Wednesday 21 September 2016

One Brooch or Two?

So I finally got around to spending my birthday money, and maybe just a touch more. I didn’t feel much like shopping at the time and then when I took it with me to the bank holiday craft fair I didn’t see anything I really wanted to get.
Last week though I was prompted by reading someone else's blog(sorry I don’t remember who exactly) to take a look at the new Erstwilder brooch collection because it’s been a while, and they were wearing a lovely example of said collection.

Turns out that one of their approved U.K suppliers lives in the next village to me and actually has a cabinet in the little vintage shop in my home town!
I found this out when I placed my first order with her a while back and she very kindly told me not to pay the postage, she would drop them off there for me to pick up. Since then she suggested I should just email her with my purchase choice and she would leave it for me to collect.

Well when I saw there was a Mr Magpie in the new collection it was a done deal. Actually there were  a few I liked, I would love to have gone mad but as I can’t afford it I restrained myself to just Mr Magpie I swung by on Saturday morning to pick him up and here he is.

I also stepped into the half a dozen chazzas that I passed on my way there because, well, it’s been a while since I’ve done that too, and if nothing else one of them had an ‘Everything a Pound!’ sign in the window!
What more encouragement does a woman need? I bought a book and a dress, which as it goes I’m actually wearing right now as I type, and it’s accessorized with another of my birthday brooches. 

Talking of Charity shops it’s been quite funny because where we had been madly clearing out and donating a million bags to charity we had the unique experience one day recently of walking down to Sainsbury’s to buy some food and spotting something that we had donated in the window of every single charity shop we passed! As a colleague pointed out, we clearly donate a quality item.       

So my other two brooch purchases (one of which I'm wearing today) have come from that amazing Etsy store Luxulite. I have been admiring these brooches on various other blogs and favoriting particular ones in the shop for ages now. 
I finally decided I would buy one, but me being me, I ended up buying two.
I decided to go for the more restrained classic red cherry style but the drag queen in me just had to have a bit of sparkle so I went for the blue glitter instead of wood effect! 

Whilst browsing I spotted the Halloween themed brooches and dithered for a bit but just had to go for one of them so decided on the pumpkins, because I love pumpkins and so does my favourite Snoopy character Linus!

There was a bit of drama before these beauties landed in my grasping mitts, in which I have to say Etsy did not show themselves in the best light, a real disappointment to me if I’m honest. 

I had logged into my account and deactivated my old address, added the new address and ticked the box to make it my main default address. I naively thought that was enough to update my details, but apparently not! I only realised the order had actually gone to my old address when I got the email through to say it had been dispatched.
I contacted Etsy to find out why, and basically, they very unhelpfully said “It’s your own fault for not checking the address before you hit purchase, were you not aware you could see the address before you purchased an item? oh and if you haven’t already maybe you should also delete your old address from your account”

So I replied 

“As it goes no I wasn’t aware of the address at purchase thing, but I am now and will do so going forward but that doesn’t really help in my current situation, can you explain why the deactivation of the old address didn’t work?”

They never even responded to that email, so thanks Etsy, thanks a lot. Luckily I had set up a mail divert on my old address just in case, and after a bit of a delay we were able to pick up the package yesterday.

The final brooch on the block was from the lovely Vix. She had featured it on a blog post a  little while back and as I loved it at first sight I emailed her to say if it didn't sell that weekend could I buy it? 
But Vix being the amazing person she is just said it was mine and posted it to me. In fact it was my first parcel at the new house.
Not only that it had some elephants in it as well. she is the best.  

What else have I been up to? 
Well I went to see Kubo at the cinema, I wasn’t sure at first but once it got going I LOVED it. It’s funny, it’s moving, even my stony heart filled and a tear welled in my eye. 

We had a Well Being Day at work after they did a survey about how happy people were in there jobs and had shocking bad results. 
I signed up and got a 15 minute shoulder massage, attended a taster course on turning negativity into positivity where I got a free stretchy man stress toy and an assessment from a local osteopath with the option of a special offer follow up full assessment for a tenner. I think the whole department signed up for that one! They had a fancy schmacy gadget that you stood on and it took all your measurements and then told you how out of alignment you were. As it goes I was favouring one leg slightly more than the other and my hip and shoulder were askew. 
This did not surprise me because it’s been 3 years since I last did the Alexander Technique regularly and despite the Pilates my back had been complaining on and off again for a while.

