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So this day a year ago I said yes to My wonderful other half Andy. I have already posted a blog post on how the engagement took place, which you can read here. He did a brilliant job and put so much thought and effort into organising everything and to ensure that I would be totally surprised. Which I was! Initially we were straight into planning. We had decided that we would like a wedding abroad, in Lake Garda, Italy. So we both did a tone of research of the general area and fell in love with two spots. Back then we would have assumed that we would have been well into the planning stage, if not close to the big day a year on. But unfortunately life and different things got in the way. We had booked a trip to Lake Garda for February 2017 in order to go and look at some venues, and ultimately to come home with a set wedding date. But unfortunately, due to a mix of the extremely bad weather in the area we were flying to at the time and family illnesses, it never happened. So we decided to put the wedding on the back burner until everyone is recovered from illness and that remains the situation at present. We are hoping to be married within the next two years, but who knows…it could be another 10 years before anything happens! Or we could just go and elope, which I am slightly tempted to do!! But either way, it’ll definitely happen. I’ll keep you updated!
Until the next blog,
The Irish Mammy xx
So this post is way over due! As in nearly a year over due, oops! So after four years together (five now) my other half finally popped the big question. To say I was surprised was an understatement. I know a lot of ladies will say “I had no idea”, but really they might have had a little inkling that something was in the works. I genuinely hadn’t a clue. So, in order to tell our engagement story, I need to roll back a few years and explain how myself and Andy met. It will all make sense shortly!
So in May/June of 2012, I was involved in a show called Showboat out in Dunlavin with a lovely family run performance group called Glad Productions. They were putting on a production in the fabulous setting of their farm (Deering Farm) as part of the Dunlavin Arts Festival. I was playing the part of Ellie and we were having an awful time trying to find someone to play the part opposite mine. A character named Frank. Eventually, they found someone to do the part for them (as a favour), as this person wasn’t really into stage acting or singing, their thing was improv and stand up comedy. I can remember the first time I saw him, my first thoughts weren’t as you might think they should have been. I was sitting out side the rehearsal hall in my car waiting to go into rehearsals (I was early as usual), when I saw this guy (from behind) wearing a pristine white tracksuit top and navy tracksuit bottoms sauntering in to the hall. I remember thinking, “who is that guy (not in a good way), ugh I bet he’s the guy they got to play opposite me!”. Bare in mind I was only looking at the back of his head and totally making bad assumptions. So when I went into the hall after him, it turned out that yes, he was playing the part opposite me, and that he was very handsome and hilarious. Who new then that I had just met the love of my life! Or that in the show when his showboat character of Frank proposed to my Character Ellie, that it would be happening for real just over four years from then!
So skipping forward four years to the engagement. About a week before the the big question was asked, I had gotten a phone call from a fabulous lady named Mary who was the MD (musical director) of the the show myself and Andy did, she also owned the Deering farm with her husband. She contacted me to see if I would be interested in helping her MD a show that they were thinking of putting on that year. So I jumped at the chance to gain some more experience in this area of work. I was so excited to have been asked. So she asked me to come over to the farm/house to chat about how we would approach things that weekend. So the day arrived, October 22nd 2016, I told Andy I was heading off and that I’d be home in an hour or two. So when I got there, myself, Mary and her husband chatted away for the first hour just catching up etc. And she eventually got to the part about the MD position (after she got a text….I now know it was from Andy). She said she was thinking of putting it on in the barn (they have a beautiful stone barn on their grounds). I thought this was a great idea and was agreeing with her taking notes like a idiot, none the wiser as to what was really going on. So she brought me down to see the barn. I was still none the wiser at this stage, why would I be, this lady could act!!
When we got into the barn, you think the penny would have dropped by then. The whole place was decorated with lace, flowers, candles, rose petals etc. I remember thinking, “jeez this would be a nice spot for a wedding”, but no clue that I was about to be proposed to. Mary started going on about how they had set it up for a wedding and they were thinking of providing that for people…all lies!! And then out of no where I hear a guitar start to play and out pops Andy, dressed in a tux playing the guitar and singing the song “I want to grow old with you”, from the Wedding Singer. Needless to say I turned around to look at Mary, who was gone like lightening out the door. I didn’t know what to do or say, I was shaking and in total shock. So when Andy was finished the song (he did a really good job at singing it!), he sat me down and asked me to marry him. In a much nicer why than that, but that is something I’d like to keep between the two of us. As soon as the question was asked and excepted, Mary and her husband were back in and joined us in celebrating with some champagne. She put on one hell of a show. She was so kind to help Andy out with all the planning and to allow him to propose in the barn in the first place. It was the perfect place to propose as it was where the show Showboat was performed.
