There’s gold in them hills…

I’m having a rough time. Everything is a bit of a struggle at the moment, so I’m going to do a wanky, hippie dippy post. Feel free to clock out because I’m about to deep dive into gratitude.

All the Basics

I have a safe, stable home. Food in the cupboards. Running water, central heating. Access to healthcare. A comfortable bed & wardrobe full of clothes. My basic necessities are taken care of and that’s more than a lot of people can say.

FaceTime

And WhatsApp, messenger, zoom & all the other clever doo dahs that allow me to keep in touch with folk. A friendly face or some carry on helps brighten my day.

Pillow Slides

Bought on a whim. Incredibly ugly, but oh so kind to my joints.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a genius plant. First & foremost it’s hard to kill. If you don’t have plant mum skills aloe is for you. It looks good, it adds oxygen to your room & it’s even easy to grow more from cuttings etc. Added bonus, our bodies love aloe. Need a moisturise, got sunburn, heat rash, a blister? Cut open a leaf and whap it straight on. Upset tummy, mouth ulcers, bad breath, ibs? Add a teaspoon to a glass of water. Wonder plant*

Temporary Solutions

I have a lot of issues with no permanent cure. Hence I have grown to appreciate a temporary solution. Diazepam is certainly not for long term use, but it bloody works for a day or two when your brain thinks the world is attacking you. Jane Austen will not fix my life, but she will soothe things for an hour or two. Whilst mint tea can’t cure my stomach disease, it can soothe the spasms attempting to eat lunch caused. They will return, but the minty goodness will buy me enough time to get home. Temporary solutions are various & abundant. Hugs, hot baths, sex, lidocaine patches, a big glass of wine… Moments of respite are better than none at all.

The Sea

Everything about the sea is soothing. The never ending expanse of it, the smell, the sound of the waves lapping. I always feel calmer by the shore. I can breathe deeper and see more clearly. Pretty lucky that I live on an island. The dazzling deep blue is never too far away.

Bronan

My lovely big loyal boy. Always gentle. My own living hot water bottle. An adorable wee tyrant who has me wrapped around his paw. Who doesn’t want to be awoken by a meowing creature in their face at the crack of dawn every morning?

Vincent D’Onforio

I like how brooding he is and that head moving to maintain eye contact thing he does on Law & Order. He seems like he’d be clumsily kind if you were feeling bad. He’s always despicable when he plays a baddy, which I like, no half measures. I get completely absorbed in the character when I watch him. I always believe it. Also, good name.

Summer Rain Showers

I like the ones that come on heavy, but run out of juice quickly. Summer rain smells good, it freshens everything up and gives me a good excuse not to hang the washing out.

Diet Coke

It is really bad for me, but it tastes soooo good. Big icy cold gulps. I don’t know how to quit you, Diet Coke.

Specs Appeal

Statement specs bring me joy. If I have to wear glasses every day they are going to be splendiferous. Big, colourful, can’t be missed face furniture is the only kind I will consider.

Ian Hislop

It’s very sexy when a person is that good at anything. He exudes the confidence of knowing he’s top of his game. He can slag off the bad guys with impunity because he leads a pretty decent life. He is cute and funny and incredibly smart. I’ve always been fairly sure that he has a huge, beautiful dick too.

Love

This might be where my sincerity gets too much for you. I care not. Life really wouldn’t be worth much without love. Giving or receiving, it’s wonderful. All those little thoughtful things a person does because they love you. Tiny gifts, texts, snapping a pic of something you’ll like. It all feels good. The warmth of knowing I’ve made someone smile or that they wanted to make me smile. Being able to comfort with your words or a cuddle. Sharing milestones & cups of tea. Love is the point, right? How can we not feel grateful if we have it.

Period Pants

A new thing for me and I like them. Wearing a pair to bed is so much better than using a tampon & worrying you might sleep too long. Likewise, so much better for those last days when you’re not quite sure if your period is actually finished or not. I can’t stand the feel of sanitary towels. Nor do I relish the sensation (or risk) of pulling dry cotton from my body. Period pants are a comfy godsend.

