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Staycation Isolation

1 Apr

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all doing okay. So much has changed & happened since my last blog post!!! How crazy is everything at the moment?

We’re very lucky, as both me & the hubster & the kids are all home safely together. Oh & we can’t forget Coco too. The hubs is now working from, so we’ve been self isolating for quite a while now. Seth has no idea about the virus really, I mean, he’s only 4 yr old, so we decided it was better to keep it from him. We didn’t want him feeling scared or worried. Our families don’t live close by, so it isn’t like he see’s family everyday. So in that respect… he’s not noticed any difference. He did ask about nursery… but we just said we are having extended holidays from school for Easter. He hasn’t even questioned it. And Ted, well, he’s only 17 month old… so he’s none the wiser too.

I’ve been focussing on keeping the boys entertained. It was easier last week, as the weather was so lovely! So we could get out in to the garden.

 

We’ve chalked our walk, we’ve played in the mud kitchen, picnicked in the garden etc… while the weather has been nice… we’ve been out breathing as much fresh air as possible.

To make this time as fun as possible, we’ve decorated the house for Easter, early. I just wanted to inject some fun & some colour around he place. We’ve also added rainbow colours to our windows too.

We’ve had so much fun crafting & making decorations. With Seth only being in preschool for half a day each day, I’ve decided not to make a home schooling timetable. I’m still encouraging learning & I’m constantly asking little maths questions etc… while we play, but I wanted to focus this time on fun & making memories rather than it more about school. It’s such a scary & uncertain time, so our focus is being fun, carefree & present. I’m making a photobook for the boys of this time… so in years to come they can revisit this time & see that even though things were scary… we tried our best to make it fun. Like a colourful, cheerful, Staycation.

We’ve had PizzaParty picnics, we’ve camped in the front room, we’ve excavated dinosaur eggs, we’ve had wildlife in our front room, we’ve painted etc… Seth keeps telling me this is the most fun holiday he’s ever had. I think he loves that his Daddy is home all the time & working in our office at home & isn’t going out to work. I think he’s loving the novelty of it all. The weirdest part is that he hasn’t asked to go out at all. He’ll ask to go in the garden, but he’s not asked for days out. I really thought he would have. But it’s like he’s so happy & content at home. This whole thing has made me realise though, just how much I actually go out. I’ve always gone out a lot & joined groups etc… with the boys. But since passing my test in December & buying a 2nd car, I’m out even more.

I’ve been trying each day to find a positive in this whole saga. So far… I’ve come up with so many. It’s also opened up my eyes to how much stuff I take for granted too. I have a new found respect for food. I mean, I waste very little food anyway, but now, I’m literally making sure that each thing is used & nothing is wasted.  Today I got an amazing Fruit & Veg delivery from a local market stall… everything is so colourful & looks & smells amazing. I’ve never been so excited to eat a salad for tea!

I’ve had some amazing video calls with family  friends too. The amount of giggles I’ve had is fab – considering the circumstances. I do feel that it’s brought people together.

I’m planning each week on Sunday & making a menu for things to make for tea.

Keeping organised is really helping me to get through this bizarre saga. I love meal planning & prepping… I find it really therapeutic. I’m in the process of making some strawberry yogurt… I can’t wait. The boys love fruit yogurt – so I’m on to a winner!

I do hope you’re all keeping safe, well & positive. I cannot wait for the massive celebrations to be had once this is all over!

Love, huggles, & much love,

Hayley xxx

Feeling Spicy

4 Mar

Hi folks,

Can not believe we are into March already. It’s been such a quick year already. My days seem to just fly over so fast, life moves so fast. Sometimes it feels a struggle to fit in family life, work & not to mention trying to cook from scratch every day.

I love homemade healthy food & when it’s quick & simple… even better! I don’t like plan food either… I like something with a little spice!

This week I’ve been creating some lovely, quick & easy meals, using my new fave ingredient!

On Monday I made a gorgeous Chilli in the Slow Cooker. The crushed chillies add just enough spice. Its the perfect staple to keep in your spices cupboard.

To make, I threw the following into the crock pot:
250g Lean Beef Mince
Chopped Celery
Diced Garlic
Diced Onion
Sliced Mixed Peppers
Chopped Mini Corns
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Tin of Kidney Beans
A good helping of Schwartz Chilli Flakes.

I left it to cook all day. I thickened with a little tomato purée before serving.

This Chilli was super yummy. Plus, it’s totally healthy as i didn’t use any added salts or oils. Perfect!

On Tuesday I made a delicious Moroccan inspired Lamb Stew.

