Thursday, 31 May 2012

Haute Body: Weight Watchers Goodies...



The lovely people at Weight Watchers have kindly sent me some yummy products to try out and I've since decided to write a little bit about them. These items were sent to me for free. However, the opinions in this post are completely my own and I've written these mini-reviews because I want to and not because I've promised a positive review in exchange for free stuff!



So, let's get started. First for a brief explanation of what the Weight Watchers diet is all about, if you didn't already know. Here's how they summarize the company and their diet plan:


'The Weight Watchers programme is uniquely positioned to allow you to play the weight loss game and win. Based on up-to-date science and tried and tested over the years by real people, the Weight Watchers programme comes from the experts at the weight loss game. It’s designed for living and losing (weight, that is!).

The ProPoints plan is a fantastic counting system that allows you to eat what you like, when you like, until you reach your daily total. It guides you to make healthier food choices, eating more of the things that are good for you and for weight loss, and less of the things that aren’t. You get a Weekly ProPoints Allowance to play with every week too, so you can keep treats and nights out firmly on the menu and still watch that weight go steadily down.'



Simples! Alongside the ease of being able to incorporate your usual weekly shop into your points-counting diet plan, Weight Watchers also offer their own brand products which work much better on the diet than the more unhealthy alternatives. For example, Weight Watchers do their own rose wine (which is just 75 calories per glass!!!), bread rolls, chicken marinade etc. And they are really nice. Anyway, let me give you a couple of reviews on how I've found some of the products so far...




My first major obsession is these Weight Watchers Peach and Pear Fruit Pots. I've always had a bit of a thing about tinned peaches and that's how these fruit pots taste, but with added freshness! The fruit is soft and sweet, and the juice is yummy to drink up afterwards. Also, these are great to throw into a lunch box too as they even have a little foldaway fork included. Perfect mid-morning snack.

 



I've NEVER been into coffee at all. Usually it makes me squinch up my face in a 'icky' shape and push it away scratching my abused tongue with my teeth. However, these Weight Watchers cappuccino sachets make a really nice creamy hot drink with a subtle yet present taste of coffee. These were fantastic when I was studying for exams as they gave me a quick energy boost when I most needed it, and I didn't even have to add sugar. One tip I would give though, let your cappuccino sit out for a bit before drinking it and give it a couple of extra stirs as the powder can form into little lumps which aren't so great when you're expecting just liquid!

 

The Weight Watchers Milk Chocolate Digestive Biscuits are my new favorite naughty snack. The only difference between these and your regular ones is that they are noticeably smaller. Although having said that, the chocolate is noticeably nicer in my opinion too. Also, I know its a seemingly small and insignificant factor, but the fact that this pack reseals itself is a huge selling point to me as it keeps the biscuits fresh and crunchy for longer. Nomgobble.


The Weight Watchers Sicilian Lemonade sounded very promising to me as I'm always trying to find fizzy drinks which are suitable for diets without having that artificial 'itsadietdrinksowe'vestuckaloadofsweetnersintoit' taste. Unfortunately, although I have finished the bottle and the fizz was great where its competitors sometimes lack (do you not think Diet Coke is flatter than the real stuff?) I still could taste sweeteners which reminded me a bit of those Panda Pop drinks which I used to get with my kiddie pub lunch back when I was a rug-rat. Can't recommend this drink sadly :(



These cute little bags of tortilla chips are ideal. They are nacho cheese flavoured and really hit the spot if I'm craving a salty snack. As you can see, I even made them into a little nacho plate using some healthy salsa and half-fat mature grated cheddar cheese. I just stuck it into the microwave for twenty seconds and boom, finished. Really yummy snack!

I'll write a similar post within the next couple of weeks to review some of the other items I've been kindly sent, but as you can tell, I'm pretty happy with what I've tasted so far, so thank you very much Lucy! Also, I was sent two recipe books and I've tried a variety of the dishes which are taught in there, so I'll post up some pictures and tips regarding how I got along cooking healthy Weight Watchers inspired dishes for my whole family.

