Oh, the places you’ll go

I have a Pinterest board for travel, and Hawaii is way up at the top. (This image above is from my Pinterest board, but it’s so hard to find the original artist, can anyone help so I can find a print for it please?)

We’ve been planning our honeymoon, and originally Hawaii was on the cards, but it was just far too expensive for us right now. My heart fell out of my arse. Devastated. We are, however, doing a road trip from New Orleans to San Fran, and that was pretty high up on the list too, so I’m not too disappointed; we’ve agreed that we will save up and go in 5 years time. I’ve already got a terracotta savings jar with money from the odd Shpock sale and pocket change inside. Check back in 5 years to see if we actually go!

Right now I’m up to my ears in wedding crafts, calls from all the people wanting to see us (it’s in 3 weeks, did I mention that?) and I am far too excited to be stopping off in small towns that look like movie sets!


Seed and Bean – chocolate treats for the dairy free folk!

I’m dairy free, so it’s a bit tough when you’ve had a bad day and really want a treat. Everything has milk in. Fresh milk, milk powder, milk sugar, milk proteins… I can’t find anywhere that does small bars of Bournville and cheap dark chocolate still contains milk.

Then, one road trip to Bristol changed things: Gloucester Services. If you’ve never been, make an effort to stop. Oh, how the other half lives. If Waitrose teamed up with Nigel Slater, this is the services they’d come up with. Burgers for £10, hand rolled sausage rolls for £4, water from the wings of fairies at £3.50… you get the picture. But they do stock weird and wonderful brands you don’t find anywhere else, which is where we found Seed and Bean.

They CLEARLY label the front of the packet with Vegan, so no searching the ingredients. They have more than one option, six that we could see!

The first time we bought two, as they’re a little pricey as chocolate goes, however on our second trip we bought four bars. They were on offer, which was the perfect chance to try more flavours!

Our favourites so far are Chilli & Lime, and the Lemon & Cardamom. If I’m honest, we’d both take a hard pass on the Coconut & Raspberry. I’m totally open to trying more, though, for research purposes of course.

Also: the entire packaging can be composted!! Even the inner “foil” is biodegradable. This makes me so happy!

(Not sponsored: just a fan. This post is off my own back, the chocolate was discovered, paid for, eaten, and hastily replaced before being eaten again, all by myself and my partner. Seed and Bean aren’t even aware of this post, yet.)

Spiders and Conkers

You can lecture me all you want… I know spiders eat flies and are animals with feelings. I know they can be cute (my mom has one and she warms herself in the sun… cute af) but I can’t abide Harvestman and house spiders.

We live near a huge nature reserve and get all sorts of creatures inside and outside our home, but every year we get an infestation of spiders. We constantly have the ghosty types hanging around in every nook and cranny, but we also get huge house spiders, you can HEAR them walking on the carpet for Christ sake. We even have a tunnel web living in our fence, and I’m okay with that.

I’ve found having conkers around the home really does help. I don’t even care if it means they just stay in their little spidery apartments in the house, I just prefer not to see them.

Plus, conkers are so pretty!

Bad tattoos

A while ago on Instagram, I made a post about poorly executed tattoos and mentioned that I would go into more detail.

In September, I got a new tattoo. I’m going to stop right there and ask anyone against tattoos to click the X at the top of the page, or press the home button on your phone, and move on; this blog post is not here for you to pass judgement on my lifestyle choices. Are they gone? Good.

Anyway, I went to a different place as I’d seen the work of a girl and really enjoyed her style. An old colleague had been there before and had a good experience with her too, so I was expecting it to be okay.

When I arrived, she swiftly sized up the space and drew it up. It was an odd shop set up with the owner having their mates going through constantly and slagging people off openly etc, but I wasn’t going to let that affect the work of the girl doing it.

It was on my leg, and other than the backs of my calves I’ve not had my legs done, so didn’t know what to expect. What I wasn’t expecting was pain in the levels of me texting my future SIL to say that, if this had been the first tattoo I ever had, I wouldn’t have had any of the others. This was nearing unbearable, but I put that down to it being in a spot I’d never had done.

