Sunday, 24 May 2015

Review | Sudocrem Care & Protect*


Hello everyone! I'm back with a lovely little review for you all. As a new mammy I was over the moon to be given the opportunity to review this new nappy cream by Sudocrem, Sudocrem Care & Protect*. It's a cream that has been specially designed to be used after every nappy change to prevent nappy rash. I think it's a great little idea and the way that it comes in this little tube with a handy hinged flip top cap makes it so much easier to use as it can be used with one hand. As any mammy will well know, you must be able to do everything with one hand when you have a baby! If only we had three arms, ay?! 
I have used this cream on and off since Isaac was born and I can definitely tell the difference between when I do use it and when I don't. He has suffered with nappy rash since he was born as he has got really sensitive skin and I find that when I use this cream against the times when I don't use it, his skin on his bum looks a lot more healthier. 
I really would recommend this product as it's handy to use and you can really see the effects of it. It's awful when your little one has nappy rash, no one wants them to be uncomfortable and this cream offers the solution of prevention. A great invention for that pesky nappy rash!
The only negative thing I will say about this cream is that the tube is very small (30g) but at only £3.99 it's hardly going to break the bank and you only need a tiny little amount so it has lasted me a while. You can also buy larger tubes; 50g at £5.99 and 100g at £9.99 which will obviously last a lot longer.

Overall, this is a handy product to use on your little ones and I will definitely be purchasing a tube once mine runs out :)


What the tube says:
Sudocrem Care & Protect is a barrier ointment with a unique formula designed to offer triple action protection for skin prone to nappy rash.
Protective barrier - to keep the skin smooth and protected against external irritants and rubbing.
Conditions skin - Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5 keep the skin in healthy condition.
Guards against infection - a protective layer guards against infection.


*All prices are subject to Boots.com and may vary at other drugstores/pharmacies

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Friday, 24 April 2015

Labour and Delivery Story

Photo credit: Amy Coulbeck Photography
I gave birth to our son Isaac on the 15th March 2015, which was Mothers Day! I couldn't believe that he made me a mother on Mothers Day, it really was so special. So for the previous two weeks I had been in 'slow labour' where I was dilating and contracting but nothing really came of it. It was so stressful because I would be getting pretty consistent contractions that would just all of a sudden stop. Mark and I would be so hopeful every single time hoping that this was it, only for it to turn out to be nothing. So when the time came when I really was in labour we didn't want to believe it until we were certain! Also, Isaac was lying back to back for two weeks prior I was getting horrific back pain all the time, and it was so tiring because it meant that I didn't get very good sleep either. 

So on the morning of the day I went into labour, (I was 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant) I had what they call a 'bloody show' which usually means you go into labour within 24 hours so we were so excited and decided to do all we could to try and bring on labour and went for a long walk up some pretty steep hills! Turns out it worked as at 4pm I got my first contraction. I remember I was sitting watching Judge Judy and it really just felt like a mild period cramp and lasted for about a minute, so I decided to go for a lie down where the pains got increasingly worse. Mark kept asking if this was really it, and I was saying 'Well if it's not then I don't want to go through the real thing!' because these pains were bad! By 8pm I was in agony! I had been on the birthing ball, used my tens machine and nothing was helping so we rang the labour ward and they told me to have a warm bath and some paracetamol. So I did but as soon as I got in the bath I had to get out again because somehow it was making the pains worse. At 12am we decided to go into the hospital because the pains were getting too much to cope with. They checked me at the hospital and said I was 2-3cm dilated and so not in active labour yet and they couldn't admit me, so they sent me home with some codeine. The codeine was good as it took the edge off and I was able to get a little bit of sleep but by 3am again the pains were horrific so we went back into the hospital at 4am where I was checked again and I was 3-4cm. Normally they don't admit you until you are 4cm or more but because I was Group B Strep positive and I needed antibiotics during labour they decided to keep me in. 

By this point the contractions were coming on so strong I couldn't even get off the bed, I tried the gas and air and really didn't like it so I asked for something stronger and was given diamorphine. After I had the diamorphine I tried the gas and air again and the combination of the two was amazing! It totally took the edge off and I was so high that the pains didn't seem that intense and once one pain was over I forgot all about it and was quite happy! My mam took a few videos of me while I was high on the diamorphine and looking back on them now they are hilarious! 

