Wednesday, 30 April 2008

HINTS, TIPS, TRICKS - Easily Eat Less

diet tips crockeryPhoto Credit: La tartine gourmande on flickr.com

Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to your eating habits. Here are some of my tried and tested tips to avoid overeating.

  • Watching TV while eating can lead you to eat more. Sit at the table without distractions and your body will realise when it is full up and tell you to stop.
  • Variety is great, but when it comes to making a meal decision it can be a bad thing. We are likely to eat more if there is a wider choice available. Set out your meal plans and stick to them.
  • Don't make the bad things easy to access. Keep your chocolate biscuits up on the top shelf and you won't notice them every time you open the cupboard and be tempted.
  • Some would argue that you should never skip a meal, and force your self to eat small meals throughout the day. This is all fine and well, and will stop your metabolism from plummeting, but I stress that you shouldn't eat when you are not hungry. It is a bad habit to try and get out of.
  • Read the labels. It is easy to underestimate the calorie and fat content of your food. Inform yourself of the true values and you can make better food choices as a result.
  • Take a packed lunch. You can plan something healthy rather than grab something on the run that is calorie laden. I have a habit of buying a chocolate bar if I get lunch from the sandwich shop, but I don't have one if I bring my own grub. Instant calorie saving!
  • Eat from a smaller plate/bowl. Liz Hurley swears by eating from a child's plate and you can see why. Portions look bigger and eventually your body will get used to the smaller portions. I always use a teaspoon to eat my dessert. Lots of small mouthfuls are much more satisfying than a couple of big ones.
Does anyone else have any really easy tips?

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Tuesday, 29 April 2008

SALE - Dorothy Perkins

Photo Credit: Trevor D. on flickr.com

The Dorothy Perkins sale starts today with up to 50% off. Get on the website, www.dorothyperkins.com and have a nose for a bargain. The best buy has to be the floral tea dress below. You may remember I featured this item on my blog a couple of months ago and now it is half price. Can't be bad!

Black Floral Tea dress - Was: £40 Now: £20

TRENDS - Festival Fashionista

Photo Credit: lilyfrench on flickr.com

Hippy, global, festival... what you call it doesn't really matter. The important thing is that this will be a key trend this summer. Add ethnic touches to the hippy look for a modern take on what has been done before. My advice is to keep it groomed, it is easy for the festival look to get scruffy, by keeping hair and make-up flawless you will avoid looking dishevelled.

This is perfect for the gig and festival season as your clothes don't have to be immaculate, or if you prefer you can take just the accessories and team them with your everyday attire. Perfect if you are not brave enough for all the wild prints and bold patterns. This is one look where a little bit of a clash is just fine.



Monday, 28 April 2008

MOST WANTED - Michael Kors Scarf


This is more than I could stomach to spend on a scarf. But if money were no object I would snap it up. It is very 'global traveller', a trend that is hot on the catwalk and red carpets. Tie dye hippy with a bit more class is what would call it, plus celebs have been wearing orange at every opportunity lately.



Available from Net-A-Porter.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

THE GRAPEVINE - Asda bins Colleen

Photo Credit: waters.paul on flickr.com

It seems Colleen McLoughlin will no longer be the face of Asda after apparently becoming too involved in designer fashion. It is speculated that Asda have also been concerned about being linked to chav culture. They are looking to go upmarket, although I can't see that coming off very well, it would need a whole image change. So who will be the woman to replace her? According to various sources the new face of Asda could be one of these...

Carla Bruni
Hardly the girl next door. I can't see her fitting with the Asda philosophy at all. There is no doubting she is stylish, but I think it is clear she would not be seen perusing the isles in this budget supermarket.

Sienna Miller
She is a suitable style icon, but does she appeal to families in the way that Colleen did? I think not.

Helen Mirren
Many young Asda shoppers will probably never have heard of her. She would be great in a TV advert, but I can't see her modeling the George clothing.

Joanna Lumley
Hardly appealing to the 30 somethings that Asda is looking to target. All I can think of are those infuriating insurance adverts.

