Glow like J.Lo

If you follow her on Instagram, or if you keep up with celebrity news in general, you can’t fail to have been dazzled yesterday by Jennifer Lopez’s humongous, emerald cut engagement ring. As impressive as it was though, as I scrolled through her page, I was dazzled by something else – this woman does not age! I vividly remember her in that green Versace dress back in 2000, almost two decades ago for goodness sake! Honestly, J.Lo will be fifty years old this year and she has the body and skin of somebody twenty years younger. Ok, I know she probably has the benefit of the best beauticians, dieticians, stylists and products that money can buy…but credit where it’s due, she looks fantastic.

I’ve been thinking about my skin lately. Like most people my age I’d very much like to improve it. I’m not hugely worried about inevitable lines and wrinkles and I doubt I’ll ever be competing with J.Lo, but I would love to recapture a bit of a younger, healthy glow. I was looking at photos of pregnant me from 2013 the other day and my skin looked pretty good. I took it for granted then, of course I did, but in hindsight my complexion wasn’t too bad. I know that old lady time has marched on a bit since then but even so, I wouldn’t mind trying to roll back the years skin-wise.

Being a mum has taken a toll on my face. In the early days (you know that hurricane period that hits you just after you have your first kid…and you wonder why you ever classed anything you’d ever done before as hard 😆) any pretence of a skincare routine completely went out of the window. Facial wipes were my go-to and I’m not too proud to admit that more than once or twice I even used a baby wipe instead when I’d run out! There was no such luxury as toner and moisturiser was whatever I could grab on offer at Tesco. To be honest I couldn’t have cared less about my skin, I was just a new mum trying to make it through each day without nodding off in my dinner. My baby girl was looking great though and of course, typical mum, I was using the best organic cream I could afford on her. After those early years of mummyhood I guess I just got stuck in a rut of putting myself last and so didn’t buy myself any decent skincare products. Guess what, that’s just changed – yay!

Not too long ago, I was speaking to a friend of mine who is an Independent Consultant for Neal’s Yard Remedies. If you’ve never come across Neal’s Yard before, they are a British company that create and sell natural, organic health and beauty products across the globe. I loved the sound of their skincare products and I like supporting friends in business, so decided to try some of the lovely goodies for myself.

I figured that any self-respecting MetamorphoMum would definitely have a skincare routine so I decided to start by trying those three basic steps cleanse, tone and moisturise. I’ve been using a Frankincense Refining Cleanser, a Rehydrating Rose Toner and a Rose & Mallow Moisturiser from Neal’s Yard each day. Do you know something, I have seen a difference and I’m really rather pleased! I’ve also been using a White Tea Toning Eye Gel which I find so cooling and firming and it feels like a little treat every time I pat it on. I love the smell of the products with their natural ingredients and find them calming and relaxing.

Deffo no ‘Jenny from the Block’, looking tired & with rather messy hair. Skin’s not too bad though 👍

I’m a convert to the blue bottles now! I found I genuinely liked Neal’s Yard products so much that I’ve even gone and signed up as an Independent Consultant myself, just like my friend. You see, NYR sell really nice mother and baby products and I thought it would be great to be able to offer them to my baby yoga customers, the plus side is that I can also order things for me and my family at a discounted rate…win, win!

Gorgeous stuff for mummies and babies in my baby yoga classes – loving the blue bottles!

Now that I’m making time to try and improve my skin again, I’m going to keep up this new regimen but I’d also love to try some new things too. Stuff I’ve read about but never considered trying for myself. I’ve been reading up about some of the vast array of skin treatments available in Liverpool, honestly we have soooo many salons and spas! I wonder what I should try next. As I type this I’m watching the ever ebullient Rosemary Shrager on ‘The Real Marigold on Tour’ giving a ‘Vampire Facelift’ a whirl…fair play to her, I don’t think I’d have the nerve for that myself, but I wouldn’t mind trying some sort of peel or maybe a spot of dermaplaning.

Any recommendations for treatments folks? Also, If anybody has any tips on reducing enlarged pores let me know in the comments, I bet J.Lo doesn’t have to deal with those suckers!

LOL Dolls, Green Smoothies and Friendship

Is your home an explosion of LOL dolls and gaudy plastic LOL paraphernalia like mine? If you have a young child of the female variety, or perhaps a niece, cousin or granddaughter, you’ll probably have come across this phenomenon. They’ve been a craze for ages now, perhaps not to 80’s Cabbage Patch levels of insanity, but not far off. L absolutely LOVES them…my purse does not share her enthusiasm.

