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Kahina Giving Beauty – Fez Hand & Body Balm

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I am balm obsessed. Cleansing balms obviously started the love affair off, there is something about scooping out a dollop of solid balm and massaging it in until it’s almost liquid. Maybe it’s because it feels like you’re really applying it well, who knows! I’ve been smothering the husband in coconut oil, which is almost balm like and now there is Kahina Hand & Body Balm. Inspired by the mysterious and exotic city of Fez, Morocco, it’s a nourishing and soothing balm that will instantly restore and soften severely dry, chapped skin. A rich blend of argan oil, carrot seed oil, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil and mango nut butter creates a velvety base that deeply moisturises and naturally soothes irritated skin. Infused with calendula, known for its anti-inflammatory and powerful healing properties, the Fez Hand & Body Balm can be used on hands, feet, elbows and any other areas in need of softening and deep hydration. Scented with Kahina’s signature Fez fragrance, the balm leaves behind a subtle earthy, warm scent to calm the senses and ground the spirit while leaving the skin soft and radiant.

I’m really suffering with my hands (well hand) at the moment, I’ve been allergic to my wedding rings on and off for a while, but it’s gone a bit mad for some reason and I can’t even wear them for a day. It looks like I’m allergic to gold, and that’s all gold, including my gorgeous white gold engagement ring (sad, sad face) My ring finger is red raw, with horrible little pin prick blisters that are drying up (attractive no?) so I have been trying to keep it moisturised without irritating it more. The Fez hand balm has been a *lifesaver* I have it next to my mac, take a tiny blob and rub it into my finger whenever it starts to feel sore. Because I’m not smothering my whole hand in cream I’m not getting that horrible sticky feeling which I hate.

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Fez Hand & Body Balm is available from beingcontent.com for £35.00

PR Sample

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Slimming World take 3….?

I should be a complete and utter Slimming World expert by now. Having followed the plan before falling pregnant with TB, and again straight after having him (and losing 3 stone of baby weight) I had it nailed and was *this* close to target, but, like always, life got in the way, I couldn’t always get to group and once you miss a group here or there, you end up not going at all and we all know what happens then!

2 stone back on and ready to start again!

This time round I know what I need to do, I don’t have any external pressure, no need to “fit back into my jeans” (mostly because I want to buy new ones) and I’m not putting myself on a time limit. I’m ok as I am, but I do feel happier, personally, when I’m a dress size smaller. I’m not aiming to get down to a size 10 because quite frankly I can’t be arsed. I like good food, nights out and fun and I don’t want to spend the best part of my life battling against myself. So, I’ve decided to go back to the plan that worked for me and get inventive. I hate being bored, so I can’t stick to 3 meals repeatedly. I think I’m quite a good cook these days and I have a little bit more time now both kids are older (and they’re both willing to try new things) so we can get creative in the kitchen.

For those of you not familiar with Slimming World, it consists of 3 plans (mostly), Red days, Green days and Extra Easy. EE is their newest plan, but so far I haven’t had much success with it. I seem to maintain each week when I follow EE, which would be great if I were at target! So, my idea is to follow red and green throughout the week, and EE at the weekend, viewing it as my ‘treat’ meals, even though they’re still full on Slimming World style.

I’ve been through their newly released Extra Easy Express cookbook, and I’ve found PLENTY to keep me going, along with good old faithfuls like jacket potatoes, pasta, and steak night There is absolutely no reason why this won’t work, it’s all completely do-able. It’s just a case of getting my mind to keep up with my body! Or vice versa maybe?!

I am using the online membership for the next 4 weeks, to see how much I can lose and how I find it and my plan is to blog my favourite meals, and check in each week with my losses (yeah, not sharing my actual weight with you!) Hopefully, by the time we get on that plane to Spain, I’ll be well on my way to my goal weight.

Fingers crossed!

 

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These boots were made for walking….

September 21st 2014, the last official day of summer, which means we can start getting ready for Autumn Winter. I know everyone goes on and on about summer not being long enough, hot enough, good enough, but for me, A/W are my favourite seasons. It’s time to get the boots out, the leather jacket, the big chunky scarves and all the good winter recipes on the go.

I’m always on the lookout for the perfect pair of boots, last year I found a pair in Clarks which I wore non stop but they have a slight heel to them, nothing major, but this year I wanted a pair of flat ankle boots. I’ve always loved chelsea boots, I had a pair when I was younger (before I got sucked into wearing heels!) and now they’re one of my favourite styles so when Esska offered me a pair from their new collection, I immediately fell in love with the Amy boots in bronze, they have the classic style with a little bit of an edge, which I love. They’re leather with a suedette detailing and an anti slip rubber sole.

