Fashion - Beauty - Mum Life

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Stay at home mum Christmas party SAHM

Want to know what the heck I am talking about? click the vid below and be amazed at the fantastic idea of a SAHM Xmas party, only a few minutes long! if you enjoy it, please share this amongst your mummy friends.





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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Mum's pamper night - getting prepared to go out out

Warning - the next snippet of information is going to surprise you, maybe even shock. This weekend I am going out, I mean like actually out out. A weekend away with the girls, a bit of Crimbo shopping and a night of cocktails and karaoke - yes please.

So in aid of the event of the year, this weeks pamper session is a bit more intensive. Think body scrubs, fake tan, face masks, heck I might even shave my legs. I am however 97% sure that I am going to wear trousers, but there's still a 3% chance of lower body limb appearances, so I'm preparing. Y'know just in case I find a dress in the next few days that makes me look thinner, taller and bigger boobed. (Yes you did just see a flying pig)

I'm even putting on a bit of fake tan, just to take the edge off the look of death. Yes I may be a bit "stripey" being a bit out of practice in winter mode, but hey animal print is in and I'm pretty sure I could pull off tiger stripes.

So what are my weapons of choice?


For the visog I am whipping out a sheet mask - my choice today is one of the Boots own from the Ingredients range. I am a tad dry so opting for the hyaluronic one to add a bit of moisture and plumpness back. On the flip side I am also a bit oily and have a few pesky blocked pores (eye roll for the combo of issues!) so I am giving my nasal area a blitz with a pore strip - Tony Moly Nose pack package to be precise - it does the trick to whip out the nasties. Finally I have been using the UFO oil from Sunday Riley, which I find a treat to use. This combo should be a good start towards the prep for the Saturday night slap (as in make up - I am not planning on getting into a boozy brawl) 


From the neck down I plan to be smooth and tanned - (I will be tanning my face I don't want to rock the two tone look) choice of scrub is the Grounded coffee scrub which smells amazing and leaves my skin super smooth and clean. I wouldn't recommend using it in the morning as the temptation to ingest it would be quite hard to resist. If you fancy watching a review you can find the link HERE don't worry its not a film of me scrubbing my naked body, as much as I know you would love the idea - its just a review.

For a tan I am going to be using the St Tropez in shower tanner over the next few days, its kinda a fail safe way to tan because it is very light, just enough to take the edge off. I am not so keen on the application (standing in the shower with it on for a few mins) but hey its better than smelling like a biscuit baking in the oven in bed over night. 


So that's tonight's prep ahead of the weekend, starting early as I do not want to make the mistake of using a product that will make me bright red just before going out (side note, do not shave and put deodorant on in a rush just before going out in a strappy top) hashtag stingy red mess.

Oh no, this time I am going to be ready FIST PUMP


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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Day in the life of a stay at home mum SAHM

Vlogmas is upon us, will you be taking part? if you have not heard of it before, the idea is that you upload a video to Youtube daily leading up to Christmas. As much as I would love to get involved there is no way I would be able to keep up with the daily vlog. It did however inspire me to record a "day in the life of" type video, where I record my daily happenings. OK so its not the most glamorous of days to film, a day at home with the bubbas, however you will be able to relate to it and maybe even have a lil chuckle. Its my first attempt, fingers in all pies me, so I may or may not film another (next one probably a shopping day sans child) but for now I am enjoying have a play around with my Canon.

Enjoy! oh and don't forget to hit like, there's a love






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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Biologique Recherche P50W Review

It's not often that I would put a skincare product into the "GO BUY THIS NOW" category, but guess what? it's happened! and I am going to share this nugget of wisdom with you....this item is a must. Let's just say it's a total game changer and definitely worth the Hirons hype.


Introducing the rather spectacular Lotion P50 (W) from Biologique Recherche. An exfoliating acid toner with resurfacing as the number one job on its agenda. It also helps tackle blemishes, regulates sebum production, purifies and regenerates, kinda amazing huh?
 Biologique Recherche describe this as a gentle exfoliator, but don't be mistaken into thinking that it is weak, you can definitely feel this one working! it's gentle in the sense that its not going to irritate your skin but its still very effective.

Unless you're a skincare geek then you may not have heard of this brand before, that's because it's not exactly easy to track down - this isn't one where you can just pop into Boots. If you happen to live near a clinic or in are often in central London then great, otherwise you have to go through a consultation process via email or telephone directly with Biologique themselves in order to get your hands on this one

I believe that the reason that they do not sell online is so that they can give you a consultation and advise the right product for you. Here is a link I was given to their stockists:

http://biologiquerechercheuk.co.uk/find-store

This is the one product that I can say for sure makes a difference. I use it regularly in my evening skincare routine (sometimes in the morning too) and by morning my skin is noticeably smoother and clearer. My skin type is oily and my pores tend to get a little (actually more than a little) congested. I find that if I use this of an evening then my skin is very very oily upon awakening - like whoa there skin stop crying, BUT it's not actually a bad thing. Once the thick blanket of lard has been washed away my skin is clean and smooth. My theory is that I have exfoliated the crud away thus allowing further crud to come out during the night rather than it being stuck behind the original crud. Think of it as the fast swimming lane, a nice flow of continuous swimmers (oil) as opposed to the slow lane where anything goes, like getting stuck behind old codgers, arm banders, the lot (oil build up). There's always some idiot in the slow lane trying to show off by going too fast splashing up your rear. same goes for oil, its coming whether you like it or not so keep it flowing.

