Monday, 7 May 2018

Peter Thomas Roth first impressions

Face Masks
Everyone's skin type is different so finding a face mask to perfect your skincare routine can be a challenge. It's taken me many years to understand that I have combination skin, my skin is mainly dry with my T zone (nose, forehead and chin) being slightly more oily. It's also prone to being sensitive.  

As a busy mum, face masks for me are a quick and easy way to pep up my skin. The Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic face masks (£72), a collection of five 150ml full sized pots in one collection represents real value for money. 
Face Masks
Blue Marine Algae (£34):This was the mask I was most looking forward to using, mainly as it states it has intensely hydrating properties, so perfect for my dry skin. 
Applying to the skin it is clear and has a gel like consistency which was cooling. After a while the gel tingles and gives a warming sensation on the skin. If you have sensitive skin then this face mask might not be for you. I personally didn't really like the sticky wet feeling that the Algae had and I saw absolutely no difference in the moisture of my skin post application. It's for this reason that I wouldn't repurchase. 

24K Gold Mask (£48): Probably the most intriguing and luxurious of the five masks with pure 24K gold and colloidal gold. 

Face Masks
The product looks incredibly pretty both in the pot and when applied to the skin as it gives off a wonderful shimmer. It claims to tighten the skin, lifting, firming and brightening. I can't say that my face felt lifted or firmer but it did have a smoother appearance and was refreshing. 

Cucumber Gel Mask (£28):My skin can sometimes get flushed and irritated, this cooling and hydrating face mask is perfect for refreshing the skin. With cucumber, aloe vera, papaya, pineapple and chamomile it has lots of soothing ingredients. 

I keep this face mask in the fridge so it is wonderful and cold, when applied the gel doesn't sting which makes it perfect for sensitive skin and can even be placed under the eyes. 

Face Mask
I can't say I saw any major changes in the hydration of my skin after use but I am sure it will be loved in the Summer months to sooth and calm a sun kissed face. 

Pumpkin Enzyme Mask(£42):The first thing that you notice on opening the face mask is the smell of pumpkin spice, definitely reminiscent of Christmas. 
Peter Thomas Roth
Applying the face mask you instantly notice that it has a thicker grainier consistency, you can feel it working with a tingly sensation. I have to point out at this point if you have really sensitive skin, I am not sure this is the mask for you. I personally had no problems, but it is an exfoliate so slightly stronger and will easily remove dead skin. I really loved this face mask as it evened out my complexion and my skin felt smoother.   

It can be quite a stripping face mask so I will use this once a month to pick my skin up.  

Irish Moor Mud: Unless you have been living under a rock I am sure you are all aware of the major hype there has been in the last couple of months about charcoal activated face masks. I don't know about you, but I have been taking serious pleasure in watching people on YouTube making their eyes water, pealing them off to reveal loads of rubbish and tons of blackheads. 
Face Masks
The consistency and texture of this face mask is different, it is smooth to apply remains fairly translucent and does not dry. The product has very little smell and definitely not anything reminiscent of a moor. I did find that it was slightly tingly, but I personally like this as it feels like it is doing something.

This was the only mask out of the five, that I found value in the removal tool. 
Face Masks
The tool was nifty at removing stubborn parts around the nose, eyes and hairline. This mask was by far my favourite out of the five, on removal my skin instantly looked refreshed and has worked well to remove spots around my T-zone. 

Overall the box set represents great value for money and a wonderful way to try many of the Perter Thomas Roth face masks. Out of the five I will only most likely repurchase the pumpkin enzyme mask and Irish moor mud, both of which over longer usage have done wonders for bringing a tired mothers skin back to life with little investment and time on my behalf. 

Since purchasing this box set, Peter Thomas Roth has released a smaller sample size with six travel versions (£24) which you can find here. Each tube has between two/three applications a perfect way to try them out. 

Have you tried any Peter Thomas Roth products? What are your skin care recommendations and tips? Share in the comments below. 

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Friday, 27 April 2018

Life update: Being your true happy self

Being your true self
Life over the last couple of months has been really busy with so much going on. This has meant more and more of my time is spoken for, between caring for Noah, a busy job, commuting and a rather manic life I can sometimes feel overwhelmed. 

