bathing belles

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. Whenever I’m sad I’m going to die, or so nervous I can’t sleep, or in love with somebody I won’t be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: ‘I’ll go take a hot bath.’
—  Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Oatmeal Beauty Benefits

Oatmeal, rather than it only being used as a healthy breakfast, actually boasts beauty benefits. You can use oatmeal to help take care of acne, dry skin, irritation, dullness, and more. There are many ways that you can use oatmeal by itself, rather than going out to stores and spending money on products. I, myself, have a box of 100% Natural Whole Grain Quaker Oats. Here are some ways that you can use it.

  • Oatmeal Bath: Pour a cup of plain oatmeal (blended) into your tub as it fills up with warm water. The oatmeal will cleanse your skin, soften, and moisturize your skin, which help lock in moisture and protect skin from exterior irritants. 
  • Face Scrub: Oatmeal contains chemicals known as saponins, characterized by their cleansing properties. Simply grab a quarter sized amount of oatmeal and mix it with warm water in your hand. Once its soggy, squeeze out the oatmeal water onto your other hand and apply that to your face. It would be like a base before you actually start scrubbing the oatmeal onto your face, AND it makes your skin incredibly soft! Then you would scrub the oatmeal onto your face in gentle circular motions. Leave it for 2 minutes then wash off with warm water then cold. Then do your usual night time skincare routine.  

*Here’s a guide by

  • Exfoliator: Try blended oatmeal, coconut oil, brown sugar and warm water. You’ll get the same cleansing and buffering properties without all the unnecessary harshness from beauty products or over the counter items. Plus, the coconut oil will give your skin a healthy glow. 
  • Dry Shampoo: Just as oatmeal works at removing excess dirt from the body, it can also help to reduce the appearance of dirty hair. You can brush through a light dusting of finely ground oats throughout your strands to soak up excess oils. This will help relieve an itchy scalp. 

Health Tip: Oatmeal can help reduce cholesterol. 3 grams of soluble fiber from oatmeal daily in a diet, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Skam week. Part 20

Idea explained here.

You can find all the parts here.

Thursday 6:26pm

They both knew. Noora and Yousef knew why she was upset, it was a matter of time before one of them confronted her asking why she even cared about the kiss. What was she going to say then? “I’m sorry, I just don’t want my friend being with a nice guy” or “I’m sorry I just don’t want my brother’s best friend being with my best friend, ‘cause that would mean I would have to see her more”.

Nope, definitely none of those excuses were good enough. And Sana didn’t know what hurt the most, that they both knew, or that they were talking to each other.

She was trying to concentrate on her biology homework instead, but it wasn’t working. She was considering giving up and taking a relaxing bath when the bell rang. She looked at her watch, 6:26pm, probably her mom had forgotten the keys.

“Elias, can you open the door?” Sana yelled loud enough for him to hear

“Coming” he said back

Poor Elias, she thought, he was being so nice to her. As long as she was at home, so was he. He would enter her room from time to time, checking that she was okay.

“Uh, Sana? Can you come downstairs? You have visit.” Elias shouted after a moment

Sana frowned wondering who that could be. For a moment she froze thinking that it could be Yousef but there was no way Elias would have let him in…was it?

She walked down the stairs and past the hallway until she got to the front door. There, a very confused Elias and a very nervous blonde girl, Noora, were waiting for her.

“What are you doing here?” Sana asked frowning again

“You weren’t answering my texts. Can we talk?”

She considered whether accepting or not. She knew that if she said no, as much as Noora would protest Elias would make her leave. But she also knew that Noora wasn’t giving up, she would come back the following day, and the day after that, and the day after that until she got to talk to Sana. She might as well end that already.

“Okay, let’s talk. Come to the living room” Sana said leading the way.

“Sana?” Elias asked as a way to make sure that she was okay with that

Sana just nodded letting him know that she was.

The girls entered the living room and closed the door behind them.

