Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Saturday 31 October 2015

Baby Halloween

Happy Halloween! I hope that you've got some lovely plans. Mine kicked off yesterday with by hosting a baby's first Halloween party. With fifteen of my NCT, post natal group and neighbours coming over, I hot-footed it to Waitrose on Thursday evening to stock up on decorations and yummy treats.

I didn't have the time or inclination this year to make a pumpkin lamp and as the party was in the morning I didn't feel it would be as effective. So, instead, I popped a whole pumpkin and three munchkins on my island unit with a sparkly spider some candles.

Around the house I dangled and draped the remaining spiders, fluffy little bats happy Halloween banner and bat foils, then to get us truly in the mood I found a terrible Halloween playlist on Spotify - one track was just wolves howling. Not ideal.

All though I had tempted the mummies over with bubbles - they were never popped and instead we settled with tea and coffee, which was probably best at 10am... Although I had envisaged that I would bake up beautiful themes cakes and treats, inevitably I outsourced. I was a little disappointed with selection of Halloween cakes in the supermarkets - but I opted for Waitrose pumpkin decorated cupcakes and Halloween fondant fancies.

I had got thinking about Baby Sophie's costume a few weeks ago - you may have seen my post on my top choices. The girls as F&F at tesco did see it and thoughtfully sent Soph the baby ghost costume. She looked adorable in the tutu style dress and the Boo! tights will surly get another wear! The other babies all made the effort too, with some going the extra mile and handmaking costumes - Finn the spider and Count Ernie have very creative mums!

I was the only adult to join the babies in getting dressed up. Thankfully I had only made a gesture rather than going the hole hog - dressed in black with a cat ear headband and making a few whiskers with some eyeliner.

As soon as the party was over we grabbed the decorations and jumped in the pre-packed car off to the inlaws in Devon, (yup totally forgot to take off the cat makeup...) where I re hung the decorations ready for the rest of the weekend. Thankfully S managed to keep her outfit relatively clean so it can come back out for a re-show today.

So all in all a fabulous, but busy, 1st Halloween for baby Sophie. 


Monday 26 October 2015

Mani Monday: Leighton Denny I Am Goddess Collection

With the rugby on downstairs, husband, brother-in-law and baby are kept busy, so I've got my hands free and I'm trying out the latest nail launch from Leighton Denny, the I Am Goddess Collection.

I don't have oodles of time to swatch each shade for you, as much as I would like to, but I have currently got each finger painted one of the new 7 colours so I can give my option on these duo-chrome and glitter effect polishes.

My favourite of the shades is Venus Desire (bottom middle of the main shot, which is a deep brown shade with rose-gold shimmer, whereas Aphrodite (top middle) in a similar ilk have a olive base with purple shimmer, both looking elegantly luxe, perfect for an autumnal nail.

The two other shimmer shades are Athena Divine (blue-pink with purple shimmer) and Tell Me Arora (clear polish with a mixture of golden and holographic sparkles of different sizes) will be fabulous for the party season.

I am less of a fan of the metallic shades Radiant Rhea (red) Calypso Kiss (fuchsia) which compared to the glitter shades, just aren't as exciting. I do, however, like Queen Hera, which is a metallic, chrome nude.

The polishes all applied really well, with only one or two coats needed to give excellent coverage and they dried really quickly too. I was also super impressed with how easily the shimmer shades came off, as normally I am scrubbiest away for ages trying to remove glitter polishes!

Each polish his £11 and available from M&S, John Lewis, Fenwicks, Look Fantastic and other stockists.


Saturday 24 October 2015

What are you doing with that extra hour?

So BST is finally over, with the clocks going back this weekend. To lessen the blow of the dark afternoons, at least we are given an extra hour. So what are you planning on doing with it? 