I bought mine from Liberty's whilst in London, so I got to speak with a consultant and they advised to start with the P50W as it is the weakest one they do (advised for sensitive skin) Starting with an application every other day and then take it up a notch by using everyday twice a day.

I personally use this just at night and occasionally of a morning, I am happy with the results I am getting so far with a once a day application so for now I will continue to do that. It was also suggested that after the first weaker bottle I could then up my game to the P50 which has a bit more oomph to it. But for now I am quite happy with the P50W results so will stick with that until I feel I need something a bit more.

It doesn't have the most pleasant smell, unless you're a salt and vinegar kind of person (er yer I don't understand the dry chip types) it doesn't bother me too much. Yes its vinegary but it works - it could smell like excrement for all I care, if it works I'm using it! In medieval times a cleanser was a humble soap made of ash and animal fats - imagine how manky that smelt! think yourself lucky that you only have to cope with a bit of a savoury preservative wiff.

Does it have a sting? a little, do I like the sensation? YES! I like to feel some sort of magic working, if it's an after burn then so be it! let's just say it does not disappoint on the tingleometer

Overall it has changed my evening routine completely, it exfoliates and paths the way for my other skincare goodies to get in and actually work. If I don't use this now then I feel that other products used just sit on the surface of the skin being blocked by a film of filth (I do cleanse, that's just how it feels!)

I will be purchasing this again - however, I am going to have a dabble with a few other acid exfoliators just to make sure that this is indeed my favourite. Like most beauty gals, I have found something I am happy with but will continue to buy others, y'know, just in case.



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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Evening Skincare Routine - Clinique, Avene, NIOD, Sunday Riley, Biologique Recherche


My skin has never played ball, in fact if it were a school girl in a PE lesson it would be the one stood slumped next to the goal posts, arms folded looking a proper misery (could quite possibly be me i'm referring to there). However my skin would quite happily be a cheerleader supporting team greasy or team crater, heck it would even support team flaky at times. I think I have given you enough of an insight into the fact that I am not happy with my skin, and because of that I am always keen to try the newest "full of promise" skincare items. 

So below, I am showing you my latest evening skincare regime, I have also filmed a video which you can find embedded in this post below. 

I do not mind spending the time (or money) using facial skincare products as I see it as being worth the investment. The way I see it is if you would spend £30 on a top then why wouldn't you spend £30 on a decent face cream? surely your face is your main accessory. Now i'm not saying you have to be spendy with skincare, I am just saying you shouldn't always let a price tag put you off. 


First of all I use a micellar water to take off the first layer of filth - my water of choice is the Avene Cleanance as I find it works well with my oily skin and it is good at removing eye makeup. I also use this on non-makeup days just to remove excess oil.

I then use the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. There isn't anything fancy about this balm, compared to others (EH) where they are quite fragranced and a treat to use. This one has no scent, its simple and gets the job done. At first look of this balm you may think it is a bit greasy and like lard, how can that get your skin clean? well it does, as it absorbs oil and takes off all make up. I apply this to dry skin, massage it in (even my eyes) and remove with a flannel, the result? really clean skin.


Then comes the star of the show....the lotion P50W - my acid toner of choice. I am not going to say much about this as I have written a blog post (will be up in the next few days) but let's jut say that it is the product I would defo recommend you take a look at. 


I then go in with my treatment acids/oils - first of all the NIOD Multi-molecular Hyaluronic Complex. I need to research a bit more on this as, to be honest, I do not know much about it. I put a few drops on after my acid toner to lock in "good" moisture. What I do know is that you need to use this before other absorbing products as it gets right in deep and other products applied before may block it from getting in. From what I know, you use the thinnest product first working your way up to thicker products, which makes sense if you think about it.

I then go in with the UFO Clarifying Oil from Sunday Riley - this has 1.5% salicylic acid in it which helps to combat spots and blocked pores. It also helps to regulate and control oil, which is exactly what I need. I have been using this for a few weeks now so I am not quite ready to put my comments out yet. Unless there is an immediate effect, I like to give products like this at least a month to really see any improvements.


I then seal this all in with a moisturiser - my choice is the Clinique Moisture Surge (the gel one) as it really is ideal for over moist (sorry) skin. It absorbs super fast and leaves no residue - you really must try this if you have oily combination skin because it doesn't clog the skin at all.


So there's my current routine, no doubt I will mix it up soon! if you have any skincare items that you think I should try then please let me know!

Thanks for reading!




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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Mums day off - shopping child free

Shopping - oh what a delightful thing, a spot of retail therapy always does the trick to perk me up.

