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BIRCHBOX - January 2018: Stand Tall

I am so excited to be writing my first Birchbox post for 2018. You may or may not know but we have been subscribers to Birchbox for just over three months now and in those three month I am pretty much hooked on the whole beauty subscription thing. For January the box is in collaboration with the brand Ohh Deer. Being the stationary geek I am, I adore Ohh Deer stationary and you will see a couple of notebooks on my IG feed from time to time. But seriously how cute are those flamingos? They have become a bit of a thing, haven't they? The whole theme of this box is all about being the individual and standing out from the crowd, and embracing whatever makes you, you! So with that, shall we have a little peek into the pretty flamingo box?

Lord & Berry. Blusher Crayon in Peach | RRP £15

We all know that January is a bit of a gloomy month. I know that for me, the whole of January feels blue. It hard not to see why though with the hustle and bustle of Christmas, giving gifts, being with loved ones and eating your body weight in naughty food. So adding a little colour into your life is a must. This gorgeous blusher crayon in peach is going to do just that for you. You can add a little colour to those apples of your cheeks to make your makeup look a little more radiant, even on those cold and windy January nursery runs. 

Marcelle. Waterproof Eyeliner in Charcoal | RRP £11

I am a girl who loves eyeliner, but as a mother to a very fiesty three year old getting to put eyeliner on in the mornings can be quite testing. I don't have too much time to get my three year old ready as well as getting myself dressed, full face and doing something with the mum bun. So I was quite excited to see this in the box, as I have seen a couple of other bloggers and their reviews of this baby. This eyeliner is long lasting, smudge resistant and waterproof ensuring that it stays put for the nursery run in the morning through to evening dinner plans. 

Thermaliv. Night Cream | £16

Getting a good nights sleep does wonders for the skin. But let's face it anyone with a child will know that a good night sleep is something that only people who don't have children get. Oh sleep, how I miss you? So when getting a full eight hours sleep is not, er, optional then a good night cream is an essential to not looking like a zombie from an apocalypse. This formula contain sea chamomile to boost collagen production and vitamin E to soothe skin will be left plump, nourished, and well rested by the time morning comes by. I have been using this over a couple of night and it really doesnt suit my skin, I think the formula is just far too rich for my skin, which was a little annoying as I was hoping that it would be something that would stop me looking like a zombie from an apocalypse  not helping it! Boo

Number 4. Sugar Spray | RRP £20

Everyone wants beachy waves, thanks to the Kardashians! I must admit, beachy waves is not something easy to achieve until Number 4 came into my life in the form of this sugar spray. Formulated with sugar cane and flexible styling aids, ensuring that my hair is left super soft and super shiny. To get those desired beachy waves lightly spray onto damp or dry hair the leave to dry naturally or blow dry with a diffuser. 

Afterspa. Amazing Makeup Remover | RRP £5.50

Removing makeup is the bain of my life, it's probably the part of day I least look forward to. So I was intrigued to find this little cloth in my Birchbox this month. You simply wet the cloth and massage over your face to break down impurities and removes all types of makeup. Not before giving a clean in the washing machine first though. But get this? It can last up to 1000 washes, so it's sure to stand the test of time. 

5 Simple Steps For Beautiful Hair.

People are often so busy that they rarely think about the whole idea of taking more time for themselves, I know this only too well. Even though I always try to make a conscious effort to take time for me, life sometimes gets in the way. Being a mum to a feisty threenager having alone time to recuperate is rare, but definitely something that I need to do more. As a work from home mum my life is basically a big balancing act, juggling my work load, being a mother, being a wife and considering home life too. Most mornings consist of getting up, rushing to get my daughter her breakfast, into her uniform, getting myself ready and out the door before 8 am. A few hours to try and get some work done before going back to collect her from nursery which is followed by afternoons full of play groups, play dates, or baking sweet treats. So it comes as no surprise when I say that I am just too tired to make time for me. So today I wanted to share some simple steps for the perfect daily hair care routine that are sure to be help create lustrous locks, with out spending too much time in doing so.

The obvious reason for brushing your hair is keeping it tangle-free, which also helps to distribute natural oils evenly throughout your hair. Leaving your hair soft and super shiny. Use a good and quality brush to gently brush the hair, as vigorous brushing can scratch the scalp and break the hair. The Tangle Angel Pro* and its innovative design make it easier to manage knotty hair keeping it silky smooth and easy to style. My hair is really thick and long which means it tangles very easily. Not only stunning to look at but also easy to use and highly functional. Tangle Angel Pro can be held around the wings for greater control and feel, or by the handle for everyday combing and detangling. It's also resistant up to 120 °C, as the bristles retain their shape even when used with the high temperatures generated by some hairdryers. This brush definitely stands out from the rest as it's been designed in a way to ensure that it's super hygienic and you're not left pulling our strands of hair like some other traditional designs.
I have always struggled with oily roots and dry ends I could even go on to say straw like ends that break so easily. I have tried no end of products to try and nourish my dry ends but these can leave my roots looking very greasy, so greasy that it doesn't always even look as if I wash my hair. I wash my hair far too much, every other day! I know, I know. I should be allowing the natural oils do it's thing rather than using shampoos and conditioners to clean my hair. The natural oils to help condition and protect hair follicles and the more you wash them away, the more likely they are stripped away. So I only wash my hair 2-3 time a week! Sometimes how often you need to wash your hair depends primarily on the type of hair you have. Typically dry and coarse hair requires washing every second or third day; fine and oily hair needs to be washed every day; and normal hair should be washed every other day. By using a shampoo and conditioner that suits your hair type is also important. Phil Smith Be Gorgeous and their total treat shampoo and conditioner has been a great way to keep my hair replenished. This total treat collection will miraculously transform the texture of your hair. It helps to lock in moisture to heal dry, damaged hair and restore smoothness. The combination of coconut and and Moroccan Argan Oil gives this a luxurious texture, and you can almost see your hair drinks up its goodness.

