Monthly Archives: December 2015

feline persuasion

So, over the past few months i have written about a number of topics ranging from my rather public wig addition, my out of control love of nylon and I have discussed makeup, how wonderful it is, done a couple of walk through for you. And I have thrown in the odd photo of my cat.

Barbeque. It is surprising that I have managed to last this long without writing about him. I have taken a little break (sorry!) which was much needed as I was suffering over the last couple of months. Not really taking a day off for 4 months will do that to a girl! 

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But I am straying from the point of the post, which is my cat – whoops! I understand that not everyone likes cats, but I am assuming anyone who hates cats will have twigged before stage that this is not the article for them! 

So, a little bio I guess is in order – I bought Barbeque just over 10 years ago now. When I first met my partner, he had a cat which was sadly run over. When I moved in with him, I begged him to let me have a cat and eventually her agreed to this – on the condition that it is a male cat. He didn’t really go into it more than neutering is less invasive. So the hunt was on. 

Eventually I saw a post in the local pet shop, called the number and arranged to go pick up the only male kitten. Now – I know it sounds ironic for me to be saying this on the back of previous blog posts – so I should explain. At the we were living about the family shop in a flat with no real access to and from, near a main road. We knew we would not be granted a rescue cat.

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We got to the address, and went through to the kitchen, near the door was a box with 2 very inquisitive tabby kittens, and at the other end of the kitchen was the mother and a black kitten studiously ignoring up from the top of the scratching post. One of the tabby kittens planted herself on Pete’s show and started doing her level best to tie herself onto it. Yes, both the tabby kittens were female. Our cat was the one on the scratching post. It broke my heart not to take the kitten attached to Pete’s show. I would have done, had I bought more money with me. We left with a black kitten bundled into my coat – at 10 weeks he was still tiny.

When we got home, we set everything up in the living room, there being plenty of room for him to explore and allowing us to keep an eye on him. And it was heart breaking watching him and listening to him look for his mother. 

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I didn’t know what to call him, and we got him to the vet within a week … so he was registered as Bob…. not inspiring really… shortly after, I was sitting with him in the living room trying out other names, Pete was (and still is to a degree) convinced he was deaf as he refused to respond. So I rattled off names, in the hope he would acknowledge on of them (scene very similar to the movie Beethoven) and I was getting frustrated, and threaten to Barbeque him …. well the rest is history I guess?! For the record, he still does his level best to ignore Pete. Which I have pointed out, is an entirely male habit so he has only his self to blame. 

Fairly sure the cats ears were burning has he has just come back in from making sure everything is in order in the garden, and is curled up next to me. I got a Notebook for Christmas which allows me to do a lot more of my work from the comfort of my living room. The added benefit, is not only comfort, but my cat not shouting at me for being out of place. But that is for another blog post! 

I will write more on my silly old bag puss, but for now, wee will love you and leave you.

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If you love leggings as much as I do, check out Wild Bangarang

And for always amazing hair – Revenge Wigs – remember to use gill15 for a 15% discount code on your order xx

New Year …. New You ?!

I hate New Year resolutions. I am not the biggest fan of Christmas and it is getting worse with ever passing year. Whereas once it was a lovely time to spend time with family, share gifts to make someone smile. Now there is a lot of pressure, both financial, pressure to find perfect gifts, family members causing additional drama, have you forgotten anyone, getting them posted in good time, work pressures…. Yeah okay, being an adult sucks. 

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But there are ways of combatting this – to try and remember the good things, positive vibes, even spread some of the positivity around! 

So to keep with the season, I have seen some suggestions about using the 12 days of Christmas to post twelve things that are nice, good, happy, beautiful etc. There have been many incarnations of this – posting a super hero, 3 positive things a day, pictures of baby animals, a week of flowers etc. Not only does it prompt you to look for happy things, seeing it crop up on your news feed will also encourage others. And I feel that the one positive a day, is entirely more manageable than 3 + per day for a week. Sorry, that sounds negative but it might seem a lot for people and stop them from even joining in. And as one friend on my news feed pointed out, it can be anything, including seeing a beautiful sun set/rise.

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Another thing, that I have enabled in others, is a hope/wish/cheer jar. It comes in many names, and formats. I enjoy glass painting so I have made these for friends before. On New Year’s day, you start writing out on a note, scrap, anything, something happy, positive, something that made your day, made you smile. You pop it in the jar. Now this is a long haul kinda thing, you then keep going all year. And when, like many of us, you are starting to feel the pressure of the last year, all those things you didn’t do, all those resolutions long forgotten, all those missed adventures, you open the jar and all those happy memories are brought back to you. There is nothing stopping you from looking at them throughout the year – It is a personal thing. 

Something else, that I do on my makeup page – giveaways. This has no personal gain for me, although it is a selfish act. I like to see people happy. So every so often I announce a giveaway. It mostly involves makeup (funny that) and anything else that takes my fancy – I don’t plan too far ahead as I want to make sure that the recipient can use it – so I ask for any allergies, dietary restrictions etc. There really isn’t any reason other than I want to make people happy. Often we don’t treat ourselves so having a surprise turn up in the post can make someone smile. I have been lucky enough to make friends out of this so that is another bonus. In the last giveaway, I had a couple of pairs of Wild Bangarang leggings to give away and a voucher for Revenge Wigs which went down really well. 

