Sunday, November 30, 2014

#Project365 - Picture Number 326 - 332 ♥

Running around his grandparents garden on a crisp yet sunny November's day. 

 Out in his grandparents garden again after his Sunday dinner. He was watching the birdies flying onto the roof of the house. I love his toadstool jumper.

 Lying on the living room floor almost falling asleep. I've never seen him so tired, he had to go to bed an hour early!

Laughing at Daddy whilst we were getting our picture taken. I love his face here and how he's tilting his head back, he's so Hollywood.

Sleeping peacefully after a lovely day with his Nana and no nap.

 Those curls, I love how long they're getting now. Immersed in the TV after having his dinner.

Swinging in the garden, it's been such a long time since he's been on it. He looks so grown up here, you'd never think he was only 21 months old.

I love my boy, I can't believe he's going to be two so soon.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Winter Beauty Favourites ♥

Winter has definitely arrived here in Ireland with the temperature slowly dropping into the minuses now at night time so I decided it was time to go through my makeup and beauty stashes and dig out my winter favourites once again. I love this time of year, it's finally acceptable to add some sparkle to my everyday makeup look and bring out the metallic and shimmer shades again, I fully take advantage of this fact because I really can't resist anything that glitters!

Two of my favourite eye shadows for the winter season are MAC Fresh & Mint and Bourjois Single Eye Shadow in shade 25. Fresh & Mint is a shadow duo that I've had for sometime now and I love wearing it every winter. The light pink shade with flecks of white mixed with the shimmery mint colour gives a gorgeous frosted look to the eyes. The Bourjois shadow I bought because I always associate shimmery silver shades with Christmas and I wore this on Christmas Day last year. I like that this shade isn't too garish and can be used for everyday wear.

I like to wear a variety of deep hued and frosted lipsticks during the winter season and two of my favourites are Estee Lauder's 'Orchid Light' which is a gorgeous deep pink almost purple berry toned shade which looks stunning on the lips and has a slight shimmer to it too. I also love MAC's 'Fabby' lipstick which has an iridescent quality to it which gives a frosted effect on the lips, perfect for a winter look. I like to have a bit of sparkle on my nails for the festive season so I always dig out my glittered and sparkly nail polishes. This gorgeous golden shimmer shade from Paese Summer Time 350 is perfect for the festive season and the gold colour looks amazing on my nails. As you can see from the name of this nail enamel it's from their summer collection but I think it's perfect for the festive season too.
MAC's 'Gentle' blusher is a shade I love wearing during the winter months. It's a raspberry toned blusher which has the same kind of iridescent quality as 'Fabby' and it also has a slight shimmer too. I think it's a lovely shade for the colder months. As I said above winter is the only time of year when I can really go glitter overload so when I saw The Sparkler by The Body Shop I just had to pick up two bottles, one in pink and one in bronze. Not only do the bottles look gorgeous on my dressing table with their soft, old-fashioned style pump, they're filled with glittery goodness which smells amazing and adds a subtle shimmer to the face, collarbone, hair... anywhere you want to put it really! I give myself multiple spritzes of this during the winter months, the smell is addictive. My lovely fiance has also just gotten me the new glazed apple scent version of this so I'll really be sparkling this season! I've also been using my Benefit My Place Or Yours Gina perfume recently too. I think the scent is perfect for the colder months as it's not floral but has a warm bitter-sweet fragrance.

Finally, not strictly a 'beauty' favourite but us beauty bloggers love our candles (or so it seems!) and I'm loving my new Yankee Candle Icicles and Christmas Memories wax tart melts. I'll be burning these throughout the winter season so my home will be smelling all festive and Christmassy.
What are your winter beauty favourites?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Treasure Jar ♥

 I'm always looking for ways to entertain my active little toddler and when I stumbled across the wonderful Sadhbh from Where Wishes Come From's post all about the Get-Better Box and read about the treasure jars she used to make for her girls when they were younger I thought it'd be a nice idea to try with my own little one. Now I can't say that Tyler Lee is the type of child who'll sit down with me and play together, in fact, in has no interest in this whatsoever, he prefers to learn and discover things alone and isn't ever very interested when I try to show him things (much to my dismay I may add) but I thought the idea of a treasure jar filled with things he's not normally allowed touch may be just the ticket for some toddler entertainment and some mother and son bonding time - I wasn't wrong.

