My Clarins Recommendations

As you may have already read, I’ve spent the past ten and a half years working in the Digital department at Clarins and in that time I’ve been lucky enough to try a lot, if not most of the products. However, when I realised I would be leaving, I had to really think about the products I’d miss and put in my last allocation order with some thought. This was not an easy task, as you can imagine, I’d grown fond of so many products but when it came to skin care (face and body) here’s what I finally settled on and why…



Note: My skin type is normal but can be slightly dehydrated.

1. Multi-Active Day Cream – This is my go-to day cream, the texture is light but comforting enough to keep dry skin and fine lines at bay. It’s a really lovely cream and a great way to start the day.

2. Blue Orchid Oil – At night time I love using this hydrating face oil. It smells gorgeous and leaves my skin soft and hydrated by morning. If you’ve never tried a face oil, I really recommend this one! I tend to apply it to damp skin for best results.

3. Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herb – This is what I use to wash/ cleanse my skin every day! I apply it to dry skin and wash off with water, sometimes I’ll use the Toning Lotion on top with a cotton pad – but not always. It literally removes all last trace of make-up and pollution – and really works with my skin type.

4. Liquid Bronze – This is a milky lotion that gives your skin a very natural, lightly tanned appearance. I tend to apply it before bed, after cleansing. It’s super easy to use, and gives you a lovely healthy glow in the morning. I call it my “weekend-away in a bottle”.

5. Beauty Flash Balm – It’s a classic for a reason! It does exactly what it says on the tube! I don’t use it everyday but when I need a skin ‘pick-me-up’ this is my go-to wonder product.

6. Renew Plus Body Serum – This has to be my very favourite Clarins product!! It’s basically a body lotion that has a very light, fluid texture, so it melts into your skin within seconds – it also smells amazing! I’ll miss this one the most.
7. Tonic Body Treatment Oil – Last but by no means least!! This little beauty has seen me safely through two pregnancies with NO stretchmark’s. I have a few from my teenage years on my legs, so I know I am susceptible to them but this oil kept them at bay while I was expecting both girls and for that I will be forever grateful and a true devotee.

Make-up was another subject, which I’ll share with you in my next post! Also, I wanted to give a quick mention to the fact that I no longer work for the brand, so am not getting paid for the above reviews – I just thought I’d give you my personal recommendations as someone who has used them a lot over the years!

Quotes from the fab four!

girlsAs you may have noticed from my last post, I am a bit of a tv-aholic! It’s a problem my husband is only too happy to point out (on a regular basis) but honestly what can I do? Now although it is starting to get a little dated Sex and the City is my all-time favourite. If I’m flicking through the channels on my Virgin box and come across an old rerun, you can guarantee I’ll stop off and indulge in the glamorous antics of the fab four. I recently read a feature on the Marie Claire website on the top SATC quotes, which got me thinking of my own favourites. This is what I came up with…

‘After all, seasons change, so do cities; people come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.’ Carrie

‘Abso-fucking-lutely.’ Mr Big 

‘I like my money where I can see it – hanging in my closet.’ Carrie

‘Maybe we can be each other’s soul mates. And then we can let men be just these great, nice guys to have fun with.’ Charlotte

‘Oh my God! Do you know what these are? Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes! I thought these were an urban shoe myth!’ Carrie

‘I will never be the woman with the perfect hair, who can wear white and not spill on it.’ Carrie

‘They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.’ Carrie

‘I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!’ Carrie

‘When men attempt bold gestures, generally it’s considered romantic. When women do it, it’s often considered desperate or psycho.’ Carrie

‘The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.’ Carrie

Do you recognise any of these? What were you favourites?



My Top Ten Must See Box Sets – The Girlie Edition










As I start to write this post, I suddenly realise that I’m confessing a lot of my secret sins on this blog (please don’t judge me!), here’s another! My name is Heledd and I am a TV-aholic! I’d like to say that this has only happened in recent years, since I’ve had my children – and no longer have the opportunity to go out. However, this would be a lie, I’ve always been obsessed! The fact that I now stay home a lot more and have access to box sets and Netflix has just enhanced the… shall we say situation?!

With this confession out of the way, I feel like I can, with some authority create this list of must-see TV shows of the past few years. So if you’re looking for a new series to get into, give one of these a go…

My Top Ten Must See Box Sets – for Women

1. Sex and the City – I literally revisit these episodes on a regular basis and even though they are now getting a little dated, I don’t think I’ll every tier of them. There’s comfort in their familiarity and I just love the characters, storylines and of course the fashion!

2. Girls – The new SATC! And my new guilty pleasure. Although this is lot more ‘real’ and less polished/ glossy, this updated “girls in the city” drama/ comedy created by Lena Dunham is engrossing and very addictive.  There are some car crash episodes that will leave you cringing but that’s part of its quirkily charm.

