Beauty, General, Personal

Love The Skin You’re In

Following on from my previous post (you can read it here if you so desire), I thought I would just write up a little post on how I felt personally in MYSELF and in my own skin whilst on holiday.

I don’t know about anyone else, but before you go on holiday, it would usually be filled with going on crash diets, I’ve previously done diet shakes in the past (don’t ever try it – they are absolutely rancid and DONT WORK) to try and shift a few pounds before going away and to “feel  better in a bikini” or be “bikini body ready”.

This is the first year where I honestly couldn’t of given two shits what I looked like. Of course, I still wanted to look half decent, didn’t want to be scaring any of the locals or other holiday-makers in my 7 year old bikinis, but honestly, before going away I didn’t even give my weight a second thought. I would usually be panicking, thinking “oh god I have to be half naked in front of all those people, what am I going to do about my cellulite, my bingo wings, etc”. And I would be SO BOTHERED about going on the beach or by the pool, making sure I had every sort of cover up that there was ever designed with me in case I wanted to go to the bar or the loo, and HAD to cover myself up because NO ONE would want to see me in a bikini or swimsuit, asking Norms if I looked ok, and asking him not to take photos of me on holiday for fear of being “too fat”.

I think, now I am a mother, I have got this new confidence that I never had before. I’ve HAD to go out of my comfort zone, for the sake of my child, and I’ve HAD to be confident when usually I would shy away from confrontation or situations that would make me cringe into myself. And I think since then, I have just learnt to accept and have this new confidence in myself as a person, both inside and out. Yes, I could be slimmer, yes I could probably work out, yes I could probably eat less cheese and bread, but YES I could also be a lot more unhealthy and have really bad habits and be some sort of, I dunno, criminal or complete arsehole. But I’m NOT. I’m just a normal mum, on holiday, wearing a bikini or cozzie chasing my toddler around and eating Cheetos.

So, before we went, I had a little look online and in the shops, and bought a couple of bits to try. I ended up taking a cozzie and a bikini from Next, a bikini from Boohoo, a cozzie from Sports Direct and another bikini from Asda. I went for high waisted bikini bottoms, and ones that supported the melons. My favourite bikini was the one from Boohoo,  I just felt like it was flattering and a good support on the old boobs, and the bottoms were a good fit. I wore it nearly every day.

I’m not going to lie, of course I looked at other people who were more toned and looked like models in their swimwear and I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt a little self confident. But, with a toddler, you have no time to think about yourself, you are constant from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep. So I had no choice but to just – go with it. And do you know what, after I while I didn’t even give it a second thought, taking my shorts and t shirt off and just being in my bikini or cozzie, because I was just wanting to go spend time with my family. And really, thinking about it, who is ACTUALLY looking at you and is ACTUALLY that bothered about what you look like in a bikini? Because the reality is, its probably less than 1%. Everyone is too bothered about themselves and how THEY look, or looking after their children, or applying suncream, reading a book…the list goes on. We build ourselves up to think that as soon as we take one leg out of our shorts that a klaxon is going to go off and people are going to stop dead in their tracks and look and gawp at you in your swimwear. This holiday I finally realised – people really, really, couldn’t care less. The world isn’t going to stop because I am in a SWIMSUIT. Theresa May isn’t going to call a phase 2 crisis meeting with the Home Secretary. It’s FINE.

With this new confidence I can honestly say that I felt so much happier this holiday, and wasn’t worrying constantly or watching what I was eating or drinking, I relaxed and enjoyed myself and my first family holiday. And honestly, it was a revelation. Sure, I’m not a size 8 (or whatever the “perfect” size is supposed to be these days) and im sure some people probably looked at me and thought – oh, she could do to lose weight – or – oh she shouldn’t be wearing a bikini because of her size – but honestly, truly, I really couldn’t care what people thought. And it was so so refreshing. Here are a few pics of me on holiday, outfits I wore and of course, my fave swimsuit from Boohoo.

I have cellulite. I have wobbly thighs. I have bingo wings. When I lie down and look at my phone I have double (*treble) chins. I have a tummy. I have stretch marks. But do you know? Who cares? So does the next person. We can pick ourselves apart until the sun comes up, but what good does that honestly, really do to anyone? It just takes us to dark and unhappy places. I once read something which went along the lines of “Beauty is in the eye if the beholder, however the most liberating thing is that in fact, YOU are the beholder.” The things that you pick apart on yourself, the fact your teeth aren’t straight, the freckles you have, the curly hair, the things you dislike about yourselves, are the things which make you unique and, more often than not, someone else finds endearing and beautiful. We should start to remember that the person staring back at ourselves in the mirror is actually the one who is the biggest critique, and no one else. That needs to stop. How can we teach our children to love themselves and be happy and confident when we can’t follow on the same advice we are serving?


