Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March Favourites: Beauty, Lifestyle & Random

I've been discovering a lot of new products over the last two months, hence why there was no February favourites as I spent a lot of time getting to grips with a few of those products.

So what made the grade?!

1. Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser: 
I've already written a review which you can check out here, and I'm still loving this so much. Definitely going to be a firm favourite for a long time to come.

2. Nivea Q10plus Anti-wrinkle Serum Pearls: 
This was kindly send to me by Nivea and I love it. My skin is brighter, more hydrated, and overall looking so much better since I introduced this serum. Full review here.

3. MAC Strobe Cream: 
I got a sample of this to begin with and loved it so much that I picked up the full size at the airport at the beginning of the month. It works really well under my MAC Studio Fix foundation adding a really flattering luminosity to my skin, but also adds moisture where I need it.

4. Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm: 
This is the holy grail of lip balms. I have the most horrible chapped lips sometimes and lipsticks can look horrible because of this, but this lip balm is a saviour. At night I plaster this on and in the morning you can still feel some on your lips and your lips will feel amazingly soft.

5. The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask:
I really like something to work it's magic on my skin overnight, and since November I've been trying out loads to see what suits, or what works for me and I've finally found something that works! It's a bit pricey at €30 but because of the unusual bouncy texture and how little you need to use this will last a good while. I notice a great difference in my skin after using this so I'm loving it.

6. My Little Box:
I really love this subscription box that I signed up to last month, I love how it's more than beauty but also about fashion and lifestyle. I'm hoping next months lives up to it!

7. Room Makeover:
I had so much fun getting this room done that I of course had to put it in this months favourites. If you haven't already seen what this room looked like before you can see it here.

8. London Trip with Netflix
Finally the highlight of this month was going to London for a pamper day with fellow Irish Parenting Bloggers. It was amazing fun and loved every minute of the day. Netflix really showed us a great time and we also got a sneaky peek of the new series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", which is streaming now on Netflix.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Fibromyalgia and ME

This year marks fifteen years of living with a chronic illness. When I was 16 I was diagnosed with ME (Myalgic Encephalopathy) also known as CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). It took a long time to get that diagnoses after hundreds of tests some of which were invasive. I was very normal healthy sixteen year old full of life and very fit, then this chronic illness took over and I was sleeping 12-14 hours a day and in constant pain. With ME you also suffer other symptoms. My life was officially taken over by it, with a severe reduction in my ability to any daily or normal activities. Things didn't improve for me over the first few years, the pain got worse, and it was sometimes hard to get doctors or nurses to take me seriously, ME/CFS is unfortunately surrounded in controversy due to the fact there are no answers, no conclusions, no tests and no reason for anyone to have it. There are no remedies or magic pills to take and make it go away. I ended up having to leave full-time education at sixteen living with ME. I relied on my parents for everything that included needing help to even get dressed, and I was bed bound for a long time too. The illness affects up to 12000 people in Ireland.

After 3 years I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and this explained the pain issues I was having as well as a host of other problems. I felt like a little science experiment sometimes, especially with all the tests I was getting and all the long stays in hospital. Fibromyalgia is essentially widespread pain with other symptoms including fatigue, sleep disturbances, muscle weakness, palpitations, memory problems, and that's just to name a few. As I'm in so much pain, I like to avoid crowds. I need space I can't stand being bumped into, it causes pain to go through my whole body. A hug can do the same thing to me too! A gentle one is fine, but a bearhug? Avoid! 

Everything really changed for me in those years, I had no outlet, no friends, but one thing never changed and that is the support from my parents. I never would have gotten through those years without them, we've always had a strong bond but it seemed to be further strengthened with my illness to contend with.

By the time I was 21 and after discovering an amazing rheumatologist things started to change. It made a big difference to have a doctor that took the illness seriously and had a great understanding of it. I started to learn how to cope with things and how to listen to what my body was telling me. Things started to get better and with Mum and Dad's encouragement I started to spread my wings, and as always they were there for the fallout and the nights of me crying in pain.