Elias knew that he should give them space and he shouldn’t listen to what they were going to say, it was a private conversation. But a part of him was worried about his sister and he needed to make sure that everything was okay. He pressed his ear against the door waiting for them to talk.

“Well, what do you want?” He heard Sana asking

“Sana, I know you saw Yousef and me kissing” Noora said

Elias took a few steps back in shock and closed his hands in fists. Oh boy, Yousef freaking Acar was definitely going to hear him. He tried to be as silent as he could and went to his bedroom to grab his phone, there was a text he needed to send.

Meanwhile back in the living room Sana still hadn’t said anything to Noora’s confession.

“Sana, please say something”

What do you want me to say? Yes, I saw you both kissing. So what?”

“So you are upset about it and I want to explain it to you”

“Noora, I don’t want to know the details. You both are single, you can do whatever you want, you can date whoever you want. It’s none of my business.”

“It’s not like that Sana, it’s not like that. Just please, hear me out okay? If after that you want me to leave, I’ll leave”

“Fine, talk”

Noora took a moment to put all her thoughts in order before starting her explanation.

“I was really mad at you for not telling me about William and I know I had no right to be mad. You were just trying to protect me and you’ve been there for me during these past few weeks when no one else was. But in that moment I was a mess.” She took a deep breath before continuing “After you left to stop the fight, Yousef was going to follow you but I stopped him because I really didn’t want to be alone. He noticed the state I was in and asked me if I was okay. That’s when I tried to kiss him. But he rejected me. He told me that he didn’t see me like that and that he was sorry. He also said that even if he did like me he wouldn’t kiss me knowing that I was upset.”

“But he did kiss you, I saw it. I’m not crazy” Sana said matter-of-factly.

“I know…there’s more. He asked me what had happened and I told him that I had just found out that my ex-boyfriend had a new girlfriend and I just wanted to forget about him. And Yousef, he was really nice to me. He told me not to worry, that I would find someone else soon. And that’s when I screwed up…I realize it now”

“Continue” Sana urged her, as much as it was hurting to hear the truth, she needed it.

“I told him that maybe he wasn’t that immature after all. He was confused and asked me what I would think that in the first place. And I…I told him that you had said that he was immature and that guys like him only used girls. I didn’t think that it’d mean anything at the moment, I didn’t know that it would hurt him that bad. And like I told you I was a mess and I said that I really didn’t care about what you, Sana, had said, that muslims can only be with muslims, that I didn’t want any commitment, I only wanted to have fun that night.”

Sana’s mouth slightly parted, her chest tightened and her hands started to shake. She was still processing the new information but everything was starting to make sense now.

“Keep going” she said with a thread of voice, she could feel the tears trying to come out.

“When I looked at him again, after saying those things, he had changed. His eyes…they were dark and angry and…now that I think about it, maybe  sad too. He looked like his world had just crashed in front of him. So I took that moment of vulnerability and tried to kiss him again…And this time, he kissed me back.”

Sana felt the tears rolling down her face. Noora took a step forward like she wanted to console her but Sana backed off and quickly wiped away the tears, not like it was helping ‘cause there were more coming out of her eyes.

“Keep talking”


“Keep talking, I want to know the rest. What happened? Did you…did you…?” She couldn’t bring herself to say it

“No! No, no, no. Of course not.” Noora said fast “Uh…Like I said I kissed him and he kissed me back but I knew he wasn’t really into it. Like yes, he was kissing me, but it was like he didn’t really care. But to be honest, I didn’t care either, I just wanted to be distracted. But then he stopped, he pulled away and his eyes…Sana his eyes were red like he was about to cry. He started to apologize, he said he was sorry and that he shouldn’t have kissed me. He told me that he was in love with someone else and that he had only kissed me to try to forget her but that when he kissed me he realized that he didn’t want to forget her, he didn’t want to give up on her yet. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy beating himself up so badly, it was like he was going insane. He kept saying that he had screwed up, that he shouldn’t have kissed me, that he was stupid. I tried to calm him, I told him that it was okay, that no one had to know about the kiss, that it didn’t mean anything. We were both a mess when it happened, we were just trying to be distracted and got caught up in the moment.”

