Friday, 30 January 2015

REVIEW: Olay Anti-Wrinkle Booster & Firming Serum



In a bid to look after my skin and body more inside and out, after entering the second quarter of life late last year, I'm starting early on the anti wrinkle treatment. Prevention is better than a cure! So they say, anyway.

First thing I like about this product is the smell. Smell is important when I'm smearing it around under my nose. It's a fresh, cucumbery type smell. One I really like. I adore the pump, a feature that I loved on the Olay primer I found last year

Secondly, the serum part makes the consistancy perfect for using as a primer for makeup. It smooths away any blemishes (and wrinkles) although I can't comment on any deep lines.

The only downer on this item is that I'll never be completely sure when it'll run out. On the primer bottle, I was able to hold it up to a light and get an idea of how many pumps were left. On this, because it's purple, I can't do that which is a bit of a bummer.

Overall though, I'm in love and have been using it daily for the past month.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

VISIT: The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime


A couple of months back a friend from University posted about how great the theatre production of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-time was. 

I'm not usually a theatre-goer (usually it's just to the Christmas panto), but this really stuck with me. Maybe because I want to get out more. Or maybe because I'd already read the book. Yeah, that's probably it, like.

So I booked it and waited. 

I thought it would be nice, but not very good until I got there and saw the stage - a cube with very few props and a stuffed dog with  garden fork sticking out of it in the centre.

It was sad, funny, serious, silly, happy, curious and overall extremely good.  The Lads little brother is Autistic and the way that this was presented to the audience made sense to me about how his little brother sometimes reacts in certain situations. Say, when Christopher (the main character in the play) got anxious or someone touched him, all the lights in the cube of the stage exploded off confusingly around the stage and the noise blanked everything else going on out, before he focused himself and continued walking down the street.

As with everything the little details really made it. The theatre was packed and every single person was kept gripped right up until the end - and then there was an encore!

If you do go to see this, stay until the confetti!

Monday, 26 January 2015

WEEKENDER: JANUARY


This weekend we celebrated my mum's birthday. Technically it's not until later in the week, but we made it awesome all the same. Real ale, board games and laughter all round.

Friday, 23 January 2015

LIFE: Eight whole years


Today The Lad and I have been together for eight whole years. We've seen a lot during these past eight years and I'm glad that I've seen it all with him.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

READ: #2 & #3: A Little Run Around The World & The Guest Cat




On the day I read an article about this lady, I went out and bought the book. As a pick me up for the rest of the year ahead, I started re-reading this. Rosie runs around the world in response and memory of her husband Clive who died of cancer. Not only is the cause of her run resounding to me (my Grandma has had cancer several times and has recently been diagnosed again), the passion in which she urges people to go to the Doctors as soon as they find anything suspicious is catching - and not in a bad way. She is so honest, so daring, so brave, so alone and so determined. I love that even though she's sixty and running around in the most inhospitable of places, she meets so many lovely people and the unlikely help she gets from every single area she travels through is heartwarming. Everyone can relate to cancer. From Poland, to Russia to Alaska to New York. I even got the Lad reading this one.

I got this one last week, the cover attracted me and the fact it's about a cat instantly made it onto my bookshelf - or rather bedside table. The narrative of this one is very formal. It took me a while to get used to it and really understand what I was reading. Read this like your Great Grandad was talking to you, get his voice in your head and go from there, you'll be on to a winner. The fact it's written so simply, but descriptively, means that the cat is alive in my imagination as I read. I love that as the story goes on, the narrator comes alive too, out from the formality a bit of character emerges. A beautiful book.

Monday, 19 January 2015

LIFE: MASTER PLAN SIDE B: Eating healthy


Back in my Uni days we planned our meals for the week on a Monday and then shopped at Tesco on a Tuesday evening. This worked well for our budget and our health. For students, we ate well.

Last year, we went from having a comfortable disposable income to being swung in the opposite direction when The Lad became unemployed. So this year I want to bring back out old habits and plan a homemade meal for every night of the week - excepting payday, because that's takeaway night.

With that I need recipe recommendations! Which books do you go back to time and time again? Do you follow food blogs? Know of an excellent easy-to-follow website?

My Ma has set us off on the right foot by giving me the National Trust Recipe Book. It's full of one pot wonders (my personal favourites) and tray baked goodness (more favourites there)!

So goodbye fries, and hello sweet baked potato chips.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

REVIEW: Eco Tools


For Christmas, I was super lucky to receive two sets of brushes alongside my Naked palette (thank you Ma). Above you can see the Fresh & Flawless set and the 6 piece eye brush set.

I've never used Ecotools before and I'm surprisingly impressed. I always thought they were a budget brand, but I'm really happy with the quality. Much better than the BareMinerals brushes, in my humble opinion.

I find the different colours on the face brushes really handy. I use colour to distinguish between most things in life (the different kinds of sausage packaging in Sainsbury's is a pretty good example. I like the blue ones best. Go ahead, laugh out loud right about now.) so these flowery shanks makes picking up the right brush on a morning a breeze.

Having said that, I've used the eye brushes more. I cannot believe how easy they make eye makeup. Blending with the fluffy brush (shown touching the blue shank) is a joy. Not a term I would normally ever use for the chore of putting my face on on a morning, but hey ho. It is. Really is. Thankfully they wash well too. No fallout here!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

READ #1: Who moved my cheese?


Last year I loved how Bee successfully read her goal of 52 books over 52 weeks. It inspired me. I love reading, but don't give it the time I used to. This year I will read 52 books. Some old, some new, but definately a whole fifty two of them.

So this is the first of 2015.

I was given this by my manager at work. He was told to read it by his manager and he was given it by his manager, so this book has come a long way.

