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A little bit of silver and gold

I’m in my mid-thirties now, and starting to notice the changes in my skin that come with getting older.

So I’ve been thinking more about the products I use, and have started looking at the various lotions and potions out there for different skin types.  Trying to find the right product for me.

I was really intrigued when I was sent an email about 2 new products from noble naturals.  L’or des pharaons and nano silver.

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L’Or des pharoans is an anti-aging face and body mist.  It’s a mix of purified water and ‘monatomic, diatomic and nanoclusters’ of gold, platinum and zinc.  Now, that sounds a bit like jargon to me!  But basically it’s purified water and gold, platinum and zinc particles of a particular size that allows them to be easily absorbed by the skin.

The mist doesn’t contain any allergens or chemicals, and it claims to fight visible signs of aging at a cellular level. As well as rejuvenating your skin.

I’ve not been using it for long enough to notice a difference yet, but can say that it does feel nice on my skin and my moisturiser does seem to sink in nicely after using it.  Time will tell if the gold of the pharaohs will keep me looking youthful!

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The other product I’ve been trying out is the nano silver spray.

This is more of a multi-purpose, first aid box type of spray rather than a beauty one.  And it really interested me.

I’ve seen silver pop up in the past in things like plasters, as it’s reported to help with healing.  And that’s the thinking behind the nano silver spray.

The spray is made up of tiny silver particles that are dissolved in pure water.  You spray it directly onto cuts and sores and it then helps with healing.  It’s also meant to reduce the risk of infection, and scarring.

I’ve used it a couple of times on little cuts and have been really impressed with how well it’s helped them to heal.

I’ll be keeping this little bottle on hand for the next time one of the children falls down and scrams their knee.  They don’t really like creams being put on their cuts so a spray like this might be the answer.

nano-silver

You can find out more information on these products from the health factory.

I was sent these products to review, but all words and opinions are my own.

boohoo-boys-coat

Boohoo children’s clothing review

I don’t tend to go into town and browse in the shops these days.  What I do instead, is sit at home, with a  cup of coffee and browse online.  And one website I love to browse for clothes is boohoo.com.

So I was really happy to find out that they’ve started doing clothes for children too.

The clothes are for children aged 4-12, so there’s nothing suitable for Nerys quite yet, but I had a lot of fun looking through all the options for Rhys.

And with the weather suddenly turning more wintry I was really pleased to fine a lovely warm coat for him.

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The coat is really warm without being too bulky.  And the colour is just lovely, a bit different from what he’s had in the past.

He’s worn it pretty much every day since it arrived and he loves it.

We bought age 5-6 and it fits him perfectly.  Rhys is quite slight though, so if I had a bigger child I might be tempted to get the next size up.

We all really love the coat though, and think he did a great job modelling it for us on a recent trip to the beach!

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I was also really pleased to see that the coat is machine washable.  One of the reasons I wanted to get him a second coat for winter is that he often comes home from school covered in mud.  So it’s important for me to be able to quickly pop a coat in the wash, while he wears the other one for a day or two!

I had wanted to get some trousers for Rhys too, but found there wasn’t much choice in that category.  I’m sure more items will be added as the kids section grows, but for now we ended up choosing a couple of t shirts to add to our order instead.

The first one I chose was this grey t shirt with a spooky/cute bat on it.  I liked the fact that he could wear it for halloween but it wasn’t too halloween-y.  So he can get a fair bit more wear out of it.

I ordered age 5-6 again and thought when it first arrived that it might be a little small.  But luckily as Rhys is pretty slim it fits him just right.

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The second t shirt I chose was this baseball style one.  I love this style of top, and think it looks really cute on Rhys.

The material isn’t quite standard t shirt material though, so I’m waiting to see how well it washes.  For now though, I’m really happy with it.  Although, like the other items we bought it is a little on the small side, which works for us but might not be great for bigger children.

