Friday, 31 July 2015

The Benefit up to 60% off sale starts today!

Hi guys,
Just a quick post, as I received an email alert that the Benefit sale was starting today. It's the first time they've ever had a sale on this scale, and there are discounts of up to 60% to be had. I've always been a fan of the classic Benefit products (such as Benetint and BrowZings) but since I got the Benefit Advent calendar at Christmas i've been turned on to loads of their other products that I simply can't live without! My brows, in particular, certainly wouldn't be the same without Benefit: I'm slightly obsessed with my eyebrows and won't use any other brand on them.With that in mind here are my sale picks:

Smokin' eyes set. Was £28.50 now £20
I actually reviewed this here a long time ago, and I love it as much now as I did then . It contains everything you need to have perfect brows, as well as a kit to create wonderfully dramatic smokey eyes too. There was a time where the only make up I carried in my hand bag was this (now my skin needs a little more help and I carry a make up bag with me!) but my passion for this remains!

Benetint pocket pal. Was £15.50 now £7.25
I really love Benetint: It is a really lovely cheek and lip stain with a pretty, subtle colour, and iconic enough that you really don't need me to tell you about it. This pocket pal though takes benetint and makes it easy to use and apply when you're out and about, with the added bonus of being double ended and having a clear lipgloss as part of the set too. Perfect for sealing in the Benetint colour once you've popped it on.

Some kind of gorgeous. Was £24.50 now £17.50
Another throw back to my favourites from years ago, but for young clear skin that doesn't need much help, but does need to be evened out and given a great smooth base, this is the best product I have tried. I am also slightly in love with the packaging, which looks much better in your handbag than a bulky liquid foundation.

The Benefit sale is only set to last for two weeks, but I predict, with enthusiasts of the brand being quite so, erm, enthusiastic, that the most popular discounted products will be sold out long before then.They are also offering free delivery on any order over £40 so if you're buying several items, you'll get your delivery for free. I've definitely seen a few bits and pieces to add to my shopping basket!

Love Tor x

*This post contains affiliate links 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Family Friendly Holidays: Center Parcs Europe, Port Zandvoort

Hi guys,
Well everyone is talking about summer holidays, but we've already been on holiday twice this year, so no more breaks for us until 2016! However my mahusive hiatus means that I've yet to share my holiday snaps, which is the perfect thing to do on this gloomy evening. How is it July when I'm wearing fleecy PJs and wrapped up in a lap blanket?!

Anyway. Holiday for 2015 number one: Back in April we went to a Center Parcs parc in Port Zandvoort, which is in Holland, Much cheaper than Center Parcs in the UK, but with all the same great facilities, Zandvoort also has the bonus of being the place my parents took my sisters and I when we were kids. We loved it then, so I bundled everyone (including mum and dad) up in the car and hopped on the 8 hour Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland: a cinema, little soft play area and restaurants on the boat meant the time flied by. The park was just a short 40 minute drive the other side. Easy peasy!
Once there we enjoyed  days out to Amsterdam (where I have an obsession with peeking into the houseboats) and Haarlem, a trip to the Efteling theme park (another one of my childhood favourites), and of course spent tons of time enjoying all the activities on the park. The swimming pool complex was amazing (Wilbur's first time in a wave pool and on a water slide!), it was a short walk away from a beautiful beach, and there was a boating lake, bikes to hire, an on-site petting zoo, mini golf and bowling. Not sophisticate five star style, I admit, but just the best family fun with so much to see and do.
If you're travelling with smalls and looking for the easiest and most hassle-free holiday ever then this one comes heartily recommended; it was so much fun every step of the way, and the most laid back trip we have been on so far. In fact, we loved it so much that we've already started looking at other resorts in holiday we can visit next year!

Have you got any nice holidays coming up? Make me jealous with your tales of sunny beaches and cocktails by the sea!

Love Tor x

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Fabfrocks for Mamas: Summer ice lolly craft for toddlers

Hi guys,
Breaking what has been the longest blog hiatus I have ever taken, I just had to share these super-cute photos of Wilbur and I brightening up today's rainy day with some crafty time at home.

I've been itching to start blogging again for a while, but the pressures of all the freelance work I've been doing just took over, and I didn't have the time to fit in work, being a good mummy and a hobby as well. What's more, fashion isn't as important to me as it used to be: working from home and having a toddler means I tend to wear a one-size-fits all mum uniform, and whilst I still love clothes, it doesn't consume my every waking moment the way it used to. But I still want to document what I do, and what I love, and my occasional fashion thoughts and obsessions, so I thought I'd give it another shot! So here are the results of our messy, fun creativity session:
After making a mess with lots of paint and painting our hands, our next task was to make some paper ice lollies to decorate some homemade birthday cards. I cut out all of the different lolly shapes and details (striped, spots, chocolate toppings  - as you can see, the pink spots were a firm favourite in our house) and then let Wilbur mix and match to create his favourite lollies and construct them. It really was as easy as that, but the results look great (although maybe not as polished as they would have been if they were created by an older child)
If you have some lolly sticks that would look even better (mine are cut out of beige paper) and hundreds and thousands would also have looked great, rather than the glitter, but I was worried about them becoming discoloured by the glue. Overall though, this is the perfect summertime craft that can be done by kids of any age. As an added bonus, it means we've made a start on cards for all of those summer holiday birthday parties we have coming up!

