Thursday, 28 April 2016

How to Style Culottes for SS16 | The Archive by Alexa Range

SS16 Smart style: Longline blazer with M&S Archive by Alexa culottes, neck scarf, snakeskin boots, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb

You may have seen that I pondered my purchases from the Archive by Alexa range from M&S last week (Do I want to wear something so hyped?) - having bought the Harry blouse in pink and white and the Ada trousers and blazer, I'd already decided to keep the latter. 

The jury is still out on the blouses...!

So - culottes! M&S describe these as trousers, but although they're strictly wide-leg cropped trousers I'm going with culottes for the purposes of this post (less of a mouthful). I'd had a few requests from readers asking that I try styling culottes, but I'd resisted till now... In the end resistance was effectively futile.

I'M STARTING TO FEEL LESS AND LESS LOVE FOR SKINNIES AND TOTALLY FALLING FOR CULOTTES INSTEAD. PAIRED WITH HIGH ANKLE BOOTS THEY DO SOMETHING TO YOUR PROPORTIONS THAT MAKES YOU LOOK INCREDIBLY LEGGY.

To get to the point: I'm a total convert. Whether it's because I've seen so many fashionistas rocking them in street style photos I don't know, but I'm starting to feel less and less love for skinnies and totally falling for culottes instead. Paired with high ankle boots they do something to your proportions that makes you look incredibly leggy... Perfect for long-waisted ladies like myself.

This only works with a high-waisted pair (these are perfect, especially as they have two sets of buttons to allow for expansion) and a tucked-in top.

SS16 Smart style: Longline blazer with M&S Archive by Alexa culottes, neck scarf, snakeskin boots, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links - April 2016

Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links  April 2016 | Not Dressed As Lamb
My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links is a monthly post of things I've seen, watched and liked on the internet that I'm sure you'll love too. This month I'm sharing some different denim looks and masculine chic, thoughts on the danger of comparison, honest views on the realities of weight gain plus a bouncing cat (yes, really).

I hope you get some nice weather where you are (unlike the crazy hailstones and snow in spring weather we've been having in the UK this week) - grab a cuppa and enjoy these reads!

WHAT LINKS DID YOU LIKE - AND HAVE YOU FOUND ANY FABULOUS NEW BLOGS TO FOLLOW? COMMENT BELOW, OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links  April 2016 | Not Dressed As Lamb
(Photo credits: Top row, left | Top row, right | Middle row, left | Middle row, right | Bottom row, left | Bottom row, right)

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I love how Daniella always wears exactly what she wants and never conforms to what a slim, attractive 20-something blonde "should" wear. She does masculine chic so, so well.

There's something about designer collections recreated as fierce fashion illustrations that fascinate me.

If you didn't already read about Melanie's experience as a 50+ model for the day then you must - despite coming across as a pro she was every bit as nervous as the next woman would be.
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Monday, 25 April 2016

Orange Jumpsuit With a Window Pane Check Jacket #iwillwearwhatilike

SS16: Orange short sleeved jumpsuit, black and white window pane check jacket, black pointed toe heels, Aztec-style eagle necklace, colour block bag | Not Dressed As Lamb

This week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is dungarees, overalls or jumpsuits - although I'm a big fan of dungarees I thought I'd go with jumpsuits for a change! 

My bright orange jumpsuit is by La Redoute and it was one of those items I truly hoped would look as good on me as it did online. Jumpsuits are often hard to get right where fit is concerned - if you're short or long waisted that can definitely cause you problems. Luckily this fitted me perfectly (I'm long waisted), so I was ecstatic that I could now extend my orange obsession into a head-to-toe orange fest.

As I'm also currently favouring brights with black and white, I wore it with my black and white window pane jacket (similar), rolled up the hems a couple of times (I may take them up) and added black pointed heels. It definitely needed a statement necklace so the Aztec-style eagle necklace got rescued from the potential jewellery decluttering pile and gave the t-shirt style top half of this jumpsuit the oomph it needed.

DESPITE THE USUAL GOING-TO-THE-BATHROOM HASSLES JUMPSUITS CREATE, I WISH I HAD MORE. THEY'RE THE TROUSERS EQUIVALENT OF A DRESS: THROW IT ON, ADD SHOES AND YOU'RE DRESSED.

Despite the usual going-to-the-bathroom hassles jumpsuits create, I wish I had more. I have a grey one from a couple of years ago that's a bit of a snug fit now (though maybe I should hold onto it if my #notlambFIT journey continues to go well) - they're the trousers equivalent of a dress: Throw it on, add shoes and you're dressed.

