Replacing Our Fave Scents with Cruelty Free One’s – The Result!

I decided we should use a mixture of Eden Perfumes and Floral Street perfumes to give us a better chance of finding our replacements. Here’s a reminder of what we want to find dupes for.

The bloke

Oud by The Body Shop (as they no longer stock it)

1 Million by Paco Rabanne.

Me

Heat by Beyonce

Deep Red by Hugo Boss (I already have a fairly good one from Floral Street)

Opium by YSL

Burberry Woman (the bloke noticed this on someone and asked what it was)

Final Result

Treasure by Eden Perfumes mixed with Wonderland Peony by Floral street replicates Beyonce Heat pretty well.

Electric Rhubarb by Floral street – which I was sure would be similar to Heat – was fun but had no depth to it, no projection at all and then faded into oblivion after 15 minutes!

Black Orchid by Floral Street is a deep, spicy replacement for Hugo Boss, Deep Red with Treasure by Eden being similar but lighter. Black Orchid by Floral Street is also very similar to Opium by YSL but a little lighter.

No luck with the random Burberry one unfortunately.

Million Dollar Man by Eden Perfumes is pretty close to 1 Million.

Oud Wood by Eden Perfumes is the perfect replacement for The Body Shop Oud, we are both thrilled!

Surprise!

I can’t even remember how many perfumes I’ve tried at this point but it’s meant that I’ve found some new unexpected favourites.

Wild Vanilla Orchid by Floral Street smells like freshly baked fruit pie. So comforting and natural. It reminds me a little of the original Angel by Thierry Mugler but no where near as sickly.

Virgin Waters by Eden Perfumes smells how a Piña colada cocktail tastes. I have to resist the urge to drown myself in this everyday, the perfume I mean…possibly.

Well, even if I wear perfume every time I leave the house, I don’t think I’ll need to buy any more for decades! Now, I also have lots of handbag/washbag sized  ones.

Which out of all of the above do you want to try?

Chrissie

 

 

 

Mental Health Awareness Month Has Helped Me Admit To Having Anxiety For 37 Years!

img_6307

I thought I always felt anxious just because of life. From being a kid to a teen I was dealing with everyday racism; a family member with mental health probs where I’d get blamed for ‘setting them off’ to point where it was actually enabling them; it not being acknowledged by teachers or Drs that I had learning differences and was Neurodiverse; my Dyspraxia and Hypermobilty Syndrome were undiagnosed and symptoms ignored even after multiple GP visits; I totally failed both A-levels, because of other people’s errors/and then a huge chunk of my hard work work getting lost.

As an adult, when I’d go clubbing I’d either get totally ignored by blokes (even shoved out of the way) or they’d bluntly pursue me for one thing only. Such a head-fuck! In my second job a group of people who I thought were my friends were secretly excluding me from nights out and taking the piss behind my back for a year. Then in my very next job it happened all over again with three other ‘friends’ who, after six months started trying to manipulate and lie to me, like it was a game. I didn’t trust my own judgment or perspective on anything for several years afterward.

_________________

I’d managed to cope with the anxious feelings by talking to (actual) friends and doing lots of fun stuff (everything to the extreme) and pretending all of this was just average daily life. I was ignoring that many things were way more difficult for me to navigate than my friends, for so many reasons I couldn’t understand and that I really wasn’t ‘fine’. Not remotely. When I got overly emotional I blamed the beer I’d drank or that I was over tired. Then, when I finally got diagnosed with several chronic illnesses I was obviously relieved but understandably anxious too.

Basically, I thought it’s not the mental illness ‘Anxiety’ if I’ve always got a reason to feel anxious right? Wrong!

Now, for the past few months the fact I have and have always had anxiety has become so obvious to me, that I can’t ignore it anymore. I was so busy coping with other shit going on, oddly enough, the importance of my mental health got shuffled to the back of my mind. I’ve been having the same two upsetting dreams about being left behind or ignored; I’m stewing on negative thoughts that I can’t shake and over-thinking people’s actions; lately I’ve had a constant wobbly feeling in my tummy that either ruins my appetite or has me running to the loo because the food has flown right through me.