I’ve thrown the following into the crock pot:
300g Diced Lamb
Diced Celery
Diced Onion
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Handful of Dried Apricots
Fresh Coriander
Mixed Peppers Sliced
1 Tin Chick Peas
Crushed Garlic
A good Sprinkle of Schwartz Crushed Chillies

Both meals were utterly delicious, healthy & so simply to make. Making your won sauces tastes so much fresher than using a premed jar of sauce. This little jar of spices has gone so far & i still have loads left! Well worth the money!
Tonight I’ve used the chillies as a seasoning. I sprinkled on a pork loin & grilled, then served alongside a baked potato & salad.
This little jar of spices is so versatile & a total must have for any ingredients cupboard.
It’s amazing how eating healthy really lifts your mood & makes you feel so much more positive. I’ve loved how easy these meals were to make.
I can’t to try more recipes!
Thanks so much as aways for reading & I hope you’ve found my review useful.
Love & Huggles,
Hayley xxx
Schwartz have sent me Crushed Chillies for review, but all views are my own

Everything is Easier With Sleep!

30 Jan

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year! Sorry its been a wee while since my last blog post. It’s been a very busy few months! I wanted my first blog post of 2020 to be more like my older blog posts… back to basics. More info, tips, advice & general rants about surviving day to day as a stay at home – work from home Mama.

I’ve been joking for a long time now that I’ll one day write a book on the bedtime routine I use for the boys, as they both sleep. I’m constantly being asked what my secret is. But to be honest… I have no idea lol. So… I thought I’d share with you all, what we do each evening. I don’t do anything magical, but, you mind find something you’ve not tried. Or, I might be just doing the same as everyone else.

I love reading blogs & I get a lot of my fave tips from other parenting blogs. So hopefully… I can pass some on to you too.

Firstly, I’d just like to say that I’m no guru or medical professional. This is only what we have personally implemented in our own home for our bedtime routine. 

Okay, so lets start right at the very beginning. Seth was born at 38wks via c-section. I was determined from day 1 to be this amazingly successful breast feeding Mama. That just didn’t go to plan. Within the first 6 days, Seth had lost over 14% of his body weight dropping from 8lbs to 6lbs 13oz. We were rushed into hospital – literally the worst day of my life. The guilt I felt was immense. That first week quite literally was sleep deprivation at it’s finest. I had Seth constantly on my boob & when he wasn’t attached to me – an electric breast pump was. I was emotional, recovering from major surgery, I felt guilt that I wasn’t providing for my baby & I felt let down by my breast feeding support nurse. Whilst in hospital Seth began to combination feed. With amazing support from my Husband, GP, Midwife, Health Visitor, Consultant & Paediatrician, I made the decision to stop breast feeding… I had zero milk. Still to this day – I struggle with the feelings of guilt & like I let Seth down in that first week of his life.

Once we were discharged from hospital, Seth gained weight steadily on formula. But, he struggled with extreme colic. It was horrendous. No matter what we did, he’d scream & scream. Even with the help of Infacol & a special milk, he’d struggle. We had a SnüzPod at the side of our bed as I just don’t like co-sleeping ( personal choice). But I’d say for a good 8 weeks, Seth slept upright on my chest or Grahams. It’d be the only way he’d settle. So it’d be hours upon hours of just sitting awake on a night in bed, so Seth could sleep & get relief from the colic. I remember on a morning, retching & throwing up from sheer exhaustion & my Mam telling me over the phone that she’d not heard of anyone dying from sleepless nights. Ah yes, just to add… both my family & Graham’s live quite a distance away from us. So we have no regular childcare or family just popping in to help.

After around 8 weeks, the colic settled, from then on, Seth would sleep 6hrs: Midnight to 6am. We used to class that as sleeping through the night. When you go from zero sleep to 6hrs right through, you feel like you’ve had a week at a spa retreat lol. Seth slept in his SnüzPod beside me until he was 5 & a half month old. He began to outgrow it at that point. So, he went into his own room in a full size cotbed. He looked so tiny. But he slept great & started to sleep from around 9pm to 6am, which was just amazing. At around 7 months old though, Seth started with partial awakening which lasted around 2-3 month. He would literally wake every 45mins screaming. All we could put it down to was teething. That was so hard. Functioning on such little sleep is tough. But, as a parent, you just want to comfort your baby. The only way they can communicate they’re hurting or they’re upset – is through crying. Thankfully, the partial awakening stopped as quick as it had started.

