Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Mummy Tag...

I was tagged by lovely fellow Welsh mummy Jess to do this tag, so here goes...it's only taken me a week to get it finished!

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum, or a Working Mum?
I'm a stay at home mammy. I gave up work after the birth of my first son with the intention of being home full time and I wouldn't have it any other way. It was always the plan to have a second baby within a couple of years of R to lessen the time I was out of the work loop...but that didn't quite work out! We have no family to rely on for childcare and nurseries/childminders were out of the question for us. I had always envisaged being the main caregiver for our family.

2. Would you have it any other way?
As above, it is so incredibly tough and often lonely being home all day with a baby, toddler then child but it has massive rewards. It is without a doubt the hardest, most financially difficult yet immensely rewarding decision we've ever made. I wouldn't change a thing and I am looking forward to continuing my SAHM journey with baby #2

3. Do you co-sleep?
Yes we do. Another decision I don't regret! We kind of fell into co-sleeping unintentionally about a week after bringing R home from the hospital. He just refused to be put down in a moses basket/cot/anywhere. He would only sleep on us and as he was breastfed one night we had him in our bed for me to feed him to sleep and we all fell asleep and slept soundly for a solid FIVE HOURS. It was amazing and after no sleep for a week I felt like a new woman. We knew it was the way forward for us. It was the easiest thing for us as R could latch on and feed through the night with minimum disturbance and disruption, we all had amazing sleep and it made the days with a newborn much more bearable. There is nothing like waking up with your baby smiling at you, or as they get older prising your eyelids open!
We made the transition from our bed to R's own bed and room at about 20 months - after he stopped breastfeeding at 18 months. It was the most simple and easy transition ever! We put him in his own bed, in his own room and he slept solidly all through the night - I however, didn't!

Even now at 4 years old, R will still join is in bed an hour or so before the alarm goes off and we enjoy family cwtches. I love it! We've actually bought the Arms Reach co-sleeper for #2 purely to give us a bit more space- 2 adults, a long-legged 4 year old and a newborn even in a kingsize bed is going to be a squeeze!

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?
Only one?! Ummm...a sling. I don't think I would have been able to do laundry, hoover, go to the bathroom, eat or drink without one for the first few months.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?
I always said two and two only, it just felt like the right amount for us. However, I always imagined a boy and a girl so now we are expecting boy #2 I can foresee a possible 3rd baby in the future. Although the idea of 3 (an odd number) feels strange to me. As fabulous as boys are I just can't imagine never getting to experience being a mother to a daughter. That's not to say I will get a daughter, but it's worth a try ;) Ask me again after #2 is born in June for a definite answer!

6. Date nights? How often do you have them? 
They're sadly few and far between. We always have a friday night to ourselves because R has a regular stay at the grandparents for the night but we're either too tired/worn out or just can't be bothered getting dressed up to go out so we just stay in with a DVD and takeaway! We should really make more of an effort.

Probably our last date night in September last year (!)*

*No, that isn't my bra!

7. Your child's favourite show?
At the moment? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

8. Name one thing you bought before you had the baby and never ended up using?
We still laugh about this now - the tummy tub! I totally fell for the hype and it was used once. R hated it and in all honesty it was totally and utterly ridiculous and pointless. It's a glorified bucket!

9. Your child's favourite food?
Tuna pasta. He would eat it every day, for every meal if he could.

10. How many cars does your family have?
Just the one for the moment. My husband works right by the train station in a city so it's pointless for him to have a car and the added expense of city parking. I use the car day to day.

Not sure how much longer I'll fit behind the wheel!

11. Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now?
No comment! But it probably goes something like: A lot, too much, stop eating woman! Pregnancy makes me ravenous and i'm not small to start with!

12. Dream holiday with your kids?
We're hoping for a Disney World, Florida holiday at some point in the future, when #2 is old enough to appreciate it.

13. Dream holiday without your kids?
It really wouldn't be a dream holiday without my babies. I can't imagine ever leaving them for more than a night.

14. How has your life changed since having kids?
Wow, that's deep! My life just seems fulfilled now. Like I was meant to be a mother and my babies complete me. They are my world.

