Wednesday, 20 July 2016

What's New in July

Quite often in life it is the small things that matter most and as the saying goes "Good Things Come in Small Packages".  So with this in mind I decided to share with my viewers lots of fabulous new things that would be available in July.

Oat Soak Bath
I love the idea of an Oat Soak Bath. What better way is there to easy itchy, dry summer skin and it is 100% natural. Made from pure ground colloidal oats means they are pleasant to bathe in and will wash away with the bath water. You pop them in to the bath 10 minutes before getting in and then relax in the water. Priced at £1.95 per sachet or £9.95 for 10 sachets you can purchase them online at the Skinshop.

Kettle Chips
Kettle have recently released a new flavour in the Chef’s Signature range called Burrata Mozzarella and Sweet Chilli Jam. They have collaborated with Stoke Sauces who are another producer from Woodbridge in Suffolk to provide this perfect pairing. The flavour is perfect for when entertaining and very tasty and moreish. Also on the shelves this summer are the Chorizo, Feta and Olive seasoned chips, which are rather good too. Just lie back and imagine you are on holiday abroad whilst eating them. Priced at £1.99 for a 150g bag and available from leading supermarkets and independent food stores.

Children’s First Aid Kit
St John Ambulance and Boots have joined together to create a fabulous new first aid kit with a comprehensive guide on how to treat a range of childhood injuries. Supplied in a lovely lime green case it is a handy size to carry around in the car or even take on holiday. It contains all the essential items to treat a range of injuries from bumps to burns and bleeding. There are dressings, plasters, a forehead thermometer, ice pack and eye washes. The case also has plenty of room to store medication that you may need to carry around with you. The kit retails at £13.49 and can be bought from Boots both online and in store.

Lacura Expert Wrinkle Smoother
The new Expert Wrinkle Smoother from Lacura is an anti ageing product for those expression line on the forehead, nose, mouth and around the eyes. The Wrinkle Smoother comes with its own precision applicator and is applied directly to the wrinkles or can be applied sparingly across the whole face. It is stated to reduce wrinkles by up to 35%, improve skin elasticity by up to 27% and increase firmness by up to 32%. Whilst I have not used this product before, I am rather excited. I have previously used other products in the Lacura range and I do love them, so reasonably priced too. Available from Aldi priced £4.99 it will be available from 7th August.

Pulsin Snack Bars
I seriously love these Pulsin snack bars. Lovingly made from nutritious ingredients they taste incredible, with no refined sugar they are ideal as a boost between meals or after exercise. The bars are also vegan, dairy free, gluten free and are non GMO which is a great selling point for me. With flavours like Raspberry & Goji Raw Chocolate Brownie, Almond & Raisin Raw Chocolate Brownie, Orange Choc Chip Protein Snack, Maple Peanut Protein Snack there is just so much variety to choose from. Pulsin bars can be purchased from your nearest health food store or online at Pulsin.

I heart Sparkling
If you feel the need for a glass of bubbly sparkling wine then ‘I heart’ have brought out a new sparkling wine that has lovely fruit flavours and aromas. It is perfect on a long summer evening, served nice and cold alongside a light savoury dish or simply enjoyed on its own. That’s my evening sorted then. RRP is £5.99 which I think is very reasonable for a glass of bubbly.  Available at Nisa and other leading grocers.


Super Everyday Teas
Tetley have come up with the ingenious idea of boosting our daily cuppa. These everyday teas will be available in three flavours and launched late July early August. Super Tea Boost is infused with vitamin B6 which can help to reduce tiredness and fight fatigue. Super Team Alert contains the same amount of caffeine as your normal cup of coffee which will certainly help to find your get up and go. Super Tea Immune is infused with Vitamin C which helps to support the immune system. I was a little wary to try these as my cup of tea is my favourite drink of the day and I didn’t want it to taste any different. I am so glad to report that if you are a tea drinker like me the good old cuppa hasn’t changed but instead has added benefits. When on sale the tea will cost around £1.59 for 20 bags from Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

