Sunday, 24 July 2011

Review: Explore, Dream, Discover by Charlotte Samiec - Top That Publishing

If you are looking for a book that you can savour over the summer holidays with your children then this is it; inspiring creativity and encouraging a love of travel this is the book to explore, dream and discover with. This book is one from Top That Publishing's non-fiction range and I love the fact that it gives children so much more to think about on their holidays.

The book offers a variety of activities to partake in from drawing maps of your journey, diary pages, a page to note all the new foods that you have tried, a place for you to note down all the bridges you have seen and much much more. There's so many activities packed in to this book that it's hard to mention them all. But basically it is the ultimate travel diary combined with an array of activities which will convert this book in to a multi-sensory scrapbook that will be a pleasure to look back on in years to come. From a parents point of view this will be one of those books that you can give to your child and when you see them filling it in you can have that nice smug feeling that they are actually enjoying partaking in something educational without them even realising it.

The bounding of the book (ring bound) means that there is also plenty of space to expand when your child wishes to cram some of the pages with mementos such as tickets and other paraphernalia.

The book is also great for car-journeys as plenty of the pages require access to a window, so should quell those familiar moans of "I'm bored" for a while.

I guess what I love most about this book is the fact that each activity is actually something that a child can and will want to do. Too often in the past I have obtained books with ideas of what to do with children over holidays and I have ended up scratching my head in exasperation as they are just totally unrealistic, as the ideas would probably occupy them for about two seconds and create a whole lot of mess.

I would highly recommend this book for over the summer holidays as you could actually theme a day's activities with use of just one page. Bear in mind that this book offers you over 100 inspirational activities, games and projects so the fun can go on and on and on.

Hope you are as impressed as I am with the book....

For more info please visit

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Review: Ecover's Laundry Range

Bear with me, because whilst I understand a review of anything related to laundry isn't going to be the most enthralling of subjects there's a reason why I chose to post this review and that's because I really felt it aided healing with my skin. Anyone who has read my blog recently will have read about my quest to eradicate all products which I feel are playing a part in irritating my skin. First out of the window went my foundation followed by anything else which contained chemicals that would irritate my skin.

My mum had mentioned a few times that she thought I should swap washing powders but I didn't - partly through stubbornness and partly because I didn't want to abandon the lovely feeling of bringing in gorgeous smelling clothes off the line.

I suppose I feel I have now compromised because although the Ecover's smell is nowhere near as strong as the likes of Lenor and Comfort, it does offer a delightfully subtle smell which still gives you the sense of satisfaction when you bring the washing in. But also it seems to have made a massive difference in the health of my skin. I suppose it makes sense when you think how you have your face on the fabric of a pillow for 6-8 hours a night, if this happens to have irritants such as a fabric conditioner then it is easy to see why this could affect the skin.

Ecover Fabric Softener £1.79

The fabric conditioner was slightly runnier than your usual fabric conditioner and it was also plain old white. So although it didn't look so colourful in the bottle it did make up for this by having a gorgeous natural smell which wasn't too overpowering but enough to give the clothes a lovely smell and best of all didn't irritate my skin.

It also made the ironing easier and didn't leave any greasy tacky residue on the clothes.

Ecover Concentrated Non Bio Laundry Liquid RRP £5.69 (500ml)

The laundry liquid was unusual in the fact that the liquid was actually see-through and so it was easy to distinguish visibly the fact that no unnatural substances have been put in to these products. The liquid also managed to get some particularly dirty children's clothes clean.

Ecover Bio Powder RRP £3.59

This didn't look much different to other washing powders but the major difference was that it didn't effect me the way that other washing powders do in that they make me constantly sneeze. The smell of the washing powder was far more refined and delicate but was still enough to put a smile on my face through the delightful fragrance. More importantly though, was the fact that it scrubbed up the clothes well and also has meant that for the last few weeks since using it I have suffered no outbreaks on my skin. So maybe I am finally routing out the cause of my skin problems, we shall see........


  • We all know that laundry can be a chore, especially when you have a whole family’s worth of clothes to keep clean week-in, week-out. Did you know that the average family of four washes at least four laundry loads each week? That’s over 208 loads every year! All that water, energy and electricity – not to mention your time and hard work getting it all done.

  • Wear and Care is backed by eco-fashion designer Ada Zanditon, who believes not only in sourcing sustainable materials to manufacture clothes, but also in caring for your clothes to help them last longer while caring for the world around you.

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.

Overall opinion: Highly impressed with the dazzling washing results and delicate fragrances that manage to incorporate all natural ingredients and none that irritate the skin. WE LOVE ECOVER!

Now it’s even easier to get hold of Ecover’s laundry range through our new online store. Visit to start Wearing and Caring for your family’s clothes.