Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Garden Centre Haul

Sorry for lack of Wishlist this week. The kids being home seems to have turned my brain to mush again so wishlist will hopefully be back next Wednesday.

Instead today I will show you a small haul from the garden centre when Rob & I snatched a few hours to ourselves at the weekend.

  Everyone needs a Gingerbread (wo)man in their life right? 

The Mulled Wine diffuser was half price so that will be fantastic go have out over Xmas. The bath bomb looks a bit like a Xmas pudding.  The scent reminds me of sweets though but I can't think which ones. Looking forward trying it out soon.

I did not need a 2014 calender as already have a Family organiser one that I bought a few weeks ago. I couldn't resist this Guinea Pig one though.

Are you buying things for Xmas decorating? Do you have favourites scents for Xmas? 

Thanks for reading
Amanda x

Friday, 25 October 2013

Mini Boots Haul

Small Boots haulage today. There is nothing much here but as I know there are lots of people like me (nosy) I thought I would share my purchases anyway.

I can never seem to have enough brushes & decided a needed a new Real Techniques Powder brush.
The Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer is a re-purchase. My old one really needs to go in the bin so I can now replace it as I do like this one very much.
lastly we have Seventeen Stay Time Long Wear Primer. I have not tired this one before but as Boots did not have my Rimmel one I thought i would give this a try instead.

Thanks for reading 
Amanda xx

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wednesday Wishlist | M&S

I saw so many things in M&S this weekend. I could only get a few things though so I thought I would share with you some of the other things that I loved to for this weeks Wednesday Wishlist.

1:- M&S Collection Scottie Dog Jumper - £29.50 | 2:- Per Una Paisley Print Tunic(with Necklace) - £29.50 | 3:- Per Una Ditsy Floral Tunic - £25.00 | 4:- M&S Collection Zebra Print Top - £19.50 | 5:- M&S Collection Cotton Rich Polar Bear Jumper - £35.00

I also really love this giraffe print tunic too which may have to be added to my collection soon. Really nice to see a different animal print to the norm.

  I think M&S Have really improved over the years to reach a much wider costumer base. I could spend an absolute fortune in there.
Is there anything at M&S you are loving right now?

Thanks for reading. Happy Wednesday
Amanda xxx

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Clothing Haul | M&S | H&M

Apologies for the awful photos but I thought I would share what I bought on a shopping trip last weekend.

From M&S

Annoyingly I cannot find this one online to link too. I can tell you it was £22.50. I love the peplum detail of  this.

Per Una Burnout Floral Blouse.

M&S Collection Sculpt & Lift Straight Leg Jeans in Medium Indigo | M&S Collection Straight Leg Jeans in Raisin
 from H&M

Fine Knit Cardigan.  I cannot see all of the colours I have here, which are a navy blue, a red & a light brown. They are £9.99 & I always love H &M cardigans because they fit so well & last so long. I have had many of the colours over the years too. At that price it can't be wrong.

Thank you for reading!!
Amanda xx

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wednesday Wishlist | Kids Halloween Costumes

This week I thought I would look at some of the cute Halloween costumes out there. This is  just 6 of my favourites. I love the ghostly shades of the girls costumes. 

1 - Spiderella ( Sainsbury) £12 | 2 - Kids Pirate Dress ( Matalan) £12 | 3 - Spooky Dress ( Tesco) £10

4-  Frankenstein ( F&F Tesco) £8 | 5 - Gothic Bride ( Matalan) £12 | 6 - Light up Pirate ( Tesco) £10.
Thank you for reading
Love Amanda xxx

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits | Harriet Hastings & Sarah Moore

I received this book for my birthday. My friend knows me very well then. I am looking forward to making some of these when time allows although I am sure I will not do these amazing biscuits justice at all. 

You can buy it HERE.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Happy Anniversary | 8 Years Today.

8 years ago I married my absolute soul mate. Things may not have always been easy over the years with one thing or another but here is to hopefully so many more years together. 


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Real Life Post - Coping With Depression

Today's post is a serious subject. I want to talk about my life with depression. I have usually only told few people & so this is a new thing for me because now anyone who reads this & knows me ( either as a family member, friend or acquaintance) will now know too.