On the way home, I actually remember asking Andy, “so I guess there is no MD job!”. Ha, I was actually a bit up set that there was no MD job!! Anyway, we phoned my parents and told them to meet us at home. But when I got home, Andy’s mam had decorated the house and gotten a lovely big engagement cake and we all had champagne, I was a great night and I think it took about a week to actually sink in. We are in no rush with the actual wedding itself and are planning on having it maybe in a year or two. But whenever we do decide on a date, I am looking forward to getting into wedding mode!
Until the next blog,
The Irish Mammy x
Ruby is at that stage where she wants to be up doing what everyone else is doing or being carried around all the time. If its not that, she wants you to be down beside her 24/7 playing. I had heard about toddler learning towers, which toddlers can use to access the kitchen counter top or table in order to take part in baking activities etc. It’s safe too, as you don’t have to worry about your little one falling off, but obviously you shouldn’t leave them unattended whilst they are on it.
I looked into buying one but the prices were too high! So I took to Pinterest and came across a link to a fabulous website called www.happygreyluckly.com. It was here that I came across her brilliant IKEA hack for a toddler learning tower using the IKEA BEKVAM step stool. Now, I am by no means a DIY goddess, I’ve never even used an electric drill (which you really should used for this project), so unfortunately, I cannot take the credit for putting the learning tower together. It was my other half Andy who did all of the DIY work, after I sent him the website link and asked (very nicely), if he would put it together for Ruby. I think he did a wonderful job!! The only part I had in this was painting it afterwards and taking some pictures! So we headed off to IKEA and picked up our own BEKVAM step stool and followed the step by step instructions on the site.
Here are some before and after pictures:
But if you would like to make your own one then had over to www.happygreylucky.com.
If you decide to make your own, I would love if you could send me your pictures and let me know how you got on. Happy DIY-ing!
Until the next blog,
The Irish Mammy xx
This Christmas (2016) Ruby was given the most beautiful set of pyjamas from a friend of ours. The pj’s were handmade by our friends sister who has an etsy shop named From fi to you (Fiona Murphy) – she makes organic kids clothes. She is Irish and currently based in Norway. To be honest when I first saw them I thought that the pyjama set was a tracksuit – they are too nice to be pj’s! Ruby has only just grown into them. The material is absolutely gorgeous – a navy blue with little reindeer heads on them. The material itself is really soft and stretchy, so they move well with Ruby’s movements. I wasn’t sure how they would hold up in the wash and I was worried that they might shrink, but after wash number one they have held up well. Just make sure to wash them on low at 30 degrees to help preserve the colour. She also has an Instagram and Facebook page. Here you can see fabric samples and different projects that Fiona is working on. I am seriously thinking of purchasing some items from her online shop. I would love to get some jumpers for Ruby – the fabrics that she uses are fabulous. One thing is clear – this is one talented lady.
So it turns out that Ruby has hyper-mobility. This is something that I had never heard of until Ruby was diagnosed with it and yet, I found out that it’s something that I also have, although not to the same extent as Ruby. Someone who suffers from hyper-mobility is basically really flexible, there are differing degrees of it…Ruby is super flexible, like rubber. If you go to pick her up under her arms she’ll basically slide out of your hands if you’re not aware that she has it. I first noticed that something was up with her joints when she was about four or five months old. I noticed that when she was held up in someones arms, that her arms would bend right back behind her, same with her legs when changing her nappies. Considering her birth story, I of course jumped to all sorts of conclusions as to what could be causing this. So when she was called for her six month check up I mentioned it to the health nurse who took a quick look at her. She checked her joints and confirmed that she had hyper-mobility. She explained that it meant that Ruby’s joints were more flexible than what is deemed normal and that it is normally hereditary. So with that she checked both myself and my mother (who came to the appointment with me). She said that we both had it. My mam had it only slightly in her arms and elbows and I had it in my arms, elbows, lower back and hips. And like Ruby I was always really flexible as a child. So the nurse said that Ruby would need to attend physio to assess how much she would be affected by hyper-mobility. Initially I thought that it just meant that she would be really flexible. I had visions off sending her off to be an amazing gymnast or something. But apparently there are a whole host of other problems that can occur because of this condition, depending on its severity. Some of the other problems that can sometimes occur are as follows:
- Late learning to sit, sit with a very rounded back or W-sit.
