Monday, 31 August 2015

Rimmel Wonder'Full Mascara : Review

Whenever I need a new mascara, I always feel really overwhelmed by how much choice there actually is.  All mascara's pretty much promise to give you the lashes you have been dreaming of.  They will volumize, thicken, lengthen, sculpt, even do your ironing (well maybe not, but you get my point).  I can spend a considerable amount of time umming and ahhing over a new mascara purchase.  My go to high end mascara has to be YSL's shocking mascara which is just amazing.  But when my purse won't stretch that far and I need a drug-store version, I always seem to find myself in front of Rimmel's counter.  But again, they have such a choice of mascara's that I always feel it's a bit of a random decision with whichever mascara I come home with. 

Recently I picked up Rimmel's Wonder'Full mascara with added argan oil. First of all, the promises.  With no mention of doing my ironing, it does state it will leave lashes feeling conditioned and soft, with no clumps, but lots of volume. So does it? 

I have to say this is a really lovely mascara.  It applies really easily, has a large brush which is perfect for adding volume, and it actually feels like it glides onto your lashes.  And the result?  Lengthened and volumized lashes.   

Now I'm no fool, it could totally be the placebo effect here, that because I'm thinking that there is argan oil in the product, I'm convincing myself that my lashes are looking smoother.  But I really think they are.  The consistency of this mascara is really smooth and it does feel almost conditioning. You can build up the mascara for a more dramatic effect and it really stays put once you have applied it.  No panda eyes here. I also found that the mascara was easily removable and I didn't need to rub at my eyes to get it off. 

I'm really happy with the results and all for £7.99? Bargain. 

This may not be a ground breaking mascara.  It basically makes your lashes look lovely and I'd highly recommend giving it a go if you find yourself becoming hypnotised by the sheer choice of mascara's out there. Oh, and if I do find that mascara that does your ironing, I will be sure to post it here first!!

I hope all of my UK readers are having a lovely bank holiday, 

See you on Wednesday,  

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Friday, 28 August 2015

Pregnancy Blog: Week 29

I have come to the conclusion that a week of my pregnancy blog doesn't seem to go by without some sort of drama.  From a bad experience at pregnancy yoga to thinking I was in labour.  Now not to give you the wrong impression that something drastic happens every week, on the whole, I feel really well, and to look at me you'd think I had it all together (looks can be deceiving!).  But having said all of that, my week 29 hasn't exactly been quiet.  (Enter pregnancy hormones). 

Hormone example number 1: last night I shed a tear over not having any nice clothes to wear (erm, I have) and that I look awful in everything (erm, I don't). As well as crying over something as stupid and trivial as that, I've been feeling really tired. This then makes me feel guilty for not having the energy to play with my three year old.  

Hormone example number 2: yesterday, I could have just slept all afternoon, and no amount of decaf tea or chocolate could perk me up. It was also a day that my daughter felt the need to be at my side every single second.  At one point she was watching me lying on the bed, and I just thought how terrible I am that I can't be bothered to play with her. 

Of course, I completely overlooked the fact that we had been painting in the morning, I'd taken her to a play area and sand pit the day before, and we had done some baking the day before that.  Oh no, in my hormonal state, I do most things wrong, then cry about them, oh, including being the worst mother ever.  My ability to rationalise has definitely gone out of the window this week.  

Hmmmm, this blog may be reading a tad more dramatic than I had envisaged!!! But this is meant to be an honest account of my pregnancy, so I feel it's important to share. These little hiccups aside, I'm well and baby is well and that's all that really matters. 

I can't believe that in one weeks time, I will only have ten weeks left!!!! That sounds like so so little time.  And I STILL haven't finished my labour book!!!! 

Thanks for reading, 

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

5 things never to say to a pregnant lady

As soon as you announce that you are pregnant, it would appear that the general universe loses any sense of political correctness or common sense when they talk to you. In fact, I would go as far to say that when I'm pregnant, people say the downright weird and bizarre to me.  Today I thought I would share my top five favourites of things you should NEVER say to a pregnant lady, and suitable alternatives which you might find useful should you encounter when a lady with a bump!  

