Studded jacket and creepers

I'm just going to start this post by saying that, if there are bloggers out there that can just take an outfit photo, upload it to Blogger and feel generally content with it then I am eternally envious!  Are we allowed to talk about the process we go through to get an outfit post up or is it a sort of bloggers' secret code that we don't? To backtrack - you may have seen my post on this studded camo jacket where I did a little step by step DIY.  And then some people in the comments said they liked camo jackets but they didn't know what they'd wear it with and I was like 'I have all these outfits in my mind that my camo jacket will look great with, I'll post some, STAT'.  And in my head it looked awesome with my cutoff denim shorts, desert boots and Nirvana t-shirt (yes I actually like Nirvana, no I'm not one of those people...) but in the photos it just.. didn't.  So I took some more today when I got home from work and I took maybe 15 and the first one below is the only one that looked o-kay, except for I look kind of grumpy right? The second one is me trying to get Bodhi out of the picture.  He just loves to pose!

camouflage jacket and creepers
camo jacket: see DIY |  hoodie: Missguided
leggings: h&m | creepers: oasap*
necklace: sawyer and scout

Soyeah, I guess this is one of the outfits I'll be wearing come Thursday when I ship off to End of the Road festival.  I'd love to be one of those girls that swans around in cute dresses at festivals but I'll mainly be packing leggings, shorts, vests and hoodies... maybe one or two dresses just in case I feel floaty after a few ciders! By the way, the hoodie in this photo came today from Missguided; it's this one and it's currently competing for best £14.99 spent ever??  It's proper fleece-y and cosy and it's definitely going to get a lot of wear this weekend.  Come payday I am definitely getting it in some more colours; love this washed out navy colour especially.  

Just realised the second photo shows off last night's activities; Twin Peaks box set, big mug of tea and Tom with a tinting brush dyeing my roots! He is such a good egg isn't he, and he does it so well! The roots are still looking a wee bit yellow-y but I impulse purchased some Touch of Silver shampoo in Boots today, I normal use the Loreal silver shampoo but I'm about to run out.  Are there any other bottle blondies out there? What do you use as a toner?

Tonight is going to be spent mainly laying out clothes and other bits for festival packing.  We are so lucky that we get to take the campervan; I'm determined to convince Tom to let me string bunting through the awning and there's a full width pull out bed in the back which I'm planning on covering with quilts and cushions for ultimate luxury! We unfortunately don't have such luxuries as a means of washing, a mirror or mains electricity but I've invested in some 12v (cigarette lighter) hair straighteners which will probably... do absolutely nothing at all.  

Currently feeling very excited that I now only have to do three more two hour commutes to my current job before I move to my secondment (a couple of miles away!) at the end of the month.  Oh, and did I mention the two week holiday in Florida in between?  Life is basically awesome right now.


Running up that hill

Regular readers of the Where Are My Knees blog (or those that follow me on Twitter) might have seen that I started running last month (I wrote a blog post about it on Where Are My Knees here).  I feel like I probably bang on about it all the time, but that's because I'm genuinely excited to be doing something active that I enjoy.  I only started really enjoying it about a week ago when I began being able to run steadily and breathe fairly normally whilst doing it.  It makes such a difference because I can think through things and reflect on the day whilst running rather than just thinking about whether I'm going to be sick or hyperventilate.  My first run was on July 23rd and it took me 20 minutes to walk and run a mile.  Now I can run the whole mile in about 10 minutes - I'm not showing off here because compared to others that's still a relatively slow time, but it makes me feel proud because I can feel myself getting fitter.*

Today I went for a run along the disused railway line from Burley to Brockenhurst in the New Forest.  I wanted this post to be more about how lucky I feel to have such beautiful surroundings on my doorstep so I thought I'd share a few photos I took on my phone.  I was always more of a seaside person growing up (and to a large extent I still am) but there is something so magical and rural about the forest.  I can't wait for it to be Autumn again as I know it's going to be even more amazing when the leaves start turning and there's a bit more of a chill in the air to cool me down!

