Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Happy Christmas xx

Happy Christmas everyone! I am going to be spending it with my family, Billy and Ollie. Although its Ollie's second Christmas its the first time Billy will be celebrating Christmas and the first time all 3 of us get to spend it together so I am very excited. Take care of each other and stay safe!

Rachael x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

DIY Perfume Pots

For Christmas this year I am trying to do as much DIY with the presents as possible. I was looking into making my own natural perfume and was doing a bit of research online. I never realised how simple making cosmetics can be. My first step was to stock up on supplies. I have a collection of essential oils already and after trying out a few different mixtures I settled on Sandlewood, Rose and Ylang Ylang. I found a great online website http://www.bomar.ie/ where I ordered Jojoba bead pellets and some containers. Everything arrived the next day so I got started straight away.

First I put a cup in a pot of hot water over heat melt the wax. 

I used the perfume pots as measures and added 3 measures of the jojoba bead pellets with 1.5 measures of organic virgin coconut oil. (Almond oil, Avocado oil or other carrier oils can be used). This is to keep the texture soft.
Place the wax and coconut oil in the container over the heat until they melt and combine
Have the essential oils ready and premixed on the side. You will only need a few drops of essential oils(10-15 altogether).
Combine the essential oils with the rest of the mixture and decant into your perfume pots.
Once the mixture cools it will solidify and there you have it. Natural personal perfume pots!

I will be making these for all my family and friends. They are really cute stocking fillers and there are endless possibilities with different blends of essential oils. 

Rachael x

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

This year is the first year Myself, Billy and Oliver are spending together as a family so we are trying to really embrace the Christmas spirit and enjoy all the festivities. My mother surprised me a few months back and got us tickets to go see the Santa House Express in Co. Kildare. Ollie is still a little young to know whats going on.. I think Myself and Billy were more excited than any of the kids there! I suppose it was the first time Billy celebrated Christmas too, as Hindus don't celebrate that holiday really. Billy was actually very excited to meet Santa too who told him that "although he didn't visit Billy when he was younger, he knew he was a very good boy" ;). It was a really magical experience and from what I heard it is one of the best Santa experiences around. I will definitely be going back next year and would recommend it to anyone with children or babies. Although the tickets were snapped up, I think they have recently added a few more dates so check out their website click here! It was done really well, a lot more than just a visit to Santa and was very enjoyable for all the mums and dads too.

Checking out the decorations 
Story time with Mrs. Claus

The beautiful surroundings of Palmerstown house Estate

Billy finally meeting Santa Claus after all these years!

...Oliver wasn't so sure!

The grounds are beautifully decorated

The Santa Express Train
Ollie loved the train ride!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Breakouts Beware!

As I have previously written a post on dehydrated skin today I thought I would write about the Oily side of life.Most people suffer from breakouts at some point in their lives. While some people are lucky enough to only get the odd breakout during their teenage years, bad skin can hit at any age! As I see with a lot of clients in work, this may be during pregnancy, when hormones are running wild. It could also be due to stress,diet, skincare or life. I happened to be the opposite, my skin has never been as lovely as it was when I was pregnant. After I had Ollie I continued to have that lovely "pregnancy glow" and then out of nowhere, shortly before his first birthday(!!!) I started getting the dreaded breakouts. 

Now I have a good daily skincare routine and I have tried and tested many products over the years and narrowed it down to my favorites but when I do find I am getting breakouts I revert back to an old favorite from my teenage years La Roche-Posay. Teenager, new mum or just at your wits-end I would definitely recommend trying the EFFACLAR range. I find that if I do get a breakout and I use this for a few days my skin reverts back to normal so much quicker than if I just ignored it!

I am a firm believer that the basis of any good skincare routine is a great cleanse. If you are wearing make-up a cream cleanser and alcohol-free toner will be your best friend for that deep cleanse. When I am not wearing make-up,in the mornings or as my second cleanse I use Purifying Foaming Gel for Oily sensitive skin. It is PH neutral to your skin and paraben-free, and I find instantly defuses redness caused by breakouts.

The moisturiser I find best during breakouts is the Effaclar Duo +. It has a light texture and smells fresh clean smell that's not overpowering like some oily skin products can be like.My favorite thing is that it also leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturised. Some products, I find, can be quite astringent for oily skin which leaves it feeling tight and dry.

