While reading a book of Maria Semple’s (who is fast becoming my favourite author. Ever.) she brought up the phenomenon of the Helpless Traveller. I love this. Because it’s me all over. The concept of the Helpless Traveller is when you are travelling with someone who is confident, organised and decisive, they are competent, while you, flounder at every turn. Helpless and complaining of sore feet, having no input to decision making and being as melodramatic as possible. “Just feed me, I’m starving and my stomach is starting to absorb my other organs from hunger.”
This Sunday, for the first time since the man and I got together properly (after the first two times) in January, was the first day I felt like I needed space. When I say “space” I don’t mean anything drastic. I mean a day to myself for some R&R. Not to have to answer questions or direct him in his daily events or attend to his puppy nature. Just to sit on the sofa and watch some trashy telly or soak in a tub overfilling with bubbles. We’d just come back from Prague so I was tired and just not in the mood. I know most people have moments like this in their relationships but it was significant for me as it was the first time with him. Ever.
We’ve lived together for three years prior to us dating this last year. It is one of those 21st century relationships that started with a bit of flirting and an alcohol infused one night stand. Don’t judge, he was only up the stairs! Anyway, we absolutely ballsed up the first two times, but this time is different. It’s real and we’re both 120% committed. I never question that.
He knew I wasn’t in to it on Sunday, he can read my mood a mile off. He knows that if he gives me a cookie to shove in my face I’ll be a happy girl once again. This was proven once again by my sudden mood improvement while scoffing down a Christmas mince pie. Sometimes a gal just needs some sugar and carbs. Don’t question it, just provide, guys.
Bottomline, I adore him. But sometimes I need to pull myself out of the “us” and be the “me”.
The man: I don’t know why I don’t just use his name, most of you know who he is anyway, let’s just call him “P” from now on, he’s shy. So P and I have decided it’s time we upgrade our clunky, archaic laptops (I’ve had mine since I was 24!) for a brand new shiny one. I’m a Mac lover, him PC. That is, until I gave him my hand-me-down iPhone 4s when I upgraded to an iPhone 5s. Now he won’t shut up about it. Thanks to this lovely gesture I bestowed on him he is now fully on board with the idea of an Apple laptop – specifically a MacBook Air. Now, I have always had my own laptop, but we have discussed that perhaps we don’t need to buy one each, and could share. This makes me anxious. Not because I’m planning to stream porn and not tell him about it and forget to clear my history or because he’s going to see anything I don’t want him to. He knows and sees everything, or I’d just use the incognito tab – that’s what it’s for, right? It’s just the principle. And the fact I’m greedy and like all my own things and would prefer not to share. But he’s 150% rational about money and buying expensive, pretty things. So the fact I have an iPhone, iPad and Kindle is apparently enough technology and I do not need my own laptop. I mean, he’s right. It’s just probably the most expensive item we have ever bought TOGETHER. Commitment, y’all. If anything should happen to this relationship, I’m going to turn all six year old Bronnie and write my name all over that MacBook with a permanent marker.
We thought we’d take the opportunity for a good price brought on by Black Friday this week, especially as Apple have announced they too (for the first time EVER) will include their products in a sale. We’ve eyed up a couple of deals already on other sites for our extravagant purchase, but are hoping that Apple will pull out all the stops at the last minute.
Now it’s just a waiting game, I’ll be ready at my desk at work tomorrow morning geared to purchase. I haven’t told P yet, but because we’re only buying one MacBook that leaves money to buy myself a Nespresso machine. I say myself, because he doesn’t drink coffee. I think that’s a fair deal seeing as we have such huge saving from sharing a laptop. Perhaps I could tell him the Nespresso came free with the laptop? Sounds legit to me.