3. Brothers & Sisters – I can’t tell you how upset I was when this series was cancelled 4 years ago. I literally loved it! Looked forward to watching it every week, sometimes even recording an episode to watch again. If you haven’t seen Brothers & Sisters and need a good box set, I really recommend this one. Also, I must give a quick mention to THE HOUSE that they live in – watch it and you’ll know what I’m talking about! The kitchen is literally my dream kitchen. If I’m honest, I think that the house was the main draw for me at the beginning.

4. Gossip Girl – Now I know I’m probably a little beyond the target audience for this program but I can’t lie, I really enjoyed it. As you can probably tell by now, I do love New York and any glossy program that really shows off this amazing city will always grab my attention. Plus the clothes and storylines were ridiculously over the top, which are also my typical calling cards.

5. The Good Wife – This series continues to get better and better! I’ve literally just finished watching series 5 and it was amazing! There is no other word I can think of to describe how good it was. If you like a glossy courtroom drama, with lots of twists and turns, this is the one for you. Even though this is a list focused on ‘girlie’ shows, Dom really enjoys this one too.

6. Scandal – This program is full of twits and passion and centres around the white house. Series three is just about to start on Sky Living this week and I for one, just can’t wait to see what happens next! This is also a show that Dom, will happily sit and watch with me – happy days!

7. Nashville – Another fab new series from the States. I recently finished watching series 2 and I’m totally hooked. Great acting, great signing and the storylines and character building is really good. Looking forward to series 3 already.

8. Lipstick Jungle – This is a bit of an oldie but a real goodie!! It got cancelled after the second series so there are not many episodes to catch up on but if you get the opportunity to watch this, you really won’t regret it. It’s essentially about three friends, one’s a magazine editor, one’s the head of a film company and the other’s a fashion designer, all living in NYC. Do I need to say more? Love!

9. Downton Abby  – Just a total classic! ITV at its best.

10. Mad Men – Okay, I must fess up, I’m just starting the Mad Men box set now (it’s been on my list for about 5 years) but I already love it. The styling is just stunning and the attention to detail in every way amazes me. I adore this area and I’m so glad I’m now able to enjoy every episode for the first time.

That’s my top ten, do you have any more to add? Just realised I didn’t give a shout out to Revenge and Grey’s Anatomy, or its sister show Private Practise (all worth a look).

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Mums' Days

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Memories of Mijas

Okay, I have another confession to make, I love (to the point of it being a bit of an obsession) surfing for travel destinations and amazing hotels. I can lose hours on Mr & Mrs Smith or now Mr & Mrs Smith Family and Airbnb, dreaming and in some cases (but not always) planning our next holiday. I’m not big into large complex resorts or modern developments. Give me a little B&B or guest house any day! As a family we tend to stay off the beaten track a little, not too far from modern amenities though, I’m not crazy – I have a 4 year old and a one year old to think of.


Last month we went to Mijas in the South of Spain, which was just beautiful. It’s a small village in the Malaga area that just oozes old Spanish charm. There are donkeys lined up, ready to take the kids on a wonder round the old streets, and horse drawn carriages ready to take the whole family on the same stunning journey. This old Andalusian village is so picturesque, full of narrow, little paved alleyways with white walled buildings. One alley leads off another and all house little independent shops that look like they’ve been there for hundreds of years, selling locally produced goods such as olive oil, lavender soap, cotton dresses, pottery and other beautifully crafted gifts.




Mijas is in the mountains that overlook the much bigger town of Fuengirola, which means that the views from the top of the village are simply breath-taking. You’ll definitely need to take a camera and be warned, you’ll literally find something new snap at every corner. At the top, you’ll also find a lovely play area for the kids, a bull ring to wander around and an amazing garden area with a big beautiful mosaic fountain.




The restaurants, of course are all family run and full of delicious Spanish food, including tapas, Paella and our favourite Churros and Chocolate (have I mentioned I’m a chocaholic?). We literally had the most amazing food every night without fail, each in the most stunning surroundings of trees in bloom and fairy lights in outdoor courtyards.


I must give a quick mention to the Bioparc Zoo in Fuengirola, which is around 20 minutes (by car) away from Mijas. Normally I’m not one for zoos, I find them quite depressing but this one was recommended to us by a friend and the girls were getting fed up of relaxing around the pool, so we ventured out. And I’m so glad we did! This zoo was lovely, it had a vast array of animals, living in big enclosures that were made to look like their natural inhabitants. We spent the whole day there and could easily have gone back for a second day.

We also made it down to the beach on a couple of days, which as always is great fun – but at the end of each day I looked forward to going back up the mountains to our quiet little old town, where I felt like I was in the ‘real Spain’.



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Who am I now?


