Mani Monday #8

This is by far the easiest, classiest manicure you can have. Best bit? Super easy, simple to maintain, and it looks oh-so-cute!

20140224-090838.jpgThe guides were from Boots and I think these are the better ones, I have used cheaper ones in the past, but these really stick to your nails so you get a nice clean line and no puddles near your skin.

Make sure you clean your nails properly and treat them. To get the best results, my usual routine is here.

My nails are prone to chipping, especially on the edges, but I have found with this mani it is seriously reduced, probably due to the amount of varnish going on the very tips of the nail.

For this I used Barry M Matte White for the tips, with a sally Hansen nail hardening top coat, it really is that simple!

20140224-090823.jpg20140224-090851.jpg     20140224-090907.jpg

Just use two coats to get the pure white finish and you’re set. The best thing about this simple mani is you can jazz it up with gems however you wish! Just use a decent nail glue and follow the steps to nail gem application in this post.

Happy Monday!

– love Carla x

 

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The female perspective: Can men and women ever be just friends?

Spratt Says recently threw down the male gauntlet on the million dollar question – can men and women ever be just friends?

Although I cannot and would not attempt to say that my opinion speaks for the whole of womankind, I can give my sole, female perspective.

So, can men and women ever be just friends?

Unfortunately it would seem not. But it’s not as clear-cut as that – I think there are at least five types of male/female friendships:

1. The ‘unrequited love’ – two friends of the opposite sex who spend most of the time together and get on like a house on fire. They’ve probably known each other for a long time, but one of them harbours feelings for the other that are unknown (and always will be) and unreciprocated (more than likely) – think Dawson’s Creek/Pretty in Pink. Nothing can crack this friendship, until one of them gets a significant other that isn’t the friend.

2. The ‘never in the sober light of day’ – not really best friends, but friends nonetheless. This is usually a straight-forward, logical friendship where blunt advice is given, arguments can be had, but they’ve always got each others’ backs. There’s no physical attraction whatsoever even though they get on and know each other pretty well – until they both get absolutely smashed one night and the thought makes a fleeting appearance.

Can men and women be friends

3. The ‘flanter friendship’ – this friendship is based on ‘flanter’ – flirty banter. There’s an attraction and a LOT of flirting with severe immoral undertones, but it’s harmless. They wouldn’t, in theory, turn down the opportunity to have one night of no-strings sex, but in reality, the idea of it rather than the actual doing it is preferred. The flanter friendship, if maintained, can become a solid friendship – but the flirting will always be present.

4. The ‘should be something more’ – the worst of the male/female friendships. These two get on brilliantly, spend time together and joke about taking their friendship to the next level. Others will tell them they are perfect for each other, but the friendship is comfortable as it is. Until it’s not and something happens. Think Some Kind of Wonderful with a 50-50 on the ending – something happens and it’s great, or something happens and it was the biggest mistake ever made.

5. The ‘soulmates’ – the slow-burner of opposite sex friendships. They start out as either each other’s crush or initially dislike each other. They become friends and said friendship blossoms into a BFF situation before they realise they are, in fact, a perfect match – your When Harry Met Sally if you will. Marriage, babies and happily ever after all round.

Although this doesn’t exactly give a definitive answer to the question, to me, men and women can be friends, but never ‘just friends’ – there will always be feelings or thoughts or flirting.

What I do know, is that once you and your friend cross that line, you can never go back. So before you do, make sure it’s worth the risk, because nothing is worse than losing and missing your friend.

– love Stef x

Spratt Says: Can men and women ever be just friends?

Spratt SaysCan men and women ever be just friends? Such a topic was recently discussed on Loose Women (only thing on at the time, honest) and the panel were mixed on their answers.

It’s a tough question, and like Carol Vorderman and co found out, it’s hard to come up with a definitive answer.

However, sorry to be the bearer of bad news ladies, but most boys and girls can’t be ‘just friends’.

You know that one male friend you have? The shoulder you cry on when times are tough, the one who you think has no sexual interest in you whatsoever? Well he is a liar, and he has thought about being more than just friends. A lot.

How do I know? Because I’m a man and we’re all the same.

There’s a reason When Harry Met Sally is the best rom-com ever, and that’s because it’s the only one that is even slightly accurate.

Harry was adamant that men and women can’t be just friends because sex is too big an obstacle, Sally was adamant he was wrong.

Well… turns out Harry was right.

I did some research on the matter to back-up my opinion and right away I found a recent survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin.

It asked 88 sets of young male and female friends to rate their attraction to one another – it found that men were more likely to be attracted to female friends than the other way round.

