Aimee Horton

When YOU need time out.


I’m tired.

Being a mum is pretty exhausting isn’t it?  Just as, whatever your situation, it’s loud, happy, sad, fulfilling, infuriating and constant 24/7.

Even though I work from home, I was finding it very difficult to switch off, and the summer holidays drove things into overdrive.  Being in the house submerged in either children, housework or an increasing to do list was suffocating.  My phone was constantly to hand, as was the computer every time I heard the email alert noise coming from the study, the instant messenger ping, and then, when the day slowed down and nearly stopped, I had to prepare it all again.

I was never shutting off, like, never.  I wasn’t reading, I wasn’t painting my nails, whilst watching TV my thumb on phone was working furiously tapping away.

Even when the children were sleeping, I wasn’t, mind planning and worrying about fitting it all in.

Something had to give.

So I got a bit selfish, and started clawing back some time away from it all.  A time, where even if it’s just for an hour a week, I get to shut off.  My work email is now off my phone, I have a new strict timetable, and the study door shuts at 3pm and re-opens in the morning.

Then last week, I pushed it the extra mile, I got some time away from it all.  I had the whole morning off.

By the way, by “morning off” I don’t mean nipping to Next to buy new school trousers, or Sainsbogs to buy jogging bottoms and pants for potty training like I usually do (that used to be taking a break!), I mean proper self indulgent, switch off and open my eyes, time off.

I had a been invited by the lovely Danielle at Therapi intuitive beauty & wellbeing – a new  Holistic Therapy & beauty business, which is located in The Terrace in Lincoln – to come and check out her new digs and have a facial.  I think she’d been following my twitter feed and sensed that I was on the edge.

Anyway, that was booked in at 11.15am, and at the same time I was arranging that my friend and I decided to meet for a coffee.  This friend is very understanding, we often plan to meet then I suddenly feel overwhelmed with work so I put her off because I’m too busy.  But this time that wasn’t going to happen, I needed to give my brain a break, so we met at Café Portico (also located in The Terrace) for breakfast (a lovely coffee and cheeky sausage sandwich).

After that I skipped on down to see Danielle, and came out feeling rejuvenated!

I’ve only ever had facials when I’ve gone on spa visits, never been to a beauty salon (that too busy thing getting in the way again), and so I wasn’t sure how I’d be going somewhere, parking up then heading straight home, would the experience be as relaxing?  Would the lack of make up and the walk to the car bother me? Would my lack of make up and walk to the car bother other people!?! Would it be awkward somebody doing my face I only really know through Twitter?

These were the slightly vain questions I asked myself as I made my way to my treatment.

I needn’t have worried, as the door opened the lush smells of scented candles (NOT POO!) drew me in along with a nice feeling of calm.

I had the luxury 1 hour facial (rate card below) and it included a hand and arm massage.  I couldn’t believe how quickly the hour went by, we chatted abit which wasn’t awkward at all, and she worked away on my appalling skin (once so good a million break outs and bags were making me look like I had leprosy or something, I was amazed she didn’t back away when I walked in).


When it was over I sat up and felt all fuzzy and warm, that feeling after a really relaxing hot bath, a glass of wine, where you’re snuggled in a fluffy white bathroom ready for a long uninterrupted nights sleep where you can wake up naturally.  Not that I’ve felt like that for a LONG time.

I said my goodbyes (treating myself to a cheeky nail varnish on the way!) and reluctantly left my little enclosed room of peace and relaxation.

The sun was shining when I came out, and even though my face was naked I never leave the house with a naked face not even to put the bins out I nearly bounced to the car.

The afternoon I replied to more emails then I have in a long time, I was quick, efficient and when I picked the children up there were no tears, tantrums or arguments.  I was chilled so they were chilled.

So all in all, I have to reluctantly say, gin doesn’t always solve everything, perhaps a little time away from the day-to-day life and a little treat do that for you.

If you’re a mum in Lincoln, I’d thoroughly recommend you get in touch with Danielle.  I had a lovely treatment, I think her prices are very reasonable, and she offers a huge variety of therapies with her soul purpose of wanting her clients to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Especially as this month is refer a friend month if you quote my blog when booking not only will you get a £5 discount but I will get £5 off my next treatment too!


