Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Introducing Alfie.

24th July 2017.
Alfie Stuart Dera was born, at 7.10am. 

.. and I had no idea I was even in labour. We rang our local hospital as I was getting what I thought were just constipation pains?! Mad looking back at it now, but they didn't feel like contractions - my waters hadn't broke, the 'plug' hadn't come away, and I had no back pain at all, so what I assumed contractions and labour to be like, it really wasn't at all.

We went in at 12.00am, thinking they would check me over and give me tablets for the pain and send me on my way; turns out I was actually 2cm dilated! the next few hours were a bit odd as we were advised to go back home but then told to stay as they just wanted to confirm something with the doctor - didn't actually see the bloke in the end though because I went into active labour so quick. We spent this time chilling in the 'relaxation room' which, wasn't all that relaxing. 

I was around 3cms dilated at 4am, so opted to jump in the bath and wait the next cm out as you have to be 4cms to even have gas and air. This did basically nothing as I was in so much pain, so I hopped straight out and asked for pain relief. My midwife gave me something, honestly couldn't tell you what it was, but again it did nothing. It made the space in-between contractions really peaceful but by the time they did come around, I was so tired and it made things 10x harder. Not ideal really. 

It was then that I was basically screaming my head off demanding an epidural. So my midwife popped the tube thing (soz, I don't supply the sciencey words here, clueless) into my hand ready for the epidural. However, no one (including myself) realised that it was far, far too late for this as id managed to go from being 3cms dilated, to 10cms in just an hour, my midwife says this could usually take people up to 10 hours, and it took me just one!? This absolutely terrified as I suddenly realised Id have to push this baby out on gas and air alone. But that's exactly what I did.

A few pushes later, awful, bloody painful pushes later, our little baby was here. The first thing I said was "I did it, without an epidural!" I was so proud of myself.

The pain was honestly like nothing id ever experienced. I don't want to put people off of having babies haha, but it was horrific. Im so glad it was a quick labour as Im not sure I could've coped had it been any longer. 

3 hours later at 10.10am, we made our way back home. Never in my life did I think I would be heading home just 3 hours after having a baby, that seemed mental to me, but everything was fine despite a tiny tear down below, and actually it was so much nicer being back home. 

Finally, before I head off for more baby cuddles, I wanted to say a huge thank you to the lovely people at Very Vez for sending Alfie his very first printed quote (pictured above) to hang on his bedroom wall, we absolutely love it. They've also very kindly given you guys a 10% off code should you fall in love with any of their prints like I did; you just have to use the code SOPH10. 

We are so so in love with our little boy and couldn't feel more proud to call him ours. Its so surreal that he's actually here now, that's taking a while to get our head around haha, but he's just so lovely.

Soph & Matt x

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*this post contains a gifted item, however all comments and opinions are my own and 100% honest because telling lies isn't cool*

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Hel's Bells Lipstick | A New Purchase!

Ive only gone and done it again haven't I, another Charlotte Tilbury lipstick to add to my ever growing collection.. Ive pretty much fallen in love with it, so I had to share my new purchase with you. 

Whilst browsing the Charlotte Tilbury website, which I should add, is incredibly dangerous when you've just been paid, I 'accidentally' stumbled upon the lipstick section, and we all know I'm a sucker for CT lipsticks.

Initially I was looking to buy the shade Glastonberry,which is a really dark purple matte shade. But I opted for Hel's Bells as its a smidgen lighter, don't get me wrong theyre incredibly similar however Hel's bells is slightly more berry toned, in fact it's actually described as being a magenta-mulberry shade, which is pretty accurate. 

I absolutely love the look of Charlottes matte revolution lipsticks and this one hasn't disappointed, the shape of the lipstick, and the print on the actual stick itself is just so beautiful. Ive always been a girl who likes to wear dark vampy lipsticks and I'm so so looking forward to using Hel's Bells when Autumn starts to make an appearance, which actually, won't be too far away now! I won't lie though, I'm still eyeing up Glastonberry.. a girl can never have too many berry shades.

What do you think? Have you fallen in love with it too or is it a little too dark for you?!

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*items in this post were purchased by me, and all opinions are my own*

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Perfect Summer Meringues | Recipe

Would you just look at me mind, hitting 'publish' on a bloody recipe blog post, get a load of that. I am going up in the world. You better believe it.

Being the heavily pregnant, hormonal little wench that I am at the moment, honestly, this is no exaggeration - if anything I am fully playing this down, I have been what I like to call; a hungry miserable bitch - I have had many upon many of cravings during the whole pregnancy. One thats stuck though is meringues. The last time I had one I was about 7 years old at my step dads mums house on a Sunday afternoon. Marvellous. 

