April Reading List

Just a quick one from me today. This post is about keeping me accountable. I’m trying to get myself back on track with my 2018 reading goal. At the start of the year I vowed I was going to read 24 books, which breaks down to two a month. So far I’m only a quarter way through my 4th book. Not great progress then as I should be starting my 7th by now. 

The plan for April is to finish Jo Jo Moyes After You, and then two further books. 

Those books will be; 

Who’s That Girl?  – Mhairi McFarlane 

This is a Call: the life and times of Dave Grohl – Paul Brannigan 


I do not seem to be be able to pick short books which could be why I’m finding it so hard? Perhaps I will have to find a couple of short stories to help me out? If anyone has any suggestions please help a girl out and drop them in the comments section. 

2018 Personal Goals – 1st quarter update. 

At the start of 2018 I set myself a moderate list of things I wanted to achieve this year. You can see the full list here. Now that we are three months into 2018 I decided to revisit the list and share with you some items I have ticked off.

Last Thursday I finally went to see the musical Wicked. My sisters surprised me with tickets for my birthday (much better than a physical present). 

Having wanted to see the show for such a  long time I am pleased to report that it didn’t disappoint. The alternative look at the world of Oz is clever, thought provoking and very funny. 

On this occasion Elphaba was actually played by the understudy Laura Pick. She was brilliant, and to be honest, If my sister hadn’t told me she was actually the understudy I never would have known. 

If you love musicals but haven’t seen Wicked yet book it up, you won’t be disappointed. 

I can now officially say that I can cable knit. Surprisingly It is actually pretty simple once you know how. That is provided you stick to the pattern you are following. I rely heavily on a stitch counter and may have had to un pick my mistakes a few times. 

I’m currently working on a cardigan for my Manager’s new baby. I really need to pull my needles out and finish that one whilst on annual leave this week otherwise he will be too big for it. Did I ever tell you that I deserve an award for advanced procrastination? 

That will be why I have unfortunately fallen behind with my reading schedule. I love reading however I just seem to have got out of the habit. My goal of reading 24 books in 18 is going to be tough to achieve. I’m currently on my 4th book at the moment, whereas I should be starting my 7th by now. Oops! 

Note to self…Step away from Twitter! 

So that’s my quarterly update. I don’t think I’m doing too badly but there is definitely room to pull my proverbial socks up.

Brand Focus – Jurlique skincare 

Back in Febuary, Latest in Beauty featured High end skincare brand Jurlique in their product menu. I have been using and enjoying the Rosewater balancing Mist for the previous year so this was a great opportunity to try out some other products from the brand.

Jurlique was developed by German husband and wife duo DR Jurgen and Ulrike Klein. The couples vision was to create the brand using a homeopathic approach that would connect its users back to nature. After settling in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia the couple set to work drawing on their skills in biochemistry and botany, along with  influences from the ancient arts of alchemy and herbal medicine, to create a sustainable organic range of skincare. The brand Jurlique was born.

Now that I have a good couple of weeks to try out the products and being really rather impresses I decided it was a great idea to feature Jurlique in a brand focus on schoolrunbeauty.com.

I have featured the products in the order that I use them in my skincare routine;

Nutri-Define Refining Foaming Cleanser £30 100ml

This cleanser contains tiny polishing beads designed to refine the skins texture and help to restore skin to a smooth glowing appearance. It contains Jojoba Ester, a non-polluting alternative to synthetic micro-beads, and willow bark extract to dissolve dirt and impurities. Already a big thums up from me!

Jurlique suggest that this cleanser can be used daily both morning and evening. I did this to begin with however my skin can be very reactive to over stimulation and this was just too much for me. I instead I have been using this, like I would an exfoliator, twice a week. Used this way it leaves my skin feeling super smooth and cleansed without causing inflammation.

Rosewater Balancing Mist £18 50ml

This is actually the first product that I tried from Jurlique and I instantly fell in love with it. I am currently using this as my toner of choice in both my morning and evening routine.  For the past year I always carry a mini size in my handbag to freshen up on my lunch break. It has a beautiful soft rose scent and really helps to combat the drying out effect of my workplaces air conditioning system.


