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Feeling all festive - It's Christmas in July!

Friday, 31 July 2015

This is the first year I have got involved with Christmas in July and I have been so excited! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I adore Christmas. I love everything about it, everyone seems so much happier, I love choosing the perfect gift, decorating the house, eating and drinking delicious food and drink - what's not to love?!

Below are some lovely goodies we have been sent, let me know what you like best and what you are hoping for this year.

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The lovely Christmas Boutique kindly sent me some lovely items to set the scene for Christmas in July.

The impressive resin Stags head makes a real feature out of a blank wall. I love the way this looks on our white dining room wall. It is the perfect size for us at 30cm tall, 21cm wide and standing out from the wall 13cm.  I am pretty confident we have found something quite unique with this decoration! Priced at £29.99.

The lovely drawstring linen sack is printed with a black reindeer and the words 'Frohe Weihnachten' - which is German for Merry Christmas. Measuring 80cm long by 40cm wide it is the ideal size for us to carry our gifts around to Family on Christmas morning. Priced at £14.99.

How adorable is the Reindeer door mat?! We have tiny hall that we can't have any decorations in and I always think it looks bare. This will add a lovely touch of Christmas and also be functional. Priced at £14.99.

The glittery frosted pine cone wreath is so simple yet beautiful. It is a very similar colour to our internal doors and looks amazing just simply hung. It is 30cm in diameter and priced at £16.99.

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This traditional Christmas bridge light from LEDHUT is a safe alternative to candles. The warm white lights bring a lovely glow to the room without being overpowering. 

Here it is brightening our windowsill. Doesn't it look lovely? Priced at £9.59

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Once the house is decorated, and you have wrapped and tagged for hours, it is time to relax with a glass of your favourite Christmas tipple. My Husband and I love a nice glass of deliciously smooth Taylor's late bottled vintage port.

It is also a tradition in our house to leave a small glass for Santa alongside a mince pie on Christmas Eve. Delicious with cheese board or a nightcap in front of the fire. 

Available at around £15 a bottle at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrison’s Waitrose and Booths.

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Gift ideas.

Do you know a stationary lover? 

Leitz kindly sent us some of their lovely pieces to review. 

The colour is gorgeous - my favourite and also the colour of our bedroom where our desk happens to be - a beautiful match.

The quality of the items are really fantastic, the softback notebooks are filled with quality lined paper, have a pocket in the back and some lovely metallic silver sticky tabs so you can mark any important pages for easy access. The hole punch and stapler have lovely rubberised texture to them making them easy grip.The iPad case is a lovely fit and the A4 lever arch folder has plenty of space inside with a good strong ring binder inside.

They are all very high quality and I would have loved to receive them as a Christmas gift.

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I have wanted one of these since we went to Florida in 2013. I absolutely love my drinks freezing cold so fell in love with snow cones instantly. It is so easy to use, and a lot quieter than I thought it would be. Simply place some ice cubes into the shoot, press them into the machine using the silver handle attached to the shoot and the ice comes out shaved into the drawer underneath! It takes seconds to do and has gone down a storm with Adults and Children alike. The machine comes with 4 plastic cones, a plastic scoop and a recipe booklet for making syrups but we just added some diluted squash for the Children or some alcoholic beverage for the Adults - delicious!                                       

It is so easy to clean too, simply remove the ice drawer and rinse it out! Even better, if you have a BBQ or Childrens party you can even buy paper cups and ready made syrup from too. I will certainly be stocking up. Every household should have one of these! Priced at £49.95

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I absolutely love this 1950's style retro radio from Gizoo, doesn't it look fantastic? 

It is easy to set up and use. Simply slot in the cable, plug in, extend the ariel, press either FM or AM depending in what station you would like to listen to and use the big rotating scale on the front to find the station you like. You can even take it out and about with you thanks to the carry handle and the option to use batteries (not included) 

I really love having a radio again, now I can save my sanity in the kitchen while drowning out the sound of Childrens TV! Thank you! 

Priced at £34.95 and available in a range of colours.

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Gift ideas from Varta

I have chosen this Indestructible 5 watt lantern for my Husband. He is spending a lot of time "updating" the loft. I think he has a pool table up their personally! At the moment there is no power source up there so he is trying to do jobs with a small torch as his only source of light so he was very excited to get to try this out. 

