An Easy Bedroom Update

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Bedroom MakeoverMy bedroom linens have been on my make-over-radar for a while now.  I’m still in love with this pretty pastel mash-up featuring one of my fave Kip & Co duvet covers but unfortunately it’s suffered some major sun fade.  And that BUGS me no end.

We get almost all-day sun in our bedroom so a fresh white duvet is really the only option to avoid ruining any more expensive linen.  Heading into stores to leisurely shop for anything is just not possible at the moment with my 2 year old terror, so I was relieved/excited/super-duper stoked to check out the latest catalogue from Ezibuy Home – in the comfort of my own home!

I’m a very decisive shopper.  I know what I like and I’m great at making no-regrets, snap decisions.  But, I struggled trying to decide on what items to choose from this new range.  I wanted to incorporate a variety of textures and keep the look clean and white, preferring this time to accent with colour rather than feature it.
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I chose the Nantucket Quilted Duvet Cover Set RRP $119.99-$169.99 which is heavy, lush and has the most beautiful detailing – exactly what I was looking for as a focal point for the master bedroom.  White, but definitely not boring!
Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Bedroom MakeoverTo complement the pretty detailing in the duvet cover I wanted to add even more texture.  The Epsom European Pillowcover RRP $27.99 has quilted herringbone chambray on one side and ticking stripe on reverse.  I finished the look with a Velvet Throw pillow in grey RRP $49.99, ramping up the soft, tactile feel I was going for.Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Bedroom Makeover

There’s still a couple of pieces I need to finish this look; a linen valance and linen sheet set are definitely top of my wish list.

I have never, ever shopped at Ezibuy before and the quality, price and on-trend range of this homewares line sees them firmly overtake some other large retailers in the very competitive home decor market.  I love it all!
Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Bedroom MakeoverStore credit was provided for editorial consideration.  All opinions expressed are my own.

A Jolly Jelly Christmas Printable!

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Don’t be scared, I know it’s early but Christmas WILL be here soon, there’s just no escaping it!  To get us in the mood I’ve whipped up these super-cute gift bag toppers that you can download and print out for your own festive celebrations.

Ethan is planning on hosting a Christmas Party in December to celebrate the season, and finishing school, with his family and cousins.  I wanted to come up with a small, inexpensive (but cute) Christmas gift that could be easily attached to a Christmas Card that was NOT a candy cane – because everyone gets SO sick of Candy Canes by the end of the holiday season!

My lollies of choice were the new range of Jelly Tots and Tangy Tots from Allen’s plus everyone’s favourite Allen’s Snakes, all of which are free from artificial colours.

I plan on serving healthy snacks and finger food at the party, so will skip any sweet desserts in lieu of a perfectly portioned treat which I know everyone will love and there’ll be no wastage, yay.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Christmas Printable

I picked up the cellophane gift bags from Spotlight and had no problems figuring out a healthy serve per bag as the new packaging from Allen’s has a handy serving size indicator on the bag! Two snakes or 12-14 Jelly Tots.

The toppers are printed on some light cardboard (2 to a sheet of A4), so you just need to cut them out, fold them and staple them to the top of the folded gift bag.  Super easy and super affordable.  

Christmas is a special occasion and finishing school for the year is certainly a big deal, so I’m totally happy offering our guests a sweet treat to take home and enjoy, knowing that they haven’t had a free-for-all at an overloaded junk-food table before-hand.

I hope you love these printables as much as much as I know the kids will enjoy their treats.  Thanks so much Allen’s for the lollies, these were the perfect options for portioned gift bags and are so yummy, you’ll have no complaints!

Download the Jolly Jelly Gift Bag Topper here

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Melissa Survives the School Holidays – kids intact

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Ahhh, the Term 3 school holidays.  Full of the promise of daylight saving, spring in full effect, summer around the corner…………the reality is often drizzle, cloud and southerlies with a touch of rain.  

Pessimist?  Never.  Realist and Auckland native?  Ahhhyes.

The dynamic between my two boys is constantly changing.  With an 8.5 year age gap Ethan has quickly moved past the “he’s soooo cute, let me carry him everywhere and kiss him ’til he giggles” phase and we are firmly entrenched in the battlezone that is “HELP, he’s biting / scratching / hitting / pulling my hair / breaking my stuff!  Poor Ethan.

