Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Skincare Favourites: CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion PM

Obsessing about skincare is somewhat of a hobby of mine these days, so I thought I’d share some of my skincare faves (and possibly some not-so-faves) on the blog. First up is CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion PM - I’ve been using this moisturiser since July, after reading about it on Beautypedia, and it now has a well-earned a place in my daily regimen.

CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion PM is a facial 'lotion' (is it just me that always thinks of 'lotions' as a body thing, not a face thing?) containing a host of ostensibly beneficial ingredients – Niacinamide, Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid – and is free of potential irritants, like fragrance.

Disclaimer: Although this is marketed as a nigh time product, I actually use this lotion on my face in the day instead. I have always preferred to use a separate SPF product, rather than a moisturiser with SPF so the lack of SPF in this lotion isn’t a problem for me. I used to use this at night too, but I now have a retinol night cream to use instead (now I'm 30 it's time to start fighting those wrinkles!).

The lotion itself has a very light texture and is somewhere between a gel and a cream. It’s a slightly translucent white colour and really has no discernable smell. It comes in a neat little pump bottle, which is a bit ‘medical’ looking, and not necessarily one to keep out on the dressing table, but personally, although I do like pretty packaging, it’s not the be-all and end-all for me. The pump is small enough to easily be operated with one hand and it also locks in place for travelling, so one less thing to worry about leaking everywhere (so speaks the woman who lost half a bottle of expensive toner on a flight recently).

On application it feels cool and goes on smoothly, spreading well with a nice fluid motion. It sinks in quickly, but without disappearing – personally I like a moisturiser to give my skin a nice dewy feel and I find this does that, without leaving my skin too tacky. I am always a bit over-liberal with moisturiser so I use about three pumps of this to cover my face/neck (and sometimes go in with a second application just because), but I think someone who doesn’t over-use like me could easily get away with two pumps to cover the face and neck.

This moisturiser seems very gentle and has never irritated my skin at all, it makes my skin feel instantly plump and hydrated and that feeling lasts well throughout the day. I haven’t had any issues with pilling when using this moisturiser and my SPF or foundation always seems to sit well on top of this. I find this is a very light-yet-hydrating product and gentle enough to use around my eyes without problems.

For reference my skin is slightly combination, but leaning more to the dry side (I get a bit of oiliness in the t-zone) and definitely dehydrated and often feels tight after washing if I’m not careful with my choice of cleanser. I have struggled for years, finding that often moisturisers don’t help with any signs and symptoms of the dehydration in particular, but this does wonders and feels like a drink for my skin. Also, despite being on the dry side I am still prone to breakouts and haven't had any unusual issues since using this lotion.

Cost-wise this isn’t an overly expensive product, in my opinion at least – it’s not available to buy in the shops in the UK – I get it from Amazon and pay around £13 for a 3oz (~85ml) bottle. A bottle normally lasts me at least a couple of months, even though I slap it on with gay-abandon. I went to the US recently, where you can pick up CeraVe products from almost every chemist, so I stocked up on multiple bottles (it’s cheaper, more like £10 in the US) while I was there.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone. You can read more about it here.

Monday, 13 October 2014


As I mentioned in this post – HONEYMOON!

We’re back now and we had the most amazing time. Honestly it was fabulous and we did and saw so much (which made it seem like we were away for a lot longer than we were (which was pretty long anyway at almost three weeks)).

However, currently I am busy recovering from the jetlag – Oh my holy hell, the jetlag – I think I’ve broken my body clock forever. I haven’t slept properly since we got back on Friday morning (and barely slept on the plane). Today was my first day back at work – I have REALLY suffered, as I spent almost the entirety of last night lying awake, for the third night in a row.

I have had bouts of insomnia / sleeplessness throughout my life, but never have I been so goddamn tired and yet completely incapable of sleeping. I think it’s fair to say I am a bit of a drama llama about not sleeping (understatement, I am an utter nightmare if I don't get my eight hours), but I honestly don’t know how people who travel frequently between the UK and US do it – I think it would actually ruin me. I am clearly not suited to the jet set lifestyle, that's for sure (finally a plus in favour of not being crazy-wealthy - hurrah!), and I am now likely live in fear of being sent to the US with work.

If I don’t sleep tonight I’m going to cry. There may be a fully blown tantrum. But eventually – when I’m no longer having an out-of-body experience due to tiredness – I will get my act together and do a proper post, with photos of things we saw/did and EVERYTHING. Right now though I don’t have the energy to sift through the 1500+ photos (yes, we took that many) to find those worthy of sharing.

If anyone has any jetlag related advice in the meantime, I am ALL ears.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

1st Wedding Anniversary

So on the 5th of October this year, was my husband’s and my first wedding anniversary. It truly is unbelievable that it has been a whole year since our wedding day, time has simply flown by. It honestly feels like our wedding, on a beautiful mid-autumn day, was only a couple of months ago.

