#BEDM Day 31 - One whole month.

Hiya all!

Well, here we are, day 31 of this ol' challenge.

Hoorah! Well done, you have made it through the month. How was it for you? Did you learn anything? What did you enjoy? What did you dislike? Sum it all up!

I'm pleased I made every day and yet a little glad it's over, to be honest. I enjoyed sharing a bit more with you than outfits and swatches, but felt a disconnect with some of my readers through most of the month. I can totally understand it though - if you signed up for outfit posts and beauty and get me talking about different things suddenly it's going to be a bit weird. I'm really grateful for the opportunity and a big thanks goes to Rosalilium for organising the challenge.

It has made me realise just how much stuff I don't normally share with you though, so as well as outfit posts and beauty stuff I will try to squeeze a bit more of me in. I particularly enjoyed the day in the life photo post and my bank holiday photo post. Maybe I'll do a day in the life post once a month, if I get up to anything share-worthy!

Thanks for sticking by me, and hello to my new followers! Welcome aboard. I look forward to getting to know you.

Thanks for reading!

Here's a bonus photo from today. 

Apple green and candy red OOTD

Hello loves!

I have a few new bits to show you today.

Now you can see when I say skater skirts/dresses are short on me because of my bubble butt, they're REALLY short!

No fucks given today! Pooching my belly out but my hair looks fabulous!

I am wearing:
Necklace, £6 Trashy Doll
Skater dress 
Cardigan, £7.99 H&M size XL(22/24)
Leggings, Rogers & Rogers from Matalan
Shoes, Very

Whee, it's the weekend? Are you doing anything exciting?
Thanks for reading.

NEW! All 6 new MUA blushers swatched & reviewed!

Hiya dolls!

When I saw MUA were releasing 6 new powder blushers for 2013 I was in like a rat up a drain pipe! Delivery was surprisingly quick since they're smack bang in the middle of a 3-for-2 offer, so colour me impressed!

Onto the photos - click to make larger:















Shade descriptions (mine.)

Bon Bon -  matte darkened tea rose
Bubble Gum - matte deep pink
Candyfloss - a heathery pink with fine sparkle
Cupcake - a matte peachy brown
Lolly - a peach with fine sparkle
Marshmallow - a matte hot pink


These blushers are a lot creamier than their predecessors and they blend beautifully. I ordered all 6 shades for review only expecting to like a few of them, but I really like all of them and think they're very versatile shades - you've got everything from demure to diva covered here. I don't need to tell you that £1 is a bargain for 2.4g of product - especially if you snag them on the current 3-for-2 deal and only pay £4 for all 6! Go go GO!

My pick of the bunch is Lolly as I favour peachy tones but I look forward to doing different looks with all 6.

If you're a fan of bargain make up keep your eyes peeled over the next few days as I have 6 new MUA nail polishes to show you.

Will you be buying any of these blushers?

Thanks for reading!

OPI Pink & Purple NOTD

Hiya lovelies!

I've got a bee in my bonnet for doing my nails at the moment.

I did this OPI mani a couple of days ago. If you follow me on Instagram you may have already have seen a sneak peek.

Click to see larger image.


The pink is Kiss Me On My Tulips and the dark purple (almost black) is Vampsterdam. Vampersterdam left some streakiness at the base of the nail. As I applied a second coat it slightly dragged off the previous coat. Perhaps a little more drying time was required before I put on the second coat - patience is not my forte!

I love the pink - it's the perfect hot pink.

In my last NOTD post I talked about OPI not being cruelty free. After doing some more research it appears their parent company (Coty) isn't cruelty free but they are. Now everyone's ethics are different, but I don't think boycotting a cruelty free 'arm' of a company is for me.

This from PETA: We are happy to let you know that OPI remains cruelty-free despite its acquisition by Coty. Once again, OPI has signed PETA’s statement of assurance to show its commitment to our Caring Consumer campaign and to verify that it will not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulas, or finished products and that it pledges not to do so in the future. Large corporations now recognize the expanding audience of compassionate consumers who want cruelty-free food, cosmetics, and clothing. As cruelty-free products grow in popularity, smaller companies will continue to be bought out by larger companies that do not have the same animal testing policies. These conglomerates’ purchases of compassionate companies have meant that more humane products are widely promoted and sold than ever before. Shoppers see them on stores’ shelves and in advertisements, which enables these cruelty-free products to become increasingly popular. PETA’s cruelty-free company list includes cruelty-free subsidiaries of parent companies that have not eliminated animal tests because we want to support positive steps that companies make for animals. If a subsidiary operates independently from a parent company, we hope that continued support of its products will send a positive message to the parent company, which will ultimately influence its policy. 

So I will still buy OPI. Yuss!

Thanks for reading!

#BEDM Day 30 - Who inspires me

Hiya cockles!

It's the penultimate day of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. Today's topic is about inspiration.

Who inspire you? Are they close to you? Somebody famous? Or even somebody infamous?

My inspirations:

My mum. 

