Special Gift Ideas for Your Other Half

One of the greatest joys of having an ‘other half’ is treating them and surprising them with things we know they’ll love. However, this doesn’t mean we aren’t stumped for ideas sometimes - we’re only human, after all! If the time has come for you to treat your other half but you’re unsure of what to do, then read on for some ideas!

Personalised Jewellery 

Personalised jewellery can be a lovely gift for both a man and a woman. Whether you choose a bracelet with a love note inscribed or a necklace with your initials on it, it’ll mean so much to them. You could even design something, especially for them! You can do this through a special jeweller, or if you want them to be seriously impressed, then do a course and make something yourself. 

A Photo Frame

If you’re tight on funds but still want to get them something special, a photo frame with a gorgeous picture of the two of you inside will be lovely. They can put this on their desk at work or even on their bedside table. 

A Personalised Wall Hanging

A personalised wall hanging will be a lovely reminder of the love you two share whenever you look up at it. It could be a collection of words that mean something to you, or even your names and the names of your family. Something like this would be the perfect 5th wedding anniversary gift, just as long as it’s made from wood. You don’t want to break tradition!
A Scrapbook

If you’ve got the time, settle down and make a scrapbook of your time together as a couple. Get a pretty book and decorate it with ticket stubs, photographs, and other bits and pieces that show the kind of relationship you have. Putting time and effort in like this is worth more than any amount of money you could spend. 

A Tub Full of Notes

A tub full of notes...really? Yes! The same as with the notebook, putting the time into writing out notes like this shows you’ve put a lot of thought into what you’re giving them. Buy a pretty tub or simply use an empty one from the pantry. Decorate it if you like. Get some paper, and consider cutting it into pretty shapes. You could colour coordinate the notes if you like; blue for a love note, pink for a pick me up, and yellow for a funny memory. They will never forget a gift like this! I think my husband would prefer this over the pregnancy tests I bought him once

A Break Away

Whisk them away and have some ‘you time’ - you deserve it! You can find some great deals online, so you don’t need to get a second mortgage to do it. 

An Adventure Day

If you haven’t got the time for a weekend or week break away, then go on an adventure for the day. Take them on a hot air balloon ride, or go go-karting. Do something fun where you can bond and fall in love all over again! 

I hope you love these gift ideas and your other half is over the moon!

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The Secrets to Beautiful Eyes

There’s nothing more gorgeous or noticeable than when a woman has beautiful eyes. We obsess over long, fluttery lashes. We drool when we see perfectly applied smoky shadow. But what are the real secrets to beautiful eyes? I’m going to tell you...

Stop Smoking and Other Bad Habits

Smoking is bad. We all know this. It’s bad for our skin, teeth, organs, and our eyes. It can cause a condition called macular degeneration, which can eventually turn us blind. If it doesn’t do that, it’ll yellow the eye and make it look dull. Nobody who is a regular smoker can have bright eyes forever! 

Eat Well

Eating good food is the key to having beautiful eyes. What you put inside of your body has a big impact on the outside of your body. Eating a good amount of protein, carbs, and healthy fats is essential. The more nutrients and vitamins you get in your diet, the better you can expect your eyes to look! 

Get Sufficient Sleep

Get 8 hours sleep a night to reduce dark circles and puffiness. There’s a reason the saying is, ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’! Get into a routine by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. 

Go for an Eye Test

If your eyes aren’t healthy, they won’t be beautiful. If you can’t see properly, you might even get black eyes from bumping into things (unlikely, but it could happen)! Some people don’t go nearly enough, but there’s no excuse as eye exam prices are reasonable. You should look at your eye tests in the same way you do your dental appointments (I’m assuming you prioritise them here). Don’t worry if you’re prescribed glasses; glasses can frame the face and enhance your eyes further if you choose the frames carefully! 


Experiment with eye makeup to create new looks. Sometimes, I like to create a cat-eye shape with liquid eyeliner. I always curl my lashes, as this opens up the eye before applying mascara. There are plenty of videos online that could give you pro tips for applying your eye makeup. No need to pay for expensive lessons! 

Enhance the Colour

Learn how to enhance your eye colour to make your eyes stand out. Some eye colours suit bright shadows, while others stand out with neutrals. Your hair colour and even the clothes you wear can help to make your eyes stand out too!

