Thursday, 29 June 2017

The True Face of Adulting?

I posted one of these pictures on my Instagram a few weeks, captioning it with how it had inspired me to get back in to blogging. Obviously this was met with slight confusion from a few people as to how on earth a Vacuum Cleaner could be inspiring but in truth - I haven't been this excited about a purchase in a long time. We were making do with James' Grandma's old hoover, having to use a rubber curry comb over our entire carpet first to pull out Max's stubborn dog hairs. It meant that hoovering even our modest house was a day long affair, it was getting harder as Sophie was getting older and to be honest - who can be bothered to go through that once a week? I went on a vacuuming strike until James caved and we bought our first ever Dyson!

When this first arrived and I put it together, I was filled ever so slightly with dread as I'd had to really sell James on such an expensive vacuum cleaner when, let's be honest, there are far cheaper ones out there. I convinced him that it was worth the extra money and so when the time came to give it a test run, I was suddenly panicked that it would be crap and I'd be firmly in the dog house! Firstly, I was suitably impressed that even I managed to put it together in a matter of minutes, and you get so many attachments to get into every nook and cranny possible. Secondly, I don't think James and I have reacted with such excitement since we found out we were pregnant... It genuinely made us so happy! Within minutes our downstairs hallway looked like a different room, even I wasn't expecting it make the decade old carpet look that good.

We have the Dyson Animal DC40, it adjusts to whichever floor type it's currently on so no awkwardly bending down to change the setting every time I go into a bathroom or the kitchen. It's also got the ball technology so it's super handy for reaching around corners and under any furniture. It might sound like I'm being really pedantic over a hoover but it has honestly changed our lives. For those of you who don't know we have a short, wirey haired black dog who malts like fur's going out of fashion, plus a 15 month old. That combined with James' work boots and my riding gear - our carpet takes a battering day in, day out. Said dog is also terrified of any vacuum cleaner, which in turn winds the baby up - who coincidently gives me around 5.5 minutes to get anything done on my days off. It means that I effortlessly hoover my entire house in 20 minutes flat whilst she's entertaining herself and he's blissfully unaware in the garden. It cost us £220 on, but it's already been worth every single penny and in this case, it definitely was worth splashing the extra cash!

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Behind the Mask - My Skin Fixes!

Finding the time to use a facemask is something that I have always struggled with. It's quite a commitment - application, waiting for it to set and then carefully removing it is something that I can't always be bothered to do if I'm honest! I've tried to set myself a routine when it comes to masks in the past but in actual fact, I tend to use then as and when I feel like my skin needs an extra something. These four are my trusty team that I can turn to no matter what I'm struggling with and know that I'll get the results that I need. 

It took me a while to get into the Origins Drink Up Intensive (£25), to begin with I didn't like the idea of going to sleep with a facemask on and worried about it ending up in my hair or all over my pillow. Once I'd given it a go and realised that somehow, magically, neither of the above happened - I fell in love. It's the perfect pick me up if my skin is feeling dehydrated or dull and is probably the lowest maintenance mask you could find. I apply it like a very thick moisturiser, barely rubbing it in at all, and then leave it until the morning when I wake up with plump, nourished skin! I tend to use this as well as another mask if I'm having a bit of a pamper night too as the others can be a tad drying, so this is the perfect way to finish off my evening and know that I'll wake up looking fresh. 

I was really unsure which of the L'Oreal Clay Masks to get, but after reading what they all did I realised that the Glow Mask (£5) offered something which my current line up wasn't. It's an exfoliating and brightening mask which I find is great for just before a night out or when my skin is looking a little tired. I find that my skin can often feel quite rough, which leads to my foundation looking patchy quite quickly. The L'Oreal Glow Mask tackles exactly that and leaves my skin looking smooth and more even ready for my makeup. I tend to shy away from using masks in the morning as I'm worried about putting makeup straight onto my newly cleared pores - however I've been finding myself popping this on before my shower in the morning to kick start my skincare routine. 