My first really battle with depression began in January 1993 when I was 19. As was usual for me in the period after Xmas & New Year , I found January very grey bleak. I only seemed to leave the house for work & spent my evenings just sitting in front of the TV & let's face it Eastenders can be enough for anyone to want to end it all.
It was also a couple of months before my Crohn's Disease diagnosis. I had stomach pains on several occasions with constant sickness. I was missing lots of work because of the attacks & no idea at that stage what the hell was wrong with me.
it was no wonder my mood took a huge dip. To the point that I was terrified because actually I did not even understand at the time that it was actually depression.
My mum , who finally cottoned on to what was going on ( for once being quite in tune with me) & took me to the doctor.
I was diagnosed with depression & signed off work for 2 weeks. I was not prescribed any pills but the doctor did give me a tape filled with "calming music" to play when I was falling asleep. I did not get on with those. I did find the 2 weeks of being off work did a great job ( no guilt because this time I was signed off by the doctor) & slowly I begun to feel so much better.

Over the next many years I had my ups & downs but overall managed to keep my spirits up as much as I could.

My next brush with depression came when my eldest son Brad was around 5 months old. For some reason he turned into the child from hell. You know that kid that all the other parents hated because he always beat up on their child? Yeh that was Brad. Except he was only 5 months old when it started & actually he didn't actually "hit" them or push in an aggressive way. It was more like he wanted to hug the other children but in doing so would pull hair, push the babies over & so on. It is really difficult to explain without sounding like I am excusing his behaviour. Of course though groups etc became a nightmare for me because I never knew how Brad would be & 9/10 the other parents would look down their noses at me , making me feel terrible. No matter what I tried to do, it would happen still. The only place he actually behaved was at music group. He never touched another child there. It only started to get better when he was around 2. he had been going to Tumble Tots & well after saying they would help me with the issue, they actually did nothing to help & actually made me out to be the worst mother ever. In the end I spoke to my health visitor about it ( I am lucky to have a lovely one who has seen me through both children) who suggested asking them if he could move up to the next stage group at Tumble Tots as maybe he was bored with the baby group. Well, that's what we asked & that is what happened & from that point he became a totally different child. Anyone reading this & knowing the genius Brad actually is at school , will see what I do that now , that he was just too bright for the baby class. That is not a knock at other babies just that my son is always having harder work set for him because he can do a lot of the stuff like maths without any real effort at all ( he does not get that from me btw!)
Anyway , after that long winded explanation you can probably see why I had PND ( Post-natal depression) because I just almost stopped going out. We did not really have many baby friends at all for the 1st 2 years of his life because I just found it all too hard being the mummy everyone else ignored. It was a horrible time I was constantly asking Rob to stay home as I did not want to be alone but I did not want to go anywhere with anyone else. Occasionally Rob would take Brad to his mums for the morning or day , but in all it was horrendous time. At one point in 2004 I headed to the doctor , who prescribed happy pills. These did nothing. We were wanting to try for a baby too at this stage & with the pills I was taking this made it harder to do so. As I say the pills did not help. MY HV then sent me on a 12 week support group course. It was fantastic. Loads of other mums just like me in a room where we could talk about absolutely anything. It was great, just what I needed... until the course ended & I got lost yet again.
Things came to a head though because Rob, who has always been the most amazing support, had finally had enough, Because at the time he was the only one i could share it with ( picking the phone up & talking to my mum was a no go) & I think he just thought " I cannot take it anymore" & he told me I either sorted it out or it was over. Well that really scared me. Here I was in a situation I was finding it hard to get myself out of & looking to lose the one crutch that I had.
Back I went again to my HV. This time she referred me to a psychologist. 

Which was the best thing I have ever done. I would go for an hour every Wednesday afternoon for around 3 months. I could say exactly what I wanted , how I wanted & no one to judge me. I will not say here what came out because that is not fair to the people I spoke about. Let me just say that it was interesting when I thought about the what I did talk about & the centre at which most of it seemed to originate.
I was asked to keep a journal. Which is fantastic. I am a geek for diary's etc so this was not hard for me. I still have them somewhere & did used to look at what I wrote from time to time to remind myself how far I had come.

Anyway by early part of 2005 when the course ended things began to turn around nicely. Rob & I had decided to get married that year. A wonderful ceremony at a castle in Scotland in October that year in front of just 5 people included Brad was one of the best days of my life. I would never ask for a better wedding day. 

