Living Space Inspiration – Colour Pops

living spaces

I’m moving house!

Not now, not next month, not even in a couple of months. In fact, my house still hasn’t been built yet so it’s probably a safe bet to say that my house move is more than a little time away. BUT – I’m moving house!!!!! and I’m really excited about it. HOUSE MOVE!

I’m helping to design the house from scratch and link for you having the input into how it will look has been amazing – so I’ve already been Pinning like mad (obviously) and have started to put together mood boards. Which leaves me wondering – HOW difficult was interior design in the days before Pinterest? I remember my mum having piles of Living Etc and Elle Decoration around the house so it’s a good thing we now have such wonderful online inspiration as IKEA Family Live (not just name checking it because I used to work there – I seriously love that place) and Apartment Therapy. Inspiration/Procrastination, who’s counting?

FYI Mum I haven’t forgotten you asking me to show you Pinterest… you are doing the important parts of the design anyway ;) I’m sticking to paint colours and cushions…

living spaces

Living Spaces

The first room I’m thinking about is the living space. I’m envisaging clean, neutrally coloured furniture (so wise with young children…) accented with pops of viagra in uk colour in the blankets, cushions and floorcoverings. The space will be open plan to the kitchen so I’m aiming to remain as minimal in my approach as possible, with clever storage to keep clutter down. Think colour, texture and fun :)

Main images: The Design Files

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White High Gloss Coffee Table, £129.99, FADS, Velvet Square Cushion, £45, Not On The High Street, Canyon White High Gloss Wide Bookcase, £349.99, FADS, Monty Lamp, £40, House By John Lewis, Flapjack sofa, £1195, Loaf, Studio Stack Mug, £4, John Lewis, Novello White Gloss Dining Set, £279.99, FADS, Octo rug, £95, Habitat.

 

How To Become A Morning Person

How to become a morning person

There aren’t many things I would change about myself A slightly smaller nose, maybe? A speedier metabolism, or hair that isn’t quite so unruly, perhaps?

NO.

One thing I have always been unhappy with is the struggle I face each and every morning to get out of bed. I am not, nor have I ever been, a morning person. Waking up is literally the worst part of my day and I’d do anything to make it easier to get up and at ‘em in the mornings. And as the http://quickieworkouts.com/buy-cialis-pill mother of an early riser (5.50am today, WOOHOOH) this does NOT work at all.

I’ve been trying to think of how to describe just how excruciating it feels to wake up: OK so that might be over-egging it a bit, but it really is tough. My brain feels like it’s stuck in syrup, I can’t open my eyes and viagra online store the only thought I have revolves around going back to sleep. SLEEP, lovely sleep. It literally seems to take me at least half an hour to get over this feeling and it just feels horrible. Is it like this for everyone, or just me?

After 29 years of being me I know my body clock. I’m a night owl and if left to its own devices my body would sleep at midnight and wake up about 8am. This is what happens when the children stay with their Dad, but when they’re at home I revert to going to sleep at midnight and rising at god-knows-what-hour. So I usually get six hours of sleep (usually interrupted) – not enough.

After four years of being fairly sleep deprived (I know I know, I never mention it, you’d never know) I’ve decided to take charge a bit more and work on getting a better quality sleep in each night – and more of it. I’ve done extensive research (i.e. Googled the hell out of this) and have come up with some guidelines to follow over the next week or so to really try and feel more human in the mornings. An experiment, if you like.

I’d love to know how your nights and mornings go: do you feel like you get enough good-quality sleep? Let me know if you have any help on this journey of sleep discovery…

How To Become A Morning Person

Switch off devices

On a usual evening I will be on my iMac, my MacBook, my iPad, Apple TV and one or both of my iPhones (work/home), right up until I go to sleep. It’s a terrible thing but the sidebar of shame really seems to help me drift off. I work a lot in the evenings and need to start limiting screen time so I can switch off and try it get my brain ready to sleep. I’m making 10pm the device curfew and will turn off everything at this time.

Go to bed (doh)

Do you have a bedtime? I need a bedtime. 10pm is going to be the nominated time I’ll turn the house off and go upstairs to get ready for bed. And no dawdling, either: teeth, face, pjs.