Toddler + Travel

So, we’ve not long been back from Portugal, so I thought I would write-up about our experience of our first family holiday.

We booked through TUI, we always seem to go there as we have good service and are always able to find us something within out budget. We decided to go all-inclusive to the Be Live Palmeiras Village in Portugal. Now, generally, I aren’t really a fan of all-inclusive holidays, me and Norms have always been the type of people who will “go to the beach or see where the day takes us” kind of holiday-makers, however we knew this time round was going to be different because we obviously have William now. We thought that all-inclusive would be better in terms of selection of food and availability of it for him, as we booked this holiday in September 2017, a year ago, and you (as a first time parent) have no idea what you are going to be doing in a couple of hours time, never mind a full year in advance. But, it looked child-friendly and fun, and seemed to be in a good area, and the flight was only around 2.5 hours or so which was a big selling point for us.

Speaking of the flight, what a MARE. We were delayed for FOUR HOURS. I am not the best flyer anyway, I am a nervous passenger and I am a negative Nancy and always think something bad is going to happen, so when we were told that the flight had been delayed until potentially 1pm (the flight was due at 8.15am) because the plane needed a part, it nearly tipped me over the edge. I think I had a few* glasses of wine to calm my nerves. (*A few..) Of course, I would rather the plane be fixed and working properly and I understand the delay, but honestly, the dread that filled me and Norms when we realised we were stuck in this bloody airport with William and not really much in the way of entertainment for him. It was our first experience of this, and so far it wasn’t going to my little plan I had formed in my head.

We got on the plane in the end though, and arrived there safely (thank goodness!!). The transfer to the hotel was then around an hour, and we eventually arrived there exhausted (we had been up since 3am as we flew from Manchester and obviously we live in Hull so had to do the drive up there to the Airport) and just generally fed up. Holidays are great of course, but the travelling and everything can be a drag (sorry if that sounds SO shitty), but for me, travelling is boring.

We went for tea (evening meal) and then decided to have an early night. We were all asleep by around 9pm I think! And the next morning we slept in until around 9.30am! (ALL of us – including Wills!) The breakfast buffet was my favourite buffet. I am a BIG brekky person. I love all the different combinations you can have, sweet and savoury, little plates of loads of different fancies and all the CHEESE. I ended up having freshly made pancakes most days, and the selection of fresh fruit was just the bomb diggy. Will was ok with breakfast too, he loves cereal and would eat it for every meal if he could. The selection of food at these all-inclusive hotels is INSANE. Like everything you could possibly imagine. So that was good – however both Will and Norms just stuck to what they knew (more alike than I originally thought).

We would spend the days by the pool, the swimming pool facilities were brilliant! There were 2 separate children’s pools, one was just water and the other had 5 (or 6) slides for them to play on, and that kept William entertained for most of the day.  He LOVED it. There were 2 decent sized adult pools too, and honestly they were so needed as there was hardly any breeze and you could feel yourself getting hotter and hotter and the dip was CRUCIAL. Especially for the kids. The hotel was so family orientated, there was a kids club but I think one adult had to be with the children all day whilst they did the activities, so me and Norms didn’t really go for that. However, the Kids entertainment didn’t start on the evening until 9pm which was a little late, we usually have William in bed for then, and he was always getting tired by that point, so we didn’t actually go to that either (wow we sound really fun parents LOL).

We spent the days by the pool, having a couple of beers while William napped, and there were also 3 adult water slides there which were bloody amazing. I’m usually quite shy when it comes to those sorts of things but once I’ve got the first none out the way that’s it – im off! William laughed his head off when we came crashing down the slide and wanted us to do it again and again. I just looked like a drowned rat the majority of the holiday.

William was QUITE well-behaved on holiday. I think he was quite confused really as to what on earth was going on and where we were. He did love the pool and the slides, however after about a week or so, he was bored with them. We actually went to Slide and Splash in Portugal and it was so much fun, the kiddies pool and slide was brilliant and William loved the change of scenery, and me and Norms took turns to go on slides while William slept, and WE SAW JOSH FROM LOVE ISLAND. Yes, the real one. (Not as fit in real life I must admit – shame really). If you are in Portugal and you are on a family holiday, or even if you are just there as a couple, I would 100% recommend the water park. We wanted to go to the Aquamarine Zoo as well, however we didn’t get round to doing that unfortunately, but I have heard the reviews are brilliant and it is a really fun day out.

