Sunday, April 29, 2012

My New Job

So my darlings, you must be feeling very unloved, and for that I am sorry. The reason for my silence is in fact a bit of good and interesting news. Some of you know this via Twitter, so forgive me for repeating myself, but I have taken a new job! Three weeks ago I began as Acting Beauty Editor of the fantastic IMAGE Magazine. This is a brand new challenge for me and one I had to think exceptionally hard about accepting as my girls are so young, particularly Anna, who was only three and a half months when I began.
But you know what? I now know that sometimes life offers you a chance, you may not know the outcome or even see the way clearly but you have to take it. You have to try it. If it doesn't work out, no-one's going to shoot you!
Being a beauty editor has always been one of my dreams and particularly so since I started Ellie Loves. I love beauty and I love's kinda nice that now they merge (and I get paid for it!)
However, I am merely keeping the seat warm for Liz who has gone to have her first baby so it's an experiment - I'm dipping my toe into unknown waters but here's hoping for good things.
After what was perhaps the worst year of my life last year (and the beginning of this one wasn't so great either!) this opportunity came along out of the blue and here I am... A juggling, multi-tasking, trying-it-on-for-size working Mum.
So my friends, I will be writing here more once I figure out this new and hectic way I'm arranging my life...bear with me and thank you for still coming to see what I have to say.

Lots of love

P.S. you can follow my beauty musings on Twitter...@imagebeautyed

Friday, April 13, 2012

Yellow Fun

There's no better colour for Springy, sunny loveliness. Yes it's tricky to wear but add an accent to an otherwise neutral look and you're all set...

I love this idea of yellow tips!

Beige, yellow and black...good bedfellows.

Sweet scarf...

Or add it to your home...I'm coveting this pot a lot!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I hope the bunny arrives...
I hope the wrappers are sparkly...
I hope you smile as you crack them open...
I hope the chocolate is tasty...
I hope you eat too much (far too much)...
I hope you don't get a sore tummy and say 'never again'...
I hope you have fun with your little ones...

Have a lovely day darlings!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Good Words

This just resonates with me today. 
Good to keep in mind, right?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flaws Are Good

I spotted this ceramic collection by Studiomake on one of my Pinterest trawls the other day and was instantly smitten by their beauty...

I love the idea behind them too. That is, that flaws can be beautiful so only the imperfect rims of the cups and bowls are gilded. It is called The Flawed Series and they are made in Thailand by craftsmen there.

Isn't this flesh toned bowl just lovely!

As is the grey... They can be bought via Gretel Home which also houses many, many other lovely things to swoon over and covet.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Goldie Brogues

I like these gold brogues from Clarks...very on trend don't you think!

Oh Clarks, you of the sensible school shoe, it is so nice to see you join us grown ups in our love for fashion!

J.Crew Collection

I haven't posted about my beloved J.Crew in a while now. Primarily because I didn't want you to think I am obsessed (even though I am slightly!). But you really must checkout their new Spring collections - so very nice. A mix of nautical influences mixed with brights and's simply lovely. Have a look at their premier line -  J.Crew Collection here. And have a swoon at the rest of the site while you're at it; they ship here now so it's no longer out of reach!

Gwynnies Hair

Ok, I know some people think she is a bit smug with all of her 'advice' on Goop, but I like her. Well, actually I like her hair! This textured, wavy bob is my next hair desire. I reckon it looks good rough and tousled or sleek and like?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Skin Saviour - Weleda Skin Food

I have always used Weleda's Calendula range on the little ladies as I find it to be very gentle and sweet smelling without containing any harsh nasties. So I was curious to try this Skin Food when it popped in my letterbox. It was the first cream created by Weleda way back in 1926, so it's a vintage recipe but one that holds true to now. It is designed as a skin repair cream so is particularly soothing for stressed, overly dry, lack lustre skin. It contains sunflower seed oil, wild pansy, chamomile and calendula and it has a delicate small of lavender and sweet orange. It's a thick cream and therefore does need some warming up between the palms before application and patting it onto the skin rather than dragging it also works well.
It's not one for the ranks of anti-agers that we are all concerned with these days but it is a soothing, nourishing, natural treatment for skin that is below par. I am in that bracket at the moment so have been enjoying using it for the past few weeks and my skin is certainly looking more glowy. As is the brand's way, it contains absolutely no dodgy ingredients and it's also very reasonable at only €11.25 for 75ml.