Again over the years the depression tried to rear its ugly head , because when you are "that way" then it is always with you. However, even with the subsequent 4 years it took us to have Finley, our 2nd & final child ( it actually took us 6 years but it was only in 2006 that we sought some help from the dr) plus also losing Robs mum in December 2006 to cancer, I was managing to keep things at bay more. When Finley was born in August 2010 I had a better way of coping & a much better support network including Rob once again, some family members & some really wonderful friends I made at a group very early in Finley's life.

All was OK until March of 2011 when I had to have an urgent operation for my Crohn's Disease. You can read that story HERE. For the past 2 & 1/2 years it has been up & down so much with the changing minds of 2 different people at the hospital. I was told I would have the bag for 6 months ( this is the NHS though so I was never looking to get rid of it before year was up) but because of a cock up with the Colonoscopy I should have had after my operation it meant I was almost a year afterwards having it done. So since Feb 2012 I have had several different scopes & tests done because the 1st one brought up a stricture & the others have all been to try & get a better look. they all though have said different things. I was finally told I could have my reversal in April 2013, only to be told in July that actually they are concerned still with this possible stricture. A further test in August 2013 has brought a better & clearer picture of the stricture & not a good one sadly because now the surgeon must rethink my surgery. I see him in November. I know at the end of the day they are only ever doing what is best for me. However, I have found  it increasingly difficult to keep calm & not constantly worry about what is actually going to happen. Like I say , I may be a number to them but to me, it is my life & I would like to know where it is going with regards to my operation.
It is no surprise then that over that last few months my levels of unhappiness have increased & have got steadily worse. I have many lovely people to talk to & plenty with depression but none who are going through what I am. Many times I feel very much alone with my thoughts.

Once again I headed to my GP. I have started a course of pills so I have now to wait & see if they will work. He has also though referred me for counselling because I said I found that so helpful when I had PND. At the time of writing this I will be seeing him 2 weeks later to see how things are going & hopefully i will have heard from the counselor by then too.

It can be very hard when you have depression to explain to people who have been lucky enough to never get so. 
A lot of time ( for me personally ) there will be no reason for it other than feeling a little low. Other times something may set it off, whether it is a big reason or small.
That can be very hard, especially as it is the one thing my husband cannot understand. There must be some reason you are crying all day long or looking like the world has ended. 

Other times people will be shocked to hear I suffer with depression. "But you always look so happy!"they will say. That is because when I am out & about at groups & stuff, people do not want me sobbing over them for the duration. I am not saying I have not gone somewhere & not had a little cry now & then but I just think that you then have to wipe the tears away & move on whilst you are there. I think it is important for FInley ( & Brad) to not see MUmmy crying all the time. They are aware that Mummy is not always herself but crying constantly in front of them is not good for them at all.

Most of my time I can get myself out of these moods by just keeping busy where possible. Other times I do just want to shut myself away indoors.

With children though, you cannot do that. For that I am ever thankful because whilst things are really bad right now, I have 2 gorgeous reasons to fight it once again. 3 if you include my husband but lets not make him big-headed.

So, at this stage, along with my journey with the Stoma, it is still ongoing. I may update in the future about both of course as I think is good for people to see how things have improved ( or not.)

Anyway , I thank you for reading this.It means a lot to me if you continued to the end.  

Like my Crohns Disease post this is another one that has come from me. Any opinions I have are my own & I am not saying this is how it is for everyone. 

Have a good day 
Amanda xxx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Wednesday Wishlist | Knitwear

This week I am looking at knitwear ready for those colder days starting to arrive. My wishlist has come solely from BOOHOO as they have a really fab selection going on. I am sure you would find something that you like there.

Thanks for reading 
Amanda x

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Happy Birthday Brad. 11 Today!

Wishing my eldest son Brad a very 

Cannot believe that 11 years ago I was at the hospital about to be sent home because they did not think I was in labour. Went home, back at 2pm & you made your appearance at 6:55pm. My life changed forever & I don't regret that one bit!! 

LOVE YOU!! xxx

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Estee Lauder Birthday Haul

OK so it is not technically my birthday yet & so I may still get this whipped away again until Sunday when I make my journey over that hill but I thought i would share this with you anyway as it is too beautiful to wait.

I told Rob that I couldn't think of anything specific I wanted for my birthday until an email cane from Estee Lauder with a code for a free eye-shadow palette as a "birthday gift." I am, not normally a sucker for this kind of thing because we all no these gifts are usually tiny. However, as it IS my birthday I asked Rob if I could choose some items from their website & get the free gift. 