And really, do we need any more hassle than that... I certainly don't ;)

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Sunday, 24 April 2016

5 Top Tips For Keeping Fit Over 40 #notlambFIT Update No.4

5 Top Tips For Keeping Fit Over 40 | Not Dressed As Lamb
Finally I feel like I'm getting somewhere in my mission to get back to fitness. After coming up with 6 ways to get your fitness motivation back, I finally found my groove again and have done really well in the last two weeks. My energy levels are back up (still some room for improvement), I have almost been able to avoid sugar altogether, and the exercise has been tough but regular.

I'VE BEEN ABLE TO GET BACK INTO AT LEAST ONE PAIR OF TROUSERS I'D PREVIOUSLY ABANDONED WHICH IS ALWAYS ENCOURAGING.

Results: 4lb lost in two weeks, which is twice as much as I'd planned to lose so I'm more than happy with that. I can start to see a little improvement in both what I see in the mirror and how my waistbands are feeling, i.e. no longer uncomfortably tight. I've been able to get back into at least one pair of trousers I'd previously abandoned which is always encouraging.

As I've upped my exercise since the last #notlambFIT update (or rather, as I've stuck to it this time) and I've had results, this week I thought I'd share my 5 top tips for keeping fit over 40. This may well work for any age, but being in my 40s I'm finding that this is what works for me.

5 Top Tips For Keeping Fit Over 40 | Not Dressed As Lamb

1. Walking every day

I honestly, truly believe in this one, and have done it for years. When I worked in an office I tended to go for a walk at lunchtime just to "get out of the office" and found that it refreshed me, cleared my mind and stopped me being stuck in the same position behind a computer all day: This is one of the biggest barriers to staying fit and healthy. The NHS's website explains just how bad sitting too much is for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do:

"Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and premature death. 
Prolonged sitting is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat. 
Many adults in the UK spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying, and this typically increases with age to 10 hours or more. This includes watching TV, using a computer, reading, doing homework, travelling by car, bus or train - behaviours referred to as sedentary."

In other words, scary stuff and a bit of a wake-up call for anyone who sits all day, not least bloggers.

I take a long, brisk walk every morning (about 35-40 minutes). I get some fresh air, say good morning to the regular people and dog walkers I see every morning, give my whole body a good stretch and get some vitamin D from the daylight.

An early morning walk is a great thing to do if you work from home because it gives you a "morning commute" - I time it so that after getting up and getting dressed, etc. I do all the household bits and pieces, then have my walk. When I get home I've basically "arrived at work" - I have breakfast and make myself a cuppa and it's 9am, ready for me to start my day. I know many people who work from home start much, much earlier, but I like to keep normal office hours if I can, and that means a 9am start to stop myself being a slave to my work (and to my computer, see point 1 above).

You'll often read that 10,000 steps a day is the recommended amount you should be taking. I have a FitBit to track sleep as well as steps - it's amazing how few steps you take when you're sitting all day, but equally amazing how many you take when you're being generally active with a walk, the housework, or shopping.


2. Always take the stairs

This is a non-exercise way of getting exercise: Whenever you have the opportunity to take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, take it. If you only need a few essentials, walk to the supermarket if it only takes two minutes to drive there (plus carrying the bags will give your arms a workout).
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Thursday, 21 April 2016

White Maxi Skirt and Layered Blouse (With Blue and Orange)

SS16 White pleated maxi skirt, white chiffon top, blue blazer, scarf as belt, orange lace up flats | Not Dressed As Lamb
NDAL banner

Sometimes an outfit works so perfectly that I'm even more excited about it once I've taken it off, edited the photos and admired the fruits of my labours. 

It's time to get serious about SS16 now, and I felt truly summery in this outfit made up of two gorgeous key pieces from the Jacques Vert Group's new edited SS16 collection - The Style Edit.

I will be honest and say I don't often shop from the Jacques Vert Group, but this season they've really upped their game and produced some rather lustworthy pieces. The Style Edit is described as:

...A DIRECTIONAL AND VERSATILE EDIT OF THE JACQUES VERT GROUP SS16 COLLECTIONS CURATED BY STYLIST SASHA BARRIE. KEY TRENDS ARE INTRODUCED BASED ON THE LATEST CATWALK LOOKS, VERSATILE STYLING PIECES AND SUMMER SOCIAL DIARIES.
 

