#TeenTalk With Gaby Logan And Boots

Those foreboding teenage years sadly have to come to us all.

I remember as clear as day that awkward moment when my mum thrust an Usbourne ‘Our Bodies’ book into my hand looking decidedly more embarrassed than me, and the day my dreaded period arrived seemed much more filled with the worry of telling my Mum than the actual mechanics of it all.

This all happened for me in the early 90’s and you would have thought that by now things would have moved on  and these subjects that parents once feared and avoided would now be much easier to broach.

Sadly 68% of parents still find it difficult to approach puberty topics with their teens, a quarter of parents asked in a poll avoid these subjects all together and 33% of parents wish they could talk openly with their teen.

The other week I was invited along to the Haymarket Hotel in London to have afternoon tea with a group of lovely bloggers that was headed up by Gaby Logan and teen expert Sarah Newton.

Armed with tea and cake we chatted about the #TeenTalk campaign that Boots are running for it’s second year to try and support parents as they navigate their teens through the tough years of puberty by providing parents with much needed advice and support to talk to their teens with informed confidence.

Gaby Logan is currently hitting this phase in her life with her preteen twins and this is how she has been handling this phase with her children. 

 “As a mother of twin teens, I understand the challenges of communicating with teens all too well! They suddenly go from wanting to tell parents everything, to one word answers. But as every parent knows, you desperately want to give your children all the guidance, help and support they need and being able to communicate effectively with your teens is crucial to this. What I love about the #TeenTalk campaign is that is helps to give parents the confidence to start and maintain a strong, open and honest conversation with their child through puberty and beyond”

For me broaching the subjects of changing bodies, personal hygiene and sexual relationships is something that I have never shied away from with my own children and I have always tried to answer  questions that arise at any age instead of leaving it to a big, built up ‘chat’ as they approach their teens.

As a mother of a daughter that I have already been through it all with and a 14 year old son I do also know that as with everything no child is the same and the way you broach these subjects can’t be the same for them all, but as the teen guru Sarah Newton said we need to keep the conversation going.

My own parents were very closed shop about it all and simply giving them a list of the things that should happen and leaving it at that probably isn’t the best way to go about it.

Let their inquisitive minds be filled with all the information that you think they need to confidently go into thier teens with the ability to make informed choices on what path they are going to take when one of these hurdles come along.

Be it a boys first shave or a girl feeling ready for her first bra are all huge steps in the eyes of a teen and they still really need that help and reassurance from thier parents that the decisions they are ultimately making are right.

From the 10th May -6th June Boots will be giving away a free #TeenTalk guide with every purchase of Venus, Always, and Tampax products.

These products are perfect for helping teens through this transitional period and they are even kind enough to be giving away a free gift for anyone with teen daughters.

It was an fabulous afternoon filled with relieving memories of our own teen years and experiences some of us had already had with out own children.

By listening to all these stories on thing that has stuck in my mind is that as long as you are well informed, open and honest then you can’t go far wrong.

Relax And Regroup At Camp Bestival

Last year was our first time at Camp Bestival and we were a little overwhelmed with the amount of fabulous stuff going on; So much so that there were a few areas that we didn’t really make the most of, with the Slow Motion area being one of them.

Last year was all about the kids for us really and all our activities were planned around them. What would have been fabulous would be to get a little break from the excitement and take a little time out for ourselves.

Slow Motion has a range of massage treatments from sports massage to reflexology, Reiki sessions that you can go along to on your own or with your children or a relaxing and revitalising Shiatsu massage that will help you restore the calm and leave you ready to enjoy the rest of the festival.

The indulgence doesn’t stop there though. The Transformation Station allows you to get away from the communal showers and hop into a solar power shower and treat yourself to the use of a hairdryer and straighteners which I know is something missed by a lot of people when camping!

From here you can head over and enjoy getting your hair braided, some nail art done or get really festival ready with some super cool body and glitter art by the talented Jingo.

I know that after a few days of one to many G&Ts and lots of indulgent food my body was craving something a little healthier and this is the perfect place to grab some healthy and nutritious food and drink.

Something my husband was keen to try last year was the nature run. It’s a perfect way to set yourself up for the day and allows you to step off site for a while and take in the beauty that surrounds Lulworth Castle with the chance to clear your head and slip in some peaceful meditation too.

I know this is a must for us this year and I’m sure something that would be a big pull for many busy parents.

 

Olsson Haircare Collection Review

We are a pretty sensitive bunch in this house with my husband and youngest two being eczema sufferers and psoriasis causing regular problems for me.

