Grunger OOTD - a blast from the past

Hello loves!

Welcome new people! Thanks so much for following.

I decided to do a retro-styled outfit today.

Let's take it back to about 1993. I was madly in love with Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone and Nirvana. I had no idea how to dress femininely at all (in fact I didn't until about 3 years ago!) so I lived in check shirts, leggings and cowboy boots. Kurt Cobain was still alive, I was working cleaning airplanes and was earning crazy money for a teenager, and life was good....well, good if you consider I'd just broken up with my boyfriend of 3 years.

I washed that man right out of my hair as the lyric goes...I even cut him out of it. If my scanner hadn't packed up I'd show you a photo of me with the shortest hair of my life. Anyhoo, onto today's photos! I've had this shirt for almost 20 years. It's shrunk somewhat in the wash over the years and it's got paint splashes on it from when I painted my office in my job-before-last, but I still love it.

 In the right hand photo I'm pointing out a bunch of pictures of Mother Love Bone, who I love.

Navel gazing.

What was your style like when you were a teen? If you're still a teen, ignore the question, hehe.

Thanks for reading!

My favourite ever OOTD post

Hiya lovelies!

I was thinking earlier on what my favourite outfit post was and I realised it was one I'd never tagged with the OOTD label.

Of course, it was my wedding outfit! If you've been with me a long time you will have seen these photos before. It's my most expensive outfit by far, probably the most uncomfortable one as well, but I felt like a princess all day long. It's our first anniversary in 5 and a bit weeks, not that I'm counting or anything. Husband face, you're on notice, gimme presents!

What's your favourite outfit?

Thanks for reading!

Outside My Comfort Zone #1

Hello lovelies!

Last week on Twitter Rachel from Happyness Magnet asked if anyone was interested in joining a new fatshion challenge, based upon coming out of our comfort zones and trying new things. As my 'big thing' this year is trying to be braver in fashion and lots of other ways, I found myself saying yes before I had thought about it! I've wanted to come in on one of these regular blog hops for a while now, but have never been in the right place at the right time before. Ah, serendipity!

The first challenge for us is Blazing Red to incorporate a blazer and a pop of red.

I don't actually have a blazer, so I used a military jacket. I added a military brooch with red and gold to enhance the red blouse and the tarnished gold buttons on the jacket.

I've challenged myself in three ways here
  1. I hate having my hair off my forehead as I don't like my wrinkly forehead. 
  2. I've never worn a sheer blouse without a vest top underneath.
  3. I don't really like my lower legs at all because there's a rash from Fibromyalgia, which thankfully doesn't show up too well in photos with flash.

If I was wearing this outfit outside I'd wear thick tights or maybe even leggings underneath. I'm not quite that brave yet, but I will be ONE DAY!

When I put this outfit on my husband said 'Are you after some [sex]?!' What a charmer! Naturally, I declined! ;)

Polka dot bra - Evans
Jacket - Simply Be
Blouse - Simply Be
PVC skater skirt - Simply Be
Shoes - Rocket Dog
Brooch - Josy Rose
Hair clip - Lipstattoo Designs
Lipstick - Christian Dior 763 Indian Red

What's out of your comfort zone?
Thanks for reading!

15 fun facts about my husband

Hello dolls!

I've seen everyone and their mother do facts posts about themselves recently (and of course, I'm always posting stuff about myself) but I haven't seen anyone do some fun facts about their significant other. So here I am!

  1. He is obsessed with computers. He had his first computer aged 3, works in IT, builds computers for fun then comes home and guess what?! He's straight back on the pc after we have tea. When we go to our friend's and families' houses, he usually ends up solving all their pc-related problems.
  2. He passed his driving test 10 years before he bought his first car.
  3. He looks so young without stubble. I asked him not to shave it all off for our wedding. He complied, like a good hubby should! ;)
  4. He plays drums and guitar.
  5. He moved from London to be with me.
  6. He's really close to his mum and Skype calls her 2-3 times a week. Awwwww.
  7. He likes cats, but not dogs.
  8. He has never had a hot drink.
  9. He has no tattoos, but I'm working on that ;)
  10. He hardly ever swears and rarely loses his temper.
  11. He was born on Christmas Day, his first 2 initials are JC and he has long hair. What can I say?!
  12. He loves Red Dwarf, the Aliens films and Star Trek.
  13. He's so optimistic it's ridiculous. 
  14. He has an impressive collection of band t-shirts.
  15. He has stockpiles in Bournville dark chocolate.
Feel free to tell me a few things about your significant other (if you have one.)

Thanks for peeping!

Why I've got my nurse's hat on...

