Saturday, 27 March 2010

Review: Eyeslices


I was just feeling gloomy about my dry and burning eyes after a long day of contact lens wearing, when I thought I would test out the Eyeslices that I had been sent to review. I was very wary as I have very sensitive skin and wasn't keen to disturb it with any new ingredients. But I was keen to try something to ease my eye pain so I thought I would give them a go.........

So what are Eyeslices?

Before using these Eyeslices I did my research. I wasn't going to use something that contained nasty chemicals. The key things that persuaded me to use these Eyeslices was the fact that it was clearly a product that had science behind it. The inventor of the product was actually a redhead so I immediately knew that the product was designed by someone with very sensitive skin.


Delving a little deeper I found that the key ingredients were:

ALOE FEROX: renowned for its calming, soothing and healing properties.


+ BLACK ELDER which is anti-inflammatory



It also contains an active ingredient called bioskinupTM contour which is composed by concentrated extracts of pfaffia paniculata root, ptychopotalum olacoides bark and lilium candidum flower (white lily), a synergic association standardised in saponins and flavonoids, that strengthen the vascular walls and repairs tissue.

So when I realised the composition of the Eyeslices I was even keener to give them a try.

Pulling them out of the circular packaging and touching and feeling them was a whole new experience for me. They were like nothing I have ever felt before and this is down to the cryogel polymer technology. The really wonderful thing is how this product has managed to infuse nature with bio-technology.
7 years trials, research and tests have resulted in this world first in cry0-gel polymer technology.

I have photographed an Eyeslice below so that you can get an idea of exactly what the product is. To describe it, I could say it was textured a little like jelly only firmer. At first I was surprised by the texture. Eyeslices are a much better alternative to cucumber and achieves much better results. Cucumber stays cool for a few minutes and then they get warm and drop off. Eyeslices can stay on your eyes for up to 20 minutes!



Putting the Eyeslices on my eyes was pure bliss. My eyes felt totally rejuvenated and for this reason alone I will be purchasing Eyeslices in the future. Although this pair of Eyeslices can be reused up to ten times if you store them in their original packaging.

The marketing on their website advises that you should have "Five minutes of me-time. All mums should allow themselves this. If you can't spare this, you can always walk around with one eyeslice on at a time." This is great advice and certainly a cheaper alternative than going to a spa.

To round up on the results you can expect from these wonderful Eyeslices:
Helps to improve:
  • Puffiness
  • Dark circles
  • Tiredness
  • Redness
  • Signs of ageing
In my case it immediately relieved my sore and red eyes.

My advice would be stock up on these if you are a sleep-deprived mum or maybe just have these ready after a night of partying.

For more info visit http://www.eyeslicesverve.co.uk

Review: Linziclip


I am getting ever so slightly obsessed with new hairstyles lately, and in particular hair accessories. I think it comes with approaching the 1 year mark since I gave birth. I am now ready to shed the dowdy image, which usually involves throwing my hair back in a boring ponytail every time I need to go out. With the right hair accessories, I realised making your hair look stunning doesn't need to be hard. That's why I was like a small child at Christmas very excited when I discovered the Linziclip through an online hairdressing website. In my hair drawer I currently have a selection of grips, scrunchies, slides, pins and crocodile clips; all of which never seem to be strong enough to keep my long and thick hair in check. I usually walk down the road and suddenly a clipped up hairstyle just falls out, leaving me to look like I have been dragged through a bush backwards. Looking at the Linziclip I immediately knew I was looking at something very different on the market and was keen to discover how it would work on my hair.


So what exactly is the Linziclip?

It's a beautiful hair clip. The reason's it different to other hair clips are:
  • Patented advanced gripping mechanism.
  • The two spring device camouflages the inner workings of the old style claw clip whilst gripping the hair better than ever before.
  • No unsightly springs.
  • Sold in an array of beautiful designs.
  • Comfortable and secure with an excellent grip.
  • Flat back - lean back in comfort.
  • Hidden springs.
  • Easy to use.




I mean, come on, hair isn't something to attract attention usually from a seven year old boy, but after seeing the Linziclip in my hair in one of the new hairstyles tested out from the website, my son said with a lot of exuberance "Co-ooooool."