I say it would have been better to stick with Colleen. Asda are concerned about yob culture, but Colleen wears real clothes, is a realistic size and shape and has an ITV programme airing soon.

TREND NO NO - Killer Shoulder Pads

Photo Credit: vixendoll on flickr.com

I remember as a child being dressed in a floral, button up frock with the most ridiculous shoulder pads. It is no wonder that I have an aversion to them in any guise. I might just put up with them in a tailored suit jacket, but even that makes me feel a frump. So why on earth are massive shoulder pads being tipped for super trend status I ask myself.

Is it cool?... no, is it flattering?.... no, is it something your mum wore in the 80's?... YES! Some fashions do not have to come back around, and I am in no hurry to embrace the padded shoulder look, no matter how many times Agyness Deyn is spotted wearing them.

Friday, 25 April 2008

CHARITY - Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is involved in the research and funding to help women who are affected by breast cancer and those that could be touched by it in some way in the future. Breakthrough was named 'Most Effective Campaigning Charity' in 2007 at the ePolitix Charity Champion Awards which inspires a great deal of confidence in the work they do. Maximising donations is one thing, but putting those funds to good use to bring about change is the most important thing and brings peace of mind to so many people.


Last year I walked 44km for the charity from Richmond Park to Regent's Park in London. It was a great experience; I got fitter and had great fun raising money with family, friends and work colleagues. The walk itself was not easy, I am no athlete and it took plenty of training but I would recommend the experience. There are many positive outcomes from challenging yourself for the benefit of such a super charity, including improving your own health.

This year's events include a 5k challenge in Hyde Park, South Downs Coastal Challenge, London to Cambridge Bike Ride, Sky Diving and more.

Sign up now and help the charity continue their important work.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

MOST WANTED - Angel Wing Mirrors

Mirrored Angel Wings - Graham and Green - £169

What could be more heavenly than mirrors in the shape of angel wings. These are extremely girly and indulgent but oh so pretty. I will admit that they are not the most practical for checking your outfit, but who cares when they look this good.

Habitat Competition (Campaign)

TIPS - Bags of Style


There are bags for all occasions, but I am a firm believer that you should have at least one good quality bag that is timeless and goes with everything. If you are making an investment, then you really want it to last a while.

Check how the handles are secured. Handles that are well stitched will last much longer than those that are attached just at the edge. Even better are handles which are stitched part way down the bag or even all the way underneath. I have been a victim of broken bag handles, which are not ideal at all and you end up with the contents of your bag on the pavement for all to see.
Pockets and compartments are good. Looking for your keys amongst loose items in one large compartment can be a nightmare. Things like keys, and train tickets should be easy to access. Valuable items should be zipped away for security. Women are known to carry all manner of things in their bag and a little organisation can be extremely useful.

Avoid beading, and fussy details. These are likely to fall off or get damaged fairly easily and will make your bag look shabby far sooner than it should. Also remember that you will be carrying it under your arm, and anything bulky or sharp is going to make carrying the bag uncomfortable and can leave your arm covered in scratches.

leather handbagLeather Plaited Handle Shopper - ASOS - £60

Carry a cotton tote. It takes up hardly any space in your bag but means that if you pop to the shops you can avoid taking a plastic bag, and yours will be stronger and more stylish to boot. You can pick these up almost anywhere at the moment, I carry a 'frock me fashion' tote, a bargain at just £3 including postage.

Be minimalistic. If you change your bag from day to day then it is good to have something to empty the contents into at home, like a little basket. This avoids missing needed items out when you swap to a new bag in a rush the next morning. It also helps to de-clutter. It's a great wonder the type of random things that get collected along our travels and homed inside our bags for evermore. Reminding yourself to review the contents can be a good exercise.

Good luck shopping, I hope you 'bag a bargain'

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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

TRENDS - Skirts go Full Circle

'full' and 'circle' are the best way to wear your skirts this season. A development from the prom dress trend that was everywhere recently this takes the look to a more casual level, and takes far less effort. Make the most of the waist and opt for something that starts there. Hide the hips and thighs with a voluminous skirt, but keep the fabric lightweight to avoid adding too much bulk.


