How To Survive When You Can’t Sleep (An Honest Review of Lush’s Sleepy Lotion)

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Instagram- lo_cowen

So, here’s my usual bed time routine: Get in bed, shut eyes, convince myself someone is hiding in my wardrobe, check wardrobe, get back in bed, sweat, open window, shiver, close window, practice conversation that will never happen in my head, think of a business idea, check clock, say a few expletives, shut eyes, convince myself someone is going to break in and kidnap me, create a plan of action for such an event, check clock, say more expletives whilst worrying about how few hours sleep I’m going to get, check Instagram, Tweet about not being able to sleep, shut eyes, worry about something silly, eventually fall asleep.  Sound familiar? Well I tried the internet’s insomnia hero, the Lush Sleepy Lotion, to see if it could help.

Continue reading “How To Survive When You Can’t Sleep (An Honest Review of Lush’s Sleepy Lotion)”

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How To Survive Work Experience.

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(Left Image taken by Anna Fletcher at Boohoo. Both images taken from my Instagram: @lo_cowen)

I’ve been on work experience before, but that was mostly at hairdressers or restaurants under the obligation of school courses or CV enhancement. In that case, you can imagine how nervous I was when I landed some work experience at Boohoo HQ! I’d never had work experience doing anything I was genuinely passionate and cared about before, so I really wanted to impress here. However it turned out that even I managed to get along just fine, despite my (often wildly mistaken) preconceptions and fears about working at such a huge fashion brand.

Continue reading “How To Survive Work Experience.”

How To Survive Having Crappy Skin.

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Instagram: @lo_cowen

So when I first started to think about this post I started thinking about what products to recommend. Maybe I could talk about double cleansing and powder exfoliates because they are, after all, my favourite products for my acne-prone skin. But that’s the thing, they’re my favourite products, that suit my skin but not necessarily everyone else’s. So that was that angle ruled out. Continue reading “How To Survive Having Crappy Skin.”

How To Survive Feeling Like a 2/10 (When Everyone Else Seems like a 12/10)

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Instagram: @lo_cowen

One day I was trying on my favourite bikini to check it still fit for my holiday. It did. Like a glove. To be honest, I thought I looked great. I’d been working really hard in the gym and actually remembering to feed myself at regular intervals throughout the day (instead of you know, eating nothing all day then eating my entire house and the complete cast of Newsies when it got to 8pm). So yeah, overall I was feeling pretty hot. And then I saw them. These long white stripes across my bum cheeks. I have stretch marks. Continue reading “How To Survive Feeling Like a 2/10 (When Everyone Else Seems like a 12/10)”

Help Me Survive Things?

People of WordPress!

Just a quick one to ask if there’s anything you’d like me to survive for you? Since you’re following me on here,  or accidentally stumbled over here, I guess I should see if there’s anything in particular you’re interested in. I guess?

Any experiences or social situations you’ve been stuck in where you just don’t know how to react? Any news stories you’re still getting your head around? Any exercise regimes etc. you’re not so sure about? Send them to me on my social media links or comment below and I’ll see what I can do!

Thanks,

Laura

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How To Survive Going Dairy-Free (Or accidentally vegan in my case.)

So basically, my skin cleared up around last month and I was finally mostly acne-free. Then I rather stupidly started using whey protein shakes after the gym nearly five times a week and BAM. This huge cystic acne accompanied by under the surface pimples all over my face. Grim.

Now, as whey protein comes from milk, I figured it’s probably dairy that triggers my acne, and thus (yeah. I used the word “thus”) I decided to try going dairy free for a week. However, as I already don’t eat meat, this turned into eating vegan for a week.

I know, I know, “Shut up! Stop telling people you’re a vegan! No one cares, stop telling us every five seconds!” Fear not, this isn’t going to turn all animal rights and preachy. (Although, I’m sure if you follow me on social media you’ll see enough of that) This was purely for vanity reasons. (Obviously. *Paris Hiltonesque hair-flip*)

I’m not going to lie, I honestly didn’t really miss much. In fact, it was probably the best I’ve eaten since going to university. I also feel like I had a culinary learning curve, and ventured to a whole new section of the supermarket so, overall a positive experience.

I was a big fan of Alpro’s Oat Milk. It’s found with all the long life milk, usually in the tea and coffee aisle and honestly, it was the closest I’ve tasted to actual cow’s milk. I’ve experimented with Almond milk and soya milk too but soy milk tastes gross on its own so cereal was a bit of a no-go, and almond milk is rancid in a cup of tea. I’m sorry, but you can take my cheese and chocolate, but you’re not taking my cups of tea. So yeah, oat milk was a great dairy free diet staple, it’s environmentally more sustainable and it actually tastes pretty good in both cereal and tea, so it’s a 10/0 from me. I hear it’s also usable in mash potatoes and baking if you’re into actual kitchen activity.

