13 Aug 2010

Britain’s Next Top Model Live 2010 - London - Ticket Giveaway

Britain’s Next Top Model Live 2010

The ultimate weekend shopping extravaganza comes to London for the first time Ever – Britain’s Next Top Model Live is here from 22nd – 24th October 2010.

Based on the hugely successful international reality TV show - presented by international supermodel Elle McPherson - Britain’s Next Top Model Live is set to be London’s biggest fashion and Beauty fix, and every girl’s essential event for this season’s trends.

Taking place across three days from 22nd – 24th October 2010 at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands, dedicated followers of fashion and beauty will be able to experience the ultimate in retail therapy – an event designed to bring to life the lifestyle and glamour of Britain’s Next Top Model, with a range of fashion shows, exhibitions, shopping, beauty, health and fitness, and interactive features for this Autumn and Winter trends.

Visitors will be able to strut their stuff down the red carpet entrance to the Central Champagne Bar and into the largest selection of the UK’s leading high street brands and premium designer fashions, offering some of the latest sensationally stylish collections from the high-street and beyond.

his year’s event will also host a series of stunning hour-long Catwalk Shows. Featuring an inspiring range of fashion, designer gowns and unique creations from up and coming talent, and with special appearances from all of the girls from Britain’s Next Top Model series 6, alongside top music acts and spectacular live entertainment, within the 3000 seat auditorium, the catwalk shows are guaranteed to leave you with an inspiring WOW factor.

If that wets the appetite, and you want to feel like you’ve been in an episode of BNTM yourself, visitors can come and learn how to walk the walk like the professionals on the purpose built Open Catwalk, while the BNTM Live photographers capture your debut on camera. Alternatively, if you prefer to stand still, why not come and pout, pose and feel the fame of being a model as you work the camera in the Paparazzi Zone with Company Magazine- an area dedicated to re-creating backdrops and photo shoots from series 6 as well as special locations from around London.

If you’re still not feeling like the ultimate glamour puss then make your way to the Powder Room and indulge in free hair and beauty makeovers, pamper treatments and advice from our experts, exclusively tailored to each individual. Or come and learn the tricks of the trade from top industry experts at the Style Icon Workshops, that will guide you along the lifestyle path to becoming the ultimate fashionista.

This year’s event is also offering visitors the unique opportunity to win a place in Living TV’s Britain’s Next Top Model Series 7 in 2011 with the BNTM Application Studio. Living TV will be recording Live auditions for applicants for the next series of BNTM. Alternatively, if you prefer to be behind the lens than on a catwalk, you can head for the Live Casting Couch where Models 1 will be seeking out the new faces for their future fashion and beauty campaigns.

From fashion, to beauty tips and pampering, personal styling and catwalk glamour, Britain’s Next Top Model Live is the must-see fashion and beauty event of the year, with something for every taste all under one roof.

The first Britain’s Next Top Model Live will be taking place from 22nd – 24th October at London’s Excel Centre. Book your tickets now to Save ££ log on to http://www.bntmlive.com/ticket-information/

• Standard Ticket £18, includes Entry to the event and a seat within the Main Catwalk, Premium Ticket £25 which includes entry into the event, Premium seat within the Main Catwalk Show & Show Guide, or VIP Ticket –

• VIP £39 ticket gives you entry, VIP seats in BNTML Catwalk, showguide, VIP goody bag and entry into VIP lounge.

The show’s Opening times are 11am – 8pm Friday – Saturday, 10am – 7pm Sunday.

I have 2 pairs of tickets to giveaway!!
To enter just leave a comment below
with some way for me to contact you (should you win)
eg.. email address or @twitter name.
Closing date for entries: 12th September 2010

Hotter Shoes - Summer Sandals

Hotter Shoes - Summer Sandals

I have wide feet, very wide, so wide that Clark's only stocked one pair of sandals in my width and they were pretty gruesome (to be honest).  So what does a girl with feet so wide they look like flippers do in the summer? In the past I have worn ugly men's sandals, nothing feminine those chunky strappy ones that rub when you walk (because they are slightly too big being designed for men).

