Tuesday, 3 March 2015

February Faves...


In the past month, I haven't particularly been buying or trying anything new. I have therefore, had a pretty good rummage and shopped my stash. If you are more of a reader, then continue to scroll down my post for the little gems that I have re-fallen in love with in the chilly month of February. If you are more of a 'YouTube watcher'- click the link HERE... or watch my new video below :-) 




BEAUTY

I have been loving the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. Now this isn't actually that old. I grabbed this in late December but I have been using it quite consistently throughout the past month and I have noticed a mahoosive change to my skin. I have wanted to try the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm for a little while because it seems to be working wonders on all types of skin across the Blogosphere... but... having oily skin, I wasn't convinced. I found myself stalling at the checkout at FeelUnique, shaky about a skincare investment that I felt may do more harm than good. So, I researched a little longer and found this. I am sooooooo pleased with it. It has actually managed to balance my skin and my pores seem so much tighter after incooperating this product in to my evening skincare routine. I am so happy with it. As much as I will take the plunge and purchase the Emma Hardie one, I will keep this bad boy close by because it will honestly take some beating.

The Sanctuary Spa 3 Minute Thermal Detox Mask has been a hot favourite for a while now. I love the sensation as it warms up and when I whip it off with a warm flannel, my skin feels thoroughly clean and refreshed. It's glorious :-)

Who else is a little over the berries, reds and plums for their lips by now? I know that I am. I have been thoroughly enjoying using my Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in the shade 'Sweet Tart'- How pretty? Don't get me wrong, I love winter and a frosty and bitter winter morning is my absolute fave but I am full on ready for Spring now. This shade is quite a nice transitional pop of colour to take me in to the next season. It is super moisturising and so easy to wear from day to day for a nice fresh look.

I have mentioned the Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation previously in my Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation review, so you guys already know that I love it but it deserves the praise. I have reached for this (other than the odd occasion and quite a few non- makeup days) every day in the month of February and (*wipes tears away) I am now running low. This foundation quite simply works with my oily skin. I love the way that it looks like skin (light coverage but buildable). It's not cakey and looks beautiful. It really does do what it says on the tin by taking away any redness and gives me a nice even skin tone. Huge thumbs up to the fact that it doesn't feel like I have anything on my skin at all. I love it.

I have also loved the Blackberry Bath Bomb by Lush this month - it is such a great product for the mind, body and soul. I won't say too much about it because I did already write a review which you can find HERE. I can not praise it enough because I don't know what I would do without it some days. It just brings me back down to Earth gently and carefully after a stressful and anxiety ridden day... almost like I am floating. Oooops, sorry, I didn't want to babble :-)

Hmmm... I think that is probably it for beauty faves really....

T.V

I have probably been too distracted to concentrate on caring what I look like actually... because I have gone and got myself addicted to Pretty Little Liars, haven't I? Every evening, I prop my phone up somewhere on my kitchen side and while I am preparing dinner for my little bunch, I squint at my screen and lose myself in trying to figure out who the heck A is?????!!!!!!! I am currently somewhere mid season three. Honestly though, after being so proud that I figured out somewhere at the beginning of Season two that Mona was A... It was so deflating to realise that I was right but at the same time WRONG. I now have NO clue, none, nada! Does anybody even know yet? If so, I love me a spoiler. Please tell me who it is before I lose my actual mind!!!

DRINK

This is blatantly a big waste of a recommendation. Does anybody like this drink but me? It's the Peanut Hottie people... I love it. It's like drinking peanut butter but in the absolute greatest way. Honestly it's delicious. Please try it otherwise they may stop making it and then I will cry.

QUOTE

'The Meaning Of Life Is To Give Life A Meaning'- Can it really get any more simple than that? How can something so simple give me such clarity. I guess the reason I love this quote is because it reminds me that all of the worries, anxieties and mundane thoughts that I torment myself with, are such a small insignificance in comparison to the bigger picture, in that I have to live my life every day in the happiest and fullest ways that I can, not take each day for granted and really pack it out with memories, positivity and LIFE. I'm not sure where the quote came from but I think it is awesome.