To this day I still have Fibromyalgia and ME and I'm now 30, it has never gone away and nobody can see it. It's invisible but it is there always lurking. Some days I feel like I can take on the world and other days a simple task can seem impossible. I start my day with 5 coins, each coin is for a task ahead within the day, once the 5 coins are gone I'm broken and have no energy. I always aim to start with 5 coins but that doesn't always work out and I have to accept that I have to take it easy and let my body recover.

For me finding routine was the most important part of living with this chronic illness, I don't like going out of routine as it can knock me back completely for weeks. I get relapses and I never know how long a relapse will last.

My husband and I are nearly 8 years together and he knew it would be hard, and I knew it would be hard for him too, he didn't sign up to Fibromyalgia, but he is an absolute star and never ever complains and has a complete understanding of how I/we deal with this illness. Things can be hard as we have a three-year-old daughter so you can imagine a chronic illness and a toddler can be a struggle but with the support of Mum, Dad, and Kevin and a very close group of friends they help to make it easier. Plus just a smile from Lillibug can make you forget any problem you have. She doesn't understand why some days I can't carry her, or why some days when she bumps into me that it hurts more than others. Sometimes it upsets me that I can't always do the things I would love to do with her on a day to day basis.

Coping and living with Fibromyalgia can be hard but with great support, love, patience, and understanding, all those can make all the difference. 

I'm sending you all a fibro hug xo 

To learn more or find support please find links below:

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No It Is My Little Superbox! "My Little Box"

I discovered "My Little Box" last year thanks to my mum after she read about it in one of her magazines and she turns to me and says "this is so you". Unfortunately it said on my mums magazine that it was coming to Ireland but so far it's only gotten as far as the UK. The concept, as far as I'm aware, started in France and they now have over 80,000 subscribers there. So thanks to the genius of Parcel Motel, I ordered my first one and it arrived last week.

This month's box went with the superhero theme "My Little SuperBox" and I was surprised to see that instead of the usual "Ms" before my name, it was replaced by "Magic". Once opened I was told to"Make Yourself Epic" and I'm such a sucker for anything inspirational. I like these little touches. Also I also think that "My Little Box" appealed to me more than others because it isn't just about beauty, it is also about fashion and lifestyle. After getting bored with other subscription boxes I wasn't too sure how I would react when I got this, but to my surprise I was over the moon. The overall design is very fresh, uplifting and chic. It possibly might come across as targeting a younger audience, especially with stickers included but I do love my stationery. Plus I know that if I don't use them, my little girl will.

The box was packed with goodies. A wonderful one size fits all t-shirt with "I Believe I Can Fly" written on it. A drawstring pouch which I think comes in every box is so so cute and inside it contained some beauty goodies, a magazine, and some fabulous stickers.

I really like the size of the deluxe samples which included Kérastase and Caudalíe. The Caudalíe hand and nail cream is gorgeous and is now in my handbag getting used everytime I open it. I also used the Kérastase conditioner which has left my hair shiny and the ends of my hair feel moisturised and nourished. Also I really love how it smelled like I just walked out of the hairdressers.
Also a lovely little Lip and Cheek cream stick from "My Little Box" in house beauty range "My Little Beauty". I liked it more so on my cheeks especially for a pop of springtime colour.

So overall the subscription box get two huge thumbs up from me, and I can't wait for next months box already.

So how much does it cost I hear you ask?

£11 + £3.95 P&P per month which worked out at €21.46 in the conversion plus €3.95 for Parcel Motel. It was a little bit more expensive than other subscription boxes but I was super delighted with the content of the box.

Does this appeal to you more with it being more than just a traditional beauty box? For me it does and I think getting one of these as a present for a friend would be lovely too.

Follow "My Little Box"

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Budget Buy for under €5: Wet n Wild Coverall Cream Foundation

Since I discovered a local stockist of Wet n Wild I went a bit nuts a purchased a few items. This Wet n Wild Coverall Cream Foundation €4.99 is one of those. 

