Favourite products this winter!

I know that winter is around the corner when I start having less pictures out in the open as we tend to have cozier weekends at home. My husband is used to go out on the most adverse weather and he strongly believes that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” – easy for him to say when he’s spent his whole life on the North Pole while I was swimming on lakes in the middle of the Brazilian winter.

He is right though, I am doing my best to buy clothes by their warmth and not their beauty as I plan on spending more time outside this winter – specially when we go on our road trip from the UK to the north of Sweden this Christmas. 

For now, I do want to share some of the best products I’ve used this Autumn as the season’s dry weather tends to make my skin and hair completely dry – this being after a long time of me trying new products that didn’t really work and finally finding something that I love. Every product with an * will have a link by the end of this post.

The truth is: I have a mixed skin and hair, meaning that it’s not oily nor dry, I’m right in the middle where products for either won’t work for me. If I use something for oily skin, my skin gets extremely oily– the same happens when I use dry skin products (I tend to look like Spongebob Squarepants when he visits Sandy). I also have a long, dark, thick hair that is straight on the roots (that tend to get oily) and curly on the tips (that tend to get dry).  

The first product that I tried is called Maui*, it’s an extremely good conditioner that I’ve started using around a month ago. They have a lot of smells but all of them are nourishing and treat damaged hair. So far I’ve tried these two combinations: Agave and Coconut milk – I just can’t decide which one I liked better. Both of them made my hair silky, shiny and smell good all day long. I do have to say that I always tend to go for the coconut one, I just love how sweet yet fresh coconut based products smell.

The second point that made me love the product is that the bottle is easy to open so you can use all the product that is inside – nothing is lost. I have just ordered their hair mask which I will review as soon as I’ve used it for a couple of weeks. 

Jumping to skin care, I have combined three products for the last month: Let the Good Times Roll, Imperials from Lush and Olay’s night routine moisturizer. 

Let the Good Times Roll* is a popcorn face scrub that I use around 2 times a week. The base for this product is quite oily so I try not to use it too often. This is the first facial product that helped me to get rid of those tiny loose dry skin that appear when we switch the heaters on at home while it rains outside in Autumn.

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Imperials* is the best moisturizer I’ve ever used. It is extremely nourishing but it doesn’t make my skin oily so I use it every single morning. This is not the cheapest product from Lush as I’ve paid £16.95 for the smallest pot, but having said that it lasts for ages and unless you’re sharing it with someone, you probably wouldn’t be able to finish it by the best before date.

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Lush products have a short life as they are natural and vegan – I’d take it any day if it meant no harsh products on my face. They are also cruelty free. All their pots are recycled and you get a free mask if you give them 5 empty ones back. I’m about to get mine! 

I used to work for P&G before moving to the UK and I’ve always loved Olay products. This is my night time routine moisturizer and like the Lush one, it doesn’t make my skin oily but it still feels soft and moisturized after a hot shower. It is also anti-age but I’ll only be able to review that part 30 years from now.

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Shifting from skin care to house items, I am completely in love with my throw basket’s colour and pattern and I believe it goes well with a lot of styles as it looks really natural – that is the kind of look that I intend to achieve when decorating my house (there’s a lot to do still, but this is a good start!). I’ve decided to share this item as it can be used to store so many things! – Perfect to have in any corner. Unfortunately TKMAXX is out of stock but you can find several different woven baskets on their site.

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Last but not least, my warm water bag. I wanted something to keep me warm at the office during the day, but I didn’t want it to be too big. This Jordan and Judy silicone water bag is the perfect size to carry with you wherever you go. They have it in different colours and two sizes. I have been using mine for the past month and got plenty of comments about how cute it looks.

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 Do you have any products your family can’t live without on colder seasons?

 Nadine

*Maui Moisture Conditioner – https://amzn.to/2QwllQB
*Let the Good Times Roll – https://bit.ly/2zRmXO3
*Imperials – https://bit.ly/2xjOyoP
*Olay Regenerist Night – https://amzn.to/2qEqA5J
*Jordan and Judy warm water bag – https://amzn.to/2DbaM1H

 

Avebury Sunday!

I’ve put my brand new yellow jacket on, got our gloves/scarves out of the “winter storage box” and braved the cold to go to the Neolitic Hange in Avebury, Southwest England. I can’t complain much as the sun was out pretty much the whole day so it would help to unfreeze my nose everytime I wasn’t under a shadow.

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We’ve arrived there a bit before midday and saw a lot of dogs playing around, which made me like the place even more. The parking is really cheap (it cost us £4 for the whole day) and the place is really close to the Henge circle – the prime reason for us to visit this Prehistoric site.

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The largest megalithic stone circle in the world is impressive when you start thinking to yourself how on earth they were able to move those huge rocks together at that time.

I find it extremely interesting to be where thousands of people were through the centuries. What were they doing there? How was that space used?

We don’t have children but I would definetely recommend it for people who are lloking for an outdoor space to spend the day. They don’t have playgrounds but I’ve seen several children playing together with sticks and jumping benches.

