Fitness Goals for 2015

Fitness goals for 2015It’s been a while since I spoke about fitness here, but if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I’ve been making the most of as many free fitness opportunities in San Francisco as possible.

It’s taken me a little time to get into the swing of things (I think I went running twice between our arrival at the end of November and Christmas) but I feel like I’m getting my groove back. Back in the UK I used to attend a boxing gym and various circus skills classes but they’re pretty expensive out here so although I miss them, they’re on the back burner for now.

I didn’t make any New Years resolutions this year – uprooting our life in Bristol to move to another continent seemed like enough of a change – but there are some fitness goals I’ve had in mind since moving to San Francisco. These aren’t set in stone, but they are things I want to try or accomplish over the next 12 months:

Workout 3-4 Times Per Week

You might ache the next day, but do you ever finish a workout session and not feel better than when you went in? Me neither, which is why I’d like to continue to make regular fitness a priority this year. Back home I probably exercised between 2-3 times per week but so far in SF I’m already working out three, if not four times a week. I’d love to aim for five times per week but I know that’s not realistic for me right now – I’d rather be pleased with myself at completing a workout rather than worrying about squeezing in the next one.

Run a Half Marathon (over the Golden Gate Bridge)

I’d be lying if I said that part of this wasn’t about the bridge. It’s such an iconic landmark and I’d love to experience running across it without any traffic. I’d also like to try running another half marathon anyway, though persistent foot injuries put pay to this in the UK, so I’ll have to go with the flow with this goal.

Strength, Condition and Stretch More

If I want to start running long distance again then I need to make sure my muscles and joints are strong. A little weight training, resistance work and specific muscle group exercises, such as one legged squats, will help strengthen and protect my body. I also suffer from ridiculously tight muscles, so stretching more and often should help speed up my post-workout recovery time.

Choose Healthier Snacks

Ok, this is more overall health than fitness, but it needs to happen. I love snacking, I’m definitely not a three square meals a day kind of girl, but I may have overdone it a little with the ‘bad’ snacks since moving here. I couldn’t wait to try the fries, the chips, the cookies and the ice cream (oh, the ice cream!) but from here on out I’m trying to apply the ‘everything in moderation’ rule, which means not scarfing a family-size bag of Cheetos in one sitting.

Try New Activities

I feel so lucky to live in California and have access to all the amazing things there are to do here. I’ve already tried skiing, but I’d love to take advantage of the climate and terrain with activities like hiking, mountain climbing, cycling and paddle boarding. There are also lots of classes and gyms to try in the city, such as Cardio Barre and Soul Cycle, as well as ‘open gym’ type businesses where membership allows you try classes at lots of different studios.

Has the start of a new year put you in a fitness frame of mind? And have you made any fitness goals for the year ahead?

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That Zara Hat

Red and white Zara outfitAnother Tuesday, and the last of January, which means another style post from me. We went skiing at Lake Tahoe at the weekend so I’m sat typing this with super tight muscles – ouch! It was a lot cooler up in the mountains but it’s been pretty temperate here in San Francisco, so much so that this outfit was accessorised with bare legs. In January. That will never stop being ridiculous.

This week (and for most of this month) the object of my affections has been this red fedora from Zara. I spotted it in the menswear department when Mr Ship-Shape was upgrading his wardrobe, and I was immediately taken with it. It was my only January Sales purchase, bar some new workout gear, and I’m absolutely smitten with it.

It makes me chuckle when people describe themselves as either ‘a hat person’ or ‘not a hat person’, as if wearing something up there is absolute, like Marmite. Personally I love a good hat and I was eager to add this one to my collection of beanies and bowlers.

White t-shirt dress smock thingy aside, I decided to go matchy-matchy with my berry red satchel, deep red nails (which predictably lasted about one and half days before chipping) and a red lip, courtesy of Sephora’s Rouge Infusion in 10, which was part of their Ultimate Lip Sampler, which I’m still a little obsessed with.

Over to you: hats – yeay or nay?

White knitted t-shirt dress and red fedora –  both Zara / White sleeveless embroidered top  – c/o River Island / Red satchel – c/o Dr Martens / Black block heel ankle boots – New Look

Black block heel ankle boots from New LookRed and white outfit from ZaraWhite and red weekend outfitRed Zara menswear fedoraRed hat and bag with white tshirt dressRed fedora from Zara MAN

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My Favourite Red Lipsticks for Every Occasion

my favourite red lip coloursA red lipstick (or lip crayon, lip pencil or liquid lipstick – let’s not discriminate here) is probably my favourite make-up item of choice. While it may not be as useful as concealer or as subtle as a good mascara, it has impact; meaning, history, and glamour. Wearing a red lip is a ‘look at me’ statement, though it can also look understated, depending on how you work it.

One of my favourite ways to wear a red lip is with bare skin and just a little bit of a brow touch-up – maybe with a layer of mascara, if I want to push the boat out.

While my choice of formula or colour undertones (blue, pink, orange) may sway from time to time, there are a few reds that I always go back to. Here are the five reds I reach for every time:

For subtlety: Revlon’s Lip Butter in Candy Apple

If I want to wear a red lip that’s a little more low-key and won’t require constant reapplying, I turn to this trusty Lip Butter. I wrote a full review here when I first bought it, but suffice to say that Candy Apple is perfect for when you want a subtle hint of colour that isn’t drying on the lips.

For staying power: Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red

A recent purchase for me, Sephora’s 01 lip stain is legendary and one of the best liquid lipsticks I’ve tried. Not only is it a beautiful true, vintage pin-up red, it also doesn’t budge once applied. Bonus points for the fact that it doesn’t feel like you’re even wearing anything on your lips. Oh, and unlike some lip stains, it has staying power but also comes off easily with make-up remover (I like MERUMAYA’s Bi-Phase Plus Eye Make-Up Remover for removing liquid lipstick).