I got the shade Light and even though it came out darker than I expected, that darkness didn't translate once buffed onto my skin. It is still a fraction too dark for me, but once summer hits I think this shade will be perfect. 

It is a medium coverage but definitely buildable without looking cakey. I have dry skin but it hasn't clung to any of those patches when applied. It sits really well on my skin and lasts for most of the day without setting with powder. However if you have oily skin I would think you would need to set it with powder to get long wear out of this foundation. The cream isn't heavy and blends lovely across the face and feels lightweight, which is exactly want I want from my foundations. 

For a budget foundation I am really happy with this, and it comes in a plastic tube which is handy for travelling with or popping into your handbag. Just be careful when squeezing the product out as a lot comes out!

Would I repurchase? Yes I definitely would. It's worth noting that when I bought this I didn't really have high hopes but I was pleasantly surprised.

What is your go to budget foundation? 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Room Makeover & Homeware Haul

So after nearly a year of deciding that the spare room (also know as the blue room) was to get a makeover, it has finally arrived. Usually I'm pretty decisive about what I like when it comes to decor but one thing I noticed over the last year is how much my taste have changed. 

I never liked the blue room, the blue made it cold and dreary and it didn't have much personality to it. The wardrobe in the before photo wasn't in the best of shape, and the room needed a lift. So to start off we decided the only thing for it was to paint the room white. Unusual for me, but I wanted this room to be light and airy and a perfect blogging room for me.

We also went to Ikea for new furniture and the wardrobe is from Ikea's Pax "Design Your Own Wardrobe Range" so the price can vary depending on what you are looking for. I decided to go with this to begin with and I'm delighted with it and later if I want to add another section then that can be done.

The Flamingo cushions are from Penneys and were only €6 but couldn't resist them, as well as the fleece throw which was €12. The vintage duvet by Catherine Lansfield and matching pillow can be got on the Littlewoods website and is now on sale (double €21,00 and pillow €20). I have to say I got mine much cheaper in Shaws but I haven't seen them in there since I got this one last Autumn.

I also have my own little blogging area now and storage for my makeup so I'm definitely feeling more organised. The tall drawers to the right is from Ikea's Malm series this one has 6 drawers (€90), and a mirror that lifts up. The smaller drawers on the left is also from the Malm series and has 3 soft closing doors (€65.00) and I bought the glass top separately at €15. 

The Little Details:

The floral drawers on top are from Lidl and think they are adorable if I remember correctly they are €18.99 and might still be available to buy. The lantern is also from Ikea and was €10. I also printed out some of my Instagram pictures and put them underneath the glass top to add some fun to it.

I do have to mention that I got some great inspiration from The Parma Violet after she did a blog post on transforming rooms which you can read here. I especially loved the idea of framing shopping bags, so I got some lovely frames from Home Store + More. Unfortunately the frames wouldn't close unless I cut the bags in half and took the handles off. So I wanted the frames to look like the handbags so added the handles to the frames itself, and I'm chuffed with how it turned out.

My Yankee Candle from our wedding day has being sitting in a treasure chest for four years but decided to take it out and leave it on the shelf instead, along with a metal print of my favourite film Gone With The Wind. My perfumes are finally in one area and on a glass candle holder from Dunnes €4,50.

Finally I love some inspirational quotes so I got the above one in Dunnes for €12 and the bottom one from Heatons which I think was €6.

 So this is my new room my little sanctuary to go to and blog away when I get the chance, it is also going to be our guest room.

A big thank you to hubby for painting, hammering and putting everything together for me. It became a dangerous job that he ended up on crutches but I won't embarrass him here but just want to let him know that this was the best present!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Serum Pearls & More

Nivea is a firm household favourite of ours. From my grandmother to my mother to me, we have all used it and loved it. So I was delighted when Nivea got in touch asking if I would like to try out their new Nivea Q10 plus Anti-wrinkle serum!

