Monday, 16 October 2017

REVIEW: Best Gluten Free Savoury Buys

Hey lovely bunch. I'm now into my second year of being completely gluten free after a lovely nutritionist told me she hardly ever sees someone as intolerant to gluten as me... Fun bit of news that was. However, this led me on quite an exciting venture as I can now proudly call myself quite an expert on the Gluten Free Product Market as I have flippin' tested everything out there. I'm gonna rock you through some fave finds of mine as well as introduce you to an awesome person who has helped me massively in my discovery of some amazing gluten free replacements that leave me without cravings for anything I used to be able to nosh. 

I'm going to go ahead and start with the biggy... BREAD. Firstly though, Schar is THE best gluten free, easily accessible, high street brand out there. Their bread is soft and doesn't fall apart like so many others do. This pack is normally retailed at £2.50 and the slices are quite small so I would go through this pack in about a week or two. It's made with a blend of gorgeous grains including Quinoa and it made using a Sourdough method. This makes it taste SO dang good. For my fellow lactose free peeps, this one is a totally safe option for you guys too. Schar has already been voted best Gluten Free Brand but now they have my vote too. 

Image result for schar

Another GOD SEND by Schar is their gorgeous Margherita Pizza which is ALSO lactose free. Finding this in Sainsbury's by my flat was... on a scale of 1-10... freaking 100. Pizza is life. Being gluten and lactose intolerant means pizza is also death. BUT THIS PIZZA IS LIFE. Sorry... the excitement is real. I've been back and bought this a scary amount of times but for just £3 and 8 mins in the oven... you got yourself a delight right there my friends. 

You can grab this in most big Sainsbury's and some Waitrose chains too. 

Thank me later. 

Next we have the beloved British classic Crumpet... Warburtons' GF Crumps are the one. I've tried a couple of other brands but they are quite stodgy and don't seem to crisp up well. BUT these little gems toast like a gluten filled Crump but keep a chewy middle. You can grab a pack of 4 for £2 in the below stores. Whack a bit of butter and peanut butter on and BOYYYY. 

This next one is a life saver for us bakers out there. However, I am torn between two of my favourite brands of flour as both deliver great results but one is just slightly more pricey but has some other benefits. 

Dove Farm is the cheaper, more widely available brand and an absolute cupboard staple. For around £1.80-£2 you can pick up a bag and get busy on rivalling Bake Off. I've made tonnes using their Self-Raising and Plain ranges inc. Apple Crumble, Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake, Vicky Sponge and loads more. The good thing about Red Mill's blend is it is All Purpose so you can use it for any recipe and get a really well held-together bake. This flour gives a dextrous and dense finish just like normal wheat flours. It's fab but just a bit more expensive at roughly £3-£4 in most health shops. I'd be more likely to buy the Red Mill for pastry making as it holds together really well.

I constantly prep my own lunches as it's pretty impossible to find a lactose & gluten free, healthy lunch on the go for less than a deposit on a house. Ok, exaggeration but it's bloomin' expensive. Hence why BFree's wrap range is gorgeous! Yes, they are a little costly as an average of £3.50 a pack however they come with 6 in a pack which is roughly 60p per wrap so I ain't complaining. These Sweet Potato wraps are SO filling, hold together amazingly well and taste so good. Stuff one of these with spinach, cucumber, red onion, goats cheese, avocado and some pine nuts and ooooooo yes. 

Now on to my FAVOURITE THING EVERRRR. Garlic Bread. Who doesn't like this eh..? EH!? This amazing creation from Tesco is even VEGAN, people. This is a freezer jobbie and cooks from frozen in 12-15mins. I can't express enough how good this is. I would eat one whole baguette a day if I didn't care about my arteries or waistline. Annoyingly, I do care however I definitely have one of these in the freezer at all times. It's a must and at only £1.50 ermmmm... NO BRAINER. 

