Sofa so good…… DFS issues

interior design

So this is an old picture of when Manny was still with us so it’s going up! Gone but not forgotten kitty!

We fell in love with a sofa from John Lewis. It was gorgeous battered leather in a beautiful old tan colour. It would look good in an old house or a new one!

Then we read all the reviews.

Although it was a gorgeous comfy couch and every one loved it! The back pillows constantly fell down and it had to be straightened every night. The complaints on this were endless.

So we looked elsewhere.

A DFS sofa

The interior snob in my hadn’t even considered DSF. But we went and had a look and found this battered tan couch that we fell in love with. It probably is too big for the room but we love it. We wanted an arm chair to match but that really was too big.

We had our exchange date in hand and they said it would take 2 months to make. So we signed for it.

They made it in a month and then constantly harassed me to take it even though we hadn’t moved in yet. I was living in Kingston with my friend and vomiting to Hampstead every day.

They suggested that I just get it sent to a friends?

Yes good idea DSF! You said two months we exchanged in 2 more weeks and even though we explained this I was still harassed with phone calls all the time.

It was delivered 1 hour after we moved in and we love it.

It fairly hardy and has survived two fur babies. countless hungover mornings and becoming my laze inducing best friend. Some days I don’t want to leave it!

Some night I think I could just shut my eyes!

Cushions

I live a cushion Gav actually loves them too. I like mix and match some are from homesense, some next and a few from Primark! This is our cozy space and I love it!

Oh and the Prints are Joe Wilson again!

Battle with large pores: skincare

Beauty, skincare

I feel as I have gotten older my pores have also increased. Large pores are not attractive but I cleanse my face twice a day so my pores are treated.

I am trying to look after my skin.

I am going to talk about what has helped my pores and what I am going to invest in to help them further.

Why you have large pores

  • Genetics ( I blame my mother)
  • Sun damage
  • Mistreatment of pores
  • Not washing your make up off

The truth about pores is that they shrink but, and this is a big but , they will never disappear and they can’t shrink completely.

A little TLC will help this.

A few Pore truths

Firstly we need our pores. Like the rest of our body they work hard for us and generally we mistreat them and underestimate their importance.The hair follicle allows the oil created by the oil glands to reach the surface and lubricate our skin. The skin’s natural oil, sebum, helps keep the skin supple, moisturized, and healthy.

So blockages to this skin stop this from happening. Which is why we need to exfoliate especially if you have oily skin like me.

how to help your pores shrink ( slightly)

  • Keep your skin clean
  • Cleanse
  • Exfoliate
  • Moisturise

That’s pretty much it right?

Things I have learned

I don’t wear makeup day to day. I like it to be able to breath and stay cleaner for longer. But let’s face it I live in London and get the bus to work. My face is ensconced with pollution on a daily basis. Perhaps a barrier would help that?

The only exfoliates I use are chemical ones. Those grainy exfoliates with peach seeds or walnut can actually do more harm than good. They can make your pores bigger so don’t waste your money. So don’t use them on your face!! I accidentally bought one so my elbows knees and feet now have a new treatment.

Cleansing Rose balm

I use a balm cleanser and so far Elemis Rose balm cleanser is my favourite I feel like I am having a facial everytime I used it. I couldn’t get on with Drunk Elephants Jelly cleanser but I take it when I am on holidays as it is nice and small.

Indie Lee

I use Indie Lee toner or my peach Elemis one. Both of which are gentle and my skin doesn’t feel dry afterwards. everyones skin is different and if these two don’t work for you then find something that does.

Skincare is personal

It is really important to try things before you invest in. I went out and bought Clinique which is such a popular brand but on me it stripped my skin and dried it out.

Dry skin means flakiness which is generally a lid to trap your pores. Dry skin is your enemy. We want out pores to hydrate our skin naturally and with a little help from us!

Matryxal

Okay I bought this because I wanted it to help with my skin. I visibly notice a difference in my timelines ( ha ha this is a spelling error but it suits! Fine lines) and my pores. I stopped using it for a few weeks and wondered why I wasn’t happy with my skin. I am almost running out so Cult Beauty will be getting my money on pay day!

