Friday 23 November 2018

The best UK Christmas Markets

I don’t know about you but I’m struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year, but theres one way for sure that will get me feeling all those tingles and that’s visiting a Christmas market! It has to be the one time of year that it’s socially acceptable to wrap up warm and drink beer from glasses that are bigger than your head whilst still wearing gloves. Right!?

 I’m lucky that I live in the midlands and have the opportunity to visit some of the most amazing Christmas markets that the UK has to offer with my first choice always being Birminghams Frankfurt Market - I’ve done my annual visit, had my beer and kept the glass for whatever reason I thought was great on the night! 

Set along the streets of Birmingham city centre, you will find the traditional style wooden huts selling all sorts of bits and bobs, from food, to alcohol, Christmas gifts to Christmas sweets! It’s the perfect social event or the perfect opportunity to un-wind at the weekend and take in the Christmas cheer! It does get ridiculously busy at weekends though so I recommend visiting mid-week if you can! 

Probably the most popular Christmas event in the UK is London’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. More of a Fair and modern market, there are still Christmas stalls, bars and food huts spread across Hyde Park with a huge fun fair too! There’s also an ice skating rink which is perfect if you haven’t tried skating before and it’s a great excuse to visit the big smoke! Again, it can get really busy at weekends so choose when you visit wisely! I loved it in London when I lived there during university, there is always so much going on and even just a walk around the centre can give you pure christmas vibes! 

Another Christmas Market which may be a little more popular with those of you situated up north (further than Birmingham that is to all you southerners) is the Cheshire Christmas Market. Running until the 22nd December, you can spend your day wondering around the 70 traditional wooden chalets and gazing at the lights on the huge Christmas tree situated in the heart of Chester! With Christmas gifts, crafts, accessories and food available you can pretty much finish (or start) your Christmas shopping here! If you’re looking for more specialised items, Cheshire Oaks is situated just 15 minutes away so you can really make a weekend of it. It’s also fast becoming one of the top places to live in the UK and with Laurus homes, if you’re looking to jump on the property ladder, Cheshire and Chester are great places to start by looking at what could work for you if you were to move there! And for those of you who have never been to Cheshire, it’s a great place to spend a weekend with friends or your other half, especially at this time of year too! #ExploringCheshire

If you’re planning on visiting any of the Christmas markets this year, make sure you wrap up warm and stay safe - and don’t drink too much mulled wine! 

Friday 9 November 2018

Transitional Fashion A/W

 When it comes to being “on-trend”, I never really know where I fall as I’ve always had my own go-to style and just wear whatever the hell I want. You’d often find me rocking a pair of jogging bottoms with an oversized t-shirt but on the day as I’m not in Mum mode or I need to go out in public, I’ll make half an effort and or at least put on something that doesn’t consist of a hoody and trainers...

When the weather changes, it’s always nice to know I can take my favourite dresses from one season to another and that’s exactly what I try and do with most of my clothes, throwing on a blazer or jacket  with a midi or maxi dress is the perfect transitional trend that I’m completely here for! 
(Items gifted from 

Monday 20 August 2018

5 Travel tips for Gran Canaria

If you’re lucky enough to go abroad this year, you may already be looking at ways to get the most out of it. Unfortunately for us, we’ve had to miss out on our aeroplane holiday for the last 2 years (as Millie calls them) because of me being pregnant, having Mylo and of course, this year we decided to come to Cornwall instead but when we do go away, we always head to Gran Canaria as it has everything we could want and more. 

Gran Canaria is one of the Canary Islands and is perfect at any time of year, it’s a popular place for some winter sun but also very popular in the summer months with temperatures on average around 30 degrees. We’ve never had a bad spell of weather when we’ve been so it’s always perfect but we do always try and make the most of our holiday and save money where we can but still have a great time! So here are some of my travel tips if you’re planning on any holidays to Gran Canaria this year or it’s on your to-do list! 