I know that the Oskia Renaissance Mask (£49.50) is something which is often raved about by fellow bloggers, but I'll be honest that I've never really lusted after it. As you can see by the rest of my favourites - I find high street facemasks more than sufficient and so didn't feel the need to shell out on anything more expensive. However after signing up to the Latest In Beauty box and being able to pick this as one of my samples - I'm in love! It is pricey but you only need a tiny amount and it completely transforms my skin, if it's not available in next month's box then I will certainly be purchasing the full sized version as I've been using this almost weekly and noticing a massive difference. It takes away any rough patches of skin, soothes any redness and makes my skin appear so much more even. I've used this after riding once or twice and not felt the need to use foundation afterwards - something which rarely, rarely happens to me!

Last is everybody's favourite and another offering from Origins - their Clear Improvement mask (£25). I've been using this for years now and it's always my go-to when I need a skin overhaul. I'll admit that since I discovered the Oskia Mask I've been reaching for this less, but it's still making an appearance a few times over the month. I find that this takes longer to set, at least 20 minutes (although I do apply it quite thick) and due to it's colour and consistency, I prefer to take this off in the shower otherwise I end up in a bit of a mess - so that means I only really get the chance when Sophie's gone to bed early and I have an evening to myself. It's great at clearly out my pores however and bringing any brewing nasties to the surface, and for that reason I use this around a week or so before a big day or evening. I've heard a lot of people say that this gives them a breakout but I feel like that's what it's supposed to do? So I always prepare myself for having bad skin for a few days, but know that if I keep on top of my skincare properly I'll be reaping the benefits of this mask for over a week afterwards. 

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Friday, 23 June 2017

L'Oreal Fine Flowers Toner

If there's one thing that I've always been lazy with when it comes to skincare, it's definitely a toner. I must have gone nearly two years without even using one after trying to streamline my morning routine and it wasn't until everyone started raving about the Pixi Glow Tonic that I wondered if I needed to reinvest in something. I need my morning routine to be as quick and easy as possible, now that Sophie's running around and opening every drawer she can find, I really don't have time to indulge in pampering my skin every morning. Because of this, and the fact that my skin had really done quite okay without a toner for the past two years, I didn't want to splurge out on anything expensive and so when I saw the L'Oreal Fine Flowers Toner on offer in my local boots, I thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a whirl.

The L'Oreal Fine Flowers Toner isn't really like any other toner I've used before, in the past they've always had an almost water like consistency and felt refreshing when swept across my skin. This lead me to be slightly dubious the first time that I used this, as it's a thicker formula, in between a gel and a liquid (more perhaps the thickness of a primer?) and instead of waking my skin up, it calms it right down. It feels silky when applied to my skin and immediately after my skin both looks and feels calmed and well, toned. It's soft and luxurious, gentle and nourishing, whilst also sinking in to my skin as quick as a flash and leaving me ready for my serum within minutes.
I've recently been feeling as though my skin is tight once I've cleansed and it's not until I apply this that I feel comfortable. I just pop a small amount onto a cotton pad and lightly sweep it across my face. I always end up putting too much on the cotton pad as you only need the size of a 10p piece at the very most, but I've had this for months now and you can see how much I still have left. I know that I got this on offer but it's only £4.99 normally so it's unbelievably good value for money, I am tempted to try the Pixi Glow Tonic next just to see if it's a cut above what I'm currently using - but for the price I'm not sure I'll be easily swayed. If I'm going out for a run or having a day in where I really can't be bothered to do anything but the bare minimum, then I'll simply cleanse and apply this and then I feel ready for the day. It leaves my skin so smooth that I have to stop myself from constantly stroking my own face and I think it really balances out the redness that can creep in. For anyone wanting to try something different from a toner or looking for their first one, then I cannot recommend this enough!

