When The Shit Hits The Fan! 

So you might have noticed I’ve been a wee bit AWOL recently. I had a lovely organised blog schedule all prepared for September, then real life happened. Yup there’s been a whole lot of ADULTing happening, and consequently anything else went temporally out the window. 

Some of what’s been happening in my life has been great, I started my new job with Joules, which I am loving. This however has involved working some seriously long hours with a long commute on top. Fortunately that is only temporary and it will settle down over the next week when we open our brand spanking new store. Exciting!!

I’ve had to juggle that with some major dramas in my personal life. My youngest broke his arms for the second time in six months. He had to have surgery earlier this week to have rods and pins put in place to secure the broken bones. This meant two days in hospital, trying to get some sleep on one of those horrible little fold out beds on the kids ward. Combine this with the noise and lets just say a good nights sleep was not to be had. 

I’m not going to lie, this was tough. As I was starting a new job I couldn’t take time off. I hated having to leave him in the hospital on the last day he was there to go back to work. Even though he had had his surgery by this point and I knew he was being discharged later that day I still felt like a sucky mum for leaving him. 

The poor little man has really struggled with pain this time. He had reached a point yesterday where he had just had about all he could tolerate. Fingers crossed after a trip back to hospital we have that sorted now. He slept through the night for the first time in four days. Relieved?? You’ve got that right. 

Whilst this was all happening my husband had to rush off to France as he had an emergency on his side of the family. If doesn’t rain it pours! 

All I can say is thank the Lord my head is in a very good place right now. Two years ago I probably would have had a melt down. I’m a much stronger person now and can cope with whatever shit is thrown at me. I’ve learnt to duck, and most importantly accept help when it’s offered. There really is no point trying to be a martyr. Be strong yes, but if your not looking after yourself then you really are no good to anyone else. 

On that note I’m off to drink a gallon of caffeine (naughty me) and do some more ADULTing.

How not to fall victim to FOMO

The FOMO, it’s real, and at some point we will all experience it in our lives. A lot of you will be very aware of what this little acronym means. If you’re like me though and not very down with the kids (I only learnt it’s meaning possibly in the last year) let me explain. 

FOMO, aka the fear of missing out, is the modern day equivalent of ‘keeping up with the Jones.’ Only now our lives are plastered across various social media platforms it has crept it’s way into being a permanent fixture in our everyday lives. Yes it’s is no longer restricted to a bit of curtain twitching and gossiping about the neighbours new driveway. 

Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, especially, it can often seem that everyone else’s lives are far more exciting than our own. That girl you didn’t really like at school but insist on being freinds with on Facebook coz your nosy, she’s off on her third Instagram worthy holiday this year, NO FAIR!! I haven’t had one this year. 

 Your favourite blogger once again has managed to get her hands on the latest MAC limited edition launch. Whilst you can’t afford it because you’ve just spent all your money on kitting the kids out with back to school paraphernalia. True story! 

No MAC Star Trek make-up for me. The kids School uniform fits and for about three weeks will look super smart. Oh and their shoes fit and/or no longer have holes in them, WINNING! Still no Star Trek makeup for this makeup addict closet Star Trek geek. Minor digression, but it was my dream to join Star Fleet as a teenager. Sad, but very very true! 

Yes it’s so easy to look at other people’s lives and turn green with envy. Next time you feel a bout of FOMO coming on though remember this. How much of what we see on people’s social media is real? 

Now I’m not saying that that girl from school hasn’t had three holidays this year, but she may not be sharing the fact that her job is so rubbish or stressful that she needs those holidays just to feel sane. 

How many people can honestly say they don’t filter out the crappy parts of their lives on social media? Why? Well it makes us feel better about ourselves. 

My entire immediate family are currently in Portugal on holiday, due to our financial situation we couldn’t go. You can imagine how seeing the updates of them having fun triggers an attack of the FOMO. Do you know what though? If I had gone on that holiday I wouldn’t be starting my exciting new job. One case of FOMO batted out of the park right there. 

How?? Instead of looking enviously at what I could be missing out on I’ve looked and seen the positive things happening in my life. 

So next time you feel a touch of the green eyed monster rearing remember the grass isn’t always greener!

5 uses for Dr Paw Paw multipurpose soothing balm

Back in July, I attended the LDNmeetup Big Blogger Expo. If you want to read more about the day you can do so here. One of the brands exhibiting was Dr Paw Paw, producers of the UK’s first paw paw based  balm.

I had used Dr Paw Paws original multi purpose balm in the past so was already familiar with the brand. As it turns out though I really wasn’t getting the most out of mine as  I had only used it as a lip balm. Hah! Yes they told me off! We had a chat about the products and they gave me some tips on how I could experience the full benefits of using the balm, plus they kindly gave me some more to try out at home.