The lantern has a handle on the top for easy carrying and a hook under the base so it can be hung up easily. It is rubberized, so easy to grip & wipe clean, it is waterproof, has three levels of brightness and is extremely robust - it has been 4m drop tested! With up to 280 hours use per set of batteries, it is the deal gift for campers or people who spend a lot of time under car bonnets for example. RRP £31.99
I also chose the Indestructible 3 Watt LED Lantern torch (complete with batteries) for my Dad. He has a fascination with torches as he uses them for work and has built up quite a collection. Again this is extremely robust (4m drop test), water resistant and sports a shock-absorbing rubberized head - ideal for all of the times he has dropped tools down the pit while working on a vehicle. 

It also has a specially shaped reflector which provides an extra long light beam - this is what drew me to this particular product as I knew he would love this. RRP £34.99

They are both very happy with their early gifts and agree that they are high quality and definitely worth the RRP.

Visit Varta for all of your battery and flashlight needs.

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Karma Se7ven Earrings

How hard is to find gifts for teenagers? This year I have found the perfect gifts for my Nieces. Karma Se7en kindly sent me two pairs of sterling silver earrings to try. Both are bang on trend. 

The first pair are called an ear jacket, and are priced at £39.99. They are in the shape of two cubes filled with sparkling crystals and the other pair are feather shaped ear cuffs also adorned with crystals for plenty of sparkle.

The second pair are called an ear climber and are in the shape of a feather. I have always assumed that this type of earring requires two piercings, but these have one piercing at the bottom and a small clip near the top. Priced at £38.95

Both pairs are made from 925 Sterling Silver and are great quality.

My Nieces will love both pairs.

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Braun CoolTec shaver.

This shaver has been a Godsend for my super hairy Husband! He really struggles with shavers as he has such thick dark stubble, he usually has to resort to going over the same patch of skin repeatedly resulting in a sore red face. This shaver has a three stage cutting system which automatically adapts to the shape of your face and shaves short and long hair in one stroke. That in itself is great but this shaver has a very special addition, making it stand out from others.

Most electric shavers allow heat to build up uncomfortably, resulting in hot uncomfortable skin while shaving. This is where the CoolTec comes into it's own. Once activated, the integrated aluminium cooling bar drops in temperature by 20 degrees, this then transports heat away from the skin resulting in perfectly relaxed, smooth, hair free skin and minimising shaving irritation. 

There is also a pop up precision trimmer and blade guard as standard, this model is also very easy to charge by simply popping it onto the plugged in stand/base. 

Available at Boots, Amazon, Argos & larger supermarkets RRP £199.99. Visit www.braun.com/uk for more information.

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Sass and Belle Multi Photo Frame in Dark Wood.

This large wooden frame is the perfect way to create a beautiful focal point, allowing you to display nine 6" x 4" photographs in one place.  

Don't worry if you haven't got 9 pictures straight away as the pretty floral papers look lovely. The frame can be hung portrait or landscape. 

It is a great quality piece with a lovely smooth waxed feel to it. All of the joins are perfectly fitted and aligned making the finish real quality. 

I can see us buying a few of these and dotting them around the house as it is a high quality product and the perfect way to display Family memories.

Dimensions: L: 82cm x H: 37cm x W: 2cm. 

Priced at £33.

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Lastly, here is a sneak peek at some of the new Yankee Candle Christmas range called -Baby it's fun outside and cosy inside. I have tried Berry trifle, Bundle Up, Cosy by the fire and Winter glow. As you would expect from Yankee they all smell fantastic and are lovely festive colours too. I can't wait to stock up on more for the festive period.

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Would you like to wake up to any of these on Christmas Morning?

My baby is starting nursery! Matalan back to school range - review.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Unbelievably, Liv starts Nursery in September. I honestly don't know where the time has gone!

It all seemed quite a way away yet until the lovely Matalan team kindly got in touch and asked if we would like to review some school uniform. Then reality hit!

I readily agreed and was given a £50 budget to spend in the back to school shop. I had no idea how much uniform costs or how far this budget would go but I was very pleasantly surprised!

