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Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

What are your plans for New Year? Are you hitting the town or, like me, are you curled up inside in the warm wondering when you last hit the dance floor? I think the last time I stepped into a club was quite possibly my hen party. I sobered up fairly quickly when the DJ was greeted to a huge cheer on asking ‘who here was born in the 90’s’! This was my cue to leave.

I’ve just got over Christmas, the last thing I want to do is go for a night on the tiles, instead, my husband is pouring over his Game of Thrones 4D puzzle at the dining room table (4th day in a row) and I find myself reliving my youth by watching Buffy re-runs: (incidentally it’s the episode where the adults of Sunnydale revert to their youth).

I’ll try and make it to midnight as this will be the time other half and I turn to each other, briefly mumble ‘Happy New Year Love’ then continue our separate thrilling pursuits. Who wants to be on the wrong side of 25 in a night club anyway?

Normally the new year is when I make a Bridget Jones style list of everything I intend to achieve….. It should look like the following although of course, It looked very similar last year

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• Lose weight
• Always hang the washing out as soon as the cycle has finished and not just refresh the machine every 5 hours
• Sort through all the cupboards which have been filled over Christmas in order to fool guests that I do truly live a neat, minimalist lifestyle
• Donate the Xmas chocolates
• Donate all the skinny clothes in my wardrobe because I’ll never fit into them
• Deal with the charity/boot sale boxes from last year’s (half) sort out, which accompanied us on our move and are now piled high in the bedroom
• Accept I’ll never look at old xmas/birthday/wedding/new baby cards again, bin them, thus freeing up space in 99% of all household drawers
• Make a start on clearing my student debt (boo)
• Decorate my office (cute Cath Kidson style florals)
• Stop using my husband’s office as a laundry room
• Remember to take up any items on the stairs when passing them
• Take painkillers the moment I sense a headache rather than moaning to my husband for 3 hours
• Remember to take the pushchair out of the car the night before if walking to school the next day, thus avoiding the rushed ninja routine with baby on hip at 8:30am
• Take all meat out of the freezer the night before rather than worry all day that it will not defrost in time for dinner
• Spend some time actually improving the house rather than googling design inspirations
• Be assertive with our half job cleaner rather than tipping her an extra pound every week
• Partake in spontaneous creative activities with the children rather than having to mentally prepare myself for the mess a week beforehand
• Take up running
• Update ipod for said running trips
• Buy running shoes
• Decide against running due to initial start-up costs
• Update this blog more….. maybe when I feel guilty about not running

new year

Maybe I’ll update you on the progress of this next year…….. I’m off to set the Big Ben countdown to record now in case I should fall asleep before midnight……. Might go an open some of those yummy Xmas chocolates also…..

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Blackhead Killer Style Lux Review

It a great sign that you’re doing well in the blogging world is when you start to receive products to review. So thanks to all you wonderful lot, I got my first item in the post this week, and, what is it you say? A funky pushchair? A beautiful notice board? A shabby chic kitchen appliance? Nope! Acne treatment, oh the joys of being a ‘Slummy Mummy’ eh?

995233_10152506274124498_1529034587_nWell, what some of you won’t know is that actually this is a blessing in disguise as, since my little girl arrived nearly 8 years ago, I have suffered from the most horrendous Cystic Acne, it is a hormonal imbalance which creates planet sized lumps under the skin surface, this causes terrible scarring and much embarrassment for me. It is one of the many reasons why I can never be a ‘Yummy Mummy’

For years I have battled with various creams and antibiotics in a bid to tame this. The final uber treatment which my Dermatologist has recommended is a pretty serious drug called Accutane. This daddy of all medications comes with side effects a plenty not to mention your skin near enough falls off for 5 months before you begin to see results, its magical powers are so strong that you can’t begin to take this if you’re either pregnant or breastfeeding, therefore it is out of the window for me until little man decides he has had enough of boob (I suspect this will be another year away at least) and, what do I do if I want more children? I have to commit to 2 years treatment. I’m not ready for that!…. Therefore I’m left with no alternative but to sit this one out for a while and try any and every product I can get my hands on.

Style Lux UK have invited me to join their official bloggers group and from this I can expect to receive various little items including control pants (wooo Bridget Jones) acne treatment and some pretty cool hair pieces…. This company seems to have been made for me right? (see following post).

