Month: August 2016

Product review: Nip & Fab Dragons Blood cleansing pads

I got these cleansing pads free when I spent a certain amount on Nip & Fab products (can’t remember what the threshold was) and I thought, being as I love the Dragons Blood serum so much, I’d love these too (plus, free, what’s not to like?!)

Nip & Fab dragons blood cleansing pads

I’m a big fan of cleansing wipes. I’m don’t really wear foundation and only wear light make up for work, so I use cleansing wipes exclusively for cleaning my face (because I’m lazy!) I don’t buy expensive ones because I don’t see the need, and my skin is perfectly happy.

Back to these cleansing pads then. Honestly? I’m not a fan. Here’s why:

a) They’re too small. Way too small. They remind me of the nail varnish remover pads you can buy, which are fine for nails because they have a small surface area. My face does not have a small surface area (in fact it’s getting bigger with the amount I eat, but that’s another story!) They’re not ergonomically pleasing to hold or use. And obviously you need multiples to cleanse your whole face.

Nip & Fab dragons blood cleansing pads size

b) They feel foamy. I’m sure that’s part of their cleansing action but they feel a bit too soapy and sticky and don’t actually leave my skin feeling refreshed. I wouldn’t want to use them around my eyes because of the stickiness, I’d be afraid of it getting in my eye and causing irritation.

These pads retail at £9.99, so they’re certainly not cheap. I’m just glad they were free, because if I’d paid money for them I’d be pretty peeved.

I’ll probably finish the pot because I’m a cheapskate (and also because I have been known to run out of my usual wipes, I’m such a crap girl sometimes) but I wouldn’t rebuy or recommend them.

Do you have a cleansing routine? Or are you lazy like me?!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Some purchases from Peacocks

Back in the time before I had put myself on something of a spending ban (or at least severe limitation) while I get my finances back to where I would like them, I bought a few bits from Peacocks.

I actually bought them in store, and then got an email with a 20% discount offer so returned everything and rebought it (that’s just good economics, no?)

Printed viscose top

Peacocks paisley print sleeveless top

This is lovely and light and airy, looks and great with dark denim

Lace up sandals

Peacocks yellow lace up sandals

These are advertised as yellow, but they’re more of a neon acid chartreuse I think (ooh, get me!) I suddenly realised that most of my sandals were beige or black and that I (wanted) needed some bright summer shoes in my life, and these were the answer.

Beaded sandals

Peacocks beaded ethnic ankle strap sandals

“While buying one pair of sandals, I might as well chuck another in,” thinks I. So I did. These had me convinced that I had one ankle which is considerably bigger than the other as the right one felt tight, but they’re more comfortable as time goes on – which means either the leather has stretched or all that hopping on one foot has been paying off.

Dark denim shorts

Peacocks indigo denim shorts

Just because. I thought I’d wear them loads. I’ve worn them once. Must rectify.

All that for the princely sum of £41.60 – pretty good eh?

Oh, and then the sale started and I picked up this fringed black and white Aztec poncho kimono thing (a kimoncho?) for £7.

Peacocks aztec print kimono

Send me links to your latest buys; I’d love to have a nose!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

When Britain Bites… (Twit of the Day)

When I was in Greece (I know, I know, I’ll talk about something else soon, honest!) I only got bitten 3 times during the whole week, and even then they didn’t cause me any bother at all.

On Tuesday night I got bit in my own bed a total of 10 times! In one night! By one lone ranger insect!

I know it was a lone ranger because I both spotted it and heard it. It started in the lounge and must have followed me to bed (stalker). I could hear it bouncing off the walls and buzzing around but I naively thought you don’t get mosquitoes in England (I’ve since been advised that you do). So when the husband told me there was a mosquito buzzing around, I poo-pooed him as one may brush off a silly child and went to sleep.

Now who feels silly? I’m my own twit of the day!

A twit for not trying to catch the blighter. A twit for thinking I wouldn’t be bitten. And a twit for being so uncovered in bed. I even have a bite on my right bum cheek!

What’s worse is that they’re the itchy type and they’re swelling. I don’t need any help with my bum cheeks getting bigger, thank you very much!

Itch

We were on holiday a few years ago (in Greece again, actually) and it was incredibly hot so I slept butt naked on top of the sheets. I woke up one morning to find not one but three mozzie bites right in my bum crack!! One must have flown in there and bounced around trying to bite his way out. It was pretty uncomfortable, and it’s not really the done thing to be walking around scratching the depths of your arse in public. And antihistamine cream down there isn’t particularly nice either…

Have you got any funny bite stories?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Bodies change, and we need to get over it!

Coming back from a summer holiday (did I mention that?!); seeing people wearing less clothes than we’re used to on a day to day basis, you kind of realise even more so that people come in all shapes and sizes.

Bodies change...and that's ok

I have to admit that, before I went away, I was feeling pretty annoyed with myself for not losing any weight and not looking the way I wanted to in a bikini. I still felt that way when I arrived and even more so by the time I got home (a week of food, booze and lethargy takes it’s toll on a girl!)