The dolls (pronounced L. O. L. by the way, lest a five year old take the piss out of you for calling them lol dolls) come in a variety of series, the latest being the ‘Makeover Series’ #Hairgoals (perhaps I could get some style tips!) and come as a hidden surprise inside packaging. This means that you never know which one your sixteen quid 😱 will get you until it’s been ripped open. If your little darling gets one they’ve already had before, your role is to force a smile and try to convince them (over the sound of their racking sobs and your plummeting bank balance) that they now own twins, or triplets, or quadruplets…etc etc etc.

The dolls are brightly coloured or glittery and have sassy names to appeal to little girls, like ‘Queen Bee’, ‘Daring Diva’ and the elusive ‘Punk Boi’. I got to thinking, I wonder what would my LOL name be…? I’d like to imagine it would be something cool like ‘Glamstronaut’, ‘Funky QT’ or the intelligent ‘P.H.D.B.B’ (actual doll names), but it wouldn’t – I rather suspect it’d be something more like “Windolene BB’, ‘Pyjamas on at six o’clock Queen’ or ‘Outgrown Roots Babe’ 😆

Anyway, the reason I’m giving this ‘masterclass’ on kids toys is because, believe it or not, they gave me a bit of an idea towards my quest for self-improvement and wellbeing. You see, the LOL dolls in the MetamorphoMum household have their own café that they visit with friends daily. I like to think of it as a quirky, independent establishment that sells green smoothies and accepts Colu. L insists it’s a Costa. Whilst observing the social interactions of these brightly coloured pieces of plastic in their local independent coffee shop/Costa branch it occurred to me, they’re living their best life – I want me some of that! I immediately messaged a friend and arranged a catch-up over coffee.

Always from Mason Jars!

I’ve always known that spending time with friends is great for the soul and especially if there’s food and drink involved. The Mental Health Foundation states that friendships are crucial in protecting mental health. I don’t see my friends often enough though. Like all mums, we lead busy lives full of school runs, work, household chores, family, afterschool activities and all the usual stuff. Sometimes I can be a bit introverted and sometimes I’m just skint from being mugged for LOL dolls. Often, days turn into weeks and weeks into months before we can manage to coordinate our diaries just to have a brew together. My friends are great though so I think it’s important that the first step on my MetamorphoMum journey includes them. I’m going to make a resolution to spend more time with them, in quirky independent coffee shops over green smoothies or in Costa’s over a hot chocolate, I don’t honestly mind where!

What, no squirty cream!

After my LOL cafe inspired revelation, my friend and I spent a wonderful afternoon together (in a Costa 😆) chatting about our kids, laughing about anything and everything and even discussing wellbeing, get us! I confided in her about this blog and she immediately (before even having laid eyes on it) became my biggest cheerleader. Meeting up with my lovely, kind, funny friend over coffee was a brilliant tonic and gave me a spring in my step for the rest of the day. Feeling connected helps us to realise that we are not alone, we can face anything that this life chucks at us – bring it on universe!

In conclusion, it really is so great having people you can just be yourself around. I don’t feel like I have to be ‘Glamstronaut’ or ‘P.H.D.B.B.’ around my friends, they love me as ‘Windolene Queen’ or MetamorphoMum or whatever frazzled version of me I am that day.

💜 Thanks for reading this. If you’re one of my irl friends…love ya!

“Is that a new top Mummy?”

“Yeah…not really feeling it”

Five year old girls throw the best shade. It’s official.

Here’s a chat I just had with L after I picked her up at school. If anybody’s looking for me I’ll be rummaging through empty carrier bags, searching for my till receipt 🙈

L: “Is that a new top Mummy?”

Me: “Yes love, I got it today. Do you like it?”

L: (unconvincingly) “Yes.” Then, after a moment’s contemplation “Do you know what that top would be good for mummy?”

Me: “What love?”

L: “Days when you have nowhere to go and you don’t have to leave the house.”

Duchesses & Scouse Queens – #HelloToKindness

This morning, on the school run, I got chatting to a nan who was dropping off her grandson. She seems like a nice lady, we’ve chatted before briefly, but today I walked away from our convo with a lovely feeling. The reason for this warm glow was the sobriquet that she afforded me throughout our tête-à-tête. She called me – ‘Queen’ 👑

Now, I’m certainly not of royal descent as far as I know (but then who’d have guessed about Danny Dyer), I’m not a superstar of drag à la RuPaul and I couldn’t sing Bohemian Rhapsody to save my life…but this schoolyard nan greeted and addressed me as ‘Queen’. “How odd” you might think, if you’re not from round these parts. However, if you’re from Liverpool like me this probably won’t sound so unusual. ‘Queen’ is an old Scouse term of endearment used to show affection. An older lady might call you Queen or a husband might call his wife Queen, in the same way somebody else might call you ‘sweetheart’ or ‘love’. Now, I haven’t heard this term used for absolutely ages, it’s not very common parlance these days and it seems to be dying out with the older generation. But it’s such a lovely, warm, down to earth expression, full of friendliness – it somehow reminds me of a simpler and kinder time gone by. Brilliant!

