Pineapple Lump Smoothie Recipe

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Our whole family loves smoothies for breakfast every morning, but we’re total creatures of habit and they end up tasting the same every single day!

The team from Nutribullet sent me the recipe and ingredients to make Pineapple Lump Smoothies last week and they’ve definitely shaken us out of the smoothie rut. We can’t get enough of this tropical, chocolatey concoction so I thought I’d share the recipe with you!

NutriBullet Pineapple Lump Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

3/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1/2 ripe banana

2 large medjool dates

1 heaped tsp cacao

1 heaped tsp cacao nibs

1 Tbs coconut cream

1/3 cup almond milk

> Blend in a small NutriBullet cup and serve in a chilled glass, topped with fresh pineapple and a sprinkling of cacao nibs.

Obviously no fancy food styling here!  It was too delicious to phaff around with and really does taste like a Pineapple Lump!  I use the NutriBullet Pro which is my favourite appliance in the whole kitchen (after my Nespresso machine lol!), this guy will change the way you blend, I promise!
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Daily Look | We’re doing it. This life thing.

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Somehow or other, it’s all working out.

Today, after quite a lovely, sunny weekend filled with friends and fun I hauled ass.  

I hustled through a 5k, 2 loads of laundry, ALL the beds made, a writing deadline met, 3 GST returns completed, a walk with Nixie and the dogs, general tidying and lots of playtime with my little guy.  I kicked ass today.

Sometimes you don’t know how the hell you’re going to get it all done, but two coffees later it just falls in to place and you fall into bed at 11.30pm. Tired but happy.

Maybe I’ll get to those emails tomorrow, but who’s going to fire me if I don’t right?

10 Months of Running | Join Me for the Skechers Women’s 6k and win!

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I know not everyone has aspirations to be a runner, but I always, always have.  I was pretty good at a few sports growing up and fair to middling at the rest.  I gave everything a go and joined every sports team there was on offer at school.  But I was never a runner.  Cross country days hurt me, deep down in my young soul.  God I hated them.

So I cannot really explain what happened last December, 2 days before Christmas, when I put on some sneakers and decided to run.  It really was as simple as that.

I’ve written about it before (here) so I won’t elaborate too much, but over the past 10 months I’ve increased my distance, improved my pace and settled into running in a way I had never imagined I would.  I have gone from struggling to run 1km to where I’m at now, which is comfortably running 5km in under 30 minutes.

I’m proud of that.  It’s no Olympic time, but it’s an excellent Melissa time.

How I learned how to run 5km

So December 2014.  No running.  23rd December 2014, I power walked 4km and ran 1km at the end.

This was honestly the hardest kilometre I’ve ever completed in my life.  And I barely made it to be honest.  I wasn’t prepared for how uncomfortable, wobbly, jiggly and out of breath I would feel.  I was self-conscious and full of negative self-talk.

But I was secretly pretty stoked I did it.

I did this walk/run combo 3 0r 4 more times.  Then I increased the running distance to 1.5 km and followed the same pattern.  Repeating the increased increment 3 or 4 times before adding another half km onto the running distance, always working within the 5km parameter – I think this was a big mental milestone for me!

I took it slowly and after a couple of months, I made it to 5km.  

I COULD RUN 5 FREAKING KILOMETRES!!!!  Huge milestone for me.  To be honest, I haven’t progressed much further distance wise since.  I’ve hit 7km a couple of times when I was pushing hard, but I really love the short sharp burst that a good 5km gives me.

But.  Next month, on the 15th of November, I’m running the Skechers Women’s 6k in Auckland.  My friend Penny from Little Housewife and I had been discussing doing a run or race together and there were heaps of reasons why we decided to choose the Skechers event;

  • Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween Decor6k is a great distance which suits all levels.  Trust me, this is a totally achievable distance for either walkers or runners – and you can do either, it doesn’t matter!
  • The course is flat.  Flat as a pancake.  Along the waterfront in Auckland in lush, pre-summer November, perfectly scheduled for all of our ‘get fit for summer’ resolutions!
  • Everyone gets a goody bag!
  • There are amazing prizes to be won on the day such as a trip to Hawaii for the best dressed trio and a brand new Mazda!

So, what do you think?  Ready to give it a go with us?  Online registrations close 13 November and Penny assures me this is such a fun event – she did it last year!

Plus, Skechers have an amazing prize pack to give away to one lucky reader!  Valued at over $250 it includes a pair of Skechers GOwalk 3 shoes, a Skechers Performance towel, sports-bag and drink bottle, a range of Sculpt product and a shaker, and tickets for you and a friend to attend Skechers 6k – the perfect pack to provide you with everything you need to get up and on your feet!

