Slimming + Sweating = Swimwear Shopping

Urrgh, I am sooooo hungry all the time!!!!

I could just about put up with constantly feeling like I  want to eat my own arm, if the number on the scales moved downwards more rapidly.

This is an excruciatingly slow and painful process for someone like me, who wants instant results and has a major problem with patience!!

So in order to keep myself motivated I thought I would post about the reason for this diet/ exercise onslaught…the dreaded Swimwear Shop.

Yes, it is that time of year when (if you’re luck) a summer holiday is looming on the horizon. Unfortunately a summer holiday also brings with it the stress of swimwear and more precisely the body that goes into said swimwear!

I am determined to sort it out this year so I have allotted three months instead of my normal three days to toning and trimming… will this plan work?

I’m going with a “yes” and with this positive attitude firmly in place, I am going to start my quest for flattering/ stylish swimwear…does it even exist if you’re not a Victoria’s Secret model!?!

First stop, not cheap but surely SPANX, with their ‘suck it all in’ technology have got it right!!

Spanx- Whittle waistline draped one shoulder one piece, £195 reduced to £146.25

Spanx- Whittle waistline draped one shoulder one piece, £195  reduced to £146.25

SPANX - Full coverage bottom, £82 reduced to £61.50

Spanx- Full coverage bottom, £82 reduced to £61.50

Or how about Miraclesuit?

They promise to make you look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds!!!

Miraclesuit- Camilla strapless swimming costume, £135

Miraclesuit- Camilla strapless swimming costume, £135

Miraclesuit- Single strap swimsuit, £135

Miraclesuit- Single strap swimsuit, £135

Maybe a bit of strategic panelling is required?!?

Anna & Boy- Panelled swimsuit, £186

Anna & Boy- Panelled swimsuit, £186

Melissa Odabash_ Bahamas bandeau swimsuit, £201

Melissa Odabash – Bahamas bandeau swimsuit, £201

These are all a little pricey but I’m assuming you get what you pay for!!

However if you’re after a slightly more purse friendly option, how about these?

Marks & Spencer- Autograph tummy control pleated halterneck swimsuit,  £35

Marks & Spencer- Autograph tummy control pleated halterneck swimsuit, £35

Debenhams- Elle tummy control bandeau swimsuit, £32 reduced to £25.60

Debenhams- Elle tummy control bandeau swimsuit, £32 reduced to £25.60

Lascana - Navy polka dot swimsuit, £42

Lascana – Navy polka dot swimsuit, £42has

And if it has to be a bikini then maybe the cover a multitude of sins, high-waisted, 1950’s trend is the way to go?

Dolce & Gabbana- Striped bandeau bikini, £330

Dolce & Gabbana- Striped bandeau bikini, £330

Norma Kamali- Bill ruched bikini briefs, £150 & Johnny ruched bandeau bikini top, £150

Norma Kamali- Bill ruched bikini briefs, £150 & Johnny ruched bandeau bikini top, £150

Next- Padded underwire bikini top, £16 & High waisted briefs £12

Next- Padded underwire bikini top, £16 & High waisted briefs £12

Freya- Showboat high waisted bikini brief, £27.50 & Showboat underwired halter bikini top, £34.50

Freya- Showboat high-waisted bikini brief, £27.50 & Showboat underwired halter bikini top, £34.50

I’m feeling like that there may be light at the end of this rather dark and chocolate free tunnel and  if all else fails I suppose there’s always kaftans!!

Have a lovely weekend and Bank holiday!

Stripes and by the way where did the sun go?!??!

I am very unimpressed by this abrupt backward turn in the weather…do you realise that it is exactly a month until the longest day?

What is going on?

Should we do away with all thoughts of buying a summer wardrobe and just opt for an all year round winter one?

For the eternal optimists amongst us, who are still looking to invest in summer items, stripes could be your go- to, fail safe trend.

(Also they can live on into autumn/ winter quite nicely too!)

In stripe world anything goes… regatta, patchworked, shirting, wide, narrow, vertical or horizontal, take your pick.