This product formula is aimed at normal/combination skin, which I have. It is great at combating those annoying dry patches I can sometimes get around my nose. Key ingredients include Marshmallow root and Aloe Vera providing hydration, softening and skin balancing properties.

Activating Water Essence £40 100ml

This product is an added step to your skincare routine and works as a moisture booster. This has a very thin liquid consistency similar to a toner. To use I apply a few drops to the palm of my hands and then press into my skin. I am used to using hyaluronic acid for this step which I do find I actually prefer. For that reason I wouldn’t repurchase this. It isn’t a bad product though. If you don’t like the thicker tackier consistancy of hyalauranic acid this may be a good alternative for you.


Key ingredients include marshmallow Root for hydration, Calendula flower extract providing calming and anti-oxidant benefits and Peach leaf Extract for anti aging and radiance.

Purely Age-Defying Firming and Tightening Serum.  £56 30ml

This is a non greasy serum that sinks quickly into the skin. It is free from artificial colours, fragrances, parabens, PEGS and Sulphates so is ideal for sensitive skin.

The combination of Beech tree bud extract, Blue Algae and Oat Kernal extracts work together to add elasticity and bounce, smooth fine lines and improve the appearance of uneven skin tone.

I have a fairly prominent squint line between my eyes (I really should wear my glasses more).  After 10 days use this does appear to be looking much less prominant. I’m also convinced the integrity of my skins texture is much improved.

Herbal Recovery Advanced Day Cream – £46 50ml

This moisturiser contains a combination of 18 carefully selected botanicals of which the star ingredient is Japanese Cedar.  It claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and leave the skin glowing and looking feeling soft and supple.

It has fresh clean scent that doesn’t smell too strongly of herbs. The cream  sinks in well to the skin without any greasiness. So far I feel that there isn’t anything not to like about it.

Overall I think Jurlique is a great natural skincare brand. I have found the anti-aging products to be very effective. After using this combination of products exclusivly for 10 days my skin is feeling very smooth and supple. Visually it is looking very healthy which is a miracle considering how harsh the weather has been recently.

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5 Birthday Freebies you too can enjoy. 

I turned 36 last week, yikes! It feels weird just writing that. Anyway…growing old bleat over, I do like to see my Birthday as an excuse to be a little bit indulgent. Thanks to my love of loyalty cards I’ve been able to do just that without damaging my pocket.

I thought it would be great idea to show my readers what Birthday freebies I picked up, just in case you didn’t know that these offers were available. FYI, I didn’t know about free booze from Miller & Carter,  until my brow waxer told me about it.

The Body Shop – 

If you are a member of their Love Your Body reward card you will receive a £5 gift voucher on your birthday.

I traded mine in for a mini of my favourite Hemp Hand Cream.

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Benefit Cosmetics – 

If you have a Benefit brow bar near you then make sure you book an appointment for a free brow wax. This has to be scheduled within two weeks either side of your birthday. You don’t need to sign up to a loyalty program just bring along proof of your birthday date to your appointment.

Paperchase

If you hold a Paperchase treat me card then you will receive a £5 voucher on your birthday. The voucher is valid for two weeks from that date and is automatically loaded onto your points card.

I traded mine in for a notebook and cute avocado stickers.

Miller & Carter 

So this I eluded to earlier. If you sign up to Steak Club you can get a free glass of prosecco for yourself and guests on your birthday. At least four of you need to be ordering a main course to qualify.

Now I know this isn’t a cheap please to eat but I was heading there anyway for my birthday meal anyway so of course I wasn’t going to miss out on my free bubbles!
Hobby Craft 

I haven’t actually claimed this one yet, but I have a few days left to do so.

If you are a member of the Hobbycraft Club you will get a £5 voucher on your birthday. Unlike other vouchers of this type you can use it not just on full price items but also sale and clearance items.

Mine will be going towards a knitting needle case. I have so many needles that all sit loosely in a mess. Finding the correct matching pair can be a nightmare.

I hope you found this post helpful.

My first Pink parcel Experience 

Who else hates their period? I do, with a great big fat capital H! Saying that I do greet it each month with a ‘Halle-friggin-lujah’…I’ve dodged the pregnancy bullet. Those inevitable cramps and that not feeling truly clean experience are not welcome though! That’s why I decided I was going to give Pink Parcel a try. 

