Wednesday, August 02, 2017

July 2017 Birchbox

If you read my June 2017 Birchbox post, you'll know that I cancelled my subscription when I received the box as I was a liiiiiittle disappointed. However, when I got an email the other day offering me a free Benefit mascara trio with a July box, hell I jumped back on the wagon & subscribed again, because why not...

The theme for July's Birchbox was Summer Daze & the packaging is absolutely stunning, so I will definitely be reusing it for something else.

Here's what I received in my July Birchbox

 First of all, how lovely is the Birchbox, well... box?


Rituals Hammam Delight Foaming Shower Gel
RitualiTea Oolang-La Face Mask
Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Overnight Recovery
Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water
Benefit Cosmetics Cha-cha Tint
Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris Eau de Parfum


I love all of it so far - when I was opened the box, I was greeted with the smell of the hair recovery mask, which is absolutely beautiful. I've tried Percy & Reed hair products before & I like them, so this was a nice surprise! I'm looking forward to trying the foaming shower gel, as I love a nice lather in the shower... it just makes me feel squeaky clean! I tried the micellar water last night to take my makeup off - I love it, it left my skin feeling really fresh. One thing I will say is that it left my face feeling a little sticky, which my usual water doesn't. However, it did take off all traces of makeup & didn't irritate my skin or anything.

The face mask is said to purify oilier skin complexions, so I'm not sure how it will work for me, as I have normal/dry skin... never oily. I'll still try it out, of course. I'm looking forward to trying the Cha-cha Tint, but I'm deathly afraid of applying too much - I've tried a little bit on the back of my hand & it's already stained!

I think a little will go a long way with this product. The smell of the mini perfume sample is so so lovely, fruity & fresh - it reminds me a little bit of Miss Sixty, & definitely something I would consider buying in the future.

* * *

Next up was the little Benefit mascara trio



They're Real tinted primer
They're Real mascara
They're Real remover

We get it, they're real! I have used this mascara before & it's one of my favourites. I'll do a full post on the set soon... it's cute though & it really is a mini set!

* * *

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mummy Monday | Leighton's 10 Month Update

How absolutely gorgeous is he? Look at those baby blues... all the heart eyes!!

It's been a long time since I wrote about my son on my blog, but I promise to start writing more - I love parenting blogs & seeing how other people are finding it. Our beautiful Leighton has just turned 10 months, but I swear he's going on 3 years already... he can be sooo stroppy at times (he totally doesn't get that from me... shh)

sleeping
Leighton is a great sleeper & has been for the most part since he was 4 months old. He goes down to bed between 7.30pm & 8.00pm. He sleeps until around 7am, which I can't complain about! He obviously loves his sleep like his mummy & daddy. Sometimes he'll wake up crying in the middle of the night, but it's usually because he's lost his dummy in his cot & can't find it, or he's had a nightmare & is shaking while crying. Other times could be because he's teething but Calpol helps him with that. Bless him, the poor little sausage. He still has his naps during the day, normally 3. Or 2 if he's really fighting it!

feeding
We're full-blown baby led weaning, yay! I'm so glad we're doing it & the stress I felt first time round just melted away when I saw how good an eater he was. He'll try anything & has a wide range of food in his diet. He doesn't really like eggs, but I have yet to try soft boiled with soldiers - I pray he loves it, because I do! He's not a huge fan of raw or boiled carrots - they have to be roasted before he'll entertain them! He LOVES mashed potatoes with gravy. I'm sure he'd live on it if he could! He can be quite messy with food, which is fine as it's always easy to clean up... except tomato/pasta sauce. High chair straps are destroyed! He's still on follow-on milk & also drinks water during the day with his UNLIDDED SIPPY CUP! I am so proud - even though he still makes a mess & likes to help 'clean' his high chair tray by thinking his arms are windscreen wipers. I will do a post soon on his daily diet.

clothing
Leighton is in 9-12 months now, & still surprisingly fitting into some of his 6-9 month clothing. I've had to pack away all of his newborn & 0-3 months clothes & I was so emotional as I did it. Just looking at the size of them makes me wonder how he was ever that tiny. I miss my little baby, but I'm so proud of the little boy he's (quickly) becoming. I was sorting out his 'future' clothes the other day & the sleepsuits from 12-18 months are HUGE & I REFUSE TO BELIEVE HE'LL EVER BE THAT TALL. No, I just can't picture it.