Here’s a look at how they appeared on the S/S ’13 catwalks.

I love the Paul & Joe combo!

For the high street, stripes are a godsend and an easy sell, there should be no shortage of them at a more reasonable price point.

Here are some of my high street favourites.

Whistles- Stina Stripe Dress,  £165

Whistles- Stina Stripe Dress, £165

Maison Scotch- Silky Stripe Top, £98 reduced to £45

Maison Scotch- Silky Stripe Top, £98 reduced to £45

Yippee, this was on one of my Lust Lists…I shall be bagging myself one!!

By Marlene Birger- Suave Stripe Skirt, £145

By Marlene Birger- Suave Stripe Skirt, £145

Crew Clothing - Blossom Vest, £48

Crew Clothing – Blossom Vest, £48

Gap- Harbour jersey rolled sleeved striped dress, £34.95 reduced to £24.99

Gap- Harbour jersey rolled sleeved striped dress, £34.95 reduced to £24.99

& Other Stories- Striped Blazer, £79

& Other Stories- Striped Blazer, £79

Comptoir des Cotonniers- Linen T- Shirt, £55

Comptoir des Cotonniers- Linen T- Shirt, £55

Suffice to say that there is a bountiful stripe selection out there…now all we need is a bit of sun to go with them!!

Until next time….

It’s Good to be Back!!

I’m back after a two-week hiatus caused by a slight technical problem…commonly known as broken bloody laptop!!!

Aside from battling with technology, I have also spent the past two weeks battling to lose weight.

Every pound is an uphill struggle, but 7 weeks in and I have managed to shed 10lbs!! I was happy with this until Mr R decided to be supportive and join in…1 week later and he had somehow managed to shed 9lbs!

If I’d had the strength, I’d have hit him. How is that possible!?!?!

To aid this mammoth weight loss mission I have also turned myself into Forest Gump.

Three times a week, I can be seen pounding the pavements looking like someone with ‘all the gear and no idea!’ With the help of my trusty App Bridge to 10k, I am now almost up to 5 miles and loving every minute of it …honest!!

Onto much more exciting stuff and you may remember that in my January Lust List I had my eye on this rather lovely chair from Brissi.

Brissi Strasbourg armchair £645:580

This morning whilst having a mindless shifty through Mr R’s discarded Evening Standard I came the across the same chair but from Alison at Home. However this chair was a total bargain… £645 reduced to £295 + £40 delivery.

Alison at Home - Rochelle French Armchair, £295

Alison at Home – Rochelle French Armchair, £295

Too exciting, I had to do a double take, this was too good to be true!

Obviously I didn’t want them to realise what a bargain this was and take it off the site so I had to move quickly, before 8.30am this morning I was the proud owner of a new armchair.

I think this may well be a new record for me!!

Big thank you Mr R for kindly forgetting to dispose of your paper, A) because you have helped me tick off one of my Lust Lists items and B) for unwittingly guiding me to a great new interiors website. I will certainly be purchasing more from here!!

We’re on the cusp of sales time and after this fabulous bargain I went on to discover a few more places where bargainous moments are waiting to be had!!

Matches

Flannels

Bernard Boutique

My Theresa

Sadly my Chloe handbag has not appeared on any of these sites yet but I’m keeping them peeled!!

Have a lovely weekend.

Bermuda Shorts and Bare Legs!

Hooray the sun is finally shining though we may only be on borrowed time…

The unhappy down side to temperatures warming up is the inevitable baring of legs.

It’s catch 22, we spend our time wishing for warm weather but when it arrives we realise that poor lily-white legs are not ready for the light of day; and worse, for them to be ready for the light of day they actually have to be exposed to it…what to do?!!

Never the less the summer trend for the city short (bermuda short if you’re in America) is a great alternative to a skirt but it is still going to cause problems in the initial/ potentially only warm days at the beginning of summer.

City shorts of all fabrics/ fits/ colours and prints were strutted up and down the summer ’13 catwalks in vast quantities so I thought I’d bring you a sample selection from the shows.