Paleo: 12 weeks to change your life
There is a fabulous new book out based on the Paleo diet, it is really well researched and takes a holistic approach to Paleo, combining recipes with exercise and healthy living advice. I had heard so much about the Paleo diet but never really understood it properly. This book is great at explaining the scientific reasoning about the benefits of the Paleo diet and contains over 200 lovely recipes that fit in with busy lifestyles. Not only are there recipes but shopping lists and weekly meal planners too, I definitely intend putting this to the test shortly and trialling on hubbie. The book can be purchased in hardback from Amazon at £34.99 or e-version at £24.99 from

Long Lasting Roses
I always think it’s such a shame when I receive flowers and they die after a week, after all they give me so much pleasure. Well Grow Gifts can provide roses that last at least 6 months. The roses are grown as normal roses but then a natural preservative is applied so that the roses keep their moisture and stay looking beautiful. They do not even need water at home. The price of the roses starts at £7.99 for a single stem and they are available in beautiful colours such as antique cream, white, butter yellow, dark red, blood red, electric pink, light pink, plum and lilac. A beautiful gift that will give months of pleasure.

Head over Heels About Gymnastics
All my children have enjoyed performing acrobats from being small but living in a remote Derbyshire village it is hard to attend classes of any sort. Gemma Coles, Head Coach has written this lovely illustrated interactive children’s book to help your child learn the basics of gymnastics and enable them to put a routine together by the time they reach the end. Moves are demonstrated really well with step by step instructions, from posture to developing perfect rolls, it is really clear for children to follow. If like Gee your child is a budding gymnast then this book is being released mid July and will be priced at £8.49.

Sheila’s Natural Products
I am always on the look out for new beauty products and when this popped up in my in box I just had to share. Sheila’s Natural Products are lovingly made in the UK and are packaged in reusable glass jars. Lavendar Balm and Chamomile Balm are suitable for soothing cuts, abrasions and calming weather beaten skin. Moisturising face cream is rich and nourishing and can be used in a morning and at night. Barrier bar is ideal for hard working hands and is applied as if you are using a bar of soap with no water. All the creams are plant based and contain Safflower and Vitamin E oils and are 100% vegan friendly. The Balms are suitable for vegetarians. The prices range from £9.50 - £27.50 and they really are beautiful products, also great if you suffer from any skin condition.

Well that is all for my July what's new, hopefully I will be able to bring you lots more new goodies to share next month.  Have you come across anything new to share?

Tips for Safe & Happy Travelling

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

Can you believe the summer holidays are here once again, it doesn't seem 5 minutes since I was taking the Christmas decorations down.  Throughout the summer we tend to use our car on longer journeys, whether it is a holiday to the seaside or a day trip to the zoo, it is advisable to check your car on a regular basis and try and avoid any breakdowns.

Check the car
The last thing you want is the whole family stranded at the roadside, so make sure your MOT is up to date and the oil and water are topped up. Tyres should be checked on a regular basis to make sure that the tread depth is at least the minimum requirement.  Point S UK offer a tyre service online using a simple search function you can select your tyres and have them fitted at a branch of your choice.

Maps and/or Sat Nav
It is important to plan your route well in advance and although Sat Navs have taken over from Maps more or less, it is really useful to have a good road map in the boot for back up.

Always allow plenty of time.  If you need to get there by a certain time then set off well in advance, traffic can be a bit of a nightmare at this time of year. 

Entertainment for Children
Let the children choose their own games to bring in a backpack, along with some DVDs they’ve been waiting to see. An in-car DVD player can be invaluable on a long car journey as can an IPad.

Make sure you pack a variety of healthy snacks and satisfying meals for the journey, and take plenty: a car full of hungry people is not a happy car. In particular, try to bring foods that will not generate lots of mess, like dried fruit or vegetable sticks. Pack some sweet treats too, as rewards for good behaviour.

If the weather is good, a picnic offers a nice breath of fresh air along the way and is much cheaper than eating in service stations.