Having had a chance to have a play with the product I thought I would share with you five ways I am now using my Dr Paw Paw multi purpose balm. 

1. Cuticle balm – just a small drop of the original balm is enough to run into my cuticles to keep them looking healthy.

2. Brow fixing gel – Nothing else on hand to tame unruly brows? Not a problem if you have a tube of the original balm in your bag. As it is a clear balm it’s ideal for on holiday by the pool. You won’t be in danger of getting any nasty running brows either!

Soothing bites and dry patches – Got an irritating bite, minor burn or dry patch of skin? Paw Paw has antibacterial and anti microbiological properties  so can help to smooth and heal.

Hair finishing serum – Got some lunchtime fly always? It’s okay you can fix them by running some balm through your hair. I was worried about it making my hair look greasy but it doesn’t.

Blusher – The tinted balms make gorgeous natural looking blushers. My favourite shade is the peach. As the tinted balms have the same formula as the original you can still use them for any emergency fixes.

As you can see this really isn’t just a ‘lip balm’ but a hugely versatile product to have on hand. Priced at just £6.95 for a generous 25ml tube it is great value for money and since it is now being stock in Superdrug it is accessible too.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops | Review

I don’t very often purchase make-up from The Body Shop as to be quite frank as a make-up brand it doesn’t excite me. I’m always nipping into my local store though as I love their body butters and banana conditioner. This little gem of a product caught my interest recently though as unique problem solver that I needed in my life, and since trying it out I consider this a ‘must have’ in my collection. 

I’m a pale girl, but not ivory pale, so can often find it difficult to find a foundation that matches perfectly. I also like to warm my complexion just a little bit but don’t want that tell tale slightly too orange look. These shade adjusting drops in lightening from The Body Shop have proven to be a bit of a game changer where my foundation is concerned. 

The lightening drops contain a concentration of white and yellow pigments that help to neutralise any foundation that is too yellow or orange looking. 

They come in a handy glass bottle with a dropper, meaning you have control over how much you are adding to your foundation and waste is minimal. The Body Shop recommend that 1 drop, added to the usual amount of foundation you would apply, will lighten by 1/2 a shade. 

I usually put my foundation onto the back of my hand, add a good sized drop of the shade adjusting drops, before mixing with a finger and then applying with my usual brush. It can be a little messy but the results are worth it. I have tried using the drops in a couple of different foundations now and haven’t found that they have a negative affect the performance. It does perhaps thin it slightly by wear is still the same. 

The drops are priced at £10 and as you use so little a bottle is going to last a long time. So, good value for money then in my opinion. If you are struggling to find your perfect foundation shade I highly recommend popping along to your local store and trying these lightening drops out. 

Confession time | Addicted to my iPhone? 

My name is Katy and I’m addicted to my iPhone. Yup I have a terrible habit that I need to break. Honestly I would have so much more time in the day if it wasn’t for my unhealthy attachment to an inanimate object. 

I know I’m not the only one, my husband and kids are often just as bad. In order to get the teens to get any homework done I have to confiscate their phones. Well, what with all the games and apps and Internet access they are the perfect procrastination tool! 

Don’t even get me started on the number of times I’ve bickered with the husband about his phone usage. Sounds like a touch of the old pot calling the kettle black doesn’t it?  

My mornings start like this, wake up and grab a tea. Drink tea whislt scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin and WordPress and not to forget the News App, before I know I’m late for the school run. Bad Mummy! 

As a blogger it’s very easy to use the excuse that I’m working on promoting my online presence or being a good blogger and catching up with and supporting other people’s work. There comes a point though when it really is time to switch off otherwise I find I get nothing done and my mood can start to be affected. Not only that it’s terrible for my posture and the old aches and pains start to return in my neck and shoulders. 

I realised it really had become a problem when I found I had stopped reading. I used to be such a book worm and would devour book after book. This year I’ve read approximately four books, and two of those have been in the past month since I’ve started trying to restrict my phone usage. 

As ridiculous as it sounds I am having to make a conscious effort to break my smart phone habit. I can compare it to that of trying to give up smoking, it took a few attempts but I did that successfully in the end. So this really shouldn’t be a problem, right? 

The key to my success this time will be to keep my hands busy with more constructive activities such as knitting, colouring in or simply doing the ironing. Otherwise I find my self fidgeting and then reaching for my iPhone. I know that that works I just need to be stricter with myself. 

I’ve actually started leaving my phone in a different room to me, out of sight out of mind right? Well once I’ve got over the initial feeling like my right arms been cut off. 

I’m hoping if my kids see me less attached to my phone they will develop better habits too. You never know?  That and maybe the hubby will stop calling me a hypocrite when I moan at him for paying more attention to his phone then me?  Errr Awkward! 

