Thursday, January 26, 2017

New Year - Same Me, But Better

So this year, I gave in, I jumped on the bandwagon, I adhered to the cliches and I went on a quest for a "New Year, New Me"
I got myself a personal trainer, started fitness classes, went running (albeit I almost died) and I even gave up junk food... and to top it all off, I have lasted longer than my usual breaking point of two weeks.
I am seriously addicted to junk food - no joke! I'm not being dramatic and saying I'm addicted because I simply 'like' chocolate- I'm talking more like... lying in my bed at night having sweats if I knew that there was some in the house and I couldn't have it. So lets just say, giving it up has been pretty tough. In fact, the diet for me has definitely been the hardest part.
Now before any of you start, I know I am not overweight, nor do I need to lose mountain loads of weight, but I have definitely gained a little more than I am used to over the Christmas period (as most of us did) and I also know that my diet of sugary foods and takeaways really needed to change. I am not encouraging strict diets but I most definitely encourage a healthy lifestyle and that is what I am trying to achieve for myself.
When I decided to open my boutique, any physical activity that I did beforehand stopped. I didn't have the time or the energy to do anything, so although I was always on the go with my business, I wasn't exercising and was surviving on convenience food.

Fast forward to January when I decided to make a change - my fitness levels were at an all time low, my diet was horrendous and I had zero energy, dull skin and a crappy sleeping pattern -
so I set myself a goal... I was going to get my life on track, eat healthy, exercise, get my body confidence back and have more energy... and all before I turn cough*30*cough.

So my first step was to find myself a personal trainer. I knew that I didn't have the discipline to get out of my bed and go to classes and I most definitely couldn't do it myself at home so it was my only option. I started with a lady called Maria McMenamin who has a reputation for kicking peoples asses into shape and that was exactly what I needed.
During my first class I felt like I was going to either die, faint or be sick... I even pretended to have to go to the toilet just so I wouldn't pass out in front of her (sorry Maria, if you are reading this) and whilst that has definitely improved, to this day, I can't get through a full class without having to take a break (or several). But I do notice that my fitness levels are improving day by day and I love that feeling of achievement when I can do a little more each time.
In saying that, so many have told me "You will become obsessed" or "You will love it" and I definitely have NOT got to that stage yet, in fact, whilst I am in the middle of it, I hate every second of it, but then I think of my goal and get mad at myself and keep going and afterwards I feel great.
I most definitely will not become one of those bloggers that shoves their fitness in your face but what I will do is document my struggles and achievements throughout my journey... real talk, no BS.
For example, last night I went for a run, set myself a short route and couldn't even make it half way. My throat burned, My heart was pounding beyond belief and when I got home I was dizzy, out of breath and felt like I might drop. But thats what happened and hopefully next time I might do a little better.
The same goes for my dieting... I am definitely eating a million times more healthy than I was before but my God its a struggle. If I see one more dry breast of chicken I may scream or commit murder... either or. I also have had a few slip ups... particularly in the form of last weekend where my "cheat meal" turned into steak, garlic potatoes and a half bottle of red wine followed by a breakfast bap and a Chinese the next day. But you know what? who cares? Because come Monday morning, I was back to porridge - literally.
My weight hasn't exactly fallen off either, I'm still the exact same weight on the scales as I was on the day that I started, but I was warned to go by measurements rather than scales as fat is turning to muscle and weighs more, so I did that and discovered that I had lost an inch off my waist, my bust and each thigh. Not bad for three weeks work. I just need to stop being so impatient and thinking that if I eat healthy for a day then weigh myself I will have a full stone off... the joys of being an impatient woman.
So I guess my reason for starting this fitness journey blog isn't to say - "I'm great, watch me work out" but its to say, "here is someone who hates healthy food, hates exercise but is doing it anyway" so lets see how it goes! I'll keep you posted... that is, if I survive my next run...
#PrayForNicola #SkinnyFor30
Nicola x

Monday, January 9, 2017

Golden Globes - Hits & Misses

As a fashion enthusiast (or should I say obsessive) I live for the red carpet coverage of big events like the Golden Globes, The Oscars, The Met Ball etc. but recently I have found them so underwhelming, almost as if the celebs had just got bored of the hype and went for more simple and dare I say it... boring looks. None of them stood out to me as best dressed nor were any so bad that we could all bitch about (and lets face it, thats our favourite part)
 So as you can imagine, I almost yelled from the roof tops when I saw the red carpet coverage this morning of the Golden Globes! Welcome back dramatic fashion, I have missed you!
Can I just say "Wow" what a display of designs it was... There were so many that I fell in love with and much to my delight, so many that I wasn't a *cough* fan of! 
So I have rounded up a few of my hits & misses from the night and some that I have to say I am (controversially) sitting on the fence with! Have a look and let me know if you agree or disagree with my choices!
Nicola x

HITS - My Best Dressed Choices 

Blake Lively in Atelier Versace (Pictured above)
First up, I hate to be cliché and pick the one that everyone else did, but how could we not have the Queen that is Blake Lively as our best dressed. 
The Woman can do no wrong. Her simple elegance never fails to impress and whilst her black Atelier Versace Gown was for the most part plain black, it was far from boring.
Those embellished pockets (who doesn't love a dress with pockets right?), the stunning neck detail, the dresses ornate structure, the flowing train... I cannot fault this look for one second.
I love that Blake didn't over accessorise. She kept her hair & makeup understated and let her gown do the talking... and wow did she make a statement! It is a great lesson that less sometimes is always more! We bow to you Queen Blake and of course to your kick-ass stylist!