So we progressed like this for a few hours and the midwives were monitoring his heartbeat the whole time and when it came time to push they noticed that his heartrate was dipping after every contraction and he struggled to get it up again so they decided they had to act fast to get him out. I was so out of it that I didn't realise anything was wrong at first but when they started talking about needing to give me an episiotomy to get him out I knew then that it was serious and boy did I push! It was so hard but I knew that if I didn't get him out quick it would be a C-section and I really did not want one of them. I did end up needing an episiotomy but I managed to push him out myself which I was so thankful for! I started pushing at 11am and he was born by 11:43 so it was pretty quick for a first baby. 

I was in labour for a total of 19 hours so I was pretty wrecked by the end of it, but when they put our baby onto my chest it was honestly the best moment of my life. I was in love the second I saw him and he really is the most handsome little man with the best personality. Even now when he's only a few weeks old you can just see his little personality and its awesome. I can't wait for all the memories we will make with him and to get to know him more! 

We had two lovely midwives and I'm so thankful to them for getting my little man here safely. We had a student midwife who really did help me get through the last part of my labour when I really was starting to feel out of control as the pain was so bad. Never again will I be giving birth without an epidural! I don't know why I didn't get one because the whole way through my pregnancy I was saying that I would get one straight away, but when it came down to it I just didn't ask for one. Next time I definitely will though! I ended up with having an episiotomy and a 2nd degree tear with a few grazes so it has taken me quite a few weeks to get back on my feet and feel back to normal again but we are really getting into a routine now and apart from the sleepless nights its so much fun! I breastfed him for 3 weeks until we decided to switch him to formula for various different reasons but we find that he is much happier on the bottles, and at least I managed to get 3 weeks of goodness into him which is better than nothing. 

So that's pretty much my labour and delivery story, there are probably bits that I have missed out because I was so high and it all seems like a blur now! I'm just so thankful that he is here and he's safe and we get to love him and cuddle him whenever we want! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments about my experience :) 
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Welcome to the world, Isaac Mark Finn

Photo credit: Amy Coulbeck Photography

Isaac Mark Finn
March 15th 2015
11:43am
8lbs 7oz

Life has been pretty crazy since the birth of our son, so you can imagine why my blog has been a bit neglected! I'm hoping to be able to blog every so often but not sure when I will get the time, so my posts will probably be all over the place for a while. I hope you all understand. I'm hoping to do a labour and delivery post soon as I don't want to leave it too late and forget everything that happened during my labour! We are so in love with our little boy, and we're enjoying every day with him. It's so hard being a new parent, but so worth it and I am loving every moment of it :)
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Monday, 9 March 2015

Review | Rimmel Exaggerate EastEnd Snob Lip Liner



I have never been a big lover of lipsticks or glosses, and definitely never lip liners. But ever since I have found the formula to getting gorgeously soft lips (find out here) I have become more adventurous with my lips. I have been purchasing more lip products in colours that I would never usually go for, and let me say it has been really fun! I am loving my new soft coloured lips!

I have read so many reviews on the Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in the colour Eastend Snob so last week when I was in Superdrug I decided to pick one up. For a mere £3.99 who could grumble? The first time I applied this lip liner I was in a rush and didn't really take the time to prep my lips first, and I found that the formula was really tacky and sticky on my lips. I was really disappointed as I had expected great things! However, I tried again a few days later where I applied a lip moisturiser first and then applied the liner. It went on gorgeously and although still a little sticky, it was nothing like it was the first time I had tried it, thank goodness! I found that while this lip liner didn't last all day, it definitely lasted a few hours, even through eating and drinking!

I absolutely love the colour of this lip liner, it's a sort of nude matte pink and looks really nice on its own or paired with a pink toned lipstick over the top. I can see why people have been using this as a way of recreating the 'Kylie Jenner lip' as it's definitely a similar colour to the one she wears. 

I am glad that I picked up this lip liner and I really would like to try the other colours in the Exaggerate lip liner range. Have you tried this product? What colour would you recommend I try next?
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Saturday, 7 March 2015

February Favourites


I'm a little bit late with my February favourites this month as I've had a pretty horrendous week and I've only just gotten round to it! 