Groom Your Brows

Your eyebrows can make or break your whole eye area. If they’re not properly groomed, they can drag the eye area down visually and make you look tired. Arched, polished brows will make your eyes appear larger and frame your face. 

Apply Serum 

Applying serum to the brows and eyes will help your hair to thicken and grow. Sparse brows will really benefit from serum, and lashes can grow a noticeable amount! Your eye area can look naturally beautiful with the help of this stuff! 

I hope you love your beautiful eyes after trying these tips. Let me know!

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Nip And Tuck: Things To Consider Before Cosmetic Surgery

Thousands of British women decide to go under the knife each year in order to improve the way they look and the way that they feel about themselves. If you are one of the many women considering this form of body modification this year, or in the near future, here are some important things to consider while you are going through the decision process. 

The reasons 

It’s important that you are honest with yourself about why you want to have a cosmetic procedure. Some people do it because they think it will fix a problem in their lives, only to find out afterwards that it was not the answer. Speaking to family, friends and medical professionals can help you to make the right decision.

The clinic

Cosmetic surgery is a big industry, and there are many clinics out there that want your business. Many women find it very difficult to know how to make a decision between them. A good place to start is with a personal recommendation. Do you know someone who has had a procedure that you could ask for information? Your GP may also be able to make a reliable recommendation. If you are serious about getting the crème de la crème of services, you may wish to find out about facelift, breast augmentation and other procedures abroad. America is still considered the leading country for cosmetic surgery

The consultation

Select your top two or three clinics and attend a consultation with them all. Not only will this help you to get more information, but it will also give you a feel of which clinic and surgeon you feel most comfortable with. You are in for a long-term relationship with your surgeon, so it’s important to find one you are happy with.

You will be told a lot of information at these consultations, so it’s a good idea to make notes and to have a list of questions that you would like answers to. Questions you may wish to ask include: what are the surgeon's qualifications? How many times have they done the procedure? And what are the potential risks and complications? 

If you have any facts or figures you are unsure about, the General Medical Council may be able to help you out. You can consult their website or give them a call

The recovery 

Bruising and swelling post-surgery can take days, weeks or even months to fade. You’ll need to consider whether you can afford this amount of time. Things you’ll need to consider include how much time you can take off work and whether you have an important event coming up, such as a wedding. 

The expense

Cosmetic surgery is very rarely provided through the NHS. So it’s most likely that you’ll need to go private. The cost will depend on the procedure that you are having and where in the world you are having it done. Do your research thoroughly so that you can work out whether this is an expense that you can and are willing to pay. Remember to factor into your sums the costs that are additional to the procedure, like follow-up care. 

Have you had cosmetic surgery? What advice would you offer to others women considering a procedure?

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5 Quick Ways to Keep Your Children Busy

With the summer just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about ways to keep your kids busy while they’re not at school. Here are 5 quick solutions.

1. Set Up a Staring Contest

This tip is great. You just tell your kids that they have to have a staring battle, and the winner gets an amazing prize. All being well, they’ll spend the afternoon (or 10 minutes at least!) staring at each other in silence.

You may think I’m joking, but if you can pull this one off, you’ll be thanking me later. If the plan fails though you can still salvage the situation. Try turning it into an arm wrestling contest! Make sure it doesn’t turn rowdy though.

2. Start an Art Project

If you give kids a pile of paper and a set of paints, they’ll be satisfied to play for a good few hours. You’re probably going to have an almighty mess to clear up afterwards, but it’s guaranteed to keep them busy for a while.

It’s always good for children to be given the chance to get creative though, so don’t let the mess involved put you off. You set them specific tasks to complete if you want to make a whole day out of it.


3. Let Them Play Games

Don’t listen to those parenting books that warn against letting your children sit in front of screens. Yes, they shouldn’t do it too much. But every parent sits their kids down in front of the television or computer sometimes. It’s a good way to keep them busy and distracted!

There are loads of free online games that can keep them busy nowadays, so you don’t even have to pay for the games. Use sites like Playberry and they’ll be engrossed while you do other things.

4. Use Them as Car Washers

This isn’t slave labor, honestly. Every child loves washing the car, so why not let them go for it? You keep them busy for a while, and, who knows, maybe the car will even end up a little bit cleaner by the end of it too!

