My Fitness Journey – Losing Motivation & Losing Myself

Maybe it’s boredom, maybe I just need a giant kick up the arse. Whatever the reason, my postpartum fitness journey has well and truly ground to a halt! A few months ago I wrote about how I was working towards building myself back up post-pregnancy, the goals I had set myself and the programmes I was using in order to do so.  I’m forever thankful that I found the motivation to commit to the twelve week Mutu programme when I did (read my Mutu Review here) as I do feel like that gave me a solid foundation to build from at a time where I really didn’t recognise my body at all. It helped to solve the issues that had arisen as a direct result of pregnancy itself (hello abdominal separation & leaky pelvic floor). When I felt as though I was ready to move on from recovery mode, I signed up for the fairly intense BBG ( bikini body guide) programme and still, my motivational levels remained relatively high. I hit all the targets and powered on through the achy joints & muscles. I persisted in my fitness journey even as the exercises intensified to the point my exhausted body could barely get out of bed to feed the baby. And then I hit a wall. One Monday morning my body and brain aligned and just said no. That was two months ago and to be brutally honest, I’m struggling.

What Happens When You Lose Motivation

Before I had my daughter, I didn’t need to exercise to remain trim and as one friend put it, food never ‘stuck to me’. I’m not going to lie, the realisation that that carefree existence is most probably over for good has been a bitter pill to swallow and yes I’ve been guilty of some serious diva stropping. I’ve stomped and wailed with the kind of Kevin & Perry style attitude that’s most unbecoming of a woman in her 30s. Aside from the fact that I really do not enjoy exercise in any way shape or form, I find scheduling it into my day, difficult at best. I don’t care what anyone says about ‘half an hour a day being easy to slot in’. By the time you’ve psyched yourself up to do the workout, poured your engorged boobs into a sports bra seemingly designed for a ten-year-old, assembled the necessary equipment, found something to contain/occupy the baby, done the physical workout (furiously hating every painful second), mixed up a powdery protein drink that tastes like vanilla-infused cardboard, showered and dressed (while simultaneously containing/occupying the baby), half the morning or more has disappeared and you still haven’t made any headway on things that actually need doing. Not to mention the fact that you’ve most likely been up half the night and this ‘half hour’ (read two hours) has just about finished you off before you’ve even started. (Christ that was one long sentence…apologies)!

My Fitness Journey

Exhaustion is a funny old thing. After a while, it sinks so far to your bones that you’re not really aware of it anymore. Sure, you feel it in the sandpaper-like quality of the backs of the eyelids or the dull grey pallor that tinges the skin but its the general sense of malaise and complete ambivalence to the world and everything in it that shrouds you like some kind of heavy, mist and pulls you down into places you’d rather not visit. We give ourselves such a hard time on an almost daily basis. We spend every spare moment, phone in hand scrolling through the perfectly curated Insta feeds. The fitspo accounts, the bronzed, long-limbed, designer activewear clad girls, the smug 5 am risers – all for what? To feel just that little bit more shit about ourselves? That old adage “comparison is the thief of joy’ has never been more relevant. In order to move forward with my own fitness journey, I feel we need to be kinder to ourselves, stop self-flagellating, comparing ourselves with others and actively trying to make ourselves feel like we’re crap.

Losing Fitness Motivation

Levi 501 Skinny

Round Rayban Sunglasses

I wish I could conclude with an action plan or give you a comprehensive list of what to do when you just can’t find the drive. The honest truth as you can probably tell is that I’m all at sea, a little bewildered and at a loss to know how to get my fitness journey back on track. I’m loathed to try again only to fail.  This isn’t a pity party, I don’t expect anybody to feel sorry for me and maybe at best, this rambly, incoherent post will give somebody else the piece of mind that they are not alone. Moving forward on my fitness journey, I would like to be able to find a way to incorporate exercise into my life without making a chore of it. As much as I want to be that girl who loves the gym, it’s just never going to happen and I think I’m at the point where I’m at peace with that. I’m going to start small by simply getting out into the fresh air. Autumn is made for walking and it takes significantly less time and thought to bundle myself and the baby up and out of the door than it does to prep for a workout. For me, fresh air is also key to managing the inevitable physical and mental effects of exhaustion so it’s a win-win. If anybody has any thoughts of their own on this topic then please do leave me a comment or, if you have any tips on working exercise into your day (without taking over it) then I would love to hear them.

