Time For A Change?

blogging change

As I approach my 2nd year blogging birthday, I can’t help but feel slightly content. I’ve managed to turn my passion for all things beauty into a full fledged platform with just over 6000 subscribers. How I’ve managed to get 6000 people to listen to my weekly ramblings I have no idea; but I’m forever grateful to say the least.

Blogging has been the best creative outlet I could have ever discovered for myself. I’m not musically inclined and I’m bordering on the edge of shit artistically. However, blogging has been a hidden gem of mine that, dare I say, I’m somewhat ok at.

Despite the fact that blogging has been a weekly occurrence for the past two years, I can’t help but feel like somewhat of a rookie in the blogging world. Sure, I found my niche and I’ve tried my best to put out quality content to the best of my ability, but have I really shown the world what I’m all about? The short answer to that is no and I’ll tell you why…

When I initially started this blog, I had every intention of sticking to beauty related content. Despite having a plethora of topics to talk about, as time rolled on, so did my interests and I struggled to incorporate non-beauty related ideas into, what is essentially, a beauty blog. I did, however, give it a go now and then, but it never felt cohesive. I quickly discovered that, alongside makeup, I have an array of passions that I wanted to share with my subscribers and the only way to do that is to start again.

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that ReenaJB-eauty will be no more. I’m just here to inform you that I will be taking a ‘break’ through the month of August and will return on my 2nd birthday (3rd September 2017) with a brand look. Rather than focussing on my passion for beauty, I will blogging about recipes, home decor, lifestyle hacks, motivational pieces, natural remedies, tips, tricks and a whole lot more. I will be incorporating a more ‘personalised’ approach to my blog posts and allowing into my life; including personal events and updates. I want this blog to grow as I do and encompass everything to do with my lifestyle.

I’ll still be very active on my social media accounts; which you can access from the home page at any time, but please bear with me for the next 4 weeks as I whip up a brand new platform for you to enjoy.

I hope you embrace this new change as much as I have done and although it will be very hard to not blog for the next few weeks, I hope it will all be worth it in the end. So with that said, I better get to work. See you in September Beauties (yes you’ll always be referred to as my Beauties).

xxx

 

 

Never Mind The Beeswax | 10 Beauty And Home Hacks

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I’m every online retailer’s dream come true. I’ve lost count of the amount of ‘unknown’ packages that have turned up on my doorstep with no prior knowledge of where they’ve come from. It’s slightly embarrassing to be honest, I wish I could remember all the things that I purchase online or at least have a slightly more informed delivery man.

I’ve reminded myself time and time again not to Amazon-shop whilst having a glass (bottle) of vino, because I simply cannot be trusted around heavy retailing. This became very apparent when I mistakenly hit the ‘checkout’ button, one fateful evening, and ended up with a rather hefty supply of extra large catheter bags. Bar the fact that urine bags were not my intention during that purchase, I really do wonder how I ended up choosing the extra large size.  Anyhow, with that said, the silver lining was that they arrived at my doorstep 10am the next morning for no extra charge – gotta love Prime.

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Unfortunately, whilst trying to purchase my beloved organic Shea butter on Amazon, my fat fingers struck again and before I knew it I had a bulk supply of natural beeswax pellets and bars on my doorstep. So rather than going through the annoyance of having to return them, I thought it best fit to be resourceful and find a purpose for beeswax. Turns out – it’s pretty versatile and I’ve tried all of these hacks myself so I know they work.

So here it goes; my 10 beauty and lifestyle hacks using organic beeswax – possibly the strangest and least requested topic I’ve ever discussed on this blog, but I’m hoping if you like a good hack you’ll lap this up.

