What is Beauty?…

As I am a relative newcomer to the world of blogging, I have recently started to test the waters a little deeper and have started to get involved in more conversations with fellow bloggers and involved in chats hosted on twitter.

The community of bloggers and the hosted chats are fantastic, everyone is there for one another and offer advice but also lots of virtual laughs!

The idea of these chats is that the host, will ask a selection of questions and each of the participants choose to answer them and this can then trigger multiple questions through each reply, so its also a great way to get to know other bloggers and to really make new friends.

Recently I joined in with a chat hosted by #thebloggershub (@bloggershub_);  which got me thinking about a new blog post, one of the questions on this chat was about beauty and what you idea/perception of what beautiful means, my answer was confidence and here is why.

When I say confidence I don’t mean arrogance however, but I am coming from my own angle and thoughts on this, for as long as I can remember I have always been very reserved, people pleasing and keeping stump if something doesn’t seem right, essentially too polite for my own good. Across my life this just made life harder for me, I was always doing things that others wanted me to do or that others would approve of rather than saying this is me and this is what I like.

When I became a mum back in 2013, this changed my life and not just because I was tired or drained or that I had a new baby to care for but suddenly, I looked at this baby and thought, I made you, I grew you inside me all on my own and your perfect (of course she is, I made her!) I suddenly developed this incredible aura of confidence that if I could do this, I could do anything if I tried hard enough and I’ve never looked back.

I have made new friends since then and I have so much more fun with them because I am no longer worried about being accepted, I am CONFIDENT in who I am.

Since I have given this so much thought, I now look out for other confident people and I immediately find myself inspired by people all around me and my days appear far more positive.

So let me know what you think, are you confident?

x

Review: Royal Coffee Scrub by Naturelle Cosmetics

I have been so lucky recently that I have been asked to review a couple of beauty items – life is tough sometimes!

I love trying new items in almost anything that is of interest to me and beautiful skin is something I am working on.

For this review I had an excuse to stop being mum or the boss of the wife and just chill out, which only added to the experience!

So let’s start with the arrival of my new body scrub, it arrived in a delightful rustic looking brown bag which for me added to the authenticity of the product so I was even more keen to try it.


I got to try the tea tree scrub which I’m hugely pleased about as I use tea tree in almost my full regime so it’s great when you have the one fragrance going on.

On running my bath and opening the package I did wonder, tea tree and coffee, they’re two strong smells on their own, how are they going to work together?

The answer is, I don’t know how they do but they just do, the balance of fragrance is so right, so far every box was being to ticked.

When it came to using the product, of course, you don’t look good, your covering yourself head to toe in coffee so it does take a second to deal with that as rubbing what looks like dry mud into your skin doesn’t seem right while your in the bath but please don’t stop there, you’ll regret it!


So I scrubbed away and I kid you not, my skin felt like that of a new born. It is incredible! It smells divine too.

At £9.95 I think it’s amazingly priced too as for the authenticity of such a product you’d often pay much more. You can buy directly on their website too.

My only suggestion would be, do this when you’ve time to wash the bath after, it’s not a pretty site, but a swish of water and it’s cleared away just don’t try to have a quick bath before the new boyf comes over…

Review: Moringo Oil from Wikaniko

Those of you who’ve been following my blog most recently will know I’ve been reviewing a number of new products, from beauty treatments to dog foods.

For this review I was thrilled to be asked to review Wikaniko’s Moringo Oil. At this point I’d not heard much about it and with a really quick search, I’m surprised I havent.

It doesn’t take long to find an array of happy customers for this product so I was really looking forward to seeing what the craze was all about.

On arrival of the item, I was pleased to see that the parcel included an information sheet about how the oil is made and how to spot ‘fakes’ it was an interesteting read but I found myself waiting for something else, what will do for me?!

Unfortunately, there was no information about what the product does or actually how to use it. It didn’t take long to find how other beauty bloggers have used it but I’d have like to have had it included in my parcel.

That aside, I decided I’d try the oil as a deep nourishing night treatment. Essentially, before bed each night I took off my make up, used my usual skincare regime and applied 1-2 pumps of oil across my face and neck.