I put together the jar in the morning, a time when my toddlers little hands are wanting to get into everything and tear the house into chaos. I used a glass jar, this was fine as I was staying with him the whole time, I think a plastic jar would be more ideal though if I could find one (I'm a bit particular over my beloved glass jars!). I filled the jar with bits and bobs which Tyler Lee usually tries to get his hands on and things which have some texture to them for a bit of sensory play also. 

 I filled the jar with a very long pearl necklace, a beaded necklace with some shiny beads, some flower hair clips, seashells, some key rings, a reindeer hair clip with a little bell on it, a wooden cloud and some big buttons. As you can see these are all just odds and ends from around my bedroom but these types of things really are like treasure to my child.

To my joy he came right over to where I was sitting on the rug in the sitting room and sat down to sift through and discover all the treasure with me. He loved the key rings and the seashells the best, feeling the rough edges of the shells and the smooth and beaded textures of the key rings. He was entertained for ages and I loved showing him everything, emphasising the word 'treasure' and naming each special thing as he took it out of the jar. He loved taking everything out, putting it back in, taking it back out and so on, he even loved putting the lid on the jar each time.

This may seem like such a small thing but for a mother who has tried to show her child things millions of times but has been met with no interest this was a big breakthrough for us. I loved seeing my boy entertained and excited for the 'treasure' and all the things he wouldn't normally be allowed have (my precious jewellery!). I think the treasure jar is such an ingenious idea and I'm so glad I read Sadhbh's lovely post that morning. I'll be doing more treasure jars in future and including many different things over the years for Tyler Lee. Of course, they won't be too often as treasure is a special thing after all but I hope he'll love exploring everything and seeing what it does everytime.

Do you make treasure jars for your children? What kinds of things do you include?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tyler Lee's Christmas Gifts 2014 ♥


I am so organised with my Christmas shopping this year, I actually began putting things away in May and I found it so much easier and cost effective doing it bit by bit and getting things whilst they were on sale. This Christmas Tyler Lee's main gift is the beauty Tildo Country Play Kitchen which we bought in a traditional toy shop in our city (I've added a link above to where it can be bought online). This is one of the most beautiful toy kitchens I've ever seen, I just love the light blue colour and the Belfast sink, it's perfect for my boy. As this is his main gift his father and I wanted to get him things to go with his kitchen, we got the Le Toy Van Honeybake blender and mixer sets which are just adorable! The Djeco Fox's Party Tea Set is super sweet with all the things a little one needs to have a tea party including little wooden teabags and a cake that can be cut up. We also picked up a Morphy Richards Kitchen set which has a coffee maker, kettle and toaster as well as some other bits and pieces and some metal pots and pans (to be honest I wish we had opted for the wooden option, they'd be far quieter!). Finally we got him a 120 piece food set for making lots of make believe meals. I think it's fair to say Tyler Lee's kitchen is far nicer and better kitted out than our real one!

We got Tyler Lee a Vtech train set last year but it's far too big for our small house so we've opted for a smaller wooden train set for him this year. We also got him a Peter Rabbit storage box filled with lots of Peter Rabbit goodies including the plush shown next to the box above. I also filled the box with a Peter Rabbit classic book, a mini board book set, playing cards, a make your own rabbit mask kit and some DVDs. Another of his gifts is a box of Lego Duplo, his first lego set ever! We also have the Wheelybug Bee for him which will be his first proper ride on toy. As he's always getting his picture taken we thought this chevron design wooden toy camera would be a great gift for our boy, we also got a white strap for it as he loves wearing things around his neck. Finally, his last gifts are a mini wooden work bench similar to the one above and a personalised wooden tool set and case.

I think we have gone a bit overboard this year and had actually forgotten some things we had bought as we bought things bit by bit. I don't want Christmas to turn into a toy fest for Tyler Lee, especially as he gets his Christmas Eve basket, lots of books and some stocking fillers too but I am glad that we've picked things this year that we know will get played and which will last a lifetime too. I hope he'll love everything that Santa brings him!

