Wednesday, 29 August 2012

If I wanted advice... (or I must be a crap parent)

Deary me.  I must BE a crap parent.  I must LOOK like a crap parent.  I must ACT like a crap parent.  People must look at me and see someone who has absolutely NO IDEA how to look after a baby.  Yes, that must be it.  Otherwise, why would so many people feel the need to tell me how to raise my child?  Why would they tell me I should be doing X, Y and Z?

Do I dangle my baby over balconies in the style of Michael Jackson? NO!  Does my baby go hungry? NO!  Do I let my baby play with electrical appliances or sharp objects? NO!  Do I take her swimming in shark infested water? NO!  Do I feed her McDonalds and pot noodles washed down with cans of Coke? NO!  By all accounts my baby is happy and healthy.  She is 8 months, can crawl, pull up on furniture, say mamma and dadda (and I'm sure I heard a "hi" the other day), she has 6 teeth and one on the way.  In my opinion she is doing fine.  Obviously the "advice givers" know different.  Hence the advice...

Example One:

Does baby like yoghurt?

Yes I give her greek yoghurt with fresh fruit every day.

Oh? *insert judgemental look* Don't you think Petit Filous would be better?  It is made for babies.

(I'm sorry but how is giving my baby yoghurt and fresh fruit  a bad thing?  Worse than giving fruit flavoured yoghurt?  Slap on the back of the hands for me...BAD MUMMY!)

Example Two:

Those clothes are far too big for her.  Why not put her in something that fits? All that extra material is probably making her uncomfortable and might chafe her delicate skin...

She is between sizes right now.   *Again "the look"*

This is always said when Holly is transitioning between sizes.  Would these people rather I dressed her in clothes that were far too tight?  Surely that would chafe and hurt more than something which is marginally too big?  Silly Mummy!   I'm obviously supposed to be super mum and make her some made to measure clothing to wear so this never happens.  Should I be making her a new outfit every time she grows a centimetre?  I'm not sure...perhaps I better ask for advice?

Example Three:

You should take her out a walk every day...

Erm...we do.  We always have.

Oh that's good.  I'm glad you took my advice.

Erm...NO!  We always did that anyway.  Stop trying to make out that anything we do that you deem to be acceptable  is in any way your idea!  I suppose it must be though, since everything else we do is so wrong and bad.  We couldn't possibly have a single good idea on how to raise our child, could we?

Example Four:

Why don't you have foam corners on all your furniture?  Holly could hurt herself on this/that!  What do you mean you only have cupboard locks on some cupboards?  You should have them on every cupboard and drawer!  Aren't you worried that she'll hurt herself... *accusatory tone*

You  do realise that you physically cannot baby proof everything!  We have a baby gait for the stairs, plug covers and cupboard locks for the cupboards and drawers holding dangerous items.  Why lock a cupboard that holds tupperware tubs and some spatulas?  Isn't that just overkill?  Even if we do or do not have foam corners on the furniture Holly will fall and hurt herself somewhere, at some point.  Fact.  In addition, other places we take her will not be "baby proofed" (including your home, smarty pants advice giver).  Will you baby proof your entire home just so we can visit?  Didn't think so.  Oh well.  On your safety advice we'd better not visit you just incase Holly injures herself in your terribly unsafe home. Tsk Tsk...

So those are just a few examples of what we've had so far.  I could go on, but you get the point.  You'll have had it yourself I bet.  I probably take it all far too seriously/personally, but that's me.  I know these people are trying to help, but guess doesn't help!  So please, do us all a favour you lovely givers of unnecessary advice.  Here is my friendly advice to you.  Please feel free to give us advice... when we ask for it!  Until then...keep it shut!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Review - Marc Jacobs Dot EDP

I'm possibly the biggest fan of Marc Jacobs fragrances so when Holly's daddy bought me the newest Marc Jacobs scent as a gift I was over the moon!  My favourite MJ scent has always been Daisy, although I also love a bit of Lola! They are simply divine! I did wonder though if it was possible for Marc Jacobs to create yet another beautiful fragrance for me to love?  Could it possibly be a love at first sniff yet again?'ll have to read the review to find out!

First of all I adore the packaging. In a word - pretty.  Black and red polka dots (hence the name Dot)!  I'm a fan of just about anything polka dot, so I was sold on just the box.  On opening the box I was met with a signature Marc Jacobs style bottle just as cutesy as the outer packaging.  As with all MJ fragrances the bottle is simple but the top is bright, stylish and beautifully designed.  Red with black polka dots and what looked like butterfly wings.  The lid looked like a hybrid of a butterfly and ladybird, (what would you call that? A butterbird or a ladyfly maybe?  Trust me though, it looks much prettier than either of those sound!)

Apologies for the poor photos.  Took these on my phone & before I  could take proper ones I accidentally smashed the perfume bottle lid!

So...what did I think of the scent?  On first spritz it has a lovely, surprisingly fruity fragrance.  The top notes of Dragon fruit and red berries are not fresh and zesty, but are instead juicy and almost tropical.  Once the fragrance settles the rich floral scent of jasmine and orange blossom filters through.  It is a fairly strong scent,  I like that in a perfume but if you prefer lighter fragrances this probably isn't for you.  To me it is heavenly, like walking through a tropical garden on a hot, heady summer night!  So I would definitely categorise this as an evening fragrance best worn in the summer (for me anyway). It is really up to you though, wear it whenever you like! I just think certain scents suit different occasions!  As for staying power, the Dot Eau de parfum lasted longer than 4 hours on me, the scent still staying strong throughout.  I think that can be said for all the MJ fragrances I've tried though.

So what is my overall view?  This is classic Marc Jacobs.  Floral notes and a strong fragrance.  If you are a fan of Marc Jacobs this is another great fragrance to add to your collection!  I love it!

Disclosure: all opinions given in this review are honest and my own.
Friday, 24 August 2012

Rant and Review - Always

Its that time again.  I'm on it.  Not like a car bonnet as the young uns' are so fond of saying.  Nope. I'm on it as in "I've got the decorators in".

I suggest if you don't want to read about periods that you don't read on.  Although the title should have given that away already.  Didn't you read it?  Yep, I'm in that sort of mood.  Ranty and arguementative.

I digress though.  Something has been bugging me ever since Aunt Flo came back after her year long holiday (much deserved I think since she's been hanging around me since the age of eleven).  I have ALWAYS had heavy periods and I'd ALWAYS used ALWAYS pads.  So went Aunt Flo came back I bought them again.  Yes, my period was even heavier now but they had always been more than good enough before.  Well not any more.  Have they changed them in a year?  I opened the packet and they certainly looked much tinier and thinner than I remember. Maybe I've just been spoiled by the thick pillow-like design of the maternity pad?

I now hate Always pads, they absorb NOTHING.  They are leaky. It is disgusting. I'd have to change pads about every 10 minutes they are so crap.  Awful.  I don't see how they can say they are so absorbant.  Kitchen towel would be more absorbant, and I don't even mean Plenty.  I'm talking ASDA smart price.  These things are so crap I couldn't even clean up a kitchen spill if I wanted to.  I seriously don't know what they've done to them.  Who are they made for? Effing Tinkerbell? In my opinion they would struggle to even be absorbent enough for a pixie with a period.

So that's it. I've said it. Sorry for this random blog post.  I felt it had to be said. Don't waste your money if your period is any heavier than that of a nit (if nits had periods).

Thursday, 23 August 2012

How time flies....

It seems time really does fly.  I could have sworn I only brought Holly home from the hospital the other day, so how can that now be 8 MONTHS AGO?  She has grown so fast, like a beautiful (but noisy and sometimes grumpy) flower.  From not being able to hold up her head to crawling and now pulling up on furniture trying to terrify me.  It seems there is no stopping her!  I can't believe it looking back over the MILLION or so photos we have of her.  So here are some of them, no fancy photography here. Just a point and a click and one perfect baby...

She went from this....

To this....

And this...

She takes my breath away....Fearless, smart, strong and beautiful. My Holly.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Stay legal in France!

Next month we are having our first family holiday! I have to tell you I'm incredibly excited!
We decided we didn't want to go somewhere too far flung as we don't know how well Holly would adjust to the change. We also thought that taking Holly on a flight might have been difficult since she has started teething and become more mobile and active. It might be quite a challenge to keep her occupied during a flight!

So we decided we would drive to France!  It seemed like a good option. Although we have a long drive to Dover (about 7-8 hours), we know Holly likes the car and it means we can stop as many times as we need to.

The ferry itself only takes 90 mins so we plan to drive to Dover have an overnight hotel stay and be up fresh and ready for the ferry the next day!  Easy peasy!

I genuinely thought my biggest issue taking the car to France would be how much cheap wine we could bring back...However, when we were looking into it we realised that driving your own car to France requires some preparation or you may just find yourself on the wrong side of the law!  We've driven abroad many times before in places like Tunisia, Italy, Malta & yes...even in France!  However, we always hired a vehicle when we arrived.  It seems if you take your own car you MUST check that it fits all the legal criteria of the country you are driving in. So if you are going to France (or anywhere else in Europe) the first thing to check is your car insurance, make sure it is valid for travel abroad.  If it isn't already included in your current policy maybe check out that option next time you compare car insurance .  Also, did you know there are certain items & equipment you must carry in you car at all times whilst driving in France? If you do not have these items you risk being fined by the police!

  • Set of Beam Converters
  • Hazard Warning Triangle
  • Magnetic GB Plate
  • Reflective Emergency Jacket (MUST be kept in the front of the car for easy access)
  • Bulb Kit
  • Disposable breathalyser
You can buy a kit including all these items quite easily for around £20-30. When we talked about this with friends we were surprised how many of them had driven in France and didn't know they needed this equipment.  They were extremely lucky not to have been fined!

In addition to all the equipment you NEED to take, there are things which are safest left at home.  Did you know that the use of sat nav or GPS equipment is illegal?  If you are found to have these in your car (whether in use or not) you may face a fine of up to €1,500 and possibly face having your equipment and your car confiscated!! This is because it is illegal to have any type of equipment which has the potential to detect speed cameras.  Scary stuff!

As far as I know that seems to be all the info I could find on staying "road legal" in France.  I'm just glad I found out before we got there!  I really don't fancy being stranded in France with no car and a baby!

One last thing...if you were wondering just how much wine you can bring back from France, it is up to 120 bottles!

Hope this info is helpful to some of you, I don't want anyone else getting caught out!

*This is a sponsored post
Saturday, 18 August 2012

Thought of the day

Science is a wonderful thing isn't it?  The world has benefited from countless medical and scientific advances throughout the centuries.  From keyhole surgery to heart transplants & splitting the atom, its just amazing isn't it?   So answer me this...why is it that the best method they've come up with for cleaning your teeth is a tiny brush whacked on the end of a stick, covered in a blob of minty goo?  Enquiring minds want to know!!

I suppose you can't really expect too much of science isn't even spelled correctly.  I before E except after C isn't it?

Is this really the best they can come up with?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Perspective - How not to do self pity


It's a wonderful thing, perspective. Sadly, a lot of people don't seem to have a sense of perspective.

Like last week, I woke to have one of "those days". I felt as dreary as the weather outside (which needless to say did nothing to help my mood). I felt utterly miserable and totally sorry for myself.  Why was I having such a bad day?  What did I ever do wrong?  Why was life so crap?  That is how I felt.  Yet at the same time I knew I was bullshitting myself.  I knew I had a good life, with plenty to be happy about.  I knew I was incredibly lucky.  I know how utterly bleak life is for some people.  I have my health, my wonderful daughter and her daddy.  I have a nice home, I have food in my cupboards, I don't particularly have to worry about money and I have a holiday to look forward to.  I knew all this, yet still I was gloomy.  I almost felt rotten for feeling rotten.  So I just kept my head down and got on with the day as best I could (ok so I did lie in bed, have a little cry for a bit and eat too many biscuits), but I waited it out as I knew that in the morning I'd feel different. It was just a bad day (yeah thanks PERIOD).  I didn't moan to anyone else, I didn't strop to anyone else like a petulant child and I did not go looking for sympathy.  Lets face it, it's not as if I had been attacked by killer bees or lost a leg to a shark attack.  That's perspective, see?

Lets cut to another day and another person (not me).  Lets call her Gertrude (just because I can, ok).  Gertrude is by all accounts a nice person.  Really.  However, Gertrude likes to a little something called self pity.  Now that would be all well and good if she actually had problems.  She doesn't.  Well not really.

Gertrude has a good career, lives in a nice BIG house and takes MULTIPLE holidays every year.  Gertrude has magazine subscriptions, wine club, gym memberships and more besides.  Now for Gertrude, as is the case with just about the entire world right now, money has gotten a bit tighter. However, her career means she earns a more than generous salary.  She is still having multiple holidays, and pretty much doing everything she has always done.  So the other day when I saw Gertrude this was how our conversation went...

Me:  How are you?

G: (Massive sigh) oh, you know....

Me: (Concerned by sigh)  Is something wrong, do you need anything?

G: (Another massive sigh) My life is sooo tough right now, it's not fair.  I work so hard.

Me:  Oh no, what is it? 

G:  Well, I am totally and utterly skint.  I'm so upset about it, I've got so many bills and I'm having to cut right back.  It's just so hard... ( G is literally nearly in tears at this point)

Me:  Oh that is awful, I'm sorry to hear that. (Thinking she might be in debt or something)

G:  It's really getting to me, I've had so much on lately. I had that weekend away, then that festival last weekend and that concert coming up this weekend.  Then I've got a few nights out... With all that I'm going to have to cancel going to a friends birthday dinner as I've spent way too much this month.  It's sooo depressing.  I'm just....(voice trails off, eyes are teary)

Me: (anger rising, but keeping it hidden) Maybe you could cut back a little more on something else?  Maybe cancel a membership or something, cut back on holidays?

G:  (looks at me in horror and disgust) Are you serious?  I work soooo hard, I NEED those things.  Without them my life would be HELL, a drudgery! I couldn't live without them. (G is now flailing arms wildly and pointing an accusatory finger at me)

At this point I'm very angry and want to slap the shit out of Gertrude until she bleeds profusely and also possibly stamp on her repeatedly when she hits the ground whilst telling her a few home truths. However, my better judgement and sense of decency steers me away from this course of action (I don't advocate the use of physical violence ever in any way - sometimes it crosses my mind though).  So I decide it will be better to change the subject to avoid turning this conversation into a blood bath.  The conversation is eventually concluded and we went go separate ways.

Just to add, after seeing me Gertrude went swanning off to the gym for a swim, sauna and massage to de-stress. Of course...

Sadly, Gertrude is not the only person in life I've come across like this. I have encountered this with many people. It absolutely infuriates me.  Even if they do want to wallow in imagined self pity that would be fine, as long as they keep it out of my face.  Out of everyone's face.  Go and have your pity party by yourself you arse (like I do with my bed dwelling, biscuit munching antics)!

I don't know about you, but I wasn't brought up to feel sorry for myself.  I often heard the terrifying words uttered "Do you want me to give you something to cry about?" and that threat was enough.  My teary eyes and quivering lip disappeared almost instantly and I got on with it. I'm glad of it today. So why are so many people so self pitying and self indulgent?  Did their parents have a hand in creating these snivelling creatures?  Is it something they can ever change about themselves or is it ingrained in them from childhood?

I always wonder, is it better to humour these people when I encounter them or would I be doing them a favour by shooting them down in flames?   I'd love to do that, but I think if I did I'd just add to their pity.  They would see my intervention as some kind of attack.  I would be the big bad wolf, and them the poor victim (in their eyes)?

So what should I have done/said to griping Gertrude?  What would you do/have you done in a similar situation?  Maybe she could actually do with a good attack from a few killer bees or maybe a shark. Just to put things into perspective...

I'll give you something to cry about...
Monday, 6 August 2012

GOSH X-Ceptional Wear Foundation Review! Oh my GOSH!

My Foundation Journey

Since I no longer buy high end make-up as much as I used to I have been on a mission to find good, reasonably priced foundations for some time.  While I used to favour brands like MAC and Estée Lauder, I must say I've been very impressed with a lot of what the high street make-up brands have to offer.  It seems that the days of orange oompa loompa flakey cakey foundation are all but over! My particular favourite brand for foundation has so far been Bourjois and their wonderful Healthy Mix foundation. However, as much as I love it, I would like to find something with a bit more coverage as I have quite a few blemishes and old acne scars I'd like to hide! I was excited when Bourjois released their full coverage foundation , Bourjois Flower Perfection. Although the coverage was good I found it didn't work well on my unruly skin.  I have mega oily combination skin, so while I'm oily all over, I also have a lot of dryness across my cheeks.  I found that it made my dry patches look hideous!  So I decided I would start looking around for another full coverage alternative and that's when I found GOSH X-Ceptional Wear...

GOSH X-Ceptional Wear Review

This foundation comes in very simple but professional looking packaging.  The bottle contains 35 ml/1.2 fl.oz and costs just £7.99.  It is available in Superdrug.

When applied, the product glides onto the skin and it has a lovely feel to it.   I have previously found  lot of full coverage foundations seem very thick and dry quite quickly on the skin making them more difficult to apply and blend. This often causes them to appear cakey and mask like on the skin.  I can happily say this isn't the case here! This foundation was a dream to apply.  I used my Sigma F80 to apply it and it melted into my skin rather than just sitting on top of it like a cakey mask. It has an extremely matte finish but still looks very natural.

The coverage is exceptionally good, I didn't have to use a lot of product and the majority of my blemishes were well covered even without concealer.  Another bonus is that this product is easily buildable so you could apply a touch more and boost the coverage a bit further if you wanted.  A little product really does go a long way with this! I'm pleased to report that it covered my dry patches and made my skin look smooth without any flaky skin showing through!  Also, I tend to suffer from a little redness across my cheeks and around my nose and I usually have to use concealer on these areas to get enough coverage.  When I applied this foundation none of my redness was visible!  How good is that?

What else is left to say about this foundation? Well, what about staying power? It is great! I apply this foundation without setting it with powder.  Something which I have never done with any other foundation, EVER.  It stays put all day.  I get a little shine on my nose but that isn't until late evening, when most other foundations would usually be long gone, even with powder to set them!  This product simply does not budge!  I can really see why they call it exceptional wear!

So I guess you are wondering if there are any negative points?  To be honest, for me, not really!  However I do have a few suggestions/tips when it comes to using this foundation.  Firstly, as I've already said it is VERY matte.  If you don't like matte foundation it may be best to avoid this one.  However, I've found that you can make it look a bit less matte if you mix it with a tiny amount of liquid highlighter.  It may take a bit of experimentation to get it to the finish you like though.  Also, I don't think this foundation should be applied by hand.  It definitely applies much better using a brush or damp make-up sponge.  It does apply OK, but nowhere near as good as with a brush! 

The Final Verdict

I love this foundation!  It has to be my new favourite foundation and I can see me using it for a long time to come.  For my skin, it works perfectly and does everything I need it to!  Not only that, but at £7.99 it is an absolute bargain as it is far superior to anything else I've tried for a very long time.  I would definitely recommend you try it if you are looking for a good full coverage foundation.  Even if you didn't like it (although I'm sure it's unlikely), it is only £7.99!   I'm sure we've all spent much more than that on foundations we didn't like! So go on. Try it out.  I'm sure you'll be saying "Oh my GOSH" at just how good this is!

Thanks for reading!!

Disclosure:  I bought this product myself and all opinions are my own

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