Wednesday, 31 July 2013

July in Photos

I'm sure I say this every month, but flipping heck, where did July go?! It feels like only yesterday I was writing this last month! July has been brilliant and very busy. I spent the first weekend of July home alone (which I love!) while my parents spent a week in Ireland and then I joined them at the weekend for my Mum's birthday. Other weekends have been spent at golf hotels, staying with friends in Birmingham and watching Breaking Bad, interspersed with yummy food and lots of running! Here are my Instagram snaps from July!

1. Crazy savings in Boots
I had one of those amazing trips to Boots a few weeks ago when everything I wanted was on offer. Plus I had two vouchers! I saved £18!
2. Serious Instant Tea addiction
I absolutely love these, even if they are full of sugar! I love to have one before bed.
3. Yummy homemade Thai red curry
This is seriously one of the best things I've made myself! I talked about how I made it here. 
4. Sleek contouring kit
I'd heard great things about this kit and I've never really done much contouring so I thought I'd give it a go!
5. Postcard from Australia
One of my best friends, Emily, just got back from the trip of a lifetime travelling across Australia and New Zealand on her own! Her postcard telling me about snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef was a little hard to swallow after a long day of work! So jealous!
6. First contouring attempt
Probably need a tad more next time! 
7. New books!
I haven't bought any new paper books for ages so I was seriously excited when these arrived. They're next on my reading list.
8. Second blood donation!
There's something I love about giving blood, as unpleasant as it is at the time. I love doing something to make a difference. I have a fairly rare blood type (8% of the population have my type) so I like to donate every 16 weeks.
9. Pizza, salad and wine Friday
This sounds so silly but this was one of the nicest evenings of the month. My Dad and I went to do some food shopping and got a pizza and a box of salad from Morrisons. We sat in the garden, eating and drinking, and then spent the rest of the night listening to our favourite songs on the iPad. 