Today I ran just over four miles - I had to walk for a few paces now and then as my legs weren't used to running on uneven ground and were quite sore at the beginning.  I left in the last picture as it made me chuckle a bit, don't think I'm going to be winning any 5ks with my 40 minute time! The image is from the Nike website - I run with my iPhone (hence the cool bumbag - cringe!) and use the Nike Running app; it's absolutely brilliant considering it's free and records all your times, distances and routes as well as syncing it to the Nike website where you can access more information and set yourself goals.

Considering my post a little while ago where I was feeling immensely stressed and pressured I have actually had the most relaxing long weekend ever and it's done me the absolute world of good.  Last week I was on a teaching course (PTTLLS) doing 3-4 hours of coursework a night and feeling anxious about the assessed training session I had to lead but I passed the course, managed to keep my emails back in the office in order and then spent Friday when I got home blitzing the house so it's now all nice and clean and I just feel calm and on top of everything.  I feel like I am definitely more suited to a life of leisure; I could definitely get used to that  feeling at the beginning of a few days off where you feel time stretching out in front of you and you know you can just relax and enjoy it.  I only have a two day week this week before we head off to End of the Road festival on Thursday and I couldn't be more excited.  I've decided I'm going to treat us to some yummy goodies from Abel and Cole before we go - Tom bought a new fridge for the campervan and I can't think of anything better than shipping off with a fridge full of organic cheeses, bread, meat, juice, and of course, cider! If you have Spotify you can get in the End of the Road folk-y groove with this awesome playlist I found here.

How have you all been spending your Bank Holiday weekend? Has it been fun-packed or have you been relaxing like me?

* Note about running - Running is a great form of exercise but did you know there has been an increase in sport injuries during the course of 2012? Find out how you can manage injuries caused by exercise and if pain persists you can visit a physio at one of the private hospitals in Sheffield for treatment.

£100 Fat Face goodie bag giveaway

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Fat Face who told me about a new campaign they're running called 'Life outside the 9-5'.  Their campaign is all about losing yourself in the things you do outside of the working day, whether it be camping at the weekend, going for a long walk along the beach, having a barbecue in the garden or even just having the perfect day stuck in watching films and watching the rain outside.

As you probably know by now, I'm a great believer in adventures and making the most of the time I'm not at work.  I'm also a great lover of Fat Face and I always think their clothes feel very well-made and quality - I love all their cosy hoodies, jogging bottoms and sleepwear but I also love their dresses and skirts (had to stop myself going a bit mad in their Newquay store a couple of months ago!) I highly recommend you check out their sale at the moment, which has some absolute bargains in it (how cute is this 50's palm tree dress!)

Fat Face have very generously sent me a goodie bag worth over £100 with some lovely bits in it to give away to one lucky reader.  I am actually immensely jealous of whoever gets to win this as I love absolutely everything that's in the bag! Here's what you could win...

As you can see from the photo, the goodie bag includes; a Dakota Zip Thru Hoodie (size 12), Home Sweet Campervan Tee (size 12), Water Bottle, Thermal Flask, Fat Face Towel, Frisbee, Nauti Tote Bag.

If you want to win, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favourite thing to do outside of the 9-5 - oh, and leave me a way of contacting you too if you win.  Simple as that.  I'll pick a winner at random on Monday 3rd September.  This is for UK entrants only as it'd cost me an arm and a leg to post it overseas! 

Good luck - can't wait to see all your entries!


DIY: Studded Camouflage Jacket

I must admit, I have been known to give the odd 'derisive snort' when I see articles or collections entitled 'festival fashion'.  Mainly because they're usually filled with items of clothing that are just completely not conducive with spending several days in a muddy, beer soaked field, making sporadic trips to filthy portaloos and eating gravy-soaked pies out of cardboard boxes.  However, I am the sort of person that latches onto the idea of buying/taking specific items of clothing for specific events or trips.  You know when you're going on holiday and you think, 'I basically cannot go on this holiday unless I am able to take with me a coral maxi dress' (or whatever) because you have this image of yourself in your head being in that place and wearing it? Or maybe I'm the only person who does that...

