Thursday, 27 November 2014

In Case of Emergency


I have never really been one to put anything on credit, well... Until 2014 swung around. This year I have definitely been treating myself a little more than I usually would. Maybe it was getting my act together and dropping a whole dress size that spurred me into practically replacing my entire wardrobe? Some of it I paid for upfront, and others I put on a shiny new store card that I have been paying off gradually. It felt amazing being able to shop just for me, as all my clothes had seen better days, and aside from Leo getting a new wardrobe each time he outgrew the old one, no one else saw anything new! 

I had promised myself that when I did get back into my size 8's I would take myself on a proper shopping trip. And boy did I do that! I had to replace a lot of my underwear because not only had I dropped a dress size, but also a bra size. I think when you are focusing on getting somewhere with your health and fitness levels then you need something visual and exciting to look forward to. For me I focused on the shopping, and this made me focus less on the fact that I was no longer eating chocolate, and drinking Coca Cola!


I would say that NEEDING a new wardrobe is sort of emergency, I couldn't very well walk around with my trousers slipping down to my knees could I? I have never owned a credit card, but this new store card I took out does act as one within certain stores. Now that is all paid off I am avoiding using it again, I do like knowing that once I have an item, it is bought and paid for straight away. My usual mind set tells me that if I can't afford it... I shouldn't have it.

Aside from my new found shopping addiction that I am now trying to curve... (I shall be resisting those new boots I have been eyeing up!). I have actually made the biggest purchase I have ever made. In July I said goodbye to my Peugeot 206, and welcomed my Mini Cooper S Convertible into my life, I put a nice deposit down and sourced a finance deal to help me make it more affordable. I drastically needed a new car, so this was actually a great buy. It was practical and gave me the car I had always longed for. 


I am now paying a monthly direct debit for my Mini and think the set up is ideal, it's affordable and has even give me a new sense of confidence in driving. I am driving further a field, and for people who know me this is un-heard of. I am actually quite a nervous driver and have never driven on the motorway. I expect that will be changing in the coming months as my confidence grows, and I actually feel like the time has come to just do it!

2014 really has been the year for change and growing. It has seen me reach for the stars and push the boundaries, and as 2014 comes to a close and 2015 opens, I get the feeling the only way is up.

Disclaimer: This is a featured post


The Nava Hair Straightener Review


My hair has always had a natural wave to it, and there have been points in my life where I have not really known what to do with it. I can remember the first time I discovered hair straighteners, a cousin ran her set through my hair and I couldn't believe that she had managed to tame my wild mane. For the first time my hair was sleek and straight, it ddidn'thave random flicks shooting up willy nilly, and I was so pleased to see it behaving…Finally!

I can remember being really frustrated with my hair on many different occasions, I would always have random bits standing up on end that no amount of brushing would relax. So after this magical first encounter I vowed to purchase a pair of hair straighteners for myself. I must have only been around 14 at the time, but now I had experienced straight hair for the first time.. I couldn’t go back to frizzy un-manageable hair.


I have been straightening my hair now for the last 11 years and in that time frame I have used a number of different brands, some I have loved, others I haven’t loved as much. I have recently been given the opportunity to try the Nava Hair Straightener with Magnetic Plates. This is a brand that I have not personally used myself before, but I was looking forward to seeing how I got on with them.

Specification:

100% solid ceramic magnetized plates
Heats up to 450F
FAR Infrared & Ionic technology
Floating plates to customise style
Temperature control
Dual voltage
360 degree swivel cord


The Nava Straighteners arrived in a smart presentation box and looked every inch the part, they boast a 360 degree swivel cord and heat up to 450F. I had been instantly impressed with the specifications, but was this hair straightener going to live up to my high expectations?

I have been using the Nava straighteners for the last few weeks now over my usual pair of GHDs, and I have to say that it is giving them a run for their money, and at £79.99 (soon to be £99.99) they are a fraction of the £130+ I spent back in August.

What really stood out for me was the temperature control dial, I can vary the heat depending upon the results I want to achieve, and where I am using the straighteners. I liked that I didn’t have to use the full heat setting when doing my fringe, as I have found in the past that my fringe is the first to react to the heat resulting in split ends.


The straighteners don’t  take long to heat up, but I did have to have a guess as to when they were ready as there is no alert to tell you. My GHDs beep to let me know that they are at temperature, but I wasn’t 100% with these. Once you have established that they are ready you can get straight to work, and I found them a dream to work with. They are light and easy to manoeuvre around your hair, and they glided right through to the ends. The long cord aided the ease of the Nava and it didn’t take me to long to work my way around the entirety of my head.


