Wednesday, 26 February 2014


It has taken me a longggg time to figure out something that vaguely works with my hair. It's not brilliant but it does the job. And that's what I currently need!

Soooo I've looked like this:

I have now had my hair cut as I have grown my fringe out. My plan is to keep growing it out because I prefer it tied back. When it gets into my face it annoys me. And when it's grown long enough I hope to donate it. I have recently done a side plait to make it a bit more interesting and keep stray fringe out of my face. I learnt a while back how to do a 2 strand plait and I sometimes do a french plait at the front. But that is literally it at the moment. I have kept my hair straighteners (both pairs) but could probably get rid of the thin pair. I currently own:

1 hair brush
1 wide toothed comb
1 narrow 'tail' comb
some hair bands and clips - I reduced these down but still have more than 1
hair 'spray'
1 hair dryer in storage
1 travel hair dryer
1 travel hair straightener
1 thin & 1 wide hair straightener

I am considering getting rid of the thin hair straightener and the travel ones. 

I have got rid of all the other random hair 'bull dog clips' and some hair slides.

So no, my hair style is probably not the most flattering lovely style right now. But it is practical and good enough...

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


Well this morning and yesterday I was feeling quite... Wistful I suppose? I hate to say it but sad that I realised that life as I knew it, 'easy' days of catching the bus when we felt like it to Kirchberg, F in the baby carrier, to meet Daddy from work either for an appointment or something, were gone. But the biggest phrase I hear is 'this phase too shall pass' which I am holding onto. And I had to remind myself today and yesterday at the same times that we/I am actually incredibly lucky to have 2 daughters who sleep reasonably well. R may want Z to sleep past 5am on her own but that she sleeps the rest of the time & that she naps during the day when necessary, I think we've got her pretty good!

I guess you could say, we've settled into a sort of routine. And I have found in the past that when I get settled after about a month I start to feel bored and want to shake things up a bit but also often don't have the energy (especially with a young baby!) to do so...

And in terms of my home, whilst there's still a long way to go (the pile of containers by the front door shows that!) I am beginning to feel more at peace. Instead of just moving things around to try to make life easier, I have started questioning if things are needed... And I think R is realising/coming round to this as well. He's kicked up a fuss twice but then quickly calms down and doesn't say anything more...

* PS I haven't forgotten that I promised more posts from last week or many Toddler Thursdays. I have been doing the activities/ thinking the post but haven't had a chance to write them yet! :)

Sunday, 16 February 2014

My week...

Has been like this! Exhausting... Buttt next time hubby says he hates the cat/ threatens to boot him up the bottom, etc, I shall remind him of this! ;)

(Please excuse the mess in the background, I'm working on it! ;))


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Toddler Thursday: painting! :D

This week f has been asking to paint. A few times. And as I had a chance to clear my craft cupboard even more (I've actually started removing small furniture!) I know exactly what's in there & where to find things so I kept some paint & brushes specifically to do this. We have some cut up toilet roll & some pasta for her to paint...

She just happened to get into a clean set of pj's from primark so I thought it was a good sign! ;) 

We did have a few issues to start with when Mamma's expectations were a bit too high - asking a 2 year old to play quietly whilst Mamma gets painting stuff out and set up is too much apparently but after a cuddle & a chat f calmed... 

'Myself!' Cleaning brushes...

And z has another cold so is hopefully sleeping it off...

After the painting we 'made desert' - avocado mixed with chocolate...

F enjoyed helping with this part...

But changed her mind about eating it! And demanded a bib...

^ Ok this may spoil a surprise but 'painting with glue' for Aunty Bee ('Aunty Buzzzzz') birthday...

And then to keep it going we moved to the living room floor with scissors, paper and that paper that has glue on the back when you lick it... That didn't last very long though...

