Friday, 14 February 2014

Face Off

Today's post is going to be all about my favourite facial cleansers. I am really, really into skincare at the moment. When I was a teenager, I had truly awful pizza skin. I cringe looking at photos of me from that time. I just didn't have a clue what I was doing - the only items of make up I owned were Rimmel concealer sticks and a blue eye shadow, and my idea of skincare was splashing a bit of Neutrogena on my face in the shower.

Now I'm the grand old age of 27, my skin has settled down. It isn't perfect, but I certainly don't weep when I look in the mirror. My biggest concerns now are dark circles, oily skin and enlarged pores. Glamorous!

Bring on my favourite products!

The Body Shop deserve a massive round of applause for their skincare ranges. I used to use the Tea Tree collection, but now that fighting blemishes isn't a priority I have switched to the Seaweed range for oily/combination skin. And omigod, what a revelation. This post is dominated by the Body Shop, so if you haven't tried their skin care ranges yet, I hope this will encourage you to pop into your local store and check them out.

For washing my face in the morning?

Seaweed Cleansing Facial Wash, £8

#This is a gel cleanser that you only need a tiny amount of. It doesn't generate masses of foam, just the right amount to make your skin feel completely clean.

I have extremely oily skin, but after I wash my face (regardless of the product I use) it goes tight and dry within a minute before going into oil production overdrive, unless I get my moisturiser on quickly. I wish I could say that I'd found something to counteract this effect, but I haven't.

This gel is gentle enough to rub on your mascara eyes, if you keep them tightly shut, though I prefer to use this in the morning on "clean" skin.

Morning toner?

Seaweed Clarifying Toner, £8

#I use a small amount of this toner on a cotton wool pad immediately after the gel cleanser. Too much of any toner is horrible - I think it is quite drying - but this one is fairly gentle. If you have sensitive skin, I wouldn't recommend using a toner at all; during my teenage years, my skin would burn horribly if I used it.

I don't use this toner in the evening, since I use an exfoliator or alternate product instead. For me, added a toner after any abrasive cleanser is not a good idea and can leave my skin red and sensitive.

Morning moisturiser?

Seaweed Day Cream, £10

I used to think that a "cream" moisturiser would be too heavy for my oily skin. But this day cream is very, very light - almost more like a gel. I wish it was in a pump rather than a pot, but it does the job so well that this doesn't seem such a bad compromise.

I dip three finger tips lightly in the pot, and find that amount sufficient to cover my whole face. Slightly more is needed if you're into moisturising your neck, but I tend to stop at my jawline.

Along with the facial wash, this is my favourite item from the Seaweed range. You can buy mini versions of both the toner and this moisturiser from the Body Shop to trial, if you're interested.

Taking my eye make up off at night?

Bioderma Sensibio H20, price varies

There is a cult French product called Bioderma, which if you're a fan of beauty vloggers on YouTube you are bound to have encountered. If you visit France, buy as many as your suitcase will hold and bring them home with you - it's absurdly expensive to buy in the UK. I only use this to remove my eye make up - I won't rush to restock it when I run out until I visit France again, because as much as I love it, it is overpriced.

The best place to get it in the UK at the moment is from Escentual, who have a 25% off everything promotion running until February 17th if you use discount code ESCENTUAL25.

I buy the 500ml bottles to get the best value, but they also sell 250ml bottles and sweet mini travel sized ones.

I use the Sensibio H20 line because it is safe for your eyes and sensitive skin, but Bioderma do other collections too, plus a myriad of other skincare lines.

For taking the rest of my make up off at night?

Seaweed Purifying Facial Cleanser, £8

#Honestly, I'm not a massive fan of this. I received it as part of a Seaweed gift bundle - I won't repurchase it for myself when it's gone, because I much prefer the Soap & Glory 'Peaches and Clean'.

This is the kind of cleanser that you plop onto your dry skin to remove make up, or just dirt. I have to use a really big squeeze of this to deal with my mascara, and when I wipe it off afterwards my face doesn't feel completely clean.

