Thursday 28 November 2013

Sweet treats lip balms - a bargain!

I have to share with you my bargain lip balms that I recently purchased. As you may have gathered from reading my previous posts I am a tad obsessed with lip balms, can't ever be without them I must have hundreds collecting at the bottom of my bag and around the hosue. 

A couple years ago I started using lip smackers which are a popular American brand, however I seem to struggle to get to places that sell them at the moment so when I came across these sweet treat lip balms I was immediately sold! I purchased them from B & M which is a large shop similar to Wilkos or The Range I'd say, sometimes it can be rubbish but other times you can pick up some great branded stuff for half the cost. Anyway I digress, these particular lip balms are based on popular sweets made by Swizzels Matlow. For just £2.99, the flavours included are refreshers, double dip, rainbow drops, double lollies and drumstick. 

Firstly, they smell amazing exactly how the sweets do and my personal favourite is definitely the drumstick, yummy!!  They don't particularly taste of anything like lip smackers do but they do feel moisturising and last a while once on. I love the packaging, it's child like, cute and appealing and for £2.99 I can't really complain. I don't think they compare to lip smackers which are just so yummy but this is the 2nd pack I have bought so they must be pretty good in that case :-) 

Has anyone else tried these or something similar?
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Tuesday 26 November 2013

NOTD - Nails Inc Luminous Red (Colgate Freebie)

This beautiful metallic red shade is one of my favourite shades at the moment, I have been meaning to feature this for ages! There was a offer on in Boots recently if you purchased a Colgate Max White toothpaste you could choose a Nails Inc polish free (the choice was between metallic red and standard gloss, brilliant!). I chose the metallic version as I have loads of glossy reds, I'm so pleased I did as it's a gorgeous shade. It's beautifully metallic and applies smoothly and although I did do 2 coats, if you were in a rush you could probably get away with just the ones. I paid just £2.99 for the toothpaste and got an £11.00 polish, what a bargain, sadly the offer has ended now but I imagine that if you wanted the shade Ebay would be the place to shop! 

Did anyone else pick up this shade? Do you love it as much as I do?
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Sunday 24 November 2013

Personal Planner Review & Giveaway!!

For those who know me the opportunity to design and create my own personal planner is so made for me! I have always liked to have a diary (usually 2 and a calendar!), I keep one in my bag and then I use another for work and then have a calendar on the back of the door so the other half can keep track of things.

When I was approached by Personal Planner to run a giveaway and be rewarded with my own planner I didn't have to think about it at all, I immediately said yes.  I had also read other reviews on  blogs about how great the planners are so I knew I'd be receiving a high quality item. 

On arrival the planner came in a sturdy cardboard packet, with a colourful design. I couldn't wait to see it!! 

I chose an A5 ring binder style planner, I was able to choose the design on the front, the colours I wanted the planner to be (obviously I chose pink but there is plenty more patterns & colour options to choose from), the layout, personalisations, puzzles at the back and whether I wanted any notable dates putting in it. I was in my element putting little touches to it and the whole process was very simple and painless with plenty of instructions provided. 

As you can see from the pictures I chose to upload a photo for the front of my planner which is printed on gorgeous, high quality glossy paper and is protected by a robust plastic cover. 

To give you a little more information about the company, Personal-Planner was created by a lady called Paula in 2006 who was fed up with the boring looking planners that were available, she came up with the idea of creating planners that were colourful and personalised and that is how these lovely planners were born.

Seeing as we are now on a Christmas countdown the lovely folks at Personal-Planner have asked me to run a giveaway so you can win one of their planners. If you love organisation and like the idea of designing your own planner then this giveaway is the one for you! 

Entry is via the rafflecopter below.  Good luck!!! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday 20 November 2013

Wine of the Week - La Riada Garnacha Tempranillo 2011

It's been a while since I've featured a wine of the week post, I've been drinking alot of Belgian fruit beers recently and not so much of the wine (apart from the other weekend when we had guests and we did drink ALOT of wine but I forgot to take any pictures, oops!!).

I recently bought a case of this Spanish red to pop in the cupboard when we need a bit of 'plonk'. The case cost me a bargain price of £23.98 at a local wine warehouse, so each bottle costs £3.99 each and for the taste of it I think that's a fab price. This particular wine consists of 2 different grape varieties, garnacha provides structure and depth to the wine while the tempranillo lovely rich fruit flavours. This is a pleasantly soft wine which is smooth and easy to drink and is a great budget bottle of booze. So good we have only 2 bottles left!! 