Hello loves!

This is why I have my metaphorical nurses hat on. 

Hubby had his ingrown toenail removed yesterday. The patient is doing well, but is in a lot of pain. Me? I'm totally bloody frazzled! The moment my arse is about to hit the sofa, he decides he wants something else. Now I know how hard it was for him looking after me when I came out of hospital. Respect due.

My hat is off to any of you out there who are carers!

There will be less blogging for the next week or so while I have him at home, so apologies in advance.

To make this day totally husband-flavoured, I have another post about him coming up at 5pm - some fun facts about the Mr.

Thanks for peeking!

MUA Out There plumping lipglosses

Hiya lovelies!

Here are some lovely lipglosses from MUA.

Bottom two swatches L-R - Peach Shimmer, Pink Sugar, Pin Up Pink, Shocking Pink.

 Lip swatches coming up shortly.

P.S. The reason I don't do many lip swatches is because I'm a bit paranoid about my lips. One of my old school friends once told me I had 'lips like an old lady'.....err, thanks! I have a thin top lip and a fuller bottom lip. Oh sod it, you just want to see what they show up like on a pair of real lips, right? Right! Coming up SOON!

You can buy these lip glosses from MUA and Superdrug for £2 each.

Do you like the look of these? Are you a lip gloss or lipstick person?

Thanks for reading!

EDIT - These lip glosses have a horrible aftertaste. It might be because I'm very chemically sensitive as a side effect of Fibromyalgia, but it makes me not want to wear them at all. 

Birthday plans/birthday wishlist

Hello lovelies!

It's my birthday in about 6 weeks.

When it comes to planning things for myself I never suggest something which I actually want to do, I always think about what everyone else wants to do. I know, I'm an idiot! I have ridiculously low expectations of anyone wanting to do anything nice with me or for me. Take the year before last, when instead of asking to go to my favourite restaurant evuhhhhhh for my birthday, I picked a poor equivalent to it in our town because my actual favourite is in the next big town over and it's slightly expensive. We went to a crap restaurant because I was taking everyone else's money situation and travel hassles into account instead of saying what I wanted to do on my birthday. I need to expect more out of people, because they will act to the standard I expect of them. This year, I want more. Eff it! This year I want to go to my favourite restaurant and do something nice in the day. I demand satisfaction! (Simpsons geek!)


I'm also going to waft this blog in hubby's field of vision because these are my birthday wishlist items :) One of them would make me happy, more would make me delirious.

I've vowed life is too short not to wear bright lipstick (whether it suits me or not) so I really want these lippies from Sleek MakeUP.

I want to have my septum pierced because it's a subtle piercing. If there's a posh occasion you can flip it up inside your nostrils so no one can see. Genius!

I'd like to have another tattoo, well two actually - matching designs on my feet. I have a design in mind but I'm keeping it to myself ;)

What's on your wishlist?
What do you like to do on your birthday? 

Thanks for reading!

Superdrug B Micellar Water review

Hello loves!

I bought the B Micellar Water from Superdrug a few weeks ago. I've been hearing about micellar waters for a year or so, but it's only been recently that a reasonably priced one has been launched.

What is micellar water? It cleanses without the need for toner and removes make up, even waterproof mascara. I can't speak for the properties of this micellar water for waterproof make up, as I don't wear it.

Here's what they say about it on the Superdrug website:

Quick and easy 3-in-1 cleanser that dissolves impurities in a single sweep, no water required. Ideal for all skin types even the most sensitive.

B. Pure with this 3-in-1 'super' water. Quick and effective yet extremely gentle.

  • Cleanses - Removes impurities and makeup.
  • Tones - Restores pH balance whilst keeping the skin supple.
  • Refreshes - with cucumber juice extract.
  • Ophthalmically approved.
  • Dermatologically approved.

  • It makes my skin feel really plump and youthful, and it doesn't dry my skin out, which is very rare indeed. I don't use it every day because it's £4.99 for 150ml and I've made quite a dent in it already, so to speak, but it's a lovely treat for my skin a few days a week.

    A word to the wise - if you have sensitive eyes like I do, make sure your eyes are firmly shut before you attempt to remove your eye make up or else it'll sting like hell! If there's a way for me to injure myself with a harmless product, you can rest assured I'll find it.

    The bottle is very rigid plastic, which does make getting it out a bit of a splashy affair (you can't really squeeze it out, rather you have to tip it up) and it leaves your skin REALLY sticky. You can get it from Superdrug stores and Superdrug online for £4.99.

    Have you tried micellar water? Had you heard of it before?

    Thanks for reading!