1: Research the area you’re staying in as Gran Canaria is VERY hilly. We’ve stayed in both Amadores and Puerto Rico and they’re both quite high up if you don’t pick the right hotel. We stayed at Marina Suites before we had Millie - a beautiful nautical themed hotel set on the edge of the harbour, the second time we stayed at Gloria Palace Royal which is built into the rocks overlooking the gorgeous beach of Amardores but a quick trip in the lift and you’re down to level ground. Some hotels are up windy roads and are so high so make sure you know the position of your hotel! 

2: Get a taxi transfer from the airport to your hotel - the transfer times vary from 1.5-3 hours due to the hills and layout of the resorts and after a 4 hour flight, you don’t want to be stuck on a bus for another 3 hours like we were so put aside a little cash to get a taxi straight to your hotel and you’ll thank me later! 

3: Go half board - most of the hotels offer the option to dine half board instead of just B&B or All Inclusive. Some hotels also give you the option to use your meals on either Breakfast and Lunch or Breakfast and Dinner so if you want to eat out a few nights then you haven’t wasted money as you’ve still had lunch included in your allowance. 

4: Book a boat trip but be cautious of sea sickness! Both times we’ve done a catamaran trip we’ve seen dolphins and it’s amazing but some of the boats aren’t as big as you’d hope and you may get struck by sea sickness! It’s completely worth it but just be aware - the last one we went on over half of the boat was sick and we had to turn back early! 

5: Following from the last point, book excursions direct with the companies or people advertising them on the harbour. You’ll find that your rep will add money onto the cost of the trips if you book through them and we’ve never had a bad experience booking direct. There are tonnes of boat trips and sea activities you can do so have a look at what’s around and book there and then! 

Friday 10 August 2018

5 Tips for Calorie Counting Diets

If you’re anything like me and struggle to ‘diet’ because of your love of food, you may have taken to the calorie counting way of eating and are beginning to just start taking more notice of the foods you’re eating, rather than starving yourself daily and binge eating at the weekends! Calorie counting works for me because I know that I’m in control of the food I eat and it means that if I still want a doughnut, then I’ll plan it into that days’ calories and take a hit on everything else I plan on having and make better choices for the rest of my meals (usually filling up on vegetables at dinner instead of potatoes or pasta). 

Of course, calorie counting isn’t for everyone and sometimes, calorie counting alone isn’t going to help you lose weight or achieve fat loss, everyone should be doing some form of exercise to increase their weight-loss and overall general health and of course, if you are, you’ll see the difference a lot quicker than you would without the exercise. So, if you’re looking into a calorie controlled diet or you’re doing it already and just want some tips, then carry on reading! 

1 - Get a calorie tracker if you haven’t already! App’s like MyFitnessPal and Lose it! make it really easy to keep track of your calories and macros (if you’re tracking those too) and means that you can input regular meals so that it’s easier in the long run to see what you’re consuming.  

2 - Make everything from scratch instead of buying pre-made meals. Even though buying pre-made meals may seem like the easiest way to track your calories, you won’t be getting the goodness from the pre-made stuff that you would if you were to make things from scratch. Vegetables and Fruit don’t have that many calories in and so you know you can eat pretty much as much of these as you like without going too far over your calories but using sauces or jars that are pre-made will up your calories significantly! Be savvy when you can and cook things at home! 

3 - Be cautious of eating out; Most places should have a nutritional guide to hand for anyone who requires the dietry information of the meals, places like Wetherspoons have their calorie information actually on the menu so if you’re heading out, either look on the net first to see if their nutritional info is on there or ask as soon as you arrive to know what is open to you. You don’t have to go without, just be mindful of what you’re eating. 

4 - Try not to ‘drink’ your calories; A lot of people won’t realise when it comes to calorie counting that they may well be going over their allowance just by drinking their calories. Drinks such as pre-made smoothies, juices, fizzy drinks, energy drinks and Coffees will be packed full of calories without you realising. If you’re looking to drink smoothies then make them yourself at home using water and low-fat milk to save on the calories and use a juicer or smoothie maker to make your own. You can get some fab deals on MyJuicer so if you browse online and take a look, doing this won’t only save your calories but will save your pennies too! 