The colour scheme for the uniform at the school Liv is attending is grey skirt/trousers and light blue blouse/polo shirt, with this in mind I began shopping.

There was a huge choice available in a wide range of sizes and colours so I had no problem finding possibilities, the only problem was narrowing my choices down!

Here is what I ordered:
6 x pretty blue polo shirts - £6 for 2,
2 x trousers - £4 each,
2 x pleated skirts - £8 for a pack of 2,
1 x jersey skirt - £4,
1 x pinafore - £6,
6 x school socks - £3 for 3 pairs.
= £50 exactly

Liv is very big for her age, usually wearing clothes 3 years older than she is, so I used the handy Matalans measuring guide to determine her size rather than going for her age group. 

Not only is the price brilliant but the quality is fantastic too. My Mum used to be a seamstress so I have been well trained to test seams, check stitching and make sure buttons are secure - all of which were spot on with all of the items I received.

The little details on the clothing really takes the items to another level in my opinion. For example:
  • Polo shirts - have a lovely scalloped collar, flower shaped buttons, pretty cap sleeves and some embroidered flowers on the chest.

  • Pinafore - has a lovely flower shape for the zip toggle, flowers embroidered on the left hip area and it is coated with a Teflon stain resistant coating to repel water and stains.

  • Trousers - have a fully adjustable inner waistband to help make sure you get full use even during growth spurts!

  • Pleated skirts (pack of 2) - have an elasticated waist to the back and are also treated with a Teflon stain resistant coating.
  • Jersey skirt - elasticated waistband and heart charm.
  • The socks - are a lovely finishing touch to the uniform with either a frill or gingham bow in the corresponding school colours. They come in packs of 3 and are also available in yellow, purple, green, and red.

I am very happy with the items we chose, I have put them all through the washing machine and they have all retained their shape and the pleats are still in place.

I would definitely recommend Matalans back to School Range to Family and Friends.

Disclaimer - we were provided with the School Uniform for the purpose of the review, however all opinions are honest and our own. Images subject to copyright.

Parcelgenie unveil their new TxtGenie service - review.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Last week the lovely people at Parcelgenie kindly sent me two codes to surprise my loved ones with a little gift.

I have both received a gift and sent gifts using this service previously so know how easy and fun it is!

For the purpose of the review, I sent one gift for my Mum and one to Liv so that I could get photographs and review them properly.

I chose this beautiful box of 8 scented tealights by Hana Blossom for my Mum. Don't they look amazing? 

Each flower petal is handmade by a local artisan in Central Thailand meaning your purchase will make a difference to the lives of adults and Children in the developing world.

The tea lights are so pretty, it would almost be a shame to light them! They have a lovely subtle scent and would love lovely it a clear glass tealight holder allowing you to admire the design.

They arrived beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and ribbon safely inside a cardboard box for posting. Priced at £5.99 delivered.


Next I chose this lovely Blues box for Liv as it is reminiscent for a certain popular Disney film! 

When the box arrived, the package inside was wrapped in lovely blue tissue paper. Once opened it contained two chocolate covered toffees, a bag of blue jelly sweets, a bag of blue sugarcoated marshmallows and a swirly blue lolly pop. Liv dived straight into the lolly pop while I was mean Mummy and popped the other treats away for another day. Priced at £3.99 delivered.
The process really couldn't be any easier, simply download the Parcelgenie App choose your gift and enter the mobile number of the person you wish to send it to. The recipient will then receive a text message letting them know that your mobile number has sent them a gift and asking them to reply to the text with their address. Simple!

As if that wasn't easy enough, Parcelgenie have recently unveiled a new TxtGenie service where you don't need a smartphone, laptop, PC or anything other than a mobile that can send a text. With this service you chose a gift from ten options then text Parcelgenie letting them know who you would like to send that gift to and their mobile number. Then just pay for the gift and sit back while they do the rest (text your Friend asking fir their address) Easy peasy! Even better, the first gift you send will be half price! A full 50% off.

Both of the parcels I ordered fitted easily through the letterbox so there is no need to worry about timing the delivery for when the recipient is home, they can just return to a nice treat instead.

