Sunday, 28 July 2013


People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. 
But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. 
Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognise; a blue sky, white clouds, 
green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child - our own two eyes. 
All is a miracle. 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream ~ Review


My poor hands were in a terrible state, seriously dry, and a little sore. 
I'd been trying to soothe them with various natural products; olive oil, coconut oil etc. but they were taking too long to work their magic, and my hands were not happy. My hands needed urgent help. 

usually prefer to use natural products on my skin, which I either already have at home, or I order online, but as we don't currently have a permanent postal address I can't order anything, so I popped in to Superdrug looking for hand cream. 

After perusing the shelves I finally decided on Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. 
I have used this product before, several years ago, before I stopped using so many chemical rich products. 
Anyway, I saw the Neutrogena and remembered that it had worked well for me in the past, so I grabbed a tube. 
I say grabbed a tube, which makes it sound like it took me a couple of seconds, which it most certainly did not. 

I am seriously indecisive, doesn't matter what it is, I always take ages to make every decision. 
And so it was with the Neutrogena hand cream. In my defence though, it wasn't my fault. 
There were too many to choose from. ;) 
There was an original formula, a formula with SPF, age shield, fast absorbing, night-time cream, an unscented one, and a fragrance free (which you'd think was the same as unscented, but they had both so what do I know?) and so on..... and a couple of these choices also had larger tubes marked +50% free.
It was mind-boggling trying to read the ingredients on the tubes, figure out what the difference in the ingredients were, and which would be best for my skin. 
Surely it should be simpler than this? 

Mr.R had wisely said he'd wait for me outside Superdrug, but I could see him by the door, and I swear I'd taken so long that he looked quite a bit older than when I'd entered the shop. :o
So in a rare moment of clarity I made a snap decision, I reached out and grabbed the very first tube I'd looked at, the original formula, no SPF, no fast absorbing, no unscented....... 

Superdrug wasn't busy, I didn't have to wait long to be served as there was only one person in front of me in the queue.
I placed the tube of Neutrogena Hand Cream on the counter, the lady took it, zapped the barcode, and said, "Do you have a loyalty card?" 
Grrr! What a gip! I long for the 'old days' before every shop offered loyalty cards. They're a waste of plastic and nothing more. But, I digress, that rant is for another day, another post. ;)

Er, where was I? 
Oh yes, after what felt like an hour to me, and no doubt even longer to Mr.R who was still standing patiently outside, I finally left the shop with my new purchase.  

What is Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream like?
Is it any good?
Does it work?

I seem to have written a lot already and I haven't even said anything about the product. 
Haha! Typical me. :/

Right, so after I'd washed my hands, we popped in to a local pub, not only so I could wash my hands, but because we like pubs, and beer. :D But that too is wandering off topic, so I'll stop. 

With clean hands I squeezed a tiny blob of the hand-cream on to the back of my hands and began rubbing it in, all over my hands. 
Instantly it felt good.
The cream rubbed in easily, very easily. In fact it vanished in seconds. 
It's a concentrated formula, so you only need a small amount, but my hands were particularly dry and in need of some extra love, so I applied a couple more blobs. 

Blobs! I think that's the correct technical term. ;) 
After the second application my hands were happy, they felt so much better, and they looked nicer too. They looked years younger, which was a pleasant surprise.  

After a day or two of using the Neutrogena hand-cream my hands were back to their usual soft lovely condition. 
I'm still using it, not every day, just when I remember, or when my hands feel in need of some extra moisture.  

This hand-cream is really good, even when I wash my hands thoroughly, which I do at least a million times a day (that's only a slight exaggeration ~ OCD) my hands still feel soft and look nice. 
It almost feels like a barrier cream. 
I'd give Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream 7 out of 10. If it didn't contain nasty chemicals I'd give it 9 out of 10, because nothing is perfect - but this comes pretty close. 

Disclaimer: My hands do look much better in the real World, than they do in the photos.
I was warm, which explains the big veins, and I was alone, which made taking the photos awkward. 
I balanced my phone on the edge of a table and took the photos with my tongue. True story! :o

Have you used Neutrogena Hand Cream?
Did you like it? 