I wanted to show you just how easy it was to create a stunning hairstyle in seconds, so I made a video. Here you can see just how suitable the clip is for people with little time on their hands.




For more hairstyle ideas visit http://www.linshell.co.uk/how_to_wear.html to see lots of great hair-do ideas from twists, ponytails, buns, messy up-dos, wedding hair and more.

What I love about these clips is that they are suitable for every occasion; diamante for going out and the brightly coloured ones for everyday wear. You can even match them to your outfits as there is such a large array of colours and designs.

There are a number of things I would like to comment on here. Firstly, I was completely in awe when I looked in the mirror at the back of my hair. I had created a beautiful style in just a few seconds and it was fitted really securely in my hair. I didn't feel like it was pulling hairs out of my head either. But usually style makes you pay in terms of comfort, which most certainly is not the case with the linziclip. It's simple things like being able to lay back on a sofa without claws from a clip digging in to your head that I really appreciate. Why hasn't this clip been around for years? It would have saved women so much trouble. So can I be any more impassioned when I tell you to go out and get some of these clips, I don't think I could. You have a comfortable clip in an array of beautiful designs that puts a huge range of hairstyles at your fingertips. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Starting at £2.99 they are very reasonably priced and they are available to buy from the following stores:

Amazon

Glitz4Girls
http://www.pretty-pieces.co.uk
Boots
Claire's Accessories

Review: Ecover Concentrated Laundry Liquids


What an odd thing to be reviewing you may say. Yes, it is true I am reviewing 'Laundry Liquid' AKA washing powder alternative/washing detergent/thing that gets washing clean. As a mum, and I am sure most of my readers will be able to relate to this, my washing machine is on maybe around 3 or 4 times a day. A son obsessed with rolling around in dirt and another son unable to control where he gets food substances, OK I will let him off he is 15 months lol! But you get the picture.

One particular incident this weekend:

Seven year old son decides he wants to climb in to his grandfathers shed. The shed has the kind of door that has two halves; I think it's called a stable door? Anyway, he decides he is going to use the step ladders that are out the garden to climb over the bottom half to get inside. Problem was when he got inside the step ladders fell to the ground and so he was stuck in there for around 10 minutes before any of us noticed he wasn't playing up the top of the garden. Needless to say, he was covered in dirt, grease and grime from the step ladders and inside the dirty shed. Boys will be boys and it takes a tough cleaner to live up to my expectations but would Ecover live up to the challenge?

Ecover is a renowned ecological brand. I'm all for things ecological, nature friendly, kind to skin and all the rest but above all the product has to work. If it doesn't it doesn't matter how ecologically-friendly it is; it's a failure!

Anyway, down to the nitty gritty. The test.

Test involved washing countless muddy socks and jeans and food stained clothes.

Did it pass? It certainly did. All washing came out fresh and clean. Even more importantly, it didn't cause any skin reactions in any of our family. Reading up on the product, I found this was because Ecover use only sustainable plant-based and mineral ingredients and so there is no need to worry about harsh chemicals being left on your clothes. It was also nice to read about all the green credentials.

The green credentials for any of you wishing to know are:

  • No optical brighteners
  • Minimum aquatic toxicity
  • Fast and complete biodegradability
  • No phosphates
Also the fact that concentrated laundry liquids come in smaller packets means that there is reduced CO2 emissions in transport and less water used during the production process.

So would there be anything I would want to change about Ecover Concentrated Bio Laundry Liquid or Ecover Concentrated Non Bio Laundry Liquid?

Hmm, well they are priced at £5.69 each. This is a little pricier than my usual brands but I would be able to overlook that because of the many satisfying attributes of this product.

There are two things that I would like to suggest to Ecover though. These being that I would like the fragrance to be a little stronger. I love bringing out my clothes and smelling a fragrance but it was a little too weak for my nostrils. That's just a little moan however, and I would still more than happily buy the product.

Now, down to the more serious issue.... These are only currently available in Waitrose or Ocado, which leaves me somewhat at a loose end as I don't shop at either of these stores. This means I won't be able to get my hands on this wonderful product, which I am more than disappointed about.

So come on Ecover, you now have another fan awaiting this product. So I really need to see this in a Tesco or Sainsbury's store sharpish....


