Tuesday 30 September 2014

Beauty/Home | Orla Kiely Bergamot Hand Lotion review

Dry hands are just awful! Who wants to hold hands / shake hands with someone with dry hands? Ew. Hence why I'm never far from some hand cream. It's in my handbag. It's in my make up drawer. And I apply some every morning after putting on my makeup. It's as important as brushing my teeth! :) Well, almost! 

Lately, I'm constantly washing my hands with a newborn around. I have anti bac gel all over the place for cleaning my hands before and after nappy changes, feeds, and of course the washing up and laundry seems to have doubled with this new little human in the house!! All this extra hand washing has left my hands feeling quite dry, so I've found myself reaching for some hand lotion throughout the day too.

When the Orla Kiely Bergamot Hand Lotion (£12.00* / John Lewis) dropped through my letterbox, it soon took place in my kitchen, next to the kitchen sink.

Orla Kiely is an Irish contemporary designer known for her quirky, unique retro prints. 
The Bergamot collection is the second collection of her bath and body ranges.

'Made with 100% essential oils including warm Cedarwood, Patchouli and refreshing notes of Grapefruit and Bergamot. All products within the collection are free from sulphates, parabens, petrochemicals and artificial colourings making them ideal for anyone with sensitive skin.'

First Impressions...
Yes, the floral, colourful packaging looks great. I almost wish my kitchen was orange, to match ;) It's definitely the kind you want to leave out on display. The collection would look stunning in a bathroom. 
I love that it is a huge 250ml bottle, so will last ages! But at £12.00 I'd expect nothing smaller!! It also comes complete with pump, for easy access, which is a huge plus! 
I'm a fan of the fact that it doesn't include any nasties, which is good to know for frequent use and the fact that I'm handling a new baby, so products good for sensitive skin are a big thumbs up!

The Product...
Now the smell, for me, is really quite over powering. It's not really my cup of tea [excuse the pun ;)] and not something that I think 'Ooh yum!' when I use it. I'm not a massive fan of Bergamot though, so it's probably just a personal thing. 
One whole pump dispenses quite a lot of product, which then takes quite a while to sink into the skin, so I've learnt that only a very small amount is needed. It isn't overly moisturising, but does the job for quick fixes after hand washes. I do like the consistency, providing you use the right amount [as too much means you end up a greasy mess!] it gives quite a waxy, luxurious creamy feel which sinks into the skin nicely.
My hands don't feel as dry as they do if I didn't use it but they aren't feeling as soft as with my usual hand creams.

Would I Recommend?
I personally don't think it's worth the money for a very simple hand lotion that doesn't work wonders, but it would make a lovely gift especially alongside others from the collection, they do look fab and would make a statement in any bathroom. If you aren't a fan of in-your-face scents, I'd stay clear. It's pretty strong!

Would I Repurchase?
I think this bottle will be lasting me a good while yet. But no, I don't think I'd personally be repurchasing the hand lotion. It has made me inquisitive about Orla Kiely's other products though, as I do love the retro prints!!

Orla Kiely Bergamot Hand Lotion, available at John Lewis and other leading department stores priced at £12.00.

Are you a fan of Bergamot? 
What do you think of the quirky retro print?

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*PR Sample - Sent to me for honest review

Friday 26 September 2014

Baby | My 1st Years Personalised Blanket review

I adore personalised things, especially baby bits. If you can add a name to it, I want it! :)
So when I was contacted by My 1st Years to review their luxury personalised baby gifts, I was more than happy to!

My 1st Years are an online gift store, priding themselves on providing unique, one of a kind, high quality baby gifts. They promise a great choice of products, a fantastic service, a next day delivery option for those last minute presents and above all ...happy customers!