    Hero worship and the perception of goodness

    Hiya all.

    The recent murder of Reeva Steencamp at the hands of Oscar Pistorius shocked me to the core. On the day it happened, my husband came home from work and said conversationally 'Did you hear Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend to death?' My head swivelled like the girl in The Exorcist to look at him, and he said my face was a picture of shock.

    The first words out of my mouth were 'Really?! Noooooooooooooo!' I didn't want to believe Oscar Pistorius could be capable of such a thing. A part of me still doesn't, yet a poor girl is dead. That makes me feel terrible about myself. I've been reading all the news stories greedily looking for some evidence that it really was a terrible accident, but thus far I haven't found it with any certainty. Because the South African judiciary are pushing for premeditated murder, which carries a minimum sentence of 25 years, it makes me suspect we aren't being given the full picture of events.

    Up until last week, Oscar Pistorius was a hero of mine. I've been loosely following his career ever since I saw a documentary about his story some years ago. When he won the 400m gold at last year's Paralympic Games, I wept with joy, whooped and waved my arms in the air. As well as admiring him for his tenacity, I also fancied the pants off of him. I still do *cringe*.

    My initial disbelief that he could have done such a thing and my continued desire to want to disbelieve it has really made me consider the effect that hero worship has on us as a society and on me as a person. When we see famous people on tv and in magazines who seem to be nice people, who seem to do good deeds, who have worked hard to overcome adversity and who happen to be very pleasing to the eye, we transfer some kind of positive value onto them as people. When something bad happens and that person's 'goodness' comes into question, it can leave us with uncomfortable questions about ourselves, so it's often easier to continue to blindly adore our heroes despite their actions.

    I have to ask - do famous people receive preferential treatment in the judicial system, aside from the obvious advantage being able to afford a great defence team gives? Do we subconsciously attach positive traits to people who are good looking? Would an ugly celebrity be treated worse than a good looking celebrity who committed the same crime, or does their fame and money override such concerns? 

    It's been remiss of me in this post to talk about the actions of Oscar Pistorius and about hero worship yet not talk more about the victim of these circumstances - Reeva Steencamp. She was due to give a speech about abusive relationships at a school on the day she died. Let's remember Reeva's name, and vow to utter the names of ALL the women who die in violent circumstances at the hands of men as we see their cases reported. Let's reverse the cycle of talking about the perpetrators of crimes and not the victims of it.

    Whatever happened in that bathroom in South Africa - and I do believe more details will come out over the next few days - a girl is still dead, her family are bereaved and hurting, and things are not looking good at all for Oscar Pistorius.

    What are your thoughts on this story?

    Thanks for reading.

    Batiste cherry dry shampoo

    Hi lovelies!

    I'm not sure if I've blogged about my love of Batiste dry shampoo before, but I've tried about half the products they do, so I'm a bit of a fan. The latest varieties I've tried have been the XXL volume one and this cherry scented one. The verdict's not in on the XXL yet because the first time I used it I found it really hard to wash out and it affected the condition of my hair the next day, so I will give it another whirl and then give it a proper review.

    Up until a couple of years ago I only used dry shampoo sporadically, like when I went camping, but after I had my fallopian tube removed in 2011, I started to use it a lot as I couldn't get my leg over the bath to get into the shower for weeks. My mum washed my hair once a week in the 3 weeks she stayed with us, but because I couldn't bend over at all, more water went on the floor than on me ;) In the two years since then the Fibromyalgia and CFS has got worse, so much so now that washing my hair leaves me with serious pain in my arms, neck, shoulders and even sometimes in my head, so I wash my hair about twice a week and use dry shampoo the rest of the week.

    I'm not sure this really smells of cherry, although it does definitely smell sweet and fruity without being sickly. One of the things I really like about dry shampoo is the smell lingers for quite a while, so if I've forgotten to put perfume on I still smell nice. I've noticed with all the varieties I've tried, they all give my hair a bit more body, which is a bonus!

    I love cherry print, so the packaging is really up my alley and looks cheerful in my bathroom.

    Do you ever use dry shampoo? What's your favourite one?

    Thanks for reading.

    How do you deal with inaccessible spaces?

    Hello all.

    Today I want to talk about inaccessible spaces and how you deal with them. By 'inaccessible' I mean places with no disabled access, places with narrow aisles with no space for a wheelchair or disability scooter to manoeuvre, places who do not make provisions for fat people and as a commenter kindly reminded me - also for people with children in prams and strollers.