I realise this current anxiety is down to several situations that have all collided at once. It’s wildly skewing my perspective, making me needy and fearful and even effecting my decision making and actions. One of those things was being unable to bear going through five hours of being on my own with my wildly see-sawing thoughts, no matter how much I distracted my self with manicures, makeovers, films and ice cream, they’d creep back. It resulted in me (at least once a day) phoning and/or texting the one person I was meant to be giving a little space to, and yet somehow, never mentioning my anxiety to them. Not once.

________________

Hopefully now I’ve recognised all of this and having talked some of it through with that person, the anxiety will calm down a lot. They were patient and surprisingly empathetic. It turns out that they’ve had anxiety for years, over-thinking and worrying about me! Since the talk, I’ve already stopped having the dreams so that’s a lot less mentally exhausting. I also feel very relieved, although still a little uncertain. They’ve also said it’s a weight off their chest, just saying it out loud.

There are still some incredibly important things up in the air but only time – rather than numerous phone calls – will reveal how those will work out, so I’ll just have to wait. Gosh, I’m crap at waiting….

Chrissie

 

10 Reasons Why I Love My Wonky Body

I’m going off when my body and energy levels are on good form because I’m trying to be nice to myself these days ^_^

  1. It’s got a lot of natural rhythm which makes it easier to dance without me really loving-yourselfover-thinking it.
  2. My legs are long and surprisingly strong, through them having to correct my balance constantly when I stand and walk. The Amazons have nothing on me lol
  3. I have a really fast metabolism which is great for never having to worry about getting overweight (just hangry) and it means I can totally justify ordering sides with my main meal.
  4. Being tall is pretty handy to not feel claustrophobic in a crowd and to see where I’m meant to going if it’s somewhere new.
  5. My immune system may attack me but cold and flu viruses beware, it’s effectively coming for you too!
  6. I tan quickly which is awesome after a grey winter – I mean my skin, not the weather.
  7. I have weirdly good balance if I really concentrate.
  8. Being hypermobile is actually really handy when trying to reach past a load of clutter or when the lid off something has rolled under furniture.
  9. I’ve gotten some interesting scars over the years but I also heal surprisingly quickly.
  10. I’m going to be inhabiting my body for the rest of my life so I might as well appreciate it!

Chrissie

Note: Incase you wondering, the conditions I have are Demyelination (similar to but not actually MS), Dyspraxia, Aspergers, Sensory Processing Disorder (relating to the latter three conditions), allergies, PCOS (suspected by GP), Hyperthyroidism, Hypermobilty Syndrome (including food intolerance), which can all have the symptoms of chronic fatigue/brain fog in common.

Selfcare To Do List (a fun one)

I thought I’d bump up this post as it is a Sunday – probably the best selfcare day of the week, if you don’t have the time or energy to do everything, every day.

It’s so easy to let small habits slide when we are busy, tired and/or ill but it’s those small things that, when added together make such a big difference to our emotional and physical wellbeing.

Here’s my handy list of things that I do, some of which are fun, some are simple but make such a big difference and some are selfless but not really because, let’s be honest, it feels nice to be nice. ^_^

Daily

Drink water, probably should drink a bit more

Take meds/vits

Coffee or Protein Smoothie (which still contains coffee)

Eat x3 (preferably not all at once toward the evening!)

Lip balm

Facial Serum/Oil

Fix hair (combing the beast totally counts)

Wear at least one thing I really like such as earrings, pointy boots, mascara or a sparkly pin.

Record one thing which made me happy/grateful that day, either on Instagram or happiness journal.

Take at least 30 minutes to myself with no interruptions if needed.

Drink some coconut water or aloe vera for the easily absorbed electrolytes.

Get off my ass and volunteer to make a brew/take empty plates into kitchen etc. x3

Gentle stretching/balance/co-ordination (whisper it) exercises

Weekly

Treat myself to any food I like

Have an evening totally to myself

Read part of novel (C,mon you have seven days to choose from, seven!)

Watch trashy TV shows that make me smile or laugh

Herd caterpillar (pluck eyebrow/s)

Pet or feed a cute animal (caterpillar does not count)

Some kind of grocery shopping OUTSIDE (yes, that place where there is sunlight and air)

Facemask/facepack/natural skin peel

Do a good deed

Blog/comment on other blogs

Do a load of washing

Iron (bahahaahaaaahaa!)

