Star Finds of 2014

I often want to write about something that I really love but since blogging less I lean towards the meatier posts. I thought it would be fun to share the things I have consistently loved throughout the year – that stand the test of time and I use and go back to again and again. Here’s my list, have you got any stand out items from 2014?

Boots Sanctuary Spa long lasting hand lotion £5.50
I mentioned this hand cream when I did a review of several Sanctuary products a while back. It was an immediate standout and has continued to be so pleasing that I have replaced my own and bought it as gifts for other people. It restores my dry hands even after all the hand washing associated with looking after a small baby and after all the diy my hands have been involved in this year.

Burts Bee’s Mama Bee Nourishing body oil £10.99 but currently on offer ⅓ off! (and Baby Bee range.)
I never particularly liked Bio oil and whilst I didn’t always apply oil to my bump to prevent stretch marks (Bad news folks, if you’re going to get them, nothing will stop you, it’s a skin-type thing;) I did use it religiously after giving birth. This mama bee oil smells amazing (citrusy) and made me feel as though I was improving the elasticity of my skin and I still use it all over now. We also use the Baby Bee products at Bea’s bath time and she smells delicious as a result. 😉

Lush Ultrabland £7.25 for a small pot.
I started using this as a cheap alternative to Eve Lom in March this year and haven’t gone back. My skin has never been better and whilst that may be partly due to pregnancy, 5 months later it’s still great. I’m a huge advocate of oil based cleansers balancing problem skin and I think for the price anyone with troublesome skin should try it. Massage into dry skin (I use it to take my makeup off in one step too as I’m rather lazy like that…) then remove with a toner soaked cotton pad or two.

Lakeland mop
I never thought I’d write about a mop being one of my favourite things of the year, but this one has saved my sanity. Whilst having 2 walls knocked through, one door moved and 3 sets of new windows, you can imagine the almost constant dust for the last 12 months. In our hallway particularly the dust settled on wood floors and when we mopped (after brushing and hoovering,) it just pushed the dust around and created dull still-dirty floors. Then I found this triangular mop with a velcro-on microfibre head (replaceable) which you dampen in your floor cleaner then attach and use. I can get round the kitchen and hallway without needing to rinse it under normal conditions and it removes all the dirt or dust. I love microfibre cloths. Don’t get me started on using them for cleaning! (I couldn’t find the exact mop but this one is very similar.)

Instagram
I’m an Instagram addict, sharing behind the scenes goings on while we renovate and try to enjoy normal life too. It’s also the place where I most enjoy engaging with my readers. If you want to follow me I’m here, do say hi!

Inkifi
Following on from Instagram I also love the images it produces – often pictures of Bea I’ve snapped when my proper camera isn’t to hand. A lot of the Instagram printing companies are American but this one is British, well priced, ecofriendly and quick to deliver. I’ve used them twice for pictures of Bea to put in thank you and Christmas cards and will definitely be going back for more. They even have an app to order directly from your phone.

The local library.
Since Bea’s arrival was approaching I’ve started to use our local library more and more. There are so many parenting books out there that it could cost a lot to buy them and often be a waste as one mothers favourite recommendation is a red rag to another mother bull. Instead I loan them from the library and decide what would be helpful to buy and keep – I’ve done this with pregnancy books, baby books, sleep books and now am doing the same with weaning books and I reserve them all online first so there are no wasted trips. Support your local library!

Gel nails.
The last revelation of my year, just before Christmas I had my nails done (first time since Bea was born!) and knowing they wouldn’t make it to Christmas with all the DIY we had left to do and food prep, I opted for a gel manicure. 11 days later they are absolutely pristine, despite me picking screws up off a bare dusty floor, painting, peeling veg and having my hands in dish or bathwater constantly. I would highly recommend them to any mum or just those who can’t make a manicure last. 😉 I go to Nailista in Manchester for mine.

Have you got any great finds for 2014?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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11 thoughts on “Star Finds of 2014

  1. i love that handcream too, got some for Christmas and have been really impressed.
    My find for 2014 has been the Sensationail home gel kit, I also love gels and it’s been brilliant doing them myself! More boringly as someone with no tumble dryer I love the Lakeland heated airer, a godsend for getting toddler washing done!

  2. Good post! For me – Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream which I use as lip balm (I’ve got about ten tubes scattered across various rooms and handbags so I’m never too far away from a fix), Lovea organic shampoo and conditioner which leaves my hair lovely and silky with no chemicals at all, and Huggies baby wipes which are so useful I’m sure we’ll continue to buy them even when the kids are teenagers!

  3. My star find is Elemis Japanese camellia oil, I’m 5 months into my second pregnancy and it has been a miracle for preventing stretch marks (please don’t let me have jinxed that) and I use it on my hair and nails too.
    Is nailista right at the back of waterstones? I noticed it the other week when I was paying for Christmas presents and the decor is gorgeous! I’ve yet to have a gel manicure but I’m going to book, because it looks so nice inside and 11 days would be the longest manicure I’d ever had!

  4. Agree with gel nails. Have my toes done every 4-6 weeks professionally and find they last great but have struggled to keep gel nails pristine for more than 12-14 days. Have invested in my own uv lamp and can now do gel nails as often as I like in 20 mins. If one chips after a couple weeks I just touch it up. It’s been an awesome buy!

    Similarly I’ve switched to eyebrow threading rather than waxing and this seems to last longer. Every day counts when you have little ones at home 🙂

  5. Oh my god, ultrabland, I am OBSESSED too!! I take off with a clean flannel, and feel it’s much better for my skin than eve lom not to mention much much better for my wallet! Xx

  6. I started having gel nails this year for a few months and although they looked great when I had a break from them my real nails were awful. They went really thin and kept breaking. It took 6 months for them to get back to normal.

    My favs of this year have been:

    Elimis spa home skin nourishing body lotion, feels amazing on and smells lovely.
    Bobbi brown vitamin cream, great for my combinational skin works as a base under make up and a little goes a long way.

    I’ve also used inkfi I had some of my photos put into frames they look really good and are such a great price.

    • I wouldn’t have them regularly Stacey – I imagine they can’t be that great for your nails but they are great for prolonging a manicure if you’re going to bother to pay to get them done they might as well last! I used to paint my nails every week, taking one lot of polish off and putting another straight back on. In the 5 months since Bea when I haven’t painted my nails at all, I have noticed they are a lot stronger – they never peel like they used to, despite all the water my hands are in. So maybe it’s just any polish?

  7. Another obsessive about gel nails here -I don’t have them often but they are FAB for special occasions. I had my current ones done on 6th Dec and even now they still look perfect except for some slight growth out at the bases. And Lush Ultrabland is defo next on my list of cleansers to try (been searching for the perfect one for aaaaaaages!)

    My find of this year has been oils as moisturisers -I have incredibly dry skin and had tried pretty much every moisturiser under the sun with little improvement. For the past few months I have been using Clarins Orchid oil last thing at night and Body Shop Vitamin E oil as moisturiser in the morning and my skin is transformed -glowing and healthy. Bring on the oils I say! and Alice -I too am obsessed with 8 Hour Cream -the tinted sticks for lips are wonderful!

  8. Great post. I’m a big fan of our local library too, though it is just a wee portakabin in the village. I can order in books but they take ages. I wonder if you could do a roundup of your favourite parenting/new mum books? I’m going to be in that boat this year, and have picked up a couple of books but it’s so daunting the number that are out there, with conflicting advice!

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