Fast forward to bedtime and it was agony. Not the usual throbbing warmth, but actual pain. The following day it was incredibly tender and swollen, and it swelled up even more throughout the day. My manager pointed it out to me, and I looked down to see my ankle spilling out over my trainer socks.

I had trouble with it throughout the next few days, and noticed some red bumps. I figured it might have been a bit of irritation, but they got worse. Worried, I messaged the girl who didn’t seem bothered and to let her know if it got worse. It healed past the scaly fish food stage, and was still rashy, so I messaged again and she told me to go to the doctors.

I got to see the same ANP that judged me openly about my choice of destination a few years ago, when I suffered awful reactions to bug bites on holiday and needed antibiotics… “I don’t know why on Earth you’d go to such a filthy place”. I expected, and received, judgement. Being told I’m a silly girl and asked “why would you do this” when I’ve had 10 years of tattoos with no issues is neither helpful or appropriate. She said it wasn’t infected (phew!) but that it could be a reaction. Could be. That’s as much as she would do. She told me it was my own fault and to take antihistamines. Excellent.

I found out what she had used, and I’d had the same inks before. Most people I asked kept on the same line of “people can react to red ink!” Which is really helpful because the areas affected have blue ink… the flowers with red ink are the only unaffected parts.

I’d already been booked in for another one with someone else, and went along. At first she was a bit hesitant to do one so close to the affected one, but after getting all the other artists in the studio to check it out they agreed it would be safe as it wasn’t spreading. None of them had seen anything like it, and immediately searched the girl and mentioned from their professional opinion that she’s rather heavy handed and overworks the skin. A few mins later they’d done some digging and found immediate blow outs on some of her clients and deduced that she’s damaged my skin with the way she did it; the areas affected are mostly shaded rather than coloured in. They think she might have used a different method for the shading, which apparently isn’t really appropriate.

My new tattoo healed perfectly, and I’ve since been back to the place to get two more. It was pretty painless, as painless as they can be, and she gave me a pot of balm she makes herself, to keep both my new and dodgy tattoos beautifully hydrated and calm… I now wouldn’t use anything else on my skin, period. She needs to make it in bulk and sell it so I can slather my entire body in it.

The bad one is still bad. There’s dark red bumps that, when rubbed with a cream or moisturiser, go paler for a few minutes before returning to the darker hue. They’re very dry and scaly, I can moisturise them 3x a day and they’re still super flaky. They’re sensitive to touch and bleed easily. I cannot shave this area as I’m worried it will hurt and bleed all over, so I’m lightly trimming the hairs with a beard trimmer (that’s why the photos are so hairy!) they don’t itch. They aren’t ingrown hairs, I get ingrown hairs all over my legs if I shave in the winter, and I know what they feel/look like and they’re super easy to pop out. These just bleed upon touching. I’ve tried gentle exfoliation too. Nothing is working.

If you’ve ever had this happen, drop me a line if you have any tips!

Movies and Tea

I’m a hardcore movie lover.

I don’t do “pirate” movies, I thoroughly enjoy and respect the Cinema industry, and love nothing more than going into the cinema with my snacks, watching trailers, and getting excited for the feature to start.

The only thing that has reduced my movie attendance is the cost; it costs more than the price of a Blu-Ray for both of us to attend a movie, and as we’re saving for the wedding we simply can not afford to have frequent visits anymore.

I’d had some holiday to use up a few months ago, so we went to London for a few days, and then to the in-laws’ caravan in Brean, Devon. Yet again, we ended up there during a storm, so on one of the calmer days we took a drive to Burnham, the next town along, to get out of the shaky van and stretch our legs… and there’s a little cinema!

The Ritz cinema, just set back from the sea front, is absolutely adorable. Clean, classy, and just £4 a ticket. FOUR POUNDS. And they sold TEA. Not your standard builders tea, but fancy tea, and just £1.30 a cup. My partner bought a Pepsi for about £1.80 and for just over £10 we both got to see a new movie, with drinks. A lady saw us to our seats, and even came out with ice creams in between the trailers and the feature.


We’ve since decided that we’ll take advantage of the cinema and see as many movies as we can whenever we’re down there; supporting a beautiful small cinema is so much more important to me than seeing the latest movie ASAP at twice the price.