It’s that time again…

Just like that it’s time for another Friday quickie. Of the cruelty free variety. Part of my little spending spree was a few beauty treats. All of which were shiny & lovely.

It was my actually my sister who needed a mascara, but it looked so damn good that I kinda want a tube too. When the Urban Decay goddess told me it was half price I was apple paying the shit out of it. It was a good impulse buy. One coat gives me luscious long lashes. Two provides just as much volume. Troublemaker is giving no trouble.

Urban Decay Troublemaker
Urban Decay Troublemaker

Next is a staple for me, Barry M Plumpy Toocoat. It’s always the final touch on my nails. It provides a convincing gel finish & definitely gets me a few extra days out of my manicures. I love how much extra shine it gives my nails. The only down side is that it goes gloopy a little quicker than I’d like. I’ve yet to actually get to the bottom of a bottle. That said, at under a fiver and still giving a professional look I’ll forgive the small amount of waste. I don’t see me switching topcoat anytime soon.

Barry M Plumpy Toocoat

I have a bit of a thing for Barry M. It was one of the first ‘drug store’ brands to go completely vegan & cruelty free. It’s also one the best. From reliable beauty essentials to super funky fun cosmetics Barry is always ahead of the game. All of which is my excuse for never being able to buy just the one thing I needed. Case in point, this holographic eyeshadow topper. Shimmery two time goodness on it’s own. Multi coloured light catching magic when applied atop another eye shadow. I went for a purpley blue, but there’s three more shades & I suspect I’ll purchase the lot. I recommend that you get your hands on some too.

Barry m holographic eyeshadow topperly h Kerr

Troublemaker & Holographic Topper
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Lonely hearts club band…

Miscarriage is lonely. When it happens you’re on your own. No matter how much support you have it’s still just your body failing. Your dream dying. Even if you have a loving partner who shared that dream, they’re not bleeding. Their body isn’t an empty husk. Yes, I know this isn’t necessarily true, but believe me, it’s how it feels.

That sensation continues. The loss is isolating. For all the reasons we’re starting to talk about and for others that will surprise you when you thought you were ok. It is an uncomfortable topic. No one really wants to talk about your unsuccessful pregnancies. Often most people in your life don’t even know about them. Those that do will forget the dates & details. That’s not a complaint, just fact. Your baby wasn’t real to them. It’s hard to feel anything about a life that never tangibly existed; your baby only really lived in your world. That’s not to say your people don’t care, they do. Perhaps they just don’t want to upset you. Or they genuinely don’t have the words. Time goes by. Life is lived. The only evidence of your loss is an absence. But the missing party was never there to anyone other than you. It’s a crime without a witness, but it isn’t victimless.

To a certain extent you adapt. You carry that lonelines. It’s occasionally acknowledged that once upon a time your life was almost something else. You quietly carry your grief and you carry on. Along the way you find new challenges. You discover that there are a bunch of seminal moments & experiences that you have to put away. You aren’t really allowed to tell those stories like other mothers do. You aren’t even allowed to call yourself a Mum out loud. The title doesn’t make sense to the world when you have no flesh & blood children to show.

So, you learn to smile & say nothing. Just nod and ask questions when others share the tale of how they discovered they were pregnant. You can’t join in with a silly story about peeing on a dozen sticks. You can never say how you somehow knew before it was ever possible to do any test at all. Your stories aren’t cute. That’s someone else’s lot. You won’t be thanked for ruining the mood. Likewise you mustn’t share pregnancy tales. No friendly bonding over how tired you were or sick you felt. Cravings & aversions will remain unknown because, again, you have no happy endings. The tone of your reminiscing isn’t light. You can never empathise with a pregnant friend. To do so would be to draw attention to tragic realities. There isn’t a guilty party. You aren’t being maliciously excluded. It’s just life. Your child didn’t make it. Reminding everyone of that turns warm-hearted conversations into sad, awkward exchanges. You can’t broach the subject because you don’t want to spoil other people’s nice time. They won’t include you because they don’t want to hurt you or because they forget (or never knew) that you are part of that gang. You’re missing the vital component required for membership.

That hurts. The silence is painful. Biting your tongue & standing on the perimeter takes effort. Not letting any of it show can be torture. Not fatal though. You’ll find yourself in these situations repeatedly. You’ll realise you can survive them. You will nod along & take your sadness home. Unpack it when you’re alone. Go over your own pregnancy chronicles in the privacy of your head. Then you’ll have to take a deep breath & face the new hush.

You have nothing to add to the next part. The trimester you didn’t reach. The birth. The nights the baby didn’t sleep. The trials & triumphs of breastfeeding. Words and steps and sobs and kisses. You’ll have nothing to share. All you have is second hand information. When you help your experience isn’t really yours. Just borrowed. Never actually a mother’s wisdom. It’s still no one’s fault. You don’t wish they wouldn’t share. Don’t want to stop being a part of the whole wonderful process.

