t do great on the blog front. I did not manage to do much about my body but I did become less pessimistic and I think I did ok at being a friend.

So what resolutions do I have 2013? Well I have decided on quite a few and I do aim to stick to them!

I am going to wear more sequins – When purchasing an outfit for a night out in 2013, I will be seeking out sequins and bling. I am 34 this year and realise that I may have to start being cautious when choosing outfits soon, as to not look like mutton dressed as lamb. So while I can, I am going to rock the bling and sequins!

I am going to try and eat less and exercise more – I am not going to go on a diet this year but I am going to join the gym and start doing the spinning classes I love again. When I was at my happiest (figure wise) I ate sensibly, ate out, had the odd treat and did three spinning classes a week. So I am adopting this mantra once again and hopefully I will start loving my figure once again.

I am going to wear less makeup – I love looking glam but looking back on some photos from 2012, in some instances I look more drag than fab. I am toning it down for my daytime look, going easier on the eyebrow pencil and going for a more smokey eye / neutral lip look for nights out.

I am going to let things go – I am going to stop worrying about things I cannot control. Sadly in 2012, one of my friendships deteriorated. One of my oldest and closest friends and I drifted apart. I have tried to keep things going but it has not been reciprocated. I am not sure if I could have done more from her point of view but I have tried to keep the flow of communication going but it hasn’t. Obviously, I am sad about this but I guess this is what happens in life. People drift apart and people can be in different places. I need to stop worrying and pondering on this situation and maybe in time we will reconnect but for now, I am going to let things go.

I am going to listen more – I am a bit of a whirlwind at times. I can be excitable and when friends are talking to me, I can on occasion be known to butt in and talk about myself. Friends have told me things and I have been so airy fairy that I haven’t taken things in. I know this must be frustrating so in 2013, I am making a conscious effort to listen.

I am going to stop saving things for best – If 2012 taught me anything, it is that life is too short. I am going to light my posh candles, use my expensive bath oil and drink that expensive bottle of wine.

I am going to try and dress nicer than I think I should – On those days when I think I’ll just throw an outfit together, I am going to stop myself and think about dressing a touch nicer. I am going to think about my outfits for work the night before and accessorise more. When just going to the pub in the evening I am going to dress up more, than I have in the past, and when going out for a special occasion I am going to try and not wear my faithful skinny jeans and pull out all the stops.

I have high hopes for 2013. I am hoping for a happy home life, no more sadness, successful work life and fingers crossed, maybe our plans for a baby may come to fruition.

Here’s to 2013.

Bouche x x x

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You are beautiful, no matter what they say.

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Can anyone tell me what I wrong with the above picture? Anyone?

In my opinion the picture of young Ms Aguilera is stunning. She looks so healthy and the Michael Kors dress looks beautiful on her. After years of looking like she needed a decent meal, she now looks womanly and sexier than ever.

So why is it, the press refer to her as overweight, that she has ‘squeezed herself into her dress’ and that it does nothing for her figure?

It was only yesterday, that I read that Kelly Brook’s curves were what dieting women aimed for, over a super slim Victoria Beckham. I wonder if you asked a group of both men and women whether she looks healthy and sexy what their answer would be?

In fact that is exactly what I have done today. Well, I asked people what the first word that came into their head, when they saw the above picture and I am pleased to say that not one person commented on her weight!

I wonder what these journalists writing these articles look like? I bet no where near as beautiful as Ms Aguilera. She is a talented, attractive mum who supports numerous charities and puts her status to good use! Why focus on the fact that her backside is a little larger than it once was. Regardless, she would look great in this dress size 6 or size 16.

So what is wrong with this picture? Absolutely sweet FA I tell you! She looks great.

I will leave you with the following question from a colleague at work ‘you’re not buying that dress are you?’
When I said no, the response was ‘good, not sure you could pull it off!’

Big bottomed Bouche (who is a little bit jealous that Christina would always pull that dress off!)

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Paula’s Package

A few weeks ago, I got chatting to one of my twitter friends Paula about my eyebrows. According to another twitter/blogger friend Nickie my eyebrows are quite enviable. However, they have been referred to as a ‘scouse brow’ and I am not quite sure whether this is something to be envied. In any case, Paula asked me if I wanted to try the eyebrow kit from the Body Shop (where she works) Of course, I said yes and a couple of weeks later I received a lovely parcel from Paula.

