What I Ate Wednesday!

Today's breakfast was the same-ish...I had my usual Alpen porridge but this time I tried a different flavour - apricot, almond & hazelnut.  I really like this one too though it is definitely not as sweet as the raspberry one, probably because apricot tends to be more tart in general.  I had it with light soy milk, half a banana, cinnamon and a black coffee!  

We ate lunch at Costa!  I got the chicken salad sandwich which is not my favourite - they were out of chicken fajita wraps :(  They are the best!  But this wasn't bad, it's made with tomato, mayo, mixed leaves and malted wholegrain bread.  I also had another black coffee with this!

We had dinner at Wagamama's because my sister is leaving for Germany again very soon *insert sad face here :(* and I got the Yasai Yaki Soba (vegetarian wholewheat noodles dish fried with egg).  I almost always order this, it's my absolute favourite!  Jonathan got the Chicken Katsu Curry.

For dessert I got the white chocolate and ginger cheesecake...also my fave!  I love how you can see Emilia's little pouty face in the background, ha ha ha!  She wasn't very happy at Wagamama's, I think her teeth are bothering her and she was a bit overtired :(  

Jonathan's dessert - three mini cheesecakes :)

To be honest I didn't eat the best today - I would have probably preferred to fit in a snack of some fruit/yoghurt/nuts or something like that in between lunch and dinner but we were busy all day filming the puppies' reaction video so I didn't get a chance to!  Also I'd just like to mention that yesterday I gave into a MAJOR Diet Coke craving...bad bad bad!! I never drink the stuff anymore (I used to order it anytime we went out to eat!) have pretty much just gotten used to only drinking water but yesterday I had a moment of weakness and totally caved!  Anyway, I paid for it big time last night...was super gassy, bloated and got stomach cramps.  It's crazy how much something like that affects you when you completely cut it out of your diet!!  And now I'm stuck with a bajillion Coke cans in my fridge.  Anyone want to come over? ;)  

Let me know what you ate today and do you ever drink fizzy drinks?  What do you think of them?  

Beauty Tuesday: Huge L'Oreal Haul!

Here are some pictures of the L'Oreal items I received to review last week!  I am so looking forward to trying them out and letting you all know my thoughts on them.  As you can see, I was sent quite a lot of products but I am particularly excited about the skincare items!

I got three products from the Revitalift Laser Renew line - the Advanced Moisturiser, the Super Serum and the Precision Eye Cream.  So far I have tried the moisturiser and serum and I like how they feel on my skin.  Neither are too greasy/oily yet they still make my face feel smooth & hydrated.  I have yet to use the eye cream as I'm still trying out my Murad sample from last month's Glossybox.  I also got their new Skin Perfection 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil which claims to remove makeup instantly and is suitable for all skin types.  I have actually had a lot of luck using oils as a makeup remover before so I'm looking forward to trying this out!  

Next up I got the Code Lumiere Illuminating BB Cream in the shade Fair.  It claims to even out your skin-tone, reduce the appearance of irregular pigmentation (which I definitely have!) all while giving your skin an illuminating glow.  I'm a bit sceptical about this as I tried it this morning and while it did improve my skin's appearance and somewhat even it out, it definitely does not give me enough coverage to feel comfortable wearing it on its own.  I would have to put this on under foundation which makes me question whether this is just another useless step in my makeup routine...I suppose it would be good for when you're just running out the door and don't have time to apply makeup?  I am still undecided, let me know your thoughts!  

Along with the BB cream I also got to sample some of the new Nude Magique CC creams!  I had never even heard of these before...nor did I know what it meant (apparently CC stands for "colour correcting"!)  I got the Anti-Redness one (tinted green to neutralise the appearance of redness).  I am curious to try this as I do have some acne scars/redness that I'd like to conceal!  I also got the Anti-Fatigue CC Cream (L'Oreal must have known I'd just had a baby...ha ha ha!) which is tinted apricot to help "wake up" your complexion.  Last of this selection, I got the BB blush in a universal pink colour.  I'm not a huge fan of gel/cream blushes as I hate how greasy they can be on my skin and this is not a colour I would normally pick for myself but it seems quite pigmented and long-lasting so I will try it out nonetheless!