As a little incentive to treat your Family and Friends, the App comes complete with a loyalty card which is automatically stamped whenever you send a gift. Once you have sent six gifts Parcelgenie will send you a little something just for being so lovely to all of your Friends and Family. Isn't that nice of them?

Disclaimer - I was sent two free codes to enable me to review the service, however all images and opinion is my own.

Travelling abroad - preparation and travel essentials.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Last month nine of my Family and I boarded an 8 hour flight to the Dominican Republic ready to celebrate my 30th Birthday - how lucky am I?

On the run up to our holiday, some lovely companies I have worked with got in touch and offered me some lovely items to review. Here are the items we used before, after and during our trip.

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Migrastick is a handy pocket sized reliever of pain caused by headaches and migraines

Simply roll the essential oils onto your temples, forehead and nape of the neck using circular massaging motions.

Within moments, we found that the cool sensation from the oils and the metal application ball will give you long lasting relief. This is an essential travel companion if like me you don't like to take painkillers unless you can help it. It is also able to be used if you have had a cocktail or two so shouldn't take pain killers - obviously hydrate well too!

Containing only 100% pure and natural essential oils. Contains no preservatives, parabens, colourings or alcohol

A great alternative to painkillers, Migrastick is small enough to have on you at all times. It’s also reasonably priced at £6.29 and is available from Boots, Holland & Barrett and selected independent pharmacies and health stores nationwide. 

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These Lindy IEM-50X Hi-Fi In-Ear Headphones with Dynamic Bass Tuning (£49.98) are designed for optimum comfort and supplied with 6 different tips to insure the best fit for each ear, not only to deliver the best performance but also helping to block out external noise. 

Whats in the box:
  • IEM-50X Earphones
  • Zipped carry pouch
  • S/M/L super soft dome ended ear tips (Black)
  • S/M/L super soft flat ended ear tips (Transparent Black)
  • User guide

What is Dynamic Bass Tuning?

Each earpiece features a unique Dynamic Bass Tuning control. This allows you to gradually switch from the standard, voicing of the earphones to a more bass rich sound if you choose. This mechanical feature opens the rear chamber of the earpiece to give added weight and depth to low frequencies.

They come highly recommended by me as they are easy to use, deliver fantastic sound, are stylish and sleek to look, the flat tangle proof cable makes them the perfect travelling companion and the zipped travel pouch means they are easy to locate in your hand luggage. They are even covered by a 2 year warranty.

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The EasyLock is a simple but incredibly strong temporary door lock. Needed no permanent installation and causing no damage when you used, it is perfect for keeping you safe in a hotel room, rented apartment or student accommodation. It is as light as plastic, as strong as stainless steel, and can be fitted in seconds. It is also small enough to fit in a pocket making it the perfect size to travel with.

Very simple to install - taking only seconds to activate, the Easy Lock will prevent anyone, even with a key, from opening the door.

The unbreakable EasyLock is a revolutionary security device which will completely secure the majority of inward opening doors. It’s the lightest of its kind in the world, and the only one to allow users to open the door a touch to check who has knocked or receive mail whilst keeping the room completely secure.

The lock-core is manufactured from chromium plated steel encased in ABS plastic. The latch plate is manufactured from high strength Stainless Steel as is the sliding mechanism ensuring that the lock will never fail under attack.

Available in silver or pink, the EasyLock is currently reduced from £29.95 to £19.95.

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I was sent some lovely items from di polomo - Inspired by Italy that were perfect for the aeroplane as they are well under 100ml. Isn't the packaging beautiful too?

Here is what we received:
Wild Fig & Grape Eau De ParfumA rich, modern fragrance with top notes of grape & gardenia. Middle notes of ripe fig, orange blossom & mimosa rest on a sensual base of sandalwood, amber & vanilla priced at £35

Tuscan Rose Protective Hand & Nail Cream with UV Filters. Unsurprisingly - this smells like beautiful soft roses. It soaks into your skin really well without leaving any residue behind, leaving your skin feeling soft and smelling wonderful - priced at £8.

Orange Blossom Lip Balm - this was the perfect size to take on the plane and kept my lips feeling hydrated but not waxy like some lip balms. Infused with beeswax and shea butter it melts on your lips to give a soft shiny finish with a subtle sheen - priced at £4.

