Improving Your Sleep

I haven’t had a full night of sleep in over a year, that’s just what happens when you have a baby who prefers to spend their time awake playing! Web invited me to try and improve my surroundings to help me to get a better nights sleep and I just couldn’t turn them down.

My first stop was to visit the sleep calculator which told me that if I wanted to wake at 7am (wishful thinking) I would need to go to bed at 9:46pm, 11:16pm, 12:46am or 2:16am. I was interested to read that most people take about 14 minutes to fall asleep and this is factored into your bedtime by the sleep calculator.  The sleep calculator counts in sleep cycles of around 90 minutes to work out the ideal time for you to start snoozing, you pass through five or six of these each night.

I knew that there was no way I could have a full night of uninterrupted sleep but I was determined to have the best sleep I possibly could so the next thing on my agenda was to find out what I could do to improve my sleep routine.  I purchased a Lavender plant* as the scent of lavender is known to create a sense of relaxation in people, which helps them go to sleep. Arthur’s cot is closer to the window than my bed so I knew he would hopefully be able to benefit from the plant too.  I love the smell of Lavender and although I’ve grown it outside I had never previously thought about having a planted pot indoors.  It may be a coincidence but since having the plant Arthur has only been waking twice during the night compared to his previous 4-5 times.

blue bed cover

The colour blue apparently has great soothing qualities and promotes both mental and physical wellness so I purchased a blue and white striped bed cover*.  I had previously always associated the colour blue with coldness and as I like to be very warm in bed I wasn’t sure the colour would work for me.  It may just be because the material of the cover is so cozy or the fact that you always seem to sleep better in a clean bed but I do feel relaxed when I’m in bed at the moment.

After reading reviews about memory foam pillows* and  how well people slept after changing to them I decided to try one out for myself.  Apparently a memory foam pillow offers better support resulting in an improved sleep so I went to bed on the first night with dreams of a comfortable sleep and a pillow that would mould to my neck and head.  After around 15 minutes I couldn’t stand sleeping on the pillow a moment longer as it felt so hard and uncomfortable, I thought it was probably due to the fact I’d spent so many years sleeping on pillows that go flat after a couple of nights so persevered for another week.  I couldn’t get used to this pillow and I think it started affecting my sleep as I was becoming anxious before going to bed so have started to use it as my bottom pillow which I really love as I have the squishyness of my top pillow combined with the firmness of the memory foam pillow on the bottom.

The final step I took to ensure a good nights sleep was to monitor the room temperature using Arthur’s baby monitor.  As our bodies core temperature drops by around 1°C over the course of a night I needed to make sure that our room was at an optimal temperature.  Over the course of 3 nights I monitored the temperature before going to bed and during Arthur’s waking up and found that the room was between 19°C and 22°C which wasn’t ideal.  We turned the radiator down in the bedroom and made sure the curtains were closed up to two hours before Arthur went to bed so that the sunlight wasn’t heating the room as the optimal temperature for a good night’s sleep is between 15°C and 20°C.

Although I’m still not sleeping through on a night I do think I’m sleeping better and it’s not taking me as long to go back to sleep after settling Arthur back down.  Previously I would toss and turn for up to an hour each time I heard Arthur stir but this isn’t happening anymore and long may it last!

*This post was written in collaboration with Web Blinds






Eau Thermale Avene Skincare Routine

I’ve spoken about my love for Eau Thermale Avene skincare products on a few occasions on my blog, it’s a brand that I keep going back to time and time again. It’s so affordable, especially when retailers have an offer running. I find that all of my family can and do use the products and there is something for all skin types.

I’ve stopped using the extremely rich compensating cream as a day cream as I think it was slightly too rich for everyday use especially when my eczema is at bay and have started to use it after a shower or if I’ve been out in the cold as that’s when my skin needs it the most.

avene skin recovery cream

My current day time moisturiser is the Eau Thermale Avene rich skin recovery cream (£12.50) which I bought in bulk last time there was a 3 for 2 offer on, a tube usually lasts me around 3 months with daily use which I think is fantastic value for money. This is called a calming cream and is specifically designed for naturally sensitive skin which I unfortunately have.  I have found that the condition of my facial skin is worse after showering or swimming and I get a tight feeling and dry patches after being in a room with heating on or outside in the wind. This cream really does do what it says on the tube. Calms irritation, helps restore the hydrolipidic film and provides long-lasting protection.

Avene Serum

I’ve recently added the Soothing hydrating serum* (£12.75) to my beauty regime.  What I noticed straight away about this product is how soothing it is on the skin, my face instantly felt smooth after application and a little goes a long way so I can see this tube lasting at least 6 months.  Before I started using this product I had noticed a lot of irritation on my face due to spending too long in the shower (yes I’m one of those strange people who’s face is irritated by water) I had 6 or 7 patches of red inflamed dry skin on my face that my moisturiser was struggling to calm down on it’s own so I opened up the serum and although the patches of skin were not instantly transformed, the redness did calm down and the tightness and itching subsided.