Throw in two kids however, and you are most likely to come home feeling worse and you wonder why you even bothered to attempt it in the first place. My solution? leave them with the grandparents! I am fortunate to have regular grandparent childcare, usually I use this time to get jobs done (or sleep) but occasionally I will hit the shops alone which is way more appealing than a date with the vacuum cleaner.

 On an unrestrained expedition, I often see toddlers having meltdowns and the relief sweeps over me. It's the relief that it's not my child and I am no way involved in the situation, I am free to flounce on by. At first I hear the crying, a bit like the thunder when a storm is on the way, the mum-dar goes on but the lightening is going to strike some other poor mum. I give my "I feel your pain sista" look along with a heartfelt nod and on my way to Zara I go. Do I feel bad? yes, well a little....nah not a lot really. My karmic debit is already racking up with the enjoyment of shopping alone, karma will get me when I am on my own with the kids in Aldi next.

So do you fancy having a snoop to see what I got? surprisingly not too much (by my standards) I took my time most of my time mooching - lovely!


Tony Moly - I've seen this brand banded about and thought I would give it a try. Its Korean so I am expecting good things! I didn't actually go out to get these but I came across them in Selfridges and was lured in. I went for a few pore cleansing items and eye patches, expect to see my thoughts in another post soon!

I also spotted a Nugg face mask - again I have seen these masks on Instagram and they have been given good reviews, I went for the exfoliating version.


I've given up with lightweight coverage foundations, I am going for full on coverage no messing about, lets get the job done foundation. I have read good things about the UD All Nighter foundation, so I am giving it a try along with the primer potion, lets see how it compares to my trusty doublewear! 


You may have noticed that I recently got my hair cut to shoulder length. This was an attempt to get a bit more volume, to be honest I need to give up on long locks, short hair is my thing and I need to embrace it. So that has kick started project volume - I need to get the oomph into my hair. Starting with the basics - shampoo & conditioner. I have tried the other Elvive Fibrology volumising shampoo/conditioner but not the "Air" version. It was on offer for £2.00 each in Boots so in my basket they went.

 I also needed to top up on some baby bath - I love the smell of Johnson's bedtime baby range, I wouldn't say this bath cream makes my babes particularly ready for sleepy time (baths are playtime in this house) but its still nice for them (and mummy) to use.


Ooooh velvet - so much of it about this season and I found it hard to stay away from this trend - winter & velvet are like two peas in a pod. I came across this jacket in Primark for £18.00, normally I would go for a fitted jacket but this has a looser fit which I think works really well with the velvet. I also picked up the velvet scarf from Zara, for those days that I want a little hit of velvet without going all out.
 If your after a choker then you should take a look in Zara as they have a lot of choice. I have stayed away from chokers up until this point as its what I used to wear when I was a teenager and I couldn't quite pull up the courage to wear one. I gave in and bought this pack of two, the thinner one of the two I have an idea what to wear with, but the hoop one? not a clue, need to work that one out. I was drawn to it because it reminds me of Chloe Faye bags! have you seen the new Faye backpack? it's delightful (and on my wish list)


Lastly I got some new undies, I am pretty sure you don't want to see them but check out this pretty little number from Boux Avenue. I did have a quick look in Victoria's Secret but there was nothing in there that particularly grabbed me, plus some of the stuff in there is a bit overpriced for what you get don't you think?

That's it for this trip! hopefully I will be writing another 'shopping freedom' post soon, until then it's a date with Mr Sheen.

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Whats in your handbag? - Part two

Here's part two to my handbag beauty snoopathon (see part one HERE) It made me think about the items that I carry around with me. I don't usually carry a wide variety but I do tend to stash a lot of the same item. For example - lipsticks, I will carry the shade I am wearing but there also seems to be a few others (a lighter one, a darker one, a nude - y'know just in case I change my mind) If I ever need to find a lipstick I have to rummage through all of my handbags until I find the one I am looking for. I recently bought a lipstick holder for my dressing table, hopefully this will solve the problem!


Let's get snooping! 


If your feeling a bit, meh, then have a read of Nicola's website. It will give you a positive push in the right direction. I like her most recent post It ain't over which is about not writing off the rest of the year and starting again in January - how about change now? 

MAC Mineralize power - "My beauty item is MAC Mineralize powder. It's my go to because it helps me feel finished. It sets my makeup and then I also use it throughout the day to keep me shine free. It is light but has coverage at the same time. Along with my keys and phone, it is always in my handbag"

Tell me about your website Nicola "My site is called A Life More Inspired (link above), it is a digital space devoted to allowing women to focus on themselves. It is all about embracing life's adventures and is created for those of us determined to take control of our happiness and live a life we love. I am on a mission to rewrite the stories that hold us back, from low confidence to limiting beliefs and fears through beautiful products, tools and techniques"


I recently started following Emma on Twitter, her "real mumlife" type of tweets make me chuckle, (phantom poo) check out her feed HERE to see what I am talking about. I like her honest view on parenting, my fave post of hers "the truth about being a mum" HERE is right up my street.  