My favourite is the White Grape & Aloe dry oil spray. It smells divine and soaks straight into your skin leaving you feeling thoroughly moisturised - fantastic to keep your tan looking good. - priced at £18.

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Most of us have fallen victim to a bug or hangover on holiday leaving us dehydrated, this can be quite dangerous if you are in a hot place too. The impact of your body not being 100% hydrated affects you mentally as well as physically.

These essential hydration tablets are packaged in handy tubes making them perfect for travelling. Available in three flavours: Lemon, Blackcurrant and Strawberry - a flavour to suit everyone.

What do they do?

O.R.S® Hydration Tablets are soluble tablets that contain a scientifically balanced formula of electrolytes, glucose and minerals, which when added to water, replenish the body’s water and salts and thereby help to maintain a healthy fluid balance in infants, children and adults.

Why not just water?

The best way to hydrate the body is to drink water, but this does not always work efficiently because water can pass through the digestive tract too quickly. 

To correctly hydrate the body, sodium needs to be reabsorbed. The re-hydration salts included in these tablets enable better absorption of salts and water by the body, hydrating the body and maintaining an optimum fluid balance.
Available from Asda, Tesco, Boots, local chemists and supermarkets nationwide. 
Price at £4.99 for 12 tablets or £6.99 for 24 tablets.

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For those of you that have not heard of the Gro anywhere blind, it is a very clever, portable blackout blind! It adapts to fit any window up to a maximum size of 130cm x 198cm, attaches directly to the glass using suction cups and folds away into a handy travel bag when you are finished!

At some point we have all stayed away from home with little ones, it can be hard enough trying to settle them in unfamiliar surroundings but add into that the room being too bright = one overstimulated, over tired, grumpy Baby. Enter the versatile Gro Anywhere Blind! Designed to 'go' anywhere with you, and be put in place in minutes, this New Improved version of the blind has strategically placed velcro allowing you to adjust the length and width of the whole blind. Made from premium black out material and featuring a stars & moon design, it is pleasant to look at and will fit with any bedroom.
Left - before.  Right - after.
Only moments between photographs.

Watch this video to see just how easy it is to install, turning a bright room into the perfect nap spot.

While we didn't end up using this on holiday - thankfully the hotel room had thick blackout curtains - we have been using it daily at home. Livs blackout roller blind needed replacing as it was starting to show signs of having mildew on from moisture being trapped behind it at night. With this Gro Anywhere blind it is so easy to use that I have been taking it on and off every day to keep the window nice and dry. Highly recommended by us!

Available to buy here- for just £29.99.

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The lovely www.swimshop.co.uk got in touch just before our holiday and asked us to choose a couple of items to review.

An account was credited for us to be able to place our own order and experience the ordering and delivery process.

The website was full of fabulous choices, a lot of which were reduced - who doesn't like a bargain?! 
I decided on two items, the first was some Zoggs Float Discs - Set of 4 for £12.99 for Liv.

I hadn't seen anything like these floats before but when I did I remembered Livs traditional air filled armbands rubbing the skin raw on her upper arms last year, so I thought these may be the perfect solution. As soon as they arrived I knew I had made the right choice. The arms are held comfortably inside the soft skirted armhole.

The foam discs gave Liv complete freedom of arm movement making her feel more like she was keeping herself afloat.  Made from puncture free foam, you can eventually reduce the disks to one per arm when they get more able and confident.

They are bright yellow with a soft royal blue skirt around the arm hole so they are easily visible. Suitable from age 2 and up to a maximum weight of 25kg.


The second item I chose were some Speedo Swim Shorts in - Black / Grey for Livs Daddy. He has had the same 2 pairs for ten years so I thought it was time for a wardrobe update! He was very pleased with them as they fitted very well and he had the security pf the drawstring waist to make sure they stayed put while swimming.

Available in small, medium, Large and Extra large, they are currently on sale for £16.99

I found the site very easy to navigate and checkout was also very straightforward and out delivery arrived two days later - delivery is free on orders over £25 and next day if you order before 7pm - which I did not.

I would definitely order from Swimshop again.