Eating out can be CRAZY hard as a gluten intolerant/ coeliac so learning how to cook some amazing alternatives at home will not only keep your tummy healthy but also your bank balance. Someone who helps me a lot is myglutenfreeguide on Instagram. Check her out here. This fab account goes is constantly trying out new products, travelling abroad and writing accounts of best places for us Gluten Intolerants. Big thanks to her for this amazing support page! 

Let me know in the comments below which Gluten Free Products are your favourite out there. I'm going to follow this post with a Gluten Free Sweet Buys very soon.

Loads of love

x Abstermac x

Monday, 12 December 2016

London @ Christmas: Blogger's Best Bits

Hello lovely people! So here I am finally sat, glass of Sparkling Rose in hand (well... by my side as I type) and onesie on... That means one thing - it's Christmas holiday! This marks my last ever Christmas as a student. Argh... I cannot tell you how nice it is to have some time off to enjoy London at this gorgeous time of year. In this post I'm going to go through some of my favourite hang outs and cute spots at this time of year in this beautiful city I get to call home. 

First things first though... Today I grabbed this little bargain from New Look which I am very excited to go and strut my stuff in round London this weekend as my sister is coming down to visit for the weekend. I'm planning to take her to all of the following places so here's your glimpse into what we'll be up to! 

This bad boy was half price in New Look's amazing sale that I just stumbled across today, you know, as you do. It cost me £24.99 Reduced down from £49.99. Happy Abbie. I've been looking for a perfectly fitted long, warm coat and have been so disappointed this season until I found this gorgeous thing. I can't wait to team some black skinnies, winter books and cozy scarf with this newbie this weekend. 

My Favourite London Hang Outs This Season

1. Harrods

I popped along to Harrods last weekend with my best friend when she came to visit after 3 months away travelling. I hardly ever go to Harrods but do you know what, at Christmas it is so perfect. As you walk up the lights are stunning and automatically make you want some mulled wine and a cheeky mince pie - Harrods own, of course ;)

Inside, my favourite section is of course the Food Hall! I could spend hours in there, I swear. The array of perfectly designed and finished cakes is mind-boggling. Definitely find myself wishing I was one of those Knightsbridge livin' peeps who buy their carrots from there but I'm satisfied just doing the tourist thing and standing there in awe of the cabbages thanks. 

The third floor also holds the biggest Christmas shop I ever did see; from baubles, wrapping, wreaths and Christmas puppy leads, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy with Christmassy goodness. 

We found ourselves strolling around the evening gown section in complete bliss and then headed down the crazy decent of excavators and found we'd walked six kilometres around the store and it was suddenly dark outside. Harrods is the perfect little selfie stop... Guilty as charged. 

2. Yorica

Ok, so this place is far from Christmassy but it's complete and utter heaven and I'd go there any day of any week in any month of any season of the year (get my point...) it's amazing. So as many of you know I'm lactose and gluten intolerant... Gulp... Yeah so this place solves every single one of my cravings under one roof. Located on Waldour Street in Soho, this little FroYo Hippie Heaven is somewhere to whack on your must-go-to list. For £4.95 I recently grabbed myself their holiday promotional deal of waffles, 2 scoops of ice cream/ 2 flavours of fro yo and a topping of your choice! The portion is massive and you can chose from awesome flavours like Chocolate Orange, Wowbutter, Passionfruit, Match... You name it!! It's so amazing to me that I can indulge in something like this and it's totally vegan and gluten free. Happy HAPPY Abbie :)
Even if you don't have an intolerance it's still a lot healthier and the perfect funky hang out. 

3. Free From Food Festival 

Along the same 'food' lines is The Free From Food Festival happening this weekend (they also have several events throughout the year) at Oval Space near Hackney. This festival celebrates all things gluten, dairy and refined sugar free foods and as you can probably guess I'm beyond excited for this. I bought my tickets in July... JULY. Wow. From cakes, bakes, pizzas, festive treats, drinks and so much more, this festival is for total food fanatics  and also for people who may have just been diagnosed with intolerances and they need some serious food-aspiration! It's been so exciting in the past few years to see how many companies are filling such a niche in the market for us peeps who have been lacking festive treats and safe snacks! 