- Skip crawling and bottom shuffle instead.
- Walk later than normal.
- Hate tummy time.
- Avoid activities that are new or require effort and may have sensory issues.
- Develop coordination and attention problems as they get older.
- Develop digestive system problems.
- More prone to develop dyspraxia as a result of low muscle tone.
- More vulnerable to injury.
- Suffer from extreme tiredness.
- Have limbs that appear to be floppy and weak.
- Pain in the knees, fingers, hips, elbows and lower back.
- Joints can dislocate easily.
- Hyperelastic (very stretchy) skin that bruises easily.
- If there is a more widespread effect on the body, it can usually involve conditions or syndromes like Marfan or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
So far Ruby doesn’t seem to be affected by too many of the above symptoms, but we will have to watch her for a lot of the other symptoms as she gets older. It’s important to remember that people who have this may never have any other symptoms besides being really flexible. Hopefully this will be the same for Ruby. I didn’t even know I had it and I don’t think it has effected me in any ill way that has effected my quality of life. Looking back now, perhaps the digestive problems I have and being tired all the time have something to do with my own level of hyper-mobility, but at this stage of my life I am not going to go looking into it! As for Ruby, she was a bit late on her gross motor skills – she was late to roll, sit, crawl and walk. But she was, and still is ahead in her fine motor skills, language and communication skills. She didn’t start crawling until a week before her first birthday and she didn’t walk until she was 18 months. But at that stage we were doing work with her at home that was given to us by the physiotherapist in order to help strengthen her muscles. So if we weren’t doing that, it could have been a lot later. She 100% hated tummy time – although, this is something that I think most babies hate. The only way we could get her to do it was on my bed. We will have to keep a close eye on her – apparently hyper-mobile children can plateau at any stage in their development. She definitely has low muscle tone as a result – her muscles feel like jelly if you touch them and if you wave her arms around they go really floppy. But at the same time, she is a strong as an Ox and always has been.
Thankfully at her last physio check up everything was spot on. I have to bring her back when she is two, by which time the physio said she should be climbing the stairs without my assistance, jumping and kicking a ball. She said if she is able to do all of these things, and as long as nothing else pops up in the mean time, that she would be happy to discharge her, which is fantastic news. So hopefully everything will balance out. I am sure I will document it here should anything else develop. I just wanted to share this as I don’t think it is something that people are aware of – I mean, I suffer from it and didn’t even know about it! Please feel free to contact me if your little ones have hyper-mobility. I would love to hear other peoples views and experiences on the topic.
*Update* October 2017
So Ruby just had her check up for her hypermobilty. For this check up the physio wanted Ruby to be able to kick a ball, climb the stairs with little to no help, run and to jump. She was able to do three out of the four requirements. She can’t really jump yet but she is trying very hard. The physio was pleased with this as she is only gone 26 months and is still a little young to jump properly. The muscles in her legs have strengthened and her hypermobilty has lessoned in this area. However she is still hypermobile in her feet and ankles, which can make her trip a lot so I have to ensure she is wearing shoes with the correct foot support and her hands and wrists are very mobile. But thankfully the physio was so happy with her progress that she has discharged her from the service. She has asked me to watch out for anything out of the ordinary and if the tripping increases to come back. But overall we are all delighted with her progress!!
Until the next blog.
