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Mum of 4 two girls and two boys now 33, 31,27 and 24.

Reviews written

since 10/11/2008


Alt Hotel Toronto Airport, Mississauga 02/03/2017

Perfect Stopover At Toronto Airport.

Alt Hotel Toronto Airport, Mississauga Alt Hotel Toronto Airport Recently we made our first visit to my son and his wife who live in Hawaii. This journey is extremely long from the United Kingdom, and it can cause severe jet lag, especially on the return leg, and breaking the journey often involves the disadvantage of higher airline ticket prices. My husband and I decided when we booked our trip to stop over in Toronto, as this offered a good value ticket, and with a 6 hour initial daytime flight I was able to retire to a hotel bed at a reasonable time of the night. The next morning I was then fresh for the second leg of the flight to Los Angeles. There are endless combinations of flights to Hawaii, but our son lives on Big Island, so the choice is more limited as flights often land in Honolulu, which necessitates a further plane trip once in Hawaii. I think this is an option for another time as the flights give lovely island views, but I was interested in arriving in a reasonable state of health with minimal jet-lag. We chose the Alt Hotel mainly for the proximity to Toronto airport, as we didn't have a lot of time to waste, and this is an easy journey using the free Terminal Link Train which stops within easy walking distance of the hotel. This free shuttle runs every 4 minutes, so it is much better than staying further away with the need for an airport hotel shuttle bus. Easy To Book We booked with Ebookers and were delighted as they have a generous loyalty scheme, and as we had already booked flights with ...

Sarah Raven Asolo Lettuce Mix 14/02/2017

In The Bleak Mid Winter Salad Leaves Won't Moan.

Sarah Raven Asolo Lettuce Mix Sarah Raven Asolo Lettuce Mix Lettuce has made headline news recently as poor weather has affected harvests in Europe. Customers were being restricted to two per trolley in supermarkets and panic buying resulted. Guy Watson founder of my favourite organisation Riverford Organics answer to this, and to the courgette crisis, is to eat more seasonally, making use of wonderful winter vegetables like leeks and carrots swedes and turnips. Also of course his advice is to eat seasonal salads, which if you are clever with your choice of varieties as they are at Riverford, this is possible, though they do turn to their farms in France to help them out here as lack of light is often a factor in growth in English mid winters. Still if you are looking for tasty salad bags brimming full of hearty salad leaves then I highly recommend them for freshness and for unique leaves with wonderful keeping properties. I also recommend Sarah Raven Asolo lettuce mix seeds for a wonderful supply of salad even in the depth of winter if you prefer to grow your own. Sarah Raven Sarah Raven is a famous gardener and cookery writer and she runs courses in these topics from her large estate at Perch Hill in Sussex. Her main focus is very much all about growing your own, and then using these fresh ingredients to make delicious meals and to decorate your home with gorgeous cut flowers. I have already reviewed her wonderful Attar of Roses Pelargoniums that make the most amazing tea you have ever tasted- like ...

Maxfactor Max Factor Glossfinity Nail Polish 03/02/2017

A Bargain Price For a 7 Day Manicure.

Maxfactor Max Factor Glossfinity Nail Polish Max Factor Glossfinity Nail Polish I love painted nails and as I have got older even more so. However I don't enjoy the process it involves, unless of course I am going to get it professionally done, which I do every six weeks or so. In between I care for them myself and try to choose products with lasting qualities. Many polishes claim to have all kinds of attributes but for me longevity is key. Where To Purchase Wilko has a good range of Max Faxtor Glossfinity polishes for a good price of £5.99 which is where I tend to purchase mine, but they are available in many outlets and are frequently on offer so it pays to shop around. Max Factor is 3 for 2 at Boots at the moment so well worth looking there. These polishes have the claim by Max Factor stated on their website that “High gloss means high glamour. Pure, elegant glossy nails that last for up to 7 days in our specially formulated range.” 7 days is the key word here because above all else this is what I am seeking. I do a lot of chores around the house, and have two Persian cats and a Shih Tzu dog, and so life is quite challenging for nails on a daily basis. I like to paint them on Sunday and know they will last all week, so how does this polish perform and what about its other qualities? Shades The polish is sold in 26 shades ranging from neutrals which are understated and elegant, to bold reds and mystic purples perfect for autumn and winter. I love all the shades in the range, and have 3 favourites - number 50 Candy ...