Noora stopped for a moment, waiting for Sana to say something but she didn’t. She just stood there looking at her and crying.

“He never said who the girl he was in love with was. And honestly, I didn’t thought about it much. But now I know. It’s you, Sana. He was in love with you…he is in love with you and it was my fault that he acted the way he did. I swear I didn’t say those things about what you told me to hurt you or hurt him, I didn’t think it would mean anything to him Sana. I’m really, really, sorry. And so is he. He’s devastated right now, but he likes you, Sana, a lot. He begged me to come here and make sure that you were okay because you wouldn’t talk to him”

“If he really likes me why didn’t he talk to me, first? Why was his first reaction after hearing those things to kiss you and not talking to me?” Sana whispered.

“Because I was there and he was a mess”

“Is that how it’s always going to be? Every time things get difficult he’s going to do something stupid and I’ll have to forgive him because he was a mess?” She said louder this time

“I don’t…I can’t really talk for him and I can’t make a decision for you neither. All I can tell you is that I think he really, really, likes you and I think you should give him the chance to explain, just like you gave it to me.”

“I don’t know what to do…” Sana said sitting on the couch.

Noora walked to her and sat by her side.

“It’s your decision and no one is going to judge you whatever you decide.” She took a deep breath and then continued “I’m really sorry Sana and I hope that someday you’ll be able to forgive me. I’ll leave now if you want me to”

“It’s okay…you can stay. It wasn’t your fault…you didn’t know. Maybe you shouldn’t have said those things but…I just I don’t want to be angry at everyone anymore, it feels so lonely and tiring.”

“I really am sorry”

“I know”

“Can I hug you? Pretty please?” Noora said pouting

“Yes, you can” Sana said rolling her eyes but smiling.

The girls hugged each other and laughed together.

“Also, you were a badass today” Noora said when they pulled apart “I loved how you dragged Sara. I don’t know how they’re going to manage to have a cool bus without us”

“Us?” Sana asked

“You don’t think I’m going to stay there without you, do you? I told you, I only joined the bus thing to get to know you”

Sana smiled at her friend and nodded

“And Sana…the girls didn’t know about Sara’s plan. They were really upset after you left, especially Vilde”

“She was talking shit about me and my brother with the pepsimax girls, she told them that Elias had called me a slave”

“You know how Vilde is…”

“Yes, I know how Vilde is and I love her, I really do, but does that mean that I will always have to act like her comments don’t hurt? Is that fair?”

“No, it isn’t fair…I’m sorry”

“Damn, Noora, stop apologizing for everything. It’s not your fault”

“I’m sorry”

Sana glared at Noora raising an eyebrow

“I promise that wasn’t intentional” Noora said biting her lip trying not to laugh

Sana rolled her eyes but laughed

“Want a hot chocolate? Seems like we could really use it” Sana asked

“That’s why you’re my best friend, always with the great ideas”


4th update of the day


Based off of this post by @stitcheskitty

And thank you to @woodelf68 for bringing it to my attention! :)


The second Gideon’s feet touched the water he started screaming and a quite flustered Belle pulled him back up again, setting him on her hip. Storybrooke’s indoor community pool had advertised for toddler swimming lessons and she had jumped at the opportunity to sign him up. Even though she was excited, her husband had held back. When she had questioned why, he had narrowed his eyes at her.

“You don’t have bath duty, Belle,” he said, “He’s terrified of water.”

“Then that’s even more of a reason to sign him up,” she had snapped back.

“To torture him?”

“No, to make him get over his fear.”

“He’s a toddler, Belle!”

