Thursday, 31 January 2013

Putting pen to paper

As much as I love an iPad, iPhone, laptop etc, the traditional values that were instilled by my parents mean that I still write thank you notes for Christmas and Birthday gifts, and that is now doubled up until Max can write... 

James always says that he thinks cards are a waste of money, but I love writing something lovely and heartfelt in a card, and regularly leave one on his pillow for him if I am going up to my mums for a few days.  We don't do Valentines day either, but I still get him a non-Valentines day Valentines card!

For the first time in years I actually had a Christmas list for 2012, on it was 'some kind of nice notebook and 'a nice pen', for me to take to my meetings.  A lot of people take their iPads or laptops into meetings and tap away but i find it really distracting and also worry that they are playing angry birds or writing how dull their meeting is on facebook or twitter!  Hence my good old fashioned pen and paper.

So imagine my squeal of excitement when I opened my present from Max (he may have had a little help from daddy). 

I'm a bit of a freak when it comes to my writing, It is quite pretty but if i write fast, it just looks like a spider has fallen into a pot of ink and run across my page.  So i never write on the first page in case I mess it up!!  This is my meetings notebook, not my day to day scribbles, god forbid.  


The pen was from them both, it is Cross, and writes beautifully and yes, both have been used in several meetings so far, and to be honest, nobody has noticed.  How rude.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Size matters...

...when it comes to travelling with make up

Ever since I dropped my brand new dior foundation a few years ago and it smashed beyond recognition I am always wary of travelling with glass.  If you follow me on twitter you will know I am the clumsiest person on this earth.

I picked up a tester of YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat before I bought it, I always do this nowadays as have given away so many foundations that looked fine in the shop and then have realised the colour resembles an oompah loompah or similar when I get home.  I dread to think of the money wasted over the years.

I loved the sample and so bought the full size product, and as much as I love a pump dispenser for foundation, I invariably end up pumping too much (oooer) and have some left on the back of my hand.  Due to my hate for waste I now always keep the tester and simply scrape the excess into the tester bottle.  Hey presto, little wastage!  Even better; a teeny foundation pot that gives me around 5 days of war paint.

Do you have any tips for travelling with foundation to keep your make up bag a little lighter?

Monday, 28 January 2013

What's in a Name?

I only set up my blog on Friday night, but have already had quite a few people ask what the name is all about, so I thought I would write a quick post to explain.

My immediate family's names spell out swan (Sarah;big sister, Wendy;Mum, Abby and Neil;Dad), and 6 years ago I finally got together with my soulmate James, who I since had a baby with.  Therefore our first name initials spell jam (James, Abby and Max).

So I have gone from being the youngest in a wonderful family, to now having my own wonderful family, which is how I decided on the name.  I plan for this blog to be personal to me; my personal space, where I can take off the Mummy hat, the work hat, and just talk about what I want to, whether it is make up, or a subject or cause close to my heart (coming up soon), I really hope you enjoy reading it as much as I am already enjoying writing.

James and Max

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Getting the most out of your NEOM candle

I have made no secret of the fact that in November 2012 I finally started working for one of my favourite brands, Neom Luxury Organics.  I have been in love with the products for about 5 years, and have always shouted about them to anyone that would listen, so to now be managing accounts that stock NEOM is perfect for me!  You may look at this post as mercilessly plugging a brand I work for, but if I didn't believe in a brand, I wouldn't sell it, and I certainly wouldn't bother blogging about it!

More so than not, people just light a candle as soon as they take it out of the box/cellophane and I was guilty of this too before I had a NEOM candle, and due to the quite specific instructions, I figured I would take notice of them.  So I did trim the wicks, and I did burn it for the first time for a minimum of 2 hours.

This is what a NEOM candle should look like when it has been burning for over 2 hours.  The wicks will still stand upright, they will not droop into the wax, you can see it has burnt totally evenly, no mess around the edge of the glass.

If you are spending more than a fiver on a candle, treat it nicely!  Once it has cooled down, trim the wicks so it is ready for next time, and if you can get a lid for it, do.  It then doesn't end up covered in dust.  If it does end up covered in dust, just give it a light wipe with a baby wipe.  If you get the pillaring effect on one of our candles, (the walls of the candle stay in tact and the candle burns down the middle) then you've not listened to me!! 

This is a NEOM candle that has been burnt for about 3 hours
This is what a NEOM candle should look like when finished - a completely clean glass

If you want to try this for yourself, then pop along to as there is a special offer on at the moment too!

Friday, 25 January 2013

J'adore Dior

Since I am so loyal to Josie at @nailsmakeupme and will not go to anyone else for a mani or pedi, it means that sometimes I can't have my gelish done as often as I'd like, so after being recommended Dr Lewinns (post to come in a few weeks once trialled) renunail, I am getting excited about my nails becoming less paperlike, and being able to paint them myself more often.

So at last I can get excited about pretty new colours for the new season, and just looking at the colours of the new Dior Cherie Bow Collection sends me into a bit of a frenzy...I'm not sure whether it is because the pinks remind me of marshmallows and I am desperately trying to not cave and eat rubbish, or just that the dusky yet clean colours remind me of pretty and graceful ballerinas. 

The colours are Tutu, Rosy Bow and Gris Trianon and by all accounts they have pearly particles in to give an incredible shine and sparkly.  Just re-reading what I have written makes me so desperate to try them!  I am quite keen on getting all 3 and experimenting with a twist on a French manicure, I have never had a French Manicure in my life, as they are just not me, Dior what are you doing to me?

Have you tried any of these colours yet?

Going it alone

I'm nervous.  Really nervous.  I used to hassle Clare on to post on her blog more often, so we decided i'd join her and we'd become a blogging duo.  I have always been so keen to read and write and this worked out perfectly, as I could do it quite anonymously behind fashion femme.

Anyway, I've been guest blogging with Clare for probably 6 months and have decided I wanted to make the jump and do it myself.

So here I am, my design is pretty lame, I will take advice from anyone that can help me make this look incredible and easy on the eyes, and in the meantime, please give me your honest feedback on how I am doing.  This will be a blog about everything, I am Jack of all trades, Master of none, so will be talking all things beauty, hair, fashion, lifestyle, kids and just topics that mean something to me.