Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Big Reveal ~ Hair

I have been through a lot of hairstyles, some by choice and others not so much. After completely massacring my hair in 2010 by trusting a voucher and a new stylist (there was bleach and then there was a pixie cut) I decided never to cut my hair again!!!! 
Well pretty much... Other than the occasional trim I was growing it long! 

There was also the problem of colour! I was a ginger from birth but countless colour jobs (beginning with a cap at eleven) I had turned a mousy brown with red bits in it. For the last year however, I had been boxing it with different reds,  (and a one off purple). 

When I arrived in Canada my hair was a mixture of three box colours, (each one an attempt to correct the last) and a long mop with about 3 inches of split ends. 

Although the start of the 'makeover' did not begin with the hair appointment it started to feel real then. There is nothing quite like the feeling of release when a large amount of hair is chopped off. 

I went from taking 1.5 hours upwards to get reasonably straight hair to a 15 minute blow dry and straighten. It was liberating - I felt like all the 'stuff' I had been holding onto for the past 12 months or so had been cut free and I was floating. 

I was regaining the me I was before all the crap had latched on! 

It took two boxes to get a deep red back onto my hair. A deep red that had me written all over it... in fact it should have been called 'theposhgurlred'! With thick hair like mine the first box was used under and the second on top. 

Still from a box I hear you say! Lord knows a girl's got to keep to her budget. 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The American Girl Ethics

There is one thing to having a creative niece and that is the movies. Every ballet, gymnastic and theatre dreaming DVD is on her shelf and what's more over the past few weeks I have watched it! 

I have to admit I am a little jealous of my Popster who knows exactly what she wants for the future. She dreams o f being a ballerina and its all she works for even at three. For show and tell tomorrow she will be doing Port de Bras! Every day of the week I take her to class: ballet, jazz, gymnastics and acro! Her life is about dancing and I envy her complete and utter desire to do it. At three it is incredible how dedicated and driven she is to do it. 

When I was her age all I dreamt of every job under the sun: a vet driving a land rover, a cornet player, a tap dancer, a tornado chaser, a marine biologist. It wasn't till later on I realized I did want to do all these things just not in reality. This soon changed having worked in the movie industry and watched all the films and television I was interest ed wasn't out there so I started to write... I had found my place. It took me to 21 to realize it was my care er goal (even though I was doing it long before).  Yet I don't feel I am the most dedicated writer. I am not disciplined. I am not as dedicated as I want to be. 

Today Popster made me watch an American Girl movie. Badly written, and not the best acting, but I could see why Popster loved it. It teaches kids so much about dedication and it taught me too! Ridiculous but so true! Next time you want a 'pick me up' try an American Girls movie. 

My wardrobe may be sorted, my hair may be changed and my shoes collection may be completed but I don't want you guys to think that I am materialistic... or too materialistic anyway! I need to change lifestyle and fitness changes are also going to play a big part in...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Step Three ~ The "Doo" and The Face

Coco Chanel was on to something when she said that,"a woman changing her hair is about to change her life". What is it about a woman's hair that makes her feel so differently after a change? The same can be said when you go the other way around. I had been growing my hair following the disastrous pixie cut that I had back in 2011. I had also stopped dying my hair letting the more natural colour come through. This caused a few problems - the natural colour had lost a lot of my usual red and cuts in the UK are so expensive so I started neglecting the cuts and using different block colours. Going from red, to orange, to purple, to red, to orange left my hair with multiple hair shades and then the split ends were so bad! 

When I arrived it took a matter of hours before the Sister had booked me a hair appointment. Following the number of changes that began when I arrived I could not help but think the one thing really holding me back was the mop. Long, lifeless and useless. Everyday it was pulled back. So I went drastic. 

The first step was to put the colour right dying it one colour all over a few days before the cut. The cut was drastic and I love it. From two hours getting dried and straightened it now takes 15 minutes! The cut is brilliant and feels great. After the cut the wright was one and resulted in a few places where the colour had not reached. I have left it a week and will soon add the next box onto the weaker areas allowing the colour to really sit all over. 

I go back to the UK with a strong cut that will keep its shape, but when you get a great cut you because determined to keep the shape you love, and I LOVE this shape! 

