Sunday, 10 April 2016


My skin has certainly been a little lacklustre as we slowly creep out of the colder months of the year in the UK. My skin isn't dry, but it is dehydrated and frequently not getting enough sleep doesn't help!

I picked up this '6-in-1 energising radiance serum'  (£13) from Soap and Glory hoping that it could help make me look a little more awake when I head out the door at 7:30. I've never tried anything from Soap and Glory that I didn't like, so I had high hopes. 

I have to admit, initially when I used this underneath moisturiser... I didn't really think it did much - or at least not enough that it would show through my foundation. 

So... I switched up my method. I'm currently using the L'Oreal Infallible Matte foundation which does set down to a very matte, mid-high coverage finish. If I feel like I need a little more glow to my skin (aka most days), I'll mix 2 parts foundation with 1 part serum and make my own super-glowy non oily foundation combination. This way the glow from the serum doesn't get masked by the foundation! I've not tried this with other foundations - I'd imagine that it might not work so well with foundations which are already leaning towards the 'dewy' side. 

I love the finish this product gives when mixed into my foundations - for me I loved the longevity and colour match of the Infallible matte foundation but thought it was just a little too matte for my skin type. 

I'd love to know if you have any glow-boosting recommendations for me!




Wednesday, 30 March 2016

On-the-go Fragrance Solutions

Nope, they aren't vibrators. Just portable perfume dispensers which look like vibrators and could lead to confusing comments about the type's of things you keep in your office handbag... 

It's nice to smell nice. It's nice to continue to smell nice all day long. And if you aren't fortunate enough to be wearing Chanel everyday, then sometimes this just isn't possible from your morning spritz. 

Keeping perfume in your bag is not fun either. The bottles are more than often made of glass, bulky and awkward. And god forbid it smashed in your handbag... There is such thing as too much of a good thing - walking around doused in an entire bottle of perfume being one of them. 

So today I have two alternatives to the perfume bottle for you... the trusty Travalo  (RRP £15, but £7.50 on Fragrance Direct right now!) and a more affordable alternative for £1.50 from Primark. 

So.... what's the difference?

Well the Travalo (pictured in Pink) has a rather clever patented valve which allows you to remove the cap of your perfume, pop this on the little tube and pump it full of fragrance this way. It also comes in a large range of colours which would make them easier to differentiate, and it is slightly bigger and generally looks and feels more expensive. 

The Primark option is a fraction of the price, meaning you could buy more for different perfumes. But they only come in silver (as far as I'm aware), you have to unscrew the lid and spray the perfume in directly, which can be a bit messier. 

So you can buy 5 Primark atomisers for every Travalo - both have their merits. I use my Travalo for my most used, every day perfume, then will probably use the Primark atomisers for my less frequently used scents. 

Both hold enough to get a good few used out of. I hardly ever have to refill these! 

I'd love to know how you guys travel with your perfumes at the moment. Let me know below!




Sunday, 27 March 2016

Back to Normality...


You may or may not have noticed I have not posted for a little while. It's my final few months of my degree, so I've had to spend a lot of time in the library doing countless assignments and exam prep and haven't really had the spare time available to blog. It's not all over yet, I still have three exams to get through in May... but I'm over the hump.

So now I've finished the bulk of that, I have a lot more time to get my butt in gear and get my blog on!

I have to admit I feel.. or felt... like I had lost my blogging mojo. It felt like another things on my already-too-long list of things to do. I did contemplate packing it all in. But after logging into my blogger account for the first time in ages, having expected absolutely nothing to change, I feel a little better. I actually seem to have been getting traffic from Google, despite my DA falling due to my being a crappy blogger, and I even gained 1000 views on 1 post over the last month. Maybe small stats to some people, but for me it's enough for me to feel like maybe it's all worth it.

I have a few posts lined up for the next few weeks... I'm feeling my changing lifestyle will steer me away from the beauty posts. I still do love doing beauty posts, but I don't think I'm trying enough stuff out to constantly churn them out. I'm pretty much just finding what I like and sticking to it at the moment.

I hope this can be the last apologetic crappy-blogger post I have the write in a while. Catch me on Wednesday for a new post!


Sunday, 7 February 2016

How I Lost my FOUR STONE of Baby Weight!

