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Life Bite: Feminist Inequality in my Underwear Drawer!

In the great movement of ’embracing the female body’ I believe we have gone too far.
‘Women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful’. Okay, I accept this premise…to an extent.
Yes, curvy women are beautiful. Yes, no women should feel inadequate for being a size 12/14. Yes, society shouldn’t make a woman feel ugly for being larger.

BUT

A woman who is morbidly obese…200lbs and suffering major health issues as a result. Is this beautiful? No, it is not. And not because it’s ‘unnattractive’ (which is IS, but that’s not my main reason for seeing it as wrong.) But because it’s UNHEALTHY. Eating junk food and stuffing yourself full of fat and unhealthy foods (and if you’re morbidly obese, don’t tell me you eat super healthy and moderately etc., that CANNOT be true) is not healthy, it’s not good and it’s not ‘beautiful. Fine, if you’re ‘happy’ to look and be that way, then go ahead, but don’t you dare tell me I’m being unfair when I say it’s not good. It just isn’t.

The whole love your curves thing (although it doesn’t really apply to me) is great and I think that no woman who is a size 14 should be made to feel unattractve because of those curves, because you can be completely healthy at that size, in fact, a lot of women are. But there is a limit.

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And furthermore, in ’embracing curves’ I feel we are now discriminating against the ‘thin’. Some women have small builds and are naturally very slender. I am a size UK6, but I KNOW I eat healthily and also, a lot! I have chocolate and biscuits every day…like EVERY DAY; dinner is not over until I’ve had some chocolate for pudding. But I also eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains. Every meal has carbs, I love bread and potatoes and pasta, but I eat MODERATELY and SENSIBLY. It doesn’t make me ‘annorexic’ or ‘unhealthy’ and I shouldn’t be discriminated against for being SMALL. Which I feel I can be.

I often have trouble finding clothes that fit me, as I have narrow hips (especially compared to my body itself…my hips are narrower than my shoulders and narrower than the standard ‘size 6 measurements’ which can be an issue for me. But I never have trouble pulling a size 16 off the rack. They are in abundance and I feel I am being discriminated against (a little, I’m not going to over exaggerate here…) for being smaller.

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Mostly, however, I find it in bras. The rise of the ‘plus size model’ (a term I don’t endorse, but it’s the generally accepted term and suits my needs here) and the embracing of ‘curvier’ girls means we now have bras up to and beyone 40K…which is fine, one of my oldest friends has a ‘G’ cup (which i used to be incredibly jealous of, but she does have back problems as a result, and I’ve learned to embrace my oppisite-end of the spectrum boobs) and she used to have big trouble finding bras. People were forever saying how unfair it was that bigger girls couldn’t buy NICE bra’s that fitted.

I can’t find NICE bras that are small enough. I am a 28A. I haven’t got much, but I still need some support! I can’t go bra-less, there’s enough there to make that a problem, but more and more lingerie specialists now are not making Bras in my size! Often I find a stunning set of lingerie (I had a major issue with this at the Cosmopolitan Lingerie Show), get all excited only to be completely broken hearted when they tell me (yet again) oh, we only start from 32B.

IMG_0294This set from ‘Gossard’ was my pick of the night, I was madly in love with it from the minute I saw it. I would have paid a lot of good money for the set, but guess what? Not in my size…They lost out on good money and a good customer (I’d have bought other things, such as the one piece further up if they’d had my size as well) because they don’t cater to the small. Fools!

In our desperate dash towards equality and embracing the ‘female body in whatever shape or size’ (or so they CLAIM) I think we’ve gone too far. Now there is inequality AGAINST smaller women. I get told I’m too skinny, or ‘figureless’. Fine, I don’t really care what you think, but I know I’m healthy, I know I eat well and I really resent not being able to wear nice clothes and especially lingerie because I’m small!!!