I was quite despondent after my £10 session because I had thought 20 odd years of Alexander Technique had cured a serious issue I had had with my hip, but there it was apparently tipped up again on that same side, on top of a couple of other issues.

Thankfully after going again for a painfully expensive full priced session and talking with my Pilates teacher it’s not actually the same hip problem I had before but instead an issue with my right ankle. My ankles have always been a problem to but now the right one has grown so tight and inflexible I’m walking wrong. 
This made one of my toe bones collapse which is why not only have I been having the really bad pain in my foot (that I have been studiously ignoring for a while now!) but has also made my hip move out of alignment. 
Once explained I had visions of being presented with a long and expensive treatment plan, (which I can’t afford) as that has happened in the past, but thankfully again, I proved wrong in that assumption too.
Providing I keep up with the daily exercises I have been given, apparently 6 sessions should sort it. I can’t even afford those if I’m honest, so I am doing the exercises religiously at least 3 times a day and hoping I can spread out the sessions from once a week to more like one a month or at least something more affordable.

Saturday 10 September 2016

40 Random Beauty Questions.

I'm not a huge fan of tagged posts if I'm honest, but every now and then one comes along that I actively enjoy answering.

I am most definitely a huge fan of make-up though, I have a drawer full of it and enjoy spending many a happy lunch hour browsing the make-up aisle in Boots and Superdrug.
I'm not brand loyal and I don't like to spend a fortune. I do try out different things, but after 30 plus years of wearing it I have come to know what suit me and what doesn't.

So without further ado here are my answers to the beauty tag that is going around, I have absolutely no intention of tagging anyone else but would love to see some other people's recommendations. I'm always up for trying new products.

1. How many times do you wash your face daily?
I only wash my face when I shower, so every other day. Whilst the rest of me gets washed the face stays dry and gets cleansed.
2. What skin type do you have?
Dry as dry can be.
3. What is your current facial wash?
I don’t have one.
4. Do you exfoliate?
Yes about once a week.
5. What brand do you use?
St Ives Apricot scrub. None of those terrible environmentally disastrous microbeads to be found in this house!
6. What moisturizer do you use?
L’Oreal Collagen Wrinkle Decrease. I used to use Yves Rocher but am no longer comfortable with some of their practices so moved over to L’Oreal a few years ago and haven’t looked back. I think face cream is very subjective, not everyone is going to get on with the same cream and just because people and the press rave about it it may not be right for you, Boots No.7 Protect and Perfect I’m looking at you. A face cream that independent scientific study has proven to work, I tried it and my skin HATED it. 
Skin care is something I’m prepared to spend money on but luckily for me my skin just loves L’Oreal.

7. Do you have freckles?
A vague smattering, these days it’s more likely to be age spots!
8. Do you use eye cream?
Yes, Boots No.7 Lift and Luminate is good but at the moment I’m using a matching L’Oreal collagen one.
9.Do you, or did you previously have, acne prone skin?
Thankfully not acne though I did get my fair share of spots as a teen and indeed still do get the odd one dammit.
10. Have you ever needed to use Pro-activ?
I have no idea what that even is.
11. What foundation do you use?
Now I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I am a right tart when it comes to make-up, you name the brand if it’s new or on offer I’m up for it!

However my foundation brand is one of the two I have stayed completely loyal too, I use Max Factor. (the other being Corn Silk loose powder) I have tried others, cheaper and top end, but I have gone back to Max Factor because it gives the coverage I like and their palest shade suits my skin tone.
As I’ve aged I have moved from Pan Stick, to Lasting Performance, to Colour Adapt and am currently loving Ageless Elixir in Porcelain.

12. How about concealer?
I’m currently using Rimmel Match Perfection because now I’m getting old I find I get better coverage from a liquid rather than a stick.

13. Do you know your skin's colour tone?
Not really, but I know it has pinky tones, this despite the fact that make up free my skin tone is probably closest to 'Corpse Risen'.
14. What do you think of fake eyelashes?
I love them but have never mastered the art of gluing them on.
15. Did you know that you are suppose to change your mascara every 3 months?
3 months? when did it become 3 months?? I thought it was 6 months?

