Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Lush Valentine's Day 2019

January really seems to be dragging, doesn't it? It's that month where we're all kind of stuck in limbo, we're all skint, there's old boxes of celebrations with only the snickers left (I eat the Bounty's first, don't hate), and the shops are full of messy shelves with the left overs of the Xmas sales. I actually look forward to February and everything going back to normal. 

Lush is a place that really makes me aware of the seasons, the scents alone just transform you from the pine of a xmas tree to the floral freshness of Springtime.
 Now Christmas is over Lush can make way for the Valentine's range. This is the stuff I really look forward to, I prefer the scents and I know a couple of my favourites come back at this time of year too.

I thought I'd share a couple of bits that caught my eye. Lush have featured some emojis in the past but they've gone a little cheeky for Valentine's. 


The Peachy Bath Bomb  (£3.95) is clearly very popular as it was sold out the last two times I've been in store. Luckily I did manage to get myself one in the end. I love peach scents and with the peach juice and grapefruit oil it gives a really fruity scent and a gorgeous colour too. There's a touch of glitter dusted on the top that is just the right amount for my liking - I really dislike anything overly glittery which leaves me having to deep clean the bath ruining the whole point of a relaxing bath in the first place.

lush-aubergine-bath-bomb-2019-valentinesAnother Emoji is the Aubergine or Eggplant if you are from the USA... why do we have different names for things? Zucchini confused me for ages and Cilantro... just why?     Anyway the Aubergine Bath Bomb   (£3.95) has uplifting bergemot oil, fruity ho wood along with tonka absolute. When in the water it shoots green and blue into the bath with a touch of glitter.

One of my ultimate favourites from Lush is the Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar (£4.95) and I'm so pleased it's back for another year. It's a really pretty one too and I'm all about the aesthetic. 

Relaxing lavender oil and ylang ylang oil meets mood-brightening neroli which is known to increase serotonin levels in the brain. It's such a good mix and I feel great after using this in a bath. I tend to cut mine in half so I can get a couple of baths out of it.

The people in Lush are always so friendly and I was telling the girl who served me how much I loved it and she said a great thing to do is stock up on them and crumble them into a jar with a secure lid. That way you can get a load of uses out of it throughout the year without them going stale. Absolutely genius! 


The Love Boat Bath Bomb  is another that I've mentioned before as it was part of the  Lush 2018 Valentine's range but is slightly more expensive at £4.50 - damn inflation! (though comparing it to my pic last year it could be slightly bigger...). It's a cute little blue and pink boat that leaves your bath water a pretty shade of lavender with red heart confetti too. The rose oil, Sicilian lemon oil, and sweet orange oil leaves a really gorgeous scent on your skin 


I don't know if it's the weather or the pregnancy, maybe it's a combination of the two but my lips are seriously dry at the moment. I had to pick up one of the Eve's Cherry lip scrubs (£6.50). I've used their Bubblegum lip scrub in the past and these are so good for smoothing dry lips. This has such a gorgeous cherry scent that makes me want a cherry slushie! The caster sugar exfoliates the lips while a mix containing cherry kernel oil and shea butter soften and protect the skin. Sam has described this as 'tasty sand' - so make of that what you will! 


One new product that really stood out to me was the Love Token Bubble Bar Bubble Bar (£4.95). It seems like a great gift not only for Valentine's Day but when ever you just want to give someone a little something to say thank you. I wish I'd seen this when I wanted to thank my bestie for the amazing surprise baby shower she threw for me but the flowers I sent were appreciated! 

It looks like a shiny golden coin with a Thank You message on the top. You hold this bubble bar under running water for a generous stream of pine and clove bubbles, I love a bubble bar as you get multiple uses out of them. then popped to one side to use again. Ginger oil, pine needle absolute, and clove bud oil gives a scent of homemade biscuits so it's perfect for a lovely warm relaxing evening.  


I really like the range this year, and I'm planning on making the most of some gorgeous relaxing baths before the baby arrives. 


Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Pregnancy Update - The Second Trimester

So as I'm nearly 35 weeks into my pregnancy now I figured it was time for another baby update. An update is WELL overdue in fact! Better late than never, huh? Since the pregnancy announcement in August we've come a long way. 