teething
He's got 2 teeth that came through last week! They literally came through overnight & they're so cute when he smiles. It's already helped him tremendously with chewing food, & I have to say, the little teeth marks he leaves in food - so cute! I think more little gnashers will be popping up over the coming weeks.

movement
He's on a roll!! He's constantly moving. Backwards, sideways, & pulling forward. I can't leave him on the floor for 2 seconds without him getting something! He's moving seriously fast & it really makes me miss when he'd WANT to cuddle as a baby. Now he's all independent & just wants to be off doing his own thing & moving all the time. He's started walking too with our help - we have to stand behind him & hold his hands & off he goes. He started this on the exact same day his little teeth came through, just before he turned 10 months. There'll be no stopping him soon! Leighton literally hopped out of his Bumbo the other day. He was shocked, we were so shocked, we laughed, he laughed! I was so glad I got it for free because if I'd paid full price for it, for him to do that the second time he used it... well, I'd be selling him!

favourite toys
Leighton loves his Vtech First Steps baby walker! He's not using it to walk just yet, but we try him with it - he's getting better - instead, he sits & plays with the front part of it, or we detach it & he'll play with that in his playpen/travel cot while I'm busy with housework or trying to enjoy a HOT CUP OF COFFEE. Remember those? Yeah, me neither! He likes his Baby Einstein activity jumper too, but is growing bored of it. I can see when he's so over it & it doesn't hold his interest anymore. It's handy to pop him in if I need to get something done, but he gets grizzly so I have to take him out of it. I think we'll pack it away during the week to make more space for his new toys. We've had a lot of use out of it as he's had it since he was nearly 3 months old. He still loves to chew on Sophie the Giraffe when we're in the car. For the most part, Leighton LOVES noisy toys. Our ears do not, but if it makes him happy, that's all we want. Hey, we've heard so much of the toys that we know the tunes to them... lucky us!

* * *

That's all I can think of for this month, but I'm sure we'll have more for next month (when Leighton will probably be going on 5 years old by then!)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sleek 'Storm' Palette

I'm a huge fan of Sleek Makeup, so much so that it's one of my favourite brands. I've got quite a bit from their range & I haven't been disappointed yet. I picked up this palette 2 & a half years ago (!!). Obviously these pictures were taken before I started using it, because it's very worse for wear now!

This is one of my favourite Sleek eyeshadow palettes, & I sent one to my friend Sarah not long after I got mine. I wanted her to love it as much as me! The palette contains 3 matte shades & 9 shimmers.


I never use eyeshadow without primer, as I want it to last all day. I use a variety of primers (mainly MAC paint pot in Painterly,  NYX jumbo pencil in Milk & Essence I Love Stage).  This palette is just beautiful - the shades glide on & they last all day. I do tend to 'touch up' if I'm going out in the evening. You can of course build the shades up to the intensity you want, but honestly you probably won't need to as they're so pigmented. Blackout is BLACK & I have to make sure I use a light hand with it.

My favourite shadow from the palette is Perfect Storm, a beautiful rose gold shimmer shade. Calm Before The Storm is a perfect shade for blending. I've done some swatches, but I can tell you that the pictures absolutely don't do the shades any justice. They're stunning.

Top row - from left to right...

Sand Storm, Snow Storm, Calm Before The Storm, Thunder Storm, Perfect Storm, Fire Storm


Bottom row - from left to right...

Dust Storm, Gathering Storm, Storm Cloud, Electric Storm, Eye of The Storm, Blackout


I would highly recommend this palette to anyone looking to add some shimmers to their collection. It's got both light shades & darker shades, so I feel like there's something to suit everyone. I will definitely repurchase it, which I imagine will be soon as mine is well beaten & the lid has finally broken off as I've dropped it a million times, & my 10-month-old son likes to grab my makeup when I'm getting ready! The palette is available from Boots for €11.49. You done it again, Sleek, keep up the good work! 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Favourites



Every Friday, I'll do a round-up of my 'favourites', so let's kick it off with what I've been loving this week...