As you can see the straighteners have done a really good job, and I am really pleased with the performance value, not to mention that they come with a lifetime guarantee! This guarantee alone is very impressive, and I have never owned a pair of straighteners that offers this. Years ago I was buying a new hair straightener every  couple of months due to the cord becoming faulty and not connecting properly to the straighteners. This was obviously  a common fault with the brand, but there was no form of warranty in place, which in hind sight they probably should have had. So to have this peace of mind from Nava, and to see their confidence in their product, you know you are in good hands.

Over all I really like the Nava Straighteners, they are great value for money and promise to serve you for a long time. So if you are stuck for Christmas ideas why not take a closer look at Nava?

Disclaimer: I was sent the Nava Hair Straighteners for the purpose of this review, but all views and opinons expressed are completely honest and my own.


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The #InnerMeDiaries Challenge


Since the Summer began I have been blogging my journey to a healthier me, as it stands I have currently lost 23lbs and fallen in love with the gym. So evenings that used to be spent pouring my inner most thoughts into blog posts have become less of a daily routine, as my gym time has increased into most evenings to accommodate for the results I want to achieve.

Back in September I was asked to take part in a 6 week challenge with Inner Me Health, Beauty and Vitality Supplements, and their Daily 4 Me Younger Years for Teens and Twenties Supplement. I thought this would be a great time to try them out as I had been focusing so much of my effort on becoming healthier, and I thought the two would go hand in hand.

Inner Me was founded by Nikki Cooper back in 2012, after she was diagnosed with Multiple Scelrosis back in 2009. Following the diagnosis Nikki went on a mission to find supplements that would help her optimise her health and wellbeing. Nikki was confused about the selection on offer and couldn’t find anything that really spoke to her, and that was the moment that the first thoughts for Inner Me were born. In the years following the diagnosis and extensive research that was put into finding the best supplements, Inner Me arrived in 2012 changing the days of monotonous and daunting supplement products for ever.


I have never been one to really take supplements before so I didn't really know what to expect. I had been sent enough of the their Daily 4 Me Younger Years for Teens and Twenties Supplement, to last the 6 weeks. The supplements come in strips with the days of the week labelled clearly, so you always know where you are at with taking them. The strips are so handy as you can literally pull them off from the packet and pop them in your hand bag. There are 4 different supplements within each strip:

1 – Tailored Multivitamin and Mineral Tablet – This tablet has been tailored for menstruating women.
2 – Omega 3 Capsule
3 – Beauty Capsule for skin hair and nails.
4 – Vitamin D3 2500iu Tablet

Inner Me is perfect for people who want to make a conscious effort in taking care of themselves from the inside. I was always one of those people who loved the idea, but actually didn’t have a clue when it came to looking at the products available to me. The Daily 4 Me pack’s have all been tailored to a particular stage in a woman’s life, Teens & Twenties,  Thirties & Forties and Fifties & Sixties that ultimately provides an advanced, convenient and all in one solution.

I found the challenge simple to follow, and thanks to the handy strips I found that I was remembering to take them. I could pop them in my hand bag and take them with my on my day, I didn’t rush taking them and would simply take them steadily throughout the day. I don’t think I would like having to pop 4 tablets down my neck one after the other, and I found spacing it out helped. I found that a few of the tablets would leave a after taste, but the only one I really didn’t like was the Vitamin D3 tablet, which I found left more of a persistent after taste than the others.

I finished taking my 6 week supplements on Wednesday 29th October, and over the course of the #InnerMeDiaries, even from that very first week in, I found that the supplements boosted my energy considerably. I felt more awake and had more get up and go which of course it always welcome!

As the weeks went by, I noticed improvements to my skin as spots were kept at bay with no new ones leaping out and taking hold. I saw improvements in my nails that were once easy to bend, now becoming stronger and I even managed to keep them long enough to treat them to a polish!

Over the 6 weeks I have been really impressed with the Daily 4 Me Younger Years for Teens and Twenties Supplement, and I admit that when I initially entered the challenge, I didn’t think I would notice any changes, so when I started to see these changes I was really pleased.

I am really excited to be able to bring a discount to any of my readers who would be interested in trying the Daily 4 Me range! If you simply enter LATWM at the checkout to buy One Months supply, you will receive the second month absolutely free!

If you are planning on giving them a whirl, I would love to hear how you get on!

Disclaimer: I was sent the Inner Me Daily 4 Me Younger Years for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are completely honest and my own.