5 - Don’t be too hard on yourself. Dieting is tough and we all fall off the wagon every now and again but it’s important to know that everything is fine in moderation. If you want a pizza on Friday, have a pizza but remember to be mindful of what you eat for the rest of the weekend and don’t overindulge too much - you aren't going to put half a stone on just from one meal. Dieting is a hard task for most of us and it’s all about mindset, once you get that balance between thinking and eating then you’ll start to see amazing results! 

The above image shows you just what 100 calories looks like an how deceiving it can be to think that you know what certain foods contain but if you’re looking for low-calorie snacks, I wrote a post including some of my favourites and you can read it here. 

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to any diet, but especially calorie counting, is that the thing that always works is following the calories in vs. calories out module. As long as you’re burning off more than what you’re consuming, you’ll be on track to lose weight, this is why exercise is important. The average person will burn around 1600 calories a day regardless of what they do but if you add an hours exercise on top of that, you’ll be looking at burning an additional 400-700 calories which means you’re burning off more than you’re eating. It’s a hard thing to understand so make sure you’re tracking your calories as well as you can and everything else will follow. 
(Sponsored post)

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Leesa Mattress Review + Discount code

*Sponsored post - I was kindly gifted this mattress by Leesa*

If you’re a sleep lover like me, you’ll know that the moment you get into bed is one of the best moments of the day! We’ve been desperate for a new mattress for about 3 years now, since moving out of the flat into a smaller house and then again a year later, it was evident that we really needed a new bed not just for comfort but because it had been a good 7 years since we got our old one! It’s had a lot of use, not to mention all the bouncing Millie has done over the last 4 years... There are tonnes of mattresses out there so why choose Leesa? 

Leesa approached the problem of sleep, or lack of for some people, and wondered how they could change this with the mattress being the main focus. The Leesa mattresses are a completely redesigned mattress, not your normal memory foam or spring, it is made with ‘Universal Adaptive Feel’ that helps the mattress to adapt to everyone - all body sizes and shapes and better still, it’s great for couples as it adapts to each partner and their needs! For Me and Adam this is perfect as I’m a side sleeper and he’s a back sleeper so it means I’m not rolling into him during the night! 

The connivence of buying the Leesa mattress is amazing and there is no hassle at all, as they are an online only company, their customer service is impeccable and they offer everyone a 100 night guarantee so you can really try out the mattress for your own needs and if you don’t feel like it’s right for you, simply send it back and get your money back! The mattress is delivered straight to your door too, quite literally! I came home one day and it was sat at our back door waiting for me, perfect! It comes vacuum packed and boxed ready to setup so simply take it to the bedroom and do your thing... 
Whilst Leesa insists on signature on delivery, in this instance the mattress was left at the back door, so the Leesa team will investigate why this has happened.

I managed to get the box upstairs on my own and had it setup in minutes so don’t worry about the weight of it if you live alone, if I can do it then anyone can! Just open it up, lay the mattress on the bed frame an open the plastic with scissors! You’ll soon notice that it starts to expand and it’ll fill your bed frame within a few hours. It’s encouraged that you don’t lie on it for at least an hour to let it expand fully but we left ours for a few hours before we tested it out! 

Leesa mattress coming out of box on the bed

With sizes that go right upto Super King, there’s definitely something for everyone and they even do duvet sets too which also come with a 75 night trial guarantee and better still, when you buy the Leesa sheet set a portion of each sale also goes to 42nd Street, a charity that supports young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing - Leesa gives back to those who need it most, not just those who need a decent night sleep! 

