Tuesday 27 January 2009


Last year I vowed to spend my clothes budget more sensibly. Less Primark more designer.
Cheap clothes just don't last. For the five times you've gone on a bit of a spree in Primark you may as well have saved that and then bought one really nice well cut pair of jeans that will last for ages. Or a really sensible cashmere jumper... It's all very well saying that but in practise sometimes you really want temporary quantity rather than extended quality.

With cheap clothes you become all attached and then they just fall off you six months later (or one wash later in the case of Primark... ). I have, however, just bought two pairs of Topshop jeans online. Why online when I know that they won't fit? Because I am associating 'credit crunch' with not leaving the W6/W4 area and that money saved on travel can go on Internet shopping. I know Topshop isn't cheap cheap but I usually get Replay or Diesel jeans as I get through about 3 or 4 pairs a year (they go at the thighs and there's nothing I can do about it!) so £40 at Topshop is much more reasonable and I figure that if I have loads of jeans then I won't burst through the seams of my favourite pair six months after I've bought them. I think this is a sensible policy. Not sure how Mr J will feel when he's living in a denim emporium... mind you I am addressing and sending out our engagement party invites this evening whilst he pays squash so I think I deserve to be thinking about my new purchases while I do it.

What really gets to me though is that I seem to have stopped growing with a 31 inch leg. 30 is too short 32 is far too long. Time and time again I get told to take my trousers to get taken up at the dry cleaners but I don't want to have to. I will. I will get over it and take them all at once and go and maybe even learn how to do it myself on my sewing machine (if I get the one on the wedding list!!! doubtful). I can't be the only one with in-the-middle length leg can I?? Really??

In a products update the Environ DermaLac lotion if FANTASTIC. I still have little lumps and you do need to use it everyday but if you have dry skin patches on the tops of your arms (or anywhere on your body I suppose) use this product. It is the one that works and is worth every penny of it's £30ish price tag. 'Exfoliate, DermaLac, moisturise' is my new mantra and it's working a treat xx

Monday 19 January 2009

Blood, Sweat and Tea

Have just finished reading Blood, Sweat and Tea: Real Life Adventures in an Inner-city Ambulance the book of the blog Random Acts of Reality by Tom Reynolds an E.M.T (Emergency Medical Technician) working for the London Ambulance Service. I could not put this book down. Not only is it's 'post' format perfect for reading on the tube, bus, under your desk at work but it is so compelling that you just have to read more. From life and death situations to quarantine and insomnia Blood, Sweat and Tea is well written, humorous, informative and eye-opening. It's easy to see how this has become a bit of a phenomenon and it's the perfect book to get you through the beginnings of credit crunch 2009. xx

Thursday 15 January 2009

L'Occitane Hand Cream

After years of spending a lot of my money on trying to find the best hand cream I have found it by accident and for a mere £1.36. Boots Essentials Intensive Hand and Nail cream for very dry skin is without a doubt the best hand cream I have ever used. No matter how much I usually apply the day before my skin will be all cracked in the mornings when I wake up. Not any more not only did my hands remain smooth and soft over the entire weekend without me needing to use any other hand cream (the Boots cream is on my desk at work) my nails are notably more shiny and strong. I don't know how they do it. Now even though this is the case and from now on I will always have some on my desk or at home, L'Occitane's Shea Butter hand cream is still technically my favourite - what's not to like the packaging is fantastic, it has the best smell of any hand cream in the world... OK so the £6.85 price tag isn't great (and that's for the travel size) but I think the overall package is worth it (I never said I was a rational girl). So you don't need to break the bank to smooth up this January - try it out, it's a miracle worker.

Also hope you all heard my friend Frank Turner on the Sara Cox's Live Lounge this morning. If not, shame on you, go and listen again. Miss F and I went to the closing party at the Astoria last night - it was actually quite emotional and Frank's set was awesome as was Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly xx

Thursday 8 January 2009

The Best Macaroni Cheese

Now they wouldn't let me have a review copy of Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities (boo sucks to them) but the Mumma has it and I needed something veggie to cook for New Year's Eve that was easy and could be made non veggie if necessary. I decided on macaroni cheese with crispy bacon bits on the side, but which recipe? Mumma suggested Nigella's and I have to say it was not only the best macaroni cheese recipe I think I've ever tried (really cheesy) but it was also the simplest recipe I've ever followed. I haven't had a chance to properly look at the rest of the book and I have heard some complaints that 50% of the recipes in this book can be found in her others but I would definitely say it's worth a look just for this recipe alone. It may be simple but to get it a macaroni cheese recipe tasty and right it's worth knowing about. I can't wait to try out the other recipes xx

Monday 5 January 2009

Happy New Year

Happy 2009. I'm hoping it's better than 2008 (and yes I know I got engaged in 2008 but other than that I thought it pretty much sucked) but with a worldwide recession happening I think it's going to be a rather frugal year. But hey, I've decided that I've got to stop associating 'frugal' with 'not-fun'.

It's one of the most depressing days of the year. Already some people at work have been so annoying that I want to punch them and I've been here for 7 hours... Mr J and I are rewarding ourselves with an evening of pasta and big tv watching rather than the massive pile of admin that needs doing. In fact that might be one of my resolutions this year - Monday's are designated to doing nothing.
Mr J and I are also not drinking from today to 6th Feb (we have a 30th on 30th Jan so we're allowing ourselves the night off so as not to be party poopers). I'm hoping that a) this will make me feel better, make my skin better etc and b) it will go someway to combating the inevitable Christmas spread which has occurred.

Before Christmas I went to get my wedding make-up done at Laura Mercier at John Lewis on Oxford Street and one product in particular has revolutionised the way I do my make-up. I wrote in an earlier post about their hydrating foundation, prim+er and bronzer I bought on my original trip but the Caviar Eye Liner in Midnight which I purchased with the Smokey Eyeliner Brush is just amazing. It makes smokey eyes the easiest thing to do, even in the mornings when your eyes are like pinholes. In fact I'd say that my insight into their range has changed the way I do my make-up completely. The Midnight is a good colour as its not too severe and is good over the top of black eyeliner pencil if you want to do lots of smudging.

I bought some Metallic Creme Eye Colour in Gold which I haven't used yet. That is for the wedding day so I'm going to try it next time I go out somewhere... is possibly a bit OTT for work!! So what I've been using is L'Oreal's Made for Naturals Trios for Light Brunettes which was actually a reject  from my mum(she has incredibly sensitive eyes... really sensitive and this just made them weep!). These trios come with a light shade to go over the lid, a darker shade to line the lashes and some eyebrow filler. Once I've done this I add some of the Midnight eyeliner and do some smudging with the brush and it works a treat!!
Another purchase which was excellent was the Secret Brightening Powder and Camouflage Powder Brush. If you apply this to your undereyes after concealer it not only helps with a matte finish (for which you can use normal powder of course) but its so light and light reflective that you don't get clumps or lumps and it evens out the tone so there is less distinction between the undereyes and the rest of your face. If you are one of those lucky people that doesn't have massive blue patches under your eyes you probably won't need this.

Now I know that of late I've sounded a little Laura Mercier obsessed and I admit that the products aren't cheap but I have yet to be disappointed by any of them and they are easy for you to use at home. I still struggle with products from Benefit and other brands - they look fine when they are done by the professionals but not at all the same when you get home. I do treat myself to Benefit sometimes but I have vowed in 2009 that it is better to save my money and then treat myself on something more expensive but which I know I will be able to use properly. Sounds like I'm going to be having a sensible 2009!!! xx
P.S I know the links are to Laura Mercier's US site but this is so you can see the products... the price will obviously differ xx
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