Make up & some of my favourite products

Men have it easy.  They look the same all the time & don't need a mass of beauty products to help make themselves look or feel (more!) beautiful!! However women (well the average one anyway, not the Hollywood film stars who I bet are glamorous the minute they wake up) for some reason wake up looking not so fresh faced & when you add M.E to the mix, well all I can say is I am so glad there is such a thing as make up!

I have always loved it & these days I don't have the energy or inclination to put it on all the time but it definitely makes me feel better in myself when I do. I am not afraid to experiment with colour either so have rather a lot of stuff! There is no such thing as too much make up is there ladies?

Spoonies (people with chronic illness, see previous post here) don't always have the budget to buy high end products but there are plenty of lower cost brands out there who do brilliant products. I have a few go-to products which are mostly low budget buys so will go through what I use for my typical make up routine.

I was using mineral stuff by a brand called Mii for ages & still have some of their stuff but more recently (over the last year or so) I have been using a foundation by elf cosmetics. It is called the HD Mattifying Cream Foundation here & you get a sponge applicator with it but I found that was giving too thick a coverage so I use a stipple brush. It is only £7.95 but elf often have offers on which is when I usually buy stuff so I rarely pay full price!

I have stipple brushes from both elf & makeup revolution who are another great budget brand & whose products are amazing. I like the way the foundation goes on with the stipple brushes & you can blend as much as you need without it looking too caked.

I usually put concealer under my eyes once I have applied the foundation & set it all with powder. I then use bronzer to give me a bit of colour as my face is pretty pale & blush always makes me look better too! I really like the elf cosmetics baked bronzer & baked blush. They last so long & I have had mine ages but they have hardly gone down at all. Both cost £3.95.

For everyday make up I usually use natural colours on my eyes but depending on my mood I will add some more vivid colours if I feel like it. The eyeshadow pallettes I am really liking at the moment are these Iconic ones from Makeup Revolution.

They are dupes for the Urban Decay naked ones but are a fraction of the price at £4. The pigmentation is really good on them but I didn't like the brush they came with so I use a separate eyeshadow brush or my fingers if I want to do it really quickly!

I also have an elf pallette which is also good & has some lovely colours in.

I do have a lot of other eye shadows too & if anyone likes mineral ones, the elf ones are very similar to the Bare Minerals ones but are only £3. I have some of each & really can't tell the difference, link here.

A recent discovery which I have to mention for anyone who likes big lashes is the Younique Fibre 3D lash mascara. I had heard of it & kept seeing people raving about it online but thought it was probably just another fad. However when I got some for Christmas it changed my life. Not really but it has certainly changed my opinion about other mascaras which I thought were good but aren't a patch on this one! It comes in a rather glam looking box which looks pretty enough on its own..

Inside you get 2 different tubes. One is the transplanting gel that you apply like normal mascara then while that is still wet you apply the natural fibres. You then seal with the transplanting gel again. And repeat as many times as you like depending on how big you want your lashes. I usually apply 2 coats but 3 gives extra oomph!

They feel totally natural too & nothing like false ones which really surprised me. I was using Benefit They're Real before, which I thought was brilliant, but the Younique one makes my lashes so much longer. I had it on the other week & my friend popped round for a cuppa. The first thing she asked me was if I had false lashes on! It costs £23 so it isn't the cheapest but it's around the same price as higher end mascaras & I think it is well worth it. I will 100% be buying another when this one looks like it's running out. My sister is selling it now too which means it's super easy for me to order it.

It doesn't take long to apply either which was something I was worried about initially & thought might put me off. The first few times I took a while getting used to doing it but now I do it really quickly. Like a pro!

The final thing I use & am not afraid to go bold with is lipstick! I have loads & when I had a sort out of my make up recently, it dawned on me just how bad my lipstick problem is. I never used to think it suited me so didn't wear it, but a few years ago I rediscovered my love for it. And appear to have gone a bit mad in the process.

Some of the cheaper brands I actually find are the best. One of my favourites is by Bourjois & is a deep berry colour. It is one that I won a while back & mentioned here in my Autumn Tag post. But I really can't talk about lipstick without bigging up the Makeup Revolution ones as they only cost £1 & are amazing. Yes I did say £1!! They have a wide range of colours including some really unusual ones. I have a couple of their bold reds & pinks as well as some nude coloured ones. Link here.

This one is called Crime & I usually just apply one coat, blot with a tissue then do the same again.  I have a lip brush which I use sometimes but I don't find it makes much difference. They are super pigmented & I find they last really well.

