web analytics

Back to school & eBay bargains

I recently worked with eBay on some back to school bargains, you know, polo shirts, backpacks, pens and so on, the kind of things that you need to buy regularly so it’s nice when you find a good price!

You can read the full piece here if you want to, it would be ever-so kind of you!

 

Read More

Lunch Box Ideas & Capri-Sun

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

****Back to school this week!!!**** Not that I’m looking forward to it or anything!

#shop #cbias #caprisun #kids

The school uniforms are purchased, the shoes have been bought and we’re now onto the last few bits, including packed lunches! GG is starting senior school and has decided she wants to have school dinners as they look a bit more exciting than junior school ones, but The Boy is flitting between both so I’ve stocked the fridge up, but I’m trying to come up with some healthy lunchbox ideas that are a little bit different. He would eat ham sandwiches until they were coming out of his ears, so this term we’re on a mission!

I hit my local Tesco this weekend to have a look for bits and pieces, and take part in the #CapriSunSchool and #CollectiveBias challenge.

#shop #cbias #lunchbox #kids

#shop #cbias #healthy #lunchbox #drinks

Usually, a typical lunchbox would involve, a sarnie, a bag of mini cheddars, 2 or 3 bits of fruit (they get to eat one piece during their first break) and a yoghurt. Drinks wise water is always preferable, but The Boy hates it and will only drink it under duress, so anything that’s good for him and isn’t fizzy, that he will drink is a hit with me, Capri-Sun is perfect, it’s 75% fruit juice, 25% water and counts as one of their five a day. I’m actually really lucky in that both kids will eat most fruit and veg so I don’t have to battle with that (The Boy even asked for more broccoli at a restaurant this week!) so we probably manage more than 5 a day, but if I can squeeze in 2 more it might cancel out the biscuits they sneak in as soon as they walk through the door! The flavours are also a big hit, with Tropical, Apple & Pear and Apple & Blackcurrant in the Fruit Crush range, as well as apple, orange, summer berries and apple & cherry. I’m sure there was just orange when I was younger…!

#shop #cbias #healthy #lunchbox #kidsI’ve seen so many amazing lunchboxes on Instagram and Pinterest, honestly it puts me to shame! Colourful boxes, sandwiches in shapes, baby pizza slices, home made quiches, I could go on but it just makes me miserable! They look so pretty, I don’t know that I’d even be able to eat it, but it does give me some inspiration! Anything to step away from the boring ham & two slices of wholemeal. I definitely need to get some of those fancy little shaped pots too.

What do you put in the kids lunchboxes that interests them, is good for them and catches their eye? Any ideas are welcome!

Read More

Summer Holiday Madness!

I’m just going to start this post with the fact that the summer holidays are almost over. I know, I know. THANK GOD!

But, during those long, long weeks, it can be a complete pain the proverbial to find things for the kids to do that don’t cost a fortune, cause arguments, mean queueing up for hours on end or just give parents headaches. I’m sure when I was a kid on summer holidays I’d find things to entertain myself, and there definitely wasn’t iPads or playstations to muck about on! (I’m not that old ok?)

So when BettaLiving offered to send me a holiday pack with loads of goodies and a list of 20 ideas to keep the kids busy, I was all like “hell yes!” I’m not going to lie!

Obviously when the box arrived we had to have a peep to see what was in there, but at the time the boy was ill, GG was finishing junior school and it was all crazy, so the box was left in the hallway ready for the fun to start. We finally managed to find a day where we had decided we were staying in our pjs all day, not leaving the house and opening the box was the perfect chilled day activity!

We started off with the skittles of course, the boy couldn’t wait to get his hands on those and they’ve been a huge hit every day since! The pizza making has yet to be done, but we’ve decided on toppings (pepperoni and cheese feature heavily!) The numbers plate is my favourite thing ever! Learn your times tables while you eat dinner? Why not!

The start of our show though? The volcano action! Vinegar and baking soda…..

Now this activity has been beyond the best thing about the summer holiday for the boy! Every single day he’s asked if he can do more explosions! When we first did it, I was a bit (lot) daft and did it inside, so the entire downstairs stank of vinegar for the rest of the day, but then we wised up to that and took it outside. You can hear our enjoyment, and the boy does some great commentary at the end!

Next on the list of “this is so much fun!” was the marshamallow challenge.

kids2

We started off trying to build the tallest tower using the marshmallows and toothpicks, but we soon found out that an 11yo can build a taller tower a lot quicker than a 5yo and things can get a bit stressy, so we went with the technique of one does tall, one does wide. Anything to keep the peace! Of course, towers would be a lot better if people didn’t keep stealing them as they went….

kids1

 

Kind of defeats the object don’t you think kiddo….!

We’ve still got loads of goodies to get through, the ice lolly moulds are going to be used a lot, I’m going to be hitting Pinterest for some new recipe ideas!

Massive thank you to BettaLiving for sending us the huge box of goodies that have kept us going through the summer!

