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Sep 17
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Sep 08

Diet and healthy food Blog – 6th September 2019. So a very busy week back to work with lots of new things to learn and take on board. Kept to my plan of taking my gym kit with me and going there on the way home, it worked well because I was tired after a full on day and I knew if I went straight back to the hotel I wouldn’t go back out again! Also doing a class really energizes you too and clears the head. The nearest gym was Total Fitness and I have to say I was really impressed with it, I loved the indoor running track, the variety of the classes, the quality of the instructors was excellent and I managed to get there three nights out of four. My other plan was to try and eat healthy too, this had some challenges as lunch most days was sandwiches, quiches, sausage rolls etc., so it helped that I had had a decent breakfast and didn’t feel really hungry by the lunch time and tempted to eat what there was. On the subject of healthy eating, I read an interesting report on the benefits of increasing our intake of fruit and vegetables beyond the current recommendations of 5 a day to 10 a day (800 grams a day), its called the Rainbow Diet. The benefits in the trial led by the Imperial College of London, where impressive; 24% reduced risk of heart disease, 33% reduced risk of stroke, 28% reduced cardiovascular risk, 31% reduction in premature death and a 13% reduced risk of all cancer. I decided to give this a go myself a few months ago, what surprised me was that I really felt I was eating my 5 a day until I actually started to count them each day, some days I was and others I just wasn’t. So it did feel a bit of a challenge to begin with but now its part of my routine and towards the end of day I always have a quick mental tally of how many I have eaten so far and then its easier to make sure I reach my ten. Another benefit I found, from adapting this new regime, was eating a piece of fruit when I felt I was a bit hungry and wanting a snack instead of reaching for something else – usually less healthy. I have also replaced potatoes for sweet potato and now I always have a minimum of 2 green vegetables with my dinner but more usually 3. An example of what this might look like would be; 2 x kiwi fruit, 1 x apple, 1 x pear, 1/2 x grapefruit, 8 x cauliflower florets, 1 x glass of orange juice, 3 x tablespoons of peas, 2 x broccoli spears, 1 x tomato, 1 x banana. Apart from the reductions in serious illness, fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce; cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and boost the health our blood vessels and immune system. On a personal note I also have noticed an improvement in my hair, skin and that it has been much easier to maintain my weight. Watch out for some tips and ideas on this over the next few weeks too.

Aug 29

Bargain beauty, health and household buys, Blog – 27th August 2019. I have become a fan of the Home and Bargain shop thanks to my daughter Alex and I now do a monthly household shop there for; washing powder (Fairy 90 tabs), dishwasher tabs (Fairy Ultra 76 tabs), washing up liquid (Fairy large bottle), all cleaning products; kitchen, bathroom, shower, bleach, polish, hob, air freshener as well as toilette rolls, kitchen rolls, kitchen foil, cling film (all around £1 to £2) and lastly but not least The Pink Stuff. This has been recommended by Mrs Hinch and has become a cult product, it is a bargain at 89 pence but its not a new product many of us will remember this from many years ago manufactured by Stardrops, you can literally clean anything with it. Its often out of stock quickly so when you see it in get a few tubs. Doing a monthly shop here for these items has saved me about £50 a month. The other items worth picking up are your paracetamol and ibuprofen (39p each) and I have just stocked up on my winter vitamins as I can be prone to colds and sore throats I take Vitamin C and Vitamin B Complex to support my immune system. The effervescent Vitamin C and Zinc tablets are only 99p for a month supply (and suitable for vegetarians) and contain 1,000 mg of vitamin C which is more than double that of another well known brand which is 3 times the cost. All their vitamins are only 99p, I have compared them to well known brands and they contain the same mgs and doses. I also buy my toothpaste here, I am a fan of Oral B, I switched to this brand many years ago having been given a free sample and never used anything else since. I love the way it makes my teeth feel not only when I have brushed them but in the morning too, just like I have just cleaned them and I have had no dental treatments needed for 8 years now including the need for a clean, and here its only 99 pence. In terms of beauty products I have been experimenting more recently with face packs, I like the Balance Gold Hydrogel Mask at 99p it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and looks great afterwards. For sometime now I have been using a tinted moisturizer on my neck as I have sun damage which has left me with redness and uneven skin tone. I tried their Pure BB cream all in one light moisturizer and found it really good for covering up these areas on my neck and its £1.99. Lastly I have used fake tan on my legs for years now, no matter how brown I might go on holiday my legs don’t, its like they didn’t come with me! I apply Coty Sun Shimmer (£3.99 here) using a mit, this one is great double sided and only costs £2.99 and lasts most of the summer too. I am often trying new things that I spot in Home and Bargain so will share new items when I try them too. My top tip go once a month buy all your household products and then have experiment with some of their other products too. Forgot to add a before an after picture of my new hair cut and colour from my last blog very pleased with it.

Aug 23

Mac Make Up – 22nd August 2019 Blog. Had a trip to the Mac Counter in Selfridges yesterday, as I was low on eye shadow and felt my summer shimmer blusher was not right for the onset of the new season. I always buy my eye shadows from them for several reasons but most importantly is the opportunity to see what they look like on before I buy and the staff are brilliant at what they do I often come away with something different and learn a new technique. A top tip I use is to slightly dampen the applicator you are using (and a small brush is definitely best) and then apply the eyeshadow to the brush, this stops the shadow crumbling onto your face and also helps to set the shadow and avoid the creasing you can sometimes get and lastly it seems to stay on much longer too. I have gone for a very different shade of blusher this time as I noticed on pictures of myself that my face sometimes looked pale and my cheeks a hollow. On discussing this with the make up artist she showed me a better way to apply the blusher and suggested this different shade which I really like. This process took around half an hour and is a really good service and reasonable costs for the products too with the 3 purchases coming to £50.00 and they threw in some samples and a free mac lipstick as well. Today was hair cut and colour day, experimenting a bit with my colour as it has gone very light in the summer and pleased with the result. So it has been a few days of pampering for me, spa treatments, new make up and hair always good to dedicate time and invest in yourself.