It's time to get smart about styling! When it comes to choosing styling product for your hair is all depends on your hairstyle, however keep in mind that these products can actually damage hair and spoil hair growth if used too much. So try and embrace a more natural way of styling and avoid using hair styling products at least once a week to give your hair the chance to recover from the stress of being subjected to all these harsh products, less is more when it comes to styling products. When it comes to treating dry or damaged hair try adding some natural products into life, like Aloe Vera as it can give your hair a new lease of life, in the way it looks and feels.
Harsh hairstyles that consistently use hair bands, clips, rollers or pull hair into tight styles such as cornrows, pony tails can effect the hair follicles badly. As can incorrectly used chemicals such as dyes, bleaches, straighteners and hair dryers. Being someone who has thick wavy hair, there are times where I need to dry and straighten my hair, but all this heat, styling and brushing can really be damaging so try and stay away from the heat where possible. So instead of an everyday use limit to these two to three times a week. When it comes to choosing your styling tools choose ones that are kinder to your hair. The Xtava Pro Satin Flat straightener features highly efficient, infrared heat technology that is proven to cause less damage to the hair cuticle as you straighten. For someone who needs to straighten quite a bit, this is great news. As with most heating elements doing it too often, without taking the necessary measures to prevent heat damage can actually give you the opposite look you was trying to achieve. So armed with serums and sprays you will be able to maintain your luscious locks even on the highest temperature with the Xtava Pro-Satin Straighteners.
I'm sure that I am not alone when I say that I really over-style my hair with shampoos, conditioners, styling products and my poor hairdryer and straighteners have just about had it! Sadly, hair can be damaged quickly, but bringing it back to good health can take some time. But for me by having regular hair cuts, keeping the styling tools to a minimum can help, it's OK to let the bouffant dry naturally. But when I begin to see a few split ends I will switch my cleansing and styling products and use some that have been designed to help protect and restore damaged hair. I do find this daily natural hair care routine simple and easy to follow. I do not spend a lot of time on my hair. Above all, I do not waste my hard earned money on visiting a hair dresser. You'll have to let me know what steps you take to perfect your hair care routine. 

~ This post contains gifted items but all opinions are my own. ~

SEAMS Beauty Hand Saviour

Dry hands are just the worst. Even though it's technically still winter, (that sun is deceiving) hand cream isn't just for battling the colder months. It's a must have essential all year round. However when it comes to deciding which hand cream is best for you, it is often a tricky one. While some hands (like mine) may need a slathering of moisturiser to soften and protect them, there's nothing worse than being left with a greasy film on your hands. More often than not, it takes ages for the cream to work it's magic and you end up leaving greasy finger prints everywhere and anything you pick up slips through those greasy hands. And nobody wants that and so put your best palm forward and let me introduce a new hand cream that you will want to try. 

The first step to dealing with all hands from the slightly tight to the seriously dry hands is to make sure that each and every time you wash them, you chase the drying soap with a moisturiser. By doing this will help put moisture back into your hands. It is best to pick up a formula that's lightweight and will instantly absorb into the skin so that you don't have any problems about applying it so often. I have trouble with my hands throughout the year, but particularly this winter I have been having some trouble with battling the elements, and no matter what I try, nothing seems to replenishing my dry and sore hands. That was until I came across this little gem. I have found my new saviour, SEAMS Hand Cream. It’s easy to carry around. It leaves my hands feeling so moist, soft and smooth, healing and sealing any cuts or sores on my hands and nails. It does all this without feeling greasy or leaving a residue on anything you touch after application… @seamsbeauty is an absolute must have. 

SEAMS Beauty was a brand that was born from the fashion industry and especially formulated for couturiers and seamstresses to help mend, moisturise and soothe dry pin-pricked hands. As well something that heals, soothes and moisturises the cream’s been formulated to be fast absorbing and non-greasy, making easier to handle fabrics and surfaces without leaving residue behind. And now, the must have hand cream is something that seamstresses, make-up artists and models or simply anyone who wants incredibly soft and beautiful hands needs. SEAMS whole philosophy is believing that everyday beauty comes from comfort and well-being, and that skin care for your hands should be as gentle and caring like the skin on your face. Seeing as we use our hands everyday, we need to take the extra time in keeping our hands looking and feeling great, so that you can work faster and in comfort.

The main ingredients are Shea Butter, Macademia and Rosehip Oils, Vitamin E, Fragonia Oil, Garden Cress and Kertain and each one of them has a positive role to play ensuring that it's one of the hand saviours that you carry around in your handbag. It has quite a distinctive sweet and soap-like scent. My other hand creams normally have a slight fragrance to them and so this one makes a difference and the smell is unique in comparison. The texture of the cream itself comes out of the tube thick and looks as if it will take it's time to sink into the skin. But after about a minute or so, it leaves my hands feeling super smooth, nourished and hydrated. When it comes to your hands, don't forget to take extra care, just like the skin on your face. Always make time to moisturise. You could even try massaging it in thoroughly leaving them to do their thing while you watch Netflix. Keep a tube by your bed so that you can just put some on right before you sleep when you can apply the hand cream thick enough that it has time to sink in without interruption. What is your hand saviour?

~ This post contains gifted items but all opinions are my own. ~

Beauty Tip: How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

As you know, if you managed to catch my post last week about the different ways to apply makeup you'll know that I use quite a few different brushes and sponges to get a flawless coverage. But did you know that you should be cleaning your brushes and sponges frequently? Washing your makeup brushes should be a regular part of your beauty routine. When you use your makeup brushes, bits of makeup, oil, dirt and even bacteria can get trapped in those bristles. If you don't clean them regularly you are more prone to break outs and your complexion won't be as fabulous. If you have problem skin or acne, I’d definitely advise that you clean your brushes a little more than others, you may even notice a change in your skin! So while cleaning your brushes may seem basic and a bit of a chore, skipping this step may lead to more problems, such a break outs or clogged pores. And no body wants that. My ever growing collection of brushes are expensive and so it makes complete sense to want to protect those expensive bristles with a regular cleaning routine. 

Luckily, cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges is super quick and easy. The first step to keeping your brushes clean is picking up a cleansing cleaner, I have to say I have used so many different ones and the one that stands the test of time is good ol' Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo, the calming lavender. However, if you wanted to make deep cleaning your makeup brushes less of a chore you could use a daily brush cleaner, the E.L.F Daily Brush Cleaner is perfect for this. An anti-bacterial daily brush cleanser for quick cleaning in-between makeup applications. Disinfects brushes to provide a fresh and clean application every time. 

Begin by running your brushes under some warm water, rinsing out any residue. It is always best to try and focus on the actual bristles while avoiding the part of the brush where the handle meets the head, as the glue can loosen over time. Something that I discovered after last weeks cleanse with my buffing brush. I may have squeezed a little too hard and pull all the bristles back and couldn't get them back inside and the bristles got everywhere. So just focus on the actual bristles. 

