When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Wednesday 23 November 2016

WOYWW 390 - some news.....

Hello everyone - I'm linking up with Julia for WOYWW
I've not joined in much recently as there's been lots going on here.

I was going to wait until afterwards to tell this but as it won't get sorted for a few more weeks I thought I'd share now. Apologies for lack of desk though I will share this pic of Baxter - 
 Yep all cosy here!

Anyway I've not been around as I've had a few health issues going on. I know those of you who follow me on social media will know some of this. I was diagnosed with another condition called POTS. I've basically got dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. However this isn't the main reason for this post.

The main reason is because I've found some abnormalities with my breasts & underarm area. I've been into the breast clinic & while the doctor doesn't think it's too serious he still is concerned enough to have me go back in for a mammogram & ultrasound scan.

I'm waiting to hear when my appointment will be. I wanted to share this as I was told from a young age to check myself so that I know what's normal for me. You see, I've not found a lump, not a small hard lump that some find. Mine is a swelling in the armpit area and some thickening that's abnormal for me.

We've got a high number of breast cancer occurances in my family. My grandmother and 4 out of 5 aunts have/are receiving treatment. So I'm also being seen by the family history coordinator & the genetic team.

Of course, it's a worry even with the reassurances from everyone. But I'm happy that my doctor knows what he's doing and what he found to accept it's routine & there's a high possibility that everything will be fine and ok.

So please, no matter how old you are. Check yourself. Often. Every week. In the shower. When you are laid down. So you know what's normal for you.

Take care Zo xx

Wednesday 19 October 2016

WOYWW 385 - apologies for my absence

Apologies gentle desk dashers for my absence. These last few weeks have been a whirlwind of rest, birthday celebrations and awards. 

So firstly I'll share my desk and then I'll share a few pics from some amazing wonderful moments that we've had of late.

 That there pile is my efforts of Christmas card making. A simple design that I stamp and change by using different colour washi tape. You can see a skeleton design on the top. I've tweaked and improved it since.
 Blazing sunshine this morning. 

So Keagan turned 18 on the 6th October. He booked some time off work so he could come home. We had a lovely day spent with family and friends. We went out for a family meal in the evening where at the end my brother, Danny, exclaimed that it had been the most soberist 18th he had ever celebrated!! (Keagan enjoys the odd drink but doesn't like to go mad, unlike my brother!)

I bought Keagan 18 presents which included a birthday balloon and every present reflected hobbies & things he likes. I spent hours trying to find the right gifts without spending an absolute fortune. I managed it in the end much to Keagan's amusement. There was a travel mug with 'Keep calm & race pigeons' on it, a Tour De France t-shirt, a Level 18 complete gaming t-shirt, a WWE PS4 game, Bristol Rovers gifts & Liverpool Fc socks plus his favourite biscuits & sweets to name some of his presents.

 The word art I designed & framed.
 The 'let's embarrass birthday boy with a cake in front of all the pub' moment complete with birthday song!
Keagan was rather amused by his balloon!
The 'we have to take a photo' moment at the end of the night!
So that's the birthday now onto something I'm absolutely bursting with pride about. On Fri 14th Oct we attended Banes Carer's Centre annual awards that were presented by Ali Vowles (BBC Points West and Radio Bristol). Now we knew a couple of weeks in advance but it didn't stop me feeling so very proud of my boy.
Keagan was presented with Banes Young Carer's Sporting Achievement award to honour his amazing achievements to date. He was very chilled about it saying
'It's just my job, it's what I do'
Now we all know how hard Keagan has worked to just get where he is now, and we know there's still many many years of hard work to come. In case you missed it, in the last year Keagan has attended The British Racing School in Newmarket (the best horse racing college in the world) & now works & is continuing his BRS education at Jeremy Scott Racing where he is working hard to prove himself with the plan to eventually get his jockey licence.
We both hope Keagan's story will inspire other younger young carers to chase their own dreams. To realise that you can chase and achieve them.
Here's some pics from that wonderful evening - 
 Keagan receiving his award
 Me and Ali
 I think you can clearly see how much I was bursting with pride right here in this photo!
Right sorry for the long post but I wanted to share what's been keeping me busy. Inbetween I've not been well so have rested on my bed most days - this has allowed me to just be able to enjoy what's happened.
Pop over to Julia's WOYWW
to join in and link up.
Take care Zo xx


Tuesday 11 October 2016

New Looks

A quick post to share my latest look I've created. I've had lots of fun just playing around with colours lately that I wouldn't normally try. 