I have also used the Effaclar K moisturiser which seems just as nice as the Duo +, I can't see a huge difference between the two but from looking on the La roche posay website it seems that the Effaclar K is suited for sensitive skin, is hypoallergenic with minimal ingredients and fragrance. This is great news if your oily/sensitive as it won't be too harsh whilst still treating your concerns. 

La Roche-posay is available in most good pharmacies and is reasonably priced too. One tip though is to do your research as to what your looking for. The packaging is quite minimalist and basically all looks the same so it can be quite confusing/daunting! I will do a more in depth post on oily skin at a later date :)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

DIY kids scarves!

With the weather getting colder and its the time of year for colds and sniffles I have been keeping Ollie well wrapped up when we go outside but one thing that I found was that even with the warmest coat and hat on, around his neck was still exposed to the wind and cold (even with all his hair!). I decided to get creative and make a couple of "scarves", these are quick and easy to make. It would be great for kids or as a present (but as with all things, always supervise a child when they have something around there neck!)With the first one I got the idea from Pinterest but in hindsight using a t-shirt that was the same colour fabric on both sides would probably have worked better! 

Wrap-around scarf:

                         Take an old t-shirt and lay it down flat
                   Cut straight across under the arms

Cut strips 1/3 up and pull them to fray. 
Cowboy Scarf

For this one I got a piece of fabric and cut it into a small square. If you can hem any free edges (I can't). Fold it over diagonally to make a triangle and stitch along the edge. Measure to fit around your neck or babies neck. It shouldn't be too tight. Sew on poppers or velcro to fasten. You can get these from a haberdashery or if you have an old bib you can reuse the fasteners on this. I think this one is very stylish and is warm too :)

Natural Cleaning Alternatives

I am slowly but surely getting through the mountain of work I have to do and have finally found some free time to sit down and turn on my computer again. Over the past couple of weeks every spare minute has been taken up with assignments, Christmas shopping (eek!), work and my favorite, catching up with friends back for the Christmas hols.

I was out with my good friend Leah today and we were talking about how motherhood has made me more aware of the chemical ingredients in our everyday lives and the alternatives to them. It inspired me to write this post on Natural cleaning remedies. I began looking into natural alternatives after Ollie was born and I found the smell of some cleaning products alone would make my feel ill. On top of that, having a baby who puts everything and anything in his mouth has made me think about the harsh products I used and stored around him.

Pictured above are the main ingredients are Bicarbonate of soda, a real fresh lemon, vinegar, essential oils and blends for the scent. Tea tree or lemongrass is nice in bathrooms (also anti-bacterial). I usually pick between Ylang Ylang, rose extract essential oil, lavender, sweet orange essential oil for the rest of the house or in the car as they are milder scents!

  • Glass/Tile/Surface cleaner:
In the bathroom, to wipe down kitchen surfaces and cleaning glass or mirrors I have a ready made spray solution of 2/3 water, 1/3 apple cider vinegar. I add to this a few drops of washing up liquid and an essential oil of my choice, depending on where I am cleaning. I also use this solution when I am wiping down surfaces in the car. Once the vinegary smell has evaporated it leaves a fresh non-toxic fragrance in the air.

  • Deep cleaning Scrub or Paste:
This is great as an alternative to bleach scrubs used in the kitchen or bathroom. On greasy oven top dirt or bath grime mix a spoonful of bicarb with a few drops of fresh lemon and a tiny splash of vinegar. Mix this all into a paste and use an damp cloth and some elbow grease to scrub at the dirt and simply rinse off to finish. This lifts dirt and grease off so easily and you don't have to worry about any chemical residue left behind.

  • Room and Air freshener
This was one of the main smells that still makes me feel nauseous since having Ollie. It was also the main reason I looked into more natural alternatives. Whenever I got into a car that had the little tree fresheners I found the scent so overpowering. Now instead I use a real pine cone ( perfect time of year to collect them!) and add a few drops of essential oils or essential oil blends. 

  • Insect repellent
This is more of an old wives tale but seems to work in our house anyway. In the winter there is always an influx of those big hairy scary spiders. My grandmother told me to place conkers on your window sills and in the corners of the room and it keeps them away. I would have been a bit skeptical but we haven't seen one inside since we started doing it. I don't know the science behind it but who cares if it keeps those spiders away :)