When I arrived home post school run, still bearing a regal glow, I caught an interview on CNN (random tv choice I know. The current soap opera of US politics is addictive – but that’s another story 😁). The guest was a lady called Emily Nash, Royal Correspondent for Hello magazine. Emily was discussing a new campaign launched by her magazine, called #HelloToKindness. The campaign is intended to promote kindness and change the way that people communicate online. It was inspired by the recent wave of abusive comments directed toward Duchesses Meghan and Kate, as described by sources from Kensington Palace. The campaign also wants to promote kindness in everyday life and is being supported by various celebrities and personalities. As well as kindness to others, the movement also endorses the ideas of self-care, compassion and kindness to ourselves. Very important skills, because in order to be kind to others it’s important to be kind to ourselves…and conversely, being kind to others is also a way of being kind to ourselves – it makes us feel happier. Like a big positive cycle.

I do always try to be as kind as I can to others and I teach my daughter and the children in my classes the same virtue. In my house you’ll find, amongst other stuff; kindness stones, children’s books about kindness, kindness elves and a big squishy heart cushion I use to teach self-compassion. I must admit though, like lots of other mums out there, I’m not always as kind as I could be to myself. I don’t take time for me, I’m pretty self-critical and I definitely neglect my health and wellbeing at times.

As you know, my plan with this blog is to try and change…I’ll definitely be introducing more self-care (now where did I put that ladyshave? 😆) and self-compassion. I’ve pledged that I’m going to be kinder to myself and I really hope that other mums might decide to join me along the way. In my next post I’ll share with you the very first step on my MetamorphoMum journey to change and we’ll probably have a bit of a laugh about my efforts. I can definitely say that in general I’ll be joining in with the principles of #HelloToKindness too, I think the campaign can only be a good thing in these times of division and intolerance.

I have to say though, I can’t help thinking we’re half way there already in Liverpool…I mean, where else would you be called a Queen by a virtual stranger before 9am on a cold January morning?! 👸 #LiverpoolQueensOfKindness

Metamorphosis Begins

I’ve let myself go a bit. There, I said it.

I’m a mum and let’s be honest, we have less time to spend on ourselves than we did in our more carefree, pre-kids days. It’s hard to squeeze in a morning meditation when I’m sponging toothpaste off my daughter’s school tie as we dash out of the door. I run a little business too, so that just about kills off any ‘me time’ I might fancy. My hair’s generally a mess, I’ve long run out of skincare products, my eyebrows manage to be both unkempt and invisible at the same time and I wear make-up about once every two months. Am I painting the picture? 😁

It’s not just my appearance though, nope, this is a more holistic type of self-neglect I’m nurturing! I think we mums tend to place everybody else ahead of ourselves. I’m no expert but it’s probably part nature and a bit about how we’ve been socialised to view mothers. So in the queue of who takes priority each day, our kids (of course), our partners, our jobs, our extended families, our homes all jostle for position – with us bringing up the (mine’s getting more sizeable by the day) rear. We feel pressure to be everything to everyone. This can leave us frazzled, stressed and generally…well, not very zen.

I’m not even really complaining, to be fair. I love my kid, I love being a mum, but I do think I need to make some changes before I hit the big four-o next year…lest I turn into ‘Mrs Doyle’ (even she wore lipstick in one episode!). From now on I’m planning to work on myself a bit more, in all aspects of my life. I want to look a bit better, feel a bit better and grow as a person. I’m looking for my metaphorical butterfly wings. Hopefully this blog will help me to find them.

I’ll be writing about my life as a mum and of course my efforts to ‘metamorphosise’ (I googled, it’s a word) – including any successful or not so successful endeavours. Fancy joining me?


Things to note about this picture. It’s actually a lie. Between you and me, it’s more of a ’13 year challenge’. Also, in the ‘after’ pic I had been given a ‘makeover’ by my daughter, using her very sticky, gloopy Disney make-up. Despite the rather heavy-handed application by a five year old, it’s somehow made me look 10 zillion times better than I really do! She’s given me better cheekbones than really exist and the blurry photo’s taken from a good angle. I normally wear glasses too. So, all in all I’ve lied to myself here with this image, but frankly I’m easing myself in slowly! 😀