"Replace "you look like a cave woman who hasn't slept in weeks" with, "wow you looking amazing, you're glowing!". 

1. "You look really really *big*" 
*Here you can replace the word big with any given adjective that suggests the size of their bump isn't normal, i.e, small, tiny, huge, enormous, gargantuan. 
Indeed, the size of the bump is the centre of much debate. But guess what? It's as big as it's meant to be! Pregnancy is so individual and so are bump sizes.  Try instead saying, "Wow, what a lovely bump you have there. You look amazing!". 

2. "Do you think you're having twins?" 
Please see above for why this is statement is unacceptable, you may as well ask if she is birthing an elephant. Try replacing with,"Wow, you look amazing with such a perfect bump".

3. "Are you excited??"
I really can't figure out the answer that a person is trying to get from you here. Do they expect you to say no and then launch into a story of how un-excited you are????? Best not even mention this ridiculous statement and just go with, "Wow, you are looking great today!". 

4. "Was it a surprise?"
Ahhh, this old chestnut.  I've never been asked this one personally, but I've heard other people ask it so many times.  What they may as well ask is if you were taking birth control or was the birth the result of a random and unexpected night of passion.  Fair enough if your mum or best friend asks you, but the woman who barely talks to you at playgroup, asking you over the play-dough table? Erm nope. Again, polite etiquette is to smile politely and say, "Pregnancy really suits you.  Kim K has nothing on you". 

5. "You should really get your sleep in now".
This statement works on the theory that you can somehow 'bank' sleep now and then utilise these extra hours when you need it most.  Yeah right.   have you tried to sleep with a bowling ball to one side of you and needing to pee at least 5 times a night.  Best to simply smile, keep your sleep advice to yourself and say, "Wow, you're looking amazing today!". 

I'm sure there are so many more that I could add to the list, but these are the ones at the top of my list. I know the majority of people mean no harm at all when they say the above things, but it makes me feel better to have a good giggle at how ridiculous some can sound!

Have you heard any funny pregnant comments? Or are you guilty of saying any of the above? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, 

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Monday, 24 August 2015

Soap & Glory Archery : Review

I always used to use a shadow and brush to shape and define my eyebrows as I felt that sometimes pencils could leave you with eyebrows that resembled being 'drawn on' and not be very natural looking.  But, as I was going to be doing alot of travelling earlier this year, I thought I would give an eyebrow pencil another ago for ease and quickness of use on my travels. Enter Soap and Glory's Archery brow tint and precision shaping pencil. 

This product isn't really an eyebrow pencil at all in the traditional sense.  The product has two ends which do two different things to your brows. 

On one end is a wet-feel tinted brush that you apply first to fill in any areas on your eyebrows.  When I first applied this, I didn't think any of the product was coming out as it felt so light, but that's the beauty of it because it is so light and natural looking, and there is a subtle difference. 

After applying this, you then apply the other end of the pencil which is like a waxy crayon.  You further shape and fill your brows and the crayon nicely fills them out, without being too heavy or dark. 

I love the overall effect of this product, as my brows still look like mine, just that bit better and fuller.  The product last all day on my brows, and its so quick and simple to use, really anyone could apply this and not go wrong. 

The pencil comes in two shades, Love Is Blonde, which I use, and a darker Brownie Points. The pencil is £10 from Boots and is normally in a 3 for 2 offer, so it might be worth treating yourself to some other bits from the collection! Here you can read my review on their sexy mother blusher

Thanks for reading, 

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Friday, 21 August 2015

Pregnancy Blog: Week 28

I am officially now in the third trimester! Woop woop! There appears to be some debate as to when you are actually in your third and final trimester (!), but I think the consensus appears to be that by the time you are in your 28th week, you've reached the trimester milestone.  So hello third and final trimester! Eeek! 

