Top Beauty Picks: The Spring Edit

My bulging drawers and overflowing bathroom cabinets are testament to the fact that I can’t resist trying out new beauty treats. There are a handful of products that I go back to time and time again but for the most part, I do like to swap and change my beauty routine. Mornings for me are usually quite rushed. Getting four children (and a forty five year old man) up and out every morning is no easy feat so I don’t have time to play but I never ever neglect my basic routine. In fact, I think when you are rushing around like a headless chicken it’s even more important to have some sort of basic beauty routine in place. For example, I can put my face on in ten minutes flat. Bish bash bosh.

In the evenings though when the little ones are finally asleep, my favourite treat is a long uninterrupted soak in the bath and a bit of pamper time. I always paint my nails on an evening too so that they are perfect for the next day. That said, I have been known to chip my nails in my sleep. I can be utterly useless as this whole being a girl thing but it doesn’t stop me trying. I’m not sure what it says about me that I take longer getting ready to go to bed than I do getting ready to face the day? Don’t answer that! Ha! Today though I wanted to share with you some of my favourite beauty products right now.

Beauty Picks (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

First up we have L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology shampoo and conditioner. I bought these on the recommendation of beauty legend Sali Hughes. I don’t think I have ever not loved anything that she has recommended to be fair but this stuff is amazing. It really does fulfill its promise to make your hair thicker from the very first wash. It also makes my hair incredibly shiny I love it. I must have at least five different lots of shampoos and conditioners cluttering up my shelves at the moment and this knocks the socks off the lot of them.

Beauty Picks (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Next we have this gorgeous Leighton Denny nail varnish in Leading Lady. My nails are nothing but red over the winter months so switching to a more neutral pallette always comes as a bit of a shock to the system I never recognise my own hands at first. But actually I love this muted lilac tone and it is perfect for spring days. Leighton Denny polishes are always so lovely to apply too I love this.

Beauty Picks (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Now I won’t bore you yet again by telling you just how much I love Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish but oh my godfathers I LOVE LIZ EARLE CLEANSE & POLISH! Seriously, it’s a complete life changer, or at least face changer. This is one thing that I can never ever run out of. The best cleanser ever. Then we have the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. I don’t think I have ever tried a Caudalie product that I didn’t love but this serum is just lovely. I apply it before my moisturiser and seriously, it’s like an extra hours sleep in a tube. Love it. And that brings me to Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. A bit of a mouthful of a name granted but it really does what it says on the pot. It is a really light formula but yet still a really rich moisturiser. My face loves this stuff and drinks it up. Clinique was the first ‘proper’ make-up counter I ever visited as a teenager and I think I will always have a soft spot for their products. And their Bonus Time of course. Get in.

I was trying to make this a nice snappy ‘top five’ type post but it ended up being more of a top six after much much much rounding down and that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? Picking favourites is just too hard sometimes! So tell me, what are some of your favourites right now?

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P.S. Such is the madness of blogging I feel the need to disclaim that I have nothing to disclaim. I have not been provided with any of these products for the purpose of this post, they came directly from my bathroom cabinet and make-up bag. So yeah. Ahem.

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17 today!

17 today!

My boy is 17 today!

As if turning 38 the other day didn’t make me feel old, this makes me feel positively ancient. How I have managed to keep another human alive for 17 whole years is beyond me. And hopefully without too many stories to tell his shrink and mostly in one piece. Not bad going considering. We have only ever made three trips to A&E in 17 years of parenting and they have all been with my son. Once for a mangling his foot in the crosstrainer *boak* and twice for breathing difficulties that turned out to be thankfully nothing more serious than a very bad chest infection. Terrifying at the time mind. He has without doubt been the one to keep us on our toes every step of the way. But we have made it. All the way to 17.

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I have to confess that the teenage years haven’t been half as bad as I imagined. Don’t get me wrong, we have had our moments. And when parents of teenagers joke about killing their children, they’re not always joking. Trust me on that. But hairy bits aside (and no doubt there will be even hairier times to come yet) I am actually loving where we are right now. The thing about teenagers is that the lows are lower than low but the highs are higher than high and somehow make all the hard bits worth while. I think it’s unfair that teenagers get such a hard time, they’re not all bad. In fact they can be all kinds of awesome. Especially mine.