Today, Monday 14th of November I became an auntie for the first time. I now tell everyone I encounter. I know I’m not the mother, nor did I go through the nine months carrying the little bundle but in the lead up to my sister’s due date I was a bundle of emotions. Last night I burst into tears just at the idea that my little niece or nephew would be in the world when I woke up. Tears of excitement and happiness and the sadness that she’s on the other side of the planet to me in New Zealand. I was in touch with my sister regularly throughout her pregnancy, the ups and downs, the family all getting involved and adding their opinions, my sister not always calm because of previously stated family opinions. I was also in touch with my youngest sister throughout – she too was experiencing the high and low emotions that I was. When I received the news this morning and subsequent photos I was in tears again. I requested even more photos and my sister sent some through to me while I was on the bus to work, again the tears came. I never thought I’d be this emotional from a newborn that wasn’t mine – but dear God, the fact she has my blood too and is the next generation of our family is extremely overwhelming. My sister is a mum. A MUM. This blows my mind.
I’m the eldest sibling in my family, yet my sister (the new mum) was first to graduate University, first to get married, first to buy a house and now first to have a baby. She is a proper grown up and ahead of me in all her planning and the setting up of her life. I am extremely proud of her, and while being two years older than her, I’m amazed at how she has taken to everything so naturally. She’s always known she wanted to settle down and have a family – no questions, even after her stint in London and travel through Europe. Meanwhile I decided to flit off to London not wanting to have to make too many decisions and instead keep exploring and having adventures.
All three of us are very different women, however the older we get the more alike my sisters and I are becoming. I love my sisters to bits and miss them every day that I’m in London. I can’t wait to give her a cuddle. Now we have the next generation to enjoy. I can’t wait to cuddle my beautiful, shiny, new, little niece, Pippa. Welcome to the world little one, you will be forever doted upon by your adoring aunties.
One of my good friends is currently staying with us, having just arrived in London. Last night we enjoyed a girls night in watching trash TV, drinking red wine and eating pizza oozing with cheese. It was magic. But we discussed how blah we both feel, sluggish and heavy and not at our optimal health. We decided that starting Monday we would start a Whole 30 detox and body reset. It’s usually easiest to start on the 1st of the month, but I just want to get into action, not wait two weeks. My other half and I have social events booked in but I’m just going to make it work – there’s never a good time to be on a restrictive food plan, you just have to get on with it. As previously mentioned I first completed a Whole 30 in January 2013 and loved the outcome; my skin was clear, I didn’t feel bloated, no sugar highs and lows, I slept better and I managed to lose a few kilos.
I have managed to persuade the other half to join in this time too. I can tell I’ll be pulling him kicking and screaming over the finish line in the first week, but hopefully he gets the hang of it and reaps the benefits early on to keep him focused.
Last week I spent time reading through all the information I had previously received when signing up for Whole 30, as well as perusing my friend Leah‘s website. Leah is a Whole 30 champion, she’s done it four times now and swears by it.
I also spent time mapping out my meal plan for first week as I think one of the most important things I learnt was how important it is to prepare. PREPARE. Otherwise you find you come home after a long day and reach for your Just Eat app on your phone. Which completely undoes anything good you’ve done.
Throughout I will post details of my meals and how I’m feeling, the ups and downs. Posting updates is the perfect accountability – no cheating or quick trips to the chip shop allowed!
I’m just so over being unhappy with my body. SO, SO OVER IT.
So many beauty myths and queries, and so little time. I spent some time investigating some of my own beauty questions because honestly, I feel like the list is endless and companies keep coming up with some new fad or regime you simply must include in your daily living. Quite frankly, who has the fucking time?
At least we don’t still use the contraptions brought in in the 1940s.
Top of my list:
Why is charcoal good for my skin?
Why is this good for my skin? I associate it with barbecuing. What are the benefits and why use it?
Active charcoal used in cosmetics is very porous, like a sponge – so its perfect for people with oily skin. I found an interesting fact on this;
So porous is it, in fact, that a mere two grams has a surface area equivalent to that of an entire football field.
The large surface area allows it to draw impurities from your skin, all that dirt and oil has no chance when being sucked up by the charcoal sponge.
Will rinsing my hair with beer make it thicker?
I have fine hair, sometimes I love it because it’s easy to maintain, other times I cry because I want it to be thicker. I’m always after ways to thicken, or appear to thicken my hair. I discovered this beer theory: A final rinse of beer at the end of your shower will leave you with more voluminous strands. Basically though the beer builds up the circumference of the shafts and leaves you smelling like a brewery until the scent dissipates. So I’ve heard, I’ve not tried it. Pros recommend instead trying a thickening shampoo – but I feel that is rubbish too. The best way I have found to appear to have thicker hair is with a spritz of dry shampoo in the roots – this gives volume and the allure of thick hair.
