I do love a little pamper session from time to time, so this new RitualiTea powder mask collection from Origins got me very excited. Origins were inspired by the different tea rituals from around the world and the powerful wellbeing benefits from their ingredients.

When mixed with water, the powder transforms into a tea-infused frothy paste. Each mask (there are three in the collection) has a unique blend of tea leaves and raw ingredients that will give your skin a boost, leaving it looking radiantly healthy. It’s a truly unique concept where mixing and creating your own mask is a part of the routine – and is a therapeutic and satisfying process in itself.

I mixed the powder with water (as instructed) to create the mask, using a small mixing bowl from the kitchen and my index finger to mix. Top Tip: add the water slowly – you only need a small amount!

As I mentioned, there are three masks within the RitualiTea collection, including; Oolong La for oily/combination skin, Feeling Rosy for drier skin and Matcha Madness for all skin types.

I’ve been testing the Oolong La blend (I really want to call it Ooh La La), which is said to be ideal for oily/ combination skin, as it “purifies and helps to refine and gently exfoliate your skin, leaving it clear and smooth”. If I’m honest I think I would have been better off testing one of  the other two masks as I have normal/ dehydrated skin. However, it was interesting to test out this truly unique product and I’d love to try the green Matcha Madness powder next time. If you have an oilier complexion, I’d recommend you take a look at this gentle exfoliating, soothing treatment mask.

RitualiTea Powder Face Mask allows you to create your own mask using a touch of water. When mixed with water, the powder transforms into a tea-infused paste.

While you’re at the Origins counter, have a look at one of my all time favourite beauty products ‘Never a Dull Moment Skin-Brightening Face Polisher’. I’ve been using this delicious exfoliator for years now and can’t imagine not using it. First of all it smells incredible, honestly I almost want to eat the stuff, and secondly it leaves my skin feeling super soft and nourished.

 

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Do you have a certain luxury product that’s always on your birthday list? Maybe it’s your favourite perfume, or a specific face cream? For me it’s Jo Malone Bath Oil. My love affair with Jo Malone started around fifteen years ago with the amazing (now discontinued) Honeysuckle & Jasmine Bath Oil, if only the’d bring it back! Since then I’ve ventured onto different floral and citrusy flavours but I always seem to come back to the classic that is Lime Basil & Mandarin.

I call it ‘the classic’ because it’s the Jo Malone signature fragrance.  The peppery basil and aromatic white thyme is said to “bring an unexpected twist to the scent of limes on a Caribbean breeze”.  How gorgeous and poetic is that? For me the heady aroma is as relaxing (well I am in the bath) as it is invigorating – as it fills the air and scents my skin.

Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Bath Oil

A ‘Jo Malone bath’ is a truly luxurious treat. Each bottle of Bath Oil is enriched with sweet almond, jojoba seed and avocado oils that act as natural conditioners to soothe and hydrate your skin. You can literally lie back and let the oil and water work together to nourish and fragrance your body. Honestly, life doesn’t get much better than that – especially if you also have a few Jo Malone candles burning on the windowsill next to you. Bliss!

If you’re after a special treat this Mother’s Day, give your other half a nudge and send him a link to the Jo Malone website.

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As the half-term break comes to an end, I thought I’d do a little summery of our happiest highlights. With Dom working all week, it has mainly been me and the kids, which is never easy. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my girls with me and not doing the school run but being a mum to three under seven (and parenting alone) is hard work! On the whole I try not to make too many plans but I also need to keep the girls busy and entertained. It’s the eternal juggling act.

So what has been our half-term highlights?

The first big highlight came from the lovely team at Marks & Spencer Kids, who sent the girls a brilliant half-term package which included a brightly coloured raincoat each and a fun pack of chalk games. The coats come in a variety of colours and are perfect for our unpredictable spring weather.

Our second highlight came on Monday, when we went to the Trolls DVD launch in Leicester Square. The girls got to meet their favourite Trolls, sit in a Trolls cab and see the movie (again!). Yes, we’ve watched this fabulous film a few times now but like the girls, I’m not tired of it (or the soundtrack) yet. Have you seen it? If not, you should! It’s the happiest film I’ve seen in years.

On Tuesday the girls and I made heart shape Valentine biscuits with white and pink icing. There was a lot of mess but we had lots of fun and the end result were tasty and looked very cute. Believe it or not, I forgot to take any pictures! What was I thinking? I was probably too worried about the mess and making sure Iris didn’t get her hands on the icing.

The rest of the week was more chilled with family visiting and some playdates for the girls. What did you get up to?

 

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Let’s talk mascara! What do you want from your mascara, extra volume or longer length? A defined, natural finish or a glossy dramatic look? I have very short, thin lashes so I need a mascara that means business. I also have ridiculously sensitive eyes that are constantly running and affected by the environment – wearing mascara just make them worse. So I’m quite particular about the mascaras I use.