Hug or at least phone my Dad

Exercise on cross trainer

Get tipsy

(important to get the latter two in the right order)

Monthly

Go out for a fancy meal

Have a completely needless but totally indulgent bubble bath

Check bank statements (for possible beer induced purchases)

Trim hair-canopy back to recognisable fringe/bangs

Monthly round-up on my blog/Instagram

Drop that item off at the charity shop/food bank in supermarket

Watch a film I love

Have fresh flowers in the living room

Chrissie

SaveSave

15 Reasons To Love Winter!

  1. Extra large Mochas with hazelnut, ginger bread, pumpkin spice, fudge, salted caramel, basically anything that makes it taste like desert.
  2. An excuse to buy a whole new wardrobe of clothes – well, half at least.
  3. Easy-to-wear long cardigans with sleeves that your hands disappear into. Being able to wear your adorkable jumper/beanie/mittens with pride.
  4. Cozy pubs who are finnally bothering to light their traditional wood or log fires.
  5. A full Sunday roast (nut roast, please!)  is even more welcoming after coming in from the cold!P1060281
  6. Snow!
  7. No longer having to refrigerate left overs with military timing.
  8. Snuggling up to your man or your pet.
  9. Long, hot bubble baths with candles and a good book.
  10. Hair looking relaxed because it’s not being tormented by humidity.
  11. The sky is beautifully dramatic and now your Insta feed is to.
  12. If you’ve run out of milk in the morning you can sneak to the local shops in your PJ’s because your duvet-like coat is so long that no one will notice.
  13. New hearty seasonal menus at your favourite restaurant.
  14. Snowball fights. It’s amazing how quickly you warm up after a few minutes of dodging snowballs to the face!
  15. Ice skating or the chance to watch others try, while you sit with a mug of hot choccy.

Let me know what you like about winter, have I missed anything?

Chrissie

How I Got Past My Motivation Problems and Other Things

This was the problem…

I was never as bad as a ‘functioning alcoholic’. No, I was a social drinker. When you are around someone every night, then that’s being social right? When you’ve suddenly drunk three bottles (Large European size) and the effect has suddenly and surprisingly worn off too quickly, theres no harm in buying another if you are only having a third of it, is there? Then of course the next night you buy the usual three and happily find that you have two thirds of the other bottle left ofter from last night as well – bonus! “Oh no, I better not eat that or I won’t get drunk. I better start drinking first.”

That’s how it started off as fun and escalated into something quite the opposite.

Luckily, my heightened emotions and a rather volatile relationship and some very good – if rather biased advice, halted me in my tracks before I developed a real habit.

The underlying issues…

Without going into details, with my Dyspraxia and someone else’s issues combined Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 19.41.39there could often be mood swings and miss-commnuications and very high emotion when we were together. Sometimes I was using the alcohol as an emotional crutch which was actually resulting in an emotional car crash. I wasn’t able to handle the situation well when I was drunk. I should have been capable of doing so without ugly crying for hours and feeling gutted and angry in equal measure. I should have been able to walk away and calm down, rather than feeling like the world was falling down around me.

As it happened I was also going through a hard time feeling like I’d kinda lost who I was. My 35 birthday was approaching and I didn’t feel young anymore but I wasn’t middle aged, I was just me but who the hell was that!? When someone would ask me what I’d been doing lately my answer would be “We both went” or “We all went”, never “I went” because I was never motivated enough to go out and do stuff alone. It wasn’t any kind of social anxiety, more that I kept finding I couldn’t be arsed and it was just easier not to.

I tricked myself into thinking I was managing to keep my head above water, when in reality all I was doing was treading water until I was emotionally exhausted and had nothing left.

How I got my shit together…

I  started taking more responsibility for my actions. I deliberately focused on adjusting Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 19.27.02my attitude and letting the little things go. I realised we all have to accommodate other people’s moods whilst realising they aren’t always a response to our own behaviour. Essentially it’s not always our fault if someone is suddenly annoyed or sulky. I also realised that we don’t have to react to every negative with which we are presented and can choose to remain calm until we have decided exactly how to deal with the situation. This can be a lot more beneficial than an initial emotional gut reaction.