As you can see from the swatches, when rubbed into the skin the CC creams both change colour and transform into foundation.  The blush is very pigmented and really did leave quite a stain on the area where I applied it, which probably means you need to move fast with this product!

Finally, here are the makeup & one hair product that I received.  The first of which is the well-known Elnett Hairspray - this one is in Extra Strength "Sleek Perfection".  I also got the Color Riche Nail Varnish Top Coat in Gold Lurex.  This actually looks pretty cool!  I'm excited to get back into painting my nails just so I can use it.

I got the new Super Liner Blackbuster which is a chunky felt tip liquid liner.  You guys know how I love my black eyeliner (and I'm very fussy about it) so I will definitely put this to the test very soon!  

I know L'Oreal is famous for its Voluminous mascara (which I still have yet to try!) so I wonder if this False Lash Flutter mascara will follow suit.  Check out the interesting shape of the wand though, it does remind me of a butterfly! 

Last but not least was this Glam Shine Stain Splash in the colour 300 Juliet.  A mostly water based formula which is supposed to last for 6 hours, this is a gloss that looks like a stain.  When swatched I will admit that it didn't rub off easy and left a lingering stain on my hand.  However this is definitely a colour outside of my comfort zone...Juliet is a vibrant pinkish red and having looked on the website, I think Bonnie would have been more up my alley but having said that I do sport a red lip from time to time so this may come in handy to wear on top of lipstick/liner when the occasion arises.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures!  Let me know what products you're most interested in and I will do my best to review them first :)

Stay Stylish!

Mommy Monday: Boob Haul!

Nope I did not get new boobs...but I did pick up some new items from Boob, the nursing wear clothing brand! ;)  If you don't know about this company, they make clothes that make it really easy and convenient to breast feed without maximum coverage.  All their tops come with a panel that lifts up for "easy access" to feed without having to expose your entire chest area.  I love these as they give me so much confidence when nursing in public.  Most people don't even notice I'm doing it, in fact I have had some slightly embarrassing moments (for other people, not me!) when strangers have come up and started talking to Emilia - not realising that she's actually attached to me...ha ha ha!  That's just how good they are ;)

I got everything from Jellybean, who are also having a big sale at the moment!  The first thing was from their new Spring/Summer stock...you guys know how I like my stripes!  I was so happy when I saw this :)  It's just a round-neck long-sleeve style, perfect for the spring.  

This rust/brown long-sleeve top is another basic that I also have in black and ink blue.  Slightly autumnal (and this was on sale from last season's stock) but I do plan to breast feed for the full year and I love this colour!

And lastly, I just picked up two very basic items - another long-sleeve in white and a singlet (tank top) in white.  These make great layering items so you can never have enough of them in my opinion!

Boob clothing doesn't come cheap unfortunately but to me, it's worth it!  If you buy basics you can layer them under all of your regular clothes and honestly I do not mind paying a little bit extra for something that improves my confidence so much when I'm feeding Emilia :)  The clothing is made in Portugal from 92% organic cotton, 8% elastane - it is super great quality and washes really well.  

Emilia was a little princess as always and sat patiently in my cupcake room playing with her toy purse while I filmed videos & took blog pictures today...isn't she a sweetie!  Poor thing is getting her two bottom front teeth and they are breaking through so she's in a bit of pain :(  But she is wearing her amber beads which seem to be helping and I'm giving her Bonjela teething gel when she gets very upset.  Poor baby! 

Let me know what you think of Boob nursing wear...is it something you'd be willing to try if you are breast feeding?  Or do you prefer a different alternative (nursing covers, pashminas, etc.)  Let me know!

Stay Stylish!

Fashion Friday: 50 Shades of Grey

Jacket/H&M, Top/GAP, Scarf/Soaked in Luxury, Boots/Chinese Laundry (LoveClothing), Jeggings/ASOS

My blog should be called 50 Shades of Grey at the rate I'm going with my outfit posts, ha ha ha!  But this and black really are the colours I seem to gravitate towards the most this time of year.  It also suits the weather - we don't get many blue skies in Ireland unfortunately :(  Especially not in winter!  