I tend to use them until they either 
a. dry up
b. run out 
c. start to smell funny.
16. What brand of mascara do you use?
I have two on the go right now. An Estee Lauder one I got on a special offer when I bought my sister in law some of their products for her birthday and Boots Seventeen Long Lash.
Now long time readers of my blog may have followed with interest/despair/boredom my long quest to find a new favourite mascara. 
As you may recall, I used to swear by Bourjois Coup de Theatre but to my eternal heartbreak they discontinued it. Only to add insult to injury by bringing out a product a few years later with the SAME NAME that bore not the slightest hint if similarity, let alone magical lengthening and thickening properties of it’s namesake. Frankly I was, and still am, disgusted by this disgraceful behaviour on the part of Bourjois.

The wonderous and much lamented *real* Coup de Theatre.

The new and frankly rubbish imposter!

17. MAC or Sephora?
Well as we don’t have Sephora in the U.K I guess it has to be MAC, though I have never shopped there....
18. What makeup tools do you use in make up application?
Only a blusher brush and eye shadow applicators, I do the rest with my fingers.
19. Do you think you look good even when you’re not wearing makeup?
20. Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?
Nope, I use foundation.
21. For the face?
No, I moisturize about 10-15 minutes before I apply my make-up.
22. What is your favourite eyeshadow (color or shade)?
I like peachy shades, I do also use various shades of brown.
23. Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?
Pencil all the way baby. Urban Decay 24/7 are by far the BEST eye liners ever, and I have tried many!
24. How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
I genuinely cannot remember the last time I ever did that which means I most definitely will the next time I apply eye liner.....
25. What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
They give strong colour but are too damn messy, I can’t be arsed with little wee pots of powder.
26. Do you use mineral makeup?
If it was on an offer then yes I would buy it and use it.
27. What is your favourite lipstick?
I don’t have one, I wear lipstick about once every 10 years.
28. How about lip gloss?
see above.
29. What is your favourite blush to use?
Boots No.7 in Soft Damson was my favourite shade but for some reason best known to themselves they discontinued it this year, I suspect it will come back very quickly as according to the lady on their make-up counter it was their top seller and everyone is having hysterics now it is gone. I’m currently using a Boots Seventeen one in peach.
30. Do you buy makeup on eBay?
I have once or twice for discontinued things but otherwise no.
31. Do you like drugstore makeup?
Hell yes, it makes up the complete contents of my make-up drawer. I don’t see the point in paying 3 times as much or more, for something that I can get cheaper and which is often a better product anyway.
32. Do you go to CCOs (Cosmetic company outlets)?
No, I don’t even know if there are any near here.
33. Have you ever considered taking make-up classes?
34. Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
I’ve been wearing it for 35 years so I have a routine. It’s not flawless but it does.
35. Name a "makeup crime" that you hate?
The first one that springs to mind is the Scouse Brow, what the hell is that all about?? I looks absolutely hideous.

36. Do you like colourful shades of makeup (lipstick, eyeshadow, etc) or neutral ones?
I love both and wear both.
37. Which celebrity do you think always has great makeup? 
Dita Von Teese. Audrey Hepburn.
38. If you had to leave the house having used just ONE make up item, what would you pick?
Concealer. I have huge, and when I say huge I mean huge, black lines under my eyes.
39. Are you able to leave the house without any makeup on?
It has been known.
40. In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?
Don’t have one I’d much rather mix and match. 

Monday 5 September 2016

Just Walking in the Rain.

I'm sitting here still feeling post holiday blues, it was only a long weekend away but after all that has gone on our annual trip to Bournemouth was well needed.
The weather did it's level best to ruin our stay but to be honest we love Bournemouth so much pouring rain, and something rather more than just 'bracing' sea air did nothing to dampen that love. To be fair we have had consistently fabulous weather in previous years so a soggy weekend was overdue.

We arrived and checking into our tiny and very blue guest house, I rush to add it was painted and decked out from top to toe in various shades of blue rather than being blue in an x-rated way!
The owner was also obsessed with old school Hollywood, especially Marilyn Monroe, so their were many objects ranging from the tasteful to the hideous car boot tat dotted everywhere too.
Our room was also tiny, probably better suited to being a single than a double in all honesty, with a rather striking white & turquoise blue and dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor!
We always like to head to the beach as soon as we can mooch about, eat chips looking at the sea as the sun goes down then toddle off somewhere for a drink or two. This trip was no different and at least the the rain held off so we could do just that and feel the weight of the world drop away.

