Monday, 30 May 2011

A Review: Yes To Baby Carrots


Gentle Foaming Shampoo & Body Wash 300ml
Yes To Baby Carrots

Mummy gave me this big orange bottle when I was busy splashing in the bath and told me we need to tell all of the big boys and girls what we think of it. I told her I just wanted to play with the lid and the bubbles. She let me. I love my Mummy. 

Mummy said this foamy stuff is called shampoo, which made me laugh a little bit, what a funny name. Then she said something really silly...it's made from carrots! Well, she said it's actually packed full of Vitamin E, Organic Melons, which are full of things called antioxidants and vitamins, and it has Organic Pumpkins too, and they are stuffed with nourishing Beta Carotene. If you ask me, that's a lot of big words for a little boy, and she feeds me carrots for dinner, so I don't know why she puts them on my hair too! I tried to rub my dinner that had carrots in on my hair the next day, but she didn't seem very impressed with that!

Mummy said to tell you that you can buy this carrot shampoo, which is all natural and especially formulated for babies delicate skin, for £8.99 from Victoria Health (that is somewhere on the internet, Mummy goes there on her shiny iPhone that she won't let me play with).

I thought you might like to see some pictures of my hair. It's pretty cool. Lot's of people like to touch it because it's so soft and bouncy.

BEFORE:

DURING:


 AFTER:

Me and Mummy like this shampoo. I like it because it's all foamy and feels funny on my hands and tummy, and Mummy likes it because it washes my cool hair really well, and makes it even softer and shinier than before. I have sensitive skin, but this doesn't make it go all red and itchy. It is quite expensive for a baby product, but I don't have to worry about money because Mummy and Daddy pay for everything for me. I think we might be buying it again when it runs out though.

Originally posted as a guest review on Lollipop Loves. Product provided by PR.
Photographs copyrighted to romanticdreaming.blogspot.com. 

Sunday, 29 May 2011

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I'm back on Twitter...hope to see you over there :)

Products I'm using right now - Spring/Summer 2011

I always enjoy reading these posts, probably because they appeal to my innately nosey nature. I haven't done one of these posts since last spring/summer, although interestingly, not many of the products have changed!

Shampoo: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Moisturising Shampoo for lighter blondes. I love the John Frieda formulations, they work really well on my hair, and a little goes a long way - although I nearly always squeeze out too much! My hair is always baby soft after using this, and squeaky clean.

Conditioner: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Moisturising Conditioner for lighter blondes and John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Conditioner. I alternate between the two, and have gone back to conditioning daily since having my hair highlighted. I still have greasy roots but the rest of my hair can get quite dry without conditioner.

Styling Products: I'm still faithful to my V05 Extreme Style Surf Spray (review here), I'll spritz this on if I'm leaving my hair to dry naturally and want a natural, wavy look. I've also been using the John Frieda Sheer Blonde Leave-In Nourishing Spray, spritzing onto towel dried hair then styling as normal. I'm currently using the pink Cheryl Cole Elnett hairspray too, gotta love the Cheryl ;) I'm not big on styling products, I find most products tend to just weigh my hair down.

Shower Gel: I have been trying to use up all of my lingering shower gels, I'm not too fussy about what I use to be perfectly honest, as long as it smells decent and does the job. My favourite scent wise is The Body Shop Brazil Nut shower gel (review here), which is now sadly discontinued in the UK, and I also adore the scent of Palmolive Milk & Honey. I'm a HUGE Soap & Glory fan too, and am currently using up my big bottle of Clean on Me, which smells DIVINE and conjures up nostalgic summer memories.

Body Moisturiser: I'm pretty loyal to Palmers Cocoa Butter (review here), in my opinion you just can't beat it for it's dreamily comforting scent and nourishing, moisturising properties. I also use the Olive scented version, the Skin Therapy Oil (review here), and on my stubborn post pregnancy stretch marks I also use the Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks (review to come soon). For a quick spritz moisturising fix I use Soap & Glory Flirtigo (review here), which is so lightweight and sinks into the skin instantly, but leaves it feeling surprisingly well nourished and soft, with that yummy trademark scent.

Deodorant: I use either the Sure or Dove Maximum Protection creams, which are supposedly 48 hour antiperspirants. I'm not sure I'd trust any deodorant to last that long, but these do seem to keep that very unbecoming sweat at bay for slightly longer than anything else I've tried. I also don't have an allergic reaction to either of these, so have stayed faithful for over 2 years now. Allergic reactions in your underarms is not pleasant let me tell you!