Danielle kindly gave me my treatment for free in return for my opinion, which is, as always, honest.


Barefaced Cheek.


Whilst I wont leave the house without make up EVER, one of my favourite essentials is my stain.  Sometimes, no matter how tired you look, how red your nose is, how fed up you are, a bit of colour in your cheeks and a little light on the cheek bones (I DO HAVE SOME SOMEWHERE) makes all the difference.

It seems that some of my favourite celebrities have been following my lead *ahem* and going with the pink natural looking cheek with a bit of a highlighter to accentuate the cheekbones.

Whether it’s Kate, Cheryl, Michelle, Emma, JLO, Kimbers, Elle, they all have a healthy glow about them, and YES, whilst I’m sure a lot of it is down to their hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of beauty products, you can’t help but feel that they are displaying the look of somebody who has been for a long country walk in the autumn leaves before heading into the local pub for Sunday lunch.

In a vain attempt to replicate that look, without having to go out and do the walking thing, I’ve tried a few stains currently out there…



…after all, you may need one for the make up bag, the make up in your bedroom, one to keep in your coat pocket, one to keep in the car.  What?  I’m not the only person who does that am I?

Everybody who’s anybody knows about Benetint.  A great stain which can be quite bold on your cheeks (and lips), but can also be a bit more delicate.  I love the texture, although if I use my fingers to rub it in, I can sometimes look like I’ve committed a crime.

For me, Posietint is probably my favourite.  I love the gel texture of it, and it seems to last a lot longer because of it.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a girlie girl, but it’s a softer edge to it, and I think gives me a naturally rosie glow.

When my friend told me that Poundland stocked Chit Chat cheek tint, I popped in for a look.  Cheek tint modelled on Benetint – for a £1?  PERFECT.  Apart from when the bottle broke in half when I was doing the lid up, the actual stain isn’t too bad.  It’s not as strong as benetint from what I can tell, but that’s not necessarily bad.  It’s a good emergency back up when you run out of posietint.

I got given a couple of tubes of the Body Shop cheek stain.  It’s good, probably a thicker consistancy then the Poundland version, but oh my god, the application is a NIGHTMARE.  Putting it on over the top of foundation as I do every morning means that the lipgloss style applicator gets clogged up with the foundation on my cheek, and I get the impression I’m not rubbing it into my cheeks, just back and forth across.  In fact, it’s probably my least favourite.

Right now, I’m going to go and reapply a touch of colour to my naked tired cheeks and go and collect the children, pretending to be the vibrant, competent yummy mummy that I’m not.


Are we getting a bit OTT when it comes to “protecting” our kids?


After becoming aware of the “Are Make-Up Kits For Tots Evil?” campaign last week (aka Slap on the Face of Childhood), along with a brief chat about little boys with guns and swords on Twitter the same night, I started thinking.

Are we over thinking certain areas too much? Are we making too many choices for our children? Assuming that certain mindsets and opinions are formed based on what we form ourselves? By withholding access to certain toys from an early age are we actually encouraging them to rebel in the future when they have access to them, with our without our approval/consent/knowledge? By shielding them from marketing, and not teaching them about it, are we in fact making them naive to it in the future.

I am very pro positive body image, I am very pro women realising there is more to life then Pink shoes and a flat stomach. I know it’s surprising for ME of all people to quote that, but it’s true. I may suffer from low self esteem at times, but as a whole, it’s because I’m terrified that I could be considered dumb and shallow. Even if I am a little bit of both.

I have two children, both boys. They mix with boys and girls on a regular basis, either at nursery/pre-school or on play dates. Because of this not only do they have a magnitude of toys to explore, they have the opportunity pick their favourites, and are able to begin to explore their likes and dislikes. Not only with toys, but with who they mix with. At three and a half my son already has “best friends”, and people he likes to play with who “aren’t his favourites” and also little boys and girls he doesn’t like to play with.

Some of the toys my children love I approve of, some I even like. However, some I hate. I’ve not yet banned a toy coming in my house (although musical instruments are a close – that’s not because I disapprove of them, I just value my sanity), however, I have been known to steer an opinion/preference – for example I really didn’t want my eldest to have a Baby Annabel for Christmas. Not because I’m against him playing with dolls, but because I hate that particular doll, it freaks me out. Therefore I showed him an advert with a remote control train on it, the one that I knew a relative had already bought him. That promptly changed his mind.