    Yesterday I had a wonderful day out with my brother, his girlfriend and her two lovely daughters, but there was one thing which happened which reminded me I'm not 'normal'. We ate out at a wonderful fish & chip restaurant. It was warm enough to sit outside. I eyed up the seats as I do EVERYWHERE I go, thinking 'I don't think I'll fit, and if I do, it's going to hurt.'

    Every time I go out to eat, I worry about 3 things:

    Will the seat take my weight?
    Will I physically fit into the seat?
    Will it cause me pain to do so?

    To have to explain this to thin or well people embarrasses the hell out of me, so I said nothing yesterday. My bum didn't fit in the chair because the arms were in the way, so I sat on the very edge of the seat, with the arms digging into my hips extremely painfully. It was painful because Fibromyalgia makes my whole body tender to the touch, like it's heavily bruised all over.

    When it's just me and my husband I will tell him if I can't comfortably sit somewhere, but when there are a group of us I find it extremely hard to deal with. I find it almost impossible to sit and eat in most places without severe discomfort. Why do so many pubs and restaurants expect people to sit on hard wooden or metal seats with no padding? Why do most chairs have arms which dig in?

    There's a pub in town I go to very occasionally for lunch at the behest of my friends. Their upright dining chairs look OK from a distance but are horrible to sit on. There's no bottom section to the seat, so when I sit on the cheap faux leather and flimsy padding, my arse falls into the void between the chair legs, and the wooden frame digs in my legs and bum awfully. How hard would it to be a piece of wood under the padding? Really? Sheesh.

    If a place doesn't cater to me, I don't want to spend my money there.

    What do I do before I'm going to eat or drink at somewhere new? Wherever possible I do a recce before the actual event so I know if I can sit without pain, if the chairs will hold my weight, and if my bum will fit into the seat.

    When someone asks me if I will be OK to eat somewhere because of the seating I really appreciate it. When I was with my family over Christmas my mum made pains to take me past the place she wanted to have her birthday meal at to make sure I'd be able to sit comfortably. That kind of thoughtfulness really touches me. Of course my brother and his girlfriend aren't horrible people - far from it - they're just normal sized people who don't have to think about the things I have to consider before I eat out. It's not their fault, and I'm sure they would've been mortified to find out I was uncomfortable. It was worth it to be with them. 

    So, what kind of seats are good for me? Booth type seating - which is usually padded and/or springy - so long as the seats and tables aren't fixed in place. Seats with bottoms, duh! Seats with padding. Seats without arms. Wide seats. Seats which aren't child-sized. Seats which look strong.

    I feel for disabled people more disabled then me, although at least legislation does exist to protect the disabled. There are many shops which don't have enough room in the aisles for a normal sized adult to walk through, let alone room for a person in a wheelchair or disabled scooter to get around. I was once in a shop in town where a lady in a wheelchair was getting entangled in a portable clothing display. I freed her up, for her to promptly get tangled up again 2 feet away. In the end I shoved ALL the stands out of the way so she could get past. I don't want to shop at a place like that and I'm pretty sure she could've done without the embarrassment, even though we made a joke of it.

    As for places with no disabled access at all, how do they think that makes people feel?! The law states certain things with regards to public spaces in relation to disabled people, but I'm not sure how well the law is enforced.

    The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) introduced new laws aimed at ending the discrimination that many disabled people face. From here:

    The DDA defines disability, and identifies who is protected under it. The definition is broad: ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.

    • since October 2004, service providers have had to make reasonable adjustments in relation to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.

    Since October 2004, where a physical feature makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled customers to make use of a service offered to the public, service providers have had to take measures, where reasonable, to:

    • remove the feature, or
    • alter it so that it no longer has that effect, or
    • provide a reasonable means of avoiding the feature, or
    • provide a reasonable alternative method of making the service available to disabled people (this fourth duty has been in force since October 1999). Physical features are defined under the DDA as ‘anything on the premises arising from a building’s design or construction or the approach to, exit from or access to such a building; fixtures, fittings, furnishings, equipment or materials and any other physical element or quality of land in the premises ...whether temporary or permanent’.

    Responding to your duties as a service provider under the DDA means coming up with solutions that are reasonable in all the circumstances and which result in as many disabled customers as possible being able to access your goods and services. For small service providers (as compared to larger ones with more resources at their disposal) the emphasis is likely to be on practical, low-cost adjustments, although you should also consider more major physical alterations to improve access to your premises if feasible and affordable.

    Have you ever been somewhere you were made to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed? Have you been caused pain because of the seating in a venue? Have you been entirely unable to access a place? How did it make you feel?

    If you have any ideas to help me gently grow some balls and advocate for myself better, please yell!

    Thanks for reading.

    10 random things

    Hiya pickles!

