Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Pregnancy and acne

Acne can be a symptom of hormonal sensitivity, so can flare up during pregnancy.

If you're suffering it may be worth trying products containing glycolic acid.

Glycolic acid is a pregnancy-safe alpha hydroxy acid, which lightly exfoliates, clears pore-blocking dead skin and helps regulate oil production.

My advice would always be to simplify your routine, ditch any harsh foaming cleansers, muslin cloths, and cleansing brushes.

Try a glycolic-based face wash once or twice daily.

Moisturiser is also crucial - if you let acne-prone skin dry out, it will breakout.

It's even worth investing in a serum containing hyaluronic acid or glycerin.

The real key to any skin care routine is persistence. Spots can be very distressing, and you want them gone fast, but unfortunately it may take a few months to see an improvement.

In the meantime I can't stress enough how important it is to not pick at your skin, or to try and 'dry out' your spots.

Let the products do the work at clearing blemishes.

The infection found in blemishes wants to come out of the surface of the skin. If you pick at it when it’s not ready to come out, you’ll only scar the skin and leave a discolored mark. And, if you dry it out immediately with a spot treatment, the resulting dry skin cells will only make it harder for the infection to surface, resulting in a possibly bigger blemish that lingers longer.

The key is to leave the pimple alone and avoid touching the skin until the infection has organically reached the surface - usually one to three days after the blemish first appears.

It's also worth considering supplementation. I have no doubt in my mind that consuming large quantities of fish oil has improved my skin no end.

Taking a daily omega-3 supplement will not only help to improve your skin it's also great for your developing baby too.

Just steer clear of fish oil supplements made from cod liver oil. Although cod liver oil is a good source of omega-3s, it contains amounts of vitamin A that are potentially toxic during pregnancy.

Another amazing pregnancy safe supplement to consider is Tejaswini Ayurvedic Skincare Capsules -which I wrote about here.

If you're really suffering and none of the above is helping, read about my pregnancy-acne journey here, and how I turned to benzoyl peroxide to help. 

I used Obagi Therapeutic Lotion Benzoyl Peroxide 5% - truly amazing stuff - throughout my pregnancy and still now, even whilst breastfeeding, with no adverse effects. 

If in doubt always consult your GP or Midwife!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

New: YSL Fusion Foundation

OK first thing to mention here isn't that this foundation contains NASA-inspired technology (?!), no, it's that I'm actually writing this review whilst on my honeymoon. That's how impressed I am.

I couldn't wait to share this discovery with you, it's that good.

First thing's first. I wasn't even in the market for a new base, but we happened to pop into the big Boots in Brighton - one of our honeymoon destinations - Brighton not Boots that is, and I spotted a sign for a 7 day free trial of the new YSL foundation.

Being a beauty junkie who can't resist a freebie, and the fact that there wasn't a queue - despite the so called waiting list of over 12,000 beauty fanatics - I happily sat down to be colour matched.

Within 5 minuets I was walking away with a handy travel sized vial of the new Fusion Ink Foundation, fronted by Cara Delevigne, with the promise of 24-hour staying power - and a super matte finish to boot.

I'm going to keep this short and to the point - this stuff is works. So much so, that I was compelled to take time away from my holiday, to sit down and write this.

It applies like a dream with a pleasingly velvety texture - over moisturiser - no need for primers or powders.

It's easy to blend - you don't need much, fingers are fine, no need for brushes.

It's 'second skin' consistency is the best I've ever experienced - no caking or rolling, with a good medium (build-able) coverage.

This is the perfect product for anyone who struggles with shine. Or who simply prefers a less dewy look, or doesn't have time to touch up all day.

Without realising it, I was about to put the whole '24-hour staying power' claim to the ultimate test.

Straight after my first application I went for a - romantic - coastal walk.

This started out all sunny and bright, and before I knew it, I was battling 20mph winds, rain, and trapped on a cliff top feeling miserable that I'd just spent all that time blowdrying my hair and applying a full face.

Luckily I had sunglasses on to protect my eyes, but the wind & rain - which at one point was running down my face - I was sure had wrecked all of my handy work - so I was beyond impressed when I finally made it back to my room to discover that although my hair was a complete write-off, my makeup hadn't moved an inch!

My skin still looked nothing short of perfect. Let's hear it for NASA-inspired technology!

So basically, for anyone who's looking for a foundation to work as hard as they do, this is the one for you, and you can try it for free!

Plus, if you do decide to buy the full size at Boots, if you buy a 2nd YSL product, you get £10 worth of points. Which makes the £30.50 price tag a bit easier to swallow.

visit any YSL counter for a free 7-day trial of the Fusion Foundation, before its official launch on August 10 in Debenhams stores.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Wedding Belles

So yesterday, after a year of planning, I finally tied the knot, baby in tow! 

Here I am posing with my maid of honour, moments before walking down the aisle.

