Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Monday, 19 December 2011

"Just 5 more minutes..."

For as far back as I can remember, one thing is consistent throughout time: I am dreadful at getting up in the morning. I just can't do it. Every fibre of my body resists it. Every single morning without fail {Christmas and birthdays being the only exceptions}, I have to physically drag myself out of bed. It's as if my bed has some kind of physical hold on me, it's strong grip makes me almost powerless to release myself from its delightful clutches.

I'm not alone in this, surely?

Having a child, who is entirely dependent upon me for his survival, means that getting up is not a debatable option. It has to happen. Still, despite this, every morning I silently plead, with whoever will listen, "please, just 5 more minutes?!".

What I'm getting at here, the crux of the matter if you will, is that I believe getting out of bed in the morning is one of the hardest things that humans ever have to do. Like, ever ever. Apart from giving birth, that's pretty hard. Having a scrummy little boy to get up for does make it easier though, just a little ;)

Disclaimer: this post is just a bit of fun. But seriously, please, just 5 more minutes?

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Overrated Product #5: Tresemmé Thermal Recovery

Long term readers may be familiar with my {mini} series of posts on products I believe to be overrated, and although I've not featured any products for a while, I'm about to throw down the gauntlet on another unsuspecting product.

Now, I do have to admit that I've had these products for some time {the packaging now differs slightly}, they've been in and out of my 'for friends & family' pile, but having since used them up {in the interest of being economical}, I remember now why I discontinued using them in the first place.


The perpetrators this time are the Tresemmé Thermal Recovery Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner. These products came highly recommended from both online sources and 'real life' acquaintances, but I really do not believe they hype. The products apparently "nourish your hair to restore vibrancy and shine lost through frequent heat styling", a simple enough concept, but one that does silently scream 'gimmick' at me. After starting to use more heat on my hair now that the winter months are upon us {air drying isn't quite so practical}, I thought I may as well use these up. I truly wish I'd just done myself a favour and slung them in the bin, to be perfectly honest. Scathing comments indeed, but when using these products in my haircare routine my poor scalp became SO itchy and flaky, and my hair certainly hasn't seen any of the benefits that are claimed. Many reviews I've since found online offer up similar 'itchy' sentiments, so I'm glad I'm not alone in my woes.

What are your most overrated products?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A Review: Garnier Hydralock Moisturising Milk

Garnier Hydralock Moisturising Milk
For dehydrated to dry skin

What Do I Think?
Yet another body lotion from Garnier, boasting big claims from it's non-assuming packaging. This claims to "hydrate instantly", "visibly transform skin in 1 week" and leave you with a "dewy look, supple feel". It IS a decently hydrating body moisturiser, however, it isn't really anything extraordinary. If you use ANY moisturiser at least once a day, seven days a week, of course your skin will be more hydrated, thereby looking and feeling better. It does indeed leave a dewy finish, but on me, it takes a while to absorb into the skin, and leaves a slightly greasy residue, even if used very sparingly, meaning I only really use it at night - running about like a headless chicken waiting for your lotion to sink in of a morning is not practical with a small child I can tell you! To me, this body lotion doesn't really live up to it's claims, and I predominantly judge a body moisturiser on how quickly it sinks in, which automatically marks the Hydralock down. Something I'm always left feeling slightly ambiguous about is the scent. Sometimes I like it, and other times it really gets up my nose, and not in a good way. All in all, I'd say that, for me, this is a bog standard moisturiser, that could be better.

Where Is It Available?
Garnier products are stocked in most UK supermarkets and drugstores, and may also be available from various online retailers. Google is your friend!

How Much Does It Cost?
400ml retails for £5.69 (price sourced from Superdrug).

Would I Recommend It?
I personally won't repurchase this, there are most definitely much more affordable body lotions that have the same, if not better results. However, if you're a fan of Garnier body lotions, you won't want to miss out on this. Also, it's worth mentioning that what works for me and my skin, might not work for you and yours, and vice versa. The skin on my body is generally 'normal', aside from my legs that can take on an altogether scaly appearance if I'm not careful. I'll continue to use this until it runs out, and then move onto the next unsuspecting victim!

