December 2015

I’ve never been one for wearing lipstick as I’ve always been more into eye makeup and that’s where I normally concentrate my efforts if I wear makeup. However, recently I’ve been longing to get lipstick right. I’ve struggled in the past with finding the right colour to suit my skin tone and I’m fussy when it comes to colour, in that I don’t like anything too solid looking or bold or bright! So you could say I’m a difficult when it comes to lipstick!


My Requirements:

I recently had a night out arranged with my friends and the day before I went in to Boots, on a mission to get a lipstick, to see if I could get it right. My makeup box is full of lipstick fails that I’ve brought and tried over the years. I didn’t have a lot of time (as always) and I had two main requirements:

1. Something that was long lasting

2. A colour suitable to wear day and night

Product Options:

I skimmed over the various make up stands and brands and ended up at the Maybelline stand and straight away their Superstay 24Hr Lip Color caught my eye. There were several shades that looked like good possibilities for me, including Plum Seduction (240), Forever Heather (310), Delicious Pink (150) and Rose Dust (185).


The Delicious Pink Shade (150) looked a bit too pale for my needs, but pretty none the less. This would have been a safe bet, but I wanted something that would make my lips slightly darker.  I tried out the Plum Seduction (240) and Forever Heather (310) on the back if my hand, but they looked too dark or too bold against my skin. That left Rose Dust (185) which was slightly more pinky than I was thinking of, but it looked a perfect medium tone for my colouring and for my needs.


The Product I Brought:

The Maybelline 24Hr Lip Color in Rose Dust (185) cost me £8.99. Pretty average on price for a lipstick of its kind and in comparison to the equivalent product from its competitors. So I was more than happy with the price and brought it.


Product Testing:

I wore my new Maybelline 24Hr Lip Color on my night out and the colour looked amazing for me. I was so pleased with how the colour looked and it was a perfect shade for my colouring, really complementing my skin tone. You apply it by staining the lips first with the colour end (it has a lovely soft brush) and once this has dried (a few seconds) you apply the moisturising end. The moisturising end gives your lips a lovely soft silky feeling and brightens up the look. I kept reapplying this throughout the evening as you can use it as often as you like.


I have used this product several times since, both during the day at work and for evenings out. It’s living in my hand bag and it’s getting some regular usage!

My Experience:

Overall I was very happy with this product. The colour was perfect for me and it lasts long enough. I can’t claim it lasts 24 hours, but it does last well, probably a good few hours depending on whether your eating or drinking. I found I particularly needed to reapply the colour after eating. I would say that during the day I reapply the colour once halfway through the day. The choices of colour are excellent, with a wide range of tones to suit all skin tones. I was so pleased to find a colour that suited me so well and one that I could wear day or night.

My Tips when using this Product:

I found this product worked best if you apply to dry lips (unmoisturised) and you can tone down or turn up the colour intensity by applying more or less of the colour.

My Overall Product Rating:

My Product Rating: 9 / 10

An excellent product for those wanting a long lasting lip colour which has a dual colour and moisturiser, which is available in a range of colours and tones.


Fancy trying a new look in the new year? You can be in with a chance of winning your very own Maybelline 24hr Superstay Lipstick in Rose Dust!

You can enter the competition here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Jess x



Super Busy Mum

*This is not a sponsored post*

Read more

Just before Christmas we visited the lovely Saltram House, a stately home and grounds belonging to the National Trust. The estate is set just on the outskirts of Plympton, near Plymouth in Devon. The grounds of the estate overlook the Plym river with fantastic views across the valley and water to Plymouth. There’s something for everyone there from walks across the vast grounds, to visiting the house itself or feeding the ducks and playing in the park.

The house was owned by the Parker family from 1743 who remodelled the original house.  The  grounds include its own chapel, which is now a beautiful tea room and an orangery, which is currently being maintained.

You can walk around some of the grounds without charge, including the path leading down and around the Plym river, which is also perfect for bikes and pushchairs. There’s a charge to enter the house and gardens themselves, unless your a member of the National Trust (which we are!).

Every month they organise a 10K run – ‘Saltram 10’ – which takes place every 4th Sunday. It’s free to enter and takes you all around the lovely grounds. I ran my first one at the end of November with my brother and intend to take part in January’s to shift some post Christmas bulge!

You can read more about Saltram here Saltram House

Saltram is especially lovely at Christmas. They decorate the house magnificently with huge Christmas trees and lighting that’s makes the house feel warm and cosy, despite its impressive size. Here’s some photos of inside the house when we visited just before Christmas:


It felt so Christmassy, especially with the carol singers singing under in the stair well by the Christmas tree, which created such a fantastic Christmas atmosphere. I was in complete ore of the Christmas trees. I could picture myself sat at the grand dining table all laden for Christmas dinner!

