How to be beautiful but naturally!

Natural beauty products
A few examples of my homemade toiletries. 

I have always been careful what I put on my skin. I don’t think you need to spend a fortune to enhance your natural beauty. For many, many years the only thing I ever used on my face was baby lotion (as it was cheap mostly!) and I have never used soap on my face. 

Even when I had a bit more cash I still refused to spend loads of money on expensive lotions and creams. I prefer to use simple and natural products with a bit of UVA protection in the stuff I use for my face. 

Over the last couple of years,  I have started to experiment with home made toiletries, with some success and some failures. 

I bought a couple of books to get me started Natural Beauty and Neal’s Yard Beauty Book . I then bought some bits of equipment and some ingredients, so I could get started.  Of course, I then I needed another  cupboard to keep it in! I moved some stuff around ( I’m good at that!) and found a place to store the lab! 

It’s a bit like doing chemistry at school, hence Marks nickname for this activity. ‘Hey Mollie, (our dog) the lab’s open’ he says each time I have the urge to make a potion.  


You don’t need anything too expensive, just some house;d items mainly but best to keep them just for this. 

  • Jugs – I prefer to use glass ones – it will only be a matter of time before I break one though – got a couple from Ikea
  • Spoons – pinched a couple of odd teaspoons from the kitchen – you could use some plastic measuring spoons 
  • Milk frother – for mixing oil and water ingredients – I got a second hand one from eBay 
  • Double boiler for melting oils and waxes – eBay
  • Thermometer – I already had a food one 
  • Jars, bottles and atomisers- I bought some from EBay and used some I already had 
  • Small funnels – to pour the lotions into the bottles or jars 


Ingredients – I have bought these a few at time to build up a small collection

  • Solid Oils – Coconut, Cocoa butter, Shea butter, Kokum oil, Mango butter – again I bought a few to get me started from The Soapery
  • Liquid Oils – Almond, Borage, Milk Thistle, Jojoba, Avocado – I collected these over time. 
  • Essential oils – Too many to list but I started with the obvious ones like lavender and rosemary and found lovely new ones like geranium – (one of my favourites) lemongrass, orange, ylang ylang – there are loads to choose from. You might find it helpful to get a book on Aromatherappy to help you decide what essential oils to use
  • Beeswax – this is used in lots of recipes including lip balms and body lotions 


I started by making bath oils and liquid perfume, which is simply adding essential oils to almond oil. 

The next easiest thing I found to do is making lip balm – I would never buy this again as its ridiculously easy to do. 

Next came foot balm and other moisturising products – some a bit more tricky as you have to make an emulsion which is a bit more tricky. 

They don’t last as long as shop bought products and some need to be kept in the fridge. However, you only need to make small amounts. 

My friend and family have been ‘willing’ volunteers to try out some of the products. The quality has improved and my skills have developed. I am not an expert by any means but I enjoy having a go and using them myself too. 

So why not have a go? 





Why a massage is good for you

In my previous life as a frazzled Project Manager, I used to drive between 20,000  and 30,000 miles per year.  As a consequence of all that driving and long hours at the computer, my shoulders were tense most of the time. The job had its own stress and managing a big team isn’t for the faint-hearted! In order to manage the stresses and strains and alleviate this tension, I began to have a monthly full body massage which eased the shoulders and made me relax- a little!

I was  so lucky to have found a lovely masseuse called Linda, when I moved to Northampton, who provided the service from her home. Linda has now become a great friend and not just a therapist. Once a month, late on a Friday afternoon, I would have my stress wiped away and my muscles massaged. Sheer bliss.

Unfortunately when I retired, I had to cut out some luxuries and this was one of them. If I wasn’t driving all this miles and sitting at my computer all day then I wouldn’t need it. Sadly I had to forgo my monthly mssage therapy for a year.

During the year I did not have massages, I began to realised how much I really missed it. Actually,  my emotional me and my physical me missed it to be honest. I realised then that it was not a luxury. I truly didn’t feel as good.