The first thing I have been loving this month is my Cranberry Ice Yankee candle. As you can probably tell by the photo this candle is very well loved. I've only had this candle for a few weeks and it's already almost halfway burnt down that's how often I have it lit! I just adore the smell, and it really makes my whole flat smell delicious!

Next this month I have been using the Sanctuary Spa Cleansing Burst Body Wash. I adore anything Sanctuary, the smell is just something else. It's my all time favourite scent for bath and body! I even have a Sanctuary perfume, and I have a Sanctuary reed diffuser in my bathroom. The obsession is real people!

Next in my February favs is the Palmers Cocoa Butter for stretch marks. I am 38 weeks pregnant and the past two weeks I have developed stretch marks out of nowhere and they've been really sore and itchy. I received this sample size Palmers Cocoa Butter in the Emma's Diary Voucher Packs (review here.) and I have been using this every day and while it doesn't get rid of the stretch marks it definitely takes the itch away and leaves them feeling moisturised. I will definitely be picking up a full size bottle as I'm almost finished this sample size.

Also this month I have been all over the Blistex Intensive Moisturiser for your lips (review here.). This is has literally become my holy grail! I have tried so many lip products to help with my dry lips and nothing works, that is until I picked this moisturiser up! It is amazing, definitely worthy of a space in my February favourites.

Finally, as a spin off to the Blistex moisturiser, I have been loving this Maybelline Colour Sensational lipstick in the colour Summer Pink. I never usually wear anything on my lips as they are always so dry and chapped but since I have been using the Blistex moisturiser my lips have been conditioned enough to wear lipstick and this colour is gorgeous!

So that's it for my February favourites! I can't believe that it is March already and that this month our son will be born! I hope everyone has a lovely March too :)
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Friday, 6 March 2015

Pregnancy | 38 Weeks


How far along? 38 weeks and 3 days.

Baby's size: He is the size of a swiss chard, whatever that is! Measuring 19-22 inches long and weighing approximately 6.5lbs although I guarantee he is more than this!

Total weight gain: Still haven't weighed myself but I'm starting to see that I am putting weight on my face.

Maternity clothes: Yep, nothing else fits!

Best moment this week: I can't think of any good moments this week, we have had a horrendous week. On Sunday afternoon I started getting awful cramp in my back that got so bad we decided to go into the hospital where they checked me, and I was only 1cm dilated so they sent us home with some codeine for me. The back pain kept getting worse so we ordered a TENS machine which really helped. Then on Monday I started to have a bloody show, and on Tuesday I was having regular painful contractions for two hours, but they just all of a sudden stopped and I have had nothing since! We honestly don't know whether we are coming or going this week! Then on Wednesday we found out that I am Group B Strep positive so I have to have IV antibiotics during labour to prevent the infection passing on to the baby. WHAT A WEEK!

Miss anything? Being able to sit comfortably! The most comfortable seat in the house is my gym ball.

Movement? Yep, all the time.

Food cravings: Still lemonade, and all I've wanted for days is some nachos, cheese, salsa and jalapeƱo peppers from the cinema.  

Anything making you queasy or sick? Still just when I get hungry.

Gender: Boy.

Symptoms: Back ache and cramp, braxton hicks, leg cramps, swollen ankles, carpal tunnel, still losing mucus plug and have had a bloody show. Hopefully this means things are moving along and it won't be too long now until he is born.

Belly button in or out? Out.

Looking forward to: Having a baby instead of a bump! I just can't wait to get him here so that I know he is safe and healthy.

Other fun things to note: My mam has decided to come up early since I have been having so many signs so I am really looking forward to having her here. We are planning on going for long walks and eating lots of spicy foods!
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Monday, 2 March 2015

Avon Haul


I buy from the Avon pretty regularly and I'm never disappointed by their products. I know a lot of people don't often think of Avon when it comes to beauty, as there seems to be this stigma attached to Avon that its for older women. It's really not and they have some gorgeous products!