Last year we went to Egypt, I wore my chunky nasty men's sandals (£2.99 from the sports shop) and even when I had tightened every strap they rubbed my big toe so much the skin wore away.  I then 'stupidly' went for a body scrub and massage session and the little Egyptian man rubbed salt scrub into the cuts on my toes ... I nearly hit the roof it stung so much.  I ended up walking bare foot everywhere for a fortnight, the soles of my feet were burnt and encrusted with dust and dirt ... not the best look or feeling.

Anyway .... Hotter Shoes have an EXTRA WIDE section on their website which has styles for all ages/fashions etc.. they stock shoes, sandals, boots and even heels :)
I chose a pair of 'Vista Extra Wide' to try, I went for red as they looked pretty cool in the photo online in a size 8.

Well when they arrived I was instantly impressed, the leather is soft (I mean really really soft) and every single surface, strap, area is padded.  The sandals are really really light which surprised me as I am used to clompy nasty plasticy sandals.

The strap at the front where your toes stick out is one section, not two pieces held together with a strap, the padding goes all the way round and just adjusts tighter or looser as you need it.  This is a god-send for me as there is NO edges to rub my toes, its a soft band and feels fantastic!

I am also impressed with the side detail on the design.  It looks as if there is a hole on the pattern, but there isn't :) this section is a whole piece of padding which protects your little toe and toe nail.  So many pairs before has my little toes been rubbed by the detail of the design or fallen out of the gap as I have been walking along.  Remember wide feet peoples toes spread out a lot and easily waggle about and fall out of shoes, so this detail is brilliant and obviously well thought out by Hotter Shoes designers.

The centre ankle strap is again padded but does have a join where the buckle is.  For my ankle size this is fine and the shoe meets both sides so I have total padding, but for someone with (shall we say) 'puffy' ankles they may find the padding doesn't reach all the way over the front of their foot.
However the underside of the strap is very soft suede and so they will still be comfortable even on the largest setting that the Velcro will extend too.

The back strap is the same as the front (you can see what I mean better from this angle), the material padding goes all the way round, no gaps or rough bits to rub your heel.  The back is one big loop with the strap on the outside for adjustment, I found the 'factory setting' great for my feet and I haven't had to change this or adjust it at all, maybe when I wear them in a bit and they stretch I may have to nip them in a bit then but the option is there when I need it.

The final 'super-dooper' part of the sandals is that the sole is velcro'd in .. this means you can remove it.  Why you would want to? baffles me a little so I have thought up a few reasons why you might want to ... your feet smell really bad and you want to give the insoles a bit of a rinse (handwash), you have worn out the sandals from so much wear and wish to replace the insole only, they have got wet from paddling in the sea and you need to dry them on the line.  Good suggestions I think .. but I am still a bit unsure why they are removable.  The insoles are very padded and comfortable, they are also non-slip as they are made from suede.  I find these very comfortable as they soak up the sweat instead of letting my feel slip and slide about inside the sandal.

There are a couple of bad points to the sandals but nothing major ... my first point is that the sole isn't very grippy, yes it is thick black rubber (and so won't wear out) but these are labeled as a 'sporty sandal', I personally wouldn't want to use these for sport as they give no support to your ankles or any grip while running about.  Also on the subject of support the insoles are very comfortable but they offer no support to the arches of your feet, having wide feet normally means you are also pretty heavy (or 'big boned') and us bigger girls need arch support to carry out weight effectively.

Apart from that I love the style, the colour, the fabrics the sandals are made from ... basically everything about them apart from a few support issues.

A top style of sandal from Hotter Shoes and well worth a look through their range whatever the size and shape of your feet.

12 Aug 2010

Grand Designs Live NEC - Ticket Giveaway


Grand Designs Live Birmingham 2010, is back and set to bring three days of amazing features and inspiration for your home this October

Returning for the fifth consecutive year to the Birmingham NEC, the award-winning Grand Designs Live Birmingham is back, showcasing inspirational design, self build, interiors and cutting-edge homewares from the 8th – 10th October 2010.

Based on the popular Channel 4 TV series presented by Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs Live brings to life real home improvement projects, cutting-edge design, eco-friendly innovation, and interior design, through a series of live interactive features, across a three day event.

This year’s Birmingham show will be spread over six different sections which include: The Grand Village, Grand Build, Grand Interiors, Grand Kitchens sponsored by Miele, Grand Bathrooms and Grand Gardens.

