Friday, 27 July 2012

Prevalin allergy Review

One advantage of being a blogger is I get to try out new products and enjoy the benefits, occasionally its been a real turn around, in the case of Prevalin I can honestly claim that on Paige's behalf.

She and Conor have suffered hayfever symptons for a good few years. Paige has really suffered, as well as taking tablets, she was also prescribed a nasal spray.  For a while this helped, but it has brought with it fortnightly  nose bleeds, really heavy  the Dr said its an unfortunate side effect as it thins the nasal wall, I believe.

The bleeds are less troublesome than the relief from a blocked nose for Paige. I have never been comfortable with this.

Haymax is a product that has alleviated some of the effects by preventing the pollen attacking actually getting to the nostrils and eyes, however this year the onslaught was  heightened dramatically by the warm wet weather causing grass to grow, a major irritant for Paige. So without a cut as its been too wet, the grass pollens had increased and the high winds had been circulating the nasties much more. She had needed the spray to keep her nose clear.

When I was offered the natural Prevalin Allergy spray, I jumped at the chance, any help is needed and a natural help is so much more....well helpful!

Paige was at home when the Prevalin arrived and as we read through the leaflet, we discovered it could be used alongside any medication. Paige had not used her nasal sniffy that morning so opened the box and used it. She remarked that it may help the other one along more.

She said she felt an instant clearing of her nose and was really happy. She commented its easier to spray, its not as liquid as her usual nasal treatment either. She took one off to college and said she would let me know. As she is on a sports course, she is outside a fair amount, so if this helped at all, I would be so happy.


That evening she came home and said how good it is. She felt better than she had since the season started. She then said the prescription spray was going to be replaced, when I said was she sure, Paige replied that she would carry it and use if necessary .
We are now into a whole month of using and she will not swap back, the old nasal spray has been abandoned.
Not a nose bleed yet, she is breathing more clearly, sleeping well and generally not feeling really miserable with hayfever symptoms despite the sudden upturn in the weather!

Why wait to treat full blown hay fever symptoms when you can now help extinguish the cause?

Helping the 18 million sufferers in the UK regain control of the misery hay fever can bring, Prevalin™ allergy is the ‘First Aid’ to keeping pollen irritation at bay.

Unlike many traditional hay fever remedies which only treat the symptoms once they have taken hold, Prevalin™ allergy provides a new and revolutionary solution to treating hay fever BEFORE the pollen can cause havoc to the respiratory system. 

Prevalin™ allergy has been designed to extinguish allergens in their tracks and prevent them from causing further irritation.

Prevalin™ allergy is a nasal spray which is a gel at rest and a fluid when shaken. When administered at the first sign of an itch, tickle, watery eye or sneeze, the patented formula works in three ways:
It extinguishes any inhaled pollen already in the nose
It forms a fine micro-gel barrier preventing future allergens irritating the nasal mucosa
It stimulates clearance of the allergens within the nose

The treatment provides immediate relief from all symptoms experienced in the eyes and nose.  It is completely safe; is drug free and has no known side effects.  Unlike other hay fever solutions it is ideal for ALL hay fever sufferers, especially those in need of an alternative to antihistamine or steroid treatments, such as pregnant or breast feeding mothers, children, sports enthusiast or athletes, in addition to those on existing medication.  

GP and allergy expert Dr Rob Hicks comments: “It’s close to impossible for sufferers to avoid pollen completely throughout the summer months.  Many patients, especially those who suffer from severe symptoms or who can’t take medication, have a real sense of dread and feel powerless when the first symptoms arise.  

“Prevention is best so being prepared, identifying the first signs of hay fever, acting fast and considering using a treatment like Prevalin™, which can stop the pollen’s ability to irritate the nose in the first place, is a great way to control hay fever. This is especially true for people who would benefit from a drug free solution such as breastfeeding or pregnant women; athletes and sports enthusiasts; children; and those already taking other forms of medication”

Tested in clinical research to validate fast and effective symptom relief, Prevalin™ allergy helped 93.75 per cent of its patients significantly reduce the main affects of hay fever (itchy eyes, sneezing, runny or blocked noses) when put under extreme conditions.

Prevalin™ allergy and Prevalin™ for Kids (aged six years old and over) is available at selected retailers, including Lloyds Pharmacy, Boots, Morrisons, Superdrug, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, without prescription for £9.99 (one month’s supply).

