31.5.12

Pretty Little Things- Daddy & Me

I have been suffering from a bit of bloggers block lately, I haven't posted anything since the weekend and I couldn't for the life of me think what to blog about next. Then I stumbled upon a great photo linky over on Love from Mummy & Hollybobbs's blogs called Pretty.Little.Things. This weeks theme is Daddy & Me which seemed like a great idea with Fathers day just around the corner, so here's my contribution:


Just over 9 months ago, Mr Jones met someone else! I have photographic evidence.....


Here's the most recent photo of the pair that I could find, admittedly they do look good together.




It was love at first sight and they are now inseparable.


The thing is, I wasn't at all jealous! Mainly because I totally fell in love with her too, but also because there is another special man in my life....




My own Daddy!

Two amazing Daddies, both with very different but equally lovely qualities. Little E and I are very lucky girls!

26.5.12

Baby Ice Lollies

Summer has finally landed here in London, I actually spotted 29 degrees on the car thermometer the other day. A perfect opportunity therefore to make some Baby Ice Lollies (or popsicles, ice pops, whatever you prefer to call them) with the Annabel Karmel moulds that I bought the other week from Amazon.

These were ridiculously easy to make and really healthy too. I destalked four large strawberries and chopped up a couple of slices of watermelon, removing the pips, and popped it all in the blender until smooth. Many of the recipes that I found online suggested adding sugar but I didn't think that was suitable for a baby under 1 and the mixture tasted sweet enough as it was. I then poured the blended strawberries and watermelon in to the ice lolly moulds and left them to freeze over night.

You could even simplify this even more and just add some Ella's Kitchen smoothies to the moulds or even mix in some yogurt to make them more creamy.


This was little E's first ice lolly so she was a little confused as to why her food was so cold but she got the hang of it in the end. These moulds are really easy for babies to hold and make just the right amount for them to eat before they melt everywhere. 
Ice Lollies are also great if your baby is teething, as mine is right now. The ice helps numb their gums and eases pain.

22.5.12

Nails of the Week- Rimmel 60 Seconds Nails Polish in Sky High

This week I'm wearing this gorgeous summery teal polish by Rimmel called Sky High. Not only was my inner magpie was drawn to this shade but I was also intrigued by the claims that it dried in 1 minute with only one coat of polish needed.

Below you can see one coat of polish. Yes, it was touch dry after 1 minute but as you can see it was really streaky and uneven and much in need of a second coat.


The next photo shows two coats, which of course took a little longer to dry, with a further coat of Seche Vite for extra shine. It lasted about two days before chipping which is pretty average.

One thing I HATE about this polish is the brush. It is advertised as having a flat brush for easy application when in reality it is this stumpy horrible thing with is very difficult to control when painting smaller nails like little fingers and toes. Also make sure to use a base coat with this shade because it does stain, leaving you with green tinged nails that Grotbags would be proud of!

I don't think the camera captures just how pretty this shade is and I think it's the perfect teal  now that summer has finally arrived here, but the best part is that it costs just £2.99 from Boots.!!!


I have decided to have a few weeks break from gel polish. Yes, in theory it isn't supposed to damage your nails but mine have been peeling loads recently so I'm just going to use regular polish for a few weeks to give them a chance to recover. Regular polish only ever lasts me a few days so look out for lots of nail polish photos in the coming weeks.

21.5.12

Grandma Knows Best!

My Mother's signature phrase is 'Well, I'm a bit particular' which is usually followed by a round of giggles from my Sister and myself and sometimes a touch of annoyance. You see, what this really means is 'I'm a complete Germophobe and how did I raise such unhygenic children?'

Lately these four words have been used quite frequently when we arrive at a restaurant and ask if they have any high chairs for the babies. In my mothers mind, putting our babies to sit in a restaurant high chair is pretty much the same as allowing them to lick public toilet seats!!

Don't get me wrong, I don't exactly want to expose my daughter to unnecessary germs and dirt, I always wipe the chairs over with Milton wipes before we allow her to sit there. But I do believe that kids do need to be exposed to a certain amount of germs to build up their immunity.

Over the last few weeks, we've all been ill with a virus and I'm pretty certain than my mother thinks that littke E caught it from sitting in restaurant high chairs! I know this because the other day she bought both my sister and I this First Years Booster Seat from Peter Jones for us to use when we are out and about with the girls.

Here's some photos of little E sitting happily in her booster seat in Ikea yesterday.




I'm sure Mamas who have slightly older babies will be more than familiar with this item. Right now we're using this in place of a high chair, but when she gets older and is feeding herself then there is a zip which opens to inflate the seat part to bring her closer to the table top. It also folds up to what looks like a small brief case that can be carried about easily, I tend to stow mine in the bag underneath our stroller. Little E is 9 months old now and this is perfect for her although I am not sure it would have enough support for a younger baby.

