Momma G


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July Birch Box Beauty Review

14 Aug 2020

Nothing gets me more excited than a parcel every month, which is filled with surprises! If you’re wanting a pick me up treat then I definitely recommend a cheeky beauty subscription box. 
I’ve received two packages already from Birchbox and was impressed by the products I got! There was a mixture of skincare and makeup, and I’m frequently using them all in my routine. I think my favourites so far have definitely been the skincare products - I love a good face mask and I finally tried my first eye cooling patches. For me makeup can always be hit and miss as I really like what I already have (if that makes sense?). I’m not one for pink products and my skin tone is very light, so the ‘safe’ options subscriptions go for, for a pale white women just isn’t me. 

This months subscription box is all about being fruity! It’s summer time and to celebrate the products all seem fitting. I love the packaging as usual to get me into the bright spirits.
In summer my makeup is always very light, and I focus more on a good skincare routine. With being at home more, lately I barely wear any makeup - so I appreciate what I got in my box this month. Two skincare based products, two beauty based and then a hair based product! I have very thick curly hair, so keeping it super healthy has been a priority for years.

With the weather we’ve had here in the UK I’ve not had chance to try this product yet, but the texture feels incredibly on my skin when I did a patch test! It was silky and didn’t sit thick. The velvety formula offers high UVA and UVB protection, is water resistant and non greasy. The product also isn’t perfumed, making it perfect for all skin types. 

I hadn’t heard of this brand before, then the next time I popped into my home bargains there was so many products by Dr Paw Paw! This balm is perfect to hydrate not only your lips, but it makes for a good cheek tint. I opted for rich mocha because I’ve always preferred brown makeup to pink, and it leaves my lips feeling so moisturised. 
One thing I dislike about products is when a tint of colour is too strong - but this isn’t the case with this balm. It leaves my lips with a sheen of warmth, and I don’t have to use loads of product. 

This has to be my favourite product out of the box! I love a primer that leaves my skin feeling incredibly rejuvenated before I apply my makeup. Infused with watermelon, this aqua serum primer grips foundation for long wear and adds a glow. It also smooths the skin without the use of silicone! Straight away I found a little goes a long way when applying to your face, and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky whilst drying. I am really considering buying a full product size of this, as it’s left my skin feeling so good and my makeup hasn’t felt heavy on top. 

This shampoo enhances your hair with keratin proteins, natural cellulose and improves your hairs strength. It thickens the appearance of each individual strand. 
I have incredibly thick hair already, but after one wash with this shampoo I did notice it left my hair less tangled and super soft to touch. Unfortunately I also have really long hair, so the small sample size only lasted one wash - so I can’t really comment on a long term affect.  It doesn’t however smell really good, and felt like a high end product as I massaged it into my hair when washing. 

This face mask nourishes the skin with luxurious coconut oil, vitamin E and essential Amino Acids. Coconut oil has anti bacterial and anti inflammatory benefits that helps repairs the skins natural barrier! 
I love a good face mask! There’s nothing better than having a pamper night, putting on the mask for 15 minutes and having a cup of tea. I always apply skin products when I’m having a wind down night with a book, and it makes me feel so refreshed when I wake up in the morning. The sheet mask doesn’t smell heavily of coconut if you’re not a fan - it’s super hydrating and you feel the effect straight after removing. 

I really enjoyed the summer feeling this box brought! Despite the wrong change in the weather, it’s got me excited for sunny days. 

Until next time, J x

How to sell on Instagram

9 Aug 2020

This year I took the plunge to swap my art store’s website provider to Shopify - a platform which also allows you to sell on Instagram. it was a very big step (especially price wise for a small business) but I knew it would be worth being able to shop on the social media site. So many times I’ll click an image on Insta and buy the product I want, it’s so quick and easy! It also lessens the time it takes a customer to find an item and buy it on your store, so after considering it, I knew it was no brainier. I swapped from Wix (a site I did love to build my website) and opened my shopify store with the connection to Instagram/Facebook selling. 

