HEMA Skin care

Monday, 8 December 2014

Wow I can't believe we are in the final month of 2014! It has flown by! I have been determined over the last few months to look after myself inside and out! I have improved my eating habits and managed to lose just over a stone in a few months.  I am drinking more water and I have also been trying to get my skin care routine into good shape, starting with a good day, night and eye cream.

However with a limited budget to spend on beauty products my search began and I stubbled across HEMA if you don't know about them already then you are missing out, HEMA is an international retail outlet and they have recently launched their on line store in the UK. They sell a fabulous collection of products which are all designed and made exclusively by them and in my opinion very competitively priced. If you still have Christmas shopping to do I would definitely pop over you won't be disappointed. So back to the beauty products last week I received a lovely parcel from HEMA with a selection of products to try.

Being the wrong side of thirty five! I was keen to try the 40 plus range so starting with the day cream which is the most important part of your morning routine as it sets your face for the day, this cream has quite a thick texture which immediately feels good on my skin, I feel it's more evened out, less dry and it feels smooth. This cream  also sets a good base for my foundation as I am not one for primers (not enough time!!) so amongst other positives this cream definitely helps to set my foundation too. 

The eye cream is great, I am using this in the day and evening and it immediately reduces lines and crows feet and I am hoping it will help with dark circles although I think I need a few more early nights and more water to help combat them!!

After years of not really bothering with night cream I have got myself into a better routine in the evening. While my little ones are in the bath I cleanse and tone and put on night cream and eye cream, this routine works better for me as if I leave it too late I get lazy and end up using a baby wipe, I know, I know how bad is that!!?? I am determined to get into a good routine with my skin care in the evening and have loved using the night cream it has a similar texture to the day cream and contains Proteolea that helps to slow down skin ageing and improves hydration and cell renewal.

My skin feels great after using these products and after some time I am sure I will see more benefits and my bank account will too, as with prices starting at £4.50 they won't break the bank either. So there is a little round up of my thoughts on the HEMA skin care products, if you are looking to change or improve your skin care routine I would definitely pop over to their website and take a look at some of the products, they have such a great selection of beauty products and accesories, here are a few more of my favourites, some would make fabulous stocking fillers.


I was kindly sent these products by HEMA for the purpose of this review but all the thoughts and opinions are my own. 

As always thanks for reading 
Cathy xox 

Results of my Travelodge Competition

Huge thanks to everyone who entered my competition, a winner was picked by Rafflecopter and the lucky person is.................... Jocelyn from The Reading Residence Blog . Congratulations Jocelyn I hope you enjoy your night away, an email will be sent to you regarding claiming your price.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. 

Cathy xox 

Hello December

Friday, 5 December 2014

Image credit Pinterest

December has well and truly crept up on me, I mentioned in a post last year that it's always a bit of a difficult time as I miss mum more than ever during the run up to Christmas.  I spend time just thinking how different life would be if she was with us. I am so grateful for my memories and I owe it to mum to carry on with her traditions making sure my little ones have a magical time.  I will always hold my memories very close to my heart and I will never forgot them, I do hope one day though that I will be  able to cook a Christmas lunch like my mum did, they were amazing.

I am also grateful for all the distractions though as we have been keeping busy with so much going on at school this week, both George and Tilly performed in heart warming nativity plays and been on exciting school trips. We have got so far as putting up our advent bunting and our two Kindness Elves have come to visit, (there will be more about them on the blog next week) and we are getting our tree and putting the decorations up this weekend.

Next week is a hectic one, with our school carol service, playgroup Christmas party and school disco. I am escaping mid week to London though to stay with a friend for a bit of shopping and a night out at BBC 2014 Music Awards  I am so excited as I will be honest I feel I need a little break from mummy duties to get glammed up and have fun! John has been a gem and taken his last day of annual leave to take over, then he is off on his works Christmas party when I get back so he will get to let his hair down too. 

Both George and Tilly break up next Friday so I need to get myself organised with doing the rest of the shopping and keeping up with orders. I hope your Christmas preparations are going well and if like me you are missing someone special during the run up to Christmas I am sending you a big virtual hug. 