Finding out the Sex of the Baby
We found out we were having a little girl and had a gender reveal with our family to share the news. We weren't going to get too into it but M really wanted to do the 'balloon pop' that he'd seen others do and it seemed like a fun way to announce it. 

We had everyone there make a prediction and the response was quite mixed. I'd always had a feeling it was a girl, not for any real reason other than I've been a lot more tired with this baby than I was with M (but then I didn't have another child to look after back then) and that I craved tomatoes unlike last time when I wanted anything lemony. 

We shared the news with family and there were tears all round. We were thrilled to find out we’re having a little girl! I cannot wait to meet her! She’ll no doubt cost us a fortune as there are so many gorgeous little outfits out there. I’m also very much excited about playing with Sylvanian Families again!

I mentioned before that my Nan knew I was pregnant with M before I did! She called my Mum one evening and randomly asked if I was pregnant. She hadn't seen me in a couple of months and isn't on social media or anything, she had nothing to go by but she just had a feeling. My Mum and I both said no and then about 3 weeks later I found out I actually was. She then said I'd have a boy and was right. Earlier this year she told me I'd have another child 'at some point' but the next born child in the family would be girl. My Nan's prediction was right again. I'm going to get her to guess the lottery numbers next. 

I just can’t believe how quick it’s gone, in less than 5 weeks I’ll be full term and I'm convinced this girl is going to be early. In many ways I’m totally overwhelmed and feeling like I’m not at all ready but in other ways I know I’ve got this. 

M is still very excited, he is very into shopping for her and loves pointing out new clothes. He's heard the heartbeat a few times and is always talking to her and feeling her wriggle around. 

A month of so ago my midwife thought that I was measuring a bit small so I was sent for an extra scan but all was fine. It was nice to see her again and also be 100% sure (or at least more sure, I know you can't be 100% til they're actually here) that she's a girl. We'd been holding off on throwing out M's old clothes just in case they'd got the first gender scan wrong. But the sonographer confirmed we're having a girl. 

How I'm Feeling I'm aching a lot, this baby is getting in all sorts of positions that cut off nerves and I'm needing a lot more baths to relax my muscles. I feel a lot more like I'm carrying around a heavy bag (or honeydew melon- as that's what she is the size of currently.)  I'm probably doing a little too much and need to remember to rest a little more. 

I'm feeling so different this time. Not just physically but mentally I'm in such a good place. I don't want to focus too much on the past, but I know this time I'm not as worried. I'm not thinking 'don't act too pregnant or show you are struggling'. Last time I really felt the pressure to not be different to 'usual Jenn'. I don't have anything to prove now and I know I can do this. I just look at M and I can see that.

The most important thing is that in my mind I’m much stronger. This has been pointed out a few times by several different people now and that’s really reassuring. Sam and I had only been together a year and a half when M was born and although he was my absolute rock through everything he’s a million times better now. He's an incredible Dad and is excellent at keeping me calm. I tried to do too much on my own last time and really suffered as a result. I know I can ask for help and not be seen to be failing. Those ever-so-helpful words from someone telling me ‘I won’t be able to handle it’ are much easier to brush away this time- I bloody can. I’m proud of how far I’ve come emotionally and I think my surroundings have massively helped with that. I know to ignore Mum forums and to take no notice of the people who think their way is the only way. I know to trust my instincts. 

The second trimester is supposed to be the easiest one and it’s been a bit of a mixed bag. My iron levels have been really low so I'm keeping an eye on that and going for some infusions. My heartburn has been horrendous and I'm not getting a lot of sleep - but I guess that means it won't be such a shock when the baby does arrive.

 I originally kept bump pics off social media as there wasn’t a lot to show at first and it's only now really obvious that it's not just a big bowl of pasta in my belly (it is that too!). She’s definitely there but I don’t want to start comparing myself to other mums to be, I know everyone’s different. 

I'm feeling her move around so much more now- much more than I ever did with M, she barely stops. We call her a little mouse as she seems to scurry around in there. She's head down but keeps turning around in circles, she's been back to back so we will just have to hope she is facing the right way when the labour starts.

The Next Stages
I know I need to think about getting the hospital bag together and start reading the Hypnobirthing books or at least get some kind of birthing plan in place! I should go through M’s old baby clothes and see what I still need to buy. I still haven’t had my flu jab, I don't know the difference between a body suit and a sleep suit and I’ve recently decided a nursing pillow might be a good shout this time but I’m not stressing about it all. It will get sorted. I just need her to stay in for a few more weeks now! 


