35 things I’ve learnt in 35 years 

So it was my birthday very recently. I celebrated my 35th, or as my charming husband renamed it my halfway to turning 70. It’s a good job I have a sense of humour!

As we grow older apparently we are supposed to get a bit wiser so I thought it would be fun to try to come up with a list of  35 things I’ve learned in my lifetime. 

Now be warned, some of that list is a bit weird, some humorous and some of it gets a bit deep. So here goes…..

1. Disney doesn’t loose its appeal just because you’re an adult. Did someone say Beauty and the Beast? 

2. It still isn’t a good idea to drink a bottle of wine on a school night. 

3. Quality really is better than quantity. On a night out I’d rather have 1 decent glass of wine than wince through a cheap shity bottle just to get drunk. 

4. Buying cheap tights is a false economy. Without fail they ladder on the first wear.

5. Running into Primark for that cheap pair of tights usually results in an unplanned shopping spree. 

6. My P.E teacher was right when she said ‘You would enjoy sports far more if you actually joined in’. Going long on the rounders pitch was perhaps a wasted opportunity. 

7.  No matter how old you get there are times when you still need a hug from your mum. 

8. It’s easy to take it for granted that your parents are always going to be around. Don’t, treasure them whilst you can. 

9. Watching Friends as a grown up is much more entertaining. There were so many jokes that went over my innocent teenage head. 

10. Comfort takes priority over being ‘on trend’. If I can’t eat a decent meal in it I’m not wearing it! 

11. I’m never going to master the art of the perfect winged eyeliner. Some of us just don’t have the skills. 

12.  Having good eyebrows can take years off how old you look. 

13. You no longer dread being asked for ID once you hit thirty. In fact on the rare occasion it happens it actually makes your day. 

14. When life gets tough it helps to have a sense of humour. 

15. I’m never going to be able to afford a Channel handbag. There’s my justification for spending £25 on a Channel eyeshadow then. 

16. You feel you’ve made it in life when you can actually afford to save for your pension. 

17. I never should have chucked those embroidered Topshop jeans that I had aged 17. Yup they would have been bang on trend right now! 

18. I should have read the Harry Potter books years ago, they really are rather good.

19. Just because you’re an adult it doesn’t mean you can escape the monthly hormonal spots. 

20. French skin care brands are the best. 

21. Grey hairs are inevitable,  we all get them eventually. 

22. Kids will always point out your flaws, such as those grey hairs or hormonal breakouts. Little buggers! 

23.Working mums guilt is a thing.

24.  If you find a job you love ‘that Monday morning feeling’ doesn’t exist. 

25. The little things in life, such as a full coffee shop loyalty card, can make the day so much better.

26. The Greggsnuts really is the best! It’s the closest I’m ever going to get to a Cronut. 

27.  You really shouldn’t fret about being single. That special someone will come along when you aren’t looking for it. 

28. Your popularity status at school will have no reflection on how successful you are as an adult.

29.  Its natural to grow apart from friends as your lives go in different directions. 

30. You might fight with your sisters growing up but as an adult they can become your closest friends.

31. Afternoon naps make me far more productive of an evening. Shame I’m working most days! 

32. My obsession with Zombie films has prepared me well for any apocalyptic situation. Don’t forget to double tap! 

33. Turns out I can only park by reversing into the parking bay and not face first.  Why??

34. It really is impossible to keep everyone in life happy, so don’t bother trying as you’ll just get your knickers in a twist. 

35. Occasionally it’s okay to put yourself first, be kind to yourself as you deserve it. 

Thanks for stopping by schoolrunbeauty.com, 

Dupe Alert! | The £5 alternative to Illamasqua hydra veil 

I am a huge a fan of Illamasqua hydra veil £32I did a full review of this hydrating gel primer back in December. I won’t go into too much detail about that product now as I would just be repeating myself. If you want to read that indepth review you can do so here. What am going to talk  about  today  though is a budget dupe I have for the primer. 

The Skin Define Hydro Prima MUA £5 is a great purse friendly alternative to the Illamasqua’s cult primer.

Now I’m going to get the flaws of opting for the budget alternative out of the way first. You aren’t going to get the same skin care benefits of the original from the MUA offering but it is 1/6 of the price. 

