Sunday, 1 May 2022

Fairy Max Power Review




 

I was recently selected to be part of the Fairy Max Power campaign with Supersavvy Me. In my starter kit was two bottles of Fairy Max in the new top down design. What a great idea - why has no one thought of it sooner! I used to balance my bottles upside down to get the dregs out but there is no need to do that anymore. It's also great at cutting through grease and getting pots clean. Well done Fairy!



I received the starter pack for the purpose of the review but all words and opinions are my own

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Oral B Sensitivity & Gum Calm Toothpaste Review



I was recently selected to be part of the Oral B Sensitivity & Gum Calm Toothpaste campaign with Supersavvy Me. In my starter kit was a full size tube of toothpaste along with sample sizes to give to friends. I have been giving them to family, friends and work colleagues and they have all been really pleased!


I have suffered from sensitive teeth for a good while now and have started avoiding cold things as that seems to be the trigger for me. I have been using the Oral B Sensitivity & Gum Calm toothpaste for a couple of weeks now and I have to say I am really impressed. My teeth feel lovely and fresh and I have noticed that they don't seem quite as sensitive. I tried ice cream again yesterday and there was no pain so I am really impressed!





I received the starter pack for the purpose of the review but all words and opinions are my own
 

Friday, 22 January 2021

Mary Berry Fine China Serving Bowls Review


I received these bowls for the purpose of the review but all words and opinions are my own

Ordinarily I do a reasonable amount of entertaining for family and friends and have collected quite a nice selection of crockery over the years. Some are inherited from my Grandma, who also loved beautiful crockery, others have been birthday and Christmas gifts and the remainder are pieces that I have bought myself. If you ask my husband, he might say that I have a bit of a crockery obsession but I do have a dish for everything and with a big family you can never have too much crockery!! Therefore, I was thrilled to be asked to review a couple of fine china serving bowls from Mary Berry’s English Garden Collection as the bowls looked like they would fit in with my crockery collection perfectly. 

The English Garden Collection by Mary Berry brings a touch of charm to the home, reflecting Mary’s passion for gardening and nature with beautiful illustrations of classic British birds and flowers. Clean and classic shapes ensure that all products in the collection have a timeless feel. I received two beautiful fine china serving bowls, the medium Forget Me Not 16cm serving bowl and the large Agapanthus 20cm serving bowl.

It is always a little worrying when crockery purchasing crockery online however the bowls were very well packaged and arrived intact. Once I opened the box the two bowls were nicely packaged in attractive sturdy presentation cardboard boxes that are perfect to keep the bowls in when they are not in use. I like to store my crockery in this type of box as it is much easier to fit and stack square boxes in a kitchen cupboard or sideboard and it also means the bowls don’t get accidentally chipped, which can happen when bowls are stacked inside one another. But for those who are short on space the 16cm bowl does sit perfectly inside the 20cm bowl and they still fit nicely in the box. 

This Mary Berry English Garden Serving Bowls are made from beautiful Fine China, and they feature two delicate flowers on the side. The medium bowl has a beautiful Forget Me Not illustration and text and the large bowl has an Agapanthus design. Both designs are in a pale blue colour which complements the white fine china and gives it a timeless feel. I can see these bowls being used for many years and hopefully my children and grandchildren will continue to use them in the future!

The bowls are a lovely shape and would look lovely on a buffet table filled with delicious treats. The Forget-Me-Not bowl is the perfect size for crisps or snacks and the large Agapanthus bowl would be perfect for salad or pasta dishes. I am currently using the large bowl as a fruit bowl as it is such a beautiful dish, and it seems a shame to have it sat in the cupboard until I can entertain again!

The bowls are easy to look after and it is recommended that they are washed in warm soapy water prior to the first use. The crockery is dishwasher and microwave safe and can even be used in the oven up to 230 degree C (450 degrees F). 

Mary’s English Garden collection consists of cups, storage jars, coasters, jugs and bowls, as well as flower illustrations the range also features bird illustrations which are just as beautiful. I especially like the large jugs which are now on my Christmas list along with the smaller bowls in the range, an 8cm bowl with a Rose design and a 11.5cm bowl with a Honeysuckle design. 

