November 2015 | Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

Finding My Confidence As A Parent

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I remember walking out of the hospital when James was three days old. He was tucked into his car seat and as I stepped out of the doors and onto the busy London Street I had a moment where I thought to myself, "They are actually letting me leave with him. What do I know about looking after a baby?"



Those first few months were hard. James had awful reflux and he would vomit from one feed to the next. He was in so much pain so pretty much just cried. I couldn't lay him on his back at all so those first six months were a blur of washing bibs and a fog of exhaustion. 

According to Neurofen for Children it takes most new Mum's six months to feel confident as a parent. We're sleep deprived. We're overwhelmed. Sometimes we're alone, especially if no other family members live nearby and it can be scary. You have this tiny human being that is depending on you for everything and they can't tell you what they need. They cry and you have to guess.

When James was seven months old, he woke up one morning with a sniffle and a temperature. As it was a Friday I decided to get him checked out at the doctors before the weekend was upon us. The doctor basically told me that I was overreacting and that he was fine; it was just a cold. My instincts told me otherwise but I walked out of the surgery feeling like I had wasted the doctors time.

The next day James was worse. His temperature was over 39 degrees celsius, he wouldn't eat and screamed for most of that morning. I knew this was more than just a cold. Something was wrong. I decided that on a busy Saturday afternoon it was best just to take him to A&E. As I sat in the waiting room with James burning up on me I started wondering if the first doctor was right. Was I just over reacting? Was I just inexperienced at dealing with poorly babies?

After waiting for what felt like hours, James was diagnosed with Swine flu, croup and bronchitis. The doctor told me that I had done the right thing in bringing him to the hospital and gave James the medicines that he needed. That night, I sat there and swore to myself that I would always trust my motherly instincts. It hadn't let me down that night.

That's the first piece of advice I always give new Mum's. Always trust your motherly instincts. They are they're for a reason and since that night six years ago, I've kept that promise to myself and my children.


“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to blog about a specified subject or review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have been entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher as a token of thanks for this post”.



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The Differences Between Boys & Girls.

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When I was pregnant the second time and found out that I was having girl so many people said.. "Oh girls are so much easier than boys.." 

They were lying.. 

No, seriously. They were. 

Girls are fantastic but Emilie by far has been 100 times harder than James ever was.. 



1 They are more demanding. 

2 They are emotional. 

3 They shriek at a pitch I didn't even know existed. 

4 They are picky.. With their clothes, their food, their hair.

5 They learn quickly to say, "It wasn't me. My brother done it."

6 They also quickly learn the butter wouldn't melt look.

7 They don't care if it's raining and five degrees. They want to wear their sandals. (Please note that if you continue to say no to the sandals request then girls will deploy number 3) 

8 Their tantrums seem to last a few hours longer than boys.. Maybe that's just Emilie though. 

9 They assert their independence a lot quicker than boys.

10 They learn quickly that turning on the tears normally helps them get what they want.  



That all being said.. Girls really are amazing. They're funny and sweet. My little lady is my mini me and I wouldn't change her for the world :) 

What do you think? Which are easier, boys or girls? 

You Baby Me Mummy



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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends over the pond! Although it's a holiday that isn't celebrated here in England I think it's always good to remember what we're thankful for.

My children. My husband. Sunshine. Health. Slow Saturday mornings. Coffee. Frosty mornings. A roof over our heads. The internet. Laughter. Books. Rainbows. Music. Babies. Family. Friends. Sunsets. Open fires. Hot chocolate. Fresh flowers. Snail mail. Slow cookers. Candles. Movies. Dance parties in the kitchen. Fluffy socks. Children laughing. Pizza nights. Pancakes day. English breakfasts. Leaf piles. Notebooks & pens. Photos. Water. Colours. Seasons. Warm clothes. Doctors. Sunrises. Cuddles. 
Smiles.  

What are you thankful for today? 


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Five Great Books for Toddlers.

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Between me, Anthony and the kids, I'm pretty sure we have enough books to fill a library. Ever since I can remember I've had my nose stuck in a book and it's one of the better traits of mine that the kids have picked up from me. Emilie is at the stage at the moment where she has her favourite books and asks me to read them over and over again... And then again..  Here's our five favourites at the moment. 

