Thursday, 21 August 2014

Sex Bomb....

Up until very recently, I was a Lush bath bomb virgin. You can read my thoughts on my first time HERE. However, to sum it up... I fell in love that day, I was sold. The Fizzbanger took me to a no stress, relaxation, anxiety-free haven. Just YES!!!

So last night, when Matt scurried off for his football match at  around 7ish, I immediately ran myself a bath and threw in The (I blush as I type...) Sex Bomb!!! I'm not so sure on the name of it however the ingredients totally make up for things.

This bad boy is made up of ingredients such as clary sage oil, ylang ylang oil and jasmine absolute. The mix is meant to give you a little sensual healing, make you feel relaxed and stress and anxiety free. The name and ingredients also suggest that this bath bomb may- ahem... get you in the mood.

Now then... I really enjoyed relaxing in the bath to let this bomb work its magic on my skin and peace of mind. It made the bath turn a beautiful, feminine and extremely girly shade of pink, however... in my opinion it kind of smelt like old people. Nothin' too sexy about that i'm afraid. Although I will say that even though I didn't like the fragrance that filled the room too much, the scent that it left on my skin was gorgeous- sweet and girly and it stayed for such a long time.

The idea behind this bath bomb is genius. It looks sooo pretty which instantly makes me happier. As you can see, at the top is a little rose. After the bath bomb has melted down, it will release the soapy petals into the bath water surrounding you... how very romantical hey?!

I didn't love this one as much as The Fizzbanger, didn't particularly like it but definitely didn't hate it. It would definitely get an A+ for effort. I can see why lots of people would love it. It still made my skin feel wonderful. For me, I would have preferred a sweeter scent and it would have won me over completely.

Just because this one wasn't quite right for me, if you like a musky/floral mash-up, give it a whirl. I can't wait to try some new ones out... pamper nights have become way better now that I have a little Lush in my life.

As always, keep recommending... This is the start of something new xxx

Huge Love
x Maria x

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Traffic Jam Survival.... Kid Edition

Last Thursday evening, Matt, The Sprogletts and I shoved some bits in the car and hit the road for Manchester. True to fashion, we were behind schedule... when aren't we behind schedule, it's a joke really?!!! We wanted to leave after I had finished work so that we could stay the night in a B&B (exciting times for the kids!) and have a couple of full days ahead of us. 

We assumed that because we were travelling through the children's bed times and because the car makes them sleepy at the best of times, that they would nod off in to a blissful slumber. Clearly we underestimated just how excited they were about our trip because when we hit a traffic jam at The Dartford Tunnel (hardly any distance from home and nowhere near our destination!) for one whole freakin' hour, they were still wide awake and ready to party!!!

I'm not going to lie... the traffic jam was the cause of one heck of a parenting FAIL!!!

My advice to you would be to avoid any of the following errors and you should have a rather relaxing wait while the traffic around you is at complete and utter standstill. Like I originally started off, you could partake in a delicious yet healthy snack while catching up on a bit of light reading with your favourite magazines....

 Take a #TrafficJamSelfie....

And wait it out with some tunes playing and a big old 'We're going on a trip' smile on your face!!!!!!

1. Even if you are in a rush to get on your way, don't make the mistake of piling everything but your handbag in to the boot. When waiting in traffic and the children start to stir, it won't be so easy to reach for the Peppa Pig back pack crammed with toys to entertain them... when it is currently squashed under everything but your kitchen sink... in the boot!!!

2. Make sure you have car snacks! Yes, it may be way past their bedtime! Yes, it may be against your better judgement to feed them so late! Yes, it may seem like a good idea to give them strawberries to bide you five minutes of quiet time... however, strawberry stained hands for five more hours isn't cute. Use a wipe I hear you mumble under your breath?!... See mistake one... Everything is in the boot, including all spare clothes.