They're offering "trend-focused quality pieces" in the edit, and the women it appeals to are those who want to look "effortlessly sophisticated". So hello, that's me...!

I was kindly asked if I wanted to style some pieces from the edit, so I chose the maxi plisse skirt and layered blouse (which both come in sizes 8-24 I'm pleased to say). A monochromatic look - especially in white - can be hard to pull off, but I decided to add blue and orange to give it some bold colour and counteract any suggestion of a bridal look a white maxi might give.

SS16 White pleated maxi skirt, white chiffon top, blue blazer, scarf as belt | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Archive by Alexa Collection: Do I Want to Wear Something So Hyped?

The Archive by Alexa Collection by Marks & Spencer, SS16 | Not Dressed As Lamb ponders the collection archived by Alexa Chung
Last week I did something I almost never do. I bought some pieces from a much-awaited, much hyped new collection: The Marks & Spencer Archive by Alexa collection, to be exact. Truthfully, I'm just never keen on jumping on the bandwagon and joining in with everyone else - following the crowd was never my thing, even when I was young.

So do I want to wear something so hyped?

YOU CAN USUALLY SPOT ONE OF THE PIECES FROM A MILE AWAY, AND WE ALL KNOW THAT MANY PEOPLE BUY THEM SPECIFICALLY TO RESELL ON EBAY FOR AN EXTORTIONATE PRICE.

In recent years we've had Balmain for H&M, Kate Moss for Topshop, Ivy Park by Beyoncé for Topshop and numerous other collections that have been hyped and stalked and launched - only to sell out within a day or so. You can usually spot one of the pieces from a mile away, and we all know that many people buy them specifically to resell on eBay for an extortionate price.

And everybody's wearing them (or so it seems if Instagram is your whole world).

So what possessed me to make an exception this time, and more to the point, am I going to keep these pieces and actually wear something I fear I may see being worn by another person - horror of horrors - at the same event?

The Archive by Alexa Collection: Can I Wear Something So Hyped? | Not Dressed As Lamb ponders

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Monday, 18 April 2016

Styling Up a Statement Floral Trench For the Seaside #iwillwearwhatilike

Spring style: Blue floral honeysuckle trench coat, red bandanna, white backpack, oversized round sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb

We spent a day at the beach yesterday - Charmouth in Dorset - and it was chilly but beautifully sunny. It was actually ideal weather for wearing a trench coat, 

and I wore the Hobbs SS15 trench coat with the gorgeous blue honeysuckle pattern that appeared on the blog a few times last summer - I loved it with a typically bright choice of yellow and mauve…!

As you can see Charmouth is a pebble beach - it's part of the Jurassic Coast and is famous for its fossil hunting. So a walk along the beach like this required some comfy footwear (Adidas Stan Smiths) and a backpack for carrying essentials.

A red bandana tied at the neck was enough to stop unwanted chills and adds a touch of colour, but the combination of strong sunshine and a lot of walking meant I didn't really need a thick scarf (even down at the beach where it's pretty windy).

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Blogging Tips | 9 Essentials For Your Blog Worth Spending Money On (Even if "It's Just a Hobby")

Blogging Tips: 9 Essentials For Your Blog Worth Spending Money On

If you think your blogging equipment is a bit on the sparse side (comprising not much more than your laptop and phone), you may want to think about investing a little money into your baby. 

I often read about blogs being "just a hobby" so there's no need to spend anything on them, but there's a perfectly logical argument as to why there are some essentials for your blog that are worth spending money on.

If you think about most hobbies (cooking, theatre going, woodworking, sailing, bird watching, fishing, coin collecting, golf, scuba diving, hangliding, cosplaying, bowling, cycling, astronomy...), they do cost some, or a lot, of money. Equipment, tickets, consumables, memberships, subscriptions - the list goes on and on.

Professional bloggers aside, why should blogging be any different to other hobbies when it comes to spending money on something you do for the pure enjoyment of it?

Blogging's a bit like fishing: For most it's a hobby, but to catch the best fish you need to spend a bit of money on a proper fishing rod and bait rather than relying on a piece of string tied to a stick and your sandwich crusts.


BLOGGING'S A BIT LIKE FISHING: FOR MOST IT'S A HOBBY, BUT TO CATCH THE BEST FISH YOU NEED TO SPEND A BIT OF MONEY ON A PROPER FISHING ROD AND BAIT RATHER THAN RELYING ON A PIECE OF STRING TIED TO A STICK AND SANDWICH CRUSTS.

