Bee Good Skin Care Review

I love trying new skin care, but since having the babies I’ve really struggled to find something that works with my skin. I’ve also become really aware of how many chemicals are in certain brands of skin care, so I’m wary of putting stuff on my face that isn’t as natural as possible.

When the lovely ladies at Babushka PR emailed me to ask if I would like to try Bee Good, I knew the brand already from their cleanser which I used years back and their scrummy lip balms which smell good enough to eat, so I said yes immediately!

What I love about the brand is that all of their products are made in the UK (Hampshire! My home county) and use honey bee ingredients mixed with botanicals to create gentle but effective formulas for various skin types. Their products are never tested on animals and the bee ingredients they use are harvested without harm to the bees. They’ve also sponsored bee farming apprentices in order to help secure their future, and educate people and children about honey bees!

The first product they sent me was the Honey and Propolis 2-in-1 cream cleanser. It comes with a muslin cloth which you use to remove the cleanser and any makeup/dirt/grime that could clog up your pores and gently exfoliates at the same time. The ingredient propolis was one that I’d not heard of before but when looking into it, its actually another product made by bees (They mix sap from the plants they visit and their saliva…weird but true!) they use it as a coating to build their hives but it has antibacterial properties for your skin too!

The cleanser feels lovely on the skin, you remove it with the muslin cloth and warm water, and it leaves your skin feeling really clean. I then follow this up with the Honey and Wild Flax Daily Moisturiser. This feels lovely and cooling on your skin, I use it twice daily to keep my face feeling moisturised and so far its been the perfect balance for my skin type.

Using just these two products so far have made me feel much more confident in my skin, my spots seem to clear up much faster than before, and I’ve actually not worn foundation for over a week now because I feel as though my skin has a healthy glow to it.

One item that I was really excited about was a newer product called NectaPerfecta . It claims to be a skincare miracle, it has several uses; as a face mask, a highly moisturising balm for dry patches of skin, a hand rescue remedy (cuticles and nails too!) or a weekly scalp treatment. I’ve still not had a chance to use it on my scalp, but judging by how good it is for all other methods I have faith it will be amazing!

It feels sooo luxurious when you apply it to your skin, like a posh facial that you can do at home! You also don’t need a lot to go a long way, which is great as will last longer, and it spreads really well whilst it kind of melts into your finger tips as you massage it on. I’ve used it on the heels of my feet as they were quite dry and a bit cracked, they’ve improved dramatically, and I also have eczema on my fingers that flares up every now and then. Once its applied it stops any itching immediately which I think is due to its natural ingredients.

The pretty tub of NectaPerfecta is priced at just under £40, which some may feel is expensive, however there are often discount codes advertised on site or on their social media pages so try and get one while they have something running. I would however, purchase one at full price knowing how good it is!

Overall, all of the products I have tried (including my little vanilla and honey lip balm) have been a joy to use. Like I said before, my skin feels healthier, with a natural glow, I hope in time my spots will subside, (they do say it takes a good month or so for a new skincare regime to really kick in) but so far the results have been fab and I want to try everything else in the range now too!

To browse all products visit beegood.co.uk.

All products were gifted via Babushka PR, with no obligation to post or write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Advertisements

AD – A better nights sleep with Simba

First of all let me start by telling you, that I couldn’t have been more excited when an email from the team at Simba asking if I would like to try their Hybrid Mattress in return for a blog post review popped into my inbox. I spat out my sesame chicken as I was at TGI Fridays, and you all know how much I adore sesame chicken! But I am, so SO grateful that this platform has offered me such great opportunities to work with amazing brands.

So now I’ve had the mattress for 30 days I feel like I can give you a really good review on just how fricking AMAZING this mattress is!

From ordering to delivery was literally 24 hours, so if you ever have a mattress emergency, you know where to go! We have a king size bed so, naturally ordered king size. It comes all packaged in a little box and you can’t quite believe that theres a huge mattress in there, at first I thought someone had played a joke on me, but fear not, I don’t know how, but they squished it in there good!

When you unwrap it you get a special little tool for taking off the plastic, so you don’t cut the fabric of the mattress. I let Greg do it. Big mistake. He STILL managed to cut the fabric, thankfully it was only teeny tiny and on the underneath panel. Always the eager beaver! Once the plastic wrap is off the mattress kind of does its own thing, and expands out onto your bed base! You then leave it a few hours so it can rest and expand fully, and get used to its new surroundings and home!

The first thoughts of the mattress were “It looks SO comfy!!” my previous mattress looked like a cloud but the way it was made meant that it was bumpy?! Which meant that when I laid on my front or back some of my body felt like it was higher or lower than the rest, so I only really felt comfortable on my side. The Simba Hybrid Mattress is flat but textured, its super soft and I really didn’t want to wait for the resting time! I so couldn’t wait to lay on this bad boy!

The first night was heaven. Literal heaven. Apart from the babies waking me up a couple of times, as soon as my body was back on that cloud of a mattress I was totally out again. I woke up feeling like I’d had the best sleep I’d had in a long while so I knew that this was the start of a very long, beautiful relationship.

After the first week, both Greg and I said to each other how much we love our new mattress, we definitely sleep better on it, and he was bragging to everyone that would listen about how good our new mattress is. He does get excited bless him.