As we left the Restaurant area in Ikea yesterday, I actually caught myself turning my nose up at a stack of grim looking high chairs piled up in the corner. Whilst I still probably don't rank that highly on my mothers 'Particular' scale ( only she scores 10/10) I am certainly a booster seat convert!



 



18.5.12

Home Improvements

We're in the process of having our home renovated and right now it resembles a war zone, the floors strewn with rubble, ceilings collapsed, wires poling out all over the place. Fortunately we're still able to live in our old house while all the builders get on with the job, but the work doesn't stop there. When I'm not running around London, teething baby in tow, sourcing bits and pieces for the home, I am looking for inspiration in interior magazines, pinning away on Pinterest and scouring www.houzz.com/ I'm so glad that I'm still on leave from work, I don't know how I would find the time otherwise! 


I am certainly no domestic goddess so when it comes to planning the kitchen I'm a little out of my comfort zone, shall we say. They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home BUT if I had my way the heart of my home would probably look something like this....



A girl can dream can't she.....

Right now my kitchen looks like THIS



Which is a vast improvement from the original kitchen below, I know that the 80's are supposed to be in right now, but seriously that trend doesn't apply here!! Believe it or not, this photo actually makes it look a million times better than it actually was.


So I'm leaning towards a Modern Vintage theme, definitely more chic than shabby! I would really love something like this Kitchen below from Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic website www.shabbychic.com/

A friend of mine who is a budding interior designer suggested the idea of floating shelves to me which I really love. They are a great way to display beautiful items that are in frequent use and therefore won't be sitting around gather dust.


However I'm thinking that the shabby chic look may perhaps look better in a country kitchen and maybe something like the kitchen below, designed by Kelly Hoppen, would be more suitable.



I have managed to source some matt grey units from Howdens Joinery and I'm planning on using these glazed knobs below from Anthropologie to give the kitchen a unique look.



Really excited to see what the final result would be like, and I promise to post pictures once it's finally completed. Where do you go for decor inspiration, have I missed anywhere?

x



17.5.12

Becca Stick Foundation for 'No Make-up' Make-up!

Since I first started wearing make-up, I have constantly been on a mission to find that elusive holy grail of foundations. I need enough coverage to even out any imperfections but not so much that it looks like I have smeared my face in cake mix. I want to control shine but anything too matt looks unnatural. I would like it to last all day. Basically I want a foundation to look like my own skin only better, am I asking too much?

For the past few months I have been using Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua foundation. This is really lovely and lightweight but rather than giving my skin that dewy look as is supposed to, I actually find it makes my skin look slightly chalky. That said, it may work beautifully on someone with a totally different skin type to myself, I have strange combination oily yet dry skin.

Reverting to my Becca tinted moisturiser which I always use in the summer when my skin tends to look better and need less coverage, I had a brainwave. I went over to the Becca store on Pelham Street and purchased their stick foundation which is designed to be worn in conjunction with the tinted moisturiser- why didn't I think of this before??



Becca make up is very much about that natural no make-up look which I love. It's a bit expensive but the quality is always amazing. Remember that I mentioned my very shallow habit of buying products for their name, well that's exactly how I got in to Becca products! I bought a lip gloss from the shop because I liked the idea of having my name ( Becca ) on a tube of gloss. Turns out my narcissism paid off and it ended up being one of the best lip glosses I've ever used- well with such a name it would be wouldn't it :)


My love affair with these products grew over the years, so much so that my clever little Sis even organised some of my Hen Party ( Hate that phrase!) there, so I had lovely make-up for the rest of the day. They had to ply me with champagne to wear that 'L' plate though!



Anyway, back to the foundation.... First you need to apply the tinted moisturiser, then using a foundation brush, apply the stick foundation where you need more coverage. It can also be used instead of a concealer, under eyes or to hide blemishes. 


Here's the bad news, I do find that it takes a little longer to apply than regular foundation so it's not great if you are in a hurry. If you do have a little longer to spend on foundation then the final result is well worth it. It's almost impossible to detect that you're even wearing foundation, I think it looks just like my own skin only a zillion times better. It wears really well throughout the day and because it's not a matt foundation, I think this would work really well in a humid climate.


If you don't need that extra coverage then the Luminous Skin Colour ( tinted moisturiser) is amazing on it's own too. Apparently it contains antiseptic ingredients and I always find that my skin looks better after a few days of use.