With Seth being our first, we had no experience of a sleep routine. Graham has always gotten home around 6pm/6:30pm, unless he has assessments to mark etc… then it could be much later. On occasion he does have nights away with work or through freelance work. But I’m always here with being able to work from home. We’d both agreed that we didn’t want bedtime to be negative or a battle ground. So, we have never ever used bed as a punishment. Neither of us agree with the cry it out method or self soothing method. I’ve also never let Seth nap in his room. When napping during the day, I’ve always let him nap downstairs. I just always wanted to keep the bedroom for bedtime to make a clear distinction between bed & nap. I’ve also been careful of danger naps… napping after 5pm has always been a no no, unless they’re poorly.

Seth’s routine from being 6 month has been:

  • No napping beyond 5pm… so I’d wake him gently from a nap if he was napping late afternoon or, I’d keep him awake by playing etc…
  • Teatime has always been around 4:30pm/5pm for the kids.
  • Bathtime 6pm – we don’t do bath time every night as Seth has always had baby eczema. Again, this is just a personal choice. I’ve always found, that a bath later than 6:30pm is too stimulating & tends to keep them awake.
  • CBeebies bedtime hour is always on in our house… PJs on, Milk & chill time. So we have no running around or loud toys from bedtime hour starting. Once bedtime hour is over – no more Kids TV. That has always been our rule. Kids TV is too stimulating, so nothing after 7pm. No tablets either & especially not in the bedroom. Again – that’s just personal choice.

Seth is now 3 years old & has gone to bed for 7pm since he was around 20 month old. We take him to bed, he has a wee, we read a story & that’s it. He goes to sleep. Obviously, as a baby, it wasn’t as simple as that. So, after the partial awakening had ended. We always gave Seth his bottle upstairs on our bed around 7:30pm. Then, we’d let him fall asleep in our arms & we’d carry him to bed. If he woke in the night, we’d give him a bottle in our room but with no lights on, no TV. Just keep it super boring. No talking etc… So he’d have the bottle & go back to bed.

One night, Graham was away in London & I took Seth up for his bottle. I lay with him on our bed & he was just looking at me, as if he was saying “well I ain’t sleeping here”… so I carried him to his room & put him in his cot. I took the monitor downstairs & I sat just watching him. I half expected him to cry as he was still awake… but he didn’t. He just lay there stroking his quilt & fell asleep! From that moment, we would give him a bottle & then put him in bed awake for him to nod off.

Still to this day, Seth has his little ambient blue night light plugged in so it’s not super dark. He loves his room & his bed. He’s now graduated to a big bunk bed – he sleeps on the bottom bunk as he’s only 3, we do have blackout blinds & black out curtains in his room – mainly for when it’s Summer. But he still likes his blue light on.

When Ted was born, we already had a good bedtime routine in place, so Ted just kind of fell in line with that.

At this point – I just want to point a few things out that we do:

  • Both boys were bottle fed. Ted from day one as I didn’t want to try breast feeding in case I let down my baby all over again.
  • Both boys have used soothers. Ted always goes to bed with a soother.
  • I have always kept the cot free & empty of toys, bumpers etc… I never used a sleep/grow bag purely as both Seth or Ted would settle in them. So I always used cellular blankets & a tight fitted sheet on the mattress. Seth now takes his quillow to bed & Cub (his little Ikea Bear)
  • Both boys have slept in a full size cotbed – so they’ve lots of space to stretch out. Seth had the sides off his cotbed from 23 month old & then he went into a full size single/bunk bed from age 3.
  • During nap times, both boys have always napped downstairs.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/44167779470/in/dateposted-public/

Nap times downstairs were a little bit of a mine field when Ted was first born. By this time Seth had outgrown day time naps & began going up to bed at 7pm. But Ted needed somewhere safe to nap. With a 2 & a half year old running round, I was always scared that a moses basket or a lounger would get knocked over. So, we went with a large playpen that had a firm memory foam & sprung mattress from iSafe. It was a life saver. It’s spacious & safe for Ted to nap in. We still have it now. Ted is 15 month old & loves his naps in there. I do allow soft toys in his play pen – purely as I can see him at all times. He doesn’t have toys in his cot bed upstairs. That’s totally free of clutter.

Ted follows the same routine as Seth with regard to when he gets his PJs on, bath time & tea times etc… From 8 weeks old, Ted has pretty much slept from 11pm right through. From around a year old he’s started to go to bed around 8pm, but recently, he’s started asking for bed once Seth has gone up. So, we put Seth to bed, then around 7:30pm, Ted will have a bottle in our room & then goes straight into his room to bed. We put Ted in his cot awake & falls asleep with no problems. We have video monitors on both boys in case they need us in the night. Ted sometimes will wake in the night for a bottle. But it’s literally a quick bottle & straight back to bed.

