Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Friday 26 August 2016

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Summer Makeup

You may guess from the peonies in these pictures that I am a bit behind in blogging and shot these pics a while ago... however, I couldn't let the summer pass without sharing the gorgeous Sunset Bronze make up collection from Elizabeth Arden - perfect if you have any September sun booked. If you have, I'm very jealous!

The item I am OBSESSED with from this collection is the  Sunset Bronze Prismatic Bronzing Powder (£28) - it has been my bronzer of the Summer. It has enough pigment to give you a proper 'I've been on holiday' sun kissed completion when actually you've been donning a hat and layering up the SPF 50. The combination of highlighting and bronze shades gives a subtle glow that is really pretty and summery.

Having green eyes purple eye shades are the hue I should choose, so the Sunset Bronze Prismatic Eye Shadow Palette in Summer Seduction (£25) is fabulous. I tend to use the more neutral and bronze shades for day and casual evening looks and add the plum as a eyeliner for a pop of colour for summer nights out. 

The collection also featured Sunset Bronze Prismatic Lip Glosses (£18) in Midnight Kiss, Moonlight Kiss and Sunset Kiss. I'm not a big fan of a sparkly lip gloss so they guys aren't really my vibe. However, you can layer over Lipstick to add volume to your lips.


Sunday 21 August 2016

Daily Shower Spa

I adore a bath, the ritual of lighting candles, dimming the lights, filling my tub with gorgeous smelling products, donning a face and hair mask and then having a really long soak - maybe even popping my current box set on the iPad..... When I was pregnant I did this multiple times a week, but now I just don't seem to have the time (who really does?) and having a bath is a rare treat. So I've teamed up with Dove to coincide with the launch of their new nourishing care & oil range to see if we can get a little express spa-style ritual into our everyday routine.

Post Sponsored by Dove

Although I love my pampering and beauty, in the mornings I do just rush through the shower on auto-pilot so that I can get on with my day. The Hammams of Morocco however, would say I am missing a trick and taking a few minutes in your morning shower is one of the best routines you can have for your wellness to purify and calm your body and soul, giving you the best start to your day.

I've taken Dove and the Hammams advice on board and I've been trying to recreate a little daily spa time every morning that doesn't eat into my precious time - as most of us would swap a few minutes extra in bed for anything!

Obviously there is no time for candles in the morning, but I have popped a diffuser in my shower room to give a zero-effort spa vibe. I love Neom home fragrances, they contain essential oils to help work on your mood as well as smelling beautiful. Their Scent To Destress might not be particularly Moroccan, but containing essential oils including lavender, jasmine & Brazilian rosewood, blended to help you feel calm and banish stress sounded spot on.

In the shower I've fallen in love with the Dove Nourishing Shower Oil enriched with non-greys Moroccan Argan oil. Feeling so luxurious to glide onto your skin and then transforms into a beautifully fragranced lather to cleanse and nourish the skin whilst leaving your skin protected with more than 55% natural oils.

If your not into shower oils (you must try even if you're skeptical....) included in this launch is the Dove nourishing care and oil body wash, again containing Moroccan oil with leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.

Getting into the oil based spa-cleansing zone I've also been using Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing gel (£21) on my face, which again goes on to the skin with an oil-based texture and transforms into a silky milk in contact with water to wash away impurities. Popping on a towelling headband keeps your hair dry and helps get you in the spa-mood too, mine is made of bamboo (Hydrea Bamboo Head Band-Wrap £5.18) which makes it really soft too. 

Dove also gave me some tips from Marie Reynold, a spa, skin and wellness expert and some of them are easy to incorporate into your morning shower. Try using your shower time to wash away your metal and emotional stress, so taking a few deep breaths whilst under the water to help clear your mind - it does feel really good. The temperature of your shower is important too, go warm as if you go too hot this can strip away the skins essential oils and dehydrate your hair too. If you can bear it, Marie recommends a 1 minute blast of cold water to help tone the skin and stimulate your brain and body too. During the summer this is all well and good, but I don't think this is for me any time post-septmeber!

We were lucky enough to renovate our house when you bought it and putting in heated towel rails was a must for me, having a warm dry town to wrap up is always a welcome treat. I've then been popping on the beautiful Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense Body Crème from the Jo Malone (£60) to add to the luxury and hydration from the Dove nourishing care & oil shower oil and wrapping myself up in my dressing gown from The White Company (£55).

I just need the husband to bring me some green tea when I'm done....

Post Sponsored by Dove

Friday 19 August 2016

Toddler on Tour: Our Summer Holiday

When your day job follows you on holiday you need to make contingencies. 