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From its humble beginnings in June 2006, Esska has become known for its stylish designs, layered materials and exciting colour combinations. The founder and designer, Souraya Karami originally trained and worked as an architect before deciding that her future lay in shoes. Having studied and re-trained in footwear design at the renowned Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion, Souraya spent a couple of years honing her skills before starting the Esska marque out of the spare bedroom of her East London flat.

She noticed a distinct lack of footwear that is designed for confident women who place equal value on comfort and beauty (hello flats, goodbye ridiculous heels) that led her to develop Esska. With a background in architecture it is unsurprising that the designs are inspired by the urban fabric; from streets, crossings and intersections to buildings and structures. Esska has a clear handwriting: geometry, interlacing and layering. All in a very pure, clean and unique style.

Since they arrived we’ve had nothing but pure sunshine so I haven’t had the chance to wear them at all, they’re sitting in their box waiting to be worn. I, will of course, be teaming them with my usual outfits of skinny jeans and shirts, but I can also see these boots looking great with short dresses and tights. They would probably look even better without the tights but my pasty white legs can’t pull that look off sadly!

They are so comfortable, and light as anything, I just need it to get a bit cooler so I can pack the sandals away and get on with wearing my favourite type of footwear!

The Amy Boots in Bronze cost £130 and are available from a list of stockists which can be found on the Esska website.

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Laser Treatment Clinic – Marine Skin Science

Founded in 2000 at the heart of London’s medical and cosmetic centre, and located at the most prestigious medical address in the world, The Laser Treatment Clinic was one of the first Laser skin clinics to establish itself in London. Their skin experts have sourced the very best hi-tech cutting edge laser systems and advanced high performance Marin Skin Science skincare products which work together to deliver the best results for skin.

I’ve been trialling two of their products, the Ultra-Smooth Sea Polish and the Revitalize Marine Body Serum.

The body serum is ultra rich but still very, very light to apply, which covers the skin with moisture without any hint of a sticky residue. It soaks in quickly but the moisturising effect lasts for a while, and you really feel that you’ve given your skin a drink, so to speak. The serum is designed to minimise the appearance of dull, dry skin on both the body and the hands and restores it’s appearance, leaving it feeling silky smooth and toned. It has quite a medical scent, there is no hint of florals or sweetness, which I actually really like, it almost feels like you ‘should’ be using it, rather than it being a beauty product. For the best results, it’s recommended that you exfoliate (healthy, unbroken skin) in the shower before applying, and leave it to soak in for 2 minutes to allow it to dry.

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The Sea Polish is probably one of my favourite exfoliators to date. It’s highly concentrated and ultra, ultra fine. If you looked at it in the pot you would never suspect it was an exfoliator! The marine earth skin polish targets blackheads, blocked pores, dull and uneven skin tone, leaving the skin feeling softer and smoother. You really don’t need to put much effort into using this scrub, it does all the work for you, apply a tiny amount to dry skin (it’s best to use after a hot shower so the steam can open your pores a little) and massage lightly. It says for around 5 minutes, depending on the sensitivity of your skin. I don’t have overly sensitive skin but I found 2-3 mins max was enough, anymore than that for me and it would start to feel sore and aggravated. The trick is to dampen your face each time the scrub starts to thicken up, paying particular attention to problem areas, mine being around my nose and my chin. Rinse it well using warm water and a flannel. The box suggests 1-3 times a week, but I will probably be sticking to once a week when my skin is happy, maybe once a fortnight when I go through my lovely breakout moments, as I like to scale everything back and just cover my face with gentle love when it’s like that! (Think oil, oil and more oil!) The 50ml pot will probably last a good few months as you only need such a tiny amount each time.

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sea polish

Both products cost £39.00 each and are available from the Laser website here.

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5* Sparkles

I’ll hold my hands up and admit that cleaning is not really top of my favourite things to do. I like the finished job once it’s done, but sometimes it’s a lot of effort so anything that makes it a bit quicker is a good thing in my opinion. When the lovely people at Viakal asked me if I wanted to try their products and a 5* kit to make my bathroom a little slice of luxury & relaxation, I obviously accepted. I mean, I’m not one to turn down luxury!

I don’t have a ‘before’ photo to show you because, we’re still working on the bathrooms, yes, they’re still in need of some paint – we’ve been here a year now and I’m yet to get the paintbrush out, it’s a new record for me! So I can’t really show you a huge difference as the walls are still the same, non-descript, creamy colour, which is the most boring colour in the world. In fact, the whole house is the same colour, they must have got a job lot! But, with the help of the Viakal goodies, I was able to attack the taps, sinks, shower screen and bath to get them all sparkling like they’d been hit with a dollop of fairy dust.

