Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Daylesford Christmas Fair

A few weeks of the dreaded flu virus and a busy Christmas put pay to my hope of learning to video edit.  I have done my first ever attempt, it's very bad, long and a bit boring. But if you haven't got to Daylesford yet, it does give a taste of the action!

This should take you to the channel

The uploading palava takes ages, so much easier to put in link that try to upload here.

Have a look if you can bear it, but don't worry if you can't get through the whole thing.

I struggled and it's my creation!!

Happy New Year.

So many people have evacuated to Instagram it feels like there is just an empty echo resounding back.  But if anyone is still hanging out in blog-land, wishing you all luck and happiness for 2017!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Find Fashion and Fitness events

A whole host of stars aligned, and I could no longer put off properly getting going with the new 'crazy scheme' as my husband christens all of my projects.  I had done a bit of personal training and filled in for Village Hall type fitness sessions, but never really got my teeth into making a proper go of it.

The initial plan was to work with some new technology out of Hungary, and offer personal training in the home or office and a meal delivery plan to achieve guaranteed weight loss for those with a target to hit, be it a Summer holiday-ready bod, or a wedding dress.

We use electric muscle stimulation (EMS training) to work deep into the muscle tissue, and create definition and kick start the metabolism, without getting so hot and sweaty that a shower is a must.  For time poor execs working long hours, this is often the only way they can cram some exercise into a 16 hour work day.

I then started to spend more time in the Cotswolds, so left my partner in crime to spark up the city, while I embraced more permanent country living.  Quite by chance, I met a like-minded soul who had just finished working at mywardrobe and had stock and a loyal social media following.
Instead of village hall style exercise classes, we could set up a mini boutique, complete with fresh cut flowers, scented candles and all of the bits and pieces that you might expect from a local boutique and we could offer changing weekly capsule collections to keep it fresh and new.

We needed to find some good locations, first and most importantly they had to have 'soul' so that when people arrive, they feel they are somewhere special, they must have good parking and be accessible and of course have really tasty coffee for when the class is over.  We have a number of one-off locations in the pipeline, including Cliveden and Soho Farmhouse, and two weekly regulars, Mondays in Streatley at the Swan at Streatley overlooking the river and Thursdays in the Barn behind the Crown and Thistle in Abingdon.

The ladies pay £10 for each class, but the classes are limited from 5-10 with two trainers, so there is a lot of focus on correction and technique, We call it 'Group Personal Training' and this ensures that each participant gets the best possible outcome from their class.


The best bit, is that the £10 is redeemable against the already heavily discounted stock, prices start at £10.  So our ladies get a great work-out and then a free gift.  It's not really surprising that everyone sticks with it.

I'll write more about the classes and the routine and how it works next time, as after Instagram, this all feels a bit wordy!

If you are interested in coming to try a class you can read more details at

Monday, 2 November 2015

Life update....

Things have been pretty busy at the Find HQ.

Over the Summer we have launched the exercise and meal plan program. 

We have started fashion and fitness events around Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.

We are in partnership with, who sold all of their online business interests to Net A Porter, but now produce their own line.

We found a local cosmetics manufacturer to work on some organic candles and beauty products (so pure that you could eat any of them).

We also now have a local small holding to produce all of our vegetables and herbs for our menus.

So not much time for blogging (although we update quite regularly on Instagram if you are interested in keeping up with what we are up to.

I will try to keep the posts coming, as they serve to fix things in my memory in a way that Instagram doesn't quite do.  I have found out some old pictures of my chestnut (nearly black) haired magazine days.  I'll do a run down of Soho Farmhouse, the new must-visit spot in the Cotswolds and a review of KX in Knightsbridge which I joined in the Summer in a last ditch St Tropez bikini drive.  There will also be less glamorous posts about digging on the terrible soil at the small holding (not the best investment). And various of the other 'crazy ideas' that the long-suffering husband puts up with.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

lazy weekends and parties....

Saturday night was a rare proper party night out, the host, a bestie, who has worked on fashion all her life, would never judge, but I was keen to make an effort.  With age, the 'right' look gets harder.  I started with this midriff bearing Thakoon dress bought in a bin end sale for 30 quid! The fashion critic was unsure as the shape is a new one on him (and me).....

Next up was the MSGN dress (another bin end) it is short AND split, a bit much for a wet London night...(even with lashings of fake tan)....

 Then a JW Andersen top, Whistles sequin skirt and very old valentino cardi...
 The verdict was mumsy...
 I tried the skirt with the top that is meant to match, but it looks a bit old fashioned....

 So it was back to the midriff dress (OK he decided on second viewing) and my old regular coat....
The next day a big brekkie was the ticket...
My H & M jacket, ZARA cheapie top and Paige jeans got an outing....
 Along with the pink coat which has been promoted from dog-walking duty...

 We went to the Milk Shed near Bicester, the best breakfasts, especially with a hang-over...

Breakfast and magazines, it doesn't get much better....

Friday, 27 February 2015

The Thermic Plan, dinners at home, meetings and greetings...