Star Rating:
3/5

Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money. I am not affiliated with any brand mentioned, and as ever, all words and opinions are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliate links.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, 12 December 2011

A Review: Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream

Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream
For dry, sensitive skin

What Do I Think?
I'm not going to lie, in my opinion, if Pixiwoo endorse something, 99% of the time, it's bound to be good. The first time I caught wind of this face cream from Oilatum was when Nic (one half of Pixiwoo) started using it as her pre make up moisturiser. It's important to point out that I have the complete opposite skin type to Nic (she has dry skin, I have oily), so I do use this product in a different way, but I love it nonetheless. During the winter months, thanks to a combination of cold weather and central heating, my skin has a tendency to develop dry, tight and itchy patches - particularly on the sides of my nose, forehead and cheeks. It is at this time I reach for a thicker facial moisturiser to use specifically at night, so it can work it's restorative goodness whilst I sleep (with any luck all night long). With this purpose in mind, I'm really enjoying using the Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream, it's thick and comforting to use, and I find it nicely calming to apply. It sinks in relatively fast, and I can almost feel my skin thirstily drinking it up. I have to be quite careful with the amount I use, a small pea sized blob is sufficient, otherwise come morning my face may resemble a small oil slick - although its nothing a shower can't fix, and my skin still feels well nourished. I've experienced no irritation from this whatsoever (good job, it's formulated with sensitive skins in mind), and my skin definitely looks much healthier for it.   

Where Is It Available?
I'm not 100% sure if this is available anywhere other than Boots in the UK (I've certainly not seen this specific product elsewhere), but please do correct me in the comments if I am wrong.

How Much Does It Cost?
50ml retails for £7.65 (price sourced from Boots).

Would I Recommend It?
If you have dry, dehydrated and/or sensitive skin, you will definitely benefit from this moisturiser. If, like me, you have oily/combination/normal skin that has drier tendencies at this time of year, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. However, I do think it's pretty expensive, so I'm not sure I could warrant repurchasing this all of the time, but for the purpose I'm using it I imagine this will last me all winter.

Star Rating:
4/5

Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money (or possibly my own Boots Advantage Card points). I am not affiliated with any brand mentioned, and as ever, all words and opinions are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliate links.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

CHRISTMAS TAG x2!


 
1.What's Your Favourite Holiday Movie? 
Elf! I love just about any movie related to Christmas, but Elf is always the film I watch to really get me in the festive mood. If you don't love it you're definitely a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins!

2. What's Your Favourite Christmas Colour?
Dark red and glittery gold are just THE perfect Christmas colours for me. They are the general theme of my Christmas tree decorations, and just ooze festive vibes.

3. Do You Like To Stay in Your PJs Or Dress Up For Christmas?
I always like to make an effort for Christmas day, but usually our stockings will be opened at the crack of dawn in my PJ's, but then I get slightly more glammed up in preparation for lunch. It just has to something quite accommodating, what with all the Christmas lunch to be eaten, mince pies, sausage rolls and chocolates. Mmm mmm!

4. If You Could Only Buy One Person a Present This Year Who Would It Be?
We have now managed to cobble a little something together for our families, but the main person we have bought for is obviously Jamie. It sounds like a terrible cliché, but Christmas to me really isn't about the presents, they are an added bonus.

5. Do You Open Your Present Christmas Eve Or Christmas Morning?
Typically stockings and perhaps one or two small tree presents are opened on Christmas morning, then everything remaining gets saved until after Christmas lunch.

6. Have You Ever Built a Ginger Bread House?
I don't think I have, no. I'm pretty sure I'm too impatient to try and create something that intricate and I'd probably end up eating vital parts as I went along by mistake!

7. What Do You Like To Do On Your Christmas Break?
I like to spend as much quality time with my family and friends as I possibly can. THAT is what Christmas means to me. My family and I go and see a local pantomime in between Christmas and New Year, an annual tradition that I always look forward to.

8. Any Christmas Wishes?
Hopefully for better luck financially next year. It's been a very hard year in terms of redundancy/finances, so here's hoping 2012 holds better fortune.

9. Favourite Christmas Smell?
Two words: mulled wine.

10. Favourite Christmas Meal Or Treat? 
It's ALL about the big Christmas lunch itself. Best meal of the year, hands down. I'm already hungry just thinking about it!

 
1) Which holiday do you celebrate?
Christmas (in case you hadn't picked up on that)!

