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After a big weekend at Wilderness festival (blog post to follow) and a week of eating lots of naughty treats at a horse riding camp my skin is seriously suffering.  I’ve been reading loads into how to eat for healthier skin, suffering with Eczema is rubbish and my body needs all the help it can get to sort itself out!  I’ve had a few green smoothies in the past that have tasted pretty rank frankly but I must say this is one of the best I’ve ever made- yes I am a smug bitch…

I think it’s adding a little bit of fruit.  I’ve done this before without the pineapple but it just needed a little ‘je ne sais quoi’ to make it a tad more palatable.  Now I’m not very good at following recipes, or sticking to amounts so I actually have no idea how much of everything I put into this.  When I cook and bake at home I normally chuck what I think in and hope for the best- quantities schmontities!  You can adapt any recipe to your own taste- use any kind of fruit or swap the kale for Pak Choi, just go wild and enjoy!

What I used:  (makes enough for two)

  • ½ Avocado
  • Handful spinach
  • Three large leaves of speciality Kale (ie the one with nice long purple coloured leaves)
  • Two chunks of cucumber
  • Coconut water (I used a small mug to measure out- use more if it’s too thick and vice versa)
  • Tsp Chia seeds (and a few to decorate on top- I made a heart because we all need a little love)
  • Freshly cut pineapple- about 5 chunks roughly cut.

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Stick it in your blender- I use a Ninja (its AMAZING! You can buy for yourself here) and that’s all there is to it.  If you want a runnier consistency add more coconut water.

Your body will love you for it, this is packed full of protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, calcium, iron- the list goes on!  Just blend and enjoy : )

J xx

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There are a few pairings in life that just work so well together.  For example Gin and Tonic, Victoria and David Beckham, and, of course,  Rhubarb and custard.

I was never allowed the sweets as a child (anything with colouring in made me go MENTAL) however I did consume a few in later years and you can’t beat a proper rhubarb and custard pudding after a hearty Sunday roast.  There’s just something about the smell and the texture that’s so comforting I bet even Nigella swoons over it.

Now I love me a pudding and I also love a candle so when my lovely friend Carolyn at Burley’s gifts made me aware that the good people at Lily-Flame actually do a Rhubarb and custard candle, OBVS a purchase had to be made pronto.  I’m a massive advocate of shopping local so if you live in the Southwell/Nottingham area go check out Carolyn’s shop.  You can check out Burley’s Gifts Facebook page here, but be warned- even though they’re a gift shop you’re probably more likely to purchase something for yourself!  It just so happened that last week my lovely Dad gave me a load of Rhubarb out of his garden, he’s such a good egg! So, inspired by my new candle and the good life I whipped up this easy dairy-free dessert.  Of course if you aren’t dairy free just substitute the dairy free version for regular custard- it’s SOOOO good, takes no time at all, and smells a bit like Christmas!

What you’ll need:

  • (serves around 4, depending on the size of your serving pots)
  • 5 trimmed stems of Rhubarb (ideally from someone’s garden…and don’t forget to remove the leaves!)
  • 4 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • Grated fresh ginger (about a thumb sized piece)
  • tsp ground Cinamon
  • tbsp water or ginger cordial
  • Carton of dairy-free custard (I either use Provamel organic vanilla or Alpro dairy-free custard)
  • pots to serve
  • Mint and Chia seed garnish optional

Method:

Trim all leaves off the Rhubarb as these are toxic.  I never peel the outer fibers off the rhubarb as I think this keeps the colour and I don’t see the point.  Chop the fruit into small chunks and place in a large pan.

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Juice the orange after grating the zest from it.  Add this to the Rhubarb along with the Cinnamon, grated ginger and seeds scraped from inside the vanilla pod.  Add the water, I decided against the cordial as this was too much Ginger for me this time.  Mix together, cover and cook on a low heat until the Rhubarb is just tender- you want some of the pieces to retain their shape.  Add more sugar if necessary.  You could also try using a different source of sweetener if you wanted, such as Agave Nectar, anything goes!

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Once cooked leave this to cool, then remove the rhubarb from the pan and cook the remaining juices over a high heat until reduced and thick and syrup-like.  Then in 4 or more pots add some of the Rhubarb, dribble over the syrup liquid then layer on the custard and keep going.