1// The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

Who doesn't love this book!? James is six and still likes to read it. I think it's the colours and the simple storyline that makes it such a big hit with little ones. Emilie's favourite page is where it lists all the food he ate on the sixth day. This is definitely a must in any toddlers book collection.

2// Guess How Much I Love You - Sam McBratney

I brought this for James when he was about ten months old. It's since been made into a tv cartoon but I still prefer the book. It's such a sweet story and now Emilie loves it just as much as James did.


3// What The Ladybird Heard - Julia Donaldson

This is my favourite one to read to the kids for two reasons. The pictures and the fact that it rhymes. When you're reading a book for the 50,000th time rhyming helps! The kids love the storyline of this book and how it's the quiet ladybird that saves the day. 




4// Pirate Pete & Princess Polly, Please and Thank you.  

This was the first book in the Pirate Pete and Princess Polly collection that I brought for Emilie. It is all about teaching children manners and I love how it's done in such a simple way but it works. 


5// Princess Polly's Potty 

A potty training book for girls. There is another one for boys called Pirate Pete's Potty. This book helped us so much when we first started potty training Emilie. She loved picking out her favourite underwear and potty in the book. When we first brought this she wouldn't read any other book for so long! She also loves the fact that it cheers for Princess Polly when she goes on the potty!



So those are our favourite books at the moment. What are yours? Are your children a fan of the Pirate Pete and Princess Polly books?

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Wall Decals - A Review.

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There is so much that I want to do in our house.  I would love to decorate pretty much every room. We need a new living room carpet. I also wouldn't say no to new furniture. We've decided though that there isn't really much point in doing a lot of these things because we need to move to a bigger house where the kids have a bedroom each and we're not piling on top of one another. That being said though I love 'feathering my nest' and making it look as nice as I can, regardless of how cramped we are or how small our budget may be.

I've been looking at wall decals on and off for a while now, choosing which ones I like but never committing to purchasing them. A couple of week ago Icon Wall Stickers asked me if I wanted to try some and I pretty much bit their arm off. I spent a while looking around their site and settled on one for my kitchen and one for the kids bedroom.

The day they arrived I was like a kid ripping into their christmas presents. New things for my home make me giddy, what can I say.

The stickers looked amazing. They were well packaged and I was pleasantly surprised by the size of them. I prepped the walls and set about getting them up.

If I could give you two pieces of advice when applying wall decals in your home.. Wait until you have no children around you and you have lots of time. I didn't realise how fiddly the stickers are and it took me a few attempts to get them onto the walls properly. I may have used a few choice words in the process.


The end result is pretty cool though :) 

James loves Maths. Numbers are his thing so when I saw that they had an eight times table wall decal I was sold. This was the fiddliest one out of the two but James is over the moon with it. 




Overall I am so happy with them. With the one in the bedroom a few of the numbers got stuck onto the backing paper so I had to peel them off and place them on the wall by hand but I think this may have more to do with my inexperience than the actual product. If you're in the market for some wall decoration then I would definitely say to check Icon Wall Stickers out. 



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Currently.

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The past few days haven't been the best. A six year old down with a cold, missing bank cards, a to-do list longer than my arm.. Nothing terrible and nothing that can't be fixed, but all the little things build up until my head feels like it's going to explode so I end up in the bath at 4pm on a Sunday. Just for ten minutes peace and quiet. Turns out the water wasn't fully heated so it ended up being a lukewarm bath. The peace and quiet was welcomed though..

I am in the mood to do a currently post. It's been a few weeks and I like them. They help organise my cluttered mind..


Reading// Mostly my coursework. I'm trying to get ahead so that I can take a break for Christmas. 

Watching// Anthony and I have started watching a documentary series on Netflix called, "Life Below Zero." It follows people that live in the remote parts of Alaska. It fascinates me; however I don't think I could do it. 

Pinning// Makeup looks mostly. 

Tweeting// Lots of blog links. I've also been following a motivational quotes account. I love a good quote. 