Anyway, we are off to End of the Road festival on Thursday and it occurred to me that I don't really have a lightweight jacket to wear.  Like, one to throw on over a t-shirt when it gets a bit cooler (which will probably be the entire time).  And then it hit me that I needed a camouflage jacket, and probably one with studs in the shoulders.  After some searching, I came across this little beauty on ASOS Marketplace.  The problem is, with postage it's £42.  And I don't have £42.  So I tweeted about this desperate situation, and Sarah suggested I could probably do it myself much more cheaply.  So I decided to have a go, and I thought I'd share it here in case anyone else wanted to have a go!

You will need:

Camouflage jacket or shirt - you can buy these from your local Army surplus store, or eBay has loads.  I bought mine here for £9.99.  A lot of the army field shirts are thick enough to be considered a lightweight jacket.

Studs - I bought mine from eBay here for £5.99.  I'd recommend the screw studs as they're more durable and won't catch on the clothing you wear underneath.  I used small spikes but larger ones would equally look cool.

Pin or needle, a fairly thick one to make the hole

Screwdriver or metal implement to make the hole big enough for the screw

Felt tip pen

tools for studded camouflage jacket

To do:

1.  First of all you want to think of the arrangement you want for the studs; do you want a line, a circle, a strip etc? Mark out the arrangement you want with a felt tip pen (when you've decided!) and if you're doing a set on each shoulder obviously make sure it's symmetrical.  If you're being really exact you may want to use a ruler or measuring tape to make sure they're all the same distance apart.

2.  On the dot you've marked, push the needle or pin through to make a hole.

3.  Then, get whatever implement you're using to make the hole bigger and push that through.  You need to make sure it's roughly the same width as the screw of the stud so it doesn't fall out.  Give it a wiggle until you've got a clear hole.

4. Then, push the bottom of the screw through the bottom and screw the spike on top.  Continue until you've finished your arrangement.

5. Put it on and feel awesome that you've just saved yourself £26.

studded camouflage jacket DIY

PS - I'm at my parents' this weekend and I don't really have anything that goes with this jacket but I'll post a full outfit photo ASAP as these photos don't really do it justice.


Shoegazing | Two new pairs

This is going to be a quick post today as, to be honest, I'm having a bit of a week of it.  I'm on a teaching course (PTTLS) to prepare me for my secondment to our Training Centre next month; it's an amazing opportunity and I'm thrilled to be taking a new course and building up new knowledge but I wasn't really prepared for the amount of coursework.  Yesterday the course day was 9-4 and then I got home, switched on the computer and prepared the work for today, amended assignments and filled in paperwork until 11pm. It's been like that every day this week and I'm absolutely exhausted! I'm also frustrated as I did really well with my exercise last week and managed several runs and workouts but this week has been a complete washout as I just haven't had the time.  It can be so challenging trying to fit exercise into your daily routine can't it?  Added on to this, the middle row of keys on my laptop has decided to stop working so I am writing this on a tiny netbook! I have no idea what I'm going to do long term to solve this; it is quite a challenge blogging on a mini computer that doesn't have any software on it!

It is probably bad timing too after the post I wrote previously about struggling with time management as, more than ever this week the chores and the to-do's are now building up.  I absolutely can't wait for this weekend and am really looking forward to having some downtime.  I have so much to catch up on and I wanted to have a good blog reading session to see what you've all been up to as well as schedule some posts in for whilst I'm at End of the Road festival the following weekend.

So, just a quick post today - and not a very deep one! Just wanted to share with you a couple of pairs of shoes that have been added to the wardrobe over the last week.

