Bowery Mural


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

There's a lot to be said for trusting your gut instinct, isn't there.

I don't know why I don't listen to myself more, my instincts I mean. They're usually right. And yet time and again I am naive and shove them into that corner of me that reads 'No, it will be different this time, don't worry'.

It's because I'm a bit naive. Because I like to see the good in things (people). I believe what I'm told because I wouldn't think for one minute that I am being bullshitted, when quite clearly I am. I fall for it, the patter.

However, that my friends is not what I'm about, the patter. I can't do patter, you know, the bullshit. I just can't do that.

So maybe one day I'll learn to totally 100% trust my own gut instincts. They're almost totally 100% right.

Angela x

My First Facial

Monday, 27 August 2012

Back in January I was looking for another cleanser for my skin. For years, many years, i have used Liz Earle's cleanse and polish creamy cleanser. Yes the one that promises much cleansing with it's muslin cloth. I'd never really questioned it until i was speaking to a colleague who'd tried it and mentioned it made her 'normal' skin completely dry. *alarm bell*. I've always thought of my skin as dry but started to question whether or not the Liz Earle was also contributing to this. I decided I'd try a new one since on reflection the cleanser has never ever ever taken away the blackheads on my nose (despite many years of use). That is one of it's main promises... Anyway...

Whilst reading a few beauty blogs i came across oil cleansers and thought this might be better for my dry skin. An oil cleanser! Yes. I know. I didn't think there was such a thing but turns out there's loads and lo and behold they're meant to be really good for your skin. So I jumped in and ordered one from Origins. The Clean Energy oil. It's a 200ml bottle (£19) and I've only just finished the bottle now (from February). Pretty good value. I think I've talked about it before on here and i love the sensation of giving yourself a mini facial with this oil. It's also excellent at taking my eye make up off. With a splash of water it turns a little bit milky and you can rinse off. I do have to say it does not remove blackheads, not for me at least. I have yet to find a cleanser that will do that for me. If you know of any let me know.

About 2 months ago our local Debenhams was renovated and made more modern looking. This brought a host of new beauty counters: Elemis, Clarins spa, Urban Decay and eventually a little Origins counter. Whilst browsing the assistant came along and asked if she could help. I told her i was just browsing but was on the lookout for a new cleanser or something to help a red patch on my left cheek. Before I knew it was sat down and she was pushing the Dr Weil range of products for my red patch. The Dr Weil range being that little bit more expensive than Origins itself. I ummed and aahed and told her I'd think about it. I eventually left with an appointment for a free facial in a few weeks time. Of course, it wouldn't be completely free, for now i was under her grasp and i wasn't really gonna leave that facial without buying any products, was i?

I've used a few Origins products before this. The cleanser and toner as I mentioned. I got a sample of the Ginzing eye cream. I did like it but then it started to make my eyes run after a few hours wear. I tried it for about 2 weeks but couldn't take that irritated feeling around my eyes in the afternoon so i stopped. Not sure why it does it. I also have the Drink Up Intensive moisturising mask. I apply a layer at night and leave it overnight. Smells gorgeous and my dry skin really benefits from it. I gave in and bought the little blue bottle of spot lotion. I have to say I don't think it did much for me other than dry out a huge spot on my chin, but then any other spot lotion or tea tree oil might've done that too. It's a handy little bottle but not sure I'd buy it again.

So I had my first facial on Friday. now, I'm really picky about my skin and what i put on it. I've spent the last 10 years using products that aren't exactly cheap along with some high street brands. I was a bit nervous and had visions of me walking away from that chair with a face resembling that of a ripe tomato. I sat back and she did her thing after carefully assembling the products beside me.