Pink Parcel is a monthly subscription service that promises to make those monthly visits ‘fuss free and fabulous’ The service combines treats, beauty products and those essential femcare products all delivered to you at home. This arrives in a discreet and well packaged parcel on a date of your choosing. 

My first concern was whether it would arrive in time. Fortunately it actually arrived roughly a week before my selected date. No problems there then.

Secondly, would I be sent the type of femcare product that I prefer to use? Thankfully you get to choose from a wide variety of brands and can pick, tampons, towels or even a combination of both. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this part of the box isn’t just an afterthought. You receive a good amount with a combination of items for both daytime and nighttime use. There is also even a little well filled ‘for now’ bag to keep in your handbag so you don’t ever get caught out. 

Also included in the box is a treat food item along with a healthy tea bag. I don’t know about you but I always crave chocolate around my time of the month. I also love a cup of tea!

January’s box theme is Positivity, so the beauty related products included reflect this. 

My favourite item included is the Made by Coopers Apothecary Happy Mist value £12. 

This can be used to spray in the air or onto fabrics. The lime, clementine and basil scent is very uplifting and definitely triggers the pleasure sensors. 

I was also pleased to see Browcote Waterproof Brow Gel. Value £6.99

Brow products are one of my favourite make-up items so I will definitely be trying this out. I’m that person that can happily leave the house with a bare face but I always have to have groomed brows. 

Laritzy is a makeup brand that I haven’t heard of before now. This eye pencil is what I consider to be a ‘safe’ introduction to the brand. This is the most expensive item in the box with an rrp of £18.00.

I have the shade shimmer which is a silver shade. I shall be trying this out in my waterline as an eye brightening product. The packaging states that it is free from Parabens and after checking their website I found out that they also do not test on animals. Both positives for me! 

The last item is a set of Bandzee Hair Ties value £5.95. 

I love this type of hair tie as they are strong yet don’t leave kinks in you hair. I do feel they are often very overpriced though, especially as I’m always loosing them. This was definitely a useful addition to this box. 
Over all I am really pleased with my first experience of Pink Parcel. The value of the contents far exceed the £12.95 price tag. I’m not going to lie sanitary towels are one of those essential items that I resent have to spend money on. This subscription service takes the pain out of it! I’m looking forward to seeing what February’s box brings. 

3 Skincare favourites for use at Night-time 

Every now and then I like to give my skincare routine a little bit of a shake up. Before Christmas I felt my evening skincare routine was not as effective as it could be. My skin was tired and lack lustre.

Given I am such a skincare hoarder I had  a rummage through my stash. I found I already had quite a few unopened products, specifically created for use at night time, just waiting to be tried out. 

Now Ive had a good old play with most of them I thought It was time I shared my favourite discoveries;

AD skin synergy nourishing night treatment 

I received this 10ml sized bottle of facial oil in my tili beauty advent calendar. It’s a good thing as this isn’t a product that I would normally gravitate towards. It is a very luxurious feeling oil and my skin seems to love it.  I’ve been using this for two weeks now and my skin is feeling much softer and smoother. 

The facial oil contains both cold pressed organic rose hip seed oil and organic rose essential oil. Not only does it smell nice but it is good for anti-aging. 

The rose ingredients are ethically farmed and traded on the slopes of the Andes mountains in Chili. No parebens, artificial perfumes, pertrochemicals or phenoyethanol are used in the oil so It’s no surprise that it has won three awards from BeautyBible.com. 

The full size 50ml bottle is £38 with free delivery. 

Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream 

This purse friendly night Cream has been inspired by Asian skincare sleeping packs. It has a highly concerntrated formula of 7 key ingredients. When you feel it in the pot it has a unique tacky texture. I expected it to feel quite heavy on the skin. This is not the case though. It absorbs instantly so doesn’t feel heavy, greasy or sticky.  

I’ve almost finished an entire pot of this and am about to repurchase. My skin loves this stuff! It feels smoother and much plumper.

I actually could talk for ages about the ingredients in this cream however that would make this a very long post. 

My curiosity saw me doing a bit of research into  Some of those magical 7 are ingredients as I had never heard of several of them, and Im a bit of a skincare junkie. 

I’ve decided that this deserves its very own in depth blog post so that will follow soon. Watch this space! 