Monday, 17 November 2014

Fortune Finders


What is the Fortune Finders?
Money&Co.’s Fortune Finders game will last for 10 days and feature six hunts. Participants will have the chance to win an investment fortune of £10,000 and five prizes of £1,000 to invest.

How do I play?

Playing is easy. During each hunt, participants must decipher clues in order to find the hidden gems that look like this one below on the Money&Co. website:



Each gem provides a unique code and participants must obtain the codes from all six hunts to have the opportunity to win the £10,000 grand prize. People will be able to unlock secret entry forms for the mini prize draws of £1,000 which will become available every two days.

Surely, there is a catch?
Nope, no catch. Money&Co. are simply launching this game to show how easy it is to invest money on their site. They want to promote one simple message: that making money shouldn’t be so hard.

So, where can I play it?
The game is easily accessible on smartphones, tablets and computers as it is browser based. This means you can hunt for the treasure wherever you are. Updates about the £10,000 Fortune Finders can be found on Twitter by following @MoneyandCoUK and by using #10grandhunt. Money&Co. can also be found on Facebook, and a Twibbon has been set up so that everyone can load the gem onto their social profiles. You can start discovering gems from Wednesday 12th November by clicking on this link

Wow, I’ll have a go then!



You don’t have much to lose really. It’ll be Christmas come early if you’re the lucky winner of £10,000 to invest!

Disclaimer: This is a featured post

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Three Real Reasons Women Love the Holidays


The leaves are turning, the temperatures are dropping and it’s time to roll the clocks back an hour. All these things are sure signs of the upcoming holiday season. While most women have budgets in place to shop year round, this is the time of the year those budgets go out the window and a handbag comes flying in. Thankfully, this is the season of giving and we use this opportunity to our full advantage. Hosting spectacular holiday dinners at your humble abode and catching as many Black Friday door busters as you possibly can are just some of the reasons for the season.
 
Food, Laughs and Libations
                One of the biggest holidays during the fall is Thanksgiving Day as many families gather together to eat, drink and share each other’s company. It’s a joyous occasion, but Thanksgivings does take a lot of preparation and time to pull off successfully. Most women enjoy a challenge and what’s a better test of your superwoman capabilities than cooking up a five star meal for your family and friends? Of course there’s a lot of cleaning and organizing involved in getting your home presentable for such a big occasion, but it’s also the perfect time to show off your personal style a little bit. No matter what they say, every woman wants to be viewed as having all of her ducks in a row so throw on that apron and show them what you’re made of by throwing down in the kitchen.

Decorations Galore
                Each passing holiday within this season calls for their own individualized decorations. For Halloween, you may want to create the ultimate haunted house experience by purchasing frightening figurines and spooky cob webs around your front door. Thanksgiving usually makes a person think of the fall and is the perfect time to switch out those bright summer colors for warm, cozy colors. Then the master of all holidays, Christmas Day, when is the one time when it’s perfectly acceptable to assemble faux reindeer and a mechanical Santa on your lawn. This may sound like a lot of work but for us women, it’s more fun than it sounds.

Shopping, Shopping and More Shopping
                Next to diamonds, shopping is a girl’s best friend. We can and will find any excuse to go to the mall and there is no exception during the holidays; in fact, that urge intensifies. Every little thing that catches our eye is a potential gift that someone we know would love. Many stores will run promotions and sales just to get you in the door- we all know the trick; and when something is cheap, we buy as many as our little arms can hold. There’s nothing a woman loves more than a sale so the little to nothing costs of Black Friday door busters are right on time, every time.


In the midst of all these things, you should not forget the true meaning behind the holidays. They are meant to be spent with your loved ones and spread love, cheer and the many gifts you've accrued throughout the season. 

Disclaimer: This is a featured post

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Micro Floral White Scooter Review


I am a big believer in getting involved in Leo’s play, and as one of Leo’s favourite pastimes happens to be scooting, I wanted to get involved and join in with the fun he has. Leo is getting to an age now where he is using his scooter more and more, and we are even beginning to take it out and about with us so that if he gets tired he doesn’t have to walk. It is also a way to encourage him to walk more and stay down on the ground, because 9 times out of 10 he will usually demand to be carried.

Micro Scooter very kindly sent me the Micro Floral WhiteScooter so that I could attempt to keep up with my toddler, and over the last few months I have been putting it through its paces and have been really enjoying using it. In fact Leo has been really enjoying me using it too, it has given a lot more opportunity to get outside and play in this beautiful weather we have been graced with of late.


