Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Brody

Today I'm allowing an indulgent post to wish my nephew a very happy 6th birthday, the little boy that first made me an auntie. Whilst I'm biased of course Brody is an adorable little man if not, and I mean this affectionately of course, a creep at times. Few things make my heart melt than him running up to hug me when he see's me, telling me he loves me and he's one of few people that would get away with waking me up at 5am in the morning that's for sure.

His birthday seems the perfect opportunity to share a how proud I am moment. A few weeks ago we were at a party together where all the children were given various balloon creations by Elsa (yes not only does she specialise in 'ice' but balloons too). Violet lost hers somewhere along the way and got rather upset and whilst me and my sister-in-law were trying to explain that she didn't need one we looked up and Brody had gone over to the Elsa who was packing away and explained his sister had lost her balloon and could she make another - is that not the cutest thing? His cheekiness knows no bounds that when Violet burst the balloon a mere five minutes later (she really was not destined to have this balloon!) and he went back to Elsa and asked for another.

So happy birthday once again Brody and look forward to your party at the weekend.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Christmas Tree Debate

This time next month we will be sitting around with friends and family, opening presents, stuffing ourselves with turkey and waiting for the Downton Abbey Christmas special to begin and I for one can't wait as this year my family will be joining my sister-in-law's for one big old celebration.

That said I'm probably feeling the least festive I have in some time. There's no drama, rhyme or reason and I have a diary packed full of various celebrations over the next month which I'm looking forward to and that is part of the reason that last week I made an announcement to friends and family that has left my brother livid and blog readers feel free to judge me accordingly. This Christmas I have decided not to put my Christmas tree up - insert shocked emoji!

Usually I would be putting my tree up for 1st December but that is thwarted this year by the arrival of my new fridge freezer and currently my kitchen contents are laid across my flat whilst I take advantage of some space to repaint the kitchen before it arrives.

The following few weeks as I mentioned will be filled with celebrations, drinks, blogging and trying to fit in the time just seems like a big pressure when I will spend much of my time outside of my flat and unable to take full advantage. Not to mention my tree is a mammoth beast and my decorations have been collected over the years and it takes almost as long to remove them from packaging as it does to place on the tree and as soon as Boxing Day is over with I like to get the tree down and there's nothing I hate more than packing it all away, fighting to fit the dismantled tree into it's box and the feeling that my home looks bare without the twinkling fairy lights.

My brother as I mentioned is not happy with this explanation and as such he is addressing me only as 'No Tree' and I'm receiving photos like the one in this post of simple pop up trees with cute adorable nephews to tug at my heart strings. You see usually I invite my niece and nephew to help me decorated the trees as you can see in posts from 2012 and 2011. Of course looking through those posts makes me feel nostalgic but sometimes you have to take a year off.

Of course I'm not a complete Scrooge and I will be digging out my collection of Christmas mugs, decorating my table with a poinsettia and a few other decorations that I have but this year the tree feels a little too much.

So what do you think, should I make the effort and put a tree up or is it fair to have a year off?

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Sick Day Saviours

Be prepared for I am going to play the sympathy card. I have been sick, for weeks. I had a shocking cold which dragged on for weeks. When it finally disappeared I was left with not one but two cold sores and to top it off my period. This shocking month was made somewhat easier by a few products which I wanted to share with you.

Thera Pearl Sports Pack* link
I've grown to rather love this brightly coloured pouch from Thera Pearl which works for a multitude of ailments from period pain to general aches and pains. You can either heat in the microwave or freeze depending on your need. Following my hangover cures post last week I must add that this is a life saviour for hungover days when a cold compress is needed as was it's need on a few hot and sweaty nights when I was filled with cold. Whilst suffering with the usual back pain the first day of my period brings it was great to be able to pop the Thera Pearl pack into the microwave and tuck into the waist band of my pjs and feel the pain ease away. Far easier than bothering with boiling kettles that a hot water bottle requires and the smaller more flexible pouch makes targeting the area you want far easier.