Favourite song
This might be a little cringe-y... but remember Daniel Bedingfield? Yeah. I have 'Never Gonna leave Your Side' on repeat. Takes me back to being 14/15 again.

Favourite quote
I think my favourite quote/poem has to be one from r.h.Sin - "she's proof that you can walk through hell and still be an angel". I just love it.

Favourite instagram account
I follow so many 'home' pages on Instagram as we're currently in the process of decorating our house. My favourite account at the moment has to be Mrs Rackley home She's also a blog, which you can find here! I want everything in her home, it's all beautiful & she has such great taste in home decor.

Favourite tv show
I really don't watch much TV at all (I never have done!), but I do like The Sheriffs Are Coming (and similar shows) and One Born Every Minute. That just makes me so broody though! I like Watchdog too.

Favourite snack
Pork scratchings! They're hard to get here in Ireland so when we come across them, we stock up on them.

Favourite purchase
So... remember my Christmas Wishlist? Well, we've got one of the IKEA bedside tables! I love it.

Favourite scent
Deep Night by Ghost... always always always!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Christmas 2017 Wishlist

Yes, it's only July... but I do love Christmas & a good wishlist! There's not too much on my list, but I'm sure I'll see more things that I want before long. I've compiled my list along with pictures and links to where you can  get them from... Hint hint Santa, hope you're reading this! I've been good (for the most part!)



One of my all-time favourite scents. Such a beautiful scent that lingers all day.

Yankee Candles are the best for giving off the nicest scents & these scents make their way through the whole house, making it smell absolutely yummy.

How adorable is this? I see it all over Instagram & I'm in love with it. With the amount of (usually-cold-by-the-time-I-get-to-it) coffee I drink, this would be perfect.

I actually want two of these for our bedroom, as our new place is coming together nicely. Our wardrobes & chest of drawers are white, so these would add the perfect finishing touch to our bedroom. We will hopefully have these before Christmas, but if we don't, they'll remain on my wishlist & hopefully Santa will be good to me!

I actually want everything 'Rose & Bee', but I would definitely have this mug saying Busy Bee, as the picture shows, because my fiancé calls me Bee/B & always says I'm a busy bee when I've been running around all day.

I haven't yet tried this, but I've heard it smells amazing, & I don't think I've ever been disappointed by a Yankee Candle.

I mean okay, you're probably like... what the f... but yes. I'm addicted to these. They're pretty hard to find in Ireland, unfortunately! I would take a lifetime supply of these babies any day.

Yes, more Rose & Bee... I sound so fuddy-duddy here, but I love a pretty oven glove... even though it gets destroyed eventually. This one is beautiful, & I guess I just want everything by Emma Bridgewater at this stage!

That's pretty much all that's on my Christmas list, apart from maybe a lottery win or a holiday to Santorini. However, I will settle for anything mentioned above.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Baby Products I'm Glad I Bought

Following on from my previous post Baby Products I Regret Buying, I said I would make a post with a list of things I'm glad I bought. Most of it is some of the usual things you'd get for a baby - maybe not necessities (mummy clip, nightlight etc), but to me, they've been a godsend. I would happily recommend any of them...


Grobags/sleep sacks
Pretty much baby sleeping bags, Grobags are a great alternative to blankets for babies. The clever design (neck hole & arm holes) means your baby can't wriggle down under blankets. Leighton has 4 Grobags, & they're a must-have! Our Grobag came with a nursery thermometer - just a cardboard one that stands up. It's so handy & the back of it tells you how to dress your baby for the certain temperatures. They're brilliant for keeping baby warm & means that as much as they kick, they'll still be kept warm as the bag still covers them. 

Bouncer
Our Finding Nemo bouncer has been a godsend for so long - it's vibrates & Leighton used to love it. He doesn't use the bouncer much now that he's bigger, but we got SO much use out of it. It calmed him down & he took most of his naps in it. I would definitely recommend them, as they're even brilliant for popping baby into while you get some housework done.

