H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

I haven't ever been a small person.

I haven't ever been a small person.

When I was born I was oddly long, all limbs. My mother fondly recalls memories of meal times when I was small. The diary she kept detailing how I would gleefully eat pasta with tomato and garlic sauce and end up with it all over my face.

When I was young and told 'oh how tall you are' as if it were an achievement, I felt proud. Yes. I am tall. I am strong. I am something. As time marched on, it became a flaw. 'Gosh, you're tall'. So noticeable, at a time when I so desperately wanted to blend in. I wished I could disappear.

When I was twelve a boy who caught the same bus home as I did asked me out, whatever that means when you're twelve. I assumed it was a joke, shot him a puzzled look, and walked away without saying a word. I hope it was a joke. I hope I didn't hurt his feelings.

When I was fourteen I stopped eating breakfast. When I was fifteen I started throwing my lunch away as soon as I entered the school building. 'Oh how well you look, now all that puppy fat has melted away'. I don't know how I functioned through my exams. Seemingly solely fuelled on empty compliments.

As I have grown I have come to understand that I am, as someone who has helped me enormously has described as, a slightly off-centre person. And although I understand that now, it's a bit of a recent revelation. I won't run through a list of my particular quirks because it doesn't matter. All that matters is being nice to people.

The first mistake was mine. I was in a fragile place and tearing myself apart. Wishing I was 5'7. Wishing I was more intelligent. Wishing I physically took up less space. Wishing I could write more coherently. Because if those things were true then... then I would be happy, finally.

I fixated on one thing. And that thing was my body. I would tell myself that if I were smaller, I would be worthy. Worthy of friendship, of love, of success, whatever that means. The way I was somehow wasn't enough, and couldn't ever be enough. And I would be better, infinitely improved if my body looked different. Only now do I really see how that doesn't make sense. But it's taken a long time. Because sometimes there's a disparity between what we know to be true and what our minds allow us to believe at any given time.

My mistake was to seek validation from people I didn't know, who could say whatever they wanted in that moment, protected by the anonymity of the internet. This was a time when I found pure, unabashed joy in 'what I wore' posts. I needed someone, that I didn't know, to tell me that I looked nice. I posted some pictures that I'd been staring at for an hour, meticulously identifying everything I didn't like about myself. Part of me hoped that these thoughts were just me being too hard on myself, and part of me knew that if anyone did say anything nice I wouldn't believe them. But instead, someone took immense joy in confirming many of the horrible things I'd been thinking about myself. It was almost as though they could see into my mind.

I spiralled.

The problem: I'm very good at projecting an illusion of normality and I never looked like I had a problem.

As I stared at myself in the mirror one day I finally had a moment of clarity and I asked myself what I was doing. And then, for a long time, I felt annoyed with myself because I thought I was stronger. I knew not to let a stranger tell me how to feel. But I think when a comment confirms all the worst things you've been secretly thinking about yourself for an extended period of time, it's different. It's difficult to brush it off. Somewhere along the way I stopped caring about validation from others, but untangling myself from the depths of my own mind took a while.

I don't know what that person wanted to achieve with their words. I don't know what they were feeling in that moment. Maybe it made them feel better, for a few seconds. I don't know if they could sense I wasn't in a great place. I hope they didn't know. Because I don't think I can let myself believe that they were genuinely poking me to see if I'd implode. Mostly I just hope that they're okay. I'd like to believe that no one's end goal is to push someone over the edge. You can't ever know how someone is feeling at that time and projecting your feelings, no matter how low or hopeless you feel, on to someone else isn't healthy.

Please be nice to people. Please. And if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. By all means think what you want to think. Think about how much you don't like me, or whatever it is. That's fine. And I'm not saying that you can't ever be critical or that you can never disagree with anyone about anything. But choose your words carefully, please.

I will never be a small person.
That isn't who I'm meant to be.
When I consult with my legs about a thigh gap even my calves shrug to my thighs, not understanding the concept.
And I'm okay with that.

I'll nourish my body with what it needs, my mind with what it desires to learn, and my soul with the contentment that comes with the fulfilment of a life well lived.



Friday, 22 July 2016

In This Moment.

Love Me. Cooler temperatures. Rice Krispies. 


Recently Read
Bettyville by George Hodgman

University Challenge. A Long Way Down.