  1. Make your own candles – bit of an obvious one, but how many of us actually indulge in making our own candles? A bag of beeswax pellets will set you back around a fiver on Amazon and one bag is more than sufficient for a decent sized pillar candle. Simply melting the wax with some essential oil and placing a wick in the centre is all you need for a beautifully scented candle without having to fork out £60 + for a designer one. Natural beeswax candles are pretty pricey so you can certainly save a pretty penny by making your own.
  2. Prepare your bbq – rubbing a bar of beeswax over the grill of your bbq will ensure that clean-up is a swift process after you’ve finished chargrilling your burgers. Stuck on food, burnt coal and grease can all make for a painful task at removing, but the beeswax will not only help the dirt to slide off at the end of the night, it also acts as a cooking aid for meats without adding any additional flavour. No longer having to scrape off the remnants of your bbq will also preserve the longevity of your grill.
  3. Make your own Play dough/modelling clay – A little essential oil and some colourant is all you need to make your very own play dough/modelling clay. Definitely a safer alternative to the original stuff and much more cost effective to replace. Simply melt all of the ingredients together, allow for it to cool and knead into a pliable dough-like consistency.
  4. Make your own lotion bars – Much like a bar of beeswax on the bbq, lotion bars are super easy to use and very quick at adding much needed moisture. There are plenty of recipes online to choose from, but my personal favourite is lavender and mint. It makes moisturising a fun task and a little added oil in there can turn these into great massage bars. Melt together coconut oil, beeswax and cocoa butter in a double boiler, together with your chosen additives. Pour into a mould and allow to harden.
  5. Reusable food bags/wraps – I go through foil, cling film and disposable containers like they’re going out of fashion and to be honest, I know they’re not the healthiest thing I should have touch my food. I really liked this idea for things such as lunchtime sandwiches, covering leftover bread, transporting fruit or even using as a lid on top of casserole dishes containing left over food. All you need is a bit of cloth (I got a large cutting of material from a fabric shop and divided into equal squares), place on top of a parchment paper. Sprinkle beeswax beads on top of the material (use the backside if it has a pattern). Place a second piece of parchment on top of the beaded material and use an iron to seal in the beads. A similar procedure to iron-on transfers really and they’re easily washable in the machine.
  6. Refresh your wooden spoons (also known as wood butter) – Seems like a pretty mundane job, but how many of us hate the look of our wooden spoons once they begin to fade (all my OCD ladies put your hands up). Melting beeswax together with some mineral oil, then allowing for the mixture to emulsify creates a wonderful concoction called wood butter (yum, but please don’t attempt eating it). Rubbing this ‘butter’ into your wooden utensils adds a wonderful shine back into them as well as improving their usability.
  7. Condition and shape the beard – perhaps not my own, although I could do with some myself. For those ladies who struggle with their other halves’ prickly facial hair…or indeed the gentlemen who also read this blog who like to groom themselves – you need to get on this beard conditioner/wax. My husband is a little obsessed with the Tom Ford beard oil, for obvious reasons, but this makes a great (cheaper) alternative. All you need is equal parts of beeswax, coconut oil (use another carrier oil if you don’t like the smell of coconuts) and a few drops of vitamin E. Melt together and transfer into a container so it can harden.
  8. Polish your granite worktops – Similarly to polishing your wooden spoons, you can also use melted beeswax to polish your precious granite worktops. All you need is melted beeswax applied directly onto your worktop, allow to cool and wipe off to reveal a brand new surface.
  9. Create your own EOS lip balm – Like most great hacks in life, this one involves the wonderful combination of melted beeswax, coconut oil and a few drops of essential oil (scent of your choice). Once melted, pour into an empty EOS lip balm container, pop in the fridge to allow hardening and use till your heart’s content.
  10. ‘Seasoning’ your post and pans – beeswax is edible and perfectly safe to ingest; which makes it the perfect ingredient for ‘seasoning’ your pans. ‘Seasoning’ is just a fancy word for ‘treating’ your pots and pan, particularly heavy duty (and heavily priced) cast iron utensils. Rub a bar of beeswax over your pot/pan and heat gently over a low heat. This will add an element of ‘non-stickiness’ to your utensils and provide a permanent layer of wax which will protect them from rusting or getting damaged.

BeneTints Of Beetroot – DIY Colour Changing Lip Scrub And Lip Balm

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a DIY post. I do love a good DIY and when it’s for something that I’ve wanted to improve myself, I can’t help but share.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my lips for the longest time. I’m not totally adversed to the shape, in fact I quite like it, but I hate the fact that my lips are almost identical in colour to the rest of my face causing them to disappear. First-world problems, I know!