Fake Tan: None, I fully embrace the natural and am baring the pale skin! I can't abide the smell of fake tan, even the gradual tanners, it makes me feel quite nauseous!

Eye Make-Up Remover: I'm very naughty of late and have just been using the No7 Quick Thinking 4 in 1 wipes, which I only ever buy with the £5 vouchers that Boots offer every so often. They remove all traces of my make up, even stubborn eye make up, with no problems, no irritation and actually leave my skin feeling pretty refreshed and well cleansed.

Cleanser: I am currently using a cheap and cheerful Boots own brand cucumber face wash, but I do also have some mini Clinique Liquid Facial Soap (review here) which I will be moving onto once I've finished the Boots stuff (which does the job but certainly wouldn't win any beauty awards!). I use all facewashes with the Holy Grail of exfoliators, The Body Shop Facial Buffer (review here). I will never, ever use anything else to exfoliate my skin, the job this little sponge is far superior and I wholeheartedly recommend it, whatever your skin type.

Toner: I am religiously faithful to my Lush Tea Tree Water toner, and have been for over two years, it suits my skin type really well and just does such a brilliant job (review here). I love it!

Moisturiser: I've just switched from Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel (review here) to the Lotion, and although I much prefer the Gel formulation and results, I can't afford to replace it at the moment. My skin does seem to be a bit tighter and have a few more dry patches than normal at the moment, so I'm hopeful that the lotion will actually help with that.

Foundation: On a daily basis I don't wear a full foundation, but for nights out/special occasions etc I stick to my trusty Bourjois Healthy Mix (review here), which is brilliant for a drugstore product, and I'm not tempted to find anything else! On a day to day basis I will either wear No7 Dual Protection Tinted Moisturiser SPF15 (review here), or just my Clinique City Block in SPF25 or 40 (review to come soon).

Powder: MAC MSF Natural (review here). Love and will repurchase for as long as it is sold!

Concealer: Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer (review here) which I can't see myself ever swaying from. It is by far the best concealer I've come across, and it doesn't fade, transfer or crease at all, even in the heat, which in my mind puts it up on some kind of prestigious concealer pedestal! I also love the Estee Lauder Ideal Light Brush On Illuminator, which works better for it's brightening effects than it's concealing effects, although it does provide a light coverage. When used in conjunction with the Double Wear concealer my dark circles are banished!

Blush: MAC Well Dressed (review here) is just the perfect shade of pink, and the perfect blush, in my humble opinion. I am running dangerously low on mine, so thank goodness it's not to far to my birthday (hint hint Mum if you're reading this, hehe!).

Bronzer: I don't actually own a bronzer, and pretty much have no idea how to wear one given my pale eskimo-esque skin, although I do really like the look of the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess one my MIL has...perhaps I could try sneaking it out of her make up bag?!

Highlighter: I've never really been big on highlighters, I'm pretty happy with the very subtle shimmer in my blush, so at the moment I'm not using a specific product to highlight.

Eye Shadows: As ever, MAC Satin Taupe, along with Shroom, Vex, and my favourite No7 Stay Perfect eyeshadow in Mink. I've become somewhat time challenged since becoming a Mummy, so having go-to shades that I know work well alone or with minimal blending/effort, is essential. I also really love my Illamasqua Furore Pigment (review here), it's so, so beautiful and looks fabulous layered over a brown like MAC Sable or Satin Taupe.

Mascara: I've mainly been using either Max Factor False Lash Effect or Masterpiece Max mascaras of late, but my all time favourite still remains Maybelline Define A Lash Volume (review here), I find it surpasses all others in every aspect of lengthening, volumising and curling.

Lipstick: MAC Chatterbox and my newest addition (and only the second), MAC See Sheer lipstick (thanks Franky for your superb choice for my first Back to Mac lippy!). Both of these can be applied lightly for a subtle but pretty colour, or layered up for a more intense colour.

Lip Gloss: I would have to say that despite my (ridiculous) amount of lipglosses, my favourites and most used are the Sexy Mother Pucker's from Soap & Glory. I love the tingling effects, although I know that isn't for everyone! I find them so long lasting, and not too sticky. I've yet to find a gloss that my hair doesn't get stuck in on a blustery day though...!