So, with nothing to lose I’ve given their ‘Blackhead Killer’ a try….. I don’t think it will solve my skin issues but the product is said to ‘Peel your pimples away!’ worth a go right?

There are some fantastic reviews on-line for this product from those with mild to moderate skin problems so let’s see what it does to help a true suffer!!! (I also convinced the hubby to give this one a go)

Day one:
Both Scott and I have time off of work for the festive period, no more marking into the early hours for him and typing into the night for me, some proper one on one time…… we give date night a go…. Just a movie and a bottle of wine, the kids are both asleep and the opening credits of ‘Burn After Reading’ flash across the TV screen. I apply a generous layer of the mask over my husband’s nose, cheeks and forehead….. Wa La! He’s wearing a bat mask (nope he wouldn’t let me photograph this). It def looks like tar but he claims it doesn’t even tingle on his skin…. I monitor the clock and sneak little smirks in his direction.bat

10 mins later and the time has come to peal….. I’ve been looking forward to this part…. It’s kinda like those satisfying moments when you watch pore strip removals on youtube (just me??? Yeh, I’m slummy, we know this)

The mask is still a bit sticky and It prob could have done with another five mins to set, but I’m too impatient to wait longer….. the results aren’t all out spectacular at first but you really can see all the oils removed on the back of the mask and I can’t see one black head around his nose, nope, not one….. Maybe I should have checked his skin before though?? Fail on my part.

Day one conclusion: I’m impressed that the product is easy to apply and remove, and it seems to have done what it says on the er, packet but I think now I have my control subject out of the way, I can give this a go on myself. I’m keen to see if it really does remove all the dried skin as, the topical creams I use tend to dry out my top layer giving me a flaky, gremlin type appearance….. The best thing by far about this product is that it is 100% natural, meaning I’m not too worried that they will react with my current treatment.

Safe, all-natural herbal ingredients!

Best of all, you can use Blackhead Killer with complete confidence. Unlike treatments that can irritate your skin or drugs that can cause problems, it’s made    with safe, all-natural herbal ingredients.

Day two/three

Oh my this product is addictive, I left the mask to set a little longer than the recommended time and, I must admit that it was a little painful to remove. Its worth following the less is more approach with this, but, the results are fairly dramatic.

As my acne in deeper than the surface of the skin I did not expect it to do much by way of helping breakouts, but this mask has indeed removed all the dead skin from my face, leaving me with a smooth surface. It has also improved the look of my scaring and leaves me feeling more confident.

Unfortunately 24 hours later and I’ve had to use another sachet as my skin in flaking again. I suspect this is just the nature of my condition rather than a fault in the product:

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Here is a quick round up

Ease of application 5/10 (it’s worth keeping some wet wipes handy for your hands but cleans off with ease)
Ease of removal 6/10 (a little painful but not messy)
Effectiveness 7/10 (leaves skin glowing but would need to be tested on all skin types
Price 5/10 it is an expensive product at £14.95 for 5 sachets however, the effectiveness of this product justifies the price)

Style Lux also offers a money back guarantee on this product

100% money-back guarantee

Works the first time you use it or your money back!

That’s right! You’ll see your pimples, blackheads, and redness peel away the very first time you use it – guaranteed! In fact, if you’re not completely    satisfied, just return the unused portion and we’ll issue a complete refund. No questions asked.

This product can be found at this link

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The Shame of a Messy Car

Today, as I procrastinate on the web I find myself thinking of those little jobs that never get done. Sure, I could be working my way through them now, but cleaning the car out won’t enhance my career as a writer will it?

Of course I could do what I’m sure sensible people do and bring the rubbish in after each trip rather than letting the footwell’s fill up with wrappers, books, children’s clothing and various debris: That would be far too simple wouldn’t it? I have instead, a boot full of plastic bags, each one signifies my intention to tidy….. Before I set off on various exciting expeditions to the supermarket or the thrill of the school run, I load up the children into their car seats and add a carrier to the boot: for when I return home I shall bring in the wildlife!! On the very few occasions I have managed to achieve this, the plastic bags sit on the stairs for at least a week before my long suffering husband decides he has had enough of me walking past them and sorts them out himself….. Many a suitable child’s jumper has be worn and discarded in that car, only to be retrieved with such a lapse in time that it nolonger reaches the wrist.