Not only did she send me the brow and liner kit but she also send my some samples of products that she thought I might like. I used to be an avid fan of the body shop in my later teens, early twenties, especially as I have sensitive skin. However, every product that I fell in love with, they managed to discontinue and I ended up falling out of love with the body shop. I was hoping that Paula’s parcel would change that.

It took me a few attempts of using the brow and liner kit to get the desired look. I found the brush fiddly at first but I soon got the hang of it. I have been used to using an eyebrow pencil so using such a small brush with powder got some getting used to. However, I like the results. I found that my brows looked defined but not overly made up (which is my usual look). I have started using the kit every day as part of my daytime look and leaving the pencil for an evening look.

 

Brow & Liner Kit

Before…

With one eybrow done…

Both brows finished…

 

In Paula’s package were samples of two face masks. The Warming Mineral mask and Seaweed clay mask. After trying both I can safely say that I will buying these in the future, once my current mask has run out. My skin was glowing and in both cases smoother and softer.

Warming Mineral Mask

Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask

Another gem in my parcel was the vitamin E tinted moisturiser. I use a tinted moisturiser during the day and switch to a foundation for evening looks. I was so impressed with this tinted moisturiser that I bought a tube and have been using it ever since. My only criticism would be that it does not have an spf and I have to apply an spf underneath. However, I purchased online during a promotion a couple of weeks ago and I got free delivery and cost me just £6 so you don’t get a real complaint from me.

Click for enlarged view

I have now found some new staples for my makeup bag and am pleased to report that I am now loving the body shop yet again.

Thanks Paula, you are a super star!

Bouche x x x

P.s Paula sent me the samples as a gift and this is not a sponsored post. I am just spreading the body shop love!

#Tag 20 questions

This morning I got my usual daily blog email from Yummy Step Mummy. It was titled #Tag 20 questions, in which she answered questions set by Loopy Rach. I am totally hijacking the posts but I liked the questions!

http://yummystepmummy.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/tag-20-questions/

http://meandmylife-loopyrach.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/tag-20-questions.html

So here are my 20 questions and answers:

1. Thing you cannot leave the house without?
Penciled eyebrows, bronzer and mobile phone

2. Favourite brand of make-up?
MAC – truly amazing!

3. Favourite flower?
Gerbera – my wedding flower. My favourite colours are white or hot pink.

4. Favourite clothing store?
Reiss. I wish I was one size smaller so their clothes looked better on me. My favourite little black dress is from Reiss and makes me feel amazing when I wear it. Many of my favourite accessories are from Reiss too.

5. Favourite perfume?
Coco Madamoiselle by Chanel and Chloe Eau de Parfum by Chloe.

6. Heels or Flats?
I love heels. The bigger the better. I feel sexier in heels. Heels make you stand straight, with your shoulders back and your head held high. However, they kill me. I have bunions and heels cripple me so I do spend more time in flats.

7. Do/Did you get good grades?
Yes. Although I had a tough time during my GCSE’s and A levels, I worked hard and managed to get good grades. I managed to get offers from two good universities, Nottingham Trent and Brunel to do Economics and European studies. I deferred both offers and went to work for a stock brokers in the city of London. The rest is history and I never took up the places. However, later in life I would like to be an economics lecturer in further education and will do my degree.

8. Favourite colours?
Silver – I love everything silver. I am like a magpie! This was also the colour in our colour scheme for our wedding.

9. Do you drink energy drinks?
No. I have a thing about sugar and never have sugar on cereal or in tea. I hate these energy drinks and know they are really bad for you. Diabetes in the family will do that! The only exception to this is when I have had a few drinks and am offered a jeagar bomb!

10. Do you drink juice?
After some extensive work on my teeth last year and hearing from the dentist about how bad fruit juices are for your teeth, I do steer clear. The only exception is when I consume the odd vodka and orange!

