13 June 2017

Father's Day Gift Ideas 2017

Father's day is a tricky one. Men are so different. We used to take my father out for lunch as he was away working a lot, we lived in London and it was really nice to spend some time together. Also I find with men if they want something they usually get it themselves. My husband has a horror of more stuff being bought into the house having spent the last couple of years sorting through his late father's horded belongings and acquiring two children and the plastic tat that inevitably comes with them. For our anniversary I tend to take him out for supper.
Skull Cufflinks from The Great Frog

Father's Day though is different. Taking a hugely pregnant wife and two small children anywhere to eat isn't that relaxing and though I'm pretty sure he'd love it if I sent him to the pub for the afternoon I'm not sure that really counts. Of course I'm hoping Ned will create something at pre-school for his dad (I had a beautiful earring dish made) but in case that doesn't happen I have a few back-ups.

Accessories  - I love these skull cufflinks from The Great Frog (all their cufflinks are pretty awesome). I'm also always on the hunt for a vintage silver belt buckle for him but I think I need to go to America to track one of these down. These Gaucho belts look great and go with everything - Joe has the Neopolitan which has lasted for years and he wears it most days.

18 February 2017

An Easy Kids 4th Birthday Party

I don't want to sound like a mean mom but I am going to put off spending money on my kids birthday party until I absolutely have to. It will come sooner for my eldest who has his birthday in November. Jim, a June baby, will be having his parties in the garden at home until he's old enough to go to the pub, and then no doubt he will return with his friends, inebriated, to the garden.

4th Birthday Party
Ned and his giraffe cake
It is sort of more effort on your part, they will need entertaining a bit but from my experience there will be a certain amount of over-excited running around and getting every single toy out and onto the floor. This will take up quite a lot of the time as will feeding them anything so really one activity and one or two party games will do for 3/4 year olds. Indeed for Ned's 3rd birthday we just did pass the parcel and let them dash around with a load of balloons and that seemed to do the trick. You don't have to pay a huge amount to a venue and then worry about people turning up and although you do have to do some food prep and the clearing up it has, so far, not been too arduous.

I think either 11-12.30am or 3-4.30pm is a good time for a party. Half my friends prefer the morning as it leaves you the rest of the day to get on with stuff. Half of them prefer the afternoon as it means you can have a lazy morning at home knowing there is an 'activity' in the afternoon. This year we went for the morning as we had it on 5th November and I thought it would give people time to head off to fireworks things in the afternoon. Ned's birthday is actually on 1st November so quite often an afternoon party is better for us if we've been to a Halloween party the day before. 

8 February 2017

Pretty Iconic: A Personal Look at the Beauty Products Changed the World

Sali Hughes Pretty IconicSali Hughes' first book Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion (you can read my review here) was a no-brainer purchase for me. Writing down my knowledge on beauty and make-up was why I started this blog and Pretty Honest is basically every thing you need to know whether you wear make-up every day or not (thanks a lot Hughes). But half this blog is product reviews - some which we won't remember in a years time and some that are real icons and nostalgia triggers and that's the genius idea behind Pretty Iconic: A Personal Look at the Beauty Products that Changed the World.

And yes I know. A book of reviews doesn't sound that great, which is why I didn't feel the need to rush out and buy this. But then I got my hands on a copy at a friends house and I absolutely loved it. Let me clarify, I feel like my knowledge of make-up and skincare products is pretty comprehensive especially 1980s and '90s when there wasn't the sheer glut of products that we have now. But why this book works is that for those of us who wore Lulu in their teens, who know that bloody YSL Touche Eclat is not a concealer and spend their working life listening to people saying 'I can't wear red lipstick. Ruby Woo looked awful on me' Sali's writing on these products is so spot on that I actually shouted 'yes' as some bits of it. And for those who don't know so much it's all you do need to know - it's historical, cultural, and for a lot of us incredibly nostalgic. My mother wears two of the scnets mentioned (Rive Gauche and Chanel No 5) neither of which I can carry off (though god knows I've tried) and both which immidiately take me back to watching her get ready to go out, the fascination at this ritual mixed with the dread of the babysitter still palpable.

10 January 2017

Happy 2017

2016 was a bit full on. Not just with Brexit, Trump and the vast amount of celebrity deaths. We moved (which is stressful), my mum moved, we spent a lot of time trying to work out the tricky issue of having kids and making any money (how this is still a problem in 2016 is beyond me) and to cap it all I spent most of November in bed with morning sickness, noro virus and a delightful kidney infection.

But, even though I actually dislike 'New Year's Eve' as a thing and find it all a bit depressing, I find myself, as ever, rolling into January feeling relentlessly positive and like everything will be ok. No doubt this will fade as the months wear on but for now I'm going to run with it. We have nearly finished doing the kitchen which wasn't major works but took longer than we thought it would. Now just to get the worktop in, shelves built and the whole thing painted. We are hoping to do the loft at the end of February, are off to France in May (please let it be hot) and are having another baby in July (after which Mr H is threatening to have everything below the waist lazered off).

Partly what has got me down in the past is the difficulty of juggling work and small children, I need to earn money but with two small boys and a steady rotation of sick bugs, colds and building work it's very hard to schedule things in. I know this is the same for a lot of mums. However, I'm refocusing the make-up business to be more consultation based which is what I'm really passionate about and I hope that this will fit in with our home situation. We've redesigned the website www.corinnaharrod.com so please go and have a look. It's still being updated but you pretty much get the gist.

I'm also going to actively focus on the positives this year. Having small children can be very isolating and I find myself fixating on the things I'm missing; falling out of touch with friends, not being able to go on crazy nights out, not being able to forge ahead with my career. Well that was last year. This year I'm going to make an effort with those friends who are still around, I'm going to do the things that I can do and appreciate them. Reading, listening to records, drawing and writing. Spending time with the boys while they are small - Ned will go to school in September!

Blogging and social media has also been a problem. Blogging used to be about writing; it's so much more than that now but it's hard to not compare yourself to everyone else, especially when beauty bloggers are ten a penny. So I'm going to follow those people that make me feel positive (a post of those to follow) and keep focussing on why I started in the first place - wanting to write and my passion for beauty and skincare. It's what I know, it's what I'm good at and I want to help people navigate an industry that is now so huge. I am a make-up artist but it's non-make-up artists who I want to reach so if you haven't already go and check out my (original) blog www.londonmakeupblog.com and feel free to ask for any advice or product reviews.

As for this blog I will still be documenting my successes and failures on the home front. I'm on Instagram most of the time (@corinnaharrod) where I will be trying to be one of those positive normal people that make it such a nice place to be.

Happy New Year everyone - thanks for reading

Currently Listening To: Five to One by The Doors (see my What I'm Listening To playlist on YouTube)
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