Read

Pre-kids I’d get through three books a week, easy. I loved reading and I miss the way a good book makes you feel – I’ve forgotten how a good book makes you feel! I’m going to make every effort when I get into bed at just-past-10pm to spend at least 20 minutes reading a book in the hopes it’ll help me relax. I even bought a new reading light to help!! So I’m obviously destined for success.

Tidy up

I pretty much do this anyway, but I really don’t like getting up to an untidy house. I’ll make sure the house is sparkling before I go to bed, the thought of which will entice me up out of bed.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

It’s really hectic when you have to fill school bags, make lunch, sponge-clean school clothes (we’ve all been there, sodding stealth yoghurt stains) and hunt for water bottles before you get in the car in the morning. I will do all this the night before.

GET UP

When Elfie wakes me up pre-6am I send her back to bed to read books (hoping this will train her to just stay in bed one day. I am very optimistic). I then lie in bed, not going back to sleep, just waiting to get up. Meditating (well, you know, not meditating). Thinking about how good sleep feels. It’s kind of a waste of time and I really should just get the hell up and start the day rather than just prolong the levitra next day delivery agony.

And that’s when my inspiration ended and I Googled ‘how to get up in the morning’. I found this article which was almost completely useless because 50% of the points revolve around an alarm clock and my alarm clock has arms, legs and answers to the name of Elfie. She does not respond well to being placed on the other side of the room.  

So come on, give me some inspo! How can I be better in the mornings? Blog world, you are my last hope.

Let’s Protect Our Skin – Caudalie Polyphenol C15

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I’m constantly talking about how tired I am. The affect this tiredness has on my all-over wellbeing: my skin, my eyes, my fitness. My sleep deprivation touches every part of my life and http://aiesep.org/discount-viagra-pills I wholeheartedly believe that if I got more sleep my life would be completely different. You hear that, kids?! GO TO SLEEP!

So I’ve always been very aware of taking care of my skin when I’m this exhausted. There’s truly nothing worse than someone doing that sympathetic head tilt when they look at you and saying “ohh, you look tired”. Because we all know that tired = bad, yet it just so happens that motherhood=tired. Womp womp.

But what makes our skin tired? I know this answer for me. It’s the lack of sleep, the busy life I lead haring around London for meetings, blowing my nose of black snot when I get home and wondering what all that pollution has done to my poor face. It’s the glasses wine I might have drank one too many of on a Friday (or Monday) night, my big load of work stress or the accidental burger I took the kids for (Five Guys are coming to Milton Keynes, I might die of happiness).

In a nutshell, most of modern life isn’t good for our skin and try it we must do what we can to reverse these aspects of our day-to-day. Short of giving up the wine (THE HORROR), I reckon this means drinking as much water as I can, eating well, getting my arse down to the gym and using super duper face products.

In 2014 Caudalie launched a new anti-oxidant, anti-wrinkle, skincare range called Polyphenol C15. The range was developed for busy women like me who live a fast paced life and are faced with daily factors like pollution and stress, both which all cause free radical damage, which in turn leads to skin ageing. The active ingredients in this skincare range are a combination of the two most effective antioxidants on the market, Grape-seed Polyphenols (a Caudalie patent) and stabilised Vitamin C.

The products in this range include an Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum, Protect Fluid, Eye & Lip Cream, Overnight Detox Oil and Anti-Wrinkle Protect Day Cream with SPF20. These products treat dry skin and protect skin against daily aggressors – which for me is pretty much everything I want in a skincare range.

I’ve been trying this range and have loved it. Two weeks in and I’m definitely noticing a difference in my forehead. My skin feels tighter, less dehydrated, protected and well-looked after. I got ID’d by the Ocado man at 7.30 this morning so I must be doing something right, yeah?

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Caudalie have launched a special app on their website where you can create a personalised movie based on your busy day – mine involves lots of driving, a packed work agenda, computer time and being (almost) a perfect mum – and share with your friends. You can also win an Anti-Ox Box which includes the whole Polyphenol C15 range (it’s well worth it!!)

Thank you Caudalie for supporting MTT. Because of you my skin looks younger :) 

Should Children Share A Bedroom?

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When I moved house almost two years ago post-separation I got a bit sniffy about downsizing my home. This was in the days when I believed that the size of your house was directly relevant to your happiness, you understand, and not because I was a massive insufferable snob back then (HONEST). But I’d been spending the agp.qc.ca last few years in a four bedroomed house and I literally did not know how my life would adapt to two bedrooms.

