Tuesday, December 17, 2013

To Charlie. Now you're 9 months

Dear Charlie,

I cannot believe you are now 9 months. I know that's a bit cliched and all mummies say that, but I can't actually get my head around how fast the time has flown since you were born. You have now been out in the world for as long as you were inside me. When I was pregnant with you time dragged until I finally met you and now I feel like time is just slipping away!

So, in terms of your development and progress you are really amazing. You can now crawl very fast across the room and you can also pull yourself up on the furniture and walk along it. You have tried to take a few steps only holding on with one hand - you are certainly getting brave! Your Granny walked at 9 months, so I don't think it will be long before you are walking!

You are a really good eater and you eat almost anything! The only thing you seem to dislike is broccoli, which is odd as you loved it when it was pureed. You pick up the crumbs you've left on you're walker so we have to make sure you don't pick up anything that's on the floor. You love a roast dinner but you're favourite meal is definitely Dairylea on toast! Mummy now loves it too, which is weird as I used to hate it but now I have it for breakfast every day!

You are now really settled at the childminder's, not that we had any problem to begin with. But of course I was worried about leaving you. But knowing you are so happy to see Lisa every day really makes it much easier to leave you there. I still wish I was at home with you but I have to work so that we can all do things as a family. You also have a little friend there called Bella who adores you and you love playing with her.

It is nearly time for your first Christmas and I cannot wait! Your Granny has bought you a Santa's Little Helper outfit to wear on Christmas Day! I know you're Daddy isn't too keen but I think you're going to look very cute! We put our decorations up last weekend and you are so intrigued by the tree. I think you're getting a bit fed up with constantly being told 'No!' as you lunge towards the branches! However, you learnt your lesson when you pulled too hard on a branch and the whole thing toppled over onto you. Mummy wasn't happy as your broke the bauble which says 'baby's first Christmas.' However, your sister painted you your own special bauble at the weekend and it now hangs proudly on the tree. We are taking you on the Santa train this weekend and I am really excited; I know you won't understand it, but you'll still have fun and you'll get a little pressie.
We will be spending Christmas with my parents and they just can't wait to see you again; you are definitely going to be one spoilt baby this Christmas!

You are such a happy smiley boy and I am really proud of the little character that is becoming you. You always have smiles for everybody and everyone thinks you are such a charming little boy. Everyone tells me how cute and beautiful you are and I am very proud of you.

You're actually nearly 10 months old now and after Christmas it will be time to start planning your first birthday! I think mummy and you are going to share a party as mummy will be 30 the day before your 1st birthday.

Merry Christmas baby x

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My beauty favourites at the moment

Since I had a baby my skin has definitely been different. It used to be oily all the time but now it is a bit of both. I cannot use thick, indulgent face creams as they are too heavy and clog up my face. I had been using Liz Earle before Charlie and then I was in Boots one day and wanted a cheapie one to tide me over for a bit. I found one from the Soap and Glory range which said it highlighted 'youth.' Sold it to me on that one! It was actually really good and it worked for my skin. However when I went to replace it, I couldn't find it on the shelves any more. I was really disappointed and so had to start looking around for another one. Once again, I didn't want a really expensive one as sometimes I use them for a few weeks and then have to change anyway as they don't suit y skin. Boots had an offer on their Botanics range and I picked up the 'Shine Away' Day cream and Night cream. I have to be honest, I am not keen on the smell, but as the product description says, it does banish shine and leaves a matte finish. I have found that by lunch time the skin around my nose can be a bit oily, but I have only been using it for a week or so, so I will see how it goes. It definitely seems to take the shine away though.

I kept reading about the Nivea in shower body moisturiser and I keep thinking 'what a swizz.' I had little faith in the product being any use at all, especially as a moisturiser. Oh how wrong I was. Again, it actually does what it says on the tin! It leaves your skin feeling as though you have applied moisturiser. However, the downsides are that if you don't rinse well, I feel like it 'sits' on my skin and feels a bit clammy. It also says to use your normal body wash first. Hmmm, I am trying to save time here and that doesn't feel like I am doing. I don't do that bit anyway. I just slather it on anyway.  I didn't realise, but they also do a version for dry skin. I wish I had got that one, so I am going to try that when this one runs out.

