It was my 30th birthday on Friday 14th October and I was beyond spoilt. I was made to feel so special by my wonderful friends and family and had such a lovely day. I mention it a couple of times throughout the video but this is not me showing off. We are a very humble family when it comes to gifts and usually opt for making memories by doing things together rather than lavish presents. However, this year it was a bit of a milestone. Turning thirty has always been such a special idea to me and everyone went all out. So I just wanted to share the lovely things that I was given with you. I love watching these videos for inspiration and because they are my guilty pleasure. I hope you like it?

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Big Love,

-Ria x

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The Sweetest Life has been a little sleepy this past week because in reality I have been hurdling the days. I’ve been existing thanks to coffee and some very supportive words and ways from my lovely friends and family. The past week has been a blur of emotion and now that I have made it through to Saturday, where I am sat in the work office writing this (and Sunday evening where I am finishing this at home), with quiet around me and space to breathe and think… I can truly reflect upon the chaos. The chaos which makes me smile, fully.

I came in to this week nervous, agitated, anxious and tense. On Wednesday and Thursday, Noah sat his SATs and because I’m his mama, his biggest support…and biggest fan, I gave my positivity, confidence and every good thought I had, to him. I just wanted him to smile this week and feel good about himself. I didn’t want him to feel tested, challenged and doubtful of what he can or cannot do, will or will not become. I know that he is only seven (almost!) and others around me were saying that ‘it didn’t matter’ but in my opinion, no good can come of comparison and grading, against their peers or even worse, to an average. In no situation would I ever want to hear, ‘Noah did well, he is average!’ – what does that even mean and what message does that send to our children? How does that send a positive message in the way they should see themselves…or their worth going forward in to their futures? Anyway, He did it. We managed to get through it with smiles on our faces…and we have decided that the results are not important. As Noah’s parents, obviously we will know how he did but he does not need to. It isn’t something that needs to be on his radar… and suddenly, we all feel much happier about it.

I had been incredibly nervous about Thursday all week on a more personal note too. I had been invited to a photo shoot, in connection with Lucy Diamond’s book ‘The Secrets Of Happiness’. I was to make my way in to London for 11.30am where I would meet three of the other Channel Mums (Did you know that I am a Channel Mum?) and we would have our hair and make-up done ready for the shoot. London is a big deal for me. Well actually, travelling anywhere out of my safety zone is. And, meeting new people has always made me nervous because I can be quite shy. Thursday made me feel like I was really pushing myself… and there was something about that which I really liked. I honestly had the best day, it felt so surreal and even now, a couple of days later, I feel like I have to pinch myself to make sure it was real. I had so much fun and I laughed so much with the others. I came away from the day with achy cheeks and a tired stomach as a result.

A Weird And Wonderful week

I did take a few snippets of footage from the day which you can watch (for free) by clicking HERE. I can’t wait to tell Noah and Ellenah about this when they are old enough to care at all. I can’t wait to show them the little video that I made of my day. I can’t wait for them to think that sometimes I can be a little bit cool.

And as if Thursday wasn’t busy enough, after the amazing time that I had in London, I came back home, dumped my bag and headed straight back out to watch Noah be invested at Beavers. He had to say a promise and then he was given some badges. a certificate and a scarf…It was all very official and very cute.

I also had to decide about ‘The Sleepover’ and whether or not to let him go. It hasn’t been an easy decision but… I signed the consent form to say that he will be there. Parenting can be such a constant battle. It can be relentless. It is hard to find the right balance between giving enough freedom to help raise independent people and the desperate, maternal urge to keep them safe. And trust??? It’s really f*cking hard to trust anyone with your favourite people who aren’t in your official trust circle. Well it is for me anyway!

BUT…before I talk myself out of my decision, I think that Noah will be absolutely fine and I think he will have the greatest time. And I can’t wait for him to tell me about it because I am old enough to care. And I wish he was able to make a video about it because I would watch it over and over and even if I had to pay for it, it would be money well spent. And he doesn’t have to hope that I will think he is cool one day because I am well aware of it, so aware of it… He is awesome and whether I like it or not, he is growing up. I’m not going to be the one to hold him back.

Friday was easier, apart from taking Ellenah for her leavers photographs at pre-school. I feel like I was the only mama waiting who desperately wanted to cry. It all feels very real now! The process is winding down and soon she will be turning the page towards her next chapter in life- starting school. It makes my heart feel very strange. The photographer was trying to make Ellenah laugh or at least smile with a soft Iggle Piggle doll… It was quite an uncomfortable situation! Els was looking at her like ‘This is not funny!’ and in the group photograph, she needed the toilet so I can only begin to imagine what the proof will come back like… but, I will buy it anyway. She will never be a leaver of pre-school again after all and as much as I find all of this change hard, I want to remember every little thing about it. I want to remember her, what she looked like and how we both felt. It’s bittersweet.

And after that, I let myself just exist. I let myself go on to autopilot… I let myself sleep well on Friday night, knowing the next day was going to be simple. Exactly what I needed to regain some strength. Exactly what I needed to regain everything that I had given away this week – positivity, confidence and good thoughts. Exactly what I needed for everything to make sense once again. And now it does!

With Love,

Ria x

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Latest Loves

It has been an emotional rollercoaster lately here on ‘The Sweetest Life’. I’ve been talking about Ellenah growing up so fast, the pressure around Noah’s SATs and the possibility that he will be leaving me overnight for his Beavers sleepover. So, I thought I would change things up a little bit today and turn up the happy. It may seem materialistic of sorts but today I wanted to share some of my latest beauty loves. I have been trying a couple of new things lately and rediscovering some pieces in my collection…so I thought that because ‘sharing is caring’, I would whip out my camera with my pretty new lens and share them with you.