Poor ME!

Nixie is embracing stereotypical two year old behaviour with all of the gusto of a bingeing P addict.  He is voracious and methodical in his destruction, his love of climbing, tumbling, wrestling and tackling (the joys of an older rugby-playing brother lol) knows no limits that we have yet discovered.  I love it, his energy is infectious but he does require monitored downtime to regroup before his over-tired alter-ego comes out to wreck havoc play.  

I feel very thankful to be at a place in my parenting journey where I can poo-poo the perfect mummy model and freely admit that Nixon and Ethan watch TV.  Every day.  Multiple times if the need arises.  OMG!!  I said it.  Now shoot me.

As such, I’m keeping an ace up my sleeve to whip out over the holidays – NEON, I welcome you and your sweet programming onto our devices!

To be honest my (poor) kids are a bit starved when it comes to their Disney intake, not intentionally, I just really, really dislike DVD storage, clutter and the inevitable heartbreak and expense when Nix slams them in the Xbox tray and they are destroyed.  This is only one of the reasons why I LOVE a good  digital subscription service like NEON.  No messy cases and pesky disks to inventory, plus, wonderful family movies and shows that all live ‘up there’ in the ‘cloud’ or something.  All I know is the when I hit Airplay on the iPad we are in Disney heaven!

To make sure I’m ready for when the first meltdown of the holiday times itself perfectly with me making a Croquembouche or something (HA!), I’ve already made a Watchlist of 30 shows and movies so I’m not scrambling at tanty-time;

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I picture our NEON time playing out in one of two ways;

  1. It’s gloomy outside, the fire is on, everyone’s happy.  I’m snuggled on the couch under my handmade crochet blanket, Ethan on one side, Nixie on the other, everyone’s excited as I introduce my kids to some Classic Disney movies such as Cinderella, Dumbo, Lilo & Stitch………there’s probably popcorn and lots of giggling.
  2. Ethan’s yelling because his two year old brother bit him, Nixon’s roaring like a lion and chasing Ethan around the couch, I’m screaming “WHERE”S THE IPAD???”, find iPad, throw it at kids screaming “find the new app, and watch ALL the shows!” whilst running to the bathroom and locking the door so I can rock back and forth in peace.

Either way, the kids end up happy and so do I – provided I can get out of the bathroom as someone’s probably jammed Play-Doh in the lock again.

While I’m in self-imposed Mummy Time Out I’ll probably knock back a couple of shows myself, because I can watch NEON on my phone people!  I’m thinking Girls (I’m ashamed to say I’ve not seen one episode yet!), Game of Thrones (we’ve only seen Series 1) and The Real Housewives of Melbourne (can you imagine an Aussie version of this show?  I die).  There’s new shows and movies becoming available all the time so binge-watchers exhale, it will be ok, OK?

You can get your own holiday contingency plan sorted quick-smart, just sign up for a 30 day free trial at neontv.co.nz and start streaming now.

To make your holidays that much sweeter, NEON and The Best Nest are giving you the chance to win a $100 Prezzy Card that you can spend wherever you want!  Enter via the widget below.  Competition closes Sunday October 4th at 12am.

NEON

Travelling for work: Tips to help kids when they’re missing Mummy or Daddy

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Dave returns today from an 11 day work trip and lord that plane can’t get to Auckland soon enough.  I find it super hard to parent without Dave as he’s the steady, stable half and I’m the emotionally fractious one who struggles to hold her shit together!  The boys seem to get on with daily life without Dave but despite the volume being lowered somewhat in the house (always a welcome change imo!), there are many notable points throughout the day where we all miss Daddy.

Nixon is now 2.2 and this is the first trip when he’s actually shown interest in chatting to Dave on the phone.  This helps of course, but is doesn’t assuage the never-ending questions;

Where’s Daddy?

Where’s Wellington?

Daddy in Nu Ziland?

Daddy on a plane?

You get the picture.