3. When times get tough... don't resort to your family sized box of sports mixture as a bargaining tool to stop the boredom tears. Take the tears on the chin. Rather that than a sugar rush from two children (not ideal)and no clue when (if ever!) any cars around you will move again - Lesson learned the hard way. Also may I hasten to add... not every flavour is everyones cup of tea. You or I would simply eat it and remember not to eat that one again. Children will spit them in to their strawberry stained hands, squeeze them,rub them in their hair for a bit, maybe pop them back in their mouth, decide for definite that they don't like them and hide them down the side of their car seat... most of the time without making a single sound. Do not be surprised if later, when carrying your little cutie inside, you put your hand straight on the yucky ones stuck to their light grey leggings. lovely... Glam... SUPER!

4. When you finally start moving again and almost instantly, one kid joins The Land Of Nod, try not to cheer too loudly...

You will awaken them, excite the other child out of any signs of sleepiness and encourage the constant pleading to "Get Out Mummy, Get Out Now?!!!!!".... Oh and go easy on the flash, now is not a time for risk taking.

5. Don't assume that travelling at night means your little Cherubs will sleep the whole way. Don't assume that if they are awake then they will be happy about it. DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING!!! Avoid eye contact with the little one, she's feisty and photographs are a big thumbs down. She will scowl, call you a poo poo head and scream. Let her look out of the window, play a Disney C.D on repeat (If you haven't packed it in to the boot!) and let her relax. Her eyes will close eventually and then, only then... you can breathe again!!!

Thankfully the next morning,the sleepy one will wake up happy...

and she will wake up hungry and ready to love you all over again...

Good Luck to any of you Mums and Dads, going on a car journey with your prides of joy, you can't do any worse than I did.

Lots of Love
x Maria x

A Belated Magic Monday....

Yikes.... Hey all, I'm back!!!! Sitting at my desk to write some bits and bobs down feels so good. I have not blogged since last Thursday morning and it felt sooooooo weird I can't even explain it. My little bunch and I had a brilliant time in Manchester... we were kept so busy, it went so fast. What did not go fast was getting there and back. From Faversham to Manchester is the best part of a six hour drive... loooooong!!! Anyway, that is kind of my excuse for the lack of posts since we got back on Sunday... Car-Lag (it's a thing!)

Last Monday I introduced 'Magic Monday' to my blog. You can find that HERE. I wanted to try it out and it actually went really well, so I am going to run with it. I really enjoy re-capping my previous week and pulling out all of the best bits and faves, it makes me smile. Due to the 'Car-Lag', this week i'm a little late but in future, it will definitely be on a Monday okay Cherubs.

Anyhoo's, let's crack on hey...

Livin' Life

While we were in Manchester, we went for a nice walk along the River Goyt. It was calming, beautiful and so nice to be out walking somewhere new, somewhere different! As you may know, my Summer has been a tad hectic and a nice walk was just what I needed to clear my head and free myself of any stress. It was definitely a winner! You honestly can't beat a bit of fresh air... Bliss!

Kid Hearts... 

We were all in the car, driving back to the B&B... It was fairly late so other than the sound of the radio, we were all happily quiet and very ready to go to sleep...

Out of nowhere...

Noah " When girls get older, they don't get hair on their legs!!!!!"
Me " Ha ha ha, Noah you are so funny! I love you so much..."
Noah "....Yeah, I do as well!!!!"

They say if you don't love yourself, nobody else will- Noah won't have that problem apparently... Funny little fish.

Cat Lovin'

On the day that we homed Puddle and Forrest, I decided that no way in a million years would I ever be able to separate the brother and sister duo. How glad am I that I didn't?! If I did, we would never have seen them cuddle. That's right, full on hug each other. Little cuties...

Beauty Obsession 

I am going to put it down to the heat, hormones and a little stress all mixed in to one but my skin has been a little naughty lately and I have had a couple of rather irritating breakouts. So, before I started reliving my teenage years and slapping on a rather vibrant orange foundation to cover up the craziness, I reassessed my skincare regime and decided to attack the madness head on. I came across the Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask... and I am in love. I have used it about four or five times now and it has transformed my skin. When you apply it, it heats up as you rub it in and it feels like it is doing something spectacular almost instantly. As instructed I leave it on for five minutes then remove it with a muslin cloth. My skin then feels smooth and soft. My skin did get worse before it got any better but that is obviously down to the mask pulling out all of the impurities (erm...yuck!). I am super happy that I found this mask... Sanctuary Spa never let me down, I'm definitely a fan.

