Sunday, 30 April 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. All these SFS on Instagram drive me nuts. They're getting so common and it always seems to be the same people shouting out the same accounts. What's with that? If you love someone's account post about them once, but don't do it over and over again.

2. Whilst we're on the subject of annoying Instagram posts, the ones who do six or more posts in a row to make a big picture get an instant unfollow too. 

3. I've been listening to an 80's music channel online, 80's music was awesome

4. Tiger and I have started drinking kefir. I'd really like to get the boys to drink it too, no luck so far. Can't say I blame them, the taste is quite tangy. I'll report back when I figure out if it's helping us at all.

5. We took the boys to a trampoline place this week, it was a lot of fun but really hard work! I'd love to do a trampoline fitness class. 

Friday, 28 April 2017

FFS Friday - Gone

This week Tiger has actually done a few things around the house and he's so proud of himself. FFS.

It's not anything amazing, just things that he should be doing all the time that he hasn't. Basic house maintenance.

I've been giving him ridiculous amounts of praise to try to encourage him to continue doing the things that he needs to.

Why is it like this? What's with people who do the bare minimum then expect an enormous amount of praise?

So you weeded a small portion of the garden. Good on you, here's a medal. So you cleaned out the mess you made in the garage, well done! FFS.

I shouldn't have to praise him every time he does the tiniest little thing. He doesn't praise me for doing anything and yet he expects a standing ovation when he does anything. FFS.

I just don't get it.

Yesterday we had Chai's Paediatrician appointment. It was a $335 waste of money. 

He told us that we're doing the right thing and to come back in 3 months to see if the OT sessions are helping. Fark.

I could have told myself that and saved $335.

I still haven't fully gotten my head around the Sensory Processing information. I feel like it's been a whirlwind and I haven't had the chance to sit down quietly and process everything.

I don't understand it fully yet I'm trying to explain it to Tiger and the school when I really have not much of an idea what I'm talking about. 

I just want everything to be okay for him, I want him to be happy.

The urge to take my babies and run is very, very strong. I can see where we'd go. A gorgeous little cottage with a wood fire, close to the ocean and surrounded by green. It'd be peaceful perfection. 

No school, no expectations, just lots of nature and messy play. Sounds like fun to me. 

If you don't hear from me next week you'll know I've gone. 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Weleda Tinted lip balms

Finding a good tinted lip balm is difficult. There aren't many tinted balms available so finding one you love can be problematic. Now, thanks to Weleda, that problem is solved!

Weleda recently released three tinted lip balms, of which I have two. The third shade is Nude which from the swatches I've seen looks too warm for me. 

Originally I purchased the Rose shade. When it arrived I found it to be quite pale on my pigmented lips. I can get away with one thin layer, but if I apply it heavily it looks too washed out for me. I loved the fragrance and feel of the balm, so I ordered the Berry Red shade and it's perfection.

As you can see from the swatches, the Berry Red shade is mauve pink and Rose is pale pink. I'm not sure how they came up with their shade names but I find them to be quite misleading.

Despite the funny shade names, these lip balms are beautiful. They have a gorgeous scent, a slight sweet taste, great pigmentation and they're super hydrating. The pigmentation is great, one layer gives a sheer wash of colour and two layers gives opaque coverage that last for three to four hours. 

I purchased my balms from Nourished Life for $15.95 each.

Ingredients: castor seed oil, olive fruit oil, jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed wax, hydrogenated castor oil, polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate, mica, shea butter, iron oxides, titanium dioxide, fragrance, benzyl alcohol, geraniol, eugenol, farnesol.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Things I've been loving lately

It's been a while since I did a monthly favourites post. I've found that I'm using a lot of the same products now, so there's no point talking about the same things over and over again. Instead I'm just going to post about products that I love whenever I have a collection of products that I haven't talked about much. 

Applying my face mask with a flat foundation brush - Oh my goodness. If you've never applied your face mask with a brush you have to try it, it's life changing. I kid you not.

