Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Philosophy Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser

I got this is British Beauty Bloggers first beauty box and was interested to try it as it was recommended.

Now, me thinking it was a cleanser, used it as I thought a lotion cleanser should be used, massage over face and wipe off. What I didn't know that it was a foaming cleanser and couldn't be wiped off using cotton wool. I had to put a SOS over Twitter to find out how to use it as the website, to me, wasn't very clear on the website (which is now updated) and even on the bottle.

Once that got cleared up and I worked out how to use it, I did start to enjoy using it. I use a lotion/cream cleanser if I have been wearing makeup before using a foam cleanser to feel more clean, or on make up free days I just use this straight away so I cannot comment on how it removes makeup or eye makeup. Through experience I have not found any foaming replacement for taking makeup off.

The first thing that hits me about this is the scent, Rosewood and Sandalwood,  this gave musky, woody tones that could work for both male and female. The foam base also has carrot and  coconut oil to nourish the skin. I use this 1-2 times a day, the size of 5p piece (I know it says 20p on the website but I felt that was just too much and found that the size I use preforms just as well) with warm water and a face cloth.

It does clean the skin, so this gives a brighter appearance as you clean off the dead skin cells and dirt. For me it didn't flair any of my sensitive parts on the cheeks and after a few days also reduced the appearance of spots that I had been having over my chin. I think value wise it is very as well, at £17.50 for 240ml (there is a smaller and larger size) it works out at £ per a ml. The bottle I have (30ml) has lasted me about 5 months so far to put this into some prospective.

I would buy this again, for the results but importantly for the value for money I get from it.

Monday, 24 March 2014

NOTD - Model's Own HyperGel Naked Glow

You might reconise this from my New Mum Wish List as one of the four varnishes I wanted for Spring/Summer update, as it went live I went out and brought it the very next day.

This is part of the new Hypergel range, a gel like finish with lotus oil, they say they are high pigmentation to provide a salon finish for £5. The fomrulation I found really thick, this does need to be built up in thin layers, but once dry does have that glossy finihs without the topcoat.

Wearwise I have had this on for three days with my hands in/out of hot water cleaning baby bottles and apart from a small chip on the thumb where I knocked it has survived. I instantly loved the colour as being so pale trying to find a milky enough nude has always been a challange, it has the right tone of colour and yellow base to match my skin tone.

Model's Own can be brought in most chemists or their website for £5 - My recommendations is to invest in the pastels of Lilax Sheen, Cornflower Gleam and Pink Vaneer.for Spring

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Bethany Update - Month 2

This has been a more tougher month and a was a challange. 

A few weeks ago Beth was crying non stop for hours early evening until late, she was fussing, restless and was unhappy. I was in tears at least once a day. After a plea on Twitter and Bsbycentre Jan Birthboard I got my answer - Colic.

After a night of broken sleep we went and got some Infacol, this was to be given before every feed. That night she wasn't crying, she was still fussing but it was still far better than before.
We also had Dr. Browns bottles recommended, this was perfect timing as she was starting to take on more feed and we needed new bottles. In the past few days she has come off the Infacol and now sleeps through the night for about 8 hours a night.

There is still some concern over her weight (She's 8lb 12oz and in the 9th centile aka small for her age), so she's being monitored more. However, she feeds regually and when awake is alert and happy. She stilll has a wadrobe full of clothes to wear, but she is just too small for them as she only has just started to come out of Newborn clothes. For now she wears some of the cutest sleepsuits, two being Hello Kitty ones I got for £2 from Tesco.

We had our first play group on Friday, I was really nervous but she spent the session happy kicking on a playmat with the other babies or having cuddles with the mums. They were so welcoming, within minutes we were chatting away over tea. It was pute luck that I saw their advert a few weeks ago at a family wedding and for a £1 it's a bargain to get out for a few hours and share stories/stresses with other mums.

First injections are on Monday, so fingers crossed all goes smoothly. For now, I'll leave her gurgling at Ewan before bottle, cuddles and nap (while I watch her sleep). 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Garnier Ultimate Blends: The Silky Smoother Collection

My current hair needs a lot of TLC at the moment, it's in drastic need of a trim as well as being more drier and frizzy. I have naturally very curly hair that if not looked after can be a mass of frizz. I also have a limited budget at the moment, I cannot afford to take myself to a hairdresser every 6 weeks to keep it trim, as well as time limited as Bethany is now eating every 3 hours and becomes a diva if it is not on time. With this going on something that can extend the life and look of my hair is a huge plus.

I am on the mailing list for Garnier and have previously taken part in their sampling programmes, I got an email asking if I was interested in trying this new range. I took the online survey and waiting for my assumed sachet samples to arrive. I was hugely surprised to find that I got sent the whole set of full sized products, lesson learnt, never assume!

