Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra Review

It might come as something of a shock to you that I like to run.  I know, I know, it doesn't really go with the image of complete and utter un-arsedness that I present, but I do.  There's nothing like a swift early morning 5K before the school run, or a more leisurely 8 miler at the weekend to put you in a more positive frame of mind.

Well, usually anyway.  Recently I've slipped into the habit of rolling myself up in the duvet like it's a cocoon and refusing to get out of bed until the last possible minute, because it looks cold out there.  There has been little in the way of running, or any other exercise, in my life since October and I have a severe case of Lazyitis.

However, my best friend is getting married at the beginning of March and I have a dress to fit into.  I also have a nice new sports bra courtesy of Shock Absorber, and it needed to be put through its paces, so it was with a large amount of swear words and a sulky face that I heaved my rapidly expanding backside out of bed yesterday to go for a run.  And just for the record, it is cold out there.

So, details:  The bra I was sent to test is this one here.

It comes in sizes 30-38 A-G, which is good if, like me, you aren't a standard bra size (32F, people.  Why don't more shops sell bras in that size, hmmm?)  While we're here, and I'm comfortably on my soap box, I urge you to go and get properly fitted for a bra somewhere that doesn't use tape measures to determine your size.  Unless you've been properly fitted like this, you're likely to be wearing the wrong size, even if you're sure you're not.  Especially if you think you're a 36C.  Take it from me - you're probably not.

The website claims that it is 'easy on and off', in which case I must be truly thick or desperately uncoordinated, as it took me a good 10 minutes of struggling and swearing before I gave up and poked Richard awake to make him do it up for me.  I must be doing something wrong.  Anyway, once it was on, it looked good.  Well, no, it didn't to be honest, but it probably will in a few weeks time when I've coaxed my abs out of hiding again.

As for performance, I was quite impressed.  Barely any 'bounce' and it was very comfortable.  It's made of that super sweat wicking, breathable fabric stuff and the straps stayed put.  It's definitely better than my other sports bras.  Perhaps that's because it's been designed specifically for runners, so it's more suited to its purpose.

I'm going to finish off by showing you Shock Absorber's amazing Bounce-o-meter, which has held my husband's attention like nothing else and kept him out of trouble for weeks.  Apparently, Shock Absorber bras are twice as effective at minimising bounce than a normal bra, and they have the animated illustration to prove it.  Click here to see bouncing boobs galore.  You can even customise the cup size of said bouncing breasts for your viewing pleasure so you can see how well the bra will work for your cup size.  The wonders of technology, eh?

Friday, 10 January 2014

How to Look Glamorous on the School Run

When you're a mother, it's easy to let yourself go.  Lack of sleep and frazzled nerves lead to less time for you and less inclination to take care of your appearance, especially during the school run when you've got children to feed and dress before leaving the house on schedule.  Thank goodness, then, that you've got me to tell you how to do school run glamour:

Tip 1: Set your alarm half an hour earlier than you need to so you have plenty of time to beautify yourself.

Prise your eyes open, turn that fucker off, roll over and go straight back to sleep until you're woken by your child climbing into bed with you and farting horribly. Check time.  You now have 25 minutes to shower, feed, wash and clothe your child, put your clothes on, scrub baked bean juice off a school jumper and dry it with your hairdryer, bully your child into cleaning their teeth and pack their bookbag before you have to leave the house.  Congratulations.

Tip 2: Set up a regular hair and beauty routine so you're always looking at your best.

Or hack randomly at your hair with nail scissors in front of the bathroom mirror whenever it starts to look particularly witch-like.  Pluck eyebrows with one hand whilst making space station out of Lego with the other hand.  Forget to dye hair, ever.  Remove make-up at night only when not absolutely exhausted.

Tip 3: Own wardrobe full of timeless classic pieces in shades that all go together, so you have a sleek and coordinated outfit on hand every morning.

Apparently, some people (cough) just squeeze on whichever pair of jeans creates the least stomach overhang/has the least amount of kiddy snot trails up the leg and whichever top is clean and still fits, before nicking a pair of their husband's socks and swearily rooting through piles of shoes with worn out soles and heels that need replacing before desperately shoving on the same pair of boots that they wear every day; you know, the ones that have needed polishing for the past 3 months but you never quite get round to doing.  If only you could find the shoe polish.  Or the will to live.  Or anything.

