Pure Marine Luxury from Marks & Spencer

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Are you looking for a luxury skincare brand that won’t break the bank? If so, I may have the answer. I’ve been absolutely blown away by this latest addition to the Pure Natural Beauty range. Pure Marine Active follows the same natural beauty promise of Marks & Spencer’s original award winning Pure skincare range (which I also absolutely love) and has been specifically developed using active natural ingredients, which are all sustainably and responsibly sourced. The range is manufactured here in the UK in an eco-factory and uses eco-friendly packaging. The luxurious formulas use 95% naturally derived ingredients, 100% essential oils and use no artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, parabens, silicones or mineral oils. In short, it’s an ethical, luxury range but the big difference is the price!

This new Marine collection contains Laminaria Digitata, an algae rich in minerals and vitamins to nourish and moisturise the skin, which has been sustainably sourced from the wild Atlantic coast of West Ireland.

Suitable for all skin types, Pure Marine Active includes five luxurious products; a Day Cream, a Night Cream, a Face Serum, a Hydra Oil and an Eye Concentrate.

I’ve been testing these three night treatments, which as I’ve already mentioned have really ‘blown me away’. They’re really that good!

Suitable for all skin types, Pure Marine Active includes five luxurious products; a Day Cream, a Night Cream, a Face Serum, a Hydra Oil and an Eye Concentrate.

Pure Marine Active Eye Concentrate Power of One Drop 5 Effects (£16.00/15ml
).

The potency of the active ingredients in this Eye Concentrate is so powerful that only one drop has been clinically proven (and independently tested) to help fight against crow’s feet, eye bags and fine lines on the lids. It also brightens dark circles and leaves the delicate skin around your eyes nourished and hydrated.

Pure Marine Active Night Cream (£17.00/50ml)

This is a luxuriously silky, hydrating night time moisturiser. It melts into the skin beautifully and leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished. I honestly feel like I’m using a luxury product that should be at least double the price – if not more!

Pure Marine Active Hydra Oil (£18.00/28ml)

Now this called an oil but in reality it’s lighter than a normal oil. You shake the bottle to activate the product which helps to improve signs of skin ageing. Omega rich natural oils nourish the skin while the ocean botanical extract helps smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. I’ve been using this each night before applying the night cream for a super-charged night time routine.

Suitable for all skin types, Pure Marine Active includes five luxurious products; a Day Cream, a Night Cream, a Face Serum, a Hydra Oil and an Eye Concentrate.

Next time you’re in M&S, do yourself a favour and take a look at the range. This really is luxury skincare on a budget at its best!

 

A Piccolo Recipe Fit For The Family – Sweet Tomato Ricotta Spaghetti

Iris is now eight months old and is enjoying the weaning process. She’s trying new flavours and textures everyday and loves watching the rest of us eating together at the table. She’s also starting to taste food from our plates and exploring some baby-led snacks. This got me thinking about making some family meals that can be whizzed up in the blender for her to enjoy too.

As it happens our favourite baby food brand Piccolo were having the same thought and sent us this recipe to try at home.

Piccolo baby food and recipe for the family

Sweet Tomato Ricotta Spaghetti with a pinch of Basil 

This Italian inspired dish combines little pieces of spaghetti with a rich, sweet tomato and red pepper sauce, cooked in olive oil with a pinch of basil and made creamy with a little ricotta.

Ingredients

Glug of olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

½ a red pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)

1 tbsp of tomato paste

fresh black pepper

100g ricotta

4 fresh basil leaves, chopped

20g fresh parmesan grated

200g pasta (spiral or spaghetti)

 Method 

  1. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic and sauté these until they are transparent (around 8 minutes). Add the chopped red pepper and carrot and cook for a further few minutes.
  2. Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato paste and a few twists of the black pepper mill and stir. Increase the heat slightly and let the sauce start to bubble away for a few minutes, then reduce the heat.
  3. Put on a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil, add pasta to water and cook until’al dente’ approximately 8- 10 minutes.
  4. Add the ricotta, parmesan and basil to the sauce and stir through.
  5. Either puree or leave as a chunky tomato sauce.
  6. Chop up the pasta to little pieces for babies.

 Suitable from 6 months (ideal for freezing)

Makes around 8 baby portions or 2 adults and a baby

Iris loved this meal! She obviously shares our passion for pasta, which is a good thing because we do have pasta on a regular basis.

Piccolo baby food and recipe for the family Piccolo baby food and recipe for the family

Thank you Piccolo for sending us this recipe and the ingredients to recreate it at home. The whole Piccolo range is now available at Asda and other retailers nationwide.

