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Monday, November 26, 2012

Tears, teeth and tiredness!

Hi everyone,

Hope your alright, it's been cold and rainy all weekend here so I was pleased to wear my new wellies out today (they were a present for my birthday and I love them!)

My poor daughter (and most of her friends) have the cold right now. She's teething too and despite Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and teething powders she is still pretty miserable. Any miracle cures for teething will be greatly received!

We had a quiet weekend (we are all unwell!) but some of my lovely friends from Aberdeen came down to visit which cheered me up no end. We had a lovely roast dinner on Sunday and they spoiled me with fab presents including a Soap and Glory gift box and a very lovely box with cupcakes on it.

So here's my weekend in pictures:

I ate...a lovely birthday cake made by my friend Vik.

I applied...Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which had greatly improved my skin after Elemis caused a breakout.

I new birthday wellies (a bargainous £14.99 from Clarks!!)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Babies, also known as a health hazard

Or more specifically, all of the colds they seem to contract!!

It was my birthday yesterday and I spent the entire day in my PJs with yet another cold. This one is particularly bad and my chest hurts like mad everytime I cough.

Baby also has the cold and is still teething and I have had her on my own all week as my DP is on nights.

What I need to do (after the several baskets of washing and ironing of course, and finishing my wardrobe clean up and bedroom makeover!) is to invent a cure for the common cold. Then I need never work again.

I'll be back later but right now I am away for more paracetamol and a honey and lemon drink.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Boredom in the bedroom

Hi everyone,

You've been reading for a little while now so I don't mind showing myself up a little bit.

You see, things haven't been so great in the bedroom department I don't mean like THAT!

I've taken some pictures, you'll see them at the bottom of the post. While I have been trying to make myself look like a princess, my bedroom has been looking more like a pig pen.

I'm bored. I can't repaint or carpet because its a rented house but this room needs a makeover.

We have decent foundations- the furniture is good quality and the bed linen is Egyptian cotton. I love the bedside lamps (a bargain on eBay!) but we are lacking that luxe feeling. There's not much personality, no mirrors and I hate the cheap bookcase.

So I have a budget of £100, now lets have some fun (yes, there's a mood board coming on...)

I plan to learn new skills, buy cheap and up cycle as much as I can. I will keep you posted with regular updates! My first step came today when I found two giant faux fur cushions with large shell-type buttons in the local charity shop. They were a bargain at £4 each and I can't wait to use them in the new room.

Today I made some yummy Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup (yum!) and had a lovely play-date with my friend Jane and her son Arthur. I haven't been much of a princess today as I've been short on time so I have booked a hair appointment for next week and I am going to get my eyebrows threaded tomorrow to try and make up for things. I have done my nails tonight (Leighton Denny in Forbidden Territory) and I am about to put on an exfoliating face mask (Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel as always) and slather on some body moisturiser (Body Shop Shea Body Butter at the moment).

My little one has been sleeping really badly lately, the past few nights it's been after 9pm by the time I get her settled and she is up every 2 hours to feed. It's making me think that maybe it's time to think about weaning as she is 5 months old now and very interested in food. I want to resist until we are as close to 6 months as possible but I have to admit it's getting harder, especially when most of my friends are weaning their babies now. I would love to hear your weaning stories as quite honestly I don't have a clue what to do!

Finally today I want to share with you some exceptional customer service that I experienced. In York, there is a shop called "Expecting" who specialise in maternity wear and nursing bras. I measured myself for some new nursing bras today (I have been wearing totally, utterly, the wrong size and shoe-horning my giant boobs into bras that give me that awful "double boob effect, not to mention the near black eyes if I walk too fast!!). I ordered some new nursing bras from Expecting online and awaited their arrival next week. I had been putting off going to get measured as I had no-one to look after my little one (her daddy is on night's this coming week) and I was worried she'd get bored and kick off.

Within minutes the owner of the shop had e-mailed me and offered to drop them round today on her way back from work! She called round in the afternoon with the items and said she would give me a full refund or exchange if they didn't fit and also that if I was struggling with size she would easily give me a fitting if I went into the shop. Amazing, amazing service, great products and the chance to support a fantastic local business.

The day in pictures:

I wore my new Merino wool jumper from Uniqlo (until it got baby sick on it), toasty and soft!

I applied Aloe Vera Gel to the blisters on the back of my heels which were burning like mad after an allergic reaction to plasters....

I cringed at my messy bedroom with it's pile of maternity clothes ready to be packed away.....

The "office chic" shredder.....