This week’s glorious DIY is based around the beauty bene-tints (see what I did there?) of beetroot. Yes, that’s right…beetroot. The ruby-red, stain inducing, acquired-tasting vegetable; which I absolutely detest! Surely I can’t be the only one who hates the taste of beetroot, but ever since I discovered that the beautiful Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars) uses raw beetroot in favour of lipstick to give her lips a long-lasting wash of colour, I decided to stock up in abundance and add my own little twist to things.

I figured the title of this post may be a little misleading so let’s just clarify that this isn’t a colour changing scrub/balm, although that would be quite cool. This is a semi-permanent way to tint your lips with a wonderful rose-pink hue. I’ve been using a combination of the scrub and balm for a month now and I can certainly see a change in colour on my lips; which makes getting ready a piece of cake with just the need of a clear lipgloss and no semi-permanent injectable makeup!

Beetroot, as we all know, gives off a wonderful deep red colour; which is perfect for adding a natural stain to pretty much anything. Along with its pigmentation, beetroot also contains an array of antioxidants and vitamins which are highly beneficial for healthy skin including the sensitive skin on our lips. Beetroot powder and beetroot juice are both available in many high street stores and can certainly be used for the recipes below, but nothing beets (I’m so good at this) the natural extract of raw beetroot.

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Both the balm and scrub call for a base ingredient which is actually a combination of beetroot juice mixed with milk. Milk contains lactic acid; which gradually diminishes skin pigmentation leading to a brighter complexion. Whizzing together a few splashes of milk in a food processor together with chopped up, peeled pieces of raw beetroot creates a florescent milky ‘pudding’; which almost looks good enough to eat (if I didn’t hate beetroot).

Beetroot Lip Scrub

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  • Beetroot and milk concoction
  • Honey (organic if possible)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unrefined Almond Oil
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Empty jar/pot/air-tight container

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The method is pretty simple and on par with most DIY lip scrubs (I created a plumping one not too long ago which you can read about here). Simply mix together all of the ingredients above, in no particular order, in a mixing bowl and transfer the contents to a jar.

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I picked up this little container from Superdrug for a mere £1, but anything will do.

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I purposely left out the quantity of each ingredient as they should be added according to taste. If you want a less abrasive exfoliant, use more honey and almond oil than sugar. The honey and oil will add moisture and nourishment to your lips which would be lost during the exfoliation process. I used a fair bit of sugar as I like a vigorous scrub, but mixing the ingredients together and adding as you go along will allow you to get to the consistent that you like.

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I tend to go overboard with my ingredients and make more product than required for my jar, so I kept the remainder of my scrub in an air-tight container. The scrub will keep well for up to 4 months (non-refridgerated) as the lemon juice acts as a preservative.

Beetroot Lip Balm

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  • Beetroot and milk concoction
  • Vaseline
  • Almond oil

The lip balm portion of this DIY is even easier than the scrub thanks to the inclusion of Vaseline. However, rather than adding the beetroot/milk concoction straight into the mixture (like I did with the scrub), I used a strainer to extract just the juice portion of the mixture as I wanted to create a smooth consistency.

Simply mixing together the juice from the concoction, together with Vaseline and a few drops of almond oil for extra moisture, creates a wonderful pink lip tint which rivals my Bobbi Brown Lip Tint any day.

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For dramatic effect, I added in a few crushed rose petals; which adds more pigmentation to the balm but also melts beautifully into the lips upon contact. You certainly don’t have to go that far, but it’s an option if you’re as boogie as me.

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The key idea to using this combo is consistency. The mixture will only work if you are consistent with its use. As you can see from my before picture above, my lips needed a lot of work. The corners of my mouth were also fairly pigmented; which I didn’t like. I made it my mission to use the scrub and lip balm twice daily, once in the morning and once before bed. I gave myself a month to see results; which I got within two weeks of consistent use, but I’ve made it into such a habit now that I continue to use it despite being happy with the results.