The Website...
The site is clear, easy to use and is full of gorgeous photos showing off their fantastic collection of baby gifts on offer. Every time I've visited the site I've got carried away looking at all the things I can get my hands on. As the Mum of a new arrival, I really could go crazy!! :)

The Product...
I was sent this beautiful Star Jacquard Knit Blanket (£25.00*) personalised with Taylor's name. It is a snuggly soft, cream coloured blanket with mink coloured text and a subtle star design. It is absolutely gorgeous. A really lovely, high quality blanket, I really am happy with it. It is beautiful! 
The icing on the cake when receiving this was the gift box it came in. Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge fan of Tiffany & Co, and the Tiffany blue colour, and so I instantly fell in love with this box! How amazing would it be to receive this present, in this gorgeous box with it's cute bow and opening up to find this beautiful luxurious blanket, lovingly gift wrapped in white tissue paper. 
I know that I loved the experience of opening it up and revealing the blanket, so it would make a perfect present for a new arrival.
The blanket is of generous size, making it perfect for use in a cot, pram or just for keeping baby snug.  Made with 100% cotton, the blanket is super soft on baby's skin.
A personalisation can be made for free, in a choice of 2 fonts and available in mink, pink or blue.

Would I Recommend?
Most definitely! If you're looking for a unique baby gift, My 1st Years are perfect!

Would I Repurchase?
Yes, I'd be happy to order from them again, for myself or for a gift.

Other gifts available include first shoes, traditional silver plated gifts, baby robes, jewellery, soft toys, outfits, bibs, photo frames and other keepsakes.

Visit my1styears.com to see their full range of baby gifts.

What do you think of Taylor's gorgeous blanket? 
Isn't it adorable?

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*Product sent to me for honest review

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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Parenting | Taylor's 1 month update

Taylor @ 4 weeks old
A month old already!! Wow! It's just going so so fast! We've been living in our happy, perfect little bubble for a month now, and he's already changing so much!! 
Bradley loves him, although he's a bit silly around him. He likes to hold him a lot so we have to be careful, but he thinks it's fun to sing and shout loudly in his face, so I have to tell him to calm down with him a lot. 
James has been amazing, he's such a great, doting dad who has been really hands on. He's had a month off with us and is back to work on Monday, we will miss having him at home!
I honestly can't get enough of him, I'm so happy and so content right now. We went through so much to have him, and he's definitely worth the wait! :) I still just can't stop sniffing him and kissing his chubby little cheeks!!

Catch up on my Pregnancy Journey, including my TTC story, pregnancy updates & birth announcement HERE.

Having snuggles with Bradley | In his bouncy chair, with his poorly red eyes | Becoming more alert on his play mat | Lifting his head up during tummy time with Daddy 

Taylor James' 1 month Update

Taylor is doing really well. Unfortunately, he caught viral conjunctivitis from me at only a few days old. It was quite a scary time as eye infections can be dangerous in newborns. His eyes were both bright red, gunky and he struggled to open them. We were in and out of hospital with him, it was awful. But luckily it's much better now!
Other than that, he's doing great! He's pretty content the majority of the time.

I measured him [as best as I could] today and he is measuring at 56cm. 
He weighed 10lb 4oz at 2+5 weeks old, so I'm interested to know what he is now. He was 10lb at birth, lost his birth weight down to 9 lbs 10 oz and didn't put any back on for a while, so the HV kept coming back to check on him, but he'd shot up to 10lb 4oz last week so he's gaining well.

Since he was born so big, he didn't fit in the majority of his First Size clothes, if only for the first week or so, but he's in 0-3 months clothing now, although some of his trousers are still a little big. He's like his brother, tall and skinny and trousers are really hard to fit, both the long legs and skinny waist!

I breast fed him exclusively for 3 days but he would only take from one side and I ended up getting mastitis! It wasn't nice and both us of started struggling, I was in agony and he started struggling with latching on, so gradually I introduced some formula, and began combi feeding, expressing my milk and topping up on formula, gradually coming off the breast to using bottles alone. 
Being a big baby, he can get pretty hungry, especially when going through a growth spurt.
Now, he's mainly on formula, feeding on demand. I've still been expressing and giving him a little breast milk throughout the day too, but have gradually stopped this weekend as my supply was slowing down. 
He currently has, on average, 3-4oz every 2-3 hours [3-5 hours during the night]