One thing I noticed was that its not noisy at all. No springy sound, nothing. If I’m having a bit of a restless night because I’m up and down with the babies, I get in and out of bed like a ninja spy, literally complete silence! It’s bliss! Throughout the second week, I’m pretty sure the babies cottoned on to the fact that we had a new super comfy mattress, because they were waking up more than usual and wouldn’t settle until we brought them into our bed!

The more time went on the more I was realising that I hadn’t woken up with any back ache, or any pain at all since we had the mattress. Whereas our old mattress would sometimes cause me to have some pain in my side if I had had a bit of a dodgy nights sleep… I think it is down to how flat it is, its flat but it kind of wraps around you when you lay down like its giving you a big warm hug!

When I looked into how the mattress is made, I noticed that its constructed of 5 layers, a base that gives pressure relieving support, memory foam, conical pocket springs (2500 of them!) a cooling comfort layer, which prevents you from overheating, perfect for when two toddlers decide to join you. Followed lastly by the breathable sleep surface, which is amazing because you can zip it off and wash it!

Overall, the mattress has improved my sleep massively, Greg still goes on about it, to me, to his friends, to his boss, the list is endless, but it speaks volumes, because we wouldn’t recommend it if we didn’t really love it. And we do really love it!

If you would like to try it for yourself, the link below will refer you through and give you a whopping £75 off your first Simba Hybrid Mattress, I know, how nice am I?! I will tell you though that I will get a small fee for each one that goes through too, so not only am I being nice, but you will be nice back to me for buying! It’s all just really, really nice!

Get £75 off your first Simba Hybrid Mattress

This review was entirely my own opinion, but is required by law to be labelled as AD due to receiving the product as payment and also any successful referrals via the link will result in payment.

5 Reasons Why I HATE my period. Post-Babies

So I was sitting there festering in my angst of being ‘On’ again, and I thought, I really need to get this off of my chest. I fucking hate my period.

Since having babies its become worse, and more frequent. Actually, saying that, its become loads worse since I had babies Vaginally. My C-Section didn’t seem to change it previously, and it settled quicker afterwards too.

As I’ve mentioned before, I bled for 7 months after I had Etti and Roux. Yes you read that correctly, 7 entire, long, drawn out, sexless months. Its a wonder I have any blood left and I’m not resembling a piece of chewed up Biltong. So now, every time my app pops up and kindly reminds me good old flo is coming in a few days, it fills me with dread that I’ve got to go through another week of it. So here is why… a very bitter 5 things I hate about my period. Enjoy, and try not to puke.

  1. I LEAK. The first time I leaked was back last summer when it was my first proper period cycle since the 7 month long drain. It was SO HOT! And of all places to do it…I chose a fucking Circus. A stifling hot, airless tent full of sweaty people, enduring a total shit show, and I bled through my pants, and made a huge blob on my blush coloured maxi skirt. Embarrassed was not the word. I was with the kids, Greg, my mum, and my step dad {insert scream face here}. They all were really understanding, but the trip from the tent to the 10000 degree hot car was not pleasant. I felt so dirty, and pretty pissed off with my entire pelvic area for letting me down. Since then I’ve leaked pretty much every month. In Tesco, In Wetherspoons during a packed breakfast morning. I’m pretty used to it now so for the first 2 days I’m doubling up my pants for an extra bit of barrier. (Period pants companies FYI…you know where to come for a collaboration) But I mean, at least I’m not shitting myself. Bonus.
  2. IM AN EMOTIONAL WRECK FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK BEFORE. The periods are heavier, so its a given that my emotional state of PMS has also become more…lets say intense. The smallest things make me go literally crazy. Not crazy angry, but crazy crying. Like someone just decapitated my dog crying. Greg doesn’t know what to do with me, I don’t know what to do with me. Then as soon as I come on its like a switch goes: Bing! Normal Amy is back.
  3. CLOTTING HELL. Like, I know its probably one of the vilest things ever to talk about, but fuck me. Do we really need to have jelly clumps of blood and flesh making their way out of our vaginas?! Is the blood not enough?! Was Roux’s giant skull not enough?!! DO I REALLY DESERVE THIS FLO?!!!! I’ve googled when to call an ambulance due to clots in your period a few times, apparently under the size of 50p is normal, but quite honestly, they don’t feel normal, not when you actually feel the sensation of them slipping out of your hole. They’re fucking rank and are not welcome. Clots… be gone!
  4. I HAVE TO LAY ON A TOWEL IN BED. So this should come under leakage back up there, but laying on a towel in bed is probably one of the most annoying things ever. On your period your hotter than usual right? Your more irritable right? You struggle to fall asleep because of your pad not being positioned properly right? So throw in the towel which moves every goddamn time you risk rolling over and you have a really fucking annoying 1st world problem right there. I’ve had to grit my teeth to stop me from having a full on midnight punch up with a FUCKING TOWEL.
  5. I LOOK 13 MONTHS PREGNANT. Now, I’ve discovered that Raspberry Leaf tea is a good way to take down the bloating slightly, however I don’t appreciate that still  one minute I’m slipping into my skinnies like a glove and the next I look like that kid that turned into a blueberry on Willy Wonka. I bloat so much for the first two days I have to wear leggings and a baggy jumper. I morph into frumpy Sandra and tend not to leave the house, sitting at the window watching everyone go by like a flump marshmallow but totally not as cute, or as tasty…vom. If I eat, I get fatter, and oh lordy do I know how to eat when I’m bleeding. Carbs: inhale. Chocolate: Smash. Im a walking talking Michelin Man with a food/period baby that leaks everytime she moves. What. A. Picture.