For more information about the Prevalin™ allergy range visit www.prevalin.com or for the latest updates, promotions and competitions become a follower on Twitter @Hayfeverfree or Like our Facebook page Hay Fever Free to experience a Prevalin™ hay fever free summer.

Disclosure: My post is based upon material provided free of charge for review purposes. I have not been paid or otherwise compensated to promote the topic, product or service reviewed in this post.

Next Children Autumn/Winter 2012



What a glorious day I had yesterday in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside at the Next Mummy Bloggers Event.

The event was to launch the children's Autumn/Winter 2012 clothing range. The weather was absolutely stunning and Next had provided a gift card for all the attendees to dress in the new range, however the long awaited for sun, gave us its all and so we were all in summer wear.

Luckily Next had brought some key pieces from the range and a professional photographer was on hand to take pictures of the day so I will be back with those soon.




The children's range is adorable this year lots of country gent and ladies wear in rich autumnal shades animal prints, cute gilets.
The shoes are fantastic, suede loafers,chunky bootees, right on trend to complement the tweeds and checks. Great for boys and girls.

The Wild Bunch caught my eye, an adorably kooky mix of vintage-look girls' denim with over-sized knits and jersey tops. 
Star Gazer  is a really cute newborn collection worth a look.


After looking through the range we were treated to lunch and then it was time for the children to be entertained, on hand were magicians, a disco, balloon art and a big bouncy castle.



My favourite pieces were the sparkly tees and bags,accessories are what Next are great at and the beautiful, fluffy gloves, bobble hats and warm scarves will be in abundance this year!


Above Natalie Faulkner (Beauty With Inn) and the lovely healing massage therapist with Ella who is Wendy McDonald's daughter You can find Wendy's Next review at Inside The Wendy  House.
The photographer in a blurred shot which pinpoints your need to come back and see his profession children's wear images!



The beauty treatments were superb. The fabulous staff from Northampton's Beauty With Inn  gave us treats, including healing massages (which actually has sorted out a shoulder problem I have) reflexology and more. I was treated to a pedicure and manicure, you can see me looking very relaxed having my feet made pretty. Emma  a lovely blogger from Emma and Three having reflexology, she looks so interested in the diagnosis, must ask her what they said.

The whole afternoon was a real treat, Next put on such an amazing event, I went home thoroughly tired, entertained and pampered. Thank you Next.


See the full range at Next!

http://www.next.co.uk

Disclosure. I was given travel expenses, food, beauty treatments and  a gift card to buy an outfit.
The review is my opinion of the day.

Camp Bestival Here I come



I am rather excited as I am off to Camp Bestival courtesy of Persil. From Rizzle Kicks to Rolf Harris, Jimmy Carr to Dic and Dom, Shrek

As well as all the usual festival excitement, bands, comedians and fun I will be popping along to the Persil Mosh and Wash stand to meet Sophie Ellis Bextor as the musical mum launches a summer of ‘Getting Messy with Music’ at Camp Bestival.

Hopefuly the mud has dried, but there will still be plenty of mess children can get into. The sun is shining, the children will all be sliding around on the grass. Persil is encouraging families to come together this summer to make some noise and get messy with music. To kick this off, the first ever ‘Mosh & Wash’ stand will be launched on Saturday 28th July at Camp Bestival in Dorset by English singer-songwriter and musical mum, Sophie Ellis Bextor.

Festivals conjure up ideas of music, fun and of course, mud, and that’s where the Persil ‘Mosh & Wash’ stand will help. Families will be invited to join Sophie in making and creating music, whilst Persil takes care of the kids’ mucky festival gear with onsite washing machines.

Kids will be able to dress up as their favourite rockstar and get a taste of what it would be like to perform at Camp Bestival with the special ‘Mosh & Wash’ stage, complete with a live festival backdrop. Sophie will be helping the kids create their very own song and a dressing up box, face painting and musical instruments making area will also be on hand for families to rock out with their kids.

People can be in with a chance of winning their very own festival and other prizes by simply uploading their rockstar videos and photos at 


I will be back next week with lots of gossip and news of the weekend

Salmon and Dill Tarts Warburtons.