17 today! (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

In the last year I have seen him mature so much and it makes my heart swell with pride. This time last year he was being dragged kicking and screaming through his GCSEs but it all came good in the end. He joined sixth form and made choices that I didn’t necessarily think were the best but it was one of those hard times where I had to let him get on with it. He had a really wobbly start and the last thing he needed to hear was I told you so but he did need an ear to listen to his moans and I gladly gave one. I also doled out gentle sometimes-you-have-to-make-the-best-of-bad-decisions speeches and promised him that decisions made at this age don’t have to dictate the rest of his life. He just has to see this very short time as a means to an end to go on to do whatever it is that he decides to do. And do you know what? He muddled through that sticky start and has completely turned a corner now. His parents’ evening a few weeks ago was outstanding. I mean like jaw droppingly are-you-sure-you-have-the-right-child outstanding. He’s expected to do really well in his upcoming AS Level exams and I really hope he does because he has worked so hard.

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I could lament the passing of the years and all those clichés are true about the years disappearing in the blink of an eye. It only feels like yesterday that I was ten days overdue and crying because my pyjamas would no longer fasten and I was quite certain that I was going to be the first woman in history to be pregnant forever. But actually there is something about reaching this point that is really quite exciting. My boy, my gorgeous gorgeous boy is on the cusp of becoming a truly awesome grown up and actually I don’t want to turn back the clock or for it even to stand still. I want to meet the man that he is about to become. Besides, he might be taller than me but he will always be my baby. Happy birthday son.

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The one where I’m back on the wagon

Last summer I was exercising most days and absolutely loving it. It’s so much easier to jump out of bed and grab those dumbbells in summer, isn’t it? And actually the more I exercised, the better I felt and the better I felt the more energy I had. It’s such a great feeling. Losing weight meant that I had so much more energy and I wasn’t exercising to lose more weight, I was doing it because it made me feel great. I’m sure it did help me to lose an extra inch or three along the way but that really wasn’t why I was doing it.

(Mostly) Yummy Mummy BlogThis whole healthy lifestyle thing was never about a quick fix for me it was about taking proper care of my tired old body forever more. The numbers on the scales and the tape measure became less and less important. Sure, it felt good seeing the inches drop away on the outside but what became even more important was how I was feeling inside. Fitter. Stronger. Healthier.

So actually when I fell off the exercise wagon in about November last year, I didn’t beat myself up about it because I knew that I would be back to it one day. I was struck by lurgy after lurgy last winter it was just one thing after another. A lingering cold in November turned into laryngitis seeing me lose my voice completely (much to my childrens’ amusement I might add) I was then floored by full blown flu which saw me bed ridden in December. So not surprisingly I wasn’t really up for exercising, I could hardly lift up a cup of Lemsip never mind a dumbbell. Then came January in all its freezing gloominess and I guess as easy as I had fallen into the exercising pattern, I had fallen out of it.

But then by around March time, I was suddenly feeling a bit more alive again. Hello sunshine aren’t you just the best?! And I found myself raring to go again. I knew I would at some point. Maybe if I had seen myself gain weight I might have been back to it sooner, who knows but actually I’ve still steadily been losing weight. Just a pound a month which might not sound worth noting but proportionately, that’s great. I’m less than my target weight now and feeling better than ever so I couldn’t be happier.

I only weigh and measure myself once a month now and really just as a formality. Having only quite recently lost a lot of weight I still feel the need to keep an eye on it even though I know from the way that I feel that I have nothing to worry about. It sounds silly and I’m sure that one month I’ll forget to do it altogether and that will be the end of that. But I can’t help thinking though that had I kept a tiny eye on the scales a couple of years ago then I might not have piled on all of that weight in the first place so it’s maybe not a bad thing. But I digress. I’m back on the exercise wagon and it feels great. Like really great! There’s nothing quite like the smugness that comes from diving out of bed while the rest of the house sleeps to throw myself around to my Davina DVD. Love it.  L O V E  I T. 