1. Clarks sandals* - £31.49
2. Art of Soule espadrilles* - £30.60

Both of these pairs will be coming to Florida with me next month for trogging around Theme Parks and outlets in.  I am completely in love with the sandals, they feel so sturdy and well made and are incredibly comfortable.  The espadrilles are unbelievably light and will be perfect for throwing in my suitcase and wearing with rolled up skinnies.  I wonder if the weather will hold for me to wear them this weekend too or if I'll have to wait until my holiday to give these summer-y shoes an outing!


And the moon already fell into the sea

I was on call this weekend, which, as you've all heard me mention about a million times before, means I stay at home and take press calls and write press releases about incidents the organisation I work for has been been involved in.  This weekend was particularly busy so I didn't get to see much of the sunshine, but it's my last weekend of being on call before I move to my new job next month so I didn't mind too much.

We're really lucky that we have a garden however, so I did grab half an hour to appreciate all the things going on out there.  You might remember that a few months we had a bit of a garden overhaul and planted lots of new things and I find it really exciting (I'm a geek, I know) to see things springing up.  I particularly love the mallow, which I started with some seeds on the bedroom windowsill and now seems to be taking over one corner of our garden. 

I'm not sure what the above two flowers are, they're from a collection of plugs I bought that were on sale online.

We've been growing lots of vegetables in raised beds this year.  This beetroot looks about ready to be plucked out, and here's our onions waiting to be eaten...

I had been hankering for steak ever since I saw Gem's amazing recipe for the perfect steak sandwich so we had that for dinner in the garden with new potato and lemon kebabs. 

I hope you all enjoyed the sunshine this weekend and managed to make the most of it.  Keeping my fingers crossed it stays all week!


A lucky birthday

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago now but I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on what a lovely day it was and how I was spoilt by wonderful cards, presents and company.  I was so touched that Bee, Sophie, Jem and Chloe sent me things in the post, it's such a reminder of how privileged I am to have made so many amazing friends through blogging.  Without wanting to put a negative slant on it it's weird to think that there's people who were once in my closest circle of 'real life' friends who forgot the day or who I didn't hear from and yet people who I predominantly speak to on the internet took the time to send me such thoughtful cards and gifts.  Just wish all you blogging ladies were a bit closer so we could actually celebrate with real life tea and cake!

My Mum (and others, without having planned it!) did a sort of 'seaside' theme with my gifts this year, which was lovely as you will all know by know what a lover I am of all things nautical! Fleur bought me some gorgeous East of India goodies (two wooden beach huts and a wooden life ring, along with a vintage sign), the chunky ring is from Tom and the seagull and bunting mug is from my Mum.

My Mum handmade a few of my presents this year, including a cushion in nautical fabric and this sign she made from her beachcombing finds above (she has also featured it on her blog here).  It now hangs with pride above our door in the living room.  It's so lovely to receive handmade gifts.

Beach hut beach towel from my Mum again and swallow print scarf from Tom's sister.  Tom bought me the Twin Peaks definitive box set which is very exciting for me as I've never seen the second series.  Are there any other Twin Peaks fans out there?  I absolutely love it.  In the middle at the bottom is a Kindle case from Tom's parents; a brilliant gift as I was previously lugging my Kindle around in a jiffy bag as protection! My Mum also bought me the Jack Wills Cavalry Twill eau de toilette after we both loved it when we visited Kilver Court.  I think it's actually for men but never mind!

Chloe sent me a gorgeous scarf, bracelet and nail varnish in the post which was such a lovely surprise.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that on the day of my birthday my parents' came round and we went for a long walk in the forest with Bodhi as well as an amazing pub lunch at my favourite New Forest pub.  My Mum had baked me a yummy chocolate cake (with an anchor on, obviously!) and we had tea and cake before watching some Twin Peaks... basically my perfect day!

On the Saturday after (last Saturday) my friends Fleur and Nicole came round and we went to Pizza Express for dinner, watched a band at a little pub in Christchurch and then came back to mine for PJs, popcorn and Def Jam Rapstar (rap karaoke).  Another perfect birthday celebration!

