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I said Yes!!

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!

 

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Frank & Ellie in action

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!

wp-1484486995261.pngSo 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

Fun Days Out

Kildare Farm Foods and Open Farm

18056808_1324547560945794_992039144092068706_nThis weekend we headed off to Kildare Farm  Foods – open farm and shop, situated out in Rathmuck, Co. Kildare. This is a third Generation Family Farm where visitors can see a wide variety of animals in a natural and relaxed setting and entry to the open farm is Free. There is so much here for children of all ages to do. There is of course, the open farm, where children can feed the animals with animal feed that costs of €1. But there is also a train ride called the Adventure Railroad, costing just €2.50 per passenger. The train brings you on a tour of the farm where you can see all of the animals and you will also be brought along to the Old Wild West, the Indian Creek and then to the Old Gold Mine Shaft. You are then brought back to present time where you will surface from the City Underground seeing the Magical Forest as you go (watch out for the Dragon!). There is also an option to play Indoor Golf. It plays 18 holes with an Indian Creek and Old Wild West theme. Prices: Children: €5 each, Adults €7 each, 4 Ball Deal €20 for any 4 players.

 

Once you have finished with all of the activities, you can treat yourself to a lovely tea/coffee and something nice from their cafe. We tried everything but the crazy golf, as Ruby is too little to play. But she had a fantastic time seeing all of the animals and afterwards we had a lovely lunch. We were lucky on this particular day that all of the animals were out. The piglets in particular, which are not always there. Some of the animals on the farm include Wallabies, Mara, Pigs, Goats, Ponies, Deer & Sheep; with a variety of Birds including Ostrich, Black Swans, Ducks, Geese, Chickens, Guinea Foul, Peahen and Peacock.

Before we went home, we had a quick look around the shop. We buy most of our meat from here in bulk as it is such fantastic value. As well as fresh meats, you can also purchase fresh vegetables, frozen foods, desserts, confectionery, pantry supplies, baked goods, jams and sauces. There is also a small toy section.

Overall this is a fantastic family day out for fantastic value, with something for all of the family. They open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm and are closed Sunday and Bank Holidays. They also cater for school tours and birthday parties. For more information head over to http://www.kildarefarmfoods.com/index.html. 

 

review

My Top Three Matte Foundations

I am always on the hunt for a good foundation that has both good coverage and staying power – but most importantly, it must keep my skin shine free! I have super shiny/oily skin and for a long time I have found it difficult to get my hands on a good foundation. I have come across some ok-ish ones in the past. But for those that have good coverage, they don’t prevent shine or else the foundation does the opposite and looks too caked on my face. However, I have since come across some really good foundations that are up to the job of mattifying my oily skin. I have recently been tooing and frowing between three foundations – two L’Oreal products and one Catrice foundation. All three are excellent. I do have a favourite though.

Here are my thoughts on all three.

1. L’Oreal Paris – Infallible 24H-Matte Foundation

Out of the three foundations this is my number one. I love it and it does exactly what’s it’s supposed to. It has high coverage, and a lightweight feel without a cakey look which is perfect for me. With any foundation that I use, I normally need to set it with power afterwards – which feels like too much make up on my skin. I don’t like this look or how it feels for every day wear. Within twenty minutes or so I am back at it with the power again and usually by the end of the day my makeup has melted off my face with a super shiny look….unfortunately not the dewy look we’d all like. However, I find that with this foundation I don’t need to set my make up with any powder and it stays that way for the day. At the same time, it doesn’t make my skin dry out either.  My shade is number 11 Vanilla which I think is the lightest shade. There never seems to be a lighter shade available. This shade Is fine, I’ve quite pale skin but I can just about get away with it as it adds a little bit of warmth to my skin. But it would be nice if I could get it in one shade lighter.  I am on my second tube and I intend to keep using it. I just hope it’s not discontinued at any stage!

2. L’Oreal Paris – Infallible Total Cover Foundation

This comes in at second place. I like it a lot and if the first one is ever discontinued I happily use this in its place.  To me it seems to be pretty much the same as the Infallible 24H-Matte. They both have high coverage with a matte finish and lightweight feel. However, the first one seems to be aimed at shine control in particular, while this one is aimed at covering imperfections, redness, marks and dark spots. It is definitely long lasting but I feel the other L’Oreal one last just that little bit longer. A definite plus for this one though, is that it is available in a lighter shade – I’ve been using number 10 porcelain which is a perfect colour for my skin. If I could only find the Infallible 24H-Matte in this shade I’d be set!!

