Coffee Table Conversations

We all know about coffee table books, but do you ever think about coffee table conversations? Those super niche topics that allow you to get to know the person sitting beside, or across from you, without any deep or meaningful connections. But you learn enough meaningful information,, or perhaps interesting is the right word, that if you were to get stuck behind them in line at the coffee shop, or bump into them on a train, you could sustain conversation for those allotted minutes. I mean, if you hit the jackpot of coffee table conversation, such as a shared niche on the perfect set-up for a joke that renders you both in stitches, then you’ll be more than dandy if you accidentally see each other again. If you haven’t already booked a cafe date. But if you’re anything like me, there’s nothing more awkward and uncomfortable than forced socialisation. so instead of Fumbling through topics of the weather, work, mutual friends or, god-forbid, pictures of their children/nieces/nephews. I have these topics. It’s for my sanity, really. Hopefully you might get something out of this too!

Topic one: skincare. Okay, this might seem personal, but it’s the ultimate icebreaker. Are you brand loyal? Do you have a go-to ingredient? How many steps in your routine? Have you ever heard of Q+A skin? Because I’ve just discovered them and they’re really quite great. They ask me ‘Oh, is that so?’ I say yes, and have a little rattle on about my favourite product, or how something reduced my acne, and then they’ll mention a terrible spot they got from the make up they wore to a fancy dinner. I then have the choice to inquire about the dinner, or recommend a product. If I like them, I say ‘add me on Facebook’ and I’ll send you some links. Bam, that was easy, wasn’t it?

My second favourite topic is politics. Now hear me out, I know it’s one of those things you’re supposed to avoid, but not me! If I’m talking with a right-wing fascist, I’d like to know. Perhaps our coffee table talk can be a learning experience for them, a teachable moment. Also, never in all my years, have I found it impossible to find common ground having a go at a specific politician. They’re so hatable, gals. So awful. So I ask them ‘have you seen what happened with insert current event here?’ and either we discuss it, or I explain it. Perhaps a key piece of information here is that I like to talk, and I’ll happily do it to avoid silence. My fall back is current events that fall more into arts and entertainment, like celebrities. Everyone watches films, right?

Third and final go-to topic is foods that I don’t like. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a food they don’t like, and/or a story about a gross culinary experience. Shellfish, snails, frog legs, you name it. It’s so amusing to me to talk about people’s weird reasons for disliking common foods. Hearing my friend talk about how she feels eating banana always cracks me up. The way her body cringes at the thought of the texture, the fake gagging. Hilarious. I suppose it’s similar with creepy crawlies, bugs and such. Everyone has a funny or suspenseful spider catching story, or will happily recount the time they saw a four foot long shake, even if it is exaggerated.

So those are my three topics to ensure a relatively smooth social interaction and ample opportunity for a forced follow up. Let me know your keys to success!

e-Zine Extravoganza

Hello all! I’ve been speaking with some creatively-minded friends, and we’ve decided to set up an e-zine website which is more than just my ramblings, but all sorts of art. Comics, artworks, crafts, poetry, you name it! But we need ideas! Themes, perhaps? Is there something you’d like to see, because I’d love to hear it, and I promise there are no bad suggestions. None.

So tell us! We’re hoping edition one will be available by June.

Oily Skin Throughout History

Here’s a fun fact, I have oily skin. Okay, yeah, that’s not a particularly fun fact. It’s quite common. I’ve always wondered though if people have delt with oily skin throughout history. Because when you go to an art gallery and look at old paintings of men and women from all walks of life, you don’t see excessive shininess, or pimples popping up. I know that those people probably didn’t want their worst features highlighted upon, like how people nowadays use filters and touch-up apps to perfect their faces, but surely we’d see at least a few. There’s got to be non-commission paintings out there of a pretty famous guy who was known for his spottiness. Surely! Or champions of loving the way you looked naturally, who wanted to showcase their raw and beautiful skin? Am I reading too much into this?

