L’Occitane Immortelle Cream

I love skincare in all of it’s forms but I’ve had to change my skincare routine over the past few years as my over 30’s skin needs a bit of extra tlc, I find a richer cream works wonders and that’s where L’Occitane Immortelle Cream* (£46) comes in.

L'occitane immortelle cream

Immortelle is known as the everlasting flower because it never fades, even after it has been picked. Its rich in active molecules with unique anti-ageing properties which is something my skin needs. According to Greek mythology, the immortelle flower was the beauty secret of Princess Nausicca who rubbed Odysseus body with Immortelle as an elixir of youth when he was shipwrecked.

I suffer from dry sensitive skin which needs a lot of nourishment and I find the Immortelle cream to be a very rich and smooth moisturiser which works great without a facial serum or oil beforehand. The cream soaks into my skin very quickly and leaves it feeling incredibly soft, a little goes a long way.  I don’t suffer from any deep wrinkles but I do have fine lines and the cream does help to smooth these out and help restore firmness to my skin.

l'occtaine immortelle cream

I started using this cream 4 weeks ago, my skin was feeling rather parched as a result of the season changing and having the central heating on in the house.  I was suffering from dryness and my skin was looking very dull. The pot contains 50ml of product and based on my current use I estimate that I will get around 3 months use from the pot which works out as £15.30 a month, incredibly good value in my opinion.

l'occitane cream

There is a scent with this products which is incredibly light, fresh and botanical, it leaves my skin smelling like juicy clementine’s and it instantly refreshes me in the morning.  I’ve actually gone back to using a very light cc cream where I would usually have changed to a full coverage foundation but I haven’t needed it as my skin is so bright and radiant that I don’t feel the need to cover it with makeup like I usually would.

I’ve been so impressed with this cream that I’ve bought the night cream too.  Have you tried anything from the Immortelle range?

*Press Sample

Living With A Gastro Condition

If you saw a picture of my or met me in person you would probably think I was incredibly healthy, after all I’m running the London Marathon in 2016.  I run my own business, work as a freelancer, have two children and provide 80% of the childcare to my toddler but things are not always what they seem.

Living with a gastro condition

For 23 years now I’ve suffered from a variety of gastro problems, it started with a bout of IBS which was triggered by stress and over the years I’ve been diagnosed with more and more problems and have taken a lot of medication.

I look physically well and this can be a big problem for friends, family and employers who find it hard to understand that someone can be so poorly when they can’t actually see what’s wrong.

My family didn’t realise how poorly I actually was until 2009 when I was in and out of hospital while doctors were trying to find out why I was in so much pain and bleeding so much, I was in the middle of my complementary therapy degree and missed over 3 months of lectures because of this.  It was a miracle that I actually passed the course!

Over the years I’ve worked out through trial and error that there are a lot of food and drink I should avoid as they make my problems worse, sometimes eating the wrong thing can mean I’m unable to leave the house for a week because the spasm pain, bloating, bleeding and bowel problems are so severe.  My list is quite exhaustive and includes:

Fresh fruit and vegetables (I can eat them in moderation but I have to make sure I’m always next to a toilet)
Nuts and Seeds
Milk (I can drink it is small quantities)
Soya Products
Fizzy Drinks
Processed Food

You can probably see that it doesn’t leave much to eat, I couldn’t survive on water alone so I’ve managed to work out the warning signs of an attack and I know what products I just can’t consume at all.

5 years ago I was diagnosed with gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GERD/GORD), I take daily medication for this but it doesn’t always work.  You would think that someone who has had two children without pain relief must have a decent pain threshold? When a GERD attack comes on and takes me by surprise I’m actually in tears with the pain, an episode rarely ceases in less than three hours, sometimes I can be in agony for 5-6 hours before it just disappears as quickly as it comes about.

I’ve been really struggling over the past few weeks, both myself and Arthur were poorly with colds, chest infection and sore throat and I’ve had 5 days in two weeks where I’ve had gastro problems. If I had been an employee I have no doubt that I would have been sacked by now, in some ways I’m lucky that I work from home but as any other self employed workers will know, you don’t get paid when you’re not working.

So how do you manage to keep the balance right when you live with a long term condition?  I find having understanding friends and family really helps.  If you’re on your own with children you have to just forget about the mess and leave it until you’re feeling better.

Do you suffer from an illness that isn’t physical? How do you keep the balance right?