The fourth recipe for the Warburtons Hi-Taste, Lo- Fat healthy eating plan is a Salmon and Dill Tart, made with bread instead of pastry, which took me a little by surprise. I really wondered how it would hold up.
I decided to watch the video, to see how this one was done. I was convinced it would not look as good as the image above.




The recipe was easy enough to do, I would make this using wholemeal bread next time as the fibre would be great, also for anyone on Slimming world it could be made as a free syn meal.


It was relatively easy to line the tin with the bread once the first too were ruined with me trying to press and curl the bread round too much. You need to be a little rough with this stage.

Next time I will raise the temperature of the oven to set the egg mixture a little quicker possibly 200C fan and then reduce after about 5 minutes.


Ingredients

  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 12 slices Warburtons White Farmhouse Loaf
  3. 6 medium free range eggs
  4. 8 tbsp semi skimmed milk
  5. Large handful chopped fresh dill
  6. 3-4 salmon fillets (about 350g), skinned
  7. Large handful frozen peas (about 60g)
  8. A little grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese (about 15g)

Method

  1. Directions 
  2. 1. Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas mark 5
  3. 2. Brush the oil inside the muffin tins. 
  4. 3. Roll the Warburtons Farmhouse White bread slices to slightly flatten and then carefully use the slices to line the muffin tins. The bread will be taller than the muffin cases making cups to hold the filling.
  5. 4. Mix together the eggs, milk, chopped dill and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. 5. Cut the salmon into small pieces.  Divide the salmon pieces and peas between the muffin tins. Top with the egg mixture and sprinkle a little cheese over the tarts. 
  7. 6. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden and cooked.



Chris liked them, I must admit this was not one of my favourites,  I loved the bread crunch and taste at the top it was rather crouton like! I was not keen on the egg texture at the bottom, I would like to experiment using bacon and maybe a little cooked onion and the higher temperature to set the egg faster.

Disclosure I was given free products to take part in the Warburtons Hi-Taste, Lo-Fat plan. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

L'Occitane 'Candle for Sight'





I love candles, Chris and I were saying we probably have far too many. We do have them for decorative purposes, and recently have been using them so, we can buy even more. 

I love scented candles, they have to be good scented brands as some when burning lose the scent that you get when its unlit.

L'Occitane sent me the new 'Candle for Sight' and its absolutely gorgeous, its in a cute honeycomb shaped tin, which the label appropriately is also marked in Braille.

  The honey scent is delicious, burning it makes the fragrance fill the room. Its a cotton wick so its smoke free, a real bonus if you light lots of candles. I have had soot marks on the ceiling, so now am a little more choosy about my candles. 
Its been burning for quite a few hours on and off and is still going strong.

Whats even sweeter about his candle, is every penny of the proceeds will go to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)!

A great gift for yourself, a relative and a gift to a great charity also.


These proceeds will be donated to RNIB to support its Trainee Grade Scheme which 
provides professional training for blind and partially sighted people across the UK. The 
scheme plays a valuable role in bridging the gap between ability to work and the lack of 
experience in paid employment often cited as the reason why 66 per cent of blind and 
partially sighted people of working age are currently unemployed.


This exclusive honey scented candle, £13, is available at L’Occitane boutiques 
nationwide and online at www.loccitane.co.uk

Disclosure I was given a free product to review. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

UNICEF and Domestos launch partnership to improve sanitation




I am talking toilets ( please don't say as usual!!) its something we take for granted in the UK and across the Western world. Some are sparkling clean, some public toilets can be a little pongy, but we have access to one whenever we need to spend a penny.
Which is why I am happy to support the campaign to make going to the loo become reality for all and actually save lives.  
A really cute video explains more.

UNICEF, Domestos and the Unilever Foundation have launched a partnership to raise awareness of and find solutions to the global sanitation crisis and to help improve access to basic sanitation by supporting UNICEF’S Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS) programme, which will improve access to sanitation facilities for hundreds of thousands of people in nine countries around the world.
The Issue

Every mother strives to do the best for their child - it’s a natural maternal instinct. However, mothers in some countries across the developing world don’t have access to something that we take for granted every day – a clean and proper toilet. We don’t have to worry about our waste contaminating our environment, we don’t have to worry about it making our children unwell, miss school or putting them at risk of fatal, devastating diseases – however 37% of the world’s population do. Diseases caused by lack of sanitation contribute to the deaths of 3,000 children every day.