We’ve embraced cruvy women. We love our larger sizes and our curvier figures. They are catered for and accepted and loved. That’s great. I completely respect that and I think it’s wonderful. But, in all this, we’ve created a new inequality and a new discrimination. I can’t find a bra that fits. That isn’t fair. We’ve done the bigger sizes, the movement has been a success. Now can we please have a movement to re-accept the smaller figures please? I want to wear nice lingerie and clothes. Why should I suffer for having little breasts!!?!?!

Beauty Bite: The Fragrance Fix

There seem to be a couple of different schools of thought and approaches to fragrance.
Some people love to try all different types of fragrance and are always switching up their perfumes and sprays etc.
I prefer to have one fragrance and stick to it. Religiously!

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I have been involved in a love affair with Chanel no.19 since I was 16 (so we’re approaching our 5th anniversary!) and it’s a completely monogomous relationship! It goes on every morning when I get dressed and is topped up throughout the day. Pretty much without fail. (Unless I’m actually not leaving the house AT ALL…my flatmates just don’t care what I smell like!)

This comes from my childhood. For as long as I can remember, my Mum, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, who were all a big part of my life, all had their own ‘signature’ scents. They wore the same perfume all MY life and I associated them with those smells completely. I still think of my Great Grandma when I get a whiff of Chanel no.5 (the classic!) and although my Mum has recently changed her frangrance to Bobbi Brown’s ‘Almost bare’ (which is lovely by the way) I still feel her presence when I smell Eau De Ciel by Annick Goutal!

There’s a big connection between our sense of smell and our memories and experiences throughout life, so I see a lot of sense in having your own personal frangrance. My friends now all say they know when I’ve been round, beause they can smell my perfume where it lingers! And a year or so ago, a freind liked my Chanel 19 so much, she bought some, but she doesn’t use it because people kept saying she smelt like me!

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So, by all means, play with scents and fragrances, I think there are so many stunning scents out there and many that I love the smell of and would happily have as a home fragrance, but for me, I like to have one smell. People know me by it, they associate it with me and it’s also comforting for me. And whats more, because it’s so consistent, all my clothes smell of it now, after years of use, so I have to use less and less!

And I can always stock up in duty free too…

Our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to our emotional memories. A whiff of this or a gust of that smell can trigger a whole sequence of nostalgic memories, so I like to have a fragrance that is totally and utterly me. Chanel no.19 is young, yet timeless and a classic…no doubt I will change it at some point, but for now, it is my scent. People know it, they remember it and they associate it with me. it’s my signature scent and I love it!

Beauty Bite: Origins Modern Friction – The Debate!

Origins Modern Friction Exfoliator.

I am in two minds. One the one hand, I really like the product. On the other, I’m not sure how effective it really is.

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The debate:

Argument one – The product is applied onto dry skin and is bursting with natural goodness and I really like how gentle it is on the skin, but I can still feel it working away at all the dry skin on my face. The smell is to die for and a little seems to go a very long way. Using rice starch as the exfoliant it has none of those nasty chemicals that I don’t like and utilises ‘natural technology’ to get results. For the most part, it works great on my face. Skin is smoothes and refreshed and the dry skin and all gone. Furthermore, it’s great when you have sensitive areas – it doesn’t irritate any spots or blemishes and actually evens out the skin tone and texture wonderfully. I’ve been using it three times a week and for the most part, it’s an excellent product.

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The Opposition – I have really bad black-heads on my nose. Only my nose, the rest of may face is remarkably clear. it’s just the nose and they’re really quite bad. I have never found a product that successfully clears them. Although Modern Friction does wonders for the rest of my skin, it doesn’t appear to have made much of an impact at all upon these blackheads, which is dissappointing, but not surprising to me.

As far as I am aware, blackheads aren’t pores clogged with dirt – it is actually the result of larger, open pores where the oil within the pores is exposed to the air and ‘oxidises’ turning black as a result of having contact with the air. You can be as clean and cleansed as you like, but the oil in the pores will always turn black when it meets the air. So they have to be ‘evacuated’ regularly. By most accounts, blackheads must be regularly cleaned out and exfoliation will help keep them clear.

