Sunday, 26 March 2017

My Little Box - #NoFilter March Box

It has been a long time since I've spoken about My Little Box, a subscription box that comes from the heart of Paris. It has always been one of my favourite subscription boxes, I think because it has more than beauty, and incorporates lifestyle accessories too. Last year I stopped my subscription as it was getting to be a bit of an expensive box each month, especially as here in Ireland we have to use ParcelMotel to get it. For Mother's Day, Lillibug and Kevin treated me to a box (I must have dropped a lot of hints), they are the best! 

For March, My Little Box's theme was "#NOFILTER". Instead of the usual box, and drawstring bag, everything came in a gorgeous wash bag emblazoned with the slogan "#No Filter". I will definitely get great use out of the bag and it is a great size for all my makeup. Also included was a notebook for all my beauty notes, and printed card (which I love to stick up on my wall).

A lovely soft kabuki brush was included, with rose gold detail and the tips of the bristles are blush coloured. I haven't tried this yet, but it feels very soft to the touch and I will get around to using this during the week.

I was super excited to see a phone ring holder in rose gold. As I'm very clumsy with my phone, this might actually help me not to drop it anymore, plus it works as a stand. I really do love this, and they aren't easy to come by unless you go online for them.

Also included was a nail polish from their own makeup brand "My Little Beauty". It's a lovely pinky nude polish and it has a nice shine to it. Deep Euphoria from Calvin Klein is a cute sample that came in the form of rollerball, so it's very handy for the bag.

I saved the best for last with the inclusion of Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer. I have for so long wanted to try this out after a friend raved about it. I have been using it the last few days and getting on great, and my makeup has not budged! 

My Little Box cost €17.80 plus €3.95 for ParcelMotel compared to last year when it was over €20 for the box alone. I loved this box so much, I'm excited for next months already!

*NO PR Samples contained within this post. and not sponsored

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

National Bed Month with Netflix

We all love a good binge watch, right? Getting a few solid hours of your favourite show in can be an incredibly fun and satisfying experience. More and more, we seem to be doing this in bed. Fittingly, this month of March has been decreed "National Bed Month". After doing some research, though, I've found that while it's nice to binge watch in bed, it goes against the advice of The Sleep Council in relation to the perfect sleep environment. But, there's nothing stopping you from grabbing your PJs, hot water bottle and duvet and spending a day on the couch. This way, you're not disrupting your much-needed sleep pattern and you're having a day for yourself. 

In terms of a duvet driven binge day Netflix has you well looked after, regardless of what you're into,  with the following shows and movies:

Iron Fist: 13 Episodes, 1 Season.

The last Marvel/Netflix solo show following "Daredevil", "Jessica Jones", and "Luke Cage", "Iron Fist" tells the story of Danny Rand a wealthy orphan returning to his home of New York after going missing in the Himalayas. While he was there, however, he became very proficient in martial arts. It's a similar story to the Marvel movie "Doctor Strange", but won't be quite as epic in scope. It does promise to be a lot of fun, and will serve as a great final chapter before we get the team up show "The Defenders".

The Crown: 10 Episodes, 1 Season

The £100 million pound gamble that paid off for Netflix, "The Crown" has become possibly the most highly regarded show on the service. Rightly so? You'll have to judge for yourself, but it's hard to dispute that it looks incredible, and is impeccably acted specifically the award-winning Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth) and John Lithgow (Winston Churchill). The series tells the story of the first decade or so of the reign of Queen Elizabeth and the trials and tribulations she faced along the way. Special mention should go to Matt Smith who is a standout as Prince Philip, a man who is seemingly lost in is role withing the palace and his own marriage. 

Fawlty Towers: 12 Episodes.

Let's go back in time to some classic comedy from the minds of John Cleese and Connie Booth. There's very little that can be said about this show that hasn't been said already. It's one of those shows that I saw when I was younger and it always seemed like there were much more than just twelve episodes! 

Once Upon A Time: 124 Episodes (so far), 6 Seasons.