2) What are you doing for the holidays this year?
Colin and I have been together for 7.5 years, and as a general rule we alternate between our families each year. Now we have our own family, we will continue to alternate, but also have some years with just the three of us for Christmas Day. Last year (Jamie's 1st Christmas) was spent with Colin's family, so this year is to be spent with mine (and will be particularly special as it is the last in my childhood home before my parents move house). Whoever we don't see on Christmas Day is who we spend Boxing Day with.

3) What's your favourite holiday drink?
Mulled wine. Can. Not. Beat. It!

4) Candy cane or Gingerbread men?
Gingerbread men, but actually I don't tend to eat either at Christmas. I'm more of a mince pie and sausage roll kinda gal!

5) What's your favourite holiday/Christmas song?
Mariah Carey "All I Want For Christmas Is You" 
(embedded at the top of the page for your audio pleasure)

6) What's the weirdest gift you've ever received?
I can't really remember. I don't *think* I've ever received anything truly horrendous, but I'm grateful for any gift really, I appreciate the fact whoever bought it wanted to get me something.

7) Have you ever made a snowman?
Er, yeah! Duh! That is what snow was invited for. Jeez...!

8) What is your favourite winter fragrance?
I like warm, spicy scents, with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. 

9) What is at the top of your list this Christmas? (or whichever holiday you celebrate!)
A new concealer, because my dark circles literally depend on it!

10) What is most important to you about the holidays?
Family. Without a doubt. Christmas is an incredibly special time of the year to me, and spending time with my family, and friends, is what it's all about. Christmas will never lose it's magic in my eyes, it is what you make it, and with my family around me, I'll forever be happy.

P.S. 14 sleeps!!!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Products I've Been Using {Winter 2011 Edition}

I can never get my bum in gear to commit to monthly favourite posts, and even if I did, the products would most likely be the same. Once I find things that work, I tend to stick with them like glue. I find seasonal posts featuring the products I've been using are a better indication of what I use and when, without being repetitive. This is by no means an exhaustive list {we'd be here all day}, but a selection of my favourites!

Shampoo/Conditioner: V05 Beyond Blonde. I've really been enjoying the shampoo and conditioner duo. I picked them up when they were half price in Tescos recently, after hearing good things about the new line. I am really impressed thus far, they clean my hair really well and leave it feeling soft and shiny, whilst smelling great too. A full review will follow soon, naturally.
 
Hair Oil: *Schwarzkopf BC Oil Miracle Finishing Treatment. Hair oils are everywhere at the moment, and were a product I'd previously dismissed as being wholly unsuitable for my greasy hair. However, whilst my roots may get greasy v e r y quickly, I have very dry ends, that are in great need of as much TLC as they can get. I was sent two mini bottles of the BC Oil Miracle earlier in the year, and after gathering dust they are now getting regular use.

Cleanser: *Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. I think everyone and their nan knows about the cult classic that is the Liz Earle cleanser, this stuff is the business! It's choca block with skin loving ingredients, and it allows for both gentle cleansing and exfoliating {when used with a muslin cloth}. I have reviewed this previously on my blog, and I said then that I'd come back to it!

Foundation: Rimmel 25 Hour Lasting Finish Foundation. I've yet to use this for long enough to warrant a full and thorough review, but you can trust that there will be one coming soon. I'm really enjoying this foundation, it's pretty effortless to apply and blend, is a good colour match and I can often actually skip powder when I use this too - BONUS!
 
Concealer: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Concealer. No change here, this is my failsafe, go-to, reliable concealer of choice. Most definitely a yummy mummy essential. It's pricey, but well worth it, I'm not sure if I could ever be tempted to stray from this.

Powder: *Corn Silk Pressed Powder. I'm ever faithful to my trusty MAC MSF Natural, but a repurchase is imminent, and in a bid to ration the remains I've actually been using a product I was sent, that I'd previously relegated as being aimed at 'older ladies'. It's a simple pressed powder, which acts as a matte, translucent finishing powder. Again, a full review will be coming soon.

Day Moisturiser: Garnier Ultralift Day Cream. I reviewed this on my blog a while back, and after finishing my free samples, I did actually rush out to repurchase it. It's not a product I would envisage myself liking normally, but something about it just works for my skin, and I like to think I'm doing what I can to help ward off premature ageing!

