My Beauty Favourites I REALLY need to share with you.

Recently, there have been a few standout beauty items which I’ve been banging on about to friends and family in my usual “you have GOT to try this!” manner so I thought I’d extend that product love to you guys, as it’s good to share and all that. working on the basis that I’m one of those people who is studipdly influenced by word of mouth and would much rather hear about a new product from a friend than glaze over yet another TV ad. Plus,  I don’t read magazines anymore to find out whats hot and what’s not, (too busy and finally got over the lure of free magazine gifts) so word of mouth and Instagram it is. (I might revisit that one should I get to go on a holiday somewhere hot without kids one day, then its glossy mags all the way.)

So here goes; this is what I’ve been raving about lately……

Clinique 3 step skincare AND mascara.

I plodded over to the Clinique counter last November in desperation to find something to help with a reoccurring dry patch under my eyes. I had a sneaky feeling it was eczema brought on by something I was putting on my face. I also had quite visible pores, which despite having a good skincare routine, wasn’t addressing the problem. I was categorically told NOT to put anything around my eyes other than eye cream, shown which of their products would help and noticed a special offer on their famous 3 Step wash, tone and moisturising products. I also qualified for a special promotion as I’d bought 2 products and in there I found their utterly amazing mascara.

And that’s where my Clinique love affair began from which I’m yet to give up. I’m a total convert as I have not had a hint of the dry patch ( I think that all their products being fragrance-free helped. ) and my skin has never looked clearer. As for that mascara, wow. Now bear in mind I’ve been wearing it for 25 years so have tried quite a few, I think I qualify in being able to say it’s the best I’ve ever used.I’ve been through both the High Impact Mascara and just started using Lash Power.

It’s worth noting that if you’re tempted to buy some, check out the Clinique website as you get some amazing freebies thrown in with your order. I find it much better than buying in store, and it’s free delivery.

Oleo Bodycare Hand Cream

I hate the feel of dry hands and usually have a pot of hand cream by every sink, in my handbag and by my bed. I’m not sure if it’s an age thing, I clearly remember my mum buying my Nanna hand cream as presents, but either way, hand cream features rather heavily in my life and I do have an opinion about it. The richer the better, just how I like my…….coffee. None of that watery rubbish.

And Oleo Bodycare Rich Moisturising Hand Cream is by far my favourite.I discovered this one purely by chance during an interview with a new social media client. It’s fragranced with pure geranium, lavender and frankincense essential oils so you get a full sensory experience as well as the aromatherapy benefits. So wish we had progressed onto smelly-vision so you could understand where I’m coming from!

I'm sharing my 5 favourite beauty buys which I 've been raving about to everyone lately

Sheet Face Masks

Never one to miss a special offer, I saw these in my local supermarket one day and thought I’d give one a try. Now before I go any further, these things should come with an Only to be used when no one else is around, even the dog warning. They’re a face shaped sheet impregnated with serum, with cutouts to the eyes, nose and mouth which you place on your face for 20 or so minutes.

And those 20 minutes will be the tensest and longest of your life as you’re on edge praying that no one comes to the door.  I can only compare it to what I think I would look like if I was to have some sort of extreme facial surgery and this was the recovery process.

I have taken photos of myself masked up to send to my bestie then immediately deleted as I was genuinely worried about the response. But the results are simply amazing, you rub any excess serum into your skin and it feels super smooth, as well as fine lines (temporarily) looking less visible.

They’re not cheap for a single use product but shop around and stock up when they’re on offer, or just use when you’ve got a special occasion coming up. My favourite is the Skin Republic Collagen Infusion Sheet Mask followed closely by the Garnier Sheet Masks.

So there you go, my unbiased, purely personal recommendations, I’d love to know if you agree or have any to recommend back. Like I said, it’s good to share!

 

 

 

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HelloFresh Instagram Special Offer

If you’ve arrived on here after watching my Instagram HelloFresh story and looking for the unique 50% off your first HelloFresh box them click on the link below

HelloFresh – Our Recipe Boxes

I’ve been a HelloFresh meal subscription user for a few years now and haven’t stopped singing their praises ever since, sharing a couple of posts on here and you can also watch the Instagram story on my highlights tab at the top of my home page (apologies if you’re viewing this link on a laptop, Insta stories are only viewable via mobile)

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I’m Going To Change Your Idea Of A Poncho…..

Mutter the word poncho and you’d be forgiven for thinking of bold patterns and the must-have item for anyone thinking of learning the pan pipes. But there’s so much more to the blanket with a hole in and I’m going to spend the next 10 minutes of your internet surfing time telling you why….

I wasn’t always a poncho fan, it all started this Autumn when I decided to give the whole capsule wardrobe thing a go. I recycled any clothes which I hadn’t worn for a couple of years and headed off to the shops to buy a few staple outfits which would see me through the autumn, winter and spring.

It wasn’t too hard a task as I’m a total jeans devote during the day, and working from home means I don’t have to dress too smart unless I’m meeting clients.   That said, I do try to make a conscious effort to look like I take pride in my appearance, but our glorious British weather means that temperatures can be unpredictable, add in the fact I’m pretty sloth-like as I type away at my desk; I get cold sitting still then have mad bursts of energy as I charge around my house on my breaks or shooting blog or client photographs.

And what’s the perfect item to throw on in the more sedentary moments? You guessed it; a poncho. They also come off just as quickly.

what's the perfect item to throw on in the more sedentary moments? You guessed it; a poncho. Am I'm going to convince you why...

