Sunday, 29 December 2013

What I Got For Christmas | 2013

Good Morning Everyone

I hope you all had a truly wonderful Christmas wherever you spent it.

We had a really lovely day. Just the 4 of us until mid afternoon . it was very long morning as it started at 5am ( as Brad did not fall asleep til nigh on midnight that was a very short night indeed.) We all opened our stockings in our room before heading downstairs. The boys opened their presents from Santa before we started to open presents from each other & other family members. Finley was sat down at the table about 10:45 waiting for his dinner & thus we found ourselves done & dusted with the Xmas dinner by around 12:15 ( thanks Rob it was lovely.) We did not mind this as we were heading to Robs brother & family mid afternoon anyway so gave us plenty of time to rest those tums!

Now I know some of you will not like this post so much. Some see these kind of things as bragging. Myself I love them (but then we have established I am nosy! hehe.) Thus I wanted to share with you what Santa brought for me this year. I felt like a very lucky girl indeed.

From Rob & The Boys.

Marc Jacobs - Honey perfume
Cath Kidston Purse
Babylis - Curling Wand Pro

My stocking items including Nspa body butters, Olay skincare, Batiste ( of course ) & most importantly a box of Maltesers. 

Then my favourite present of all was presented to me last night by Rob once the kids were in bed ( mind out the gutters!!) 

I was really desperate  for this "Soap & Glory" set but with Xmas approaching I had to rein myself in even though £27 instead of £60 was quite hard to resist. However I have a hubby who knows quite well what I like had unbeknownst to me already been made aware of it ( thank you Martin Lewis at Daybreak ;-)! ) I was so excited. 

It contains:-
Hand Food (Hand Cream)
Sugar Crush (Body Wash)
The Righteous Butter ( Body Butter)
Peaches & Clean (Deep Purifying Cleanser
Heel Genius ( Foot Cream - used it before. It sticks but does a fantastic job)
Butter Yourself ( Moisture Lotion)
The Scrub Of Your Life ( Body Buffer)
Thick & Fast (Super Volume Mascara)
Sexy Mother Pucker XL ( In Pink Out Loud)

Also 3 sachets of serum in the booklet.
Some of these I have used before but plenty I haven't so very excited to start using!!

From my Mum & Stepdad.

Boots giftcard ( *woop*)

Baylis Foot Lotion & Socks
Sanctuary gift set 
Notecards set.

Tin of Biscuits. I love this for the tin alone!!! Definitely one to keep!

Presents from Friends

Jewelry set containing necklace, earrings & bracelet ( cute snowflake design.) & a charm bracelet (best friends.)

Writing set. So cute, I don't want to use it! lol.

There is other things I have not shown otherwise we would be here all day. I hope you enjoyed looking at my gifts. I am such a lucky girl because I get to spend the day with my husband, children ( for now until they get older) & got some amazing presents.

Let me know what you got. If you have a blog post or You Tube video with what you got them please leave me a link as I would love to see.

Thank you for reading. I am not sure if I will have any more posts up before the New Year so this may be the last one of 2013. So I will wish you a Happy New Year now. 

Amanda xxx

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Mini The Body Shop Haul

I really love most things "The Body Shop" sell but don't actually buy anything very often. With an email to with an offer of £15 off when you spend over £30 though I am afraid as usual my willpower escaped me. But as this little lot cost me just £16.50 including free postage then I feel not quite as guilty as I should ... plus it was with a blessing from hubby anyway!!! 
What I bought is listed below the photos. there is a lot of shower gel ... you can never have enough surely?


Starting from the 2nd photo down:-

Cranberry Joy shower gel 250ml. Usually £4.
Pink Grapefruit shower gel 750ml. Usually £12.

Moringa shower gel 250ml. Usually £4.
Moringa EDT spray 30ml. Usually £8.50

( I like the Moringa range very much as you may have seen in some previous empties or favourites posts.)

Lastly ...
peppermint foot lotion 60ml. Usually £3.

I am off in a while to take a shower & I think as it is the festive season I will trying out the Cranberry shower gel!