Squirt some shampoo onto the bristles and swirl the brush around your hand and then rinse away the residue. I always find that swirling the brush into my hand to get a lather really helps. You could also use a brush cleaner, like this one from Birchbox which has definitely helped take the hassle out of brush cleaning. The specially-designed grooves help to remove every trace of product from your brushes, giving them a deep-yet-gentle clean. 

Rinse the brushes under warm running water, making sure that your squeeze the residue out of them, just don't pull. Then pat your brushes dry with a kitchen roll, then lay them out flat on a clean cloth to dry naturally. And there you have it! Your makeup brushes will be squeaky clean ready for action. Are your brushes in need of a deep clean? Generally speaking ladies, if you are only using your brushes on yourself then give them a good clean once a week. If you suffer from skin breakouts, have any cuts or grazes or have an eye infection then you must clean your brushes every day. Just make sure that you do clean them every week and add them into a regular cleaning routine. 

Beauty Gems That You Need For Winter

It's pretty clear from the way it looks outside that winter is in full force. As I write this post I am cosy under a blanket with a chunky knitted jumper on and it's looking very grey and miserable outside. Despite the bitterness, it's one of my favourite seasons. There's nothing quite like looking at the changing colour of nature, the fresh crisp air, chunky knits, boots, and not forgetting berry coloured lipsticks. I always looks forward to snuggling up in blankets and reading a good book whilst watching the rain outside, however the same cannot be said for my skin. With the cold crisp air, it does mean plummeting temperatures, hot showers, crazy winds and whacking up the heating up to full - all things that are not great for my skin. Winter is notorious for leaving my skin dry, tight, flaky, chapped and itchy. That's without even mentioning how sensitive my skin can become. And so with winter being full in force I thought that it would be a good idea to talk about my beauty gems that are amazing for the winter, however this post is something a little different. I have decided to write this post in collaboration with another amazing beauty blogger, Jade from Bella Inizio who is completely gorgeous and knows a thing or two about beauty buys.

So let's get to it! First up let's talk about hair. Cold, wet winter weather can take it's toll on your hair. The most effective and practical way to protect your hair from the elements is to cover your head with a hat or scarf, but make sure that it’s not too tight, but let's be honest even then it can be bad for your hair. Limit the use of tools like hair dryers and curling tongs, as the heat can dry out your hair and scalp, increasing the risk of damage. It might be tempting in the colder months to turn the water temperature up, but try to avoid washing your hair in very hot water – use warm or cool water to avoid damage. As really hot water can dry out your hair and damage the delicate skin on your scalp, which may be extra sensitive during the winter. Keep hair super hydrated. Phil Smith Be Gorgeous and their total treat shampoo and conditioner has been a great way to keep my hair replenished. This total treat collection will miraculously transform the texture of your hair. It helps to lock in moisture to heal dry, damaged hair and restore smoothness. The combination of coconut and and Moroccan Argan Oil gives this a luxurious texture, and you can almost see your hair drinks up its goodness. Something else that I use religiously is this Advanced Techniques Dry End Serum from Avon. I have never ever come across one that does such a great job with my dry ends, seriously! Most serums can feel heavy in your hair and leave the ends greasy, however this one does not do this in the slightest. 

Winter brings an entire new set of challenges to our skin so as the season gets colder, it's worth switching up your skin care routine, too. Something that I won't budge on is cleansing my skin with a light cleanser. And at the moment I'm using this Skintifique Cleanser* which has been great removing make-up, traces of pollution and metals from the face, and only consists 5 elements. I am a big fan of these types of cleansers and and I have been using this one for a little while and it leaves my skin feeling cleansed, hydrated and super fresh. I think what I like most about this cleanser is that it doesn't smell of chemicals and has been a little gem for my sensitive skin. I know when it comes to cleansers a lot of people worry around reactions, rashes and blemishes, but I found this one was really good for those with sensitive skin. I then follow my cleansing with an absolute gem Skintifique Hydrating Gel Plus HS* The hydrating gel has a high concentration of glycerin and provides a soothing action making the skin supple and smooth. When you first use this product, it looks like a cream, but it actually goes on like a gel. I needed extra protection for my face and this provided an extra barrier against any allergens that I know would cause a reaction on my skin during this time of year. But the thing is – it is absolutely amazing for dry skin. I used this gel on dry patches on my back, elbows and of course my cheeks. This gel certainly helped smooth the areas and hydrate them and I am really impressed, it feels good to have super soft skin.

Don’t be afraid to use oils on your face! Oils have a bad rap, but the right ones can have a very beneficial healing effect on your skin. The Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil* is one oil that I have added into my winter skin care routine and I can really tell that those dry patches have definitely benefited. It leaves my skin feeling super hydrated and so smooth. This is a must for any skin type. The smell of the oil is so soothing and gentle. What's great about it is you can use it from head to toe. I tend to use this oil under my night cream as my skin can look dry and flaky, but this gives my skin the extra kick it needs. Now, for my night cream, my gem is the Aloe Soothing Night Cream from The Body Shop. All year round. I use it every night after cleansing as it moisturises and soothes dry or irritated skin, and when I wake up my skin feels cool and soft to the touch. It may seem heavier than most night creams, but it's great for this time of year. Just like the moisturizer you use on your face, the one you put on your body needs to be better at locking in moisture too. So toss those lightweight spray-on lotions you've been using, and stock up on creams that have staying power. We keep Soap and Glory Righteous Creamy Body Wash and The Righteous Body Butter on hands at all time during the winter. 

Now, we have come to a couple of gems that you have to have in your handbag at all times. Chapped lips? With the cold, dry winter season, the presence of chapped lips tends to increase and so I always like to have lip balms at the ready. Keeping them hydrated this winter has been so easy with this Blistex Intensive Moisturiser. After applying this once a day for two days, my lips feel so smooth and plump, a little gem that I will always recommend. My hands also have trouble when battling the elements and at the moment I am loving this SEAMS Hand Cream* It’s easy to carry around. It leaves my hands feeling so moist, soft and smooth, healing and sealing any cuts or sores on my hands and nails. Especially in the cold winter months. It does all this without feeling greasy or leaving a residue on anything you touch after application… A must have! 

So what are your beauty gems for winter? I'd love to know, so please feel free to leave your gems in the comments. 

