Honest reviews, regular hauls and all things beauty.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Where have I been? A catch up!

 

Just some of the medication from one of the weeks I was off. We had to try several types to eventually get me on an even keel.

Well, hello! Long time, no blog! I have never taken so long away from posting before, but despite having lots of draft posts, I was far too ill to finish and publish any (some I have scrapped!). August was one hell of a month for me - at one point, I thought I might actually have to say my goodbyes. My health was horrendously bad - I have never experienced anything like it, and if you've been around here for a while, you'll know that I've been ill for over 20 years and have been through a lot, but the past month was the worst ever. I am double vaccinated, before anybody might think that I'm not, and that's what saved my life. If you are on the fence about getting vaccinated still, I would urge you to reconsider, as it protects those around you, who are medically vulnerable, as well as yourself (please read this article if you are in two minds as it may help you to understand the importance of being vaccinated, if you can do so: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-08-17/vaccinated-covid-doctor-shot). I'm not going to go into all of the detail of what happened to me or what happens next, but felt I should explain my absence, as I've never gone this long without posting since I started my blog around 7 years ago. I'm nowhere near fully recovered, but blogging gives me something else to think about and I need that right now, plus I feel like I have so much to chat to you about!

That said, there were also some positives in August. It was my birthday, my niece's birthday and we celebrated our wedding anniversary, so I will always love the eighth month! This year is whizzing by and I'm already thinking about whether or not to do Christmas Gift Guides.......? Would love to hear your thoughts on that! I'm going to catch you up on some lifestyle favourites (I say lifestyle - I was in bed for weeks!) - tv, food, accessories etc. Also, I  would love to hear how life is with you? I've chatted to some of you in DMs, but I've missed this little community.

Obviously, I have to mention that the gorgeous weather at the end of August and beginning of September was a real treat, and just what we needed after weeks of rain, where it felt like we went from July to November! There were some beautiful sunrises and sunsets (yes, I saw both, due to my meds having my body all over the place!). I know that Irish people talk about the weather a lot, but we don't get a lot of sunny breaks, so it was very welcome before we head into Autumn.

Films/TV: Obviously, with a lot of my time being spent in bed or on the sofa, we watched a lot of TV and I have a few standouts.

Nomadland (Sky): I had hoped to see this in the cinema but...... Covid! I adore Frances McDormand and would watch anything that she is in, so I knew that this would be a great film. It is based on the Nomad community in America, and shows the reality of their life.  I love the quote in the film where she says that she isn't homeless, she's just houseless. Some do it through choice, for others, they don't have a choice, but they are all very grateful for their RVs and there is fantastic community spirit and kindness throughout. A lot of cast are real-life nomads,, playing themselves, most of whom didn't even know who Frances was.  It is a film about compassion, resilience, friendship, and the reality of what can happen to people if the main business in a town decides to close, and they have no backup or savings. For Fern (McDormand), her husband died, as the plant, where both she and her husband had worked for years, closed down, so she sells most of her belongings, stores some, and lives in her RV, getting some seasonal work here and there. Seeing how the community helps each other - not just with sharing "things", but with a listening ear, companionship, letting each other know if there is work available etc. is just so heartwarming, even though you might think that it would be a bleak film. As always, Frances McDormand is outstanding - you feel every emotion with her. It certainly gives pause for thought and it was the perfect film, at the perfect time for me, when I needed everything to be as simple as possible. I probably haven't done it justice - I don't know if I ever could, but please watch it and enjoy!

Once (Netflix): This film was released in 2007, but for some reason, we only watched it a few weeks ago! It had been on my radar to watch for a long time, purely because I adore the song Falling Slowly, which won an Oscar, but also because I love any films set in Dublin. It made me nostalgic for pre-Covid life, where you could wander down Grafton Street and hear buskers, and just the general hustle and bustle of a capital city, that is unlike others in Europe and where I spent four years in Trinity College. This film is a love story at its heart, but it isn't cheesy - it's pure and the chemistry between the two lead characters is real. In fact, everything about the film felt so 'real' to me - the warmth of people, the hardship, kindness, the camaraderie between the characters. Without giving too much away, it focuses on a 'guy' and 'girl' (no names are used), the former of whom busks to earn some cash, but mainly because music is his passion (he also works in his Dad's hoover repair shop!), and the latter sells flowers,  The Big Issue etc, to earn some money. They develop a beautiful friendship, with a real curiosity about one another and belief in each other and they have a shared love of music. Like all musicians, his songs include some angst about someone who broke his heart and the girl has a husband in her home country (she lives in Ireland with her Mum and daughter), whom she sings about, and plays piano beautifully. They decide to make a demo tape, which he can use to try to sign a record deal and she encourages him to go to London to try to win the girl back. I honestly don't want to say much more and maybe I'm not selling it to you at all, but it's well worth watching - it leaves you feeling good and fuzzy inside and restores your faith in people. 

