Thursday, 6 June 2013

OMG My Summer Needs!

So, lovely fucking winter we are having this summer, ay? Urgh. We had some really nice days it was perfect weather for picnics, late evening walks in the park and with the 6-week-holidays coming up - HOLIDAYS! One thing that comes with perfect summer days and holidays is sun.

Sun. As lovely as a bit of sun is, healthy even with all it's vitamin D which promotes a normally functioning nervous system, good bone density and bone growth, not to mention immunity,  a regular blood pressure, cell growth (who doesn't need more cells?) and insulin secretion (finally, I'm finding a use for the many years I obsessively studied Human Phys.) - but it has it's down side too. 

I mean I know we all love a tan (I have a year round one ;D) but being careful in the sun is essential! Too much exposure without proper protection can cause anything from sunburns, which while painful and uncomfortable aren't fatal to skin cancer which can be fatal.

Sunscreen comes in so many factors, forms and by so many companies it can be really confusing - Which company is good? What is SPF? Are lotions better than sprays? What is UV?

So lets break it down a bit! 

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Simple enough, right? Good. Now SPF means how much UV rays gets through the sunscreen before you burn when you have it on. UV rays come in 3 forms UVA, UVB and UVC but they all damage the collagen fibres in the skin - this ages the skin (EWWWWW WRINKLES!!!) so we are all agreed that we do not want that, right?

What SPF you use depends on lots of things but the main ones are:

- your skin type
- how much you use and how often you reapply
- what you do when you have it on (like swimming and playing in the sand)
- the amount of sunscreen your skin has absorbed 

You can find what skin type you have very easily. Wash your face, pat it dry and then leave it for 20 minutes. Then take some toilet tissue and tear it into smalls bits, then press them onto different areas of your skin. If the tissue sticks and becomes translucent then you have oily skin, if it doesn't then you have dry and if it sticks on you T-zone (your forehead, nose and chin) but nowhere else you have combination skin - most people have combination skin. If you have oily skin you probably should go for a gel or powder based sunscreen, for dry skin try a creamy lotion. Then comes how dark your skin is, if you have fair skin you should generally use a higher factor you should use, the darker your skin is, the lower you can use.

You should always use sunscreen if you are going out and will be in direct sun. Apply 20 or so minutes to any exposed skin before you go out allowing dry time.  In general sun you should probably reapply every 2 hours however in extreme sun/on the beach you should do it every 15-20 minutes, you should wash/wipe all excess oil away before reapply.

I hope that helps. 

As an example I'm going to tell you about my summer skin care regime plus I get to tell you about my summer faves!

So before going out I pick out what I'm gunna wear. Idk why but this summer for me is all about the really soft casual look. I know dungarees, denim, those hideous giant rugby/american footbal tops, heavy embellishment, ultra short shorts, mini dresses, prints are so in atm, that stupid fringing shit, gorgeous ruffles and ruching, that perfect sixties/twiggy look and the colour that the fashionistas are calling  aqua fresh... basically blue in every shade. But I am sticking to really light coloured jeans - white, pale blue, pale pink, that kinda thing and mens t-shirts. No accessories and as always my killer wedges - not those shitty-midi-2-inch-kitten-wedge-heels that are everywhere atm but my 5-6 inch platform toed wedges. 

I like to keep my hair simple, big natural body and that whole messy Binky Felstead look or that wet look which is so in atm although super straight is such a thing at the moment so are retro hair does, low slung buns/ponies, that stupid fringe that Katy Perry had and that Hailey from Paramore has (fuck is with that?), braids, cropped/short styles and crazy colours. Be brave, but don't look stupid.