If he’d begged for the doll like he did for his lighting up and web shooting Spiderman, I think I would have given in, or done the thing I swore I’d never do, get a slightly less ugly doll. (For the record. I also hate Spiderman, he’s annoying, and probably far too grown up for my son, I have never marketed Spiderman to him, he never saw it on the TV or computer until his friends at school introduced it to him.)

Which leads me to thinking a lot about the current war cry regarding toys such as pink lego. What’s the harm really? Is it being overtly marketed to girls? Or is it just our assumption that it is for girls, as is the age old generalisation. Pink is for girls and blue is for boys? If my son pointed out the box of pink lego on the shelf and demanded that one rather then the pink, would I try and steer him to the blue one? No. if he wanted pink so be it (I may also be a bit excited at the thought of building a pink windmill instead of a black and red one), however, he was bought a box of blue lego earlier in the year. Am I meant to be horrified that whoever bought it for him assumed that because of his gender he should have/would want the “boy” option? Will the pink make him camp and girlie, and blue make him macho and sporting? By painting our childrens nails – whatever their gender – whilst letting them dance around the house in our necklaces and shoes to Britney Spears and Girls Aloud, are we jeopardising their future?

If we’re saying they shouldn’t make make-up kits for little girls, that it’s steering them down the path of self esteem issues…should we be looking at dress up clothes (surely dressing up as princesses and superheros have the same impact, will not having a six pack harm self esteem along with the lack of fairy wings?), at school uniforms (maybe boys should be allowed to wear skirts instead of just trousers or shorts? Some schools I know of wont let the girls wear trousers, is this something we should be protesting against?), should we be looking at hair (perhaps we shave the heads of all our children(, send them in to the world in pants and vests (white so not gender specific) and let it pan out. Oh sorry. Am I being an extremist?

As a child I grew up in the country, caught frogs by day, slept in tents in the bottom of the garden by night (well for a few hours until we snuck inside in the early hours), I owned a sword, I wore green wellies with frogs on them. I also had fairy wings, barbies, and bright pink dressing up shoes that came with a make up kit. I used to watch HE-MAN and SHE-RA, but I always wanted to be SHE-RA, she had amazing long blond hair. These days the thought of camping kills me, but I love to catch frogs with my kids to scare my husband with. Although, I’d still rather be She-Ra. What does that tell you? Has that confused the issue? Perhaps we’re allowed the overtly girly pink stuff if we had non-gender specific stuff too?

I’d like to think I class myself as a feminist. Although admittedly often I forget this when it suits me (putting out the rubbish, mowing the lawn lifting anything heavy). I wear nail varnish, I have a pink handbag, I colour my hair, and shopping and cooking is a therapy to me. But I believe women should be classed as equal, that the world is our oyster and that we can do the majority of jobs out there as well as men…sometimes even better because we can multi-task. I think men are as bitchy and emotional as women are these days. The strain of modern society appears to have caused everybody to be riding on an emotional roller-coaster.

My body image issues didn’t come from a play make up kit where my eyes were bright blue and my cheeks were stained red for days. My low self esteem hasn’t come from wearing my mums white stilettos (HA). They’ve come from school, from TV, from magazines. From my natural competitive perfectionist streak which means that I’m never happy with anything I do or how I look.

Surely, when it comes to helping our kids grow up from little people into rounded individuals we should be focusing on the bigger stuff out there, the lack of children who seem to be starting school toilet trained, the inability to hold a pencil let alone write their name. Those who don’t know the difference between a carrot and a grape, but do between a Mars Bar and a Snickers. Please’s and thank you’s, swear words, manners, respect, growing old before their time (does smudged lipstick and felt tipped nail varnish count as growing up or just playing at being mummy?), the list is endless.

Surely we should be focusing on the lack of outdoor play that seems to happen, the lack activities across the country to encourage children out of the house (here all there is soft play if it rains – which begs the question, should we be scared of the rain, or should we just get out there and enjoy it?). Why are our children getting fatter and lazier?

There are so many more issues to think about with our children, so much more to protect them from why can’t we just let them play what they want to play with and perhaps guide them in the right direction of who they want to be. Encouraging them along the way.

Just a thought.