10. Wine and a good book
Is there anything better?
11-13. Delicious food at the posh gold hotel
For my Mum's birthday, our family friends took us to a golf hotel for the weekend. My Mum, Dad and Uncle played golf while my Auntie and I spent the weekend in the hotel pool and shopping. The food was amazing! I had prawn cocktail, aubergine stack and berries with meringue. The aubergine stack in particular was like a mix of all my favourite things- aubergine, ratatouille and goat's cheese!
14. Crop o clock!
Yeah, for the first time since 1994, I wore a crop top. I might actually have worn this oufit a lot over the last few weeks. I also totally stole it from Katy.
15. New MAC foundation!
No filter here to show off how flawless it makes my skin look! I went to explore MAC studio fix at the MAC counter in Debenhams and it looks absolutely amazing. I bought it because I wanted something long-lasting, but the flawless finish is amazing. 
18. First frappucino of the year!
Mine's a caramel light one, thanks.
19. Treats from MAC
Okay, so I might have been treated in MAC. After falling in love with the foundation and heading to the counter to buy it and the 190 brush, my auntie told me she was going to treat me! I was absolutely gobsmacked, especially when she said I had to have the blusher too! I am absolutely over the moon and very appreciative!
20. Logic
However, this top is not the top to choose for running on a hot day! #sweatcentral 
16. From restaurant to party
Last Friday I had a dinner planned with friends and then my boss's wife's 40th and after some dithering this was what I decided to wear! I love crop tops at the moment (it's the same as the white one I mentioned earlier in the post) and of course, my galaxy skirt.
17. Favourite
Who doesn't love this film? It was perfect on a Sunday night.
18. Cocktail time!
Friday night cocktails with the girls should be a weekly occurrence. 
19. Mexican food is the best kind of food
20-21. Weekend in Birmingham
I went to Birmingham last weekend to meet up with two of my best friends, Steph and Ellen. We had a lovely chilled weekend and went out for a great meal on Saturday night with a bottle of wine and lots of yummy tapas! 
22. Smoothies in milk bottles!
23. Strawberries and ice cream
24. £12 bargain heels!
I wanted a new pair of red heels as mine are a tiny bit small, and I always have problems with what size to get, so I hit up M&S because I know I'm a 5.5 in there! Their red heels were a bargain at £12- and they go lovely with my sweatpants, right?
 25. New running kit
26. Favourite post-running treat
This stuff is amazing! I try not to buy it too often but it's a delicious refuel after a run.
27. Doing some nicer-dicering!
My Mum and I caved and got a JML nicer dicer. That's pretty exciting in our house! We spent a good hour dicing things! 
28. View from a 6am run
I've really, really gotten into my early morning runs. I get up at 5.30am and go out just before 6. It's so lovely and quiet outside and so nice and cool. I'm going to blog about it soon because I seriously never thought I'd become a morning runner!
29. Pub tea
To even out all the running, right?
30. Park run registration!
They do Parkrun literally round the corner from my house and I've been planning on doing it when I've finished Couch to 5K. Well I was going to wait another week after finishing the programme but instead I'm going to go do it on Saturday. My first 5K! Let's do this!
 31. Packages from MAC are good packages!
I got the Select Sheer Pressed Powder and the Liquid Last eyeliner.
32. Awesome bumper sticker.
33. Delicious homemade lunch
Homemade lentil and carrot soup with a salad of prawns and homemade lemon and honey dressing. And homemade croutons! 
34. Dad's first facial
My Mum bought some new face mask-y stuff and she mixed too much for herself and my Nan. So she applied it to my Dad! The best part was as it hardened, none of them could speak. Haha.
35. Tools of the trade
My current makeup favourites. Still hoping to get around to blogging about them.
36. Might be time for new egg cups?
36. Roasted vegetable and avocado salad
I used the seasoning from here with broccoli, sweet potato, onion and chickpeas with avocado.
37. Finishing off Season 4 last night!
I've been proper bingeing this weekend to catch up before the final!
38. NEW FAVOURITE EVER TSHIRT!
I'm planning a post this weekend on ways to wear your favourite graphic tshirt. I never want to take it off.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A Change from the Usual

As those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know, this really isn't my usual style. I've never really been a cowboy-boots-and-bare-legs kinda girl. In fact, this outfit feels really American to me- I remember girls wearing a lot of outfits like this while I was living in the States. Cowboy boots and a denim jacket are just so quintessentially American. Anyway, this outfit came about because the weather today was supposed to be hot (bare legs), but rainy (boots). I didn't want to ruin any of my ballet flats, converse seemed impractical and I really didn't want to wear black tights and boots. Plus I'd been looking back at photos from when I was in Nashville, where I bought these boots, and I paired them with a floral dress back then and I loved the way it looked. So while I didn't feel 100% "me" today (two years ago you would never catch me with bare legs, but I've sorta decided not to care anymore that I have super-pale, less-than-perfect legs), I kept my feet dry! Plus I've been living in this dress lately. I know, I know, everyone and their dog has this dress at the moment but there's a reason why. It's £13 of pure awesome. Great job Primark. (I might have worn it two days in a row this weekend).
dress- Primark via ASOS (it's still available in some sizes!)
cowboy boots- Boots shop in Nashville, Tennessee
necklace- c/o Menoyu Jewellery
denim jacket- New Look
So I guess it's kind of been another case of "long time no blog" eh? As I said last time, I've been wearing the same things to work nearly every day because of the heat and I've been too lazy to dress up at weekends! I've had a pretty chilled week, and an extra-chilled weekend. I went out for a pub tea and a bottle of wine with Eve on Friday night, and the rest of the weekend has pretty much been spent watching Breaking Bad and running errands. I also had my hair done yesterday but I'm freaking out a bit that it's wayyyyy more red than brown. I asked for it a little bit lighter, like a shade lighter, and when the colour came off it was SO red that I almost had a heart attack. It does look a little better and I'm hoping it will fade in a couple of washes but it's not quite what I wanted. She said I can go back and have it redone if I'm not happy but I really hate making complaints, and plus do I really want to spend 3 more hours in the hairdressing chair?! Let's hope it fades out!
Also, I just want to say thank you to every one of you who has left me amazing comments on my running posts! I don't want this to be a running blog (I definitely don't know enough for that to happen!) but I know I enjoy reading about "normal" people and their experiences with running. And those of you who have said I've inspired you to run? Wow, just wow. That really is awesome. I have another couple of running post ideas I want to get up over the next few weeks- towards the end of last week I started getting up at 5.30am to do my runs before work and I am absolutely hooked, so if I can keep up the habit (I'm hoping to run 3 times a week and do 30 Day Shred twice a week- all before work- and then have the weekends as rest days) I want to blog about that because seriously, I never thought I'd be getting up at 5.30am to fit in an early morning run! I'm also *hoping* to do my first 5K in 2 weeks' time. They do Parkrun literally round the corner from my house and I'd love to do my first one before I go to Berlin in 3 weeks so I'm hoping a week on Saturday I can give it a go!
Sorry if my running posts are really boring- I'm gonna make sure there's a good mix of style posts too!
Anyway, I'm probably gonna have a chilled out night (undoubtedly watching more Breaking Bad- I've almost finished Season 4 and I'm hoping to watch the first half of season 5 before the new half starts in a few weeks!) and an early night so I can get up for my 5.30am run tomorrow!
Have a brilliant evening!