Outfit Details









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Coloured Knitwear – An Autumn Essential

As a dedicated disciple of Kelly Hoppen, I have shall we say a bit of an aversion to colour. It started with interiors then slowly but surely spread to my wardrobe – a veritable sea of black, white and denim! I think most of us are a little bit guilty of ‘playing it safe’ in the colour department (particularly when it comes to what we wear on our person) so I am tentatively leading the charge and championing the colours of the season. Red is the obvious choice but I’m leaning more toward the gorgeous berry’s and mustards that seem to be in abundance this year. Coloured knitwear is such an easy trend to translate to every day and is so much more flattering against an English complexion than the traditional camels and greys. Don’t get me wrong, camel and grey is precisely where my comfort zone lies and the chances of me giving them up are pretty much zero. But, I was amazed at how much this burgundy/wine colour actually suited me. With the baby still waking multiple times through the night, my epidermis has a permanent grey tinge that this super soft knit manages to almost entirely disguise! I’ve styled my new favourite knit (honestly, it’s pretty much perfect and yes, it does also come in grey – two shades of grey nonetheless – for if you just want to ignore me completely (I won’t be offended)) with leopard print boots and the famous Zara Mom Jeans! If you’re wary of the itch factor you would probably want to wear a long-sleeved tee underneath the jumper – I certainly will be – but the wool content is low and the irritation is minimal even if you wanted to brave it without! What are your feelings on coloured knitwear? Are you a fan or will you be sticking with the classics?

Coloured Knitwear For Autumn 2017

Burgundy Zara Jumper

coloured knitwear autumn 2017

Burgundy Chunky Knit

Leopard Print Boots

coloured knitwear 2017

JW Anderson Shoulder Bag

Burgundy Chunky Knit Outfit






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Glossier UK…The Review

You would have to have been living on another planet not to notice the hype surrounding the launch of Glossier UK! It’s been built up, blogged about, reviewed and Instagrammed for months and, being the easily led beauty junkie I am, I was first in line when it finally launched at the beginning of October. Here are five picks from the most hotly anticipated launch of the year…

The Best of Glossier UK

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

If you’ve read my previous skincare posts then you’ll know that I’m pretty pedantic when it comes to cleansing so the Milky Jelly Cleanser was on my hit list from the get-go. The texture is most definitely a gel (i’m not entirely sure where the milk comes in) and I must say it does a lovely job of leaving the skin clean and soft. I love the packaging – a pump action is always super handy in the bathroom and this one is particularly ‘workable’ if you know what I mean? No, ok then. Umm, what I mean is that this seems unlikely to clog up (where you end up having to stick a pin down the nozzle) or shoot product out at such an alarming rate that it takes your eye out! What I didn’t care for was the fact that:

  1. It’s not heavy duty enough to get rid of makeup or SPF
  2. It feels a little on the claggy, verging on the sticky side and if I don’t get my follow up products on straight away it also feels a little drying.
  3. It’s just a bit joyless. My absolute favourite cleanser in the whole wide world is Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing Gel (which smells like sweeties and just melts into your skin like a dream). In my mind, there’s just no comparison and I would be much more likely to repurchase the Oskia over the Glossier (which given that its significantly more expensive, pretty much says it all).