Moogoo Cowlick lipbalm - "My go to product that I never leave the house without is the Moogoo Cowlick lip balm. I have super sensitive skin and I can't use most balms, gloss, or lipstick (weeps) But this is one that I've discovered, that I can re-apply all day and my skin doesn't react to it as it's made from completely natural ingredients. I love it. I have five spread around the house so I can swipe at any time!!"

Tell me about your blog Emma "My blog is about sharing the real side of parenting and everything that comes with it. Laughter, tears, poo and all. I love sharing travel posts, recipes, I occasionally run and am passionate about playing hockey. There's no fluffiness, no sugar coating, just true life stories with a dash of humour"

Liz - Instagram

One of the main things I love about Instagram is connecting with like minded people. Especially being a SAHM I have little time to go out and meet new people and Instagram gives me a window to the outside world! It's connecting with other mums like Liz that makes Instagram enjoyable. 

Cocoa Butter Vaseline - "Vaseline is my go to beauty product because it's multipurpose! I use it for my lips, my hand corners, to shape my eyebrows! And I love the cocoa butter one because it smells nice and I normally use cocoa butter on my skin!"

"My Instagram feed doesn't really have a context, just a platform to spam my gorgeous kids and random ramblings on my Instastories. I just use it to connect to other mums, like minded people and see what's about really!"

 Thaarani -  www.teeclutter.com

I love Thaarani's style, its simple & uncomplicated but somehow she makes it lust worthy. A simple T and jeans always looks super chic on this gal. I follow her Instagram HERE for outfit inspo's (plus she finds all the good stuff when out shopping - que fitting room pics) but her blog offers even more inspo - defo worth a follow (link above)

H&M Cashmere Haze hand cream - "As I hardly carry around makeup, my beauty item is the H&M Cashmere Haze hand cream. It's the first time using this, a spontaneous buy. I would say hand cream is a necessity in my bag especially around this time of year as they tend to dry out. I hate having dry skin!"

Tell me about your blod Thaarani "Teeclutter (www.teeclutter.com) is a blog that tries to simplify fashion and shows you inspiration from myself or others on how to wear certain items in your wardrobe that you may not know how to wear. My topics are brief, keeping it simple just like my style. Tee-clutter is derived from the word de-clutter. so it has the same meaning: to simplify and to remove unnecessary items you don't need or make you happy"


After meeting Vicki I had a look at her blog, I really appreciated the no nonsense honest approach to her posts (link above). One of my faves is "You are raising a sexist child and you don't know it" HERE its hard not to stereotype but I think we all do it to some degree without even knowing it. My boy is being pushed around in a pink buggy and has a pink sleep bag, why? because that's what I had from when my girl was a baby and I don't see the point in buying another just because of the colour!

Dior lipstick - "I brought this as it's my fancy make up item, as it is Dior the price tag was fairly hefty not like my normal bargain bin grabs! I use it on special occasions as it never let's me down, it doesn't dry out and feels like lipbalm! I am all up for an easy life and this is it!"

Tell me about your blog Vicki "I blog about my experience as a NICU and CHD mum and have recently become a Bliss campaigner. I have teamed with Little Miracles UK to campaign for better mental health care for NICU parents"


Sima blogs about indulgent escapism - the only thing is it makes me want to go out and eat, lots. Having two babies means I do not get to go out for meals to often, but when I do I make up for it! and when I see foodie posts like Sima's it fuels the need to feed even more!

Eight hour cream - "The Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is my go to beauty item as it works for just about everything! Cracked lips, unruly eyebrows, dry hands and adding sheen to my cheekbones. I could go on but it could turn into a bit of an essay."

Tell me about your blog Sima "The Curious Pixie is a UK lifestyle blog focusing on escapism from the daily grind with or without your kids, be it through travel, food or culture."

Kadie - not without blog

Kadie recently got engaged, congrats! her most recent post is all about her engagement party and her tips on planning the perfect event. The decor was perfect and I love the LOVE balloon! almost makes me want to do it all again! (Can I get away with it after being married for four years?)

MAC Lipgloss - "Mac Lust Lipgloss is my go to item because its a great colour that goes with most things and adds a bit of glam to a daytime look."

Tell me about your blog Kadie "My blog Not Without is about all the fun things you cannot do without. Fun things to enjoy everyday and this covers on the most part beauty and fashion." 


Alicia - sunloveraliciareg

If your feeling a bit miserable then have a look at Alicia's Instagram feed HERE and it's sure to cheer you up! so colourful and happy! I have said this before but I have no idea where she finds all the colour whilst out and about! she must attract the vibrancy. A lovely lady, I am glad I got to meet her at the Lucky Things meet up.