So over the past few months I'd been buying a silly amount of packs, wasting an awful lot of money because y'know, not an essential on your food shop but apparently I needed 5 boxes just incase I 'ran out'. I did. 5 boxes gone within a week. Yep. That happened. 

Anyway, whilst wasting so much money, my nan visited me recently and told me they're actually super easy to make at home, so off she went whizzing around the kitchen making a batch for me, & my oh my they are SO EFFING GOOD. So good that I had to share her recipe with you incase like me you are a meringue obsessive this summer.


- 3 Large Eggs (just the whites)

- 175g Caster Sugar (white)

- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract


- Preheat your oven to 140°C/fan120°C/gas 1

- Separate egg whites, whisk them to form stiff peaks (use an electric whisk!)

- Slowly add the sugar, 1tbsp at a time 

- Add the vanilla extract

- Mixture should be stiff, and look glossy

- Spoon mixture onto baking tray (lined with baking paper), my Nans a perfectionist and made her own little peaks and spent ages making them look prettybut you don't need to be this pretentious hahah.

- Bake for 1 1/4 hours for a chewy meringue, or 1 1/2 for crunchy. 

- Allow to cool down then demolish every single one like I did. In 2 days. Yep.

These have honestly been a godsend this summer, I've paired mine with fresh fruit and I am truly addicted, they don't half look impressive too! My nan is an absolute gem in the kitchen, how cute do they look?!


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Sunday, 16 July 2017

June & July 2017 | Photo Diary

Do forgive how early but also how late this post is going up.. I majorly failed with Junes photo diary, and I just know with baby due any day now, July will probably be a fail too, so here we have a mix of the two! What a fab blogger I am, the absolute best. 

Despite being heavily pregnant to the point where baby could arrive any second, I still somehow have time for the bath bombs, bubble bars, and candles in my life. Sigh! Bunny Cake has been my absolute favourite to burn in the living room throughout June, it smells like vanilla icing and who doesn't like a bit of that!?

I rediscovered my love for the beauty that is MACs Mariah Carey collection lipstick in the shade Mcizzle, completely heart eyed over all that glitter. But of course, I still haven't brought myself to actually using it, I can't bring myself to ruining its perfect prettiness!

Having moved out just before the summer began, it meant I actually went through all my makeup and brushes and gave away the bits I didn't use, it was hard to do but I'm so glad I did it because it reminded me of all the products/brushes I have that don't get much use, this being one of them. Too Faced products are my absolute favourite, not only because they're so bloody pretty, but the quality is amazing. This brush honestly feels like teddy bear fur, I kid you not, and how pretty is the baby blue and gold combo?!

The only good thing about maternity leave.. I'm home long enough to create amazing milkshakes - this one was galaxy chocolate favourite and honestly, looking at this photo now is making me want another, it was too good, and probably seriously unhealthy but we'll skip past that..

A cheaper alternative to the ever so popular Tom Ford lipsticks, these little beauties have been a part of my collection for over a year now but were rarely used because I just own too many lipsticks. Thankfully though I parted with the ones I don't use too much and these are now sitting proudly on top of my dressing table, which is where they thoroughly deserve to stay because they are just beautiful.

& finally, strawberry picking has been a love this summer. Being the whale that I currently am, I didn't think id be able to go this year, but luckily the strawberries were grown on tables which meant I didn't have to bend at all. Which was a good job really, as I really don't think I would be able to get back up again haha. I wrote a post a few weeks back on the whole day out as I loved it so much, you can read that here.

All of the above photos have been taken from my Instagram @sophcullen

I hope you're all having the best summer, 

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

4 LUSH Cosmetics Favourites That Aren't Bath Bombs

Surprise surprise here we have another LUSH post. If you can't sense my love for LUSH by now then something is seriously, seriously wrong..

My usual LUSH posts would normally consist of pretty bath bombs & face masks, admittedly though.. normally Bath Bombs - I'm obsessed! I don't think there has ever been a time when I've stepped away from that (which is surprisingly difficult because we all know how bloody amazing LUSH's bath bombs and face masks are) however to mix things up a bit I thought I would share my 4 favourite products that don't always get the attention they deserve.

Lip Scrubs.

