Friday, 2 September 2016

I need my child to sleep

Baby Sleep Deprivation
I have always tried to be honest on this blog, sharing things I have loved, things that haven't been that great and some awful experiences; but there is something I have shied away from writing about. In fact I have actively hidden from it for the last nine months and at times I thought I would probably never share it with you. 

I've started this post a number of times and stopped, feeling that it may not be something that others would be interested in. However, as I started to write I thought there might be others who are going through a similar scenario. To be honest I was also worried that I couldn't do the issue justice, that my words would make it sound trivial and for me and I'm sure others who have been affected by this; it is anything but. 

I have a baby that doesn't sleep! Sounds innocent enough in itself and to be honest something you expect as a new parent. I wouldn't say I was naive about how hard it would be to become a new parent. I had expected nothing more than a gruelling six months of hard work and no sleep. Friends who had babies and toddlers told me that this was a good way to go into parenthood and that this was a realistic expectation. But nearly nine months on, the new born baby stage hasn't passed and I am still left with a baby that wakes constantly throughout the night. It is absolutely gruelling and soul destroying. 
Sleep deprivation
Now to be clear with those reading this I'm not talking about the occasional sleepless night because of a growth spurt, teething, a sleep regression or because the little one is unwell; I am talking about regular and consistent interrupted or no sleep.

To begin with you are running on the adrenaline of birth, the post highs of having a new born baby that easily sees you through the first three months of no sleep. 
Coping with a new born
But as time passes and weeks, turn into months and you are still left with a child that doesn't sleep you are tired, exhausted and somehow left feeling alone, a failing parent. Doing the simplest of tasks like washing your hair becomes impossible with a child that doesn't nap and is grouchy to be put down. 

I am surrounded by parents who's babies sleep, the little thing that we all take so naturally for granted, but the one thing that despite every best effort just hasn't happened. Lots of parents I have met since having Noah have babies that sleep through the night or wake once or twice through the night. To add to my perceived inadequacies,  they have done so from a few months old; so if you are one of those parents, with the utmost respect gracefully leave and go and gloat elsewhere.

This post is for those parents who like me are struggling or have struggled with a baby that just doesn't sleep or for those just interested in my experience. I should also point out that of course I am hopelessly in love with Noah, I love him to bits, the fact that he doesn't sleep is not a reflection on that and this is not a post natal depression topic. 

Chronic sleep deprivation is where you loose sleep night after night and have no time to make it up. A lack of sleep rapidly builds up to insurmountable levels that effect all areas of your life. 

Noah is now nearly nine months and on an average night our sleep happens in one-two hour stints. He sleeps for one or two hours, wakes and then requires up to forty minutes of settling until we both sleep again. 
Sleep loss
If one to two hours wasn't bad enough, sometimes he wakes within fifteen minutes of being put down. He frequently wakes five to eight times a night and wants to start his day (apparently refreshed) at four in the morning. I spend hours in a darkened room feeling very much alone and I have truly forgotten what deep sleep feels like. 

There is a reason that people use sleep deprivation as a torture devise; after a while you begin to loose your sense of self. Your rational self is lost and you are basically left a non-functioning anxious wreak. Basic tasks become a struggle. I have gone out to get shopping and forgotten why I was there, tried to get Noah a passport, forgetting the pictures and birth certificate. Taken pictures with my DSLR and had no memory card in there. Been talking mid sentence and forgotten what I was talking about or been unable to find the word for the most simple things. 

Noah also does not function well on such little sleep he wines in a high pitched voice and has mini meltdowns. 

I have read every website, article and book on how to get Noah to sleep. I'm trapped in a cycle of different pieces of advice and parenting tips, e.g. healthy sleep habits, the importance of routine, the cry it out method etc etc. 
Baby sleep regression
Whilst well meaning the vast amount of this material goes further to reinforce that you are an incapable parent because your child just doesn't sleep. 

The thought of going back to work with a child that still doesn't sleep is absolutely terrifying. 

I had hoped that once Noah started weaning that he would sleep longer during the night and sleep more consistently during the day. Sadly this hasn't happened as yet. I do hope however as he gets older that his sleep patterns will improve and that the non sleeping, all night partying baby will become a distant memory. 