HAHAH.

I’m one of the luckiest people I know in that I rent a house off my mum and dad. I still pay them rent (so maybe not THE luckiest) and do everything a normal tenant would do – but it means that whenever anything goes wrong or the grass needs mowing my dad will come to do it. And when, as a newly single woman, they offered to rent the house to me, I bit their hand off. It’s in a great area of my town and is a truly wonderful home, but it only has two bedrooms.

Two bedrooms.

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Before moving here I was seriously concerned about two bedrooms. How would I survive with no spare bedroom? How would my not-out-of-nappies-at-night children cope without their own space? WHY ARE MY DIAMOND SHOES SO TIGHT?!

The truth is that two bedrooms is one of the loveliest things that ever happened to us.

Elfie and Hux now share a bedroom that has a small separation by way of IKEA’s Stolmen, which I use to store their clothes and give each of them their own identifiable space. Though they were once children that had their own rooms, they now share, and despite me thinking this would not work out well it’s actually been a dream.

Haha, just kidding. I don’t have dreams any more, I just tend to pass out until the next sleep interruption.

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In all seriousness I love the closeness that bedroom sharing has brought to my two. They were as thick as thieves before but their bedroom arrangements has turned them into co-conspirators, bosom buddies. Upon waking up (far too early) in the morning they first chat to each other before coming into wake me, and they like to have a bit of a natter before they go to sleep at night… usually the finer points of Woody vs Buzz, or whether or not Spiderman lives in a zoo (Elfie: no, Hux: yes).

I went to check on them at 9pm a couple of evenings ago to find Hux had turned the lights on, piled all his toys on top of a fast asleep Elfie and was playing with Buzz and usefull link sitting on her legs. Goodness knows what had happened in the two hours since putting them to bed but it was pretty cute.

I no longer feel sorry for myself for my poor two bedrooms. I LOVE what two bedrooms have given us. Closeness, friendship, hugs, laughter, early mornings… all of it. Sleeping in one room means for Elfie and Hux that their best friend is next to them when they fall asleep and next to them when they wake up. It means they are constantly there to reassure, wind up, comfort and tease. They love it. I love it. All my hesitations were proved wrong pretty quickly. Yes if one wakes up then the aiesep.org other is sometimes disturbed, but they both soon learned to sleep through a loud noise Skream would be proud of.

Last night I heard Elfie say, “You’re my best friend, Hux. I love you sooo much I don’t want you to go to sleep”.

Would you have your children sleep in the same room?

#DearCarpetright… Win A New Floor

One thing I love about having kids is the situations they are constantly getting themselves into. Hux is always coming home with nursery with funny notes detailing what he did that day and exactly why he had to go into the record book for it and Elfie… she’s just Elfie. I’m always finding funny notes that she’s written around the house; one inside my laptop bag yesterday simply said ‘Bacon and Eggz’ over and over again.

This Mother’s Day Carpetright want to help you celebrate the funny things your kids (or your pets!) do. They want you to photograph the mischief the littlest members of your family get up to and upload it to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram, tagging Carpetright and visit our site including the hashtag #DearCarpetright.

The best entry will win a new floor for any room of their house worth £500 and three runners up are to receive a Mother’s Day Chocolate Extravagance Hamper.

To give you some inspiration here’s one I made earlier… when a toddler Elfie decided to colour in baby Hux’s face to look ‘like a lion’. She used permanent Sharpie *insert Thumbs Up emoji*. I miss those baby days…

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And another, when she was “putting my makeup on, mummy, GO AWAY!”

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Such treasures.

To enter all you have to do is take a picture of your pet, baby or child in question holding or sat next to a sign that states #DearCarpetright and then the reason why you (as a mother) or your partner/Mum deserves some new flooring. Upload this picture to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram using #DearCarpetright and tag Carpetright in the caption. For more information please go here

 

Thanks to Carpetright for supporting MTT! Without you I would not have the funds to buy baby wipes to clean up my childrens’ messes :) 

The Best Gifts To Make A New Mum Feel Human Again

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When you have your first (or second… oh my, witness the we choice cuteness) baby you are completely inundated with presents. Birth is such a special time and this always resonates massively with pretty much every single person who knows you – you find yourself inundated with cards, bunches of flowers, soft toys, babygros and teeny tiny outfits, all sent with so much love and squeals of delight at the new baby.

