notgivin.com

Our trip to the Amalfi Coast was everything I hoped it would be.  Picture postcard scenery, beautiful weather, delicious food.  It was a real treat and I’ll write up a blog post with all the details of how we got on soon.  In the meantime, as I know a lot of people have their holiday plans ahead of them, I wanted to give you feedback on the clothes situation and in particular what I felt I didn’t have.

 

Obviously, I had done a little bit of shopping before I went away and had focused on dresses and swimming costumes mainly.  However, when I got there I found that the most worn item, apart from two blue dresses, was my trust pair of denim shorts.

 

They’re just the easiest item to pack and perhaps the pair above are getting a little short for me now (!), but I still reached for them nearly every day.

 

To be honest I wished I’d taken more pairs.

 

I didn’t expect that to be the case, but for sightseeing, general trudging to and from the beach, having a pair of shorts was the handiest, simplest and coolest item to pair up with T.shirts and strappy vests in the day and dressed up with light flowing blouses or crisp cotton shirts and piles of jewels in the evening.

 

notgivinin.com

 

Daisy dukes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.  I understand that. But I’ve taken a look around and retailers this season have taken this on board and introduced longer length denim shorts.

 

If you don’t want to reveal your thighs to the world then a length that ends just above the knee can give you a more flattering silhouette.  Takes me back to the cycling shorts of the eighties!

 

Marks & Spencer has even introduced a Sculpt and Lift Denim Short. Made in cotton, the denim has added stretch so that it is kind to your curves and helps accentuate your figure.  See the red pair in the reel below.

 

It’s worth trying on shorts with a nice pair of wedge espadrilles. The perfect summer shoe, they generally are easier to wear than strappy heels and can elongate the leg.

 

What do you think?  Fancy trying some on?  Here’s a selection of shorts on the high street.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Gail xx

It’s such a downer when your holiday is over isn’t it?  I’m trying not to let the post-holiday blues get to me and it is lovely to be back in blighty. There’s no place like home, of course, but still who wouldn’t want to sit by glistening blue waters all summer.  I would.

 

I hope you are well and have had a good few weeks. This week’s post is a short photo diary of my holiday to Croatia, which included a trip to the beautiful city of Dubrovnik.

 

Croatia was not our first choice of destination this summer.  In fact we were originally booked for Egypt because I’d heard it was wall-to-wall sunshine and SP would be happy swimming with lots of fish.  Then, as we know, safety became even more of an issue to travellers there and the holiday wasn’t viable so we had to find somewhere else to lay our sun hats!

 

We didn’t have many immediate friends that had travelled to Croatia, one or two, but when I found a well-appointed hotel just outside of Dubrovnik I quickly booked us a room with a sea-view as I had wanted to visit this city for some time.  Our accommodation, Hotel Croatia, sits on a cliff top above the charming little village of Cavtat.  A quick read of Trip Advisor confirmed that the reputation of the hotel was solid and it had a swimming pool and a waterfront sunbathing area, we were covered.

 

So without further ado, here’s some photographic evidence of our week in gorgeous Croatia.

 

First stroll around Cavtat Marina

First stroll around Cavtat Marina

 

Cavtat

Cavtat

 

Possible mooring spot for super yachts

Possible mooring spot for super yachts

 

Plenty of places to eat, drink and watch the world go by

Plenty of places to eat, drink and watch the world go by

 

There's always room for Greek Salad

There’s always room for Greek Salad

 

IMG_20160626_110557

Trying out one of the purchases I made for the holiday. This shirt dress was in fact a good buy (thank heaven) and I got lots of wear out of it.

 

Loved wearing these sandals from Primark and just £10 - FUN

Loved wearing these sandals from Primark and just £10 – FUN

 

I love wearing shorts and try to get away with it when on holiday

I love wearing shorts and try to get away with it when on holiday

 

You can't beat a colourful kaftan

You can’t beat a colourful kaftan on holiday – so handy

 

Old port, Dubrovnik

Old port, Dubrovnik

 

We walked the city walls, but honestly it was too hot to take many photos and we melted hence the lack of bodies featured

We walked the city walls, but honestly it was too hot to take many photos and we melted hence the lack of bodies featured

 

Dubrovnik. View from the city walls

 

Looking out to sea

Looking out to sea

 

The city walls run for 6365 feet

The city walls run for 6365 feet

 

Old Town, Dubrovnik

Old Town, Dubrovnik

 

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

 

The sun sets on our week in Croatia

Adriatic sunset

Did you have a good time SP?

Did you have a good time SP?