Thank you for reading
Amanda xx

Monday, 23 December 2013

December Glossybox | Festive Treasures

I un-subbed from Glossybox a while back but when a deal appeared in my email with 2 Christmas Boxes** for just £20 including postage I could not resist.

I have seen photos of the box but not the contents but the boxes were enough for me to sub again. I am supposed to be stopping them again as this should be a one off.... I can't quite do it yet though!!!

The following 3 photos show the box (es) plus magazines as well as the cutest Christmas paper ever. I forgot to take a photo of the paper in my haste to open the boxes so it got torn when I removed the sticker. 

If you do not know what Glossybox is then I will give you a small amount of detail. It is a monthly subscription beauty box. each month a box is £10 + postage which brings it to around £14. Inside you will find usually 5 beauty items. From anything from cosmetics to skin care & accessories too. Some items will probably be a full sized products & some will be a ( usually ) decent sized sample. Whatever you get though the total will exceed the price you have paid for the original box. If you don't watch You Tube videos or read blogs posts of openings then you will have a surprise each month. You will not know what you get until it arrives. Of course some months you may be not so happy but if like me you like the idea of getting a package ( usually a gorgeous box like this too) each month filled with nice surprises then these are definitely for you.

** This months festive box is now sadly sold out but you can sub to start from the January 2014 box. 

Below is box 1

As with all Glossyboxes there are some items that are the same. I will start with those from box 1. I will put a * by the full size products.

Wilkinson Sword Intuition | Naturals Razor - A 3 in 1 razor that lathers, moisturises & shaves. Priced at £6.49 for full size*.

Beautiful Moments Cosmetics | Nude Lip Gloss - 4ml sample tube. Full sized is £8 for 8ml so this is a good size still.

Maybelline New York | Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara - Our first brow-enhancing mascara , is a fool proof formula that coats brows in rich colour. Apply by simply combing the ball brush through eyebrows for a fuller brow. Full size tube is £4.99 for 7.6ml*. 

Seche | Nail Lacquer - the shade in this box is Empress 69222. 
Seche nail polish delivers pure colour saturation , allowing for one coat coverage and a satin smooth finish, which dries quickly.
I will say I am not keen on this colour (it's a deep purple shade which really is not my cup of tea at all) & actually the bottle seems to have dried out varnish around the top of the bottle on on the front. I am not sure if that has come from another bottle or mine but as it is not a colour I would use I am not wanting to open it at this stage. Priced at £9.95 for a full size * bottle of 14ml.

Then we come to the one product that is different. 

Bee Nature | Bee Nature Soap - Bee Nature soap is all natural , with a base honey and poppy seeds. 
The price of this is in euros so my converting of e5.50 gives me £4.60. However that is for a full size of 100 but I have weighed this & it is around 50g so I will call it £2.30!!! 

I'll total the boxes up at the end of this post with a round up of my thoughts overall.

Now for box 2.

So as with box 1 we had the Razor, lip gloss & brow mascara.

There was also the nail polish this time in shade Chocolat ( 66227) which I quite like as it is a reddish brown colour.

The  product that is different from the first box is actually one of my favourites from the whole 2 packages I think.

Rituals | Miracle Balm - A luxurious rich hand balm specially developed to soothe & calm dry, rough hands, leaving a divine floral scent.
It can be used as an overnight mask too.

Full size is £10 for 75ml *.

Now on to my maths ( which is questionable ;-\)

Box 1 - comes to around £30 which is £20 more than I paid for the box.

Box 2 - has a total of £37.43 which I think is amazing difference from what I paid. 

Overall total then is £67. 43 which is a whopping £47 more than I originally paid.

I definitely prefer box 2 for the hand balm alone. However overall I am impressed with both boxes. I won't use the soap but I have a hubby who will plus there is the purple nail varnish that I probably won't use.The rest will get used at some point in the future. Definite thumbs up this month Glossybox!

Well I think I have covered everything as much as I can. I cannot at this stage give a review on anything as I have not used anything. If though there is something you would like more detail on then please do ask me & I will see what I can do. 