What have you gotten your little ones for Christmas this year?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Perfect Gift For My Fiance ♥

 It was my fiance's birthday two weeks ago and I was stuck on what to get him - the man literally has everything so it's always so hard to come up with lovely gift ideas for him. I had, however, noticed him looking at watches in jeweler windows when we were out doing our Christmas shopping and then it hit me, a watch would be a perfect gift for him. He already has a watch but doesn't wear it too often as it's a 'good' watch as he puts it so I wanted to get him something that he could wear everyday that was still stylish and practical for work. I once read somewhere that if you give someone the gift of jewellery that means you think they're a keeper and that's definitely how I feel about him.

I went in search online for a good deal and a better selection then what I would find in the jewellery shops in my city and came across a site called Shade Station which have a huge selection of brand name watches at great prices. After looking through all the brands which I thought Jacek may like I finally settled on the Swiss Military Hanowa Soldier Watch*, a classic looking watch with a textured black leather strap, polished stainless steel case, a black face and a date dial. I knew Jacek would love this watch as it has a simple elegance, he's not a fan of the stainless steel linked watches with all the gadgets so this one would be perfect for his simple tastes. I also knew that being a Swiss watch it would be of fantastic quality and last a lifetime, I knew he'd love the military aspect to the watch too as he's a history buff just like myself.

The watch came in a lovely box and a great case so it really was special when Jacek was opening it, he even commented on how lovely the case was and he was delighted with his watch - he hasn't stopped wearing it since! The watch has a RRP of £115 but I bought it for £86.25 on the Shade Station website, that's a saving of 25%! I'm so delighted I found this site and their great bargains, I'm now eying up a Michael Kors watch for myself. The watch really was the perfect gift for my fiance and I'm thrilled he's so happy with it.

I've also begun thinking of what to get Jacek for Christmas. I've been searching for gifts for him online and I've found so many unusual and unique things which I think would be right up his street. He loves trying out different beers so this case of award winning British beers would be great for him and keep him happy over the festive season I'm sure! He's always saying he'd like a globe (I've no idea why!) so this globe light would be a great option for him too, he could look at the world map and have a light to use whilst studying in the office - perfect! He really likes aeroplanes and flying paper ones with our son so I think this wooden aeroplane would be a lovely little feature to have in his office. Finally, I think this James Bond Archives coffee book is a perfect gift for him as a huge James Bond fan. I think he'd have a good hour or so looking through it and having it as a talking piece on our coffee table.

What do you get your fiance for their birthday or Christmas?


Monday, November 24, 2014

Living Arrows - Week 47 ♥

I am taking part in I Heart Snapping's weekly Living Arrows project, a photography project to capture an image which represents the magic of childhood through a parents eyes through the actions, likes, dislikes, looks and movements of your own children. Below is my picture for week forty-seven of Living Arrows.

 Just five weeks left of this project and my boy just amazes me more and more each week with how fast he is growing. It seems only yesterday that he was a baby unable to even roll over onto his tummy now he's a little toddler who I can't even keep up with and who can climb up banks onto walls! Like seriously, how has he even learned how to climb a bank and onto a wall?! I certainly didn't show him that, this boy has been on this Earth before I think. I can't keep my eyes off him for a second. I stopped to admire the glaring sun going down over the ditch and then I see his curly hair peeping up from above my mothers flowers on the bank. I race over and this is what greeted me - Tyler Lee posed like Simba from the Lion King over the mountain top with the white setting sunlight behind him. I wish my baby boy would stop growing so quickly... and giving me mini heart attacks too!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christmas Giveaway #7 - Win A Makeup Bag Filled With Makeup & Beauty Goodies ♥

This may be my final Christmas giveaway for this year (if I haven't forgotten one of course!) and I think you'll find it's an absolute cracker! You can win a beautiful makeup bag filled to the bring with some of my own personal favourite makeup and beauty goodies from a whole host of amazing brands. All of these things I have used in the past or own myself and I highly recommend them all. I have put this prize together out of my own pocket and out of some samples which I have stashed away the past few months (it was so much fun picking things up bit by bit for the surprise!) and will be sent with love to the lucky winner. 