Astronomy? You need a telescope. Theatre going? You have to buy tickets. Cooking? Food. Golf? Clubs. Cycling? A bike. People splash out on all these things for their hobbies because it enriches the experience (and some hobbies are impossible to do without spending money - theatre going, for example).

In other words, if you want to get the best out of blogging and do it in the best way you can, you need to invest both time and some money. It's no less worthy a pastime than skydiving, sailing, or cosplay. Think how much money comic book collectors spend on their hobby (I should know, I married one).

There are some very simple, very cheap essentials that I think all bloggers should be spending a little money on to make themselves look more professional. I, too, was a hobby blogger once - and I had no intention of becoming a professional blogger because I didn't know such a thing existed. But I always wanted to invest in my blog, and I knew that meant spending some money on it. I was happy to do that because I was proud of my blog and wanted it to be the best it could be.

I HAD NO INTENTION OF BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW SUCH A THING EXISTED. I ALWAYS WANTED TO INVEST IN MY BLOG. I WAS HAPPY TO DO THAT BECAUSE I WAS PROUD OF MY BLOG AND WANTED IT TO BE THE BEST IT COULD BE.

The list of essentials is not exhaustive - there are many more things that would be relevant for some blogging niches and not for others. But this should give you a guide as to how and where your money is best spent.

So in case you think you can't afford some of things, I've put an average or starting price of each thing I've suggested... They may be more affordable than you think. Here are the 9:



1. A custom domain for your blog

This is one of the easiest, cheapest things to get your blog, but so many bloggers don't do it. It's like making your cat eat straight out the tin... Just buy him a nice food bowl! It doesn't cost that much and will last quite a while. It'll show visitors to your house that you care about your cat, plus it looks so much nicer and your cat will love you for it.

Buying a custom domain for your blog is as much of a no-brainer as buying a bowl for your cat. They're cheaper than you might think: A dot com starts at just over a tenner a year. That's just £1 a month...! I have read that as Blogspot is a free platform it's often targeted by spammers, so using a custom name for your Blogspot blog might help eliminating that.

Any blog URL with blogspot, wordpress or tumblr in them look amateurish and will obviously make your URL much longer - it doesn't look great on a business card (see point 8).

Two of the most popular sites to buy domains from are godaddy.com and 123-reg.com. I use the latter, and their tutorial on how to get your custom domain to point to your blog is very straightforward (I've done it successfully on three different blogs now and I hate doing things like that).

Think to yourself: Did I really need to buy that MAC lipstick this month when I could have bought a custom domain for my blog for a lot less...?

Price: £7-12 per year depending on the TLD (top-level domain, e.g. com, co.uk, org) you choose.


2. The best DSLR you can afford

I read this all the time: You don't need a fancy camera to take good blog photos. You can get great shots with a smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera. While this is true to some extent, you're limiting yourself to the settings available on those cameras and desperately seeking out the very best conditions every time you shoot anything. Hand on heart, I can honestly say once you switch to a DSLR with the right lens, you will wonder why you never got one earlier and how on earth you coped without one before.
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Thursday, 14 April 2016

The Crazy Housewife Look: A Fluffy Pink Cardigan and Paisley Joggers

Spring style: Fluffy pink cardigan, paisley joggers, black lace up pointed flats, up do, cat eye sunglasses, evil eye brooch

Some days I feel like switching it up entirely and going for something not so much "out of my comfort zone", but doing it more "not me". This look was inspired by two things: 

Firstly, the practice up-do for the UK Blog Awards ceremony at the end of the month (check out the sneak peek of my fairy princess look for that), and secondly, the fluffy pink cardigan I was about to put in the selling/charity pile after a wardrobe clear out I've started following my vow to sort out my house.

It went on the pile because I hadn't worn it in over a year, and as I did thought I'd just try it on first - and kind of liked it with the hair. All that pink fluff made me feel like a glamorous housewife from some old 70s movie set in Miami, so the finishing touch was the evil eye brooch (for some extra kitsch) and crazy-assed paisley joggers (you know, for a touch of slouching-about-at-home attitude).

ALL THAT PINK FLUFF MADE ME FEEL LIKE A GLAMOROUS HOUSEWIFE FROM SOME OLD 70S MOVIE SET IN MIAMI, SO THE FINISHING TOUCH WAS THE EVIL EYE BROOCH AND CRAZY-ASSED PAISLEY JOGGERS.