There are a few other things I hate, like getting out of the shower and drying myself quick enough to get my pants and sanitary towel on before the blood starts dripping down my leg, and the fact that it smells like I’m leaking rotting rat juice (normal right?) but those are definitely my top 5 pet period peeves.

Let me know yours! I love period chat. NOT.

How I Dye and Maintain My Hair

Since I’ve been posting various hair styles to my instagram feed I’ve had a lot of interest in my hair colour and how I keep it vibrant. Firstly I would like to clarify that I am not a beauty blogger, I love my makeup, hair and skincare, but I never really have felt ‘qualified’ to write about it. Which is weird really because I can write about whatever the fuck I like. Maybe after this post I will officially be a beauty blogger? Lets find out shall we!

Serious head now. YOU MUST ALWAYS CARRY OUT A PATCH TEST BEFORE DYING YOUR HAIR! This is to make sure you’re not allergic to the dye, some people are and I hear an allergic reaction is not pretty. Can also be pretty serious too. So yes, do that sensible shit.

Now if you have dark hair, you will need to have it lightened first in order for your hair to take the colour. Mine was lightened and dyed a nice vibrant copper in one sitting by the amazing Annika at Flicks & Glitter based in Royston. She is a hair goddess, and the loveliest woman too so if you are local make sure you go to her because she will turn your hair into mermaid hair no problemo.

Since Annika worked her magic I’ve not been able to have appointments due to Greg being away so started dying my hair myself. If you feel confident in doing this yourself, then go ahead! It saves me money, I can still do it if Greg is away (trying to keep any grooming appointments when he is away is impossible) and I can do it whenever I like.

The colour I use on my hair is called RUSK Deepshine in 6.4C Brilliant Copper and 7.44C Intense Copper Blonde. I mix them together because it is just the perfect shade. I mix half a tube of each of these with 6% 20 Vol Creme Peroxide. Sally Beauty stock all of this along with the mixing bowl and dye brush I use to apply it, they regularly have new customer discount codes too, so worth having a look!

When I’m dying my hair I always put some vaseline around my hairline to stop the dye getting to my skin and giving me a lego head for those first few days after dying it! Then I section my hair into four parts, start with my roots, section by section, then go down the ends, making sure to massage the dye into the hair to get a nice even coverage. Then I leave it for a good 40 mins to develop, wash it off with lukewarm water and shampoo and give it a good conditioning treatment. I also sleep for the next few nights with a dark towel on my pillow so it doesn’t transfer onto my white covers! Greg would be mega pissed. I know from experience.

Now the next bit for me is like my secret, I don’t know if it has any effect whatsoever but it makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about, so I’ll let you in on it! I always leave my hair for as long as possible before the next wash. I feel like it helps the dye to settle and stick more, but then I could be talking utter shite because as I said previously I’m not a beauty blogger….yet. So usually I was my hair every other day, but after a dye I probably leave it 4…5 at a push!

When I do finally shampoo my lard head I use Aveda Madder Root Shampoo I’ve linked it via LookFantastic as thats where I purchased it from which was the cheapest place, I paid £36 for 1000ml, that was back in September, I’ve still got a third of a bottle left now so definitely worth going for and I’m sure it really works for my colour. Then I condition it with whatever conditioner I can get my hands on mixed with this little beauty… Revlon Nutri Color 400, its super pigmented and proper stains all my tile grout so Greg constantly moans at me. But whatever man, my hair looks fucking fabulous. I get it from amazon because its on prime baby! AND under a tenner! So definitely the cheapest place to get it from with delivery. I first purchased that back in July and I’ve only just last week had to reorder another bottle. So it really is excellent value for money. The photo below shows how pigmented the conditioner and shampoo is!

And thats it really, apart from using oils and heat protector on my hair, theres not much else to it! I usually dye it every 5 weeks, sometimes I can stretch to 6 but my hair grows so fast that my roots start to show quite quickly. This colour does fade but now that I’ve dyed it a few times, the colour doesn’t tire as fast as it did when I first had it done!

I hope if you are hoping to go over to the red side you find this useful. If you have been toying with the idea…honestly just fucking do it. I’ve wanted to be this colour for years and always found an excuse not to. The lightening process was too long, the colour fades too fast, it won’t suit me. But now I’ve done it, its the best I’ve felt about my hair in a very long time. Its a colour that is great all through the year. I feel like Ginger Spice and Princess Ariel all at once. What more could you want!?

#AD, the How, What and Why?

