Bad mama

lifestyle

Gracie had her injections today. The vet told me she’s gained 330 grams in 3 months which is the equivalent to 5 kilos for us. I hate that she’s unhealthy and I’m making her unhealthy by feeding her 3 maybe 4 sachets a day with treats whenever she cuddles me which is all of the time, but I’m a feeder, I show love through food. I’m Italian. What am I supposed to do? Starve her? Please help.. how do I make my precious baby angel a healthy weight so she’s free from the risk of heart attacks and diabetes and lives longer because I want her to live forever. Please if you have any suggestions, send them my way.

Only my cat..

I treated her after her injections to this CUTE advent calendar, I’m that mum.

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Banyan Organics | Ad.

lifestyle

I was recently gifted some products from a small independent skincare company called Banyan to review here on my blog.

Banyan Organics was founded by a lady named Judy Sturgis around 10 years ago from her very own kitchen in the Derbyshire countryside, she wanted to make products that her family and friends could use that were natural, free of all toxins and unlike high street brands, wouldn’t be harmful to their skin. It wasn’t until Judy’s daughter Megan became pregnant and her skin became extremely dry and irritable that the mother daughter duo began to take Banyan more seriously, with Megan being the driving force to help launch the company. Judy is a self proclaimed healer, she has her own spa, and is fully trained in beauty, facials, reiki and massage, but her real passion is fixing people. Banyan Organics pride themselves on being toxin free, natural, clean, as well as Vegan. Because of how intense the essential oils used to make these products are, you will get results, and fast. Both Julie and Megan believe that what you put on your skin, really is everything.

Julie also hosts Banyan skincare pamper parties in both Derbyshire and London, where she will talk about the benefits of essential oils, you’ll drink wine and be shown how to give yourself your own banyan facial! For more information on this or if you think you’d be interested, please do send Julie or Megan a message either through their website or alternatively their Instagram page here.

My Review

So I was really really excited to try these products out, mainly because of how natural in ingredients they are, and my skin being super sensitive lately, with the worst breakouts I’ve ever had in my life! Everything I seem to be using lately from the high street, has majorly irritated my skin further, even what I have classed to be the most gentle of products.

When I received these lovely products from Banyan I was instantly struck by the packaging as it really stood out to me as being luxurious. Each product comes in a glass bottle, the labelling and the design is simple, elegant and stylish. I feel like the majority of skincare products you can find from the high street come with a novel written on the back, but not Banyan, the only information found on each product is the information you really need to know. What the item is, what ingredients are used, and how to use it.

Nourishing Cream Cleanser

So as this cleanser is in a cream form, I decided to use it as I would a hot cloth cleanser. I applied a generous amount of the cleanser onto my hand and then massaged it onto my face, instantly I was met by the aromas of the essential oils, and it felt absolutely amazing on my skin. It felt gentle, but then I suppose it would as it is gentle, I could really smell the lavender and tea tree in particular and it really resembled a product you would perhaps found used in a luxury spa for a facial. I left the cleanser on my face for about 5 minutes before washing it off with a cloth. My skin felt super clean afterwards. I absolutely cannot fault this item (and I am the queen of honesty, you guys know that by now!) – all I know is I’ll be using this on a regular basis. Goodbye Lacura from Aldi.

Out of 5 stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Balancing Toner

I’m going to be honest, I don’t usually use a toner on my face (not since I did beauty at college!) However I was really excited to try this especially after seeing what ingredients were in it. I know Chamomile is renowned to calm skin down, and with mine being as irritated as it is lately, this could only mean good things. I applied this toner onto a cotton pad and swept it across my full face and neck, and again, it felt no different to anything being used as part of a luxury facial at a top spa. I was struck by how gentle it felt of course, but more so the scent. Tazmyn often uses toners as part of her skincare routine so she’s really used to them, she also loves tea tree, and in particular she loves the tea tree toner from the body shop. We both agreed though that this Balancing Toner from Banyan is much nicer and subtle in scent, with the tea tree not being too overpowering and a lot kinder to the skin.