#Facemask Friday | 111skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask 

A Skincare range developed with the help of research from space scientists, you say? I’m not kidding! Recently I had the chance to try out the Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask from 111SKIN. It was one of the options available as part of the August You Beauty Box

111SKIN is the brain child of Harley Street plastic surgeon Dr.Y.Alendrides. It was developed in response to his patients needs for skincare products that would help heal sensitive skin post treatment. 

Through his research Dr.Y.Alendrides discovered that Skin ages more quickly in space due to the harsh environment astronauts skin is subjected to. This led to the collaboration and development of NaC Y2 formula. This formula was then offered to his Harley street patients as part of their post treatment. As its reputation and demand increased for the original NaC Y2 formula the 111SKIN range was born. 

The Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask retails for £20 so it’s definitely  worth nabbing it as part of this months you beauty box whislt you still can. 

The Mask itself has a unique gel like structure that claims to increase the absorbtion of its key ingredients better than a tissue mask. 

Helpfully I found that its gel texture helped to adhere them mask to my face better than a tradition tissue sheet mask would. It was also very cooling and soothing, particularly in this hot weather we have been having lately. 

The key ingredients include Arbutin, to brighten, Silk Amino Acids, to moisturise and nourish, lastly Centella Asiatica to stimulate the skins collagen production. 

Below are my before and after pictures I do feel my skin is looking much brighter in the after picture. My skin also felt much tighter. Oh and the small thing of looking like I’ve had a decent night sleep! The first picture really is horrendous ha ha! 

On the packaging It recommends that you use one of these masks three times a week if you want to see the best results. Ummmmm, nope not going to happen, that would be £60 a week! 

As a pre ‘special occasion’ treatment though this mask is lovely and one I would love to use again. It was so relaxing to lie back with it cooling and soothing my face whislt I had a nap. 

Hmmm when I’m feeling rich?

Dupe Alert! | Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil v No 7 Sculpting Pencil

It’s no secret that I love a brow product and I probably have more in my collection than is healthy for one girl to own. This still doesn’t stop me gravitating towards the brow product section when I first check out any makeup brands display stand. This will be how I stumbled across what I think is a really great dupe for the brilliant but slightly too pricey Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil £18.50

So what is this supposed dupe then? 

Meet No7’s Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil £8. At over ten pounds cheaper we are already onto a win here, and the products are so similar. Well, let’s forget about the difference in packaging, Benefits offering is very fancy pancey next to the No7 pencil. 

Both products though have a very similar wind up tip and a super handy sculpting brush. Please note my benefit pencil is missing the brush as it is a luxury sample size I received in a beauty box. 

Both products have a similar waxy feel and are equally easy to apply. When swatched the shades are very similar. Benefit has that extra edge in the creamy texture feel though. 

The top swatch is No7 and the bottom swatch Is Benefit shade 03 medium

The No7 pencil unfortunately only comes in three limited shades brown,black or grey. Not great then if you have fair hair. Fortunately as a medium toned brunette brown is just right for me.  

In comparison Benefit offers five shades ranging from a light to deep. 

So if you are a fan of Benefits Goof Proof Brow Pencil, but like me can’t justify parting with £18.50 every couple of months check out the No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil. At over £10 cheaper it performs equally well it’s just not as Insta-pretty.

Feel unique’s Pick ‘n Mix sample service

I was a having a little browse at the Feelunique website the other day and stumbled across a handy little Pick ‘n Mix sample service they are currently offering. Of course I had to try it out for myself, for review purposes of course!

How it works is simple. You choose five samples from their extensive sample list, there is just under 400 different samples to choose from at the moment, they then send them out to you at home. 

You will be charged £3.95 service fee but this is then returned to you in the form of a credit/gift voucher code to spend on the site at a later date. So essentially your samples will be free. 

The size of the samples vary depending on what is available at the time. As you can see from my choices there is the odd larger luxury sample available as well as smaller sachet sizes. 

I’m looking forward to trying out the Xen-Tan fresh tanning mouse. I recon I can get at the very least two uses out of this. Just look how pale I am at the moment, I am in need a little tanning TLC. 

It took just under a week for my samples to arrive, the £3.95 gift code was sent to me straight away in the confirmation email though. This is valid for a year so if you didn’t want to spend it straight away you could save it. As its a gift voucher code you can also use more than one in a single transaction. It’s worth bearing in mind though that you can only receive one batch of samples in a 30 day period.

I have already redeemed my voucher code without any problems. I loved the La Roche Posey rosaliac CC cream so wanted the full size product. 

I’ve found this a great way off trying before you buy, especially if it’s a pricier product that I’m not sure if I’ll like. No more buying mistakes for me? 

