THE SWEETEST COLLECTION EVER?! MAD BEAUTY TAKES ON WINNIE THE POOH…

The sweetest collection ever? I think it might just be!

I was kindly sent some Winnie the Pooh themed products to test out and honestly they are just the cutest!

Mad Beauty know how to absolutely nail a Disney release so you can imagine how I excited I was to get stuck in. They had me feeling some type of way I tell ya!

Products range from £3.99 up to £15.99 which is incredibly reasonable in my opinion and includes makeup, skincare and bathroom essentials.

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.

Winnie the Pooh

The Honey Pot Lip Balm Duo, which costs £7.99, has became a handbag staple. Cute as hell but also hydrating so perfect for this time of year when my skin really suffers.

When it comes to eyeshadow palettes I kind of think I’ve seen it all to be honest but I will always appreciate a warm toned moment! The 16 shade Winnie The Pooh Eyeshadow Palette retails for £15.99 and contains and mix of formulas to take you from day to night. It’s literally my favourite kind of colour story so I was an easy sell.

To top it all off I had the pleasure of experiencing the Piglet Face Mask (£3.99). Now, if you’ve seen my reel you might question my choice of words there as I’ll agree I did look like some sort of Disney obsessed Leather Face. However! The sheet mask itself was lovely. Paired with the Piglet Hairband (also £7.99) which will just be great in general for when i apply my skincare, I was looking kind of adorable!

In conclusion, yes to Disney themed cosmetics and yes to Mad Beauty. I’m a fan!

A LOVE LETTER TO HOUSE 21

Today I received the devastating news that House 21 is coming to an end and to be completely frank, it has absolutely broken my heart.

Without Mel, Donna and House 21 I wouldn’t be where I am now. They helped build me up from someone who was terrified of letting others see my work to being an award winning blogger who has seen her articles and short stories printed in magazines.

They gave me the confidence to be able to even comprehend the idea of returning to education and introduced me to the most incredible bunch of women (such as Steph Cullen who I know will be a friend for life!) I could ever hope to meet.

I was welcomed into a community of writers, a family of inspiring individuals who pushed me to be the best version of myself. My heart is heavy but I am so proud of what House 21 has achieved and that I could be part of that.

So here’s to the future 🍾

BY BEAUTY BAY ‘LOVE NOTES’ EYESHADOW PALETTE REVIEW

Post contains gifted products. All views are my own.

You know I’m a fan of pretty much absolutely everything that Beauty Bay produce. Their releases always feel fresh and innovative in this saturated industry which is just so needed right now.

It may not be the new kid on the block anymore but The By Beauty Bay ‘Love Notes’ Eyeshadow Palette is another jewel in the crown of the Beauty Bay dynasty and I am so here for it!

Rediscover your romantic side with By BEAUTY BAY’s Love Notes Palette. With 20 soft lavenders, sparkly pinks, glitzy golds, and rich purples, all made with By BEAUTY BAY’s much-loved ultra-pigmented, ultra-blendable, ultra-wearable formula, this is the perfect shadow palette to help you fall back in love with your creativity. It’s time to meet your next makeup suitor…

beautybay.com

The Love Notes Palette is made up of the same iconic formula that has put By Beauty Bay on the map in recent years, they clearly work by a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rule and that’s fine with me. The brand have proven time and time again that good quality does not have to mean pricey which is key to grabbing the attention of the masses. The day of high end brands owning the market is over in my very humble opinion.

Love Notes swatches beautifully but I wouldn’t have expected anything less. The colour story is made up of perfect purples, lovely lilacs and selection of more neutral shades to ensure endless combinations from this beautiful colour story.

Cruelty free and vegan as ever and just utterly gorgeous. At just £15 it’s definitely one for the collection.

GETTING DIVORCED IN YOUR TWENTIES: THE REALITY

Marrying in my early twenties seemed like the natural progression for me. As a young mother I was already so much more mature than my years (or so I thought) and just wanted to settle down. I craved stability.

