And the winner is …

THERE was much excitement today in Beating Myself Into A Dress towers as we had our prize draw for our three brilliant prizes.

My glamorous assistant Mammy Dunne lent a hand to pull the three names out of the hat.

I wanted her to wear a bikini for the prize draw but she was having none of it.

I wanted her to wear a bikini for the prize draw but she was having none of it.

Our first prize winner, who gets a €20 voucher for Boots is …

Michelle Vesey!

Michelle Vesey

Michelle Vesey

Second prize of the blue and coral mosaic style earrings goes to …

Nichola Hand!

Nichola Hand

Nichola Hand

Third prize of the set of cute star earrings goes to …

Chloe Keeley Power!

Boots comp third prize Chloe

Congratulations to all three winners. Please send me on your postal addresses to karenpdunne@gmail.com and I’ll post out your prizes. Thanks to everyone for entering!

Slaying the Beast within

THE thing about having a birthday party for your child at home is that you have to actually clean that home before you can let anybody into it.

Well, anybody not wearing a Hazmat suit anyway.

I don’t know what I was thinking. It started a couple of weeks ago when we went out to visit Mammy Dunne and in a fit of inspiration invited her to stay the night of Seán’s birthday.

His birthday is Easter Saturday, you see, and we were planning to have Mammy Dunne and the inlaws for their dinner on Easter Sunday anyway so it made sense for her to stay, rather than going home and having to come back out to us a few hours later.

“That’s a great idea now, if you don’t mind. I will stay, I’ll pack an overnight bag and all so I will,” she sez delighted with herself.

All was going swimmingly until we were driving home and I noticed Yer Man shooting me terrified, alarmed looks out of the corner of his eye.

“WHAT?” I eventually yelled when I could stand it no longer.

“Nothing, nothing,” he babbled “it’s just you asked your Mam to stay …”

“YES?” I roared “and what’s wrong with that? Not good enough for you is she? Don’t want her staying? You thundering bastard, I have to say, I’d never treat YOUR mother like…”

“KAREN!” he cut me off, mid-rant “it’s not that. It’s just – where is she going to stay?”

“In the bloody spare room, you big thick, where do you …”

I trailed off, remembering. The spare room. Or The Room of Death as it’s more commonly known around these parts.

The room where we open the door ONLY to chuck in more rubbish, closing it quickly lest our eyes be offended by the filth within.

The room that hasn’t been hoovered since 2010. The room where odd socks go to die.

THIS room:

There are two beds under all of that. Honest to God.

There are two beds under all of that. Honest to God.

I don't even know where I got half of this shit

I don’t even know where I got half of this shit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I looked at Yer Man, horrified.

“We’ll have to clean it,” I managed, gasping for breath.

“I know,” he murmured comfortingly, patting my hand “I know.”

We drove the rest of the way home in silence. Thinking about the beast lurking within our home.

Today is D-day. It’s time to slay the beast.

Afternoon quickie – Colgate Max White One Optic

Colgate Max White One

Colgate Max White One Optic

I READ about this over on All the Buzz and when I saw it on sale in Tesco I decided to give it a go.

The Colgate Max White One Optic claims to whiten your teeth visibly from the very first brush. It claims to have proven optic brighteners that temporarily make your teeth look whiter.

Over time then it progressively whitens more permanently but the ‘special blue foam’ starts to work straight away.

Yeah.

I don’t think it did.

Ah look, my teeth aren’t great at all, they badly need to be cleaned at the dentist but frankly I can’t afford it, nor can I afford the other things that I know he’ll find in there like fillings and caps and crowns that I’m sure all need to be done. I drink an awful lot of coffee now that I’m a mother (shut up, I need it) and they’ve yellowed with age and caffeine

So, until I scrape together enough for a proper cleaning I’m making do with brushing twice daily and a swoosh of mouthwash so when I saw this new product from Colgate I decided to give it a go, see if it could stave off the trip to the dentist for a while longer.

So this is my smile before using the new toothpaste:

Teeth before

Teeth before

And this is it after:

Teeth after

Teeth after

 

Yeah, pretty much exactly the same teeth? I didn’t notice any immediate difference now, though I stared in the mirror until I was almost cross-eyed, convincing myself that they were maybe a bit brighter? Maybe? But I dunno. Do you see it?

