Thursday, 30 July 2015

July Beauty Favourites


So we're coming to the end of July. 
Already?! Has Summer even begun yet?! 
I hope we've not seen the last of the sunshine!!

Let me show you my beauty favourites from this month. These are the products that I've been loving lately and have been firm favourites on my dressing table...


ActiDerm Lipo Sculpting Fluid - Wrapping is all the rage right now. Someone you know probably sells it, as its fast becoming a new direct selling craze. The results look amazing, and I'm all for a bit of help getting my waist back, so I purchased the Lipo Sculpting Fluid. It promises inch loss and I lost an inch from my waist the first time I used it, and my thighs felt slightly more toned after use too. I've noticed slight difference every time I've used it, I just need to be better at upping my water intake to flush out the toxins afterwards.  


Make Up Revolution Beyond Flawless Palette - if you read my recent post you'll have read that this palette is my new best friend :) It's an amazing neutral palette that gives the Naked palettes a run for their money. As you can see, it contains 32 gorgeous neutral shades, making it perfect for creating any look. 


Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - I'd never really tried a sponge before, I didn't understand how they worked and I preferred to stick to my foundation brushes, but I decided to pick one up and give it a go earlier this month and I've used it every day since. It's so easy to use and I find it a lot quicker to get a flawless finish. As you can see, I'm not so great at remembering to clean it!!


Olay Anti Wrinkle Instant Hydration Night Cream - Night cream is one of my favourite skincare products. I just love the feeling of smothering moisturiser on clean skin at the end of the day. I didn't actually purchase this, it was a substitution on my Asda order. But its a really nice cream, sinks in nice and quickly and leaves my skin feeling comfortable, smooth and hydrated.


Maybelline Big Eyes - I'm usually more of a premium brand fan when it comes to mascara, but when this was released I read a few great reviews so picked some up. It's a fantastic mascara, that actually does a better job than my usual MAC fave. It has 2 wands, one for the upper lashes which gives a great, volumised finish and a smaller sculpting brush for lower lashes.


What products have you been loving this month?


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Friday, 24 July 2015

Perfect Palette? feat. Make Up Revolution


Since discovering Make Up Revolution, it's slowly becoming my favourite drugstore brand.
I was a little late to the party, thinking it was just another cheap brand, and wouldn't live up to my beauty standards! ;)
But I was wrong, after picking up a few bits to see what the fuss was about, I ended up LOVING what I'd bought!

I couldn't stop myself snapping up another of their eyeshadow palettes recently, their Beyond Flawless (£8.00), a 32 shade palette.


The palette is a great size considering it has 32 shadows, and is super light which makes it fab for travel. I find the Urban Decay Naked palettes quite chunky and heavy to carry around, so this is just perfect. And lets be honest, it's a pretty good dupe for possibly all 3 Naked palettes, right?

It comes in sleek, black casing and packaged in a shiny gold box.

I love how it comes with a huge mirror the size of the palette, AND theres no cheap and nasty applicator, meaning more room for product! ;)



The majority are shimmery shades, some pearlescent, satin and a couple of mattes in there too [perfect for the brows!]

All the shadows, from their 'Ultra' range are super pigmented, apply and blend really well.
There are a couple of shadows which are more 'chalky' and have quite a lot of fall out, but overall they work really well and have great lasting power.



I'm all about nudes and neutrals and have been turning to this palette constantly just lately, and have used SO many different looks. It's perfect for a 2-3 colour every day look, and includes some gorgeous berry, green and smokey shades for a more dramatic eye too.
I took this one palette away with me on holiday last week and created different looks every day. 

The only thing I think the palette lacks is a whiter shade I can use for a highlighter, on my brow bone and eye corners, as I try to use 'flawless' but it's more of a matte, barely there shade.

But, for £8.00, I think this palette is fantastic value for money!!


Below I've swatched all the colours on unprimed skin.