As far as taboo subjects go this may not be one you have really put much thought into but divorce in your twenties comes with more baggage than you would ever realise. Not only did I have to deal with my marriage breaking down and my own personal thoughts and feelings associated with that but also everyone else’s opinions. Believe me, there were plenty of those!

On paper we were married for over five years, in reality it was barely eighteen months. The shame and disappointment in myself was overwhelming. It was suffocating at times and if I’m honest that was harder to deal with than the breakup itself. I wanted to hide and heal. Divorce wasn’t something that happened to people my age, was it? It felt like a dirty word, sour in my mouth. My social media was full of photographs and memories. Even now many years later I’m still reminded of things I’d usually rather forget.

Whilst my family were amazing for the most part I won’t pretend that there wasn’t an element of ‘I told you so’ in the air. Attitudes like that can be so damaging to a persons mental health at such a vulnerable time. The experience has really taught me more than I ever realised about how important it is to be considerate and kind. Not to judge and that gossip really is the devil.

The fear of giving into failure can ultimately be the thing that keeps you in an unsuccessful marriage and if I could give anyone in my position some advice it would be to never, ever feel ashamed of choosing the path that’ll make you happy in the long run. The short term may seem daunting, even terrifying but before you know it you’ll look back with nothing but relief.

Our experiences are never entirely negative. You can learn so much from what you perceive as a waste of time. I came away from my marriage knowing more about myself and who I wanted to be in the future. I’m stronger, wiser and more grounded than I ever was. My thirties may have started with an ending, but that made way for some beautiful new beginnings and for that I will be forever grateful.

REVOLUTION SKINCARE CERAMIDE5 RANGE REVIEW

Post contains gifted products. All views are my own.

Revolution Skincare has just released their brand new Ceramide5 range and this is why it should be on your radar…

Ceramides are fatty acids that make up around 50% of the skins composition. They help to build structure and are like a glue that holds the skin together.

The Ceramide5 range includes five ceramides that will become essential within your skin care routine. With a choice of three cleansers, a cream and a lotion you really can’t go wrong.

Ceramides Foaming Cleanser £9

Ceramides Smoothing Cleanser £9

Ceramides Hydrating Cleanser £9

Ceramides Moisture Cream £9

Ceramides Moisture Lotion £9

Each product contains hyaluronic acid which is a super hydrator and great for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The range is not only cruelty free and vegan (which is exactly what we like to see!) but also dermatologist approved.

It’ll leave your skin feeling soft supple protected and moisturised as it’s basically 24 hour moisturiseration in a bottle.

You might have noticed that the range includes both a cream and a lotion…

Creams are traditionally thicker in consistency so provide a really good barrier to the skin to lock in that moisture and keep it ultra hydrated.

Lotions have a higher water content so tend to be more lightweight (which is something I really love about this range in general actually, it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin at all) and non-greasy.

Both of these products are ideal for dry skin (but can be used on all skin types) and also contain hyaluronic acid. You really can’t go wrong with either, it’s all down to personal preference.

I’ve really been loving this release. The market is so saturated right now but I can still appreciate a good staple when I see it. My favourite combo is the Foaming Cleanser followed by the Moisture Lotion which feels like a great duo for oily, breakout prone skin.

Will you be giving them a go?

RESOLUTIONS AND REGRETS (BLOGMAS – DAY THIRTY-ONE)

…and just like that it’s New Years Eve again. 2021 has been a strange one. Little snippets of a reality we used to know interspersed with a ‘new normal’.

I feel like I’ve had a permanent headache trying to wrap my brain around what I should or shouldn’t be doing. I’m sure many of you feel the same.

Anyway, I digress. This year has been filled with isolation, binged box sets and far too many biscuits. I don’t want to fall into the old ‘New Year, New Me’ trap but in 2022 I’m making some changes!

Read more…

Anyone who knows me would be able to tell you how much I love reading. There is always a stack of books on my bedside table and list as long as my arm of recommended reads on my kindle.

I started the year off on a high, devouring novels like I was at an all you can eat buffet but somewhere along the line things just…stopped.

I lost what was left of my motivation and reading weren’t something I did for pleasure anymore. It feels so wrong even just saying that as it has always been my escape.

