Friday, 3 July 2015

Mrs Jones Loves: Coconut Oil

I know, I know I'm totally jumping on the bandwagon with today's blog post but coconut oil is just sooooooo amazing, how did I ever manage without it? Ladies, if you don't have at least one jar of this stashed at home, then you really need to try it out!! I currently have one pot in the kitchen which I use for cooking, baking, frying, as a spread and making smoothies etc etc I also have another pot in my bathroom which so far I have used for:

Moisturising:  Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturiser both for the face and the body. I have quite oily skin so I have to use this really sparingly, I definitely can't use it every day as it breaks me out so instead I apply it maybe once a week as an intense moisturiser.

Eye Make-Up remover: This is 100% the most effective eye make-up remover I have tried. It literally melts away waterproof mascara and tough to remover mascara's such as They're Real- by Benefit. You only need to use the tiniest amount though, otherwise your eyes will feel gunky afterwards.

Cleanser: Coconut Oil is great for gently removing make-up especially for sensitive skin such as mine. I apply a pea size which I work all over my face as it melts and then remove the excess with a warm muslin cloth. Using coconut oil as a cleanser can also work well to hydrate your skin if you find it too heavy to use as a moisturiser.

Hand & Foot treatment: massage this in to dry cuticles or dry and cracked patches on your hands feet and leave preferably over night. A great tip for DIY a pedicure is to apply coconut oil to your feet, paying extra attention to the heels and then wrap your feet in clingfilm and leave it to soak in for as long as possible. I can't stand to leave the clingfilm on my feet over night but if you can, then I have heard that the results are amazing!!

Hair Masque: Once a week I will work a dollop of coconut oil through the ends of my hair as a masque. I leave it on for as long as possible before washing it out with a natural shampoo & conditioner.

Hair Styling: melt a tiny tiny amount in the palm of your hand and then apply sparingly to the middle section and ends of your hair. The coconut oil will solidify as it cools, taming frizzy and fly away hair and defining the ends. A word of warning though, only use the tiniest amount and never apply to the roots, unless greaseball is the look that you're going for!!

These are the main uses that I have found for coconut oil as a beauty product so far. Some people think I'm bonkers but please try it before you knock it and I'm certain you'll be amazed at the results. Coconut Oil is pretty easy to find in the supermarkets these days and so it's cheap because a little will go a really long way.
The best part of all though is that coconut oil is completely natural and therefore worry free. I actually use it to help tame my daughter's crazy curls without having to worry about using harmful chemicals or damaging her beautiful hair.

Have you tried coconut oil yet??


Friday, 26 June 2015

Long Bob Update #lob

A while ago I blogged about how much I loved the look of a long bob but totally I chickened out at the last moment when the time came to chop off my then long locks. Well if you follow me on social media then you'll know that I did eventually go for the Lob. I'm not sure why I've taken so long to blog about it though, I think I had envisioned myself photographing a beautiful post with mw modelling various Lob hairstyle options but being a busy mama, I just never have the time!! Despite being apprehensive beforehand, I loved my new cut right from the start. I think I wanted to get used to seeing myself with short hair, work out how to style it before telling everyone how much I love the Lob as it's affectionately known.

One day I was walking past the Richard Ward Metrospa on Duke of York Square, Chelsea. Richard Ward is said to be responsible for the Duchess of Cambridge's lustrous locks. A friend who has equally gorgeous hair had recommended them to me so I thought I would stop buy and see when the next available appointment was. Expecting to be told I'd have to wait at least 6 weeks, I was pleasantly surprised that they had a slot for me the next day, and one for my sister too. That was it, no chickening out this time!!

When I arrived I was given a tour of the Salon and then a consultation with my stylist Nando. He said that my hair was in good condition, especially considering the length and that I colour it regularly and asked if I was sure that I wanted to chop it all off. To which I replied 'No, I'm not sure but let's do this anyway...... '
I went off to get my hair washed and when I returned, my cheeky little sister had already had her hair chopped in to a Lob and she was only supposed to be having a trim!! Nando was absolutely meticulous in cutting my hair, the attention he paid to the detail was just astounding and I left with the best hair cut that I have ever had. As a result of his precision, my nightmare hair has been a dream to handle since cutting it, even if I don't have time to style it properly it still looks heaps better than before, mainly due to the great haircut.