11. Do you eat fries/chips with a fork?
Always! I try to use cutlery wherever possible!

12. Favourite moisturiser?
Chanel – Hydramax + Active moisure gel cream

13. Do you want to get Married?
Am married and always wanted to be so.

14.Do you get mad easily?
I have a short fuse. I blow up, then calm down quickly and then it is forgotten. I forgive easily and never hold grudges.

15.Are you into ghost hunting?
I am really into the paranormal. I was seen by my mother, at the age of 12 conversing with a spirit whilst half asleep, I don’t remember. I believe that I am surrounded by spirits and think I would enjoy a ghost hunt.

16. Any phobias?
I am scared of losing my memories. My dad has Huntington’s disease and has lost lots of his memories. I take lots of pictures and hope to record memories on this here blog, just in case.
Disorder and lack of control also make me anxious. I have a little bit of OCD.

17. Do you bite your nails?
No. I had false nails for a long time and I am desperately trying to look after my natural nails and get them all to a nice length. I have managed to get 7 out of 10 nice, just three to go.

18. Have you had a near death experience?
Once. But, not something I want to talk about.

19. Do you drink coffee?
Yes! I am a big coffee drinker and probably drink 4 cups a day. I don’t mind a kenco instant but I love a rich fresh coffee!

20. Do you like swimming?
Yes, absolutely! I was a good swimmer as a child. When I was about three and a half, my dad and grandma took me into the sea at Hastings. A big wave came and swept me off my feet. I jumped out of the water and said ‘can we do that again?’ I loved water and used to waterski as a child / teen with my Dad off the back off his speedboat!

Care to share?

Bouche x x x

Listography : Top 5 Beauty Products

I have been looking for some new inspiration regarding topics to post about recently. When after some blog catch up last week I stumbled upon Nickie @ www.iamtypecast.com ‘s post about her top 5 beauty products in my inbox. I love posts like these and promptly went back to Kate’s original post and read all the entries! http://katetakes5.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/listography-top-5-beauty-products-sorry.html

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So here are my top five.

  1. Avon super shock gel Eyeliner.

This is the newest of my beauty buys. I guess Iam a bit of a beauty snob and regarded Avon as old fashioned and ‘cheap’. After some recent advertising campaigns which have grabbed my attention, I contacted my local representative (not such a hard task as I follow her on twitter). I wear an eyeliner or line my eyes with eye shadow every day but I have found very few that I can wear all day and into the night. This gel eyeliner is fab. During work days, I apply just after 6am and it is still perfect at 9 – 10pm.

2. Laura Mercier eyebrow pencil

I guess I have been blessed with a decent shape eyebrow but as I have got older they have thinned out tremendously. Before I got married I was advised by a makeup artist that to frame an entire face you should have defined brows. It makes a massive difference to me to have my brows penciled and this pencil is the best I have found for perfecting my ‘scouse brow!’

3. Mac Prep and Prime face protect.

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After getting sun scarring on my face a couple of years back. I have been a real fusspot about wearing an SPF every day. Whenever I buy a new moisturiser, I always ensure it has a built in SPF (even in winter!) This primer is fantastic. It stops my make-up from moving, moisturises and protects my face.

4. Nars Bronzing powder.

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I am quite a pale Doris naturally but I don’t like the natural look! I guess I would be an English rose in complexion terms but I just think I am pasty! I do use self-tanning products but with or without a tan this bronzer gives a gorgeous glow, without looking like David Dickinson!

5. Nails Inc Chelsea bridge UV top coat and base coat.

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After 15 years of acrylic nails, I decided last year to have them soaked off and try and grow my own. After some perseverance, I have managed to get them to a decent length and they are getting stronger. However, I do miss the manicured look that you get from acrylic nails and often found that my nails lacked the professional manicured look without trotting off to the nail bar every week. Then I started to use Chelsea bridge just over my nail hardener. It gives my nails slight pink gloss and is really hard wearing. It also stops my nails going yellow when I do paint them.

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What are your top 5?