It feels like pure silk on your skin.

It doesn’t have a scent to it which is good to not overpower you.

The following day I felt like I woke with new skin and my makeup breezes on with no effort!


Overall, this oil is my new must have!

If you want to join, you can order here and use code MOR10 for 10% off before the end of March.

Let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

Roxy’s Diary: Day two

Today I was back in the office for the full day leaving the new puppy with the man of the house. Of course, the journey into work he was telling me how she wouldn’t be cuddled all day and how she’ll learn she can’t cry all day…

I left him at 9am, by 10, u got a message to say Roxy has to come to work with me because he can’t get anything done. That’s right he must now spend the day on the sofa held down by a puppy.

So that’s how this day went.

Comes Evening and we’re sleeping in separate camps I’ve taken the sofa shift and I didn’t quite get the sleep I did on the first night.

She is certainly a night owl and tonight decided to do laps around my head for a good three hours!

When I finally fell asleep I woke to a strange noise, she’s chewed the effing tv cables!!

Roxy’s Diary: Day one

So, last night, we welcomed Roxy, a patterdale terrier puppy, into our home to join Ronnie.

In the upheaval of the move, Roxy was quite calm when she joined us and didn’t make much noise or move more than in inch.

We had bought lots of treats for Ronnie welcoming her into the house which he did and didn’t do well.

Ronnie is usually bat-shit crazy, no better word to describe him but somehow this tiny little puppy has calmed him down – the vet said it’s possible he’s happier with her, uncommon but good.

We brought the two together calmly and heavily praised Ronnie for taking her in, they spent a long time sniffing at each other and Ronnie would continually check on how she was whenever he left the room.

For a first night, Roxy’s slept beautifully. All night! Ronnie beside and watching her every move!

The following morning, I had a meeting for work and we had no crate and ok, we’re soft as shite, so Roxy came along for the car ride too.

I’m such a sucker for a puppy!

She can’t go outside yet fully as she hasn’t had all her vaccinations but we booked her in for this evening.

Day one done, lets see how the next 11 years go!

If you missed Roxy’s arrival, catch up here 

Roxy’s Dairy: My New home

As some of you may already be aware, our household has been run (or as he likes to think) by our Patterdale Terrier, Ronnie, for the last 5 years. 

We have been playing with the idea for a little while on getting him a playmate. We’re experienced dog owners so we’ve done the checks you need to do and Ronnie has always been well socialised.

So, this evening along came our newest family member….Roxy!


She, like Ronnie is a wired haired Patterdale and I’ll be documenting her settling in over the next few days.

Stay tuned folks!!

What tips do you have for little Roxy?

Review: 24k Gold Lip Masks. Fad or Fabulous?

I’d love to say that I don’t often fall for new beauty fads, but that would be an enormous lie! I have to admit, I am a huge sucker for good marketing and a few beautiful celebrities saying that this is their trick, so it was inevitable that the latest craze of 24k Gold Lip and Face Masks, wouldn’t be far away from my purchases.

These masks are widely available and not overly expensive so I thought I’d give them a go and share my experiences with you all.

Firstly, I’ve tried the lip masks, these strangle shaped slimey products are surprisingly relaxing, once you can position yourself for them to stay on your lips that is.

The lip masks are said to be infused with plant collagen, are designed to increase cellular metabolism and help replenish moisture, leaving lips smoother and healthier.

How to use:

Whilst the masks I used, didn’t come with instructions, it didn’t take me long to find some tricks and tips online, so here is my method of use:

Firstly, cleanse and exfoliate your face and lips, I simply used my usual daily facial scrub whilst in the shower so that all the dead skin is removed and the moisturising is going onto beautifully fresh skin.

I then removed one of the lip masks and placed it across my lips and chilled out for 30 minutes and remove.

Simple!

Results:

I’ll be brutally honest, the feeling of the mask did give a very slight tingle and was relaxing and cool so were very comfortable to wear, but, did I have a fuller plumper pout afterwards? Nah not really!

