Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Unique Gifts- things I like.......

I recently had this portrait done for my 2 Aunts for their birthdays in September and October.
Based on my mum and her 3 sisters in the garden of our then family home.
I hope it went down well!!

I was really pleased with our Wedding portrait that the artist had done from our wedding piccies, so I thought I would share this find with you.

Watch this space for a couple more gems Blanka is brilliant!

Here is Blanka and her shop on Etsy! 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Paleo, Caveman, Eating Clean, Primitive diet, call it what you will!

For the last month I have cut out processed food and followed a healthy natural eating
method which was recommended by Stars Dell, my Facebook friend! 

I eat fresh veg, fresh fruit, fish, very little meat, because if I am really honest I don't really like meat that much.

I enjoy nuts, rich oils and the occasional flirt with posh butter from Sark, the like of which I have never tasted before, nor ever seen anything so yellow!

Photo by Danielle Jenson Can't show you mine because it is chopped into individual pieces in an ice cube tray so that I can use it for cooking my veggies!
Guernsey butter is also as pure and contains no additives, so I eat that too!
The only thing I haven't given up is a cup of decent tea with decent milk.
The Guernsey herd is grass fed in the Summer!

It is a really lovely way of eating, I have had the odd sneaky drink of champers, but to be honest it made me feel like merde, my other cheats were a cheese butty with tomato, just because it was my wedding anniversary. But again, I can live without this stuff.

I do feel healthier and as much as I thought I didn't eat much pre-prepared food I obviously did, chocolate, crisps, the odd pizza. BREAD.... so now at my age, I want to know what goes into my food, to the best of my ability.

We are lucky in the Channel Islands as we have Hedge Veg stalls.

The supermarkets also stock locally produced veggies, so if my veg doesn't come from Guernsey
it comes from Jersey. Again I have to be realistic, certain veg will come from further afield, but I try not to cross continents for things.

Fruits are somewhat different as I have yet to find a locally produced banana! 

This is a lovely little video!

You can read more here at Visit

Oh! and one thing I have noticed over here, some of the Elders of the population eat tomato everyday as a fruit snack and they are healthy and wise.......

Food for thought!

Monday, 7 October 2013

The shrinking 52! Celebrating with Kale chips!!

 The results are in - it's a 14 pound loss in 1 month, am no longer the big 66, but the shrinking 52!
I can now fasten the buttons on the nightie in my first picture!

We both had a bit of a let down first Wedding Anniversary as we were and are, full of cold!
So I really had to go out today to the pet store and to the human food store shopping, as all our stocks were getting lower!

I spied a bag of Kale from Jersey for £1, haven't enjoyed Kale since I was a child, so thought I'd give it a go!

 I followed this great recipe:

I made a few changes:

I dried my Kale by hand, lovingly with a clean tea towel.

I salted beforehand.

I used the excess Avocado oil on my hands as a beauty product after massaging into the Kale leaves. I just took off the excess only from my hands with a damp cloth! Lovely!

Didn't use parchment paper, just my trusty old tins!

When it was ready it came out like this!

Crispy, delish a real winner, but sadly I over salted, we haven't been using salt for a month and I ruined the taste.
Lesson learned.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

The most important dress of your life!

At the age of six I was parading around in the most magnificent wedding dress ever, a 1950s white lace full skirted full length concoction, with silver threads running through the floral design.
Presented to my dressing up box from a friend of my mother.

I asked my mother if we could keep it so I could get married in it, she said I wouldn't want it and
would want a new one of my own. How wrong she was!!!

To this day I have never seen anything quite so beautiful!

Not the actual dress you understand, but the above is from Millcrest Vintage, who have a wonderful online range of wedding gowns. I haven't shopped at Millcrest, but there selection is to die for!

The next time I wore a white gown and veil was a couple of years later, this was a 60s number, again lace. A Confirmation hand me down dress from my mother's cousin.

Looked just like this from Cupids Arrow Etsy!

Then when in 6th form, I played Esmeralda in the Upper VIth leaving concert.
I was already a 17 year old charity shop freak, we didn't call it Vintage then.
I went down to Oxfam in Petergate, York and asked the ladies for a Wedding dress for my school
play, they brought out about 10 from the room upstairs and charged me the princely sum of £1.

Very similar to this from Raleigh Vintage Etsy I wore mine with a thick red ribbon as a belt!

So when it came to 2012 I toyed with the idea of vintage, but sadly I was too fat. I made my own gown and hated it, I had something vile made from China (don't do it, total waste of money) I just wasn't sure where to go next. It certainly wasn't down the Bridal Salon to be squished into something unsuitable!

I decided I wanted a delish Maggie Sottero gown, I began to look on ebay.

I won and received a wonderful frock, but I looked like a sausage in it, I sold it on immediately! 
The shape and style was similar to below.

I had to then think about which shape would suit me the best ? The train or no train debate? The overall look for my body shape. All this whilst watching auctions on a daily basis!!