Lastly this next product is something I keep on hand for skincare emergencies. Fortunately I don’t have to use it very often, maybe once a month If I get hormonal breakouts. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Lotion is very effective at calming down pesky raised spots. When needed I will apply this before bed and by morning, though not completely vanished, the appearance of those raised spots is much improved. 

Often I find spot treatments can dry my skin out but this doesn’t do that. It is also suitable for most skin types as it has worked well for both my teenagers that have quite greasy skin. 


The rrp of this is £10 although The Bodyshop always have some kind of promotion running. Currently it is 30% off full price items if you use the code 14673. 

It is definitely worth using products specifically designed for use at night. The body recovers from tiredness best when it is  sleeping at night so the same should apply to your approach to skincare. 

I can testify that my skin is looking so much better since I’ve introduced these three products to my bedtime routine. 

Moral of the story…don’t hoard that night time skincare…use it! 

Bringing Back The Photo Album 

When the first digital camera was invented back in 1975 it was heavy, slow and could only record black and white images. It was never intended for commercial use. In fact It took until 1990 for the first digital camera to be commercially available.

Originally it was  slow to catch on but the digital camera was to revolutionise how we took and viewed our photographs. No longer did we have to wait for our films to be developed and printed by a professional. Our photos could be instantly viewed, the unflattering ones deleted. All that excitement and urgency to get our hands on our photos was no longer. 

Today most of us have a smartphone that can instantly capture and share moments to social media. The need to print our images seems even less. 

I don’t know about you but I have years worth of digital images stored in virtual space not being appreciated. The missed opportunities of this was only reinforced by the death of my mother this year. I had a realisation that all I had left of my Mum were memories. I wanted something tangible to help hold onto them. 

It may sound overly dramatic but this was a bit of a wake up call for me. 

I am currently working on a little project to get all my favourite pictures printed and into albums. I am very aware that this is going to end up being a costly and time consuming project. It will be worth it though.

Currently I am using the FreePrints app available for iPhone to print those images from my phone, social media and Dropbox accounts. What’s helpful is that you get 45 free prints a month, only having to pay for postage. 

The quality of the prints are great and delivery is fast. I would love to leave a link but is it is app that isn’t possible. The icon though is a white butterfly on a blue background (see screenshot below).

For photo albums I like to use ring bound scrapbooks as I can really personalise the layout of each page. I can also add newspaper cuttings and tickets from events. I feel like I am creating something special for me to look back in years from now. 

Why I still Love A Beauty Box

Scrolling through Twitter recently I couldn’t help but notice an increase in negative feelings towards beauty Subscription Boxes. 

A couple of years ago it seemed the likes of Glossybox and Birchbox could do no wrong. Based on their success everyone wanted a piece of the action and there are now a huge variety of boxes to choose from. If you want high end there’s Cohorted. Is French Beauty your thing? We have My Little Box. Want something to make your monthlies a bit more appealing? Pink Parcel has you covered. Has the novelty worn off though?  Am I in the minority? I still love a beauty box you see. 

To settle my curiosity I ran a little Twitter poll. 


Of the 39 people that responded 56% said that they no longer enjoyed a Beauty Subscription Box. Perhaps they are falling out of favour then! 

If you are one of those people I would love to know why this is. For now though I’m going to share my reasons for still loving a Beauty Box. 

  • I love trying out different beauty products but don’t necessarily want to purchase a full size. What if I don’t like a product? What if it isn’t right for me? I’ve either wasted my money (If I really cant use it) or I’m stuck using a product I don’t like. 
  • It means I can afford to try out those expensive Beauty products I wouldn’t usually be able to afford. You can usually make huge savings if you are savvy. This is why I love Latest In Beauty. There is the option to curate your own box from a Huge menu of products. I usually do a little bit of googling to find out the RRP of products so I get the best value for money. 

    • I’m still discovering new brands all the time. QVC’s Tili Box is particularly good for this. I am eagerly anticipating their latest Box that is launching on September 1st. 
    • I am pushed out of my comfort zone. Often those surprise boxes contain types of products or shades that I wouldn’t ever consider choosing myself. I’ve discovered some of my favourite products in this way. 
    • It’s something to look forward too. I still get excited about the anticipation of receiving my monthly box of goodies. It almost feels like receiving a present. 