Orla the Irish Mammy xx
Before I get into this blog post, I just want to stress that I am neither pro-breastfeeding or pro-bottle – I am of the view point of fed is best. The most important thing is that your baby is fed, regardless of whether it’s done by the boob or bottle. Not everyone is able to breastfeed, both mother and sometimes baby too, every circumstance is different. I feel that sometimes we are too quick to judge before knowing the full story. Even before I was pregnant with Ruby I had made up my mind that I would breastfeed. I thought that it was something that was easy (little did I know then!). My sister breastfed and even though she had some problems with it, I was still determined to give it ago. But what really made me determined to do so was when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant with Ruby at approximately 32 weeks. I had to attend a lifestyle class in the Coombe, where myself and some other ladies were given a talk on how to make better food choices and what foods effected blood sugars etc, as well as being shown how to check our bloods. I found the whole thing extremely daunting. But I thought that if people who actually had diabetes had to eat this way and document so many things every day of their life’s, that surely I could do the same for a few months for the health of my unborn baby.
At the end of this session another nurse came in to chat to us about breast feeding. She said that we 100% had to breastfeed, we didn’t really have a choice in the matter – I have to say, I didn’t really agree with how she approached the talk. I felt like breast feeding was being forced on me as such, and that’s after I had already made the decision to breastfeed. God knows how the other women in the room were feeling if they hadn’t made their mind up yet. We were told that breastfeeding would help to regulate babies blood sugars once born (gestational diabetes babies have to have their bloods checked twice after birth to make sure there are no problems), and that it would help them with their weight in later life, along with passing on nutrients etc on to the baby. I knew a lot of this information already. But because I had this nurse telling me all of this in a force fed sort of way, I felt that I had to breastfeed and that was it. We were told that if we couldn’t make the breastfeeding classes in the Coombe, that it would be covered in the antenatal class that we would attend. I would have loved to have attended the breastfeeding classes in the Coombe, but unfortunately they were on a Wednesday morning and with a very busy full time job I felt that I couldn’t take more time off to go, so I decided to go with whatever information I was given in the antenatal class. This was mistake number one – I should have gone to the breast feeding classes! Due to work and both myself and Andy’s availability, we decided to do a day long antenatal class, but the lady who was giving it ran out of time and never covered anything to do with breast feeding. So the first time I ‘properly’ covered anything to do with breast feeding was when the midwife put Ruby on my boob after I gave birth to her. This was at the end of a very long and tiring 18 hour labour at 3.30 in the morning, so anything she was telling me or showing me went in one ear and out the other.
So my next attempt was about four hours later when the nurses woke me and said that I needed to feed her as they wanted to check her blood sugars. I was in a room where all but one lady was breastfeeding so for some reason I felt like I had to deliver. So I picked up Ruby and tried my best to remember what the nurse had showed me just a few hours earlier, but sure I hadn’t really a notion of what to do. Ruby was roaring so wouldn’t latch on….not that I new how to do that correctly either, I think I was just trying to put my boob in her mouth and was hoping for the best. A few minutes later I completely broke down crying. I felt like every other mother in the room was looking at me and I remember clearly thinking “they must think I’m a terrible mother because I can’t feed my child”. I was so worried too about needing to feed her as she needed to get her sugars done. So I rang the bell beside my bed and a few minutes later a health nurse came in and pulled the curtain around me and asked me what was wrong. I just broke down crying. I explained that I was just so tired, physically and mentally from the labour and I felt so overwhelmed and that I couldn’t feed my baby. I have to say, she was really nice and tried her best to reassure me. She said that she would send one of the nurses on the ward to come and properly show me how to breastfeed in a few minutes. But, of course that never happened. So I was sitting on my bed trying to feed Ruby while waiting for a nurse who would never come. In the end I asked for a bottle of formula. I told myself that she needed to be fed regardless of how I had to do it. Breastfeeding clearing wasn’t working for me so the bottle would do until I figured it out. She hoovered the bottle – she must have been starving. But it was a few more days before I actually got to give breastfeeding a go because Ruby had to be taken up to the high dependency ward (you can read all about that story here). So I was told that I would have to start pumping so that she could get some colostrum. The idea of pumping hadn’t even crossed my mind, so I went down to the hospital shop and bought the parts for the pumping machine that I needed. I found pumping so much more easier and it turns out I had a massive amount of colostrum and when my milk came in, I had a huge supply of it. The only problem was that there was only one machine on my ward and one on the high dependency ward so it was a carefully planned out plan of attack as to who could get to them first. Because of this, one of the nurses suggested hand pumping for the occasions where there were no machines available. Again, I had no idea how to do this. So I was randomly squeezing my boob this way and that to no effect. So I asked one of the nurses to help. She said to put boiling water on two nappies and to place one on each boob to help with the let down of milk which would make it easier. She said that she would be with me in a few minutes after that to show me how to do it. But again, the nurse didn’t return. I walked around that ward a few times to try and find her, I saw her alright but it was like she was trying to avoid me. I was so annoyed over this, it was the second time a nurse said they would help me and then just didn’t bother following up on it. So I just kept pumping like a demon and in the end my mam bought me my own pump so that I could use it when ever I needed to.