She's never had an easy life. She was brought up in real poverty, fell pregnant with me at the age of 18, got a hernia giving birth to my brother which has plagued her ever since, had a horrible marriage to my dad (sorry dad!), and is in general ill health now. I don't know how she's managed to stay chipper all these years of being ill and dirt poor. She's never had any luck except bad luck yet she still keeps smiling and laughing. Of course some of her struggle is echoed in my life now and from my point of view, smiling is what you do to trick your brain into happiness, so maybe that's my mum's salvation too. All I ever wanted to do was make enough wages so mum never had to worry about money, but now of course my health has failed somewhat and any grand schemes I had as a younger woman to 'save' my mum from poverty are just that - dreams. If I won the lottery I'd have her in a beautiful house with a pool as soon as you could say 'Hell yeah!' It would give me the utmost pleasure to look my mum in the eyes and say 'Mum, you will never have to worry about money another day in your life. Anything your heart desires is yours.'

Vashti Whitfield.
I've spoken about Vashti before. She was married to Andy Whitfield, star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Since Andy's sad passing, Vashti has blown me away with her honesty, grace, and openness to whatever the future brings. She's not a Superwoman living with no fear for the future - she looks fear in the eye, raises her fists and dares it to make the first move. Virtually every time I read Vashti's blog I end up crying - sad tears, happy tears, inspired tears and 'Girl, you got balls!' tears. She turns every negative into a reason to learn and grow and should I ever find myself grieving as Vashti has, I can only hope to find a similar strength in myself. If you've ever lost someone special, or if you need motivation to live your life with bravery and openness, I strongly suggest giving her a read. As her blog header reminds us - we only get one life.

The Queen.
I think the Queen is a perfect example of how to carry out duty. She devoted herself to Britain at a very young age and without the right mindset, she could've ended up feeling like she had a millstone around her neck. I think she's a very smart woman who realised she could love her role or hate it but either way it was still hers, so she chose to love it. She has a smile which lights up a room and she seems to derive real pleasure from meeting her subjects. She's one class act and when she dies (hopefully at the age of about 117 in her sleep!) it's going to be a very, very dark day not just for Britain and the Commonwealth, but the whole bloody world. 

I could go on and on, but all good things come in threes, don't you think?

Care to share some of your inspirations with me?

Thanks for reading.

Quick look - Sleek MakeUP goodies

Hello earthlings!

I've got some Sleek MakeUP beauties to share with you soon. This is just a sneak peek - I'm going to do posts with lots of swatches all next week and call it 'Sleek Week.' I know, SO original! ;)  Here's what I have to show you:

2 i-Divine 12 eyeshadow palettes
4 True Colour lipsticks
1 Lip4 lip palette
1 Eau La La eyeliner

This amount of goodies comprises of 2 orders I made and 4 lipsticks from my birthday.

I'm a huge fan of Sleek. Everything they do is such good quality for any price, let alone the tiny prices they charge. Lipsticks are £4.99, 12 shadow eye palettes are £7.99, the lip4 palettes are £8.99 and the eyeliners are £4.99.

Keep your eyes peeled next all week if you want to see the goodies.

Thanks for reading!

#BEDM Day 29 - Morning ritual

Hiya all!

Today's post is about my morning ritual.

Tell us about what you do every morning to help you get ready for the day ahead.

I apologise in advance - this is going to be a boring post. I don't keep regular hours like normal people. Sometimes I'm asleep by 7pm (like tonight) to rise again after an hour, and sometimes I'm awake till 5, 6, maybe 7am.

Mornings (or afternoons!) aren't the best time for me. Once every couple of months I'll get one of those glorious days where I wake up refreshed, have a good, satisfied stretch and think 'I wonder what today brings?!' I know when one of these days happens because I get about 10 times as much done as usual! ;) Normally I wake up more tired than when I went to bed. That's Fibromyalgia for you!

However, whatever time I get up there are things I do when I get up - all pretty mundane things, I'm afraid! Have a wee, clean my teeth, wash my hair and have a wash. Breakfast should be on the menu straight away, but as I have the attention span of a poorly gnat, sometimes I don't eat until tea time. If I do remember to eat I have porridge and fruit, scrambled egg on toast or a smoothie for breakfast. Then I hit emails while I eat and do a bit of housework. The laundry pile never ends. I don't know how any of you with kids do it - there's just two of us and the washing machine is on almost every day. I seem to be constantly dealing with laundry - retrieving James's discarded clothes from every room of the flat, washing laundry, drying it, folding it, putting it away. I don't iron, or else I think I'd be dealing with laundry most of the day. Bah, life's too short. Just rescue things from the tumble drier or air dry them and there's usually no need. The only thing I'm tempted to iron (if I had an ironing board) is bedding. I'm a bit anal about wanting crisply ironed bedding. Maybe I will get an ironing board....I've got two irons, after all!

Do you have a morning routine or do you just bob about getting things done in a random order?

Thanks for reading!

An apology

Hi all!

Recently I did a review on a Soap & Glory scrub where I used the line 'It clung to my body like a Jehovah's Witness to a doorstep.' I thought it was hilarious at the time but I didn't stop to think how it would feel for someone in that faith to read.

I wouldn't mock Jews, Muslims or Buddhists for their religion, so why mock Jehovah's Witnesses?

Let it be said that I'm not a fan of organised religion for reasons I best not get into now. When my brother and I were very young my mum faith-hopped until we found a church we all liked. We had dealings with Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses before settling on a Pentecostal church, but I shouldn't let my overall jadedness (not a word, I know) carry over into my blog. My experiences with faith are just that - MINE - and to mock someone else's faith is wrong.

