Vertical Zig-Zags

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This is a combination of Nails Inc – Marylebone Road and Nails Inc – Briton Place. The Zig Zag stencils were from She Sells Sea Shells UK who I am placing too many orders with as of late…

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I’m in love with these polishes and I am in love with this combo. I think I might be doing a lot more nails like this. It’s also a lot easier than trying to do multiple horizontally!
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What do you think? I showed these to my family and my dad actually thought they were wraps or stick ons. Hah. I was really pleased with how my nails had grown (longer than this) but I had to cut them down to avoid the cracks of damage ruining the entire thing so I could still keep some length. They always seem to grow quicker in summer. Just me?

xx

Repost: Originally published June 29th 2014

Why I am a Lush Addict

Yeah. I have a confession to make. I am a Lush addict. Not the kind of “addict” who has dozens or hundreds of bath bombs hoarded; I do have a fair collection, but I’m not a collector. (You can see more Lush-y stuff on my Instagram, and just let me know if you want a review on any of the products)

 

 

Lush is something that is incredibly important to me. It sounds silly, they’re just bath/body products, right? For me, there is a lot more than that. I have many health issues, both mental and physical and I am prone to neglecting myself. Lush isn’t cheap, it’s indulgent, it uses good ingredients.

 

Yay, @lushltd and @lushkitchen order. I love it when the postie brings me #lush #lushltd #lushcosmetics

A photo posted by Elizabeth Fleming (@lizzumsbb) on

 

So, why is Lush so important to me on a personal level? It forces me to have a degree of self-care. I will sit and watch an “artsy” bath ballistic fizz and swirl as it trails its colours across my bath tub. It makes me just take a moment to stop. Pause life. Relax. Throw in a face mask and a body lotion and it feels like I am truly caring for myself in that moment. I am important. I deserve warmth, things that are kind to my skin/body. I matter.

Self care is something that is incredibly important in our lives, for our own personal wellbeing and our mental health. I’m making more of an effort to prioritise self-care and focus on the things that matter.

What about you? What are your indulgences? Or are you like I used to be and neglect self-care?

Getting Unstuck

Well, hello there.

That time I mentioned has arrived. What time? You probably don’t remember. The one where I said eventually, I would return. Yup, so that’s happening. I feel a little weird dedicating a post to it but we need to talk, you and I. What’s been happening? What’s new in your life? How is it going? Any exciting news for me to hear? Blogs/posts for me to read?

What about me? Well, a lot as happened actually, thanks for asking. You didn’t ask? I know that, but shh, I’m going to keep talking and pretend that you did. In no particular order… I started treatment for my Eating Disorder, participated in Veganuary - with moderate success, got a new phone (the latest moto G, replacing my original moto g), dyed my hair turquoise.. and then pink, purple and blue at once… currently, it’s kind of blue-turquoise.. I went to Devon (for the first time since my agoraphobia relapse), visited a beach for the first time in almost 10 years, got an Xbox One, had nail surgery and won some duck tape. I’m sure more has happened, none of it as exciting as this bunch of events which I’m sure you’re absolutely riveted by.

Over this time, I’ve been thinking about blogging again a lot. Many things in my life have been pointing to me to return to blogging and so.. here I am! Let’s see how it goes…

 

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I kept waxing and waning and forgetting what this blog was and what I want it to be. For now, it is over, but it will be back. I just have to sort some things out first with my life. I hope you’ll stick with me. x

No Clogs Allowed

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The No Clogs Allowed facemask from Soap & Glory is one of my favourite high street masks. It claims to be a deep pore detox mask and it’s “super self heating.” The mask is specifically formulated for oily/combination skin like mine and it turns out, this is a little bit of a holy grail product for me. Please excuse cat fur in the photos!

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The product comes in a 100ml tube and honestly makes me think a little of toothpaste. It tells you to “shake” before using, which is a little weird with it being in a tube like this, but go with it. It is a little hard to shake so I end up having to mix in my palm a little before I use it because it separates a bit. It’s a pale blue, you rub it on, leave it for a few minutes if you like, wet your hands and then rub it in, it starts to heat up and it changes colour. CHANGES COLOUR!? How cool is that, right? It seems more intensive-cleanser-ish than a facemask to me but the product does the job. I buff mine off with a warm Washi cloth when I’m done.

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After I remove this mask, my face is so incredibly smooth and looks so clear, though a little red and blotchy for a while but that’s to be expected with exfoliating heat. Afterwards, I slather on Hydraluron and noticed a significant reduction in acne and any spots and blemishes are a lot smaller than they were previously. They also make my pores appear a little tighter because it helps clear out those horrible blackheads which seem to have a love affair with my nose. I would definitely recommend this product if you have oily/combo skin like mine!