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…and here they are! It’s pretty clear to see that there’s a significant colour change, not only to my lips themselves but also around the corners of my mouth (thanks to the scrub). The colour is a little patchy, but I’m hoping that will even out with continued use.

It’s fair to say that I’ve beet-en my life long struggle of dark lips…ok,I’ll stop now…

My Favourite High End and Budget Highlighter For Summer 2017

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We all have those products in our collection; which prove to be utterly useless to us on a daily basis, but to lose them would be harder than losing blood. For me, those products are highlighters. I know what you’re going to say – we live in a highlighter obsessed society! Admittedly that’s true and even more shameful to admit, I have far too many to account for. However the sad truth is, I only get to play with them when I’m getting seriously glam…or when I’m watching Love Island on a Friday night, in my pyjamas, at home alone with no other makeup on…don’t pretend that you’re any different.

With a simple swipe of a fan brush, the right highlighter can exaggerate your cheekbones, add a healthy ethereal glow and turn any modest look into a work of art. So it’s fair to say that I’ve wisely invested a lot of money into highlighters over the years.

I found it really hard to put this post together simply because I couldn’t make my mind up and if I had children I think would find it easier to pick a favourite amongst them. Nevertheless, in the spirit of summer (and this blog) I have picked one high end and one high street highlighter; which have seen me through some good times this summer and you know I just had to share them with you…

HIGH END – ICONIC London Illuminator in Original £29.99

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If you haven’t heard of ICONIC before you’ve been living under a rock and I forbid you to continue on with this blog until you learn some behaviour.

ICONIC London took the world by storm with their out of the world liquid illuminators hitting every possible influencer page on Instagram. The brain-child of my favourite Essex beauty spot Harmony Health & Beauty, Iconic have taken the makeup world by storm and it’s not hard to see why.

This illuminator is like nothing else I’ve seen before. To say that you get a glow with this product would be an understatement. This illuminator will give you life, pay your mortgage, cook you dinner and give you a fully committed relationship all in one tiny glass bottle. Three tiny droplets on the tip of your cheekbones is all you need to add a really intense glow; which can be applied before or after your complete your base makeup. My favourite way to use this is by adding a few drops to my primer to give an all-over glow to my skin before I go in with foundation. I also use a few tiny drops on my décolletage and front of my calves for an all over body glow.

Available in three colours – Shine (pearlised pink), Original (champagne gold) and Glow (deep bronze). I opted for the original shade as it seemed the most universal for any makeup look. However I love the fact that ICONIC offer a selection of shades dependant on skin tone rather than one generic colour.

The bottle, on first inspection, is just as glamorous as the product itself and the dropper offers stress free application without the need for messy fingers. The glass bottle isn’t very convenient to travel with and the screw top lid does often come undone in my makeup bag; which is a little annoying but it’s certainly not a deal breaker for me.

Much like the CoverFX Customer Enchancer Drops (which is near enough the same concept), the bottle is almost impossible to finish even if you used it on a daily basis; which (in my eyes) justifies the £30 price tag. However, if you do decide to invest in this product, do yourself a favour and purchase it directly from ICONIC’s website. Despite being stocked by many online retailers, it’s always out of stock and hard to get a hold of but the original website has plenty to offer in each colour and more often than not there’s a discount on hand to get a little money off.

BUDGET FRIENDLY – MUA Luxe Glow Beam Highlight Cushion Gold  £5.00

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There I was, in Superdrug, minding my own business whilst trolling the aisles for my regular stock up of tampons and multivitamins when I stumbled across (walked directly to) the makeup aisle. I wasn’t looking for anything particular – hell I didn’t even need any makeup but that’s never stopped me in the past and before I knew it I had makeup swatches in places no person should put them (in public).

I had never been a fan of MUA‘s range before and never really gave them a second look until I heard of their utterly fabulous Glow Beam Highlighting Powder; which supposedly gives you a golden glow like no other. For £5.00, you can’t go wrong so I thought I would give it a shot until I saw the Liquid Cushion version and it all went downhill from there.