Assuming that all goes according to plan on the leg preparation front, I’m feeling quite good about the re – emergence of this particular item of clothing.

So where are my high street alternatives…are there any city shorts out there!?!?

My findings…

French Connection - Infinity drape tie waist shorts, £62

French Connection - Infinity drape tie waist shorts, £62

Whistles- Orchid print silk short, £95

Whistles- Orchid print silk short, £95

Hush - Chloe shorts, £46

Hush - Chloe shorts, £46

& Other Stories - Striped Shorts, £39

& Other Stories - Striped Shorts, £39

Great Plains - Tallahassee Shorts, £40

Great Plains - Tallahassee Shorts, £40

Topshop - Contrast tailored short, £35

Topshop – Contrast tailored short, £35

Zara- Bird print shorts, £29.99

Zara- Bird print shorts, £29.99

I think it’s fair to say that the high street has well and truly jumped on this band wagon. If it’s shorts you’re after then they are in plentiful supply!

Well that’s great, so now it’s just the minor problem of transforming my legs into somebody else’s!!

Hope the sun shines for the weekend and I can get to work on a base colour!!

Have a lovely bank holiday!!

April Lust List

Where on earth has April gone!?!!?

Time is flying by and it has now dawned on me that my summer holiday is about 12 weeks away…no more excuses, I have got to start an exercise/ diet and I actually have to stick to it this time!!

With this rather horrible realisation at the forefront of my mind my first /second April lust is a personal trainer and a personal chef…Does anyone know one or both of these who would be willing to take on a fairly hopeless case as a project for free!???!!!

Onto items that I would love to have in my wardrobe…but won’t be buying until I have shrunk and in some cases won the lottery!!

First up is the Theysken’s Theory leather jacket from my last post…I am currently obsessing about this!!

Theysken's Theory- Jadra Leather jacket, £1045

Theysken’s Theory- Jadra Leather jacket, £1045

Every summer I go on the hunt for the perfect pair of summer trousers, some years bare more fruit than others. This year could possible be a good trouser year,  I think the following two lusts are probably going to tick the trouser box…

Comptoir des Cotonniers- Cotton trousers, £110

Comptoir des Cotonniers- Cotton trousers, £110

Hush - Long Harem Trouser, £49.50

Hush - Long Harem Trouser, £49.50

I could possible have taken leave of my senses with the next item but they do look nice on the model!

Hush - Cropped harem trouser, £35

Hush – Cropped harem trouser, £35

I am also on the hunt for a good all-rounder pair of heeled sandals…now I may be making my normal mistake and lusting after a heel that is just too high but I want these!

Ash- Quartz heels, £175

Ash- Quartz heels, £175

I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many grey knits and this one has caught my eye…I think I need this in my life.

Jigsaw- Slouchy jumper, £89

Jigsaw- Slouchy jumper, £89

My final lust for April is this gorgeous Etro kaftan.

I’m working on the premise that if I’m not quite as trim and toned as I would like by the time my holiday arrives; this rather glamorous and ever so slightly expensive number will provide perfect coverage for a multitude of sins!!!

Etro- Printed silk maxi kaftan, £545

Etro- Printed silk maxi kaftan, £545

Obviously this is going to remain right where it is on the lust list as I will be holidaying with children, who will be smothered in sun cream and probably ice cream…this does not a good mix make with a £545 silk kaftan!!

What have you been lusting over recently?

Until next time…

Loving Leather!

It has been a week of bicycles and babies in the Radcliffe household.

In a desperate attempt to burn off the poundage gained over Easter,  I have been placing my well covered posterior on my newly acquired ‘Big Bum Saddle’ and getting on my bike!

And when I’m not giving Bradley Wiggins a run for his money, I have been visiting the many babies born to my friend over the last two weeks.

A few hours with said friends, (who are basically now sleep deprived milk machines) has made me remove my rose-tinted spectacles and remember the hard slog that is a new-born.

Lovely cuddles were had and then the gorgeous little bundles were happily handed back!!

