top of page

1 Year Back In the Gym | Let’s Weigh Up | my | Wealth of Health

1 Year Anniversary Compare Photo

It seems like only yesterday the 10th September 2018 when I began my journey back to health. Only 1 year on and I have been blessed with a health of wealth, recovered from high blood pressure, DVT and two strokes. On this sunny Wednesday morning, I no longer experience tingling in my right leg, I no longer walk with a limp, my blood pressure is the lowest it has been for 15 years, 3 days ago I stood without discomfort and ironed for 3 hours and the only prescription my doctor has given me is to enjoy my Girl’s trip and my new slimmed down wardrobe. I will forever be indebted to so many. I cannot thank my family, loved ones and girlfriends enough for being so hard on me. I am grateful to all of you who spurred me on commenting “I can see the difference”, “you are doing so well” or some other accolade whenever I post a compare photo. I am one of the lucky few to get “a second chance” or a “do-over”. On this my 1 year anniversary back in the gym - I honour those who are no longer with us by remembering how lucky I am to have had “more tomorrows”.


To Valerie the outspoken matriarch of our posse

for what seems like a lifetime of “You didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway” and for her trademark feisty, strong, funny, don’t cross me facade and her heart-warming “I will do anything for you” on the inside persona.

Sandra my sassy pull-no-punches lifelong friend since primary school

thank you for relentlessly being in my corner since the age of 5.

To Frances (the heroin of my second novel “My Kind of Retribution” and the “baby” of our group and to Anne (I fondly refer to as Annabelle) the loyal core of our raving posse for over three decades – I love you both.

Julie (or Jules as you are fondly referred to)

thank you for your patience and for gritting your teeth through yet another delay in my completing Book 2 of the BFF’s series. I know that my continued postponements of putting pen to paper has forced you to read Book 1 “To Have & To Hold” over and over again!!!! Girlfriend when we get back from our vacay I am on it.

My girl Carmen who gave me constant pep talks about wearing a good bra that fits

or in her words “lifts and separates”.

Post-It Note saying Thanks

Ladies I know we all see things differently and while you may never understand every character flaw I THANK YOU for accepting them as simply being a part of me and for being my safety net. My life is all the richer for knowing you I am forever grateful to loved ones and all of those not mentioned here for their continued faith and belief that I could do this but more importantly forcing me to face what I knew in my heart - that if I wanted to be around for a while “it was time for a change”. YOU ARE ALL just what the doctor ordered! Life will always give you a second chance, and when that happens, seize it, because this could be your very chance that will give you the life you are truly capable of living.

September seems to have crept up on us and dealt a guillotine blow to summer. Nevertheless, right now our posse is all hyped as our “Girls Trip” is finally upon us. We fly out tomorrow!!! I half expected to be seated on my bed surrounded by a sea of clothes typing this blog at “last minute dot com”. It seems that regular exercise has stimulated those “get up & go” endorphins, boosted my energy levels and motivated me to complete tasks I would otherwise avoid or put off like tightening the loose screw of the oven door handle.

Talk of our “Girls Trip” has been buzzing about since my last blog. We talk to each other at least twice a week, asking what each other thinks while not really giving anything away about what we will be wearing. Readers really took to it. I think that you all want to see if Portugal can cast its spell and if this wannabe over 50 “Flossy Posse” can get their groove back. Ok, so while our Sandra will not be with us on this trip I anticipate this sassy trio will have a Girls Trip that will be just as good, just as funny, and just as memorable as the movie.

It is said that to exfoliate little and often if you want to retain that coveted sun-kissed radiance when you return from holiday. Unintentionally the routine of removing dead skin cells and boosting circulation way back on 10th September 2018, after each gym session when treating my skin to a sauna and exfoliating scrub three times a week.

I end this part of the blog my eyes brimming with infectious good humour and excitement pulsing through my veins. This “Girl’s Trip” is as much about the togetherness, loyalty, honesty, respect, trust and love we as girlfriends have for one another, as it is about having FUN. Join us as we celebrate different landmarks or successes and create lifetime memories in a few days.

It's Only Skin Deep - Those of you that follow my blog will know that I became a fan of the original Dove’s Moisturising Gradual Tan Lotion the moment I saw a noticeable difference after the first application. The medium/dark colour that develops is natural-looking with a glistening effect. This thick moisturising and hydrating tanning lotion means that you can be kept hanging around to get dressed while it is fully absorbed into the skin. I can forgive the traditional “fake tan smell” of this product as the performance is right up there with high-end products and at a fraction of the price.