Eeeeek sorry about the poor quality pics... It was a late night pamper sesh!!!

On that note, I must dash! It is so hard rounding up all of the things I have loved this week when so much has made me smile. I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far... keep an eye out for something great that is bound to make you grin today.

Huge hugs (Awwww, I'm so glad to be back!)
x Maria x

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Blogger Hurdle...

I officially came across my first blogger hurdle yesterday, one that I can safely say reduced me to tears. If any of you follow me on twitter, you will know that my camera was suddenly and very randomly, broken. Now it isn't exactly new and it isn't exactly a great piece of kit... but the thought of being without my camera saw me in a bit of a frenzy. Since I started blogging just over four months ago, I have taken more photo's than ever! 

Thankfully, the lens being stuck out and the horrific buzzing sound it made at me every time I attempted to turn it on... well... it did not phase my Husband at all. After I sent out an S.O.S message and he replied saying that he would check it out when he got home... I spent the day freaking out! On his return, it was fixed in less than a minute. Hooray!!! I have never felt so happy. Again, tears welled up in my eyes... and I'm okay with how sad that makes me.

I would really like my next camera to be decent and something a bit special, but at the moment, I'm not ready for one with lots of fancy buttons that do super impressive things. I am just getting to grips with my old, battered one that sometimes doesn't turn on. I am so glad that I wasn't forced in to buying something I don't know how to use or buying another camera that is no better than I have now. Photography is tricky!!!

Anyway, I digress! My main panic was surrounding the fact that we are going away for a few days today. We are off to Manchester to see family and I really didn't want to rely on my camera phone (which loses battery and memory super quickly). We don't get to see them very often so I am hoping to get some nice photographs of our long weekend away. The children are very excited and I hope to capture it all for them to look back on when they are older.

While I am away, I am going to enjoy the break and take a little Blog holiday. It will be a little bizarre however it is important to me that I spend some time just living in the moment than worrying about where I can get WiFi to publish my posts. All will be back to normal on Monday, where I will update you on our adventures. I'm sure I will be super busy over on my instagram and twitter where I can, so head on over there and make sure I'm keeping out of trouble...

Until Monday, I hope you have a super smashing weekend, full of smiles and laughter. 

I'll be missing you!
Lots of Love
x Maria x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Lush Bath Bomb Virgin...

Last night, for some bizarre reason I was feeling a little stressed out and in need of a little relaxation... a little girly pampering session. So, I thought I would use the opportunity to try out my very first Lush bath bomb. Matt got me a couple as part of my wedding anniversary gift and it felt like the right time to see what all the fuss was about... being a Lush bath bomb virgin and all.

I am a big fan of Lush and a huge fan of what they promote but I was struggling to see how the bath bombs could be so different to other companies and others which I have used.

How wrong was I?

I chose the Fizzbanger- Bath Ballistic. I have to be honest, even before unwrapping it from the paper packaging, I started to get excited. It honestly smelt sooooo good. Not sickly or sweet in the slightest. It was such a refreshing scent... I guessed something simple like lemon. I was wrong, I looked up the ingredients online after and found the likes of cinnamon leaf oil, ylang ylang oil and popping candy. Lush kind of described it as a citrussy, cinnamony, apple pie-ish scent... I would definitely agree that it is citrussy. One of the most important ingredients for me in the Fizzbanger was petitgrain, which helps reduce feelings of anxiety. Perfect! I suffer massively with anxiety and this was just what the doctor ordered.