You can pick it up at Boots! Have you tried this face mask? What are your thoughts?

The MediPen

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The MediPen is a fairly new device here in the UK. Initially, you could colour me skeptical, but I wanted to tell you guys- it WORKS. So what is it? The MediPen is the UK’s first “all-natural” Cannabidiol (CBD) vaporiser pen and it’s completely legal.

So, what is Cannabidol? Cannabidol, or CBD as it is also known, is one of over 85 active ingredients found in the Cannabis plant, known as Cannabinoids. All mammals have a system called the endocannabinoid system in their bodies, consisting primarily of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors, operating in the central and peripheral nervous systems respectively, are responsible for a wide range of different reactions that can result in a number of health benefits. There are many studies showing the benefits of CBD oil if you want to look it up for yourself. In fact, the MediPen website shares these, although, it does not claim that the product itself is a medical device.

“CBD has few known interactions with any other drug and has no dependency or physical withdrawal symptoms. CBD also has no negative side-effects, which is part of what makes it an ideal treatment for those suffering with serious medical conditions.” After doing some research, I decided to take the plunge and see if it would help with any of my issues.

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The people at MediPen use only the highest quality 20%~ CBD Oil and Coconut Oil that are sourced from the UK and the Netherlands to create a potent formula. This formula comes in pre-filled, odourless cartridges in a variety of flavours, which screw on to the vapour pen. It’s an “inhale and go” device. No buttons. The end of the device lights up as the oil is heated and the battery lasts forever. I’ve had my MediPen for 2 weeks now, and I haven’t had to charge it yet. When I do need to? No worries. It comes with a USB charger. Just screw the charger to the pen, plug in and charge.

Because the device is odourless, you can use it indoors and on the go without having to worry. Also, because it does not contain THC, it has no mind altering affects. It also means that if you were to be stopped and drug tested, you would not fail.

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In the starter kit, you get one pre-filled cartridge, one “pen” and one USB charger, presented in a tin case as pictured. By default, the cartridge is unflavoured but for an additional 99p, you can choose one of over a dozen flavours for your cartridge and a little birdy tells me even more are on the way! Personally, I opted for Vanilla, though Mint Chocolate Chip is also delicious. A friend of mine favours the coconut!

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So, how did I get on with the MediPen? Very well. Instantly, I felt an effect. I felt more alert, more awake but at the same time, more relaxed, a little less anxious. I thought perhaps this was a placebo effect as it was a new thing to me and I was expecting that sort of result. I kept on with it regardless. I started to find myself sleeping better at night, deeper, not waking up so much or needing to get up so much which is pretty mega for me. It also has soothed my pains and such like cramps and spasms. Not a magic fix for it all, but it’s a good aid/accompaniment and I’ve found myself needing to take less medications as a result.

It’s also worth noting, I have never previously “vaped”. I am a non-smoker. I did smoke in my mispent youth and this is nothing like smoking. I feel even if you have never smoked, you will be fine with this product. I have tried an alternate brand from France called “Kanavape” and it’s a lot “heavier” than the MediPens vapour, it feels more aimed towards people who actually smoke. The medipen feels light and smooth and perfectly suited to a non-smoker like me.

The only negative thing I can say about this product is the price. At £49.97 for the starter pack and just under £25 a refill, it is a little bit pricey, however, I still have a significant amount of my primary cartridge left (over half) and my health is worth it.

If you’re interested in the MediPen, you can purchase it only via their website here!

I hope this helps. I know some of my readers are fellow anxiety suffers and Spoonies so I wanted to share this with you!

The Blogger Excuse

The Blogger Excuse. Do you know what I’m referring to? You do, don’t you? I think everyone with a niche topic blog is probably guilty of this at some point or another.

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So, what is “The Blogger Excuse”? The blogger excuse is using your blog as an excuse to indulge. Many of us have blogs on topics that we’re passionate and interested in. We can use the blog as an excuse to indulge ourselves and purchase something that we wouldn’t otherwise get if we were blogless – all in the name of content. It’s often a costless and actually fairly pointless activity but we justify it with “oh, but I can blog about it” when in actual fact, we could wait for other reviews which inevitably are written on new releases, wait for 3 for 2 deals and other offers for a product we don’t REALLY need.

So. You have a blog, you follow all of your favourite related brands and their PRs, follow them on twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest, their own newsletters, the whole lot. You hear of a new product release and you can not wait to get your hands on it… to review on your blog. Not because you need another x/y/z product in your life, but because you fancy it and your blog is the perfect excuse. It’s okay, right? So, you spend a fortune on products that you probably don’t need but they’ve just come out and of course, you’re not alone in this, because as you upload your post, you realise… in come hundreds of posts on the exact same product to the bloggosphere.