La Roche-Posay have recently created a new range of RESPECTISSIME mascaras that offer protection and tolerance as well as the usual cosmetic benefits of a mascara. I’ve only ever used their skin and sun care products, so I was intrigued to try their make-up.

La Roche-Posay have recently created a new range of RESPECTISSIME mascaras that offer protection and tolerance as well as the usual cosmetic benefits of a mascara.

What makes the RESPECTISSIME range of mascaras different?

First of all, the entire range has been rigorously tested on people with severely sensitive eyes (and contact lens wearers). These mascaras contain an anti-tear formula, with Reconstituted Lachrymal Liquid which imitates a natural tear, ensuring your eyes do not react or run. Lastly, they easily melt away when removing, reducing rubbing and the chance of irritation.

I’ve been using RESPECTISSIME Volume mascara for a few weeks now and I’m pretty impressed. My eyes run less and it gives a very natural finish, making it perfect for wearing on a daily basis. There are two more mascaras in the rage; RESPECTISSIME Multi-Dimensions mascara and RESPECTISSIME Waterproof mascara, giving you the choice to opt for the version that gives you what you want from a mascara.

La Roche-Posay have recently created a new range of RESPECTISSIME mascaras that offer protection and tolerance as well as the usual cosmetic benefits of a mascara.

La Roche-Posay Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover

I’m also loving the La Roche-Posay Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover for sensitive eyes.The skin around your eyes is said to be four times thinner, so it’s so important not to use anything too harsh and not to rub too much. This light makeup remover is fragrance and paraben free, with a formula that minimises the risk of intolerance, even waterproof makeup is thoroughly removed without damaging the eye area.

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I don’t know about you but I am now more than ready to wave goodbye to winter. It feels like it’s been cold for a really long time  and I’m constantly daydreaming about a Thai beach holiday. Picture the scene, lying next to the pool with a fluffy towel, a drink on the table next to you and the sun shining down from a bright blue sky. Actually, take away the beautiful sunshine and a spa break can give you all this without having to wait for summer or suffer a twelve hour flight. Last week, I was lying next to a pool in my swimsuit and white robe, feeling warm and relaxed at Careys Manor Hotel’s, SenSpa – only an hour from London in the New Forest.

Dom and I arrived early on Monday afternoon and headed straight to the Spa’s Zen Garden Thai restaurant. The menu was full of my favourite Thai dishes, including; Green Curry, Pad-Thai, Chicken Satay and Spring Rolls to name a few.  I went for the delicious Chicken & Cashew Nuts with rice and Dom went for the equally tasty Green Curry. It was the perfect way to start our Thai Spa experience.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

After lunch we checked out our huge room and got changed into our swimsuits and SenSpa waffle robes. There’s something about spa robes that instantly relaxes me… or maybe it’s the knowledge that I’m about to be truly pampered from head to toe?

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

The spa itself is big, it has a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, three different saunas, two different stream rooms, a large hydro pool, two experience showers, an ice room, two relaxation rooms and nineteen treatment rooms. It also has a SenSpa shop and of course the Zen Garden restaurant.

We started our spa experience with a one hour SenSpa Acu-Firm Facial. My amazing Thai therapist had magic hands that were not too light and not hard, just right. The powerful active ingredients of the SenSpa products, combined with face lifting massage and acupressure techniques left my skin feeling amazingly smooth and beautifully nourished.

Next we spent some time in the relaxation room before it was time for our 25 minute AlphaSphere Deluxe session. The AlphaSphere Deluxe is a unique sensory experience that induces deep relaxation, using sound, coloured light, aromatherapy and vibration. And as promised we both left feeling calm and utterly relaxed.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in the hydro pool, where there were massage water jets for your shoulders, arms, back, legs and even feet. Literally every aching muscle in my body (and believe me there are a few, from chasing after my kids and carrying a heavy baby) was sorted by the time I stepped out of the pool.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

That evening we dined at Careys Manor Hotel’s Cambium restaurant, which specialises in traditional dishes with a twist. The food is said to capture the essence of the local area, while embracing the seasons. I went for the creamy Haddock risotto and a Moroccan Lamb main, while Dom went for a Duck salad, followed by Pork Belly. The food was all beautifully presented and full of flavour. For pudding (as always) I went for the chocolate option, while Dom stuck to the wine.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

After getting back to our room (did I already mention it was huge?), we found the room service breakfast menu on the back of our door and decided to indulge ourselves with breakfast in bed the next morning. And I’m so glad we did, because it was such a lovely treat. I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (you know the scene) going through the abundance food in my white robe, before taking my chosen bowls and plates back to bed to eat in comfort. I literally can’t think of a better way to start the day!

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

Before checking out, Dom and I went back to the spa for a few more hours of relaxation in the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and swimming pool. We wanted to make as much use of the facilities as possible, before we had to leave and head home to our crazy house.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

If you’re looking for a special treat this mother’s day, (without question) I’d recommend a spa break – and if you can get to the award winning SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel, I absolutely would!!

 Disclaimer: I did not pay for this spa break but this review is my honest account.

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