Thursday, 30 October 2014

REVIEW: Tea Tree Anti-Spot Stick

I have never used a direct Tea Tree type approach to my spots before. I used to be a Sudocreme lover, but that isn't always the most attractive route to dealing with facial blemishes, so earlier this year I decided to try out a stick treatment.

First impressions, my spots didn't respond in the way I thought they would. Usually they flare up for about a week or two and then start drying up, but this nipped them in the bud. If I see a dubious red patch appearing on my chin, I whack this out and it doesn't get any bigger. Any of them. Ever.

I've tried it on spots that have already been 'emptied' and it heals them up fast, tried it on spots that have barely come up yet and on patches where there's numerous trying to spoil my complexion, it works really well at reducing the swelling and redness and just getting rid of them altogether.

I'm chuffed to have this in my bathroom cabinet, ready for any emergencies. For a small product, it packs a mighty punch.

Monday, 27 October 2014

LIFE: 5 Things to remember in the countdown to Christmas

Bit early, you might be muttering under your breath right now, but it's really not. If the Christmas products have hit the shop shelves, then you can get on preparing yourself.

1. Get those last bits of decoration done
If you're anything like me, decoration take years to perfect. I'm talking about general house maintenance rather than festive getup here. If you're having family over, chances are they'll stay too. Start eBaying or charity-shopping now to make space or tidy up the room that any visitors will be staying. Or fill that space by getting those finishing touches done.

2. Food
We've begun our stash of chocolate and the stash of beverages will begin shortly. At the moment the tins of Quality Street, Celebrations and other well known brands are on offer in Tesco 2 for £8 saving you one whole English pound on each tin. Might not seem a lot? Spreading out the cost of these little additions means I'm not going to fork out a load of cash on things that aren't a daily necessity in one go. And means I won't miss out if I can't afford it closer to the big day.

3. Know your audience
Don't buy gifts for the hell of buying gifts. I come from a family who give very few, but good quality gifts. The Lad, on the other hand, gets sacks of really cheap gifts that aren't really worthwhile and inevitably don't last in our household very long. I'm not saying go out and buy everyone a gift worth £100+, but I am saying spend time researching what you can afford versus what they want. That way, you're happy and they're happy.

4. Get your Plan Of Action confirmed
If you invited a load of people round to yours this Christmas whilst sat eating turkey with them last year, now's the time to check that a) they still remember your invite b) if they will actually come and what the logistics of that involve. This can also work out if your plans have changed since you made arrangements previous and you have to cancel, so make sure everyone knows what they're doing. This makes your life easier and reduces impromptu relative visits. 

5. Make a list of things you'd like to receive yourself and which people to ask for them from
This is an odd one and one that I think a lot of people struggle with. Especially when you reach an age where you think you have everything. You don't. Think mundane, but useful. 
- I got a pack of socks from the MIL last year and I wear them every single day. 
- I've asked my dad for a shower curtain this year. 
- He helped me with my car insurance last year. 
- I've asked for a new umbrella from my Grandma.
- My mum knows my shoe size to replace my white Converse.

These are things that not only will I use and will cherish (will definately cherish having a shower curtain that fits), but the people I've asked for the things from suit the present and they can see the reasoning behind it - I'd never ask for a pair of straighteners from my dad, but I've hinted at the Lad for months.

If you do get stuck with this, ask for a specific gift card - that way you can choose exactly what you want from the store, but without the hassle of someone asking 'why?' or you spending the money on something else, somewhere else.

Sunday, 26 October 2014


This month has been long and hard.
The Lad quitting his job meant I had to budget, but I started too late and ended up with £4.98 left in my account on the 14th. Yeah, well done Jo.

However, we've made the most of time together, and despite money issues, I think that's all that matters.

Friday, 24 October 2014

REVIEW: Witch Gel Cleanser

After the run-in with foam cleansers, I decided to go back to more durable options. Gels are not amongst my favourite cleansers. They're thick and hard to move around. But, I gave this one a shot anyway.

First, I love the pump on this. Makes it so easy to get product out and get the right amount out in one go. No faff. Instant love.

Secondly, my usual pet peev wasn't an issue. Although it starts off thick and unmoveable, after a bit of lathering it creates a lovely creamy-type lather that removes all makeup in a second.

It's kind on the eyes too, if like me you tend to end up with half the lather in them by the end of it.

There's not really any scent other than the usual witchhazel whiff and the packaging is a clean looking, sleek design.