Dog walk on birthday day | Anchor cake
Me and three spoons for the cheesecake | Birthday cheesecake at Pizza Express

All in all it was a lovely few days and I feel very spoilt and lucky to have such thoughtful friends and family.


Sale picks | ASOS and AX Paris

You may have seen me mention in a previous post that I go on secondment to another job next month and in order to take this opportunity I've had to take a bit of a paycut.  I've been trying to make this less of a shock to the system by improving my spending habits in advance of my new wage and my attempts to 'buy less, buy better' are going well.  However, I have always been a bit of a sucker for a sale, and coupled with the fact that I fancied getting a few new things for my trip to Florida in a few weeks and to wear to End of the Road festival, I must admit I gave in and had a mini splurge on ASOS.  I tend to not feel too bad about buying a few things from ASOS as I always end up sending half of my order back, plus they had a discount code on the day I ordered for an extra 10% off sale (now expired) so I had too really didn't I? Here's what I picked up...

I think the second dress will be perfect for a dinner out whilst we're away on holiday and I'm planning on wearing the cupcake t-shirt with studded Levis shorts at the festival!

I also got an email from AX Paris this morning as they have a code for an extra 15% off their sale items.  I am finding it very hard to keep my fingers away from the keyboard to stop them having another mini splurge! If I were to allow myself however, here is my wishlist...

1. Fish printed playsuit - £15.99
2. Floral print peplum dress - £19.99
3. Pleat front dress - £11.99
4. Printed wrap dress - £14.99
5. Crochet waist skater dress - £14.99
6. Daisy Printed Cutout Dress - £14.99

My resolve is fast disappearing, I feel the last two at least are going to have to be mine! You can enter EXTRASALE15 for an extra 15% off.

Are you resisting the sales or have you picked up anything new this month?


Things I have and haven't done

One of the things I most wish I could change about myself is my sense of guilt, or the fact that I constantly beat myself up about things I have or haven't done.  Sometimes it's having bought something I didn't need, sometimes it's diet and exercise related (in the long run, no chocolate bar is worth how cross I get at myself for eating it) but often it's not having had a chance to tick things off my to do list - little chores like tidying and cleaning the house, eBaying clothes, replying to emails or calling the Tax Office etc.  Our house needs so much work (both DIY, and just general upkeep) that I almost never sit and watch TV or read because the moment I plonk myself down I spy out of the corner of my eye a pile of washing that needs doing or a spot that needs cleaning, or the dishwasher beeps at me to tell me it's ready to be unloaded.  My inability to relax when there's mess or when there's other things that need doing is bad enough, but lately the things I do enjoy doing - writing letters, tackling mini sewing projects, blogging, and even just seeing or chatting to friends, seem to be getting the same treatment.

Lately work has been so busy that I've had several evenings when I've worked a really long, tiring day and when I get home all I want to do is get in my pajamas and have an early night.  But as I lie there I start thinking 'I really should have blogged tonight...', or 'I promised so-and-so I'd reply to their letter this week'.  With being part of an on call rota at work, trying to spend weekends here and there with family, trying to get away in the camper van now and then and just general social engagements, my weekends tend to get filled up quite far in advance.  Back in early July a friend asked me when I was next free at the weekend to meet up and I had to tell her October! August and September are/have been really busy due to a festival, weddings, hen dos, my birthday, work and our holiday in Florida but it seems a bit ridiculous to not be able to see a friend until 10 weeks down the line.  I feel terrible about this and am constantly beating myself up for being a bad friend.  When I go through stages where I'm particularly busy (some weeks if I'm on call with work I can work a normal day and then come home and be working all evening, for example), I forget to reply to text messages or don't get a chance to return calls and I worry sometimes that one day people will just get fed up of me being sporadically rubbish.  Seriously, I should set up a template text message that starts 'Sorry it took me so long to reply, I've been so busy lately..." as all of mine seems to start with that lately.
credit: flickr.com
I don't know whether I need to get better at time management, stop beating myself up about things or drop some of the less important things in my life.  But I do know that I hate the fact that all of my hobbies and favourite things to do seem to be entering the realm of the to-do list; just another thing I beat myself up for not doing.  I started blogging as a creative outlet, somewhere to write about things I'd done, and things I like.  I'm guessing that's the same for a lot of us.  For the majority of us, blogging is a hobby... and yet, raise your hand if you've ever felt guilty for not doing it often enough? I lose count of the amount of times where people begin a post with an apology for having a few days off from their blog, or not having a chance to read others'.  And yet, it's not a job, we don't owe anyone regular, scheduled blog posts, and most importantly... here's the truth - no-one is going to stop reading your blog if you neglect it now and then.