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All in all, I’m really pleased with my experience with boohoo’s children’s range.  I would love to see more items available, but the clothes they do have are reasonably priced and we’re very happy with the quality and design of the bits we chose.

I also found that the items were delivered quickly, and were packaged up well so they arrived in perfect condition.  Also, boohoo often seem to have offers on delivery so it’s worth keeping an eye out for that!

 

I was given credit to spend at boohoo.com, but all words and opinions are my own.

the-book-of-everyone-review

The book of everyone – review

It’s the age old question isn’t it.  What do you get for the person who has everything?!

We all have at least one person on our ‘list of people to buy things for’ who doesn’t actually want/need anything for Christmas.

So, what on earth do you get for them?

I’ve always ended up going down the gift card route.  But now I’ve found another option.

The book of everyone!

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If you’ve never heard of them before, these books are just fab.  And so easy (and fun) to create.

You just go to the website, enter a few details about the person you’re making the book for and then it creates a preview for you.

Then you have the really fun part of going through and customising it.

We decided to make a ‘book of mum’ recently for my mother-in-law’s birthday, so went for a lovely pink cover and set the title of the book to ‘the book of mum’.

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We then had a lot of fun going through and finding all the different pages that we could personalise, to make it extra special for her.

It’s really easy to click through the book preview and edit the bits you want to change.  There are pages where you can write in quotes or sayings that are personal to the person the book is for.  You can also change the images used, the colours and the wording on some pages.

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The books are really lovely and colourful and all the different illustrations really make it stand out and grab your attention.

And there is a great mixture of random facts, fun pictures and lovely quotes throughout the book.

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When the book arrived I had a little nose at it to see what it was like before giving it to my mother-in-law, and I was so impressed with it.

We chose the paperback option, but it still felt lovely and sturdy; really great quality.

I love how you can have a quick flick through the book and pick out some fab little facts about the person it was made for.

But you can also sit down and take your time to properly read through it and really appreciate how personal it is.

I can see this being the kind of present that gets looked at again and again over the years.

And I love how you can make something so lovely and personal in a really short amount of time.  It’s perfect for busy parents who are trying to get a present sorted with children hanging off them and shouting for snacks!

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You can buy the book of everyone as a paperback for just £19.50 (delivery is included in that price), or you can make it extra special and get a hardback copy.  Or if you’re buying for someone who spends all their time online you can even just buy a digital copy.

There are also a few variations on the book of everyone available.  So if, for example, you want to celebrate a milestone birthday then you can chose the book of everyone’s milestones edition.  There’s even a brilliant Christmas edition, just perfect for this time of year!

So there you have it, the perfect, fun, personalised present for that person on your list that you just don’t know what to buy for.  You’re welcome!

 

I was given a book of everyone to review for this post, but all words and opinions are my own.

Let them eat dirt and why keeping things clean might not be best for our children

Let them eat dirt

Lots of people, when they become parents, become obssessed with keeping everything clean.  They worry constantly about dirt and germs.

They do whatever they can to clean and sanitize and sterilise everything in their baby’s world.

But is this really the best thing to do?

I’ve always felt that a little bit of dirt is good for children.  That they need to be exposed to germs and bacteria to be able to build an effective immune system.

Let them eat dirt

 

To my mind, it’s like peanuts.

Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this!

When I was pregnant with Rhys, the general advice was still to avoid eating peanuts and peanut products.  It was thought that this would help prevent peanut allergies in the baby.

But, I wasn’t convinced that this was right.

My gut feeling on it was that, surely, it’s better to expose the baby to small amounts of things like peanuts.  To me it made more sense that a child would be more likely to react to something that they’d never been exposed to at all.

So I did some research and it turned out that, at the time, the UK was pretty much the only place in the world to advise women to avoid peanuts during pregnancy and yet we had one of the highest rates of peanut allergies.

Women in other countries were happily enjoying their peanut butter on toast every morning and, if anything, doing so seemed to reduce the chance of their baby having a nut allergy.

