Sunday, 21 August 2011

Weight Loss - New Attempt (lets hope its the last)

A slightly different post today... This is a short post about my fresh start in my attempt to lose some weight.

After being a very skinny child thanks to lots and lots of dance classes, I have struggled with my weight since I was about 16. My weight has been up and down, thanks to life style and health issues but I will not bore you with the details. Instead I am going to re-start the painstaking journey of losing weight yet again but this time I'm going to take you along with me (if your interested that is - if not go make a cup of tea hehe!)
I'm not going to cut out chocolate all together - I am a woman after all... but these small size treats are a good option.

So the new plan....

I am going to take this one step at a time, or more precisely two weeks at a time. At the beginning of each fortnight I am going to do three things:

  1. Weigh myself - I use the Wii Fit to do this and am only going to do this once a fortnight so I don't have the constant dread of weigh in day
  2. Plan some scrumptious meals for the next two weeks trying to include lots of variety
  3. Decide what exercise to do for that fortnight - I am going to change this every two weeks so that I don't get bored and the exercise continues being effective
My new trainers - this fortnight my exercise plan is a 1hr walk 4 times per week.
So thats the plan! We'll see how it goes.... I will write on here again in two weeks to let you all know!

Meanwhile if you've got any hints or tips I'd love to hear them. Or if you'd like to join in let me know I'd love to hear from others ...

Hope everyone is happy and healthy!


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Bicester Shopping Village - discount designer shopping!

A couple of weeks ago I went on a weekend away with my partner’s family. I know – a holiday with the “in-laws” doesn’t sound much fun does it but there was an exciting part to this holiday…. I got to go to Bicester Village!! 

For those of you who don’t know, Bicester Village is a designer outlet shopping village in Oxford. I heard about it a couple of years ago and I have wanted to go ever since. Just to whet your appetite ladies shops include Jimmy Choo, Prada, Matthew Williamson, D&G, Cath Kidson and Diane von Furstenberg to name just a few. It is AMAZING!  There is also a CCO, to those in America this may not seem a massive deal but in the UK there are only 6 (I think!)

All the stores have large reductions on items. However, I would warn you here, don’t expect to go and pick up some Jimmy Choos for a bargain basement price, the reduced price is still in proportion to the retail price. There are some amazing bargains to be had but you will still need a lot of dollar to do a large shopping spree. For example there were some bags in Mulberry that would normally be sold for about £500 and they were being sold at about £250. I would personally recommend this as a place to go to buy an outfit for a special occasion or perhaps one or two special purchases.

Having said that, there are some higher end high street stores at Bicester to enjoy as well. I only had an hour at Bicester Village so focused my purchases in these stores. Before I went I had checked out all the stores available online and planned my shopping. Does anyone else do this when they’re excited about a shopping trip? For this I would say there website is very good and contains useful information. 

Cath Kidson:
A while ago, I had seen a laptop case on their website but for some reason hadn’t got round to ordering it. Luckily for me they had it in the store! I got a large laptop case and paid £18. I can’t find this exact one on the website anymore but large laptop cases are currently £28. I have the Dell Inspiron 1564 and this just fits in the case. It’s a bit tight but it does fit. I just love the bright colours and the flower pattern on it!
I also picked up a book bag to carry my laptop and cables around with me. I paid £12 for this and they normally retail for £18. I love it, it’s super steardy, good quality and makes a very cute laptop bag :-) 

French Connection
There were some excellent bargains to be had in French Connection. Unfortunately, none of the clothes had the original prices on them but knowing FC prices there were definitely some good savings. My boyfriend picked up a black mac style coat for just £70. It is such good quality and looks really good. I would guess that it would be about £120 in stores. Unfortunately we were running out of time, but there was a lot more I could have bought in this store I’m sure. I did manage to pick up this gorgeous blue scarf for £10. Unfortunately my camera isn’t really picking up the colour but it is beautiful.

The Cosmetics Company Store
This is one of the stores I was most excited about visiting. I watch lots of girls on you tube that are from the US and often see hauls from the CCO. Mrs The Doll has some brilliant hauls and always manages to get some great stuff from CCOs. 

The Cosmetics Company Store houses cosmetics brands under the Estee Lauder umbrella. These include Estee Lauder (obviously), MAC, Bobbi Brown and Clinique plus a few more. There were some amazing savings to be had here for example the Bobbi Brown eye cream for just £21rather than £28 in stores. There were a few foundations and powders but in limited shades. There were a few options at MAC but only in NC20 or NW20. Unfortunately, I am NC15 so there wasn’t anything available for me. 

I did pick up a couple of bits. A blusher from MAC for just £12 and a brush set from Presciptives. I don’t think I’ve seen this brand before but so far I’m quite impressed with the quality of the brushes. I paid £42 for the brush set which includes a duo fibre bronzing brush, a foundation brush, a travel powder brush with lid and a duel ended eye brush. I will do a full review of these brushes at some point.

So all in all I was really impressed with Bicester Village and I would definitely recommend a visit. I’m certainly going back again in the next few months and will hopefully have a bit more time to explore all the shops – think I better start saving!! 

It’s fairly easy to get to, not far from the Motorway and there is a shuttle bus service from the station straight to the village. I think there are also bus services which run from London and Birmingham.  I would especially consider a visit if you are visiting from outside the European Union because you can claim the tax back on your purchases making it even more of a bargain shopping spree!
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