As usual it was a bit of a rush with the kids, as they always dash round and you don’t get to take everything in.

After the house, we walked around the gardens and they had a 12 days of Christmas theme, where you had to find all the objects from the 12 days of Christmas song. Here are some photos of some of the 12 days of Christmas garden theme, see how many you recognise?!


We stopped by the tea room for some refreshments. We’d not been there before as we normally use the main cafe set outside of the main gardens. The tea room is a real traditional English tea room, with beautiful tea cups and saucers and an array of cakes on offer. We sat outside as it was dry and the kids enjoyed running around on the lawn. It was quite lovely drinking tea outside in December!

After our refreshments in the tea room, we walked up to the top of the gardens and around by the cannons and edge if the lawns. The sun had started setting which made the views even more beautiful. Here are some photos of our walk and tea!


Saltram hold many Christmas events over the festive period for everyone to enjoy, including carols in the courtyard which apparently 700 expressed an interest in! We didn’t make that specific event but enjoyed the carol singers inside the house on our visit.

Saltram is becoming a regular haunt of ours now we are National Trust members. It’s great for the kids, especially when it’s dry and you can spend all day exploring the grounds. But you can always use the house or tea room as shelter if it rains!

Read more

My hubby was feeling very festive shopping the other day (yes he shops occasionally!) and came home with a lovely bumper craft tub from Hobbycraft  . The Christmas craft tub cost £5 and was huge! It was full of all sorts of crafty Christmassy things to make, including balballs, cards, feathers, glitter, shiny sprinkles of all shapes and colours, bendy piping, fluffy balls and much much more!!



Anyone who knows me, will know I’m not a naturally ‘crafty’ mummy! So I gave in to my son a few days after my hubby brought the craft tub – ‘please can we make Christmas things mummy?’.

So I sat at the kitchen table with my son and daughter for a Christmas craft session! We tipped everything out on to the table to see what we had and my son immediately wanted to decorate the White balballs. The craft tub came with some glitter glue which my son used to stick eyes and feathers to the balball. My daughter loved the different shiny shapes, so stuck lots of these on to her balball. My sons balball soon turned in to a bird with googly eyes and not a Christmas balball at all! He has some imagination!




The kids had so much fun sticking and glueing and creating! It was lovely to see them both enjoying an activity together. After about 15-20 minutes they had both had enough and my son wanted to play with the bird he made! And we put our daughters balball on the Christmas tree.

We still have the rest of the tub to use for some more Christmassy and creative fun, so watch this space!

*this is not a sponsored post*

Read more

I’m rounding up my Weekly happy list again due to life being super busy again!  So I’ve chosen 5 happy moments from November to share – weeks 39 to 42 in my Weekly happy list series.

1. My son getting ‘Child of the week’. So proud of my son at school this last month. Not only has he been awarded ‘Child of the week’ twice, he has also been awarded ‘Star if the day’ twice too! He’s been through a tough time recently, it came to light he was being picked on a bit, falling behind with his school work and he was losing his confidence (he’s only 5). But he’s back on track and enjoying school again so I’m so happy for him. We’ve also established a new routine due to my hours at work changing. This means that I can be around more, so I’m at home every morning apart from Wednesday’s and can to do the school run and my son loves me taking him to school.

2. My hubby getting a new job (or two!). My hubby has been self employed for nearly 4 years and even though it’s been amazing, giving my hubby lots of opportunities and flexibility, it’s put added financial pressure on us as the money has been so inconsistent. So we made the decision a couple of months ago for him to go back to employment for the time being. He saw several jobs he was interested in so applied for them and soon after was invited to two interviews.  Lucky hubby ended up being offered both jobs! I was so chuffed for him.  So hopefully after Christmas he’ll be starting his new job and a new chapter in our lives! Very exciting!

3. Rugby on the beach & feeding horses. During the weekend after our Cornwall holiday we had our nephews over for the day and we took them out with us to the beach for the afternoon. For November it was glorious, the sun was shining and it was warm. It was so beautiful down on the beach. We all played rugby (well, catch with a rugby ball!) and collected shells. On our way back to the car, the horses in one of the fields were right up close to the fence, so we went over to feed them some grass, which my son really enjoyed.

4. Visiting Saltram House. We were long over due a catch up with our best friends so we decided to meet up at Saltram House near Plymouth. Saltram is about half way between us and is a National Trust property so we get to make good use of our membership. It was a bit of a damp day, but we managed a walk around the estate. We walked quite a bit with the kids and they loved exploring the grounds. We also popped in to the house, but unfortunately only a few rooms were open to the public (may be they saw the kids coming!). The kids wizzed around at the rate of knots, so we didn’t get to take everything in. The best bit of the day was seeing the kids running around happily exploring together, they didn’t care it was raining!