Having been a “career woman” for the past fifteen years, I now find myself in a completely different space. I’d be lying if I said that I was finding the change easy. My identity has gone – not that my job defined me but it was something I was immensely proud of. Don’t get me wrong, I’m also incredibly proud of my daughters, they’re my whole life, which is why I decided to put my career on hold. Oh the mental turmoil!

Okay, so let’s see, who am I? Other than a wife and mother of course. To help, I thought I’d take the 25 question challenge. I’m not a 100% sure that these are the correct questions – but these are the ones I found when I googled the challenge…

1. Do you have any pets?
2. Name 3 things that are physically close to you.
My bed, my husband, my mobile phone.
3. What’s the weather like right now? Unseasonably warm
4. Do you drive? If so have you crashed?
No I don’t drive, but I’m about to start lessons. Scary!
5. What time did you wake up this morning?
6.30am – otherwise known as too early!!
6. When was the last time you showered?
This morning.
7. What was the last movie you saw? Behind the Candelabra – what a crazy film!
8. What does your last text message say?
‘Good night’ to my best friend
9. What’s your ringtone?
A generic ring, I’m not into funny ringtones. Although I’m toying with the idea of downloading “Happy”.
10. Have you ever been to a different country?
Yes, I’ve been lucky and been to many.
11. Do you like sushi?
I Love sushi!
12. Where do you buy your groceries? Ocado, I honestly think they’re the best grocery delivery service. And as all mums know, this is one of the best developments of recent years!
13. Have you ever taken medication to help you fall asleep faster?
14. How many siblings do you have? One amazing brother
15. Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
A laptop but I’d like a desktop too – in an ideal world
16. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
36… wow that’s only a year away from my ‘old’ age!
17. Do you wear contacts or glasses? Unfortunately both, although not at the same time. Wish I could have laser eye surgery.
18. Do you colour your hair?
Yes, I have highlights. Although most have now been cut off!
19. Tell me something you are planning to do today.
Right now, go to sleep – it’s late!
20. When was the last time you cried? Last week, watching Long Lost Family with my mum.
21. What is your perfect pizza topping? Lots of cheese and I’m happy – chuck on some prawns and Parma ham and I’m over the moon.
22. Which do you prefer-hamburgers or cheeseburgers?
Hamburger please!
23. Have you ever had an all-nighter? Oh yeah!! Although not for a while now.
24. What is your eye colour?
25. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
Yeah, of course!

Okay, I’m not sure if I learnt anything new about myself from those questions, but it was fun. It’s almost midnight now, I think it’s time to go to sleep. Good night xxx

Mums' Days

Lili channels Mayhem

I first heard about Mayhem (and soon after, started following @2sisters_angie on Instagram) when I read a fun article in the Huffington Post back in February. Basically, Angie the mother of 4 year old “Mayhem” came up with the idea of making paper dresses after her daughter got fed up of her usual shop-bought princess dresses, and started using scarves and bed sheets to create her own costumes. Now, these are not your usual, run of the mill paper dresses – oh no! My daughters and I have been following Mayhem’s antics for around five months now and in that time the dresses have gotten more and more elaborate, copying Oscar and Met Ball gowns and landing a feature in American Vogue – no less! They also now have over 409,000 Instagram followers and over a millions likes.

Photo: Courtesy of Fashion by Mayhem

Photo: Courtesy of Fashion by Mayhem

Photo: Courtesy of Fashion by Mayhem

Photo: Courtesy of Fashion by Mayhem

Last week, while Lili and I were playing on the iPad, I showed her Mayhem’s latest dresses (including an Elsa dress!) and she suddenly announced that she’d like to make her own paper dresses. She’d hinted at the possibility before but this really cemented the idea in her mind! So we headed out to our local craft shop and got some different coloured crape paper. We then came home and spent a fun filled afternoon coming-up with the following creations…


The long, red number with a rainbow belt

The long, red number with a rainbow belt

The little blue, one shoulder number with a rainbow belt

The little blue, one shoulder number with a rainbow belt

Okay, to be completely honest, Lili was a lot more interested in making the dresses than modelling them – but for me the pictures will last forever, unlike the actual “creations”, which were quickly ripped off and flung on the floor. We’ll definitely be doing some more dresses in the future and will try and document them on this blog.

For more information on Mayhem you can follow her on her blog.

And it’s all over for Pre-school

In the interest of being positive and happy, I’m going to try and focus on the fact that the summer is here! It’s warm and sunny and we have six (or is it seven?) weeks of fun ahead of us. Deflecting from the fact that I’m feeling very emotional about my baby finishing pre-school and moving on to the big school in September.


