Sunday, 18 January 2015

Microbiome Plus+ GI Giveaway

I have 3x one month supplies of Microbiome Plus+ GI to give away to my followers!

What are the benefits of taking Microbiome Plus+ GI?

  • SUPPORT MOOD & BOOST ENERGY - Poor nutrient absorption can leave you short on essential vitamins and minerals. Fatigue, irritability, and a lack of motivation are signs of nutrient deficiency. Probiotics develop a healthy microenvironment in the digestive system and gastrointestinal tract that optimizes nutrient absorption, giving you the positive energy and happy feelings to be your vibrant self.
  • LOSE WEIGHT - Weight-loss research suggests that healthy microflora in the gut can speed your metabolism and support fat loss. Fatburning is more than just an exercise routine. For healthy weight loss, give your body the probiotic support it needs.
  • Maintains balance of healthy bacteria
  • IMPROVE & MAINTAIN HEALTH - Your gut is home to 80% of your immune system, where good bacteria (probiotics) battle with bad bacteria to prevent disease and relieve allergies, bloating, gas, and constipation. Probiotics replenish disease-fighting bacteria and help maintain digestive functions and immune health by controlling candida and yeast overgrowth.

Please enter below for your chance to WIN!!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am not the manufacturer of this product. Product packaging and materials may contain more or different information than what is shown in this post. I recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented on this post. Please always read labels, warnings, and directions provided with the product before using or consuming the product. If in doubt, always check with your GP before consuming.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Cherry Diva Store

I have followed Cherry Diva on Twitter for some time now and have always LOVED their products! They sell such pretty items for girls and at ridiculously cheap prices!

Their website boasts every accessory a girl needs, such as necklaces, bracelets, watches, earrings, bags, purses, phone cases, novelty gifts - the list goes on!

I was so excited to return home from a busy day at the office to find my Cherry Diva parcel sat waiting for me!

One of the items that i received were these pretty Pewter Oval Earrings. I loved them as soon as i saw them and could not wait to wear them!

Cherry Diva Pewter Oval Earrings £3.50

I cannot believe that they are only £3.50 - what a bargain they are. It goes without saying, they were my earring of choice the following day for work! I was thrilled when my Manager even passed comment and said how pretty they were. A little bit of bling in the office clearly does get noticed!

Wearing my Cherry Diva Pewter Oval Earrings  

I also recieved the Inked Princess iPhone 4/4s Case. I was in desperate need of a new phone case after having my old one on for almost six months - it is safe to say that it had been well and truly battered in my handbag! The Inked Princess Case is a hard case and fitted my phone perfectly. The only thing stopping my phone from looking brand new now is the scratched screen protector - i must invest in a new one. It would have been great to have got one with the cases as some sellers do as standard, but it really wasn't an issue as they are so cheap to pick up.

I love the variety of cases that Cherry Diva sell. There are so many that i have never even come across before. One of my other favourites is the Snow White case that is sold on the website. Anything Disney and i am in love! I am such a child at heart!

 Inked Princess iPhone 4/4s Case £4.00

The third item that was delivered from Cherry Diva was the Khloe Silver Screw Cuff Bracelet retailing at £7.00. The bangle is so elegant and it looks so much more expensive than it actually is. The bracelet is sold as a "one size fits most". Unfortunately for me, I think I must have quite big wrists as it fitted but I would be too scared to wear it in case it fell off and I lost it. This is no reflection on Cherry Diva though as it is a problem I have encountered in the past.
Khloe Silver Screw Cuff Bangle £7.00

One of the things i love about the Cherry Diva website is the £1 Pick 'N' Mix section.  There are so many bargains listed there.  £1 for a piece of fashion jewellery - you really cannot complain.  This section is ideal for bargain gifts for friends or family.  My teenage cousin was looking at the site with me one evening and "needed" everything on there so this has given me a thought for her birthday.  I will buy her a few items and make a little gift box for her containing the items that she liked.  

