Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Roses are red...

No, you haven't stumbled across an out of date Valentine's post, and I'm not about to tell you of a grand love affair - well, actually...maybe I am.

I'm extremely privileged to receive a pack of natural and organic beauty each month to review and tell you all about it, and this month I'm shouting about the power of Rosehip oil - even though I am really late in doing so!

A busy time

Mad month here, with No 1 son off to University tomorrow - the whole thing has been arranged in less than 1 week. Months of research squeezed into yet another Byrne Johnston deadline: it seems to be the way we handle most things best. So, whilst he is off on the next and best stage of his future - I have quietly and with no dignity aged at least another 10 years.

So, my rescue remedy is 5 minutes morning and night for 'me' time. Or, to be exact, me and a little brown bottle - no, banish that thought - containing a magic ingredient.

It has taken me  years to discover the benefits of Rosehip Oil - and I won't be letting it go anytime soon.

What did I order?

The Rosehip Collection

Well, to be truthful,the sample I received is out of stock, but the good news is it has since been returned to the Mypure shelves, and the contents added to. So today you can purchase The Rosehip Collection I tested - but with the added advantage of their Hydrating Mist Toner.

What they say

Here's the blurb that tempted me in:

Experience Trilogy. The Rosehip Collection contains natural skincare for beautiful, healthy skin.The perfect size for travel, the perfect set to try and the perfect gift for someone you treasure.
This pack contains
  • Cream cleanser 30ml
  • Rosehip oil antioxidant + 5ml
  • Vital moisturising cream 20ml
  • Hydrating mist toner 20ml

I tried the cream cleanser and moisturiser first on their own, and they were everything you'd expect from Trilogy as  a natural beauty brand. A soft an fluffy, almost whipped, texture, delicately scented and easily absorbed - I found them to most advantageous at night time , when they had a chance to do their work overnight.


The big bonus in the pack for me, was the oil. Do you use an oil?
I say, if not, then do. If your skin is anyway dry, tired, or just needs a boost - it's the answer.
You can purchase Trilogy Rosehip Oil on it's own if you wish.

Certified Organic, and 100% natural. Apply it directly, massaging gently to cleansed skin at night. Or use the handy dropper to dispense 2 or 3 drops to a blob of moisturiser in the morning, under make-up or, as I do, alone.

Skin is visibly brightened, refreshed, and the power of Rosehip delivers a firm kick to oxidants and tired skin.
**Psst - grab a bonus lip gloss if you order the oil on it's own through this link...

Want proof?

Independent clinical studies show Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant + improves -
~ Brightening and skin tone by 75%
~ Fine lines and wrinkles by 33%
~ Elasticity and firmness by 25%

Give it a go. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August - walkin' on sunshine...with Lovea

August in Andalucia. If you plan to get anything done, or see to any official business, forget it. If you plan to have fun and party like there's no tomorrow - you're in the right place!

Everything stops for August  -  and the postie was extra late with my review package too, normally received with lightening speed from the good folk over at Mypure Natural Beauty.

Between the events of cultural week, and the extra guests floating in and out of our house (thinking of a revolving door to make things easier) there was a lot of clearing up and cooking ahead to be done.

The kids did what kids do - and folded up their towels, then duly took off up the village hill to the pool to spend long summer days splashing and swimming, playing cards and taking endless selfie shots...a hard life, eh?

Luckily for them, my review package included Lovea sunscreen, in factors 30 and 15. They are already deeply tanned, but never go out without their sunscreen - prevention now to help ensure a safe future for their skin. Natural and no chemicals too - standard procedure from Mypure. My only regret is not going natural years ago, particularly with sun protection.

Here's what we tried out:

Lovea Organic SPF 15 Spray

Lovea Organic Sun Care Spray SPF 15 is an Ecocert  certified organic sunscreen. This SPF 15 cream is lightly scented with natural essential oils and provides MEDIUM UVA & UVB protection. The formula is water resistant, non greasy and applies without white traces. 