Monday, 7 January 2019

Comparing Barry M Nail Shades

I love Barry M nail polishes. Not only are they super affordable they have such a good shade selection to pick from. This is great for me as I change my nail colour more often than I change my jeans.  
Back in December they had an offer on their website that meant most of their range had 20% off so ever the bargain hunter, I picked up a few bits for presents, a couple of their lovely lip liners and of course some nail shades for myself too!


Their 'Classic' Nail Paint range is only £2.99 so I never feel to guilty picking up a new one when the mood takes me. I've shown them in the picture next to each other so you can compare. I got 'Bespoke', a mauve-toned nude, and 'Ballerina' which is a lovely dusky pink. The bottles look really similar when next to each other but on the nails there's a big difference, Ballerina is a lot pinker. 


My bestie has her nails done in the salon and they always look gorgeous but I know she paints her toenails herself so when I picked up Gelly Hi Shine polish in 'Acai Smoothie' I got her one too. It's a dusky magenta which reminds me of a berry yogurt (or smoothie I guess!)  that I think works all year round. I really love the Gelly Hi Shine polishes, they stay really well and I find they're more pigmented than the Classic polishes. I only need 2 coats maximum with these. The Gel Hi Shine Blueberry is a favourite of mine. Another Gelly Hi Shine polish I tried is 'Almond' which is a light taupe and really versatile. I feel like my nails look 'done' without being too much. 


 From Top to Bottom- Bespoke, Ballerina, Acai Smoothie and Almond

As always I used a top coat on these, just so they last longer without chipping and have a bit of shine. This top coat is Barry M's 'Plumpy Top Coat' (£2.99) which I really love.

All of these are great shades to wear as we move into Spring. It won't be long til the bright shades and pastels are back. I'm looking forward to seeing what the new 'it' shade for Spring/Summer will be.


Thursday, 3 January 2019

Christmas Bits and Sale Bargains

Once again the debate on sharing your presents rears it's ugly head. As I said last year I've learnt you'll always piss someone off so just do what you want. It really doesn't matter. 

I personally love seeing what people have been given, mainly cos I'm pretty nosey to be honest! I figured I click on the 'what I got for Christmas/my birthday' posts so other people must enjoy them too - and you wouldn't click on something you don't like, that's just pointless isn't it?

I try not to take what I see online too seriously. We have to remember that we don't see all sides of social media and that huge pile of presents could be from people who scrimped and saved all year or it could all be on a credit card. Those designer handbags you see could be from an awful boyfriend who makes his girlfriend cry every day and that's just his way of keeping her sweet. It could be the last Xmas together for some people so they want to try and make it really special and go all-out. Christmas especially is a time to remember ‘live and let live’ - who cares how others choose to celebrate? It’s about far more than that!


I'm not sharing everything - I'm sure you don't really care about my black socks (which I am thrilled with by the way!) or new mattress but I like to show a selection of things I think you might want to get for yourself and I've added links where I can. If you don't like presents or bargains click away now. 

I'll start with the bits I got in the sales, some of these might still be in stock if you get in quick.

I use my Boots Advantage card points in the sales as frankly, after Christmas I am skint! I generally pick up things I had my eye on before Christmas. I don't tend to go too crazy and try to only pick up things I'll actually use. I also stick to doing this online as I'm far too tired to brave the high street on Boxing Day. Boots put most of their Christmas gift sets into the sale on Christmas eve fyi.


I've been after a decent primer for a while and I've always heard good things about Smashbox. The Smashbox Holidaze Photo Finish Travel Primer Trio looked great but at £30 it was a bit pricy for me. Having a Christmas theme to this gift set I had a hunch this would go into the sale. I was correct and when it meant only spending £20 of my Boots points it seemed pretty worth while. 

The set includes three of  Smashbox’s bestselling makeup primers. There's a 12ml Original Photo Finish Smooth + Blur Primer, which is usually £15 alone (a 30ml full size is £26). I am loving this already, I noticed a huge difference to how my make-up when on when I used this the other day.