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The one where I will never be this young again

It’s my birthday tomorrow and I have to confess that I’m not very big on birthdays. Other peoples birthdays I love. Mine? Not so much. But actually Timehop threw up an old blog post from five years ago today that really did make me smile and made me realise that maybe birthdays aren’t so bad after all.

Happy birthday Mummy Emma Bridgewater mug (Mostly) Yummy Mummy BlogI was whining (as I often did five years ago – surprise surprise!) about the fact that I was about to turn thirty three. THIRTY THREE! I was just a baby! That whole confidence thing that kicks in in your thirties clearly hadn’t quite happened yet. Although with me I’d say that it was more of an ability to give less of a fig than a confidence thing. Or maybe they’re the same thing? But anyway that whole ‘your thirties are the best years of your life’ thing still hadn’t quite clicked for me. At that point it all felt like a big fat fib.

All of those magazine articles that I had read over the previous ten years promised me that turning thirty would be like a magic wand. All of those insecurities that hampered my twenties would vanish overnight. But they didn’t, clearly. I was still waiting for everything to click into place at thirty three but I can’t even remember feeling this way now. Looking back, I can’t pinpoint when that whole thing happened but I suspect that it was more of a gradual process than the BOOM! that the magazine articles once promised me. And sitting here at almost thirty eight, I’m very much in the ‘the thirties are the best days of your life’ camp. Well they are definitely my best yet anyway. Funny, isn’t it?

I still stand by the fact that age is just a number though. It really is just a number. It doesn’t actually make me feel any older that’s for sure. I don’t think I’ll ever feel my age. I mean thirty eight sounds positively ancient, doesn’t it? Especially compared to my whines about turning thirty three for goodness sake. How can I possibly be thirty eight? But actually I’ve realised that most people never quite feel old enough to be a grown up. We’re all making it up as we go along and playing along at this whole being a grown up lark. And that’s okay. In fact I’m totally okay with the fact that so many other people feel just as unqualified to be a grown up as I do.

So tomorrow might happen to be my birthday but it is just another day. I will wake up technically a day older, not a whole year older. But just like any other day, I hope I will have a nice day. Mr Mostly has taken the day off work (he didn’t even take his own birthday off work!) so I’m thinking that actually it is already set to be a very nice day. There are plans for shopping and burgers and cake. And candles that lie and say that I’m twenty seven again. It’s a bit of a standing joke now that I never admit to my real age and one that has been baffling my nine year old daughter now that she can actually work out the maths. But actually I’m okay with the fact that I’m thirty eight. Honestly and truly. I’m old enough to know that I’ll never be this young again for starters and that in five years time, I’ll be looking back on this and wishing that I was only thirty eight! Ha!

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Disney On Ice Presents Magical Ice Festival 

Get ready to enter a world of enchantment as Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring the most magical moments from across the Disney kingdom to the UK in Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival. 

In a new twist on fairytale fun, comical segments from everyone’s favourite Disney characters set the scene for the show stopping on ice stories of princesses Ariel, Rapunzel and Belle. Plus, enjoy a special appearance by Anna and Elsa from the number one animated feature film of all time Frozen. 

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Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival is appearing across the UK from 11th March – 17th May in Aberdeen, Liverpool, Glasgow, Birmingham, London, Cardiff, Nottingham and Leeds. 

We have been invited to go along next month to review the new show here on my blog so watch this space for further details. I don’t know who is more excited, me or my little girls! In the meantime though, you can click here for ticket details and show times.

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Spring is in the air

There is something so lovely about realising that spring might finally be in the air. That first day when you feel like somebody has finally remembered to turn on the light after months of grey and gloom. It’s like a reward for surviving those intolerably long and dark winter months.

Spring has sprung (Mostly) Yummy Mummy BlogThere is nothing quite like a bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds to cheer up the soul even if there is a slight nip in the air. In fact, I quite like that nip. Bright and fresh and cheery. And that first evening when you come to serve dinner and realise with a smile that it is still light outside. When did that happen? I’m sure it was pitch black at this time last week?