15. Finish the sentence "It makes heart melt when..."
My son tells me how much he loves me, loves our little family and how special I am to him. He does often tell me I am his beautiful princess too...totally heart melty!

16. Where do you shop for your kids?
My biggest indulgence for them is Ralph Lauren - their baby/childrens clothes are just spot on. Beautiful and totally irresistable. We also love H&M and Gap.

17. Favourite make-up and skincare products?
Where do I begin?! Most of them are here on the blog but in a short summary at the moment skincare is all about Darphin and Una Brennan. Make up is always Tom Ford and  Chanel everything - especially Tom Ford Brow Sculptor and Chanel Poudre Libre, YSL mascara,  Armani for foundation, NARS blush and ZOYA nail polish. 

18. Huggies or Pampers?
Pampers, always pampers. We tried huggies when R was small and they ended up in huge up-to-the-neck poo explosions and leaky wee. Not good. Totally useless nappies. Definitely pampers for baby #2.

19. Have you always wanted kids?
For as long as I can remember, yes. I feel so blessed and grateful to have them.

20. Best part of being a mum?
The sheer love I feel, it is all consuming. Creating something so perfect and beautiful it doesn't feel real and watching that perfect, beautiful being grow and learn. It's just amazing. 

I tag the following yummy mummy's..
Any of you still reading this to the end!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Bvlgari Petits et Mamans Eau De Toilette

If you're anything like me - pregnancy completely turns me off any perfumes I have previously worn and loved. My nose becomes increasingly sensitive to scents and quite honestly, perfume turns my stomach. 
As a perfume lover, I never feel completely dressed or 'made up' without a spritz of a beautiful scent so during this pregnancy I decided to find an alternative to perfume - something more soft and gentle - not even necessarily a perfume but something to make me smell beautiful and fresh without making me gag.

 I researched fragrance oils, body mists and my research led me to Bvlgari Petits Et Mamans; a fragranced water, oddly enough, created for babies!
Now I cannot imagine why a baby would need a perfume - the mind boggles. There is nothing more intoxicating, pure and beautiful than the smell of a newborn baby (explosive nappies aside) I just wouldn't feel comfortable actually applying a perfume to my baby. It seems wrong.

I do however adore the smell of baby products and Petits et Mamans smells entirely like baby products - soft, powdery and clean; especially a very well known and widely used baby product brand. I adore their scent but refuse to use their products based on their awful ingredients that are anything but kind to baby or tear free.

I digress - baby products smell delicious and are not at all offensive to my nose - we are already on to a winner! I originally started wearing the Petits Et Mamans fragranced water (an alcohol free formulation developed for the sensitive skin of a baby) and once I had finished the bottle, realised they offer a slightly stronger formulation designed for mama - the eau de toilette version which I now use.

This scent is so delicate and uncomplicated - worlds apart from the heavy, heady scents I usually favour. This is clean, fresh, baby powder loveliness. It is extremely easy on the nose and a pleasure to wear.
I wish I had discovered this fragrance in my first pregnancy and beyond - because after my son was born I gave up on perfume altogether for a huge part of the 18 months that I breastfed him for. He shares my sensitive skin and I was always worried my perfume and lotions would irritate him.
I could confidently wear Bvlgari Petits Et Mamans fragranced water whilst feeding without overpowering or irritating baby, so I will be switching back to that from the eau de toilette and have a bottle ready for my hospital bag.

This isn't a particularly long lasting fragrance but is a pleasure to spritz and reapply throughout the day to freshen up so I don't mind at all. It is also really reasonably priced - the 100ml eau de toilette retails for around £33 and the 40ml fragranced water for £21 (escentual / feelunique are online stockists)
I shopped around and picked up the edt for just over £23 on amazon.