I would firstly like to point out that I am OKAY with the fact I gained weight during my pregnancy. It's normal and your body's way of naturally storing fat for feeding your little one when they arrive. I was so okay with it that I did an absolutely cracking job at it. I ate very healthy foods most of the time during my pregnancy and still did exercise, mostly in the form of walking and the occasional bit of antenatal yoga or swimming. But I was also napping a LOT, not moving around as much as I used to and was eating for two. Aaaaand the weight piled on...

At full term, I was actually 4 stone heavier than I am now. I'm pretty sure most medical practitioners would tell you this is excessive, but as long as you feel (and are) healthy, then who cares? Let the pregnant lady eat cake, I say!

40 weeks pregnant / 6 weeks postpartum

I didn't really weigh myself pre-pregnancy, but at 14 weeks I was 9st 4lbs and this crept up to 12st 7lbs at my largest when I was full term. I now fluctuate around the 8st 7lbs mark.

 I don't actually think the weight gain was all that noticeable when I was pregnant, probably due to that lovely pregnant 'glow' you apparently get and the fact that you're still getting 8 hours sleep a night, albeit uncomfortably. I felt huge because of my baby bump, but not because of the rest of me.

Post-birth however, I felt like a whale. A big saggy whale with this weird spongy tummy and 1000 stretch marks and 7 chins. In fact, there are NO photos of me post birth. I was adamant about this... I'm regretting it now, as I would love to see how far I've come. The best photo I can find it me 6 weeks later, before the bulk of my weight loss.

I was by no means in amazing shape 6 months down the line, and I think it would be unrealistic to expect washboard abs to appear anytime soon, but I had managed to slim down substantially. My belly was still causing me a bit of grief, but I think about 10 months down the line it had slimmed down completely.

6 months postpartum

SO, back to the title of this post... how did I lose my baby weight?

The most obvious start to your weight loss is popping out a baby and all the other gunk that goes with it. This brought my weight down to somewhere in the region of 11st - 11st 7lbs.

I would firstly like to mention that whilst breastfeeding does burn calories, this doesn't necessarily mean you'll lose weight. I breastfed for 4 months and was back in the gym by 6 weeks post-partum. I lost hardly any weight despite the fact I was burning so many calories, because I was still eating for two! It is strongly advised that you don't diet whilst breastfeeding, as your little one needs to get the most nutrition they can from you, so whilst I was still eating healthy meals, I was still consuming a lot of calories.

I'm convinced that my hormones played a big role in my weight loss. When I stopped breastfeeding Archer, my body went into full on hormonal break-down. Cue more morning sickness, napping, crying etc. It was during this month that, alongside adjusting my diet to being more low-cal, that I dropped the bulk of my baby weight.

I'll start off by saying I never followed a 'proper' diet. Instead I just cut some things out of my diet, and tried to eat less things that were obviously bad for me. I did still, however, treat myself to a bit of chocolate or pudding every evening and the occasional 'cheat' meal.

I did cut the following from my diet;

These are all things that don't really 'agree' with me, so it made sense for me to cut them out and it worked for me.

N.B. I have never cut carbs. I freaking love carbs.

I've always been a busy Mum. I went back to uni when Archer was 4 months old which meant I was always on the go. I've always been very into walking too, whether that be taking long walks with the pram or just walking my commute to and from Uni. I found being 'busy' helped me to regulate my meal times, stop me snacking and burnt off some extra calories.

I'm glad I know now for when I have my next child, that I won't look 4 months pregnant forever, and that the hundreds of stretch marks I got will fade to be barely noticable eventually, and that eventually I'll probably even be in better shape than I was before. At the time it felt like an unbeatable mission to get myself back in shape, but stressing about it less really was key. It will all come together eventually, and no one is expecting a new Mum to bust out a bikini body anytime soon.

Everybody's different, and will lose weight in different ways and at different paces, this is just my experience of baby weight loss.

I'd love to know your thoughts on losing baby weight.


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

My Leesa Mattress Experience

I love sleeping. I love being comfy in general. I don't like being jabbed in the side with the pokey springs of my slightly-too-old mattress. So when Leesa got in touch and asked if I would like to review their iconic mattress, which has taken the US by storm and has recently made it's way over to the UK, I jumped at the opportunity!