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So, with this in mind I am persuaded to be generous to Origins and suggest that maybe I need to have a good facial and get those pores de-congested properly before I pass judgement on the blackhead preventing qualities of Modern Friction.

That said, I would still hope for a little more action on the blackhead front! it is an exfoliator afterall!

So judgement time. When all has been said and taken into account, I think that overall (for me anyway, this is after all only my opinion!) Origins Modern Friction is a pretty great product. It is gentle but effective (mostly!!) on the skin, doesn’t irritate or inflame, and clears out (most) pores and dry sken, leaving the face smooth, radiant and soft as a baby’s bottom!! And really, isn’t that the dream?!

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Origins Modern Friction uses natural products and utilises the organic exfoliating properties of rice-starch to gently remove sluggish cells, uneven patches and dry, damaged skin. Lemon Oil kick starts the process of illumination and Vitamin C mops up skin-menacing free radicals! Leaving the skin renewed, smooth and radient.

Origins Modern Friction used three times a week is a great addition to the beauty regime. A salon facial once a month or every 6 weeks will leave you with a clean slate and Modern Friction will be the perfect accompaniment to keep the skin clear and congestion free in the mean time!

Food Bite: Autumn Comfort Food Slimmed Down!

IMG_0097So following on from my rather long and self-indulgent rant, I’ve decided to post a couple of my absolute favourite recipes for Autumnal comfort food – with a twist. I’m forever searching for ways to make my favourite indulgences cleaner and leaner! I’m always experimenting and playing around with ingredients, as I believe in taking care of my body, nourishing it whilst keeping an eye on the old figure!

So today, I have two recipes for you! They’re both super super simple but satisfying and perfect for this time of year. it’s getting a bit colder, we’re all getting a little down in the post-summer slump and comfort food is in order!

A couple of my all-time favourites for a healthy diet and for keeping the calorie/fat content low in meals are Quinoa and Oatbran.

Quinoa is gorgeous, low in calories and really really high in protein so it’s great for veggies, vegans and a general healthy and balanced diet! Now avaiable at all health food stores and pretty much most supermarkets, it’s becoming a favourite in the dieting industry and I think it’s perfect for getting carbohydrates and protein in the diet whilst keeping the saturated fats and calories of a meal on the lower end of the scale.IMG_0165

Oatbran is another newbie, but I’ve been eating it for a good three years now. It’s sort of the outer ‘groat’ of oats and is often discarded in the milling process, but it’s super high in fibre, low in calories, has pretty much zero fat and is also proven to help lower cholesterol and remove toxins (and excess calories, so I’ve been told) from the body, by absorbing them in the intestines. As this is a food post, I’m not going to put anyone off by going into too much anatomical detail here!

Anyway, using these two ingredients I have come up with (As I’m sure many others have too) a couple of ways to slim-down some of my favourite Autumn comfort foods.

Recipe 1: Oatbran Morning Porridge For One

Simple as simple can be really;

  • Add 45g of Oatbran to a non-stick saucepan and add 2-3 tsp of Stevia sweetner and 300mls of water.
  • Place over a low heat on the hob for about 5 minutes.
  • Slice up a medium banana.
  • When the oatbran mixture is bubbling away and thickening, turn up the heat and stir gently.
  • Add 1tsp of cinnamon and some vanilla (I use a little bean paste, but essence or preferably extract work fine too) to taste and mix in.
    Let it bubble away and play with the heat so that all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture nice and rich and thick.
  • Pour into a bowl. Sprinkle the banana on top.
  • *Optional* Place under the grill for a couple of minuts to caremalize the bananas a bit. It’s lovely!

And there you have it. Tasty, filling, warming, comforting…all things an Autumnal breakfast should be! And only about 230 calories to boot!