Cool bag
Cool bags are not just for summer. Pack a lot of cold drinks, plenty of water and juices (some frozen to make them last even longer) - a can of warm fizzy drink is not very refreshing.

Have a regular break
A stop at least every two hours is advisable. Don’t wait until everyone in the back starts whining. Things will be more relaxing if you pre-empt toilet breaks, rather than grudgingly concede to them.

By following this advice you could have a great journey, with lots of fun along the way!

This post is written in collaboration with PointS.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Sony Xperia X Smartphone

To say I was a little excited to receive the new Sony Xperia X Smartphone is an understatement and on opening the box I was not disappointed.  The Xperia X has a sleek stylish design with curved glass corners and a 5 inch HD display. It also fits perfectly in your hand making it super comfy to hold. The Xperia X takes a nano sim card and has 32gb memory but also accepts a microSD card to extend the memory.  The phone is supplied with a charger which when plugged in, can give you 5.5hours of charge in 10 minutes.

A Double Rainbow

Setting up the phone was relatively simple, even for me, but I must say that my old phone is a Sony as well, so this could have made it easier for me. The nano sim required and microSD card fit snugly in to the same holder on the left hand side of the phone which is a little fiddly to remove but once you have inserted them, they shouldn't need to be removed on a regular basis.  On the right hand side of your phone is the power button complete with finger print sensor to unlock your phone, volume control and camera key.  Once I had charged the phone, it was time to set it up.

Hurray for the Sun

I used the Xperia transfer app on both my old phone and new phone, and by following the instructions it proved really easy to upload and download all my content. I found this to be an efficient way of not losing any of my photos and data and it only took about 30 minutes.  Like a lot of modern phones it is also equipped with NFC (near fields communication) to enable you to share data with other devices, this can be useful for sharing videos and photos with family.

Taking a Break

The Xperia X has a 23MP camera with Predictive Hybrid Autofocus making it great for capturing moving objects using the autofocus feature. It also has a 13MP forward facing camera for selfies.  The camera button can be set for quick launch which can be ready to take photos in 0.6 seconds.  A low light feature is really useful especially for indoors and the early evening.

A Babbling Brook

The User Interface is easy to navigate and you can move the apps you use most on to the home screen as with other mobiles.  I did find you could have several apps open at once without slowing the phone down, this is useful when I am in and out of emails and contacts.  I especially love the Notes app where I can create notes and lists, great for keeping lists and useful for blogging and reminders.  So far I have used the phone for calls, messaging, social media and photograpy, but I am still learning and something new seems to jump out at me everyday.

A Lizard in the Peak District

Sony have been challenging people to capture their X moments on twitter and we have had endless fun snapping away and trying to find our own X moments.  From beautiful double rainbows to a lizard basking in the first day of sunshine, there are so many memorable moments that you can capture and share.  If you have your own X moment that you want to share on twitter then please use the #WhatsYourX hashtag.

As you can probably tell I do love this phone.  The camera is definitely an improvement on my old Sony and I love that I can capture images that are moving in a moment.  None of the photos on my blog post are edited and I think the colour and quality of these images are fabulous.  For the last couple of weeks I have not used my camera and the majority of the images I have taken have been great.

I also like the option to turn on the power saving modes, such a useful feature, especially for social media addicts.  With the battery supposedly lasting two days on a full charge I don't think this takes in to account people who are active on social media for any length of time and find I have to charge the Xperia X every night.

I think that the speaker quality on the Xperia X is an improvement on my older Sony phone, when it is on loud speaker the sound does not sound distorted and music sounds great on it too.  I am really looking forward to trying the video option on the phone, this could be interesting as I'm no producer.

Overall, I will definitely continue using the Xperia X.  I have the phone in Rose Gold, which is such a lovely colour and it is also available in Lime Gold, White and Graphite Black.  Available from Sony the RRP for the Xperia X is £459.99.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product and I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Baby & Mum Skincare Products from Mustela

Gee has always suffered with  sensitive skin and I am always on the look out for products for her to try, after all every little girl likes to own their own toiletries and Gee is no exception.  So when the kind people over at Mustela go in touch and asked if we would like to try their products, Gee said she would love to.

