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Monday, February 25, 2013

It's a mans world?!

Right now I am watching political show The Agenda.

Currently the topic being debated is the male dominated culture present in many institutions and whether or not the sexual abuse which appears to have been prevalent in many institutions would have taken place had more women been in top jobs.

I don't tend to wade in to political debate, but I do agree that it still is a "man's world"

The lack of affordable childcare, jobs for the boys attitude seen in the political landscape and the fact that we'll still judge a woman on her appearance before taking her talents and abilities into consideration illustrates perfectly that the feminist cause still has a way to go.

"So what's her point?" I hear you say.

Sure, I spend my time baking the odd cake, doing yoga and deliberating which face cream to buy. But right now I am also spending my time trying to find well-paid part-time work where my desire to be a mother and a worker doesn't stand against me.

It's sad that we often become aware of flaws in the system when they affect us on a personal level. I'd like to hope the next government will consider the working woman to be the most important voter, but I won't cross my manicured fingers!



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Someone on this train smells of booze...

...I hope it's not me!

I sent the above text to my lovely friend Heather whilst nursing a rather sore head on the train journey home.

This weekend was the first time EVER that I have been away from my baby overnight. Getting on the train to Edinburgh, I was very very nervous- they change so much at the 8 month stage and I was worried I would miss something new and exciting.

We had travelled to Edinburgh for the Hen Weekend of the rather fabulous Julie (a University friend). Like many girlie gatherings, the weekend featured cocktails and carbs with a generous smattering of dancing to boot,

It was great to come home to cuddles from my daughter and a family Sunday night dinner.

Like they say, a picture is 1000 words so here we have the weekend in pictures.

I ate: Well, drank, many cocktails during our 3 hour cocktail masterclass at The Living Room. There was free pouring of a (great many) spirits, a toast with bubbly and we each made our very own personalised cocktail.

I applied: Collection 2000 Glam Crystals Black Liquid Eyeliner. This liner has added glitter making it ideal for a night out.

I wore: Lulu Guinness Lips Clutch Bag. Big enough for all of my essentials (and then some).

I admired: The lovely bride-to-be Julie who was a great sport when faced with a game of Mr and Mrs (thanks to the groom Duncan for answering my list of questions!) Can't wait for your big day.

And finally I must say, well done to our boys on their victory against Ireland today!



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Freecycle, you are frustrating me!

Now my little one is crawling, we are having to baby proof the house. She seems to have a knack of seeking trouble and can often be found:

a) Trying to pull the digital box off the shelf on the tv unit.
b) Trying to pull pictures off the table top.
c) Crawling into a dark corner to chew electrical cables (!)

On a practical level I think we may benefit from emptying our living room and leaving it bare except for a layer of plastic which will provide a wipe clean surface. In an attempt to compromise however, I have been getting rid of some clutter we don't need anymore,

I decided to use Freecycle to get rid of some bits but every time I try to post an advert it crashes. After half an hour I decided to sit and sulk instead, leaving a large pile of unwanted tat in the middle of the living room floor.

Today we had an NCT reunion which was lovely, it's amazing how babies change in a few months. We enjoyed a roast dinner and there was plenty of conversation about how none of our babies will sleep through (even though they are nearly 8 months). It's always good to talk to other parents as it can help normalise things you are experiencing- for instance, my grumpy baby has a terrible cold today and I was worried she seems to be catching everything but a quick chat to the other parents reassured me that we are all in the same boat.

The day in pictures...

I ate...Toast and jam

I applied...Barry M nail polish

I wore...Zara bag








Friday, February 15, 2013

Facial oils

My new beauty best friends!

As promised, the subject of this post is facial oils. Recently they have been receiving a lot of press and after my bout of winter illness left me looking less than lovely, I wanted to try one out in order to see if my skin would benefit.

First things first....IT WON'T INCREASE THE OILINESS OF YOUR SKIN!

Sorry for shouting, but I just wanted to clear that up. The idea that facial oils would make my skin greasier was part of the reason I avoided them for so long.

Facial oils claim to refine the skin and can be used for a variety of issues including dryness, ageing, dullness and irritation.

The key is to find the oil that suits you- different plants will add different properties to the oil. Here is a very brief run down of some common ingredients:

Lavender- widely used as an agent to sooth the skin, lavender also adds a pleasant fragrance.

Rose- a very nourishing oil, rose is known as an anti-ager.

Geranium- regulates oily/combination skin.

Frankincense- heavily scented, Frankincense is known for its skin toning properties.

How to choose an oil for your skin:

What do you want the oil to do? Are you looking for an anti-ageing oil or something for spot-prone skin?

Price- facial oils seem expensive, prices often start around £15 for 100ml. Remember to balance this with the fact that only 2-3 drops are required per application therefore a bottle should last a very long time.

Ingredients- cheaper oils may contain mineral oil (an oil derived from petroleum). Although mineral oil is an effective moisturiser, there are concerns it can block pores and some individuals can suffer from allergic reactions to it.

Organic oils will cost more however for those who are conscious of the environment, it may be preferable to go organic.

Application: Generally two to three drops of oil are warmed in the hands and applied to the skin before any other moisturiser. Personally, I have been able to skip my night cream since starting my nightly facial oil.

My current favourite: Clarins Facial Oils.



Clarins facial oils have a cult following and were given a makeover in 2012.