Do you have any favourite clean and simple scents?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Pregnancy Update: 22 weeks

I didn't have the chance with my eldest son, now 4, to blog my pregnancy and beyond because I started blogging on my maternity leave and then carried on after giving up to be a stay at home mammy. I decided when I relaunched my blog to make it more than just a beauty blog - I wanted it to encapsulate my life and everything in it. Beauty, lifestyle and parenting mostly! This means I will be blogging our journey from infertility to TWO babies and who knows - maybe more. Needless to say there will still be plenty of beauty in between.
So, here is where we are to date in pregnancy number two - with a very excited R who just can't WAIT to be a big brother! I still have to pinch myself that in the 6 years since I was diagnosed with infertility, I've had one amazing son and one on the way...I am truly blessed.

How far along? 22 weeks - over half way there now- eeek!

Total weight gain/measurements:
I'm not going to be monitoring this part of my pregnancy. To be honest, I've struggled with my weight all my life and pregnancy is the one time I don't spend every day hopping on and off the scales. I eat as healthily as I can but don't deprive myself if I want treats. Measurements don't matter, although they probably should.

Maternity clothes: Still just about in my regular size pre-pregnancy leggings teamed with a few maternity jersey style dresses and a few pre-pregnancy empire line jersey dresses. Mostly pyjamas - ha! Really need to invest in some over the bump maternity trousers.

Stretch marks? No, but I was not skinny to start with. I didn't get stretch marks in my first pregnancy either but I do have a few very old faded ones from puberty. I don't make a conscious effort to prevent stretchmarks but two of my favourite products at the moment are marketed as stretchmark preventative.  I have been loving the Sanctuary Spa 'Mum To Be' range - especially these two products. My skin has been so dry throughout this pregnancy and these two combined are so rich, nourishing and moisturising.

Sleep: I love to sleep all the time, but mostly in the day. I have been relying on naps to get me through the days, because I've developed a bit of pregnancy insomnia and haven't been able to drop off to sleep until 2-3am most nights. I don't know why, I just find it much easier to sleep during the day!

Best moment this week: I had a repeat of my 20 week anomaly scan, because I have a VERY active baby who wouldn't co-operate a fortnight ago at the initial scan or in our private scan at babybond! They struggled, due to the position of the baby, to accurately check all four chambers of the heart and arteries but when we returned on Monday for the re-scan, after some rather awkward jiggling, squats and a drink of orange juice, the baby turned enough for them to finish all the necessary checks. The scan ended with baby blowing us a kiss...such a gorgeous moment!

 Miss anything? Being able to sleep on my front!

Movement: LOTS! This baby does not stop. I have been feeling movement since 17 weeks this time round and now at 22 weeks they are strong and constant!

Food cravings:  Subway veggie delite with ALL the veggies, olives, gherkins & jalapenos with sweet onion sauce - oh my goodness! I'd eat one every day if I could.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Meat, still. Can just about manage a small amount if disguised in curries or chilli, lasagne etc but as for a cut of meat on its own such as chicken breasts, steak etc then it's a huge no go. This pregnancy have very nearly turned me vegetarian.

Gender: As confirmed by BabyBond Cardiff (will be blogging about this lovely experience very soon) he is 96% boy!

Labour signs: definitely not

Symptoms: Heartburn and i'm starting to wonder if my SPD is rearing its ugly head again. The midwife told me it may come back earlier in this pregnancy - I suffered terribly last time.

Belly button in or out?

Wedding rings on or off? Mostly on, except I can't always get them on first thing in the morning as I get a bit of swelling on my fingers. After a good few glasses of water they're back to normal.
Happy or moody most of the time? A bit irritable and nervous this week at the thought of being a mama of two and also finding a new home for us which is making me crazy stressed and moody.

Looking forward to: New pram on Friday! Can't wait for the Stokke Xplory to join the family!

And here is my enormous bump! I had only just about begun showing at this stage in my first pregnancy...woah!

Almost all of these photographs were taken from my Instagram account @ge0rgiaonmymind - follow me if you don't already!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Chanel Rouge Allure #217 - Radieuse

You know it's got to be a pretty amazing product if it drags me out of blog-retirement because I just HAVE to share it.

Chanel's Rouge Allure lipstick in #217 Radieuse is just that.

Chanel Radieuse 217 Rouge Allure

This was released over the Christmas/holiday period as part of a limited edition collection - Nuit De Infinie. I can't see this online anymore, but if you are quick you may still be able to pick this up on a counter. 