She started off with the cleanser that i use. Nice. Next was the Make a Difference skin rejuvenation lotion (a toner). Fab smell - I have a sample size of this already and had already decided this would be purchased (it being the cheapest thing!). Next was an exfoliator. Argh. I never use gritty exfoliators. they just aggravate my dry sensitive skin. Oh, I should've mentioned that before. My skin is dry, mega dry in the winter and quite sensitive to over fragranced facial products. The exfoliator wasn't too bad. But I wouldn't be buying his. After a wipe down she brushed on a mask. A Dr Weil mask. It felt nice being brushed on, it was a bit smelly, and after a few minutes it started to burn round my mouth and my cheeks. I told her this and she removed it sooner rather than later. Another Dr Weil product was applied, a serum. Serums: read, much more expensive than a moisturiser. I told her I've got a serum for night time, am Estee Lauder one which cost a small fortune and i honestly don't know what it does for my skin. Honestly. Lastly she applied a moisturiser, the Have a Nice Day. It had an SPF 15 in it. Bonus. I am on the look out for a moisturiser with an SPF in it. I'm using a bog standard fragrance free non SPF on just now. It's sorted my skin out but i don't imagine it's protecting me much. The smell of this moisturiser was lush. I'd buy this.

I sat up and had a look in the mirror. Result. Face did not resemble a tomato. She said it was glowing. I'm never sure what that means. Are you? It was rather plumped looking but that could be the massage you get whilst all of the products are being applied. Anyway, I'd reserve judgement for now. I'd wait until a few hours later and see if the eye serum began to sting or the moisturiser made me oily.

Next came the question. Are there any products you'd like to buy? It depends on the price, i replied. The Dr Weil products were out of the question. I bought the Make a Difference lotion and the Have A Nice Day moisturiser. £50 for a free facial eh....

A few days on and my skin is really nice. I really like the moisturiser and the lotion is a good addition to my face care routine. This will be my routine for a good few months until they run out, barring any major skin irritations.

Overall i quite enjoyed the facial, even although it was just me sat behind a fabric screen in a pretty busy department store. I'm really not sure I'd actually go out and buy myself a facial at a beauty shop though. You know, sometimes they charge upwards of £55! A nice treat though.

Angela x



Dreaming in an Instagram Sierra filter...

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

I had a dream on Sunday night. I know I know, you probably don't want to read about that. But I'm going to tell you anyway. Cos it's my blog.

Anyway, back to the dream. It was about someone on Twitter (person A). Someone I've followed for a good couple of years now. And by the way, it's ok to write about it here, because he doesn't follow me and therefore will probably never read or hear about my dream, with him in it. No, obviously I'm not going to name him! He once drew a picture of me from my avatar. It's kinda cool. He's pretty active in his area (work and location), has a whole bunch of cool tattoos, likes bikes and wears shorts quite a lot. But it's his smiley eyes that are lovely. Lovely.
Me, by person A
So...the dream...
It started off as a bit of a nightmare to be honest. I have these quite regularly. They feature someone from my past coming back into my life (person X). Which isn't really possible since the person is no longer with us. But somehow he manages to make an appearance in my dreams on a recurring basis. I must try to sort this out.

The crux of the dream was i was being trapped by person X. Not in a boobytrap funny kind of way but in a "I want to get out of this but can't" sort of way. Just like it was in the past when person X was really in my life. So, we were at my sisters house. I wanted to run away (nightmare). I couldn't, my legs wouldn't move. Stuck they were. Much angst and thoughts were had. I was falling back to that place I don't ever want to go back to, then lovely person A came along.

We sat on the steps of my sisters house - which isn't easily plausible since person A lives about six and a half hours drive away south of the border - but you get a fantastic view of the sun setting over the hills. Anyway the thought of it was nice. He was lovely to me (in stark contrast to person X). We chatted about all manner of things: skateboards and bikes and trainers and films and music and holiday destinations and fun stuff. There was a sunshine filled Instagram Sierra filter on my dream in this scene. I was belly ache laughing, my heart swelling with happiness. To me this scene was perfect.

Person X was still inside the house. In a black and white Instagram scene no doubt.

Person A warmed my very soul. Secretly I knew he would. With plans to meet up later he headed off on his skateboard. All tattoos and smiles. Amazing...

After this the dream headed back to nightmare status and thankfully I woke up. Remembering the person X wasn't ever going to bother me again and that person A although not here in person, certainly made my dream lovely for the time he was in it.

The End.

I know, nothing much happened, except when you have regular nightmares like i do then that fun and happy chat on the steps of my sisters house really is something to write home about. So that was it. But as the good folks over at Pixar say...
I like this :)
What do you dream about? Do they ever come true?