Read More

At home mani with OPI Avoplex & Click Fragrance

I love getting my nails done, but I really resent spending £20 on them because they grow crazy fast. If I invest in a shellac polish, under the illusion that it will last for weeks, I always have to remove it after 8 days (max!) because I can’t stand having the edges showing. So, I’ve had to get good at doing my own nails, A; to save money and B; because I have serious polish OCD. Can’t stand badly painted nails!

I have to hold my (nicely painted) hands up and say I do pick my cuticles. I know! I have never been a nail biter, but if there is a bit of dry skin on my nails, I’ll pick it off and I have a thing against heavy, rich hand creams because I don’t like the feeling of it, so I don’t smother my hands in cream which would probably help.

Click Fragrance sent me some OPI Avoplex goodies to give myself an at home manicure, so, in the name of research, I did some pampering!

OPI

I’ve never used an exfoliating cuticle treatment before so I was interested to see how this would work. It says to use it a couple of times a week, applying to each nail, leaving it on for 3-5 mins and then massaging in. It’s a gentle alpha hydroxy acid formula to eliminate dry, rough cuticles and put back essential moisture. It is scented with what it says is cucumber, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on that, it’s not a very pleasant smell (to me personally) but it does a great job at getting rid of those extra bits of dry skin.

A quick wipe of polish remover to get rid of extra grease, a thin layer of base coat and two layers of colour (I went with a lilac shade by Rimmel, always my favourite because of the brush shape and the consistency of the polish) and my all time favourite speed dry top coat by Seche Vite and I was ready to use the Nail & Cuticle Replenishing Oil. Now this smells gorgeous, feels gorgeous and is just all round, well, gorgeous! It has an extra wide brush so you can just sweep it on each nail bed, leave it to soak in if you want to, or if you’re in a rush like me, gently massage any extra in, it makes your nails look so healthy and of course, glossy! I can see myself becoming addicted to this little baby! Lastly, and always a bugbear of mind, hand cream. I’ve been told by lots of beauty experts that this one is a good one, but I was still a little bit wary of using too much. I hate the feeling of sticky, almost dirty feeling, hands after using hand cream, but I have to admit this one doesn’t do that. It soaks in almost straight away, smells delicious and makes my hands feel so much nicer. This one is going in my handbag and I am going to be investing in a tube for the kitchen and the bathroom, it’s *that* nice, and the cuticle oil is on my coffee table so I can put some on each evening while I’m watching TV. Perfect! You can even see my step by step guide to the perfect manicure here.

OPI.1a

 

 

These OPI goodies were sent to me to try out but all opinions are my own, of course! 

Read More

Clarins Loveliness!

clarins

Summer is all well and good (when we get proper summer) but I am so over it now and ready for the newness of Autumn. When you get to the end of August and the shops are full of gorgeous boots and coats, magazines are talking about new seasons and the kids just *need to get back to school already* it’s nice to have a change.

I’ve always been an A/W girl myself. Cosy nights with blankets and candles, the perfect pair of ankle boots, leather jackets and chunky scarves and new make up! YES!

Clarins are focussing on eyes this season, with their new innovative cream to power formula of their Ombre Matte eyeshadow. It offers the smoothing qualities of a cream eyedshadow but with the hold of a powder, it’s lightweight and so easy to apply with brushes and fingers.

eyes2

I actually prefer it using my fingers which is a first for me, but it just feels so lovely and it’s so easy to blend. It comes in 6 shades, 01 Nude Beige, 02 Nude Rose, 03 Taupe, 04 Rosewood, 05 Sparkle Grey and 06 Earth. I have Nude Beige which I’ve been using for everyday make up, it’s the perfect ‘almost there but not quite’ colour, and Taupe which is just dark enough for me without feeling too done, it’s a lovely mushroom-y grey colour.

Easy to apply, and the perfect shadow to build up varying levels of intensity, it also contains bamboo powder to give the matte, even finish with really long lasting hold. Available from August!

Alongside their new shadows though, I have discovered their BB Perfecting Cream. I’ve spent the summer using their tinted moisturiser but it’s not quite ‘heavy’ enough for A/W, the BB cream however, is spot on. Created to “Revitalise, Protect and Perfect” with a blend of plant extracts, like most other BB creams it’s quite thick in texture, but still more moisturiser than foundation, it still feels lovely and light on the skin and it’s easy to blend in. It still leaves a slight ‘glow’ so if you have oily skin you might want to finish it off with some powder. It provides good cover over slight redness or small spots, but perhaps not what you’re looking for if you like full on coverage, but being a BB cream you already know that! I have been using ‘Fair’ (of course!) and it’s the perfect shade for paler skins but it also comes in three other shades. It also contains SPF25, costs £30 and is available online.

BBcollage

Last, but not least, Instant Concealer. My favourite, favourite concealer! Because I am so pale, I can look like I’ve got dark circles on top of dark circles, and if I’m tired (hello summer holidays!) they’re even worse. This concealer provides correction for all types of dark circles, it’s tinted to mask rather than cake and it blends in flawlessly, smoothing as it goes. This is replacing that other well known dark circle concealer for me, it’s just perfect. Costing £21 for 15ml, it will last for ages because you only need a tiny amount each time. Love!

instantCPR Samples.

 

Read More

#Frame My View

Paris1

This time last year, if I’d looked out my living room window I would have seen parked cars, a block of flats and loads of kids running around (not mine) as we were packing to finally move out of the flat that we’d started to feel like we were forever trapped in. Fast forward a year (and god it’s gone quick!) when I sit my peachy bum down on my sofa and look out of my living room windows, I see a gorgeous garden, flowers, clouds, and my own two babes laughing and mucking about on the trampoline. Should we be lucky enough for sunshine, I know it’s too much to ask for in August, I might spot the bloke out there doing his manly thing on the BBQ.

It’s amazing the difference a good view can make to the start of your day. Even when it’s raining and grey, just being able to sit down with a cup of tea and know that we have outside space, and no one stressing us out with parking issues or kicking footballs against my window can chill me out in an instant.

In the evening, when the kids have gone to bed and our solar lights are glowing, the garden feels like a little sanctuary, it’s so quiet, whatever time it is apart from the odd neighbour cutting their grass or doing a bit of DIY, in fact, we’re probably classed as the noisy neighbours this time!

I’ve always loved a good view. It appeals to the people watcher in me, sitting and staring for hours on end is such a great way to pass the time. When we went to Paris in March I had to drag my eyes away from every sight, and I still feel like I didn’t see everything. My favourite kind of view isn’t the usual hills and green grass view that most people seem to love, I like dark, cloudy, heavy skies. Buildings, traffic, skylines. Loads of different things to lose some time in. Watching people rushing around from one place to another, imagining what their lives are like (or is that just me?)

 

NY2

NY1

The view from my living room window is currently framed by some gorgeous new curtains from The Natural Curtain Company. If you know me, you know that I love whites and greys, so I went for a pair of ready made, lined, 100% cotton curtains in Jupiter, a gorgeous light grey which fits in with my living room perfectly. Our living room windows are actual bi-fold doors so they’re floor to ceiling, wall to wall which means we get fantastic light all day long. We did have some very thin, sheer curtains from Ikea up before but these are going to be heaven for the colder evenings that will be coming along soon. Closing the curtains, lighting the candles and pouring the wine (really need to find a good red I like for the winter!) is my idea of heaven. I can’t wait for Autumn to get here now!

view3

view4

myview1

Love my new Love Seat, love my monochrome cushion (need to get back to Ikea to get some more!) and love my new curtains. If you ask the bloke he will probably say he loves the shed at the bottom of the garden because he made it all by himself! I’ve been looking at views on Pinterest, where I’ve obviously been pinning like mad as well, so if you want to see some stunning images including Paris (of course!) New York, and more then you can click here!

Follow kateagreen’s board #Frame My View on Pinterest.

{Post is a collaboration but all my own work!}

Read More

Chance of showers

Online shopping. Not quite as much fun as actual, real life shopping because you can’t stop off in a bar and grab a drink, have dinner out, people watch, blah blah, but so much easier when you just can’t face dragging taking the kids out and listening to them whinge that we have to go into yet another shop. Silly small people.

Online shopping for household essentials, even less fun, but necessary sometimes. Like now, when our (en suite don’t you know) shower cubicle doors are hanging on by a metaphorical thread – when you step into the shower you have to slam them together at a certain angle, with a certain force at least 4 times before they meet in the middle and do their job. It’s also a really small cubicle. You can’t really move around much in there, turn around too fast to get the shampoo and you could knock yourself out and there is definitely not enough room for two people, to save water, you know….?

shower1

I went away a couple of weeks ago on a hen do to Bath (West Country Games!) and the boutique house we stayed in had 2 huge (adjoining) showers. You could probably fit 3 people in each one! The bathrooms were gorgeous so it’s given me some inspiration to give ours a face lift.

In an ideal world I’d made the shower bigger, but that’s really unlikely because it has a raised base so (and lacking bathroom design skills here) I’m guessing if I wanted to make it bigger, we’d have to alter that and we’re not going to. If you browse shower enclosures at Mira Showers, they have loads of choice, square, bi-fold, walk in, the lot.

Ours is a square, sliding door enclosure so this Mira Beam one is top of my list at the moment, and look, the doors meet in the middle and everything! This is gorgeous, if I was going to order a shower based on how it looks then this would be right up there! I would probably stay in there for much longer than necessary!  Grey, silver, glass, this is what (Kate’s) bathroom dreams are made of!

Screenshot 2014-08-16 at 14.57.58

At the minute we have no storage at all, so I need some shelves up (we also have no airing cupboard so shelves would be really handy for the hundreds of towels we have! But more importantly, all my vital beauty products need a home instead of being spread out all over the middle floor of the house, a lick of paint and new bath mat and I’d be all set to lock myself in there and enjoy some peace and quiet away from the little darlings. In fact, if I time it right I could stay in there until the end of the summer holidays?!

SP

Read More