Essence Extreme Lasting eye pencil - One of the few things that I got from the latest Priceline 40% off sale was the Extreme Lasting eye pencils. They're amazing. They're soft, easy to apply and long lasting. At only $4.10 each they're a bargain. Rockin' Taupe has been my go to daily eyeliner for a few months now, it's the perfect neutral. If you like to line your waterline, these pencils are waterproof and last all day on the waterline. 

Trilogy Vital Moisturising Cream - Another Trilogy product that's become a holy grail. I received a travel size sample and went straight out to buy the full size when my sample was finished. If you have dry skin this is the ideal moisturiser, it's hydrating without being greasy and smells amazing.

Simplicite Great Outdoors Moisturiser - This is going to be my go-to winter sunscreen. It has a SPF of 15 which is not adequate for summer but fine for winter. I love the gorgeous scent and how it's hydrating without being greasy. For oily skinned people it'd be ideal as a moisturiser and sunscreen, however for me I apply it over moisturiser for extra hydration.

Eye of Horus eyeliner - You know when you get a new product, apply it and just go OMG this is amazing? That's what happened when I first used my Eye of Horus eye liner. I need more of them. The pigmentation is amazing, so bright with only one swipe. The lasting power is magic, it doesn't budge until it's removed with a good eye make-up remover.

Weleda Tinted Lip Balm - I'm not a fan of the Weleda Everon lip balm, I've tried it a few times but it's too firm and not hydrating enough for me. Their tinted lip balms are another matter entirely. They have the same gorgeous scent of the Everon balm, however they are so much better. I have Berry Red and Rose. Rose is quite light, if you have pigmented lips I'd recommend getting Berry Red which is a sheer berry colour.

What have you been loving lately? Have you tried any of these products?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. The school holidays are nearly over. I'm not looking forward to Chai having to go back to school. Life is so much easier when he's home. 

2. This week all the fun starts with Chai's sensory issues. He has his first OT therapy session, I have to meet with the school to discuss his needs and we have a Paediatrician appointment to get an official diagnosis.

3. I'm finding it really tough figuring out how to deal with his behaviour. I know that what he does is due to his sensory issues but that doesn't mean that it's acceptable. Disciplining him for something that he can't control isn't fair, but letting him hit is brother is also not fair. I have no idea what to do. I talk to him about it and we discuss how he will handle it next time, let's hope that works.

4. Tiger cleared out the garage a few days ago. He bought inside boxes I didn't know were there. In one of them I found my crystal bible that I've been looking for for years now. In the same box I found our wedding candles (Leura by Glasshouse). I'm burning one now, it's such a gorgeous scent.

5. I love that we are slowly but surely getting the house sorted. This week I'm going to get into the junk room and clean out as much as I can. We're having a garage sale next week, anything that doesn't sell is going to charity or the women's refuge.

Friday, 21 April 2017

FFS Friday - Thoughts on blogging

Over the last six to twelve months a lot of my favourite bloggers have stopped blogging. I really miss them and a few conversations with some of them got me thinking. Blogging is quite a big commitment, especially when it's something that you do as a pastime and you have other commitments/a job/kids etc. Most of my favourite bloggers aren't career bloggers, they have full time jobs and blog for the love of it. When it stops being fun they stop blogging.

The question then becomes what makes blogging no longer fun? For me it was expectations. When I first started blogging back in 2007 bloggers were not taken seriously by PR companies, brands and the mainstream media. Products were not given to bloggers for review, PR's wouldn't respond to email queries for information and bloggers were mainly ignored by brands. In a lot of ways this made blogging easy. You blogged about what you wanted to blog about, there were no expectations that reviews would be posted within a certain timeframe and you blogged on your own time frame. To me this made blogs a very powerful source of information because I knew that I was getting their honest opinion, not something that had been paid for.

Fast forward a few years when brands and PR companies realised that bloggers had a lot of clout with the community. They started adding bloggers to their mailing lists, sending out products and that's where the expectations started. When a brand or PR company send out a product they expect the review to be posted in a timely manner. Even when products are sent out unsolicited they still expect a review in a timely manner. 

