23 Mar 2011

Grand Designs Live ExCeL

30th APRIL – 8 MAY 2011

With Grand Designs Live set to make its triumphant return to London on the 30th April – 8th May 2011 at the ExCeL, fans of the award winning show will be delighted to hear that they can now book a brand new VIP show experience, courtesy of sponsor, Miele, plus get an even bigger piece of the action this year – for less - with new multi day ticket options.
Based on the hugely successful Channel 4 TV series Grand Designs, presented by the popular Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs Live is an event for anyone with an interest in design, build, interiors, shopping, homewares, gardens, kitchens & bathrooms, and innovation.

The VIP ticket experience, priced from £35 per person is available now online at www.grandesignslive.com and guarantees fast track entry to the 2011 show, a dedicated VIP cloakroom and shopping bag drop, as well as exclusive access to the indulgent Miele VIP lounge where champagne and complimentary coffee from their brand new CM5 Barisita machine awaits after a day’s shopping amongst over 500 exhibitors with the widest range of high quality products and home innovations. Availability is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance.
The ultimate package – the Platinum Experience – is priced at £70 per person and in addition to the above treatment, Platinum guests will also receive a 2 course lunch and glass of wine in Michelin star chef, John Burton-Race’s fine dining restaurant at the show.

The 2011 show will offer a variety of exciting interactive features which encompass stylish and unique interior products, cutting-edge design and never seen before eco technologies.  With seven distinctive sections, from the spectacular Grand Village, which hosts a number of full scale properties, The House of the Future, brought to by Virgin Media and the UK’s largest selection of kitchens in Grand Kitchens, sponsored by Miele, visitors can soak up every ounce of the action at the ExCeL with brand new multiple day tickets.
Visitors will be able to save over 25% by buying a multiple day pass in advance for £20 to attend the show on any 2 days. Multi – day passes can be booked at www.granddesignslive.com, or via the 24 hour box office on 0844 209 7349 + kids go free.  

All visitors will also be able to save even more cash when they take advantage of the FREE expert advice on offer from industry experts at the show - on everything from planning and finance to build and design in the Grand Designs Expert Advice Centre sponsored by VELUX.  NEW for 2011, the Grand Gardens hall will host a Garden Design Studio, managed by TV garden designer James Alexander Sinclair, which will see a range of top garden designers offering advice and planning assistance for your garden needs in a FREE one to one consultation.

Grand Designs Live London runs from Saturday 30th April – Sunday 8th May 2011, at ExCeL London. Book brand new VIP, multi-day or stanard tickets online at www.granddesignslive.com, or call the 24 hour box office on 0844 209 7349 + kids go free.  
  • Ticket Information:
Open 11am – 6pm  on Saturday 30th April
Open 10am – 6pm  Sunday 1st – Sat 7th May
Open 10am - 5pm 8th May

NEW TICKET OFFERING                                   Advanced booking

VIP ticket Experience                                                       £35
Platinum VIP ticket                                                           £70
Multiple day ticket (2 day entry)*                                     £20

Standard prices                                              Advanced                            On the door
Weekdays (Tuesday – Friday)                              £11                                            £15
Weekends                                                            £14                                            £18
(Incl. Bank Holiday Monday)
Children (aged 15 or under)                                        Free (ticket is required)

Group Discounts
Bring your friends and save even more, with great discounts available for
*Dates of attendance must be selected at point of booking.
Tickets will be date specific and will only be valid for dates selected and will be checked and scanned on entry

11 Mar 2011

Douwe Egberts Aromettes

You've Bean Shaped !!

Douwe Egberts have produced a very very clever new type of filter coffee.  No more do you have to measure out spoonfuls of coffee into your cafetiere or filter machine, you just pop in a bean for each person!
Each 'spoonful' has been compactly pressed into a bean shape, they are actually quite a realistic shape ... 1 bean is equal to 1 cup of coffee.  

Each 210g tin has 30 servings (beans) inside. The packs are a resealable foil fresh tin so they are very easy to reseal to keep the coffee beans fresh.

Aromettes at present come as 'smooth aroma' which is strength 3 and 'intense aroma' which is strength 5.  
You use them as you would measured coffee in your cafetiere or filter machine.  
For cafetieres, add hot water just off the boil, stir then allow to crew for 3-4 minutes before plunging and enjoying.  For filter machines brew as normal according to the instructions of your machine.

