Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Twin Essentials: Breathable Baby Mesh Cot Liners

Not Sponsored or Paid | No Samples


I recently moved the boys into cots, but I had a few worries. Their feet aren't an issue, as they wear sleeping bags, but I was concerned that they could roll over and hurt themselves or stick their arms out through the bars, as D had done when he was in his cradle. I knew I wanted some kind of protection for them but that I definitely did NOT want cot bumpers due to the amount of dangers associated with them. I didn't want anything bulky, so I had a look around different websites and came across these on amazon - the BreathableBaby Mesh Cot Liners. I chose blue, but there are different colours available.

This one is the 4-sided one, suitable for standard or dropside cots. I have two mini cots and they worked really well with them. As an aside, the plastic packaging that it comes in has a zipper on it, and is SO handy for use afterwards as a mini changing bag, with room for nappies, wipes & a change of clothes. I keep one in the bottom of the buggy for emergencies.

There are clear instructions included, but to be honest I'm not great at reading stuff like this and my cots were smaller, so I just followed and adapted as best I could and had them on in no time. They're easy to apply - each one comes in two long parts, with ties for the outside of the bars and velcro on both ends to secure the wrap. By the time I had the first one done, the second was a doddle, I had it on in a few minutes.

Here's what I ended up with.

It's incredibly secure once you make sure the ties are tight (not stretched) and the velcro is pulled taut. Neither of the boys has woken up because their arm is hanging out the side and they can't get it back in - success!! I'm not a bit worried about one of them rolling into it either, because it's very easy to breathe through. It's also comfortable to the touch, not hard or rough in any way.

The little pillows are from Clevamama, and are now stocked in Argos.

I got my cot liners on Amazon here, they cost just over £18/€22 each.

You can find out more information about Breathable Baby on their website.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lidl Osiris Avisé CC Cream - Natural


Recently, Lidl featured a range of CC and BB creams in store. I've been trying to get my hands on the BB cream, but I couldn't find it in any of the branches I checked! I decided to splash out the €2.99 (big spender or what) and try the CC cream instead. The cream is available in two shades, Natural and Tanned, and guess what shade muggins over here picked up by accident. Doh! After I found the Tanned one a new home via twitter, I went back and bought the Natural one. And a candle.

As you can see on the picture, the CC cream has an SPF of 15, plus UV Protection. I use a moisturiser & foundation with SPF too, so this is always good, especially for the very freckly like myself.

What follows are possibly the most unflattering set of photographs of me in existence, but if there's one thing I absolutely despise, it's not seeing a swatch of a product where it's supposed to be. I could have put it on my hand, but it's not made for my hand, so here's my miserable-looking no-makeup mug. Go easy on me.

Christ. Anyway, in picture one (no makeup) there's a shiny nose, uneven skintone, freckles, eye circles and a spot. Gorgeous. After applying the CC cream, you can see that skintone is significantly more even. You can still see the spot, but the shine is gone from my nose. In the last picture, I added a bit of concealer to the spot and under my eyes, and a bit of shading on my eyebrows.

It definitely does what it's supposed to do - correct colour. It's not a foundation, so you're not going to get massive coverage from it, but it is ideal for daytime. It's also exceptional value for the price. Pick it up if you can, available while stocks last!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: My Diary: The One With The Shakespeare

August 12. Location: Sitting Room. Mood: Clever.

Welcome to my translation of Twelfth Night.

Act One, Scene One. A Room In The Duke's Palace.

Duke: This music's fucking deadly. It gets better the more I hear it.
Curio: Are you coming on the pull?
Duke: Sure I'm trying to pull Olivia, she's a ride.
Valentine: She's in mourning after her brother died. The maid said she's going to wear a veil for 7 years.
Duke: All that for her brother? Jaysus. What a woman. I love her even more now. I'm going away by myself to think about her. Wink, wink.

Scene Two: The Sea Coast.