We did love Portugal as a whole, we have both been there separately before, however holidaying with a toddler isn’t a relaxing break. It’s just like being at home – just in a hotter and sunnier place. You still have all the usual tasks to do, changing bums, trying to get them to eat, trying to get them to drink, keeping them entertained and playing with them, comforting them if they fall over, taking them for walks in the buggy if they are tired, etc etc. When I returned to work one of my colleagues asked me what sun cream I had been using because I “wasn’t very tanned”, and my response was “I’ve been on holiday with a toddler” – you don’t really get to relax and sunbathe as much as you would like to.

But seeing  William’s little face as he went on the slides and ran around in the pool, playing with other little ones on holiday, kicking his legs and wanting to play with me and his Dad, they are the moments you live for aren’t they? And even though me and Norms did have a few crossed words throughout the holiday due to William STILL being clingy to me even though he was spending more time with Norms, and him not letting me get ready in peace, etc etc, when we saw his little face creased from smiling and laughing, it just made my heart burst.

And that’s why we do it all, isn’t it? And let’s face it, we are looking into holidays for next year – so it can’t have put us off that much…

Food, General, Parenting, Uncategorized

St Stephen’s Hull – A Family Day Out

*This post is in collaboration with St Stephen’s Hull. All views and opinions expressed are my own*

As the Summer Holidays come to a close, and the days are drawing in a little earlier and the weather is getting a little more, brisk, shall we say, you can sometimes be left wondering what to do with the kids on a weekend or during the holidays. Even though William isn’t at school yet, I still often have to rack my brains for ideas of things we can do that are fun and that will stimulate him but also not leave me wanting to pull my hair out (or cost the absolute earth).

So when St Stephen‘s got in touch with me and asked me if I wanted to go and see what their leisure attraction, Rock Up, was about, I of course jumped at the chance – especially as it has a special section for small children and purpose-run toddler sessions, as well as a soft play area (which of course, William would be ALL OVER).

Rock Up is a purpose built indoor climbing and adventure centre, situated in the popular shopping centre within Hull city centre. It has several rock climbing walls that adults and children alike have access to, as well as a soft play area for the under 8’s, and a lovely little café for you to refuel (before, during or after!). The centre also offers parties for kids and team-building experiences for workplaces or friends/families (if that’s your sort of thing!).

When we arrived we were taken through to the main climbing area and William had a harness put on him. He was intrigued by what was happening, and the instructor was so helpful and was showing Norms and I how to attach him to the walls and how to unstrap him etc.

Now William, bless him, didn’t actually manage to do any climbing, I think he was just a bit overwhelmed by being strapped up, he LOVED watching the other children though, some of them were fearless! On a Sunday morning there is a toddler session and a children’s session, where no adults can climb and it’s just kids, and I can honestly say that it is something we will be taking William to again. He was so intrigued and interested in watching the other children, but he IS quite shy so daren’t have a go himself, but I’m sure the more we take him the more his confidence will grow and I think it would be a different and fun hobby for him to get into (if he wanted to of course – I’m not about that pushy mum life).

One thing that, of course, appealed to William was the soft play, he played in there for (no exaggeration) hours! There was a separate area for toddlers and then the main area was for children up to the age of 8. There was a brilliant slide in there which William absolutely LOVED! While he and Norms played I sat down with a drink and snack from the cafe and sat down and chilled (something which doesn’t happen that often these days – TRUST ME!)

We left Rock Up around mid-morning, the time flew by so quickly and we decided to go to Krispy Kreme for a coffee and a little weekend treat! I mean – who doesn’t like Krispy Kreme? I always walk past and try not to look as I know that I will be lured in – I just can’t resist! We sat down and watched the world go by for a while – FYI the Reeses peanut butter donuts are THE ONE. And I got to drink a hot latte. Winning. At. Life.

We then had a wander around the shops – I never really venture into town, what with one thing or another, but we spent a good few hours having a look, there are loads of shops there to cater for everyone in the family. I was particularly eyeing up some new trainers in Foot Asylum (*hint hint Norms*). Plus William had a sleep after all the excitement from the morning, so we were able to actually LOOK around, rather than pick up clothes/shoes/other miscellaneous items that William has pulled off the rails and frantically try and put them back in the right place before his little hands appear out of the buggy to strike again. (#mumlife #blessed)

All in all a great day was had, and we are definitely going to be going back to Rock Up again! I wonder if I can persuade Norms that we should go to look at trainers again. Or donuts….