Aug 21

New products to try – Wednesday 21st August 2019. I had a fabulous Decleor back, neck and scalp massage today followed by a facial, I try tohave a treatment once a month not only is it super relaxing but its also very beneficial and detoxing. Decleor is not a product I have used much but it is one of the most widely used in good salons particularly abroad and has been established for nearly 50 years! My therapist mentioned the benefits of using Iris oil for aging skin as it helps stimulate collagen (something that we stop producing in later life and is the route cause of those dreaded lines). So if anti-ageing is your primary goal (its certainly mine) this is one to try, it works to detoxify the skin as well as helping the epidermis to appear tightened. I have researched the best place to purchase and as usually my favourite website www.justmylook.com didn’t let me down, Lavendule Iris Face Serum is £31.90 and the Night Balm is £22.90. I will purchase some soon when my current face oil and night creams need replenishing and feedback. One last quick new product I have tried this week, is a shower gel by Palmolive called Just Fabulous and by complete co-incidence it contains Iris Oil as well as Avocado, it has a lovely texture and smell and is currently on offer at Morrisons…. wait for it………. for a £1.00 give it a try.

Aug 19

Monday 19th August 2019 -Skin care review. I have been using the Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Facial Serum which I purchased from www.justmylook.com, |(at £14.90) along with some other products to try, last month. I like this website as the prices of some of the best brands are very reasonable which means its more affordable to experiment with different brands. I don’t know about you but there is nothing worse than spending a fortune on a new product only to find its not really that good. Top tip here, if you don’t already do it, always ask for samples don’t be afraid to say you are interested in trying a new product but would like to try it first. Back to the serum, I have been wanting to try something different in serums for some time now, in the past I have been a fan of Estee Lauders perfectionist as well as Clarins Double Serum but I find that they don’t absorb into my skin as well as I would like. Now for the science bit retinoic acid is one of the few anti-ageing creams with clinical evidence. It has been incredibly effective at treating moderate to severe acne and it has also been shown to increase collagen production as well as thickening the dermis and thereby smoothing out wrinkles. I really like the way the skin absorbs this serum it has a dropper for dispensing but after a while its worth simply tipping a small amount onto your hand as there is a lot left in the bottle that the dispenser cant reach. I recommend leaving it on your skin for a good five minutes before applying your day or night cream on top. I am going to be looking at other retinol based serums too and will feedback on how they compare to this one.

Aug 18

18th August 2019 – Weekend Blog. So the fambo holiday is over, its been a while since I did a holiday like this one and it was your typical seaside break mixed weather but toddlers enjoying being together on the beach in any weather! Wind breakers, picnics and tea at the pub with annoying wasps and what was lovely was to see so many family’s enjoying these simple pleasures. My favourite beach was Llgwy Beach with its cute beach café and entertainment for both children and adults as well as being beautifully clean. I managed three runs while I was away, from the house where we stayed, into the next bay (Bulls Bay) which was downhill going but then a challenging up hill back! What made the holiday for me was having all 3 of the children ( now aged 33, 30 and 27 in a few days), my daughter in law and the 3 grand children together, it doesn’t happened that often due to distance and generally busy lives so those times are very precious to me. Until this year when my dad passed away, I was one of the sandwich generation. I was feeling the pressure of looking after my dad, supporting my children and helping with grandchildren as well as holding down a very demanding full time job. I was also in a new marriage and a step mum too and found myself constantly rushing from one thing to another. I thought when my dad eventually went into a nursing home that it would help but in realty it didn’t, I visited him every day he was unhappy there and having had to take over his affairs I was left with an enormous sense of responsibility. That sense of responsibility doesn’t end when your children leave school and then home, its tougher to get on the property ladder for them than it was for our generation and its estimated that a quarter of adults 20 to 34 are still living at home. So finding yourself squeezed between these two generations can be stressful, looking back on the 3 years that I was in that situation I realise how exhausted I was and how little time there was for me and my husband too. Sadly even having a holiday like this one would have been difficult for me, I have now lost both of my parents (my mum died at 59 when I was 34) and my husband has lost both of his parents during these years 3 years. So we now refer to ourselves as orphans, I am sad that my dad is no longer here our relationship was not always good but in the end when he needed me it felt right to be there for him and seeing someone deteriorate with dementia is both sad and distressing. It seems that our generation is taking on a lot more than our parents generation did at this stage of life and I think that we need to acknowledge this and adjust to it in a very positive way. Looking back on those last 3 years I could have delegated more of the responsibility than I did and built in more time for me and my partner. I did keep up with my exercise but it was always in a rush, a rush to get there then get home or go to see my dad etc., I also didn’t sleep well with the regular 2 am wake up worrying about some one or something, without 8 hours I really don’t function well! However, hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it?

Aug 14

13th August 2019 – Anglesey blog. Had 3 lovely sunny days on the beach but this morning woke up to rain. I was on duty for the baby so early start and took her for a long walk in the pram while everyone slept in. Decided to head over to Rhosneigr and have lunch at the Oyster Catcher which was fab, baby Darcy slept through lunch and the toddlers were very well behaved too. By the afternoon the sun was out so managed to get on the beach, so had fish and chips for lunch followed by ice cream on the beach yummy ! Hopefully the sun will shine for us tomorrow……. Oh forgot to mention slept really well last night maybe it was the new night cream or just simply the sea air ?