So I made a choice to keep eating my peanut butter too.  And not long after that the advice here changed to say that it was ok to do so.

Because exposing babies to allergens early on makes it more likely they’ll build up a tolerance to it, which makes it less likely they’ll develop an allergy to it.

And I think of dirt and germs in a similar way.

If we expose our babies to these things, then they’ll build up a tolerance to it.  Their immune systems will develop to be stronger and more resistant to bugs.

And a new book has been released that supports my beliefs.

Let them eat dirt‘ is a really fascinating book on the benefits of exposing our children to dirt and microbes.

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It was written by B. Brett Finlay, PHD and Marie-Claire Arrieta, PHD and is all about this idea that our current obsession with keeping things clean and sterile is potentially harmful to our children.

Which makes me feel better about the absolutely non-sterile state of my home!

I remember when Rhys was a baby, and I was still worrying about sterilising his bottles, and his dummy.  My husband made the excellent point that he was crawling round on his hands and knees all day, and then putting his fingers in his mouth.  And his toys were often on the floor, and then in his mouth.

And he seemed to be doing fine!

So I relaxed a bit after that point.

And kept in mind that any germs and bacteria he did pick up would most likely be doing good things to build up his immune system.

This whole idea of sterilising bottles is actually addressed in the book:

“The American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends sterilizing bottles used for babies of any age.  If the water at home is safe enough to drink, it is also safe enough to use to clean bottle and nipples”

They also mention an interesting study that was conducted at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.  The study found that children raised in homes that washed dishes by hand (rather than in a dishwasher) were less likely to develop ezcema by the time they reached school age.  Which suggests that “a less-efficient dishwashing method promotes more exposure to microbes early in life, which has been shown to protect children from allergies and asthma”.

And as for toys, the book’s authors suggest that they only need to be cleaned when they’re visibly dirty, or if they’ve been played with by a child that’s poorly.  And plain old soap and water will do too, no need to break out the dettol!

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So, if that’s the case with toys, which are more often than not left lying around on the floor, then is it ok to pick a dummy up off the floor and give it back to your baby?

You might judge me for this, but my response to a dropped dummy was always to just quickly pop it in my mouth to ‘clean’ it before giving it back.

But you often see parents grabbing a pack of wipes out of the changing bag to clean a dropped dummy.  Well, you can even buy little containers that keep them sterilised on the go!

According to ‘let them eat dirt’ though, my more relaxed approach might be for the best.

“A study by the Swedish research group suggests that the best way to clean a pacifier that has been dropped is to put it in your own mouth first.  They found that the sixty-five babies raised by parents that cleaned their pacifiers by mouth had a significantly lower risk of developing allergies at 18 and 36 months of age”

I honestly find this whole area of research fascinating.

A lot of the studies need to be replicated on a larger scale, but the findings definitely point towards it being a good thing for our babies and children to be exposed to microbes and bacteria.

So maybe we all need to relax a little bit.

Obviously we need to use some common sense and do what we can to stop diseases from spreading, and to be wary of germs from food that’s past its best.  And the authors aren’t saying we should actually be encouraging our children to eat dirt.

But maybe we need to cut down on the constant disinfecting and sterilising.  

I’m not saying we should live in a complete mess.  I think we all feel better when our homes are clean and tidy.  But, lets not get carried away!  Our homes don’t need to be sterile.  We don’t need to get rid of every last germ and microbe.

What we need to do is let our children be children.

Let them go out and play in the mud.

Let them explore the world around them.

Let them come home covered in dirt and grass stains, with grubby faces and mud under their fingernails.

I’ll leave you with a great final quote from the book:

 “Let your kid be a kid and interact with their world, and develop as kids have for the past million years.  Let them eat dirt!”

 

You can get a copy of ‘let them eat dirt’ via Amazon, just click on the image below:

I was given a copy of ‘let them eat dirt’ to review, but all words and opinions are my own apart from those indicated by quote marks.