Choice

I’m so happy to live in a time (& place) of choice. So many aspects of my life offers abundant options. I can access almost any song in the world from my phone. Look up current affairs, trivia, what time the chemist closes by pressing a few buttons. I have films, shows, games, podcasts, strangers & friends at my finger tips. Whatever food I fancy can be delivered to my door. In theory I can pursue any career I’d like. I can vote how I choose. Do as I please with my body. Get married or not. Sleep with who I want. Wear what I like & go wherever I want (pandemic aside). Choice is not to be sniffed at.

Gardeners

Hallelujah for folk who will sort the garden in exchange for money. I am physically & constitutionally unsuited to maintaining outside spaces. I do however enjoy utilising them. I also like not stressing about ever encroaching weeds. I will never underestimate the peace securing a good gardener brings.

Little People

I have seven perfect niblings. My oldest niece is the smartest, coolest, kindest 11yr old you will ever meet. She will always be my little muffin, but she has grown into a person who makes me so proud. Then there are my brother’s boys who are his complete mini mes. His oldest is so patient & protective with his little brother. It is gorgeous to watch. My sister’s boy is half rascal pirate, half total love bug. He is a joy to be with. My bestie’s big girl is so cute & sassy. She may only be three, but that girl knows what she wants. Then there are her brand new little brother & sister. Newborn twins are a hand full but man alive are they adorable. I am so lucky to be part of their lives. Helping them become the people they want to be is an honour.

Disabled Ammenities

Parking spaces, toilets, seats right by the door on trains. I love them all. Anything that takes into account that every step hurts is a life saver. Extra space, bars to hold onto, not having to wait, all make my life immeasurably easier. Disability can rob you of dignity in so many ways. Things that allow me to navigate public spaces without being humbled are magnificent.

Sister Tik Toks

I love it when my sister and I send each other tik toks. I feel very seen when she sends me clips that make me laugh out loud or that relate to some shared experience. Having a sister is a lovely thing. Having a sister who gets you is even better.

Life has turned out to be harder than I had imagined. Amongst the struggle it helps me to acknowledge all the little & enormous things that make it worthwhile. I know it’s cheesy, but give it a whirl.

*Not a cure or medicine. Speak to your dr about any health concerns.

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Cruelty free quickie (the Aldi edition)…

I didn’t intended posts like this to become a regular thing, but I just keep coming across lovely products that I want to share. I’ve never been a brand snob, so where a product comes from really doesn’t phase me. If it works & it is cruelty free, I’m happy. Thus, I bring you some more budget beauties.

Aldi would not usually be my go to for beauty shopping. However, a beauty & skin care expert friend tipped me off about their Lacura range. Their skincare range has the ingredients you’ll find in premium products, but for a fraction of the price. On that recommendation I decided to try some of the products about 18mths ago & haven’t looked back. I quickly fell for their Q12 serum. Like a lot face creams it claims to prevent wrinkles & smooth fine lines. I’m lucky enough not have much of a wrinkle problem yet, so I can’t verify the veracity of those of those assertions. What I can say is it’s an excellent moisturiser plus my skin feels softer & firmer. It’s also significantly cheaper and delivers much better results than the more prestigious brands I was using. I swiftly added Lacura’s Expert Intensive Care serum as a night cream & am equally pleased. In short my skin feels soft, smooth & my dry patches are a thing of the past. Oh & the both smell divine.

The Lacura eyeshadow palette was a complete impulse buy. In typical random Aldi fashion it was beside some light bulbs I needed. I brought it home & promptly forgot about it. That is until bloggers started to moan about it on Twitter. Apparently some beauty bloggers are sick of ‘dupes’ & just want us all to buy the real deal. Well, their distain reminded me that I had just such a faux & I promptly gave it go. Guess what? This palette is lovely. It’s a standard natural type collection with some neutrals & metallics. The shades are cool, the brush is nice & it it has staying power. I really don’t see what anyone is complaining about. If you need things to be from Urban Decay, go ahead and buy your heart’s desire. In the mean time I am totally behind these purse friendly versions that are also great quality. Not everyone has the ability to splash out on the big names; I love that there are now good options to accommodate that. For my own part, even when I do have extra to spend I have zero interest in rewarding high end brands for overcharging. If Aldi can create fantastic (& cruelty free) cosmetics for less than a tenner, anyone can. If you want me to pay you much more, you better be offering much more. I’ll definitely drop some cash on something excellent, but if its equal is in the supermarket, it’s going in my trolley!