On the subject of buying products just for their name- anyone else do this? I also picked up a tube of their Sheer Lip Colour in Estella! It's described as a light baby pink but to me it's slightly beige. Either way it's gorgeous and super moisturising, I love the screw top cap which stops the lid from popping off in your bag



Below you can see what it all looks like on, I have the Luminous Skin Colour in Toast, Stick foundation in Honeycomb and I am also wearing a sample of Becca's Beach Tint in Grapefruit- think this will be my next purchase.


If I they don't have what I need in the store I usually order Becca products from http://www.beccacosmetics.com/ or http://www.zuneta.com/

P.S. Hope you like my new blog design. The photo in the banner was taken by my very talented little sister the day after E was born.

14.5.12

Nails of the Week- Essie Turquoise and Caicos


So I managed to keep my Shellac Tropix on for a record two weeks, by the end it was lifting at the sides and no matter how satisfying it may be to peel off gel polish, I somehow resisted! My manicurist had promised me that if I kept the Shellac on for 14 days and came back for another manicure then she would remove it free of charge. Although there were zero chips, it had grown out considerably and I was glad to have a change of colour!

This week I chose Essie's very aptly named Turquoise and Caicos, which is a perfect match for Tiffany blue as you can see from the photo below. It really is the same colour as a Caribbean sea and makes me think of holidays and sunshine -  much needed given the dreadful weather here in London. 


I have another shade by China Glaze, beautifully named For Audrey which also claims to be the same shade as a Tiffany box but to me it is a little too blue to match the Tiffany shade. For me, the slightly greener tone of Turquoise and Caicos is far more flattering and helps to avoid that frost bitten look which For Audrey tends to give me.




Crossing all my digits that this shade lasts a few days, my track record with regular polish isn't all that good!

Turquoise and Caicos also reminds me of a beautiful shade that Balenciaga brought out a few years ago which I loved because it was called Papeete, the capital city of French Polynesia where we went on honeymoon ( yep, I'm that shallow that I would buy a bag based on it's name, Lol! ) The photo below is taken from fab blog which I love pouring over  www.lovebbags.com dedicated solely to Balenciaga handbags.  Balenciaga bags may be super expensive but they are great investments as they really hold their value compared to other brands. I currently use a black and rose gold city but I could definitely be tempted to swap it for a papeete :) 



12.5.12

#Blogging4Madeleine Blog Awareness Campaign

The lovely and ever thoughtful bloggers of  amummysview  and  Tea and Biscotti  are currently leading  a campaign #Blogging4Madeleine  for parent bloggers to raise awareness to the ongoing search for Madeleine McCann.

Today is Madeleine's 9th birthday and also roughly five years since she went missing whilst on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal on Thursday 3rd May 2007.

When Madeleine's disappearance first came to light in the media, like most people I felt for her parents and prayed for her safe return. However now that I have my own little girl, who is the most precious thing in the world to me, I can't even bring myself to contemplate what the McCanns have been through. Simply browsing the Find Madeleine website and reading the heartfelt descriptions of their daughter brings a tear to my eye. One thing is certain though and that is that the search for Madeline MUST continue. As is reiterrated in their website http://www.findmadeleine.com/ abducted children have still been found many years after their disappearance.

I can only hope that someone who reads one of these blog posts can help!
Should anyone have any information or to report any sightings then contact:
Below is an image of what she may look like now.


10.5.12

The Immovable Eyeliner- Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner

How I came about owning this eyeliner was a bit of an accident. At the airport on our way to Greece last month, I realised that I had forgotten my beloved Chanel le Ligne cake eyeliner so I dashed over to boots and picked up 'any old eyeliner'. Of course, said 'any old eyeliner' was an utter pile of poo and waste of money which irritated my eyes and smudged all over the place. By mid afternoon I was looking like a lame Alice Cooper tribute act!

Que, a great excuse to visit Sephora in Athens ( like I need an excuse!) I love Sephora, I became addicted when I used to live in Paris and would spend hours browsing, I so wish we had it here in the UK! They stock excellent brands like Make up For Ever which is notoriously hard to get hold of here. After a quick dicussion with the sales assistant, I decided to try out Make up For Ever's aqua liner in black, a waterproof liquid eyeliner.






Being a mama, I'm all for make up that stays put through out the day, The sales assistant assured me that this stuff would not budge, and boy was he right!!!!!

This baby does not smudge, it does not crumble and end up in a heap just below your eye. It stays beautifully put until you remove it with some waterproof eye makeup remover, I use Garnier Simply Essential 2 in 1 Make up Remover  which is just about gentle enough for my super sensitive eyes.

Below you can see what the eyeliner looked like when I first applied it and again last thing at night. When I finally removed it, it wasn't quite as bold as it was first thing but still holding on pretty well.





