Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Friday 31 May 2013


I must admit, I'm a bit late in the game with play suits, however, I am making up for lost time and have been hunting the high street for my favorite designs. There is such a selection, you can make a play suit work for a sophisticated night out by teaming my Zara pick with high heals and statement accessories or (depending on dress code) why not pair this demure Oasis number with opaque tights and jacket for the office. I love how fun the prints are, I absolutely adore the super-cute bunny design and the Aztec prints on the high street give you an endless selection to hit this trend. I really enjoy a pocket and it seems 90% of the play suits I've looked at have them too. Result.

From left to right:



So girls, have you tried out the play suit yet?

Thursday 30 May 2013

Summer preparation

June to me is officially summer time, even if the weather isn't too sure about it. Therefore next week, come rain or shine I will be embracing my summer wardrobe. Shorts, dresses, play suits and skirts here we come.

Summer time does need a little more maintenance beauty wise, so I've got a few of my top picks to help you make the transition, seamlessly.

Higher hemlines insists super-smooth pins, but being hair free is half the story, you also need to make sure they are well moisturised. Team Gillette & Olay's razor blades with an intense moisturiser, such as Dove Purely Pampering Body Cream. I'm starting to prep for bikini season by using Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control Cream which includes massage instructions to get the best results from the product.

As well as booking in my pedi, I have been applying Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Nourishing Foot Cream nightly, to get my feet ready for flip-flops.

Whist we worry about the parts of our body that are kept under wraps during the winter months, we can often forget our completion, a great moisturiser is really important during the summer months, I'm currently loving Skin Regime Comfort Zone, Juvenate Pro Rich Cream as the texture is really light but highly hydrating. Show off your great sun kissed skin by using Oral B 3D whitening toothpaste, a bright smile will make such a more noticeable difference to your summer look than you'd think.
Beautysets - Get Summer Ready

Oral-B 3D White Brilliance Toothpaste 75ml/£3.49
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Nourishing Foot Cream For Dry Or Damaged Feet 100ml/£5.10
Gillette Venus & Olay Razor £10.99
Dove Purely Pampering Body Cream 300ml/£4.99
Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control 200ml/£36
6 Comfort Zone Skin RegimeJuvenate Pro Rich Cream 55ml/£62.50

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Zara finds

I am currently LOVING Zara. I need to be banned, every time I go in I find another item I just can't leave in the store. There statement neacklaces are stunning and make any outfit suddenly special, this pearl number is just one of the collection I have snapped up. They have also got a selection of summer dresses that can transition between work, summer social events or an evening in a beer garden. 

I must stop buying shorts as the number of days in the year arm enough to get my pins out are numbered, however, the selection of super flattering tailored shorts persuaded me into these waisted red beauties. Which could also be teamed with a summer sweater, such as the cream and gold embroidered knit below. 

Bird print seems to be everywhere this season, as it is in Zara, and the pretty muted pastels in this cami is simply stunning, a complete contrast to the Neon messenger bag that is currently calling to me!

So ladies, have you been tempted to any Zara purchases recently? X

.Beautysets - Zara finds

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Nails of the day: Shellac French At The Brooklands Hotel

A manicure does make me feel so well groomed even if the rest of my style is more disheveled, and nothing quite beats the French mani for a look effortless polished elegance.

This fitted in perfectly with the venue of my manicure, The Brooklands Hotel, which teams super stylish accommodation with a gorgeous boutique spa (See my previous review here). They have recently started offering my favorite CND shellac manicure (see my general review of shellac here for more info) and as the colors that were jumping out to me had donned my talons previously, I decided to opt for a French.

My therapist was such a perfectionist in applying the two coats of 'Studio White' to the tips of my nails, which is exactly what is required for a natural look, then popped a coat of 'Clearly Pink' which is basically a clear polish with a subtle pink tone, which also helps the manicure look like your natural nails, on a really good day! The sheerness of the pink also means that when the mani starts to grow out, it is far less obvious than a regular shellac, so helpfully it will keep looking fabulous for over the normal two weeks.

I'm so pleased with this French manicure, the white tips are really slim, which avoids them looking too false. The Brooklands Hotel are currently running a promotion on their Shellac Manicures, at £20, rather than the normal £35.

PS - here is my step-by-step guide to shellac removal, so you don't need to pay the extra to have it removed professionally x

Thursday 23 May 2013

Destination Skin Agera Oxygen Facial

The husband is due back from a few months away tomorrow, so yesterday was a day of grooming in preparation to look my tip top best.

My completion may have given the game away that I've been having a few too many girlie nights out and been comforting eating on chocolate, so a must needed facial was on the must list.

So after work I popped to my local Destination Skin clinic, to be exfoliated and moisturised to perfection.

The session started with a skin consultation where I shared any concerns about my skin, which is mainly dehydration and dryness. The treatment then started with my skin being cleansed to remove my  make up, then a powerful exfoliant was applied, which did make my skin tingle, as destination Skin use pharmaceutical grade products which maybe stronger than you are used to, but the sensation goes as soon as the product is removed along with dead skin cells, leaving myskin soft and smooth.