And rather boring (but admittedly very comfy) bed.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Couples night in

With a teething baby!

Today was one of those days where I had lots of boring jobs to do, pick up the dry cleaning, post some parcels and collect prescriptions etc.

The challenge has been going well, I am now very used to starting the day with herbal tea instead of my regular builders tea, my skin looks great thanks to all of the extra moisturising and although my hair is falling out (thanks hormones!), what I do have looks lovely and shiny!

In order to have a fun task to lighten the chores I started to make the Christmas cards by sticking ribbons on to the cards and then making greetings to go in the centre.

The part I am looking forward to is dressing baby up in her Santa costume and taking some photos! I even have a toy reindeer for her to pose with!

It's couples night tonight in our house, we've had a lovely risotto for dinner and now we are watching a comedy called The Other Guys and drinking a gin and tonic. Who knows how long the peace will last?!

Here is the day in pictures:

I drank gin and tonic

I applied Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter

I admired the beginning of my Christmas card mission

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sew near yet sew far...

I took my first trip to Hobbycraft in York today. My friend Mary has very kindly lent me her sewing machine and I am going to make some drawstring bags for shoe storage.

If you have used a sewing machine before, please come over here and tell me how to sew in a straight line as I don't seem to be very good at it! Going to practice tomorrow with some old clothes and hopefully I will be running up lovely things before long!

I also got carried away buying Christmas craft stuff- look out, you will be receiving the obligatory photo card for baby's first Christmas!

It was lovely and mild in York today so my friend Alex and I took our babies for a lovely long walk along the river and through Museum Gardens. My little girl was mesmerised by all of the gorgeous autumn colours and then fell asleep for most of the way home!

I have been asked to make a Christmas list for my family as they keep asking me what I would like and I keep telling them I don't know! On my list at the moment are some Elemis goodies and a Lola Rose scarf.

My feet aren't looking too princess like after the long walk which I undertook in my new ballet pumps. Ouch- serious blister issues and I even manage to draw blood!

Here is a pic of the gorgeous fabric I chose for the bags...

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Christmas Edit...

Dear Santa,

Please can I have all of my Christmas shopping delivered to my door (wrapped nicely of course) and fantastic present choices for all?

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I have to confess I am one of those sad people who starts buying theirs in October so I am now nearly finished.

I wanted to share with you some gorgeous gifts for those on a budget...

My mum will be unwrapping this set of 5 Clinique Chubby Sticks available from Boots for £30. Chubby Sticks are a cult beauty buy and this set has been tipped to sell out in stores so get in quick. I have, of course, bought her some other things but they shall remain secret...

I recently treated myself to this 100% Merino Wool Sweater from Uniqlo for the bargainous price of £19.90, they are available in a range of sizes and styles and would make a perfect gift for a best-friend or sister.

I wanted to get my baby daughter something fun that she could keep as part of her present list this year. I attended my first Threadbear party this Saturday and snapped up these gorgeous girly bookends (£12.99). Available at My Generation and also Gentian (both in Barnard Castle), Threadbear stock Quirky gifts, jewellery, bags and homewares. You can also buy online! stomach!

Hi everyone,

Right now I am wrapped up in a lovely wooly jumper and resting a hot water bottle on my stomach. Why, you ask? Well I seem to have damaged my stomach muscles somehow and it's making even little things like picking up baby very painful.

I've tried anti-inflammatories, arnica cream and tablets, support bandages and now the hot water bottle to no avail. Next stop might be the doctor!

It's definitely winter here now and true to form it has been cold and rainy all day. With the colder weather in mind I have changed my beauty routine a little to avoid my hair and skin drying out.

As you know, the challenge involves drinking lots of water to keep skin well hydrated, I crave hot drinks in the cold and have recently discovered a lovely range of herbal teas by Heath and Heather. My particular favourite is Apple and Cinnamon which is bringing me a taste of Christmas a little early!

I've been feeling a little fed up lately, despite steadily losing baby weight, it's started to go back on now (I have gained 4lb). My stomach is stopping me from exercising and I am craving comfort food. All of my lovely pregnancy hair is falling out and the dark circles under my eyes are getting worse! All this being a mum is hard work.

So I have decided to put the chores on hold, get comfy on the sofa and bring you a list of my fave winter products.

A long term fave of mine is Origins Ginger Float bubble bath, the ginger fragrance is gorgeous and spicy, it makes lovely bubbles while at the same time being gentle on the skin- my partner has even been known to use it in his bath!! A range of complementary items is also available so you can layer the scent.