Night Moisturiser: Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream. I must admit, I was intrigued by this product after seeing it mentioned multiple times by my all time favourite YouTube gurus, Pixiwoo. I searched high and low for it for months, to find it was continually out of stock. I eventually stumbled upon it back early November, and snapped it up. The timing was actual pretty perfect, I only tend to religiously use a moisturiser at night during the winter months. It's a very thick cream, designed for dry skins, and if you use too much you'll end up with an oil slick across your face come morning. However, used correctly this sinks into the skin whilst I sleep and I find it restores any dry/tight patches really well. I find this product very soothing to use.
 
Body Moisturiser: Garnier Hydralock. I found this bottle languishing, unused, in my beauty cupboard {not as awesome as it sounds, but it is pretty cool} and decided I should probably use it. I *think* I purchased this back when there was a ridiculous amount of hype in the 'beauty community' about it, and promptly never used it. I'm not 100% sure of what I think yet, you'll see my review when I am, but for now it's serving a purpose to keep my scaly legs at bay!


 
Tissues: *Lotus Olbas Tissues. OK, pretty random I'm aware, but hear me out! It's been cold/flu central in my house recently, and now that winter is well as truly upon us I'm sure that's the way it'll stay. These tissues have an inbuilt 'crush technology', that releases Olbas Oil vapours when activated. You breathe in the scent when blowing your nose in an attempt to help clear your blocked nasal passages. Although I was concerned they could be a bit of a gimmick, they do actually work - a good tool in the war against winter colds I'd say.**

Disclaimer: Any products marked with an * were sent to me for review consideration purposes. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned, and as ever, all words and opinions are 100% my own.
**You can find these tissues in Sainsburys, Morrisons, Asda, Co-op & Boots {in the UK}. Boxes cost £2.29, a 6 pack of pocket packs costs £1.59 and a single packet costs 59p. I've also seen these in Poundland!

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, 4 December 2011

This weekend I have...

...hunted down bargains-a-plenty at a local Nearly New {toy} Sale with one of my yummiest Mummy friends.  

...been thoroughly worn out by a very loud and energetic Jamie during our afternoon playdate with aforementioned yummy mummy and her daughter.
...craved Mulled Wine and mince pies. Tis the season!


 ...enjoyed quiet evenings in the comforting glow of our Christmas tree lights, and softly flickering scented candles {our decorations went up on the 1st this year}. 

...wrapped even more Christmas presents and written the majority of my Christmas cards. Courtesy of Tesco Clubcard Exchange vouchers, Nearly New Sales and bargains from my pre Christmas sale shopping, Jamie has a very impressive pile of presents this year! 

...decorated my parents house ready for Christmas. They are moving in the New Year, so this is to be the last ever Christmas spent in my childhood home. It's exciting, but tinged with a little sadness, and helping to decorate unearthed plenty of nostalgic memories.




...loved how beautiful my parents house is at Christmas time.
...luxuriated in the warmth of their log burning stove. That will certainly be a much missed feature once they move. 

...marvelled at Jamie's fascination upon discovering a twinkling Christmas wonderland had bestowed his grandparents house whilst he slept. I most definitely see Christmas through a child's eyes, the magic is very much ever present.

 
...cracked open the tins of chocolates that add an extra something to this magical time of year. We might possibly have each munched a few during a well deserved sit down after all that decorating.

...enjoyed watching Jamie chomp on a couple of said chocolates. 


...been very over-excited by the fact that Christmas is only TWENTY sleeps away! Ho Ho Ho!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

"So, are you working yet...?"

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain rants. In fact, there is no may about it. It does. If ranting offends you, look away now.

If you are a SAHM/SAHD* then you will probably know where I'm coming from in this post. After "aww, hasn't he grown" {Fact}, the number one thing people say to me is "So, are you working yet...?".

I'm sorry for my brashness here, but what part of being on call TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, is not work? Do YOU work that long? No, I didn't think so.

I do understand that parenting is not a job in the typical sense, if you chose to have children then you have to look after them. End of. I understand, I get it, I really do. I know sometimes that question is just general conversation, with no malice behind it. Not everyone 'gets it' about being a SAHM, however, what I'm really getting at here is when the obvious implication behind that seemingly innocent question, is that my dedicating myself to raising my son is somehow not as worthy as if I was working in a crappy office job 9-5 Monday to Friday, I get peeved. A lot peeved.

