Skulpturpark, Billund

It’s our last day in Denmark before flying back to Stansted tonight. We decided to head back to the LEGO House in Billund but unfortunately it was closed today. However, we stumbled across a little nature walk where we found some interesting sculptures.

Without realising, we had been walking through Skulpturpark, an outdoor sculpture museum. We would have missed this but I spotted the park on our walk into town.

I took some photos to share with you. There are meant to be 19 sculptures altogether, here are some of them:

‘Hello Golem: Oto’, Sawako Ando
‘Hello Golum: Togen’, Sawako Ando
‘Standing figure’, Keid Moseholm Jorgensen
‘3-Dimensional Circle’, Jeppe Hein
‘Park Bench IV 2007’, Ingvar Cronhammer
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Piotis Naturals

I have a new product I received for Christmas. It’s from Piotis Naturals. It’s a body butter for eczema, psoriasis and dry skin. They have other other products for sensitive skin. I’m going to try their lipstick next, which can be made to order.

This product smells really nice. If you have sensitive skin you may shy away from products with scents but this contains natural ingredients. It has a mixed lavender scent.

It’s very soothing, moisturising and helps with my skin. It’s £12.99 and is recommended for use three times a day. I have been using this for a month (perhaps a little too generously) and still have half of it left.

I recommend this product not just for people with sensitive skin but everyone because it is such a good quality body butter. Please have a look at their website and Etsy Store. They have a wide range of vegan and natural products.

Piotis Naturals

Travelling through Scandinavia

We have planned ourselves a trip through beautiful Scandinavia. We have travelled around Norway so far and will be arriving in Sweden then Denmark next week.

Our first part of the trip landed us in the Norwegian capital of Oslo, the city is large with stunning architecture. We visited the Barcode Project, a new development in the Bjorvika neighbourhood which exhibits this.

Oslo Opera House

We were fortunate enough to reach this district when the sun began to set, creating a romantic and memorable view.

‘She Lies’

We stayed at Citybox on Prinsens Gate (#6) which suited us just fine. The hotel is mostly self-service and has a hostel-feel to it but with the privacy of your own room and en-suite. It is perfect for a short stay and is within walking distance to most places within the city.

We spent two days in Oslo. The first night was my birthday and we had dinner at Bacchus Spiseri and Vinhus. The food was amazing. I didn’t take a picture but I had the duck leg confit.

We wanted to have a couple of drinks before bed but found that most of the bars and restaurants within range were closing. We did find a bar open in the train station but discovered how expensive alcohol was here, 160 NOK (£14.82) for a pint of cider. Food is also quite expensive in Norway due to the higher living wage. Be prepared for this if you’re visiting.

The second day we explored Oslo and walked to Grunerlokka which is considered to be the Camden of Oslo. We did find some independent second-hand boutiques. We even found a shop that let us make our own badges, Kool Kidz on Markveien (#56).

Kool Kidz

We also found the Oslo Opera House and walked up to the roof to see some spectacular views.

Oslo Opera House

We travelled to Flåm the next day by taking the train to Myrdal and then the Flåm Railway. This is a popular tourist attraction and is considered to be one of the best train journeys in the world.

We arrived at the Fretheim hotel and had dinner at their restaurant. It’s the first time I tried deer, not quite reindeer as is recommenced on a trip to Norway but close enough. We spent one night here and then took the Fjord Cruise through the Nærøyfjord. This is one of the highlights of this trip.

Dinner at Fretheim
Fjord Cruise

We thought we had booked a flat through AirBnB on this side of the fjord but it turned out to be the other side. Double check locations before you go anywhere! It didn’t take us long to get back (half an hour including a shuttle bus and taxi).

Nevertheless, we arrived and explored Aurland the next day. It’s a small picturesque town on the side of the Sognefjorden. Our flat faces the fjord so we could wake up to beautiful views.

Aurland

We explored the little town and had coffee at a local cafe and bakery. It was a laid-back day but we had a busier one the day after. We travel back to Oslo for the next part of our journey.

I will post the second half of our journey next Friday when we have passed through Oslo, Malmo and Billund.

What I’m Grateful for in 2018

For Christmas, Barry got me The 6-Minute Diary which is a bit like a bullet journal that lets you practice gratitude and improve your own happiness day-by-day.

Therefore, I have decided to look back on this year at the things I have been most grateful for. It has been a wonderful year overall. I have a lot of fond memories to look back on.

The Six-Minute Diary

For Travelling

I started 2018 with a weekend trip to Berlin with my friend Charlotte. It was the first time I had visited Germany and Berlin was an eye-opener with plenty to see and learn from. We spent our weekend staying over in Alexanderplatz and visited many sites including the Berlin Wall Memorial and the Brandenburg Gate.

It was cold in early January but we wrapped up warm and kept ourselves busy with sightseeing. We tried the local cuisine such as curry wurst and sauerkraut. At the same restaurant I accidentally ordered a beer the size of my head. Of course, I finished this.

East Side Gallery

And then, 6 months later I went on holiday again with some more lovely friends. This time to Treignac in France with Kristie, Jane and their dog Wilson. It’s was a good year for travelling and I anticipate 2019 to be just as exciting.

For Starting This Blog

It’s been a couple of months since I started this blog and I have been able to put my thoughts into words and am grateful to have found freedom in doing this.

I hope to continue this habit into 2019. I’m also appreciative of all of the blogs I have found since signing up to WordPress. There are many talented bloggers out there who continue to inspire me.

For Family and Friends

It’s been a very busy year for all of us. Barry and I moved in together, my parents moved house and then my sister and her boyfriend bought their first home. The new year has started and we have barely finished unpacking.

