Posted on 26 March 2012.
Ella Mag’s editor Samantha Downes is getting married this summer and she’s doing it on a budget. However her bridal preparations have hit a bit of a snag.
With no budget for anything, aside the cost of the church and the hire of the church hall (my mum and dad are helping with the cost of the food and drink) there’s not much Andrew and I can actually do this week but wait for our guests to RSVP .
We gave a deadline of 31 March, and my ultra-organised Andrew even set up a website where guests could go online and RVSP and even select their menu options for the wedding breakfast.
I’ve looked at wedding dresses but with such a minimal budget we are waiting till the last minute to kit ourselves and our bridesmaids out.
Oh and not only have I broken my Lenten promise not to eat chocolate I also gave in to the call of caffeine on Friday when I had not one, not two but three deadlines, all before 9am.
Now I wasn’t going to give up alcohol however two things have made me change my mind. One: the last two Saturdays I’ve knocked back units in three nights than the previous six months and I realise how rubbish alcohol makes me feel, even in moderation.
And two: I met a former work colleague last week who doesn’t drink. She’s at least six years older than me has two children and although shes in her mid 40s she could pass for at least 15 years younger.
These things have convinced me that my bootcamp will now involve no booze, no caffeine and no chocolate. It sounds boring but I’ve actually not missed these things as much as I thought I would.
Now my gym programme is one thing that is going to plan. My weekly run hours runs with my new BFF Julia (who is also a part-qualified personal trainer) are coming on well. And I’m managing to fit in spin classes, weight training and yoga.
The only down side to this is the 5.30am starts. Well, how else did you think I was going to fit it all in?
Like this? Read more:
My mission to be a buff bride
The summer bridal bootcamp starts here
Posted in Fit, Fitness
Posted on 06 March 2012.
Poor Victoria Beckham, it’s not that often we feel sorry for the posh one but when we saw pictures of her looking absolutely knackered we wanted to give her a hug.
You don’t have to have young children to look like you have a good night’s sleep – although small children and eight hours of sleep (a night) are not normally mutually exclusive.
Water – being dehydrated can give you a slight pallor (we don’t know why it just does) but sipping water can help.
If you can’t stomach water try something like squash, those with added Vitamin C are great because . We like Marks and Spencer’s Cranberry and Raspberry high juice squash, it’s got no added sweetners or colourings in it. It does have sugar but that’s why it tastes no nice. That or Ribena.
Power naps – 20 minutes at lunch time can take the edge off your tiredness – but no longer otherwise you’ll slip into a deeper sleep and feel really groggy afterwards, plus you may not sleep so well later on.
Daylight – a brisk walk or jog (even if you are feeling knackered) can bring a bit of colour back into your face. If you have little ones stick them in the pram and go out for a walk. Not only does mild exercise get much-needed oxygen into your body it can also help you sleep better.
A multi vitamin can help – we’ve found vitamin C and vitamin B supplements got us and our skin through the worst of the full time paid working, full time mum bit – but get your GP’s advice first.
If all else fails
Garnier tinted dark eyes roll on concealer. This stuff has caffeine in it which makes your eyes all zingy. If you can afford it Bobbi Brown does a very lovely one.
Tinted moisteriser or a BB cream. These can do a double job of giving you a bit of colour and some soothing moisture. Dermlogica does a lovely one and we also like Laura Mercier but it’s a bit expensive. We also like Garnier’s BB cream.
Oh and Mac has a wonderful strobe cream with green tea extract in it, which can give you a bit of a zing too.
Caffeine – but only in the morning. A bit of (fresh) coffee never did anyone any harm, but avoid drinking in the afternoon or you’ll never get any sleep!
Posted in Beauty
Posted on 21 February 2012.
If you haven’t already noticed, this Wednesday is the start of Lent.
Lent (which means lengthen by the way) is the 40-day period which comes before Easter and therefore quite an important event in the Christian calendar.
In olden times people used to be really strict about observing Lent. Some would even fast for the whole 40 days, aiming to replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert before his crucifiction.
Some people still do fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday – the days which start and end Lent.
Giving up food is a big deal, instead nowadays people use Lent as a time of reflection, and instead deprive themselves surrender of something they like such as favourite foods, drinks or smoking.
I know a lot of non Christians who give up stuff during Lent. Now I don’t get smoke – but I do like the odd chocolate or cup of coffee, and have even been known to down a glass of wine or three.
But I was wondering how much money I could save during Lent, so I’ve done some sums I’d like to share with you (by the way all prices have been taken this morning from www.mysupermarket.co.uk)
I have only ever met one person who spent more than £5 on chocolate a day. A small bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk (49grams) costs 58p. Giving up just one of those a day will save you £23.
I’ve already stocked up on caffeine free tea and coffee – and it’s just as expensive, if not more than the caffeinated stuff. Far better to avoid any kind of tea or coffee and instead stick to water. Nescafe coffee is £4 for 200grams, assuming you get through one of these jars a week, you would save £22 over the 40 days . If you drink tea as well, say Tetley 40 tea bags priced at £1.15 (and assuming 5 cups a day you would save around £6.
Now we are talking bigger bucks. Assuming you drink a couple of bottle of wine a week (Jacobs Creek shiraz wine 750ml) at £7.48 and beer (Fosters, four cans for £3.98) then that’s £18.93 a week saved or £108 during lent.
Another bigger bucks saving. The average pack of 20 cigarettes of over £6. Even smoking cessation patches work out at around £3 a day.
Saving (if you smoke between 10 and 20 a day) a whopping £120.
If you are looking at giving up smoking you might want to read my new year resolutions article which appeared in the Independent last month.
Posted in Fit, Health, Money, Spending