 

He did.  We loved it and will absolutely go back.  SP’s sister is heading to Pula later in the year and we would love to travel around this country more, although for an easy, chill-out break, we would likely go back to this hotel.  It had everything we needed and more.

 

Now I’m just envious of everyone still getting ready to go away.  Ah you got to love the summer months.

 

Next week, it’s all about staying here in the UK.  What will I pack for a weekend in Devon?  Pac-a-mac at the ready!

 

Gail xx

 

 

 

 

I look dreadful without make-up.  I’m not one of those women who wears make-up at night or jumps out of bed before her husband wakes so that he never sees her without war paint, but I know I need it during the day and I’m happier, more confident when I have a little ‘slap’ on.

 

I’ve recently reverted to ‘carving out time’ to put it on, as I did in my youth.  In my thirties, there was no time, or maybe I thought I didn’t need as much time, and my face was done in minutes.  Now, as I get older, I’m building up the drugstore again and I’m starting to think I might end up like Barbara Cartland as my bathroom overflows with colourful goodies.

 

Hopefully SP will stick around and forewarn me of graffiti-style war paint wearing as I get older, but that’s down the line and my immediate problem lies in the holiday make-up bag, which is a bone of contention between us.  It all started when we couldn’t carry anything over 100ml in our hand luggage and I couldn’t hide ‘all that stuff’ in a tote.  I know it’s for a good reason, but now all my make-up is visible in the shared suitcase (obviously where I’m going wrong) and ‘make-up control’ guidelines dictate very serious restrictions. The trouble is SP considers said make-up kit a luxury, I consider it First Aid.

 

Without make-up my head looks like a spud and it’s particularly worse when I expose my skin to the sun.  I do not have summer-friendly skin.  I’m naturally pale and really have to stick at the sun worship to gain any colour, always being mindful of how long I’m out in it,  as I can scorch like a tomato on a grill.

 

I wear high factor protection on my face the whole time I’m away and then add a swish of MAC Bronzer to give my face a sun-kissed look of an evening.  These items are non-negotiable, but with make-up space at a premium I need to limit myself with the rest of the ‘equipment’ and not take the complete drugstore, which is how I found myself fine-tuning my kit to the items below for my last holiday.

 

20160106_125047 blog

 

Wearing high factor protection is great for your skin, but try standing next to a bronzed beauty in the Med, it ain’t so hot.  So I always take foundation and powder away with me.   This time I wanted to find a 2-in-1 product that also didn’t break the bank.  Chatting to beauty bloggers on Twitter and doing some digging around I found a 4-in1 product, True Match Genius by L’Oreal.

 

A primer, concealer, foundation and powder in one compact, it comes with a built-in mirror and application sponge.  It’s creamy to touch, but transforms to a matt texture with a satin finish once on the skin.  It offers medium coverage and because it comes in a small case I could take it with me everywhere and touch up should my skin get ‘flushed’.  I really liked the result, but I think I’m going to go a shade darker this next holiday to give me a little more colour.

 

I was also advised to try eyeshadow sticks or crayons, which meant I didn’t have to take any brushes with me – hoorah – see saving space comes naturally to me!  I found these by Max Factor.  They aren’t new in the world of beauty, but certainly a fresh idea to me.  These are 2-in-1 Gel Shadow Liners.  They offer a high pigmentation and I bought a light brown/gold colour for day wear and a metallic grey for an evening.  In truth they are quite chunky sticks so I didn’t wear them as a liner and drew over the whole eyelid, but that suited my needs.  I think you’d need a pretty steady hand to just use them as a liner.  I loved the colours and coverage though.

IMG_20160610_122527

There are some nights of course when you want to add more sparkle to your look and for that I bought Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner that I kept reading about all last year.  I bought Midnight Cowboy which offers a wash of gold glitter that can be delicately worn on the outer rim of your eye, or hell-for-leather over the whole eyelid.  It depends on what you’re looking for and whether you’re going to an Abba tribute gig or not, but I found a tiny amount really makes your eyes pop in a pretty way.  I wore mine with Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara (not pictured), which is my currant fave.

 

Lastly, I had a sample (must have been from a magazine) of Benefit’s Hoola Lip Gloss.  It does say Ultra Plush on the packaging, but I did find it really quite heavy to wear and it took a little getting used to.  It’s pretty much nude on the lip, but does offer some shimmer.  I’m not convinced that it did much for me, I’m too pale and need colour, so I will be reverting back to a pink gloss for the next holiday.  But if you go a gorgeous nut brown (please don’t stand near me) then this could be a gloss for you.

