Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Trouble With Two... ♥

Cheeky two year old sticking his tongue out at his Daddy.
It's official, my lovely, placid, happy little boy has hit the 'terrible twos stage', it didn't take long as he's only twenty-six months old at the moment but I really do see a change in him, and not for the better. If I'm completely honest it has been really hard going with him lately. Now don't get me wrong, he's not naughty or anything, in fact, I never have any complaints about his behaviour, apart from him doing some silly things from time to time but really he's as good as gold. The trouble with two, you see, is the unexplained constant crying, the whinging, the tantrums, the new fad of collapsing to the ground and banging his head on it when he doesn't get his own way... whoever said that the newborn stage was hard, you couldn't be further away from the truth. The newborn days are a glistening distant memory of calm, happiness and quiet, these days are loud, very loud, filled with shouting and crying and I feel as though I can't do anything right for him at the moment.

I know that almost all toddlers go through this stage, but when people used to refer to the 'terrible twos' I'd laugh it off, naively thinking that it wouldn't be that bad at all but I was wrong, very wrong. My son isn't able to talk a lot yet (although I am completely convinced he knows how, he just doesn't) so he can't express himself to me, he can't tell me what's frustrating him or what he wants and most days are a constant guessing game of trying to figure out what he's wanting. As a parent I am lost, I feel as if I am failing him. He's only two, why isn't he happy? Why isn't he giggling and laughing like he used to instead of turning into the anti-Christ every time he doesn't get his way or is told no? The way he roars and screams just breaks me and I usually end up giving in to him.

I don't usually share these parenting predicaments I face on a daily basis on the blog as I like my blog to be my escape, my place to share all I love with the world and so on, but as I lay in my bed last night, toddler in arms, my arm going dead from the weight of his head but afraid to move for fear of waking him, him all tuckered out from the screaming and flailing about session he just had minutes before, I felt I had to write about my experience with him at the moment, to leave other parents know about the realities and the trouble with two. This is all completely normal behaviour for a toddler of course but it can be draining and with my already lack of inspiration, my blog has been on the back burner and I don't know how to turn things around.

I had been awfully broody for another baby recently but this also has to go on the back burner. At the moment my son needs me to just be his mummy. I need to focus all my attention on him, helping him with his speech, helping him express his emotions in a way that don't result in him banging his head off the ground in anger. Kudos to parents who have two or more children three and under, I really don't know how you do it because I know I couldn't, not right now.

Two can be amazing, two can be wonderful, an adventure of learning new things and exploring more of the world and a cascade of cuddles and kisses for no reason at all, but two can also be trouble, frustrating, defeating and exhausting. I hope my boy is back to his happier self so and this constant crying stage is over with quickly, I need my Tyler Smiler back.

Did your toddler go through a stage like this when they turned two?


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Messages From Heaven ♥

Everyone knows someone who has sadly passed away, someone who they loved very much and held so dearly in their hearts but who's time to go sadly came, whether it was too soon or expected, it's never easy to fathom and they will never be forgotten. I've only ever known four people who have died, my Nana and Grandad Naughton, my friend Louise and a friends mother, it's lucky in a way to have experienced so few deaths in my life, each terribly sad in their own way.

Recently I feel as though I've been getting messages from Heaven, all coming from my Grandad Naughton. Now some people may think I'm absolutely crazy but please read on before making a judgement and if you still think I'm crazy at the end of this post well then you're more than welcome to your opinion, I get some comfort from these things so that's all that matters to me.

 It all started one night last week where I had a dream about being outside a grand estate home with my family. I've been having the most vivid and strangest dreams as of late so this was nothing out of the ordinary but the dream took a turn when my Grandad walked into the dream. It's strange as even though I was in a dream I thought to myself how weird it was that he was there. My grandparents have only featured in my dreams a handful of times since they died and it's usually my Nana who's in them, so to see and talk to my Granda in my dream was a real surprise for me. I can't remember what he said to me in the dream but the strangest thing was I suddenly woke up and got the strong scent of pipe tobacco in my bedroom, a scent which I associate with him as he used to smoke a pipe but gave up doing so a few years before his death. I looked around the darkness of my room seeing only Jacek sleeping soundly next to me and knew that this scent of pipe tobacco wasn't coming from my inside my home, so where was it coming from? I can't remember falling back to sleep but when I woke up in the morning that dream was blazing in my mind.