However If you are looking for a hydrating aqua based primer that performs in a similar way then this will do just that. 

It feels just as light and refreshing on the skin and plumps up those fine lines so you have a perfectly smooth base for applying foundation. 

In terms of longevity it isn’t quite as good as the Illamasqua primer but not enough to stop me using this for work on an everyday basis. Let’s be honest here for special occasions I will always reach for the original. 

Visually and texture wise the product is very similar. Both have a very jelly like texture that settles back smoothly in the jar after being disturbed. 

The MUA packaging is very basic looking in comparison but then if it had super fancy packaging it would cost a lot more than £5. 

The MUA Skin Define Hydro primer is a budget dupe definitely worth trying out if you can’t justify spending out £32 on Illamasqua hydra veil. 

Have you tried either of these primers before? If you have tried both do you agree with me? As always share your thoughts in the comments. 

Deal alert! -Extra 20% off Topshop sale | My top picks

Just thought I would give fellow topshop lovers the heads up. They have an awesome extra 20% of sale items. I have just been a bit naughty and order myself this velvet cold shoulder dress for a mere £4. That is including delivery!

As I’m slightly over excited by this I thought I would share with you my top picks from the Topshop sale. 
Disney Princess PJ set £9.60

This High neck twist crop top £4 would have been mine. Alas it’s not available in my size. Boo! 

Pregnant ladies how flipping gorgeous is this dress? I never wanted to spend a lot of money on clothes when I was pregnant so at £8 this is a bit of a steal. 

 I’m in love with these velvet sandals. They are just £8 and are still available in most sizes.
 I couldn’t possibly walk in these (dumb back problems) so I’m just going to admire from afar. Sigh for the days that I used to be able to totter about in shoes like these. Queue sad face! 

I have an almost identical pair of these faux leather trousers that I bought from Topshop about four years ago. At just £9.60 these are not to be missed. I paid a lot more than that for mine. 

This pale pink real leather clutch bag is now only £12. It is so classic in style so is a definite investment piece. 

Honestly there is loads of great stuff to be found at really great prices it really is worth a look. Do bear in mind the very low priced items may only be available in one size. You might be lucky though a grab a bargain like I did. 

* image credit topshop.com used for illustration and sharing purposes. 

Why this man will always be my Valentine! 

Three years ago my world had hit rock bottom. I was still struggling to deal with the prolonged effects of untreated post natal depression. My doctor at the time had been a bit shit and brushed it all under the carpet. Apparently all I needed to do was take a holiday. Wrong! 

Several years on I still hadn’t been able to learn to deal with the effect this was having on my long term mental health. As a family we struggled to do normal things like enjoy a day out because I would have a major freak out at something. Usually my husband Chris bore the brunt of this. To be quite frank I was miserable and I know he was to.

Things came to a head over something very trivial. I can remember abandoning him and the children at Liverpool Street station and basically doing a runner. In that moment my life felt like it was so bad, I couldn’t deal with it and had to get away from everything. 

I actually told Chris that I hated him and that he was the one making me miserable. 

I did go home that night and things settled into an uneasy truce. I knew I needed help and eventually did go back and see another doctor. 

I was put on anti-depressants aswell as having other tests because my physical health was not good either. I had stopped eating so was just 7 1/2 stone. This was severely underweight for my height of 5″ 7. I had lost so much muscle mass that I couldn’t support my frame properly and had put my pelvis and back out. Things were so bad I needed crutches to walk. 

I was also deficient in Vitamin B12. Other sufferers will know how much that fucks with your head! I know we are not supposed to say ‘crazy’ but I was a bit of a crazy Bitch. I’m the first to admit that now. 

Having had all my problems diagnosed and the appropriate treatment was being received things did start to improve. 

My husband was amazingly supportive throughout this time. As the mental fog was clearing I was able to see that my problems weren’t his fault and that the hate I had been throwing around was not how I felt about him. 

Unfortunately the damage had already been done to our relationship. My husband and I had grown distant and he moved out of the family home. I was devastated by this. What do they say? You don’t know what you have lost till its gone! 

It took some soul searching but Chris knew he wasn’t happy with the situation either. 