As always thanks for reading. 
Cathy xox 

Our 2015 Mini Break Wish List - Win a night with Travelodge

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Photo credit Pinterest

We have been quite fortunate this year to get away with our little ones on a few family mini breaks.  I do love a little break away, I love the planning, even the packing, both our little ones get really excited about going on an adventure and I do love a night or two in a hotel. It leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything, it also makes us all appreciate our home a little bit more.

I have already been putting together a bit of a wish list of places in the UK to visit in 2015, yes I know it should be all about Christmas right now, but I do love to plan our travels well in advance to get the best deal and also to have something to look forward to.

But money is a big factor and getting away does not come cheap, however there are ways to save on accommodation and next year we plan to use Travelodge for some of our city breaks as they have refurbished over five hundred of their hotels with a modern and contemporary feel and above all they are family friendly. So with that in mind I have put together a little wish list of some of the places we would like to visit next year.

Windsor - Legoland is a must for next year.  I am thinking a long weekend as I have always wanted to visit Windsor Castle and I have heard the shopping is good too.

Torquay, we love Devon and it has been a regular mini break for us over the last five years however we always tend to visit North Devon, next year we are heading South as super keen to explore the English  Riviera.

York - Keen to head up North as I have always wanted to visit York and Harrogate so hoping a long weekend, as shopping in both cities looks wonderful maybe My Mister and I will do this city break kiddy free??!

Newquay - I haven't been for such a  long time and Travelodge have a hotel  right on the sea front with some great places to visit close by and also it's a good base to visit so many lovely places in the area, Padstow, St Ives and  Eden Project are on the list.

Hastings - We love Sussex and had a lovely mini break in Brighton earlier this year and keen to visit more of the area, Hastings is another seaside town I have always wanted to visit, a good friend of mine stayed there in the half term and said it was lovely, with sweet cafes and shops it's definitely on the list for a long weekend.

To read more of my posts on holidays and mini breaks click here and I have put together a Pinterest board to keep our wish list of places to visit in the UK and further a field..

So where would you like to visit in 2015? You can win one night in a Travelodge of your choice by entering this competition I am hosting, entry details are below and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a collaboration with Travelodge, but the content and opinions are my own.

Stills - A Weekly Collection

Sunday, 16 November 2014

I haven't managed this for ages.... So here is a collection of Stills from my week. If you want to see more from previous weeks you can click here

                                                          Seven Things,  Seven Photos,  Seven Days

1. A pretty window box I treated myself to a few weeks ago and its still going strong which is good for me as I am not very green fingered! 
2. Orders are coming through thick and fast now especially via My Not On The High Street Store which I am thankful for as I want to start Christmas shopping next week. 
3. Tilly is so reluctant to sit at the table with snacks!! A few testing times this week!
4. Reminding my little ones of a few meal time rules this week, especially trying to get George involved with helping to clear the table.
5. A charity shop find - such a lovely book with great illustrations on how to help our world, a wonderful find for 25p!
6. Reminding myself to do something I love every day, taking five minutes out for myself to sit and flick through a favourite interior book, paint my nails, put a face mask on, go to bed early with a hot chocolate just something little every day ............
7. This weeks masterpiece a sweet poppy painting by George x 

I hope you have had a lovely week. 
Cathy xo 

An exclusive discount from Starling Store

Sunday, 9 November 2014

I love to discover unique and independent on line stores so I was super happy when Nicola of Starling Store got in touch with me to introduce some new lines.

I simply love the look and feel of Nicola's store,  I think she has hand picked some beautiful items for her collections and here are a few of my favourites.

Starling Store is the perfect place to shop for something a bit different for your home, so if you are looking to treat yourself or start some Christmas shopping then I am happy to tell you I have an exclusive online discount of 15% off (excluding sale items) until Monday 17th November 2014 all you need to do is quote the code MYSWEETTHINGS15 at the checkout. 