I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t recreate a Kardashian inspired look in 30 minutes, but of course I was fooling myself to think it would give really good results. But I can see a very slight plump and my lips do appear to have a healthier glow!

In reflection, my lips did feel moisturised and smoother and application of my favourite shade of lipstick felt much better on application and has stayed in tact for a little longer.

Before

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After:

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I have 3 of these lip masks to giveaway, if you’d like to try, you can enter below:

Entry:

Follow us on Twitter – @beautifulyoublo

RT our pinned post – Here

Comment on one of my blog posts (or this one) whichever you like best!

T&Cs:

This giveaway is funded and managed soley by me and has not been sponsored in anyway. Competition ends on 31/03/2017 at midnight, 3 winners will be randomly be selected from all valid entries.

 

Embrace the Charity Shop: How to bag the bargains

I can remember clearly the day my auntie invited me shopping with her, I was perhaps 12 years old, having a sleep over with my favourite aunt and she explains we will be going shopping in the morning. ‘YES!!’

My auntie was a fashion inspiration to me growing up, not because she was quirky or different, she just always dressed well, in fashion and on trend, so I loved being a part of that on the weekends that we would spend the day shopping together. However, this time was different, we were going to some charity shops!

My life drained from my little body and I was frantically trying to find a way to say that I didn’t want to go without sounding rude! I didn’t need to. My face said it all. She tried her hardest to persuade me:

“Some of the stuff is brand new!”

“You can get designer stuff really cheap”

I realised, if I can’t beat them, I had better join them, and after all, I was away from the town that my friends were in so at least I wouldn’t be seen!

I can safely say, 14 or so years later, and I am an avid charity shopper! I know the stigma is still there, trust me some of my friends will stand outside, or pretend to not be with me, but frankly, I must save 90% on my shopping so I don’t care!

I thought for the purpose of this blog that I would make a list of my favourite tips on getting charity shopping right. Although I love it, not all shops are the same and not every week will you walk out with a bargain.

  1. Ditch the stigma

You don’t need to go over-board and walk the streets with signs that declare your love for charity shops but leave the preconceptions at home. My analogy is to ask yourself, when you visit a high street clothing retailer, how many people have tried on that item before you buy it? how many people have played the classic trick of buying it, wearing it and taking it back?

In this time, the stores wont be washing the clothes in between, however, more often than not, people who are donating their clobber to charity shops make sure its washed first. Realistically, the last time you received a donation bag through the door, did you fill it from your laundry basket or your freshly washed and pressed wardrobe?

2. Spotting the ‘unworn’ items

The number one giveaway is when the store label is still present, this is always great to see your exact saving, I remember purchasing a Karen Millen dress many moons ago and I must have paid 1% of the RRP – seriously!

Another trick to watch for, is items which has the labels cut out. This is a trick often played by high street retailers, many of them have agreements with local charity stores that the surplus stock left over after a sale is donated directly to the store, un-owned and from the shelf at New Look, straight into the Barnados store next door.

3. Have a creative mindset

I wont deny that there is often a level of rumbling involved in finding the right item but if you have an outfit idea or inspiration in mind when you go in, this helps you to be more creative and look at how you can piece an outfit together from what is available.

Thinking outside the box helped me on my latest visit as I had been looking for a denim shirt to wear with some white jeans and a plain tank top, maybe flash it up with some nice statement jewellery pieces. I then visited one of my local stores and saw what was in fact a men’s denim shirt and I bagged it for £2!! It also added to the haul that it was a big brand name too!

4. Check in regularly

Obviously, items are all near enough one-offs, they will only have available what has been donated at any given time so sizes and styles can vary quite considerably. With this in mind, it is important to check in to your local stores regularly so that when they have an item that meets your needs, you’re able to bag it quickly because once its gone, it’s gone!

5. Befriend the staff

This ties in great with my last point. Once you get to know the staff in the store, they get ti know items that you like and that you buy regularly so when something is donated that would be of interest to you they will often give you the heads up when something similar has come in and hasn’t made it to the rails yet.