Lovea Organic SPF 30 Spray

This SPF 30 cream is lightly scented with natural essential oils and provides HIGH UVA & UVB protection. The formula is water resistant, non greasy and applies without white traces. 

Worth noting, if you plan to swim in the sea this year, is that  Lovea is coral safe and contains natural mineral sun blocks combined with certified organic, bio-degradable plant extracts. It does not contain any chemicals which can damage coral reefs...

There's a higher SPF of 50 for kids too...for younger skin or first days under a foreign sun.

The kids loved the handy sprays, which never clogged and were light and easy on their skin, and judging by the amount left in the bottles their friends loved them too :) 

Price? The Lovea suncare range starts at under £10 and goes up to £17.99 - a small price to pay for protecting your family skin - naturally. Buy your sun protection at Mypure Natural Beauty - don't leave home without it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Flaming June

Choosing words carefully

Well, flaming wasn't the first adjective that came to mind, but it did begin and end with the same amount of letters.

You make your own luck, that's my mantra. Smile, look on the bright side, you'll be happy. Look for work, you'll find it. Get a streak of good luck, then pay it forward. Karma, yup, it's there, watch out. But by God I must have been bad in a previous life. At least so June tried to tell me....

An official signed for letter at the beginning of the month meant a depletion of the coffers, another one from the delightful office of Hacienda came to one of my employers, so any plans of hooting it up for my birthday were washed away.

Just a number?

Ah yes, the big 5-0. Actually, it really is just a number, I'm sure I'm only 23, and I figured that as long as the people who really knew me didn't send me cards with that half century red flag all over them, I'd be grand.

Cue the entire stock of Hallmark 50-emblazoned cards, delivered directly to me. I'll just sit and wait for the Saga offers.


Then Anklegate. A small  - sober - sprain, a mere twist of my Father's inherited double joint, not even a decent  fall, and I was immobilised - for FOUR weeks. An X- Ray, a malicious manipulation of my cankle by a mincing medic at the health centre that doubles as an interrogation centre, and no bones broken...the fecker still crippled me yanking and twisting the foot around.

Go and get plastered he instructed.

 Following his advice to the letter, I bought a bottle of Beefeater and went home. We postponed the longed-for coastal weekend away.

My MIL arrived for a week. To be honest, she was no trouble - and she reads this. :P


Then the saddest part of all - our Trixie, rescued and spoiled madly for the past 6 lovely years, died after an operation. She was old I know, but of all the things that June brought, I really wasn't ready for that. I know, I know, there are worse things, but sometimes it really doesn't feel that way. In her few golden years here, she gave us more pleasure and loyalty than any 2 legged or 4 legged creature I have ever known. Undershot, crooked legs, yellow hair the same shade as mine (!) and a heavy snore - all missed so badly. Thanks to permission from Cliff, she now lies under the shade of an orange tree on his land, buried with mingled snot and tears, but with the best views on the Contraviesa, and I can still have a chat as I weed and water the Huerto.

Do you know the way...?

We had the postponed San José weekend, and now July is here: deep breath, tear away the last month with relish from the calender  - moving on up...and wishing you all luck and love for the hot Spanish summer ahead. <3 br="" nbsp=""> Glossary:
Huerto - market garden
Hacienda - robbing feckers

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Deep cleaning with Mypure

Cleaning up

No, no, I haven't turned over a new leaf and decided to become housewife of the year, come on, is that really likely?!

This time of year, with lazy days on the beach looming around that lovely corner, I decided to order up a deep cleansing masque from Living Nature via Mypure Natural Beauty.

Ordering is fuss-free, with a confirmation email in minutes, and an easy to negotiate website, which looks great on any device as it does on your home PC.

Living Nature

I chose Living Nature Deep Cleansing Mask, and always one for a bulk buy, this one has 10 individual sachets for just £27.50, so 10 times the treatment should last 2-3 months.

Application is easy, just smooth onto clean skin, the blurb on the site is just about spot on. When dry rub it off with an upwards sweep of the hands and rinse of with clean water.