Ethan who’s almost 11 tends to miss the things he does with his Dad, so he’s been dreaming up elaborate fishing trips and getting his tackle box ready because as soon as his Dad walks through the door there’s a HUGE agenda waiting lol. Roll back three years to when Dave was in Europe for 6 weeks and things were a wee bit different.  Ethan didn’t articulate it so much as show us in his behaviour and emotional outbursts, how much he was struggling with his Dad’s absence.  It took us weeks to get my young man back on an even keel once Dave returned home, travel weary and with lots of laundry!

So, when Maria from Happy Mum, Happy Child asked me if I had any ideas to help her 3 yo daughter deal with increasing separation anxiety when her Dad travels, I put my thinking cap on and came up with some easy to implement tips.

5 Tips to Help Kids When They’re Missing Mummy or Daddy

  • Make the absence visible 

Missing Mum, Dad or a significant other caregiver isn’t something to be brushed off and glossed over.  Acknowledge how little ones are going to feel and give them tools to cope.  Make the time away something tangible that they can see and measure by printing out a blank calendar page like this one and marking the number of days until Mum/Dad return.  Combine this with a big goofy picture of the damn parent that gets to escape from the house your other half and you’ve got yourself a DIY shrine to your significant other!  Just what you always wanted lol.

  • Give Little an Important task to do 

Creating  a ‘responsibility’ will initiate purpose and a little distraction.  If Dad has a ‘very special’ task that he normally does, like feeding the dog, enlist your Little Guy to take over this job, emphasizing that we must ‘soldier on’ and all pitch in without Daddy…….I know, I know lol.  If this is out of the question try entrusting a very ‘special’ item belonging to Travelling Mum/Dad into the care of your little person.

  •  Ooohh, look, there’s mail for you!

A short, pre-written daily note from Mum/Dad ‘arriving’ in the mailbox could be just the ticket to getting through each day.  Keeping the travelling parent front and foremost in Little’s mind really is key I think.  This way they are less likely to experience sudden pangs of ‘OMG I miss …….. so much!’.

  • Use Technology

Make use of the myriad ways we can use technology to keep in touch.  Send texts, pxt, FB messages, emails to the travelling partner, use IG, Skype, Facetime and let your Little take the lead here.  Help them to make a list of three things to tell Mum/Dad about their day at kindy or school and encourage your partner to tell them 3 interesting things about the place they’re working.  Familiarity with what each other is doing will help to minimise the ‘strangeness’ of someone being away.

  • Plan Something to Look Forward To

Make homecoming a double whammy.  When Dave arrived home from 6 weeks in Europe, 7 year old Ethan was sure that what Daddy would want most in the world was a disco.  In our lounge.  So  ::sigh:: we shopped for disco snacks, made a playlist of all of Ethan’s Dave’s fave Katy Perry songs, we pulled the blinds and my jet lagged husband had a cracking time limbo-ing and eating Twisties.  Kids LOVE this shit, plus it will give them something to focus on and plan, rather than fretting about missing their Mum/Dad constantly.

Somedays will be rough, I guarantee it.  Maybe most days if I’m being completely honest.  When your routine changes in a household due to one parent travelling, take liberties, run with it!  I order Ethan a Pita Pit for lunch now and then when his dad’s away, we eat breakfast for dinner and we have Fish ‘n Chips! – Dave hates all of these things so we pony up and make the most of our time sans Dad.

Good luck Mama’s, and if all else fails, there’s the TV, YouTube and wine xx

 

 

 

 

Holiday Makeup | Island Style

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Compared to my 12 pack of skincare products, the makeup I took to Rarotonga was much more carefully curated.  I figured (correctly) that as soon as I got a bit of sun on my cheeks I would be sans foundation, blush, highlighter, contour, bronzer, yadda yadda most days.  So, only the basics got a boarding pass.  Lips, light coverage, concealer, mascara, illuminator and brows (not pictured).   Only the basics lol.

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Dermalogica Sheer Tint spf20 Medium RRP $79

Welcoming Sheer Tint back into my life was like meeting an old friend again.  The proliferation of BB Creams from other brands saw me shy away from my faithful pal for a year or so but now I’m back and loving this excellent update on a beauty classic.

Described as the last step in skin care and first step in makeup, the 2015 reformulation sees the inclusion of Hydrolyzed Pearl Powder to promote radiant beauty and health.  Sheer Tint provides more coverage than leading BB Creams but mineral ingredient Iron Oxide creates a perfectly sheer colour wash resulting in a natural, glowing finish.

