Oil Pulling: Would You?

Thank you everyone for your flu remedies! I’m feeling so much better now, although I’ve probably had enough lemon and honey drinks to last me a lifetime. I even lost my voice for a couple of days – the husband was quite amused at my attempts to keep chatting by using hand gestures and hand-written signs.

While making full use of my returned voice, I was talking to a friend about oil pulling. I mentioned I do it most mornings. You just swill some oil, in my case coconut, around your mouth for about 20 minutes. I combine mine with a shower, killing two birds with one stone.

Mmm, goopy
Mmm, goopy

The benefits I’ve noticed are whiter teeth, cleaner mouth in general, and fresher breath. Some people think it helps with things like eczema and acne as well, just by reducing the amount of bacteria generally in your body. I have no idea if that’s true, but hey, it probably won’t hurt.

My friend thought this sounded disgusting. Words may have been mentioned, including but not limited to, “silly hippie”. To be fair, it did take getting used to. Coconut oil is solid when you first get a teaspoonful, then melts thanks to your body temperature. Holding oily liquid in your mouth for 20 minutes certainly feels a little odd at first. Olive oil would probably be too far for me, purely because of taste.

But hey, I like whiter teeth, and am not willing to go to the dentist for it! So the oil stays.

How about you, would you give oil pulling a whirl? Or are you joining my friend in shaking your head at the silly things some hippies will do?

Sexy silver foxes

There’s something about grey hair. It has nothing to do with whether the face underneath it is old or young. Grey hair is just gorgeous.

My husband started to grey very young. The first silvery strands were visible when he was around 22, and considering the rest of his hair is jet black, they were very noticeable. He was bothered by it at first, until he realised how sexy I found it. They’re coming thick and fast now, and I’m a very happy lady!

I know I'm not exactly Anderson Cooper's type, but I live in hope that he'll change his mind!
I know I’m not exactly Anderson Cooper’s type, but I live in hope that he’ll change his mind!

It’s not just men though. I’ve long thought that when I start to go grey, I’ll wait until it’s a proper silver all over, and then embrace. Maybe even enhance it with some platinum highlights.

So you can imagine my delight when grey hair became a fashion recently. Some of my favourite beauty bloggers are posting beautiful dye jobs, and I’m filing away the pictures to my inspiration folders!

I still wouldn't have her gorgeous face, but I maintain the hair is stunning on its own
I still wouldn’t have her gorgeous face, but I maintain the hair is stunning on its own

Do you like grey hair? When you start to grey, would you embrace the change or dye over it?

And lastly: did you know a silver fox is not just a sexy man? I’d quite like to hang out with either version, frankly. This little guy is super cute!

Silver (Red) Fox standing on a small hill - CA

Love thyself. And cats.


This drifted across my twitter feed this morning, and made me laugh far louder than is decent. There’s no life lesson that can’t be improved with cats.

On a more serious note, body angst is something that so many people deal with every day. We might think of ourselves as a series of interchanging parts, where this bit should be bigger, that bit should be smaller, and then everything will be ok. Except, we’re not cars. We’re people, with bodies that are capable of so much more than fitting into somebody else’s mould.

One of the first pieces of (unsolicited) advice I received when I first started writing romance is that you should always be positive about the woman’s body. You can be as idealistic with her suitor as you want, rippling muscles, the whole bit. It is, after all, a fantasy escape for many readers. But for the woman you shouldn’t be afraid to put in “flaws”, as long as you talk about them positively.

I was slightly confused by this advice. Not because I disagreed with it, but more that the person (a respected editor who know the industry well) felt it was necessary to mention. Shouldn’t we always talk about the women in our books positively? Have a range of gorgeous people, who spark desire in others? Particularly in romance, where bodies will be talked about, sometimes in great detail?

I live a lot of my life according to the principle that the personal is political. I make choices every day knowing that it could impact someone else’s choices, and trying to leave the world slightly better than how I found it. So I suppose while this idea of body positivity wasn’t new to me, perhaps it would be to others. Perhaps while I hadn’t even considered it to be an issue, maybe others wouldn’t have considered it to be a problem.

