I’m feeling bleugh.

I’m disappointed in myself because I was doing well at the gym and was getting into a routine that worked well for me. However I got ill (Crohn’s related and now a cold that I can’t seem to shake) and going to the gym was the last thing I was caring about. At the moment when I’m not in work, I’m in bed! As soon as the kids are in bed, I do the same. Not exercising has several impacts though…my “mum tum” is getting flabbier, and I generally feel crap. I’m sure I’d be happier if I was more active. I just can’t seem to face it at the moment…

The new drug (Humira) doesn’t seem to be working for me and my inflammatory markers are still higher than we want. I have good days, and bad, and thankfully as I write this it’s been a good day Crohn’s wise.

I was away in America with work, and just before I left I think I got food poisoning. I had horrendous D&V plus stabbing pain in my sides. I actually phoned NHS 24 as I was seriously concerned. I was doubled over in pain! I had visions of being whisked off to hospital in an ambulance and having to get emergency surgery. Anyway, turns out I was being OTT; the pain subsided and I fell asleep just as the nurse returned my call!

I’m back at the hospital in a week for a further check-up and to get some blood results. We are checking to see if my body has developed antibodies against the Humira; which would explain why it’s not working as effectively as we had hoped.

Perhaps not the best of times to be starting out with a new man, but it’s going well thus far *does happy dance*

I’ll get back into the gym next week…!


Review: Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner

I’ve been trying out the new Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner now for a few weeks. It’s only been recently that I included an acid cleanser in my routine, so I was intrigued to try a toner with similar acid ingredients.

The product, despite being acid-containing, is not stingy at all…in fact as the name suggests it’s gentle! My skin doesn’t feel stripped after use which I like. I’ve been using a small amount on a cotton pad, morning and night.

I didn’t see an immediate improvement in my skin condition. Certainly now after a few weeks my problem chin is beginning to clear up but it is taking time.

Merumaya have also upped the ante with their packaging. I love the bottle for this toner and the label. It looks more stylish in comparison to some of the other items in their range.

Price wise I think this is great value for money, £17.50 for 128 mL. I do love Merumaya as a brand, and have repurchased a number of their skincare products. I’m sure this toner will be no different in that respect.

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: For the Gals

As well as my gift guide for the gents, I’ve pieced together some ideas for the ladies too.

This lip balm from Cult Beauty is super cute and would be a fab little gift for a girl this Valentine’s day. It comes in red too as well as pink.

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TONYMOLY lip balm, £7

Sticking with make-up, this versatile palette from Hourglass will be suitable for most skin tones and is probably something that us ladies wouldn’t buy for ourselves (at least I don’t think I would… definitely would make a nice present!).

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, £56

I included an aftershave in my gent’s guide, so it seems right to have a scent for the girls too. I love my Jo Malone Cologne Intense cologne, so I’ve chosen a limited edition bottle from this brand.

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Incense & Decrat Cologne by Jo Malone, £120

My sister and Robin bought me a lovely blanket scarf for my Christmas, which I have pretty much worn every day since. So I’ve chosen one here as it was such a hit with me.

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Oversized scarf at asos, £65

If an experience is more your thing, then I suggest a voucher for afternoon tea at Blythswood Square Hotel; or even better a ticket for the Square Eyes Film Club which includes afternoon tea, a glass of prosecco and tea/coffee plus your favourite movie for £35 per person. The tiered stand that will arrive at your table is just so beautiful and looks too pretty to eat (but I did, and it was gorgeous!).

You’re also going to need a card… Hole in my Pocket are based in Glasgow!

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Prepare for the Knight of your Life by Hole in my Pocket, £3
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Timber, I’ve Fallen For You by Hole in my Pocket, £3
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I Can’t Bear To Be Without You by Hole in my Pocket, £3

As a scientist, I had to get a geeky one in my shortlist too…(from another Scottish maker).

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Periodically, I Think Of You card by AlchemyandThistle, £2.50


Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: For the Guys

Gosh, well 2015 flew by so quickly and I can’t actually believe we’re now thinking of V-day presents! Are we really already at the end of Jan??

I have pulled together a simple gift guide for the gents… items that I think most men would appreciate and I’ve covered a range of budgets.

First up is aftershave. An obvious choice perhaps but this scent from GANT is bound to be a winner. The nautical fragrance is inspired by the freshness of the salty sea and the dark woody aroma of old ships… even the bottle fits the theme with the appearance of braided rope. I personally love masculine scents like leather, tobacco, cedar… whether that be in a perfume or candle perhaps; so this ticks all the right boxes for me.

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GANT fragrance, 100 mL £50

Another classic gift for a man is a watch, and I’ve chosen this one from Paulin… which just happens to be assembled right here in Glasgow. I love the colours on this particular timepiece; very stylish.

C201A/Chronograph by Paulin, £195

If you really want to go all out for your gent, then why not commission a made to measure bespoke suit from local menswear brand, ten30. Definitely one for the man that has everything.

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Made to Measure Bespoke tailoring from ten30

If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, grab a pair of Dick Winters boxer shorts… make sure your man is aware that he is one ‘Lucky Dick’. I just love the marketing for this underwear brand (again, made in Scotland)… so clever!

Dick Winters Boxer Shorts, £28

Lastly, if gifts aren’t your thing (too commercialised, etc etc)… then perhaps it’s a well thought card that will do the trick 😉

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You’ll Do Valentine’s Card by Darwin Designs, £2.40
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Pic N Mix card by Peas-In-A-Pod, £3.50
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Your Snoring card by Mardy Mabel, £2.99

New Shoes

I am a big fan of leopard print, and I had been searching for a replacement pair of leopard print boots after my previous Boden ones were well and truly done in.

