I'm just out of the kitchen, finished baking some breakfast muffins for Mr P. I've boldly come up with my own recipe.... Banana, coconut and Brazil nut muffins. Fingers crossed they turn out ok. I've been quite experimental recently, daring to comfort bake without a specific recipe to hand.
It's been emotional.
Anyway, I got to thinking whilst creaming the butter and unbleached sugar together, that I should probably share with you all some of the other comforting things that have helped get me through this winter.
Not exactly groundbreaking news here.... but a lovely hot bath on a cold night is one of life's true pleasures. My most recent bathing discovery has been Dr Salts Muscle Therapy Bath Salts.
|Dr Salts Muscle Therapy|
You can be as generous as you like with these depending on how aching you are. They have a wonderful herbal/medicinal scent of Eucalyptus and despite not being the most thrilling bath product out there, manage to deliver pure relaxation on a hitherto unprecedented level. I literally slipped into the bath today and nodded off within 1 minute. These work on an emotional level too. Relaxed body, relaxed mind and vice versa. You get a whopping 1kg for anything between £5 and £6.99, depending on where you buy them from. I bought mine from Waitrose but they are quite easy to get hold of online, in Boots and other supermarkets.
Hydrating face mask
My skin rarely gets so dry that it becomes uncomfortable, but even so I feel the need for extra plumping and hydration at this time of year. I've loved the Origins Drink Up mask for a while now and I'm not sure I've ever written about it.
|Origins Drink Up|
It's a luscious white creamy concoction which you smother your face with in a thick layer after cleansing and then let it work it's magic. I take it right down the neck too. Leave it on for as long as you like and then wipe off the excess with a tissue or damp flannel. My skin looks amazing the next day if I use this and super juicy. If you have dry skin you will love this. Origins also do an overnight version of this which I've heard is also amazing. I have to say that as someone who's always gone for purifying masks it's a welcome change to have this in my collection.
Hand cream with a pump
There are some amazing hand creams in tubes and pots, but in the depths of winter you need something with a pump that you can quickly dispense when you're literally rushing out the door. Put it somewhere where you know you'll be getting ready to leave the house, like the hallway or at the entrance to your bedroom or bathroom.
I have The Sanctuary 5 day Moisture Hand Lotion and it's been a true saviour this winter. Mr P likes it too and it's been encouraging him to moisturise his dry mitts more often.... simply because it's in a pump and he's way too lazy to employ fine motor skills and open a tube. Lots of people dislike the classic Sanctuary scent. I happen to really like it. If you don't then don't buy this. Scent aside it's actually a very good hand cream indeed. I'm not sure the moisture stays for 5 days, particularly if you're an OCD hand washer like I am, but my hands and nails do feel much better since I've been using this. It leaves a bit of residue on the surface of the hands but I like the glow it gives to the skin. Hands can look so beaten up a lot of the time and this is like a quick hand-lift. It's only £5.50 from Boots and you get a whopping 250ml of the stuff.
Lip balms in every pocket, in every bag
If I don't have a lip balm with me at all times I freak out and start chewing my lips like my mother didn't love me enough. Lips suffer so much at this time of year and you need to be prepared. Even Mr P is a freak about lip balm. I've had to stop carrying tinted ones as he would grab mine and smear it on, little realising that he was thereafter sporting a rather fetching berry-tinted pout.
If you're out and about choose stick balms. There is nothing more icky than seeing people on public transport dip their bacteria-ridden digits into a gloopy pot and smother it over their smackers. Eugh. They've literally just put out a welcome mat for a nasty virus.
(Sorry, that's my OCD making another appearance.)
Burts Bees make nice little sticks, as do Caudalie and Nuxe. I generally favour the more natural brands as they don't mask true moisture with petrolatum. Beeswax and shea butter are good alternatives as ingredients and feel (and taste) much nicer too. Going back to Burt's Bees, I have to say that the Pomegranate version has a very odd taste and I wouldn't recommend it. It performs well, but I just find the scent too strong and weirdly fake for a natural product. Choose one of the other flavours.
Ok, hear me out on this. I'm so wrapped up when I go out these days that the only thing that can be seen are my eyes. I don't want to get so lost wrapped in wool that I lose myself so I've been sporting a lot of winged liquid liner so that my eyes 'pop' and say 'hello, yes, there IS a person underneath the mountain of Zara scarf'.
You don't have to wing your liner, of course. Anything that makes your eyes look amazing whilst you're cocooned will make you feel surprisingly cheery. Winged liner takes a bit of practice and I have to say that the Dolly Wink liquid liner (Japan only I'm afraid) is hands down the best one I've found. Coming a close second, the DHC Liquid Liner, available from Feelunique.com is pretty good, although still not as good as Dolly Wink.
Right, that's it for now, the muffins are ready. They smell amazing!
What have you all been using and enjoying this winter?