It has been two weeks since my latest ‘life’ update as you may have seen I’ve been rather busy fashion and lingerie blogging. This doesn’t include the masses of clothes, bags and jewellery that I already own, but new purchases and additions to my Kiss Cave, and it’s not only exciting but incredibly addictive too. I think I need some more fertiliser and sunlight for my beloved bank card because I’ve well and truly stunted its growth recently.
I had the most fantabulous time filming with Drummond the magician in Pall Mall, London as part of his worldwide debut series for National Geographic. Now I can’t say too much about it until it goes to air, but Drummond was the most welcoming host, his magic left me absolutely speechless, and as I’d just had my braces tightened I tried my hardest not to smile but I literally didn’t stop grinning and laughing the whole time. I can’t wait for you all to see it when it airs in the UK at the end of the summer as I’ve never seen anything like it. Here we are on location with an emperor penguin, look at those cheesy grins!
I also blogged about a stretchmark treatment this week known as the derma roller, whereby hundreds of needles are pushed into the skin with a tiny roller to naturally injure and stimulate collagen regrowth which help old wounds and scars to heal. Obviously as a mother of two I’ve put my poor body through its paces, and my seven year old stretchmarks from having my daughter have bothered me for years. Although they have faded with time and don’t look as bad as they once did, they’re still obvious to me and if there is a natural treatment which assists my body in fixing itself then I’m all for it. It can be incredibly embarrassing for a woman to share her flaws and body hangups with others, and believe me I didn’t enter into this lightly, but at the same time I want to show others that there is hope and there are safe treatments out there that can really change your life and give you back the confidence and peace of mind that you deserve. We only have one life and we must all live it to the best of our ability, and if that means feeling comfortable in our own skin then high five sister chin chin me with your wine glass. Nobody will ever be perfect, but we can learn to love and live with our imperfections, making something less visible and easier to accept makes such an incredible difference to your self confidence.
My poor little sausage Gabriele is thankfully starting to get over his chicken pox, as Millie’s have faded to dull pink dots across her skin, and Gabriele’s scabs are gradually shedding. As the weather has been so hot and sticky this past week, during the day Gabriele has literally walked around in just a nappy whilst being covered in calamine lotion to ease his itching. He adores splashing in his little paddling pool in the garden, picking fresh raspberries, plums and cherries from our fruit trees and having lots of nice cuddles when he’s feeling poorly from his glands being up. I have been trying to potty train him since his second birthday yet not wanting to put pressure on him, so I started gradually by commentating each visit to the bathroom with Gabriele by saying “Mummy go wee wee, Mummy sit on toilet” in the hope that he would understand what was going on. I have kept his potty around for him to look at, touch and interact with, but after he refused to sit on it and kept filling it with car keys and and picture frames I decided it was too soon for him to understand. So I was more than a little surprised when Gabriele came running in naked and dripping wet from his paddling pool in the garden to perch straight on his potty and do a wee. Just like that! He then proudly stood up, bent forward to inspect his deposit and clapped his chubby hands saying “yayyy, Gay-ball (what he calls himself) do wee-wee potty!” And my heart literally melted quicker than a Mr Whippy at midday. It is truly amazing what children pick up on and how they understand the information we give them, digest it and put it into practise when they are good and ready. Today was a day that involved not a seconds thought on potty training, yet it is the most successful potty event yet. I love little people surprises, my babies make me so incredibly proud.
Millie had a fantastic school report last week, followed by an open evening to view her past years work, meet her new teacher and see her new classroom ready for September. She’s been growing her hair for the past several months and at her last visit to the hairdressers some weeks ago, decided she still wanted to grow out her fringe. This crazy hot weather we’re having had left her sweaty and sticky in her summer dress and collar, so one day after school I suggested trimming in a fringe to feel cooler and look cute. She umm’d and ahh’ over it for a few minutes before reluctantly agreeing and taking a seat at the kitchen table, and my eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas as I fetched a pair of scissors. In her entire six and a half years I have only ever cut her hair once when she was two, again to give her a fringe and the poor tot looked like she was wearing a lego helmet until it grew out because I failed miserably. Fast forward a handful of years and I found myself grinning with a pair of scissors in my hand, determined that I could cut a straight and inoffensive line directly across her brows for a pretty lightweight fringe. I started by wetting it down, combing it forward and following the line of her eyebrows so that it was perfectly straight, precise and adorable, and we both clapped as Millie looked in the mirror very impressed. That was until it dried, pinged upwards and skimmed half of her forehead. D’oh! So far I’ve compensated her with a pair of new earrings, several ice creams, comics and cakes. I promise I will never touch my children’s hair ever, ever, again.