For ‘look at me’ lips: MAC’s matte finish lipstick in Ruby Woo

Does this lipstick need any introduction? It’s a blue-toned red that just makes the day that little bit better. Yes it can be drying (due to the super matte formula) but if you prep your lips ahead of time this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. I like to apply two coats of this, blotting off the excess with a tissue between layers for extra staying power. Guaranteed to turn heads and garner compliments.

For an easy to wear red: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo

This liquid lipstick might look intimidating in the tube but trust me when I say it’s one of the easiest to wear reds I’ve ever tried. The colour is lighter and brighter than first impressions might suggest and the formula is soft and powdery, without feeling drying. I’ve tried several NYX Lip Creams and all of them do have a tendency to smudge easily, but it’s worth it for the intense colour and smooth application.

For fool-proof application: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

What is it that’s so satisfying about drawing on colour, particularly bold colour, with a lip crayon? The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils from Nars glide across the skin, pack a punch with pigmentation and are long lasting, too – what’s not to love? The shade Cruella is one of my favourites and is a deep, blood red shade that borders on burgundy. Perfect for nights out and for easy-peasy application.

Top 5 red lipsticksThose are some of my favourite red lipsticks – what are yours? I’m always looking to try new shades so let me know what I should try next!

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Something Old, Something New, Something Mustard, Something Blue

Goodwill vintage dressPerhaps this is another one of those so-wrong-it’s-right finds, but I have a bit of a thing for this cornflower blue and white patterned 1970s dress. I found it in a Goodwill (surprise, surprise) and although it’s my dress size, I think it’s actually a petite version, as when the sleeves are rolled down they only just reach my wrists. But it’s such a fun pattern and it has pockets – how could anyone say no to a dress with pockets?

I didn’t initially follow my instincts when it came to styling this vintage dress – do you ever get that way with an outfit before you leave the house? We were going for a stroll into town and I knew that I wanted to pair it with my silver brogues, mustard yellow tights and a bright pink lip, but part of my brain was telling me ‘that’s too loud. You’ll stick out too much’. I then spent the next half an hour trying on more modest shoes and different, less shouty lipstick before going back to the original plan.

I guess that’s the thing about moving somewhere new; I could be anyone I want to be but perhaps the scariest thing of all is being myself, which sartorially translates to clashing floral prints, wearing several contrasting colours at once and generally involves either no make-up or blindingly bold lips.

Carrie touched on it in her alter egos post, but it can be a tricky thing when your personal style embodies not one set in stone ‘look’ but several in one week, or sometimes all in one outfit! I guess the fun thing about fashion is that picking a person to be for a day, from 1930s librarian to a 60s inspired lady-who-lunches doesn’t change who I am *cringe* inside.

Blue and white patterned dress – Goodwill / Mustard tights – Primark / Oak ‘Effie’ bag  – Mulberry / Silver brogues – Office

Milkmaid braids and a bold lipVintage dress and mustard tightsSilver brogues and mustard tightsGoodwill blue dress

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How to De-Clutter Your Wardrobe in 5 Easy Steps

How to De-Clutter Your WardrobeJanuary is a month of reinvention for many – from starting a new fitness regime to trying to eat better, it’s the month of the detox, the goal setting and plan making. If this time of year is making you think about spring cleaning your closet and tackle your ever expanding floordrobe, then here are my tried and tested tips for de-cluttering your clothes.

Empty Everything

Drawers, wardrobe, rail – the lot. Instead of trying to take unwanted items out, start with an empty space and that way, when you’ve finished organising your outfits, you’ll only be putting clothes back in that you really love and want to wear.

Phone a Friend

If you’re anything like me, you might need to call in the cavalry for a serious de-cluttering session. Before I moved to the States two of my best girls came over for the evening and helped me suss out what I really needed to take. We ate chocolate, tried on multiple different outfits and they offered brutally honest opinions on what suited me and what didn’t.  Make sure to pick a friend/s that you trust and who will give you an honest opinion on that burnt orange and black feather pencil skirt…

Bag It Up

I find it useful to have different reusable carrier bags at the ready – one headed for the charity shop, one for the recycling bin and one for clothes swaps. Sorting out your clothes and separating them immediately will curb your desire to go rummaging back into the cast-offs pile as soon as the coast is clear. If there are some items that you haven’t worn in ages but aren’t sure that you want to part with, place them in a box or bag at the back of your wardrobe for six months – if you don’t take anything out once six months have passed, take the bag straight to a charity shop – without looking inside!

Organise Like a Pro

Find a system that will help you to pick out your outfit quickly – this could be organising your clothes into colours, splitting them into type (dresses, shirts, trousers etc) or grouping together in different categories, such as smart, evening-wear, casual, work etc. Personally I like to organise my wardrobe by type of garment, then colour-code it. Yep, I’m that geeky.

One In, One Out

You’ve finally gotten to a point where your wardrobe or closet isn’t bursting at the seams (woo-hoo!) so don’t spoil it by over-stuffing it with new clothes. To keep unnecessary clothing clutter at bay, use the one in, one out method. It’s easy to do – every time you buy  a new item of clothing, get rid of an old one to make space for it. You could donate it to charity, take it to a clothes swap or if it’s too far gone then put it in your recycling bin.

Additional tips:
It wouldn’t hurt to give the inside of your wardrobe a clean while it’s empty, so grab a duster and some polish before you place any clothes back inside
Make the most of what storage you have – under-bed boxes are great for storing shoes and bags
Aim to de-clutter twice a year – once in January and then again in autumn, ready for winter

So that’s it – a few (hopefully helpful) tips on de-cluttering your clothes to start the year afresh. How often do you detox your wardrobe?

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