Stats recently have shown that approximately 3500 people sleep rough every day in England, so Leesa donate one custom-made mattress to organisations for every ten that are sold and they help and support the homeless and vulnerable men, women and children. With over 30,000 mattresses donated already, you can support their work and help to make up another bundle of 10 so that 1 can be donated. 

We’ve never really had problems with sleeping but I do have issues with my back and the Leesa mattress has definitely helped with my back pain an has made sleeping so much more comfy, with the help of a lighter duvet cover too, the way the mattress moulds rather than sinks like spring mattresses makes getting comfy at night quicker and easier! With bed invaders in the morning too, it means that once Mylo and Millie have claimed their space, we’re not all bouncing around trying to stay still and get comfy, the mattress supports us all and even means we can get another 5 minutes of shut eye! 

The Grey and White design of the mattress is flawless and chic, it’s modern without being too over the top and the quality is amazing! I’ve never had a mattress like this and I know that I won’t ever have one the same (until we get a new Leesa in 8 years time) but it really does pay for what you’re getting! Some people may worry about the cost of a mattress like this but with different payment options and plans, it means that it’s available to everyone and is easy on the bank balance too! You can also get £100 off your Leesa mattress using my unique code NOTYOURAVERAGE 

Theres no better feeling than knowing youre going to get a good night sleep but youre also helping someone else get one too! 

Wednesday 25 July 2018

In The Night Garden LIVE! Review

If you have children, the name Iggle Piggle will be very familiar to you and you might even wince when you hear them however, Iggle Piggle is much loved in our house by both kids and even so, by us! Many a nights where it has come to 6:30pm and we’re literally counting down the minutes until bedtime, ‘In the Night Garden’ has saved us and given us the last 10 minutes of sanity needed until it’s time to go to sleep! 

In the Night Garden LIVE is a live, character filled showing of the much loved TV programme, with all the kids’ favourites including Makka Pakka, The Tomliboos and even Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy right there in front of you - 2018 sees the last of these shows though so if you want to go, you need to be quick and get your tickets fast! There are still tickets available for the Manchester shows until 19th August 2018! 

In the Night Garden LIVE

We went to the Birmingham shows that were held in Cannon Hill Park, the show itself is set in a huge Showdome which has snacks and drinks available to buy, a buggy part and an area for meet and greets after the show! It’s a layered theatre and seats are tiered benches meaning kids have enough room to crawl and walk about if they get bored. It’s fully air-conditioned too so don’t worry about getting too hot and there’s lots of shade to hide under when you’re waiting to go in. 

The show lasts for an hour with a quick start so that the children don’t get bored. There are sing-a-longs and stories told throughout and you can choose between a few different showings depending on who your favourite characters are! We went for ‘Makka Pakka washes faces!’ and Mylo loved it! 

In the Night Garden LIVE

The characters themselves are used in different ways so there are life sized characters including Makka Pakka, Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy and then there is also a puppet version of Makka Pakka, The Tomliboos and The Pontipines to give the comparison of sizes between them all (something I never quite understood when watching the TV programme). The puppets and controlled by helpers (as seen below) and is actually done really well! 

The kids loved seeing the life sized versions of the characters and even the parents did too! There was lots of cheers and clapping every time a new character came on set and it was fun to see the interaction between them all! 

Even though Mylo is only 1, he really enjoyed it! He was bouncing up and down and dancing to the music and songs and was engrossed by all of the lights that were projected onto the roof before and during the performance. The length of the show made it really easy to keep children entertained and Millie really loved it too! 

With standard tickets starting from £14.50, it’s a great price to pay for a morning out and for the kids to see some of their favourite characters! There are still lots of tickets left for the Manchester show and don’t forget, this is the last year you’ll be able to catch In the Night Garden LIVE! so make sure you don’t miss out! 