Love Tor x

Friday, 13 February 2015

Primark's Spring New Season Accessories

Hi guys,
The evenings are getting lighter, the temperatures are warming up, and although it's only February, there are definitely days where it feels like Spring is on its way. I am quite vocal about my dislike of summer dressing: no layers, lots of sweat, and all the prettiest dresses simply aren't designed for ladies that need to wear a more structured bra with thicker bra straps.Tran-seasonal dressing, where I can layer up and be a little more experimental, however I love! So I couldn't be more excited for spring to arrive so that I can shake off my coat and pop on a jacket, and that excitement was piqued when I saw these great new season accessories from Primark:
 photo primark accessories 1_zpsmr50zhvk.jpg
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 photo primark accessories 3_zpsu40qoada.jpg photo primark accessories 4_zpsf6rvnoi1.jpgMetallic sandals, £7: Floral shoes, £10: Floral patterned sandals, £12: Silver bag, £6: Punch detail bag, £8. 

The pared back and minimalist 90s really aren't going anywhere this season, and those metallic sandals are perfect for working with that. Primark also still seem to be channeling a more grungy '90s style too, both with their accessories but especially with their fashion ranges. I actually had a version of that silver camera-case style bag back in my school days (mine was black) and I thought I was the bees knees! Although I do love Primark (I've tried to give up my Primark shopping addiction but it keeps pulling me back) I've never really paid much attention to their accessories offerings: I only every buy leather accessories and generally don't buy high street shoes and bags at all. However some of these cotton pieces in particular would be great for occasional use or for packing away and taking on holiday. Yet another thing to look out for when I next indulge myself with a cheap shopping binge: Primark, you've gone and done it again!

Love Tor x

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Don't forget Valentine's Day.....

Hi guys,
It always amazes me just how many people forget Valentine's day each year - not because I think everyone should celebrate it, simply because it is shoved down our throats from every angle! Every advert on TV, every shop with hearts and flowers in the window, every second press release I've recieved for a month...You might not like it, or choose to celebrate it, but you certainly can't forget it!
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I'm not big on Valentine's spending, and some of the press releases for suggested gifts I've received this year are, frankly, weird (coca cola baseball cape or extra thick welly socks, anyone?) but I have made little bags of goodies for my two lovely gentlemen: love heart sweets, gummy sweets, and cookie pops adorned with stereotypical love hearts popped into clear bags and tied up with a ribbon. Each bag cost around £1.50 to make and they'll be gone by Saturday lunchtime, but I just think this holiday, of all holidays, really shouldn't be about money and spending.
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I hear a lot of people say that they don't believe in Valentine's day because they don't need one day to tell someone that they love them. Lucky them! I love Mike very much. But frankly, when you both have busy jobs and a toddler running around, an occasion that reminds you to take some time out from the seemingly endless stream of things to do and spend some time together is also very welcome.

I'll be spending my Valentine's Day at the cinema watching this season's most hotly anticipated new release which so far has received rave guessed it: Peppa Pig and The Golden Boots! Wilbur has been looking forward to it for weeks. But as I'll be watching it with my two favourite people in the whole world (and my two valentine's) I couldn't think of anything better!

Love Tor x

Monday, 2 February 2015

Fabfrocks for Mamas: Sick toddlers, working for myself and more!

Hi guys,
This week has been a difficult week in the Fabfrocks household. Last Monday I took Wilbur to the doctors with what I thought was a nasty cold, only to find myself in the children's ward of the local hospital an hour later. My little man had acute bacterial tonsilitis which had caused a dangerously high temperature and left his heart rate beating much too fast. He looked very small sitting in his hospital bed, and scared the living daylights out of his mummy and daddy!
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From the minute we had our first scan to the moment he was born and on a semi-regular basis ever since, we remember to be thankful that Wilbur is a healthy and happy boy. (Definitely not taking that for granted) What that means though is that when he's poorly, it hits you like a ton of bricks! He was soon home with his antibiotics and being as demanding as you would expect an unwell two year old to be. In real terms that equated to sleepless nights (and when he did sleep, it was on mummy on the sofa, meaning that I didn't sleep) lots of cuddles and attention, plenty of fetching and carrying, and absolutely no opportunity to do any work (because Wilbur couldn't go to nursery and didn't want to be without his mummy for a moment!)