Lots more wine of the weeks to come in the run up to christmas and my birthday :-)

Are you a red, white, rose drinker or do you prefer something other than wine?
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Tuesday 19 November 2013

Tomy Stack, Pour, Post & Play - Review

Alfie loves to play, he has so many toys but some of favourite type of toys have to be the shape sorting and posting type, generally speaking suitable from ages 6 to 24 months. It can keep him entertained for a fair few minutes and over the last few months I've seen just how much something as simple as a shape sorter can benefit in his development. 

Alfie has been busy testing out the Tomy Winnie the Pooh stack, pour, post and play recently and here is our review for it.  When it arrived I was immediately impressed by the bright and colourful packaging, it's very bright and childlike and for that reason is very appealing to inquisitive little toddlers! Getting into the actual product was a nightmare though, as with all these type of toys they are firmly attached within the packaging with a mixture of tape and cable ties. When I eventually managed to get into it Alfie was straight into playing with it and seeing what it had to offer him. 

This particular toy has various different things that it does to keep little ones entertained. Not only is it a shape sorter (3 shapes included), it is a stacking toy (which improves hand-eye coordination), a posting toy and the cups can also be used as a pouring toy in the bath.

One of the great things that I think this toy has to offer, other than it been a 4 in 1 toy is the fact that when you pack it away the cups sits neatly in the honey pot and the shapes sit in the cups so that all you are left with is the honey pot, what a brilliant idea reducing storage!

Alfie really did enjoy playing with it, he liked to stack the pots on top and then knock it over till it all came tumbling down. I think what would make this toy even better is if there were more shapes to sort, I don't think 3 shapes are enough, perhaps 5 would have been better overall though a great little toy! 

Alfie's reaction to knocking the cups down haha!

It's also worth saying that even though the toy feels very light it's actually very robust, seeing as toddlers have no real idea of their strength toys do tend to get thrown and lobbed about quite a substantial amount and this has stood the test of time with no damage at all. Always a bonus!

So overall a very successful and fun toy for toddlers, I'm not sure how long Alfie will be interested in toys like this but for the moment he seems to really enjoy puzzling toys so if he's happy then I'm happy! This toy has a very reasonable RRP of £14.99 and for more information you can access the Tomy website. 

Does your toddler like these type of toys, would you buy this type of toy?
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* Please note we were kindly sent the item to review but the thoughts and opinions are that of my own. 

Monday 18 November 2013

NOTD - Avon Nailwear Pro Stunning Cobalt

Part of the Avon diamond nailwear pro collection this shade called Stunning Cobalt is gorgeous, a real glistening blue shade, perfect for christmas parties. It applies a little streaky so requires 2 really good coats to get a nice coverage, needs a decent base coat aswell!! Not a great polish for staying power as I did find the next day it was starting to chip and peel away so that's a shame but otherwise a nice little polish in a gorgeous colour. 

You can buy this shade by clicking on the link to Avon it's on sale for £4.00 at the moment instead of £6.00 so don't miss out. 
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Sunday 17 November 2013

GlossyBox Review November 2013 - The Glossy Wishlist

So after the let down of last months GlossyBox I have to admit I had my doubts about what this months box what have in store. With it coming up to Christmas I'm really hoping GlossyBox pick up their standards.  Never the less when the latest box arrived the other day I'm pleased to say I wasn't overly disappointed with the contents!

First impressions were very good, nicely packaged items and a good variety. I was really pleased to see that they're still including the nice information card and glossy magazine as an extra touch, the magazine this month was packed full of great information and I discovered the amazing website Covetique because of this!

What did I get?: 

1. Vichy Idelia Life Serum ( RRP £29.50 for full size 30ml, received in GlossyBox 2 x 3ml samples & 1x 3ml smoothing & illuminating cream). Never heard of the brand before but love the packaging that they arrived in with the little bag.  Designed to help transform the appearance of the skin and help protect it from the visible effects of pollution, smoke, stress and an unbalanced diet (really?!). Lovely to have 3 little samples and I've tried them all out and they are all great. Fab item to be included. 