With over 500 of the UK’s biggest and best brands exhibiting their latest product ranges across the event, as well as expert advice on everything from planning, designing and building your own home to adding those finishing touches from our Grand Designs Expert Advice centre sponsored by VELUX, visitors will be able to buy, build and furnish a house, all under one roof.


1. Grand Village: Visit this year’s spectacular Grand Village hosting a range of full scale sustainable homes and some of the most dynamic and cutting-edge architectural design and buildings of the future, all open to the public to view throughout the event.

2. Grand Build sponsored by VELUX: The dedicated Grand Build section offers products, advice and services, with everything you need to know about the build and home improvement process from planning right through to construction and fittings, as well as advice on green building technologies, and more manufacturers than ever before to help plan your self-build or home improvement project.

3. Grand Interiors: This year’s Grand Interiors section has the widest range of interior design and style advice than ever, as well as the unique opportunity to shop in the Design Arcade where visitors will see a wide range of leading product designers showcasing some fabulous home wares to add a touch of personality to your home.

4. Grand Kitchens sponsored by Miele & Grand Bathrooms: A showcase of the latest and sleekest in kitchen design for all sizes large or small, Grand Kitchens offers the largest variety of bespoke and designer kitchens available. Alongside sits the widest range of luxurious room sets in Grand Bathrooms, offering more variety and styles than any other home show. Come and discuss your plans with one of our experts and they’ll show some inspiring ideas, including the latest energy-saving, sustainable technologies to help you find the best designs to suit your Kitchen or Bathroom plans and budget.

5. Grand Gardens: Surrounded by a range of outdoor manufacturers, this year’s serene Grand Show Gardens showcase the latest in garden design, innovation, planting, furniture and accessories for outdoor living. With everything for an urban rooftop to a tranquil green garden, this year’s Grand Gardens has it all.

6. Grand Technology: This year’s Grand Technology section is once again a must-see. Brimming with gadgets and gizmos this year’s House of the Future will demonstrate the leading products in home entertainment, cooking and style to make your home the ultimate entertainment hub.

7. Grand Designs Expert Advice Centre sponsored by VELUX: Bigger than ever for 2010, the extremely popular Grand Designs Expert Advice Centre offers visitors the chance to come with their plans in hand and gain expert advice from some of the UK’s leading Architectural, property, financial and building experts, and interior Designers, as well as opportunities to gain advice from celebrity guest experts; Kevin McCloud, George Clarke, Oliver Heath, and more.

8. Kevin’s Green Heroes: In addition, Birmingham will also host the brand new Green Initiative, ‘Kevin’s Green Heroes’, a selection of some of the greatest eco products on the market to help aid in your green home improvements, which launched in London earlier this year.

9. Grand Seminar Theatre: The regular Grand Seminar Theatre, will also host a number of topical seminars relevant to the Birmingham homes and property community. Focusing on building issues, the latest in green technologies and improvements for the home, and design and interior advice from a wide range of celebrity and guest speakers.

10. Live Cooking Experience: This year will also see the Live Cooking Experience where some of Birmingham’s top chefs will be putting our kitchens to the test and demonstrating how to cook tantalising food to tickle your taste buds.

With annual exhibitions taking place in London and Birmingham, Grand Designs Live is now the UK’s leading contemporary home show. So if you're looking to make the most of your home, make some improvements, extend your existing property, or embark on your own self build, Grand Designs Live Birmingham will provide you with plenty of amazing ideas to help turn your dream home into a reality.

Grand Designs Live Birmingham will take place from Friday 8th until Sunday 10th October 2010, at the NEC, Birmingham.
Opening 10am-6pm Friday & Saturday and 10am-5pm Sunday.

Book Tickets now and Save £5, log on to www.granddesignslive.com or call the 24 hour box office on 0871 230 5583 and for groups 0844 412 465. + Kids go free.


Ticket Prices:
Standard prices Advanced On the door
Friday - Sunday £13 £18
Children (aged 15 or under) Free (when accompanied by a paying adult)

Group Discounts - Bring your friends and save even more, with great discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Call 0844 412 4650 for further details on group discounts.


I have 4 pairs of tickets to giveaway !!