Friday, 26 July 2013

50 Things I'm Grateful For

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom 
~ Marcel Proust

So many of us focus on what we want, not giving much thought to what we already have. 
I admit to taking things for granted. But I also appreciate that I am blessed in many ways. 
I am grateful for everything I have, and all that I am

50 Things I am Grateful for ~ in no particular order. 

1. Life! Pretty self explanatory. I am alive! How wonderful is that?

2. Husband. I have no idea how he loves me. He just does. Which is amazing, because I'm hard work. 

3. Mum. My mummy, the loveliest person I've ever known. I am truly blessed to be her daughter. 

4. Love. I could live without love, but I wouldn't want to. Isn't love breathtakingly brilliant?

5. Family. I absolutely love my family. I may not have a big family, but it's definitely quality that counts. 

6. Dogs. They truly are our best friend. They love unconditionally, and are always pleased to see us. :)

7. Eyesight.  It's wonderful to wake-up every day and see the World afresh.  

8. Sunshine. Seeing the sun shining always warms my heart. 

9. Food. I am grateful that I have enough good food to eat every day. 

10. Work. Or rather, not having to work for someone else, in a job I dislike, for a boss who's not nice.

11. Photography. I love photography in all of its forms. 

12. Debt. Being debt-free. I'm grateful I don't owe anyone anything. 

13. Thirteen. The number 13. Just because. :) 

14. Rain. For quenching the thirst of the trees, plants, and animals. 

15. Hearing. I'm grateful for good hearing, being able to hear laughter, birdsong, music.......

16. Electricity. It's fab! I use it every day. I've lived without it, I didn't enjoy that experience. 

17. Health. I am grateful that I have good health. 

18. Sleep. I'm an insomniac, but when I do sleep I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate every second of it. There's no place better than bed. :)

19. Time. I've had quite a lot of it, and I hope to have lots lots more. 

20. Speech. I talk, a lot. I'm grateful I have a voice, even if my poor hubby never gets any peace. ;) 

21. Voice. Not the same as speech. I'm grateful for the little voice in my head. It keeps me company when I'm alone. ;) :o 

22. Seasons. Spring. Summer. Autumn. Winter. There's something good about all of them. 

23. Brain. I'm no Albert Einstein, but I'm grateful my brain works as well as it does. 

24. Car. Being able to get from a to be easily. 

25. Clouds. Big white fluffy clouds. I like to watch them floating across the sky. 

26. Touch. I am grateful for the sense of touch; holding hands with my hubby.......

27. NHS. I am grateful for the NHS. It's not perfect, nothing is, but it has saved the lives of people I love, including my own, and I treasure it. :)

28. Water. I am grateful that I have access to clean safe water. Can't live without it. 

29. Me. I'm grateful I am me. And for that I thank my wonderful mother. 

30. Procrastinating. I am seriously good at it, and I'm grateful that I am able to do it - a lot. ;) 

31. Cuddles. I never say no to a hug from my hubby. Or anyone else I love. 

32. Words. I'm not a wordsmith, but I love them, they're wonderful. Where would we be without words? 

33. The Universe. I love the universe! I wouldn't be here without it. 

34. Dreams. Daydreams, and dreaming whilst asleep, I enjoy both.

35. Body. I am grateful that my body has everything it should have, in the correct places. 

36. Kisses. Mwah! xxx

37. Trees. They are magnificent. They like hugs too. 

38. Stars. They twinkle! And brighten the night sky. 

39. Humour. There aren't many better feelings than having a good body-shaking laugh. Haha! :o 

40. Forgiveness. I am grateful that I do not hold grudges, or practice revenge. Forgiveness frees you. 

41. Freedom. Although no one is completely free, I am grateful to have the freedoms I do have, which are far more than many other people in the World. 

42. Sea. I love the sea. I can't swim, but I can happily spend hours by the sea. 

43. Flowers. They're pretty, they smell nice, and some even turn in to food. :) 

44. Oxygen. For making life possible. 

45. Internet. I spend way too much time online, I can't resist. It's fab! I can hardly remember life 
before the World Wide Web. ;) 

46. Music. I enjoy every genre of music there is. Love it!

47. Television. I know the 'idiot box' rots the brain, but I like it. 

48. Honesty. It's a cliche I know, but honesty truly is the best policy. :)

49. Intuition. For keeping me safe - when I pay attention to it. 

50. You! For visiting my blog, I thank you. :) 

What are you grateful for, and why? 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Breakfast ~ Fruit

Good Morning! 

Feeling fruity? 

I don't eat fruit regularly, not because I don't like it but because it always without fail makes me fancy something sweet. 
I mean after eating fruit I can't resist eating cake. :o 

This morning though I fancied fruit for breakfast, which was appropriate because Mr.R had bought some lovely seedless black grapes and delicious English strawberries. 

