Thursday, 28 May 2015

OOTD | Rainy Dog Walk

Walking dogs when you don't actually have to is really stupid when you have chronic fatigue. However, it is a great way to get some fresh air and spend time with your family. Of course, the most important thing is to look awesome.

I recommend dragging yourself out of bed at the last minute, grabbing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt that are already dirty, chucking on a functioning coat, pulling on the first working hat you find and your most practical shoes. This saves time and energy and also gives you a great "I don't give a fuck" air. 

You don't want clean clothes as there's usually mud, and dogs, and generally dirty things that will most likely find their way onto your clothes. If you wear clean clothes out this can mean extra washing, and so possibly spending more spoons. The t-shirt and coat combo keeps you warm but allows you to keep cool enough not to over-heat after walking for ten minutes if, like me, your body has no idea how to regulate temperature. The coat can also keep you more dry than a hoodie or jumper. The hat can keep your ears warm if need, keep come sky tears off your hair and hide your bedhead if you don't want it on display.

A pair of shoes that scream "PRACTICAL AND UGLY" is essential. These are particularly un-pretty, comfortable, waterproof, breathable and designed for walking. It shows you care about your feet and not about how you look - what's cooler than that?

Accessories are key with this look. A lead is a versatile piece of decoration which you can wear around your waist like a dog walking belt, or around your neck/shoulders like I have here, like a scarf.

Poo bags give you the serious dog walker look. You don't fuck around. You're real as they come.

A bottle of water is essential for staying hydrated. Apparently people with chronic fatigue need 12 glasses of H2O a day rather than the average person's RDA of 8. 

If you need an inhaler, keep it on you. Especially if your asthma is triggered by pollen and it's May. I recommend getting a whole load from your doctor and keeping one in every coat and bag or as many as you can at least, to keep the forgetfulness that comes with fatigue from giving you an asthma attack in the middle of nowhere. Also, if you spend a lot of time with someone, it's great if they can carry one for you, too. 

The final and most important accessory for this ensemble is a dog. Dog walking without a dog is just walking, and carrying around the lead and poo bags without on will make you look like you've lost your dog are generally a massive tool. They also make your heart happy and want to make you feel better when your lack of spoons is getting in the way of your happiness. Dogs are great. But don't get one if you can't provide it with the life it requires, please.

Hat | Local Convenience Store
Coat | Primark
T-Shirt | Mate's Clean Washing Pile
Jeans | New Look
Shoes | Eco Vegan Shoes
Dog | Belongs to my dad, adopted from my step-brother. 


I hope this has inspired you to keep style in mind in such a casual situation. Life is all about looking good, after all.


Monday, 25 May 2015

Spoonie Make-Up | Arbonne CC Cream

Hello, hello!

I bit the bullet and wrote my first beauty post/review thingy. I love reading beauty blogs and watching beauty gurus on Youtube and just had to have a rave about this product. I have no idea if this is any good or any help so any feedback will be much appreciated! We begin with this CC Cream from Arbonne:

Finding ways to cut corners and reserve energy is all part of being a spoonie. As I often try and get every last minute of sleep before work I've found a way to save time in my make-up routine that is good for my skin too and which also helps me look less sick. Usually, I'd cleanse, tone, apply mattifying powder, moisturise, apply primer, then foundation, and a bit of powder. After attending a presentation and demonstration night a friend of mine put on about Arbonne, I decided that I'd splash out on some products, one of which is this CC Cream

It claims to have 10 benefits and seeing as it's good enough for Brad Pitt and Simon Cowell I thought "why not?". The 10 things this cream claims to be are: a primer, a protector, a concealer, a hydrator, a mattifier, a brightener, a blemish cover, a pore refiner, comforter and complexion controller. So basically it's a buildable light coverage primer that cares for you skin too.

When I first started using it I applied it like a foundation, which left me pretty orange and shiny and with most of it just sat on my skin ready to come off at the touch of a finger. I went to my Arbonne friend and she taught me to apply it with a brush and use a fraction of what I was previously. I'm so glad I did this, I absolutely love this product!

I use after cleansing, toning, mattifying and moisturising. This amount is plenty for light coverage and a bit of concealing:

I use a foundation brush to apply a thin layer of the CC cream and buff it in, then build it up where I need some concealing. This is usually under my eyes and any spots or blemishes I develop. It's very good for customisable coverage but if I want the amount a foundation provides, I use a foundation. This is because I have a few which I neglect anyway and want to keep this for times when I need its convenience as much as possible.

