Friday, 29 August 2014

The Streamcream Face Challange (Freebie Alert)

I am a huge fan of Steamcream, you can read my cheerleading blog entry here . I love the simple but effective use of simple ingrediants that are designed for as many skin types as possible. I also like the collectability of the tins as they all limied editions and beautifully designed.

My Current tin as seen in my review
Steamcream want to give an opportunity to 100 poeple to get a free 7 day sample mini tin to ecperiance it for themselves. You will need to register your interest on here and if successful you skin will thank you. Not successful? I heard a little rumour that there will be a discount code just for you guys so you will get an opportunity.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Hello Aniexty, my old friend


You will have to bear with me on this post, it's the one I've been putting off for a while but until I started the journey I didn't feel right enough to talk about it.

Last week I had it confirmed that my anxiety was official back with low moods thrown in for good measure. Since, Beth has been born my moods have not been consistent and I put this down to after birth hormones, then going back on to the pill. My life has also not be consistent: with a new baby, Hubby getting/losing/getting work, money not being consistent, my aunt that I was close to passing away and feeling claustrophobic in our flat because I spend a lot of time in it.

This all came to a head about two weeks back the Thursday before my BIL' s wedding, I was washing baby bottles and suddenly felt I was drowning and the walls were caving in. I couldn't breathe and I just thinking that everything was too much, I knew full well I well I was in the midst of a panic attack, my first in several years. Looking back, I had been out of sorts for nearly a week, very spaced out, not able to concentrate and just having no motivation to do more than the bare minimum to ensure that Beth is looked after.

After the wonderful weekend, I decided that I am not as happy or as myself as I am and thought I do a self referral back to where I did my previous treatment. If they think I'm fine then at least I've got myself 'checked' and that is that. The form wants to know my previous mental health history (Briefly - Depression 2005 treated with face-to-face sessions, Depression/Anxiety 2011 treated with computer training), how I am feeling now and what situations am I struggling with. This is then sent off to my referral people (I'm part of Bucks NHS which run Healthy Minds as their mental health treatment system), and a few days later got a phone call from them to speak through the form and see how they can help. They also gave me my results of the tests on the forms.

They concluded that my anxiety was very high and that my moods were low producing a circle that I was finding it hard to get out of. They offered telephone counselling so I did not have to worry about finding someone to babysit Beth and feel comfortable in my own home. They also asked my HV to give me a visit as part of my worrying is how I am looking after Beth as her weight was still an issue which causes me panic of am I feeding her enough? I had this visit on the Monday, she was happy with Beth's development even though her weight has dipped. The Thursday following was my first session with my counsellor.

We did the tests again (they use these to measure progress so I will have these every time), and went over what she is there for as well as my history and just letting me talk on why I asked for help. At the time Beth was in her high chair next to me, gurgling away after lunch, I know without having her then I will be in bed feeling sorry for myself. This, of course, this upset me, not only am I doing this for me but for Beth so her Mummy can be there for her. At the moment I have a scheduled appointment with her once a week as well working through workbooks during the week.

I did see my doctor, through Healthy Minds they got me an appointment the same day and discussed treatment going forward. I have turned down medication, I am very mixed on using medication after having some migraine beta blockers that were also anti-anxiety pills. I took these for two months and I woke up screaming in sweats, thinking that Bethany was not breathing. I know that they are there if I need them, I also have a note on my file to say that if I request an appointment to have one as soon as possible (which is my doctors is a blessing!).

The moment I emailed the referral over I felt a weight has lifted, I'm saying that things are back to normal, we have a long way before I can say that, but they starting to feel on the right path.

Monday, 25 August 2014

NOTD - Rouge Louboutin by Chirstian Louboutin Nail Colour #BeauteLouboutin

Sales assistants, this is what happens when you leave a sample bottle unattended with a few beauty bloggers around. It the #SummerLondonMeet where the group of us was perusing Selfridges that the preview display was spotted. As the sales assistant went on her sales objective, I snuck to one side and painted my blank nails in Rouge Louboutin rather than the assistants paint them. I need to feel how it works for me as I'm not going to have someone around to paint them for me.

The bottle is inspired by his Ballerina Shoe from his collection and is visually stunning, would look perfect on a pinterest designed dressing table, but not for my nail varnish tray in my make up tool kit. I actually like the long handle and didn't have too many problems using it. The brush however is a different story, it has a small brush that doesn't fan out, this makes it harder to distribute the polish evenly over the nail. It does even out when it dries when you do finally get the whole nail covered.

I did paint this on a blank nail with no base/top coat so this will affect the result of wear which was half a day. I will say the formulation is thick (which is useful trying to apply with a small brush), I smudge it about 5 minutes after application thinking it would be dry by then, my mobile still have nail varnish marks from where I was wrong.

 Is it worth the £36 price tag? No, not at all, there are other ranges that do perfectly brilliant matt pillowbox red varnishes, with a quick dry time and have far better brushes. This is for the ladies who lunch that can afford the shoes and would probably like the idea of having the polish to match, but then isn't these the people who have the time/money to have a manicure/pedicure as often as I have cups of tea? I'm scratching my head for who is this really for - the nail lovers will love the packaging but hate the polish and the people who admire the brand from afar but can't afford the shoes, will also think a few times about the price tag.

At the moment there is only the Rouge in range but there will be other colours being added, but seeing the range there is nothing that really, "Wows" me. This is one range I'm very happy to leave on the shelf and put the money towards owning a pair of the shoes, so that's 12 bottles of Louboutin Varnish for So Kate Suede heels I need to save.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bethany Update - Month 7

The Many Happy Faces of Bethany
We are now much more active, she is a little mischief now. She seems to roll over to all sorts of places where I have not Beth proofed yet. Her favourite is cables which are everywhere when you live with someone who works in IT! I now need to have keys everywhere as one minute she's smiling away and the next having a good chew on a (unplugged) cable while giggling away when I tell her off.

