The gift of Christmas…presence. 

I had a breakdown in Boots.

Kicking the arse off my 26th year, I had a breakdown in Boots, wailing and hyperventilating down to the phone to my mother, very aptly in the nappy section. 

No make-up, sweaty, red, swollen and tear stained, it was the kind of day that can only be made worse if your ex drives past you in his Mercedes and tries to stop for a chat. Which of course, is what happened next. 

I had limped from the gym, after a paltry 30 min session, certain a stress fracture was about to strike me down. I’d eaten 1300 calories in dry cereal alone and it was only 1pm. Just before Christmas, I’m feeling heavy at about 9 and a half stone and my yet to be seen growth spurt has left me at 5″3. Jobs: 0, boyfriends: nil, children: zero, useful qualifications: NADA. 

My life has been entirely turned over to numbers. For someone who struggled to get a C in GCSE maths, the irony is not lost. 

After recently leaving my job to find my own lost trajectory, I felt rudderless, listless and unaccomplished. In my 5 year plan, I was at ground zero, looking up at everyone else and becoming enveloped in self doubt and depression. Three years away from home, I had nothing.

Or so I thought. I may have ‘nothing’ by the standards of numeracy, in that I cannot count my physical gains. Jobs? Still none. However, I’m fortunate enough that I am in a position in which I can start again. I have so much support from my immediate family that I can blindly feel my way towards a new purpose. Who will hold my hand as I take, yet more, tentative steps in to the deep sea of adulthood, and whose arms I can run back to if I veer off course towards the rocks. 

Blokes? Children? Nope, none of those. I do, however, have a legion of friends upon whose shoulders I can cry or indeed, who I can laugh with, uncontrollably. 

30 mins in the gym? At least I can go to the gym! I’m lucky enough to have had a run of good health by some poorly distributed lottery system where others have suffered immensely. 

I am rich in experiences, memories, opportunities, friends and family. I’m blessed enough that I can pick up the phone in a stupor of sadness and talk about me, me and ME. 

There are people who have it far better, according to modern conventions of having it ‘all’ but there are millions who have it far worse. Who would wish with every last breath to have just one minute of my life, moaning about their weight as their most pressing problem.

This world is infected with grief, sadness anger and, very topically, terror. Instead of adding to the mix, I wanted to turn my negative in to a positive for someone else. 

A gift of Christmas presence.The act of ‘being there’. Not physically, but in this moment, instead of thinking about me, I’m thinking about someone else.

   
 

No.7 Hot Cloth Cleanser – A Liz Earle Dupe?

No.7 Hot Cloth Cleanser

 

As my favourite Liz Earle Cleanser ran out, I was ready to hotfoot it to Boots and repurchase this creamy, dreamy face fixer. Then I walked in to three brown envelopes asking me for various amounts of money for non-essential things like ‘water’ and ‘electricity’. I had a rethink and scoured some of my favourite blogs for an alternative.

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Spring? In Scotland? Surely not.

Fine. I’ll come. But I’m bringing a coat.

spring

Spring in Scotland is one of those things that people mention as if it is some ancient folklore. It happened once, but you missed it. Those were the days.

As the rest of the country (London) gets their shins out at the first sightings of sunshine this year and necking limited edition summer blend cider, North of the border we’re still buttoning up our long suffering winter coats and wearing two pairs of socks. On the plus side, we’re burning more calories trying not to get hypothermia. So stick that in your Bulmers.

When Spring does eventually drag itself northwards, like a sullen teenager to school,don’t be caught out by the ‘It’s really warm when the suns out’ mentality. They’re lying to you.

 

I’m determined to get in to some boyfriend jeans this year, even with my ‘anti fashion’ body which is more cuddly than catwalk. First on my hit list to try on, have a hissy fit and cry over are Rag and Bone The Dre Boyfriend fit jeans at Revolve £120. Balancing out a more rotund posterior couldn’t be easier by balancing a baggy jean with some strappies from River Island £45. They will give the illusion of delicate breakable ankles, leading in to lithe, lean legs underneath all that denim. No one need ever know I could probably start for the England in the Rugby with my thunderous thighs.