I love this product.

Exfoliation Alpha H

Exfoliating is key to healthy skin. It literally makes it shine. It removes all the dead skin cells and declogs those pores. Scrubbing physically at those black heads and white heads isn’t going to help.

Don’t be afraid of this because it’s chemical. Acids are natural and they aid the skin.

My top products are… alpha H yup. This stuff is called gold for a reason it tingles when you put it on but in a refreshing way!

I have never had dry or patchy skin when using it!

future care

My skin isn’t finished though I still have things I should add to it. I am looking for products that contain nicinamide and asellic acid. These two products are great for blemishes and the general conditioning of your skin.

I can wait to try the Paula’s choice serums they will be my next investment. The prices aren’t too bad but I may try some Ordinary products first!

I want to introduce nicinamide and Azelaic acid into my skincare. Apparently these are dermatologist secret weapons!. My battle with my skin continues but I am seeing improvements!

Guilt behind the diet: confessions of a chubby bride

body confidence, Fitness, health, weight loss

Everyone who has ever started a diet, cleanse or trying to be healthier is always struck by guilt. Guilt of want bad foods. Guilt of eating bad foods. Guilt of the scales for tipping over when we know we have been a bit naughty.

So as you can guess I really really didn’t want to put this picture up! But guess what this is me. Fat going over my running leggings and a belly over hanging. Now before you say I don’t look too bad you need to remember. I have excess fat over my vital organs. This is bad and unhealthy and frankly needs to go.

Being over weight isn’t about looking good or bad it’s actually just bad for you and if I don’t get fit now, then when. Plus I am unhappy so I need to do this!

Guilt is your enemy

It makes you feel like you have failed and so don’t want to try when actually you should just keep going.

Cheat days, treats these are negative words that can make you want to give up when you have been trying so hard.

Working out what your relationship with food is so important! I am emotional eater if I am upset or angry then I crave chocolate. And a little chocolate isn’t bad but I am a compulsive eater who isn’t good with portion control.

Stuck in a rut

The other problem with diets is getting stuck in a rut and convenience. There are no healthy option take always where I live. So you start off well. Putting healthy veg in your fridge. Looking at fat percentage in your mince etc.

But then you start eating the same thing all the time.

I have my go to meals that are no brainers but it’s the snacking that causes issues I love fruit but shouldn’t it be sliced and put in my gin and tonic?

An apple is delicious but it is not, nor will ever be, a bar of chocolate!

So when you fill up your fridge make sure you put things in it that you actually want to eat rather than because someone told you too.

Kale will never be my friend

Chocolate will always be my wayward friend, I will never let go of them completely. We have to much history, too many good times!

But I need to get real and focus.

Running is helping, I am more proactive to eat better after a run or long walk

But I am not giving up

I am not going to make myself feel bad if I eat 4 Bakewell tarts. I am a compulsive eater. I keep telling you this. I would have eaten all 6 but I gave 2 away.

Being negative is never going to help. Being self deprecating doesn’t motivate you to lose weight. Guilt doesn’t make you feel better.

I want to do this

I am going to do this!

May Day British Beach trip avec pooch!

french bulldog, Personal Experience, Travel

So Easter, then Mayday equals a lot of extra days off. This May Day bank holiday I had my mum visit me from France! Yay.

Thought I might share a nice day at the British seaside with the pooch! He hates being left at home and we love taking him with us. I think it’s great that you can take a dog with you. London is pretty good for dog friendly places but where we are going is super dog friendly!

We decided to treat her to a day trip to Leigh-on-Sea a place that if I won the lottery I would move to in a heart beat. If you have never been to Leigh it’s so lovely. A traditional British fishing town where dogs are welcome in so many places!

We got the train up and arrived at Leigh-on-Sea just before 12pm. It was busy considering that the weather was grim. Dogs were everywhere. We walked passed the cockle sheds passing lots of walkers a few tourists and a lot of locals!