Olivia Culpo wearing Zuhair Murad
I understand that this dress may not be for everyone but I am OBSESSED! Zuhair Murad would definitely be one of my favourite couture designers and as a print designer myself, I love strong, bold structures and colours. The silhouette is stunning and I love the sexy peep of flesh in the top leading down to the fairytale flowing skirt. The hair and makeup is classic with a vintage twist and this sets off the look perfectly! Definitely up there with my all time favourites!

Guiliana Rancid wearing Rani Zachem
I love Guiliana and her playful sense of fashion. Even though this dress is from Zachems fall/winter collection, to me it gives stunning Spring vibes and I love the subtle floral detail. The full dress flatters Guilianas shape and the pastel colours are fab against her skin tone.

Kerry Washington wearing Dolce & Gabbana 
I love the intricate detail involved in every D&G gown and this one is no exception. It is OTT but in all of the right ways. The colour is stunning on Kerry and the length really elongates her shorter silhouette!

Sofia Vergara wearing Zuhair Murad
Another Zuhair Murad dress and another one that I am drooling over. The sheer background, the shape, the detail, every little part of this dress screams sexy with a blast of elegance! 
Love, Love, Love!!

Evan Rachel Wood wearing Altuzarra Suit
I love it when someone decides to break the mould and rock up in a tux! The androgynous style is one that I have always admired and I think Evan Rachel Wood carries it off perfectly! Huge thumbs up for this one!

Mandy Moore wearing Naeem Khan
I can't quite put my finger on why I love this dress so much but I did the second I saw it. The flowing material is draped to perfection and the cape detail really accentuates the plunging neckline. I wouldn't normally be a fan of navy but this, I like!

Heidi Klum wearing J Mendel
J. Mendel has taken the classic monochrome B&W and catapulted them into 2017! I love the modern shape, the texture and the flash of skin on the mid-riff. I would guess that this one won't be to everyones taste but I think its gorgeous!

Chrissy Teigan wearing Marchesa
Who doesn't love Chrissy? I think this lady could wear a bin bag and still look amazing but it definitely helps when she rocks up wearing Marchesa!

The following are a few pieces from the Best Dressed lists across the World Wide Web that I have to admit I am really not feeling! Some of them have glowing reviews but I can't quite agree with them all. What do you think?

Tracee Ellis Ross wearing Zuhair Murad
I feel that I am committing sacrilege by putting a Zuhair Murad dress in my "on the fence" section and on first inspection I loved it but when I looked closely at the fit of the dress around her hips, I just wasn't a fan! I love the dress in theory but not quite in execution!

Jessica Biel wearing Ellie Saab
There is something that I want to love about this dress but I just feel like something is missing, it looks a little unfinished. More like a mock up and the real, more stunning dress is to follow. Definitely had a lot of potential but failed to wow me!

Hailee Steinfeld wearing Vera Wang
I love the colour, I love the fabric, I love the plunging neckline. I do not love the sleeves, the excess fabric or the sheer neckline. 3 outta 6 ain't bad!

Naomi Campbell wearing Atelier Versace
I love the intricacy of this gown but I can't help but think of paper origami when I look at it. The shape is stunning but I'm not quite feeling the folded paper vibe!

Janelle Monae wearing Armani
This dress is so "out there" that I probably should feel strongly enough about it to either love it or hate it but I can't bring myself to do either... in fact it really should have a category all of its own!

MISSES - My Worst Dressed Choices
Ok so I really just don't get some of these dresses... Some are ill-fitting and some just make me feel ill. Some look like every trend from 2016 threw up on them all at once and others... well others just fathom belief! Have a peek and see if you agree!

Ruth Negga wearing Louis Vuitton
This dress is on every "best dressed" list on the web... but I have to say... I just don't get it! I really don't, I have tried to understand but seriously... not working for me.
I find the shape drab, the clashing zip obnoxious and the long cap sleeve outdated. 

Michelle Williams wearing Louis Vuitton
Two words - Grandmothers curtains...

Natalie Portman wearing Prada 
I love the sentiment behind this dress, being an ode to Jackie Onassis Kennedy's inauguration outfit but I really believe it should have been left in the past. The shape is unflattering, the colour is insipid and the detail is disorganised. Not a fan!