Then I grab my sunscreen. I use Garnier's Ambre Solaire Clear Protect SPF 50. I know what I said earlier but there is a reason I do - I have skin that is really papery and thin so I tend to burn like crazy. It's a spray, is pretty water resistant, transparent and smells great! It does promise that it's not greasy but tbh it can't help it being so greasy. So I spritz it on my face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands and feet, basically anywhere that may be even slightly exposed. Then I grab my Revlon Nearly Naked powder foundation in Deep and apply to my whole face and neck, blending well with a brush and not the weird things they give with it. Then I grab my baby power - I love baby powder I literally use it on every thing stains, as a deodorant and in this case something to soak up the oil. I sprinkle it all over my arms and feet then add a light dusting to my face like my T-zone just to make sure it stays matte and stays in place, I don't want to melt. Then I pick up my liptint - I was using liptint when I was in like year 10 when only Bourjois did it, it was called Rouge Hi-tech and literally I still haven't found a better one. But since they don't do it anymore I am trying to find a better one, according to reviews Benefits lipstain is the best, it comes in three shades - Cha Cha tint (mango hues), Benetint (deep rose redish) and Posie (more of a pinky colour) tint but atm for convenience I am using Rimmels 1000 kisses and I love it. I love the minimal upkeep of stains. You don't need to worry about it getting everywhere, you don't need to worry about it melting and it's just like it amazing. Then I seal it with Niveas Sun Protect lipbalm - yes, I need factored lipbalm. I hate it in summer how makeup melts so like I said in my previous blog my makeupless summer. So instead of my mascara I pickup a set of eyelash curlers - I love my eyelash curlers. I had the same pair since like year 9 - they wear a gold set from H&M. Recently they literally were falling apart so I had to get a new pair, so I went to Boots but I was determined to get a black set and the only set I found that was black was a set by Boots. You'd think I would have got the Models Own bright pink set which are the cutest or the Shu Uemura ones which get the best reviews - don't bother with heated ones they suck. So yeah I got the black set and OMG I was so surprised. I curl them one day and they last like two days later. I know when I'm on holiday I'm going to have to get a waterproof mascara (my hubby has already said he is going to throw me in the water over and over T-T weirdly this is why I love him- cuz he is a weirdo) But yeah, getting back to my eyelash curlers, 30 seconds and a few pumps (naughty) later and hey, presto! Perfect lashes, evenly spread and natural. 

I've been really boring with my nails and gone with a natural look using only Rimmel London's Lycra Pro no 26 and Collection's 2-in-1 Top Coat with gloss enhancer. It protects my nails and looks cute. I love it. Glitter fade nails are so my thing atm. Neons, pastel and nudes are so it at the moment!! Lilacs, nudes, pinks aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnd glitter!!!!!!! It's cute! Strips are really working and matte nails are good too!!!

There are a few summer handy must haves that I am super pumped about too.

- Baby wipes. OMG YOU NEED TO KEEP A PACKET OF THESE HANDY 24/7!!!  They are like a life saver. Many purposes and a small packet can slip into your handbag.

- Dove. Whether it's shampoo, conditioner, soap or deodorant I am like using the whole care range. With the heat you don't want anything heavy or anything that dries you out. Dove literally balances everything. Since I'm turning twenty I'm using a firming lotion by Dove and my skin has never been happier. Go Fresh in Cucumber and Green tea!! No stains, lasts forever and even when it's hot no smell. The soap is so cream and powdery at the same time that it cleans, moisturizes and still doesn't dry your skin out.

- Water. When it's hot you need to stay hydrated -not only does this keep you healthy but it flushes lots of nasties from your body. Drink loads!

- Kegels, exercise and stretches. You want a beach body? Walk. I'm serious, walk and walk and walk. Take the stair, instead of the escalator or lift, walk to the shops to pick up milk instead of jumping in the car, need to pop to town and grab a few things? Walk it. Teamed with a healthy diet and regular stretching you will be able to do it in a way that doesn't strain you too much. I add kegels to this because you can incorporate this into your stretches and walking. Ladies, don't listen to anyone that says it's shit -they work. There are lots of videos and tutorials on kegels on Youtube and Google. They help keep all your bits stay in the right place! That and you won't end up peeing yourself at 30. Kegels have a naughty side to - they say sexually they seriously enhance feeling and enjoyment... I'll let you test that theory. Lads, should do it too! They help with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and may even lift up your two little friends.

So that was that... Yeah... I'm gunna have to go... Kim and Kourtney Take Miami is on. What?! It's a guilty pleasure.

As always,

Loves,

Monica
          xxx

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Guest Blog from the Hubby - Munchies

Ok so to begin with I think it’s only polite to introduce myself… Hello I am afore mentioned hubby!!! Ok introduction over.

Monica has allowed me to do a blog on restaurants. Food by the way is my thing. I laaark the foody!!! I’m pretty open to try most foods and enjoy the whole eating experience not just the putting in my face bit. Leeds is one of the best places to sample the foody stuff. It’s a mixture of city slick restaurants, expensive highbrow foodies and one off amazing gems tucked away where you go only if you’re a man in the know ooooh yeh.

My first review then, I’ve decided is going to be on Fazenda.  It’s one of the most famous buffet restaurants of its kind in the UK due to its “unique dining experience” (yeh I know I’ll get onto that later)

The name I hear you say… yes let’s begin with that! WTF? They’ve named a meat selling buffet restaurant after a coffee farm that was notorious for spreading slavery in the 1800… good one! Plus I find it impossible to say it without sounding like I’ve just sneezed! The logo looks like a fat unicorn sat on a bunch of letters and its plain boring look is in stark contrast to the “uniqueness” they are trying to convey.