And while you are relaxing in the bath, how about the sound of a roaring fire? If, like me, you don't own a mansion (and luxurious bathroom with open fire), you can emulate the sound and scent the room at the same time with this gorgeous candle by Woodwick. Available in a variety of yummy flavours, they are made from soy wax for a clean, chemical free burn! Currently on my wish list is the Marshmallow fragrance.

After your bath why not slather on some moisturiser to combat that dry winter skin? The Body Shop Shea Body Butter is formulated for very dry skin and, applied the night before, I still have silky skin for the whole of the next day. The scent isn't particularly potent either so great as a unisex product or for those who don't like a strong product.

Winter winds and cold weather can also play havoc with the hair, I have been using Ojon products recently but have newly discovered Lee Stafford Argan Oil Conditioner which leaves my hair silky, shiny and tangle free without weighing it down. Don't be put off by the red bottle, the product itself is white!

And finally, a lovely product for the entire family from the new L'Occitane Bonne Mere collection. This honey body wash can be used as a handwash and is so gentle it can even be used in the kids bath. The packaging is beautiful and functional with the pump dispenser and the fragrance lingers after you rinse.

Friday, November 9, 2012

So I sent for a Boden catalogue

And oh-my-gosh I actually liked a lot of what was in it! What happened to me?! I'm only twenty-something!

It's made me think how funny it is that your style can totally change when you have a baby. Today I got rid of a heap of stuff to the charity shop, it was the last of my big clothes/shoes/bags/accessories clear out.

Amongst the things I got rid of:

1. A red, leather bomber jacket.
2. A pair of tartan platform heels.
3. A studded, metallic hand bag.
4. Several pairs of badly fitting jeans.
5. Lots (and lots and lots) of pants!

Now maybe it's just that my shape has changed, maybe I now prefer comfort over style- a twisted ankle whilst walking with the pram whilst wearing heels has killed any desire to dig out the stilettos, but I just don't seem as interested in owning lots of clothes like I did before. Now I am adhering to a strict one-in-one-out policy and I want to focus on buying quality over quantity.

So can I apply the same principal to my cosmetics collection? Can you recommend me some "dessert island" products?

I spent the day having family time as my partner is on nights this weekend and was lucky to have a lovely meal cooked for me by my friend and her husband. It was delicious and I even had a white wine spritzer with it!

We also tried my little one with some food, she had her first meal of mashed potato and rusk- so proud!

Off to bed now, slathered in body butter. Hoping to get my brows done tomorrow but helping babysit two little boys so I have to admit its not likely!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fabulous Thursday

I am still very excited after landing my dream job! It doesn't feel real that when I return from maternity leave I will have to start studying again but it's all for a great cause!

This week my mum has been down visiting and we have achieved so many things- on Sunday we did the car boot sale I had planned following the giant de-clutter. It was hard work getting out of bed at 6am on Sunday in the very cold weather but well worth it as we raised nearly £300 selling books, DVDs and costume jewellery. The house is a lot less cluttered (though there is some stuff to go to the charity shop!)

Right now I am loving the good people at Bobbi Brown in York who gave my mum a really great makeover, she looked gorgeous and now has some lovely new make-up to show off! We also snapped up a boxed set of 5 Clinique Chubby Sticks for part of her Xmas present!

Today I managed to make a chocolate fudge cake and my lovely partner made some great minestrone soup. We did have a lot of things planned today but ended up napping in the after ion instead!

I can't believe my little girl is 20 weeks old today. It's been really tough for us lately as she's been teething for ages and waking every 2 hours at nights I have also been diagnosed with post-natal depression so I don't feel like my usual positive self, it's such a challenge just dragging myself out of bed some days.

One thing I will say is that the Princessing Challenge has really helped me feel a bit better. Although it feels like a huge effort, doing little things like painting my nails or slapping on some nice moisturiser really does pick me up on the bad days.

Busy day planned for tomorrow as you will see from the To Do list:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tired but very happy!

We've had a very busy few days lately- my mum is down staying with us which meant we had our first night out without baby.

It was our friends wedding in town and it was great to get dressed up (even if I did get my boobs stuck in the first dress) and see lots of people I used to work with.

I had to drag myself out of bed on Sunday as I wanted to do a car boot sale to rid our house of junk. I was really glad we did as we made nearly £300 flogging our old junk- Christmas is paid for!

In terms of the challenge I have done relatively well but today I have a huge headache from lack of fluid!