Things are looking up. I’m looking down (at my nails)

Last time we spoke, things were bad. The baby wasn’t sleeping, was full of cold, and I was covered in sick. Thank goodness, life has improved a bit chez Minimum. The cold has gone. We have had a very successful few nights after introducing controlled crying, so we’re all sleeping much better. And I’ve had enough time to actually get back to some of my beauty projects. Things are definitely looking up!

My top priority was getting my nails sorted out-I’ve not had time recently to get the polish done at the brilliant Vietnamese place (they’re great, but don’t do making appointments, so I’ve just been unlucky that they’ve been busy whenever I’ve walked past with 15 free minutes recently). I’d got quite embarrassed by how awful my nails looked too-cuticles all over the shop, and I’d used a bright colour (Rose Libertine by Rimmel) without a base coat (I KNOW, lesson learned!) and it had left me with pretty horrible looking yellow staining. Boo. So something Had To Be Done, and I decided that gel nails would do nicely for now-long lasting, unchippable, would definitely cover up the yellow, and I don’t seem to have any of the issues with dry nails that other people complain about with gel polish (downside – it is expensive, at £27 a go, so will still be a treat, rather than a regular part of my routine). 

I went to a lovely small beauty salon I’ve used before, and the nail lady was ace-really quick, very thorough, didn’t tell me off too much for my dodgy cuticles, and I went for French Rose, which is a quiet, undemanding pink that won’t show too much when it starts growing out.

So, nails sorted, facial, brow wax and lash tint booked for this weekend, and a new princessing thread to follow on Mumsnet-I feel a new sense of momentum!



My glamorous life

The baby has a cold. When babies have colds, they make very sad faces, snot everywhere, and stop sleeping because they feel so awful. That’s all familiar-I’m much the same myself when a cold strikes. What I didn’t know is that they can also projectile vom everywhere because they swallow so much mucus. Leading to today’s glam post, in which I ended up literally covered in sick yesterday evening, after snuggling up on the bed to cuddle the poor sad hot-cheeked baby. Top parenting tip-if your child ever makes a noise that sounds interestingly prehistoric (I thought it was quite like an angry stegosaurus) hold them at arms length to avoid the worst!

After stripping the baby, the bed and myself, I put the washing machine on super hot, ran the boy a bath and hosed him down, and he went to sleep clean and sweet smelling, just in time for my husband to arrive home and see an adorable sleeping child. I handed over full responsibility for the baby to my husband and went and ran the hottest bath I could get out of our ancient boiler, and added a lot of Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily bubbles. I had a good scrub, then lounged around and read my book, put a hair mask on and combed it through, and eventually emerged, pink, glowing and ready for bed. Which all went to plan, until I was woken up by the small coldy boy managing to throw up on me through the bars of his cot. Cleanup round two was a bit less Molton Brown and bath lounging and a lot more Wash and Go in the shower-luckily, we’ve stayed sick free as a household for nearly 24 hours, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the cold is on its way out!

Running (ish)

Yesterday was running club and I went. I had something very odd happen where as soon as my knees felt any impact other than just being walked on, they felt like they were jarring. I was very lucky that I was the only beginner there and had my own running leader, so I didn’t slow anyone else down-we power walked, did lots of lunges and squats and I think my heart rate was kept up pretty well for the hour, I’m just a bit disappointed as I was really looking forward to it. The running leader said I could be coming down with something, and I have woken up a bit headachey and snotty, so perhaps that’s it. Really looking forward to next week!

In beauty news-I’ve let things slide (a VERY little) so will be paying much more attention to that side of things over the next couple of days!

Balance Me Extra Care

I saw a brilliant coupon in the Telegraph a few weeks ago for a Balance Me mini product trio, and you only had to pay postage. It arrived recently, and so far I’ve tried two out of the three products-an eye cream and a facial oil (the other one is a wrinkle cream, so addresses about the only skin concern I don’t have at the moment!) So, here’s the review…

Extra Care Wonder Eye Cream:

Containing camomile, lemon and lots of other lovely things (including rosehip oil-a big favourite of mine) this has been a real success. I’ve been using it for just over a week, and really like the texture-it’s quite light, but feels like a treat when I smooth it on (I smooth first, then pat-no idea why, maybe that’s what my mum does with eye creams?) The skin around my eyes looks brighter, and it really helps me wake up in the mornings.

Extra Care Radiance Facial Oil

I love a facial oil, I really do. And I gave this one a good shot, but it just doesn’t seem to be the one for me. This also contains camomile, as well as yarrow and buruti nut oil, and has a nice texture-quite a dry oil. I used it at night, instead of my usual rosehip oil, and was disappointed with the amount of moisture in my skin the next morning. Rosehip oil seems to leave my skin with a real glow, but this didn’t give me the lustre I was expecting (and hoping for!) and I had two dry patches which got progressively worse while I was using it.