I’m making it my mission to ensure that 2022 is full of books. A book a week in fact.

Exercise…

I have NEVER been a fan of exercise. However, I will begrudgingly admit that when I do throw myself into some semblance of a routine I do feel better for it. Not just physically but mentally too.

I don’t necessarily feel the need to lose weight, I’m undoubtedly at the heaviest I have ever been (pregnancy excluded) but actually feel quite confident in myself. I would like to be healthier though. Since having covid late last year I would definitely say I’ve been more sluggish, I really hope this is something I can overcome with a better diet and exercise.

I guess it would also be nice to look and feel my best on my wedding day!

Do well at uni…

I’m about to embark on my second term of uni and it’s going well so far! I’m really enjoying it and honestly, I think it was something I desperately needed.

Whilst the course might have taken me by surprise I feel comfortable in my growth and really hope that I can keep it up.

I so want 2022 to be the year that I absolutely SMASH my first two modules. I think that would be a highlight for me. With a creative writing assignment on the horizon as well as some intense reading I’ve got some hard work ahead!

Make memories…

With 2020 & 2021 being somewhat a waste of bloody time I feel like now more than ever is all about seizing the day and really grabbing every piece of happiness you possibly can.

I want to live my life and create the most beautiful memories with my loved ones. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Manifest…

This might sound a bit loopy but I experimented with manifesting back in the summer and can honestly say (in my own experience) that it genuinely works. I really want to try and implement that positive frame of mind into my daily life next year.

I truly believe that good things are coming my way and I am so ready for them!

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Do you have any regrets you’d like to rectify?

3 FAMILY BOARD GAMES THAT WILL HAVE YOU CRYING WITH LAUGHTER (BLOGMAS – DAY THIRTY)

My family are the biggest board game fans I know. We have regular get togethers that revolve around whatever the newest release is and have been known to spend hours laughing/arguing over them.

Here are my top 3 choices right now!

Telestrations

Each player begins by sketching a TELESTRATIONS word dictated by the roll of a die. The old-fashioned sand timer may limit the amount of time they get to execute their sketch, but it certainly doesn’t limit creativity!

Time’s up! All players, all at the same time, pass their sketch to the next player, who must guess what’s been drawn. Players then simultaneously pass their guess — which hopefully matches the original word (or does it??) — to the next player who must try to draw the word they see.

smythstoys.com

This game has led to THE MOST ridiculous amount of belly laughs I have ever had in my life. The sheer ridiculously of it is astounding. It sounds so easy yet somehow we manage to absolutely annihilate any sense of sensible behaviour we may have possessed. Honestly, it’s hilarious.

Colourbrain

YOU START WITH THE ANSWERS

All the answers you need in Colourbrain are in your hand. And they’re all colours!

300 COLOURFUL QUESTIONS

What colour is the lid on full-fat milk… what colour is a sharon fruit… which colour cards would you put down?

bigpotato.co.uk

The concept is so simple (which I love! There is nothing worse than spending half the evening reading the over complicated instructions of a subpar game). As a family Colourbrain is a favourite of ours. With a group of mixed ages it can sometimes be tough to find something that’s suits everyone but this is a winner!

Top of the Pops

TUNE IN, POP OUT

Top of the Pops is back and this time it has got kazoos!


MUSIC FOR EVERYONE

You don’t have to be a music genius to play this game, you just need to know a few songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and beyond


BATTLE OF THE BANDS

Round 1: shout out (or sing) songs against the clock. Round 2: get your team to guess the artist by saying one word, quoting lyrics or murdering one of their hits on your kazoo.

bigpotato.co.uk

One word…kazoo!

This one is so much harder than it sounds so absolutely worth it for the half hour on a off ugly crying from laughter it caused on Boxing Day. If you’ve ever wondered what a Moose in mating season might sound like then ask my father-in-law to give you a song on the kazoo.

Have you played any good ones lately?

A FLAWLESS BASE WITH JUST 4 PRODUCTS! (BLOGMAS – DAY TWENTY-NINE)

Rocking a bare face for pretty much the entirety of the initial lockdown did wonders for my skin but also in some ways created a monster.