Milky Jelly Cleanser


Glossier Boy Brow

I know eyebrows are big news at the moment but bloomin heck when did they get so scary? I sat next to two girls in Pizza Express a few days ago who couldn’t have been more than fifteen and yet had beetle brows to rival Eugene Levy (the dad in American Pie for those of you not familiar). I myself am partial to more of a natural (but still groomed) “boy brow” but am completely and utterly crap with an eye pencil so products like this are the dream – the lazy girl’s brow buddy if you will. The formula is waxy enough to hold everything in place and fill in any gaps without that nasty, crunchy finish and the brush is teeny tiny so you can really get in there and be quite precise. Overall this is very similar to Benefit’s “Gimme Brow” which has been a staple in my makeup bag for quite a while now but I think that”Boy Brow” may just pip it to the post.


Cloud Paint

Once again, I’m going to start with the packaging. How could you not love these super cute paint tubes – what a delicious play on words! The formula is light and dewy but I’ve also found it to be quite buildable should you want a little more than a delicate flush of colour. Following the advice of Emily Weiss (oh that rhymed) – Glossier’s founder, I picked up the shades Dusk and Beam. Both colours are lovely in their own right, but mixed together make the prettiest peachy pink – perfect for no-makeup makeup days when you just want to look fresh-faced and well, pretty! The only downsides that I can see aren’t really downsides as such. The colours aren’t highly pigmented but then again they aren’t designed to be and, as I’ve said, they are quite buildable. Another potential con could be the small selection of colours but again, mixing the colours is a super easy way of achieving your preferred shade.

Glossier Cloud Paint


Balm Dot Com

Balm dot com is essentially a moisturising lip balm (although you certainly could use it on your cuticles or other dry patches). Now, I don’t think I’m the biggest fan of lip balm (I know, I know I can almost hear you all screaming at me). I just find it really irritating. As soon as I get it on my lips that’s all I can think about and I just want to get it off! The same goes for lipstick, to be honest, so I’m probably not the best person to give you advice in this area but I’ll give it my best shot. O.k the pros…firstly, it’s not sticky…that would just about send me over the edge and secondly, it really is very moisturising and leaves lips looking lovely and plumptious! The big con for me (apart from my general dislike of lip balms) is that the flavour is so subtle (I went for coconut) that I found myself licking my lips in desperate search of the juicy tropical taste I was hoping for. So many people recommended the coconut that I was really quite disappointed that the flavour just didn’t come through for me.

Balm Dot Com


Glossier Generation G Lipstick

Everything in the Glossier range is quite sheer and geared towards a natural – you but better – vibe. The Generation G lipstick is no different, offering a sheer matt wash of colour to give a simple and polished look. At the moment, I’m not getting on that well with the lipstick. The colour (I went for Cake) is so subtle it’s close to non-existent so I’m really hoping that with a little perseverance it will start offering a little more oomph as I really love the light texture. In its defence, I’m aware that I’ve chosen a very subtle shade in what is also a very subtle formula so I am tempted to try some of the darker, more berry shades which look like they will be perfect for the Autumn season.

Glossier UK Generation G Lipstick


The Pink Pouch

I couldn’t do a Glossier review without mentioning the infamous pink pouches! If you’re not in the know, all Glossier orders come in a pink bubble wrap zip lock bag which sounds distinctly, meh, but in reality is just the BEST THING EVER! Don’t ask me why but there is something incredibly satisfying about these little pouches almost to the point that I would place an order just for the bag! They are super handy, super cool and yeah, just super pleasing!

Have you tried Glossier UK yet? Do you have any must-haves that should be on my next shopping list?