Over the years I have found plentiful products that deal with sensitive skin but not so much in the realms of haircare.

I found this particularly hard with the boys as I have always been very careful to keep their baths product free so when it comes to hair washing it always has to be done before they get in the bath which they hate and just adds extra time and stress to bath time.

We were asked by the Scandinavian company Olsson to try out their haircare range that has been formulated especially for sensitive skin.

Their products have been geared towards allergy and asthma sufferers but would be suitable for the whole family to use.

All additives, perfumes and parabens have been avoided, leaving a haircare range that would cover a huge range of allergies and sensitivities.

It is a complete collection that covers cleansing, conditioning and styling and offers shampoos, conditioners, mouses, hairspray and styling wax.

I am always a little apprehensive about trying new things on the children but given they all have the seal of approval from Allergy UK it put my mind at rest and was happy for us all to see how they stood up to the test.

The volume shampoo left us all with squeaky clean hair and I didn’t miss the fact it wasn’t scented like I thought I would be.

It caused no irritation to the boys scalp or their skin even though the suds were I the bath with them for a good while.

The wash off conditioner was a great addition to our haircare routine and the addition of aloe vera and B5 left all our hair really soft and conditioned.

Number three has very unruly, long hair that always need a little extra TLC so the spray in conditioner was easily combed though and didn’t leave any sticky residue like a lot of leave in conditioners can.

The styling products were left down to my to try and first up was the spray, lift and hold mousse. Instead of spraying into your hand and applying to your hair it is sprayed directly onto the roots.

It was a little watery for my liking but still gave me good hold and was easy to blow dry once on.

With my flyaway hair a good hairspray is an everyday essential for me and Olsson have created a medium hold hairspray that didn’t sting my scalp like many hairspray a can and controlled my straggly hairs perfectly all day.

I found the whole of Olsson’s range perfect for the whole family. No irritations and perfectly cleansed and styled hair for us all!

*we were given these products for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

The Drama Of Antenatal Hair Loss 

Those first few months with a new born are the most precious you will ever have and something that flies by in the blink of an eye.

They are also the most problematic and whilst you are getting to know your precious little bundle your body will be going through nearly as many changes as it has in pregnancy.

Your body will be slowly getting itself back to it pre-pregnancy state and those pesky hormones levels will be trying to get themselves back onto an even keel.

Unfortunately for me and around 40% of women the drop in hormones means that the long thick hair you have been sporting will leave; causing thinness and sometime receding hairlines and bald patches.

After five pregnancies and what seems like more hair loss each time I have been left with extremely lacklustre locks that has been a real knock to my confidence.

There are however some things you can do to help improve this:

  • A Good Diet – a diet rich in fruit, vegetable and good fats such as oily fish and nuts will help feed your hair from the inside and in turn rejuvenate hair growth.
  • Over Brushing – avoid over brushing your hair, especially when wet as your hair is at its most brittle.
  • Stop The Pigtails – putting your hair up in a ponytail of plaits everyday can put your hair under a lot of strain so make sure you give your hair a good break.
  • Advanced Trico Pigmentation advanced trico pigmentation is for  those of you that want to try something to really help you recreate fuller and thicker hair as well as recreate a hairline that may be missing from hair loss.

 

My Impulse Buying Sorted With ‘Your 5’

My Impulse Buying Sorted With ‘Your 5’

Last week I wrote a post about the ‘Your 5’ event that was being put on by the two main shopping centres in central Croydon – Centrale and the Whitgift Centre.

I was going along to this event with an open mind and not really knowing what to expect.

I was plesently surprised when I was greeted by a beeming smile and a group of super friendly and eagar ladies, all ready and waiting to help me get my clothes and make up sorted for this season.

I’m a bit of a magpie when it comes to clothes shopping and I’m always drawn in by that sparky item that I immediately fall in love with and then get home to find it goes with nothing in my wardrobe.

My personal stylist who was very personable and stylish herself explained to me the theory behind the event and how they have used the train of though of the French woman who all swear by the rule of only needing five key pieces in your wardrobe, that can then be mixed and matched with different items to create a perfect capsule wardrobe.

iPad in hand all my details were logged and I was walked around the five key groups of the boot, the knit, the coat, the wide legged trouser and the skirt.


Each section had clothes and boots pulled from a selection of stores across the two shopping centres and covered every base with the very young, the school run Mum and the older lady.

Cosy knits, slouchy trousers and structured office wear all featured and I could honestly say I would challange anyone to not find something that would suit their style and taste.