After a year, I knew I would have a bit more cash and decided that I would start the sessions again, if my budget allowed it. So I am back to monthly massages. Today, was a day I look forward to each month. A quick chat and catch up until Linda gets to my stomach, and then she cuts the lights and I zone out and enjoy the massage. Sometimes my shoulders are still a bit tense but she soon sorts that out. From my head to my toes, she ensures all is ….. There are so many benefits of a massage. From improving circulation, relaxin muscles, improving flexibility and joint movements as well as releasing those feel good hormones.

I enjoy the whole session and try to focus on the feeling of my skin and muscles being manipulated and soothed. I come away feeling relaxed, calm and grateful that I am able to afford a little bit of heaven once a month. Together with my weekly yoga session, I am possibly as relaxed as I will ever be.



I know I am new to this but some things just don’t make sense. I can show and tell you things about my life okay, but trying to understand how to make the blog look its best is really challenging me.  I am laying awake in bed thinking about the layout and content for crying out loud! Its supposed to be enjoyable I keep telling myself. As ever, I want to run before I walk. Getting to grips with the terminology is testing me. I mean what the hell is a ‘slug’? I see lots of professional looking blogs out there and I want mine to look like theirs. Perhaps I should just settle for ‘rustic’ looking hahah

So I still don’t understand what the difference is between the menu content thats runs across the top of the page and the categories.  I prefer to work these things out for myself but I am defeated. I know it all takes time, but I want it right now!

So ignore this rant – I am categorising this blog it under ‘Health and Wellbeing’ as it is slowly driving me a bit mad.



Living to be 100


I want to be around to see my grand children and great grandchildren grow up. I want to know what’s is like to be an old lady but not an ill old lady. I am going to try my best to make this happen.

This is what I figure I need to do:

1.Be Positive – it’s good to have an optimistic outlook – not always easy I know 

2. Don’t smoke or take illegal drugs – I don’t

3. Drink alcohol in moderation – I don’t enjoy alcohol as much these days anyway so not difficult 

4. Don’t eat too much sugar – this is a challenge…

5. Keep physically active – I garden, walk, cycle a bit and go to a yoga class once a week.

6. Keep my brain active – browsing, reading and talking does it for me

7. Keep learning new skills – we are learning Spanish and Ballroom dancing just now 

8. Keep smiling – can’t help myself!

9. Have fun – These days I only spend time with people I like and only do the things that make me happy!

10. Stay at a healthy weight  – my love of cooking makes this a challenge too…

It’s World Menopause Day!

I was in my 40’s, when I started to think about the ‘dreaded menopause’. Sadly, I  couldn’t ask my Mum as she died in 1989, aged 52 from breast cancer. This fact has always influenced my decisions about the menopause and its symptoms. 

I knew that I would never take HRT, but at that stage, I never knew what I know now. I still have never taken HRT but I have been tempted. 

In my peri menopause days I used Serenity Cream which I thought had bought me through the menopause symptom free. I faithfully used it through what I thought was my menopause. Then BANG when  I was 52, I really started my menopause which came as a great shock. I started having lots of hot flushes in the evenings from precisely 7pm, about every half an all through the night every night. I read that that SOME women have them for 10 years or more. I told myself that I wasn’t going to be one of them and that it was a mind over matter thing. How wrong can you be … 9 years later I still have hot flushes but thankfully fewer and less frequent and severe. They were a pain in the arse and still are. I can almost conjure one up just by thinking about it! I have a sort of premonition when one is coming, bizarre. I know that it wont last long but sometimes I just have to go outside to cool down as they sometimes make you feel a bit claustrophobic. I have tried all sorts of herbal potions and pills like black cohosh and maca etc over the years and none of them have helped at all with the hot flushes. I now know its just something have to put up with. I dress accordingly in layers and spend a lot of time taking my cardigans on and off! I never wear polo neck jumpers! 

What came on gradually over the the 9 years was the ‘dryness’. Not just skin, but areas of moistness if you get my drift… I hate talking about this but this is the bit which I hate even more than the hot flushes, but just something you have to get used to. 

It used to upset me to think I am not the woman I was and I won’t ever be again, but I have learned to love myself all over again.This new me doesn’t care what people think, she wears what wants, goes out without make up and still has fun! Onwards and upwards! 

Update – World Menopause Day 2019

Well I still have hot flushes a year later. It’s a bit frustrating butIt is what it is. I try not to let it bother me but long for the day when my thermostat returns to normal – if that ever happens!

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