3. Catrice Cosmetics – HD Liquid Coverage Foundation

In third place is the HD Liquid Coverage by Catrice Cosmetics. Although in last place, it is still a really good foundation. It’s has a lightweight feel, is non-oily and is definitely mattifying. It claims to last up to 24 hours and it has excellent coverage, but my shiny skin still makes an entrance where it doesn’t in the first two foundations. Again, if I ran out of my favourite I’d have no problem using this, but I know I’d need to top it up with power at some stage. Again, the colour is more suited to my skin than the first foundation and I love that it has a dropper application lid which stops you from using too much product.

Even though I have my favourite, all three foundations pretty much do what they are suppose to. I’d use any three of these over many other top foundations currently on the shelves. But what suits another’s might not suit someone else, so your best bet is to try a few different ones like I did and find what works best for your skin.

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From Fi to You – Organic Kids Clothes 

Picture taken From Fi to You Instagram page

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.

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Picture taken From Fi to You Instagram page
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My Hyper-Mobile Child

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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.

textgram_1492461824So 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.

textgram_1492461970Thankfully 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

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Fun Days Out

Afternoon Delight

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I recently went out with my mam and sister for afternoon tea at the Killashee House Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare. It was a mothers day treat for our mam (a little bit later than expected), and myself and my sisters birthday treat to each other (our birthdays are the day after each others, and the week after mothers day). So we decided to celebrate all three occasions together. To book you can either phone or email the Bistro. I emailed and was replied to within the hour with two time choices. The two settings for afternoon tea are at 1.30 and 3.30 and lasts for two hours. I went for the 1.30 time slot.

When we arrived, we were immediately brought to our table. A beautiful spot by the window, which led into the stunning garden area. Thankfully it was a super day, so we had lots of sunshine beaming in to make a happy day even more cheerful. We had the option of ordering either the sparkling afternoon tea for €30, which included a glass of prosecco, or the traditional afternoon tea for €25, which included tea and coffee. As both myself and sister had little people to return home to, we went for the traditional afternoon tea. I know if I had even sniffed a glass of prosecco I would have been on my ear!

The food was absolutely gorgeous. I was so full afterwards that I didn’t need to eat a dinner later that evening! The set menu consisted of:

I enjoyed all of the food on offer. But I have to say, the Caramel Choux Bun and Macaroons were exceptional!! We spent a full two hours at the hotel, which is just the right length of time to spend enjoying afternoon tea. When the bill came, I got the happy surprise of not having to pay extra for the two cups of cappuccinos that I had ordered. Any where else that I have had afternoon tea at, have always charged extra if you order any kind of drink not included on the afternoon tea menu. Most places just serve black coffee, so I nearly always ask for a cappuccino instead and expect to pay extra for it. But happily in Killashee, they included it in the price as I did’t ask for a pot of coffee. In total, for the three of us it cost €75. Not a bad price for a relaxing two hours of eating and drinking!

I would definitely recommend going to Killashee hotel for their afternoon tea. It is such a nice way to catch up with and spend time with friends and family. If you would like book afternoon tea click here and click on ‘Dining’ and scroll down to ‘afternoon tea’ to follow details on how to book.

Picture taken from the gallery at http://www.killasheehotel.com

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Parenting

Keepy – Organize and Save Kids’ Artwork & Memories

1048257_651517224886880_1005599632_oI was contacted a few weeks ago by a lovely dad of two boys named Offir, who is the CEO and co-founder of Keepy. Keepy is an app for parents to save their children’s artwork, schoolwork, photos, videos and mementos. There is also an option to add voice and video narration to anything that you upload. You simply save your memories on Keepy and you’ll have a unique, interactive, family scrapbook to cherish for now, for later, and for ever.