The initiative

As part of this new partnership, Domestos is giving consumers the opportunity to help improve access to basic sanitation. By contributing 5% of its average proceeds from the sale of specially marked bottles in the UK and Ireland, Domestos will support UNICEF’s CATS programmes in South Sudan and Vietnam.

For more information on the ‘Domestos for UNICEF’ campaign, and the partnership’s work to provide improved sanitation to children and their communities worldwide, visit www.domestosforunicef.com.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

50 Shades of White!



The colour I went when I heard!

Who has read the book yet, what am I missing, am I not missing anything at all?

 The whole world seems to be reading it, yet imagine my shade when I realised my daughter has been lent the trilogy to read.

Now she is 17, she is reasonably worldly wise and we have lots of 'open' conversations about relationships, right down to 2 the 'sthex' stuff as Les Dawson use to whisper the words.


But I have heard that 50 shades is down right dirty and very explicit. Mills and Boons but the bedroom door does not get closed at the kissing scene!! I have listened to people talk about the birth rate going up just because of the books!! 

I have no worries about this with Paige, she is as I have said before immensely intelligent and not easily led by emotions and heat of the moment, she like I, tends to reason  things out.


 I have a really great liberal approach to life, I was a bit prudish about when they could see certain films. I stuck to the age ratings on all films and console games, often to the disgust of Conor particularly, but I stood my ground and have maybe sheltered them a little but its been worth it. 

They are well rounded, are reasonably street wise, not people I am ashamed of. they are good people.

I have been hovering around as she has read chapters, this child of mine who has to be coaxed into reading, she is hooked and I am waiting for 'those questions' I know they are coming, we always talk about everything. I know I will answer with my usual frank beliefs, but all the same its slightly scary!!

French Wines with Style



I am taking part in a blogger challenge organised with French Wines with Style who want me give my ideas of the perfect summer recipes paired with Summer French wines, bearing in mind the notion of style.

Its part of a series of events to launch  a new  French Wines campaign, running across six countries: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Russia and the UK.



The three-year campaign aims to demonstrate the diversity and accessibility of French Wines, and uses 
the strap line "Wines with Style". 

Now I have tried many wines both through my own choice and purchase, also  through trying them for review.
I still am a complete beginner and have oodles to learn.

So to pair with summer food and do so with style is actually a big challenge.

The two wines I was sent were VDF Gabriel Meffre Chardonnay Gros Manseng 2011 and Provence - Château de Brigue Prestige Rosé 2011.

Totally new to me, the full info on these wines is at the end of my challenge.

I drink Chardonnay already, I know its a great wine to accompany white meat and seafood and I will happily go with that in a restaurant but always the rebel, I love pork with it, a lovely pan fried chop in a creamy mushroom sauce. 


I also love it with bacon, so my choice for a light summery dish would be either Spaghetti Carbonara 



Maybe a dish my lovely French blogging friend gave me years ago, Tartiflette.




But what I actually teamed it with was a favourite pasta dish.Chicken with pesto, spinach and olives oil






My next pairing was for the Chateau de Brigue



 I know that rosé  a great wine to accompany desserts, but this is quite a dry wine, so can I think, handle savoury dishes. I also think  it can handle a little spice too.





So over to my  beloved chilli  spice and wonderful pink partnering of  King Prawns barbecued then served with a barbecue and tomato dressing on top of salad. 

For my  palate and I am not claiming its a good one, this is perfect, just a kick of spice and the Chateau de Brigue dry rose with salad notes teaming with the cucumber and leaves.





VDF Gabriel Meffre Chardonnay Gros Manseng 2011

A brilliant pale yellow colour with green tints. Powerful and complex citrus aromas are complimented by a slight peach and ginger spice touch coming from the Gros Manseng in the blend. The Chardonnay brings honey and floral notes. Full and flavour in the mouth, reflecting the same fruits as on the nose. A delightfully long finish.
Enjoy chilled to 13 C with white meats and seafood. It will be drinking well for up to 2 years.




Provence - Château de Brigue Prestige Rosé 2011

The 2011 Prestige Rose is a blend of 70% Cinsaut and 30% Syrah from two
seperate terroirs. It is harvested by machine in the very early monrning to
preserve the freshness of the fruit.
The colour is light orange with pink reflections.
Citrus fruits dominate the nose and in the mouth the wine is complex with fruit
salad notes and white flowers. The finish is long and fresh.