Many thanks for reading
Amanda xxx

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Day Out In London | Richard ll | Barbican Centre

Rob & I had tickets yesterday for the matinee of  "Richard ll" at the Barbican in London. We did not have as much time as usual to do anything beforehand or after as due to a change in babysitters we had to be a lot tighter with our time. 

**FUNNY MOMENT** Has to be actually seeing David himself in the foyer. However, he was "in disguise" & running quite fast before we realised. I did not call out as there was not time & I did not want to draw attention anyway. As for that disguise - I would know that lanky skinny legged geek anywhere! hehe. Maybe you did have to be there but that still makes me smile this morning!!

We decided to have some lunch actually at the Barbican because the weather was truly awful & it was difficult to find ,much else open without venturing quite a distance from there.
The food was really nice - we both had the Lasagne ( yum!) We decided after to just wait outside the entrance to the auditorium - not sitting as I knew we were in for a sit down of a lifetime!! hehe.

I'll be honest, I struggle with Shakespeare. I had to read " Merchant of Venice" for my GCSE many moons ago. I just did not get it & in the end my English teacher let me do "Romeo & Juliet" instead which I found more interesting ( well I am chick flick kinda gal!!)
I am sure though if the English department had taken us to a production of MOV that I would have understood so much more.

I'll be honest again I only went to see "Richard ll" because David Tennant is the star of the show. Not just because he is my favourite actor but having seen him a few years ago in "Hamlet" I felt he & the rest of the cast did a fantastic job of helping me follow the story line so much more. 

I was not disappointed yesterday. I thought it was superb! DT was outstanding & those around him the cast just brought the whole story to life. 3 hours went by in the blink of an eye as I just could not take my eyes off the stage for a moment of the performance. 

I am not going to go on about the play itself as I know nothing of reviewing this stuff. To me it was amazing & that is all I can really say.

I loved our seats, Just in row 4 & right on the end so we had a clear view of everything on stage including DT in a long white robe & not much else towards the end ;-)!!!

We did try to see if we could meet him afterwards but sadly he had decided not to come out so he could rest up for the evening performance. Totally understandable & tbh as time was lacking a little it was not so bad. 

A quick stop at Starbucks & we were home just past 7pm.

fab day out despite the crap weather!!

David Tennant is appearing in Richard ll at THE BARBICAN until 25th Jan 14.

Thanks for reading 

Friday, 20 December 2013

Crohn's Disease | Illeostomy | Update | December 2013

It has been a while since I said I would update you with things. The reason being it has taken until now for there to be any real news to update you with.

I left the last post saying I was due a "Sigmoidoscopy" on August 20th. I also said it was going to be performed by the Surgeon himself. Well guess what? He wasn't there that day. Whilst the chap doing it instead was lovely - actually he was much better at answering any questions I had & helping me to understand more why it had suddenly gone from yes to surgery to no - I thought the whole idea had been for my Surgeon to take a look for himself. I understand they are very busy people etc but sometimes you feel like banging your head against the wall about it.
The chap doing the procedure did think there was a slight stricture ( narrowing) in my Sigmoid. All I could do though was wait & see what the Surgeon thought.

In the meantime with everything going on & my history of depression it came as no surprise that I started to very much go down hill. I tried very hard to fight it on my own but I knew the time had come to see my GP because things were bad at home- I have a very supportive hubby but even he has his limits plus I could not hide it no matter how hard I tried from my Kids & I was starting to not want to leave my home.
I was prepared to wait a whole month for my appointment as I wanted to see my own lovely GP as I think even though I am biased that he is fantastic. Unfortunately everyone else agrees with me & appointments are hard to come by.

Before I saw him another letter came from the Surgeon. The results from my Sigmoid showed a definite Stricture & that he would have to re-think my surgery. He would see me in his clinic in due course. A letter came the same day for an appointment at the end of November. 