Activity jumper
I remember looking at Jumperoos & saying how expensive they were. We looked around & settled on the Baby Einstein Neighbourhood Friends Activity Jumper. Another godsend! Leighton has been using his for 7 months now & he's only now starting to grow out of it... literally - he's getting so tall! It's height adjustable too, but he's almost at the last height setting. There are lots of bright colours, music, some lights & grabby toys to keep your little one entertained whilst you get stuff done. 

Water wipes
Need I say more? So much better for baby skin than normal baby wipes & they clean just as well! I use them for a lot of things because they're so handy. A couple of months ago, we bought a box of 9 packs from Boots & soon enough, we'll need more! 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract.

Steriliser
I've read that some women just use boiling water or the dishwasher for their baby's bottles, then they're good to go... I used to pop mine in the dishwasher, then sterilise them - up until around 6 weeks ago. I felt I was okay to stop using the steriliser, & it's been fine. It put my mind at ease using it, knowing that Leighton's bottles were always sterilised & clean. I even went through a short time where I felt guilty for even thinking of stopping. But I did & my baby is fine.

Goldbug Mummy Clip
I'm not sure this is essentially a 'baby product', but it attaches to the handle of the pram/pushchair. It holds SO much stuff, & can take a lot of weight. Obviously not too much as I would fear the pram would topple over! It's a little life-saver of a gadget & has saved me many a sore arm after shopping in town!

Motorola Video Baby Monitor
I don't know where we'd be without this - not only can we hear Leighton when he's in bed, but we can also see him! When he fusses, we can tell if he genuinely wants us or if he's just getting comfy. We can also see him wriggling around & getting on all fours when he's supposed to be sleeping... cheeky sausage. We can safely keep an eye on him from wherever we are in the house. 

Fetal Doppler
We have this one & I SWEAR by it. It saved me a lot of panic during my pregnancy to know that I could just listen to my baby when I needed to be reassured that everything was okay. Hearing the heartbeat is surreal, such an amazing sound. 

ELC Otis Owl Nightlight
This toy is amazing. Bright light that changes colour with some actually nice music (I'm doing the tunes in my head now... damnit). Leighton loves it at bedtime & for travelling, but the only downside is that there's no volume control. This could prove difficult for some at bedtime, but Leighton's fine with it.

Sky Q
I know... you're probably like 'what the f**k?' but yes. Sky Q. Leighton loves Disney Junior, so we got the kids' channels on there. He also LOVES the Sky Q remote. No joke, you can hold it in front of his face & he will laugh at it - it's the cutest thing. Strange child! I've had to dig out the old Sky remote for him to play with... the giggles are unreal!

* * *

That's my list of things I'm glad I bought. There are of course other things, but these are the main ones & the ones that keep me sane. Overall, I would recommend all of these for first-time mamas!

Do you swear by any of these or have I mentioned things here that you went without? I'd love to hear what other mamas love...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Baby Products I Regret Buying

When I was pregnant, I remember thinking about everything we would need to get - changing table, clothes, shoes, baby carrier, Moses baskets, sheets, blankets, travel system, bouncer, cot... all that jazz! At times, it sent me into a panic because I worried that we wouldn't have it all before our bundle of joy made his arrival. I needn't have worried - we were so well prepared ages before he was due!

Ultimately though, I think it's the same for most first-time mamas; you think you need everything. You don't. You really don't. Some things double up for usage, which works out cheaper, & can be a godsend for saving space if it's something you're short of. We received some of these things & bought the rest ourselves. Everything got used, but some of it we could easily have managed without...


Changing table
My god, I had read SO many opinions on this. Did I need it? Could I do without? I had a couple of people tell me not to bother, & some SWORE by them saying it was their best purchase. But as it turned out, I barely bloody used mine! I don't use it for changing (I did once. ONCE.) I used it for storing Leighton's nappies & his bath stuff. I also use the bath from it. I could easily have done without the whole thing & just stored his nappies in a drawer. I could have bathed him in our own bath or the sink. When your baby needs changing, you'll change them wherever.

Baby shoes
Why? They can't walk or use them. Yes, they look adorably cute... but they'll get kicked off. You'll probably end up misplacing one at some stage too. Also, now that I think about it, it surely can't be comfortable for baby? Maybe I'm alone in thinking that. For my next baby, I wouldn't bother.

