30
Oct
2014

What Conor Wore #3

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I love soft fine knits on babies and while they’re not the most practical item of clothing, they do look mighty cute if you’re going somewhere special.  I really like the knitwear from Bellybutton because it’s really high quality, super soft and washes really well.  I bought this jumper from Amazon and although I don’t think this exact one is available anymore, there’s lots of other gorgeous ones to choose from. The buttons on this one make it so easy to take on and off and because it’s a fine knit, it’s perfect for layering without making everything bunched up and bulky.

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BellyButton jumper | H&M leggings | Next booties | H&M Hat | Lovjoy bib

H&M are a great place to go for cheap and cheerful leggings and accessories for babies and they always wash well too.  I have found myself going back for larger sizes of what I already have so Conor can keep wearing the same bodysuits. I thought the little grey beanie with silver polkadots was so sweet and it’s a nice lightweight hat for when it’s just a bit chilly outside. The guitar print bib came in a pack from Lovjoy and I like the fact that they’re thicker than the other bibs I have with an almost fleece lining on the back.  This buys you a bit more time before the whole thing becomes completely soaked in dribble! Conor is currently going through about 4 or 5 bibs a day!

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The panda booties were a present from one of my best friends, Kat and they are just adorable! They definitely need socks to keep them on because Conor is getting to the stage where he likes to kick them off all the time.  I’m not a huge fan of putting proper shoes on babies because their feet are growing so fast, they’re delicate and need that space to move their toes etc. However these are flexible enough to be worn by a 4 month old without anything to worry about.

29
Oct
2014

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

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For me, Autumn is a time to start donning the richer lip shades and a pop of colour can really lift your makeup look. It’s all about finding the right shade to compliment your skin tone.  As soon as I saw this Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Lost Cherry (£23), I just knew it would suit me down to the ground. Lost Cherry is a very interesting shade because in some lights it appears fuchsia and in other lights it appears more red in tone.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

Create the illusion of fuller, wider lips with my Matte Revolution – for lips that look lit from within. It’s a trick I use all the time on photo shoots, using lighting trickery, pigments and powders, and have been working for years to re-create this effect in the slick of 1 lipstick. Now everyone can create this full, matte lip effect in a long-lasting, buildable, hydrating formula – it’s the matte lipstick of the future! Exclusively enriched with Lipstick Tree extract which protects lips and is a natural anti-oxidant, and Orchid Extract which soothes and hydrates for a soft, buildable cashmere finish. Available in 10 modern-matte shades for all skin tones – 1 for each of my signature looks. Lost Cherry is a pop of pastel fuchsia for a fresh and effortlessly gorgeous look, perfect for Kate Bosworth, Felicity Jones or Cara Delevingne.

What makes my matte magic? 

• Lipstick Tree & Orchid extract softens, protects and hydrates lips for younger-looking, healthy lips.
• 3D glowing pigments create the illusion lit-from-within lips that appear wider and fuller.
• Triglycerides mixed with a perfect blend of oils and waxes glides long-lasting colour onto the lips.
• Revolutionary, square, angled tip mimics the shape of a lip brush for precision application.”

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

The packaging is everything you’d expect from a luxe brand, with a 1920′s inspired rose gold finish and a weight to it that lets you know you’re holding something special. The actual lipstick bullet is squared off at the end which give the lipsticks a more unique appearance. There’s a faint scent of vanilla from the lipstick but it’s not anything overpowering.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

Matte lipsticks are perfect for daytime because they have that understated quality that lends itself well to an effortless, laid back look.  It’s pretty difficult to find a matte lipstick that doesn’t look chalky, that clings to dry skin on the lips or just appears dull. However, this lipstick feels lightweight, creamy and has just the right amount of hydrating properties to sit nicely on the lips. It glides on and the pigmentation is fantastic, giving a lasting finish that survived 6 hours and a cappuccino with no re-application. You don’t get that drying effect with this matte lipstick – it just looks and feel lovely on the lips.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

They’re obviously on the expensive scale, as with all of the other Charlotte Tilbury products, but I have no problem paying for a product that delivers on it’s promises. I would say if you’re a fan of matte lipsticks and you fancy treating yourself for Christmas, then definitely consider picking up some of these lipsticks. They really do live up to the hype and a girl could always do with a fabulous matte lipstick in her makeup arsenal, right?

*PR Sample

29
Oct
2014

Staying Organised on a Clean-Eating Regime

Being a new mum (or an experienced mum) is a very busy job that takes up the majority of your day so if you want to stick to a healthy eating and exercise regime, then you have to be organised and put in some preparation on a regular basis.  When it comes to clean eating, the prep is everything because when you make everything convenient for yourself, there’s no excuse not to stick to it! So I thought I’d put together some of my best tips for staying organised and on-track when the world is working against you!

Where possible, do your food shop online

I do my weekly food shop online, not just because I live in the middle of nowhere and not just because it’s easier than dragging Conor around the supermarket.  When you sit down and go through what you’re buying, you really have time to think about what you actually need.  It cuts down on unnecessary purchases, impulsive 2 for 1 buys or anything that will sabotage your healthy eating. You can make a shopping list and stick to it.