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I ask you this. What makes your blog, your post unique? What makes it stand out above all of the other posts of identical nature and often, identical format. (Big, popular blogger does x with their blog, many follow suit because it’s what a successful person does/has?) What makes The Blogger Excuse actually worth it? IS it actually worth it? Or could you actually refrain, save money and create more unique content?

What do you think? Are you guilty of using the Blogger Excuse? I know I sure have been.

Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly from Lush

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Hey my lovelies. Today I wanted to share with you my experience with a “Shower Jelly” from Lush. This is the first time I’ve used one of these products, or.. was (sorry, pictures taken after using a fair chunk!) and I wish I had given it a go sooner. Sadly, I have heard that Sweetie Pie will be one of the products getting the axe shortly when they add some of the Oxford Street products to the main line, so, be sure to stock up. I’ve just bought myself two large pots of the stuff!

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The Sweetie Pie shower jelly comes in a hard, clear plastic pot, and like many lush pots, if you have 5, you can take them back and swap for a fresh face mask! The product comes in two sizes – 100g and 240g and you can purchase it in store or online at Lush. Here I have the 100g pot which is lasting ages. The 100g pot costs £3.50 but the 240g pot costs £6.95. So for just under double the price, you get 140% more bang for your buck.

The Sweetie Pie shower jelly shares the same fragrance as the Comforter, a fact I was surprised I hadn’t realised before and if I had, I would have tried it long ago. The formula includes Bergamot Oil, Cherry Infusion, Cassis absolute and Cypress Oil amongst other ingredients, including their Snowflake Lustre which is also found in their Twilight shower gel and Ultraviolet bubble bar. Combined, the ingredients make a wibbly wobbly purple jelly with a fun shimmer that smells like fruity heaven. Well, heaven for me. As you may know, the Comforter is my all time favourite Lush fragrance.

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Initially, I was quite intimidated by this.. blob. I wasn’t sure how to use it. Turns out, there are several ways! Firstly, you can take out the entire blob like this and rub it on yourself like a bar of soap; it doesn’t lather much via this method. Secondly, you can tear a piece off and use as previously. Thirdly, you can tear a piece off and shove it in a loofah. Doing this works up a lot more of a lather. Lastly, you can smush some in to your hair. It has seaweed which is excellent for your hair. It’s really lovely! The fragrance is gorgeous and does linger on the skin. Intimidated by the shimmer? Don’t be. The product doesn’t actually contain glitter. The “Snowflake Lustre” that is used dissolves in the water as it’s a shimmer – it’s actually edible and used in baking! I wouldn’t attempt to eat this jelly though.. it’ll taste like soap!

Have you tried a Shower Jelly from Lush? If so, what do you think? Would you give it a go or is it a bit too weird for you?

If at first you don’t succeed… When things don’t always go to plan.

A while back, about 6 months ago, I returned to blogging. I failed. I didn’t particularly stick with it. I found myself overwhelmed with everything it takes to run a blog. Now, I know, it can be as simple or as complicated as you wish it to be! Personally, I like to be fairly organised, have regular content and stay up to date with fellow blogs, interesting releases and most importantly, keep engaging with my readers- with you.

Now, I’ve ended up taking things back to the barebones. I’d lost my place and to find it again, I needed to go back to my roots. To WHY I started blogging. What I enjoyed. What motivated me?

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I started blogging several years ago. I had a very personal blog, it was more of a diary. I won a competition and it opened me up to an entire new world, a world of pigmented joy and fluffy brushes and I wanted to be a part of it. I loved nail polishes, had done for a very long time, but I was an average person. I thought, perhaps I can share this with the world! A few twitter friends encouraged me. I was on the fence. Who would read it? Then, my boyfriend encouraged me. His words have a lot of weight for me because he knows me better than I know myself, even back then. I said I’d tried blogging before, but I could never keep up, I never wrote more than a couple of posts, after previously trying to do a blog and just having an intro and a post on true match foundation (which I found was crap, just FYI.) He challenged me. He told me “you can do it. You have to do at least 5 posts, then if you want to quit, fine, but do at least 5 posts.” So, that’s exactly what I did. As the front page of my blog filled up with content, I fell in love. I enjoyed the entire process and then clicking publish and having my few twitter friends give me feedback made me so very happy. I had found my outlet.