Baby feels really huge at the moment, though I know he or she can't be that big yet, but they are the biggest wriggler ever. Come 7pm baby appears to have a disco hour marathon, and waves every part of its little body.  You can actually see my whole stomach moving and baby really kicks out if you put a hand on my stomach.  I really can't remember my daughter being this active.  I've read that the wake / sleep cycles baby has now are most likely the ones baby will have once they are born.  All I can say is we are going to be very busy in the evenings!

I thought I was going into labour on Monday night as all day I had what felt like Braxton Hicks, and then in the evening, my stomach kept feeling like it was going really tight and crampy.  Always the one not to panic, my imagination ran wild as I am so not ready AT ALL for baby to come, I mean I haven't even finished reading my labour book!  

I went to bed super early and then on Tuesday I felt lots better. Someone told me that your Braxton Hicks are much stronger in your second pregnancy?!? I'm not sure what it was, but I'm glad baby is comfortable and happy where he or she is for now! 

I had my 28 week midwife appointment this week and all was well.  Baby is lying across my stomach in a little hammock shape, which may explain my continued rib pain.

So other than me panicking about labour, having rib pain and disco hour, all is well and I think this month is where I am going to get a bit more organised and finish decorating the nursery.  I also need to send my husband to the depths of the loft for the mountain of baby items that I'm sure are up there!

I've had people say some very funny things to me recently, so be sure to keep an eye out for a post next week of what NOT to say to a pregnant lady! 

Thanks for reading and hope you have a lovely weekend, 

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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Can you blog with an anonymous family?

Right before I started my blogging journey, my husband and I sat down and discussed if he wanted to feature on my blog at all.  His immediate response was 'no way', and he has never really changed his mind. Whilst he is happy for me to blog away about our family life, he is quite clear that he doesn't want his name or any pictures of him being posted (except a cheeky one of his legs that I sneaked past him last month!).  Also, just a disclaimer, this may read like my husband is a world famous celebrity and we need to keep his identity hidden, but he isn't. 

We both also discussed the possibility of my daughter's picture being on the blog, and again, for various reasons he really wasn't comfortable with the idea.  So aside from some back of the head shots and a picture where my daughter is incognito and dressed up, my family is a pretty big question mark over at Laura Evelyn Bee.  It makes me wonder if I'm missing out? Am I going against the blogger grain? 

I only have to scroll through my Blogger or Instagram feed, and I see and read about other blogger's families.  I admire their children's style or their tantrum antics captured for all to see.  I love seeing such personal posts and seeing children growing and proud parent blog posts. I never judge anyone else for including pictures of their little ones, and in fact, I love reading their posts.

Part of me thinks that people connect so much with blogs because they really give you an insight into someone else's life.  Can people even get an insight and connect with my blog with such an anonymous family? 

I also think from a brand point of view, that with an anonymous family, I am very unlikely to be picked by any major brands.  But then I guess, that's not why I started blogging.  I started blogging for me, to be creative and try something new. 

Blogging was and is something that I am passionate about, and I feel that neither my husband nor my daughter have made that decision.  It is only right that I respect their privacy while I happily snap away. And we are both parents. It really isn't my decision to make alone. My husband has to be 100% happy too. 

So for now, I will continue with my daughter's cheeky face being unknown and my husband being a complete mystery.  I hope my words and stories are strong enough for now to paint the picture of my everyday life and being a mum. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  Are you a blogger who shares pictures of your children? Was it something you ever discussed with your partner?  Do you think you can blog with an anonymous family?

Thanks for reading, 

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Gro-Clock: Review

I am always on the look out for little bits of kit that make life with a toddler that bit easier.  From a foldaway potty to a foldaway pushchair, I am on it.  So when I saw a Gro-Clock in my local Boots store, which promises to help with your child's sleep, I thought I'd give it a go and see if it had any effect on my three year old.

Whilst my daughter has never been a particularly bad sleeper, over the last few months she has been waking up earlier and earlier. 6am, I can just about cope with.  But 5.30am? That to me is technically still night-time.  

The premise of the Gro-Clock is that young children cannot yet tell the time, so the clock consists of a sun and stars electric face that you program so your child knows when it is time to wake up and get out of bed.  

