Friday, 31 January 2014

Models Own 50% Sale Haul - January 2014

The main point of the post is to let you know that there's a 50% off Models Own sale going on! You can find the code on their facebook page HERE - You need to spend £25 before the code works and there's other t+c's which you can find on the FB page too - It's on until the 4th Feb though I imagine that things are selling out (especially the New Hypergel's which they've added as a little pre-release for the sale)

You'll probably hear a lot about how much of a nightmare it was to try and make orders in the first few hours of the sale, and it was. But the team Did sort things out and we did get our orders done so no complaining from me!

Due to there being so many people online that the site crashed, to begin with, I thought that it would take a good few days for my order to arrive - How wrong was I! My order went through shortly before 11am on the Wednesday and my order was here on Thursday morning!!! Less than 24hrs after I ordered, during a massive sale - Well done Models Own, well done indeed!

It was insanely grey when my polishes arrived so I didn't do anything productive (like a colour wheel) with them, but here's a couple of, slightly too dark, photos to show you what I got!


Was impressed with how nicely packaged they were.


So so pretty.


And some funky tissue paper too.


Not all of the shades are showing up perfectly (especially Utopia) but here's what I got - From L-R 'Purple Blue' and 'Pinky Brown' from the Beetlejuice collection, 'Champagne', 'Utopia' and 'Red Lustre' and 'Cornflower Gleam' from the Hypergel collection. 


And a Models Own pyramid, why not?! 

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L'Oreal Paris Miss Manga Mascara - Review with before and after photos

 Straight after ordering this mascara I posted on twitter that I'd ordered it but didn't know why as I didn't, really want 'manga lashes'. Why did I order it? I'm not sure, I knew there was going to be hype over it and I wanted to know why, plus when I get intrigued about something I'm not good at letting it go.


The metallic pink packaging, along-side the black, is rather cute looking but not too easy to photograph, what with the reflective nature of it. You can probably see that the pink part of my packaging is a bit scratched but that's because it came in two layers of protective plastic, the inner of which was perforated but the outer wasn't - Took me quite a long time to get in to it I'll admit!

I do quite like thick, chunky packaging on mascara, though, and this one is rather catchy - You won't miss this in your collection.

The brush is tapered and the bristles aren't too dense - You can see part way down the wand that there's a thinner part, that's where it flexes. It does flex quite a lot but I really like it, it seems to work really well with the application. What I really like about it is that the formula isn't too wet - It does similar things to my lashes as Benefit's 'They're Real' but without it being overly wet (which is one of the things I'm really not sure about with They're real)

I normally got for more natural lashes but this mascara has made me like fuller, bigger lashes, a lot. I think I'll still opt for natural more often than not but this is, without a doubt my 'go to' for when I want some bigger impact.

Ok, ok, so here's to the before and after photos!


My natural lashes, not curled. They're naturally quite long, dark and curly which is why I often go for more natural mascaras.


And natural lashed with my eyes closed - Why? Not sure, just because it is another good indicator of how my natural lashes look, I guess. (Look at all that shadow fall out, never notice it normally!)



Two pics because I couldn't decide upon which one I preferred - I think they both show quite how cool this mascara is, though! My natural lashes are good but just Look at what the mascara does!

There's no mascara on my lower lashes, anything you can see has transferred from the upper ones.

So, yes, I'll let you make up your own mind - But me? I love it.

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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Ethan's Pink Wellies

Ethan's been on the verge of needing new shoes for a while, now, and the weekend just gone we finally managed to go and get him measured up to get some. In the week leading up to it, though, I told him that we were going to get some and his first response was 'I want pink ones, like Amber!'

Ethan loves pink, he always had, given a choice between a new green beaker and a new pink one it'd always be pink and I've always given him that choice. I love that he's at the age, right now, where that messed up stererotype that 'pink is for girls' hasn't touched him yet.

My first thought was 'yay', I've always loved the pink shoes in Clarks, but soon after that came my second thought 'but, of course, I can't'. I wish it wasn't true, but it is. I've always encouraged Ethan to play with toys which many consider 'girly' as well as his typical 'boy' toys too, I've always let him pick the pink option rather than a stereotypically 'boys' colour. But the moment he wears pink shoes he's going to get comments from other kids - 'Why are you wearing pink shoes?!' 'Why's Ethan got pink shoes?' and comments from strangers (we already get them about his hair, and he doesn't understand). 