Nail Colour: The nail polishes I have been getting the most use out of recently are the Nails Inc/Diet Coke collaborations, most specifically the New York (hot pink) and Paris (purple) shades. I never used to rate Nails Inc at all, but over the last couple of years I've collected more of their polishes, and have to say the formulation seems better, and the shade ranges are extensive to say the least! You can nearly always find a magazine with a free Nails Inc polish, or a collaboration like the Diet Coke one which makes collecting the polishes a lot more affordable.

The vast majority of these products have been my most used/favourites for well over two years now, and given how many positive reviews I have linked to throughout this post, I think you'll agree that I really enjoy using everything I have listed above.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Don't ruin your nails...

Meet Bumble. Our 'new' 1979 late bay VW Camper. 



The name Bumble originated from the yellow and black paintwork, which will not be staying, the name however, will be. You have to look at it with a view to what it will be, it's most definitely a work in progress for now!

Who says a girl can't have bright pink nails and do mechanics?!

Bring on the family holidays :)

Friday, 27 May 2011

A tale of two bloggers...

...who finally met up after 2 years of blind friend dating on the internet, to enjoy the Brighton sunshine, go shopping and eat cupcake. Pure bliss :)

Franky from Love Audrey and I
 

Mummy on a Mission


 A select few may know that I have a couple of other blogs (don't worry, they too have been seriously neglected of late!), one dedicated to Jamie that is currently private and invitation only (please respect my privacy on that one), and a weight loss blog. I toyed with the idea of merging my weight loss blog with this one, but I have revealed some personal information on there, so I decided to just share the details I'm happy with on here instead!

Jamie is now 9 months old, and I have lost the baby weight. I'm equal to, possibly even less than, my pre pregnancy weight. However, my body has completely changed, as any Mother will know, and I'm still on a mission to lose a few more lb's, and ultimately tone up the flab. Each to their own of course, but to me, my Mummy Tummy is in NO way Yummy! I ended up having an emergency C-Section, and that scar is now an irreversible part of me that I wouldn't ever take away...however, the post C-Section tummy sag is something I am determined to get rid of!

I began embarking on my Mummy on a Mission weight loss journey at the start of this year (2011), and my starting weight was (nervous gulp) 11 stone 11 lbs. My BMI at that weight for my height (5ft 5") put me into the 'overweight' category, and I confess to feeling very depressed and ashamed about my appearance and weight. A great deal of my weight gain during pregnancy was the huge amount of water I retained, I was like a human balloon, but admittedly I did overindulge and tend to feed that 'eating for two' expression all too easily. Live and learn!

Fast forward 9 months, and my current weight, as of May 2011, is 10 stone 3 lbs. I have achieved this from a combination of dieting, healthy eating and exercise. I hope my (now extra yummy) Mummy won't mine my mentioning her as one of my main inspirations to lose weight. She is currently following the Dukan Diet - NOT for the faint hearted or easily tempted - and has lost over 5 stone in just over 9 months. If you want to find out more about the specific diet, a quick Google will give you all you need to know, but essentially, this is NOT a fad diet, it is a lifestyle change and choice, and the essential philosophies are to be followed for the rest of your life. My Mum is very determined, very dedicated, and I am extremely proud of her...I hope she won't mind my saying that she is SO much happier now that she has lost weight, she radiates health and happiness, and she looks fantastic. So, spurred on by my Mum's incredible results, I tentatively dipped my feet into the world of the Dukan Diet, and although I credit it for kick-starting my weight loss, metabolism and motivation, it was not for me. For a start, I didn't like a big enough variety of the allowed foods, therefore I knew that sustaining the diet over a prolonged period of time would not be healthy, so I made the sensible decision to simply eat much healthier, taking heed of what I'd learnt about food from researching Dukan. Making meals from scratch, controlling portion sizes and on the whole making healthier food choices isn't that hard once you get into the habit of it, and you most certainly can still enjoy food and treat yourself when you fancy it.

From the beginning of January I have been going to weekly Zumba sessions, run by my friend who is a fitness instructor. I LOVE it, and am planning on dedicating a whole post to it in a bid to convert more exercise-phobes. I also bowed down to the legend that is Jillian Micheals, and her infamous 30 Day Shred. Sure, on paper, a daily 20 minute workout doesn't sound tough...but I'd defy anyone to do it and say it was easy! Again, a quick Google will teach you all you need, but essentially the 30 Day Shred is based on a 20 minute daily workout, with three increasing levels of difficulty and intensity. The programme is based around 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs, for the duration of the 20 minutes. I am literally dripping in sweat by the end of it, but it's over so quickly you barely notice you're doing it! An essential aspect of the Dukan Diet is a daily walk, of at least 20 minutes, which is something I have tried hard to maintain - I love to get out and about in the fresh air, and it's just as important for Jamie to get outside everyday too. I am more active now than I ever have been, and I can't stress the importance of that enough - I feel fitter and healthier, and although the results aren't instant, I've noticed a big change in both my endurance and my body tone.