I’m gonna rule out friction…

Against all the odds it appears that summer has actually arrived in Scotland. Chances are it won’t hang around long, so I’m making the most of it while it lasts. It is basically my perfect weather; bright & sunny, but not too hot. So, the Toyboy & I have nipped away to the sea for the weekend.

We’re staying right on the water. The view is stunning & the secluded beaches are perfect for leisurely strolls. With floaty dresses & jelly sandals donned there is only one problem; the dreaded chub rub. Lucky for me I have found the ultimate anti chafing product. It’s cruelty free, 100% plant derived & it works! Skindura Secret Shield is amazing.

I tested it out before this trip on outings to the park & beach. It held up great. No chafing, no sticking & no sweaty thighs either. It is the holy grail for fat chicks. I’ve been carrying this wee stick around just in case, so far I haven’t needed to reapply once. Secret Shield gets a 10/10.

Happy Thighs!

More cruelty free quickies…

Last week I was lucky to be gifted some products that turned out to be total problem solvers for me. Of course both are cruelty free & also fairly affordable, so I thought I’d tip you all off.

First up, is this incredible moisturising body mist from Yardley . This isn’t a brand that is usually on my radar. For some reason I thought they did proper old fashioned style products (think heavy talc). I saw an advert whilst looking for gift ideas & was pleasantly surprised to discover what they actually offer. Anyway, this freesia scented body mist is really lovely. I’m totally a floral girl when it comes to scents & anything moisturising is a yes from me at the moment. I’ve been using this on my legs especially after shaving. It’s so easy to spray on & it feels great. In fact, I like the smell so much that I have also been giving my bed sheets a wee spray before I iron them. Voila, a beautifully fresh bed and super soft legs.

Keeping with the soft skin theme is this Mediterranean sea salt scrub. I have lots of scar tissue which tends to get really dry. My scars are often ‘drive me crazy’ itchy too. I try a tonne of exfoliating products to help with this. So, far I’m finding this scrub is helping with both issues. The course salt is a great exfoliater, it leaves my skin soft & even seems to help it absorb moisturising products. It has really improved the dry texture of my scar tissue & definitely reduced the itching. I will absolutely be purchasing this when my sample jar runs out.

*Products were gifted, but opinions are genuine.

Body language…

On Tuesday night I braved the first flurries of snow & headed to The Body Shop’s blogger night. I haven’t attended many blogger events recently because they’ve just been a bit too much for me, but I am so glad I pushed myself to get to this one.

Sauchiehall st, Glasgow

The Body Shop really know how to do a blogger night. They had all the usual snacks, fizz & goody bag bases covered. More importantly the actual substance of the evening was fantastic. The staff gave detailed, enthusiastic & succinct presentations on products & campaigns. They really took their time with product demonstrations. I was very impressed with how knowledgeable everyone was & how well they tailored free samples to individual blogger’s needs.

The Body Shop goodie bagi

ly h Kerr

It was a particular delight to discuss skin masks with Dawn. Her product knowledge was spot on & she guided me expertly to the perfect mask for my skin. Along the way we had a really nice talk about body positivity. It was lovely to meet someone so charming, comfortable with herself & supportive of other women. I’ve already given my British Rose fresh plumping mask a try & my face felt divine apres treatment.

Along with discovering new products I was reassured that the Oils of Life range I currently use is a good fit for me. Plus the skin moisture analyser proved how good a job it’s doing. My initial reading was 60% hydration, which I’m told was good. After application of Oils of Life moisturiser & the rose mask it jumped up to 85%. That’s a pretty impressive result.

I was happy to hear that The Body Shop intends to increase it’s vegan reach. They aim to ensure every new product the introduce is entirely vegan. I look forward to seeing this roll out. They also continue their work to end animal testing, which I of course fully support. You can sign their petition here.

Follow up posts on my new Body Shop discoveries will be surfacing as & when I give them a thorough trial.