Beauty Review: Lip Plumping Balm

So, I’ll let you in to a little secret. I HATE NEEDLES. Totally despise them and always have! So when I see everyone getting their lips done or botox I am seething with jealousy because I couldn’t do it.

For that reason I was buzzing when I came across this product; the Lip Plumping Balm.

The balm automatically creates a tingling sensation when applied to your lips and it is this that helps to give them an instant boost to perfect your pout. The balm is nourishing to help keep your lips soft but it also contains a hint of a pink tone rather than a clear gloss, so you can wear it alone or on top of your favourite lippy!

The lip plumping balm is now my go to lip product and I have one in my handbag as well as in my main make up bag!

You can see my before and after results below…

Pain free, hint of colour & immediate results – what’s not to love?!

If you have any questions about the balm just send me a PM on Facebook or Instagram. Remember, if you want to purchase the balm quote JAH when mailing me for your personal discount code!

A New Beauty Series: My Top Beauty & Hair Salons in N. Ireland

I love finding a new hairdressers/beauty salon that just ticks all your boxes. Don’t you? Somewhere you can relax, unwind and come away feeling pampered and rejuvenated. For that reason, I thought I would do a new series, sharing some of my favourite hairdressing and beauty salons in Northern Ireland.

I have been lucky enough to work with some incredible beauticians and hairdressers through my blog and my wedding planning work but if I haven’t worked with you previous and you think you have what it takes to be considered then please get in touch! Likewise, if you have a salon that you love and think I haven’t heard of it then let me know and I will definitely check it out.

I can’t wait to share my favourites with you and my top 5 reasons why I love them!

Beauty Review: AP-24 Toothpaste

I love pearly white teeth and always have. It always attracts me to a person when they have beautiful, pearly whites. However, I hate having to wear my mouthguards for my teeth whitening – I am a woman after all, so as my husband says there is no pleasing me!

That is until I came across the AP- 24 Fluroide Whitening Toothpaste. This was one of the first products I tried, in the company I am now partnered with, and it was one of the key reasons I signed up to be a business partner.

You see, the products are results driven. We want to see results (hence the before & afters) and it is these that often sell the product and the reason people buy – they know they will get the results.

I am 2 weeks into my newest tube and at least 6 weeks since my last teeth whitening treatment and these are my results….

Incredible right? Check out my husbands…..

No bleach! Just day and night brushing our teeth!

If you have an event coming up and would like whiter teeth or are a business and would like to stock the products send me an email to jennaanniehill@gmail.com to purchase or PM my Instagram or Facebook!

Travelling with an under one

I am writing this from sunny Spain (yay!). Our holiday finally came around and we jetted off on Saturday morning to our home from home in a little town called Dona Pepa in the south of Spain. I have to be honest I was so nervous about the whole thing; the plane, the heat, the food – everything with a baby! With that in mind, 24 hours into our trip here are my top tips for travelling with an under one.

1. Get rid of your expectations

Whether they be good or bad, push your expectations or anxieties aside. I really thought the plan journey would have been much worse than it was. Yes, it definitely wasn’t straight forward but we all made it alive – that has to be a win win!

2. Toys galore!

I can’t remember who told me to do this but it was the best trick! Keep a little bag aside and fill it with new toys for babies first holiday. Then wrap them up so that they have to spend time unwrapping their new toys AND playing with them! Double the quiet time!

3. Make the most of your surroundings

I stressed a lot about how I would keep Annie in the same spot for the journey but really she was grand crawling up and down the aisle. She was happy getting to roam around and we were able to stay stress free for a little longer.

4. Babies have people skills

Never worry about other passengers, you will find that they love interacting with little ones. Annie spent a large part of our plane journey chatting gobbly gook to other passengers and eating their food! They thought she was a cutie, it put more time in and kept the tempertantrums at bay.

5. Pick your times wisely

The cheapest flights weren’t a priority for us, the best times were. Travelling day time rather than night time meant Annie was her normal happy baby self and not overtired on the flight – definitely worth a little extra money!

We are 24 hours into our first holiday and honestly the joy we have seen in her little face whilst here has been worth the stress of getting ready to jet off. Pack your suitcase and get your flights booked, travelling with an under one is much easier than you think!

Lashes for days

Do you ever find a beauty treatment and wonder how you ever lived without it? For me, it was my lash extensions! Being a busy mum I barely have time to apply make up and I hate the tired eye look (who doesn’t?!) but finding the Nouveau lash extensions has solved that problem.