There are three ways to enter:

  1. Comment below and tell me who you would invite to the event
  2. Head over to The Best Nest on Facebook and follow the instructions on the competition image here
  3. Enter via this image on Instagram

Competition closes 30/10/15 @ 5pm.

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Kids Style + Giveaway: Babiators > The BEST Kids Sunglasses in NZ

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I’m one of those people that wear sunglasses 365 days a year.  I NEVER drive without them, I never hang the washing out without wearing a pair, I run in them…….I simply love sunglasses.

And I want my kids to love sunglasses too.  The benefits of sun protection for little eyes (or eyes in general!) is without dispute, however; here’s some facts in case you need any further convincing;

  • UV exposure to the sun is maximised early morning and in late afternoon due to the angle of the sun, conveniently skipping many young children’s high-noon nap time!  Our bubs need to be wearing sunglasses when they’re playing outdoors – year round!
  • UV light can cause premature ageing but can also cause eye conditions such as cataracts and cancers on the surface of the eye.

I have purchased sunglasses for Nixon, we have been gifted some very expensive pairs of sunglasses, which we love by the way – thank you Rayban!-  But, Babiators are better.  Here’s why;

Nix loves wearing sunglasses, but he hates them falling and slipping off his face.  Which most of them invariably do.  This, in my layman/mothers opinion (lol) is due to their rigid frames, which are quite simply mini-adult sunglasses.  When you watch a toddler play, you notice that they are up, down, rolling around, jumping, running, stopping and starting…………kids require something a little bit more from their sunglasses than adults do, and that is an increased ability to actually stay on their face!  

Frogs and Toadstools sent Nix the coolest wee pair of Babiators sunglasses to kick off the summer season and both he and I absolutely love them.  The frames are made from flexible rubber that are virtually indestructible.  They grip and stick onto Nixon’s face without sliding off and are so light and comfy he seems to forget he’s wearing them – which stops him fiddling and taking them off every second minute!

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The lenses are also impact- and shatter-resistant and offer 100% UVA and UVB  protection from the sun. Babiators is the only children’s sunglasses brand to offer a Lost & Found Guarantee: if a child’s Babiators are lost or broken within one year of purchase, Babiators replaces them…Guaranteed!  That’s ridiculous.  But ridiculously awesome right?  These dapper shades are available in a range of awesome colours and two different sizes;

  • Junior Babiators sunglasses fit most babies and toddlers ages 6 months – 3 years.
  • Classic Babiators sunglasses fit most children ages 3 – 7+ years.

Nixon, though only 2 years 3 months, is massive so he’s wearing the Classic size – unfortunately the green he is wearing has been so popular they have sold out!  Isn’t he I mean, aren’t they so cute?! 

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You can shop the range from Frogs and Toadstools here, PLUS there is free shipping in NZ from 17 October – 1st November!  Prices start at $39.95 for the Junior and Classics, $64.99 for the polarised options and $59.95 for the Aces range (age 7-14 years)

If you would like to win a pair of Junior or Classic Babiators for your stylish little person just head over to The Best Nest on Facebook and follow the instructions on the competition image.  Comment below for a second entry!  Competition closes Sunday 1st November 10pm.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween Decor Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween DecorTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween Decor Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween Decor                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

 

Shop smart | Getting Kids Tech Ready for School + Giveaway

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BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is hitting our house in 2016 as Ethan heads off to Intermediate. Paying for this is probably a worry that I share with many kiwi families but don’t sweat it as I’m about to share with you my little Gem Visa secret. With 0% interest for 6 months on all purchases over $250*, Ethan’s new Chromebook ($500) will only set me back $83.33 a month (plus fees**) for repayment of my credit within the interest free period! That’s totally do-able! Here’s how easy it is …

Not going to lie, I’m pretty much a Professional Shopper by trade. I mean, no-one ‘hires‘ me to do the shopping for them……but I’ve got skills and I’m happy to share them with whomever is in need of some assistance with their retail therapy. You are welcome! ; )

I began my savvy-shopping journey at age 18 when I realised how important credit was. When I was in dire need of a shiny new thing (my first cell phone – Motorola Flipper, Sony MiniDisk player, Playstation 1……..just the bare essentials of course!) I began to look for interest free specials, purchase using HP and then save like mad and pay the finance off before the interest-free period was over. I only ever had one payment on the go at a time (this is still how I roll) and I made those zero interest specials work for me. Bam. Hello sweet, sweet credit rating. I still shop like this, preferring to keep my (husband’s) hard earned cash in the bank for as long as possible!