When I saw the GP as I knew he would be , was fantastic. AS he knows anyone with a long term illness will more than likely suffer with bouts of depression at times & as he also seen all the same letters I get from the different hospital departments he totally understood why I was so frustrated with it all too. It is the 1st time I have ever cried in his surgery , even when I felt low around the time of the fertility issues I did not shed a tear ( when I was there anyway, I cried buckets at home.) Anyway medication was prescribed & also I was supposed to be seeing a counselor. Although at this time I have not actually heard from them still.
I came out of his surgery not feeling totally better but relief at being understood. I knew that no matter what happened next that I always had him I could go & talk too.
When I saw him 6 weeks later he could see before I even entered the room that things had improved because I was smiling!!! Of course still a huge way to go but the pills must have been doing their job ( this time anyway as I have found in the past that they have done nothing.)

Over time I started to feel so much better & even started thinking so much more positive about the surgery or lack of. It was a wonderful feeling & I hope I can hold on to that for a very long time.

Typically my appointment with the Surgeon was cancelled & another was made for me on the 19th December. I had a near panic as this day clashed with my youngest sons Christmas nativity etc. It wasn't til I was on the phone trying to get through to change it that I read the time was actually 6 in the evening. I was relived as quite frankly I just wanted to at least get this out the way before Xmas whatever the news ( which tells you something as I would usually think if it is bad news tell me in the new year so I can at least have a Happy Xmas with my family.)

I have changed a lot in this last couple of months. In an ideal situation I would have my reversal & live happily ever after. Of course this is not & anyone with Crohn's knows that this is a life long thing. they cannot tell you if after a reversal you will be Crohn's free for a week, month or years! So I knew with my up & coming appointments that I would hopefully be calm whatever the news was.

I ended up seeing my medical man 1st because I saw him on the 10th. he was in a bad mood. Not with me I might add but at the Surgeon for being so slow on making a decision about things. There is another drug he wants to put me on but needs to know what the Surgeon is doing. Yeh me too!! lol!
Interestingly though he told me one thing that we had not been aware of until now. They seem to think the Stricture has occurred SINCE my surgery. I think this makes it a whole different ball game for me. Yes I would like my Stoma removed but this tells me that the Crohn's is still very active within my body & if I was to have a reversal I would probably be instantly poorly again & that means even more surgery. This of course is their biggest concern.

I went yesterday evening to see the Surgeon. In some respects it was a wasted journey as I knew he would say no surgery. It was frustrating too that the original appointment had been cancelled because if I had seen him 1st then we would know that the Medical Consultant could get me taking this new drug ( name escapes me sorry.) My Surgeon said that he would see me in around 6 months to perform a Sigmoidoscopy himself ( heard that before though) once I have been on this new drug for a while. I know I am a different person because I did not cry & the thought of another potential year of waiting. 

I don't see my Medical man until April time though so I am hoping that he may receive the letter  from my Surgeon & maybe bring it forward by a couple of months.

To be honest this whole new place I find myself means that I am actually wavering myself regarding surgery. Like I say ideally it would happen. However, my new way of thinking reminds me that I have had this Stoma now for nigh on 3 years ( In March '14) & I have been free from the Crohn's pain. Yes I have moments where I curse the thing but maybe it is a small price to pay for a huge amount of positives.
So , my new mindset thinks, lets try this drug, let them do more investigations because I actually have nothing too lose because I now see the Stoma as permanent anyway. It has taken a long time to get to that point but I always think this was because in the hospital having the Illeostomy done I did not hear " POSSIBLY temporary stoma" , I just picked out TEMPORARY! 

Well I know that there is always a possibility that I will slide again but I know that like this time I can get through it.

Thank you if you have read this far. You know me & my rambling so for that I apologise but I think what I love about doing a blog post is that I can write it all down & those who care can get the whole thing in one place. Otherwise I find myself repeating the same things over & over to different people (& will continue to do so no doubt,) & probably miss tons of things out.

Amanda xxx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Avon | Extralasting Plump & Stay Colour | A Review

Plumping , long lasting coloured base coat and a glossy high-shine top coat.
The warming, tingling sensation means that it is working.

I have finally used this product enough I feel to give a proper account on my views.