This had led to a very lengthy argument that allowed their son time unsupervised to make the living room a complete mess and they both cleaned up the toys in a stewing silence. The next day, she went out and bought a pretty blue bikini for herself and small swimming trunks for Gideon. Rumple had not been happy. As she recalled the memory she looked to where Rumple sat at the poolside. Although it was humid in the large room, he was still wearing his three-piece suit and had not bothered to take off his over coat. It was fanned out, draping gracefully over the sides of the plastic lounge chair. His hands were folded over his stomach and his eyes, which Belle knew were observing her fail, were hidden behind round sunglasses.

Gideon was staring at the water, his imagination running wild. Sharks, water serpents, those nymphs Mama had read him a story about, and mermaids. Anything could be hiding in that deceptively clear water, and the toddler wasn’t having it.

Ready for another try, Belle lowered herself to the concrete pool side, letting her legs dip into the water. She shifted Gideon so he was on her lap. His brown eyes, ones identical to those she could feel watching her from the plastic chair.

“Alright, Gideon,” Belle said softly, “let’s try this again.” Gideon, who thought his mother would have gotten the message from his previous scream, was very surprised when he suddenly found the lower half of his body submerged in water.

“No!” He said the word like he was on fire, provoking several strange looks from other people in the pool. Belle brought him back to her lap, hugging him to her, but Gideon knew she was just going to try and do it again, so he struggled against her.

“No,” he said again, this time with more of a whine.

“Gideon,” his mother’s voice held a warning, “your swimming lessons start tomorrow, you have-”

This was new information to the toddler, and not news he liked. Swimming lessons? Did this woman not understand him at all?

With this inner-monologue, he squirmed harder and was able to slip under her arm and away. He was very aware of his mother chasing him, but somehow he managed to stay ahead.

Rumple saw this transpire and felt a small smile appear on his lips. He swung his legs to the side of the lounge chair and grabbed Gideon’s towel; he bent down and spread it out just in time for his son to run into it.

He stood as he picked Gideon up. Belle was close behind, looking like she was ready to fight someone. Rumple kissed his son on the head and the toddler wrapped his arms around his papa’s neck.

“He’s scared of the water, Belle,” Rumple said, voice low and husky, “don’t push it on him.”

Belle, however, had an idea. She moved into him, sliding an arm around her husband’s waist and setting her head gently on his shoulder. She was face to face with her son, whose head was on the other shoulder, and she smiled. She raised a hand and stroked his soft hair.

“Sweetheart,” she said, “would you get in the pool if Papa got in with you?”

She felt Rumple’s whole body go rigid. He was silently praying to whatever deity would listen that his son didn’t like this idea. However, Gideon didn’t hear this prayer and he nodded vigorously, a giant smile stretching his small features.

Mama didn’t any magic, but Papa did. Papa would protect him from the serpents, mermaids, nymphs, what have you….

A grin spread across Belle’s face, “Yeah?”

“Yeah!” Gideon said with so much enthusiasm that Rumple knew his fate had just been sealed.

“Belle, there are people here,” he said, trying to free himself.


The corner of Rumple’s nose twitched, “So, no one wants to see me in swim trunks.”

Belle bit her bottom lip and rose onto her tiptoes, placing a delicate kiss on his cheek, “I do.”

He looked from his wife, who was displaying oddly hungry eyes, to his son, who looked like he was in pain from watching his parents’ affection. Under both of their gazes he melted.

“Alright,” he sighed, “Let’s go buy me a swim suit.”

Clarence Sinclair Bull :: Vintage and original pre-code Hollywood pin-up photograph of silent film and early talkie actress Edwina Booth, early 1930’s.

The press snipe on verso reads: “She sighs by the seaside! Edwina Booth, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer featured player, gives her impression in blackout of what the well dressed bathing belle wears when she takes her daily dip.” / source: grapefruit moon gallery

more [+] by this photographer

Variable Heart, Chapter 13

Chapter begins with Mai and her mother standing on a log that is located a bit above a flowing river stream.

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Mai is being a freaked out about where they are going to train, since if she would fall off the log she would die, but her mother is very merry over the whole thing. Saying that since they will be killed if Mai would fail she chose this place so Mai would give it her all.