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Libbie Club November Offers

I Joined Libbie Club last month however my month of illness meant that I didn’t get a chance to share Octobers box with you, there were some great products in there some of which can still be purchased at a great deal price but that’s not what I want to talk to you about today, today is all about the November Libbie Box.

If you have never heard of The Libbie Club before it’s basically a community of beauty influencers who test a selection of items each month, provide honest reviews of the products and provide great discounts on the items so that other beauty lovers can take advantage of the deals without the worry that they are buying something that won’t work for them.

Libbie Club November

This month there were three great items in the box which I would be happy to give as Christmas presents or stocking fillers.  My daughter has already had her eye on one of the items so I know I’ll end up having to buy her one of her own!

la montana


The first item I want to share with you is my favourite, it’s probably not hard to guess that it’s a candle!  Prior to using this I’d heard a lot about La Montaña candles but I’d not got round to purchasing one.  I received the most delicious fragrance in my opinion which was Winter Oranges.  As soon as the cellophane was opened you could smell the perfume oils individually and it wasn’t hard to pick out which scents had been used.  The fruity orange reminded me of those little dried orange slices that you often find on Christmas trees, the spicy cloves invoked memories of drinking mulled wine at Berlin Christmas markets and the warm cinnamon took me back to my childhood where I indulged in German lebkuchen biscuits.

La Montaña candles are 220gms of top quality wax which burns for at least 40 hours, you can tell that they have been hand poured as the wax burns evenly and there is no pitting.  The scent lasts from the first burn until the last.

The La Montaña Candles retail at £35 but you can currently save £10 off making them only £25!

hairy jayne

The next product that really captured my attention was the Hairy Jayne hair perfume which has one of my favourite scents – it’s Turkish Delight in a bottle!

Not only is Hairy Jayne a delicious smelling hair perfume it’s also a heat protection spray which freshens hair up between shampoos. As a busy working mum of two I have to put my own needs last and this usually means that I only have time to wash my hair twice a week meaning this is perfect for me. It adds shine, calms frizz and fly-aways and protects hair from damaging heated styling – all in one spritz.

Hairy Jayne usually retails at £22 but you can currently save £10 making it a bargain at £12.

Crabtree and evelyn

Finally we have one of my favourite brand of hand cream, I always buy hand cream as a stocking filler for my mother and mother in law and this year wont be any different.

Presented in a beautiful Christmas cracker shaper box, this hand cream leaves hands moisturised and noticeably smoother. Crabtree & Evelyn’s award-winning Hand Therapy formula features a blend of shea butter and macadamia nut oil to keep hands soft, supple and smooth.  My favourite thing about this hand cream is the fact there are no nasties like colour, mineral oil, parabens, phthalates or propylene glycol.

You can buy a set of 3 Crabtree & Evelyn crackers which usually retail at £15 for 3 for a bargain price of £10, perfect for stocking fillers or to pop on the Christmas Tree.

Novembers box and bargains were so great that Decembers box has a lot to live up to!

Have you tried any of the three items from this box?


Loungewear for Freelancers

I’ve been self-employed/freelancing for a number of years now and I’m always curious to find out what other people who work from home wear during the day.  As I type this I’m wearing one of my old Topshop maternity t-shirts and a pair of Boux Avenue giraffe print pyjama bottoms, Some may say I’m just being a slummy mummy but the clothing I’m wearing was clean on today so I have to disagree.  I have no Skype calls scheduled and I’m not planning on leaving the house today but that has more to do with the fact Arthur is poorly again.

Loungewear for freelancers

I’m one of those people who always gets changed as soon as I come back into the house and my usually house outfit is a pair of Next elasticated harem pants with a H&M vest top.  I do often get impromptu Skype calls so I always have a smart top or cardigan next to my computer that I can throw on at a seconds notice.  Makeup wise I rarely wear it when I’m just in the house but I do always follow my skincare regime and always have mascara on.

Loungewear outfits

The white company has a great range of loungewear and my favourite pieces are 1) The White Company Harem lounge trousers £45 2) The White Company Funnel neck lounge top £65

Swetty Betty are best known for their awesome range of workout clothing but I find the yoga clothes incredibly comfortable for wearing around the house, of course if you can also fit some yoga into your day that’s great too.  My favourite pieces are 3) Swetty Betty Bakasana yoga vest £65 4) Swetty Betty Calypso yoga pants £65

Uniqlo is another favourite of mine, it’s affordable and the clothes wash incredibly well.  There is a great range of loungewear and most of the pieces I have from the brand have lasted for a good few years. Lounge dresses are a favourite of mine and I adore the 5) Uniqlo Princesse Tam Tam extra warm lounge dress £34.90

My wardrobe has a huge GAP section so it’s only fair that I include some of my favourite loungewear pieces, I tend to buy a new item once a month but I do find that if I see something online that I like it’s always best to buy it then and there as my local store sells out quite quickly of larger sizes.