Have you ever tried Weight Watchers? Can you think of any other ways I could jazz up these bits and bobs like I did with the tortillas? Are you as excited as I am about 75 calorie per glass rose wine???

Love and snuggles
gabriellasofia
x

Doing Our Bit for Charidee: Project Unbreakable.

I figured I'd start this feature which you'll see crop up a lot in the future. I've called it 'Doing Our Bit for Charidee' as its basically all about honouring some of the lesser know charities out there which really deserve a mention.

So first off, I thought I'd shine a bit of light on Project Unbreakable. Since I first asked the question 'Are You a Feminist' in a 2011 blog-post which commended the SlutWalk initiative, I've been quite passionate about charities which help women and men over-come the social stigma attached to sexual abuse. Founded by the admirable 19 year-old budding photographer, Grace Brown, Project Unbreakable was inspired by a shocking confession made by one of her closest friends over dinner one night in New York back in October. Fast-forward to today, and Brown has a successful blog which allows victims of sexual abuse to share their stories with the world through placards emblazoned with a short summary of their own story. Refreshingly, Project Unbreakable isn't about raising money, but rather about raising the self-esteem of the strong men and women who endured unthinkable acts and emerged fighting at the other side. Brown believes that by being able to share their sadness, anger and shame with the world, the world 'takes a little piece of the weight off' the victims, restoring a sense of power and reinforcing the idea that it is not the victims but the rapists, pedophiles and molesters who should be ashamed.

I've chosen five of the most touching stories which I found on Project Unbreakable to share with you, and I've also included a brief paragraph of my own in an attempt to dispel just a few of the counter-productive myths surrounding sexual abuse.

1) Marriage or secure relationship status does NOT mean your partner can take sex whenever they want it. It is still a personal decision which you have the right to make however and for whatever reasons you so wish. If you don't want to have sex you don't have to, no matter what. Anyone that tries to convince you otherwise is grasping desperately at any argument which will numb their guilt as they pressure you into doing something which they know full well that you aren't comfortable with. 










Photographed in Sacramento, CA on April 14th.


—
Not sure what Project Unbreakable is? Click here.
Want to be a part of Project Unbreakable? Email us at projectunbreakable@gmail.com
—
Find us on Facebook & Twitter

2) Anyone that uses your love for them in order to get you to do something you absolutely do not want to do, is using emotional blackmail. If they loved you, they would wait. Furthermore, more than half of sexual assault cases are carried out by a loved family member or friend making it often more difficult to accuse the abuser. 


                        Photographed on the March 3rd photo day in DC. 
—
Not sure what Project Unbreakable is? Click here.
Can you help Project Unbreakable by donating? Click here.
Want to be a part of Project Unbreakable? Email us at projectunbreakable@gmail.com
—
Find us on Facebook & Twitter

3) Proof of assault or rape will always be useful in court. Scratch your attacker, hard and repeatedly. Bite them. Struggle hard even though it may hurt because every bruise the abuser puts on your body will act as a witness. As hard as it may be, don't shower before telling the police, there will be all kinds of evidence on you which will help you to fight. On the other side, although it is notoriously difficult to send an abuser to jail without the use of this kind of solid evidence, NEVER stop fighting. As long as you tell your story, there will always be someone out there who will listen. 


4) Sexual assault is not the victims fault. If you were drugged and passed out, it wasn't your fault because you were in no position to fight the attacker off. If you were a child, confused, not knowing it was wrong, again, you were vulnerable and it was the attacker's duty to make a responsible decision. If there was a group, you were outnumbered. If you had to make a 'deal' in order to get out safe, you did the right thing to protect yourself as well as you could at the time. If you were blackmailed, you were scared. If you had a short skirt on or were flirting, it wasn't an invitation. If it was a person superior to you, you felt trapped. No matter what, it is NEVER the victim's fault.


5) Women are not the only ones who are sexually assaulted and men are not the only ones who abuse. If your story doesn't comply with the more common gender patterns, don't feel even more ashamed than the victims in the stories which do. You have still been abused, your abuser still took advantage of you and still deserves to be punished.