Viola: What country is this?
Captain: Illyria.
Viola: Why am I here? My brother is in Elysium. Maybe he wasn't drowned - do you think he survived?
Captain: Dunno. You're lucky you lived.
Viola: My poor brother. Maybe he'll be lucky too.
Captain: Maybe - I saw him hanging on to a small mast and sailing off into the distance after the ship crashed.
Viola: Here's some gold, fair play for telling me. Do you know this country well?
Captain: Yeah, I was born 3 hours from here.
Viola: Who rules it?
Captain: A Duke, Orsino. Haven't seen him in about a month, he was chasing Olivia.
Viola: Who's she?
Captain: Daughter of a dead Count. She hates men since her brother died.
Viola: Do you think I'd get a job as her servant? It'd give me a chance to find my feet.
Captain: Eh, no. She doesn't like strangers.
Viola: I've an idea. I'll pretend to be a fella and I can sing for the Duke. Help me hide and I'll pay you.
Captain: Grand, we'll pretend you're a Eunuch so.
Viola: Good man yourself.


This "translating" went on for another 36 pages. THIRTY SIX. I won't inflict that on any of you. Poor oul Willy Shakespeare would be spinning if he read it. I don't think the word 'gobshite' featured highly in any of his plays, to my knowledge anyway.

I clearly had no social life.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentines Day Nail Art: I Choo-Choo-Choose You!


I feel like I've been letting myself down lately on the nail art front - I haven't even attempted to do anything remotely interesting. Or at all. I promised myself that I'd do something for Valentines Day, and here was my first attempt:

Yuucccckkk!! I couldn't wait to get this off and get my thinking cap on. I wanted to do something non-traditional so I based it on what I think is the best Valentines Day card EVER:

[Image copyright Fox]

I doodled a bit:

And remembered to actually GET my nail stuff out of the bedroom before the boys went to bed! I used Essie Lapis of Luxury and a combination of different polishes and acrylic paints to come up with this, topped off in between layers with Poshe topcoat, and outlined with a Sharpie.

I must have tried to write "Happy Valentines" on my thumb a good 10 times before I just gave up and did "My Valentine" instead.

I love it, it looks much better in real life and less like Ralph Wiggum actually did it himself.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Eye of Horus Jewel Amethyst Goddess Eye Pencil

***Product provided free of charge. Review and Opinion 100% mine!***


Eye of Horus are a brand that are relatively new to me. They're an Australian company with a range of cosmetics mostly centered around the eyes, as the name suggests. Inspired by the Ancient Egyptian methods of using oils and waxes in their eye products, the creators have developed formulas that use similar techniques & ingredients. Products are paraben-free and not tested on animals. They contain naturally occurring waxes (Beeswax, Ricebran Wax, Carnauba, Candellia, Jojoba) and oils (Almond, Moringa, Sesame) and promise high-performing products that don't irritate the eyes.

I was recently given the opportunity to try one of their beautiful eyeliners, or "Goddess Pencils" in one of two newly-released shades "Jewel Amethyst" (the other being a gorgeous electric blue named "Lazuli Blue").

You know I'm a sucker for packaging - they've thought of everything here. From the branded tissue paper to the little slogan on the cardboard, to the eye sticker - it all screams luxury. The branding is beautiful and the attention to detail is second to none.

The Goddess Pencils are double ended, with a smudger (is that what they're called?!) on one end.

The shade I have is a tribute of sorts to the Pantone Colour of the Year, Radiant Orchid. The liner is a rich purple with microglitter. When I read microglitter, I thought I'd be lit up like a disco ball and once again leave a sparkly slug trail on everything or everyone, but thankfully the glitter in this is TEENY, just enough to give a subtle sparkle.

Here it is on my eye - I love how complimentary it is to green eyes.

It's not as dark as I'd hoped, but it's really wearable and would help make a great purple smokey eye look.

As promised, there were no sensitivity or irritation issues. It was also really easy to remove, and left no traces of glitter. I've added it to my make-up bag and will definitely get wear from it.

You can buy the pencils from Cocktail Cosmetics for £13 each.

Update 2015: There are now ten shades of the Goddess Pencil! All ten shades are available at Beautybay here - I recommend using a paid shipping option with Beautybay, I have never had a good experience with their free shipping service. Seriously, it's worth the extra few quid.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review: Wet n Wild Eyeshadow, Mascara, Lip Stain.