All the puppies

It isn’t a long journey but obviously a pint was in order! Also more frenchies and the most gorgeous British bulldog Hugo!

He was super friendly. He jumped straight up on the table and Frank, not to be out done, jumped up to!

Then we wandered up along the front and hadn’t walked more than 10 paces before we came across Sara’s Tea garden which is an amazing dog friendly cafe. Frank had his own menu and came away with his own homemade snacks! Pretty much every table had a dog underneath it.

Oh yes the human menu was pretty great too.

The great scone debate

We all had the scones and the Essex Tiptree jam. Jam first then clotted cream!

I really don’t understand how people put jam over cream it’s practically impossible!Tea was good. As a Brit we judge tea places quite harshly. If I say it’s a good cuppa it’s a good cuppa!

Then we had to walk off our scones! So we walked all the way up to Chalkwell. The houses along the sea front are the stuff of (lottery) dreams said the weather wasnt perfect but it was great for walking. Frank tried to give me a heart attack by almost jumping in the sea!

On-Sea Estuary

Technically it’s the estuary not the sea, but do I love it! Leigh-on-Sea has won awards for its beaches even though its not big. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach which is a shame because Frank loves sand.

Just before the main beach there is a little bank between the buildings so we let Frank play with that stretch of sand whilst we waited!

Of course we walked all the way there and walk all the way back! It was a lovely walk and by the time we got back we were ready for a nice local pint at Ye Old Smack.

Plus I had some time for some planning! Lots of birthdays and appointments this month!

waiting for the train

We were happy. Eaten yummy scones, gorgeous ales, 15000 steps befriending lots of puppies.

We checked the train times. Still had time to snark in another drink!

This time something warm. Then home.

How was your bank holiday?

Bad maths equals a half marathon

body confidence, Fitness, health, weight loss

So I entered a half marathon.

I can run 5k so training for just over 10k shouldn’t be a problem.

Except a half marathon isn’t 10k or even 13k, its 21k which is bloody far.

I signed up because I couldn’t convert the bloody Kilometres to miles.

never

But its for charity and I have signed up for it and also got my colleagues to sign up for it too so there is no going back!

I have no doubts I can do this as I have 5 months till the race. 4 months till the wedding. This is going to help me shift some weight, tone up and lose my bingo wings.

I like running I did some last year. I had more energy felt better and was physically fitter. Then we had a long hot summer which was basically a no go. My awesome little sister is a marathon runner, she has done London and Paris. She loves it and its hopefully going to give me some tips.

Preparation

I have already been to the running shop to source some proper trainers as this is going to be hell on my legs and my old adidas need a rest as they can’t keep up with long distance. I am learning a lot about running support. The best shoes the best cloths. Guys if your legs brush or touch when you run then cover then up. My Primark bras have been replaced with proper supportive sports bars. I keep them for short runs.

I am going to keep you updates every Sunday on what I have been up to. If I have lost any weight, my inches (ahhh) but the thing is I think that by sharing it with you it will encourage me to commit to the run, commit to the weight loss and finally get my shit into gear.

Arse in gear

How long have I been engaged? 2 years and I still at the same weight as I was? Well I have lost 4lbs but that’s in two years which is shocking.

I need to loose an entire stone.

That is 14lbs. I will be so happy when I do. My belly fold won’t have to snuggle on top of each other when I tie my shoes. I will be drinking more water and eating less sugar.

so even though I started this challenge due to a mathematical error….. I am happy about it.

The right kit

My healthcare means that I get discounts on healthy things like trainers, Gym, Apple Watch so I can track things.

I took full advantage!

Investing in trainers is definitely important but I will go into that later on!

Are you a runner?

Have you done a half marathon? Any advice please leave in the comments!

Here is my giving page any donation no matter how big or small helps!

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CraftyArts

Last blog of the month: hopes for it

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Planning

Day 30, hopes for your blog, 30 day blog challenge.

Oh I am so proud!