An old favourite of mine at this stage, this Disney/ABC Studios co-production takes the classic characters from old and new Disney movies and puts a "Lost" style spin on them by flipping the characters between the real world and the fairytale world. Netflix is the only place to see new episodes of this show as they are the exclusive distributors in the UK and Ireland.

*Disclaimer: I'm a member of the Netflix Stream Team and for this, I receive a complimentary subscription.  All opinions are my own, and I will be posting once a month in relation to Netflix Stream Team. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Spring has Sprung with IsaDora


The sun is out and spring is in the air, and thanks to IsaDora spring has sprung in the makeup department too! IsaDora sent me two of the Perfect Blushes (€12.95) and one of the Ultra Matt Liquid Lipsticks (€12.95), I had already purchased the shade "Cool Mauve".

I never tried the blushes before from IsaDora so this was exciting to try out. These are super creamy and easy to apply. These aren't super pigmented but are buildable and a flawless on the skin. Pink Glow had been my go-to blush for the last week and has a gold glow (no glitter to be seen here) and is super lifting on my pale complexion. I recently bought a NARS Palette but find myself coming back to the IsaDora blushes over and over again as they are on par with the higher-end blushes. Frosty Rose has a slight sheen to it but pulls more brown on my skin tone, yet on my mum's skin it has that rose undertone and looks very sophisticated. These held up well throughout the day with very little fading and would definitely like to try more of these. The packaging is plain but I can forgive that for it's what is on the inside that counts here with these beauties.

As we all know the matt lip has been around for a while and shows no signs of stopping, personally I have preferred a glossier lip of late but I spotted the shade Cool Mauve in Shaws and really loved the plum shade, so I was only delighted to try out Dolce Rose (a much lighter shade) when I received it. 

Swatching these on my arm do no justice to these at all but do give you an idea of the shades I have. These applied so well to the lips and felt really weightless. I loved how comfortable they felt and the fact that it didn't zap the life out of my lips to shrivel up with dryness. These are available in three shades and I'm going to hunt down Vintage Rose next!

I hold my hands up, I have at times overlooked IsaDora until earlier last year and continue to find some gems in their collections.

What have you tried and liked from IsaDora? Let me know in the comments below.

*PR Samples contained within this post. Not sponsored

Friday, 3 March 2017

Coming Up for Air: Our Story of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Where does one start? From the beginning usually. I don't think I will, though.

I start on a drizzly evening in 1998, when meeting back at the community centre after Dad's football training. I noticed straight away dad wasn't himself, but like most, he didn't want to show that he was in pain. The drive home seemed like a struggle yet it was only a short drive. I knew then I needed to call for help, but dad was stubborn and continued to block me. Fortunately, my reflexes at 14 were pretty good and dad was getting weak at that moment. I managed to ring the doc on call but he wouldn't come to the house and dad agreed to go to his surgery. It was another short drive but it felt like a lifetime because I thought he was going to black out and end up in a ditch, me with my hand on the handbrake. By the time we reached the doctor's surgery dad could barely walk, I asked for help but it was me alone that held my dad's weight with all my might. Dad had a heart attack; I knew it I didn't need to be told. It was the first of many to come over the years and now Mum was making a long journey back from a funeral in Donegal not knowing how bad dad was.

With each heart attack came the recovery, it was always Mum, Dad and I forever fighting for one another. Strict diets came in, along with sneaky cream buns smuggled through my school bag. Exercising was great craic when dad joined cardiac rehab, such a wonderful team they were. Dad, as always, recovered thanks to his positive attitude and grace.

The tough part in a long road was the triple bypass, I knew dad could do it and beat all odds. As far as I was concerned Dad is invincible! Yep, I was right Dad rocked that surgery and had the scars to prove it. Dad took longer to recover this time but again the three amigos (being mum, dad and me) did it together. Dad even got back onto the football pitch. It was dad's passion and even though never to be at 100% fitness again he still showed immense skill and determination at 60 weaving through the opposition. Ahhh the opposition, that brings me to the dark void that hit us in 2012.