I already had a few products from the range, including the Hand Cream (which you can see in the above photo), and I also had the older version of the Energising Day Cream which came in a heavier jar. The packaging of some of the products have been changed which I'm delighted with, as it makes the moisturisers much more travel friendly.

Let's get back to the serum though.

I've used some serums in the past, most of which have a gel like consistency to them but this is different. The serum pearls, once pumped, dissolve and you are left with a yellow mousse-like texture yet it is a hydro gel. Once it is applied it disappears and leaves your skin looking and feeling fab with no sticky sensation. The luminescent pearls are packed with the skin's own Coenzyme Q10 and Creatine and works effectively against wrinkles. I noticed that even my frown lines from squinting have noticeably reduced, and my skin looks so much brighter. The serum works wonders for blurring out my skin that it almost feels like a primer. I have now swapped my old reliable serum for this as I love it so much, and I'm using it for both my day and night routine. I've also noticed that there is not a dry patch to be found on my skin since using the serum I repeat not ONE!

It also contains Hyaluronic Acid which helps to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles but also helping to prevent the formation of new ones. I'm all for that especially as I was starting to notice some wrinkles kicking in!

I have already bought my backup as I know this will be a firm favourite for a long time to come.

The Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-wrinkle serum is now available on shelves at €14.99.

Nivea began the Q10 range in 1998 and since then they have brought to us a great affordable anti-wrinkle range.

The range is vast and I was lucky to also receive the following items to try out along with the serum:

Nivea Anti-Wrinkle Q10 Plus Energising Day Cream €11.80
This is a moisturiser I have used time and time again and I really love that they changed the packaging so it's more travel friendly!

Nivea Anti-Wrinkle Q10 Plus Night Cream €12.59
The fragrance is stronger in this compared to the day cream so I've only used it a handful of times as I don't like strong smells at night. It did add moisture to my skin and it left my skin feeling great when I woke up.

Nivea Anti-Wrinkle Q10 Plus Eye Cream €11.79
I've been loving the eye cream for both day and night and really awakens my undereye area. Also my under eyes can be super dry and this has really put the moisture back. I would really recommend the eye cream!

Nivea Anti-Wrinkle Q10 Plus Age Defying Hand Cream 100ml €5.19
The hand cream is one of my holy grails and has been for years, I always end up back at this hand cream so it can usually be found either in the car or my handbag.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Netflix: Irish Stream Team Go To London

I'm sure a lot have you guessed that last Wednesday I went to London with fellow Stream Teamers from Ireland. It was hard not to notice; I had it all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Netflix invited us over to the beautiful Soho Hotel to get a special screening of the new series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (read more about it here) plus some pampering for us mums. Just like Kimmy Schmidt us mums are, without a doubt, unbreakable!. We can sometimes forget that we are more than just mums. Well, I do sometimes. I forget that I have things I love to do outside of nappies and dealing with "art" on the walls, and travel is one of those things. Just like Kimmy we are all strong too, and full of inspiration. On the other hand we can sometimes feel like the other character Jacqueline; we can have her vulnerability in us and sometimes we need support. 

We were treated to three episodes on the day and as someone who openly would say I'm not into comedies, this had me in stitches. Last night when it premiered on Netflix I was onto it straight away not only re-watching the first three episodes but also watching a further two.

Selfie Time for the Stream Team!
It was very surreal to believe that we were in London but then you would get a jolt when you would see a red bus go by or a black cab then the realisation would hit you all over again. We were treated to some delicious treats by some ahem...very attractive waiters. We got foam hands that if we put them up we were waited on hand in foot. We were also treated to manicures and massages. It was also a delight to meet some other Stream Teamers from the UK, Finland, and further afield.

Yaz of Glitter Mama Wishes & Laura of Raising Elves
Me with Sinéad of Bumbles of Rice

 The day is one that I will treasure forever, I got to meet some of the most amazing women who are also amazing mothers and I have made friends for life. Some of us had never met before but for me it was like going away with my best friends for a day. It was a day I really let my hair down and had so much fun. 