To enter just leave a comment below with some way of me contacting you

eg.. your twitter name or email address
[you at whatever dot co dot uk .. coded like this]

Giveaway closing date: 12th September 2010

11 Aug 2010

Nelsons Travella

Nelsons Travella

I have always been travel sick, when I was a kid we couldn't even get as far as the motorway before the windows were open and the doubled up carrier bags were out !!

I have tried all sorts of cures:
  • Sitting on newspaper while sipping lemonade
  • Eating ginger biscuits
  • Having the window open
  • Sitting in the middle of the car
  • Listening to music
  • Always traveling forwards and not backwards
  • Not eating before a journey
  • Eating before a journey
  • Wearing different types of bands on my wrists

When I was pregnant was the best one, we had a 2 seater sports car and I made my husband drive 100 miles with the top down in December ... we were frozen (but I wasn't sick!).

Anyhow back to the product, Nelsons Travella is a natural homeopathic remedy for travel sickness.  The tablets contain a selection of homeopathic remedies combined to bring soothing relief for all the symptoms associated with travel sickness.

What makes Nelsons Travella different to other products is that they are suitable for all the family (any age), and they do not cause drowsiness.  I have found this point to be really really good as for example if you are about to travel across the channel to France but need the sickness relief for the boat trip .. if you are the driver you have no worries about drowsiness for your drive down the the dock and when you reach the other side.  With the kids it doesn't matter so much, but as a parent you need to stay awake and alert not only for driving but to keep your young family safe if you have one.

Homeopathy uses the bodies natural healing processes to stop you feeling poorly, there are no side effects and has been used for years.  In fact Nelsons themselves have been promoting natural care since 1860!

The tablets are small and white they can be sucked or chewed (great for younger children or people who cannot take tablets).  The dosage is simple but needs to be followed for good results (in other words you have to take them as stated on the box), two tablets every hour two hours before the journey, then two tablets hourly during the journey (if necessary).

So for a 2 hour journey you will need to take four tablets in total before setting off, then a further four should you need them during the journey.  The box contains 72 tablets so one box is good for quite a few trips.

The tablets do contain lactose and sucrose so if you are lactose intolerant then please check with your doctor before taking them.  Also if you are pregnant then check first with your doctor or midwife before taking any type of medication or homeopathic remedy.

For more information about the product and other homeopathic remedies in the range please visit Nelsons

4 Aug 2010

simplehuman Round Retro Pedal Bin

Round Retro Pedal Bin

Recently we brought a caravan, not a new one just a nice older one... well anyway we have been out in it a few times and I was getting a bit fed up of hanging a plastic carrier bag off of the door handle (plus it dripped all down the door which wasn't pleasant).

So my aim was to find a good sized dustbin that wouldn't swamp the caravan and get in the way, but was also dog proof, vermin proof and fly proof.  Our Ruby is clever enough to put her paw onto the pedal and open the lid, but my plan is to keep the bin in the awning but still look funky (well it would have to match the awning wouldn't it!).

So I contacted simplehuman about their Round Retro Pedal Bins, they have six colours to suit every kitchen or bathroom. 
I chose a red bin because my caravan and awning are burgundy, the bin itself is pretty sturdy and would survive rolling around the inside of the van during transit if it ever fell over, although it fits lovely underneath the table for travelling (might even fit in the bottom bathroom cabinet, will have to check that!).

Features include:

•all-steel pedal with a solid steel beam that runs from the tip of the pedal all the way to the back of the bin for maximum durability. This is engineered and tested to last over 150,000 steps - that's over 20 steps a day for 20 years
•simplehuman’s exclusive lid shox® air suspension shocks that control the motion of the domed lid for a slow, silent close
•fingerprint-proof finish resists smudges to keep stainless steel shiny (brushed steel only)
•innovative bag tuck® perforated opening that prevents messy bag overhang
•flared side handles that help make the bin easy to move
•sturdy, non-skid base keeps the bin steady
•10 year warranty

Yes you read that correct .. a TEN year warranty which you register online, so they must be pretty confident that the Round Retro Pedal Bin's are sturdy and efficient.

What I like is that the inside bucket comes out, this means that if your bag does leak then you can take out the bucket and give it a good clean.  Also after a while bins can get a bit whiffy so being able to clean it properly will keep the bin in tip-top shape and smelling fresh too.