Until it runs out, I will just be using it before a bath to clean up my face, then follow up with an exfoliator or other cleanser.


Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator, £9

#I don't like to overdo scrubs, as I find them a little harsh for me. But this one is great used every other day in moderation.

I like to use it after a bath, when my pores are open, or after cleansing my face if I feel like I had a particularly grimy day.

I never, ever exfoliate in the morning. It buffs my skin a little too much to then try and apply make up - for me, it's strictly an evening product.

I like to follow it up the the Body Shop's Aloe Soothing Gel, which is deserves it's own mention actually...

Evening moisturiser?

Seaweed Night Treatment, £11

Click for enlarged viewThis is not my favourite part of my cleansing regime. Which is a little unfair of me because it works really well. It is a very light, clear gel, not at all like the sort of rich cream you might expect to put on at night.

The key requirement for me is not waking up with an overly greasy face. No matter how clean and soft my face is when I fall asleep, I always wake up oily. This night treatment does massively reduce my morning shininess, but I wonder if I'm missing out on any other benefits that a different night cream would give my skin.

Plus my current pump doesn't smell very nice, though previous ones have been lovely. Hmm.

Help! My skin is burning!

Aloe Soothing Gel, £8


Aloe Vera is an absolute miracle. When I lived in Japan, we had huge aloe plants growing in the nakaniwa (our inside garden). You could snap the ends of a thick leaf and rub the pure oils directly to your skin.

I could rave about the wonders of aloe all day. It's the only thing I would put on sunburn (forget those stupid after sun lotions) and I run screaming for it if I ever upset my face with a mask or a new product.

Whenever I go to Florida, I stock up on great big bottles of gel for my body. But here in the UK, this new offering from the Body Shop fits the bill nicely.

Face treats?

You could be forgiven for thinking that I have never stepped foot out of a Body Shop reading this post, but this is the result of YEARS of searching for the right things for my skin. I have tried so, so many different brands - from the ultra high-end Creme de la Mer, to the famous Clinique 3-Step programme, to Boots bargains like Clearasil and St Ives. My skin continued to suffer through everything I tried, until my current routine. So regardless of where it all comes from, if you find something that works for you, embrace it!

Then there is the added MASSIVE bonus of knowing that everything I buy from the Body Shop is fair trade and never tested on animals. What's not to love?

There are SO many products I want to talk about here from my various routines, but I am trying to stick to "facial cleansing" in this post. And I would be utterly remiss not to include:

Montagne Jeunesse face masks, approx £1

Montagne Jeunesse Peel & Mud Pamper PackOh how I adore these face masks. They're cheap as chips and some of them work amazingly. They all smell lovely, and despite occasionally being a massive pain to scrub off, they never fail to leave my face soft and happy.

Just in case one upsets my skin, I have my trusty aloe soothing gel to slap on afterwards.

Miracle product?

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum, £39

Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum

 Now this product is not for "cleaning" my face, so technically I shouldn't include it, but it is so, so good that I must.

It is the only face care I still buy from Clinique, because as a general rule I find their collections overpriced and I know that they aren't supposed to be perfumed - but I like my products to smell nice. Or at least clean.

But if you have enlarged pores, YOU NEED THIS SERUM. I use it religiously every night after my moisturiser and I can honestly say that it has made a significant difference to how noticeable they are. It doesn't clear pores, but boy does it shrink your big empty ones.

Even though I am very happy with my current range, I am tempted to try La Roche-Posay's range for oily skin, and also maybe First Aid Beauty. I will always have my beloved Soap & Glory on standby too. I'm certainly open to trying new things, but I know what I like and I'll stick with it until my skin's needs change again.

Do you use any of these products, or have a recommendation from me? I'd love to hear from you!

Much love,

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday: My Low Carb Diet

Hi everyone!