Anyway, I love the cat advice. Make like a cat today, and love your cute behind no matter what shape it is. And maybe find someone who’ll make you purr.

Beauty Secrets: Tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine

Everyone raves about introducing oils to their skin care routine, but have you ever tried sweet almond oil? It’s the best shortcut I’ve ever found for great skin, nails, and hair.


I have particularly sensitive skin. Not sensitive in terms of “ouch this thing kind of burns”, but more like “oh man, I used the wrong mascara and now all the skin on my eyelids has peeled off leaving only a disgusting scab behind”. It’s not very attractive. It’s so bad, I can’t even use the coconut oil everyone raves about, because it’s just too heavy and my skin revolts

Apart from avoiding stress, I’ve found a simple routine is the best thing I can do for my skin. Enter sweet almond oil.

Not only is this stuff ridiculously cheap and found in most supermarkets, it’s also an all-star in terms of delivering vitamins to nourish your skin and hair. It reduces inflammation, so not only will it not cause me to break out in hives, it will also settle any reactions I’m having if I’ve been a bit stressed out lately.

One of the most surprising features is the impact on whiteheads and blackheads. Even though I’m now reaching late twenties, my skin still thinks it’s a teenager. But if I put almond oil on daily, blackheads are cleared out before they even start. A large blind pimple on my neck didn’t respond to a face mask, but disappeared in 24 hours after I put almond oil on it. It truly is a miracle worker!

They only caveat is the amount of time the oil takes to settle into your skin. I’m talking several hours. The way I get around that is using a normal moisturiser with SPF during the day, then when I take off my makeup at night, smothering my face and neck with almond oil. If my hair’s a bit frazzled, I’ll also run some oil through the ends and plait it. Wash it out with shampoo in the morning, and it will be baby soft and well behaved!

Do you have any beauty all-stars? Share your tips, it’s only fair!

The struggle is real


Today started off with a tofu, banana and vanilla soy milk smoothie. I highly recommend it if you have a sweet tooth, it tastes like a vanilla milkshake.

But as the day has continued, good intentions are being buried below the desire for the chocolate cake a colleague baked… And if you’re anything like me, you know that doesn’t stop at one piece.

Then I saw this picture on Facebook, and just had to laugh! Quick, share you self-control tips with me, or all my good healthy intentions are going out the window!

The perils of being a lady

I’m the first to admit I’m a bit high maintenance. On a recent night out with friends we somehow got on to the subject of how long we take to get ready in the morning. As I revealed I clock in at about an hour (rushing the entire way), the looks of shock on their faces told me that wasn’t normal.

I do wear makeup every day, which doesn’t help. And I’m both blessed and cursed with stick-straight, very fine hair. If you don’t wash that every day, you’ll have an oil slick by mid-morning! I have a standard bunch of outfits that I rotate, so that doesn’t take up too much time, unless you’re hit by a dreaded Fat Day. When that happens, it doesn’t matter what you actually look like, or how pretty the clothes are. Everything is suddenly awful!

I hadn’t realised quite how high maintenance I’d become until disaster struck: an injury to the ball of my foot that’s left me unable to wear high heels!


To be fair, the injury was probably caused by heels in the first place. I faintly remember an article from several years ago about a woman who managed to pulverise one of the small bones in her foot by wearing a beautiful, but painful, pair. I’ve resolved not to go to the doctor unless I absolutely have to. If anything is pulverised, I don’t want to know about it.

It does come at a time when I’ve been reconsidering the daily wearing of high heels. The much publicised ban on women wearing flats to the Cannes film festival bothered me. I love heels, but it should be my decision on whether to endure the discomfort. If you’re doing anything other than sitting for long periods of time, it can be downright painful.

So, even when my foot heals, I’m resolving to wear more flats. It’s a first step towards being less high maintenance. Maybe I’ll even try and scale back my makeup routine.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Are you considering giving up any beauty routines for the sake of being more practical?