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Recipe 2: Quinoa Mushroom Risotto (Serves 4)

Still about as easy as possible short of buying it ready made;

500g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced150g Quinoa
150g Risotto Rice
1.5l Stock (I use chicken, but vegetable is fine)
200g Brocolli cut into small florets.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Fresh thyme, if you’re feeling fancy!

  • Sautee the mushrooms with a little water and some pepper in a non-stick pan for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the Quinoa and brocolli.
  • Add a little stock and stir until absorbed.
  • Add the risotto rice and some more stock. Stir until absorbed.
  • Repeat until all the stock is absorbed and rice and quinoa are cooked and tender. OR, if you don’t want to wait around, I just dump all the stock in in one go and leave simmering for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and until the mixture is cooked and liquid absorbed!!
  • Stir in the salt, pepper and thyme to taste and serve piping hot!IMG_0092

There we go, my lovely and delicious alternative to a proper risotto. What’s mroe comforting and luxurious than a thick, steaming plate or mushroom risotto on a chilly Autumn evening? Divine! Oh, and about 380 cals per portion…and they’re generous portions!

So there we have it. Two super quick and super easy (and pretty darned cheap to make too…) but warm and luxurious Autumn comfort food meals. If you are watching your weight this October, or just want to eat cleaner and healthier, these are great recipes and I’m pretty much addicted…!

Finding new ingredients and alternatives to traditional, high-fat products is a great way to still enjoy the food you love, without having to demolish the diet! By experimenting with new ingredients and recipes, as well as alternative flavours is a great way of slimming down your favourite comfort foods without having to sacrifice tase or portion size! I eat massive portions…I just make sure that what I’m eating is clean and healthy!

Life Bite: A Dieting Rant Pre Autumn Slim-Down!

I’ve been seeing a disturbing amount of poor dieting advice and down-right unhealthy weight loss ideas flung about all over twitter and the general web-o-sphere recently, and it’s really getting on my nerves, so I’ve decided to do a short post on the ‘Autumn Slim Down’!

It’s not a traditional time of year to be embarking upon a new diet or trying to shed a few pounds, but after the holidays of the Summer months and ahead of the decadence of the Christmas period, I feel that now is the perfect time to get back in shape; even if only so that we can splurge all the more over Christmas!!

As I’ve repeatedly mentioned, for me October is the real beginning of Autumn and a fresh start and time for a new beginning. So a new Autumn diet? Why ever not!

I’m not about to post a whole bunch of recipes and build diet plans and calorie counts etc: I’m not offering a service or trying to sell something, all I’m going to do is give my advice and my own experiences on dieting and being healthy.

Even if you’re not looking to lose weight, eating healthy is important! It’s good for the skin, for the mind and for the heart and soul! You will have more energy, a clearer mind and will feel a whole lot better with a diet full of fresh, natural ingredients and a good balance of nutrients!

There are two things that really get me when it comes to health and dieting;

Firstly, all the fad-diets and solutions and products and pills and downright awful advice. Low carb – I tried it for a while a couple of years ago – the weight does come off, but guess what? When you try to start eating normally again, you put it all back on! High Protein – awful for the kidneys and gives you bad breath and is, once again, not a long term solution. Juicing, Low-Gi, Raw-Food…the list goes on and to be honest, they’re all a bunch of nonsense and they’re so damaging to your health and body in the long (and short) term!

Secondly, a poor diet really really irritates me. The obesity in the world, the constant stream of fast food and the overwhelming dependency on the cheap, quick, easy take-away food really gets to me and just makes my skin crawl and blood boil! I get overwhelmingly bewildered by my flatmate, who doesn’t appear to eat a fresh, home-cooked or remotely healthy thing EVER. Sugar-packed cereal in the morning, supermarket meal-deal for lunch and frozen Pizza/Battered Fish/Kebab/Burger/Battered Chicken etc. for dinner and then endless bags of cookies and doughnuts and sugar-coated baked goods throughout the day. He’s not fat, but he’s incredibly unhealthy and it’s going to catch up to him!

But I’m not preaching or anything…!