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a while, but with Christmas just over a week away and Ads popping up all over social media, I thought now is definitely the time to do it! Now, I don’t feel as though I need to justify why I take on paid work, so thats not why I’m writing this, but I do feel the need to be transparent to people that choose to follow me and my family is important. So here it is…

I first started paid work through my instagram only a few months ago, I have always moaned about people that post ads which have no relevance to their feeds whatsoever, or advertising something that we all know they don’t really use *cough Tommee Tippee machine for a 4 year old, cough* but I mean, whatever, if thats what people want to do for money, its up to them and I know where that unfollow button is…for sure. However, thats not how I want to make money and I will ALWAYS only ever take on something that I love and that I would buy anyway, or items that I love, but cant necessarily afford to buy. When an opportunity comes my way that fits with my morals and values, and its something that I feel happy to advertise, I’m gonna grab it.

The decision to monetise my social media, came after a suggestion from a friend I’ve made via instagram. I thought, I put so much effort into some of my shots, getting paid to do something I love would be a massive bonus, and it is, but at the moment I wouldn’t be able to rely on it for an income. It’s purely to buy my kids and I nice things, and its come in really handy this Christmas as (and I have no shame in admitting this) money has been tight since we have been forced to live apart for the past 6 months.

My first “job” was with VTech. it was kind of a unique one as we got invited to go to a launch event for it in London too, so the fee covered our travel expenses, the time for us being there and to post the image. I LOVED IT! It was a fab experience for the girls, we had a day out and got paid to post a photo which took me all of an hour to shoot and edit.

Untitled-1

My paid work has come from various agencies, one I like in particular is Takumi. It’s an app on your phone, and most jobs include the product. So you get the invite, you can read the brief, make sure you can complete the job within the time scale given, and if you want to accept it you can, or you decline it, I’ve actually declined a lot of invites, but thankfully you aren’t penalised for doing this. You are then sent the product, shoot it, and submit for approval so it fits in line with the brief you are given. The captions are all your own words, you just need to mention certain things and include the hashtags they would like you to use. This is to keep it natural and non-salesy, and engaging with your followers.

Another app I like is Tribe. With this one its a little different as the campaigns all come up as a list, you go and buy the item (sometimes they ask you to submit something similar to what you would if you had the product and if they’re happy and want to go ahead they will then send the product to you). When you submit the post you determine how much money you would like to be paid. The company then reviews your submission, then they can approve it or decline it, or ask you to change a few things so they can review it before they go ahead. I’ve taken a few more jobs from this platform lately, but it can be a bit annoying if you go out, buy the product and then have it declined so I only usually do it if I’m going to buy it anyway, if its something free (like the Canon creative park) or if you can submit something similar to what you would and they send the sample for you after (Omlet dog crate is a good example of this).

PSFix_20181110_152206

There are lots more influencer agencies available, but these are the main ones that I seek out paid jobs with. You do need to keep in mind that some will only take you on if you have over a certain amount of followers and if your engagement is good. Theres no use taking on a job, posting then not engaging with the people commenting on it. The brands you work with will follow the progress of posts and I always think the more effort I put in, the more likely that brand will work with me again in the future. Some brands actually ask for insights (all the info about how many people have commented/clicked/liked your post) to see how well its performed. This is why I recently switched my profile from a personal to a business account to enable this particular feature.

Sometimes, the opportunities come to you. Weareinfluencernetwork messaged me on instagram about a campaign that was coming up and we had a discussion about fees etc before I proceeded with working on their campaign. At first it can make you a bit nervous but it really is a business negotiation so you need to take the emotion out of it. The worst they can say is no!

So I’m sure you are all wondering just how much can you get paid? If you start off with 1% of your following thats usually the average for one photo post. So mine at the moment standing at around 6.7k followers would be £67. However, if I am negotiating the fees I will always ask for more if I need to go buy the product. If the post is a video post, you can look at double that figure. Stories will be lower because they only last for 24 hours, a recent campaign gave me £130 for one feed post, one story, and I got given a £50 gift voucher to purchase the product. Each brand is slightly different but the 1% figure is always a good starting point. But one thing you shouldn’t do is undersell yourself. It does take time, planning and effort on your behalf, the big brands are saving a massive amount of money on advertising by using influencers across social media, so don’t be afraid to up that price a little more if you are going to create a good quality post.

I think thats pretty much everything I need to cover at the moment…if you have any questions either leave me a comment or DM me on my instagram @that.twin.mother.

And remember, if you see an ad from someone you love following, give it a like and a comment. I’m sure you all would go mental if you saw me on TV advertising some fucking Iceland food in a sequinned dress screaming “Thats why mums go to Iceland!” so go wild for those instagram posts too. I feel proud of what I’ve done so far, and every comment, like and DM supporting me means the world. So thank you!

All I want for Christmas, is no obligation.

 

Christmas Time Decorations Still Life, candle, christmas lights, christmas setting, christmas sweets

Ahh its Christmas, time to drink mulled cider (yes it is just a classy as wine), decorate our trees, plan our Christmas dinners, binge on quality street and buy a never ending list of gifts for family we hardly ever see.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, and I like to visit them, and would like them to visit me. But for a huge percentage of our family, we’ve barely had any physical visits in a year and a couple of them have only seen Etti and Roux in the flesh twice. So why the fuck do I need to go to the effort to gift them all?!

