2016 Goals | Part Two

dream it

With 2016 flying by I thought it would be a good idea to refresh the goals I made for myself back in January.

R A I S E   £ 1 5 , 0 0 0  F O R   C H A R I T Y  It’s been a busy few months with the launch of my Know Your Normal Campaign. Our charity calendar goes on sale for pre-order in just over a month and we’ve a launch party to plan! Also I’m going to take on some challenges over the next six months so watch this space.

L O O S E  W E I G H T  I think this has featured on every single Goals Post I have ever one. But this time I really do mean business.  I’ve signed up to Slimming World in the hope that I might stop piling on the lbs and finally squeeze back into my size 10s by the end of the year.

W A L K   1 0 , 0 0 0  S T E P S  E A C H  D A Y   Tying in with my aim to slim down, I’ve decided to take on the 10,000 steps a day challenge. I had started doing this just before my op but since I was in hospital my body just hasn’t allowed much exercise up until yesterday. Alfie and I walked from our house and around Leybourne Lakes yesterday which is roughly 6 kilometres and equates to just over 9,000 steps – add to that my morning of walking around our town centre, I finished the day on 15,678 steps. I’m using the iPhone step through myfitnesspal and am going to also start using Map My Walk to track how far I go each time.

P A S S  M Y  D R I V I N G  T E S T  After over a year I am finally getting back in the driving seat and am adamant that this time I will pass. Now that I am working from home I’m going to need to be on the road so  that I can get myself to meetings and see friends on my afternoons off. Plus it means I don’t have to rely on Sean if I need to get somewhere at the weekends.

G E T  Q U A L I F I E D For the rest of the year I want to really focus on getting some qualifications under my belt to back up my experience in Social Media Marketing & Event Planning. Both of these skills come naturally to me, but people find it hard to take me seriously because I don’t have a piece of paper to prove it. I’ve signed up to Shaw Academy’s Social Media Marketing & ORM Diploma course along with the lovely Jade & Rachel so we’re egging each other on as we go. With any luck, in eight weeks time I’ll have passed and have a nice certificate to prove it. I’m also going on two event planning courses that I found on wowcher – one general and one specific to weddings.

V I S I T  5  N E W  P L A C E S  We’ve booked to go to Corfu in a couple of weeks and it’s really given me the bug for visiting new places. I haven’t decided which yet, but we’re going to make a list of places to go before the year ends and make some long lasting memories.

Have you made any goals for the second half of the year?

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Being a Red Shoe Girl – Part One

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I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d seen photographs, read people’s stories, looked in awe at the transformations, but absolutely nothing in this world could have prepared me for the sense of calm you feel when you arrive. Walking through the door of the Red Shoe Studio and being greeted by 1/4 of the dream team, Mandy, I felt any worries or concerns I’d had on the seven hour journey from Kent the day before literally melt away. This little barn would be my home for the next two days and I couldn’t have felt more ‘at home’ if I tried. Within ten minutes my shoes were off and by the door, I’d made myself comfortable on the studio sofa, cups of tea were in hands and we were all chatting as though we’d known eachother a life time. Another ten minutes in and Sarah, Sam & Nicole had arrived. There was belly laughing, outfit comparison and yet more tea.  This calendar shoot was feeling more and more like a girls sleep over by the second.

I was fourth in the line up on day one, after Mandy (MIL), Tasha (SIL) & Rita (Grandma) so I was lucky enough to get to watch their make up and shoots. I watched as Mandy & Nicole worked their magic on their hair & make up, transforming their familiar faces into those resembling superstars.Red Shoe Hair & Make up

I watched as Sarah complimented them and their outfit choices, immediately putting them at ease with her genuine interest in what made them who they were. I watched as she brought out confidence in the most camera shy girl I know. I watched as she made Grandma feel like a super model in her 79th year. Red Shoe Mandy, Gma, Tasha

And then it was my turn in the hotseat. Nicole was in charge of my hair and make up and the first thing she did was check out my outfit for the first shoot so that she could match my make up look to it. I’d been out with my friend the week before on the hunt for something to wear and I’d picked out a pink candy stripe shirt from Victoria’s Secret and a pretty white underwear set from George at Asda. We decided on pink lips to match and relaxed wavy hair. I was in the hands of an expert and I felt like a celebrity being made up for a walk down the red carpet.

Red Shoe Hair & Make up me

When Nicole had worked her magic, it was time to get changed and make my way onto ‘set’. Despite standing in my pants, wobbly bits fully exposed in front of a captive audience (Scroll down and you’ll see what I mean!) I actually felt so confident.

I’ve never been a super skinny girl.  As a teenager I was just terribly self conscious, never comfortable in my own skin and saw myself as bigger than I actually was. I’d do anything to get out of PE at school because in my eyes, everyone else looked just fine in those blue polo shirts and polyester tracksuit bottoms but I just felt frumpy and the size of a house. Looking back now, I realise how wrong I was. I was a size 10 from the age of 11 until I was 20 and as my Mum always said, I was perfectly in proportion, but nothing in the world could get rid of that wish that I too could fit into a size 6 pair of skinny jeans like the other girls.