I don't apply a full face of make up every day as due to my energy being limited with the M.E it is a bit pointless as it wipes me out. Some days I just put a bit of bronzer on to disguise the ghost like appearance I have acquired over the years of being poorly! BB creams are good too as they are several products in 1 (moisturiser, concealer, foundation etc) & feel quite light on the skin but give quite a nice coverage. I use the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector one. I usually wear eyeliner under my eyes as I find it makes me look a bit more awake! I often scare myself if I pass a mirror when I am going au naturel so prefer a little bit of something rather than nothing at all.

I could talk & talk about make up all day but will stop now!! If anyone has any favourite products I'd love to hear about them in the comments.  Thanks for reading :)

ME Mummy A


T-shirt design kit fun

As you will know if you read my blog, I am unable to go out very much with my little girl because of my condition (I have M.E for those who don't know), so we often do crafty stuff in the house. I am always looking for new ideas for fun things to do. My previous post here is about some of the stuff we have done before. Messy play is the best!

It has just come to the end of half term & school holidays are always times when you need to try to keep the little darlings occupied! My daughter will happily sit for ages drawing at the moment but she really likes anything creative & will spend ages doing it. So when we were lucky enough to be sent a T-Shirt design kit from www.buytshirtsonline.co.uk she (I!) couldn't wait to get started. They have a twitter page here & a Facebook page here too.

The kit looked like this when it arrived..

We were sent a Disney princess themed box, which after my post last week about princesses here was perfect!  There were two T-shirts in the box, one in age 5-6 which is the current size my daughter fits into & also one for me that I told her she could decorate for me!

We got everything out & she chose where she wanted to put the transfer. I got the iron ready & although the instructions said it would take 60-90 seconds to stick, it probably took around 5 minutes! Once it was on it looked really good & she got to work on decorating.

The fabric pens were quite thick so we got a paint tray & squeezed some of each colour out onto it then also mixed some up to make different colours. She used the ends of the pens to draw with & it kept her occupied for ages.

She decided to draw various things relating to the princesses on the transfer so she did Pascal from Tangled for Rapunzel, Flounder from The Little Princess for Ariel, one of the birds from Cinderella, the magic lamp from Aladdin for Jasmine, Belle's rose, Snow White's apple, some crowns & a wand! I was really impressed with how well she did & she really enjoyed it.

For mine I told her to do whatever she wanted so it was lovely when I saw she'd written "I love you mummy" in blue, my favourite colour! She drew some hearts, kisses, a magic flower (apparently) & a rainbow too.

After the initial panic that the transfer wasn't going to stick, it was a really fun thing to do & it kept her busy for ages. I would definitely recommend the kits & I shall be keeping my lovely new T-shirt in my Mummy's memory box :-)

MEMummy A


My love of vintage

I have mentioned previously that I love vintage stuff! There is something really special about seeing a unique piece of vintage loveliness. Something that likely has a story behind it. An actual piece of the past.

If I sometimes want to get out of the house but don't feel particularly up to doing much then I will pop to a charity shop. With my silly legs & general lack of ability to walk very far at all (thanks M.E!) I find they are more manageable than the average shop. Charity shops are quite fashionable these days in terms of coolness & are the first choice place for people who love vintage! It is brilliant when you find something that you love in amongst the other rubbish & you feel that you have unearthed a little piece of history.

I have recently found a few lovely things. This set caught my eye but I didn't get it at first as I wasn't sure where it could go but I kept thinking about it once I was back home so had to get it! The whole thing was only £3.99 & it is now on a shelf with some of my sparkly bows in (surprise surprise!).

I went to my first vintage fair a few weeks ago which wasn't ideal with the wheelchair as it was pretty packed & quite a tight squeeze to get around. However, I loved seeing all the stuff & managed to get a few bits. This top had my name all over it! Obviously not literally (!) but I love blue & I love sparkle. So really, it was meant to be!

I found a few more tops & also found this glass cake stand which I have used for storing some of my ever increasing stash of hair accessories. I had been wanting something similar for a while so for the grand sum of £4.00 it was all mine! I have a thing for glass if you hadn't noticed...

I have a bag that belonged to my grandma which I absolutely love & people always comment on it if they see it. It's not only lovely but makes it feel that bit more special because it was hers. I also have some leather gloves that she gave me & I just love how they are classically beautiful but always remind me of her.

I wish I had realised when I was younger how much I would like vintage as I would have had loads of amazing stuff now. Things like floral vases & teacup sets, which I am always drawn to. So if anyone has any knocking about feel free to pass them on!