Chanel Radieuse 217 in tube

 Radieuse is a pale-medium slightly cool toned pink lipstick. Usually this is something I would steer clear of, because they rarely suit my warm skin tone but this one doesn't lean so cool that it becomes unwearable for me. It is actually incredibly brightening to both face and teeth - believe me I need all the help I can get to brighten my dull, morning sickness ravaged skin!

This lipstick has been promoted to the ranks of  'Handbag Lipstick' and comes along with me everywhere I go - I've worn little else in the past few weeks, except the odd red over Christmas.
It is so incredibly flattering and versatile - it looks amazing as an evening look teamed with a sultry smoky eye and equally as gorgeous with a subtle every day make up look.

On my lips and against my NC25 skintone, you can see Radieuse appears as a slightly cool toned pale pink. I've seen paler girls wear it and it appears to be a more medium pink, but still equally as pretty.

chanel, radieuse, lip swatch, rouge allure
chanel, lipstick, rouge allure, radieuse, lip swatch

The Rouge Allure line of lipsticks are housed in one of my favourite tubes - a sleek, very Bond-esque tube that feels almost gently spring loaded and closes with a satisfactory click.
Chanel, Rouge Allure, Lipstick, Radieuse

The formula is described as a 'luminous intense lip colour' - there are absolutely minute particles of shimmer/glitter that translate on the lip as a radiant creamy satin finish. Don't let it put you off - this isn't a shimmery or frosty lipstick.
Radieuse feels comfortable and moisturising on the lips and lasts fairly well - although I am forever drinking/eating so I am not the best judge of that! 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Bribery and Breastfeeding

I was absolutely incensed today when the news was filled with a new breastfeeding pilot scheme to incentivise mothers to breastfeed their babies with...shopping vouchers.
That's right, not by arming them with a wealth of information to make a decision to provide the best start for their babies, but £200 of supermarket vouchers.
The scheme would give £80 to those mothers who breastfeed for six weeks and then a further £120 if they breastfeed for six months.

I honestly cannot begin to articulate how wrong this scheme is. Piloted in a deprived area, do they honestly believe bribing mothers with cash incentives is going to raise the breastfeeding rate?
Why aren't they focusing this money on promoting breastfeeding awareness, paying specialist lactation consultants to provide much needed support and advice to new mothers or even just employing more much needed midwives in hospitals who are trained to advise and guide with breastfeeding?

I can honestly say no amount of money would have changed my mind. I made a decision to breastfeed my son based on a lot of research I made whilst pregnant. To me, it was a no brainer. The benefits far outweighed the negatives.

I was possibly a mother who wouldn't have breastfeed, given my circumstances and situation. I was a first time mother who knew nobody else who had ever breastfed. I was a formula fed baby myself, as was my husband. I had never been around breastfeeding mothers, nor was it something I had any particular opinion on. Bottles were very much the norm - I even received packs and packs of them as gifts from friends and family whilst pregnant.

At the hospital I gave birth in, we were offered one half hour ante-natal class that dealt with breastfeeding, using a knitted boob. I shit you not.
That was it, that was and is the total amount of breastfeeding awareness most women receive from the NHS, unless they seek it out themselves. The area I live in does not have an NCT group or anything of the kind, so I had to really go out there and find out information for myself. Thankfully I did and made the decision my baby would not be formula fed.

Immediately after my son launched into this world like a human cannon ball was born, the midwife placed my beautiful baby boy on my bare chest and he crawled up instinctively to the nipple, opened his dainty little rosebud mouth and started suckling.
That was it! MAGIC! I had this breastfeeding malarkey down to a fine art. Simples. I was a lactation EXPERT. I felt like a goddess.