But then, when I rationalise it, it’s pretty daft to:

a) restrict myself and enjoy life less for the weeks or months leading up to a holiday, just to fit a beauty ideal

b) think that other people are looking at me and judging me

The truth is, my body looks how it does because of the life I lead. I enjoy life. I enjoy food. I enjoy drinking. I don’t enjoy exercise!

When I was in my late teens and early 20s I was blessed with a high metabolism. I didn’t gain weight, whatever I ate or drank. I looked great in a bikini!

Now I’m in my late 30s (bleugh!) my metabolism has slowed down and I look less great in a bikini!

But you know what? I’m happier now than I ever was when I was younger. Not physically – I’d rather look the way I did then, if possible! But mentally and emotionally I’m content. And that’s way more important than a change in my body weight. It’s to do with mental strength, life experiences and feeling settled.

In my 20s I was single, riddled with insecurities, coming to terms with mental health issues and wondering where my life was going. Now I’m happily married which comes with the addition of eating out with my husband, takeaways with my husband, drinks with my husband (sense a theme?!) I have more financial security which affords me more holidays (which means more eating and drinking!) I know my own limitations and try not to beat myself up over things. I’ve also experienced life stuff like redundancy and my Dad’s illness which sometimes makes me think “fuck it, life’s too short not to indulge in the good stuff”.

I haven’t quite bounced back from the holiday mind set of eat, drink and be merry. I’ve already made excuses for not going to the gym (the weather’s nice; bad drive home from work; I just don’t want to!). So it’s no wonder the pounds aren’t retreating!

We’re conditioned to think that a beautiful body looks a certain way. Magazines perpetuate the myth that larger women or older women shouldn’t wear bikinis. Yet, in Greece, I saw older ladies, bigger ladies and everything in between wearing a bikini with pride. And why shouldn’t they? It’s hot, you need less clothes and comfort is important. I bloody hate swimsuits; they’re icky and sticky and you can’t tan your tum. If someone doesn’t like how you look in beach wear, they can bloody well look the other way.

I’m as bad as anyone for judging people. I think that’s just the way we’re conditioned. But I’m trying to change that about myself. Instead of looking at an overweight person and thinking they shouldn’t be wearing something, I’m teaching myself to squash that thought and replace it with “good for them”. Because if they’re ok with it then it really isn’t anyone else’s business.

I think I’ve reached the end of my meandering now. I’m not even sure there is an end! And I know I’m a hypocrite, because I’m still sitting here thinking I’d like to shrink my tummy. But I do know that, as I get older, trying to look after my body for strength and longevity becomes as important as weight loss. I want to look and feel more healthy.

But, of course, looking great in a bikini would be a bonus!

I’d love to hear your thoughts; hit me up in the comments.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

My first…best friend

This month is my Dad’s sister’s birthday. My Dad’s sister, as in my auntie. Unusually, she’s only two years older than me. We spent a lot of time together growing up, so she was my first best friend.

My Mom and Dad were young when I was born, only very early 20s, and my Nan and Grandad on both sides were always around to help them out. Because of the closeness in age between me and my auntie, I used to stay over lots. We played with the same toys, had the same Christmas presents and even dressed the same! My Nan used to knit us matching cardigans and my Mom would make us matching skirts. We looked like sisters, sometimes even like twins!

Me and my auntie

I’m on the right – spot the matching nurse outfits!

When we were little she used to take advantage of her status sometimes, by making me call her Auntie if she was being bossy. We used to argue, as close family does. We were laughing only last week about the time she punched me on the nose and gave me a nosebleed! I would stay at her house for days and weeks on end during the school holidays. We used to go out on our bikes and make dens in the garden using deckchairs and my Nan’s old net curtains. We’d put on dancing and singing shows for my Nan and Grandad on Saturday nights. My first holiday was with her, in Ibiza when I was 6 (read about it here).

When I was 8 and she was 10, my Grandad died. He was only in his 50s and had a massive heart attack. She was sleeping over at my house that night. It changed her life forever.

Losing a parent so young, so unfairly, could have made her into a bitter person. She could have gone off the rails. But she didn’t. She was a tower of strength to my Nan who, understandably, lost the plot at being widowed so suddenly. She was very quickly thrown into being an adult, helping around the house and being a support network. She never complained, even though I know life was really difficult for her.

As we got older our lives took different directions. I became something of a party girl while she settled down with her now husband. She has two amazing kids, an enviable outlook on life and positivity for days. She’s so incredibly helpful, going above and beyond to organise Christmas parties for the kids of her work colleagues and family get togethers. She’s strong willed and strong natured whilst being laid back and fun. She amazes me in her approach to life, her stoicism, her parenting and generally being a great human being

I don’t actually call her Auntie these days! But I’m proud that she is.

Love you Manda. x

Thanks, as always, for reading! x