So if you're looking for a great neutral palette, with gorgeous shades, long lasting, easy to apply product, a fab dupe for the Naked palettes, at a great price, get your hands on the Beyond Flawless palette from Make Up Revolution.

Currently, it's my perfect palette!! :)

Did you spot the gorgeous Rose Skull Cosmetic Purse by Sanctum (£12.50*) in  some of the images? This stylish statement purse is perfect for keeping your favourite beauty products safe and clean. 



What do you think?
Do you have a perfect palette?


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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Project 365 | 2015 | Week 28 & 29


A photo a day, every day, for a year.

I think it's a fab way to document my week and look back on my year at the end.

Are you joining me?


Week Twenty Eight & Twenty Nine
July 6 - 19





Day one hundred and eighty six:
We were playing with cake tins and cardboard tubes, watch out for a blog post coming this week!

Day one hundred and eighty seven:
Look at those rosy red cheeks!! This little man has been struggling with his teeth again this week, bless him!

Day one hundred and eighty eight:
Work has been very busy this week. These Prevent Duty packs have been very popular. Work with young children? See EYFS Resources for more paperwork, resources and more!

Day one hundred and eighty nine:
It was Bradley's last week at Primary school!!! He had his leavers assembly which was lovely but really quite emotional!!

Day one hundred and ninety:
Can you believe this boy is only 10 months old? He's an absolute monkey hehe. Pulls down the box, climbs up on top of it and shouts YAY!! So cheeky!! 

Day one hundred and ninety one:
We put the paddling pool up today, I'm not sure Taylor was overly keen, maybe it was a little too cold for him :)

Day one hundred and ninety two:
I need to take control of my weight loss again. I'm not happy. Ive lost a stone since having Taylor, but I'd like to lose another stone and tone up. My problem is having the time. I work from home in the evenings, and I'm busy with Taylor throughout the day. So I need to be working out more at home and I've started wrapping, we'll see how that goes!



Day one hundred and ninety three:
We were in Butlins this week, hence why the fortnightly post. It was nice for us all to spend some time together, the 4 of us. Here are James & Bradley having fun playing air hockey.

Day one hundred and ninety four:
My boys had so much fun in the soft play area. Bradley did a great job looking after and playing with his little brother. :)

Day one hundred and ninety five:
Taylor's first time on the beach. Granted I think he tried to eat most of the sand, but it was cute all the same :)

Day one hundred and ninety six: 
The best hour and a half of the whole week, my spa experience. An hour and half of ME time. It was lovely!!

Day one hundred and ninety seven:
One of my favourite photos I took, I love the colour of Bradley's t-shirt against the sky. 

Day one hundred and ninety eight:
Me and the girls had a little alcoholic vintage tea party for a friends birthday, it was lovely to catch up and have a giggle!

Day one hundred and ninety nine:
Look at his face!! :( Bradley left the back door open, and Taylor fell down the step face first onto the concrete. I was devastated!! :(







How was your week??

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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Observing Taylor : Tubes & Cake Tins


Working in Early Years, I'm constantly finding myself observing Taylor's behaviours and subliminally linking them up to the Development Matters statements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, as this is what I did on a day to day basis whilst looking after and assessing young children.

I love setting up little activities and seeing how Taylor reacts to them. I observe his actions and behaviours.

Taylor is 10 months old. 
He gets bored very easily with his toys, and much prefers to explore things he's not supposed to ;) 
He loves cause and effect things and loves to 'play' with household items. [Did you see our Treasure Basket post?
Now and then I'll put a few things together for him to explore, then sit back and watch what he does.

I came across the following activity on The Imagination Tree, which is a fantastic website full of great ideas and activities, written by a Mummy & Early Years teacher, like myself. I often find myself clicking on for some inspiration when I see Taylor start to get fed up and cranky.


