One bookworm to another

News

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I have made an incredable discovery that I have to share with all you other book lovers. Head on over to BookBub – a website that connects with Kindle, iBooks, Google Play Books and Kobo. Just type in your email address then answer the questions that pop up regarding your prefered authors and genre then it will bring up cheap and FREE (!!) books for download.

I’ve just downloaded about 25 free books to work my way through and will be checking this site reguarly to see if any other crackers become avilable.

So this was just a short and quick post to share this treasure with you guys. Until next time! 😘

Evening Primrose Oil and Hormonal Acne: The Results

Beauty

Following on from my original post almost 8 weeks ago… You may remember me writing about the troubles I have had with acne in my adult years and the many regimes that I have tried to combat the painful bumps.

I get stress spots around my chin and jawline (like clockwork) about a day after I have had an anxiety attack or if I am under a shed load of stress. For my next ‘experiment’ to fight the spots, I gave evening primrose oil capsules a try. I’ve taken them every day for 8 weeks… and these are the results. In hindsight – perhaps doing this little ‘experiment’ while going through a house purchase, move, 2 exams and the organisation I work for having a massive administration review wasn’t that great of an idea. But I have some little aspects to feedback and my before and after photos to allow you to make your own decision.

During these 8 weeks, I have noticed a remarkable change in my hair, nails and stomach – my period cramps and bloating have been almost nonexistent and my overall mental health has been surprisingly more calm. With regards to my acne… it is a lot better (this of course could now be because I have completed the house purchase, moved, passed my exams and had confirmation that I do still have a job). I do still have some red scars but I have had no new spots in about 9 days now – which is my PB! As well as this, my skin also feels a lot smoother, hydrated and balanced.

From the way I jabber on about it, you probably think that I had the Alps growing on my face. I know it’s “not that bad” and that “others have it worse”, but to me they were a huge weight on my self esteem and confidence. I felt like a little girl again who nobody would take serious because my skin made me look 10 years younger. But not any more *touches everything within reach that is made of wood*. So here they are… my before and afters…

Before (this was taken on a ‘good’ day) 😖…

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After (also know as, TODAY! See that on my chin? No? ME NEITHER!) 🎉…

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See ya later pimples, you will not be missed!

Welcoming in 2017

Diary

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This is going to be the first year I have ever made resolutions, so just to get my second goal on the way, here I am, increasing my chances of success by  publish them for all the world to see!

My resolutions for 2017 are…

One| Lose 2 stone in weight. I have found the last three months overwhelmingly stressful – so I have been using food for comfort. I am ashamed of the amount of weight I have put on since September 2016 and am now determined to get to the body shape that I was two years ago. I want to loose 28 pounds in 12 months… so that’s only about 2.5 pounds a month… Which I believe to be very achievable!

Two | Establish a goal for myself to achieve every week. Whether this goal is to finish a unit of my diploma, not eat any refined sugar or run 10 miles (fat chance),  research  by Dominican University of California shows that by writing your goal down you increase your chances of success by 33%.

Three | Identify three things that I am grateful for everyday to continue the journey of training my brain to look for the good things in life. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people.

Four | Become more aware of my feelings. My anxiety makes me avoid risks and settle for less. I want to dedicate a few minutes a day thinking about how I am feeling. I need to understand that my feelings from one area in my life may overflow into other areas in my life. By being more aware of my feelings, I want to be able to balance my emotions so I am able to make the best decisions.

Five | Strive to eat a lot healthier.  I don’t drink coffee so sugar is my caffeine and I am addicted… to the point that I sometimes have headaches when my body craves a sugar fix. I have tried many times to go cold turkey (PB: 15 days) but this year I will find a way that fits my routine and diet best. I will try to eat more fruit for a natural sugar boost rather than my usual milkshake or chocolate bar. I will meal prep for my weekly lunches and stop buying sandwiches at work.

As well as these resolutions, I would also like to accomplish a few goals. Last year I wanted to: buy a house; learn to play an instrument; stop forgetting birthdays and stop spending so much money. I bought a house, almost stopped forgetting birthdays and stopped spending money on things I didn’t need. However, I didn’t even touch an instrument. This year I would like to:

One | Read more books

Two | Decorate our new house from top to bottom

Three | Complete my diploma

Four | Landscape our garden

Five | Welcome a fluffy kitty to our little family

Wishing you all a very happy new year! I hope you achieve any goals that you have set yourselves! Love always, L ♥

 

 

 

December, bulleted

Diary

So far, December has been a bit of a ‘brain dump’ in terms of bullet journaling. There has been lots of swearing and angry ‘pictures’ that have somehow come from my pen (anyone who knows me would be able to tell you that I’m usually quite well reserved *cough*). December so far has been, in my opinion, a beautiful disaster.

