Monday, 20 April 2015

Beauty - My Current Products for Dark Under eye Circles

Dark under eye circles have always been a bugbear of mine. I dislike them, a lot. As a super busy working, single parent I'm exhausted pretty much most of the time. I've not been sleeping well lately either and I'm a bit self conscious of my under eye bags (although to be fair, I bet a lot of it is in my head and they're probably not as bad as I think). I've got into a great routine for my skincare but I hadn't been using any eye creams so I thought I would see what was on the market to prevent and cover up my dark circles.

As an aside, I have read that your sleeping position can help prevent under eye bags, and that instead of sleeping on my tummy I should be sleeping on my back. Also, Victoria on Twitter (@Butterfly_Craft) has rightly pointed out that drinking lots of water will help. Another reason why I need to up my daily water intake!

Here's what I have in my bathroom right now, a mix of concealers, brighteners and skincare products...

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer, £5.49

This is my budget favourite and I've purchased this a few times from the high street chemists. At £5.49 I think it's great value for money.




This creamy product doesn't feel too heavy under the eyes and it gives some coverage. It's available in a variety of shades, so it was easy to get a good colour match for my skin tone.



bareMinerals Stroke of Light, £22 *

This product immediately brightens up my under eye area and I've been using it daily since receiving it! Really easy to apply and blend in. Depending on how bad I feel my under eyes are, I'll either use this alone or on top of a concealer.


Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector, £29

I haven't used Kiehl's before but I spotted a review of this product in Psychologies magazine and decided it was worth trying. Out of all of my recent purchases, this is the one that is most expensive and it's the one that I'm torn over. The formula is tinted so it immediately brightens dark circles but it feels a little chalky/powdery and I think this product can make my under eyes look worse, especially if I'm having a dry skin day. It's more of a skincare/make-up hybrid product so perhaps with prolonged use it will help with the root cause rather than just act as a concealer. I doubt I'll buy this again, sorry Kiehl's. I was given a tester of the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye cream which has a lovely thick consistency for applying before bed and if anything I'd rather buy this than the Dark Circle Perfector.



Origins GinZing eye cream, £23

This wonder cream helps perk up my eyes and the natural ingredients help to de-puff the under eye area. It looks pearlescent in the pot, and when applied to your under eyes it helps brighten up dark circles. A little goes a long way, so I can see this little pot lasting me a while. I use this every morning when I apply my moisturiser and once it's absorbed (which doesn't take long) I apply a concealer or brightening product.




* I received the bareMinerals Stroke of Light as a PR sample. All other products I have purchased myself. Opinions as always are my own and are honest.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Review - Enchanted Forest & Friends Clothing for Children

The Enchanted Forest and Friends brand has been created by Scottish husband and wife team, Bernie and Mariessa Devlin. I love the concept behind the range, which features a series of five forest friends: Zed Fox, Humbellina Bumblebee, Sirrell Squirrel, Bertie Bluetit and Miss Bun Bun.


"In the Forest a magical tree exists, with a secret door which lies slightly ajar showing a golden glowing light shining bright. Enter through this door and it leads to the Enchanted Forest, a magical world full of discovery, exploration and adventure. Beautiful flowers, gigantic trees, colourful mushrooms, sparkling lakes and enchanting sounds can be found."

The Forest Friends characters feature on the clothing, and we received the all over print short sleeve tunic for the littlest to test.

The littlest turns 4 years old this month but she's tall for her age; we had ordered the 4-5 year t-shirt which was the perfect size for her. The T-shirt has washed well and has become a firm favourite in the littlest's wardrobe.






In addition to the T-shirt, we were also sent a Character Backpack... meet Miss Bun Bun:

The concept of this backpack is great... the head can be used as a pillow, within the backpack is a blanket and there are detachable reins (which the littlest at nearly 4 years old does not need, but she liked pretending to be a baby!). My daughter fell in love with Miss Bun Bun immediately and has been wanting to wear her ever since she arrived. 


Miss Bun Bun 


We removed the blanket to put in some toys and special bits & pieces, but I think once it was emptier coupled with the heavy weight of the head meant that the backpack didn't sit very well on my daughter's back. Perhaps we needed to spend more time adjusting the straps, but as we reduced the straps to pull it tighter into her body, the rabbit ended up folding in two a bit. 



For me, the backpack perhaps has a few design flaws but the idea is fantastic and my daughter certainly adores it.

Which is your favourite character? I think mine is Zed Fox!

We received two items from Enchanted Forest & Friends to test and review. As always, opinions are honest and are my own.


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Review - Muddy Puddles Waterproof Jacket

We were kindly asked to review an Originals waterproof jacket (RRP £24) from the website Muddy Puddles.

My initial impression of the product was good. The jacket material feels a nice quality and the design is practical. I particularly like the elastic waistband at the back so it's a bit more fitted than your usual waterproof jacket and it also goes a bit longer at the back so it covers his bum if he were to sit down (or fall over, as he usually does!!).

If I'm honest, my son wasn't keen to wear the jacket for some reason unknown to me. He was of the opinion that it was too big for him (which is possibly was a little, but as all parents know it's good to have room to grow and I wanted him to be able to wear it over a fleece if it was cold!). My sister also managed to fit into the jacket, albeit the sleeves were 3/4 length. Not sure if that helped matters though in terms of him complaining of the size!! Anyway, whilst we were on our Easter holiday at Piperdam he loved his waterproof jacket as it kept him nice and dry during a water pistol fight!