Ted was in a SnüzPod from birth to 5 month. He outgrew it from 5 month so he transferred to the Joie Kubbie Sleep which is also a side sleeper. He slept in that until he was 10 month old. The he went into his own room into a full size cot bed.

It’s lovely being able to have evenings free. But, being poorly or teething throws the sleeping lark out the window. But that’s just parenting, you have to expect sleepless nights at times.

When we go on holiday, we still follow our bedtime routine. That may sound strict, but Seth still only being 3yrs old, he doesn’t really appreciate a late night as a treat. By 7pm he’s asking for bed as he’s so tired. He’s so active, so he’s ready for his bed. Keeping the routine is constant. We’ve just always kept it up & over time it’s paid off. We’ve taken the boys out at night for meals etc…

I think in the beginning, it can be a bit of a shock to the system at just how much your life does change when you become a parent, but they’re only little for such a short time. Me & Graham met at University & we were together 7 year before we got married. Then we had 5 years together after we got married just us… so we have done the late nights out etc… I think we’re happy being home all snuggly now lol. I’m sure once the boys are packed off to University, we can become party animals again lol.

So there you have it… that’s our bedtime routine. See… I have no hidden secret. It’s just been keeping a good routine in place day in & day out. I hope you’ve found this useful?

Thank you so much reading 🙂

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Chilly Days Out

16 Dec

Hi folks,

It might be feeling very chilly & wintry outside… but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the great outdoors. Being a ‘boy mama’ means I spend a lot of time outside foraging under rocks for creepy crawlies & hunting through woods for Gruffalo’s & Bears.

We spend lots of time walking & exploring on a weekend. Even in the colder months, you’ll find us having a picnic all wrapped up.

We were sent some lovely ION8 Leakproof Water Bottles. Perfect for those days out!

The bottles we have are 350ml. Perfect size for children, but also it means you’re not logging around giant water bottles. These lovely bottles are 100% leak proof. They’d be ideal for packed lunches!

We have the lovely Lady Bug design & the orange.

Both bottles have a frosted kind of texture, making it perfect for grip while on the go. There’s also a great one touch button for opening & there’s also a little switch you can flick that will completely lock the bottle. So you can pop it in your bag with no fear of leaks! Perfect! No one wants a soggy handbag.

Both boys have found them easy to drink from. There’s even a little carry strap too!

The bottles are suitable for both cold & warm drinks.

You can find ION8 Leakproof on social media too!

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Give them a follow to keep up to date with new products & promotions!

Thank you so much as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Parenting Win

19 Nov

Hi folks,

The last 13 month since seems to have flown by & Ted just seems to be hitting all of those first milestone so quickly. I sometimes wish I could just slow down time. Ted is very much a toddler now. He’s no longer my 8lb 4oz newborn baby. He started walking at 10month which still just totally blows me away, Seth walked at just turned 11month old & I thought that was super early.

When Seth made the transition from Bottle to Cup for his water… I remember it taking a little while for him to get used to it. However, with Ted, he has taken to it so well. So much so, that I didn’t even actually introduce him to a cup. He literally just picked up Seth’s 360 Cup one day & started to drink from it lol. So… after hearing this, the lovely folk at Nuby HQ sent Ted his very own 360 cups.

Ted started with the lovely Nuby Wonder Mini 360 Cup. These cups are fab, as they have the little handles on them, so they’re easy for little fingers to be able to grab hold of. I really didn’t have to try with this cup, in introducing it to Ted. He literally just picked it straight up & began using it. He grasped the ‘sucking’ technique so easily.

The 360 cups are super easy to clean too, as every single part comes apart for cleaning. They also come with a lid too, so they’re great for popping in your bag for on the go. You can also buy the replacement inner valve too.

The natural next step from this cup, is to move onto the maxi 360 cup with no handles.

This has been a piece of cake for Ted. He loves his ‘big boy’ cup. I think he feels more like his big brother when he’s using it. He has taken to it so well. These cups are suitable from 6 month. We have bypassed the traditional sippy cups really with Ted, & I think it’s better. This way, he is learning how to drink from more of a proper cup.

Another lovely product we’ve been using is the 3D Silicone Bib.

These bibs are fab! Well let’s face it… anything that cuts down on laundry is a lifesaver in my eyes. These bibs are so durable. And they wipe down so easily… & did I mention that they’re dishwasher safe too!!! The bib has a ‘catch all’ feature which catches all of those pesky flyaway foodie bits. And, while on the go, it easily rolls up to go back into your bag.