Or why not find out how to make your own with a free tutorial at whatthecraft.com

Laura Ashley Ltd

Monday, 21 April 2008

MOST WANTED - The LapBag



Most laptop bags are pretty boring or just plain ugly. The range from Lin & Leo are far from bland. The styling is like any other designer handbag and the colours available are bright and vibrant. With ample space for a laptop, and accessories it is time to throw away that black boring bag that you used to use and say hello to stylish storage. Pre-order one now, new stocks are expected in May.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

THE GRAPEVINE - Best Dressed Women

Glamour Magazine's May issue featured the annual 50 best dressed females. Lets take a look at the top 5 and see if we agree...

1 - Kate Moss

Great because: the success of her TopShop range has been huge and is pretty wearable for the average woman. She almost single-handedly elevated 'stars' to become the biggest trend in ages after adopting the theme for her birthday celebrations.

2 - Sienna Miller

Great because: she is bringing back boho with a twist. Red carpet glamour is as easy a look for her to carry off, as the laid back hippy chic she is famed for.

3 - Scarlett Johansson

Great because: she flaunts her womanly curves and steers clear of the twig thin image that many strive for (yes that is you Posh!)

4 - Rachel Bilson

Great because: she keeps it natural, and looks absolutely effortless. Her look is not too contrived or over done.

5 - Jennifer Aniston

Great because: she looks amazing in jeans and a t shirt. She goes for simple comfort over faddy fashion trends which is quite refreshing.

The Verdict

There is no denying that these are all stylish ladies. I personally think that a lot of the clothes that Kate Moss wears would not suit the average person. She is an industry icon rather than a real fashion role model and for that reason she would not be my number 1. Yes she helps set the trends, but there are others that look better wearing them.

Who I would have liked to see in the top 5

Lucy Liu -
this year she has looked absolutely spot on, hitting all the trends but never at the expense of style. She picks garments that flatter her body perfectly.

Katie Holmes -
her grown up and extremely polished persona is one that I just love. She has had a few mistakes over the years, but has stepped up her game and should be much nearer the top of this year's list.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK - Get Cooking


This site is part of the BBC website and has some really useful content. Not only are there a good selection of recipes and methods for making tasty dishes, but there are also 100 interactive videos to help you along the way. On demand cookery shows are now at your very fingertips.

Photo Credit: ctmarie3 on flickr.com

Featured chef's include Lesley Waters who covers pastry and baking, and Madhur Jaffrey 'Queen of curry' so you can be sure to be getting expert advice. There are mini masterclasses helping you with the techniques required for some of the recipes so you really don't have to be an expert, in fact these videos are perfect for complete beginners as you can follow at your own pace, and have access to both the written instructions and the video demonstration.

So get on there and Get Cooking!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

HINTS, TIPS & TRICKS - Wake Up Call

waking up alarm clockPhoto Credit: tony newell on flickr.com

Sometimes, getting up and out of the house looking lively is a difficult task. It has become easier lately with our lighter, brighter mornings, but let's be honest, we can still all do with a bit of help.

The best toner is a splash of water. It will tighten the skin, improves circulation and doesn't clog the pores with product. If you don't have much time for make up then make sure you go for mascara to open up the eyes and make them appear more awake, and bronzer or blusher which will add life and colour to your face.

For puffy eyes there are lots of natural tricks. Keep two teaspoons in the fridge and press them against your eyes to tauten the skin. Cucumber slices and teabags are the other way, if you would rather not use food, then most good chemists sell refreshing eye pads or masks which you can keep in the fridge for added revitalisation. If you wear contacts, start off in glasses and put lenses in once you are at work to give your eyes some extra time without them.

Get up 10 minutes earlier and do some exercise. It might be walking the dog round the block, some yoga moves or some crunches. It doesn't need to be too strenuous but will give you a boost for the rest of the day, and you get to feel smug that you have already done some exercise when you arrive at work.