I definitely recommend giving this service a try. 

#MummyMonday | Pokemon Go the bane off my life??

Unless you’ve been under a rock somewhere remote you can’t fail to have noticed the latest craze that is Pokemon Go. My two boys are obsessed, and to be quite frank they are driving me up the wall.

Honestly If I had a pound for everytime I heard “Mum, Mum, MUM!! Can we go look for Pokemon?” I’d be rich. It’s fair to say that at times its doing my head in. 

Now as weird as it may sound after that little moan, I actually think that the Pokemon Go app is a good thing. Let me tell you why. 

Just before the school summer holidays I wrote a blog post talking about how difficult I found it to keep the boys Screen time down to an acceptable limit. Pokemon Go does require a smartphone, which I class as screen time, but here’s the difference, it is actually encouraging the boys to not want to sit on their bottoms and get out and about more. 

If the boys have a Pokemon egg they want to hatch then they are desperate to go out for a walk as walking a certain distance is the only way to hatch Pokemon eggs. This is great as it means they are much more active and getting some fresh air. See here’s one they hatched earlier. I couldn’t tell you what Pokemon it is though.

It’s not just the kids that are benefiting from this as we have made a habit of going for a family post dinner walk now. I’m getting out for regular walks as well. 

I make the time to go out with the kids as having heard a few horror stories about people being the victims of muggings or more bizarrely managing to walk off cliffs (how??)  whislt playing Pokemon go I am reassured that they are safe. 

Even when I’m with the boys I am constantly having to remind them about road safety. 

This may also sound like an over reaction but if I see a group of what I consider to be undesirables ahead of us I make the kids put the phone away till we have passed them. Okay I’m judging people by appearance and body language but it’s important for the kids to understand that there are people out there that would be more than happy to steal their phone given half the chance. So why advertise the fact you have one on you? 

One thing I’m not so keen on when it comes to Pokemon Go, well…that’s the cartoon itself. Yup it’s available for viewing on Netflix, and Oh My God it’s annoying! I’m definitely not up for cuddles on the sofa watching that. 

So yes the constant “Mum Mum MUM! Can I check Pokemon Go ?” is blooming annoying, but it has found a positive place in our lives. 

The August Libbie Club Deals 

Once again Libbie club have sent me a box of beauty products to sample and review. Each month the Libbie club has a selection of deals including some great money saving offers from an exciting range of Brands

The offers this month include;

Indeed Labs Nanoblur 30ml 15% off RRP – £16.99

This product claims to instantly correct and perfect the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

I have only tried this out once so far, so it’s to early to say whether this is a wonder product. 

I patted it into the resting line I have  on my forehead after I had applied my liquid makeup and before applying any powder products as per the instructions. It did reduce the depth of the line but it didn’t completely disappear. Promising then! 

The jury is still out on how effective this as a long term solution but I promise I will get back to you once I have used it some more. 

Nizz Cosmetics Lustre Lipstick – £16

This is a lovely creamy feeling lipstick that is vegetarian, hypoallergenic and free from parabens. I have the shade cashmere nude which I have swatched for you below. 

Can we also take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous packaging. Visually It reminds me of a Dior lipstick plus it feels very luxurious and weighty to hold. This is a new UK brand from ex nurse turned beauty buff Charlene, I’m impressed so far. 

Mizon Placenta Ampoules Cream 50ml 20% off RRP – £20.40

Libbie club claim that the placenta extract in this cream is plant derived. I’m not totally convinced by this if I’m honest with you. 

Why? Well I can’t find anywhere on the packaging claiming this. 

I spent a good couple of hours scouring the Internet trying to reasearch more about this product, but can’t actually find anywhere that says where the placenta extract is sourced from. 

Typically skincare brands originally used pig or sheep placenta though some Korean brands are now actually use plant placenta. This is a Korean brand so I could be plant derived, I can’t find the evidence to 100% back up that claim though. 

Having put snail slime on my face before I’m not that squeamish about ingredients so I have still tried this cream out. Placenta is also a bi product of natural birth so I would expect the animal not to be harmed in its extraction. 

The cream is very rich and has a plesent scent to it and do feel my skin feels much more hydrated since using this. However  I have had a few more spots appear than usual since using this so if you have oily/combination skin like myself you may find this does the same for you. 

There are loads of other offers available right now from Libbie club including a fab weekend special for fans of French skincare brand  Caudalie. 

This is 30% of cult skincare favourite Caudalie Instant Detox Mask, making it it the lowest price currently available at just £15.20 plus p&p. You have to act first to benefit from that offer as it ends at midnight Sunday 21st August. 

Me I’ve already made a cheeky purchase of that for myself as I didn’t want to miss out. 

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

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