Moses basket
Ours is beautiful, & was gifted to us. It's just a shame it wasn't used for long at all. Leighton used his on & off for probably a month & sometimes for naps, but for the most part, he slept in his bouncer. He ended up sleeping in the carrycot part of his travel system until he went into his own room (& big boy cot!) at 4 months. For the first month, he could have stayed in the carrycot instead of the Moses basket - he much preferred it. 

Moses basket sheets
A pillow case does the same thing - pop the mattress in & tuck in all the sides. It's only a small expense, but it saves you buying something you don't need.

Chicco Baby Carrier
We decided to get this to 'use instead of the pushchair sometimes'. Psh. I mean we used it a few times for strolls, but I wouldn't say it was an investment at all, & was a pain to put on too. The pushchair comes everywhere with us, so we use that. Plus babies grow so fast, & our little chunk got heavier & heavier, so it put a strain on the back too. I think for next time, to babywear, I would try a baby sling - I'm not sure but it seems like the weight would be more evenly distributed.

Scratch mitts
Don't even bother. They get pulled/chucked off, and baby socks do just the same thing & stay on better.

* * *

There's nothing I wish I HAD bought, as Leighton is almost 10 months old now & has never needed or wanted for anything. However, you can never have too many clothes (neither can your baby, haha). It might surprise you how many clothes your baby gets through. Messy pups for such little things! Don't even get me started on food stains... just stock up on clothes for every age!

If you want to see the things I'm so glad I DID buy, you can read it all here!

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Review | Real Techniques Core Collection

I have been using my beauty sponge for ages now, & if you use them, you'll know that they tend to come away in little bits, which makes it look gross. Don't even get me started on cleaning them. Ugh. They work brilliantly, but they collect bacteria like nothing else.

It was actually my lovely friend Sarah who mentioned Real Techniques brushes ages ago. By chance, I saw them on sale online (they're even cheaper now, dammit), I ummed & ahhed for all of three seconds before ordering them *slaps wrist*. In my defence though, my beauty blender is gross and I've been using the same €4 ELF brush for a good 5 years now. Beautiful. It was definitely time for an upgrade. Yes, I am aware that this post is to actually review a product, yet here I am telling you my life story (not really though).

Let's just jump right into the review... NOW!


The set consists of a handy case & 4 full-size brushes, claiming to be your 'coverage essentials'. I absolutely love these brushes (well, most of them...) They're so soft, ultra lightweight and the bigger ones can even stand! The case stands too, so it's ideal for popping the brushes in after you have washed them, so they can dry upside down. I'm also a sucker for these handles, the orange colour is so beautiful!

The brushes are as follows, from left to right...
Contour Brush, Pointed Foundation Brush, Detailer Brush, Buffing Brush

Contour Brush
I love this brush for adding some nice definition to my cheekbones. You can use it for highlight too - I haven't done it yet as I have a separate brush just for that. This contour brush is the perfect shape for getting right into the hollows of the cheeks.

Pointed Foundation Brush
I'm undecided on this brush. I mean, when I received the set first, I tried it straightaway for my foundation. It was streaky when applying, but you can keep 'smoothing' it out with the brush & it ends up being a lovely application - it's just time consuming. It can take me a good 5 minutes just for foundation if I use this brush (it's never taken me that long before!) I now use this brush for my under eye concealer & it's perfect!

Detailer Brush
I use this brush for spot concealing & to apply my lipstick. It's just so teeny, which makes it perfect for small areas. I also use it to apply highlight onto my inner corners.

Buffing Brush
BEST BRUSH EVER! I absolutely love this for my liquid foundation. It offers amazing coverage & the soft bristles mean it's perfect for building coverage if needed. I also use it for my powder. Before I do this, I wipe off the excess liquid (which isn't hard as it doesn't absorb loads of product!). I pat on my powder with this to set the liquid foundation & concealer. It's lovely & dense.