Photographed on the March 3rd photo day in DC. 
—
Not sure what Project Unbreakable is? Click here.
Can you help Project Unbreakable by donating? Click here.
Want to be apart of Project Unbreakable? Email us at projectunbreakable@gmail.com
—
Find us on Facebook & Twitter

To see more similar confessions, please go check out Project Unbreakable where Grace Brown has been doing fantastic work. In fact, her Tumblr account made it to Time Out's top 30 to follow this year and the site continues to grow daily so Tweet about it, facebook share it and tell your friends. The more people this site reaches, the more people it helps. 

Finally, I thought I'd finish off with a few quick tips in order to hopefully prevent us all from ever falling victim to the terrible ordeals which these men and women have survived:

  • Don't walk in poorly lit areas alone.
  • Carry a rape alarm. If someone gets too close, or makes you feel uncomfortable, click the switch or pull the string and throw the alarm close enough that it is clearly audible but far enough away that the attacker will run to try and turn it off rather than come any closer to you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Notice who is where and what they are doing there.
  • DON'T carry a weapon. More often than not, a victim's own protective weapons is turned against them.
  • If you find yourself in an verbally, mentally, emotionally or physically abusive relationship with anyone, family, friend or romantic situation, get out and search for help. Often, sexually abusive relationships start out like this.
  • Sexual innuendos, inappropriate body language or suggestive looks are ALWAYS inappropriate in any kind of professional environment. This includes schools, churches, offices, hospitals etc. This kind of behavior should be reported to a more senior member of staff before it escalates into something more.
  • NEVER leave a drink which you hope to return to unattended by you in a nightclub. Even if you plan to leave it with a trusted friend, they may turn away for one second as a potential attacker drops a date-rape drug in. Finish your drink before leaving your glass behind, or just buy a fresh one upon your return.
  • Don't put yourself in a vulnerable position. Although intoxication is never an excuse for non-consensual sex, being drunk or high may make it easier for an abuser to manipulate you into something which you would normally never consider. 
  • Watch out for your friends and have them do the same for you.
So that's that! My first ever 'Doing Our Bit for Charidee' and I must say I'm totally inspired by Brown's efforts so far. She's really started something meaningful which can help people without having to invest a mass of time or money into it. I love to see social networking help people in such a positive way.

Had you heard of Project Unbreakable before? Which confessions touched you the most? Do you have any other tips in order to prevent or combat sexual abuse?

Love and snuggles
gabriellasofia
x



Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Style Profile: Spring/Summer 2012: Miss Selfridge: NouveauChic...


I'm loving this whole Polyvore thing! Literally obsessed with it! If you aren't quite sure what I'm talking about, go check out THIS LINK then come back and tell me how amazing their site is. 

Anyway, the latest look I've thrown together using their site is what I call NouveauChic. Black has always been THE notoriously chic colour. However, for this Spring/Summer, classic chic has taken a new turn, incorporating some softer pastel colours into what is still quintessentially cool. My favourite colours to mix with black are splattered across Miss Selfridge's clothes racks and website, so I threw this look together using pastel pink/peach/nude and turquoise/green/blue hues. NouveauChic is perfect for gigs and music festivals alike, and is versatile enough to transfer from day to night.

The shapes are usually long and floaty on EITHER the top or bottom, and tighter on the other. So I'm thinking hot-pant knicker shorts with kimonos, ballerina-inspired sheer skirts with tight crop-tops, and playsuits cinched at the waist. The shoes are always high and usually wedges as this is definitely a summer look-to-impress. Sunglasses, sun-hats and ascot scarves add to the chilled out glamour and a nice big handbag makes NouveauChic practical as you can carry everything you might need for the day. Finally, the jewelry is a mix of blacks, golds, silvers, light pinks, blue gems, white rope and cross-icons.

Hope you like it!

Spring/Summer 2012 Miss Selfridge NouveauChic...