That is about it for this month... I feel like I practically blinked and missed February really but I am greatly looking forward to the month of March. You can read about why in my last post - 'Laters February, Hey March'... Eeeeek I am just so excited.

I hope your month ahead is amazing and you are planning to fill it with laughter, fun and memories that will stay with you forever.


Huge Hugs
x Maria x

Are We Friends Yet?









Monday, 2 March 2015

Laters February, Hey March...


Crikey, February has left me dizzy from how bloomin' quickly it whizzed by. February was pretty uneventful really. I found myself plodding along quite blissfully in everyday life but in all honesty, it was a welcome calm before the events of March sneak up on me. The peace of hibernating indoors over the half term, cuddling my poorly cherubs will feel like a distant memory at the end of March when I am in a content yet frenzied high.

The Things I Am Looking Forward To In March...

The Script- I am off for a girls night out on the 14th of March. I am heading in to London with two of my sisters to watch the last night of The Script tour at The O2 Arena. My niece and her friend will also be there but they will be in the standing section of the concert, therefore queuing for hours and we will not see them until the end of the night. Us Ladies will be chilling out, singing along and bopping around in our seats. It was such a giggle the last time we went to watch them, I am really looking forward to it. 

Usher, Usher, Usher- I am also and very luckily going to see Usher on tour at Wembley Arena in London on the 26th March. I am super excited and even more so because I am going with one of my best friends, Laura. We don't get to see each other that often so we are going to make a good touristy day of it in London before the show and pretty much have the best time. Which leads me to my next point really. In advance- If you or anyone you know will be sitting near us that night, I am so sorry for the singing that may resemble shrieking and the sobs, yep,  that will be Laura, I don't doubt that she will cry... honestly, she is his biggest fan, like ever! It's a big day for her. Argh, I can't wait!

OMG! My Baby Niece's Wedding - My Niece gets married THIS MONTH... on the 28th March. When I think about it for to long, my eyes start to swell with tears. She is so excited about starting her new chapter and naturally I am for her. I can't wait to see her walk down the aisle to start her new life with the man that she loves the most. So much thought has gone into each and every part of their day and I can't wait to be a tiny fraction of it. It is going to be so beautiful. Just like she is.

Now I just need to organise three amazing outfits for three special occasions, be a kick arse Mama, loving wife, focussed business partner, organised blogger and domestic goddess, all in one!

Surely I can do that... It can't be that hard right? After all 'The Things You Take For Granted, Someone Else Is Praying For'...

On That Note....

I am lucky to have exciting things happening in the month of March and I am very grateful for them. I will do my best at being a good Mummy, like I do everyday and my little sweethearts are happy and light just like they will be in the days ahead. I will be a loving wife because I am with a wonderful man who is easy to love and who makes me feel loved- even when I am hot mess trying to achieve everything in one day. I will be a focussed business partner because I am lucky that I get to work for myself with my sisters and mum who hold me up in my best and worst times. I will find a way to be an organised blogger because I love to write and it makes me happy. As far as domestic goddess goes... my house will be clean because I am thankful that I have a home and a roof over our heads. However, the clutter can wait. Life isn't perfect and neither am I. I haven't got time to worry about boring things like chores... I have places to be! Did I mention Usher???????? Eeeeeeek!!!!!


I hope you all have a some smashing things planned and you spend the month smiling.


Huge squeezes
x Maria x

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Friday, 27 February 2015

What Ellenah Did #8

Tuesday 24th February 2015

Dear Diary,

This morning, I was laying in my princess bed ('coz I am a Princess Els Bels and my bed is pink!) and when my eyes-balls pinged open... I felt all 'ofused! 

I think I have a secret... a real one... because... And, you can't tell ANYONE!!!... But... I am the REAL Doc McStuffins!


After we took Noah to school, Mummy and I went to the Sainsbury's... we needed berries because I love my berries and Mummy said I could have a magzine because I helped her pick out lots of vegetables for dinner and she said I was a good girl... So I got to pick one.

Because I am the REAL Doc McStuffins... I chose  d'Doc McStuffins magzine... zagsmine...magymeen... WHATEVER!

I got FREE THINGS! I was so excited and if I'm honest, I couldn't really care much for the magzine thingy because I am Doc McStuffins anyway... that's all I know.