MAC listick "My beauty item is a pink MAC lipstick. The shade is called "All fired up". I love this particular one because it's a 'matte' texture which makes the colour pop even more. It also stays on all day. I hardly ever have to reapply"

Tell me about your blog Alicia "My blog's strapline is 'making my own sunshine' and it's a lifestyle blog I guess...about my love for brighter days, colour, and simple cheery things that I find happiness in! I get depressed in the winter months and anyone who knows me, would tell you that I absolutely love when the sun is out! I am kind if living in the wrong place for that (Britain)!! (Hence my strapline - I have to make my own sunshine or 'happy days') So my blog posts might feature colourful things, fun or random days I've had, nature walks, or other things that interest me!"

Ally - life with my little duck

I love the Childhood series on Ally's blog - she has guest bloggers/mums/instamums writing about their childhood and how it has shaped who they are today - a very interesting read! She also writes about life dealing with allergies - in fact you can vote for her on the allergy blog awards HERE

Maxfactor lipstick - "I love this Maxfactor lipstick because it is really simple and easy to wear. I feel more confident wearing lighter shades so this nude/pink is perfect for me, it's the only lipstick I will wear"

Tell me about your blog Ally - "My blog is a tribute to the love I have for my daughter Astrid and our journey together dealing with allergies, coeliac disease and being a working mum"

Thanks for reading! x 

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Soft play survival kit


"I gotta get through this, I gotta get through this, I gotta make it, gonna make, gonna make it through"
Daniel Bedingfield

Soft play - the two words that send shivers down my spine, it's also a lie, what's soft about that brutal environment? The thought of spending a few hours in a germ infested, screech fest really doesn't appeal, but remember your doing it for the kids because they love it. They have tantrums, fall outs, accidents - yep they LOVE it. You want to shout "FFS I'm doing this for YOUR benefit! you better enjoy yourself or at least look like you are otherwise we are never coming back" Yet you always go back.

So for the next time that you do go back, I have put together a survival kit to get through this torturous occasion. But first, let's delve into what I really dislike about SP, just to really set the scene and to give my kit justification.


Germs

Yep the number one fear, what disease is coming home with us this time. The continuous struggle to keep the kids hands away from their mouths is almost impossible, especially when you are on your own with a one year old and a 2 1/2-year-old (am I crazy) just try and continuously lunge across a ball pool to stop a previously flobbed on ball being touched, its hard work. Runny noses, leaky nappies and coughing are just a few of the methods used to distribute bacteria, you witness it all yet its out of your control.

Other people's kids

What's almost as bad as the germs? in second place, other people's kids. Other people's kids that don't seem to have anyone with them, did they just rock up on their own? They want to join in your ball throwing game, which you hardly want to do with your own child let alone a stray child. What's worse is when they try to talk to you, my solution? speak in another language, pretend to speak French or something, they soon get bored and sod off.

Bad for your health

Bring a small bottle of gin with you, there's no signs to say that you can't and even if there were people wouldn't read them - a bit like the signs that say parents must supervise. Or when 12 year old Jimmy refuses to acknowledge the "babies only" sign in the under 2 area, but to be fair he probably can't read. Once you have necked your gin, chuck the bottle in the ball pool, no one will know it's there, it will float amongst the sea of other debris lurking under the balls. So not only can you catch a disease but it also drives you to drink, children throw themselves around plus there's all sorts of hazards amongst the balls.

*Alternatively you can try mini cocktails as pictured - my recommendation is stay away from small bottles of prosecco - the pop gives the game away

Wheres the staff?

Where are they all? oh yer they are where the moneys at - the front door and in the cafe, sod the rest of the place, it can go to hell. What about the 20 kids on the trampoline designed for 10? ah fuck 'em, we've got an accident book. Although I can sympathise, if I worked at a soft play centre I too would hide in the cafe.

The happy lot

What about the group of women sat around a table enjoying a coffee? their children are either playing nicely on their own a stone's throw away or sat gently nibbling away at a healthy snack? Actors, employed by the soft play centre to create a "we are happy and relaxed" vibe. I thought about it a lot and my conclusion is that it must be an inside job. It simply must. You never see this lot on their hands and knees crawling through a tunnel, they probably said "we don't get paid enough to do that"


So what's in the kit?

Hand gel & antibac wipes - Last time I went I forgot to bring them. Rummaging in my bag with one hand and pinning down my toddler in the other, I needed to find the gel before she clawed at her bag of quavers. It wasn't there. The struggle was real, I started to hyperventilate at the thought of going gel-less. I had lost my battle and it was simply too late, her hand was in the bag fondling away at her cheesy snack. The thought of trying to get her, a baby, a double pushchair and a wheelbarrow full of belongings into the toilet to wash her hands was just too much, a baby wipe had to do. Learn from my mistake - always remember gel, have it at the top of your bag, poised and ready for use.

Waterproof mascara - The likelihood of you crying in the car on the way home (or on the way there at the anticipation) is highly likely. That or a smattering of squash that gets launched your way, directly into the eye, only you hope that the fluid that just came into your presence is definitely just squash. My choice is the Natural Collection waterproof mascara, its cheap (£1.99) and does the job, I'm not wasting my YSL at soft play.