It was not as tough so much as time consuming. But I loved it. I do need to take the time and go back through and recheck it, as I know there are a million mistakes but I am so proud of the work I have put into this.

30 day blog challenge it’s done.

There is a hundred day blog challenge but that will have to wait until next year! When I have more time and I can focus on it properly.

My hopes for the blog

Well obviously I want it to be a success. An organically grown success. I want my readers to comeback because they enjoy the topsy turvy world I live in. I want to travel and explore. I can’t wait to write about Japan and New York. I feel like I now have a fresh perspective. A real thirst for blogging more.

I have learned a lot about what are my most popular topics. It’s not what I thought. You appear to love food and self health as much as I do. Which is refreshing. I also learned about popular times and postings.

I am definitely inspired to write a few more blogs so I am challenging myself to 3 a week.

We will see.

This will probably harder then everyday just because more planning has to be involved with set days. When you know you have to write and publish everyday you just have to get it done. 3 times a week is not quite the same thing.

Sharing

This blog challenge has been a lot about sharing who I am and what my goals are. The theme of this blog is great. I am happy to write it.

I wrote in my goals what I wanted to achieve and my blog was a big part of it. But I am a dreamer so I know if I want to achieve this then I have to keep putting the work into it!

I sometimes felt that some of the questions were silly or irrelevant but I guess the whole point was to give you a point of view or subject to write about.

Whilst on this challenge I actually wrote 3 blogs that are sitting in my drafts waiting to be published which is a nice situation to be in.

For this blog I know I have to so find the right photos.

How do you photograph hope?

Thank you so much for being on this journey with me.

I couldn’t have done it without you!

Most embarrassing moment

Personal Experience, Travel

Day 28, most embarrassing moment, 30 day blog challenge

Most embarrassing moment!

Well, there has been a few!!!!

Okay I need to take you on a little trip to an incredibly beautiful city Krakow. We had arrived and spent two days wondering the city. Heaven.

Mulled wine!

We went to lunch and had steak I think. All the food in Poland was exceptional. We had a few vodkas. Trying out the homemade flavours. Then we went to the market and tried the mulled wine. Also yummy.

Vodka

Then we went to Krakows oldest vodka bar. We did a few rounds pretty sure we had 10 shots on the table at one point. This place was cool and tiny it had 2 tables inside. A cute little bar and then to get to the toilet you had to climb up ladder type stairs to get to the top.

I was tipsy when I left

Then we went to another bar. Again we had to climp up ladders to get to our seat. Gavin asked me to get a round in.

I was drunk.

Too drunk, I needed air.

Only I didn’t go back to the bar afterwards. Instead I went back to the market place. Crawled under a stall and asked the Polish man to show me how to make a nail.

Forge a nail!

Yes this drunken Brit talked the old polish man into forging a nail. I was dressed in my fancy green skirt. Unfortunately I still had Gavins wallet on me which I promptly lost.

No idea

This is the bit I don’t remember.

Getting home. Gavin was out looking for me and when he had searched everywhere he decided to head home. I also had the key to the apartment.

Gav found me, singing to myself outside of the apartment trying to get in. He said that when he asked me where I had been I just smiled and said I made a nail. Then we walked up all those stairs and I passed out.

So I woke the next day feeling pretty okay considering I had drunk a lot of vodka. But then I had had over ten hours to sleep it off.

So embarrassed

What happened next is what was embarrassing firstly I couldn’t really remember what had happened except that I made a nail, but secondly Gavin suggested that I had stolen a nail from one of the many crucifixion statues.

I had no idea and I was horrified.

We also had no money except a few euros and technology.

It turned out I did make the nail. I remember clearly chatting away to that man and his whole family. Thinking of it now is horrifies me.

Gavin was amazing. He didn’t yell but he did make me promise never to wander of ever again.

He still doesn’t let me take his wallet in case I don’t come back. So this is the nail.

It’s a beauty.

The irony is that we traveled hand luggage only. So we had to leave the nail there!

It was a very expensive nail!

And maybe my most embarrassing moment!

I blame the good vodka.