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I added a mint leaf (off a plant in MY garden this time) and sprinkled Chia seeds on for decoration. Voila!  An easy dessert recipe that’s high in fiber, vitamins K, C and A, and is also a good source of Calcium too!  In fact Rhubarb is up there with Salmon and Spinach for its Calcium qualities.  BOOM.  No milk required!

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The down side is whenever I light my candle it makes me crave this dessert!  You can purchase a Lily-Flame candle here for £8.95.

Happy eating,

J xx

 

My skin is more sensitive than an England fan on a trip to Iceland right now.  It’s probably all down to the horrendous hit of hay fever I’m enduring every day, that and the fact I’m pretty much allergic to air right now. When my skin needs an extra bit of help, or is likely to be more volatile than Britain after Brexit, then these hero products certainly offer a helping hand…

Elemis SOS cream: When your face feels like it’s on fire, you’ve been in the sun too long, or you just feel like you need more than a moisturiser- reach for this bad boy. Every time.  SOS Emergency Cream £52.50, Elemis http://bit.ly/29isT4n

Caudalie Beauty Elixr: Again another French hero product. I’ve been rattling through this- it’s great for all those hay fever days when your skin just needs a helping hand. It refreshes your face and feels like your coating your skin in luxury. Caudalie Beauty Elixr, £11.50, Feel Unique, http://bit.ly/29nbcE2 (always lots of offers on this site!)

Skincere facial serum:  I’m on my third tube of this since giving it a whirl last year.  It’s inexpensive and does what it says on the tin.  Use it underneath your moisturiser.  Skincere products NEVER ever irritate your skin, even if it’s super sore and sensitive.  Easy on the purse too- win win!  Facial serum, £19.99, Holland and Barrett http://bit.ly/29ns6Aa

Ren body exfoliator balm: When you have sensitive skin sometimes it’s easy to avoid exfoliating but actually it’s vital to help our skin. Slough away those pesky dry patches with this beaut of a product.  It leaves your skin with a nice kind of waxy finish rather than sore and itchy.  A little goes a long way too : ) Ren salt exfoliating body balm, £22, Look Fantastic http://bit.ly/29ncCyk

Neutral Cleanser: If you’ve never heard of Green People before and you have sensitive skin what the hell are you playing at?  This cleanser is my go-to hero product when everything else is ruining my face.  Fragrance-free, gentle and zero chance of leaving you with lizard skin.  Check out their other products too, their range is AMAZING!  Neutral scent free cleanser, £18.00, Green People http://bit.ly/29tBg05

Weleda body wash: Again another brand I can’t get enough of (see previous blog post here)  It’s rare when you have sensitive skin that anything you use in the shower can smell good and not leave you like you’ve been dipped in acid.  Hello Weleda!  Bloody love this, use it everyday!  It’s super creamy, doesn’t dry your skin and smells like holidays.  What’s not to like?!  Sea Buckthorn creamy bodywash, £7.95, Weleda http://bit.ly/29nsJcP

Darphin 8 Flower cream: My wonderful Mum introduced me to Darphin many years ago.  I LOVE love LOVE French skincare and this is just amazing!  I’m kinda new to this product but I use it at night if my skin is sore after cleansing.  Heaven.  Smells great without irritating your skin.  Perfect!  Darphin 8 Flower Oil Cream, 30ml, £43.33, Escentual http://bit.ly/29hA3t8 (1/3 off!)

Lavera intensive neutral mask:  I’ve been trying to use this once a week, but usually fail.  I’ve always avoided face masks like the plague as normally they make my skin ten times worse when it’s feeling extra sensitive.  I got a sample of this after purchasing some other Lavera products and it’s fab!  Why shouldn’t we treat our skin just because it reacts to pretty much everything?! We put our faces through so much so give it a treat- it’s designed to calm allergy and sensitive prone skin.  Hurrah!  Lavera intensive neutral mask, £2.90, Lucy Rose Organics http://bit.ly/29qg9d8