So by the time I was allowed to try breastfeed Ruby again, I still had no clue how to do it correctly. They had started to feed her my milk via a small bottle and I just explained that I really wanted to try and breastfeed. So the nurse on Ruby’s ward said that she would ring my phone when it was time to feed her (this was during the night). So I’d hop out of bed and Run up to the ward to try and breastfeed. The nurse didn’t actually show me how to hold her or give me any assistance really. I’d barely start and she’d whip Ruby off me to bottle feed her. She just said that it wasn’t working and to go and pump instead. It was the same nurses for most of the next day too and she acted the same way at each feed. By the time the shift was changing again the following evening, I was so up set by the whole thing and I felt like such a failure. By pure luck, the nurse who was taking over was an expert in breastfeeding. I explained that I had been trying since the night before without much luck and that this was something that I really wanted to do. So she promised me that she would try her very best to get breastfeeding established for me. She was so helpful. Each time we tried for ages, she showed me the correct positions to hold Ruby and we discovered what suited both myself and Ruby best. She introduced me to a breastfeeding pillow, which was a game changer. Each time we got a little bit better at it. She totally man handled by boobs but to be honest, at this point I didn’t care. I was just so happy that someone was was actually willing to spend the time helping me. Ruby seemed to be having huge difficulty with latching on so the nurse checked for for tongue tie. It turned out that she had a severe case of it – it was so severe that it was pulling her tongue inwards in the middle and she also had a lip tie as well. So the poor child wasn’t having any luck. So morning time came and the nurse said that we were almost there. She suggested that I go to the shop and get some nipple shields to make latching on a bit easier for her – as well as Ruby’s tongue and lip ties, I had a really inverted nipple which also didn’t help matters. So I got the shields as soon as the shop opened and by lunch time we were breastfeeding. I was beyond delighted. All it took was that one nurse to take the time to help me. Before we were both discharged, I asked the doctor if I needed to get anything done with Ruby’s tongue and lip ties. He said that he didn’t think so but to get my doctor to have a look at it at her 6 week check up and to go from there.
So we were home for four days before we had to take a trip up to Crumlin Children’s Hospital with Ruby (click here to read more about that story). The breastfeeding had been going ok at home. But as soon as I got to the hospital, I was there on the first night trying to breastfeed when they told me to start pumping again. I can’t remember what the reason was, I don’t think there was one really, they told me. In hindsight I should have said no, that I wanted to stick with beast feeding. So I started pumping again, but by the time we got home again I just couldn’t re-establish breastfeeding on my own. So I continued with pumping and told myself that she was still getting breast milk, just via a bottle instead. I lasted just under 8 weeks before my milk dried up. I tried to pump every three hours to keep my supply up but eventually at each pumping session I was producing less and less milk. In the end I was getting maybe two feeds in a day. I couldn’t keep it up. I was getting up ahead of Ruby’s scheduled feeds to try and pump what little milk I had left (the pumping and feeding schedules had become out of sync), then by the time I was finished with pumping, it was time to feed Ruby and long term I just couldn’t sustain that kind of schedule. So I decided to use up what ever breast milk I had left in the freezer and I slowly weaned Ruby onto formula milk.