It pretty much means that given half a chance, men would jump at the opportunity to have sex with their female friends. 

This is, however, entirely from a man’s perspective – I have no idea what a woman’s view is on the issue, but I’ve been to that place that can only be referred to as hell on Earth – ‘the friend zone’ – enough times to establish that girls do know how to distance themselves from anything more than friendship if need be.

Men are the problem here.

Unfortunately, we don’t always think with our heads and usually follow another part of our anatomy more often than not – and for that I can only apologise.

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Read the female perspective on whether men and women can ever be just friends here*

Too many rom-coms, not enough reality…

As an only child I spent a lot of time mastering the art of amusing myself – when I wasn’t out playing with friends, I was absorbing myself in books, films and TV series.

Although it formed a pretty vivid imagination which helped me to become a writer, it also loosened my grip on reality – to the point where a male friend told me only last week:

“You’ve seen way too many rom-coms. You need to realise that life isn’t actually like that.”

Of course he was absolutely right (not that I would ever tell him that), but it got me thinking…

Carla used the amazing Easy A quote in Fittie Friday, and that is exactly how I feel about life – so much so that that particular quote has been my bio on Facebook for a very long time:

“I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I want to ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey.

“I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me.

“Just once I want my life to be like an 80s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no. John Hughes did not direct my life.”

But this fantastical expectation of life, as I am slowly starting to accept, is not realistic. And that this, more importantly, is never going to happen:

 

It’s a sad realisation that the stories I’d immersed myself in growing up have distorted my views on life.

Pacey is not going to buy me a wall, Seth is not going to stand on a coffee cart and declare his love for me, Dan is not going to start a blog just so he can talk to me, and Noah ain’t gonna build a house for me – Goddammit!

But, in saying all of this, I have hope. There is a great romance just waiting to happen, it might not be Hollywood-style, but if it includes Penn Badgley I’m sure that’ll do nicely…

– love Stef x

10 Coats under £50

Well, it’s official – I’m skint. I am, however, on the hunt for a smart-looking coat for work – not a jacket.

Something that will keep me warm when I need to head out for meetings and have to park a million miles away from the destination, because with my luck, (and with huge thanks to the beautiful British weather), I will get rained on – I always do.

It’s hard to look smart with a coat on, but damn it I can try! So here are my favourite coats from the UK High Street.

I’m not sure which one I’ll go for yet, but if you want to voice your opinion, get in touch!

Which one would you go for?

– love Carla x

Marty McFly Power Laces Coming Next Year

That’s right folks, according to Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, the power laces will be coming to us in 2015, which happens to be the same year Marty travels to in Back to the Future Part II.

The Nike Air Mag, are THE shoes, and are practically an exact replica of what we see in the movie – LED lights and all. They will be rechargeable and good to wear for 5 hours at a time – Nike will be making a few tweaks for comfort though.

I am literally so excited it’s unreal. The Back to the Future movies are my all-time favourites, and I know they’re only trainers, but they may as well be the DeLorean and the Flux Capacitor with the Doc and Einey inside. That’s how excited I am. I am practically giddy writing this post.

And if that isn’t cool enough, the Nikes are being made for a fantastic cause, with the proceeds going to the Michael J Fox Foundation in the hope to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

The only downside is there will only be 1500 pairs made, and to make them even more difficult to get hold of, they’ll be auctioned on Ebay. Sigh.

Will you try and get your hands on these? I imagine they will be very expensive, but if I was loaded, I’d be all over that!

– love Carla x

Guest Blog: One girl’s guide to weight loss motivation

Emma’s story: It was about a year ago when my doctor told me I had an obese BMI and that I needed to lose weight – something like that really changes you.

What I originally thought was just a bit of extra baggage was now a one way ticket to diabetes, and I suddenly questioned everything about myself and my entire lifestyle.

That memory, which even now I hate to think about, was my epiphany moment in which I finally realised that my weight had spiralled out of control – I needed to fix it there and then – there were no excuses and no alternatives, it had to be done.

But do you have to wait until you’re shamed by your GP to finally start a healthy lifestyle? Do you have to wait until you’re classed as obese? No, you don’t. You can start right here, right now, you just need to find out what motivates you.

If you were to ask me today for a motivational weight loss quote I could recite quite a few – classics such as; ‘excuses don’t burn calories’ or ‘don’t eat sugar, you’re sweet enough already’ are some of the things I internally tell myself on a day-to-day basis to try and stay focused on my weight loss journey.