  1. Number of nights out: 2
  2. Number of times I thought I may die from a hangover: 3 (there was an emotional moment between leaving the club and getting in a taxi home)
  3. Administration consultation: New proposal of delivery to administrative roles. I am of the understanding that my job is safe – this will be confirmed by the end of the week.
  4. Number of times I have tried to give up sugar and failed: 3 (I did last 5 days before failing on the first round)
  5. Unicorn horn’s made: 2 (the first one was a bit too floppy)
  6. Number of diet cokes drunk: unknown

All that up there seems a bit sad and/or depressing for my usual favourite month of the year… so it is time to activate the ‘Focus Funnel’ *insert corny 80’s game show theme tune*

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I feel as though my Christmas has been stolen from me this year as I’ve been unable to decorate as I normally would… due to the fact that I am basically homeless! We expected to be moved in before Christmas, now it’s looking more like January… so I’ve been unable to transform my home into Santa’s grotto 😫

Due to my limited funds because of the potential move, I have had to be extra careful and organised about things I wouldn’t normally have to be; and being someone who loves to spend money – espically at Christmas it has been super, super difficult – so the ‘Focus Funnel’ has been my saviour (even if the name is slightly annoying).

What the heck, it’s Christmas! Now, excuse me while I go procrastinate on purpose and eat 3 mince pies and half a yule log.

Christmas Countdown:

♥ 12 sleeps till Christmas Day

♥ 51/62 Christmas presents finished and wrapped

Moisture Bomb me, baby

Beauty

Have you read my post on Evening Primrose Oil and Hormonal Acne? No? Shame on you.

For those of you that have read it (thanks, babe), I have a somewhat exciting update. In just under two weeks of taking this supplement I have already seen drastic results. No new spots!! Now all I’m left with are those pesky red marks, one ugly scab and a few bits of horrible flaky, dry skin that make me look like I still have spots, BUT I DON’T! (#YEAAS!)

I will not be posting my before and after photos yet, I want to give it a little while – you never know, (I hope they don’t, but) they may come back.

I’m traveling up to Cheltenham tomorrow with a friend for another friend’s birthday celebrations and want a quick fix to get rid of these annoying marks and get my face ready for the many photos I can expect to be taken. I will be trying Garnier’s Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask for some much needed hydration. This is a risky move that could go very wrong as my skin has been known to break out after using face masks (but that’s usually when I use a cleansing and de-clogging kinda thang – so I hope this one will be okay!).

Make up has been removed, I have cleansed and toned my skin – now for the mask.

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Yep, I look like Michael Myers. I’m going to have nightmares.

To be continued…


UPDATE 06/12/2016 – It went horribly wrong. WHY DID I DO A FACE MASK BEFORE A PARTY?! Currently at the end stages of nursing three HUGE cyst like spots around my lips.  Ba*#&rds! Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Treatment Cream has done what it says on the tin!

Evening Primrose Oil and Hormonal Acne

Beauty

If you follow my blog, you will know I have tried every kind of cleanser and potion for my skin, with no effect. I have tried 3 different types of contraception pills and implants (which by the way, made things hella worse!) and even antibiotics prescribed by my GP.

Next on my list is Evening Primrose oil. I used to take this religiously when I was a teenager as I was a big sufferer of (or my mum was) mood swings. As a teenager, I did not have spots. None. Not even if I was due on my period.

“Evening primrose oil hormonal acne treatment hinges upon its ability to maintain hormonal balance in the body which in turn helps to offset the associated complications such as acne breakout and mood swings.

Cystic acne is also caused by hormonal fluctuations and overactive sebaceous glands and as such, evening primrose oil is usually an effective treatment. It may take time though, so don’t be one of those people who try evening primrose oil acne cyst treatment and give up before they can see the results.”

http://www.beautyhealthplus.org/2015/08/evening-primrose-oil-acne-treatment.html

COULD THAT HAVE BEEN WHY?!?!?! I can’t remember when or why I stopped taking evening primrose oil and I can’t exactly remember when my adult acne started – so I can’t make any connection. Damn it.