This forms their Ultimate Collection range based on British hair requirements, each of the 6 ranges contain a Shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, hair oil and hair masks. I have the Silky Smooth range for mid-long length hair that frizzes, this contains the matching shampoo and conditioner as well as a exfoliating hair mask (yes you read that correctly).

The scent is a soft Brazilian Vanilla with a Papaya undertone, this makes it fruity but the vanilla tones it done to a softer scent. The ingredients also help soften the hair and calming down that frizz. The exfoliant I wasn't too sure of at first, however the result I got changed my mind, my curls were more defined this lasted to the next wash (I usually wash between 2-3 days). The exfoliant is suppose to work by using microbeads to exfoliate split ends, can a hair mask exfoliate the hair shaft? I am a little doubtful about this but the mask does it job of leaving my hair softer, smoother and looking like it has come fresh from a salon.

I really liked the while range to the point that I am looking for where it is on offer so I can get some back ups for the shampoo and conditioner. The exfoliate I feel it very much a gimmick and I still prefer my Herbal Essence Be Strong hair mask. If they had done this as a hair mask without the beads, then yes I would be looking to purchase this too.

You can purchase the range now from any High Street chemist/supermarket, prices from £2.79 for 250ml or £3.79 for 400ml

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Pearls of Labour Wisdom

As with Pregnancy wisdom, this is the advice I can pass on from my own excperiance, this is not a suppliment for professional advice. Please be aware this may contain too much information for people with sensitive stomachs.

Hospital Bag

I took the wash bag below, and I used the toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and deodorant from it. For yourself I would say keep it simple and take the bare minimum you feel you will need, I did take shower stuff but struggled to get away for longer than a toilet break let alone a shower. I also packed my bag thinking I would be out after 6 hours of labour because I kept being told that it would be all straight forward, also thinking I'd be closer to home that if we need anything its 5 minutes car drive away. I ended up 30 minutes away after having to go to hospital rather than a birthing centre.

For you and baby pack for at least a few days, your newborn will work they way through LOTS of clothes/nappies in the first days of this life, my husband had to go back twice to bring me more (I was in hospital for 3 days). Maternity pads - yes they are ugly but think how many you need then double it, I also used mine around my due date in case my waters broke (Mothercare I found the best value, a pack of 48 for £4.99 and usually on 3 for 2).

If you have old knickers wear them as you will bleed though clothes after birth, it has 9 months of stuff to get rid of! I used disposal knickers for this time, they are HUGE but stopped me worrying about ruining good underwear. I also wore my hospital gown during my stay, but please take your own PJ's (dark colours are best) it will make you feel better in an alien environment.

This then leads into...

What to take for labour

By the time you will get to hospital (as my Midwives kept telling me to stay at home) there is actually not a lot you don't need and the hospital provides the pain killers you'll be longing for. I did take Rescue Remedy with me to soothe stress, but for labour itself I was concentrating too hard on coping with the pain to eat and I was fine with water.  Do not forget the camera or phone charger!

What contractions feel like?

The pain is different, it doesn't last long but it is intense and like it says in the books, it is like a strong period pain. They come in waves, most of the time as soon as they come, they have gone. By the time that they are really intense you will be having the correct pain killer to help you cope. When mine came I kept in mind my Hypnobrthing training, breathed through them and kept in mind, "This will pass", chanting it in my head until it has passed. If you want quiet during this time, make sure you say, it'll give you one less thing to get stressed about!

Active Birth

This is where you are going to have baby. What I didn't realise is that I thought 2 pushes and we're done. Nope, not even close, you will have to push with every contraction for a while as you have to squeeze baby round the U-bend in your body and this takes a while, but get that head out and it is one more push to baby. They will give you 2 hours of pushing between they intervine, by this time I was tired and getting distressed so was baby. Trust the advice you are given, they have you and your baby's health at the heart. I had a birth plan and the first sentence was, "Do whatevere is required for the health of me and my baby." the rest is merely a request that never happened. My last bit of advice here is, trust your body and what it is telling you, because it is easier to work with it than against it.


Things will be a blur of activity, regardless of what labour you have. You will have to deliver what your baby has been living on the past few months, this is one push and done because of the birth I had I didn't even known this had happened until it was taken away. You will be exausted but adrenaline pumped, I didn't sleep for 24 hours after birth as I was in so much of a daze. Please make sure you eat something as soon as possible to get your energy levels back, nd that first cup of tea is one of the best you will have!


The aftermarth of something largish coming out of something small is that you are likely to tear, I was unlucky I was cut because I had to have help with the forceps; I ended up with 20 stitches. Before your first wee, drink lots and lots of water, this was my saving grace as it didn't sting as it was really diluted with my drinking. Air them for as much time as you can get daily and pat them dry after every wee. Most important - DO PELVIC FLOOR SQUEEZES as soon as it feels comfortable. I am now fully healed with no sign of stitches because of this.

Best apps to have for labour

Contraction Timer by James Ots

It's nothing fancy - push a button to start and push one to finsih, will list the time of length as well as the gao inbetween. Perfect for when the Midwife will ask you about timings. 