According to a recent survey by Viakal, gleaming taps and watermark free showers are considered such a high cleaning benchmark that 79% of cleaners religiously apply this to their own bathrooms. You’ll also find Housekeepers will always go the extra mile, with 57% providing their own visitors fluffy towels and a quarter putting out nice cosmetics and soaps at home.

The survey, revealed that some boast such a passion for cleaning the bathroom, that one fifth (21%) actively enjoy the chore, with 42% going onto reveal that removing limescale from the taps gives them the most job satisfaction. Not only that, but a perverse 2% admitted to actually enjoying declogging the plug! – That’s some serious dedication to the cause right there!

Onto the After! Despite being a serious product junkie, my bathrooms had no storage or shelves at all, so what happened was everything would end up round the edge of the bath, which is fine for a few things but it ended up being a balancing act and I couldn’t even contemplate putting my feet up in the bath, because I’d knock half of it off (I know, first world problems right there) so we grabbed a picture ledge from ikea and got creative with it’s usage. It was meant to be a nail varnish shelf but it was too long, it was, however, spot on for the family bathroom, so it went above the tiles and all my goodies now have a home. There is even room for the *gorgeous* Diptyque candle that came in the hamper! I haven’t had the heart to light it yet, I’m saving it for a special occasion!

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Obviously, white is the colour of the day in my house, so the fluffy white towels from The White Company took pride of place on the once empty double towel rail. We moved it so now it sits next to the bath. Perfect.

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My shiny taps & sink are home to the Diptyque soap, I’m torn between putting it in the downstairs toilet so all my visitors can use it and hiding it away in our bathroom so only I use it!

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And there we have it, my 5* bathroom is almost complete. With the little luxuries added I almost don’t mind the lack of paint in there, once the lights are out, the bath is run, candles lit & a good book on my iPad I’m not even going to notice the walls am I?

Thanks to Viakal for sending my the products & goodies for the purpose of this post. 

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Clarins #Feed10

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Sometimes you need to stop what you’re doing and realise just how lucky you really are. A lot of the time we take luxuries for granted without even a second thought to people out there who don’t have half of what we have.

Clarins are collaborating with FEED Projects to help fight the worldwide childhood hunger epidemic through the launch of the ‘Gift with Purpose’. The first ever of it’s kind, a gift with purchase with a social conscience, each FEED 10 gift funds 10 nutritious school meals for children in developing countries through the UN World Food Programme. This year they want to reach a goal of providing an additional one million meals and they need your support.

You can get this gift with purpose when you buy two Clarins products, one of them must be skincare. Included in the FEED 10 pouch are the iconic Moisture Rich Body Lotion, Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate in discovery sizes plus Gentle Refiner, Hydra Quench Cream Mask and Hand & Nail Treatment. It’s available from the 21st September until the 4th October 2014 at Clarins.

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What is it you want exactly?

I’m having one of those weeks. You know the kind where you just can’t make a decision on anything. From the mundane (dinner?) to the whole big life issue thing. I’m like a proverbial tennis ball on a court, and the players just aren’t missing. Or something like that.

I can’t decide what I want to do with myself. I’ve always been indecisive but right now I’m just a pain in the arse. Do I want more children? Or do I want to stay as we are and do new things with my kiddles. Do I want to have stability and, dare I say it, boredom, in my life, or do I want things to be up in the air and keeping me on my toes. Do I want to grab life by the balls and do whatever, whenever, or do I want to feel safe and un-pushed (not pushed? What’s the right way to phrase that?)

I know. They should all be obvious answers but they’re not. Not to me anyway! I assume I am one of those women (Princess if you must, no, dammit, Queen!) who wants the best of both worlds. Yes I want my frigging cake and I have the cheek to want to eat it too. To quote my eldest, “I know, right!?”

I just get so, what’s the word I’m looking for, URGH, when things stay the same for too long. I like to switch things around. One month I might be all about having another baby and becoming the worlds best housewife, then the following month I couldn’t think of anything worse. Will I ever make a choice and stick with it forever? I can’t imagine I will! It’s like when you finally grow your hair and you decide to cut it again. It’s the whole, the grass is always greener scenario isn’t it? You want what you don’t have. In my case, it doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll want the opposite. And when I get that, I’ll go back to wanting what I had before.

Those closest to me probably feel like they can’t win. And maybe sometimes they can’t. But in the same instance at least they know they’ll never be bored with me around. There will never be that feeling of, same shit different day, because I never know what mood I’m going to wake up in, so how will they? At the moment I’m all about travelling, smaller cars, long weekends away (without smaller people) and lots of non baby-making sex. I’m not up for routine, I don’t want the same old same old. I want excitement and risk (but with lots of lay ins attached to that, let’s not get carried away) I don’t want to feel like life is passing me by, I want to be right up there, grabbing it round the neck and riding it wherever it might take me.

I know. Even I can’t keep up with me sometimes.

 

 

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