Monday, May 28, 2007

fit me up

Like most young women, I have a love-hate relationship with exercise. I love the effect (hello toned stomach), but hate the effort/pain/boredom that is associated with it. I've also had a complicated relationship with exercise since I can be terminally lazy (I am currently going to my $100/month gym about once a month), but was extremely fit as a teenager (30 hours of sports will do that for ya), and have done crazy ass fitness things, like trekking to base camp Everest. So it is a highs and lows relationship, and since I've tasted the highs, I am too lazy to work back up to get them, and want instant instant results. And what fools us into giving us instant results? Technology. Hence the reason why I'm thinking about ordering me a pair of FitFlops, the MBT-esque fit flop that claims to tone your calves, thighs and bum as you walk. They are currently sold out across the UK, but can be back ordered via sweaty betty and other fine online sports establishments. Even more tempting is the whole iPod/Nike workout pack, which combines my need for a new trainer with a need for a new iPod. I first came across this in New York last September, but was put off back the fact that the running tops were those second skin ones (ew, no thanks. It's bad enough being beetroot and sweaty whilst I run, never mind showing off my "curves"), but an armband will solve that problem. The only is that I live in Edinburgh, the land of the hill, and running outside is a helluva an effort, and I usually stick to the gym (which is itself a nice walk uphill!). Still, a fresh air run is much better for you, and being spurred on by your "power song" might be worth it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

do your bit for charidee

Everyone loves a bit of charity, and I've already mentioned Project Red today, but even more reason to, since Gap and Converse have created a pair of Project Red shoes to wear with your pretty summer dresses or skinny jeans. Go on, get a pair at Thanks to style bakery for the tip.


Last week I took my sister on a trip to the Topshop Style Adviser in Glasgow. Topshop Style Advisers are professionally trained stylists (mine had a degree in fashion and had worked in buying before becoming a style adviser) who serve as a professional shopper for you. It is such a great service! The girls were highly excitable and lots of fun - we were offered water, tea, or champagne before we started, before wandering around and picking up random stuff to try on. You have a small room with a sofa and a couple of huge changing rooms to try things on in, and then, once you are all shopped out (an hour and a half of pure fashion craziness), you finish your champagne whilst everything is gift wrapped and you don't even have to queue. And guess what? The service is completely free! Kate and I were looking for what to do with high-waisted silliness, and were convinced that high waisted jeans with cute tops were a good idea, and that high waisted shorts would also work as well. Having got home, I'm not necessarily convinced (or as Kate said, she has too many novelty jeans with her white ones and her red ones as well), and felt a bit like I had just stepped out of the seventies, so took the jeans back, safe in the knowledge that if a style adviser couldn't convince me they were a good idea, they really weren't. My high waisted shorts are still in the bag - I'm just not sure I'm brave enough to wear them. They do give waist and flatten my stomach, but they are still a little weird on the eye. The funky draped dress is just good for being different, though being strapless, it does give me that weird muffin top around the boobs (how does one get rid of that with strapless tops?). It'll be good for going out and drinking weird cocktails at Tigerlily. As for the shoes, although I think they are slightly orthaedic, they are genius and brilliant as well. Gorgeous. And although I returned the jeans, it was a fabulous day's shopping, and everyone should give it a go. Even my mum's convinced.

out of africa

I'm sure it is the high level of attention that Africa has been receiving in the media recently - Last King of Scotland, Blood Diamond, memoirs of boy soldiers from Dave Eggers and others, the heightened awareness of the conflict in the Sudan - but I've noticed that has also been taking on African influence. Since I'm off to Ghana later this year to volunteer, I can't help but love this look. And yes, I don't know how to put fashion and the so frequent stories of misery that we hear from the many conflict, arid, drought-riven countries of the sub-continent, apart from Project Red, but I just can't help but notice the synergy. Today I read two amazing stories in The Observer coming out of Africa - one about the corruption of US aid that serves to do more for farmers in Iowa than it does for the citizens of Malawi, and another about a group of Nigerian women who are immune to HIV. And if that doesn't fascinate you, then just feast your eyes on this fabulous dresses from Topshop's Zanzibar collection. I actually got the longer sleeved one, since the sleeveless dress is actually a touch too long for my legs. Tights and ballet flats until the weather gets good, and then gladiator sandals and chunky bracelets. Topshop have a fabulous guide to their Zanzibar collection that is really worth checking out as well, if you need a little inspiration.