I thought I would do a post about William’s feeding habits, as it often seems to be at the forefront of my recent Instagram Stories, and I do get people sliding into my DM’s asking me for ideas of food when it comes to their little ones, and I must just point out – William IS a good eater – when he wants to be. I am not qualified to give clinical or dietary advice, but I can let you all know what I give him and maybe that will give you some ideas yourselves.

I weaned William early, as he was a very hungry baby, by the time he was 4 months old he was having 9oz bottles of milk every 2-3 hours, and he was drinking so much formula he would be so constipated and when trying to go for a number 2, he would strain so much that he would be sick out of his nose and we were worried he was going to hurt himself, so we switched formula brands from Aptamil to Hipp Organic (which by the way is so much better, and actually cheaper too – well it was when we were buying it – a lot gentler on their little tummies) and we were advised to start trying William with little bits of puree or baby food/rice by our healthcare professionals. We just couldn’t seem to fill the kid!

So, we did wean William earlier than perhaps the “recommended guidelines” but please remember – they are not set rules and you are not going to go to prison if you wean your baby earlier or later than these guidelines – you just do what you think is best for you, your child and your family. I got a lot of stick from know-it-all-Nancy’s about weaning William too early and also online too. At the end of the day we did what we believed was right for William and what was recommended by our health visitor.

Whilst weaning he was a good eater, always favouring the savoury stuff rather than the sweet, although he did love a yogurt. I must say it wasnt easy, we didn’t do BLW (baby led weaning) as he choked quite badly on some sprout puree (bloody sprouts) quite early on, and I just couldn’t bring myself to let him have these big chunks of food so we stuck to purees and baby food that way. Again, its all up to personal preference and im not dismissing how you want to wean your child. We loved those Ella’s Kitchen food pouches and so did Wills.

The thing with William is, once he started learning what he liked and what he didn’t, he would point blank refuse to try anything new. We still have that problem now. I try and try to get him to eat chicken nuggets and fish fingers – will he do it? Will he balls. I’ll give you a typical rundown of what he would eat during a normal day at home with me:

Breakfast: He will always pick out his cereals in a morning – his current faves are cheerios, bran flakes, cocoa pops and corn flakes. He will have these with whole milk. Usually he will eat the bowl, then half an hour or so later he will have a slice of toast, or a crumpet, and sometimes a bit of fruit or a fruit pouch. (bloody loves those things he does). He will usually always eat his breakfast, its one of the meals that I know he will definitely eat with no arguments – this kid just LOVES cereals.

Lunch: This is the meal I always struggle with. William WILL NOT touch a sandwich unless it has peanut butter in it. Yet at nursery, oh well he will eat pitta breads with ham and cheese. CHEERS THEN. I try so many times to offer him different sandwiches and different variants and different fillings, yet he will just not entertain it. We often have a picky lunch, so he will have savoury rice cakes (paprika and cheese ones are his faves), with cucumber, peppers and sweetcorn, sometimes carrot sticks, things like that. More often than not, for lunch we will usually have something like beans on toast or spaghetti on toast, with fruit for pudding, or soup. This kid LOVES soup. Chicken, mushroom, tomato. He bloody loves it. It’s like the fail safe that I can always count on him eating. He will have bread with it too, sometimes rice cakes, sometimes a packet of crisps, you know, usual dinner-time stuff. I only really let Will have one packet of crisps a day, but sometimes he can give or take them.

Tea: This is where I often feel guilty. Because more often than not, it is a ready-meal (or rather half – I only ever give him half a portion and the rest of the plate is veggies). Me and Norms only eat our tea after he has gone to bed (if Norms is home that is), so we don’t really eat together at tea time, which is a shame. If it’s just me and Will, then I will generally have tea at the same time as him. I often use the Sainsbury’s “Little Ones” ready meals, as they do some really nice flavours and Will seems to enjoy them. I also have some of the Annabelle Karmel ones in the freezer, as well as some of the Asda own brand kids range. He will eat most things, his favourite are “gravy dinners” so things like lamb hotpot and shepherds pie etc, but he also loves chilli and curry. If we have stir fry with noodles and black bean sauce, he will have some of that, and things such as curry, pasta, fish pie etc, I always make sure that I save a portion or 2 for Wills. He will always eat the veggies first, he looooooves peas, sweetcorn, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms. I can always count on him eating the veggies first, before eating the “main” part of the meal. He doesn’t eat a lot of meat, that’s one thing I do worry for him – he will eat it if it is minced, like beef or pork or turkey, but actual pieces of chicken or beef etc with a roast dinner for example, not a chance. He’s so weird sometimes, he doesn’t like to try something if it doesn’t look a certain way or looks different to what he usually has. He will often have yogurts of fruit for pudding, or if he has eaten well i’ll let him have a chocolate hobnob (the kid loves those), and some raisins.