After spending sometime apart he moved back home. Together we went to a series of counselling sessions and talked through our problems. During that time I think I fell in love him all over again. It’s amazing what you learn to understand about a person when you actually stop to listen to them. 

Today I would say my marriage is stronger than it ever has been. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel loved and looked after. This isn’t because everyday is full of wild romantic gestures, nope those are usually reserved for birthdays and Valentine’s Day. 

It is often the simplest of gestures such as making sure I’ve taken my medication, bringing me home a bar of chocolate when I’m hormonal, letting me have an afternoon nap because he knows my B12 Injection is due and I’m knackered. Helping me cut up the veg for dinner, holding my hair back when I’ve been sick from drinking too much wine at his xmas party and then getting up for the school run when I’m hanging the next morning. I could go on endlessly. 

I love how good of a Dad he is, and the terrible corny ‘Dad’ jokes he tells, how we often are thinking exactly the same thing, and talk absolute crap via text message. Most off all love how he didn’t give up on me. 

So yes this is a terribly mushy post but now you know why this man will always me my Valentine. 

Anne Semonin Express Radiance Eye Cubes | Product Review 

Today I have for you a product review. I’ve been having a play around with the Anne Semonin express radiance eye cubes. Some might say that this product is an expensive gimmick, I however quite like them. 

My misspent youth saw me have one too many late nights and regularly falling asleep drunk with my eye make up on? Yep I was a bit of a bad girl! 

Meanwhile my partner in crime bestie, no matter how drunk she was, would always remove her makeup. She has always had better skin than me. Hmmm….I wonder why that is? 

Eventually her good example did rub off on me. That and being freaked out by a story once told to me by a makeup artist.  Apparently every time you go to bed with your makeup on it ages you by 10 days. Bugger! 

Yes so I’m a changed women and and religiously remove my makeup of an evening, followed by a good cleanse and moisturise. 

Here’s the thing though…. very occasionally I revert back to that bad girl of my youth. Usually this is when I may have had one to many and had to put to bed by the husband. Yes the poor man has seen me in a few states. Trouble is now in my mid thirties that bad behaviour will show on my face the next morning. I end up looking a swollen puffy hot mess! Thank good for these stashed in my freezer then. 

Here is what the brand has to say about them; 

Anne Semonin’s Express Radiance Eye Cubes are perfect for soothing stressed, irritated eyes whilst firming and nourishing the delicate eye area.
These little ice cubes are made using  Marine Spring Water & Hyaluronic Acid to help provide hydration & condition the delicate eye area.  Ginkgo Biloba helps stimulate micro-circulation and Gourd Extract alleviates inflammation and puffiness. Bioflavonoids dramatically improve the appearance of dreaded dark circles so eyes instantly appear brighter, tighter & well rested.

I keep my ice cubes stored in the freezer so that the are good to go when I need one. Each cube is  in individually sealed in a capsule to keep them hygienic. Once removed from the capsule you pop it into the little bag provided and press this under each eye till it has melted. Im guessing the bag is to protect yourself from accidentally giving yourself an ice burn. 

This does feel very refreshing, especially if your eyes are feeling sore and tired. 

Now I’m not going to lie. At £45 for 6 that is an expensive price to pay for being naughty. These are for emergency use only! 

Expense aside, If you look at my before and after pictures these do work wonders. Yes I got away with my bad behaviour on this occasion didn’t I! 

As these are so expensive I am going to have a little experiment to see if I can make my own. If I’m successful I will share a little DIY 

Have you any tips for getting rid of puffy bags? 

Do share in the comment section. 

Everything5pounds mini haul and review 

So I am very late to the party with this one. It’s not that I hadn’t heard of this website before I just didn’t think I could possibly pick up  anything worth adding to my wardrobe for £5. Well how wrong was I? ….Very!

Anyway after seeing a short YouTube clip from moneysavingexpert after they had tried the website out, I was convinced it was time I took the plunge and made my first order.

I was expecting rubbish quality, unstylish clothing. This is not the case though. A large proportion of the items available are ex high street brands. Including stores such as Topshop, New Look and Zara. Some of the items are European brands that I haven’t heard of before. The quality though is still great.

None of the brands are listed on the website so it is a surprise once you receive it if you have picked a high street label. For me that is all part of the fun.