If you want to check out details about this event and their future festivals head to Free From Festival's website here.  

4. Winter Wonderland

I was toying with the idea of not including this one to the list but it's got to be one of the most festive feeling places in this marvellous city at the moment and deserves a mention. Walking along Green Park you see the crazy amount of lights coming towards you and the smell of Bratwurst, Mulled Wine and pure Christmas just hits you! As packed as it can get, the atmosphere is second to none. Last year my boyfriend and I had one of our first dates here and danced away in one of the tents with live music for hours over mulled wine and a big old hot dog. We had the best time and he bought me a cute little christmas bell to hang on my tree at home which I still have and shall be putting up again this weekend. It's obviously a place with special memories for me but I honestly think it doesn't get more Christmassy than this hang out right now. The wonderful thing about Winter Wonderland is you literally don't need to spend a penny and you can still go and soak up such an amazing atmosphere or just spend a fiver and stroll round with a really nice Galaxy Hot Chocolate or  perfect Mulled Wine. 

5. Carnaby Street

I'm a bigger lover of shopping in London but sometimes it's far too manic around this time of year... Oxford Street is incredible but way too jammed for me. My favourite place to go for some independent and alternative shops is Carnaby Street. If the atmosphere isn't enough for you, the lights are always amazing at this time of year and it's worth a visit purely to see them! You can find the perfect little stocking fillers, designer main presents and mad secret santa gifts that no one else would have even knew existed. It's epic, check it out. 

These are just a few of my favourite places in this magical city. Even finding a quiet, independent coffee shop and getting cozy with a book is the perfect way to experience London at this time of year. I absolutely love it. 

I'm off home for a week after cracking down (probably in one of said coffee shops) and getting my school work done and on Boxing Day I fly out to Gibraltar to see my gorgeous fella and spend some time with his lovely family. A post shall soon follow that trip, eek!

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Loads of love, as always,

x Abster x

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Going Gluten Free...

Hello gorgeous ones. This month has been pretty life-changing to say the least. I told you guys in my last post I was seeing a nutritionist at The Food Doctor in London for ongoing digestive problems and my adult acne and skin irritation. So, I've now got all my results back from my tests and it turns out this girl is severely gluten intolerant. I couldn't quite believe it at first, the fact I'm also lactose intolerant daunted me a bit about what on earth would I actually eat... Turns out, I can eat a lot of stuff with all of the alternatives to gluten now on the highstreet and I have managed to change my diet quite easily to something way more healthy and my-poor-body-friendly!!

I want to share a load of recipes I have come up with that are getting me through each busy day of drama school with a full tummy and big smile on my (hopefully, soon) acne free face, haha.


Breakfast is without a doubt my favourite meal of the day. I genuinely go to bed most nights excited to wake up to purely eat my brekkie... I know right... Wow. 
I was worried when I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance that my crazy addiction to porridge would come to an abrupt end BUT I found the miraculousness that is gluten free oats which you can now find in practically every high street food store. I've stocked up majorly on my oats... Happy girl! Something I've recently tested out is the combination of oats with almond milk, honey, goats yogurt, crushed walnuts, chopped apple and cinnamon... IT'S EXACTLY LIKE APPLE CRUMBLE. It's amazing and definitely worthy of those capital letters. Sorry not sorry. Also, I absolutely adore porridge with cacao. Cacao is one of natures most amazing things... It's cocoa before it's refined so has an abundance of fibre and antioxidants. I love love love it. It's 100% healthy chocolate. I also add in some Brown Rice Protein Powder for an extra bit of sustenance to keep me going through my crazy days. I pop on top some mixed seeds, blueberries and strawberries. Total heaven. Of course, I've also popped on my Banana Pancakes... These will forever be my favourite brekkie. You can find my recipe here