Think of it as a comfort blanket for your skin!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Home Makeover

So I'm harnessing all this Spring energy that is abounding and I'm turning it towards my home. There have been multiple changes around these parts lately (more in future posts!) so I'm feeling the need to make over my surroundings to ring in the changes. Anyone who follows my inspiration boards on Pinterest will know that my favourite colour scheme is white and grey with pops of colour in the form of art, cushions, flowers and kids things...

So my sitting room is going to be a pale grey shade with new wooden floors...dark or light? I'm still not sure. I think dark floors are classic and rich but paler wood is Scandinavian and yet undecided! One thing for sure is that I will be designing one of my very favourite things - a gallery wall! I love this one with all white frames and I love the idea of mixing the contents. Art, photos, poetry, maps...all gorgeous.

I love how fresh this colour scheme is...great floor, right? And those round tables? I die...

All my books will be housed in white bookcases just like these. And yes, I'll be arranging them by colour!

I love this white sofa and natural rug...not sure how practical with two tiny people also living here...but sometimes you have to have what you love don't you? (and invest in a spare cover!)

The kitchen will be bright white. It's an airy, bright room as it is but I want to make it even more so... I love this table and will be trawling through old furniture auctions to find something similar. How gorgeous is the yellow frame!

I will be painting my kitchen units a shade of grey too...doesn't the delph look great against it?

Grey and white...super fresh!

I love these tones, what do you think?
Wanna come over for tea when it's done?

(images via my interiors boards on pinterest - click through there for credits)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

This One's For The Mums

On this day that is specifically for us Mothers, I thought I would share with you an article I wrote for this month's Irish Parent Magazine. It's my musings on the whole motherhood experience - warts and all! I hope you enjoy it and I hope you have a wonderful day all you brave, strong, funny, wise Mums out there...You are amazing.

I have recently given birth to my second daughter Anna and Lulu, my original daughter, is almost three. This is wonderful but, Wow! It is hard work. Seriously hard. As if I didn’t feel stretched to my limits already, now I’m beyond my limits. I’m wobbling on the tightrope. I’m holding my breath and muttering ‘three hours till bedtime’. Am I sinking or swimming? Only Time will tell. And tell it will, as Time rules our little operation these days. In fact, if I get the timings wrong in any given day I’m screwed; there are tears and tantrums, strikes and strops. And that’s just me!
I like to think about the entire parenting experience as a wonderful, messy, beautiful thing. I’ll break it down into The Good, The Bad and The Ugly…

Let’s start with The Ugly. No book, friend or mother can truly prepare you for what being pregnant and giving birth is actually like, and it’s true that there is a conspiracy of silence surrounding the proceedings. Not complete withholding though; you can easily arm yourself with the facts. Your doctor’s appointments and the various pregnancy bibles that we all inhale for information are great for keeping you informed of what to expect while you’re expecting. But still nothing can really prepare you for the pure physicality of pregnancy, labour and then motherhood itself. Being pregnant is lovely but oddly uncomfortable. Labour hurts like Hell but if you choose drugs, it doesn’t. That’s it – pure and simple. The choice is yours. But don’t rely on yourself to make clear, sane decisions whilst huffing and puffing. You’ll be making very strange noises as well as wishing death on your partner; so your mind is rather compromised.
When your baby is born (aw!) there is blood. A lot of it. And it continues for quite some time along with all the rest of the fluid that needs to escape your body. You have absorbent pads everywhere and are aching, swollen, engorged and weeping… See? It’s physical. And never before will you have been so conscious of everything your body is doing. But what an amazing body! After giving birth, you gain an incredible respect for women and what we can do. It’s awesome. In the true meaning of the word; not the ‘aaawwsome’ that accompanies a high five on American TV. It’s awesome in the proper ‘take your breath away, can’t speak, might need to cry’ way. It changes your life. Nothing is the same.