Disclosure, I was sent the two wines with a small selection of herbs, mustard and bbq sauce. I was not paid for my post and these are my own views.


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

French Toast Recipe Warburtons




As you know, this week  I have been taking part in Warburtons Hi-Taste, Lo-Fat healthy eating plan,

I got messy with Crispy Tomato Chicken, recipe here' had a sweet treat with the  Fruit Compote with Honey Muffins 'recipe here', made a healthy Salmon and Dill tart using bread instead of pastry. My third recipe is just really worth making.



This is my favourite recipe to date, and yet on paper I was not looking forward to eating it, I have since bought more Warburtons Fruit Loaf with Orange to make for Sunday brunch. It is that good, seriously!!


I left the bread in the egg for a good while to really soak in and it also puffs up much more when frying. Again if you want to go even lower fat, use Fry Light or a similar low fat cooking spray!

 I love mine with raspberries, I also omitted the cinnamon for my portion, are you guessing I'm a bit fussy yet? Everyone else loved the spice on theirs.


What is so good about this is the Orange flavour really shines through, we all eat French toast in the house, but normally as a savoury dish. This tastes like pancakes soaked in orange, the fruit in the bread becomes very juicy and certainly different to how I would normally eat it, that is toasted or with butter.
Its yum and a good two portions of my five a day with the Orange fruit loaf and raspberries too!


French Toast Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 2 free range eggs
  2. 2 tbsp semi skimmed milk
  3. About 1-2 tsp vegetable oil
  4. About 5g small piece low fat butter
  5. 8 slices Warburtons Fruit Loaf with Orange
  6. A pinch of ground cinnamon
  7. About 3 tsp small sprinkling of sugar
  8. 4 handfuls fresh cherries or berries or other fruit, to serve

Method

  1. Directions
  2. 1. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the milk and mix with a fork
  3. 2. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan
  4. 3. Dip a slice of the Warburtons fruit loaf with orange into the egg mixture and put it straight into the pan, depending on the size of the pan you should fit 3 or 4 slices in the pan at one time. Cook for 2 -3 minutes on each side or until cooked and golden
  5. 4. Repeat with the rest of the bread and egg mixture. 
  6. 5. Cut each slice of French Toast in half, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and serve with fresh cherries or other fruit
You can see how the recipe is made by Amanda Grant who has teamed up with Warburtons to bring these low fat and very tasty dishes!



Monday, 23 July 2012

Fruit Compote with Honey Crumpets



The two-week Hi-Taste, Lo-Fat eating plan contains five brand new recipes and Warbutons asked me to make them,  I received a box full of the Warburtons goodies and a supermarket gift card to buy the other ingredients.


I have been loving the experimenting, the dishes were not familiar apart from the Crispy Tomato Chicken recipe here I was not sure I was going to like a few of them, but have been pleasantly surprised.


 All of  are nutritious and low in fat. The eating plan can be downloaded from www.facebook.com/warburtons (check out the two week eating plan tab).



The sweet dishes were the ones I was not sure of and I found they were easier to eat for a lunch! Just personal preference, I am not sweet in the morning, either by taste or temperament!!

This was such a simple meal to assemble,  fast to make too. 



Simmering the fruit, orange and sugar, I was struck by the fact that this could be made even healthier with the use of a sugar substitute, if like me you haven't a sweet tooth, I would omit sugar all together! Again I was glad I did not make in the morning as it gave quite a bit of washing up, you need to puree half of the fruit mix, however this could be left if you like. The recipe amount is for two meals.


So here is my  finished dish, its very tasty, I rarely eat sweet toppings on crumpets, but the fruit was still quite tart and the yogurt helped.