I certainly think the product is great value for money and he will most definitely be wearing it again. Waterproof jackets are a must here in Scotland and this one will tuck nicely into his school bag! I haven't washed the jacket yet, but I have spotted that it is machine washable - this pleases me greatly as there is nothing worse than a jacket that needs to be handwashed!!






Here are our scores out of 5 (5 stars being excellent and 1 star being poor):


I've marked the comfort lower because my son was complaining about the jacket a little. He only had a T-shirt on underneath and I think he would have liked it more if he had a fleece on or perhaps a longer sleeved top, just something to bear in mind.

We received this complimentary jacket in exchange for an honest review. As always, opinions are our own.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Travel - Our Easter Holiday at Piperdam, Scotland

Since the kids were born we have holidayed in Scotland either at my sister's house in Aberdeen, my dad's house or borrowed my aunt & uncle's holiday home. This Easter however we had our first 'proper' holiday that I paid for! It felt rather grown-up (although saying that it was my sister and her other half who arranged it & all I did was transfer them the money!!).

We had booked a lodge at Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort which is just outside Dundee, Scotland. Ali & Robin had chosen the Forester Executive Holiday Lodge, a 5 bedroom lodge that sleeps 10 people, and it was beautiful. The highlight for me was definitely the outside hot tub on the balcony... bliss! It worked out at £360 a night for the Easter min-week break which I think is reasonable given that we were splitting this between two couples. However for a 4 star lodge at this price, I would have expected that towels, toilet roll and electricity would have been provided, which weren't. That said, the lodge was gorgeous and we were nestled in amongst the trees which was lovely. We also lucked out with the weather - it was sunny for the whole week!! Not often that happens in Scotland!! The kids had a blast.

Champagne in the hot tub

Enjoying a Bear fruit yo-yo whilst watching the bears at Camperdown

Uh-oh... littlest wasn't happy :-(

Enjoying the hot tub!

The couples took turns at cooking - steak by Ali & Robin (Tesco Finest of course!!)

The Easter Egg Hunt

Making toilet roll owls with Auntie Ali - she was super organised and 
brought plenty activities for the kids

It turns out there are plenty of things to do for little ones in the surrounding area of Dundee. We had a morning investigating the Dundee Science Centre, spent some time enjoying the wildlife at Camperdown Country Park and went on the flumes at the Olympia Swimming Pool.

We did a bit of vlogging whilst we were there, including a tour of the lodge:

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Parenting - Computer Games

The nursery told us that my son's computer mouse skills weren't great; reason being that he didn't get to use the computer at home. Following their feedback, I subsequently let him start using it and he's literally become obsessed. He is now a huge fan of computer games! Even when he's running about outside, he turns playing into levels and points... He also draws computer games too on paper.

I've restricted his use to weekends only and I time how long he is on the computer so that he's not on it for too long. I do however notice a change in his behaviour when he's been on it, and not for the better. But computers are now part of everyday life and are a life skill we need to learn. He gets computer classes already in Primary 1! At my house he only plays games on Lego.com (sometimes CBeebies) and his favourites are Lego Creator, Lego City and the Star Wars games.

I sometimes wonder where he gets it from, but when I think back to my childhood, my sister and I were massive fans of computer games. Ali more so than me, but we spent a lot of our spare time playing on our PC. My mum was keen for games to encourage our computer skills and so a few of our games involved typing commands of some form. A lot of the time we played together taking turns to be either the typer or the controller of the arrow keys. Our favourites were Leisure Suit Larry and Heroes Quest. Crazy to think though that we were aged 9 and 11 years when we completed Leisure Suit Larry. What were our parents thinking!?




We also loved Theme Hospital, Lemmings, The Sims and Prince of Persia.




We never owned a console and I'm personally not keen on them at all. Guess that's just down to my own experiences though. I have never owned a laptop or tablet either. I do now have a laptop for work but that's all it's used for. I also have a Kindle Fire but the kids are not even aware of its existence! I think if we had a tablet device with games on it then there would be even more fights!

My son has recently been asking when we can get an iPad and eventually I guess I'll need to buy a tablet device of some form. He's been drawing an iPad on paper & making up games in his head...



What are your thoughts on gaming for youngsters? What ground rules do you set and what games would you recommend for little ones?

Monday, 13 April 2015

#LittleLoves 13

I'm totally out of sync with my #LittleLoves posts, but here is this week's contribution...

// Watched

I enjoy books and films that are real to life. I seem to be drawn to films about affairs because I want to try and understand why someone would have one. I guess this goes back to what happened to me with the kids dad. I still don't understand the full story and have so many unanswered questions. I watched Closer and The Other Man on a rare weekend night to myself.


Closer - Two couples meet, cheat and deceive each other


The Other Man - the story of a husband who suspects his wife of adultery, and sets out to track down the other man in her life

// Heard 

Lots of laughter this week (and the odd tantrum too!). I've had the kids for 10 nights over the Easter break, and now they are with their dad for 10 nights. I'm looking forward to catching up on sleep, my blog and getting back into a routine again at work after a week off at Piperdam (more on this in a vlog!). I also need to get back onto healthy eating as my weight has crept up a bit!

// Made

Easter Crowns for the last day of school...


// Wore

I treated myself to my first Urban Decay palette... I went for Naked 2...


// Read

I read Psychologies magazine whilst on a work trip to Bristol...




// And lastly...

This is why you should never work with children... the out-takes at the end are hilarious!!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Home & Interiors - Room Tour

I've filmed a wee vlog of my home office space... if you haven't seen it yet over on YouTube, then here it is...


It's one of my favourite spaces in the new house. I really enjoying working at my desk blogging and editing videos.

The only thing I'd like to change is the blue carpet!


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