Boots & Crops – The Perfect Pairing

It seems only five minutes ago we were in the throes of Summer and I was weighing up the merits of a floppy sun hat with the words Mrs. Rhoades emblazoned in sequins! So how is it that I find myself huddled in front of the fire having just removed two bin liners full of crunchy, ladybird infested (don’t ask) leaves from my doorstep? Putting aside questions with no discernable answer it occurred to me that as a dedicated denim devotee, it’s actually taken roughly six months to get my head around the new styles, specifically Mom jeans (check out my thoughts here) and cropped jeans with a raw hem. Towards the end of the summer season, I really became partial to a crop. I’ve been wearing them with loafers, strappy sandals and heels – they’re both versatile and flattering and to be quite honest I’m just not ready to give them up when the inevitable chill descends and I have to succumb to a good old pair of socks! The answer to this conundrum clearly lies in a pair of boots. It’s taken me a while to warm up to this idea (I do love a bare ankle), but this seasons ‘sock boots’ allow you to retain the slim ankle that really is crucial to the success of the boots & cropped jean combo! Alongside boots & crops, pearls are also having a bit of a moment (and you guys know how much I love a bit of pearl embellishment), so I’ve styled this up with an oversized embellished shirt and a boxy pink coat – both from Zara. How to do you feel about cropped jeans in winter? Are boots & crops the perfect pairing?

pearl embellished shirt

Cropped Flared Jeans

Pink Tailored Coat

Pearl Embellished Shirt

Zara Pearl Shirt

Sock Boots & Cropped Frayed Jeans











My Top Five Wooden Toys For Babies & Toddlers

*disclaimer…I am pressing publish on the back of a shopping trip which has seen me purchase approx 1.2 tonnes of Duplo a.k.a plastic tat…you win some, you lose some!

Top Five Traditional Gifts For Babies & Toddlers

I had very specific ideas of what life post-baby would look like (read about our breastfeeding and weaning journey here) and I am slightly embarrassed to admit that it did somewhat resemble a Dickensian idyll. I envisaged (through a hazy, dreamy, hormone-addled filter) the family gathered around a log fire, the baby calmly playing with a toy train (probably with led infused paintwork but let’s not spoil the fantasy). I think perhaps in hindsight I had watched one too many documentaries on how the Victorians invented Christmas (or possibly too many American Christmas films – I’m looking at you Miricle on 34th Street) and suffice to say I got something of a shock when Luna did put in an appearance. It’s like the opening credits of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding…a traditional image that then collides with the 21st Century and in this case, plastic, in all its garish glory! So while I harboured hopes that Luna would be content to sit and play with a toy train (and don’t get me wrong, there are many occasions where she is and does), the poor old railway really doesn’t stand a chance when pitted against a bright pink monstrosity with flashing lights and the sort of music that is enough to send even the most serene of us quietly loopy. That being said I am still a firm believer in the value of wooden toys to a child’s learning and development and I’m determined to prove that they can be just as much fun as their plastic counterparts. There are some truly beautiful wooden toys on the market that never fail to give me the warm fuzzies when browsing the toy departments. Here are my top five…

The London Bus

We have had so much fun with this London Bus from Early Learning Centre. It comes complete with eight little passengers helpfully colour coded to their seats. At the moment she’s having tremendous fun just taking things out and (haphazardly) putting them back in but as she gets older this is going to be great for developing fine motor skills and colour coordination. I’m also rather looking forward to the day we can set up a little village and pick up passengers along the way…I think I may have developed an over-fondness for this one!

Wooden London Bus Toy


The Walker

Luna can crawl at approx 5 million miles per hour but is still a little unsure on two feet so my most recent purchase has been this beauty of a walker again from Early Learning Centre. Now I have to say, this was an absolute b**tard to put together particularly when you have an inquisitive 13-month-old on the loose. All those tiny screws and knuts are not conducive to an environment the Health Visitor would approve of! However, once assembled (with a large dollop of help from my mother – I was determined to prove to Mr.R that I could do it myself), this walker is an absolute dream. First and foremost, it’s sturdy and doesn’t run away with her and secondly, its just so much fun! It has little pots, pans & utensils, a shape sorter, turning cogs and clickable dials. There’s also a rather larger ‘oven’ compartment which allows her to play her favourite game of put everything in then take it all out again!

Early Learning Centre Wooden Toy Kitchen


Building Blocks

What could be more traditional than a set of wooden building blocks? These ones from Ikea are super simple but perfect for learning about shapes and practising balance. They have a handy design on the bottom so you can keep them in order which pleases the Virgo in me enormously BUT there is something decidedly odd going on with the colours – I kind of feel there’s not enough of some and too many of others and its all a little bit too chaotic for my symmetry obsessed brain to handle. Nevertheless, for the price this is a lovely start to what I’m sure will be an ever-evolving collection.

