Monday, 28 June 2010

A Review: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (MSF) Natural
Light Medium

What Do I Think?
You may have noticed on the right hand side of my blog I've listed my 'daily essentials', and at some point I will be doing a more detailed, dedicated post to my 'daily arsenal' of products. I realised that I've individually reviewed the majority of the products on my list, but hadn't done so for this MAC product, which I use every single day without fail. MAC describe this as a "luxurious domed face powder with minerals, slowly baked to provide a dimensional yet natural-matte finish. Provides perfect low coverage. Use to set and fix foundation or as a touch-up throughout the day". Especially now the weather is warmer, this product comes into its own, it's the perfect partner for a light summer foundation/tinted moisturiser, or even used alone over moisturiser and SPF for a light coverage. I can't stand that cakey effect that some powders give, and thankfully I have never experienced that with the MSF Natural, and I can't see that it would be possible unless you really layered it on with a trowel! It has such a nice finish and natural looking effect on the skin, it mattifies excess shine but still allows your natural skin and 'glow' to show through. I would say the coverage of this is light to medium, but the beauty of it is that you can use as much or as little as you like, to achieve the desirable results that you want. It doesn't irritate the skin - I sometimes get itchy or irritated skin from mineral/powder products - and if anything I would say it helps to calm redness/existing irritation. Also, I'm super duper pale, but I'm not the lightest shade - hallelujah - I use 'light medium', and think the shades offered cover a pretty good range of skintones. I have experienced all skin types through pregnancy, and I can safely say that whether oily, normal or dry, this product has worked perfectly on my skin. I honestly wouldn't be without this product, and as much as I probably overlook it in terms of thinking about how good a product it is, if I suddenly couldn't have it, I'd probably cry (well, that's a given at the moment, silly hormones!).

Where Is It Available?
MAC products are available instore and online from MAC stores and counters, for more stockist info check out their website.

How Much Does It Cost?
This retails for £18.00, and I would say with medium daily use (obviously the amount used will vary from person to person) these last for approx. six months - although, having said that, I'm only my second one in just over a year.

Would I Recommend It?
Yes, yes, yes! This has been an absolute must have in my daily routine for ages now, in fact, I can't believe I haven't used it for longer! I remember buying it after the Barry M Bloggers Event because everyone was so shocked that I didn't use it already...boy am I glad for all those recommendations, which I'm now passing on to anyone else who hasn't tried it!

Star Rating:

In and Out - June

It's almost that time again, the end of another month has crept up on us all! Eagerly counting down the months/weeks/days has become something of a ritual to me of late, every day brings me closer to meeting my little bundle of joy! The end of June also brings us to my favourite month, July - my birthday month!


Summer food ~ BBQ's, salads, strawberries and cream, ice lollies...I love food in the warmer months! In normal circumstances I usually lose my appetite a bit as it gets warmer, so evenings meals of cold meats, salad and jacket potatoes, for example, fill me up perfectly. In these last couple of months of pregnancy though I'm hungry ALL the time, and eat whatever I can lay my hands on! I'm missing the odd glass of cold wine or Pimms though, but it's a small sacrifice to make!

Mummies and mummies-to-be ~ I've joined an online forum that really has been like a lifeline - particularly in relation to the issues I talk about below. Real life support from family and friends is fantastic, but it's so nice to be able to log into a world of people in exactly the same boat at exactly the same time, and share stories. I don't know many people locally with babies or young children, so I worried that I might feel a bit isolated once baby arrives and Colin is back at work, but I've use Netmums 'Meet-a-Mum' facility to find some people in my local area (one even has exactly the same name as me - spooky huh?!) so hopefully once I am on maternity leave I can meet them and make some 'mummy friends'.

Baby bumps ~ Everywhere I look at the moment I see baby bumps, in all shapes and sizes, and they are all blooming marvellous! I'm really going to miss my bump once Nugget arrives, even though obviously I'll be more than a little over the moon! For one thing, it's nice to show off my tummy, instead of always trying to disguise it or suck it in, hehe! Just knowing that just inside this growing (bigger by the second) bump is a teeny tiny baby is still so surreal and exciting - as if you hadn't noticed because it's all I can talk about!