Better days are coming. Spring is most definitely in the air. And of course while I am feeling brave about daring to bare a little ankle, there are those people already out in their shorts. It’s not that warm people. I have seen more pasty white flesh and bad tattoos than I ever needed to in the last week or so. And don’t even get me started on those girls with brown legs that go on forever. Where have they been hiding all winter to look like that? 

Spring has sprung (Mostly) Yummy Mummy BlogI love how our Easter break has fallen this year though. It is such a lovely feeling knowing that we still have another whole week off school. One week off school is never quite enough but this two week holiday really does feel like a lovely long time. The teens are knee deep in revision and have both been in school on the odd day for extra study groups so there was no chance of us getting away. Plus Mr Mostly is ridiculously busy at the moment. (When isn’t he with three businesses plus a new shop? It’s not unusual for him to work seven days a week right now!) But the children having two whole weeks holiday means that he has time to wiggle things around a little and take some time off so that in between the teens’ studies, we can have some much needed family days out.

I actually think there’s a lot to be said for the children having time just to be. Free of rigid school timetables and without the stress of having four different children in four different places five days a week. Time to just potter at home and watch a DVD with a Lindt bunny. Making the most of the very welcome arrival of spring means blowing off the cobwebs from the outdoor toys and being out in the fresh air riding their bikes. Having two weeks off means you have time to have those busy days out but plenty more lazy days off too. It’s nice to finally have time to find that balance and just to see where the day takes you. Unlike weekends where you find yourself having to cram everything in and ending up more exhausted than you started. I feel like we can suddenly breathe again. And I really rather like it.

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Limited Edition Tatler Birchbox up for review

I was so excited when I heard that Birchbox had partnered with the national treasure magazine that is Tatler. This limited edition box celebrates their new supplement ‘The Best of British’ and working alongside Tatler’s Beauty Editor Francesca White, Birchbox bring you her personally chosen selection of British brands which showcase the best that our homegrown beauty talent has to offer.

Limited Edition Tatler Birchbox up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Limited Edition Tatler Birchbox up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

First of all, this months Birchbox comes with an exclusive introductory offer to subscribe to Tatler for only £12. For 12 print plus 12 iPad and iPhone editions of Tatler magazine, quite frankly it would have been rude not to take advantage of such an amazing offer. I couldn’t sign up fast enough! So what else is in the box I hear you cry? Well I think that this is quite possibly my favourite box ever! The goodies in this special limited edition Birchbox originate from far and wide in our green and pleasant land and boy oh boy are you in for a treat.

Limited Edition Tatler Birchbox up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

We have the London based Aromatherapy Associates Renewing Rose Body Cream. I love all things rose scented so this was always going to be a huge hit with me but it truly is an indulgent blend of rose, shea butter and evening primrose. It is also a very generous 40ml sample size. Next we have the Percy and Reed London Big, Bold and Beautiful Dry Instant Volumising Spray which I believe is a full sized sample. This next generation of dry shampoo lifts and swells hair for beautiful volume. Then all the way from Somerset we have the Dr Jackson’s Natural Products Face Oil 03. I am absolutely obsessed with face oils and this stuff is amazing. Just a couple of drops morning and night after cleansing nourish, smooth and improve skin tone with this 100% natural antioxidant packed oil.

Next we have the Bamford Body Wash in geranium, lavender and peppermint from The Cotswolds which smells amazing. It lathers really well too so a little goes a long way I found. Then we have quite possibly my favourite treat of all this month of the Liz Earle Beauty Co Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and Muslin Set. It really is a complete game changer (or face changer at least!) and well worth it’s cult status. I love trying out different products but this is one thing that I come back to time and time again. Now last but by no means least we have the Ciate London Paint Pot. This is one of my very favourite nail varnish brands ever. Not only is the bottle impossibly pretty but the varnish itself is just so lovely to apply and I find them really long lasting. And I say this as someone who can chip her nails in her sleep, trust me!

I must have tried every subscription box under the sun but I have to say that Birchbox is head and shoulders above the rest for me. I love that their limited edition boxes are something to get really excited about. And for just £10 a month it is such a lovely treat not to mention a great way to get to try and enjoy so many new products. Have you subscribed yet?
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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was very kindly sent this limited edition Tatler Birchbox free of charge

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