Some Of My Favourite Christmas Beauty Gifts and Limited Editions for under £50

Christmas is now fast approaching and if you’re on the lookout for beauty gifts, I have a roundup that’s perfect for you. Here are my favourite beauty gifts, for under £50.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

Up first is a body duo from REN. I absolutely love REN and their body products are some of my favourite, so this gift set is right up my street! The refreshing and invigorating body wash and hydrating body cream duo are formulated with Neroli oil, which is distilled from Tunisian Orange Blossom and cold pressed Grapefruit Oil. The fragrance is fresh and revitalising and the products will leave your skin soft and silky. A great gift for only £29.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

Next up is this gorgeous London Audacity Palette by Lancôme. Lisa Eldridge (Creative Director at Lancôme) has selected sixteen eye-shadow shades inspired by her hometown to bring together this stunning eye palette.

You can literally create endless colour combinations with the five high-pigment matte shades, seven soft shimmering creamy shades and four glittering shades. Go on add this little beauty to your list for £42.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

Another makeup set that caught my eye was this stunning palette by Marks & Spencers’ Autograph collection. The colours are a brilliant selection of eight wearable day and night eye-shadow colours, along with a blusher and a highlighter that are perfect for finishing any ‘look’. This set is currently on offer at half price making it only £7.50, which is an incredible price for the quality of this products.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

If you’re after a luxury hair care gift set then I can highly recommend any of the Redken sets. I have highlighted hair so I’d opt for this Redken Colour Extend Magnetics Gift Set.  Formulated with IPN technology and Amino-ions to preserve colour radiance, this set contains a full size shampoo, conditioner and multi-benefit treatment ‘One United’ – a lightweight conditioning treatment that leaves your hair soft, smooth and radiant. You can get this set for £29.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

Lastly, I’ll definitely have this Limited Edition, jumbo size Kiehl’s Creme de Corps (500ml) on my Christmas list! This has to be one of my favourite products, it’s basically a beautifully nourishing, skin-smoothing body butter. And this festive bottle looks just amazing, especially with the handy pump applicator. At £49, it is a little extravagant but it will last a long time!

Seven Years and No Itch {My Captured Moment #100}

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On Monday my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. We’ve now been married for seven years and I can definitely say that there’s no seven year itch going on here!

We’d been together for ten years before we decided to get married, so it’s been over seventeen years now since we first met at a mutual friend’s wedding. Seventeen years! Seriously, how can it be that long? Surely I’m not old enough?

For the first five years of our relationship we lived apart, only seeing each other at weekends. I was living and working down in London and my husband lived up in Staffordshire working as a designer for JCB. It was a funny old time but we made the most of our weekends and time together. After five years Dom decided to move down to London and we bought our first house. We both felt it was time to make a commitment and for us buying a house was the obvious first step.

Our first house was a cute two up, two down cottage with a small garden. We spent all our money doing it up and travelling as much as possible. It was a fun time of no responsibility and spontaneity, regular date nights and lots of fun nights out.

As soon as we decided to get married I found out I was pregnant, so it was all a bit of a whirlwind. Luckily we had set a date quickly and were married three months after getting engaged – which meant I was only 15 weeks pregnant on my wedding day. Only a few people knew our little secret, which felt really special. The day after the wedding we announced the big news to all our family and friends at a big dinner we’d arranged for everyone who’d stayed at the venue. We were so excited and happy to share our news by this point and we were so grateful to have the opportunity to tell everyone together.

I can’t believe this all happened seven years ago! Here are just a few of my favourite captured moments from the big day…

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Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender


My 2016 Getting to Know Me Post

Black Chi Chi London dress from House of Fraser

Around year and a half ago I answered a series of questions in a post called WHO AM I NOW A YEAR ON? This was the second time I’d done this post, having answered the same questions  a year earlier in the original WHO AM I NOW post.

The first time I did this post I’d just started my blog and had given up full-time work to be my own boss and a full time mum.

I’ve changed some of the questions this time because let’s face it some things don’t really change when you’re in your 30s. So here you go, some ‘getting to know me’ questions and answers…

1. What is your current favourite thing on TV?
Westworld – it’s amazing, full of twist and unexpected turns. If you’re not already watching, I highly recommend it.

2. Name 3 things that are physically close to you right now.
My MacBook, my mobile and my baby girl.

3. What’s the weather like right now?
Sunny and bright but so cold.

4. Do you drive? If so have you crashed?
No, I still don’t drive but it’s still very much on my to do list.

5. What are you currently looking forward to?
Christmas

6. What did you eat for supper last night?
A delicious steak and chips made by my husband. It was our wedding anniversary and having steak and chips has become one of our anniversary traditions.