Stress ~ I think this is something that has featured in so many of my 'In & Out' posts, but at the moment it's more specific to baby related things - lack of money, lack of sleep (which exacerbates everything tenfold!), lack of preparedness! I'm in my 8th month of pregnancy now, and I'll have days where I think yeah, you know, aside from a few little things, I'm ready for this baby to arrive, and other days where I panic and worry about everything, and feel so unprepared. In reality, I'm probably in between the two, which is fine! We have all the essentials for the babies arrival, more clothes than we could possibly need I'm sure too, and I don't think you can ever be 100% prepared for labour/babies arrival because it's all so out of your hands!

Midwife issues ~ I've just about had enough of midwives - I apologise to any fabulous ones out there, and I really hope the midwives at the hospital are better! I'm just fed up of feeling like my midwife appointments are a waste of time, and I've now seen 5 different ones, some of whom are better than others, but all of whom seem to give completely contrasting advice.

The heat ~ I'm sorry, I know that is such a British thing to say - we always complain about the weather though, I think it's part and parcel of being British! I'm just really struggling in this heat and humidity, I just can't cool down once I 'overheat', and it's so uncomfortable at night meaning I'm sleeping even less than normal. It's also not helping my elephant sized swollen hands and feet...but buckets of cool water are a blessing - pregnant or not!

That's all for now...I'm all outta steam for writing any more!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

My 'Most Used' Make Up Brushes

I've never been they type of blogger that 'hauls', or religiously buys from the latest MAC collections, and now I have a sprog on the way, I have even less money to spend on myself and make up, so I've been 'racking' my brain trying to think of interesting posts to do about the things I already have!

It occurred to me that I rely on make up brushes on a daily basis, and certainly couldn't 'do' without some of them in my routine, so what better thing to post about, right?! I have amassed quite a collection now, but these are my 'most used', or 'go to' brushes:

MAC 217
This was one of the first MAC products I owned, and I don't think eyeshadow application would be as easy without it! It is such an effortless blending tool, and it honestly is foolproof. I cringe at really badly blended eyeshadow, and although I am sure there are slightly cheaper alternatives, I personally think this is well worth the initial investment. Besides, if you care for and clean your brushes carefully, they will last you years and years.

MAC 239
I use this brush for packing eyeshadow onto the lid, and blending out slightly, before finishing off with the 217. It picks up so much product, and can make good work of even the less pigmented, lower quality shadows. Other bushes do the job just as well, but I really love having this brush in my collection, and it's always the first I turn to when applying precise colour.

MAC 219
This is MAC's pencil brush, which can be used for more precise colour application in the crease or along the lashlines. I use mine to smudge colour along the lower lashline, and darken the upper lashline if I'm creating a smokey eye look. Not all MAC brushes are of the same good quality, but this (and the other brushes I mention) has never shed and I've never found a brush quite like it.

MAC 168
This is MAC's contoured cheek brush, which I use daily to apply my blusher/highlighter. Depending on how pigmented the blush itself is, I find it picks up just the right amount of product, and applies it evenly over the cheekbones. The angled bristles make application pretty foolproof, and it blends nicely too, so you (hopefully) won't end up looking like a clown! I've found this to be the best blusher brush I've used so far.

Eco Tools Powder Brush
I use this brush to apply my MAC MSF Natural everyday or any mineral foundation/loose powders I might apply. This is one of the softest brushes I have ever felt, it picks up and distributes just the right amount of product and for the price, the quality is impeccable. I have a more detailed review on this brush somewhere in my archives!

Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Blush Brush
I have a separate review post on the Sonia Kashuk brushes that I picked up in their online sale in January, for bargain prices, and this is another great brush for applying blusher, or blending after application with another brush. I tend to use this for my brighter, more pigmented blushes, like MAC Pink Swoon, and use this to dab it onto the apples of my cheeks, then blend out slightly. I wasn't convinced I'd like it but wanted to try it out and I'm glad I did.

Sonia Kashuk Angled Liner Brush
I use this brush to apply a touch of MAC Embark eyeshadow to my brows, and it picks up just the right amount of product for me, I don't want heavily or noticeably defined brows, I just want to fill in the gaps and make them look a little less straggly. Brow maintenance is something I am pretty lazy at, plucking is a pain in the ass and makes me sneeze, but with slightly filled in brows I can get away with grooming them less!

Sonia Kashuk Large Eyeshadow Brush
I literally use this brush on my eyes every single day, I couldn't be without it now! It's such a perfect, staple brush for applying a wash of colour to the lid with minimum effort, for example a couple of brush strokes with a shadow like MAC Vex, a touch of colour along the lower lashline with the 219 brush, slick of mascara = eyes good to go! All of the Sonia Kashuk brushes are beautifully designed and super soft too, bonus!

