Dr.Jart+ Rubber Firming Mask – gimmick or not?

Korean beauty products are known for their innovative formulas and ‘outside of the box’ approach to skincare. The Shake & Shot rubber firming mask from Dr.Jart+ is no exception to that rule.

At first glance the packaging is definitely quirky, if not a little bit creepy. It looks like a milkshake but with a weird purple baby on the lid. The fact that you have to mix and ‘shake’ up the mask to activate it also adds to the fun. This definitely ticks the box for gimmicky products.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a rubber sheet mask. I did expect something that was malleable and with a slightly denser texture than a standard facemask. To begin with the mask was very creamy but then set to rubbery sheet mask over a period of 15 – 20 minutes. It was actually a bit more of a looser and runnier consistency than I was expecting before it began to set. I would definitely suggest taking the time to lie back and let it do its thing rather than it dripping everywhere.

I needed pictures for this post though so had to roll with it. Once the mask had set it peeled away very easily. It actually felt a bit like those little silicone under eye masks that you get.

The skincare benefits that this particular mask promise are:

  • Target the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improve skin elasticity.
  • Leave skin looking heathier and firmer.

I wouldn’t say that there was a drastic visual difference in my skin after using this facemask. I did think that my skin felt nourished and a bit tighter but not in a dried out uncomfortable way, just firmer. Overall it was a pleasant experience. If you want to try this out for yourself it can be purchased from ASOS for £8. They also stock the shake & shot masks in three other varieties.

Kids – They are unpredictable!

No matter what age your kids are there is one thing that can be guaranteed. They can be very unpredictable. You will have carefully laid plans and without warning one of them will throw a giant spanner in the works. This weekend has been proof of that fact.

Very early Friday morning Mr S and I were supposed to be heading for a boozy weekend away in The Netherlands. My sister had kindly agreed to mind my kids. She had planned a full itinerary that was going to keep them entertained in our absence.

Thursday night we were all packed and ready to go. Hoping to get a reasonable nights sleep before we had to get up early for the long journey. (We would be travelling with a large groups by coach and ferry).

Well….that’s when our middle child threw a giant metaphorical spanner at us. Four and a half hours before we were due to leave we found him having a seizure. He has no history of having one in the past so you can imagine how much this took us by surprise. Forget sleepy dreams about heading off for our weekend away we were now heading to the hospital.

Fortunately our Son is okay, and typical him can’t quite understand what all the fuss is about. He’s a typical overgrown 15 year old that thinks Mum fusses to much. He has minimal recollection of having a seizure only the paramedic telling him he was heading to the hospital.

As yet we have no idea what caused the seizure, he does have type 1 diabetes so it could have been hypo related. His blood sugar levels however were not actually that low. We do know it wasn’t an infection as those tests came up clear. There is also a history of Epilepsy within our family. I had it as a child and so did his sister. We both grew out of it. Usually though everyone is allowed an isolated seizure before doctors will diagnose Epilepsy. We do have a follow up appointment at a ‘first seizure’ clinic so that might provide some clues.

Technically we probably could have still made the coach for our trip away as we didn’t have to wait too long in Hospital to be seen. Both Mr S and I though didn’t feel we could leave our Son with my sister. Not that she isn’t capable, but we would have spent the whole weekend worrying.

I would be lying if part of me wasn’t disappointed about cancelling our trip, that’s just natural though as anyone would be. We have decided to make the best of the situation though and instead have a staycation doing some things with the kids.

My sister also now gets to go to Wembley for a football match tomorrow instead of minding my tribe.

Today we had a lovely sunny walk across the local fields to eat lunch at the Wilkin & Sons Tearooms In Writtle.

Once lunch had settled the boys also went swimming.

Tomorrow we plan on heading to the Secret nuclear bunker in Kelvedon Hatch which is actually something we have been saying for ages that we fancied doing.

This was definitely not how we had been planning to spend weekend. I’m not sad about it though as I’m always complaining about my “working mum guilt”. Fate clearly wanted me to spend some quality time with the kids rather than having a piss up!

A natural Deodorant that actually works!

When it comes to choosing personal hygiene products, that I use on a daily basis I have two specific requirements. One, the product has to work and two it needs to be made from ingredients that are as clean and natural as possible. For products like shampoo and soaps this has been fairly easy. Finding a deodorant on the other hand has been a much trickier affair. At last I’ve finally found one that works, Dr Organic Lavender Deodorant , £5.99 from Holland and Barrett. I put the effectiveness of this deodorant down to the fact that it contains lavender.