Collide. Hover. Candyfloss. 

I Am
Treading water, but no longer pretending. Ups and downs. Swings and roundabouts. 

Listening To

Purchasing Recently 
Peaches. Pomegranates. La Soufflerie. 

On My Mind
I wonder if I'll ever stumble across a Jigglypuff. Or Pikachu.



Friday, 8 July 2016

Five for Friday

O N E . 
This little lady has been making me smile. She had a little nap with her head on my shoulder the other day and it was so cute, those few minutes just about made my whole life. Look at those little chubby cheeks.

T W O . 
Sailboat has gone back to basics and it's something I should have done a long time ago. I keep talking about doing things that have been incredibly freeing, like decluttering and simplifying my life. This new layout also feels freeing. I'm not sure why, but it has rekindled my desire to write and to post. Goes to show that little changes can make a big difference.

T H R E E . 
The July Glossybox isn't bad. Can you believe I've never owned a tangle-teezer-esque hair brush before? I wasn't sure how well I'd get along with it considering it doesn't have a handle, but it fits so well into the palm of my hand that I haven't even really noticed that it's missing a handle. Apart from the hair brush, the flat topped make up brush is probably my favourite thing. There are a few stray bristles, so it definitely hasn't been cut with a lot of attention to detail, but that's nothing I can't fix with a tiny pair of scissors.

Utan and Tone Nourishing Night Creme. Hawaiian Tropic Island Berry Lip Gloss. Collection Supersize Mascara. 
Hairon De-tangle brush. Blank Canvas F20 Flat Brush.

F O U R . 
I bought myself a sad little memento after the results of the EU referendum. I'm not sure when this deflated feeling will go away. Maybe when our politicians finally get their act together. Although I'm not holding my breath for that either.

F I V E . 
My breakfast this morning was a plate of fruit, some peanut butter and some choc shot liquid chocolate. There aren't any pictures because I ate it too quickly, but it was glorious. I'm currently wondering if I can have the same thing for lunch.

- Jennie


Thursday, 7 July 2016

In This Moment

Anything coconut. Bubble baths. Double rainbows. A new blog layout.

The glow from the streetlight that streams through our front window.

Recently read
No books recently, but a lot of Brain Pickings.

Next on my reading list
Jane Eyre

Quiescent. Paradox. Illusory.

I am
Hopeful, for in uncertain times it is all I can be.

Listening to
The Shins

10 Things I Hate About You.

Purchasing recently
Pineapples. Moo Free chocolate. Herbs. 

Polka dot pyjamas.

The differences between what people say and what they really mean.
How difficult and yet how uniquely beautiful it can be to show vulnerability to someone you trust deeply.

- Jennie


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Vegan Taste Test.

Having been a vegetarian for over twenty years and after a lot of consideration and research, moving towards a vegan diet feels like a natural progression for me. It has been a gradual change, starting with switching to coconut milk over a year ago and ending with one final egg mayonnaise sandwich, the thought of which now makes me feel a little queasy. I thought cheese and chocolate bourbon biscuits would be sticking points, but I'm genuinely surprised by how much I don't miss them.

I also really needed to improve my diet in a way that didn't involve calorie counting, because that's a slippery slope I don't ever want to step foot on ever again. My kitchen now holds a variety of fruits and vegetables all the time, I'm more appreciative of the food I'm eating because I'm cooking more with fresh ingredients and not relying on tins of soup when I'm feeling lazy. I feel so much better within myself and have been really pleasantly surprised by how simple it has been to make the change.

As I'm quite new to this my mum and I decided to pick up a few vegan things to try when we were in Holland and Barrett, mostly because we were very curious. I prefer to make as much as I can from scratch, but sometimes you've just got to give things a try.

Sweet Freedom Choc Shot Liquid Chocolate | £3.59
 A combination of fruit extracts, cocoa, water, rapeseed oil and natural chocolate flavour. Stir 3-4 tsp into 200ml of hot milk/milk alternative, or drizzle over fruit, porridge, pancakes, etc.
 Makes a really great cup of hot chocolate. I don't like it so much in porridge though and I haven't tried it over fruit or anything yet.