Next the website, it’s black, white, grey yaaaaaaaaawn… Sorry! Fell asleep - this website is so boring!!! It’s more like an obituary than a website promoting a “unique” restaurant. You have to go to the gallery section before you see a single picture of the restaurant or the food or anything other than grey fields… nice!!!

Location - This is something I actually like. As Monica would say eeeeeeermerrrrrrgeeerd!!! It’s located in the granary wharf area of Leeds city centre. A great location close to doubletree restaurant and hotel by Hilton, a short swagger away from Leeds buzzing bars and clubs, and a strut away from Leeds train station and all other major transport links in and around Leeds. Overlooking the canal, tall skyscraper apartments and offices, you’re met by a large clean glass fronted building with flames either side of the entrance greeting you with all the pomp and occasion you would expect from this famous restaurant. That’s when the nice stuff ends! A spotty teenager stands with a black pinny and what looks like a school scrap book leafing through the pages trying to find your booking…

"It's spelt T-H-A-L-U-K-D-H-E-R!” By the time he’s found it I’m already feeling like roasting him on the flames outside!!! Crispy!!! Then the interior… oooooh dear!!! There’s a fine line between rustic charm and stuffy and dilapidated. Let me give you an example… Werthers Original… WINNING!!! My old sock… BADTIMES!!! You catch my monkey? There’s wood everywhere… I mean everywhere!!! I wouldn’t be surprised if they had squirrels chilling in the lampshades, which might I add where the size of massive wind tunnels. Poor Monica looked like a Mini me next to those things about to get sucked into some kind of trekky vortex.  Thankfully, she didn’t and we managed to get through the night.  The service… horrific!!! I called a week in advanced and advised them I will be ordering from the halal menu which they advise on their website they cater fully for. Yet the first thing to arrive on our table… roast chips in pork batter oil!!! Good start!!! After pointing this out they removed it but amazingly we was still billed for it… I just read that bit to Monica and she simply said… DICKHEADS!!! This is why I love her so much!!!  

So , the unique dining experience what exactly is it… basically you’re given a tab to put on your table. One side green and the other is red. Leave it green side up “Gaucho” chefs come to your table with skewers of meat and ask you if you want it, red side up and they walk past and leave you alone.  Here’s my problem. Gaucho is also translated as a person with ill manners and is uncouth.  Oh does it show. Chefs are chefs for a reason don’t bring them front of house!!! They have the people skills of a cactus in a bubble wrap party!!! They constantly stomp round the restaurant with skewers of meat and a huge carving knife staring down at the tab on your table like some kind of trippy scene from saw.  As soon as they see green they pounce. Carving knife in hand glaring down at you with their meat cleavers… You want??? Yes! Yes! Ok, just leave us alone!!! After hacking away at the meat and shoving it on your plate with all the grace and elegance on Monica sleeping (it’s so funny she has her mouth wide open and dribbles hahahaaa)  they stomp away one after another in a pointless circle finding their next victim.  The side waiters were just as irritating.  I lost count how many times they approached our table and asked if we were ready for the bill!!! Rushed is not the word!!! After spending a three figure sum at this restaurant I will leave when I’m good and ready!!! And for that price I’m taking something with me… (Monica just interrupted me to say "hey look she has fat eye lids” - she’s watching a programme about obese people!!!).

So the food - It’s ok!!! Best way to describe it. Ok. I liked it. It was… ready I’m going to say it…Nice!!! The meat tasted of… meat! No real flavour or anything it was just grilled or flame grilled, or roasted, but in essence just meat made hot in different ways!!! The salad bar… was amazing. Yes I really did just say that.  It wasn’t just a bit of complimentary green stuff on a plate but a whole array of different tastes, flavours, colours and ingredients.  I personally recommend the chick pea, really light and fresh taste and a really good starter, light and not too filling.
The drinks menu - really good! If you like your wines they have an extensive collection to match every pallet and the non-alcoholic drinks are just as good, something for everyone. 
In conclusion then - 6/10.
Overpriced, over hyped, food is average, at best good.  Service was horrific on every level! Restaurant was exceptional. Fantastic location, excellent layout, but the d├ęcor really lets it all down.  Salad bar is worth every penny and the drinks menu really is amazing.  The main menu is unimaginative and boring but I guess it reflects the rest of the restaurant!!! Pricing… yeh bring our wallet to this place.  It’s just a shame the price doesn’t match the food or service.  My advice avoid like the plague.  If it’s amazing meat feast you’re after and you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket than your local Frankie and Bennys, try Reds Bar or the Cattle Grid near the corn exchange in Leeds city centre. Ok all you fazenda snobs come at me yeh… lol
The Hubby
    


So that was my hubby’s guest blog. FYI I do not sleep in a remotely inelegant way, I look like a freaking swan. V.proud!