Thursday, August 28

Toner - What Why How PART 2

Now we know the what whys and hows of toning onto the good stuff, what should you be using?

Unlike cleansing there really are only 2 ways to tone your face; swipe it over your face on cotton wool or spray it directly onto your skin in a spritz.

My my my, what a lot of trouble I had finding toners to recommend! One thing has become very clear; a lot of toners have terrible ingredients! It's much harder to find a reputable list of toners to recommend than cleansers, I didn't realise there was so much denatured alcohol sitting on the chemist shelves. But hopefully what follows is a list of good toners that you can trust have the right ingredients. Look out for the best toner in the world DIY at the end!!

Traditional toner for dry or dehydrated skins
This is probably the most traditional and oldest type of toner there is! But it's pretty hard to get hold of it now without extra chemicals. This one is from boots, just £2.59 and it's usually buried away on a strange shelf somewhere, it's not even listed under toners on the website! But if you have dry or dehydrated skin I'm sure you've read lots of times before how good rose oil is for dry or dehydrated skin, and using rosewater as your toner should restore comfort to tight uncomfortable skin and hydrate ready for your next step in your skincare regimen.

Boots rosewater toner
Rosewater and Glycerin toner, £2.59 from Boots
Aloe toner for sensitive skin
So called toners for sensitive skin are hiding a lot of irritating ingredients in their formulas but here is

Tuesday, August 26

Toner - What Why and How?

In a nutshell;

What? A watery lotion of beneficial ingredients
Why? To tone your pores, balance oil production, soothe redness and irritation and hydrate the skin
How? Either sprayed directly to the face or poured onto cotton wool and wiped over the skin

What is toner?
Poor toner, the misunderstood 'middle child' of the skincare regimen. . . but don't underestimate the value of this important step!! If done correctly with the right ingredients for you, toner does more than simply remove any last traces of cleanser/makeup/dirt; it's another chance in your regimen to get those beneficial ingredients in in the most soothing and gentle way possible. For my acne-prone skin toner is possibly the most important step in my routine in clearing up my skin and keeping new spots away. And if you have sensitive skin, toner should be your best friend.

Why do I need to use toner?
Back in the day toners were harsh and astringent to 'tone' your pores, i.e. shrink them! If you have enlarged pores you can still use toner to shrink them but avoid those high-alcohol astringent

Promising Yellow: The best breakfast EVER! - Cinnamon French toast! How to.

Here is my favourite breakfast! It's nourishing, comforting and filling and feels really indulgent! 
This is great if you're going out for the day and don't know when you'll be eating lunch and, bonus, it has lots of cinnamon which is an appetite suppressant and should help to stave off any craving for naughty snacks between meals.
Hope you give it a go, enjoy!

You will need: 
Bread of your choice (a great opportunity to save any stale bread from the bin), 
1 egg, 
Margarine/butter of your choice, 
Ground cinnamon, 
Pinneapple chunks (I use tinned so they're nice and soft and juicy) or any other fruit of your choice, chopped apples work well as do strawberries.

1. Lovely bread is great for French toast but because we'll be soaking it in eggs you can breathe new life into stale hard baguettes too! My bread was nice and fresh; it's the gorgeous 'multi-grain loaf' from Lidl. (tiger bread is also yummy with this!)
2. Now grab a nice wide bowl that'll give you room to lay the bread flat, crack an egg into it, add a big spoonful of melted margarine/butter and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Whisk it all together so it's looking a lovely golden yellow colour.

3. Next simply lay your 2 pieces of bread flat and give them a few seconds to soak up the mixture. Then flip them over and wait again. Repeat once more on each side so that  the bread is well-soaked with the mixture.

4. After that, get your pan nice and warm (medium - hot depending on your hob), place the bread in the pan and pour over any left over mixture.                                      
Wait about 1-2 mins before flipping over - watch out! Egg burns very quickly so keep checking and turn the temperature down if you need to!