I think these bowls are beautiful and I know I will get a lot of use from them over the coming years. 




Sunday, 8 November 2020

Jolie Beauty Bomb Dot Com Eyeshadow Palette Review

When I was a child I used to love playing with my Mum’s eye shadows and creating a wide range of looks on both myself and my sister. I was always fascinated by the range of colours and loved experimenting with colour combinations. That fascination has never left me and eyeshadow palettes are my guilty pleasure! Therefore I was really excited when I was offered the chance to review the Bomb Dot Com 24 Shade Glitter Eyeshadow Palette from Jolie Beauty as the glitter eyeshadows looked simply amazing. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long for it to arrive, the order was placed on the Tuesday and the palette arrived on the Friday which I thought was excellent service.


Jolie Beauty isn’t a brand that I have heard of before but a quick look on their website told me that it is the brainchild of a team of highly experienced make up artists who, over the years, have worked with some of the biggest names in make up. Their experience has driven them to design and create a range of fun but professional products to suit the budget of any artist or make up lover. Each product has been tried and tested by the experienced team and only once they are happy with it does it appear in their collection. Their products are not tested on animals and all their products are 100% cruelty free, they also try and favour vegan products where they can. I love the ethos of the company, they donate to animal charities and also work towards awareness of animal testing.

The Bomb Dot Com 24 Shade Glitter palette contains a dazzling array of 24 glitter eye shadows with intriguing names including Mermaid, an aquamarine shade, Firefly, a lilac based shade which goes perfectly with a whole host of other colours and Seabed, a vibrant blue that looks stunning on your eyes. The palette is made from cosmetic standard glitter meaning it is face and eye friendly and can also be used all over the body, perfect for adding subtle highlights wherever you need them.


The palette looks stunning when you open it, the glitter eyeshadows are incredibly bright and sparkly and really eye catching. There is a handy mirror in the lid of the palette and it fastens securely with a magnetic clasp, a cardboard protective sleeve in the same glittery design as the palette adds that luxury feel to the product. With Christmas set to be a little different this year I am currently looking at gifts I can easily post and the Bomb Dot Com 24 Shade Glitter palette fits the bill perfectly as it is thin and quite lightweight and once wrapped will still easily fit in a jiffy bag. 



The eyeshadows are easily to apply either with an eye shadow brush or with your finger and can be worn on their own or combined for a really eye catching look. I did find using my finger the best method of application as it was easier to get the glitter to stay in place and I could apply more without it brushing off.

We all need a bit of sparkle and glitter in these strange times that we find ourselves in and I can guarantee that once you open the Bomb Dot Com 24 Shade Glitter Palette you will feel brighter!

The palette costs £27.99 and is available from the Jolie Beauty website


I received the palette for the purpose of this review but all words and opinions are my own


Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Procoal - The Original Glycolic Egg and The Original Salicylic Egg Review


I received these products for the purpose of the review but all words and opinions are my own

Procoal is not a brand I have come across before and when I agreed to review one of their cleansers I just assumed it would be a liquid cleanser. When the parcel arrived I was therefore intrigued to find two small boxes containing egg shaped soaps which both smelt amazing! These egg shaped soaps are two of Procoal’s sensual facial soaps, The Original Glycolic Egg and The Original Salicylic Egg. The egg shaped soaps are the perfect size to lather in your hands and you don’t need to worry about them rolling off the shower shelf or sink as they have a small flat side on the back which means they sit nicely and stay where you have left them, a simple idea but very effective.

It’s fair to say I was a little concerned about using a facial soap, I haven’t used soap on my face since I was at school as it used to leave my teenage acne prone skin feeling very tight and uncomfortable. Once I discovered cream and liquid cleansers I stopped using soap and have never used it since. The first egg I tried was the The Original Glycolic Egg, I took it out of the box and discovered it is a light pink colour with darker speckles. The fragrance was even nicer once it was out of the box and I when I discovered that The Original Glycolic Egg is a gentle cruelty free, vegan and SLS/SLES free facial soap which targets congested pores, dead skin cells and uneven texture for a fresh and radiant complexion I couldn’t wait to try it out. I suffer from all these facial skin problems, so it was nice to find a product that targeted them all. 