Overall, a nice product from Witch.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

THREE THINGS: To remember when you feel you're not good enough

1. The feeling will never go away unless you believe it will.
2. Success doesn't look the same as it does it the movies.
3. Other people matter, but they also really, really don't matter at all.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

LIFE: Being the breadwinner

Since the Lad quit his job, most people we've told have turned to me and asked what it's like to be the breadwinner.

I always reply with 'well, I've been pretty good at it for the last three years anyway' and they look at me open mouthed.

Yeah, me. I earn and have earnt more than him. So what?

The Lad and I live a comfortable life. We have food in, heating on, clean clothes and keep our property well maintained.

Money is the main cause of arguments in our household. I am part hoarder, part saver whilst he is a fully fledged spender. So although at one point I think our earnings actually evened out to be the same, I have always had more of a financial cushion behind me.

It's just how the cookie crumbled for us.

Now I'm the sole provider I don't feel any different.  It doesn't matter where the money comes from, or who earns it. And it definately doesn't matter if anyone thinks that our situation os a bad one.

Monday, 20 October 2014

REVIEW: VO5 Nourish My Shine

I did that 'fling in the basket and forget what I bought' thing, again.

These we're a quid each at the time I bought them. They're still only £1.50 now. Boom. I'm actually really chuffed with the effect they have on my hair. It feels stronger, silkier and less frizzy. 

It claims to be the perfect start to heat protecting your hair and I competely agree. My hair usually looks a bit meh after a good straightening session, especially by the end of the day, and since using this my hair is still feelin' it.

It also smells delicious. So good in fact, that lads at work have noticed and commented. That's saying something for warehouse lads.

I literally have nothing bad to say at all. You will win with this product.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

REVIEW: Soap & Glory Archery Brow Pencil

I've seen and heard a lot about this, but spending over a fiver on any makeup pains me beyond belief so this has sat on the wishlist for quite some time.

I chose Blondshell as it was the lightest colour I could find. My brows are pretty pale considering my brown roots so this is a nice match to tie my face in with my hair (as you do).

I love the spoolie on this - soft, but still firm enough to tame those brows. And the feature to turn the pencil out rather than sharpen it manually means no waste and no mess in the bottom of the makeup bag.

Because, admit it, you don't collect up and carry your brow pencil shavings to the kitchen bin on a morning. Shoving them in the makeup bag is the best option that early on a weekday.

Despite the pain of parting with a whole eight English pounds (woe is me) I'm sold. This might well be going on the repurchase list.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

REVIEW: Battle of the Face Mask

As a skincare girl rather than a makeup girl (however much I try to be the latter), I have a nice collection of, essentially, the same sort of products in the bathroom cabinet. This time I've grouped all the face masks together.

Boots Simply Sensitive Deep Cleansing - I used to expect a face mask to be robust and cake onto my face before I washed it off. Turns out, it doesn't. This has a creamy texture that is far from robust. Although it moisturises well and I can feel the difference afterwards, I don't really agree with the 'deep cleansing' aspect.

Botanics Deep Cleansing - This is the first mask I ever used. It's thick, cool and really pulls the dirt from the pores. It has a natural smell, one I now associate with masks, which isn't too bad for 'natural' skincare scents. I've repurchased numerous times. Proper old favourite.

Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance - I hit a winner with this as it's a great dupe for Liz Earle's deep cleansing mask (one I couldn't find to put in the photo). I actually think it may be better than the Liz Earle one... It reaches deep into my skin and tightens it all up. It tingles too which is a nice unexpected feature.

Simple Kind To Skin Deep Cleasing - Again, a more moisturising option although not as watery as the Boots version. This acts as a thin film on the skin rather than a classic lumpy clay mask. It almost sinks into the skin - something which I wouldn't associate with a 'Deep Cleansing' mask, and again I'm not so sure that description is entirely accurate. If I were to label this I would put it in the cleanser category, rather than amongst the face masks.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

LIFE: The difference between knowing and assuming

Facebook and I have a love/hate relationship.

I've been in trouble a few times with family members and friends about the types of things I post on there. Safe to say I don't toe the line when it come to holding back on there.

Recently, I posted a status that, in hindsight, could have been seen to incorporate my workplace into a frustrated rant. In a lot of ways, it was not about my workplace, but due to recent events at work I can see why some people would think otherwise.

After a few days of leaving it up and being warned by said family and friends about it, I changed the privacy settings. I'll be damned if I'm deleting the whole thing because what I said was entirely true, but I'm going for promotion not the sack so whatever.