I'm an independent Avon representative so I get to try the products before they are released for a cheaper price than what will be in the brochure. I love doing the Avon, however I'm on maternity leave at the moment but that doesn't stop me ordering just for me! 

So everything I ordered this time are things that haven't been released into the main brochure yet but they will be very soon, so if you see anything you like keep your eyes open for them as they will be out soon!

First of all I ordered two new nail varnishes. These are from their new Magic Effects Matte range. I picked up the colours Black and Inky Blue. I have the colour Inky Blue on my nails at the minute, and I must say that I'm not sure on the Matte effect, however I will say that the colour is gorgeous and it dries super fast which is always what I look for in a nail varnish.

Next I ordered a new shower gel, not that I needed one as I have enough bath and shower products to last me a lifetime, seriously! I always find that the Avon shower gels are such pretty scents and they work lovely on my skin, and they're not expensive at all! I picked up their newest scent of Pink Daisy & Sicilian Lemon. This scent will also be available in a body lotion and a scented spritz.

I also ordered some bubble bath as I always do! My absolute favourite bubble bath is from Avon. They do so many yummy fragrances and they bubble up so nicely, I don't tend to use any other brand of bubble bath. The fragrance I picked up was their new release of White Tea & Jasmine. I haven't used this yet but I'm excited to try it!

Next I ordered a new face mask from their Planet Spa range. This is the Bali Botanica with Frangipani & Lemongrass Face Mask. I've never used anything from the Planet Spa range, but I am looking forward to trying out this face mask!

Finally I ordered some pyjamas. I already have two other pairs of Avon pyjamas in the same style but with different patterns. I love these kind of pyjamas with the legging type bottoms and strap top. They're so comfortable just for lounging around the house and when I saw this gorgeous, pretty pink design I just had to order them! I can't wait to put them on. In case any of you are wanting to order these pyjamas they are called the Coralicious Legging PJ's. You can find your local Avon representative, here.

So that's all for my Avon haul, what have you been buying recently?
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Friday, 27 February 2015

Pregnancy | 37 Weeks


How far along? 37 weeks and 3 days. I can't believe I am considered full term and that my little boy could be born any day now!

Baby's size: He's the size of a winter melon, still 19-22 inches in length and around 6 and a half lbs.

Total weight gain: I still haven't weighed myself but my bump has shot out and is much heavier so I'm sure I will have put on some weight.

Maternity clothes: I bought some t-shirts from Asda the other day as I'm sick of nothing fitting me. They aren't maternity but I bought the next size up than I would usually buy.

Best moment this week: Being considered full term now is just amazing! I can't wait for him to be born. 

Miss anything? Being able to walk without waddling, haha! I say that it's not a waddle, it's my pregnancy swag ;)

Movement? He's still a right little wriggler, Mark says he's going to be the next Alan Shearer!

Food cravings: Still sweet things like chocolate and lemonade. 

Anything making you queasy or sick? Still just when I get hungry.

Gender: Boy.

Symptoms: Back ache, braxton hicks, breathlessness, muscle pain, leg cramps, heartburn, swollen ankles, carpal tunnel. All the same as last week, and this is gross but I've started losing my mucus plug. It's gross but all a good sign that things are progressing!

Belly button in or out? Out.

Looking forward to: Meeting our son, it really is amazing that he can be born any day! I'm sure he will still make us wait though. He's been a tinker this whole pregnancy so why would he change now? Haha!

Other fun things to note: I bought an exercise ball from Argos at the weekend as it was getting so uncomfortable sitting on the sofa. The ball is the comfiest thing ever and I am so glad that I bought one! They're also good for getting the baby to engage and also getting them into the right position for labour :)
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Review | Blistex Intensive Moisturiser


I have naturally dry skin, my lips, hands, elbows; everything gets dry! So I'm always on the look out for new ways to make my skin luxuriously soft as for me that's a novelty! I never have soft skin so when I find something that helps me achieve this, I want to shout about it from the rooftops!

I picked up this Blistex Intensive Moisturiser from Superdrug about two weeks ago. I kind of just bought it on a whim and I didn't have too high expectations of it as I have literally tried everything to make my lips soft and not the dry, chapped mess that they always are! Literally, I have tried lip balms, lip butters, lip scrubs and nothing makes them hydrated and don't even talk to me about lipsticks. I had kind of accepted the fact that I couldn't wear lipstick with my dry lips. 