I adore my new(ish) Lob, it's the perfect mummy haircut, without looking mumsy! I love how versatile my hair is, it's still long enough to wear up, I can of course straighten it or just blow dry it with my Babyliss Big Hair. I can now style my hair in a fraction of the time that I used to spend and the style tends to last longer too. The only disadvantage really is that I now need to go for regular trims, I'm due for one now and it's difficult fitting it in ( and also costly) if I don't have Gaga around to babysit whilst I pop to the salon. Other than that I haven't regretted cutting my hair one bit, I love it! My Rapunzel obsessed 3 year old on the other hand....... well she wouldn't talk to me for a while when I came back from the salon and her first comment when she finally did dare to open her mouth??

"Mummy, you're hair is NOT amazing"

Well that was me told!!


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Britmums Live 2015 and a Whistle Stop Trip to Wales

This year marked my second year at Britmums live and I was super excited to be attending again! Last year's Britmums Live was really what gave me the confidence and motivation do make a lifestyle change and turn my hobby in to a career in blogging.

On both occasions however, Britmums has fallen on quite stressful weekends for me so I haven't really felt completely at ease or able to focus on the seminars. Last year my mum was having an operation on the first day of Britmums and I was at the hospital with her both before and after the conference. This year, we had a family party in Wales with my in laws, organised for the following day. This meant that I had to leave slightly earlier on day two in order to go home, pack, feed & bathe the kids and then pile everyone in the car and drive down to Wales for the party the following day.

Above me getting ready for Britmums live, with friends old & new, Lizzie and Diana of Lizzie Somerset and PaintSewGlueChew , Deliciously Ella, Breaking World Records, turning ladies in to mummies, silly photos, gorgeous gifts from Merci Maman and goodie bags,

Fortunately with this being my second Britmums, it was much less nerve wracking than before, being familiar with the process and the surroundings obviously helped. Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella was the keynote speaker and I couldn't wait to hear her speak, I'm such a fan girl at the moment!

I was also incredibly moved by disability and face equality campaigner Victoria Wright who has a rare genetic condition called Cherubism what an amazing lady, I am completely in awe of her bravery!

Then, suddenly we were up on our feet, covering people in loo roll in an attempt to beat the world record for the most mummies in a room!! So bizarre but a great ice breaker and we can now all call ourselves world record holders!!

Then it was time for the party and the BIB awards and It was just fantastic to be able to catch up with some of the brilliant bloggers who I met last year, we'd kept in touch throughout the course of the year and it's always lovely to chat face to face. I also made some wonderful new friends who I have planned to meet up with over the summer. So once again I have left Britmums feeling inspired, upbeat and excited for what this year has in store ..... with a gorgeous new bracelet ( above) from Merci Maman one of the event sponsors!!

As for the family reunion-  well, it was a success. I come from a tight knit Mediterranean family where everyone knows what each other is doing at every minute of the day. In contrast, my husband's family is just huge, full of vibrant and animated characters  ( which lead in part to the title of my blog 'Keeping up with the Joneses' ) so I always get a little bit stressed beforehand because I feel as though we're all on show. Thankfully the whole event went well with E&R having a fantastic time playing with their cousins in their Auntie's enormous country garden. Got to love the Welsh summer!!


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

HelloHome StarBright Toddler Bed Review

Recently we'd been thinking more and more about moving Rufio from a cot to a 'big boy bed'. He's going to be 2 in a few weeks and he really loves his big sister's bed so we thought that perhaps he was almost ready to move up to a Big Boy Bed himself,  especially as he hadn't been all that keen on his cot lately. So when HelloHome kindly offered to send us a toddler bed to review, it seemed like the perfect timing to make the jump from cot to Big Boy Bed. We totally messed this process up with E so I really really wanted to get it right this time around!!