5. Completing my 3rd 10K this year. I have had a bit of a break from running recently, due to some ill health and generally being busy (!). It’s also more difficult to fit running in now the evenings are darker, as I used to always go in the evenings and I don’t get home until late on work days. However, I really wanted to complete another 10K and Saltram (yep the place we visited above) organise a 10K run every 4th Sunday of the month. So my brother and I arranged to do it together in November. I only managed to fit in one run of 6K in beforehand, so was so happy to complete all 10K and ran the whole way! It was so lovely doing it with my brother too, although he ran it a lot faster than me (he came 14th, I came 83rd!) It was nice having him at the start and waiting for me at the end!


Lovely Things


Read more

I was lucky enough to be contacted by BakerDays asking if I’d write a review of their personalised letterbox cakes. Those who know me well and regularly visit my blog will know this is right up my street! I love baking and cakes!


I was contacted by BakerDays via Twitter asking if I’d write a review for their letterbox cakes. I literally jumped at the chance and contacted them via email for further information. A lovely lady called Emma emailed me and asked me to look on their website, choose a cake design I would like and email them the details of what I would like. The website for BakerDays is an absolute delight, you can find the website here BakerDays website

There are literally hundreds of different design options for your letterbox cake. I found it really difficult choosing just one! As it was the hubby’s birthday coming up I opted for a ‘Happy Birthday Daddy’ cake design and added ‘from Emelia & Joshua’ for a more personal touch.

Here are some examples of the types of birthday cake designs on offer –

You can add you own photo to these cakes (brill huh?!)


There are also lots of other categories to choose from, including:


New baby

Back to school


Get Well Soon

and much, much more. It’s pure cake heaven!

Heres some of the other designs from the categories –


The Letterbox cake range are designed to be posted through your letterbox, making delivery really simple as you don’t even need to be there! This makes them a really convenient option, particularly for busy parents!

After I’d contacted Baker Days with my choice, we received the cake about 5 days later. The box was very slim and the cake was inside its own tin inside the box, so there is no way the cake could get damaged.


There was also a small gift card and a packet of love heart sweets included, which was a really nice touch and really cute.

The cake itself is really lovely and sweet with a distinct vanilla flavour. The only downside is the cake was quite small, so it didn’t last 5 minutes in our house with my greedy family!

These are great as an extra special surprise by post for any special occasion.


To be in with a chance of winning your own BakerDays Letterbox cake, enter the competition by clicking on the Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be selected at random after the closing date.

please note BakerDays will only be able to post to a winner within the UK


*Collaborative post with Baker Days*

Read more


Car safety is obviously important, but is also something that is quite close to my heart. So I was really pleased to be asked to write a post about car safety for Point S, a U.K. independent Tyre and car servicing dealership.

Six years ago when I was 4 months pregnant with my son, I had a serious car accident on the motorway, which changed my driving experience forever. I was so lucky to have survived the accident and it’s something I will never forget. As a result and understandably after that experience, I became  extra safety concious when it came to driving.

Because I live in the countryside, I have to drive around the lanes a lot of the time to get everywhere, which are notorious for knocks and can be particularly difficult this time of year when the roads are more wet, icy and muddy. Quite often the roads around me don’t get gritted if it’s cold, so you really have to be extra careful when it’s icy.

I drive s lot for work, my commute is about an hour each way and I travel as part of my job, to off site meetings, etc. Also, by living in a small village you have to drive everywhere! So for one reason or another I’m in the car driving a lot!

Im lucky enough to have a company car which gets renewed every 3 years. At the moment I have a   Nissan Qashqui which Ive only had since April. I’ve had nothing but a great experience driving it, I feel completely safe, its great for my family and I love it!

Here are my top tips for car safety and safe driving:

  1. Always get your car serviced regularly – it’s worth the peace of mind – your tyres, brakes, etc. Will all get checked.
  2. If your worried about your tyres, pop in to a tyre dealership to get them checked – which they will normally do for free. You could try Point-S tyre dealers who have cheap tyres available at their depots across the country.
  3. Check your oil and water regularly – you can pop in to a garage to get these checked if your worried about doing it yourself.
  4. Give yourself extra time on frosty mornings to defrost your windows properly, so your view is not obstructed.
  5. Give yourself extra journey time, so you don’t rush unnecessarily, especially when it’s wet, cold or busy.
  6. Keep water, blankets, spare clothes, snacks, etc. for emergencies and any delays – particularly important if you have children!
  7. Avoid driving if your over tired or really poorly where possible – if you have to, give your self extra time and take it extra slow.
  8. Think about kids entertainment if your doing a long journey with children to avoid them distracting you as much as possible – I find snacks work best, but toys, books and in car DVD players are ideal.

*Collaborative post with Point-S*


Read more

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)