Sunday, 7 April 2013

i still look for your face in the crowd

Hat - Topshop, Tshirt - H&M, Disco Pants - American Apparel, Shoes (not pictured) - Converse

I'm slowly but surely getting more and more comfortable with life here in Italy. It's still raining though - where art thou Italian sunshine?! I've met a lot of people my age, who speak English really well, it's been really nice experiencing the life of a young Italian - it's a lot different to being a tourist. I think me and some of the girls are going to get our nails done later so I'm sure that'll find its way onto the blog, Italy is making me girly apparently.  

I'm also going to attempt to dye my own hair this week, just the same colour as it is now but the roots are in dire need of attention and I don't think I'm trusting enough to go into a salon here just yet. This way, if it all goes horribly wrong I only have myself to blame!

I'm told the sun is on its way and I'm pretty sure we are going away later on this month so hopefully I'll be able to get some nice photographs of Italy. It's been a bit of a rough week because 2 of my closest friends had their birthdays and obviously I'm not at home to celebrate with them, also, all of the uni goers came home for Easter. I miss home a lot but I'm still really loving life here in Italy.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Excuse me, miss.

Crop top - Topshop, Maxi skirt - Primark, Shoes (not pictured)- Converse. 

So I've nearly been in Italy a whole month and I haven't blogged once yet. I didn't know exactly how my schedule would work out because I do work a lot of hours and au pairing for baby twins is to be perfectly honest and exhausting job. I've been lucky enough to be taken out a lot to see what Italy has to offer, so far I am absolutely loving it! The food and the clothes, oh the clothes, I've completely fallen in love with everything about the place, except the rain and the very strange "queuing" system in place when it comes to the nightlife (sorry, I am British after all, we love a good queue.) As you can imagine that's left me with little "free" time other than to sleep, which again isn't a lot living with baby twins but they are gorgeous and make me smile everyday so I can't complain at all. 

That being said, I did wear something that wasn't going to be covered in baby food this week and I had a few minutes to take a picture, albeit on my iphone because of course, I've come to a beautiful country and my camera has had yet another meltdown. As for hat I do about that, I am undecided. On the topic of meltdowns, I have had only one since I've been here and I'm coming to the end of the 4th week. For a girl who's never been away from home for more than 2 weeks at a time I'd call that good going. I know there are going to be ups and downs but for now I am happy, really really happy.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

eve lom cleanser

Seen as I'm trying my hand at something a little different today it's probably best that I give you a little bit of background information.

My skin can be very temperamental at the best of times, I can't second guess it - one day its normal the next day it can be so dry that my skin is sore. I suffer from hormonal breakouts and the occasional in between breakout that I can only ever link back to alcohol (consumption, not on my face of course.)

The Eve Lom cleanser is "the original balm cleanser" that is supposed to give " incredibly glowing, radiant skin with a smoother, more refined texture." I started using the cleanser about 3 months ago originally with the a muslin cloth on a morning and the clarisonic on a evening. My skin is a bit too sensitive to be using the clarisonic everyday so I have since dropped that to a couple of times a week max. I've also ditched the muslim cloths for flannels. I like the way the product works with a muslin cloth, I just find flannels longer lasting and more accessible to me. I tend to double cleanse with this as the first time I use it I've got makeup on, I don't take my eye makeup off with this cleanser but I do rub it over my eyes during the second cleanse so I wouldn't see any reason why you couldn't use it to remove eye makeup, I just personally prefer to use a lotion to do this.

I like the packaging, it sits pretty in my bathroom and seen as I would always wash my face with clean hands anyway I don't particularly have the hygiene issue with the packaging that I know some people have. I can appreciate that it would be a lot more convenient it a tube for a lot of people. The ingredients in the product initially put me right off, the main ingredient is mineral oil and there is also cocoa butter in there too, both of which I don't really like the sound of and if it hadn't been for the lovely girl I always speak to in Space NK and her very generous supply of samples and gorgeous skin as testament to the product I'm not sure I'd have bought it at what is slightly over priced in my opinion, (£55 for 100 ml.) Since beginning to use this cleanser I find my skin much more predictable and easier to manage, it doesn't dry my skin out so I'm not in any pain anymore. The overall appearance of my skin is clearer and softer to the touch, breakouts have not subsided completely but are much more manageable. They say this product is great for all skin types and I'd be inclined to agree with that to a certain extent, I don't have oily skin so I cannot review it from the perspective but I would imagine anyone with very oily skin would struggle to love this.

I like this product a lot, I think a little goes a long way so for that it is worth the price tag. I'll definitely be sticking with this product until I've finished it, for me it does everything it claims to do. I'd recommend it especially to those with dry skin however, I think i'll be shopping around the balm cleanser market before repurchasing.

Did any of you have a similar or completely different experience with this cleanser? What balm cleansers do you recommend I try out?