  Living Nature Deep Cleansing Mask combines Halloysite Clay with Manuka essential oils and Totara Extract to deeply cleanse and refine pores, leaving skin balanced and wonderfully soft.


Did I mention spots? This is perfect for anyone with acne prone skin too. so Issy tried it out on her back and shoulders, which suffer in the winter and spring with outbreaks.  It cleared things up nicely.  Friends Lynne (Dry skin) and Lester (Oily to Combo skin)  each took home a sachet, so I'll let you know at a later date what they thought of the mask and the results! A multi use packet - robbed yet again!

Free gift 

If you buy it now, there's a special offer of a Gift with Purchase, I received a Living Nature Manuka Honey Lip Balm as a welcome and lovely gift, just right for packing onto my pocket for the beach, and will help to allay the drying effects of the sea breeze and salty air. Up in the mountains where we live too - dry mountain air is great for Jamón Serrano but not so good on the lips! The balm retails for £11.00.

Coming up..

Next month I'll be reviewing sun creams - natural and organic ones from Mypure of course, have you looked at what is in yours? Sometimes a lot of chemicals as well as SPF - look again, you're better off with organic and natural from Mypure Natural Beauty.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Madara Magic at Mypure

May madness

Whew, that last month flew in! Literally for me, with a quick break to Ireland and a surprise visit from the grandchildren for my newly octogenarian mother. We had a lovely time and squeezed as much as possible from the short days.

Packing is always light, we rarely travel with any more than hand baggage (but dress like onions, layered up against the Ryanair levies and regulations :)

Making up

I'm not one for make up - so that little clear plastic bag going through x ray will instead be loaded up with cleansers, moisturisers, balms, a lipstick and a mascara, that's it for me. But approaching a horribly large birthday myself, and under the critical eye of mother, sometimes I need a little extra help! So a tinting fluid was the my choice to review from Mypure this month, and I wisely chose from their extensive and award winning Madara range.

The product:

Madara Tinting Fluid in Sunflower Golden Beige. Moonflower is the other shade, they're currently reduced for a short period, so be quick.

50ml pump bottle.

Tints, illuminates and evens out your skin tone. Northern Rose Hip extract and natural pigments instantly hydrate and perfect the skin’s appearance. Masks imperfections and fine lines, leaving skin fresh and radiant with the look of a summer tan. A lighter alternative to foundation.

Review time

What did I think? Hmmm. That should read 'we'.

I was lucky to get away with any of it - my cousins, decades apart that they are -  all loved it. My Mum tried to steal it. My daughter aged 15 sported it. I'm currently squeezing out the remainder, so addicted am I to the coverage, which is light yet even and feels like nothing on the skin. It's more like a tinted moisturiser, a sun kissed coverage of a soft veil in a bottle. And organic, natural, kind. I say buy it. It contains magic - well, put it this way - my mother didn't criticise me :) But on the downside, I have had to purchase another one for her...!! Luckily, Mypure deliver internationally.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mypure saving sanity

Teenagers. I have two. Issey is 15...there, with just 7 words I have struck fear into your hearts.

So I have a normal teenage daughter then!

All smiles

Last week, she came in smiling - a rare treat - and excitedly asked if she could open 'the box'.

The Box...our Mypure Natural Beauty Box, a monthly treat to rate and review.

What did we order?

Old tricks

If there's one thing we should all teach our daughters, it's the age old tip to moisturise. Isobel has tried the Yes To range before, the Tomato one and loved it, but at her age every day seems to bring a change in her skin, so we tried the Yes To Cucumbers for her, and Yes to Blueberries for me.

Spot the difference

Yes to Blueberries is for older skin, so perfect for me. Living in our place in the sun requires buckets of moisturiser, and organic and natural is the only choice I'm happy with. 
Soft and creamy, with a heady fruity scent and easy glide on and absorption. Light enough for under the eyes, dense enough to last all day. My skin is feeling fresh and smooth after a week's trial of Yes To Blueberries. I think I'll re-order and use it for the whole summer.

