Thursday, 27 June 2013

My favourite websites & blogs

I have really enjoyed discovering new individual websites and blogs over the last few months - there are some great ones out there. I wanted to share a few of them, as they are lovely to browse when you (finally!) get to put your feet up with a cup of tea/glass of wine.... - This shop is local to me, but also does free nationwide delivery on all orders. They stock some fab baby brands - Pink Lining, Bugaboo and Label Label are just a few. The service there is really friendly and orders always arrive speedily. - again this shop isn't too far from where I live, but you can browse their website and order products online. They sell 100% cotton organic baby products which make lovely baby gifts. Baby J has the Hug Me Knitted Bear which is very cute! - a great range of handmade baby items, including blankets, bibs and bags. The prints are gorgeous and unique, while you can have products personalised to your requirements. We have a blanket with baby J's name embroidered on which I'm sure he will keep for a very long time. - this website has lovely ideas for keeping little ones entertained, and they're not expensive either. One post I found very helpful was the Top Toy List for Babies and Toddlers, which has some excellent ideas for 1st birthday presents if you are a bit stuck! - I love this style blog, which covers fashion for pregnancy and motherhood. The clothes and accessories featured are affordable and wearable, giving you new style ideas if you are stuck in a rut during or after your pregnancy. I often take tips from this blog, it is a bad influence as I end up treating myself when I shouldn't...

I hope you enjoy looking at these, if anyone else has recommendations for blogs or websites I would love to hear them.


Friday, 21 June 2013

Avon calling...

I've been a bit quiet of late with returning to work - lots of respect to the mums who make it look easy juggling everything! I think baby J and I have got the hang of our morning routine now, and I'm just about looking presentable when I get into the office...

After a busy couple of weeks, it was lovely to be offered some products from Avon to try when I was in need of some pampering. I haven't ever used Avon before - my recollection of the brand was the Avon ladies who knocked at your door to sell you various products! Things have obviously moved on a lot since then, and Avon is constantly introducing new products on a par with the most innovative cosmetics brands. I was amazed at the prices too, there are loads of great offers so perfect for mums on a budget. Here's my thoughts on a few products that I have been trialling:

Advance Techniques Heat Protection Styler (currently £1.80) - this protects hair from heat damage caused by hair dryers and straighteners, both of which I use frequently! So it was perfect for me, detangling and protecting my hair without leaving it greasy.

Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil (currently £3.30) - a leave in treatment, this serum is suitable for use on both wet and dry hair. I found it smoothed my hair and left it shinier without being too heavy. A tiny blob was just the right amount, so this is excellent value for money.

Advance Techniques Daily Shine Mirror Shine Spray (currently £1.99) - this lightweight spray made my fine hair look glossy without weighing it down. A bargain for less than £2, this could compete with products 5 times the price!

Naturals Cherry Blossom Daily Hair Refresher (currently £1.20) - I used this on second day hair before straightening. The smell was lovely and fresh, and my hair was smoother. Very useful for those days where you're in a rush with no time to wash your hair!

Soft & Glow Sunkissed Airbrush Spray (currently £2.60) - this self tan was easy to apply, with a pump action spray. It dried very quickly, so ideal for putting on before bed or getting dressed. The spray is clear, so you have to be careful that you don't apply it twice anywhere! After a couple of applications I had a light glow, so this product would be best suited to paler skintones.

Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Spray (currently £1.99) - the smell of this reminded me of holidays, which is always a positive thing! It was absorbed very easily, leaving my skin soft and with a gorgeous sheen.

Solutions Truly Radiant Vibes Brightening Eye Roller (currently half price at £5) - any gadget fans will like this! It has a vibrating roller ball to smooth in the cream and illuminate the eye area, reducing the appearance of dark circles. The cream has a hint of colour so you can look like you've had your full 8 hours sleep even if it's not true....

Infinitize mascara (currently half price at £4.99) - this mascara contains lash sculpting, lengthening fibres and curling molecules to help shape and set lash curve and length for 24 hours. I found the brush very good at coating every lash, and it would be great for those with thick lashes who are looking for length and curl. My stumpy lashes needed a bit of extra help in the thickening department so this wasn't perfect for me, but definitely a good one for lash coverage and length!

Spectralash mascara (£10) - dial this up to control the amount of mascara loaded onto the brush, so you can decide whether you want a day or evening look. I used this on level 3, as I have short eyelashes that also need volume. I used 2 coats with no clumping and my lashes looked longer and thicker.

Ideal Flawless Skin Loving Beauty Balm (currently £6.99) - every make up brand has a BB cream now, and I have tried quite a few. I loved this one - the light coverage evened out my skin and gave it a healthy glow. The ivory shade was just right for my skin tone, as I often find similar products too orangey. This is easy to apply quickly, and with the addition of mascara and blusher you'll be good to go in a rush.

Glazewear Dazzle Lip Gloss (£6) - this lip gloss was light and non sticky, leaving my lips smooth with a natural looking shine. I tried shade Pink Radiance which is a pretty pale pink.

Naturals Kids Mango Body Wash and Bubble Bath (currently half price at £1.25) - this fruity bubble bath had a lovely smell. It produced lots of bubbles which baby J loved, and didn't dry out his skin. 

Fragrance Spritz (various scents - currently £2) - these sprays are suitable for home and body, so a good multi tasker! The spray gave the house a lovely smell without being overpowering or artificial. Good for those days where you have a guest over and no time to clean, as the freshness will distract from the dust on the coffee table...

If you fancy trying any of the above then it's easy to find your local Avon representative and order from the comfort of your sofa - just go to:

Or to browse new products:

Happy shopping!x

N.B. These samples were sent to me for free, but the review is impartial and all opinions are my own. Many thanks to Rhiannon at Avon.