I wish I could end this post with a nugget of knowledge or a snappy bit of advice but the truth is I don't have the answer.  I feel like I need a weekend to hide in bed with my Kindle and a bag of maltesers.  Maybe I'll schedule one in in October....


Shoegazing | Picks under £25

Ever since my posts about changing my shopping habits to 'buy less and buy better', I've started to think a bit more about cost per wear and buying things that will complement my wardrobe and be worn again and again.  I've had a bit of a spate of buying beautiful high heels recently but the truth is that I go out once in a blue moon at the moment so the likelihood is they'll spend most of their life looking wonderful at the back of the cupboard.

As I'm off to Florida next month I wanted to get some comfy shoes that would look cute with skinny jeans or jean shorts for walking around Theme Parks and shopping malls in.  I found these by Art Of Soule and fell in love with them; I'd never heard of the brand before but they have loads of nice Toms-esque slip ons and espadrilles.
*Spartoo - £30.60
Here are some more shoes I've been eyeing up for potential pre-holiday purchases.  I'm trying to save my money so I can splurge it on burgers and Junior Mints when I'm out there so they're all under £25.

3. Moony Mood sandals - £15.60


Harry Potter Studio Tour

On Monday Tom and I went to Leavesden to the Harry Potter Studio Tour.  It was a birthday present for him that I'd bought in June but Monday was the first date we could both go when it wasn't fully booked.  I should probably start this post by saying that I'm not going to post hundreds of photos of the tour as the magic of it really is in the unexpected - when you turn a corner and there's something you just never imagined you'd see - and I don't want to spoil that for anyone who might be planning a visit.  But I am going to post a couple of photos of us at the tour and tell you where we were when they were taken, so for anyone who doesn't want to see a snippet of what we saw, you may want to look away now.

I don't normally wear glasses but I wore some clear lenses as I wanted to revel in the geekery of the day! I have been trying to think of a way to make my beloved Boohoo disco pants a bit more 'daywear' so I can bring them out of my wardrobe on more than just special occasions and I decided to wear them with my checked Jack Wills shirt and studded Daisy Street slippers.

outfit post harry potter geek glasses
// shirt: jack wills | t-shirt: topshop
leggings: boohoo.com | shoes: daisy street
name necklace: lola pop | pencil necklace: me and zena
It was a completely magical day and beyond anything that I expected.  I am not as big a fan of Harry Potter as Tom is (I've read the books and love the films but he really loves them!) but I was still completely wowed by everything I saw.  It really makes you really the sheer scale and extent of the work that went into the films and I'll definitely be seeing them in a different light the next time I watch one.  Some of the props and figures took up to a year to make... and then weren't even used!

4 privett drive harry potter's house
// can Harry come out to play?

quidditch shop harry potter
// at the Quidditch shop
I know it must seem like I just walked around taking photos of myself but I promise I didn't! I'd just rather show you my stupid face than ruin the tour for you!

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far.  I celebrated my birthday on Tuesday with a long walk in the forest with my parents, Tom and Bodhi, and had an amazing lunch in a country pub.  I got some absolutely wonderful, thoughtful gifts and gorgeous cards (I will blog about them in the near future!) and felt very blessed and lucky.  It was a perfect day.  Last night my lovely friend Kate (hi Kate if you're reading this!) came to visit and we drank champagne, ate cake and chatted into the night.  Tonight is very much a chill night and I have spent it so far flicking through cookbooks, excitedly rifling through my latest Abel and Cole box and reading Grazia in the bath.  Bliss.