Well, I would love to use that extra hour for a bit of pampering and relaxation. I’d light my Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom candle (£42 John Lewis) whilst having a lovely long bath. During which I’d be getting rid of the dry skin that has been appearing with Dove’s gentle exfoliating nourishing body wash (£2.55 Tesco - currently only £1). Afterwards I'd be popping on my Jimmi Jamms Heritage set PJs (£26 Jimmi Jamms) and treating myself to one of my fav facemarks, Glam Glow Supermud (£45 Space NK) that draws out all your impurities and leaves your skin feeling super clean and tingling.

Realistically, as my mummy friend pointed out, with a baby, you’ll go to bed later, and just have to get up earlier, I really hope Sophie has got the memo and enjoys her extra hour on sunday morning! (ps - my alarm clock is from The White Company £35)

What will you be doing with that extra hour?


Monday 19 October 2015

Mani Monday: deborah lippmann She Wolf

I haven't done a mani monday for a few weeks, in fact since I was snapping my nails in the sunshine from Cannes - which now feels a lifetime ago! Three shellacs on the trot have taken their toll on my talons, so I've cut them down to the shortest possible length to help get them back to strength,  been applying my fav nail strengthener Dr Lewinn, so I've been pretty bare in the nails department recently. (My cuticles are also in a bad state and I'm really trying to do better, but as soon as I pop on some hand cream/nail oil I seem to have to wash my hands which just dries them out again....)

I chose a cracker therefore for today's Mani Monday, a taupe called She Wholf (£16 Look Fantastic) from deborah lippmann's AW15 ROAR collection. It literally goes with everything and looks pretty stylish (in my humble opinion!) I am already eyeing up some more nude shades to be brushing on my nails for upcoming mani Mondays - what type of nude do you like, pinks, browns or taupes? Love to hear back in the comments box below!


Sunday 18 October 2015

Current Home Fragrance: The White Company Cassis

With the chill in the air, I've dug out all my knitwear and I grab a scarf on every trip out of the house. The Indian summer has ended and autumn seems to be rapidly becoming winter. I love every change of season, from the update of stock in the shops to the different food we eat. 

The White Company Cassis

Another change for me as we head to the colder months is the fragrance I have in my home. I love all the rich and spicy scents that I will fill my home with in a month or so ready from Christmas, but I need a transitional scent for Autumn which is perfectly met in Cassis from The White Company. 

A scent that combines notes of fruity ripe blackberries and blackcurrants with a relaxing woody base of cedar, clove and patchouli that encapsulates the season. The berries remind me of welly walks and the warm cedar of being snuggled up under a blanket. I am a big fan of The White Company home fragrances, they are an affordable luxury brand with the slow burning 180g candle (The White Company Cassis Signature Candle £20) giving 28 hours of burning time that fills the room with its rich aroma. The diffuser (The White Company Cassis Scent Diffuser £25) gives a real noticeable scent to the room and as long as you don’t rotate the sticks too often it will last you for a couple of months. I do like a matching candle and diffuser in my kitchen to banish any cooking smells and make it an inviting space. A Home Spray is also available in this range for an immediate burst of fragrance (£15)

I’m currently having a fabulous time compelling my favourite candles for Christmas, so please let me know if you have any favourites I need to try! 

The White Company Cassis


Friday 16 October 2015

Baby's first Halloween

During uni days, Halloween was an excuse to don the devil ears and red lipstick and go out to a week full of parties. Since then, it has slightly fallen off my radar, other than hiding from trick-or-treaters. This year, however I am hosting my first Halloween party. Much has changed since those hazy uni days, for starters its an afternoon affair, finishing ready for afternoon nap time and I'm pretty sure theres not going to be any vodka jelly.

It is baby Sophie's first Halloween, so her baby friends (well my mummy pals and their babes) are using it as an excuse to get dressed up and have some spider-themed cakes. Time is running out to get her the perfect costume, but I've narrowed it down to a final edit. The bat costume from Mothercare is my total fave, but potentially a bit too masculine for my baby girl. I'm also a big fan of the ghost - who doesn't want tights with Boo! written all over them. I'm not really one for subtly with dressing up, so as much as I love the Gap vests and Blade and Rose Pumpkin Leggings (£10), I'm not sure they will make it to the checkout!