Oil-free, must-have, SPF20 everyday makeup.

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer RRP $38Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty

On some days, some spots need a little more coverage and the best concealer I’ve ever discovered is this little pot of camouflage from Benefit.  Boi-ing stays put all.day.long.  I apply it with my fingers as in this slightly cooler weather the warmth softens it, then I blend with a brush for a perfect finish.  Cannot rave about this product enough.  Concealer is an important part of my daily makeup routine and I’m so stoked to have finally found one that I love!Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty


NARS Illuminator – Orgasm RRP $30 USD

NARS make the most amazing cheek colours, I’ve had my Orgasm blush for a couple of years now and it pops that dewy glow like no other powder.  But with highlighting/strobing/all the glowing going on I felt like I need to up my game.  I added this liquid illuminator to a recent Sephora order and it’s now my favourite little secret to help me look refreshed, with a natural glow that doesn’t quit.  Available in NZ from Mecca Cosmetica.

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara Black RRP $39.34

No surprise here, EOH Goddess Mascara is the product that kicked off my love of makeup so it was a non-negotiable inclusion in my vacation  kit.  Never clumpy, no pandas, lengthens like a dream.  With a little holiday glow going on, I would often leave the house with nothing more than some balm, a little illuminator on my cheeks and a quick swipe of mascara to upgrade from beach to cocktail hour in a second.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand BeautyBenefit Chachabalm Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm RRP $34Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty

A touch of  colour was totally necessary for an easy, beachy look but it had to have super-duper moisturising properties as well.  Chachabalm is creamy, not slick and sticky and is heaven on dry lips.  This is def more of a treatment product than a gloss or tint so was the right choice for a sunny vacation, great staying power is a big plus, as is the addition of juicy mango butter – yum!

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Bare Pop RRP $46

This is my second Pop Lip Colour in a seriously wearable, everyday shade.  My lips-but-better pigment, long wearing and a lovely creamy non-drying formulation that feels very natural.  The addition of primer in the formulation is what sold me on Clinique Pop, when you do experience wear over the day through eating and drinking, there’s no ‘tide’ mark left around the edge of of your lips which I can’t stand.  A demi-matte finish which in this shade is perfectly casual and just what I wanted.

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm Super Strawberry RRP $40Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty

I love chubby sticks because they are so easy to use and so versatile.  I didn’t take any blush on the trip but Super Strawberry can do double duty as a lip or cheek pigment!  The never-needs-sharpening case also eliminates the need to pack a sharpener!  Clinique, you’re so smart!

 

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand BeautyBillion Dollar Brows Mad About Brows Palette RRP $59

Ahhhh brows.  Saved the best for last?  Maybe, but if you’re wanting quick, non-fussy makeup while holidaying, then, baby do your brows.  I was a dedicated brow pencil fan until I received this palette.  Billion Dollar Brows have nailed it with this combo of four brow powders, sculpting wax and mini brow brush.  Once you get used to using the angled brush, brows become foolproof and easy, held in place with the super pliable wax that sets to a naturally defined finish.

 

I had Mummy Guilt…….then I let that shit go

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So Dave is away in Wellington for 11 days completing a project that’s been ongoing for about a year I think, resulting in many trips back and forth. Now is probably NOT the best time to be writing this as we were FB messaging this morning and he was grumbling about work so I called him to make sure everything was ok, turns out he was still in bed and hungover.  What in the actual fuck!  Excuse me while I go and wipe your kids snotty nose, clean chili sauce off the carpet after Nix decided to try his hand at abstract art at 8.15 this morning and try not to cry about the smashed bottle of $140 Murad skincare I discovered after Ethan was finished in the bathroom this morning!  Woe.  Is.  You Me.

Moving on lol.

I was invited to attend the Women’s Wellness in NZ event on Sunday hosted by Makaia Carr and Julia & Libby.  I SO wanted to go but with Dave away and Mum up north I was a bit stuck.  E dislocated and broke his toe in a rugby tourney on Thursday (read, we were at the ER until midnight on Thursday night, sigh) so was a bit hobbly and precious and Nixon, well, usual state of affairs there – chaos.  