2. Yves Rocher France Hand Cream in Cocoa & Pistachio Scent (£1.95 for 75ml full size received in GlossyBox) This item was actually a perfect item to include in the box at the moment. As I'm working in the community I am constantly using alcohol gel and it does nothing for your hands. I'm going through hand cream like chocolate at the moment so this was a welcome item. It smells lush too, I love cocoa butter and it smells just like that, it's lovely and moisturising too and the packaging is gorgeous. 

3. GOSH Cosmetics Velvet Touch Lipstick in 148 Sundown shade (RRP £6.49 for 4g full size received in GlossyBox). I love GOSH cosmetics so was pretty pleased to receive this although I don't often wear lipsticks as I'm more of a lip gloss girl. On initial impression of the shade I was literally like oh my god that is horrible, it's bright orange! When I tried it however it is quite sheer and more like a gloss and not at all as I was expecting, it adds more of a light slick of colour when worn. Random really when the info leaflet says it's going to give an intense and high concentration of colour! Fabulous packaging aswell!!! 

4. Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads (£2.00 for 20 pads, full size received in GlossyBox received). As much as I love nail polish remover pads, because lets face it they are a beauty essential I find them a bit random to be included in this months box. They don't seem to have a place in the glossy wish list, never the less they will accompany me to NYC and will be used! 

5. Emite Makeup Micronozed Eyeshadow in Nect shade (£16.80 for 1.48g full size received in GlossyBox) I'd never heard of this brand until recently thanks to GlossyBox but I'd say I'm quite a fan, this is a gorgeous eyeshadow in a pearly, pale shimmer colour. A perfect addition to my makeup bag although I'm not sure if I'd ever pay nearly £17.00 for one eyeshadow!! I like the face that Emite make their shadows free from oil,nickel and parabens and perfume to avoid any irritation to the eyes. 

So to summarise this months box, I think a much better thought out selection of products and GlossyBox have nearly redeemed themself once again, I will now be looking forward to the December box and will be keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a great box and GlossyBox won't screw us over with a load of rubbish!!! 

I've noticed on a few other blog posts there were a few different versions of this months box so what did everyone get in theirs this month and what did you think?
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Friday 15 November 2013

Some might say.......

I do love a bit of bling and I recently treated myself to a very cute necklace from Avon. Some might say it sums me up.......

Haha, I don't really think I'm a diva as such but I can certainly have my moments as I'm sure every woman does, but it is a fun necklace to wear and it certainly is right up my street. I wasn't anticipating it to be quite as big as it is but I really like the size of it when I wore it. As you can see from the picture it's got a nice pink enamel over the wording with a small jewel over the I which is a nice little touch. Being a fan of cute and quirky jewellery this will sit well in my collection. You can purchase the necklace online from Avon which is on sale for £5.00 instead of £8.00 at the moment, you can also buy a princess version which you can view by clicking this link to Avon. I think some of jewellery in Avon is great and the prices are so reasonable. 

Do you like a bit of statement jewellery?

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Tuesday 12 November 2013

Baby thrill-o-meter!

This is so cool! 

The world’s first ‘baby thrill-o-meter’ has been unveiled which captures and measures the thrill experienced by little ones when they try new food with usual flavours.

Created by the guys at Ella’s Kitchen, the study provides an insight into babies’ physiological reactions when they try a variety of fruit, vegetables and spices. 

The bespoke thrill-o-meter measures babies’ Galvanic Skin Responses to different foods and it was revealed that mango and cinnamon are the most exciting ingredients for little ones, closely followed by lemon and coconut. I have to admit Alfie hasn't tried anything quite  like coconut yet but he loves pineapple and mango and his face is a picture when he eats sharp flavoured and zingy food!

Watch the below videos for some brilliant reactions!

Here is the full press release to read for more information. 

- Mango and Cinnamon revealed as the most thrilling tastes for babies in new project masterminded by Ella’s Kitchen -

Ever wondered how exciting the taste of cinnamon, coconut or papaya is for a baby? The world’s first ‘baby thrill-o-meter’ was unveiled today to capture and measure the thrill experienced by little ones when they try new and different foods.  Created by baby and toddler food experts Ella’s Kitchen, in partnership with Thrill Laboratory, the study provides a unique insight into babies’ physiological reactions when they try a variety of different fruits, vegetables and spices. 