A huge thank you to Nicola and Netflix for having us and treating us to a very special day.

*Disclaimer: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and for this I received a complimentary subscription for one year & an Apple TV (Box). All opinions are my own, and I will be posting once a month in relation to Netflix Stream Team. Stay tuned........

Monday, 2 March 2015

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Launch at Sam McCauley Chemists

Last Thursday (when I just couldn't take himself moaning about his sore foot), I took myself down to Sam McCauley Chemist in Redmond Square, Wexford for some well needed down time!

I recently did a "first impressions" of the sample I got in a recent Elle magazine which you can find here, and I can say that my opinion still stands. I definitely love the the cute packaging of the full size and will forever see a curler for my hair in it. Yes, I went ahead and purchased it after using up my sample. Then then the launch happening sure I just couldn't resist! This for me is definitely a winner, especially as it's much easier to take off than my beloved They're Real and it is much nicer on me for day time.

No trip to the Benefit counter would be worth it without getting a Benefit Make-upper with Dawn. As so many of you asked about what I was wearing on my face after I put a picture up on Instagram I thought I would give you the list and prices below.

Primers & Base

 Stay Don't Stray €28.50

stay-put primer for concealers & eyeshadows

 That Gal €32.00

brightening face primer

 Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow €36.00
brightening makeup which contains SPF 25

 Hello Flawless! €35.00
custom powder cover up with SPF 15

 Boi-ing €24.00

industrial-strength concealer

Fakeup €26.50

hydrating crease-control concealer


 Most Glamorous Nudes Ever €34.50

world famous neutrals kit

 Magic Ink €21.50

jet-black liquid eyeliner

 Roller Lash Mascara €26.00
super curling and lifting mascara

 Gimme Brows €24.50
fibre gel for brows

Puff Off €30.50

instant eye gel to help smooth the look of undereye puffiness


 Majorette €34.00

booster blush to amplify your flush

 High Beam Highlighter €27.50

luminescent complexion enhancer


Hoola ultra plush lipgloss €21.00

golden shimmer nude gloss

ChaCha Tint €34.50

mango tinted lip & cheek stain

I tried a number of new products on this particular day so next on my wishlist after getting to try them is the Majorette booster blush, ChaCha Tint, and Puff Off.

If you ever would like to book in to get your makeup with the wonderful girls at the Benefit counter in Sam McCauley Chemist in Redmond Square, Wexford contact them on 053 912 2422.

NB: This is not a sponsored post

"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" coming to Netflix this Friday!

Hot on the heels of the release of the latest series of the hit show "House Of Cards", Netflix are showing that they're not content to rest on their laurels with the launch of a new comedy show, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", this Friday the 6th of March.

After being commissioned by NBC, it seemed the show may have been destined to be left on the shelf until Netflix stepped in, and why wouldn't they? After all, the show was created and written by Tina Fey (whose writing credits include "30 Rock" and "Mean Girls") and Robert Carlock (who also wrote "30 Rock" and a handful of "Friends" episodes from 2001-2004), not to mention the cast, led by Ellie Kemper ("The Office", "Bridesmaids") and featuring the legend that is Carol Kane ("Taxi", "The Princess Bride", "Addams Family Values", "Dog Day Afternoon").

The story is simple: Kimmy, after living with a doomsday cult for fifteen years, finds her freedom and gets to New York to live in a world that she thought had ended. Her wide eyed enthusiasm seems to be at odds with the way the world has gone lately, but hopefully it won't dampen Kimmy's spirit.

All thirteen episodes of this fish out of water story will be available from Friday the 6th of March, so if you're a binge watcher and there's a "30 Rock" shaped hole in your life, this could be the show for you!

Watch the trailer below, and let me know what you think in the comments!

*Disclaimer: I have become a member of the Netflix Stream Team and for this I received a complimentary subscription for one year & an Apple TV (Box). All opinions are my own, and I will be posting once a month in relation to Netflix Stream Team. Stay tuned........

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