You program a bedtime, say, 7pm, and a big star appears on the clock surrounded by 12 other stars.  You then set the clock to the time you want your child to wake up, say midday, only joking, say 7am, and then as the night progresses the stars slowly disappear and a sun appears at 7am. This teaches your child that if they wake in the night or early morning, they can check their clock and know if it is time to get up.

Now, to be completely honest, this is not going to change your early riser or poor sleeper into a 12 hour sleeper overnight.  This is not a miracle product.  But, this product is great for introducing the concept of night and day and when to actually get up.  The clock comes with a little story that you read to your child so they understand a bit more about the clock and how it works. 

When we first got the clock, for the first week my daughter stayed in bed once or twice until 7am and the rest of the mornings she just ran into our bedroom at 6am shouting she 'hadn't waited for the sun' (sigh).  But, I have persisted, and now for most mornings, she will wait until she sees the sun appear to come into our bedroom. 

I never chastise her for getting up too early before the sun, but, if she manages to go back to sleep until the sun appears, she gets lots of praise and  we make a pretty big deal of it that she is such a big and clever girl for looking at her clock. 

The clock has some lovely extras, such as the ability to have the clock having a digital time displayed for older children, and you can also adjust the brightness of the clock, from none at all to a bright night-light. 

I don't think I could be without our Gro-Clock now and I would highly recommend it for toddlers. The clock has really come into its own with the lighter mornings. Yes, my daughter does still get up way too early some mornings, but then the mornings she waits until 7am? Well they are just amazing! 

Thanks for reading, 

Friday, 14 August 2015

Pregnancy Blog: Week 27

I am now in week 27 of my pregnancy, and the days of feeling great and then days of not feeling so great continue. Today is a not so great day, where I typically drag myself along after my toddler and make her laugh by doing silly exasperated faces and bizarre side stretches (I get really uncomfortable under my ribs...I don't do it for comedy value!!!). 

Baby is now the size of an aubergine, and boy can I feel it! The rib pain gets worse whenever I eat, but I must point out that this is in no way stopping me from eating, I'm just rather annoying to be around because I make a song and dance of wincing and wiggling about!

The time has come to size up my maternity jeans friends, because quite frankly, if I don't, I think the blood supply to my legs will be permanently cut off.  After I finish this post, I'm straight off to Topshop to get some of their super soft skinny maternity jeans. 

I had a doctors check up this week, just because I hadn't been feeling great, but everything is fine, and I think these good days and bad days are just part of this pregnancy. And they aren't so bad, I have to say, I think I just majorly forgot how tiring growing a baby can be. 

My husband has been away all week, and I have had some VERY early nights. Last night I went to bed at 8pm!!! WHAT?!?!? Luckily he gets home later today, because I may turn into a pregnant hermit lady otherwise! 

Baby has definite periods of moving around now, and tends to move around in the morning and then later in the evening.  The only thing with this is that I tend to freak out every mid-afternoon that I haven't felt him or her.  I then resort to prodding baby or having a lie down (!) to get some kicks.  It's no wonder the baby resorts to kicking me in the ribs really. 

Hope you all have a great weekend, see you on Monday,  

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

A perfect pregnancy and first year record book

I am one of those people who find it very important to record and maintain records on all life events in the Bee household. I print photo's and complete family albums regularly, and when my daughter was born I completed a bump to baby book where I recorded things like bump measurements and took photos of my ever expanding waistline. For my second pregnancy, I didn't want it to be any different. 

After scouring the internet for a book to record pregnancy milestones and baby's arrival, I found the Hey Baby New Baby Record Book by Alilia from Not On The High Street. What immediately attracted to me to the book was the beautiful illustrations and quite quirky way of recording information in oppose to a diary style type book.  My order quickly arrived, and I was not disappointed. 

The Hey Baby book is beautifully designed and thoughtfully written.  I didn't want a book where I had to write pages and pages of information, because I knew the book would never get completed.  Hey Baby is designed in such a way that you record little snippets of information, such as pregnancy likes and dislikes, when you met your partner, potential names and scan photo's in quirky little boxes or within illustrations. There is space to record all of baby's first's, right up until their first birthday.  