Miss Selfridge cardigan
£40 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge black tee
£22 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge cotton tank top
£18 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge bra top
£18 - missselfridge.com
Miss selfridge
£35 - missselfridge.com
Miss selfridge
£39 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge chiffon skirt
£37 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge long skirt
£32 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge skirt
£28 - missselfridge.com
Miss selfridge
£20 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge black shoes
£58 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge wedge heels
£45 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge black necklace
£16.50 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge metal jewelry
£14 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge yellow gold jewelry
£14 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge chandelier earrings
£12.50 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge crystal jewelry
£10 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge skull jewelry
£7.50 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge drop earrings
£7.50 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge cross necklace
£6 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge gold drop earrings
£5 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge pink earrings
£6 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge bag
£39 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge oversized floppy hat
£22 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge black straw hat
£16 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge green shawl
£16 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge black belt
£15 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge sunglasses
£12 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge pink shades
£10 - missselfridge.com
Miss Selfridge floral hair accessory
£8.50 - missselfridge.com
Waterloo Blush Tie Wedge
£48 - missselfridge.com
Aqua Fireball Tunnels
£8.50 - missselfridge.com
Gold Floral Collar Tips
£7.50 - missselfridge.com
White Skull Toggle
£6.50 - missselfridge.com



So there you have it. I've been trying to rock this look recently and I've been happy with how easy and cheap it can be! Most people have black items which can be used as accents in NouveauChic, and the other items are generally quite plain and hence also cheap-ish. Obviously, the accessories are gorgeous, but they are really just extras in this style so I might leave them for a particularly rich day and stock up on the plainer separates in the meantime. 
Are you as mad for this look as I am? Do you have any other ideas of what to wear to festivals this summer? Can you think of another quite cheap look which I could consider for this summer? Do you have Polyvore accounts? If so, please leave me your link!

Love and snuggles
gabriellasofia
x


Haute Future Beauty Tutorial Everyday Make-up Look...


Thought I'd do a relatively simple makeup look for you guys today as I'm heading out to do some pretty standard daily tasks and I had enough time to film this morning so there you go! I've recently been wearing this look as it's quick and easy to do whilst also looking KIND OF natural. At first I felt a bit weird not wearing eyeliner but I think it gives a much fresher effect and means I don't get melted black prints on my upper lids due to the uncharacteristically hot weather we've been enjoying in the UK recently.

What makeup look do you have at this time of year? Do you think contouring is a bit too done for the hot weather? Is it bizarre to you that I shade in my eyebrows?

In order to be aware when I post new things, you really must follow, subscribe and like my pages! Here are all of the links...

Please follow me on Twitter at:
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Please rate, like, follow, comment and subscribe and I promise there will be loads of beauty, fashion, lifestyle, culture and gossip material going up on here each week :)

Thanks for watching, guys and I'll see you soon!

Love
gabriellasofia x

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Outfit of the Day 26th May Summer Gig...

I'm sure you all know the feeling Hautettes, you are attending an event to which you would usually know EXACTLY what to wear. However, the seasons have changed and the outfit which would have been suitable would no longer make sense. On top of all that, you have nothing that would be ideal for the event.

So I had this problem just yesterday as my parents had organised for their staff (they run The Hippy Hippy Shake Company milkshake bars in the Stoke-on-Trent area) to get together at the gig of one of my favourite local bands, 3's A Riot. Since I was hoping to run into some friends which I'd made at the HippyHaze music festival which my father put on over Easter, I wanted a fab outfit. I attended a lot of gigs over the winter season as I helped my dad scout for bands, and my Gig Uniform was usually a tight black bodycon skirt, tights, boots, a simple t-shirt and my leather jacket. However, during this heat-wave tights and leather are totally unthinkable. Also, I don't like wearing boots in summer because my feet get too hot and I'd rather be able to show of my cute painted toe nails! So you'd think, 'Simples, bodycon skirt, sandals and a t-shirt.' However, when you're as short as me you NEED a heel, and wearing heels without tights with a bodycon look a tad too i'moutonthepullclubbinganyonewanttogetlucky for a rock gig. Not the look I was going for.