For the past few months I’ve been on a journey of discovery, basically I’ve taken a good hard look at myself in the mirror and realised my needs and wants of beauty. Do I really need to wear a full face of makeup, or do I want to go out without needing a mirror and touch-up in my bag? It’s not as if I need to impress anyone. Sometimes the more effort you make, the worse you look as there is such a thing as trying too hard and looking well overdone. I never used to leave my house without a full face of makeup, manicure and straight hair, yet I haven’t seen my straighteners in months, my nails haven’t so much as been filed and my full face of makeup has transformed itself into a chapstick, eyeliner and a touch of concealer. The summer really allows us to embrace our natural beauty, as it not only gives us a sunkissed tan, but also lifts our mood and gives us a spring in our step too.
As a single mother of two young children I get horrendous dark circles under my eyes, break out in spots with every period and I’m generally covered in sticky fingers, unexplainable white marks and blood/sweat/tears at some point throughout the day. I know I have dark circles, people who see me know I have dark circles, so why bother trying to cover them over with layer upon layer of foundation and concealer which will only crack, separate and make me look like a panda in reverse (white circles around my eyes instead of black) because it’s clearly fooling no one. The second that I don’t try to cover my circles is also the second that people notice them, but because I haven’t tried horrendously to cover them, it kind of blends into the insignificant within seconds. And I’ve also noticed that leaving my hair freshly washed and naturally frizzy distracts from my unkept nails. I probably sound like a complete neanderthal right now and I can feel you all cringing as you read this, but I’m laughing from the freedom. I bet you’re thinking why is this girl letting herself go? Well I’m not, I’m actually just finding myself.
At times when I am done up, immaculate and styled to within an inch of my life, it is surprisingly alien how people react to me. I’m not saying this to come across as big headed, but giving you a true to life account of what I experience. When I walk past another woman dressed up to the nines the look you get back is pure disgust, filth and a slow hard eye up and down, turning their nose up at you and huffing past rudely. It’s cold and horrible, and where some might say jealousy I would say resentment. Some girls, not all girls, aren’t the greatest at accepting others, being happy for somebody else to look nice, to dress well and get attention. There’s this little gremlin inside of us all where we’d secretly like to be the prettiest in the land, and seeing somebody else take the crown is infuriating and threatening. On the other hand, I’m the kind of girl that sees somebody walking past in a pretty pair of heels and says “Wow, they look amazing, where did you get them from?” or if they’re pushing a pram in a pair of skinny jeans “No way did you just have a baby!? You look incredible, what’s your secret?” I’m not doing it to kiss arse or make people like me, because whatever I say or do won’t change how people feel, but I ask and compliment because I genuinely like what I see and like to know more about it, whether it be fitness, fashion or otherwise.
And the strangest thing is, when I walk the exact same path, in the exact same way, but in a pair of cropped jeans, vest top, flip flops, messy hair and minimal makeup the amount of women who smile at me is fascinating. They all greet me with a kind hello, a welcoming nod and a warm smile. I am the exact same person, in the exact same environment, but my reception is poles apart. I also realised the same about men. When I am dressed up they oogle, leer and stare at me, coming far too close into my personal space and sending me suggestive messages and unwanted attention. Surely a woman is allowed to dress nicely and wear makeup and have her hair done without deserving to be treated like a piece of meat in public? But yet again, when I am more natural and unkept, in a baggy summer dress and toe rings with a plait in my hair, the exact same men receive me in entirely the opposite way. Instead of leering they compliment me on my complexion, or eye colour, hair and sense of humour. They don’t see me as a prize, but actually as a person, an individual and somebody they are fond of, rather than wanting to fondle. The walls come down and there isn’t the false pretence of showing off and trying to impress me, and it’s so refreshing to see.
I guess how you go about approaching beauty is the difference between being Mrs Right or Mrs Right-Now to somebody. I always tried to make an effort, keep up with the Jones’ and look good in order to feel good. But now I’ve learnt to see beauty for what it really is, not what you look like but who you are, how you hold yourself, conduct your behaviour and interact with others. I don’t need to look good to feel good about myself, because I’ve finally reached the point in life where I do feel content in myself as a person, and my outlook on life leads me, with my appearance being the afterthought. For all of my flaws and weaknesses I have learnt to accept my skin, there are certainly improvements which can be made, and the odd tweak here and there, but overall I am happy to love myself without being in-love with myself, and that is most certainly two approaches which are poles apart.