When we came home, I put my Doc McStuffins costume on so that I could fix up my toys. I found my Toot-Sweet rabbit at the bottom of the stairs. Mummy said 'maybe she has hurt her legs?'... We checked her over and she broke-ed them both. We made a hospital for her and gave her medicine and snacks and dinner which we prepared from my kitchen. We have to look after our patients... my toys are special to me.

At one time, we had twelve toys in our hospital. I was a busy Doctor. I checked their ears, checked their eyes and found out how much they grew and when they were better, I sent them home!

Somehow, each time one toy went home, I found another one at the bottom of the stairs with broken arms and bones. Mummy kept asking me where all of the toys were coming from...so I told her that they fell down the stairs all by themselves and I found them. Mummy and I saved a lot of toys today.

We were Doctors ALLLLLLLLLL DAAAAAY!

I was really sad at snack time because I squished a raspberry all down my clean, white outfit and I cried because it might mean I'm not the REAL Doc McStuffins anymore and I HATE berries now... because Mummy had to take my costume off and how can I fix my toys now and berries are messy and my costume might have a stain and Mummy says 'It doesn't matter' and I said 'It does' and she said 'Don't cry' and I said 'I'm sad!'

I'm not eating berries ever again until tomorrow now!

I can't wait until next Tuesday when it just me and Mummy again. My Mummy said that my costume will be ready by then and we can fix all of my toys up all day again if I would like to. I would. That is just the best thing that I like to do. Now that I know that I am the REAL Doc McStuffins anyway...


Hugs and Face Squidges
x Ellenah x

P.S. Promise you won't tell?

Previously on 'What Ellenah Did'

Would you like to be friends with Mummy and Me?





Wednesday, 25 February 2015

25 Things About Me Tag...

Oh hello you absolutely fabulous bunch, I hope all is well in all of your worlds?

I am having a pretty darn wonderful week so far, I must say.

On Sunday, I took some rather shaky steps towards my YouTube channel and only went and uploaded a new video, didn't I?!!! I hadn't uploaded one in about four or five months but I told myself that this year, I am going to give it my best efforts along with my Blog. You have probably gathered that I am still not where I want to be with consistency but it is always at the front of my mind to try and pull together a good 'working mum and wifey/ home life/ blogger and now vlogger balance'- it's not an easy task but I think I am slowly working out a schedule that works for my family and me. At the moment, I think that I am aiming for around three blogs a week and one YouTube video.



Considering I can be painfully shy when out of my comfort zone and anxiety can strike when I least expect it, I found the process of filming a video so very exhilerating and enjoyable. It was really fun and allowed me to get my creative juices flowing- something I crave quite desperately from each and every day. 



I feel quite proud of myself because I have spent quite a lot of my life caring a little too much about what people think and allowing the fear of what others may think to hinder my quality of life. I think that now, I am starting to care just much less and I want to simply do what I want to and roll with the things that bring me joy and happiness. Happiness is something that everybody should strive for, right?

Erm... What was my point again??? Haha...

Oh... Yes... My good start to the week... On Monday afternoon, after a morning of serious dread and panic (I'm a massive loser)... I went for my check up at the dentist. Everything went swimmingly which was fab and then as we drove back along Seasalter beach, up on the bank was a sheep with its two baby lambs.... Awwwwww, Spring is upon us and that makes me so unbelievably happy... Yay! Yesterday was awesome too, but I'm saving that for another day/post :-)

I hope all of you have an amazing rest of the week much like my beginning and you find happiness in the small wonderments that make up a day.

If you could find five minutes to go over and show my video some love, that would pretty much make my day (find it HERE?)... Or you can of course, watch it below. I'm no pro Lovelies, I just enjoy it a lot. I hope you do too xxx


Lots of Hugs
x Maria x

Are we friends yet?

Last Post

xxx




Friday, 20 February 2015

Blackberry Bath Bomb By Lush



After a particularly gruelling start to the half term holiday with the two poorly pickles, by Tuesday evening, I felt pretty exhausted and in need of some relaxation. I decided that my hands had been well and truly forced and I reached for the stunningly scented Blackberry Bath Bomb by Lush that I had grabbed a couple of weeks earlier. I must have been subconsciously saving it for this occasion because a pamper session was needed quite urgently. 