Cooking// I have no idea whats for dinner at the moment. Shopping day isn't until tomorrow so it will be something out of the freezer. 

Drinking// Water. I'm doing really well at increasing my water intake. 

Loving// The fact that it's nearly Christmas. I love this season! The clothes, the food, the music!

Thinking// About everything that I need to do. Appointments that I have this week. There is lots coming up with James and his school, plus now with Emilie in nursery. It all adds up. 

Feeling// Tired but happy. 

Hoping (for)// James to feel better and for us to all stop passing this cold between us. 

Smelling// My Cinnamon yankee candle. It's my favourite one; especially at this time of year.

Ordering// Christmas presents!

Wearing// Jeans and my new ankle boots. I posted a photo on Instagram last week and I love them! 

Clicking// Through bloglovin and Twitter. 

Loving// The weather. It's colder but not too bad at the moment. Give me a few weeks and I'll be wishing for the sun again. 

Before I go.. Remember last week I wrote my Winter Makeup Wish List. Well, Save On Makeup have given me a fun offer code to share with you all. Simply enter "SOM FREE GIFTS" at the checkout and receive TWO free gifts with your order! Head on over to www.saveonmakeup.co.uk to check it out :) 


Here's to another week! 

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Guest Post - "When are You Going to Have a Baby?"

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The chaos of a crying baby and poopy diapers are something I have dreamed of for years. Unlike some who are turned away by the thought of having children, I am ecstatic for the day my home is filled with epic tantrums and coloured walls. 
 
Since my big "I Do" a little over a month ago, I've found my uterus has becoming a frequent topic of many conversations. My life has flipped from "when are you getting married?" to "when are you having a baby?" in less than a year - and if I had a nickel for each time a person asked me when my husband and I planned to bring a little being into this world, my wedding would be paid off in a flash. 
 
Many couples hold their fertility near and dear to them, and typically, when a couple is struggling to conceive a child, they do so in silence.  Personally I’m not one to take offence when an unknowing patron asks my husband and I when baby-L will be making his or her big debut. Often, I smile and respond with: “as soon as God allows.” 
 
In many cases, we catch questioners off guard. They suspect we’ll want to live our lives to the fullest before baby comes along, and they proceed to shed some light on a situation we’ve already evaluated. They encourage us to “live in the moment”, enjoy our time together, and my personal favourite, to travel.
 
These words are innocent and these people mean no harm.
 
My husband and I understand that our world will be flipped upside down as soon as that stick presents me with those double lines. We can say goodbye our double-income-no-kids lifestyle, toot-a-loo to travel, and kiss our date night’s goodbye. My husband and I have accounted for this. But, we have also accounted for the state of my fertility and potential challenges ahead.
 
When someone is in the middle of telling us what we’ll be missing out on if we have children right away, I find it hard to resist the urge to stop them in their tracks, and share what we could be missing out on if we didn’t.
 
At 21 I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Simply put, having PCOS means your hormones are all out of whack, your ovaries are covered with cysts, and your fertility may be negatively impacted. It has left me hospitalised twice, and over-thinking my fertility for the last 5 years. Why am I sharing this information? Because I’m not struggling alone – I’m actually one in 5 million Canadian women to be exact.
 
Within the first few weeks of dating my husband, he knew about my PCOS. It isn’t something I’m ashamed of, nor something I wanted to spring on him should our relationship become more serious. His response was better than I could have ever imagined, and I’m so blessed to have his support as we face this journey together.
 
Even with what we’re facing, we love when people ask us when we want to have children. We are excited and we are proud to say we want to be parents. We also appreciate the enthusiasm some share for living our lives sans-children for the first few years of our married life. However, our decision wasn’t spur of the moment and it was made with all things considered. It is finally time for us to face a fear I’ve held for the last five years.
 
Should we be blessed with a baby within the first few months of our marriage, I can guarantee I will have my ugliest-cry to date. The weight this has placed on my shoulders is one that has left me feeling empty and discouraged. If we experience the other scenario though, we are prepared and I can promise we will yolo our life to the fullest in the meantime.
 