The fridge is turned up full blast which meant the grapes and strawberries were slightly frozen. Very nice! 

I don't know the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables you need to eat for optimum health. 
It used to be 5 a day, then I read 9 a day. 
Well, whatever it is, I'm off to a good start - I've had 2 of my 5 or 9 a day. :) 

Our bowls of breakfast fruit didn't last long. It took me longer to wash and chop them than it did to eat them. 
Scoff, scoff, scoff.

We ate our icy cold black grapes and strawberries while watching the idiot box The Big Bang Theory. 
What a good way to start our day. 

OCD is the reason I sliced the strawberries in half. 
OCD is also the reason I then divided each individual strawberry equally between the two bowls. 

What about the grapes?
Well, I try not to let OCD win all of my actions, and Mr.R was hungry so I didn't want to make him wait too long for his breakfast. 

Whatever you're doing today I hope you have a good one. 
Just out if interest, have you got and cake? ;) 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Tortilla with a Difference

For lunch today I decided to make a tortilla. 
It wasn't until I'd chopped the onions and started to sauté them that I realised I didn't have any potatoes. 

What to do?
I improvised. 
I made a faux-tilla tortilla. :o
Basically I used eggs, onions, garlic, and various vegetables that were in the fridge. 

If you're interested in my faux-tilla tortilla concoction, here's how I made it. 

Ingredients ~

1. Onions.

Chop lots of onions. The amount depends on how much you like onion. 
I like a lot, so I used half a dozen, which I chopped in to half moon slices. 

2. Garlic. 

I love garlic, so once again I used a generous amount. 
I roughly chopped 5 large cloves in to small pieces. 

3. Aubergine. 

There's not much that's tastier than soft sweet aubergine. 
I cut the aubergine in to slices of about 2 centimetres. 

4. Courgette. 
Quick to cook, and good to eat. 
I cut the courgette in to slices, roughly the same thickness as the aubergine. 

5. Bell Pepper.

I had a yellow pepper, so I chopped it up in to smallish squares. 

6. Eggs

I may not have had any potatoes, but at least I had eggs. Free range of course. 
I whisked half a dozen eggs, added a little milk (goats milk). 

Method ~ 

As I didn't have any potatoes, and this wasn't a traditional tortilla recipe, I just started chucking my ingredients in to various pans and got on with the cooking. 

1. First I sautéed the onion. 
As I began the raw onions were almost spilling over the top of the pan, but, as always, the minutes ticked by and they began to soften and shrink. 
Then I added the chopped garlic to the onions.
After much stirring, and about 30 minutes the onions were cooked to perfection; soft, golden brown, and seriously sweet. 
I resisted the temptation to scoff the lot right there and then. ;) 

2. Whilst I sautéed the onions and garlic, I also cooked the aubergine in a frying pan with olive oil. 

3. In yet another pan, I sautéed the courgettes and the yellow bell pepper. 
I didn't think they'd mind sharing the same pan. Well, I've only got one pair of hands. ;)

4. Once the onions, garlic, aubergine, courgettes, and bell pepper were cooked, I put them in to an ovenproof dish. 
First I put the sautéed onions and garlic on the bottom of the dish.
Next I scattered the aubergine on top.
Then the courgette, followed by the bell pepper. 

5. I cracked 6 free range eggs in to a jug, added a dash of goats milk, and whisked until light and frothy. 

6. Finally after what felt like several hours of chopping, and sautéing vegetables, but in fact wasn't that long at all, I was ready for the final part. 
I poured the egg mixture in to the ovenproof dish over my faux-tilla tortilla vegetables. 

7. The dish went in the oven, on a medium heat, for about 30-40 minutes. 
As usual when I cook I pay no attention to the time at all, so I'm not exactly sure how long it took to cook. I just made sure to check the oven every now and then. All ovens are different. You'll know what's a good heat for yours. 
When my faux-tilla tortilla looked bubbly around the edges, and lovely and brown on top, I considered it to be cooked. 

While my faux-tilla tortilla was happily cooking in the oven, I had started my second round of chopping. 
This time it was salad ingredients. 
The weather was warm, so I thought the tortilla would be nice served cool with a mixed salad. 

By the time I'd chopped the salad stuff up the tortilla had cooled down a little and was ready to serve. 