* * *

The most important to thing to do when you get a new colour and cut is to change up the makeup. Makeup is so important to keep fresh and new. It can make or break a cut and colour. With a different shade you change the colour of your face as the light is reflected onto you differently. When you switch onto a different hair colour you must change your blush. It is really a great idea to get a full makeover as often lips and eye shades appear a bit different when have a different 'frame'. 

Before I came out I had changed my base to Chanel and my face really cleared up. I made my way to the Chanel counter in the Bay grabbing myself a new cover and powder. I then headed grabbed a cheaper palette with the same colours recommended to me by Chanel. Sephora's birthday present from Forever Makeup also helped!
For me my makeup has always been relevant. I love makeup and playing with it. I rotate between a few eye shadow brands as I love to play with colour. The main thing for me is if I feel good I spend more time on my makeup if I don't feel so good a base and lip is fine. After getting my hair done I really began playing with my eyes and making sure to place my blush, and accentuating my brows. I am so happy with my makeup even though only a few bits have been added to the collection. 

Feeling put together may start with the outfit but the hair and makeup really make it work. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Big Reveal

Can you guess what's next??

Step Two ~ The Wardrobe

Restyling is difficult. I used to be the best shopper, always finding bargains and knowing how to fit my body. Then all things changed. Maybe it was the change in country, the gaining of weight, or the reduction in funds. Everything is a contributor.

When you know you are in a mess the best thing is to go shopping with someone who knows you really well. Someone who knows you inside out. For me it is the Sister. 

You need to stick to shops that work for you. For styles that cater not only to your size and fit but also to your personality. I really believed that I was a preppy girl. I would grab onto new trends and shop at the popular stores. That was where my problems started. I fell into a hole and lost inspiration because I tried to fit myself into a specific genre that wasn't mine. 

Before I hit the stores I asked myself WHO I really admired, (regarding style) who I really wanted to dress like. Everyone I picked was classic with classic lines, classic colours, classic styles. It was a realization that might seem simple but it was vital. When you go shopping you need to know what you are embodying, what you are, or you are easily distracted into something else. 
It is like going to the grocery store when you are hungry. What you need is cast aside by what you want right now. 

When shopping it is really important to make outfits not just pick up individual items that you love. That's why I adore stores like Banana Republic everything it makes is of a high quality, and they have bits of everything. Unlike Gap where the tops and cardigans are great but the pants are usually of poor quality. Banana Republic always has great basics that you can then play around with and match up with pretty much everything under the sun. Today is a perfect example, I am writing this blog in the chemo ward of Ottawa hospital while my mum is being treated. I am wearing a Banana Republic box pleat skirt paired with a Zoe Karssen long-sleeve tee and LK Bennett floral flats. 

The best place to pick up the one of a kind items are boutiques, (although there are not that many in the Oxford). In these you can discover the unique blouses, the funky dresses, and the interesting shaped tops. Once you have the basics then you hit the boutiques and find the one of a kinds that will make your basics pop. The same can be said for the 'labels'. I am a total label whore. I love my labels but being strapped for cash stops me enjoying the luxury. BUT, when you pick up one or two designers they really become appreciated when partnered with a basic. They get the attention they deserve. When you are head to toe in Chanel or Gucci then its just an outfit nothing grabs you, but pairing a Joe dress with a Marc Jacobs cardigan creates something and makes the designer that much more noticeable. 

Let's face it though, the wardrobe is not all about the clothes. At the bottom of the wardrobe, stacked high are my personal favourite thing... the SHOES! Over the summer I accumulated a large amount of LK Bennett pointy flats. They are great for summer (especially when you hate your feet). However, there is one thing that is really clear to me after restyling my wardrobe and that is Flats are NOT my Friends. I am far too short to be carrying on everywhere in flats especially when heels can be comfortable and look great. 

At home I have my two favourite LK Bennett pumps, and my gorgeous suede wedged boots. My funky purple Roberto Cavalli cowboy boots and now I have two more to add to the collection. A gorgeous pair of small purple swede ankle boots by Geox and my 'rediscovered' Seychelle lace up boots. Plus a gorgeous pair of brown pumps from a small boutique which have a gorgeous gold toe and heel. I am so excited to step into fall and winter with these gems adorning my feet and with multiple styles there is something for every outfit and every weather condition.