Disclaimer: (I was kindly gifted tickets in exchange for a review of the show)

Saturday 30 June 2018

Making your Car Summer Ready

We were all part of the hype that was the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and how it has created a huge and wonderful occasion over the last few weeks! It's a wonderful time to see more of the UK in its full, patriotic state!
We love UK holidays and even weekend trips to London, even more so when it's in its prime with flags flying and the sun is shining! But, before you can travel and venture anywhere, peoples attention needs to be diverted towards the importance of car servicing and maintenance; you can book your MOT test at Fife Autocentre website and essentially, be given the Royal Treatment too!
It's so important to ensure that if you drive, your car is fully functioning and safe and you have everything you need sorted for a road trip or holiday in the UK. MOT tests on cars should be carried out yearly with services alongside these usually every 10-12,000 miles! Making sure your tyres are within the legal tread limits (1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre) and that all oil and water measures are full, if you were to ever breakdown or need assist traveling, knowing that you have done the basics will make it easier for a recovery service to help you get back on the road!
We're heading to Cornwall this summer and a few things that I find help ease any issues if they occur are kept in a little 'recovery kit' in the boot of our car, meaning that if we are ever caught out, or even stuck in shed loads of traffic, we know we have some basics to see us through!
- Make sure you have a blanket/spare coat just in case you break down and it's cold/raining
- Have some sort of light/torch always accessible
- Have a fully charged phone/phone number written down for emergencies
- Always have some biscuits and water in the boot for emergency breakdowns
So, make sure that if you're heading on a long journey this summer, that you take the time to check everything over before you leave and give your car the pamper that most of us give ourselves! You won't get very far if you don't...

Friday 22 June 2018

3 Family Holiday Ideas

Sometimes holidays can become a little same old, same old. If you feel as though you are stuck in a rut with regards to how you spend your holidays, it may be time to get a bit creative and try something new. The usual two weeks in the med every year can become a little stale after a while and whether you are travelling as a family or you are single, it’s good to make changes once in a while. In fact, an activity holiday is probably more suitable to a family as you won’t get the “I’m bored!” statement every five minutes!

There are so many options available, the hardest part will be choosing which activity to participate in this holiday! Here are some ideas:

I’ve never actually been Skiing but, I’ve been told that it's great fun and can be really exciting! The thrill of learning a new skill is great for building self esteem and the adrenaline rush of building up speed whilst travelling down the slopes will fulfill the needs of even the most serious risk taker! Skiing also has many health benefits, it's easy to forget that it is a great form of exercise, excellent for increasing stamina and coordination. It is also a sport which is done outdoors so you reap the health benefits of breathing in mountain fresh air. Skiing is excellent for families and children can receive expert tuition from a very young age on the nursery slopes. Andorra ski holidays offer excellent holiday options for visiting the Andorra region.

Sailing encompasses a whole host of options. You could choose to learn how to sail a yacht, learn to canoe or book a holiday kayaking down one of the many white water rivers throughout the world. Sailing offers a freedom that is seldom met by other activities, you can choose to explore at leisure, simply visiting areas of coastline wherever the wind blows! If you find the thought of sailing your own boat a little daunting, you could charter a boat, complete withy your own skipper. You will have plenty of time for swimming, snorkeling and watching the sunset... Not so sure that we’d enjoy this though as Adam and Millie got super sea-sick on our last boat trip and it didn’t go down well!

Go on a Kenyan safari
If you have a travel bucket list, going on safari is probably close to the top (it is for me!) The thrill of watching animals in their natural habitat is unsurmountable, especially when those animals are normally only seen in zoos or on the pages of a child’s story book. Kenya offers the ultimate safari experience, you can view lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants and zebras living amongst the forest and grassy savannah! How incredible would that be for your kids to witness!?

Going on safari also offers an element of thrill and adventure. Setting off into the unknown protected only by your 4x4 is exhilarating. You can book various experiences, including river safari’s and nighttime safaris. Accommodation can be as luxurious or basic as you like, ranging from tents to luxury lodges!

There are many travel operators that deal only with holiday experiences that are a little out of the “norm”. Do your research and book that flight!

