Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Reasons to be cheerful...

I'm sure that was a cereal advert but anyway...  I'm sure you have seen all the 'feel good tags' that do  the rounds on social media designed for us to take five minutes to ourselves and think about what's important to us, what's made us happy, there's been #100happydays, the black & white photo challenge, the 5 photos that make you smile tag, 7 'unknown' things about you.  I love seeing these pop up as it is a great reminder to ourselves about the things in life that just make our heart sing and it's lovely to get an insight into what our friends value too.

No one ever seems to tag me in these, I don't know why, so I decided I'd do it myself and go old school with reasonstobecheerful but after I got thinking I decided it is actually probably more like reasonstobethankful....

1. I have the sweetest most sensitive boy.  He is (on the most part) a dream to be around, his eyes are so bright in the morning he is so happy to see me when he wakes and you can almost feel his energy. He has always been like this I hope he hangs on to it!  

2. I am blessed with a loving & supportive family in that even though I do things that absolutely rock their world they still support me & are there quietly making transitions and I know are always there a constant in my life that transcends physical locality.

3. That I have friends that are plentiful & diverse that I have so many different histories and memories with that I connect with all for different reasons.  Some relationships are intense and resonate with energy, some are bound in history some are new and insightful. I know these friendships are precious and I regard highly each and every one.

4. I have a girl that is adorable & sweet but is fierce & determined & strong.  I know I won't ever be able to stand in her way and I know she is going places I'm already proud of her and I know she's going to continue to astound me as she grows up.

5. I am lucky to be part of a team in me & my husband that he will look after me and our family, that we enjoy spending time together and that we can talk about anything to each other.  He totally and utterly gets me and loves me for who I am.  

So probably a little bit more deep than reasons to be cheerful but if you want to join me and let me know what's making you thankful right now please do! x

Sunday, 10 January 2016

For anyone that's ever moved away from 'home'.

I'm just back from a trip home to Scotland. It was lovely seeing friends and family. Luckily I have worked out the solution to homesickness... I want to move everyone around with me wherever I go....that's not too much to ask is it?! Well perhaps not but I take solace in the fact that my relationships with the people I love and care for and choose are just as beautiful as they were when we left a year ago and I have no fear that that is going to change and that brings me tremendous happiness. 

Every new year brings a huge whirl of emotions and thoughts for me. It's not just resolutions it is revaluations and I think going 'home' really helped me with that this year. Lots of people were surprised we travelled back to the UK in the first year we had moved to Australia but for me it was a given. I wanted to see my family and friends and yes it stirred up a lot of feelings & emotions for both me and my two children but I'm glad we went. Because number 1 feelings are meant to be felt and I want to teach them that. At the end of our holiday there were lots of tears thinking about leaving and coming 'home' to Australia. Leaving what we know and what gives us such comfort. We spoke about it as a family in the taxi on the way back from the airport at 3am...about how lucky we are. To have two homes. Two sets of communities. Two lots of people who care for and love us. Two 'habitats' that give us different things and fulfill our needs in different ways. It was then in than taxi that I saw it. My three year old totally 'got it' she smiled and a look came over her face which was unmistakably one of gratitude. It was really quiet and beautiful and I thought "it's ok, we're ok".

It doesn't mean we won't miss everyone, that we won't have moments when tears cloud over our eyes in a quiet moment, we will. But what I'm trying to say is if you are in a similar position to me and you struggle with how you believe yourself to be coping or how your kids are coping with the huge life turning thing you have decided that's best for everyone maybe let yourself believe that you did in fact do the right thing, and that you and they are, in fact, ok.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Add these babies to your santa list.

It's coming up to Christmas so I thought I do a little post on a few special make up treats to can add to your Santa list!  (please note I this post contains affiliate links which means I get a commission from the merchant when you purchase through my blog)

I'm always banging on about Real Techniques Brushes I still love them and use them in my professional kit you can read up on the ones I recommend here "Heres the brushes you need" but if you fancy something a bit fancy (rose gold yes please!) and high performing go for the ZOEVA Rose Gold Brush Set aren't the pretty...and come in a cute little clutch too! 

This is officially the winter skincare pack but I don't care what side of the hemisphere you're on you will reap the benefits of using this skincare with the holy grail skincare ingredient of Hyaluronic Acid and a nice way to sample products you might like to re-buy in full size check out what you get and best ways to use on the directions here Alpha-H Anti Ageing Skincare.

What better time to get your brow game sorted than just in time for new year try out this stencil set by brow genius Anastasia...I would definitely give these stencils a try and with lots of colour choices you can really make sure you have the perfect brow, also her setting gel is meant to be the best (maybe I should invest as I currently use hubbies hair gel!) buy it here: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Kit.