There are some big changes ahead for our wee family, and also some fairly sizable expenses. November, December and January see Ethan turn 11, the shopping madness of Christmas and, most importantly, Ethan finishes Primary School and will make the huge transition to Intermediate in 2016. Like everything, this comes at quite a cost. In an effort to spread the load I’ve paid the new school fees early to capitalise on this year’s rate, but yet to come is his uniform plus the purchase of a new device for him to use at school eeeek!

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Before we jump in and purchase anything of value I set some clearly defined boundaries;

  • What are we comfortable spending? What is our max upper limit? This is good to know because in some instances spending a little more (especially when purchasing tech) can equate to a huge value add.
  • How are we paying? I use my Gem Visa. It’s the smart way to pay for purchases over $250 as you get 6 months interest free!*
  • Where are we shopping and why? For nerd/$$$ items I love to shop at Noel Leeming because: 1. FlyBuys 2. They price match. Winning. In this instance though, I’m also going to check out Warehouse Stationery as I’ll be spending over $250, so I may as well make the most of the 6 months interest free period* and add some school supplies to the purchase as well!

So to break it down;

  1. Apply for your Gem Visa
  2. Make a plan – budget, decide on required device etc
  3. Visit Warehouse Stationery
  4. Complete your purchase over $250 to lock in that awesome 6 months interest free deal!*
  5. Set up automatic payments to avoid any interest charges – yay! You don’t have to do this at all, I just prefer to spread my repayments evenly over the 6 months interest free period : )

 

So, this week I’ll be talking to Ethan about what he feels comfortable transporting to and from school, I’ll be checking with the Intermediate about their tech expectations and I’ll be window shopping to see what’s out there and how much this little exercise is going to set me back! I know there are tonnes of you guys that are sending kids off to schools next year with BYOD expectations, so, join us next week, when we’ll be going shopping and finding Ethan the perfect device for the next 2 years (AT LEAST!).

Get your own kids Tech Ready and utilise Gem Visa’s awesome 6 months interest free offer on purchases over $250 by applying for your card now at www.gemvisa.co.nz. To help you out even more, I am giving one of you the chance to win $250 to spend at Warehouse Stationery***  Enter by commenting below and watch out for another chance to enter next week. Your entry is confirmation that you have read and agreed to the competition terms as stated here.

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*Credit and Lending criteria, $55 establishment fee and $52 annual account fee apply. Prevailing interest rate (currently 25.45% p.a.) applies after 6 months interest free period. Gem Visa is provided by Latitude Financial Services.

**Over 6 months plus fees. Prevailing interest rate of 25.45% applies on expiry of the interest free period.

***The organiser and promoter of this competition is thebestnest.co.nz. Latitude Financial Services is not an organiser or promoter of, nor is it otherwise involved with, this competition.

Halloween 2015 | #thescarehouse

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween DecorIt’s about this time every year that Ye Ole debate starts, you know, the one that starts with this gem; “ugh, I HATE Halloween, it’s so American humpfff”.

Yeah well, I pooh-pooh those haters and say BRING ON HALLOWEEN! 

Here are my Top 5 reasons for getting down with Halloween;

  1. Wearing costumes is fun and kids LOVE it!  Dressing up in a pumpkin suit never hurt anyone right?
  2. I’m all for a fun/one-off day each year that breaks up the monotony of the daily grind – be realistic, Halloween impacts at most, 6 hours of your year – why not enjoy it?
  3. Halloween is great for meeting your neighbours!  Many communities now plan amazing (and easy to organise) events that respect everyone’s decision to either be involved or abstain.
  4. Lollies are awesome!
  5. Decorating (see below) is super fun, inexpensive if you’re a savvy shopper and use what you have already, plus, Halloween is a great excuse for a party!

Halloween Decorating

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I love decorating my mantlepiece every opportunity I get so I decided to up the anti and take #thescarehouse to a whole new level this year!  Before I began I went room-to-room collecting anything that fit my ‘brief’ – basically black, black and creepy.  I grabbed a print and coat hanger from Nixie’s room, some swallows off the wall (the orange paint was perfect!) some black and white pottery, a framed owl print, a calendar (turned to the 31st – All Hallows Eve :::::::whoooooo::::::) and a black clock.  Random and easy.