This bold look was created using Morphe 350 eyeshadow palette. In the end I had to order it from America as I couldn't find it in stock in the uk. The brown tones are actually more orangey in real life. I used a wet brush to apply the gold to my lids - this is how you create a metallic look.

I added lashes and Urban Decay Bittersweet lipgloss.

I must sort out my lighting as my lights seem to pale everything down. Or perhaps find a better place to take the photos! 

Take care Zo xx

Thursday 6 October 2016

My makes & unusual gift for Keagan's 18th birthday!

Yes you read that right. Keagan has turned 18 today!

I can't quite get my head around the fact that I have an 18 year old son. 

So I thought I'd share the card I made Keagan and a special present I ordered.

 This card is A4 in size. The 18 word art is the same design I've created and put into a white frame as a keepsake.
As you all know we are big Rovers fans. I purchased this mock newspaper through 
I had to enter Keagan's name and the number I wanted to use. It's bigger than A4 but not quite as big as A3. It's hard to read but the whole article talks about Keagan. Really pleased with the quality and service.

So since the last time I posted I have had an image change. The pink hair has gone and has been replaced with a neutral ash brown with dark and light slices through the longer section!

What do you think?! 

There's actually more definition in the colours but the photos haven't picked it up properly.
It took me a little while to get used to it but I love it and have had so many compliments.

Take care Zo xx

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Trying out new ideas & make up

So I'll hold my hands up and admit that my make up has been in a rut for years. However this last few weeks I've had so much fun watching tutorials (mainly by Manny, Jaclyn Hill & Nikkietutorials), buying some new make up items and having fun trying out new looks.

I mostly buy my make up online from reputable suppliers (Never from Amazon ever again unless I know the item is 100% genuine. I got stung - bought a few items only to find out they were fake), but on Sunday I went into Bath (Somerset) and was able to see so many of my favs up close. I bought items from Urban Decay, Clinque & L'Oreal. I even came home with a free sample of Urban Decay high colour lipgloss which pleased me. A new item to try that I would not have purchased myself.

Here's my latest look I had a go at creating yesterday - 
 I did a simple nude tone eye colour - bit of a cut crease. I used concealer on my eye lids to sharpen the crease line. I'm not so good at doing my lips - they are very narrow and small so I try to over draw them but I'm not always successful. The new Bittersweet lipgloss went on well. How long it would stay perfect I'm not sure but it did stain my lips slightly which is good for someone like me. I'm a rubbish lip colour wearer. I manage to get it everywhere and it rarely lasts long so a gloss that stains a bit means I have a touch of colour at least!

The other day I tried to do a darker eye with a cut crease. Well my version anyway!
 I've been learning how to contour and highlight. While I like my eyes here I know I didn't get the placement right for my face contours. It's too low below my cheek bones here. I'll get it right the more I try!

The lighting in my bedroom is okay. Lots of natural light from the big window behind me. I do have white LED lights around my mirror. Sometimes these lights seem to fade my nude/natural colours somewhat & make me look paler than I actually am. I am trying out different positions and angles for these lights. Fairly happy with the lighting in the top photo though.

The make up I used in the top photo is -
Primer - Clinque Universal
Foundation - L'Oreal True Match in Vanilla
Concealer - Urban Decay weightless in Light Warm
Colour corrector - Urban Decay in Peach
Setting Powder - RCMA
Contour - Anastasia Beverly Hills powder contour palette light/medium
Eyebrows - Anastasia BH Brow Definer in Chocolate
Eyeshadow - Clinque single pan in Nude Rose
Mascara - Avon
Lipgloss - Urban Decay high color gloss in Bittersweet.