Lunch/ Dinner

In my opinion, anything I make for dinner, I can have the next day for lunch and vice versa hence why most of my recipes double up for the heartiest of lunches or the lightest of dinners etc. One thing I've found a challenge since cutting gluten completely out my diet is the lack of carbohydrates. However, such things as brown rice pasta and brown rice, itself, have filled the gap that bread, normal pasta, pitta breads etc. used to fill. I've really enjoyed creating new, yummy recipes! Here are three really quick, easy recipes that never disappoint. Firstly, baked sweet potato with a salmon fillet sprinkled with paprika on a bed of avocado, spinach, cucumber and feta with a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar. This ingredient is something I always cook with now as my nutritionist told me it's amazing for balancing acids in the stomach and speeding up the digestive process. The next recipe looks quite bizarre and is a slight mish-mash but an amazing result! I bakes half an aubergine along with butternut squash and a salmon fillet with a side of brown rice pasta with spinach wilted in. Yum yum yummmmmm - super food central! Lastly, one of my favourite dishes is Thai Green Curry. Here, I popped together chicken, chickpeas and tonnes of spinach cooked in coconut oil and a tsp of Thai Green Paste. I then had this with a good amount of brown rice. DELICIOUS. 

Snack/ Desserts/ Drinks

I'm a big dessert girl... Love finishing a meal and having a little sweet something-something to top it all off. Being a gluten AND lactose intolerant you'd think dessert was completely impossible... Yeah so did I but noooooooo... I've recently discovered an incredible recipe to make a raw cheesecake. This wonderful creation is made from soaked cashews which cream up which, along with coconut oil and a few other natural ingredients form the perfect textured cheesecake filling. I made the base from purely grinding mixed nuts and dates with some cacao powder. This keeps me going all week for a mid-afternoon sweet snack. It's so healthy too! Also, when you have as amazing a boyfriend as I do who is constantly on the hunt for treats I can eat, life is good. Recently he found Bouja-Bouja ice cream from Planet Organic and this stuff is to die for. It's also all completely raw so super good for you even though it feels so indulgent. I love me a cheeky cocktail too so am so glad I can still have one or two when I go out and about and enjoy the beautiful, electric city I am so fortunate to live in. 

I count my lucky stars I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance now rather than 5 or more years ago when the food industry just didn't have a clue these intolerances existed so eating out was so hard as well as finding any suitable alternatives to any gluten or dairy filled products. 

I am really enjoying getting back to health and finding exciting recipes to keep my food-obsessed side of me completely satisfied.

Love you all

x Abster x

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Spring Favourites...

Hello you beautiful lot! Cannot believe this is my first blog of 2016... Shameful... But I'm here to bring you some of my Spring Favourites that I've been loving this season; from food to skincare to reading material...

Firstly, you all know me and how much I love to eat! Standard. 
This season I've really been experimenting with my breakfasts. I've been going through a lot of changes recently as I'm trying, at long last, to get my adult acne diagnosed and dealt with. Nothing seems to work so my wonderful Dad booked me in to The Food Doctor here in London to get tested and be on the road to regaining the clear skin I had 3 long years ago. A post about my journey with The Food Doctor will be coming in the next month so watch this space. It's completely opened my eyes to how our external body is such an indication for internal stress and dysfunction. One of the major things I've learnt though is the importance of having protein with every single meal and snack including breakfast. I always have porridge but this doesn't have enough protein to sustain my digestive system. I've been experimenting with THE perfect banana pancakes... 

Don't they look to die for...

They are.

All I use:
3 eggs
1 mashed banana
Handful of oats
Splash of Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
Top with a drizzle of honey
Fruit/ Nuts of choice
Seeds for protein

Alongside having to change up my diet ever so slightly, I've been dying to find the perfect skin products. I knew I needed natural ingredients and soft, sensitive facial creams which the highstreet brands just can't deliver. They seem to just irritate my skin further. A couple of years back my Mum received a lovely birthday gift of Liz Earle products... She loved them and I remember trying the Cleanse & Polish and thinking "Wow..." Years later, I've seen Liz Earle soar in popularity and I thought it was about time I got my mitts on some. As a 22 year old woman struggling with skin problems, I cannot tell you how soothing, refreshing and light these products are. 