The silicone is soft & flexible with an adjustable fastening on the back for around the neck, making this a comfy bib for your little one to wear at mealtimes. It’s not stiff or ‘scratchy’ at all.

Nuby make some gorgeous bath time toys. Seth & Ted have both been having fun playing with the Astronaut Foam Mirror Set. It’s a cute toy as it clings & sticks to the side of the bath & on the tiles. And with the lovely mirror feature, they can see themselves, which Ted always thinks is great fun. Ted has chomped on this bath toy lots & it’s still in perfect condition. Durability is a must in our house lol.

With a Nuby product, you always know that you’re going to get good value for money & good quality products. Perfect for those little stocking fillers!

Thank you as always for reading & I hope you’ve found this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Love is in the Hair

21 Oct

Hi folks,

I do love this time of the year… autumn is firmly upon us… Halloween, Guy Fawkes & Christmas are just around the corner… eeeeeck!

However… with the cooler weather… comes the damp, rainy atmosphere. As a curly haired girl who tends to wear her hair straight… this can be an utter nightmare.

I dread washing my hair. I really do. It’s like a full on commitment. My hair is super thick, washing it, conditioning it… followed by half an hour of holding the hair dryer in place while I blow dry it. I always get so hot & bothered & I feel like the dryer just fry’s my hair. I actually read something really interesting about when you can tell your hairdryer is on its way out & all of the damage it can do to your luscious locks & the warning signs to watch out for. You can read the article from Which?, here. After reading this… it was so unbelievably clear… I needed a new dryer!

I am so completely in love with my new Shehair® Professional Hair Dryer 

Why… I hear you ask… It has a powerful 1800-2000W professional-strength motor with Homogeneous heat to minimalise damage, delivering a high pressure air flow for super-fast drying, while reducing frizz and flyaways to give a smooth salon-style finish. It’s actually true!!! Because my hair is naturally curly, when I blow dry, my hair seems to go so frizzy. But after only 9minutes with this fantastic dryer… my hair was fully dry & it was so much smoother!!! Yes… it wasn’t straight, however, it was so much more manageable & took time off the hair straightening side of things.

Variable power and temperature controls, allow you to tailor your blow-dry to your hair type, while a cool shot button helps lock your finished style in place with a blast of cold air… keeping your hair in Tip Top condition. This is the first time I’ve ever blow dried my hair & not been sweltering. Normally I’m bright red & so hot. But even though I used my new dryer on the hottest setting… it still feels cool. And… I couldn’t smell burning hair… now that’s always a plus!

Ergonomical balance and design makes it a breeze to use & comfortable to hold for both left & right-handed users. It’s so lightweight. It makes blow drying your own hair so much easier! You also get 3 attachments as standard too!

I simply cannot convey to you just how amazing this hair dryer is & how much time it’s saved me. I also feel like my hair feels nicerI don’t feel like it’s so scorched anymore. Since having Ted, my hair hasn’t been great… I feel like it’s not looking as glossy. But with the help of some thick, nourishing shampoo & conditioner, drinking plenty water & now my amazing new hair dryer & gold styler from SHE Hair... I really feel like it’s getting back to its glossy former glory. I haven’t dyed my hair in over 5yrs & try my best to keep it in tip top condition.

This week, SHE Hair are launching their new Platinum Range… I simply cannot wait to try those. They look utterly stunning. Perfect for gifts under the Christmas tree!!!

If you head over to the SHE Hair social media pagesyou’ll see that they’re currently running a competition to win yourself a new Hair Dryer!!!

Thank you so much as always for reading & I do hope that you’ve found this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

I May Not Be Perfect… But At Least My Eyebrows Are!

1 Oct

Hi folks,

I’m so happy that it’s finally Autumn… October is one of my most favourite months. I love crunchy golden leaves under foot, a chill in the air & the excitement of the party season fast approaching. I simply cannot believe that this month I will have a 1 year old & a 3 year old. How on earth is Ted almost a year old!? He started walking last month!!! Walking at 10 month… he’s so clever.

So, I’ve been wanting to write this blog post since January… but I’ve just been so busy & not gotten round to it. But… here it is. My eyebrow journey!!! As most of you know – I’ve had my eyebrows micro bladed. I can honestly say that this it is the BEST thing I’ve ever done cosmetically.

From years of over plucking… my eyebrows were just a state. I used to paint them in each day.

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

With all of the over plucking, my eyebrows had just simply stopped growing. It wasn’t too bad when I had a full face of make up on, as I’d draw them in. But, if I was having a no make up day (which is so rare for me) I’d just feel so self conscious. It’d be even worse while on holiday & in the pool with the kids… I’d just want to hide & cry about my face & the lack of eyebrows. It seems to trivial doesn’t it? But your eyebrows frame your face. It was such a big thing for me.

