Howdy Y’all,

Happy Friday, wow this week has flown by, yesterday I took a timeout and went for a little pampering. I love a facial and it would be my desert island beauty treatment. A facial can transform your skin and how you feel. When your a mum or have a busy life making time to have a little pampering is often difficult so you want it to be good. My thoughts on those who don’t like facials is you either haven’t found the right treatment or the right person. It is that simple. I have come out before feeling a little let down by the money taken and the result and that is not a good feeling. So when you get the right combination keep it up. I have wanted to try a HydraFacial for an absolute age but hadn’t had the time or inclination to do the research, well now I have.

What is a facial?

A facial is a multi step beauty treatment for your face conducted by an esthetician. A facial generally includes cleansing, exfoliating ,extracting, masking and nurturing the skin. The objective is to assist with skin concerns which can be a wide range from skin complaints like acne or rosacea etc. to anti-ageing with a primary focus on creating clear, clean and hydrated skin.

Why Facial?

A good facial is an essential part of an effective skin regime. It clears pores in a way cleansing at home can not , diagnoses skin issues which can change with age, climate and lifestyle. A skilled esthetician can help you with a skin regime suited for your skin type. The lights and equipment make them able to see your skin at a microscopic level and assist in diagnosing issues and guide you on effective products more than a person at a beauty counter. Finally they can perform extractions properly, whether it is blackheads (we all have them,) milia or regular spots they can assist in their removal without scaring and no God awful pore strip in sight.

How Often?

A good facialist will say to see great results you should visit them monthly and honestly that is not always practical financially or schedule wise, so my answer is get them when you can. An annual facial is better that no facial, plus they make awesome gifts.

Why HydraFacial?

A HydraFacial is a  new gentle treatment, it is the latest offering in non laser skin resurfacing. It combines cleansing, exfoliating, extracting and hydrating products into  your skin. It does this with the use of a small machine with high suction which works like a vacuum. The suction absorbs dead skin, clears and extracts blocked pores. The HydraFacial is effective for all skin types including sensitive skin and can assist and treat all skin needs and issues. It leaves you with clearer, cleaner and more beautiful skin with a limited recovery time.

My thoughts and results.

After doing lots of research and reading reviews I decided to visit a med spa within walking distance of my home. I was not disappointed, my esthetician Heidi was a lady older than me who had terrific skin, looked and dressed well. I always feel more comfortable when the person performing procedures looks like I would like to. She was not heavily made up with too many procedures and her professionalism in her work was similar to her appearance, excellent. She was incredibly knowledgeable and careful. I really appreciated the time she took to explain each step of the procedure and she  did extra extraction without the machine (removed a few of those beastly milia.) The extraction pain was minimal discomfort. The whole procedure was painless, it is not as relaxing as other facials mainly because of the noise of the machine but that did not concern me as I could feel the benefits. I got particular satisfaction from the machine extraction because it feels a little like a scrubber on a saucepan and I knew it was cleaning and clearing those pores. At times I could feel my cheeks flushing in particular and you will see that in the pictures below, that is expected for me as I have sensitive skin and slight rosacea. Heidi talked me through and explained how I could change and add to my regime to help with the issues. I was pleased to hear she felt my regime was working very well and that my skin was hydrated with minimal lines. All the hard work is paying off, I enjoyed chatting through some of my skin care concerns and how I felt my skin had changed since we had moved to the more humid climate of the Houston. One thing I found remarkably satisfying is to see the dirty liquid sucked from you face, I enclose a photo for those of you mad enough. The sediment is things stuck in my pores – gross. As I left my skin felt warm and I did have redness, but my skin felt glowing and it never felt dry or tight. The redness went down very quickly and I attach photos immediately after, after about an hour where you can see some dried skin cells on my face and then about two hours later when I had washed my face and reapplied sun screen. I am writing his approx six hours later and my skin feels clean and wonderful. I can’t wait for the next one!

Before the procedure, my skin was looking a little dull, tired and I had some minor congestion.
A closeup on a problem area, milia, sun spots and pigment.
The gunk taken from my face, Heidi is highlighting the sediment.
The color of the extracted liquid
The amount of liquid
My face straight after the procedure. Lots of redness in the cheekbone area.
About one hour after, you can see a few dead skin cells and white stuff left on my face.
A closeup after treatment, still a little red but it is glowing and looks cleaner and more hydrated
Picture about three hours later, after I washed my face in cool water and added sunscreen, Thrilled with the results. Skin looks cleaner, fresher and more hydrated. I could almost pass as 50- lol.

Have any questions please get in touch. Have you tried a HydraFacial? Have I inspired you. It is so important to take care of our skin.

Happy Weekend Friends.







Marriage- Eight Years. What I have learnt.

