Pretty Natural

 

I don’t know if it’s my old age kicking in about 30 years too early, but I’m starting to prefer wearing less make up.

I used to go to town on blusher and would always be the teenager who kohl pencil lined her eyes something chronic, but as time goes on, I am beginning to appreciate the ‘less is more’ look.

I no longer use a kohl pencil, barely use mascara and have no clue how to contour. I think, if my spots are covered, my skin looks reasonably even and there’s a hint of color in my cheeks, then I’ll do just fine. On my beauty wish list is a tinted moisturizer, as I’d love to use that instead of foundation on days when I don’t have much on.

We are in an era when women encourage each other to embrace their natural looks and their bodies, while at the same time we cake ourselves in about eight or ten different products just to leave the house. We’re not monsters ladies, we are beautiful women with features to be proud of.

After you read this, I want you to try something. Go and take a look in the mirror and eye yourself up. Take your make up off if you can and have a good ol’ look at your face. Isn’t she a beauty? And smile. Smiling automatically enhances a woman’s beauty and it’s good for the soul. Stop looking for all the imperfections and start noticing the clear perfections you have without the need to concealer you skin into porcelain hell. Trust what you’ve been given and rock it. Rock it like the Queen of natural.

Happy-Girls-Audrey-Hepburn

Listed below is my little make up montage for when I feel like rocking a subtle look of glamour.

Maybelline Forever Strong Super Stay Gel Nail Color – Nude Rose 

Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid Foundation – Ivory

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color – Rose Quartz

Bourjois Cendre De Rose Brune Blush – Ashes of Roses

Natural Collection Eyeshadow – Barley 

Gold Ring with Diamond (Fake AF but cute)

Bird Cage Silk Scarf

 

Stay Beautiful, naturally…

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My Coffee Shop Blues

 

Coffee shops eh? What makes them such a good a place to brood and be mysterious in and act like a Sin City down and out detective with the world on your shoulders, while a deep voiced man narrates your confused life?

Sitting there with your collar up, dark glasses on, hunched over the table with a stance that just screams “My life is a mess, I’m in real deep and I don’t know where I’m going”, in a Bronx accent and a cigarette balanced in your mouth.

Fortunately, my two recent trips to my local cafe haven’t seen me look that bleak, but I think deep down, what drove me there wasn’t too dissimilar from my alter Bronx detective ego.

I think this Bronx detective has life a bit easier though. At least you can hide in the city. In a village, you are known by everyone and those people see your every expression, hear your every thought and watch your every move. There is no hiding. There is no rocking up at a cafe in a long trench coat with dark glasses and a journal, ordering a black Americano “hold the milk”, without someone thinking “what an absolute prat”.

My life is the complete opposite of Sin City;  More Do-gooder Village where happy folk skip their way through a gleeful underworld in search of blossomed snow drops and fellow do-gooder approval. I’m not saying I want to live in a world full of violence and drugs and all that horrible stuff, not at all, I’m very grateful for where I live. But there is a part of me, the Bronx detective in me, which needs a slice of anonymity from time to time. Where I can order an Espresso and to not have “I’ll bring the Expresso over” smiled back at me; where they’ll know what one is. Where I can sit on a table for one in the corner, conveniently hidden from the rest of the cafe world by a strategically placed stone pillar, spot an equally mysterious Bruce Willis across from me who gives me a shady nod, and scroll through my phone without the disapproving look of an elderly country bumpkin and where I can write blog posts in my writing pad without someone thinking I’m studying or writing the next verse for the Parish magazine next week.

I want to be able to leave in silence, away into the hustle of a busy street where I immediately blend in with the existence of city life with nothing but the sound of “Taxi!” and a swirl of mist from the extractor fan in my wake. Instead I leave to the sound of synchronized “Bye”‘s from every soul in that cafe, all watching as I open the door, trip on the step and re-adjust my scarf as an overwhelming feeling of metaphorical suffocation encapsulates my being.

It can get too much.

You know?

I want to be a chic city girl exuding mystery and dark elegance.

Is that really too much to ask?

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My Healthy Eating Challenge

 

 

It’s safe to say, I’m a free eater. A liberated eater if you will.

I eat what I want, when I want. And I’m not bragging or making myself try and sound like the greediest human alive, I’m just saying that when this girl is peckish, delicious morsels are hunted down and consumed. Generally not in the form of a carrot stick being enthusiastically swiped through homemade hummus either.

I’m the girl who eats biscuits or oat cakes for breakfast, will snack on biscuits or chocolate in between meals with the odd bit of fruit thrown in for good measure, and when it comes to meals like lunch and dinner, my portion sizes are what Gillian McKeith might call “mammoth”. But what a normal person would call “a plate well loaded.”