Since it's Weight Loss Wednesday here in the blogging world, today's post is going to be all about my diet, which I mentioned a few days ago. I don't know if any of you will be interested in this kind of thing, but it's a really important part of my life at the moment, so I wanted to share it.

Before Christmas, if you put any food within arm's reach of me I would eat it. For example, I ate the contents of an entire giant Lindt ball as a "snack" after a four course Christmas Lunch. I was a human eating machine during the holidays, and I allowed myself to go completely over the top because I had had this powerful mental shift in December into pre-diet mode. I chose the 27th December 2013 as the first day of my new relationship with food: AKA New Diet Day.

Obviously this wasn't the cleverest date to embark on a diet. Christmas chocolates, New Years Eve, meals out with friends and all of the other lovely things that happen over the holidays were like massive obstacles to a new eating plan. But I really wanted to start before the New Year, to avoid it becoming just another resolution that would fall by the wayside. Contrary to the advise of most diet books (don't start a diet when you know there'll be significant challenges, or when there are a lot of Terry's Chocolate Oranges left in the house) I plowed on, and I'm very happy to say that I've already lost a stone/14lb/6.5kg in January. Hooray!

Why am I dieting?

So I have tried and failed to lose weight on just about every diet that has ever been invented. With the exception of 5:2, which I refuse to try since it is retarded and basically self-abuse. Weight Watchers is my second favourite programme, if what I'm about to suggest doesn't appeal, but I knew that the only way I could shift the kind of weight I want to shift in time for summer would be low carb eating. I am trying to lose 60lb/27kg by August this year. That sounds like a lot... and it is! But I know I can do it.

Trouble picturing 60lb? This fish weighed 60lb. F**k me that looks like a lot... I wish I hadn't Googled that!

What is low carb eating?

Just a note here - medical science is not my forte, so please don't take my word for fact. But I think I'm more or less right. So! The most famous example of a low carb diet is The Atkins, which has just undergone a bit of a re-branding. The original diet was invented by Dr Atkins, who inadvertently discovered that by putting his obese patients on a high protein, high fat, low carb diet, they could lose significant amounts of weight. Our bodies are programmed to store excess energy. All carbohydrates, even the good ones like wholemeal bread and brown rice, are energy that is very easy for your body to store if it isn't burned up. That's because carbohydrates = sugar. And how does your body store this energy? By converting it to fat.

By eliminating carbs from your diet, you remove your body's source of simple sugar energy and force it to use the fat that it has already stored. It fascinates me that eating fat does not make you fat. Fats cannot be stored by your body in that way - the right fats provide vital nutrients for your health and well-being on their way through your body. For decades people have been eating "low fat" diets, or "reduced sugar" products that pump your body with artificial sweeteners, which guess what - are carbs. No wonder people are getting unhealthier and fatter. Scandinavian countries, being superior to us in most respects, have already begun reforming their official approaches to approved public diet advise. By eating a reduced calorie diet, your poor body is burning fat AND muscle to get its energy, leaving you tired, hungry and more likely to regain weight as soon as you stop restricting what you eat.

On The Atkins Diet, you eat a restricted number of carbohydrates every day, which can be increased gradually over time once you have lost your goal weight and established exactly how much carbohydrate your body can tolerate in conjunction with your lifestyle to prevent weight gain.

On the Atkins Diet, you count "net carbs". This is simply the total grams of carbohydrates minus the total grams of fibre in whatever you are eating. At the start of the diet, known as the 'Induction Phase' you must eat less that 15g of net carbs per day, and these should all come from vegetables. I hope I'm not making it sound complicated, because it really isn't!

A lesser known and much friendlier way of eating low carb is by following The Idiot-Proof Diet. It was written by two completely normal and down to earth ladies who were sick of being fat. It's a bit of a mish mash of all their favourite diets, and it works amazingly well. Six years ago I lost three stone following their plan for just six months - I was so happy and active that I got carried away and went back to all of my bad habits. It didn't matter, because I was so active at work that I maintained the weight loss. Then I changed jobs. I went from walking two miles to work and back and running round all day to driving my commute and sitting in a chair for eight hours. Needless to say, the weight came back. And then some.