He's starting to sleep less during the day now, and at night he usually only wakes twice for a feed and goes straight back off. Unfortunately he hasn't seemed to like sleeping alone in his moses basket and has been seeming to fall asleep on a feed, in our arms or next to me in bed. Now I always said I'd never co-sleep, I was dead against it and never ever did it with Bradley as a young baby unless he was poorly. But here I am this time round sleeping with my newborn in bed next to me! I'd never put him in-between James and I, as James only has to turn over and he squashes me, pretty much every night! But I'm a really light sleeper, my kids only have to breathe differently and I'm awake! As long as he knows I'm there next to him, he's fine and will sleep beautifully. I know I'm making things pretty hard for myself going forward, but in the middle of the night, when its apparent that he's no plans whatsoever to sleep in his own bed, sometimes it's just easier to pop him next to me, for a bit of sleep! I was much more stricter with Bradley, maybe I'm losing my touch in my old age ;).
UPDATE: Last night he slept in his moses basket by himself all night, still only waking twice for feeds and going straight back down - very proud of him!!
He's sleeping approx. 13 hours a day/night.

24/8 - Taylor was born.
25/8 [1 day old] - Taylor came home.
30/8 [6 days old] - Taylor recognised our voices.
12/9 [2+5 weeks] - Taylor recognises familiar faces.
15/9 [3+1 weeks] - Taylor lifted head up.
16/9 [3+2 weeks]  - Taylor started to give his first social smiles.

Bedtime Routine...
At about 7-9pm [he starts to get a little grumpy, tired and hungry around this time] we start winding him down for the night. We're bathing him every other night at the moment, then he has quiet time, either with a feed if he's due or just some snuggles and soft music, then I put him down in the moses basket. Last night was the very first time he fell sleep in there by himself. :)
He's sleeping anything from 3 to 6 hours at night currently. 

Mummy's post partum body...
I'm healing up pretty well from surgery to fix the 3rd degree tears I got during child birth, I'm completely comfortable now. I plan to start working on getting my body back to some kind of normality when I reach 6 weeks. I've started to watch what I'm eating now I've stopped breast feeding, no snacking, just my 3 meals a day. It's a start. I've put on 2 stone and I'm not happy with the state of my body, I'm the heaviest I've ever been and I've gained a layer of fat pretty much everywhere on my body, so I'm currently looking at options, preferably FREE, to help get that off!! Well, I did carry a 10lb baby!! :)

Mummy's Best Bits...
Thats so hard!! Every moment is amazing, I'm at the happiest in my life!! Bringing him home was amazing, spending time just staring at him is amazing, his first bath, how it calmed him down and seeing how much he liked it was lovely! I think the best times are when he stares at me and starts to smile when I talk to him, it's THE best feeling ever!! That moment when you realise it's genuine rather than just wind! ;) It's a bit special!!

Daddy's Best Bits...
'When he makes those cute, cooing noises when he goes to sneeze, bathing him and seeing him try to smile.'

Bradley's Best Bits...
'I just love him so much, he's so beautiful. I like that I'm sometimes allowed to pick him up and walk around the rooms with him.'

Until next month...

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Monday 22 September 2014

Life | #100HappyDays #7

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or you read my first blog post, you'll know that I'm taking part in the #100HappyDays Challenge, to take a picture each and every day, for 100 days, of something that made me happy. It's a great way to notice the little things in life that make you happy, feel more positive or simply makes you smile!!

Read more about the challenge and see the photos I've taken so far here - 
Life | #100HappyDays #5
Life | #100HappyDays #6

Here are my 10 happy moments from Day 61 - Day 70...

Day 61 - Still can't believe this little man is mine.

Day 62 - I've waited 10mths to have one of these!! Get in my belly!!!

Day 63 - Play time with my baby boy today. #15DaysOld

Day 64 - Brotherly Love.  My 2 gorgeous boys!!

Day 65 - Picked up some high street beauty bits today.

Day 66 - My big man having snuggles with my little man!! My heart melts seeing them together!!

Day 67 - Getting some inspiration to decorate our new house.