I started getting my nails done at Ruby Red in January 2018. While having my nails done, I just happened to mention that I’d toyed with the idea of having my eyebrows micro bladed. That’s when Jo, told me that she actually did micro blading. She gave me all the facts, broke down the process & how it all works. She also told me, not to rush into it, to really think about it all etc… well… that very same month… I got pregnant with Ted. So, microblading was off the cards for a wee while. Over the year I got to know Jo so well & she has become one of my most favourite people. Becoming such good friends with Jo, really helped me to make the decision to have my eyebrows done.

So… my first piece of advice… really research your beautician. Ask to see photo’s of their work. Have a consultation. Have your eyebrows mapped. Discuss any concerns. Discuss the shape & thickness. And DO NOT rush into anything. This is a semi permanent procedure that will be on your face. You need to be happy, at ease & 100% confident. 

Eyebrow journey

At my consultation I had my eyebrows properly mapped & measured & I also had a dye test to make sure I had no allergies & to also colour match the dye. I opted for a much thicker & fuller brow. I have big eyes… cow eyes as my lovely hubster calls them lol. He assures me this a complement lol. I wanted quite big, full, natural looking brows with a nice arch. After going away for a week or so, I went back for my first sitting. With microblading, you’ll have your first sitting & then a few weeks later you have your top up. Its totally normal to lose a few strokes in your brows after your first sitting.

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

First of all… the first thing I’m asked:

Does it hurt? Yes… but not like a tattoo. I found it to feel more like a graze. It’s fine in the beginning… but toward the end of the brow, it’ll sting. My eyes watered a lot. You will have some numbing cream though… so really do not worry about the pain.

Can you wear make up straight away? Yes… as long as you don’t go on the eyebrow area.

How long does the scabbing last? Everyone is different… my scabbing lasted around 10 days. My scabbing looked more like dry skin. Most of it was gone after 7 days. But I had a few areas that were still there. So I opted to keep my eye brows dry until all of the scabbing was gone. The advice is to keep eyebrows dry for a week. But I didn’t want to force any scabbing away. My saviour was my Liz Earle Cleansing Cloth.

Eyebrow journey

It allowed me to give my face a good scrub & cleanse… while avoiding my eyebrows. Yes, during this period your eyebrows can look a little unkempt if you really look. But just make sure you get them done when you’ve nothing major planned… like a wedding etc… It does not last forever & the results are worth it.

Once the scabbing has gone… you can wear your make up & wash your face like you normally would.

Now… I have to admit that after a few days… I initially freaked out one evening. I started to panic as the ink will become quite dark due to the scabbing. When you’ve gone from no eyebrows – to full on brows, it can take a while to get used to them. Also, as I’m so dark, I had the darkest dye. After my slight wobble… I loved them. Life is so much easier when you have brows.

Eyebrow journey

After my top up… I was even more in love with them!!! They were full, dark & just perfect. They suited my face so much.

Getting ready on a morning is much quicker. When I have a full of face of make up, I do lightly shade them in. But that is just my personal choice. I cut them in with my concealer & foundation & then I use a Make Up Revolution Eyebrow Pencil. But because I already have the brow there… it’s so quick & easy. Literally takes minutes.

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

So… what do my brows look like now? Have they lasted?

Eyebrow journey

YES!!! They’re still amazing. And… do you know what else is utterly amazing??? My own eyebrows have actually started to grow! They’ve not grown for years. I’m wondering if maybe somehow, the trauma of the micro blading has stimulated the roots?

I am due a top up in January, & I simply cannot wait. In some ways I wish I’d had them done years ago. But then I’m also glad I didn’t, as I may not have found Jo. I’m so glad that she was the one to do them.

If you are in the Yorkshire area & you’re considering microblading… contact Jo at Ruby Red. She’s AMAZING!!! A true artist. I have linked their Facebook page, where you will find all of their contact details.

Before I go… I just want to leave you this:

Eyebrow journey

Literally all of the brow emotions you will go through lol.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post & you’ve found it interesting. If you’re considering micro blading – book that consultation!!!

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

 

Feeling Comfortable in My Own Skin

23 Sep

Hi folks,

More than ever, we seem to be bombarded with images of picture perfect people… flawless skin… perfect figure… nothing seems to be out of place. I’ve always been a bit of a self conscious person when it comes to how I look. I’m so confident in who I am as a person… but when it comes to how I look… I’m so critical & self conscious.