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Did you know that 4 out of 5 burglaries occur when there’s no-one at home and burglars often look for dark homes or the tell tale sign of a dimly lit lamp left on a timer plug?

If you are anything like me you worry when going out for the evening, going away for the weekend or even worse, leaving your home while you are off on holiday.

Well worry no more! I have just the thing for you. This, Ladies and Gentlemen is the Light Switch Timer. 

I honestly cannot believe how genius this product is. No wiring as it works with 2 x AA batteries. It simply fits over a regular 1, 2 or 3 switch light socket and is compatible with all types of bulbs including LED’s and energy saving bulbs.

To install:

  • Simply loosen the screws on your light switch - NOT dimmer.
  • Slide the base behind the light switch and re-tighten the screws.
  • Place the controller into the base you just fitted.

That's it! If you are in any doubt about how easy it is to install, watch this 30 second installation video.

As it is operated by 2 AA' batteries and simply fits over the existing switch, it is the only timer which works with Energy saving light bulbs and LED’s. The digital programming allows you to quickly and easily set a different time for the lights to come on/off on individual days or set for the whole week. My favourite feature however is the "Random" setting, prevent that home alone moment where the burglars are sat outside the properties timing when the lights go on every evening! You can also manually use the on/off buttons.

I honestly think everyone should have one of these in their home, it will definitely help put my mind at rest this holiday.

Buy the Light switch timer here for just £29.99.

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We were kindly sent 2 pump action bottles of RIEMANN P20 sun protection to try out. Complete with photostable UVA and UVB filters, just one application gives you 10 hours coverage and it is very water resistant too. With no added fragrance, colourants, parabens or preservatives it may be better for people with a sensitivity to other sun lotions.

Although P20 is "Very Water Resistant", excessive rubbing (and soap) will remove it. So make sure you pat dry, rather than rubbing with a towel after swimming and reapply when you feel necessary. This was perfect for Olivia as she was in and out of the pool a lot. We found it best to leave it to dry for around 15 minutes before dressing as it is very greasy when applied but after that the protection was fantastic. 

Available at: Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Costco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, John Lewis,LloydsPharmacy, Savers, Semichem, Wilkinson, T.J Hughes, Bodycare, Home Bargains and all good pharmacies, department stores, drugstores and airport Tax Free shops!

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PreVent insect repellent and Bite & Sting relief are a must have when travelling. They are suitable for your hand luggage too which means you can apply it quickly upon arrival.
These natural repellent wipes do not contain Deet so they are particularly handy if you are travelling with Children as they are quick and easy to use. Simply wipe over visible skin for instant protection as soon as you land.

The powerful natural repellent cream work is Deet free too, small enough to take in your hand luggae, simply apply when you land for up to 8 hours protection from mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects.

The Bite & Sting relief pen contains natural witch hazel to relieve insect bites and stings. 

It provides relief from Mosquitoes, Flies, Midges, Sandflies, Horseflies, Cleggs, Ticks, Fleas, Wasps, Hornets, Scottish Midge.

Available from Robert Dyas stores nationwide or from www.hygienesuppliesdirect.com 

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My Husband will be packing this Ted Baker M fragrance gift set.

Priced just £14.99 exclusively from the Perfume Shop, this attractive gift box contains:
Body Wash - 100ml
After Shave Balm - 100ml
Aftershave - 30m

As the conents are all 100ml or less, they are suitable for hand luggage meaning he can make sure his aftershave is transported safely and not damaged in his suitcase. Of course he can also have a quick freshen up on board or on arrival too.

They all smell lovely, infused with a fresh, woody fragrance with top notes of tonka bean, combined with a spicy blend of amber, coriander and Musk. The Eau de Toilette leaves a long lasting fragrance and is presented in a chunky masculine bottle.

My Husband loves this gift set and I like the smell so a win all around!

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These little Robinsons Squash'd bottles contain enough sugar free, concentrated squash to make 20 drinks!! The perfect size for your handbag for juice on the go or to keep in your desk at work. I have several of these packed in our luggage as Liv only like Robinsons Summer Fruits squash.

Available in Summer Fruits, Apple & Blackcurrant and Orange and Peach from Tesco, Asda, Sainbury's, Morrisons and the Co-operative for around £2.00 - £2.50.