I suppose for 'outsiders', it's the financial aspect. I'm not paid for my job, or clock-watched by an eagle eyed boss. I'm dictated to by someone much, much smaller than me. If I was paid for every time I picked up half masticated food from my living room carpet, or retrieved toys from behind the sofa/tv unit/cot, I'd be a very rich lady indeed.

I just dislike the insinuated impression that people feel I should be validated by my career choice, rather than my choice to be a Mother. I know SO many women {and men as it goes} that would give anything to be at home with their child(ren). I also know SO many women {and men} that are very glad of their career, which allows them relative peace and quiet for 8+ hours a day. It is an individual, highly personal choice, but it does deeply sadden me that there appears to be little regard for those who chose to be a SAHM/D.

I'd like to clarify, I have nothing against parents that decide to return to work after having babies, nothing at all. As I said, it's a very personal decision. I know, believe me I know, that sometimes it's also a case of needs must. I wholeheartedly support the decisions that parents make for their families. Colin and I are used to not having much money. We made the decision together that, for as long as was sustainable, I would stay at home with Jamie. That HE would be my job.

I know that this situation will not last. The bank balance tells me that I will NEED to go OUT to work, in a crappy office job 9-5 Monday to Friday, soon. However, THIS, the reality I have right now, is what I've always wanted. To be a Mummy. To be able to look after my child, all day every day, for as long as possible. I'm very happy with that. It's just everyone** else that isn't.

*SAHM/SAHD = Stay at Home Mum/Dad
**A sweeping generalisation here I am sure. The use of 'everyone' here refers to the negative people I have encountered thus far in my Yummy Mummy journey.

Friday, 2 December 2011

TAG: Get Me Out Of Here!

I've pinched this TAG from the superb parenting blog SAHDandproud. An interesting, if useless, observation that I've made upon discovering {and falling in love with} parenting blogs, is that the majority of TAGs are called 'Meme's', and that they tend to use Wordpress as opposed to 'beauty bloggers' who tend to use Blogger. 

I'm not a personal fan of 'I'm a Celebrity', but I believe it is currently airing on TV, and was obviously the initial inspiration behind these set of amusing questions.

1. What is the one thing about being a parent that makes you scream, ‘GET ME OUT OF HERE!’
Night time wake up calls. Can. Not. Handle. Everything seems a trillion times worse in the dark depths of the night, and being forced out of my warm, cosy bed to fetch the teddy that my toddler threw out thinking it'd be funny is anything but. 

2. What skills, if any, do you have that would be useful in the jungle?
I like to think my knowledge of jungle survival skills is extensive. This is thanks to Colin and his obsession with the Discovery Channel and all that it entails. I know which berries and mushrooms are edible, and which contain deadly poison. I know how to start a camp fire and fashion a shelter from leaves and twigs (let's face it, if you read Enid Blyton's Famous Five books as a child then you know this anyway!). I know how to collect and sanitise drinking water. Oh yes, I know it all. In reality, however, I'm scared of every living insect (except woodlice, odd no?) and most wild animals, I don't like the dark, I'm phobic of water, I don't like getting dirty and I'm not good in extreme heat or cold. I'd last about 5 minutes, if that.

3. How are you likely to annoy people if you were stuck with them for three weeks?
Constant twitching and paranoia that spiders/insects/lizards are crawling on me, complaining about the lack of hot water and 3G signal, refusal to do anything that might make me dirty/wet/fall over, and just general moaning. I'm a barrel of laughs me!

4. What is the worst thing you have ever eaten?
Really slimy, fishy tasting fish *voms*. Oh, and tomatoes.

5. What luxury item would you take into the jungle with you?
The Internet and a device on which to use it. Obviously. They have electricity in jungles, right?!

6. What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
Had a baby. I once pushed my younger sister down the stairs too. That was pretty daring. Or stupid.

7. Who would you miss most if you went into the jungle with a bunch of strangers?
My family, goes without saying.

8. What celebrity, alive or dead, would you like to have with you in the jungle?
Tim Minchin or Michael McIntyre, so they could make me laugh and forget about where I was. There is nothing funnier than a funny person.

9. What would scare you most about being in the jungle?
Being in the jungle.

10. After leaving the jungle, you go to a luxury hotel. What’s the first thing you do?
Shower. Eat. Shower. Go the hell home!