When I saw MY dress on screen, I knew it was the right one for me, it was a 2009 design and no longer for sale anywhere. Previously owned and worn to an overseas wedding!  There it was in all it's glory!

Total purchase cost for my dress, which included postage, professional dry cleaning and taking up by a professional seamstress was well under budget ! I finished it off with a Lace bolero and a Jenny Packham feather shrug all for £550. I was also guaranteed that no-one would have the same frock!

Click for bigger - to see dress detail.
One place I did get a 2nd choice gown from was Precious Collections, by the Outlet on ebay.

I picked up a brand new Sophia Tolli gown for £90, now in the hands of someone I know personally and going to be a hit next summer for sure.  This seller is a gem to deal with and I'd shop there again if I could!

Saturday, 5 October 2013


This is my absolute fave wedding piccy from 5th October 2012.

The Wedding Photographer can make or break your big day. Nicholas Gray certainly made ours!

Nick was really wonderful, he has a smashing personality and I hardly knew he was there taking smashing shots of the wedding party.

I suppose it depends what you want for your day, I really wanted everyone who attended the ceremony to have a piccy with both of us, if they wished to, so I was the bossy one....everyone lined up in the gardens of the York Register office ready to pose!!

Also, quite selfishly I wanted a couple of decent pictures of the Groom & I.
Nick certainly did all this and more!

Highly recommended and a true gem for our big day. He sent the finished pictures back SO quickly, amazing, they were coming through the next day!!

The thing to remember is this, if you cut corners with your choices and try to save cash, you WILL get what you pay for, a friend with a posh camera is not a photographer.

XX Annie

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Pointy Witch feet

They are all at it, Louboutin, Barretts, Hobbs and Gina.
The new collections are full of pointy horrendousness.
I doubt I'll be wearing anything this shape, they don't suit my feet.
I remember the last time this style hit the shops and it just isn't me.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday Eve challenge

I managed to pick up a Country Casuals suit on ebay for under £20 earlier this month.

It is a size 16, so in reality it would have been a perfect fit post healthy eating.

The pen marks the spot. I have had to move the buttons over - I will wear it tomorrow
and then resell it or send to the hospice shop, as doesn't really fit properly!

A real make do and mend for my trip tomorrow!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ooopsie Daisy, blip in the regime!

Let me introduce you to my downfall Lanson Demi sec!
A bit of a Friday night treat! Very rare these days!

Defined by the maker as "The Tender Champagne".

I vow to drink only demi sec champagne for the rest of my life - makes their black label taste like cheap muck!

A great little discovery!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

# 20 products to change your life, for better or for worse #20 Skin Care The Lipstick Effect

(Illustration by : John Dodson)

Skin Care is a very personal choice, but highly lucrative for the companies selling their wares.
Even in this current climate, people are treating themselves to items AKA "The Lipstick effect" to cheer themselves up!

The UK Skin Care market was worth £2.1 billion in 2012, with Facial Skin Care doing particularly well in this climate of frugality. Interestingly enough Male Skin Care is on the rise and did very well.

So yes, they have our attention and it seems a good amount of our income too!!

When it comes to Skin Care there is a mine field of choice:

My Personal choices are:


Multi -Active day Moisturiser
Clarins define this as an early Wrinkle Correction cream for all skin types.

Multi Active Night Moisturiser
Clarins define this one as" Eight hours sleep in a jar"

The day cream and night cream are for a younger skin, but I find a lot of  hype relating to products for "older" mature skins and tend to try them out when Clarins is on gift ie: You buy some many
full sized products and get sample sizes or generous 15mls sizes as a gift. I always come back to the multi active range.

Cleansing Milk and Lotion
Just feel so good on the skin! No other reason!

Beauty Flash Balm - use this as an overnight mask whilst sleeping! But, it has more uses!

Special Offers here: Clarins

I am fairly biased towards Clarins as I visited the Paris HQ many years ago and we were treated like

I have been employed by Clarins as a Deputy Counter Manager, part employed by  Clarins and part employed by a nameless department store  Trafford Centre Manchester and I can honestly say never again. The company were great and the training was top notch, but the department store was without a doubt the worst place I ever had the misfortune to set foot inside, but that's a whole different post!

The Creme de la Creme

Is by Guerlain - Midnight Secret - the absolute best thing I have ever used on my face.
It really does do what it says, I haven't purchased this product for a good 6 years, but it certainly does what it claims to do.

I am not able to recommend the rest of this skin care range as it gave me a dreadful reaction.


THE best herbal beauty book that was ever out there, I grew up on this book and tried many a recipe.
This is the book responsible for me wish to and achieve a Beauty Therapy qualification
I shall be trying many a recipe again this winter now I have snagged a new old out of print copy!

Get yours here : Kitty Little

( Again all my own personal choices and no form of incentive received)

Boobs! Chins and all that jazz!