Ikea Wooden Building Blocks


Shape Sorter

This was a birthday present from Luna’s Auntie & Uncle and is just beautiful! What is it with personalised inanimate objects? Even the mundane can suddenly become ultra desirable with the addition of a name or a bit of gold embossing! The pastel shades of this particular design are so pretty and as Luna gets older it will really help with hand-eye coordination (at the moment shes convinced she can get the heart shape through the cloud)! If you rather like the idea of wooden toys, something like this would make a lovely gift!

Wooden Shape Sorting Toy Box

Traditional Wooden Toys For Babies


Galt Pop Up Toy

As wooden toys go this is so simple and yet so pleasing! As with the London Bus, you have the colour coded figures – perfect for developing colour recognition – which bob up and down on concealed springs! This never fails to raise a smile and a cheeky chuckle and her hand-eye coordination has come on hugely by slotting the little figures into their holes.

Wooden Pop Up Toy


I really could go on and on with this topic as there’s just so much gorgeousness out there! On my list for Christmas is this gorgeous Nativity and in our local florist of all places, there’s a delightful ambulance which toddler Jessica would have gone crazy for (I can only assume toddler Luna will be equally as enamoured)! Do you and your littles have any favourite wooden toys?

Top Five Wooden Toys For Babies & Toddlers


The Belted Blazer & My Top Denim Tip

It’s no secret that I love a blazer and jeans combo so, in a bid to keep things fresh I decided to channel that ‘off-duty model’ vibe and throw my belt on over the top of my jacket. Now I’m no Bella Hadid and my waist definitely does not ‘go in’ to the extent it did pre-baby (it was never particularly small if I’m honest) but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how the overall look turned out. Given my current obsession with the Double G Gucci Belt (if you haven’t already then check out my September Favourites for the lowdown on a rather spendy month), I was quite excited to see if it would work on my waist as well as my jeans and I feel like, in general, it does. In a perfect world, I think I would prefer a smaller size (I’m wearing an 85 so I think an 80 would be ideal) but that does rather depend on the thickness of the jacket/coat you’re intending to belt. I’ve styled the belted blazer with a pair of grey MiH jeans which I’ve had for years but have been given a new lease of life by chopping a few inches off the length and leaving the hem raw. TOP TIP…If you have a pair of jeans which you love the fit of but maybe the style just isn’t quite right, I would highly recommend having a go at a bit of customisation. Opting for a cropped raw hem is an easy way of bringing a pair of old favourites bang up to date without having to spend a penny! Gucci loafers, a leopard print scarf and my MacBook (just in case you were getting bored of the same old handbags – ha) complete the look. Are you tempted to have a go at the belted blazer? Do you have any top tips for customising your looks?

Belted Blazer, Denim Tips | Jessica Rhoades Blog

By Malene Birger Scarf

Grey Belted Blazer

Belted Blazer and Jeans

Tan Guuci Belt

How To Belt A Blazer

Me and Em Blazer








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Makeup Junkies Rejoice! It’s The Hundred Pound Haul (Maquillage Edit)

Spectrum Collections, Makeup Brushes, Spectrum Makeup BrushesMakeup Junkies of the world rejoice! It’s been a little while since our last hundred pound haul but, fear not…this ones a goodie! Giving a girl a one hundred pound budget and letting her loose in a beauty hall is a bit like letting a bunch of 30 something females loose at a Tom Hardy convention (or is that just me?)…the excitement is palpable! This one really has been a lot of fun so, without further ado, here’s how we got on in this special installment of the hundred pound haul…