Imagine my surprise when today Tyler Lee found the above picture of my Grandad out of nowhere. I honestly don't know where he found it or how it ended up in his hands as I thought it was in a book high up on the shelf but there he had it, in his little hands and he was smiling at it. He then began to give the picture kisses, taking it around the room and chattering away as if he was showing it his toys and things that he does. It was so strange to witness but so lovely at the same time. I have to admit, seeing him kiss the picture over and over brought a tear to my eye. My Grandad and I weren't incredibly close but I do have fond memories of him from when I was a little girl and from our holidays together when I was growing up. Before I put Tyler Lee up for his nap I showed him the picture again and asked who it was, he said Granda.

 Now I know it sounds silly but I like to think my Granda is giving me messages from Heaven, I don't know why and I don't know why he would choose to do so now as he died on January 5th 2009, but all I can think is that I've been feeling a bit defeated lately, down on myself and wanting to give up on things which I used to love and perhaps he's wanting to spur me on. Two things that my Granda told me stick in my mind a lot, the last time I saw him he told my brother and I that we should stick together because all we have is each other and also that I'd have to work for all I have in life.

One of the things I've been thinking of giving up is this blog, something which I previously hoped to turn into a profession for me. Maybe he's spurring me on not to give up, I absolutely have no idea but what I do know is my Granda is looking out for me and his words are now in the forefront of my mind, making me rethink things and wanting to find my inspiration again. 

How wonderful and comforting is it to think that you're still being guided and minded by those you love, even though they haven't been here for quite some time and never will be again.

Thank you Grandad, I love you. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

Snippets Of My Life Via Instagram ♥

 Serious selfie // Dress for a daughter I don't have // School time! // Sylvanian addict // Breakfast of champions // Poorly boy // Being healthy // Enough lip products?! // Broodiness 

My love for Instagram is still blossoming, I seriously can't get enough of seeing some beautiful photography from around the world and sharing snippets of my life on there too so I think it's only fitting for me to share these everyday moments on my other slice of the internet too - my blog. It's been awhile since I did one of these snippets posts so it's high time I shared some Instagram moments with you all. However, putt that collage together really annoyed my perfectionist self, it looks so messy, damn the no crop app!

My newest selfie (seriously, who doesn't love a selfie), as my Dad used to say, if I was a bar of chocolate I'd eat myself, the cheek of him! I was trying out some new makeup which didn't live up to my expectations - the taste of that lip balm was rancid. Wet n' Wild, I am NOT impressed. Plus, why is one of my eyes way bigger than the other? I swear I'm not a mutant. My collection of Beatrix Potter dresses for little girls... but I have a son. I better have a daughter someday after buying these, they are the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen though so that makes it okay, right?! Tyler Lee-Lee Lally Lou-Lou all happy for playschool, I love his little happy face. Mine Tyler Lee's Sylvanian Families collection, which has grown since this picture was taken. My wish of getting wasn't Sylvanian Families wasn't fulfilled as a child so I need to buy them myself as an adult, how sad is that?! My favourite breakfast, a choccy croissant and a strawberry and white chocolate muffin - so healthy and a breakfast of champions... I jest of course. My poorly boy all snuggled up in his Beatrix Potter quilt with his Bambi. He was so ill, it broke my heart and he puked all over me... twice, I'll never forget it, the warmth of it all *shivers*. A real healthy breakfast when I decided to go on a health kick (it lasted for three hours), the fruit was nice though! Sorting out my lip products, I really don't think I have enough. I mean I only have about 60 for my ONE mouth! My one month old baby bunny on his first Easter Sunday, oh the broodiness, oh my ovaries, oh how I want another.