Monday 18 June 2018

5 Skincare Tips for Mums

There's no denying that when you become a Mum, several things that may have seemed like a priority, soon gets pushed to the back of the line and you sometimes 'forget' to look after yourself. I know when I had Millie, so many things that I didn't appreciate being able to do - Makeup, Hair, even showering - became such a chore and being able to do them was a sheer luxury! My makeup routine consisted of lip-balm and concealer, my hair was permanently in a bun and I was lucky if I got to shower alone and so even when it come to my skincare, that also took a knock and so I managed to find a few skin-saving ways to be able to look after my face and a few of them have stuck with me ever since!
With both pregnancies, I was lucky that my skin remained the same! Some people can suffer with dry or sensitive skin during pregnancy and even develop pregnancy/adult acne! It's all to do with the imbalance of hormones and unfortunately, it is unavoidable. For some people, the acne can last post-pregnancy too and can begin to cause concern for those who have never suffered with it before, they may have several medical acne questions that they want answering however, acne is easily managed and easy to treat if you do the right things.
Tip 1:
Treat yourself to a facemask at least once a week! There are tonnes of sheet masks available now which means it's quicker and easier to treat your face to that 5 minute pamper! Simply stick on a sheet mask whilst you're bathing the kids or reading their bedtime story - you might scare them a little but it's better than what you could end up doing to your face permanently! There are lots of varieties around but I love the Masque Bar Foil Sheet masks, they have Calming, Moisturizing and Brightening along with lots of others!
Tip 2:
Keep an eye roller or cream in the fridge for cooling and de-puffing eye bags! You're a Mum; the chances are you will have days that you wake up and your eyes are puffier than ever, using a cool eye roller or eye cream will help to settle the puffiness and will also feel lovely on your face! It can help brighten your under-eyes too! We love a multi-tasker! I love the Botanics Refreshing eye roller, it smells lovely and I keep mine just in the top of the fridge! If you don't have an eye cream, you can buy eye masks that again, you can keep in the fridge to keep  them cool! The No7 Revitalising Hydrogel eye-masks are perfect for this!
Tip 3:
Forget the effort of priming, moisturising and then applying foundation, use a Tinted Moisturiser with SPF in to ensure you're protecting your skin from the sun but also giving yourself the coverage you need to make you feel a little less zombie! The No7 City Light Moisturiser has SPF 15 and you can usually grab a £3 off voucher from Boots if you buy some baby bits too meaning it would only cost £10! Bargain for something that is doing 3 things in 1!
Tip 4:
If you don't have time to sit and remove, tone and everything else your makeup, grab a Makeup remover cloth and take it all off in one! You can use Oils like the DHC Cleansing oil to break it up a little first and then one of the cloths to remove it completely! Primark have some fab ones in at the moment and they're super cheap too! If you're not into those, grab a decent Miceller water and ensure you take off the majority of your makeup with the cloth and then go over your face with a cotton pad and miceller water just to remove all of the nasties left on your skin! The Aldi 'Lacura' version is AMAZING!
Tip 5:
Use a Night cream even if you forget to use anything else! Our skin will appreciate the luxury of drinking up a night cream whilst we sleep and it doesn't take a lot to do! Keep your favourite cream by your bed so that even if you forget, it means you don't have to get back up to put it on! I love my Charlotte Tilbury Magic Night Cream at the moment, it's super luxurious but wow, it's such an amazing product! My skin feels brand new when I wake up!
(Collaborative post)

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Slimming World: Low Calorie Pizza

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to your weekend pizza delivery or like to enjoy your food without worrying about the calories, then this low-calorie pizza is just for you! 

I make these following the Slimming World allowances however, if you’re watching your calorie intake, it’s a great alternative to help save some of your calories for sweet treats or, to not feel as guilty as you would if you demolished a 10 inch Dominos... 

Take a look for recipes and cooking instructions below and I have included a calorie guide too! 