Which is your fave? What shall I purchase for little Sophie's Halloween party outfit? Answers on the back of a postcard please (or as a comment below!)

5 Baby Gap The Boo! and Little Devil baby grows £9.95 (in store only)

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Autumn Walk along the river wearing Primark AW collection

I love a trip to Putney and it has become a regular haunt in the last six months with one of my besties who lives their being on mat-leave as well. After the babies decided to have a nap-relay when one was asleep whist the other awake, we had to stay in for longer than we wanted, but as soon as they were both awake, we headed out to the Embankment to enjoy the autumnal sunshine and the goreouse Thames views, watching the rowers and boats enjoying the good weather too.

Helen was my photographer (with two buggies by her side!) and snapped up this autumnal outfit - which was mainly from Primark, so an absolute bargain.

Shirt-jumper £12 approx - can't remember or find online, but is in stores! Primark


Thursday 8 October 2015

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

urban decay naked smoky

The Urban Decay Naked palettes are heralded as THE eyeshadows to own. I have to admit, although I have lusted after of the original Naked trilogy of palettes, I had yet to own one. So when the latest addition Naked Smoky (£38 John Lewis) popped through my letter box I was very excited.

Firstly, the packaging is gorgeous, the smoke effect on the box is repeated on the chucky plastic with the name embossed on the surface. Inside, a super sized mirror is really helpful for application away from your dressing table and a deep infill of each shadow is named ready to be sampled. I was also super impressed by the brush - normally brushes that come with pallets aren't very soft and are pretty ineffective. This however, has a shadow brush for sweeping base colours across your lip and blending along with a smudge brush.

The range of shades are gorgeous and all really useable and wearable with excellent pigmentation and stating power. On lazy days, the two far right nudes (Combust and Thirteen) I use alone, or add in the dark browns and greys (l love Whiskey, Password and the dark purple Smolder) to give a quick smoky eye. If I have more time on my hands, I follow one of the 4  different tutorials to create different smoky looks.

This pallet is great for make up lovers who spend time on their eye makeup, or if you just want a bit more help to get glam with a smoky eye!


Tuesday 6 October 2015

l'absolu for her Narciso Rodriguez

l'absolu for her Narciso Rodriguez

After last's week's Indian Summer vibe, I feel that autumn has arrived. There is a real chill in the morning air and my toes and their fading tan have been covered up with woolly tights and socks. As much as it saddens me to say goodbye to the warmer months, I love autumn. The beautiful colours of the changing leaves, bright blue skies on sunny days and starting to wrap up. It's this time that I start changing from light bright summer scents to a warmer spicer fragrance too.

l'absolu for her by Narciso Rodriguez (£39/30ml House of Fraser) is the perfect autumnal aroma for me. I love Narciso Rodriguez other frangrances, in particular Narciso (see post here) which I wore daily last summer. All of his fragrances are bottled simply, elegantly and beautifully. All coloured internally, you don't get the half-used look, so they always look brand new and as if full of an opaque fluid, with the burgundy of l'absolu looking gorgeous for this season.

More importantly, the enticing fragrance from within containing jasmine, patchouli and sandalwood teamed with oriental spices has a real warmth to it and you feel as if you are being wrapped up in the softest cashmere scarf. Often I find warm and spicy fragrances slightly androgynous, however, the jasmine and patchouli keep it ultra feminine.

This is going to be worn a lot over the next few months by me - what autumn fragrances are on your lust list?


Sunday 4 October 2015

Night Cream Edit

A week or so ago, I was out to dinner with some girlfriends and we got onto the discussion of what night creams we used. Can you tell we have left the care-free-skin-twenties long behind us now?! Having tried more than my fair share, I thought I’d widen the circle and share my thoughts on some of my faves and newbies with you too. 