 

And that was it, my holiday ‘look’ with just a few products.  I literally got a gold star from SP.

 

Don’t worry, I got my own back. I more than made up for it with shoes!!!

 

Have a nice weekend.

 

Gail x

 

 

“Four weeks from today we’ll be on holiday, ” were SP’s parting words as he left for work this morning.  Cue a scramble for trainers while shoving last night’s bed head into a semi-smart workout ponytail and heading outside for a pre-work run.

No joke, we all want to look our best on the  yearly vaca, don’t we?  Last week I talked about what not to pack in your pull-along (or in my case, backpack).  So this week I’m turning negative into positive and thinking about what to take on those hotly anticipated few weeks of the year when we don’t have to wear our daily uniform.

Next month  SP and I are heading for a week by the sea in Croatia and I can’t wait.  So the starting point for my holiday, as it will be mainly pool-side, is what to wear to and from the water’s edge.

Cover ups can be tricky.  I used to be a dress down kind of gal in my youth.  You know long/old T.shirt over short shorts.  This was not my best look; I dare say it wasn’t for many.  The late 80’s were cruel years for fashion.  The boxy shape of a T.Shirt does not lend itself to a woman’s figure, hell no, even men wear slim fit nowadays.

No, I’m relieved to say that when I got married I found my way into an Accessorize store looking for honeymoon garb and came out a (new) woman, realising that a) you could look feminine if you didn’t have a pronounced waistline and b) I could look feminine …. if I tried.

Pool-side, no make-up, hair slicked back and wearing a two-piece is, dare I say it, a challenge for anyone, but a cover up, now that’s a girl’s best friend.

Have you ever noticed that girl who looks like she’s just thrown herself together in a millisecond?  She’s likely to be wearing what appears on first glance a man’s shirt.  It’s cute, it’s wearable on anyone of any age and now you can copy this sexy little look with the help of Next.  See below, a lovely white shirt in 100% viscose, so it offers a gentle drape and doesn’t crisp up in your suitcase. Bingo. Here’s your chance to be that girl.

Next - Photo from Pinterest

Next – Photo from Pinterest.  White Shirt £25

Sticking with white and incorporating the trend for dresses that are off the shoulder, here’s another pretty option.  Great for the pool bar too.

Next - Photo from Pinterest

Next – Photo from Pinterest. White Dress £35

Personally, I spotted this cover up in one of Next’s ads and I love the design.  Though on closer look it’s quite thin material, so I’m not sure whether it’s for me.  I’ll need to try it on, but it’s a nice mix of colours, which could pick out the colour in any number of bikinis or one-pieces.

I could include lots and lots of ideas from Next here.  It’s definitely worth checking  them out this season.

Next - Photo from Pinterest. Multi Geo Print Kaftan £26

Next – Photo from Pinterest. Multi Geo Print Kaftan £26

Talking about see-through, this kaftan from Matalan is a gorgeous blue and on trend with the cold shoulder design.  Great choice if you have the confidence to carry it off.

 

Matalan - Photo from Pinterest

Matalan – Photo from Pinterest – Cut Out Shoulder Kaftan £10

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Matalan of late, particularly when it comes to beach wear.  They have tons of designs, including the following dresses, all at bargain prices.

Matalan - Photo from Pinterest. Floral Print Kaftan £14

Matalan – Photo from Pinterest. Floral Print Kaftan £14

 

Matalan - Photo from Pinterest - Printed Sequin Kaftan £14

Matalan – Photo from Pinterest – Printed Sequin Kaftan £14

Last, but by no means least, we have Accessorize. It has been my go-to store for beach wear many times (though Matalan might pip it to the post with their prices this year).

Accessorize, Xenia £59

Accessorize, Xenia £59

Accessorize, Harika Floral Lace Insert Kaftan £29

Accessorize, Harika Floral Lace Insert Kaftan £29

Accessorize, Rose Lee Ombre Dress £27

Accessorize, Rose Lee Ombre Dress £27

Accessorize, Lace Insert Beach Maxi Dress £37

Accessorize, Lace Insert Beach Maxi Dress £37

 

That last dress!  Just add large hat, straw beach bag and go…

I have to say that I absolutely love a long maxi dress, but it does bring me back to the issue of needing a heel, so this year I’m going thigh-skimming kaftan all the way.  My legs haven’t given up the ghost yet, so with a drawstring or nipped in waist it will give me some definition and show off my, erm, best bits!

Here’s hoping!  Happy holidays ladies.

 

Gail x