I always like something a little different from the norm and was really happy that there were a lot of edgy pieces in there and not just classic styles which is what I was expecting.

I spent a good twenty minutes looking at gorgeous embroidered details that were on the new favourite ‘Mum’ style jean, checking out the classic cosy parka that is a staple for any school run and a huge array of skirts with my favourite being a stunning gold pleated number from M and S, who along with Next will now be somewhere I shop a lot more since spotting some great pieces.


The magpie in me really came out when we got to the huge array of glitzy ankle boots, but I was steered in the right direction and opted for some beautiful grey ones that were equally as pretty but just a lot more wearable!


An item from each section was selected and logged into the iPad allowing me to have a print out of my favourite key items to take away and have an easy way to find the items in store.


Along with this printout there is also an easy to download app called Centrale PLUS that offers you lots of fabulous discounts at many of their stores.

With my mind buzzing from everything I had just taken in it was time to sit back and relax whist having a much needed update to my makeup.


In was safe in the expert hands of celebrity makeup artist Sally Rowe who gave me a real wake up to how quick and simple it is to create a bright and fresh look with a small amount of products and very little time.

My makeup had not changed since my teens and is really something they needed an overhaul, and Sally has given me the encouragement to do just that.

She even managed to create the perfect eyeliner flock that I’m now going to be practicing myself!


*I was a gifted Centrale/Whitgift voucher for taking part in this event and they are all my own, honest opinion.

Your Autumn Wardrobe Sorted With Your 5 Event

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For the past few years I have really struggled with my style and have moments of confidence that are then quickly overshadowed with a lot of self doubt regarding my appearance.

I will go out and pick random pieces that I love and then struggle to style with anything else in my wardrobe.

My makeup has not really moved on since my teens and this is another area that really need evaluating as my skin is getting older and more distressed due to the stress of all my little people!

I would love nothing more than someone else injecting their opinion into my style and creating a capsule wardrobe that will allow me to have some great key pieces to see me though the Autumn and winter season.

Thankfully Centrale and Whitgift have come together to offer their ‘Your 5’ event from the 7th-9th October, which enables you to book a slot for free with a stylist to select five key pieces for  you or a makeup artist to select the perfect makeup for your skin type and tone.

The first fifty people to book and download the Plus App will be gifted a goodie bag at their consultation and be in with the chance to win a £250 gift voucher.

If you fancy getting some advice from the experts and being in with the chance of grabbing some fantastic goodies then click ‘here‘ to book your space.

Im going to be popping along on Friday so keep an eye out for how I get on.

Skinfix:Eczema And Sensitive Skincare Launch

We were asked along to have brunch at The Riding House Cafe in London the other week to celebrate the launch of the Canadian skincare brand Skinfix in Boots stores.


We were treated to some good food and copious amounts of coffee whilst hearing all about the new range that I was hoping to be of great benefit to my family.


My husband and my two youngest boys all suffer from eczema and for well over a year we had a horrendous time with number three backwards and forwards to the doctors and several hospital stays because of his condition.

I really feel that I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to both prescribed and over the counter treatments for skin conditions as in desperation we have tried anything we could get our hands on.

At first glance of the Skinfix range I was very impressed by the attractive packaging.  They have steered clear of the clinical approach and gone for something that is gender-neutral and would look great on any bathroom shelf.

This award winning range that is based around using natural ingredients keeping it free from fragrance, sulphates, parabens and phthalates is mid range in price but with the most expensive product coming it at under £18 I don’t think this is to heftier a price tag.

With my mind racing with all this fresh information we set of home to see how they held up on my itchy little ones.


I tried the soothing wash and lotion from the adult range which unfortunately wasn’t suitable for my husband as it contains nuts but worked really well on my dry hands that are worn down due to the everyday ups and downs of parenting.

The real test was the new baby range that is set to hit the shelves soon. 

 Number four still gets large areas of eczema that irritate him day and night. After a couple of weeks of using the gentle eczema balm the areas because less red in appearance and the itching was greatly soothed.  It was easy to apply and the squeezable tube was much better to use than having to scrape from a large pot that tends to get messy with the thicker creams.

Number five has more generalised dry skin that give him terrible problems with sleeping at night.  The gentle lotion was easily absorbed and kept his skin soothed all night.

My favourite product by far though was the hair and body wash.  I always found it a struggle to keep shampooing seperate from the bath water.  This combination allowed me to bath them so much quicker as there was no separate hair washing to be done.

This range is suitable for day to day dryness of the skin to more serious skin conditions.  It really is a fabulous range that I will most definitely be stocking up on!