I was no different. I remember my house was literally full to bursting with all manner of gorgeous presents and it was just wonderful that my family and friends were so very thoughtful to appreciate my new baby when she (and he!) was born but to be honest I was so knackered I didn’t quite process it at the time. Having been in labour for ages (four days with Hux… four days!!) and spending the subsequent nights breastfeeding a newborn baby I was completely high on sleep deprivation and hormones. The teeny tiny outfits were worn a couple of times and photographed to death but soon grown out of, the beautiful displays of flowers lasted a few days, the cards soon came down and www.hexicamaerials.com before long we were back to normal. Well, not totally normal. I’m still waiting for my full 8 hours. Any day now, right?!

All those hormones and lack of sleep meant that as soon as motherhood was upon me I could see it in my face. I saw wrinkles, eye bags and an uneven skin tone… in short, not only did I feel knackered but I felt a bit ugly as well. My face seemed to lose its youthful radiance and even tone overnight thanks to being woken every two hours, and most importantly this tiredness meant I didn’t see it as an important time to take care of how I looked.

I WAS WRONG.

Re-discovering your identity as a new mum is one thing that really takes it out of you. I can’t tell you how important it is to make sure you look after yourself as much as possible at this time – and it’s one thing I neglected. Well, I’m happy to tell you that this is no longer the case, I’m all about the self-love these days and I think it’s important to help my friends to give themselves as much TLC as they can when they have new babies.

Which is why I’ve discarded the teddy bear gifts, rejected the teeny tiny BabyGap outfits and thrown out the supercool onesies. From now on I am giving my new mum friends the gift of a new face when they give birth; I’m gifting them the same products that helped me re-juvinate my skin and in turn my mind when I first became a mum, all from the geniuses behind Sanctuary Spa:

Facial Oil

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Listen up: I firmly believe that facial oil is my number one favourite thing about my evening skincare regime. I’ve been using this particular product – Sanctuary’s Therapist’s Secret Facial Oil (£17.50) – for three weeks now and have no less than four compliments on how good my skin looks. FOUR. And I hardly ever think that someone’s skin looks good enough to compliment so I think it must be doing something very right.

I apply this post-cleanse and viagra tablets tone and pre-night cream and literally wouldn’t be without it. In fact I still remember the time Elfie topped up my facial oil with the tap aged 2; there were tears (mine not hers) and I’ve only just forgiven her (hahah only kidding, I still haven’t forgiven her). If you buy one product for either you or a friend this month please make it this – you will not be disappointed.

Night & Day Cream

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I have combination skin that seems to have different moods at different times of the day. It’s thirsty during the evening which is when I adore coating myself in overnight potions to make my face plump and radiant by morning but just requires a small bit of priming pre-makeup when I’m getting ready for the day.

These two products – Sanctuary’s Peptide Protect Day Cream (£20) and Night Concentrate (£15.50) –  work completely in sync for these times, providing the exact amount of moisture when and wherever I need it. The day cream really does seem to create a look of radiance too, no idea how but probably something extremely sciency. SPF is included as well which is fabulous for the times I brave the barefaced look (more and more common nowadays!).

Facial In A Box

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I firmly believe there is no bigger treat you can give yourself than a night in your bathroom with a steaming hot bath and a DIY facial. This Brightening Facial In A Box (£16.50) is the perfect accompaniment for nights like this – it contains everything you need to give yourself that spa glow at home. I was so impressed with the glowy skin I had as a result that I took an awkward selfie: I will definitely be re-enacting this facial when I’m next in need of a lift.

Facial Glow

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Relaxation Products
You don’t think I can get through a whole blog post without mentioning scented candles, do you?! NEVER!

I find I need some pretty solid bathroom products for these lovely long soaks I’m taking and this Bath Soak and soft cialis tablets Scented Candle hit the spot perfectly. The scent of the Calming Luxury Bath Soak (£10) and Daydream Candle (£15) are the same and they work beautifully to help prepare and relax my mind before getting an early night.

Sanctuary have handily put together some time-saving beauty tips that are perfect for new mums – I had Brazilian Blow Drys on the regular when I had newborns and it made ALL the difference.

What was your favourite gift as a new mum?

Thank you so much for The Sanctuary for sponsoring MTT and sending me these products for the purpose of review. I really do love to use them and wouldn’t write about them otherwise – now go get glowing skin!