REN EVERCALM Gentle Cleansing Milk Review

I have combination/oily problem skin, I am very prone to breakouts and redness and  my skin does not like harsh products. I have been struggling to find a cleanser that does not dry my skin out too much, cause a breakout and make my skin all tight and uncomfortable until I found this!

Fed up with my current cleansers and the way my skin felt after cleansing I sat down one night and browsed the internet in search of a saviour! I have heard good things about REN products and was drawn to their EVERCALM range. Free from ingredients such as parabens, sulphates, mineral oil,  synthetic colours and fragrance (which my skin hates!) I thought I would give it a try. A nice gentle product free from lots of ingredients that my skin does not react well to.


I bought my cleanser from Cult Beauty, it cost £16 exc delivery and arrived within a couple of days.

I was excited to try it and couldn’t wait to take my make up off and give it a whirl!

The cleanser has a rich creamy texture and the product sinks into your skin as you gently massage before rinsing with warm water. You don’t need any more than 1 pump of product as it goes a long way.

After just my first use I didn’t get any tightness or drying, my skin felt soft and smooth (even my breakouts!) and I looked refreshed,  I was impressed!

I used it the next morning and again it left beautifully soft, smooth, clean skin. I completed the rest of my skincare routine as normal. I then applied my make up and my foundation went on so much better than normal, it glided over my skin. It had to be the cleanser that changed the way my foundation was sitting as it was the only thing that had changed in my routine.

I’ve been using this product for nearly 2 months now and there has definitely been a reduction in my redness, I’m still getting breakouts but no more than normal so it hasn’t made me breakout either. Even my toner isn’t making my skin dry out or be uncomfortable which it had been previously.

Overall I’m impressed with this product and can’t wait to try more from this range. My favourite aspect  has to be how soft and clean my skin feels and looks. I will definitely be re purchasing after I’ve finished this bottle and it may become one of my holy grail products.

Have you any favourite skincare products for sensitive combination skin?




My First Panic Attack!

I suffer with a bit of anxiety which has got steadily worse over the past 2 years. This post isn’t about my anxiety or how I deal with it I will write a post abut that at a later date. This post is an account of my first panic attack. It is something I’ll never forget and I don’t really want to go through it again.

The day I had the panic attack I had a pretty easy day both children were at school and pre-school all day and I had just been pottering round the house, no anxiety all day.

I went to collect my son from school and he came out with an accident form he had ran into another child in the playground and cut his lip. It had only just happened so they cleaned him up and sent him out with an accident slip. We were walking over to collect my daughter from pre school and he had started to cry , I could see blood trickling out of his mouth. I knew he hadn’t just cut his lip so when we got to the traffic lights I had a closer look, there was just too much blood for it to be just a cut. I lifted up his top lip and inside his mouth was a big split it was almost flapping around! As soon as I lifted his lip my stomach dropped and I felt sick.  It was obvious his tooth had gone through his lip as they had collided.

I started to panic, I wasn’t showing I was panicked as he was already very upset and I didn’t want to make him worse. I knew I had to get him to A& E. I still had to collect my daughter and I was quite sure that his lip was going to need stitched. My daughter is not the type to sit nice on her own while I comforted my son and held him while he had his lip stitched! I just suddenly felt overwhelmed and I couldn’t think straight. Everyone that could help me were 40-50 minutes away and at work, I still had collect my daughter and then travel to A&E as we don’t have one in our town. I couldn’t focus on what to do or the easiest solution was to get someone to help me. All I felt was panic!

I went into the yard to collect my daughter and this is where the height of my panic attack occurred. I was stood outside the gate and I was already panicking as I have explained and I was struggling to get a decent breath or so it felt, it was like there was something blocking the air from getting into my lungs. As I was walking into the yard my ears started ringing, my vision went burry, I couldn’t hear properly and all the voices around me were muffled, I felt like I was going to faint. In my head I was saying to myself calm down the kids need you, you can’t do this. All I could think was get back to the car before you faint and the thought of fainting in the playground and leaving the kids panicked was making me panic more. One of the teachers were stood next to me &  I somehow managed to tell her that I was nipping to the car. I ran back to the car sat down and downed all of my sons water from his water bottle. Gradually my heart stopped racing, the ringing stopped, my vision came back and didn’t feel panicked anymore.