It's human nature to ask questions, and I'm happy to answer them. Having people know what we face is empowering. Not having to make up stories, or beat my way around the up's and down's of fertility brings me strength in the road ahead. It has connected me with wonderful couples who have walked the same path. I encourage the delicate world of fertility to be something society can openly discuss. The only thing I discourage questioners from doing is humorously advising couples that a baby will throw their lives completely upside down. Little you may know, they may have been craving that sort of up-all-night chaos for years.

Bio: Anneliese is an aspiring momma and Canadian writer. She is a wife to her handsome, engineer husband and fur-mommy to her spunky schnoodle, Louie. Anneliese is an open book, and loves to share her life in writing in hopes to make others feel like they aren't alone in this big ole world. 

You  can follow Anneliese here on her Twitter account or visit her blog here. 







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Beauty Haul!

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It is time for my very first beauty haul! A small one but a haul none the less! I'm very excited to share my new products with you and a couple of these I've been lusting after for a long time and cannot wait to put to use.

Revolution "Mermaids Forever" Ultra Eyeshadow Palette


These are not normally colours I would go for but the other week I brought the 144 Eyeshadow palette from Revolution and I love them so I wanted to get a couple more of their products. Superdrug have a 3 for 2 offer on their Revolution range at the moment so it was a bargain and is going to push me out of my comfort zone. 

Revolution "Big Love" Pro Looks


Three looks in one palette. I'm in love with this already and I haven't even used it. The colours in this are just gorgeous. I have a feeling that this is going to be my new go-to. 

Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray 


I've been looking for a setting spray for a while and I'm interested to see how well this works. This ended up being the free item out of my buy two get one free bargain. If it's anything like the other Revolution products then I won't be disappointed. 

Olay Anti Wrinkle Hydration & Primer



Yes, I have entered the world of anti-wrinkle moisturiser. This one not only "firms and lifts"but is also a primer. Two birds, one stone. It is half price in Wilko's at the moment for just £5. 

Sigma E25 Blending Brush



Most of my brushes are Real Techniques but I've been wanting to try something different for my eyes. I have been worried though about spending a lot of money on a product if it doesn't work well. I've heard a lot of good things about Sigma brushes and eventually I would love to purchase a set. For now though, I'm excited to try this one out!

Tanya Burr Cosmetics - Candy Glam Beauty Essentials Palette




I have raved about the Cheek Palette from Tanya Burr's range before so when she announced her Christmas product line and I saw this palette I knew that I had to have it. It contains nine eyeshadows, a bronzer, blusher and a lipgloss. The eyeshadow colours look amazing and I'm excited to try Creme Brûlée and Date Night In Paris. So far I have loved all her products in the range so I hope this is as good! 

So that was my days shopping! Small but productive :) 

What are you must haves when it comes to beauty products? I'm always looking for recommendations! 





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13 Reasons You Know You Are British..

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The idea of this post came to me after I had spoken to Samantha from The Samantha Show and she commented on my accent. We laughed about it because to me, I don't have an accent, but I guess to anyone not from England, I do.

It then got me thinking about "British Traits" and well, here we are.. What I think are the top funny traits of a British Person.




1// You firmly believe that a hot cup of tea can solve anything. 

2// You have strong opinions on what comes first on a scone.. Jam or Cream.. (I think Jam) 

3// One of your biggest pet peeves is queuing. 

4// Another pet peeve is people moaning about queuing. 

5// It's not Sunday unless you wash the car.

6// The first hint of sunshine in March and you pull your shorts out of hiding. 

7// Your main language is sarcasm. 

8// An inch of snow falls and you call into work sick. 

9// You cannot fathom why people would want to put peanut butter and jam together. 

10// A meal is not complete without meat and two veg.

11// A night out starts at 5pm and doesn't finish until 5am the next morning.. 

12// You don't understand why some countries take the 'U' out of words.. "Colour.. Color' 

13// You have an obsession with traffic.. Especially bank holiday traffic.. 

Are you from England? Do you agree with any of these? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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My Winter Makeup Wish List.