Does it matter what other kids think? Does it matter what strangers think? Of course not, but Ethan's getting to the age where he's going to care about those comments (he already gets some nasty remarks from the kids at nursery because he's still in nappies and because he has a pink drinks bottle). 

I just Wish that it wasn't like that - If kids weren't brought up to think 'pink is for girls' and 'blue is for boys', if buggys weren't a 'girls toy' and cars a 'boys toy' then there really wouldn't be this problem. I will Never tell Ethan that he can't like a colour or that a colour is for a girl not a boy, but other people Will! And I have to protect him from that even though I don't want to, I want to let him dress top to toe in pink if that's what he wants!

I do know that there are an increasing number of people who are feeling the same way as me, thankfully, but I know that the majority are stuck with the way they were brought up. Fingers crossed things change, in a more widespread way, we'll see.


As it happens, we compromised. Pink shoes wouldn't really have gone with his transformers tees anyway so we got him some sensible coloured daytime shoes and then got him some pink wellies and some pink slippers instead. He didn't need wellies or slippers but I want my boy to have his pink! He love love loves them, as you can see from the pic above.

I just wish he wouldn't grow out of this, but you know as well as I do that once he starts hearing the other kids say 'pink is for girls' he'll start spouting it himself - I'll always tell him that pink is for whoever likes pink, but school yard peers matter much more as they grow up and Mummy saying pink is ok won't mean a thing if the little'uns in the playground tell him otherwise. Well I'll cherish him as he is, and even when everything has to be 'boy colours' I'll carry on cherishing him (and who knows, when he grows up and realises other people's opinions don't care, maybe he'll get some pink wellies again!)

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Revlon Colorburst matte and lacquer pencils - Swatched on the lips - 'Sultry', 'Elusive', 'Coy' and 'Demure'

I've been wanting to do some on lip swatches of the Revlon colourburst matte and lacquer balm pencils since I got them but I've had to wait until my lips weren't horrendous, or the light was ok or any variety of factors that kept being less than favourable. But, finally, here they are - They aren't quite perfect but with the weather as grey and icky as it is, this is probably the best I'll get in a long time.

You can see my initial photos HERE, these include swatches on the back of my hand and photos of the product packaging. 


These are my lips with no product, as a point of reference - Though they have a tendency to show darker at different times, they were a little darker looking today which helped with the look of  'Coy'.

Here's the first product on the lips:


This one is the matte balm in 'Sultry' - As you can see, really rather beautiful. I'm really rather glad that they sent it accidentally! 


This one doesn't sit quite as nicely on my lips but I still really like it; I was hoping for a slightly more pigmented, matte version of 'Honey' and I am quite pleased with how well this matte balm in 'Elusive' works in that respect.


On to the first of the lacquer balms, this is 'Coy' - As  you could see in the previous post, the packaging makes it look a bit brown. It is still a little brown on the lips, but the pigmentation of the lips helps it become of a more mauve shade - I like it a good deal.




 Lastly we have the lacquer balm in 'Demure' - It's looking a little too pale in this photo as the shimmer reflects back a little. This shade is a very very sheer pale pink with a large amount of shimmer. It's nice, though, very easy to wear.

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Early Birthday Presents (incl Essie, Seventeen and Barrry M) and some amazing Garnier bargains

Just a couple of quick things, really. I thought about doing these separately but, considering the Garnier things aren't on offer any more, it seemed a bit daft to give it its whole post.


My best mate works for Tesco and, after Christmas, there was a few items that went down to bargain prices (it's a tiny tesco so it's not often that they have this sort of item) - Some of the things included these two Garnier  sets - I think he said that one of them was, previously £18 and the other £15 but they went down to £2.50 and £3.50! He quickly put one of each aside for me and once he'd checked that I wanted them he bought them with his staff discount so we're looking at £5.40 for four, full sized Garnier items! Yup, very pleased with this bargain! It's not on any more but always worth keeping an eye out at supermarkets (and befriending people who work there, haha!) 


Another plus side of him working in Tesco, sometimes the wrong thing gets sent in and this gift bag was one of them, he saw it and instantly thought about getting it for me - And Chris being Chris, having a bag meant that he needed to get things to put in it... hence the early Birthday present. 