My favourite of the products I'm trying out is, in fact, the Clean & Polish. This gorgeous product, firstly, smells divine! The consistency is lovely, light but substantial and the coverage you get with just one pump is amazing. This product removes make up, freshens and cleans skin whilst also moisturising, I find. The edition I ordered came with two lovely muslin cloths which are so handy and easy to clean. I am a big BIG fan. 

As you probably all know, my horrendous blogging absence is owing to my hectic life at drama school. Luckily right now I'm on a much-needed Easter break. Term time is so manic I barely have time to eat and sleep let alone do anything else! This coming term my Liz Earle products will keep my skin looking and feeling stress free even if my head isn't! Another thing that's been really helping recently is this little gem of a book by Ackhart Tolle; 'The Power of Now' has been flying off shelves and unlocking secrets to finding peace for millions of people.  One of my best friends recommended it to me after I spoke to her about feeling nervous and anxious about the future.  The way she spoke to me calmed me instantly and that same thing happened when I started reading this little book. 

I am not in the slightest bit religious or spiritual to be honest so don't be deterred by the 'Spiritual Enlightenment' bit. This book purely reminds you of the 'now' and how to 'be' in the moment and stop stressing, all together, about things you absolutely cannot control. The mind is a powerful thing and does control us and our thoughts and our emotions. Unlocking this sense of being run by the mind allows us to feel our bodies more, feel the moment and unlock pure joy without the clouding of stress of the future or pain of the past. Pop on to Amazon and you can get this wonderful book for no more that £7! 

So there you have it, a few of my Spring Favourites. As I said, I'll be coming back with a post all about my experience with The Food Doctor along with some of my favourite clean eating recipes.

Love you all,

x Abster x

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Blogger Update...

Hi you beautiful lot.

Once again I have to start with a big sorry I haven't posted in over two months... Shocking! I've been crazy busy starting Second Year at drama school, turning 22 and performing every night in a play here in London!! It's safe to say it's been a manic couple of months but I'm now having some time off, tucked up in my lovely big bed with a nasty cold. I've been so busy I haven't even had a chance to check my blog and I'm almost at 25,000 views! Thank you to every single one of you who takes the time to read my posts and visit me over here at my tiny space of the interweb.

I think it's about time I updated you on all things me over the past two months, most importantly catching you up with my 22nd birthday celebrations!

So, I wanted to celebrate this one in style with my favourite people so my lovely two best friends from home came down and joined me, along with my amazing pals from ALRA in Battersea for a crazy night. It was honestly one of my favourite night's ever, danced the night away and felt very overwhelmed with love from my gorgeous friends. 

We went to this fab little place on Battersea High Street called La Isla Bonita and I booked out a big section for us all to party in - really recommend this place, such a great atmosphere!

I also managed to pop home for the weekend to surprise my lovely family who spoilt me completely rotten and threw me another little party (picture top left). Made me remember how fortunate I am to have such amazing people in my love who already surround me with love.

Another exciting thing that's been happening has been starting second year at ALRA... The pace at which this year has kicked off is frightening as I'm already half way through the first term now... Only two training terms left and I'll be in my professional year, show after show... Eek. What made it even more real is getting some practice headshots done ready for next term's shoot. Seeing these gets me so excited for what I'm embarking on. I've been really lucky to be part of an exciting new play at Theatre 503 recently and my name is even in the original play script now. 

My dream is for you guys to see my headshots in a west end programme... Watch this space ;)

That's just a teeny tiny update on life at the moment... If you saw me right now, it's a slightly different picture as I'm bed ridden, tissues everywhere, lemsip at the ready. Not a pretty picture.

