Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Halloween fun ideas!

As All Hallow's Eve approaches I wanted to do a quick round up of  all things halloweeny. 
I've been having a look around the internet and found a few fun games, songs and costumes for all ages so if you are stuck for ideas then read on!

Fun and Games

The queen of all things party-related, Martha Stewart has a round up of fab games, invites and crafts for everyone. I love the look of the 'pop goes the pumpkin' game!

Spoonful has a really great selection of games and a ton of printables and colouring pages to keep little ones entertained.

In case you are in need of some adult games, Punchbowl has a list of games for grownups which incudes 'shot in the dark', a drinking game which is sure to have everyone in good spirits ( get it...drinking, spirits, ghostys...you get it ..haha)

Costume Ideas

Jokers Masquerade is the place I always turn to for amazing costumes and great service, they do a gazillion costumes of all kinds for both adults and kids. My favourites...I love the steampunk costumes. So unbelievably cool. 

Amazingly talented Youtube beauty guru Nicole Guerriero has a ton of halloween makeup ideas. I really like her female mad hatter tutorial. Its beautiful and creepy at the same time. I definitely want to try it sometime.

For something simple both Lily Pebbles 'dead dolly' and  Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup's 'sugar skull-esque' tutorials are both easy and impressive. 


Who are we to argue with Billboard? They have complied a list of the top 10 halloween songs and I think they are all awesome. Find it here


This is a toughie for me because I hate scary movies! So if you are looking for a list of horror movies then you are looking in the wrong place haha. However, there are a few kids movies that I absolutely adore so if you are looking for a not-so-scary show then these are my favourites. 

Hocus Pocus - Fun and trouble with Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker circa 1993. This was one of my faves as a kid and I still love it. 

Labyrinth - One of my all time favourite movies, any time of the year. This is spellbinding stuff and David Bowie as the goblin king is just priceless. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas - An animated masterpiece with a brilliant soundtrack, I watch this at least two or thee times every year between halloween and christmas. 

So there you have it, a quick round up and run down of halloween things to do and see this week. 

Has anyone got any epic plans for halloween this year? We have a family party planned this year and I'm babysitting on Thursday so a movie marathon featuring all of the above is definitely on the cards. I may enjoy it even more than the kids haha!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Life/Uni/Blog Balance

So it happened again. More days than I care to count since a blog post on here. Drat.

I started back at uni a few weeks ago and its the first time that I have had to balance studying and blogging at the same time, not to mention life and housework and all that fun stuff getting in the way. It's safe to say that I'm failing at the blogging part (though hopefully not at uni haha!).

I am a distance learning student with the Open University. I love to learn (total geek over here) and I actually love distance learning and going at my own pace. The OU is a great institution and I have never had a course I haven't like or a tutor I didn't get along with. 

It does however require a lot of discipline and it always takes me a little while to get into the swing of things with each new module. 

So I'm asking you to please bear with us here on Magpie and Hen. Fingers crossed that we will find our balance and our blogging mojo again soon.

I have a few posts planned out that I'm hoping to get photographed over the weekend so those should be up soon. 

Thanks for sticking with us!
Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Skin Woes - Coping With Couperose And Rosacea

Sidenote: Apologies for the naughty lack of blogging lately!!! Alas, life got the better of me last week.
 Back to our regularly scheduled programming now :)

Today I want to talk about skin, well, the skin on my face to be exact. 
I had pretty good skin as a teenager, it had the usual oily areas and the odd spot but on the whole it was generally well behaved. The only problem I had was that my fair skin was very prone to flushing. I had very rosy cheeks on a good day and looked like a bright red shiny beacon on a bad day (not so cute).

It started getting worse towards the end of my teenage years, my face would struggle to stay calm if I was even slightly to warm and then began to flush when I felt chilly too (which was often since I live in Northern Ireland).It also began to get very sensitive and reacted badly to all the products that my teenage and early twenties self kept piling on to try and hide it.

At twenty one I was doing a course in beauty and loving it. One day one of the teachers was demonstrating a facial on my skin and commented that my skin was great for showing how a facial should be done on someone with Rosacea. I remember thinking 'Wait. What? I have what on my face?'

Turns out she was right. We'll, almost. I do have Rosacea but it's really only developed in the last couple of years. What she saw on my skin ten years ago was the beginnings of Couperose. It's similar to Rosacea and has a lot of the same triggers such as excess heat and stress and can sometimes go hand in hand with Rosacea, as it does in my case.Basically my skin has a bunch of red patches, lots if little red prickly dots and broken capillaries and gets very flushed if I am too hot, too cold, under any kind if stress and is easily aggravated by rubbing of any kind. My chest also flushes very easily and when I'm too warm my entire upper body gets pretty pink to the point I look sunburnt but it disappears as soon as I cool down. 

So, lately my skin has gotten a lot worse, its very dry and easily irritated and all the products that I have been using for ages seem to be making it worse so I decided to go back to basics, a simple cleanse, tone and moisturise routine with a serum thrown in for good measure, all with products suitable for sensitive/dry/redness prone skin. I normally spend a fair bit on my skincare but since my skin is going through a rough patch and reacting to so many things I thought I would see if I could find some sensitive products that weren't too expensive in case my skin reacted badly to them and they ended up a waste of money. I thought I would share with you what I have been using in case it is helpful to anyone out there with similar issues. 

I have been using Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish for about five years and although my skin tolerates it fairly well I can only use lukewarm water and have to be very gentle with it. In the past I have used Bioderma Micellar water to get rid of makeup and grime and it is fab, really good for sensitive skin as no rubbing is needed at all. It is however expensive and sometimes difficult to get in the uk. L'Oreal have totally upped their skincare game this past year and have released a Micellar water of their own and I think this might be every bit as good as Bioderma! I've been using it for a month now and my skin is smoother and less irritated. I still cleanse with the Liz Earle every other night as well but giving my skin a break from rinsing with water seems to have helped it a great deal. I'm also using a sensitive L'Oreal Eye Makeup Remover as I find the Micellar water doesn't always shift waterproof eye makeup without a little rubbing which I am trying to avoid as much as I can.

Following that I have been using a toner from Superdrug's Simply Pure range for sensitive skin. So far it seems to be doing the job and not irritating me in any way so that's a plus as so many toners really don't agree with me. Next I've been using this serum from Boots Botanics Ultra Calm range. It has been a lifesaver for me! My skin is protected and soothed and feels so soft since I started using this. It's not expensive, I got it on offer with one third off and it was just over a fiver. Bargain! 

The moisturiser is one that I found in Savers Chemist and I can't seem to find it anywhere else! It's this Garnier one for sensitive skin. It has a very light fragrance and seems to provide enough moisture to get me through the day without making my skin shiny and again is soothing enough to calm my redness down a bit.

So far so good, my skin has settled a bit and seems less angry. I do think I need more hydration though than these products are giving me though, especially coming into Autumn and Winter when my skin is at it's driest. A night cream and maybe a hydrating mask would definitely improve the levels of moisture in my skin but I don't want to overload it right now with too many different products. For now I'm just happy that my cheeks are less red/angry/sore and my skin feels a little bit softer and smoother than it did a month ago.

Does anyone have any other great products for sensitive skin? Leave a comment below and let me know, I would be forever grateful!

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