Usually everything on this website, as the name suggests, is just £5. You then pay for postage which is set by the size of your order. On this occasion I ordered four items. As I had a discount code which also offered free delivery I only paid £19 on this occasion. (I would share that but unfortunately it is no longer valid). Even without a discount code the savings you can get are amazing.

It is worth bearing in mind that quantities are limited so stock can sell out fast. If you see something you love don’t hang around or you will be disappointed.

This is what I purchased on this occasion. If an item is still available I will leave a link to it.

Bershka high waisted black skinny Jeans.

This is a brand I hadn’t heard of before. They have a great looking website though where similar jeans are currently retailing for approximately £20.

The fit of these are great and even though very tight are super comfy.

Washed Denim Skinny Jeans.

These again are another great fitting pair of jeans. The brand is not one I recognise and the label was printed in either Japanese or Chinese. They are perfect for me to wear to work though and totally worth more than the £5 price tag.

Feather Embellished Ankle Boot.

I can not get over the quality of these boots. They arrived boxed and with individual dust bags. They have a lovely soft cosy lining so are warm and comfortable . I have worn them to work and and received lots of compliments.

The brand Nio Nio is sold on this website and styles retail between £17-£29.

Lastly I ordered this Belted Striped midi Dress. The quality is not as good as the other items but I love the style and how it fits. I still feel I have picked up a bargain and am looking forward to wearing this in the summer.

I am not disappointed by any of the items I purchased and will definitely be placing an order in the future. I have my I my eye on this stunning red jumpsuit to wear for my birthday.

Size wise everything I ordered fitted well. It is definitely worth reading the reviews as a guide for which size to order. Some of the reviews also give clues as to which items are originally from a well known brand.

Have you purchased anything from everything5pounds before? What was your experience?

Alternative Valentines Gift ideas. 

With Valentine’s Day just a week away the blogger curated gift guides are popping up all over the place. I hate to be a negative nelly but so far I’m uninspired. 

Come on!! Someone be a bit more original then sharing the same Lush gift set, heart shaped box of chocolates and perfume. 

If that’s what you’re into then feel free to tell me to shut up. Me though I’m after something just a little bit different. 

Ever one to take matters into my own hands I put my thinking cap on and came up with some alternative gift ideas. 

Here goes…..

Most couples have a special song that they consider theirs. For my husband and I it is Everlong by Foofighters. Previously I have gifted my husband a framed print of some of the lyrics from the song. 

This print is fairly basic. I found it on Amazon a couple of years ago but there are loads of different styles available now. If you are feeling creative a nice idea is to DIY one. Who says you need to fork out a ton of money on a valentines gift?  I also spotted cushions printed wth song lyrics which I thought were a fab idea. 

This personalised sound wave print from Not on the high street takes this special song idea to a whole new level. You can completely customise it to any song you like! 

This metallic one is a tad on the pricey side at £30 however there are cheaper options available on the website. 

Is your partner a wine lover? This taste lab kit from honest grapes is such a fun gift. Starting from £35 each kit contains 10 test tubes of artisan wines in both white and red. It comes with a quiz booklet that leads you through tasting the wines. 

My Husband was gifted one of these kits at Christmas, we had a very fun evening that didn’t involve the TV or the distraction of mobile phones. If you add a cheese board then you have a great date night.  

Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that don’t cost very much but require a little bit time and effort. I have always loved the idea of love coupons so have finally got off my bum and had a go at making some. 

The idea behind this is that you give your loved one a coupon book of pledges. These can be romantic, naughty or just the opportunity to do something nice for them. The  recipient chooses when they want to redeem a coupon so this can be extended beyond Valentine’s Day. 

I used luggage tags and red raffia to make mine so it was super easy. The hardest part was actually deciding on my pledges. That and not smudging the Ink. 

What do you think of these ideas? Would you be happy to receive something like this or are you a valentines traditionalist?  

What is normal when you are grieving? 

I sit here writing this blog post not because I’m looking for sympathy but as a means of catharsis for myself. 

Last week my mum passed away very peacefully after an incredibly brave fight with cancer. Faced with a terminal diagnosis in October 2015 she was a true inspiration. Not only did she have a positive attitude but she demonstrated a sheer determination to continue living her life to the full. Not only that she was always thinking about other people’s needs right to the end. This was evident by all the kind words and memories people have shared about mum. 