The use of Lavender in personal hygiene  goes as far back as the Ancient Egyptian times. They used it as a perfume as well as in the process of mummification. Clearly as an effective ingredient it has stood the test of time.

I think that this deodorant for me has worked so well because Lavender has been found to have antibacterial benefits. Especially as its actually the bacteria that feeds on sweat that causes those unpleasant body odours. Whatever it is it works!

When I reach for this particular deodorant I don’t feel I am have to compromise my personal hygiene with my wish for clean Ingredients. It is free from Aluminium, SLS’s, parabens and Alcohol. As a bonus it is also Vegan friendly.

I also like that it is a roll on as I always seam to choke myself on sprays. (Please tell me that I’m not the only one that does this!)

My only niggle is that £5.99 is a fairly hefty price tag for a deodorant. However Holland and Barrett do have this on promotion at the moment, it is currently buy one get one half price so brings the price down to £4.49.

What is your opinion when it comes to choosing a deodorant? Do you prefer to use an actual antiperspirant?

Lee Valley Velodrome Track Taster Experience

Back in December, along with my sister and our husbands, we had a fantastic evening out in London. This was not your typical night out and definitely falls into the category of ‘out of the ordinary’. Forget preparing for the evening with a cute dress and heels. Instead we needed leggings, trainers and a helmet.

We visited the Lee Valley Velo Park in Stratford. This is the track that was cycled by our amazingly talented Olympic team back in 2012. The park is now open to the public and almost anyone can have go on the track.

We signed up for the one hour track taster session. This coach led session aims to get you used to using a fixed wheel bike (it has no brakes or gears) and safely riding the track.

I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous about trying this out. I do not have a good track record with bikes. Back in primary school I basically got thrown off the cycling proficiency course because I was considered a danger to myself. Oh the shame!

I definitely surprised myself though. I managed to cycle the track without falling off and even get up some height. That was quite scary as you have to be travelling at a good consistent speed. If you slow or stop peddling suddenly the bike will slide down the track wall. I kept saying to myself ‘just keep peddling…..just keep peddling’ even if my thighs were burning.

Scariness aside it felt incredibly exhilarating travelling at speed and feeling the rush of air against you.

I have to say it was actually easier than I thought it would be. It is however very tiring and you really feel it in your legs. The professional cyclists are super fit.

The taster session costs £45 and lasts for an hour. If you can go during an off peak session it’s £35. Bookings can be made directly through the the Lee Valley website.

Addressing my hoarding tendencies

Hello. My name is Katy and I have bit of a hoarding problem. Finally I’ve said it. It feels good to get that off my chest.

Now I’m not one of those extreme hoarders that documentaries have been made about for Television. I don’t have stacks of old magazines, bags of string or boxes of items I’m saving because I think they ‘might be useful’ one day. No that’s definitely isn’t me.

My hoarding tendencies are a bit more specific. They cover the area of beauty products. I have a shocking amount of Makeup, fake tan, lip balms and shower gel of all things. Shower gel is a problem area for some reason? I have several back ups for my backups.

I sit in my bathroom trying to relax and feel all zen like but It’s a struggle. There is too much stuff. It’s a mess. As a result my mind is a mess, and I can’t switch off. In all honesty I’ve been starting to feel a bit weighed down by it all.

There is a want within me to declutter the excess. I have attempted several times to sort through the things that I need to declutter. Alas each time I’ve previously tried I would come up with a reason why not too.

I’ve spent money on the item.

Someone bought it as a gift so I should keep it.

I might need this at some point for my blog.

I feel guilty for being wasteful.

It’s a limited edition product or has been discontinued.

I’m not keen on the item but I’ll use it when I run out of similar items…..FYI it will probably take me at least 18 months to reach this point with shower gels alone!

The item hasn’t had a chance to fulfil its purpose. Yup utter nonsense basically!

I could go on but I think I’ve made my point.

Anyway you could be thinking ‘where is she going with this?’

Well I finally feel like I reached a point that I can stop the bullshit and successfully sort through the excess. I have Marie Kondo to thank for this.

(Let me pause for a few of you to eye roll…..yes I’m another one ‘jumping on the band wagon’)

Anyway I’m about halfway through Marie’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it’s really helped me to let go. I applied her ‘Does it bring me Joy?’ rule to my wardrobe with great success. It’s worked for books and it’s worked for organising my papers. I’m now moving onto the area of Komono (miscellaneous items).