Now this is not the smoothest of transitions but I’m now going to start twittering about leather; something that I currently have a bee in my bonnet about.

Leather has been a huge trend over the past few seasons and one that is set to be big for the summer

There is an explanation for this sudden leather fetish but that will be for a later post… promise it’s not as 50 Shades of Grey as it sounds!!

With no further ado I thought I’d bring you some of the summer leather offerings from the catwalk…kicking proceeds off is my current lust, this gorgeous Theysken’s Theory leather and ribbed panel jacket.

Theysken's Theory- Jadra Leather jacket, £1045

Theysken’s Theory- Jadra Leather jacket, £1045

I’m rather fond of this Jil Sander jacket too..

Jil Sander -Nostradamus peplum back leather jacket, £2280

Jil Sander -Nostradamus peplum back leather jacket, £2280

...and the back!

…and the back!

Let’s not forget dresses, tops and trousers!

Saint Laurent- Asymmetic leather dress, £2400

Saint Laurent- Asymmetic leather dress, £2400

J Brand - Lena leather mini dress, £822

J Brand - Lena leather mini dress, £822

Jason Wu- Leather shift dress with lace panel, £2699

Jason Wu- Leather shift dress with lace panel, £2699

Gucci- Leather t- shirt, £1080

Gucci- Leather t- shirt, £1080

J Brand - Stretch leather skinny pants, £875

J Brand – Stretch leather skinny pants, £875

Balmain - Cropped leather skinny pants, £1817

Balmain – Cropped leather skinny pants, £1817

This is just the tip of the leather iceberg offering…if money is no object then you’re spoilt for choice.

Unfortunately for me, money is an object and one I’m don’t seem to have mountains of, so to the High Street I will be heading…Will I find good quality, well designed leather at a slightly more palatable price point?

My findings…

All Saints- Slate leather Biker jacket, £398

All Saints- Slate leather Biker jacket, £398

Warehouse- Soft leather biker, £140

Warehouse- Soft leather biker, £140

Whistles - Colour block leather dress £375

Whistles – Colour block leather dress £375

Oasis- Leather skater dress, £120

Oasis- Leather skater dress, £120

Baukjen- Liv leather Tee, £249

Baukjen- Liv leather Tee, £249

Whistles- Leather peplum, £250

Whistles- Leather peplum, £250

Joseph- Leather and gaberdine stretch legging, £495

Joseph- Leather and gaberdine stretch legging, £495

Baukjen _ Liv leather leggings, £299

Baukjen _ Liv leather leggings, £299

I’m happy…I think that the above shows it is well within the realm of possibility to acquire a very respectable leather garment at a relatively reasonable price…now, next question, what to buy!!?!

Have a lovely weekend!

Tiffany’s and Tee-shirts!

I’m a happy bunny…A couple of days ago I missed a parcel delivery.

I duly went to collect said package, (with minimal enthusiasm it must be said) only to find a very covetable box inside…

IMG_0299

Obviously my enthusiasm for this package increased tenfold!

Inside was a beautiful Tiffany’s necklace – A thank you for looking after my Godson (to be) for a couple of days whilst his baby sister was born!

Please excuse the dud photography…would have worn it but an extreeeeme close up was just too scary!!

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He was a dream to look after and give him to me for a week if this how I’m thanked!

Utterly brilliant, there I was thinking that I needed another Alex Monroe necklace, when in fact what I really needed was a fabulous Tiffany’s necklace!!

Moving on swiftly, and todays topic is the humble Tee – shirt.

I’ve got to say that along with jeans, the Tee – shirt is an item of clothing that I just could not live without.

It would however seem that the humble Tee – shirt is moving up in the world.

Where once it was relegated to a gym workout or a slobby Sunday; the Tee – shirt shape has now taken on a life of its own…

Tee – shirt tops are addressing a multitude of wardrobe dilemmas and I think you would be hard pushed to find a more versatile item in your wardrobe!

Cop a load of these beauties!!