Toppings: Can be whatever you want! I try and stick to vegetables to bulk it out as much as I can and it’s a great way to get your 5 a day in too! I like to use Peppers, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Onions, Pineapple and Ham on my regular pizzas but you can put anything you have on it! 

Base: I use a Weight watchers wrap (SW = 1x Healthy Extra B Choice) 128cal per wrap
Tomato puree (Use the Garlic or Chilli ones as it gives more flavour) (SW = Free) Under 10cal
Cheese Grated Finely (SW = 40g reduced fat = 1x Healthy Extra A Choice or 3.5syns) 260cal 
Toppings of choice will be no more than 100cal (SW = All items should be speed or protein foods)
Seasoning: Salt, Pepper, Oregano and Basil / Mixed herbs

Fries: I use Butternut Squash to make my fries giving me more speed foods. You can buy them ready made however, buying a whole squash and slicing yourself gives you more for your money. You can season these however you want, I usually use Peri Peri Salt or Cajun seasoning (SW = Speed) 45cal 

Pre-heat grill to high
- Grill the wrap on either side until no longer soft (this gives it a crispy ‘Pizza’ like base)
- Start by adding tomato puree then your toppings followed by the Cheese and then sprinkle with herbs/seasonings of choice
- Grill until the cheese has melted and/or any meats have cooked 
- Slice up and serve

Fries Method:
- Slice and prepare your Butternut squash by first, cutting into rounds with skin on, then remove the skin leaving octagonal type shapes. Slice into ‘wedges’ or you can use a crinkle cutter if you have one! 
- Microwave for 2 minutes to soften*
- Add to a baking tray, spinkle with seasoning of choice and coat in fry-light
- Bake for around 20 minutes (200) or until they look crispy
*Note - only microwave what you plan on cooking, you can bag the rest up and keep in the fridge for 3 days or freezer them! 

In total, the Pizza and Butternut squash fries is under 450 calories! 
(Dependant on toppings)

Friday 1 June 2018

Profusion Cosmetics Review

I love finding and trying new makeup brands and so when I come across Profusion Cosmetics, I was so excited to see how they were as their palettes looked amazing and great value! With a huge variety of products including different eyeshadow palettes, brow palettes, contour and highlight palettes, beauty books, brushes and sponges all at an affordable price! You can have a look at the range of products over on their website - 

The Eye and Cheek palette (£12.95) was the one I was excited to try the most - with 12 eyeshadows, 3 being metallic and the rest matte, 2 golden shimmers and 4 bright blushes, it has everything you need to create a day to night makeup look. The colours of the eyeshadows are perfect and include some gorgeous transition colours too so you could use bolder colours on top if you wanted to create more of a bolder look. The size of the eyeshadows are fab, you get plenty of product in all 3 products; blusher, shadows and highlight, the blushers are just a little tricky to get to and you’d need to use a small blusher brush to pick up the pigment without getting any other shadows on the brush too. 

When trying the shadows out for the first time to get swatches, it was clear that the shadows were very powdery - especially the lighter ones (see next photo), they were very crumbly and made a bit of a mess of the palette once I had used my finger to get the pigment. However, that said, the pigmentation is fab and all colours, light and metallics, gave off amazing pigment on the swatches. I did try with a brush and it didn’t leave as much of a mess or much kick-back but it also didn’t seem to pick up as much product. 

The blushers and highlighters again, have fab pigment and went on smoothly and didn’t have the powdery like consistency that the shadows did but again, when using a brush it didn’t seem to pick up a great amount of pigment, especially from the highlighters. I guess you can apply more if required but it’s very subtle. 

The next palette is the Amber Eyes palette (sold out) which I think is a little bit of a dupe for the Naked Heat palette - using burnt oranges and lighter colours, it’s a great summer palette to do more spring/summer looks with some lovely deeper transition colours. There are 12 eyeshadows in this palette, 2 being shimmer/metallic ish, and it comes with a double-ended brush. The shados in this aren’t as powdery as the ones in the Eyes and Cheek palette however, the pigment isn’t as good as those either - the darker colours come out better than the lighter and shimmer colours and again, it works best by using fingers rather than a brush but they do blend out nicely and are buildable so you’re able to get the intensity you want from the shadows if you work with them. 