Sheer Cover Large Shadow Brush
Another great brush for applying a wash of colour all over the lids, or for applying loose pigments over the top of shadow. This is my favourite of the Sheer Cover brushes (separate review in the archives), and although it isn't of the most superb quality, after a couple of washes it doesn't shed at all, and applies shadow really well.

No7 Eyeshadow Brush
Another brush that does a great job of packing on colour. I tend to use this one for applying lighter colours over a darker shadow, or even loose pigments, just because I tend to devote one job to each brush! I don't wash them obsessively, I only really use them on myself after all, and am too lazy to do it really regularly! This brush does shed occasionally, but I got it free in a swap I did once, and am glad to have it in my collection.

Ruby & Millie Brow/Lash Groomer
As I mentioned, I've started to pay a teeny bit more attention to grooming my brows, and I use this just to brush them into shape, just as you would brush your hair, brush your brows! This brush came in a random kit I had, and has a metal lash comb on the other end, but I don't fancy the thought of putting that close to my eyes, so I just use this grooming end!

Honourable mention: Elf Eyeshadow Brush
For a brush that costs only £1.50, I feel this ELF offering deserves a mention. It's great quality, soft, doesn't shed, and picks up and packs on eyeshadows superbly. I didn't have the highest of expectations for this brush, purely because of the low price, but I've had this well over a year now, and as you can see from the picture, it's still going strong, and I really recommend it!

So, there we have most used brushes! If you'd like any more information on a specific brush, or have any questions, just let me know! Phew...after all that, I'm off to bed, after a cool shower, because to put it bluntly, I am BLOODY HOT! 30degrees in the UK today, plus the humidity, not pregnancy friendly I can tell you!

*click on the pictures to enlarge

Friday, 25 June 2010

A Review: Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous

Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous Maternity
Stretch Mark Oil and Leg & Foot Treatment

What Do I Think?
The skin of a yummy-mummy-to-be is going to be tested to the limit throughout the 9+ months of pregnancy, it's going to be stretched further than feels and looks entirely possible, and it's going to be ravaged by ever changing hormones and sapped of all nutrients as your body directs everything to your baby, first and foremost. So, a little extra help in the shape of some nice pampering products will never go amiss! Cowshed products are trickling into the mainstream (by this I mean they are available at Boots, so therefore more accessible to those of us unable to afford regular trips to the spa!), and they have a delightfully named maternity range: Udderly Gorgeous. One thing all yummy-mummies-to-be want to prevent, or at least reduce, are the dreaded stretch marks, and massaging oils into your growing tummy/boobs is one way to help in this battle. This oil "contains sea buckthorn oil, an emollient packed with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to pamper and protect the skin. Calendula and jojoba oils work with vitamin E to moisturise and soften the skin". These ingredients combine to make what I determined as an oil with a 'funny kinda smell, that's not entirely unpleasant', that is easily absorbed and leaves nourished, softer skin in its wake. There is a slight residue from this oil, no matter how much or how little you use, so I would only use this at night so it doesn't stick uncomfortably to my clothes. Another thing that yummy-mummies-to-be will experience, at some point I'm sure, is hot/swollen and tired feet, ankles and calves, so the cooling and soothing Leg & Foot Treatment is something of a blessing! This also contains the previously mentioned sea buckthorn oil, and is instantly cooling as soon as you apply it. I didn't notice any difference to the skin after application, other than the cooling sensation, it didn't eliminate any of the rougher skin on my feet for example, which would have been beneficial, but not essential. If only I could just sit with my feet in tubs of this! One huge plus point of Cowshed products is that they are all free from from the nasties: parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates, allergens and artificial fragrances/colours. I also really like the packaging of these products, they look very attractive in the bathroom, and are also easy to use!

Where Are They Available?
Cowshed products are available to buy from larger Boots stores in the UK, instore and online from Cowshed itself and from all stockists listed here.

How Much Do They Cost?
Cowshed products are quite pricey, but then they are 'spa products', made with premium ingredients, which is obvious from the packaging and products themselves. I would class these products as luxury treats rather than bathroom essentials, purely based on the price tags. The Leg & Foot Treatment retails for £18.00 for 250ml and the Stretch Mark Oil retails for £18.00 for 100ml. On the plus side, both of these products would last for a relatively long time because you don't need to use a huge amount for each application.