1. Spectrum Brushes

Slightly off brief but still within the ‘makeup genre’ this set of brushes, complete with travel pouch are the stuff a makeup junkies dreams are made of. The perfect shade of ‘millennial pink’ with rose gold ferrules and super-soft pink ombre heads, these make makeup application a dream (despite my current dressing table situation – don’t worry an overhaul is most definitely on the cards). I’ve only recently discovered ‘Spectrum Collections’ (an independent brand started by two sisters from their garage in Wales) through the podcast ‘Made Online’. (If you’re into Podcasts go check it out – the brainchild of Hayley – London Beauty Queen -the interviews are so interesting and I nearly always come away feeling super motivated!). The brand cropped up again on twitter when I came across a post on their blog entitled Lessons Learned The Hard Way and I just thought wow these girls have been through the mill. They’ve powered on through and have come out all the stronger for it. I found their story to be incredibly inspiring and that in turn made me want to find out more about the product. I hadn’t really paid all that much attention to this new breed of makeup brush but after all my research I wasn’t in the least surprised that Spectrum Collections had been the originals. They do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery yet business is business and I always like to champion independent brands and original ideas. Aside from being a joy to behold the brushes are super soft (honestly its like been stroked by a kittens paw) and beautifully packaged (think seashell pouches and clam clasped rolls in shimmering metallics).


Spectrum Brushes

Spectrum Siren Collection

Makeup Junkies Rejoice

2. Kevin Aucoin Eyelash Curlers

These are the Rolls Royce of Eyelash Curlers. Tried. Tested. Loved! I always think of curling my eyelashes as a necessary step in my makeup routine and am amazed at how many girls don’t use them! I quite literally wouldn’t dream of applying mascara without first curling my lashes. Maybe it’s a use thing – once you’ve used a good pair (and I say good as there’s a lotta shit out there), you never go back. Shu Uemura was always the Holy Grail but since the brand has pulled out of the UK market I’ve found these to be exceptional! This pair comes with a spare red rubber pad (amazing – you can actually see any lashes you may have missed) which should be changed every three months – as all makeup junkies know, changing your eyelash curlers is a bi-annual event!


Kevin Aucoin Eyelash Curlers

3. BECCA Backlight Primer

This has been on my shopping list since I trialed it in one of the first Tili Beauty Boxes. It gives the most gorgeous ‘lit from within glow’ and I receive a compliment every single time I wear it (especially when mixed in with My Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation – the dream). I debated between this and the Iconic London Illuminator which is having a bit of a moment but BECCA are so good at ‘giving glow’ without that ‘dipped in chip fat’ effect, that it was really a bit of a no-brainer!


Becca Backlight Priming Filterr


Highly Commended

Christian Louboutin Les Yeux Noirs Lash Amplifying Lacquer – this mascara is almost offensively expensive and yet I am assured (twice over actually – this was a popular choice), that it is worth every penny and both testers said they would happily repurchase! There are many amazing mascaras on the market for half the price and less so really I think this one is reserved for only the most die-hard makeup junkies!

Christian Louboutin Mascara


Bobbi Brown Eye Gloss  – this was purchased on the assurance that it wouldn’t be like wearing lipgloss on your eyelids but I’m told that in actual fact that’s exactly what it’s like. The tester was told that her eyes looked ‘wet’ which I’m pretty sure was not the vibe she was going for!

Bobbi Brown Eye Gloss

Mixed Reviews

BY TERRY Cellularose Brightening CC Serum – A blurring and brightening serum designed to be worn alone or underneath foundation. One tester loved it, the other is having an issue with it blocking her pores (yep it’s another double purchase) so I would say that this is definitely down to your particular skin type. Test in store if you can as all the BY TERRY products seem to have the most beautiful formulations and smell divine

By Terry CC Serum Sunny Flash

Best Of The Rest


Right, makeup junkies, I hope you’ve found this useful and that it’s perhaps put a few new brands or products on your radar! I’m a bit gutted that Glossier UK hadn’t launched in time for this haul but I’ll definitely be sharing my findings when I receive the (ahem, rather large) order I’ve just placed…oops! What are your makeup must-haves? Anything amazing I should know about?

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