I will share an update when it happens :-) In the meantime their are some positives to a baby that doesn't sleep I have seen some amazing sunrises. 

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Friday, 12 August 2016

Things I am loving right now

New lifestyle products
How can we already be in August! Weeks are just flying by. I hope your all having a lovely Summer. Share below in the comments what you've been up too?

In the UK our summer has been a really mixed bag with lots of rain, thunder interspersed with baking sunshine. It has made knowing what to wear really difficult and as a result I have been caught out quite a few times. Life lesson number one a white t-shirt in the rain is not a good look as it shows your bra, flip flops are also not appropriate footwear in the rain they become floats. 

In today's post I thought I would share some new products I've been using and loving over the last couple of months.  

1. Moa Fortifying Green Bath Potion (£27.50)  
Moa Fortifying Green Bath Potion
Nothing beats a soothing soak in the bath tub. I love baths they are the perfect way to relax and unwind. Since having Noah however finding the time for a bath has really become a real luxury. There just isn't much time to relax and unwind, so when I do get any time for a bath it's an occasion and I like to go all out. 
I've been loving my new bottle of Moa fortifying green bath potion. The first thing to say is that this little green bottle packs a punch, you don't need much as it goes a very long way. Three capfuls is perfect and it fills the bath with a refreshing peppermint scent and the whole house smells of it too. 

The inclusion of sweet birch is great for de-stressing and easing tired muscles. It is also suitable for sensitive skin, Vegetarians and Vegans too. 
Bubble bath
This really is the perfect bath potion for winter and also if you have a cold as the peppermint and steam from the bath help clear your sinus.

It makes a nice change to have a very different bath soak that isn't the usual over sweet offering. 

2.Zelens Lip Oil (£40)
In the Winter my lips get dry, crack and become really sore. I have my Winter lip care down to a fine art now with Nuxe Rêve de Miel (£9.50) and Blistex relief cream. 

That's very nice Lucy get to the point, well I did wonder if there was a lip treatment that I could use in the Summer to prepare my lips and get them Winter ready. 

Zelens lip oil

Zelens lip oil is the perfect remedy. It has nine 
wonderful oils which are meant to help cellular repair, regeneration and calm signs of irritation. I've been putting it on at night for over two months now and it has been great at moisturising and hydrating my lips they feel much softer and really smooth. 

3.Sunday Riley Good Genes (£85)
Everyone raves about Sunday Riley and if I'm honest I was a little bit dismissive that it was probably all just hype. But after almost a year I have finally succumbed to the hype and jumped on the proverbial bandwagon with a purchase of Good Genes and I am so glad that I did. 

Sunday Riley
Having a baby that doesn't sleep after a while takes its toll on your skin. Mine has been looking rather sorry for itself for the last seven months; tired, seriously dehydrated and with frequent hormonal spot breakouts. 

When trying to choose which Sunday Riley product to buy I must admit that I was a little overwhelmed. There has been lots written and shared about the Luna Sleeping Night Oil but this seemed more aimed at anti-ageing, vanishing fine lines and wrinkles. Now whilst I need this too, at the moment the main need is a good moisturiser and something that brightens, so I opted for Good Genes. 
Good Genes
Now there are a few things to be aware of, if you have sensitive skin you will need to consider if this is the right product for you. I have really sensitive skin and whilst it tingles putting it on for me, it might react differently on your skin. 

The second thing to note is that it has a strong smell. Some people have said that it is reminiscent to lemon! I'm not sure about that one, it smells very chemical but I personally don't find it offensive. 

I use two small pumps twice a week and have really noticed a difference, my skin is brighter, smoother and I definitely have less spots. Whilst this is an expensive product for me it is a definite repurchase, there is not another product I have found that has worked so well and in such a short amount of time.  

What products are you loving right now? Any good recommendations?

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Monday, 18 July 2016

How to overhaul your makeup

Clearing things out is not my forte, actually I fall into the category of the worlds worst hoarder. It's something that drives me mad, how I wish I could be more ruthless and get rid of things that I no longer use. My wardrobe bulges with clothes that I have never worn, or worse still have convinced myself that one day I will fit back into. Why do I feel such an attachment to them? They don't hold sentimental value but the thought of getting rid of them is incredibly difficult. 