Salcura Dermaspray: I’ve blogged about Salcura products before here. This spray is like a protective barrier for your skin- spray on before moisturising.  It’s made a MASSIVE difference to my Eczema.  Daily Dermaspray intensive, £16.99, Salcura http://bit.ly/29jV82m (10% off your first order)

Aveeno cream:  I have this on prescription now because I go through that much of it but it’s honestly the best moisturiser I’ve used in years!  I really need to switch up my regime a bit but this is an absolute staple.  I use it twice a day religiously and it’s never irritated my skin and has actually made a massive difference to my Eczema.  I could kiss my dermatologist for recommending this!  (See my previous blog post here).  Aveeno cream, £14.69, Boots http://bit.ly/29jZaaX

Let me know if you have any hero products for sensitive skin- I’m always on the scout!

J xx

So the only time I normally add salt to anything is with my poached eggs in the morning.

But over the last few months I keep hearing more and more about bath salts, salt scrubs and the power of the Dead Sea.  After a couple of my chums came back from Israel raving about the Dead sea benefits I decided that I’d look into seeing if there’s any salty goodness (erm…) around that doesn’t affect people with sensitive skin.

Que my discovery of West Lab Mineral Bathing.  As a sensitive little egg I always try and do my research before I splash out on something I’ve never tried before and I’ll admit I’d never even heard of them.

The benefits of sea salts isn’t a new commodity.  They’ve been used for centuries.  West Lab hasn’t quite been around that long, they were established in 2014, but they pride themselves on the quality of their products.   They are a UK company and I was really impressed when I discovered that they have a batch suitable for people with Eczema.  There’s no bleaching involved or use of harsh chemicals in their products and it’s refreshing to find a range that can be used by us sensitive shells.  When you have sensitive skin adding any old thing to your bath is a no-go, and you can forget those beautifully scented bath bombs!  I’m normally more of a shower person (usually because I’m in an eternal rush) and more so because there’s just not much you can add to your bath when you have Eczema.

To begin with I bought the 5kg bag which you can buy online for the sale price of £12.99 here.  The benefits of the salts is
that not only are they relaxing but their mineral content is absorbed through the skin as you soak in the tub.  Potassium balances moisture levels, Calcium is cell-renewing and anti-oxidant and Magnesium soothes and helps balance and repair the skin.  Alongside this Bromides help make that bath even more enjoyable- by relaxing the muscles.

As recommended I added about 1kg of Salts mixed with warm water.  The advice is to bath in water between 37-39 degrees.  I literally have zero idea how hot my bath was but I’m not burning my ass for anyone!  I’d like to be able to say I relaxed with a large Gin, however I was so hot I just nailed a pint of water in the bath instead… I did light one of my favourite candles though- I just adore all the Lilly-Flame range, this time I used their Lavender and Lime scent, which you can purchase here.

Normally if I have a bath my skin always feels really raisiny afterwards (that’s SO not even a word), unless I soak in oil- in which case I normally slip on the floor and vow to use showers forever more.

As a very wary customer I was half expecting to come out of the bath looking like I’d either been dipped in acid, or with no effect whatsoever.  When in fact it was completely the opposite!   This left my skin feeling AMAZING! Even the next morning I felt like my skin was a little less dry. I still moisturised as normal but it wasn’t that frantic ‘grab-the-cream-before-your-skin-falls-off’ scenario.  Anyone with dry skin knows all too well there’s only a short window between bathing and moisturising- miss it and hello lizard skin! I’ve been using the salts for the last couple of weeks, twice a week and I definitely think it’ll become part of my skincare regime.  Plus it forces me to have a bath and actually relax- something I NEVER have time to do.

J xx

Changing my hair happens about as often as a lunar eclipse.  I blame a VERY dodgy crop cut during my uni days which took a LONG time to grow out and scarred me for life.  I also blame the fact I’m just a bit of a ditherer when it comes to making any sort of hair style decision, that and also the fact I get a bit of scissor fear!

I’d been banging on about getting a bit of Balayage for months, and after many hours scouring Pintrest and a chat with my hairdresser I took the plunge and just thought, fuck it!