The Original Glycolic Egg is formulated with 2% Glycolic Acid, Aloe Vera and Rosa Gallica and Procoal claim that the use of it leads to significantly brighter and smoother skin. 

The egg shaped soap is really easy to use, you simply add a little water which creates a nice rich creamy lather which you can then apply to your face. It smells fantastic as you apply it and it is easily rinsed off with water or a cloth. I was really impressed after the first use, my skin felt lovely and soft and there was no tightness at all. I have been using it for almost a week now and I can see a small improvement in my skin already. It normally takes around a month to see the full benefit of a new skincare product so I am hoping that it continues to deliver and do what it promises. It has certainly started off well!

The Original Salicylic Egg is a green soap and this one targets breakouts, acne, blemishes and clarifies pores. My teenage son suffers from spots and acne and so I decided that he would be the best person to try this soap. The soap contains Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera and the soap was a big hit with him as it didn’t smell flowery. He has been using it for a week and seems quite happy with it, I would say his skin does look better and again the real test will be what his skin is like at the end of the month.

Overall I am really impressed with these soaps and would certainly recommend them, we have both seen an improvement in our skin and they are a lovely product to use. They cost £9.99 each but as you don’t use much I can see the egg lasting a very long time.




Friday, 9 October 2020

Robinsons Crushed Apple and Cinnamon Fruit Cordial Review

I received 4 bottles of cordial for the purpose of this review but all words and opinions are my own

I was really pleased when I was asked to review some Robinsons cordial. We drink a lot of cordial and are already big fans of Robinsons but this was the first time we had tried any of the fruit cordials. The four glass bottles were packaged very carefully in a sturdy cardboard box, each bottle was wrapped in bubble wrap and there was plenty of shredded paper to protect the bottles in transit. I always worry when I am receiving glass bottles that they will break in transit however these were so well wrapped they all arrived intact. We also received six recipe cards giving us some new ways to try the cordial.



Firstly we decided to try it with water to see what it tasted like before we attempted any of the recipes. As you would expect the initial taste of the drink was predominantly apple with undertones of cinnamon. I’m not a big fan of cinnamon but as the flavour wasn’t too strong it was quite pleasant for a change. The Crushed Apple and Cinnamon fruit cordial has been launched as a “Winter edition” and it is suggested on the bottle to try it with warm water. In our opinion this worked really well, the flavours were much nicer warm and it was the perfect way to warm us up after a cold family walk in the countryside.

The recipe cards had some nice drink suggestions and we have enjoyed trying them over the last couple of days.






Warming Apple and Cinnamon – this was definitely our favourite way to drink the cordial, you simply added hot water and a slice of orange to the cordial and it tasted delicious. We skipped the addition of cloves as none us us like them.


Hot Buttered Apple – butter, apple juice and lemon juice are added to the cordial and then they are heated in a microwave for 30 seconds. A cinnamon stick is used to stir the drink which adds additional cinnamon to the drink and you then garnish it with a slice of lemon. This was a lovely warming drink and perfect for a cold winters evening.



Ice Spiced Latte – this recipe used a coffee pod and soy milk. We had to adapt this recipe as we don’t have a coffee pod machine or drink soy milk so we made it with coffee made from our filter coffee machine and normal milk. You make the coffee and leave it to cool and once cool blend it in a blender with the cordial and milk. Once mixed you add ice to the mixture and then pour into a glass and serve with an apple slice and dust with cinnamon. My Mum really enjoyed this drink, she said it was nice and refreshing and the flavours worked really well together.

Robinsons Winter Greens – the cordial and a green tea bag are placed in a mug and hot water added. You can add star anise to garnish but as none us like star anise we gave this ingredient a miss. My colleagues drink a lot of green tea at work so I took a bottle into work for everyone to try. It was a big hit with everyone and the bottle didn’t last long!



