My Journey to Health ~ 2nd October 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health 2nd October 2014

I’ve been pretty slack over the last few weeks. I think I’ve only been to the gym six or seven times and I’m still eating way too many carbs. It’s been a busy few weeks and my health has unfortunately been pushed to the bottom of the list… one nasty side effect is that I’ve started having more palpitations. Oh joy.

I’m living a real life with a family, a job, wanting the occasional social life and plenty of other things that I can’t control. Life isn’t perfect. We have to roll with the punches and do the best we can. I’m not going to feel bad for not getting to the gym four times a week at the moment. I know that once the kids are back at school I’ll start my routine again, and until then I can make do with Dance Central battles with the kids and going to the gym when I can.

The one thing I can change is my eating. Exercise is so much easier when I don’t feel like crap to begin with, and I never feel good when I’m not eating well. I will cut down on those evil bloody carbs and eat more fresh fruit and veges. A good start will be to come up with weekly meal menus again… it’s handy knowing what we’re having each day, but a plan also means that there isn’t the mad 4pm scramble when I usually rely on something stodgy and quick. A plan is my plan!

Hit me with your favourite quick and healthy family meals!

Aussie Curves ~ Fears Exposed

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Fears Exposed)

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When I saw the theme this week the first thing that came to mind was sharing a photo without my eyebrows on. I have hardly any eyebrows and regularly draw them on with my trusty Clinique pencil. I don’t put them on every day… just if I’m working, going somewhere semi-formal or if I think I’ll be meeting someone who’ll expect me to be in ‘Mama’s Style’ mode. Day to day I can’t be bothered putting them on.

And before you ask, no I haven’t over-plucked. I’ve just never had many and what is there is very pale and sparse. I’ve often thought about cosmetic tattooing and I think I’m getting closer to pulling up my big girl undies and taking the plunge. Having my eyebrows on really makes a huge difference to my face and I think having them tattooed will improve my confidence as I tend to hide my face sometimes when I think people are staring.

Sharing these pictures with you is very scary… I’m definitely exposing a big fear! I went back and forth all week trying to decide whether or not I was brave enough to share this fear. I’ve never shared a non-eyebrow photo on the blog. When I take photos without my brows on I pop on a huge pair of sunnies so that you can’t tell. Maybe I’ll stop doing that now.

Life’s far too short, isn’t it. Fuck it! Here you go.

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Fears Exposed)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Fears Exposed)

I’d love to hear from other women who have similar issues with their brows. Non-brows unite!



My Style ~ 27th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

It’s Spring here in NZ, but Winter has come back to bite us on the butt! I’ve been busy this week getting things ready for Miss 4′ birthday party tomorrow but I’m despairing at the weather forecast… heavy rain and strong southerly winds. Thank goodness I’ve hired a decent space and have some indoor games planned!

I’m also thankful to have a couple of really warm merino pieces from OBR Merino keeping me cosy. You’ve seen me in the beautiful sapphire Button Wrap here, but today I’m also showing off the U Neck Curved Hem Top that they sent me during the week (I really am spoiled sometimes). I was so grateful to receive the top… I’ve been needing a good basic long sleeve top and because it’s merino it will stand up to the regular thrashing I’ll be giving it. You really do get your money’s worth with merino!

Aside from the beautiful merino fabric and stunning colours, what I love most about OBR Merino is that they do plus sizes! Merino is a very forgiving fabric with a good amount of stretch so you can easily size down (please check measurements first), in fact I’m wearing a size 16 top which hasn’t happened in quite a while. Even though it shows the contours of my belly, which I will usually do anything to avoid, I was happy being out and about this morning with my belly on display. Confidence really is the best thing you can wear!

It would have been great if I’d had one of these capes when the kids were babies as they make beautiful breastfeeding covers. I had to make do with ugly breastfeeding tops or a piece of material draped around me which always ended up falling down. They would also be ideal to wear while pregnant… keeping you stylish and comfortable while your other tops ride up.

I have to apologise for the not-fantastic photos. It was seriously windy (hey, what else should I expect in Wellington during September), and the camera on my phone is pretty pathetic.

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

It’s a bit tricky to tell what I’ve done here, but it’s one of my favourite ways of wearing the wrap. I start with it upside down and cross it over my body, then I bring it around the back and do up one of the buttons. The second photo shows you how it looks at the back.

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

I’ve left the wrap done up at the back and have let the sides hang loose. Great if you’re wanting a vest/scarf look.

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

How good do the buttons look going down the back? This gives the front a cowl effect.

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

And of course the good ol’ sling-it-over-your-shoulders-and-leave-the-house look. So easy.