Where did you get that from young lady!?
There no signs of crawling yet, she does kicks her legs like she wants to. I love the way she now loves being on tummy and looks up at me with her big blue eyes with the biggest grin while flicking her legs away. Beth honestly doesn't keep still anymore, if she spots something she will figure a way to get there!
Her weight is still a slight issue at the moment, she's only put on a few oz's in the past weeks. We know two 3 monthish babies that are about the same weight as her now. She is still a very happy child (see above) and her appetite is getting bigger so I'm hoping that this is more with her moving more now.

Beth is also starting to pull her self up in sitting and with support likes to sit up. One of her favourite things to do is to sit with Hubby in her Tripp Trapp and watch what he is doing on the computer. She also likes to sit her mini sofa and watch Bake off with me on a Wednesday, before going to bed. It was strange to think that the last time it was on she was jumping around in my tummy all the way through the series.

First time on swings
A few weeks ago Beth was also the flower/ring girl at my Brother in Laws wedding, when the time came she decided that she wanted to put the rings in her mouth rather than hand them over. She was the most well behaved I could wish for, she let everyone hold her, was quiet during both ceremonies and was general heart melting in her little dress.

On to the good news, with Hubby back at work and our house sale nearly completed, I've decided to extend my maternity leave to the full year and enjoy every moment with Beth. Things are going to be a little tight, but I will never get this time back with her and I don't want to look back and regret. I'm loving every moment with her and she amazes me more and more each day (especially what she can find around the flat!)

Monday, 18 August 2014


Saturday just gone by, I left Bethany with Hubby and got on a train to London (and finally started A Storm of Swords from where I left it when I gave birth!). It was strange to leave the house with no buggy and changing bag and only have a few items with me rather than half our flat.

The meet up was organised by, who I like to call friend, Clare from at Dirty Martini in Covent Garden. It was good to have a small mix of bloggers and vloggers so everyone got to talk to everyone at some point. Martinis were enjoyed.

I had tripped over the #MJDaidyChain Tweet Pop up shop on my way there. Simply works that you give the hashtag a tweet go into the store and flash them your tweet to get some goodies. It was only up for the weekend but it was an ingenious use of PR, not only get a mini Daisy perfume and Daisy keyring but I timed it perfectly that one of my Blogging heroes, ZOE LDN who I've been tweeting for a while was in store. I nervously introduced myself, exchanged hugs and had a chat that it great to finally put a face to the tweets. Photo was compulsory.

We all grabbed lunch on the run and started to shop, MAC, Burberry, Space NK, Cath Kidson, to name a few and ending at Selfridges. I did protest I had no money that I would not buying anything, so of course it meant I brought something. We did drop in the Kiko Cosmetics store and I ended up raiding the sale trays and getting some of their amazing eye cream shadows from the latest limited edition range. Once my Hubby is out of the way and I can photo them, I'll stick them up here.

Clare also asked us all to bring our own goodie bags to put into a raffle, I cheated and brought a Selfridges gift card with a note saying that the only requirement is to put it towards something they've longed for ages. I drew Clare's bag, full of bits for a mini pampering sessions including Montange Jeunesse faces masks I haven't tried yet, Soap and Glory's Hand Food which I've been dying to try, and Natural Collection's Blusher in Pink Cloud.

Had a really good day, and after all the stresses of the past few weeks was the tonic I needed to feel a lot more Helen and less like Mummy/Wife. Thank you to Clare to organising everything and hope to make the next one!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Entry 300

Blog entry 300 is dedicated to my little family, the long suffering Hubby and Bethany aka Minilemming, the only things that are keeping me going at the moment.

Over the weekend we added another member to the Gray family as my Brother in Law married his long term girlfriend after the civil ceremony on Friday. As you can tell by the quietness it's been madness, but worth every minute.

I wrote in Entry 200 how I and the blog was going through changes, the time it was going from being just a beauty blog to more of a everything blog. I wanted to be able to talk about more things that matter to me, and I knew this more when Bethany came along. I always said that when she was born I knew there was more to life than lipstick.

I am currently going through a tough time, Hubby has finally gone back to work after a year of being out of it, leaving me without the support net I've grown used to.The passing of my aunt has hit me enormously, it's the first close relative I have lost as an adult and mixed with other anxieties I've made the decision to ask for help rather than work through things on my own. When I feel ready I will write about this more but for now I'm only at the start of another journey.

Monday, 4 August 2014

The Elevease Shower Step*

After I wrote about injuring my back post pregnancy, I was asked by the Elevease Shower Step to see if their product could be any use to me while I recover.

The step is an invention of college student Aoife O’Driscoll as a solution to the problem she had of shaving her legs in the shower. ElevEase not only solves the problem of shaving your legs in the shower, it is also great for exfoliating, tanning, moisturising and leg and foot care in general. It adheres to the side of the shower/bath at knee height.

Model not me, sorry
The problem I had when I injured my back is that I could not bend fully over and found it huge trouble to do any 'mainence' on myself. I did have a willing Husband to help but I would rather do these things myself and truth be told I went into labour with hairier legs than I wanted. I did find this really useful, It gave the much needed support so I could bring the lower leg/feet to me, rather than bend for them. 

 I have the white version which is £16.99 or there is the rather snazzy Chrome finish for £23.99, both available from I find this really useful and now with a nearly healed back, I still use it to prevent anymore injuries coming. I even now have one for my Mum who had a major back operation many years ago and is now disabled, she still gets help but she likes that fact that she has that option available if she feel she can use it.

 *Product was provided for my review, views are my own