Ten random things I couldn’t live without…

 

This is a slightly (okay, very!) random post, but I get asked about some of these things quite a bit, so I thought it might be helpful to include them in a blog.  In no particular order, these are some of the things that I couldn’t live without…

  1. A basket bag – basket bags aren’t just for summer holidays. I use mine all year round, in fact, I use mine every day, which is why I decided to invest in the creme de la creme of basket bags.  I chose this one from Raefeather because I was keen on  leather handles.  I take mine grocery shopping, to the gym, when we go swimming with the children, I use it as a transporter of general cr*p up and down the stairs and I often use it to carry the washing.
  2. My Audible Subscription – Apart from the annual summer and Christmas holidays, I haven’t really managed to read very much since I had the children. Reading at night sends me to sleep after a couple of pages, and I have tried, and failed,  to read a book on my occasional tube travel into town. I get very distracted by people watching (particularly by what everyone is wearing!) and find it incredibly hard to concentrate. That was until I discovered Audible. It has been a complete game changer. I listen in the car, walking, travelling on the tube, folding the washing, watering the garden…it even made standing in a Zara returns queue during sale time quite relaxing!
  3. My Olympus PEN E-PL9 Camera –  I have been using the Olympus PEN since I started blogging and have recently upgraded to the new E-PL9. It is a beautiful compact camera that is very easy to use and you are able to connect your smart phone to the camera using it’s in-built WIFI and download photographs to your phone camera roll straight away. You can also operate the camera using your i-phone, which is brilliant if you are taking photos of yourself for instagram. Pop the camera on a tripod, set up and view the shot through the Live view on your mobile phone. It’s genius! (It’s how I take most of my photographs) But it’s not just great for bloggers, it’s the perfect camera to carry around with you on the weekend and take some lovely photographs of the family.
  4. Invisibobble – £5.99  I told you this list was random! These are the only hair ties that I use. They are kind to your hair and have a good, strong hold for anyone with long, thick hair.
  5. Caudalie Beauty Elixir – £12 This was recommended to me by the lovely Elle from  www.featheringtheemptynest.co.uk who knows a thing or two about beauty.  I have a large bottle which I use as a make-up refreshing and setting spray, but I also have this little one in my handbag and it’s been perfect for cooling (and calming!) me down during this hot weather spell. It’s 100% natural and both Queen Isabelle of Hungary and Victoria Beckham use it… Well, if it’s good enough for them…
  6. A clothes steamer –  I am not actually sure how I have lived to the age of 40 without a steamer?!  I have never been good with an iron, part laziness, part poor technique, but the steamer is really easy and quick to use. I inherited this Fridja Steamer which is good, but it is a few years old now and has developed a kink in the tube which means you have to make sure that you are holding it correctly to avoid the kink stopping the free flow of steam. Another downside is the size of it. We don’t have a big laundry room so it has been standing in our bedroom and it isn’t the prettiest. I have been looking to get a more discreet steamer and have been recommended the Cirrus Portable Steamer (£100) by a few stylists whose opinions I trust. I have also purchased this steamer from Amazon that was recommended by the ladies at Sheerluxe, but I haven’t put it to the test as yet.
  7.  Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream  – £28  I have been using Eight Hour Cream ever since I can remember. We call it ‘Magic Cream’ in our house and I literally put it on everything! Scrapes, bites, lips, burns, you name it! I always have a tube on me and we have several pots dotted around the house. Some people don’t like the smell but I don’t mind it at all.  In fact I find it comforting.
  8. Fake Tan – £37.50   After many years under the harsh South African sun, my mum has developed skin cancer (it’s being treated and thus far, under control) and so I have seen just how dangerous and damaging the sun can be. I do love the feeling of a proper suntan, but I just don’t think it’s worth the damage and the risk, so I tend to get my tan out of a bottle these days. My favourite fake tan is Vita Liberata Phenomenal 2-3 week tan, but as it’s a little on the pricey side, I have recently discovered Bondi Sands for £14.99 which comes a very close second. I actually prefer the smell of the Bondi Sands (coconut fragrance) but the Vita Liberata stays on for longer (although definitely not 3 weeks!)
  9. Elta MD SPF 46 – £23 A good SPF is a crucial step in my beauty regime. Since discovering Elta MD through Medicetics, it would take a lot for me to turn to anything else. It’s lightweight, slightly tinted and disappears into the skin. It’s really important to wear a daily, dedicated SPF which is separate from your moisturiser and foundation. Often both products will include an SPF but these aren’t enough..
  10. Soda Stream – £66.49    I’ve left the most random on the list until last!  My husband and I both drink sparkling water and LOTS of it. About a year ago, we were both appalled at the number of plastic bottles of fizzy water we were putting into our recycling bin and decided we needed to make a change. So we purchased  a Soda Stream machine and for the past year we have been fizzing our own refillable bottles. It was a small change that I feel has greatly reduced our household contribution to plastic waste and I am conscious that we can do more.

There we go… Hopefully some of you might find this post helpful! And if you’ve got this far, thanks for reading!

Love,

Chloe x

6 comments so far.

6 responses to “Ten random things I couldn’t live without…”

  1. Julia Bodroghy-West says:

    What an amazing list – thank you!

    The best blogger by a mile!

  2. Jo says:

    Lovely list! We also bought a soda stream this year for the exact same reason! 😊

  3. Hannah says:

    I love these sorts of random posts and lists!

    Wishing your mum well, Chloe xx

  4. Eleanor says:

    But where do you take your bottles for the soda stream to refill??! We bought one and loved it – until the collection of empty gas bottles took over a kitchen drawer!

    • chloelovestoshop@yahoo.co.uk says:

      We take them to Robert Dyas, who send them back for refill and we purchase the new gas bottles from them x

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Chloe Samwell-Smith

Chloe Samwell-Smith

I am a fashion loving mum of three, blogging about my love for clothes, interiors, children's fashion, fitness, beauty and travel. I live in London with my husband, three children (Liv, Milla and Charlie) and our siamese cat called Sammy.

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