Over the last two years I have gained a dress size and a stone in weight and I long to get back into my size 10 favourites. But being a Red Shoe Girl isn’t about changing yourself to fit your or anyone elses ideal shape or size, it’s about taking your insecurities and vulnerabilities and using them. It’s about feeling beautiful just the way you are. And the way Sarah makes you feel like it’s a perfectly natural thing to be stood by a giant window with your bum out is a talent noone else could possess I am sure. KNY-97

Posing was the thing I was nervous about, I’d had visions of full on BNTM intensity in the lead up to the Red Shoe shoot, had worried that I hadn’t had enough practice in front of the mirror at home, that I’d feel awkward and self conscious about my legs and chubby cheeks but all of that was so unnecessary.  Sarah talked me through everything before we began and helped me find the right poses that would be flattering on camera. I took so many tips away from the shoot about how to take a flattering photo but the one we all still sing out at gatherings is “chin forward & down”. KNY-87

KNY-90Before I knew it my shoot was over and Sarah was confident that she’d got the photo she needed. I got back in my jeans and t-shirt and we were all siting around having some lunch when Jude arrived. After admiring her totally gorgeous bump we got talking about the calendar and how we were one girl down. With that, Super Sarah came to the rescue and talked the gorgeous ‘Make up Mandy’ into being one of our Calendar Girls! For years Mandy had been making up women and transforming them into Red Shoe Girls, but now it was her time to take her spot in front of the camera and boy did she rock it! KNY-102

Mandy is the one of us there that day that the campaign resonated with the most. I won’t go into too much detail, Mandy is going to share her story over on the Know Your Normal website in a couple of weeks but Mandy is a breast cancer survivor. She’s been there, through finding the lump, through diagnosis, the mastectomy, the treatment, the worry and has come out the other side fighting fit proving that there is life after cancer. She is what Know Your Normal is all about. She knew her normal, reported the change, and saved her life.

Jude and her baby bump were the last shoot of the day and again I watched in awe as the ‘dream team’ as I like to call them, worked to style and take beautiful photos. Jude was a natural, in fact I am certain she was a model in a previous life!


I left the studio that day absolutely buzzing for tomorrow. I couldn’t wait to see the next five girls feel it. Feel the confidence, the empowerment that they never had before. To feel and be a part of the atmosphere that left a lump in my throat and at time took my breath away.  And most of all, I couldn’t wait to get made up and do it all over again! 

Stay tuned for the next installment. I promise there will be even more gushing, beautiful photos and a whole lot of love for the people who made this dream of mine come true.

Thank you so much to Sam from Samantha Kay photography for capturing these totally beautiful behind the scenes images of the day. She bloody rocks.


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White Glo Professional Choice Whitening Toothpaste

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Everyone has different things about themselves that they want to improve cosmetically. Me? My list consists of dropping a dress size, having more voluminous hair and sorting out my teeth. Me and my Dentist have never really been friends, even the thought of walking into the surgery gets me all nervey and so I never went through the “teenage hell” that is braces when I probably should have done. My reluctance to attend for 6 monthly checkups meant that certain dental health issues were missed and over time my teeth lost their white sparkle. So when White Glo contacted me to see if I wanted to try out their new whitening toothpaste, I jumped at the chance.

One of the few benefits of being off work poorly, is that I was home when the postman arrived (apart from during my hospital stay obvs), and so when Pat knocked the door to deliver the sample I was excited to be able to use it straight away.

Included in the box was a tube of White Glo toothpaste, a White Glo X Action toothbrush and a pack of 6 floss toothpicks. This pack retails at £3.15 and with everything included, I think thats really great value for money.

The toothpaste itself is white in colour and when you start brushing it into your teeth it lathers up and takes a more foamy consistency than I’ve had from a toothpaste before. The toothbrush is quite soft so if you’re like me and you like to give your teeth a good scrub, it does take a little longer before I am satisfied that my teeth are totally clean.

After three weeks of using the kit twice a day I can see a visible improvement in the colour of my teeth.

White Glo Teeth

You can purchase the kit at boots.

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FabLittleBag | Review


In my last post I promised to tell you a little bit more about a great product I discovered in my July Pink ParcelFabLittleBag are on a mission to reduce the amount tampons which are flushed down the toilet and end up floating about in our rivers and seas & blocking up our sewerage systems. They’ve invented this super practical discreet little bag designed for you to use each time you change your tampon. FabLittleBag

They’re super easy to use – they have finger loops which allow you to open and close the bag one handedly, freeing up your other hand for, well, you know… the other stuff you might need your hand for when you’re going to the loo at the time of the month. You can just pop your tampon into the bag, along with the applicator and wrapper and then bin it! Or, if you’re ever caught in that wweird moment at your friends house and you can’t find their ‘toilet bin’ you can just pop the sealed bag in your handbag until you can find an alternative without running the risk of anything obviously period-y falling out on display.
FabLittleBag Review

They are designed for use with tampons, but I think they’re also great for disposing of sanitary towels too. Just roll, wrap and bag.