We spent the next day initially battling down the seafront through the wind and the rain in the end we decided to wander up and down the chines which whilst wet were at least sheltered.
We stopped a couple of times for a restorative hot drink, especially when the rain got torrential. I got to try Dorset tea which I liked so much I went a bought a box!
Here's hoping it tastes as good at home......

We had a wander around Westbourne and I did all the charity shops, where there were very thin pickings, My theory is because there are such an abundance of vintage shops in the Bournemouth area I'm convinced they snaffle all the good stuff.
All I bought was a kitsch necklace for £2.
 We headed back to the beach and even found a rather soggy magpie to photograph. I can't say I've ever noticed one by the sea before.
 My converse are still wet now 3 days later!

Next day I met my friend Alison for our annual catch up. We went to the Bournemouth Vintage Emporium & Tea Rooms first
We had a lovely browse and a good gossip over a pot of super, strip the enamel off your teeth strength tea.
I was quite restrained and only bought this pretty brooch.
We had always planned to go for afternoon tea which was a good job as the heavens opened in biblical fashion as the afternoon went on. We had hoped to go to the Hotel Miramar but they had a big wedding on so we ended up at the nearby Cumberland Hotel.
The outside is gorgeous 30's Art Deco but sadly the interior is a modern interior designer's frankly over the top vision of Art Deco so personally a bit of a disappointment.

In the end I plumped for a Dorset cream tea rather than the full cream tea, sadly the scones were a little dry, crumbling to pieces as soon as you tried to spread anything on them which was frustrating. the tea was good though and we were were not at all rushed and the staff were friendly but a little overattentive. So sadly not the best.

I did a little clothes shopping. I had set some money aside for my holiday. I was looking for a couple of new checked shirts as a coup,e of my current ones are getting very faded. I did find two a black one and a green & blue one, I have a sneaking suspicion I will just keep wearing my old ones alongside the new ones rather than throwing them out. I also found a t-shirt with moons & stars on it and a cardigan with dragonflies.
My final purchase was a sheer black polka dot dress. It was reduced from £60 to £16 so I bought it, despite it looking like a shapeless sack!
Holiday over for another year *sigh*

Our holiday followed hot on the heels of the last summer bank holiday. Mum and I did our annual pilgrimage to the huge craft fair at Stonor Park. It rained this year too but we dodged the showers browsing the tents. I bought a couple of things. A lovely cranberry glass seahorse which I thought would look so pretty hanging in my kitchen window catching the sun
until I got it home and realised the kitchen window in this house doesn't have anywhere for it to actually hang *sigh*

I couldn't resist this rather mad cow creamer either
 It looks like it's gossiping in full flow.

Finally on Bank Holiday Monday we went to Oxford to see a new documentary that has just come out about Gary Numan, Android in La la Land, the screening was to be followed by a live Q&A with one of the directors.
Filmed in 2012 over the time he and his family were relocating to L.A and he was finalizing his first album in 6 years, it had taken 4 years to produce.
As a bit of a fan I was very excited to see it but worried Himself would be bored stupid as he is anything but a fan. As it goes we both really enjoyed it as it is an extremely well made and entertaining documentary.
Made by Steve Read and Rob Alexander after a chance meeting backstage at a festival, Steve freely admitted that though they obviously knew who he was, neither was a fan of Numan's music. I think this actually worked in the documentary's favour making it a much more balanced view of a genuinely humble, down to earth and fascinating person who just happens to make music and have been hugely famous at one time.
The thing that really made it was how open and relaxed Numan and his family were. He was extremely open about his Aspergers, and how difficult that can make things for him, and movingly so about the depression he has suffered.
He is clearly a devoted father and husband and the strong relationship between him and his wife was the bedrock of the film, as well as providing some real laugh out loud moments with their joshing and bickering.
I would say it's well worth seeing if you get the chance, whether you are a fan of the man or just a fan of a well made documentary.

Right I'm off to do the washing up and get ready for going back to work tomorrow. It's all non stop glamour around these parts.