make home lighter

When you rent your house there’s a limited number of things you can do to brighten up your home. You can’t knock any walls down, or make windows bigger or put in big glass doors or anything – you’re kind of stuck with what you’ve got when it comes to the basics.

If you’re lucky, you might have a landlady who lets you do a spot of painting. The last time I was allowed to paint walls though I got a bit carried away, and painted my kitchen in these colours, on opposite walls:

brighten up your home

Nice right?

Okay, so perhaps it’s an acquired taste.

So other than painting the walls in colours that make guests feel a bit sick, what can you do to brighten up your home? I’ve got some tips: View Post

This post about my new DFS sofa contains three of my favourite things:

  • Winter
  • Cosiness
  • Sitting down

I’m not going to be one of those people, and call it Hygge just because I put a blanket over my knees, (I ranted about this), but I will say that I do like a cosy winter’s evening at home on the sofa.

What’s not to love really? Christmas is all done, spring is on its way, and in the meantime you have an excuse to put your pyjamas on at 4pm every day. Snuggle up with a cocoa, light some candles and crack out the Fresh Prince back catalogue. (Sooo excited that this is now on Comedy Central.)

My snuggling has been severely impaired until now by the fact that our biggest sofa was also the least cosy sofa in the whole world. It had no arms, no squishiness – what on earth is the point of a sofa with no arms? You may as well just sit on the floor and lean against the wall. That’s not very cosy is it? That’s like being 13 and on a school camp in an old mansion house and hanging out on the floor in the corridor because you think you’re cool.

No more corridor floor chic for me though.

I’ve got a new sofa from DFS – the Zinc 2 seater sofa, designed by French Connection. You see how comfy yet stylish I look?

DFS Zinc sofa review View Post

When I was about 14 I spent a lot of time lying on my bed, (which for a while was a mattress on the floor because I was bohemian like that and too cool for a bed), staring at my face in a mirror. Already at that age I realised that lying on your back was a flattering angle – a bit like a facelift, only less painful. It’s the same with legs – they look better when you lie down and stick them in the air because the fat falls backwards and doesn’t hang over your knees.

I’m 40 next year and I must admit that the prospect of examining my face close up in a mirror feels somewhat less appealing now. I’m not going to say ‘Oh my God, I look so old!’ or anything annoying like that because I think we both know that I don’t particularly, but just over the last year I have started to notice changes. My hair has started to dry out, my tummy is round even when I’m lying on my back, the fat around my elbows is squishier and the skin on my face is definitely looser.

I notice it most around my jawline. I’ve always had a decent jawline, but over the last 12 months it has noticeably softened and I’ve started to get a little pouchy bit under my chin. I can feel the softness under my jaw and up to my ears – I feel like I can pull my skin up behind my ears a little bit and get a squishy area around my earlobes that wasn’t there before. My skin tone isn’t as even as it once was either.

This is me, under harsh light, no editing. So basically how I look every day.

(Try not to look at the eyebrows.)

Boots No7 lift and luminate range

Boots No7 lift and luminate range

View Post

I have a gadget to show you today!

You know how lots of blogs show off fancy things like iPads and remote control helicopters? Well, it’s sort of like that. Only not. 

Today I want to introduce you to Innovo. You might remember Innovo from when I talked about it here a couple of months ago? Innovo is a totally non-invasive way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and treat cause of urinary leaks, rather than just covering them up. Stress incontinence is something that a lot of people are too embarrassed to talk about, but it’s definitely not something you should just have to accept.

This post is the first in a series where I’m going to be properly putting Innovo through its paces, checking in at intervals to tell you about my progress and the changes I’m noticing. I don’t want to just give you the theory – I want to give you a thorough, honest review, so that if you do want to do something about your pelvic floor, you have all the information you need about Innovo to invest with confidence.

(That sounded very serious didn’t it? I promise to make wee gags too. You have to laugh at stuff remember? You just want to be able to laugh without wetting yourself.)

In this post then, I just want to show you exactly what’s involved, what you can expect if you choose to try Innovotherapy for yourself, and to give you a bit of background into the technology. 

Let’s get the science out of the way before I get my thighs out shall we? View Post

I’ve spent most of the last two weeks coughing. I’ve written before about my coughs – they’re pretty annoying, for everyone concerned. 

38 years on, and my coughs now have a new twist. Not only do I have to worry about not being able to breathe, generally irritating people etc, but now I have to simultaneously stop myself from weeing in my own pants. It’s such fun! Oh, hang on, a cough is coming… Stop walking, cross your legs… Yep, that’s right, everyone is staring but not to worry, it’s all fine.

(It’s not really fine.)

When you’re feeling rough, and coughing until your head feels like it might explode, a bit of light bladder leakage is like the big, fat, leaky cherry on top of the cake. (A cake made of mud and toothpaste, like that one Mr Mischief makes.) It’s made worse by the fact that no one talks about it. It’s something that effects so many of us, and yet we just go around, quietly crossing our legs, feeling like it’s just us.

There is a silver lining though! If you look hard enough, you can always find a positive right? The silver lining here is that a company called Confitex got in touch recently to ask if I fancied writing about their range of utility underwear, which they’re introducing to the UK, and the cough has given me the perfect introduction.

SMOOTH.

So here I am, breaking the ‘slippage silence’ and talking (again), casually, about bladder leakage.

When I read ‘utility underwear’, I have to admit that my first thought was ‘are these pants for soldiers or something?’. That’s not what it is though. It’s actually incontinence underwear – underwear that has been designed especially to help people experiencing leaks in the urinary department. 

The key word for me here is ‘designed’. This isn’t a range of bulky pants that looks like nappies or anything like that, it’s properly designed underwear that looks good, but just happens to have a practical use too. To make the point, see if you can stop the Confitex incontinence underwear in this little collage:

(Don’t tell me I don’t know how to entertain you…)

Confitex incontinence underwearWhat do you reckon?

1 and 4 are actually the Confitex pants, although I think that the model in number 3 looks like she might be doing her best to hold something in.

The point I’m making is that Confitex have designed their range to look like regular underwear. They don’t want to make the whole situation any more awkward or embarrassing than it is already, they just want to make a pair of normal looking pants that can also make people feel comfortable and secure.

I’m not saying we should all give up on our pelvic floor exercises and just slip into a pair of incontinence pants, of course not. We should all be doing everything we can to keep our pelvic floor muscles strong, but sometimes you are going to need a little bit of extra protection.

My second thought, after the thing about soldiers in pants, was that surely a pair of knickers that looked so ordinary wouldn’t be able to actually do very much? I was wrong again. 

Confitex underwear is available for both men and women and comes in two levels of absorbency, so you can choose what suits you best. You might be experiencing a little leakage, perhaps you’ve just had a baby, or maybe you’re a man recovering after a proctectomy. The medium absorbency isn’t messing about. That’s a lot of fluid right there:

Confitex incontinence underwear

I think I’d find it hard not to chuck half a cup of tea into my pants, just to see what happened.

Confitex underwear is totally reusable – you can wash and tumble dry it like normal – and it’s made with bamboo fibre, which is super soft and has natural anti-bacterial properties too. If you’re worried about those little leaks and are intrigued to find out more, then just take a look at the Confitex website.

And cross you fingers for me (and your legs) that my cough clears up soon.