This post has been linked up with KCACOLS.

heyworkout

Hey workout review

Back at the start of the summer I wrote a post about how it was time to get back into exercise.

And as part of that I tried out a 3 month membership with Hey Workout.

If you’ve not heard of them before then I highly recommend you go and check them out.

Basically, you sign up for membership on their website and then you get access to all their webcam fitness and yoga classes.  So what that means is, you watch the class live online and, if you want to, you can turn on  your webcam so the instructor can see you too.

They’ll then give you feedback and help throughout the class.

So it’s like going to a class, with the professional feedback to make sure you’re doing everything right, but without having to leave your house!

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And if you can’t make it to the live classes then you can just play them back at a later date.  There’s a big library on the website with loads of different workouts to chose from.

Class options include:

  • Prenatal and postnatal yoga
  • Legs, bums and tums
  • Vinyasa yoga
  • Back and arm tone
  • HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

I would say, if you’ve not exercised for a while, make sure you ease yourself in with some of the more gentle classes!

The classes might only be 30 minutes long but you really work for that time, so be prepared!

Now, I’ll be honest with you all here.  When I first signed up for my trial I was all geared up for making a change and getting back into some sort of a routine of exercising regularly.  But then I came down with a nasty throat infection, and life in general happened and things didn’t quite go to plan.

There’s a whole other post in there somewhere, about how to make exercise a priority and how to fit it in to a busy life, but that’s something for another day!

I honestly think though, if I had made attending the Hey Workout classes a priority then I would’ve seen great results.

Before I got ill I did several different classes and thought they were great.

The first class I did felt a bit strange to begin with as there’s no music playing, and I’m used to exercise dvds that always have music on alongside the trainer’s chat!

But after a few minutes I stopped noticing that, and in a way felt that the lack of music made it easier to focus on the technique and the moves.

If music is important to you though, you might want to have a cd ready to play when you go to do a workout!

The trainers at Hey Workout are all really experienced, and passionate about what they do.  And that comes through when you workout with them.  I found having them do all the moves with me, and counting down the reps as they do them, really helped drive me to keep going.

Sometimes if you go to a class at the gym the instructor will demonstrate the move and then stop, and I much prefer this approach where I feel like they’re in it with you!

So, if you don’t feel like you can make it to the gym for a workout, but want something a little bit more interactive than a dvd, then Hey Workout is a really good option.

If you click on the image below you’ll be taken to a page where you can sign up for a 14 day free trial, so you can see for yourself how good it is.

What have you got to lose?

 

heyworkout

I was gifted a 3 month trial with Hey Workout in exchange for my honest review.  All words and opinions are my own.

maxi-cosi-rodifix-air-protect-review

Maxi-Cosi RodiFix Airprotect car seat review

Before Rhys started school I really didn’t drive that much.

If we needed to go out to the local shops we would walk there, and I would have the big weekly shop delivered, rather than battle with taking him with me (he was a very lively toddler!).

But now he’s in school, and Nerys is in nursery a few mornings a week, I drive a lot more.

And I’m really conscious of wanting them both to be safe and comfortable in their car seats.

Rhys now has a Maxi Cosi RodiFix Airprotect seat that we all really love.

maxi-cosi-rodifix-air-protect-review

The RodiFix Air Protect seat is a group 2/3 seat, suitable for children aged 3.5 – 12 years, and 15 – 36 kilos.

Our seat is the River Blue option which we love, but there are several other lovely colours you can chose from.

I personally love the colour of the River Blue seat though, especially with the little bit of striped detail on the top section!

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One of the things that initially attracted us to the seat is the fact that it uses isofix.  

Installing the seat in the car using the isofix connectors was really quick and easy and the seat felt lovely and secure once it was in.

Unfortunately we had to change our car over the summer and our new one doesn’t have isofix.  However the RodiFix still feels nice and safe in the new car, secured in place by the seatbelt.

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Speaking of the seatbelt, the RodiFix has a fab belt guide which holds the seatbelt in the right position, making it really quick and easy to do it up.