Admittedly I used to think people who bought a LUSH lip scrub were being pretty silly and wasting their money, as, lets be honest.. I could quite literally head to my kitchen mix up some sugar, syrup & flavouring and voila! my very own, much cheaper, lip scrub. How wrong I was though. Obviously, these are super easy to make yourself, but why bother when the hard work is done for you? They smell amazing, taste amazing, and last a lot longer than any home made scrub would do. I tend to use mine on a morning when I know I plan to wear certain lipsticks that might be a little drying, and it works wonders. The scrub in the above photo is from LUSH's Christmas range, however you can find the flavours they currently have available here. 

Body Conditioners. 

Never in my life have I ever experienced such baby soft skin until I used LUSH's body conditioners. Im not just saying this, but this little invention is my favourite thing from LUSH. Yep, I said it. You apply the body conditioner whilst in the bath/shower - something I didn't realise when I first used it. You rub it in thoroughly, I tend to leave it to 'soak in' for a few minutes although you really don't need to do this, and then wash it off before I get out. You're then left with baby soft skin, I can't actually describe how soft my skin feels when I use this, my other half notices when I use it too! Which for a bloke to notice, you know it must be good. Again, the one pictured is from the Christmas range as I stocked up because I love the scent, however you can find the scents LUSH currently have available here.

Bubble Bars.

The Comforter scent has always been my absolute favourite from LUSH, I love the fruity scents the best and The Comforter in a bubble bar form doesn't disappoint. It's not as strong as the shower creme, however still leaves my skin smelling amazing for hours when I get out the bath. This particular one will last me a good 4 or 5 baths, granted at £4.95 its a little more pricey than your average bubble bar, but it lasts so much longer. It's a firm favourite and one I will always repurchase. It also creates an insane amount of bubbles, so much so that i'll run myself a bath, come back and it's literally overflowing haha. You can find it here.

Shower Gels.

Another LUSH product that is a staple in my bathroom. Especially in the scent 'Plum Rain'. Im rubbish at describing scents, but to me this literally smells like a greenhouse, as soon as I smelt it it reminded me of being in my nan greenhouse when I was little, think warm tomatoes?! - odd as it's not tomato scented I know haha.. it's super thick and fruity, I usually have to warm it up in the bath with me so it's slightly runnier and easier to use, but aside from the comforter it's my new favourite and again, another product that I keep repurchasing. 

Aside from Bath Bombs, what are your LUSH staples?!

Soph xo

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*all items in this post were purchased by myself, opinions are honest & my own because telling lies isn't cool*

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The LUSH Cosmetics Face Mask That Saved My Skin This Summer

LUSH Cosmetics has been my go to brand for skincare and bath products for a good few years now. I remember the first product I ever bought was Space Girl bath bomb about 7 or 8 years ago. Now here I am,  completely Lush obsessed with too many bath bombs to my name. 

However taking a slight step away from the bath bomb obsession, I had to share my new holy grail face mask with you all. Ive been using it non stop recently and it's absolutely saved my skin.

Being the complete Lush obsessive that I am, I don't think there's many Lush face masks I haven't tried. Although Mask Of Magnaminity has taken first place with regards to sorting my skin out. Not that it was that terrible before, but it definitely had it's problems. I had very dry, spot prone skin before. Whereas now it's got a pretty good balance, and I honestly don't remember the last time I had a spot, which is absolutely mental for someone like me who was used to always having at least one making home on my face every day! Not ideal. I choose to apply the mask with a brush, and exfoliate my face with it by rubbing it with a flannel as I take it off, which I've found to be the most convenient way for me. 

The biggest difference you may have noticed from Lush's regular packaging, is the flowery design on the pot. I love this, it looks so pretty and was one of the main things that made it stand out to me in the shop. It just means that the face mask is self preserving - it contains extra antibacterial honey whereas the 'regular' version doesn't, meaning it keeps itself clean and doesn't grow any micro-organisms, which is pretty clever. Because of this the mask is a lot thicker than the original version, which I don't mind too much though, as obviously you're getting a face mask which lasts a lot longer. Essentially, you're getting more for your money and who doesn't love that?!

Other than the beaut packing, and it smelling absolutely amazing (minty goodness) it's been a life saver this summer. If you live in the UK, you'll know we've been blessed with insanely hot weather recently. Being a pregnant whale at the moment, I've found it so difficult to cool myself down, I pop this little beauty in the fridge to add an extra chill, which if I'm honest you don't really need to do, as the mint in the face mask immediately cools you down and feels incredible on a stupidly hot day! - so this is definitely one for you if you'd like a face mask to wake you up in the morning thats for sure. 

I will 100% be repurchasing when I eventually run out, it's my new holy grail and I honestly don't think my skin would would be looking/feeling so fab without it this summer. 

Soph xo

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