Day 67 - This little dude is 3 weeks old today!

Day 68 - Taylor James having tummy time with Daddy this morning.

Day 69 - 2014 is proving to be a fab year for me & my little family.

Day 70 - My gorgeous boys in their matching tshirts.

Are you currently taking part in the #100HappyDays challenge? Feel free to leave me your Instagram links.

Don't forget to follow me at Instagram.com/Lianne84 to follow my challenge.

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Saturday 20 September 2014

Beauty | Make Up Rumours haul: First Impressions

Make Up Rumours haul

Being a bit of a beauty addict, when I was offered £10 off a £15+ spend of new beauty brand 'Make Up Rumours', I jumped at the chance.
Make Up Rumours is a cheap and cheerful, low end budget beauty brand which reminded me a lot of brands such as MUA, Miss Sporty... etc. All of their products are priced between £1-5.
I'll be honest, I'm a bit of a beauty snob and wasn't expecting much from them. But I was looking forward to seeing what they had to offer.
Ordering / Delivery...
Ordering was super easy. Their website is clear, well set out and straight forward to use. The products are all categorised well and easy to find and payment was simple, by PayPal or card. 
Unfortunately there was a bit of an issue, I didn't receive any confirmation, or my products, but they were really apologetic and helpful once I'd emailed them and I received my products soon afterwards.
First Impressions...
I ordered a few products from each category. Take a look at what I chose...
Make Up Rumours - Nail Products

Pink Tease Fashion Collection Nail Polish - Shade 12 [A pinky coral colour] (£1.00)
Pink Tease Fashion Collection Nail Polish - Shade 7 [A hot pink colour] (£1.00) 
Pink Tease Naturals Collection Nail Polish - Shade 3 [A light, baby pink colour] (£1.00) 
Pink Tease Fashion Collection Nail Polish - Shade 11 [A bright, turquoise colour] (£1.00) 
Pink Tease Fashion Collection Nail Polish - Shade 10 [A greeny, aqua colour] (£1.00) 
Pink Tease Fashion Collection Nail Polish - Shade 8 [A bright, aqua/blue colour] (£1.00) 
Pink Tease Fashion Collection Nail Polish - Shade 9 [A royal blue colour] (£1.00) 
Pink Tease Nail Seeds - Shade 8 [Black & silver seeds] (£1.00) 
On first impressions, the polishes look nice in their quirky, square glass bottles, although the black lids feel a little cheap. The brushes are pretty small and the smell is pretty strong. I'm looking forward to trying them out though.
Pink Tease Pressed Powder & Bronzer

In cute square palettes with an adorable heart embossed into the powders, they feel soft to the touch. Again, the packaging feels quite cheap, but I'm hoping the product gives a nice healthy glow.

Make Up Rumours Lipsticks

Pink Tease Lipstick - Shade 14 [light, nudey beige colour] (£1.00)
Pink Tease Lipstick - Shade 6 [hot pink, fuchsia colour] (£1.00)
Pink Tease Lipstick - Shade 15 [dark, nudey beige] (£1.00)

These lipsticks do look pretty cheap quality, the product as well as the packaging. I do love the creaminess of my MAC lippys so it'll be interesting to see how I get on with these. Unfortunately, for some reason, I purchased 2 shades almost identical as you can see.

Make Up Rumours Eye Palettes

The packaging is definitely cheap and nasty, with the tacky sponge applicators lol. But that said, the colours do look nice, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they apply and look on the eye. 

So those are my first impressions, although they seem pretty cheap quality, I'm hoping some of them surprise me and be really nice to use.
I'll be trying them all out over the next couple of weeks so look out for my review post!

Have you tried anything from budget beauty brand, 
Make Up Rumours??

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Thursday 11 September 2014

Baby | The Cuddle Company Taggiez review

The Cuddle Company offer bespoke children's toys and accessories, specialising in customised, embroidered baby gifts, all lovingly handmade by a team of sewing enthusiasts.