I then mixed these up with some inexpensive Halloween decor essentials from The Warehouse;

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Skull Goblet Bone Colour $10, Hanging Small Skeleton $10, Skull Mug Bone Colour $10, Spooky Spiders $3, Spider Web with Spider $1, Skull with Moving Jaw $10, Skull Bone Bowl $10Dummy Gauze Cloth $10, Rubber Spiders – Check the toy department, Rubber Snakes – Check Toy Department.
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If you don’t have a mantlepiece, get creative with a themed centrepiece and get ghoulishly ready for a creepy dinner party – Halloween is on a Saturday this year!  FYI, one of the $1 bags of cobwebs covered all four dining chairs! Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween DecorTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween DecorTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween Decor Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween Decor

And, it wouldn’t be Halloween without costumes would it?  Finding age appropriate costumes for littles is a bit tricky here in New Zealand, definitely easier if you have a little girl I think? Yes?  Princesses and fairy wings and all that?
Needless to say I was beyond excited to find this super-cute Pumpkin Costume for Nix also at The Warehouse, it’s comfy, not too hot and he can move easily in it – winning………….so far!  We’ll see how our Neighbourhood Fright Night works out lol.

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So, I’ve got my decorations, costumes and Halloween treats all sorted, early too I might add!  If you’re keen to get spooky with The Warehouse this Halloween, you can shop the range online or visit your local store, and I’ve got a little helping hand to make Halloween even more fun!

(CLOSED)  Congratulations Rhiannon Young!

If you would like to win a $50 gift card from The Warehouse just let me know in the comments below; Halloween: YAY or NAY?

Contest closes 26/10/15 at 10pm.

Our Cloth Nappy Journey + Giveaway

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Mummy BloggerYou know, there is one phrase I like to remind myself of when I’m in need of a little giggle, for those (frequent!) scenarios when I don’t get this mummy-thing going as smoothly as one would hope; “God loves a trier”.  

tried cloth diapering, I tried with all my heart.  I so wanted to make it work for our family, and it was working…….until Nixon had a very large segment of his large intestine removed and he was finally able to poop unaided!  Our little man has Hirschsprungs Disease and though it’s awesome that he is now able to poop, the fact is that at 2 years and 3 months, he has never passed, and may never pass, a solid poop in his life.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Mummy BloggerI’m sure you get what I’m saying here, but that, friends, marked the end of my cloth diapering journey.

What was surprising to me was that once you get your system in place, using cloth nappies isn’t the ‘ordeal’ that I had envisaged.  Now, to be fair, we were never 100% cloth.  Nix still wore a disposable at night and if we were going to be out and about for a while.  However, I was proud of that little commitment I was making to reduce what we were sending to landfill!  

These sentiments are shared by Snazzipants who believe that modern parenting is all about being smarter and making small changes that add up to a big difference.  Using cloth nappies part time like we were with Nix can result in an impressive financial and environmental saving.  Switching out 3 disposable nappies per day for Snazzipants will net a saving of $500 per year and see 1000 less nappies hit the landfill!  Trust me, this is coming from a lazy-mummy-extraordinaire – my whole life is about convenience lol, three cloth nappies a day is totally doable!

The relaunch of Snazzipants, one of New Zealand’s original cloth nappy companies, has seen them streamline their offering, and this appeals to me immensely.  One of the weirdly confounding things (at least for me) when I was beginning my cloth journey, was trying to figure out what the differences were between the many styles of cloth nappies offered, when they all looked the same to me – keeping in mind I was shopping online!  Just in case anyone else is confused by what in the heck an All-In-One or a PUL Cover is, the chart below should help explain things!

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If you’re on board with starting Disposable-free daytimes in your house, just let me know in the comments below and you could win a super-cute prize pack containing 1 all-in-one nappy, 1 pocket nappy, 1 roll of nappy liners, a Snazzipants money box (the perfect place to stash all that money you’re saving!) and a Snazzipants drawstring bag.  There’s another prize pack up for grabs over on my Facebook page so head over there and follow the instructions on the contest image.

Competition is open to NZ residents only and closes Friday 23/10/15 @ 10pm.

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Beauty 101 | Primer & Blur Products

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So ladies, primer.  

Do you or don’t you?  Do you every day?  Should you?  What the heck is it and why do you need it in your life?  

Got it.  Welcome to the beginners guide to primer and blur products, from the Beginner Herself, ME!

Whether you’re not that handy in the makeup department or you’re a certified pro, starting with a well prepped base is key to improving the look, feel and longevity of your makeup. Now that I’m old (HA!  I was born in the seventies for christ-sake!)  I’m all about primer and blurs.  They smoothe out the surface of my skin,  even out my sun damaged blotches, mattify, help makeup stay on longer/look good for longer and help me to do a somewhat better job of applying the stuff as foundation glides on beautifully over primer.

How do I use it?

After cleansing I pop some ProActiv on any spots I have, apply a serum or oil, then my moisturiser – super hydrated skin = happy makeup day.  Then I apply a primer before my BB cream or tinted moisturiser.  If it’s a rare day when I need to wear full coverage I’ll use foundation over the primer.

That said, let’s summarise shall we?  

  • Is face primer akin to vehicle primer i.e. does it bog holes?  Yes.  Primer does a fab job of minimising pores.
  • Is face primer akin to house/furniture paint primer?  Will it provide me with a smooth, profesh look?  Yes.  About as profesh as this post is.  Just joking, add primer and your makeup will look much more professional than a beauty post written by me ever could!  Smooth as a baby’s bum ring any bells?
  • What is in primer/blur products that makes them so magical?  Every single product I tested, except for the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water, contains Dimethicone in at least one form, often multiple forms.  Dimethicone is a silicon-based polymer—”polymer” meaning it’s a large molecule made up of several smaller units bonded together.  It makes products easily spreadable and forms a protective barrier on the skin, whilst being able to fill in the fine lines and wrinkles on the face < that’s why it’s the key ingredient in primers.
  • Is this something I need?  Mama’s, I say YES.  Go forth and buy primer!

Meet the Sample Team

Dimethicone Free

 SMASHBOX Photo Finish Primer Water RRP $62

So, meet the only product in the trial that’s silicone and alcohol free as well as being the only liquid primer.  Photo Finish Primer is one of those gems that does triple duty – spray it on as a primer before makeup application, use it as a setting spray or as a refresher to breathe some life into hours old makeup.  I’ve used it all three ways and I love it, it feels great on my face, does a fab job of ‘preparing the canvas’ (groan lol) and when I’m wearing it my makeup looks amazing all day long.  Without the silicon polymers that are included in other products, it doesn’t have the ‘blur’ effect, but once my makeup is on the difference is negligable.

SPF IncludedTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

MURAD Invisiblur™ Perfecting Shield SPF 30 RRP $140

I love this luxe product because, to put it simply, it takes care of business and can also boast a skincare hat-trick.  As a primer, Invisiblur™ does an amazing job.  It goes on like a dream, is silky smooth and the blur is amaze.  As a makeup base, products glide on and stay on.  I’m notorious for forgetting to apply sunscreen to my face so the inclusion of Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is a big plus for me.  In addition, it’s “non-comedogenic formula contains a powerful blend of youth-enhancing ingredients like Shitake Mushroom Peptides, Black Currant, Rosemary and Goldenrod Extracts. These ingredients combine to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by improving skin resilience and texture to reveal an overall more youthful look and feel”.  Yes.  Please.  So, my skin is receiving the benefits of a treatment product while I’m wearing makeup and is protected from the sun plus primed and blurred.  This is as good as it gets.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty BloggerBENEFIT Air Patrol Bb Cream Eyelid Primer SPF 20 RRP $50

This is getting down to the nitty gritty.  Primer for your eyelids?  What the?  Hold on.  Have you looked at your eyelids lately?  Mine are all kinds of lumpy, bumpy, they are a little bit veiny with uneven colouring, not the smoothest looking skin on one’s body right?  Air Patrol has just launched and is customised specifically for those pesky parts of our peepers.  The softest applicator I’ve ever felt, combined with a one-twist dispenser results in a fail safe experience.  I rarely wear eyeshadow but I’ve been reaching for this on makeup days as it smoothes and blurs my lids and creates that ‘my skin but better’ look effortlessly.  This is a BB cream so it is tinted, creating soft, natural coverage which is perfect on its own.  I’ve read reviews for Air Patrol online and people are raving about it’s ability to keep eye shadow going the distance.  An eyelid angel indeed!

Special Area
  • Of course Benefit Air Patrol belongs in this section too! You already realised that though didn’t you……?

 

SMASHBOX Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer RRP $48Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

So, our eyes definitely require a bit of special attention when it comes to skincare and makeup.  The skin is super thin and delicate (wrinkly, crinkled, puffy, tired, dark…..) so the same rules don’t apply as for the rest of your face.  Slapping concealer under there on it’s own won’t work.  The area needs to be super hydrated so makeup doesn’t get cakey, dark circles often need to be colour corrected before being concealed and then powdered over to set……crikey.

Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer takes much of the fuss out of this, combining a primer, super hydrating lotion and brightener all in one.  It’s perfect as a base for concealer or it’s genius on it’s own to reduce puffiness and lift/brighten the under eye area.  Super light formulation glides on and leaves a dewy, silky finish.  LOVE.

Moisturiser

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty BloggerL’Oréal Paris REVITALIFT Magic Blur Daily Anti-Ageing Moisturiser RRP $39.99

The first Magic Blur product I tried was from a sample in a magazine and I was pretty wowed to be honest.  The effect was amazing!  I love this combo product because many primer/blurs go on quite dry, almost chalky and need to be used in conjunction with a moisturiser, so for time poor women, adding another step to an already rushed beauty routine just becomes too much work.  So, by combining the magic of Blur (which I think L’Oréal have down to  fine art btw), with Pro-Retinol, a key anti-ageing ingredient, ‘wrinkles appear reduced, skin feels firmer and skin complexion looks more even’. My mum said that she had never put anything on he face that felt so silky and smooth! Go L’Oréal!

Tinted
  • Of course Benefit Air Patrol belongs in this section too! You already realised that though didn’t you……?

 

L’Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Magic Touch Instant Blur with Self Adjusting Tint RRP $24.99Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

This little pink tube comes under the ‘balm’ category for me.  This is a product I would use on targeted areas rather than smoothing across my whole face as the consistency just doesn’t lend itself to that.  The box describes the texture as ‘velvety cream’ and this is spot on.  Awesome mattifying powers, if you suffer from oily spots this would be a great product to try.  It absorbs instantly leaving a lovely smooth finish.  The tint is subtle and is definitely suitable for all skin tones.  This creates an awesome base for foundations or BB creams, or on it’s own with a swipe of mascara for an easy, no fuss pick-me-up.  Great, cost-effective option if you’re wanting to try a primer or blur without investing a pay cheque!

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L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique Blur Cream RRP $29.99

OK, out of this and Skin Perfection I prefer this one.  Remember I’m no scientist, but it feels like there is more of the miraculous silicone polymers in Nude Magique – it’s positively slippery!  The tint is more apparent also, I’ve totally worn this out on it’s own and felt like it was an improvement over my 36 year old au naturel lol.  I wish I could show you the effect these products have on your skin, but it’s super hard to capture.  I’m looking at it on my hand right now where the skin is thin with lots of fine lines and wrinkles and to the naked eye it looks like someone has run a filter down my hand where I’ve put Nude Magique!  This as a base, has awesome non-greasy, corrective powers, layering other makeup on top results in a really flawless finish.  Top product for a great price.

Straight up Blur/Primers

BENEFIT The POREfessional RRP $57Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

So this guy is one of the heavy hitters.  A cult fave, and staple in many women’s beauty arsenals.  The POREfessional is described as a PRO balm to minimise the appearance of pores.  And really, that’s all we want, we can’t make pores disappear otherwise our skin will look as fake and plastic as a Barbie Doll and I think we’re all mature enough to have moved on from that phase?!  An interesting point of difference here is that the box describes using it over makeup!  I tried this after a workout the other day when I was wearing full face but looking a little sweaty/shiny.  Ah-maze-ing!  Instant matte and hot, open pores totally under control within seconds.  Definitely setting the standard in primer/blur balms.  I use more on targeted areas – nose, chin – rather than smoothing over my whole face.  Can’t fault it.  LOVE.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty BloggerL’Oréal Paris Base Magique Smoothing Resurfacing Primer

RRP $35.99

So, Base Magique has quite a different texture to most of the other products.  It’s much tackier and stickier to apply but the finish is velvety smooth.  Described as a blend of silicone oils (like other products we’ve discussed) and soft light powders, there is definitely more to this primer, with a thicker consistency that is a bit harder to spread.  But as a base – perfection.  Once you rub the product between your fingers to ease spreading as recommended on the box, you’re good to go.  Definitely one to wear over your moisturiser, the rosy shade creates a gorgeous translucency that would look good on anyone.  I think more mature skin would love Base Magique, the texture is perfect for minimising the appearance of deeper lines and wrinkles.

Garnier 5sec Perfect Blur RRP $17.49Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

This one is my pick for kick ass results on a beer budget.  Perfect Blur is easy to apply, feels light and silky and actually delivers the promises on the box; visibly blurs wrinkles, imperfections, pores and shine.  The slim tube would be perfect for keeping in your purse to manage shine throughout the day.  It includes light reflectors which help promote that youthful, dewy look which I’m all about!  I like this product.  One to apply over moisturiser to ensure skin remains hydrated throughout the day,  Garnier has taken a must-have product and made it accessible to everyone with a fantastic price point.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty BloggerL’Oréal Paris Revitalift Magic Blur RRP $29.99

Described as the last step in your skincare routine, Magic blur is slick and no-nonsense.  The consistency is almost serum-like, it goes on so easily, you could absolutely apply it full-face in about 10 seconds, which I like.  I’d rather not have to dab and keep returning to a product to finish the job you know?  For those like me who don’t wear foundation every day, a product like this is a way to look like you’ve attempted to, I don’t know, do ‘something’ lol but with absolute minimal effort!  That’s rad.  My skin looks soft, touchable, and super super smooth.  On days when I do wear foundation I’ve found Magic Blur works as well as some of the higher-end primers, makeup went nowhere!  I love the notion of this being a ‘Finishing Cream’ as that’s a great way to think of it; it finishes off your skincare.