Bouche x x x

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Change of mentality

The past couple of weeks have been pretty crap to be honest. We have had a lot to deal with as a family and at times it has been almost impossible to get through the day without some kind of melt down. I am a pretty tough old bird but it is usually during times of stress that I reach for unhealthy food to make myself feel better. I am a real emotional eater and nothing lifts my mood better than some cheese, crisps and pate!
I recently posted about re-joining Weight Watchers and my determination to actually lose weight this time. Rather than lose it, crash and then regain all the lost weight. https://boucheinthecity.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/how-to-shock-bouche-into-losing-weight/

So I am now on week 5, and I have lost 13 pounds. I have to say I am a little gutted that I am one pound shy of losing the stone I wanted to, for my cousin’s wedding. However, I still have two weeks until the wedding so I am a little ahead of target. I do have another two stone to lose but I have never been so determined to lose this weight.
The focus of losing weight has stopped me losing the plot the past couple of weeks. Maybe I have actually broken the cycle of emotional eating. I am no longer ‘rewarding’ myself for losing weight each week and I can finally imagine eating this way for the rest of my life. Mr Bouche has embraced the concept, that we now eat healthy and often sends me a picture of his lunch! However, I am not going to deprive myself of the wine despite Mr Cameron’s efforts on his ban on 3 for £10 offers (bastard!).
This is the most consistent weight loss I have ever had and I am loving the results. I have dropped a dress size and I can actually visualise what I will look like when I am at goal. Nothing is going to break me this time. Size 10, I am coming to get you!

Bouche x x x

Maid of honour

When I was a little girl, I dreamt of having a sister (my actual sister was born when I was 23) I was stuck with brothers and they didn’t appreciate it when I tried to turn them into a sister, with the help of Mum’s Wardrobe and some makeup. So when my Mum’s sister had a baby girl, I was in my element. We lived in different counties but our Mum’s were close, so we grew up together. I used to get so excited when I knew I was going to see my cousin, so much so that on one occasion I actually wet myself in the car journey there.
Although our worlds were very different, I lived in a very middle class street with parents that were still together and financially, I guess we were doing better than most. My cousin was born to a teenage mum, with a wayward dad and lived in a poor part of town. It didn’t matter to me that we were a little different. I loved being with her and often used to beg my mum and Dad to let me stay there in the holidays.
As we grew into adults we both became distant from our Mum’s and for a short time we became a little distant ourselves ( Our mother’s doing,it is probably important to mention). We both knuckled down and got good jobs, along with settling down and deciding to marry wonderful men.
In the past two years we have become closer than ever and, when my cousin told me that she was getting married I was thrilled for her. She excitedly told me of her plans and the things she had seen for her big day. She asked my advice and I was happy to find nail salons and veils.
Back in the summer, she asked me to organise her hen weekend. I was thrilled to be getting involved. I won’t lie, organising so many women was hard work but we had a great time in Brighton earlier this month. She also asked me to make a speech as sadly her parent’s nor sister will be present at the wedding.
Apparently, I am good at talking and she wanted someone who had known her all her life to speak in place of the father of the bride’s speech. I was very choked up when she asked and even as I am writing the speech, I have emotional moments.
So you can imagine what I was like when she asked me to be her bridesmaid. A blubbering mess to be precise. So Easter Saturday, I have the honour of being the maid, the father and the cousin. She is going to make me so proud and I hope I say and do all that is required. So that everyone knows how much I love her and am so proud of her and all that she has achieved and become.

Bouche x x x

How to shock Bouche into losing weight.

I’ve been in denial. My clothes weren’t really getting tighter and I still looked the same size as last summer, I was sure of it.
A year ago, I rejoined weight watchers and made all these promises that I was going to lose lots of weight and get back to my former self. I did lose some weight, at one point I had lost 20 pounds. But, I am ashamed to say I put it all back on, bar one pound. 12 months of fees costing £240 and all I ended up losing was one pound.
I made all the excuses under the sun for why the weight didn’t stay off and even when I had lost twenty pounds, I still needed to lose another twenty pounds.
I think the final nail in the coffin was Christmas and my unemployment. I was still saying it’s Christmas mid January.
I started my new job and I started eating better but I was still making rubbish choices and Gregg’s the baker became my new place to hang out at lunchtime.