Sweets - Don't judge but there will come a point where a sweet bribe will get you out of a pickle and that's putting it lightly, I should say shit-storm (sometimes literally) like when your little darling refuses to go down the slide whilst you are waiting at the bottom, wave your bag of sweets and down they come. The alternative is to elbow your way through the crowd of kids that have gathered at the top waiting their turn, I know which I would prefer. Just be careful how visual you are, the backed-up children behind may also lunge at the possibility of sweets.

Comfy jeans and a long top - If you don't follow this piece of advice then your asking for trouble. Don't be so naive to think that you won't be coerced to go through the soft rollers, you will be going through them and you will flop out the other side like a fish. your arse will be on show, or even worse, flash that tattoo you got in your early 20's, might as well add a bit of thong whilst your there. Don't wear a skirt (are you crazy) there's no such thing as style at soft play - purely functional, in fact this is one occasion where leggings might actually be a good idea.

Lavender rollerball -  Give yourself an occasional douse of lavender, with relaxing properties the odd wiff of this might just take the edge off when you have to deal with a moment. Normally that moment is the onset of a tantrum, when you feel it brewing quickly get this out take a deep breath and then let the battle commence. I recently purchased the Tisserand one, it's not too overpowering but still gives a good hit of lavender.

Old boring socks - Ones that you can do the BBB to when you get home - Bleach, Boil or Burn. And I say boring because you could do without drawing attention to yourself. I made a rookie mistake on my first visit by wearing Minion socks in my attempt to be a "fun mum" only to be approached by 10,000 kids admiring the cheeky bastard face (I say cheeky bastard because I swear by the end of SP the Minion looked like it was laughing at me) the BBB was performed, I got the last laugh.

Lipbalm - Your lips may become a bit sore from all those lip biting moments and in the sweltering heat a bit dry too. But for the love of god do not bring a dip your finger in the pot type. It's a lip balm, not a live culture dish, make sure it stays that way by keeping that one at home. Instead opt for a tube, my fave? Carmex, it's a good price and it always works.

4head - A combination of the sounds, lights, colours tend to give me a headache. Think the throbbing sinus/forehead/tension type of headache. If you're not one to take a tablet then give 4head a go, slick a bit of this across your forehead to take the edge off the tension.

*please drink responsibly - do not spill

So there you have it, I have given you the crucial kit for surviving soft play. Share this amongst your mother friends for none of us should have to suffer unnecessarily. Go forth and survive.

Good luck and stay strong.
LINK HERE

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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Insta-Confidence - How to be confident using Instagram


"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"
Eleanor Roosevelt 

I am positive, I am self assured, I am fearless. I am positive that the red bag is a better purchase choice than the blue, I am self assured when holding said handbag, I am fearless of the repercussions of bringing the bag home. Shopping confidence probably wasn't what Sunita was referring to when she set me a confidence related task at her meetup last week.

The task given? Describe confidence in three words, its actually a lot harder than you think. It triggered a whole thought process around the subject that has led me to writing this post.

It highlighted areas in my life that I am confident in, where I can comfortably say to myself "I've got this." It did however flag up many more areas that, lets just say, I am less than pumped up about. Now I wouldn't describe myself as a gutsy person (apart from when it comes to cake) nor a meek person, I think like most things in life its a balance. But seeing as it highlighted many an area of contemplation I thought I would write it out, cue confidence related posts....
First up Instagram/social media

It took me a few months to actually pluck up the courage to start an Instagram feed, looking back now I have no idea why. I had a bit of a "whats the point" attitude, why put myself in a position where I could be ridiculed. Now that I am a mum I shouldn't be flouncing about taking pictures of makeup - how juvenile. I should be sensible and just be a mum as expected of me because that's a better way to be right? best stay safe. However as a SAHM, social media had kinda become my window to the world and the temptation to join the party overhauled my "what will people think" fears. And so it began, The more pics I added, the more people followed, the more comments I got. Hhmmm quite like this actually.
Six months, one blog and a Youtube channel later, I can now comfortably say I am a confident Instagrammer - FIST PUMP.

So seeing as we are on the confidence cliche bandwagon and I've come over all guru, I might as well put my two penny's worth in and give you my top tips for Insta-confidence - cringe but I know your going to read and relate (wow how confident of me)

1) Just do it - buy that pair of Nikes, sorry wrong subject. Just start a feed, there's loads of non identity type pics you can choose from, feet pics, holding out an ice cream, or dog selfies to name but a few. Then you can build yourself up to more personal things and even do the dreaded selfie! (If that's your thing of course! a feed full of your stamp collection pics might not be the place for a gurn debut)
No one has to know who you are if you don't want them too, show as much or as little as you want. And when I say as much as you like, I'm not talking about nudeyness, confident yes, but there's a limit y'know

2) Make some mates - just force your friendship upon people, they always give in in the end! either that or they block you (chill out love!) Luckily people I started chatting with have accepted my weird and wonderful ways. Just chat to people, make comments and like pics that interest you to get the ball rolling. Show interest and people do the same back, the Insta mum/fashion/beauty community is great! not everyone you come across will be so accepting, think mean girls cliques (they are everywhere even on Instagram) you know the ones who were probably popular at school and its defined the type of person they are for the rest of their lives? bless. But hey, they are twats anyway so who cares what in joke they have today, jog on. For every mean girl there's a handful of nice people, its the nice ones make it worth it, but then isn't that the way with any human interaction in life?