These are just some snippets from my life lately, moments which I don't normally share on the blog but moments which you can have a look-see at on @fiandtylerlee 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fun Things To Do In Spring & Summer Evenings ♥

 Now that the spring has arrived the days a brighter, warmer and there's a great stretch in the evenings - as we say here in Ireland! My son is usually tucked up in bed by 7 or 7.30 but now this is getting drawn out as the weather has been so good and the sun just makes him want to stay up later. It can be hard trying to find ways to entertain us both in the evenings, generally we don't leave the house after 6 as it was always 'getting ready for bed time' but I can see this is now changing and I've been in search of some boredom busters, not just for him but for me too - hey, mammy needs some entertainment too! 
The weather is fantastic right now but it it rains of course, there’s always the fall-back position of seeing what’s on TV, but there’s definitely a limit to how entertaining watching hours of TV can be... I usually just put it on to have some sound in the house. So here are some boredom busters for parents and little ones, because everyone should make the most of these long evenings!
 Go for a walk with the little ones. Going for a walk in the evenings, especially when the sun is shining, can be a great way to wind little ones down for bedtime and is a great way of fitting some light exercise into your day. I've begun taking Tyler Lee out for little adventures in the evening, bringing my camera with me and taking some snaps in the gorgeous evening sunlight. You can now read about our latest adventure - a little boy and his island.
 Relax in the garden. Somedays the little ones are actually bound to fall asleep on time, especially if they days are hot and they've been running around a lot or have had a day at the seaside, so why not relax in the garden after they've gone to bed? I love being out in my garden but I want to make it even nicer and somewhere peaceful for us all to relax. I like to go out there when my boy is asleep and just sit at the picnic table enjoying a drink, reading some blogs or playing some games online such as bingo - how fab is it to have wifi access in the garden?! Now all I need is a sun lounger to relax on whilst I sit out there!

 Have a picnic. Why not mix things up and have a picnic for dinner? Imagine the fun everyone would have just relaxing with each other outside and enjoying some nice food together. I love going for picnics with Tyler Lee and Jacek and one of these evenings we're going to have a picnic for dinner - expect pictures! We recently had a teddy bears picnic and it was so much fun!

Grab some ice-creams and head to the seaside. This is such a great idea for an after dinner treat for the little ones and one my boy would enjoy for sure! You can pick up some ice-creams cheaply in your local supermarket, tell the kids it's dessert and then take them to the seaside to enjoy them. There's benches at our local beach and I like to sit there with Tyler Lee whilst having a treat before having a stroll along the beach with him. It's such a simple thing but something he really enjoys. There's nothing like a before bed paddle to help you drift off to sleep!

Have a tea party in the garden. This is something I really want to do with the girls at some stage, as I've already stated on the blog, there's nothing better than tea and chats!Why not make your outdoor table all pretty, serve some tea and cocktails, cakes and finger food and have some giggles and gossip with your besties.

Have a family BBQ. This is something I'd love to do at some stage during the summer. I want to get the BBQ out and invite my family around to enjoy some delicious food and just have a laugh with them out in the garden. It's so lovely to get everyone together and what better way to enjoy each others company then out in the sun with some tasty food?

Go for a bike ride. Another great way to get some exercise into the day and it's quite a leisurely activity when the evening is long and the sun is shining. I really want to get a new bike and a seat on the back for Tyler Lee. It'd be lovely to go for a cycle with him in the evenings down the back of the island by the sea.

These are just some ways to have fun in these beautiful spring and summer evenings and as you can see there are some things in there for us adults to enjoy on our own and with friends too - so important to have some 'me time' of course. As you can see, all of these fun activities are based outside because it'd be a shame to waste these beautiful evenings sitting indoors - unless it's raining, which in Ireland it most probably will be so I'll be making the most of the sun while I can!

Which of these things would you find most fun?


A Little Boy & His Island ♥

We're island people, we love being by the sea and exploring. As my boy had slept all afternoon we had all evening for exploring so I decided to show him some new places, beautiful places on his island which he'd never been to before. The sun was shining bright, golden hour was fast approaching and we were touring the back of the island. I had my camera in one hand, my toddler in the other, it was perfect.