Hope you enjoy these beauty snapshots I share.
Take Care Zo xx

PS I'll be brave and share this photo of what I look like without makeup - 

Wednesday 7 September 2016

WOYWW 379 - puzzles

Well just a quick post from me to link up with everyone over at WOYWW The Stamping Ground

Very little has happened on my craft desk. I've had a crazy few weeks which included a trip to Chelsea to watch Bristol Rovers in a cup match. Plus I went to a few other Rovers matches. My OT lady has been and is recommending I have a stair lift. So 2 companies have been to do quotes. All of this plus normal life has left me needing to rest in between each event. By rest I mean having to rest on my bed & do very little else. So my 'desk' today is what I've been doing to stop myself from being bored & going crazy. I can't just sit there and not do anything!


Jigsaw puzzles!

My bestie Debs let me borrow some jigsaws to do and I totally got the puzzle bug so I bought a portapuzzle folder that sits on my bed nicely so I can do my puzzle while resting. 

Have you spotted that the last jigsaw picture is of a craft desk?!
Very apt for WOYWW.

Right I'm off to rest up while starting a new jigsaw puzzle. I've also started to watch The X Files from the beginning. Love being able to watch episodes one after another.

Take care Zo xx

Saturday 27 August 2016

My Way - Go To Products part two

So I'm back to share the rest of the look I started to share with you earlier in the week. We ended with this - 
 So let's see how I did my eyes.
 I always use Benefit Lemon Aid as a base. This hides any redness and other blemishes on eye lid area.

 I've recently bought this Morphe palette. It is fabulous. Full of decent size pans with matte and shimmer powders. It's the 35T palette - Taupes. I basically choose light, medium and dark shades. I start with the light to cover my lid and up towards my brow bone. Then I build up medium, but I don't take it as far then I add the dark shade to my outer corner on my eye lid and in the cease. This helps to make my eyes look larger and to create more depth as I have hooded eyes as my eyelids partially disappear. It is very important to take the time to blend your shadows to make sure there's no harsh lines.

Now to get my eyeliner on point I use this trick.
Washi tape. Yes crafters I use Washi tape. It's really good for this as it's sticky, but not too sticky that it takes off my foundation. You can use any tape, but may need to stick it on back of your hand to take away some of the tackiness.
 All done -  coat of mascara to finish off the eyes. I do have false eyelashes but decided to keep them for another day.

 Spot of lippy and I'm done.

The last few photos are not as bright as last post's pics as it took me ages to create this look and it was gone teatime by the time I finished!! 

I don't have any proper lighting just some LEDs around my mirror.
Hope you like this look.
Take care Zo xx

Monday 22 August 2016

My way. A lesson learned & go to products. Part One.

I've been having fun trying out different make up looks. Having watched 100's of tutorials from Make up Artists and Youtube celebrities like Jaclyn Hill and MannyMUA. I created a list of some products I'd like to try.

I stupidly in my excitement ordered from Amazon without reading the reviews. It was only after feeling disappointed I wasn't getting the same results & seeing for myself that the product wasn't as I expected that I investigated. I'd purchased fakes.

The two products I bought were the Beauty Blender and Anastastia Beverly Hills Contour kit.

Both looked real, but now that I have the genuine product the differences are obvious. Gutted. So from now on I will buy from CultBeauty and BeautyBay both suppliers in the UK.

A lesson learned - my advice only buy from reputable suppliers.

So during one practise I took photos of what I was using as I thought I'd show you. I do have lights around my mirror and I do know some of the products I use are HD which means literally the light bounces off and it helps to create a flawless look. 

Basically I probably look more flawless in the photos than in real life. Though it's only when you get close up that you can see my fine lines!! But to be fair these products are used in a professional manner and are meant to do this.

Here goes - 
So this is me - no make up. I always moisturise and use eye cream. I let it settle for a couple of minutes.
 My fake & real Beauty Blender. The real one is huge in comparison and it expands when you wet it. I use it damp as it helps to blend well.
 Primer - from Avon - it's smooth, has a nice feel and my make up goes on better.
 I then use Clarins instant light base.
My foundation - BareMinerals - this is new. It's so easy to blend, lightweight & doesn't cake or clog. 
These 3 products cover well and yet feel as if I don't have layers on.
Next I conceal.
 Urban Decay weightless concealer. I probably need a shade lighter but I use this to cover first.
 Then I use my Clinque concealer especially under my eyes on top of the Urban Decay concealer as this one brightens.
 I also colour correct. I use the orangey shade over areas that are blueish. The green/yellows help with redness. I only use these lightly as they can cake if you use too thick. I always go over the areas I put these with my Beauty Blender.
 Daft photo!
So here I am - all concealed and covered. I do look very fair here as I've covered any colour. 
Now I set my base using Laura Mercier transluscent powder.
 To put the colour back I use bronzer and I use Anastastia Contour Kit (this is actually the fake one. Real one only arrived today) Anywhere where shadow should be and areas I want to add shape I use the different powders to contour and highlight. 
 As you have seen I have very fair eyebrows so I have to fill them in using a combination of No 7 eyebrow pencil to create the shape then I fill in with Urban Decay powders and set it with Benefit eyebrow gel
 I add some blush to my cheeks as well.
Still looks a bit weird with the bright eyes, but at least there's a bit more colour and I have eyebrows (they are darker in real life)!

Okay I think this is more than enough for one day. Come back later in the week to see how I finish the look.

Take care Zo x

Saturday 13 August 2016

Being me - make up my way with a little help!

Okay so ages ago I said I was going to move this blog away from just crafting. I want it to reflect me and all the things I love.

I guess people often see me as a bit of a tom-boy what with my love of footy, but I've got quite a girly girl in me really. I've always loved make up and have worn it for years. Up until recently, I wouldn't leave the house without a full face on. I prefer a more natural look in the day, but I can assure you even that involved many layers!

Being disabled makes it harder for me to apply my make up as my conditions affect my hands and my grip. I've had to adjust how I do things. So I thought I would share my experience with you guys. I was encouraged to do so by a lovely friend, Aimee, who I met through our mutual love of Bristol Rovers. 

I bought a dressing table last year with my 40th birthday money and wanted to use it properly. I was fed up of having to get my make up out of drawers and, before buying this dressing table I had no where to sit to do my make up. To display everything in a tidy manner I bought these storage units on Amazon along with some LED lights & a smaller mirror. Everything is just there. Ready.
Another thing I've had to overcome is using my brushes. Most have chunky handles which I can manage to hold, but some I can't. So I use foam tubing which I bought on Complete Care shop
this site has many aids - I've bought a few and wouldn't be without them.
The tubing slides onto the handle. Now I can hold my brushes easily. The pink sponge is a Beauty Blender - again I can hold this and use without it hurting my hands. I'm not quite sure how it works but believe me it makes blending foundations and concealers so much easier & quicker.

The other day I spent a while playing with my make up -  I actually had great fun. I was sat comfortably, everything was easy to use & I could put my face on without my hands hurting. I even attempted to put some false lashes on!

I sent Aimee the before and after photos. She was so supportive and encouraging. Her kind words made me feel amazing. Aimee suggested I post my pics to Instagram. It took me a few hours to pluck up the courage, but I did and have received many compliments. 
That's when I decided to write this post as well.
Here you go - 
Those who know me will note the lack of glasses and that my hair is swept off my face - necessary steps for applying make up!

 I look so different. It's not so perfect, but it doesn't matter as make up has a way of making you feel amazing. It gives you confidence. While I could never manage to do this full look with false lashes everyday - it took me quite a while you see - I can recreate it whenever I feel like it.

I've so many ideas I want to do - I guess it's really just another creative and artistic path to try!

I look forward to sharing some of them with you. 
Take care Zo xx