The results I’ve had from doing this have been so worth wile, and probably the best decision I’ve made for my business. Despite selling my art for years, my store has really taken off in 2020, to a level where I’ve been making a full time salary. Of course when you work for yourself it differs every month, bu for once in Witchcrafts life everything has been steady and I’ve felt safe. With COVID and being pregnant, it came at the best time for me to be able to work from home. 
Anyway! I always get a lot of questions from other creatives on how I work for myself, and how I sell art. I did want to write a post on how to sell from Etsy (another platform I use) but I’ll be honest, It’s not my favourite. Selling on Instagram is much more beneficial to any independent art seller! I’ve put together some tips on how to best sell on Instagram, as well as things I’ve encountered that is just food for thought. 

You need a facebook shop - another way to attract customers
It is a process to connect your shop to instagram, and one thing you need is a facebook shop (seeing as facebook owns insta). At first I was comprehensive about having another ‘shop’ or page to check up on, but it’s super easy and actually is a great way to gage other customers. Having the page for potential customers to find is better than not having the page, and them not finding your store. It’s super easy to set up following facebook - you have your products page as well as a main feed to post. Once it’s set up, any product you add to your actual shopify store will automatically show on your facebook store. 

Upload your product first and wait a couple of hours or day to upload and tag on instagram 
Just a straight up tip for using shopify - they process your product before you can share/tag it via Instagram. The product goes up straight away on your site, but to then connect it through the app, for customers to see it as a ‘product’ on insta - it takes a couple of hours. I tend to get a bunch of new prints, upload them to the store, then spread them out amongst my feed throughout that week. 

Take a lot of photos of one product and use the swipe feature 
I love the swipe feature for everything! It just allows you more options on one post, especially if you love a set of photographs and can’t just pick one. For products it’s amazing because then customers can see it from different views, in different settings, etc, encouraging them to buy! I love seeing art work set up in a nice ‘product display’, but it’s also good to show it framed, as no doubt a customer is wanting to put it up on their wall. 

Treat your captions like your product details - let customers know everything they need whilst keeping it fun 
What I love about Instagram is how engaging you can be with others! I love asking a question in the post caption, and then get a discussion going in the comments! With the art work I create I love a good chat about films, magical bits - so definitely keep your captions engaging!
I think however, it’s also important to treat the caption as a little product bio. You can tell customers everything they need to know, so they’re not then going onto your site hunting for details like ‘what size is the product’ etc. 

you can be more fun with the photos on your feed than a product photo on your site
The great thing about selling on Instagram is the photos you post can be loads more fun than on your professional website. You can product tag any photo, so you don’t have to have a bog standard product photo feed. I love sharing customer photos, fun little flat lays including my art or even just me holding up a sticker from one of my sticker packs. I do post product photos every now and then, but having a fun feed attracts followers, who are potential customers. Having clear photos of products is important, but if you can product tag any photo, it will then take your customer to the product where they’ll see the professional shot you did for your site.  

Share stories - others share your products 
Stories on Instagram is amazing - allowing people to see a behind the scenes of your store if you choose! It lets them connect with you as a seller more, and is another great way to product tag. I do a mixture of sharing art I’m working on, whilst also keeping everyone up to date with new art work by using the product tag. As customers can’t really leave reviews on your Instagram, if customers tag your products in their stories, you can share them and keep a highlight or customer feedback/photos! 

Customer photos - tag the products 
I absolutely love seeing photos of my art work that customers have taken, which is something you might not necessarily share on a website, but you can on Instagram! I love adding the photographs to my feed - showing other potential customers how people have used my artwork as decor. Again, you can product tag these photos! If your art work is surrounded by other artwork in a photo, you can product tag YOUR item, so there’s no mistake which piece is from your store. 

Treat your dms like your customer service 
Some might see this as too casual and choose not to, but speaking to customers through Instagram messages can be easier than email. I would say I check my DM’s regularly where as my emails...not so much. I think being able to quickly reply to a customer through instagram just allows you to connect with them more personally. I hate how professional emails can come across, even if you do have a professional business. 
I feel like this is a very ‘you either like it or you don’t’ point, as I know lots of people who would prefer to keep it professionally. 

There’s lots more points I could make on how to sell via Instagram, so if you found this post useless do let me know and I can make more on how I sell my art! I have done the odd art post before on my blog, but now as it’s my career (finally woo) I’d like to share more on how I built it up from being at university 6 years ago. 