The black lace-up block heels (I think they're called ghillie shoes?) add a bit of drama... As if this look needed more. I like the fact that mine have that medium block heel: A bit of extra height is always a bonus. Mine are sold out but I adore these ghillie bootie heeled sandals from ASOS (for a bit of height) and these black suede ghillie lace up flats (more like mine but without the heel).

Spring style: Fluffy pink cardigan, paisley joggers, black lace up pointed flats, up do, cat eye sunglasses, evil eye brooch
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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Why More Brands Should Be Using Over 40 Fashion Bloggers As Models

50+ blogger Mel Kobayashi (Bag and a Beret) modelling for Nuage by Claire Cormeau

The representation of older women in advertising - or rather, the under representation - is something I've been thinking about for quite a while. Back in 2012 I wrote about how the high street could serve the mature woman better 

where I mentioned what a great idea it would be for brands to use style bloggers as models.

Four years later, and I haven't seen anything like this happening - till now.

Earlier this month the incredibly striking (and Tilda Swinton lookalike) Melanie Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret published a post about her day as a 50+ supermodel - and I felt like jumping on the sofa Tom Cruise-style. (You'll be glad to know I didn't because, you know, I'm just too cool for that. ;)

She modelled Nuage, the new line by designer Claire Cormeau, in a series of gorgeous photos - some fierce, some very soft.

WHAT STRUCK ME FIRST WAS NOT THE FACT THAT AN OLDER WOMAN WAS MODELLING FOR A BRAND (IT'S NOT THE FIRST TIME), BUT THAT SHE LOOKED ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. HER AGE WAS IRRELEVANT.

What struck me first was not the fact that an older woman was modelling for a brand (it's not the first time), but that she looked absolutely incredible. Her age was irrelevant. Claire Cormeau had chosen the right person to model her new collection which was edgy but also fun - in other words, exactly what Melanie is like. (And exactly the reason why I featured her in my post that talked about dressing without the fear of "what will others think".

So why is this the first time I've seen a blogger - an older blogger - modelling for a clothing brand? And why aren't more brands doing this?
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Monday, 11 April 2016

Rock Chic Meets Corporate Style With A Graphic Tee #iwillwearwhatilike

Rock Chic Meets Corporate Style: Navy and black with a rock tee, skinny scarf and mint biker jacket | Not Dressed As Lamb

This week I've clashed some classic navy (trousers) with a graphic tee for a rock chic meets corporate style. The #iwillwearwhatilike link up theme today is graphic tees - 

one of the original items on the list of "banned" things for the over 30s that kicked off the original #iwillwearwhatilike campaign back in August (scroll down for an explanation).

I have quite a few rock/graphic tees: My beloved David Bowie t-shirt; the (very apt) 1972 Adidas t-shirt; the superhero-style Obama tee and my "Confidence is the best outfit" tee, amongst others.

What I find crazy about this notion that women over 30/40/50 are too old for graphic tees is that the difference between a printed t-shirt and a plain one, or even a graphic tee and a patterned tee, is the matter of a bit of extra ink in a few different places. Unless you're spouting some vile message via a slogan, what difference does it really make to anyone else if your t-shirt has some pattern or words on it?

If someone has an issue with whether a mature woman's t-shirt has a bit of extra print on it, then I reckon they must have very little to worry about in their own life if they're concerning themselves with that with regards to someone else. Lucky them, eh...?

Anyway - to far more important matters! This is one of those mish-mash outfits that I really liked because of its contrasts: Biker jacket in mint, a grungey grey rock tee, smart navy trousers and a floral skinny scarf. Nothing new here except for the stunning Lizzy O snake print and diamante wrap bracelet - this adds that extra touch of bling and edge to an outfit and suited the mint jacket perfectly.

THIS IS ONE OF THOSE MISH-MASH OUTFITS THAT I REALLY LIKED BECAUSE OF ITS CONTRASTS: BIKER JACKET IN MINT, A GRUNGEY GREY ROCK TEE, SMART NAVY TROUSERS AND A FLORAL SKINNY SCARF.

So do add your outfits to this week's link up - don't forget you may be featured next week if you've linked up an outfit with a graphic tee - that includes rock tees, logo tees and slogan tees too... Otherwise link up everything you've been wearing, old posts and new!