* And finally Thursday's have been decided to be Pizza night as Mamma has Krav Maga & a pizza place opened next door... Tonight was the last KM before a week's holiday and didn't I know it! It was a fun good session but hard work! :) Luckily F, hubby and I ended up mucking about the other night doing 'wheelbarrows' that we then did tonight at KM so I'd had a bit of prep! ;)

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Make Up

When we moved to Luxembourg I was immediately struck by how 'cared for' I thought most ladies here looked. For a long time I didn't see anyone in tracksuit bottoms or trainers and people in general even if they weren't well off, seemed to wear nicer clothes. So I made a promise I would always wear my basic make up when I went out... Well that did not last, I have gone out wearing no make up more often than I'd like, I've had colds and felt rough so probably looked as rough as I felt on more occasions than I care to remember and as for when Z was born, well my closest friends here have seen me and more of me than they probably should have (I was trying to breastfeed in hospital, ok!? ;))
Anyhow, that's completely off the topic. I now have 2 daughters under the age of 3 years old so I'm at the 'lucky to have time to brush my teeth' stage - I never in a million years would have thought 2 young children would be so demanding but they are. Soooo I have very little time to spare on my appearance. And because one of those children is a baby, I'm also back at the age of walking out the house and THEN discovering I have baby sick down me... 

Unfortunately this make up routine would not have worked for me when I was younger and wished for such a make up routine, mostly because my skin type has changed a bit, as well as the money I can spend on such things (and how I want to look). But it works for me now:

If I feel like it I wear Estee Lauder daywear tinted moisturiser. I say if I feel like it because I have combination skin but as I've got older it does border on dry, even on my t-zone. So whereas when I was much younger I wouldn't have dreamt of wearing a moisturiser, because I had such oily skin, now I sometimes need it. It also has SPF in it which I wouldn't bother with otherwise ;)

Then I wear Benefit Bad Girl eye liner and Benefit Bad Gal waterproof mascara - the latter HAS to be waterproof. A friend likes Benefit, as does my godsister so I thought I'd check them out a while back. I should also add, these products are not cheap but I literally don't wear any other make up regularly, and I don't even wear this stuff every day so I asked my husband (as I officially don't earn any money :( - but that's also another story) and he was ok with me spending a bit more but only on a limited amount of products. And then I wear Nivea Pearlised lip balm. I hate most lip sticks as I find my lips get dry and they feel worse with lip sticks. I hate lip gloss because they normally feel sticky. This particular lip balm is the only thing that feels nice and I think looks ok. It would be better if it stayed on longer but I'm really not too fussed and can live with it. Also when my daughter wanted to wear my make up, we felt ok letting her have a slick of lip balm! Plus compared to the other products it's not too expensive that her having a slick of lip balm is an issue. Whereas if she poured my moisturiser everywhere I'd be pretty cross! (and yes, she has asked to wear the other stuff and I just told her no).

I have also discovered since moving here an added bonus that I didn't know at the time, it's easy to buy anywhere. They have a shop called 'Sephora' here that we get vouchers off fairly regularly so I can either ask for some more at Christmas or use a voucher. The lip balm is available in my local supermarket.

Special Occasions:

You may be thinking 'what does she do on special occasions'?

Well, it all depends what the occasion is. I never ever thought I'd say this but more often than not, I still use the same eye liner and mascara, just a bit more of it and a bit more accurately. Oh I also have an eyebrow brush, tweezers (nothing special, just bought at the local supermarket) and a Body Shop eyeliner sharpener. So for special occasions firstly I try to ensure that my eyebrows have no stray hairs, etc.

Then if it's say, a girl's night out here, I'll probably just use more eye liner (on my upper lids for example, rather than my normal inside rim of my eyes for speed). I also have a couple of liquid eye liners (I think I may just have 1 in black now) so tend to use that... And lastly I have kept a Body Shop 'cube' of eye shadows and an eye shadow brush. That being said, I haven't had a 'special' occasion since I was pregnant with Z - I was supposed to go to my cousin's wedding but was heavily pregnant so we didn't risk it (long story). So I hope to find out for definite and suspect I'll cut more of my make up down at that point (I have a wedding later this year to attend if nothing else comes up). I think it also depends on what you consider a 'special occasion' because thinking about it, I used to wear my best clothes to my family's Christmas party every year. Now I make sure my daughter's are wearing their best clothes instead. The last week or so I have been more conscious though, of ensuring that I at least look 'neat and tidy' in case I bump into someone I want to look respectable in front of... (I think that's because and following last week's Toddler Thursday)