Charlotte x

Monday, 22 July 2013

Couch to 5K- My First 20 Minute Run

Pre-run in my new gear

Over the last few weeks, my Couch to 5K challenge has gone by without much incident. The runs have gotten progressively worse and worse, and it definitely hasn't helped that it's been baking here, but generally, there hasn't been much to report. I've just been getting in from work, getting changed and running. 
But then last week I was looking through my C25K app and flicking ahead, just to see what was in store. The biggest challenge until that point had been the beginning of last week, my first 10 minute run, which was tough but manageable, and then a 12 minute run a few days later. The runs were getting longer and the walks were getting shorter, but miraculously, I was doing it without much worrying.
Until I spotted Week 6, Day 3.
20 minutes of running. With no walking.
Gulp.
As I said up until that point the longest I had run was 12 minutes. With only minute-long walk breaks, I was running for about 18 minutes in total, but I always had that one glorious minute to look forward to.
Me being me, I took to the internet. There had to be other people dreading this 20 minute milestone.
And fortunately, there were. Lots of them. This one run seemed to be definitive. For almost everybody this run was a turning point. The line between a wannabe runner and a real runner.
I'd never really looked up running blogs before, but reading other people's experiences filled me with inspiration and hope that I could complete it. And because I like to write in my blog the things I would like to read, I thought I'd dedicate a little post to my own running turning point.
The hones truth? It really wasn't that bad.
Another honest truth? I think a tiny little yorkie dog over-took my running pace. In fact, I think I walk faster than the pace of my run tonight.
But I did it.
I started out with the attitude that I could do this. I knew if I gave myself any kind of leeway in terms of "oh you don't have to do it first time" or "oh you can have a walk for a minute or so if you need to" I would give up. I went into this knowing I was going to do it. 
Just really, really slowly.
Fortunately my new shorts and running top had arrived and that did make a huge difference, placebo or not, and kept me much cooler than leggings and a cotton top. I didn't faff around flicking through songs on my running playlist, I just let it play. And off I went.
I kept my pace laughably slow right from the start. I often start out a bit too fast and lose momentum and end up exhausted at the end.
And I just kept going.
I run the same route every day, which is what I like. I know where my one-mile mark is, I know where my turnaround point is (though today it was much sooner than usual due to my lack of speed) and I know when I'm nearly done. Still I was a little surprised when the "one minute left" announcement came on.
So I pegged it.
I ran like the wind for that last minute, marveling that I'D DONE IT and  had energy to spare.
It really feels like the turning point in my running. A 5K at least now seems within my grasp. Yeah my 10K still feels a way off but 6 weeks ago I could barely run for 45 seconds and now I can run for 20 minutes.

