Beach Trips in the Bag

Summer holidays may be a little way off, but I’m hoping to hit the beach soon if this sunshine continues. With the kids in tow, we always need to carry excess essentials, and now I’ve found a super snazzy way to do it. These beach bags by Sew Lomax are wipe clean and have a zip to seal contents safely, keeping the sand off your sun cream.

 

As well as being brilliant beach bags, they’re also perfect for other day trips. I could see myself stuffing make-up bits, snacks and general baby belongings in these seaside pals.

 

 

Available from May, priced at £30 each.  www.sewlomax.com.

Shopcade Store

Last year I did a few blogs about Shopcade, the one stop social shopping site. Taking part in their Mother’s Day Q&A I was asked to describe myself in three words. Tricky as this task was, I plumped for “never without mascara”.

 

 

Shopcade is a personal shopping app, where you can list favourites, earn points and grab bargains. Like Facebook and Twitter, you have a profile page in which you pin products from various big name fashion, home and beauty brands. It’s seriously addictive (and stylish) stuff, especially with the likes of MAC, Topshop and Asos on there.  Shopcade Store is an extension of the main site, and features their favourite up-and-coming design talent. Designers include; Finchittida Finch, DIY Nails, Monvatoo London and LOTA.

 

There are amazing items on display, but Monvatoo London really caught my eye. This Rose Gold Unicorn Ring is a stunning statement piece, which would bring the bling to any outfit.

See more from the Shopcade Store here.

Good Hair Day

L and I are a bit hair accessory obsessed at the moment. Although her 4 year old tastes may be slightly influenced by extravagant Frozen updos (which are somewhat over-stretching my hairdressing skills), I’ve still taken to borrowing a few bobbles. Think I’ll stop short of stealing her glittery clip-in hair pieces though- not sure the My Little Pony look suits me.

 

My favourite scrunchie find (yes they’re back) are these Topshop cuties. Only £4 each and with lots of colours to choose from, I’ve bought a few different patterns. They transform all manner of mop sins into a good hair day. The style is very Easter appropriate too, or so my 2 year old thinks. I’m currently choosing to ignore his comment about Mummy being a bunny.

Check out the rest of the Topshop hair accessory range here.

The Simple Things

Since Spring has sprung I’ve noticed how much the simplicity of sunshine or blossoming flowers actually affects my mood. It’s amazing the way bright colours can perk you up, no matter how dreary the day. I’ve recently started a new Sunday night ritual, taking time out and indulging in a face mask, episodes of Sex and The City and some chocolate or nail painting. Sometimes I’ve felt so stuck in a rut that it’s been easier to waste time on Twitter or mull over pointless worries, when actually all I needed was to stop and take stock.

Already a big fan of La Sultane de Saba, (as seen in my Premium Pampering post), I jumped at the chance to sample their Honey, Rose & Ginger Mask. Coming in at £30, I can vouch that this gorgeous goo is well worth the price tag. Using it once or twice a week has not only provided the perfect excuse to sit still and chill, but also made my skin soft, soothed and plumped up. The main problem is trying to avoid eating it alongside my SATC Dairy Milk, because like all La Sultane de Saba items, this mask smells ridiculously scrummy. A good friend visiting on Saturday even commented on my skin- and I thought that kind of thing only happened in cringey tv ads.

Here are a few other simple slices of luxury making me happy this week…

 

 

La Sultane De Saba stockist- www.burntlily.co.uk. View the Honey, Rose & Ginger Mask here

Endometriosis Awareness Month

March is global Endometriosis Awareness Month, and so I decided to share my story. Writing for Cosmopolitan, I wanted to empower others in a similar position, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. There is a huge need for greater research and information about this illness, with its debilitating symptoms affecting many women worldwide.

Read more here.

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The Friendship Edit

Victoria Coren Mitchell‘s The Voice column is one of my favourite parts of Elle magazine. This month in particular, Victoria’s musings really struck a chord. We Need To Talk About Friendships discusses the importance of updating your friend wardrobe. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve just hit the big 30, but how much friendships make us value ourself feels such an important talking point.

Watching my daughter start the trials and tribulations of tricky school yard relationships, I began wondering what I can teach her from my own experiences. Naturally, when a scathing 4 year old carried out a Mean Girls style attack on L last Summer, all my maternal instincts told me to slap said child across the face with a wet fish.  Realistically though, it is a guarantee that L will come across lovely and loathesome people in equal quantities throughout her entire life. So, my job is in fact to empower her for the future just as much as it is to prevent bad-tempered brats crossing her path. When it comes to categorising friendships, I’ve learnt that each and every one contributes to your own sense of self.

With that in mind, here’s my take on editing friendships, as inspired by Victoria’s column. I’ve chosen to use handbags rather than clothing, and I can tell you it’s no coincidence I got a Mulberry for my birthday. It’s time to chuck out any unused totes or clutches lurking at the back of that closet.

Bag For Life

Not always the most glamorous of friendships, this one has seen it all. She will carry any load, however difficult a time you may be having. As comfy as slippers, you want to take her everywhere with you.

Statement Clutch

You don’t see her that often, but every time you do she brings out the best in you. Her commitment will never be questioned, whether you see her once a month or once a year. An old school leading lady.

Designer Luggage

In it for the long haul, just as long as you fit in with her high maintenance needs. Possibly a case of all fur coat and no knickers, this is your fair weather friend. Warning- despite appearances, she will only make you feel special for a very small part of your journey together.

Mulberry

It can take a while to get there as they’re such a special purchase, but you know this one’s your best investment yet. There through thick and thin, she’ll make you feel nice whatever you’re wearing. This friend will always have your back, even from the earliest stages of your sisterhood.

Disclaimer: in no way am I referring to any of my friends as an old bag.

Wild Wood Groves

Argan oil has firmly established its place in the beauty world of late, originally hailed as a miraculous haircare wonder. However, Ruth Hajioff’s passion for Argan started several years before this rapidly increasing popularity, during a trip to Morocco. Studying herbal Moroccan medicine, Ruth came across an innovative and intriguing product. Aware that the fruits of an Argan tree were largely unknown across most of the world, Ruth began her mission to research their healing properties. The Wild Wood Groves website followed in 2001, offering food and skincare oils. All items are ethically produced and fairly traded, using sustainable sources and created at Ruth’s own purpose made workshop in the Argan region of Morocco.

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I recently sampled the Baby Blend Argan Facial Oil and Rescue Eye Serum. Both were softening and magical, calmly soothing tired skin. The little ones bathed in the Vitamin E infused Baby Blend, which removed L’s post Birthday party temporary tattoo without irritation. Despite her Sunday night insistence to keep them on, I’m not sure the teacher would have appreciated a Popeye-style pupil. T’s had a touch of cradle cap recently and this was eased considerably by a drop or two of Baby Blend. I even stole some for my hands and feet when doing night out nails this weekend, a quick home treatment. Baby Blend strikes me as an all purpose go to product- one for cuts, grazes and general bathroom cabinet emergencies.

The Rescue Eye Serum comes in a roll-on format, making for easy use when you’re not quite awake or too worn out for complicated skincare. A new part of my morning and bedtime regime, it sinks into skin without any greasiness. Rich in Vitamin E, plant sterols and fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6, its handy packaging is a perfect size for squeezing into your handbag. Ideal if you’re on a flight, experiencing parched skin or in need of an alternative lip balm. A tiny bit of it goes a long way.

What are your skincare saviours?

Read more about Ruth Hajioff’s Wild Wood Groves here.