After having the boys… I have noticed a massive change in my skin. The problem with a change in your skin also effects your make up! So, not only does your skin look & feel different with a naked face, but it also looks & feels different when you’re wearing your make up. Such a nightmare. Especially when you’re already feeling a little self conscious from just having a baby. And… you also have the added pressure of not having oodles of time either to start a brand new in-depth skincare regime!

So… what changed with my skin after pregnancy.

Under my left eye, I developed a little prominent blood vessel. I know it looks small… but to me it looked like a beacon! I think it happened during pregnancy while throwing up so much. I’ve always had a rosy pink complexion & that’s fine as it’s always something I’ve had so I’ve always bought & wore make up that hid it a little. However, after pregnancy I always felt it looked more patchy. And, my cheek area became super dry in areas & under my eyes which meant that my foundation & powder started to clump, which is not a good look. But, my T Zone area became massively oily. This meant that my foundation was clumping in the dry areas & then smearing off in the oily areas. My pores were becoming visible under my makeup in the oily areas, if that makes sense… almost like the inside of an aero bar.

I just do not have the time to spend hours on my skin & make up with a 3yr old & a 10month old to run around after. But… I still want to feel & look good.

Starting on 22nd August… I began using my new products from ESKI decided to document the results & I’m so glad that I did.

I’ve added dates to the photo’s so you can see how skin has improved.

The areas that I feel have improved; my skin isn’t as greasy, fine lines seem to have improved, no dry patches & I feel like the small blood vessel isn’t as prominent.

So… what is my new skincare regime I hear you ask? Well, firstly I can promise you that my new regime is super simple & hardly takes up any time! I am completely in love with the ESK Hydroxy Cleanser. I use the Hydroxy Cleanser morning & night. I wear make up everyday & I do tend to go for a smokey eye look complete with black liquid eyeliner & black mascara. So I need a cleanser that will be gentle, but will also remove every bit of make up. This cleanser does all of that! You use it just like a face wash. The 100ml bottle should last you around 3 months. I’ve never been a fan of cleansers & toners… I always found cleansers to be too greasy & toners to be too harsh, which would end up making me too pink. The hydroxy cleanser, cleanses while being nice & gentle, & it’s also soap free. It doesn’t make me red & I never feel any skin tightness after using, which I’ve always found that I get when using other face washes.

After cleansing on a morning I then use B Quenched. This product can be used at night or morning. I’ve been using each morning & I can honestly say that this moisturiser is my most favourite skin care product EVER! It is absolutely gorgeous! It’s everything I’ve always wanted in a moisturiser. With having an oily T Zone, I always thought other moisturisers used to sit on top of the greasiness. So I’d avoid putting anything on my T Zone. So I’d only end up moisturising my dry cheek area. This products helps to improve the skins barrier function, reducing hyperpigmentation and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. I think my redness has massively improved. Also, I never knew that when the skin is super oily, it can be a direct result of the skin being too dehydrated. This product helps the skin to retain moisture, but my oilyness has greatly improved. My skin overall just feels less greasy, less dry & looks less red. My make up has been going on so well. I’ve stopped using a primer under my make up as this moisturiser gives such a lovely even base.

My make up isn’t clumping or sitting in lines. It’s also staying put all day… so that alone tells me that my oily skin has improved.

I’ve been using Ultimate A everynight before bed after using my Hydroxy Cleanser. I just want to say first off – that this product is not recommended while pregnant or breastfeeding due to the content of Vitamin A. This product is an amazing anti-aging product. I absolutely love this. I feel like my fine lines around my eyes have reduced. I’m now 37 & fine lines are my main concern. I think we’re all looking for that wonder cream that will make us look a little younger. I have no problem being almost 40… but I also want to look good too. This product promotes collagen growth, increases skin elasticity and reduces hyperpigmentation effectively and without irritation. It’s a lovely light cream, not too heavy or thick. It makes your skin feel so super soft. Again, like the B Quenched – I feel like this product has helped to reduce the redness. Normally after cleansing & moisturising on an evening, my skin would be so red. But I can honestly say, my skin looks calmer.

My 3 stand out products are: Hydroxy Cleanser, B Quenched, & Ultimate A. I honestly feel like I have new & improved skin, with no extra effort. When we feel good about ourselves, I think we can deal with the pressures & stresses of a busy lifestyle so much easier. Another great feature to these products, is that they give you a full run down on how to use them & when to use them. They really feel like a tailor made skincare regime just for you.

I will be continuing to document my skin progress & will be writing a progress post about it 🙂

I hope you’ve found this post useful & interesting. I’ve added the links to the products that I’ve been using so you can read further & even treat yourself.

