Author: elizabeth

Acceptance

Thank you to everyone who took time to read my post about my learning to appreciate the indy movement and SNP. I was quite nervous admitting that I’d been blinkered and silly, and didn’t expect the outpouring of genuine compassion and understanding I undeservedly received. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, though, as this has been my experience with independence supporters since I switched sides. In 2014, I wasn’t an active no campaigner, and I stayed away from online discussions about the vote. I’d been warned that I’d be attacked by ‘cybernats’ if I mentioned my voting intentions, so outside of a few friends-only Facebook posts, I kept my thoughts to myself as I am not a fan of conflict or drama. But to become a more active campaigner this time, I had to reach out to other Yes supporters for and bit of help and guidance, and I must admit I was a bit scared. As I’ve said before, voting No wasn’t pleasant, and I worried the animosity I’d carried against the SNP and the …

Essential Cuisine Stock Mix

A couple of years ago, I discovered a little trick that advanced my cooking from good to great: instead of salt, use stock mix in savoury dishes to deepen the flavour and remove the risk of over-salting food. I’ve tried quite a few stocks over the years, but none come close to those made by Essential Cuisine. Their range of gravies, glaces, jus and stocks are flavourful without being overly salty. I’ve tried many over the the years, but these three are my favourites. If you want to boost the flavour of just about any savoury dish, Essential Cuisine Chicken Stock, £14.95, is your secret weapon. It instantly adds depth and interest to a variety of foods and doesn’t need to be reconstituted for use. I like to sprinkle it onto chicken before roasting and I also add a bit to pasta sauce to enrich the flavour. If you’re from the southern US like I am, try it for cooking grits. The flavour is absolutely amazing. If you are vegetarian or enjoy cooking without meat …

More United / SNP

I was extremely dismayed to read this morning that Gina Miller’s tactical voting group will not be supporting any SNP candidates at this time (sorry – link behind paywall). This makes me sad because I do admire her and the work she’s done to hold the Brexiters to account – all at great personal cost to her. At the same time, I do appreciate her honesty. She’s forthright that she values the union, and as someone who once shared her views, I accept and respect this – but I won’t be donating. While my views on Scottish Independence have changed, my desire to have friendly neighbours to the south has not. I do not want to see the rUK stuck with decades of Tory dominance and all of the misery that will bring, which is why I joined More United a few months ago. Their ethos is admirable and I believe they’re working hard to stamp out bigotry and intolerance, and I’ve been impressed with the candidates they’re fielding for England. Sadly, though, I am not at …

Surratt Relevee Lash Curler

Since I’ve been using Revitalash growth serum, my lashes have grown quite long. Sadly, they’re also very straight, so without curling them it appears I have no lashes at all. I’ve been using the Shu Umura lash curler for years and been quite happy with it, but recently I heard about a new lash curler from Surratt Beauty. The Relevee Lash Curler, £28, doesn’t look like anything special, but don’t let that fool you. It is an amazing lash curler that fans lashes out into the most beautiful, uplifted shape without crimping. Instead of appearing bent, lashes look naturally upturned and feathery. Apply a bit of waterproof mascara and your lashes will stay curled all day. One of the most pleasing features I’ve discovered is that it’s nearly impossible to pinch the skin around your eye with this lash curler. It also has a soft ‘bite’, so I doubt it would ever break the lashes like some of the other curlers I’ve tried. I had a difficult time getting hold of one of these because they’re constantly sold …

Three Ordinary Favourites

Skincare doesn’t have to be expensive. Superdrug proved this years ago with their wonderful hydrating facial serum. But what about skincare with effective active ingredients? Can these also be affordable? If you’ve tried any products from The Ordinary, you’ll know the answer is a resounding yes. If your skin lacks hydration, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90, is a great first step to add to your skincare routine. It sinks into the skin instantly and leaves no residue. If my skin is feeling exceptionally parched, I apply it two or three times in a row, pausing only to allow each layer to absorb into the skin. The hyaluronic acid immediately plumps and hydrates the skin, while the vitamin B5 offers longer-term benefits to the skin. At £12.90, Buffet is one of the more expensive products by The Ordinary, but you do get a tremendous amount of skincare for your money. This potent cocktail is full of peptides, amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and a probiotic complex. It can be used morning and night. I like it as a …

Ben Folds & the Visceral Response

My husband doesn’t like Ben Folds. It isn’t the music he doesn’t like as my husband would be hard-pressed to name a Ben Folds song. He doesn’t know why, but he knows he really doesn’t like Ben Folds. He thinks he might have read something years ago that gave him the impression that Ben Folds was shifty and unreliable, but he doesn’t remember any of the details. What he does remember, quite clearly and strongly, is how that forgotten information about Ben Folds made him feel. It’s a funny thing – people can forget your face, your words, your ethos – pretty much everything about you, but they never forget how you made them feel. In 2014, the independence movement made some people feel scared and out of sorts.  I know because I was one of them.  Even being asked the question played havoc with my sense of security and identity. As an immigrant with British citizenship and no other nationality, would I become a foreigner in my own home? Would I lose my EU citizenship? Would I still …

DIY Cushion Compact Foundation

I’ve been on the hunt for a holy grail foundation for awhile. A couple have come close – It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream and Perricone No Foundation Serum Foundation, but neither are perfect. I like them both because they look like skin once applied, but the colours on offer are limited, and I can’t quite get a perfect match. I did find a perfect colour match in Armani’s Power Fabric foundation, but the coverage is much heavier than I like for everyday wear, so I decided to try to modify it to suit my skin. If you haven’t tried Armani Power Fabric foundation, £36, I do recommend it. While it’s very full coverage, it doesn’t look cakey or unnatural on mature skin. It is slightly matte, so I like to use it with a glowy primer. It’s the perfect foundation for a special occasion or a night out because it looks amazing and does not budge. I do find it too heavy for daily wear, though, so I decided to thin it out …

Blisters and Landmines

It’s an unfashionable view in the wake of the Brexit campaign, but I tend to trust experts. I like to hear from people who know more than I do about complex issues, because it helps me make an informed decision about my family’s future. I listened to experts during the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, and I voted No. There were questions that were not properly addressed by the Yes side, and those to do with currency, pensions, the economy and – most importantly for me – the EU swayed my decision. I can now see that experts on both sides of the debate could have done a bit better with their accuracy. Through the Spring of 2016, I listened to numerous experts on the subject of the UK’s leaving the EU. Questions about the value of our currency, the impact on business and trade, and the loss of the UK’s influence in the wider world were conclusively answered – there would be serious damage if the UK left the EU.  EU leaders also told us exactly what would happened if …

A Political Journey (Saying Sorry)

Here’s a confession: I used to really dislike the SNP.  I’d go so far as to say I actively disliked them. Were my reasons valid? I’m not sure. I voted against Scottish independence in 2014 because I didn’t find the SNP’s case to be credible, and I believed Scotland would be out of the EU if we left the UK.  From my perspective, the 2014 referendum was exhausting. For those of us on the No side, there were no marches, no gatherings, no messages of togetherness or hope. For us there was nothing but negative news (‘project fear’) and a really uneasy feeling in the gut that we were voting against fear instead of voting for hope. As I’ve said many times, there was no joy in saying no, and I felt low for months afterwards – which is part of what caused me to dislike the SNP. I held them responsible for my low mood because I felt they’d pushed me into making an awful decision I didn’t want to make. And I worried they were going to ask …