Mama's Style ~ My Style 27th September 2014

U Neck Curved Hem Top ~ OBR Merino (gifted)
Button Cape ~ OBR Merino (gifted)
Ponti Pant ~ Max
Cross Necklace ~ Virtu
Maya Neera Patent Wedge ~ The Warehouse

My Favourite Things ~ 26th September 2014

Gosh, it’s been quite some time since I’ve done a MFT post. I’ve been a wee bit slack. The life of a busy working Mum and all that. I hope you’ll forgive me.

Kelly Osbourne has just launched her first fashion collection… and it’s fantastic! Stories By Kelly Osbourne is fun, flirty and available in plus sizes. Did ya hear me!? I said PLUS SIZES! She’s designed a collection which is available from size US0 to US26 and she even uses different sized models… sure the models aren’t what I’d consider to be truly plus size, but it’s far more than what some other labels do and at least we get an idea of what each piece looks like on a more curvy body.

I’m loving her first collection! It’s only available through hsn.com and unfortunately they don’t ship to NZ, but you could try a freight forwarder or maybe a kind family member/friend will place an order for you if you just HAVE to have something.

Here are my favourite picks (my absolutely favourite has to be the Union Jack Shirtdress).

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 29th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 26th September 2014

Has anyone else used these Hansell’s Soup Mixes? They taste much better than you think they would (in fact you’d swear it wasn’t actually a packet soup), and they’re very economical as one packet, which I’ve bought on special for just $3, makes 1.25 litres of soup! I just take a couple of slices of buttered bread and some soup to work for a super cheap lunch. You can use it as a base and add extra veges, shredded chicken etc, and I’ve heard it works well as a dahl curry by thickening it and serving with rice.

Available in Indian Dahl (my fave), Moroccan Chickpea and Tuscan Bean.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 10th September 2014

Spring is my favourite time of the year… the days are longer, the blossom tree outside our bedroom blooms and it starts getting warmer. Unfortunately Winter is still teasing us so some days it’s downright freezing!

That’s when a gorgeous merino blanket from OBR Merino would be perfect for cuddling up with. So soft and warm, and of course they’re available in stunning colours. You’ll be using these blankets year round as merino keeps you warm in Winter but it also stays cool in the heat.

Pop over and check out their other merino pieces… including PLUS SIZE clothing! It’s obviously my day for sharing beautiful plus size styles. I have one of their Button Capes (see an outfit post here) and have just received a Curved Hem Top which I’ll be showing off later on.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 26th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 26th September 2014

My last favourite thing this week is a cafe. Beannie Cafe in Petone to be precise. I’m annoyed that I’ve only recently discovered this place as it’s a wee gem. The people are lovely, coffee is great and the food is divine! Today my bestie and I split a Lemon Brioche (OMG so good) and a brownie. Now I’m more than happy to say that I make a mean brownie, but Beannie’s brownie blows mine out of the water!

They have a great selection of counter food but also a pretty extensive menu. My bestie’s ever so slightly addicted to their Eggs Benedict. When you’re next in Petone you have to pop in. You won’t regret it. I promise!

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 26th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 26th September 2014

Style Stars ~ Tinie Tempah

Busting out another Style Stars post and my first male star… Tinie Tempah! For anyone who doesn’t know, Tinie is an English rapper. He’s seriously gorgeous and to a woman who wears glasses, the way that he embraces them (even though he doesn’t actually need prescription glasses) just makes me love him more. His Cutler & Gross and Ray Ban frames are a huge part of his style trademark, as are his no socks outfits which some people would think a cardinal sin, but I really like.

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Tinie Tempah)

He embraces lots of colour and print in his casual looks. Even when he’s dressed down he’s still very styled in designer pieces… no trackies or daggy tee’s here (he launched his own clothing line under his Disturbing London brand which ironically does sell trackpants). Some of my favourite looks are actually when Tinie mixes high and street fashion… think a sharp suit with sneakers.

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Tinie Tempah)

Tinie in a suit is just heavenly. Most guys look their best when wearing a suit but Tinie takes it to a whole new level with fab colour, texture and perfect Saville Row tailoring. The bow ties don’t hurt either!

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Tinie Tempah)

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Tinie Tempah)

My Style ~ 20th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 20th September 2014

This post sort of follows on from this week’s Aussie Curves theme… Favourite Piece. It’s reminded me of some of the other beloved items in my wardrobe so I’ve been busting them out this week. Today I’m sharing some of my fave TS14+ pieces…

Mama's Style ~ My Style 20th September 2014

The Spot On Chiffon Jacket is just stunning… it makes me smile and I’m always asked about it when I wear it. It’s just fun! My Eclipse Sizzle Dress is a great basic black dress. It gets a lot of wear and it’s a fab go to piece when I have to get out of the house in a hurry. It’s a great length and looks great worn with boots, heels, cute sandals and flats. Today I have it tied up at the front to straighten it off.