The two pups outside with me today are Nivea and Theo...don't ask who's who because in these pictures I have no clue!  Theo's the fatter of the two but you can't really make much out here other than big balls of white fluff :)  I hope you're all having a relaxing Friday!  Emilia's taking her afternoon nap as I write this and then we have friends coming over...poor Jonathan slept most of the day after not getting much sleep last night, he's also been killing it at the gym and has lost 11lbs so far - woot!  I'm so proud of him and he is looking pretty buff if I say so myself!

Have a lovely weekend and stay stylish...ha ha ;)

What I Ate Wednesday

Alpen porridge (Apple, Raspberry & Raisin) w/half banana, almond milk, cinnamon & a black coffee...same as always!  

Chickpea wrap...I had chickpeas in my kitchen cupboard and really wanted to use them so I made this!  I got the recipe from The Sweet Life blog and it was super easy! 

Organic dessert apple & handful of almonds.  I bought all organic fruit & veggies in our last grocery shop and I have to say I really can taste a difference!  Everything tastes so much better & fresher...plus I didn't really notice a big price difference.  For example these dessert apples are smaller than the regular Pink Lady apples I get, but they are so much sweeter, crunchier and better tasting!  

Courtesy of my sister Emma!  Eggplant penne pasta with pecorino cheese.  So delicious!

My mom got these cakes from On the Pig's Back and I couldn't decide between the two (coffee and lemon) so I had to have a slice of both!!  My sister also baked chocolate chip cookies but I forgot to take a picture of those :(  *sigh* I could never give up sweets...I just like them too much! ;)

What did you eat today?!

Mommy Monday: My Postpartum Belly

This week I thought I would give you guys a little update on my belly at 5 months postpartum.  I know I stopped doing the belly shots in my monthly update videos around the time I went back down to my pre-pregnancy weight - this was because I didn't see much point in repeating myself month after month!  But I have gotten a few requests, especially to give my review of the Belly Bandit so here it is!  

As you probably already know, I gained a total of 24lbs while pregnant and if I remember correctly it took about 2 - 2.5 months to lose it.  I accredit most of this to breastfeeding as well as moderately healthy eating.  I really don't work out, I just walk the dogs for an hour and that's about it!  Now at 5 months postpartum I weigh 2lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight but my body composition is definitely different.  My waist used to be 23/24" and it is now 25" but I also can see a difference when I look at my stomach, it's not as flat as it used to be!  I don't mind though...in fact I'm pretty happy with my post-pregnant body :)      

I did get some stretch marks around my belly button...thankfully I didn't get anymore than that but now I do have a wrinkly old lady belly button, ha ha ha!  Here's a close-up for your viewing pleasure because nobody ever believes me when I mention it in videos or at least the lighting doesn't show them properly!

Something that I definitely do think helped shrink my stomach back to its normal size was the Belly Bandit and I wore this for about 2/2.5 months after giving birth.  I got the bamboo one in nude which is €82.50 from Jellybean.  You can also get the original Belly Bandit for €59.50 but I really liked how the bamboo fabric felt on my skin, it wasn't irritating at all and is supposed to be good for absorbing moisture and keeping your skin fresh.  This is actually quite important because I leaked a LOT in the beginning when my body was regulating how much milk to produce so the belly bandit got pretty soaked but it evaporated straight away and never felt damp or uncomfortable. 

I wore this almost everyday for the first 2/2.5 months or until I felt comfortable with my belly.  I definitely did feel like on the days I forgot to wear it that my tummy looked jigglier/bigger whereas on the days I did wear it when I took it off at night before bed, my stomach looked tighter & more firm.  Maybe this was just my imagination but other friends I've spoken to who wore it agreed!  I chose not to wear the belly bandit at night, just because I wanted to be more comfortable and unrestricted.  Not that it was uncomfortable to wear during the day but you definitely feel like your stomach is being sucked in.  However I liked this as it made me feel more confident about my postpartum "jiggle"!  