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Summer Skin Saviours

I am extremely guilty of not taking care of my skin during the winter months, in fact, I don't take care of myself at all as soon as it gets cold. As soon as the sun starts to shine and I begin to run out of excuses to get my legs out, I have to turn to something heavy duty to sort out my pins. In years gone by I would also go for a heavy duty fake tan to see me through, however "me time" is now limited thanks to my daughter so I need some quicker fixes.
The Dove DermaSpa Summer Revived Body Lotion is essentially a gradual tanner. I was introduced to this by Anna SacconeJoly in one of her favourites and decided to grab it whilst it was on offer in my local Tesco. This is perfect for the Spring months when I haven't yet managed to build up a tan but still want to look natural, I only wear the fair to medium and it gives me a gorgeous sun kissed look that I could totally pass off as coming from the actual sun. It dries super quickly so I don't have to dodge Sophie's little hands for too long and even once it's built up it doesn't go patchy. I've applied this on perfectly smooth and exfoliated legs and also when I've forgotten to shave and neither time has it failed me! I've also put this on and then put tights over the top and I end up with super smooth legs.
I know that Cocoa Brown are a little controversial in the blogging community these days, but I still love their 1 hour tan. As I said earlier, my "me time" is hugely restricted these days so I find popping this on as soon as Sophie's gone to bed and then jumping in the shower an hour later to wash it off works perfectly for me. I haven't left this on for more than two hours yet as it's still fairly early on in the year so I don't want to go too dark, but it leaves me with legs that look as though I've had a long weekend in the sun. It does go a little patchy around my knees if I don't remove it properly, but a quick exfoliation sorts that problem in no time at all.
Finally is the Vaseline Cocoa Radiant Lotion, I've been using this for year's now purely because I love the smell of it. It stops my knees from looking rough and dry and keeps my legs looking fresh for days. If I apply this regularly then it keeps my tan in place for longer and I'm sure it gives me an extra day or two between shaving my legs! The only drawback with this is that it does take a little longer to sink in to my skin, which of course isn't a problem during the summer months when they're out all day - but in the winter it can be annoying to wait for this to dry before getting dressed!
I'd love to know what your top picks are for summer gorgeous legs, I'm really struggling this year with how firm my skin looks, especially on my thighs. So if anyone has any miracle firming products or similar for their legs then please please let me know!


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Trainer Goals

If you know me personally then you should be aware that this year, I got into running. My sister has been a fan of running for around a decade now and has been taking it seriously for probably around 5 years. She was actually running a marathon as I was giving birth to Sophie and I definitely use her as my main inspiration. Back in January she started a Couch to 5K group which I dutifully joined, expecting to endure the 7 weeks to support my sister and give up the second it finished. I'm still slightly shocked to say that I fell in love with running! I was gutted when I finished the course that I suffered from an injury, then an illness, then fell into a cycle of generally being poorly, busy or injured and then I totally lost my confidence. 

 That being said, I've still managed to slowly continue losing weight and I'm now firmly below my pre-pregnancy weight. Of course with the wedding only a year away, our holiday at the end of the year and summer quickly coming around the corner - I've tried my best to stay motivated and stay on track to achieve my goals. The running course actually started again last Saturday and I've rejoined to regain my confidence again. I'm extremely proud to say that I noticed a huge improvement from last time and my love for running returned instantly.

In my head I'd like to drop another dress size and lose one more stone, both of which would put me at the smallest I've ever been in my adult life. However in my heart I know that how I feel is far more important than the number on the scales or that's sewn into my clothes. I want to look fit, healthy and like I look after myself more than anything else. I want my clothes to hang that little bit better and for me to be able to grab anything in my wardrobe and know that it will fit me comfortably. I'm dreading looking back at my wedding photos wishing that I'd done more squats or toned up my arms more. This is post was neither about trainers (although they are my new ones, and they are rather beautiful) and it didn't define any clear goals either. But I'm hoping to blog a little about what I'm doing to get fit in the run up to my wedding and hopefully find something that I can stick to for the rest of my life!

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Spring Nail Style

Am I the only one who changes up their nail colour as soon as a new season rolls around? I don't know what it is but even before I've whipped out the sunglasses or slapped on some fake tan, my nail colour has to change. That being said, I'm not exactly varied in my taste and I tend to stick to what I know. I thought however I'd make my big beauty blogging comeback by showing you exact what tickles my pickle when it comes to Spring/Summer nail colours.