Honorable Mention

Dermalogica Hydrablur™ Primer RRP $91.00Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

I’ve only tried this in a wee sample size so can’t comment too much, but I’ve a feeling this could be one to watch.  One of the latest products from Dermalogica, Hydrablur™ provides three benefits in one formula; intense hydration, neutral coverage and pore-refining properties using mushroom extract which counteracts the drying nature of some primers.  The media release for this also states it can be used over foundation for a flawless finish.  I used it as a base and loved it, if the sample is anything to go by, this could definitely be an investment product!

Knowledge vs the Great Pink Fear + Giveaway!

Top Mummy Blog new ZealandWhen I was thinking about this post, I realised that I really needed to find out what you guys think and feel about breast cancer.  I asked you on my FB page and those are your words up there.  It’s sobering how scared breast cancer makes ALL of us.

I know cancer.  Believe me.  

My Dad died from Melanoma and I was there by his side with my Mum and family for the entire 9 months from diagnosis until his passing.  Dave and Ethan and I had moved into my parents house, so when I say I was THERE, I mean, really there and really present.

Like Melanoma, I find breast cancer so scary because it feels to me like there is a weight on my shoulders, an obligation to do what I can to be vigilant as I’m not yet eligible for free mammograms (these are for women 45+).  I must be responsible in the sun, I must not let my kids burn, I must initiate good breast checking habits because right now I don’t have any.  And that’s not going to save my life.

The unknown is scary.  Not knowing what is normal and what’s not, not knowing who to call, when to make an appointment, how to ask for help.

I don’t know how to give myself a breast exam and the truth is, I don’t know why I’ve failed to learn.  I’m a smart woman who only takes calculated, well-rehearsed (at least in my head!) risks.  But in this instance, ignorance  and keeping my head in the sand is the risk.

So I’ve asked myself these questions, but I also want you to consider them and ask your mother, your sister, your daughter, your best friend, your aunt these very same questions;

  1. When was the last time I checked myself?  Hmm, might start doing this monthly after my period, that should help me remember.
  2. How do I check myself?  It’s as easy as Touch.  Look.  Check.  Watch this short clip here  www.anychanges.co.nz
  3. Is it time to start mammograms?  If 40 or over, yes, annually.
  4. I’ve noticed a breast change lately – when can I make an appointment to get it checked out?.  
  5. Did I miss my last mammogram?  Better book one.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand women, affecting 3000 women every year.  8 women per day.  That’s a massive statistic.  These days, however, it’s highly treatable if diagnosed early.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation have compiled a wealth of resources to help us as women navigate this lifelong commitment to breast health awareness.  Early detection is something we must all own personally and take responsibility for.

Here are Six of the Best Breast Tips to get you on track this October

  1. Check your breasts often – this includes young women in their 20’s.   It’s not always a lump – changes to the breast skin, shape, size and nipple can be a sign of breast cancer too.  Look at www.anychanges.co.nz
  2. Get any changes checked out by your GP  – they should refer you on for testing.
  3. Start having regular mammograms once you turn 40. Mammograms save lives – they can find cancer early before you feel it
  4. Enrol for free mammograms once you turn 45 with BreastScreen Aotearoa on 0800270200. We’re so lucky to have a free screening program, which we owe to previous generations of women who died of the disease.
  5. Don’t get complacent because your mum’s never had breast cancer.  Most women with breast cancer have NO family history of the disease – so it comes as a complete shock; the upshot is that all women are at risk.
  6. Go easy on the alcohol to reduce your risk as it’s a carcinogen. Regular exercise is also a protective factor.

What can you do to help?Top Mummy Blog new Zealand

  • Text ‘PINK’ to 4644  to donate $3 to October’s Pink Ribbon Appeal and The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

  • Register now for the October’s pinkest walk in Christchurch – The Estée Lauder Companies Pink Star Walk and raise money to support The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

G I V E A W A Y

The beautiful team at Estée Lauder Companies have donated a gorgeous prize to help spread the word about October’s Pink Ribbon appeal.  Enter via the widget below and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE this post far and wide!!  One winner will receive Estée Lauder Modern Muse Fragrance + Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Pop Pink valued at $217!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our Holiday in Rarotonga | Whale Watching with Rongohiva Watersports

mummy-blog-new-zealand-travel-bogger-rarotongaOur last ‘organised’ excursion in Rarotonga was also the one that I had been looking forward to the most.