Key Features:

_0001_2– Share your photos and videos with grandparents and loved ones.
– Safe and private, accessible based on invitation only.
– Quickly saves your family’s best photos, videos, quotes, videos, notes     and more.
– Easy commenting with text, high quality video and voice recording.
– Family “fan” invites that keep everyone in the loop.
– Easy to use cropping tools.
– Unique timeline for every family member.
– E-mail, web or phone notifications.
– Private Keepy website to view your family’s memories.
– Secure, private platform, accessible from all devices.
– Print mugs, T-shirts, greeting cards and more directly from the apps       store.
– Auto Sync with Dropbox.
– Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire and Web.

Screenshot_20170330-092344I downloaded the app from the Play Store on my Samsung and applied for the unlimited plan. The unlimited plan allows you to save more memories, without it you are limited to the amount of data you can upload. To go unlimited you can subscribe for €2.41 per month or €11 for the year. It will also give you 50% off products in the app store and allows unlimited keepy uploads. For €2.41 or €11, its a very reasonable price.

Personally, I think its a great app! You can easily tag and invite family members to the app so that they can all view the pictures you upload. I love how you can organise pictures by category and that you can save information like the who, what, where and when in the pictures.  The automatic notification through Facebook is great too if you’d like to share there. Even photos from years back on Facebook can be added through the Facebook ‘On This Day‘ section. There is also the Keepybot reminders in Facebook messenger. It asks if you want to save statuses, photos, etc to Keepy, which is a quick reminder to log things away regularly.

Its not just pictures you can upload either, you can take pictures or scans of your children’s art work and upload those too. Then you can go to the apps store and turn your pictures or artwork into picture mugs, photo-books, photo gifts, of which there are all kinds of options. Which would make nice gifts for mother’s or Father’s day and any other celebrations.

To learn more about this app or to download it, go to: http://www.keepy.me/

I was given the app, including the unlimited plan in return for this review.

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Birchbox – March Review

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.

3. BATISTE – 2-in-1 Invisible Dry Shampoo & Conditioner

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.

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Glossybox – March Review


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.

Recipes

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a recipe that I cook regularly in my house. It’s the one dinner that I know Ruby will eat every time I cook it. I know everyone probably knows how to cook this already – with both the well known jars of sauce brands or sauces made from scratch. The recipe I am going to share with you is my own. The measurements of ingredients are only suggestions as I tend to throw ingredients into the pan and measure with my eye. You can add any veggies in that you fancy. I mostly add in  mushrooms and red peppers. Sometimes I chop up carrots really small and hide them in the sauce! I also chop up all of my veggies nice and small first before I start to cook anything. Then they are ready to pop into the pan when needed. Like everything that we buy, nearly all of the ingredients are from Lidl, where we do our weekly shop. Anything that we can’t get in Lidl we get in Tescos.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

500g mince 

1 medium sized onion

2-3 cloves of garlic

60g mushrooms

1 red bell pepper (or yellow)

1 Carrot (optional)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes 

Tbsp worcestershire sauce

I beef stock cube

150 – 170 ml boiling water

Tsp each of dried basil and oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta (brown or white)

Method:

1. Chop up the onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and carrot (if using).


2. Once this is done get the pan heated up and add your oil of choice (I use rapeseed oil spray from Tescos).

3. Add the onions and garlic (if using, add the carrots here too) and sweat for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the mince and cook until it turns brown. Boil some water in the kettle.

5. Add in the mushrooms and peppers and cook for a few minutes. At this stage dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water.


6. Once dissolved, add the water and stock cube, along with the tin of chopped tomatoes and worcestershire sauce to the pan. Add seasoning here too.

7. Lower the heat and simmer away for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce reduces down and thickens up.

8. While the sauce and meat are reducing get your pasta on (I assume we all know how to cook pasta?!).


9. Once the pasta is cooked and soft, serve it up with the bolognese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional).

10. Enjoy!

Tip: If you are cooking this for little people, like myself, chop up the veg really small (they will also cook quicker). I often batch cook, cool, portion and freeze a lot of the food I cook for Ruby. If I was to do this with the recipe above, I wouldn’t cook the pasta until I needed it. I would let the bolognese cool and portion it into little freezer bags and freeze until I needed it. Then all you need to do is get the bolognese out of the freezer in the morning and leave in the fridge to defrost. It should be thawed by dinner time and all that’s left to do is heat it up and cook some pasta!