I lashed on some make up then to see if the addition of lipstick would make any difference, but again I couldn’t really see a difference.

With a little bit of lippy

With a little bit of lippy

I won’t dismiss it totally though as it does claim a whitening action with continued use, so I’ll give it a month and report back. I just wanted to test the claim of an immediate whitening effect.

Have you used this product? What did you think? Would you give it a go?

Colour Me Happy Challenge – Competition Time!

SO it’s the last day of my Colour Me Happy Challenge today and I’m over the moon with how it went.

Howaya!

Howaya!

Top Tesco, trousers Yours Clothing, shoes Heatons

Top Tesco, trousers Yours Clothing, shoes Heatons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed it personally, loved breaking out my bright summer clothes and putting away all my dark winter gear. But most of all I loved seeing others taking part, digging clothes they had forgotten about out of the back of the wardrobe, painting their nails, going shopping, enjoying fashion.

Joanne looking STUNNING on a night out

Joanne looking STUNNING on a night out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon blinging it up in petrol blue

Sharon blinging it up in petrol blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While this is the end of the challenge, I’ve retired my winter wardrobe for good now (well, until next autumn anyway!) and intend to wear bright colours, patterns, florals, stripes and polka dots as often as possible. And I hope you will too.

****COMPETITION TIME****

To celebrate the conclusion of the challenge I have a tiny giveaway for you all! Just for the heck of it I have a €20 gift voucher for Boots up for grabs.

And also for the heck of it I have a second and third prize up for grabs too!

Second prize is these lovely mosaic-style eggshell blue and coral earrings:

Second prize

Second prize

Third prize is this cute set of three star shaped stud earrings:

Third prize

Third prize

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave your name in the comments below. The competition runs until next Sunday, Easter Sunday, April 20 and a name will be chosen at random and the winner announced Sunday evening. First out of the hat wins the voucher, second wins the mosaic-style earrings and third out wins the star shaped studs. This competition is open to readers in the Republic of Ireland only. (Readers in Northern Ireland are free to enter but the Boots voucher is in euro so if you win, you will have to come down south to spend it!)

 

I wish I didn’t believe in depression

TODAY (April 13) in the Sunday Independent columnist and journalist John Waters said that he didn’t believe in depression.

During the course of an interview he said: “I don’t believe in depression. There’s no such thing. It’s an invention. It’s bullshit,” he said, “it’s a cop out.”

Do you know what? I wish I didn’t believe in depression. I wish it didn’t exist and I wish it was something I had made up so that I could simply stop suffering from it.

I had never experienced depression before the birth of my son, so when, a couple of weeks after his birth I was hit by that sudden, savage low it literally took my breath away.

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think.

I was afraid every minute of every hour of every day. Crippling, soul destroying fear. I was afraid of my baby. Afraid of hurting him. Afraid of being alone with him. Afraid of feeding him. Afraid of changing him.

Tears flowed, all the time. Every day. I was only happy when he wasn’t with me. When he was with his Dad or his grandparents, then I could relax.

I started to have awful thoughts, think terrible things. I wanted to leave my baby, and my husband, just walk away. Get on a train and go away somewhere, anywhere.

I wanted to give the baby up for adoption, give him to someone who could care for him when I couldn’t. I’ve never told anybody that. Not even my husband. But it’s how I felt.

I had to physically stop myself every day from simply walking out and leaving the baby in his Moses basket. I would wait until I saw my husband’s car coming into the estate and then go and get my coat. The baby would only be alone for 30 seconds and it’d give me time to get up the road, I reasoned. Every day I put my coat back before my husband opened the door – but yet the next day I’d again find myself in the hall, coat in hand thinking that this time I’d go.

This wasn’t normal, this wasn’t me and believe me it wasn’t made up.

I’m lucky. My husband is a saint in living form. He supported me physically through those awful first couple of weeks. He sent me to the doctor who instantly recognised what a terrible place I was in and who helped me. The doctor listened, he told me that what I was feeling was normal, that it was a medical condition that happened to some women after birth. He told me that he was glad I had come to him as the feelings I was describing, combined with the loss of my Dad a few weeks previously, could potentially have culminated in a major depressive episode, one which would have required serious in-patient psychiatric care. But because I had sought help he was confident that wouldn’t happen, that he would be able to treat me, with support from home.