Would I Recommend Them?
As a special, luxurious treat - which all yummy-mummies-to-be are entitled to - these products are lovely, and provide a well deserved opportunity for some pampering and TLC. I probably wouldn't repurchase them myself (I have to watch the pennies), but I would ask for them as a pressie and will continue to use them! I don't use the Stretch Mark Oil daily, instead preferring to rely on my trusty Palmers, but this is good to use as a treat a few times a week, after a nice warm bath.

Star Rating:

*Disclaimer: I hate writing disclaimers, but, I do! These products were kindly sent to me by a PR lady who realised a girl in need of pampering was inhabiting this growing pregnant body! I have no affiliation with Cowshed or the PR company, and as ever, these views were transmitted to me from outer space (that's where my brain lives now, dontcha know!)...bla bla bla!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Dry Body Brushing

I can't take any credit for this addition to my skincare routine, it must all go to Franky (if you don't read her blog, why not?!) who blogged about the wonders of Dry Body Brushing, and the positive effects it was having on her skin.

I've heard/read a lot about this in the past, and even purchased a body brush from Boots before, but was always too lazy to do it regularly enough to reap the rewards. Franky's post gave me the kick up the bum that I needed, and I purchased this little beauty from The Body Shop when they had a sale a few weekends ago (it was total bargain!):

Now, I'm not going to lie, if you are as lazy/slow in the mornings as I am, getting into the routine of dry body brushing IS hard, but, I promise you, if you do manage it, you will see results really quickly, your skin will thank you for it, AND it helps to wake you up too! If you have really, really sensitive skin be careful with this, because although the brush is quite soft (compared to some I have used), if you have irritated or broken skin it may prove somewhat painful and uncomfortable.

The very action of going through the motions with this does wonders for the skin and peps up your circulation, just start from your feet/calves, and using small, circular motions, buff the brush over your skin. Always go in the direction of your heart, so from your chest down the circular motions should start at the bottom and you work your way up, go up your arms, and then down your chest.

It's probably too soon to tell, but dry body brushing does wonders for cellulite apparently, so buff those legs/bums like there is no tomorrow if you, like me, suffer from it! There are NO miracle cures, but every little helps, right?! My skin is noticeably smoother, softer, and random lumps/bumps and redness/uneven tone have all but disappeared or started to. I'm seriously impressed, with a little bit of effort, the difference is well worth it!

I'm a dry body brushing convert!

Pregnancy Survival Guide: The Third Trimester: #2

I was so sure I had already posted #2, does anyone know if I did? I can't find it in my archives, so guessing not...but pregnancy can do this to a sane woman's brain, I literally have no idea if I have done it or not! Anyway, in the apparent absence of #2, this can be it!

You will experience your body going through all sorts of different changes. Some will be pleasant, some will undoubtedly be not so pleasant! That is the joy of pregnancy!

The main physical changes to your body and its shape are obvious, and apparent waaaay before the third trimester, but just in case you don't will get a massive tummy, massive boobs and probably a bigger bum, thighs, arms, feet, name it, it grows!

One of the things that occurs, not to all woman, but to most, during the third trimester is swelling. My hands, fingers, feet, ankles and toes are all swollen, and this heat doesn't help matters either. Some degree of swelling is normal, and to be expected from the water retention that starts to happen in the last few weeks/months, but if you do notice any sudden changes you should get checked out by your GP/midwife. I've been monitoring my swelling this week, because it seems to be a bit more than normal. Sitting with your hands raised, and your feet above hip level can help too, although its not always the most convenient or comfortable position! Keeping well hydrated is a must too.

I have also developed some rather random skin tags, on my neck, underarms and chest. I've had a couple before, and they have always just come and gone of their own accord, but these ones suddenly seemed to appear, almost as if they grew overnight?!

I have also developed sweaty palms - this is one of the not to pleasant symptoms obviously! Regardless of the temperature of the rest of my body, my hands will be clammy and sometimes really quite moist, so I'm constantly 'drying' them off! Not very feminine, and I have no idea why it's happened, but it has!