I started thinking more clearly and remembered the hospital/doctors surgery in my town has a minor injuries unit so took him there first. He ended up in A&E but no stitches as the tear hadn’t gone over his lip line and was inside his mouth. Very sore for a while and he still has a lump on his lip where it closed back together.

I haven’t had a full blown panic attack like this since but it prompted me to start dealing with my anxiety.


A Letter to My Children…..

I never thought I’d have children, I don’t really know why I guess growing up I was more focused on me and what career I was going to have, that was always my prime focus but then I met your dad and that all changed. Once we were married I felt ready and I wanted to be a Mum.

To my son, I will never forget the second you were born and the doctor handed you to me you looked as shocked as I felt! Our eyes met and I felt a love that I never even knew existed.

You are 5 now and you have grown into a clever , strong,  kind hearted little boy and you show me every day that you should never let anything stand in your way, you manage your autism beautifully at such a young age and you let nothing hold you back I am so proud of you!

To my daughter, you swiftly entered this world and you have not slowed down since! Once again I felt that overwhelming love that I had only ever felt once before, the day I met your brother.  You made our family complete. Our beautiful baby girl.

3 years on and you have blossomed into a clever, funny, feisty and strong willed little girl. I hope you never lose that will and feistiness it will take you far! I’m so proud that you are my little girl, you drive me crazy sometimes with that strong will but I wouldn’t have you any other way.

I love you both more than you will ever know and it isn’t something I can actually put into words. It is my privilege to raise you and watch you grow. Whatever life throws at you I’ll be right there by your side, never judging and always with a helping hand.

There is no doubt in my mind that you will both achieve great things in your life. If there is one piece of advice that I can give you it is to be happy, grab life with both hands and do whatever your heart desires.








We Have a Diagnosis

After nearly 4 years we finally have confirmation that our son has ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)

Our consultant has been brilliant, the multiple agency assessment takes a long time to complete and he kept us updated with information he was waiting for and appointments he had requested (we had a bit of trouble getting the first assessment which I talk about in my previous blog post’ Our autism diagnosis journey’, but once we got over that things moved a lot quicker). At our diagnosis appointment he gave us some good advice for the future and lots of information with regard to the main issues my son has such as his struggle to fall asleep sometimes and a self referral form for an autism course (I have already completed an autism awareness course so I probably won’t be doing this) At the end of our appointment our son was discharged with no therapies or need for follow up.

When his consultant said the words ‘he does have ASD’ I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. It was so good to finally hear a professional confirm what we have always suspected. I don’t know what I expected I was going to feel like when we got the diagnosis and I never felt nervous about what the consultant was going to say. I’m more happy for him that we’ve got the diagnosis and we’ve got it early on so that he doesn’t have to grow up without any support or without anybody understanding him. Now we can move forward and continue to raise a happy little boy.

Not having a diagnosis made it harder for other people to accept and a lot of the time if I spoke about it people would say ‘well lets just wait and see what the doctors say!’ or ‘he looks fine it’s probably his age’ I felt like screaming ‘do some research listen to what we’ve already been told, his consultant already said he suspects he has mild autism, wake up and stop pushing it aside!’ And I still get silly comments now from people such as ‘really I would never have guessed that!’ ‘well he doesn’t look like he is autistic!’ ‘oh it’s only mild he’ll be fine’ This is a big reason why we need more autism awareness people just do not understand the condition and they do not seem to grasp that it is a spectrum disorder and people have it in varying degrees. My son has mild autism and just because it is mild does not mean he does not struggle with certain things.




Fabulous Family Break 

We have just returned from a fabulous break at Centre Parcs, Whinfell Forest, Penrith. My husband and I completely relax and recharge our batteries and the children have so much fun romping round the forest and sleeping in a cabin.

Our days were filled with fun and adventure, lots of family activities and two exhausted children at the end of every day! We were able to do a lot more activities than on our previous visits as our daughter is a bit older and can get more involved. Every time I ask them what their favourite activity was I get a different answer! One minute it’s horse riding the next it’s sleeping in a cabin then it will be swimming or the treasure hunt!