Beauty Tip: Brushes, Sponges or Fingers?

For most of us, putting on makeup is almost a second nature. We have our routines, we have our makeup gems and we can pretty much step away from the mirror within five minutes. Now before my daughter started nursery there would be days where I would go without makeup and would love nothing more than a make up free day, however I never like to leave the house without make up! In some ways it makes me feel so confident and I am able hide all those impurities. The wonders of makeup. But even so, there are people who are not as confident in their makeup routines and may even have questions when it comes to the many ways you can apply your face for the day. And so, I thought that we could look into the whole brushes, sponges or fingers debate. What is the best way? And which products call for what tools? For years I have been applying primer with my fingers, my foundation with a brush, and blending concealer with sponge. So I don't really have a one only method, and so to speak I have ways that work for me. 

Before we get into this who debate, I think that I should say that I am in no way professional in the slightest. I just wanted to tell you what works for me. Obviously there are pros and cons to each way of applying makeup and normally it comes down to personal preference. When I first started putting on makeup I would use my fingers for pretty much everything, but I would leave so many foundation marks everywhere which is when I began to use both sponges and brushes. Now, I use a combination for all three. I guess it's all about trial and error when it comes to applying make up, so in order to help you to feel the most comfortable when it comes to the tools, I have broken down each way and all the benefits they have. So let's get to it. 


A good brush will give you excellent coverage. This will prevent you from getting excessive makeup in the wrong areas – it helps you focus on particular areas. Nobody wants to have makeup that looks uneven to people who look at you. A good makeup brush will help you solve this issue and help you achieve a flawless appearance. Not forgetting that they can also keep the oils and bacteria from your fingers clogging up your pores. By using make up brushes can help prevent breakouts on your face, but always ensure that you frequently wash your brush to eliminate dirt and prevent build up in the bristles. I tend to use brushes for foundation, blush, setting powders and eye shadow. 


There are many benefits of using a sponges versus using makeup brushes or your fingers to apply foundation. When using a sponge, you are getting an even application that results in a flawless complexion. Sponges have the benefit of sheering out foundation, which is always a plus if you are more subtle with your makeup looks. Additionally bristles that are too course can cause an uneven looking skin tone, and if too much product is used, can leave streaks. Fingers may also provide an uneven or streaky appearance. For me, I feel as if I go over my foundation with a sponge help to create a more flawless and even look, especially great for going around the nose, lips and eyes. The sponge is great with blending, highlighting and contouring because of its flexibility to get into small spaces, hard to reach areas and even fine lines. I tend to use sponge to help give me that flawless finish with my foundation. 


I love makeup brushes and beauty blenders as much as the next woman, but they're not something I want rolling around the bottom of my bag for a variety of reasons. So I find myself using my good ol' fashioned finger tips. I tend to use my finger tips for moisturiser, primer, extra concealer and eye lids. If fingers must be used for application, it’s important to cleanse your hands before so that bacteria is not exposed to the skin. Just as makeup brushes should be cleansed, it’s important to wash your sponges after each use! Using the fingers can create an illusion even coverage, but up close the pores tend to look larger and covered, rather than smaller and sealed by the foundation. I tend to use my finger tips for extra concealer, lips and hard to reach places for my foundation. 

What do you prefer? I would love to know in the comments below. 

Changing Up My Skin Care Routine With Skintifique*

When your skin is either dry or oily, taking care of it is a pretty straightforward process. But when you've got a little bit of both, things start to get complicated. Hydrating creams are too hydrating, oil-absorbing masks are too absorbing, balancing lotions never seem to do much balancing. And that's bad news for a lot of people. As many of you know, I unfortunately have combination skin that can be sensitive to some products. So as you can imagine, trying to find the best products to suit my skin type can be hard. I like to use products that add moisture to my skin but don’t accentuate my oily T-Zone and so I have to change my skin care routine from time to time. With a little help, I have discovered some new products that have been great for my skin and so I wanted to share my first impressions of Skintifique. 

Skintifique is a brand that was born in France and the USA. Their main focus is to bring some sort of help and comfort to people with unusual skin. Their range is quite small and specific at the moment with a few products but they are all non-allergenic and 100% pure, created with as few ingredients as possible. Another focus of theirs is to protect the skin against metals that irritate the skin and to help protect the skin from contact with these metals and pollutants. Sound good don't they? I am really excited about trying the range and so I wanted to tell you about them and how good they have been for my skin. 

Skintifique Cleanser* (£13.51/200ml).

The Skintifique Cleanser P is a great cleanser for cleansing, removing make-up, traces of pollution and metals from the face, and only consists 5 elements. I am a big fan of these types of cleansers and and I have been using this one for a little while and it leaves my skin feeling cleansed, hydrated and super fresh. I think what I like most about this cleanser is that it doesn't smell of chemicals and has been a little gem for my sensitive skin. I know when it comes to cleansers a lot of people worry around reactions, rashes and blemishes, but I found this one was really good for those with sensitive skin. However it isn’t great with those stubborn traces of mascara though.

Moisturisers are such an important product in my skincare routine as my skin is dry and when I have an eczema flareup, it's becomes incredibly dry so it needs all of the moisture it can get. It gets really bad this time of year with the cold and wind, which can be quite uncomfortable. The Skintifique Moisturizing Lotion moisturises the skin and protects against pollution and metals. At first I was a little dubious about using this lotion due to my sensitive skin and didn't want to end up looking red and blotchy with blocked pores. But using this moisturiser left my skin feeling hydrated and super soft, it also adsorbed into my skin very quickly. I use this daily. In fact, twice a day. I don’t care for lotions that have a fragrance, so this lotion is the one I reach for. It is fast absorbing and doesn’t leave a film on your skin like most other lotions. 

I used the Skintifique Hydrating Gel Plus HS on my face during the week. The hydrating gel has a high concentration of glycerin and provides a soothing action making the skin supple and smooth. When you first use this product, it looks like a cream, but it actually goes on like a gel. I needed extra protection for my face and this provided an extra barrier against any allergens that I know would cause a reaction on my skin during this time of year. But the thing is – it is absolutely amazing for dry skin. I used this gel on dry patches on my back, elbows and of course my cheeks. This gel certainly helped smooth the areas and hydrate them and I am really impressed, it feels good to have super soft skin. 

Have you ever used products from Skintifique? If so, which are your favourites?