I have included Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Night Cream (£42 Debenhams) in a couple of posts recently as it is my current go-to. I love the sleek packaging, how it makes my skin feel so plump and dry after application and as it helps the skin’r renewable process it makes my skin look brighter than it should after a broken night’s sleep. 

 Being a mummy is taking its toll on my skin, I am spotting wrinkles now that I’m sure were not there before and I’ve been reaching more frequently for Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream (£17.51 Amazon). Containing a combination of micronutrients, Copper PCA and Calcium PCA it helps aid skin’s elasticity which in turn fights those wrinkles! 

 I am a big fan of No 7 and their budget friendly Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Night Cream (£24.95 Boots) which uses peptide technology to help fight and prevent wrinkles and I find it really hydrating too.

Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep (£26.50 Boots)is a new night cream designed to help fight the signs of fatigue by mimicking the skin’s activity during deep sleep, even if your not getting much of it - perfect for new mums! Helping my skin look more luminous and well rested. 

 Nuxe Nuxellence Detox (£47 M&S) is my final reccomenation which is perfect for party girls or city workers, as it detoxifies your skin cells overnight to leave you with a glowing morning complextion. The toxins can cause your pores to block leading the break outs and leave your skin looking grey and lifeless.

Do let me know if you have any night cream recommendations too!


Friday 2 October 2015

Hair Edit: Leave in conditioners

Although my hair is fine and I'm always trying to add volume, it is also really tangly. I'm always on the hunt, therefore, for a leave in conditioner that helps me to get a comb through it, but doesn't leave my locks limp and lifeless.

Unite 7 Seconds Conditioner (£16.95/236ml) is my fave go-to leave in. I spritz through my mid lengths where I tend to get my tangles and it turns the birds nest into a tame mane (with the help of a bit of combing of course). It also containing UV and thermal protectors, so you don't need to load them on too. Its fragrance is light and floral, I don't notice it at all now, which I really like as I don't feel like I have a load of different fragrances layered on my hair.

I've also been enjoying Macadamia Professional Weightless Moisture Leave-In Conditioning Mist (£8.95/100ml) as an alternative, especially for when I go away as the small 100ml bottle is far more transportable! Also, it contains an oil based complex, which is I find more moisturising,  which I like when I've been in the sunshine or moisture-zapping chlorinated pools. The pecan fragrance is also really yummy.

If I'm going for a sleek, straight style, I like to go for a more intense product such as Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Oil (£9.99/100ml). This leaves my hair shiny and super-soft. I was expecting a fine spray mist, so I did get myself into a bit of a mess on first application!

got2be All Star 10in1 styling treatment (£4.19/100ml) is another product that moisturises my hair well after washing, although it isn't a de-tangler like the others I've mentioned. It does however give shine, smoothness and holds straight and sleek styles really well, but when I've used pre-curling my waves have fallen out.

My final product Label M Rejuvenate Oil Mist (£21.20/100ml) is amazing. I use it after I've dried and styled my hair, spraying one spritz onto my hair brush and brushing through. It leaves my hair feeling SO soft and stops and tangles forming laster on. Containing Moroccan Argan oil it smells sensational too. If your hair is prone to getting dry tangles, this is most defiantly for you!


Thursday 1 October 2015

The perfect autumn scarf

For my birthday my fabulous friend bought me the most amazing orange scarf from Zara (£22.99) and I am in love. It is a massive square, so I have been wearing it folded in half as a shawl over the top of my fave All Saints leather jacket that I have had for years. It is so lovely and cozy I can see myself wearing it all autumn and winter long, paring it with my dark green coat at the mercury falls.

I teamed the gorgeous scarf with a floppy hat from La Redoute (currently in the sale for £20.30), Leigh Topshop Jeans (£40), pony skin ballet slippers from Fit Flop  (£85) and this rose gold Caravelle watch (£129 Watch Shop).

Sipping a starbucks skinny pumpkin spiced latte - I am autumn all over.

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