I'll be back soon with my Winter Wishlist

Love you all 

x Abster x

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Blogger Buys...

Hello lovely ones! This month I've been away in Wales with my family for a week away in the gorgeous scenery but have also been prepping for my move into my new flat and getting all the essentials in for getting back to drama school next month. Today I went into my local shopping centre to pick up some of my favourite products at the moment which I want to share with you:

First off, most of you know how into my skin care I am and how much I have experimented over the years trying to find which products my skin loves. My sister introduced me to this beautiful face mask from the Cocoa Butter Formula collection from Palmer's. This gorgeous, thick, clay-like mask comes in this lovely little bottle for application over and over again. This mask is the most gentle, effective product I've used and it dries delicately in 15 minutes and washes off like a moisturising face cream. It's roughly £5.40 in Superdrug but prices may vary elsewhere.

Another product which my skin is loving at the moment is Garnier's Simply Essential 2-in-1 makeup remover. The reason I switched to using a liquid/ oil based makeup remover from makeup wipes was owing to a recent article I read about how wipes can actually do quite a lot of damage to your skin. I've sworn by wipes for a good few years now but have been noticing how raw, irritated and clogged they leave my skin feeling. This is now my third bottle of this wonderful stuff (since about January - so it really does last considering I use this every day!) and I have a feeling it'll take something very very special to undo my loyalty to this makeup remover; it's fantastic. I shake it up, apply a little to a cotton pad, and wipe away, with major ease, even the toughest of mascaras. It leaves my skin so hydrated. This remover is only £2 in Wilkinsons at the moment - bargain!

My lovely mum has helped me a lot along the journey of trying to heal my skin over the past 2 years. A few months back she was trying out this beautiful cleanser from Decleor and gave it to me to test out to see how my skin adapted to it. I was so surprised at how wonderful it left my skin feeling - literally baby smooth! It really helped my breakouts and the texture of my skin. Every night I'd lather this lovely, milk-like, cleanser and apply whilst I was showering. I've never had such a fab skin routine that leaves my skin feeling clean, moisturised and nourished without any sign of clogging. Prices vary for this product but I'm still on the same bottle with twice daily use since about March so it's doing so well. 

Now, I am such a lashes girl. Not everyday, but I have to have a pair of these bad boys for a night out. I love glamming out and heading out with my girls feeling fabulous. It's so nice going through the dolling up process - for me that's a massive part of the fun of a night out. Next week I am off to Newcastle for a weekend away with two of my best friends from home and I'm so excited. We're heading out in Newcastle the first night and I cannot wait - it's supposed to be the party capital of Britain haha. I know for a fact that lashes, heels and a tan are a must for those Geordies. I shall be joining in on that one :P I shall post a few pictures on my instagram
Anywho - Eyelure are without a doubt my favourite brand of lashes as they last a few wears and are usually drama free on application. However, they've recently brought out a petite range which is such a blessing. This size doesn't require any pre-cutting and go straight on with ease. Can't wait to get these on!

As most of you know, I love a bit of Topshop in my life. So of course, I popped in there today! I'm really into my skirts at the moment. I go through phases depending how confident I'm feeling, ha! I picked up this gorgeous high-waisted, grey, white and black crocheted skirt with lace detailing for about £32 with my student discount. I shall also be taking this with me to Newcastle. I'm thinking a crop black top and some killer black platform heels... Along with those lovely lashes of course! Eek. 

Last but not least, I've been really trying to get my mind into the organisation mode for September and my return to a very manic second year at ALRA. As sad as it is, I am a stationary addict and the thought of a Paperchase Haul majorly excites me. So I popped in there today too... Shock horror. I've had my eye on a table-top week planner in there for a while. On a Sunday night I tend to get my life together and prep everything for the week so this gorgeous little planner will work wonders on my new quest to stay on top of my game! This lovely thing comes with an attached Shopping List and magnet to pop on the fridge or radiator too. I picked this up for £7.20 with my student discount. Love love love it!

