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13/07/17 The day my life developed colour

This isn’t going to be an incredibly long post, but I felt the need to check in with my readers with this most glorious update.
It’s been 4 days since my little girl was born and I already can’t imagine life without her. 

Poppy Cathrine Elizabeth Allison came into our lives at 4:04am on Thursday morning, just 5 days after her expected due date. 

In the early afternoon I had a midwife appointment with the midwife who gave me a membrane sweep….she must have had the magic  touch as 3 hrs later my contractions started. I won’t go into too many details at this stage, but it was the most intense night of our lives and I just don’t know how I would have been able to manage it without the most amazing birth partners. Anna my midwife was a blue haired angel and my husband was just out of this world. 

My husband took this photo of Poppy and I the very second we met and it’s such a glorious moment that I’m thankful he captured it. 



The Bounty Baby Box

Because who doesn’t love a beauty freebie! 

So this week, in my final week before my due date, I finally got round to picking up my bounty box as I was passing by Boots! The process is very straight forward as I’d already downloaded the app so all I had to do was click on the store I’d like to collect from, approach a very helpful member of staff who then processed the transaction….the box is free, but understandably they need to scan a barcode to keep on top of stock. 
Here is some blurb taken from the Bounty website…
We support families in the transition to parenthood, through each key life stage, from pregnancy to birth to toddler to pre-school. We aim to be the first place new mums turn to for advice, help, reassurance and information. We also welcome them into an online community where they can share problems, worries, tips and achievements with a support network of mums who are going through the same thing.

As well as providing new mums with the timely advice and expert knowledge new mums need, we introduce carefully chosen products and services to mum that we know, as parents, can be invaluable through the different key stages. Every mum that registers with us is eligible to receive a total of four Bounty Packs; filled with free samples, money-off vouchers and useful information, plus free guides offering practical, up-to-date information, advice and guidance from pregnancy and beyond.

In supporting mums, we’re also supporting the healthcare professionals caring for them, by operating as a responsible and giving commercial business. And, like any parent, we’re extremely proud of our whole family.
These are the very cute contents of the Bounty Box 


  • Palmers CocoButter Skin Therapy Oil 25ml
  • Olay 7 Total Effects Featherweight Moisturiser
  • Boots Essentials fragrance free moisturising cream 100ml
  • L’Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Masque Pre Shampoo treatment
  • L’Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Discount offers and vouchers of products.

I think I’m going to try out the L’Oréal Extraordinary Clay hair treatments this evening so I feel all pampered for my husband arriving home in the morning!! We’ve been apart except for 3 days at the end of May so I’m just dying to get him home! We’ve been apart over his 30th birthday and our first wedding anniversary so it’s been rather emotional even without all my pregnancy hormones.

Joy xxx

In My Bathroom Cabinet 

  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser (buy here)
  • Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask (buy here)
  • Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish – Hot Cloth Cleanser (buy here)
  • Clinique Sonic System Purifying Brush (buy here)

Read my reviews on these products by clicking …….here……

  • Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray (buy here)
  • Clinique All About Eyes Serum (buy similar here) I bought this serum and the face spray above as  part of a travel set so I have the mini versions.
  • Nivea Antiperspirant Protect & Care (buy similar here)

  • Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (buy here)
  • Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (buy here)
  • Nivea Double Effect Make-up Remover (buy here)

Read my reviews on these three products by clicking …….

  • Milkyajy concealer (buy similar here) This brand is only avavilable in Dubai so I have linked to a Nars equivelant.
  • Benefit Benetint (buy here)
  • Rimmel Match Perfection (buy here)
  • Rimmel Hide The Blemish Concealer (buy here)
  • Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (buy here)


  • GK Hair Taming System Leave-in Spray (buy here)
  • GK Hair Taming System Serum (buy here)
  • GK Hair Taming Leave-in Cream (buy here)
  • GK Hair Taming VolumizerHer Spray (buy here) – This smells of daffodils and is utterly beautiful.

(After my nightly shower I apply the tiniest amount of all four of these products and sleep with a towel wrapped round my hair….when I wake my hair is so soft and my waves defined. I love, love, love this range.)


  • GK Hair Juvexin Shield Colour Protection Shampoo (buy here)
  • GK Hair Juvexin Shield Colour Protection Conditioner (buy here)
  • St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower (buy here)
  • Kiehl’s Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit Skin Softening Body Cleanser (buy similar here) ….Sadly this fragrance has been discontinued and really it’s very sad as I’m running very low 😦
  • Jo Malone Lime Basil & Manderin Body Wash (buy here)

Hope you enjoyed this post 🙂

Joy xxx


My 5 Step Bedtime Beauty Routine 

I’m absolutely loving that it doesn’t get dark in the evenings until at least 9:30pm here! In Dubai it was dark by 6:30pm so it’s definitely appreciated. So although these photos look like they are taken in the morning they are actually late at night! 🖤

I thought I’d let you all in on my super simple 5 step bedtime beauty routine fresh from the shower…..

I have a weird quirk that means I don’t particularly enjoy getting my face wet in the shower….. Told you I was weird. So more often than not I have thick mascara marks melting down my face when I step out the shower. 

1. Nivea Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover is up there with the best I’ve ever used. This make up remover takes off even the toughest of masacaras with just a couple of wipes over the eyes with cotton buds. Just remember to shake until the liquid turns a cloudy pale blue.

2. The make-up removing fluid tends to leave a slight oily feeling on my face so a thorough cleanse after is definitely needed. I use the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleaser with my Clinique Sonic Cleansing Brush. 

This cleanser is the most gentle cleaser I’ve ever come across. It’s feels so beautiful on my skin, but that doesn’t mean it’s soft on removing the last of my make up or deep down dirt. As with all Kiehl’s products this is expensive, but it’s truly worth it. 

The large white sectioned this brush can be used all over your face and the smaller green section is for your t-zone as the bristles are rougher. I bought this last summer in preparation for my wedding and it’s made such a difference to my complexion. It’s fantastic to know your getting deep into your pores without doing any damage to your skin. 

3. I use the super lovely, super relaxing Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask at least twice a week. The green clay really draws out impurities while the manuka honey and rose-scented geranium soften my skin. 

I found the scent of this mask rather odd when I first used it, but I now find it very fresh. When it comes to a moisturising mask I tend to prefer sheet masks, but I really like the process of wiping away a clay mask if I want a deep clean feeling.

4. Once my skin is feeling super squeaky clean I apply 6-8 drops of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate to my face and neck. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this product or how it addicted you will become once you pop this on your face for the first time. Yes, it is a lot of money, but this little bottle will last you FOREVER! Well, not quite forever, but I’ve had this a year and I’m only 3/4s of the way through. 

5. Once the Elixir has sunk in I top up the moisture with Clinique Moisture Surge moisturiser. This is a super luxurious, lightweight moisturiser that my skin sucks up instantly. I absolutely adore this product and look forward to this step the minute I start. 

When I fly I make sure I have this in my little see-through liquids bag as it’s the ideal moisturiser for combatting airplane dryness without looking like an oil slick. 

Hope you enjoyed my very simple bedtime beauty routine. 



Who has a signature perfume these days?

I don’t know about you, but the concept of having only one perfume to be worn to all occasions no matter the destination or mood seems a little outdated. 

I think I got that from my mother….she would swear that she only wore Chanel No.5 , but in actual fact she would pick up a bottle of something new every summer after a holiday in Spain. Her dresser was always covered in a vast array of beautiful, colourful bottles. Once finished she would put the empty bottle in the drawer with her night dresses so she’d always smell nice before bedtime. 


I’m not a crazy dachshund lady, I swear. My folks bought these little doggies at Christmas and I think they are so cute!

I normally have four or five perfumes at any one time, but due to the move, I had to be cruelly selective on what products I brought with me. The two perfumes I just couldn’t bare to be without are Joe Malone English Pear & Freesia and Chanel Coco Noir.


Jo Malone – English Pear & Freesia Cologne

My brother in law bought me this for Christmas and it was love at first sniff! (Thanks, Aus)

With distinctive pear and freesia notes, what hits me is how fresh this smells and how long it lingers. I know this is meant to be an autumnal fragrance, but it makes me feel summery and light. Bouncy….. if that’s even a way to describe a perfume?! 🤗

Purchase here.



Chanel Coco Noir

Now this one my husband bought me in Spain last September. I told him that I was looking for a fragrance that was like an aftershave, but still feminine. He only wears Hermes aftershaves and they suit him beautifully, but I wanted something as equally intense, but more elegance.  He chose this and it’s absolutely divine! It’s heavy, but the undertones of Jasmine soften it out. The perfect date night perfume!

Purchase here.

What are your favourite perfumes?



Edinburgh Park Life

Two weeks ago today, almost to the hour exactly, I landed back in Edinburgh, and it felt like the longest flight of my life. Leaving Pete at the airport was the toughest goodbye we’ve experienced as its the longest we’ll be apart (9 weeks) and it’s also the most emotional and sensitive time in our lives together.

I’ll be honest and say I spent most of the flight in tears to be leaving him behind, and the rest super excited to get home to see my friends and family. We’re both keeping our fingers crossed that she doesn’t arrive before Pete can get back from Dubai. On the plus side…. let’s get a little more cheery for a second….I hit 32 weeks yesterday so that means only 8 weeks to go until i see my little girl!!!! It’s funny how when you’re pregnant you stop counting in months and think only in weeks and days. 🙂





I feel so lucky to have this park right on our doorstep.



The Allisons are heading home

So that’s it. We’re off. Me, Pete, Andy and ‘she who is yet to be named’. After 15 months of desert-life we are moving back to the cobbled streets of Edinburgh.

The main reason for the move is so we can have our baby girl back in Scotland surrounded by both our families and friends. The idea of my parents or Pete’s parents not being there in the hours/days/weeks after the birth of our first child is so alien so we needed to go. Also, Pete’s job means he often travels for weeks at a time so I want my family and friends as close to us as possible.

But, for me, it’s been more than that. I’ve wanted to head home for a while.

Dubai is such a playground with so many cool opportunities, but I found it overwhelming and so isolating at times. When we got back from Edinburgh after our wedding last summer I didn’t know when I’d next be home and I found that such a struggle. I’m the kind of person who needs to have at least a vague idea of what is coming next. That might sound boring or controlling, but it’s what keeps me calm. I don’t need or want to control a situation, but I do need to be in control of myself. I suffer from anxiety so there are certain things I need to maintain my emotional balance. After two disagreeable jobs I found my confidence had been knocked pretty low, especially in a place like Dubai where social status is ranked so highly. Being pregnant (and having a few horrible health/baby scares along the way) has definitely amplified my desire to be back in Edinburgh with everyone I know and love, and those who love and understand me. 

Motherhood is going to be a rollercoaster and I want to be surrounded by the most awesome support system possible. 😍

We aren’t sure what the future holds (does anyone?), but what we are sure of is that Edinburgh is the best choice for us.

I will definitely miss Dubai. I’ll miss the wonderful friends we have met since being here and the winter months when it’s not blistering hot. I’ll miss knowing that I can wear my lovely suede heels without risking them being ruined in the rain. I’ll miss around the clock Burger King and MacDonalds home delivery. I’ll miss knowing that within an hours drive we can be amongst the most majestic sand dunes.

What I won’t miss is not being able to let Andy off the leash when we go for walks; Dubai is not exactly dog friendly. The lack of a decent postal system, cars honking the split second the light turns from red to green, the utter lack of a queuing system, clothes and beauty products being double the price, the very long and very hot 6-month summer when you can feel your skin sizzle and your makeup melt the minute you step outside. What I won’t miss is worrying about how much a hospital appointment is going to cost me when I’m in desperate pain or need assurance that baby is developing properly. I certainly will not miss the beef bacon…vile imposter.

I’m thrilled we gave Dubai a go; I’m proud of us.  I’m sure if we hadn’t fallen pregnant so soon our story would be different, but we’re heading home with a trunkful of memories, a solid marriage, a super awesome dog and a bubba on the way. I believe everyone should live somewhere completely different for at least a year to push themselves, sadly for me I just couldn’t get into the swing of Dubai. Who knows maybe in a few years once we’ve regained our bearings we’ll be ready to try somewhere new. For now, I am beyond excited to get home and really get ready for our baby girl arriving. I found out recently that two of my closest friends are pregnant so I can’t wait to celebrate with them. Having our first babies together is going to be a wonderful, beautiful thing. 

This time next week I will once more become an Edinburgh resident. 🙂



Due to the impending trip back to Edinburgh to have our little bambino I’ve listed a whole bunch of clothes and shoes on Shedd! I’m leaving at the end of the month so there is limited time to buy….😜

Shedd is a really cool mobile app here in Dubai (They have it is Aus too) which lets you buy and sell preloved fashion. So for those like me who have dresses and shoes that have only had one out in the world Shedd a great way to clear some space and make some cash at the same time. As Tegan Jones put it “Shedd is a fashion lover’s answer to Ebay” See her review of Shedd here!