Now back to that capsule wardrobe thing  I mentioned. It ended up consisting of a worn-to-within-an-inch of its life Gap jumper, a thick Next jumper, 2 pairs of skinny jeans, a fabulous white shirt and some quality black and white long sleeved tops which look perfect under, drum roll….. a poncho!

what's the perfect item to throw on in the more sedentary moments? You guessed it; a poncho. Am I'm going to convince you why...

Teamed with skinnies and boots, my brown Woolovers is a go-to when I’m feeling the chills, sitting pride of place on the back of my desk chair, while this teal multiway is a great jumper alternative. This nifty number is also a shrug and wrap (and it’s half price at the moment!) Either way, there’s no denying that a poncho is the A-game of all year round layering.

So have I convinced you to step out of your jumper wearing comfort zone? I’ll give you 5 minutes to think it through while I tinker on these pan pipes…..

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The one where I told you I was no longer married

16 months ago I sat down and typed the hardest blog post I’ve ever had to write. I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing, sharing something so personal and painful, but I was certain I had to be truthful and honest with those who knew me or read my blog. For months I’d hid behind the pain of coming to terms with the end of my marriage and I realised it was harder pretending everything was normal than it would be admitting to everyone what was really going on.

Truth be told I thought I was so strong and independent as I declared how positive it would be, how my husband & I had tried to make it work and how we were putting our children first and creating 2 calm happy homes instead of 1 turbulent, tense driven sad little house. A house full of lies & fake smiles which eventually wore me down to a shell where learnt to put feelings aside and power on. Looking back now I can see how broken I was, I lived each day on autopilot, never planning too far ahead, pushing negativity aside. I was numb, life was something which happened around me.

But in that 16 months, I’ve realised that life is simply too short to settle for anything less than what you know will make you happy. I’d be lying if there weren’t moments when I was terrified of my future but not once did I regret filing for divorce. I knew my husband & I weren’t making each other happy, and I was more terrified of a future with him than without him.

I was lucky, my family and friends wrapped me up and supported me through. Not one person told me I’d done the wrong thing, they knew before I did that my marriage was over, but the guilt I felt for taking my children into the unknown was overwhelming. I’m still trying to work out if they’re ok with it all, as I’m sure they are too. I’m under no illusion that they’d rather not have to swap homes every other weekend but the alternative was so much worse.

But it’s time once again where I share, an update. My transition from Mrs to Miss is complete and I’m now a happily divorced woman, I’m also a very different woman, a woman who will never settle for anyone who will make me feel scared to say the wrong thing, dance when the rhythm scoops me up or see anything other than the positive, happy side of life. I’m starting to plan things again. I’d like to say I lost a husband and gained a friend but sadly he doesn’t see life like I do, the anger and bitterness still consume him just as it always did and I have a horrible feeling that will never change.

And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll find my Prince Charming and go back to life as a wife? I’ll find that certain someone who’ll hold me in public, will be oblivious by every pretty girl who walks in the room, will accept my boys as his own, plan a future with me, someone  I can talk to through the good times and the bad.

Who knows, I may even have found him? What I do know though is this; I’m happy in my own skin and my own company and I’m not reliant on someone else making me happy. I make me happy and anything else is a bonus.

So today my divorce was complete, and how do I feel? well heres an update...

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Ideas For Holidays With My Teenagers

The subject of holidays has come up quite a few times over the last few weeks and I’ll level with you, I have absolutely no idea what to do this year. Last summer was a whole new bag for us, my plan to get my toddler and teenagers on a holiday abroad was met with gumption; Sardinia on an activity holiday  and a full-on action packed 5 days in Orlando. How the flying frogs do I beat that?

I’ve tried bringing up the subject with the boys, and anyone who has had the pleasure of raising teenage boys will know that conversations are somewhat limited. I’ve come to the conclusion that my boys used up most of their vocabulary between the ages of 2 and 12 and are currently in the process of rebooting and storing up future conversations for when they join the workforce.

Could’ve been the timing was wrong? Or maybe asking them what kind of holiday they fancied this year while eating and only getting ” I dunno” was a direct reaction to years of teaching them not to talk with their mouths full had paid off, damn you – table manners! Either way, they have no idea so I’ve narrowed it down to 3 options;


What are your options for a family holiday as a single parent with teenagers

Top of my list would another Mark Warner activity break. Keeping busy is my main incentive here, last time the teenage kids’ clubs were a huge hit, they learnt to sail, windsurf and paddle board along with other teenagers where my 13 year old declared it was the best holiday ever and we still got some family time in the evening. As I’ll be on my own with the boys, the childcare for my 4 year old would be a good breather and time to try out some of the activities.

Or the alternative would be a holiday villas style break where the boys could chill by the pool and we’d have the privacy which teenagers so crave. Somewhere we could regroup and connect as a family without the distractions of modern family life, my thinking here was a holiday where we were all relaxed, free from everyday distractions and could just eat, swim and be happy. No Playstation, no chore pressure and total escapism while exploring a new country. It’s a whole new agenda taking kids away as a single parent and while the idea of having other adults to converse with, it’s also quite hard being the only single parent while there’s a lot of families around. This option would mean no reminders.

Or the wildcard, I’ve considered staying local, not local – local, but saving up for a cheap campervan and taking the kiddos on some festival breaks and exploring all our country has to offer. This way we still get some time together and away from the house but in a little and often type way. My only goal is memory making and clinging on to the last few holidays we’ll probably take as a family, I’ve got absolutely no idea when the day will come when my eldest prefers to go away with his friends than his brothers and I but I’ve got a sneaky feeling this could be the last so I’d like to create a holiday where we look back and reminisce and they think, yeah, I actually quite enjoyed that week with mum.

What are your options for a family holiday as a single parent with teenagers

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