I never really have a moment anymore just to be me and relax. In my twenties I thought nothing about sitting reading a book for a whole day. Exercise was a frequent activity and a past time I enjoyed. I loved going for long walks and enjoying the outdoors. I could regularly be found relaxing in a deep bath with a pampering face mask. 

Being your true self
If I have a moment now I'm riddled with guilt that I should be doing something else. 

I can be found doing two or three things at once on a regular basis, which means I often feel flustered that I’m not doing a good enough job in any area of my life. 

We live in a world and society that is constantly striving for perfection, encouraging us to do more and more as well as wanting everything done now. This can often lead to us overworking every area of our lives, but if we had more balance could we be more productive and happier.

Recently I have been left with the hanging questions:

“Am I applying my time and energies in the right places, to be my true happy self?”. 

"How do I take time for myself".

So I've been looking at how long I spend time on different areas of my life, looking at what I spend most of my time doing and how I can reduce the time I spend on some tasks to have more time for myself.  

Everyday I have been setting aside ten minutes to meditate, which has been a wonderful way at making me stop, take time for myself and bring about a sense of greater calmness. It has also helped to root me in the here and now. So I thought I would share some apps that I have been loving.

Being in the moment and relieving stress:

Calm: The app is free to download and has some great content that you don’t have to pay for but a paid subscription of £35.99 a year, gives you over a 100 hours of brilliant content which is constantly added too.

Calm App
I use the beginning journey to calm which is a great introduction to mediation with a seven day session. The perfect place to start with focused sessions to relieve anxiety, overcome stress and the app also has wonderful sleep stories to send you off into deep slumber. 

Headspace: I have been using this app for over a year now and love it. It is easy to navigate, with defined timings of 5,10,15 and 20 minutes to meditate, so even those with the least amount of time have no excuses. It offers short and easy to do sessions, which have helped to alleviate stress and sleep problems.

Headspace app
If you love the app and want to have access to all the content then a yearly subscription of £74.99 is needed.

Rituals have a wonderful free app with guided meditation for three areas: relaxing the mind, relaxing the body and enjoying the moment. In which you can do 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes of meditation. They also have a guided yoga follow along too.

Still not convinced that meditation could help here are some additional benefits: 

I've personally have found the benefits of meditation to be huge. 

Do you meditate? How do you relax? Share in the comments below.  

Know someone that could benefit from this post please do share. 

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Friday, 30 March 2018

Agua Spa at the Sanderson Hotel

Agua Spa
If you want to get away from the world, relax and recharge your batteries the Sanderson Hotel London has to be experienced. 

For those of you who have been following for a while, you will know we love the Sanderson Hotel especially their Mad Hatter's afternoon tea. If you haven't been I definitely recommend it. 
Afternoon tea
Since having Noah (over two years ago) me and the other half haven't had a date night, so we decided to have a date day instead. So on a recent day off we decided that a visit to the Agua Spa at the Sanderson hotel was very much needed. 

To get to the spa, you are transported via a lift decorated with images of space and stars imprinted on the walls. 
Sanderson Hotel
On entering the spa, you instantly relax with softly spoken staff, candles, floor to ceiling drapes which all add to a dream like and serene ambience. 
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
The friendly staff show us to the beautifully designed changing area with large mirrors and beauty desks. 
Agua spa Sanderson Hotel
I started with a relaxing sit in the female only steam room to clear the airways, followed by a nice shower.

Hidden away amongst the drapes, the spa offers private areas containing pods to melt into and relax. The pods which are small armchair beds, for me offered the best relaxation where you could snuggle up under a Goose feather duvet for hours. They were so comfortable, I thought I was in heaven.
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
Whilst in the pods you can enjoy a yummy smoothie of blackberry, strawberry and raspberry or choose something else from the food and drink menu.
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
The spa offers a range of massages, body treatments, manicures and pedicures. We opted for a couples soothing Swedish massage. Matt who did mine definitely has to be one of the best masseuses I have experienced. His fingers worked like magic to unwind and remove the knots from a tightly coiled back. 
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
I seriously felt like a new woman after my massage,  it helped to relieve my stress and I definitely felt re-energised. The benefits lasted for a good week afterwards.   