The bespoke thrill-o-meter measures babies’ Galvanic Skin Responses to different foods and revealed mango and cinnamon as the ingredients that caused the most excitement amongst little ones, closely followed by lemon and coconut.

The results from the thrill-o-meter also revealed a list of the top 10 most exciting tastes for babies, including red pepper and papaya.

Top 10 most exciting tastes for babies:
1.       Mango
2.       Cinnamon
3.       Lemon
4.       Coconut
5.       Banana
6.       Papaya
7.       Red pepper
8.       Apricot
9.       Sweet potato
10.     Carrot

The results were calculated by analysing increased Galvanic Skin Response from certain foods, combined with facial expression and body language analysis from parents to determine how positive the response was.

When babies become excited in response to a food, or the anticipation of a food, their bodies and minds get ready for action.  Their hearts beat faster, their eyes open wide, and their breathing quickens.  One physiological effect of excitement and sensorial engagement that can’t be seen by parents is the micro-fluctuations in sweat levels, which the thrill-o-meter closely monitored through Galvanic Skin Response.  A rise in Galvanic Skin Response, together with positive facial analysis from parents, expressed just how excited the baby was when tasting the food.

Brendan Walker, Thrill Laboratory comments: “Food can be really exciting for babies – whether it’s a first taste of cinnamon, juicy mango or exotic coconut.  Different foods can stimulate different physiological responses and this innovative study is designed to reveal just how thrilling different foods are for babies and to help Ella’s Kitchen continue to explore and understand babies’ taste buds, both scientifically and creatively.”

Paul Lindley, Ella’s Kitchen founder and Ella’s Dad comments: “To see little ones’ faces light up when they try a food that really excites them is fantastic and we create all of our foods with babies’ taste buds in mind.

From the pinch of spicy cinnamon in seriously comforting Cottage Pie, to Zingy Lamb Cous Cous bursting with exotic mangoes, at Ella’s Kitchen we understand just how important it is to thrill babies with exciting tastes at each and every meal, to ensure they develop healthy eating habits that last a lifetime and grow up to be good little eaters”

I think this is a great study, I love the expressions on the babies faces, especially when trying the lemon! I think it quite clearly demonstrates just how receptive babies and children are to different flavours, especially ones that are exotic or strong, why should baby food be bland!

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Saturday 9 November 2013

Dear Alfie.......

I've seen several of these type of blog posts written lately and thought I'd give it go since Alfie is nearly 18 months old......where on earth did that time go?!?!

Dear Alfie, my gorgeous little boy, 

You are not a baby anymore, I still refer to you as one but you're not. Standing before me is this little boy that is independent, a chatterbox and a cheeky monkey. I'm not really sure where the past 18 months has gone but it truly has been the best 18 months of my life (if not challenging!). I'm not a religious person in the slightest but every single day I feel blessed and thankful to have you in my life, you've given me a whole new outlook on life, a more positive and happy outlook and for that I thank you (erghh god now I want to cry, being a Mummy makes me so emotional these days!). I am one of the lucky ones, truly fortunate that you're here with me.

Excuse the awful picture it was too cute not to include!
Everyday you surprise me with something new that you've learnt to do, most recently chattering away on the phone and trying to put Daddy's head set on, you now know to stroke the cats gently and not pull their tails or ears (most of the time!), you kick a football, you hum the tune to twinkle, twinkle and love dancing to Avicii and Katy Perry (great taste in music son :-)!) and lots of other cute things. 

I'm working full time now and it breaks my heart when I have to leave you with other people (even though I know you love it) but I miss that special time we spent together during the day, just Mummy and Alfie. I promise I'm doing it for you though, I want you to be proud to say my Mummy is a nurse, she works hard so I can have the best.  The one thing that makes it worth it is the way your eyes light up when you see us come home and you run to us, giggling, arms in the air wanting cuddles. 

Sometimes when you're asleep in your cot I creep up to cover your little toes with your blanket as you've kicked it off, I stay in your room for a few minutes and just watch you sleeping peacefully like an angel (that sounds so cheesy I know but you do look so angelic when you sleep!). I listen to you breathing and wonder what I did to deserve you.

So my cheeky little chappie what have you got in store for me in the next 6 months I wonder? Thank you for making my life worth living and I love you with all my heart.

Mummy XXX
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