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Over the years, I realised that blogging had become a chore more than a hobby. I wanted to keep going and to keep content steady but sometimes I didn’t feel like it and samples landed on my doormat, I didn’t want to let the brands that I loved down. I didn’t want to seem like a blogger that’s in it for the freebies. So, I made myself do it. My passion was waning. Then it came to moving house which was almost two years ago now. I haven’t blogged properly since. My comfy, easy set up was gone, I had to start again with my organisation and I just didn’t have the motivation to do it anymore. Then I ended up in hospital. I tried and failed. I felt so guilty and rubbish and that made it even worse. Why bother?

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A little while ago, my boyfriend came and spoke to me. I have a lot of hobbies, I’m passionate, I like to learn and to do things. I HATE to make mistakes. I run away when I make a mistake. I hinder my own learning because mistakes mean I’m not great at something. I wanted to be great. I still want to be great. I realise I need to stop being so scared of screwing up. A done something is better than a perfect nothing. I’ve always been frightened of the blank page and it’s time I overcame that. My partner pointed these things out to me, that nothing seemed to fulfill me or make me as happy as when I was blogging properly. He reminded me why I began, why I loved it and thanks to him, I went back to my roots and decided to get my backside in gear. I told him, I’m not sure where to begin, how to get back in to things. He told me to conquer that blank page. He told me to write. Specifically “just write notes! lots and lots of notes! You can’t keep it all in your head.” The next day, I pulled out a notebook and did exactly that. I jotted down the ideas I had with a few notes. I text him to say I was doing what he told me to and then, I kept going. I realised I had a smile on my face and I was enjoying myself.

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I’ve already written a couple of posts, but it might be a wee while till I publish anything else. I want to get back in to the habit and have regular content for you guys. I hope you’ll stay here and come along with me on my adventure. Things will be different. Also, I’m likely to rebrand but will be keeping this domain for the foreseeable future. So don’t worry if things end up looking a bit off, unorganised or different. It just means you caught me shuffling. ;) So, things didn’t go to plan, I didn’t succeed, I tried and tried and now I’m here to try it again.

Happy Pancake Day! (Myprotein Pancake Mix*)

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It’s that time of year again! And if you didn’t know, by “that time of year”, I mean Shrove Tuesday, better known to a lot of us as “Pancake day”. Om nom nom… The lovely folk at myprotein very kindly sent me a baggy of Golden Syrup Pancake Mix for the occasion!

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I couldn’t wait to break out the frying pan and give these a go! The best part is, you don’t need to go and get a lot of other ingredients! You can make them with either water or milk added to 55g of the powder. For this, personally I chose semi-skimmed milk from Cravendale. They suggest to use a small amount of oil or butter in the pan, personally, I chose butter Fry Light which is only 1 calorie. I recommend actually weighing out the mix as the scoop isn’t accurate weight-wise, also, personal preference on your thickness of pancakes. Also, I added more milk than pictured once I had added my powder.

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Whizz it all up and bung it in the pan! My pancakes are not at all the same size so I’m honestly not sure how many it makes and it depends on your size preference too… The smell when this stuff hits the pan is absolutely gorgeous!

50g of the pancake mix provides:-

Energy: 191kcal, Protein: 34.3g, Carbohydrates: 5.9g, Sugars: 2.1g, Fats: 3.2g, Saturates: 1.1g, Fibre: 0.7g, Sodium: 0.3g

So, if you use milk, make sure you add the macros from that as well if you’re fussed about keeping things logged etc. Obviously no worries for water. Don’t forget any toppings you might choose. Personally, I didn’t top these pancakes! They are already Golden Syrup flavour, I didn’t find it necessary! The mix also comes in Maple Syrup flavour and Chocolate flavour. All in 200g pouches. Macros will vary slightly across flavours, I’m sure. The ready-mix contains three types of protein! Whey, milk and egg proteins which help with lean muscle mass.

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Brown, flip, brown, serve.. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how to cook a pancake… Though even after all these years, I’m still a bit hit and miss… but I CAN flip them in the frying pan, like a boss! One time, I made this exact, perfectly round pancake. It was beautiful… *wipes tear*

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The verdict? Absolutely delicious and way nicer than banana pancakes I’ve made in the past and more nutritious too. Hands down, the best protein pancakes I have ever eaten. The golden syrup flavouring was lovely. I was unsure about it if I’m honest but it was very nice. They came out the right texture for pancakes which was one thing I was unsure about. As I mentioned before, I didn’t even feel the need to top them, they were full of flavour. I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a protein-boosting snack or a tasty breakfast!

Have you tried myprotein’s pancake mix? Or made your own protein pancakes? If you want to try your own, I suggest you check out this video by Si of The Diet Kitchen on YouTube who shows you how to make yummy chocolate chip pancakes using Myprotein’s products.

Check it out, lemme know what you think!

 

*This product was sent to me by a PR for review consideration. I have not and am not being paid for writing about this product and always write with honesty.*