Interspersed between the spaces to record things are really beautiful quotes that made me cry when I read them (granted I am quite hormonal) and some lovely pieces of life advice. I love the family tree page with this beautiful verse, 

"You are one of many, 
small branches of a tree, 
strong roots and boughs a-plenty, 
stretch as far as you can see, 
new shoot, 
reach for the sunshine, 
find your own way to grow, 
beneath you branches entwine, 
support you as you go". 

The book has blank spaces where if you want to document more you can and no two pages are the same.  I haven't seen a book as lovely as this for recording pregnancy and baby's first year.  This would make a beautiful baby shower present or even new baby gift as due to the lay-out of the book you can be really flexible about how you fill it in, so it really doesn't matter if you didn't start it on day one of your pregnancy.

I have loved filling in this memory book and really hope in years to come my son or daughter will enjoy reading it too. Being pregnant is such a special time, and you always think you will remember those little things, but you don't.  This book is a gorgeous way of recording those little things that are so important.  

Thanks for reading, 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

5 things I'm going to do differently in labour (I hope)

Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it? Remember that time I used a swim nappy as a nappy? Or let my daughter play near that really huge puddle as I was letting her be 'free'? Exactly.  Now I'm 26 weeks pregnant with baby number two, I've started to recall little things that happened during my first labour that I'd prefer not to have a repeat of. 

Having labour :-)

1. Judging myself
Before giving birth I had it in my head that I was going to have a very natural water birth.  I wanted as little intervention as possible and would be happy just using my little TENS machine.  Hmmmm.  After a very long first stage of labour, and only progressing 4cm in 20 hours, I wanted NEEDED an epidural!!! But, before I had one, I cried to my husband that I felt like a failure and that I was letting the baby down (whaaaat?!!!). This time round, as long as me and baby are OK I couldn't give a monkeys if I need pain relief or not.  Labour and birth are so individual, and whatever choice you make is the right one for you. Labour is not a competition as to who can be the quietest/most tranquil/most natural ladies!

2. A Fainting episode
After I had delivered my daughter I was pretty exhausted and not quite with it.  After a few hours, the midwife encouraged my husband to wheel me into the bathroom so I could have a warm shower.  'Don't have the water on too hot', she warned, 'and don't stand up for too long either'. So what did I do? I whacked the water to really warm/hot as it felt so nice, then I couldn't be bothered to move for at least 10 minutes.  

I then realised I was going to faint and called my husband back in the bathroom.  He opened the door to find me lying face down on the floor, butt naked muttering that I didn't feel too good. I didn't care I was on the floor, or naked for that matter, I just felt really faint. Luckily my husband managed to get me back in bed before the midwife returned. 

3.  Wondering where to put the cot
I had to stay on the maternity ward for nearly a week following my daughter's birth due to complications, and this time gave me plenty of opportunity to panic.  One such thing I constantly panicked over were these signs they had everywhere saying 'never leave your baby unattended or out of sight'.  I was in a side room and pondered if this meant I had to take her into the toilet with me...and what about when I had a shower? 

Let's just say whilst doing the ward round the whole doctors and nurses procession almost walked in on me having a shower with the door wide open and my daughter in her cot rammed up against the shower curtain so I could see her.  Awkward. This time round, I'm timing nay showers when my husband is there or when it isn't the ward round. 

4. Taking a razor
It was a bit of an oversight that I forgot to pack a razor, and to be honest I didn't think I would be in hospital that long.  Let's just say that by day three I think my daughter may well have mistaken me for a chimpanzee, and I hastily sent my husband to buy a razor from Boots. Yes I was tired, exhausted and really couldn't be bothered.  But I felt like an extra for Planet of the Apes. 

5. Being scared
I think alot of the fear of labour comes from not knowing what's happening and how you will cope with the pain.  But, I've done it once and it was OK.  I mean, obviously it hurt, but like the millions of women before me I got through it.  I hope I remember this in the throes of labour, and I try and focus on the most amazing moment in my entire life, when you see your baby for the very first time. 