So let me know what you are putting on your santa list this year! These products are all from Beauty Bay and they have a fabulous little Christmas selection.  I love that no matter where in the world you are you can enjoy these products and usually with free delivery too...perfect...just like santa actually! 

Friday, 30 October 2015

Making Memories...Family Style

Have you started thinking about Christmas presents yet? Im busy planning a trip back to Scotland for Christmas so I'm feeling like it's a stones throw from the festive period again! My last christmas shopping post I chatted about giving experiences rather than a physical gift I stand by this idea. 

This year we decided to treat ourselves to a gorgeous experience of a one on one family shoot with the talented Jessica Roberts (I've spoken about Jessica before on the blog as I had my fabulous FRESH headshots shoot with her, have a look here) we took a well stocked picnic basket and a new blanket bought for the occasion a flask of of wine and down to the beach we went. 

We had such a great experience.   So much fun and it really reminded us all of how lucky we are to part of our lovely little family.  Team Hughes is going great guns and there's nothing like an experience like this to remind us of that feeling.  Jessica made us feel super comfortable in front of the camera which I think shows through how relaxed we are in these shots.  Miss Poppy just LOVED being in front of the camera and Ollie being in a very cheeky mood really entertained us all.  Here's a sneak peak of the images as this blog post is a bit of a spoiler alert for my family...we have up until now managed to keep the majority of the images under wraps! Jessica is running mini shoots on the beach every weekend up until Christmas I urge you to book in with her if you are in the Melbourne area...she is just fab.

We have decided to immortalise our images by getting a book made up of the images I went online and created my book via blurb. I was given a free voucher by blurb to review their service. Websites like My Voucher Codes often run discounts for it, so watch out for them if you're looking to do your own. I downloaded the free software to create the book which was very easy, chose my book design and that was that. I enjoy doing things like this so the process was pretty fun (and easy).

The book arrived very quickly and was fabulous quality it looks rather professional actually pop over to my Instagram for a peak at the family seeing it for the first time.   I'm really happy with it and can see I might get slightly addicted to this in the years to come!

Friday, 16 October 2015

I'm taking a personal day!

When was the last time you took a day off?  I don't mean you were genuinely sick and couldn't make it to work I mean you just needed some time off so you said bugger it I'm off you can't have me today.  Have you ever let your kid have a day off school because you think they might just need a break?  I friend of mine recently posted pictures on Facebook of her and her daughter out at the shops having a day of fun after a rather tough morning at school and she had been upset.  I was really inspired by her approach and it made me question how I would react in a similar situation and it has made me change my mind.

I started writing this post during the week sat at a Melbourne lane way bar, having a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon on a roasting hot day, by myself, no kids no husband just me my book and my notes app on my phone (where I often scribble draft blog posts when inspiration takes me).  I had came into the city for an appointment and when I got there it had been cancelled.  I was really annoyed... for about 3 seconds.   I could have jumped straight back on the train and made it back for kinder pick up, cancel hubby leaving work early let him stay and finish what he was doing.  Then I realised the opportunity that had been given to me...a hour (or two) of some time off.  To sit by myself for a while, watch the world go by, chat to the waitress about her gorgeous sunflower tattoos, savour a glass of red, tell the girl sat two tables down from me how I loved her curly hair, let inspiration hit me for this blog post.  It was heavenly. Then I got back on the train still in time for bed time stories etc I chose to enjoy every minute of my time off and it felt good.

Of course there are probably a thousand problems in what i've just said and you're reading it thinking oh great for you but I can't do this because...
1. I'm a mum...who's going to look after the kids while I'm having a personal day?
2. My workload is so over baring it's just going to be worse when I get back 
3. You are not meant to take days off!...what you need a rest...don't be silly you just go in!

Let me help change your mind 

1. But i'm a mum....there's always a way to take a break even when your a busy mum...let hubby do the bath and bed routine get out for a walk take your headphones pump some music and breathe in the feeling of being you...all by yourself.  Take a bath once the little ones are sleeping, turn out light put on a candle, relax, your TV or chores will still be there when you get out, leave them for tomorrow. If the kids go to school or nursery let yourself just have that time to yourself one day leave the laundry to another day, stack the dishwasher later.  Allocate at least one of these child free times to something you want to do and be present in that time.  Choose to enjoy it.