That was until I discovered this little beauty! So as I said when I picked this up I didn't really expect much from it and the first couple of times I used it I didn't see a real difference but I persevered. At first I applied this moisturiser every time I remembered to during the day and after about three or four days I noticed my lips were so soft and felt so hydrated! I was amazed! I've even recently been and treated myself to a new lipstick and lip liner as now my lipstick goes on gorgeously, finally!

This moisturiser goes on white, then changes to a clear lip gloss type consistency and even that makes my lips look super healthy. Once it has dried in completely my lips look and feel gorgeous, I am seriously impressed! I now only apply this once a day and that's enough to keep my dry lips at bay. I will definitely be repurchasing this when it runs out! Even though it only looks like a small tube I've been using this once a day for the past week or so and there is still loads left so I think it will last a while. I picked this up from Superdrug for £2.59, you can find it here. (At the time of posting this review Superdrug are selling this product on offer for £1.29, so hurry and get yours!)

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who suffers with dry lips. Even if you don't suffer from dry lips there's no harm in caring for your lips! Blistex have a range of lip moisturisers so you can find which one will suit your lips. Let me know in the comments if you have used any of the Blistex range, and what you thought!



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Monday, 23 February 2015

10 Things that have made me happy recently!

I saw a post like this recently and thought it would be a really nice idea to do one regularly as it's always nice to reflect on life and remember the things to be grateful for, instead of just focusing on the bad things in life. Not that I do tend to dwell on the bad aspects of my life, but sitting around and waiting for the baby to arrive gives me plenty of thinking time, so I thought it would be nice to reflect on happy times!


1. Spending quality time with my husband, going for lunch and coffee etc. We are making the most of it now before there won't be two anymore, there'll be three!

2. My new Yankee candles! I've been lighting them everyday. They are both so gorgeous, and it made it even better that they were bargain prices.

3. Nesting! My house has never been so clean, and it's definitely refreshing having a good spring clean, even if it isn't spring quite yet.

4. Making travel plans for me, Mark and our baby for next year.


5. Meeting my new little niece, Rosie. She is so gorgeous!

6. Having another scan of our baby boy and knowing that everything is healthy with him.

7. Making my 2015 planner all pretty and fun, using some stickers and coloured pens I bought from Paperchase.

8. Finding old photos and memories of Mark and I from when we first met and then from our wedding.
9. Candle lit dinners with my one true love, with strawberries and Shloer pretending it's champagne!

10. Counting down the days, and knowing it won't be long before our little boy will be born makes me the happiest ever! I can't wait for him to get here, he could be born any day now!



I hope this post inspires you to think of all the happy things in your life, and I'd love for you to do a post like this yourself. Make sure you let me know if you do. :)
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Friday, 20 February 2015

Review | REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser


Like I said in my Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water review, I decided that I needed a new skin care routine as my skin was looking so dull and just awful! I knew that I wanted to use a hot cloth cleanser but just didn't know which one to go for. I think when you say hot cloth cleanser, everyone's first instinct is to recommend Liz Earle, however I have already tried the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser so I really just wanted to try something different. 

I had heard about the REN skincare range but never really looked into it, so I decided to go on their website and also to look up some reviews on it. Everything I read about this product made me want to try it, so I decided to take the plunge and headed down to my local Marks and Spencer to pick one up. At £16 a bottle this is normally totally out of my price range, but I decided to treat myself and go for a more high end cleanser than just your average drugstore one. 

I have been really enjoying using this product. It's really light and easy to apply onto the face, and the scent is gorgeous. I definitely noticed from the very first use of this cleanser a huge difference to my skin. My skin is usually very dry and dull but after using this cleanser my skin feels super soft and has even got a nice pink tone, which I usually never have! 

I definitely think that this cleanser is worth the £16, I have been using it for about a month now and I'm not even halfway down the tube so I think it will last me at least another two months! So £16 every three months isn't that much at all, when you think about it!