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A girl can never have too much makeup right?

This time of year I normally end up not feeling my best. The shorter days, darker evening, the cold and rain all end up making me feel a little bit down. This then has a knock on effect of me loosing my motivation and wanting to sit in my PJ's all day..

I always find that if I look good then I feel good. The days when my hair is done, my makeup is on and I love my outfit, I end up getting so much more accomplished.

On that note.. I've been making my "Winter Makeup Wish List.."




My skin never looks it's best in the morning. I have combination skin so as well as being oily it is also quite dry at times. I really want to try this overnight moisturiser. It helps to make your skin look brighter, smoother and younger looking! 


2// Sunkissed Bronzing Pearls

What better way to get rid of the winter blues than with a sun kissed glow?

3// Revlon Colorstay 16 Hour Shadow - Serene

I love my browns, golds and neutral shades but these shades look beautiful for winter. They look so warm and any shadow that last 16 hours is a must for me.

4// Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick - Sugar Honey Shimmer

This colour is just me all over. If I need a pick me up then a new lipstick will always do the trick.

5// Too Faced Natural Radiance Face Palette

This face palette has everything you need to create an all over warm glow. What could be better on a cold, wet, grey day?

6// Too Faced Petite Pouf Brush

This brush is perfect for powders, blushes and bronzers on the go. I love that it's retractable so easy to pop into your bag and off you go :)




What's on your Winter Wishlist?

All the products listed can be purchased here.



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Weekend Roundup.

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What a weekend it has been. I woke up on Saturday morning to the news about the shootings in Paris. What is our world coming to? It honestly scares me to think that I chose to bring two children into this and I am fearful for what is to come for them. Paris is somewhere that I have always wanted to visit but have never done. My heart breaks for them right now.


Our weekend was slow and pretty uneventful. A little bit of shopping, the first Christmas movie of the season, bacon & mushroom wraps. Perfect for this time of year; especially as the weather has decided to turn and it's so cold now! The wind has been awful, apparently it is the tail end of hurricane Katie. I just noticed that we lost two fence panels in the back garden last night.

Emilie hasn't had a good week and it didn't get any better over the weekend. She has been so teary and emotional. She's always been highly strung but it's been worse than normal. The littlest thing will set her off and theres no talking her down. She's also been waking up a lot a night, which is surprising because she's been sleeping through for about 6 months now. I'm wondering if this is due to her starting nursery.. She does enjoy it but we have a lot of tears when I drop her off and she keeps asking for me when she's there. Maybe she's just too young? I'm going to see how she goes but it's not doing anything to help my Mummy guilt. I'm hoping drop off today goes better..

Here's to another week! How was your weekend?

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Funky Giraffe.

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Emilie is one of the messiest toddlers that I know. Off course all toddlers are messy but she will jump in every puddle, if she's in the garden she will find the one pile of mud and eating? Well, she gets more food on herself and the floor than in her stomach.

Evidence A -


Evidence B - 


So when Funky Giraffe contacted me asking if they could send me some bibs, I jumped at the chance. Most of Emilie's current bibs are too small for her now that she is two. I cannot even begin to tell you how many tops that have been ruined by food stains over the past few months. 

The ordering process was simple. There is a section for Large bibs and their sizing goes to XXL. I was a bit concerned as to whether they would be large enough for a toddler but when they arrived I was pleasantly surprised. There are three poppers on each bib meaning that you can adjust the size and even on the smallest size it is plenty big enough for Emilie. She has so much growing room with it too. 


Funky Giraffe was founded by Mum who's hobby was making her son clothes! Now, not only do they sell in England but also France, America and Australia

One of the things I first noticed about these bibs apart from the size, was how soft they are. They are made with 100% cotton and are honestly the softest bibs that I have come across. It is normally a chore to get Emilie to keep them on but these ones she wore around the house long after dinner time. 



From the Funky Giraffe website..

"We are into the details of what we produce, for example all our fabric we purchase is certified by OEKO –TEX to be safe and free from all hazardous dyes which is the easy part, and we wanted to ensure the best possible print quality, but while solvent dyes are legal we saw there is a big difference between a t-shirt worn by an adult and a bib which a baby may chew, that is why we use water based dyes for our printing, it’s more tricky but we think it’s worth it for your baby and for the environment."