    10 random things about me

    1. If I wanted to cheer myself and I had to grab any one DVD, it’d probably be the first Fast and Furious film. I’m not sure why, I just love it.

    2. I have a disgusting amount of make up, but it doesn’t stop me wanting more.

    3. I take way too many photos. Not so many of people, but places and things.

    4. Autoimmune illness has been kicking my arse for five loooong years.

    5. Once we’re halfway through the year, I start to get excited about Christmas.

    6. When I was a kid I wanted to be an author. Some day…

    7. When I was a kid I was convinced I was adopted and used to check my birth certificate all the time. I have no idea why.

    8. I’m hideously untidy. I have mad tidying sprees when someone is coming round.

    9. I’m fascinated with true crime and what makes the criminally insane tick.

    10. I love watching Reality TV - Hoarders, Emergency Bikers, hospital shows, etc. I find people (especially people who live outside the ‘norm’) fascinating.

    Feel free to tell me a couple of things about yourself in the comments :)

    Thanks for reading.

    INvisible Health Spotlight #3


    Today we have Kate with her story about mental health and polycystic ovaries.

    Hey there campers
    So……  Leah asked on twitter if any bloggers wanted to talk about their illness or disability.  As my loyal readers will know I blog regularly about my mental illness and have blogged about my polycystic ovarian syndrome.
    So…..  I have had problems with my mood for as long as I can remember to be honest.  I had … an interesting… childhood, I don’t want to go into THAT here.  Plus I was bullied at school, I could go on forever about how easy it was for people to pick on me, but again I won’t discuss that here.  The whys and how’s aren’t important!

    I saw counsellors at school on and off till I left then saw them at college, GP surgeries etc for years.  I was finally diagnosed as being depressed and given medication at 19, at the same time I mentioned to my GP that my periods still hadn’t settled down after they had started when I was 15.  they were very heavy lasted a couple of weeks to a month and were very irregular, he put me on the pill then after a quick chat about my mum (who had had problems too)  he agreed to do an ultrasound the following week.

    I was petrified, terrified that they’d see something really horrible.

    I went to the ultrasound alone as I didn’t want to worry anyone.  It was an awkward nerve wracking experience.  The nurse didn’t say anything but got the GP to come and a have a look as I wasn’t used to being at the doctors (more recently I went through a stage of seeing the doctor weekly, how things change)  I didn’t realise this was unusual.

    Anyway he took me into his office and explained I had cysts on my enlarged ovaries!  Scary stuff!  He explained it was a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome.  He said it also affected hair growth (with fair skin and black hair I was finding I had to shave daily it especially affects my upper lip and chin which is at best embarrassing), acne (again I have and still get acne not horrifically but enough to bother me) he then dropped the bombshell that I might not be able to have kids at 19 it wasn’t my top concern but still scary!!  I asked if the cysts could be removed, he said no and that I would need to learn to accept the condition. 

    So for the next 7/8 years that’s what I did took the pill, occasionally took anti-depressants (depending on my current boyfriend or the GP I was registered with I hated taking them so it depended on who could persuade me to take them).  I worked hard and played harder, my mood would crash id take the week off and then back to it.  Over the years till quite recently the people around me including family, GP’s, psychiatrists have considered the possibility I might be bipolar.  I tried to self manage on the whole but it was disastrously bad.

    3 ½ years ago things started to fall apart big time, a series of relationships had broken down, I hadn’t been able to keep down a job for about a year as my erratic behaviour and mood meant I couldn’t concentrate on anything and relationships were hard as I would cry for no reason, shout and scream at the slightest thing, and I couldn’t understand why I was so difficult to be around.  I alienated my fiends, barely spoke to family I was a wreck but I still worked hard.  I was a nightmare.

    Then the temporary job I was barely holding down finished, I was dumped by someone I really cared about and my living situation became unbearable, my benefits barely covered my living expenses and my flatmate was getting frustrated.  I started to hide in my bedroom only coming out to use the bathroom, eat and walk to the jobcentre to sign on.  I barely washed, I ate junk food that didn’t need cooking and lived in my trackie bottoms and hoodies, and I didn’t wash my clothes so I was generally covered in sauce stains.  I went to my GP he put me on an anti-depressant and referred me to a counsellor (when I finally saw her she said that the 6 weeks minimum she was allowed to allocate to a client wasn’t enough for me, so I had to go to a private counsellor which as I had to get the train and pay for it took so much of my benefits that I couldn’t afford to eat some weeks, saw her for 16 months and got nowhere!!!)