Fruit Compote with Honey Muffins

Ingredients

  1. 500 g fresh or frozen berries e.g. blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants
  2. 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
  3. 1 tbsp golden or white caster sugar
  4. 4 Warburtons Crumpets
  5. About 4 tsp honey, enough to drizzle a little on to each crumpet
  6. 4 tbsp low fat natural yogurt

Method

  1. 1. Put the fruit into a saucepan, add the orange juice and sugar and cook gently for 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar
  2. 2. Put half into a blender or into a small bowl and use a hand blender and whizz until smooth
  3. 3. Put the puree back into the pan and mix with the other fruit and heat through
  4. 4. Toast the crumpets in a toaster or under the grill. 
  5. 5. Once cooked, drizzle the honey over the crumpets and serve with half of the warm fruit compote and a dollop of yogurt

Chef's tip

To freeze: put into a freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge. Serve at room temperature or warm through in a small saucepan.    

Crispy Tomato Chicken Warburtons





I have been trying out the new healthy eating plan from Warburtons. Its called the H i-Taste, Lo-Fat plan and Warburtons sent me the ingredients to make some of the recipes.


My first was the crispy chicken with potato wedges it was great fun to make too. 




Dipping chicken pieces in flour, egg then breadcrumbs is quite therapeutic well for an overgrown kid who likes to play! I added some paprika to the flour to give a kick. 




As we like our food spicy, I also sprinkled it over the potatoes.
As a Slimming World success I would make this a free meal by using Warburtons wholemeal and Fry light  for the potatoes, it then is all fat free!

I found I did not use all of the breadcrumbs so would reduce the amount to 6 slices and then add more if needed.


The chicken was really moist, more so than normal, using the fresh breadcrumbs really benefited the texture. The taste was lovely and light, all of us loved the chicken and normally would not have eaten green beans with this dish, but it complemented the meal well.

I will be making this again and playing around with the spices as well to give different tastes.


Ingredients

  1. 6 potatoes
  2. 2 ½ tbsp olive oil
  3. 8 slices Warburtons Wholemeal Bread or Warburtons White Plus Wholegrain (about 200g)
  4. 3 large chicken breasts
  5. 3 tbsp tomato puree, (about 100g)
  6. 3 heaped tbsp plain flour
  7. 2 free range eggs
  8. Steamed green veg e.g. green beans, to serve

Method

  1. Directions
  2. 1. Cut each potato into about 5-6 wedges. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a roasting dish. Add the potato wedges to the hot dish and roast for 35 minutes until golden and cooked.
  3. 2. Meanwhile brush 2 baking trays with the remaining oil. Put the Warburtons bread into a blender and whizz into breadcrumbs
  4. 3.Cut each chicken breast into 5-6 strips. Dip the strips in tomato puree, then flour, then egg and then breadcrumbs.
  5. 4. Put the chicken strips on to the trays and cook for 15-18 minutes until golden and cooked. 
  6. 5. Serve with the potatoes and steamed green beans

Warburtons has teamed up with Amanda Grant, celebrity chef and mum of three Amanda Grant, also one of the country's leading food educators, to create a delicious, low fat eating plan full of simple recipes and quick and tasty snacks. 

Many people cut out carbs (such as bread) in order to lose weight, which can lead people to wrongly believe that bread is high in fat, when the opposite is true. Most bread is low in fat – it’s the toppings that people choose that can add fat to bread and bakery. For example, a slice of Warburtons Farmhouse White contains just 1.1g fat.


The Hi-Taste, Lo-Fat eating plan has been designed to provide a fortnight of nutritious, low in fat meals that won't leave you feeling like you're missing out.





Read about the plan here 

M&S launch the ‘Virtual Manicure’



What do you think of the colour choice for my nails, I quite like it. Its Autograph Ultimate Wear Nail Colour in Crystal!
I have just been playing on the Virtual manicure. Its quite good as you get to choose an image of a hand close to the look of yours, then apply the shades of  polish, until one suits your hand colour and preference!, There is a huge range to choose from too.
Have a play and tell me which colour  you prefer?

http://www.marksandspencer.com/Virtual-Makeover-Counter-Beauty/b/1719903031

Already love Your Beauty’s ‘Virtual Makeover’? Try the ‘Virtual Manicure’. Launching today online via www.marksandspencer.com and soon to be in selected stores, you can now virtually try on M&S entire collection of nail polish to see how they appear on your own hands! Upload an image of your hand or select a hand with a skin tone to match your own, get adventurous with colour selection and then apply with a simple click. Your favourites can then be purchased for home or store delivery, and don’t forget you can also share all your creations with friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google+. 