Lili on her way to pre-school on the first day

Yesterday was Lili’s official last day, which was celebrated by having a big picnic in the park – with all her pre-school friends, parents and teachers. Everyone was presented their pre-school report and played games while us mums sat and watched on with a tear in our eye. It seems silly to feel so emotional about what is inevitable and in fact a positive move but to me it marks a real turning point. Come September she’ll be moving on and becoming even more independent, mixing with new friends and influences. I know I’m being slightly dramatic about this and when the time comes, I know I’ll be completely proud and happy for her, as she’s very excited about the prospect – but today I’m just going to wallow a little in what I can only describe as the end of a very happy and cute year in her life.

The lovely poem that Lili's teacher gave her as we said goodbye

The lovely poem that Lili’s teacher gave her as we said goodbye

As you may already know, I finished work last week to become a full time mum (follow the full story) and the girls also finished going to the child minder we’ve known and loved for the past three and a half years. So yesterday was another “end” and for someone (like me) who doesn’t deal well with change, I’m really starting to struggle.  On the plus side, we have a lovely summer planned in Wales and I honestly can’t wait to get going! Today we’ve spent the day playing in the garden with lots of water and bubbles, laughing and signing – so I can’t feel too bad!

Why Running in Lavender?

Writing this blog, gives me the opportunity to write about all the things I love – the things that make me happy and bring a smile to my face. One of my most favourite things to do (and we’ve literally done it every year since Lili was born) is to go up to the Mayfield lavender fields near Banstead, in Surrey.

The first year we went up, Lili was around five weeks old and just a tinny bundle in my arms. At the time we’d lived in the area for over ten years and I was amazed that this beautiful place had passed me by for so long! The following year, Lili had just started walking and enjoyed the vibrant colour and gorgeous smell for the first time. I was pregnant with Poppy the year after, and by now Lili was strong on her feet and ran through the beautiful rows of lavender – there was literally no stopping her!

Last year Poppy joined us for the first time and Dom and I took turns in carrying her (as she was around 7 months old) while we all played and again ran through the fields. We had a picnic and made a big day of it. As you can tell, this little ritual of ours has become a real event in our summer calendar – and is the inspiration behind the name of my blog.   Here are some shots of this years trip…


You knew it was coming… running in lavender




Lili picking me some lavender.



Dom and the girls…



My little baby in lavender!



Lili in lavender



The girls taking it easy at the end of our visit.

Mama and More


Our ‘One Day’ – 10th July

‘One Day’ – Have you read the book? Or maybe seen the slightly underwhelming film, staring Anne Hathaway? Here’s my (much more upbeat) personal version…

On the 10th of July, fifteen years ago I met my husband. We were both at a beautiful summer wedding in west Wales, I was a school friend of the bride and he was a University friend of the groom. After spending much of the day catching each other’s eye, he finally approached me at the bar and the rest as they say is history… but I’m sure you’ll get to find out more as this blog gets going.


Five years later, on the 10th of July (as fate would have it) Dom and I moved in together. At the time we talked about how this was becoming a bit of an important date in our relationship and so continued to celebrate the day every year.

Another five years past and on the 10th July 2009, while on holiday in Provence (one of the most beautiful places on earth!) Dom proposed under an amazing lantern lit tree, cementing this as a truly special day for us.


The spot, where Dom (finally – after 10 years) went down on one knee…

Fast forward another 5 years (one wedding and two babies later – yes it’s been a busy few years) and tomorrow, on the 10th of July I will be leaving my current role as Digital Marketing Manager at Clarins (where I’ve been for the past ten years) to become a full time mum and enthusiastic blogger.


My family…

Do you have a special date, your very own ‘one day’? I’d love to hear your story.

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Join me on my journey

As all working mums will tell you, achieving the allusive work/ life balance is near on impossible. Inevitably something has to give, for me it was precious time with my girls, while also feeling guilty for being the only one in the office running out the door (every night) at 5pm – so I could be home in time to collect the girls.

Going back to work after both maternity leaves was difficult but if I’m honest, I loved being back, I missed getting dressed up and having structure to my day. I was ‘me’ again and of course, I missed the banter and company of my lovely colleagues and friends.

When Lili started preschool last year, she started asking if she could have ‘play dates’ and ‘do ballet’.  She now needed me in a completely different way and I realised that I wanted to be at the school gates, I wanted to get to know the other mothers and I wanted more than 30mins in the morning and an hour and a half at night with the girls.



Me and Lili after her Christmas concert – proud mama!

But could I give up a job I loved?  After talking it through with my husband, mother, friends, (anyone who’d listen) – I decided that it was time. I resigned and now after ten long, happy years it’s time to leave ‘Clarins towers’ and start my new life.

Scared? Yes!

Excited? Totally!

What’s next? Who knows but what I can say is that I’ll try to document as much as I can in this blog. My personal journal of LAC, Life after Clarins.

What’s the first thing I did? Went Running in Lavender with my daughters…

Running in Lavender

Brilliant blog posts on