Spiced Latte – This was very similar to the iced latte but was made with warm milk and topped with whipped cream. We all enjoyed this drink and will definitely be making it again.


Apple and Cinnamon Spritz – ice is placed in a glass and the cordial is poured over the ice and topped up with sparkling water and garnished with a slice of orange. This was my favourite way of drinking the cordial, it was lovely and refreshing and full of flavour. I also think it would also work really well in a cocktail.


There are six other flavours in the range and I am looking forward to trying them all. The Rhubarb, Raspberry & Orange Blossom flavour sounds delicious so I think we will try that one next.


We really enjoyed trying the different drinks and if you are looking for something a little bit different then the Robinsons fruit cordials are definitely worth a try.


The bottles retail at £2.50 but they are currently on offer at £2 at Waitrose and Morrisons.





Saturday, 29 August 2020

Grandma's Greenhouse

Mum is a keen gardener and has gained quite a reputation for successfully growing pinapples. She was featured on Gardeners World last year and prior to lockdown was in demand to do talks about her hobby. She has been invited to talk at a number of gardening clubs and other local groups as well as being contacted by a couple who were taming and renewing the walled garden at Thorsby Hall in Nottingham, they had discovered that the garden used to grow pineapples for the hall and wanted to reintroduce pineapples but didn't know how to go about it.  



The Gardeners World team contacted her a couple of weeks ago to see if they could feature her clip again and she was thrilled when it was shown on Gardeners World last Friday evening.  





If you want to see the clip it is currently on iPlayer here 



Thursday, 6 August 2020

Staycation

At the beginning of the year we planned a number of trips in the caravan however we only actually managed one of these, a very wet few days in Grange over Sands back in February. We had planned to go to Scarborough at the end of July but due to the corona virus pandemic we ended up having a staycation. Having both worked non stop throughout the pandemic we were more than ready for a break and it was actually really nice exploring our local area. We did lots of walks, even managing a 14 mile walk one day and also did a few rides on the tandem.

The weather was mixed, we had a couple of nice days but then got soaked on a couple of walks too.  

This picture is from a 40 mile bike ride we did, it was the longest ride we have done for a while and it's surprising how quickly you get out of shape. At the beginning of lockdown we did a 60 mile bike ride but once Mark started working Saturdays again we stopped riding and have only just started again and 40 miles was far enough last week.


This is the cycle track between Glasson Dock and Lancaster, it was really quiet on the day we went but that was proabably because it was pouring down when we started. At one point we had to shelter under a tree as the rain was so bad but luckily the weather improved and we even got to see the sun on the way back.
These are the railings on an old train track near where we live. The line was closed in 1957 and we were quite surprised that the railings were still standing and in reasonable condition after all this time. We were even lucky enough to see a couple of deer in the field.


This picture is from a walk we did around Stocks Reservoir. It is a nice gentle walk around the reservoir and there is a handy cafe part way round where we stopped for a drink.
This is a new bridge over the river Ribble on the Ribble Way, the original suspension bridge was washed away a few years ago and this is the replacement. The river is quite a way beneath the bridge and it is was quite a shock when we heard the original bridge had been washed away. It was quite a wet day when we went but again the sunshine came out towards the end of the walk.

One day we walked from Grassington to Kettlewell, this was 14 miles and quite a walk but the scenery was lovely. The weather was a little changeable but we had our waterproofs so it didn't really matter too much.
We have a lot of public footpaths near where we live and tend to do the same walks so we decided to try a few different ones, we discovered some lovely walks and will definitely be doing them again.
The highest walk we did was Pen y Ghent in Yorkshire, this is one of the Yorkshire 3 peaks. We set off early to make sure we got a parking space and had a really nice day out.

We managed to persuade Luke to come on a bike ride with us and promised him an ice cream. We were just riding up the hill to the ice cream shop when he spotted the "closed" sign. He wasn't happy until we realised that the were had arrived just are they opened and hadn't changed the sign! It's a good job we arrived then as people were already queuing for ice creams and by the time we left the queues were really long!