 Our first stop was a little strand which I don't think anyone goes to. Over a stream and through some rushes we found a little lake of sorts made by the sea, it was so beautiful with the sun shining down on the water, the little flowers growing on the bank and the wet grass squelching under our feet. This is a place we discovered together because I had never see this lake before and it's a place which we'll most definitely return to one day soon as it was so peaceful in the evening sun and the perfect place to spend time, just the two of us, with only the sea and the green fields for company, and believe me when I say that Ireland is green!

 We then went to a spot which my Dad used to take me to as a child. Once again there was no one but my boy and I, and the midgets of course as the sun was going down fast, I told he they were fairies and he was amazed by them flying around him. We couldn't drive down the hill to the strand as the road is so badly broken up, I don't think anyone goes down there anymore and that's quite sad really. It was such an eerie feeling walking down a road to essentially nowhere with nobody around. There was moss and ivy everywhere and pretty purple flowers with heart-shaped leaves, I just had to capture them on camera. My boy was mesmerised by the colourful graffiti on the wall, loving the love heart shapes and trying to press them.

I love these adventures, especially in the warm, evening light. My boy got to discover more of his island and I got to visit places from my past, just perfect.


Real Techniques Sculpting Set Collectors Edition Brushes | Review ♥

 I've been in need of some new makeup brushes for awhile now, so when I got my hands on the Real Techniques Sculpting Set Collectors Edition* brushes I was excited to give them a try. I honestly think that Real Techniques offer some of the best quality and affordable (hugely important to me!) makeup brushes you can buy and this set is no exception.

The set comes with three brushes, each with a gorgeous metallic pink handle and skunk bristles. The bristles on these brushes are super soft, so lovely to use on the face as there's no scratchiness to them and they don't irritate the skin at all. There's no fallout at all from the bristles either which just goes to show just how great quality these brushes are.

My favourite brush out of the three in the set is the sculpting brush, which I use with my IsaDora Face Sculptor palette. It's the perfect shape, with it's wide angled head, to create perfect contour lines and it's also amazing for buffing product into the skin. I've used this brush for my bronzer and highlighter and it has worked amazingly well for applying and buffing both into my skin, especially under my cheekbones and on my forehead.

The fan brush is another fantastic addition to this set and is actually a set exclusive. This brush sweeps away any excess product or powder, giving a flawless, even and airbrushed finish to the skin. I was amazed at how well this worked at correcting my bronzer heavy-handedness and making my face look polished and perfectly done. The fan brush really is a miracle worker of sorts and I was actually so surprised at how easily it gave my skin that perfect, airbrushed look without much effort at all.

The final brush in the set is the setting brush, a great little brush for applying highlighter or other loose powder to certain areas of the face. I use this brush to add highlighter to my brown bone and under my eyes and as these are areas which are delicate and which I don't want to use a lot of product on, this brush is perfect for controlling how much product I'm applying.

I'm so in love with these brushes - they look pretty, they work amazingly well and they are so soft, I really can't fault with them. I use them daily when contouring my face and they really do help to create a flawless finish to my face.

The Real Techniques Sculpting Set Collectors Edition brushes are £19.99 and are available in major retailers nationwide.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Beach Inspired Hair | Mark Hill Big Tease BBF & Beach Babe Sea Salt Wave Spray ♥

 I always wear my hair down but as the spring is here and the summer months are fast approaching I look for ways to style my hair effortlessly, whilst keeping on trend of course. I really like using sea salt sprays in my hair during the warmer months to create that messy beach hair look, perfect for teaming with floral crowns and accessories to give a laid-back, easy hairstyle that looks effortlessly done. 

 I recently got my hands on Mark Hill Holiday Hair Beach Babe Sea Salt Wave Spray* and couldn't wait to try it out as it smells amazing - seriously, the scent of it just reminds me of holidays and anything that makes me think of warm sands and clear waters is a winner in my book! 