So, there you have it! A few of my favourite buys at the moment. 

Head over to my instagram and push that follow button to keep posted with everything I'm up to this summer.

Love you all,

x Abster x

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

My Nightmare Skin...

Hey again beautiful ones. So, quite often on my more beauty related posts I have mentioned how aggravated/ aggravating my skin has been for the past few years. I started getting bad
breakouts, strange red patching and a very irritated complexion ever since I started exercising hard about 2 years back now. Now, a lot of people use the old 'I've tried everything' cliche but, on a very serious note, I literally have tried everything. In fact, that's an understatement. I went through stages in my panicky states over the past few years of hosting a face of skin which hated me; I began with the classic 'let me buy everything that says 'clear skin' on it under the sun because of course these will all be miracle cures..' stage. Obviously this epically failed and maybe even worsened the situation. I then went through the 'let me not use anything but a make up wipe and a hot flannel on my face'... This also failed. Then I clung on to the obsession of finding every DIY natural skin remedy I could find on Pinterest which also, I'm pretty sure, wrecked my face even MORE. I was exfoliating with oats, moisturising with milk, dabbing on tea tree... I even went through a 'UV ray' phase... That's how desperate I felt. You name it, I did it. 

The hardest part of all of this was the massive effect it had on my confidence. I went through cycles of feeling incredibly upset every time I took off my make up and when I woke up in the morning and had a sorry stare into the mirror to see someone I honestly didn't recognise staring back at me. I felt scarred and quite honestly, ugly. As I went through the daily ritual of painting my face on I began to feel more and more of my confidence dripping away. I'd stare at girls with perfect skin on the tube, at school, at the gym etc. and I was only making my skin worse by being in very polluted London, going to the gym and exercising hard with a full face of make up on etc. I was in a vicious cycle of not wanting anyone to see my uncovered face but also not wanting to aggravate it more. 

A few months ago I thought to myself 'this is absolutely ridiculous' and decided to go into town without any make up on. As I walked down the street I felt great, liberated and like I honestly couldn't give a monkey's. However, when I got into the shop I saw myself in the mirror and felt so horrendous at the sight of myself amongst all of these pure, baby smooth faced people, I straight away left the shop and headed back home to once again, slap on the concealer. I had no idea how to get out of this horrible cycle.

So, I rang the doctors and booked myself in. When my appointment arrived I obviously had to head over there without any make up on and did so with my head held high knowing soon I will hopefully be rid of this - what it honestly felt like - curse. The doctor was so lovely and made me feel very at ease before telling me I did indeed have adult acne. To hear the 'acne' word was a bit of a shock as being a teenager, I had never had any trouble with my skin, so to be diagnosed with acne at the grand old age of 21 I felt like I was right back there in my self-conscious teens. However, the doc assured me she'd seen some people aged 30+ who were struggling with awful conditions such as nasty sores, pimples, boils under the skin etc all under the name of 'acne'. At this point, I felt quite lucky. She popped me through a prescription for antibiotics which I would take once a day for 2 -12 months depending on how my healing process goes. I was so shocked to hear I might be on these tablets for a whole year...

I'm delighted, however, to be sitting here a month and a week down the line of taking these miracle tablets with very very very almost perfect skin once again. I really don't think anyone, unless they have experienced prolonged acne at this stage of life, can really understand how amazing it feels to FINALLY be on the way to clear skin. Skin I can feel confident enough to bare to the world outside of my door. I feel like I'm able to shed the mask I've been plastering on for the past few years and finally, un-ashamedly, embrace my natural self without feeling like, well... crap. 

I've still got a bit of a way to go and have a feeling I may be on these antibiotics for up to 6 months but after which I should be free of troublesome skin for the rest of my life. 