For more info visit www.ecover.com

I will leave you with an interesting fact on why it is so important not to have phopshates in your laundry products. Phosphates in cleaning products contribute to the eutrophication of rivers. Eutrophication happens when rivers are starved of oxygen and obviously lead to a serious impact on aquatic life. Ecover has been producing phosphate-free detergents since 1980s.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Gallery - Me


I am partaking in Tara's wonderful Gallery again this week. This week's theme is Me.

Here I am holding my youngest son. I look completely contented in this photo and that is because my family is now complete. I have my two precious boys and a wonderful husband. It took me 6 years to pluck up the courage to have another child after a traumatic birth with my first son in 2002. But this picture shows how happy I am that I went through it. As Baby Craftiness seems totally oblivious to the camera and focuses on my necklace, it makes me realise how much he depends on me and takes in everything I do or even wear. So this is me; a mother and one of the luckiest people in the world.....

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Childhood Innocence

I love moments when you get to see the naivety of childhood. Embarking on a Sunday lunch out for the first time in ages I was greeted with two little incidents. Nothing major, just moments that will go by and be forgotten if I don't write about them. The first was seven year old son making a start on his Sunday dinner. The first thing he put in to his mouth with a really inquisitive face was ........ a lump of gravy. Obviously my cooking is too good for him to know what lumps in the gravy are (I love you Bisto!). The face following was a pure look of disgust. It's only a little thing, but I just wanted to scoop him up in my arms like I did when he was a baby and protect him from all things unknown. His face prior to tasting was such a look of happy innocence.

Then there was son number two, aged 14 months, who happily swiped a serviette off the table and proceeded to wipe imaginary food away from his mouth. No problems there I thought, until a doddery old man was seated on the table next to us. On passing us he had to manoeuvre the small space between our table and his, and 14 month old son obviously thought that this was perfect opportunity to use the serviette to wipe the old man's bum for him. It happened too quickly to stop him and I have laughed and cringed in equal measure since then...

The innocence of children that allows them to do these things....

Have you encountered any funny incidents like this?

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Belly Bandit Review



For more info visit JellyBean

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Hotter Shoes Review



For more info visit www.hotter.com

ONE

This is my entry for 'The Gallery.' This week's prompt is a photograph associated with a number.

This photograph was taken by my seven year old son last week. It was great to see such a large and domineering bird in our garden. When we zoomed in to the photo it sent shivers down our spines to imagine being a smaller bird facing the deadly stare of the buzzard. I think this photo displays how all creatures big and small interact; it only takes ONE menacing character, to spoil the fun for everyone else. Causing ripples of distress and unease and making everyone re-evaluate the value of life. As you will see there are no other birds around as they all flew away when this large bird flew in to the garden, taking over their territory. ONE is a powerful number.......

Friday, 5 March 2010

www.snapfish.co.uk gifts for Mother's Day

It's that time of year where daughters and sons are often found trawling the Internet looking for a gift that will touch the heart of a mother and show exactly how much she means. Before I share the beautiful gift ideas I have found, I just wanted to share this poem which I could really relate to about my mother. My dad passed away when I was just 12 and it wasn't easy for my mother having to cope with not only her own grief but her children's too, not to mention the teenage years where I was absolutely horrible to her. I know it hasn't been easy for her but this Mother's Day I think she deserves a pat on the back for raising her children the way she has and achieving the result of three happy and confident adults.

Here's the poem:


To My Mother
For all the times you gently picked me up,
When I fell down,
For all the times you tied my shoes
And tucked me into bed,
Or needed something
But put me first instead.
For everything we shared,
The dreams, the laughter,
And the tears,
I love you with a "Special Love"
That deepens every year.
Author Unknown

My mother is my best friend. I see her virtually every day and my children love her as much as they do me. Below is a picture of my mum and I holding hands, this is how we could be found on most days throughout my childhood. I could have been deemed a 'clingy' child, but it was just that when I was near my mum I always felt happy. I was safe in the knowledge that as much as I loved her, she loved me.


PHOTO - My mum and me. Family friend and baby sister.

SO on to the gift ideas. I've found some lovely ideas from www.snapfish.co.uk. I think they say so much more than a bunch of flowers.

