My beauty basics

I always see loads of posts on here and instagram of ladies blogging about gorgeous new products they’ve used on their skin and how their skin looks amazing. Fair play it does. I get slightly jealous… I love trying and testing new lotions and potions, but my skin is complicated.
I have major combination skin. Part dry, part oily, part haven for spots every now and again and then major sensitivity.

I used to use all manner of beauty products to try and combat it all, but being sensitive skinned, this is quite hard. One method never fit all and finding a moisturiser for the dry parts was actually virtually impossible.
Simple products were my go to for general cleansing and St Ives facial scrubs used to be a magical exfoliating haven.

I used to swear by Palmers cocoa butter! I grew up using it and my whole family did too. My friend at school once told me I smelt of chocolate as I used it that much. After practically 20 years of non stop use, it sadly gave up the ghost.
My skin became flaky and dry, so I knew I needed something new.

I’d been trying to grow my hair and was using coconut oil for moisture.  I started using it on my whole body and since then, I haven’t stopped. In the middle of 2014, I decided that adopting the same practice on my body was a good way to go with my face.

I started using coconut oil and didn’t really notice that much difference. It was only when I went for my 6weekly eyebrow threading a few months later, that my beautician said my skin was glowing.
Not long after that, I noticed I had less spots than I used to. I’d always have a huge break just before my period but that had practically disappeared and I was just getting one or two in the odd place.
Pre 2014 I’d NEVER have left the house without make up! Personally, I’m not a massive wearer anyway, but id never have turned up to work or popped to the shop without concealer, corrector and a general foundation. People would have asked if I was ill, or dying!!

Having discovered the benefits of coconut oil, I swear by natural products for moisturisation. I’ve upgraded from coconut oil though. I now use Rosemary oil on my face, Coconut oil on my body and Shea Butter on my feet. If my skin looks a little flaky or dry, I’ll mix coarse sea salt and sugar with water or biore and it works as a natural exfoliant.

My body loves me! My skin is lovely and people always compliment how clear it looks.
Sometimes natural is best. I do miss trying out the latest products and seeing how they work with my skin. But, knowing that I can spend less than £10 a month on oils and only wear make-up when I need to, is good enough for me! 🙂 For me, Basic is better!




2016 – What’s happening

Last year I had a fair few resolutions. None of which I really thought I’d stick to, so I did said jokey one:

With the help of my now ex boyfriend, I smashed all them. Even the get fat one! This was fatness due to being ‘relationship happy’, quitting the gym and the consumption of lots wine… Oh and a sensitivity to gluten (that’s a whole other blog post!)

My more serious ones, included taking
Swimming Lessons , which I did. Paying off my credit card, which I also did and before the cut off period too. There is still a small balance on there, although, technically I paid off the existing debt. The current balance is from a Bobbi Brown treat over Christmas….it doesn’t count!!

A lot of people I know are getting on the property ladder and I’m feeling left t behind. Said people are in long term relationships, married or have children, but hey ho. My little sister is 5k into her 15k target for a deposit after saving for just 1 year. Makes ya god damn sick doesn’t it!! Another good friend is looking to buy next year. Literally everyone else I know already has their own house!

ME, on the other hand.. I’ve just moved into my 5th houseshare since living in Cardiff! I’m literally a gypsy! 😱. Finding a houseshare when you have a pet is a nightmare and I don’t want to have to do it again for a while. Plus, I discovered my bunny isn’t fond of moving about. If I had my own place, I’d never have to worry about these things. Plus, I’d get to live alone 🙌

So, my NYR is to save, save, save! I’m never going to do it in a year, but I’d like to see how much I can save without trying, per se. I don’t have the monthly constraints of my credit card repayment anymore, so I can just use that and top it up. Anything that’s left at the end of the month can go in as well.. Not that they’ll be any left, but you never know.

This bulk saving means there’ll be very little money left for random trips whenever I like, which really does make me sad, but you can’t have it all, can you?