So, a super quick and easy sorting activity using household items:


TUBES & CAKE TINS



What I used:
I got an old cake tin out of the kitchen cupboard, and an old kitchen roll tube. I cut the tube into smaller pieces and popped them into the sections of the cake tin. I leave the tin in the middle of the room, set up with the cardboard pieces in the sections of the cake tin, then sit back and watch.

What Happened:
Taylor, after watching me, heads straight for the cake tin, picks it up, tipping all the  tube pieces out and explores the tin. He looks at it and feels the shapes of the sections. He walks around with it, taking it into the kitchen, chattering away. He holds it above his head and makes a loud noise, smiling. 
He sits down and starts to bang it with his hands, like a drum.
He then notices the tube pieces on the floor and starts to pick them up one by one, putting them into his mouth. Taylor is constantly babbling throughout. 





I decide to intervene as the cardboard is getting a little soggy and bits are starting to come off in his mouth. So I remove them and decide to model the activity, by placing the tube pieces into the cake tin sections. Taylor watches me carefully, then picks up the cake tin, sending the tube pieces onto the floor again.
He then picks one up and attempts to put them into the sections himself. As he is holding the tin at an angle, they don't stay in the tin but fall out. He picks them up and puts them in the tin again. 




I watch him for a few more minutes, then I decide to join in and add a few tube pieces into the cake tin. Taylor watches and copies. We do this together for a few more minutes, adding the tube pieces to the sections of the cake tin, with Taylor picking up the tin and watching the tube pieces fall out.


What I Thought:
I think this activity lasted about 10 minutes before he lost interest and went to do something else.

I thought it was a great little activity that took seconds to set up. I loved watching him explore, and felt super proud that he managed to copy what I was doing and put some of the tubes into the sections, as I wasn't expecting him to do this at all. :)

EYFS Development Matters Statements:
[what he is learning]

Interacts with others and explores new situations when being supported by a familiar person. - Personal, Social & Emotional Development: Making Relationships (8-20mths)

Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods. - Communication & Language: Listening & Attention (8-20mths)

Enjoys babbling and increasingly experiments with using sounds and words to communicate for a range of purposes. - Communication & Language: Speaking (8-20mths)

When sitting, can lean forward to pick up small toys. - Physical Development: Moving & Handling (8-20mths)

Picks up small objects between thumb and fingers. - Physical Development: Moving & Handling (8-20mths)



Do you have any quick activities we can do, 
to share with me?

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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Taylor's 10 Month Update




10 months old!! Already?? I just can't believe it's gone so fast! 2 months and he'll be 1!! And he's walking!! He started walking at 9.5 months. I knew he'd be early as he just never stays still. It's all gone so so fast, from crawling to walking!! I have a toddler already!! 
We moved house a couple of weeks ago and I think he struggled a little getting used to his new environment but we're getting there!






Height/Weight...

Sizes...
He's now in 12-18 months clothing, although he still fits in a few of his 9-12 month clothing. He's still in size 3F shoes too.

Feeding...
He still loves his food and eats really well. He's pretty much a human dustbin and would eat and eat and eat if I let him!! He just has 2 bottles of formula a day now, in the morning and before bed. 

Sleeping...
We're still struggling with the sleeping. He's finally in his own room now we've moved and we had 3 nights in a row where he slept through, which was amazing! But things quickly went back to normal and he continues to wake a lot through the night. He goes to sleep absolutely fine, he just wakes a lot screaming, and I struggle to settle him without picking him up. I manage to settle him eventually but he continues to wake constantly throughout the night. The only way he sleeps is if I bring him into my bed. I've been doing a lot of research on sleep training but theres not a lot left for me to try. 

Bedtime Routine...
We've started introducing a little later bedtime, so between 630-7pm we start bath time, then feed and bed. 

Milestones...
I never thought he'd be walking at 9.5 months!! Although he's constantly on the go so I didn't think it'd be long. He's understanding lots more too.

What he's loving this month...
Being able to explore everything and everywhere on his feet.