I picked my order up from my local sorting office this morning.
Is it just me who is mesmerised by the goldy loveliness of the EL packaging?? Tell me I me not the only one who is so easily seduced???

I bought Pure Color Blush in Hot Sienna ( 06) which is a satin blush & a Pure Colour eye-shadow in Cyber Silver (04)

This below is my "birthday" gift. Now you cannot expect much for free but its actually a very nice sized palette with 9 small eye-shadows. It would be a nice one to take on holiday because there are a few different colours to chop & change with. I did a swatch of the purple in the middle of the bottom row & OMG cannot wait to have a proper go with them.

Then lastly the free samples. I could choose 4 this order which was really nice. I now have 3 of this mascara so back up or the back up of the back but it will get used in time. The tube at the top is a moisture mask so really looking forward to trying that as well as the night repair one. The perfume sample is of Sensuous Nude. It is really nice actually. Quite sweet reminds me of candy actually. I could definitely add it to my Christmas list for Santa this year ( along with about 10 other perfumes!!)

All items can be found on their website HERE although possibly not the eyeshadow palette. The shadows are part of the Pure Color range so you may be able to find the colours as individuals. 

Thank you for ready

Friday, 4 October 2013

Product Empties #2

I was a lot quicker filling up the empties bag than I thought I would be. Lets begin :-).

1 - Batiste in Tropical.
We already know I adore this & go through tons of it so I won't bore you with a review again. You can buy at Boots, Superdrug etc. Look out for deals as I think it is expensive at full price.

2 - Dove Go Fresh in Grapefruit & Lemongrass. Yes I like this. Scent is nice & lasts for ages. Would & have bought this again. 

3 - Green & Spring relaxing shampoo. I don't like it. A mix of lavender, comfrey & rosemary. I am not huge on herbal scented things & this was no different. I didn't feel like it did anything for my hair particularly either. This was a sample from a beauty box so I just got it used up quickly. 

4 - L'oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Miceller Solution. Is there anyone in the beauty world who has not tried this? I got to be honest I don't think these cleansing waters do much for me. I am trying to like them but I find them all a bit drying & I have tried several. But if you love cleansing waters & you don't want to pay Bioderma prices then this could be for you. 

5 - Clinique Anti -Blemish Solution Cleansing Moisturiser. Hmm, can't say I enjoyed this too much. I bought off of someone on a Facebook selling group along with the coordinating toner so I paid less than I would have in store making the fact I don't like this a little easier. I used it up though as I was not sure otherwise who to pass it on to. I have to be honest & say actually I don't think they sell it anymore as I cannot even see it on eBay!!!! 

6- Clinique rinse off foaming cleanser. A travel size tube from a bonus bag I really love this. This is the 2nd tube I have used. It cleans my face so well ready for the rest of my skin care. Love it & thankfully have another ready for using when I have used up a few other brands that I have.

7 - Carole Franck Moisturiser - Another item from a beauty box. I think this is really expensive to buy a full size & for this reason I am glad it wasn't holy grail stuff. I hated the packaging. I don't know if the full size comes in the same but I thought this was terrible. It wasn't horrible on my skin but there are definately cheaper brands for me that do a better job. I can't find it in stock anywhere either. It came with a Birchbox though if you wanted to start your own search there.

8- Elemis Daily Moisturiser. Free with a magazine just before I went on holiday in May so a handy size  take with me. I did not like. Another herbal scented item going. I can't say it did anything special so I am glad it was a free gift only.

9 - Estee Lauder Anti Aging Eye balm - it was just a small one off sachet so I have absolutely nothing to say about it. 

10 - LUSH Mint Julip lip scrub. Another item that we know I adore & have already bought another of. I think these scrubs are amazing. I can really feel the work it has done after applying. They smell amazing.

11 -Clarins BB cream in Medium. Another small sample sachet so again I can't say too much after just 1 application. The colour seemed to be OK but unless I can try it a few more times I cannot comment.

12 - Rimmel Scandeleyes. This was the one item in my project pan from August that I did not quite use up. By mid September though it had dried enough for me to decide it was time to bin it. In the beginning I did not like it but it is almost as if the more I used it the better the brush was at putting the product on my lashes. I won't be buying another simply because I have about 7 back ups of other brands. Buy One Get 2nd One Half Price at Boots right now.