Even when I rubbed my eyes this stuff didn't come off, instead eventually it would peel in this weird sort of vinyl like texture. Once it's on it's pretty much there for good!

The only slightly negative things that I have to say about this liner are that
a) You have to be careful not to get any on your lashes because they will clump together quickly and make mascara difficult to apply
b) I find it tricky to get a very precise line with this, although this could be down to my technique as I am unused to using liquid eyeliner.

The best website for Make up For Ever products in the UK seem to be

and

Otherwise check out a Sephora next time you're on holiday :)

8.5.12

Nails of the Week- Shellac Tropix

Last week we christened our little Star, I will be posting some pics shortly. With so many things to do in preparation for the event, I decided to take some time out and treat myself to a salon gel manicure.

I went for a sensible shade and chose Shellac Tropix, a gorgeous pinky coral which you can see below. This photo was taken over a week after the gel was applied which is why you can see some regrowth and some wear on the tips, I still think it looks pretty good though considering how long I've had it on.

I'm trying to work out why the salon gel lasts longer than my DIY manicures, I watched the application process carefully and I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. So, I think it it's this: when I have a salon mani, I am less likely to peel off the colour as I know I don't have a bottle back home to redo it! Simple as that!

I have never bought any Shellac colours to try at home, the quality is great but I find their colour selection a little uninspiring. Tropix is I think the colour that you see in the Shellac adverts, it's lovely and I think I may have to invest in this shade :)


7.5.12

Read of the Week- Top 100 Purees by Annabel Karmel

In the months leading up to us introducing little E to solid foods, I became sooooo sick of relatives banging on about the virtues of home cooking for little ones! I genuinely believed that I was an appalling cook and no living being should be subjected to my cooking, least of all my own child. After all there are perfectly good organic baby purees for sale here in the supermarkets!

Eventually I relented and bought a Beaba Baby Cook which I reviewed a while ago HERE, I managed to cook a few simple purees on my own and returned to ready made sachets for more complex foods.

Then a friend handed me Annabel Karmel's Top 100 Baby Purees and slowly but surely I actually began to follow recipes and cook some actually quite tasty dishes for little E. Ok so I haven't suddenly morphed in to Nigella but Mr Jones is in shock and secretly believes that I have been abducted by aliens and replaced by someone relatively domesticated!

The recipes are super healthy and very easy to follow and the book is split up into age groups to make sure that your little one is gradually introduced to a wide variety of suitable foods.

I'm sure most Mamas with children and babies over a certain age will have heard of Annabel Karmel, so really this post is for brand spanking new mothers or for those who live under rocks....
This little book is currently my baby food bible and I couldn't manage without this and my Beaba Baby Cook. So, perhaps I should be calling this my read of the past few months, but it doesn't quite have the same ring to it does it?


I have also recently discovered her App which is perfect for travelling, I actually took my book away to Greece with us so I wish I'd found this earlier. At £3.99 I think this is an absolute bargain, it has loads of age appropriate recipes on there and it even has both a meal planner and an invaluable shopping list function!


And here's the link to the App Link!

Today our Mush du Jour came from the app and was baked sweet potato and spinach. Little E loved it and it tasted much better than it looks, I promise! :)





Have you tried Annabel Karmel's book and if not, where do you get your recipes from?

2.5.12

The Aspirin Face Mask

I first heard about the aspirin face mask a few weeks ago via Avril of @SchoolGateStyle on twitter. I did a little bit of research into it and have since tried it out a couple of times.

Of course Mr Jones thinks I'm absolutely bonkers, sitting there with greek yogurt & aspirin on my face but there is actually some science behind why this works as a facial treatment. One of the main ingredients in aspirin salicylic acid, which is often used in skin care products for the treatment of acne!

Top that with the fact that this costs next nothing to make...... who's laughing now!!




To make mine, I used:
  • 2 dispersible aspirin tablets
  • 2 teaspoon of water
  • 2 teaspoons of Greek yogurt
Place the two aspirin tablets in a bowl and add the water. Once the tablets have disintegrated in the water ( you can help them along by mashing them with a spoon if you like) mix in the yogurt. Et Voila! you have your face mask!

Apply to your skin, sip a glass of wine and relax....

Wash it off after about 10-15mins and you should have lovely glowy skin. By the next morning, any pesky spots I have also seem a bit less angry, result!

You can also make the mask with honey instead of yogurt, I tried this but found it just ended up running down my face. I have used Greek yogurt before to treat sunburn and skin irritations and found this really soothing, so think I will stick to this in future.


Has anyone else tried this, or do you have your own bonkers DIY treatments?

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