One negative thing about this cleanser isn't really about the cleanser at all but about the hot cloth that comes with it. It is tiny! I know that you get it for free when you buy the cleanser but I was very disappointed by the size of it. I went to Asda and bought a pack of 2 flannels for 50p so it's not too bad, but if anything I think that REN could make their hot cloths a little bigger. 

Have you tried this product? Let me know in the comments what you thought.

What the bottle says:
A rich two-phase cleanser that purifies, decongests, gently exfoliates and removes all make-up. It leaves skin refreshed, radiant, smoothed and replenished without dryness or tightness.


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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Pregnancy | 36 Weeks



How far along? 36 weeks and 2 days.

Baby's size: He's the size of a large cantaloupe, 19-22 inches in length and around 6lbs.

Total weight gain: I haven't weighed myself since a few weeks ago but everyone has said that my tummy has just shot out so I reckon I've put a bit more on.

Maternity clothes: Yeah, still wearing maternity clothes.

Best moment this week: Finding out at my midwife appointment that he is 4/5ths engaged! It makes me happy that things are progressing and my body is doing what it is supposed to dol.
 

Miss anything? Not feeling fat in everything! I can't wait until he is born and I can buy some new clothes!

Movement? Yep, all the time! It's getting quite painful now as he is running out of room.

Food cravings: Still sweet things like chocolate and lemonade. 

Anything making you queasy or sick? Only when I don't eat enough and I am hungry all of the time!

Gender: Boy.

Symptoms: Back ache, braxton hicks, breathlessness, muscle pain, leg cramps, heartburn, swollen ankles, carpal tunnel.

Belly button in or out? My belly button has officially popped! It looks gross!
 

Looking forward to: My mam coming up on the 14th March so she can be here in time for his birth, unless he comes earlier than that in which case she will just jump straight in the car.


Other fun things to note: I had my midwife appointment today and he is 4/5th engaged! It's so excited that things are progressing towards his birth now. I really can't wait :)
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Monday, 16 February 2015

Review | Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water


So I fully realise that I am very very late to the Micellar Water party, but in my defense I have been wanting to try this for months and months but just never got round to picking one up. Well I decided a few weeks ago that I needed to change my skin care routine, and by change I mean create myself a routine as I hadn't been doing anything with my skin. I know, disgusting! I had been using face wipes to take off my makeup which is even more gross! But I had started to notice that my skin was looking so dull and really just needing a little boost. 

So anyways, I decided to try the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water as a way of taking off my makeup before going in with a cleanser. I have read both good and bad reviews for months about this cleansing water, so I didn't really know what to expect from it and how I would get on with it on my skin. But let me tell you, I have been loving it! Literally, it takes two seconds to take the majority of my makeup off! No matter how much makeup I have on this cleansing water literally just wipes it away. Its amazing! I was definitely not expecting it to be this good. 

I use four cotton pads and that's it. Two for my eyes, and then two for the rest of my face and that's all it needs. Although I would say that if I wasn't going in with a cleanser afterwards I would probably use a couple more cotton pads just to make sure that all of the makeup was definitely off. 

One bad thing I will say though, is that sometimes when I take my eye makeup off with this cleansing water, it really stings my eyes for a few seconds but then it stops, so I haven't felt the need to stop using it. 

I have been using this product for about a month now and I'm only about a quarter of the way down the bottle, so I can tell that this is going to last me a while and because it is only £4.99 (it is reduced in Boots at the minute to £3.33, click here.) it is definitely worth the price!

I would recommend this product to anyone who wants a nice, fresh and easy way to take off their makeup! Let me know in the comments if you've tried the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water and what you thought of it :) 


What the bottle says:
IS GARNIER MICELLAR CLEANSING WATER FOR ME?
Yes, if you are looking for an efficient and easy to use product that cleanses and removes make-up gently in 1 step.

WHY IS IT DIFFERENT?
Micellar Cleansing Water is an easy way to remove make-up, soothe and hydrate the face, eye area, and lips, in 1 step without rinsing.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
For the 1st time, Garnier introduces the Micellar technology in an all-in-one cleanser. Like a magnet, the cleansing agents capture and lift away dirt from the skin. No need to rub to remove impurities and make-up.