Except, it wasn't. And I wasn't. At all. Fast forward a few hours and back on the ward post delivery, I had a midwife come and hurriedly check my positioning and baby's latch - she confirmed we had no issues and could therefore be discharged the next morning providing the consultant found no problems.
My baby, for the first and last time in his life, slept the whole night through.
We woke the next morning and as would be expected, I started trying to feed him straight away. At this point, the midwives were bringing the trolly round with the bottle of formula for every other mother (I was the only one on a ward of six who wasn't formula feeding) as they passed my bay, they drew the curtains round my bed completely.
I was both shocked and concerned by this - was this because they felt they were preserving my modesty, or that of the other mothers? Not a very good pro-breastfeeding message to be sending out. I felt as though I should be ashamed and hidden away like a circus freak.

As the hours went by until we could be on our way home, something didn't feel quite right. It didn't feel as though my baby was actually feeding and it felt so uncomfortable and awkward trying to get him to latch on - he kept 'falling off'
I buzzed for a midwife to come and help me. A young girl, probably younger than me arrived and popped her head around the curtain - I explained my problem and she looked totally baffled and said she would go and get the senior midwife.
After about 15 minutes of frantically and frustratingly trying to get my son so stay on my boob, I heard the young and senior midwife arrive outside my bay (curtains still drawn)
the younger midwife was explaining to the senior what I had explained and the senior midwife tutted loudly, sighed and said "She was fine last night, what is the fuss about"
I felt so awkward and like such a trouble causer, if it wasn't for my obstinate streak I probably would have caved under the myriad of emotions coursing through my body and cried "pass me the SMA" faster than my son had crowned.
We were still discharged half an hour later, with me even more confused about breast feeding than ever.

The next week dragged by in a blur of intense pain, hysterical bouts of tears and an intense hatred of this supposedly natural and beneficial way of feeding my baby.
I was beginning to resent the baby who wanted to feed ALL. DAY. LONG.
I had no time to eat, sleep, visit the bathroom, even think for myself. Every time he fidgeted at my breast I knew it was 'that time' and I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. I would wail and sob and my son, sensing my stress and pain would also wail and sob. Ever tried poking a nipple that felt as though it was being crushed with razorblades, shards of glass and barbed wire into a screaming baby's gob and trying to get it to stay there?
Yeah, exactly.
I was in AGONY. My mother in law, seeing me in such a state immediately left the house and returned an hour later armed with a huge tin of cow and gate.
My husband felt helpless.
Each time I fed my son, I had to grip something tightly and BITE a pillow. Honestly. The pain had me screaming and jumping out of my seat, so to stifle the pained shrieks I had to bite a pillow.

No amount of lanolin cream or cold cabbage leaves helped. I felt emotional, exhausted, defeated and unable of completing such a basic task. In my discharge notes from the hospital was a torn off piece of paper with 'Breastfeeding Helpline' printed on it and a telephone number. One night, when the pain became just too much and I could barely look at my poor little boy anymore, my husband called the number. The number turned out to be that of the post-delivery ward I had just left days previous. He explained the situation to a very unsympathetic midwife who denied all knowledge of a breastfeeding helpine. It clearly didn't exist. She claimed no such thing existed and if my soon was producing wet and dirty nappies, he was 'probably okay' and I should just talk to my midwife/health visitor next time she called.
At this point I was practically stood over the kettle ready to make up bottles of formula. Why did nobody care or want to help me? We were told under no circumstances to call the ward again unless my son had stopped producing dirty and wet nappies. After four solid days of no sleep and round-the-clock fruitless suckling, I wailed a lot more at this point.

This was nothing like the midwife showed me with the woolly boob. They don't tell you any of this at ante-natal or prior to giving birth. They paint a wonderfully rosy picture of a pain free experience - milk literally gushing forth from thine breasts and a happy, contempt baby immune to x,y and z illnesses, full of protective anti-bodies and I would return to my size 12 jeans in week (who am I kidding, I've never been a size 12)

When a visit eventually came from my midwife (well, 3 of them due to them leaving their jobs!) were equally unhelpful - "top him up with formula" "just give up, give him a bottle" they even gave me a lesson in how to make up bottles 'just in case'.
We even tried it, once. Out of sheer desperation I gave the bottle and my son to my husband to feed him (not to confuse the poor baby, why was lovely milky smelly mammy trying to shove a plastic nipple with fake milk in into his mouth) and he promptly GUZZLED the entire thing and within minutes, projectile vomited the entire bottle back up again ruining our mattress which now stank of stale milk. I couldn't even formula feed my son! What an absolute failure of a mother I was. This series of event is eventually what lead to a several year long bout of severe post natal depression, but that is a different blog post entirely...