If a person has to raise a laugh by hurting a group of people it's not comedy, it's cruelty. Ultimately I upset a person I really liked and respected and she did the right thing and unfollowed me everywhere, so she won't see this unless I email it to her. Nevertheless the right thing to do is apologise, and apologise without expecting it to 'make things better' and things suddenly be right. That won't happen but apologising is the right thing to do. I will be taking that line out of the blog.

Thanks for reading.

#BEDM Day 28 - Bad advice

Hi all.

Bad advice, something we've all had at one time or another.

What is the worst advice you have ever received?

I do take on advice but I tend to take it from a variety of people so I can explore a few different viewpoints. After weighing up all advice I usually end up going with my gut, so there's no one to blame but myself!

OK, I can't get off without giving you one example of bad advice I was given. When I was purchasing home insurance for the first time I had no idea you had to go through proper channels to cancel a policy. I was basically harangued into taking out home insurance policy from my husband's bank (he gave them my phone number - cheers for that, dear!!) and after taking advice from a more seasoned friend who said 'Oh, just cancel the other policy!' I just cancelled the other policy, and then ended up with loads of aggressive phone calls from the other company and ended up having to pay a hefty fee for cancelling early. Bummer. Lesson learned! Oopsy.

What bad advice have you been given?

Thanks for reading.

Coconut Oil - Nature's wonder product?

Hiya lovelies!

I am a massive fan of coconut oil. I think it's such a versatile item which you can use in so many ways. Before I get started, this isn't a sponsored post. I think everyone should have a pot of virgin coconut oil in their kitchen or bathroom because it's so good for you.

Coconut oil is anti fungal, anti microbial, anti bacterial, anti inflammatory, anti parasitic, anti viral and antioxidant.

Anti fungal -  helps against Athletes foot, fungal toenail infections, yeast infections, ringworm, etc.
Anti microbial - kills microbes or inhibits their growth.
Anti bacterial - kills bacterium or inhibits their growth.
Anti inflammatory - reduces inflammation.
Anti parasitic - destructive to parasites.
Anti viral - inhibits the development of viruses - helpful to use to get rid of cold sores once they appear.
Antioxidant - inhabits the oxidisation of other molecules, which can prevent the production of free radicals, which may damage or kill cells which in turn can lead to disease.

What can you use coconut oil for? 

Just about everything! It would probably be quicker to tell you what you can't use it for. I will go through some of the ways you can use it then tell you about the ways I use it myself.

Edible uses:

Firstly, you can eat it, cook with it, even fry with it. I strongly advise using food grade virgin coconut oil, because it tastes fantastic. I wouldn't want to taste the stuff designed for use on the body! You can use it as a sweetener in tea or coffee, use it in the place of margarine or butter in cooking, and fry with it - the taste is totally undetectable when fried and doesn't break down harmfully like other oils.

Topical uses:

You can get non-food grade coconut oil which you can use on the body. I use this one from Superdrug. You can use it as conditioner, as a cleanser, make up remover and moisturiser, as a shaving 'cream', as a vaginal lubricant, as lip balm, as a massage oil, to help prevent stretch marks, on cracked nipples from breastfeeding, as baby lotion, as a hand, nail and cuticle moisturiser.

Health uses:

To ease a sore throat, on cold sores, for treatment of eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis, to get rid of head lice, as a scalp treatment for cradle cap or dandruff, as athlete's foot treatment, to soothe nappy rash, to ease aches and pains from arthritis and other inflammatory pain conditions. It's good for your heart because the good fatty acids increase good (HDL) cholesterol. It also boosts metabolism.

Animal uses:

Used topically to get rid of fleas, and taken internally to help ease joint problems and to ensure a glossy coat.

Ways I use it:

I put a level tablespoon in my smoothies to add a bit of tropical taste and to make my hair and skin glow with health. I put a level teaspoon in with my porridge for the hair and skin benefits. Sometimes I use it in place of butter on toast - it tastes delicious. I will top it off with banana and some seeds - delicious! If I've run out of agave nectar I'll use it as a sweetener in my tea. When I have a sore throat I eat a level teaspoon straight off the spoon so it melts and tip my head back so it trickles down my throat. Repeated a couple of times a day it soothes the sorest of throats.

I have athlete's foot on one foot so I mix coconut oil with tea tree oil and rub it in it all over my foot (about a level teaspoon of coconut oil and 5 drops of tea tree oil.) I also have three fungal toenails and I use tea tree oil under my toenails where they've lifted from the nail bed (gross!) and rub coconut oil into the nails themselves. I've been doing it for about 3 months and I have some non-fungal nail growth coming through now! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Curanail! Whilst using Curanail I went from 2 fungal toenails to 3, because although they advise you to file down the affected toenails each week, they don't tell you to tape your other toenails up or else you're just spreading fungus spores about everywhere! If you us Curanail, fer God's sake CUT your nails instead of filing them or tape your other toenails up if you must file them.

I use coconut oil on my face after I've waxed my tache and eyebrow stragglies. This is my post-waxing rescue kit:

Elemis body oil, tea tree oil and food grade coconut oil, which I get from Holland and Barrett.