THE RESULT:
Perfectly cleansed and refreshed skin without rubbing or rinsing. 
Micellar Cleansing Water has a soothing and fragrance free formula that suits all skin types, even sensitive.
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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Valentine's Chocolate Cake Recipe


Mark and I don't usually do anything for Valentine's Day, we buy each other a card and he usually buys me flowers but that's about it. This year I decided to make him a heart shaped chocolate cake, so I thought I would share the recipe I used with you all. It's really quick and easy, and a cheap alternative for those who can't afford to spend a lot of money on Valentine's presents. I also feel that it is a lot more personal when it's home made :)


I used a recipe by Dr. Oetker, you can find the full recipe here.

Ingredients:
For the Cake:
225g (8oz) butter
225g (8oz) castor sugar
4 medium eggs
175g (6oz) self raising flour, sieved
50g (2oz) cocoa powder

For the Icing:
75g (3oz) unsalted butter
175g (6oz) icing sugar
45g (3tbsp) cocoa powder
about 10ml of milk or warm water

This is actually a recipe for a chocolate Victoria Sponge Cake but I just put the whole mixture into my heart shaped tin instead of separating it into two circle tins. I think I got my heart shaped tin from B&M's and I'm pretty sure it was only about £3. I can't remember exactly as I've had it for quite a while. I used strawberries and sugar decorations to decorate the cake but you can be as creative as you like with this :)

METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (gas mark 4). Grease and line your tin.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and if the mixture starts to curdle, add a little flour.

3. Fold in the remaining flour and cocoa powder with a metal spoon.

4. Transfer the mixture into the tin and bake for approx 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. (Helpful tip: insert a skewer or cocktail stick into the centre of the cake, if the skewer comes out clean the cake is cooked.) Remove from the oven and leave to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.

5. To make the butter icing, place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar and then add enough milk/water to make the icing fluffy and spreadable. Sift and beat the cocoa powder in to the icing and spread over the top of the cake. 

6. Leave the cake as it is or get creative and decorate!


I found that this recipe was really quick and easy to follow and I'm sure Mark will say it tastes delicious :) I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine's Day, let me know in the comments if you try out this cake! 


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Monday, 9 February 2015

What I got for my birthday!


 
It was my birthday on the 5th and its safe to say that I was well and truly spoilt  by everyone! Mark woke me up at 7:30am because he was so excited to give me my presents, bless him, but I mean come on! 7:30?!
I got up anyways and he gave me my main present straight away which I am super chuffed about and am using right now! It's this gorgeous new purple laptop!!!
 
 
The laptop that I usually use is Mark's dads but he needs it back so Mark took the opportunity to buy me my own brand new laptop! I have never owned my own laptop before and I'm over the moon with it! It will take a bit of getting used to as everything is different on this one, but I just love it.
 
Mark also put together a bag of presents off the baby which I thought was a gorgeous idea! The baby 'bought' me a lovely notebook that I've had my eye one for ages, Gone Girl on DVD as I've read the book but haven't seen the film, a book, a bible study book for mothers and a box of chocolates. He also got me a card that said Happy Birthday Mum on the front, and it all got a bit much for me and I shed a few tears! What a wimp, haha :)
 
Off family I got some Sanctuary bath sets as Sanctuary is my favourite bath time treat, a coconut bath set from The Body Shop, some gorgeous hand lotion, an eyeshadow set, nail varnish, face cream and serum from Marks and Spencers, more chocolate and money. My sister in law got me a little fridge magnet that says 'I love my mummy' on it which I think is so cute!
 
For my birthday we went to my dads with my brother and his wife for a Chinese takeaway which was lovely as I've been craving one for weeks! Then at the weekend Mark and I went to the cinema to see The Theory of Everything :)
 
So overall, I feel very loved and spoilt! As a little disclaimer, I don't want people to think I'm showing off as I'm not like that at all. I love reading posts like this so thought I would do one myself :)

My Frozen birthday cake! I refused to eat Olaf!!
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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Pregnancy | 34 Weeks

 
How far along? 34 weeks and 4 days.

Baby's size: He's the size of a pineapple! 19-22 inches long and should be weighing in at 4.9lbs. We had a scan on Thursday though and he's weighing 5lbs 2oz so I think he's definitely going to be a chunk when he's born!