UK shipping is between 3-5 working days and costs 99p.  99p!  I have not seen delivery so cheap in a long time!  Delivery is free if you spend £20 or more.  First class and next day options are also available.

Cherry Diva ship internationally too at a bargain cost of only £4.95.  Again, this is offered free if you spend over £30 on the site. 

Check them out today and remember to 'Like' them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, Pintrest and Instagram to receive your 10% discount code.  

Handbag Essentials

As I was leaving the house this morning, I picked my handbag up and it felt like it had bricks in it with the weight of it! I decided that I needed to take a quick look through and take out the things in there that I did not need. Except I came across a slight problem, I need everything that is in my bag! 

My question to you is this "What Is In Your Handbag?” Do you need everything that is in your bag? Do you carry anything slightly obscure in your bag 'just in case'? 

A friend of mine once told me that she always keeps a spare pair of knickers in her back in case she ever has an accident! I thought that this was quite funny because the thought had never crossed my mind, but I guess in a funny way, there is an element of common sense in it!

 So, here goes, these are the contents of my bag that I carry round with my religiously, and of course not forgetting my mobile phone (not in the pic as I used it to take the photograph!) that I do not leave the house without!

  • Make up bag - contents of which include foundation, foundation brush, pressed powder, mascara x 3, eye liner pencil, liquid eye liner, tweezers, eyebrow powder, eye brow brush, eye brow pencil, blusher, blusher brush and eyelash glue.
  • Soap & Glory Hand Food
  • Nail file 
  • Keys 
  • Lighter (I haven't managed to quit smoking just yet!)
  • Nail polish 
  • Purse 
  • Lipstick
  • Lipgloss x 3 
  • Lip balm x 2 (clear and pearl)
  • Antibiotics (Reccurent tonsillitis - these have been a permanent fixture for almost four months now!)
  • Headphones 
  • Mirror
  • Hair clip 
  • Backcomb brush


The backcomb brush was in the bedroom as I’d just done my hair, but believe me, I feel like I have lost a limb if on the odd occasion I ever leave the house without it! It is the only hairbrush that I carry around with me these days.

My boyfriend thinks I am crazy carrying all of this round with my religiously, but I actually do not think that it is all that much - I could think of so many more things that I could carry around with me.

At the moment my bag is relatively tidy and in order - I decided to have a clear out before going back to work after Christmas. Other things I have been known the lurk in the bottom of my bag include an umbrella (this is a must for any girl but mine has been left in work - typical!), address book, paracetemol, feminine hygiene products, pens, chewing gum/mints, sunglasses (summer months, obviously), deodorant, perfume, ipod, tissues, and of course not forgetting the endless crumpled up receipts that are months old that we keep "just in case".

It got me thinking, is it really necessary that we carry all of these things with us on a daily basis? In short, my answer is YES! For me, there is no worse feeling than going to look for something and suddenly realising you have 'forgotten' it. 

So my male readers, next time you query the contents of your partners handbag, think twice, this 'must' accessory contains are our life tools and yes, the world literally does feel like it is over if it isn't in the handbag!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Maxwell Scott Bags Reveals Exciting Rebrand


Luxury leather goods company Maxwell Scott Bags has recently re-launched its website after an exciting rebrand. An international business based in York, North Yorkshire, Maxwell Scott Bags fuses British design with Italian craftsmanship to create luxury leather products ranging from briefcases and luggage to handbags and accessories.

Founded in 2002 by William Forshaw, Maxwell Scott Bags began life supplying briefcases to corporate clients in London. After noticing that many of his colleagues brought plastic bags to work instead of business cases, William saw a gap in the market for high quality, professional briefcases in the workplace.


After a family trip to Italy sparked an interest in the traditional craftsmanship of Italian leather, William began looking for the highest quality tannery to begin producing the leather for his bags. A highly esteemed factory in Tuscany was chosen, and the business was able to take flight. 

William Forshaw, Founder of Maxwell Scott Bags said, “Back in 2002 I had a tiny vision and a passion for leather, and the business hasn’t stopped growing since! With well over a decade of professional design and craftsmanship experience under our belts, I felt a rebrand was necessary to appeal to a new generation of leather lovers.

“Since 2002, Maxwell Scott Bags has branched out and we now sell our products internationally. Although still a small business with a small staff base, the company is expanding all the time and eventually aims to be the most-loved luxury British bag maker in the world.”


The British company stands out from the crowd by using only the finest, premium Italian leather which adds to the longevity of the product. The leather produced in the tannery comes from premium quality full grain hides that are tanned using completely natural processes, reducing the impact on the environment and giving the leather unique qualities. Marks and scratches can be buffed out and the leather develops a beautiful patina over time, meaning that products from Maxwell Scott Bags only improve with age.

After spending the past year rebranding, the company is now ready to show off its brand new image. With a sleek new website, a newly launched informative blog and a range of upcoming products in the pipeline, it’s an exciting time for the British company.


The Yorkshire-based brand has one mission: To become the most loved British bag company in the world. We believe that by sharing this vision with our customers, collaborators and friends that we will become closer to achieving it.

To find out more about the Maxwell Scott Bags story 
or to browse the extensive luxury collection, visit the new website:

Phone: 08702 424 684

Sleep Apnoea

Whilst I have never been officially diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea, I think that I may well suffer from it. From a very early age I was always a restless sleeper – tossing and turning each night, talking in my sleep and grinding my teeth. This has slowly crept into adulthood and has never changed; my sleep patterns are still identical to those of when I was a small child.

Recently my partner has been telling me that sometimes it is almost unbearable, to the point that he has even resorted to sleeping on the couch some nights because I have been tossing and turning and throwing my arms and legs around the bed so much! Whilst I know it is not funny, I cannot help but laugh when he tells me these tales each morning because I just cannot imagine that I can behave like that in my sleep. This got me looking into Sleep Apnoea a little more.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a condition where the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing.

There are two types of breathing interruption characteristic of OSA:

  • Apnoea – where the muscles and soft tissues in the throat relax and collapse sufficiently to cause a total blockage of the airway; it is called an apnoea when the airflow is blocked for 10 seconds or more 
  • Hypopnoea – a partial blockage of the airway that results in an airflow reduction of greater than 50% for 10 seconds or more

This would explain my snoring and talking in my sleep then! If I am honest, it scares me a little and I think that it scares my partner too. On many occasions, I have woken in the middle of the night to him standing over me, shaking me to wake up because I have in fact been lay there motionless in my sleep, appearing not to breathe. That really is a scary thought!

According to the NHS, people with OSA may experience repeated episodes of apnoea and hypopnoea throughout the night.

During an episode, the lack of oxygen triggers your brain to pull you out of deep sleep – either to a lighter sleep or to wakefulness – so your airway reopens and you can breathe normally.

After falling back into deep sleep, further episodes of apnoea and hypopnoea can occur. These events may occur around once every one or two minutes throughout the night in severe cases.

Most people with OSA snore loudly. Their breathing may be noisy and laboured, and it is often interrupted by gasping and snorting with each episode of apnoea.

These repeated sleep interruptions can make you feel very tired during the day. You'll usually have no memory of your interrupted breathing, so you may be unaware you have a problem unless a partner, friend or family member notices the symptoms while you sleep.

The above describes my sleeping pattern perfectly. I always feel tired during the day no matter how early I go to bed or no matter how much sleep I think I have had. Things are slowly starting to piece together. Whilst this is a self-diagnosis of the condition, I feel a little more relieved after doing some research that it is a common problem.

Whilst sleeping, apparently it is normal for the muscles and soft tissues in the throat to relax and collapse to some degree.

For most people this doesn't cause breathing problems, but in people with OSA the airway has narrowed as the result of a number of factors, including:

  • Being overweight or obese 
  • Having a large neck 
  • Taking medicines that have a sedative effect, such as sleeping tablets 
  • Having an unusual structure in the neck, such as an narrow airway, large tonsils, adenoids or tongue, or a small lower jaw 
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol, particularly before going to sleep 

All of the above relate to me. I am overweight and I am very conscious that I need to shift it. Some of the medication that I take does have a sedative effect as I suffer with back problems. I am also suffering at the moment with recurrent septic tonsillitis and I do smoke around ten cigarettes a day.

After looking into OSA I am more aware than ever that I need to be making some serious lifestyle changes such as losing excess weight and cutting down or quitting cigarettes for good. However, I do also think that recurrent tonsillitis may be one of the issues also. I am seeing a specialist at the hospital later this week, where I am hoping they will offer a tonsillectomy and that may improve symptoms. I shall keep you all posted and let you know how it goes! Here’s hoping that both my partner and I can have a good night’s sleep in the not too distant future.  Failing that I may well be checking myself into a sleep clinic, or joining a dating website!  (Just kidding!)

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Symprove 12 Week Programme

Look what arrived at my door this morning, my 12 Week Programme of Symprove from Spink Health.

After being diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in 2011 and having suffered with stomach problems for sometime, I was excited to learn of the Symprove 12 Week Programme and was more than happy to give it a go and see if it can improve my daily symptoms of IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation.

The symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.

IBS is thought to affect up to one in five people at some point in their life, and it usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age. Around twice as many women are affected as men.

The condition is often life-long, although it may improve over several years.

The most common symptoms of IBS are:

  • Abdonimal (stomach) pain and cramping, which may be relieved by having a poo. 
  • A change in bowel habits – such as diarrhoea, constipation, or sometimes both. 
  • Bloating and swelling of your stomach. 
  • Excessive wind (flatulence). 
  • Occasionally experiencing an urgent need to go to the toilet. 
  • A feeling that you have not fully emptied your bowels after going to the toilet. 
  • Passing mucus from your bottom. 

In addition to the main symptoms described above, some people with IBS experience a number of other problems. These can include:
  • A lack of energy (lethargy). 
  • Feeling sick. 
  • Backache. 
  • Bladder problems (such as needing to wake up to urinate at night, experiencing an urgent need to urinate and difficulty fully emptying the bladder). 
  • Pain during sex (Dyspareunia) 
  • Incontinence. 

The symptoms of IBS can also have a significant impact on a person's day-to-day life and can have a deep psychological impact. As a result, many people with the condition have feelings of depression and anxiety.

Symprove is a water-based multi-strain supplement that contains 4 unique strains of live activated bacteria. These include: L. rhamnosus, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, and L. plantarum. Normally a healthy gut would already contain all four of these, however when it doesn’t, it can soon become unbalanced. Symprove has been created to restore the balance of bacteria in your gut.

During the Symprove 12 Week Programme all you have to do is drink 1 small cup of Symprove each morning and that’s it. Symprove are confident that in 12 weeks you and your gut will feel significantly different.

So, I am ready to go! This is day 1, and I shall keep you posted on my progress. 

Please note that I am not a medical expert, nor am I trained or qualified to give an advice regarding this condition. This post is based purely on my own thoughts and experiences. You should see your GP if you think you have IBS symptoms, so they can try to identify the cause.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Charity Begins At Home

This Christmas Eve, my boyfriend and I decided to celebrate our first day off work by heading over to Liverpool City Centre for a few drinks to get us into the Christmas spirit.

After visiting one bar and stopping by a few shops to pick up a few last minute bits, we passed some cash machines and saw a man sat on the floor by the bins.  He did not ask for money, he barely even looked up but my partner gave him a few pound that he had spare in his pocket and told him to go and get a hot drink.

We walked away discussing how it must be dreadful to be out day and night in the cold weather and how nobody should have to live their life like that. 

As we sat in the next bar we visited, conversation kept coming back to the people who were living on the streets.  I think that we had both gotten into the “Christmas spirit” and were both truly saddened that this was real life, how people lived.  Not just at Christmas but on a day to day basis whether it be freezing, hot, wet, damp, sunny – this was life for some people. 

As we left the bar and were heading to get the bus home, and my boyfriend said that he would like to go back and give the man who we saw earlier a few extra pound.  We went back to where we originally saw him but he had moved on.  In his place were two new faces, a man and a woman with their dog.  They were just sitting down for the night when we approached them and asked them if they knew where we could find the man from earlier; they said that they did not know.

We began chatting to the couple, my boyfriend was speaking to the man, and I was speaking to the lady.  Over a cigarette, the lady was telling me how they were just settling down for the night and how she thought it was going to be a long one as it was so cold.  I told her that I felt so awful that I was going home to a warm house while she was outside and that I did not know what difference it would make to her, but she was welcome to whatever was in my purse.  As it happened, there was only around £5.40 in my purse but I took it and gave it to her anyway.  Her face light up when she explained to me that now they did not have to sit on the street, they had enough to go and stay in one of the local hostels with their dog.  I asked her would £5 really provide a bed for the night for the three of them and she told me that it would.  My eyes filled up as she was talking to me and I smiled a little inside knowing that just a few pound that meant nothing to me could mean so much to somebody else.  The lady thanked me, hugged me and we went on our way.

On the bus home my boyfriend began telling me that when he had been speaking to the man, he had told him how he used to have a good job and redundancy lead him to drink, then eventually drugs and before he knew it he had lost his home and he was on the streets.  The lady he was with was in fact not his friend as we first thought, but his wife of fifteen years.  It got me thinking of all of the insignificant things that we all moan about on a daily basis, what does it all really mean?  Nothing.  There is a couple, married for all of those years who are still together through thick and thin.  That must be real love.

Whilst speaking with the couple, there was a charity in Liverpool mentioned that give the homeless people soup and warm drinks and distribute warm clothes to them.  It got me thinking that I am going to make it my New Year’s Resolution to start helping others more and doing something that will make a difference to somebody else’s life.  Just an hour or two volunteering of an evening with the charity would not only make me feel better, but be making a difference to local people.

The UK seem to spend so much time and money on foreign aid, when really, we only need to look at our own cities to see real poverty and devastation.  After reading this article I was deeply saddened that people on our streets can be treated in this way.  According to around 2400 people are thought to be sleeping rough in any one night.  Should we not be doing more to help these people? 

The "Don't Just Walk Past - Tell Us" campaign gives people the option of calling a 24-hour helpline number 
0800 567 7699 or completing a form on the charity's website

For 2015, I pledge a few hours per week of my time to go and work with the rough sleepers of Liverpool and to spend some time talking to them and getting to know them.  I will also be collecting warm clothing to take over to the charity for them.  

This year, I will try to make a difference to somebody else life.  No matter how small the gesture, a little sometimes means a lot as I learnt on Christmas Eve.


Just a quick one for you all.

I am looking for some advice, feedback, reviews, etc of diets that people have recently done. I am familiar with the usual – Weight Watchers, Slimming World, etc. I am looking to try something new and would be keen to hear some “Real Life” stories before I go out spending pounds on products that may or may not work.

As it stands, I am eating Belvita breakfast biscuits or a piece of toast in the mornings, a tin of soup for lunch and meat and veg for dinner. Whilst I know the calorific value of this is relatively low and I can lose weight doing this, I know that I will get bored easily. I have a good few stone to shift so I need to stay on target and stay motivated. I am 30 in August and it is my intention to be at goal weight by then. I have a while to do it so need something that I can stick to for this period of time.

I would really appreciate your thoughts.

Steph x

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Let's Talk About...Hair Styling

I sat in front of my mirror this morning, and decided that maybe it is time for a change of style with my hair.  My GHD's have been my best friend for many years, but he realisation has come that as much as I love them, I need to try some new styling tools.

Since that age of around 14 and discovering the GHD styler's, all I seem to have done is straighten the life out of my hair.  I currently have the GHD Boho Chic Limited Edition styler that I purchased some years ago as part of the Hair Striaghtener Gift Set.

Over the years, I have had my hair in many different styles and colours - long, short, extensions, clip in extensions, blonde, red, brown, etc.  But, I am at that point in my life again where I feel I am in need of a change.  The question is, to what?

This is a picture of me with my hair blonde with sewn in Remy hair extensions...

After almost twelve months of having my extensions in, I was in the same predicament as I am in now - I needed a change,  

From blonde with extensions, I went for natural hair with a red colour, as below...

It wasn't long before I was getting fed up and began using clip in extensions to add length and volume...

I kept my hair this colour and natural for around six months before I discovered that the red was fading very fast and to maintain the colour I was colouring it every four weeks, I opted for dark brown this time around and still occasionally use clip in extensions for when I was my hair curly or when I want it up and want it to appear thicker or with more volume...

I just really do not know what to do next!

My hair is so thin and fine and I know that excessive heat is constantly damaging my hair no matter how many protective products I use but my hair has a natural wave so I can't not do anything with it.  I really am undecided as to where I go from here to get my hair in better condition and looking healthy again.

A friend recently mentioned that she had bought the L'Oreal Steampod straighteners.  Like me, she uses hair straighteners on a daily basis and swear that they have improved the condition of her hair whilst straightening them as good as the other leading stylers.  

Has anybody tried them?  What are your thoughts?  Do they straighten your hair as well as other stylers?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Wizz Oxi Powder Fabric Stain Remover

I am so impressed with Wizz Oxi Fabric Stain Remover that I thought I would write a post to share with you all and let you know of my findings.

A friend of mine with a family of three teenage children has used Wizz Oxi Fabric Stain Remover for some years and swears by it above all other leading brands.  I thought that it was time to give it a go and see what all of the fuss was about.
When I was in my local shopping centre, I came across a 625g tub of it in Poundland.  I added it to my basket along with my other items and was rather looking forward to getting home and giving it a go.  Whilst staining of clothes is not a major issue for me as I have no children, both my boyfriend and I still seem to come across the same problems - staining of tea towels from cooking (curry being the worst) and staining of t-shirts in the under arm region where deodorants that promise to leave no marks always seem to. 

Along with my regular washing powder and fabric conditioner, I added a scoop to my wash.  After only using a 30 minute quick wash as I had a small load, I was very impressed with my findings.  My tea towels came out as brand new and they smelt lovely!  
Whilst I understand that there are many products on the market designed to remove stains varying in price dramatically, I honestly cannot fault this product.  For £1 a tub it is brilliant and I would definitely recommend it.  I recently came across a post where the product had been tested at BBC Watchdog's Test House and it seems that I am not the only one impressed.  Compared to other leading brands tested, Wizz Oxi Fabric Stain Remover came in at a close second.

It does the trick for me and I shall be adding it to my shopping list on a regular basis going forward.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Ladies That Lunch

Today me and my bestie decided that we would go out for a little wander around the shops and a have a spot of lunch whilst on our travels.

Carson's Mummy does not get a great deal of time to herself these days with having the two little one's, so it was really nice to just to be able to spend a few hours child-free with her and for her, I am guessing, to indulge in a little adult time.  

We realised that one of the large chain of pubs where we had originally planned to go - no names mentioned but every town has at least one, or maybe two ;) had no fryers working!  I am not back to work until Monday so technically I am still on my Christmas holidays so the diet doesn't have to start quite yet, or at least that is what I keep telling myself.  I had in my head that I was not opting for the healthy menu today and learning that the fryers were not working was a no-no for me so we headed for the next local pub.

The company was great, but I was slightly disappointed to find that the burger and chips that we ordered was like a burger that we used to get in school!  This made me think of our school days stood in the dinner queue for forty-five of the sixty minute lunch waiting only to be told that they were out of your favourite meal! Ahh, school seems so long ago, I cannot quite believe that I am 30 this year!

Anyway, as I was informed, I am not quite up to true blogger standard just yet, as only after I had eaten my meal I decided that I should have taken a picture!  As you can see, true to my word, the diet definitely has not yet begun - note that chips, onion rings and burger are nowhere to be seen but there is a lovely serving of healthy, green salad left on my plate haha!


I will get the hang of this blogging lark shortly - or at least I hope so!