I am confident I can apply this rule to my problem areas and declutter without the guilt. The excess I will try to discard in a way that is as waste free as possible. I’m possibly going to have to be a bit creative with that.

I also feel I’ve accepted the fact that if I had really wanted to try out something I would have done it as soon as that item came into my possession rather than hoard it.

I definitely went through a period of time where I had an interesting relationship with shopping. I was doing it because I was feeling low and using the buzz of getting something new to lift my mood. I don’t feel I’m in that place anymore so no longer over shop. Those items I purchased during this period I feel I can part with guilt free because I’ve already experienced the ‘buzz’ from having that item. They have fulfilled their purpose, for me anyway, and someone else may appreciate them more.

If you are feel like you are drowning in too much stuff but are struggling to part with things this book is definitely worth a read. I’m not sure I’d say it’s ‘Life Changing’ but a useful tool for ‘habit breaking’.

Let me know your thoughts on this. Have you read Marie Kondo’s book? Have you watched her Netflix show? Do you think it’s wasteful to discard personal belongings so readily?

Lucy Locket Loves Athleisure Leggings | Rave review

Just a quick one from me today. I wanted to share my love for the newest additions to my legging collection.

These are the Athleisure leggings from the small independent brand Lucy Locket Loves.

Lucy Locket Loves Athleisure leggings

They retail for the very reasonable price of £15.00 and are definitely worth every penny.

The fabric is a nice thick soft jersey that I’m finding perfect for running in at this time of year, basically warm but not too warm. They held their own well in -3 degrees!

I was a bit dubious about the sizing of the leggings before they arrived as they only come in two sizes:

Size 1 – 8-14

Size 2 14 – 20.

I would describe myself as a small size 8 so was concerned that the size 1 would be too big. Happily they fit just fine and I’ve had no falling down whilst running issues. Believe me it wouldn’t be the first time!

My sister wears the same size in these leggings and usually wears a dress size 12. She is pictured wearing an Alice in Wonderland pair in the first picture. Clearly these are magic leggings as one size fits a wide range of people.

I’ve worn and washed the leggings a good few times now and they still look and feel perfect. It is worth noting that I air dry them in a clothes airer. I’m not brave enough to test them out in a tumble dryer.

The two designs I have are no longer available but there are still plenty of designs available on the website. Mine are also quite dark and not so colourful as many of the other designs. There is plenty to suit all tastes though.

The Lucy Locket Loves Facebook page also says that they are getting a delivery of new stock this week. Nice! I’m trying to justify a new purchase now.

I’ve signed up to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon

Soo….I may have signed up to run my first half marathon. The London Landmarks Half to be exact. Last year I made a decent go at running my first 10k, but this is twice that distance.

I still haven’t decided whether I’m excited or pooping my pants. 13.1 miles is quite the distance for a girl that hated P.E.

I suppose it could be worse, I could have been daft enough to sign up to do a full marathon? Noooo…. I’ll leave that one to my big sister, husband and little brother. (They are doing the Brighton Marathon this year)

On the 24th March I shall be running as part of the Breast Cancer Now team. This is a charity that is significant to me as two years ago my Mum lost her fight against Breast Cancer.

I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to experience this. Sadly though so many families are going through exactly the same thing right now. Life can be very sucky at times can’t it!

Image : breastcancernow.org

Breast Cancer Now‘s aim is to ensure that by 2050 no one will die from breast cancer. How? By carrying out that all important research into the causes, genetic risk factors and targeted drug discovery. It was such research that gave my family an extra 8 years with our Mum.

Training is going to be tough, I’m going to need all the support I can get. Even if its just encouragement to get out and train on a day that a) I’m feeling Meh! Or b) the weather is grim. I’m definitely more of a fair weather runner.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to the cause you can do so through my Just Giving page.

Wish me luck, I shall keep you updated on how the training goes.

Route map source: llhm.co.uk

The unplanned blog break


You haven’t heard from me in a while. It’s been roughly 2 1/2 months to be exact. I 100% hadn’t planned to be away from the blogging world for such a long period. My extended break happened by accident.