I sprayed the product liberally on my dry hair - the product, however, can also be used on damp hair to get naturally drying waves. When the product dried in my hair different feel hard and unmanageable like other sea salt sprays have made it feel over the years, it just simply felt and looked like, my hair had be tousled by the sea air and the sand, the exact look I was going for.

To give my hair an extra bit of va va voom I used the Mark Hill Big Tease BFF Backcombing Brush* to give some volume to the roots and to style my fringe. Now I can't say I've ever gotten on well with backcombing brushes before, finding their small handles quite hard to keep a grip on whilst trying to style my hair, but this hot pink brush, which resembles two combs stuck together, was so easy to use and it worked really well with creating volume, along with some dry shampoo of course.

I'm super impressed with these two Mark Hill products and shall be using them both lots over the coming months. I just love the messy beach vibe hair look, it's so easy to create and quick too.

The Mark Hill Big Tease BFF is £6.99 and the Beach Babe Wave Spray is €8.49, both being available in major pharmacies nationwide.

Are you a fan of the messy, beach hair look?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My MAC Lipstick Collection ♥

 It's safe to say that MAC are my favourite brand for lipsticks ever. I'm just so in love with their colour range, their different formulas and that gorgeous vanilla scent which they have. For me no brand, except Lime Crime, has a better pigmentation to their lipsticks and it's strange but when I'm wearing any MAC products I immediately feel better about myself and to me, that's the most important thing a makeup product can do for you - give you confidence and make you feel beautiful all at the same time. MAC lipsticks are on the pricier end of the scale at €19 a pop but to be honest, they are totally worth the money. I now have 18, having used up some and given some away but these will last me for ages and I love having different shades to choose from too, it's nice to be able to wear a different colour everyday.

I also love the fact that MAC have their 'Back to MAC' scheme which has allowed me to get free lipsticks from time to time. I actually have six product empties at the moment (I steal them from my mam when she's done with her products - sorry mam!) so I'm due a free lipstick. I think I'll be going for Saigon Summer or Coral Bliss as I'm loving orange/coral shades at the moment and they're so pretty for spring and summer. If anyone has a review on these colours please feel free to share the link below so I can have a read.

My collection can really be divided into three groups - pinks, purples and mid-tones.

 Pink is always my go to shade for lipstick. I think I have a good range of pinks from MAC and as you can see Snob is my favourite pink and was actually the first MAC lipstick shade I ever bought. The shades I used least are Viva Glam Gaga, Pink Pearl Pop and Rose Lily, I just don't think they suit me as they're so light but looking at the swatches above I think I'll have to give them another go because they look quite pretty swatched. Lickable is a great 'going out' shade as I like to call it and it has some shimmer to it. Bombshell is a shade I wear a lot during the day as it's not too n your face.

The purple end of my collection is another one which I think I have a good colour range of from the MAC collections. Rebel is my newest addition and I'm not quite sure if it suits me or not which is a shame as I think looks lovely on other blondes. Plumful is the shade I've be using a lot recently and I really love it, the Lustre formula is really moisturising on the lips and the colour just pops. As you can see Up the Amp is the shade I've used most out of the bunch and it's such a great colour for night time wear. One of my favourite MAC lipsticks ever is Twig as you may have seen it featured on the blog before. It's a shade I wouldn't have picked up myself but after my mam passed it onto me I fell in love with it.

 Looking at the mid-tones I have, a lot of them seem to have red and orange undertones - I must have a penchant for those colours! My favourite MAC lipstick is Sunny Seoul, such a gorgeous light coral shade which is perfect for spring and summer. I also love Crosswires which is a red/orange shade and is really pretty for wearing during the day. Fan Fare, Lovelorn and Fabby are all shades which I wear offhand for daytime. I'm not in love with any of them particularly but they're find for wearing daily. Ladybug is the only red lipstick I've ever liked on me as it's not too bright or stand-out and that suits me fine as I like to be quite demure - at times anyway!

You can read my reviews on some of the lipsticks above and other MAC products which I own here.

Do you own any of these MAC shades? Which is your favourite?

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