Recently, an incredibly brave woman posted a remarkable video on Facebook/ YouTube about the exact same issue and the way she has been targeted after putting on a selfie of herself with no make up on and her true skin revealed. Watching this made me cry as it touched a very raw nerve with me to do with exactly how I've felt over the past few years. It's incredible how damaging people's words can be when it comes to this issue. A massive issue in today's society is how women as so praised and showered with compliments when they appear 'well dolled up' for example when I post a picture on Instagram of myself prepared for a night out with a full face of make up on, lashes etc. I get quite a few likes and lovely comments etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm so grateful for this and I'm probably my own worst enemy but all of this just adds to the divide between my perception of my 'bare' face as a 'secret' or 'not as good'... You know? For example, an ex of mine used to comment on girls without make up on, in the gym etc, as 'dog rough'... I'm sure he never meant to cause harm but this just added to my self-consciousness and made me question this about myself. Looking back I feel so angry about comments like this and wish people would understand the effect of their words. However, this video shows some of the effect of this and it's comforting to see others who understand and are also trying to do something about the misconceptions out there about adult acne/ make up/ the 'beauty' word. 
If you get a sec, please watch this... It's beautiful.

`You can see more of the beautiful Em at her piece of the web -  My Pale Skin

I hope you've enjoyed this post & thank you for all being so wonderful and understanding with everything I share on my blog.

I love you all

x Abster x

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Clothing Haul...

Hello you lovely bunch! Today I have a little clothing haul for you as my lovely Mumma took me out shopping and spoilt me rotten. I haven't done a haul for ageeees as being a student requires you to kind of get your priorities right and food becomes a bit more important than shopping... Ha! But, it makes me appreciate every new purchase just that little bit more. 

So, we hit Topshop and River Island... My mum has amazing taste so she picked out pretty much all of this! Winner...

First we popped into Topshop - this is definitely my favourite clothes shop and has been for a long ol' time. I wonder if that will change once I can't have a student card anymore... hmmm. So, I picked up these gorgeous things after having my eye on pairs very similar recently. I love these beige, high-wasted, cropped, trousers as I think you can wear them with pretty much anything and anywhere! I can't wait to dress these up with boot heels, a black high necked top and a statement necklace or a pair of sandals with a cropped white/ cream tee. Perfect! 

I'm mega in love with the waist on these as its ruffled effect is such a nice detailing especially if you want to tuck a shirt or top into them. The picture doesn't really do the fit of these any justice and they're super creased from being in the bag haha. I'll post a picture up when I've worn them :)

These weren't too expensive at £40 (£36 with student discount) as they will last and are super versatile. Love love love.

Next Mum spotted these gorgeous blouse vests in a load of different colours. She picked me out a blue one at first and I loved it in the dressing room so she popped and got me a black one too!! They fit so so well and feel fab on - I'm wearing the black one today! I got them in a size 6 purely so they don't hang too low on the neck line, they are perfect fit. At £16 each (£14.40 with student dis.) they are a must have!

I recently bought myself, back in London, a pair of Topshop's Ashley light blue denim shorts and have not been out of them since - they are so comfy, go with everything and have been perfect for the weather, I've been teaming them up with jumpers if I've got too cold too. Love them. Mum's seen me in them non stop since I've been back so she spotted a black pair, knowing I'll definitely where them! The fit of these is amazing as I find it so hard to find shorts and jeans/ any trousers for that matter, to fit perfectly without a gaping bit at my lower back. Love them!!

Next we popped into River Island on the hunt for some white jeans.. I'm convinced I do not suit white jeans however so I tried this pair on. I've already got a pair of River Island jeans as they are perfect fit for me. You know you always have that one shop that you finally find the perfect pair of jeans in... RI is my place! I've wanted some ripped jeans for a while too so these were perfect! However, they've put up their prices which I was a bit like GRR about and we don't get nooooooo student discount in there. But, hey ho Mario. You can pick these up for £42.

So there you have it you beauties... Little haul for you - updating you on what's new in my wardrobe! I fear we've had the best of our summer now so might be time to whack out the cardigans soon. The great thing about everything I got yesterday is they work with every season... WOO!

Love you all

x Abster x