There are also some great cookbooks out there to inspire you, if, like me, you lack creative capabilities in the kitchen. I bought loads in America, but you can find them all on Amazon too. My favourite at the moment in Karen Barnaby's 'Low Carb Gourmet'.

So what can you eat?

I would strongly encourage vegetarians and alcoholics to give this low carb dieting a miss. In a nutshell, my current diet consists of the following acceptable foods:

  • eggs
  • meat
  • oils, butter, mayonnaise
  • cheese
  • green vegetables
  • some fruits (avocado, tomato)
  • herbs, spices

I find breakfast the hardest. I can't whip up some scrambled eggs when I arrive at the office, nor do I want to tuck into a bit of cauliflower at 9am.

My absolute favourite thing to eat at the moment? Mini chorizo sausages, by Chow Foods. Holy mother of god, these are delicious. I could sit and eat six bags of them. If you baulk at the idea of tucking in to a bag of these for your breakfast, sorry! I looove them. They will absolutely be in my February Favourites.


I need a lot of motivation to keep me going on this diet. Even though I know it's for a great reason, I am essentially depriving myself of things that I previously enjoyed immensely. So I like to have visual aids to remind me how well it's going. Looking at Facebook photos helps. So did that picture of the giant fish. Jesus! That sent me running for the treadmill.

One of my favourite things to do is count glass beads - I got this tip from the Weight Watchers magazine. You fill a dish with the same number of glass beads/buttons/whatever as the number of pounds you want to lose. Stack it on an empty dish. As you lose weight, move the glass beads down into the empty pot. Instant visual validation that you're doing well.

Further motivation to keep losing weight - yesterday I filled five massive sacks and took them all to the charity shop - I've given away all my "fat clothes". Now I must remain naked until I fit into my "skinny clothes" again.

The Dreaded Gym

I'm paying an obscene amount (£86 per month, to be precise) for membership to my local David Lloyd gym. I really want to try the classes out, particularly body conditioning and yoga. But I'm a) incredibly lazy and never seem to make it there and b) a bit "nervous" of joining a class by myself. I'm sure once I've done it it will be fine and I'll enjoy myself, but it's just taking that first step in the right direction. Must conquer this irrational avoidance.

And that's really just about everything I can think of to tell you about my diet. It's been about 40 days now without so much of a whiff of a carb. No milk, no cereal, no bread, no potatoes, no pasta, no chocolate, no cake, no crisps, no biscuits, no alcohol, no Starbucks, no juice, no fruit... good thing that deprivation seems to empower me.

I will update you every now and then with my progress! Is anyone else on a diet? How are you doing?

Much love,

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Look what came in the post today!

Just a really quick note to express my COMPLETE OVEREXCITEMENT at opening my Beyoncé tickets!

Is anyone else who loves Queen B going to see her on the Mrs Carter tour?

Much love,

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

My January Favourites

Hi everyone,

Firstly I must give a masive thank you to everyone who has followed me on Bloglovin', read my posts and most of all left such lovely comments. I really appreciate every single one of you taking the time, and you've all made me a very enthusiastic first time blogger. Special thanks to everyone who gave me their advice about cameras - I feel much better informed now. Any decision I make, you'll know about it here first!

So, onto the things I've loved in January:

January Favourites

I started The Atkins Diet on the 27th December 2013, with a kind of devout dedication and rampant enthusiasm that I didn't realise I was capable of, bearing in mind my fervent love of food. I haven't had a single solitary "bad" carb since that day, and I am feeling so much better already. I will do a full post about my diet, but it has dominated my January so deserved a mention here.

2. The Dogeared 'Light as a Feather' bracelet

Occasionally I am partial to a kind of mutant hybrid of OCD and superstition. I decided that putting this bracelet on on the first day of my diet and then not taking it off until I had reached my goal weight was an excellent idea.