Hydrating and firming masks where then applied and then I enjoyed a face, neck, shoulder and hand massage, bliss! Whilst being great for relaxation, the massage also improves circulation which energises the skin and helps the removal of toxins.
Finally a selection of serums and moisturisers were applied to help restore a hydration and boost the glow in my completion, leaving my skin feeling dewy and firm without that greasy feeling.
My Agera Oxygen Facial lasted 45 mins using DermaQuest products, which usually costs £50, but new customers can enjoy 50%  off their first treatment and 20% off the products.
I was recommended the DermaQuest C Infusion (£75/1oz) and Advanced B5 Serum (£60/1oz) to help keep my skin hydrated and full of antioxidants.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

I do love the look of a lip gloss, however, the super sticky formulas, however great they look do drive me mad when my hair gets stuck to it! I have found a fantastic product from Clarins, which looks super shiny, like my favourite glosses, but hav the texture and feel of a balm. Containing shea butter and mango which also softens and protects your lips.
The equisit packaging from Clarins also makes them feel like such a luxourious treat, I love the little red boxes!
The 3D optic pigment hlps to smooth your lips whilst adding shine and helps to make your lips look fuller too. Each of the shades has a subtle hint of colour, which I love for a natural day look.
 From left to right: Petal Shimmer, Candy Shimmer, Rosewood Shimmer.
Today I opted for Candy Shimmer, which was super easy to apply with the sponge tip applicator which does feel lovely and soft on your lips.
The elegant tubes are priced at £17/12ml

Wednesday 22 May 2013

bmb crafts: Make a pinboard

I found this old pinboard and decided that I wasn't going to chuck it out, but would give it a new lease of life!

The first thing to do was to choose the fabric I wanted to use to that would tie in with my decor. I wanted to emulate The White Company, so chose a grey fabric from John Lewis and some ivory ribbon with grey stitching from ebay. Then I found my staple gun and got going.
Luckily I had made sure that I had measured out mt pin board before popping into JLs and made sure that had a good 10cm extra in length and width to ensure the fabric would fit around the board and the wadding that I put down first. I stapled this all the way round, making sure it was all nice an snug without any pulls.


I had far too much fabric left over, so trimmed down until it was all nice and neat.

Next I added the ribbon (which is going to hold all your pretty invites, cards etc) again, using my trusty staple gun. I started with a cross, then measured out where I wanted my other ribbons to get an even spread, pinning the ribbon in position.

As a final touch, I placed peal headed pins where the ribbons crossed, but aw well as looking pretty, this will keep the ribbons and your goodies in place, again, these pins were found at John Lewis (what don't they sell?!) Depending on the length of the pin and the thickness of your board, you may need to bend the point end around using a pair of pliers to prevent scratching on your wall, or a sore finger!

An ta-da! My finished pin board, ready to be hung up and filled with the pretty!


Tuesday 21 May 2013

Orla Kiely Beauty Goodies

I absolutely love the instantly recognizable Orla Kiely prints, especially her signature stem design, which I would plaster everywhere if I had my way... Therefore I fell in love with these gorgeous goodies as soon as they popped into the post box last week.
The packaging is super cute and feels luxurious, just as you would expect from the Orla brand. Immediately I  opened up the perfume, which is really light, flora scent, perfect for this time of year. The top notes contain green tea, peach and fig, which combines with rose extract and white flower together with base notes of cedarwood, sandalwood and musk. It smells expensive and spa-like without being over powering. As well as the perfume (£55/100ml) there is also a shower gel (£17.95/250ml) and body cream (£29.95) in the same fragrance, which would make such a lovely gift.
Orla has recently launched a geranium soap bar (£8/100g), scented with geranium and embossed with the stem print, which make it far too pretty to use! However, I did manage to and in my shower the blend of essential oils smelt divine whist the coconut oil helped to cleanse the skin. 

My final Orla goodie, which I have saved until last, is part of the home fragrance collection. This primrose and bergamot candle (£24.00/200g, 50 hours burn time) gives a feminine and  refreshing aroma, perfect for my dressing table. The glass is patterned with Orla's print and even comes with a cute matching candle coaster. If candle's aren't your thing, the same fragrance is available in a reed diffuser.


Monday 20 May 2013

Monday Mani: L'Oreal Dating Coral with a stripe

On Friday night I had a girlie evening planned, we sipped prosecco nibbled chocolate and had music channels on in the background while I had a catch up with the lovely Laura.
In preparation, I popped on one of my favourite nail varnishes, L'Oreal Dating Coral (£4.99) I even love the name! But to jazz it up slightly I added a couple of stripes of gold striping tape to my ring finger. You can buy this really cheaply on ebay.
Make sure you put it on after your coloured coat has dried, so if your first positioning isn't perfect you can move it around, then when you are happy, trim the tape and add a couple of layers of top coat to seal it in.