Moo Free Organic Milk Chocolate Alternative | £2.75
• An alternative to milk chocolate made using rice milk.
It's a little on the pricey side and I'm not a big chocolate eater, but I'll always have a little stash of Moo Free on hand.  

Choices Dairy Free White Chocolate Bunny | £0.62
• A cocoa based alternative to regular white chocolate.
 Far from terrible and actually a little creamier than I expected, but I probably won't be rushing to buy any more.

Sula Fruit Mix Sweets | £0.99
• Sula is the number one sugar-free sweet producer in Europe. Free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.
 I like to have boiled sweets around to quickly tame any cravings. The orange ones are my favourite.

Marigold Nutritional Yeast Flakes with added B12 | £3.29
• After watching a few vegan food hauls I learnt that this is pretty much a must-have. Dried inactive yeast has a slightly cheesy taste, which sounds a little bit ick but is actually really nice.
 I've been adding a sprinkling on to almost everything. Favourite so far is inside a baked potato with some spring onion.

GranoVita Organic Original Pate | £2.75
• A pate made with cashew nuts, soybeans and added spices.
 Not a fan. Tastes very yeasty to me.

GranoVita Mushroom Pate | £1.99
• Similar to the above, but with mushrooms and in very messy packaging.
Slightly better, but not really a fan of this one either.

Granovita Vegetable Pate | £1.85
• You know the drill now, similar to the above.
• Not a fan at all.

GronoVita Chickpea Pate | £1.85
• Again, as above but with chickpeas.
• I had hoped this one would be a little better. It wasn't.

GranoVita Mock Duck | £2.09
• Made from wheat gluten, can be eaten cold or added to casseroles and pies, etc
• Absolutely not. Nope. Never again.

Marigold Braised Tofu | £1.99
• Braised tofu, can be eaten hot or cold.
Trying this straight from the tin was an experience I don't ever want to repeat. It was marginally better in a stew, but it's not for me.

Violife Mozzarella Slices | £2.99
A cheese alternative made with vegetable oils. 
• I've tried the Violife cheese block before and thought it was okay but it had a bit of a strange aftertaste that was amplified when melted. I wasn't expecting much from these, but oh my goodness they are amazing. Would definitely buy again!

VBites VegiDeli Sage and Onion Slices | £1.79
 Perfect for sandwiches and salads.
 I've bought these for years and love them. Will have to look into more of the VBites range.

Granose Meat-Free Burger Mix | £1.69
• Just add water, make into burgers and either fry or grill until golden brown. Comes with two sachets and makes 8 burgers in total.
• Made these with my mum and it reminded her of what she used to eat when she first became a vegetarian back before meat alternatives were readily available. These tasted very similar to Linda McCartney burgers and they were fun and very quick to make. Next time I'm going to try adding a few extra ingredients and see how that goes.

Best buys: Choc Shot hot chocolate, Moo Free chocolate, Nutritional Yeast, Violife Mozzarella, VBites slices + Granose burger mix.

I'd love to know if you have any must-have vegan foods/snacks.

- Jennie


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Process of Decluttering: Blush + Bronzer.

The prospect of decluttering the three A4 sized acrylic drawers that held somewhere around forty individual blushes and bronzers was daunting, but it actually ended up being very cathartic. There are a few things, such as my Dior Rosy Glow and my first MAC mineralize skin finish, that I've tucked away for no good reason other than pure sentimentality, but I'm feeling lighter and it's very freeing.

Since taking these photographs I've parted with my Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera and it's probably about time that I went back in to edit my collection further, but here's what I'm working with at the moment.

Bagsy Ray Of Sunshine Perfect Glow Bronzing Powder in 01 Light/Medium 
I don't reach for this nearly as much as I should do, so I may need to pass it along to someone who will be able to properly appreciate it. For most of the year I'm essentially transparent and sometimes I find it just a little too intense.

Kiko Silk Pearl Illuminating Bronzer
I haven't used this bronzer much, but when I do I always really like the finish of it. It's far from shimmery, but it's also not too matte either.

Kiko Sunproof Cream Foundation in 100 Very Light
This is much too dark for me to wear as a foundation, but I do enjoy using it to warm up my complexion a little in the warmer months. It's subtle but lovely to have something on hand that makes me look slightly less ghostly when I'm wanting a bit of a bronze glow.