Naturally, I headed out to our local Outfit which stocks Arcadia Group stores such as Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Warehouse and more, in order to find a fix for the event. This is what I settled on... 


I love wearing dark colours to gigs but since the weather is so lush recently I didn't think it would be appropriate to dress totally dark. SO, I invested in this very pale pink/nude/peach skirt from Miss Selfridge which was £35 (doesn't it remind you of a ballet costume?) and paired it with this cute little crop-top from the same place for £18. £18 sounds like a lot of money for a little piece of cotton, but to be honest it's been really hard to find bralets which a) fit and b) are flattering to my figure because I am cursed with rather large breasts. I managed to grab my jewelry out of the sale section for Freedom at Topshop, getting the choker and matching bracelet combo for a steal at £4 from £12, and I also took it upon myself to give the newly popular 'ear cuffs' a chance as I found one for just £1.50 reduced from £6.50 for no reason. I wasn't sure if I'd like the ear cuff as I thought it might be a bit too 'rock chick' for me, but upon trying it on I was hooked! Basically, its like a regular earring stud, but with a little clip attached at the end of a hanging chain which you curl around the top of your ear cartilage. I pinned a bit of my hair back with a flower clip which is the same colour as my skirt so that people could get the full effect of the ear cuff. I wore my standard black tassel bag which I've had for ages and my black suede Topshop shoes which my parents got me for my birthday. 

As for my face...


*This picture makes me look like I've had WAY too much sun, but I actually haven't even been out in the sun so it must have been due to weird lighting. Also, how shiny is my forehead??? Stupid effing flash.*


*And this picture makes my lipstick look invisible and I look ghostly white. Cameras, eh?*

I used Lancome's Teint Miracle foundation with a dusting of benefit's Hello Flawless powder foundation over the top. I contoured very lightly with Hoola by the same company and used their Browzings as usual to darken my brows. I brushed some of Nars's Orgasm blush over the apples of my cheeks for a youthful look then got started on my eye shadow. Using Urban Decay's Naked palette I dusted Virgin up to my eyebrows and on the inner corners of my eyes before packing Half Baked over my entire lids. I brought this colour down onto my lower lash line and started layering it under my eyes starting from my inner corners and extending it onto my cheeks slightly so it was nice and sparkly which made me feel kind of glam rock. I took a bit of Creep on a liner brush and smoked it around the outer corner of my lid, dragging it into my socket and running it along my upper lash line. I used benefit's BadGal liner on my lowed water line and coated my lashes with their They're Real mascara. I used their highlighter Moon Beam around my cupids bow, on my brow bone and across the tops of my cheek bones before slicking on a thick layer of Revlon's Lip Butter in Peach Parfait. And that was that!

I had a fantastic night and The Hippy Hippy Shake Company staff did too, looking lovely as ever! They're a sexy bunch, wouldn't you agree?

 


So what do you think about my ensemble and makeup look? What do you wear to a gig in the summer? Does anyone know how to make my camera take face-pictures like I want it to? 

Love and snuggles
gabriellasofia
x

2012 Summer Adventure... USA Road Trip Itinerary


I recently mentioned in a blog post that I'm heading to the United States with G Adventures for between four and five weeks. I'm going to be flying out to Los Angeles on the 21st of June and won't be flying back until the 27th of July so I have to fill that time with lots of fun things! My G Adventures tour begins in San Francisco on the 30th of June and lasts until the 22nd of July traveling across the country hitting up big cities and national parks alike. So as you can see, I have about a week either side of my tour, one in Los Angeles (some of which time I'll be traveling to San Francisco in time for the tour) and one in New York city where my uncle is currently living so I hope to share some time with him there! I'll probably do a post about the things I'd like to do either side of my tour. HOWEVER, this post is all about my actual Coast-to-Coast Road Trip Eastbound itinerary, so check out what I'll be doing...