I have had my lashes applied twice now in Beauty Boulevard, Lisburn and both times I have had between 3 and 3.5 weeks out of my lashes which I think is fab!

It takes around an hour to apply the lashes and one of my favourite parts about them is how bespoke they can be. With different lengths and curls you can move from a soft, natural look to a fuller, more vibrant look with a stronger curl.

With working full time and managing a 9 month old it is hard to still feel glamorous (think baby sick, leggings and baggy jumpers) but the extensions have helped reinstate so glam back into my appearence, perfect for weekdays and the weekend. Thankfully they are also manageable with needing little to no maintenance as I just apply my Nouveau Lash & BrowConditioning Serum daily.

If you don’t want to worry about mascara anymore but still want awake eyes then definitely check out my before and after.

My Country Cottage Hallway Inspo

Recently I told you that we have submitted hopefully our last set of plans to build our dream home! Since submitting them I have been pinning away over on Pinterest and have become homeware obsessed all over again!

I thought I would share some of my hallway inspiration with you today but hopefully you can give me something in return… Who are your favourite interior designers? Where do you love shopping for homeware? Who are your favourite interior bloggers?

I need inspiration to keep me going!

Beauty Review: He Shi Pro Advanced Spray Tan Collection

Can you believe it has been a week since Belfast Fashion Week? Me neither! I was delighted to be invited along with some of the leading ladies in fashion in our capital city but I have to admit, with only a few days notice I didn’t know how I would get ready in time.

Thankfully the lovely girls from He Shi invited us to try out their new Pro Advanced Spray Tan Collection (this was a definite blogging perk!). He Shi promote themselves for only using high quality and scientifically balanced ingredients, and after hearing some rave reviews from other bloggers I knew I was in safe hands.

I headed to their head office for my spray tan the night before the West Coast Cooler high street show and was over the moon when I had the choice between 3 colour percentages 8%, 10% & 12%. I like a deep colour from my spray tan so I decided to go all out with 12%. The new Smart Tan Technology in the Pro Advanced range means it has advanced absorbing agents giving you that deeper tan with longer lasting results.

I was shocked by how quickly the tan was absorbed by my skin with my legs being pretty much dry by the time I was leaving. I loved the caramel tone to the tan which gave me an instant, beautiful colour making me excited for checking out the colour pay off the following morning. Thankfully there was no horrible smell to the tan something we regular tanners hate and my tan faded beautifully so no need to pull out the exfoliating scrub & mitt.

Belfast Fashion Week was awash was beautiful spray tans across St Annes Cathedral last Friday night and I am now a He Shiconvert. I have even been using their Rapid tan at home since (see below).

Have you tried He Shibefore? What are your thoughts?

Beauty Review: My Beauty Boulevard Back Massage & Scrub

What do you do to relax? People often look at me like I am crazy when I ask them. For some, their Friday night Gin might help them relax or their Saturday morning hockey session might help them blow off some steam but for me, it has always been relaxing beauty treatments.

From massages to facials, I love nothing more than switching off, breathing in those aromatheraphy scents and drifting off. It helps me think clearer, switch off my mind and just take some “me” time.

Thankfully the lovely girls from Beauty Boulevard invited me down for a back massage and scrub at the weekend – my perfect Saturday afternoon. I have been visiting the girls every month since Christmas for my nails and waxing so I knew I was in safe hands. They never fail to warmly welcome you and everything is done to the highest standard.

The entire salon is immaculately decorated throughout and the friendliness from Camille & Carolyn is evident from the minute you walk in.

Right on time and armed with a cup of tea I was ready for my massage.

With the soothing sounds and lavender scent in the background, my massage was the perfect method of relaxation this weekend. The treatment was totally tailored to me from the aromatherapy scent in the treatment room to the type of oil used (I chose a detox oil). Carolyn made me feel right at ease, checking in with me on pressure and comfort, leaving me extra time to relax post treatment and giving me my aftercare advice.

Beauty Boulevardoffer a range of treatments from acrylic nails to waxing, massages to facials and each treatment I have had has been as good as the last. If you are in the Lisburn area I would highly recommend them!

Choosing my career and my family

2018 is the year for women!

If you haven’t heard that statement already, you must have been living under a rock.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations and 100 years after we gained the right to vote, women have chosen this year in particular to grab hold of their voices, take a stand and acknowledge their pride for being a woman. For me, this year is about returning to work after my maternity leave and choosing my career and my family together – not one over the other.