* * *

I love this set so much. I got mine for €21.99, it's now on sale on Littlewoods for €17.99. I've seen it being sold for as much as €24.99. Still worth it, & is now big staple in my makeup kit. If you're thinking of buying them, do it. Don't think twice. They're amazing & I can't recommend them enough.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

What's In My Makeup Bag | July 2017

My makeup bag likes change, but when I find a proper 'favourite', it'll stay in my makeup bag (& collection!) for a long time. I'll repurchase until it's sold out or discontinued. I'm really happy with the contents of my makeup bag at the moment, & I don't see it changing anytime soon. I love these kind of posts, partly because I'm nosy & mostly because I love to see what other girls rate when it comes to beauty & makeup products.

I'll show you what I carry around in my makeup bag... but first, look at my makeup bag - I got it a million years ago (well, 5 years) in good old Claire's!


And the contents, obviously excluding my brushes..


* * * * *

Avon Magix Face Perfector
Oh, my little miracle worker. I love this primer. Makes up makeup last all day, & the primer itself feels so nice on the skin. I reviewed it years ago, & I still love it as much! I need to repurchase, but as Avon aren't in Ireland anymore, eBay is my only hope.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation
My new favourite foundation - I got a tiny tester in Debenhams weeks ago. The lady told me it would last for 10 days, but I wasn't convinced. I knew it was full coverage, but I was sceptical as to whether it would even cover my nose or not. Boy, was I wrong. A little goes a long way. I've just finished the tester & moved on to the bottle. It is amazing. My shade is 1W1 Bone because I'm so pale.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
This has been my favourite concealer forever now, so much so that I reviewed it years ago. It covers everything, & is a great price (when it's not sold out in Boots!) I'm in the shade Fair, because pale.

Maybelline Matte Maker Mattifying Powder
Setting powder... what more can I say? Perfect (pale) shade, mattifies my face & doesn't get oily. Perfect! The shade is 10 Classic Ivory.

Sleek Face Form palette
I bought this in Fair first time around (and obviously reviewed it). Fair was perfect, but since I feel like I've gotten better at contouring, when it came to repurchasing I picked up the palette in Light. I'm glad I did as the contour shade is better. I don't use the blush as it's got a shimmer. I normally love shimmer, but lately I've found it starting to 'remove' the makeup I've already applied. It's almost like the shimmer in the blush scrubs my makeup off, like it's too rough for my skin. I hope that makes sense!

Sleek Blush By 3 palette
This palettes is in Lace. I wouldn't have purchased it myself, but it came as part of a Christmas present. I like it though, although they're so pigmented, you need a really light-hand. I use the blush on the left (Chantilly), or the one on the right (Crochet). The middle one is a shimmer, which again I find scrapes my makeup off!

Arrow Enhance Waterproof Eyeliner
This pencil came as part of my June Birchbox, as I really like it. The shade is Bright Now, and it's perfect for opening my eyes & making me look more awake. And let me tell you, with a baby, that's always welcomed!

MeechNMia Browliner
This pencil was also part of my June Birchbox, & it's probably the best eyebrow pencil I've tried yet. The shade #022, is ideal for me. 

Mac Paint Pot
This shade is Painterly, & this is my all time favourite base. Doesn't crease, lasts all day & has lasted me forever.

Elf Eyelash Curler
This pretty little thing has seen better days. It's worse for wear now, & the spring is broken. It broke a few years ago, causing me to lose some lashes! I will pick up another one. At some stage. Maybe. I don't use this all the time, as my mascara curls my lashes. I tend to use this if I want a bit more lift in my lashes.

Sleek eyeshadow palette in Original
I love Sleek eyeshadow palettes, & this is one of my new favourites. I tend to mostly go for the rose gold colour, but definitely want to be more adventurous (with my makeup). Tut.

Sleek Dip-It eyeliner
The best liquid liner I've ever tried. This lasts all day & I find it much easier to apply than others. It doesn't transfer either, which is always a bonus!

L'ORÉAL Miss Baby Roll mascara
I saw this on the telly & immediately wanted to try it. I'm glad I did! It's now my go-to mascara, as it curls my lashes, holds the curl, doesn't flake & doesn't make my lashes clump.

* * * * *

As well as my makeup & brushes, I also carry around a pencil topper for my eyebrow & eye pencils. I hope you've enjoyed having a peek into my makeup bag - link yours below too, I love seeing what other girls are using!

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