Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Chloe's First Day At School

Last Wednesday Chloe had her first ever day at infant school! The last four and a half years have been such a blur. I originally started this blog as something enjoyable to do whilst adjusting to the drastic life changes that came with having a newborn. Now here I am writing blog posts when she's busy learning & playing at school. I never noticed how fast time flies until I had Chloe. It seems like only yesterday that she was unable to crawl, walk, talk, go to the toilet or feed herself but now she's such a big girl & I'm glad that I chose to stay at home so that I didn't miss a single thing. She was only in for the afternoon session on her first day so we had some time to do a quick photoshoot in the morning. I know everyone complains about parents clogging up their Facebook feed with pictures of their child but starting school is such an important milestone & it's been so lovely seeing all the kiddies we know dressed up in their uniforms. I think she looks beautiful & ever so smart in her school uniform. I had to hunt down bits & pieces of it whenever they were in stock over the Summer. The back to school rush is a total nightmare! The worst part was trying to buy school shoes as her feet are very small & narrow. Eventually we got this pair from Clarks although she was a bit broken hearted that all the Lelli Kelly shoes were too big for her feet!

Chloe has been ridiculously excited about starting school for ages now. Ever since she had her last day at preschool back in July she's been constantly asking if it was time to go to her new school yet. This was a day that we've all been looking forward to. She couldn't wait to make some new friends and really wants to learn to read & write properly. She had a little wobble the night before starting saying she was a bit scared & nervous but I knew she'd be alright. I've also been counting down the days as I'd developed a bit of cabin fever. I couldn't go to the gym or do anything I wanted to by myself all Summer long. Once your kids start preschool you get used to having a few hours of freedom each week so the Summer holidays were very tiring. As a parent you definitely have mixed emotions about your child starting school. I've always been overprotective of her & I'm uncomfortable with other people looking after her as I feel like they won't do as good a job as I do or won't care if she gets injured. You can't help but wonder... will they make any friends? Will they grasp what they're being taught quickly? Will they eat their school dinner? Will they manage to go to the toilet on their own? Will they be able to get changed into their PE uniform? There's so many things to think about & it's been quite overwhelming for both of us. I knew in my heart that Chloe would be able to do all of those things though as she's grown up to be such a such clever, friendly and well behaved little girl.

I did feel sad leaving my beautiful girl but I didn't cry & neither did she. Her face was beaming from the second we dropped her off to the second we picked her up. Her school doesn't have an attached preschool so she only knew about five other children in her class. I did worry about her settling in with so many new names & faces to learn. But she quite happily hung up her coat on her own peg & put her book bag in her drawer before quickly joining in with all the other boys & girls. Her teachers seem really lovely too so I'm sure they'll be fab with her. It felt strange going home to an empty house again. I tidied & cleaned the house but once I was done it was only about 2pm and I had no idea what to do with myself for another hour! I ended up sitting down and watching daytime TV for a bit, I can't even remember the last time that happened. I couldn't wait to go and pick her up from school. I gave her the biggest kiss & cuddle when she came out of her classroom door. I felt so happy to see her again & relieved that she had enjoyed herself as much as we had all hoped she would. She's been going for almost a whole week now & she's been happy at school every single day. She was a little bit disappointed when she found out that she couldn't go to school at the weekend! I always look forward to getting my little girl back at the end of the day & finding out what she's been up to. She's been coming home with loads of brilliant drawings & creations so I think her skills have improved already. I hope she continues to love the educational experience & makes lots of new friends there. I'm just so incredibly proud of her & will miss being with her all the time. I love my little Chloe girl so much!

On the Monday of the week she started we decided to have one final treat day together. We love our days out shopping & I'm sure we'll both miss being able to travel to different places on the train whenever we feel like it. We went off to Leeds for a meal at Yo! Sushi which is Chloe's favourite restaurant. We've been there so many times together now that she can even use the adult chopsticks properly! Then we popped into The Entertainer & I bought her a cuddly Fluttershy from My Little Pony. House Of Fraser kindly sent over a voucher so that I could treat Chloe to some new clothes. I let her have free reign in their Leeds store and she chose this adorable pink kitten jumper by Billieblush. I love the cute little bow on the tail! She's a fashion blogger in the making haha!

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Friday, 5 September 2014

Bleach London Rose Shampoo & Conditioner

Bleach London Rose Shampoo / Bleach London Rose Conditioner

Bleach London & I had a pretty rocky start to our relationship to say the least. I remember being so excited about the launch of their dyes into Boots last October... and then the horrendous purple/blue/green mess of Parma Violets happened which stayed in my hair for six. whole. months. Since then I've come to realise that if you ignore the terrible quality of their dyes then they actually make some brilliant & fairly cheap haircare products. They recently brought out a few new additions to their range including their Rose shampoo & conditioner. I always find myself going back to a pink tint when I get my hair toned so I figured I'd give them a whirl. Although it's super easy to whack a blob of dye into whichever shampoo & conditioner you're currently using (and I would recommend doing that to prolong the colour of any dye job) these are the first pink toned haircare products on the market. They're also very convenient, readily available & only cost £6 per bottle.