3) Chill out - take it for what it is - a social media app of pictures, if you take it too seriously then you will get yourself in a mind pickle. For example, you put a pic up where you think your out fit is FIT, you think "yes! i've nailed it" you swiftly put it on Instagram waiting for the likes to roll in. They don't. Then to add insult to injury you get a solitary comment from a spammy account saying "get more followers." you have to take it with a pinch of salt, don't get me wrong its fab to get positive comments etc but if it doesn't happen then so be it. Don't think because, for example, people haven't liked an outfit that it doesn't work, maybe everyone's just out and they've left their phone at home....or there's no internet connection.....or maybe it actually is just genuinely awful but in the grand scheme of things does it really matter? at the end of the day its just an outfit. Does that mean you should never wear it again? no it means its what YOU like and what makes you you, do you really need a stranger to give you permission?

4) Followers - Some people are in it purely for the numbers, I constantly have the same accounts following and unfollowing, the tactic to get more followers. Don't get offended by it, if they are in it for the numbers then it shows that they are not interested in your (or any) feed no matter how good it is. Interactivity with a small number of like minded people is way more fun than gaining empty, want nothing to do with you. numbers

5) Is it Instaworthy? - OMG did you seriously just add a picture in the wrong colour theme? how shocking of you. Don't get me wrong its nice to look at well organised/designed themes but simply put "I ain't got time for that" I don't know how people do it. I suggest not losing sleep over it but just putting up pics that you like, in fact the majority of feeds I follow do not have colour themes.
I do catch myself looking at the 20 pics I have taken of the same thing wondering if it is good enough for Instagram, but i'm coming to the point now where, yes I have to be happy with it but no need to agonise. I recently put up a pic of me in a hat saying I wasn't confident enough to wear it (how contradictory of me) my face is scrunched up, i'm holding a dog, my husband is lurking in the background, its defo not text book Insta worthy - yet I had a lot of likes and comments! My experience is that people prefer a pic to tell a story of some sort rather than it being perfect. Although that basic yet perfect coffee cup & pastry shot in the morning continues to grab my attention LIKE

My coffee every morning...JOKE! I draw other shapes too silly

Aren't we fortunate that we can write posts like this? - how to gain confidence in social media. What a complete and utter first world problem, we need to get it in perspective, take it for what it is and enjoy it.

So what are my three words? I guess you will have to check out my Instagram feed to find out



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Monday, 31 October 2016

What's in YOUR handbag - Essential beauty item - PART ONE

"Your makeup should never precede you, but walk with you"
Estee Lauder

Sat on the train to London with a bit of time to kill I thought I would have a blog brainstorming session. I was on my way to a blog meetup and set myself a challenge of walking away with at least one blog post. After numerous bag checks on my journey (you know where you check your phone and purse is still in the same place you left it two mins ago) it got me thinking about the beauty items I carry around with me.

You often read "beauty favourites" kind of posts but what items actually make it to the coveted spot in a handbag? the ones worthy to be carried around. Seeing as I was going to an insta/blog meetup, I thought I would ask the bloggers I met what was the one beauty item they brought with them that day that they couldn't leave home without. Plus I wanted to have a nosey in handbags, win win.

It was surprising how many people said "I don't really carry anything" or "I am not that into makeup" etc - yet all had something that subliminally ended up with them that day. The go to items that we don't even really think about anymore but somehow they are always with us. These in my eyes are the true beauty must haves, the ones that actually work and we automatically go to.

So as you do, I asked bloggers to show me their beauty item and took a snap, they loved me for it. Some hid in the corner at the thought of an unannounced on the spot question and pic, they shouldn't have bothered because I sniffed them out. If I did miss you then there's always next time!!

I will kick this off with my own item. I have to admit when I was asked the same question I said a liquid lipstick, however I have actually changed my mind. Cheating slightly, but hey its my blog I am going to bend the rules! So my item? blotting paper, seeing as it would be pretty uncool to carry a flannel around with me to literally mop my brow, I carry these bad boys around to suck up the slick. nice.


So without further ado, lets get nosey-ing! *I apologise for any blurry photos, I had two glasses of wine and a cocktail, don't judge I don't get out much, plus it made an interesting journey home.

