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!

Bouche does Bargains – May 2012

The title of this post would suggest that I have bought my first outfit for the charity shop challenge. https://boucheinthecity.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/bouche-does-bargains/

This is a big fat lie. Mr Bouche however has bought me a fabulous dress. Spoilt? Moi?! 

The dress in question however, did not come from a charity shop but from a pre-loved dress agency called Tatty Tutu’s

It is second-hand or pre-loved as I like to call it and is vintage from the 1940’s. As soon as I saw it, I was in love. It is very much my style and I cannot wait to wear it!

I have a birthday party coming up and I cannot wait to team it with some super high platforms and an oversize clutch bag.

What do you think?

 

This month, I will be heading to some actual charity shops in the hunt for a summer blazer 🙂

Bouche x x x

 

 

Bouche does bargains

Whilst reading the evening standard tonight, I read an interesting article about a high street addict who has forgone her monthly shopping for a year and just bought clothes from charity shops.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/my-austere-year-in-secondhand-clothes-7636343.html

This got me thinking. I love a bargain and love putting a quirky look together which is unique (nothing more annoying than to turn up to an event with a dress on that someone else is wearing!). So I have set myself a challenge. For the Next six months, I will purchase an outfit every month which has been pre loved and will post about the outfit along with some photos.

I have also managed to rope in my good friend, Doris over at http://www.dorisdoesdating.wordpress.com who will also purchase then post about her pre loved discoveries.

Apparently there are some real fabulous charity shops out there and it is all about the location. More affluent parts of London, Kent and Essex have some popular charity shops where donations often get stolen if left outside the shop. So I am hoping I manage to find some fabulous vintage and pre loved designer togs that I can share with you.

I have already perused the oxfam website and have found some pieces I really like. I never thought I would buy second hand clothes but I think I could really get into this!

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/second-hand-clothes/990945

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/second-hand-clothes/848849

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/second-hand-clothes/696382

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/second-hand-clothes/990047

If you fancy the challenge please comment below and feel free to post your finds back here.

Bargain hunting 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

Bouche and the Shoe Fetish

A few weeks back, Nickie at www.iamtypecast.com and I were having a drunken natter on Skype and Nickie was showing off her new boots. Whilst admiring Nickie’s new footwear, I admitted that I have a little shoe fetish. A fetish which has, at times become obsessive and has landed me with a lot of footwear!

I mentioned to Nickie that I thought I had about 130 pairs of shoes and she said that she would like to see a post about my excessive amount of footwear. So here it is. I decided to have a recount on the footwear front and I don’t actually have 130 pairs of shoes, boots, trainers and sandals. I have 147 pairs! Wowsers, how did it become so many?!

I started bringing the shoes out of the two slider wardrobes, from under little J’s bed and from the loft to photograph them today and realised that they would fill little J’s bedroom floor easily!

So I am going to do this in stages!

 Here is my first selection…

 

The below shoes are from French Connection. They were bought for our engagement party three years ago. They absolutely kill me every time I wear them but I love them because they are quite unusual.

The next shoes are from the Very website. They were very reasonably priced and I bought them in both grey and blush pink! These were the shoes I wore on my last day at work.

I love 50’s fashion. I love tea dresses, the 50’s style pin curl and chignon hairstyles. So when I saw these shoes in the sale in Office about three years ago, I had to have them! Whenever I wear these shoes, someone always comments and asks where I got them from. I love shoe envy!

These suede boots are over the knee and lace up at the back. I bought these last winter and are my winter staple. Even though these are flat boots, I can wear on a night out with fancy tights and also over skinny jeans during the day. I bought these from Kurt Geiger.

I love red shoes. I guess my love of The Wizard of Oz has influenced some of my shoe purchases. These are patent and have a triangular heel. I bought these from Topshop about 4 years ago.

These swarovski sandals are my blingy summer staples. I have bunions so I always struggle with high-heeled strappy sandals. So these are my fail safe evening shoes for the summer. Even on my wedding day, I kicked off the high heels in the evening and put these beauts on.

The next shoes are from dune. I have had them about 5 years and were bought for a friend’s wedding. I also have the matching clutch bag. Although they are four and a half inches high, they are so comfy. I also think they are quite a timeless style. Shortly after purchasing these shoes, Mr Bouche and I split up briefly. These are the shoes I wore on a make up or break up meeting, with a killer outfit. Needless to say, Mr Bouche and I got back together that evening. How could he resist me in these shoes?!

These little beauts are from Topshop. I have had these a couple of years. I bought them for no other reason that, I loved them and they are a bit slutty! They are patent peeptoes with silver platforms! They have seen me through dozens of nights out, weddings and even my honeymoon!

The below shoes are the newest of the shoes on this post. I got these from love label, and are extremely high and hard to walk in but they make me feel sexy and thinnish and that is why I adore them!