My midwife has diagnosed me (perhaps a little abruptly and without much questioning, in my opinion) with Sciatica, which is basically a pain in your back/hip/bum/back of thigh, that isn't easily soothed and be very, very painful. I'm tempted to think that my pain is more Pelvic Girdle Pain (Google it if you're interested!) that Sciatica, because it almost doesn't seem painful enough, but I can tell you that it IS painful indeed, and can be very uncomfortable when sitting/lying/walking/existing(!). I keep joking to my workmates that I feel like an old woman needing a hip replacement, I get so stiff and uncomfortable! Thankfully I go on maternity leave in 3 weeks, so I will be able to be more comfortable at home, rather than sat on a chair in front of a PC from 9-5 everyday.

My skin is in the best condition its ever been, both facial and body, but I must admit the religious application of Palmers daily is probably helping a huge amount! The skin on my face is clear and the occasional spot that does appear is usually gone in a matter of days, my skin tone has improved and I just generally look healthier (in my opinion), if a little tired around the edges! My skin is very sensitive to the sun at the moment though, more so than normal, so I've been wearing an SPF of at least 25 on my face daily (which you should do anyway!) and carrying at least SPF 30 around with my for unexpected sun exposure.

I've had a blocked nose since day one of my pregnancy too it seems, but it is noticeably worse in these final few weeks (8 to go until my due date!). Understanding partners are a must here, because this nose blockage has resulted in the development of snoring at night, although Colin snores like a train so it's about time he got the same in return! My allergies (hayfever) are probably a contributing factor to the blockages at the moment too, and I'm not allowed to take my normal medication to help me fight them, but I definitely wouldn't have expected my nose to be affected by my growing baby!

Pregnancy is a learning curve, I've learnt a lot in the 32 weeks so far, and I'm sure there is still more to learn and more to be thrown at me, but even though some of it is uncomfortable, I'm enjoying the ride, and love seeing how my body is changing and coping with growing my baby!

Not long now Nugget!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A Review: Maybelline Falsies Mascara

Maybelline Falsies Mascara

What Do I Think?
The advertising campaign and the packaging for this mascara don't appeal to me in the slightest, but I don't let that stuff 'blind' me now, and instead just decide to 'try it and see'! As you can see from the image above, the wand to this mascara is slightly curved, designed, one would assume, to help fit into the natural curve of the eye and lashes...I find it actually hinders me applying the mascara in some respects, I find it a little bit too big and it tends to touch my eyelid, which always irritates me because then you need to touch up any eyeshadow! The wand itself, ignoring the curve, has nice, evenly spaced bristles, and they don't pick up too much product from the tube either, which is always a plus. I wouldn't say that this gives me a 'false lash effect', which I'm assuming it claims to, given the name, but it does lengthen, separate, curl and volumise my lashes very well, a lot better than I would have expected it too! I do have naturally long lashes, and sometimes mascaras like this just clump them all together and make them look 'spidery', but aside from the odd clump, which is easily rectified, this actually makes my lashes look like darker versions of their natural selves! It gives me that 'wide eyed' effect, which is a godsend after yet another bad nights sleep! I really didn't think I'd like this, but I actually really do! I was worried it might irritate my eyes at first, because it does have a 'perfumed' scent, but I haven't noticed any excess itching or redness (aside from the hayfever symptoms!).

Where Is It Available?
Maybelline is stocked in most UK drugstores and supermarkets, and I think is sold nationwide.

How Much Does It Cost?
I think this retails for approx. £7.99 in the UK, but there are no doubt some offers on, and prices do vary.

Would I Recommend It?
I didn't expect to like this, primarily because the only Maybelline mascara I like (although, lets face it, it's more love than like) is the Define-A-Lash Volume, and this looked remarkably similar to the gaudily packaged Colossal Volume Express, which was a colossal failure, for me personally! However, I have been pleasantly surprised and pleased with the results, so yes, I'd recommend you check this out! I might repurchase this, if ever I fancy a change!

Star Rating:

*Disclaimer: I was technically sent this, but I have NO idea who by, or where from! Some girls on Twitter said they also received one, in a mysterious grey package, with no note or identifying features, and have said they may have 'won' it from entering an online survey, but I can't recall having done anything like that recently really, so who knows...!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Antenatel Class #2: My Thoughts

For those who read this post, you'll know that my first antenatal class experience wasn't exactly the most positive or helpful one. I've just got back from the second class (we only had 2 offered from NHS) and am pleased to report that we both had a much better experience, and I certainly came away feeling like I know more and have more confidence, better prepared for the last few weeks ahead.