Mummy's post partum body...
I haven't really been concentrating on loosing weight this month, with the move. I haven't even weighed myself in a while. This hot weather has made me realise I really need to get back onto it though as Im not happy with my figure in summer clothes right now.

Mummy's Best Bits...
Seeing him take his first steps and him be able to walk to me! We were sat in the garden the other evening and he came walking over to me and gave me a big hug, it just melts my heart! :) 





Until next month...

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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Me & Mine Family Portrait : June

Me & Mine
The Family Portrait Project

We find it hard to get the whole family together for a photo, life is busy!!
But we've joined the Family Portrait Project for 2015 and we vow to take a photo every month of the whole family.

At the end of the year, I'm thinking of creating a photo book or similar showing the 12 family portraits.

June 2015

So we failed this month! It's so so hard for the 4 of us to actually be together at the same time, which is quite sad when you think about it. But this month has been super busy, with our house move, so family time as a four has been limited. It's made me feel the importance of us spending more time together even more so.
I did, however, get a cheeky selfie with my 2 little men, although it's pretty bad quality, but that'll have to do for this month. :)

Must. Try. Harder!!





This month:

I am loving:
Settling into our new house, I love it!!

James is loving:
Getting some good news at work

Bradley is loving:
His new attic bedroom and being able to play football in the garden

Taylor is loving:
Being outside in the fresh air
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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Finding the perfect highchair feat. Babymoov


One of the most important pieces of equipment you will buy for your baby is a highchair. Your baby will spend lots of time in it, so it needs to be something you think about thoroughly rather than just picking the first one you see.

So, what do you look for in a highchair? What is important to you?

For me, a highchair has to be easy to clean. We baby led wean Taylor, so as he is in control of his eating, there is a often a lot of mess. As he feeds himself, food gets everywhere, so it's important that it is made of tough stuff and easy to clean. I knew I didn't want a high chair with a fabric or plastic pillow type seat as I had one of these with Bradley and found them really awkward and time consuming to clean.

It also has to be super quick and easy to get up and down, and get Taylor in and out. We haven't got time for anything too fussy!

Finally, the highchair needs to be easy to store away. Our previous highchair was one that didn't fold, but just stood there. Moving into this house, we don't have much storage so it's important that the highchair folds away nicely in the small storage area we do have.

 
Fortunately, I've found my perfect highchair...



As a Babymoov ambassador, I am lucky enough to be able to receive and review some of their amazing products, to share with you guys.

Let me introduce you to Babymoov's Lightwood Highchair. (£139.99*)

It comes in 2 colours, brown [as seen] and black and white, is fully adjustable, with it's inter changeable seat and footrest, so height can be changed, moving up and down so you can sit the child at table height, and the footrest can be adjusted as baby grows. 

It is made solely of light wood, making it very easy to clean, with no awkward 'nucks or crannys' to try to get into. 

Taylor enjoying his dinner in the garden in his highchair


The tray can be removed, so chair can be pulled over to the table for family meals together. It also has a crotch piece and safety harness.

The chair arrives all ready assembled, so no building, just ready to use, which is just perfect!

There is also a Comfort Cushion (£24.99*) seen below, and a Decorative Cushion (£11.99) to purchase for the highchair for extra comfort.

                          


Now the big seller for me, and the main reason why it's a perfect highchair for us is the fact that it is ultra slimline when folded. Made of light wood at just 6.5kg, it is super quick and easy to fold down with just 3 swift movements, unclip the crotch piece, press the buttons to close the tray, then lift a piece at the back to fold it fully into a compact position. 

Can you see how slim the highchair is when folded? Fantastic!
I have a large cupboard in the kitchen which contains my work trolley and equipment, as I work from home, plus a few other household items such as the hoover and steam mop etc, so there is minimum room. The highchair literally fits on the edge of the cupboard perfectly!



Visit Babymoov.co.uk for more innovative baby products.


What do you think?
What do you look for when purchasing a highchair?