He asked me to give him a little wishlist from Boots that he could pick a few bits from but he, of course, bought everything! (Chris has been an incredibly generous friend for the entirety of our friendship) - He also picked up a few other bits and bobs that he knew I'd like (and was very quick to let me know that they were bargains too!)

So, beauty wise, I've got the Seventeen 'Gel Colour' polish in 'Black Cat' (It looked grey on the Boots site but I quite need a good black polish so it works out nicely), Seventeen's 'Mirror Shine Lipstick' in 'Roasted Red', Essie's 'Eternal Optimist' and two Barry M items the matte polish in 'Nude Vanilla' and one of the nail art pens in black.

The extras he got me are some Guylain chocs (he knows these are a favourite) and a posh chocolate penguin - Lastly there's an uber awesome Dr Who note pad which caters to my love of Dr Who And of note pads!!

It's over a month before my birthday but I've already been rather spoiled - Lucky girl; I have a really rather awesome best friend, I think you'll agree.


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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Why we're erring on the side of a Playstation 4*

First things first - This is a sponsored post, But the content was written by me and this really is a decision we've been trying to sort out, and many of the points are ones we've covered in the massive back and forth that is, next gen consoles.

I used to game a lot, back before the Ethan mostly, having owned consoles from the Sega Megadrive when I was about 7 to a PS3 which graces my desk to this very day (and was definitely a factor in Azii deciding he wanted to marry me, I'm quite convinced). I miss gaming, a lot, it was something I did as an extra form of escapism and it was just so fun! But now that I have an Ethan, and considerably less time, gaming has taken a real back seat to blogging, reading and watching shows with Azii.

Our techy little set-up when Azii moved in 
Azii, though, is a Very big gamer and he's hoping to get one of the next generation consoles this year. He's currently erring on the side of a PS4 and I'm a bit glad of that because, despite the advantages of both options, I'm a bit of a Playstation fan - In fact I'm a Sony fan, if I could have everything Sony I would. 

As it happens, though, there are some real, genuine, reasons why PS4 is the current front runner. Price is a definite factor and with the PS4 coming in at £349, the affordability aspect comes in to play (Ok it's not cheap but it's cheaper than the alternatives! And Azii is planning on saving over a space of time, he really wants to play the newer games). 

And that takes us one to the second reason; games. Sounds like an obvious one but it takes some real thought if you're really big in to gaming, as Azii is, because all consoles will have their exclusive content so you have to, somehow, manage to balance out how many exclusives you can get on one console and quite how much you want each of them! For Azii the PS4 has a good few exclusives which is a big reason for why it's at the top of his list such as 'Killzone: Shadowfall', 'Infamous: Second Son', 'Don't Starve' and 'Knack'. 

The littlest gamer in the house playing on Grandad's PS3 - In fact I game the least, these days, Daddy Azii, Grandad, Grandma and Ethan all love gaming - Yup, the whole family! At least they make up for my more recent lack of gaming.

It's quite hard to ignore things like accessories when you're looking in to a new console, too, if you're going to want to get involved in all of the online, team player, stuff then a headset is a must. You've also got to factor in noise levels, if you have a small person sleeping nearby (like the one above, in fact) then a  headset would be advantageous because loud shooty noises aren't always ideal and when we move out we're likely to have Ethan sleeping in a room much closer to us so this could be even more important. But even if you don't have kids then maybe you're a student and you share accommodation? Or you live with your parents and they're constantly telling you to turn 'that noise down'? Or, as is the plight of many, your husband or wife might want to hear a bit less of your game playing! If you want to treat yourself, and go for something really exciting, maybe even space age like, then there's places like gioteck.com who sell some really interesting devices, notably their rather sleek and sexy looking PS4 Headsets which, I can imagine, we shall lust after quite extensively once we actually invest in a new console. 

This is my favourite, the EX-06 Foldable HD headphones - They look like a James Bond Gadget or something!

So yeah - I might not be the big gamer that I used to be, but I still like to talk these things through with Azii, even if just as a bit of a sounding board. I'm sure, though, that when it comes down to it he'll make the right decision. 

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* This is a sponsored post*
*The image used from the website was used with permission*

Moments that mattered

This year is going to be a big one for us, getting married tends to be quite a big event for most people! But I love looking back at what was important about any one year - Last year was, for the most part, made up of lots of little moments. Other than the one big one everything is just tiny moments that make me smile, that helped make the year a beautiful one.