This class was about feeding, the first class having been about labour - although, to my mind, not actually giving any form of decent preparation. This class was run by the same group of local midwives, but with a different lady leading, who is one of the better midwives that I have seen. There was also a student midwife and a 'Mum to Mum' support from the local baby cafe there.

I am hoping to breastfeed, but I also aware that not all Mums are able to, or have problems with 'latching the baby on', so I was interested to learn more about feeding and what to do if you are one of the unlucky ones. The class was obviously very positive about breastfeeding, and rightly so because breastmilk really is the best thing for your baby, but there were some points where I almost cringed because it could make you feel very guilty if you had decided you want to bottle feed your baby, or have to resort to formula milk. Having said that, it was a very good, informative 2 hour session - well, it actually overran and we stayed afterwards to talk to the midwife about breathing techniques and watch a video about water birth (very graphic, but helpful).

There was more interaction between all of the couples, and we were split into ladies/gents at one point to decide whether certain statements about breastfeeding/breastmilk were true/false. There was a much better atmosphere, more opportunity to ask questions, and generally more information offered that was well delivered and explained - in complete contrast to the first session in my opinion.

The midwife leading the class made some jokes, we all had a good old giggle, and I actually enjoyed it rather than ending up feeling somewhat let down and tense. I learnt some things that I didn't know, and I think Colin did too - we both asked questions which is always a good sign!

We're off the the hospital this afternoon to have a tour of the maternity ward and birthing rooms, which I'm hoping will be helpful and also provide another opportunity to ask any burning questions. I'm still considering the possibility of a water birth - sorry if this is too much information - so it will be good to see the birth pool area etc.

All in all, I feel a lot calmer, a lot more prepared, and I'm just going to hope that everything between now and 'then' goes as smoothly as possible, and that I don't have to wait too much longer to meet my baby!

Friday, 18 June 2010

In 2 months time... will be my due date!!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

What I'm Thankful For $

This is a very spontaneous post, just to put down some of the things I was mulling over whilst trying to fall asleep last night. It's probably hugely soppy and sentimental, and I don't mind if no one reads it really, this is my blog after all!

So often I find myself racing through life, without stopping to think or take stock of our circumstances. I think everyone does it, whether consciously or subconsciously, it's just 'the way we are' now. We had a 'Health & Well-being Day' at work this week, and one of the sessions I went to was about meditation and mindfulness. Normally, the cynic in me thinks these things are load of 'mumbo jumbo', but I think it must have actually hit home to me, because I've found myself being more mindful on a daily basis. The session basically got us to realise the importance of taking a step back, if even just for a minute, and becoming very aware of ourselves, of our physical presence, and how we felt. We did some breathing/relaxation type exercises, which I try and do anyway, especially when in the bath or trying to fall asleep - a somewhat more unwelcome pastime of mine recently.

I've been feeling really stressed and tense this week, which is probably not surprising given the huge changes my life is about to undergo, and I've not been giving myself a chance to reflect on the good things rather than the not-so-good, which I suppose is what this post is all about - after all that waffling :)

I am thankful for:

My family ~ without them in my life, I wouldn't be half the person I am, and I am immensely grateful to have great relationships with my immediate and extended family members. My family are my best friends, and I can't really put into words how lucky that feels, and just how much I love them ♥

Colin ~ he might have kept waking me up last night with ridiculously loud sniffing, snoring, sleep talking and kneeing me in the back, but aside from his sleep habits, I can't be more thankful for having his love in my life. We don't have a perfect relationship, we bicker, sulk and disagree on a lot of things, but at the end of the day, we love each other, very much, and accept each other for who we really are, warts and all. Even if we've annoyed each other, deep down the very fact we care enough to be annoyed, is telling of our relationship. Starting a family with him is something I am incredibly proud of ♥

My body ~ aesthetically, it's not particularly pleasing to me, except for my bump, but that is something I am prepared to overlook, because my body, lumps and all, has made a baby, and is keeping that baby safe inside of me until it is ready to come out. I find it truly awe inspiring everyday, remarking at the miracle of life, and how easy it is to create it, but how incredible my body is at sustaining it. No matter what it looks like on the outside, I want to try and focus on the fact it is healthy, and works well.