I became incredibly fussy, craving perfection when in reality that’s kind of impossible. Makeup will always and should always look like makeup. We have pores and texture, it’s just a fact of life!

However, I think I’m finally happy with the routine I have cultivated so thought I’d share my findings with you all!

This is my 5 product flawless base. Quick and easy, just the way we like it!

1. MAC Strobe Cream

Hydrates, illuminates and clarifies skin with a mega-dose of vitamins and green tea. Iridescent particles reflect light for a revitalised, radiant glow.

maccosmetics.co.uk

Guys, I’m oily and of course I have to take that into consideration when I’m pondering products but I just love to get my glow on! The MAC Strive Cream really just breathes some life back into the skin.

It also looks fab on its own for those no makeup days.

2. Physicians Formula Butter Believe It Foundation & Concealer

Physician’s Formula Butter Believe It Foundation & Concealer is a ultra-luxurious foundation and concealer with a creamy texture which melts into the skin, leaving a natural radiant glow.

Infused with a potent blend of Murumuru Butter, Cupuaçu Butter and Tucuma Butter, sourced from the lush, nutrient-rich Amazon, the long-wearing, weightless formula simultaneously provides buildable coverage. Free from parabens. Cruelty-free & vegan-friendly.

justmylook.com

My holy grail and secret weapon all rolled into one. The perfect amount of coverage whilst avoiding any cakiness. Hands down the best foundation I have ever used and the affordable price makes it an absolute winner for me. Without a doubt the cherry on top of my routine.

3. Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Infinite Universal Pressed Powder

Set your makeup in place with the Conceal & Define Infinite Universal Pressed Powder with Niacinamide. With an extra finely milled formula, this pressed powder will melt into the skin and set your makeup in place without a trace whilst banishing any shine. Suitable for all skin types and tones, this product also has the infusion of blemish-busting niacinamide which will help to reduce the appearance of pores for a blurred complexion which is set for the day.

revolutionbeauty.com

I’ve used some really rubbish powders in my time. I’ve also used some fairly average ones. I can honestly say though, this one is a gem!

Lightweight and lasts forever. What more could you ask for?

4. Makeup Revolution Superfix Misting Setting Spray

Lock your look in place with the Revolution Superfix Misting Spray. Enjoy the holding power of this weightless setting mist, perfect for use with your favourite liquid, matte or powder based base products.

This fixing spray gives you an ultra-matte, shine free look that won’t fade away. Infused with beneficial skin soothing Aloe & Vitamin E.

revolutionbeauty.com

Sounds magical doesn’t it? It’s transformed my makeup game in general by adding so much more longevity (I mentioned how oily I am didn’t I?!) to my look and really has cheered me up untold amounts.

…and that’s it! Will you be incorporating any of my favourites into your routine?

WEDDINGS ON A BUDGET – THE DRESS! (BLOGMAS – DAY TWENTY-EIGHT)

Weddings can be an expensive affair and with the general rise in the cost of living, the fact we already have a home to run and children to feed, a smaller scale day was always on the cards for us.

So I’ve made it my mission to create the wedding of our dreams on the small budget available to us. Less money does not mean it has to be less special!

With our venue booked, (a ridiculously good deal at a local hotel right on the harbour, I’ll go into more detail about that at a later date) we’re now starting to get down to specifics and I’m pretty sure any woman would be lying if they said ‘the dress’ wasn’t right up there at the top of their to do list!

As much as I crave the traditional day out with my loved ones, trying on dresses and sharing tears over the perfect gown I know it’s just not financially practical so I’m going to share my journey so far, my search for ‘the dress’ on a budget.

ASOS

ASOS has got to be everyone’s go to for everything, right? With such a wide variety of brands available it’s honestly hard not to be impressed.

ASOS EDITION Francesca plunge wedding dress with tonal embroidery £350

I’ve fallen for several dresses (and a jumpsuit or two!) in the time I’ve been browsing. There are so many styles to choose from with prices starting at less than £100.

Hope & Ivy Bridal sheer plunge embroidered backless dress in ivory £150

I know for a fact that if it really came down to the wire and I had 24 hours to choose a dress, ASOS would be the one!