Currently available in 3 varieties (Lotus for combination skin, Blue Orchid for dehydrated skin or Santal for extra dry skin), these oils are 100% natural and free of preservatives.

Not only are they beautifully scented but they are incredibly effective. I have only been using the Lotus variety for a few weeks but I am pleased to report that my T-zone is no longer shiny every day, my pores have shrunk and the texture of my skin is better.

Visit: www.clarins.com for more details.

Best of the rest:

The well established Decleor Aromessence range is multi-award winning. Their Neroli facial oil is a particular favourite for those seeking smoother skin. See www.decleor.com

Aromatherapy Associates Nourishing Facial Oil has recieved extensive press coverage. Although the exact formula is a well kept secret, rose oil and evening primrose are used to replace moisture and soothe skin. See www.aromatherapyassociates.com

On the high street:

Brands such as Superfacialist by Una Brennan, Botanics and Neal's Yard Remedies also sell facial oils and may be useful for those on a budget! Prices start from £9.99.


The news I didn't want to hear...

Today I had an appointment with the maxilla facial specialist at the hospital, during the appointment I got the news I didn't really want to hear- my wisdom teeth do have to come out!

I'm on the waiting list and I will go into hospital, have a general anaesthetic and get the teeth removed. I suppose in some ways it's a good thing- the pain when they get infected is awful and seems to get worse every time but I am still worried about how sore I will be afterwards.

I have spent most of the afternoon cleaning as one of my friends is coming over for dinner tonight which I am very much looking forward too!

I'll be back later with an update!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday, lovely Sunday!

It's been a nice family day here today! We always try and have a relaxed Sunday as its the only day we are all together for a decent amount of time.

We managed another great sleep last night (I don't want to say it's a habit yet but I am hoping!)

The day was spent swimming at the local pool (which was very very busy!) then meeting a friend and her lovely baby girl for coffee. We have even managed a few loads of washing.

We had a family dinner (macaroni cheese!) which my daughter wasn't quite sure I at first. Then it was time for baby's bed.

The day in pictures:

I ate...macaroni cheese.

I applied...Paco Rabanne Lady Million



Thursday, February 7, 2013

I may be deflated on the inside...

...but on the outside things are still very much inflated.

And incase you wondered, I am not talking about my mouth!

For those of you who haven't stopped feeding yet I offer you this advice: DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY!

Sorry to shout, I just don't want you experiencing the pain, discomfort and bad nights sleep that I am having. My partner isn't escaping either as he is having to do all the settling with baby as she wants milk every time she sees mummy!

I've been worrying a lot about work lately, I still feel very much like a fish out of water. I don't know if its the general feeling of coming back from maternity leave, the anxiety that comes from having a new job- or both.

It's hard to feel that I need to spend my spare time and energy working on my career. What I should say is that I don't mind spending extra time on work- in the current climate I think personal development at home is a given in many jobs.

The hard part is doing it when you have a baby who still isn't in a great bedtime routine and is also up at least twice during the night.

Inevitably, you end up giving in. Your resolve weakens with your tiredness and you find yourself rocking them to sleep just because is means they go down quicker, giving them an extra feed because you know milk makes her sleep.

I keep telling myself if I can "just" get her settled a bit more then I will be able to power on through and things will get better.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oh yes, your whole face is swollen!

Was the comment of the lovely dentist I went to see today. Overnight the gum around my wisdom tooth had blown up so large that I felt like I had a giant gobstopper in my mouth!

So one rather painful dental procedure and a prescription for antibiotics later, I hope to be on the mend. I do feel a little sad though as the antibiotics mean I can't feed my daughter anymore. I can't put her at risk for the sake of my own health however, so I am going to have to just get on with it and make sure we have plenty of mummy-daughter cuddles.

It hasn't all been bad today- I stopped at a pharmacy on my way back from the dentist and went to get a pay and display ticket for the car. Some lovely person had stuck their ticket with 30 mins parking left into the pay machine- this gave me free parking with more than enough time to get my tablets so thank you whoever left it!

I then took the car to the local Halfords Garage as the back wiper had decided not to work. The lovely guys looked at it there and then and fitted a new fuse free of charge- as a result I am going to recommend them to all of my friends!

Hopefully an opportunity will present itself so I can pay this good deed forward!

The day in pictures:

I ate...kids yoghurts.

I applied...large amounts of bonjela.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Staying fabulous in February!

I just wanted to say Well Done! We got January out of the way.

Our resolutions may have slipped, we may still be broke but we survived!

It's hard to believe I have been back at work for nearly 4 weeks now. I absolutely love my new job- interacting with the students is a great experience and its so interesting to hear fresh ideas and see their optimism and enthusiasm.

Work has brought it's challenges though- most notably 5.30am wake up calls which, coupled with a baby who is still up at least twice a night to feed, is leaving me looking dull and feeling tired.

In a bid to combat my fatigue I have started a new exercise class which will (hopefully) boost my energy when I get past the red faced, puffy stage which I am at currently.

My lovely other half gave me some money for a treat and I invested in one of the beauty products of the moment- Facial oils. In the interest of balance I am going to write an entire post about the different oils available and how they can benefit you (even if you are oily of complexion like me!)

Here is the day in pictures:

I ate...slow cooked lamb ragout with rice

I applied...Clarins Lotus Flower Face Oil

I wore...Emu Slippers