New Years resolutions – rarely have they actually been seen through but I love thinking about them at the end of each year. Taking some time to reflect on the past, the good, the bad and the ugly. Positively plan my year ahead, getting excited about whats to come and thinking about to how to enjoy it to the full. Getting my priorities in order. What’s important to me, and what has been taking up too much energy and not giving anything back. Is there anything I have missed, anything I have been wanting to do, anything I would like to achieve…

So after a 2016 of ups and downs and exciting times with aMothersEdit I have pulled together my own resolutions to share with you.

Switch off

Taking some time to switch off, whenever I can. I’m not going to say every day, or once a week, as sometimes life really is just too busy. But having the confidence to just say no sometimes, and just take some time to switch off and reboot. Whether its a duvet day, a spa day, a walk in the park or just a soak in the bath.

Exercise routine

Routine being the key word here – going to have to take it easy at the start of the year but I love exercising and making it part of my everyday life is so important to me. At the start of this year I was trying all sorts of classes and totally loved spinning. I am going to get back on that bike this Summer but in the meantime some leisurely walks will suffice.

Take it easy on myself

With a new baby coming in March I need to remind myself to take it easy. I am already planning so much work for next year and being self-employed I will need to force myself to take some form of maternity leave. This links in with the exercising too – being kind to myself – not pushing myself too much post baby and rushing to get back in shape. Taking it slow. Life is not a race after all. And its enjoyed so much more at a slower ‘island life’ pace – which is ultimately where I’d love to be, sipping on a coconut in a bikini.

Creating a new home

So excited about moving home this year, I’ll be sad to say good bye to our first house but can’t wait to create a home for Vivienne and her new sister to grow up in together. It’s taken a good three years to get this first home how we like it though so I am sure with more space this will take even longer. I’ll have to be patient and just enjoy each moment as it comes. I am all too guilty of wanting everything perfect immediately but as always its about realising whats important and enjoying it. Letting everything else go… (as Vivienne would sing).

Quality not quantity

My friends are incredibly special to me so I want to make more time for them this year. I don’t intend to join any form of antenatal group, or attend classes with this second pregnancy as I just don’t have the time… I don’t want to spread myself even thinner. I met some fabulous girls at NCT when I had Vivienne, have the absolute best of friends from school and university and have kept some quality friendships through the many jobs I have had over the years. These are the relationships that are important to me now and I want to give them the time they deserve.  I would rather invest in good quality time with my favourite people than have lots of quick meet-ups with friends that come and go.

Stop trying to please everyone

Looking at the past year I can see those times so obviously now – where I was just trying to please too many people. And did it matter? Not in the slightest. They probably didn’t even realise, or even really care, but it exhausted me. So this year is all about whats important. Always being kind – but not bending over backwards for something that really doesn’t matter.

Love my husband… even more

I think with the new baby this will become even more important. Even the little things like walking around hand-in-hand together make me so happy. My husband is without a doubt my best friend in the whole world and I love him so much – I want to make sure he knows that this year and we enjoy being ourselves with each other as much as possible. Just to remember why we love each other so much – what we fell in love with all those years ago and how we have grown together. And I think there’s always time for a passionate kiss…


 

 

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When I was pregnant with Vivienne three years ago I eagerly awaited the infamous glow of pregnancy. It never arrived. Instead I was greeted by extremely unpleasant pregnancy acne, everywhere! My face, my décolletage, around my hips even. It wasn’t nice and got me down, especially towards the end. Breastfeeding seemed to make it even worse and I was petrified to try new acne products at the risk of harming Vivienne in any way. Three years later, second pregnancy, and I almost have the little nasties under control. I’ve done my research, I know what I can and can’t use, and I am armed. My skin is so much better than the first pregnancy so I wanted to share with you my top tips for battling that anti-glow we’re blessed with for 9months+.

Lesson 1.

Glycolic acid and salicylic acid – I have been using both, salicylic acid products MUST be under 2% strength though, and if you’re unsure or worried about using it speak with your doctor first. I use the salicylic in the evenings to clear the excess sebum and glycolic in the AM to help freshen the skin. After every cleanse I use the Pixi Glow Tonic to exfoliate.

Lesson 2.

I will not be afraid of moisturising creams. When my skin was breaking out I steered clear of adding any extra moisture in fear of it making the spots worse. Big mistake. My skin was battling with itself and producing more than it needed to compensate. Morning and night I use the Charlotte Tilbury magic cream on my face and around my eyes. My skin feels plump and happy.

Lesson 3.

Body brushing. I usually only do this in the Summer but now I am taking the time to apply creams to my stomach to avoid stretch marks each evening I am throwing in a quick body brush and its worked a treat at keeping those bumps away.

Lesson 4.

Treatments. I know when this baby arrives with Vivienne as well, I won’t have much time, if any to pamper myself. So I am making the most of the evenings when she is asleep to give my skin a little treatment every other night. Current favourites in rotation are Ren Wake Wonderful, Pixi Overnight Glow, Clarins HydraQuench cream-mask and Peter Thomas Roth Vitamin C serum.

Lesson 5.

When I do get a spot – I will not touch it! I have had the odd spot, always around my mouth and chin, lovely hormones. And I have made every effort to not touch it. Bacteria spreads so rapidly and those wandering hands in the day are the biggest culprits in helping the spread. I have the Sarah Chapman spot stickers and they’re fab if you can’t help but touch.

Lesson 6.