I didn’t get to experience their big cafe as it was closed for repairs – but I couldn’t lose the chance to try their scones! The atmosphere of the whole place is like sitting on your sofa with a blanket and a hot drink on a cold day. Things there are rustic and homemade – I wasn’t let down.

The prices are above avarage but it’s understandable when it’s used for keeping the place going. We paid £2.30 for a tall filtered coffee and £5.50 for a cream tea and a scone with jam and clotted cream. I won’t even get into the discussion about which one goes first but you can see how I do it in the picture (sorry Devon!).

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They also have a couple of little shops with local products that help to improve the experience when visiting the place – so much to choose from!

So if you are around Wiltshire and want to have an enjoyable outdoor experience, Avebury is surely the place to go.

Spending Sunday out in nature helps me to prepare myself for a whole week working in an office.

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What do you normally do on Sundays? Do you like to get out of the house or do you prefer to stay in and rest?

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Have you ever been to Avebury?

Nadine

 

The moving process

We’ve moved – YAY! Or is it?

I love to visit other people’s houses. I feel like you can truly see how a person is for the way their house is planned – or not planned at all. Little trinkets, pictures on the walls and the colour of the duvet covers – I appreciate every single corner.

Moving to me is an interesting process – I adore changes and organising – so you’d think that I would love to move. Truth is that I can get quite anxious when the house isn’t exactly the way I would like it to be.

This is the first time that we’ve moved to a completely unfurnished house. We had a furnished flat in Marylebone – London and then moved to a small (really) old vine cottage in Cuddesdon, Oxford – It’s a tiny Village in Oxford where it’s as easy to miss it’s entrance than it is to find it by mistake. There lays one of the Oxford University Theological Colleges  where my husband studied for his Masters’ Degree. That cottage came partially furnished.

This new house isn’t too far so I was still able to keep my job in Finance as I’m currently working for the government. We’ve spent more money than we could to furnish it and we are still far behind all the storage shenanigans so we can easily find shoes hanging around or some cabinet door that accidentally opened for being too full.

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It doesn’t seem to bother my husband though, he’s okay with jumping an old guitar case to go to the bathroom at 3am.

Having said that, I am happy with the space we have. It’s a two bedroom flat that we’ve turned into a 1 bedroom flat to make one of the rooms as a dining room. For a couple – that’s perfect. Unfortunately it is a rent accommodation – fortunately we believe that our next move will be to our own house (mortgaged, of course).

These pictures are from some parts of our house that I love and some that need addressing as soon as possible like the books – we’re in desperately need of a bookshelf! We’re getting there, I tell myself, we’re getting there.

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The truth is though, starting from the bottom – the very bottom – makes us value every single thing we improve. You’ll probably going to hear me talking about my centre table or the dining one, my pride and joy – a claimed wood surface that I bought from a local artist. Her work is beautiful and this was the only a gift to myself so all the other things were purchased second hand.

My plan is to get a new bookshelf, a shoe rack and then start buying plants. Specially a Swiss cheese plant for my dining room! These will have to wait a bit though – I promise I will be patient.

How does your house look like? Are you still trying to figure it out? How do you make a house feel like a home?

Nadine

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A cuppa

 

Tea.

Something that I’m still learning to appreciate.

Milk.

I’m quite surprised that I’m wiling to add it to the warm-herby-dark solution that is infused in the British culture.

They call it cuppa…I mean, most of them do. My Line Manager does and tends to offer me one right before our meetings. Her Line Manager does the same. It’s like a competition of who has the most stained cup.

I wasn’t sure about it in the beginning – now I tend to drink it at least 4 times a week. No sugar please.

I’m also trying to figure out the language, given that my Swedish husband is a lot better at it than I am. I’m good at grammar, but my spelling has changed tremendously since I arrived in the UK 2 years ago. I’ve learned North American English before but right now sounds ‘a bit weird’ for me.

I can see that my brain tries to reproduce British sounds as it’s so used to listen to them by now, only to make it sound like I have some kind of speech delay. Then I try the US spelling again – more frustration comes with it’s sounds.

It’s funny how mentally tiring it can be to live as a foreigner,  not only because you still have to do everything you had to do before but also because you add a new world of experiences having no idea how to deal with most of the situations that arise (oh yeah, also,  in another language).

Even though every day feels like a constant struggle, I wouldn’t change a thing. This country looks amazing and has such a rich culture! It has taken us in and been good for us. We’ve lived in London, studied in Oxford and now we’re wondering where life will take us. It’s been a pretty exciting life for a young couple that have arrived with two bags of clothes a couple of years ago. We still don’t have much but we’re building it – trying to take every day at a time (mostly failed attempts of doing so).

For now I’ve just decided to sit down and write a blog post whilst having a cuppa. As I said, I’m still learning as I am pretty sure my tea-making-skill is something to be criticized – quite weak.

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Nadine