So, I did the unthinkable for me.  I asked for help.  I find this so hard to do.  I sat on the texts for ages, willing myself to hit send and when I finally did the first reply was a negative.  Wahhhhh!  I tried again and success.  Nixon was all set to spend the morning with his cousin and Ethan was off to nerd out at a friends house.  

It was a swift morning hustle, the usual morning routine combined with me trying to look presentable and depart the house by 9.15.  On a Sunday.  We did it without any kid/mummy rage and I headed east to dispatch Child #1 and then south to deliver Nixon.

When I finally got on the motorway I was overcome with IT, a sickening case of Mummy Guilt.  Why had I said yes to attending?  Why had I rushed the kids out of the house on a Sunday?  Why had I bothered running in 3 different directions when we could be all together, cozy and relaxing?  Major fretting ensued, then I woke up and gave myself a good mental slap.

I said yes to Mak’s invite because I knew I needed to go.  Catching some fleeting time by yourself when your partner is away is hard.  Even the drive to the event was relaxing without the boys yelling and screaming in the car!  I had rushed the kids out of the house because we all needed to get out of the house – without making the beds, with dirty dishes on the bench and with laundry on the floor.  We/I needed to say, who cares?  I dropped the kids off with two different people because I asked for help.  And that was totally ok.

I know it was ok because when people ask me for help (and they do ALL the time, every day) I say yes.  I don’t think twice I just say yes.  You know that old adage, “it takes a village”?  Well it does, and I need to remember to knock on more doors in my village and say “please, my turn.  Can you help?”.

If you liked this post, LIKE this post on FB too! (I’ll love you forever xx)

On Holiday in Rarotonga | Rumours Waterfall Spa

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When we first began planning our trip well over a year ago, there was one thing Dave was desperate to do in Rarotonga – go on a fishing charter, so we made this happen.  The one thing I wanted to do was to go to a spa and enjoy a blissful massage – read: an hour of peace and quiet, desperately needed when taking the kids on a 12 day vacation don’t you think?  Rumours Waterfall Spa made my wish happen for me and it was every inch the luxe experience I had hoped for.

Having never visited Rarotonga before I had no idea that Rumours was located a mere 150m walk from our rented accommodation, just south of popular Muri Beach.  After a quick stroll and Tara and I arrived a little early and sat outside because the lush, perfectly manicured garden was too pretty not to enjoy.

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Upon entering I noticed two things; the first was the number of awards that were tastefully decorating the walls.  Most recently Rumours was awarded Best Luxury Beauty Spa in Rarotonga, actually they’ve won the award every year since 2011!  There is no shortage of spas to choose from on the island so this is quite an achievement. Secondly, one can’t ignore the beautiful rock waterfall featuring in the reception area which instantly set the tone I was looking for, peace and tranquility.

We were booked in for 60min relaxation massages described as a smooth flowing massage that induces deep relaxation, improves circulation and ultimately relieves muscular tension. The ultimate stress reliever!

The treatment room was as you’d expect from a spa with such glowing accolades, spotlessly clean but also effortlessly comfortable.  I positively sank into the massage table and tuned out for the next hour.

I’ve had what I thought were full body massages before, but this was indeed a full body massage including my buttocks and face – both of which were amazing!  It makes so much sense that to relieve lower back tension you need to fully work on the big muscles in your butt!

The use of locally sourced coconut oil for the massage was the pièce de résistance.  I’ve always wanted to try this natural super-oil as a body moisturiser and let me tell you the proof is irrefutable!  My skin was transformed instantly and the super-hydration lasted for 2 days after the massage!

If you have saved and planned like we had, I absolutely recommend taking some time (and allocating some holiday budget) for yourself.  Rumours Waterfall Spa is without a doubt deserving of their many awards and their beautiful therapists are extremely skilled at what they do.  The whole experience was more than I had wished for and left me uber relaxed and in the right state of mind to enjoy the rest of my vacation.  

 

7 Days of Happy………boobs

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Ohhh bras.  

And boobs.

I’ve mentioned before how I’m just not that into boobs.  I’d take a smashing set of pins over voluptuous cleavage any day of the week.  Boobs are just located way  too close to my mid-section (especially after two rounds of 12mth+ beastfeeding breastfeeding haha!) and I’m really not a fan of that part of my body.  

