31 January 2016
29 January 2016
28 January 2016
25 January 2016
23 January 2016
21 January 2016
The word "extreme" in the title may be a slight exaggeration: The first week of January was my first ever skiing venture, and despite my concerns (broken leg, broken neck, frostbite, general disease, falling off of a chair lift etc.) it was the first sport I've ever attempted that I actually enjoyed. I've made a little vlog for you guys to show you that despite feeling heroic on my first skiing attempt it wasn't in fact perfect ... or elegant ... or even speedy; but boy, did I feel an immense sense of pride and achievement. So, if you're planning on hitting the slopes for the first time this season, here's some advice I wish I'd heard before heading up:
1.) You will fall over, and you will get back up again ... eventually. This is probably the most important. Don't be afraid of falling - you're so cold and the snow cushions our fall slightly so it rarely hurts. The worst part of falling really is getting back up again. Thankfully I had a very patient helper, who probably spent hours over the week helping to pick me back up again. It's impossibly hard to get back up on your skis without slipping down the slope for the first few days, but you can do it, even if it takes a while.
2.) Tuck your upper layers into your salopettes. You may look and feel like a slightly overheating marshmallow, but it will totally be worth it so when you fall over you don't end up with ice up your back (I so wish I knew this before I went!)
3.) Day one might be awful, but don't be a quitter. My day one was spent 90% with me on my bum sliding haphazardly down a mountain. It felt as though every time I got back up I was destined to be back on the floor almost instantly. I got so demoralised there was a little drama queen fit on the mountain with "I hate this holiday and skiing and this goddamn mountain" being lamented rather loudly and repeatedly. BUT despite my misgivings I forced myself out on day two and LOVED it - I am so glad I didn't hermit myself away in fear for the rest of the week.
4.) Goggles are simultaneously your hero and enemy. These not only protected my face from impact when I faceplanted the ground ... repeatedly ... but also functioned as particularly unstylish sunglasses, protecting my eyes from glare. Foggy goggles however are an unforgiving bitch.
5.) Relax. This was the trickiest part for me. Generally my face was stuck into a grimace and my body was so rigid that you could have prodded me and I would have fallen over in the exact same position. But, in the end it's a holiday, and you're skiing to have fun and enjoy yourself - so do so!
What would your tips be?
16 January 2016
14 January 2016
11 January 2016
6 January 2016
Winter is pretty tough on all of our skin, but often our hands bear the brunt of it, especially if we forget to wear gloves on cold, windy days (whoops), or perform any kind of outdoor manual labour. And yes, taking the bins out pretty much counts as the latter.
I managed to develop eczema over the summer due to an allergy to the table sanitizer we used at a pub I worked out. Fortunately it's very localized, only present on two of my fingers. Unfortunately it's very painful and can look horrendous. Brill. So, I've been trying to keep me hands in much better condition than I have in previous years. Usually my winters are spent with knuckles that look like I;ve punched someone recently; they're so red and chapped. This year however they actually look normal (hallelujah). So I thought I'd share with you guys my favourite two hand care products this season that have been helping me keep on top of things.
LUSH's Golden Handshake. I picked this up initially for two reasons: one, it was glittery, and two, it waas a hot hand mask. I love my hair and face masks, and I've even tried a foot mask (a very odd sensation), so I thought I may as well give this a crack. You put the product in hot water and make a hot creamy, or watery, lotion as mine was and then soak your hands in it for fifteen minutes. As this is quite an intense treatment I only use it every fortnight, or less, but it works miracles. After using it my eczema cleared up completely for a couple of days, and since then it's noticeably improved.
My other favourite is The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector. This is something I try to remember to use every day as it just makes my hands feel so much better. It's really fab for dry skin, and keeps me from getting chapped. Also as I spend almost all of my time on a computer either blogging or working, it allows me to give my hands a gentle massage each day, to make sure that they remain cared for.
What are your favourite hand care products?
4 January 2016
The recent controversy over the tampon tax has been good for pretty much one reason: bringing the discussion of periods into the public conscious. Now, all us girls get them, and they affect us in a pretty extreme way, but we’ve been conditioned into considering them a shameful thing, not to be discussed, especially in front of men. Thankfully by bringing the ridiculous nature of the tampon tax into light (in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, in the UK tampons are taxed because they’re considered a “luxury” and, well, helicopters aren’t because they’re necessary. Makes sense right?), Osborne and our band of merry politicians have encouraged both men and women to discuss the tabooed issue of periods.
Now, here’s why I think this is important. We’ve all heard of thrush and BV (bacterial vaginosis) right? Well these can be caused by a number of factors, but the material which both our underwear and sanitary items are made of can contribute to the development of these conditions. Now that we’re finally able to discuss tampons, and by extension sanitary towels, I think it’s important we look at what they are doing to our health, and alternatives to the heavily marketed perfumed ones which ever-so-hygienically allow us to wear them for hours and hours, trapping all the nasties that our bodies get rid of during our periods.
I came across a brand called Natracare in my local Gaia store a couple of months ago and would never look back to the kind of sanitary products I was using previously. Did you know that normal sanitary towels contain chlorine and are made of around 80% plastic? And that tampons contain artificial fibres that can shed whilst inside you and remain in your vagina after you remove the tampon itself? Because I certainly didn’t until I started doing more research into it. And this is why I use Natracare products. Their tampons, for example, only contain organic cotton, whereas most mass-produced and well-recognised ones contain a mixture of rayon and cotton. It is rayon which has the potential to shed and cause vaginal infections. Let’s face it, most people are either a tampon girl or a pad girl. We all want whatever we feel most comfortable in when we’re feeling at our most uncomfortable physically. Natracare offers both styles for women to wear, which are chlorine free (and yes, that does mean normal pads contain chlorine, ugh!) and made from 100% organic cotton. At some point in their lives, most women will suffer from thrush or BV, and gynaecologists urge women to change their hygiene routines, and now many are supporting Natracare, suggesting that it could be incredibly beneficial to move to sanitary products which will not irritate the skin.
Ultimately, we all want our vaginas to function at their optimum right? Not only does this impact our day to day comfort, but it can have a massive effect on our sex lives. So, I think we should all think about exactly what we are using at a time when our vagina is at its most sensitive and perhaps opt for brands that offer the opportunity to improve our sexual and vaginal health.