The Elemis body oil is a solid until you immerse the glass bottle into hot water. I tip about a level teaspoon's worth of oil into my hand and rub it all over my face to get rid of any wax residue from the waxing, which is an absolute nightmare to remove otherwise. I leave it on for a few seconds, then wipe it all away with a warm damp flannel, taking all the stickiness with it. Then, to prevent getting spots after waxing I mix about a level teaspoon's worth of coconut oil with about 5 drops of tea tree oil and rub it all over my face. No spots! Before using coconut and tea tree oil on my face I'd get dozens of angry yellow heads in the areas I'd waxed. 

I could use the non-food grade oil on my face, but I prefer to use the food grade oil on my face and the non-food grade oil on my body. Of course if money was no object I'd use the best quality oil with abandon.

Have you ever used coconut oil? Do you want to try it?

Thanks for reading!

My top 3 Elvis songs

Hi pickles!

I was lying in bed the other night thinking about my fave Elvis songs, and then I thought 'Does anyone who reads my blog even know I like Elvis? Does anyone NOT like Elvis?!'

These are the things I churn over when I'm trying to sleep.

I was brought up on a diet of Elvis, Dolly Parton, The Everly Brothers, Rod Stewart and lots of other stuff like that.

In no particular order, my top 3 Elvis songs. I suprised myself by not picking the more rock n' roll songs, although I love those too.

I love the way he freaks out at about the 5 mins 30 mark, and I'm a fan of all the hip-swivelling.

The notes he hits when he sings the 'Glory, glory Hallelujah' bit in the next song bring tears to my eyes. I'm a big soppy bugger.

Are you a fan of Elvis? What would be your top 3?

Thanks for looking!

#BEDM Day 27 - Secret Talent


Today's post is about secret talents.

What are you good at that nobody knows about? Tell us all about it.

Weeeeelllllllll. I'm humble to the max (really....anything I'm good at, I'm uncomfortable about. Weird, right?!) 

I'm OK behind a camera. A few years ago when I was in better health and yanno - actually left the house an all' - I got out and about taking lots of photos of local alternative models. I used to have a photography fan page on Facebook which had a fair amount of fans, even from actual working photographers (which shocked the shit out of me!) but I deleted it. 

I'm all right at design-based stuff and basic coding. I love doing blog design. I did my blog header, subject buttons and blog buttons. I'm for hire, hehe. I'm always tinkering about with stuff on the computer and I put this to good use with my husband's business on the rare occasion I have some spare energy.

I give expert squishy hugs.

I have a bit of a witchy streak, but I'm not sure I'd call it a 'talent'. I'm an empath and often know when things are going to happen. Call it psychic, witchy, whatever. Right from a child, I knew things, but I didn't know what I am had a name until a few years ago when a friend 'diagnosed' me. One thing I seem to be particularly good is knowing people are pregnant. I remember telling my mum a lady from church was pregnant when I was about 11. She asked me how I knew because it wasn't public knowledge and the lady wasn't showing. I could just tell. When my friend Tracy was pregnant, I knew before she did. She felt unwell and I told her to take a test. I knew she was having a girl from the start and all through the pregnancy Tracy asked for reassurance. It was quite a position of responsibility, but I knew without a doubt everything was going to be fine. 

I dream bad things which come true. Last week I dreamed someone in the family was going to die, and knew some bad news was coming. The day after the dream we found out James's grandad has terminal cancer. I know when I'm going to see someone I haven't seen for years, just moments before they appear. In 1994 when I was working at Gatwick, I suddenly thought 'I'm going to see Paula!' She was a good friend at school who'd moved to Jamaica in about 1988. Seconds later, I spotted her standing below the tv screens showing the departing trains on the train station concourse. I knew I was going to see her and there she was! Put it this way - she was more surprised to see me than I was her ;)

The empath bit means basically I'm an antenna for other people's feelings. I pick up signals which other people would miss - gestures, nuances in words, just a feeling. I see past the front people put on a lot of the time. That's not to say I have a 100% success rate - because it's quite wearing on me I often retreat into myself to recover, and then I'm lost to the world. I get sucked into other people's feelings everywhere when I'm switched on - both from people I know and with total strangers. It can be really hard to deal with and is very tiring. Sometimes the person's mood will affect me, and sometimes I'm able to change their mood to a brighter one. I know when people need cheering up and can be quite the comedian. Being out in a large group can feel like a total emotional assault for me, and as much as I enjoy being around a lot of people because of all the energy coming off people, it's not something I can do too often. I avoid confrontation like the plague and will physically move to be away from hostile people wherever possible. I crave time on my own. I love being up late into the night on my own so I can recover from everything I've picked up throughout the day. Watching the news - hearing of horrible things going on in the world - I'm not insulated against these things, even being a mostly stay at home person as I am now. Life is certainly easier for me now as I have less dealings with people overall, but still I feel.

I find murders and other tragedies really senseless and they affect me a lot. To a certain extent I have to shut myself off. When 9/11 happened I cried continuously for 3 days. Eventually, emotionally spent I made the decision to switch off to a certain extent, just so I could function. It sounds strange, but I grieve more for one death than I do for dozens, because caring for that many people at once would wipe me out. 

I have a connection with animals of all kinds and find being around them really healing. Animals have always taken to me. I was shocked to find last year that this extends to farm animals as well as pets, when two (different) herds of cows made a beeline for me when we were on honeymoon in Cornwall. I can't stand to think of animals being abused and think people who harm animals are beneath contempt. If I were in power I'd lock all animal abusers up in a castle on top of a hill and throw away the key. I love being out in nature and can often be reduced to tears by the beauty of a landscape.