Eau thermal avene serum


I find the best way to apply this serum is to pump a small amount on to your finger (the size of your smallest fingernail, dot on to your skin and then use a patting motion rather than rubbing to ensure you get a good coverage.  I have not experienced any ‘stickyness’ but when I let my friend have a try of the product she said she found it to be a little sticky (she has normal/oily skin).

In my opinion this product is great for use under the rich skin recovery cream as it adds a futher layer of hydration, I’m looking forward to using it in the winter months and the next time I go skiing as I’ll be able to give it a really good test.  I love finding products that actually do work for me, my skin can be a nightmare but I’ve been really lucky with the Avene products I’ve tried so far and my skin seems to like them.

Until the end of March 2014 all french skincare has 1/3 off at Escentual so it’s worth stocking up on any of your Avene favourites.

*Press Sample


Tomy Play to Learn Neil the Seal – Competition

Tomy Seal


Neil the Seal loves to balance his beach ball on his nose! Push Neil along and catch the ball; once he catches the ball in his flippers, watch as he magically balances the ball onto his nose. The ball spins as Neil is pushed along. A great toy to get tots moving and help their dexterity, with the magical reward of the balancing ball. One bonus of this toy is that it doesn’t require any batteries!


  • Fantastic fun pushalong toy with real ‘magic’ action
  • Push Neil along and try to catch the ball in his flippers
  • Watch as he magically balances the ball on his nose
  • Neil the Seal helps to get little ones moving and playing
  • Promotes early development of manual dexterity


a Rafflecopter giveaway

UK Entrants Only
Entrants must be followers of Madame G’s Lifestyle via bloglovin or email as per mandatory option.
Winner will be sent an email and tweet should they enter via twitter, if I have not heard back within 5 days a new winner will be picked.
This competition has not been sponsored by a brand

Good Luck

Lazy Saturday At Warwick Castle

As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, I’m really lucky to live a stones throw away from Warwick Castle and because we have Merlin Passes it means we can pop there whenever we want a change of scenery or a walk and it doesn’t cost us anything.  Last Saturday we had planned to go to the Cotswolds or Oxford but the car was making a funny noise so we dropped it off at the garage and were at a loss about what to do.

It’s been a few weeks since we visited Warwick so we decided to have a walk around the shops and pop into the castle to have a stroll around the grounds.


We don’t usually stop to watch the staff demonstrations as there are usually far too many people around to actually see anything but on this occasion we managed to listen to a really interesting talk on the bow and arrow and how each bow was manufactured to suit the particular user to ensure each shot was a hit.  David recognised the gentleman doing the demonstration from a medieval night out with the sports and social at work, apparently he was excellent in his hosting skills.

Warwick_Castle Warwick_Castle_Turrett

I never get bored of the castle, it’s a magnificent structure and I feel so lucky to live so close to it.  Caesar’s tower at the castle is actually the same height as 10 double decker buses (an interesting fact).

bird of prey warwick castle vulture warwick castle owl warwick castle

We visited Bird of Prey lawn for the first time during this visit, it was so quiet that we actually got close enough to take photographs of some of the magnificent owls, eagles and vultures on display.



Peacock garden is always a highlight of my visit, I found out during this visit that the majority of the peacocks like to hang out on the way to the toilets, I’ve only ever seen a couple in the gardens and now I know why!

ducks rock pool


We finished our visit in the rose garden where Arthur watched the ducks having a swim, he is fascinated by ducks and birds at the moment so loved the opportunity to sit alone watching them without other people or children getting in his way!

While we were at the castle there were signs displayed all over advertising medieval glamping which sounded amazing.  There were two tents on display which I assume are like the ones you would stay in.  Prices start at £275 per tent for a night stay and 2 day pass to the castle which is a little out of my price range but would be amazing as a treat.

Calvin Klein Contradiction – Competition

Calvin Klein Contradiction

Win a 30ml bottle of Calvin Klein Contradiction for women, this perfume was launched in 1998 and is a fragrance for the active urban woman. It is a floral oriental fragrance with a pronounced metal nuance, which was very actual in the later 90s. It opens with a floral scent which continues through to the heart of the fragrance.

  • An oriental woody scent
  • Top notes: Rose, peony, jasmine, lily of the valley
  • Middle notes: Eucaliptus, pear blossom, orchid, syringa
  • Base notes: Sandalwood, tonka bean

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UK Entrants Only
Entrants must be followers of Madame G’s Lifestyle via email or bloglovin as per mandatory option.
Winner will be sent an email and tweet should they enter via twitter, if I have not heard back within 5 days a new winner will be picked.
This competition has not been sponsored by a brand

Good Luck!