Howdy Y’all,

Happy Tuesday, today is special in chez Lifestyle because Mr L and I celebrate EIGHT years of marriage. I can not believe we are at eight years which I think is a good thing since it doesn’t seem that long ago that I walked down the aisle to become a Mrs. We have packed a lot in to our eight years, an international move, six homes, a child and a dog. So never a dull moment. It is not my intention to speak of mine and Mr L’s marriage specifically or to speak in depth about him, we like to keep some privacy. I will say this. When I walked down the aisle eight years ago I knew I was marrying a good and kind man, a man of principle (sometimes bloody mindedness with an insistent need to be right.)A man confident and self-assured enough to support those around him, a man who raises women up and sees them as more than equal. A person who loves unconditionally and understands remarkably. Mr L has not disappointed. The type of personality I am, I had to be married to a man who I respected and who could be my partner in all things. A man who can accept my feisty side and encourage and support me. I am the lucky one I have found that. I have a partner in all its entirety, it is not perfect but its ours.

Today I want to share some of the observations and lessons I have found in eight years of marriage, these do not simply relate to marriage but to all partnerships,

  1. Marriage in unpredictable. Yes like life you can have an idea of what marital bliss will be like and then you are thrown a grenade and it becomes something else. I never saw us spending our lives living on another continent to our loved ones. Raising my child away from family, but it forces you to pull together and lean on each other. It tests the foundations of marriage.
  2. Your not the same person, your life experiences prior to your relationship are different . Your childhood and traditions are unalike. Navigating and respecting each others ways is part of the journey. Examples of this are should your stocking or Santa sack be at the end of your bed or by the fireplace? Does Santa wrap your gifts or not? Is Easter a time for lamb or ham?
  3. You get the marriage you think you deserve. A wise women once made that statement to me at school, at the time I thought very little of it, but whether speaking of marriage, life or friendships there is a real pearl of truth to it. If you have self respect enough to love yourself and show love to others then you deserve the same in return. Many partners will invest and reciprocate the same levels of love you show them. It is also important to remember you are the example of a healthy loving relationship to those around you, especially children and they learn how to love and give love from your example.
  4. Pick your battles, as you bed down in marital bliss you learn that you don’t have to win every battle to win the war. Either that or I am becoming so long in the tooth I care less. Now Mr L may disagree on this but I have tried in recent years to let things slide. I have made a conscious effort not to become a nag and ride his butt about everything he doesn’t do, (because I am sure there are things I don’t do, very few things but sometimes even perfect people slip up!) I am also trying to calm myself and consider is this issue really worth a disagreement and nine times out of ten it is not unless it is PMT driven.
  5. Marriage requires work, that doesn’t mean big extravagant gifts or hearts and roses (although all great ideas so Mr L if by chance your reading this don’t be put off.) You have to be that person the other requires sometimes and find common ground. It is so easy especially when you have small children to get immersed in routine and little person needs, you forget that you have needs of each other. My grandpa used to say that children flee the nest and you are left with each other so don’t forget that.
  6. Marriage has seasons, there are times when you require more from your partner or the balance changes. Life is fast pace and we all have times where things are not quite as we would want, marriage requires you to support and love your partner unconditionally. The roles could revers one day. Seasons in life and marriage are meant and you have to learn from each one.
  7. Don’t compare you marriage to other. Firstly nobody’s marriage is perfect and they are all different because we are. In the eight years I have been married I have sadly seen lots of marriages dissolve for many reasons but often I see that people compare their marriage to unrealistic expectations or society ideals. What matters is the two of you and how happy you are with each other. What others are doing or speaking about is up to them. I maintain if you were lucky enough like Mr L and I to have grown up with strong examples of marriage, it helps because you have seen the journey of marriage and the ups and downs required for true partnership.
  8. Love Languages. Something I discovered this year and I am using. You answer a series of questions and they inform you about your preferred love language. Mr L and I completed this thinking not a lot of it, we were polar opposites (no surprise.)  My main love language is “acts of service” for Mr L it is “physical touch.” So in a nutshell I feel loved and appreciated by “acts of service”  so for example if Mr L put the trash out, or I came home and the kitchen had been cleaned (your getting the idea) I would be in heaven. For Mr L he feels most loved if I give him a hug or hold his hand on the sofa ( not natural for me.) These are such simple things and I have noticed subconsciously we have been trying to appeal to each others language and although far from perfect I am quite amazed by the result. I was a skeptic but honestly humble pie I may need to eat. Would you like a post on the love languages? I encourage everyone in a relationship to take the quiz. Not only have I been grateful by the effort Mr L has made but it gives me areas at which I need to focus. 

Do you have any pearly words of wisdom or do you prescribe to that mantra the art of a good marriage is two people who don’t want to get divorced at the same time!!!

Happy Anniversary Mr L here is to another year! Love you.