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Sundays are baking day

Sundays are the perfect day to rustle up some clean eating bakes – my personal favourites are my homemade protein barschocolate banana oat muffins and chocolate and almond crispy treats. By making them on a Sunday, you’re still getting that baking fix that we all love and you’re set up with healthy treats for the week.  When you have a cuppa and crave something sweet, there’ll always be something healthy there to snack on.  This is one of the key aspects of staying on track – making it easy for yourself to make healthy choices.

Make your breakfast in advance

As a tired, busy mum, you grab what you can for breakfast so convenience is key.  It’s all too easy to plump for sugary cereals, flavoured coffee drinks or a muffin.  However, if you spend 5 minutes doing the prep the night before, you’ll always have something really nutritious and filling ready to go in the morning. There are a few options for pre-made breakfasts but my favourites are mixing up some coconut flour pancakes (the batter can be made the night before and stored in the fridge overnight), some overnight oatmeal (so easy to whip up and really filling) or a banana and pecan muffin. Breakfast is so important for a healthy, balanced diet and it kick starts your metabolism so it’s really important to make sure you do it right.

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Never leave home without a water bottle, a piece of fruit and a healthy snack

This simple tip has really helped me big time! When I was rushing around before, it became too easy to stop at Starbucks and pick something up for a quick boost. I always regretted it later because I knew I wasn’t making the right choices. You justify it by saying “oh it’s just one little snack and drink” but the reality is that it all adds up. Now every time I leave the house, I fill up my Citrus Zinger with half a lemon and water so I can stay hydrated while I’m out. Sometimes thirst can be easily mistaken for hunger.  I also grab a banana or an apple and one of my clean eating baking bits.  That way, I know exactly what I’m eating and once again, I’m making it easy to stay on track.

Take healthy snacks with you if you go to the cinema or a friends house

Now this is one that I found difficult to start with, mainly because I felt like a loser doing it. It felt strange to take my own snacks to the cinema but once I did it, I realised that it was such a genius move because it stopped any temptation when I became hungry. You’re not going to find any healthy choices at the cinema – even the frozen yoghurt is laden with sugar or artificial sweeteners.  That’s fine if you’re having a cheat day, but if you’re not then it’s a recipe for sabotaging yourself. Also, when I’ve gone round to friend’s houses, I now take something with me, which I was embarrassed about to begin with. But at the end of the day, my friends are aware of what I’m trying to achieve and they support me 100%.

Take an hour in the kitchen 2-3 times a week to prep

Preparation and planning is key to maintaining healthy diet – we all have busy lives and none of us want to finish our working day and then have to prep and cook a whole healthy meal. However, if you are trying to lose weight or just improve your health, then having a clean diet the majority of the time is important. One of the main questions I am asked by readers regarding this is ‘how do you find the time to get organised?’.  The simple answer is I make time. Twice a week, usually on a Sunday and a Wednesday, I spend a couple of hours preparing and cooking some things for the week ahead that will help me make quick, easy and healthy meals and provide me with lots of healthy snacks. It seems like a bit of a pain spending that time in the kitchen but if you put that time in, during the week you’ll be able make some of your meals in under 5 minutes. Surely that’s worth the effort?

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These are some of the things I prep on a Sunday:

  •  Whole chicken, roasted  I take all the meat from the chicken, shred it and store it in a container in the fridge. It can then be used in salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, Mexican dishes, Asian dishes etc.
  • Boiled eggs – I boil a few eggs to use in salads, as snacks or as part of breakfast
  • Superfood Pesto - I make mine with Spinach, Kale and Basil to be used in pasta dishes, in wraps and sandwiches and with fish.  You can find my recipe here.
  • Soup - probably the most convenient lunch you can have. Here are some of my recipes - Broccoli, Cauliflower & Stilton SoupSpicy Tomato & Lentil SoupCurried Sweet Potato, Broccoli & Goats Cheese SoupRoasted Cauliflower & Parsnip SoupLeek & Mustard Soup.
  • Carrot sticks - This is a really simple one but it just makes your life easier and you’d be surprised how any times you just can’t be bothered to chop carrots when you’re in a hurry! I like to have mine with homemade hummus.
  • Homemade hummus - this is always a great thing to make for salads, sandwiches and as a dip.
  • Roasted vegetables (carrots, peppers, red onions, courgette etc) – great for wraps, salads, pasta dishes and also as a side to any meat or fish dishes.
  • Quinoa & brown rice – I prefer to eat quinoa mixed with brown rice for a little more texture and if you make it in advance, it’s really convenient to add to salads, wraps, stirfrys and as a side for a meal.
  • Overnight Oatmeal - As I said above, this is a great breakfast option and you can make a few in advance and store them in the fridge for the following 3-4 days.  There are so many options - Apple, cinnamon and vanilla/banana and peanut butter/Chocolate Chia.
  • Smoothie Bags - I put chopped banana, pineapple, apple, peach, kiwi and berries in freezer bags and freeze for quick smoothies. This way you can make the most of the fruit you buy when it’s at it’s best and you have everything you need for a breakfast smoothie (bar the almond milk/coconut milk/greek yoghurt etc)
  • Thai salad coleslaw – I like to have this handy in the fridge to pop into sandwiches and wraps and you can also just chuck in some shredded chicken for a quick lunch! Here’s the recipe.
  • Cooked sweet potatoes - these are great to have to hand for salads, to split open and fill with turkey mince chilli as a really filling meal, to make sweet potato hash or for use in baking.