The Micro Scooter arrived very quickly after the order was placed, I was kept up to speed with where it was at any one time and also told when it would be arriving. I could not fault the Micro Scooter website if I tried, everything is clearly laid out and easy to navigate and the order process is fantastic.

The scooter was delivered by courier and I was impressed with how promptly it arrived from the point of order. The scooter required no assembly and was just a case of popping up the handle, and it was ready to hit the great outdoors with my little man.

The scooter handles really well and after I found my confidence (having not scooted since I was a child!) I was keeping up with Leo no problem, and he absolutely loved that his Mummy had her own set of wheels.


The scooter has been perfectly designed for adults (or bigger kids in my case) and boasts a larger frame and bigger wheels in order to allow taller riders to enjoy scooting, and even get out and about with the kids. The handlebar is height adjustable so I can quickly and easily adjust this within a few moments, this means that regardless of your age or height, you are never too tall to enjoy the Adult Micro Scooter!

The fact that I can fold the scooter down to cart around with me is just super, and it will come in really handy when we go away as a family. Leo is so pleased that Mummy has her very own scooter, and the novelty hasn’t worn off. Having your 3 year old invite you out to play has to be the best feeling ever!


Driving the scooter has proven incredibly easy, it’s simple a case of leaning and steering the scooter in the direction that you wish. It glides along smoothly because the deck is lower to the floor, which is also good in case I mis-judge the steering and decide to throw myself off. I would be telling a white lie if I said I hadn’t got a little carried away with my scooting!

The Technical Bit..

Max User Weight: 100kg / 15.75 Stone
Scooter Weight: 4.70kg
Bearings: Abec 5
Deck Material: Aluminium
Wheel Dimensions: Front & Back 200mm
Wheel Style: 78a cruisers
Deck Dimension: 41cm x 12.7 cm
Handlebar Height: 72cm -103cm
Folding Dimensions: 74cm x 12.7cm x 30cm


I personally loved being able to scoot the summer days away with Leo, and now he is getting older there is going to be so much more opportunity for us to get out and about on our scooters. Your only as old as you feel, and I think I am destined to be a big kid for the rest of my days, so one day when you come across a scooting Granny, the chances are that it is me on my much loved Floral White Micro Scooter.

You can check out the full Adult Micro Scooter range on their website, and you can pick up the Floral White Micro Scooter for £169.95.


Disclaimer: I was sent the Floral White Micro Scooter for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.



Santa Maria Family Night


It is no secret that I like my food, I have an appetite that could keep up with any man (even if I don’t care to admit it), and one of my favourite meals without a shadow of a doubt is Mexican, and more to the point, Fajitas.

There was a point where I was eating Fajitas on a weekly basis usually on a Friday night. The spicier the Fajita the better, and ample amounts of cheese are the recipe for my perfect Fajita. Santa Maria, formally Discovery Foods recently set us a rather exciting challenge, they wanted us to cook up the perfect Mexican feast with our families and very kindly offered to send us everything that we would need in order to do so. They even treated us to Madagascar on DVD so that we could enjoy a proper family evening, with tasty food and a good film on the television.


A few weeks ago Leo and I decided to have a selfish night, we shut out the world and cooked up a Fajita storm in the kitchen. The chicken was sizzling in the pan, the peppers and onions were all chopped and ready to be thrown together, and it all smelt beautiful. The table was set with grated cheese and sour cream, the wraps were ready to be filled, and Leo was excited about his dinner.

One of the reasons I have always loved fajitas is for the convenience of a family meal, it allows Leo to get involved with what he is eating. He can put in exactly what  he wants, which usually consists of chicken and cheese (obviously he couldn’t possibly have any pepper in there…), it means that Leo can enjoy exactly what we are eating and I don’t have to faff around with a million different meals. We used the mild spice mix as Leo was dining, but I love the spicier of the mixes for when I am cooking for just myself.


As always the food was incredibly tasty, and I came away weighing a few lbs heavier, but it was all worth it for that comforting full feeling that you only get after a delicious Mexican meal. With Leo and I now full to bursting we decided to snuggle up in bed and watch Madagascar, this was the first time Leo had seen the original film, and to say it was a big hit is a little bit of a understatement. He LOVED it!

We whipped out the Cadbury’s Chocolate and the Skittles that I had bought in especially and enjoyed some quality time, just me and my favourite 3 year old. It was a lovely evening and I have no doubt that we will be cooking up Santa Maria very, very soon.



Disclaimer: I was sent the Santa Maria samples and DVD for the purpose of this post. All views and opinons expressed are completely honest and my own.