Out of 5 stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Antioxidant Moisturiser

So this product did divide opinion between Tazmyn and I, (we both tested out all 3 products) as we both have different skin types. Tazmyns being oily and mine being dry. She found this particular moisturiser a little too oily/greasy for her skin type, where as I found it amazing, but I’ll get to that bit later. I love that vitamin E is used within the ingredients here, as Vitamin E is something I always tend to go for when picking out skincare products for myself.

Consistency wise, I found the moisturiser to be quite thick, it didn’t dissolve into my skin very quickly, so I’d probably class it more as a mask, maybe something I’d leave on my skin overnight and wash off the next morning. I didn’t find it oily or greasy though, again, that may be because my skin type is more dry. The scent was out of this world, amazing. I could really smell the clary sage oil and the almond oil, which made it feel super luxurious.

Out of 5 stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall, I am absolutely in love with these products, from the presentation to the end results after using them. My skin felt like it had been given a real pamper and I think that’s all what we want from any skincare brand really isn’t it? In my opinion, Banyan Organics would make for the perfect Christmas presents for your loved ones this year, for me, my mum is always on the hunt for a good moisturiser and I know she would love this one. I’ll definitely continue to use the products and try out some more too!

Banyan Organics have created a unique discount code for all of my wonderful readers, simply enter BUTTERFLIES at checkout to get 20% off any purchase you make! 🦋🔗💗

Shop Banyans Entire Collection Here

Follow Banyan on Instagram

& finally, a huge huge thank you to both Julie and Megan for this collaboration, I absolutely love your brand and your products, and can’t wait for everyone else to discover the uniqueness that is Banyan! 😘

Find me elsewhere: Twitter | Instagram

Did you miss me?

lifestyle

It’s been a couple of days since i last posted anything here, life kinda got in the way I guess. I didn’t, and still don’t really have the words and even if I did I don’t think they’d come out the way I want them to, so for now, just know I’m still here, still loving all of your blogs, I guess I just need to remember why I loved mine so much in the beginning, and when it comes back to me, I’ll be back again properly.

In other news though, my best friend of 12 years is pregnant with her fourth baby. That’s huge right? I’ve been there for every single one of her pregnancies and although life happens and it’s taken us in different paths, each time we speak it feels like we never really left, so I hope I can be there for this babies appearance into the world too. I hope she has a boy, because I know how desperate she is for one. Today is one of her little girls birthdays so I felt like it was a perfect excuse to write.

Happy 6th Birthday Ruby! I don’t actually know where the time has gone, how has it been six whole years already? I remember taking a full week off work to move in with your mummy before you were born, we tried everything to get you out, hot curries, bouncing on the birthing ball, stuff in the bath, pineapple, all the pineapple but eventually I think it was the long walk around Tesco I made us do when you were 3 days late that ultimately helped you make your appearance. I was half my body weight lighter, but you were a little chubba and we all fell in love with you instantly. I hope you’ve had the best day with your sisters and mummy today, sending you all of my love, and a big squeeze,

Aunty nade 😘💗

Skinny Caffe | Brand Rep | AD.

lifestyle

I am so excited to announce that I am now an official brand rep & ambassador for Skinny Caffe the weight loss aid with a money back guarantee to help assist you reach your goals. With their wide range of natural, safe weight loss drinks and healthy low calorie snacks and yummy zero calorie syrups, whether it’s coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, they have you covered!

Skinny Caffe are helping thousands of people in over 140 countries get the results they deserve by assisting their own personal weight loss journey.

“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy Skinny Coffee & that’s pretty close”

So what are the benefits from the products?

🌸 Helps you to achieve weight loss

🌸 Each programme will help to increase your metabolism.

🌸 Whilst taking the products you’ll notice they help to decrease cravings.