Lava Ocean Tours, Hawaii 19/01/2017

The Ultimate Natural World Experience.

Lava Ocean Tours, Hawaii Lava Ocean Tours Hawaii My review of this tour boat company will stay in my mind for so many reasons. I want to stay strictly to the company review to make this a relevant account for anyone contemplating the trip, but in order for you to understand its significance to me personally I will briefly touch on how I came to be there, and why I took the trip of a lifetime. Also how in a way this journey may have saved my life. 10 years ago almost to the day my son emigrated to start a new life in the US. He fell in love, married and embraced his new life over there. It was hard for me, but I knew he was happy which is what every Mum's dream is, even if the miles that separate us pose challenges, and make popping in for a cup of tea and a chat out of the question. Fast forward to 2014 when his home in Arizona became a distant memory and his new home in Hawaii a reality. Making the journey to see him this New Year was a dream come true for me, but because I have the disease ME it was also very very challenging. I am not good flying as the payback is immense, but I knew I had to do it, so we booked up and the rest is history. This disease I have battled for 20 years has dealt me mostly negative outcomes from its relentless symptoms. However on this occasion my actions because of it came to offer me a very lucky escape from a situation that I will elaborate on now. My son lives on Big Island. This is home to the volcano Mt. Kilauea, the world's most active volcano. It dominates ...

VAX S7 Total Home Master 16/12/2016

Be The Queen Of Steam And Make Your House Gleam!

VAX S7 Total Home Master Vax S7 Total Home Master Multifunction Steam Mop Steam cleaning is something I value highly as a means of keeping my home free from as much dirt and allergens as possible. I was first introduced to its success some years ago when my dear Persian cat Teddy had a very bad case of fleas. These had set up home in the house in carpets and soft furnishings. We came home from holiday in late August 2007 to a sea of black specks and jumping fleas. It was horrible. Not being keen on sprays and insecticides due to having ME I decided to invest in a steam cleaner, and within a few days of use the problem had gone. Of course I repeated the treatments, as fleas have a rather nifty life cycle, but we have never had a problem since that day. Whether it is my regular steam cleaning or the replacement of carpets over the years with hard floors I don't know, but I am happy to continue as I am very happy with this method of cleaning, and even better the tools have come on in leaps and bounds. I got rid of my heavy old cleaner last Christmas and purchased the Vax S7 from Amazon, at the rather lightweight price of £39.99 – an utter bargain, and I can honestly say it has been so worth it with some provisos which I will elaborate on during this review. All About The Mop! The Vax S7 Total Home Master Multifunction Steam Mop is a multifunctional device in that it can also be used to clean tile grout and windows as well as hard surfaces tiles and so on. It claims to be able to be easily converted ...

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation 24/11/2016

Under No Illusion This Is Impressive

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation Natural looking make up is what I love, and in recent years I have strived to find make up products that are designed to achieve this look. Charlotte Tilbury is a make up artist who has a range of higher end products for purchase, and I have a great deal of respect for her and her brand. She has worked very hard to really help women to look their best by producing a range of tutorials, and by also having a superb customer service team that you can email on line for help and advice. On a par with Bobbie Brown, these two iconic women lead the field in my opinion if you want good quality cosmetics tailored to the way you want to look as an individual women. Both factor in lifestyles and life choices into their ranges, both offer products for all skin colours, and both are very charity oriented, donating a lot of money to charities that are for women. Having said this I would exercise caution when purchasing higher end brands, as there are sometimes cheaper alternatives, and of course having make up artists within department stores does not come cheap, and to an extent adds to the price tag of many products as does heavy advertising. Where To Purchase You can purchase Charlotte Tilbury make up from her website, or from higher end department stores such as John Lewis. The Magic Foundation that I am reviewing here is one of her most favoured products, so here is my review on the foundation and a detailed look at my experience. The ...