DO YOU HAVE A COLLECTION OF GRAPHIC/ROCK TEES LIKE ME? DO TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITES IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Rock Chic Meets Corporate Style: Navy and black with a rock tee, skinny scarf and mint biker jacket | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

6 Ways to Get Your Fitness Motivation Back #notlambFIT Update No.3

6 Ways to Get Your Fitness Motivation Back on Track | Not Dressed As Lamb
Ohhhh... This is going to be a tough post to write. What was meant to be a positive summary of my progress is now going to be a pep talk to myself! I'll explain...

So we had Easter, and of course the inevitable happened - too much eating generally, large portions, tasty puddings and of course chocolate. We had a couple of family birthdays too, so there was also birthday cake, and yet more puddings. I have no excuse, but a long weekend of too much celebration and not enough exercise turned into about 7-10 days of falling off the fitness wagon almost entirely.

YOU HAVE TO GET RIGHT BACK UP, DUST YOURSELF OFF AND CLIMB BACK ON BOARD AGAIN, AND THAT'S WHAT I'M DOING HERE.

But luckily not enough to give up altogether, which is all too easy to do. I was still clinging by my fingernails to the back of that wagon (otherwise known as a strong desire to get fit), thank goodness. You have to get right back up, dust yourself off and climb back on board again, and that's what I'm doing here.

I need to find new ways of finding my motivation again; whilst being somewhat inactive and being on social media (and the sofa!) more hasn't been such a good thing for this process, it has at least given me the chance to re-evaluate my goals and think about how I'm going to achieve them.

This week I read the most fantastically inspiring post How I Lost Weight Without Dieting by the wonderful Michelle of The Barefaced Chic. As well as the post being a very entertaining read, this is the story of a (then) 49-year-old woman who decided to get her health in order - the before and after pictures speak for themselves. Her advice is incredibly sensible and straightforward, and the fact that she looks 20 years younger is a testament to that sensible approach. (I've met her in real life too and she really doesn't look a day over 35.)

As I haven't actually weighed myself for the last two weeks (I know I'm not losing weight because my trousers are still just as tight), I'm going to assume I'm still the same weight, and maybe even a few pounds heavier. I'm more lethargic than I was at the beginning of my #notlambFIT journey too so that's another thing that hasn't changed that should have.

Firstly, I'm changing my target date that I originally set at May 1st to a more realistic date of July 23rd. There are two reasons for this:

  1. I am not under so much pressure to be at my target weight in what is now less than a month.
  2. It's the date that my husband has also set as the date that he wants to reach his target weight by. It's also my birthday, so it's a memorable date that we both know we're working towards.

So this is my new goal from today: 

15 weeks, 15lbs.


[Update 11/04/2016: Please remember not to judge how much I want to lose on how you think I look - I am still receiving comments that mention how I don't 'look' like I need to lose 15lbs... This is my journey back to FITNESS, and we're not able to tell how fit someone is by judging how they look. Read: Health cannot be determined by what you see on the outside.]

That's only 1lb weight loss a week: I feel positive about it being perfectly achievable. I'll still only weigh myself once every two weeks, and I'll take more notice of how tight my trousers are - and how I feel. There are some new rules that I'm setting myself in order to get out of a rut and get my mojo back. Maybe some of these will help you if you're in a similar rut - this is my NEW way of thinking about this...!

My six rules for getting my fitness motivation back are:


1. Sleep is going to be my number one priority

For too many years I have sacrificed how much sleep I get in order to do "just a bit more work". Although I am self-employed as a blogger and I don't (and can't) stick to traditional working hours, it's essential to my health that I make rest and sleep my number one priority, even if I think I'm not getting enough work done. By being so tired every day, I'm not working efficiently anyway so working late isn't actually helping me.

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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Casual Spring Style | Bright Pastels: Pink, Mint, White and Grey

Spring Style: Pink, mint and grey stripes | Not Dressed As Lamb

Full of the joys of spring (style), I wore this outfit last weekend when it was sunny and mild - well it was at home, anyway. 

One 20-minute trip in the car later, and it was raining and chilly at the other end... Brilliant. Luckily I'd taken a large wrap scarf with me because we were headed to the cinema and it sometimes gets cold in there, so it was used outside rather than in this time.

But wet weather aside, I couldn't wait to wear this spring-like outfit of pink, mint, white and grey. None of the pieces are new, so it's nice to wear a new combo from already-owned items in my wardrobe. My winter coats are still on standby and as much as I want to wear my orange animal print coat or my blue and white check duster coat again, it feels wrong to be wearing them still when it's May next month.