The packaging on both of the eyeshadow palettes is quite sturdy but it makes them quite heavy - the amber eyes palette has a built in mirror too which I like on eyeshadow palettes as you can use it for getting up close but I think that the tin case could be changed to make it more light-weight. 

Last up, the Brow palette (£7.95) is such good value for what you get inside! The same kind of packaging, so it’s quite heavy but very durable and you know that the shadows won’t get smashed. The palette contains 4 Eyebrow Powders, 1 Eyebrow Pencil, 1 Brow Highlight, 1 Brow Wax & 1 Dual-Ended Brow Brush - the colours will suit most people as you can mix between them all to get the perfect colour for you and use the wax to set. The chocolate brown colour works perfectly for me as its the darkest but I use the soft brown and pencil to fill in the fronts and carve underneath my brows for precision. The shadows are bendable and the pigment lasts most of the day so theyre a better formula compared to the eyeshadow products. 

Overall, for the price of the palettes and the amount of shadows you get, they are all fab value however, the chalky shadows put me off in the eyes and cheek palette but the brow palette is something I use on a daily basis. I do like the metallic shadows in the larger palette and the colours in the Amber eyes palette are gorgeous but I don’t find myself reaching for either of those and use other shadows that I have instead. 

If you’re only just getting into makeup and want to build your stash, they’re great additions but for those of you who are used to higher end products, you’ll be disappointed. 

*Gifted items

Friday 25 May 2018

Starting school; Tips for Parents

So, are your kids starting school in September? You're probably wondering where those early years went?! It probably doesn’t seem like long ago that they were tiny little babies, right? Well, being a parent means having to be able to move with each change your child experiences and being there to help them with absolutely everything that they might need help with - whether it be putting stickers in their school shoes, name tags on their clothes or getting them sized up for their very first school uniform!

 Here’s more of what you should do as your child prepares for the start of school...
Learn to Let Go
First of all, you need to remember that you have to let go a little and trust the school to look after them. It's not always as easy as it might sound when you’re used to being the one that looks after them all day, but it’s something that you’ll grow accustomed to very quickly, so don’t worry about it too much and enjoy the time alone!
Focus on Finding the Most Suitable School for Them
There are so many schools out there that you can send your child to, so how do you choose which of them is best for them? It’s for you to decide on this, but it should be about making sure that the standards of the school are high enough and they have a track record of good outcomes for pupils. You might want to consider the best school Leicester High, or another high standard school that’s suitable.
Support Them as They Begin to Socialise
One of the most important things that your children will do as they enter school is meet other children they’ve never met before. This will give them more opportunities than ever before so far in their lives to socialise with the same kids on a consistent basis. They might find this difficult at first, so it’s up to you to support them as they discover challenges and get to grips with it all - you may make some new friends too!
Solidify Positive Routines for Your Kids
Your kids definitely need to get into positive and healthy routines once school begins. Their days immediately become more structured because they’re spending a certain number of hours each day at school. Therefore, you should try to make sure that they go to bed at the right time and same time each morning; and also make sure that they eat at regular times too.
Make it Exciting
If you can make school one of those things that your kids quickly start to look forward to, the whole transition will be so much easier for them. And when it’s easier for them, it’s also a lot easier for you as a parent too! As a parent, you want your kid to be going into school happy each morning rather than dreading it and being upset about the whole situation - let them tell you all about what they've done at the end of the day and listen to what they're telling you!
Being a parent when your child hits these huge milestones can be daunting and a little scary, it’s a small reminder that your child grows up fast, but rather than trying to ignore that fact, you should be embracing it and making the best decisions that will help them in the long-term.
That’s what being a parent is all about.