TS14+ do the best leggings, ever! They’re a fab slinky fabric which whicks moisture away, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. Mine are getting a tad big now so I need to get my hands on a few more. They usually bring out a good cropped length over summer (sometimes in pretty bright colours), which is a perfect length for short-arses like me!

One of my fave necklaces is the Posey Necklace… it’s bold and in one of my all time favourite fashion colour combos. Who doesn’t like a bit of black, white and red! This is another piece that always attracts comments.

Mama's Style ~ My Style 20th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 20th September 2014

I picked up a couple of their new Crystal Wrap Cuffs last week and just love them. Just a bit of bling to top off an outfit. I grabbed the black/black and silver/white versions.

Mama's Style ~ My Style 20th September 2014

Eclipse Sizzle Dress ~ TS14+
Luna Short Sleeve Body Dress ~ TS14+
Spot On Chiffon Jacket ~ TS14+
Integra Full Length Legging ~ TS14+
Posey Necklace ~ TS14+
Crystal Wrap Cuff ~ TS14+
Chevron Scarf ~ Millie+Boo
Gazelle Wedge ~ Overland

My Journey to Health ~ The First Year

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health (The First Year)

It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been on My Journey to Health for a whole year already. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I realised I needed to be healthier for myself and my family, and of course taking the first hard step of asking for help.

I’m so glad that my first step was contacting Nikki and Reno at O2 Exercise Health Club… they have been fantastic, encouraging and full of knowledge. My programme has evolved as I’ve gotten stronger and Nikki’s happy to keep challenging me with new exercises, bumping up my weights and increasing my cardio levels. When I started I struggled to mange one minute on the cross-trainer (I seriously wanted that thing to die a horrible death), but now I can do 10 minutes on increased levels with no problems. I now lift weights I probably would have struggled to lift with both hands in the beginning and I’m loving my weekly BoxFit classes. Punch, kick, slap… what’s not to love? It’s a great stress reliever.

Another thing I’m proud of has been to get over my fear of water and get into a pool, and into a pair of togs! Aqua-jogging is so much fun (even more so when you drag someone else along), and being in water is a fantastic mental buzz for me. One of my long-term goals is to start swimming lessons. This goal scares me as I almost drowned during a swimming lesson when I was younger. But I need to set an example for Mr 7 and Miss-almost-5 so it’s a matter of pulling on my big girl undies and take it one lesson at a time. First I’ll need to get some prescription goggles otherwise I won’t even be able to see the instructor (I’m as blind as a bat).

There’s one more form of exercise that I’m about to embark on… pilates! It’s another class I’m keen to try at O2 Exercise as I really need to strengthen my core. I’m sure it’ll hurt at first but I’m definitely looking forward to adding yet another exercise to my week.

I had issues with heart palpitations and subsequent anxiety, which I managed to get on top of after a couple of months. I still struggle with making healthy food choices. I’ve cut out a lot of cafe food and takeaways but just can’t seem to stay away from carbs. I’m a magnet for stodgy food! I’m looking to saying goodbye to the cold weather and comfort food and hello to more salads, strawberries, asparagus, melon etc.

I’m proud to have lost over 10kg. It doesn’t sound like a big loss, but I’m happy with it. As I’ve said before, this is a journey not a race. I’d rather have a slow but sustainable change.

Thanks so much for following my journey and for the supportive messages I’ve received. I hope you’ll stick around to see what I get up to in Year Two!

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health (The First Year)

My Style ~ 16th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 16th September 2014

Since busting out my gold ankle boots for this week’s Aussie Curves ‘Favourite Piece’ theme, I promised myself that I would wear them more and not just let them languish in their box. So I strapped them on today, teaming them with blue and purple. Gold and purple… a royal combo. I really do feel like a queen when I’m wearing these puppies!

I was recently sent some tights from Sonsee Woman to try and this midnight colour looks so good with my boots and tones in the dress. The tights are really comfy (it feels like I’m wearing leggings) although they do bunch a little at my ankles (it’s pretty much impossible for me to get a good tight fit as I’m so short). I was grateful for the 100 denier’s today as the wind was so cold here, it cut right through me. Sonsee were kind enough to also send me some 60 denier grey tights which you’ll see later on. Loving the colours Sonsee!