The only time I wear leggings is under a dress/tunic or in the comfort of my own home, never as trousers.  The 6) GAP ribbed cuffed leggings £24.99 are so comfortable that I have 3 pairs. I love a sweater and this 7) GAP marled shirttail pullover £34.95 is so comfortable and great to throw over a vest or just worn on it’s own.

Oh, I forgot to mention the most important part, I never wear a bra.  Doesn’t every freelancer just give their boobs freedom in the comfort of their own home?  The way I look at it is that my poor breasts are confined in a bra each time I go out in public to stop them from hitting my stomach (slight exaggeration) they deserve a bit of freedom now and again.

What do you wear to freelance?

* I wasn’t asked or paid to write this, no links are affiliates.

One Week Without A Washing Machine

There are four of us in this household.  One is a teenager who wears a school uniform, one works in an office, one is a messy toddler and one is a runner (that would be me).  I usually have my washing machine on at least twice a day so when I was challenged to go without my washing machine for a week I agreed in a moment of madness.

Washing Machine

Lucie usually wears a new shirt each day for school, clean underwear and tights daily, a clean skirt twice a week and I was her blazer on a Friday but she does have a spare should she need it during the week.  She usually changes into lounge clothes when she comes home from school, changes her pyjamas nightly, works in a hairdressers so has an outfit for work and does Zumba once a week.  I change her bedding weekly and she uses 4 clean towels a week so for her alone that’s two loads of washing.

David works in an office so wears a clean shirt daily, wears two pairs of work trousers each week, clean underwear, clean lounge/sleepwear daily, 1 pair of clean jeans a week and two tops at the weekend. uses 4-5 towels per week and has his bedding changed weekly.

Arthur wears 1-2 outfits a day depending on how messy he gets, new pyjamas each night, 2 towels per week and quite often will have his coat washed after each use.  I use cloth nappies with Arthur and he goes through 4-5 per day and around 10 washable wipes.

I wear clean loungewear each day, clean underwear, clean clothes if I’m going out.  Use 4-5 towels a week and clean my bedding weekly.

I do a lot of washing!

I knew my biggest struggle was going to be with the nappies so I sacrificed my pretty patterned ones that really did need to go in a washing machine for terry ones, this worked for my grandma and my mum when I was younger so I knew I could make it work for me.

Washing Pile

The first couple of days were fine but by day 3 I had an overflowing washing basket and the basket I use to take washing down to the line was also full as was my nappy bucket.  I now needed to start hand washing some of my items.

I started off with the nappies first.  I had already been soaking them and washed off any excess with a shower head prior to storing in the bucket.  I filled the bath up with hot water containing napisan nappy sanitiser and rubbed the nappies together to clean.  I repeated this process twice to ensure that I’d removed all dirt, did a soaking rinse and then took them outside to drip dry after a good squeeze.  It took a full day for the nappies to dry instead of the 2 hours it usually takes after a good spin in the washer.

I hand washed all of the shirts and t-shirts in the bath again and gave a good soaking rinse before conditioning and rolling each one up in a towel to remove excess water.  Surprisingly the tops dried really quickly inside on coat hangers.

I had two jumpers to wash and dry, after washing I popped my airer flat over the bath and laid the jumpers flat to dry.

I didn’t even attempt the towels or bedding, I think I would have needed a mangle for those!  I’ve become a master of removing stains from Lucie’s shirts by using a paste of bicarbonate of soda and washing soap, it’s fantastic at removing makeup and food stains and I won’t be buying fancy stain removers again!

It’s taken me 3 days to catch up with the excess washing and I’ve realised how much I do rely on my washing machine, I’ve actually felt incredibly grateful that I’m lucky enough to own a washing machine and have a clean water supply as many people don’t have this luxury.  I’ve realised that as a family we wash our clothes even when they are not dirty, we can quite easily get more than one use out of some of our tops and jumpers and definitely our towels.

*This post is my entry to the Random Spares Survival of the fittest competition