*DISCLAIMER* Mimi Rose and Me is a personal blog written and edited by myself only, unless otherwise note my reviews are completely based on my own opinion of the product reviewed. These products were supplied to me as a gift to review from Skintifique.

Glam & Style Conical Curling Wand

I'm sure that if you look through fashion magazines and the beauty of Instagram I'm sure that you would have come across those beachy waves that so many of us desire. I love big hair but my hair is naturally thick so I cannot always get the mermaid waves of my dreams. I have to try and tame my unruly hair before even beginning with get beautiful waves. My issue is that I have quite naturally curly yet frizzy hair so to get a nice smooth curl, I have to either blow-dry my hair straight first or straighten it before attempting to put a curl in it. Now, there are many ways to get the mermaid waves of your dreams, but one of the easiest options is to use a conical curling wand. It is important to make an informed decision when choosing a styling tool to avoid disappointment. And this is where this gorgeous Glam & Style Conical Wand* in Rose Gold and Black comes in. If you didn't know, Rose Gold is a bit of a thing right now, with many asking for Rose Gold hues in their make-up, hair colour bedroom décor and now styling tools. 

A B O U T   T H E   P R O D U C T

The Glam & Style Conical Curling Wand is a highly efficient conical wand. That heats up to 200°c, making more time for you to get ready in the morning and even finish that cup of tea before you go out. This conical wand features ceramic coated barrel to give you shiny, healthy looking curls that last all day. The 200°c optimal curling temperature is hot enough for long lasting curls, without being too hot that it damages your hair. This fast heating wand is simple to use and has great results. I have thick long hair, and I only had to hold each section of hair for a few seconds to get a nice loose wave in my hair - If you want a tighter curl then just hold a few seconds longer. The heat protective glove is good to prevent burns, as this does reach temperature in a short space of time.

F I R S T   I M P R E S S I O N S

The Glam & Style conical want arrived in a small box, which took me by surprise. I thought it would have been bigger. But at first glance these were quite small, they are a gorgeous rose gold colour, so I am pretty much a fan of them already. Inside the box I found some protective gloves! So while other curling wants and heated styling tool burn your fingers, the Glam & Style comes with a free glove to keep your fingers safe. The wand came with an extra long cable, and a hook to make it easier to reach all parts of your room without affecting the whole curling routine. I couldn't believe it took less than a minute for the curlers to heat up and I managed to curl my very long and thick hair in less than half an hour! It's such an easy way to get great curls. You simply wrap your hair around the barrel for a few seconds before slowly releasing. You'll have shiny, healthy looking curls that last all day - in no time at all. The ceramic coated, graduated barrel means you can get tighter, corkscrew curls at the thinner end, or loose beachy waves at the thicker end. 

The curling wand has a little stand attached to it which means you won’t burn your work surface when you need to place it down and it easy to use. The handle doesn’t feel as heavy or sturdy as I would have liked but for the price of the curling wand, it’s perfect. The gorgeous Rose Gold and black colours make this a stylish gift for the beautiful woman in your life, it's so pleasing to the eye. 

W H A T   I   L I K E

- Easy to use.
- Heat ups in less than one minute.
- Great performance, curls thick hair in 30 minutes.
- The 2 metre long cable length

W H A T   I   D I D N ' T   L I K E

- Be careful not to touch the wand, they get extremely hot and it really hurts!
- The barrrel itself could have been wider, to give bigger curls.

*DISCLAIMER* Mimi Rose and Me is a personal blog written and edited by myself only, unless otherwise note my reviews are completely based on my own opinion of the product reviewed. These products were supplied to me as a gift to review from Glam & Style.

Be Supportive, Show Kindness And Don't Be A D*ck!

I don't think I can say this enough, it's so important to support one another. There's nothing quite like sharing some positive vibes in the blogging community right now, to share successes and congratulate one another. I'm pretty sure that you are familiar with the story that's been circulating in the bloggersphere and I still, cannot understand why there is a need to tear one another down, especially when there are so many opportunities to build people up. I don't really want to go into details as I don't think the business deserves any exposure. As a business they have acted appallingly, unprofessionally and the owner was pretty much a d*ck. I'm not going sit here and write a lengthy post as to whether they should be boycotted, trolled or anything because at the end of the day, despite it all, it is a business. It's someone's lively hood. And to do that, would make us all just as bad as him. But bloggers should not be taken with such a negative attitude and we are certainly not freeloaders.. 

In a nutshell, a blogger approached a business to ask whether they would consider working with them for a collaboration. Pretty standard approach. Personally, the only downfall of the email was that it came across like she just wanted some free accommodation for a feature on her Youtube channel, but that's it! There was absolutely no need for the business to take to their Facebook page and basically tear this girl to shreds. Seriously some of those comments are really unnecessary. Their inconsideration snowballed into a trending twitter spat between most of the public and most bloggers. A witch hunt began with these 'freeloading influencers'! 

As a blogger, you can only imagine I was offended.! As I'm sure many bloggers will. It's hard not to really when thousands and thousands of people are making comments about how we earn a living. 'Freeloaders', 'lazy', 'scummy', 'need to get a real job' and the best one 'just do it to get free stuff''. Like, seriously! Come one people, move with the times. It's all about the marketing in the digital age, not waiting for adverts in between television programmes. Really think about, who watches anything live anymore. Even when you are bombarded with advert after advert on social media, we scroll by. And so working with brands, companies and businesses has changed. The whole bloggersphere is still a relatively new phenomenon and so really, it's still in it's infancy. Just think what it could be in five or ten years time?

But this has become my job. Blogger, writer, influencer, whatever you want to call it. It's a money maker for lots of people. I have to say that I don't have the biggest following in this bloggersphere, but there are lots of people who follow me, take the time read my posts, send me emails to talk about my content on my blog. So what if a brand or business wants to work with us. We are NOT freeloaders. There's a lot of work that goes into creating content for a brand. They have their needs, and their  guidelines too. Each and every brand that I have worked with are completely different, their needs are different and so I have tto cater to each and every one of them. It is by far from 'an easy gig', or 'takes a couple of photos and you're done'! So, in this case, if he didn't want or 'need' to work with a blogger, as he mentioned his followers A LOT. Why couldn't he have said thanks, but no thanks! But to actually call a blogger out on her pitch and share her email with the world. Apparently, it's what he does though, but each to their own. I guess. In a way the business and blogger benefited and got more exposure because of it. So a win win situation. But I am certainly not, a free loader! Or a scrounger. I AM A BLOGGER! Nothing makes me smile more than receiving lovely comments on my blog, positive messages, or someone sharing my post - I think it's all about being supportive and showing kindness. And the business could have been professional about it, instead of being a d*ck. 