It’s been over two years since I’ve has any sort of dye on my hair and it’s been 14 months since I had a haircut (I can almost hear the shocked, sharp intake of breath of anyone reading this) I guess I’m just kinda lazy.  Before my accident in January I was a very active person and as a camera operator you can’t be swishing your hair around so it’s normally a messy bun or a couple of braids for me and that’s about it.

I think it’s so hard to find a good hairdresser, and I do love mine, I just don’t go very often! I am really pleased I gave my hair a good rest from the dye; in fact it definitely helped with the Balayage as it gave my hairdresser a clean slate to start from.  I’ve been going to the Aveda salon Joshua Tree in Nottingham for quite a few years now, I fell in love with Aveda products and salons after I purchased a Groupon deal (remember those?) about 10 years ago and never looked back.  If there was anyone that could sort out my tresses it’s the guys at Joshua Tree!

My usual stylist is Emma but she recommended I used Charlotte for my colour and what a recommendation!  I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted, even after the initial consultation, but seeing as my stressed out tresses were in need of some SERIOUS TLC I just thought sod it and I knew I was in capable hands.  Charlotte is the kind of hairdresser you can’t stop starring at, for all the right reasons.  I had instant hair envy when I met her and she’s so bubbly and funny the four hours I spent there felt like an hour hanging out with a chum.  I still had some very faded Red colour in the ends of my hair so this had to be sorted first before the free-hand colour was applied.   Despite my scissor fear I still managed to get a good 3.5 inches chopped off and it felt liberating.  It’s not like my hair is mega short now but it’s certainly made a difference in drying time!   I’ve never really gone lighter before so I think this was just the change I needed ahead of summer, if summer ever arrives in Britain!  As someone with naturally very dark hair I was so nervous about going lighter.  I opted for more caramel tones rather than a bright, yellow,  blonde, and I’m so happy with the results.  I think using several colours works so well, it’s less harsh and they blend together for a warmer colour.  No brassiness here thanks!  I don’t think my milky skin tone or my dark brows could handle anything else to be honest and this is where the value of a good hairdresser really shines through.

Before and After…

Charlotte was completely honest with what would and wouldn’t suit me and I may be biased but I think she got it bang on.   Having the ‘grown out’ Balayage look is great for me- no regular top up colour needed and seriously low maintenance.  Perfect for a lazy hair girl like me!  Just need to keep those ends trimmed now…

During my visit I paid extra for a nourishing conditioning treatment, and while I was in the mood for looking after my tresses I treated myself to a couple of new products.  I think wavy hair looks so good with Balayage, but styling your hair with heat always comes at a price.

I’ve invested in a couple of new products to give my frazzled ends a fighting chance to be glossy and silky.  You’ll never have locks like Rapunzel if you treat them like an ugly sister!  The Aveda Smooth Infusion styling cream was recommended by Charlotte to protect against frizz, humidity and to general make my locks look nice and smooth.

As it has been a while since my last cut my ends were in need of some help and to avoid them getting in the same state as they were I bought the Aveda Dry Remedy Daily Moisturising Oil.  This hydrates and nourishes the hair.  You just add a few drops into your palms and work through your hair.  I usually just apply this from the mid section to the ends.  I was always a bit worried about going lighter as I think when you’re dark it’s easier to get nice shiny locks, but this bad boy definitely adds shine and it always make my hair feel amazing.  It smells INCREDIBLE too!  Don’t be put off by the ‘oil’ tag either, unless you slather your hair in this there isn’t even a hint of grease.  BOOM.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I have thick hair, I just have a LOT of it.  The last thing I purchased was the Aveda Thickening Tonic.  Again this smell lush and it leaves your hair feeling really full and soft.  I apply this to damp hair and work through with my Aveda paddle brush, which you can buy here.  I haven’t been using this long enough to say that my hair feels notably thicker.  However it does feel fuller and a LOT smoother.

Hopefully now I’ve changed my locks a little I’ll be inspired to look after them.  I love the Aveda brand, not just all their plant-based hair products but also their make up too.  Even for sensitive skin it just works.  If you’re umming and ahhhing about getting Balayage just do it!  If you live in Nottingham I’d definitely recommend paying a visit to Joshua Tree, you can guarantee you’re in safe hands with the best products.  Besides, you can always dye in back…in a couple of years…

J xx