As a family we are beginning the process of coming to terms with mum not being around any more. Her decline in physical condition when it came was very quick, and to be honest with you, I did actually expect to have mum around for just a little bit longer. She was beginning to suffer though so it would be very selfish of me to want to change things. 

Watching mum in those last few weeks was incredibly hard. Mum had previously said she didn’t want to go into hospital but unfortunately in her last few days this was necessary. In hindsight this was the right decision for mum as we were struggling to manage her symptoms at home. She was actually happy to be there in the end as she was much more comfortable and less anxious about what was happening to her. 

It sounds a huge cliche but mum really did pass away comfortably and at peace, which was all we wanted for her.

We did actually have some laughs throughout all this. A classic ‘Mum’ moment was her deciding she wasn’t going to get the chance to use the gift vouchers she had received for Christmas. Her answer to this conundrum was to host a raffle from her hospital bed. 

She also insisted in posting selfies with all her visitors to her Facebook page. 

I have one very funny image in my head of my mum sat with her glasses on the end of her nose checking her medical charts for mistakes (mum was a nurse herself). 

Though incredibly sad to no longer have my mum around I have to confess to feeling a huge sense of relief that she is no longer suffering. I’m not sure how long I could cope with seeing her like she was. Does that sound selfish? Probably, but when you love someone you don’t want to see them in pain or stressed and anxious from the efforts of trying to breathe. 

At the moment my Mum’s death doesn’t actually quite feel real. Obviously I know that it is, I was with her when she died, it just somehow feels like she has gone on holiday and will be back in another week. Perhaps this is something that will become easier to accept given some time? 

It bothers me that I have hardly cried since mums death. Surly that is not normal? Though over the passed few months as things became harder on everyone I had some major tearful outbursts. Perhaps I had already begun the grieving process? Maybe I’ll be a mess at her funeral? 

Bizarrely I broke out head to toe In hives during my mums last few days. It was so bad I ended up with my very own trip round to A&E for some treatment via an IV. Everyone else cries, I apparently get psychosomatic hives! The mind and body really are weird. 

I have taken the previous week off work, but to be honest with you, I’m not really sure what to do with myself. If I’m not busy I’m thinking about mum constantly, you know those cliche thoughts. 

‘I’m never going to hear her voice again’ 

I am resisting the urge to call her voicemail as I know that’s just a form of self torture. 

Since moving out of home I would always say I was going round to mums house. The first time I talked about doing just that I suddenly developed a stutter and tripped over my words. It dawned on me what I had just said and she wouldn’t be there anymore. 

One thing I have done that is apparently normal is sleep. Not just a little bit but a lot! 

I can’t keep doing that though. With Mum’s funeral still an entire month away I am going back to work today. I think it is best to keep myself busy otherwise I feel like I am wallowing in self pity which really isn’t healthy. Let’s just hope I don’t have any shitty customers or it may just set off the waterworks. 

I’m not quite sure how to end this post? My usual happy ‘by for now’ seems a bit wrong. 


I’m going to leave you with a treasured picture of my mum, me and my two sisters. I love this picture as we all look so happy. We are all slightly different but have almost identical smiles. 

Can gold toothpaste give you a Hollywood smile? | My Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Gold Trial 

I’m one of those naughty people that will insist on doing all those things the dentist will tell you not to. 

I drink tea and coffee by the bucket load and will partake in more than the odd glass of red wine. I also hate Diet Coke so will always opt for the sugary version. 

In all honesty I don’t deserve a gleaming set of pearly white knashers. That doesn’t stop me wanting them though. Alas I am a bit of a sucker for any dental product that will claim to do just that for me. Consequently over the years I’ve tried my fair share of whitening toothpastes and bleaching strips. 

The later I can not get along with, they make me gag, so I now steer clear of them. 

I still haven’t  come across ‘the’ miracle toothpaste, they either taste vile, make my teeth feel sensitive or don’t actually perform that well.

Like a moth to the flame though my interest was peaked when I was offered the chance to try out Beverly Hills Formula’s  new Perfect White Gold toothpaste. 

Why? Well for a start it contains a very unique ingredient, real gold particles. 