I try really hard for him to have a balanced diet, he drinks a lot of squash throughout the day and I am aware (working in a dental department) the impact this can have on his little teeth, so I try to make sure he doesn’t have too many sugary snacks throughout the day, but you are often caught between a rock and hard place, because then you give them fruit, however that has lots of sugar in too! I just think, he is drinking plenty of fluids, its made very weak, and at the end of the day, he isn’t going to lead a sugar-free life (apart from if he needs to for medical reasons) so just let him have the juice. I don’t give him fizzy drinks  – that’s one thing I am quite strict with, I just think its unnecessary at such a young age and it is of no benefit to them and promoting bad habits from a young age. Plus he would be off his tits on sugar and I do not want that (lol).

Of course, we let him have the odd treat, and of course, he is of an age at the moment where he is “testing the boundaries” (them bloody boundaries again people), and finding out what he lies and what he doesn’t, and also seeing how far he can push me to get what he wants. Some days, we eat cereal for 2 out of 3 of the meals and eat crisps and don’t eat much fruit – other days he will eat like an absolute dream of a child, and I will go to bed feeling so pleased and that I had my shit together that day. What I’m trying to say is, a bad day doesn’t equal a bad week, and a bad week doesn’t equal a bad month. It feels shitty and rubbish at the time and you feel like you are in this never ending cycle of “why wont he eat, god I’m dreading tea time, is it bed time yet?” , but trust me, you’re not on your own, and someone, somewhere on this planet, someone is thinking JUST the same as you. All you can do is your best, and if that means chicken nuggets and chips and beans, well then hey, so be it. (I wish William would eat chicken nuggets. probably for the best really. One for William, one for Mummy…)

I mean..chicken nug nugs. The bomb diggy mate.

Tara x


Junk in the Trunk

Following on from my Beauty blog post, which you can read here if you missed it (or not – whatever) I thought I would do another “lifestyle” sort of post about the clothes I wear, how I dress for my shape and where I like to shop (being a curvy and tall lady).

I also wanted to touch on how I have coped with my new body shape since having Wills. I mean listen, I was never “slim” or a size 10 (the perfect size – apparently) before I fell pregnant with him – I love beer and kebabs and cheese and pastries and ALL the naughty food. I also like to have a beer or a cider rather than a slimline G&T. But that’s just me. And I don’t gorge myself on takeaways and Greggs and get pissed up every night – far from it actually. But I AM and always have been a booby and hippy sort of girl. Before I fell pregnant I was a comfortable size 14 – sometimes 12 depending on the shop – and now I just buy whatever the hell looks good and fits – regardless of the size.

I’m not going to say that it’s been easy picking up a size 14 and trying to squeeze myself into it, in a hot and sweaty cramped changing room and finding out Again that they don’t fit and having to go look for a bigger size – whether that be a 16 or an 18, because for some reason as women we become obsessed with what “the scales say” or what “size clothes we have to wear” or “to look like so and so from this telly show or that telly show”, when really, there are far more important things to be worrying about, in the grand scheme of things. I myself WAS upset that I couldn’t fit into a size 14 anymore, however when I think about what me, as a woman, has done, I grew a PROPER PERSON like including brains and heart and everything!! How can I be angry or pissed off with my body when it’s created this little person? And yeah, I ate the McDonald’s through the end of my pregnancy, and the cake, and the spam and fried egg sandwiches (don’t ask – weird craving) and I BLOODY enjoyed them. So yeah, I am a clothes size up from 2 years ago. But hey, who cares? Wills doesn’t look at me and think “oh my goodness, my mummy needs to lose weight”, and as far as I am aware Norms is happy if I’m happy.

What I’m trying to say is, to anyone who reads this and is having a bit of a shitty time with looks and clothes etc. etc., then don’t worry about it, we have all been there, and if it fits, makes you feel good and you feel great it in, then who gives a toss what the size says in the label. No one else knows what it says in it apart from you. People aren’t going to go up to you in Asda and say “OH YOU LOOK LIKE YOURE WEARING A SIZE 18 IN THOSE TROUSERS”. People really don’t give that much of a shit.