Total weight gain: Finally I weighed myself! At my midwife appointment on Thursday there was a trace of glucose in my urine which can mean gestational diabetes. But because it's the first time it's been in my urine she said she will wait until my next appointment and if there's still glucose present I will be sent to the hospital for blood tests to see if I have gestational diabetes. So I thought it was best to weigh myself and keep track of things. Overall I have put on exactly 2 stone since being pregnant. I'm really chuffed with this as I was expecting far more!

Maternity clothes: Yep! Definitely, all my ordinary clothes just look silly. I can still wear my ordinary leggings though.

Best moment this week: Seeing our gorgeous son on the scan! Even though it was only a 2D scan you could see everything! We saw that he has proper chubby little cheeks, definitely has his dads lips and has hair on his head. He kept putting his foot in his mouth and kicking himself in the head which is so cute! We also found out that my placenta has moved right up out of the way so it will be safe for me to deliver him naturally which I am so relieved about!
 

Miss anything? Nothing really this week.

Movement? Yes, he still moves all the time! I love feeling him :)

Food cravings: Sweet stuff! If I could I would eat chocolate and ice-cream all the time. I've been trying to eat healthier sweet stuff like grapes, pears and plums. 

Anything making you queasy or sick? No, nothing this week. I've been getting horrendous heartburn though.

Gender: Definitely still a boy! We double checked at the scan :)

Symptoms: Back ache, braxton hicks, breathlessness, muscle pain, nausea, leg cramps. All the same as last week. 

Belly button in or out? Still in funnily enough! I thought it would have popped by now.
 

Looking forward to: Everything that I had to look forward to before the baby comes is over now, so it's just going to be me sitting round and waiting for his arrival!

Other fun things to note: We finally got the cot! It looks gorgeous, I love it so much! Also, we had a little scare last weekend as I was having tightenings every 5 minutes lasting a minute and some mild back pain. So I rang labour and delivery and they told me just to come straight in. When we got there they put me on the monitor and the contractions were coming up on the monitor so they decided to keep me in over night. They did a test on me also to see how likely it would be for me to go into labour in the next two weeks and it came back as a less than 2% chance which was really reassuring. I want him to cook for as long as possible! The next morning they put me back on the monitor and the contractions were still showing up but not as regularly as before so they were happy to send me home. The doctor said that it just seems like I have a very sensitive stomach with a very active baby so I feel Braxton Hicks contractions (practise contractions) a lot more than other people. This makes me worried for labour, if I have a sensitive stomach surely that means I will feel pain more! Also I was told that baby was lying in the back to back position, so all week I was spending 10 minutes a day on my hands and knees as I had been told that this turns them, and thank goodness at my midwife appointment she said that he's moved!!
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Friday, 6 February 2015

What's in baby's hospital bag?


I recently did a 'What's in my hospital bag' post which you can read here, so I thought it only fair to do a baby one too. For my baby's hospital bag I am using his changing bag that I got off my mam for Christmas. Its from the Pink Lining range and I cried my eyes out when I opened this on Christmas day because I wanted one so bad but they're quite expensive so I had told myself I wasn't going to get one. 
So let's get straight into what's inside..



- A pack of 50 Johnson's baby cotton pads
- 200 fragranced nappy bags
- A pack of 12 sensitive Pampers wipes
- 2 Changing mats
- Small tube of Johnson's baby nappy cream
- Small tub of Sudocrem
- Handy wipes
- 3 Muslin squares
- Loose change for parking
- His Mickey teddy comforter
- 4 pairs of mittens
- 4 bibs
- 4 vests, all different sizes as we don't know how big or small he will be
- 2 cardigans
- 2 hats
- 3 sleepsuits
- 4 pairs of socks

As I said for my hospital bag I went online to find out what I should pack for my baby, there's lots of websites that are helpful! I hope this post helps, too. Also, as I said in my previous post we don't live very far from the hospital so if I run out of anything or if the baby needs more clothes my mam or Mark can pop back home and bring them to the hospital. So that's both our bags all packed and ready to go, just have to wait for little man to make his appearance now! 6 weeks and counting :) If you want to know where anything is from just ask me in the comments!

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