Mustela are experts in the skincare market and are endorsed by 9 out of 10 health professionals.  Their products range from cleansing and hydration to sun care and pregnancy and they are the first company worldwide to have completed an 11 year research programme on baby’s skin.  Strongly believing in using natural products in their skincare range is a great selling point for me as I feel it is important to have no hidden nasties, for the welfare of our children.

The Mustela Bebe Skin Freshner is ideal for that instant freshness and can be used to remove the cleansing milk but also as a freshner on the hair.  It contains a natural ingredient that helps to strengthen the skin barrier and preserves the cell strength.

Mustela Cold Cream is the perfect long lasting face cream for babies to deal with any dry skin.  The nutri-protective complex is long lasting as it nourishes the skin.  Gee loved using this on her face and even though she is older I know that it can only benefit her skin.

Mustela also do their own Suncare range and the infant cream is factor 50, water proof and has a pleasant smell.  Gee has been taking this to school to use and found the non drip lid especially useful.

You can buy Mustela products online at Amazon and all are reasonably priced.

We were sent this items free of charge for the purpose of this review but the opinion is our own.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Win Chatsworth Country Fair Tickets

How would you like to win tickets to Chatsworth Country Fair on Saturday 3rd September?  Well I have two adult tickets (worth £25 each) to giveaway and with children under 14 years being free, it would make a fabulous day out.

The Country Fair is set in the stunning grounds of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, the perfect place to take in the scenery and enjoy all that the Fair has to offer.   This year the famous Imps Motorcycle display team will be giving one of their breathtaking demonstrations once again, for people to watch in awe.

My favourite part of the show will be watching some of the live cookery demonstrations with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, I can almost imagine I'm on the Great British Bake Off.

There will also be lots of other attractions which will suit any age group such as the fun packed fairground, vintage vehicle displays, animal demonstrations and the Household Cavalry Musical Ride.  Also there will be hundreds of trade and craft standards to explore.  You can follow Chatsworth Country Fair on Twitter and also Chatsworth House on Twitter.

If you would like to win the tickets please complete the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UK competitions at ThePrizeFinder

My Sunday Photo 10th July 2016

Hello, my name is Marlow and I have a confession to make, I love nothing more than diving in to puddles, even if Mum says 'No'!  I wonder what mischief I can get up to today?  Anyone care to join me?


Saturday, 9 July 2016

Card Making Kits from Stampin Up

I love crafting and find it so therapeutic to make cards but I often get stuck for ideas!  Well not anymore, the fabulous people behind Stampin Up have come up with kits which have all the required materials needed to come up with some stunning designs.  The Oh Happy Day Card Kit is themed around the gorgeous shades of Basic Black, Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo, Mint Macaron, Tangerine Tango and White and is really cheerful and bright.

The kit contains:
  • Set of 13 photopolymer stamps
  • 20 card bases and coordinating envelopes
  • Giftable kraft box
  • Die-cut glittered chipboard shapes
  • Embossed sheets
  • Printed die-cut images
  • Die-cut gold foil sheet
  • Die-cut white sheets
  • Basic Black Archival Stampin’ Spot
  • Printed colour doilies
  • Baker’s Twine
  • Glittered dots
  • Stampin’ Dimensionals
  • Acrylic stamp block

All the accents for each card are numbered and the instructions provided in the box make it so easy to create stunning cards of your own and the only thing you need to purchase is suitable glue. The cards once created can be used for many different occasions and it is such a nice feeling to give something you have made, somehow it feels so much more personal.

The Stampin Up kits cost £31.50 which may seem a little expensive but only equates to £1.57 per card which is a lot cheaper than you can buy a decent card for.  I have really enjoyed making a few of the cards and can't wait to do them all, I just need a little more free time to sit down and have a crafting day, it is so relaxing.

I was sent this item free of charge for the purpose of this review but the opinion is my own.