So all in all a wonderful day. If your looking for a spa  to unwind from the busyness of modern life, the Sanderson spa and hotel offers the perfect place to relax.

Do you have any other spa recommendations for us? Share them in the comments below.

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Monday, 19 March 2018

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens
What on earth is up with the weather? At this moment London is absolutely freezing, I personally will be so glad when the weather starts to warm up. 

So to cheer us all up I thought I would share a recent visit we made to Kew Gardens, when the weather was much nicer. 

You know your getting older when you get excited by the prospect of visiting a garden for a day out. The Royal Botanic gardens, Kew might just be the exception; thirty minutes outside of London in Richmond it has something for all ages. 
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew is set in 300 acres of stunning grounds and houses the largest botanical gardens in the world. In this post I will share with you my highlights:

1. Palm House: A Victorian Glasshouse with a rainforest climate that houses spectacular canopy palms. 
Kew Gardens
2. Welcome to the tropics, the Prince of Wales Conservatory houses beautiful orchids, an amazing cactus collection and ferns.
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens

3. The Hive is a new installation created by artist Wolfgang Buttress, as a celebration to the importance of honeybees. At least one third of our global crops are dependent on honeybees as pollinators. 
Kew Gardens
At 17 metres high the Hive is a vast honey bee hive. A thousand lights flicker in time to the vibrations of the bees and sounds linked to a real hive in Kew Gardens, its a sight to behold. 
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Noah was absolutely memorised by the sounds, glass flooring and lights. 
4. Walk tall amongst the trees, set 18 metres off the woodland floor the TreeTop walkway is a great way to get a top down view over Kew. 
Kew Gardens
If your eagled eyed you might even spot some beautiful birds high in the canopies. 
Kew Gardens
So when the weather warms up in a few weeks, head over to Kew Gardens for a great day out. Make sure you leave enough time for tea and scones at the cafe though.
Kew Gardens
Opening times:

Open daily at 10am 

Ticket Prices:
Online ticket prices (until 31 October 2018)
Adults £17.75* / £16
Children (4–16) £4
Children under 4 free
Concessions £15.50* / £14
* Includes a voluntary donation

What's your favourite garden or day out? Share in the comments below...

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Monday, 26 February 2018

The realities of early parenthood

Parenting Tips
When you first have a baby you are absolutely overwhelmed; the emotion of having a little person that is solely dependent on you and the physical act of looking after a baby, is both physically and emotionally taxing.You are constantly balancing everything. 
Parenting tips
It takes a good few months for your life to have any resemblance of an equilibrium. Well to be honest it took us a whole year and even now I'm not sure we've mastered it. Life is fundamentally different and whilst I wouldn't change it for all the world, it can be hard being a parent. If you are expecting a baby or have just had a baby, make sure you check out my tips for the first six weeks here

So what have I learnt being a parent?

1.A baby makes you appreciate time, I have become more than ever aware of how precious life is. Don't wish it all away as you will unbelievably want it all back again: the sick, the poop and the sleepless nights. 

2.So much happens from the moment a baby is born that you find yourself recording their every moment and developmental success. Time to increase your cloud storage. 
Parenting Tips
3.Parenthood is a full time job. There are no rest days, so take any help where it is offered. Making time for yourself it's important, it will keep you sane and also make you feel like your old self. 

4.Even when your not with your baby, you will be thinking about them. Your child will fill your every waking hour. 

5. Parent guilt is real, you will always feel like you are not doing a good enough job and should be doing something elseYou will analyse, criticise and feel like everyone else is doing a better job than you. Stop fretting! 

6.Babies constantly change; as soon as you have mastered one stage, they change and you find yourself having to master another. Anyone who pretends they have it mastered hasn’t really. 

7.You need a routine. A routine means a life, find what works for you and stick to it. Absolutely don't deviate from the routine. 

Parenting Tips
8.Everyone will offer you advice: breastfeeding, cosleeping, cry it out method, discipline, potty training. Just because they offer it doesn’t mean you have to take it. Just smile sweetly and say thank you. Do what works for you. 

9.Leave all your ideals behind, you will do all the things that you think you wont. You will let your child watch TV for just ten minutes of peace and give in to your child whims just so they don't cause a scene.  