In the middle of last week, I got a text from a friend (an enabling friend who shall remain nameless!!) letting me know that Wet n Wild cosmetics had finally hit Dunnes in Longford. I was all ready to march in, have a little look and avoid buying anything on the stand - but instead, I marched in and did a little mental happy dance when I saw that my all-time favourite purple polish Buffy The Violet Slayer (swatched and gushed about in more detail back in 2012 here) is part of the permanent line and I no longer have to stalk it on eBay. Then, I walked away.

And brought these with me.

I picked up the Megalength waterproof mascara (€5.49); Megaslicks Balm Stain in Red-dy Or Not (€3.99); Color Icon Glitter Shadow in Brass (€1.99) and Color Icon Shadow in Envy (€1.99).

Let's get the glitter out of the way - I swatched this on Friday, the day I bought it. It's a cream glitter. By Friday evening it was on my chin, my nose, in my eyebrows,  I could see it out of the corner of my eye and I was finding glitter on the faces and heads of my two youngest boys until Sunday. I won't be buying any more of them, nor will I be swatching it again. I think it's a gimmicky silly item and I'm a bigger eejit for buying it. If you're into your glitter and love all things sparkly - by all means, go forth and rock it. Can I pull it off? No.

NOW - on to the better stuff. I really loved the other eyeshadow.

Here it is without primer:

It's really longlasting and surprisingly good quality for the amazingly low price of €1.99. I'll definitely be picking up a few more shades from this range - they apply really well and last for hours even without a primer. You'll see more of it in the photos with the mascara - it's lovely and I can see myself using it a lot.

On to the mascara - there are a few different types, they're all priced at €5.49. I chose the Megalength Waterproof mascara.

The brush is straight with thin bristles:

Here's one coat from the front, it doesn't look like anything special:

From the side, it's a different ball game. This gave me great length, which is what it promises to do. Here's one coat:

And two:

It looks a bit spidery on the bottom lashes but I'm fairly sure that's down to me being utterly cack-handed and not the mascara. I didn't use an eyelash curler. Impressive! It doesn't flake off when I rub my eyes either which is exactly what I want in a waterproof mascara. I still don't think I'll ever be happy with any mascara until I find one that gives me enormous falsies in one sweep, but I think I would repurchase this, and I'll definitely try others in the range.

Lastly I picked up a Megaslicks Balm Stain for €3.99, in the shade Red-dy To Go.

On application, it gives a great colour and a lovely bit of shine. It doesn't feel dry, and it definitely doesn't feel like a traditional lip stain (I had a Max Factor one years ago that gave me cats bum lips almost instantly, turned me off stains for years).

I put it to the ultimate test: A cup of Wispa hot chocolate.

A half an hour after sinking that bad boy, I went to check on the stain - and it was still sitting pretty. The lovely moisturized look had gone, but the colour was still there. It was actually still there 4 hours later, which is fairly good going.

I'm looking forward to trying more from Wet n Wild - I do have a couple of their nail polishes - be warned, the megalast ones have the most massive brushes in the history of nail polish, but once you get used to them, they're pretty good. There's a lilac shade I have my eye on, and a couple of vampy reds that look gorgeous.

Wet n Wild is available nationwide in Dunnes Stores.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Another Month.......Another Buffy T-Shirt!


Late last year, the ever gorgeous and lovely Marian alerted a few of us on twitter to the fact that Qwertee had a Buffy the Vampire Slayer t-shirt that particular day. I placed my order.......only I didn't, because it never went through due to goddamn bank charges making me overdrawn. I only copped a few days after and I was SICKENED.

I decided to trawl the internet to see if I could find an alternative Buffy t-shirt, and that I did - I discovered Redbubble, which can only be described as an Aladdin's Cave. I almost did an excitement wee when I typed "Buffy" into the search box - there were hundreds! I decided that I'd order a t-shirt once a month, but I'm not allowed buy any nail polish. Which is logical and fair in my mind. So far I've ordered two - they're all different prices, but with P&P to Ireland, most come to around €25. Redbubble are brilliant for discounts though, and they sent a voucher with the first order (I got €6.50 off the second one). Here are the two I have so far:

I ordered a Dingoes Ate My Baby one back in December - it arrived within two weeks, which was pretty good considering the snail-like pace of international mail before Christmas. It was designed by an artist calling themselves 'Darth Willow' (all t-shirt designs are submitted by individual artists), and I picked the original colours for mine (you can pick from a range of colours before you order - t-shirts are made to order. Designs are also available on hoodies). My husband was horrified when he saw me wearing this - he's not a Buffy fan and had no idea what it was, bar the fact that we had just had twins and I was wearing a t-shirt that depicted a woman serving up a baby to a pack of Dingoes. Bit of an oversight on my part there....

