Monday, 30 October 2017

Wrapping up warm with Saltrock

I love a good knit, don't you? The kind of chunky cardigan that you can throw on with jeans and boots, or couple with a dress, to keep you warm during these cooler months. Versatile and cosy, a go-to wardrobe staple.

And I've found my new one for this season.

I discovered Saltrock in the summer and all three of us picked out a couple of things which we ended up wearing all summer long. I didn't know that they would have just as much choice for winter, until I was offered an item of my choosing and saw what a great range of knitwear and sweatshirts plus hoodies and fleeces they have available too.

I quickly fell in love with the Clovelly Knitted Cardigan and thought it would make a great addition to my look for autumn and beyond, and I wasn't disappointed when it arrived.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Spooky Seas: October Half Term, 14th - 31st October 2017

I can't believe it but Ethan has already completed his first half term at school. It's now half term but because of my line of work, I can't book this time off, so hubs is at home with Ethan and doing a great job keeping him entertained. Yesterday alone, they played Mario Kart, did some colouring, watched films and generally had a lovely time at home.

Today, hubs and my sister-in-law have headed off to The National Sea Life Centre Birmingham to visit the fishies and to enjoy the Spooky Seas event on throughout this half term holiday.

Ethan was so excited this morning, talking non-stop about how he was going to find Nemo and Dori, and see Hank the Octopus and the giant turtle too. Not forgetting the 4D cinema to see an Octonauts adventure... 

If you're looking for things to keep the kids busy this half term, here's what you need to know about Spooky Seas...

Families are invited to a special spook-tacular half term event at National Sea Life Centre Birmingham from 14th to 31st October.

The Spooky Seas event will provide half term fun for all the family as the centre’s fascinating creatures keep your little ones intrigued and entertained for hours.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Protecting Your Joints After Childbirth

Mums can be at particular risk of suffering from joint pain, thanks to the many pressures their bodies are put under.

Firstly, of course, pregnancy brings with it the risk of aches and pains, as we carry around a growing human being for nine months. There are also often changes to hormone levels and nutrition, which can also play havoc on our body.

* Sponsored post

Whilst much of this may subside after birth, mums can then be exposed to all manner of new dangers - from carrying babies, to nursing, to playing with the kids. All of these activities are “novel” and involve pressures and activities which are unfamiliar to the body.

Little wonder then that some studies suggest over 70% of women experience joint pain during, or soon after, pregnancy.

But what can be done to help protect your joints as a young mum?


My autumn look and current faves

My autumn look goes something like this: layers (like a dress, opaque tights and a cardi), ankle boots, chunky scarf, a rich toned lip and similar nails. And more often than not, is wearing something that's mustard toned - I blooming LOVE yellow so come autumn, I can't get enough of mustard and ochre coloured clothing and accessories.

Along with my new boots, my new skincare routine, and my obsession with long lasting liquid matte lipsticks, there's a few other things that are fast becoming my autumn staples...

Victoria Secrets scents: I am yet to find my signature scent but whilst I try and find the perfect perfume, I'm loving these body mists. There's so many scents available and for around £8-9 in Superdrug, these are a bargain buy as they'll last ages and the scent pay off is great.

Chunky scarf: I bought this one in Accessorize last year and then bought it in two other colours. It's soft and can really add something to an outfit.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Preparing your student to fly the nest

It’s never easy to see your kids leave home, regardless of their reasons for leaving. For the last couple of decades, they’ve been a huge part of your life, and you have a great deal of love and emotion for them. I can only imagine what it'll be like when Ethan wants to fly the nest! Of course, though, this isn’t the only challenge to be faced during this time. Along with this, they’re going to be stepping into a new world, and you have to be there to help them out.

* Contributed post

There are loads of skills which come in handy to someone studying on their own for the first time. As their parent, you have the chance to pass this on to your child, and it doesn’t have to be too hard. Here are a couple of examples of the most important skills to consider:


Matte liquid lipsticks - which ones are worth investing in?

My name's Kelly and I'm a lipstick addict. Despite having a big sort out and ditching a ton of shades and formulas that I just didn't really like or get on with, I still have 30 plus lipsticks on the go.

But if I had to, I could reduce this down further. Most days, only a matt lip will do and I just love liquid lipsticks because they are easy to apply, you can get a precise edge, the colour pay off is great and they last a long time (at least they're meant to) which is great if you're busy and don't want to have to keep checking if you need to reapply.

I am head over heels in love with Stila, mainly because their Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks are the BEST. Great colours, rich finish and real staying power, I honestly think they're hard to beat. But I have bought all the shades I like / that best suit me (although the Christmas gift sets about to be launched look pretty exciting, with some new colours...) so I've been trying a couple of other brands to see it they can match up.

A coloured lip coupled with winged eyeliner is my signature look, and I have often thought whether permanent make up would be worth looking into - how nice would it be not to have to put on the same eyeliner every day and for it to always be in place?!

Here's my thoughts...


House hunting - things to look out for

We've lived in our house for 11 years now and it's amazing to think about everything that has happened in that time and everything we have done to this place we call home.

I remember when we started looking for a house; we were living in a flat and had no idea what to look for, what we could afford or all the different things we would have to consider. Everyone knows that buying a house, then making it how you want, can be a long and expensive process. 