Now that is one I definitely haven’t tried before! 

Intrigued by the science behind why Gold was an ingredient that would make a difference to my teeth I did a little bit of reading up on the subject. Let me tell you  some interesting facts. 

Gold has anti bacterial properties so is great for oral hygiene and fresher smelling breath. 

It also acts as an anti inflammatory and can increase blood flow so can help with achieving healthy gums! 
I didn’t know that! 

As well as containing gold particles Beverly Hills Formula has some other interesting reasons why it is better choice than other whitening toothpastes. 

Did you know that all toothpastes contain an abrasive? This is what provides the cleaning power but actually it can be damaging to our teeth. 

That Yellow appearance many of us Brits suffer from is actually caused by the wearing away of the tooths natural enamel.

In other words regardless of all the other whitening products you use if you have a lack of healthy tooth enamel they aren’t going to work.

Beverly Hills formula has been proven to be the least abrasive toothpaste, currently available on market, in independent tests. You can see results for yourself here

Beverly Hills Formula also contains Sodium Fluoride that actually helps to repair that vitally important tooth enamel whilst preventing the teeth from decay and providing protection from acid attacks. 

Healthy tooth enamel means the active whitening  ingredient hydrated silica can do its job, whilst Pentasodium Triphosphate prevents food settling in teeth and Tetrasodium phosphate helps to prevent tartar build up.

So science lesson over you probably are wondering whether any of this actually works. 

Whislt I cannot say scientifically if my tooth enamel is any healthier I can say that with three weeks of continuous usage so far that I have noticed a big difference in the appearance of my teeth. 

They do have much less of a yellowish tinge, appear less translucent, plus I haven’t experienced any sensitivity either.  I do feel my mouth as whole, feels cleaner and fresher. 

The toothpaste itself tastes nice, it reminds me of spearmint whopper bars. 90’s kids will know the sweets I’m talking about! 

The verdict then…..

I think the claims are true and I will be purchasing this toothpaste for the foreseeable future. 

There is one issue I have though and that is this is that this is not an easy product to find stockists for. I cannot find it listed at boots or superdrug?

The easiest option I’ve found is to purchase a double pack through this seller on Amazon.

Priced at £10.99 including prime shipping  it’s priced fairly when compared with the RRp. 

If you know any easier place for me to repurchase from do let me know. 

The 2017 bucket list

I’m not making any New Years resolutions this year. Why? Well I always break them, so I don’t actually see the point. Instead I’ve created myself a bucket list of 17 things I want to do in 2017. 

I’m not saying I’m going to complete every last one of the items on this list but I’m going to give it a damn good go. 

Some of the items on my list are very simple, others will take a bit of planning. It includes day trips to places that I have been saying I have wanted to visit for goodness knows how long, but never seem to have got around to.

There are some craft activities that I have had the materials at home to do for a crazy long time but still haven’t got round to tackling . 

If I just manage to get half of this list completed this year then I’m in for a fun 2017.

Here goes; 

  1. Go and see the Musical Wicked.
  2. Run 5k.
  3. Learn to cable knit. 
  4. Catch a wave. 
  5. Visit London Zoo.
  6. Take the kids to see ‘the changing of the guards’ at Buckingham Palace. 
  7. Try mashed avocado on toast. How can I claim to be a blogger and never have tried this? 
  8. Make an Origami Crane mobile. 
  9. Visit Tiptree Jam Museum.
  10. Visit Brighton, in particular ‘The Lanes’.
  11. Go for afternoon tea at The Ritz.
  12. Finishing reading the Harry Potter series with my Son. 
  13. Make a Pavlova.
  14. Make a skirt. I have had the material for this for about two years now. 
  15. Paint the bedroom. It hasn’t been done since we moved In ten years ago. I’m desperate to get it done this year. 
  16. Eat fish & chips out of the paper, whislt sat on the seafront and watching the sun go down. 
  17. Last but not least…Visit my family in Ireland. Even if it’s just for 1 night. It’s been far too long! 

So that is everything on my bucket list for 2017. Realistically none of it is that unachievable. I just need to stop putting things off. What do they say? You only live once! 

Just because you are a busy mum it doesn't mean you can't have any me time!

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