At the end of the day, whilst the numbers on the scales might be proof that my hard work is paying off, it is how I feel that is important to me. There is one downside to losing weight though...although I do now fit into my pre pregnancy jeans, they are a little on the big side, and I simply can't afford to replace my entire wardrobe...what's a girl to do?!
*Please note, this blog post is about ME, my feelings about MY weight and MY appearance. It is no way judgemental of anyone elses weight, appearance or opinion. It is not my intention to offend anyone, which I hope my readers will know, I just feel it is important for me to be as honest with you as I always am.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Toyology

I'm obviously a fan of the 'ologies', I studied Sociology and Social Policy at University, loved Sociology and Psychology at school, and now I'm embarking on a new 'ology' journey, trying out for a Toyologist position (unpaid) with Toys R Us! I wouldn't normally condone testing on children, but when toys are involved, it's a whole new ball game (pun intended!), and I'm sure Jamie would be a more than willing volunteer!

I'm going to review Jamie's best friend, now don't worry, I've asked his permission, and he doesn't mind, good lad! This review is in the 'Rainy Days' category.

Meet Scout:

He's a green and white puppy, just shy of 1ft tall, and very soft and cuddly. His cheeky little grin is instantly endearing, I'm sure you'll agree, and he has a very likeable, childlike voice. Scout came to us via Leapfrog (via Tesco!), on Jamie's first Christmas, and made him very happy indeed. 

It isn't that hard to make a baby smile I'll admit, especially a happy chappy like Jamie, but there is a certain smile that only one person receives...not Mummy, not Daddy, not even Nanny...no, it's reserved for his best friend, Scout. When a toy provokes such a positive and adorable reaction, you know you're onto a winner.

Scout is a very clever little pup, he adapts in line with your little one, and is suitable from birth (the box states 6 months though) to adulthood (I'm pretty taken with him!). He cleverly comes with a USB adaptor, so you can plug him into your family PC/laptop and programme in your little ones name (there is a huge database, so you're pretty likely to find what you need), and their favourite food, colour and animal, instantly personalising him. So, if one week your little one is loving strawberries, purple and monkeys, Scout will know, no problem...and if the next week it's biscuits, red and crocodiles, Scout can handle it! You can also chose from a selection of songs (helpfully including Happy Birthday and some Christmas songs), although some are pre-programmed and un-removable, which is the only aspect I dislike.

Interacting with Scout is easy peasy (although smaller fingers with less dexterity might need help from adults), simply press one of the buttons on any of his four paws: on/off, music, interaction, and bedtime music. Scout likes to chat about his favourite food, colour and animal, he tells your little one if he's feeling hungry, tired or silly, and he even gets the hiccups now and again, and counts to 5 to see if they'll go away. He sings a good variety of songs, most of which have actions you can teach your little one so that they can join in, and he also plays some instrumentals, perfect for a spot of dancing. Scout also knows that sometimes bedtimes can be tricky for little boys and girls, which is why he can give a little yawn, snuggle up and play up to 10 minutes of bedtime music...he even dims the little blue light inside of his collar!

Scout seems pretty robust, although Jamie isn't yet fully mobile, so we've yet to truly put the little pup through his paces, but so far he's survived being sicked on, thrown out of the pushchair (accidentally), rolling down a little hill, and having lunch wiped onto him (he didn't mind too much, it was Jamie's favourite, yogurt!), without even so much as a bark of complaint! 

This little pup evokes smiles and giggles from a mere glimpse, and I can guarantee he'll remain a firm favourite in this household. He has a purple counterpart named Violet, for anyone little girls (or boys) who might prefer a female version.

Sharing some special, quiet time with Scout (albeit not on a rainy day!)

Being cooped up inside on a rainy day gets a little tedious, even babies get cabin fever, so having a friendly face and a welcome distraction in Scout is quite simply a blessing! I would recommend this toy to everyone with a baby/toddler.

Now, I'm off to programme silly things into Scout whilst Jamie is in bed (what, does no one else play with their children's toys of an evening?!)..."my favourite animal is an anteater", "my favourite food is eggplant"...good times!

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