I can't even begin to describe the amazingness of colours when I dropped it in the bath... I just wasn't expecting it to be that interesting to watch. I was completely impressed that it turned my bath green... my most favourite colour in the world. The scent filled up my bathroom and I can definitely say that I felt relaxed, stress free and like I was in my own world for a while. Bliss!


Not only was it nice to have a soak in the bath with this little beaut but damn, when I finally climbed out of the bath a fair while later... my skin felt literally insane. In the best way. Honestly, it felt so soft and nourished...Huge thumbs up Lush!

I am so glad that I have finally got round to trying a Lush bath bomb... I was most definitely not disappointed and I will certainly be buying this one again. I am also very excited to try out some more of the range that I haven't yet tried. 

If you have any recommendations that you think I should try, please comment below. I am sensing a new addiction coming on... your recommendations could save me a lot of time and pennies. Thanks in advance...

Fizzbanger Hugs and Love
x Maria x

P.S. How kind to leave a little parting gift which stuck itself to my leg... BANG!!!!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Magic Monday.....

I thought that considering everyone usually despises Monday mornings (I think that I am possibly the only person that doesn't)that I would share with you a few of my favourite things from the past week. Hopefully some of them will kick start your Monday with a smile like it will me. I'm not sure yet but I may carry this idea on as a permanent post... I'll see how it goes, let me know what you think...

Livin' Life...
On Friday night, Matt and I went on a date!!! Yep you read that right. We dropped off the Children with their Nanny Karen for a sleepover and made our way to Bluewater for a spot of shopping and a meal at the A-Mazing Wahaca restaurant (we highly recommend it there!). I am terrible at letting the children out of my sight for five minutes, so the very few times that they have slept at their Nan's, I have felt a little like I have lost a few limbs and I worry non-stop. However, because they were just SOOOOO excited, this time it felt a little easier and Matt and I had such a nice time. It did hit home that we really do need the time together, just being the carefree people we each fell in love with for a few wonderful hours.

So anyway.... We hit M.A.C...Oooops??!!!!

Cat Lovin'...
Puddle and Forrest are now nine weeks old we think. On Thursday they had their first set of vaccinations and were mega brave. They did not make a sound. They are starting to make noises which resemble a meow now... so funny! And damn, are these a curious couple of cats? They can climb everything now and are so desperate to go outside... bless them. I still feel so lucky that we have them, they do such funny and sweet things.

Puddle found her way in to the washing machine and was quite happy until she was spotted.

YouTube Thumbs Up...
Most Of you may well have seen this absolutely fabulous 'Mum' rendition of 'Let it go' from Frozen... I am usually late to these things but I honestly have been watching it at least twice a day for the past week. I really love it. It doesn't help that I am obsessed with Frozen as it is but the part about 'Cause i'm their only Mom' literally leaves tears on my cheeks. Every Mum, everywhere should watch this. It makes me feel happy that i'm not the only one catching my Son at the very last minute as he leaps off the dining room chair thinking he is Superman, moaning that the dirty laundry has been placed in neat piles everywhere but in the washing basket and trying desperately not to swear and throw myself to the floor when I stub my toe. I feel better that I sometimes get tired because I spend my life keeping everything together. There is reason that a mums work is never done. As much as we all do things differently... we all love our children the same, unconditionally. This video just reminds me that I'm not the only one... mumbling away at myself, repeating things hundreds of times, always trying to keep my cool and not wishing to change a damn thing!

T.V Joy...
Last night was the long awaited return of 'Made in Chelsea NYC'. As you may know, I am not a huge T.V fan but this is my absolute guilty pleasure... I love it a lot! For anybody who stayed tuned for next weeks preview... What the heck has Mytton done that could possibly make Jamie cry?? I can not wait to find out that's for sure!

I hope you all have a super smashing week... and I hope you are smiling at least a little. There is going to be something good in today, watch out for it.

Lots of Love
x Maria x

I Saved £40.11 By Shopping At McArthur Glen- Ashford Designer Outlet Centre...