I love this. Every parents wants what is best for their child. Whether that's the food they are eating, the life experiences they are receiving or the clothes they are wearing. 






 The bright colours are gorgeous and they have so many prints and styles to choose from.



To see more styles then head over to their website here

Thank you Funky Giraffe for offering us the chance to try your bibs. We love them :) 





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Study Tips.

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I was the worst student at school when it came to homework, studying & revision for exams. I always managed to do it. I just wasn't very good at organising or motivating myself and would then find myself the day before an assignment was due, hunched over the table, furiously writing away. Now that I am back in the world of being a student.. This time an 'older' student I figured it was time for me to kick my studying habits up a notch. 



1// Location, Location, Location

My wish for when we finally move to a bigger house is for me a have an office all to myself. Until that happens though for now I have to try and find somewhere that is free from distractions and comfortable. Mostly that means the kitchen table. (Although, the other night I found myself on the living room floor.. My back did not thank me the next day so I definitely do not advise that.) At the table I have space to lay all my books and reading material out. I can plug my MacBook in and I'm good to go.

2// Limit Distractions 

When my husband was at college a couple of years ago, whenever he would study at home he had his music blaring. I would ask him how in the world could he concentrate. Apparently the music helped him. I'm the complete opposite of that. I need quiet and as little distractions as possible.

3// Pick Your Time of Day

Are you an early bird that gets their best work done before the sun has even risen or are you more of a night owl? Figure out when you work best and utilise that time. Because I need less distractions, I tend to wait until the kids are in bed and I've finished any housework etc before I set down to work. If I'm thinking of all the chores I should be doing then I'll never focus long enough to get any descent work done.


4// Take A Break

Don't stare at a computer screen until you go cross eyed. Firstly it's not good for you and secondly you probably won't be producing your best work. Every thirty minutes take a few minutes to stretch your legs, grab a drink or just take a few minutes time out. It's been said that it is difficult to store new information after you've been studying for over 40 minutes, so before that happens take a break and refresh.

5// Set Achievable Goals

The worst thing you could do for your motivation is to set yourself an unachievable goal. If you don't manage to meet it you will then end up feeling disheartened. Prioritise your other commitments. When do you have to collect the kids? Do you have a job that you have to get to? Figure all that out and then decide how much time you can commit to your studies and what is realistically achievable in that time frame. Some weeks I manage eight hours of study whereas other weeks I barely manage two. That's perfectly fine though. As long as you're doing something and creating your best work.

Were you like me at school, a disorganised mess or were you better prepared?

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The Easy Way To Clean Your Makeup Brushes.

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A few months back I spent so much time looking for the best products to use to clean my makeup brushes. Do you know what I found out? The three best things to use.. Water, washing liquid and hair conditioner.


Keeping your brushes clean should be an essential part of your routine. It keeps them bacteria free and also helps to get a flawless look when applying your products. I do this once a week, normally on a Sunday morning so they are clean and dry ready for a new week. 

All you need to do is find a clean bowl, pour some washing liquid into it and add a couple of drops of water.. 



Step 1 - Once you've got your washing liquid and water in the bowl, dip your brush into the bowl and then rub the brush all over your hand. You'll find all the old product coming out all over your hand :)

Step 2 - Rinse under running water. Always make sure to keep the brush facing downwards. This will help to stop water getting inside the brush and loosening the glue. 

Keep rinsing until the brush is clear of dirt and washing liquid.. 

Step 3 - Squeeze out all of the water. 

Step 4 - Get some conditioner into your hand. If it's good enough for your hair then it's good enough for those brushes! 

Step 5 - Rub the conditioner into the brush. This is going to help keep the bristle all nice and soft. 

Step 6 - Rinse, rinse, rinse until the brush is free from conditioner. Make sure you squeeze all the excess water out as much as you can. 

Voila - It really is as simple as that.. I then lay them out on a towel to let them dry which normally takes a few hours. 





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