We had the amazingly good fortune of booking our trip during prime whale watching season – I cannot impress upon you how excited I was when I realised this!  Humpback whales migrate through the Cook Islands from July through October to mate, give birth and to rest.  The whole of the territorial waters of the Cook Islands are a whale sanctuary and we visited at the end of August through to September 8th.  

And did we see whales?

Two days after we arrived we were on a bus back to our accommodation after spending the morning at the Saturday Markets.  As we were heading out of Avarua, the main town, I saw a mama and baby humpback spouting a couple of times before the view was obscured by those damn coconut palms lol.  A couple of days later we ate dinner on the beach at Black Rock and watched the sunset whilst a pod of whales swam past, all spouting and doing some tail slapping.  Dave and E saw a whale breach quite close to them while they were on their fishing charter and I was insanely jealous, not going to lie!

So when it was finally time to head out with Jackie and the team from Rongohiva Watersports I was SO excited!  Aside from the knowledge that I was 100% without a doubt going to cry tears of joy if I saw a humpback lol.
The Eturere, Rongohiva’s 8.5m rigid V-hull inflatable, is the most insane boat I’ve ever been on – and I know my boats believe me.  Boasting twin 250 horsepower engines, I’m fairly certain this is the fastest boat in the Cook Islands! – with the best sound system and playlist.  And the most comfortable seats.  And the most smiley happy crew who were all so passionate about their jobs, the feeling on-board was amazing.

We decided to leave Nixon on the beach with Dave and I’m so glad we did as he has problems sitting in one spot, and the stress of wrangling him would’ve totally killed my peaceful-whale-vibes.  Tara, Ethan and I sat up front and soaked in the view as we headed out of the harbour.  Fate was smiling on us as I swear as we had just cleared the breakwater, not 5 minutes into our trip and we saw a humpback ahead.  On cue, I cried.  I’ve loved whales my whole life and finally getting to see a humpback was one off the bucket-list for me.  I was so overwhelmed I barely managed to snap any pics (SO, so unlike me I know!), but I’ll never forget seeing that big, beautiful tail playfully slapping the water.

Mummy Blog new Zealand Travel Blogger rarotonga Family

Our whale friend eventually moved on and we were treated to a little high speed fun on Eturere.  It was almost incomprehensible to be going SO fast, and be so comfortable and almost gliding across the water with no bump-jolt, up-down, crash-bash.  None.  At.  All.  This was the first time I had been out in the open water surrounding Rarotonga, and though it doesn’t translate in the pictures, the clear, cobalt colour of the water is equally as breathtaking (in a different way) to the bright turquoise water in the lagoons that are normally associated with Rarotonga.  Also no sea-sickness.  This boat is the business people!mummy-blog-new-zealand-travel-bogger-rarotonga

Let’s talk about gorgeous Jackie for a moment.  She was our amazing hostess and is half of the husband and wife team who manage Rongohiva Watersports.  Both Jackie (B.A.) and husband Teina (Ph.D.) are Marine Scientists and are very obviously passionate about what they do.  I have never actually seen anyone smile as much as Jackie does and her warmth and joy at being out on the water is totally contagious.  The crew were equally lovely, so safety conscious, funny and immensely knowledgable.  These are operators that show huge respect towards the humpbacks.  As soon as we spotted the whale, the Captain cut the engine and we didn’t move any closer toward the animal.  It was lovely being able to take this time to cry watch and appreciate what we were witnessing and swoon over our beautiful surroundings.

So, we saved the best for last.  I’m so, so grateful to Jackie and her wonderful crew for hosting us on an adventure I’ll never forget xx

  • For kids under 5, I would say whale watching is  a case by case basis.  My 2 year old is simply not chilled out enough to sit and enjoy the boat ride, he WILL not sit still, ever.  So this was not for him unfortunately.  Jackie is super helpful and kid-friendly – she’s a mum too – so chat with her about your family’s requirements if you have any questions.  
  • Rongohiva Watersports is not just all about whale watching, they also offer speed boat + swim, banana boat and snorkel + cruise packages or contact them for charter info and package bookings.mummy-blog-new-zealand-travel-bogger-rarotongamummy-blog-new-zealand-travel-bogger-rarotonga mummy-blog-new-zealand-travel-bogger-rarotonga