Derek Lam, Macrame Top, £1050

Derek Lam, Macrame Top, £1050

Marni- printed cotton jersey and cotton canvas t- shirt, £220

Marni- printed cotton jersey and cotton canvas t- shirt, £220

Simone Rocha- Neon embroidered organza T- shirt, £695

Simone Rocha- Neon embroidered organza T- shirt, £695

Mulberry- Cotton blend lace top, £495

Mulberry- Cotton blend lace top, £495

Hmmm, slightly of the spenny side, once you’ve bought one of these you’ll probably be saving your pennies and watching a lot of TV!

Never fear, the High Street have produced some lovely offerings and they won’t break the bank…too much!!

Whistles- Sporty lace sleeve top, £95

Whistles- Sporty lace sleeve top, £95

French Connection- Broiderie Anglaise short sleeve top, £72

French Connection- Broiderie Anglaise short sleeve top, £72

Warehouse- Metallic knit tee, £28

Warehouse- Metallic knit tee, £28

Zara- Cut out faux leather top, £39.99

Zara- Cut out faux leather top, £39.99

Baukjen- Liv leather tee, £249

Baukjen- Liv leather tee, £249

Topshop- Broiderie high neck crop tee, £28

Topshop- Broiderie high neck crop tee, £28

If only the sun would come out and stay out I’d be living in these!!

What’s your go to/ must have wardrobe item?

Until next time…

Great Gatsby Galore and the Roaring Twenties.

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 17.14.31

So I think you would probably have to have been living on another planet, to have missed that the remake of The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann, is to be released on the 16th May 2013.

I for one will be going to see this, not only because I think it will be a great movie but better than that, the one and only Miuccia Prada has designed the wardrobe…this in itself will make it for me!

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 16.57.45 Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 16.57.59 Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 16.58.10 Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 16.58.20

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel has started a slow and subtle 20’s revolution.

Will we be flapping our way through the summer?

Quite possibly, though it’s not the easiest decade to pull off; a straight up and down boyish figure is what we’re going to need and this definitely rules me out!

However to get us in the mood and show us how it should be done Signe Vilstrup has shot these fabulous images for the Harrods Magazine

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 17.25.45 Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 17.26.06 Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 17.26.19 Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 17.26.31 Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 17.26.43 Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 17.27.13 Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 17.27.30

Hmmmm, does anyone know where I can get some super strength spanx from!?!?!

It appears that the gym and I are going to be fairly inseparable if this trend hangs around too long!!

If dressing the part isn’t tickling your fancy then this may be more up your street.

Harrods are launching a pop – up Twenties themed space from May 9th – 20th .

According to Vogue, the space will allow Harrods customers to “hark back to the lavish entertaining and unmistakable glamour of the roaring Twenties”.

The Tasting Room and Wine shop will be transformed with Art – Deco decor and cocktail making demonstration will be on show throughout the day.

Now this is part of the Twenties revival I’m more suited to!

If you interested a one-off evening event will be held on Friday 10th May, allowing guests to enjoy a twenties style jazz band, canapés and the best part – a cocktail mixing masterclass held by award-winning mixologists.

Tickets cost £50 and can be booked by emailing wineshop@harrods.com.

Any takers?

The girls’ day out that went the distance!!

The smug feeling of my last post has well and truly evaporated!

The Easter holidays got the better of me and as a result most of my to do list, including this blog got shelved!!

Back to it now though… My girls day out/ shopping trip for a handbag arrived on Saturday. A great day was had by all but alas I am still handbag less. More of that later.

An army marches on its belly so the day began with our trio settling in for a spot of brunch at The Delaunay.

Before it got messy!

Before it got messy!

As usual all three of us were on some kind of weight watching, no dairy, no wheat, “I’m seeing a personal trainer’ kick so the brunch menu in all its fabulousness was a worry, however we all very sensibly opted for the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and soda bread toast option. (I can’t do food envy!).

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I’m salivating just seeing it again, it was delicious!