10 Bloggers and Youtubers That You Need To Follow


I don't think I can say this enough, it's so important to support one another. There's nothing quite like sharing some positive vibes in the blogging community right now, to share successes and congratulate one another. I'm pretty sure that you familiar with the story that's been circulating in the bloggersphere and I still, cannot understand why there is a need to tear one another down, especially when we are so many opportunities to build people up. Nothing makes me smile more than receiving lovely comments, someone sharing my post - I think it's all about being supportive and showing kindness. I have wanted to put together a post like this for a while now, so I’m finally sitting down to do so. I just wanted to select a small amount of amazing bloggers and Youtubers that I want to share with you and why they inspire me. 

Hannah Gale
Youtube: Hannah Gale – YouTube
Blog: Hannah Gale
Twitter: Hannah Gale (@Hannahfgale) · Twitter
Instagram: Hannah Gale (@hannahfgale)

Hannah is someone who I have followed for a couple of years now. She is a TOTAL inspiration in many ways. I first stumbled across her blog in the early days and I have seen her blog and socials grow from strength to strength. I love her whole attitude to life, to blogging and her whole work ethic. Best of all, those list posts are just everything, as I love a little list or two myself. It's a great way to keep focused. I love scrolling though her Instagram for inspiration to help take my photos to the next level, they are so aesthetically pleasing. However mine are in no way near as beautiful as hers. This girl love fashion and I'm so in love with her style, whenever she shares what clothes she loves I am guilty of making a couple of purchases.

Corrie (Dizzy Brunette 3)
Youtube: Dizzy Brunette 3 - YouTube
Blog: Dizzy Brunette 3
Twitter: Dizzy Brunnette (@dizzybrunette3) - Twitter
Instagram: Dizzy Brunnette (@dizzybrunette3)

Way before becoming a blogger myself I would spend hours and hours scrolling through Corrie's blog, it's just so beautiful. This girl, is legit an inspiration. Corrie loves to share snippets from her life, beauty, fashion (she rocks those instagrammable walls), planning her wedding and her beloved labradoodle Frankie! Who is the cutest pooch about. What I love about Corrie is how she comes across in her blogs and Youtube videos, it honestly feels so genuine and she seems super friendly. My favourite videos are her beauty hauls, and her tips and tricks with beauty looks. Another reason why this girl is pretty amazing is those luscious locks she maintains, she is most definitely a hairspiration.

Jordan Bone (Jordan's Beautiful Life)

Jordan is a makeup and motivation Youtuber and published author who lives in Norfolk. WOOO! This girl is most definitely one of the most inspiring Youtubers out there at the moment and I have seen her brand go from strength to strength and I know it will continue to do so for many years to come. Back in 2005, Jordan was involved in a car accident which would change her life forever. Ever since that day she has been a quadriplegic, paralysed from the chest down,she has also been through depression because of the reality of her injury. However, despite how difficult her life as a quadriplegic can be she is super positive and has a drive to live a full life and created her own YouTube videos all about positivity and motivation to hopefully inspire at least one person. Last year, she release her first book My Beautiful Struggle where she shares her incredible story which is truly inspiring.

Gracie (Grace Victory)
Youtube: Grace F Victory – YouTube
Blog: Gracie Francesca | The Internet’s Big Sister
Twitter: Gracie 🖤 (@GraceFVictory) · Twitter
Instagram: Gracie Francesca (@gracefvictory)

I first discovered Gracie on one of her two BBC documentaries and so I thought I would go and see what she's all about. I love this girl, she's unlike any other Youtuber I have watched and her blog is pretty amazing. I love her complete honesty and she makes it no secret that she suffers with her mental health and I know that some many of her posts are inspiring other people through their struggles. Gracie is a dedicated body image campaigner and has modelled beautifully in plus size campaigns, you even catch snippets of her in some adverts. However despite her own insecurities, she most definitely empowers others. One of my fave projects of hers was the recent L’Oreal campaign along with other Youtubers and Celebrities; breaking down racial barriers in beauty.

Emma Conway (Brummy Mummy of 2)
Instagram: Emma Conway (@brummymummyof2)

If you do anything today then please go and watch this video, especially if you're up for a giggle. A word of warning, finish your tea or coffee before this one. I really hope you did watch this video, because if you did you will completely understand why I'm adding this lady to this list. The woman behind the madness is the lovely Emma Conway who is one of the most popular parenting bloggers out there and has even won some awards. Woo Hoo! Her whole blog and Youtube channel focuses on all aspects of being a parent of two, giving you an insight to the highs and lows of what being a parent is, an honest and funny account of parenting. 

Lorraine Mulrooney - (Babyy Pebbles)
Instagram: Lorraine Mulrooney (@Lorrainemulrooney)

I first came across the beautiful Lorraine over on Instagram, which I know that you will love. It's very aesthetically pleasing with some many photos of her gorgeous little girl Penny. The reason why I warmed to Lorraine so much is that we have had a similar pathway to parenthood and our daughter's are pretty much the same ages and so, not in a stalker kind of way, we went through the same milestones with our girls. But I love the way that this girl likes to share all the moments in her life, even the ones where you don't think you'll be able to get through. I really like the way that Lorraine comes across in her videos, she seems to be honest and the fact that she shares her baby loss, just shows that she just wants to help others. 

Aby Moore (You Baby Me Mummy)
Youtube: You Baby Me Mummy - Youtube
Blog: You Baby Me Mummy
Twitter: Aby Moore (@youbabymemummy).
Instagram: Aby Moore (@youbabymemummy).

If you want to take your blog to the next level then then this is the lady for you. Aby has become my blog guru and has helped my blog grow from strength to strength. Aby is quite something. With her courses you'll be able to smash your blogging goals for sure, join her in her mission to help people turn their blog in a business and sign up to the mamapreneur revolution. I signed up for one of her courses to help with productivity just over a year ago and now I'm self employed! And I am doing something that I never thought was possible and I really love it. Aby works so hard when it comes to blogging with daily face time lives, being in Facebook groups and only too happy to answer questions. If her workload wasn't crazy enough she has even started her own podcast, The Huddle with Ceri from This Welsh Mother. It's a funny listen. 