The prize includes -
A Modella patterned makeup bag
A Red Velvet Yankee Candle votive
ImPress press on manicure in red
Claire's nail jewels
Nail Bling nail wraps
Elizabeth Arden beautiful colour mascara in black
Benefit The Pore-Fessional mini
Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream mini
Tan Organic bronzing powder duo
Dior It-Lash Mascara sample in pink
Paese Cosmetics nail lacquer in 'Sea Shimmer'
GOSH Lip Lacquer
The Body Shop 2-in-1 gel eyes and brows in brown
Montagne Jeunesse Very Berry face mask
Heathcote & Ivory freesia and wild strawberry hand lotion
Eylure Dramatic lashes
Gosh frosted nail polish

A whole host of gorgeous goodies from some amazing brands I'm sure you'll agree! For a chance of winning this lovely bundle all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter below. I have decided open this giveaway worldwide and it will end on December 23rd so the winner should hopefully have their prize before the new year. Best of luck to all who enter!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

#Project365 - Picture Number 319 - 325 ♥

 Those beautiful blue eyes, I really can't get enough. He's chewing on an angel keyring... just in case you were wondering!

 A family Sunday morning spent in his favourite place - down by the shoreline of course. It's not hard to see that this little guy is an Aquarius, he absolutely loves the water.

 Some bedtime reading of a word book with sliding bits, his favourite kind of book. I'm really trying to help him with his words and pronunciation so he can start talking to us. The words of the night were 'cereal', 'cup', 'coat', 'hat', 'teddy' and 'train'.

 A spot of birdie watching whilst eating his lunch outside. Peanut butter smeared all over his nose and mouth, at least he enjoyed it! The cold doesn't deter him at all.

 Tickles in the sitting room, he lay on his beanbag as if that could somehow save him from the tickle monster. I love the look of his curls in black and white.

A night of painful teething for my boy, bright red cheeks and so warm. Thankfully he slept through the night and managed to get some relief from it all.

 Wearing his new PJ's, 18-24 months... they're huge! He looked so sweet playing with his tractor before bed in his checked flannel PJ's, what a sweetheart.

As the days of this project have gone on it has become increasingly hard to get a portrait of Tyler Lee everyday. He is so quick and never stops moving, he hates having his picture taken and I always seem to forget to take his picture until the last second. I have only a few more weeks of this project left now and I'm determined to get some lovely pictures of my boy to treasure forever. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tyler Lee's Christmas Eve Basket 2014 ♥

 The Christmas season is swiftly approaching and I don't know why but I'm really looking forward to it this year, I'm in some serious need of Christmas cheer I think. If you didn't know already, my family is tri-national. I am of course Irish and my fiance is Polish/South African so when important times of year such as Christmas come along we try to merge both our traditions to make a fun and traditional type Christmas for us all. Last year, for our sons first ever Christmas Jacek and I put together a Christmas Eve basket for him. Christmas Eve is an important time in Polish tradition, we have a nice meal and Jacek and I swap gifts that night and as we also want our son to embrace his Polish culture we prepare a Christmas Eve basket for him, something for him to enjoy on the day although last year I gave him his basket just before bed and may do the same this year, I'm undecided.

This years basket is considerably larger than last years, I think I may have gotten a bit carried away with getting things for the basket as I had actually forgotten some of the things I had bought but I don't mind spoiling my boy for Christmas or his birthday, as long as he's happy we're happy and to be honest he doesn't get much except for new clothes throughout the rest of the year.
 Included in Tyler Lee's basket this year are: 
New Christmas themed pyjamas and a new red robe. New pyjamas were always a tradition for my brother and I on Christmas Eve so I've passed this on to Tyler Lee. I love the festive print on these flannel pj's, they'll keep him super snug and warm on Christmas Eve night. The pj's and robe set are from Penneys/Primark.
A vintage Rudolph print scarf with four Lush bath products inside - Christmas Eve, Dashing Santa, Holly Golightly and The Christmas Penguin, these are for his bath on Christmas Eve night and throughout the festive season.
Three books - Jingle Bells, The Nativity Story and Santa's Special Letter which is such a gorgeous book that I just had to keep it for the basket. I picked up two of the books for just €1.49 in Dealz and the other off Amazon for such a bargain too.
A penguin hot water bottle, a divided Christmas themed plate for his Christmas dinner, a Christmas cup with a spiral straw, a reindeer soft toy, the Snowdog and a snowman puppet. The hot water bottle is from Penneys/Primark. The plate, cup and snowman puppet are from Dealz for just €1.49 each. The reindeer soft toy was part of the pj's and robe set and the Snowdog is from Amazon.
Chocolate Buttons and Kinder Minis, miniature candy canes, Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie and Merry Marshmellow votive candles and a Christmas Eve wax tart met. I'll burn the votive candles in the living room while we're reading his books and the wax tart melt in his room before bed. The candy was just €1.49 each and also from Dealz. The votive candles were €2.50 each and the wax tart melt was €1.50.