Lily Lolo Shimmer Stripes in Rose Glow
There's certainly no denying that this has been well loved. It's a pretty medium pink shade that I wear a lot during the winter.

Lily Lolo Mineral Blushes in Beach Babe + Ooh La La
Mineral blushes aren't always the easiest to apply, but Lily Lolo does them so well. Ooh La La is a pretty pink and Beach Babe is a beautiful matte warm peach.

Mineralissima Mineral Blush in Abricot 
The prettiest peach with a hint of golden glow.

NARS Cream Blush in Penny Lane
Cream blushes used to be my thing but this is the only one I have left because I don't like to hold on to them once they're too far beyond their expiration date. Penny Lane is a very pretty, neutral shade that works really well in combination with Douceur.

NARS Powder Blush in Douceur
Douceur is easily my all time favourite blush. It's the perfect neutral shade for fair skin because it's not overly pigmented and it never looks too heavy.

Too Faced Love Flush Blush in Baby Love 
If I could only have one blush, considering that NARS Douceur has been discontinued, it would be this one. It's slightly more pink than douceur, but I love it just as much and the formula is equally as smooth and easy to blend.

So Susan Universal Blush 
This one is perfect for those days when I'm looking for something slightly more on the pink side.

Soap and Glory Multi-Colour Blush Brick in Peach Party 
This looks so beautiful in the pan, but there's something about the texture that doesn't look quite right on my skin. Perhaps it's the slight shimmer, but it looks really obvious on my cheeks and I'm usually looking for something a little more subtle.

Emite Make Up Artist Colour Powder Blush in 108
This colour is the more pigmented, slightly warmer big sister to my much loved NARS Douceur blush.

- Jennie


Monday, 4 July 2016

Four skin care products for dry and blemish prone skin

Alba Botanica Deep Pore Wash
I've been using this every day for a couple of weeks and my skin looks so much clearer. After removing my make up I spend a good few minutes massaging this in to my face, focusing mostly on my chin and forehead. Although still far from perfect, I haven't known my skin to be this clear in a very long time. Time will tell as to whether this is a temporary effect of a whole new skincare routine, but for now I'm very happy.

Holland and Barrat Jojoba Oil
After a little bit of trial and error with a few different products I've learnt that my skin seems to respond best when I use an oil before my moisturiser. If I use too many heavy products though it can quickly start to look and feel overwhelmed. I decided to try jojoba oil, which is hydrating but not too greasy, and it seems to be working well for me so far.

Laidbare Pack Your Bags Lighten and Tighten Eye Cream
This is the biggest tube of eye cream I've ever seen, but I'm certainly not complaining. When it comes to eye cream I don't really expect too much from it aside from hydration, and lots of it. Again I've been using this morning and night for a few weeks and so far, so good. I've also been using it around my nose and on my forehead as I usually have a lot of dry patches in these areas but they now seem to be a thing of the past, and for that I am more than grateful.

Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream
Finding the perfect moisturiser has been a journey. Everything is either too heavy, not moisturising enough, or gives me some kind of strange allergic reaction. I've chosen to go with this one for now because it only has a few ingredients. It's moisturising but not too greasy and so far I really like it. Unfortunately I can't seem to find any solid clarification on Weleda's cruelty free status*, so my moisturiser journey isn't quite at an end just yet. I think my next purchase is going to be the Laidbare Working 9 to 5 Hydration Cream, but I'll keep you posted.

*Weleda reached out to me and alleviated the concerns I had by clarifying their position on animal testing. I would now feel comfortable purchasing more from their range. 

What is your favourite skin care product of the moment?



Sunday, 3 July 2016

When it rains on the day of your summer picnic...

...move it inside and turn up the tunes! We're all used to a little bit of rain, right? In fact I think we've come to expect it once summer rolls around. Besides, inside picnics are severely underrated. You get to eat lots of what we life to refer to as 'snacky bits' and you don't have to fend off wasps that like to congregate menacingly around the juice jug and refuse to leave you alone.

It's never a great picnic without a personalised playlist. Just because it's raining outside doesn't mean you can't break out the dreamy summer tunes, close your eyes and pretend that you can feel the warmth from the sunshine on your face.

Thank you so much to Higgidy for sponsoring this post and especially for keeping my family very happy by sending over some mini quiches and veggie rolls.

- Jennie