I Got You Covered - It would have been easy for me to get distracted by all of the swimwear options available – and overlook the beachwear and poolside essential – a good cover-up. I have mixed light and breezy cover-ups with a mixture of 'wow' trendy and classic swimwear with dazzling embellishment and bold prints. No matter where you find yourself basking in the sun, a proper cover-up is a must. As the saying goes: no shoes, no shirt, no service. So whether you are more of a maxi dress, sheer, skirt, trousers or jumpsuit fan or like me you would rather your beech or poolside look to be the complete package, I got you covered.

Making a Splash - You're on holiday! You'll be back in your office wear in no time! This is what a year back in the gym was all about - to live my best life in the most flattering swimwear possible. I topped off my swimwear outfits with sunglasses, and sliders to match each look. Perfect for lounging when I want to be a little more laid back or when making a statement by the pool or on the beach. I want to “look good wet” when I emerge from the pounding ocean or deep end of the pool.

No top Hat

No Top Hat - The hats I am taking are primarily for sun protection, but need to fit around my faux locs as I intend to wear my hear up. Besides it never hurts to be stylish, even when you’re being practical.

Don’t mind if I do - Breathe new life into your face using MAC's Prep

MAC Yellow Prep & Prime

+ Prime Natural Radiance - Radiant Yellow. A

silky gel emulsion, rich in natural ingredients that hydrate and prime, gives a luminous glow and smooths everything out. It controls oil and will take your foundation or powder application to the next level. It is the perfect makeup base. Vitamins E and C protect with antioxidants, while caffeine calms and reduces redness. Illuminating pearl powders reflect optic brightening and kick your makeup look into high gear.

Range of Sunglasses

The Eyes Have It - There's something to be said for a really great pair of sunglasses, and this year I have acquired a great selection without having to invest a small fortune. This holiday wardrobe is all about having plenty of options to choose from. I aim to nail every single one of my holiday outfits without even trying. To pack complete outfits from the versatile maxi dress to the 'goes with everything' pair of sandals/sliders, means I should have all I need for capsule living out of a suitcase.

Just Gloss Over It - Just like any other look, lip trends flow in and out of fashion. While on

Jouer Duo chrome High Pigment Lip Gloss in the shade Sea Glass

holiday my 9 to 5 matte lip is going to be replaced with a light-reflecting,

uber-shiny lip gloss to complement my "no make-up" radiant look. So many lip glosses today have nourishing ingredients like Jojoba oil and cocoa butter which moisturise the lip while they glisten. Whether I am wearing a monochromatic face by day or a full face of makeup with a Smokey eye by night - a swipe of Jouer Duo chrome High Pigment Lip Gloss in the shade Sea Glass will let everyone know that it is my time to shine. There was that ah-ha moment when I discovered how alluring and sexy wearing lip gloss can be. Not every trend is going to flatter or feel right for me, so instead of following a trend I simply follow my instinct. There are always going to be trends that I love but just don’t like them for myself.

I am a mature woman and the old cliché less is more rings true. Now I embrace my imperfections, like my big pores and steer clear of social media trends like the “baking procedure”. Allowing excess loose powder to sit under my eyes while it goes into my wrinkles and removing the surplus powder later does not work for me! I accept my flaws as “just nature’s plan” and remain eternally grateful for everything.

Usually, on holiday you will have one 'special occasion' night, where you go to a fancy bar, or pick a pricey restaurant. On this Girl’s Trip, we have a Black Tie Dinner, All White Party and Catamaran to attend. I set out below the key pieces I have selected for each occasion.

Beach Bag from Very

The Bare Necessities

Beach Bag - A bag like this will look cute even with your beach towel and the "kitchen sink" stuffed into it!

Sol from Colourpop

You Glow Girl - If like me when on holiday you feel naked without the glistening effect that the sun has on the bodies of celebs and models alike when the light hits their skin then this inexpensive, vegan, cruelty-free, pearl infused nourishing Shimmering Body Oil is for you. Sol Body’s hotly-anticipated body oil ($15 at ColourPop) is literally liquid gold in a bottle. You simply spritz it on and massage in the fine glitter particles, that will leave you looking like a total beach goddess. It is NOT too sparkly, is seriously hydrating for your skin and it smells like a DREAM.