The bins come in a variety of sizes:

30 litre version
•dimensions: 35.4cm wide x 38.3cm deep x 69.4cm high
•colours: green, cream, black, dark grey, brushed steel
•price: £99.99

20 litre version
•dimensions: 35.4cm wide x 38.4cm deep x 45.9cm high
•colours: brushed steel
•price: £79.99

6 litre version
•dimensions: 34cm wide x 27.3cm deep x 34.2cm high
•colours: brushed steel
•price: £39.99

3 litre version
•dimensions: 19.4cm wide x 22.3cm deep x 26.9cm high
•colours: blue, pink, green, red, white and brushed steel
•price: £24.99

Available now from http://www.simplehuman.co.uk/
simplehuman products are also available from the following...

National retailers:
John Lewis,  Homebase,  Habitat,  BhsB & Q,  Wilkinson.

Catalogue & online retailers:
ArgosAmazon,  LakelandLittlewoods,  Tesco,  ASDA directSainsbury's gochic.


When I was little we had a Sodastream machine, it was a super cool gadget to own and it was great being able to drink pop so cheap (the alternative was having bottles of pop delivered by the milkman and having to return the bottles).
Back then (now I am only 32 so I am talking about 25 years ago) the machines were very chunky and you had to push a button to get the fizz into the water .. I have found the old advert from the 1980's:

These days Sodastream have made their machines more sleek, sophisticated and swish, the styling is very space age and wouldn't look out of place in any kitchen.
I have been trialing the Sodastream Pure, their latest and award winning Sodastream machine.

The Pure comes with a 60 litre aluminium gas cylinder and two carbonating bottles.
One bottle has a plastic bottom and top, the other metal bottom and top .. if anyone knows 'why' then can you please share the reason with me! I am presuming one keeps the fizz better in the fridge? or is better for travelling? if you have any idea then please comment below.

As with the old Sodastream drinks makers you have to wait for the BUZZZZZ sound and let it buzz three times for the best fizzyness, this noise scared me as a child and I must admit makes me jump now.  Our dog Ruby is terrified of the Sodastream and hides when we use it.

Using the drinks makers are simple (whichever design you choose), you just fill up the bottles with cold tap water to the line, insert it into the drinks maker and secure.  Then hold the button (or pull forward the button on the Pure machine) until it buzz's 3 times.  Let off the pressure by pulling the bottle forward and unscrew.
Choose a flavour of Sodastream cordial to add and pour in the correct measurement, bottle top on, turn the bottle to mix (DO NOT SHAKE!) and hey presto you have fizzy pop !!  Simple.

Emma is fascinated with the Sodastream drinks maker, we received little pods of all the different flavours available, she has had a lovely time testing them all one-by-one.  You can buy the pods from Sodastream or buy the bottles of cordial which is what we are going to do when the pods run out.  Having the sample sizes were great as we now know which flavours are our favourite and which we are not too keen on.

I love the Cranberry and Raspberry, Emma prefers the Mango and Apple whereas Andy is happy with any flavour that we give him.  At £2.99 - £3.99 a bottle they are great value for money, each bottle makes 12 litres so you are talking 25p-33p a litre of fizzy pop .. which is excellent and less than a can in the shops.  One litre easily filled 3 tumbler sized glasses right to the top with a little left over.

The gas canisters are reasonable too.  When you buy your SodaStream drinks maker, a full CO2 gas cylinder is included in your starter pack. With this drinks maker pack, you receive a one-off ‘user licence’ which entitles you to use the gas cylinder throughout the life of your drinks maker. When the gas in the cylinder is used up, you exchange the empty cylinder for a full one, paying only the cost of the gas refill.

For the Pure machine the exchanged full bottle costs £8.99 as its a 60 litre bottle, for other machines the bottles are smaller and cost £4.99  (prices as per Sodastream website 04/08/10).  To find out where you can exchange your bottle just use their nifty Store Locator.

Sodastream Drinks Machines are available online directly from Sodastream, or from Argos and Comet.  For the cordials you can buy direct or from most high street supermarkets (just check before you make a special journey though as smaller stores may not stock Sodastream).

Also for ideas, tips, hints and deals follow Sodastream on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/sodastreamuk and Follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Sodastreamuk?ref=mf

All-in-all get fizzing and take yourself back to your childhood ... let your kids make their own pop for a fraction of shop brought and I bet they waste less than the 'top' brands too :)