I’ve found that with the seatbelt in place through the guide Rhys is much more able to help me with doing up his seatbelt which does make life a bit easier.

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I love the fact that, because the head and shoulder support is fully adjustable, the seat will grow with Rhys.

Although I do find it funny to think that he’s comfortable in it now, aged 5, and yet he will still be able to use it when he’s about 12!

Knowing that the seat will last him for so long is really great though, and makes it feel like a really worthwhile investment.

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Rhys seems really comfortable in his car seat, and it has 2 recline positions so if he ever falls asleep on longer journeys we can make him even more comfy.

Most importantly of all though, I love how safe the RodiFix is.

The headrest offers side-impact protection which helps to reduce the risk of head injury if we were ever in an accident.  And the seat also provides excellent side impact protection for the lower back and hips.

Of course, I hope we’re never involved in an accident but it’s really reassuring to know that Rhys will have some additional protection in his seat if anything does ever happen.

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We’ve been using the RodiFix Air Protect for several months now and are really happy with it.

I love that we’ve been able to use it in both our old car and our new car, as there is isofix available but the seat can still be used without it.

One thing we really noticed when we were moving the seat from one car to the next is how light it is!

It’s weighs just over 6kg which makes it a really good choice if you have to move it between cars a lot.  It’s also quite compact, which is really useful in our new car.  The seat belt plug is almost flush with the seat which can make doing up the belt quite fiddly and tricky.  But with this seat there’s actually a nice amount of room at the side of the seat to be able to get the seat belt in easily.

In our time with the RodiFix we’ve not come across any negatives at all, and I’m confident that Rhys is nice and comfy in it, which really makes a difference when we need to go on longer car journeys to visit family and friends.

You can read all the detailed specifications for the seat on the Maxi Cosi website.

I received this car seat for the purposes of writing this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

bonfire-night-crafts

Bonfire night crafts – #BostikBloggers

I’ve recently been invited to join a lovely group of bloggers in creating crafts using items provided by Bostik.

And I am so excited about it!

This month’s theme is Bonfire Night, and I was sent a fab box of materials to get creative with.

I decided to try out 2 different crafty ideas – mitten light catchers and a bonfire collage.

 

First, I made these mitten light catchers.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of bonfire night I think of mittens!

I think of wrapping up warm in hats, scarves and mittens and trying to write words in the air with sparklers.

So I wanted to make a mitten-related craft of some sort.  And I decided to go for mitten light catchers.

Here’s what you need and how to go about making them.

I used thick black paper, tissue paper, thin patterned fabric, glue, and glitter glue.

bonfire-night-mitten-craft

Get an A4 sheet of thick paper or card and fold it in half.

Draw a mitten shape on the folded card.  You can either do this freehand, find a template online or draw around your hand to get a mitten shape.

Cut round the outline so you end up with 2 mitten shapes.

Draw a smaller mitten inside your existing mitten and then cut that out, so you’re left with a sort of mitten frame.

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Stick the fabric and tissue paper to the back of the mittens.

Decorate the edges of the mittens with glitter glue and if you feel fancy you can also add pom poms, sequins, or whatever you have in your craft stash!

Once dry, hang or stick the mittens to a window to let them catch the light.

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The second thing I made was a bonfire collage.

For this you’ll need black paper, glue, lolly sticks, tissue paper, various materials in red, orange and yellow, sequin stars and glitter glue.

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First of all, pop some glue on the back of the lolly sticks and attach them to the paper to create the woodpile at the base of the bonfire.

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Next, spread some glue on the paper where you want your flames to go and start layering up your tissue paper and other bits.  Red things first, then orange and then a small amount of yellow bits in the middle.

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Finally, use the glitter glue to stick down some sequin stars and other sparkly sequins to make stars in the night sky.

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So there you have it.

Two easy and fun crafts to make to celebrate bonfire night!

I was sent a box of craft materials to create this post, but all words, opinions and creations are my own.