I have tried a couple of other Balance Me products (their rose otto lip salve intensive lip salve is one of my favourites) and really like the ethos of the company-their slogan is ‘Beauty that works naturally’ and their products are very clean (no parabens, sulphates, mineral oils or other nasties) so I am delighted to be adding their eye cream to my morning routine, and putting my old cheapy eye gel to the back of the cupboard.


Bit later than I’d planned to write this, but yes, I went running on Wednesday after the disastrous attempt last week. It went well, my legs are killing me, and I didn’t throw up-this counts as definite exercise success! I’m even going back next week.

A catalogue of woe and excuses

Yesterday, I tried to go running. I used to go once or twice a week, with friends or a running for very slow not very sporty people club where I used to live-never liked it much, or got into that zone that proper runners talk about, but I managed about 30-40 minutes a couple of times a week, which seemed like reasonably good exercise for someone who otherwise sits very still most of the time. As I feel quite wobbly post baby, and also tired and lazy, I contacted a local beginners running club run from a sports centre a couple of miles away, they emailed back, sounded nice so I thought I’d give it a go (I very much need other people to make me run. It really doesn’t come naturally, so if I’m not being told to do it, I just walk instead, defying the point).

I was expecting quite a hectic evening, but I managed to get ready (joggers, sports bra, long thermal top, short sleeved T-shirt, trainers-I really was ready), get the baby into bed, cook tea and say hello to DH, then go outside. And when I got outside, it was snowing. So I went back in, grabbed a hat and gloves, then ran upstairs for a fleece (don’t judge me, it really was cold). Then back downstairs, into the car and off, to get stuck in traffic almost immediately. Made it to the sports centre a minute before the group were meant to leave, and there were no parking spaces. Not one, I took a while checking. Someone else had parked badly by the exit, on a curved bit of the road, so I tried to sneak in front of them (also badly) and then got beeped at long and loudly by the eight boys all driving Citroen Saxos who had clearly just finished football, and were trying to leave while I tried to bring my car into the kerb a bit closer so they could get out. And that was the point where I thought-I have actually really tried. And I don’t want to leave my car sticking out in the middle of the road, everyone will hate me, and when I get inside, all the runners will have gone anyway. So I went home instead, and watched Africa and ate two chocolate biscuits, then had a lovely bath. I rang my very sporty sister (I was actually looking forward to going, and she wanted to know how it was) and confessed, and she was nice to me and said it did sound like I had given it my best shot (she probably then got off the phone and said ‘She couldn’t be arsed to go to her running club’ to her DH, but I don’t care). I did try, and next week I will be even more organised, and leave the house fifteen minutes earlier to allow for traffic and getting a space. I will go running, I need to do this. Tonight, I’m going for a swim with a friend, but next Wednesday, it’s running. Shout at me if I don’t go!

Back to work-a month on

I meant to write this last week, when it actually was a month since I returned to work, but I was so knackered I just went to bed instead. Sorry about that.  Everyone told me I’d be tired, and in my head I went ‘I’m tired now, why would that stop when I’m back at work?’ but no, it’s actually worse! Because even when I haven’t had much sleep, I have to put on grown up clothes and blowdry my hair and sit in meetings with a notebook saying things like ‘What KPIs are you putting in place to keep the team on track?’ (not really, I’d poke myself in the eye if I ever sounded like that. But I do say work stuff, whereas maternity leave was very much about reading Peepo on repeat all week and saying ‘Oh dear, you bumped yourself, shall Mummy have a look?’ very calmly while inwardly panicking and thinking ‘please Lord, don’t let that be actual blood coming out of your still very small head.’)

So, how is it going? I feel very settled and like being back in my old chair, which survived a furniture cull which took all the other chairs just like it away and replaced them with terrible new ergonomic ones. I like having an income again, and a commute all by myself (CD of the week-Les Mis, as I’ve finally seen the film and am OBSESSED) and I like having a lunch break and seeing my work friends and being able to make phone calls in hours of daylight without having it take three times as long due to a wailey baby shutting his fingers in a drawer/trying to suck electrical cables/finding the recycling pile and wanting to eat or roll in it.  I love how jolly the baby is when he sees his key workers every morning, and how delighted he is when I pick him up in the evenings. I’d rather not be asleep by half eight most evenings, and one week in particular felt like it was never going to end, but I’m getting there. And I feel more myself again, and I like that very much. Some things are helping (packing the car with everything I need for the next day in the evening, early nights, more takeaways than we’d usually have, the joy that is realising I have a handy Ella’s Kitchen pouch in the cupboard when I’ve forgotten to defrost something for the baby’s lunch) and some things not helping so much (having a cold, the baby teething, my husband starting a new job further away and getting home much later).  We’re getting there, and I think it’s going to be just fine.