Big thanks to Nicola for providing the discount and happy shopping everyone! 

Cathy xo

Our Happy Half Term

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

We were all ready for half term, George was exhausted and so ready for some time at home, Tilly just joined in with her brother asking 'when is half term mummy.....?'   I just felt like I needed them at home. The first half of the term after the summer holidays always feels like a long stretch. Like a lot of mums I am not a fan of the school run in the morning and I was feeling desperate to spend some time with the two of them without the rush of school and routine and I was also looking forward to my Mister taking a bit of time off work.

So the first few days we spent at home, colouring, playing, meeting friends, enjoying the autumn sunshine and the lack of routine.

John was off from Thursday so we took a drive out to Ragley Hall for some annual pumpkin carving, which is always great fun our little ones love it there.

On Friday we went to a good friends Halloween Party which the children loved and had great fun. I dressed up as a witch, but Tilly kept telling me ' you're a good witch mummy!'

Saturday, we headed to London for a few nights, it was rather a last minute trip but we really wanted the opportunity to see the poppies at the Tower Of London and we haven't been down for so long. We stayed at a Novotel hotel, we were made so welcome when we arrived and the lady on reception was very sweet with the children, which is always lovely as sometimes it's hard to find a nice hotel that accommodates little ones! Our room was great, lovely comfy beds and enough room for us all.

So after settling into our room we had a little wander down to see the poppies, the crowds were immense, it was so hard to get a good view and photos but it was breathtaking, it made me feel really emotional, I am so glad we got to see them. You can follow this link to read more about this major art installation at the Tower Of London and watch a short video.  If you do get the opportunity the poppies will be there until the 11th November 2014 it is so worth the visit, truly amazing to see.

On Sunday we also did the typical tourist thing and took advantage of The Big Bus London Tour, because the weather wasn't great we got to stay dry and see the major sights from the bus and listen to the guide who was great and really informative, I learnt a lot about London even with a wriggly toddler on my lap!

Unfortunately it was raining when we got to Buckingham Palace, Tilly and George were most disappointed the Queen didn't pop out to say hello, they kept asking where she was!!

Next stop was Hamleys which to be honest I found a bit over whelming and I couldn't wait to get out!!

But we did get to see some pretty impressive lego. But as you can see I think even the kids were a bit over whelmed too!! We managed to escape with just two purchases some lego for George and a Princess Peppa for Tilly!

Next stop was brunch in a lovely restaurant just off Regents Street we were so ready for a sit down!

The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying a walk down South Bank, we sat and watched the London Eye and paid a ridiculous price for a cup of tea!! As you can see from the photos the weather still wasn't great but it didn't matter we still loved seeing all the sights.

We took a river boat cruise tour back down the Thames to Tower Bridge, by that point Tilly was absolutely exhausted and fell asleep in Johns arms, she didn't even wake when we got off the boat and poor John had to carry a dead weight all the way back to the hotel, she then woke up as bright as a button just as we had ordered a glass of wine from the bar!!

On Monday the plan was to take them to The Natural History Museum but the queue was ridiculous, it was also raining again! So we headed to Knightsbridge, luck was upon us and we managed to park and headed to the Disney Cafe in Harrods for lunch which was very over priced but the staff were lovely with the children and they really enjoyed it.

We then met up with a friend in Notting Hill for coffee which was lovely and then the long journey home, I don't think it matters what time you leave London the traffic is always crazy!!So all in all it was a great few days in the Big Smoke, I was a little nervous about taking the little ones but they were great, they both get so excited about little breaks away and being in a big city didn't phase them at all, so it has inspired me to book more city breaks with them next year.

So all in all its been a great half term, a busy one and George is ready to go back, there has been quite a lot of squabbling and whinging this afternoon, I think they are starting to get on each other nerves now!! I am pretty tired and ready for some time to myself again but completely happy they have had fun and we have enjoyed some much needed quality family time.

If you have been off with your little ones what have you been up to?

Thanks for reading.

Cathy xox

Linking up with Hannah from Make Do And Push The Week That Was Captured.

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