June 2015

1. Having a chilled out Sunday. It was nice spending a lot of time at home this Sunday. We had a late breakfast and just pottered around doing bits and bobs and playing with the kiddies.  The day was finished off with a lovely family roast dinner!

2. Family picnic in the park. I met my sister and her kids at the weekend for a picnic in the sunshine.  The kids loved running around and playing together amongst all the trees!

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3. Working from home. It was lovely having a day working from home last week.  It meant I had an extra day doing the morning routine with the kiddies and doing the school run.  I just love it.

4. Our daughter taking a few steps. At last my daughter took her first independent steps! But she still hasnt quite clicked yet, so she’s not running around yet! I’m sure it will come though and then they’ll be fun!

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5. My sons first school report. We received my sons first school report last week.  I was so proud! I can’t believe he’s almost finished his first year at primary and will be moving from reception to class one in September! Scary!

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1. Super cute cuddles with my new nephew and daughter!

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2. Our first crop of super sweet home grown strawberries

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3. Sports day fun and one proud mum!

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4. Cheeky ice cream face!

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5. Spotting swans nesting (or you may not in this pic!)

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6. Early morning selfie (as you can tell by my bags!)

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7. Early mornings with the cats

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8. Enjoying a cup of tea made in my new teapot

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9. Another proud mummy moment when my son received his first gymnastics badge

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10. Playdoh fun with my boy

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What are your favourite pictures this month?

Jess x

A Cornish Mum
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1. Our first crop of strawberries! My son has been waiting for weeks for the first red strawberry and at last we had our first cluster of little red strawberries! And they were so sweet and juicy and delicious!

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2. A picnic in our lounge. We planned a lovely afternoon picnic on the beach with my sister in law and kiddies, but when we got there it started to rain. The kids were gutted but we all went back to mine and had a picnic in the lounge instead and the kids still had fun!

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3. Cuddles with babies! I was lucky enough to have lots of cuddles with the families latest addition, my new nephew. My daughter didn’t want to be left out though so I got extra cuddles from her too!

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4. Baking a Father’s Day present. My hubby loves cake (!) so I decided to bake him my new Summer Raspberry cake with strawberries for Father’s Day. The cake went down a treat (literally). You can find the recipe on my blog.

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5. Our Father’s Day day out. We had a lovely family walk on Father’s Day along the Ley to the beach. It was such a lovely sunny day and great to spend some quality time together. We spotted a swan nesting on the edge of the Ley and finished the afternoon with an ice cream on the beach.

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I don’t think I care as much about getting a tan now as I did when I was younger.  Mainly because I’m a mum oŵf two and hey let’s face it, there’s just more important things in life! But there’s no denying we feel better for having a bit of colour and there’s a kinda good feeling about it, isn’t there? Why is it, we will spend hours and hours of time trying to tan?! Is it a sign of beauty? Is it a sign of happiness? Of health? Who knows.

Now I’m not fortunate enough to have that kind of skin that just goes brown.  Unlike my husband who has the most gorgeous of olive skins and only has to step outside to start glowing with a tan.  Not me, I’m the one who has to wear factor 30 or I’m burning bright pink! Not that I’m jealous of course.  I think my son has my hubby’s skin, the lucky thing, but my daughter I think is stuck with mine.  I will tell her it’s beautiful (like my mum said to me) but I expect she’ll fight against it and want to tan ( just like I did).

My tanning history

All my young adult life I strived to get the perfect brown tan.  I tried all means of fake tan, tanning gel, tinted moisturiser, etc.  you name it, I tried it! I even went through a stage of using sun showers (sun beds).  Yes, I know, bad huh?! At one point I did have a decent tan, but blimey it took some time and commitment!

Now I’m not one to preach, but seriously, sun showers and sun beds are SO BAD for you.  I really cringe at myself for using them and really regret it now.  However, there was no telling me back then, all I wanted was a tan and I didn’t care how.

Hours I spent exfoliating, moisturising, applying tan and washing off. Repeated. A few times a week.  It really takes time and dedication. And the smell, blimey fake tan stinks!

I don’t think those adverts help.  You know, the ones where those long legged models parade their beautifully bronzed and bikini clad bodies?! Who wouldn’t want to look like that I ask?!

I was always a sun worshiper pre kids.  As soon as the sun was out, I was out too, in my bikini, sun creamed up (a lower factor than it should have been) and ready to tan.  We had lots of holidays abroad pre kids (she sighs) where the hubby and I would just lie in the sun (she sighs again).  Even from being abroad for 2 weeks I was borderline tanned, sometimes people didn’t even know I’d been abroad!  I was in denial that I was destined to be pale.  Your an English rose, my mother in law said.

I think I’ve at last accepted I’m never going to have that beautiful sun kissed tanned skin.  Nope, not me.  Ok, so it’s slightly forced on me by the fact I’m a mum, and frankly I don’t have time to lie around in the sun anymore or spend hours fake tanning!

My product recommendations 

Although I’ve accepted I’m an English rose , if I do feel like I need a little uplift by having a bit of colour, here’s my two best buys for a stress free and super quick subtle glow.

Dove Summer Glow Nouushing Lotion.  £5.25 for 250ml – half price from Boots right now at £2.62.  Be brave and buy the medium to dark one.  Even if your pale the dark one is ok and will give you a bit of colour after just the one application.  It’s super quick and easy as you can apply more or less straight from the shower.  Apply the same as you would any other moisturiser.  Don’t forget to wash your hands though! I normally apply first thing in the morning and it develops over time.  It’s very subtle, so perfect just for a slight glow.  You can build the colour up if you want by reapplying several days in a row.  But it can start to smell and look a bit fake so don’t over do it.  It looks perfectly natural if you use every now and then.

