Forever Amber: a parenting lifestyle blog

Life’s Too Short for Fake Tan

When I wrote about outsourcing my ironing a couple of weeks ago (It went really well, by the way, just in case you were wondering: everything basically came back to me looking brand new. I’m too sacred to actually USE any of it now, obviously, for fear of spoiling that crease-free perfection, but wow, do those perfectly-folded sheets look good sitting on the shelf…), it got me thinking. I might not believe life’s too short for ironing, say, but it IS too short for some other things I could mention. I’m talking here about things like…

Forever Amber: a parenting lifestyle blog

Fake tan

I do my best to be positive about my Cullen-esque complexion, but I have to admit, there are times when I can feel a bit self-conscious, about it. Like when I’m at the beach, say, and I realise that the people around me aren’t wearing sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun: it’s to protect them from the glare created by my blindingly-white legs.

Or that time someone pinned a photo of me, and added a comment saying she was going to try to recreate my outfit, “only without the white  tights,” because she wasn’t sure those really worked with the rest of the look. But I wasn’t wearing white tights, folks: it was just my legs – and, honestly, I don’t care HOW confident you are, NO ONE likes hearing that their LEGS don’t work with their outfit, do they? Didn’t think so. 

It’s during those self-conscious times that I’ve been known to reach for the bottle: er, the fake tan bottle, that is. Just to take the glare off a bit, you know? And to make me look a bit more … well, alive, for want of a better word.

The thing is, though, it never works out like that, does it? I always have this idea that fake tan’s just going to give me a nice, healthy glow, but what it ACTUALLY does is give me brown knees, orange feet, and an odd, biscuity scent whenever anyone gets too close.

My bedsheets always end up with a better tan than I do, and the whole rigmarole of applying the stuff, then regretting applying the stuff, then frantically applying MORE of the stuff, in a futile bid to try to cover up the mess you made with the first application … well, it’s all just such a FAFF, isn’t it? And, honestly, life’s too short for faffing: which mean’s life’s too short for fake tan, basically. 

Next time I go on holiday, I’m going to remain pale and proud. Or I’m going to TRY to, anyway.*

(*I have made this promise to myself at least 768 times now. There’s always just ONE more fake tan I have to try. There’s a review of one sitting in my drafts folder right this very second, in fact…)

Baked from scratch


I mean, we literally hard-landscaped our entire garden just so we didn’t have to mow the lawn or do much in the way of weeding, so if that doesn’t tell you how I feel about gardening, I don’t know what will. 

Seriously, though, I might not enjoy ironing, but I absolutely LOATHE gardening: especially mowing the lawn, which is how I used to spend most weekends (Well, other than in the depths of winter, obviously…) when we lived in our last house. It didn’t have a particularly large garden, either – and it certainly didn’t have a very nice one –  but keeping it in check somehow seemed to take up every bit of spare time I had, and I can’t even tell you how much I resented it. 

The thing about gardening, you see, is that the Scottish weather always makes it feel like a particularly thankless task to me. At least with ironing, you get to enjoy your crisp sheets and crease-free clothes at the end of it: with gardening, on the other hand, I normally found I’d wait all week for it to be dry enough to mow the law, only for it to start raining again just as I was putting the lawnmower away. Then it would rain all week, stop for long enough for me to race out and mow the lawn again, and rinse and repeat. 

When we moved house, the first thing we did was rip up the lawn and put in a mixture of astroturf, decking, and paving. We have absolutely no regrets. Life is WAY too short for gardening, as far as I’m concerned, and no one will ever convince me otherwise…

Finishing books you’re not enjoying

I used to be one of those people who thought you HAD to finish every book you started reading, even if the book in question was Ulysses by James Joyce, and NO ONE’S life is long enough for that, really. 

I am no longer one of those people, needless to say. I mean, I have a degree in English Literature: I’ve done my time with books I have to bribe myself to read (Pretty sure I got through Ulysses by promising myself a bar of chocolate g at the end of each chapter. OK, it was a glass of wine. Don’t judge me until you’ve tried it yourself…), and I ain’t going back. So I’ll give everything a fair chance, but if I’m really not feeling it after the first few chapters, I’m out: there’s absolutely no shame in giving up on something that isn’t working for you, is there? 

Finally, and in a bid to make the photos on this post at least somewhat match the rest of the content…

Baking things from scratch

Controversial, I know, and obviously if baking is your hobby, then fair enough (I’m just this second realising what a risk I’m taking by not beginning this post with a lengthy caveat assuring you all that everyone is different and no judgement is implied if you do any of these things, because it’s OK to like different things.  Living dangerously here, folks…), but if it takes longer to bake it and clear up after it than it takes to actually eat it, you can count me out, thanks.

Can you tell I’m not much of a foodie, here? I AM a pretty dedicated shopper, though, so while you lot are all slaving over your hot stoves, baking things from scratch, I’ll be single-handedly supporting the baking aisle at the local supermarket. Well, someone has to, right? 