So to anyone doing C25K, do not fear the 20 minute run. After 5, 6 weeks of running, you are much more capable than you realise. Take it slow and just go. Don't look at the time, don't look how long you have left. Just go. 

Next stop in 2 weeks' time- my 30 minute run.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

I wish the real world would just stop hassling me

Phew, just looking at these photos is making me hot! As I'm sure you can tell, these photos were taken a few weeks ago when it wasn't 20 odd degrees. I can't imagine putting a leather jacket on now! God I miss the cool weather though. I am so bad at the summer. I'm uncomfortable all the time, my face keeps melting off and don't get me started on my hair! I apologise in advance for the lack of workwear posts. I have been wearing the same dresses on repeat the last few weeks at work! Anyway, let's talk about this outfit. I've talked before about my love of this dress. It's such a gorgeous piece. The material is so thick and heavy (which I admit isn't too great at the moment!) and it's very structured. I've been wanted to pair it with with boots and a leather jacket for ages to create a juxtaposition of tough leather and girly pink tweed. Next on my list is pairing it with my nude leather jacket for the evening, and my nude blazer for work.
dressOasis
leather jacket- H&M
boots- Boohoo
necklace- Zalando
sunglassesH&M
So how is your week going? I'm recovering from the loveliest weekend in a long time. As I mentioned my Auntie and Uncle took us to a hotel in Doncaster for the weekend and it was just perfect. My Auntie and I went swimming in the hotel pool on Saturday while my Mum, Dad and Uncle played golf, and then we had an amazing dinner with lots of drinks and catching up. On Sunday we were hoping to have spa treatments but the spa was fully booked, so my Auntie and I headed to Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield. We had a Starbucks, mooched around the shops and then I was treated to far too much makeup in the MAC store (thanks again Auntie Rosemary!). It was an absolutely wonderful weekend. We headed back home and I made mexican quinoa again, and then we watched Crazy Stupid Love before bed. My week has been pretty quiet- pretty much just running and sleeping- but I'm out on Friday night for dinner with the girls and then to my boss' wife's birthday party, and then I'm in Birmingham at the weekend so I'll probably be thankful for a quiet week!
Have a great week!

Charlotte x

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Absolute Utter Beginners Guide to Running (by an absolute beginner!)

Hi, I'm Charlotte I hate running. Really, really hate running. But a month ago I made the crazy decision to sign up for a 10K after watching my friend Eve nail the Great Manchester Run. Now I'm taking the Couch to 5K programme and running three times a week. I even did an extra half a mile run last Thursday when I'd finished my session, "for fun", and last Sunday, minutes after getting in from Ireland I started lacing up my trainers. Do I still hate running? Of course. But I'm learning a lot along the way. 
I am no expert. Not at all. But I wanted to write something for people in the same position I was in a couple of months ago. People who hate running but would secretly really, really love to be good at it. People who just need that push to lace up their trainers and get out there. I'm already learning a lot from my own experiences and bits and pieces I've picked up from friends and reading up online. 
I'm really proud of how far I've come and also quite surprised. I've started to look forward to my runs and through tracking them on Endomondo I can see my progress; my average speed, the lap time of each mile, distance, my maximum speed. I love getting all geeky and comparing my runs!
I'm only halfway through the programme so I'm sure I'll learn lots more things as I get closer to completing my first 5K and as I reach my 10K goal, but I'm so inspired by running at the moment that I couldn't wait to share any longer!