Amongst the minky cuddle blankets, patchwork blankets, cushions and cuddle cubes are the taggiez. Available in an array of colours, soft fabrics and finishes, with tags sewn into the edges, they're absolutely adorable and would make an ideal comforter. I decided on a taggie blanket for Taylor.

Taylor with his The Cuddle Company taggie*

Using The Website
The website is clear and very easy to use. There are many examples of colours, fabrics and patterns to choose from. I clicked the 'Design Your Own Taggiez' option. I had to choose 2 different fabrics from a huge choice of textured, patterned, coloured dimple dot fabrics and cottons, for the front and back of the taggie, along with the option to include a personalised name. 
I chose the dimple dot fabric in 'denim' for the front and the patterned fabric in 'giraffe blue' for the back. As I was kindly sent my taggie, I can't comment on ease of payment on the website.

Dispatch time can be up to 4 weeks after ordering, due to the high volume of orders, so keep this in mind particularly if you're purchasing gifts. Remember these are beautifully handmade items, so they can't be rushed :)

When the taggie arrived I was super excited to see the finished product. And I wasn't disappointed! It really is gorgeous! If only I could describe how soft the fabric feels! I love it!! I can't stop feeling it. :) I'm already looking into getting a blanket too! I can't wait for Taylor to get older and benefit from the comfort and the stimulation of the tags. The taggiez would definitely make lovely gifts for under 3's!


The Cuddle Company taggiez are available from thecuddlecompany.co.uk from £11.99. 
You can also visit them on Facebook.

*Product sent to me for review

What do you think?
Isn't it adorable?! 
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Tuesday 9 September 2014

Life | #100HappyDays #6

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or you read my first blog post, you'll know that I'm taking part in the #100HappyDays Challenge, to take a picture each and every day, for 100 days, of something that made me happy. It's a great way to notice the little things in life that make you happy, feel more positive or simply makes you smile!!

Read more about the challenge and see the photos I've taken so far here - 
Life | #100HappyDays #5

Here are my 10 happy moments from Day 51 - Day 60...

[bare with me, my happy moments have pretty much revolved around the birth of my little man :)]

Day51 - So yesterday I gave birth to a 10lb baby. The result is these 3 beauties are now my world.

Day 52 - Having Taylor at home to start our new chapter as a family of 4!

Day 53 - Bradley did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Day 54 - Me & my boy...x

Day 55 - I'm so totally in love.

Day 56 - How lovely is this hamper!! Don't want to open it, it's too pretty!!

Day 57 - Relaxing with this little dude! 

Day 58 - Registered this little man today, he's now officially real!

Day 59 - Taylor was really alert on his play mat today.

Day 60 - Had a little surprise from the postman today. James had this canvas made for me to say 'Well done & thank you for giving him the best present ever' How lovely!

Are you currently taking part in the #100HappyDays challenge? Feel free to leave me your Instagram links.

Don't forget to follow me at Instagram.com/Lianne84 to follow my challenge.

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Friday 5 September 2014

Life | #100HappyDays #5

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or you read my first blog post, you'll know that I'm taking part in the #100HappyDays Challenge, to take a picture each and every day, for 100 days, of something that made me happy. It's a great way to notice the little things in life that make you happy, feel more positive or simply makes you smile!!

Read more about the challenge and see the photos I've taken so far here - 

I'm a little late posting this due to little mans arrival but;

Here are my 10 happy moments from Day 41 - Day 50...

Day 41 - Love me some shiny black nails! Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish in Black Cab

Day 42 - Simple! 

Day 43 - My new favourite programme!!

Day 44 - Relaxing with bump. Hurry up now little man!! 

Day 45 - Look what my little man bought me.

Day 46 - My little big man with the Barclays Premier League cup today.

Day 47 - Happy Due Date!

Day 48 - Baby pink nails.

Day 49 - Bradley was giving his brother bump some Love Hearts love today! 

Day 50 - We've been doing estimating & measuring around the house today.

Are you currently taking part in the #100HappyDays challenge? Feel free to leave me your Instagram links.

Don't forget to follow me at Instagram.com/Lianne84 to follow my challenge.

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