Honestly, I do eat sweets and chocolates and biscuits and eat a fair amount of ready meals (being as busy as I have been, sometimes you need something quick!) but I always add a whole load of fresh veg to the meals and try to choose ones that are less processed and have fewer artificial ingredients and preservatives in them. I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m saying do it less!

When it comes to dieting, the only formula you need to know is this: Reduced calories = Reduced Weight. Cut down on the calorie intake and you will lose weight, it’s fact, its science and it’s general common sense. The problem is, so many people are out for a quick fix (we are the instant gratification generation after all!) that they want instant results so cut their calories massively and then end up falling off the wagon after two weeks due to what is literally starvation and as a result of not having seen the completely unrealistic results they were hoping for.

So reduced calories. I could talk about TDEE and BMR and all the rest, but I don’t see the point, I’m no expert and you can find that info freely elsewhere. What I’m saying is, cut the calories, but NOT TOO MUCH!! The general consensus seems to be 1200, but I think even that is too low. 1300 at the least. The weight loss is slower, but the results will be more permanent and you will be able to actually stick to the diet effectively for a prolonged period of time!

By cutting out around 500 calories a day you are set to lose about 1lb. a week (or more depending on your stats) and although that doesn’t seem like much, the thing about weight loss is that it needs to be a lifestyle change. You need to set yourself up with habits that will last a lifetime, not just 2 months on the diet! If you take it slow and learn new habits and a new way of life then you will be able to MAINTAIN the weight loss and hopefully never have to diet again!

So what have I said…oh, that’s right, EAT LESS TO LOSE WEIGHT! Don’t rush into it and don’t expect a miracle, it won’t happen like that. I yo-yo dieted for years but it’s only in the last year that I really found out how to lose weight, keep it off and not go completely crazy thinking about weight/food/dieting etc all the time. A small cut makes a big difference in the long run.

When I say eat less, I also mean, eat less but balanced. Every meal should have carbs, protein and AT LEAST one portion of fresh fruit or vegetables. I will post a few meals and recipes at some point highlighting this, but what I’m saying here is, DO NOT DENY YOURSELF! Denying yourself things just creates an obsession. So I have chocolate, I have crisps, I have anything I want as long as I’m careful about what else I eat. And it works, it truly and honestly works.

The reason why the crazy diets such as no-carb, low-Gi, Raw-Food etc work for a while is because they cut out a huge food group and therefore force you to dramatically reduce your calorie intake, but the problem is that they don’t teach you a lifestyle – do you really want to never have a carb again? – and the minute you go off the diet and try to eat ‘normally’ again, you put all the weight back on (and often more!) That and you can do some irreparable damage to your body and metabolism and mental health. Look after your body for god’s sake, we don’t get to trade in every 24 months!

So don’t deny yourself, but don’t over-indulge every day. It’s fine to indulge on holidays, or at Christmas or for special events, but don’t make it an everyday habit! Everything in moderation!

Eating Healthily really requires these same rules, but without the calorie reduction. Eat something from every food group (those pyramids that they’e always showing us…) and make sure you have as much organic, clean, fresh, un-processed food as possible. But always allow yourself treats! Eat what you like, and find new ways to introduce the healthy foods into your diet – I love risotto, but it’s so stodgy and I’ve recently invented a quinoa based variation that I love! I will post the recipe some time. But finding ways to make your favourite ‘un-healthy’ meals more healthy and clean is the way to go!

Goodness, this was supposed to be a quick note, but it seems to have spiralled out of control! I just get very irritated with all the dieting advice that claims to be expert and healthy and effective etc. and it actually just an utter load of crap!