As well as my new healthy eating challenge I have recommenced my love affair with the company

I have already pointed out that my neck causes me multiple issues and my 40 chins are slowly dissolving! Boob tube is my answer.

You may view my claims here with a totally unflattering picture of me on my break during a particularly fraught 12 hour shift - chins are nearly gone, but NOW wrinkles and rootage need addressing!

 (24th September)

(5th September) oooh laaa laaaaaa

I can't say it's all down to Mama Mio as I have been sticking to my healthy eating regime rigidly, but I can say the chin results are pretty amazing.

I must be proud to keep posting these god awful self images!!

What do I like most about Boob tube? - have just discovered I can put it on my face too!
So maybe it will also help the lines a tad!

It comes in at £29.50 and the company claim that within a week your skin is firmer and already has many endorsements for it's efficacy.

Mine is just a drop in the ocean. But it certainly gets my vote for firmer skin and it does what it claims to do.

(This is a genuine review and I have not been approached by the company concerned to write this)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Fat face

Approx 2 weeks into healthy eating - which comprises of fruit veg, mostly fish, eggs and chicken.
Absolutely nothing processed by others at all.....

Plus Points: weigh less, better sleep pattern, more energy........

Minus Points: Peeing more! That's all - don't really miss the junk and booze!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Healthy Aging

Pay attention to your breath. Many cultures identify breath with spirit, seeing the breath cycle as the movement of spirit in the physical body. Simply minding the breath is a way of expanding consciousness beyond the ego, of experiencing transcendence.  

Connect with nature. You can do this by walking or sitting in a natural setting; a city park will do just fine. Allow yourself to slow down, drop your usual routines, and just absorb the influence of the place.  
(pic: By Pete Gettins - July 2013)
Make a list of people in your life in whose company you feel more alive, happy, and optimistic. Make an effort to spend more time with them. Our spiritual selves resonate with others, and that connection is a healing.  
Bring flowers into your home and enjoy their beauty.  
Listen to music that you find inspirational and uplifting.  
Admire a work of art that raises your spirits: a painting, sculpture, or work of architecture.  
Reach out and try to resume connection with someone from whom you are estranged; practice forgiveness.  
Do some sort of service work. Give some of your time and energy to help others. The possibilities are endless but do not include just writing a cheque to charity.  
The suggestions above are intended to help you become more aware of your spiritual self. Any activity that makes you feel more alive, more connected to others and to nature, less isolated, more comfortable with change, is beneficial. It will enhance your physical and mental health. It will help you accept the fact of your aging. It will help you to age gracefully. 
 "Healthy Aging" by AndrewWeil, published by Knopf.

Monday, 16 September 2013

WWII dresser Uppers - the elephant in the room...

There are too many over nourished WWII dresser uppers - trust me there was a war on and no way  would ANYONE would be 4 stone overweight - save for Churchill with his private Larder.....

We have women in the military, but they don’t put us in the front lines.
They don’t know if we can fight, if we can kill. I think we can.
All the general has to do is walk over to the women and say,
‘You see the enemy over there? They say you look fat in those uniforms.’ E.Boosler

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Fruit Compote for Jen ! :-)

6 large cooking apples
Handful of blueberries
Coconut oil

Peel and core the apples
FRY in hot coconut oil
add sliced peach and a handful of berries

Fry until the blueberries burst!

Turn heat well down - add 400-500mls water and some cinnamon ( depends on your taste)

Simmer for about 20 mins -until the apple becomes mushy.
Sir up with a wooden spoon and leave to cool
Overnight is best!

Voila! If not sweet enough add honey!  

Sunday, 8 September 2013

The Big 66

(July 2013)

66 pounds, the amount I have increased by since 2007.
As I am now somewhat well into middle age, I have finally elected to do something about this dreadful state of affairs.

It's not really a vanity issue for me, but a health one. I can be on my feet for 12 hours a day
and end up coming home - consuming junk, you know, chocolate, wine and all those sinful unnatural
chemicals that invade the modern lifestyle. This in turn presents problems, knees hurting by supporting this vast increase in weight. My varicose vein goes nuts, so much so that I have to wear granny stockings to shut it up!

My knickers are bigger than Queen Victoria's bloomers.....

My double chin is giving this gal a run for her money...

So much so, that a very "good friend" keeps advising me to have liposuction on it.

Now I am not against making the best of what you have quickly, but this is not a quick fix situation.
I am giving myself 10 months to get rid of the 66 pounds -chin and all.
6.6 pounds a month is 1.65 pounds a week or there abouts. Easy and healthy!

In future posts I will talk about healthy eating - post updates of my current look and
see how we go from there!   
This is not a flattering picture at all and that is the intention - it's me after a 12 hour shift -post shower in my new XL nightie that doesn't fit because I am so fat. (5th Sept 2013)

This is me 66 pounds lighter before leaving for Guernsey 5 years ago....

So not so much off with her head, but off with her chins!