Friday, 15 February 2013

i can't even sleep at night

I think it's time to pay some credit where credit is due. On a daily basis random members of the pubic will comment on my hair. People in shops, people walking down the street, people in bars and just about every comment on any of my blog posts includes or is solely dedicated to these luminous locks of mine.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted bright red, curly hair all the way down to my bum. Realistically I was about 7 when I decided this fate for my hair and I have mostly been striving for this ever since. I didn't start dying my hair until I was the grand old age of 12, I had it highlighted blonde for a while because every little curly haired brunette wanted to have blonde straight hair, even just for a day. I then dyed it every shade of dark brown and copper with a big pink streak thrown in somewhere around 2009 for good measure. In between all of that malarky I have flirted with fire red hair and for the moment I'm not looking back.

The length, however, I took into my own hands even earlier on in life. I cried and I screamed and finally once the smallest amount of hair had been trimmed off I would cry some more because it was "too short and I look like a boy". Nonsense, of course and Kerry, my aunt and life long suffering hair dresser is still fighting this very battle. Realistically, my hair needs two inches off it to be the best it can be but I'm tearing up just typing that - no, I'm not joking, it really is that bad!

In general, I love my hair and I know I'm very lucky to be able to say that. Bar a couple of years in high school when it was oh so cool to have poker straight hair, I have been very tolerant of my curls and over the years have grown to truly love them. I'm currently 4 hours from home without a pair of hair straighteners packed - unheard of! The last couple of time's it's been dyed red we have finally achieved the dream colour, the picture with my best friends shows it most accurately. I thought I was ok with the length of it then Rihanna ruined my hair esteem.

I have spent every day since the "Man Down" video came out in a dark whole of ridiculous insecurity - "I've got short hair." I'm almost certain that length is not even Rihanna's hair for goodness sake and even if it is, she has since rethought the situation and hacked the lot of it off. Lets just address this in relation to me for a moment though, I can see the pictures of my hair as clearly as you can. I don't have short hair - when I look at it, I do not see short hair yet I am completely insecure about it. It's completely bonkers, I know! My friends and family despair with what to say anymore. I'm not sure I'd be happy until I was sat on it, my hair is way to thick to even think about hair extensions so for now I am plagued with this completely unjustified misery.

There you have it, my oddest but possibly one of my deepest insecurities. If you do have any questions about my hair, or anything for that matter, please feel free to ask via the comments or twitter @exwardroberach
As always, thanks for reading, or thanks for looking at pictures of Rihanna's envy inducing hair, either way I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

victory over the sun

Jumper - Matalan, Jeans - Topshop, & Converse (not pictured)

No, that is not badly applied fake tan or mismatched foundation you see before you, that ladies & gents is the best of a very bad situation. Lighting situation that is. Nonetheless, I have an outfit post, which is more than I expected to have whilst I'm down south for a few weeks. 

I'm all about the jeans and jumper combo at the moment, creative? No. Interesting? Not really. Comfy? Yes. Job appropriate? Most definitely. The kids don't care what I'm wearing and the parents just want me modestly dressed and obviously able to do my job.

 I was walking through Matalan on a "plain tshirt" mission for my brother and I fell in love... With every single jumper, cardigan, tshirt and shirt the mens section had to offer, a couple of purchases later and it was the first shopping trip in a year that ended tearless. I'll just put it out there that over the last year or so, I have been an absolute clothing nightmare. Every single time I have tried to go shopping I have resorted to tears, completely dramatic, I know! Let's hope I'm over that now because I cannot get enough of this washed out denim jumper, especially with my acid wash jeans. I also like it with black jeans and I think when I'm home and back to my exhausted wardrobe I'll be able to put it with shorts and skirts. 

Thursday, 31 January 2013

i'll try something new

I know what you're thinking, enough of your mug Rachel - where are the clothes?! Well, before I get back into a (somewhat) regular outfit posting routine I thought it was best to let you all know about a couple of things that have changed since I last blogged. The first thing is obvious, I have accepted that I am quite short sighted and in need of glasses. I wanted a pair of Ray Ban's but I couldn't justify the price because apart from to take this picture I've maybe worn them twice?! 

Now onto the life changing stuff - no, seriously! I am blogging from a bedroom in the home of four people I met on Sunday. I have been looking at going into nannying/au pairing for a while now and its something that has been in the pipeline for easily 6 months. My agent called me at work 2 weeks ago and said she had a lovely family that needed a nannying quite urgently and I was the girl that fit the bill. I skyped the family a lot before making a decision but in the end I handed in my notice and now here I am. I am one 30 minute train journey from London, which is a far cry from my hometown in lovely Yorkshire, but does mean I'm closer to a lot of my friends who have moved south to go to University.