Keep on drinking. I am guzzling water so much at the moment, much more than I ever would this time of year. It helps that the pregnancy has made me increasingly thirsty all the time, but it also stops me over-eating (kind of) and as everyone knows is the best antidote to dry, breakout skin.

I’ve linked all of my favourite products here for you if you’re interested in trying any of them. Feel free to email me or comment below with any questions too.

Ax

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Sunday evening – should be a time for relaxation before a new week starts but somehow they’re always taken over with a mad rush to get everything set for tomorrow morning. Washing, cleaning, organising, diary sharing, food prep, childcare, and general anxiety…. Argh!

It seems all the preparation is often more stressful than any actual activity, and sometimes it really does help to just take a step back and think about what really matters. Give yourself a bit of a break. Know that things won’t fall apart if you forget to book the grocery shopping or squeeze in that extra wash. It can wait.

Being a mum is just a part of you – a huge important part of you – but not the only part. And we need to spend time on the other parts in order to make it all work smoothly together. As I have said before – you’ve got to put your own gas mask on first… take care of yourself, physically and mentally… and everything else will fall into place a hell of a lot easier.

In a bid to calm my own personal storm and hopefully help others on the way I’ve brought back my weekly Sunday inspo post… Own the week, make it work for you not the other way round. But know, if it all goes to pot, there’s always tomorrow.

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When it comes to beauty I have always been more spit and polish than polished… and I probably frighten far too many people with my no makeup appearance on a daily basis. But when I do decide to make an effort I have managed to get the routine down to a finely tuned and super speedy act. I have also been busy trying some new products for the season to help with that Wintery transition to am desperate to share the products that work with you…

 

skincare

I suffer with horrid hormonal acne around my chin and sometimes it creeps elsewhere, feel I am constantly battling with my spots but these products help. The face wash was my skincare  discovery of the year, it has totally changed my skin I wouldn’t be without it. Tea tree oil is a god send and sometimes will stop a spot in its track. And this Origins spot remover works well with smaller less hormonal spots.

After fighting the breakouts I can be left with quite dry skin so moisturisers are really important. I have just started using the Elemental Herobology products and so far so good. The eye elixir has been fantastic in helping around my eyes and those fine lines. I probably use far too much of the REN oil but I’m obsessed with how it makes my skin feel, its like I literally feeding it with moisture. Then I finish with the oil free moisturiser from Peter Thomas Roth.

 

Makeup

I’ve raved about the Chantecaille future skin foundation before I am still totally in love with it. Worth getting colour matched if you can get into a stockist as its pricey but lasts a long time. On my eyes I absolutely love the new shades from Chantecaille for this season – their pallette below is perfect for the Winter. During the day I smooth on a bit of Macs paint pot in groundwork. Both the eye colours look great with a tan – so I cheat and cover my face in the Benefit Hoola bronzer. Charlotte Tilbury does the most amazing mascara I discovered last year and haven’t looked back. Her brow pencils are fantastic too – I use Cara D which is quite dark but I like my brows defined.

On my lips I like to either dab some Eve Lom kiss mix on or use the Chantecaille lipgloss in Love for a soft pink colour.

Hair

My absolute favourite hair product is the Hair Xpertise argan oil serum. It transforms my hair from a frizzy mess to easy to style locks in an instant. So I wanted to try the brands other products too – a conditioner and shampoo. Both were beautiful on my hair and I’ll definitely be using them again. I normally use Aussie and swear by the three minute miracle conditioner so I was nervous about using another product. I have linked them all below for you to try.

Shampoo

Conditioner

Serum

Body

This is another new product I have been desperate to share as its gorgeous! The Eco by Sonya salt scrub: Body Scrub you use it dry before you turn the shower on, although I’ve forgotten before and use edit mid shower and it still works a treat. I think exfoliating in the winter is so important. Nothing worse than dry cracking skin.

Body wash I spend a little more on as I love the luxury of a good smell that lingers long past the shower. I usually squish it into a puff for extra bubbles.

Afterwards, when I have the time, I like to cover myself in a good moisturiser. The Jo Malone and Laura Mercier body butters are my favourite. I usually carry a Laura Mercier hand cream in bag for on the go too. And when I am less flush Body Shop body butters always come up trumps. The Nuxe dry body oil is a favourite of mine all year round and its great when you’re in a rush.

I always think the beauty should be a pampering experience, whatever it is. Especially when you’re a mum – time is so precious. So if that means spending a little more on a nice cream that makes you feel amazing when you smooth it on then so be it. Pick and choose how you spend your money – costly most certainly doesn’t mean it works. Take the hair serum for example – I really would be lost and frizzy without it and its a fraction of the price of some I have used.

Ashley x

 

 

 

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How lazy I am when it comes to ‘beauty’ is well documented on the blog but there are certain products I swear by, especially for my hair. I have a lot of hair and when I don’t use these products it’s so obvious… it’s tangled and no way near as soft.

With the amount of bleach I use conditioner is incredibly important and Aussie three minute miracle is literally a miracle for mine. Add some argan oil post towel drying and I am good to go. The less I can blow dry or use straighteners the better. But to be honest, I have found myself getting pretty bored of my hair recently – most of the time it is pulled up in a top knot. I need some new easy ideas to play around with – and in very little time. So todays Sunday inspo is a little round-up of hair inspiration… up/down – long/short – blonde/brunette… and I have linked my hair must-haves at the end of the post…

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My Hair Must-Haves

Ashley xx

 

 

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