Despite the excruciating pain, worse than that of my drug-free natural labour, these midwives and the failed formula feed only pushed me further to want to keep on breastfeeding. I would NOT be defeated. I am as stubborn as a mule, if nothing else.
I googled, I youtubed, I read La Leche Leauge websites until I could roll my eyes sarcastically no more.
Something clicked...my son was trying his best to latch on but seemed to be getting nowhere, then I read about tongue tie. It all made sense. *I* myself am tongue tied!
Now I knew what was wrong, I found every possible solution and tried them all.
I even brought our son into bed with us out of sheer exhaustion and we slept! WE ALL SLEPT SOLIDLY FOR NEARLY FOUR HOURS!
You see the excellent thing about boobs is that your baby can sniff them out and latch on all by themselves.
For the first few months I would wake and ensure he would get an adequate feed and swap sides if necessary, but eventually we learned to co-sleep and feed dreamily without disturbing anyone. It felt blissful.
You don't have to traipse downstairs at 4am in the cold to make up a boob feed and then wait for it to cool while your baby hysterically screams themselves into a frenzy. They should use THAT as an incentive, nevermind £200 vouchers.

It turned out he did have slight tongue tie and the best, most relaxing position for us to feed was lying down. He latched so much better and fed much more efficiently this way.
But it was no thanks to the medical profession for their lack of support and guidance.
I don't even blame them. They are severely understaffed and not adequately trained to deal with breastfeeding more than just giving an overview with a knitted knocker.

THIS is why I am so incensed and enraged at the breastfeeding bribery with shopping vouchers.
For goodness sake plough this money into more midwives, into specialist lactation consultants who are there for your after you have given birth. Someone who can come into your home and help and support you to keep on breastfeeding, not just teach you how to formula feed when it all goes tits up (pun very much intended)

Mothers aren't going to choose to breastfeed until they are made fully aware of their options and the benefits and without knowing their is a solid support system behind them. Let's work towards the way the rest of Europe views breastfeeding - not as the BEST but the NORM. It should be general method of feeding your baby unless medically or physically impossible (formula was, after all, invented as a medical substitute for cases of maternal mortality or severe illness)

I am a rare case. Most people would have gone through this and given up and who can blame them? I would certainly not pass judgement.
Breastfeeding is one of the hardest and at times most unrewarding thing I have ever done.
Once my problem had been put right however, I continued to feed my son for 18 months. I still have flashbacks and worrying thoughts however and I will admit to feeling apprehensive about going through it all again with the new baby.

Offering cash reward isn't going to suddently change decades of ill conceived, misinformed pre-conception. Until the government spends some money on a struggling health service, promotes breastfeeding in a positive light and stops pacifying the underhand and misleading formula companies - they are fighting a losing (and expensive) battle.

What are your thoughts on incentivised breastfeeding?

And then there were...four!

No matter what I do to try and keep this blog running, something comes along and sweeps me in the opposite direction.
Except this time, it was a very welcome turn of events. If you don't follow me on twitter/instagram, I'll give you a little clue...

Our little family of three will soon become four, on June 9th (or thereabouts)
I cannot articulate just how happy we are. We are delighted, ecstatic, over the moon - ELATED.
We have wanted this for SO long now and after our loss earlier in the year it felt like it was never going to happen.
Our son is so unbelievably happy and already the proudest big brother. We have made his wish come true and that is an amazing feeling.
Finally, god willing, our little family will be complete. 

I am 10 weeks, 2 days pregnant which means I am coming to the end of the first trimester. We had initially planned to wait until after our 12 week scan to announce our pregnancy but due to two early scans at 8 & 10 weeks that showed a perfectly healthy, developing baby with a lovely strong heartbeat we decided to share our news. The hospital actually used my 10 week scan as my 12 week scan to date the pregnancy anyway so I won't have another scan until 20 weeks.