WET WEATHER ASIDE, I COULDN'T WAIT TO WEAR THIS SPRING-LIKE OUTFIT OF PINK, MINT, WHITE AND GREY. NONE OF THE PIECES ARE NEW, SO IT'S NICE TO WEAR A NEW OF COMBO FROM ALREADY-OWNED ITEMS IN MY WARDROBE. 

The combination of a mild winter (that seems to be lingering somewhat) and a pre-Christmas injury that forced me to spend much of the winter indoors means my winter coats have hardly been worn. When I put them back into storage at the end of the month (meaning yes, if the temperature drops freakishly I'm going to be cold) it'll feel like I only just unpacked them, especially as we had a late summer holiday to Santorini last year and I was wearing a bikini in October.

Spring Style: Pink, mint and grey stripes | Not Dressed As Lamb
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But this time of year, for me, is my favourite time because you have everything to look forward to: Days getting longer, temperatures (hopefully) rising, flowers coming into bloom and trees growing leaves all of a sudden. (Does it seem that way to anyone else? One day they have no leaves, the next day - BOOM. All the leaves have grown overnight.)

This Sunday I'll be publishing my latest update for my #notlambFIT series - it's not going great at the moment, damn you, Easter!! Need to get my motivation back. At least it'll be an honest post and something you can all relate too...!

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO ALL THINGS SPRING? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!
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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

9 Office Chic Fashion Bloggers You Should Know

9 Office Chic Fashion Bloggers You Should Know

It's time for another post in my series of featured fashion bloggers - today I'm all over workwear with office chic fashion bloggers!

Although I don't any more, I did work in an office for many, many years and enjoyed the challenge of dressing 'properly' every day. Of course now I'm working from home I can get away with jeans and sweatshirts - I somewhat miss dressing up that much now! The dress code at my old office was incredibly relaxed - as we didn't meet the public or clients (not often, anyway) we could get away with wearing almost anything, as long as we avoided the aforementioned slouchy combo.

I may not need to dress for the office anymore, but I still like to take inspiration from bloggers who are absolutely nailing workwear - in this post I've featured some bloggers whose niche is office chic, and others that wear all sorts but either feature workwear regularly, or simply have a style that would be suited to an office environment.

Many of the featured outfits would be perfect for corporate environments and others are more appropriate for creative workplaces - but with the odd tweak here and there I'm sure there'll be a ton of inspiration for you if you need to amp up your office wardrobe.

SOME OUTFITS WOULD BE PERFECT FOR CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTS AND OTHERS ARE MORE APPROPRIATE FOR CREATIVE WORKPLACES - BUT WITH THE ODD TWEAK HERE AND THERE I'M SURE THERE'LL BE A TON OF INSPIRATION FOR YOU.

Whether you work in an office or not, I can guarantee you'll still love the amazing style of these lovely ladies - let me know your thoughts!

HAVE YOU FOUND ANY NEW-TO-YOU BLOGGERS THAT YOU'RE NOW OBSESSING OVER? (I HOPE YOU HAVE!) TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Workwear: 9 Office Chic Fashion Bloggers You Should Know | Not Dressed As Lamb
Image credit above: Sed Bona | Top image, L-R: Memorandum | Corporate Catwalk | Tanesha Awasthi

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Monday, 4 April 2016

How to Wear Yellow | With Black, White and Orange #iwillwearwhatilike

Yellow duster coat with black, orange and white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb

This week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is yellow - not an easy colour to pull off but I adore it. Of course I'm drawn to anything bright,

and in the winter I wore this yellow coat with aubergine and lilac, so I went a little simpler this time. Black and white really showed off the yellow, and another punch of warm colour from the orange tote bag tied it together.

I can remember wearing black and yellow to a wedding in the mid 1980s in my teens: A black roll neck and black bolero jacket(!) with a full yellow and black polka dot skirt. And probably a yellow ribbon in my ponytail. I seem to remember the 50s having a big influence on fashions at the time (I guess it's what you'd call the Back to the Future effect) - I find it amazing that I remember so distinctly things I wore on certain occasions 30 years ago yet I can't recall what I did yesterday.

My love of the colour yellow extends into summer dresses - one of my favourite dresses ever is my yellow Grace Kelly-style dress which I can't wait to wear again once the weather's much warmer. If I had to choose just one colour to wear in dresses, it'd be yellow. (Blame that one on Sandy's dress in Grease.)