In terms of Azii and I, as a couple, the big one was him moving here, going from a long distance relationship where we had to scrape together as many hours together as possible in a month, to living together and being able to see each other more than every day - A pretty massive step, to say the least. It all kinda went really smoothly, though, as massive as it was it didn't feel massive, it just felt kinda normal (in a really nice way). The best photo to illustrate this is:


Yup, for geeks like us, merging the technology collection is a pretty big deal. (I do miss our desk being as tidy as this!)

I think it goes without saying that my blog was a massive part of 2013, for me, I can't believe how far I've come from struggling to blog at all to blogging almost daily - I absolutely love doing it and can't wait to see what 2014 brings.


And, now, on to what's going to be the bulk of the post - What would 2013 have been without my darling boy? He turned three, he started nursery and he had so much fun! (My only regret about last year is that we didn't get to see Skye as much as I'd have liked but that will be fixed this year)

On to the photos!


We don't see my Dad's side of the family enough but seeing Ethan with some of his cousins is one of my favourite things - My sister made a fantastic pinata for Tyler's birthday party! (It was angry birds)


We had lots of lovely fun play outside with his new sand pit - He's not been to the beach yet (I feel very bad about this) but he was happy to stick with this for now. 


He made a rather handsome fireman when we visited a local village fate - He also went on his first fairground rides.


He washed his first ever car! Ok so it might be a while before he upgrades to anything bigger but he did a Very good job! 


Baking apple crumble with Grandad is something Ethan loved all throughout the year - As evidenced by how much flour he is wearing in this one! 


And in this one we took him to his first Mop Fair in Tewkesbury. Up until a number of years ago I used to go every year, with family or friends as I got older. It's one of those things that everyone does in Tewkesbury and even though I didn't live there a lot of my family did so I took part in the tradition. So my Mum, Azii and I wrapped up, bundled Ethan into the car and met my Grandparents and Uncle and we all enjoyed the fair together - Ethan went on rides (my Mum and Uncle did, too, though my Uncle didn't enjoy it, oops), plus he won a couple of cuddly toys and his first ever fair fish who, thank goodness, is still doing well.

I may have skipped over him going to nursery, a bit, but I get a bit choked up about the fact he'll be starting school this year so I've focused on other things, heh!

It, really, was a beautiful year and I couldn't have been blessed with better people to share it with - Not everyone who's been a part of our lives this year has been mentioned but you can be sure that you helped to make it what it was too.

And here's to 2014 ... Plenty more little, happy moments plus our 'Big day' (Oh and Ethan starts school but shh I don't think about that because I might cry!)

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- This post is a competition entry post in the 'Moments that matters' competition in association with www.lloydsbank.com

Monday, 27 January 2014

A Birchbox points haul - Benefit's Dallas and Boing Concealer

This won't be the first time that I've extolled the wonders of asking people to use your referral link if they're going to join up to Birchbox (which you can, too, on that link*) and I'm pretty sure it won't be last!  But here I am, again, with a haul paid for, entirely, by Birchbox points. And it's a pretty impressive pair of goodies, too.

I was excited to hear that Benefit were going to be in the January Birchbox, mostly because I like the brand and thought it'd be great to get a new sample from them in my box... it, genuinely, didn't occur to me that they'd, also, have some items added to the Birhcbox shop. Needless to say I was rather pleased when it was announced that they were added.


I picked up the 'Boing Concealer' in the lightest shade, 01, as I've wanted to try it for ages. I am a bit obsessed with concealers and I'm always on the look out for another one to try so the chance to pick this one up for £15.50's worth of Birchbox points was a chance not to be missed.


Dallas isn't something I've been actively wanting for a long time but I've read about it a lot and seen it on videos a lot and it just keeps popping up. I quite like the look of it and for £23.50 of Birchbox points it seemed like the perfect chance to try it! 

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*This post contains an affiliate link, more information about that HERE*

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The books that I Enjoyed in 2013! - Follow on from my 'Books that I read in 2013' post

Ok so when  I wrote my 'Books That I Read in 2013' post quite a number of you asked which ones I'd recommend. First things first, don't go over to the other list and compare and go 'So these ones left out are Bad' because not all of them are - Some of them were bad, some were good but things that I wouldn't recommend to absolutely everyone (If that makes any sense) - The ones I've listed are ones that wowed me for some reason or another and that have stayed with me - Plus they're ones that I think most people would like, genre dependant of course!