I decorated the basket handle with some felt snowflakes and string and covered the end of the basket with some white and silver fabric. As you can see from the prices listed above everything was relatively inexpensive, I think the most expensive things were the Lush products and the hot water bottle. Baskets like this can be made to suit all budgets and I love that. I hope my boy will love his basket, I had so much fun putting it together for him this year so I hope he has just as much fun sorting through it and finding all his treats.

Do you put Christmas Eve baskets together for your children? What do you include?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things... ♥

These are a few of my favourite things... just writing that title along has me singing the song from The Sound Of Music, I need to watch that film again, it's one of my all-time favourites but enough jibber jabber from me. I wanted to share with you all some of my favourite things and some of them I doubt will be a surprise. These are all things which I am loving for the winter season and have been using lately. Everything is quite girly and pretty too and are perfect for adding a bit of glamour and lux to my days.

Yankee Candles - I don't think it's a surprise to see these included in a favourites post of mine. For those of you who haven't yet seen my Yankee Candle collection post I think it shows off my obsession quite well for the brand. Sparkling Snow is the newest edition to my collection and was a gift from my lovely fiance. This was the only jar of this scent left in the shop and I love it, I must admit it was the festive name that drew me to it in the first place. It's a fresh, clean scent which really does give off the smell of snow on pine trees, it's so festive. I don't want to burn it though as the wax has glitter throughout it and is so pretty! Sugared Apple and Candy Cane Lane are new additions to my wax tart collection and are now sitting in my festive scents jar. Candy Cane Lane has the scent of candy canes (ta-dah for the surprise!) and is a really sweet scent. Sugared Apple has a real Christmassy scent to me, smelling of apples sprinkled with sugar and hints of vanilla.

 Perfume - I've always loved perfume, since a young age I've loved all the different scents and the gorgeous looking bottles they come in. Perfume fragrances always remind me of people who wear them and memories from when I was younger and I love that. I always remember my mother having the Elizabeth Taylor 'White Diamonds' perfume and I was obsessed with the bottle. When I first saw Vera Wang 'Princess' I wanted the perfume purely for the bottle alone, it's so pretty with it's lilac heart shape and gold crown lid but the perfume smells gorgeous too. The scent always reminds me of getting ready for nights out when I was in my late teens and the fun times my old friends and I had. I've been wearing this perfume everyday lately and I think it's a great scent for winter.

Pearls/Jewellery In General - Since a young age I've always had an interest in jewellery and in my school year book someone commented that I'll always be known for "my blonde hair and all the jewellery", they were probably right. I haven't been wearing my jewellery lately and it's a shame as I've so much of it so when I discovered my gorgeous pale pink pearls whilst cleaning out my cupboard the other day I just had to start wearing them again. I think they're so pretty for winter and these were actually one of the first gifts my fiance ever gave me so I really should wear them.

Lipstick - Everyone who knows me knows of my obsession for lipsticks and I've quite a vast collection of brands and shades. I've been wearing my Chanel L'Exuberante a lot lately and I love the matte hot pink shade. It's probably the most expensive lipstick I own so I should wear it as often as I can. It's nice to have a little bit of luxury as part of my everyday makeup.

My Engagement Ring - The most important piece of jewellery I own if not just for the sentimental value alone. The ring is white gold with diamonds and sapphire. My fiance said he picked it as "the blue reminded him of my eyes", I'm not quite too sure about that but it certainly does match our sons eyes pretty well, maybe he could see the future whilst picking it out! I love this ring so much, it has a classic elegance I think.

These are just a few of my favourite things. What are a few of your favourite things?

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