The stats so far have shown that 68% of consumers say that they would definitely or probably buy Aromettes at the RRP of £3.69, 46% of consumers indicated that they would use Aromettes ground coffee servings on a daily basis. 
I would be inclined to agree with both of the above, its a great product that is quick and easy to use, the new bean form loses no flavour and the coffee is lovely :)

Kiwi Aquastop

Kiwi Aquastop
Ever brought a pair of leather boots or shoes then stepped in a puddle ... new Kiwi Aquastop is a handy spray that you can use on any shoe, boot, handbag or clothes made from leather, suede or textile that will waterproof the garment.

The product comes in a handy spray, however it really really smells so when you use it make sure you are in a very well ventilated area.  Do not use near pets or kids due to the vapours.

Do not use on patent leather or elastic materials.
Always test on a non-visible area before using it all over your new shoes.

More info: http://www.kiwicare.co.uk

Post-it Label Pads

Post-it Label Pads
Post-it have brought out a range of labels which can be used for a variety of applications.

Available in a number of different colours and sizes they have a size and shade to suit all uses.

Just like the post-it notes they come in little stacks of labels, however each label is sticky all over .. there is a little removable tab to make it easier to peel them off the pile and stick them down.

Use them for re-labeling work files, labeling food containers, labeling the kids school books, adding messages to calenders or wall planners, etc.. etc...

Available from all top stationers, for more info visit: www.post-it.com/labels



I always refer to Sudocrem as 'Bum Cream', having had a baby and 3 baby nieces we as a family have gone through a lot of bum cream over the past 10 years.  Emma was a particularly nappy-rashy baby, it didn't matter how often we changed her nappy her wee always stung her skin and made her sore.  My youngest niece was the same, always had a red raw bum and cried when she wee'd .... in all occasions Sudocrem has come to the rescue.

I remember the first time I put Sudocrem on Emma's little bum, I didn't realise that you only needed a tiny bit and that you sort of spread it over the surface, so I dobbed on a massive blob - and white washed the baby!  I soon learnt that the reason it also came in nappy bag travel sized pots was that you didn't need much, in fact I think (by the time I mastered it) my big tub actually lasted us years!

So why am I reviewing Sudocrem now? I don't have a baby to test it on, well Sudocrem isn't only for sore bums it has a lot of other uses as well ........... 

  • Cuts and grazes
  • Minor burns
  • Sunburn
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Bed sores
  • Chilblains
Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream is gentle, so it won’t sting on application. It can reduce the risk of infection and contains a mild local anaesthetic to soothe pain. It also helps a wound to heal and forms a protective barrier over the vulnerable area. In other words, it’s a very useful tub to keep around the house!
Emma has acne, so we have been putting Sudocrem on her sore spots, it hasn't had an amazing effect yet, but we are still in the trial stage.
I used the tube of cream on some dry spots of skin on Andy's legs, again having lost my 'a little goes a long way' skills I accidently white washed him then made him sit on a tea towel so that he didn't get Sudocrem on the settee.  It sorted out his legs though and stopped him from scratching as he was driving me mad!
All in all Sudocrem is a very handy cream to have around, it has many uses - buy a pot and see how you get on :)
RRP: 125g £2,   250g £4,   400g £6  available from all supermarkets and chemists.

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Apart from a big sloppy kiss and a card, what do you give your Mum on Mother's Day?
I have compiled a list of amazing gifts to help you out, all are affordable and luxurious, products that Mum wouldn't probably normally buy for herself - all are a perfect gift :) for a special lady.

Find Me A Gift have a gorgeous selection of bath and body products, all are handmade from natural ingredients and beautifully finished.

My favorite products are their Bath Melts


The melts come in different shapes and sizes, they are all immaculately presented in good quality boxes.  

The Bath Melts are chemical free and made with pure essential oils and cocoa butter. Choose your melt style and fragrance then just drop one in the bath and relax.

I have the 'Truly Roses - Rose and Geranium Essential Oils' they smell delicious as the fragrance hits you before you have even opened the box.  

Pamper Mum on Mother's Day by letting her relax in a bath full of essential oils and luxury.

RRP: £11.99 but on special offer now for £9.99 (as at 13th March 2011)

Please visit www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/ for more information.

Pukka produce a huge range of teas containing organic ingredients, the two varieties I have tasted are both naturally caffeine-free and packed full of organically grown and ethically sourced ingredients.

Fennel tea as it should be; deliciously sweet, aromatic and soothing.
Three varieties of fennel have been used to create an abundance of flavor that also helps calm and support your digestion. 