Despite how busy we all are I know that they are there for me and I have a lot of good friends I’m grateful for too who can clearly put up with me enough to go on holiday together.

For Random Acts of Kindness

Sometimes all it takes is a genuine smile from someone unexpected such as a customer or passer-by. I received a handwritten letter from a customer sharing what she has found helpful for dermatitis. I didn’t expect it and it was so thoughtful. It made me happy that someone would take the time to do this for me.

How I Cope With Eczema at Night

Like a lot of people who have eczema, I find that it gets worse at night. Right before bed. Just before I wanted to relax and go to sleep. I have read that this is due to a lowered temperature and circadian rhythms. I have found a few ways to prevent (or at least reduce) scratching to allow skin to heal.

Apply Cream or Ointment Before Bed

It’s an obvious one but this is about forming habits. Keep all of your skin moisturised by applying it at set times of day such as when you wake up and before you go to bed. It is also very cooling on dry and itchy skin.

Wear Soft Clothing Which Covers Eczema

Materials such as cotton and silk are recommended for eczema. I find polyester is fine and feels soft too despite it not being recommended for eczema. This is because it can be too warm so don’t overheat. I wear longer sleeves and trousers to prevent myself from scratching, it’s like a barrier!

Take an Antihistamine

Over the counter and used to treat allergies and can reduce itchiness and hives.

Put a Dehumidifier in Your Bedroom

Humidity should be kept below 50% and will reduce dust mites. I have put one in my bedroom and it also stops condensation as an added bonus.

Wash Bedding in a Suitable Washing Powder

Don’t choose an irritant for a washing powder, like I mentioned in my previous post about Laundry Detergent.

I have also found and ordered an Ecoegg washing ball (fragrance free) which should save money on washing powder too.

Wear Cotton Gloves

Put cream or ointment on first and then put these gloves on. It will stop you from involuntarily scratching. It will also help lock in moisture. Make sure they’re made of cotton and fit you comfortably. They might fall off whilst you’re sleeping but that can’t be helped.

Distract Yourself

As best as you can. Watch a film or show you’re genuinely into and make a hot chocolate. Let yourself relax because if anyone deserves to it’s you. Eczema and itchiness can lead to no or little sleep. You are probably worried about your eczema and not getting enough sleep so it can be a vicious cycle.

Even good company and conversation can take your mind off of it, so spend time with your family and friends.

My Favourite Uses for Coconut Oil

I have used coconut oil on my skin in the past and am currently using Lucy Bee. It’s primarily advertised for consumption but you can use it on your hair and skin as well. Most coconut oil manufacturers will list its uses. Have a look on their website or on the packaging if you’re unsure. Most will list it’s usefulness as a beauty product.

Here are three great uses for coconut oil I have discovered:

Add it to Your Bath

This can be soothing for skin and will not harm people with sensitive skin or flare-ups of eczema. I add around one or two teaspoons to my bath. You can add more as long as you’re aware the bathtub will become very slippery.

I don’t use coconut oil as a sole moisturiser because it is absorbed too quickly and doesn’t quite cut it with my skin. I love using it in the bath and following this up with a heavier moisturiser or emollient.

Condition the Ends of Your Hair

I mentioned this in my previous post coconut oil can be used as a replacement for hair products such as leave-in conditioner. Don’t use too much! Start with a small amount and apply it after your hair is dry. I have tried using it on wet and dry hair and it’s easier to use on dry hair because you can get the quantity right.

This can be a great natural alternative to hair products which can cause flare-ups. It also smells really good.

To Remove Make-Up

This is my favourite use for coconut oil and I was surprised by how effective it was the first time I used it. When I wear mascara this is the absolute best thing to remove it. I’d go as far to say it’s even better than a lot of eye make-up removers made specially for the job.

It’s so soft and doesn’t cause redness or dryness like cleansers can do. Coconut oil is comedogenic, so be aware if you’re skin is sensitive to breaking out.

Why Is It Good for Eczema?

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, making up half of the fat in coconut oil. People with eczema benefit from it because coconut oil can reduce inflammation and is antibacterial, antifungal and is an antioxidant. All of as well as hydrating the skin.

Coconut oil can be found in most supermarkets, pharmacies or online. I have found a 125ml tub from Superdrug at an affordable price of £2.49.

Coconut oil will often come in a solid format but will melt quickly when applied to the body. It is best applied before bed because it can make your clothes oily.

Control Bath and Shower Oil

This week I have published my first product review of a brand I have discovered, Eucerin. It is their Control Bath and Shower Oil.

Duckie

This bottle from Eucerin was on the shelf in Boots. It wasn’t the cheapest product on sale at £14.99 for 400ml (on sale for £11.19 at Superdrug and Amazon) but it was something I had not tried before and I liked that it was oil-based.

Eucerin describe it on their website as:

‘soap-free and enriched with a high concentration of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Oils to gently cleanse and soothe skin with Atopic Dermatitis’

It specifically mentions usage during and between flare-ups. Perfect.

I was pleasantly surprised with this product. It is fragrance-free as you would expect and the product has an oily consistently without being greasy.

When I first rubbed this product between my hands it transformed into a white foam but reassuringly not too ‘lathery’. This meant it was easy to apply, went further and felt more like a traditional body wash without the itch.

I have also used this in the bath and it does have bubbles but nothing that would alarm you i.e. an irritant.

It’s smooth and cleansing without drying out the skin. It’s not the most attractive product and it isn’t cheap but it is good for sensitive skin and for when someone is experiencing an eczema flare-up.