Fill a bucket with warm soapy water and give them a couple of sponges and let them get to work! It’s how I spend many summer days as a child. If you’re particularly protective of your car, you might want to supervise it though.


5. Tell Them to Make a Movie

There are so many new opportunities afforded to parents by modern technology. So, make sure you use them to keep your kids busy. You probably have loads of video cameras around the house, on your phone or tablet. Give them to your kids and set them the challenge of making a movie.

This is great fun and will keep them busy all day long. It also inspires them to get creative, forcing them into using their imaginations. And that can only be good for their overall development. Use these easy tips and you’ll find that keeping your kids busy is easier than you might have thought!

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How To Turn Spring Cleaning Into A Family Fun Day

The next few weeks will see the last opportunity to get a bit of spring cleaning done. And, if you've left it this late, the chances are that you are going to have to plan on doing it with the kids around.

Bearing this in mind. I've been thinking of some ideas of how to tackle spring cleaning when you have the kids around. The solution is simple: just get them to help! Children just love helping out and getting the home ready for summer is a great team activity that creates a bit of bonding time.

Not only will you get things done, but you will have fun doing it. Here are some simple tips that will help you get things up to scratch and keep the whole family busy.

photo: Ryan Harvey

1. Make a plan of action

Split up your tasks amongst yourselves and the kids. Younger children will have to team up with a parent, but the older ones can be given the honour of having their own rooms to take care of. They will also appreciate more grown up tasks.

2. Set expectations

It's important for everyone to know their jobs, but also how much they are supposed to do. If one of the kids is going to spend a couple of hours cleaning the bathroom with you, then it isn't fair if another only spends a minute hiding all their mess in a sock drawer. 

3. Talk about products

Before you start, it's probably a good idea to talk about the dangers of cleaning products. The idea is to clean the house ready for summer, not end up in ER! 

4. Let them have a say

Also, let's not make this a dictatorship. Give the kids some say in what they want to do. Perhaps they want to spend some time with mummy, some time with daddy and, for the older ones, as little time as possible with anyone.

5. Draw up scorecards

Younger children's minds wander in various directions all the time, so it is a good idea to have some form of overarching strategy to help them stop getting bored. Try drawing up scorecards that they can tick off every time they complete a task

6. Organize DJ sets

Music is a great way to set the tempo of a big clean up. Make sure everyone has an allotted time for their preferred music. And that includes the parents, too. That will provide some musical education for the kids and some relief from the CBeebies theme tune CD.

7. Take breaks

Make sure the kids have regular drinks breaks. This will keep them hydrated and keep the day separated into easy chunks. However, as everybody probably already knows, breaks do not apply to mum and dad. 

8. Organize rubbish collection

Once you are done, it’s time to think about rubbish removal. You can get someone to collect it, or bring everyone and everything to the most exciting theme park in the world. This is also known as the rubbish tip.

9. Dish out your rewards

All hard, honest work should be rewarded, and this is a great time to show a vital life lesson to all of your children. So, when you are done, take the kids straight to Granny’s house and leave them there for a sleepover. After all, you and hubster deserve it.

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Viridian's L-Theanine & Lemon Balm Supplements - The Original Teatox

I would absolutely class myself as a health advocate but what I believe to be healthy varies from anyone else I know.As a child I dreamt of becoming a doctor but in the 80's a doctor was deemed to be a 'mans job' so I put it on a back burner. However, I've never been able to shake the itch to become a doctor and now as a thirty something I'm working my ass off to achieve my honours degree at home; so I can finally try to get a placement at university doing medicine - if I never achieve it I'll be happy in the knowledge that I at least tried and at least I have learnt so much over my many years studying and researching.

One of the things I have learnt is how each bodily system functions, how one small change can affect another system immensely and as someone who suffers from a range of autoimmune and genetic issues I do try to ensure I'm taking in the adequate amount of vitamins, supplements and minerals but due to those issue, my body doesn't function correctly and it cause issues with malnutrition which then comes with it's own set of difficulties. The main problems for me are fatigue, pain, weight fluctuations and ensuring my cognitive function stays high.