Chi Chi London

Similar to ASOS in that there are a variety of styles to choose from however I would say that everything feels much more traditional!

Cowl Neck with Lace Insert Maxi Wedding Dress in White £155

From sleek and modern to fairytale princess, Chi Chi has it all and I can totally see why it would be a favourite.

Bridal Long Sleeved Maxi Dress in White £140

I also love their dresses in general, wedding guests eat your heart out!

Coast

A hidden gem of ever there was one! I was first introduced to the Coast bridal range back when I attended The Bridal Beauty Festival and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

V Neck Tiered Tulle Dress £279

Everything feels so extra and I am here for it! Styles I never imagined myself going for have now made my dream day list and I’m so excited to see them up close and personal.

Bandeau Dress And Embroidered Maxi Dress Set £448

They also have a fab line of bridal separates for a truly unique take on the most iconic part of your day. The mix and match system really adds something special.

WED2BE

WED2BE is my wildcard for today. The concept is great, wedding dresses on a budget whilst still being able to experience that all important day out I mentioned earlier.

ELTON
a modern strapless ball gown in luxurious mikado
£599.00

Round up your best girls and get to your nearest store. There are sooo many dresses to choose from of all shapes, sizes and budgets (pricier than the other retailers on my list but still a steal compared to the traditional bridal showroom).

LUCA
an illusion back crepe gown with statement train
£599.00

One of the things I like about WED2BE is that you can browse the website before hand and suss out your favourites whilst also noting the price so there are no nasty surprises on the day.

Happy shopping loves!

I REWATCHED BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, AND HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED (BLOGMAS – DAY TWENTY-SEVEN)

I’m an anxious little soul and one of my coping mechanisms has consistently been revisiting an old favourite TV series or film. The familiarity is so comforting and really helps me to relax or get through the more mundane, everyday tasks I find myself doing.

For the last few months I’ve been rewatching Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and Angel too!). Experiencing one of my favourite shows of all time through the eyes of an adult has been something else entirely and here are a few things I’ve observed along the way…

Buffy was under appreciated…

Guys, the girl saved the world repeatedly! She killed the love of her life without any thought for herself and step up for her friends, family and random members of the public countless times but was still given nothing but shit when she eventually came to the point of needing some backup. Buffy sacrificed her own happiness more times than I can count.

Ungrateful swines.

Xander was a bit of a dick…

I will never get over what he did to Anya and the fact he never really suffered any concrete consequences but besides that rather huge point he was just always a bit of an entitled knob really, wasn’t he?

His behaviour towards Buffy and hatred of Angel was so childish and it still pisses me off that he never got a smack for not passing on Willows Message to Buffy in the Season 2 episode ‘Becoming’.

The women in his life were consistently treated like property and whilst I don’t hate him I will never think that his class clown act made up for his horrible attitude.

At least he was good to Dawn I guess.

Anya was the best character…

Funny, sarcastic, strong, beautiful and intelligent. She was goals and anyone who says otherwise is just wrong, I’m not even sorry.

Anya’s character progression was insane. To go from a fun little one episode feature to a full blown, beloved member of the show is huge. She managed to stay true to herself whilst growing as a person and I’m still obsessed with her.

That show did her dirty though and I’m still livid.

Kennedy was pointless and annoying…

If Anya is my number one then Kennedy has got to be right down towards the bottom. I hated how overbearingly strong she came in and the way she felt so entitled to slot herself into the group, changing the dynamic and Willow. I genuinely don’t see what positives she brought to the table. The polar opposite to Tara who was selfless til the end. just a pointless love interest for the sake of it that I’d rather have done without.

Buffy & Spike were the better match…

Ok, I’m a HUGE Angel fan but do I truly believe they should have ended up together? Absolutely not. I still don’t feel like their relationship was built on anything really whilst Spike was another matter altogether.

I love an enemies to lovers story arc anyway but the whole thing just felt so natural, so inevitable. Their connection was honest, gritty and relatable. I ship!!!

You can watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer on Disney+