All I’m saying is, is oily skin something we as a human race have been battling since our inception? Our cleanliness has reached an all time high, so surely this must be the best our skin has ever been? I just can’t let this go. What about metal workers and glass blowers stuck in stuffy rooms all day? What about peasants who couldn’t wash their faces more than once a week? If not less? There are so many possible ways people could end up with oily skin, sans anything but water and awful dry-your-skin-out soap. And I want to see it.

Speaking of which, I think I’ve actually found the best face wash for oily skin. Peppermint, who knew? It seems like the kind of formula that was only going to come together to work with our modern knowledge and technology. It’s not like your or I could take peppermint essential oils, water and glycerine and mix it with some other random ingredients to make something even half as good. It just isn’t possible. And if I still get spots every now and again, then the Victorians certainly did. Hell, the Neanderthals. They would have gotten sweaty, fact.

Look, I really didn’t want this to become a rant! Living with oily skin has had its ups and downs, but I think the worst part is that media ignores us. Celebs don’t go outside the house with pimples, although we all know they get them. Even in films, teenagers should have acne! They just should, even if its fake because the actors are much older than the characters they’re playing.

Harry Styles has pimples

And that’s my blog. Sorry its more of what I call an angry think piece. Let me know if you feel the same way, or can prove me wrong? I am always happy to be rebutted!

My trip!

I am so excited to be back writing another article! I know, I’ve been back from my road trip for two weeks, but getting back into the swing of things back home has been surprisingly difficult! If you didn’t know, I spent an entire month driving around the country with Sandra in her family’s campervan. We had a bucket list longer than the days we were on the road, but we managed to tick most of them off… Including swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, climbing a mountain, and camping in the middle of nowhere. The last one was more Sandra’s choice, not mine, and it would consume an entire post on it’s own! A brief look? We, very unsurprisingly, got lost and ended up wandering down the side of a road in the wrong direction trying to find the van. San rolled her ankle, and we ended up hitchhiking. Well, the woman offered, after she saw the parked van on the side of the road and assumed we were the two idiots looking for it. Thank goodness we weren’t murdered. I think San was worried I was starting to get… snappy.

The one issue I didn’t expect to encounter was the heat. When are we all going to wake up on global warming guys? It was a scorching month, and the van’s air cooling could not keep up. I know this might sound incredibly dumb, but for some reason I thought that all that sweating would moisturise my skin? Is that just thick? I was feeling papery, if not always red and itchy. Looking back at our photos, I somehow looked red and dull. That was my absolute first thing to do when I got back, because the moisturiser I brought with me ran out and I kept forgetting to replace it. It was just cheap too, and I needed a solution fast. We had popped into a Lloyds in one of the towns we visited, and I noticed a skincare brand called Q+A. The bright colours jumped off the shelf at me. But of course we were just there for toothpaste, with a fast descending sun outside, and bolted before I could get a proper look.

Image result for lloyds pharmacy

My sister took me out for brunch the day after we got back, kindly paying as I had blown my savings on fuel and microwave meals. She suggested I get something with hyaluronic acid, as that was supposed to be amazing for dry skin. She could tell me about her one, but it also has lavender and I hate the smell of lavender so I had to do a little more research myself. The people in Superdrug weren’t very helpful when I went into store, so one night after my dinner I went back on the Lloyds website, wondering if I’d find a good one, and satiate some curiosity about that Q+A brand. Turns out, they do a hyaluronic acid serum! I though it must be fate so bought it. And boy is it has to be the best hyaluronic acid serum at that price point! So cheap! My skin looked radiant within days, even though I was sitting inside on my computer editing all those photos! At least I finally had a reference of what I should have looked like. Not making that mistake again!

But I promised you stories, so before I upload a video on my channel talking about my favourite moments, I’ll give you a little sneak peak.

Imagine this… San and I were having dinner in this little town at a sweet pub on the edge of a nature reserve. Best meal I had the entire trip! Garlic butter chicken with green beans and a goats cheese, fruit and nut side. Decadent. I was so engrossed in this meal Sandra could’ve gotten up for a wee and come back before I even noticed. Not to mention the three glasses of wine.