30th June 2012
5.00pm Arrive at Best Value Inn 505 O’Farrell Street For G-Adventures Tour!
Day 1 San Francisco



1st July 2012
Day 2 San Francisco/Yosemite NP (L,D)
3 hours travelling

2nd July 2012
Day 3 Yosemite NP (B,L,D)


3rd July 2012
Day 4 Yosemite NP/Bishop (B,L,D)
4 hours and 30 minutes travelling

4th July 2012
Day 5 Death Valley NP/Las Vegas (B,L)
7 hours and 30 minutes travelling

5th July 2012
Day 6 Las Vegas
FREE DAY



6th July 2012
Day 7 Las Vegas/Grand Canyon NP (L,D)
5 hours travelling

7th July 2012
Day 8 Grand Canyon NP/Monument Valley (B,L)
3 hours and 30 minutes travelling



8th July 2012
3 hours 30 minutes travelling
Day 9 Monument Valley/Mesa Verde NP
1 hour travelling
Mesa Verde NP/Durango

9th July 2012
Day 10 Taos/Santa Fe (B,L,D)
4 hours travelling

10th July 2012
Day 11 Santa Fe (B)
FREE DAY

11th July 2012
Day 12 Carlsbad (B,D)
6 hours 30 minutes travelling

12th July 2012
Day 13 Fort Stockton/San Antonio (B,L,D)
7 hours 30 minutes travelling

13th July 2012
45 minutes travelling
Day 14 The Alamo (B,L,D)
3 hours 30 minutes travelling
Houston

14th July 2012
3 hours 30 minutes travelling
Day 15 Lafayette/New Orleans (B)
2 hours travelling

15th July 2012
Day 16 New Orleans
FREE DAY



16th July 2012
Day 17 Memphis (L,D)
6 hours 30 minutes travelling

17th July 2012
Day 18 Memphis/Nashville (B,L,D)
3 hours 30 minutes travelling

18th July 2012
Day 19 Wytheville (B,L,D)
6 hours travelling

19th July 2012
Day 20 Shenandoah NP/Washington DC (B,L,D)
5 hours 30 minutes travelling



20th July 2012
Day 21 Washington DC (B)

21st July 2012
3 hours travelling
Day 22 Philadelphia/New York City at Manhattan Hostel at 891 Amsterdam Ave (at West 103rd St) New York
2 hours travelling

22nd July 2012
Day 23 New York City


END OF TOUR

As you can see, I am going to be spending A LOT of time traveling in the mini bus which G Adventures are using to transport us from one destination to the next, however, I don't mind because the views are supposed to be amazing AND the mini bus has wifi also, so I should hopefully be able to blog my experiences. I think I'm most excited about the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas (as it will be the 4th of July!!!), Yosemite, New Orleans, Nashville and Memphis. These are places where I may never get to go again, so I'm really excited and eager to make the most of my time. 

I booked the tour through STA travel and I have paid for the tour, my flights, and my insurance all by myself with savings from my past three years of university loan. HOWEVER, STA did give me 15% off my tour, £100 off my flights with British Airways and £50 off my travel insurance as I mentioned that I hope to blog about my summer and inquired about any discounts they may possibly be able to offer. The lady at my local STA, Dawn, was absolutely lovely and more helpful than probably anyone else I know. In fact, she even calls me every now and then to make sure I'm as organised as I should be (organizing my accommodation pre and post tour, applying for my ESTA form which is necessary to enter the USA, booking my Greyhound bus and more) and I almost feel like I speak to her as often as I speak to my friends. 

If you guys are crazy, book an outrageous long tour across America like me! Haha. And if not, I'll try and blog often enough that you can live vicariously through me. Expect posts about packing my backpack, planning my weeks in Los Angeles and New York, writing up wish-lists of the beauty bits I'm going to try and buy while I'm away. I'm actually not planning on buying many clothes this year, as I won't have much suitcase space, but lipsticks and eye shadows and blushers and... ahh you know the deal!

Are you going away this summer? Have you ever been backpacking? Is there anything I ought to know?

Love and snuggles
gabriellasofia
x