This is a bit different to the products I usually write about on my blog. I almost didn’t write this post but then thought that surely some of you also suffer from the effects of snoring?! My boyfriend has snored for his whole entire life. When we moved in together in September I was worried as when we used to see each other at weekends during uni I always struggled to sleep with his snoring. He had tried throat sprays, nose sprays, snoring strips but nothing helped. I kept hoping I would get used to his snoring when we moved in but it just didn’t happen! I couldn’t get to sleep if he was asleep before me and he would wake me up countless times during the night as his snoring was just so loud! It got to the point where I was falling asleep on the sofa in the evenings and being so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open in work. I was also getting pretty grumpy from the lack of sleep! Then he tried the Snore Mate by Helps Stop Snoring. It is amazing – and that is not an exaggeration! The Snore Mate is a mouthpiece which holds your jaw forward while you’re sleeping the keep the airways open. You put the mouthpiece in hot water before you use it the first time so that it moulds to the shape of your mouth. Nick found it a bit uncomfortable to start with and kept taking out in his sleep but within a week he was used to it. The mouth piece hasn’t stopped his snoring entirely but it is now so much quieter than it was meaning he longer wakes me up during the night. He doesn’t snore non-stop through the night any more either. We are both sleeping a million times better since Nick started using the Snore Mate as I don’t keep trying to roll him over to stop the snoring! This is the best stop snoring product and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with the same problem! The Snore Mate costs £30.99 in Boots.
Hand cream: I think hand cream is an all year round essential but I find that I especially need to use it during the winter. Neutrogena have some really intense but affordable hand creams which are perfect for protecting your hands against the cold. The Nourishing Hand Cream (£4.09 for 75ml) is light enough for everyday use and the classic hand cream (£3.85 for 50ml) gives extra moisture.
Body Lotion: I am always looking for good body lotions. I like to use the Body Shop body butters – I had the Coco Butter for Christmas which is gorgeous – but they are quite expensive. I tend to swap between using my fancy moisturisers and more everyday ones. I think the Vaseline range are great and are really affordable at £4.49 for 400ml from Boots. I’ve also used the Aveeno Skin Relief Shea Butter (£5.49 for 200ml at Boots) a few times as well. This winter though my favourite has to be the Dove Winter Care Cream (£3.29 for 150ml) which smells amazing and makes my skin feel really soft. They also have a body lotion version which costs £3.99 for 250ml.
Lip balm: This winter my favourite lip balm has been the Lanolips 101 Ointment which costs £11.22 for 17.5g. It’s so good at repairing chapped lips. The Qsilica Paw Paw Rescue Ointment is a similar but is cheaper at £8.95 for 25ml.
Hair care: My hair gets really, really dry in cold weather if I don’t use a good leave in conditioner. Over the years I’ve tried so many different leave in conditioners but the best by far is the Advanced Techniques Quick Touch Leave In Conditioner from Avon. It is really light so doesn’t weigh down your hair or make it look greasy and it is really cheap! I use it almost every day to control my frizz and stop my hair drying out. Another brilliant product which I’ve only found in the last few months is the Carino Miracle Oil from Aldi. It contains argan oil which is very moisturising and it good for keeping hair looking healthy. It is also much cheaper than proper argan oil!
What are your winter essentials? I would love to know!
I was so excited on Christmas morning to find a set of flocking powder under the tree! I decided to go with a Christmassy feel for my first try at using the powder so painted my nails a deep red (Tate by Nails Inc) and topped them with the red powder. The powder is really easy to use. You just pour it over a wet coat of nail polish, shake off the excess and then pat down with your finger. If you do this over a piece of paper you can catch the excess and put it back in the pot for next time. I love the matte effect the powder gives your nails and I think it looks great up close. It also feels lovely and soft! The powder lasted much better than I expected and after five days wear was still there, although not as full a covering as when I first applied it.
I’m not sure exactly where my flocking powder was from as it was a Christmas present but you can buy lots of different colours from Born Pretty.
1. Homemade Christmas card from my sister.
2. Our Christmas tree.
3. Sparkly nails.
4. Nail gems.
5. Mum’s Christmas tree.
6. My sisters, looking good as ever!
7. Puzzles in the car on the long drive home.
8. Cute perfume set from Accessorize.
9. Managed to make poached eggs using my Poachies!
10. Made a cake for my sisters visit.
11. Face mask time!
12 & 13. Walk by the sea.
14. Best card game ever!
15. Fireworks at New Year!
I’ve been super busy over Christmas and can’t believe it’s been a week since my last post! I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas! I haven’t had time to write anything new so here is a recipe I have been meaning to post for a while now….
115g caster sugar
85g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
55g peanut butter
2 eggs, beaten
Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients
250g icing sugar
75g unsalted butter
1tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and put 12 cupcake cases in a tray.
2. Cream the margarine, peanut butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy.
3. Gradually add the eggs to the mixture, beating after each addition.
4. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder gently.
5. Share out the mixture evenly into the cases and then bake for around 20 minutes.
6. To make the buttercream cream the butter and then gradually add the icing sugar. I usually use an electric whisk once most of the icing sugar is mixed it to mae the buttercream nice and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract at the end. For ages I’ve used the Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract which tastes so much better than other vanilla extracts I’ve tried but here I used the Nielsen Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste which I love! It tastes pretty much the same as the vanilla extract but you can see little dots of vanilla in the buttercream which makes it a little different.
I also used my new Vanilla Bean Paste to make some Pecan Tarts from this recipe. They tasted really good even if they didn’t look perfect!
To be honest, the only thing remotely Christmassy about this nail design is the glitter! I started off with a layer of Rimmel Green With Envy and then sponged some Ciaté Angel Wings over it. I was going for an icy effect but was a bit heavy handed with the Angel Wings so it didn’t look great. I decided to add some purple glitter and I really liked the end result. What do you reckon?
Carino Miracle Oil contains argan oil which, despite all of the hype, I haven’t actually tried out yet. The main reason I haven’t tried argan oil yet is the price. I’ve had bad experiences with hair oils in the past so didn’t want to spend lots on argan oil which might not even suit my hair! Miracle Oil was one of the “Special Buys” from Aldi back in September and only cost £3.99 so was much cheaper than proper argan oil. I was a little worried that the oil would leave my hair looking greasy but it is actually really lightweight. I use a few drops on the bottom inch or two of my hair after I’ve washed it. I get very frizzy ends but the Miracle Oil makes them look much better. I think the oil has made my hair stronger as well as I haven’t had it cut in a while and I’ve got far fewer split ends than I would normally have after leaving it so long to have a hair cut! I also sometimes use the oil on my hair once it’s dried to give the curls a bit more definition.
As Miracle Oil was a Special Buy it is hard to get hold of as it was only available until the stock ran out. Hopefully Aldi will run it as another Special Buy sometime soon as I would definitely buy it again!
One of my birthday presents from my mum was the Lanolips 101 Ointment. I’ve had the Lanolips hand cream before which was lovely so I was excited to try out this new Lanolips product. It’s multi purpose so can be used for chapped lips, dry cuticles, dry, itchy skin etc. I’ve only used it on my lips so far and I love it! The first time I used it my lips were a little chapped but this balm cleared them up in just hours. Now I use it to prevent my lips chapping in the cold weather. It is quite a thick balm and stays put on your lips for hours. I’d definitely recommend this, it’s a brilliant winter product!