7. What was the last movie you saw?
I watched ‘Me Before You’ last week with my mum. We were both in bits!

8. Who did you last call? 
My mum. She lives in Wales, so we call each other every day.

9. What’s your biggest plan for the year ahead?
We’re looking for our next home. So hopefully we’ll find something and move in the next year.

10. What was the last country you visited?
We went to Greece in the summer, which was lovely.

11. What is your favourite type of food?
Thai

12. Do you prefer to shop in-store or online?
I do love shopping online but there’s nothing better than going shopping in ‘real life’. Although shopping with kids is not fun.

13. Do you vlog?
Yes! And I want to do so much more.

14. What do you want for Christmas?
This answer could be a whole post. I do really want a Canon GX7 camera though.

15. Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
I have a MacBook laptop.

16. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
38… getting close to the big four zero now!

17. What are you most proud of?
Definitely my three daughters.

18. Do you colour your hair?
Yes, I’ve had some highlights put in this year.

19. What is your favourite cake?
Carrot cake.

20. When was the last time you cried?
Watching ‘Me Before You’ the other night – it’s so good but so sad!

21. What is your best life tip?
Smile. Life is so much easier/ better when you smile.

22. What was the last book you read?
I honestly don’t remember! I tried reading ‘Pretty Is’ on holiday but ran out of time. It was good though.

23. Have you ever had an all-nighter?
Yes, pretty often back in my 20’s – but not these days.

24. How many children do you have?
I have three beautiful daughters, who are my world.

25. What is your favourite recent purchase?
This Chi Chi London party dress from House of Fraser. I got it a few weeks ago for the school PTA Ball and I love it. It’s black lace, with sequins, a full skirt to the knee and a low (almost backless) back. The design has a glamours 50’s feel, which is what really caught my eye.

Black Chi Chi London dress from House of Fraser

Thanks for reading xx

Wild and Gorgeous {My Captured Moment #99}

Wild and Gorgeous dress On Saturday the girls and I travelled into London with our friends Bonnie and Miss M from MamasVIB. We were heading to a store event at Wild and Gorgeous in Primrose Hill, where were booked in to decorate gingerbread men and have a look through their beautiful clothes.

Wild and Gorgeous (formally known as I Love Gorgeous), have recently rebranded and introduced a boy range to their collection. Although, of course we were more interested in the pretty dresses!

After the girls had finished decorating their gingerbread boxes, we asked them if they wanted to play ‘dress-up’. I wasn’t sure what response we’d get but all three girls jumped at the chance and quickly picked out the glitziest dresses they could find. They all looked so gorgeous in their dresses and loved dancing around the shop, pretending they were at a fashion show.

Of course, I had my camera at the ready and managed to capture some lovely shots of the girls in their chosen dresses – and with their gingerbread boxes.Here are just a few of the shots I took on the day… Wild and Gorgeous dress Wild and Gorgeous dress Wild and Gorgeous dress Wild and Gorgeous dress Wild and Gorgeous dress Wild and Gorgeous dress If you’re looking for beautiful outfits with a modern twist for gorgeous girls or wild boys, I highly recommend you take a look at the new Wild and Gorgeous collection.

Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

This morning I saw the Christmas Coca-Cola advert, you know the one “holidays are coming, holidays are coming…”, which means it’s officially Christmas! There’s a certain amount of nostalgia connected to this advert – and for me, it’s THE ONE! Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t take much to get me into the Christmas spirit, I can quite easily get ‘all festive’ in September but I feel comfortable in talking about it now that I’ve seen that special Santa lorry on my TV.

So here we go, let’s talk Christmas – or at least start! Last week I was sent some absolutely gorgeous bits and bobs that got me very excited, so I decided to do a little video (with Iris) to showcase them on my YouTube channel…

I think Iris might be a bit of a YouTube natural, she was so good while we were filming. She was especially taken by these red Marks & Spencer shoes (as seen in the Christmas Marks & Spencer advert, which I love). To be honest I think we are all pretty taken by these shoes, they’re so gorgeous and the perfect modern day ‘ruby slippers’. I’ve tried to get myself a pair because they’re so cool but unfortunately I can’t find them in my size.

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How lovely is this year’s Cath Kidston Christmas design? As you may know I get myself a festive mug from Cath Kidston every year and I’m beyond happy with this year’s addition. Bring on the hot chocolate and gingerbread. Bring on the mulled wine and chocolates.