I'm pretty sure my emotional rawness has contributed to my health problems. I can't see how it could fail to. I've always found life hard. I know most of us do, but it's as if I've tried to navigate the salty seas of life with my skin rubbed raw by sandpaper. Everything has always been felt to the max, so the simplest things exhaust me.

Unfortunately I have NO insight at all into my own life. None. It's for the best - I wouldn't have learned anything in life had I not made some absolute howlers in my lifetime! Sorry, that's turned out to be really long. Oops!

So, what are you secretly good at?

Thanks for reading!

Dot Ditto OOTD

Hiya pickles!

Yesterday hubby and I went to see Star Trek - Into Darkness (which is really good) and this is what I wore.

Click photos for larger images.

Denim jacket - Yours (2011 I think)
Scarf, New Look (gift from a friend)
Polka dot dress Evans (past season)
Leggings Rogers & Rogers
Polka dot shoes H&M (recent, and only £7!)

Have you been to the cinema recently?

Thanks for peeking!

A mixed review - Soap & Glory Flake Away

Hiya lovelies.

I'm a big fan of Soap & Glory, but let it be said I'm not such a fan of this scrub.

I recently got through a whole tub of the Breakfast Scrub, which I didn't review because I wanted a frame of reference to compare it to. Now I have one.

Flake Away makes my skin feel absolutely great, but it's not pleasant to use. I don't know if I got a duff pot, but it clung to my body like an MP to a free bar. It just wouldn't wash away, even with direct spray from the shower head. OK, I thought, I'll scrub it off with a flannel. Nope. I spent three times as long as usual in the shower and still felt like I'd been rolling around in a gravel pit.

'Have we got any sandpaper handy?'

Needless to say I didn't crack out the sandpaper, but I did scrub myself with a flannel, then a towel, and I still had some scrub left on me to attend to whilst I was drying.

Now there's the matter of surfing the bath tub. This stuff is more slippery than David Cameron in a jelly wrestling contest. If you have balance issues or an aversion to paramedics, for the love of Jaysus use this product with caution! Being serious for a moment, I nearly fell over several times because the oil in the scrub lifted the bath mat suction pads away from the bottom of the bath. In the end I had to grab a towel, throw it into the bath and stand on it, get the oiliness off my feet then gingerly step out of the bath, fully expecting to slip and break my vag bone on the side of the bath. Because I have balance issues and falls are really problematic to my pain levels because of Fibromyalgia, there's no way I can use this again. I like my cleanliness sans a dash of broken arse.

However, if you don't mind imagining you're on a wave in Oahu while you're in the shower, this scrub will leave your skin beautifully soft and well moisturised, so it's not a total loss.

I'm going to repurchase the Breakfast Scrub, refresh my memory, then review it for you. It's a bit good.

Have you ever diced with death in the shower? Ever nearly been suffocated by a shower puff or ended up with a bath duck in an unwanted orifice?

Have you tried this scrub? 

Thanks for reading!

#BEDM Day 24 - What's in my fridge

Hiya lovelies!

What do I have in my fridge?

Water, loads of it
Grapes (lots)
Blueberries (lots)
Broccoli & cauliflower mix
Stir fry noodles, sauce & veg
Cherry tomatoes & salad tomatoes
Rice pudding dessert x 2
Milk & soy milk
Primula cheese
Diet coke
Tropical drink
Tomato sauce
Spicy mayo
Mint sauce
Chicken breasts
Gammon steaks
Ginger/garlic paste
Tomato puree
Herbs in tubes
Chocolate (KitKats & Wispas for hubs, orange Aero for me)
Beer, cider & Crabbies ginger beer

(Some things not pictured as they're in the door.)

What's in your fridge?

Thanks for peeking!

A couple of nail posts

Hello YOU!

I hope your week is going great so far.

I have a couple of NOTD posts. Firstly the uber-sparkly pink polish from Nails Inc, Burlington Place, which was amongst the polishes hubby bought me for my birthday. It's as camp as a fully bedecked Christmas tree and I love it. This was three coats and my nail line was still slightly visible underneath so this is definitely a layering polish.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Next up we have the mani I have on now, which is Y'all come back ya hear, which is an orange with a jelly finish and The Colour of Minnie, the softly shimmering red. This was two coats each. I don't think the orange would ever be opaque thanks to the jelly nature of it.

I love the mix of orange and red together. I think I'll do lots more colour- blocking of nails like that.

What have you got on your nails at the moment?

#BEDM Day 23 - Compliments

Hi all!

Today I'm going to talk about compliments. Our mission for today is: Tell us about the best compliment you have ever received.

Who doesn't love compliments? I'm the same as anyone else in that respect. I'm going to go for the most recent compliment I received, which was on Friday from my cousin's little girl, C. She's really my second cousin but she wants me to be her auntie, so an Auntie I am! C is my favourite person, she's just adorable.

I was wearing a pretty peach dress with little cream hearts. She touched my dress at the hem and shyly said 'You look really beautiful in your dress.' AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. Consider my heart well and truly melted. 

There's something extra special about being loved by a child. They love you for you, and that's as pure as it gets. She doesn't see me as a fat person, just as a person who dishes out lots of squidgy hugs and occasionally brings presents for her.