Gemma Brushneen (Somewhere After the Rainbow)
Youtube: Somewhere After The Rainbow - Youtube
Blog: Somewhere After The Rainbow
Twitter: Somewhere After The Rainbow (@gemmabrushneen)
Instagram: Somewhere After The Rainbow (@gemmabrushneen)

I found Gemma and her blog through Instagram, a recent discovery too. It's a shame really, because I LOVE her instastories, like seriously go and follow her just for these alone. I can't help but nod my head along with some of her uploads. As you can see from her blog name, Gemma focuses on life as a family of five after baby loss and through her blog she talks openly about the difficult time with her family. Something that is incredibly brave, to want to share something that is so personal just show what type of person she is, a real and honest one. 

Amy Cooper (Everything Mummy)
Youtube: Everything Mummy - Youtube
Blog: Everything Mummy
Twitter: Everything Mummy (@amycooperEM)
Instagram: Everything Mummy (@amy_everythingmummy)

I have followed Amy for some time, probably way before I even thought about becoming a blogger myself. To be honest her blog posts helped me through those late nights with a teething baby. Amy and her three gorgeous girls are so adorable and are totally photogenic, I love her Youtube channel it's literally everything. She shares snippets of her life as mum to three girls. Sometimes, I really don't know how she does, Amy is definitely super mum. 

Jonathan & Anna Saccone Joly (The Saccone Jolys)
Youtube: The Saccone Jolys - Youtube
Twitter: Jonathan (@JonathanJoly) Anna (@AnnaSaccone)
Instagram: Jonathan (@jonathanjoly) Anna (@annasaccone)

London based YouTube family, The Saccone-Jolys, includes husband and wife Jonathan and Anna, children Emilia, Eduardo, and Elessoa, and their six dogs. The name “SACCONEJOLYs” is a combination of Anna’s last name Saccone and Jonathan’s last name Joly. In 2008 Anna was uploading beauty videos to youtube on her own channel and Jonathan was helping her behind the scenes.In late 2009 Jonathan set up this channel because he wanted to do his own youtube videos. What started out as a week experiment to film his life everyday for 7 days in a row has now become SACCONEJOLYs

So Ladies? What's with the Smear Fear?

Yes, ladies. Like it or not, cervical screenings are something that we have to endure in our lifetime. It goes without saying, we all know the importance of regular screenings and the devastating impact cervical cancer can have. However, latest statistics show that attendance of cervical screenings in England are the lowest they have been for two decades, falling to 72%. Many of us know the importance of these tests, yet it something we are not doing. So what's with the smear fear?

Now, don't get me wrong I was like so many of you reading this post and feared the smear. It's not the most comfortable. I had my first smear a few months after I had my daughter, my health visitor mentioned booking one for me at my daughter's six week check and she booked me in for the following week. I was apprehensive, because I didn't know what to expect. But in all honesty it wasn't as bad as I thought. It was a little uncomfortable, but painless and took less than five minutes. I know they are not nice, but it's something that could potentially save your life. I saw an article that has inspired me to want to write this post. In the article, there is a consistent theme throughout, the Jade Goody Effect is over with cervical screening appointment being made at an all time low. For those that don't know, Jade Goody was a reality television personality who hit the spotlight through Big Brother UK and was pretty much in the spot light from there on. At the age of 26, she was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer and passed away a few months later. Being in the public eye, Jade used her diagnosis to try and raise awareness for cervical cancer screenings for younger women, and her sharing her story saw an increase in the rate of women attending appointments for their smears. It is vital that women attend their smear tests, and are educated on the importance of regular smear tests. If you are over 25 and have not had a smear test in the past three years, get in contact with your GP to book a simple, painless, quick procedure which could save your life. I have my appointment today....So go and book your smear, spread the word in aid of cervical cancer prevention week 22-28 January 2018.

However if you're feeling fearful about having your first smear or don't want to return to have another, I have a few suggestions to help you feel more at ease.

What To Wear?

In all honesty it really doesn't matter what you wear on the day, as you'll be behind a curtain. But dress in comfy clothing so you can get undressed quickly, ensuring you're in and out of your appointment in no time. You will then be asked to strip from the waist down and get onto the bed. You are given a sheet so you can cover your lower half and then you will let the doctor or nurse know that you are ready. My nurse was so friendly and knew that it was my first time so she chatted to me about my daughter, which made me feel at ease. 

Booking The Appointment

Call your doctor surgery and organise a time that's convenient for you. At the moment there seems to be a two week wait, however when I booked mine I was offered appointments at other surgeries so keep this in mind when booking yours. Most tests will be performed by a female nurse or doctor, but always check and ask for a female if you'd prefer. Something else to consider when booking the appointment is your menstrual cycle. It's not always so easy to predict your period, but try and book the appointment before or after your period. 

Before The Test

A few days before your test avoid having sex for 48 hours, or have anything inside you including any vaginal medications, moisturisers, creams or lubricants. As these can affect the result, meaning that you may have to book another test. It may sound obvious but if your bikini line is tidy, you will most likely to feel more relaxed. But in all honesty if you don't the nurse or doctor will not be in the bothered when doing the procedure, it's something that they have to do on a daily basis. 

On The Day 

You may feel nervous, but there is nothing to feel nervous about. It's a little comfortable, but completely bearable. The cervical screening test usually takes around 5 minutes to carry out. The doctor or nurse will gently put an instrument called a speculum into your vagina. This holds the walls of the vagina open so the cervix can be seen. A small soft brush will be used to gently collect some cells from the surface of your cervix. I'm not entirely sure how to describe the procedure, it's an odd sensation and something I have never felt before, but it's painless. So make sure you try to relax as much as possible as being tense makes the test more difficult to carry out. The cell sample is then sent off to a laboratory for analysis and you should receive the result within 2 weeks.

So, ladies? Get your lipsticks ready and join in the #SmearForSmear campaign to raise awareness for cervical cancer prevention week 22-28 January 2018. I would love to give a special thank you to all the beautiful ladies who got out their lipsticks and joined in with the campaign #SmearForSmear and agreed to be a feature in this post. So please go and give these amazing ladies some love.