CREATE A LIFE YOU LOVE

During my school years, one of my teachers often said this to us and it never really meant much to me. Create a life you love. Huh? Mrs, I’m just trying to grasp my way through A Level English Literature! When I started university however it all made sense. My years in university taught me how to become an individual, to have freedom to make my own choices and to create a life for myself that I would love.

I spent those first few years post university really finding my feet. After a brief stint pretending that becoming an Accountant was the dream (sorry to any Accountants out there but that definitely wasn’t the dream for me!) I fell into working for my current employer and it was there that I remembered what I went to university for in the first place – to help people. Three years on and I have went from the bottom of the ladder to the top of it and I am damn proud of that! Why shouldn’t I be?

You see, I love my job. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy. In managing a domiciliary agency we witness death, journey through a clients illness with them and their families, trek on through the bad weather and work the hours that no one wants to. You take the good with the bad. I have cried with staff and clients but thankfully laughed with them more, it is all part and parcel of the job, but I love it and sure as heck don’t want to give that part of my life up.

So for me, 2018 is the year for women and it is the year for me! It is the year that I become a working mama. My maternity ends in less than four weeks and while I cry every time (seriously, EVERY time!) I think of leaving my beautiful baby girl I can’t wait to get back into the world of work and to pick up where I left off. I have created a life I love and it includes babies and business!

Baking Up a Storm with Forestside Cookery School

Every once in a while you just need to do something different. Do you ever feel that? You are a bit stuck in a rut and want to try something knew? This is definitely the case with my baking. I love to bake but I am fed up baking the same things over and over again. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, so I think we can safely assume my baking wasn’t going to taste any different unless I changed it up!

Thankfully mum felt the same, so for part of her birthday present I booked us in to the Forestside Cookery School. Situated upstairs in Forestside shopping centre, it is a culinary heaven, created and developed by Chef Stephen Jeffers. The luxurious custom built space has everything you could think of to create your culinary masterpiece and for a moment I felt like I was transported to the Masterchef kitchen.

From Asian cuisine to pasta making made simple, an Irish bread masterclass to takeaway classics, Stephen has developed a calendar of events to suit all tastes and skills.

Stephen’s passion for educating the public as well as transforming ingredients into delicious delights beams through his kitchen. His years of experience in the N.I. cooking scene is evident through his abundance of knowledge, tips and tricks and in the team of experts that he brings in to assist him. During our Saturday Bakery Class, we were treated to help from Stephen in conjunction with Irish Bake Off Winner Stephen Chisholm!

We started our baking class off in the cookery schools own dining room, sipping on homemade lemonade – a sure fire way to forget the horrific blizzard outside. Right on time, the man himself Chef Stephen Jeffers & his beaming personality, introduced us to the team and invited us to join him at our stations in his bespoke kitchen. You can’t help but get excited when you meet Stephen and see his kitchen, the equipment and the produce Stephen has for you. His enthusiasm is contagious!

I cannot stress enough how stress free this class is! Everyone knows how chaotic baking can be so baking three new creations in four hours is enough to create a pressure cooker catastrophe but Stephen and his team have their teaching down to a fine art. You won’t have to measure an ingredient, wash a dish or worry about messing up your timings – the team are on hand to help everything run smoothly.

The class runs in a clear and easy to grasp format. Firstly, the chefs demonstrated how to make the dough for our doughnuts. Not only do they show you and talk you through the process but they allow you to quiz them during the demo, making it the perfect opportunity to ask any of those burning questions you have. After the first demonstration, you head back to your station with your partner to recreate what you just watched, but you aren’t alone. The chefs are on hand the entire time watching and helping you if (and when, in my case!) something goes wrong.

During our Saturday Bakery Class we were also treated to a light lunch which consisted of Fennel soup that Chef Jeffers rustled up beside us! Our lunch was incredible and everyone was quizzing him for the recipe afterwards which he happily obliged!

The brilliant bit about these classes is the laid back nature. There is no pretentiousness. People are there to learn but most importantly to have fun and the chefs encourage that.

Days like yesterday make me happy for so many reasons. Not only did we get to work alongside two professional chefs but we got to have a bit of craic doing it! We can often become so consumed by the monotonous nature of our lives and fear stepping outside of the box but I challenge you to jump out of it. Book one of Chef Stephen Jeffers class and enjoy something new.

You can check out the range of classes available here.