5. When both sides are lovely and golden and your kitchen smells divine, turn off the heat and remove your toast. Then grab a generous helping of pineapple pieces/chunks and toss them into the still-warm pan. Be careful!! If you used oil wipe it away first or it will spit; adding liquid to hot oil is dangerous. While they warm up give your toast another buttering and sprinkle over some sugar and as much or little cinnamon as you like! (I like loads!)

6. Let the pineapple tumble onto the toast and over your plate, it should be just warmed through but not cooked; enough to let those juices pop when you take your first glorious taste!

Finally, grab your morning cuppa tea and enjoy! Absolutely delicious!

Is it French toast? Is it Cinnamon toast? I would say it's the best of both! :-)

I'm off to enjoy some French cinnamon toast,
Ciao for now

Promising Yellow: Goodbye to summer?


So here I am in the middle of summer, apparently! It's mid-August and so far in the UK this month has been a huge disappointment. After all the sunshine and heat we were promised in June and July it's all of a sudden RUBBISH!!

And yes I know, what a stereotype, I'm British and I'm talking about the weather, but really, it's so frustrating!

I can feel summer slipping away and autumn lurking on the horizon with winter big and dark behind it. Don't get me wrong I love winter and autumn but we have such a short window of opportunity to enjoy some summery weather in Britain that it feels like time is running out!

Initially, when I returned from my outrageously hot Spanish holiday to a couple of autumnal days in the week that followed I was quite enjoying it! It was a bit of a novelty to wear a woolly jumper and drink hot cocoa under a blanket while it rained outside. It was so cosy and I got into pinterest typing in search items like "tea rain" or "hot cocoa" and "cocoa cafe".

I love photos like this. This was my coffee in a little 14th century
gatehouse/house converted into a coffeshop! Great!

But that novelty has well and truly WORN OFF!!

It's been
three weeks now and it basically feels like autumn. It's cold, rainy, stormy, drizzly and windy. Each time I try to walk the dog we get rained on and have to hurry back. I cannot get my washing dry and day trips are being rained off.

Even worse is that my phone tells me August is set to stay like this, at a steady 16 degrees with possible showers every day :-(    . . . . .Can I say again that it's the middle of AUGUST!!

Our little summer window of time is closing and before long the heating will be on and the dark afternoons will be here. Please please weather gods! Can't you give us just another few weeks of summer????

How are you feeling about this drizzly autumn moving in? Is it like this where you live? Are you also missing summer already?

Ciao for now

Saturday, August 23

2. My Mirror made me 'fat'?!?!!??!? PT2

. . . continuing from Part 1

I hadn't actually been losing weight but gaining perspective! Remember that mirror I left behind; the 'outfit mirror', the 'body mirror' which only let me see a third of my body at once? That third was from my chest to my hips. Basically, my stomach.

All my life whenever I looked into this mirror I was first of all looking at my mid-riff area and then squatting a bit to see my upper body too. Over 20 or so years I have built up a fixation on this area and that mirror is the reason why!!

Perfume of a lady!

Hi all!

Do you ever see perfume ads and think 'what a ridiculous ad, what's that got to do with perfume?!' I used to, but now I get it; they're creating a mood and a life for their fragrance to make us want to be those people, and they are really good at it! I love perfume ads!

Cool water perfume ad, evangeline lily and josh holloway

A lot is made of having a signature scent', but mine is usually Dove deodorant. . . not very glamourous. Then there are body lotions instead. I have to say I have a gorgeous rose-scented body

Friday, August 22

Promising Yellow: Sudbury hall, a wonderful place to think


Once, when commuting to Derby, I discovered this beautiful country mansion set in green manicured lawns leading to a glittering river. It is completely hidden from the busy dual carriageway and it was only when I decided to follow the brown tourist sign that I had my breath taken away.