This brings me to The Bad…
Sleep deprivation. It’s the worst thing in the world. It taints everything with a slight shadow and leaves you questioning your abilities as a mother. In fact you question lots of things and it makes you feel removed from your instinct. It impacts on your relationship, your sanity, your sense of self and it leads directly into the second worst thing in the world – worry. And worry, you will. From the moment you really feel the weight of all that responsibility for this vulnerable, precious little creature who relies on you for their very life. But the thing is this – sleep deprivation gets easier to deal with. You become remarkably able to handle it (eye drops and concealer help!) and you get through it. And eventually the babies sleep. All of them. And don’t listen to the people who claim that their babies are sleeping through the night from four weeks, or even twelve. They’re probably not sleeping every night and they’re not really helping by saying that are they? So put your blinkers on and focus on your own baby and your own situation – they are all that matters. That’s another really important point in parenting – do not covet anyone else’s supposed bliss – it’s hard for us all.
The other dreadful bit is when your babies get sick. High temperatures mean a very miserable baby and frequently the whole house gets sick. At times like these you have to grit your teeth and just get on with it. It’s remarkably hard to administer medicine to tiny people – syringes are easier than spoons, but it still goes everywhere and you will most probably break out in a sweat while you do it. You’ll be constantly worrying about all sorts of horrors when your poor little one just has a rotten cold, but that’s the territory. That’s what we signed up for.

Another difficult adjustment is introducing a new baby to an older sibling. You feel almost guilty for stealing your first child’s thunder, so to speak. Their world is rocked by a new arrival and trying to impart the joy you feel onto a smaller emotional system is sometimes hard. They revolt, they regress, and they need you to baby them. All of which is a huge drain on you as you are now a Mother of Two (or more) something you also find new. And scary. Battle on soldier, it gets easier!
No matter how many children you have and what ages they are you have to become accustomed to The Stuff. Your house is full of it. Even if you lived in a mansion it would become full because it grows with them. The Stuff expands into every available (and not so available) space. Buggies, prams, changing bags, nappies, toys, clothes, baby slings, baby swings, baby gyms, baby baths…baby everything. You may start out with the greatest intentions of being a minimalist mum, but I don’t believe that truly exists. Perhaps in some parenting Utopia somewhere but not anywhere I’ve ever seen. Your nice grown up’s house that you used to have cool parties in becomes a kind of crèche/laundry hybrid home.
And speaking of laundry, you will have never seen the like, let alone thought that a few tiny people could generate so much. Like millionaire divas with nothing else to do, they change their clothes all day. They can change up to ten times per day – babies are very leaky! You may have the washing machine on twice a day and sheets and towels hanging from any available door in your afore-mentioned grown up’s house that has been invaded by small people.
I should also point out that you have approximately 7.5 minutes per day to spend on yourself. Invest in multi –purpose beauty products and manage your expectations. More time will come and your dark circles will lighten. In the interim, Clinique’s Airbrush Concealer hides a myriad of woes!

Sometimes, all this sleep deprived chaos combined with sickness and cabin fever makes you feel too far removed from your old life and who you like to think you are (not just a feeding, cleaning robot). Watch out for these times because they can escalate into The Very Bad segment of parenting; depression. This can hit either straight away after birth or anytime within the first year. You must be watchful as these dark holes are harder to climb out of than they are to get into, so ask your friends for their opinion on how you are doing; sometimes you need an outside perspective. I wholeheartedly recommend having ‘a committee’ on speed dial. Mine is made up of my mum, two of my oldest girlfriends and my gay best friend. They are the people who tell me the truth, listen without judgment and advise without reservation. They are worth their collective weight in gold and they get me through the hard stuff with just a phone call. Try to laugh as much as you can. It’s tricky to raise a smile sometimes but I find dancing to Wham with my toddler gets me grinning. It’s the little things – mind them and mind yourself.

