Starting off: The Introduction #theSOproject

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (if you don’t, feel free to check me out @fgsjblog) may have noticed that I recently posted this:

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The Starting off Project is the brainchild of Steph from Steph’s Inside Voice (http://stephsinsidevoice.blogspot.co.uk/) and the aim is for a group of bloggers (now quite a large group with well over 100 of us involved) to each post at exactly the same time over the next 10 weeks an introduction to a particular beauty product, including experiences, recommended products, how we each use it etc, to try and create a plethora of blogging knowledge for those just ‘starting off’ with their beauty regime.

I am, admittedly a bit of a dunce when it comes to using a lot of products due to a mixture of very sensitive skin, allergies, my awful eyesight (it is not good being long sighted when trying to apply certain products with your glasses off) and in all honesty, pure laziness. But that’s kind of why I really wanted to take this amazing opportunity and get involved,  I know it’s because of this that I will have a different perspective to many if not most of the other bloggers involved in the project.

The first post will be about skin care, and all posts go live Tuesdays at 6pm. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Back to school shopping…

It’s that time of year again, and as the holidays draw to an end new clothing and supplies must be purchased. So once again, I am after jeans and trousers that will look good, be the right size and preferably the right length.

Dorothy Perkins is having an online denim sale with up to 30% off, which sounded good to me.  I was all prepared to put in an order until I discovered that our local store for collection is temporarily closed during a term of refurbishment. This would mean paying full whack for delivery, and that would mean the discount would essentially not be worth anything.

I popped along to Asda, who unfortunately also let me down. Their selection, whilst quite extensive, is still much to be desired. Their trousers are also lacking in my size, as it would appear that every other woman with my figure have gotten there before me. I must however give Asda some big, and I mean BIG props for adding short and extra short lengths to their bigger sizes of both jeans and trousers. Unless they were in fact sold out in larger sizes, size 20 appeared to be the biggest I could find in extra short length. This is a massive leap forward though for us shorties and also extra shorties who are extra large or extra small.

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M&S have some nice looking jeans in their sale, but unfortunately are also sold out in my size – at least in short length. I am however tempted to buy them in a size smaller in the hope of slimming into them in the near future.

Until then though chaps, I’m still looking for back to work attire as those perfect jeans are still proving elusive…

She’s alive!!

Sorry for the (epic) delay in posts, but I am currently suffering from death by computer. Not sure how much longer the laptop is going to last, it is quite literally falling apart to the point in which I am using my tablet’s Bluetooth keyboard to type this post.

In exciting news, I have finally gone down a jean size – how happy am I?! In less exciting news, I’m still looking for some decent ones to wear. My latest mission was on my sister’s recommendation to try jeggings. They were definitely not a good look on me! They were clingy in all the wrong places and far too long (as per usual). So another one bites the dust. On a plus side, as it is summer I’ve been mostly wearing dresses and so far the lack of jeans is not a problem.

This brings me to my second first world problem: tights. Dearest Tesco, when one orders your nude tights, which are advertised as being a creamy colour and pale as a blood deprived Edward Cullen on a rainy day that is what I expect to receive. I have bought these tights from you on several occasions and they have never failed to live up to expectations until now. I certainly don’t expect to receive ‘natural’ coloured tights, which give the vague impression that I ‘naturally’ chose to cover my legs in Fake Bake. As it happens, your basics range are of such poor quality and so thin that they don’t look too odd at all, which is rather lucky. Seriously, why advertise them as one colour when clearly you are stocking another?!

Ranting aside though, I have been rediscovering my love for Lush’s Melting Marshmallow Moments and Rose Jam Bubbleroons and they’ve been doing marvelous things for my skin!

How to dress for the beach…

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I posted this picture on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fatgirlskinnyjeans) a while back, but thought I’d share it here for those of you who haven’t seen it.

I think this is the perfect advice for this heatwave! People complain constantly about people keeping it covered up;  just because its sunny doesn’t mean you have to have everything on show and whilst I agree that just because there’s a bit of sunshine (think bright day in February) doesn’t mean you have to whip your top off, the fact that we are having an EPIC heatwave means it might be a bloody good idea!

There is no point sitting there feeling self conscious, roasting to death because you’re worried about what someone might say or think of your arms and legs or your lumps and bumps. If you are on the beach and you want to prance about in your bathing costume, then do it! Don’t let everyone else have all the fun. I can say this with full confidence because I did in fact do just this yesterday.

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Bird and I had an impromptu trip to a local beach (we are lucky in that we have quite a few to choose from) and both decided to sport our swimwear for a bit of paddling; Bird in her snazzy swimming costume and me in my tankini. Let me tell you I am rather glad we did as it was absolutely scorchio, albeit with a lovely sea breeze! There was no greater feeling than letting it all hang out like a beached whale; bliss! Most people were wearing their bathing suits so it wasn’t just us, which was nice and reassuring. I for once felt completely fine with the situation, it was just lovely to keep cool and not have to worry.

I have absolutely zero body confidence, or at least I did. I like to keep everything covered (unless I’m baking hot apparently) but for once to just throw caution to the wind and go for it was awesome. I have been like this before when on holiday abroad, but doing it here on a local beach is another matter; we could have very easily bumped into someone we know and that could get awkward and embarrassing. However I didn’t feel embarrassed, I didn’t feel ashamed (though some people probably think I should have) or stupid or in fact anything negative other than boiling hot.

At the end of the day, you should dress in whatever makes you happy and feel good. Yes there are plenty of different ways to dress for your shape and inevitably if these do look good on you, show off your waist line and make the rest of you look smaller, you will feel happier and more confident. But there’s no point wearing that burgundy dress for example if black or even pink are more your thing.

So if you want to get your pins out whilst building a sand castle or two (with a moat and a flag of course, how else would you build one?!) go for it! You will feel happier in yourself if you simply just wear whatever the f*** you want! A heatwave is the perfect excuse to forget what you should and shouldn’t be wearing. Enjoy the sun while it lasts, whether that be completely covered up (which is good if like me you burn easily) or let it all hang out (which feels marvelous) just don’t forget the sun cream!! Regardless of what you wear (or don’t wear) red and peeling is not a good look.

Love love love: Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish & NYC Foil Explosion

A couple of months ago I was after some nice pink nail varnish to replace the O.P.I. pink Nail Envy I got for Christmas and appears to only be available in a gift set *sob*. I found the new Rimmel Salon Pro selection – now with a range from Kate Moss and decided to treat myself. I found 3 lovely shades of pink and couldn’t decide between them, so yes, you guessed it, all 3 were bought (there was an offer for a free mascara when you spend over £10, so it would have been rude not to).

After one application, I decided to go back the next day and buy more (the new rock ‘n’ roll red from Kate Moss’ range matches my Dr Marten’s perfectly). They go on perfectly as they come with a wide brush (I said BRUSH) and are gorgeous, vibrant colours. Some only need one coat though others will need a second. They are long lasting, but I would still recommend a chip resistant top coat as I am the queen of chipping nails.

They are quite cheap (mainly as they seem to be permanently on offer in Superdrug which is rather awesome) and well worth it if, like me, you like premium brands but don’t quite have the budget for it.

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Next up is a new discovery of mine, NYC Foil Explosion. I went back to good old Superdrug in search of a nice dark purple shade from Rimmel, but discovered NYC on offer at 2 for £3. I found a gorgeous purple but then spied their new foil explosion range. They are metallic shades which also have silver streaked through, the idea being you get your shiny metallic colour but with the occasional swirl of silver. Unable to contain myself despite not knowing how good they are even as a brand, never mind the product, I bought 3 foils shades and the dark purple.

I have so far tried all 3 shades of the foils I purchased and have yet to touch the purple! They are superbly cheap but amazing quality considering the price. The application is smooth, needs only one coat if applied generously and lasts for weeks (with touch ups). I have a tendency to leave nail varnish on ’til there are mere specks left but 3 of my nails weren’t giving up the ghost at all after 3 weeks. They are available for £1.99 each or 3 for 2 at Superdrug and comes in 5 different shades.

Also, in other exciting news, Superdrug are now stocking the Modern Family Nicole range of O.P.I. for £7.99 a bottle (also 3 for 2), including a pale pink called ‘Am I making myself Claire?’ So if you are after some jazzy new nail colours, get thee to Superdrug!

Oh Cambridge Satchel Company, how I loathe thee…

I am the kind of person who thinks getting back with an ex is like putting on your dirty under crackers after a shower, which is why it will come as a shock to you all (probably not)  that I caved and briefly got back together with the Cambridge Satchel Company and purchased a bag…

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This lovely 14” purple classic satchel comes courtesy of my fabulous husband, and is my new best friend. Now the customer service was brill, the girls in store knew their product and were happy to let you fondle the bags and try them on in front of the mirror. However…

I was highly disappointed when they said for 8 letters or more embossing, they would need to get ‘a quote’ and not the new and higher £28 cap. I was told it would be £35, but the overall price she quoted was way higher. I realised afterwards that was actually too high and a lot more than the extra £7. So £35 from the original max of £20 from a few weeks ago –yeah right! I still fail to see how it is suddenly worth that much extra.  I told them I would just leave the bag, as regardless of the letter count it is still only £28 online and attempted to walk out, but the manager kindly waved the extra and said, “it’s only £7” to which I pointed out “I don’t earn much money, to me £7 is a lot” I however was cut off before I managed to point out £7 on top of their recent increases was sheer greed! They said it was because it takes a lot of their time, but as the shop was incredibly quiet, they were hardly rushed off their feet with purchases of satchels and orders of embossing.