I was on my way home from university at the time and stopped to have a walk in the slightly chilly early summer sunshine. I have since been back a couple of times to tour the hall, take tea and cake in the tea room and have a nosey around the museum of childhood. It is a lovely place! Huge trees fill the grounds and there are the requisite spherical bushes and paths lined with lollipop-shaped trees. It was used as the interior of Pemberley in the definitive Andrew Davies'  adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (BBC, Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle). Lyme Hall was used as the exterior, another beautiful stately mansion.
Perfectly manicured bushes and trees -
is your own bush this neat? :-)
When I discovered Sudbury
I was at a bit of a crossroads and had lots of things rattling around in my brain which could have done with some attention. (One such thought was why do I keep thinking about my good friend Max, do I have feelings for him???)

I passed such a relaxing and beautiful half an hour that this has become a bit of a habit! If you ever watched Home and Away years ago you'll know that the characters would go for a meaningful walk along the beach when they had things to think about. Sudbury hall is my Summer Bay.

Long, beautiful, impossibly green lawns lead from the
house to the gardens and river at the back of the house
So, a couple of days ago, when life was getting too puzzling and I was in my car anyway I drove the hour or so that it takes me to get there to the still breathtaking setting of Sudbury Hall. I walked, paused, took photographs, listened to birds, watched the river and allowed myself to let go of all the worries on my mind. I don't know what it is that makes us want a familiar place, which isn't home, to go to for comfort at these times. Sometimes I just don't want to be at home, but I do want to be somewhere where I feel at home - confusing!

I love a good signpost picture!

I would recommend it to anybody! Unusually with National Trust properties it is free to park!! I know, WOW right?! There is a lovely little gift shop, always people milling about and a tea room to while away and hour and take in the goings on around you.

It was only 4 months later that Max and I officially fell in love and yes, we have since returned and toured the place as a couple :-)

Do you have a special place where you go to sort out your thoughts? Just why are these kinds of places so important to us?

Ciao for now
x x x x


Thursday, August 21

1. My Mirror made me 'fat'?!?!!?!!?


This year I moved in with boyfriend, yay! And with this move left behind the mirror I have used all my life. The outfit mirror, the body mirror the 'is this outfit okay' mirror, the 'have I put weight on' mirror.

In the new house there are loads of mirrors!!! LOADS!! not just that, they are big mirrors, long mirrors, mirrors in which I can see my whole body at once. This is quite a novelty for me. My old mirror only let me see a third of my body at once.

Soon after moving I noticed that my figure was suddenly looking much better, in fact pretty darn good! I would stand in front of the large wardrobe-mirror thinking 'ooh, my tummy is looking nice

Tuesday, August 19

Cleansing - What Why and How? PART 2

Now we know the What Why and Hows of cleansing it's time to choose the right method for you;

Foaming facewash     
These tend to be aimed at acne/oily skins and particularly teenagers. Be careful; they are most likely to be astringent and dry out your skin. Check the ingredients list and do not buy if it contains any of the ingredients listed at the end of this post. Always remember gentle gentle gentle.

Exfoliating facewash  
As above with exfoliating beads to scrub the dead skin off - should not be used every day.

Superdrug foaming cleanser, gentle, sensitive skin simply pure.
A great combination of non-irritating ingredients in this very low-priced and
BUAV approved cleanser, just £2.59 from Superdrug! Get it here

Creamy facewash or 'hot cloth cleanser'
My favourite morning type of cleanser; a very creamy texture allowing you to spend time massaging

Saturday, August 16

Cleansing - What Why and How?

In a nutshell;
What? washing your face
Why? so you don't get spots
How? with a facewash

Cleansing glorious cleansing! One of the biggest impacts on your skin. If done right it can change your face! You'll glow, you'll be clean, you'll be Miss Smooooth. . .if done wrong you'll sigh, you'll probably apply more makeup. In my acne story the biggest B-I-G-G-E-S-T impact in clearing up my skin was changing my cleansing habits. For those of us prone to acne, this is probably our most important step!

What is cleansing?