So that’s fair warning about the bad stuff, now let me tell you about the good…
It far outweighs the bad. The instant you set eyes on the product of your pregnancy, the very moment that little, tiny person is put on your chest, will be the single most significant moment of your life. It’s like time stops. There was your life before and your life now. You are a mother – it begins. And never ends.
You fall in love. Maybe not straight away – it is real life after all, and real emotions are complex, but you will fall and fall deeply. Deeper than you’ve ever known.
You will realise that you are a life support system to this beautiful, vulnerable person whose whole life is ahead of them but for now all they need, all they ask for is your love. It will be the most wonderful thing you have ever been asked to do.
It will also be the hardest thing, but please know you can do it. You have an instinct that is always right. Don’t get too bogged down with what Gina Ford says or The Baby Whisperers whisperings – they don’t know your baby -you do. And as the saying goes ‘mother knows best’! Don’t forget that.
You will be surprised at how well you cope. You will surprise yourself on a regular basis at how you manage to multi-task; at how you keep all the balls in the air. You will find the time to have a shower, pack the enormous baby bag with the necessary kit, lunches and dinners will get made and you will eventually get out the door with your new crew. Yes, it takes longer, much longer, and not many of your trips to the toilet will be solo affairs anymore but you get used to it. And believe me – you will even enjoy it! Some of the balls you are constantly juggling will drop from time to time, of course (that’s part of The Bad Stuff) but you pick them up and carry on. Always. (And if you’re finding it a bit too hard – call the committee).
In truth, the bad stuff becomes the good stuff because as draining as it is, for the first time in your life you are so necessary. So essential, so vital.
Your children are your new friends and they are fun! You get to share in their sense of wonder, their silliness and their openness to the world. It is brilliant and refreshes any jaded demeanour.
So when it’s a bad day and I’m in doubt and on the verge of screaming, I try to stop for a minute and tell myself I’m doing just fine. I pick up my babies and drink them in… their beautiful eyes, their creamy skin, their amazing smell. Then I really see them. My girls. And I remember my extraordinary fortune…

There is nothing as thrilling as this. Nothing.

(me & my girls!)

And what of my Mum you ask? Well last year's post still reads true...
(and she's through the chemo - legend that she is!)

(images from wit&delight, rachel swan)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hey Blondie

Yes, I'm a brunette, but I've always had a thing for blondes! I imagine it is, in truth, more fun to be a blonde - in a hair sense anyway because you can endlessly tweak it. And tweak it. And tweak it... (my one tone black leaves a lot less room for change). I love the idea that you can change your tone seasonally or be more trend focussed and adapt yourself according to what struts down the runways.

Fun it may be, but of course you have to be able to get it right. A hair colour disaster is not at all desirable. I have a dear friend who loves to experiment with home colours and she has had lots of hits but definitely a few misses so what's important when it comes to choosing a home colour for blondes? (or indeed a salon one)

Well, I think you must look at your skin tone first. If you choose the wrong shade you will see that it doesn't make the most of your natural tone. It must complement or go! I love cool, ashy blondes for a high fashion look. It can be played up to great effect with dark smoky eyes or nude eyes and a blood red lip...but it works best on a slightly more sallow skin I think. Conversely, those paler skin tones can rock the ice queen look and go for platinum shades like the one above.

The most popular tones are the warmer, honey, gold tones as they look pretty and beachy and they are ultimately more wearable. They don't make a strong statement, they just work! I love the look of multi-tone hair which is harder to achieve yourself but if you feel creative and capable, you can get busy with some different shades and do a DIY Ombre effect with a darker blonde at the roots and paler tips. Go easy though... disasters are always lurking in the wings!