Surround yourself with positive, motivational people

This is just a general point because when you’re striving to improve your health and wellbeing, who needs people who are trying to enable you? Encouraging you to veer off track? Make sure the people you surround yourself with know what your goals are and that you’re serious about them.  If they care about you, they’ll support you and not belittle it or keep offering you junk food. I have no time for anyone who actively tries to sabotage other people like that.

27
Oct
2014

Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Eyeshadow Palette

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I had quite a few requests to chat through my makeup look from Friday night and I thought I may as well combine it with my review of the Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Eyeshadow Palette* (£29). If you’re a fan of cool-toned eyeshadow palettes that give you a more subtle smokey look then you’re going to want to hear about this little beauty!

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“Each of these nine shades is smoldering when worn alone, and in combination they’re downright X-rated. Boudoir Beauty features color and neutral shadows, plus five racy new shades. 

  • New Shades: Fuzzy Handcuffs, Voulez-Vous, Garter Belt, Sugar Walls and French Tickler
  • Revolutionary silky formula is easy to blend and offers gorgeous color payoff
  • Our signature, how-to Glamour Guide offers step-by-step application instructions for creating Boudoir Beauty looks in minutes”

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So I think we can all agree that the shades in this palette look so wearable and just plain gorgeous! Now we’re entering the colder months, I can feel myself plumping for the cooler shades in my eyeshadow drawer (yes, there’s a whole drawer!) because those colours seem to suit my paler skin tone in winter. I like the packaging of this palette because metal tins are a little bit more sturdy for travelling with and everything feels very neat and compact.

This palette has split their looks into Day, Classic & Fashion but all the shades in the palette compliment each other beautifully so you can use any combination and be sure it’ll just work.  I love the fact that they’ve made the brow/base shade pans bigger because we all know we need more of those types of products. The thing I love about the more smouldering shades are that they are really quite subtle so this palette is great for beginners, people who have dark/deep set eyes or just anyone who doesn’t like the heavy eye look.

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I love every single shade in this palette and that doesn’t happen very often – usually there’s at least one that I’m not keen on. The black with shimmer has little to no fallout (if you remember to tap your makeup brush before applying!). The taupe-minky shades are absolutely beautiful at this time of year!

The pigmentation of these shadows is impressive, particularly the matte shades which can often be disappointing due to their lack of dimension.  However, the matte options in this palette are incredibly buttery and smooth which means you don’t have to keep layering to build the colour up. This palette is perfect for both the daytime or evening and although it’s on the pricey side with regards to palettes, it’s one you’ll find yourself reaching for A LOT! The shimmer shades have a really lovely texture to them – smooth and silky with a lovely sheen.

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Face: Estee Lauder Perfectionist Foundation mixed with a little Nars Copacabana Illuminator, Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light-Medium Bisque, Estee Lauder Double Wear High Cover Concealer in Light-Medium, Maybelline SuperStay 24 Hour Powder, Loreal Glam Bronze in Blonde Sun, Sleek Contour Kit in Light, Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic Swish & Pop Blush in Ecstasy, Dior Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond

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Eyes: Clarins Eyebrow Pencil in Soft Blonde, Dior Fusion Mono in Millennium (as a base), Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Eyeshadow Palette (In The Buff on the brow bone, Satin Sheets all over the lid and on the inner corners, Lap Dance in the crease and lower lash line, Voulez-Vous in the crease to intensify and on lower outer lash line, French Tickler on top lash line to soften and blend in Charlotte Tilbury Rock n Kohl Eyeliner in Veruschka Mink), Benefit Eye Bright on waterline, Eylure Volume no.070 lashes, Urban Decay Perversion mascara on upper and lower lashes.

Lips: Estee Lauder Double Wear Lipliner in Pink, KIKO Luscious Cream Lipstick in Hibiscus Pink

*PR Sample

26
Oct
2014

What Conor Wore #2

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You guys seem to really like Conor’s little outfit posts so I thought I’d pop up another one from Saturday! I posted a picture of his outfit on Instagram and a few of you had asked where each item was from.  Never one to shy away from showing off my beautiful little boy, here are all the details:

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H&M Striped bodysuit | Zara skull trousers | Mothercare bandana bib | Zara hat (last season but this one is similar) | Next socks

I’m in love with all the little cute joggers and trousers I got him from Zara – I know they’re a real favourite with the mummy bloggers! He always gets compliments on his Zara clothing and I think it’s priced very reasonably considering how gorgeous everything is. I find it’s nicer than the stuff you get in Baby Gap or J Crew, which are grossly overpriced.

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I have about a million of the bandana bibs now but I just much prefer them to the traditional style. They sit more neatly under his chin so he doesn’t get drool all over his top. Plus they make him look like a cool little dude at the same time!