These little bobby dazzlers were bought by myself, when I was a bridesmaid for my mum and step dad in September 2008. I had a lovely dress but in a hideous colour, so I had to have fabulous shoes. They were very expensive, even though they were from dune but they have swarovski crystals and hence the high price tag!

 The below shoes are from good old Next. I bought them for my best friend Andrew’s wedding 18 months ago. They are so high that after a few hours wear, they are hard to stand in. However, they make my short stumpy legs look nearly long!

 

The last of the shoes are from Office. They look like they would give you blisters, but they are so comfortable, I can dance  in them all night. I bought these about five years ago. I can’t remember why but it was probably because they are silver, my favourite colour. These are my leave the house in comfort, dance all night, eat chips in, queue for a taxi and stagger through the front door shoes!

Do you love shoes as much as I do? Please comment and share below.

Bouche x x x x

Bouche does Butlins!

Earlier this year a good friend of mine sent out a group email asking if anyone fancied a weekend away. The last girl’s weekend that I been away for, was a visit to spa hotel with some girlfriends for my hen celebrations. So when I read the email I jumped at the chance for a restful luxury break.

However, a restful luxury break was not what she had in mind! The destination was to be Butlins in Bognor Regis, Sussex and it was for an 80’s extravaganza which would entail fancy dress and lots of alcohol. Did this deter me? Did it heck! Count me in I exclaimed!

So after months of preparation, we headed down to Bognor a couple of Fridays ago. I was a little nervous about what sort of accommodation we would be staying in. I had been to Butlins twice before in my teens and the apartments were extremely basic. However, I needn’t have been concerned. Our apartments were well maintained, clean and spacious.

After checking in and finding our apartments, we did what any self-respecting 30 something women do and had a shot and a vodka! We glammed up and headed out for the evening. Much alcohol flowed, shapes were cut and vast amounts of laughter were heard. The music was brilliant and we managed to catch Katrina and the Waves. It was a great night and we certainly had sore heads the next day! 

On the saturday, we headed into Bognor town and had a pub lunch and some even managed hair of the dog! After lunch the 4am finish the night before had finished me off and I headed back to camp for a well-earned disco nap, ready for the craziness ahead.

Saturday nights on these Butlins themed weekends are all about the dressing up. We all obliged and we did ourselves proud. We had Madonna, virgin airhostesses, some neon disco queens, buckaroo, ghost busters, a pregnant Frankie goes to hollywood fan and even a space hopper!

It was only when we reached the bar area that we realised how seriously people take the dressing up! There were a group of at least 40 Oaps, a group of Stevie wonders, Brownies, WWF wrestlers, top gun pilots, bagpuss, pink panther and even a group of Oompa Loompas.

Lets just say after two nights on the razz, and an afternoon of drinking cocktails and wine on the sunday, sunday evening was a little more tame and Bouche was in bed by 1.30am!

The entire weekend was EPIC and I am a total Butlins convert. Any stigma attached to holiday camp breaks has disappeared and I am even thinking about the next girls getaway. We are a very diverse group of ladies and everyone enjoyed themselves. It was one of the best weekends I have had and cannot wait to return!

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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Woop for winter

In recent weeks, I have heard many people complaining that the summer is over and the winter months are here.
Me? I am secretly rejoicing! When I’ve explained my pleasure to people about being able to get my winter coats out, it has been met with a bemused response.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the summer, I have a fondness for sandals and I love a relaxing beach holiday. However, I do love the autumn and winter.
I love being able to accessorise my coat with gorgeous hats, scarves and gloves. I have found myself lusting after the accessories in Reiss of late and I cannot wait for payday when I am going to treat myself to this.
http://mobile.reissonline.com/shop/womens/scarves/maggie/grey/?q=Hat
I love patterned tights and long boots and I love my chunky knits to snuggle in. Not to mention slippers. Oh how I love slippers!
Winter fashion always seems so much more formal, even when it’s casual. I think my style just suits winter so much more and I feel more elegant and stylish.

However, my love of autumn and winter is not just about fashion, it is all that comes during the seasons. I love seeing all the children dressing up for Halloween, it is also has fond memories, as Mr Bouche proposed on the spooky night in question.
I also love getting wrapped up warm and watching firework displays. I don’t love fireworks but I love the bonfire and the tradition. Plus, I love a bonfired sausage!
Then we have Christmas. Whilst I rarely spend it with my family. I really look forward to spending quality time with Mr Bouche when we lock ourselves away on christmas day, enjoy a lavish dinner together and generally get quite drunk on champagne!

Then we have Mr Bouche’s birthday in January which is usually followed by snow. Whilst being a nightmare for commuting to work, the fun we had last year with little J, my little sister K and a sledge still makes me smile when I think about it.

http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/165057_10150127620699673_609129672_7464567_7210598_n.jpg?dl=1

So if you ever here me moaning about how cold it is, remind me that I love it!

Bouche x x x