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Garnier Ambre Solair No Streaks Natural Bronzer (Gel).  £10.69 – save a 1/3 at Boots right now at £7.13.  This is about as fake tan I as I get these days! It’s a good one as its in between a tinted moisturiser and a full on fake tan.  You apply it the same as a body moisturiser.  Be confident and use a good amount when applying.  But you need to rub it in quickly as it soaks in to the skin really quickly.  Use sparingly around the ankles, knees, elbows and wrists. Again, wash hands well afterwards. It feels sticky for a while after application so be careful and wear loose clothing afterwards.  I normally apply this one at night before bed and by the morning I’ve got a natural subtle colour.

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I have to say the two products together work well too.  For example I used the Ambre Solair gel the night before last and used the Dove lotion the following morning.  This has given me a lovely natural and subtle colour. The smell of both products is ok, quite sweet and subtle so not too obvious, unless over used.

Tips:

I use both on the face and find it works well as long as you use sparingly (don’t be fooled in to having to buy the separate face versions).
Follow application to the face with a normal face moisturiser.

Conclusion 

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t take the tanning lark seriously now (as explained above) nor do I look like I’ve stepped off a Carribean beach when I do use these products! (Blimey, I hate those fake tan adverts!) I’m still pale compared to most, but occasionally I’m a little less pale.  If anything else, it’s something nice to do for a night out (if your lucky) or just to pamper yourself a little bit! Realistically I only get to do this maybe a few times each summer, normally rushed between looking after the kids.  Like anything to do with any sort of beauty product, it’s a treat when I do get to use it and I think it’s important to do things that make yourself feel better, no matter how small.

Happy (safe) tanning all! Especially all my fellow English roses out there!

Jess x

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This is another basic sponge recipe with a lovely summery twist! By adding a few raspberries and strawberries this cake is the perfect summer dessert! Warning, though, it is super super sweet! But very delicious.

Preparation time: 15 mins
Baking time: 15-20 mins
Decoration time: 10 mins

What I used:

For the sponge:
4oz self raising flour
4oz butter (I used Stork)
4oz caster sugar
2 x eggs
Vanilla essence
Raspberries – about half a punnet or more

For the frosting:
3oz butter (I used stork)
6oz icing sugar
Vanilla essence
A few raspberries (I used 5)

To finish:
A few strawberries thinly sliced

What I did:

First of all I pre-heated the oven to 180c and greased and lined an 8 inch round cake tin.

I creamed the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then I added the eggs one at a time and whisked them in until smooth. The flour was sifted and mixed in to the mixture and I added a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Finally the raspberries were mixed in. Don’t mix them in too much though, as they will desolve and I think it’s nice to still have some raspberry bits!

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The cake mixture was spooned in to the cake tin (already prepped) and put in the oven to bake for approx 15-20 mins or until golden brown on top.

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To make the frosting I mixed together the butter and icing sugar and added a drop of vanilla essence. I added about 5 raspberries and mixed them in. The frosting goes a lovely pink shade with lovely bits of raspberry running through.

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To decorate and finish:

When the cake had cooled, I spread a thin layer of raspberry frosting on top of the cake. Then I thinly sliced some strawberries and arranged these on top of the frosting.

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1. Playdoh fun. It was great on Sunday to get to do some creative play with my son whilst my daughter napped.  We spent nearly an hour playing with the Playdoh and we made an airport, car park and sea (more like a pond) along with planes, cars and boats.

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2. My son getting his first gymnastics badge. My son has been doing gymnastics since January and he loves it.  His best friends have been going a while longer than him so already had received their badges.  It was a very proud moment when my son at last got his badge. So happy for him.

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3. Swimming. For the first time in months we went swimming all together as a family. It really felt great doing something fun together. I felt immediately rejuvenated.  My son really enjoyed swimming for fun rather than being in a swimming lesson.

4. Lazy Sunday. We had a lovely lazy Sunday this week.  We put on one of the scooby do movies (which my son loves right now) and drank coffee and hot chocolate in our pyjamas.

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5. The little lady cruising. My daughter is an amazing cruiser now! She gets everywhere on her feet via the furniture or walls now.  I’m sure she will take her very first steps by herself very soon.  I just hope it’s when I’m around and not whilst I’m at work.

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1. My daughter getting her 1st pair of shoes! I was so excited, more excited than her of course! Girls shoes are so pretty, I had so much fun! My daughter was so happy being measured and fitted, she was so good. Look how cute she looks! She’s not properly walking quite yet, but cruising everywhere.

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2. My son running a 3k fun run. Serious proud mummy moment! Still can’t believe he ran all 3k, bless him and his little legs! He was do pleased with himself and kept running everywhere afterwards.

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3. Running my 2nd 10k run. I was in two minds about running this as I hadn’t done as much training as I would have liked, so didn’t feel quite run ready! But I did it! All be it by walking a tiny bit! It really was so hard but I’m glad I did it.

4. Having a family photo shoot.  We booked a family photo shoot ages ago as I thought it would be a lovely age to capture our children (they are 5 and 1). We got some lovely photos of all of us and just the children in colour and black and white. I can’t wait for them to arrive now!

5. An impromptu visit to the park. After school last Thursday I decided we were all going up to the park. So I packed the picnic rug and some snacks and as soon as we got back from school off we went! We spent a good hour up there playing and running around in the sun. And daddy met us up there when he finished work too! It was lovely.

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