Given this state of affairs, bras must meet one, very important criteria; comfort.  I don’t care about maxing out cleavage and spilling out of a V-neck, I have never purchased a “Wonder Bra” and probably never will.  I care about comfort.  And also lace texture not showing through t-shirts, I hate that!

Enter the Berlei Seven Day Challenge.

Top Mummy Blog new ZealandI was asked to wear nothing but the new Berlei Sensation bras for 7 days and report back.  Are these really the most comfortable bras ever made?  That’s a big claim right?

The two bras I chose for my challenge were the Sensation Contour Bra in skin and the Lace Contour Bra in black.  Predictable and suitably casual – perfect styles for me!

Out of the bag the softest, most luxe feeling bras I’ve ever felt in my life!  On the boobs – the softest and most luxe feeling bras I’ve ever felt in my life!  The inside lining is this amaze suedeish stuff which I’ve never seen on any bra before.  The straps are perfection, no cutting in to rogue back fat or anything, the underwires are barely there – I can’t feel them at all, and, the kicker, I sleep in mine.  

These are the bras you will wear for 2 days, then look for in the clean laundry so you can put them straight back on.  I’ve never actually cared two hoots about bras but now I do, I care about all the ones I own that aren’t Berlei Sensation Bras!  There is no comparison.  These are definitively the most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn.

RRP from $59.95, available from Farmers and other key stockists.

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Making my Nespresso Habit More Affordable with Caffesso

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I’m not going to pretend to be any kind of coffee aficionado. I drank my very first coffee about 3 months ago but have taken to this marvelous hobby like a duck to water. I’ve finally managed to shake my morning requirement of a V energy drink because coffee is just so so fab.
I must admit, I’ve been fortunate enough to be initiated into the world of coffee in the best possible way. Via my most precious appliance, the beautiful Nespresso Inissia machine.
My lush Nespresso coffee is an expensive drop however. Dave and I both adore our new ritual but we can burn through $50 worth of capsules way too quickly.
There is an alternative though.
www.mycoffeecapsules.co.nz sent me some Grande Gusto Medley Packs of Caffesso pods to try out and I’ve been sampling the varieties over the past week.
So, first impressions:
There’s extra packaging! After checking with the lovely peeps at My Coffee Capsules they were happy to report that all pods will soon be hermetically sealed in the same way Nespresso is packaged, eliminating the need for the extra vacuum sealed foil packaging and making Caffesso pods 100% recyclable, yay!
I have previously experimented with Nespresso alternatives available at the supermarket and have been less than impressed, plus, after suffering through muddy plunger coffee at our rented accommodation in Raro I was actually quite scared of discovering more coffee I didn’t like.
Not a problem thank goodness.

To be honest, I haven’t even bothered with the Decaffeinato, because, COFFEE.  But I’m sure it tastes great.  As for the other varieties, soooo far removed from those available on the supermarket shelves – Caffesso has successfully sourced straight up, great coffee.  What’s kinda nice about opening the foil pouch is that you get an instant, fragrant hit of fresh coffee, I love that.  Thankfully the aroma doesn’t stop there but continues after the brewing process is complete and your beautiful cup of barista-ish coffee is ready to enjoy.

And enjoy I do!  I’m pretty partial to high intensity varieties so my two favourite blends are Indiano (11) and Intenso (12).  I can taste the difference between the single origin Nespresso varieties which Dave and I usually buy and blends such as Caffesso, but I think that’s just me being a coffee snob?  

Caffesso provides a comparable, delicious, smooth alternative to Nespresso at a more budget friendly price, $7.50 for 10 capsules.  This is really good coffee, definitely worth purchasing to help dilute the cost of this single portion coffee phenomena that so many of us are now in love with!

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Holiday Skincare | Island Style

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Oh lord, that picture doesn’t look real does it?  I can’t believe it feels so long ago already :::sobs:::

I was determined to pack light for our trip to Rarotonga and that included my toiletry bag.  I did pack way more skincare products than makeup but couldn’t have been happier with my choices.  With the chance of  returning with a ‘safe’ tan I wanted to ensure my skin was well protected but also well moisturised and nourished.  After hibernating all winter, being outside and in the water all day for 12 days meant I was going to have to pay a bit more attention to my skin to avoid peeling, wind and sunburn and dry, scaly legs and feet.

With that in mind I was sure to pack a few products that could do double duty and multi-task like a boss.  This ultimately saved on space and weight but also meant I was covered against any skin ’emergencies’ that may have arisen!  Let’s meet my holiday favourites;

Grab & Go Goodness Try-Me Kit RRP $24.99

Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty BloggerThis set of minis arrived the day before we left so I was able to replace full size products with this team of beauty superstars from the Goodness Natural Beauty Lab.  The super cute kit contains;

  • Certified Organic Chia Seed Oil (5ml)
  • Every Day Cream Cleanser (20ml)
  • Every Morning Moisturiser (20ml)
  • Every Week Face Scrub (10ml)
  • Every Evening Cream (25 ml)

Unfortunately The Chia Seed Oil bottle didn’t survive the trip but the rest of these wee gems were used every day….except for the Every Week Face Scrub of course, because I follow directions to a T lol!  This range is just easy.  That’s the best word I can think of to describe it.  It’s simple, natural, does what is says, it’s not pretentious or fluffy.  Good honest skincare with an added kick – certified organic chia seed oil which on its own is light and readily absorbed but as an ingredient across the entire range, takes ‘good’ products to a whole new level.  The Every Morning Moisturiser kept my skin hydrated throughout the day under my sunscreen and I used the Every Evening Cream religiously at night.  No dry skin the entire trip!

Trilogy Age-Proof CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate RRP $39.90Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty Blogger

Nixon didn’t get the memo about being on holiday so woke between 4.45 am and 5.30 every day we were in Rarotonga.  This gorgeous Eye Recovery Concentrate from Trilogy was a lifesaver, one that I often used more than once per day.    Containing Trilogy’s latest plant oil blend, Glycablend™, caffeine, CoQ10 and jojoba, I kept this little vial in the fridge and rolled it on every morning/afternoon/evening (whenever I looked in the mirror and went WTF?!).  It instantly took care of my lack-of-sleep puffiness and reduced the slack-eyed look that I’m often sporting after a rough night with Nix!  This one’s a keeper ladies, I love it.

Antipodes Chia & Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum RRP $49.50

Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty Blogger2015 has sure been the year of the serum!  Luckily I’m a huge fan and I’ve discovered a new fave that hits stores October 1st.  Antipodes will soon release their lush Chia & Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum with jasmine & ylang ylang and it’s a babin’ blend let me tell you.  I’ve been applying this every morning underneath a moisturiser for the past 3 weeks and I’m addicted to it!  My skin feels amazing and is able to maintain perfect moisture levels all day long.  The point of difference here is that rather than a straight oil, Antipodes has created an oil-based serum.  Other serums in my arsenal tend to be a little drying, they deliver the good stuff but leave my skin needing more moisture.  This combo of Chia & Kiwi Seed punches way above it’s weight.  It’s a luxe silky serum, but the super fine oils absorb beautifully and create a magic barrier against moisture loss that lasts all day.  

Added bonus, $60,000 from the sale of this product will be donated to World Wide Fund for Nature NZ!

Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm RRP $ 50.60Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty Blogger

So this is what I’m talking about when I refer to multi-tasking products.  Saviour Skin Balm is now in my handbag 24-7.  This was my lip balm on the trip, my always-on-hand first aid balm (Rarotonga is surrounded by a coral reef so you can’t even begin to imagine the number of cuts and grazes both boys endured on a daily basis!) plus it was our soothing go-to for insect bites and any sun-induced redness.  I also used it to calm my frizzy hair as I didn’t take any styling products or my GHD’s, quelle horreur! Dave is also a fan and dabs a bit on his face to soothe shaving cuts.  This delicious pot of gold is crammed full of antibacterial and antifungal agents derived from totara and tea tree and heals skin in a snap!  There is nothing not to love about Saviour Skin Balm, it’s definitely the kind of product the boys will remember when they’re grown, ‘that one tin of stuff Mum used to rub on everything!’.  And then they’ll buy some for themselves because it’s that good.