For me shoes are the be all and end all to every outfit. I perhaps do it wrong by styling the shoes around the outfit and not the other way around! But I love shoes. Shoes give me confidence and make me feel good! They are what I sit and ogle at on my bus ride home and prance around the office in. A pair of good shoes will make (or break) my day. 

Basics are vital to a solid and complete wardrobe
(Personal recommendations are Joe Fresh and Banana Republic)

Designers and boutique buys are the icing on top, the place you can show of your ability to style, (Personal recommendations are Marc by Marc Jacobs, Glamourous, Zoe Karssen and Louche)

Finally Shoes... quality is the most important thing. Going cheap will ruin your feet and bank balance as they will need constant replacement, 
(Personal recommendations are LK Bennett, Geox, Tory Burch and Kate Spade

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Book Review ~ Innocence

Rating: 4/5

I am a huge fan of Kathleen Tessaro. I read "Elegance" a few years ago, and it completely changed my life. I went on a binge fest reading as many traditional books on etiquette from the 20s, 30s and 40s as I could lay my hands on. It was also because of this book I became obsessed with stationary! 

"Innocence" was really hard to come by as I couldn't order it or find it in stores then a few months ago I miraculously found it on the shelf in a charity store in Oxford! It is only now that I am reading it. Firstly, it's not her best. However, it is still brilliant. It is a bit like Sophie Kinsella's "Twenties Girls" but I would venture to say better. It has a level of maturity in it. It's not just a chic lit story there is something more to it. 

It is the story of Evie, a single mum from Ohio living in London in a lodging house teaching drama. The house is owned by Bunny and is full of budding artists. The unhappy story of Evie and her failure is interplayed with the story of her youth: the tragic romance that led to the birth of her son, her best friend whose suicide which lays deep within Evie's failure to reach her dreams, and the career she could have had. As Evie sits at a mid-point in her life that could see her gain a promotion and a much needed romance the ghost of her best friend Robbie appears and gives her a much needed kick up to butt. 

The book is well written. The characters and plot line are compelling. However, it falls just a little flat there isn't that pull to read on. I don't know why but that is how it felt: - maybe it is the fact that the book is teaching not just entertaining. There is that unhappy twinge to it, but it is very lifelike. There is a great level of truth and humanity to it which is really great. A definite read, but you need to come to it prepared for not your regular chic lit 'la-di-da' story. There is a meatiness to it. 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Step One ~ The Underwear

As I mentioned in my last post my Mum and Sister have been mentioning the disappearance of The Posh Gurl - in particular my Mum. With all the present circumstances she has taken it upon herself to help me find myself once again. She wants her, "Posh Gurl back". 

So as a mini-project whilst I am here I am going to be writing a reinvention series looking at how you add, remove and rethink when attempting to reinvent yourself. 
This will all lead to THE BIG REVEAL which will take place when everything is considered complete.


Where does one start when pretty much everything is headed to the charity shop? 
It begins with the bare essential, the underwear. 

For me the be all and end all is Victoria Secret. I was quite literally wearing bras that were three years old — bought in LA when I was training for BA. So I have begun with my reinvention at Victoria Secret. I thoroughly recommend getting a fitting when you are there. It is so important to get the right fit. I was wearing two sizes too small. The difference after I began wearing my new bras it was incredible. Two sexy fun bras and a nude was my choice. I love the Demi Dream Angels bra but the Perfect Fit is great for a simple nude day bra. 

Of course bras are not the only important thing. I am a HUGE Hanky Panky fan, but they are expensive and hard to come by. I have owned practically every pattern and colour since Dr. Bestie gifted me my first pair. However, they are starting to wear, loose elastic and that cause for quite a few wedgies! Something you cannot do secretly when a three year old is in the group! So I decided whilst in Victoria Secret I would check out their underwear. Needless to say I left with quite a few pairs in quite a few styles all in the colours matching my bras. I really love the Hiphuggers for comfort, but the cheekies are gorgeous and make you feel really sexy. I also grabbed a pair of shorties as well. Some are in the gorgeous seamless style which work so well with dresses, some the comfy cotton and others are in the Dream Angels style. - Don't panic I won't be throwing out all my hanky pankys but I will be harsher when it comes to throwing out the ones lacking elastic and revealing holes! 