When it's on my face it doesn't feel as though I am wearing anything at all, especially not primer, concealer and foundation. It's so lovely and light! I find it definitely evens out my skin tone and makes my pores less visible. It stays there all day if you pop some powder over the top (and maybe if you don't – I haven't tried it). I tend to only dust a thin layer of mattifying powder over the top to keep the shine at bay. When my skin is throwing a hormone paddy or reaction wobbly I will use another concealer on top and a pressed powder for that tiny bit of extra coverage. This is what I have done in the photograph below when I finished my make-up using this CC cream as my base.

Something else I love about this is that it is botanical and continues to moisturise your skin while it is on longer than most standard moisturisers do. Since I have been using it almost every daily for a few months the condition of my skin has definitely improved. It's rarely dehydrated and spots are hardly an issue for me – they can be serious dicks, so it's nice not to have the deal with them as much. 

I also believe this product is really good value for money. I use so little each time around and it seems to be lasting forever. I was apprehensive about spending so much money (£30 - a bit less if you invest in becoming a preferred client) on a product  I had no experience of as it is a lot of money to me, and not an amount I'd like to waste. It was so worth the gamble though and it really does go a long way. I use it all the time and have plenty left after purchasing it in January.

All in all I love this cream. It saves me time and energy, helps me look less sick, treats my skin and lasts a long time. It's wonderful. Arbonne works like Avon so you need a representative to buy products. This is the link to shop via my friend and rep :)

Friday, 22 May 2015

Lisa Gets Leaner | Weight Loss Progress 21.05.15

Hello, everyone!

For those who don't know, I am trying to lose weight in an interesting situation, you can read about what that is and how I am doing it here. Have an update! (and a recent picture of my face? wasn't enough pictures in this post!)

~ Weight Loss ~

I began this journey 11th

I am currently 14st 1lb / 89.4 kg

This is the chart from MyFitnessPal, showing the fabulous progress and the current plateau:

And the one from My Diet Coach:

I a super proud of myself for losing any weight at all, I do have to say. I have found myself getting a bit bored by My Diet Coach, the novelty has worn off, so I am going to use pictures of of myself from a couple of years ago when I was a bit lighter as motivational photos on there rather than just pictures of myself looking particularly fat. I shall also change up my reminders. I will look for other fun weight loss apps, too. MyFitnessPal is still doing its job, it's not that fun so I can't get bored of it.

I don't yet fit into the lovely aqua/mint dress in my first weight loss post but there is noticeable difference in my body. I have taken photos of myself in my underwear (phwoar) to use for comparison at a later date, I may post these here if I get super proud, you lucky buggers. Basically, it's nice to take a step back and look at my progress, especially when the motivation is fading. Seems to even be helping me as I write.

~ Mental Health ~

I have been really impressed with myself for not relapsing into full-blown anorexia. There have been a couple of times when I lost control over the food in a meal, freaked out, found myself terrified of food and gaining weight and generally having a breakdown, but it really has only been a couple of times. These occurrences only happen when I'm super fatigued, which tends to be the pattern of my life - I more tired I get, the worse my mental health. In both these instances I used a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy app that I am trying out on my phone and will be reviewing once I am decided on it, and actually once spoke about my feelings to a friend, out loud. It's so hard to explain the erratic, contrasting thoughts to someone when you know you're being irrational and are trying to find a normal, healthy way out of the situation and at the same time can't even look at food without breaking down because it's so scary and full of calories that will make you so fat you won't deserve to love. But I tried. And it helped. I've never really done this in person before, it's always been typing or texting when the event is occurring. I will do it again if the situation is right.

I have not found myself binge eating yet, or even purging my normal meals much at all. The only throwing up I've been doing is out of exhaustion or too many Sambucas :)

I shall try to remember to write my feelings down if it happens again and there is nobody to talk to, as I find I always get the panic out and talk sense into myself on paper. I will continue using CBT the best I can as it has worked before for me, and I know it still does when I actually put the effort in.

I have not found myself binge eating yet, or even purging my normal meals much at all. The only throwing up I've been doing is out of exhaustion or too many Sambucas :)

Overall though, I've been on top of this and losing weight with a healthy mindset :) It IS possible!

~ Chronic Fatigue ~ 

I've found myself more fatigued than usual lately due to a crazy busy weekend at work, a change-up in my hours and being really stupid and doing things on some of my days off rather than resting as much as possible. This has caused my motivation for weight loss to dwindle. I find that as my fatigue increases the more I crave food and see it as an energy crutch. It's probably more of an emotional crutch or placebo but I do allow myself to be less strict on my dieting when I'm really exhausted. I think this is fair, but I also need to work on lessening the exhaustion and preventing it happen more. I have been the same weight for a few weeks now which is a little frustrating, but I'm not too hard on myself because it's not my fault that I have this illness and my health should come first.