10.Anyone who has a child over three take their advice with caution, they have long since forgotten what it's like to have a small baby.

Just because life feels like it's running at super speed doesn’t mean you have too, there is something about enjoying the moment. The washing can wait!

12.Going to the toilet on your own is no longer a one person pursuit. Surprisingly you will be OK with this. 

13.Eating a meal warm is a thing of the past. Accept it and move on. 

14.Coffee and cake will be your new best friends. 
Parenting Tips
15.Supermarkets hold a new found appeal that they didn't previously.  

16.Stop Googling about your child, nothing good can come of your search. If you want information or are worried about something, ask the health visitor or GP.

17.You will do absolutely anything to make your child smile even if you look like a crazy person. 

18.You will love your child more that you have ever loved anything in your whole life and they will be by far the best thing you have ever achieved. That is until they reach their teenage years. 

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Monday, 29 January 2018

Give your nails some TLC

How to strengthen weak nails
I’ve never really looked after my nails. For the first seventeen years of my life, I was an avid nail-biter. I was that person who when I got nervous or anxious would be found nibbling my nails. 

I was incredibly ashamed of my half chewed nails, mostly because of the reaction and constant telling off that friends and family gave me. 

I used to look at people with their beautifully manicured nails and feel a pang of disappointment. Part of me wondered if I would ever have nice enough nails, that I could wear nail varnish. 

The good news is somehow I managed to stop and  you would never know now that I was ever a nail-biter. I managed to strengthen my nails using the following tips.

How to strengthen weak nails:

1. Be kind to your hands as we put our hands through a lot. Regular washing, using cleaning products without gloves and doing outside activities can all dry our hands and nails out. Use a moisturising hand cream regularly. I love applying a good coating at night.
2.Regularly cut your nails to strengthen them up. 
Keep them short until they gain strength they are also easier to manage. If you have just started growing your nails an oval shape works best. Less temptation to bite them.
3.Have a emery board and nail cutters in your bag so that if you get a broken nail your not tempted to bite it off. When filing your nails use one sweeping motion don't go back and forth as this weakens your nails.  
4.Use a base coat and top coat when painting your nails so as to protect your nail. 
5.Don’t forget to look after your cuticles: Don't cut your cuticles, either push them down or use a cuticle remover instead. For the best result soften your cuticles with cuticle oil. 

Nail Varnishes I'm loving:
For Christmas I was treated to some new Nails inc. nail varnishes: Wishes & Kisses Nail Polish gift set. It's currently reduced on the Nails Inc website to £14.50.
Nail varnish
The first thing to say is that the packaging for this gift set is so pretty. The pack contains four full size nail varnishes (14ml), which is brilliant value given that one nail varnish costs £15. It offers a really lovely mix of colours perfect for both day time and adding some sparkle to a night out. 
Nail Varnish
Status Ready: I'm a creature of routine and if there is a go to nail varnish colour for me it would have to be red. 
Nail Varnish
I love having a pedicure and manicure before a holiday and red is most definitely the colour of choice. Status Ready is a striking and vibrant red with a lovely glossy finish. 

Applying a base coat, the nail varnish requires two coats to get an even finish. After a week of wear I was surprised at how well it lasted.  I will most definitely be picking up another one of these when it runs out. 
Life Hack:Now if I had seen this colour in a shop I have to be honest it wouldn't have been a colour of choice. But that's the wonderful thing about gift sets it forces you to try new things. 
Nails Inc
Life Hack is a perky peach and perfect for summer, and a lovely change to my go to red. 
Nail Varnish
Glow on & Get It: Again this is not a colour I would have picked up but I love it. 
Nail Varnish
The nail-varnish has a chrome and pearl tone to it almost reminiscent of petrol marbling.    
Nail Varnish
One thing to note it did require an additional coat (three) to get a consistent colour.

Belsize Road: Everyone needs a bit of sparkle in their lives.
Nail Varnish
This beauty is a perfect addition to top off the nail-varnishes, helping to add some sparkle or perfect on its own. 

Stuck for time or fancy a treat, Nails inc also have nail bars throughout the UK who can do manicures and pedicures.

What's your favourite nail tip or nail polish? Share in the comments below. 

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