Friday, 30 September 2011


Em had a Dr's appointment this morning and on the way home she was texting her brother and roaring with laughter. I thought I'd share their texts because its a sunny Friday, I love my kids and I LOVE that they love one another.

Em: Bunk off college so you can watch Scary Movie with me?

Tom: Can't, wont get my EMA.

Em: Tell them its against your religion to work after 11.15am on 30th September. And that you have AIDS.

Tom: Foolproof

For that to really work you have to imagine Tom's last comment delivered with a perfectly raised single eyebrow.  Sardonic is his middle name.

Tom & Em, Christmas Eve 2009

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Wish me luck.

I think most of you know that as well as running the guest house I work full time on a farm machinery magazine, selling advertising.  I also go to agricultural shows to man our stand, this is sometimes great fun - Yorkshire show drinking Pimms at 4pm, some times utterly tedious - LAMMA standing in a cattle shed as a storm rages outside and sometimes, sometimes its so awful I can hardly find the words.

The National Ploughing Championships in Ireland.  It really is this muddy.  I have told my colleague that if en route to the stand one morning I trip and fall into the mud she is not to help me up, she must find a gun and shoot me.  Although it would be a waste of a bullet cos the levels of shite contained in ploughing mud are so high its highly likely you'll succumb to some dread disease if you get any of it on you. 

Just being there opens you up to all manner of vile contagion, but if you go to the toilet. Dear god. In the past there weren't gender specific loos, everyone used the portaloos.  The portaloos weren't emptied for the 4 days they were in use.  I have nearly gone into renal failure holding in a wee for 13 hrs rather than use these portaloos which is akin to hovering your nether regions over the opening to hell (think "slumdog millionaire - the toilet scene" its identical).  Luckily its got a lot more civilised in recent years and they now have ladies only loos!

So please if you do find yourself at the Ploughing come to the profi stand and say "Hi"!  And if at any point you think you are having a craptacular week bear in mind that I am stood in this, no doubt in the pouring rain and only drinking a mixture of equal parts of whisky and coffee is keeping me from sobbing.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

MAC Tenderling Sheertone Blush

After asking the utterly gorgeous Strawberry Blond for some tips on where a well feed face should apply its blusher she replied with a couple of links to You Tube videos showing how to contour and where you should put your blush. The Sam Chapman Contouring video was exactly what I needed, so good I had a go at contouring with Em's bronzer and whilst the colours were way off the effect was what I was after - out of the chub cheekbones appeared, well sort of!

Throughout the video Sam uses MAC Tenderling for her contouring.  Much googling later and I was pretty certain that it was exactly what I was looking for in a blush.  This is a hard thing to describe as the poor MAC SA in the Trafford Centre today found out!  I wanted to check that I wasn't totally wide of the mark with Tenderling so asked her if I could try it, she went to the stand and dithered about for a bit til I point it out to her (guessing she was relatively new!) and then told me it was much too pale for me and wouldn't show.  She tried to tempt me with Gingerlily (I think, it was very orange to my eye) then another that had shimmer, shimmer, she soon learned, was out, and in the end I relented and let her apply a sweep of a shade she thought would work on me.  At this point I was able to explain that the particular shade was exactly the colour I go when I am too hot and therefore made me looked flushed and uncomfortable.  She nearly tutted but did a commendable job of holding it in!  I then politely requested that she apply a bit of Tenderling to my other cheek. 

This is my MAC Tenderling being rained on, propped up on the dustbin by the back door so you can see the actual colour!  To my eye its the powder equivalent of Uncommon which I adored in a cream blush and which MAC decided to remove from their range. Bastards.  I loved that blusher, even if occasionally it mixed itself up with my foundation and gave me muddy cheeks!


This gives me just the merest hint of warmth.


And I completely love it! I am also wearing Clinique colour correction yellow stick, Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted moisturiser and Clinique Colour Correction powder in these pics, as you can see not as much pink as usual. Still promise a proper post on these soon.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Clinique Redness solutions - colour correcting powder

I really really want to blog about this.  But, I need about 3 hrs to do it justice, I want before, during and after photos and I want loads and loads of time to pull together the hyperbole that will constitute my review.