Until next time, J x

A fun night virtually with Moonpig

5 Aug 2020

2020 has been an incredibly weird time for anyone with an event planned. From weddings to birthdays, any sort of gathering has had to be cancelled and it’s bummed everyone out. We’ve seen video chat apps like zoom take over how we communicate with others, so Moonpig took the two things and created a virtual event!

I’ve used Moonpig for as long as I can remember, since I moved out of my parents home and went off to university, seven years ago. It’s an easy way to send cards, flowers and other gifts to your loved ones when you’re not going to be there. When my partner was working away on tour he’d always send me moonpig cards and flowers, so I was thrilled to be invited to their virtual event to have some fun, and learn all about their app. It started with receiving amazing gifts, flowers and a full cocktail set in the post leading up to the night - ready for different activities like flower arranging, cocktail making with Mix & Twist, whilst discussing moonpig and the features their app provides for customers!

We started off with a master class on the new mobile app - some features are only on IOS but will be making it to android very soon. Anyway, it was actually pretty fun to see the wide range of cards Moonpig offers, but also how intricately you can personalise them. From your own photos, words, colours, formats - there’s plenty of ways to make a card special for someone. 
I really liked how Moonpig have this feature where you can open your camera, and the app virtually puts a card into the space of where you have your camera pointed. This way you can see just how big your card is going to be, or how it will look in a certain space. Just a helpful tool to gage a card! There is also a section on their app that allows you to log peoples birthdays and other occasions - so the app will notify you when you need to buy a card!

You can also look through the wide range of gifts and flowers! We we’re sent the Luxury Summer Garden* bouquet for flower arranging, which is one of their new flower products. I’m a huge fan of mixed flowers.

I really like that Moonpig also work with independent illustrators on their card designs, so theres always new, unique cards available for any occasion. 

When I was 16 I did my work experience in a Florist, so this was incredibly fun to get back into! The masterclass was with Roxanne from Moonpig - so we got a little insight into her vision when she and the team pick flowers to be sold as bouquets. Flowers are a huge association with birthdays, so I love that there is a wide range in both type and price to choose from! 

The great thing about the flowers from Moonpig, is that the bouquets come with a guide on how to care for them! it’s great for flower newbies, or whoever is receiving the flowers and don’t really know the first thing on what to do with them. There is even a little guide in the pamphlet on how to arrange them, but the bouquets come already semi arranged so that you can just slip them into a vase. 

Some tips I got from the class:

- Use the flower food that comes with the bouquet 
- Cut diagonally the ends (2cm) of your flowers & remove any leaves half way up
- Don’t over fill or under fill your vase with flowers - you want to cut your flowers to a height which makes half vase, half flowers when you look at it as a whole
- Fill your vase only half way up with water and frequently change 

Mix & Twist hosted the virtual cocktail masterclass, and it was so fun! Alcohol gifts are available on moonpig, which is a great idea for any friends you know who love a good beverage. We made three cocktails (I did mocktails and gave Max all the alcohol) which we’re summer themed, the Summer garden being my favourite which goes hand in hand with the flowers. 
If I was to ever throw a birthday event I definitely would include some cocktail making - it’s super fun and everyone virtually was having a good time. 

The cocktails we made:
  • Summer Garden – 45ml Vodka, 25ml lime, 25ml sugar syrup, mint leaves, cucumber, 25ml elderflower soda
  • Strawberry Fizz – 45ml Vodka, 25ml lemon, 25ml sugar syrup, soda, strawberries, lemon
  • Passionfruit Martini – 45ml Vodka, 20ml lemon, 25ml passionfruit syrup, 60ml pineapple juice

I’m incredibly happy and feel lucky to have been involved in the virtual event by Moonpig! It was such a good idea to get everyone together, have fun, but learn about the app and what customers can expect. 

Like I said at the beginning, I’ve always been a huge fan of Moonpig so for someone like me the app is incredibly useful! I’ll no doubt be able to keep on top of everyone’s birthdays with the date log feature.