Nikki from oneoutonein.com 

I met Nikki through Instagram, we were already following each others daily outfit choices so it was great to meet her face to face. Plus I am slightly in love with her bobble jumper above, and if you fancy borrowing (stealing) this look then this knit is from Willow & Paige @ asos

If you like daily style inspo, you can find her Instagram feed HERE

Natural healing balm
"My beauty item is the natural healing balm, it's mainly for my lips as they get so dry, but I also use it on my cuticles. I tend to only wear lipstick or gloss for a night out but I like to have something on my lips, so this works for me"

Tell me about your blog Nikki - "My blog is fashion based, clothes I wear & those I'd love to wear, whilst trying to keep my wardrobe size in check" (link above)

Sarah from mumzilla.co.uk

This is the first time I had a read of Sarahs blog and I am glad I did because its hilarious - my fave post? zero fucks given link HERE a particular fave quote of mine "I hate high heels and never wear the bastards either" and that's in reference to school run fashion. I personally do not wear heels for the school run in fear of feeling like a bellend (confidence issue there?) but I do wear makeup and that is defo an occasion when we need a bit of armour right?

Lord& Berry lip pencil
"I usually have some sort of lipstick or pencil in my bag - a quick slick of colour is like armour! Even if I don't have anything else on it brightens up my face"

Tell me about your blog Sarah - "My blog is a bit eclectic, but mainly parenting humor! Because you have to laugh or you'd go mad right?!" too right Sarah, too bloody right! (link above)


I love Antonia's photography style on Instagram HERE, plus she gives great fashion inspo with her shopping related blog posts. I like her recent post - How to dress in style for Halloween Here - obviously I saw this post too late and am already "rocking" some gaudy Halloween nail art, cool personified. 

Rimmel Colour Rush Balm
"My beauty essential item is lipstick, I used to only wear gloss for years but I used to get bored with constantly having to reapply so ended up with bare lips. Now the thing is, I'm in my late thirties now and I feel that I really benefit from a pop of colour on the lips to lift my complexion. I don't go anywhere without it these days, I feel put together with a bit of lippy on, even if the rest of my face isn't done"

Tell me about your blog Antonia - "My blog Tinker Tailor Online is a lifestyle destination that celebrates fashion, beauty, interiors as well as health and well being. It's for women who love fashion but are not slaves to it, women who want to be confident and look good but not at the expense of feeling good. Tinker Tailor online believes in bringing luxury to the everyday and making style achievable"

Kristy - Instablogger - link here

Do you follow Kristy on Instagram? if you don't, and you love fashion, then you definitely should. I friggin love her style, she always manages to pull something new and inspiring out of the bag. She can pull anything off  (yeah shes one of them lucky lot) plus I want to steal her hair style. Link above

MUA Sweet Sheen lip balm
 "Its not just this particular lipstick, but all lipstick. It's my go to because it can completely change your look or brighten your face"

Tell me about your blog/insta feed - "My blog is about keeping hold of your style even though your a mother. It's also about having fun with fashion and doing it all on a bit of a budget"

Sophie - esmeloves.com

Sophie has her own jewellery store esmeloves.com where she sells beautiful pieces with stones sourced from Jaipur. I am eyeing up the Samsara earrings with moonstone gems (find then here) - the collection is inspired by Sophie's time spent in India 

Weleda Skin food 
"I love it because it is just so god damn useful. I use it on my lips, hands, cheeks, eyes..if I am out and my skin feels dry (which it does right now as it gets colder) then I pop some on my face and it gives a bit of a dewy glow. I also use it on the kids, they think its some sort of magic cream as I put it on cuts, bruises etc its all natural so I am happy to lather it on them. It is also reasonably priced!! I have loads of tubes, in the car, bedside table, bag...etc."

Tell me about your jewellery - "My jewellery is very much about women, who we are, our mothers, daughters, sisters, friends etc my brand is slowly building to celebrate the women we are"

Sareta - kikiblahblah.com

I love Sareta's fun and lighthearted blog & insta feed, her vids crack me up! its family life to a T, my fave? the one where she "forgot" to wear socks at soft play (here) unlucky hubby! I might try this one, thanks for the tip.

Bobbie Brown pressed powder
 "This is my fav item (on a makeup day). I get shiny areas such as my nose and forehead. This powder eliminates shine and can be used throughout thr day without "caking", I love it, a little goes a long way" 

Tell me about your blog Sareta - "kikiblahblah.com is a lighthearted site with a collection of fab bloggers, These include kids, mothers, cooks and a twenty something who can't wait to have all of the above"


Last but not least is this beaut of a host Sunita. She organised a fab day which involved a confidence talk (I think we all need a nudge every now and then) wine, Weleda hand massages and goody bags! I'm looking forward to the next one already.

MDM Flow liquid lipstick
"I met Flo who is the founder of this amazing new makeup brand (MDM Flow) at Stylist Live. She used to be a scientist and then she decided to start her own makeup range. Flo adds extra pigment to her lipsticks. She literally makes lipsticks herself (its an incredible process to watch). I love wearing MDM Flow Liquid Matte in Power (bright pink) as it stayed on all day. From 11.30am when I left home to 6pm when I reached home in time for the girls' bedtime. Also it didn't dry out my lips all day when I was busy chatting and catching up with the lovely ladies"

Tell me about your blog Sunita - "my blog is all about exploring lucky things as we enjoy life and style with our little people. It's here to share ideas, inspiring stories, places and things we love

That's it for part one, I have more ladies to interrogate so stay tuned for part two!

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