The beginning of this for me started over a year ago, I was heavily pregnant, Greg was out of the country for 4 months and only my very closest relatives made the effort to come to see me. My 30th birthday was spent sobbing on the sofa because 99% of people in my family didn’t bother. No cards, no gifts, just a shit text that was probably copied and pasted from last years message. No special occasion, nothing. And I sat there and cried and cried for DAYS. Yes, there were hormones involved but honestly the main feeling I had was resentment towards them all.

I hated that I was ALWAYS the mug that put in so much thought into a gift, it made me cry to watch them receive it. (I swear I dont cry as much as this post is making out, I just, you know, have a heart.) I would always purchase something even if I couldn’t afford to, and I despised the fact that I lived away from them all and had to either post their gift or take it a bit late.

So last Christmas I made a stand. I wasn’t going to buy anyone a gift that didn’t make an effort for my 30th Birthday. I wanted them all to feel the way I did that day, honestly, ask Greg, even now I get upset when I think of how I felt, (I know, I know, man the fuck up Amy) and you know what, this is gonna make me sound like an absolute knob but I FUCKING LOVED seeing their faces when they realised they weren’t getting a gift from me. I bloody loved it *Mwahahahaa*.

This year, however, isn’t about revenge, resentment or because no one brought me a gift. No, no, no, this year is about the realisation that we DON’T HAVE TO GIFT EVERY ONE THATS RELATED TO US BY BLOOD/MARRIAGE/ILLEGITIMATE AFFAIRS. And even better, we don’t need to feel guilty about it. 

My mum would tell you that “Christmas is all about the kids”. Erm, no mother, Christmas existed in that 10 year window between me becoming an adult and having my own children, so I would argue that it is about showing appreciation to those that you love and is an opportunity to come together and celebrate that love and time as a family. (Obviously if you are religious you will say its something to do with some dude called Jesus and his constant pushiness to celebrate his birthday…but then he has two doesn’t he? So, move over Jeez).

Christmas is stretched as it is, we’ve been forcefully living apart for almost 6 months so we’ve been paying for two lifestyles throughout the week, then the weekends money just flies away from our hands so quick it was like it never actually there in the first place. Because I’ve been run off my feet keeping the house together, dealing with four kids 4 years old and under with all the tantrums, illness and zero sleep, and then running my business all without Greg, I feel super unorganised. Sadly, this means that presents that could have been purchased bit by bit over the months, just didn’t materialise.

So thinking of spending over £100 on nieces and nephews we hardly see isn’t appealing. In. The. Slightest.

But why do we feel guilty about this? Why do we feel obligated to purchase a physical gift to people we hardly see? For me, it’s about wanting people to be pleased with me, a seeking of approval or something weird and fucked up and I never really thought about it until the last couple of months when something just clicked. I think my mum was mortified when I told her my plans, but to be honest, I’m sick to the back teeth of trying to please people. I’m not a people pleaser, and I could kick myself for wasting so much time worrying about it in the past. All that matters is the ones that are close to me are happy. That’s it. That’s all we strive for as parents, to make sure our children are healthy and happy, so why does that have to change just because its Christmas?

When you take the feeling about this whole situation, giving to people that you just feel obligated to give to, it really makes no sense, and is just fucking stupid.

Say you decide to spend £20 on someone, they decide to spend £20 on you. What do you have? You receive a gift that you maybe you like, but you don’t love it, and you’ve given them a gift, which you wish you’d kept for yourself, because you spent so long thinking of something to buy for them you just resigned to buying something you love which they might like. You should’ve saved your cash and gone and brought that gift for your fucking self. You deserve it after all that faff. Add to that the time you’ve spent wrapping it, the contribution to the plastic waste crisis we have, and the energy expended driving/posting the gift. You’re both running at a loss, Everyone’s a bloody loser. Yes, I know, I’m a genius.

Keep that twenty in your pocket and invest it in those that you really love, those that spend time with you, want to be with you and you feel the same in return. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, it doesn’t even need to be physical. You could spend it on an experience, plan a day out together, get loads of wine in and just get totally fucked up, whatever you do, only gift someone because you want to not because you feel you should.

Save your cash, save your energy, save the world.

Merry Christmas,

The Grinch x

 

 

 

 

Little Tikes Trike Review

When Mila and Iris turned one, the first thing I wanted to buy them was a trike. Money was tight however, so because we had to buy two we went for these cheap ass ones from amazon. They arrived, I painfully put them together and went for our first outing on them. They were HORRIFIC!

I couldn’t steer them, they felt like they were going to fall apart (totally quality issues and NOT my assembling skills) and they were so freaking loud to push along I’m pretty sure environmental health would have been on my case if we had kept them.

We went straight home and I quickly threw them back in the battered boxes in which they arrived, and shipped them back off to the dark dingy corner of the amazon warehouse that they came from.

So when we were invited to take part in the Little Tikes Tour De Trike campaign for Etti and Roux I jumped at the chance. Our trike arrived and it was a lovely teal colour, perfect for both Etti and Roux. Immediately I noticed the quality compared to those crappy amazon ones, the metal frame work was really sturdy, and although the babies and the girls meddling slowed down my usually speedy assembling, the instructions were really easy to follow and it was up and ready to go in no time!