Thank you for having me along moonpig, until next time everyone, J x

What I didn’t know about Pregnancy/Birth

2 Aug 2020

I’m excited to write this post! But I’m always excited to write any baby related content. 
Before I got pregnant I knew a little - the obvious facts, things you couldn’t eat, the sickness, that’s about it. I didn’t go in blind, but at the same time I’ve found my mind blown with the things I never knew came with pregnancy. The same goes with birth! The list has become long, with the amount of things I just never knew happened to a women during this journey. I have sister in laws who have kids, but when you’re not the one pregnant, there’s certain details that don’t get discussed! I’ve always been the type to do research on anything I do - so when we got pregnant, Max and I went into ‘baby overload mode’. I’ve read lots of books, we started watching programs (when you get over the drama you can learn things from one born) and google/the NHS website has become our best friend. I joined facebook Mum groups very early and with all these resources at hand, found I feel completely prepared the closer we get to our due date!

But still, I honestly cannot believe the things I didn’t know. Things I don’t think any women who is having her first child would know! I thought to myself ‘why aren’t women writing massive lists of things they never knew, so that new Mommas like myself are more prepared?!’ - so that is exactly what I’m doing. I hope you find this informative, helpful, take whatever you need from this post! But I hope it just makes things easier, when you encounter the new and unexpected in pregnancy or birth. 

I will hand on heart thank One born every minute for this one. Before getting pregnant I’d never watched the program - but they have the birthing centre/hospital on the program that I’ll be giving birth in, so obviously we binged the series. I never knew that babies come out not rosy pink! The first time I saw it I was almost panicked for the mother! But it’s completely normal. The amount of women who get themselves into a panic because their baby is blue and not crying, really makes my heart squeeze! This is definitely something I wish all mothers knew before giving birth. I definitely would of gone into full blown panic mode if I’d obliviously given birth and saw my baby was not only blue, but silent.

You’re 4 weeks pregnant, when technically you only conceived 2 weeks ago...yes it is that confusing. The first question you get asked from your doctor and midwife is ‘when was your last menstrual cycle’, and that is how they determine how far along you are. When I found out I was pregnant I’d just missed my period in January by 5 days, so when I popped to the doctors I was 5 weeks pregnant, seeing as my last period was the end of December. 

Luckily for me I read this in a baby book, but are you kidding me. I obviously haven’t given birth yet, but can you imagine how surprise I would of been to hear this on the day? You’ve just popped out your child and now it’s time for something extra? Lovely. 


This is absolutely normal and I am so glad I have read/heard this lots of times. I would of felt so awful if when baby finally came, I felt no bond! I’d of not known why, I’d no doubt would of slipped into some sort of state, but it is 100% normal to have to get to know your baby. 

I’ve always had super thick, curly hair, but I’ve also shed hair like no other women has shed hair before. It’s awful - so obviously I was thrilled when I stopped finding hairs everywhere. I feel like it’s in super good condition thanks to pregnancy, but it’s also started to snap at the roots of my hair! I have little tuffs on top and where I’ve grown out my fringe. Super annoying.

From looking into hypnobirthing, as well as watching positive birthing videos - you can breath out your baby, because your body knows what it’s doing. Your ‘up muscles’ move your baby whilst you’re dilating and then your ‘down’ muscles work to get your baby out - which is why sometimes on programs, you hear the midwife saying ‘just breath him out’. 

We looked into this really early, but I never realised this was even a thing. I just pull the bottom strap loose and hold it down below my bump, which doesn’t affect the strap going across my body. 

This was something both me and my partner Max was blown away by! Unaware of what actually happens in scans, I was amazed at the list of things they can detect with your baby very early on. As early as our 14 weeks scan they can see if your baby is going to have a cleft lip! They will then know to take your baby straight for an operation, from birth and work on the lip. 

This doesn’t happen to every pregnant mamma, but for absolutely no reason a dark line just appears from your belly button to your fuffi. It came quite early for me, but there’s no reason for it at all. 

I haven’t yet given birth, but this is something a lot of mommas have pre warned me about! I’ve been using butters to keep my stomach clear and stretch mark free, but keep using it even on the day of birth! Women’s bodies go through so much when giving birth, so from the stretching and change it can all still happen after your birth date.