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Available from Just My Look priced at £9.95, this new O.P.I Hawaii collection nail polish is the perfect travelling companion. Each bottle is only 3.75ml / 1/8 fl oz meaning you could easily pack all 4 for a change of colour or reapplication while you are on holiday.

Here are the descriptions from the box:
  • Suzi Shops & Island Hops - a light and happy pink that's the perfect travelling companion.
  • That's Hula-rious! Stock up! - This pastel mint green makes me dance with joy!
  • Lost My Bikini in Molokini - With this reef inspired purple, what's one bikini more or less?
  • Aloha from OPI - let's give a warm island hello to this bright and cream coral.

Which is your favourite? I just can't decide they are all so lovely.

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We were also sent a fantastic selection of fabulous Nivea Sun skincare including:
  • Nivea Sun protect & bronze tan activating protecting oil SPF20 200ml - £8.99
  • Nivea Sun protect & bronze face sun cream SPF50 (high) 50 ml - £10.49
  • Sun protect lip balm - £2.99
  • Nivea sun kids pocket size SPF30 - 50ml - £5.99

I must admit, Nivea is my preferred sunscreen as I find it sinks into your skin really well and leaves you feeling lovely and moisturised rather than sticky and greasy. It is a name I can trust to protect our skin and the pocket sized bottles are perfect to pop into your handbag or changing bag for top ups on the go.

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ultraDEX recalcifying & whitening toothpaste and daily oral rinse have been specially developed for sensitive teeth with Sensishield® Technology. Containing the active ingredient hydroxyapatite, the key natural building block of teeth, it recalcifies tooth surfaces to leave them smoother, brighter and provides a protective shield over tooth enamel making them less likely to stain.

Instantly eliminates odour-causing compounds and delivers 12 hours fresh breath while significantly whitening teeth within 14 days by gently lifting organic stains to reveal their true brightness. I started to use these about 2 weeks before holiday and was very pleasantly surprised by the whitening affect. As a former smoker my teeth have a yellow colour to them which these products lightened easily.

Top - before
Bottom - 2 weeks later

The Fresh breath oral spray is  sugar & alcohol free and contains 130 sprays within each pack. It was perfect for use on the plane during the 9 hour flight. There is nothing worse than having a horrible taste in your mouth from the air conditioning. This resolved that instantly and left our mouths feeling fresh again.

You can find these products and many more at www.ultradex.co.uk.

What are your travel essentials?

Making the most of our Summer!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

If you are anything like me and your skin melts the instant the sun touches you, it can be quite difficult to enjoy yourself when everyone wants to be lying in their back gardens getting bronzed. A few Years ago I discovered the perfect way to tempt people inside while still having fun. 

Have you ever tried visiting a Foodies Festival? We went to the Llangollen Food & Drink Festival and had a fabulous time. With lots of stalls to look around, the sun lovers are happy while the more sensitive skinned of us can pop into the shade when required. This year it is back for the 18th time on Saturday October 17th and Sunday the 18th.

Did you know that Foodies Festival is on at Alexandra Palace this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Celebrating its 10th anniversary with Michelin-star and celebrity chefs including Aldo Zilli – TV Chef and Master Chef finalists Saira Hamilton and Jackie Kearney

There will also be new food and drink tasting theatres where local experts will tempt you with tasty food while teaching you new skills like Oyster Shucking, Bee Keeping and Foraging.

If that isn't enough, how about some Summer cooking inspiration from the Aga Rangemaster Chefs, head to the theatre and watch them cooking their favourite dishes from their Summer menus. You’re guaranteed to find something new and delicious to try. I was inspired me to try new ingredients and create some lovely food at home.

Why not make a Weekend of it and stay at the fantastic Holiday Inn London Brent Cross, which is only 22 minutes away by car. 

Just £99 for a spacious double room which has a lounge area and a sofa that can be used as a sofabed, high speed internet and keep refreshed in this heatwave with air conditioning and quench your thirst with their complimentary tea and coffee. When you get back from the food festival you can relax in front of a movie or satellite channels on the TV, bliss!

Disclaimer - brought to ypu in association with Holiday Inn.