Since that fateful day, I have purchased 6 of these. Yes that’s right…6. Not sure why I need that many to be honest, but these never seem to be in stock other than on Superdrug’s website so it was a simple case of panic – purchase – worry about it later.

I won’t go as far to say that this gives me a glow like the ICONIC Liquid Illuminator, in fact, it’s not even close. What it does offer is a subtle glow for those occasions when you want to look glowy but not too drag (I don’t have many of those days).

The cushion aspect is very interesting as I’ve never seen it done with anything other than foundation, but in all honesty it’s actually pretty nice and it certainly helps to achieve a natural/blended look to your highlight. It sits pretty nicely on top of powder; which we all know is a big no-no in the makeup community, but I’ve not had a problem with it breaking up my powder makeup underneath.

What I LOVE about this product is that for a mere fiver you get a travel-friendly highlighter; which not only looks pretty on the outside, it offers a mess-free application with a finish which isn’t too opaque – perfect for day looks or less glamorous makeup (if there is such a thing).

The sponge applicator that comes with it is pretty shit so if you want your pot to stay pristine and white I would get rid of it as soon as. I tend to go in directly with my Beauty Blender and apply it directly to my chosen area to get the biggest effect and ensure that it blends perfectly into my skin.

 

What are your favourite highlighters of Summer 2017? Comment below with some suggestions of what I can try out next!

20 Weird And Wonderful Facts About Me

weird facts about me

Me, me, with a side of me. I deliberated the title of this post for quite some time. Let’s be honest – who really wants to know facts about me? I’m pretty boring…and quite clearly a little narcissistic, but I wanted to get a little personal this week. I’ve been thinking about an expansion of the blog into more lifestyle content, but in order to do that you’ll need to understand a little more about me. So without delay, here’s a few fun facts that will make you both chuckle and question my integrity as a human being….