2. But what about my workload...ok if you are a very important person like a surgeon or something maybe you can't afford to call in randomly for  day off but you can allocate yourself a day holiday in the year just for you, no husband, kids at school/childcare choose what you want to do and plan it into the schedule.  Go there and enjoy every second.  If you're not out there saving lives etc and have a bit more flexibility but still a burdening to do list I'm not saying your job is not important i'm asking you to think how much more armed to attack it you will be if you take a break and really give yourself some time to breathe.  A day off not thinking about it all might be exactly what you need to come back stronger than before,  don't be a martyr choose to prioritise your happiness. Maybe you are working towards a certain goal, you're super committed you have to do it this time.  Just be careful you're not going too hard and you (and potentially your family) are suffering as a result sometimes its important to step back and realise if it's for you its coming to you (let's try and avoid a breakdown making it happen?)

3. It's an innate thing that your aren't meant to take time off...well I think this was definitely me for a while (and I know for a fact it's my husband) he's ok if I take time out for myself but abysmal at doing it for himself.  Work ethic is great and it's something I am working on to teach my kids but I also want them to know it's ok to take a break.  To not get themselves into a frenzy about work/school related issue and to listen to themselves and talk about it. So i'm finishing this post with my 5 year old sat next to me playing dinosaurs because today he's taking a personal day from school.  I noticed a change in his usual easy going personality this week, every thing was too hard for him, he just wasn't responding to my requests in his usual way so we are having a recharge day and he gets it.  We are focusing on play today and being positive so fingers crossed when Monday rolls round again he'll feel a lot better equipped to face the pressures and strains that faces a five year old for a tiring week at school.

So tell me please?! How do you take time out? Are you prioritising your life in the way thats most beneficial to you and your family.  We all need some time out for our selves and i hate to break it to you but the world will not stop just because you decided to take a day off so do it and choose to enjoy every minute of it!

Friday, 9 October 2015

10 ways for multi-use make up!

I like a capsule make up bag. Not just for holidays I like it for all the time.  I'm a big fan of multi use products and not just the ones marketed as 'lips, cheeks & eyes'  I mean getting creative with your products, mixing them up to make them work harder... 

Here's my top 10 ideas for mixing up your products...

1. Mix up a squirt of radiance boosting face cream (see my new favourite at the end of this post) with a squirt of concealer = a lovely light & hydrating base can also be used for the beach if you feel you'd like a little bit extra coverage with your SPF.  While we are mixing up beautiful concealer concoctions I'm a big fan of mixing it with eye cream for a very hydrating, line plumping under eye finish!

2. Use a Ivory/shell tone cream eyeshadow as an eyeshadow, highlighter for the cheekbones, a frosted lipstick, shimmery liquid liner...possiblities are endless! (This is the trick I used to create my wearable frosted lip inspired by Tom Ford see me here)

3. Bronzer as false tan- I can never be bothered with self tan but will often bronze my shoulders, declotage, and even down the front of my legs with a light reflecting bronzer (the highlighting effect makes your legs look longer & slimmer)

4. Lipstick as blush or blush as lipstick- if your doing the latter it makes more sense to use a cream blush but you can use power too just make sure you follow up with a nice layer of moisturising lip balm. When using cream blush/lipstick as blush don't forget to blend the edges with whats remaining your foundation brush.

5. No liquid liner but you fancy a feline flick? Use an angled brush to pick up some mascara of your wand and use it exactly the same way or (one of my favourites) push matt black eyeshadow right into the lashline with an angled brush, adds depth to the lashes but in a very soft sultry way.

6. I love a glossy eye look and guess what we make up artists use to achieve it? Usually a clear or slightly tinted lip gloss. One of my favourite looks is glossy eye, black curled lashes and a red lip.  ( Take Caution though: make sure you are not applying a lip plumping, mint infused gloss on the eye area!)

7. Looking for a simple eye look? Use your bronzer to create a simple and chic socket line look. With an open eye slightly tilt your head back, sweep a fluffy eyeshadow brush through your bronzer and then through your crease, instant chicness. 

8. Make your setting powder work harder.  Powder is not just for setting your make up.  Use a sweep of powder over concealer patted onto your eyelid as a good base for any eyeshadow you are applying , sweep powder through your crease to stop a gel or liquid liner transferring up onto your eyelid, press some powder through a one ply tissue into your lips between coats to make for a long lasting, matt lip.

9.  Mix a liquid highlighter with a pump of a matt foundation to make a dewy version of a high coverage base,  for example, I often find the infamous Estee Lauder Double wear way too matt (I just like dewy) so I often mix with a pump of illuminator (e.g. benefit) that way the coverage is still there but with some brightness.

10.  This one way be for the more dedicated make up wearer.  False eyelashes?  I love to snip a full set in half, apply the outer half for a more natural look and save the rest (snipped into three) to wear as individuals on an other occasion.  Makes for a more natural look and just way more comfortable than a full set.

Phew...I made it.  I hope you did too.  Tell me in the comments if you'll try one of these tips or if you have any tips of your own to make your make up bag go that extra mile? Here's my top product recommendations you can shop directly from these links:

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