1. Get inspired
This was really, really important for me. I wanted to run, sure, but I didn't really want to run. I decided a long time ago that running wasn't really for me and found way more pleasure in other workouts so I didn't feel the need to start running. Seeing my friend Eve prepare for the Great Manchester Run, going down to support her, feeling the electric atmosphere and sense of solidarity, and eventually seeing her reach her goal was incredibly inspiring for me and exactly what I needed. Go with a friend to watch them do a run, or just get someone to share their running story with you. Find that lightbulb moment that pushes you to think "I want to do this and I'm going to prove that I can." You know what it was for me? Being absolutely convinced that I couldn't do it. My inspiration is proving myself wrong.

2. Set a challenging but achievable goal- and sign up for it!

I know what I'm like and I knew it was important to me to sign up for the Manchester 10K before I'd even started training. I knew on that first run I would remember how much I hated running and lose interest. So as soon as I came home from Eve's race, I signed up. I signed up to run for Alzheimer's in memory of my Nana and I paid the submission fee. Then I knew I couldn't pull out.
I also decided to go for a 10K because that was a challenge, but enough of a challenge that I knew I could train for it and do it. Obviously I wasn't going to start from nothing and do a half marathon, but similarly a 5K didn't feel enough of a challenge. 10K from nothing felt difficult, but not impossible, and also a feat I knew I'd be proud to have done.
 
3. Find a plan

For me, this was Couch to 5K. I'd heard great things and I'd tried it before (though failed, admittedly) so I knew this was what I wanted. It pushes me to run three times a week (although I sometimes do more) and each week pushes me harder and further, but in a way that is manageable. I'm the kind of person who needs a routine, a push and a kind of responsibility. If I know I have to run three times a week I know I bloody well will! This is my plan but I know it's not for everyone. Do some research and find a plan that works for you.

4. Get out there!
This was the biggest step for me- just getting out there and doing it! I told myself I'd start after finishing Extreme Shed and Shred but I was getting bored with it and was putting off the full hour long workout. Which led to me thinking, well I haven't really finished it then so I can't start running, right? Then one day I was coming home from work and it was an absolutely gorgeous day and I thought, this is it. I want to go for a run. From then I knew I'd "started" and as a goal-orientated person I knew I had to keep going! Once you make that first step it's easier to keep momentum. But becoming a runner starts with that first step, so stop making excuses and get out there!

5. Use what you have to start with

This is the next logical step from the last point- to start, just use what you have. Use whatever trainers you have, whatever workout clothing you have, whatever MP3 player, headphones, whatever. Just bloody run! The trainers I started with weren't running shoes at all, and I just carried a bottle of water and my iPhone. Which leads me onto my next point...

6. Start small with gear

After three weeks of running, I spoke to a couple of people (including my best friend Steph who is a heptathlete) about running shoes. I knew the shoes I was wearing for running weren't ideal but I wasn't prepared to make excuses. Steph gave me some advice on what to look for and I headed to the Reebok and Adidas outlet with my Dad. I asked for some assistance and the guy was incredibly helpful in finding my the right trainers (always ask for help if you don't know what you're looking for! Don't come home empty handed or with the wrong thing!) and I splashed out on some workout leggings. I also bought an O shaped water bottle and an iPhone arm band. These things made a huge difference to my workout, but they weren't necessary at the start. Like a lot of hobbies, running can be expensive, so don't spend loads unless you're serious. I'd love to get some wireless headphones next but at the moment, I have what I need. Wireless headphones won't make me a better runner!
7. Set small goals
As my ultimate goal is a 10K, I'm taking the Couch to 5K plan for 9 weeks (plus any repeated weeks which I fully expect to have to do). My aim is to complete a 5K by the end of September.  Then I plan to do a few weeks of consistent 5Ks to build up before starting my 10K training before the winter sets in. I also enjoy the constant development of the couch to 5K programme that pushes me every week. Having those goals every run keeps me focused! I also love using Edomondo for tracking my runs. I get so excited if I did my mile in a shorter time than yesterday, or if I've increased my maximum speed or overall pace. As a goal-orientated person I love getting home and comparing my running stats!