I've never felt nerves like that before!

I'm hoping to find some time soon to post more pictures, and details about the day. 

In the meantime please leave a comment if there's anything in particular that you'd like to know.

Monday, 11 August 2014

My 1 Year Update

This year has absolutely flown by. I can't quite believe it. I can still remember giving birth to him like it was yesterday, only now he's walking around, and babbling away in his own special language.It might sound cliched, but as much as I yearned to be pregnant, and thought about what my life would be like with a baby, I had no idea just how much I would love motherhood.

Turning one has been a real game changer for me. Developmentally he's right on track, but with walking comes a whole host of new challenges - he gets into everything!

His teeth are finally coming through, which seems to be making him particularly clinging - putting him down or leaving the room and a tantrum ensues

And he's all but forgotten about how to take a nap, so we're dealing with a lot of over tiredness come the afternoon.

Despite all that I'm really enjoying more interaction with him - he seems to understand most of what I say, and I can understand a lot more of what he wants from me.

He came over, hugged my legs, and called me mama today- which felt wonderful, and weird at the same time - as it really hit home that I'm someone's mum.

He also seems to be bringing out the best in my relationship with Tom - which I'm grateful for as I'm aware it can too often do the opposite for some couples.

It's hard not to spend the first year of your baby's life craving the next stage. You want them crawling, walking, talking, and eating - and then when they're finally doing all of those things, you catch a glimpse of a newborn baby - and you instantly crave that helpless little creature back.
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The kind you can put down, that won't crawl away!

I really couldn't have wished for more from our first year together. Of course I have days when I feel like I'm doing everything wrong, but mostly I just float around the house with a big fat smile on my face.

Maybe that's got something to do with the fact that I'm still breastfeeding - the mothering hormones prolactin and oxytocin are still gushing around my body from feeding so frequently.

We somehow got through the exhausting first stretch - after a long, challenging birth - of all the cluster feeding my son did (and still does actually!) We've battled colic, keeping my heavy let-down under control, feeding in public, and those overwhelming moments - of being the only person who can feed your baby, but most of that's a distant memory now.

The process of breastfeeding for a year is most certainly labour intensive, but it's been the most fulfilling of my life.

The bond I have with him feels immense. So much so that I can't even imagine having another child - although I'm sure when my fertility returns I'll be gagging for one!

There was a brief moment when I thought I might be pregnant again, and the first thing I felt was guilt! So I know I'm not ready yet, and I think that's the way mother nature intended it to be.

I've learnt that a baby's sucking controls the mother's ovulation. The more the baby has a need to suck, the less ready he is to be displaced by another. The less baby has a need to suck, the more ready and able he is to cope with a new brother or sister.

Clever right?

So for now the daily moments of tenderness and connectedness that we get to enjoy far outweigh any inconveniences, or any urges to add to my brood.

He's also still in our bed. This is by choice I hasten to add. As a family, we sleep soundly as a pack, sharing the same bed. It's a very special time for the three of us. Tom, like me, is head over heels about Ern, and getting up to leave for work everyday is hard for him, which makes that nighttime bonding even more important, and I can't help but feel that their relationship is extra special for it.

There are many benefits to co-sleeping, but waking up each morning and seeing the people I love is definitely the best bit. I know it won't last forever, so for now, even on those nights he feeds like a newborn, I cherish it.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Disney Frozen Cupcakes


I made these Disney 'Frozen' inspired cupcakes for my Niece Cicely's 4th Birthday party. 

I used Mary Berry's Fairy Cake recipe - the plain and chocolate variety. I find these to be a better size when baking cupcakes for children's parties.

I topped them with Hummingbird's Cream Cheese Frosting recipe - a real favourite of mine - with the addition of blue food colouring.

I ordered Frozen rice paper characters to place on top from Ebay.

I used a medium size snowflake cutter to shape white fondant icing for extra decoration, and a 1M Wilton nozzle to pipe on the icing.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Afternoon snack

Full fat Bio Live yoghurt

Hazelnut pieces

Rice Malt Syrup 

* Rice malt syrup is made from fermented cooked rice. It’s a blend of complex carbohydrates, maltose and glucose. I rate it because it’s fructose-free and it’s slow releasing, so it doesn’t dump on the liver quite as fast as pure glucose. Also, I find you need very little of it to achieve sweetness.


Monday, 4 August 2014

Our first Birthday Party

First let me apologize for being MIA the last few days, I am in CRAZY party planning mode - as I prepare for my upcoming wedding.

I couldn't let Ernest's 1st Birthday go by without a little celebration - it being so close to the wedding day we decided to just gather grandparents and cousins.

My Mum and Paul hosted the party at their new country pad, they prepared a lovely lunch, and we  all enjoyed a woodland walk, returning for a little chicken cake - made by Daddy!

Hope you enjoy the pics, and happy first Birthday to my sweet sweet Ernest James!