Lizi's breakfast drinksI’m constantly on the go, hopping all over London to various meetings and unfortunately, quite often skip breakfast.

I know this isn’t good, but I’m not alone: statistics show that over 30 million Brits regularly skip breakfast. Pretty shoddy, as we all know that breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day.

Luckily, Lizi of Lizi’s Granola (which I wrote about here) has come to the rescue with some breakfast drinks to stop us being so naughty in the mornings.

The breakfast drinks are available in three delicious flavours; strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. I preferred the vanilla one, whilst Will loved the strawberry one – but they were all lovely, and perfect straight from the fridge. The consistency was perfect for me; not too thin (like a protein shake) or thick (like a milkshake).

For the protein-keen, 100g of a drink willl provide you with 7.8g of the stuff. Best of all, the drinks contain absolutely no added sugar, which is good for me as I spike and crash quite easily after having sugary things!

I really enjoyed trying them – such a good idea for the time-poor and even if you just can’t face a ‘proper’ breakfast first thing in the AM.

Lizi’s Breakfast Drinks are just is £1.49 for a 250ml bottle and is available in Sainsbury’s from the beginning of August 2018.

fruit flatlay watermelon pineapple lemon kiwi to treat eczemaI’ve always had problem, eczema-prone skin. My childhood included trips to the doctor, hydrocortisone, a lot of itching…and all my memories smell like Oilatum Bath Emollient. Very annoying when my little brother was subsequently born with the soft skin of an angel! Luckily though, my mum figured out what worked for me and we were able to keep a happy medium for a good few years, able to deal with any flare ups when they happened.

Teenage years

Fast-forward a few years though, and along came puberty. With that came heavy kohl eyeliner and Natural Collection mascara, taken off at the end of the day with the cheapest makeup remover I could buy. Adding that to the hormonal changes my skin was going through, I had a big issue. The skin underneath my eyes was raw with eczema – painful, itchy and not to mention, embarrassing. After heading to the doctor and coming back with yet more medical skin treatment, I then went through several years of trial and error on my skin.

Some new products could instantly flare my skin up, with eczema and an allergic reaction which was like little bubbles under the skin. It was a real case of ‘try and see’, as I didn’t know what was causing the reactions – I dread to think how much I spent on wasted skincare!

I’m 27 now, and it’s only the last couple of years that I feel I’ve finally cracked it. My daily skincare routine includes ONLY Garnier products. This is odd, as I wouldn’t say they’re specifically developed for sensitive skin. Even more odd, when I can’t use E45, Simple or really any brand that shouts about being good for sensitive skin. This isn’t just my face either: my whole body revolted when I covered myself head-to-toe in L’Oreal Gradual Tanner ahead of an event…that was a fun few days!

I’d really like to try some Avène or La Roche-Posay products as I’ve heard they’re amazing. However, I’m put off by the price. What do you think? Worth it? I spend ages scouring Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay looking at trendy, Instagrammable brands such as Mario Badescu and Sunday Riley…but I just don’t think my skin could take it!

My daily products:

A little extra help

I’m quite comfortable with my skin routine at the moment, but sometimes my skin will have a hissy fit if I use the toner, so I try to limit that to a couple of times a week. I’ve noticed a real difference though, in terms of how my anxiety, eating habits and stress affects my skin. This has been due to a conscious effort to LISTEN to my body more. Back in May when I first became freelance, my skin went haywire and the eczema patches under my eyes came back with a vengeance. A historic patch of eczema on my right leg (weirdly?) reared its head again and I felt really low.

My normal skincare routine just didn’t cut it, so I used working from home to my advantage. Not wearing makeup at all, letting my skin breathe and intermittently using specialist eczema and problem skin products.

This included creams that had about 1% hydrocortisone for my face and aqueous cream elsewhere. Boots do a cream that is specifically for around the eye area but I can’t use it as I’m sensitive to Lanolin. I also stopped using foaming / soapy body wash and in an epic throwback to my childhood, used an Oilatum shower gel (oh the memories!).

Side note: do NOT use Sudocrem on your eczema, especially if on your face! Not sure why it’s recommended for that but it stung me and if anything made it worse.

Moving forwards

Luckily, I’m much more settled now and my skin has calmed down a lot. I’m using a brand called Epaderm at the moment to keep things under control. I use the ointment at night on my problem areas or after a heavy makeup day – it’s quite thick and just provides a fantastic barrier for me. I’m not sure if it’s psychological, but I feel like my skin is ‘healing’ with it on. I’ve also added this to a bath – it doesn’t create bubbles but what’s not to like when you’ve got Netflix and a glass of wine on the go? I’m back to using normal shower gel at the moment (can someone say Imperial Leather MARSHMALLOW? Hello!). However, I use the Epaderm skin cleanser in the shower twice a week to ensure my skin doesn’t get above itself and expect sweet treats constantly.

I definitely think that listening to my body and ensuring I’m treating myself kindly is the most important thing. Fingers crossed, everything is on the up at the moment.

The Fashion Intruder book review

The Fashion Intruder is the multi-faceted debut novel by Roma E. Black. Promising to immerse you in to a world of fashion, whilst also giving an insight into the life of a lawyer, I was excited to give it a try.

One of the best things about being self-employed has been cutting out commuting and late nights, giving me back that all-important ‘me-time’. I’ve used this time over the last couple of months to read as much as I can, stepping out of my comfort zone (autobiographies and true crime books…for my sins, Will thinks I’m psycho reading THAT stuff before bed).

The main character in The Fashion Intruder, Sofia, has chosen a career in law, receiving several awards for leading her legal department. However, she is unsatisfied and when given a chance leave her law career behind and pursue a brand new business in fashion (her passion, passed on by her Grandmother), she listens to her heart and strives to succeed.

An inspirational read

There is a strong theme of determination, backbone and grit throughout – Sofia will stop at nothing until she gets there.

From Roma in her own words:

“The Fashion Intruder shows you how to fashionably quit a job, create a start-up of your dreams and leave a lawyers’ world. It is not about fashion itself, it is about chasing your dreams and believing in love. Having strength for fighting and resistance to stay on your way. Even if everything is falling apart….The Fashion Intruder is about believing that it is never too late to do what you love.”

blonde girl reading The Fashion Intruder on a bed

I was a little worried at first! I thought the story would have many references to designers and trends that I’d be lost, but I was pleasantly surprised. With references to Karl Lagerfeld and front-row seats to catwalk shows with Gigi and Bella Hadid, I felt at ease, as well as learning a few things along the way.

Late into the night I found myself Googling the famous rivalry between Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli and becoming more absorbed into the world of fashion. In addition, I’ve been browsing travel blogs and Skyscanner non-stop. This is due to the fabulous Italian and French locations included in the novel, so beautifully described.

Overall, The Fashion Intruder is sophisticated, fast-paced and aspirational. It’s a fun story that intertwines fashion, love, mystery and most importantly, taking a chance on a dream.

A final note from Roma:

My novel addressed to all the people who are fed up with hearing such lines as: ‘It is too late’, ‘It is not possible’, or ‘No one likes their job.’”

Roma is currently working on a screenplay and part two of The Fashion Intruder.

I want to read The Fashion Intruder!

Head over to amazon to order your copy today (available on Kindle and in paperback). You can also find The Fashion Intruder on Facebook and Instagram.

Read more of my reviews here.

Cornwall week away, including Mevagissey, St Nectan’s Glen and Boscastle!