🌸 Your energy levels will be boosted

🌸 You’ll become less bloated and begin to have more glowing radiant skin.

🌸 The products help anti ageing

🌸 All products are Vegetarian and Vegan

🌸 All products are Gluten Free

🌸 All Products are Dairy Free

How do you know what product is best for you?

Skinny Caffe suggest that unless you have any allergies, it is simply just a case of picking out what product you like best, what drinks would you order if you were in a cafe or a restaurant?

My personal experience

So obviously as a brand rep now and an ambassador for Skinny Caffe, I’m going to give their products a go myself and document my own 30 day detox journey using the Skinny Coffee, I’m a coffee lover so decided to go for the coffee rather than the tea or the hot chocolate and I’m super excited to share with you my experience as well as of course the results once the 30 days are up! The Skinny Coffee is an instant drink, so it doesn’t require any filtering or pressing which makes it a super quick and convenient drink to have on the go!

Today is day 1 of my own personal 30 day detox. I’m planning to have one cup of the skinny coffee each morning before my breakfast, alongside a low carb diet for the next few weeks, as I genuinely find this helps my body feel like it’s having a good detox and clearing it out of all the nasties.

So I’ve just had my first cup of the Skinny Coffee, a little apprehensive before hand about what the blend would actually taste like, but I am so shocked and pleased with the results! I added 1 zero calorie sweetener to my coffee, Skinny Caffe do their very own sweeteners which you can find here (hoping to go sugar free over the next few days but I personally can’t just go cold turkey sorry!) the coffee itself was smooth, slightly sweet but not too sweet and honestly did not taste any different to a cup of proper coffee. On taste I’d rate this 5 out of 5 stars, and I can’t wait to have another one tomorrow morning.

As a brand rep and ambassador for Skinny Caffe I have a unique code exclusively for my readers which entitles you to 25% off any purchase you make, simply enter SINEAD25 at checkout to claim your discount! Please let me know what products are you favourites, and what you decide to give a try!

Shop the entire Skinny Caffe range here

Skinny Caffe Instagram

Find me elsewhere: Twitter | Instagram

Ink & White. | Collaboration.

lifestyle
  • Think I’m going to start by saying this is up there in my top two favourite collabs I have done so far since becoming a blogger. You know when you stumble across a company or a product and you’re like “yes, this is a bit of me?” Ink & White, is that for me. It started back in September when I was having a nosey through Etsy, as I do from time to time, I was searching for a unique greeting card for my wife for the day of our honeymoon, I wanted something different, something unique, something affordable and something that really stood out to me and that I knew my wife would love as much as I did. That’s when i came across ink & white’s Etsy store. There, I found loads and loads of really cool, unique, greeting cards as well as prints. I loved the monochrome look as well as the illustrations and design, it was something I had not seen before either in stores or online and it really grabbed my attention for being on trend as well as fantastic in pricing. This is where I purchased the PERFECT card for the perfect occasion. It came in super speedy time and Tazmyn absolutely loved it.
  • Lets face it? Who doesn’t love Love Island? And didn’t watch it religiously throughout their summer.. this unique card was right up my street, and fitted perfectly with the love island bottles I had purchased a few weeks previous.
  • So who is the creator behind Ink & White? How did this very on trend, unique offering come about? And where can you browse the entire collection?
  • In Sofia’s own words..
  • ink & white is a one mum band that was founded in April 2017 by me (Sofia!) 3 months after giving birth to Tilly. I’ve always loved working and keeping busy and the newborn days of Tilly sleeping most of the day just weren’t doing it for me – I needed something else in my life that made me feel more fulfilled. Having studied Visual Communication at the Arts University Bournemouth, I was well versed in pretty much every aspect of illustration, graphic design, animation, you name it, pretty much everything I would need 4 years later to start my own company. Going freelance in the art world is a big financial risk and I know I’m a person that likes routine which is why I chose to seek more consistent and constant work in London after graduating and worked as a Project Manager for a website optimisation company before starting a family. It was only when bathing Tilly one evening when she was only about 8 weeks old that I thought, this is my time, I want to take this opportunity to go back to what I truly love.