Photo Credit: egreen on flickr.com

Bad hair days are unfortunate but don't have to be a complete disaster. I opt for a quick ponytail and make sure I have some great earrings and polished make up. Draw attention away from the problem and make the most of the things you can, your best assets.

Wear a dress and heels. You can't slouch and look sleepy if your wardrobe won't allow it. Don't compromise on comfort, but I do find that if I am wearing slouchy clothes it makes me want to get cosy. Most people can't do that at work, so the treat is getting in and changing into that favourite cosy outfit once the working day is done.

Find your happy sleeping pattern. Some people need to jump straight out of bed, whilst others need to snooze. I am a snooze girl and have worked out that I am most lively after snoozing for 45 minutes so I set my alarm that much earlier than I need to actually need to. Experiment to see how much sleep, and what kind of sleep your body needs and then give in.


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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

TRENDS - The Cold Shoulder

One shoulder tops and dresses are bang on trend this spring but be sure they suit you before you invest. This look is a necklace no no, as the detail on the neck is your accessory. Don't forget your strapless bra, and if your boobs can't be supported by one, then perhaps this trend is not for you. Make your skin shimmer with a moisturiser with some added shimmer powder or sparkle. Versace represented this trend on the catwalk and Jessica Alba and Paris Hilton have been spotted in their one shoulder frocks. That is good enough for me to follow suit.

Monday, 14 April 2008

MOST WANTED - Ikea Kvarno Sunbed


These sunbeds are perfect for the garden and although I may be a little optimistic in my summer preparation (it is only April after all) I just can't help but want them. The contemporary wood/metal finish is sleek and minimal and will give those neighbours green eyes. I am imagining a cocktail or two in summer sunshine, lounging and relaxing with a good book. With the way the weather has been the last couple of summers, that may well be just a dream, but they are so pretty I could be happy just admiring them. I think it is time for a trip to Ikea...

Sunday, 13 April 2008

TV - Britain's Next Top Model


I have been enjoying America's Next Top Model but was disappointed that it would soon be coming to an end. So imagine my glee to hear that Britain's Next Top Model will fill the empty space left in my life. The new series starts on 21st April at 9pm on Living TV and you can be sure to expect all the usual bitching and drama. Lisa Snowden will once again be fronting the show but with some new judges to help her along the way, so all I need do now is wait...

Find out more and meet the contestants

Friday, 11 April 2008

PRODUCT OF THE WEEK - Bottle Cap Tripod


Perfect for nights out, this screw on bottle cap camera tripod will help to make blurry, wonky photographs a thing of the past. Completely portable and wipe clean it will fit in the smallest of handbags for great photos while you are out and about. Of course, this will only work with lightweight cameras, anything too bulky will send the bottle over, and probably take out everyone's drinks at the same time. Still a super idea though.
Thanks to Hebden for this amazing little find.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK - My It Things


There has been a definite move within the media towards the independent voice. People don't just want to hear from the huge corporations, but also to those real people who have the same interests and choose to share their views and tips. www.myitthings.com is a great site that puts content from individuals, some bloggers or writers, together in a website and covers lifestyle, fashion, technology and entertainment.

Photo Credit: calvin wallace on flickr.com

You can read most of the Style PA Blog posts on the site and view my wardrobe, the items I own and those I would love to own. It is a great online community and if you have ever thought about writing you should get on there and give it a go. The bonus is that you get to drive the content of the site and help to set the trends of tomorrow.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

TRENDS - Bright Shoes


The right shoes can make or break an outfit, but at the moment it seems the right shoes are bright shoes! Yellow, blue, orange, pink and green or any colour of the rainbow will do. Bold block colour works best, but also try clashing primary colours. It will lift an otherwise plain ensemble and make you stand out for all the right reasons. If you have open toes I think it is best to go for a nude nail polish or a different colour, don't match shoes and nails. Wearing brights on your feet is a great way to wear a colour that wouldn't usually suit you head to toe. Get inspired with my options below...

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