Then the day came when I realised I was in denial and lying to myself.
I was on my way home from work one day and upon boarding the train, I spotted a girl I worked with 13 years ago.
I bounded over and said hi and she looked at me blankly. I said ‘it’s me Jo’ and mentioned our former employer. She looked me up and down before saying ‘oh my god, what happened to you?’
At first I was confused. I hadn’t been in an accident or disfigured. Then I realised she meant my weight. I was a size 8 when I worked with her. I am now a size 16.
I was mortified. I laughed it off, ‘oh you know, good living!’.
I walked up the carriage and as I did I could feel the tears coming. I wasn’t a monster, just a girl who liked wine and cake.
Her comments haunted me for a week then all of a sudden, I felt more focused about losing weight than I ever had. Three weeks in and I have lost five and a half pounds. I am not cheating, not rewarding myself on weigh in day and I am hoping that I I have lost enough this week so I get my 7 pound star.

I might not be a monster but I was thinking… If I lost weight and got to goal. How great would it feel if I bumped into someone and they said ‘oh my god, what happened to you?, you look amazing!’

Bouche x x x

Next Candidate Please

 

Over the past three weeks I have been to three interviews. Whilst the jobs are different my preparation is always the same.

Firstly, I look at the job spec and cross reference my CV with the requirements and responsibilities of the role. I make sure I research the company I am visiting, looking at their website and checking recent press releases. I prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer at the end and I make sure I can talk through my CV competently. I never talk about money, ask inappropriate questions and I never ask if I have been successful.

I am aware of first impressions and whilst I love fashion, I believe that an interview is not the time to show off your latest leather look leggings! (Certainly not in my line of work). I always dress conservatively, with a black trouser suit and top which covers all the necessary. I have often heard that flashing some cleavage or a bit of leg can help you get a job. I however have never had to result to this. I want to be considered on the basis of my skills and experience, not on what cup size I have! However, I did get a job once based on the football team I support! I also lay off the makeup. I opt for an English rose look with a barely there blush and lip tint. Rather than my full on evening look!

With this in mind, I did wonder what ticks the boxes for most interviewers. Is the colour of your suit a deal breaker? Would platform shoes and a little too much leg instantly turn you off a candidate?

Where am I going with this? I hear you ask! On Tuesday, whilst travelling back home after an interview by train, I over heard a woman across the carriage talking on the phone about an interview she had been on. She was discussing her interview and spoke of the questions she asked (which were highly inappropriate, Are you married? Being one!). She also spoke of how the interviewer was looking at her chest the entire time and how at the end of the interview she asked if she would be called back for a second interview. We couldn’t have been different candidates! Discreetly, I looked over at the woman, who not only had a very low cut top on, had shoes on that I am sure are more babe station than workstation and don’t even get me started on her makeup.

It does make me wonder what the interviewer must have thought when she arrived. I should probably mention she was interviewing at a large organisation and not stringfellows. Maybe I am being judgmental, but I wonder if I have lost out to candidates like this, and if I have would I have wanted to work for someone who is seemingly so shallow?

Anyway, she was offered a second interview. As for me, let’s just wait and see……

Bouche x x x

I’m out!

I love a bit of dragon’s den. I love watching the inventors and their pitches, and then one by one the dragons declare they’re out.

I am often surprised by the offers that are made and by the offers that are not. My favourite products which were rejected are the trunki and the tangle teezer. Both of which have been hugely successful without the backing of a dragon.

During a conversation with a female colleague today about styles of jeans and jeggings the subject of ‘camel toe’ came up and a male colleague piped up that someone had invented something to prevent ‘camel toe’. I decided to investigate after getting over the shock and was surprised to discover the smooth groove! The smooth groove is what can only be described as an oversized shoe horn to wear in your under crackers! I am still laughing two hours after discovery!

However, giving this some thought. I have decided this is a wonderful product for the den of dragons. If I was a dragon I would definitely be backing this! £50,000 for 10% of the company. I’m in!

Whilst, I am not a sufferer of the dreaded camel toe that regularly, I have seen an influx of the problem amongst women who wear jeggings! (Not a good look ladies)

Each pair of jeggings should be sold with one of the babies. Theo Paphitis could launch them in his boux avenue lingerie stores. I think these Dragon’s have missed a trick here.

I am actually considering purchasing one. I am intrigued.

Smooth groove me up!

http://www.smoothgroovedesigns.com/

Bouche x x x

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