Before I show you the books I just want to remind you about 'The 50 Book challenge' - Some people are a little put off by the large figure, understandably within the busy lives we lead. The thing is, though, it's not about reading 50 books, it's about setting yourself an amount to read so that you do read - If you normally read 20 books a year set yourself a target of 25, 10? set 15 and if you read none then set yourself a target to read one a  month! The lovely Alex over at Fangirls & Foundation illustrates this perfectly with her '14 in 14' challenge.

'Every Seventh Wave' - Daniel Glattauer - This is a sequel to a book called 'Love Virtually' which was a great, very different, love story. The sequel wasn't quite as good, when are they ever? But I'd recommend them both.

'What's Left of Me' - Kat Zhang - 
This was a Really good alternative future/alternative reality, fantasy book. In a world where everyone starts out with two personalities, the main character is an anomaly, why isn't one of her parts fading away? 


 'Gone Girl' - Gillian Flynn - A fantastic thriller/crime book - I really really enjoyed this one and I know a it got on a lot of peoples lists so you've probably already heard of it, loved it.


'Wicked' - Gregory Maguire - If you haven't heard of Wicked you're a bit daft, but this was just as wonderful as everyone made me hope. 


'The Dresden Files' series
'Storm Front' - Jim Butcher
'Fool Moon' - Jim Butcher
'Grave Peril' - Jim Butcher
'Summer Knight' - Jim Butcher
'Death Masks' - Jim Butcher
'Blood Rites' - Jim Butcher
'Dead Beat' - Jim Butcher
'Proven Guilty' - Jim Butcher
'White Night' - Jim Butcher
'Small Favour' - Jim Butcher
'Turn Coat' - Jim Butcher
'Changes' - Jim Butcher
'Ghost Story' - Jim Butcher
'Cold Days' - Jim Butcher
'Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files' - Jim Butcher - 

Yup, I read  a Lot of Jim Butcher in '13 - The Dresden files is a paranormal, urban fantasy type things (I'm not good with genres) - Harry Dresden is a professional Wizard for hire and a Whole lot of awesome, I loved these.


'Buddah in the Attic' - Julie Otsuka - This is something I read for a book club - It's not the sort of thing I normally read but it was beautiful despite being very sad - About Japanese women emigrating to America as 'mail order brides' - The writing is so stunningly beautiful that it almost overrides the sad topic, but you still come away from it with a sadness for the women.

'Codex Alera' series
'Furies of Calderon' - Jim Butcher
'Academ's Fury' - Jim Butcher
'Cursor's Fury' - Jim Butcher
'Captain's Fury' - Jim Butcher
'Princep's Fury' - Jim Butcher
'First Lord's Fury' - Jim Butcher - 

Oooh look some more Jim Butcher! This is a more typical fantasy series, set in another world, one where people can bond/attune with the elements via their 'furie'- Totally enthralling series. 


'Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant)' - Ben Arronovitch
'Moon Over Soho (PC Peter Grant)' - Ben Arronovitch
'Whispers Underground (PC Peter Grant)' - Ben Arronovitch
'Broken Homes (PC Peter Grant)' - Ben Arronovitch

This is a series that got on to a lot of peoples favourites list in 2013 - Another wizard, another urban fantasy - PC Peter Grant is a wizard, which makes for some incredibly interesting reading. It's a Really enjoyable series, doesn't take itself too seriously but is really captivating. 

'Rook' - Daniel O'Malley - There was something about 'Rook' which I fell in love with - Imagine waking up, surrounded by dead bodies, you don't know who you are and you have a letter in your pocket from your 'self' at least the one you were before your memory was gone. And then discover that you work for a secret government agency who specify in members of staff with 'powers' - Honestly, fantastic. If there's a sequel then I will be soo happy!




'My animals and other family' - Claire Balding - I'm not big on biography but this one was rather good. It read a lot like a story, a story of a young girl growing up in a totally different type of family, and the ways in which that impacts upon her life growing up. A very absent father who's a racehorse trainer, a Grandmother who wasn't impressed with having a Granddaughter and a whole lot of horses and dogs. It was good. 