On Saturday when we went out for a meal to celebrate my dad's and brother's birthdays. C always wants to sit next to me when we go for a meal but on this occasion she had the company of other children to play with so she sat on another table. After the meal I teased her saying 'I thought you'd forgotten who I was!' She didn't say anything then, but the next day she sidled up to me for a cuddle and said 'I didn't forget you yesterday.' I said I know, that she had children of her own age to play with. With that she gave me an indignant 'B_____'s FIVE, you know. I'm EIGHT!' Well that's me told! :D 

She was coming into my aunt's living room on Sunday when she whipped her head round and smacked her temple right on the heavy metal door handle. I think it made all of us feel sick at the sound of it and of course C was immediately in floods of tears. Her dad picked her up to have a look at her eye and she shook her head and said 'I want Leah!' so I gave her lots of cuddles and wiped away her tears. She said she felt sleepy so I was thinking 'Head injury - sleepy - not good!' but she was offered some of her favourite pomegranate seeds and she soon perked up, thankfully. 

I've got this cardigan with studs on the shoulder and she loves it. She's always putting it on even though she can wrap it around herself 4 times. She looks like Dracula in his cloak wearing it, in fact this weekend she said 'What's a Dracula?' I said sharp teeth, likes to bite necks and she said 'Oh, a vampire!' Hehe.

Here she is hiding under her cardi while Dr Who final was on because the men with scary teeth were giving here the heebie jeebies.

So, what's the best compliment you've ever had?

Thanks for reading!

#BEDM Day 22 - Letter to my 13 yo self


22 days done, 9 to go...not that I'm counting or anything....*looks shifty*.

Today's mission is: If you could talk to your 13 year old self, what would you say?

Strap yourselves in. Trigger warning for everything. 


Dear 13 year old Leah,

This year you start having periods. I'm sorry to say they don't get any better and you have about 40 more years of this shit, so painkillers are your friend. Oh, and even though you're not going to discover the art of self-love for another 3 years, it totally helps with the cramps.

You're going into the most uncertain and challenging times of your life - at home, in school, and in your relationships with others, but above all this, your body will be the thing you are made to feel bad about the most. Yes, you were a very tubby child, but if not for the adults around you making you feel bad about your body, you'd be absolutely fine - in fact, by the time you're 15 your love of the outdoors and walking will mean almost all your puppy fat goes and you are muscular and strong as an ox, but you won't realise that until 20 years later when it's far, far too late. Kids are always cruel, but it's not really their cruelty that will affect you - it's the arseholes in your own family and church who'll do that - people who SHOULD know better. You'll remember one time at nan's when the adults were having a dig, and your cousins joined in too, because what adults get away with unchallenged kids think is acceptable behaviour. You stormed out over to the rec away from the bastards and to cry, wondering why your mum never stood up for you. 20 years later you'll realise it's because they did the same to her, and then you can't be upset with her any more.

I'm not going to lie, the next few years are going to get gnarly. When you're 14 and away to visit your dad for the first time in years your mum is going to move an alcoholic rapist into your home. He's going to make your life a living hell for the next 5 years, try to sexually assault you (luckily you had no use for the 10 inch knife down your trouser leg at the time but I know you would've chopped it off at the root at the earliest opportunity), smash up the bathroom twice, ban you from entering the living room for the entire years he's there, make you leave school and go out to work to support your mother who is struggling to fund his booze habit, make you buy (and cook) your own food as soon as you start work and then nick most of it so you are forced to go hungry, beat the shit out of your dog so badly she goes blind, and all the while your mother will support him, even after he tries to coerce you into bed. Worse than that, she'll eff off out constantly leaving you alone with him in the house so often that you get a lock put on your bedroom door and lay in bed, scared to make a sound so he'll know you're in, scared to even breathe. You'll spiral into ill mental health that will see you check under every bed and in every wardrobe for years to make sure you're safe in the house until finally, you move in with your mum's friend 5 days a week so you at least can concentrate on your school work.

You'll only get a break from this when you break down telling your dad about it aged 18. You hadn't been really close with him for a long time but soon you'll be living with him and he'll be sleeping on a mattress on the floor for a year so you don't have to put up with the abuse any more. By 19 you'll be moved out of the town that caused so many bad memories and off to start a new life. Things will get brighter. You're tougher than you know. That alcoholic prick dies, and your only regret will be you're too far away to piss on his grave. You make it up with your mum, and your dad is there for you. What he didn't do in your early childhood years he'll more than make up for in time. 

You'll meet and go out with a few arseholes, but long, long into your future you'll meet someone who'll make you realise the rest happened just so you knew what you didn't want in a partner. 

Far from letting the events in your life poison you, you are more aware of the suffering of others as a result and try to be kind, because as you know all too well, you can never tell what a person is dealing with behind closed doors.

Oh, by the way, when you're 15 you'll have a dalliance with Sun In hair lightener. It won't go well, trust me. You should always wear sunscreen, but you won't. You really are a stubborn bugger.

Your positively ancient older self
x x x

Thanks for reading, and if you're feeling sad for me, don't. I got through it all, and I'm happy. I don't think about this stuff too much because it makes me sad, but it needs to be pulled out and dealt with once in a while.

Outside My Comfort Zone 7 - Geek OOTD

Hiya pickles!

It's OMCZ time again, and this fortnight's challenge was picked by Gail, who chose geek as the theme. Click photos to enlarge.