Basically, eat fresh stay fresh! If you eat less, then you will weigh less…it’s really as simple as that. A healthy diet is the best thing you can do for yourself, in every way. Your diet affects everything about you, from your sight, to sleep, to concentration, physical appearance, mental health and even IQ! So make sure that it’s a good one! Never deny yourself, but learn moderation! Eat as healthily as you can but allow yourself indulgences and you will be just fine. Whether you want to lose weight or not, eating a balanced, healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

Beauty Bite: Autumn Skin Care

Beauty Bite: Autumn Skin Care

When the weather begins to change this Autumn, one of the biggest must’s is skincare! In the wind and the cold, our skin can get very dry and damaged very quickly and it’s more important than ever to take good care of it!

A good, consistent beauty regime is in order now, and we have to leave the casual approach to beauty of the Summer months behind us! Our precious faces need extra TLC this Autumn and here are my picks of the moment.**

**Subject to change…I’m indecisive and very fickle with my favours!!

That old routine…

If you’re anything like me, now’s the time you’re putting on a little more make-up…I barely wear any foundation/powder etc. in the Summer months…better to let the natural tan shine! But now that we’re all getting a little ‘pasty’ the tinted moisturisers, the BB creams, the foundations, the primers, the blushers and bronzers…they’re all re-emerging as Autumn takes hold!

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So a good cleansing, toning, moisturising and exfoliating regime is in order! Cleansing off the make-up and general grime of the day (especially living in the dust-field that in London!) is a must, and I tend to cleanse right before bed and just when I get up as well, to refresh my skin for the day.

Toning shrinks the pores and rebalances the skin after the stress we put on it throughout the day, and enables it to repair itself and absorb the all important moisture to keep your skin smooth and happy!

We’re battered by the cold and wind all day as Winter draws in, and this seriously dries out the skin, so a good moisturising routine is a must, must, must!! I use an intense moisturiser at night and then a very light one in the morning, so that it’s not oily and make-up will sit nicely on top of it. But whatever your skin needs, moisturising should not be left out!

I exfoliate about three times a week in the evening. I use a gentle exfoliator, but with all the dry skin that accompanies this season, its more important than ever to get rid of the dead cells regularly to avoid breakouts and dry, damaged skin!

There are hundreds of different cleansers, toners, moisturisers and exfoliators out there and realistically, it coms down to a. Your specific skin needs and b. Your own personal preference. But my major advice is to avoid the use of heavy chemicals and lots of alcohol! There’s no need to put this on your skin! Lots of toners use alcohol, but it dries out the skin and it’s so so bad for you! We only get on set of skin, let’s be gentle and kind to it!

We as human beings are entirely organic products. Therefore, there’s nothing that nature shouldn’t provide us with. Why use harsh, man-made, damaging chemicals when you can get everything you need naturally? I love brand such as Origins, Burt’s Bees, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Ren especially, as they tend to be very low in the chemicals, exploit ‘natural’ ingredients as much as possible and avoid all the skin damaging, nasty chemicals that so many brands shove in their products!
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I’m using Neal’s Yard Rose Facial Cleanser and Rehydrating Rose Toner daily and I love them so far. Origin’s Modern Friction exfoliator is great too, and I’m in love with Ren’s Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream for moisture before I go to bed; a lovely sales assistant in Space N.K. Gave me about 15 samples of this stuff last time I was in and I’m still going through it, but I will have to invest in a full bottle when I run out! I apply a fine layer of Ren’s T-Zone Balancing Day Fluid in the morning,as I don’t want to put a whole lots of oil on under my make-up and the BB cream I’m currently using is a good moisturiser anyway. Check back soon for a full review of this little beauty routine and all the products!

Then the lips. These get their own category as this time of year, I know I have major major lips issues! They get all dry, and peeling, and then they crack and we can wander round looking like we’re dying of dehydration! Not this Autumn!
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Carmex. I swear by this stuff and have about a hundred pots in various places around my house, in coat pockets, in different bags and in every nook and cranny imaginable! Put it on before bed and let it soak into your lips overnight, when you wake, they’ll be smooth as…well…you know! Also try to use an SPF lip balm during the day: I love Kiehl’s as it’s not too sticky but gives a lovely glossy shine and really packs in the moisture. SPF on lips is important all year, but even now, as it not only protects from the sun, but protects from the harshness of the weather and cold too.
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Oh…the hands! Dry hands are the worst this time of year! If you’re not careful they get all dry and cracked and red and flaky and just…ugh! This is when the hand cream becomes super important!