Vitamins and supplements | Review: Energex Plus

Since I started trying to improve my overall health and fitness I've been looking into vitamins and supplements and how and when they can complement your diet.  It's true that most people can get all of the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a balanced, varied diet.  But this is not always easy, and often circumstances may prevent you from being able to achieve this on an every day basis.  Researchers are finding that some vitamins and minerals that are protective against disease do so in amounts that are difficult to obtain through diet alone; so there is some evidence that they can be beneficial for our health.  However, taking too many supplements can be be bad, even toxic, for our health, so it's important to read up on advice and always talk to your GP if you're unsure.
I have always bought my supplements from
Healthspan in the past and even made a special visit to their shop when I was in Jersey.  I take their Lipo Carn as I find it helps with digestion and stops bloating, and I also take their Peppermint Oil for the same reason.  I used to also religiously take their Happy Days HTP tablets, which are a natural source of a substance that is converted into Serotonin in the body.  When I was going through quite a 'down' period I found they made me feel much more able to cope with things and they even improved my sleep.  They are also reported to help with migraines.

Because I love the brand so much I put myself forward to review one of their newer products; Energex Plus.  Energex Plus has been designed to aid the strain that modern lifestyles put on our energy resources by providing a natural 'pick me up' that contains guarana, Panax ginseng, amino acids and the entire family of B vitamins.  There is also 50mg of caffeine to give you a bit of 'get up and go'.  The idea is that you take them whenever you need a bit of a boost, and you can take either one or two tablets a day.  

I started using these a couple of weeks ago when I started walking the dog and running in the mornings.  Because I have to get up at 6am to do this I usually awake feeling sluggish and still half asleep.  I've been taking these as soon as I get up and they have me feeling raring to get out of the door.  I don't take them at weekends or on mornings I'm not running because I don't feel I need them but they have become an invaluable part of my morning routine on my more active days.  The caffeine in them is a lot less than a can of Red Bull so they don't leave me feeling wired during the day or with difficulty sleeping, it just feels enough to get me round the run and then ready to start the day.  I actually had a real panic when I thought I'd lost my second sheet the other day as until I build up my stamina and energy levels through doing more exercise I'll be relying on these to get me out of bed and out of the door in the morning.

You can also read more about my forays into running on the Where Are My Knees blog here.
Energex Plus are available in a 60 tablet packet for £8.95 here.

*I was sent this product to review, but all other Healthspan products referenced have been purchased with my own money.


My best friend's wedding

// the bride and I
dress: missguided |  shoes: daisy street

This is going to be one of my shorter posts but I couldn't let Saturday's beautiful wedding go by without sharing a few photos.   I hope that the bride, Carlie, won't mind me sharing these photographs here but she is currently off on the trip (honeymoon) of a lifetime across America so she has much more exciting things to think about!

For everyone attending the wedding, it was always going to be an emotional day.  In the ten years I've known Carlie, she has battled (and overcome) two life threatening illnesses and coped with these, and their recurrences, with a characteristic bravery, humour and strength that few would find possible to match.  I have never known anyone quite like her, and I have also never known a day so full of love and warmth - there certainly wasn't a dry eye in the house when she walked down the aisle (have you seen how beautiful that dress is?).  It warmed my heart so much to see a couple so utterly in love, and it was such a perfect day from start to finish, with wonderful speeches, a brilliant band in the evening, great food and lovely people.  Definitely the perfect wedding.  Oh, and a chocolate fountain - I need one of these in my house!

Thankfully the weather held off long enough for some outdoor photos and I braved getting my suede heels muddy to watch them getting showered with confetti.  I had to include the last photo as she was just such a beautiful bride and I thought I'd end this post on that rather than me blowing bubbles and eyeing up the bread rolls on the table!

// the beautiful bride