My friends ~ I would never describe myself as popular, I've never sought out loads of friends and don't particularly relish at being the centre of attention, in fact, I am much more comfortable in small group of really close friends, than a large group of acquaintances. The few friends I rely on, are the best sorts of friends, they are always there when I need them, and I for them. I count myself very lucky to be able to count my friends on two hands, I know they are my real friends :)

The Internet ~ yes, the world wide web features on my list, simply because it allows me to communicate, offers a wealth of information, and provides welcome entertainment for those duller moments. I spend a lot more time online than I do watching TV or anything, I like 'social networking' because it allows me to speak to people that I don't get the chance to daily, or meet new people and chat (like the Mums forum I've just joined). I've met some lovely people through blogging etc, from all different walks of life, and I love the dimension that adds to my life.

Time ~ something that I'm sure will be in short supply in a matter of weeks for me, I am grateful for and conscious of having time, however it is spent, to just 'be'. Reading a book, grabbing a bath, sitting with my laptop for half an hour, cuddling my baby or Colin, whatever it is, I want to make sure I appreciate the time I have when I have it, and use it wisely.

Slightly more 'superficial' things I am thankful for:

Cheryl Cole
Ed Westwick
Bubble baths

Life, is what you make it :)

Friday, 11 June 2010

A Review: Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer

Estee Laduer Double Wear
Stay-in-Place Concealer SPF10

What Do I Think?
With the (horrible) onset of insomnia, impending yummy-mummyhood, and the prospect of some seriously dark undereye circles after yet another sleepless night, I really wanted to have a decent concealer in my arsenal of daily essentials. I have tried some that I like, and do and will still use (Bourjois, MAC, SheerCover), but I needed something serious. Time, as they say, to bring out the big guns! Enter the Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer (with an extra bonus of SPF10 to help protect the delicate skin under your eyes), which had been recommended to me by a few fellow bloggers. This is a really good consistency, thick with just the right amount of 'runniness' (yes, that IS a technical term!), and is most definitely a fuller coverage concealer. It blends seamlessly into the skin, matches my skin perfectly (I use the shade Light), and really does conceal dark circles under the eyes, and redness or imperfections anywhere else. This has serious longevity too, I remember when I first swatched it, the product was still on my hand (after a few washes) approx. 12 hours later, and it doesn't seem to fade or transfer, even on my slightly oily skin. I also think, and I may just be imagining things, that it is improving the quality of my undereye skin - imagined or not, that is a big bonus! I have found a concealer that works, ticks all of my boxes, and that I really do love using :)

Where Is It Available?
Estee Lauder is stocked in larger Boots stores in the UK, and in most department stores, you can also buy online. I'm pretty sure this is stocked nationwide too - but I'm not Google ;)

How Much Does It Cost?
£17.50 - pricey but worth it!

Would I Recommend It?
Yes, yes, yes! Thank you to the ladies who recommended this to me, I'm certainly not disappointed, and this was a well made purchase! Money well spent, even if I did slightly begrudge the price at the time! A 'must have' for Mums!

Star Rating:

Monday, 7 June 2010

29 weeks pregnant...

The weeks are ticking by slowly - or perhaps they are wooshing past and I'm just getting more impatient?! I'm now 29 weeks pregnant (30 weeks on 9th June!), which means there is roughly 10 weeks to go until I am 40 weeks pregnant, but less than that to 'full term' at 37 weeks...eeeeek!

Feeling a LOT more prepared now we have the buggy/car seat (THANK YOU Nanny & Grandad!) and we can order the cot (THANK YOU Grams & Gramps!), the nursery done and lots of goodies to fill it with, plus more than enough baby clothes - I guess I have a LOT more laundry to do now! I think I'm going to pack my 'hospital' bags soon - one for me, one for Nugget - and make sure that Colin has strict instructions on what to bring lest anything should be forgotten - let's face it, it's surely a given I'll forget something crucial!

This is me and my bump at 29/30 weeks:

And for comparison purposes, this was me at 24 weeks:

Quite a lot of growth in 5/6 weeks! I wonder how much bigger I am going to get, it's so weird not actually knowing how big Nugget is! The midwives measure my bump, but as of yet they haven't given any indication as to how big baby is - most annoying!

People keep asking me how I am feeling, and my standard answer is "knackered", but despite the feelings of sheer exhaustion and onset on insomnia, I'm really enjoying the third trimester and am feeling quite well. Lots of people are asking to touch the bump, hoping to feel a kick, although I think Nugget still plays tricks on people, hehe! Colin has finally felt some proper kicking, which is brilliant, although sometimes I feel black and blue inside from all of the sharp prods! There is still obviously a lot of speculation as to whether Nugget is 'pink' or 'blue', but we're still keeping stchum!