There is only one way to find out!

Today I have been into town and bought myself a tub of the stuff. I will take one tablet a day and after 6 weeks, if not before, I will write another post with photographic evidence of improvement – you guys have no idea how tightly I have my fingers, legs and everything else crossed as I write this!

Stay tuned and wish my skin luck!

Christmas Glitz and Glamour

Diary

 

I have not been clothes shopping for so long that I think its having an effect on my mental health. I have had big, exciting things to save for so the whole fashion thing has sort of been thrown out the window for the past 4 months. But with Christmas around the corner and as I’ve just sold a painting… there’s no time like the present to get back on that horse.

Christmas parties and New Year celebrations call for glitz and glamour – so I’m buying myself a new dress and heels with my commission money, damn it – and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. (I may also have pay for my car’s MOT with it too – and the subsequent work needed for said MOT – but i’ll cross that bridge when I get to it!).

So I can hear my mother’s voice in my head saying “you could spend that £60 towards the solicitors fees” but I’m pushing the voice to the back of my mind. So what if I have to wear the same dress for the three parties that are booked into my calendar over the next month – I’ll be fabulous and just style my hair different for each night! Sorted.

Christmas Countdown:

♥ 39 sleeps till Christmas Day

♥ 24 sleeps till work’s Christmas party (i.e. 24 sleeps to buy the perfect dress and shoes)

♥ 7/62 Christmas presents finished and wrapped (yes, I have a lot of family and friends)

The Silver Lining

Thoughts, Uncategorized

Writer’s block. I’m not sure what that exactly means, but I know I have it. I’m not a writer though; so am I technically allowed to say I have writers block?!

Argh.

I have this blog as a sort of escape from the ‘real world’, I write about crap that doesn’t matter and things that people probably don’t really care about. I write because it makes me feel happy – if we wanna go cheesy, it makes me feel whole. So as I’m sat on the bed in the spare bedroom of my mother’s house, wrapped up in a thousand layers to keep the cold away from my skin, watching Netflix (with no chill, unfortunately); I have this sudden urge to write everything and anything. But of course, nothing comes. It’s like my brain has decided to clock out for the night.

Instead of something that has any kind of resemblance to words from a sane mind, we have these words. Words that are typed onto the MacBook that I can’t quite afford, by fingers with nails that need some serious TLC. Word that are falling from a mind of someone who needs to close her emails, stop panicking about things that cannot be fixed until start of business on Monday and chill the f*#k out. Words that are tumbling down this metaphorical s*#t storm of my life – when actually as I write this, I realise that life is pretty fantastic at the moment.

What is not pretty fantastic at the moment are my anxiety levels – I cannot deal with any form of stress. Stress gives me a rash and my waist line its own equator. I’m spending my Friday night stressing over things that I cannot control. I’m purchasing the most expensive thing I will probably ever buy, everything around me is insured; including my life, which is currently worth £160,000 apparently. Why can’t buying a house be as simple as The Sims (Ctrl+C “motherlode”) – I was not emotionally prepared for this ride. I also stupidly arranged two exams for the same week that we were supposed to be exchanging – but of course, nothing ever goes to plan and the speed at which the solicitor is moving, we probable won’t complete until 2017.

It will all be worth, it will all be worth it, it will all be worth it.

So I’m back in the room, wrapped up tight. Liam’s just come in from the gym and is curled up at my side, reading over my shoulder as I write this and I’m reminded that all this crap doesn’t matter.

There’s that light at the end of the tunnel, the silver lining to my heavy grey cloud that I created for myself. Life is only as hard, busy or stressful as you allow it to be. I need to stop allowing my black dog overcome me. So, that black dog is being taken outside, at least for tonight. I’m off to watch American Horror Story now.

Take care out there.

Love, always. L x

 

 

 

Why I Stopped Using Dry Shampoo

Beauty

As that heavy powdery fog settles on my unwashed hair, as I massage it into my scalp after getting out of bed 20 minutes later than planned; I wonder what the long term effect this is having on the health of my hair and scalp. So like any normal blogger would do – instead of cracking on with my next diploma module – I researched dry shampoo (Duh).

A couple months ago you would have to prise that can of Batiste Dry Shampoo out of my hands, I would blast layers upon layers of the stuff to guarantee the volume, texture and freshness that I desired. But it turns out that there are many downsides to being overly dependent on dry shampoo. My laziness could be causing my hair to be brittle and damaged, can slow hair growth and in extreme cases – can cause ache, sore patches and hair loss (Read more here😱).