8. Mix in other workouts and listen to your body

I've talked before about incorporating Jillian Michaels DVDs into my routine alongside my running. When I first started C25K it was much more walking than running, so I came home after each run and did the 30 Day Shred, and I also try to do Jillian's 50 minute strength workout, No More Trouble Zones once a week. I like to get a good mix of strength and cardio into my workouts. However, I am finding more recently that because the intensity of my runs is increasing, it's more of challenge to do a second workout. I'm finding it important to listen to my body. Am I exhausted or do I just have enough to keep going? Will I feel worse or better after a second workout? Don't push yourself or overtrain, but if you think you can do more, do more!

9. Treat yourself

Treats are important. They're a great incentive to keep going and reward yourself. Sometimes a treat is a rest day, or a new running tshirt. My current favourite treat is a bottle of Tropical Lucozade after finishing my run. I don't do it every time, but once a week it's a delicious treat that I really relish after my run. I just bought this tshirt which is both a treat, and a reminder of the importance of treats!
10. Get your eating right
Ironically linking from above but still. This is way more important than I first realised, especially last Sunday when I ran without eating before. I am no nutritionist, but I've read up a lot on what to eat before and after running and most of it is consistent, and I want to share because there are a lot of things I didn't know. I nearly always eat a slice of toast with peanut butter before my run, and come home to a meal of protein and carbs, but I didn't realise how important this is. Before running, it's important to eat carbs because they give you a quick burst of energy to fuel your run. After, you need a meal made of carbs and protein. I read that you should eat within 20 to 60 minutes after a workout. Now this has been argued back and forth, but I tend to workout before a meal so I find this guide useful to push me into eating as soon as I get back, but it's your call. I've always tended to avoid carbs in the evening, but learning this has encouraged me to make sure I eat them to refuel after my run. My favourite post-run foods are eggs and toast (if I've done a morning run), sweet potatoes with fish (this is a favourite post-workout meal) or homemade fish curry and rice. I always favour quick-to-make food to ensure I can eat within that 60 minute time frame, and sometimes start cooking before my run. I always eat a lot of vegetables with my evening meal too. In general though, eating right makes such a difference to your run. You will always exercise better on a good diet. Of course, make sure you're eating enough and drinking a lot of water. I nearly passed out because I went for a run without eating the other day, so please remember that you're putting your body through a serious workout so treat it right!

11. Don't give up!
I fully expect to have to repeat a couple of weeks as my programme gets more and more tough, but I'm okay with that (I've actually had to repeat a run this week!). I know I'm going to have days, weeks even, where I don't want to run, or that I don't run as well. But you know what? That's life. So long as I'm lacing up my trainers and getting out there that's all that matters. I've also started finding that because I'm pushing myself harder on my runs, I'm coming home absolutely exhausted and without the energy to complete another workout. Have I been beating myself up about it? Of course I have, but I know I shouldn't. Just the fact I am getting out and running more and more each time, improving my distances and times on every run and generally just the fact that I am running is cause for celebration. And the fact that I am running so hard that I am coming home on the verge of collapse is demonstrating how much I'm trying. It's hard for me to give up on my Jillian workouts because they were "the plan", but my goal is to run and by god am I running! Don't beat yourself up, just keep going.
Stay focused, work towards your goal and remember that you're always one run closer to that. I never thought I'd look forward to my runs after work or that I'd do an extra run "for fun". But here I am, 5 weeks on and I'm doing it. And this is how I've done it. As I said, I'm no expert, but this is what works for me and I want to share that with you. I'd love to hear any tips or advice you have, or any questions.