Weleda Skin Food Travel Size RRP $13.90

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My skin has a few ‘special needs’  areas that constantly need extra love and with 12 days in flip flops and wrestling Nixon on the beach to consider I didn’t hesitate in popping a 30ml travel-size tube of Weleda’s Skin Food into my toilet bag.  This is a time-tested formulation that has been around since 1926 and to this day remains 100% natural.  

I use it on my elbows, feet and hands daily and long term, this is the only product I’ve found to keep gross, dry elbows at bay – I hate them!  Ethan also favours this product to fix wind burnt lips in a flash.  This lotion goes on easily so is perfect for quick applications to small bottoms.  Nix got a few contact rashes on his nether regions from being in the water so much and sand was an abrasive friend you’ve just got to love while holidaying at the beach!  After rinsing off each night I’d just apply a little Skin Food to his (minor) diaper rash and he’d be all clear by the morning, ready to swim another day!

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Eye Treatment RRP $95

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This super slick superstar from Clinique launched in New Zealand last month but I’ve been fortunate enough to have been using it for the last 2 months or so. In love of course, when do we not love Clinique right? I’ve been using Custom-Repair Eye Treatment twice daily and can see results that I’m freaking out over! Most noticeable to me is the reduced crinkly, crepiness. As far as signs of aging go, I’m most at peace with my wrinkles. Grey hair gives me the heebies but I can handle my laugh lines……..as long as they stay in check! Clinique Smart is keeping on top of this for me by easing inflammation, repairing damage, plumping and boosting radiance. Four things I need everyday, not just on my holiday!

Antipodes Immortal SPF 15 Face & Body Moisturizer RRP $54.45

Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty BloggerSo, the foundation for great-holiday skin was all taken care of, now to protect it.  I wore this creamy formulation from Antipodes every day in Rarotonga and never once got burnt.  That’s so important to me.  My Dad died from melanoma so I do my best to protect my skin and I’m absolutely anal about keeping the kids well covered in sunscreen and wearing protective clothing at the beach.  Immortal SPF 15 Face & Body Moisturizer is delicious.  It spreads and covers well and it absorbs like a standard moisturizer (it doesn’t feel like it’s sitting on top of your skin you know?  I hate that!).  Full of plant-based wonder ingredients, super-antioxidant Vinanza Performance Plus® grape and kiwifruit extract as well as plant-based hyaluronic acid, ancient Reishi mushroom and Raspberry seed oil which naturally protects skin from UVA damage.  LOVE.

Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Body Cream RRP $29.90Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty Blogger

I was sent this shimmery tube at the beginning of winter (review here) and I’d been dying to use it after a little sun, some longer days and when I had an opportunity to wear short sleeves!  Ultra Hydrating Body Cream easily passed the island moisturiser test.  No dry legs, arms or shoulders the entire trip, and in the evenings, after showering off the day’s salt and sand, it was lovely to take a minute to sit and enjoy this subtly frangranced lotion.  What is so nice about Trilogy’s most intense body moisturiser, is the added mica which creates a slight shimmer, just perfect for highlighting a sunsafe holiday tan.

Dr. Hauschka Night Serum RRP $75

Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty BloggerOk I’m tired.  

Every night at around 8.45pm I’d just crash.  The early mornings (thanks Nixon!), the fresh air and fun at the beach plus all of our planned excursions wiped me out.  To be honest we all came home more worn out than when we left New Zealand!

There was nothing for it but to quickly cleanse with my Good Every Day Cream Cleanser then apply Dr. Hauschka’s latest Night Serum and hit the hay.  I’ve been using this on and off since June but whilst on holiday used it exclusively at night for 12 days.  I have one criteria for a good night serum, and that is this; when I wake up in the morning, my skin needs to look refreshed  – like I’ve actually had some sleep!  This sounds silly but once I noticed that this was actually achievable using the right product, it became a firm acid test.  Dr. Hauschka Night Serum works just as described.  One thing I’ve learnt this year which makes SO much sense, is that the skin doesn’t need to be ‘protected’ at night from outside influences.  There is no need to layer on lotion after oil etc just to go to sleep.  One great product like Night Serum will work it’s magic best when left to get on with it.

So, there you have it!  A bit of a list but these are all fab skin-saving heroes that deserved a little love from me.  Let me know if you have any questions and look out for my Island Style Make-up post – which is a MUCH smaller gang btw!