  1. I hate being told what to do – Being told what to do or being told that I’m expected to do something is one of my biggest pet peeves of life. This is probably due to the fact that I’m a an over-bearing control freak. If it’s not my idea, or I can’t pretend it is – I’m not interested.
  2. I don’t like chocolate – Considering that I’ve spent the last 9 years of my life running a chocolate fondue hire company, it’s pretty shocking that I’m not a fan of chocolate. In fact – I’m not a fan of sweet things at all. I’ll have a bite every now and then, but in my world it’s all about the salty!
  3. I’m a boy’s girl – There are girl’s girls, tomboys and somewhere in between – I’m that in between. I love girlie things and everything that’s associated with being a woman, but truth be told I get along better with guys than with girls. Not my fault really; I’ve been raised in a family full of boys. In fact, my Dad would often call me ‘son’ growing up and once you get to know me, you’ll realise I have the habits of a guy and not afraid to show them. Although I’m a girlie girl at heart, you’ll often find me with the boys rather than the women – we just have more to talk about!
  4. Although I’m a spring baby, winter is my favourite time of the year – Christmas to be specific, because I’m a complete crimbo freak! I do like a BIT of heat, but nothing feels nicer than a cozy evening, in front of the fire, whilst it’s bitter outside. There is, of course, the comfort of covering up in cozy layers and Uggs, but that’s just a bonus.
  5. My biggest fear in life is not feeling accomplished – When I get to the finish line of life, I DO NOT want to look back and wish I did more. Travelling, education, experiences – these are all things that I want to achieve whilst I still can. My biggest goal would have to be travel. How sad would it be to get to an age where you can no longer travel, but wish you had seen more of the world?! There’s more to this world than just the bubble that we create for ourselves so I plan to see as much of it as possible. I have a map of the world in my Filofax that I often refer to when booking my holiday destinations. Once a place has been visited, I cross it off the map and note how much of the world I have seen.
  6. Speaking of travelling; I went backpacking along the east coast of Africa for 5 months – When I was young, stupid and unaware of the joys of a 5 star hotel. I took time out between my first and second year of university to travel along the east coast of Africa, completely on my own, with no previous experience of travel other than with my family. Now that I look back on it; I can’t believe I had the balls to do it, but 10 years on and it’s still one of the best experiences of my life! I experienced foreign cultures, met people from all corners of the earth, travelled down the Nile in what can only be described as a plank of wood, climbed Mount Sinai (with great difficulty), saw places that I wouldn’t ordinarily visit and got a taste of teaching in a foreign school.
  7. I can’t iron – I haven’t quite added that to my list of life goals, mostly because my husband does my ironing for me. My Mum is completely disgusted by that fact, but it works well for me!
  8. I love trash tv – Life and work can get pretty stressful so when I come home I want nothing more than to turn on the telly to some rubbish, reality-based, trash tv which requires zero thinking power. I watch the news all day long and spend hours calculating figures so sue me if I want a little ‘brain coma’ time! My brother often mocks me by saying that I wish I was a Kardashian with my own reality show…he’s not wrong…
  9. I’m not flexible at all – I can’t cross my legs and I can’t do a rolly polly – two very fundamental skills of life. I’m literally as stiff as an ironing board.
  10. I love cooking and learning new dishes – I might be pretty shit at ironing, but I’m a dab hand in the kitchen. I can pull off a 5 course meal for 100 people without breaking a sweat, but don’t expect any Indian dishes from me. In fact, my speciality is Greek food. I make a mean Spanakopita
  11. I may have the biggest voice in the room, but I’m pretty shy and actually enjoy my own company – probably because I’ve grown up on my own. My brothers are a whole decade older than me so I spent a big portion of my childhood playing on my own. Don’t break out the violins, I actually prefer it that way. I’m a pretty private person and only have a few good people in my circle. However, I’m a complete contradiction of myself. In social situations, I’m usually the one who initiates the conversation and gets in the mix of things. I’m pretty sarcastic too and love a good banter, but when I’m not in the mood I’m a complete lone wolf.
  12. I have a phobia of ketchup and baked beans – I don’t know why, I really don’t, but the smell, look, feel and even the mere sight of them make me heave. Much to the delight of my loved ones, I freak out if either of them come near me. I realise it’s weird, but I think we’re past that point now…
  13. I have curly toes – Imagine spider legs; that’s what my toes look like. I’ve had the piss taken out of me my whole life. I honestly believe it’s a bit of a problem now, because at the end of the day I’m craving for a toe massage. Yup – that statement got weirder with every word. It’s kinda like my toes cling on to dear life in my shoes. Don’t worry…I’m one sentence away from taking the piss out of myself.
  14. I have OCD, but it should be called EOCD (Extreme Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) – I’m VERY particular about the way I live and the things around me. I like a clean, organised environment, but everything from my furniture to my toothbrush has been carefully selected. I’m obsessed with details so if it’s not perfect (in my eyes) it’s not good enough.
  15. I love being different – Another one of my pet peeves is being ‘common’. This probably ties in with my initial point about being told what to do. I like to stand out, however narcissistic that makes me sound. I’m just not a ‘crowd’ kinda girl.
  16. I’m obsessed with middle eastern culture – From the food, to the music, to the language. After my travels through Egypt (see no.6) I became obsessed with middle Eastern culture. So much so that I learnt to belly dance and cook a fair number of middle eastern dishes. Not forgetting my ‘learning to speak Arabic’ stage in life. In fact, I know more about middle eastern culture than I do of my own!
  17. I wake up early no matter what day of the week – We all know that I’m an early riser. In fact, I dedicated a whole blog post to my love of early morning starts. Even on a Sunday morning, with a dirty hangover – you can find me potting around at 6am. I just love the serenity of an early morning.
  18. I’m a tech geek – With a degree in Computer Engineering, I’m pretty nifty around a computer. In fact, I created my entire blog and all the artwork myself despite the fact that I had no previous knowledge of WordPress!
  19. I played with Barbies till I was 16 – I love Barbie and would still play with them if I didn’t share a room with my husband.
  20. I’m allergic to most fruit – Probably just an excuse, but fruit just doesn’t seem to agree with me. Particularly apples, they seem to leave me itching all over. Pizza on the other hand is my best friend.