I’ve never used the app before last so I’m really forward to finding out how successful my items are!  See below for a sneak peak of some of the items listed.

Check out what I’m selling on Shedd!

These gorgeous velvet Slip on that I posted about last year haven’t even been out of the box as they are the wrong size. My amazing sister in law saw the post and then bought me them for Christmas! I’m so gutted that my pregnant feet won’t fit them 😦

🐪 !!!Dubai readers!!! 🐪

Take a peek through my store and get in touch if you’d like to purchase my things! They are all in excellent quality! (My shoes are a mix of 37/38size …..I have one foot that is a 37.5 and the other is 38 so its always a bit of a gamble )

Check out what I’m selling on Shedd!

As always, thanks for reading!

Joy 💋💋

Pregnancy essentials at 27 weeks

Lemons Lemons Lemons… I just can not get enough of them at the moment. I start my day with a freshly squeezed lemon in a short glass of water to wake me up and flush out the nasties. It doesn’t always succeed to wake me up but I’ve noticed such a difference in my complexion.

Twinings English Breakfast Tea… Now, I know that I’m meant to lower my caffeine intake, but I do allow myself two cups of tea a day. I tried a caffeine tea a little while ago and it was super rough! There is something about this tea that makes me feel human and that I’m not so far from home. I’ve not had a coffee since November so I think I’m doing pretty well.

Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia… My brother in law bought me this beautiful perfume for Christmas this year and its crisp freshness is so uplifting.

L’Occitane Supple Skin Oil… I’ve been applying this religiously to my tummy since I was 13 weeks and so far I’ve managed to gain no stretch marks. I wish I could say the same for my boobs… Looks like my underboob flashing days are over…Bugger!

Body Brush… This has been an invaluable tool for the past month or so. Every evening I am overcome with itchy skin and the jumpiest legs and the only thing that calms it is a gold old scrub in the shower. All it takes is 5 minutes of gentle brushing before I start to feel myself again. I’m not sure why it happens, but it is highly frustrating and drives me nuts.  If any mummy to be readers experience this too and would like to shares tips on how they cope with it please leave me a comment.

GK Leave in Spray... After chopping my hair into a lob to make it more manageable I’m not finding it as easy to manage. Go figure. 🙂 I really enjoy this leave in treatment when left to soak in overnight.

Colgate Herbal… Although I was lucky enough to not experience any morning sickness during my first trimester, the sensitivity to taste and smell made it very tough to brush my teeth with regular minty toothpaste. An amazing colleague at work brought me in a tube of Colgate Herbal and it was life changing. I read somewhere that using too strong a minty toothpaste before bedtime can keep you awake longer.

St Tropez In Shower… Living in Dubai isn’t all day sunbathing like people think it’s gonna be. I haven’t actually sunbathed since October so my Scottish skin is hugely on the pale side. After too many fake tan disasters I much prefer gradual tanners so this St Tropez In Shower Gradual Tanner is a firm favourite. I use this every 2 days and love the subtle results.

L’Occitane Shower oil… I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS PRODUCT! As I shower at least three times a day due to my irritable skin I’m aware of it drying out and flaking. The almond oil smells and feels amazing on my skin.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser… My go to facewash for 5 years now. Cleanses my skin with no dry or tightness. Enough said. I only use this in the evening as I think washing your face every morning will strip too much oil from your face.

Clinique Moisture Surge… A lightweight gel turns to water on your skin and feels amazing. This was an airport purchase from my last trip home in January and I’ve decided I can’t survive without it.

The Cutest Crochet Booties

While I was at home in Edinburgh last month I helped my mother in law clear out her attic.  Maybe ‘helped’ is too much of a stretch…I stumbled upon some of the cutest baby clothes and was instantly distracted. Sadly a lot has been badly moth-eaten, but luckily I now have a little box of the cutest 70s and 80s baby clothes that I can’t wait to dress our little girl in. Pete and I are both the youngest of 4 children so have no issue in hand me downs. I think it’ll be super cute to see our little one in the tiny little terry toweling babygrows Pete used to wear.

One of my favourite, but saddest finds was the pram blanket that was crocheted by Pete’s grandmother. This blanket was used by all the kids, but has been so badly eaten that even with the most love and car it just wouldn’t survive another baby.

Sadly my crochet skills are slightly lacking, but when I came across Albetta on Not on The High Street I am now willing to give it another go.

Take a look at these beautiful baby booties and try not to fall in love.