    After a couple of months, I had yet to see a counsellor, I walked into the jobcentre to sign on and I had slipped a bit of paper in the little packet they give you with your book in, saying i’m depressed I cant cope anymore and i’m scared.  I gave to the advisor; she read it then asked me to follow her and took me into an office.  She asked me if I was okay…as soon as I said f..ine I started crying and didn’t stop for an hour!  Once I stopped she said ‘I don’t want you to apply for another job!’  I started panicking I was so worried that all my benefits would stop.  She helped me apply for ESA.

    I haven’t worked since.

    I’m also on DLA now too.

    My medication takes the edge off but to be honest not much as changed in myself since that day in the jobcentre.

    I go to college now and get out a bit more but that’s mainly down to a fantastic support worker who helped me for 2 years and I’ve been seeing a cognitive behavioural therapist since the end of my support.

    I use distraction techniques to get me through the day if I let myself think about things I get overwhelmed and can’t achieve the simplest thing like eating or making a cuppa.

    My housekeeping skills have never been great but now the task is so daunting it can weeks without being touched, the worst thing is that I cant manage the washing up so sometimes that gets to the point where my flat stinks and I just can’t get my head round doing it!

    I have to keep my hair short as it gets soooo knotty when I don’t brush it; it is very painful when I can manage that seemingly simple task.  Showering can be just as daunting. 

    I’m now on mood stabilisers instead of anti-depressants as they work better for me (still no firm diagnosis of bipolar), beta blockers for my anxiety plus a cocktail of other meds that help me sleep, and reduce some of the side effects of the mood stabilisers.  I’m now on the depo injection to control my periods. 

    Anxiety is my biggest challenge it stops me doing all the things I used to love like clothes shopping, having a drink with friends and travelling around the country.  Though the depression is no picnic either, my lack of self esteem and tearfulness creates challenges that a year of CBT and the medications struggle to control.

    On top of the stigma of having mental illness, the lack of personal hygiene, a messy flat, weight gain from medication and anxiety attacks in busy places its hard to talk about and when I do some people looked scared like I’m going to knife them or disgusted and they think I am lazy!

    Thanks Kate for writing this! I know it's really hard and scary to reveal yourself in this way, so thank you.

    Thanks for reading!
    Have a great weekend.

    Tutorial - How to leave your link in a comment

    Hello loves!

    Happy Friday!

    Sometimes - when I remember - I leave a link to my blog in comments on other people's blogs, so people can check me out or remind themselves to avoid me, hahaha! I thought I'd share how to do it because it's an absolute doddle.

    Here's my code. I have to show you this as a photo or else my blog will try to use the code.

    There are two parts to this. The red part is my blog address (link), so change the code to your blog address, including the http bit. This is the link people will be clicking on to go to your blog. If you're not sure what your blog address is, go to your blog homepage and look at the top left hand side of your screen below the toolbar and the address is there.

    Then, change the purple 'Just me Leah' bit to the name of your blog. This is the name people will see at the bottom of the comment.

    Make sure you leave all the speech marks and everything else in there as it is, or it won't work.

    It looks like this:

    My comment is in white and my link (the Just me Leah bit) is in purple. The colour the link comes out depends on the settings of the blog you're posting on.

    Got any questions? Give me a yell. I'll help you out if you're stuck.

    If you're going to use this tip, let me know in the comments. If you want to thank me, a tweet about it with a link to this blog would make my day.

    Thanks for reading!

    My valentine

    Hello all!

    This is husband-face, as I call him.

    He's the king of silly faces, yet hates me capturing them.
    He's my heavy bag carrier and loves chauffeuring me around.
    He has better hair than me and eyelashes like a Jersey cow (the sod.)
    He puts up with my shopping habits and complements me all the time.
    He makes a lovely cup of tea and takes care of me.
    He's really funny, but is shy about it so no one else gets to see it.
    He laughs his head off when I'm ranting and loves it when I swear, the strange boy ;)
    My family adore him, but not as much as I do.
    It'll be 10 years together in April, and 1 year married.

    Love you, husband face.

    (He'll be a bit embarrassed when I tell him I've posted this, but he'll come round.)

    Here's my favourite Valentine themed song.

    I used to have a massive girl-crush on Carol Decker when I was a teenager. T'Pau's album Bridge of Spies was the first one I ever bought and I can still remember most of the words. God, I'm old!

    Thanks for reading!