    I’m a massive minimal, monochrome and scandi fanatic and instinctively set about creating the first few products on my website in a strict black and white palette. I began with illustrating landmarks and famous buildings such as St Pauls as my entire final project at uni was focused on illustrating buildings and I thought it was the only thing I could draw! The business was therefore originally solely focused on venues, houses, sporting venues etc and the commissions really started to roll in and my business was really taking off. A few months in, our Liberty, London print was featured in TATLER and our custom house portraits in House & Garden; both of which brought a lot of business my way. However it started to become a huge struggle juggling the business with commissions taking 10-16 hours at a time, while raising a little one that was becoming increasingly more demanding of my time and napping less and less! For months I would work until 3am and whilst it was extremely rewarding, I was starting to suffer from the lack of sleep and had to rein it in a bit. By this point I’d worked about 30 custom commissions when the business was only 6 months old. 

    This happened to coincide with the time that we moved Tilly in to her own bedroom and I was finalising some wall art for her room. I really wanted something personalised but being the impatient person I am, didn’t want to wait around for a week for something to arrive! That very night I quite literally tried my hand at some brush-lettering and just wrote out ‘Tilly’ on a piece of paper!! A week later my partner went off to watch a cricket match and my mother-in-law had Tilly for the day and pretty much the entire day minus a few coffee breaks was dedicated to creating the nursery collection that is available to buy on the website today. It consists of both standard and personalised prints and has been the best thing I ever did for the business.

    I LOVE hanging around Pinterest and looking at nursery inspo and ways to decorate the playroom once we eventually have one! But in the mean time I can use all this inspiration to influence my prints and more recent home & lifestyle print collection which is largely based on motivation and inspirational quotes. Right now there’s a big market for this style and it may pass but monochrome will always be timeless and that’s why I’m positive I’m doing the right thing in sticking with it. The business has come leaps and bounds in the past 6 months and most recently our entire nursery collection and greetings cards are stocked in a small business and design-lead shop in Derby, Design @ 44. It’s a really exciting time for the business as it’s the first time my work is selling itself and I’m not having to stay up until the early mornings packing up orders by hand! It’s so fun knowing that someone has bought one of my prints and taken it off home or wrapped it up to gift away to someone else while I’m just cooking dinner or hoovering! From the moment I launched the business I always told myself that I’ll have made it if and when my products are stocked in a shop. It was more of a dream than something that would become a reality but there you have it – dreams really do come true!!!

    The business is forever evolving and I wanted to bring something new to the table for Christmas – something unexpected but that still stayed true to my brand. Thinking about Christmas and drawing wreaths in August certainly felt odd but I’m a massive Christmas lover so I secretly enjoyed it! It’s only just November and the cards are almost sold out from the original print order which is just massively overwhelming and amazing. We’ll be ordering more in of course!

    So that’s pretty much where the business stands now! It’s obviously changed massively from day 1 of drawing St Paul’s Cathedral over the course of a month to creating mass volume nursery prints but the one thing I’ve learned over the past 18 months of running a business is that change happens and change is good! 

    Sofia, was kind enough to send me some of her AMAZING Christmas Cards that have recently just launched on her website, and I absolutely love them. This year Ink & White are donating 15% of all Christmas card proceeds to Crisis a charity that works toward putting an end to homelessness in the UK.

    The Christmas cards are priced at £2.50 each, and are available in four different unique designs. You can purchase the cards individually or in packs of 10, 20 or 50.

    The Christmas Cards:

    Berries & pine wreath “Jingle Bells”

    Pine foliage wreath “Silent Night”

    Eucalyptus & mistletoe wreath “Mistletoe & Wine” (my personal fave!)