Essentially you get a personal shopper!

So, what do you think? Are you going to put these into practice?

Top 4 Free Kids Meals

Can you really eat for free you say?

Well maybe not us, but the kids can! If yours are anything like mine, you end buying them a meal that they push around the plate but never eat, but of course, we have to at least offer the little rascals some sort of food every now and again!

I have put together a collection of my favourite offers where you can enjoy a meal out with the family and save money!

Kids Pass Card

These usually cost £25 but are currently available for £1 through the link with Money Saving Expert above.

Not only can the kids dine in restaurants such Hungry Horse, Fayre & Square or Pizza Hut but you also get additional discounts such as 40% off cinema tickets and over 50% of theme park tickets.

I’m usually quite sceptical about signing up to these sorts of cards as I often wonder if it will end up at the bottom of a draw and not get used again but at £1 it doesn’t really matter if it doesn’t get used again.

Crown Carvery

At Crown Carvery kids eat free on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays! Perfect!

You don’t need to print off any vouchers or join any subscriptions, you simply walk into one of their restaurants on a qualifying day.

Damon’s Restaurant

With locations in Liverpool, Lincoln and Sheffield, you can visit any of them and kids (under 12) eat free between 12 and 6 Monday to Saturday.

Beefeater Grill

Free breakfasts for kids when purchased with an adults breakfast before 10:30am. Often Beefeaters are joined to chain hotels such as Premier Inn so if you are planning to go away for the night or weekend, you should check to see if breakfast is on the house!

 

 

Review: Platinum Dog Food

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Meet Ronnie, our debut blogger. Ronnie is a Patterdale X Border Terrier and is 5 years old but still very much a tiny crazy pup in his mind. For this review I recruited the most suitable family member to help out. Although, Mr L would potentially have given dog food a go if the price was right!

For today’s review, I sourced some free samples from Platinum Dog Foods. I quickly received three packets offering a variation of flavours, and even quicker yet, Ronnie polished them off without a second thought.15623933_659752697540896_4594665733048238080_n1

As soon as I opened the packet you could immediately tell that this product is different and far superior to your standard dry dog food. The meat smells are so intense, it could almost tempt the owner if the cupboards are looking bare!

Ronnie is usually fed on a pretty standard supermarket branded dry food and has been since he was a pup, he has always been healthy, within the right weight ranges and hasn’t appeared to be malnourished so I have never considered changing his diet until now, and part of that is down to guilt!

Seeing on the packaging that this food is made with 70% fresh meat, for the first time, I looked at the meat content of Ronnie’s ordinary food…. 4% meat!! 4%??? what even is that? Meat dust? I was genuinely gobsmacked and felt so bad to have been feeding him something without a second thought!

“Our kibble is very moist and totally different from most kibbles on the market and this is because we use 70% human grade fresh meat rather than meat meal. We therefore do not need to add any water and all the residual moisture (18%) is mainly meat juice. This gives our food a special taste and smell which dogs love and is very popular with fussy eaters because of the high fresh meat content, furthermore the fact that our food does not expand in the stomach makes digestion much easier and reduces the risk of bloat.”

Ronnie definitely, gave this the ‘paws up’ and the food doesn’t sit in his bowl for longer than seconds before he is moaning and following you around like some crazed addict for more. So that sold it for me, well until I saw the price..

While dog food was an everyday purchase before, I have now realised that it needs to bee more important than this and there should be more consideration but stumping up around £4 per kilo is also a big spend that needs to be considered too.

After consideration, it pains me to say it, but you do get what you pay for and I almost certain that this food is worth the purchase. Not only does it make every other dog food product seem sub-standard, but it is evident that the humans behind Platinum Dog Food, really know their stuff, their packaging is covered in information about feeding amounts and how to serve advice which really adds to the fact that you are giving your fur baby the right food.

However, its January and Ronnie has a few kilo left of his old food to get through before I can place an order but it will be coming!

If you’d like to try Platinum for your dog, all you need to do is email Nikita at info@platinum.co.uk with your address details.

To look through their other products, visit their website here.