28.9.13

Reincarnation Comes In a Tube


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Antipodes is a skincare company with a resolute focus on providing a range of products have strong natural, sustainable, healthy and organic credentials. 

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I have become increasingly conscious about limiting my skin's exposure to synthetic chemicals and would like to adopt a more natural approach in my skincare choices. This is how I came across Antipodes and quickly fell in some kind of love with one of Antipodes products (review to come soon).  I thought I would try something else from their range and was delighted when the Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator came free as a gift with purchase. 

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Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator is formulated with avocado oil and jojoba beads which conspire/aspire together to lift away dull skin leaving behind a fresher complexion.

I have been using this every other day now for about 2 months. In my opinion this is a VERY gentle exfoliator, too gentle for my personal requirements. I have become used to micro-exfoliators and after yonks and years of use, I am still smitten with No7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Face Exfoliator and it seems that the Antipodes offering is at the complete opposite end of the scale.

While this leave me wondering what the point of it is, the Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator is perhaps better suited to seekers of a mellow, soft, daily scrub.

Enough moaning? Not quite! I have another gripe with this product. It is mega greasy on my skin. I know that it is jam-packed with good oils but I am failing to be happy with a face that feels far greasier and dare I say it...muckier AFTER exfoliating. I have had to follow each use with a good face wash.

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If you like sparse exfoliation beads trapped in an oil rich gentle cream wash. Then this is for you!  As for me, I am still wondering if I believe in reincarnation.

I got this from Planet Organic  but have also seen it on Feel Unique
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24.9.13

Amid the Arches

London has so many railway arches, some left neglected and redundant, others harbour small businesses. And some....hold secrets.


I have a habit of peering through cracks in doors. More often than not I am disappointed, on occasion I am delighted by an unexpected scene. 







I like walking along the arches beneath railways. I like the way that they are never glamourous and nearly always noisy.

I made this necklace, it is a gesture to the arrival of autumn. Rose gold and gold plate combine to evoke colours of turning nature.

|Gestures of Autumn Necklace

As for the rest of my outfit, the scarf is silk and from Liberty, the trousers from ASOS and the fine knit jumper (which actually buttons up at the back) is from COS.

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20.9.13

Hubble Bubble, Hot Wax and a Scent Double

I used to have an expensive French candle habit. Having shirked this for the sake of my savings, I now have quite a few empty vessels that once were filled with the finest wax from Cire Trudon and Astier de Villate. 




One of the finer points of such wonderfully fragranced candles is that they are contained within hand blown glass vessels which work wonderfully for my very humble refill creations.



As Autumn seems to be playing a rather churlish game of peek-a-boo with us here in London, I thought it would be a good time to start making come candles for when the season settles in.

I used soy wax flakes and a heady concoction of essential oils to create these. The result is a flamboyant, smouldering berry rose not completely unlike Baies but with a woodier heart. I like to think that it tells a tale of Rose-Red lost in a deep forest whilst picking blackberries.



I think I may introduce a little bees wax into the mixture next time. I may also seek out longer wicks!

It feels really good to set alight the candles that I have made by hand, I am so pleased that they release a pleasant fragrance. Also very pleased that the fussy husband doesn't find them offensive!
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18.9.13

LIFE Co

My hunt for fountain pen friendly paper and my love of Japanese paper came together when I found LIFE! paper goods.





I like things that are well-made and that have a heritage of their craft to back them. LIFE has been around since 1946 when it established itself as the original makers of  Japanese paper notebooks and other fine correspondence papers. 

All LIFE Japanese notebooks are made by hand by specialist craftsmen. A machine is used to cut some of the paper but even this is a labour of love. The machine is immaculately maintained and used with such care. The wonderful thing is that LIFE notebooks are not considered niche items in Japan and are readily available and common in countless households.

LIFE notebooks and writing paper provide a lovely writing experience. Each page gives a smooth surface and tangible feel of real quality. Each of LIFE's notebooks go through a series of vigorous quality control checks throughout their creation process. Their tradition of handmade items has remained strong and dedicated to the provision of high quality goods that in my opinion outshines  the many examples of cheaper pastiche paper goods currently flooding the market.

It is hard to get hold of LIFE goods here in the UK and where I have seen some notebooks, the mark-ups have been quite steep. However, I have spotted some in Choosing Keeping and Raw Dice.
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17.9.13

Musical Heatwave in Cold Hackney

Woke up late on Sunday. I was stirred from my slumber by the buoyant beat of a soca tune. We just can't resist a carnival beat. It may have rained, and it may have been cold but we still danced in the streets.

















Hackney is one of London's most ethnically diverse boroughs. Like many parts of east London, and due to the cheaper rents, the area was attractive to immigrants who moved to UK seeking new lives. As a result Hackney has been a melting pot of cultural influences over many years.

Recently Hackney has been going through rapid gentrification that has made me look at my neighbourhood in a different light. It saddens me deeply that so many longtime locals are often side-lined and pushed aside in favour of the demands of the new blood in the area. New businesses are cropping up frequently in Hackney. On the surface this may seem as though it is assisting in a much needed regeneration of the area. However, these new trendy local businesses tend to stick together in networks that support each other yet in many cases exclude long-standing local businesses. These older businesses in many cases are unable to keep up with the changes around them and marketing themselves to a new market is just such a foreign concept. The result is that these truly local businesses benefit very little from the gentrification of Hackney and as people who have lived here for generations move away because they can no longer afford the steep rents, these businesses actually have begun to lose even their loyal customers. Many of the stall holders in the Ridley Road market illustrate this point. The string vest man, the African fabric vendors, they have all told me that business is "too bad these days".