Anyway, back to the actual CLOTHES! I love to shop online, and I probably 80% of the time buy my clothes from Boohoo. I just LOVE it. It’s so cheap and the clothes (I feel) really fit me well, I always buy from the “Boohoo Plus” range, as I feel the fit is really good and is true to size on most pieces. Without sounding like a twat, I get a lot of compliments when I wear certain things from Boohoo (can anyone say boohoo without singing the advert tune *boohoodotcom*??) I’ll pop a couple of photos of my favourite outfits from there below.

I also am a massive advocate of the supermarkets. I LOVE me a George at Asda haul, I like the sizing and sometimes you can get some proper nice stuff in there, and I get a lot of my work shoes from there. I got some boots last year in the sale for a FIVER and they will be getting pulled out again this winter. WINNER. But Tesco and Sainsbury’s are also brilliant for clothes – especially when they have their sales (so thrifty me). There are of course other shops I go to, I love Matalan and Dorothy Perkins, Next, H&M and Simply Be. Below is a jumpsuit from Sainsbury’s which I LOVE.

When it comes to dressing for my shape, I have often struggled, being big busted and having a small waist, yet big hips and skinny legs. But now, if I see something I like, I take it, try it, even if its something I would maybe of overlooked before because I thought I was “too big”. Sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised, and other times (more often than not) I look like a complete idiot and we file that away in the folder of “nope never again”. But the thing is now I have the confidence to try it. I lived in baggy oversized tunic tops and leggings for such a long time. SUCH a long time. Just because I have bingo wings, does that mean I cant wear a strappy cami? Just because I have cellulite does that mean I cant wear shorts or skirts when it’s 89524586 degrees outside? Because I have stomach rolls does that mean I cant wear skinny jeans? NO. I can wear whatever the bloody hell I want to.

I think a lot of it as well is that now, there is so much more choice for women to wear different clothing styles, lots of clothing lines/shops/online retailers are providing a “curve” or “plus” range. And it is just as nice as the stuff that the “normal” models wear, whereas before the clothing that went above a size 14/16 was always just baggy tops, unflatteringly shaped thin stretchy jeans, stripy tops, and just general (dare I say it) shit. There is so, so much more choice and scope for women to pick and choose what they want to wear, whether they are a size 8 or a size 28.

Of course, a lot of it is to do with how confident you are as a person. I for one don’t go around with a crop top and mini skirt on, because I don’t feel comfortable enough to do so, but also because I know that it won’t probably be the most flattering outfit choice for me. But that’s ok, I’ll wear a crazy print jumpsuit instead. I feel like I’ve finally come to accept the skin I am in and the way I look, and just wear whatever I think looks nice, is practical, and which makes ME (no one else), ME, feel good. And if you feel good, it shows, you smile more, you seem more confident, you aren’t walking around with your eyes on the floor, avoiding eye contact with people, wondering if people think you look like a twat. And I tell you what, it’s a bloody good feeling.

Tara x


What I Use On My Face

I don’t want to sound like an idiot, but I do regularly get asked what I wear on my face, it sounds so annoying saying “oh I get so many messages” blah blah blah but I do get asked a few times what products I use daily, what I would recommend, because let’s be honest, as a woman MOST of us love make up and testing new products out and seeing what other people are using and getting excited about trying it out, watching video tutorials on YouTube and rushing to go buy the next “new big thing” that is about to crash the make up world.

But in all seriousness, I thought I would share what I use on the daily and also what I use for a night out/special occasion, as I (as much as the next person) love reading about  what is in other people’s make up bags, and also what I have used and maybe don’t rate that much.

Now, before we start I will just say that the products and the way I use them MIGHT NOT be the correct way to do so, however I do not claim to be a make up artist or professional and I do just work with what I’ve a) got and b) works for me. I also have quite oily skin and perspire (sweat) a lot in the summer (HAWT) so I probably use a lot more on my face than most people for my every day look, but it’s what lasts and works for me personally.

Okay, now we’ve got all that boring stuff out the way let’s go!

I always do my eyes first, some people do their foundation/base first but I personally do my eyes. I always use liquid eyeliner in a black colour, and I use one by Collection at the moment. I must have a waterproof one as I have watery eyes. I like this one as it’s easy to use and doesn’t cost a lot at all. I switch it up between mascaras, I often use whatever is on offer, but always seem to go back to Maybelline Colossal Lash – the yellow one. However recently I’ve not been feeling it, so I purchased this MaxFactor one from (of all places) B&M and so far I love it. However I have read (and seen) amazing things from the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara so I am going to buy a small tube of that to try I think next. I often find it hard with eye make up as I wear glasses, a lot of the time the eye make up gets lost behind the frames. Which is why sometimes I put on a bit more make up than what I usually would like, as sometimes behind the glasses and the frames it can get a bit lost. To line the bottom of my eyes I use a palette from Collection (again – I love this brand) and I just use whichever dark brown shade I fancy that day.