So, I may not have had any potatoes for my tortilla, but my potato-less faux-tilla tortilla was seriously delicious. 
I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did Mr.R. 
In fact once he began eating it he didn't speak once, not until after his last mouthful when he declared, 'that was really good, thank you darling!' :)

If you fancy an easy and tasty meal, and you've got eggs, and potatoes, you could make a tortilla. 
Or, if like me, you haven't got any spuds, you can improvise. Haha! 
I love tortilla, or as in this case, faux-tilla. :) 
Do you like tortilla? 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

I Won the Lottery!

I won the lottery! :)

Well, when I say won, I mean I gave the cashier £2, and in return she gave me a nice piece of pink paper. 

I already had a pen, which was handy as I was in the mood for doodling. 

Pen plus paper equals artistic genius. 
Move over Damian Hurst, you overrated Prima Donna. There's a much more talented artist in town - me. ;) 

Actually, I really did win the lottery. 
In hindsight I should have checked my numbers before I decided to doodle all over my ticket. Apparently my winning ticket is now void. 

Oh well, thankfully I still have my obscene earnings from my new career as an artist to cushion the blow. 

Do you play the lottery?
Or more importantly, do you enjoy doodling? 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Kate Middleton Drops a Sprog

Kate Middleton has given birth to a baby boy. 
The future king, after Charles and William, weighed 8lbs 6oz. 

It's here! The newest addition to the British Royal family arrived today, a son for Kate and William. 

Just before 6am this morning Catherine and William were driven to hospital where they entered via the back door.  

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to her first child at the Lindo Wing of St Mary'sHospital in London. 

Prince William jumped for joy, grinning from ear to ear. Well, I like to imagine Wills punching the air in excitement as his son came in to the World. 

The newborn royal baby is third in line to the British throne. 

No doubt the Worlds media who have eagerly been waiting at St Mary's, some for as long as three weeks, must be relieved that their wait is finally over. 

I'm not a royalist but with Great Britain recently winning the tennis, thank you Andy Murray, the Tour de France, thank you Chris Froome, and doing well in the cricket, this birth seems to be continuing the feel-good vibe in the country right now, which definitely makes a pleasant change. 

Congratulations on the birth of your baby son Kate and William! 

Disclaimer ~ I'm no artist. Clearly. 
The baby doodle looks like a bird. Haha! Maybe it resembles the stork? ;)
I drew it without my much needed glasses, on my iPhone, as I whizzes along the motorway. 
I was a passenger, not the driver. 

I feel surprisingly happy about the new royal baby. 
How do you feel? 


Chris Froome Wins 2013 Tour de France

Chris Froome has won the 2013 Tour de France. 
He's the second British man to win the iconic race, and as he cycled across the finish line in Paris he became the 100th winner. 

It's nice to hear some positive news for a change, but that hasn't stopped some people from commenting that Froome is not British because he was born in Nairobi, Kenya. 
According to reports he has been riding under a British licence since 2008. 
Oy Vey! Some people really do seem to take delight in sucking the joy out of life. 
The news is reporting that Chris Froome is the second Brit to win the Tour de France, so that's good enough for me - I love a bit of good news. :)

I haven't watched much of this years Tour de France, but a few years ago I watched it up close and personal when we lived in the South of France. Not because I'm a particular fan, but because it came whizzing through the centre of our village, faster than you can say 'wow, those shorts are tight', or if you prefer something shorter (pun intended), bicycle. ;)

Chris Froome, 28, dedicated his win to his mother Jane who died of cancer, he also reportedly said of his win, 'I think it's going to take a while to sink it'. 
He reportedly beat Bradley Wiggins, last years Tour de France winner by a lead of 5 minutes and 3 seconds. 

I saw photos in the news of Chris Froome cycling after he'd crossed the finishing line with a glass of champagne in his hand, so I think his win is already sinking in. ;)
I can't think of a better time to drink a nice cold glass of champagne than when you've just finished a truly gruelling cycling race - in France. 
Congratulations Chris Froome winner of the 2013 Tour de France. 

Disclaimer: I'm not an artist. Clearly. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Love Each Other

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.
~ Dalai Lama 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Thatchers Gold Cider

The Sun may have vanished today but because the pub I'm in only has a couple of very uninteresting Shepherd Neame beers on tap, it is a summery pint of Thatchers Gold to kick start the day. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

I'm on Blogger!

I'm on Blogger!
After hours, well, a few minutes with the help of my lovely hubby, I managed to set up a Blogger account. 
This is purely a test to make sure it works, and so I can see what my new blog looks like. 
Hopefully as the days pass, I shall get in to writing lots and lots of wonderful words, well, words, they probably won't be wonderful, about whatever peaks my interest, and hopefully yours too. 

Bye for now,
Laura :)