Taro is wondering if Mai’s mother have some screws loose in her head.

At the same time in the manor, Julian tells Houichirou that Rin have taken Mai and asks what should she do about it, but he tells her to let them to whatever they want and leaves the room.

Back to Mai and Rin, they begin to trade blows, and Taro is a little surprised that Rin is strong, while Shiori boasting a little about it’s obvious someone from the Hazuki family is great in both strength and knowledge.
Rin comments that it’s a merry group, and Mai says that it’s he dear friends.
Hearing that, Rin says that she will teach Mai a method that can make Mai maybe win over Houichirou.
Rin tells Mai that this might hurt a little, and soon Mai feels a powerful invisible strike in her stomach.
Mai realize that it was the same technique that Mei-fang had used on Mai before.
Mai asks Rin where she got that technique from, but Rin says that is a secret.
After giving a thought about what to do next, Rin creates strings and pulls Mai’s left leg.

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Seeing this, Kajun, Shiori and Tao notice it’s the same thing that Taro is using.
Rin wonders if it went well since she had only seen this once.
Hearing this, Taro can’t believe what he is hearing and knows that Rin is using “Vision”.

Kajun doesn’t know what vision is, and Shiori explains that Vision is the worst opponent for an arts user, especially assassins.
Vision is something that can completely imitate anything it sees. And the worst thing is that while people takes years to learn something, vision can do it in an instant. Only a foolish assassin would ever take a vision as their target.
Rin then shows what she can do, and imitates Houichirou’s pressure, although Rin says that she isn’t on the same level as him.

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After demonstrating this, Rin says that the current Mai could probably use vision somewhat within a week’s training. Hearing this, Kajun notices the word choice of current, wondering if Rin knows that Mai is NoName.

As Mai wonders what to do, Houichirou is watching them on the roof from afar, but soon turns around and leaves since he sees that Bell is watching him.

Later that day, Mai is in the library where she got merged with the grimoire. There Mai and Kajun has a little talk about Mai and her relation with her father.
At the same time, Bell is being washed by Rin in the bath, Bell asks Rin why is she and Houichirou so kind to Mai. Rin is a little surprised that Bell thinks that Houichirou is kind to Mai, but she says that is what it means to be a parent, to do what one thinks is the best for the child.
Bell asks if Mai can beat Houichirou, and Rin says that if Mai wants to she probably could, but she don’t know.
Although Rin says that she is more curious about who it was that Kajun have called for.

Later it’s time for the rematch between Mai and Houichirou, with the same rules.
Mai takes the spear and puts it away.
Houichirou then asks Mai why didn’t she accept learning vision. With that she could perhaps defeat him.
Mai asks Houichirou if he wants her to defeat him. She says that when she heard about it, she was a bit hesitant, but even if she learned vision, she wouldn’t be able to defeat him since she knows his strength well.
And Mai doesn’t want to win over him or defeat him, but be accepted by him.
But before Mai could say any more, something came flying towards her back.
Houichirou disappeared and suddenly was behind Mai catching whatever it was.
Houichirou is asking the woman who shot it what is it that she is planning to do, and she says that she was after Mai’s life.
The woman though that if it went well, both of them would have been pierced.
However, the woman says that since Houichirou took one step it is her victory.
And Kajun recognizes that the woman is Kokonoe.

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As an extra, Illustration of Mei-fang from second volume of Variable Heart.

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@twin-mercenaries have a random starter

Belle had insisted on using some of the money she;d brought along with her (a small fortune) to pay for their rooms at a fancy inn. She’d been determined to stay there because the inn had something she desperately wanted to see. Water from a mountain hot spring that ran through pipes directly to guests room. Belle was fascinated by the new technology.

The tub in the room was big enough for three people but Belle looked past the glamorous bowl and twisted a nob. She gasped in delight as hot water began to pour out of a faucet. “Soren, isn’t it amazing!? Maid here will never have to carry buckets and buckets of hot water to rooms again.”