3. Rosie for Autograph silk pajamas

What the hell are these. They are absurd. I've never had silk pajamas before, but I bought these with 20% off just out of curiosity and I am a changed woman now. The Autograph range is the bit of M&S I like when I need something grown up and smart to wear, and all of the Rosie Huntington-Whitely nightwear is absolutely divine. If you want some gorgeous new underwear or pajamas, I can't recommend it highly enough.

4. Bumble and bumble invisible hairdressers oil

This technically shouldn't feature until February, as you might remember I only just bought it, but it is so good that it is sneaking in now. You put the tiniest amount in damp or dry hair and it shines like the sun and softens every strand. Minimal effort, maximum result! That's what I like.

Run yourself a bath. Drop one of these in. Die and go to heaven.

6. Essie nail varnishes

Since Feel Unique have cocked up and failed to send my new Tanya Burr nail polishes yet, I'm passing time with my Essie collection. Particularly enjoying 'Bahama Mama' as pictured. I don't think they're the best nail varnishes in the world - the hype they get is a little over the top. I think the varnish itself is pretty good, but the applicator is a little to pointy and narrow for my taste.

7. Yankee Candle in 'Bermuda Beach'

Yes, that's not the right picture. Forgive me some artistic licence. Now historically I have NOT been a lover of candles. However, after giving this one a sniff in Asda and instantly becoming so addicted that I get stressed when I haven't lit it for a while, I am undertaking a new voyage into candle appreciation territory. I am slightly distressed that I can't 'Bermuda Beach' on the website now... maybe 'Pink Sands' is the same? This is de rigour for me - find something I love, can't buy it.

8. Rimmel 'Match Perfection' foundation

Thanks to Tanya Burr for yet another stonking high street bargain product recommendation. I'm not best friends with foundation. My poor skin certainly needs help, but liquid foundation particularly makes me look like a melting clown. This one is doing an adequate job so far though at alleviating the worst symptoms of clown face, as long as I keep it topped up with powder.

9. Seche Vite 'Rebuild' formula

Since I paint my nails religiously at least once a week, they take a real caning. Since I bought this base coat after Christmas they have been slightly stronger, though I urgently need to give them a couple of clean weeks to recover. Maybe I'll lay off painting them til my mini Tanyas arrive.

10. Mac lipstick in 'Patisserie'

I do not make a habit of wearing lipstick. I have thin lips and a pale face, so anything dark on my lips looks like a bleeding slit in a snowman's face. This Mac lipstick, however, matches my natural tones perfectly, and smells utterly divine. Do all Mac lippies smell so good? I just want to eat it.

And that concludes my review of my favourite things from January 2014! I've added some links in since I originally posted this, as my poor laptop wouldn't co operate with me last night.

What were your favourites last month?

Much love,

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Cameras, photos and films - advise required!

Hi everyone,

I hope you've all had a great start to the week? Mine has been pretty mediocre, but at least there's scope for things to improve. So! I would like to buy a new camera. I have some concrete requirements:

  • I don't want one that will be difficult to use, e.g. has lots of bits I need to screw on and off and hundreds of settings and options to choose from
  • It needs to take great quality photos without me having to stand still and aim without moving a millimeter (not good at this)
  • It needs to record HD videos
  • The format it records to must be easy for me to get from the camera into a nice user-friendly editing programme that preferably doesn't cost a fortune
I have already decided to buy an iMac as a birthday present to myself (May 6th, if you'd like to treat me instead) so this is what I would be using to play with my photos and videos.

This is "top end" sort of camera I'd be willing to buy, a Canon EOS 600D:

But then I think, will I really use this camera? I did have a burning desire to make YouTube videos, but that isn't really at the top of my agenda at this time. I think it's something I would like to do later in the year. So should I rush to spend all this money on a camera?