    Poinsettia & pine cones wreath “Noël, Noël”

    I absolutely love the style of these Christmas cards, the feel as well as the look of them are both luxurious yet affordable and I am super excited to send them to family members this year. I love knowing that whilst purchasing such lovely Christmas cards, you’re also donating to charity, especially at this time of year when I think it’s it’s always good to spare a thought for those not as fortunate.

    Ink & White have created an EXCLUSIVE discount code for all of my wonderful readers who purchase anything via the website, simply enter SINEAD15 when you go to checkout to get your 15% off.

    Ink & White Store

    Ink & White Instagram

    Ink & White Etsy

    I hope you’ve all enjoyed this collaboration review as much as I have enjoyed doing it. Massive thank you to Sofia at Ink & White for this opportunity, and a huge congratulations on the success of your prints and greeting cards. Hard work pays off and I am super excited for you!

    Please do let me know if you purchase anything and what your faves are.. 🖤

    Find me elsewhere: Twitter | Instagram

    Louis Theroux: Altered States; Love Without Limits.

    lifestyle

    Last night saw the return of my absolute favourite documentary filmmaker and broadcaster, Louis Theroux, as the first of his brand new three part series aired on bbc two.

    The episode began with a visit to Portland in Oregon, America, where Louis met various Polyamorists, for those that are unsure of what that means, it’s people having relationships with multiple sexual and romantic partners and encouraging their own partners to do likewise. Louis was introduced to Heidi and Jerry, a couple who had been together and married for 16 years, they openly spoke about how 12 years ago they took on the decision to open up their marriage, where by Heidi is now engaged to another man called Joe. Joe is a married man to a woman named Gretchen and the couple have two children. Heidi and Joe have sex both in Heidi and Jerry’s marital bed, and in Joe and Gretchens marital bed. Are you confused? That’s nothing. Jerry, who is Heidi’s husband speaks about how he is fully satisfied and happy with knowing his wife is having this sexual and romantic relationship with another man of which he supports. When Louis challenged this, asking whether he would prefer his wife to be only sexual with him, Jerry stood by the fact he is just happy that his wife is happy and if that involves sleeping with another man then so be it. Weird right? We then saw Louis having breakfast at Gretchen and Joe’s house, Gretchen explained how there is a private room in the basement of her house where Joe and Heidi have sexual relations, and that she is absolutely fine with this taking place in her family home. Louis often said throughout that he was struggling to understand it, and wondered whether this would not cause unnecessary insecurities, jealousy and loneliness within the marriage. All parties of course said it works for them and they feel nothing but happiness and satisfaction knowing their partners are fulfilled sexually by other people as well as them.

    Mind boggled much? This is why I love Louis Theroux, he meets people of all walks of life and he manages to get things out of them by the way he almost interrogates them without sounding too rude or invasive. If you’ve watched some of Louis’s early documentaries, such as weird weekends where he met pornstars and swingers etc, you will notice that this brand new three part series follows in exactly the same format. He is straight talking and asks the questions we, as viewers are all thinking.

    For me personally, I have never heard much about Polyamory either in the media and especially in my day to day life, so this documentary was eye opening to me to say the least. I’m still left with questions, loads of them.. can two people who are fully in love with each other, married, spent years of their lives with each other, honestly decide one day that they want to have sex with other people, together and separately and still claim they are just as in love and happy as they once were? Can both parties honestly not feel jealous or insecure seeing the person they love have sex with somebody else? I don’t understand it, I don’t agree with it, it’s not something I’d ever be able to really see being anything other than a slow sure beginning of divorce. I don’t believe a person can truly be in love with two people at the same time, and I don’t believe partners can honestly watch the ones they love fall in love with somebody else and say it is making them happy and satisfied. How it that healthy? It mind boggles me, but with documentaries like this, it’s somehow strangely working for people, and that’s the part I really don’t get. I’d love to know if there are people out there who maybe see this differently to me, and what your views are, what’s your take on polyamory? Did you watch the show? Let me know your thoughts as always.

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