What kind of woman would I be if I didn’t scare my finding with you lot?? (I wish I had this much motivation with my studying😒) So, what are the facts?

What would happen to your skin if you caked layers of powder over your face to avoid washing it? I’m sure, like me, your pores would fill up and explode in horrid pimples. So this is basically what you are doing to your scalp, including the hairline of your face. (In extreme circumstances this can also cause folliculitis – which causes painful boils in the scalp and can lead to baldness. YELP).

Dry shampoo doesn’t actually cleanse your scalp, nor does it condition your hair.  The oils on your scalp are rich in nourishing fatty acids, by mixing these with starchy powders and alcohol, they can no longer travel from the root to the tip of the hair and like hair spray, dry shampoo tangles your hair so increases the risk of breakage when brushing – hello split ends!

Replacing a good hair wash with dry shampoo over a period of time can lead to irritation, causing your scalp to become itchy and flaky – the more you itch, the weaker your hair becomes. And what does a weak hair and a scalp clogged up with dry shampoo mean? An imbalance of the microorganisms on the scalp responsible for healthy hair growth. As a woman trying to grow her hair, this is a nightmare.

So instead of dry shampooing my locks for that second day of freshness, I have learnt to master the perfect up-do that is so fabulous, nobody will notice the slight sheen to my scalp.


Want to carry on using your dry shampoo, but my rambling has scared you?

“Ok, so we know over use = not good. But how often is that? Every other day? Once a week? 

“Use it as and when you need, but don’t just don’t go using it day after day” explains Iain. “Think of how your face or body would feel if, rather than washing it, you sprayed something on it which didn’t make it look dirty – it’s the same difference.” 

Essentially, it’s fine to use dry shampoo whenever you need, just don’t go spraying it into your roots day-after-day without washing, as the build up of product on your scalp and around the hair follicles is what causes the problems. If you wash your hair the day after each use there’s less danger of irritations and you can avoid all that scary stuff like thinning patches of hair. 

“It’s not so much the ingredients in dry shampoo, but the act of using it ‘instead of’ actually shampooing your hair. Its fine for getting away with that extra day of ‘not washing’ …just not an extra week!” explains Iain. “ – Cosmopolitan UK

Phue.

How starting a Bullet Journal has helped my anxiety

Diary

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As someone who suffers from anxiety, I wish I had done this sooner. Bullet Journalling is a notebook system that incorporates planning, list making and doodling in an organised way. As you use a ruled note book rather than a diary, you aren’t limited to what you can put on the pages. My Bullet Journal allows me to make monthly, weekly and daily plans and gives me a outlet for my feelings at the end of a day.

I wanted to show some pages of my Bullet Journal with you, share my designs and with any luck, give someone else who suffers with anxiety some ideas that have really and truly helped me over the past month. Every page in my Bullet Journal uses my designs, mostly done by hand so feel very personal and special to me.

I started by numbering the pages of my notebook and writing an index on the very first page. From here on I included things that I would find useful, for example:

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My word for the year and Yearly planner

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A list of 20 Things Successful People Don’t Do and a quote from Albert Einstein that I like

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A Monthly planner

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My weekly and daily log

I also have a double page spread for my personal Goals. These include things like buy a house, read more, complete my Diploma as well as more private and personal goals that I have set myself to achieve.

My daily logs are where my Bullet Journal really helps with my anxiety. At the end of the day, before going to bed, I write down one thing that went well. Sometimes I have to take a while to think of something to write and others days I have to work out which to choose as so many good things happened in the day. Taking the time to think of something that went well and writing it down has stopped me going to sleep anxious about the next day. I can’t tell you exactly why, as I don’t understand it fully myself. However, I can tell you that I know I’m not going to stop doing something that has clearly helped me. I guess you could compare this to the 100 Happy Days Challenge that took Instagram by storm a couple years ago.

As August has progressed, so have my ideas; as well as noting down what went well, I have started to write what didn’t go so well in my day and writing what I can do to fix it. Sometimes these things cannot be fixed, so I have to ask myself if worrying about it is going to help. More often than not, the answer to that question is no; so why should I waste my energy worrying about things that I cannot change.

And to think, all it took was a month of Bullet Journaling to help me work that one out.