Sol kicked off with four shades of the Shimmering Dry Oil on July 17 and my order, Bronze, was

on its way to me the morning of July 18. There is a shade to flatter a

variety of skin tones: Platinum (a shimmering ivory-gold with highlights of silver and gold pearls); Soft Gold (a champagne-gold with highlights of silver and gold pearls); Warm Gold (a warm-gold with highlights of gold, pink and silver pearls); and Bronze (a bronze with highlights of copper and gold pearls). On 30.08.19 Colorpop announced that they had re-stocked the sold out shimmering dry oil and launched a Glow Oil in all 4 shades to compliment the Shimmering Dry Oil, as a duo. As can be seen from this photo Sol is not just for women and a great opportunity, when asked, to massage it into a firm, taut body!!!


Outward or Home Bound Outfit

Airport Outward or Inward Bound Outfit - Boohoo Plus Leopard Ringer Cap Sleeve Swing Dress (Size 22) £13.50 – This classic jersey cool-tone white everyday skater dress is perfect for transitioning from airport day to holiday play. PLT - White Trainers (Size 8) £20.00 - These white trainers will take all of my vacay outfits to the next level. The white faux leather with lace up design and snake print back, gives that pristine summer look we are loving. Add my E-Bay Gold and Brown Vintage Mirrored Retro Sunglasses £3.89 and Etsy Clip-On Tortoise Shell and Gold Disc Earrings £13.30 to complete the look.

PLT White Mesh Ruched Bardot Midi Dress

Arrival at Hotel Evening Wear - PLT White Mesh Ruched Bardot Midi Dress (Size 24) £18.00 – Now I know that I said I wasn't going to take anything “just in Case” but this white mesh midi dress with flattering Bardot neckline, ruched front and a bodycon fit to show off my shape to advantage COULD NOT BE LEFT BEHIND. Dress up with strappy heels/sandals or my and Etsy Clip-On Ivory Faux pearl bead & diamante hoop earrings - £13.99 for a chic beach party look.

Daywear Outfit No.1 - Very Marigold Crinkle Halter Neck Maxi Dress (Size 22) £16.75 – This crinkled fabric, eye catching bright & breezy bohemian-inspired maxi dress, with side leg splits, comfortable elasticated back and flattering halter neck that enhances your chest is just what is required over my JDWilliams Black Figleaves Curve Rose Gold Hardware Plunge Bralet Bikini – (Top size 44E) £27.00 (Bottoms Size 24) £18 I cant wait to take the plunge. This underwired bikini top with this season’s animal print embossed all-over texture features sexy strapping detail to front and cute eye-catching rose gold accents on the adjustable straps and back clasp closure which I love because they go with my rose gold accessories. Pair with the matching bikini briefs for maximum impact. Elevate the look with my E-BAY: Oversized Black Tortoise Shell Flat Top Shield Women’s Sunglasses 400 UV £3.99 adorn my feet with these Jacamo Pale Gold Leather Fringe Detail Sandals Wide E Fit (Size 9 - Heel ½ inch) £28.00. These leather fringe detail sandals with a gently padded insole offer all day comfort and perfect for a summer at home or abroad.

The Black Tie Ball - This outfit is full of Eastern Promise! PLT Black Mesh Panel Long

Black Tie Ball Outfit

Sleeve Midi Dress (Size 24) £20.00 - Channel

some seriously dark glamour with this LBD. Featuring a black stretchy material with a killer cut, contrasting mesh panels and sleeves. I will keep the look "killer" and team it with these Etsy Large Emerald Green Crystal Rhinestone Diamante Stud Clip-on Earrings in Silver Tone £12.71 (Sold Out) this Elegant Vintage Teal Peacock Beaded Sequin Evening Handbag from Ebay - £21.97, FashionWorld Teal Diamonte Satin Sandals (Size 9 EEE Fit) £35.00 (SOLD OUT) and you are good to go.