Yes to Cucumbers was the real revelation, though. Spots are the current teenage plague, flaring up at all the wrong moments for poor Issey - and ruining her day, which ruins our day...you get the picture! We live in the sun, and while summer rays clear up her skin problems, spring is a curse, when everything seems more antagonised.

So what did she think?

She LOVED it. Besides Yes to Cucumbers being kind, leaving her with soft and moisturised skin and smelling light and fresh - a miracle happened. The spots cleared up. Gone. Even the nastiest ones were calmed and soothed...and it took only a week of regular use. She has even started to use it on her back and shoulder - with the same miraculous results. We - did you hear that? - WE are happy. And smiley. And peace has been restored.

How long will it last?

Where's that Mypure website....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Snakes alive, St Paddy has departed

So that's St Patrick's Day out of the way - and a chance for our collective liver to rest awhile. We headed to Bar Pinche - well, there's nowhere else! - and were intrigued, not to mention delighted,  to see a shiny Guinness pump placed on the bar. On second glance we could see it wasn't actually a pump at all, but an electric machine of much magic.

Inma and Patricio (A Paddy by any other name) had stocked up on Surge Guinness, a new one for me.
It's a pint of the black stuff in a can, poured flat and then the glass is placed on the machine. That's plugged in and then a miracle happens. A surge of power wobbles the glass and the black stuff erupts like a volcano to form a creamy head and a pretty decent pint.

 Should St Patrick himself have dropped into the bar last night he couldn't have done it better.

As we sat and enjoyed it, armed with our free silly hats, Salvador rolled up.

Eyeing the machine suspiciously, he cleared his throat and asked what it was.

- It's beer, Inma answered, from Carol's pueblo 
-Yep, black beer.
-Black beer? For real? What does it look like?
-For jaysus sake, would you look, they're drinking it...(or something like that)

He looked at us wide-eyed.

Mother of God, I thought you had pints of Bombón Coffee.

The good news is that nobody else really likes the stuff, so with small regret I'll have to reduce supplies all by myself. :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

And so it's (not) Christmas

That was it. The party's over. We're into the new year with a bang, and for me, well, it's the tired old cliche - losing some weight. Getting fit. Meh.

Yesterday we set off to feed some cats, the owners are away for the holidays: Just 15 mins drive away, but their track doesn't take kindly to cars at the moment unless they're 4x4's. Our old jalopy is not, so we abandoned her at the top of the track and went down, and down. Our friend tells me it's 1.3 kms, but it's also 200 metres high at a gradient of 18%. I am 5 feet high at a fitness level of zero - so was a nice shade of beetroot by the time we climbed back again.

This morning, after finishing some work, Stan stood behind me, merrily jiggling the car keys.
- Need to go to Cadiar.
 - Go on then...
 - Coming?
- Why?
- Nice easy route next to the village of Lobras, there's an old aqueduct - we COULD drive there....
.It's useless arguing.

We reached Cadiar, we bought the groceries, and some nice stale rock hard Barra de Pan. We drove to Lobras, we saw the sign.

- Lovely day, he says, we might as well walk.

Stopping for a quick wee (I'm old) I waved at a friendly goatherd on the top of the mountain. There's always a goatherd. My ladybits have been logged by most of them. It's like trainspotting for them, only the number 88 keeps turning up.

After a kilometre or so the clouds rolled in. We tramped on and the rain hit us in a nice horizontal fashion. We climbed over boulders and crossed rivers, as branches lashed me in the face. Lovely. We came to a turn after crossing a soon-to-be-raging torrent, and decided to go left. After another trek into the unknown we came to a dead end.
No signs of human life. No rusty tuna tins, no spent gun cartridges, no spent condoms.
- Wish I'd brought the guide book and map, left them in the car....Crocodile Dundee announced cheerfully.
 - Or compass, water, knife, torch and flares, I grumbled.

CD marched merrily on back towards the general direction of the car, stopping to root in bits of poo. He does that. He can tell by taking it apart what animal it came from. With his fingers. Please. I have no idea what attracted me to him in the first place either.