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*Sent to me for honest review,
as part of brand ambassadorship 





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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Project 365 | 2015 | Week 27


A photo a day, every day, for a year.

I think it's a fab way to document my week and look back on my year at the end.

Are you joining me?


Week Twenty Seven
June 29 - July 5






Day one hundred and seventy nine:
I just need one more Tiffany & Co box, and I'll have myself a pyramid! ;) 

Day one hundred and eighty:
James trying out our new BBQ*, courtesy of #ASDAOutdoors

Day one hundred and eighty one:
My biggest boy, Bradley. He had his induction day at his new secondary school this week!!

Day one hundred and eighty two:
Loving a bit of heatwave this week!! Although it did get far too hot today!!

Day one hundred and eighty three:
Taylor rocking his new sandals. I do have to keep checking he still has them on though as he likes to take them off!! :)

Day one hundred and eighty four:
Taylor's 1st birthday invites have arrived. I just can't believe he's nearly 1!!!

Day one hundred and eighty five:
Fun times in the garden today!! :)




How was your week??

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Thursday, 2 July 2015

June Beauty Favourites



This month, I decided to share with you my most loved, most used beauty products. These little beauties have been finding their way onto my dressing table pretty frequently.
Let me explain why...



Ark Anti-Ageing Skin Protector SPF30 Primer (£36.00*)
This is gorgeous. It's benefits are endless but for me it stands out because it contains sunscreen, so I know my face is protected from harmful rays, daily. It feels really light on my skin and applies well, leaving no greasiness or stickiness. I've noticed a change in my skin since using this so I'll definitely continue to use it.
It's a primer so I apply it after my moisturiser, and before I start my make up.


Olay Total Effects 7 in One Moisturiser & Serum Duo (£14.99/Boots)
I'm a huge Olay fan, as you will know if you read my blog regularly. You can't beat them as far as skincare goes. This duo combines their most concentrated moisturiser which helps fight the seven signs of ageing with a serum and I really have noticed the difference in the tone and texture of my skin. It also contains an SPF of 20.


Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner Water (£7.95)
My go-to toner for my morning skincare routine. It reduces any redness after cleansing, removes any dirt, cleanser or even any left over make up from the night before. It calms my skin and instantly refreshes it. I like it because it's so gentle, and refreshing! I've also been using it during this weeks heatwave as a facial spritz to cool me down!


MAC Studio Tech (£23.50)
My most favourite makeup product ever. To be honest, I'd not used it for a while, I kept it in my handbag for touch ups, but recently I bought it out to 'set' my makeup, and I've been using it daily ever since. I've been using this foundation since I was 18, I just love it. It applies beautifully as it's really creamy and light, and dries to a powder-perfect finish. I've been applying it after foundation, with my stippling brush, to set my make up. It blends really nicely and leaves a beautiful sheen on the skin.
Looks like I'll be needing a new one very soon! ;)


Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Hot Spice (£6.00)
I was a bit late to the Makeup Revolution party. If I'm honest I was a bit of a beauty snob and thought it was just another cheap and nasty budget brand. I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about, until I treated myself to a few bits and was amazed. Nothing cheap and nasty about this stuff. As you can see, the blush palette is well used. It contains 6 gorgeous blushes in really flattering, easy to blend shades, plus 2 highlighters. I've been using it every single day.


Makeup Revolution What You Waiting For Eyeshadow Palette (£6.00)
Another well used palette, in fact I'm a bit embarrassed by this picture, it's a bit of a mess. But it's used daily just lately, so it's an image of a well loved product! ;)
This palette contains both matte and shimmery nude and natural shades that are just beautiful. I create some really nice looks on my eyes for either a natural daytime look or a more dramatic look, the shades are super pigmented and blend really nicely together. As you can see the top first and third are my go-to highlight and crease shades just recently, and the matte brown has been my eyebrow shade of late! :) Amazing budget brand palette.



What beauty products have you been loving lately?


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