I am interested in what others use and how long they spend? :) I know one friend who very rarely wears make up, for example. Another friend wears certain make up every day. I feel content with my 'routine' as it works for me at the moment but that doesn't meant to say I couldn't change or improve parts of it... And I know professionals would probably make other or different suggestions!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Jewellery that means something

This week my 'Birthday/Christmas/whatever it was supposed to be for' (the words of DP!) present arrived and it's inspired me to write this post...

I wear the same jewellery all the time. I don't even change it for special occasions any more. Mostly because I have found now being a busy mum I just don't have time. I have also chosen comfortable jewellery that means something to me, so it's easiest for me to just wear it all the time...

I wear my wedding and engagement ring. I was wearing a cat ring on my other hand because I love cats. However I recently had my cat's paw print 'engraved' onto a silver circle. I also have to take all my jewellery off for Krav Maga and as that's twice a week I prefer not to have masses to take off and put on each time... So I only wear 2 rings now. 

I get itchy ears if I wear any earrings so I've stopped. I had to take my belly bar out for the first session of Krav Maga and haven't bothered putting it back in (and yes, I got kicked several times in my stomach on Thursday so it's just as well!) 

Oh and lastly I wear a watch... 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Simple accessories

I recently started following Project 333. One of the rules is including accessories and as I've not really been one for changing my jewellery since my daughter was born I decided to just keep the same jewellery.

So this week I will be posting about simple accessories, including what jewellery I wear and the simple make up and hair routine that has evolved for me.

I am posting about this because years ago I wished to feel settled with these things but due to things like money constraints I wasn't. So it only occurred to me recently that I am now content with these things and it may help others.


47cm Rare Light Green Adult Baltic Amber Bean Ladies Necklace

Make up



Sunday, 9 February 2014



Soooo names.

IP has started to refer to herself as 'Monkey' after Curious George & says her baby sister has to be called Pickle. So I have come to the conclusion that in order to keep her happy with the 'right' name - I am still calling them both pickle and monkey constantly - on my blog I am going to refer to them by their first initial...

F is Ickle Pickle

Z is Z Chops

And R is DP aka my husband, loving father to my amazing daughters...

It's far too confusing otherwise.

Friday, 7 February 2014


*This is just my recollection of my day and should not replace a medical consultation in any way if you have any concerns.*

It started off that I had an appointment at 8:30am at the hospital to have something in my heart checked. An hour and a half later, I wasn't allowed to drive for the day so it's just as well my husband had driven us in and come in with me (I was told it's about 10 minutes which the actual procedure is but the whole appointment was not and more importantly I had anaesthetic and couldn't eat afterwards).

Soooo I found out I have "BAV" which is a congenital heart defect. How did I find out I had this? I had to get a medical certificate for insurance to do Krav Maga and in the process the doctor discovered a heart murmur... I was referred to a cardiologist whilst being signed off to do Krav Maga and he couldn't find my left valve so arranged an appointment today for a "TEE". I'll be honest, the procedure itself is not much fun... However I have to say a big thumbs up to the wonderful staff at Zitha Klinik who quietly reassured me and were polite, friendly and professional the whole time. A nurse made a balloon for IP and spoke to DP about a theme park whilst I recovered from the anaesthetic. I was a little nervous about not gagging initially but I ended up being anaesthetised so it didn't even come up and I think two nurses actually ended up holding my hands during the procedure. I didn't ask them to but it was a surprisingly comforting gesture at the time! Then the Cardiologist came to explain what he'd discovered and what it means...