* Collaborative post

Two of our best friends are going through this right now as they start their journey to being homeowners for the first time. They found a house that they loved and that was going to be a fixer-upper, but upon closer inspection, there was a lot more to it than they first thought. They paid for several surveys to be done and they revealed a greater level of work than they had anticipated - to make the house safe and / or liveable. In the end, the list and associated costs proved too great to they have let this house go and their hunt has resumed. They've learnt a lot through the process but it hasn't been easy.

I wasn't a huge help, as I'm not all that great when it comes to the practical things about home ownership - I like all the decorating and finishing touches, not the technical aspects!

We've done a fair bit to our house since we moved in and last year, we did one of our biggest projects to date when we ripped out an old fireplace and brick surround, leaving a hole in our external wall. We had some plasterers come around to quote for this and, whilst they were here, my husband asked about covering some artex we have in a couple of rooms on the roof. We were quite shocked when we were told that in some houses, when removing features such as this, asbestos can be found and that really, given the age of our house and how long this detailing would have been there for, we should have it removed to be on the safe side.

I had no idea and was quite surprised to receive this advice - and it goes to show that no matter how long you live somewhere, that there could be all kinds of (not so nice) surprises lurking behind the walls. I've since read advice that artex coatings only contain small amounts of asbestos and that the fibres are well bonded, but still, it really does make you think.


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Skincare SOS - my current beauty regime

With the weather getting cooler and the heating going on at home some evenings, I've started switching up my skincare routine as my skin is starting to get drier and in need of TLC. So I thought I'd share a few things that I'm loving at the moment.

First of all, I want to share how fab double cleansing is. I ditched the face wipes a long time ago and have been making a real effort to properly take off my make up at the end of each day. 

My nighttime routine consists of the following: eye make up remover, a cream or oil based cleanser first with a hot flannel before using a facial wash and an exfoliating sponge. I then use the Nip + Fab Glycolic Acid Pads (currently on offer for £9.06 at Boots) - this is a new find and addition to my routine, since I've read how important this acid is for improving skin texture and hydration. After my skin is squeaky clean, I dot eye cream around my eye sockets and pat a few drops of facial oil all over my cheeks, forehead and jawline. Sometimes I will finish with a night moisturiser too, if I feel my skin needs it - the XYZ collagen cream is still a fave.


Monday, 16 October 2017

These boots were made for walking

One thing I particularly love about autumn is the chance to pull on a pair of boots. I am far more comfortable wearing them and it's really the only time I wear a heel now.

I have a pair of knee high boots that are still doing me proud a few years later. I also have a pair of mink ankle boots with fur trim that will come out of the wardrobe again soon and some bright purple shoe boots, both from Hotter, that I love and add a pop of colour to any outfit and look great with dresses and tights as well as jeans.

You can't beat a good pair of black ankle boots or a classic Chelsea boot style and I've picked up a couple of new pairs to see me through the months ahead. I absolutely love them - and together, I spent no more than £45.

First up, these low rise Chelsea boots in a velvet style finish and a punchy leopard print. I just fell in love when I saw them in Dorothy Perkins and even more so when I found that there was 20%, making them just £20. 


Friday, 13 October 2017

Fun things to do for the weekend near Birmingham

Birmingham is a city in the midst of a revolution, an uprising of localism. With new restaurants and bars opening by the second, it is attracting foodies, inspiring projects and awesome events. The city has an indescribable electricity and a noticeable excitement of new things to come. And that's why I am proud to say it's where I live!

* Collaborative post

With so much going on in and around the city, it can be difficult to know where to start. This article gives you a helping hand in knowing where to go and what to do in Birmingham. Whether you live in the city or just plan on visiting for a few days, rediscover the new and exciting Birmingham.

With older children
A great adventure to explore with family and children is The Birmingham Mystery Treasure Trail. It’s suitable for ages 9 all the way up to 18, but you’ll find yourself getting excited as an adult too! The best time to explore is on a sunny day, as you follow a 1.5 mile route through Birmingham on a complete, self-guided themed treasure trail.

You can get your investigative cap on while hunting for clues located on permanent features in the city like buildings and statues to solve mysteries and discover new parts of Birmingham. It takes about 2 hours to complete and is a circular loop. If you get stuck or lost, it’s not a problem, there are free mobile text services for clues.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

#TBT post: In defence of mummy bloggers

* Originally shared in 2014

This week, someone I know posted a link to an American blog entitled 'why I hate mommy bloggers'. Despite being one, I can enjoy a little self-deprecating humour so I wanted to read on and see what this blogger had to say which was so funny.

To be honest, whilst there may be a few characteristics that ring true or some experiences which I'm sure do happen with some bloggers from time to time, I failed to see the blogger's point and just couldn't place why she was so angry.

You can read the post here and I encourage you to do so - if you're a mummy blogger, I'd love to know how you feel and if you're not, but read related blogs (which I guess you do because you're reading this), see what you think of what she has to say.

The main argument that this woman presents and keeps coming back to is how she's not bleep bleeping interested in posts that share mundane anecdotes from an average life or share things she doesn't want to know. She continuously makes a point that she's not a mum by choice, and fair enough, she deserves respect too just like any SAHM. But, my question is, why is she reading mummy blogs?

It's like if I chose to read sports blogs and then wrote a post slating what such writers talk about. What do I care about the latest transfer deals or th debate over whether there should be standing areas at football matches? (How did I do there, seeing as I have no interest in football whatsoever?!). Who am I to judge these kinds of bloggers when clearly, their content isn't for me?

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