Our was opting for a Mark Warner Holiday were childcare is a main element of the trip with built in british nannies. 

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Sophie, but I love her even more when I’ve had a bit of time to myself and with a long summer holiday ahead of us, with plenty of quality time together, I felt that having morning creche for her and giving me and my chap some time to ourselves was a good plan. So off to Levante Beach resort in Rhodes we went - on chartered BA flights from Heathrow terminal 5 - at a not too an ungodly hour… where we arrived at our beautiful 5* hotel.

With beautiful flowers at every turn.

Stunning bougainvillea.

 The main focus is obviously families, so there is a play ground, baby pool (where we were found every afternoon) and family pools to keep the little ones entertained

The adults aren’t forgotten too with a peaceful adult-only swimming pool and elegant pan-asian restaurant. I recommend the teriyaki salmon and the lycées with ice-cream...

 So if chilling by the pool is your thing, grabbing a lounger and swapping between reading a book, snoozing and sipping/nibbling on something rather lovely from the bar is totally acceptable. 

Marrying a military man, that was never going to be on our agenda for too long, so we tried out all of the activities. Paddlebording, windsurfing, sailing were all on our to do list whilst the littlest Libbey was happy in the air conditioned creche where we had help with the basics and took off to sea on our own. 

Not a child-free minute is wasted, with the waterfront staff being so slick they have the equipment ready and waiting for you by the time you get to the shore.

We shunned the bike trips as they looked a bit serious with everyone kitted out in their lycra and instead opted for our own little cycle trip up to the beautiful Anthony Quinn Bay where lemon Fanta quenched our thirst and we cooled down in the stunningly clear water.

 Having dinner at 5pm and then sitting quietly in our hotel room after Sophie went to bed didn’t sound like too much fun, so the option of evening childcare was grabbed with both hands. 

We took little S to children dinner, got her bathed and in her PJs then she went to watch a disney film and popped to bed in the creche before we scooped her up after dinner and took her back to our room.

Oh we had a lovely time! We are already looking to book again for next year with more of the family, and I'm currently looking at their ski offerings too...

***Mark Warner have kindly offered my readers a discount of £100 per booking by quoting code ‘blogme100’ or entering the same code on their website***

This is applicable to summer 2017 bookings
Book between now and 8th September 2017
This cannot be combined with other discount codes/ or offered in retrospect direct bookings only


Wednesday 10 August 2016

OOTD: Great Goodwood Races

Summer is the season for sporting events, although I'm not a die-hard spectator of any particular sport, if it's a sunny day and there is a promise of a picnic or a glass of something bubbly, I'm game. So when the opportunity to attend Great Goodwood Ladies Day with Dove popped up I was super keen to head to the Cotswolds for a flutter on the geegees.

So, what to wear? Although the dress code depends on which enclosure you pick, I think its fun to get your glam on when going to the races. 'Dressing as if you are attending a wedding' was the advice  given from Great Goodwood and I think this is perfect guidance for the races for all seasons.

Dove had encouraged us to be colour confident and dress in brightly coloured frocks to celebrate their Invisible Dry Deodorant which has been proven not to leave white marks on 100 colours but still contains 1/4 moisturising cream to take care of your underarms. I love wearing colour, so I was really excited about hitting the shops, but I then realised that I was searching for a summer dress just as the first of the autumn collections were starting to come in and was unsuccessful... so decided to wear an old faithful. This bright coral number was my bridesmaid's dress at my best friend's wedding a few years ago, but the flattering cut has meant that Coast include something similar each season and here is a similar version in the sale. I teamed it with a pale pink-nude blazer and hat for contrast - although I must admit the hat didn't stay on that long! I wore some sparkly flip-flop sandals to and from the event as I was on and off trains, but stepped into my fave LK Bennet Sledge court shoes before getting out my car. I love how they elongate my legs and make me feel glamorous whilst still being really comfortable.

We were totally spoilt and spent the afternoon sipping champagne whilst we placed our bets, enjoying a three course lunch in our private box overlooking the finishing line. I cheered on my horses and jockeys but sadly this wasn't enough and I didn't pick any winners... luckily I had only ever placed the minimum bet!

I love a bit of people watching and really enjoyed seeing what all the other ladies were wearing - our box was a vibrant rainbow as we had all risen to the challenge set by Dove - I've made a mental note add canary yellow and emerald green to my wardrobe! I must now give myself the goal of staying colourful over the winter months rather than going into my black and grey uniform once October hits.

Thank you Dove for a fabulous day - stay colourful people!

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