Langass Woodland, Isle of North Uist 15/11/2016

The Enchanted Forest

Langass Woodland, Isle of North Uist Langass Woodland Isle Of North Uist Imagine for a moment an island so windswept and remote that any plant or shrub bends double, as the force of nature pins it into a horizontal position. With every Atlantic depression that sweeps across this desolate landscape, more and more of the vista is flattened – this is the Isle Of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. This is a place that I adore, and one I go back to many times a year, it offers solace and an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Then imagine a wood with trees so tightly packed together that they form a dense canopy, each one acting as a windbreak for the other creating an oasis of calm. This woodland is Langass and this place is situated on an island you would least expect- North Uist. Langass Woods are a community woodland, and because of the landscape and environment I described above, they offer a unique place for trees and the flora and fauna that you wouldn't normally except to find on wild places such as Uist to flourish. Managed by The North Uist Woodland Trust since 2005 every effort has been made to make the area family friendly, with stone paths and educational information boards as well as the creation of bat boxes. Where Is It? The location is perfect - about 10 minutes by car on the A867 from Lochmaddy where the ferry docks that carries cars and passengers to Skye. There is a small car parking area that is more than adequate as you will not find crowds here, and the location makes it ...

BetterYou Magnesium Body Lotion 17/10/2016

Magnesium Therapy Married With Hydration.

BetterYou Magnesium Body Lotion BetterYou Magnesium Body Lotion Holland and Barrett is a shop that I often visit in my city, as from time to time they have really good offers, and also they have a loyalty card that is well worth considering. One of my favourite products they sell is a magnesium based moisturiser which is called BetterYou. This product is one of a collection of magnesium based items that are sold in store and online. About Me and ME I have a serious medical condition called Myalgic Encephalomylitis or ME. I have been ill for over 20 years since falling victim to a vicious enterovirus related to polio that affected my heart and circulation, autonomic nervous system as well as my joints, muscles and neurological system. I have tried many therapies over the years – some have yielded limited success, others have been worthless, but magnesium in all its forms does seem to offer a small degree of help with certain symptoms. The Lotion The moisturising lotion I mentioned made by Betteryou contains 30% Magnesium Oil, that is combined with Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil and Vitamin E. This combination is extremely moisturising, but it also delivers some trans-dermal magnesium that is then theoretically available to the body. It is said by the manufacturer to repair and replenish cells, and to help with skin elasticity and health, imparting hydration, and also promoting a healthy glow. The product also has a lovely fresh scent provided by citrus oils that are included in the ...

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour 23/09/2016

A Holy Grail Lipstick By A World Famous Make Up Artist.

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour Laura Mercier is a world famous make up artist with an impressive list of clients. She was born in Provence and her make up line has been developed based her her expertise and passion for make up artistry. Much like Bobbi Brown these two women are iconic and leaders in their field and they produce many wonderful products. Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour came to my attention, not because of the formula, or the advertising or even the brand reputation, but because of a shade that caught my eye called Spiced Rose. Pinky brown lip colours are universally flattering, and are what I call everyday shades. They can be worn with almost any eye make up, and are a step up from nude colours, and have the ability to light up the face. I think they are especially good if you look tired, or if you have a tendency towards a pale complexion as I do. At the end of this review I will also talk a little bit about my other favourite lipsticks in this category, and compare them to the Laura Mercier option. As Laura Mercier is a high end brand I will also include a price comparison, and the reasons why I think Laura Mercier is an option worth considering. If you haven't tried pinky brown shades before I highly recommend them for their low maintenance if nothing else. The Product Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour has a recommended retail price of £22 so as I mentioned this is an expensive purchase, and not one I make very often in this category ...

Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder 15/07/2016

Everything About This Product Is Coming Up Roses.

Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder is a product that I would say was in my holy grail collection of make up products. One that I would not like to be without. Having said that I rarely buy powder at all, as being a lady of maturing years you have to be mindful of the way that powder can be drying on the skin, and can, if you apply with a heavy hand, or use the wrong products, settle into creases and fine lines magnifying them. So what is it about this product that does not send me catapulting it into obscurity? — let me elaborate. Availability Becoming more available over time this product is now a department store item, and you can expect to pay £26 maximum for this. I don't pay anything like this, as I shop around, waiting for offers using online suppliers with regularity, and I will list some of these at the end of this review. A Beautiful Story First of all the make Jurlique has a wonderful story which you can discover on their website. The founders Dr Jürgen Klein, who was a biochemist, and his wife Ulrike, a botanist, both German, had a passion for developing products that were natural, and free from chemicals. This this led to a move to Australia, and the setting up of a farm on which the plants which were to form the basis of the ingredients in their products could be grown. This is a similar business model to Weleda if you are familiar with that brand. The name Jurlique is derived from their own first names which adds a ...

Clarins Sun Care Milk Lotion Spray SPF50+ 23/06/2016

High Sun Protection Without Hassle

Clarins Sun Care Milk Lotion Spray SPF50+ Clarins New Sun Care Milk-Lotion Spray Very High Protection UVB 50+, 150ml Today is the Summer Solstice, probably the most appropriate day to be writing about sun cream! The longest day, and the day I love most in the entire year, but a day that reminds me of all those who have been harmed by what we all worship so much. Sun care is really important to me as I have very fair skin, burn easily and have a family history of skin cancer. It is something that I think about a lot each year, as my daughter recently had some suspicious moles removed, that thankfully turned out to be benign, but had the potential to change in later life. My father has had a long battle with skin cancer, and although probably not helped by his sun loving activities in his youth, nevertheless means it is uppermost in my mind to stay protected. I am also committed to ensuring that I find products, not only for myself, but that I can send to my daughter, as being a vet she lives an outdoor life a lot of the time. I recently decided to try Clarins, as I nearly always purchase the Australian brand Sunsense, which is a very respected company, and one I wholeheartedly recommend. However, on a Greek holiday last year I ran out of sunscreen, and had to purchase some there, and due to a limited choice I ended up buying a spray, which has really opened my eyes up to this method of dispensing lotion, as not only is it quick and efficient, but it ensures a wide area is covered quickly. A Special ...

Royal Canin Hepatic Wet Canine 19/05/2016

Food For Dogs With Liver Disease.

Royal Canin Hepatic Wet Canine Royal Canin Hepatic Wet Canine Diet Royal Canin Hepatic Diet is a veterinary prescribed food, and is something of a lifesaver when fed to the dog that needs it, and my goodness is my beautiful Shih Tzu Pebbles in that category.. To give you a little background that led up to me requiring to purchase this food I will briefly elaborate on her story. Why I Need This Pebbles is a pedigree Shih Tzu, and two and a half years old. Her first 18 months were so happy as she was a beautiful healthy puppy, so full of life, and she had round the clock boundless energy. Then something changed very gradually, she started to wake up in the morning and I would see her being sick, yellow bile usually only, and then she would be ready for breakfast, and not ill in herself at all. I mentioned this to my daughter who is a vet, and she told me to keep an eye on it, which I did, but it was very intermittent, and her general health and demeanour were good. Fast forward a few months, and one day, after she returned from the groomers, she began to vomit and shake violently. I knew something was wrong, as she had also cried out in the night for no reason a few days before, which at the time I thought was strange. Emergency Vets The vet I saw as an emergency following these events seemed to think she had either a gastric upset or possibly Addisons Disease, as her heart rate was very low. Pebbles also had raised liver enzymes which was rather strange, but these can be transiently elevated with ...