You can’t go wrong with a good grey jersey and this Mango number is a steal at £17.99.  A good bracelet watch with a summery update from everyone’s favourite; Michael Kors at Watch Shop £173. The peach face goes beautifully with the Bobbi Brown limited edition Bare Peach High Shine Lipgloss from the Peach Nudes summer collection, John Lewis £18.  Add an impractical clutch from Zara with beautiful bead work. Which looks ludicrously more expensive than the £39.99 price tag. Get a friend/relative/boyfriend or hire someone to carry the rest of your stuff and travel light.

 

Top it all off with a loose but practical coat. Let’s be realistic here. This throw on notch neck number from Topshop, £75, is light enough not to make you look like a miserable sun dodger, but will keep you toasty when the dreaded shade rolls and you freeze your tatas off.

French women don’t get norovirus…

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The Bible

Notes from quarantine.

 

Super ill so I thought I would crack out some of my favourite products which hail all the way from France, minus Champagne. When it comes to skin care, the French really have it down. Owing to the typically effortless French style and barely there make-up, this begins with perfect, glowing skin. My pale, sometimes spotty, sometimes dry Geordie pallor just won’t do. French brands are also often catered for sensitive skin, so they really get the job done without taking half your face off. Here are some products I have picked up along the way.

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Today in my Blend Active

Blend Active

I thought I would make this a week long segment, given that I love this product so much. See the original review here.

I have also decided to try out Aloe Vera Juice from Holland and Barrett  after learning of its digestive properties. Amongst other benefits, such as detox, boosting your immune system, anti-inflammation, healthy skin, weight loss etc, Aloe Vera juice claims to ‘increase protein absorption and improve bowel regularity. It can also reduce the quantity of unfriendly yeast and bacteria found in our gut. It can also soothe and reduce digestive problems such as heartburnNew Health Guide. Now I LOVE a digestive problem, so as soon as there is a new dietary supplement which promises to relieve this situation, I am all over it. Note: Coconut oil also makes similar assertions about its own digestive properties. In for a penny, in for a pound, I threw them both in a prayed to the bloating gods for a good day.
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Today in my Blend Active…

Gym and Juice

I have lost lot of things in the last few weeks, some replaceable, some not. Thankfully, the loss of a blender has resulted in possibly the most fulfilling relationship I have had with an electrical appliance to date. However, due my recent plunge into singledom, we will see how long this electric good stays at the top of my list, but, right now, I am loving my Breville Blend Active.

blend active

I am a diet and exercise obsessed freak. If I hear or read about a new superfood, I guarantee I am next in line to snap it up. Wheatgrass? Yes. Baobab  Certainly. Powdered ankle bone of a Zimbabwean witch doctor? Shut up and take my money!  If there are food stuffs to be blended to a pulp,  which promise health, vitality and ultimately a skinnier me,  I am ready to try it. Especially given that some of my more eccentric diet habits are on the unpalatable side. Have you ever tried to shot an egg white?

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Sale Picks

Sale dos and don’ts

January Sales can be a beacon of hope in an otherwise bleak month of bills, blues and bloat. You’re fat and sad after Christmas and you want a pick me up, I get it. However, the post mince pie depression can see some sale shoppers careering in to a bad decision akin to break-up backlash. What could be a handy, purse friendly, wardrobe revival, suddenly turns in to an Ebay sale waiting to happen. Stop. Put down the stone wash denim jacket and leave the 90’s where they belong. In 2013 and all over Miley Cyrus. Follow these do’s and don’ts and you’ll breeze through the January Sales without injury. Except from bargain hunter elbows, broke b*tches be vicious.

My Sale Favourites

My Sale Favourites

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