For just £2.99 you can buy a pack of 20 for your bathroom and they also do a Handbag pack complete with case so they don’t get all lost and crumpled on the go!

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Pink Parcel July Edition | What’s in the Box?

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I first discovered Pink Parcel back in April last year and was so impressed with the concept, I signed myself & my sister up for the subscription.  At the time they were working on a campaign to encourage women to be more open about their periods and share their first ever period experience. Inkeeping with the current theme of the blog alongside the Know Your Normal Campaign, I thought I would share the contents of this months box with you. It seems to me, as Pink Parcel grows the contents of their boxes just gets better and better.

W H A T ‘ S  I N  T H E  B O X ?

In each box, you receive three smaller boxes and a drawstring bag labelled with “for you”, “for later”, “for night” and “for now”. The latter three contain your sanitary products. In total I received 20 always sanitary towels (5 of those were for night time) and 5 panty liners for those days leading up to and after your period. At the time of order, you can state your preference for tampons or sanitary towels or a mix, as well as choose the brand of sanitary products. I really love the little drawstring pouch you get as it’s so easy to just pop into your handbag discreetly. You get one of these in every box which is perfect for those of you like me who change their handbags daily, I can literally put one in every day bag I own and never be caught out without a towel or a tampon.Pink Parcel 13

T H E  V I N T A G E  C O S M E T I C  C O M P A N Y  R O S E  G O L D  T W E E Z E R S | Even before I’d taken them out of the box I knew I was going to love these! The packaging they come in is just so pretty with it’s floral design and I was almost reluctant to take them out of the box. The tweezers themselves are well made and they don’t seem to show any signs of losing their ‘spring’ or alignment. Plus I am a sucker for anything rose gold so these were always going to be a winner. I couldn’t seem to find these on their website, so I am guessing they’re a new addition to their range that’s not yet been put on sale. The other tweezers they have on their website though are on sale for around £8.00 which I think is a really good price for the quality you get.

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B E L L A  P I E R R E  G E L  E Y E L I N E R | I’ve only used it once so far but I LOVE this eyeliner. Unlike my other favourite eye pencils, it’s creamy upon application and gives awesome definition. The pigmentation is amazing and it’s long lasting as well as waterproof. Their is an online video tutorial on how to create the perfect cut crease with it too. I’m so impressed with this in ebony, I am going to order it in chocolate. It does have a £20.00 price tag, but again for the pure quality of the product I’d totally recommend it.

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J E L L Y  P O N G  P O N G  S U P E R C H A R G E D S U P E R  I N T E N S E  E Y E S H A D O W  D U O | I was excited to receive this. I’ve heard of Jelly Pong Pong before, but never actually tried out any of their products. This black and gold duo is highly pigmented and promises extreme long wear so ideal for an all day/night event. It’s vegan and hypoallergenic too. For the size of it, it’s £17.95 price tag does seem a little stretched, but I’m excited to try it out a bit more before I decide whether it’s worth it or not.

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F R E E M A N  B E A U T Y  B A R E  F O O T  F O O T  C R E A M | I often use Freeman Beauty’s face masks and love them but this stuff is to die for. As you might have seen on social media, I’m recovering from surgery and yesterday I gave myself a bit of a pamper session to cheer myself up. The lavender and mint cream smells divine and is soothing on your feet. I can imagine this would be blissful after a day at work in heels. The sachets are £1.50 each but they also do a 150ml tube for £4.25 so I’ve already snapped up one of those. (This being on bed rest lark is proving quite damaging to my bank balance!)

P A T I S S E R I E  D E  B A I N  H A N D  C R E A M | I’m a bit of a hand cream snob, I stick to my trusty Vitamin E cream from The Body Shop normally, but this little 50ml tube from Patisserie de Bain is perfect for popping in your handbag. The scent, sweet as cherry pie, is quite strong and I’m not really a fan of artificial cherry scents, but I imagine that the strawberry or cranberry versions they do would probably be more to my taste. The cream itself is moisturizing and doesn’t leave that horrid greasy texture to your hands that some other brands do and for just £3.99 I think it’s a bit of a bargain!

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L O T T I E  L O N D O N  N A I L  P O L I S H | You can’t beat a nude nail polish, especially when the colour is called Blogger Babe. This polish is fab on application, and though it doesn’t appear to be very thick, you only need one coat for full coverage. It dries super quick too and is available from superdrug for £5.99 a bottle.

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As well as all of the above, I also received a little Pink Parcel nail file (pictured above), a packet of Leibniz biscuits which I ate as soon as I found them, a Naked Wine voucher, a sachet of La Via Del Te and a packet of Fab Little Bags which I want to tell you about in more detail in a future post. Pink Parcel 6

Overall I really loved this box and am likely going to use every single thing inside. For just £10.50, I received £60+ worth of products, plus the added convenience of not having to remember to pick up sanitary products in my next shop, this Pink Parcel subscription box is well worth the money!

Pink Parcel have named the Know Your Normal campaign as their official campaign of the year and made our Calendar Photo shoot possible by providing us with the funds to pay the fab make up & photographic team. 

Pink Parcel pinterest

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