Home Décor & Design

Howdy Y’all,

One of the questions I get asked most here on TLL is about my home its décor and design. People have asked for a home tour and for me to share how my house is progressing. It is my plan to share with y’all areas of my home as I feel ready to do so. I have already shared my daughter’s bedroom and if you had not seen that please click here. I recommend you refresh your memories because much of the room has changed once again and I plan to share how I transitioned her toddler room to The Little Princess Room it is now soon.

It is not my intention to talk about my home today, but more about design and décor and how you create a style or look for your home. I have always been interested in décor and design – it is in my blood! I have so many memories of my parents remodeling and decorating homes. I vividly remember the smell of paint being burnt off the skirting boards by my mother on her hands and knees and my parents looking exhausted from peeling paint or wallpaper from ceilings and walls. But they did it all, remodeling and decorating our home room by room.  I think they loved it although it wasn’t always conducive to marital bliss. They would change the feel/mood and look of a house and make it our home. Even now, they have scaffolding up as I write this, knocking doorways between rooms, remodeling bathrooms and developing into the roof. Granted they are doing less of the work themselves these days, but when it comes to the design and décor of their home they are not standing still and I have inherited that bug.

I don’t wish to date myself but I remember when most décor inspiration came from books, magazines and some google images. With the invention of social media we are now bombarded with images at every turn.  I think if you are someone who is looking to curate your style in a new home or discover what you like, all this information could be overwhelming. Today I want to share some of my key thoughts on helping people navigate this world or décor and design.


  1. Love. This is so important to me, whether you own or rent, your home is your largest investment so you should LOVE it. I am also a proponent of filling your home with items you love. It will become more cohesive and a reflection of your family. There is something magical about being able to touch and see items around your home and for them to evoke memories or thoughts that you are able to reminisce about or share in. It is more sentimental than purchasing something because it subscribes to a certain look. Very few of us are fortunate enough to buy new décor and furniture specifically for each home; most of us collect items as we progress up the property ladder, whether inherited or purchased. If we buy pieces we love we will want to take them with us and reuse or repurpose.
  2. Practicality. Sure, you can look at thousands of gorgeous images and think I want to recreate that, but you have to be practical about the stage of your life. There is no point spending thousands on wallpaper or upholstery if you have small sticky fingers around.  Similarly  there is no point having a polished floor if you are approaching your mature years. Practicality also covers versatility, for many a room has to be multipurpose and that is not always conveyed in the stylized photos of Instagram. Storage is so important and you can never have enough. A home will always look collated and dressed if you have places to put away your things (ie hide the crap!)
  3. Budget. Sorry to bring you down to earth with a bang, but one has to consider this. We can all get swept away looking at and desiring bespoke items but if the budget is Ikea then we have to work within those parameters. A beautiful stylish home can be created on any budget, you just sometimes have to be a little more creative which is more fun. Even if your budget is not limited you have to consider if what you are adding is good value, either in terms of adding value to the price of your home or to your quality of life. Perhaps consider asking yourself if this is your “forever home”, or the place you wish to raise your family. If you can enjoy your investment for a longer term I believe your can let your heart rule your budget a little more.
  4. Fit. If you are in a new home or remodeling your current home and are unsure what direction to take, I always try to be sympathetic to the home’s bones. This is especially true in countries and areas where homes are older. If you have bought a new home (unless it has been modeled on a period style) perhaps cornicing or picture rails might not be a fit. In the same vein, if you buy an older home with period features it is important to modernize with recess lighting and modern amenities. Ripping out older floors and fireplaces is criminal! You can decorate with a more modern taste while respecting heritage.
  5. Flow/Tone. I have lived in quite a lot of homes and the flow and tone is probably one of the most important things I consider when decorating. I like there to be cohesion as you move between rooms. Whether your home is several thousand square feet or a small apartment, if you have a smooth flow between rooms your home will look stylish. How can this be created? Color is an obvious one, if you’re wondering what color to paint your home, go look in your closet and see what color you tend to be drawn to. I may sound crazy but sit in your home and see if colors come to you. Look at possessions you may love, that can inspire a palette. If you are a Pinterest person, look at a board and see if there is a color which unites all your pins rather than getting detail-obsessed by an image. I always used to scrapbook magazine pics and I could see as I flitted through that a palette appeared. Tone is another way; tone through shades of color is obvious but tone can also be created through texture and textiles. I love love love textiles and I plan to do another post all about them at a later date. Similarly, the décor accessories you choose can set the tone and mood throughout the home.

I am by no means an expert but these thoughts and considerations have work well for me to date. As I begin to share my home and some of the upcoming projects we will revisit these points in more depth. If you are in a position where you feel overwhelmed by projects and decisions with design perhaps consider hiring an interior designer. I think their expertise and knowledge can be invaluable as well as providing savings and discounts.

How do you style and decorate your home? Have any tips which you wish to share?

Have a great week friends.