THE STAR OF THIS SHOW IS UNDOUBTEDLY THAT YELLOW UMBRELLA - I'LL BE HONEST AND SAY I BOUGHT IT A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WOULD LOOK GOOD IN OUTFIT PHOTOS.

However the star of this show is undoubtedly that yellow umbrella - sadly no longer available, I'll be honest and say I bought it a couple of years ago because I thought it would look good in outfit photos (and keep the rain off). It's never appeared on the blog because it either hasn't rained or I'd forgotten to take it when I did need it. It's by Fulton but I'm pretty sure it was an Orla Kiely pattern, so Orla Kiely + yellow + umbrella = no brainer for me. And what better time to showcase it for the first time than when the theme is yellow...?!

Yellow duster coat with black, orange and white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
SHOP THE LOOK:



So get linking up your yellow clothes, shoes or accessories - and everything else too of course (the theme is optional). You may be featured next week if you've linked up something yellow though - and don't forget to add a link please to be kind (and to be featured)!

ARE YOU A YELLOW FAN - IF SO, WHAT TYPE OF YELLOW (LEMON, SUNSHINE, MUSTARD)? AND CAN YOU REMEMBER WHAT YOU WORE ON PARTICULAR OCCASIONS FROM YEARS AGO LIKE ME...? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Yellow duster coat with black, orange and white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
Yellow duster coat with black, orange and white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
Yellow duster coat with black, orange and white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
Yellow duster coat with black, orange and white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
Yellow duster coat with black, orange and white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
Yellow duster coat with black, orange and white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
ASOS coat (I like this yellow wool coat and this mustard duster coat) | Fulton umbrella (this is a plain yellow umbrella, but while looking for alternatives I saw the Lulu Guinness lips umbrella which I adore) | ASOS roll neck (alternative off-white roll neck) | Topshop black trousers (these black peg leg trousers are pretty much the same) | White Adidas Stan Smiths | Hobbs Adlington tote bag

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


#iwillwearwhatilike | Not Dressed As Lamb
Thank you for joining the #iwillwearwhatilike link up! This started as a campaign on Instagram in August 2015 where women over 30 wore everything on a journalist's list of "inappropriate" items for 30+ women (including leopard print, short dresses and oversized sunglasses. Yes, really). It was so popular that I decided to carry it on weekly where women of all ages link up their fabulous style, never mind what anyone tells them not to wear!

So link up all your fabulous outfits (or shoes, accessories, make-up, etc.) every Monday at 3pm UK time - it'll stay open for a week. Whilst the original article was of course aimed at the 30+, you can be ANY age to link up. The only criteria is that you're wearing whatever you damn well like!






PLEASE NOTE
This is for linking up what you've been wearing (or would like to wear) only. I like to keep it all looking tidy because I'm a bit of a neat-freak, so non-outfit links will be removed - it's only fair to others linking up!


NEXT WEEK:
THE OPTIONAL THEME FOR 11 APRIL IS GRAPHIC TEES


Please be a good sport and do the following...

1. Follow your host Not Dressed As Lamb via Bloglovin or Instagram
2. Link up your outfits (blog or Instagram posts) that show how you choose to wear what you like - as many as you like!
3. Include a link back to the post if you're linking from a blog post, or add my button (below)
4. Post your outfit on Instagram (if you use it) with the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike - Monday's the day to join in the IG fun
5. Please do not link up anything other than outfits, shoes, accessories or make-up - non-outfit links will be removed. This link up is for linking up what you've been wearing (or would like to wear) only
6. Visit some of the other links and share the love!

#iwillwearwhatilike | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Featured favourites

Fashion bloggers #iwillwearwhatilike
My favourite  outfits from last week's link up (no theme due to it being Easter Monday):

To get yourself featured next week, link up something following this week's theme and make sure you've included a link back to Not Dressed As Lamb or my button in your post/sidebar!

DO SHARE THE LOVE AND VISIT AS MANY LINKS AS YOU CAN (YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT OTHER LOVELY LIKE-MINDED LADIES YOU MIGHT MEET) - THE ORIGINAL INSTAGRAM CAMPAIGN FORGED SOME WONDERFUL NEW FRIENDSHIPS SO DON'T MISS OUT!

Catherine

P.S. DO CHECK OUT MY PINTEREST BOARD WITH ALL THE BEST OF THE #IWILLWEARWHATILIKE LINK UPS - HAVE YOU BEEN PINNED...?

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