Finally seeing the car I collasped into it, breaths coming in rasps now. I toyed with the idea of going back to Cadiar for oxygen.

 - No, we should have turned off here , see?
He was fiddling with the map again.
 - Shall we....

- I'll DRIVE.

Back we bumped along the track. We managed to make the correct turning. Finally, a ramshackle building, some cars and vans without wheels - it was  similar to a New Age camp in Orgiva. 4 large and snarling hounds prevented us from exiting the vehicle.

There was the famous Aqueduct. Three arches of broken stones. Meh.

A Spanish man walked towards us. Visions of a log fire, some homemade wine and a bit of pig innard cheered me up. I waved my nice stale bread enticingly and got ready to shout Howya in my best Spanish. He turned up his collar, and ran into his house, slamming the door.

So much for the friendly locals!

Wonder where we'll go tomorrow?

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Remains of the Day

Just 4 hours. That's all I wanted, just 4 hours.

I have been so busy this week, not a second to spare, and work hampered by the inept non service of Parcels2go and our missing box...who could know sending one thing from one address to another could prove so futile. Still missing in action, by the way, for anyone following the saga...

A poorly cat too, we knew Fluffy was on her last paws this week, we have had her a good 5 years or so, since the idiot Cádiar Englishman left her and her sister - now deceased - behind, when he packed up and left for foggier climes....Karma, Carol, Karma....oommmmm

 Both white Persians, Fluffy got the stunning long hair and tail that Basil Brush would be jealous of, a stunner in looks and personality, especially compared with the bundle of evil sharpness we brought with us, known affectionately as Cleo.

Earlier this week, Luna came to say goodbye, our street dog who is off to a better life in Blighty today, besos Luna, we wish you well. There were tears and fears, but we know she's onto something good, thanks to the good folk at Lost Paws of the Alpujarras.

Thinking we'd support them at their rastro yesterday on the coast, down at Castell del Ferro. Just as we got there, we filled up with fuel, the Agip garage guy does it for you, you just say how much and which one. *Ominous instruction: Remember that line..

We nabbed a few bargains at the rastro, and headed to the beach to sit and read for a bit. I needed half an hour R&R after the crazy week. Like a sharp edged pebble, I occasionally need rounding off' to beach standards, with a few rays of sunshine and the sound of the surf.

Then a call from the Inbetweeners at home:
 Fluffy isn't good, she's breathing funny, what'll we do?
Just make her comfortable, we'll be there soon.

Half an hour later, another call:
She's choking, what'll we do?
She'll be grand, leave her alone.

Another half an hour:
She's really Not Good.

Okay, just having this one little tapa because we're starving, we're on our way...

10 minutes later:

She's dead. We think.


Back in the car. Turned the key. Nada.

Engine rolls over, sounds weaker by the second. Drops dead.

Stan said, Oh Fiddlesticks....not really. Something like that.

We called the insurance, they sent the Grua, he loaded the car, we got in his cab, he looked a little miffed at the distraction from an afternoon's fishing and also not unlike Nigel Mansell. Warning bells started to ring.

We drove, nay, sped,  and practically, well, flew up the Motorway of Death, narrowly missing the Mediterranean - Who put it there? - with me squeaking: Joder, I thought the GP today was in Japan... on every missed corner.

We arrived at Albondon, Nigel rolled the car off, rolled us out onto the tarmac and with a cheery wave and a Hasta Luego - not on your Nelly - drove home to his fishing rod and Mama's late lunch.

A quick call to a friend and neighbour....and Saint Pedro, Peter Roberts to you, pulled up with his silver chariot, pronounced PETROL had possibly been added to the car and not DIESEL: More cries of fiddlesticks from Stan, and another large bill to look forward to.

 We climbed aboard and Pete kindly ferried us home to the very sad kids, a large Gin or three and a dead cat.

Don't you just love weekends off?

Adios Fluffycat, we'll miss you.