Rufio was born when E was just 22 months old and we moved her to a big best just a few weeks before he was born. At the time I didn't really feel that she was ready to make the transition but it seemed silly to buy another cot, so Big Girl Bed it was.

E is tall for her age so we agreed that a toddler bed wouldn't last long. This decision is something I really regret. Instead we put her straight in to a single bed, using a specially designed bottom sheet with built in cushions to stop her falling out and she absolutely hated it! I think it was just a step too far too soon for her and until recently she spent mosts nights sleeping in our bed.

We chose the StarBright Toddler Bed for Rufie and it is just absolutely gorgeous. The children's room is mainly white with a star theme so the moon & cloud design fits in perfectly with the decor.  Both the colour and the design is completely neutral so would work well for a boy or a girl. Our favourite thing about the bed is the moon nightlight which glows and projects tiny stars on to the well when the lights are out.

The bed feels really sturdy and has side panels to stop him from rolling out in the night. It's also really low down so even if they do fall out they won't get hurt. Rufie has rolled out once but he didn't even wake up!! There's also a little seat on the side of the bed for parents to sit on to read bedtime stories.  This is a really sweet addition to the bed but it does take up quite a lot of room so I do wish that there was an option for us to add this on later rather when we have moved house and Rufio finally has his own room.  Mr Jones ( DIY Dave as I affectionately call him) isn't the most efficient when it comes to assembling flat pack furniture but he did manage to put this together with out too much drama.

Rufio is thrilled with his big boy bed and likes to show it off to anyone who comes to our house. We let him chose his own bedding and he picked out Pirate and also the London themed bed linen from The Little White Company. We also bought him a book called Pirate Pete's big boy bed, a story about a little boy called Pirate Pete who also moves from a cot to a big boy bed. He really loves this book and asks for it most nights and I really think this helped him understand what's going on?

I'm so happy to say that the Starbright Toddler bed has been a complete success. He likes the freedom and independence of being able to get in and out of bed as he pleases, just like his big sis! I only wish that we had bought a toddler bed for E, she can still lie comfortably in it now so not only would we now have more space in their room until we move but I'm sure we would have had a happier sleeper too.

What age did you move your child from a cot to a 'Big Bed'?


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

House Hunting!!

I wrote a post a few months ago, discussing our thoughts on whether we should renovate our current home to maximise space or to move out of London entirely. So I thought I'd write an update on where we are with our decision and the truth is........

We haven't really progressed all that much. Ooops!! We've decided that adding storage isn't really an option so to move it is but:

I'm just not sure that I'm ready to leave London entirely!! There, I said it!!!

I know that I always whinge about the pitfalls of living in a city but I just love the convenience of having everything on our doorstep. There's also something that I find quite isolating about living outside of the capital city, I guess I'm just a city girl through and through. I have family close by, my parents place is just 10 minutes away and my sister isn't much further so moving out of London would mean moving away from our valuable support network.

Right now we live pretty much slap bang in the centre, so we've decided to search a little bit further out but still within the M25. The trouble is that whilst our tiny London flat will buy us a lovely and spacious family home elsewhere. If we were to buy in say Wimbledon or Richmond our budget would stretch to a small choice of fairly uninspiring terraced homes. Not that there's anything wrong with a terraced house but they tend to be quite small and I'm just not sure if it's worth the effort.

Basically I'm worried that in a few years time we'll regret having made the big move and we'll be house hunting all over again.

Luckily, there still are some possibilities for us to put our stamp on a London home, if we were to go for a terraced house. I'd really love to find somewhere that isn't a complete renovation i.e. livable for the time being but perhaps requiring some extending. I would quite like to do our own loft conversion, and create a gorgeous bright space using skylights and I love VELUX to create that sort of effect.

Equally we could add some more space and light to a small kitchen area, adding a side return and by extending out in to the garden and using skylights and bifold doors. Basically bring the outside inside!

For now I'm spending every spare second on Rightmove and Prime Location, enjoying house hunting. Everyone always says that when the perfect property comes up, you'll just instinctively know that it's the one for you. I'm hoping we find our dream house soon :)


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