It still doesn't feel totally real to me yet, it is as though I am afraid to get too attached given our history. I don't think it will feel 100% real until I hold our new baby in my arms. Our rainbow baby...

This photo was taken on the way home from the hospital, following the first ever scan that confirmed our baby was alive and had a strong heartbeat. I am not usually one for symbolism, but it felt like an acknowledgement that everything would be fine this time round.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Birthday NOTD: Zoya Ali

This nail polish had a lot of love through the Summer months on both hands and feet and it's a polish I'm not quite ready to put into hibernation just yet. I also chose this because it goes with my birthday outfit!

Zoya Ali neon pink

Zoya's Ali is a bright neon pink with amazing opacity. It's one of those complex neons that can look different depending on the lighting, hence the variation in the photographs.
On my blogging hiatus I discovered Zoya (a bit late to the party, I know) on my quest for the least toxic nail polishes. As you may be aware we are trying to conceive at the moment and I prefer to seek out the most natural and gentle products to use at this time and through any potential pregnancy and then subsequent breastfeeding (yes, I am always thinking that far ahead!)


Ali was one of the shades that caught my eye and was one of the first I purchased. The colour is just amazing. A hot neon pink creme finish that is opaque in two coats. For the time being, I have been using INM Out The Door topcoat on top of my Zoya polishes because it's one of the best I can find right now and also the least toxic.

zoya ali manicure

Please ignore my anaemic hand...

Due to the neon nature of this polish, it does dry to a matte finish (why DO neon polishes do that?!) so for me, a topcoat is a must for a super glossy finish.

Zoya's polishes claim to be safe through pregnancy, as I found on their blog:

Why is Zoya a perfect choice for moms to be? 
All Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments feature a healthy, toxin-free formula that does not contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene or camphor 

Zoya Ali Manicure

I have really fallen in love with Zoya and have accumulated a fair few of their beautiful shades and have many more on my wishlist. What surprised me the most is how amazing the formula is. I had foolishly believed that given their toxin-free and gentle formula, the longevity and finish would be less than perfect but I was mistaken.
The colours are rich, intense and so amazingly pigmented. The longevity is up there with the absolute best I have ever tried. I can get around 5-7 days out of a manicure and weeks out of a pedi.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Is anyone even reading this?

Well. Look who is back. Again.
I'm a bad, lapsed blogger. I know. 
If you come here for the regular content at the forefront of fashion, sadly you've come to the wrong place. Hopefully I can lure you in with my charm instead? If not, how about some homemade fudge? (more on that later, it's an obsession I tell you)

So. It's been almost 3 months since my last blog post which is a long time in the blogging world. I don't particularly agree with apologies for not being active and posting, I'm not obliged to blog and this blog was originally and always will be a hobby for me. So this is not an apology but rather a chance for me to share where I am in my life now. My blog always had a personal edge to it and was never just about the make up so I feel it is only natural to share. 
The past few months has seen my handsome little boy (remember him) turn 4 years old and start full time school (I'm still crying. Honestly. Expect reviews on amazing waterproof mascaras in the near future)  blogging took a back seat so I could focus on having fun, birthdays, my son and my husband. We've have good times and we've had some pretty horrible, soul destroying times in those three months.

We have been trying to expand our family and so far - failing. We were so incredibly lucky to fall pregnant on our first month of trying, however, sadly that pregnancy was not meant to be and I lost the baby.
I have spent the time since focusing on my health an my family rather than being a beauty blogger. It's hard to even contemplate writing about beauty when you feel so far from beautiful. I still can't use a newly bought lipstick without taking a photograph of it first in pristine condition, the back of my hand is still usually covered in swatches and my bathroom/bedroom still looks like a franchise of Space NK but finding the time, effort and courage to post on my blog has been near impossible.
I'm still a bit too fragile to put myself entirely 'out there' on the internet and amidst so many fantastic bloggers so please bear with me.

Now my little darling is in full time school (sniff sniff) I have a lot of time on my hands. As a stay at home mammy, I always envisioned (begrudgingly) waving the little man off to school and having his little brother or sister to focus my attention on - however life works in mysterious ways and so far our best laid plans have yet to come to fruition. Hopefully with time our dreams will become reality.