We spent our anniversary in the US, where we were on our (very belated) honeymoon. On our actual anniversary we were in Louisville in Kentucky, staying at the wonderful and historic Brown Hotel and we dined that evening at the very grand hotel bar (it was a Sunday when, unbeknownst to us, most of Louisville seems to close on a for the day) with lots of Manhattan cocktails for good measure. Given that we were on Honeymoon, our anniversary couldn’t help but be special, but the Brown hotel really was a magical setting (and the truffle oil on my lobster mac n'cheese didn't hurt either). I will be writing a separate post (or more likely posts as there is a lot to tell) about the Honeymoon trip itself soon.

The first anniversary is PAPER – which proved an interesting challenge from me to find a suitable gift for a gift for him. In the end I opted for a pair of paperclip cufflinks from Notonthehighstreet, and a personalised ordnance survey map, centered on our post-code. I used a photo of our (Pea & Badger) cake topper for the front of the map and I think it turned out beautifully.

I felt this was a good gift for him as he loves maps and we like going for walks around our home, I admit the cufflinks were cheating a bit, but my getting him cufflinks is somewhat of a tradition for us, which I wanted to continue.

I also made him a card, because I do feel that a hand-made card is more personal than a bought one (and also I enjoy making them). I got the idea for the card from one I saw on Notonethehighstreet, but changed it to suit us. I was pretty happy with how it turned out and he loved it.

Luckily all the presents went down well and he seemed very happy. I’m really not the best present buyer and tend to worry endlessly about what I’ve opted for, convincing myself that the gift won’t be well received.

It seems kind of odd to me, to be celebrating a year as a married couple, when in May next year we will have been together for nine years. I somehow thought it would feel like less of a milestone, one year in the face if almost-a-decade together, but on the day that wasn’t how it felt at all, and we had a really lovely anniversary. Here's to cotton (oooh clothes!) next year!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Facebook Cold Turkey

So, I deactivated my Facebook account a little over 21 days ago, for myriad reasons, but the largest contributing factor was, that it often made me feel like crap and obsess over things that really didn’t need obsessing over.

I’m a natural born worrier, and so worrying about things I saw on Facebook was a natural extension of that, but when I noticed that often, I felt anxious when checking Facebook, I decided that enough was enough. Not that I am blaming Facebook for this; I fully appreciate it’s my own personality flaws (or quirks) that made me feel the way I did, but I realised the only way to get a handle on it was to cut myself off for a while.

Other factors in my decision were –

The sheer amount of time I spent on Facebook; I don’t think the frequency with which I would check in (only exasperated by having a ‘smart’ phone that would beep to alert me if anyone so much as farted) was healthy or normal.

Frankly it made me feel like I was back at school sometimes, and… yeah, I just don’t need that. I’ve drifted away from some people, despite my (often repeated) efforts to keep in touch, and sometimes seeing people interact with others, while not responding to me felt like a slap in the face, and something I would dwell on way more than is healthy.

It made me cross, again, entirely my own problem, but I would often find myself getting riled up by things people posted and – seriously – when I take a step back I realise it’s just not worth it.

So yes, cold turkey for me. I am sure I will be back at some point (I have far too much history stored up on there to abandon it altogether) but for the time being I’ve made the decision that, until not logging into Facebook feels normal (i.e. I don’t miss it), I will be keeping my distance.

Although, since I stopped using Facebook, I have been spending more time using Twitter, which probably seems counterproductive at first glance. However I find Twitter and Facebook to be two vastly different beasts.

While Facebook feels very personal to me, I feel a greater degree of detachment when using Twitter, which actually leads to a greater sense of freedom/not giving a damn. On Twitter I (mostly) post whatever I feel like, and don’t feel self-conscious about it, whereas on Facebook I would worry about how things I posted would be interpreted by X, Y & Z. I don’t get that with Twitter, probably because a) in the grand scheme of the Twittersphere I am pretty much invisible (think I have less than 100 ‘followers’), and b) a lot of my followers on Twitter aren’t people I know in real life. I don’t know why exactly, but somehow I like that better.

I do sometimes wonder if real friends and the internet actually mix that well? Historically I’ve used the internet to interact with strangers (back in the day of Yahoo chatrooms – OMG!) and really enjoyed the experience, but brining people I *know* into the equation, somehow muddies the water a bit for me. Maybe because I care less about what strangers think of me(?), or feel that my friends/people I know will be more likely to judge me (that’s probably the exact opposite of how most people think I know)… All I know is that, when I first used the internet to ‘talk’ to people, it felt like a different world – I had the freedom to be myself and didn’t have to worry (this was at a time when I was bullied a LOT so for me to be ‘myself’ and feel accepted was a rare and wonderful thing).