Redbubble use American Apparel t-shirts. With regard to size - I'm pretty much a standard 16-18 in  most tops (except Penneys, where even the 20s don't fit me) and can be a bit booby depending on the bra, so I ordered the XL in this. It fits perfect and there's loads of room. I ordered the next one in a 2XL which was ludicrous, because it's too big, but it's grand for layering over other tops.


I placed another one in January, again it took around two weeks to arrive. Every redbubble t-shirt comes with a little label attached by a cute mini clothes peg and the details of the artist.

This was the second one - "Greetings from Sunnydale" by Tom Trager.

I have now accumulated quite the wishlist on redbubble - I think this one is definitely next on my list for February, but here are a few of the other designs that caught my eye:

All details are available in my favourites section or by using search terms. You can also design your own shirts, hoodies or stickers, and submit them for sale.

Also: Daria!! Did everyone else fancy Trent? Please say it wasn't just me...

1001 Books: Review of Book One and Book Two Pick!


On January 1st (feels like about 6,000 years ago, farewell January you lingering dose) I posted about the book challenge I want to do this year, where I'm picking random books off the list of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die (click the 1001 books tab up top to view the list).

The first book thrown out was Erewhon by Samuel Butler, and I did finish it. I've also posted a variation on this review on Goodreads. (book images from Goodreads).

Erewhon (an anagram of nowhere) is a Utopian novel from the 19th century. Apparently it was written in parts, with years passing between each chapter. I can only presume he was as bored writing it as I was reading it. I read it in great chunks during night feeds, just to keep my mind going - I found it mind-numbingly boring in parts but funnily enough it has popped into my head a few times since!

At the start of the book, I really enjoyed the descriptions of the area - the main character initially spent his days looking after animals in a remote part of his homeland. He dreamed of exploring far away lands, so decided to set off on an exploration. His companion got the jitters and turned back, so the main guy had to go it alone. I really, really enjoyed reading about his trek through the dangerous waters and lands to get to Erewhon.

When he got to Erewhon (an anagram of Nowhere) it all went downhill for me. What could have been an amazing tale to rival Gulliver's Travels turned, essentially, into a man landing in a town, moving in, learning the language, and then leaving. I know it's supposed to be a satire on many European customs and traditions. Illness is punished, while criminals are pitied. The Erewhonians are desperately afraid of technological advances and machinery. Anything considered a machine is banned - his watch is instantly confiscated upon arrival.

There are huge, very detailed chapters on all the Erewhonian customs and traditions, their thoughts and opinions, and their treatment of various classes of society. I found myself speed-reading many of these chapters because I just found it so boring, and the language was hard to get to grips with sometimes. There's a chapter near the end about vegetables and plants that I read thinking "what is he going on about" the whole way through (albeit in slightly more flowery language).

The end is really confusing - he and his Erewhonian love feck off in a balloon (why is that allowed? Would that not be considered a machine?!) and then when they get back to England nobody pays him attention because they all thought he had died years ago - so he decides to try and get back to Erewhon.

I definitely, definitely won't read this ever again but I'm glad I gave it a go and I'm glad that I finished it and got to tick another title off the list. It's so far removed from anything I'd ever pick up, so I'm glad I pushed myself to finish it.

Apparently there's a sequel - but I have no desire to seek it out.

I hit for my next book in the challenge:

Number 5 on the list is "The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Eugenides.

According to Newsweek: "It's the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes - the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned. Jeffrey Eugenides creates a new kind of contemporary love story in his most powerful novel yet."

Sounds much more up my street than Erewhon - although.......Grammaticus?