Cardi, Simply Be (I think, past season) via eBay
T shirt, gift from a friend (a few years ago)
Skirt, Simply be (old)

We were talking on Twitter (Steph, Gail and I) about geeky things and I nearly did a dance when I remembered I have my original 1990s Gameboy...except could I find it? Could I hell! Oops.

So I went with big glasses, pigtails, a cardi (all good geeks love a cardi), my phone and a George R R Martin book as my geeky things. I have no waist nor feet in these photos, but hey ho, they'll come back for another day.
How would you do geek chic?

Thanks for peeking!

#BEDM Day 21 - Dream job

Hiya lovelies!

Today I'm going to write about my dream job. The brief was thus: If you could do anything in the world to make a living what would it be?

My dream job is writing. I love to write and blog and my ideal would be to be able to make money from it. Ever since I've been able to grasp a pen being a writer has been all I wanted to do. As a child when asked what I wanted to do the answer was always 'Be an author.' 

The trouble is that aside from writing posts for my blog I'm terribly undisciplined. At the cusp of the year I set out to write my autobiography. Before you think 'Jaysus, she's a bit jumped up!' I have to say it has been at the request of a lot of people over a number of years as I've had a somewhat chequered past and an um, entertaining life, to put it in flowery terms. How far have I got in 5 months? Halfway through the first chapter. At this rate I'll be done by the time I'm about 70. 

I have this terribly romantic notion of myself labouring over a rickety old typewriter, supping endless cups of coffee to keep me alert (I don't even really like coffee - it gives me the shits!) whilst I mop my angsty writer's brow and gaze wistfully at the outside world from a rain-drenched window. I keep thinking up reasons not to write, when quite obviously I need to find reasons to bloody well write.

I have the perfect location for inspiration - our living room has a view of the sea and our sun room would be the perfect place for me to write from - there's already a table out there I could use as a desk and it's out of the comfort of the living room so it would feel like 'work' rather than fannying around. There's nothing stopping me from sitting out there for an hour a day inspired by the sea and working on something, except my own self-doubt and a mild dose of hypothermia on cold days, but it's nothing an extension lead and a fan heater won't fix. 

When I address my 'blocks' to doing what I want to do in a rational manner like this it blows them all out of the water and boils it all down to either laziness, or that perhaps I don't really want to do what I think I want to do - if that makes sense?!

I suppose the only way to find out if I'm book author material is to give it enough of a go - suck it and see, as they say. I don't doubt that writing a book is a massive commitment of time and effort, and it may just be I'm better suited to shorter pieces of work, but either way exercising my writing muscles in any way, shape or form can only be a good thing. I think the hard part is choosing something to write about, in which case a bash at my own life story might be a great way to cut my teeth. No one knows me like I do, after all! 

In this day of the internet we are all our own historians. There's never been such a wealth of information available to 'pass on' to our loved ones, and what better way to influence the way we are remembered than telling our story in our own words?

Have you ever thought about writing your story? What's your dream job?

Thanks for reading. 

#BEDM Day 20 - Newsflash

Hi all!

Today is day 21 of 31 days of 'Blog Every Day in May.' Today's remit is: Talk about something that is in the news today.

Well, my cousin told me something yesterday from the news, and it's in the forefront of my mind now. Now, a disclaimer. We can't believe everything we see in the news. Half the time the 'news' is there to distract us with fripperies while mass genocide goes virtually unnoticed, but I'm not going to talk about anything as important as war - I don't know enough about it. (We seem to have reached a Catch-22 already.)

Celebrity I do know a lot about, shallow bitch that I am - although having said that, I made a conscious decision to stop reading trashy mags and newspaper articles about who was shagging who because it's so transient. However, when someone has been in the public eye for so long, we tend to feel we know them, and that leads me onto...

I first became aware of Johnny Depp when he was in 21 Jump Street (the old TV show, not the hilarious film of recent times.) Or was it in Nightmare on Elm St where I saw him first? Either way, I fancied his part-Native-heritage butt off. He had his wild model-shagging days and then settled down to a life of domestic bliss in France with the gap-toothed sylph Vanessa Paradis. Although he was taken out of our daydreams and into the arms of the person responsible for 'Joe Le Taxi' (Youtube it if you're not familiar) it was somehow OK because Vanessa was relatively normal by Hollywood standards. She wasn't made of hair extensions, acrylic nails and silicone. She probably reeked of red wine and garlic and may have swallowed a few snails and frogs legs in her lifetime. You can't be jealous of someone who's chewed on a snail, surely?! Anyway, I digress. 

Then the news came that Johnny and Vanessa were splitting up, and there were rumours it was because he'd fallen cock over vagina for smokin' hot Amber Heard, Johnny's co star in The Rum Diaries. If you haven't seen it, please watch the mano-a-mano bouncing up and down in the car scene below. I think I laughed up a kidney. Anyway, back to the tale of the middle aged man making a total arse of himself...so he's *allegedly* left the mother of his two children for a woman for 20 years his junior. Oh, it's all amicable, of course - methinks because Vanessa Paradis is too classy to drag their business through the gossip columns. Why, Johnny, why? Why think with your cock? (Actually, why do any of you male earthlings think with your purple heads instead of the one with eyebrows?! Rhetorical question, obvs, you're still thinking about Amber Heard.)