However, it did get me thinking about what people assume and what actually is.

It could have been about the bloke I know who was coming to fix my windscreen not turning up. And after numerous calls, still didn't turn up despite me having to drive to work and that being completely illegal. 

It could have been about The Lad saying he would help move all the decorating things up into the attic, but went off to the allotment instead and wasn't sorry about leaving me surrounded by 10 litre tubs of paint to heft into the loft all on my own.

Or it could have been about me having an issue at work.

Whatever the reason behind my posting it, I didn't want to offend anyone in particular (note the trouble with people about my status' in the past) so I was very, very careful about how I worded the status. I did not mention who I was frustrated with, what scenario I had an issue with was or where I was when the issue occurred.

For the purpose of this explanation this is the status I posted:

Fuming. Just fuming.
Laziness fucks me off almost as much as fannying does. And Christ on a bicycle, today has been filled with too many excuses and no chuffing action.
If I die of high blood pressure during the rest of today, my family will sue. Promise that. Nob.

You could assume a lot of things and situations from that. I understand that completely, but, and this is a big but, assuming does not always lead you to the correct answer.

Be careful what you read and how you interpret it. And also be careful of what you post and how you want to be interpreted.

I think Sam Pepper knows what I mean.

Friday, 10 October 2014

REVIEW: Contraception - Levest

In February this year I was changed from Microgynon 30 to Levest.

On paper, these two combined pills are exactly the same. However, I reacted very differently to both and, because there's only very few reviews of contraception about, I thought I'd share my experience with you.

Things that happened when I was on Levest:
- I cried every single day. 
For absolutely no reason, I'd start weeping. When I was driving, when I was watching tv, when I was trying to get to sleep, when I was brushing my teeth. I have honestly never cried so much.

- I felt like everyone was finding fault with me.
To the point where car adverts made me feel insufficient.

- I didn't trust my judgement.
I was second guessing everything I did. Why did I choose the full fat version of the soured cream instead of the low fat? Why did I say hello to that customer at work so cheerfully? I looked like a tit getting out of my car on my own driveway just then.

- I put on a load of weight.
I've been exactly 8 stone since I was 14. I gained 1.5 stone in four weeks. It got to the point where I struggled to get my work trousers (which are boyfriend jeans - I work in a warehouse) done up and I thought I was pregnant.

- My periods were super light.
Something I was quite glad about!

- My face broke out.
I have a hit and miss relationship with spots, but this took the piss. Spots that were fading would come up again repeatedly on my chin and forehead. Those horrible red, underlying spots started brewing on my cheeks - I rarely get spots on my cheeks. My skin was dry, but oily all at the same time and I couldn't find a product to help get rid.

- I was very demotivated.
I put no effort into our home - I didn't wash up, wash our clothes, was our bedding, wash my hair everyday. I stopped trying to help at work, put any input into meetings, talk to anyone.

- My libido increased.
As a side effect to the Microgynon 30 I was on before, I had no libido at all before trying Levest.

I experienced all of these things in the six weeks before The Lad marched me back to the Doctors. It was a pretty instant reaction and I'm glad he made me go back and change.

I'm interested if anyone else has had a reaction like this to Levest?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

LIFE: Employment

There are times in life when you literally need to have work in order to live. And there are times when you need to leave work to enjoy what you're living.

The other day The Lad started a job which we all hoped would become a lifelong career. On his sixth day, he quit.

I am so unbelieveably proud.

On the surface he did really, really well. Passed all the tests with nearly 100% marks, but he hated it. I've only seen him cry maybe three times in the seven years I've known him and the other day was one of them. 

Choosing to be happy, but unemployed is a severe risk and not one that he took lightly. We will struggle, and I'm terrified of preparing for Christmas and the winter bills now, but I'm also hopeful we'll be okay. 

At the end of everything, there's still hope.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

LIFE: Happy 2nd Birthday

We got this little furbag when he was just 4 weeks old. He had pretty blue eyes, soft silky fur with a slight stripe in his black patches and an awh inducing wee meow.

Two years on, I honestly can't imagine life without him. He is my little one, my bubba. Sad, isn't it? I didn't think it was possible to love an animal and be accepted by an animal so completely, but he proved me wrong. He trusts me, follows me, mews 'hello' at me, purrs on me, lets me inspect his war wounds, lets me check his teeth, lets the Lad play fight with him, chase him about, comes when we call him.

I don't know how I'm going to be if/when I have actual babies...
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