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There are so many gift sets and festive special editions in the shops at this time of year. And as a total beauty addict I always pop a few of my favourites on my Christmas list. REN is one of my favourite beauty brands so I was beyond excited when this little beauty duo arrived in the post last week. Their Neroli collection is refreshing and revitalising, and makes an absolutely gorgeous body range. Within this gift set you get a full size (200ml) Body Wash and Body Cream for £29 and is such a lovely Christmas gift. Also, this week on the website these is a brilliant 35% off everything, so now’s the time to buy!

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I was also sent the most exciting box of Christmas goodies from the lovely people at the Dot Com Gift Shop. Their collection is beyond cute, with a pretty, vintage feel. The festive bags are made from recycled plastic bottles, so they’re durable and perfect to take shopping or for carrying multiple presents. I also love the ribbon and gift tags that they sent, which also had a very retro design. The smaller ‘shopper’ size bags are an absolute bargain at only £1.95, while the larger ‘jumbo’ size bags are £4.95. This is all so ‘up my street’, I can’t wait to start wrapping all my presents.

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I remember when I was growing up, our neighbour used to have his Christmas tree up and decorated by his birthday at the end of October! What gets you into the christmas spirit? How do you feel about preparing for Christmas in November or October?

A Glorious Afternoon in the Park {My Captured Moment #98}

afternoon in the park

I’ll be the first to admit that most afternoons I do the school run on some kind of automatic pilot. I wrap up the younger two and dash out the door to collect Lili from school without a second thought. We then come straight home and carry on with our usual late afternoon, early evening rituals of homework, reading, tv, supper, bath and bed. It can sometimes feel pretty mundane. To be honest, tonight was a perfect example of our usual routine, coupled with a very unsettled Iris who just wanted to be held.

However, a few nights ago on a particularly sunny autumn afternoon, I couldn’t resist a slight deviation. The light was just so inviting and the colours looked so beautiful, I suggested we walk home via the park. Of course I’d made sure I had my camera in my bag so that I could capture some candid snaps on our glorious afternoon trip to the park. Here are just a few…

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In case you’re interested…

The girls are wearing rain coats from Muddy Puddles and I’m wearing an animal print coat from Marks & Spencer.

Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender


Clarisonic Sonic Cleansing Brush

clarinsonic-1

As you may know I recently wrote a cleanser roundup of my favourite cleansing products and facial washes. For me cleansing is not just about washing my face, it’s more of a skincare ritual. Yes, I know I’m a beauty geek! I want my cleanser to nourish, hydrate and leave my skin feeling healthy and soft.

When I’m after something a little extra, I use a Clarisonic Mia Fit Sonic Cleansing Brush. It uses a sonic frequency (of more than 300 movements per second) to deeply cleanse and polish your skin gently and effectively. The result is noticeably smoother, radiant skin.

Cleansing Brush uses a sonic frequency to deeply cleanse and polish your skin gently and effectively. The result is noticeably smoother, more radiant skin.

Top Tips For Using A Cleansing Brush

Firstly, only use a non-abrasive cleanser (no scrubs or exfoliators) with a cleansing brush. The brush will offer you just the right amount of exfoliation, leaving your skin brilliantly clean and polished.

Gently hold the brush against your skin and move it in small circular movements, allowing it to lightly exfoliate without dragging your skin.

I usually start on my forehead and move down to my nose and chin, and finish on my cheeks – avoiding the delicate skin around my eyes.

If you’re after a product that will give you spa like results at home, this cleansing brush will not disappoint. It will increase the results of your cleansing product and polish away any dead skin cells to leave your skin deeply cleansed, nourished and radiant.

I really wouldn’t be with out my Clarisonic Mia Fit.

I Have A Thing For 50’s American Diners {My Captured Moment #97}

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I’ve always had a bit of a thing for 50’s American diners, ever since I watched Grease as a child and then (the original) Beverly Hills 90210 – where they all hug out at ‘The Peach Pit’, eating peach pie. Living in rural west Wales there was nothing like an American diner nearby, which of course made them even more desirable!

As I now live outside London, my choices are much improved and Ed’s Easy Diner indulges my inner ‘teenage self’. The decoration of each diner is spot on, from the booths to the jukebox, retro music and of course the burgers, fries, milkshakes and ice-cream floats. Everything literally comes together perfectly and really sets the 50’s scene.

Over the half-term break we popped into London for the day and I couldn’t resist a sneaky burger and Oreo milkshake at Ed’s on Oxford Street. The girls inhaled their puppy dogs (mini hot dogs) and fries and their eyes popped open when they saw their ice-creams come to the table.

I must admit I’m a sucker for  a good themed restaurant and Ed’s Easy Diner ticks all the boxes. The 50’s theme is continued throughout the diner and the waitresses were beyond friendly and helpful. Also, the kids menu was super cute!

diner-1diner-3 diner-7 diner-5

Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender