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#MyBath With Matalan Direct

Do you know what, since we’ve gone back to school and college life has been absolutely insane. I feel like the weeks are passing by at the speed of light and it will be Christmas before we know it (I know, the dreaded word, but it’s true!)

It’s been stressful to say the least. So when Matalan Direct got in touch and asked if I’d like to blog about my perfect bath routine I was never going to say no. Plus, it was a great excuse to get going on the bathroom decorating that I had been putting off since we moved in.

bath 1

They were kind enough to send me a candle and reed diffuser from their new range, I, of course went for coconut and vanilla. Coconut is my favourite bath fragrance ever. Alongside that I got the softest towel ever in a gorgeous grey colour and a voucher to treat myself to some bath goodies.

I really enjoyed shopping for the treats. Sometimes (who am I kidding, all the time) it’s a case of grab something from a supermarket shelf on the weekly food shop, and I am a product junkie so I took my time walking up and down the aisles. I treated myself to some Sanctuary Spa products, a body scrub, bubble bath and shower oil which all smell amazing, I’m a total addict now – some new shampoo and conditioner, the Ogx Kukui Oil range for crazy frizzy hair recommended to me by DMBL40 and Caroline Hirons, so, had to be worth a shot, and a new moisturiser as mine had run out.




Heaven. That’s what it’s been. Absolute heaven. When I’m sitting in a stuffy classroom with windows that don’t open trying to work out the formula for various chemical properties, or working out which part of the brain does what, the thought of a hot bath at the end of the day is absolute bliss.

What’s your bath time ritual?




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Tips for keeping your hair perfect through the summer**

We all love the summer months, those hot lazy days and long summer nights. However, while the summer season may be the time we look forward to each year, it can play havoc with our hair.

We are all familiar with the warnings about too much exposure to the sun and the damage it can do to our skin, but people are less aware of the damage the sun can do to hair. Prolonged exposure to the ultra-violet rays of the sun can damage hair, from the cuticle to its inner structure. Exposure to the sun can make hair brittle and dry and it can make it more susceptible to split ends.

Hair that has been chemically bleached or lightened is more vulnerable to the effects of the sun. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, even healthy untreated hair can be damaged. Natural brown hair can develop a reddish hue from prolonged exposure to the sun and chemically treated hair can become yellow, dull and faded.

It is not just your hair that can suffer from the effects of the sun; the scalp can also be damaged. The best way to protect your hair from the effects of the sun is to wear a wide-brimmed hat. If you expect to stay in the sun for more than a few hours, a hat will protect your hair and the skin of the face.

Another good tip is to avoid the sun when it is at its fiercest, which is usually between the hours of 10am and 3pm. Use leave-in conditioners that contain zinc oxide and use hairsprays or leave-in conditioners with UV protection. If you find yourself outdoors without hair protection then you can comb ordinary sunscreen through your hair for protection.

If you go swimming in the local swimming pool or the sea, you must wash your hair immediately afterwards to remove the chlorine or salt. You can also use a gentle shampoo that is suitable for frequent washing, to remove any build-up of chemicals in the hair. If your hair is inclined to become frizzy in the shower, then apply styling products while it is wet. Serums can be used to add strength to the hair strands so they are less likely to become damaged.
If you are intending to speed up the natural lightening effect of the sun, do not use peroxide, lemon juice, alcohol, or other sun-activated sprays. Instead, go for a temporary colour that is free from peroxide and ammonia. You should start protecting your hair long before the summer months, but if you do find your hair dry and listless then try a deep conditioning treatment to bring some life back to your locks. A top salon such as Toni & Guy Liverpool will be able to offer plenty of advice on how to prepare your hair for summer, or how to treat hair that has been damaged by too much sun.

Look after your hair in the summer, perhaps choosing a lighter style, and you can enjoy the summer while keeping your flowing locks in peak condition.

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Clarins Limited Edition Aquatic Treasures Collection

full set 2

Despite the miserable view out of the window at the moment, summer is actually upon us, schools are closing in the next week, holidays are being packed for and a general feel of relaxation is hitting people, especially when the sun appears! With that in mind, and particularly, our holiday in less than 3 weeks, the new Aquatic Treasures Collection from Clarins is perfect. All about sun kissed skin, glossy, nude lips and bronzed eye colours.


Limited Edition Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact (£30) This has to be one of the prettiest bronzers I have ever seen and is definitely the star of the collection. Just look at the pattern on it! May have been putting off using it so I didn’t ruin it……. It has four warm shades, from light through to dark which work on even my pasty pale skin without looking orange. You can use it for contouring (if you’re into that sort of thing) and you can customise your colour to suit your skin tone. It’s a natural looking, matte bronzer that just adds a touch of warmth to the skin. It even minimises fine lines and wrinkles and protects from effects of free radicals and pollution.


Next up are the Limited Edition Ombre Iridescente Eyeshadows (£19) in 01 – Aquatic Rose and 03 – Aquatic Grey. Again, a cream to powder formula, like their other shadows (here) and they are really highly pigmented, a little goes a very very long way. I always tend to use my fingers to apply these, especially these two colours as I think they look better smudged around the eyelid rather than expertly applied, especially in the summer months. The Rose shade is amazing on tanned skin (my daughter is a great model!) it probably suits a tan more than it does paler skin, but it’s still a fab colour. The grey is the perfect smokey eye colour, it’s quite dark so takes a while to get the right shade if you’re just after a wash of colour but they’re so easy to play with.


Lastly the Limited Edition Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in 04 – Apricot and 05 – Golden Bronze (£26) I have to admit I was nervous of using these because they’re *so* far off my natural skin tone, but they’re amazing! You can use them alone or under make up, I’ve actually been mixing the apricot shade in with my tinted moisturiser now that I have a little bit of colour to my face and I will be using the Golden Bronze when we’re away mixed with normal SPF moisturiser instead of full on make up. It blends beautifully and just adds a glow to your skin without looking like you’re caked in make up. I am hooked on these, they take pride of place next to me original Instant Light!

This is a gorgeous collection, but, it is limited edition so if you’re off on holiday or having a staycation this year and you want to give yourself a bronzed boost, grab them before they go! Available now from Clarins.

PR Samples

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Summer Dress Wish List

DressesI’m not really sure what’s happened to me this summer, usually I live in my jeans, come rain or shine. Not because I hate my legs or want to hide them away, just because it seems to be my staple wardrobe item. This year though I am obsessed with dresses. Has to be floaty and relaxed, has to be comfortable, apart from that, any length goes!

The whole ‘pick one thing to wear and throw it on’ is very appealing, there’s no finding vests to go with jeans it’s literally a case of grabbing the dress and going out. They’re *SO* comfortable, they hide a multitude of sins (really didn’t get very far with my weight loss plan, wondering if I should just forget that idea and get on with life!) and they just feel like summer.

Because I’m an ASOS girl through and through, hello free next day delivery & a gazillion things to choose from right there on my iPhone I thought I’d throw together a few of the dresses I have stored away in my “love list”. All of these would be perfect for our holiday in a few weeks. Relaxed, casual, full on chill out time. I can’t wait!

1: If H and I were the same dress size, she would be fighting me for this Superdry Dress £54.99

2: The curve range from ASOS is fab if you’re size 18 or over – love this vest dress for it’s simplicity and the fact that I could have it quite baggy, more room for all the cheese and bread I plan to eat…. £14.00 in the sale.

3: On holiday, strapless maxi’s work. Not sure if the green would work on my pale skin but I still love the colour. £20.00

4: Obsessed with denim shirt dresses, they are just the epitome of throw on and go! This one is £40. Perfect.

5: And for something a little bit dressier/smarter, this striped shirt dress is gorgeous. I’d still probably team it with flip-flops or sandals but it’s just slightly more structured in case of a nice restaurant! £45.00



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These are a few of my favourite things…..

Since I had my babes I’ve become very sentimental, almost stupidly so, and things have become more special to me. Obvious things like drawings and paintings by my gorgeous ones, little messages they leave me, stickers that appear on my bathroom wall……. I blame the hormones completely!

I have a tattoo dedicated to them and now I have their initials on my necklace thanks to AnnaLou of London. I’ve been searching for the right initial disc necklace for *ages* I could picture it in my mind but nothing ever lived up to my expectations so when I was offered a piece of jewellery from the personalised range and I spotted the necklace I was so happy!

Anna Lou of London’s creations have made a mark on the jewellery and accessories scene – being snapped up by department stores and luxury boutiques like Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Harrods, Fenwick (UK) and if I could have one of each, I would!

My necklace is the gold initial disc necklace with a H & C on each disc. I went with the longer chain length because I don’t like feeling strangled by jewellery or clothes and it sits just under my collar bones so it’s perfect. I think it would look fab teamed with a couple of others, in a layered effect.



It comes in three colour ways, gold, rose gold and silver and costs £67.50. Because it’s personalised it can take up to two weeks for delivery but it’s worth it, and I love having my two favourite people in the world around my neck at all times.

Also from AnnaLou of London is my new silver ring, which arrived a few weeks ago but I had to resize it because between us, the husband and I couldn’t get the sizing right…..! (All down to us and nothing to do with the website!) I was debating going with our wedding date on the ring, or something to do with us as a couple, but because I was going through my “I can’t do this” phase with college I wanted to get something that was inspiring and special to me, I love a good quote and one in particular by C.S. Lewis is my favourite, so, on my gorgeous silver band is “Courage, dear heart” I know it’s cheesy to some, but it’s special to me, it reminds me to suck it up and get on with it when I’m having a panic and it will remind me that I can do these things,*did* do those things, and did them well. Everyone needs a little boost every now and then. This is my little reminder.


I decided to wear it on my middle finger, I have my wedding band on my left hand and it’s the only ring I wear on that side, so it’s on the right hand next to my Pandora rings. I only ever wear silver rings as for some strange reason I am allergic to anything else, even white gold. Yet to try platinum but that’s an expensive test…..!


The ring costs £81 and can have up to 21 characters on it so you can create something unique and special to you. I absolutely love AnnaLou of London and it’s a brand I am really proud to be an ambassador of.


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Love a slogan……

Ahhh. School (college) is out for summer and I can finally catch up on everything that I’ve put off!

Ages ago I was asked if I’d like to design some hoodies from LeaversHoodies for all four of us, and, being a slogan lover, I couldn’t say no! I gave the kids the colour choices but I knew what I wanted theirs to say, my two little AG’s, and I had an idea in mind for the bloke and I although I did end up changing my mind, several times…..! Nothing new there! But to their credit, they didn’t once tell me to get stuffed, which shows amazing patience!

We all went with sweatshirts in the end, fire red for C, charcoal for H and good old black for the adults. The quality of the sweatshirts is really good, so soft. It’s the kind of thing you’ll throw on when it starts to get chilly on a summer evening, or when you’re snuggling down with a good book on a rainy afternoon, one of those comforting jumpers. We all went for a baggy size as well, us because we were all about the comfort and the kids because they grow faster than the speed of light so these are going to fit for a good while yet!

Slogan wise, I toyed between several different designs but in the end settled on Mr & Mrs T. Straight to the point! On the back we went with Est 2001. Pretty damn unique if you ask me! I’m all about feminism, but I love having my husbands name smack bang in the middle of my sweatshirt. For the kids, it was nice and easy. AG and their year of birth on the back.


Of course, the whole point of LeaversHoodies is that they can customise your hoodies to whatever you want it to say, they’ve got so many different designs and styles to choose from, I’m pretty sure H’s leavers t-shirt last year came from here (via her school) and it’s such a lovely keepsake. The designers are fab, they literally move things around until you’re happy and they never tell you to stop being so fussy (are you listening husband…!) I am now eyeing up the trackie bottoms, they look so comfortable…..!



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