I love L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream, there’s nothing quite like it! It smells divine and leaves hands really soft and moisturised for hours and hours…and there’s none of the pesky residue when you wash your hands! I was given a bottle of Neom Organic’s Violet, Camomile and Cedarwood Hand Cream and it smells divine! It’s less heavy duty than the L’Occitane so it’s more suited to a quick top-up rather than intensive hand care but it feels great and my flatmate says (literally just said to me right as I write this) it smells great, it permeates the room!

I’ve said it before and I say it every time I post of skin care. The most important thing you can do for your skin is to eat healthily and rink lots of water! The vitamins and minerals found in fresh fruit and vegetables are invaluable and eating your 5-a day (or 8 for me!) and drinking your 2 litres (ok…about 5 for me!) of water will do wonders for your skin. Hydrated skin is happy skin!

And, of course, the health benefits of having lots of vitamins and minerals in your system is great this time of year too. Avoid the colds and flu and the highly unattractive pallor that accompanies these maladies by staying healthy and eating right!

We only get one set of skin. Look after it. Be kind to your skin: cleanse it, tone it, moisturise it and exfoliate! By trying to use natural products and ingredients, combined with a natural healthy diet, you’ll be doing your skin the world of good. Look after your body and it will look after you!

Friday Bite: The Importance of Being Selfish…

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I read an article in Red yesterday about how to be a good mum, you need to be selfish sometimes and when my flatmate got home yesterday evening she told me she’d ended things with her boyfriend.

It was a fairly new relationship, but she’s not had many relationships before and I think it was quite a big deal for her (whatever she might say), but anyway, he’s been a little ill recently but over the last few weeks he’s been completely MIA. No texts, not answering phone calls – zilch. She got the train up to see him at home last week and it seemed to improve things; she discussed the lack of communication and he seemed to understand, but for the last week and a half, she’s not heard a peep and has done her best to get hold of him, short of turning up on his doorstep again.

Anyway, she ended it and it made me think back to the article in Red. I think we all need to be a bit selfish in our lives to be the best we can be, to ourselves and to others around us.

I’ve always tried to be true to myself and have worked on the mantra; “If you feel something, it’s the truth.” By this I mean, if you feel like doing something, then it’s probably what you should do…if you feel like NOT doing something, then don’t do it etc. Obviously this is within reason…we can’t just go about our lives doing whatever we want whenever we want to, but for the most part I try to do what feels right…in whatever context.

Remember the ‘Yes Man’? I’m fully in support of the ‘say yes to everything’ thesis, but I take it a slightly different way. I say: “Say yes to yourself!” – If someone asks you to go somewhere or do something and your gut reaction is ‘yes’, then say ‘yes’ – not to them, but to yourself. Likewise if someone invites you out or to an event and your instinct is to say ‘no’ then say ‘yes’ – to yourself!

“Saying yes to saying no” may sound like a bizarre, complex way of looking at things, but I’m all for saying yes to whatever fancy strikes you or whatever instinct takes hold, even if that means you have to say no. Have you ever been on a night out with friends and reached the point where you just want to go home? – I’m sure everyone has – but you’ve carried on through peer pressure, guilt, a feeling of duty etc. and therefore had a miserable night after? Well I take these instances and say; If your body and mind say you want to go home…just say yes to them! Go home and you’ll have had a better experience in the end.

The article recalled Airline emergency procedures; Always secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. This is because if you don’t do whats best for you, how can you be of any use to anyone else?

If you spend your life living for others and doing things you don’t want to do, you’re not going to have a very fulfilled life. If you’re not a little selfish now and then, and do what’s right for you, you’re not going to be the best person you can be, and really, is that good for anyone?

So go on, sometimes it’s ok to be selfish!