In short, if you have skin redness issues don't wait for the review just buy it.  I promise it will be the best £24 you have spent.

I am away next week and doubt I'll have time this weekend but as soon as I get the chance I will sort the post.

In the meantime I am leaving you with a photo of Emily that I took yesterday.  

I LOVE this girl, and I love this photo of her.


Monday, 12 September 2011

Body Shop Cocoa Butter Body Scrub

Got to be honest, not the biggest fan of body scrubs, I think mainly because I am not a huge fan of my body so it doesn't get much attention, I cover it up and hope it will not embarrass me.  So I didn't buy this, Em did, clearly she thought I was in need of some buffing!

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I was pretty ambivalent about this but decided to give it a whirl and I was pleased that I did!  It left my skin feeling soft, smooth and quite lovely!  I have used oil based body scrubs in the past and they tend to leave a film of oil on the skin which I am not keen on.  As this is grittyness in a creamy base there was no oily residue and my skin wasn't tacky or sticky either.

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I have used it several times now and I do like how it leaves your skin ready to drink in whatever moisturiser you decide to apply on top, even Sanctuary Body Butter which can take an age to soak in on me seems to sink in quite quickly.

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The scrub has a nice amount of gritty scrubby almond and ground rice so it sloughs off dead skin without ripping your hide to shreds, have used a sugar based scrub with a bit too much vigour in the past which made my skin sting which wasn't great.  Its £12.50 for a big 200ml tub here 

Have just had a look at the Body Shop website and think the Moringa scrub might be worth trying too, if the scent is a bit nicer, as it also appears to be a creamy base with nut and rice scrubbers in it.  If anyone has any recommendations for body scrubs that aren't sugar in oil types but that have more of a creamy base please do let me know, thanks!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

James Brown London Intensive Mask for Hair

My hair has been looking a bit shit lately tbh.  Really dry and frizzy in spite of my super ionic hairdryer and my ceramic brush.  It all came to a head (pun intended) on Sunday morning when whilst doing breakfast for 13 I had the mother of all hot flushes, every pore on my bottom (rofl thats a typo worth leaving in!) BODY! opened and sluiced out water, was even sweating around my eyes, was absolutely vile and I could not cool down, trying to serve breakfast and look calm and professional was not happening and then as a final insult I caught sight of my reflection and realised that my hair had turned into a mass of frizz that would have freaked out Don King.
I wasn't smiling.
As the only options seemed to be either shave it off or feed it up I decided a hair mask might be a good start so went to see what Boots had to offer.

And what I found was this:
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James Brown London Intensive Mask for Hair.  The thing that appealed most was that you could apply it to dry hair, so there was the option of slapping a bit on when you got into bed and leaving it on overnight without the trauma of going to bed with wet hair, which according to my mum when I was 7 and hair dryer phobic would almost certainly lead to my premature death.
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Nice thick consistency!

At £8.16 a tube its not a bad price but for £4 a tube its bloody bargainous!  Boots have a 2 for £8 deal on lots of hair care currently, including James Brown stuff, so I picked up 2 tubes for less than the price of one - result!

Now I have rather contrary hair, whilst its dry and frizzy and there is lots of it, it is rather fine so I have generally found masks left my hair feeling sleek and glossy but often a bit lank and flat with no oomph.  When I used this last night I washed my hair twice this morning, just a tiny dollop of shampoo to clean the mask off and then a 2nd tiny dollop to actually clean my hair.  Used my usual conditioner and applied a squirt of serum as usual too.  Once I had dried my hair the results were magnificent! I had a glowing, lustrous mane of hair that was full, bouncy and sleek with no frizz and no tell-tale lankness either! 

The mask smells heavenly and is quite a thick, cream but it soaks into your hair, rather than sitting on it in a claggy, nasty way.  On the tube it is suggested you leave it on for 10 mins but I quite like my "go to bed looking like a banshee and wake up a goddess" approach!

If your hair is having a menopause of its own, or just in need of a bit of tlc I can strongly recommend this!


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