So, I estimate that by the time I’m 36,i should own my own property. There’s a chance it’ll be the size of a garden shed, but at least it’ll be mine ❤.

So I went out, out

With it being the festive season and all that, we had arranged our work Christmas Dooo for black Friday. I was really quite excited about it. I hadn’t been out in a while and it would be the first night out I’ve have since splitting up with JJ.
I’d felt a bit down but not lacking confidence, I just needed to ‘blow the cobwebs away’… Mentally, not physically!

I did very little at work, but went to Bobbi Brown to get a complimentary makeover. The girl that does my make-up works wonders! She did it in an hour and I left feeling AMAZING. When I got back to work, all the girls were complimenting me. It was lovely.
One of the girls said I should go downstairs and show JJ what he was missing and part of me did want to. The other part of me thought that he probably wouldn’t care how great I looked, so I didn’t.

After we all got dressed, we went for food at Jamie’s Italian and the team manager bought a few bottles of processco for the tables. I happily guzzled a few glasses and felt quite tipsy. We moved onto a quieter bar after and played a quiz, whilst still drinking. After a few hours there, with everyone suitably sloshed, we went to a club and some more members of the party left.

The club was great.. Very strange feeling knowing it’s only 6pm, you’re a long way from sober and the club is pretty much empty. We took advantage of the emptiness, danced around and picked a booth in prime location.

I don’t remember people coming in, I just remember there being more people all of a sudden.
Two lads called me over and we were chatting. We talked about my lack of Christmas jumper and other stuff. I fancied his mate more than him, so I made my excuses and went back to my friends. Another group of guys got my attention, so I spoke to one of them for a while and had a dance. Conversation was odd.. He’s from the Welsh valley’s and that’s like a completely different language to me. I could barely understand him. I remember his name was Leyton cause I thought it was lush. He took my number and gave me a kiss and we carried on with the rest of the night.

I got the attention of another guy. He was really tall and had that mysterious hard man look about him. I never usually go for that, but for some reason, I kept making eye contact and dancing sexily until he came over to me. This is something I’d never do in a million years, there must have been something in the wine! Ha.
I danced with him for a bit, before my friend introduced me to a friend of hers. He was cute, but there wasn’t any animal attraction. We talked about travel, food and other stuff and found we had a fair bit in common. He said his goodbyes, we hugged and then he left.

At some point, I managed to get the attention of another guy who I fancied like crazy. I call it the ‘stop eating hot’ level of gorgeousness. If a guy can make me stop eating, he’s too beautiful for words. We danced like mad people and he actually kissed me at one point. I didn’t react well to it because I was shocked. He wanted to come home with me. “I don’t have to be up until 8am” he said. As beautiful as he was, I wasn’t going to take him home. My one night stand days are more than over and done with.
Still, his offer was far nicer than the “Do you live on your own?” chat up line I’d got earlier.
Unfortunately for these Valley boys, their reputation proceeds them.

We carried on dancing until 12:30,  when I decided to call it a night. I was more drunk than horny. I picked up the obligatory chips on the way and jumped in a taxi.
When I woke the next day, I smiled at the previous nights antics. That was just what I needed. I gave my number to three guys that night and it would’ve been nice, but I wasn’t that bothered if any of them got in touch or not.  I always feel a bit shitty post break up, regardless if I was the dumper or the dumpee. That night was just the reminder I needed that men still think I’m good looking and there are still some mighty fine specimens out there!

I didn’t sleep last night.

I don’t often watch the news. For years I’ve found it depressing, everyday is another tale of death, murder and sadness. Sometimes I’d rather stay wrapped up in my blanket of invisibility and naivety and forget the world is currently embroiled in such constant devastation.

Friday night however, it couldn’t be escaped. I watched it and it upset me. I cried. I’ve shed many a tear all day. I’m no longer de-sensitised. I’m scared.

I’m scared for the places I may never get to see, because it’s too dangerous.