I think I will end up getting this much cheaper standard Samsung camera, the WB800F:

I think that's a more appropriate choice for my current needs? Presumably I can edit any footage I do end up filming in exactly the same way as from a more expensive camera. Plus I still don't have a decent space for photos or filming, lighting, tripods, my new computer, etc... I think I may be trying to run before I can walk here!

I think I'll stick my mission to buy a camera on the back-burner for now. I have a perfectly adequate Canon point and shoot that there's nothing wrong with, I will stick to that until the need arises to upgrade. In the mean time I will keep saving money for my iMac.

Ahh, thank you blog for helping me reach this important decision.

What camera do you use? Do you have any recommendations or thoughts? I'd love to hear them, please let me know.

Much love,

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Liebster Award - My Answers

Hi everyone!

Googling what exactly The Liebster Award is has led me to conclude that it's a nice way of recognising someone's new blog. So my thanks to the lovely Shell over at What Shell Says who has nominated me.

So here are my answers to her 11 questions:

1. What do you think is the best budget beauty brand?

Maybelline. They do hands-down the best mascaras, at a fraction of the price of their upmarket cousins. The 'Baby' range is great too, and when I'm feeling too lazy to paint on a full face of foundation, the 'Fit' anti-shine stick is brilliant. Extra marks for the catchy theme tune.

2. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Oh this is hard... I have a few. I love California so much that I get depressed even thinking about it. I love Yokohama and Nagoya in Japan, because I have the best memories from living there during University and my lifelong best friends Kayo and Tomi live there with their families. Home gets a mention too, because you know - it's home.

3. Which beauty product could you not live without?

I was thinking about this the other day - it's got to be concealer. I really struggle to leave the house without a smattering of make up, just to take the edge off the horror show. If I have concealer on my dark circles and the odd red spot I can cope showing my otherwise naked face to the world. Though I don't relish it. My current favourite is Collection, though for a night out I switch to YSL Touche Eclat.

4. Heels or flats?

Heels! Flat shoes kill me. Not that I wander round on stilettos all day, but I always need a small wedge to support my feet. Those flat ballet pump style shoes are murderous, just looking at them hurts the arch of my foot. My only flats exceptions are for Toms or flip flops at the beach.

5. Who is your favourite blogger and why?

Hmm. I shall give this prestigious honour to Tanya Burr. Because she turned her life around from anxious, shy school drop-out to gorgeous, globe-trotting beauty maven just by doing what she loves and sharing it with us.

6. Describe yourself in 5 words.
Quite a mess, but trying.

7. What's your favourite high street shop?

Boots. Give me a huge Boots to wander around and I'm happy.

8. If you had one wish what would it be?

For infinite wealth. I mean Bill Gates kind of filthy rich.

9. What are your favourite types of blogs/posts to read?

I like reviews of beauty products, reading about weight loss successes, motivating personal stories... anything cheerful usually. German blogs written in English are usually great fun.

10. If you could be a celebrity for a day who would you be and why?

Before her divorce, I would have said Miranda Kerr (I would spend 12 hours staring at myself in the mirror and 12 hours in bed with Orlando Bloom). Now I pick Rihanna; on a yacht, at the beach, in a club and just generally being a bad ass tearing shit up.

11. What new beauty product would you love to try this year if cost wasn't an issue?

I would quite like one of those Babyliss curl secret things that sucks your hair into it and spits it back out curly. Though looking at this picture, it looks more like a garlic press or some kind of torture device than a beauty product...

Tada, those are my answers!

As I understand them, the rules of Liebster are that I now have to nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers who can answer my 11 questions, if they choose to. My nominees are Sofia, Nikita, Samantha, Ashley and Marit, Zoe, Isabel, Brittany, MartinAlexandra, Taylor and Preeti.

Their questions are:
  1. Do you wear a watch? If so, what kind?
  2. Do you honestly feel comfortable wearing red lipstick?
  3. What one product for your hair do you love the most?
  4. Do you pay any attention to "use by" dates on the stuff in your fridge?
  5. What is better, summer or winter?
  6. Are you allergic to anything?
  7. Which celebrity would you elope with tomorrow?
  8. Do you think you'll still be blogging when you're 40?
  9. Do you prefer your hair up or down?
  10. How long does it take you to get ready after a shower?
  11. What's your all time favourite mascara?

