Friday, 28 July 2017

Summer Reads, StartUp and A Good First Week... ǀ Little Loves

As sad as it makes me that we have reached the end of the first week of the summer holidays, I'm also pretty stoked at it means we have also survived!  This week has been a real balancing act of trying to spend time with Meg and Eli, keeping them entertained and getting a shed load of freelance work done.  It's one of those strange scenarios where I'm really glad I've had a lot of work to do and incredibly I will be having my most successful month to date and yet also wishing I didn't have so much to do so I could spend more time with the kids.

Next week will be even stranger as the kids are going to stay with my parents so it will just be little old me rattling around at home during the day!

But onto the other things I have loved this week:-

I am about halfway through When Dimple Met Rishi and really, really enjoying it.  As a YA contemporary romance it had me feeling a little dubious as it isn't the type of thing I would usually read but culturally it is fascinating and the story itself is just so sweet.  I haven't even finished it yet and I suspect it's going to be a book I keep on recommending to people.

We were in the mood for a new box set to binge-watch so this week we began StartUp.  It's taken a little getting used to as it features some big names including Martin Freeman rocking an American accent but all the reviews advised to stick with it and that it would really pick up so we have high hopes.  The basic premise is that you have a whole bunch of characters from different walks of life who are all influenced and shaped by one event: when a banker steals some money.  At least...that's what I've taken from it so far!  I will let you know how it goes as the season develops.

I don't really have anything for this category as we've not been so creative this week.  The kids have had lots of fun making their summer bucket lists but that's about as far as we got.

Some Minnie Ears!  On Thursday we headed into Manchester for a Disney-themed quiz with Paladone and it was a lot of fun.  We didn't win but we didn't cause ourselves any embarrassment either so I was pretty pleased.  It was a great evening with good food, good people and a good atmosphere.

I have been absolutely loving Despacito at the moment, as have the kids and it's our most requested song when we are in the car.  It just has such good summer vibes and is perfect for when the sun is shining.  We haven't had too much of that this week but we've been trying to make the most of that elusive sunshine when it appears.

And Lastly...
I know it's almost like tempting fate to say it but this week has been a really nice balance of everything.  Meg and Eli haven't fallen out too much and have played well allowing me to get my work done which in turn has meant that we've been able to do some nice things, such as going into Liverpool for the day.  I want to say that I hope the rest of the summer holiday is as good as that would be incredible...we will have to see!!

Have a great week all!

*This post contains an affiliate link

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Oyster Skincare Eye Brightening Serum ǀ Review

I know I have said several times before that I'm not your typical 'beauty' blogger.  If I find a product which works then I tend to stick faithfully by the brand and I'm unlikely to try anything new for fear it will upset the delicate balance of my skin.  Unfortunately I'm not getting any younger though and I have begun to notice the appearance of fine lines around my eyes so when I was offered the chance to review the eye brightening serum from Oyster skincare, I'll admit to being intrigued.

At first glance I was impressed with the packaging.  It costs £14.99 for the serum but the packaging gives the illusion of a product which costs much more than that.  Oyster skincare are a new premium skincare brand which aims to blend skin-enhancing actives with essential oils.

The packaging was clear, simple and the box contained clear details about how to apply the product and what the expected results could be.

Oyster skincare claim that this eye serum:-

* Lessens dark circles under the eyes
* Reduces wrinkles and crows feet
* Is light and non-greasy
* Contains only natural ingredients and is paraben and alcohol free.

The serum packaging itself says:-

'A wonderfully unique formulation packed full of actives each with their own special reputations.  Super-smoothing Hyaluronic Acid, wrinkle-reducing Pentapeptides, anti-ageing COQ10, Cafeisilane for puffiness and Niacinamide for dark circles; refreshingly blended with antioxidant Green Tea & Raspberry Extracts and gently soothing Cornflower.  The result is a super-enriched soothing eye gel that will help reduce puffiness, refresh weary eyes, and tone and brighten the skin around them.'

In all honesty that sounded like a whole lot of scientific jibber-jabber which was designed to make the product sound like a wonder gel so I really wanted to test how it stood up to this high claim.  Would it really work?  

You only need to apply the tiniest drop of the serum under your eyes so I get the impression that it will last a fair while; I've been using it for the last couple of weeks so haven't been able to try out exactly how long it will last for but I'll come and update the post when I know!  Its shelf life is around 6 months so I will be intrigued to see how long it lasts compared to that.

One of the things that I really liked about the serum on first use was the smell.  It has been created with an essential oil blend of lavender, grapefruit, and mandarin oils and this definitely comes across.  It doesn't smell chemical in any way but the mandarin definitely comes through.

Initially I didn't notice much of a difference when using the serum; my eyes weren't too bad to begin with so I wasn't expecting a huge turnaround but it seemed to be fairly normal.  However, after a week and a half I was out for a coffee with a friend and she commented that I looked a lot fresher than I had (erm...thanks?!) so perhaps the difference was more noticeable than I had thought.  I think we have the tendency to judge ourselves more harshly than anyone else; after two weeks I think that the dark circles under my eyes are still pretty visible but even James said he thought there was a difference!

The serum is definitely non-greasy and is very easy to apply.  I also have quite sensitive skin and didn't notice any adverse results.  I like that it is paraben-free and alcohol-free and I will continue to use it over the coming weeks and hopefully the dark circles under my eyes will gradually recede.

If you are interested in trying the serum out for yourself then I have a little giveaway which you are welcome to enter:-

Win A Bottle Of Brightening Eye Serum By Oyster #5

*I was sent this product for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.