I really like the formula of these products. The shampoo cleanses well & the conditioner is incredibly nourishing. I have to commend Bleach London on how soft their products make my hair feel & how shiny my hair looks afterwards. If you already have pink hair then these can be used to intensify the colour. I never got round to using my Rose dye but other reviews I read seemed to mention how quickly that particular dye faded. These would be perfect for topping up that colour and making your hair look more even toned. In fact I would recommend just using these for all over colour instead of bothering with their pink dye at all. On light blonde hair this duo gives a hint of a tint that can be built up by washing with them continuously. You don't need to use them together either. I started off just using the conditioner & that alone imparted a soft pink tone to my hair. If you're a bit nervous about dyeing your hair a weird colour then these would be a great way of easing yourself into the world of pastel locks. Above you can see how my hair looks after just two washes with both the shampoo & conditioner. I'm very pleased with the results & I'm loving my hair colour at the minute. Apparently they can also knock out any green tones that you might've developed from using some of Bleach London's dodgier products. If only they'd brought these out last year eh?

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Monday, 1 September 2014

August Favourites

Bourjois Instant Dry Nail Drops
The last time I went to the hairdressers I discovered that they had set up a DIY nail bar so that you could spruce up your nails whilst waiting for your colour to develop. It's such a genius idea & I had a lot of fun playing with all the products. I'd never tried nail drying drops before but one use was enough to convert me. At the salon I used the Essie Quick-E Fast Drying Drops but when I went to Boots afterwards I spotted this Bourjois version which was a bit cheaper. This product is basically a clear liquid that you drip onto your nail beds with the pipette to dry them off in a matter of seconds. I never have time to sit around waiting for my nails to dry properly so products like this are essential to me. I use a couple of drops per nail to make sure that everything has been covered & my polish dries off super fast. The oily texture also nourishes your nails & cuticles so it's a brilliant way to finish off your manicure.

Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer
I absolutely adore Bumble & Bumble's Hairdressing Invisible Oil. It makes such a difference to my damaged hair. That magical blend of coconut, sweet almond, grapeseed, safflower seed, macadamia nut & argan oils literally works miracles. Bumble & Bumble recently expanded this line by bringing out three new products. I think that their shampoos & conditioners are way too expensive but their styling products are little bit more affordable. I recently got the new Invisible Oil Primer for my birthday and I was instantly wowed by how much softer, shinier & generally more amazing it made my hair. This product has such a huge list of benefits, it basically does it all! It's main use is to offer protection against heat & UV damage, thus reducing breakage. A few spritzes of this lovely light mist all over my hair helps to detangle, soften, defrizz & tame flyaways. My hair is so much more manageable & easy to style. It totally transforms dry & dull hair and I don't think I could give up using this product anytime soon. I'm not sure whether I prefer this or the original oil but you'll probably get on better with the primer if you have very fine or greasy hair.

Lush African Paradise Body Conditioner
There's nothing better than a trip to Lush when you're in need of some quick pampering. One of my favourite treats are their body conditioners. I can hardly ever be bothered to moisturise my body when I get out of the shower so I prefer to rehydrate my skin when I'm still in the bathroom. After washing your body you simply massage this creamy concoction all over & then rinse it off. This conditioner is made from an indulgent blend of shea butter and cocoa butter along with almond oil, moringa oil & marula oil to deeply moisturise the skin. It feels so wonderfully hydrating without leaving any greasy residue. Lush have also included mango juice to brighten the skin and aloe vera to cool & soothe. It makes my skin feel softer than ever before & imparts a beautiful sheen that makes my limbs look nicely toned. Best of all this stuff smells absolutely incredible & the tropical scent stays on your skin all day long. African Paradise is probably one of Lush's most expensive products but by golly it's good!

Mavala Double-Lash
I'm forever trying out new lash growth products as I feel like my eyelashes aren't quite as long & lustrous as they once were. My mascara picking habit certainly doesn't help things as I often get unsightly gaps along my lashline. Some of the ingredients found in these kind of products can be quite scary & expensive to boot. I prefer to use things with natural active ingredients like Talika Lipocils & Indeed Labs Peptalash. I've always heard amazing things about this Mavala offering & it soon managed to find it's way into my shopping basket. I've been using this every morning before mascara & every night before bed for the past month. As a result my lashes are looking much fuller & thicker. They seem a bit stronger now too as I haven't had as many come out when picking off mascara. I wouldn't say they look much longer but I feel like their overall condition has definitely improved. The mascara wand style applicator is much better than those thin eyeliner brush style ones. It thoroughly coats each lash & can be used on eyebrows too.

Skinbreeze Blemish Fix*
I love dual-purpose products and that's why I can't get enough of this Blemish Fix serum from Skinbreeze. The combination of hyaluronic acid with salicylic acid is a dream come true for acne sufferers. This light watery serum will help to rehydrate your skin & fight blemishes at the same time. Salicylic acid exfoliates inside your pores, unclogging them to reveal clearer skin. It also has anti-inflammatory & mild antibacterial benefits. Regular use of a BHA product can reduce oil production but one downside is that it can also dry out the skin. That's why this serum is so lovely to use as the hyaluronic acid stops your skin from getting dry. Blemish Fix also contains seaweed extract to help soothe the skin. It's a very gentle yet incredibly effective way of clearing up blemishes. I normally use this serum in the morning before my moisturiser as I use an AHA in the evening. I like that I can use this under my makeup as way of fighting spots throughout the day. It's the kind of thing that would make a wonderful addition to any skincare routine.

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