There's a 15ml Photo Finish Primerizer which retails at £15 when bought alone (a 30ml full size is £30).  This can be used with or in place of moisturiser so I've been using this in the morning after cleansing my face. 
and also a full size Photo Finish Primer Water which is normally £12. This spray on primer not only gives you a good base for make up but hydrates and refreshes the skin too. You just mist onto skin from 8-10 inches away before applying make up. I find it great if your make-up is looking a little matte or dry.
They recommend storing it in the fridge if you want it to feel extra refreshing which sounds pretty nice. This one is going to be great in the warmer months and will be great to apply quickly in the morning when I've more than likely been up with the baby in the night!

So there's 3 great products there and the set is saving you £22. I did the maths. This is sold out in Boots now but there's a couple of other stores that were stocking it so have a quick google and see if there's any still around.

I only noticed the grey checked scarf in Marks and Spencer on Christmas eve. Sam actually offered to buy me it after he struggled to pull me away from stroking it -it's so soft and pretty! I had a hunch this would be reduced the next day so I checked online that evening and there it was for £3.75 instead of £7.50. Some things are worth waiting for. I'd definitely take a look at their scarves if you're near a store soon as there's bargains to be had!


I didn't have much of an opinion on Zoella, she's not really aimed at my age-range but I had a little sniff of this Midnight Wonder Candle when the Christmas products first hit the shelves and I really liked it. It's described as 'a fusion of crisp, fresh white notes, soft cashmere, red fruits and soft mint. Perfect for a winters evening'. £10 for a candle is crazy in my opinion - especially when it's from a brand I haven't tried before but I decided to give it a go when it was reduced to a more reasonable £5. However, Miss Sugg has mugged me right off cos it smells great in the box, the packaging is lovely but when lit it just smells of wax. At least I wasn't sucked in by her advent calendar, that's all I'm saying.

Border biscuits are my weakness but we only pick them up as a treat from time to time. We were actually in Boots picking up a sandwich when we noticed this tin including 4 packs of biscuits for just a fiver. The biscuits inside are lemon drizzle melts, sweet memories butterscotch crunch, 
chocolate, stem ginger and orange cookies and white chocolate and strawberry cookies  We needed a new biscuit tin anyway!


This is the first year in a ages where I didn't get shoes or anything from Lush. I guess while being pregnant I know that pretty shoes aren't getting a proper outing any time soon and I did get a lot of Lush stuff for my birthday in November. I was very lucky to receive some other gorgeous bits from my friends and family that I'm thrilled with. 

It's no secret that I can recite half the script of Friends and if you combine the with my love of tea then you'd know a Friends Mug is a perfect gift for me. It's also huge so it's going to be very useful when the baby arrives and I need all the caffeine to keep me going.

I've heard great things about the St Tropez Purity Bronzing Water Mousse with it's main appeal being that it doesn't  transfer to clothes or bedsheets. It develops in 8 hours and you don't even have to rinse it off so it's a fake tan that I can really get on board with. 


As much as I'm not a fan of Miss Cole/Tweedy/whatever she is now, her mug on the box isn't going to stop me trying out a decent lash. I've used Eylure lashes in the past and they're always pretty good. These are called 'Girls Night' and I really like how these are thicker at the outer edges. Sam picked the up for me and I think they'll be great to wear at my upcoming baby shower.


I was given the majority of the Grease OPI range for my birthday but there was one shade that wasn't included that I really liked the look of. 'Hopelessley Devoted to OPI' is a coral-peachy- pink which is not Christmassy in the slightest but I'm loving this shade and I know I'll be wearing it a lot over the next few months.


I may not have any new Lush bath products but I do have a big bottle of the  Feather and Down Sweet Dreams Bath Essence. If you've not tried Feather and Down have a great range of products that smell amazing, the scents of lavender and chamomile are perfect for helping you get a good nights sleep. I spray their pillow spray on all our bedding and it's gorgeous. I'm looking forward to some relaxing baths using this stuff! 


Sam knows how much I love to draw and I wish I had more time for it. He's always nagging me to take more time for myself and relax a bit so he was hoping a new sketchbook, some fine liner pens and a new set of Faber Castell pencils would be the motivation I need. I love them all so I'm definitely planning on some evenings on the sofa sketching away in the near future. 


I'm extremely grateful for everything I was given and I had a wonderful Christmas with my family. I'm so excited to see how different it is next year with our little girl with us too!