I am sure once I go into labour and have had a child for a couple of months, there will be many more things I could add to this list. I’ll probably write another about what I didn’t know about actually giving birth - as well as what we learn about our little joy. 

Until next time, J x

Staying At Home ; Femme Luxe Fashion

29 Jul 2020

Can anyone else believe we’ve come to the end of July already? 
It honestly feels like yesterday we were in March and lock down was setting in across the UK. Now restrictions are being lifted, restaurants, pubs, even gyms are open! Venues are being allowed to open but not play music, and yet I can still only socialise with my ‘bubble’ outside and not go over to my mums. Yeah. The rules from the government make no sense sometimes. 
I constantly find myself getting pretty worried about the rules surrounding hospitals and giving birth - especially now we’re only a month away to my due month (I saw due month because even though my due date is the 23rd of September, who knows when a baby wants to come, they’ll come!). Maxwell has only ever been to our first midwife appointment, unable to enter the hospital for baby scans and it’s still upsetting. I’ve fainted twice now (watching blood being taken out of your arm isn’t for me) and it’s sucked that he’s not been there to help me. 

That’s where I am mentally anyway! For us we’ve been a little more reserved with lock down still. We haven’t gone to pubs, I have no intention to step foot into a gym and I won’t be going into town shopping any time soon. We understand every day people are still getting COVID and people are still unfortunately passing away. It’d be so stupid for me to relax now and catch the virus, so close to our baby being here, when we’ve been pretty strict from day one back in March.



I thought it’d be fun to write another what we’ve been up to post or things I’m looking forward to doing, whilst still staying home. I have my own art store online, so I am very lucky that I’ve been able to work from home, and make money in the pandemic. The only stress I face is the weekly post office trip! Sometimes I do get dressed, makeup and all! Other days, I have those utter lazy moments where I stick on my maternity joggers and one of Maxwell’s t-shirts. I have been on the look out for an in between medium of dressed, but still lounge style - so I was over the moon when Femme Luxe let me pick some things from their lounge wear range. 

I’ve worked with Femme Luxe for a couple of years now. I love how their clothing suits all - there being an item for everyone, whether it’s lounge wear or a fancy dress for cocktails with the lasses. Whilst being pregnant I’ve found it quite hard to fit into anything, so opting for lounge wear was the best option! You cannot go wrong with stretchy, soft material. I never tend to experiment with my lounge wear as I know what are my old faithfuls! Neutral colour, soft material, long sleeve and rarely anything tight. I kept my eyes out for items that matched what I always go for, and with the intention to make these items more of a ‘dressed up’ set, then the lounge wear I already have. 

What we’ve been up to this stay at home summer

Sadly at the beginning of Summer Nessa caught what we assume was hay fever! It caused conjunctivitis, which I didn’t even know dogs could get. We were back and forth the vets, only to change vets when her eyes got incredibly worse and if I’m honest, we we’re being messed around. The new vets = amazing. Sadly Nessa had to undergo a small op to have her eyes sorted, but it meant we had to watch her like a hawk for three weeks, whilst she battled with a cone she hates. It’s been hard to see your animal baby in pain, but she became herself pretty quickly once we got help from the second vets! She’s been temporarily blind whilst they sorted out ulcers on her eyes (they stitched up her third eyelid to protect and heal them), but thanks to drops and their medication she’s been well looked after. 
We’ve had to dedicate a lot of our time to pooch but she’s completely worth it! Instead of attending restaurants and pubs when they first opened, instead we spent weeks cuddling Nessa on the sofa, and I preferred it so much. I have no intention to go to the pub and I’ll take some dog lovin’ over it, any day. 

My online art store has always been a side hustle, since I started selling art back in University. I’ve always dreamed of it becoming a full time gig, but I also was never naive and pursued other careers at the time. I was working 40 plus hours and then when at home selling art and trying to get it off the ground. Finally in 2020 I can say I’ve been earning what I would in a full time occupation, since we all went into lockdown! It’s been crazy. I honestly am shook at how supportive and encouraging everyone has been over my art store. 
Whenever the ping of a sale comes through on my phone, Max and I are so ecstatic! This has been my dream and It’s amazing living it. We’ve set up the office for me in the living room so I can still be involved with my family (quite important for when baby is here, so I can sneak in them orders whilst they’re napping). 