Modern Love (Amazon Prime): This is a series of short love stories, based on personal essays in the New York Times column on modern love. Some elements are fictionalised, but the basic story of each one is real. Each episode is only around 30 minutes, so if you're looking for a quick episode to watch, are nosey/curious about other peoples lives/stories around love - all types of love and all age groups. It's an easy watch. I watched this while in bed recuperating, as I didn't think it'd be my husband's cup of tea, but I actually think he might have dipped in and out had he been around. I personally preferred Season One to Season Two, with the exception of the first maybe three episodes of the latter, particularly the ones set in Ireland.

Succession (Sky): My friend Laura from Laura Louise Beauty recommended this to me, so we decided to give it a go & were hooked immediately. So much happens in each episode, that I don't know where to start! It's based on a very dysfunctional family, who own a mega company, which buys up smaller ones (mainly in the media business, but stretches across cruises, theme parks and many other acquisitions), with an elderly patriarch at the helm, who has no intention of retiring, despite the visions of his sons. They are all back-stabbers, literally none are trustworthy and everyone seems to be a pawn in each others game. There are lots of twists and turns, outside of the office itself, with other storylines interwoven. Each character is complex, with Roman, played by Kieran Culkin, being one of the wackiest I've ever seen on a show. It's a drama of tension, but there are lots of comedy elements, so if you do decide you want to watch something as far removed from your regular life as possible, you will find yourself very entertained. It's such a difficult show to describe, but well worth a watch! Laura describes it as flawless and really, she isn't wrong!

Comfy pjs: These have been an essential for me! I highly recommend Chelsea Peers (which are often reduced on ASOS, so it's worth keeping an eye out) - the fabric is soft, breathable and so comfortable, managing not to be either too warm, or thin. They are perfect as "loungewear" too, if that's what you're into, but they also have a separate loungewear section, plus they cater for maternity too. I also find supportive vest tops from Marks & Spencer UK/Ireland really useful too, as I personally don't like wearing bras to bed, but I need the support, due to having a large cup size. Comfort is always key for me!

Body products: My skin felt like it was burning from head to toe - I have some reliables for my face, but I decided to use Biossance 100% Squalane Oil (save 20% with the code LYMIN on Look Fantastic) all over my body (I say I, but I would have been completely lost without my husband because I have so many bruises from falling over, so he and my mother did pretty much everything for me! #blessed). This oil left my skin feeling silky soft and soothed, it relieved the itch, tightness and burning sensation, which I really didn't need on top of everything else. A little goes a long way with it too. It will be a 100% repurchase for me. I also had a body lotion and hand cream that I kept beside the bed, for top ups, and both really helped. They were Lierac Nourishing Body Milk, which leaves skin so supple and soothed, and Mor Emporium Classic Lychee Flower Hand Cream*, which is a truly beautiful hand cream - smells divine, is nourishing but not greasy - what more could I ask for? Oh and the packaging is gorgeous, which is a real bonus!

So that's my catch up! I'll be back to regular posting, but I'm not putting major pressure on myself to be in a certain routine, as I'm still recovering and my body has taken a huge battering. That said, it's nice to be back! At one point, I was tempted to delete my blog, but I'm so glad that I didn't because I'd miss this community. I will have a mixture of posts containing P.R. and products I bought myself upcoming, so I hope you don't mind that, as I usually try to space them out a little more, but I have so much to tell you about!

I really hope that you are all well. Please tell me what's been happening with you? Any new beauty loves or tv shows that you think I should watch? I'm all ears!

Thanks for reading!

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All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted, without obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.

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