I love working for myself, but this week I was reminded of the obvious drawbacks. When you work for yourself, you can't just take a couple of days off: client deadlines need to be met, there's no one to pick up the slack for you, and when you don't work you don't get paid. That meant working late into the night and in every available snatched moment to get everything done and not let anyone down.

Basically the point of this post is that poorly kids are hard work, man! Especially when you have other commitments and other people depending on you. I think 'work at home mums' are an often ignored group in the working mum/stay at home mum debate. My mummy friends often tell me how lucky I am to have the best of both worlds because I get to do the job I love and I never miss out on any of Wilbur's key moments: we play everyday, I take him swimming and to his dance classes, we paint and go on play dates.

Most of the time I feel lucky. I do have the best of both worlds, but it comes at a price, such as having to work long and peculiar hours to ensure that my working doesn't impact on Wilbur's life too much. But this week I think I probably experienced the worse of both worlds too.....

Luckily Wilbur is on the mend now, and back to his normal self. Let normal service resume!

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Last Chance: Up to 70% off in the final French Connection clearance sale

Hi guys,
I've been very lapse with my sale shopping updates, but I just couldn't resist a peak at the final clearance sale from French Connection. With discounts of up to 70% there are some incredible bargains to be had across both fashion and home ware.

I love French Connection: it is one of my go to shops for evening wear, but their casual day wear is gorgeous too and perfect for smartening up my mummy act! Here are some picks from the best of the final clearance sale online:
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Wilderness collar shirt (was £75 now £25)
Paisley crepe party dress (was £120 now £36) 

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French frou frou dress (was £160 now £48)
Misty mountain top (£65 to £32.50)

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Romeo stretch fitted jacket (was £145 now £101.50)
Atlantic wave flared dress (was £190 now £57)

The thing I most like about all of these pieces (and a lot of the French Connection collections) are that they are relatively seasonless: I tend to wear the same clothes all year round, adding layers rather than introducing a whole new wardrobe. (with the exception of the height of the summer, when staying cool becomes the order of the day and anything goes!) But you could definitely buy all of the picks above and wear them well into spring: a much smarter way of sale shopping than buying a coat or boots that will only get a month's worth of wear!

I especially love the vibrant red shrunken blazer. A blazer with jeans and a crepe tee or chiffon blouse is pretty much my go to outfit: a wear a variation of it everyday, all year round. This seasonless piece could be worn for work wear, casual wear, or could even be thrown over a frock for laid back evening wear: definitely what I'd pick if I could only choose one thing!

Have you had any sales bargains? Are there any shops you've found have been incredible this sales season?

Love Tor x

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Christmas time in Disneyland Paris

Hi guys,
Apologies for the huge break in posting over the festive period: working for yourself, having a toddler and organizing Christmas simply doesn't work well with being a good blogger, i'm afraid. Not to mention that we spent the first week of January on holiday to Disneyland Paris. This was Wilbur's third trip to Disneyland Paris and he, as well as the both of us, are completely hooked! Here is an unashamedly self- indulgent look at our trip, but I will follow it with some useful tips:

-Winter in Disneyland Paris is cold. Much colder than at home, and this feeling of being cold is emphasised by the fact that you're outside for most of the day. We all wore thermals (both long johns and long sleeved vests) under our regular winter clothes and wrapped up as much as possible: this kept us warm and ensured we were able to focus on having fun, not on whether or not we could feel our toes!

-Do make use of the photopass service. For just 59.99E you can have professional photos from all of the rides and at all of the character meets and greets added to your photopass card, so that you can print them and see them when you get home. All of the above are from our photopass card, and it took the pressure off me to make sure i'd captured the moment, so I could just focus on having fun.

-Meet as many characters as possible! During the Christmas season they all wear special Christmas costumes, so if you visit the park regularly during the rest of the year this is a great draw and something that will bring a new dimension to your photographs. Also look out for special seasonal meet and greets, such as our meeting with Jack Skellington in his Santa suit.

-See the parades. The Christmas parades are something else! Not as long as the regular 'Magic on Parade' parade but with an amazing festive atmosphere that will have both big kids and little kids completely enchanted. Wilbur is still talking about the fact he saw Santa in the parade and that he was sitting in the same sleigh as goofy (his favourite character). Without sounding too soppy, it's things like this that will create memories they'll never forget.

The 2015 Christmas season at Disneyland Paris runs from the beginning of November to the end of the first week in January. The earlier and later in the season you go, the quieter the parks will be. If you're tempted, you can already book this right now. 

Love Tor xx