After we’d payed, we were just keen to be back in the van ready for bed. It was about a three minute walk, well within eyeshot of the pub in the light of day. But it wasn’t in the carpark when we arrived. San was clicking the car keys like she was having a fit, waiting for the lights to flash. We were checking behind poles like it wasn’t a literal van we were looking for. It was pitch dark though, so I guess there was no harm in trying.

And we were panicking. How do you lose a van?? We were in the middle of nowhere, the pub had been locked up, and the phone signal was E at best. We were running around, almost yelling at each other of who hadn’t locked the doors, or if we were even in the right place… Did we park on the other side of the pub? No, we had taken a photo of the van in front of this sign that had made us laugh… ‘No Hippies’. The sign was there… so where was the van? And then, look this gets a little ridiculous, as I was looking at the park next to the carpark (don’t ask why, I was beside myself in fear and would’ve looked under a rock if you’d asked me) and tripped on a branch I didn’t see. I also didn’t see how steeply the park just dipped into a hill. I went right over, and started tumbling. The phone torch was going crazy, I was screaming, and San started running after me, it was a real comedy moment where I thought I might actually die. Stopped rolling at the bottom, San checked over me, and we sighed at the thought of walking back up.

Sandra clicked the keys one last time in frustration…. And a light flashed. Get this, the van had tipped over the hill and rolled down into the trees, miraculously managing to avoid anything that could damage it. The incline had evened out and the van stopped at a fallen tree trunk that buffered it. Some scratches, nothing more. The checked through and nothing had been moved. It’s just one of those instances you probably don’t want an explanation for, but are just happy its resolved.

So there’s your story! Tune into my channel this week for more details and mishaps!!

Giving Beards A Chance

Dating guys with a beard isn’t exactly something I’ve ever actively pursued. Well if we’re being honest it’s probably closer to something that I actively tried to avoid. I’ve never thought there was ever anything wrong with bearded men but it just never really stood out as something that I found particularly attractive. Let’s break down my thinking process a little bit further just so I can maybe explain myself and save myself the ire and condemnation of beard lovers and bearded men alike.

Okay guys I’ll be perfectly straight with you on this one the beard has always just sort of been a scary thing for me. I remember my pop pop’s visits from when I was little and I loved my pop pop but I when he hugged me I remember his beard would feel like a rake against my cheek. I could stick it out for pop pop but I could not for the life of me imagine willingly going for someone whose face actively reminded me of gardening equipment. Next is just the overall hygiene of the beard, that’s a lot of hair and I have a hard enough time keeping the stuff on top of my head clean and fresh I could not begin to express the concerns I had with someone keeping that much hair so close to their mouths. Especially considering the type of places I like to eat? If I’m having wings the guy I date can’t not like wings that’s just common sense right there.

Why am I talking about all this? Well the guy I’m dating has recently managed to convince me to let him grow his beard out. I thought he had just neglected to shave for a little while but ‘twas all a ruse to lull me into a false sense of security. But I admit he seemed to be putting a lot of work into making sure it grows properly and he apparently also assured me that it’s never going to feel like any sort of lawn maintenance device. He really does keep his beard nice and neat using oils and other beard care products; this scented beard oil smells amazing I can almost get over the fact that the amazing smell is coming from what is essentially a fuzzy animal on his face. But he’s been really sweet and I’d feel bad not at least giving him a chance to prove my fears unfounded. Also if we ever get into an argument I figured out that I can yank on it to get him down to eye level. Is that a little rough? Maybe. But it’s his own fault for growing a giant weak point so easy to reach.

Smooth sailing

All things considered the year’s been going pretty well so far, both for the blog and for me personally. I hope things keep going as smoothly as they have been all this time. Sticking to that there’s no reason that I wouldn’t be able to keep up the quality of articles. However I’ll be doing my best to improve upon the quality overall!