The girls kept asking me if they could have a go, and I was soooooo happy to see that this particular trike goes up to age 5 from 9 Months so the girls can have a go on it too when we take off the parent handle, the seat bars and enable the pedals! I’m forever telling the girls to get off the babies toys so you can imagine the glee in their little faces when I told them they could actually try it out.

The first outing with the babies was so much fun, they loved being able to see more than they usually see in their prams, and were shaded from the sun with the little shade canopy.

 

DSC_8969

Our pram is a pain the bottom to put in our car, we have to take the wheels off, fold it down, balance the two seat units a certain way and they have to be in there just right, secured by a bungy cord (I know ridulous right?) otherwise the boot door will stubbornly refuse to close. When we went out with the trike while I snapped some photos Greg had one baby in the carrier on his back, and pushed the other in the trike. It’s the perfect way to get out for a lovely walk in our area without having to take the huge double pram, and we will definitely be trying it when we go out and about further afield, as the trike takes up much less space in the boot of the car too!

One massive bonus is that its SILENT! You can’t hear us coming from miles away and the babies can actually hear me talking to them while we walk rather than being deafened by the sound of hollow plastic against the pavement! I also love the little add ons of the tray for the babies, and a tray for the parent to hold drinks, snacks and phones! Theres even a little area behind the seat at the bottom which is a great camera holder. See something for everything!

So far we have only explored locally where we live, but I’m really looking forward to getting out and about further afield and adding more places to our Tour De Trike adventures! Keep an eye on my instagram feed to see more content.

51CCC5C5-2C08-4F50-B545-51597A4DBE1D

 

 

 

Keeping up appearances

A couple of weeks ago I saw a post on Facebook by the lovely Giovanna Fletcher. In this post she had no makeup on, which is pretty standard I’d say for her, but when I read the caption she had said that a stranger online had commented on her appearance, saying “she looked a bit of a mess”. Errrr you fuckin what? She honestly didn’t seem that bothered by it, but it just shocked me that someone could be so blunt and cruel to someone they didn’t even know.

©️Giovanna Fletcher

I loved her response to it, and it led me to think more about how I present myself, and how others may perceive me.

It’s very rare that I leave the house without makeup on. That’s not because I feel like I have to, it’s because I want to. Makeup has always been a fun thing to do for me.

I admit it’s slightly addictive, I spend way to much money trying to find the right foundation, but you only live once and in the words of Dua Lipa IDGAF.

Every time I go on the nursery run I get a comment from at least one of the mums about how they don’t understand where i get the time to do my hair and makeup. I’ve always thought they were harmless, but when I sit back and really think about it, are they being nice or were they actually being judgemental pricks?

Do they actually think I don’t do any of the getting ready in the morning and leave it to my husband? Do they assume I leave my kids to scream while I happily plaster my face with numerous layers of concealer, bronzer and enough highlighter to make a blind man wince?

If I let myself sit and toy with the idea that people could be judging me for wearing too much makeup, I’d probably drive myself crazy. So what should we do? Not wear it?

There’s only been a handful of times that I’ve done the nursery run or gone to the supermarket with the bare naked face my mumma gave me. It’s only an occurrence when I’m ill, so tired I can’t even pick things up, or this awful time when a doctor told me to not wear makeup for 3 weeks because I was actually allergic to my new Mac Foundation. (Worst. Day. Ever.)

It’s actually quite rare I don’t wear makeup even when I’m staying in for the day, it’s part of my morning ritual. When I don’t wear makeup it just doesn’t feel right. Not because I’m self conscious, not because I feel ugly, or I feel like others are judging me, but because I just don’t feel like me. I’ve played with makeup for so long it’s part of who I am now, that’s not a bad thing, and it certainly doesn’t make me a bad Mum because I take 30 minutes out of my day to do it.

Mila and Iris have already taken a massive interest in my makeup, annoyingly so. Not because I don’t want them to be interested, but because they keep touching all my high end shit and I just can’t handle the daily heart attacks when they drop my eyeshadow pallette or dent my lipstick (yes I am that anal).

If they feel like they want to be creative and paint their face the way I do, I will support it 100%. I know in my heart they will always know they’re beautiful with or without it, because I tell them all the time. Yes there is a time and a place for kids to wear makeup, and I won’t be letting them pinch my foundation anytime soon, but if they want to wear purple eyeshadow, noddy-esque blusher, and bubblegum pink lipstick while we play in the house, who the fuck am I to stop them?

Mila rocking the “is it purple or is it a bruise” eye makeup.

See the point is, whether we slap it all on 5cms deep, or leave our faces barer than a baboons arse, it isn’t anyone else’s business. They can do them, and leave us to do us. Judgmental people exist everywhere, in every aspect of life we can be judged, preached to, or bitched about.

Unfortunately as vulnerable as we are in motherhood it seems to attract knobby know it alls and brings all the judgey-mcjudgersons out of their dark little judgey holes.

But whether we choose to give them the time of day and listen to their cruel words and digs or stick the middle finger up to them and say fuck you is up to us.

I know what I will do!

Survival kit for the first 6 Months

Having twins isn’t easy, in fact it’s so bloody hard I don’t know how people with triplets or more cope on a day to day basis, I literally claw my way through bedtime and look like the stig of the dump once all 4 kids are asleep.