How often should I be washing my make up brushes?
Currently my answer is once every 6-8 months. However dermatologists recommend once a month. Crap.
How are you best to wash your brushes? Dip the brush in warm, soapy water—use shampoo or a mild bar soap. Rinse it, blot the brush with a clean towel, then use a blow-dryer to dry the bristles gently and leave to stand upright in a glass.
I know what I’m doing this weekend…
Is it bad to sleep with wet hair?
Turns out air-drying may be more harmful than blow-drying: water causes strands to swell; over time, this could weaken hair from the inside out. A study was done where hair samples that were shampooed and then air-dried for two hours were compared to those blasted at various temperatures with a blow-dryer. Only the air-dried samples had significant damage to the cell membrane complex, the cement that holds cuticle layers together. Of course super hot blow-dryers don’t help with strong, healthy hair either. The best option, although not quickest, is to dry on the lowest heat setting, with the dryer held at least six inches away from the head.
I don’t feel so bad about my fine hair now…
In summary to my four questions above; I need to invest in a charcoal mask. Beer should be drunk and not wasted to rinse my hair with it. Make up brushes must be washed monthly, or at least bi-monthly would be better than my current brush washing plan. Finally, it is not advised to use my “I’m letting it dry naturally so it curls” excuse, and simply apply a low heat setting to blow-dry my hair.
Another post soon with more beauty questions. If you have any you think should be highlighted, feel free to let me know and I’ll include them in my next beauty questions post.
I’m a firm believer, that unless absolutely necessary: hot date night, promotion day, professional photo day or mass spot break out day, there is no need to wear foundation every day. Some people may argue with me and say they have awful skin and simply must cake it on every morning, some may be right, but I think majority could get away without it. Plus, the less you wear foundation, the clearer and cleaner your skin is (not proven fact, just from my own experience). And of course, some days I’m just lazy and rushing out the door to work, my solution: BB cream.
Two weeks ago I purchased a new BB cream, the Maybelline Dream Bronze BB in light/medium. I’ve used many BB creams before, including some in the Maybelline range, but this is by far my favourite to date. It’s gel based so doesn’t dry out my sensitive skin, and means it is easy on application like another layer of moisturiser. I also love that it has a built in bronzer to give you a sun-kissed look, even on the most dreary of London mornings, plus the advantage of the SPF protection means I don’t need to add a daily sunblock.
I have found that it lasts all day, needing a touch up maybe if I were going out after work, but that would be the same with all make up. For the price (£6.99 at Boots), the convenience, the fact it’s travel size and it doesn’t dry out my skin throughout the day I can’t knock it. I’m thrilled to have found a reliable, every day product I can slap on my face and feel confident about.
A couple of girlfriends and I have embarked on our own Come Dine With Me (CDWM) challenge: taking turns to cook each other a three course meal. This is what we do now that we are proper grown ups, in our 30s. No nights out on the tiles, eating fried chicken and vomiting in the back of a taxi. But, damn those were good times last month.
Both the girls have already had their turns, highlights would include a succulent rack of lamb, mixing our own cocktails and playing Twister with a Butler in the Buff. On October 1st it’s my turn to host and I need to impress.
I’ve decided to go with a Jamie Oliver themed menu, as of course, I adore him. When they arrive I will start with a prosecco based cocktail and an hors d’oeuvres I’ve not yet decided on. The menu will then consist of:
Potted crab with asparagus
I figure my menu will be light enough that they will actually want to eat each course, they’re also technically tricky, but not impossible to make. It helps that I have made them all before on different occasions. The hard bit will be making sure I time them correctly, but with these girls, I know I can always throw a bottle of wine their way and it will keep them happy in between courses.
Recently I bought a new cast iron paella pan, as I was previously just using a large frying pan, so I now need to make at least one paella before October as a practise and to season the new pan.
Watch this space for the follow up and reviews I receive post meal from my hopefully sizzled friends.