Friday 17 May 2013

Botanical BB cream

My pre-work beauty regime is a series of steps performed in a robotic fashion as I struggle to wake myself up, so having my fail safe products is essential!

A fabulous BB cream is my go-to for a flawless completion, and I have recently started using the offering from Botanics. The medium tone really suits my suit colouring, giving a warm glow that doesn't  make me look like my face took a holiday and left my body behind!
  The product hydrated the skin but doesn't leave any sticky residue, it also has great SPF 30 protection, many other BB creams only have SPF 15, so perfect as the sun's rays are getting stronger.
As you would expect from Botanics, which is developed with Kew Gardens, it contains some super plant goodness also, the ingredients list on this beauty includes ginkgo, which contains natural antioxidants to prevent free radicals from degrading your natural collagen and elastin, which give your skin it's youthful appearance.
The 50 ml tube is £8.99

Thursday 16 May 2013

Swiss Army Perfume Victorinox Victoria

Swiss army are know for their super gadgets, however, they have also brought out a Eau de toilette, Victoria. This youthful, fruity, sweet perfume contains top notes of freesia, plum and black current and base notes of sandalwood and white musk.

To celebrate the launch, a micro site is currently being hosted where you can pick digital flowers to create your own bouquet, which you can send on a post card, with a perfume sample to yourself, or a friend. What a cute little gift to get in the post, or send as an card to brighten someone's inbox!
Here is my bouquets attempt from the site.

The 100ml bottle is priced at £51.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Nails of the day: Beauty UK Olympic Bronze

Although I have been aching to get the pastels back on my nails the lack of sunshine has rained on my parade, so instead I have pained my talons with this bronze metallic beauty. I have had so many compliments on it today, it is such a lovely shade which has got just he right level of sheen and glow to look expensive rather than tacky.

When I first brushed it on, it did look a bit streaky, but these disappeared when the polish dried. Being so highly pigmented I only needed one coat, but this does mean that chipping occurs slightly quicker than when your loaded up the layers.

Beauty UK is such an affordable brand, this 'posh polish' costing £3.49 but the packaging is still super cute.

Monday 13 May 2013

Naked hair care

Last week a little package from naked popped through my door and I couldn't wait to try this hair care range, as the products are 97% natural, free from the nasties (sulphate so parabens and petrochemicals) exchanging them more gentle ingredients.

I tried out the hydrating shampoo, which contains honey and mallow, which gives a subtle aroma to he product. Being free from sulphates it has a softer lather, but if you need the soapy suds feeling, you can just use more, or the lather become thicker if you do a second shampoo. The hydrating properties don't stop at the hair follicle, as the natural ingredients don't strip your scalp of the essential oils that keep your skin moisturised. This also will help if you are susceptible to skin irritation or dandruff. The gentle ingredients are also kind on colour, so will help keep the skinny highlights I've just had in my hair looks fresh.

I then followed up with the hydrating conditioner, which is brimming with buttermilk and green tea to improve the elasticity of your hair cultivar, which helps with glossiness of your locks. It did leave my hair feeling super smooth, but none of the plastic feeling you get from some other brands, due to zero petrochemical  residue.

The final product from the range I've got my hands on is the extra shiny finishing serum. As you hopefully can see in the photo, the serum is full if iridescent particles which help give you the swish factor, but the elimination of silicon means that you won't get synthetic product build up, which can damage the hair, causing weakness and loss of natural sheen.

All these naked goodies are under £5 and available from Boots.


Thursday 9 May 2013

Nails of the day: MAC Steamy and No 7 So Simple

I love a bright pink nail, and since my super generous friend Victoria treated me to this shade by MAC, I have be looking forward to popping it on. However, I also received nail striping tape, so decided to do a little nail art on my ring finger, using the technique detailed by the nailasaurus. Where I popped my fav nude by No 7, So Simple underneath, to reveal skinny stripes.


Wednesday 8 May 2013

Get Beach Ready

The bank holiday weekend gave us a glimpse into summer, but I was totally caught unawares. My feet are not pedicure perfect and my legs remained under a maxi or ice cream denim to hide my see-through skin.

Although the sunshine has now faded I am resolved not to be caught out again, I will be thoroughly exfoliating off all the hard winter skin, starting a (fake) tanning regime and booking my pedicure ASAP.
If this all sounds a bit like hard work, Destination Skin have announced their top 10 pre-holiday must haves to help you out. Being a registered doctors on the high street, they can sort out all sorts of skin imperfections you have been ignoring through the endless winter. Treatments ranging rom mole removal to skin peels and resurfacing, you can be left looking and feeling your best, ready to hit the beach, or the local park...

My skin is desperate for a Intraceuticals Infusion, loved by Miranda Kerr, Maddona and Justin Timberlake, which uses pure oxygen to infuse moisture into the face to give the dewy summer skin I crave! (£135, with Atoxelene boost £185) but there are treatments on a more mostest budget such as the Agera Oxygen Facial (£50) perfect for giving tired skin a boost.

There is also a promotion running for new customers to Destination Skin to receive 50% off their first treatment!

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