And then, just to add insult to injury, they are having their ‘end of season’ sale as of today! Why mid week?! That’s a tad bizarre and horrible to behold, knowing EXACTLY how much my bag ended up costing.

I love my bag, despite the fact it’s very heavy, and hard to fit things into as the leather needs time to soften and stretch. It smells amazing and feels like it will last a long, long time but I doubt I’ll be buying another unless it is in the clearance. So many people have ‘bigged up’ the company, raved about their amazing customer service and how the price is amazing in comparison to their quality, but I just feel highly disappointed. I really do love my bag and will be using it for my work bag (its bigger than the little one I wanted for just nipping out with, so a bit too heavy for running to the shops etc) job interviews and for travel, I just feel very disappointed and somewhat heartbroken with a company who I have championed for what feels like a long time.

So thus proving that is ALWAYS a bad idea to get back together with an ex, even if they do make very lovely bags…*sigh*

Men, looking for jeans that actually fit? Head to Next!

Jean shopping with the husband…I did promise to buy him some (that actually fit) for his birthday but still, the thought of actually going through the pain of jean shopping for someone else still filled me with dread. So off we popped. He, like myself, has recently lost a good amount of weight and wanted some nice fitting jeans in a smaller size.

My husband claims to have quite short legs despite being tall, and often has the trouble that short is too short and regular is sometimes too long. I personally decided he was being daft, as his jeans always hang too low and made him try on long. What do you know, perfect fit! However, before this amazing discovery, we had to actually find somewhere with his size in a long…apparently only regular and short were available (perhaps the reason he came to his odd conclusion).

We tried New Look, Burtons, Top Man and anywhere else you can think of and were about to give up when it dawned on me, “we haven’t been to Next!” So with a big sigh and an, “alright then…” we went to work.

Within minutes we found some in his size with long leg, success! He tried on several pairs including a pair of slim fit  (which have the skinny jean effect on him) it was a good giggle but it did show us exactly how thin he is these days and my was it impressive (his weight loss, minds out of the gutter please)! He opted for 2 lovely pairs, one straight leg and the other loose fit, both in a very nice dark denim.

I posted a while back that Bird and I went in search of some jeans for her partner who needs an awkward leg size as (unlike my husband) he actually does have short legs despite not being short and found the only pair in the country it would seem of the correct size in Next.

So there you have it folks, if your men folk need jeans that actually fit , look nice and are a reasonable price, get straight to Next, don’t spend needless hours in search of that perfect pair (as we all know how much they hate it).

My break up with the Cambridge Satchel Company

It is with deepest sadness I have to inform you of my break up with The CSC.

On Friday after a very brief 24 hours notice, they ended their clearance section. What they didn’t warn customers about was their up and coming price increase which came into effect today. Their bags have increased in a rather bizarre fashion, The 11″ has increased by £5, the 13″ by £10, the 14″ by £12 and I can only guess at the 15″ as I didn’t pay much attention to this previously.  The embossing has increased to £7 a letter from £5, and the price cap has increased by £8 to £28 from £20. So the 13″ with embossing which should have cost £118, would now be £136, which is more expensive than buying a 14″ designer satchel at £133* with free embossing. The oxblood is now also £12 more expensive than the other colours as well. For a bag that was £81 or there about last summer, this increase is STEEP.

Had I known about this, I would have purchased a bag sooner, but I had the crazy idea that it would be more fun to buy in person from their Covent Garden store. Silly me, what was I thinking! Those of you who are regular readers of this blog (and indeed have to put up with me on a daily basis) will know how much I have lusted over these bags and driven you all mad talking about them non-stop and may understand exactly how hurt I am and how personally I have taken it.

I am most upset and went as far as to send them a strongly worded email, even including the fact they had failed to update their FAQ to indicate the price increase. They have since fixed their FAQ but no response as of yet. Considering they hold bloggers in high esteem and often thank them for their success, it would appear unless you have millions of followers and a rave review of their bags, they couldn’t care less. Hopefully, they will change my opinion of them somehow, but so far, it’s not looking good.

I am sure after copious amounts of chocolate, alcohol and drunken renditions of ‘All by myself’ followed by ‘Without you’, I’ll be able to move on and find a new bag from another company that will appreciate me more and treat me with the respect I deserve, but right now I just want that one *sobs*. Please be on standby for the follow up ‘what a f***ing liberty’ (anger) and ‘well it was just a stupid bag anyway’ (acceptance) posts.

*Since posting this, the cost of the 14″ designer has now gone up to £135. Only £2 and hardly worth mentioning, but still…