I've read a few self-help books and was sceptical about how helpful this might be. Especially seeing as it was recommended by managers. (Sorrynotsorry there.)

Unsurprisingly, it has the same message as the other books, but surprisingly, makes a good read. Although the moral behind it is solid and quite deep, the way it's written makes it more accessible than other authors manage to make it.

Essentially, it tells you the Nike slogan: Just Do It.

Don't fanny, don't give in to irrational fears, don't linger. Just go for it and see what happens. The worst that can happen is you stay where you are. Just do it.

And because of that, I like it.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

LIFE: Je ne suis pas Charlie

I am not Charlie Hebdo.

No one is, but the person who drew the picture that caused all of this fuss.

I do not condone the actions taken by the men who took the lives of all those people, but I also do not condone Charlie Hebdo. I've read articles and news reports about how this is an attack on 'free speech'. Well, there is no such thing as 'free speech'. There are things you just cannot do and things you cannot say.

Slandering religion is something you should just not do. I see it along the same lines as calling a black man a nigger. Just don't do it! Whether you agree, disagree, find it funny, find it disgusting, don't care. Out of mutual respect, just don't.

No one looks big or cool by taking the mick out of anyone else for any kind of difference. Whether you're just with your mates or publishing it on the front of a global magazine...

Pushing the people who are some of the most willing to kill others that have disrespected their religion wasn't the best move CH could've ever taken. The response was a tad of an overreaction on their part (understatement of the year). But, as I said, Islamists are one of the most volatile people in the world at the moment. Not a super move on their part either, but they definately got their message across to the entire planet - Don't Fuck With Us.

My take on all of this is of two groups of people showing each other their balls and seeing who's are bigger. Unfortunately, in this case, it took the lives of twelve people to find out neither had bigger cahoneys.

Monday, 12 January 2015

LIFE: 12 things you come to learn in your early twenties


1. It's okay. Everything is okay, it's up to you to make the situation either really good or really shit.

2. Family matter. They might embarrass you, yell at you, say inappropriate things in public or look weird, but they are the only family you've got so make the most of them.

3. You don't need to iron every item of clothing you own after washing it. If you hang it on the drier just so, then it will crease in the right places and it's Ready To Wear when you need it at the last minute.

4. A cat can solve any issue. Whether you've broken up, had a cancer diagnosis, lopped your hair off or had an argument with your bestie. Your true best friend is a cat.

5. An 8:30pm bedtime is amazing.

6. Don't use bubble bath everytime you have a bath. Just soak in clean water, then scrub yourself silly. Means you'll be less likely to have 'lady issues'.

7. Breakfast is the most important mealtime. A good breakfast wakes you up, fills your belly and gets you raring for the day ahead. No more slugglish mornings.

8. You can eat sweets every mealtime, but you feel the sugar crash a few hours later much more harshly than you ever remember as a kid.

9. If you don't wash your hair, always put full makeup on. Offsets the greasiness like a dream.

10. Don't believe everything everyone tells you. It would be lovely if you could, but not everyone out there has good intentions so you could be steered in the wrong direction of you're not careful.

11. Always wash a pan you've cooked baked beans in straight away. Don't leave that!

12. Sometimes the best Plan of Action is nothing.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

REVIEW: Naked Basic Palette


I've never been able to bring myself to spend the money involved with purchasing a Naked palette so it was firmly on the Christmas wishlist. And I was lucky enough to receive it!

Stoked.

The pigment is just so. The size, just right. The blendability - awesome. I particularly love Faint. It works well on it's own all over the lid, or as a crease colour. As someone who can't draw for shit, this makes me feel like an artist.

Alongside my new ecotools kit (review coming shortly), I'm sorted!

Monday, 5 January 2015

LIFE: MASTER PLAN SIDE A: Deciding to stop taking the Contraceptive Pill



Last year was pretty turbulent for the Pill and me. 

Our relationship suddenly took a turn for the worse in March time and we basically went downhill from there. Whilst once we were besties and we'd meet up once a day every day, recently it's just been a complete pain. In the past 12 months I've tried: Microgynon, Marvelon, Levest, Cilest and Gedarel.

On all five I have been angry, restless, unapproachable and not 'right'. I haven't been able to settle.

The Lad has always been against the Pill. He believes it makes women completely different from their normal selves. I've always thought this was complete utter tosh. Until a lad at work mentioned his girlfriend had just come off the Pill and she was so much happier - it was weird that they both said exactly the same things despite both lads never, ever having met each other before.

So after a discussion with The Lad, intensive internet research and meeting with my doctor, I've decided that today is the day. I'll come off the Pill. For the first time in over eight years, I'll be me. And I'm scared shitless.

It's been a comfort blanket throughout all the major changes in my life and although it's a weird thing to say about a tiny white blob I eat every morning: I'll miss it. Greatly. I don't know who I'll be, what I'll feel, what I'll dis/like... the possibilities are endless because I don't know what the Pill has actually affected for me. I've been taking it for nearly nine years. So much has changed around me in that time and I've grown up so much that I don't really know who 'I' am.

But, oh well, here's to a New Year and a new me.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Hello January



Hello 2015.
I've been waiting for you.

I love the first day of January. I love it like it's my birthday. A new beginning. A fresh start. Everyone feels rejuvenated and ready. It's awesome that almost everyone in the world feels pumped at the same time.

This year I have several ideas for how I want to be and what I want to do.

Some people sum it up in their 'Word of the Year', others in a list of 'Resolutions'. I suppose I'm a bit of both, but I call mine 'The Master Plan'.

(I'm a lover of Fantastic Mr Fox. The Wes Anderson version)

Over the coming year I'll share with you what my Master Plan consists of and what I'm doing to make it happen. I hope that I'll be dancing like a Meles Meles to Peteys song by Christmas.
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