Trialing the iMantara by Thai Square products

On a night like tonight you really need no excuse to relax. What else is there to do with Storm Emma & The Beast from The East rattling outside? My ethos for 2018 has solely been on taking more “me” time and relaxing more so I was over the moon when I was kindly gifted some of the iMantara range recently.
iMantara by Thai Square Spa was created to allow customers the opportunity to bring the authentic Thai spa experience to their own home with their opulent products.

Relax, restore and revive with expertly blended formulations that harness the potent natural power of botanicals, oriental essential oils, herbs and spices.

I was gifted three products.

1. So Sen Uplifting Jasmine Body Oil
This luxurious body oil, created from a blend of the Thai Jasmine flower extract, is intensely hydrating but more importantly hugely rejuvenating. Being on my feet all day, I flop into bed most evenings but this oil encompasses energy that helps to lift both the body & mind and is a firm shelf favourite of mine now.

2. Sublime Living Jasmine and Rachawadee Room Spray
Since the first spritz first burst into my home, people have commented on the scent showing me the natural power of the formulation. iMantara by Thai Square describe the scent as regal and they aren’t far wrong, close your eyes and you won’t think your in N.I.

3. So Sen Uplifting Jasmine Body Wash
The older I get the more I want to nourish my body and treat it kinder and the Uplifting Jasmine Body Wash helps me do that. It has helped treat my skin using the Coconut Extracts and Olive oil whilst being incredibly soothing.

We are so hard on our bodies and I think 2018 is only the start of me taking better care of myself. We focus so much on health and fitness but not on treating our bodies but the iMantara products have allowed me to do so, having a positive effect on my mind as well as my body.

If you fancy treating yourself, spritz your bathroom with the room spray, run a bath, use your body wash & apply the oil when you get out. I promise you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards!

Stuck for what to buy your Mum for Mother’s Day?

How do you show your mum just how much she really means to you? Becoming a mum, I have learnt how much mothers really do sacrifice for their little ones. It is a 24/7 job with the worlds craziest dictator for a boss, so how do you even begin to thank a mum for all her hard work. Personally, I love activity gifts rather than material ones. Experiences have always meant more to me than material possessions, so this Mothers Day I’ll be spending it doing an activity with my family rather than looking at my new gift.

With that in mind, here are my Top Five Gifts for your Mum this Mother’s Day.

  1. Cookery Classes

This weekend, mum and I are heading to the Forestside Cookery School. We will be spending four hours under the guidance of their passionate tutors baking chocolate brownies, doughnuts and lemon meringue muffins. Heavenly! Forestside Cookery School is one of many cookery schools in the Belfast area but it came highly recommended so we can’t wait to try it. If you aren’t sure what classes your mum would like best they also do vouchers!

2. Floral Class

I’m not really sure if I have ever heard of a mum that doesn’t like flowers, so why not treat her to a flower arranging class. The creators of my wedding flowers, House of Elliott Lisburn are hosting a flower arranging class this weekend specifically for Mother’s Day.

“we start off with lots of demonstrations and ideas and then you get to arrange a gorgeous arrangement and take it home to enjoy , morning class includes a light lunch and afternoon class includes afternoon tea , price also includes tuition all flowers and containers .”

3. Luxury Pedicure & Prosecco

Before Christmas, mum and I knew we needed some “us” time. It is always easy to get caught up in the chaos of Christmas so we booked in to Beauty Boulevard for their Luxury Pedicure and Prosecco treatment. They have launched the same offer for Mother’s Day and I can’t recommend it enough! It is the perfect pamper package to take some time out just the two of you!

The Luxury Pedicure includes:

Foot soak
Foot exfoilation
Foot mask
Heated booties
Nail tidy, file & shape
Gel polish

4. Relaxation & Pamper Heaven

I am forever raving about Skin Medi Spa and how I feel rejuvenated every time I leave Judith and her team. Why not treat your mum to The Perfect Glow Voucher and head down together for some relaxation. “Get get full body glow with Elemis lemon & ginger salt scrub and vita spray tan.” My idea of heaven!

5. Afternoon Tea

This Mother’s Day mum and I will be heading to The Merchant Hotel Belfast for their Afternoon Tea. The Merchant are well known for their amazing afternoon tea, so why not join your mum and take an hour out of the craziness of the city to enjoy some delicious food.

Whatever you do, make sure your mum feels the love this mothers day. Spend a little extra time making your card or spend the day together. Mums only get one day a year!