As I am starting to feel a bit better, I shall do much more resting in-between my shifts at work again and definitely avoid drinking more than one or three alcoholic drinks at a time (if you follow me on Twitter you'll know why :P). Basically, the nicer I am to my body and brain, the quicker I can get on the weight loss wagon again :)

...and that's where I'm at! I have done well, I shall continue to do my best and not make myself too ill. Any encouragement, sagely advice or pictures of border collies will be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Lisa Gets Leaner | Spoonie Food - St. Dalfour French Bistro Three Beans with Sweetcorn

Hey guys! I wasn't going to post a Spoonie Food so quickly after the last one but I visited Purbeck Wholefoods in Wareham,for the first time in years and got really excited when I saw the following, so bought it and ate it.

Pre-packaged healthy food all ready to eat! With sweetcorn! Yay! Only 193 kcal per can, too! 

When I opened it I felt like I was opening cat food but the food looked so gorgeous it was definitely going in my mouth and not the dog's. So I grabbed a spoon and dove in...

It. Was. So. Soft. So soft. The carrots had the same texture as the carrots in Heinz Lentil Soup. Everything had that kind of texture, even thr sweetcorn was soft?! I was so disappointed as it really wasn't pleasant to eat at all, but rarely one to waste food, I persevered. I chucked it into a bowl with salad leaves, apple cyder vinegar (?) and sriracha. This made it more bearable as I could dilute each mouthful of it with crunchy leaves so the texture was less prevalent. The taste was strange, not hugely pleasant but not gross. The sriracha helped but I put way too much cyder vinegar in, my mouth was very confused about the while situation.

I would not rush out to buy this again, or any of the other varieties in the range - I saw a few vegan ones. However. I feel I owe it to the company to try again as I REALLY want to like these as I'm so grateful they exist. The packaging has the suggestion of topping with cheese and microwaving. I shall give this a try as the same shop sells Violife Pizza Cheese (thank the gods!) sooner or later. I imagine sooner as I'll only put it off for ages otherwise, it's so weird. It also suggests enjoying with fruit conserve (???), serving with sliced tomatoes, lettuce and onions or with carrot/celery sticks. Maybe!

This may be right up your street, as it says - "Finally! Fast, Healthy, Gourmet Food". Finally! Fast, healthy, low-calorie, vegan food! I just wish it wasn't so soft!

If you try any of these I hope you love them! If you have any you'd recommend please let me know in the comments below, I want these to be wonderful so bad!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Lisa Gets Leaner | Spoonie Food - Spicy Mexican Style Bean Grain Pot

As I have no energy to cook food the vast majority of the time, I got really excited when I saw this sat on a shelf in Sainsbury's. I love spicy. I love 283 kcal. I love being able to eat without exhausting myself preparing food.

These are so easy and effortless to prepare. You just boil water, fill to the line, mix, mix again five minutes later, and then in another five minutes it's nom time! There's even chipotle sauce to add! Mmm!

I managed to mess up this extremely simple process the first time around which is why in the picture below it doesn't look like there's much food in the pot - I forgot to mix it properly and some of it didn't absorb water. Yay fatigue!

However, second time around I did it properly and the pot was around three quarters full, which was much more satisfying. The food is as lovely as it sounds, a mix of bulgur wheat, cous cous, kidney beans and sweetcorn flavoured gorgeously. I use these as a small meal. They're great for while at work, especially when it's busy. As they are only 75p currently and £1 normally, I believe they are rather good value for money, much more affordable than the pots made by The Food Doctor. 

Overall I am very pleased with this product and would recommend keeping a couple in your cupboard for when you're too ill to cook, if you like smokey spicy food, of course.

Hope this has helped!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Jellygoose Adventures | Nerding Out in Cardiff

When being offered a day trip to the Doctor Who centre of the world, one does not say no, even going to The Doctor Who Experience doesn't work out. Luckily I have a friend who used work on Who and still lives in Cardiff. I took this opportunity to see him and in doing so did some accidental, not very exciting (for most people, I guess) whovian sightseeing!

This is a road down which Peter Capaldi rode a horse in a dressing gown in Deep Breath:

I realise it just looks like any old street but I promise it is. They actually used it for filming again the day after I was there so we clearly went on the wrong day!

The lift to my friend's flat which is also the lift in the big weeping angel-ridden hotel in The Angels Take Manhattan:

Not that it looks like it with the door open... I tried to do my best Rory face.

This is fairly obviously the tower in Torchwood:

Who's excited for its return? I am actually yet to watch it - shame. I WILL THOUGH!