So I have a good appetite. Yay for me. But after spending months giving myself pretty much a free reign over food as a mild, fairly immature two fingers up to being broken hearted, I have reached the moment in my aging life that this irresponsible and unhealthy attitude towards food has to stop. As much as a large part of me delights at the idea of spending life with a box of Kripsy Kreme in one hand and a huge bowl of mac and cheese in the other, a smaller, healthier part of me is having frequent panic attacks at the thought of how unfit I am and how I could make so much more of an effort to eat a lettuce leaf.

Here are 10 reasons to eat a healthy balanced diet:

  1. Cholesterol – My family on both sides suffer from high cholesterol and untreated, can lead to a number of serious health conditions like strokes and heart disease.
  2. Your immune system will function better and be stronger to fight off bugs and colds and all the nasties.
  3. Your risk of heart attacks and heart disease will be less and your arteries will be clearer with less fat consumed.
  4. Cancer prevention.
  5. Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
  6. Digestive health.
  7. Fertility.
  8. Healthier skin.
  9. Increased brain function.

I am fortunate to an extent that I grew up on a pretty balanced diet and was never given sugary fizzy drinks, so have no desire to drink them in my adult life. I never have a MacDonalds or Burger King etc, but I know full well what I do eat, could be a lot healthier. So, my mission from here on in, is to stop snacking on the rubbish and replace rubbish with healthier alternatives. Despite the serious cravings, cut down on my chocolate intake. To eat a healthy breakfast before work and make time in the morning to sit down and eat, to reduce my portion sizes on my plate and not have eyes bigger than my stomach, and to make sure that I have a good amount of vegetables or salad with my main evening meal. OH!! And I almost forgot, I want to start drinking less caffeine. Coffee mostly, I like my Twinings English Breakfast too much to abandon ship with that, but less coffee is a must.

Or at least, that is the plan.

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BREAKFAST

I love lemon green tea. Green tea is great by itself, but with that hint of lemon, makes it crisper and fresher and I think I would prefer to wake up to a cup o’ this instead of the thick, foul after-tasting sugar filled coffee, which never even wakes me up. Read this snippet of glory from the box of Clipper Tea Bags…

A light, crisp and highly refreshing green tea with a delicious lemony citrus zing.

Doesn’t that sound lovely to wake up to? Yes indeedy and I have considered getting a kettle for my bedroom…

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BREAKFAST

Keeping with the “most important meal of the day”, I am replacing my very unhealthy breakfast of biscuits or oatcakes, with fruit mix on top of whipped Greek yogurt with honey clusters sprinkled over. Trust me, this looks and tastes so much more refreshing and satisfying than stodgy oats and the bonus of it all, is that it’s healthy. If you’re on a proper serious health kick, you could opt for the low fat yogurt and no honey clusters, but a little sprinkle of those never hurt nobody, OK?

I love the variation possibilities with breakfast’s like this. Mix match of fruits to choose from like banana and kiwi and mango and orange segments… An endless fruity opportunity to start your day.

I would say stop me if I’m starting to sound like one of those annoying health freaks who thinks a fun Friday night is watching You Are What You Eat whilst using a home enema kit and munching on a grape, but I fear I’ve already hit that level and you can’t exactly stop me so, soz not soz.

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SNACKING

Oh me oh my.

Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks are the finest little snack since the roasted soy bean. They are 95 calories per serving of 21g. They are baked so already healthier than a Roast Chicken Walkers crisp, and they come in a variety of glorious flavours. These are Soy & Balsamic Vinegar which are the nicest I’ve tried so far. These little beauties are made from green peas and rice (what more could you want, apart from a Bounty?) and are Japanese inspired.

Delicious!

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MAIN MEALS 

On to the biggest meal of the day and the largest opportunity for all your hard work to go down the pan whilst you glug a 175ml of red wine and chew your way manically through a Chinese take away.

I am absolutely loving and craving salads at the moment and I’m trying to incorporate them into the majority of the main meals I have. Salads and vegetables should be the most of something you have on your plate, with potatoes or pasta coming second and meat being third. I am in total agreement with this and always hate it if there is too much meat on my plate. On the subject of meat, I also want to reduce my intake of red meat like beef and bacon as I really don’t enjoy it all too much and it’s not the healthiest meat option out there. I would like to focus on chicken and fish mostly, with a healthy portion of crunchy salad on the side.

And you can add so many tasty things to salads like, avocado’s, beetroot, radish, red onions, peppers, chickpeas, raw chopped vegetables, the list, again, is endless.

Just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Mix and match things, try new and exotic foods and make it look nice on the plate. We are a nation guilty of judging things by the way they look, so if you take the time to present what you’re about to put in your body nicely, then you’re definitely going to enjoy it a hella lot more.

To take away: I would advise the app + website Yummly. It’s great for recipe ideas and making lists of ingredients and meal type categories.

I am going to be posting pictures of my culinary adventures on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #whatamyeatsnext so keep a look out for my posts. You too could try this with the hashtag #myhealthyeatingchallenge and we can create a community of healthy eaters.

Don’t I sound like the most fun blogger you could be following right now?!

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