This last photo contains items that are not actually empty but that are still going in the bin.

Elizabeth Arden Primer - I was not impressed with this. It was too greasy on applying & felt like it for the rest of the time I was wearing make-up in the day. I was going to use it up though as it cost me a lot to just bun. However, suddenly the pump just stopped working. I was able to fix it one but then it just did not want to know. So in the bin it has gone.

Ginvera Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel - Came in a sample tube in a beauty box. hated it. Did not like the feel of it on applying & didn't think my skin felt any better afterwards either. I probably used about half so I don't feel too bad about throwing it away!

Well that is all of it again for a while ( I hope.) Thank you for reading. I would be interested to hear your views on any of these products.

Thanks Amanda xx

Thursday, 3 October 2013

September 2013 | Random Favourites

Hay Day

I play this on my iPad & I am slightly addicted. After being fed up of both Farmville & Farm Town that the thought of another farm game I would not go near this. But I play this at a much gentler pace so that I just take my time & doing things.  I don't have many neighbours so it takes me a while to do anything. 
You have boat orders to do but I either get them done or I don't. I just enjoy it for what it is... a game.

I can spend hours on You Tube when time allows. I like to watch beauty gurus talk about stuff I can't afford & also I like to watch the vlogs of the same beauty gurus. I am really nosy so watching a 20 minute vlog of a you Tubers day to day life is perfect!!

My favourites are :-

The Shuerman Show

Yes I know it is all internet based this time a round but that is just the way it is for this month. 

Thanks for reading
Amanda xx

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Wednesday Wishlist | Random

A new feature for me. Decided to compile a wishlist of things that I love. Some weeks will be a theme & others like today will be more random( although bar 1 there is an animal thing going on this time.) there is only 4 this time too, with my eldest son's birthday sleepover imminent I don't have the time to look for things the same. 

Amanda xx

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

September 2013 | Beauty Faves

September is now over. If you stuck with me through the photo a day then THANK YOU & WELL DONE!!!  I enjoyed doing it even if some days were a lot harder than others. 

So October then brings us back to normal posts.

I am starting it off with a Beauty faves for September. The make-up included has been my go to for the WHOLE OF SEPTEMBER so whilst i did not do a project pan this month I certainly kept up with using the same things on a daily basis. I may use different things for October so i don't get too bored but I am so loving these make-up items right now too.

It will probably be no surprise to see Batiste here. We know how much I love it & how much of it I use. I am constantly looking out for it in places where it is on offer as it is my ultimate go to dry shampoo but is a tad expensive when it is full price. Luckily a shop somewhere has a deal going on with which I take advantage.

BODY SHOP. Body Mist in Moringa - I love this scent. Don't ask me to describe it as I am next to useless at that. I can say it I find it a nice subtle scent. To begin with I didn't think it stayed with long in the day but actually on a few more applications it does, it is just a nice subtle fragrance. 

BOURJOIS. Healthy Balance Compact Powder - In shade 52 ( Dark Beige) I am in love with this product. I have hit pan on this one & that is my 2nd this year. Definitely my holy grail as far as powder foundation goes. I have another in the wings waiting as I sometimes find it hard to find this particular shade & we cannot have that!!!

MAX FACTOR. Clump Defy Waterproof mascara - I have mine in Black. I wasn't sure when I opened this & saw the brush. Looked a little too small to be of any use. However, I have used no other mascara this month because it is amazing. The brush is actually really nice & makes the product go on so evenly. It is also what is says on the tin & waterproof!

MUA. Shimmer Kiss Bronzer (Bronzed Shimmer Kisses) - I use this to highlight just below my eyes & the top of my cheeks. I adore this. It lasts quite a while , which we all know I like because I don't have time to keep re-applying make-up in my day. With MUA not costing much anyway this is a snap in the sale at just £1.50 at the moment ( usual price is only £3.) 

CLINIQUE. Blusher - In shade 114, Iced Lotus. Gorgeous. It is such a pretty pink shade & I have not tired of this being the blush I have gone too for the whole of this month. I may need something a bit darker now the days are getting more autumnal but i'm holding out for now!

Thanks for reading this far. As always let me know your beauty favourites & If you have tried any of these products mentioned. I will be a long in a couple of days with my non beauty faves as well.

Amanda xxx