I was not sure on this. I did not think it could be another lip product to be able to add to those which I love for the long wearing at all. 

I was not liking the colour at all but then they look so different in the Avon catalogue. Too bright red for my liking ( my shade is Rosy Resistance) as I was expecting a slightly paler colour in contrast. However, with a little blotting after a applying this seems to have made a huge difference. 

You apply the base coat colour 1st. I would recommend you leave it to dry 1st before you then apply the clear top coat.

It really does make your lips tingle, that is evident straightaway. 

The colour goes on well & the top coat soon dries too so there is none of that horrid sticky feeling you can get with some products. I would also suggest applying only a small amount of the colour. On my 1st few applications It bleed a little into the corners of my mouth. I soon learnt to apply a little less. 

Staying power is amazing. I went out at 5pm on Monday & then went to bed that night with my make-up still on ( naughty!!) When I got up at 6:30 on Tuesday it was still there - if a little more faint.)
Another test on Tuesday evening was a Boyzone concert. Applied at around 4pm & was still there when the show ended at 10:30. I was impressed because i don't no many that can stand up to a warm room like that - the rest of my make-up was long gone!

So, yes overall I adore this. There are only a few colours in the range but I think i will invest in a few more. I would certainly give it 9/10. It is that good.

Have you tried this lip colour? Do your thoughts differ from mine? Do you have any recommendations of similar products.

Thanks for reading
Amanda xxx

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Wednesday Wishlist | Bedroom

This week I am bring you some of my favourites for the bedroom. Of course things like cushions would work well in a few areas of the house. I have noticed one thing with my wishlists. they seem to include a lot of hearts! I didn't notice until I was picking stuff out & looked back at last weeks too. It was not intentional at all so definitely a subconscious thing! hehe.
This week items come from CARGO , ARGOS , NEXT & ASDA.

Smile Heart Cushion 40 x 40. £10. Cargo.
Heart & Spot Cushion 40 x 40. £10. Cargo

Catherine Lansfield Natural Decadent Duvet Set. £54.99. ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. ARGOS

Living Heart Shape Wall Mirror - White. £9.99 (usually £14.99) ARGOS.

Grey Heart Stone Triptych Canvas ( Set of 3.) £6.99. ARGOS.

Elegant Floral Print Bed Set. From £35. Mauve Elegant Floral Throw. From £45. NEXT.

Pirate Canvas. Set of 2. £20. NEXT. 
Pirate Fleece. £15. NEXT.

Amy Fairy 3D Wall Art. £8. NEXT.

Fox Tapestry Cushion. £14. NEXT.

Disney Cars Sleeved Fleece. £4. ASDA.

ASDA little Angels Owl Rug. £9. I WANT THIS!!!

So that brings to a close another wishlist. These weeks just fly past!

Thank you for reading
Amanda xxx

Monday, 16 December 2013

Dear Santa

Yesterday Rob & I took Finley to see "Dear Santa" at the theatre. 

Based on the story by Rob Campbell . 

A little girl called Sarah writes a letter to Santa & the story takes us on the journey to help Santa find the perfect present for her.

It is aimed at the under 5s & as the play is only roughly 30 minutes long it was perfect for us to take Finley too. When the play ends there is a chance to meet Santa too & each child gets a small gift.

I thought it was fantastic & judging by Finley's face throughout the performance he did too. Definitely ideal for those who are unsure if their child will sit through anything too long. A wonderful way to get the magic of Xmas flowing too. I would happily take Finley again because next he will have forgotten I would think quite a lot & would see it different again being a year older. 

"Dear Santa" runs at the Capitol Theatre in Horsham , West Sussex until 24th December. Tickets priced at £9 for adults & £7.50 for concessions.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wednesday Wishlist | Kitchen & Dining Room

This week I am bringing you all the things I am loving for the kitchen & dining room. I have chosen items from 5 shops. Starting with Argos. Then Next, Very, John Lewis & Wilkinson. 


















Thanks for reading. Back next Wednesday with another wishlist.
Amanda xx