I slapped on a face mask, switched off the invasive lighting and lit up the bathroom with scented candles. As the scalding water from the running tap filled the bath, steam filled the bathroom and I took a few minutes to just breathe it in. I pushed my lungs to work to their full capacity and I felt a wash of relief and gratitude come over me, for my piece of time alone to let go of the stresses and madness that is parenting.



I have to say, this bath bomb may not seem very exciting when surrounded by such bright and beautiful creations, but out of all of the ones I have tried so far, it is my absolute favourite. It doesn't burst and fizz out in to lots of different colours or cover you in sparkles of glitter and apart from the little 'Bang Bang' message inside, it isn't full of surprises...

BUT............

The scent is out of this world!

Its ingredients are minimal in comparison. The main culprits being frankincense oil and bergamot oil. According to the Lush website,  Frankincense oil is used for slowing down breathing and feelings of wellbeing. Bergamot oil is stereotypically used for anxiety, depression, nervous tension and it is relaxing, uplifting and antibacterial- this ingredient is the true winner for me.  

I am quite an anxious person by nature although I do not like to be. It bothers me about myself so where I can, I try to combat all negativity and anything that will trigger anxiety or panic.

For me, this product completely works. I do feel relaxed, uplifted and happy. I do feel like I can let go of anything that is worrying me. I do feel like I can close my eyes and just... be. I do feel like I can get out of my home made spa, get in my comfortable clothes and heavy eyed, fall straight to sleep without a care in the world. I believe in this product and its benefits that much. 

I would recommend this bath bomb to anybody but especially to those, who like myself are prone to feeling anxious, tied in knots and are searching for a wellbeing boost.


Have you tried this? What did you think and would you recommend anything similar that would benefit me?

Lots of Love
x Maria x

Woah, Wait There!!! - Did you manage to catch my last post. Find it HERE.

Also, shall we be friends?


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Half Term Bucket List - Poorly Kid Edition


Honestly, I can't begin to tell you just how much I have been looking forward to half term. The wintery walks to school and settling in to a new routine which includes Ellenah attending pre-school has seriously kicked my butt. As much as I am not wishing the time away for spring because I actually really enjoy winter, it has been hard easing myself in to the change.

Noah and Ellenah broke up from school on Thursday and I was truly looking forward to some good quality time with them, lots of playing and a few fun outings. For example a nice wrapped up warm trip to the zoo and Ellenah's first cinema trip now that she is three years old.

We got as far as Friday Evening, just before they went off to a sleepover at their Aunties house when Noah complained of an earache. It seemed very mild and he was happy and lively in himself so we gave him a dose of calpol and sent them off for a fun night away while Matt and I had a date.

By the time I had finished work on Saturday and got my little Cherubs back, Noah was in full on ear infection mode with Els sniffing as the first signs of her full on cold. Brilliant! 

However, now that I have given them a couple of days to rest and sleep away the viruses and ailments that don't seem to be budging, I thought that I would comprise a list of things to do with the rest of the time and hope that we can squeeze it in with me juggling my days at work. As much as I know that the best thing for us all when we are poorly is a lot of water and sleep, I still think that fresh air and healthy mind frames help the process along too- I also think that there are fun ways to do it that we can enjoy as a family too.


1. Go for a walk at the woods for some fresh air.

2. Read a lot of stories to and with the children.

3. Go for a bug hunt in the garden.

4. Bake something yummy.

5. Make healthy smoothies with the Kiddies.

6. Have an indoor picnic.

7. Build a tent out of sheets.

8. Snuggle up and watch Disney movies.

9. Feed the ducks at the duck pond. 

10. Start a scrapbook with Noah because he has asked me a few times over the past couple of weeks

11. Paint Ellenah's nails- she is soooo girly like her Mama.

12. Make a healthy home made soup with the kiddies.

No doubt I will be documenting these fun things over on Instagram so feel free to come and find me over there (add me @marianoell217)- I would love to see you.