One of my favourite places locally is a little gem called Sunshine Bakery. It is a little place with about 5 tables & they do the most amazing food. Their cupcakes are the best ever. But what I like most about it is the interior. It is so quirky & is full of vintage mismatched cups, saucers & other trinkets. I just love it!

It has recently been refurbished & when I went in I sat down at the only spare table (it is always busy) & I didn't realise until after a while that I had sat under a light on the wall which said Sparkle. It was as if it had been waiting for me!! 

Would love to hear if you share the same love of vintage as me & about any lovely things you have. Vintage rules!

ME Mummy A


Princesses (of the Disney kind)

My little girl was never very girly when she was tiny & was quite a tomboy until suddenly one day she seemed to turn into a stereotypical girl who loved all things Princess.  I had no idea who any of the Disney Princesses were when she was a baby but that all soon changed!

I have just been in her bedroom & there seems to be a theme!!!

I have to say that the old Disney films are absolute classics & I enjoy watching them as much as she does. They never (despite their age) get old.  The more modern Disney stuff is brilliant too & I love snuggling up with her watching Tangled or everyone's favourite film of the moment Frozen!  I love the adult humour in the more recent stuff & I bet I can't find anyone who doesn't like Disney in some way or form.

With the love of Disney comes the want or need for all things related to it. It's a retailer's dream. I am talking about children but I know a fair few grown ups who have a penchant for it too! Whether it be toys, games, books, nightwear, jewellery, cutlery (you get the idea), even stuff like toothbrushes or hair combs, they sell it & we buy it!

I touched on this sort of thing in another blog post when I talked about TV characters & Peppa Pig. Link to post here! I admit when I go into the Disney store I feel like, well.. a kid in a toy shop! It is ridiculous really how children become so obsessed with certain characters but who doesn't secretly want to be a Princess? Dressing up as one is something most little girls enjoy doing. In our house we have a choice of different outfits & I may have wished before that I could squeeze into them! I dressed as one for our Team Princess M.E fundraiser last year & loved it. So I can't really blame my daughter for being slightly Princess obsessed can I?

ME Mummy A


Happy 1st blogiversary to me!

I can't quite believe it's been a year since I started this blog! My reason for starting it was to try to raise awarenesses of M.E whilst giving an honest account of what it is like being a mummy with the condition.  I feel that I have not only achieved that but have also realised how much I enjoy writing. Having an outlet for your thoughts is actually very therapeutic & a really good way of getting things off your chest.

I have had a lot of positive feedback from my posts & people I know have said how much they have learnt from it too. When I hear stuff like that it makes me feel pretty chuffed & proud of myself.  Having M.E is horrendous but if through talking about it I have opened peoples' eyes to it then I have accomplished what I set out to achieve.

I have to date had almost 15,000 views on the blog which, to say I am not a well known blogger or anything, makes me proud.  I appreciate every person who has taken the time to read my posts & want to thank everyone who has commented too as it means a lot. I will carry on blogging as I really enjoy it despite sometimes writing about stuff that (allegedly!) makes people cry!

One of my proudest moments in the last year was when I took part in our charity fundraiser on M.E Awareness Day.  The links to my posts about it are here & here.

It was exhausting but amazing how much money we raised & was a lot of fun too. We are doing similar this year so I will most definitely be blogging about it & will be talking about the upcoming plans shortly!

Something else I am proud of which I blogged about was blinging my wheelchair! Mobility aids are pretty tough to come to terms with but you may as well make them look good :) Link to post here.

I also really enjoyed reading the notes from our memory jar with my little girl, which I had been writing throughout the year. Link to post here.

Of course I can't do a round up of the year without mentioning (again!!) when I met Keith Lemon! It was one of the most memorable days of my life, one I will have etched in my memory forever no doubt!! Link to when it happened here.

So again, thank you for the support & I look forward to sharing lots more of my thoughts, stories & pictures with you in the future. If anyone has any things they would like me to talk about then feel free to leave a comment or message me.

On that note I think it would be rude not to go & eat some cake... it's not every day your blog turns 1! :-)

ME Mummy A


Be Yourself!

Many years ago, while I was pretty young & before I decided to study law, I did some work experience with a barrister. I remember having a debate with a relative beforehand about what I should wear as I didn't want to wear the bog standard smart clothes. My argument was it shouldn't matter how you look but society is such that it does matter! We are made to feel like we have to conform with the norm. So I bought some new, very respectable outfits..