We have however bought some products that have made our life that little bit easier. So I thought I’d share them with you!

The Babybay Maxi co sleeping crib

This crib literally was amazing, it made breastfeeding so much easier I could literally just roll over flop a boob out and feed instantly. The only issue we had with this was that once we removed it from the side of the bed and I changed to bottle feeding (when breastfeeding became so painful I would rather jump into a pool of hangry piranhas) they seemed to have less space with the side bar on, so it didn’t last them as long as it could have! But, I don’t regret buying it at all.

Love to Dream Swaddle Up

These swaddle bags are A-MAZE-ING. They’re hip safe with room to move their legs, and with the arms in the air give babies the ability to chew on their hands for comfort and to regulate their temperatures better (as opposed to having them swaddled down on their chest). There’s also a little pocket on the back that you can use to check for stinky bums. Now seriously, if you don’t buy these you will totally regret it, I genuinely believe they helped the babies to sleep. When I attempted to put them down with out the (because they had puked all over themselves) they never settled well and it would take bloody ages to get them down.

They’re super soft and just lovely, I purchased mine from one of their U.K. stockists Natural Baby Shower and I’m pretty sure they had a new customer sign up code to use for a little bit of discount too!

They also make 50/50 transitional sleep bags where you can take the sleeves off and these really cute sleepbag/sleepsuit type things which look awesome and I’ll definitely be buying them for next winter!

Ewan The Dream Sheep

Ewan was one of the items that I wanted to try with the girls, but left it too late. I’m so glad that this time I was actually organised and purchased one before the babies were born. We use it on the heartbeat mode (there’s 4 different ones you can try) and the soothing sound and red light actually works, we still use it every single day now. It even helped me get to sleep when the babies were in our bedroom!

Baby Bath Sponges

I had these with the girls and had to buy them again because I found them great! they’re basically big old sponges that are in the shape of the baby which they lay on in the bath, it’s a really good way of keeping them safe and comfy in the bath without them swirling and slipping around like a giant fleshy fish, and gives you full ability to clean all over (something I struggled with when using seats!).

I got mine from Amazon for like £8 each which is an absolute bargain and we have only just stopped using them (although they have been half hanging off them for a while!)

Hevea Pacifiers

I just knew that Etti would be the one that took comfort in a dummy/pacifier. We first tried the Mam ones because we use their bottles, but they’re so fiddly and don’t have a handle so every time she batted it out of my hand as I tried to pop it in her mouth it would go flying and I always struggled to pick it up with my long nails (first world problems). When I saw the cute natural rubber pacifiers on Instagram, I had a little look online to see what I could find in the U.K. I came across Hevea and instantly fell in love with the designs, I chose the moon and star one, but there’s also little ducks, crowns and flowers too so something for everyone. I love the fact they contain no plastic and are manufactured with the planet in mind! They’re super easy to clean (just wash with soapy water and pop in some boiling water) and have a nice big handle on them so I can easily pop it back in her mouth if she drops it (she’s just learning to do it herself now too… winning!). I need to get the next size up soon and will 100% be buying Hevea again. Oh and if you are a judgey-mc-judgerson and don’t like or agree with dummies, I’ll just leave my babies with you for 24 hours and I guarantee when both of them are screaming and you don’t know what to do first… you will reach for that dummy. I put my life on it! P.S stop being judgey anyway, it’s not nice.

Lilcubs Muslins

We entered a rep search run by the lovely Tabitha at Lilcubs via Instagram and I’m so glad we did! As well as her being the most generous and kindest lady ever, we have got to try all of her range of giant muslins, sleepsuits and dribble bibs. The muslins have literally been a lifesaver! They are so big they will mop up even the largest puddles of sick, make great emergency playmats/changing mats, and also work great as swaddles too. They come in all different colours, are playful and fun, and I always get complimented on them when I whip one out of my change bag. They’re amazing, as are her other products (very reasonably priced too!) and I urge you to check them out. I’m really excited to see what’s up her sleeve for the next year too.

Matchstick Monkey Teethers

The babies I’m sure have been teething for like a lifetime, yet still no tooth has made an appearance. They’re slow burners I think! But in the meantime I reckon I’ve spent a bloody fortune on teethers! I’ve tried Tesco’s, blossom and bear, and nuby amongst others I’ve even brought pretty handmade ones in the hope that they will be practical as well as gorgeous. Each one has has its 5 mins then been binned because the babies just won’t take to it, one word: Ungrateful. I had seen matchstick monkeys but thought they would be another 5 minute wonder, but when I was approached to try them for free…I jumped at the chance. And blow me down, they’ve become their absolute faves! I think it’s because they don’t have to be held in a specific way to do their job. It can be chewed anywhere, but what I love about it the most is that behind its little head are some soft rubbery bristles which, wait for it, makes it a training toothbrush! How cool is that? You can clean them easily by chucking them in the dishwasher, come in loads of cute colours and you can hook them onto things too. I just love them, and I think the babies really do too, they’re the only teethers that have made it beyond 24 hours and they’re going strong! We also got to try matchstick monkey swaddle muslins with a little teether corner, also a hit, and their rattle soft toys too which are firmly attached to the pram to entertain the babies on the nursery run. If you haven’t come across them definitely take a look.