Or my lovelies, you can find me on Twitter or Facebook 

Also if you can think of any 'not too strenuous' fun activities for me and my little Cherubs to do, comment below or find me somewhere above.

Lots of Love
x Maria x

Monday, 16 February 2015

Life Lately #2


Happy Monday Beautiful People- These Mondays sure do roll around fast huh? This week it is half term though, so I know that I am happy to see it. 

I have been quite busy over on Instagram lately (Add me HERE)... It is such a happy place to hang out. I have become quite obsessed with scrolling through some truly wonderful photographs and interacting with people who love snapping away as much as I do. My photography skills aren't the best by any stretch of the imagination but I love trying anyway :-)

Considering Instagram has become my main source of photography- mainly because I hate my camera... I thought I would do another 'Life Lately' post to catch everyone who doesn't follow me, up with what I have been up to.

Here we go Lovelies.......

I have had a little love for making homemade 'healthier' grab and go flapjacks lately. Made up with oats, agave nectar, apple, raisins, goji berries, sunflower seeds and flaxseed- they have become the perfect after school snack for the kids or a light breakfast for Miss Bels who struggles to get in the zone to eat a full breakfast early in the morning. Being the person I am, I can't let her miss breakfast so this has become a healthy compromise. 



I have been jotting a few notes down for my Best friends 'Hen Night' that will take place in a few months time. I am so excited to make sure she says goodbye to single life with a classy bang! So, if you have any ideas, let me know...



My favourite meal in the past week (which I had twice) has been king prawns, scooped avocado, chunky spicy salsa and black pepper on a bed of rocket, cucumber and tomatoes.... delicious... #FoodPorn!



It has been heart melting to watch Ellenah completely fall head over heels in love with Daddy this week. Matt has been putting her to bed while I have been reading with Noah. The other day I sneaked in to witness Matt singing The Best Friends Song with her and I overheard her say ' Daddy, you are my best friend!'... I could literally cry at the cuteness right now. I'm aware that she has him completely wrapped around her little finger and there really isn't much that he would say 'No' to... but that's okay with me. I live for moments like this.



Matt has also been very popular in our house on a Sunday morning. He has started a tradition to feed us until we pop with pancakes and we love it. It is lovely to have that beautiful time together while we eat, drink, build lego and talk about life.


The children really enjoyed trying out Ickle Baby Bot from Lush at bath time one evening. This fella completely knocked them for six with its mix up of Lavender, Sandalwood and camomile oils. The room smelt gorgeous and the children really enjoyed a little pamper time. We had a lovely chat about 'The fight against animal testing' which Lush promotes too which really sparked some interest in their minds. Hopefully these little chats will encourage them both to be curious in life and question the things that we are simply expected to believe in the world.



Ellenah has been throughly enjoying using her scooter lately. She takes it everywhere with her. I love it because she has fun, gets some fresh air and is being active in her day. She is happier when she has room to grow, develop and breath.



After we took Noah to school on Wednesday and before Ellenah started preschool, we went for a little wander around the fields and church grounds which hosted my childhood. I love this photograph of my little cutie, she looks so happy.



On Friday night, Noah and Ellenah went off to a sleepover at their Aunties so that Matt and I could have a date night... they were just sooooo excited about it. They spent a while in the bath so that were all clean and went off in their comfies. Noah is a bit too cool... When he looked at the photograph of himself he said "Yeah... I have flair!" Haha, such a goof-bot!



I got myself ready for our evening out, only to look out of the window at pretty much a storm... Here I am looking less than impressed. Each day as a Mum, I spend it with bits of crusty yogurt smeared in to my jeans, minimal make-up and make-do hair... When I get the chance, I like to make the effort... For Matt, absolutely... BUT more importantly, for myself. A storm on date night did not thrill me but it absolutely did not stop me or prevent us in any way from having a wonderful time.



 Wahacas... You were amazing as always! 



We couldn't eat another thing and when we arrived back home, full bellied and content, we spent time talking and remembering why we fell in love.



I hope all of you have a smashing week ahead and spend it smiling. I also hope to see some of you over on Instagram, if you need me, no doubt that is where I will be.


Lots of Love
x Maria x

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