Mama's Style ~ My Style 16th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 16th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 16th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 16th September 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 16th September 2014

 

Summer Haze Dress ~ TS14+
Debut Cardy ~ TS14+
Opaque 100 Denier Tights ~ Sonsee Woman (gifted)
Sunglasses ~ Crossroads
Samauri Ankle Boot ~ Overland

 

Orange Is The New Black, Black Books, Orphan Black… black obsessed much?

So I signed up to try Lightbox. It’s basically NZ’s answer to Netflix. For just $15 a month you have access to lots of fantastic TV shows (over 5,000 hours worth) with NO ADS! Great shows like House of Cards, Arrested Development, The Tudors, Father Ted,  Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Life on Mars, The Mighty Boosh, Masters of Sex, The Thick Of It, Mad Men, Outlander, Sherlock, Dr Who, oh and there are lots of kids shows too. It really is hard choosing what to watch!

I know that I’m a wee bit obsessed with black at the moment, but I guess my subconscious also knows this because I’ve gravitated towards TV shows that have black in the title. So far I’ve watched Orange Is The New Black, Black Books and Orphan Black, and I have Black Sails on my watch list. Go figure!

Since I already have black on the brain, I decided to run with it and put together a fashion post with some fab pieces. Sometimes black can look a bit flat so I’ve chosen items that have a little something extra… pretty embellishments, an interesting cut, great texture and fab prints. If you’re not a fan of black on black it’s so easy to add some colour with fun statement jewellery, scarves, belts, bags, shoes etc.

Here are a few black outfits to wet your appetite. Why not check out Lightbox and start your own black obsessed journey?

Mama's Style ~ Lightbox Black Fashion

Heather Quilted Biker Jacket ~ Forever New
Harriet Piped Shirt ~ Jacqui E
Simona Rib Pencil Skirt ~ Forever New
Chainfalls Necklace ~ TS14+
Mr Gator Gang Bag ~ Deadly Ponies
Shari Sandals ~ Number One Shoes

Mama's Style ~ Lightbox Black Fashion

Pleated Front Dress ~ City Chic
Wild Child Stripe Ponti Jacket ~ Farmers
Kagi Red Hot Necklace ~ Silvermoon
Camille Sandal ~ Overland
Sisco Bag ~ LouenHide

Mama's Style ~ Lightbox Black Fashion

Long Printed Kaftan ~ Autograph
Soft Twill Pant ~ Autograph
Key Basic Cami ~ Crossroads
Stella Bauble Drop Necklace ~ Forever New
Christina Handbag ~ Forever New
Jenna Heel ~ Forever New

 

This post is sponsored by Lightbox. All opinions are my own.

 

Aussie Curves ~ Favourite Piece

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Favourite Piece)

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This week the Aussie Curves ladies are busting out our most beloved pieces. I’m expecting a great range of items from a brand new pair of ‘gotta have’ heels, those elusive perfect fit jeans, gorgeous dresses, maybe even a tatty tee they can’t bare to part with.

For me it’s two things. I whittled my list down to my Coach handbag and Overland gold ankle boots, but that’s where I got stuck. There’s no way I could choose one over the other… the phrase ‘pick a favourite child’ came to mind. So here’s an outfit featuring both, and a few other favourites as well.

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Favourite Piece)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Favourite Piece)

I picked up my handbag while on honeymoon in NYC in 2006. It was my only expensive purchase, but I haven’t regretted the cost as even after using it pretty much every day for five years it still looks brand new. Quality people! The boots are a favourite just because they’re so damm gorgeous. I don’t wear them as often as I should… I really should get some insoles to make them a bit comfier, oh and I’m paranoid about wearing them in the dodgy Wellington weather. Most of the time they live in their box which is kinda sad.

My stud skirt from City Chic is another piece that doesn’t get enough wear. It’s beautiful but has just gotten a wee bit big. It’s also a little long on me (mid calf) because I’m a short arse, so it does not look as good as it should. I’ve janked it right up and have had to use safety pins to keep it up for these photos.

The jacket is another fab piece from City Chic. It has beautiful sequin and embroidered detailing on the back, and it manages to be light and fitted at the same time. There’s a band which pulls the back and sides in and I love the shape it gives me! This is one piece which is definitely on high rotation.

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Favourite Piece)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Favourite Piece)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Favourite Piece)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Favourite Piece)

Sexy Stud Skirt ~ City Chic
Short Sleeve Body Dress ~ TS14+
Peacock Glamour Jacket ~ City Chic
Toucan Necklace ~ TS14+
Cuff ~ Forever New
Handbag ~ Coach
Samauri Ankle Boot ~ Overland