Now to the shopping… we hit Long Acre and first stop was Ted Baker as lucky for us, we had Gail and her 40% discount in tow! I have to say I held firm as my money was on a bag but Kat managed to bag herself a dress for Ascot… She’ll hate me for doing this but I got to put a piccie in as she looked amazing!

A bargainous £95.40 with the discount… you can’t go wrong!!

We whipped through the stores picking up bits and pieces here and there… I did concede and allowed myself to get this jumper in Cos, though quite why I felt the need to buy knitwear on the hottest day of the year so far is beyond me!!

Cos- Raised knit jumper, £49.99

Cos- Raised knit jumper, £49.99

We did of course have to spend a bit of time in Selfridges, where Gail happily parted with her cash and vouchers in return for this rather nice Sophie Hulme bag!

Sophie Hulme- Double zip bag, £540

Sophie Hulme- Double zip bag, £540

So where is your bag, I hear you ask?

I spent a happy hour getting my knickers in a complete twist whilst draped in a multitude of Chloe saddle bags. Yes, I’ve changed my mind and decided that the Stella Falabella is not my ‘go to gotta have it bag’ I now need one of these beauties in my life..

Chloe - Marcie large hobo, £!055

Chloe - Marcie large hobo, £!055

After much deliberation grey (surprise, surprise!) was the colour of choice and the Marcie large hobo was the style however I just couldn’t bring myself/ justify/ afford the huge £1055 price tag!!

I am now going to stalk the online sales and see if this bag drops to a more palatable price point…if not does anyone have any bright ideas!!?!?!?

A quick potter and rest at Liberty’s in their to die for interiors floor.

Gail about to do Jackanory

Gail about to do Jackanory

and our day was rounded off nicely with dinner at Brasserie ZedelGetAttachment-7.aspxThey do the best profiteroles… I’d better mention that by this point in the proceedings the weight watching, no dairy, no wheat, “I’m seeing a personal trainer’ had been completely forgotten as we began to down our Kir Royales and wine!!

We obviously couldn’t leave it there so onto Hix for a cocktail which turned into a few for the road and I eventually got home, Burger King in hand ( so classy) at midnight!!

It's now messy!!

It’s now messy!!

Thanks girls for a great day and when’s the next one!?!?

Flower Power

The Easter holiday fun continues….

This weekend with the arrival of sun, family Radcliffe took a trip to Halford’s and got biked up.

I have not ridden a bike for about 20 years, t was a sight for sore eyes!! After about an hour and a half in the saddle I was definitely feeling very uncomfortable!

According to Mr R, I am completely wrong to expect cycling to be comfortable and apparently saddles are not sofas… I beg to differ my new ‘Big Bum Sprung Bike Saddle’ is on order!

the sofa of saddles!

the sofa of saddles!

Now onto the important stuff, my summer trend du jour is ‘florals’.

I’m a sucker for a floral so this trend will suit me down to the ground. Flower power has hit the catwalks and so in turn the high street.

This seasons florals are not the BHS variety of flat garden prints. No florals literally sprang forth from the catwalks of S/S ’13, taking on 3D forms. They were oversized, playful, placement, embroidered and photographic.

They took us on a journey through the decades from the floaty and feminine 20’s to the ditsy print tea dress of the 30’s and on to the graphic 60’s.

In fact you name it, it was there.

There surely has got to be something for everyone with this trend?

So what about the high street, what will we find there to satisfy the budding horticulturists amongst us?

Whistles- Victoria Floral Cotton Dress, £135

Whistles- Victoria Floral Cotton Dress, £135

Zara - Floral Print Trousers, £35.99

Zara - Floral Print Trousers, £35.99

NW3- Birch Flower Dress, £169 reduced £118

NW3- Birch Flower Dress, £169 reduced £118

Coast - Multi Winslow Dress, £125

Coast - Multi Winslow Dress, £125

Ted Baker- Novaas lace skirt., £169

Ted Baker- Novaas lace skirt., £169

Karen Millen - Signature fit printed pencil, £160

Karen Millen - Signature fit printed pencil, £160

So will you be blooming marvellous this summer or has another trend caught your eye?

Until next time…