    I have to admit I do tend to get bored after a while if I am subscribed to an individual subscription for too long. Each company definitely tends to favour a few brands over others. 

    There are loads of different services I haven’t tried yet so I will just switch to someone else. I have my eye on The Vegan Kind as I would like to be using more cruelty free and natural products. 

    If you love a beauty box service do share your favourite in the comments below. 

    What do people really think about grey hair? 

    In recent months it’s has become much more noticeable that I’m getting the odd grey hair. At 35 this was bound to happen sooner or later. 

    Worried about this ageing me, I’ve been pondering what do do with my greys. Ignore it, pull them out or reach for the hair dye. 

    I decided to do a little bit of research as I was curious to see what people really felt about grey hair. Particularly as 2016 saw granny hair being a big trend. For the record, I didn’t get the ‘grey hair trend’.

    One 24hr twitter poll later I had a slightly better understanding. 

    Almost 3/4 of the people who responded to the poll agreed that they weren’t actually that bothered about going grey as it happens to us all. That’s kind of good to know, I’m not suddenly past it! 
    Interestingly though 100% of people agreed that society is more acceptable of men having grey hair. 


    From a personal perspective I sit very much on the fence with my feelings about my hair turning grey. 

    My hair is currently its natural colour. I grew out any colourant that was present and then had the remnants cut off. 

    I would describe my hair as mid brown, it is actually a lot lighter than I remember after it being dyed a darker brown for so many years. In the past year I have had my first noticeable greys. They actually sit under my parting so are only really noticeable if I pull my hair back. 

    The texture of these are different though and feel much coarser. 

    I can deal with this for now but am unsure how to proceed with my hair when it becomes more noticeable. To be quite frank I can be very lazy when it comes to my hair. One of the main reasons I stopped colouring it in the first place was that I found it such a chore keeping on top of the roots. 

    I also think very white or silvery looking hair can look quite stunning on the right person. 

    When it came to peoples response to grey hair, using hair dye was the most popular response. Though I was actually surprised that leaving greys alone was a very close second. 


    I’m not rushing out to dye my hair anytime soon. I also get enough fall out all ready that I’m not going to voluntarily pull out any extras.   For now I’m in the ‘leave it alone’ camp and am comfortable with that. If these results are accurate people aren’t actually that bothered by the odd grey hair anyway. 

    Do you agree with this poll? 

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. 

    Follow Friday – 5 Fab #30plusblogs

    Something very exciting is happening in the blogging community, us ladies over a certain age are emerging from the shadows of our well represented younger counterparts. Who knew there were so many of us out there typing away and producing such great blogs?

    Thanks to the hard work of Hayley Carr, author of London Beauty Queen,  us 30 plus ladies have the opportunity to be part of a new and exciting project, ‘The Thirty Plus blog collective’. With it’s very own shiny new website this is a place were we can share content and discover other bloggers who are creating content that is relevant to us.

    In the interest of celebrating this I thought I would share some of the great blogs I have discovered thanks to become part of #30plusbloggers.

    Tales of a Pale face is a primarily a beauty blog, written by Kat. Her photography is beautiful and her writing style is very witty.  Expect lots of beauty tips and make-up reviews .

    Beauty Rocks Blog is written by Jamie, she covers topics such as beauty, fashion and lifestyle. I have serious style envy where this lady is concerned. Her OOTD posts are the sort of outfits I wish I could come up with myself.

    Charlotte from Mummy Fever is lady I can relate to, this is a lady who blogs about beauty, fashion, cooking, health and lifestyle  with the added twist of someone who is a busy mummy. Basically I challenge anyone to not find at least one article on her blog that is relevant.

    Now this blog I just love! Gill from Growing Old Disgracefully is so frigging glamorous! She gives you a wonderful insight into the exciting things happening in her life with a take on beauty that all us ladies can learn from.

    Last but not least is Music and Eye-liner a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog. Her blog is so pretty and has lots of interesting lifestyle features. One worth that is worth checking out.

    So that is my  picks of some of the fab blogs that are part of this new venture. Well done Hayley for having such a great idea, I can’t wait to see what exciting things she has up her sleeve for the future.