It’s lonely.

To feel like a mother & never have anyone call you mummy.

To shake your head no when you mean yes.

I know other people understand, but I’m still on my own.

Sweet escape…

I’m a sucker for a mini break. Give me a nice hotel with a good pool and I’m a happy girl. Throw in a massage & I’d be delighted even if the hotel was located in hell. So, the Toyboy’s birthday treat of a few days away was a winner.

He choose Dundee because he knew I really wanted to see the new V&A, but it proved to be a cool wee city. We had some tasty food, took in some sights & indulged in soothing spa treatments.

Frigate unicorn, love locks, the white goose, #projectpostit, Dundee

We stayed at the Apex City Quay which was a delight. We had a gorgeous big room with a view of city quay & it’s cool water sports. The complimentary bubbly was a lovely welcome & the really late check out was a great goodbye. The Apex took care of our every whim inbetween.

ly h Kerr, The apex city quay, Dundee Breakfast in bed, apex Dundee

The Japanese style Yu Spa is apparently award winning; I haven’t checked that, but it was excellent & I believe them. It comprises a lovely little pool, deliciously hot hot tub & the usual array of incredibly hot rooms (steam/sauna et al). I’m a big kid so I was particularly pleased the submerged colour changing lights. There are also more adult plus points in form excellent showers, Elemis toiletries & quality hair dryers in the changing rooms. The actual treatment area is a tranquil heavenly smelling space. My hot stone massage was divine. The Toyboy’s ‘devil’s delight back treatment’ was everything he had hoped for.

Yu spa, Dundee

Like I said, Dundee was charming. It has some impressive architecture, quirky pubs & really awesome food. The McManus Art Gallery looks like a cathedral from a Disney film. It had the most stunning stone staircase I have ever seen. I bet those steps have seen their share of blushing brides. The D C Thomson building also looked spiffing all lit up. My favourite Dundee aspect ended up being cowering under the Tay road bridge watching the wind make the river run wild.

Food wise, Dundee did really well with my fussy vegan needs. Special mention goes to Tahini. I was initially dubious, but we were running out of time & I bowed to pressure. I am so happy that I did. Tahini offer a three course Lebanese Tapas experience. You just tell them any allergies/restrictions and they bring you amazing food. I was a little scared of not picking exactly what I wanted. Partly because of my very persnickety eating, but also because I am terrible at relinquishing control of even unimportant matters. Anyway, I learned a lesson. I must relax a little because the food was so fucking good and it did not stop coming. Go hungry, these people really feed you!

Dundee fun

Tickety boo, Dundee

Tahini, Lebanese Tapas

Here comes the weekend…

I needed a few days to recover from my getaway, thus had a very lazy end of the week. I was mostly lolling around in jammies. I was still knackered by Saturday morning, so had to adjust my plans, but fun was still had.

I kicked off the weekend with a bit of shopping & sushi with my wee sis. Of course the baba was also along for the ride. He got a little bored of the shopping portion of the day, sushi though, he loves. He can’t eat it yet, but chasing it along the conveyor is a very good game. I have a bit of a spending bug at the moment, so I treated myself to some little lovelies (stay tuned for details). We did a lot of cooing over baby clothes. Plus some admiring of all the Xmas decorations that have just hit the shops. Then closed the day with tea, cake & a snooze for the little man.

I hit the hay ridiculously early on Saturday night. Paired that with an incredibly slow start on Sunday & hey presto, I had collected enough spoons to venture out. We grabbed a late lunch before indulging in lots of local talent at Yellow Movement Sunday. It’s a cool event held on the 2nd Sunday of every month. If you fancy an eclectic jam session & unique live acts, check it out.

It was a perfect autumnal day. The sun was bright, but the air chilly. Just the right weather for slipping on some velvet. This dress is an old favourite. I always feel foxy in it.

Dress – Pink Clove

Belt – ASOS Curve

Musical interlude complete it was time to head home & get my Jim jams back on. Having a good time is exhausting.

She comes in colours…

As the weather gets colder & the nights get darker I feel the need for even more colour. I subscribe to the why wear one colour when you can wear five anyway, but definitely garner warmth from rich tones at this time of year.

I applied this thinking when selecting an outfit for our last day in Dundee. Our plans were lunch with a friend & a wee wander at the harbour. Thus, I wanted cosy, comfortable & chic.

Skirt – Monsoon

Vest – Primark

Jumper – ASOS Curve

Bag – Topshop (gift)

Flats – Primark

I caught up with my lovely friend Dawn over lunch. She’s just returned to scotland after many years living in a London, so we had a bunch to gab about. Afterwards with full bellies & tired tongues the Toyboy & I headed off for a little wander by the water. We checked out some cool big boats (I’m such a maritime expert) & enjoyed the bright day.

