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.

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Jakayaan 3SIXTY Wooden Ride On Review


We absolutely adore wooden toys in our house, they stand the test of time and still look fabulous. Last year I told you all about our experience with the Jakayaan Balance Bike, a year later and it is still getting just as much use as it first did, and Leo is getting faster by the day.

In the year since the Jakayaan Balance Bike, Max who own’s Lloyds Worcester has dreamt up a new creation that means even younger children can enjoy the range. The latest product addition is the 3SIXTY, a toddler ride on for the ages of 12 months right up to 3 years.  It is a product that enables younger children to take part with their older siblings before they are old enough to use a balance bike, and has a number of different uses.

I first saw the 3SIXTY quite early on in its development process, before it had been through testing and I absolutely loved the concept. Max wanted to see how an older toddler got on with it, and Leo at the time was around 2 and a half, all be it a very tall 2 and a half year old. Leo demonstrated exactly what to do with it and had a great time taking it up and down the drive at home. We decided that Leo was getting a little bit too big for it due to his rather long legs, but for the average 2 and a half year old this would not be an issue.



The 3SIXTY has 2 main features, it’s a multi-directional ride on and a walker for the younger. On the front of the ride on is a handle that little one’s can pull themselves up against to aid walking. What I really love about this is that the whole ride on is so solid, you can rest assured that if your little one does decide to use it as a walking aid, it won’t topple or buckle. As it moves so freely on castor wheels toddlers can direct it wherever they wish to go, so if you have something you are trying to keep out of your little one’s way… You may want to rethink where you store it!

The 3SIXTY is set on top of castor wheels which gives toddlers the ability to scuttle round in any direction that they please. It means they don’t have to worry about steering, they really can just use their balance to push them any which way they like.


My nephew Josh has been enjoying the 3SIXTY over the last couple of months now, and he has been thoroughly enjoying his new set of wheels. At 1 years old he has been able to make the most out of the different features, and although he already walked prior to receiving the 3SIXTY the first thing he wanted to do with it is push it around. Of course Leo soon showed him how to ride it, and since then there has been no stopping him.

Josh can make the 3SIXTY go in any direction he pleases and has absolutely no problem getting where he wants to be. He uses his feet to propel him along and is getting faster all the time. I love that the 3SIXTY is set on castor wheels as I think it is a great way for little ones to learn to navigate around, they have to use their balance and weight to get where they want to go which of course encourages them to use their motor skills.


In terms of the 3SIXTY itself I really cannot fault it, it’s well made and provides a solid base for little ones to learn to walk and ride around on. It is made in the UK (about 20 minutes from where I live) and is constructed out of European Birch Ply, complete with a smooth finish.

The 3SIXTY can be purchased directly from Lloyds Worcester,and at £68.99 it doesn’t break the bank. This would be an ideal first birthday present that really does have the promise of growing with your child. We are all big fans of Lloyd’s Worcester and love being able to support a local business that we are incredibly passionate about. The 3SIXTY is the perfect first step before moving onto a balance bike, and the idea is that when your little one outgrows the 3SIXTY… They will be ready for the Jakayaan Balance Bike!



Disclaimer: We were sent the Lloyd’s Worcester 3SIXTY for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

The Britax Evolva 1-2-3 Plus Review


I have told you all before how much we adore Britax as a brand, when it comes to car seats I believe that safety is everything, and I know that by choosing Britax I am getting the very best for Leo. When the time came to choose Leo’s next stage car seat around the age of 9 months, I knew I was going to go with Britax, there was no doubt in my mind about this decision. People recommended them and the reviews I read spoke for themselves, and since making the purchase back in 2012 I have not looked back or regretted my decision.