However I’ve not had much luck. The Ted & Muffy pair that I bought, the shoe ended up coming away from the sole and I had to return them due to the hole that appeared.

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Subsequently I chose a pair from Boden which were black with some leopard print detail, but after wearing these for one day the strap broke and I had to return them.

I then ordered these Sorel boots from Travelling Bazaar, only to find they didn’t have them in my size anymore.

Sorel Major Low Premium – Black/Fossil

The final pair of shoes that I absolutely love are also not in stock in my size… It would seem that I’m destined not to have leopard print boots!!

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Jak & Jil in Leopard/Black by Air & Grace



I had a conversation with my friend Jackie the other evening about hibernation, and we agreed that in January it’s normal to want to stay indoors and not do very much. Phew! I’m not the only one.

My Crohn’s has been playing up. The only positive of this is that my stomach is a little flatter after all the over indulgence at Christmas time! However as a result I’m exhausted. On the days the children are with their dad, I’m at work and then I come home to have a little dinner and then I head straight to bed (sometimes at 8pm!)… I watch a little Netflix on my phone or iPad and then I’m typically fast asleep at 9.30/10. Similarly, on the nights when I have the kids, they’re in bed for 7/7.30 and I too jump into bed at that time!!

I had thought that the HUMIRA I had started on before Christmas had given me immediate improvement to  my Crohn’s symptoms, but now I’m not so sure. I was vomiting during the night in between Christmas and New Year whilst at my dad & Jo’s (and no, I hadn’t been drinking!) and had the most horrendous day after. Thank goodness for hands on grandparents who are willing to participate fully with the kids. I most certainly wouldn’t have managed without them. I still find myself having to rush to the bathroom, and on occasion I’ve been feeling nauseous and bleugh. The nurse has told me it’s early days, and I’m seeing her again next month for another check-up.

On top of all of this I’ve been feeling lonely… I am happy in my own company, don’t get me wrong, but when the kids are with their dad for 5 nights on the trot every second week and it’s just me (and the cats!) I tend to wish I had someone around. I’m not used to being single. I was on my own for 9 months after I separated from my husband but the kids were so little then that life was very busy with night feeds, nursery runs and work. Also at that time I had the kids 6 nights a week, so I had very little time to myself. I then had two relationships with a small gap in between, with the most recent one ending in October last year.

It’s now month 4 of me being on my own, and I’ve decided that instead of moping, I’m going to get more active. I’m hoping this will also help my energy levels and perhaps drag me out of my hibernation.

So for the first time I’ve joined a private gym, and I’m loving it. As are the kids. This weekend the kids were with their dad and I made it to the gym each day. It’s good having something to focus on. Plus, I have a house to renovate too! Pre-planning was submitted last week and hopefully we’ll be in a position to submit the full planning application soon.


Skincare update: Cleansers

My skin has been a bit of a mess lately… I’m putting it down to hormones, stress and illness (although I don’t feel particularly stressed out thankfully, but I do have a lot on my plate).  I’ve got a few different cleansers that I’ve been using and I do make the effort to make sure that my skin is clean each night before I go to bed. I thought I’d do a quick round-up of what’s on my bathroom shelf…

Merumaya, Melting Cleansing Balm, £15.50

I really like the Merumaya cleansing balm – it’s got a lovely thick texture that feels great on the skin. It’s fantastic at melting away make-up, even smokey eyes and mascara, although I’ve found it to be a little stingy on occasions if I’m using it on my eyes. I’ve repurchased this a few times, and I think it’s great value for money.

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Merumaya Cleansing Balm

Algenist, Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser, £32 at Space NK

I decided to try another cleansing balm and picked this Algenist one from Space NK. It’s green in colour and has a similar consistency to the Merumaya balm; perhaps a little thinner. It’s not stingy around my eyes, but I don’t find it as effective as removing eye make-up and I always need to use a separate eye make-up remover afterwards to take away the final traces. For the price, I’m not sure I’ll be repurchasing this.

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Algenist melting cleanser

Origins, Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil, £23.50

As the name suggests, this is an oil rather than a balm. It is effective and I really like this product. My only complaint would be the packaging as it’s a bit fiddly to get the lid off and on again when you’ve got the product in your hand. A pump bottle would make it easier to use.

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Origins cleansing oil

The Body Shop, Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, £13

This cleansing butter is thicker in consistency to the products above. It feels luxurious and I think is good value for money. It’s gentle on the skin although it can make my eyes a little blurry after use for a short time. It’s never my first choice of cleanser, and to be honest I’m not sure why that is.

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The Body Shop cleansing butter

With my skin being a little spotty lately, I’ve been using an acid cleanser after a first cleanse with one of the products above. I’ve used up the Elizabeth Arden Pro Gentle Facial Cleanser but I’ve now got the Clarifying Foaming Cleanser which has lactic acid and salicylic acid. I also have a selection of Alpha-H Liquid Gold skincare products that I’m trying. I’m not getting immediate results, which I guess no product can promise, but hopefully after a few more weeks my skin will be back on track!

Elizabeth Arden Pro, Gentle Facial Cleanser, £26 at Ellen Conlin Hair

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Elizabeth Arden Pro cleanser

Alpha-H, Liquid Gold Skin Renewal Wash, £36.95 at Cult Beauty

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Alpha-H skin renewal wash