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New phone case from Mr Nutcase* - Dressing up my new Galaxy S4 with a personalised case

When I first took up the opportunity to review a personalised phone case* from the, amusingly named, 'Mr Nutcase' it was a shame to see that they didn't do a case for the phone I had at the time (HTC One S). Of course it wasn't long before I took my plans, to upgrade, ahead and the Samsung Galaxy S4 became mine, and that phone Was one that they did cases for! (There are plenty of cases that they do make for, just check the site if you want to see if yours is one of them) 



My case arrived Really quickly (which is good, I hate leaving a new phone without a case, it feels Very very wrong!) They also send a free screen protector if you like their Facebook page, too, which was also quite handy! 

As you can probably tell I didn't go for the obvious photo cover, or photo collage - I love photos of my boy (what other photos would I use?), and I have them on most of the menu screens on my phone, but I quite wanted something pretty, in a way that was unique to me. Soo I got on to my scrapbook making software (I use Craft Artist) and I made this. 

I picked a pale, dusky pink colour because it's the colour I'm loving at the moment (As shown in my wedding colours!) and I decided I wanted the rest of the design to represent me a bit too which is why I went for the Dickens quote - I'm no Dickens buff but I am a massively booky person so having a literary quote on there (and a classic at that) was a bit special, not to mention that it's such a nice, happy phrase (When taken out of context!) - The flower made of book pages is a bit obvious when you know I was going for booky, I love love love flowers made of book pages and will, hopefully, be having some included in my wedding so that was an obvious one too. 



Lastly is the birdcage - I know they've been quite a popular symbol for a really long time, now, but I never really got on board with that, in fact most symbols and designs passed me by until more recently. But, when I decided to go for the bird on my blog header, I began to enjoy more avian things, including bird cages (which also feature on my business cards). So, the bird cage, a well as being pretty, is a little nod to my blog.

As you can see from the photos, the quality of printing is good, everything looks really nice and, although I have no actual photos, the book page flower is a photographed embellishment so you can get an idea of what something like that would look. The case is made of a really thin, but solid, plastic - I've not chucked my phone around so can't say how it holds up to damage but I can imagine it's relatively resilient but that's always going to depend upon the level of damage done to the phone! The fact that the plastic is nice and thin, though, means it's so lightweight and doesn't make the phone feel at all cumbersome as some heavier, less well fitted cases can do.

For £14.95 you're not getting the cheapest case in the world, but you are getting a case that's totally and utterly personal to you and I do think that's well worth paying a bit extra for. The free p+p is a nice touch and the speed of service definitely works in their favour. As well a being a great way to treat yourself these would make the nicest gifts (as long as you know what model of phone someone has, that could be tricky if not!) that someone could really treasure.

Over all, very impressed 'Mr Nutcase'.  


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*I said it in the body of the text, but to be extra sure - This item was sent to me for the purpose of review 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The #100HappyDays challenge - Days 15 - 21 of My Happy Days

Time for Days 15-21 of my #100HappyDays challenge - I really am enjoying this. Some days I'm including things which  I'm not sure I'll look back on in 80 odd days time and go 'wow that makes me soo happy' but they are things which are helping for one day at a time, and it's doing wonders in that sense. If you want to check out the earlier weeks here's Week One and Week Two


Day 15 was a really hard day, Ethan is going through a really challenging phase and he was pretty exhausting this day, plus I had spent the weekend being quite poorly. A bath with some amazing Lush shower gel, a gorgeous smelling Yankee candle and then cuddling up in my pyjamas pretty much gave me the best possible end to the day. 


Following on from yesterday, Day 16 was improved 100 fold by, first, being able to get an emergency drs appt straight away and then being prescribed anti-biotics without having to jump through hoops, by the lovely dr. I was still in pain but knowing that these would make me better was a very good feeling.


Day 17 is the first day that Ethan had gone to nursery in a week (due to his being poorly last week) - I love my little boy with everything but my goodness it's nice to sit down with a cup of tea and a graze brownie and just relax whilst he's at nursery (well, relax for half an hour before I had to get on with the piles of housework that needed doing now that he was out of the house!)


Day 18 - I've wanted a necklace like this for ages, but to get one for about £4 from eBay just made it even better - I love it, a lot, and as I've wanted it so long it's made me really happy that I have finally found one.