Angela x


The one where I wore a skirt to work

Monday, 20 August 2012

Yes. You read the title correctly. I wore a skirt to work to day for the first time since I used to have a uniform in my Saturday job in a cheap shoe shop many many moons ago. Wowsers.

today I wore a skirt to work
I have to say I think i really enjoyed it too. Now to most girls this may not be a big deal. But for me, it is. I never wear skirts or dresses, ever. Well, I have got a couple in my wardrobe that are brought out on occassions - weddings, parties and the like. But every day wearing of skirts, no not me. Until I decided to change that.

I bought a nice little tulip type skirt from Zara in a sale. Zara are pretty good for black skirt wardrobe staples. So I have that, in my wardrobe, for a few months. Every now and again i try it on. I've even got the outfit picked out to wear with it when i eventually wear it outside of my bedroom. Then, during my holidays, i was browsing H&M and came across a pencil skirt. A nice black cotton pencil skirt. A skirt that had some elasticity in it and was a good length for my small height. I promptly grabbed two sizes, hop skipped to the changing room and tried them on. As soon as i tried it on it fitted perfectly and i loved it. It was just the right amount of fitted but not too tight. It enhanced my bum too - bonus! Luckily i had my boots on that day so it was easier to see what it'd look like in 'work mode'.

I bought it and it lay on my chairdrobe for a few weeks, until today. I had to wait until my legs were in condition since i was between waxing appointments (no razors near my legs for years!). That appointment was last week and so i was set.

I put it on, and paired it was a simple whit three quartered sleeve top and black boots (with socks). I think it looked pretty funky and i carried it off well. People at work didn't seem to notice that this was the first time in eight years that my legs have been on show... Or maybe they did and didn't want to mention it. Anyway, luckily too i packed my trusty little graphite grey TOMS flat shoes. The boots were hurting my feet pretty soon.

two views in one, yep happy with that
mirror mirror...
What i'd totally forgotten about was the obstacles you have to overcome whilst wearing a skirt to work.
1) getting in and out of the car, with dignity. No one was around so this wasn't too much of a hassle. The stretch fabric came into its own here.
testing the sitting down in skirt action
2) going to the toilet. I'd forgotten if i just had to hike up the skirt or undo the zip and drop it like trousers. I opted for the latter, it's was bit too tight to hike up around my hips.
3) stairs, going up and coming down. Up wasn't too much of a problem but coming down the stairs after a hard spin class whilst trying to look cool as two pretty hot boys looked on was a little challenge. I rose to it and passed myself off as a skirt wearing lady. Hopefully!

Ok so there were only 3 real obstacles to overcome on the day i finally wore a skirt to work. Now, i need get to other one out and give it a whirl too.
Yay to the skirts!

Angela x



Sunday, 12 August 2012

So unless you've been dead for two weeks you won't have failed to notice the Olympics were taking place. Today is the last day. In the background I've just watched the men's MTB race and now is the USA V Spain final of the men's basketball. Later on tonight is the closing ceremony which promises to be emotional I'm sure. No, not because the Spice Girls will play but because it's all over. Waaaaa...

If you follow me on Twitter then you may have noticed I've been cheering Team GB on from the comfort of my couch. Everything else to me has gone out the window. I haven't been to spin class for nearly two weeks I've been so wrapped up in trying to see lots of sports on TV. I don't think some people share my enthusiasm since I've lost a few followers in this two week period. Boo hoo haha! If you haven't been touched a little by what has gone on then i don't actually know what would move you.

Highlights have been plenty. And it seems wrong to pin point a few but here are some of mine:

Bradley Wiggins and the rest of the team trying to guide Mark Cavendish to glory in the road race. It wasn't to be, sadly, but a few days later Bradley took Gold in the time trial. He owned it, right off the back of his magnificent and historic Tour de France win. Amazing.

Andy Murray wins Gold in the tennis. So so pleased for him. Finally something went his way but he totally out played the out-playable Federer. Ha! Wonderful.

Jason Kenny wins Gold in the men's sprint in a booming velodrome. Well happy that he won that. He's such a quiet and unassuming lad and it totally belies the obvious power and strength that he has. Brilliant.

David Rudisha wins Gold in the 800m race with a World Record. Such a wonderful win and a smile to light up that whole stadium.