I've managed to get to day 5 of a Turbo Plan without a blip.The cold/cough thing drags on, I'm fine pottering, but anything close to exertion and the coughing starts.  So in the interest of a weekend of possible bikinis in March, I needed to do something to shave my winter coat.

The Thermic Plan is based on the Thermic Index of food (or eating by the celery principle).  Put most simply some foods require a much higher % of their own calories to be digested and expelled than others.  The overall winner is protein in that as much as 40% of the calorie value of the food is required to digest it.  It is the most important bit to get our heads around when it comes to eating well, not all calories are the same.  If we eat 3 eggs, in calorie terms we've only had two, if we eat three Mars Bars, biscuits, slices of cake, we have definitely eaten all of them!

The Dukan and Atkins diets are based on this principle, there is a slight difference in the focus of the Thermic Plan as it is all about keeping the metabolic rate as high as possible.  This is another way of eating 'more food for less calories'.  It does require exercise and eating quite a lot of calories at each sitting to encourage the body not to go into feast and famine mode.

Since I can't really go for it on the exercise front, I have cut out the more calorie laden permissible foods; seeds, nuts, lentils, beans etc and just stuck to protein, vegetables and a few pieces of fruit.

The M & S meal deal has been my 'Pure Package', but at £10 a day, I am saving about £540 over six days (AND I have 6 bottles of wine which they definitely don't supply and six puddings that have been given to various guests).

One of the critical parts of the metabolism boost is breakfast and I have to confess I do struggle with it, I only bought the eggs yesterday, but this week I have had a few early starts and the most that I can manage is a couple of oranges on the go, which is not enough calories to persuade the metabolism to wake up and get going.

So my typical day has been;
starter of prawn scallops and peas for when a friend came to dinner

morning 3 coffees and two oranges
lunch left over protein and veg from previous day plus 'zero noodles' (not actually sure what these are made from but they are carb free and give the impression of eating pasta or similar)
afternoon two cups of tea and no snacks (this is the bit that I hate)
dinner; starter like the peas and prawns,  'meal deal' offer roast chicken and veg or sea bream and veg or duck and veg and small glass of red wine
At night camomile tea with milk and the tiniest bit of agave syrup, sounds disgusting but it tastes like honey milk and is quite nice to go to sleep on.
The regime has been going for 5 days and I hesitate to say this, but it's really quite easy. I haven't felt hungry. The husband is away and I would normally revert to massive bowls of Harvest Crunch rather than bothering to cook. But this makes me cook and as I am cooking (and we are in a rare state of tidiness) it's easy to have friends for dinner, so unusually I have had people around twice this week.
We had roast chicken on both occasions and I had sea bream and pea puree tonight.

The only time I felt a real pang was on a trip to see my eldest, I hadn't had time to get lunch and by the time I got there it was too late to eat so the pot of Earl Grey wasn't hitting the mark.

I also got some supplies from Wholefoods, I have been a bit lazy about growing the sprouting beans and they are a great addition as almost like having carbs, but real stars on the Thermic Index...

love the signage in the booze hall

I did cave a little tonight and had some 0% fat Greek yoghurt and some passion fruit puree, it felt like a luxury, but actually was more sharp than sweet.

The meeting went well with the fashion people, better than I had expected, they loved the furry coat, had worked with Jerome Dreyfuss so were pleased that I had the bag, but did comment that too much black looks a bit 80s.

I secretly agreed, but better that it wasn't me that said it.  Last year pink was the new black and I thought it had had its moment so relegated my Ebay coat to dog walking duty.  Since it cost no more than a fiver, I don't really know why I was saving it for best anyway.  Then I read Susie Sosos post about bright coats and thought perhaps I had been a little hasty.

Tomorrow life is back to normal and my most avid reader is back home, so I might be less prolific in my ponderings. It's been fun, but does take up quite a lot of time!
Just reread this and realised I didn't mention the results of the Thermic Plan, I don't  have any scales, but I'm not too worried about weight as it is pretty irrelevant this early on.  I have noticed that my jeans are looser and I haven't lost weight in that 'top down' way that I would normally.  Usually, when I am eating a lot of sugar and carbs, but exercising enough to burn them, my face goes gaunt and people ask if I'm unwell, my shoulders get boney and then after a couple of weeks the weightloss goes down to the rest of my body. With this, the overall reduction seems to be more consistent and I don't have that really boney old witch look (which is always good news!)

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Advice needed....

A friend of mine is launching a clothing line and sent me loads of items to try on. There is no such thing as a free lunch of course, and he wants me to come to a funding meeting tomorrow.
I need to be business like, but look like I 'get' fashion.  I have mixed in some of my own bits, bags from Cedric Charlier, Jerome Dreyfuss, shoes from Twins for Peace and Laurence Dacade, old leather jacket from TopShop, but the rest is his.  Please let me know which you think looks the most 'fashion', I am totally at sea with this, but need to look like I (might) have just been at London Fashion Week!!! I will literally wear the one that gets the most votes, I'm in your hands....