When I was invited by McArthur Glen- Ashford Designer Outlet Centre in connection with Mumsnet to have a shopping experience... (Mainly because I have the inability to shop for myself since becoming a Mother... I of course jumped at the chance. I was very kindly given a £100 voucher and a lovely lunch in exchange for my honest opinions in an honest review of my shopping experience.

I was able to take somebody with me to share the day with, so I told my Mum to pop on her comfortable shoes and a smile, for some quality time with her youngest (and probably girliest) daughter. My Mum isn't the biggest shopper but in the hectic haze of life, the opportunity to spend a lovely day together was too good an opportunity to pass her by... So we hit the road.

You can see a little bit more of us and the shopping centre below... or find the video HERE.

I am not usually a particularly regular visitor to the Ashford Outlet Centre, however I visit often enough to recognise how significantly it has changed over the past couple of years and especially since its opening. Back in the day it was merely an empty shell with some shops in it. Nothing special!

When we rocked up yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised at just how pleasing to the eye the grounds were. Some attention has definitely been paid on the well maintained foliage which weaves around the centre and the place is spotless. Even though the layout is undercover, when you are walking between shops you are effectively outside. I was surprised that due to the high street/ shopping centre mash up, we were not stepping over trash for that reason. There is obviously an organisation around it and plenty of rubbish bins to remind people to use them. 

Even though we were dropped off at McArthur Glen, there is ample parking so finding a space does not seem like it would be a problem at all. The layout of the centre is a circle of shops surrounding the car park so effectively you would be able to see your car from most places. I think that is quirky and it offers a sense of security around your vehicle. It is £1 to park for four hours. Some people may think of that as a negative point but for the peace of mind for your vehicle and the simplicity of parking there, it s a small price to pay.

It is so very easy to visit The Ashford Designer Outlet Centre. It is located right by a train station, there are regular bus services available and it is easy to find by car. You can visit the website HERE for more information on planning your visit. 


Now that I am a Mother, I tend to look at places through a childs eyes. I was heavily impressed with the year-old playground that has been built. As we walked by, it was full to the brim with children letting off some energy. This facility really gives the centre an edge in my opinion. In comparison to some shopping centres which offers cinemas and all sorts... nothing beats a bit of old fashioned, wholesome fun like a park. Lets face it... Kids hate shopping, it literally bores them to tears!!! What a great bargaining tool- the promise of the park (that they can see...and looks amazing) if they can be good for just five more minutes??!!! There is also a Hamleys toy shop now and due to the 'Back to School' season, the centre offers a treasure hunt scheme to entertain children too. It's obvious that McArthur Glen are reaching out and trying to transform in to a family friendly shopping experience. Thumbs up, it's on the right path for sure.

On that note... How cool is it that they have introduced the iPad foot measuring system at Clarks. School shoe shopping has been transformed in to a simple, interactive and fun time for children... and Parents. It is good to see McArthur Glen keeping up with the times and staying relevant. Also I must add, I did actually get Noah's school shoes from there yesterday at a price that would usually be £34 for £22.99. They aren't faulty, just a much better price than you would find in the high street. You can't really argue with that right?

The only, almost negative thing I would say about McArthur Glen would be that it is not a one stop shop at all. You will not find everything you need here. However, the clue is in the title- 'Designer Outlet Centre'. Here you will find a little bit of everything to meet your needs. You will find great quality at discounted prices, which will beat the high street. There really isn't anything not to like. You can also finish the day off with a nice meal. No longer limited to fast food and the likes of McDonalds... You could hit Wagamamas or like us, Pizza Express. Perfect!

I would definitely recommend a visit to McArthur Glen, if not Ashford, check out the McArthur Glen website HERE to find your nearest one... they have spread out in to Europe now too.

All in all, I had a wonderful shopping experience and a lovely, girly day with my Mum. Also, quite interestingly, after chatting with Jon, Ashford's marketing manager over lunch about the direction that the outlet centre is going in and some exciting plans in the midst... I would definitely recommend you all keep an eye out, I for one am super excited...

Lots Of love
x Maria x

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.