And he did. Again, I was lucky. The medication worked. Asking for help worked. Having some help with the baby worked. And mercifully quickly. Within a few more weeks I was well on the road to recovery. The fear lifted, the anxiety receded, I could sleep again. I could enjoy my beautiful baby boy.

One year on and I’m still taking the medication, I’m still being supported at home with help with the baby and I still have bad days. But I’m much nearer to a full recovery than I was. Again, I’m so lucky.

Depression is real. It does exist. It’s not bullshit. It’s not a cop out. It’s a scientifically proven, medical condition that can happen to anyone. It’s as real and as valid as having asthma or epilepsy or a broken leg. It’s real and let nobody tell you different.

Please, if you’re suffering as I was, ask for help. It’s not easy, I know but please don’t live in the darkness any longer. Please.

For more information on depression and the supports available visit Aware at http://www.aware.ie

 

Everybody does it … don’t they?

The handy little compact comes with a mirror

The handy little compact comes with a mirror

I PICKED up a new (to me) eyeshadow duo from the Lacura range in Aldi the other day for just €2.59, flinging it eagerly into the trolley cos it was my husband’s turn to pay for the shopping.

Oh come on!

Come on now! I can’t be the only one who does that, surely?

Throwing shampoo and cleanser and magazines and steak at will into the trolley when it’s his turn to pay and then insisting on a lentil rich spartan trolley with no luxuries when it’s my week?

Ah feck off.

Nice gold/neutral colour on the left with the olive green on the right

Nice gold/neutral colour on the left with the olive green on the right

Anyway, the point is, I bought a new eyeshadow and it’s pretty good! It comes in a sealed packet so you can’t see the colours beforehand there’s just a little mark on the box telling you what’s in there so it’s a bit of a gamble.

But this time it paid off as I got the goldy/olive green palette and it’s really nice. It’s shimmery without being glittery and they’re nice soft colours.

Used the gold colour as a brow highlighter and the olive on my lids

Used the gold colour as a brow highlighter and the olive on my lids

Nice and light for daytime

Nice and light for daytime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I only put on a light coating as it was daytime but they’re pretty well pigmented so you could certainly build up the colour for a more night time feel. There wasn’t any dropdown when I brushed on the shadow and several hours later it hasn’t budged and still looks pretty fresh.

Overall I was mighty impressed and would certainly recommend to a friend.

Have you used any of the Lacura make-up range? What did you think?

Jayze, she’ll catch her death in that…

OK. I’ll admit it. This Colour Me Happy Challenge – I’m feckin’ freezing! Am I the only one? Yeah, it’s not lashing rain, but lads it’s not warm either. It’s April. In Ireland.

And there I am poncing about in bare legs and thin t-shirts, maxi dresses and skirts. Like a gobshite.

Skirt Monsoon (charity shop find) top Dunnes and shoes New Look. Baby: model's own!

Skirt Monsoon (charity shop find) top Dunnes and shoes New Look. Baby: model’s own!

Before, I worried that people were looking at me in the supermarket because I was a bit of a fatso but now I know they’re actually thinking ‘Jayze, she’ll catch her death in that’.

It’s hard to pull off fake tan when you’re covered in goosebumps, it really is. And I actually do feel like I’m getting a cold in my kidneys, I’m not messing.

No 7 High Shine Lipgloss

No 7 High Shine Lipgloss

But I shall persevere, I’m enjoying it no end. Deciding what to wear every morning, messing about with makeup (I went for pink eyeshadow today!) and dying to get online to see what my fellow challenge-ees are wearing.

Angela's Manolo's. WELL JEL!

Angela’s Manolo’s. WELL JEL!

 

Christina's minty nails

Christina’s minty nails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joanne's purple and green combo is just fab

Joanne’s purple and green combo is just fab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so pleased with how people have embraced this challenge and I’m hoping to continue to wear bright colours for the rest of the spring and summer.

Gorgeous Dervla showing off enviable legs. Swit swoo!

Gorgeous Dervla showing off enviable legs. Swit swoo!

So now, I’m off to put on my electric blanket and fill a hot water bottle while I cuddle up in my fleecy pjs and dressing gown. Bitther I tell ya, bitther!

To take part in the #ColourMeHappy challenge comment here, or follow me on Twitter @beatingblog under the hashtag.