Lancome Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Cleanser - Sensitive Eyes 06/05/2016

Say Goodbye To Panda Eyes.

Lancome Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Cleanser - Sensitive Eyes Lancome Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Cleanser- Sensitive Eyes Lancome Bi-Facil is one of the most treasured products in my beauty collection. I am not someone who buys into hype, or likes to pay extortionate prices for everyday products, but if something is of a high standard I will purchase it. This is exactly the case with this eye make up remover. First I will explain what the product claims to do, and then I will elaborate on my experience using this product. The Claims The key features are that it claims to remove all traces of eye make up effortlessly. It is suitable for contact lens wearers, and for those with sensitive skin, and it claims to remove waterproof mascara effortlessly. It also says it is tested by Opthalmologists and it is suitable for all skin types. To Use To use it suggests that you shake the bottle first, as this activates the bi-phase formula, and then you apply to a cotton pad, waiting until it turns blue. You then place the pad on the eyes, and without rubbing, eye make up with be removed in a few seconds, so there is no need to use any pressure. Where To Purchase Availability of this product is widespread in major department stores, and online beauty retailers such as Feel Unique, and prices vary between £21.50 and £22.50 for 125mls. There is also a large bottle available that retails for £28.50. I would wait for offers before purchase, as these are frequent. A bottle lasts many months with daily use as a little goes a long way. My ...

Bourjois City Radiance Foundation 26/03/2016

Foundation For Radiance - Perfect For Summer.

Bourjois City Radiance Foundation Bourjoir City Radiance Foundation Bourjois make some lovely foundations. I have been buying them for many years, and many of them never fail to impress me, as they marry quality with a very reasonable price tag, making them affordable for everyone. They are often discounted and are widely available, A fairly recent addition to the Bourjois range is The City Radiance Foundation, which retails for £9.99 in most high street chemists. Presented in a perfect tube for travelling, this foundation has two main benefits, in summary- it provides SPF protection, and it brightens the skin, and additionally it claims to offer anti pollutant qualities. These are achieved by way of a carbon block that it is said stops carbon particles settling on the skin promoting radiance, It is aimed primarily at the urban market or the city dweller. I must admit I viewed my purchase with trepidation, as I have been so committed to the foundations from Bourjois over the years that I wasn't sure this would be exactly what I needed. I am a mature lady with normal to dry skin, who likes a radiant, but not too dewy finish, but certainly not a matte look that has a powdery appearance. Actually Boots had an offer- buy 2 get one free on Bourjois so I thought I would try the item anyway, as I needed a couple of other products from the range, effectively making this a free purchase. The foundation as I mentioned claims to brighten and to offer an anti- dull complex promoting a fresh luminous finish. The ... 06/03/2016

Riverford Organics Seasonal Fresh Sustainable and Ethical Riverford Organics Organic vegetables fruit and salads have always been the main part of my diet. I try to grow as much as I can, but as I have no greenhouse I am quite limited. I have tried supermarkets for produce, but have had many issues with quality and indeed presentation, and have grown tired of the use of plastics on everything. So I have turned over the years to home delivery companies devoted to this business. Riverford Organics are by far the best in my opinion. They offer a unique service, based on a genuine desire and passion to provide produce that is as far as possible sourced from their own farms, or entirely traceable to the point of growth. I cannot even begin to tell you how impressed I am with them, and how the salad crops in particular are absolutely amazing, even in the depths of winter. From Small Beginnings Started by founder Guy Watson, who started on a small scale in Devon, delivering his vegetables locally there, the company has grown and expanded with the development of further regional farms, and now they supply 47,000 customers each week. They pride themselves in being able to supply households with freshly picked produce within 48 hours of harvesting, and I personally can endorse the fact that the difference in freshness, compared to supermarket organic produce, is incredible. The area where this is most noticeable is in the salad leaves, which are still fresh over a week later, and keep so well in the fridge. A Superb Website The ...
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