We still have plenty of time to go before baby is even close to arriving, but when stuck in the house what better to do then get all the jobs ticked off. We’ve been buying things for baby and letting them collect on the spare bed - so finally we decided it was time to get decorating, and get the nursery done. I honestly love how Maxwell & I have the same vision for most things. We’ve painted the entire room white (don’t know if I’ll regret that with mucky children hands) and then we created the grey abstract triangles. I spent the afternoon painting some ikea draws we had a lighter grey, and we added shelves for babies books, teddies, etc. I absolutely love the crib we found - most furniture in the room being from Ikea, as it’s our go to safe place for items we both agree on. We are still keeping the spare bed in the room for guests! 

I honestly can relate to everyone who took lockdown to decorate or complete their home renovations that have been on the list for a while! We had a basic lists like the garden, touching up woodwork etc, but it turned into a full blown ‘let’s do everything before a child is in our home and I can’t move from the sofa’. We told ourselves it was too much hassle last year, but we finally decided to touch up the hallway and stairs. We painted the entire space white - but wanted a feature wall. We wanted green, but with a pale shade in my head as we entered B&Q, we actually went for a much darker shade. When putting it on the wall we both had a panic as it was a very rich green. It took me a day to really settle into the colour - but I think it’s very us! We love dark colours, like the blue in the living room. The green is very ‘forest’ and looks amazing with chunky plants. 
We also decided to finish off jobs in the living room. We felt it looked unfinished, so Max took the blue from just the feature wall, to under neath the day rail completely around the room. I love it!
We’ve had empty frames laid around the house for months too, so finally those are up in the living room, hallway and kitchen. I’m pretty sure before September we’ll find something new to improve in the house, but for now, I’m incredibly happy with our home. 

I tend to read a lot of true obvious I have been reading a lot of true crime recently. I have had a pile of baby books next to my bed for months, so I finally decided to pick them up too. I knew when getting pregnant that I wanted to do hypnobirthing, and I loved the helpful guide book by the positive birthing company. It was so helpful and I feel it’s one more thing ticked off my list for me to be prepared. I know have weeks to keep revisiting the book and work on my breathing techniques. 
Another novel I really enjoyed which wasn’t my usual thriller, was the where the Crawdads sing! I honestly loved the change in culture and time period I find myself falling for whenever I buy a book. It was written beautifully and was so visual. 

Anyone else watched down to earth? We loved it! Yes I did find myself wanting to watch for Zac Efron...but I found the content of the program so interesting. Zac and his team travel around the world, addressing ways of being more substainable and exploring cultures who do so. The first episode focused on Iceland, a place I really want to visit, so I was hooked. The rest of the episodes didn’t disappoint - from water in Paris to growing food in Costa Rica. 

Before lockdown we cooked all the time anyway, but I’ve loved the new dishes we’ve tried being at home. We don’t just buy our usual ingredients anymore - whenever we do the food shop a lot more, healthier options go in, but even with things like meat, we’ve chosen new options. One new thing we had been doing is baking. It’s felt like such a long time since I hunted for recipes and got excited! I made us a lemon, white chocolate cheesecake and it was the best I’d made yet. It lasted us daysssss - which might of not been a good thing when I’m trying to eat better for baby. 

(I made these two cheesecakes last year so enjoy, I didn’t get a snap of what I made this month)

As well as all this, I have been growing a child. It’s consumed a lot of what I do day to day and I love it. It feels amazing to have more closely gotten to know baby and their movements. They get hiccups at least twice a day and we’ve figured out how they’re laid from having a feel.
I’m unsure as to how we’re going to start lightening up on lockdown when we feel so unsure of the world right now. I’m just happy I get to spend my time with Maxwell, baby and pooch, in no rush. 

Until next time, J x

(ITEMS MARKED * ARE A PR SAMPLE AND HAVE BEEN GIFTED TO ME IN RETURN FOR CONTENT. All words and opinions are the truth and my own)

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