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And something else I started this year, well 2 fold, I started writing to pen pals again. It is a lot of fun getting to know people and sending little gifts to each other. It isn’t regular, and can be a while in between but it is always nice to come home to a letter, and making time to stop and read! And there are ‘swap projects’ being organised – some local, or international where you write a short piece, state if you would prefer a local or international partner and write a short bio so your match partner is a good fit but has something to go on when writing to you. I joined the Oh Comely Magazine Perfect Strangers swap project and recently had a care package from my partner. I really enjoyed the whole process – not the bio part of it, because I always end up reading someone else’s and thinking.. WOW they put that so much better. But this particular project is great because it gives you a theme as well as guidance. I loved reading my partners letter, and her stocking was full of amazing things. It was also really nice putting together something for her. And in fact have another little package and letter ready to go out. 

What I am trying to say, is … don’t be hard on yourself, don’t pressure yourself to do or be anything. And it is nice to share and spread the love. Giving to others, even if it is just a postcard, can make you feel good 🙂 

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Ps. I will be holding a give away again this week on my page – so comment here or on my page if you are in the UK and interested 🙂

 

And if you do pop over to revenge wigs, use GILL15 for 15% off your total order – Happy Shopping xxx

Reflexology

So … I am not sure if you have ever come accross reflexology, so before i introduce, and indeed review Steve Hunt, here is a brief history, provided on the Association of Reflexologists home page

A brief history of reflexology

Whilst the art of reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China, this therapy was not introduced to the West until Dr William Fitzgerald developed ‘Zone therapy’. He believed that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.

In the 1930’s, Eunice Ingham further developed this zone theory into what is known as reflexology. Her opinion was that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body

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Reflexology is a therapy that involves pressure placed on parts of your body, foot, ankle, face and ears. Some of you may had experienced the pressing of pressure points when having facials or even eye brow tidying. 

So really, it is a really, really, in depth foot massage. And who doesn’t … okay… yes.. you, right there in the cream jumper? Sorry! But they are amazing! Sorry you don’t like feet! 

I have had reflexology before, and it has helped me a lot – I have a few problems with my feet, up to, and not excluding my insistence that shoes are evil and spending as much time as possible, barefoot. And now I sound like a hippy… sorry ‘free spirit’ !

As I have said, this was not my first experience of reflexology, but for a few reasons I stopped going, so I jumped at the chance to have a taster evening at my friends home. If you are interested in organising a girls (or boys) night in with a difference, have a look at his home page

Reflexology for me, is like many other treats we use to pamper ourselves, it is about time out, relaxation, switching off. So it is about environment as much as anything else. The reason I would go for a reflexology session over another therapy session is that … it is a more overall well being session. You can of course discuss any target/problem areas, anything that is worrying you. But unlike … say a massage, where you relax but find that it will have concentrated on that sore shoulder, you genuinely feel like you are walking on air after a session of reflexology. 

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What happens at your first session? Well I had my taster session with Steve at a friend’s home ,so I can’t comment on his usual set up. But he has a reflexology chair (which I joking called expensive garden furniture – whoops) and made an effort to provide a calming environment, candles, soft music, and plenty of cushions and covers to help you stay comfortable. I am one of the worst at relaxing, and will chat or plot, go through my to do list, write blogs, in my mind while  I am supposed to relax. But it is relaxing and you are put at ease. I found that Steve went for a light pressure technique when he was working, unlike my last reflexologist. Neither method is better or worse but it might be something to consider when looking at therapies. In the same way some massage therapy goes deep into those knots, and some just concentrate overall. It will be a personal preference. 

Steve is very knowledgeable, he really does seem to enjoy his job, he explains every step of the process to you, what he is using, the methods, the reasoning, the equipment at every step of the way. He has a calm and relaxing manner which does certainly help. So, if you do want to give it a go, it will be worth having a look – his website is mentioned earlier, this is his facebook page and he even did a piece for LifeStyle:MK about how he got into reflexology : Lifestyle:MK New Year, New You

Office to Party

T’is the season – no way of getting away from it now – we are all having a lot more social commitments with people we work with, and often during the week. We don’t always have enough time to get home and back out again.

So with that in mind, I have put together a little cheat sheet to make sure you will be ready for that office party!

Let’s start with what you will need – it should all fit into a medium sized makeup bag – easily kept in your handbag for emergencies!

The first thing to pop in, is actually NOT makeup, but a funky pair of tights that will change up your outfit quickly and easily for example : Debenhams fashion tights.

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The next thing you will want to invest in, pre glued false lashes – I really love them, they cut down on the waiting around for the glue to prove. And they really are a godsend for those of us who are not confidence in using lashes in the first place!

For finger nails – press on or nail stickers will make them look freshly manicured. They are really simple to apply, and are available in most stores – Primark have a fab little collection of press on nails including seasonal ones.