I have always counted it as a blessing that I am able to stumble out of my front door into a Turkish supermarket where I can pick up olives and freshly baked bread. I can stop by the Jamaican grocer and buy some Ital ingredients along with my grapefruit Ting. I can buy a hot fresh roti from the Trini mumma's stall in the market and be back home in under 10 minutes. Our days in this country are numbered and when we finally do leave, it is this cultural diversity that I will miss more than anything. Hackney has been a wonderful place to live because of these people and if they go....it will lose its soul and lustre. I wish more people realised that it is the PEOPLE that make a place what it is. 

So when on Sunday, we awoke to reggae, soca and roti and the dancing smiles of locals, old and young, it was like a hug from Hackney....real Hackney.

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12.9.13

| Night Lights | City of Halos


Matera by night is a city of halos amid pools of shadow. A calming scent of citronella drifts through the humidity floating through the night air and mingling with the effervescent voices of The city.













I enjoy accompanying Hiro on his nightfall walks,  I personally think that he captures such atmosphere in his photos and they give us so much joy to look back on.

The citizens of Matera seem to enjoy lighting large pie-dishes of citronella candles and leaving them on elevated parts of the city. It seems such a romantic and beautiful thing to do. This habit may well serve a role in expelling annoying little shits...I mean mosquitoes!

In many ways, nights are far more alive that in the day when so many seek shelter from the harsh summer sun. The open squares of Matera are filled with conversation, laughter, children, old people and young people all enjoying the cooler air and the company of friends and family. It is quite intoxicating to take in.

I suppose that this, in many ways, illustrates our love of adventure over material possessions. The lessons that we learn from our journeys are incalculable and as for the memories.... Well the memories are ours forever.

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10.9.13

Cosmic Print Lady + The Leopard Ladurée Box


On a day that I ventured out in a convivial cosmic print top (a gift from my sister), I was given a leopard print box brimming with macarons.











It is lovely to see that Ladurée can do sexy as well as pretty and their latest box has made a fabulous to my collection of macaron boxes.

The box was filled with a few of my constant favourites (orange blossom and salted caramel) as well as some new delectables to savour. The curiously marvellous grey shaded "Pink Pepper" was my favourite this time. A flash of peppery warmth before it simmers down into a delicious sweetness. "Yuzu Ginger" was a delight as was the refreshing "Strawberry Mint.

Perhaps I should assemble my box collection to show you? Yes! I think I might!



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5.9.13

My Crooked Shadow

As peculiar as this may sound, I am quite fascinated with my own shadow though vanity is not my motive. I have, since childhood, convinced myself that my shadow is an ill fit of me. She tends to warp and fizzle in a manner which I certainly don't.

In our cave room in Matera, Hiro caught her impersonating a corseted Victorian lady......absolutely nothing like me. Such absurd behaviour!



I am not sure if an old bird like me ought to be flashing abdominal flesh. However, such frivolity is always more acceptable when on holiday. I paired the black cropped top with a high-waisted pleated skirt and a pair of gold sandals,practicality for toddling over ancient cobbles.

"the mind is lost when the shadow dies.” Harurki Murakami from Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of The World


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4.9.13

2 Knots + 21 Kittens


I spotted some delightful hand crafted chinese style knot elastic notebook charm closures in Onigiri Sama's 21Kittens Etsy shop.




I was so happy when Onigiri Sama agreed to make a couple of the knots into bright, positively juicy looking hairbands for me but I my happiness escalated to "over the moon" status when they arrived.




They are so well made. Simple yet complex, sturdy and gorgeously different.

I highly recommend stopping by her little shop particularly if you are a stationery fan!

| 21Kittens Etsy Shop | 


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3.9.13

Skin Reset



Travelling, switchy English weather and illness among other things cant really muck up my skin, but when skin tantrums chuck their problems my way, I have come to rely on La Roche Posay.

+ La Roche Posay Toleriane Riche +


The Toleriane line was created especially for the needs of hypersensitive skin, so very gentle and specific ingredients have been used in the formula to reduce the risk of irritation. The Toleriane Riche Soothing Protective Cream does a great job in soothing and hydrating my skin when it becomes dry and irritable. Recommended by many a dermatologist to comfort dry skin conditions.

Made with water from the Roche-Posay hydrotheraphy spa, glycerine (skin repairing properties), squalene (natural moisturising factors) and enchriched with 7% shea butter (antioxidant and emollient. Fragrance, paraben, mineral oil free.

+ La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 +


My HG skin healer. Works on my angry eczema patches, replenishes my dry heels after long walks in flip-flops, soothes my nose when I have a cold, amazing for flight skin and sun rashes. This really is a handy tube to have in the home.

Made to meet the needs of all the family, the Cicaplat Baume is here to repair, protect, soothe and give a helping hand in skin recovery.

Formulated with madecassoside which is a plant extract that functions as an antioxidant, skin reparative and plays a role in collagen synthesis. Also contains 5% panthenol extract, copper, zinc and manganese which all encourage healthy skin and impart anti-bacterial qualities.

These items were bought from Escentuals who currently have a wealth of La Roche Posay at fab reduced prices
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