I also played a lot of Mahjong Solitaire to pass the time and distract.

Labour is scary and exciting, I put my full trust into the team that looked after me, I was cared for and came away with the most beautiful daughter that I am ever grateful for. I cannot thank the team at Stoke Mandeville enough for their care and patience.

What would people like to add for newly new mums?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Canvas Design Review

I better start with answering the obvisou question, shouldn't that be on a wall? Yes, it should, at the momnent we are in a flat and we plan eventually to be in a house by the end of the year so we agreed to save this to go into our nre house.

It also shows how good that packing is from Canvas Designs (this is without the wrapping of bendy cardboard that it also came in). What impressed is the courier they chosen also texted me when it was ready even giving me the option of texting them a change of day if required.

The canvas itself is 100% handstreched cotton over a pine frame, the picture is clear and exactly how I would of placed it myself. It is the perfect product to have Bethany's first picture placed on and we're already discussing another (Hint: Mother's Day present!)

Pick your picture and put in the code BLOG15 at the checkout. This bags you a 15% discount alongside free delivery.

*Product was given for review with my thanks

Thursday, 6 March 2014

New Mum Wish List

Now Bethany is finally getting into some sort of routine and we are starting to adventure out, I can now start to think about giving myself some TLC after the long nights, nappy changes and feeds. This is currently what I am daydreaming about:

A Haircut (after dying it)

My hair is starting to get really long, frizzy and in need of a trim before Beth starts pulling on it. I have a hairdresser that comes to my house who will trim me up for £12, she's also been cutting my family hair for many years (she also did the hair for my wedding at a very good rate). It's not going to be anything extreme, just a tidy and shorten.

Eyebrow Threading

After the disaster of my last visit (When Threading Goes Wrong) I've been growing my eyebrows back out again to get them done by another place. This one is my priority as I do not feel right now I've discovered the difference it makes to my face when they are done.

New Nail Polish for Spring

It's Spring and a season so it means I need to update the varnish wardrobe, but the trouble I have is decided what to get. The short list is as follows: OPI's Jade green AmazON... AmazOFF (Brazil Collection), Essie's Ice baby blue Find Me An Oasis (Resort Collection) and Blue/Turquoise Hide & Go Chic (Spring Collection), and Model's Own Naked Glow (Gel Collection).


Now my chest has returned to 'normal' I require new bras that have some support to them and look pretty as well. I have two bits of trouble with my twins: I am on the large side of sizes and unusually the middle does not lean against the sternum in the middle so I cannot wear certain styles or it does pierce my skin. This is my most frustrating thing to go shopping for because the ones I like are the ones I cannot wear. Any suggestions are welcome in comments.


I must be the only person I know who lost weight in pregnancy (apart from baby), once Beth was born I was soon back in my pre-pregnancy jeans. A week later they were hanging off of me like when I lost the weight to get pregnant. I have to admit defeat and get new jeans to fit me, there's only so much a woman can wear jogging/PJ bottoms!

Joan Collins Beauty Divine Lipstick and Nail Varnish in Helene

A red lipstick and nail varnish with my name, it's fate.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Is it Wrong to Hire a Nanny for Me Time?

At the last count I have had 3 hours sleep, but not all in one go, this was segemented over the past 12 hours over night. I'm in desperate need of a haircut, eyebrow shape, hair dying, facial and a meal I can eat that is not one handed and is still hot by the time I come to eat it. Let's not even start on my relationship with my husband, if he's lucky he gets five minutes before I hand over Beth and collaspe into bed before starting the whole thing again.

A study by polled 2,000 mums found that 51% of mothers can go weeks without any time to themselve to relax. Those who do get the time averages out at 17 minutes, and what do they do with this time? A majority plan for the next day. Funnily enough 78% of mothers still do the housework with 7 out of 10 women saying that men get more 'me' time and 1 out of 5 resent this.

It was this article in the Daily Mail entitled, "I'm a stay-at-home mother but childcare is SO boring I've hired a nanny" that got me thinking. It is a huge step to admit that after bringing your children into the world that you no longer want to look after them 24/7, and start focusing on you and your career.

In true Daily Mail style it is written in a way that can only cause a negitive reaction from other mothers, but here is the question: Isn't the best Mum is a happy Mum? If you have the money available to do it, well wouldn't you?

I asked my husband, if we had the money could I hire a nanny just for the purpose of getting some time off and rest? He was shocked, didn't I love our daughter? Of course I do, and I love spending time with her (even when she's screaming for her bottle) but look at me with my tired eyes and still in my PJ's at 6pm, I really do not look like Mum of the year.

I am lucky, we've worked out a system that means there is always one of us availble for Beth if and when she needs us. I know there are many more mothers who have even less.Yes being a mum is repeative and tiring with no days off and very little 'me' time but when Beth smiles and coos when she sees me I would not miss a second of it.