    My Valentines FOTD


    This is the make up I'm wearing tonight. I took about 400,000 photos and hated them all. It was just bad timing - I was watching the tea didn't burn, taking photos of the sunset, washing up, taking outfit photos and taking these and I got a major sweat on, so I look like I've bathed in olive oil in these shots. Meh, perfectionism sucks! On to the photos, click to enlarge if you want to stare romantically into my pores ;)


    I think this was one of those rare (for me) looks which actually looked better in person than on camera.
    I used:

    Abyss (red) and Zeitgeist (black) eyeshadows from Illamasqua
    Benefit They're Real mascara
    elf Flawless Finish Foundation in Porcelain
    Illamasqua concealer in shade 115
    MUA cream blusher in Bittersweet
    elf matte lipstick in Rich Red
    Body Shop Brow & Liner Kit in shade 02
    MUA shade 2 used as a highlight under my brows

    I am totally loving the youthfulness cream blusher gives my skin. If you haven't tried, dooooo it! You won't regret it!

    Hubby and I had a lovely evening. We watched This Is War with Tom Hardy, Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon. It was a LOT funnier than I was expecting and I'm very proud to say hubby now has a massive man crush on Tommy. He's impossible not to like (I am perhaps a little biased!)

    I hope whatever you did - single and ready to mingle or coupled up - you had a nice evening.

    Thanks for reading!

    Valentines galaxy and My Little Pony unicorns OOTD

    Hi lovelies!

    Happy Valentines Day, or happy Thursday, whichever way you look at it!

    Here I am wearing the Simply Be galaxy dress, which I'd been saving for a special occasion. Excuse the shine I've got going on, I was rushing around like a maniac watching the tea, taking photos of the sunset, taking outfit photos and photos of my make up. Phew.

    Click photos to enlarge if you wanna see me get my glow on.

    I'm also wearing a cute My Little Pony unicorn brooch which lovely Rachel made me. Isn't it cute?

    Dress, Simply Be
    Belt, ASOS
    Boots, Tesco

    I actually received two brooches from Rachel, because she's a total sweetheart! Squee! I love unicorns.

    I did some red and black eye make up which I'll share later.

    Have a great night whatever you're doing. Hubby and I are going to watch a film later. I'm not into romance films, so we're watching the Expendables 2.

    Do you like the new trend for galaxy items?

    Thanks for reading!

    Demure Valentines FOTD with MUA

    Hello lovelies!

    I did a very demure look (with a sparkly twist) today with the MUA Undress Me Too palette. Full rundown of products used at the end of this post.

    Minus the sparkly eyebrows I'd do this kind of look if I was in a new relationship and pretending to be all sweet and innocent ;) Excuse the uneven brows! Click on photos for larger images.

    I used Benefit's The Porefessional primer balm to minimise my pores. I used it with Illamasqua's Rich Liquid Foundation, and it jumped into every sodding pore in my face with glee. I've used the foundation on its own before and it didn't do it, so I think the two don't mix. It's especially apparent around my nose and on my forehead, my dry areas. Moar exfoliation needed, methinks!

    I used:

    Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation in shade 115
    Illamasqua concealer in shade 115
    MUA cream blushers in Dolly (cheeks) and Yummy (hollow of cheekbones)
    Soap & Glory Thick and Fast mascara

    MUA lipgloss shade 4

    Eyes/brows - all from MUA Undress Me Too palette
    Brows - Fiery
    Inner eye around tear duct area & highlight under my brows - Shy
    Upper eyelid - Wink
    Lower eyelid - Tranquil
    Outer corner - Obsessed, blended out

    Are you doing anything for Valentines Day tomorrow? Are you going with demure or vampy make up? (Or none at all?)
    I'll be doing some vampy make up. 

    There'll be an outfit post tomorrow. I've been a bit lax on those recently.

    Thanks for reading!

    How normal do I have to pretend to be today?

    Hiya loves.

    I just wanted to put some words down about my health (again!)

    I got up this morning after 13 hours in bed feeling like I'd been hit by a bus. The combination of Fibromyalgia and CFS mean that even a huge amount of sleep isn't refreshing. I was only awake for 7 hours yesterday then had to go back to bed because I was exhausted. It used to be very rare that I would feel sleepy, rather than just weak, but feeling I can barely keep my eyes open and have to get to bed NOW is happening more and more lately, I can only assume because of the worry of my benefits appeal.

    I got up, went to the fridge for some cold water as I was parched and said to myself 'How normal do I have to pretend to be today?' The question took me by surprise because it's so true, and then I thought 'What commitments do I have today? Can I be myself or do I have to put a front on?'

    I was trying to think what today brings me as I stared without looking at the contents of the fridge until I remembered what I was there for - water. As I closed the fridge door I saw the form on the door and remembered I have a half hour long phone interview at 2pm to talk about how CBT can best help me.