Tip 4: Wash your hair the night before so you don't have to do it in the morning.
Shit.  Shit.  When was the last time you washed your hair?  Oh God, you could fry chips in it.  15 minutes to go.  Wash it or don't wash it?  If you don't wash it, you'll have an extra 5 minutes to do some make-up.  Make-up or clean hair?  Make-up wins.  Remember tip from magazine to tie greasy hair back into stylish ponytail and do this.  Hair does not look like stylish ponytail.  Bits of hair sticking up all over the shop, with errant grey hairs poking out like OAP pubes due to failure to adhere to tip 2.

Tip 5: A little natural make-up makes all the difference.

Break off from poking bits of solidified Weetabix down the plughole to throw make-up in the rough direction of your face.  Apply eyeliner and mascara to one eye, then get distracted by child climbing onto the windowsill naked and waving at John From Nextdoor.  Forget about other eye.  This is OK: You were completely going for the Clockwork Orange look.

Tip 6: Organisation will see you through.

There's 4 minutes to go before you have to leave the house.  Your child has stopped getting dressed after putting one sock half on and nothing else and has decided to take a long, languorous poo. ("NO YOU CANNOT HAVE A BLOODY MAGAZINE.")  You've forgotten to do their reading book, so are frantically waving Biff and Chip's latest adventures in front of their face as they crimp off a turd the size of Bolivia, and the zip on your last pair of jeans has broken.  God knows where their water bottle is.  At least you don't have to make packed lunches due to making them have school dinners (which you convinced yourself would give you an extra 15 minutes of sanity every morning).  Speaking of which, you check your purse hopefully to see if any money has magically materialised in it since yesterday so you can pay your outstanding dinner money debt off.

Tip 7: Own a stylish coat.

Aha! It doesn't matter what miscellaneous crap you're wearing - you can hide it all under your lovingly purchased long and stylish coat.  Up yours, yummy mummies.

Button pings off of stylish coat.  Put on disgusting Karrimor anorak instead.  Fuck it.

Tip 8: Leave the house a few minutes before you have to so that you arrive at school feeling fresh and relaxed.

Leave house five minutes late at a gallop.  Slow to odd frog-like gait as your child has chosen this morning to develop mild OCD and is engaged in some weird sort of paving stone avoidance technique.  Battle heroically onwards even though they're having histrionics because if they step on a nick they'll marry a brick and a beetle will come to their wedding.  Step in dog poo.  Arrive in playground toting a distraught child, looking as though you've been dressed by a vindictive care assistant and smelling a bit foisty.  It's probably the dog poo that you just stepped in.  Then again, it could be your festering, unwashed hair.  Welcome to the glamour of motherhood.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Years Resolutions.

1. I will stop rewarding every paragraph I write with cheese. This is reducing me to some sort of literary performing rodent.  The fact that I'm about to go and get a chunk of Brie the minute I finish writing this is irrelevant, because everybody knows that you don't start resolutions until 2nd January, OK?

2. That manky bit by the fridge door; the bit where the milk spills every time I knock the fridge and I always forget to wipe it up and it's formed a minging yellow crust of the sort that you would usually only find in a disgusting student bedsit.  I'm going to clean that.

3. I'm also going to clean the oven.  Sigh.  At some point anyway.  Maybe not just yet.  Perhaps in April - that seems a good sort of oven cleaning month.  Or I could pay someone to do it.  Anyway, at some point in 2014, the oven will be cleaned.

4. I will get into some sort of hair dying routine instead of only remembering to do it when I've got grey roots so bad that I look like this:

5. You know that stone that I lose every year and gain back by June?  I'm going to lose that again.

6. I will read more.  I have actually set up a little reading group on Facebook comprised of me and a few old friends, so this is going to happen

7. I will stop punishing my house for not being the farmhouse of my dreams and give it a makeover.  A new bathroom is being installed at the end of January, and I have *a creative vision* for the study. OK, I might need to stop taking my ADs for a few days to induce the manic state required to actually do it, but we'll not worry about that for a bit.

8.  I will be all zen about vomit.

9. I will stop using Rory's Playdoh to pick up the crud on the kitchen floor.

10. I am not going to throw any more slugs over John-From-Nextdoor's fence.

That should do me for now.  Happy 2014, everyone.