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Now for your eyes, you want to just top up your makeup from the day – I would make sure you already had a great eyeshadow primer like urban decay which will mean you already have a good base. You don’t need to do much with your eyes, I would just take a colour a couple of shades darker than your usual makeup, take it along your lash line and around the eye socket and blend in. You can use any colours and don’t have to stick to black to get a nice smokey eye – grey, green, blue, purple, browns are all good colours – makeup revolution do a night range of pallets that are a great price and size to suit your bag. It is worth having a little play. And you will want to invest in a couple of brushes, the sponge you get in most ‘drug store’ kits are not worth it – Makeup revolution do some cute mini brush kits. And it is also worth going over your eye liner and extending it out a little. This, combined with the darker eye shadow over the lash line has the added benefit of blending the false lashes in as well!

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Before you finish – and you are nearly there – grab a contouring pallet – this will be a blusher, highlighter and bronzer and won’t take up much room – this will help freshen up your face and will help really take you away from your daytime look. You want to have a stronger look, the lighting will be a lot lower, and camera flashes are notoriously unforgiving. I know a lot of people get really worried about this but it is simple – I prefer to use a powder as I apply the contour after my base. Which is exactly what you will be doing if doing it before going out! Check the picture below for hints as to where you want to place it. All it will need is a quick swipe of the brush and then you just blend it all in. Little is more here, as you don’t want to have visible streaks 🙂

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Now another quick way of taking your outfit from day to evening is accessories – it doesn’t matter if you don’t really wear much at work, a necklace, earrings, or even a bangle will change up an outfit really simply.

There are really only a couple of other things you need in your bag – deodorant and dry shampoo. You can get both in travel size so you don’t have to worry about it taking too much room. Dry shampoo really can help transform your hair, especially if it is a little tired after a long day.

Now, all of this will take under 10 mins, doesn’t require much space (okay you may have a little impromptu yoga practise while changing tights) and won’t take up much room in your bag!

Please note the products and companies suggested are merely that, suggestions, they are far from alone in supplying products, I have merely provided links to items that I have personally used 🙂

A body of expectation

So in the show, and I guess, a follow on from my Body Shaming post a few weeks ago…. unrealistic expectations of body image. 

The images we see everywhere, in films, on TV, in advertising…. it is all smoke and mirrors, even day to day, people wear slimming aids, support wear, enhancing underwear, and dress to suit their shape. 

When you look at yourself in the mirror? Are you happy? I know I am not, some people look fantastic naked – others… (like me) look much better in clothing. And I mean that from a personal perspective. I don’t make a habit of looking at people naked, but all those I have seen in a state of undress look fantastic! For example, the always stunning Aura – she is a fantastic model – check out her page : Aura – Alt Model and I love seeing what she has come up with. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t look at her with any jealousy!

But when we are subjected to images from every direction it is easy to start doubting yourself, so it is important to make sure you understand the work that goes into the images you are seeing – for example, Victoria’s Secret Angels that walk in the VS catwalk show are contracted for 12 months, where personal trainers, chefs, physiotherapists, nutritionists are all on hand to make sure that they are on top form for their show. They aren’t living the same life as many of us. 

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Then we have people like Liz Hurley and Elle Macpherson who are refusing to let age be anything but a number. Liz quotes ; ‘it’s part of my job description to not be too fat. As you get older you have to make more effort’. She apparently avoids sweets, bread, pasta, cheese and crisps. For both these women, it is vital to their career to make sacrifices. 

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But more and more, we hear that children are thinking they need to diet – you know something is wrong. It is important to make sure that children understand the work that goes into looking so good. There is a rise in eating disorders in children. Reading more and more stories of people having ribs removed so they can have a more slender waist. The models, people in the public eye, like Liz are role models, but as much as they can do interviews and explain what does into their daily regime, people do need to make sure they take this in, and it filters down to the next generation. We need to start looking toward out athletes to provide a good role model for not only children, but everyone. Is there any other industry that has such a varied range of bodies, in both men and women? Any other industry where you body will not be judged on the outside alone? Where strength, commitment and endurance are lauded? So while I am not for a moment knocking the hard work the ladies I have mentioned already in this post, maybe we can look at people like Jessica Ennis-Hill as role models?

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Jessica Ennis-Hill competes in the womens long jump during the Loughborough European Athletics Permit Meet at Loughborough University, Loughborough.

What I am trying to say, is that transparency is great, and we need it. But you need to be honest with yourself. You need to be prepared to do some work. By blaming models for their bodies, is body shaming. It isn’t okay just because they are slender, and tanned, that they are tall, they work hard, and although I wish society would not put so much pressure on women to conform, beating each other up about it is not going to change anything! 

Remember, you are beautiful, you are strong, and it is your body. You are the only person that should matter when making any decisions with regard to your body, how you dress, how you eat. It does mean you take responsibility. It also means, appreciate the work that goes into that ‘perfect’ body you wish you had. Don’t try and find something negative when looking at WWE’s Naomi – just remember all the training, bumps, bruises, all the missed holidays, all the nice food she won’t be treating herself.

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In case you missed our show this week :

Lifestyle:MK Theatre and Film