I hope this inspires at least one person to take up running, because I'm still amazed at how it's changed me. I hope to add to this over the next few months and I'm excited to see where running will take me!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Primark's Finest

Whee unexpected blog hiatus there! Sometimes I think you just need a bit of a break. My parents were away last week and I had a lovely week of going for a run after work, cooking dinner and watching Breaking Bad. I love having the house to myself. Then I met with my parents in Ireland for the weekend and this week I've been seeing friends, enjoying the sunshine, going for runs and giving blood. Before I knew it it had been a week since I last updated! I have lots of posts ready to go up though so I should be able to get back to schedule!
dress- Primark
blazer- H&M
heels- New Look
necklace- Zalando
This outfit is from a few weeks ago before this ridiculous heatwave started. I'm really struggling to find outfits for work now it's suddenly so hot! If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I am not a fan of hot weather! It's why I chose chilly Minnesota for my year abroad over sweltering Georgia or Alabama for my year abroad. I'm finding the hot weather a real struggle! I've been living in a rotation of the same four or five dresses with skin tights and nude heels. This dress is one of my favourites- and it's from Primark! I've been so impressed with them recently- this definitely doesn't look like a £12 dress!
I've had a lovely evening with my Dad tonight, eating pizza and salad and drinking wine. We spent the night sat in the garden listening to our favourite songs on the iPad. It's been fantastic. We're going away tomorrow for the weekend to Doncaster to a spa and golf hotel with our family friends- it was my Mum's birthday last weekend so they're taking us away as a present for her! Mum, Dad and my Uncle Geoff are playing golf and Auntie Rosemary and I are having spa treatments. I'm excited.
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Charlotte x

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Girly Tweed

 
I don't think this dress looks half as nice in these pictures as it does in real life. Or at least I hope that is the case! I absolutely adore this dress and feel great in it, so I hope these photos aren't an accurate representation and I'm just deluding myself. I'd had my eye on it for ages but wrote it off due to its £70 price tag, so when I saw it reduced to half price in the Oasis sale (I know, I'm kinda obsessed with Oasis atm) I pounced. It's a gorgeous, very thick, very heavy pink tweed with a slight sparkle through the thread. I love it with black tights and a blazer for work, but I can't wait to wear it with a nude blazer and nude heels for warmer days (if they ever come!). I also wore this dress at the weekend with a leather jacket and boots and I have photos from that to come up. I've started to find investing in clothes that I can't wear for work is kind of  redundant. 90% of the time when it gets to the weekend I just want to wear jeans and a basic tshirt and I end up with loads of things that don't get worn. I'm on the lookout for more pieces like this which can be worn for work or for the weekend. I'm also considering smartening up my weekend apparel to accommodate my ever-growing collection of pencil skirts and blouses!
dress- Oasis (it's still in the sale with a few sizes left!)
blazer- H&M
heels- Marks and Spencers
necklace- Zalando
How's your week going? I'm excited because while this week has dragged, tomorrow is my "Friday"! I'm off to Ireland for the weekend for a family party and I'm really looking forward to it. I've had a pretty quiet week in preparation. I've pretty much come home every night after work and gone for a run, done my Jillian workout and binged on Breaking Bad til way past my bedtime! Tonight I promised myself just one episode and an early night but I've just found myself clicking the next episode on Netflix. Oh Walt White, why are you so addictive? I did do one productive thing tonight though, which was make an amazing Thai prawn and salmon curry. I made a curry for Shaunagh and I on Saturday night and I had half a tin of coconut milk left that I didn't want to throw away, so after my run I adapted this recipe. I read the suggestions in the comments and added garlic, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice and some extra chilli when frying the paste and used some salmon and prawns from the freezer with some frozen stir fry veg, and topped it with a little coriander. With some brown rice it was the perfect dinner for after my run! Plus it only took me 15 minutes to make, bonus.
I'm not going to be about now til Sunday but I have three more sets of outfit posts to get up soon, and I'm also planning a post on running for absolute and utter beginners like me!
Anyway, have an absolutely great week and an awesome weekend and I'll see you next week!

Charlotte x