I used to get quite a lot of products send to me back then. It got crazy, to the point where there was no way I could keep up with the reviews. It was overwhelming. I found that I was constantly trying to keep on top of the product reviews and I was no longer writing about the things I wanted to write about. Back then when PR's and bloggers weren't used to dealing with each other, PR's could be really pushy. I remember one who'd sent me some baby products unsolicited just after I'd had Chai. I was a new mother, struggling with sleep deprivation, Tiger was working a 13 day fortnight and the PR would email me weekly asking why my reviews weren't posted. I don't know how many apology emails I sent her. Looking back I should have just told her to go away but at the time I didn't. 

All the expectations meant that blogging was no longer fun. I thought about closing down my blog but I didn't want to, blogging is my outlet. Instead, I stopped accepting products for review and if I did receive products I'd make it clear that I might not blog about them. Blogging was fun again. I was blogging on my own terms about the things that I wanted to blog about. 

I can blog this way because I'm not blogging for profit. I expect that the career bloggers don't have as much choice, they need to pay the bills. 
For me, I like blogging my way, about the things that I want to blog about. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Lip Balm Loves

Shame on me, it's been ages since I posted about lip balms. Very poor form for a lip balm addict. I have several new balms to talk about and an old favourite that I've been using a lot lately.

Mum in the Forest Rose lip balm
Rose is one of my favourite scents. If something smells like roses there's a good chance that I'll buy it. The Mum in the Forest rose lip balm is beautiful, like the big red roses that used to grow in Grandma's garden. 

Weleda Berry Red lip balm
No matter how I try I just can't get along with the Weleda Everon lip balm. I just don't like it. The new tinted balms are another matter entirely. They have the lovely scent of the Everon balm but they're gorgeous. Originally I purchased the Rose shade, but it's very light on my pigmented lips and makes me look washed out if I apply anything other than a very light layer. The Berry Red balm is perfection. The colour is very natural looking on my pigmented lips, it lasts well and is super hydrating.

The Physic Garden Soul Shine lip balm
Soon The Physic garden will be releasing a natural deodorant for sensitive skin. You all need it, it's awesome. When you buy it, get one of their lip balms too. I have all three flavours and surprisingly Soul Shine is my favourite. I say surprisingly because I don't usually like the scent of Lemon Myrtle but in this balm it's gorgeous. It's light, fresh and uplifting. 

Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez
Oh my goodness. When my package arrived I could smell the balms through the box! Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez have a gorgeous range of balms, there are fourteen different scents to choose, I need them all! Jersey Caramel is my current favourite but I really want to try Cafe Creme, Persian Rose and Pineapple Glace. Scratch that, I want to try them all!

Burt's Bees Nourishing lip balm with mango butter
Of all the Burt's Bees lip balms, this is my favourite. The mango flavour is beautiful, plus I used it when I was in labour with Chai so it'll always be a favourite. I have to hide this one from the boys cause they try to eat it.

What lip balms have you been loving lately?

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. The new Weleda tinted lip balms are perfection. I have Rose and Berry Red. If you have pigmented lips get Berry Red, it's not as bright as you'd expect. Rose is quite light and paler than my pigmented lips but I can get away with it if I only use a light layer.

2. Easter roads worry me, I refuse to go away at Easter because of how dangerous it is.

3.Yesterday we spent the afternoon with some of my family. It was wonderful and makes me want to move to the country. They have a big block with a huge fig tree cubby house. The kids spent all their time outside playing in the dirt and they loved it. That's what childhood is all about.

4. I'm trying to get my head around all the sensory stuff and figure out how best to help Chai. I just bought him a hammock off ebay, the swinging whilst wrapped in fabric is very calming for sensory kids. He was playing on a hammock yesterday and loved it, so hopefully having one that he can use whenever he wants to will help.

5. There are times when I'm reminded how very dangerous Tiger's job is. Yesterday was one of those times. It's something I try not to think about.