So that's my list, and will I stick to it? Probably not. But at least we can all have a giggle when my well laid plans go to pot and I tell you about my second labour!!

Is there anything you vowed to do differently or wanted to change for your second labour? 

Thanks for reading, 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Potty Training: What you need to know

Summer is now officially here and that can only mean one thing for parents with toddlers...potty training!!!!! Out with those nappies and in with naked bottoms dashing around the garden, with mums and dads waving the potty manically, sporadically and above all enthusiastically!  It's a fact that the sale of potties triples in the Summer as does the sale of sticker charts and chocolate bribes (well I actually made that up, but I'm sure if tested this hypothesis would be true!). 

I wrote a blog post, The Potty Training One, where I wrote a diary about our week of potty training. This is a no holes barred honest version of the highs and lows of having a nappy free toddler, oh yes, and the pit falls of having a dog in tow too (trust me, this complicates things!!). 

I also wrote a post about the pieces of kit I think you need to start your potty training adventure (!) and a portable potty that fits in your bag that I think is the best thing ever, the Potty To Go

And armed with all of that information is all I think you need.  Don't listen to that woman down the post office who potty trained her child at 1 year (she didn't), or that lovely relative who kindly informs you that you are delaying your 18 month by not potty training them, and this could well affect their future career (it won't).  Potty training needs to be done when YOUR child is ready.  When they are showing an interest in the toilet, knowing whether they are wet or dry, and having an awareness of wanting to go to the toilet too.  

Oh, and YOU need to be ready.  Don't do potty training when you have a really busy week at work, when you are having the house redecorated or your in-laws are staying with you for the week! I mean, come on, that is just asking for trouble! 

Potty training is fine, honestly.  Remember when you freaked out about weaning, then once you did it, you wondered why you ever thought your son or daughter would still be living off milk at 32? Yup, well this is just the same.  Forget all the horror stories and if you and your little are ready then just go for it!  

Good luck to all wannabe potty trainers and thanks for reading,  

Monday, 10 August 2015

Pregnancy Blog: Week 26

I'm so sorry for this delayed blog post! In fact, I am so sorry for the absolute silence that that has been my blog this last week! As soon as I don't feel well or feel myself, immediately my blog is one of the first things that goes.  Maybe if I was a bit more prepared I would have back-up post's ready, but last week, I had no such back up, so nothing was posted.  

But here I am, and as you may have gathered, week 26 has been a bit bumpy.  I thought I was getting a cold at the end of last week, and that cold did come so I have felt pretty rough for a few days.  But, after I got rid of the cold, I just didn't feel 'myself'.  I had arranged to meet up with various friends in the week, but I was finding everything a real struggle and effort and all I wanted to do was lie on the sofa.  I just felt really tired, aching and nauseous in the mornings. 

Things came to a head in the week when I started to worry that maybe something wasn't right so I rang the midwife on Friday morning who saw me later that day.  She checked baby and everything was absolutely fine and I heard babies heartbeat which was very reassuring. They did some other checks and everything seems to be OK. And for the last few days I have felt much better. 

It really gave me a bit of a wake up call though, and even though I eat quite healthily anyway, I've ramped it up.  I really want to feel well during this pregnancy. I'm now taking a daily pregnancy multi-vitamin, fresh orange juice with breakfast and just making sure I'm looking after myself a bit more with lots of fruit and vegetables.

Aside from the drama of not feeling great, I'm also really uncomfortable after eating which unfortunately appears to be most of the time as some form of food tends to be in my hand, whether that is fruit or a cookie! The discomfort is right under my ribcage and I find doing some side stretching really helps. 

Bump is certainly sprouting, and I don't think there is any mistaking it now! Someone else asked me if I was excited this week, which really makes me giggle as I want to ask them if that's a serious question or not!!! Erm, of course I'm excited, I'm having a baby!!!! 

Apologies again for my little absence and as always thank you for reading! 

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