Starting with the underwear not only physically effects you but it also mentally does as well. The physicality of wearing a good, supportive bra effects the fitting of the clothes but how it looks especially when your friends are not busting out a shirt or over the top of a v-neck. Mentally you feel good, sexier when you are wearing a cute new pair of undies as opposed to a holey pair that your butt cheeks constantly chew on. 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Fancy Nancy Revolution

How can a three year old have more fashion sense and style than The Posh Gurl? 

I have been asking myself the same question for a few days now. 
How on earth did this happen? And how the Hell did I not see it? 

I came to Canada a little earlier than expected after discovering that my Mum's cancer was back and this time it was worse... a lot worse. Packing incredibly light I arrived and have been spending time with my family trying to get through this tough process. However, one thing was frequently coming up. 

What are you wearing? What is with you hair? 
And of course the most popular question of all... 
When did you become so FRUMPY! 

One by one dresses, tops and pants were disposed of. Critiques after critique started to get me down. Yet there was something niggling. My family were onto something. I had lost my confidence, my self-esteem, and slowly but surely I began to realize what a MESS I was in. 
My fashion style had gone completely and with it so had my 'swag'. 
Where and how I have no idea, but it was well and truly vanito! 

So where does one start when the fashion bulb has blown? 

Today... after a failed attempt at a Birthday celebration yesterday, (Mum had surgery and Sister broke her nose) I went SHOPPING! Of course I am in Ottawa now so it takes a little bit more browsing to find the gems, but gems were found. 
Banana Republic (of course), Victoria Secret (fitting included), The Bay (makeup counters) and a new boutique that rocked my world Viens Avec Moi. 

So where does the three year old fit into all this? 
After shopping till we dropped Sister decided to reeducate me in the lesson of dressing. With a new pair of shoes and my purple birthday ankle boots in tow a fashion show was ordered and fulfilled. 
Finishing a couple of outfits with my sisters Michael Kors pants, Tory Burch jeans and an Eloise dress as well as my own Mavi denim jacket and Oxford Uni Varsity jacket I strutted my new found 'Swagger' to none other than... The Wiggles! The Princess of the house watched on and with each new outfit showered me with compliments such as-"You look like a Princess" and "Beautiful Dress"

After hanging up my new found gems I was invited to a Princess tea party and then got to put the Princess herself to bed - What an Honour! 

All that is left for this Posh Gurl to get her moves back is a hair appointment (always remember Chanel's words) and a few more bits already chosen from Banana Republic 
And of course... a new gym outfit from Lululemon. 

Although the future for our family is still muggy there is one thing for certain- 
Sister always knows best! (I just have to make sure I listen next time)

After reading the Princess her Fancy Nancy books this evening I realized that this Princess really knows philosophy! This week TidyBoy had taken off this glasses and the Princess said- 
"You don't look like Uncle E without your glasses. You just look like Uncle". 
The same goes for me. 
Without my fashion I don't look like Auntie H. I just look like Auntie. 

Well Auntie H/The Posh Gurl is back and she is sticking around... 
So keep your eyes peeled for snaps of my new outfits over the coming days/weeks! 

P.S. Please keep sending positive thought and prayers coming my Mum's way! 

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Book Review ~ Mini Reviews for Summer

Rating: 2/5

This is the story of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald starting at the beginning of the relationship where they meet towards the end of the First World War right up until the death of Scott. The novel deals with the transient life of the couple caused by fluctuating finances and impatient natures. It also deals with the more secret life of Zelda including her health problems. 

I read this book because a few of the reviews mentioned it was like "A Paris Wife". I was so excited to get it started, and so quick to be disappointed. It took me months to read. It was so chewy. There was nothing memorable. You could read it and put it down for a few days and it wouldn't matter. There was nothing to pull you back to the story and nothing to motivate you to read on. It was just... blah. 

I took it on the Eurostar across to Belgium with me and it occupied me but it was just nothing special, but that was literally it... occupation - it was a White Noise sort of literature.  

Rating: 5/5

This is the story of two sisters. One in a messy divorce, the other in a messy breakup. Both make mistakes and both solve them by helping the other. 

Not too complicated and not too deep but ENTERTAINING to the core. I could not put it down. Screw the travel sickness from reading on the bus. I was reading it non-stop. Page after page needed to be consumed. I absolutely adored it. 

Kinsella is really a champion of fiction. She just gets it right every time. Her comedic ability is outstanding as is her ability to create the most enthralling characters who you want to constantly revisit.