Day 19 - Ethan in his new, pink wellies - He was blowing me kisses and the phone captured his face in this awesome expression instead! He rocks those skinny jeans, minion tee and pink wellies - What a boy!


Day 20 is another Ethan one - This is him saying 'Taadaa' after he helped Grandma put the shopping away (and he actually did quite a lot of actual helping too, ahh how things have changed since it was purely hindering!) - I can't believe I'm 20% of the way through the challenge - I can imagine carrying it on afterwards but we'll see. 


Day 21 is being able to put my engagement ring back on - I have to get it off when my eczema affects the skin around it, sometimes, so it's always so nice to be able to put it back on! 

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Extreme Aquarium Make-overs - A new home for Fishy the fishy - Thanks to SwellUK*

When I was contacted by someone from the team at SwellUK I, initially, wasn't sure what products I'd be able to review for them considering we have one goldfish and two cats (who spend most of their time hiding from the small person!). I did mention that we were hoping to get some more goldfish and the lovely lady suggested I could get some items to revamp our aquarium!

This, actually, belongs to my my mum's husband and it's housed piranhas and goldfish for many years (though not at the same time) but, more recently it stopped being used until we won a fish at the Mop Fair (see my post on these here) and decided to make it more hospitable for him!

Just at the very right you can see Fishy the fishy, who was named by Ethan (if you couldn't have guessed?!)


As you can see, though, the tank had a Lot of overgrown plans in it and the outside was covered in finger marks, yup, that'd be Ethan too.

The lovely people at Swell sent a lovely box of things for me to try out, to see what would work in our tank - As it was already established we had no chance of using all of it but I picked the two biggest rocks which were a large and a medium in these 'Mini landscape rocks'*, and I used the largest piece of wood that we were sent, too, which is a medium piece of 'Bog wood'* - I'll show you some pictures of the pieces I didn't use after I've made the big reveal...

Drum roll please...


Sorry about all of the reflections, polishing up the glass made it a bit harder to take photos! But you can see what I did. I thinned out the plants a bit, but kept plenty (and they'll grow right back in no time) and then I added the rock which you can see far left and then another towards the right of the gorgeous piece of wood that we got - Might be odd to say gorgeous about a bit of wood but I love it, you should be able to see, where the leaves are poking through, it's like a little arch (Ethan keeps pointing at it and telling Fishy that he can swim through it; sadly Fishy doesn't really seem to get it) I needed to use the rocks in those two places for the simple fact that they are anchoring the wood - It should have occurred to me, the moment that I felt how light it was, that it would float but it didn't until it actually happened. I was pretty exhausted from standing so long by the time I'd finished moving stones around, finding positions that held the wood in place (And trying not to drop anything on Fishy who wasn't being cautious enough for my liking!)

But it was worth the ows and the exhaustion - I think it was an amazing transformation and the rocks and wood that we sent were much more attractive than those you'd just be able to pick up yourself - The medium bog wood would have cost £5.99, and the medium and large landscape rocks would have been £5.99 and £8.99 respectively so for around £20 you can make a really lovely habitat for your fish - I'm sure once we get one or two more it'll look soo nice with them all swimming around (maybe one of them will even discover the little arch!)


This is the small piece of bog wood which costs £2.99 and the next two photos will be of the small and medium piece of 'Dragon stone'* which would cost £2.99 and £5.99



As you can see, the three pieces that I didn't use are all lovely, too, and they'd have cost around £10 to buy so definitely a bargain option - We're hoping to get a small aquarium once we move, just for some goldfish, as I don't think we want to cope with any higher maintenance pets any time soon, so these will look lovely in that (And, in all honesty, Swell will be the first place I look when it comes to getting something for our own place - The team is just lovely and I really like what they've sent)

If you wanted to take a look at what Swell offer then I've got a nice little 10% off code which you can use - It'll work with your first order, and will only work once per person but could give you a nice saving if you want to revamp your aquarium! The code is - SWELL10 and there's a minimum order spend of £25 - Hope this can be of help to some of you!

As well as all of these fantastic ornaments that they sent me to review, they also sent me a water testing kit which I will be trying out, and reviewing, in the next two or three weeks.

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*If you couldn't tell from things I said in the post, these items were sent to me for the purpose of the review