I have yet to give into the hype and start reading Marie Kondo's - 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidyingfor fear that it will be another book that clogs up the shelves but doesn't change any of my bad habits! Or maybe it is the fear that it actually might change my ways and make me tidy. Has anyone read it? Has it helped?

Unfortunately my makeup bag is no different, I have makeup squirrelled away from years ago. In some cases when I was a teenager! Some bits I use regularly and other bits have been sitting there collecting dust and taking up space. For the most part I have my favourites that I use time and time again. 
Due to the frequency that I use these makeup items they get replaced fairly regularly, other items however have been in my makeup bags for years with long since passed expiration dates and in some cases have gone off. 

So this month I decided enough was enough. I went for a massive clear out getting rid of anything that I don't use and items that have gone out of date. If like me you were unsure what makeup goes off here's a quick list.
  • Mascaras - last for three months. I simply won't tell you how long I have had some of mine. The reason to replace them is they collect bacteria and then your putting them near your eyes. Yuck!
  • Cream makeup (BB creams, cream foundation, cream compacts) - six months. 
  • Liquid foundations, concealer and lipsticks last about a year. 
  • Powders - face and eye shadows generally will keep for up to two years.
Tidying up was actually very therapeutic throwing away makeup that I no longer use has left me with very little makeup and a great excuse to be able to update it and buy some new bits.

As a new mum finding time to do my makeup is a luxury, so anything that is quick gets my vote. 

Charlotte Tillbury

With its colour correcting magic this palette works naturally to enhance your own beauty. It includes seven makeups:

Eye Brighten, Eye Enhance, Eye Smoke, Face Bronzer, Cheek Swish, Cheek Pop, Face Highlighter.

This was a great purchase, it's so easy to use and I will most definitely be repurchasing. 

Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow (£49). First of all I have to take a minute for the beautiful rose gold packaging. Charlotte really does know how to package makeup in a luxury vintage design. 
Charlotte Tilbury Bronze and Glow
I have always steered clear of bronzer for fear that rather than looking sculpted and highlighted I would look like an Oompa Loompa. I shouldn't have worried this is contouring made easy, the contour is build-able so you can have as little or as much as you want. The highlighter adds a beautiful candle lite tones to cheeks. A little of both products goes a long way so this will last ages. 

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick Penelope Pink (£23) - The Kissing range is Charlotte's signature collection of 10 lipsticks from nudes to reds.
Charlotte Tilbury Kissing lipstick
The colour and texture of this lipstick is lovely. The pigment lasts and I can easily wear it for the day and it transitions for night. The best bit for me is it's enriched with anti-oxidants that naturally protect from UV damage. As someone allergic to sunlight this is definitely a plus point. 

Having dry skin it can be difficult to find a powder that doesn't take moisturiser out of my skin. The Ambient Palette has a trio of powders in incandescent, dim and radiant light. These powders are beautiful they go on easily and are so versatile. I have so far used them as setting powers, highlighters and eye shadows. The only thing I would say is that they are very shimmery so if you don't like glittery makeup then this one maybe isn't for you. 

I'm really happy with my new makeup purchases, they are long overdue but have definitely been worth the wait. 

Are you a makeup hoarder? Has this post inspired you to want to have a clear out? If you have any good tips or advice on being a minimalist share it in the comments below. 

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Friday, 1 July 2016

My Little Box April and May

Monthly subscriptions
This post marks the end of my six month subscription to My Little Box. For those of you who haven't heard of My Little Box, it's a monthly subscription box from France that shares the best beauty, fashion and lifestyle picks delivered right to your door.

If you haven't read my previous reviews on the boxes you can do so here:

This post is a review of April and May's subscription boxes. Sorry that they are late, but Noah is currently teething and finding any time to do anything is proving really difficult. Who would have thought that teeth could cause such havoc! 
New Mum
More havoc is on the way as Noah is now on the move! Yes life is about to change forever the little man is into everything and nothing is safe. As a baby begins crawling you suddenly see your calm tranquil flat as a lethal danger zone. My little box being one of them, now sitting on a slightly higher shelf.