Since having Charlie I have had awful skin on my hands. It started out like a bit of eczema just on one finger. Then it spread. It starts with little blister like bubbles which can pop and then the skin starts to split and bleed and becomes really dry and then flakes away. It got that bad that I went to the doctor about it as I have never had anything like this before. He called it something like 'popplits' or something and prescribed some steroid cream. But the cream says to still use an emollient. So I popped to the chemist one day to ask what they recommended for very, very dry skin besides E45 as that hadn't touched it. The pharmacist recommended something called 'Lotil' which I had never heard of. She couldn't find any and it took her ages and she had to go rooting upstairs but eventually handed me a tube of cream for which she asked the sum of 15p for! Yes 15p! She didn't know why either but she was happy to sell it to me for that. I used it every day and it really helped and if I miss a day, I certainly feel and see the difference immediately. I went back to get some more and this time asked for a tub and it came to £5.81! A bit odd, think Lloyds pharmacy have some pricing issues going on there. But anyway, it's worth paying that for as it is so good and is, so far, the only thing to help my poor hands. I've noticed that the more I wash my hands and get them wet the worse it gets. Cleaning products start peeling my skin away immediately, it's horrendous. I have had to start using rubber gloves to wash up and to clean up with. I need some dry soap - is that even a product yet? It should be.

As a new mum, who recently went back to work, I have developed big black circles under my eyes. Charlie's sleep pattern is still all over the place and I talked on here a while back about how we had done sleep training with him. Well, he still goes to bed as normal but can wake 2-3 times a night still. Therefore my eyes are not looking the best. The only concealer I have found to make any difference and actually last all day is Benefit's Erase Paste. It really is magical stuff and it is strong enough to take being rubbed into the skin (gently). Unlike some which start to rub off onto your finger tips even as you're still applying it!

The final product I am loving is Maybelline's Colour Show nail varnish. Dead cheap, but goes on like a dream and stays on for a few days. I love the deep purply colours and wine colours they have. I started wearing them at the start of Autumn as they are definitely a colour for the season.

I feel like, now I am a mum, and supposed to be a bit more grown up, that I need to be a bit more mature when it comes to my skin and start to look after it a bit more. I am (argh) 30 not long after Christmas and my skin is no longer fit and healthy and 20 years old. It needs some TLC and it needs looking after. I think skincare will definitely be a New Year's resolution for me!

I am now on the look out for a really good body scrub; a hair mask for dry and damaged hair and some fabulous rubber gloves to protect my hands from water!

Any products you recommend?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Project Shoebox

At school we always do the Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal. If you haven't heard of it it's basically an appeal each year for a shoebox full of presents for a little boy or girl who is less fortunate than ourselves somewhere around the world. I'm a massive fan of this and really encourage my students to get involved and contribute.

So, I was really interested when I came across Project Shoebox through another blog. Basically Project Shoebox was set up to help vulnerable women at Bromley's Women's refuge by providing a box full of toiletries - items that would often get left behind when women have to flea from their homes because of domestic violence.

So basically, you send a box with lovely toiletries in to help out these women. The boxes can have all sorts in - cotton wool, tissues, shampoo, hairbrush, toothpaste, sanitary items, plus more luxury items too! Any items are gratefully accepted and are always needed. How many toiletry items do us women have in our cupboards that we don't need and aren't going to use? I know I have loads of extra bits and pieces, like packets of tissues and toothpaste etc.

The founder of the project originally had an initial target of 40 boxes. Last week the total so far rose to 45 boxes.

If you would like to know more or help out yourself then please visit Project Shoebox on facebook.

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Christmas wish list

So December is here, at last! I love Christmas; I love the traditions, the festivity, the good mood people tend to be in. I love going around the shops with Christmas music playing in the background. It's my favourite part of the year. I also enjoy choosing presents for people and wrapping them up beautifully. Of course I also enjoy buying the odd thing for myself too!

However this year, I have less money than normal, what with childcare costs! So I have created a Christmas wish list in case Santa is reading!

1. A personal planner from personal-planner.co.uk.
I have admired these for quite a few years ago, seeing them first on another blog. You can totally customise your planner with pictures and different colours and dates etc. I 'may' have mentioned I want one to my mum!

2. Chanel Chance. 
A girl's gotta have some Chanel, right? Not cheap enough to buy throughout the year really. I always have this on my Christmas list, it's my signature scent and I have worn it since I was about 18.

3. Clinique Take The Day Off Balm. 
I went off Clinique for quite a while as it really didn't do anything for my skin. I discovered Liz Earle and jumped on the hot cloth cleanser wagon. But actually, I've gone off it a bit. To be honest it's a bit of a faff to do that twice a day. I'd rather just swipe my face with a cream and some cotton wool. I've heard great things about this from quite a few bloggers so I am willing to reacquaint myself with Clinique again.

4. Chanel Vernis nail colour in Rouge Noir. 
What can I say? Perfect colour for the Christmas season!

5. Boden Easy Pocket Dress.
I saw this dress on Avril, from School Gate Style and thought it was fabulous, but a little pricey when I've got a eight month old baby! However, it's got 30% off at the moment so it is very tempting. This would sort my Christmas Day outfit out!

So Santa, I have been really, really good this year....