Friday, 14 April 2017

FFS Friday - Onwards and upwards

This week Chai's sensory issues escalated to the point where I needed to take immediate action. He needed to see an Occupational Therapist asap.

Trying to get help for Chai has been so difficult. The OT that the school referred me to takes at least 40 days to get into. 

I call them first thing Monday morning and told them that our situation has changed and we need help immediately. They refused to expediate our appointment. I asked if getting an urgent referral from the Dr would help and they said that it wouldn't! WTF?

When that failed I took Chai to the Dr to get a referral to a different OT.    

Why is the medical profession so belittling of a mother's opinion? It really, really annoys me. The parents know their child better than anyone, their opinion should be held in high regard not belittled. 

I say this after the last two referral letters from our Dr's. They are both lovely, compassionate people but their referral letters are crap. 

The one we got on Monday said "This results in vomiting - which is distressing Mum." FFS.

What a load of crap. The vomiting was distressing Chai and of course I don't like to see him upset. And really, what has me being distressed got to do with anything? It has no bearing on the issue at hand which is Chai's sensory problems. My distress or lack of distress is irrelevant. 

I'm willing to bet that if Tiger had taken Chai to the Dr his emotional state would not have been mentioned. Even more annoying, I was not distressed when I spoke to the Dr, I was calm and rational.

Regardless, I walked out of the Dr's surgery with a referral letter. 

When I got home I googled the person that the Dr referred me to and it was a psychologist! WTF? I'd told her that we were seeing a great psych and that the psych said we needed an OT, so she referred me to another psych?

Thinking that they might have an OT that works with them, I called the psych on Monday. They didn't return my call until Wednesday. 
They don't have an OT that works with them. FFS. 

Wednesday was way too late anyhow, I'd already sorted things by then.  

I managed to find a private OT who I didn't need a referral to and when I explained the situation to them they got me an appointment the next day. Finally someone taking me seriously! It's crazy that I've had to be so pushy to get anything done for Chai.

I'm very, very grateful that I have had the time and energy to do all the groundwork to get Chai's issues treated. If I was working I wouldn't have been able to get things sorted.  

We saw the OT on Tuesday and she was lovely. She said that from the information I'd given to the receptionist it sounded like Chai had sensory issues so she went straight into the sensory appraisal.  

Yesterday I got the report from the OT and she confirmed my suspicions. Chai has sensory issues. It's such a relief to finally know that I'm not going crazy and that things are going to get better. 

We've got appointments every fortnight for the foreseeable future, hopefully there will be some noticeable changes in Chai soon. 

The OT also works with the school so that they can help Chai too. Until his sensory issues are sorted he isn't capable of learning, which explains why he's so far behind. 

I really need there to be changes soon because I can't continue like this and retain my sanity. 

Wednesday night I felt like I was on the verge of losing it. It had been a long tough day and I desperately needed a little bit of quiet time at the end of the day.

Naturally Chai chose that as the night that he would not GTFTS. I put the boys to bed and Chai got up. He would only go to sleep laying next to me with his body pressing against me and his arm across my waist. What I wouldn't give for some quiet time with no-one touching me.  

It's funny how one diagnosis can explain everything. All the issues I've had with his sleeping, school, his behaviour at home, his lack of core strength and fine motor skills, his anxiety, they all stem from sensory issues.   

Now we have a diagnosis it's onwards and upwards. Finally. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Pencil Me In Cosmetics

I'm fussy when it comes to eyeliner. I either want it to be really firm (for tightlining) or really creamy so that I can smudge it along my lash line. If they have an in between texture I don't like them, if they smudge too easily I don't like them and if they take too much effort to apply, I won't use them.

Pencil Me In Cosmetics eyeliners fall in the really firm section. They are wonderfully firm without being scratchy, so perfect for tightlining and lining close to the lash line. 

Pencil Me In eyeliner pencils contain simple ingredients. They are highly concentrated with pigment so pressing hard and repeating the line is not required. The colours are waterproof and last all day. They are also paraben, petroleum and gluten free.