I then move onto face. I don’t usually use a primer, however when I do I usually use an Estee Lauder Matte Primer which I bought with my birthday money last year and I must say I really do love it – it is on the pricey side BUT I only use it for special occasions or when I am going out (when, let’s be honest is quite rare these days since becoming a parent), so I believe its been good value for money considering I bought it in November last year and it’s now August the following year and I still have lots left.

Foundation-wise – this is where I struggle. I like a full coverage but matte finish foundation, and I do struggle with the coverage and matte finish with my oily and shiny skin. I have used loads in the past, like LOADS but here are a list of my favourites:

Collection Lasting Perfection – this is a bargain at 6 quid and honestly it is a brilliant dupe for Estee Lauder Double Wear – however for ME personally it wasn’t as much coverage as I would usually like. But for every day it’s definitely worth a look.

Revolution Make Up Foundation Stick – honestly this stuff is BLOODY AMAZING. I love it – however it is quite a waxy consistency and for me it didn’t last massively but the coverage ladies (and gents) was honestly absolutely amazing and it was only a fiver! I really, really rate this brand of make up it’s so affordable and the quality is brilliant.

Revolution Pro Full Coverage Camouflage Foundation –  THIS. THIS. THIS. Honestly – I have also used Estee Lauder Double Wear but this is so so SO GOOD. I can’t rave about it enough honestly – for the price the coverage is bloody amazing and it’s not slimy or anything.

I then just use whichever concealer I have in – at the moment it’s a seventeen one and a W7 one – still on the lookout for “the one”. I then always use a pressed powder to set all that stuff – again at the moment I use a collection one.

Then onto bronzer etc. I use a Barry M contour palette to put a little on my cheekbones then I use the darker shade from that same one to do my double chins – girls got to do what a girls got to do! I then blend all that in and go over with really cheap bronzing pearls from B&M which I just love and have used for ages (so classy me). I also then use a bourjois powder blusher – just a little! To even out the bronze-ness. (Is that even a word?)

To highlight I use two things – a blush block from collection which I have used for years and years and just keep on going back and buying, and a Primark highlight palette which is just the dream.

I then always finish with my brows. Most people I know do their eyes and brows first – I do 50/50. I use (again – I’m sick of saying it but when you find a brand that works for you, you just have to stick to it don’t you?) Revolution brow pomade – but I do use 2. I use the taupe shade to do the front part of my brows nearest my nose as that’s the most sparse area and then I use the dark brown shade to fill the rest in. I then (once they are done and nice and full) like to set them with a brow mascara- I love the Maybelline Brow Mascara in dark brown. I then use a setting spray which is by Revolution and I use the sport fix spray which really does keep your slap on all day!

For an evening/special occasion I use the exact same products but I do use eyeshadow palettes – again not expensive I use a Revolution one which I will link here and also a W7 one which I will link here.

Please note this post isn’t sponsored or an affiliate it’s just stuff which I love! Sorry it’s been long and I hope you enjoyed having a nosy in my make up bag! Let me know if there are any other posts you would like to see!

Tara x


A House is Made of Walls and Beams

…And a home is made from hopes and dreams – so the saying goes.

And recently we moved house! And what a bloody lark!

It was the first time I had ever moved house before – before living with Norms I was living at home, a carefree, rich 21 year old who just ate sandwiches and got up whenever they wanted and had clean uniform for work and lovely ironed clothes every day – not a clue about the real day to day stuff.

I’ll give you a bit of background of me and my husband – I moved in with him after being together for just a year. Some people may think this is quite quick but we had actually known each other for around 4 years previous, as I actually was dating his (then) best friend’s brother. AWKS. Nothing happened (obviously) with us while I was with this other person, but after we broke up me and Norms stayed in touch and met up for a few drinks here and there and the rest they say is history. Haven’t been able to get rid of him since! (lol I joke – or do I).

So yes, I moved in with Norms when I was 21 and I had to learn how to do everything – washing machine, tumble, iron, the lot. But since then we had built a lovely little home together – he already had the property and I just basically moved aaaaallllll my shit in and took over! I think he was surprised by how much stuff I had! So yes, we then stayed there for 9 years, until this year (2018) when we had the chance to move into a bigger and more suitable property for our needs. This is where it gets interesting.