As with the ‘Virtual Make over’ which launched in May 2012, Your Beauty’s ‘Virtual Manicure’ uses ground breaking declassified American army technology to transform the beauty shopping experience both in store and online.

Disclosure. I was offered a complimentary nail colour for trying out the new Virtual Manicure and posting my colour!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Are they Twins?



I have just seen a really good side badge on Here Come The Girls its the answers to questions about twins, it made me want to write about my experience of the grilling that sometimes comes. I am sure mums of one, or even families get asked silly questions, but I find twin queries, at best amusing, at worst daft and sometimes really personal!
A glance from a stranger, will see a husband, wife, two teenage twins, (Gone are the days of the questions that used to make me bite my tongue about twins. Now we get, "Don't they make a lovely couple, they even look alike." Answers, they are not a couple they are brother and sister.
"Do they get on?" I always wonder at this question, do all parents get asked this? They actually were very close, incredibly so for siblings, still are for teenagers, there are many reasons for this, maybe they have personalities that suit, hopefully some of my parenting skills were quite passable. ( I believe there is a fundamental reason,  that is another story, I want to cover for a blog carnival I have seen! )
"Oh are they twins then?" Answers, yes they are, then come the range of questions probably common to all mums of multiple birth!!
 I have more time for this assault on my family, but when Paige and Conor are sitting there, the twin factor means they become something to be talked about as if they cannot answer for themselves! Stared at and they always look so uncomfortable and end up giggling. Are they used to it, I'm not sure, I will ask Paige to post the reply later! When they were little and could not reply,  it was down to Chris and I,even then, it sometimes got a bit much!

As a harried Mum of baby twins I was occasionally sharp and rude. I can be if stressed or defending a loved one, but on the whole, I like to chat to people out and about!
However, I have never gone up to a Mum who has a screaming child, let alone two to start digging about in the family history. I have held a, buggy, baby, anything to help if a woman looked  like she needed a pair of hands, a friendly smile. I have never seen fit to give an interrogation on someones fertility, how do I manage and thrown pitying looks, some from Mums who have three children even!
So back to my children when they were babies, I breastfed, no mean feat, I can tell you, it was tricky.  I had no extended or even immediate family at any point, to help, even just chat to (again this is for another post), which made Chris's help even more vital. He would come in from work on many days to find me weeping, once accusing him of abandoning me,  that he was 7 minutes later than normal. He would say sorry, the traffic lights were on red, scoop up the babies, make me tea, hug me and say we would get through it. It was never a case of day to day, it was a life lived and only managed moment to moment!
Which leads me on to being constantly trying to get through little tasks like shopping, going to get a prescription. I did not drive, buses were totally out for me, a twin buggy, two babies made the local transport a distant memory. I walked places, the upside was great legs, after a few years of street pounding and rocking baby bouncy chairs, I never needed a gym!!
So when I got stopped and asked these questions and I mean by lots of people all in one trip, it began to make me very aloof!  Head down, no eye contact and still they came!
Are they identical?...Answers "No a boy and a girl cannot be identical" Inside head " Are you a little dim, there are obvious physical differences!
Do twins run in the family? I wanted to always say "Mind your own business!  But I used to just say No. Like a flowchart this lead to more.I actually  had IVF, if I said this, that would end in a whole interrogation on this subject. It was still a subject then that people only knew from the news stories and tags of test tube babies! I always have been happy to discuss it, obviously as here I am, but the questions can get really personal, a total stranger asking, "Was it you or your husband that was faulty?" has to be the most ignorant!
Possibly the twin one that made me laugh a lot on a good day, but  growl the most on one particular day was this. On the way to Boots to breastfeed, after some errand, with two hungry cries of "Feed me now!" I was hurtling through the shopping centre, obviously on a mission, clearly with two babies, I imagine one is a challenge, I know in fact it is from friends!  Suddenly a woman planted her whole body firmly in my path and I nearly knocked her over.
She said "I just want to look at them, they are adorable!", I said thank you, I really need to go they need feeding, but thank you! 
I went to go around her and she actually put her hand on the buggy, to stop me, and said
Are they twins?
I looked her in the eye, I scowled and replied through gritted teeth.
No they are triplets, but one is invisible!!!!
So if you see Mums with one baby, twins, triplets, just several children and she has a far away, distant look, let her move on. If she is sitting happily smiling, then that is the time to go over!


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