So what does having a Congenital Heart Defect mean for me? Well in my case I may find some physical activity harder work than other people. And if I have any procedures or operations involving my blood, essentially, then I have to tell the person first and have to take antibiotics. In a nutshell that is it. What it means for my family? Well it is hereditary so we are going to ask if and how we can get our daughters checked because part of the reason for having the procedure done today I think was the Cardiologist couldn't 'see through breast tissue' essentially so if they can check early on it would be preferable. Also both daughters can be monitored...

And that is literally it at the moment.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Some minimalist rules I'm hoping to follow...

Wow. So I/we have just spent 2 whole days decluttering and I know there's more to go! I have just taken the last lot of 'stuff' down to the garage & loaded our car up so it's completely ready to take to 'charity'.

Firstly, what have we achieved this weekend?

Well, it started on Friday night with DP and I having a 'chat' about... I guess our priorities. The usual moaning and ended up with us agreeing what we needed to change. DP did suggest he spend the weekend going through our apartment with a rubbish sack and just getting rid of stuff! I said no, I can manage to take it to the recycling centre if he can help with the sorting stuff out. That was why I posted on facebook about him having 3 'man drawers'... He has always said he wants certain places that are 'his' that he can keep his stuff. And I've agreed. And with my approach, I have always told him I wouldn't touch his stuff. I truly believe that's not fair. I would be livid if he went through my craft supplies, for example, and just culled them. So I won't do it to/for him. He often takes my lead, so if I clear my clothes out he'll suddenly go through his wardrobe but I don't tell him to.

We started on Saturday morning with our sideboard. I have ensured we now have 1 shelf free, 1 drawer free, have sorted lots of other junk and DP has gone through his drawer in the set of 4 and the electrical cables box, his overflowing 'in' tray & a few other things. He's finally agreed that we don't need 3 identical internet cables! And I removed a photo frame and 'mail sorter' from the top so it looks SOOO much clearer now it's really made a massive difference! :)

Unfortunately I can't find a 'before' picture but this is it now:

That was where I started. I have already sorted lots of things and given up ideas on selling certain items so our car boot is now full of stuff for recycling. I have sorted through our kitchen cupboards and taken a few things out and we've moved glasses that were 'on display' from the shelf to the cupboards. It means I can't reach them now but I rarely thought to use them anyway (we have champagne, normal wine and whiskey glasses but recently broke a champagne glass and they're hard for us to get hold of. So as we love them and I don't drink whiskey etc but DP can reach them I'm happy to keep them there)... Looking at the top of the shelves, it doesn't look massively clearer though, because I haven't been able to do anything with the paperwork we have and there's still stuff there. I hope to go through paperwork next weekend - there's several folders and a LOT of 'filing'. :/ (We also have our newly bought raclette grill there but I/we love it, so it's staying. The letters 'Let them eat cake' have come down though)

I haven't been able to face the 'dvd' cupboard that's in the corner in the picture above. DP swears it's all stuff we use... (we have all our films on a storage device and then a few dvd's that we can't view everything on are kept in this cupboard, plus blank cd's and 'games'. Original dvd's are all kept downstairs in our cave/storage room)

When I hopefully have some room in the cave I will probably box up and remove a lot more stuff like games and see if DP notices them missing ;)

I haven't revisited the craft cupboard or hall cupboard yet. I did sort them both out within the last few weeks and I know I could do more but having a 4 month old in the winter means I want to be sure before I get rid of her warm snow suits. I do plan to get rid of a few boxes in the craft cupboard, hopefully the drawer system (if I'm feeling really brave!) and my 'to do projects' or rather 'to finish' had overflowed to the sideboard to the point where I didn't want to look... I've never felt like that before so I looked this weekend and got rid of half done things so have now just a few things. I have a set time when I want to get them done by as well... (For example a sign to match IP's current sign on the door for when they share a room)

There's still work I could do on the kitchen but I think it will have to wait for now. We have no work top space and DP enjoys cooking but discussing this evening he would like more space. And we don't plan to move house for a while yet.