People are judged straight away on their appearance & anyone who dares to be different is often frowned upon. Which really irritates me. I have probably always been quite lacking in confidence. People may find that hard to believe as they always think I am really outgoing & don't believe me when I say I used to have terrible shyness. Shyness so bad that when I was very young it used to get me into trouble!  I still think I'm shy but people laugh when I say it. I have never particularly liked myself either. I don't think any female is ever 100% happy with how they look but we can make ourselves feel better by wearing the things we like. If we dare!

I think the problem is a lot of people are too conscious of what others think & are more bothered about whether they will be stared at if they look a bit different to everyone else. I used to be the same. When I first began working & earning money, I would often spend my lunch hours in the shops buying clothes.  I used to really like H&M & spent a lot of time there. I would buy whatever I liked but didn't always dare to wear some of the stuff out if it was a bit unusual. The whole confidence thing again.

As I got a bit older (& perhaps wiser) I began to realise that if I liked something then I didn't really care if people pulled a face at it & if I wanted to wear it & felt good in it then I damn well would!  I do like on trend clothes but I am often drawn to stuff that is a bit quirky. I went shopping with one of my carers recently & she just laughed at some of the stuff I took to try on. She changed her mind about them when she saw them on but it really didn't bother me that she didn't like them. This is a jacket I bought.. Mary Berry chic is all the rage don't you know!

My fairly recent addiction to hair accessories has also given me a lot more confidence. The other members of the Crown & Glory Glitterati group which I am part of (link here) are very cool & a pretty amazing bunch of girls. I have hair envy of a lot of them who have various brightly coloured locks & it has inspired me to do something a bit different with mine so watch this space...

Chances are if you see me these days I will have some sort of accessory in my hair & I may well be wearing something that the people in TOWIE wouldn't approve of!!

When you become poorly you kind of lose your identity a bit as you become "that person with M.E". Which I hate. So you need to make sure you do whatever you can to feel good about yourself. BE YOURSELF! And on that note I shall go & adorn my head with one of my many bits of pretty...

ME Mummy A


Fun & games

When you have a child you have an excuse for playing games. Board games in particular are a favourite of mine! When you have an illness like M.E which makes it difficult to do certain stuff then playing games is the perfect solution. Low energy activity & fun ..unless you discover your child hates losing!! Or perhaps even you do ;-) My daughter never used to like it but she's fine with it now & even tries to lose on purpose sometimes so someone else wins, which kind of defeats the object!

We have a good selection of games & I have found some good bargains in charity shops too if I've been lucky. Some of the classic games are still firm favourites like Guess Who, Ludo and Snakes & Ladders. We were playing Guess Who (well, a different, cheaper version of it but the same thing!!) yesterday & we had both picked the same person without knowing. Was pretty funny when we realised at the end! Hearing my little girl laughing is my favourite thing & we always end up giggling lots so it's very good medicine!

My daughter came back from her grandparents last week with Screwball Scramble & it was a complete blast from the past. I used to love it when I was younger so was nice seeing it again. I don't think they make games like they used to but then that just makes me sound really old. Which I am I suppose!

Another favourite in our house is Orchard Toys games. Link to website here. They are educational as well as fun & suit various ages. They do have age guides on the box but even the ones for younger age groups are nice to play with the whole family. They make good presents too so can never really go wrong with them.

I really like wooden games. My favourite ones are by Melissa & Doug. This is a link to their website but various places stock their products. We have had their stuff since she was a baby as they do lovey chunky jigsaws & other puzzles suitable for tiny people. We also have a retro wooden Noughts & Crosses which always goes down well when friends are here to play.

Children seem to have a knack for making their own games up & we are often having to play some totally bonkers game that my daughter has made up! A few weeks ago we had to roll a dice & each number was assigned a different action by her. So if we threw a 1, it was something like clapping hands a certain amount of times, 2 was rolling a bouncy ball across the floor & 3 was singing a song ..you get the idea! Very random but it kept her occupied for ages. It drove me mad but she was happy!!

I remember when she was a lot smaller & never sat still, I would say "let's see how long you can lie still for" as it was sometimes the only way to get a break! It would only last a few minutes until she was up again. Kids have so much energy, it would be nice if I could pinch some of it!!

We are running out of space for everything despite donating a lot of stuff to charity recently, but it's her birthday coming up so no doubt we will have to try to find room for lots more things! Can't wait (there may be a hint of sarcasm in there!) :-D

ME Mummy A

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