MAGIC COLLAGE MUG

A simple cup of tea never fails to lighten the mood but what better way is there to raise a smile than to deliver it in this magical cup. Add boiling water and watch the faces appear as the heat from the boiled water permeates the mug. The best thing is it's so easy to order. You just log on to www.snapfish.co.uk and upload the photo you would like featured on the mug and then you can choose background colours and even opt to add a message on to the mug. This is sure to pull a mother's heart strings.



ACRYLIC PRINT

I had never seen such an awe-inspiring way to display photographs until I saw this acrylic print idea. It's an outstanding alternative to the conventional frame as instead of just framing the photograph, it brings the photograph to life by adding a unique 3D element. It makes you want to reach out and pull the people from the photograph. Again, it was so easy to order this acrylic block. Upload the photo, edit it if required and that's it!
These exquisite blocks are available in sizes between A6 and 20x20. To prove to you just how good the finished result is, I have uploaded the acrylic block with my own photograph.
For more original gift ideas visit www.snapfish.co.uk

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Green & Black's Creamy Milk Chocolate Cake



Today in the household of Sweet Craftiness we have been experimenting with yummy scrummy Green & Black's chocolate. To trial the chocolate we made a delicious chocolate cake; secret recipe comes courtesy of my mum and I added peanut M&M's to add a splash of colour.

I was sent a few bars of delicious Green & Blacks chocolate to review and give some feedback and so this is one of the ways that I used my chocolate. I'm so glad I took this photo when I did however as a few minutes later my dear husband went in to a cupboard and dropped something DIRECTLY on to the cake, resulting in the M&M's making holes in the cake. Never mind, it tasted just as good!


Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients needed for cake:
7 oz self-raising flour
8 oz butter
6 oz caster sugar
1 oz cocoa powder
4 eggs

Step 1:
Sieve the flour in to a mixing bowl and then add all other ingredients. Whisk until you get a really smooth consistency and the mixture seems almost fluffy. It's important to remember that incorporating air in to the mixture makes the sponge well sponge-like.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 200 c/180 c fan oven. Whilst the oven warms up, grease two round tins with butter and then shake a light dusting of flour over to make sure the cake mixture doesn't stick.

Step 3: Divide the mixture between two tins.

Step 4: Put in the oven for around 20 minutes. A good way to test that the sponge is done is by touching it, if it springs back then it's done.

Step 5: When the cakes are cooked, tap gently out on to two plates to cool.

Next comes the fun part where you get to use the delicious Green & Black's chocolate. As you may be aware, Green & Black's uses organically grown cocoa beans and ingredients which are ethically sourced. And it's this balance of taste and principles that Green & Black's stand for and why they pay a premium for their ingredients. So let's see how great the chocolate cake tastes using this delicious chocolate......

Ingredients needed for butter icing:

4 oz butter
3 oz icing sugar
5 small squares of Green & Black's milk chocolate

Step 1: Melt the chocolate

Step 2: Whisk the butter, icing sugar and melted chocolate together until it has a lovely creamy texture.

Step 3: When sponge has cooled, spread the mixture on the bottom layer of cake. Put the top on the cake.

Next it's time to melt some more delicious Green & Black's Creamy Milk Chocolate to spread all over the top of the cake. You can add any decorative chocolates to the top to add colour.

I think you will agree that the Green & Black's chocolate really makes this cake! Result = 1 happy family!!!!


Alongside the chocolate that I received came some taste test instructions. You can find these instructions here.

So here's my opinion on the delicious bars which I received:

Green & Black's Butterscotch chocolate - yum, yum, yum! I had to keep going back for more of this bar. The butterscotch pieces worked really well against the buttery, sweet texture of the chocolate. I loved the crunch element.

Green & Black's Milk Chocolate - absolutely delicious. The texture was amazing!

I can't tell you much more about the other bars as my husband didn't realise that I was meant to be taste testing for my blog and devoured a few bars, but his verdict is 'LOVELY'!

I hope my blog as helped you in learning a bit more about Green & Black's.

I've certainly learnt a lot, for example how to properly taste chocolate and the importance of quality ingredients. But I think the above recipe shows that Green & Black's can be used to create very appealing food for children.


If you want to learn a bit more about the Green & Black's story then watch the video below:



For more info visit Green & Black's