I’m scared for the people I may never get to meet because they’re not permitted to enter our great Isle.

I’m scared that I’ll leave the house one day and not come home.

I’m scared that the carefree attitude I once had, will be marred by a future full of anxiety.

I’m scared that the only future I can see is bleak and smeared by terror, suffering and heartache.

I’m scared that the people we rely on to make positive change, only have one narrow vision.

Mostly, I’m scared that I may never get to hold your tiny hand. I may never hear your first words, or see your first steps. I may never see the joy on your face as you discover things for the first time. I’m scared I’ll never get to see you grow up, learn, achieve, develop and love.
How can I bring you into this world, knowing that ultimately, I’m completely powerless to protect you.

I’m scared that your existence will only ever be in my dreams and my imagination.

Relationships and Bottom Burps

I was asked by a work colleague if/ when I was likely to move in with my boyfriend. I think she was surprised to hear me say “Not yet, cos of the toilet thing”.

We’re really happy together right now and I’m almost certain I’m not yet ready to hear him go for a dump!
This promptly moved onto the topic of farting. Again, she was surprised to learn I hadn’t “bottom burped” in front of him yet. I said I didn’t like doing that sort of thing. She said wasn’t “prepared to get a stomach ache from holding it in”. This made me wonder if I’m normal!?!

I asked the others in the room who mostly replied with similar answers.

“I go to another room or the toilet to do it.”

“I go into the kitchen and open and close cupboards, loudly!”

“The only time he’s heard me fart was when I sneezed and it accidentally came out”… Haha. Yes, we all had a giggle at that one 😁.

She who farts a lot had been with her partner for 10 years, so I guess she’s past caring. Another who was married for longer still walks out of the room to ‘let it go, let it go’..

I still want my relationship to stay fluffy and fun and I’m enjoying the cloud of bodily function denial that I’m living on.  I suspect when I do move in with him, the toilet will be a sanctuary of the amazing lotions, potions and devices I’ve created to help ease the reminants of me having ‘dropped the kids off at the pool’.
The minute someone leaves the door open, to me, that’s the end. There’s comfortable, and there’s too comfortable! 🚽

Gluten sensitivity and the injustice.

I realized recently that I’m sensitive to gluten. I feel like part of me should be relieved as I thought I was just putting on weight i was never going to shift.  I couldn’t understand why my stomach was constantly bloated. I honestly looked like i was carrying. The uncoolest food baby ever – literally.

I went to my doctor and explained my symptoms. I was given a blood test for coeliac disease. That came back negative. Four months later, no change, so back I went. They tried to convince me it was my IBS morphing into a new strain and it was linked to my emotional well-being. I knew i was stressed with work and there was added pressure, but I know my body! I was given tablets for the bloating and sent on my merry way,with a “Come back in eight weeks if there’s no change”

Off I went with my pills….a month later, still exactly the same. Upon doing research I realised there was such a thing as gluten sensitivity. Sounded much to me the same as coeliac disease. Perhaps it’s less painful and dehabilitaing cousin. Armed with the mantra “You have to have help yourself before anyone else will help you”, I put myself on an exclusion diet. No pasta, no rice, no bread…nothing bloody fun. I lived off quinoa and salad (bloody lucky it was the middle of the summer) for a month to see if I found a difference.

Low and behold, after my diet my swelling had gone down lots and my stomach looked like a normal, non pregnant, exercise doing stomach.

So, armed with my new knowledge, off I went back to the doctor to prove it was a gluten thing, just not serious gluten thing. I was given a pat on the back for doing my research and told to keep it up, or buy them yourself because we still won’t help you with gluten free products. I left the surgery very disappointed. I can’t eat salad during the winter…im a growing bloody woman, not a rabbit. I know it isn’t my right to have these foods and it wasn’t a serious disease as such, but it was making me feel miserable,affecting my quality of life, and I felt like no one cared. I knew I couldn’t afford to pay £2.50 for what is essentially 10 slices of bread! 