Under The Spotlight: Soap and Glory Spa of Wonder

If you're anything like me, you'll love this time of year. After the rush of excitement that comes with Christmas and New Year, it feels good to be able to catch a breath and relax, a little. As we say hello to the new year, I have done the whole cliche of making some resolutions and one I intend on sticking to is making more time for myself. As a parent it can be so hard. I know that my three year old daughter keeps me on my toes most of the time and by the time she goes to bed I am too tired to want to have me time, but even so, I need to make time to rest and recuperate. The perfect resolution seeing as I received lots of indulgent treats for Christmas. As always, Soap & Glory never fail to disappoint and I can't wait to show this jam packed box of treats. 

The Soap & Glory Spa of Wonder contains lots of indulgent treats that are perfect for a pamper evening with bath, body, skincare products and even make up. This jam-packed collection features some of Soap & Glory’s most popular products in a sturdy container, that can be used again. There are an amazing variety of products to suit everyone. This beauty box is similar to last years one, including my favourite facial wash and a new one, a radiance boosting mask perfect for an indulgent treat. 

W H A T ' S   I N    T H E   B O X  ?

As you can see, all the beautiful products come in this gorgeous box which you can use for storage or something. Last year, Soap & Glory used a metal suitcase for their big box of beauty buys. I had a clear out of products just before Christmas, and got rid of the storage tin so this will be the perfect substitute. So what's included in the box? First up we have the CLEAN ON ME™ Shower Gel. This body wash is fantastic, it's my absolute fav. The pump makes it easy and mess free to dispense. The shower gel itself is a beautiful consistency, it feels thick and luxurious. I use it with a exfoliating gloves and find that 1-2 pumps is is plenty for the whole body and face as it foams up so well. I absolutely love the scent of all Soap and Glory products, it's not overpowering. My skin feels really clean, fresh and soft afterwards. 

RIGHTEOUS BUTTER™ 3-in-1 Body Wash. This product is amazing. It lathers really well in the shower with a shower puff, smells divine and gives you a really smooth, close shave to whatever bits need doing - in super quick time. SCRUB OF YOUR LIFE™ Body Buffer. I love body scrubs and this one has a scent that combines fresh bergamot and mandarin, rose, jasmine, peach, strawberry, oak moss, amber and woody notes. I am a massive fan of this gorgeous scrub. Best scrub ever leaves skin so refreshed after each use and you only need a small amount and has a lovely smell.

RIGHTEOUS BUTTER™. If you get the chance to try the body butter, try it. It’s AMAZING!! The name itself describes how it is, it really is like butter. The smell of this cream is absolutely amazing. It will leave your skin feels smoother, softer and fresher. I normally use it after I have a shower so it absorbs better but anytime should be fine. Unlike other moisturisers out there this one is not heavy at all and is really light and delicate on skin. SMOOTHIE STAR™ Body Milk, this is a very lovely moisturizing milk with a smell of freshly baked cookies when you applied it. 

FACE SOAP & CLARITY™ Facial Wash. I have dry, sensitive skin so I'm normally cautious with face products but this product says it's suitable for all skin types. I have to say for me, it's pretty good and doesn't irritate my skins whatsoever. My skin feel cleaner, smoother and super fresh. This is one facial wash that I will always have in the bathroom. One new addition to the Soap & Glory big box is this BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL™ Radiance-Boosting Mask, but I have yet to use it. I am a little dubious about face masks because the last time I used one I had an allergic reaction to some of the ingredients. So I am hoping my skin will love this mask. 

THICK & FAST™ HD MASCARA in Black, I have to say this is not my favourite of the whole set. Only because I prefer a certain mascara wand and this doesn't give me the coverage that I normally like. You have to put layers and layers of mascara to get a day lash. I will keep with it, but I do prefer my L'Oreal and Benefit ones. Now the SUPERCAT™ Liquid Eyeliner in Black is a different story. It's the best liquid liner I have ever used, it lasts ages.. It's super pigmented, doesn't smudge and is really easy to use. And finally we come to the last product in the beauty box the SEXY MOTHER PUCKER™ Lip Gloss in Plums Up it's a very neutral pale shade. The plumping/tingling sensation is quite strong, does it plump my lips? I can't tell, in all honesty. I really like the consistency of the gloss and stays on the lip for ages and smells amazing. In a nutshell, this is a great buy for any Soap & Glory fan, as it's full of lots of indulgent treats that will sure to suit everyone. 

What a gorgeous beauty box full of indulgent treats! What's your favourite? 

Goals, Hopes and Dreams for 2018

Hello and Happy New Year. 

Well what a year 2017 has been for our perfect family trio. It's been full of adventures and we have created some of the most amazing memories. There's been nothing but laughs, smiles and giggles. We've had birthdays, anniversaries, and even two new additions have slotted nicely into our ever growing list of nieces and nephews. We celebrated our fourth anniversary, we had holidays, celebrated our daughters third birthday and we went away on one of the most amazing weekends to say goodbye to my 20s. Despite all the great memories to look back on there are a few that we wish to forget, but we couldn't have got through those tough times without our family and friends by our side. Now onto some new adventures as the perfect little trio. Our fifth wedding anniversary, birthdays, holidays, and our little lady will start school. It's an exciting year ahead and we cannot wait to wait for a fresh start full of new adventures. 2018 we are ready for you!

T H E  B L O G

1. Grow my social media following. I believe in setting myself reasonable followers goals and I don't want my goals way above what I'll reach so I have set a goal for all my social media platforms to 8,000. So make sure you're following me? The main platform for focus for this year is Instagram, it's a touch cookie to crack but I will try and become more focused. 

2. Get more involved with my blog series #MotherhoodMondays & The Baby Feeding Series. If you're interested please leave me a lovely comment with your email and I'll get in touch. 

3. Collaborate with some more fantastic bloggers and exciting brands. Last year was such a great year for me brand wise, and I am hoping to work with many more fabulous brands. Continue to work to increase my current DA. 

B E I N G  A  P A R E N T

1. Prepare my little lady for school. 

2. Sign my daughter up for some ballet dance classes.

3. Teach my daughter to ride her bike. 


1. Try for baby number 2...

2. Start a health kick, ditch pasta and the bread. 

3. Exercise for weight loss and do Pilates help with stress.

4. Assign one day a week to shut off all electronics and get outside for some family time. Once a month organise a special day out to explore the adventure. 

I really do hope that I can achieve all my goals for 2018 or at least most of them. Please keep your fingers crossed guys and wish me luck. What are your goals, hopes and dreams for 2018?

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