Three Things I Did This Week That Didn’t Involve Kitchens

I’m very aware that I’ve become a bit of a home-bore lately (and if you think I’ve been bad on the blog, you should hear me in real life!), with all of my talk about kitchens and floors, so here are three things I did this week that had absolutely nothing to do with either.

For instance, I…

grey Nike running shoesWent running

Now that it’s finally (I HOPE) stopped randomly snowing every few days, I’ve been doing my best to get out for a run a few times a week, if only because it gets me out of the house, and away from all of the dust and building noise. (Oh look, I DID manage to make this post all about my kitchen after all!) I’m actually a bit scared to say this, for fear of cursing it, but I’ve been quite enjoying it, too – I KNOW. WHO EVEN AM I? And, I mean, it’s not the actual RUNNING I enjoy – heaven forbid – as it is just getting an hour completely to myself, to listen to music and make plans for all of the things I’m going to do when I get back. I don’t always DO all of the things I plan, you understand, but, for some reason, running always seems to fill my head with big ideas for the blog, or the house, or whatever, so I come home feeling all motivated… then I hit the shower, and suddenly I just want to go to sleep. Oh well, it’s good while it lasts.

(Oh, and before anyone says it, this photo was taken when my new running shoes were fresh out of the box, and still looking all fresh and clean. They … don’t look much like that any more, needless to say.)

(I do love these shoes, though: I’ve always bought Nike shoes for running, because they’re the only brand that seems to fit me right. Weirdly, although I pretty much always wear a size 4 in shoes, I have to go up at least half a size in running shoes, so their 4.5 is perfect on me, and these shoes have that springy, new-shoes feel, that makes you feel like you could run forever in them. Or, you know, for 40 minutes or so…)

Amazon KindleRead a book

OK, I had to read it in fits and starts, rather than being able to sit down and just wallow in it for hours, the way I like, but it still counts, right? The book in question was The Swimming Pool, by one of my favourite authors, Louise Candlish. It’s about bored teacher, Natalie, who meets the glamorous Lara at the local lido, and becomes increasingly obsessed with her and her equally glamorous crowd, over the course of a long, hot summer. Of course, trouble ensues – and it leads Natalie back to the events of her own childhood, which she’s tried her best to forget. This is one of those books I found myself thinking about when I wasn’t reading it, and constantly desperate to get back to it, and that’s always a good sign when it comes to a book, don’t you think? It was refreshing to read something that wasn’t the typical love story (And, unusually for me, there were no mysterious old houses, either!), and the subject of female friendship/obsession is quite fascinating to me, so I really enjoyed this, even although I did have to read it in bursts of just 20 minutes at a time!

Used a face mask

Self-care is something that’s kinda fallen by the wayside lately: with the house such a mess, and me stuck wearing my oldest clothes every day, it’s seemed a bit pointless to make  an effort with the rest of my appearance, so I’ve only really been putting on makeup when I actually have to go somewhere, and let’s not even talk about my hair right now, seriously. This tub of GlamGlow’s Powermud Duela Cleanse Treatment* has been lurking in my bathroom cabinet for a couple of weeks, though, so this weekend I decided to give it a go. Now, facemasks aren’t something I use often: they’re one of those things I always intend to use, but then completely forget about until approximately 2 minutes after applying my makeup, at which stage there’s no way I’m taking it all off again just o use a mask: nuh-uh.

Every time I DO make the time to use one, though, I always make a mental note to do it more often, and this was no excpetion. This product is called ‘PowerMud”, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it doesn’t smell remotely mudlike, or make your skin feel uncomfortably right while you’re wearing it, either. Once you’ve left it for 5-10 minutes to set, you massage it off with a bit of water, at which point, rather than just flaking or peeling off, like so many other facemasks do, it acquires the consistency of an oil-based cleanser, allowing you to remove it easily, and give your skin another clean while you’re at it.

I’m always wary of reviewing skincare, because I often don’t really see much difference between various products, but I can honestly say that this made a real difference to my skin – like, a “immediately noticeable, even after one use,” kind of difference. My skin felt softer and smoother as soon as I removed it, and my makeup (Yes, I actually wore makeup that day: it was a real, “Dear Diary,” moment.) went on much better as a result. So, although it’s not cheap, I’d say it’s definitely worth it – now, if someone could just remind me to use it again next week, that would be awesome…

*PR sample

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  • Maria


    Have ordered the book! Always good to have a recommendation.

    May 6, 2017
  • Myra Boyle


    I’m ordering the book too, I’m re-reading your last recommendations right now and have nothing left.

    May 6, 2017
  • Rachael Dickinson


    I love reading. I find that it relaxes me completely and I get lost in a different world. You probably needed that with all of the kitchen mess!

    Rachael xox

    May 6, 2017
  • Jackie P.


    Thanks for the book recommendation! I always love your choices.
    I do love hearing about how the kitchen and floors are going, especially since we are getting ready to start on a similar project this summer. Goodbye floors that we picked out 9 years ago that I ended up hating! 🙂

    May 8, 2017
  • D. Johnson


    Amber, AGAIN with the “paralleling!” (I realize that’s not a word, but I liked it, so…) Much like your new kitchen, I am waiting for my new life, which is on order, due to arrive by September at the latest, ha ha. I am wearing my old, ratty clothes, I’ve cut my own hair, and am annoying sales clerks, when I do go out, with symptoms of my cabin fever. For me, it’s walking, not running, a mani-pedi not a facial (but what a great idea!), and I was just going to browse my local library’s offerings this afternoon! Thanks for the suggestions- all of them.

    May 8, 2017
  • I got up a size and a half in runners to account for blisters, overheating, potential swelling etc. Over the years as my mileage has really started to add up each month and the races get longer and longer I came to the realisation that a 6.5 wasn’t enough, then a 7 wasn’t enough so for maybe six years I’ve been wearing a 7.5 to run in!! Clown feet 🙂

    May 9, 2017
  • It’s always been way easier for me to find workout shoes that fit than regular shoes. I’m half a size bigger in them as well. Speaking of which, I need a new pair…

    May 12, 2017