So here's to all the blondes, be they warm toned honeys, cool Nordic ice queens or platinum princesses.
Have fun with your hair, this brunette is slightly envious!
Have a look at this video from's a good roadmap on how to choose what products can help you find your best blonde.

*this is a sponsored post*

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Smells Like Spring

Mmmm...I just got the Eau des Jardins shower gel and body lotion from Clarins. I love it's springy zesty-ness and mood lifting qualities. I have long been a devotee of the classic Eau Dynamisante so am eager to try this fragrance too. Judging by the loveliness of the the body lotion, I think the perfume will be a winner.
Have a read of this interesting review of it here...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{Wedding Wednesday} Crafty Confetti

Ooh! I spotted these confetti designs on Etsy and am pretty smitten. Aren't they a great idea!

I love the idea of mixing sheet music, beautiful words and maps... everything that's important.

Something blue?

You could mix up your favourite romantic book with your favourite songs...Aw!

Have a look at the store here...


Life has been a whirlwind lately with my two little ladies. I'm enjoying them so much as well as being the most tired I have ever been in my whole life! I'm loving watching the beginnings of their bond - something I don't know about as I have a brother but no sister, so it's always been a connection that I am fascinated by...a friend who lives with you - what fun! These pictures make me think about their future together - they will look quite like the two above as they are the same colouring...Lu is dark and Anna is fair (so far). I will definitely be re-creating this shot in years to come!!

I love this one so much...companions out to play, out to discover, out to adventure (in cute dresses!)

And I really hope that this shot will be their future...I hope that they will be soul mates as well as sisters. Eachother's confidante and cheerleader. I hope they are friends as well as family because that is the best thing in the world...

'A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double'
 - Toni Morrison

(pics via Oh Joy, My Cakies & La Foudre)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chanel's Got The Blues

Here are the new Chanel nail shades for Spring. A feast of blues designed by Peter Phillips as an homage to denim. In essence he is celebrating our eternal love affair with our jeans be they indigo skinnies, faded boyfriend baggies or turquoise crops. I'll be wearing Blue Boy, what do you think? Are they potential wait-list shades? Are you feeling the love?

(they launch in March)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Skin Saviour - Trilogy Nutrient Plus Serum

Now, I've only been using this for a week, so not the full month or so that is required to really test efficacy but I have to tell you about it... It's just fantastic so far!
I have been dipping my toe into the Trilogy brand and have great faith in their now famous Rosehip oil as one of the beauty industry's great multi-taskers, so I was eager to try one of their heavy hitters to see how good they are.
I believe in serums. They are definitely the step in a skincare regime that can make a marked difference to the overall appearance. Somehow all that moisturiser just doesn't do the job on it's own - it tends to stick to the surface, which is fine, but not great for getting in to the lower layers where cells are turning over, and need a little help to do that, the older we get.
So off I went with this little brown bottle, I've applied it morning and night for the past  six days and I am impressed. My skin was looking dull due to my 'new mum' tiredness and the de-hydration from the central heating so I needed to add to the nutrient levels. This Nutrient Plus Firming Serum is chock full of Hyaluronic acid which adds moisture, and licorice and mulberry extracts to brighten, tighten and lighten!
It genuinely does make my skin look brighter, there is a radiance and plumpness that was not there last week and, no, I haven't had any more sleep ( even less perhaps!).
At €29, it's pretty reasonable and doesn't come close to the bank-breaking prices of the Super Serums on the market, so I think it's well worth a try.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dress Delights

Yep, I hate the standard wedding dress. Sounds a little harsh I know, but the older I get, the more drawn I am to the low-key, low-styled wedding. Why wear a 'bridal' dress at all, when there are lots of other options out there? Just a thought!

I love this dress by Serbian designer Mihano Momosa. (don't love the shoes or the makeup though!)

I think this is a version of the 'Pippa' but in a more figure hugging jersey material. I like the relaxed vibe to the hair and jewellery. Not too wedding-y!

What do you think? Would you go low key?
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