So with all this free time, there is only so much baking, cooking and making fudge I can do (honestly, see my instagram!) before I lose all my teeth to cavities and become the size of a house this seems the perfect time to resurrect my blog. It won't be entirely beauty, I will warn you. This blog, as the name suggests is just whatever is on my mind. I won't lie though, there will still be a lot of beauty!
I hope I still have some readers out there and gain some new ones along the way.
I have stockpiled so many photographs over the months so I have plenty of posts coming up.

You can still find me on twitter and instagram as @ge0rgiaonmymind so please join me over there also.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Guess who's back..back again...feat MAC Flamingo

So, it seems I am the unofficial comeback queen. Every time I get into to the swing of blogging, something comes crashing down and life gets in the way. It's been a tough few months.

I'm easing myself back into blogging and more scarily, back in front of the DSLR with a nice and easy lipstick of the day post. The most used lipstick of this month, in fact.

MAC Flamingo.
MAC Flamingo Lipstick swatch

Initially part of the Iris Apfel collection back in 2012, I missed out and regretted it. Re-launched recently in the MAC All About Orange collection I made sure to snap it up straight away. It was a quick sell out on the website and in most stores - I'm still on the hunt for more as back ups.
MAC Flamingo Lipstick FOTD

The colour is pretty much perfect and such a 'me' colour. A milky neon-peach/coral, it reminds me ever so much of China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy nail polish - however do not expect opacity from this lipstick. The Lustre formula, whilst not a favourite of mine, adds a gorgeously glossy sheen to the lips and feels incredibly comfortable. One swipe doesn't really show up on my lips, it does need building up to show the true colour. It also clings to any imperfections so this is one that will require a bit of lip buffing beforehand.
I would absolutely love if this lipstick were a cremesheen formula, but it's still pretty perfect as it is.

If you can get your hands on this - do! Costs £14 from MACCosmetics or MAC Counters.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Micellar Solution

Micellar waters are becoming increasingly popular lately with many skin care brands jumping on the bandwagon. I've been a fan of possibly the original and most well renowned - Bioderma Sensibio -  for a long time now and regularly repurchase this as a staple of my skin care routine. I am yet to find anything that removes eye make up as well and is as gentle on my sensitive eyes.
However, Bioderma is only available to me online and when I run out, I have to wait until a new bottle is delivered which isn't always as quick as I would like.
I found myself in this situation recently having used the last drop of Bioderma and needing a replacement immediately. Whilst shopping in the supermarket I noticed a new micellar solution from L'Oreal. I will admit to having never used L'Oreal skincare before, but at the bargain price of £3 and no obviously dodgy ingredients listed - I decided to give this one a go. If it turned out to be horrific, I had only wasted a small amount of money no big deal.

Bioderma Ingredients:

To say I was apprehensive is an understatement. My temperamental skin does not take kindly to swapping and changing products and introducing new products from brands I do not usually use can lead to full on skin meltdown.
That evening, I used L'Oreal's Micellar Solution to remove my eye make up as I would normally use my Bioderma. Two cotton pads soaked in the solution and my eye make up was removed - or so I thought. 
Upon closer inspection, the waterproof mascara I had used on my lower lashes was still there. I tried fresh cotton pads soaked in more of the L'Oreal Micellar Solution to no avail - the waterproof mascara just would not budge.

Luckily I do not use micellar water as a full cleanse - nor do I recommend that anyone do this. My bioderma acts as an eye make up remover only. Sadly, the L'oreal worked fine on regular eye make up but just couldn't move the waterproof mascara. Bioderma removes all of my eye make up instantly with no problems.

I can say that whilst this micellar solution did not cause any sensitivity, it didn't feel quite as gentle as the Bioderma. I managed to get some in my eye and there was a minor stinging sensation.

While this was an absolute bargain at £3 I doubt I will repurchase and there is no question about how effective it is compared to Bioderma.
This was a fair substitute given the situation but Bioderma is the clear winner and the only micellar water I will use in future.