I appreciate the irony in the fact that I used an online life to escape bullying when I was younger, and these days you can’t read the news without seeing headlines about cyber bulling. It does seem that perhaps the internet has changed in recent years, or perhaps I was just lucky with my previous experiences? I suppose there is always a flip side – I used the anonymity online to experience a degree of freedom I didn’t have ‘in real life’, and some people use it to pick on people. They probably did then, they still do now.

So, yeah, in summary; I haven’t felt Facebook is very good for my mental well-being in a long time. Probably because I need to learn to moderate my crazy, not compare myself endlessly to others, and demonstrate some self-control. But my feelings on the matter have definitely led me to think more seriously about 'social' media and the impact it has on our lives.

What are your thoughts on Facebook/social media in general?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

7 days and counting...

...until our holiday! Well, technically, it's actually our Honeymoon, but a very, very belated one (we will be away over our 1 year wedding anniversary too). Yes, we're off to America, for just over two weeks, and I am so excited I think I might pop.

Here's our travel itinerary:

  • Boston
  • Mystic
  • New York
  • Washington DC
  • Warm Springs
  • Charleston
  • Lexington
  • Louisville
  • Chicago
  • Boston

I have reached the ripe old age of thirty and, so far, never made it across the pond, so that is adding an extra layer of excitement for me right now. I am not sure that I am really convinced that, yes, it is real, we are going; a feeling that is probably, at least partly, due the fact my lovely husband has organised 99.9% of the trip for us (Yeah, he had to take over when I proved incapable of making a single decision, due to being TOO EXCITED!!!! (and also wanting to see ALL THE THINGS!!!!).

Anyway, to celebrate that fact it's only a week away now, here's a jolly map! Thanks to the limitations of Google Maps this isn't 100% accurate - Boston - Washington we are taking the train, following which we hire a car up until Louisville, and then we're flying from Louisville to Chicago, and then again from Chicago back to Boston - but hopefully you get the idea.

Watch out America - Pea & Badger (that's the husband by the way, I'm not taking an actual badger with me) are coming!



Monday, 15 September 2014

Welcome Autumn!

I love autumn, don’t you?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been ridiculously excited by the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn. Days get cooler, trees turning, bonfire night and Halloween to look forward to. Stew! Baked potatoes! Frost! Rosy cheeks! Pints of ale consumed snuggled next to the fire in a country pub. For me the list is endless...

Plus the clothes! I’ve never felt well equipped to dress for summer – I’m not comfortable showing so much skin (especially my pasty leg skin) during the day. I am much happier dressing for the cooler weather – tights, boots, coats, layers – YAY!!

I tend to wear opaque / semi-opaque tights all year round, particularly for work, but somehow I feel ‘wrong’ wearing opaques during the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love sheer tights (M&S bodyshaper tights in ‘illusion’ are my all-time favourite for a natural look on pale skin (see here)) but I’m clumsy and ladder them so easily, plus laziness plays a part, and sometimes keeping the leg stubble at bay isn’t top of my priority list. Opaque tights are harder to ladder (although I have still succeeded on occasion) and cover dry/stubbly legs up a treat.

So during the Autumn and even Winter, I feel like I can dress like me more easily, without looking like what I’ve got on is completely inappropriate for the climate.

I also love a good boot – nothing says ‘autumn is coming’ like a new boot to stomp around in. This year I have added these lovely boots from John Lewis to my collection.

They are a gorgeous boot and, despite the height of the heel (which is taller than I’d normally opt for), very comfortable. Most of my boots have been lace up, but these have a side zip which is such a welcome addition.

I know a lot of people are normally sad to see the back of summer (my husband included) but to me autumn is as much a season of newness and excitement as spring. Life is a cycle and I know summer will be back, but for now it’s time to put on my boots and go kicking through those leaves.

What is your favourite thing about autumn?



Hello! I am Pea – an incurably lazy girl. I’m a bit of a foodie, obsessed with bacon, lover of real ales, a die-hard cosmetics junkie, and I ‘do’ science for a living.

Yes, I probably am as mad as I look...

I’m starting this blog, with a vague notion of just blogging about my life, and what interests me, a bit like a journal I suppose. But also I hope it can inspire me to be less lazy, so I have things to actually write about (because a million posts about a lazy girl sat on the sofa watching Friends (yes again) probably won’t be that interesting).

I haven’t really blogged before, well actually, that isn’t strictly true. Yes, I had an angst filled blog on Myspace for a while there (am I alone in being kind of glad they aren’t open to the public anymore?) and I’ve dipped in an out of blogger (I first registered in 2010), but I never stuck to it. I’m hoping that this time it will stick!

To be perfectly honest, in this heyday of blogging, I appreciate I am rather late to the party, and doubt that I have anything new or particularly exciting to add. As such this really is for me and I will just see where it takes me [/vague]. The truth of the matter is; I am so chronically lazy that if I manage to actually blog consistently at all, it will be a landmark in and of itself!

I can also be found on Twitter: @Trooty

Thanks for reading!