So that’s the end of my recommendations, If you have found something to be invaluable for the first 6 months let me know below or on my Instagram post! Go check all of these guys out, you won’t be disappointed, in addition to these just stock up on wine, chocolate, teabags, and cute baby clothes and you will be alright!

Review – Fifi and Friends Baby and Toddler products

I’m always looking for natural products when it comes to skincare for myself and for the kids too. When the girls were babies I literally had Johnson’s baby products thrown at me. Personally I found they were really drying on the skin, and so full of perfume they were overpowering. Iris now has particularly dry patches on her arms and her legs, so this time around I’ve avoided them like the plague (Soz if you’re a Johnson’s fan… actually no I’m not).

I’ve tried a few different brands of baby washes and skincare, all of which have been satisfactory, but since watching Tamara Ecclestone’s “Tamaras world” on ITV and discovering that she founded the baby and toddler brand Fifi and Friends I’ve been desperate to try it!

The Buying Process

The website is lush, easy to use and so cute! when I was browsing the products there is loooooads of information about the ingredients so I knew I was buying from an honest company. And to my surprise a little pop up popped up (obviously) and offered me a 10% discount code to use. Bonus!

I chose to order the Super soft Baby Lotion £9 and the Super soft Baby wash at £8. The cold weather has made the babies skin a little drier than usual so I was hoping the super softness of these products would get those little chunks back to soft little cherubs again. To be honest I could have chucked it all in my basket but I didn’t want to be lumbered with stuff that didn’t agree with the babies skin or be threatened with a divorce when Greg found out how much the postie was delivering!

When I got to checkout I was chuffed to bits to find that giftwrap was FREE! I bloody love opening something special so even though it was for my own babies I checked the fuck out of that box!

And THEN… once I had applied the discount code which took my total from £17 to £15.30, but because it was over £15 standard shipping was FREEEEEEE! Literally over the bloody moon, you know how much hatred I have against postage charges! I checked out ASAP just incase they suddenly changed their minds!

The Products

Considering delivery was free, it arrived in a matter of a couple of days. When I opened up the box I was so delighted to see the gift wrap, it literally felt better than my birthday. A cute little green bow wrapped around a gorgeous little box (I love boxes) and inside was tissue paper, on a little bed of that straw material. Super. Cute. If I had a mini pig he could have slept in it and been super comfy. To delight me further they had chucked in a little sample of the rescue lotion too! SO spoilt!

The bottles are HUGE! I wasn’t expecting them to be so big so you have lots of product to keep you going, much needed with two little humans to keep clean and soft! They’re 250mls if you’re wondering.

When I opened the lids to smell, I don’t really know what I was expecting… but I couldn’t really smell much at all (maybe my nostrils aren’t working since I gave birth?! They fucked the rest of my body so it’s probable). There was a little hint of aloe that I got but actually, I prefer the light smell, it means I can still smell the natural scent of my babies (is that weird?).

Because the products have no sulphates, it doesn’t foam up as much as your usual body wash, however it’s enough and feels so silky when you’re washing the little ones. And although I found it annoying at first, the bottles only let out a little bit of product but you literally need the smallest amount and it goes so far so it’s actually a good design feature! For instance the body lotion, I squeezed out a little more than a pea size amount, that was enough for Roux’s (the absolute unit of a baby) ENTIRE BODY! I literally love it when I’ve only got to replace something every once in a while, one because it’s convenient, and two because I’m skint most of the time!

The Verdict

I really really like the products. I wouldn’t say the babies skin is any softer than they were (I mean you cant get much softer than a babies tushy can you?!) but it’s definitely sorted out the dryness that I think the cold weather has caused! The whole experience of purchasing and opening such a delightful package really helped, but after using the body wash and lotion for almost 2 weeks now I can safely say Fifi and Friends are definitely one to try if you are into your natural products.

Some Tips

Always always carry out a patch test before you try a new skincare product. The rescue balm actually reacted on Mila and Iris’ skin, and stupidly I just rubbed it over their entire faces (cue tomato heads) but it was totally my own fault because I didn’t realise one ingredient they are actually allergic to. Idiot! After that I carried out patch tests on the babies because I really didn’t want to risk having two babies looking like naked lobsters! Luckily there was no reaction from them so I was able to dive right in with the aloe goodness and smother them in the stuff!

Don’t waste product! Seriously this stuff will last you ages because such a little amount goes a long way. Just do one little squeeze and that is all you need.

Pat don’t rub! When drying your baby make sure you pat dry, rubbing can damage their delicate skin. Also remember to get in the creases, there’s nothing worse than cheesy baby wrinkles. And they can get sore so so fast, so be on crease patrol at all times.

Enjoy it! Bath time can be stressful, if anyone knows that I do. Just take your time and make it fun for you and baby because it will pay off in the long run when your babies grow older and absolutely love to get in the tub, empty it entirely of water and ruin any bathroom flooring you ever care to put down!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this review! It’s completely honest (you know me) and I’d never tell anyone to buy something I didn’t like myself. But I like Fifi and Friends… so go buy it!

If there’s anything else you would like me to review (within reason obviously) leave your suggestions in the comments!