I've tried most brands of supplements and I do test out many unusual supplements which I will be featuring on here because I believe they can help so many others who are in a similar boat to myself. L-Theanine is one of those supplements and it can be found in both the theaceae family (tea family) and the Boletus Badius family (mushroom fungus) - If you've ever jumped on the green tea bandwagon then it's probably because of the theanine in the green tea as it's that component that does all of the good work.

Once digested L-Theanine converts to L-glutamate in the liver and intestines and it can cross the brain barrier which makes this a fantastic product for those who need to improve cognitive function, reduce their stress, improve their depression or mood disorders and to relax any mental fog. It doesn't only help mental function, it actually improves anxiety, it helps to keep blood pressure under control and promotes an increase in alpha waves which help to reduce problematic things such as OCD, phobias, sleep disorders and fibromyalgia. I have fibromyalgia which was so bad a few years back I couldn't leave the house, I walked with sticks and I rarely slept and went days without sleep was tough - hellish almost.

Lemon Balm is another useful herb which doesn't come from the lemon family as some would believe but rather the mint family - crazy huh? the leaves are typically used in medicine for digestive upsets, bloating, gas build up, colic, reflux, nausea and even colic. If you suffer from lady problems then you'll adore lemon balm too as it also helps to reduce the amount of cramping each month, reduces migraines and headaches that come from the hormonal problems such as the menstrual cycle and lemon balm helps to smooth out that dip in mood that can come during or before your cycle.

Both these herbal ingredients are fantastic on their own but together they're a powerhouse!


The supplements that I tried were by L-Theanine & Lemon Balm capsules by Viridian via the Nutrition Centre. Viridian are a leader in supplements and believe in offering ethical products which gets them extra ticks in my opinion, they make a charity donation with every purchase and you can send back your bottle for recycling or simply reuse it yourself. Their products come in apothecary style dark glass bottles which also get major ticks as I believe that all supplements and herbal products should be sold in this way as it improves shelf life and keeps them from going bad. These are suitable for vegans, they're free from sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, lactose, preservatives and artificial colours and the ingredients are 100% active.

When I purchase any form of health or well being product I research the heck out of it, I check it's sources and the dosage amount purely because some will advertise as having an ingredient when in fact it's so far under the recommended dosage radar that it won't do a thing. Bio-availability is also another issue as some supplements can't be used by the body unless they're paired with a buddy (vegetables and a fat source for example - if you eat veggies with no fat your body can't use the vitamins and minerals as they're not bio available, if you add a little butter to your veggies or a healthy oil your body can take all of the vitamins and minerals it needs). Viridian are one of those brands (in the top three) that factor in these concerns so you know you are safe and ultimately you're getting your money's worth because the benefits that are being advertised by the brand can be achievable if you take the product as directed.

Taking these capsules was a doddle because they don't  taste. I've tried some supplements that were horrible, beefy or mouldy smelling - if you sniff this jar you'll smell a mild tea scent which is quite nice too (I wouldn't recommend sniffing jars, people may think you're a tad crazy). The recommended dosage is one to two capsules per day, I've been taking two and I honestly have seen and felt a huge difference!

I didn't believe I would but I found within the first week I felt more awake when normally I'd be struggling to keep my eyes open. I also found I became more focused as my foggy brain cleared and my moods have definitely improved - no PMS for me this month and my emotions have been on a pretty calm even-keel so the hubster is a happy bunny too. I suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) which is so painful and I've noticed that this has disappeared for the most part with only a couple of problematic days. While it's not a listed benefit I've also lost weight! unexpected but greatly appreciated as I have had a number of issues with my thyroid and of course the lack of energy meant that doing as much exercise or moving about was tough, now I can and it's wonderful.

The bottle size contains 30 capsules, I'm nearly finished these and I will be buying more but this time I'll purchase a 90 capsule bottle as I can't go back to struggling to stay awake during the day as I hate living like that, it's just not fair on my family and as a working mama bear (and starting a new job) I need to feel refreshed and vibrant each day.

So would I recommend these? I absolutely would. I've not had any side effects (I'm very sensitive to supplements and prescription meds normally), they were easy to take and the benefits were visible quickly. They're from a trusted brand who don't hold back any information and I love that you can reuse the bottles. As a sensitive celiac sufferer they don't contain wheat and gluten which makes me so happy because there's many brands out there that don't cater to us and while some might believe a product is gluten free there can be hidden gluten which makes us very ill.


