Friday, 24 February 2012

Splashing about on the river

I really do love my job. I spent the day with Tim Brabants, current Olympic kayaking champion, and it never fails to amaze me how inspirational Olympic athletes are. Their dedication and commitment to their sport is just astounding. I'd love to think that if I could just find the capability to train three times a day, I could be an Olympic champion too, but if I'm really honest, that's probably just not true. (Okay, it's definitely not true, but let's not focus on detail.)

On Sunday, I'm going to the diving at the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park. This is very exciting - I was really hoping for tickets to the diving for London 2012, but wasn't lucky enough to get them in the ballot - so this is the next best thing. I'll either be seeing the 3m springboard final, or the 10m final. Either one is good for me. 

And last week, Mr. Martini was my representative at the Velodrome. He saw Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton. Not a bad day out...

Sunday, 19 February 2012

People Carrier - the final nail in the coffin

You know you've crossed a line, and are never coming back, when you finally give in and admit you have no choice but to purchase a people carrier. They aren't pretty, and they certainly aren't hip, but unfortunately, regular sized cars are not going to cut it with three kids under three. The size of the car seats alone is enough to foil most cars. Couple that with the need for a Phil and Ted's, a Maclaren and enough kit to rival a small branch of Mothercare and voila - you're in people carrier territory. 

After some serious research (well, as much as you can do in this area - it's as boring as buying bed sheets), we've opted for a Chrysler - the Grand Voyager. This surprises me, because the conversation with the salesman in the shop went as follows:

Him: What are you looking for?
Me: A car that fits a family of five comfortably, including luggage. 
Him: Anything in particular that the car needs to have?
Me: No.Main issue is budget.I'm not bothered too much about mileage - just that it runs well and isn't too old. I seriously don't care what extras it has - it just needs to fit us, and I don't want those random swivel seat things. I want the chairs that fold up into the floor (I have since discovered this is called 'Stow-n-Go', should you ever need this piece of information)
Him: Okay, how about this one (shows me to a monster silver wagon)?
Me: Looks fine. How much is it, and what else do I need to know about it?
Him: Well, it's got leather interior, parking sensors and a DVD system.

Hmmm. Clearly not Salesman of the Year. However, turns out, these cars are the best value for money (and actually, the DVD system has subsequently become an essential). We've come a long way from the days when I used to dream about buying an SLK from Mercedes. 

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Winter skincare - pregnancy style

With the sub-zero temperatures, my skin has hit an all-time low. Pregnancy number one didn't impact my skin at all. In my eighth month of pregnancy number two, my skin suddenly became so dry I needed to apply body oil, which my skin absolutely drank, twice a day. It's now pregnancy number three (I think I need my head tested), I'm seven months in and you'd be forgiven for thinking I'd been on holiday for a month - let me assure you I haven't - with the amount of flaking that's going on. 

So, the skincare regime has been stepped up a notch (or three). Naturally, I have zero time, so the products have to be quick and effective. I'm using Clarins Renew-Plus Body Serum (£37) on my arms and legs, Clarins Bust Beauty Extra-Lift Gel (£40.50 - not cheap, but seen me successfully through two pregnancies, and holding it's own in this one -  if it's not broken and all that...) on my bust and Neal's Yard Mothers Balm (£19.50) on my expanding tummy. I've successfully made it through twice with no stretch marks, and I don't intend to start now. That said, I've used a whole raft of tummy creams during my time and to be honest I don't think one's is better than another - I think the most important thing is to just keep moisturising. The more the better. I have the Bio Oil in reserve for when things get really bad. 

My face is holding up much better. I strongly believe this is due to the absolutely amazing Clarisonic I got for Christmas. I'm currently using the Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate (£55 for 30ml), which is fantastic, and then just good old Olay Classic Care Beauty Fluid (at £4.69 you really cannot go wrong) - although I've heard good things about Soap & Glory 6-in-1 Superboost Moisture Lotion (£12), and I might switch to that when the Olay runs out. That's right - it's all rock 'n' roll at Martini Towers :-)