Thank you so much for reading!

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Wobble, Wiggle and Grow

9 Sep

Hi folks,

Seth went back to pre-school last week. He was so excited. To be honest… I think he likes the routine of school Monday – Friday. Over the Summer break he has asked a lot for School. It’s so quiet in the house without him now he’s back. But looking at the positives – it gives me some one & one time with Ted.

Ted is 10 month old now… I just cannot believe that he’s going to be a year old next month. That time has flown. I know I always say it – but the time does just fly by. When people said to me that time flies once you have children… I don’t think I really believed them.

Ted has been having so much fun with his new toy from Hape & Baby Einstein. It’s no secret that Hape are one of our most favourite toy brands. We all just adore wooden toys. Ted’s new toy is Balancing Cal. Cal comes in 5 pieces & is a mix of wood & plastic. Some of the pieces make sounds too when you shake them. Fun & musical. The aim of the game is to stack Cal as tall as you can make him, without him falling down. This toy is great for encouraging & developing motor skills.

Each piece has been beautifully crafted & is the perfect size of little hands. Ted has had fun shaking them to make noise, clacking them together & has enjoyed giving them a good old bite lol. Each piece is lovely & smooth with no sharp edges & the materials feel very durable. The colours are stunning too. So vibrant.

Each piece has a different texture to feel too. The balls are perfectly weighted to be able to stack in a wiggly, wobbly way. Ted loves it when they all fall over. It’s really just a lovely little toy that does so much… makes music, rolls, stacks etc…

I know some folk think it’s a little too soon to be talking about it… however… Christmas is only around the corner! Balancing Cal would make a fantastic gift.

I’ve added some links for further reading & info on the product.

I hope you’ve found this post useful!

Thanks as always for reading,

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Essentials to Make Life Simple

12 Aug

Hi folks,

I can’t believe we’re almost half way through August & the ‘Back to School’ countdown has begun! Seth is so super excited to get back to PreSchool… he asks every day if his teachers are back from their holidays yet bless him lol.

So… along with the usual new uniform & school shoes… he has his trusty favourite backpack!

Seth simply adores his Trendz Robot Backpack from Nuby. It’s the perfect size for our little people. It also has a detachable rein on it too. There’s also side pockets either side, the perfect size for a matching drinks bottle.

The new stainless steel Robo Cups are perfect for School… they keep drinks cool for up to 10hrs! They’re also very durable… Seth has dropped his on concrete several times & it’s left no marks or dints!

Ted is a BIG fan of the Stainless Steel Food jar… perfect for dinners on the go! The contents will stay warm for 5 hours & cool for 7 hrs! Perfect for when you’ve arranged those all important playdates!!!

And where would we be without those all important Catch All Wipeable Bibs!?

In fact… they’re almost good enough to eat lol.

Weaning can be such a tedious time. I have been a lot more relaxed about weaning this time around. When I was weaning Seth I was super stressed all of the time about finger foods. With Ted, everything has just felt more relaxed & laid back. Everything is so much easier though when you have good quality products thats you can trust!

Here’s a little list of some of our new found favourite products:

This has made independent drinking so easy for Ted. He has taken to this cup so well. It’s great for little sips of water during meal times. I think I may start introducing a 360 cup.

I love these little bowls. They’re perfect for food storage too when you’ve been making baby food. Also, for feeding when you’re out & about, it’s great being able to pop the lid on to avoid any food spillages in your bag.

This is great for finger foods. It grips fantastically to smooth surfaces, such as your highchair table/tray.

This is such a cute little bowl. The lovely soft texture feel is great for little hands. All of the edges are smooth etc… & I just love that you can stick it down too. It’s that first step toward self feeding.

These lovely spoons have been developed to help with self feeding. The shape & design is perfect for little chubby hands to grip. They also have choke protection guards to reduce gagging and choking.

Such a perfect first cutlery set. Ted hasn’t gotten round to using these ones yet, but once he’s hit the 12 month mile stone… I’m sure he’ll be using them.

I used these fantastic lolly makers with Seth. So you can be assured that they’re long lasting. Ted adores his homemade fruity ice lollies. They’re perfect for sore teething gums. The clever design catches any stray drips & the handle itself is perfect for little hands to grip. They come with a lovely little freezer tray too.

If you head over to the Nuby Website, you can get free delivery when you spend £15 or more & there’s also some Back To School bargains.

We simply adore all of our Nuby products. I love anything that will make day to day life that little bit easier!

We’ve not got long left now of the Summer Holidays… so let’s hope that this weather of ours picks up!

Thanks so much as always for reading!!!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.