The Nutrition Centre sell lots of amazing brands such as Viridian, Bach's (I adore Bach's), Better You (who make the tastiest vitamin sprays ever), JASON Skin care, REN, Pukka Herbs and many more. You can pick up your own L-Theanine & Lemon Balm here (link) if you want to get in on this action - if you suffer from erratic moods, fatigue or pain disorders, autoimmune conditions and even SAD then I 100% recommend these supplements.

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* My original bottle was a pr sample but I've since purchased this again - all opinions are my own. *

Exante Diet || What's It All About....?

I like routine. I like plans and I like order. Anything new in my already planned lifestyle throws me off and that causes lots of stress and lots of comfort eating. Throw in some dysfunctional thyroid issues and voila... you have a weight issue. Granted I'm not overweight but I much prefer to be within the lower or middle range of my BMI as it helps my reduce the issues caused by my autoimmune conditions and health is far more important to me than fitting into a size zero ever will be. 

I've been most sizes at some point in my past. I've also tried many diets from Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Cabbage Soup and 5:2 to name a few. None of them worked as I couldn't fit them around my already busy lifestyle - too much prep and planning to work which eventually stressed me out so I thought I'd have to resign myself to yo-yo dieting. I recently heard about Exante and figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try especially since I was hoping to make my lifestyle easier with a recent change of job and hubster changing his working pattern too - quick meals that I could slot into free spaces in my day-to-day life was starting to sound very promising. 

A quick visit to the Exante website I entered my details on the BMI checker and it advised me that the best plans were - The Simple Solution or the Stabiliser Maintenance Plan was shown which fitted with what I was already knew and it confirmed that this wasn't a money grabbing situation. Reading that this could also help me with the 5:2 diet was an added bonus as the 5:2 diet was advised to me by my doctor to help curb my hypothyroidism weight gain but I always fell flat on the 2 low calorie days. 

I received a variety of products to try from snack bars, milkshakes, pasta carbonara, spaghetti bolognese, maple syrup pancakes and drink mix. I figured this would give me a good basis and help me to find out if this is something I could introduce into my life.

The meals included:

Pasta Carbonara // I've not tried this yet but it's carbonara, what's not to love?
Spaghetti Bolognese // I've not used this yet also but it looks relatively easy to use and I do love a good bolognese.
Maple Syrup Pancakes // I've still to use these but my sons are already trying to get in on this pancake action.

Snack bars - Hells YES!

Hot Cross Bun Bar // I didn't get a hot cross bun taste from this, it actually reminded me more of a cookie dough. It's nice but wasn't my favourite of the three bars.
Lemon & Yoghurt Bar // I didn't expect to like this bar but out of the three it was my favourite. Not too sweet, just the right amount of lemon and yoghurt and very filling.
Peanut Butter Bar // I was full halfway through this bar! that's a win in my opinion. It tastes typically like peanut butter from a jar but in bar form. It's gorgeous.

Milkshakes flavours are varied and I enjoyed them all but loved the hazelnut. I'm a huge fan of nut milks anyway so this was an added bonus. Some of the flavours I've tried include:

Hazelnut // Tastes like fresh nut milk. It's really tasty and fresh.
Vanilla // Typical vanilla without the overly fake vanilla taste.
Banana // Ba-Na-Na all the way.
Strawberry // Strawberry but done really well.
Lemon and Raspberry // This one surprised me, it was really fresh and nothing like anything I've tasted. The raspberry comes through more than the lemon but it was really lovely.

Overall there wasn't any milkshakes that I couldn't fit into my lifestyle.

The surprise for me was the Elderflower and White Wine flavour drink mix. This is so simple to use as you simply mix in two or three teaspoons of mix to a 250 ml to sparkling water - this drink is so mouthwateringly delicious and doesn't taste powdery or synthetic. There's also plenty mix to make many glasses of drink. 

Starting off on this journey I was 9 stone 1 and I have lost three pounds, I'm not sure if it's because I'm snacking less as these products really do fill you up or if it's fluke. I'll continue on and report an overall opinion as soon as I have one but as far as ease of use, taste and product range the Exante Diet is a winner for my busy lifestyle so I'm confident it can fit into most mothers and most workers lives too. 

You can find out more about the Exante Diet over on their website.

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