My favourite way to use these is for tightlining or right along the lash line. I draw a line as close to my lashes as I can. Due to the great pigment I don't need to go over the line again and again, one swipe and I'm done. The colours are waterproof and last all day, they only come off when I remove my make-up at the end of the day. 

None of the colours smudge or fade and they even last well on my waterline.

You can purchase Pencil Me In cosmetics from their website. The pencils are $6.99 (USD) each or you can purchase a set of six for $40 (USD).

Note: These products were provided for review. 

Monday, 10 April 2017

The best sunscreens for sensitive skin

The boys and I are allergic to sunscreen. I've tried but can't figure out what ingredient it is that I'm allergic to. I can't even wear SPF on my lips. Thankfully there are a few sunscreens that both the boys and I can use without any irritation. 

Sun Bum Baby Bum - This is a gorgeous sunscreen, it feels lovely on the skin and smells great, the only drawback is the price. If I was exclusively using it on my face it wouldn't be a problem, but when I use it on the boys and we finish the whole bottle within a week, it's more than I'm willing to pay. We got ours when Priceline had 40% off skincare, I'll be stocking up again next time they have a sale.

Neutrogena Dry Touch - Dry Touch was the first non sticky sunscreen that I found. I've been using it since it was released and we are never without it. It dries matte, doesn't sting if it gets in my eyes and doesn't irritate sensitive skin. Dry Touch works really well under makeup too.

Simplicite - The only thing I don't like about my Simplicite sunscreen is that it only has a SPF of 15. I use it as a winter facial sunscreen, in summer I prefer a higher SPF.

It Cosmetics CC+ - This gets rave reviews for good reason, it's a gorgeous product, gives great coverage (it's like a medium coverage foundation) and has a SPF of 50.

Cetaphil - I've used both the normal and oily skin versions, they're both great. The oily skin version is like a lotion so good to use under make-up. It doesn't have a white cast in photo's either.

What's your favourite sunscreen?

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. The school holidays are here. What a relief. I don't have to race out of bed and rush the boys out of the house. I love doing things at our leisure.

2. I've been making a huge effort to keep myself calm the last few weeks and it seems to be working. Where I'd usually get upset/angry/stressed about something I've been managing to take a deep breath and let it go. I'm thinking my Bach Flower blend is helping too. 

3. There's still been no word from the Occupational Therapist. I rang them Thursday morning and they said it could be up to 40 days depending on how severe Chai's condition is. Considering he met all but five of the criteria on the referral form I'm hoping they get him in soon. His anxiety signs seem to get worse every day. My poor baby. 

4. The past few weeks I've had a thought going through my head over and over again. "What if I just stop buying make-up?" 

5. I want to start Bullet Journaling.     

Friday, 7 April 2017

FFS Friday - Small wins

This week we had a small win.

School is still a huge struggle with Chai. Getting him there is so, so difficult for everyone. For him, for Eljay and for us. 

Wednesday was awful. Chai cried all morning because he didn't want to go to school. I couldn't convince him to get dressed into his school clothes so we went to school with his shirt in his bag and his casual trackies on.

The only way I got him there was by telling him we had to drop his books off.

Once we got there he went into panic mode. He was doing everything he could to get out of there as fast as possible. The poor baby. He was streaming with tears and tugging at my arm as hard as he could.

To make things worse his beautiful teachers assistant wasn't there.

I spoke to his teacher who had a word to him but she couldn't talk him around. She wanted me to detach myself and leave but there was no way I was going to leave with him in that state.

Since he was in full on panic mode I took him outside to have a run around while the teacher got help. 

The psych told me that when he's in panic mode he needs big, full body movements to get rid of the adrenaline. 

We sat outside for a while and I got him to take deep breaths to calm down. After a while another teacher came to help us. He was lovely. He didn't try to talk Chai into doing anything, he just talked calmly and happily to Chai about being a ninja and doing ninja training. He got Chai to swing upside down and lift a barrel, then Chai decided that he wanted to see what was happening in his class!

We walked back to class, the teacher and Chai had a look inside then Chai gave me a hug and went into his class! I was so proud of him and relieved!