As a big spoiler for me and my Torchwood ignorance, we visited the Ianto Shrine. This was my favourite part of it:

You heroes, Sandra and Bev! I am very much looking forward to getting to know this character after seeing all the love people from all over the world have for him.

The Rift:

And that concludes my not particularly interesting adventure in Cardiff.

If you'd get excited about these things please let me know! It can't just be me.

Friday, 15 May 2015


For a long time now I have been trying to articulate my feelings towards the whole "love your flaws" message that is popular these days. I hate how people just seem to unquestionably accept someone else's definition of "flaw". I don't see my stretchmarks, scars and spots as flaws, not even my baggy skin, they're just parts of my body. Physical evidence of my journey so far. Just because the beauty industry has decided they're flaws doesn't mean that they are. "Be your own kind of beautiful" really should mean that you define beauty for yourself. If I am beautiful, then so are my stretchmarks. I'm not beautiful and have stretchmarks. Everything's included! That kinda thing. Then lo and behold, Amanda Palmer did it beautifully so I don't have to :) The following is taken from her post on Facebook:

This photo was posted along with the text on her Facebook page.

"i’m kind of sick of seeing all these ads fucking everywhere telling women to “embrace our flaws”. whoever said they were “flaws”? what’s a “flaw" anyhow?

let’s look it up.

it’s "a mark, fault, or other imperfection that mars a substance or object.”

MARRED? dude. i’m FINE, me my personal collection of hard-won scars and hairs and curves and and stretch marks and twinkles and wrinkles and folds and flaps and muscles and and freckles and lashes and nails and veins and stuff."

For the rest of this post which you truly should check out, click here.

Thank you Amanda Palmer.

Big Love

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Lisa Gets Leaner | Tea | Two Fruit Teas

A quick tea blog today as there is not an awful lot to say about these two.

Sainsbury's Raspberry and Apple Infusion.

After sipping this for the first time, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I've been trying flavoured green tea when fruit teas exist. I think I must have forgotten about them because it makes no sense. I love apple, I love raspberry, I love apple and raspberry. This tea smells amazing, and of course, like all teas, the taste isn't as strong as the smell, but it still tastes good - like watered-down apple pie.

Sainsbury's Blackberry and Blueberry Infusion.

This one tastes like warm Ribena! Did you used to drink that when sick as a child?

Both these teas are sweet. I crave sweet a fair bit, especially after meals at home which is usually tackled with an Oreo. As these teas are 5 kcal and Oreos 53 kcal, I shall use these and other fruit teas I find instead. These may also be sweet enough to replace my beloved sugary, milky English Breakfast Tea!

I think I've done it, guys! Fruit teas are the way forward. This blog will get more interesting now, I promise :P

Enjoy your tea!

Monday, 11 May 2015

OOTD | It Looked Better In My Head

This is the story of attempting to do my first OOTD post. As I had two days off in one week where I actually had to leave the house (rarely a good idea), I got excited at the idea of wearing clothes that weren't my work clothes or pyjamas. I really wanted to wear tights, found a dress I'd been missing for a while, and thought I'd created a really cool, Laura Jane Grace inspired outfit.

The first attempt occurred in a rushed fashion, on my way to a small work do. I asked my chum to take some quick snaps for me. He has never seen or heard of #ootd and didn't realise he was supposed to include the shoes, but here's what happened then:

"Stop making me laugh! Models don't smile!"

"Please tell me what to do - and don't take photos of me talking."

Ooh yeah, sexy takin'-the-hat-off face.

"I hope I don't have hat hair."

"I bet I do, are you supposed to bring mirrors to these things? Oh well, lolololol"

A few days after this, I donned the same outfit as I only wore it a few hours, didn't spill anything on it and didn't want to add to my washing. On the way back from a scrummy Sunday Lunch, we tried again, rushed again, with my belly full of food and my brain full of nope...

"We gon' do this yeah?"

"Is this how people pose?"

"I feel like I'm missing something..."

"Dammit, my hat. I love that hat."

"I've seen this pose somewhere before!"

"Shoot for the stars! ...No, wait. That's far too energetic"

"Ooh crud! Better get a close-up of the jewelry!"

After taking all these photos in which I had no idea how to stand or what to do with my face, I got home, looked at them and realised I forgot that a range of poses were supposed to occur. Not just standing there. Just sitting there would have sufficed as it's variety, moving, walking, vogueing! Brain fog took over and what it resulted in amused me, so I decided to document it here. Have a product list, for the lulz:

Battlestar Galactica Beanie | Ebay
Pretend Leather Jacket | Primark
Tatty, Worn Dress | Primark 
Tights | Yours Clothing
Shoes | Doctor Martens (chalk pen drops not included)
Necklace | J!NX

Hope you get to wear clothes you like, too! :)