Well, not interesting really. Basically, what happened was we were going to put our house on the market before, however I found out I was pregnant with William, and so we put it on hold but did the decorating while we were doing the nursery, and decided we would put the house up for sale when we were settled into our new lives as parents. So that’s what we did.

When we put our house up for sale we were really excited! The estate agents promised us it would be sold really quick, you know how it is, they give you the usual spiel of how there are “loads of people interested in this type of house AT THIS PRECISE MOMENT” and how “easy” it would be to sell blah blah blah. Well, in fact it took us around 7 months for the house to sell. We had several fruitless viewings, and some ridiculous offers as I’m sure everyone does, and we started to get really disheartened. We just wanted to sell our house!

The main reason we wanted to sell it quickly was because we actually already had a house ready to move into, and we were eager to get in. The house we had to move into was actually my grandparents old house. Sadly, they are no longer here – my Granddad (whom I was very very close to and he was very much a father figure in my life as I don’t have a relationship with my own dad) died 4 years ago suddenly, and my Gran bless her heart developed Dementia and Alzheimer’s and passed away last year while I was on Maternity leave, but she had been living out of the house for around a year due to needing 24/7 care in a sheltered accommodation setting. My uncle lived in the house for a while, however as he isn’t with a partner at the moment, he had no need for the house and my mum didn’t want ANOTHER house as she already has one (obvs – lol) so were going to put it on the market when they approached me and Norms about whether we would like to buy Granny and Granddad’s house. Of course, we said we would love to but it was a little out of our price range. We came to an agreement in the end, and we happily agreed that it would be best for all parties if we kept the house in the family, and they would rather sell it to us, and Granny and Granddad would have been happy that it was being kept by someone who would look after it.

We were also in a fortunate position where we could actually go and decorate the house before we moved into it – which has saved our bacon. We were DREADING the thought of moving into a house then having to decorate with William and try work it between Norms working away and me working part-time and relying on people for childcare when they already had plans. So we spent most weekends at the house decorating, painting, knocking walls down, ripping fireplaces out, ripping airing cupboards out, getting new boiler and heating systems etc etc, and we were absolutely knackered by the end of it. But we were really lucky (considering it had come out of bad circumstances of my grandparents no longer being here anymore) so we just sucked it up and got on with it. Let me just say this – I DONT WANT TO SEE ANOTHER PAINT BRUSH FOR A LONG ASS TIME.

We decided to go for a grey theme for the living and dining room – we got some lovely paper from Home Bargains (of ALL places!) which I think was around £10 for a roll. It was sparkly and stripey and I loved it. We also got the same design for the bedroom upstairs but in a very pale blue colour instead of grey. We had a right mare trying to find a grey paint though – jesus Christ who knew picking a grey would be so hard to pick – there are about 7 million different shades of grey! We eventually went for a Valspar one which was a little bit more expensive than I would usually of paid BUT it was the only one we could both agree on so we just went with that.

For the kitchen we (I) decided on a lovely sage green colour by B&Q called “cut grass”. I didn’t want a bright colour for the kitchen, our old kitchen was red and white and I was just sick to death of it first thing in a morning, I wanted a softer colour and to be able to tie in grey accessories to flow from the living/dining room and also use neutral colours for tea towels etc. (I sound like a bloody interior designer HAHAHA NEXT JOKE) I really am so useless when it comes to decorating and colour schemes but I must say, I have impressed myself really, as I do think that the colour scheme is lovely and I love coming home to it.

However I would recommend – PLEASE DO NOT use SCS for your carpets. Well, especially the one in Hull at St. Andrews Quay. I had SUCH a bad experience with them and the customer service I received from them was absolutely atrocious – barring the lovely gentleman Jamie at the end who eventually ended up sorting it all out for us. We ended up having to live with concrete floors for a month or so and with a toddler which was really unsafe because if he had fallen he could of really hurt himself yet they did not seem to care one jot. Honestly I wouldn’t step foot in there if it was the last place on earth.

SO yes, that’s my little moving house story. I’m not into all interiors and decorating, I don’t want my house to look like a show home, I prefer the “lived in” look, as long as my home is tidy and clean then I am happy – because lets face it, William just leaves peanut butter finger marks everywhere so to me, spending excessive amounts of some paint or wallpaper is just throwing money away because its going to get ruined. We’ve only been  in the house since June and we already have a little area which has little finger marks on it. Fabulous.

Sorry this was so long winded, but let me know if you would like to see any more general house/lifestyle posts like this,  or if you are just a nosy bitch and like me, like looking at other people’s houses.

Tara x