Sarah Jessica Parker wearing Vera Wang Bridal
I really wish SJP had have left the Vera Wang bridal look to her alter ego 'Carrie' in Sex and the City. This is totally ill-fitting  and inappropriate for the occasion! For a lady that usually does no wrong... this is wrong, oh so wrong!

Nicole Kidman wearing Alexander McQueen
When I said that some of the celebs looks like 2016 threw up all over it with every trend that it ever had, I meant this one dress. Cold shoulders, sheer panels, embellishment, feather skirts, asymmetric hems, tulle frilling... stop me now, I'm getting a headache!

Claire Foy wearing Erdem
With this dress I feel that it was thrown together at the last minute, The hems look unfinished and the ribbon belt looks like it was all that was left in the bottom of the basket. The colour is totally washing Claire out and the shape of the shoulders is really unflattering to her frame!

Sophie Turner wearing Louis Vuitton
This dress had potential with its design but fabric choices, hemline lengths etc all play a part in its ruination! Usually a simple hair style adds to a red carpet look but in this case, I wish she had added some curls or a splash or red lipstick!

Anna Chlumsky in a Kelly-Green gown
Honestly for this one I have no words...

Monday, January 2, 2017

Top 20 Style Diaries of 2016

Floral dress from Sequin Cinderella Boutique, Nude heels from Topshop
In my last post I told you guys how my blog had suffered due to being so busy with opening the shop but the one thing I tried to keep on top of was my daily style diary on my social media. It was my way of sharing my looks with you all, giving style tips, showing new shop stock and sharing magic little finds that I picked up in different stores along the way. It didn't take up as much time as full blog posts but still kept you all in the loop. 
So now that I have vowed to get the blog back on track, I decided to have a look through all of my style pics. Even though it hasn't been a full 12 months since I started the #stylediaries, I thought the beginning of 2017 would be a nice time to round up 20 of my favourite looks and put them all together on the blog.
As you will see, my style doesn't fall into any particular genre and can change according to my mood. This is what I love about fashion, we don't have to follow a type or a style, we can be who we want to be and express ourselves in any way! 
I hope you like some of the top looks that I have pulled together and you can check out the details of each look underneath the pics!
If you want to start your own style diaries, be sure to tag your posts with the hashtags #StyleDiaries and #thesequincinderella . 
Nicola x

Dress from All Saints, Glitter sandals from Zara, Moschino Bracelet and Chanel Sunglasses
Floral Jeans and Cold Shoulder Shirt from my boutique, Sandals from River Island
Dress from H&M, Sandals from Zara, Necklace from my Boutique
Dr Denim Jeans and Bardot top from my boutique, Heels from Topshop
Dress & Boots from Topshop, Moschino Bracelet and Vintage Belt
Cartoon Jacket and Dr Denim Jeans from my boutique, Boots from Topshop

Velvet dress from my boutique, Belt from River Island, Boots from Zara and Guess watch.
Frill shirt from Exhibit, Leather look culottes from my boutique, boots from Topshop, Moschino bracelet.
Sequin Top from my boutique, Skirt from my own collection, Heels from River Island.
Dress from my boutique, Boots from River Island
No description necessary haha
Zara shirt, Dr Denim jeans from my Boutique, Belt from River Island.
Sheepskin coat from River Island, Dr Denim Jeans from my boutique, Tommy Hilfiger Boots, Hat from Internationale.
Fringed jacket by Religion, Patched jeans from my boutique, Boots from Zara
Dress by a new brand coming to my boutique in Spring, Belt & polo neck from River Island

Dress from my boutique, Heels from Topshop
Dress by Una Rodden, Platforms from Zara.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Eve 2016


I hope you had a lovely Christmas and that you enjoyed last nights celebrations.
I always find New Years Eve a little emotional, although it is a new beginning, it is also an ending of sorts. But with every ending comes a new opportunity and I for one am excited to grasp onto everything 2017 throws at me.
2016 was one of the most amazing years of my life. I got the chance to realise a life long dream and open the doors to my very own boutique. 
Thanks to every one of you it has been an incredible success so far and I cannot wait to see what the next year brings.
It has definitely been difficult juggling everything and my blog has absolutely suffered in the process of opening the shop but my New Years resolution is to get things back on track, do (at least) one blog post a week on here, get a new site up and running, continue with my daily style diaries on social media etc. because, whilst the boutique is everything I hoped it would be and more, I still love to post to my blog and keep my little online diary for you guys! It is where I started and what gave me the push to get to where I am today.

So here, for the first day of 2017, is my new beginning. 
My first style diary of the year, my outfit for New Years Eve. This stunning digital print silk dress is by local designer Una Rodden and I just fell in love with it the second I saw it.
My Mum bought it for me for Christmas and if my style could ever be summed up in a dress, this is it!
I teamed it with tiger print platforms from Zara which I got in Spain a few years back, my Moschino bracelet and some coral and gold earrings. I love the fact that this dress can be worn in a multitude of different ways and I look forward to wearing it again!

I hope you all had a lovely evening and have woken up today (hangover free) ready to face a new year!
Nicola x