I can't believe that it was so easy to calm him down. Turns out the psych knows what she's talking about, who would have guessed, hehe.

It's amazing the difference it makes when he's dealt with appropriately. Now that I know how easy it is to calm Chai down, next time it happens I'll know who to ask for help and what to do. 

Small wins.  

Monday, 3 April 2017

March Outgoing and Incoming

Clarins Extra-Firming body lotion - This was lovely to use but I didn't notice any tightening.

Lush Tooth Fairy - Once I got used to using a toothpaste that didn't taste like mint, I was converted. I love that this is natural the tub lasts for six months. I've using the mint and wasabi one now, it's not as nice as the strawberry but it's still okay.

Sanctuary Spa Illuminating Moisture lotion - Frankly I was glad to see the back of this. It's an okay moisturiser, but nothing amazing. Being a lotion it's quite light so it'd be good for people with oily or combination skin.

Antioxidant Cleansing Green Tea body scrub - This was a Kmart discovery. It's okay, the granules feel like sugar. For $3 it's a pretty good buy, the scent is gorgeous.

Philosophy perfume - Not sure if they still make this one. It was a gorgeous, fresh scent that I loved for summer.

Trilogy cream cleanser - Holy grail. I've already repurchased.

Physician's Formula Firming and Lifting Booster -I didn't notice any firming or lifting, however this was still a nice serum that I'd happily repurchase.

Electra magnesium cream - Magnesium cream is the latest fad in the natural beauty world. I can't use this on my face yet as I haven't built up a tolerance to magnesium so it stings like crazy. I use this to massage the boys feet every night, they love it. Once I've built up my tolerance I'm going to try using it as a deodorant and on my face, apparently when used as a face cream the results are amazing.

Alpha Keri Anti Cellulite body scrub - Do people really believe that a body scrub can fix cellulite? I'm pretty sure it can't, if it could then I would be cellulite free and I'm not. Despite that, this is a nice scrub and I'd purchase it again.

Original Source shower gel - You can never go wrong with Original Source shower gels.

Wrinkles Schminkles chest pad - Chinkles be gone! I got instant results from my first use, I'll never be without my Wrinkles Schminkles again.

Aesop serum - I'm glad I broke my no sample sachets rule and tried this serum, it smelled beautiful.

Suntivity sunscreen - An oldy but a goodie. I'm using the oily skin version now.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen - Another holy grail.

I've got into the habit of going through my collection every few months and tossing products that are old. Other than the Eco Store Lip balm, all of these products were tossed due to age. 

The Eco Store lip balm was tossed because it's just not nice. It's soft, lumpy and awful to use.

Now onto the incoming products for March. I've been doing really well with not buying much. I haven't put myself on a spending ban but I am being more aware of what I buy. We went to the city so I had a little splurge, but overall I didn't buy much in March.

Priceline had 40% off cosmetics so I picked up more of their Extreme Lasting eye pencils, a lip liner and mascara.
If you haven't tried the Extreme Lasting eye pencils you need to, they're amazing. Creamy, long lasting and gorgeous colours.

This is my haul from when we were in the city. The two lipsticks are from B2M.

How was March for you empties wise? Did you buy much? If you've done a post about your empties or purchases, please post the link in the comments.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Last week a Mecca staff member told me that it's not possible to find a concealer that doesn't crease. Hahaha. She must have been new. We all know that it is possible to find a concealer that doesn't crease and I'm sure Mecca sells a few of them!

2. The weather lately has been glorious. Between 22 and 27 and just beautiful. I love Autumn.

3. I haven't done any decluttering in the last few weeks and it's so frustrating. I hate having mess and stuff everywhere. 

4. Yesterday we saw a fun bus driving past. I looked at it with such envy. I long to sell everything and tour the country.

5. I've rejoined the gym and am sort of excited about getting back into it. I'm working on strength so am expecting to be quite sore, but I really look forward to being strong again, I miss being strong. Now I just have to muster up the motivation to get to the gym, I've had zero motivation lately.