For a long time though, quotes like these meant absolutely nothing to me – I just wasn’t ready to hear them. After trying (and failing miserably) a million different diets and exercise regimes, I grew tired of hearing people say things like ‘eat clean, train dirty’ or ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ – I just want to smack them in the face with my Ben & Jerry’s.

The reality was that those quotes, no matter how inspirational some people thought they were, were just another reminder of my inability to lose weight and the continuous lack of motivation that I had.

When you know you’re fat, the worst thing you can hear is someone telling you you’re fat. It’s the same with motivation – when you have zero motivation, you hate it when people tell you how to be motivated, because you feel like nothing they can say will change you.

Motivation

Some people say that successful weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise – the gym bunnies of the world will probably say that it’s 70% diet and 30% exercise.

The truth is that it is motivation, above anything else, that is the key to a successful health regime, or any other achievement in life. If there is nothing driving you and pushing you to achieve your goals then what is going to stop you reaching for that bag of crisps or tasty chocolate bar?

So before you start your weight loss plan or even if you’ve tried and failed in the past, you need to understand your emotional triggers.

What would truly motivate you to lose weight? You need to find, what I think of as your ‘A-ha!’ moment (no, not the band), an epiphany in which you realise that you need to start making life changes and sticking to them in order to be happy. I like to call this motivational fuel.

For some, this could be something small such as your favourite jeans are now too tight as you’ve put on a few pounds over Christmas. However, for some of us who really struggle to get motivated it could be something much bigger, such as you have an obese BMI like I did, or you’ve been asked if you are pregnant (yes that happened to me too).

Sometimes it takes the drastic or the emotionally scaring to really wake you up and realise you need to do something. If you have finally hit your breaking point then this is your chance, use it to change your life and get healthy.

If you don’t know what your motivational fuel would be, then you need to think about all the times when you have been upset by your weight or when you have wanted to get healthy – try and find what would be a trigger for you to really push yourself.

If you don’t have any, then think of something which could happen in the future, such as you eventually get too big to shop at your favourite store or you would be too shy to wear a bikini on the beach.

Emma's Story

You need to picture how you would feel if that were to happen and why it’s now in your hands to change it. Once you’ve hit that epiphany moment you can now really kick start your life. But remember that motivation is a fire that you need to keep fuelling, so here are some of my tips to help:

1. ‘Think slim’ at every opportunity possible: This could be as soon as you wake up, when you do your food shopping, when you cook dinner and when you are at the gym. Every free moment that you have you need to be thinking about how you’ll look when you lose weight and how great you’ll feel. The more often you think about it the more it will resonate in your mind.

2. Create new habits: If you can dedicate 3 days a week to the gym, stick to those 3 days – no matter what. If you’re not able to go to the gym, start walking for a least 30 minutes a day. Or every time you want some chocolate have a piece of fruit instead. Eventually, it’ll become a habit and it’ll just become part of your routine like going to work or brushing your teeth. When you have created a habit that you can stick to, create more.

3. Don’t buy unhealthy food If it’s not in your cupboards it can’t tempt you: Seriously don’t buy crap, even for ‘treat’ days as you’ll just be making things harder for yourself. Out of sight, out of mind – at least until you can control your cravings.

4. Track your progress: Apps such as MyFitnessPal will allow you to track all the food you eat in a day, the exercise you do and how much weight you’ve lost so far. If I ever feel like I’m struggling I’ll look at my weight chart and this fuels me to keep going.

5. Be proud of your weight loss: If you lose weight don’t keep it to yourself, tell people about it. Others will be proud of your achievement and those supportive comments can really drive you to keep going. After all, you wouldn’t want to tell someone who’s praised you for losing weight that you’ve put it back on, would you?

6. Exercise is your friend: If you suddenly get a craving for something naughty – do some exercise instead. When you’ve worked your butt off (literally) and you’re knackered and sweating, you are less likely to eat unhealthily as you won’t want to undo all your hard work.

7. Social media: The internet is an amazing place for keeping you motivated. YouTube in particular is one of my favourite places to go when I’m struggling. You can find so many weight loss success videos that are incredibly inspiring. Instagram also has Before and After pictures which are fantastic for seeing the effect healthy eating and exercise can have. You can find them using #beforeandafterweightloss – it will make you believe that if they can do it, you can too.

So there you have it, my tips for motivation. Hopefully this will help you if you have been struggling to get started or keep going. Remember, you’re in control and the only person who can achieve your goals is you.

Stay strong and don’t give up – and I’ll let you in on a little secret: Once you’re ready for it and your motivation fire is burning, losing weight is not as hard as you think. The 3 stone I’ve lost so far can vouch for that…