During those eight weeks though, I noticed that while I was feeding her breast milk via a bottle, that she was having trouble even sucking/latching on to the bottle so I brought her to the doctor to take a look at her tongue and lip tie. My doctor said it was very bad and that it would most definitely affect her eating and speech when she was older. So we were advised to get the ties snipped. We brought Ruby when she was eleven weeks old to a specialist named Dr Dermot Murnane who did a fantastic job. If I had have been told how severe it was by the doctor when I actually asked him in the hospital, I would have gotten the procedure done straight away – maybe I would have had a better chance at breastfeeding Ruby. If I ever have any more babies with tongue tie, it’s something that I will definitely get done again. Also during this time, I brought Ruby to a breast feeding group in the health centre, more so to keep an eye on her weight. I spoke to the health nurses about the difficulties I was having with breast feeding and filled her in on Ruby’s story. Her answer was something along the lines of ‘well sometimes if you’re under that much pressure it can effect your supply’. That was it. There was nothing else offered regarding help with re-establishing breastfeeding – baring in mind this was still within the 8 weeks before my milk supply stopped. I got no advice on where to go or who to talk to. All she gave me was a little flyer with tips to help with breast feeding – all of which I was already doing. I just felt that there wasn’t a lot of help given or available to me for breastfeeding. I think that the nurses etc just expect that if your breastfeeding that you can just go and do it and if you happen to have any problems along the way, deal with it yourself. I found that there was very little advice available to me from the time I was in hospital right up until I could no longer breastfeed. I don’t think there are enough resources out there for women. I know there are websites etc that explain how to go about it. But I mean there is very little hands on help out there – unless you can afford to go to a lactation consultant. Of which was never mentioned to me as an option when I was in hospital. As I mentioned above, breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, whether it’s by choice or not, which is absolutely fine. You need to do what is best for mother and baby. But I think that if it’s something you decide to do, that there should be at least more help out there. Just because it’s something that is natural, doesn’t mean that it will happen naturally for mother or baby. Maybe I am wrong, but all I can draw my opinion upon is my own experience on the matter. Hopefully, if I ever give Ruby a little brother or sister, that my experience will be far better and easier than it was with Ruby. Here’s hoping.
Until the next blog.
The Irish Mammy xx
P.S. Here is a link to Breastfeeding.ie for anyone who is interested.
I have been getting the Birchbox subscription for nearly six months now. I was really impressed with them at the start, but sadly as the months have gone on I haven’t been as impressed. You get five items but they are nearly all always sample sizes. I have only ever gotten one or two full sizes (one per box). As it is an English company, there are certain items that cannot be shipped to Ireland and I sometimes feel that these items are replaced with random items. On their website you have the option to complete your beauty profile so that they can match their products to your beauty needs. I have filled this profile out but I find that the Birchbox I receive doesn’t always reflect this. This month there were only two items that I was impressed with, the rest were just Ok.
So what did I get in my March box?
1. BENEFIT – They’re real! Double the lip lipstick.
This was one of the items that I loved. I new it would be included in this months box as I recieved an email giving me the option to choose between two different shades – Lusty Rose or Pink Thrills. I choose Lusty Rose which turned out to be a gorgeous colour. This lipstick is like a lip liner and lipstick in one. It has a teardrop shaped tip, with a liner shade at the top and a long lasting lipstick at the bottom. It is a really vibrant colour and the two in one formula helps to create visibly fuller lips. I loved this. It has a lovely moisturising feel and lasts on the lips for long time. It is long lasting as advertised.
2. CAUDALIE – Vine (Activ) Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum.
This was the second item from this months beautybox that I really liked. The serum itself has a lovely texture and goes onto the skin like silk. My skin felt gorgeous after using it. It delivers anti-cell burn-out complex (whatever that is!?) which brightens dull skin and smooths fine lines. It is applied in the morning and at night before your moisturiser for some added protection.
This was something that I was really excited to see when I opened my beautybox. I had seen it in the shops and had been meaning to try it out. I am a big fan of Bastille products and like most girls, I have used them in the past to boost my hair a little if it is looking a bit flat. But as everyone knows, it can leave your hair feeling really dry. So when I saw that a 2-in1- product was out I thought it would be great. When using it, I applied it to my hair/roots and waited for a few minutes before massaging it through my hair. To be honest, the result was a bit of a let down. It definitely didn’t have the same result as the original dry shampoo and it didn’t even look like I had applied it to my hair. It even looked more greasy then it was in the first instance! I am not sure that I will use it again, but if anyone tires it and has a better result than I had, please let me know!