    I don't know what's worse - having to pretend I'm OK or having to talk at length about how things really are. Both are extremely draining.

    It's got to the point where I crave my own company. After hubby goes to bed I enjoy the silence. I enjoy not having to answer his questions and not having to be present to fill him in on all the bits of tv he's missed. He plays pc games all night, but expects me to be 100% focussed on whatever's on tv so I can fill him in with the bits he missed when he was off killing monsters. It's an intrusion I could do without, but thankfully we have Sky+ so I can rewind so he can see what he missed. How present am I in anything? Not very. I withdraw into myself more and more and shut off my ears so I don't get overwhelmed. I love science and wildlife shows and can just about concentrate on the more technical stuff (even Brian Cox, whose programmes I love) but combined with James's commentary over the top (he's a total science geek) I just shut off. He knows now to get any conversation out of me the tv needs to be off. It's lovely to be able to think and talk without struggling to remember what I said half a sentence ago.

    Having to think for long periods of time physically drains me, as was proved when my mum and step dad came to stay a couple of weekends ago. My mum talks constantly (and I mean without end, unless she's eating, and not always then!) and by 9pm on both nights I was almost crying with fatigue from having to listen to her all day long. It feels like I'm under assault. I can see why my mum talks loads to me - my step-dad is deaf so she has no luck with him! I think she saves it all up for when she sees me :)

    Being with one friend at a time I can cope with, so long as there are no distractions - no tv, no music, no laptop in front of me. When there are distractions I lose track of the conversation - both mine and theirs. Being with a lot of friends doesn't tend to happen so much now, but when it does it's an assault on my senses and at some point in the evening I'll have to take some time out to decompress, even if it's only 5 minutes in the loo to rest my brain.

    Being outside, in town with a friend, or in the supermarket with my husband drains me. I try to show no signs of weakness or illness when I'm out, and that's a strain in itself, but it's primarily sensory overload which tires me. Loud noises, people moving past me, strong smells - they all add to the mix and make me feel like I want to scream.

    It's horrible to admit but my favourite kind of day is where I have the least possible face to face interaction with other humans, no expectations of me and nothing planned. I only feel stress free when I can do things at my own pace without anyone else relying on me or hassling me. If you'd have known me at my bubbly best you'd have never thought I'd end up like this - a stranger to myself, let alone to my loved ones. I used to love being surrounded by people at work and play. I was at my best when bouncing off of lots of different personalities and used to always have a 'more the merrier' outlook on any social event, bringing together a couple of my different sets of friends to make things more fun. There's no point crying over spilt milk - things are what they are. I still enjoy people very much - just in less full on circumstances than my noisy pub-dwelling days of old. I'm probably best at online friendships - I find Twitter and Facebook much less stressful than real life - or a quiet afternoon in a Wetherspoons pub so I can hear myself think and hear people speak. 

    Well, it's 45 minutes until this phone chat so I'd better brace myself for it. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks for reading.

    Taupe and black FOTD from MUA Undress Me Too palette

    Hello lovelies!

    I did a look with the new MUA palette today.

    I used Naked, Exposed and Corrupt for this look. Corrupt is a lot blacker than most blacks I'm used to using so I advise using a light touch....because I didn't! Ooops!

    I used:

    1. Famous by Sue Moxley Shimmer Brick in pink (before their relaunch) in shade Pink, used as blusher.
    2. Body Shop Brow & Liner Kit in shade 02, used to fill my brows in.
    3. Max Factor Colour Perfection lipstick in Mauve (old, probably not around any more.)
    4. Avon Ideal Flawless foundation, which I sheered out with moisturiser.
    5. Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which is an eyeshadow primer.
    6. Lanolips lip balm.
    7. Max Factor lipstick 919 Mauve.

    Onto the photos of my fizzog! I overdid it with the blusher so look like I've got a serious glow on.

    I'll do another look tomorrow from this palette tomorrow.

    Thanks for reading!

    Illamasqua eyeshadow swatches

    Hello lovely ones!

    I made an order from Illamasqua in their sale some weeks ago and here are my spoils. I got 3 pressed eyeshadows and a loose pigment. They were a fiver each. They are pictured without primer but I think they will all be more vibrant over a primer.

    Top row - Angst & Burst//Bottom row Savage & Zeitgeist.

    Top row - Angst & Burst//Bottom row Savage & Zeitgeist.

    Zeitgeist is just stunning with its silver sparkle

    Expect a FOTD using a couple of these colours soon!

    I also have some Illamasqua foundation and concealer to show you. The concealer smells like vanilla! Oh my days. Yum.

    Have you bought anything by Illamasqua?

    Thanks for reading!