I have never owned, or even tried a memory foam mattress before. I do suffer from lower back pain quite frequently from doing a lot of sitting at desks, so I as eager to see whether this mattress could help with that, too. Apparently, many memory foam mattresses can get too hot, however this mattress has three rather sophisticated layers of foam and ventilation which means hot sweaty nights can be avoided! (I'm no mattress scientist, but their website explains it pretty well here).

I've been testing it out for over a month now, so I thought it was finally time to share my thoughts on here!
Some seriously clever vacuum-packing skills from the Leesa guys!

When the mattress arrived vacuum packed into a tiny box I was sure they must have sent me the wrong size. How was it so small?! Alas, they had managed to fold the mattress in half, and half again and vacuum pack it down - so much more eco-friendly and a LOT easier to move, especially up the stairs! 

I unpacked my mattress and lay it flat for a while - over the course of about 12 hours or so it slowly expanded back to it's normal size. It does have a slight 'packaging' smell, but this only lasts a few days and isn't unpleasant. 

Expanding back to it's full size.

Now, on to the important bit. How did I sleep? At first I was apprehensive. I was so used to sprung mattresses that the slight 'sink' that I got when I lay down on this felt a bit too unfamiliar. After lying down for 10-15 minutes or so though, I realised that my body really warmed up to the mattress. It's kind of like a little full body hug which gets more comfy the longer you're there. 

I also found that it makes me fidget less because it's physically harder to wriggle about on, which means I end up sleeping a lot better (toddler permitting) than I usually would have done, just because I'm keeping still. 

Another bonus for me from using this, is that I don't suffer from the hip pain that I used to with my old mattress. I realise this may make me sound like an OAP, but I'm a side sleeper with quite bony hips, so I used to find the springs quite uncomfortable here. So much so that during my pregnancy I slept on an airbed for a while because I simply couldn't stand it. Now I can sleep on my sides with no issues!

For my back pain? Well... that's persistent and probably won't really go away until I find better chairs or switch my lifestyle up. I do find that I'm waking up without pain there though, so it must be helping somehow.

What do you guys think of the Leesa mattress? Do you fancy one?




Tuesday, 2 February 2016

A Very Poorly Week...

Hi Guys,

Sorry I missed last Sunday and Wednesday's posts.... It's been a bit of a dramatic week for me!

I've been really unwell. I hate even having a cold if I think it's going to bring me down and make me unproductive, so being fit with full force with a serious case of illness was really not what I had hoped for the week.

I had an annoying back ache last week. On Friday night, Glenn and I drove up to London to visit my friend.. My back pain at least tripled during the car journey and when I arrived I was in agony and a total party pooper. A couple of Co-Codamol's later and all was forgotten, I was ready to hit London! After making the most of the toddler-free morning ahead of me and rolling in at 2am, I ate some pizza, drank some water and toddled off to bed. No less than 2 hours later I woke up in a freezing chill, and so began a long night of vomiting / hot flushes / chills and above all a ferocious temperature!

The following day was a little easier as we headed back home, but we knew something was up and suspected a kidney infection. The out-of-hours GP was too busy, so we embarked on another night of vomit, chills and sweat.

The next morning, we managed to get an emergency GP appointment at 9am. He diagnosed me pyelonephritus, or a kidney infection, prescribed me some heavy duty antibiotics and off I went.

Unfortunately this was all probably a little too late, I was vomitting up my meds and dreadfully dehydrated. After returning to the GP at 4pm, I was admitted to hospital for IV antibiotics and fluids.

I ended up staying in the hospital until Wednesday. My stay was.... insightful. I shared my bedroom with 3 elderly Welsh ladies and one of them was really hilarious. She kept complaining about everything and anything, told me off for not eating my dinner and kept telling the nurses how to do their jobs. She was in for a cut on her ear and had been told she could be discharged, but she wasn't having any of it - she needed the nurses to attend to her ear's every need!

 I had hardly seen Archer the week before, so I missed him so much. Visiting hours were short-lived and it was difficult to keep him still in a hospital ward full of exciting and breakable things, so I didn't get to see much of him whilst I was there either.

I'm now back at work / uni and trying to recover from missing a week off life as a very busy person...

Bear with me for the next few days whilst I get back on my feet!




Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The 15p Brush Cleanser Alternative.

If you're looking for a great budget brush cleanser, look no further. 

I've tried a lot of different products when it comes to cleaning my make up brushes. It's one of my least favourites chores, so I'm always on the hunt to find alternatives that will thoroughly clean my brushes in record time. I'd heard Nikkie (of Nikkie Tutorials) briefly talk about how 'hotel soap' was one of the best things to clean your brushes, so I thought I would put a plain white soap to the test on my brushes. I popped into my local Tesco and picked up their Everyday Value Soap at only 15p and, without being overly dramatic, IT IS THE BEST BRUSH CLEANSER I HAVE EVER USED!

Filthy brushes. Lovely. 

This soap is all you need guys. AND 15p!
I can't vouch for how this fares with sensitive skin as it does have a slight 'soap' fragrance, so if you are especially sensitive it may be best to check the ingredients. It does, however, imply that it can be used with babies, which implies to me that it should be sensitive skin friendly - but don't quote me on that! 
Ooh, working up a lather...

I use the soap in a similar way to how you would use a Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser, so I will draw my main comparison from that. Firstly, the price difference is HUGE - with the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser coming in at around £15. It is also only a fraction of the size and quite simply just awkward to store, whereas the Tesco soap can just be popped in a soap dish to the side. As the soap bar is so much larger, it is a lot easier to work up a lather, too! 

I really struggle to see why solid make up cleansers cost so much after trying this. Personally I think this is better than the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser, so much so that I feel a little bit angry for having potentially paid quite a bit to be sold what was essentially a teeny bit of soap. 

If you have a particularly stubborn foundation that you can't shift, then maybe you would need a little extra help still (although I am yet to find a cleansing product which does any better). A little drop of Olive oil does the trick to help lift it off before you give it a good clean with soap though. 

Ah, all clean.. that's better. 

I am honestly totally blown away with how good this is for cleaning brushes and will be in no rush to try any more over-priced soaps any time soon. I really hope I can convince at least one of you to pick it up - it's only 15p so no loss if you aren't a fan (although, I'm pretty sure you will be!)




Sunday, 17 January 2016

Some Changes.

Hi Everybody.

I thought I would write a quick catch up post today, and also to detail my new blog schedule which *fingers crossed* I will be sticking to.

Life is getting very busy. If you didn't already know, I'm in the last term of my degree (BA Business and Management w/ Finance if you're wondering). I'm also doing another diploma alongside this, attempting to maintain my blog and, obviously, I have a naughty toddler on my hands, too!

So to throw another spanner into the works, I'm also going back to work. I've taken a part time job where I used to work, so I'll be back in the office after 2 years, eek! So I'll be there 2.5 days a week, and Uni 2.5 days a week.

There are a few reasons why I've decided to go back to work. Firstly, and most obviously, money. I'm a student so I only have my student loan coming in, which barely even covers nursery fees. So it will be nice to have a bit of extra cash. Secondly, in mid-March I'll finish my lectures / seminars, so it will be great to actually have something productive to do with this time and give my mind a break from revision. Finally, I'm planning on going back to work full time in the summer, so it's going to help mentally prepare me for being away from Archer all week.

SO, with this extra load on my plate, I thought I had better set myself a schedule for the blog. I've decided that realistically, I don't think I'll be able to post more than twice a week for the next couple of months.

So I'm going to post on Wednesdays and Sundays at 8am. This is the first time I've restricted myself to a schedule, so I really hope I can keep it up!

Back soon!




Wednesday, 13 January 2016

DIOR AIRFLASH: Airbrush In A Can?

Dior Airflash (£33.50) has been on my radar ever since Jeffree Star raved about it years ago on Instagram. As far as I know, it's one of his favourite foundations so when I was invited to a Dior event recently at Debenhams in Cardiff, I had to have it. 

Being on the extreme end of of the pale skinned spectrum, I obviously opted for the lightest shade of Ivory. This is probably still a tad too dark for my skin, and slightly too neutral where I suit a cool-toned base best, but all is not lost as I know this will be the perfect foundation for me when the summer rolls around. 

So this foundation can be used in a number of ways - either use it on its own sprayed directly on to the face for an easy, natural base, spray over foundation to make it extra high coverage and flawless, or spray onto a beauty blender / brush and apply that way. It's not often you get such versatility in foundations, so I found this to be a big selling point! 