4. RITUALS – The Rutual of Sakura Foaming Shower Gel
This is a nice product – it does what it says on the tin. A foaming gel wash that foams at contact with water. I have used many products like it. The smell is really gorgeous – Cherry blossom and organic rice milk. When using it, use a coin sized amount onto damp skin, lather up and rinse away.
5. BALANCE ME – Instant Lift Primer
This is a 99% natural blend of hyaluronic acid and acacia gum that tightens and diffuses for smoother and refined skin. I didn’t really like this, I found that it made my foundation look like it was sitting on top of my skin. The particular foundation that I used over this primer is a long wearing matte foundation, which on its own is genuinely long wearing and doesn’t look cakey on the skin. But unfortunately when used with this primer, looked heavy on my skin and went blotchy, which it normally never does. It might work better for other skin types, or even with a different type of foundation but, ultimately it’s not for me.
So, my thoughts on Birchbox’s March beautybox? It’s just ok. As I mentioned above, there were two out of the five items that I really liked and I suppose that the foaming gel wash was good too. And I liked the little bag that was in the box too. But I just felt like the items weren’t exactly in line with my beauty profile and maybe that’s because some items cannot be shipped to Ireland. But if that is the case, they should aleast include a replacement item that is going to suit you. I feel that some items are just added regardless, to make up the five items required. Maybe next months box will be better, but I am not 100% sure if I will get it next month. If you would like to try Birchbox’s beautybox’s out for yourselves, of to www.birchbox.co.uk.
I am totally in love with Glossybox – for such a reasonable subscription price each month you get a lot of bag for your buck. Each month you get five products in total. In the March Glossybox I got four out of five full sized items! Amazing. As well as the amazing products, as usual everything arrived in a beautifully packaged box. It’s such a treat for the eyes – it’s almost a shame to open up the packaging.
So what did I get in my March box?
1. oOlution – Eye Love (Full size)
I absolutely loved this. I am always on the hunt for a good eye cream and this one ticks all of the boxes. It absorbs really quickly into the skin. Every time I use it, I find that my eyes look really bright and awake. This eye cream is packed with a host of active ingredients. It uses 100% natural ingredients and is free from synthetic ingredients and palm oil. The result is a luxurious, hydrating formula that is rich in antioxidants. It helps to diminish dark circles and reduce puffiness. It can be used with in the morning or as part of your bed time skin routine.
2. IWHITE TEETH WHITENING – Whitening toothpaste (Full size)
I am big into teeth whitening products. I have tried so many tooth whitening toothpastes and other products over the years and this is one of the whitening products on the top of my list. I have used IWHITE products in the past and I have never had anything bad to say about the brand. I love it. The toothpaste brightens teeth and can be used daily. It contains an active whitening formula that targets surface and deep tooth staining. This is so important for me as I drink far too much coffee which isn’t the best for keeping my teeth white! I loved this product.
3. SLEEK Makeup – Eye & Cheek palette ( Full size)
I love Sleek cosmetics products. This palette was one of the sneek peek products last month and I was really looking forward to receiving it in this months box. I was a bit disappointed with the colour scheme of the palatte. It wouldn’t have been what I would have chosen myself. I did receive a link where I should have been able to choose my own palette colour , as there were a few to choose from. But unfortunately the link wouldn’t actually let me choose anything ! Such a pity. But, putting that aside, it is still a great palatte. I really liked the eye shadows. There were four in total – two matte and two shimmer shades. I just found the bronze/contour shade a tad too orange for my colouring and the pink blush; although a really pretty colour, was a bit too pink. The pigments of all of the colours are brilliant though, really vibrant and long lasting.
4. THIS WORKS – In Transit Camera Close up
This is called the “Hero product”. I’m not too sure whether I agree with that. Apparently Victoria Beckham uses it…..is this why it’s called the Hero product, because a celebrity useless it? Just because a celebrity uses it, doesn’t mean its good. This product is a primer that balances, plumps and brightens the skin, leaving it “photo perfect”. I can’t say I found that it did any of these things to my skin. I found that it made my foundation really patchy and it made it look like it was just sitting on top of my skin. It might work better for other skin types, but sadly not for mine. It gets a thumbs down from me. If you do decide to use it, it is applied after your moisturiser or face oil, followed by your foundation.
