Life Sparkles ✨

It’s been a while!

It must be 2014 since I last visited the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. With no longer working in the city centre and being a full time carer for my parents, going out and about just didn’t happen. The market was cancelled last year due to Covid 19 and the various lockdown restrictions. Earlier in the month himself was able to take a break from his role as carer for his Mom and we went out and about. It felt like normal life and that in itself felt strange.

City Centre Vibes

I haven’t been to the city centre since June 2019 and it has changed a lot since then. There is a lot of construction taking place, some of which is in preparation of the Commonwealth Games taking place next year. The Christmas market is smaller than usual this year because of construction and also in order to limit numbers to try to prevent spread of Covid infection.

The garlic bread with cheese was huge, double the size that I remember from past years. Delicious! The Gulwein with amaretto shot tasted so good. Himself had his hot chocolate. The city was quiet, very quiet for a lunch time. Perhaps a lot of people are working remotely and also with our infection rates currently so high, people may be hesitant to venture into the city. We both felt a lack of atmosphere. Unusually warm for November it didn’t have that cold Winter feel. It was lunchtime so we didn’t experience the magic of the sparkling lights at night. However, we both felt that the reason for our lack of atmosphere wasn’t the market or the weather, it was because life has changed so drastically for us both since the last time we were there together. We enjoyed our trip out, it was lovely to spend some quality time together, to be out and about in our city but the magic of yesteryear was missing.

It was a lovely day out into the city. We talked about how the city was evolving and how our parents used to talk to us about what the city was like when they first moved here and the changes they had seen. It’s amazing the changes that have taken place in our lifetime and how something’s have actually reverted back to what was in place when our parents were younger. In Birmingham there are now trams and more tramlines being fitted in order to connect various city centre main areas. I remember my Dad laughing when I told him a few years ago about trams coming to the city and he told me that there were trams running through the city when he first arrived here and he seen the lines being taken up and main roads being laid in their place. So our cities evolve, change and yet history repeats itself in a modern form.

Nativity Scene

I was delighted to see the Nativity scene in a more prominent place. There were a few years, back when I worked in the city, that the nativity appeared to be pushed to the outside of the market area where not many people would pass by. That made me sad, after all it is Christ that is the reason for Christmas and whatever our beliefs, and for a multicultural, vibrant in differences city such as Birmingham, I don’t believe such an important aspect of Christmas should be pushed to the back of a bustling Christmas festival area. We should not be ashamed of our nativity scenes. Embracing each others cultures, backgrounds and festivals will only make us more connected and accepting of each other. And really that’s what it’s all about.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Vitiligo Beauty

Vitiligo is caused by the lack of a pigment called melanin in the skin. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes, and it gives your skin its colour. In vitiligo, there are not enough working melanocytes to produce enough melanin in your skin. This causes white patches to develop on your skin or hair. (NHS, UK, November 2019).

From Pinterest August 2020

I first noticed the white patches on my hands, underarms, thighs and very slightly on my face during the Autumn last year. I had a chat with the GP who diagnosed Vitiligo. He wasn’t surprised. This condition can be brought on by sudden traumas such as childbirth and bereavements. As I had experienced the loss of both parents, suddenly and without warning within a short space of time, this was possibly one way my body was dealing with things. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease and therefore a blood test was performed to check on my thyroid function ( all good there). There isn’t a cure for Vitiligo, it can disappear, remain as it is or gradually get worse. Over the past months mine has definitely got worse. I now wear Factor 50 suncream when outside as my white patches are at risk of severe sunburn if left unprotected. Other than that, and I know I am very lucky with this, it is not affecting my daily life. I have fair skin, I tan easily and in places the skin looks a little strange, almost like I have put a self tan treatment on and forgotten to cover certain areas.

I noticed when I was recording one of my songs on my iPhone over the Summer that the patches on my face were becoming much more noticeable. Himself remarked that I looked like a reverse Homer Simpson, charming! As much as I have accepted that this condition is part of me and I just have to get on with it, I wondered if this would affect my confidence long term especially as I want to follow a singing career. I am only now getting confident to sing and record on the phone for posting to my social media, was this going to stop me in my tracks?

A chat with my closest friend one day about this situation led me to the discovery of IT Cosmetics. https://www.itcosmetics.co.uk/ My friend was using their CC Cream (Colour Correcting for those who like me didn’t know what CC stood for) and recommended I try it. She knows I am not a full make up kind of woman, lippy and mascara and that’s about it, but I decided I would give it a go.

My CC Cream and a couple of free samples.

The IT Cosmetics website offers a step by step guide to gauging the shade of cream you require. I played it safe and selected the light medium. I also had the opportunity to try a couple of free samples so I went for the gel moisturiser and the night time beauty sleep moisturiser, both are really lovely on the skin. I am very impressed with the CC cream. It is extremely light on the skin, I cannot feel that there is any product on at all. It blends beautifully with my natural skin tone and a little goes a long way. It completely covers the white patches on my face so when the time comes to hit the stage and perform I know I can rely on this product to remove any anxiety I may have about sickly white skin patches.

This is my own personal experience and I am not in any way affiliated with IT Cosmetics.

If you should require any information on Vitiligo please visit the following organisations;

https://vitiligosociety.org/about-vitiligo/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitiligo/

With love and sparkles xxx