You also get a lot more product than a normal foundation - 70ml! That's at least double what most foundations offer. This is mainly to account for the spray that get's lost during use, but if you're nifty with it then you can definitely make the most out of it. 

At the moment I use this when I'm going for a full coverage, night on the town type make up (which, unfortunately, happens less than I would like!). When I use it over a base foundation it helps to bronze me up slightly (yes, Ivory is bronzing up for me!) and boost my coverage which is great! I then go in with concealer to highlight where needed. 

It may be a bit gimic-y, but actually the Dior Airflash is a great multi-use product and will certainly go a long way. My only downside is the poor colour range as I would love to wear this on it's own during the cooler months, too!

Have any of you tried this? What do you think?




Monday, 11 January 2016

The Three Hardest Things I've Done.

Well... this photo is pretty mis-leading right? No I have not joined the armed forces, I just thought it looked pretty badass. 

A bit of a different post today. I sometimes like to think about things I've accomplished to help put the 'bad times' into perspective, when they really aren't that bad. There are three things that really stand out as being the hardest things I've done. I hope this post doesn't come across too 'first world problems', I've been pretty lucky to have not had any really bad tragedy in my life... these are just the things that have presented the biggest challenges to me.

1. Learning to Drive
This may seem like a standard part of growing up or adulthood to most people, but for me learning to drive was my biggest struggle. Some people (especially my boyfriend) struggle to understand driving phobias, but to put it bluntly when I'm driving I feel like I'm in charge of some kind of death machine which I shouldn't be allowed in. I struggled with driving lessons, clocking up about 45 hours between 3 different instructors, and when it came to my driving test I was a nervous wreck. The most nervous I had ever been about anything (and I get nervous a lot...). I was convinced I would fail, that I aggravate other drivers and that I wasn't safe on the roads. I passed my test with only 1 minor, which helped me gain confidence all for about 5 minutes. 1 year down the line and I still HATE driving. I don't think it's something I will ever feel comfortable doing, so actually keeping up with it and finally getting my pink license is definitely the top of my list of hardest things I've done.

2. Giving Birth
I think this one is pretty obvious. Nothing can prepare you for the pain of childbirth. My labour started quickly and I was having frequent contractions for maybe 12 or 13 hours before I went to theatre. I would liken my labour to being stabbed in the stomach with a big rusty pole and being constantly refused the pain relief you know is there. To make matters worse the 3 weeks that followed were filled with agony, being unable to sit down and having my nipples destroyed by a very hungry baby who was causing me agonising pain! He definitely owes me one, that's for sure! (Still not as hard as learning to drive, I hope this helps you to understand how much I hate driving....)!

3. Becoming a Drop Out
Actually, becoming a drop out wasn't that hard. In fact, I was pretty awesome at it. I was really good at not attending lectures and partying every. single. night. But accepting that I was a drop out was a lot harder and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. Accepting all the money I wasted on a bit of a degree and deciding to move back to the city to work in a grimy nightclub instead. I'm so so glad I did (I mean, what the hell was I doing to do with a Music and Maths degree anyway? What a waste of time!) I went back to Uni, to do a useful course a few years later when I felt a lot more 'ready' (albeit pregnant....) and it's definitely worked out for the best.




Monday, 4 January 2016

Blogging Overwhelm...

Blogging, and social media for that matter, are overwhelming. I want to be sharing my '2016 blogging goals' like many other bloggers, but this isn't something I feel like I'm able to get my head around right now.

Doubt slips very easily into my mind... What even is my niche? Does anyone even read this? Why am I doing this? How am I supposed to be active on all these social media whilst simultaneously being a Mum and finishing my degree? WHY DON'T I HAVE A SODDING INSTAGRAM THEME?!

Part of my wants to take a back-seat, create good content and focus on the bigger things, and part of me wants to go in heads first, strategise and post, post, post. Finding the time for either right now is difficult.

I'm going to keep up with my One Hour Blog Challenge for now. But hey, 2016. I'm still here.

I'm working on it.

I have all the enthusiasm, but not much focus. Just give it time....

(P.S. I did post about my 2016 New Years Resolutions though... Give them a read here)