Michael Phelps wins more Golds and retires from swimming. An amazing Olympian and i loved when he won silver against South Africa's Chad Le Clos. He was guiding him around what to do. Chad later saying he won against his idol. Must've been a great feeling!

Sir Chris Hoy wins his 6th Gold medal. My heart was pounding as he took the last lap a few metres behind. But, then he came through and took the line. Oh how we roared! A gent and an amazing ambassador for Team GB.

Greg Rutherford wins Gold in the long jump. Was this unexpected? To the experts, probably not but he wasn't really highlighted on our radar was he. Well done lad!

Usain Bolt toys with everyone and comes out in front in the 100m sprint. How could anyone doubt him? He knew what he was doing and only his team mate and training partner, Blake came close. He has the magical demeanour that everyone loves. He knows how to play the crowd, the crowds love him and he can still perform.

Down at Eton Dorney was the rowing. It's always an emotional one this one. Katherine Grainger finally won her Gold. I think everyone who watch had a teary eye, then the Sir Steve hugs. He's such a legend too. Helping Alan Campbell up those steps and to the podium to collect his medal. Hugging everyone. But my abiding memory of the rowing is him with Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase. He got Mark on his feet. Brought them up to chat after such a tense race in which they won Silver. Still amazing but they wanted Gold. We were left with tears and a petted lip from Steve, then John Inverdale crumbled in front of our eyes too. That set me off again. What makes the rowing for me is Gary Herbert, the commentator. He who was cox in Barcelona games with the Searle brothers. If you get a chance try to catch his commentary.

Laura Trott wins Gold in the Ommnium, after her team pursuit Gold. Such a slight girl and still so young. A bright talent shining on that track. More of her please!

Jessica Ennis win Gold in the heptathlon. Finally! Such a great role model and abs like steel!

Ben Ainslie wins another Gold at Weymouth. Wow that was a tense set of races, the last one being so close. But he survived. I'm delighted for him.

Mo Farah double Gold in the 5k and 10k races.

The Brownlee brothers win Gold and Bronze in the men's triathlon. If not for a 15 second penalty it would've been Gold and Silver. Still, they're young enough to go to Rio. Woo..

Wow, can't list them all but Team GB have been fantastic, for the most part. What I'm most amazed at is how it has galvanised the country. Again, for the most part, for those who are actually enthused about the Olympics. We need more of this feeling. We need to harness the talent, encourage to kids to get out there, do it, like their heroes, like my heroes. We can do it. We should do it. Why the heck not! Sure there will be tough times, economically, around the corner, but you can't deny the lift the Olympics have brought to the country. The whole country.

I have to say apart from a few teething problems with the road race, the BBC coverage has been excellent too. I haven't watched another channel for 2 weeks. It's been on constantly. A few highlights for me have been Claire Balding, Mark Foster and Ian Thorpe in the aquatic centre - brilliant natural presenting and a good duo. As well as Moorhouse and Jamieson in commentary. Then we had Jake Humphrey and Mark Cavendish in the velodrome. I loved their little tag team and Cav facts. More of Cav on my telly please! Jill Douglas down on the floor of the velodrome is always great. She has a connection with them and you can see she tries to be professional but I'm sure there were a few tears for her. Michael Johnson on the athletics is just brilliant. He brings an alternative view and lots of insight. And lastly I've really enjoyed Gabby's catch up show at 10.30 each night. Good guests, good banter and a really nice lady.

I wish I could've got tickets for some venues.
What are your favourite Olympic moments?

Thank you London, thank you BBC, thank you Olympics, but most of all THANK YOU TEAM GB for the memories and the great feeling of joy.

Angela x

Hello August

Friday, 3 August 2012

The eighth month of the year has arrived in sparkling fashion. The sun came out, Team GB won Gold (yes, I'll be talking about the Olympics mostly until they are over) and I wore shorts to work for the first time in ages.

Time is not standing still. But I still seem to. Until now. If you aren't inspired by any one of those athletes gathered in London then I don't know what would.

I'm not just talking about their athleticism and form but also their dedication, years of preparation and probably some heartache along the way for their shot at a medal, any medal. Of course, it's easy when you've got a team around you, egging you on, believing in you, living your dream with you every step of the way.

I'd like that.

Angela x