Have fun! Please answer the questions in the comments section if you don't want to make a whole post, or if you want to join in too.

Much love,

Payday shopping trip

So it wasn't my intention for my first two posts to both be about spending money on myself, but that's how it's panned out so let's run with it!

I went to Westfield White City this morning with my Mum, who is an excellent shopping partner (stops me making too many insane impulse purchases). I only had one objective for this trip, which was to find a purse with loads of room for cards. Cards seem to be multiplying in my purse at the moment. It's funny, I remember when I was much younger watching my Mum open her bulging purse, then looking down at my tiny thing with a library card in it and thinking "wow, I wish I had more stuff to fill mine with". I take it back!

So! What did I buy?

I found the purse I wanted in Cath Kidston. They are running 20% student discount this week, so I saved a little money on it. Having since stuffed it full of everything I need, it weighs a tonne. Definitely not one for a small handbag. They didn't have this style in many patterns, so I opted for a light floral one:
Whilst I was in Cath Kidston, I also bought this cute pen, as I am physically incapable of leaving that shop with less than two items.

There was a terrifying foray into Lush at some point, which is all a bit of a blur. It was teeming with mothers buying their young daughters bath bombs whilst making a fuss about the prices and looking a bit overwhelmed by it all. I can only assume that Lush has recently gained legions of newly devoted young fans from all the great press it gets from bloggers. I myself would never have stepped foot in one were it not for Zoella and Sprinkle of Glitter extolling the virtues of bath bombs... what do you think? Has it always been that popular? Do enlighten me.

Anyway I managed to shove some children out of the way to grab a mango bath melt, a love locket and a melting marshmallow melt (which is apparently for children, haha).

 Since I'm losing weight at the moment, I'm trying really hard not to buy any clothes or it feels like I'm just wasting money on "transition pieces" that won't fit for long. However I am a compulsive shopper and forced myself to some treats in M&S by justifying them cleverly as "for the gym" and "for work".

For the gym I chose a couple of t-shirts, which were a massive rip off but a lot smarter than my current selection, and a pair of loose kind of yoga pants, all from this collection. Plus some trainer socks.

For work, I got such a lovely skirt suit and two smart short sleeved tops. Bear in mind that I wear jeans and slippers to the office, and you get an idea of what a stretching treating myself to these items "for work" is. I won't both with photos of any of it, as I suspect M&S clothes aren't the most interesting thing to read about?

Though I will mention my Rosie silk pajamas because they're so disgustingly gorgeous - much like Rosie herself. I have literally only just discovered how much I love sleeping in silk, and these are just divine. Definitely a winter-only thing for me though, I wake up absolutely boiling in them.

Ahh, Boots. Boots how I love thee. I could literally spend hours in Boots, just staring at everything. It is a spiritual haven to me. A sanctuary. Having recently audited my inventory of lotions and potions however, I exercised extreme restraint in not grabbing a basket and piling it high with my various favourites and irresistible new things. I did coerce my mother into trying a Bumble and bumble hair creme though, as she's heard me rave about the thickening hairspray and the tonic which I use together before blow drying my hair.

So I treated myself to the hairdresser's invisible oil, which at £31 for a tiny bottle had better be bloody brilliant. I'll let you know how I get on with it. I just checked how much it costs at Sephora in the US - $38. We are so brutally ripped off when it comes to American brands in the UK. Adding this to my "stock up in Florida this summer" list.

I really didn't buy anything else of much note (was any of this of note?) We didn't go into many shops actually, I think we were mostly there to have some lovely mother-daughter time. When I choose a suitably light and tidy space to take photos - and find my camera - I will do some further reporting. Thinking about taking photos of what I eat. That's a thing, right?

Much love,