This will unfortunately have an affect on my blogging. Understandably, I am asked to dress modestly whilst at work with this particular family (each family is different, of course) and the lighting in my room is particularly bad, making it impossible to take outfit photos without explaining the whole "I take photos of what I'm wearing and post it on the internet." I am with this family for one month before going home for a week. Then, I fly to Italy to au pair with a family for a minimum of 6 months, I am so excited. The Italians, being the (generally) fashion conscious people that they are and of course having spoken a lot to the family I'll be with, I think will be quite accepting of the whole "I take photos of what I'm wearing and post it on the internet" thing.

All of the above being said, I hope to still be blogging through the week for the next few weeks but perhaps they'll be more rambly posts like this one.

Monday, 21 January 2013

this is my face

As I write, I'm still "umming and ahhing" as to whether or not I'll post this. I said in my last post that I might write about my operation because it is something I want to do and because I said I'd do it I feel an certain amount of loyalty to that thought must be paid. So I'm definitely one hundred percent writing it, whether or not anyone else see's this is a completely different matter. In the event that you do end up reading this please allow the self indulgence of it all, this post is completely for me.

7 years a go I was referred to the hospital by my dentist with a severe under bite. Years previously I had been "bullied" about my protruding chin. I use the term "bullied" very loosely because it didn't worry me or upset me very much at all, but comments were made and names were called. Kids can be cruel. When the idea of an operation was first suggested the idea was that I would have braces put on in 3 years time aged 15 and have the operation at 16, in the summer between my gcse's and a levels. To me, having just started high school that seemed like a million years away. I had appointments every few months to measure my jaw and finally when I turned 15 I did have braces fitted. Having the braces fitted was fine, no problems. Having the braces tightened every 6 weeks was painful but not half as bad as I had anticipated. I turned 16 - "Your teeth aren't in quite the right place for the surgery just yet." For the next 3 years this was all I heard, I turned down a place at University and several jobs that would have seen me in a much better off position than I am now all because I didn't know when they would finally do the operation. What I did know was that this operation would take at least 3 months of quite difficult recovery, with this is mind how could I possibly start a new job or take on a degree knowing that I would have to have all this time off with not a lot of notice.

In the summer of 2012 I took on a part in the York Mystery Plays, a life changing experience, that built my confidence to heights that it had never been. With my confidence at an all time high, was this the right time to have an operation that would completely alter my face? Probably not. Nonetheless the date rolled around 14th Septemeber 2012. After all this waiting I wasn't going to back out so I had the operation done. A four hour operation, I didn't wake up from the anesthetic as expected so I ended up being "under" for 7 hours. Not something I reacted well to I felt horrendous when I finally woke up. My face didn't hurt at all I was pumped full of morphine and most of my face was numb due to temporary nerve damage. I couldn't talk or move my mouth at all really which was a double ended sword if I ever experienced one. As the feeling came back my jaw was painful and my skin very sore and dry making it almost impossible to eat or drink, all I wanted to do was come home. I wasn't allowed to go home until I was consuming not only water but some form of food - soup and ice cream. The same two "dishes" I'd be eating for the next 10 weeks. I cried when I knew it was time for my family to visit me, I cried when they were by my bedside and I cried when they left. I was in a room with two of the nicest girls anyone could wish to meet, both of them with stomach problems, not deformed faces. They were so sweet and tolerant, I really couldn't have wish for more from them. They were sympathetic at my irrational fear of having plasters taken off - any of you that have ever had surgery will know that there are plasters all over your chest stomach and arms. I was also not particularly tolerant of the drips in my hands, absolutely convinced that my hand was swelling and would explode at any moment. Despite all of this my experience of the operation was not half as bad as I was anticipating. I think it was the age old case of expect the worst and the best will surprise you.

For me, the worst part of the operation was the recovery and not being able to eat. I was so hungry for weeks, I lost nearly a stone in weight - if I had been as active as I normal was I would have lost a lot more but lack of food meant lack of energy. I am four months on from my operation and the swelling is almost completely gone and I have nearly all of the feeling back in my jaw. Part of the permanent side effects of this operation is nerve damage. Overall, four months on, I am very happy with my decision and the outcome of the operation. I would do it all over again and I have recommended it to people who are in a similar situation as this surgery is none compulsory nor is it essential to an individuals health but for me it is key to confidence. I feel like I look like everyone else now without losing my distinctive jaw line. As part of having the operation the surgeon will agree to correct any changes made to a patients nose due to the jaw surgery. The tip of my nose has been raised ever so slightly but I am happy with the way it looks.


Obviously, my hair and makeup (fake tan) choices have changed and I am still a bit swollen in the after picture but I thought it'd be interesting (for me) to compare.

If you read this, thank you. If you've just skipped to the bottom, no worries. As I said before, this post is for me. I feel so much better for writing it and hope that I can look back on this in years to come and still feel like this was the right decision for me.