Well on with the review. April's subscription box was themed around "Flowers", supposedly celebrating the change in season. Although in the UK we haven't seen much sunshine just rain.
Subscription Boxes
The items for this months offerings came in an illustrated book design, tied with a lovely ribbon at the side. Personally I liked the alternative packaging, it's a nice touch and means that the box can be reused to store other goods. I plan on using mine for nail varnishes.

Living in a flat in London growing plants and flowers is a bit of a logistical challenge. So the inclusion of this pretty small pop up garden (£7) was lovely. 

My Little Box
I look forward to seeing if anything will grow.

The addition of a travel pouch designed in collaboration with Balzac Paris for lingerie (£13) is perfect for carrying my underwear on holiday or as a bikini bag. I love how all the illustrations throughout tie together with each product. 
My Little Box as a rule generally include lots of their own beauty products (not a bad thing), but this month I was pleased to have two products from alternative brands to try out. 
Beauty Bloggers
I love products that are citrus or floral in scent. So when I saw this L'Occitane's cherry blossom trial size body wash (£15), I was pleased and looking forward to trying it out. 
Subscription boxes
Oh my, this shower gel smells divine and is a definite repurchase. The scent is clean, fresh and lasts all day. Now I know some people don't like sample sizes in subscription boxes but for me they are the perfect size for taking away. 

As a rule I don't buy base coat nail varnishes, so the inclusion of the Nails inc Base Coat with Kensington Caviar polish (£15) was at first a little disappointing. But having tried it I take it back. 

Using this base coat before my normal nail varnish I'm pleased to report makes my nail varnish last longer, definitely less chipping and secondly my actual nails feel more nourished.  

The last and final product in the box was the My Little Corner Rosy Mornings Detoxifying mask (£11).
Rosy Mornings Detoxifying mask
High in vitamin C this is the perfect mask to freshen up your face for summer. I personally prefer a thicker consistency in a mask so that I can see where it has been applied. 

So onto May's box, which for me was the best box I have received out of my six month subscription. I absolutely loved it.

The "Dolce Vita" box. 
My Little Box  Dolce Vita
Slightly ironic that this French company produces an Italian box celebrating the best of Italy. 
Gift ideas
After Brexit, I don't think we'll be seeing a celebratory English box soon. 

First up in the box was what the My Little Box team have termed a turban! Its a headband (£11). 
My Little Box
Now this will very much be down to personal taste as to whether you like this headband. I personally loved it, but it has had mixed reviews. 

I like that the box has some ideas for the different ways in which it can be worn and the pattern is really pretty.
My Little Box
I will definitely be using mine when on holiday on the beach and around the pool. 

One of my favourite items out of this months subscription box has to be this leaf ring (£12).
Subscription Boxes
Whilst this obviously isn't gold, as a dress up ring I really like it. I've worn mine constantly since I got it and I'm pleased to report no horrible reaction so it must be nickle free and my finger hasn't gone green. Well not yet anyway! 

Croisière Cèladon body oil Baija (€16.90) a semi-dry oil with a lovely delicate scent of fragrant green tea and jasmine.
Last minute gifts
I really like the delicate scent that this product has, which is lovely and refreshing. I have used mine both as a perfume and as an oil to moisturise my skin before a shower. 

The Little Corner product this month was the Summer Sunbathing illuminating moisturiser for legs (£8).
Birthday present ideas
I can't say that I use fake tan mainly for fear of turning into an orange Oompa Loompa. But this is a gradual self-tanner for the legs. I'm working my way up to using it so can't comment on how good it is. However, it does smell of sweeties, so thumbs up there. 

The final product included in the box was the La Fille de l'Air (€69) from France's legendary House of Courrèges. 
Gift Ideas
Now this perfume smells divine with scents of bergamot and orange blossom. To be honest it is my perfect scent, when I visit France next I will 
definitely be purchasing a bottle. 

This post marks the end of my subscriptions and I must admit I am quite sad to see it come to an end, the monthly boxes have been lovely and I've really enjoyed the variety of products that have come in each box. 

What would be your favourite item? Any suggestions for an alternative subscription box to try? 

My Little Box is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle subscription delivered straight to your door for £11 (+ £3.95 PP) per month.

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