ALL ABOARD - SHIP AHOY – As we are going to be out all day on the Catamaran and partying all night on the beach I needed an chic,

Catamaran Outfit

comfortable and transitional outfit that would carry me through. I stuck to a simple tie front blouse and split beach maxi skirt as the bikini is embellished with pearls. I don’t think I can go wrong with this! FashionWorld Black Pearl Detail Strappy Bikini (Top Size 24 £30.00) (Bottoms Size 24 £18) - This pearl detail strappy bikini high-waist brief style will certainly turn heads in the sun. With full bottom coverage and a shape that sits comfortably on your waist all perfectly finished with beautiful pearl look beads on the front waist. Not forgetting the addition of the sexy strap details on the back waist. Paired with the pearl detail strappy bikini top this quickly became one of my faves. For the Frill of it I am going to throw on this PLT White Dobby Mesh Sheer Tie Front Blouse (Size 24) £16.00 – white plunge neckline, tie front white dobby sheer mesh blouse and Boohoo White Chiffon Split Beach Maxi Skirt Front (Size 24) £10.80 – PLT White Retro Cat Eye Sunglasses £4.50 and E-Bay White Wide Brim Open Top Beach Hat £3.95. Next White Diamanté Sliders (Size 9) £18 – I may as well look stylish while protecting my face.

Daywear Outfit No.2 - Very Black Jersey Halter Beach Maxi Dress (Size 24) £20.00 –

Daywear Outfit No.2

Nothing beats a versatile 'throw and go' maxi dress when you're on holiday or when you can’t decide. Although I purchased this to look cute during the day over a swimsuit, or with wedges or sandals for an evening I could even throw a Hoodie over the top for the journey home, and turn the dress into a skirt. JDWilliams Joe Browns Tropical Underwired Bikini (bought 06.03.2017) (Top size 42F) £26.00 (Bottoms Size 28) £16.00) – Due to weight loss I was able to source a smaller matching bikini bottoms for only £7 YEAH. The two-piece bikini is a tropical bright shade of green and it looks great against my skin colour. E-Bay Black Adjustable Folded Empty Top Straw Beach/Sun Summer Visor Cap £3.99. ASOS Design Small Pointy Cat Eye Sunglasses (my Le Spec Original Cat Eye Dupe) £14. MISSPAP Tara Black Chunky Sole Studded Caged Sliders sale price £11 (RRP £22.00) bought a white and pink pair as well. Are you even on holiday if you're not wearing sliders?

All mWhite Party Outfit

The All White Party - PLT Plus White Ruched Plunge Maxi Dress (Size 22) £22.00 (soldout) – I cannot wait to wear this Jennifer Lopez inspired, white figure- skimming maxi dress. For an erotic combo and effect I will wear this Boohoo Plus White Plunge Jewelled Bikini Top (Size 24) £13.50 – beneath the layered plunging neckline, pair with these silver JDWilliams Strappy Heeled Sandals Extra Wide EEE Fit (Size 9 – Heel 2 ½ inches) £20.00 and these statement earrings to complete the look. E-Bay Non-Pierced Flower/Tear Drop Crystal Rhinestone Diamante Clip-On Dangle Earrings £5.99.

Daywear Outfit No.3 - AmbroseWilson Mono Bikini Set (Top size 44D) £8.40 (Bottoms

Size 24) £8.00) – Next White Diamanté Sliders (Size 9) £18 -

Swimwear 365 White Cold Shoulder Beach Top (Size 22/24) £12.99 Designed lightweight slogan print cover-up with a wide rounded neckline front and back and un-sewn hem gives off a relaxing boho vibe - E-Bay Chrome and Black Vintage Mirrored Retro Sunglasses (as above).

Daywear Outfit No.4 - JDWilliams Magisculpt Mono Palm Underwired Swimsuit (Size 44F) £25 - This light to medium control Magisculpt swimsuit features wide strap detailing to flatter and fit your shape perfectly. Complete with light power mesh tummy control, this swimsuit makes me feel beach ready by smoothing over lumps and bumps. With wired, smooth cups this swimsuit is designed to fit and flatter your figure. ASOS Brave Soul Black Sheer Beach Dress with Tassel Tie Front (Size 22) £22 (RRP £35). MISSPAP Tara White Chunky Sole Studded Caged Sliders sale price £11 (RRP £22.00) bought a Black pair as well.

DAYWEAR OUTFIT NO.5 - AmbroseWilson Tropical Print Bandeau Bikini (Top size 24)

£12.80 (Bottoms Size 24) £11.20) - Give your swimwear collection a fresh new look with this gorgeous bandeau bikini top. With cut-out detailing to the centre front, centre back clasp and a removable halter neck-style strap, this piece promises a flattering finish. Boohoo Plus Broderie Anglaise Button Front To