Last year my little blog and I joined forces with Britax as part of their Mumbassador programme, I was so pleased to be representing a brand that I truly love and respect. As part of the scheme from time to time I share product reviews with you, and this is one of those occasions. Leo has been sent the Evolva 1-2-3 Plus to try out in my shiny new Mini Cooper, so we took the opportunity to move Leo’s second Britax seat from my car into Daddy’s van, as I am much more assured knowing that he is in a solid car seat just in case anything should happen. I hadn’t been happy with the existing car seat brand he had been using for a while and feel a lot better knowing he now has a Britax in both vehicles.


The Evolva 1-2-3 Plus is an ergonomically designed seat that adapts to the changing needs of a growing child, it can be used with a child from the weight of 9kg (19.8 lbs) around the age of 9 months old, and can be used up to 36kg (79.3 lbs) or around 12 years old. For a child’s seat that will see your child through to an age where they no longer need a seat, £174.99 seems very reasonable, and that’s before I even tell you about all of this particular car seats extensive features.


Product Features

Forward Facing Installation

Multiple Recline Positions   

Deep, Soft Padded Side Wings

Adjustable Width Positions

Performance Chest Pads

Click & Safe Audible Harness System

Height Adjustable Head Rest and Harness

Harness Retainers

Belly Pad

Pull Out Drink Holder and Snack Tray

Quick Remove Cover

Softly Padded Cover

Lightweight

Installation with 3-point seat belt

First Impressions

As you can see the Evolva 1-2-3 Plus has a number of desirable qualities that we all look for in a car seat, getting it out of the box for the first time I was impressed to see just how sturdy and strong it felt. Everything looked as I expected it too, and the high Britax qualities that I demand were not disappointing.

I instantly liked how soft and padded the seat is, the side wings provide great support and can even be heightened or lowered to meet your child’s needs.


Installation

In terms of installation I am not going to beat around the bush, it all goes straight over my head and I manage to complicate the most simple instructions. So after I spent an hour trying to fit it into the back of my car in the complete wrong way, I handed the seat over to Luke to fit properly. And sure enough within minutes that is exactly what he had done. It was simple and now safely secure in the back of my Mini. The seat is secured by the car’s seatbelt and basically straps it into position, it is so secure in there that even if I jiggle it around it stands firm.

After installation we realised that we needed to heighten the seat, and the side wings so that Leo could sit comfortably.  I thought that we would be able to do this while it was still installed in the car, but you actually have to remove the seat and make the adjustments prior to re-installing. It’s definitely worth sitting your little one in the seat before installing it so you can see exactly how they are sat, and whether you need to make any adjustments. This is again a task I assigned to Daddy, who read the instructions and then made the adjustments without any issues. Then it was just a case of putting it back in the car again, which again took him mere minutes.

What I really like about this car seat is that it can literally grow with your child, this could be the only seat you need to buy as a follow on car seat. We are using it with Leo with the 5 point harness, as I am much happier knowing that he is completely restrained and safe, but as he continues to grow we can actually use the seat with the traditional seat belt, we can even continue to adapt the seat to cater for our growing boy. Not only can we heighten the height of the car seat, we can even adjust the width to make sure that Leo has exactly enough space to be comfortable.

Even in the back of my Cooper the Evolva sits perfectly, and Leo is really pleased with his new seat. I have never seen a child so excited at the prospect of a new car seat before, although I think it was because he was a little bit excited at the prospect of a new convertible…


Overall Thoughts

As always we have been really happy with our Britax experience, they are a brand that I used and loved long before my blog was around. The Evolva lived up to my expectations and has continued to do so each day since. We have been using it in the Mini since the end of July and it suits us perfectly. I don’t tend to take it out very often, and it will be a job for Luke as and when the scenario presents itself, but for how sturdy and comfortably it sits Leo, I really cannot fault it. The only point that I would raise with the Evolva is that you have to remove it from the car in order to alter the height.

Over all we are really impressed with the Evolva 1-2-3 Plus and will be continuing to use it with Leo over the coming years.

You can purchase the Evolva for £174.99.

Disclaimer: I was sent the Evolva 1-2-3 Plus for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.