We've broached the subject with IP of sharing a room with ZC and she was receptive so hopefully in March/ April time we can make it happen. I have changed IP's toy boxes slightly and plan to further change them when this happens to make space for a toy box for ZC. I have also started to mention and try to explain to IP what happens with her toys and why she has to get rid of some of them. I thought she'd be too young then I read a comment on Minimalist Mom about a 3 year old who could explain why and what happened to his toys ('some children don't even have water so I have to clear my toys out so that those children can have toys').

I do find it frustrating that there's a lot more to do and a long way to go but I'm hoping by implementing some 'rules' it will help:

  • Wait 30 days/1 month before buying anything that's not food or consumable (and in some cases food as well) - an example of this is that we realised about a week ago that our salt grinder has broken. I mentioned to DP this evening about buying a new one and he smugly said 'have to wait 30 days' - we do and I'm already thinking if there's anything else that will do the job.
  • Consult before buying anything worth more than '50'€ - our currency is Euros so I've picked over €50 but it could be any figure depending on your currency. Most things I tend to consult with DP first anyway but I heard this idea and thought it made sense... DP thought it would be funny today to suggest we needed a serious discussion over filling our car with diesel as that's more than €50...
  • I did hear about using the rule of '1' but I think in some circumstances this may be too extreme. For example, 1 set of bed linen when we have a toddler and a 4 month old isn't a good idea because the baby's bed linen had to be washed both days this weekend so if we only had 1 set of bed linen right now it would be too much to have to wash and dry it within that day or a few hours. However I am trying to cut the number of duplicates we own - I realised through reading this number concept that we have 5 pairs of 'nail' scissors! DP & I each had a pair, there was a pair of baby scissors for each daughter plus a pair for cutting stuff in the bathroom. Well I've binned my pair, the pair in the bathroom and tomorrow night plan to bin 1 pair in the girl's room...
  • However I AM going to try to apply this rule of '1' to sentimental items. I have a lot of 'momentoes' and I started to go through a suitcase today that we kept for IP. The hospital gave us her medical equipment for example. Well a lot of the things in there were completely irrelevant and on our wedding anniversary last year I combined 3 boxes to 1 from my hen do and our wedding. So do I really need to keep masses of different things to remind me of 1 person or 1 day?
  • I'm not worrying about Project 333 particularly at the moment because of ZC but I am planning to use the 3 month rotation and consciously reimplement it, probably in March/April to keep on top of clutter.
  • I am hoping to implement '1 in 1 out' this year. I already tried it with toys after Christmas and was mostly successful. This will be tricky in some ways. I just asked DP what we'd bought in the last month (that's non consumable) to test the theory: a raclette grill. We've just discussed kitchen items (& I am getting rid of a biggy). My protective clothing for Krav Maga. I have nothing I can get rid of in replacement of this but it's a requirement and work out clothes weren't included in Project 333 so I don't suppose there's much I can do about it :( DP bought a new camera strap but refuses to implement the '1 in 1 out' rule... Amber 'jewellery' - a necklace for myself and anklets for ZC. Well I'm getting rid of a LOT of baby items next weekend but the idea of thinking for 30 days has meant that I am waiting before I order more (this website suggests you need more depending on your child's weight - and the cat can manage without an amber collar ;) I have also just heard some more jewellery is due but I do plan to get rid of a ring in replacement of 1 item, 1 is a gift and the other my Christmas present. It has got me thinking I do need to be more thorough. I've made excuses but also kept all sorts of random things.
  • The other number I read recently was having a maximum of 100 books in your child's personal library. I know for ages I said I wasn't going to get rid of any books and relatives could buy them as presents if they wanted (in the name of education) but for now I say children's books have to fit onto 2 shelves in IP's bedroom & currently 1, used to be 2 in the LR. 

In terms of recycling, one thing that happened this weekend unexpectedly was DP cleared his jumpers out and asked me if I wanted any... I've needed to get some new jumpers but hadn't found anything I liked so had probably been wearing them more than him recently... So I have now acquired 2-4 jumpers at no additional cost! :)

And lastly, I plan on rereading this article I found via The minimalist mom on paring down the kitchen. I started by getting rid of the food processor I don't think we've ever used that has taken up the kitchen cupboard for ages: