Hello

Thank you for having a look at my blog!
I've been away for a little while but I am back. I hope you enjoy my rambles!!!
If you wish to share this with your friends please do and if you have any comments by all means fire away.
I am planning to up date as often as possible

Lucy xx

Monday, 15 September 2014

Leggings, Venus Cow - Review



Recently a new label has been popping up on regularly on Twitter, Venus Cow this is the baby of Shirley Yanez.  Shirley appears upbeat, trending, outgoing and someone who adores life, respects people and is caring.  She has a lovely website, she is a life coach and has worked out, part of feeling good is looking good too.  

Her fashion label Venus Cow, has links to celebrities like Gemma Collins, Ashley James and Miss Ireland; Holly Carpenter to name a few.  The are also being sold in LA.  Her Perfect Black Legging PBL, is a huge product in her range, however she sells other clothes too, tops, dresses, jewellery and books, the complete range. 

A couple of weeks ago, Venus Cow sent me her Perfect Black Leggings (PBL) to review. 

Exciting as I adore clothes, especially when is a wardrobe staple. 

Firstly, I do not live in leggings but I like them as they are great to wear on the school run or going out; either dressing up or dressing down they do make an outfit look hot if they look nice and are of good quality.

I own about 4 of plain black leggings, all purchased from different high street stores ranging from £8-£25, so I have a good idea what I want from my leggings, I what to expect from the cheaper brands.


The Venus Cow legging, fitted me well, I found them long of the leg, I'm just under 5.9' a size 18 with a 33inc inside leg. I'm not slim and have wobbling bits.  Like most big women I want to feel confident in what I wear. The PBL fit very comfortably, they are high waisted, I felt snug, no muffin top.


The leggings are super soft to the touch, a nice thick cotton is used. 92% cotton with a 8% Elastane aka Spandex, which is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity.

The material is tightly woven in both directions. Which I find important and this keeps all my wobbling bit in place.  Sounds silly but my thighs and bum feel more held-up.

loose and pulled
Legging bugbears - 
bagginess
hole in the stitching - mostly where the thighs rub together
bobbles 
muffin top
loose waists
fading

All of the above really annoying me, I am sure you can relate to this. 

I put Venus Cow; PBL to the test, after wearing my leggings on a few occasions once even to clean my house, having to crawl on my knees to wash the skirting boards.  I wanted to see if they would get baggy.  I have to say I am impressed they didn't get baggy, when I took them off they pulled out of shape ever so slightly, as they should these are not Lycra.  

Since then I have washed by hand and machine. They have sprung back into shape each time.  They have kept their true black colour and not worn out anywhere, they have ever so slightly bobbles on the inner thighs but this is normal for chunky thighs, no holes anywhere and all the stitching is still in place.  They have been machine double stitched.  Overall excellent quality, I would say they are a luxury legging.   They wear well and most importantly keep their colour and shape.

They have been made in the UK.  Great, I love Made in Britain products! Sourcing materials and workmanship within the UK, maintaining high standards with excellent high quality achieved.  

RRP: £25 can be purchased online PBL 

I do hope you get to to purchase a pair for yourself, I think you will be impressed too.

Disclaimer: This is unsponsored posted, I had been sent these legging to offer a honest review. 
 



Monday, 1 September 2014

Di Palomo Wild Fig and White Body Butter Review, Made in England - Inspired by Italy



The best ideas come together with great friends, three friends where enjoying a couple bottles of Verdicchio an Italian Wine, on a fine summers day by the The River Dart in Devon.

Di Palomo was born inspired by Italy.

Italy takes me back to a summer holiday I had as a child, lovely warm summer days, Olives Groves, Vineyards, beautiful lakes, fresh foods and stylish fashion.  All these things are embossed in their heritage, with a huge a rubber seal of approval from me.  

Di Palomo has 4 fragrances, all offering a little piece of Italy.


All of these host fresh fragrances and all a mixture of Italian aromas.   

I have been using the Wild Fig and Grape Body Butter.   This is a solid white butter, it takes a little while to work into the skin.  I recommend have a hot bath or shower, towel off.  With warm hands rub it in your skin in circular motion, until it disappears.  Its great to use from neck to feet.



The scent is gorgeous, it's has a light distinctive smell of sweet grapes, comes through delightfully.  Other under tones are Wild Fig, Orange Blossom, Mimosa are mildly musky and base notes of Sandlewood, Amber and Vanilla just noticeable.

My skin holds the scent for hours, its locks in the moisture, my skin appears soft, glowing hours after I have used it.  Its definitely a going out body butter, very refreshing.  My boyfriend can still smell it on me in bed, I'm glad he likes it.



Its a huge pot 200ml, I have been using mine for a whole month every morning and there is still more than half remaining.   
RRP £18.
Its more expensive then body butter I would usually purchase however, the fine lines on my arms and hands appear softer to look at, my skin feels great, no dry skin or patches since using it.
It's made a good first impression.

The Wild Fig and Grape range has a whole collection, Bath, Body and Home Products.  A lovely array of body and bath treats, liquid soaps, cleansing bars, lip balm, fragrance reeds, a beautiful large candle and more (all the four fragrances do).  They have something special for everyone.  Their range is continually being updated with new products too.

Even thou this is an Italian inspired its all made here in England.  Di Palomo have high manufacturing standards, they ensure all products are prefect for our satisfaction.

I hope you get a chance to indulge too.

Disclaimer: This is an unsponsored post.  All views are honest and our my mine.


Thank you for reading, don't be shy say Hi!
Lx

     


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Slumberdown Big Value Bed Set Competition



 
Being a parent I worry about everything, including do my children sleep properly.  This September young men and women will be leaving home for the first time, off to University, moving away from home to start new chapters in their lifes.  

Slumberdown have put together a great bargain to help ease mums and dads minds.  The new Slumberdown Big Value Bed Set 







The set consists of a duvet, a pillow pair, mattress and pillow protectors.  Fantastic if someone is in a flat share.

The duvet is 10.5 tog, polycotton which provides all the warmth and comfort anyone needs for a good nights sleep.




     Machine washable at 40° can be tumble dried at a low temperature.
     Available in single, double, king and super king size.  
     Currently being sold in Argos at discounted prices. Argos Slumberdown Big Value Set 
     Double: RRP £43.99 - Currently price £16.49.  

    So what are you wanting for? Grab a great quality bargain today.

    Otherwise you can try to win one with me. 
   
·        
a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&Cs:   Starts 20/8/14 Please follow the 6 steps. Leave a comment on my blog, follow my blog by subscribing via email, follow me on GFC & tweet about #LBLGiveaway and follow me @LondonBirdLucy & @SlumberdownUK
For extra daily entries please tweet and/or leave comments on my blog posts. Open to UK residence only
Winner announced on Friday, 5th September 2014

Entries must be 18+ to enter. 

Don't be Shy, say Hi!  

This is an unsponsored post, I am Slumberdown Panel Mum

Science4You! Little creative minds seeks fun learning toys. Review

Summer is here and its challenging to keep my boys entertained everyday.

I had been sent a couple of great products from Science4you Toys.

Science4You offer a range of products suitable for school children.  The toys are designed to improve education, they have been developed to entice a child's natural ability to learn.  There is a nice array of toys and games all enabling children to learn while playing.

I have been sent the Colour and Washable Puppy Pet
There are 3 animals to collect, a Puppy, a Dolphin and a Turtle.

found in the Science Junior section (age group 3-5)
Skills gained:
Creativity, motor skills, vocabulary

Colour and Pet Washable Pet Puppy 
This kit comes with 4 washable colouring pens
Blue, Green, Orange and Purple colours included


Washable Pet puppy, is bright white with black lines, making it easy to colour in areas.

I gave the puppy to Liam and James, both get stick-in.  I could hear them talking. James said he would Colour Blue and Liam colour Green.  It did not take too long to finish.  Liam gave his brother lots of hugs for helping.


I explained to Liam I can wash his Puppy if he likes and them can colour him in again.  Nope! Liam said he is perfect for now.



Overall a great all cuddling toy, that can be painted just how your little one wants it.  Liam adores his new puppy and takes him everywhere.
RPP £9.99

We also received a Dino Egg.  Ours is a Stagosaurus.
There are 12 Eggs in the collection.
Suitable 4+

found in Build and play 
Skills gained:
Concentration, Motor skills, Vocabulary, Social skills and Learning


The Dino Eggs is a little kit comes with an Egg contenting the Dinosaur and a Chisel.  There is an education book online too.

The egg is made out of clay, to soften the clay egg it needs to be submerged in water for 5 minutes.  At this point anyone would think I said 5 hours.  Liam was on repeat, is it ready yet he keeps asking.
 
Liam was very happy chiseling away, for a very long time.  I had helped and dug a little hole for him to start him off.  He loved this.  He has a passion for dinosaurs, getting messy and exploring. this is a prefect toy for him.  


I gave Liam a bowl of water and kitchen rolls. So he could rinse and wipe the chisel as it got very dirty.

After much chiseling, his little Steggy appears.  I have a very happy little boy, who has a new Stegosaurus to add to his collection.


  
This is a great toy, Liam shows lots of concentration, he was very curious which kept him chiseling away.  The online book is very educational too. 20 pages long, you can print it or read it online, very informative with lots of colour illustrations.



RRP £3.99 This is a bargain purchase.

Great site, full of wonderful educational toys and puzzles.  All the products are very fairly priced.  If you fancy challenging your children in the holidays or in general, take a look.  A fun way to understand science, geography and history.

Don't be shy, say Hi!

        



 




    


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Mary Berry Cookery Course book Review; The Works online Book Store

I love cooking but I am awful at remembering recipes.  I used to phone my mum for instructions. (I would cross my fingers she would be at home).  Over the years times have changed and there are endless recipes are available online.  I do prefer to use a trusted chef.




I was recently asked to review any book from The Works online book store.  To be honest it was a hard task choosing.  They have everything for anyone, kids, fiction, non-fiction, hobbies, craft, sports, everything.
  

I ended up choosing Mary Berrys Cookery Course, a step by step guide of cooking.
Mary Berrys Cookery Course







I have always loved Marys' Style of cooking and find her cooking techniques of cooking as directed from cookery books super as an overall chef.

Her book is sectioned with a list of Contents, Basic Equipment, Technique Finder, Glossary of Cooking Methods.  The Food is also listed into groups types, Soups, First Courses, Eggs, Fish, etc. 

 

It's filled with lots of beautifully taken photos.  Great shots of what the final recipe creations should look like.  I wish all my dishes will looked as good. 

I love this cookery book, its so easy to follow with preparation guide, its does make everything look easy to do.

I decided to cook a Vegetarian Lasagne.
I followed the recipe.  Its has lots of Mushrooms and Spinach, packed full of flavour.  Making the bechamel sauce from from scratch is so easy enough.
I would usually cook a beef lasagne but decided on this for a change.  A huge success as no complaints from the dinner table.  Me and family loved it.



A great cookery book, its a hard back copy with a quality finish. Bright clear photos inside and easy to follow instructions inside.  I would recommend this book to anyone whom wants to learn the basics of cooking and anyone interested in cooking and coming out of there comfort zone and wanting to learn to book some great every day dishes, from family meals and recipes to impress relations and friends.  Mary doesn't just cook delicious cakes, she cooks 'The Works', (excuse the pun) this would definitely become your cooking bible.



RRP in most shops; £25, this is sold via The Works website for £9.99.  That is a bargain for a quality top of the range cooking book.  Be warned someone will want to borrow it.    

Check out their website they not only have discounted books for sale but there is usually a special deal on. 

Please note I was given a book of my choice to review.

Don't be shy, say Hi!


Monday, 11 August 2014

Feeling like a science experiment - Endometriosis and Me

About 7 years ago I was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  I would be double over in pain during my period, I thought this was normal, everyone complains about cramps and having heavy periods.  My boyfriend was convinced something was wrong or I should at least get checked-out.  He talked me into going in walk-in Gyno unit at St Thomas, London.  They used an internal probe to examine/scan me and found a cyst as big as a golf ball, 6cmsq by my right ovary, this is the Endometriosis.  Not only was this found but something else, I have a split uterus also known as Bicornuate uterus.

Endometriosis is a condition where Endometrial tissue is found outside the uterus. It is 'trapped' in the pelvic area usually forming cyst near and around the ovary's.

Its unbelievable that so many women can have this condition and they are totally unaware.  Some women will detect problems 7-10 years down the line of having it.

The signs of the problem can be different,
Here's a list of most of the symptoms:   
Painful periods
Bleeding inbetween periods
Pain during sex
lower back pain
rare passing blood in feaces and urine.
also reduced fertility

I would recommend if you persistently suffer from any of these conditions go an get yourself checked-out by your GP.

The whole process was awful for me at that time.  Thankfully my boyfriend was with me, he recalls the day better then me.  A doctor explained it could be difficult to have children, the flood gates opened.  I remember calling my manager at work and trying to explain what I was told. I was very distressed and crying (I'm not a crier). 

Me and boyfriend had been together for about two years and even thou we spoke about having a family, that was the last thing on our minds both in our late twenties and enjoying our lives.  Hearing something like that is very devastating.  I had become pregnant in a previous relationship in my early 20s, I miscarried but nothing was even investigated at the time.  Could this of been the cause? Lots of questions were in my mind.    

After my findings out from St. Thomas' I went to see my doctor, they sent me for other scans in Charing Cross and Chelsea and Westminster hospitals.  Eventually after about few months I had an appointment to have laparoscopy. This is a small operation that involves making a small cut, under anaesthetic in the abdominal and my surgeon was going to remove the cyst.

Much to my surprise 1 month before the surgery I found out I was pregnant.  This is what happens when doctors say its going to be very difficult to get pregnant.

During pregnancy our periods stop and so does the symptoms of the Endometriosis.  For the whole of my pregnancy and 2 years later during the pregnancy of my second son and 2 years after him being born the Endometriosis has been dormat.

There was talk that during my 2nd pregnancy I would have the cyst cut out, this birth would be a planned c-section and my surgeon would attend.  Due to my Bicornuate uterus, my first son arrived 2 weeks early, it wasn't until I arrived at the hospital to confirm my waters had broken that they realized he was breech. I had to have him immediately.

So son number 2 was planned c/section, oh no he had a mind of his own and decided to appear a nearly 5 weeks early.  Again he was breech baby.  My surgeon wasn't present to take out the cyst.

Thankfully my little boys are strong and healthy and growing ever so fast.    

Now time has moved on, I didn't have a period until my youngest son was already one years old.  I had breast fed him, so I guessing this is why.  Once my periods started up again, they were mild and gradually getting heavier and heavier. 
Now my youngest is 4 years old.  This will sound really gross but my periods are so heavy,  I wear double protection, usually a Super Tampax and long towel and within an hour I have to change.  I feeling wasted for the first 2 days of my period, I look pale/ill and feel washed-out.  I am afraid to go too far from my home or I have to make sure I'm near a toilet.  I'm armed with Tampax and towels, its awful I am so conscience I can leak I'm freaking out in mind I'm going to make a mess.

I have once been caught-out, I went to meet a friend and bled everywhere, it was horrific, I was in a busy shopping centre.          

About a year ago the pain has started to build up again, now with the combination of the blood and the pain, I went to see my GP a few weeks ago.  (I have moved 3 times in 6 years - new boroughs and GPs, she had no details on file). I explained what has happened in the past, she seems surprise at the size of the cyst. 

Last week I went for my scan.  I was actually worried nothing would be there, maybe the massive cyst has vanished.  Well, I was surprised by the Sonographer reaction.  The cyst was still there but, on my leftside.  This is so strange as my right side swells-up really hurts to touch any there near this area,  while I am on my period.  Also she couldn't see my left ovary as seems to be covered by the cyst.

Well, the Sonographer loved looking at my anatomy and told me it was very interesting including my Bicornuate uterus.  Shame I wasn't in another room there the probe was bigger. (Lucky for me sounded scary but interesting)  I was there for a while she noted the size of my uterus and cyst.  She explained that most cysts are not actually visible in the scan they tend to be tiny. My cyst is well over 6cm squared, its glasses brown.

She is going to send this information to my GP.  I am guessing I will have to have surgery, the laparoscopy to removed it.  Watch this space, I will keep your posted.   

Dont be shy to see your GP if you think something could be wrong.  I am sharing my experience with you as its not always a bad outcome.   

              

Morrisons Shopping Online #MorrisonsOnline, Tradional Garlic and Lemon Chicken Roast for £10 serving 4


In the last few months Morrisons has taken the plunge and stepped forward and opened it doors to the land of online shopping.

Home Page - Morrisons Shopping Online

So I was delighted to be asked to test out their new home delivery service.

Shopping:
Using their online shop is easy to shop.  All products have been listed just as they are in store.  Fresh foods, Market Street, Fish Mongers, The Butchers and Bakers.  You you need to do is click and the product gets added to your basket.   


Easy to Navigate and search your desired products

Then you can choose by product, salads, bread, chicken etc.  Filling up my basket took about an hour.  Which may seem a long time.  But this is the first I have used the service and I am actually looking at everything.  I am noticing products I haven't stopped instore as I am trained to go direct to what I want.

I would also suggest if you are buying fruit and vegetables, make sure you are aware of the weight.  It may show a bunch of bananas in the photo but it does asks for the weight of the fruit which is wanted.

Thereafter all you'll need to do is book your delivery slot and pay.  You can shop for next day delivery as late as 10pm the night before, subject to slot availability.  Cost can vary starting from £1. 

Book your (1hr) delivery slot
Lists the products you want to buy.














I like shopping online as I can easily choose the best bargains, if I require a longer shelf life, branded goods or Morrisons own brand, getting the best quality for my £1.  If I don't have time, I can shop on the go, (in the park, on the bus, watching EastEnders) using my laptop or even the Morrisons App on my mobile or iPad, whichever device you have it will work.  

I am pleased with my shopping, I arranged for the next day delivery.  The service is in one hour slots.  I'm actually impressed by this as some other supermarket brands tend to offer 2 hours slots and then arrive 3 hours late.

I choose between 10am-11am, gives me time to get my sons to schools, walk the dog and get back to school for nursery pick-up at 12, after I have put my shopping away.

My Shopping arrives a few minutes after 11am.  A lovely chap turns-up. He presents me with a shopping list of all the goods I required online, he confirmed that I had no substitutes.  If I wish to check the eggs and meat, to ensure I am happy with what has been selected. Otherwise he is more then happy to have them changed. Top quality service from him, I have never been asked this buy any supermarket.

 
Colour Coordinated Bags


My Delivery arrives




















My Shopping bags are all colour coded.  Yellow handles - Frozen, Pink handles - Fridge and Purple handles - Cupboard.  I am impressed.  Other stores have been known to mix these up, which I wouldn't do if I am out shopping.  I can also keep the bags and give them back the next time I order.

My shopping came from the main depot in Ruslip.  Its about 20 minutes drive away.  My delivery man explained that all the fresh produce is kept at the front of the depot, so its an easy turnaround for them to restock and ship out to customers.

In store I love the fresh produces and I was not let down with the online shopping service either.  All my fruit and vegetables looked delicious, nothing bruised or bumped on the way to my house.  I could resist getting their cheesecake. All tasted fantastic.





















Overall I am very impressed with the service and food quality from Morrisons.  I only paid £3 for delivery.  That would cost the same in petrol.  This is shopping made easy as I did not have to take two excited kiddies in store.  Who want to stand in the toy aisle for an hour bartering the best deal they can get for a new toy and then a tantrum at the till because they can't have sweets.  Stress free shopping!                 

Morrisons have asked me to cook a meal for 4 with £10.

So I have gone the Traditional Roast Garlic and Lemon Chicken dinner.

£4      Whole Chicken £4
£1.99 Morrisons Maris Piper Potatoes  2.5kg
.69p   Morrisons Carrots 1kg
.69p   Morrisons Parsnips 500g
.69p   Morrisons Savoy Cabbage
.69p   Morrisons Brown Onions 1kg
.99p   Morrisons Garlic 4 per pack
.50p   Morrisons Hand Selected Lemons 2 per pack

TOTAL: £10.24

Cupboard (freebies) extras

Teaspoon of Sugar
1 chicken stock cube
1 table spoon of cornflour (you can use plan flour - but this gets lumpy)
Salt/pepper to season
Pinch of mixed herbs
Teaspoon Olive oil
20g butter or margarine

My Delicious and Easy Chicken Roast Dinner for 4!

Peel and Quarter 1kg Potatoes
Peel all the Parsnips, chop them into 3 parts
Peel 4 Carrots, chop them into 3 parts

Together Parboil the potatoes and Parsnips together for 20 mins
Parboil the carrots with a teaspoon of sugar for 20 mins.

Prepping the Chicken: Pre-Heat The Oven to Gas mark 6



Using a mortar and pestle, I crush/mix the following.
 6 cloves of garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Add a pinch of salt
Add teaspoon of olive oil
Add fat pinch of mixed herbs

Score the chicken.

Stuff  2 raw garlic cloves sliced and 1 lemon, sliced under the skin of the chicken.
Place the last half a lemon inside the Chicken
Rub the garlic/lemon mixure all over the chicken

Drain the boiled veg. Add 20g of butter to the potatoes/Parsnips toss them in the pan

Have two cooking trays.
Tray one: For the potatoes only, place on the middle oven tray.

Tray two (main roasting tray):
Add the Carrots and Parsnips and quarter a raw onion.
Place your chicken on top on this.
I cover the chicken tray in foil.
Place the chicken on the top of the oven for 30 minutes.
I take the foil off and turn the chicken over for another 30 minutes.

Shred the Cabbage, boil in a pan with a little salt. 

Later I turn the chicken again cook for no more then 20 minutes. (Add the optional York Puds in the top oven) After it should be ready and browned evenly all over.

During this time I'm watching my potatoes, which have cooked perfectly.

I let the Chicken rest for 10 minutes on a plate.
I put the all veg in a bowl, leaving a few bits of parsnips and onion in tray two.
I make my own Gravy.

Take the the cabbage off the fire, drain and cover.

Tray two, I put this on of the cookers rings, with a medium flame on.
Using one chicken stock cube in 400ml of boiling water
I add 1 table spoon of cornflour to the stock.  This mixes with no lumps. The stock looks cloudy.
I gradually pour this in the roasting tray and mix like made, until it thickens, add more stock and thicken.  Keep doing until you have enough gravy, season as you wish.   

Dinner is READY to Serve!
    
Without Breaking the bank.  I also made a massive YORKSHIRE PUDDING!

Serves 6 (I have added the prices - but guessing most would have these as Cupboard essentials)

£1.39  2 Large eggs - Morrisons Free Range Eggs 6 per pack
           1 Egg yoke
  .40p  125g Plain flour - Morrisons Plain Flour 500g
  .49p   250ml of milk - Morrisons Semi Skimmed Milk 1 Pint
            1 tbsp of oil
            salt & pepper
            1. 9inc (squared) baking tray

Total £2.28

Add the oil to the baking tray, place in the oven to ensure its piping hot.  I use my top oven as the main oven has the chicken and veg cooking.

Mix the eggs, yoke and flour, gradually beat in milk. The batter should be smooth and fairly thick.  It should rest for 30 minutes. (This is the first thing I make, leave it to the side)  I place the batter in the oven on the last 20 minutes of cooking usually turning of the chicken.  Giving it plenty of time to rise, should be ready in 20 minutes.  Whatever you do, dont open the oven.    
 
Well I hope you get a chance to shop online with Morrisons. They have a great selection of foods and other products.  The pricing is fair and cheaper then most of the other online supermarkets.  I found their service was impeccable.  

Dont be shy, come and say hi!

This was a sponsored post, all opinions and findings are honest.