As you can see, this one is extremely well loved. Fairy Taylor from Essie's Gel Couture collection actually works for me all year round as it's the perfect pinky nude for my nails. The are slightly more expensive that the normal Essie Nail Polish's however they last up to a week on me (their tagline says 14 days, but as a busy Mum not even real gels last more than a week) and the best thing is - there's no pillow smudge! If you apply this and then the Gel top coat, you won't wake up with those dreadful impressions where you've been cuddling your pillow! Perfect for someone like me who has approximately 3 minutes to herself during the day.

The newest addition to my collection is Barry M's Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint in Almond. The Gelly Nail varnish was actually one of my first ever posts back in 2013 and it would seem that the love has well and truly lived on. Barry M keep the collection current by constantly bringing out new shades however Almond is a nude classic. Darker than Fairy Taylor but I find it looks so sophisticated and goes with absolutely any outfit. The shaped brush makes it super easy to apply and with just two coats my nails are completely opaque and ready to go.

Essie's classic Bikini So Teeny has to be in everyone's spring nail wardrobe - surely? I personally wear a lot of navy, even throughout the summer, so this goes with almost everything that I wear whilst still standing out and looking pretty. The only thing I will say is that it's the most difficult to apply of all of m favourites. If I have the time to sit and concentrate then I love it, but if I'm in a rush to get my nails done then the brush is a little too thin for my liking.

Soigne's Caramel has been a firm favourite of mine for years now, I remember losing this around three years ago and nearly having a panic attack over where I could have lost it and promptly ordered a new one straight away. It's still a nude, but its' more of a taupe nude and is fairly dark. This is another than I also weather throughout the winter but for some reason it looks more elegant during the Spring/Summer. It applies really thick so I can get away with one coat if I'm in a rush or if I'm patient then it builds beautifully to form a nice thick polish that lasts all week.

This was actually a freebie from a Next press event that I went to a few months ago and I'm almost ashamed to say that it's the only bright colour that I have in my collection! It applies relatively thick however I definitely need two coats for this to be presentable and it actually doesn't last all that well. For a day out, however, it's lovely to quickly apply in the morning to add a pop of colour to my look. I really must invest in more brights and corals as now we're moving more towards Summer and out of Spring, I feel like it may be time to shake things up again. 

A Change Is Better Than A Rest

Hello Stranger, fancy seeing you here!
I've just had a look to see that it's actually been a year since I last posted on For those of you who don't know, I swapped to a new blog "Love Becka" last summer but something just didn't click. I've been feeling the blogging bug creeping back in on me for a few weeks now and after umming and ahhing over which blog to restart, if any, I thought I'd go back to my roots and give it a go back on here.
I felt like when I got pregnant and eventually gave birth, I almost had to become this Mummy Blogger who poured over the latest baby gadgets and toys. But as much as I love being a Mother, and I'm sure the odd parenting post will creep up on here, it's not what first enthused me to blog. When we had Sophie I had to downsize my beauty wardrobe hugely and then whilst on maternity leave I just couldn't afford to keep up with the latest launches. Now that I've been back at work for nearly 6 months and I have some spare cash to treat myself with every month - I feel like I've fallen back in love with beauty and I'm keen to start blogging about it all again. 
I'm not going to sit here and say that this blog will be about this or that, because I've done that before and then felt restricted to what I could or could not post. I'm just going to be sharing the things that I love, when I find some time to myself to write about them. 
A lot has changed in the past year, from struggling with a newborn to now having a thriving one year old, from milling about on maternity leave to now being in the midst of the career of my dreams. I'm nearly at the one year countdown to my wedding day and I'm well on track with my fitness journey. We've been in our "new" house for over 6 months now and are enjoying making it a real home for the three of us. So much has happened and so much is going on in my little life, I hope you don't mind me sharing it all with you!

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