Compeed Cold Sore Patch link
I've suffered with cold sores ever since I was young and usually rely on Zovirax to do the job. That said I always find that they tend to look worse during the process and there's nothing less attractive nor obvious than a white cream covered blemish on the lips. I can't remember how I first came across the Compeed Cold Patches but I imagine it was when I was looking for a way to either speed up it's disappearance and mask it. What I've now found is that applying these plasters disguises the cold sore to a degree and minimises the risk of spreading that can occur with cream applications and it avoids the situation of, and sorry to go into gross territory but getting moist, plain gunky and then drying out which can lead to cracking and bleeding. The cold sore patches contain the cold sore, keep it at a minimal size and require less fuss. The wear of the patches will depend on how much eating and drinking you're doing with them on and depending on the area of the lip but I now rely solely on these than any creams and find much better results.

Dr Lewinn's Instant Beauty Radiance Booster* link
During my cold spell I needed a hell of a lot of radiance and moisture and thankfully I had the Dr Lewinn's Instant Beauty Radiance Booster to hand. I was still required to drag myself into the office during my cold and to avoid looking like the sick monster I felt a good layer of this cream helped perk me up, especially around the nose which was pretty red and dry from constant nose blowing. It has a faintly cucumber scent which I'm able to identify now (no chance of smell a few weeks ago!) and it worked really well as a primer before make up too which was an added bonus. Again referring back to my hangover kit this is a great product to use as a mask, applying a layer on the skin for 15 mins before washing off or as I do leaving to sink into my skin.

Vicks First Defence link
The nasal spray from Vicks was a recommendation from my brother who swears by it. I fear I may have left things too late to catch the early days of my cold but it certainly aided my nasal passage when I was struggling to breathe and frustrated with constantly sneezing and blowing my nose. Now there's a picture for you. For those who prefer to use more natural products my friend has recommended this version.

Janjira Eye Cream* link
The eyes, window to the soul they say. Well I hate to think what my soul was saying over the past few weeks. Trying to sleep whilst simultaneously stopping my nose from running and general exhaustion that I had to phone my mum on more than one occasion to pick me up the station and drop me home despite living 5 minutes walk away saw some pretty bad bags under my eyes. Thankfully the Janjira Eye Cream* contains Tumeric Extract and Caffeine which helps to reduce the dark circles an puffiness.

Of course this list isn't exhaustive and I will have a post up soon on two bath time treats that comforted me during my woe is my I have a cold days. There was also the odd medicinal glass of red wine and lots of tissues used too!

What are your sick day comforts?

*PR Samples 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

At Home Manicure with Scholl

Scholl Manicure Set* link

I was excited to receive the Scholl Manicure Kit* recently as I'm dreadfully lazy at doing my nails. As you'll have read in previous posts I dabble with Biosculpture Nails but have been known to miss one or two appointments and then laziness or lack of time prevents me to dedicating the time needed.

Hopefully the Scholl Manicure Kit would help speed up the process and make things a little easier. So what does the kit contain? Firstly you have a handy travel pouch to keep everything contained and mine has had one or two other products I use thrown in such as orange sticks and my Renunail Strengtheners.

I'm always dubious of these sorts of electronic beauty gifts as more time consuming but it's not the case with this handy gadge. The main component or 'pen' is chargeable so you only require mains access when charging and so far I have used this pen on numerous occasions and yet to need to recharge.

Nine different attachments tend to all your nails needs:
  1. Sapphire shaping disc to gently shape and file nails
  2. Fine grained sapphire disc to file thicker nails and shape them perfectly
  3. Course grained sapphire disc to shorten thicker toe nails
  4. Sapphire cone to remove dry skin or calluses from the soles of the feet and heels
  5. Felt polishing cone to smooth and buff nails for a high shine finish
  6. Flame stone to help remove difficult edges and ingrowing nails
  7. Rounded stone to gently remove corns and calluses with soft repeated touches
  8. Cylindrical stone to smooth the nail surface and remove dead skin around the nails - ideal for the regular surface of toe nails
  9. Polishing cone to smooth and polish the edge of the nail after filing as well as the nail surface.
I've found reason to use all the attachments which again is something you often find doesn't always happen. The discs for toenails are perfect and whilst I still enjoy using my Leighton Denny file for my hands it's something of a waste on the feet.

I do have a bit of an ingrowing nail problem on one of my toes and after a day walking round in heels can suffer from hard skin and it's great that I don't have to go through the effort of soaking feet to use these attachments and I can maintain the process on a regular basis as I'm not relying on trips to the salon.

As I said I often find these are the sort of gadgets that you use once or twice and then they sit at the back of a draw but the ease and results from using the Scholl Manicure Kit means it will most definitely have a permanent place in my kit.

Are you a beauty gadget fan? 

*PR Sample
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