Speaking of which, I’m a TERRIBLE cook, like awful. 8 times out of 10 I can’t even get toast right so I needed food that was simple. Since I could no longer live off cheese toasties and chocolate cookies I felt pretty screwed initially, but it turns out supermarkets are actually getting pretty stocked up on their vegan/dairy-free stuff. Linda McCartney does AMAZING vegan steak pies and suspiciously meaty sausages. They can be cooked straight from frozen and are extremely satisfying with some dairy-free mash and veggies. I also found a really simple pesto pasta dish (using vegan pesto from the Tesco “Free From” section) to which you can add tofu or, as I chose to, Quorn’s vegan chicken-style burgers cut up, and the Tesco stir fry deal with the Singapore noodles are vegan friendly with the right sauce.

The biggest thing I really feared was a lack of chocolate. Anyone that knows me knows I inhale the stuff and usually pair it with a Starbucks skinny-latte. However, the problem was quickly solved. Starbucks stock soy milk and almond milk and possibly more dairy-free milks, you just have to ask, and Alpro once again saved the day with their Devilishly Dark Chocolate pots. They were also found in the Free From range in Tesco and honestly omg they’re SO satisfying for a chocolate craver like myself. It was the same consistency as a Dairy Milk buttons dessert pot thingy and just as filling. I also found out Oreos and Tesco’s Oaties biscuits are vegan, and any other snacking can be done with nuts, Kettle Chips and obviously fruit, veg and hummus.

If you want a little help in the kitchen, Lucy Watson and Ella Woodward have AMAZING vegan cook books out, as well as the book Vegan Goodness, which I’ve seen in Waterstones and Urban Outfitters. If you’re more a dining out kinda-guy/gal then Ask Italian, Zizzi’s and Pizza express do suspiciously good vegan pizzas and garlic breads, and a quick google can find any other dietary requirement-fulfilling places near you.

Unsurprisingly my skin cleared up after a week of dairy-free , but mostly, I just felt generally better. Vegan/dairy-free food doesn’t have to just be salads and hummus sprinkled in quinoa. There’s so many choices out there and amazing substitutes, and it wasn’t actually any more expensive than my usual weekly shop as I wasn’t buying yoghurts, biscuits, chocolate and cheese.

Just make sure you’re always checking the labels and doing what’s right for you. Not every dietary quirk suits everyone, so go slowly introducing or removing things from your diet before you go all out and keep it balanced.

Make sure you’re still treating yourself!

 

Speak soon,

Laura

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How To Survive Being a Lazy Perfectionist.

Seriously do you have any idea how frustrating this is?

I am somehow, simultaneously, the laziest person I know and the biggest perfectionist I know. I know it sounds impossible but on one hand I’ve genuinely been referred to as “the real life Monica Geller” before but then I’m also the kind of person who leaves my dishes on the side hoping my housemates will eventually, bit by bit, wash them for me. (Sorry housemates, love ya!) But heaven forbid that pile of dishes spreads further than the designated dirty dishes section of the kitchen counter. Dear God no.

I like to do this thing where I get an essay question and plan my answer to it weeks in advance, feel really productive for one day doing loads of secondary source searching, then not look at it for weeks and leave it until the last few days to actually do any writing. I want my work to be perfect, but I’d much rather binge watch Netflix. See the internal conflict?

I also love hosting. Being a control freak and all, the role of the hostess and organiser of pre drinks, sleepovers, whatever is very appealing to me. Okay, fine. It’s nice to have someone around to organise fun things to do in a group, right? WRONG. Remember that Friends episode where Monica hosts a birthday party for Rachel but no one enjoys it? The one where the guests keep trying to sneak to Joey and Chandler’s alternative party because Monica’s getting neurotic about coasters under glasses and her awful party game? I’m the Monica there, except my neurosis is induced by trying to herd uncooperative people into taxis and not letting anyone use my family heirloom Vintage 1960’s shot glasses. (The fact that my family heirloom is a rack of shot glasses probably says a lot about my family but let’s not pry.) I love to host, but it’s my way or the high way. If you’re wondering why I don’t just let someone else host, well, I just couldn’t possibly. Where’s the control in that?

My favourite, however, is sleeping in way past my alarm and leaving it until I have twenty minutes before I have to leave the house to get ready and eat breakfast. Impossible you say? Nope. The Monica Geller in me has solved it. Gym clothes. Picture this: me in normal clothes looking tired, windswept with last night’s hair. Lazy, running late perhaps? Now picture this: me, make-up -less, windswept with last night’s scruffy bun BUT with running leggings, a sports bra and trainers on, carrying my “Drop it like a squat” water bottle. Suddenly, I no longer look lazy, just super active.

I have decided, however, to embrace my Monica Geller side more. She’s not so bad. She’s organised, she’s got great clothes and everyone still comes back to her apartment at the end of a long day. Although, I do promise never to get my hair braided like hers no matter how humid it may get.

Speak soon,

Laura

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