All things age Johnny, even you. In 2, 5, 10 or 20 years Amber Heard might have effed off for someone who's in better restorative order and then you'll have whiskey-soaked nightmares of the gap-toothed baby-mama you left for a taste of younger poon. Is it worth it, when in a few years your kids may call another man 'daddy'? Are you planning on recycling your life and having a couple of kids with your new squeeze and her younger womb? Did you do it just because you can? Have you for all these years hoodwinked us? Was the staggering drunk Cap'n Jack Disney-ola persona just a front for what is essentially an alcoholic tramp with entitlement issues? And why is the rum always gone?

Or have I got it all wrong? Is it wrong to suppose blame on the part of the one who shacks up first post-break up? Is it biased of me to think that because men have left behind their 'old' families for aeons to life afresh with younger partners Mr Depp is doing the same? Or is there no smoke without fire?

What did you think when you heard those 'Johnny loves Amber' rumours might actually be true? Or do you not give a care for who he dips his wick in?

This, my friends, is why I stopped reading the gossip columns. My time could be so much better spent. 

I will now go and watch grass grow for an hour to free myself from the headache I got trying to work out what drives Johnny Depp's dick radar.

Thanks for reading, it's been a ride!

Now for the love of all that's good and holy, watch this scene. 

#BEDM Day 19 - Favourite tradition

Hi loves!

Today's post is all about traditions.

We all make up traditions that carry over year after year. What is your favourite tradition? Big or small, share the details and why you enjoy it.

I'm not a traditional person per se - I don't have a Sunday roast, I don't have a weekly fish night, no scheduled bonk days, or any other such thing, but one big tradition in my family is to spend Christmas Day at my aunt's house. When my nan was still alive about 20 of us used to pile round her house for Christmas lunch and a buffet tea. It was crowded, freezing cold despite the numbers, and we always used to have to manoeuvre over a drunk uncle passed out on the floor blocking the way to the bathroom, but those are times we all look back fondly upon because we were all together. My nan would get her record collection out, which had 'classics' like Max Bygraves, Chas and Dave and other cheesy sing-along tunes. She loved a sing-song, my nan, Cockney bird that she was.

She died in 1997, and the first Christmas after that we went to my aunt Sis's house, but since 1998 my aunt Ann has always hosted Christmas lunch. Numbers have dwindled over the years, as the 'glue' that held us all together has gone and the family has fragmented into its own factions slightly. Of course it'll never be quite the same again, but we make the best of it - after all, life goes on. I'm sure many a family before ours has lost its matriarch and at the same time lost some of its sparkle. Some people have such a life force about them that everybody is different somehow in their absence, almost as if we've lost the oil to our gears and nothing flows quite as smoothly. My nan was one of those people who smoothed everything over, brought everyone together and made things it all look effortless. I'm sure she had a good swear over the cooker when no one was in earshot, but her main priority was making sure everyone was fed, and fed well.

Look at the fetching 70s wallpaper below!

L-R Me, nan, my brother and my mum, who's shooting the world's greatest evils to whoever was taking the photo. Note we're all elbow deep in crisps. Stay classy.

What's your favourite tradition? 

Thanks for reading!

#BEDM Day 18 - Best friends


Today's subject in the blog every day in May challenge is: Who are your best friends and what makes them so special?

Well, I'm very lucky because I have many friends. I have old friends from back home, one of whom I've known since I was 5 years old. I have old school friends I'm still in contact with on Facebook, many of whom came to my wedding last year. I've stayed friends with my first boyfriend's sister, a friendship lasting over 20 years. I have a bunch of great mates who I met in the late 90s through a penpal agency for people into rock and metal music. We've never lived close together - two of them are in Manchester, one now in Wiltshire, but we see each other 2-3 times a year and always have a blast when we get together. 

When I worked I had a lot of colleagues who I called friends, but once you leave a workplace a lot of them turn out just to be acquaintances. Not all of them though. When I was in my last job, I met two reprobates called Tom and JP. We became fast friends. Now one of them lives in Canada and the other is in Oxford, but I know those two will be friends for life. 

JP left & Tom right.
Coincidentally, JP ended up going out with my friend Rach (after some meddling from me - ha!) and they are now in Canada for at least a year. We've had lots of fun over the last few years together.

Homer's face!

I say!

They are sorely missed but Skype and Facebook don't make them seem so far away.

I neglected to say at the time of first writing this blog (DUH!) that I've also made LOADS of friends online. I met some great people on MySpace, and now we've all ended up on Facebook. There's a great plus size community on Twitter and I've made friends with some lovely people on there, and I consider some of the bloggers I read friends too.

How long have you known your best friend(s)? Are they close in proximity or half a world away?

Thanks for reading!

#BEDM Day 17 - Walk to work


Today's mission to talk about is this: Describe or photograph your walk to work. Or journey to work if you use transport. Is it pretty or incredibly dull? Can you find something of interest on your way?

I'm not well enough to work at the moment. I really used to enjoy walking before I was ill, even if my end destination was the workplace of doooooooom! 

Since I don't walk to work, I thought I'd show you a few photos from our last walk, which I haven't shared here yet. These were taken a couple of weeks ago. We went for a brief walk on a very cold and windy day along the seafront near to us. We left when our hands went numb. Brrr! Can we have a little warmth with our sunshine please, Mother Nature?

Do you walk much?

Thanks for reading.