Practically speaking…

I bought a planner to take some pressure off having to think about everything that was going on in my life. It included a diary and a year planner and I created a To Do List and also wrote down all of my medical stuff. I bought a bunch of new clothes that were Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 19.45.38more like the ‘old’ me just a tad bigger and started gently exercising again. I started making smoothies (a practical task that I was dreading) and it turns out I’m a natural at knowing which ingredients work with each other. I started going out to town alone again, even when it was busy and people were impatient with me. I started regularly getting more involved with Twitter chats. I started playing music that I loved, rather than just listening to whatever anyone else chose to put on. I also made an effort with my appearance Every. Single. Day. It made such a difference to my confidence and outlook. I was no longer thinking of ‘reasons’ not to go out (even to the local shops) because I looked a mess, or was tired, or it wasn’t totally necessary.

So now I’m on the other side…

It’s been two months since I’ve had a drink and it feels more like six! I did it incredibly begrudgingly at first and made all sorts of excuse as to why a myriad of allowances should be made. I fully agreed with it eventually when I realised I had no idea how it had been since I’d spent an evening sober and knew things HAD to change.

Result…

Now I’m much more upbeat, I’ve gotten my silliness back and I’m smiling more. I’m even talking with more confidence and feel like I hold more of a presence in group Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 19.35.19conversations, rather than being accidentally talked over. I’m naturally waking up and feeling refreshed at around 9.00am some days which is wonderful! I haven’t lost weight but I feel so much better in myself and have more energy (my condition allowing), positivity and motivation. I’m doing chores without letting them pile up and even offering to do them when it’s not my turn, if someone is in need of the help. My memory and concentration are back to the level they were last year and I don’t let the ‘brain fog’ demoralise me like I used to. It does vary wildly due to my MS but overall I feel like I’ve gotten my personality back with some added adulting to boot, ha!

Back to the alcohol – literally…

These days I have a few beers if I go out for food (the cinema doesn’t count) or if I’m on a night out or at a house party etc. I’m celebrating with it again, rather than relying on it for my entertainment every evening. I’ve gotten used to processing my emotions in a more even way and I either stay calm or keep my annoyance/upset to a controllable level, even if I’m really being pushed to my limit. I realise that the situation is only for that moment and it will pass and that’s life and that’s ok with me.

Chrissie

Adult Colouring Books For Fun and Mindfulness

Dream Cities

by Rosie Goodwin £6.29

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 16.48.47

Anything can be possible in a dream city and it can be as complicated or as simple as you like. If you enjoy the calm of colouring but are bored of repetitive patterns then this is the perfect book for you.

The Tattoo Colouring Book

by Megamunden £7.95

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 16.53.47

Sailor and biker tatts and everything in-between, this book is full of traditional designs to colour and possibly inspire your next inking.

Under The Sea

by Mademoiselles £4.99

9780600633037

This duo of Paris illustrators create a wonderful under sea world where anything can be imagined – even an octopus with a pout!

Marvel Mega Colouring Book

by Disney £2.00

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 17.29.48

Ok so this isn’t for adults exactly but who cares!

The Little Book of Calm Colouring

by David Sinden and Victoria Kay £3.85

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 17.23.08

If calm rather than creativity is your aim then this book encouraging mindfulness and relaxation should help. It’s mini too so perfect for your handbag.

Enchanted Forest Colouring Book

by Johanna Basford £9.95

adult colouring book enchanted forest

This isn’t just an adult colouring book, it’s a beautiful journey across waterfalls through woods and mazes to a castle. There is also a quest to find hidden objects to find along the way such as lanterns, germs and eventually the key to the castle!

Unicorns Are Jerks

by Theo Nicole Lorenz $6.99

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 17.06.11

Lorenz has created some very tongue-in-cheek colouring books including Mer World problems (urban life can be tough under the sea) and Fat Ladies in Spaaaace (kicking alien butt).  Lots of surprising LOLs basically.

Harry Potter Colouring Book

by Warner Brothers £6.99

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 17.01.41

Containing line drawings from the actuall HP films this book features beloved characters and well known scenes, even Harry’s battle with Voldermort.

Chrissie xx