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation In Ivory

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundatuon

This is a new purchase which I have been absolutely loving. I’m not going to pretend to know the science of make-up but I do know that this looks really pretty on my skin. My skin has felt very dehydrated lately and I have struggled finding the right routine between moisturising, serums and my make-up base. I feel like I’m on to a winner with this one and it was only about £7. I replaced my Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation and my Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation with this one and that feels like quite a big deal for me. They have been firm favourites and worth their weight in gold in the past but I’m excited about the Match Perfection going forward. It is so moisturising, goes on so lightly and gives a buildable coverage. I would definitely recommend.

Nars Blusher In Orgasm

Nars Blusher In Orgasm

This is an oldie but a goldie. It leaves a beautiful light, rosey gold flush over the apples of my cheeks and doubles up as a highlighter. It is perfect for the Spring/Summer season and is definitely a staple in my make-up bag. One that I will buy over again.

Gucci By Gucci Eau De Parfum

Gucci By Gucci

I love applying a little spritz of this every morning. It smells so beautiful with top notes of guava and pear and base notes of musk, honey and patchouli. It is a very sensual and feminine scent and acts perfectly as a little confidence boost. It makes me feel like a grown up.

L’Oreal Collagen Wrinkle De-Crease Night Cream

L'Oreal Collagen Wrinkle De-Crease L'Oreal Collagen Wrinkle De-Crease

As I mentioned, I have struggled with my skincare lately. I have felt an obvious change in my skin. I have naturally oily skin but I can feel how dehydrated it has become. In my mission to find something suitable, I came across this little gem. It smells gorgeous and very relaxing which I really like. It is quite thick in consistency but applies so nicely, my skin literally drinks it up. Rather than a simple moisturiser, this feels more like a hydrating night mask perhaps as it feels fairly tacky on the skin. By the morning however, I am left with super soft, smooth skin that feels youthful and plump. What more could I want?

Primark Oversize Sunglasses

Primark Oversize Sunglasses

I absolutely adore wearing these lately, which I am pleased to say has been quite often because the sun has been out. They were around £3 from Primark, which is such a bargain. I have awfully sensitive eyes to sunlight and these are definitely big enough to keep it out and to keep me looking chic rather than a squinty mess. Such a find!

Primark Rose Gold Rings

Primark Rose Gold Rings

These are super cute. I’m usually quite plain in my accessories but I have really enjoyed dressing up my fingers with these. There is a lovely mix of normal and midi rings and the whole bunch only cost around £2.50. I think they are really pretty.

Tulips

Tulips

Ellenah and I went to buy fresh flowers last Sunday. We chose lillies and tulips… The lillies smell beautiful but the tulips are so colourful. It’s so lovely to have them brightening up our dining table. The light that comes in from the back of the house glows over them and they have just transformed our home this past week. I love having fresh flowers in the house.

What have you been loving lately?

With Love,

Ria x

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Jo Malone, Orange BlossomIt’s no secret that I am terrible at spoiling myself. It’s no secret that I am terrible at allowing myself the essentials in life too. I don’t like to buy myself things, as much as I may want them or need them. I’m quite conscious of consumerism and I don’t buy in to having lots of ‘stuff’ or ‘keeping up with the Jones’. I’m also a mama and I tend to put my money to better use or for other things. How many other mama’s can identify with that sentence?

At the same time though, I spend a lot of time on social media and I am exposed to the ‘things’ and ‘trends’ which seem so perfect and are everywhere I look. I’ve never been a follower I’m proud to say… and not much of a leader if I’m being realistic. I really am just an individual, just me. If I like it, I like it it… I’m that simple.

I didn’t come across Jo Malone from a blog or a video or an advertisement, my love is completely organic.

I’m from a small town, some would debate it as more of a village. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside, it has a brewery… It’s a place where people say ‘Alright mate?’ when they say hello and a place that you could live quite happily and safe. I grew up free. I climbed trees, ran as fast as the boys and lay on my back in the grass in Summer to make pictures from the clouds in the sky. I grew up with the scent of fresh vegetables and munching fresh strawberries pulled from the plant. It was in this time that I changed from a tomboy with muddy knees, darting through the trees and mud in my finger nails into a girl, a girly one and then a woman.

A woman who knows the difference between something I like and something I love.

And when my husband started taking me to Bluewater Shopping Centre when we first started dating, I walked past a ‘Jo Malone’, the window minimalistic and simple. But…the scent! The scent cascaded over me. The scent wasn’t simple. The scent was like a thousand memories surging through me and I couldn’t pinpoint a single one. I just knew where I could find them if I ever needed to. I didn’t know of Jo Malone, the luxury, the unique spell that it casts over anyone who dares to walk by. I just knew something that smelt as beautiful as that and something that could make me feel as connected to myself as that…it would come at a price. So I had no choice but to carry on walking with my head held high and tell myself  ‘One Day Ria!’

My husband Matt gave me ‘`One Day’ for christmas in the form of Orange Blossom Cologne.

And I love it.

Orange Blossom Cologne (£42 for 30ml) is a floral scent of ‘clementine flower sparkles over a heart of orange blossom and water lily’ and it has ‘warm undertones of orris and balsamic vetiver’… and it is just lovely. It makes me feel truly wonderful, calm and awake… and as a mother who has to fight hard not to lose myself completely, it makes me feel like, well… ‘Me’, Just me… and it’s nice.

From the first spritz, I felt refreshed, confident and involved. I felt like I wanted to walk, pick my head up and look the world in the eye… and from then, I have cared for this little bottle of happiness. I have nestled it in to my handbag like a secret weapon. I really believe in it, I believe it will make the difference to any day… because when I wear it, I believe in myself.

Have you tried any of the Jo Malone Cologne’s? What is your favourite?

With Love,

Ria

x

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