#projectpostit, white goose DundeeUnicorn frigate, city harbour Dundee

Sail away…

As you may or may not be aware it was my birthday at the end of September & the Toyboy treated me to a wee spa break to celebrate. Dundee was our destination so that we could take in the newly opened V&A. Which, I am of course going to tell you all about.

The Dundee V&A is a spectacular building housing a design museum. It’s located right on the river Tay and takes full advantage of it’s location. Our hotel was about 3mins away, so despite it blowing a gale, we wandered along the river. I was actually pretty pleased about the wild weather because it gave me an opportunity to wear my wonderful new coat. I also rather like the feeling of abandon I get when I stare across rough waters.

River Tay, V&A, ly h Kerr

Coat – Glamorous

For me the star of the V&A show is the building itself. It’s spectacular. New interest from every angle. Outside paths curve under & lead you through the middle of building. The solid concrete ‘cladding’ outside is complimented by a similar, but much softer wooden effect inside. Numerous cleverly placed windows create perfectly framed views across the river. They almost feel like art themselves. The whole place feels very fresh. There are so many little nooks hidden in plain sight to discover. All whilst still maintaining a feeling light open space. In short, I loved it.

Toyboy exploring Dundee v&aDundee V&A

Upstairs houses a fairly exhaustive exhibit of the history of Scottish design. It dips a toe onto everything from computer games, to tartan by passing the Scott Monument & industrial design along the way. They also cover fashion, jewellery, interiors & just about everything you can imagine. I even discovered the speedos were Scottish!

Scott Monument model, tiara, Edinburgh festival posters, Scottish design museum

There are some cute interactive bits for kids & a sort of treasure hunt including stamping a book when you find exhibits. The museum is fully accessible & has loads of benches dotted around if you need to rest. It also has lockers so you don’t need to cart all your bags & coats around with you. The main gallery is free, but they do have visiting exhibits which are ticketed. Currently on show is, Ocean Liners, Speed & Style, which we obviously had a gander at.

I am so glad we did. The exhibit covers pretty much everything you need to know about the glory days of ocean liners. It begins with plenty of information about engines & ship building for who are curious about such matters. Moves onto a stunning display of interiors from first class of various liners. The level of luxury is impressive. Items from late 19th century right through to the post war era are included and there was no scrimping for those with a 1st class ticket. I absolutely adored it. The attention to detail & grandeur was incredible. By the time I reached the gallery housing fashions of the passengers I was completely ready to buy a ticket to the past & set sail.

Oven liner exhibit at Dundee v&aOcean liner exhibits Dundee v&aDundee v&aDundee v&a

Dundee v&a

For my design excursion I did classic ly style; clashing prints & a bunch of colours. This leopard print dress was an Asos sale steal. I particularly love the fluted the sleeves. Star of my show, though is my fabulous new coat (see above). Bold red tartan is not something I can resist. It is also kept me very snug in the freezing wind. I’d say size up, if you want the less fitted look I’ve gone for (& if you want to comfortably house your winter layers in it).

Dress – ASOS Curve

Shoes – Primark

Bag – Topshop

Oh & of course #projectpostit left a little something for future visitors to ponder & I took a wee piece of luxury home.

#projectpostit

Luxury pin

Another cruelty free quickie…

It’s Friday and after a rough week I’m ending on a high. I got some unexpected, but very good news yesterday. Now I am sailing into the weekend relaxed & very ready to have some fun. I have a mini break planned, bunch of new clothes to show off & a tiny little nephew to smother in kisses. Before we get to all that, I have a cruelty free quickie for you.

I love being a ginger. I’ve always loved being a redhead. Sadly, the older I get, the lighter my hair becomes. To the point that people have started calling me strawberry blonde. That may not seem like a big deal, but it breaks my heart. Ginger nut is part of my identity! I’m too low maintenance to keep up with dying my hair, but the thought of losing my burnished tones altogether is just awful. Enter, Infuse My Colour, my salvation. It’s a colour infused shampoo that stops the fade in coloured & enhances the tones in natural hair. I bought copper in the hope that it would revitalise my natural colour. I was not disappointed. I’ve only been using the shampoo for 7 days and have already noticed a big difference.

ly h Kerr

Infuse my colour

I’m impressed at how quickly I have seen results & will definitely continue using the shampoo. Infuse My Colour is of course vegan & cruelty free. In case you were curious, here I am in my younger days as a proper, hardcore ginger.

Today I have a bonus quickie, lucky you. One of birthday gifts from my darling sis was some Kiko Milano products. I tried out the eyeshadow duo yesterday & it was a hit. It’s super soft & glides right on. Excellent pigmentation, even better staying power. I saw A Star is Born last night & wept like a baby; the eyeshadow stayed put. I love it.

ly h Kerr

Kiko Milano bright duo

A Star is Born incidentally is excellent. A beautiful interruption of a wonderful film. Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga blew me away, both displaying talents I didn’t know they had. Word of warning though, all those people saying it isn’t as sad as the Streisand version are LYING. Prepare to be destroyed.