Dad's fitness levels started to deteriorate around this time. Breathlessness kicked in and looked like asthma or allergies. Dad began fighting for breath but we didn't know the full extent at this stage. We all flagged it, something just wasn't right. Fast forward a year and Dad is under a new consultant and not for the heart but for the lungs. Dad has been diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. The seriousness wasn't really brought home to us, the consultant was very blasé. We started to doubt the integrity of this doctor in 2015 when dad was on portable oxygen and walking became difficult. I asked the consultant one question only to be ignored, then the blowouts began. Dad was subsequently admitted for more tests and then discharged around a week and a half later and told no change. Yes, there was a change we could see it, hear it, feel it but no one listened. Enough was enough! We went back to dad's original consultant for his heart, who took us seriously and could see that we needed to fight. Unfortunately, the news came that dad was dying, and given a year. This is when we found out there is only one unit for Pulmonary Hypertension in the whole of Ireland and he was going to get us there. He kept his promise we got there in December 2015. I was angry that it took years for anyone to mention the unit and for dad to be referred. I blame the consultant who was so blasé with my dad. How can you play with someone's life like that?!

Seeing my dad struggle to come up for air for so long was heartbreaking there just had to be a way. Dad was now also in a wheelchair with a whole host of other problems. Dad's heart was getting weaker and fighting with itself to carry on. The team were amazing they followed through on everything they said. We kind felt like we could breathe and that there was a chance ahead of us, for us all to come up for air.

The timeline of a year was shortened to two months....this ate me up and consumed me, this couldn't be possible. My dad was invincible, he had to have one last superpower to get through this.

New drugs were introduced, these saved the day and also brought us all to the brink of insanity. The mediation had to be inhaled every 3 hours from 7 am to 10 pm. This was no easy feat as it was also the preparation and cleaning of it all and the other zillion drugs that had to be taken. The road was long, it was hard but dad always made things easy. Dad forever laid back, determined, kind and graceful about it all.

The 2 months passed and dad still with us, well...see told you he was invincible.

We never let the timeline in on us, yes it was in the back of our minds it was spoken about in the most humorous ways imaginable by us. We weren't going to mope around. As dad would always say "Life is for the living" and lived it we did.

Trying to gasp for breath every living moment has to be a living nightmare. My only personal experiences of it are 3 asthma attacks that made me feel that the devil was inside me trying to choke me. I can't even begin to explain how my dad felt but I saw it on his face, that question of "is this my last?".

7 months went by and the fight was still on, and such an epic fight this was. We were told that dad would be assessed for a lung transplant. Initially, a few years previous we were told without a doubt dad would not survive one and would die on the table because of his heart conditions so this was unexpected. To be honest it was cruel. The hope that this brought was a mountain on our hearts. The answer was an astounding NO. The anger and disappointment were something I never felt before, not for myself but for the cruel act of giving false hope to my dad. My mum as always was the pillar of strength and reasoning throughout it all.

We all rallied and all hands were on deck to keep the ship afloat and to keep the air going. Mum, dad, daughter, son in law and granddaughter. We knew the drill inside out, we knew the regime on how to keep the sails going.

Things took a downward spiral, it was fight after fight with the medical teams, the local teams, and general practitioners, it was never ending and exhausting but never the less it was always worth the fight.

Dad went into hospital November 2016 which was 1 year on from the initial timeline. He knew, we knew but we carried on as if everything was the same. The 30th of November and we snuck his Angel (Lillibug) into see him for her birthday, as she was turning 5. She knew her grandaddy inside out they were peas in a pod, she rode shotgun on the wheelchair any chance she would get, proud as punch on his lap. Unfortunately, that was last time she would see him.

On the 1st of December at 9.30am dad passed away peacefully in my arms.

The sails are down and the air has stood still. The battle was epic. The fighter a gladiator and he beat all the odds. The legacy my father has left will always live on in the good he did for others and the love he showed. He lived life and followed his heart with every last breath.

Having pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) means that you have high blood pressure in the arteries that go from your heart to your lungs, visit for more info or to donate.
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