Duck Pond

We would take leisurely walks to the duck pond with our puppy Barney, hand in hand chatting and looking for lots of different wildlife.

Its an amazing feeling being able to take a break from ‘real life’ and spend quality time with my family.

Pony Trekking

One of my favourite things was when we took part in the Tots Go Wild activity, one of the rangers took us into the nature reserve and the children laid out nuts and syrup for the badgers to feed on. Later that evening around 8:30/9:00pm we were watching the forest cam on TV and the badgers came out and ate the food we had left for them. The children were elated and went off to bed full of smiles and chatting about badgers.

There’s so much to do and so much to see you’re never bored. Its a place where you can make memories that last a lifetime.

We’re already planning our next trip and we can’t wait to get back to our happy place.

I’m a Stay at Home Mum

I read a lot and hear a lot of stories about women being shamed for being a stay at home mum. When people ask me what I do I am always cautious about telling them that I’m a stay at home mum and I don’t know why! Why can’t I say it with confidence? Why do I feel the need to justify the reason I’m a stay at home mum? I know that it is ridiculous that I feel this way, yet I still can’t answer these questions!

In the past I have had people say to me oh lucky you!, so what do you do with yourself all day then? and oh lady of leisure! The last statement couldn’t be further from the truth! Many people think you have all this time so you can do what you like when you like. Just because we don’t go out of the house and earn a wage does not mean that we do nothing all day! Most of our day is spent running round after other people!


Just as a working mums day is busy so is a stay at home mums. Mums whether they decide to work or not are just busy! 

Whether you are a working mum or a stay at home mum it is a 24/7 job and we should all be supporting each other not tearing each other down and judging one another! We are all the same, we are all mothers doing our best for our families.

Some Mummy bloggers have been in the media this week because of an article that was written about them – ‘Slummy Mummies’ We all need humour and we all feel the stresses and strains of parenting, I enjoy reading the articles that these women write! We all feel the things the women are writing about sometimes! It’s good to be able to laugh about these and to know it’s not just you that goes through this stuff.

In my opinion it’s time to lighten up and stop judging each other over every little thing! Parenting is hard whatever your personal circumstances are! 


Dodd Wood and Mirehouse Gardens

Dodd Wood from Mirehouse Gardens

The Easter holidays have been and gone and we had lots of family fun! The kids favourite day had to be when we visited Dodd Wood and Mirehouse Gardens in Keswick.

This was also my first visit to this place and I was pleasantly surprised. We never made it into the house as we had our puppy with us but we’ll definitely be back to have a look round Mirehouse itself.

When we arrived (and I cleaned myself up, I was covered in puppy sick from the car journey!) we had a bacon sandwich at the tea shop before heading off into the wood. My son and husband went off ahead of my daughter and I, collecting pine-cones, stones and racing up hills.

My daughter who is three complained a lot of the time and we only ended up going halfway up the trail as she doesn’t really like to walk much and insisted that I carry her up most of it! I think she only agreed to walk in exchange for easter egg or when there was a bridge to run across!

Once we got back down the hill we headed across the road to Mirehouse and its gardens. We were given a nature trail activity sheet for the kids but we didn’t do this as they were only interested in finding the little park and adventure playground.

There were various trails you could go down and there is a lakeside walk you can do. The first lane we went down led us to an obstacle course where we all had lots of fun running around, climbing over and under various wooden obstacles. It was lots of fun racing each other round. We then went across to the little park which consisted of a play house, tyre swing, swing and a horse and cart.

Once the children had finished their play on the park we crossed the little stream running next to it and walked over to the Bee Garden which is a sheltered walled garden full of flowers (all planted to benefit honey bees) and a small heather maze,  which the children enjoyed running through.

We walked down to the Lovers Lane trail which i believe leads on to the lakeside walk also. We turned back at this point as the children were getting and tired and it was almost time for dinner.

img_2495-1Flowers in Mirehouse Gardens

We are planning to go back and visit the house and complete the lakeside walk, finishing up with an ice cream or cake from the tea rooms! If you are ever in the Keswick area you should definitely pay this place a visit, beautiful gardens and a beautiful house all set in beautiful surroundings!