How to get the most out of your Makeup Spray

Setting Spray is an indispensable part of the makeup routine of many women. Although due to certain “makeup experts” claiming that primer is all you’ll need Setting Spray is often overlooked pretty often by a number of women. That’s not a good idea and here’s why. Although Primers will do a good job of keeping your makeup in place there’s still a chance that it won’t be enough to survive the entire day. Setting spray serves as what we would call added insurance further lowering the possibilities of smudging or fading and other possible makeup challenges. If you don’t like having to run to the ladies room every couple of hours to touch up your makeup then you should probably look into working setting spray into your daily makeup regiment.

You’ve seen the light and want to incorporate makeup fixier spray into your daily makeup routine. Great! If you have no idea how to proceed though then fret not as we’ve got you covered.

First things first picking the right Setting Spray for you comes down to one thing for the most part. This deciding factor is your skin type. As with most makeup products the decision of what variety to buy boils down to what kind of skin you have and in this case it’s divided primarily into two types of skin. The first type is dry skin and if you have it then we recommend that you purchase a Setting Spray that has moisturizing properties AND doesn’t have alcohol as an ingredient. The alcohol will most probably just dry out your skin and more the moisturizing property is pretty self-explanatory. The other skin type that you might fall into would be combination skins/oily skins (we know those are two but it’s easier to classify them together when it comes to Setting Spray). If this is you then as long as you avoid products that have oil in their formulation you should be good to go.

Applying setting spray is extremely straight forward. After you’ve finished all your other makeup steps just shake the Setting Spray bottle and hold it about 7 inches or so away from your face CLOSE YOUR EYES and spray away. Make sure to get your whole face covered in the spray to ensure everything sits perfectly and let the spray rest on your face for about a minute. Don’t worry about applying too much, feel free to repeat the process once or twice to ensure you get everything sprayed.

Mid Year Update

What a great job Sandra did! She really helped me out when I was in a tight spot earlier and I couldn’t be more thankful that she decided to step in and lend a helping hand.

I quickly just wanted to give you an update. I’ve been feeling very guilty recently about my lack of commitment to this fairly new blog. I have rearranged my weekly schedule to fit in some writing, and hopefully we’ll all be seeing the fruits of my labour soon – Next week in fact!

Filling in for Debbie

Hello everyone my name is Sandra. I am a close friend of Debbie’s and as promised (she always stays true to her word) she’s asked me to fill in for magazine by folk’s next post.

She’s given me free reign over what it is I can write about, so I decided to write about a new beauty item that I discovered and tested recently. So strap yourselves in and get ready for an awesome post from Sandra!

The item in question is a treatment serum that another friend recommended to me. Since around 2012, I’ve secretly been pretty unsatisfied with the state of my skin, and the routine I am following in the hope to combat that.

Last month, after a pretty depressing 15 minutes in front of the mirror moisturising, I decided to call my friend Susie to talk about how sad I was getting with the state of my skin. I always like to call Susie with problems like this, as this usually isn’t something my husband can be bothered to listen to.

Vitamin C

Calling her turned out to be a stroke of luck and she had recently tried a number of different products that she all highly recommended. I jotted them down on a scrap of paper and after the call began researching all of them online. Most of them were incredibly expensive! Unfortunately my husband and I aren’t as well off as Susie and her husband, but likely there were a few products in her list that were within my budget.

One of which is called Vitamin C Serum, a highly oxidising treatment that offers fast skin repair. I really liked the look of the packaging and the price was good so I decided to give it a go. It turned out to be a great decision as now (after using it for about a month) I can’t remember the last time my skin felt so good.

If this post resonated with you in anyway and you feel as if your skin needs a bit of help, then please follow the link above and take a look at the little product that literally saved my skin!

Different Folks Different Strokes

I’ve been thinking about different ways to make this blog seem more engaging and interesting and have come to the conclusion that it makes sense for us to feature have a guest blogger once in a while.

In light of this, I took it upon myself to find someone who could step in and bring some original and interesting content to the table. We found the perfect match and their first (hopefully not last) full article will be up and running very soon.