5. GOT2B – Styling Primer (Full size)
I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m looking forward to giving it a go. We are all used to preparing and priming our skin for make up applications, but priming our hair can make styling it ten times easier. Something I could really do with as I have an awful time just trying to dry my hair, let alone styling it! The primer gives your hair grip and pliability, as well as lasting control. It is worked into damp hair and then style as usual.
My over all rating of the March Glossybox? I’m giving it a solid 8/10. Besides The THIS WORKS – In Transit Camera Close up Primer and the fact that I was unable to choose which Sleek palette I got, I loved this months Glossybox. Aprils sneek peek is the ModelCo’s Contour Stick. I am looking forward to giving that a go and colour looks gorgeous. If you are interested in finding out more about Glossybox or would like to sign up for a monthly subscription go to www.glossybox.ie.
So this month I decided to give the beauty box from Glossy Box a go. It costs me about €14(+ €5 p&p) per monthly perscription which includes five beauty products. I have to say, when it first arrived I was really impressed. It was packaged really well. The box that it came in was a really good size and really pretty. I loved that the products were wrapped up in pretty tissue paper and tied with a bow. First impressions really count – this beauty box was a big hit with me. I also thought that the box design really suited the month that it was for. As February is the month of love, the box really tied in with this. When you sign up there is also an opinion to fill out your beauty profile, meaning that the box you receive each month can be tailored to suit your beauty needs.
So what did I receive this month?
1. LA THEORIE DES VOLCANS – Noir Eternae Youth Potion Face Scrub. (Full size)
This product is supposed to harness volcanic properties that gently cleanse and purify. It is enriched with anti ageing ingredients, which also help to plump out and smooth your skin. The mask starts off as a pink paste that slowly turns grey as it dries out. I have to say, I really liked this. My skin felt smooth and looked really refreshed after using it. Ideally, it should be used once or twice a week if possible. It’s paraben and silicone free, vegan and 90% natural. Not bad!
2. FIGS & ROUGE – Hydra-Activ Smart Nutrient Vital Moisture Day Cream.
This lightweight day cream provides instant and long lasting hydration. It includes hyaluronic acid and victamins A, C and E. I absolutely loved this. Even though my skin is really oily, I have had patches of dry skin at the top of my cheeks, just under my eyes ever since I was pregnant with Ruby, and it has never gone away. I find that no matter what cream I use before putting on my foundation, the dry patches still come through. But this cream really helped. My skin felt so smooth after using it and it soaked into my skin really quickly. I’ll definitely be purchasing the full size in this product.
3. GARNIER – Ultimate Blends Honey Treasures Strength Restorer Balm.
This hair mask from GARNIER is supposed to use the hydrating properties of honey that leave your hair feeling nourished and glossy. After washing your hair, the mask should be applied from the mid lengths of the hair to the tips and left on for up to five minutes. I didn’t like this at all. When the GARNIER Ultimate Blends honey collection first came out I gave the shampoo and condition a go. My hair, which tends to be greasy anyway, was so greasy after I used it. It looked like I hadn’t even washed it. I found that the hair mask had the same affect. It definitely doesn’t suit my hair, but it would probably work better on some one with really dry hair. But unfortunately, it’s not a winner for me.
4. MEMEME – Beat the Blues in Oyster Gold. (Full size)
I absolutely loved this and I have been using it all week. This is an iridescent skin illuminator that boosts the skins radiance. It is similar to Benefit cosmetics high beam liquid highlighter. I use it just along my cheeks bones, under my brow bone and on my Cupids bow and it creates a lovely dewy glow. It can also be mixed into your foundation. This gets a big thumbs up from me.
5. RODIAL – Smokey Eye Pen. (Full size)
I absolutely loved the February Glossy Box. From the size of the really pretty and attractively packaged box, to the quality of the full sized products and sample products – it gets a massive thumbs up from me. I can not wait to find out what the next box will bring. I did get a little sneak peek though. One of the items in the March Glossy Box will be a SLEEK eye and cheek palette. I adore the Sleek cosmetics range, so I am really looking forward to seeing which palette I get.
If you would like to subscribe to get your own Glossy Box or to individually purchase any of the above or find out what the prices are, you can go to the Irish Glossy Box website www.glossybox.ie.