Fennel has been used to support health for thousands of years and Pukka have created a unique blend to harness this incredible potential.

Morning Time tea is a naturally caffeine-free, deliciously sweet and full-bodied blend of uplifting herbs which can be enjoyed with or without milk to help kick start your day. 

• Red ginseng and roasted maca are a perfect natural pick me up

• Rooibos and honeybush enliven and refresh
100% organically grown and fairly traded, we hope this is the best rooibos blend you will ever taste

Why not wake up Mum on Mother's Day with a Organic Inspired Breakfast or a hamper of tea's to cleanse her body from the inside out.

For more types of tea please visit: 
Available from the link above or all good supermarkets (in the tea section).
QVC have a large range of gifts perfect for Mum on Mother's Day.

Liz Earle 3 Piece Detoxifying Essential Body Kit

All Mum's would like smoother radiant-looking skin, maybe the perfect pressie could be Liz Earle's Detoxifying set. 

First up she could massage the Energising Body Scrub (50ml) in circular movements to exfoliate, revitalise and renew her skin. The scrub contains specially selected ground olive stones gently buff away dead skin cells for healthier-looking skin.  This is quite a thick gel with good sized grains, its scratchy enough to feel it working but not too course to make your skin sore.

Next kick-start her day with a Energising Body Wash (200ml) - a revitalising yet gently cleansing, skin-softening wash that contains pure plant extracts and natural foaming agents. This wash has a lovely fragrance, its very mild and a completely clear gel which makes it feel very fresh and clean.  The gel foams up just enough for a good all over clean, then washes away easily.  The fragrance is left on your skin after use leaving a nice smooth soft effect.

Finally also included is a brilliant Energising Hip and Thigh Gel (200ml) - Mum can massage daily to improve the look of her skin.  Luckily for me ;) a little goes a long way, you only need a small amount to cover a large area of skin.  Again the fragrance is light and fresh and leaves your skin smelling and feeling good.

The whole set is available from QVC priced at
QVC Price £32.75
Item Number  228503
UK P&P  £4.45


Also from QVC is the hugely popular SBC beauty product range.  

The set pictured above is the SBC 2 Piece Detox Set, a very different present for Mum but lovely as its not the sort of products that women would buy for themselves (well I wouldn't anyway).

SBC two-piece Detox set. Includes Detox Gel for daily use to stimulate your skin and Body Exfoliating Gel to gently cleanse and ease away surface dead skin. Invigorate, revitalise and leave your skin feeling soft with this SBC duo.
  • 1 x Detox Gel (500ml) - contains extracts of white nettle, coffee and chamomile to help stimulate your skin.
  • 1 x Body Exfoliating Gel (500ml) - a stimulating and refreshing non-sticky exfoliating gel containing jojoba wax beads and elderflower extract.

This set is priced at:
QVC Price   £28.25
Item Number   223991
UK P&P  £4.45

There are loads of different sets on QVC, the range isn't all about scrubbing and detoxing.  
The Arnica set helps the skin/body ease pain and muscle tension, I think this set looks wonderful (*hint hint* Emma) and would love to receive this on Mother's Day.

SBC Super Fruits and Arnica five-piece collection. Showcases three Arnica bath and body products, including a super-sized Arnica Gel, and brand new Super Fruits gel and shower creme packed with anti-oxidants and bursting with the aroma of raspberries and cranberries. Bring radiance back to lacklustre skin with soothing SBC beauty.
  • 1 x Arnica Gel (1000ml) - best-selling gel has an easily-absorbed, lightweight texture, ideal for all the family
  • 1 x Arnica Bath Soak (500ml) - helps to soothe, calm and relax
  • 1 x Super Fruits Gel (500ml) - aromatic face and body gel packed with anti-oxidants and bursting with the aroma of raspberries and cranberries. Excellent for dry or flaky skin
  • 1 x Super Fruits Shower Creme (250ml) - luxurious, moisturising skin wash packed with anti-oxidants and bursting with the aroma of raspberries and cranberries
  • 1 x Intensive Arnica Gel (75ml) - warming gel contains a concentration of arnica extract to help assist in easing discomfort

The  Arnica & Superfruits 5 Piece Collection is QVC priced at £30.48 (at time of writing it was on Introductory offer, normal price is £33.75), Item Number  222680, UK P&P £4.45.


I am sure whatever you choose to give as a gift on Mother's Day will be lovely and Mum will love it :)
Have a good one !! I am sure I will :)