The Belly Bandit is also supposed to be good for C-section recovery and good posture while breastfeeding, although I will be the first to admit that I bought it purely for vanity reasons!  Having said that I did find that it helped keep my posture straight & upright while feeding which is very important.  (I didn't have a C-section so I can't say whether it helps or not for that.)

I get a lot of questions on how to wear the Belly Bandit - so here's how it should look when it's on but keep in mind I am back down to my normal size...when you first put it on it will look different and not as "neat".  But you should notice that you can wear it tighter and tighter the smaller your stomach gets.  It's important to wrap it around your lower ab area as well so that you are getting the full effect and the belly bandit can do its job properly!  This is visible (slightly) through regular tops and shirts but to be honest, I didn't mind that as I knew it would be worth it in the end.  

The size I got was XS but I recommend either you check out the Belly Bandit's sizing videos or get fitted professionally like I was.  Apparently you should go by your regular waist size, so that's how we calculated mine but there is a lot of info online which will help you determine which size to get.  

I know the Belly Bandit is quite an investment and I am in no way trying to claim that this alone will make you lose weight...I just think it's a great tool for helping the body go back to normal and I do believe it gave me more confidence in the weeks after giving birth.  If you have used this or something similar I would love to hear your thoughts!  Did you think it was worth the money or just a gimmick?  Let me know what you think!

Stay Stylish!

Fashion Friday: Black & Taupe

Cardigan/Soaked in Luxury, Leggings/Avoca, Boots/Hunter Regent Savoy, Top/Vila, Bracelet/Gift from my sister

I'm not sure how I feel about these leggings...what do you guys think?  I have them in black as well and while I think those look fine these ones are a little, for lack of a better word, "pyjama-ish"!  They're not very flattering in the bum/thigh area (hello, cellulite!) and being that they are this taupe/close to skin colour they can give the impression that you're wearing nothing on bottom.  Perhaps I would feel more comfortable wearing them if my legs were 100x skinnier with a longer cardigan/top going out in public but for lounging around the house I think they are okay!

I am really enjoying my shorter hair so far and it has been a LOT easier to maintain!  Washing, blow-drying and styling it takes about a tenth of the time it used to and on the days I don't wash it I don't even have to worry about that, it just sort of styles itself!  Also Emilia doesn't pull anymore whenever I'm trying to feed/change her or pick her up which is an added bonus!  I no longer find her little fists stuffed with long blonde hairs...ha ha ha!  

Hope you're all having a fabulous Friday!    

Stay Stylish!

Fire & Ice Cupcakes! (What I Ate Wednesday)

Breakfast (around 11:30am)
I ate breakfast really late today because it was Jonathan's birthday and we were opening presents this morning!  Anyway, it's the same as always: Alpen Raspberry, Apple & Raisin porridge with almond milk, 1/2 banana and cinnamon and a black coffee!

Lunch (4pm)
Lunch was super late too!  We were going to go out to eat but then we got side-tracked with everything else going on today so we decided to stay in instead!  This is what I had - a wrap (the white & wheat is my fave!) with organic hummus, sundried tomatoes and watercress, spinach and rocket salad.

Snack (5pm)
Yeah...this is not a real snack, ha ha ha!  I spent the whole afternoon baking so I didn't really have time for a proper snack but I did drink another cup of coffee :)

Dinner (around 8pm)
We went to my mom's house for dinner and she cooked this amazing lamb stew with peas, onions & tomatoes served with polenta fried with parmesan.  It was soooo good!  This was also my first time having red meat in ages but I have to say I actually really enjoyed it!  I would probably never cook red meat because I hate the sight of it raw but my mom does it so well!

Dessert (after dinner...around 8:30pm)
For Jonathan's birthday I baked him these "Fire & Ice Cupcakes"!  They basically consist of a chocolate chilli cupcake halved and filled with dulce de leche ice-cream, topped with ice-cream again and then drizzled with ganache.  OMG.  These were amaze-balls!!  I will definitely be making them again.  I'll post the recipe here later, Emilia's fussing and I have to feed her so I can't do it right now! :(

I also drank 2L water...well, I'm currently chugging my 2nd last glass for the day! 

What did you eat today?!

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