So! Given that I already know how you all feel about ironing, tell me: what’s YOUR life too short for?


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  • I’m with you on the fake tan (I’m contemplating one for my sister’s wedding, but for holidays? Happy to be pale and interesting…) and also Ulysses, although I forced myself to finish it too. Definitely getting better about walking away from books/series that I’m not enjoying, life is too short and there is too much in the queue.

    Ironing’s my big thing in this category though. I’ve never even owned an iron (as the green shirt dress I bought without thinking a couple of weeks ago can attest), and wouldn’t know where to start! At the age of 37, I realise there are some life skills it’s too late for me to pick up.


    July 3, 2019
    • Same same same on the fake tan (whiter than white here, when I lived in Italy people used to ask if I was ill. They used to gasp if I had a lot of mosquito bites, I’m allergic and they swell up to the size of coasters. I slightly look like i have bubonic plague). I used to think it was worth the effort but it always looked crap and now I embrace the pale, waiting for someone to invent a tablet to actually change the colour of my skin, then will happily do so.

      Re ironing – totally disagree that you are too old at 37 to learn new tricks, but I don’t think ironing should be one of them -like Amber says, life is too short!!

      I do love baking though Amber – nothing so satisfying than making something utterly delicious and sharing it with friends, and I find the process very therapeutic.

      My one to add to the list is cleaning my house – I earn more per hour than a cleaner, so why would I do it myself (esp when it takes me longer than a pro and I’m not as meticulous!)?!


      July 3, 2019
  • I’m afraid it’s cleaning for me. I love a clean house. But I happily pay someone to keep it clean on my behalf.
    Baking on the other hand I love and find rather relaxing, even if it takes hours

    July 3, 2019
  • I’ve also stopped forcing myself to finish books when I clearly don’t like them! It’s almost like we’re trying to get a good use of our spent money… but time is also currency, and we never get it back!

    Mmmmhn… if I think about myself, I’d say that life’s too short to work at a job that doesn’t give you any satisfaction. I just recently learnt this because I got fired from my first official job ever. I was so unhappy there, and the only pro to the situation was the $, while the list of cons was ENDLESS. You’re not going to be 100% satisfied with everything at a job, but the pros list at least should outweight the cons one!

    Flor |

    July 3, 2019
  • Erin


    My life is too short for cleaning baseboards, ironing (lol, don’t know how – if it needs ironed I rarely buy it and if I do I have it dry cleaned or my husband irons), and straightening/blow-drying/coloring my hair (I used to waste hours trying to straighten my long hair and now I’ve embraced the curly).

    July 3, 2019
    • Oh I‘m so with you on the hair! Completely stopped curling my hair years ago and finally embraced my straighter-than-straight hair. I only blow-drs in winter and never colour it either… So much time I used to waste on that!

      July 6, 2019
  • Myra


    I’m with you on the ironing. I used to iron everything, including dusters, but no more. Only the absolutely impossible to wear without ironing gets ironed.

    July 3, 2019
  • Cringing with sympathy at the ‘white tights’ story! I am also a deathly pale Scot and, laughably, am allergic to fake tan, so I have no choice but to stay blindingly white.

    Also in agreement about the gardening – my in-laws just came and put gravel all along our garden surround so that we wouldn’t have to bother weeding it!

    This might sound awful, but for me, life is too short for staying in touch with people when it’s no longer fun spending time with them. I think friendships are meant to end sometimes.

    July 3, 2019
  • Ciara


    Lots of pale girls reading, haha. I’m also very pale and Irish. I seem to be one of the very few woman around that doesn’t use fake tan. Yes, I’m pale and you can sometimes see veins but I’ve learned to accept it and not be so self consious.

    Fake tan has never looked natural or even on me and can look very orange. For me, its not worth the effort.

    July 4, 2019
  • Anonymous


    A job you HATE! Not merely dislike, or hate, but HATE!! It can ruin so much that no amount of money can make up for it.
    Manipulative people. They never change and can change you in horrible ways.

    July 4, 2019
  • bemerry


    Life’s too short for dyeing my hair. Mother Nature took care of adding different shades, and with my hair down to my waist, I enjoy having stripes in my braid or Josephine knot.

    July 5, 2019
  • I agree with you in the baking. Buy a cake mix or cookie dough and keep it moving. I do not enjoy doing laundry, neither washing or folding and keeping away

    July 11, 2019
  • Catching up with your blog here. And I agree with everything with the exception of… gardening! Not that we have much of one, but I have put up a few pot plants, hanging baskets and grown some seeds in planters from scratch. But I loathe weeding!! And I’m with you on the finishing books that I’m not enjoying. If it doesn’t grab me straight away then I can’t see the virtue in hanging around till it suddenly bursts into life.

    For me life is too short for going the the gym. I used to do so religiously, but I do plenty of other things to keep fit. I found it too solitary, the equipment was sweaty, awful booming music and trainers trying to get you to sign up to personal training.

    July 17, 2019