I continued to be upset by my findings, but soon realised that being gluten sensitive wasn’t the end of the world, just the beginning of a whole new change for me. I was about to embark on a journey of new foods…albeit, New, expensive ones!

Swimming Lessons

Recently I decided to have swimming lessons. I say recently, I made the decision back in January this year (it was part of my New Year’s Resolution), but I’ve only got round to actually booking the course now.

The main reason behind this was from my visit to Thailand last year. I did a day trip on a tour boat around the Southern Islands, which involved snorkeling. Let’s just say it really didn’t go well! Even with a life jacket on, I nearly succumbed to that salty sea water. Needless to say, after around 10 mins of panic attack trying to get back on the boat, all my snorkeling gear came off and I didn’t go back in the water.
Because I still want to travel around a bit and this will usually mean being in water a fair bit, I thought gaining more confidence in the water can’t possibly be a bad thing. PLUS, black people (massive generalisation, but most black people I’ve known) don’t swim well, at all.

I booked myself onto a beginners swimming course. I figured this more suitable than the intermediate course as I’m not even confident with anything other than breaststroke. It’s mostly the water in my face thing that I have issues with….(I had an accident in a pond in nursery, I’m pretty sure most of my fears stem from that).

I was very nervous the first week, as I didn’t know what to expect. I got talking to one girl and realised I needn’t be worried. She was repeating the course after having little success in her previous beginners course.  At that point I wondered if maybe I should be ok with the intermediate, but figured I’d stay with it and let the teacher decide.

Week 1: Water safety and kicking
This first lesson concentrated on getting in and out of the pool safely, the kicking motion and how to go from a swimming to standing position in the water.  This was done on both our fronts and backs.  We also learnt how to float, whilst still grasping the edge of the pool for safety.  I felt very confident at this point, as I could do this quite well, and the water was only up to my waist. No sweat!

Unfortunately, I missed the second lesson; week two, as I was bleeding so heavily, I’d have turned the pool into the red Sea. Not cool and majorly embarrassing for me.  I was disappointed that I couldn’t even watch the session.  The staff said I wasn’t allowed poolside.

Week 3: Breaststroke. Arms. Legs. Technique and a length
My second lesson; week three involved more movement in the pool.  I felt like I arrived at my third lesson with a jolt, having missed the previous one.  We concentrated on the arms and legs for breaststroke.  First we did the arms, then the legs and then coordinated the two together. I was told by the teacher a few times that I was “very good.”

Honestly, I felt struggled a bit with this.  I know i said I could do it before, but I’m now very aware I wasn’t using the proper technique!  I may be more at home with front crawl – who’d have thought it.
We were then asked to swim a length using breaststroke and that length felt like the longest time ever! I kept forgetting how to do it properly, ha. Towards the end of the lesson, we practiced treading water.  I’m fairly confident that if it had to do this on my own, in the sea.. I’d die long before I was rescued!

Week 4: Body positioning and head underwater
The penultimate lesson; week four, we had a completely different teacher.  This changed everything as he had different teaching methods. He also said we hadn’t spent much time swimming and he wanted to see if we actually could.  He’d been lifeguarding during the previous lessons, so he had some idea of how well we were doing.
He told us his intentions straight away and I immediately panicked.  I knew I wanted to try putting my head underwater, that’s why I bought my goggles. I just thought I’d be trying it on my own terms… But no!
I spent much of the lesson with my face in the water,  both on my front and on my back. I swam a fair few widths like this, doing a sort of front crawl/doggy paddle.  I must admit, I feel a lot more confident about putting my head in the water of my own accord. I just need to learn how to breathe, without panicking, but I realise this will come with time and more practice.

We’ve been told that next week we’ll find out whether or not we’re good enough to advance to the intermediate class, or if we have to repeat beginners. I’ll be crossing fingers and toes! I wonder what else the final week will bring and who’ll be teaching us!