But who cares right? I don’t often have car visitors. The other half has a quick jog round if the in-laws are coming for fear they will see it as another reason why I’ll never be good enough for their son….. If the MIL starts clearing it out then I know I’ve gone too far. Shame on me for allowing life to get in the way of a spotless car eh?. She does have a small point though, if passive aggressively made: It is fairly shameful isn’t it? I mean, I hate that moment just before I step out the car door, where I pray that a red bull can will not clatter out after me or heaven forbid, someone finds out we had drive-through Macdonalds a week ago… oh the shame!

Not too long ago the eldest opened her door, only for a sudden gust of wind to blow 10 sandwich bags across the playground (leftover from our half term trip, should H get travel sickness). Of course I then had a choice, do I run after them thus alerting even more people to the fact that I’m a complete Slummy Mummy, or do I leave them and risk the raised eyebrows of the few Chelsea tractor driving yummies who did see….. I opted for a third option, yes, I made it into a game…. Quick H, chase the bags, catch the bags, oh isn’t this fun….. Since that day the eldest has continued to ask me ‘when can we play the bag catch game again mummy?’….

The upside to all this however, is that as the car gets messier and messier I HAVE to get more organised in the mornings (?). I can now be found leaving the house at a reasonable time in order to avoid having to park at the school: I’m officially a walker now. The shame of being the parent who gets in THAT car is all consuming. I’ve seen more than the odd glance at the dashboard by families walking past, ‘wow mummy look at that’ the children point at the lose change, pair of sunglasses (yes, in the middle of winter) pieces of lego and wetwipes which festoon the ledge….. I can only hope that such families passing have the same walk/drive debate and can empathise…. If not, well…. Maybe they are cleaning out their cars rather than writing about not doing it..….
creative-minds-are-rarely-tidy- main

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Fa-La-La-La-La, La-La-La-La

Those of you who read my posts for aliljoy will know that this weekend we put up the Christmas tree! I know, it’s quite early but, after a week of Xmas music we thought, why not get really enmeshed in the spirit of Christmas, after all we did miss out last year!DSCF3807

Decorating the tree is one of those image perfect moments isn’t it? Where the family gather around in matching Christmas jumpers beside a roaring fire. The gentle whisperings of silent night crackles over an old gramophone and popcorn is thread delicately on string ready to be hung . The parents enjoy mulled wine and cinnamon cakes and the children tuck into hot chocolate and mince pies…….

REALLY?? NOT IN THE MACDONALD HOUSEHOLD

I guess you could say preparations for Christmas began in early summer for us. When house hunting there are those vital questions you ask yourself: is it near a good school; Is the area nice; are there enough bedrooms; Where will we put the Christmas tree?…. Luckily our house has a lovely little nook in the corner of the family room, perfect for our 6ft (artificial) fir. DSCF3799

On locating (and negotiating) the decorations from the loft and down two flights of stairs, we discover that said perfect nook does not possess a plug socket. It is conveniently nestled between patio doors and the archway to the kitchen, even an extension lead can’t compete with that. So what to do? Ah yes, the sofa shuffle!

For an hour and a half, we shout over the sound of Slade, while baby Roo sits patiently in the play pen and the eldest makes suggestions. We do a fantastic chuckle brothers impression ‘to me then, to you’ and finally, after trying and abandoning the idea of putting one module of the corner sofa upstairs, we successfully find an alternative place.DSCF3808

Unfortunately most of the letter guides have fallen from the tree branches and it takes 45mins to erect the beast. The eldest, having been very patient, asks to put the first bauble on the branches, ‘if only it had those little bits of string attached Mummy’ Oh Feck! Its 7pm and we need to start threading the ties. We promise her that tomorrow morning we will start the actual decorating. She is gracious and understanding!!

DSCF3815For two hours that evening, while I’m at work, the hubby painstakingly threads 100’s tiny ornaments and, at 10o’clock, I join him. We crawl into bed at midnight, satisfied we are all ready for the following day.

We don’t quite manage to fulfil that perfect image, we are all in our jammies and all too aware that visitors will be arriving later so the house needs to be in some sort of order, but, cup of coffee in one hand and plastic icicle in the other we have a great time making that tree sparkle! We are not even phased when we lift H to place the star on the top only to find it brushes the ceiling and needs to be placed lower, or when we discover baby Roo holding a loose thread and pray he hasn’t swallowed a bauble but, the shock comes when we decide to add the lights….. We don’t have an adapter plug. After all that hassle we have to decide if we want lights over Xmas, or a working telephone……………DSCF3812