I had a bout of writers block, and to be quite frank was feeling very uninspired. A couple of times I sat down to try to write but was having to force it. For me that’s not good, it just didn’t feel natural. I wasn’t enjoying it and didn’t feel I was producing anything I felt worthy of publishing. It was definitely time to take a break.

I would be lying if I said that taking a break was a conscious decision. It wasn’t and just seemed to happen naturally. This included me virtually abandoning Twitter as well. I’ve never been great with twitter anyway, so my lack of presence there probably went unnoticed. This isn’t me being ‘oh poor me’, I’m just telling you how it is.

Life has definitely been super busy (I work in retail management) and before I knew it Christmas came and went and we are in 2019. I think my poor brain was clogged up with floor planning, stock management issues and a whole lot of extra random trouble shooting that goes on between Black Friday and the the End of Season sales. It’s not been all work though there has been a good amount of socialising too.

I’ve also been studying towards an NVQ in Managing People, that is specific to the retail sector. I have my final exams very soon so have been preparing for that. Those kick off on the 9th January so hopefully after then I will have some more free time. Saying that I have just signed up to run my first half marathon in March. Plus I’ve joined a Kick Boxing class so I’m not quite sure how much free time I will actually have whilst training??

I blame my over achieving big sister, she has definitely inspired me to push myself more. Ive always been a classic 2nd child who is more than happy to coast it.

Anyway this is me officially breaking radio silence. I don’t plan on making any rigid blog schedules or promises about how often I’m going to produce content. I want to keep it natural and write when I’m feeling fully inspired. That may mean some weeks you get a few blog posts and others just one. Basically if it stops being fun then I’m not going to force myself. Especially as this isn’t my job, it’s a hobby.

This seems a very natural place to stop so that’s all from me for today.

It’s Nap time! – Using a Space Mask

Having just worked seven days straight, I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been feeling a wee bit on the worn out side. When it comes to my day off then I’m more than likely going to have a nap a some point. Yup, I’m not afraid to admit that at 36, I still need a nap!

It was perfect timing then that my reading in heels box arrived containing a Space Mask. A what now?….Yes you read right…I said ‘space mask’.

A space mask is a self heating eye mask that soothes and relaxes you, allowing you to drift off to sleep. The mask is made from soft feeling material with iron powder encased within. The Iron powder heats up on contact with oxygen. I found the heat lasted for about 20 minutes. It also is meant to have a light Jasmin scent however I couldn’t actually smell this.

There are loops on either side of the mask that you pop over your ears keeping it in place. This is a great touch as it allows you to find your natural sleep position without it falling off.

I really enjoyed the warm feeling, I felt that this would be great to use if you have a headache.

The foil pouches are super handy so you could keep one in your handbag. Ideal then if you are traveling or are someone that suffers from regular headaches. I also think it would be worth giving one of these a go if you are someone that struggles to drop off to sleep.

Me… I’m not above finding a quiet corner at work and having a power nap during my lunch break. What about you?

A pack of 5 masks costs £15 + p&p from spacemasks.com

Take that Dress into Autumn With Wingz

Do you have a favourite dress that you want to wear all year round, but isn’t always seasonally appropriate?

Of course you can opt to wear a cardigan over your dress but what if you don’t want to cover it up?

How about adding some sleeves?

Now I’m not suggesting you whip out your sewing machine, I’m certainly not that talented anyway. Nor do I have time.

No I have a much simpler option…

Let me introduce you to Wingz. I would describe Wingz as not quite a bra, not quite a top.

Pop these on under your chosen sleeveless dress and you now have a dress with sleeves that will see you into Autumn.

The option I have here are the full length fitted sleeves in Black. They are very simple fuss free option providing a casual look.

Do watch the helpful video on the Wingz website for how to put on. I did get in a bit of a tangle the first time. Don’t ask! It was one of those should have read the Instructions first moments. Once on though they are comfortable to wear.

My Wingz definitely fall into the wardrobe basics category. However there are many dressier options available in fitted lace, floaty chiffon, flared sleeves interesting prints, and bright colours.

Not only are Wingz a good transitional solution to have on hand in a capsule wardrobe but they are also an ideal solution if you are not comfortable having your arms out.

Wingz are small enough to carry in a day bag as an instant cover up if you find yourself catching a bit too much sun but don’t want an extra layer. Fellow fair skinned ladies will appreciate this.

The black full fitted sleeve option is priced at £16.99. Prices range from £9.99 up to £45.

Do you think these are a good idea? What type of Wingz would you choose?