Monday 19 December 2016

Upgrade your skills with online learning

In this competitive world, it is important to pursue further education especially for those who aim to go far in their chosen fields of career. While a lot of people are content with a nine-to-five kind of job, a lot are inspired to look beyond the horizon. Taking up refresher courses, another field of study, masters or even a doctorate are just a few of the possible ways to enrich your skills and improve your professional competence and value. 

Surely, having a master’s degree or a doctorate in one’s curriculum vitae can lead to better prospects and opportunities when looking for jobs. A lot of companies prefer to hire applicants who have higher degrees of learning. But what if you are working and can’t afford to leave your job to study? The answer is easy – online courses. Online universities such as for example are the ideal solutions to your dilemma. NC IUL offers online masters courses and degrees to make it possible for people like you to reach for their dreams.

Working in social media, I have myself signed up to an online course to further my skills. It's a simple way to learn, in my own time.

So, now that you have the answer on how you can improve your education and skills, it is likewise important to know what kind of studies or degree to pursue to upgrade your skills. First, consider what area of learning you enjoy studying. Do you love math, science, languages, arts, or history? Basing on your answer, look up courses that focus on these subjects. In addition, picture yourself in the future. What kind of job can you see yourself happily involved in? It is necessary to follow a path where it will lead to a sense of achievement, contentment and happiness. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be so bad to consider the kind of lifestyle you want. Knowing the things, you enjoy and the kind of life situation you would want to have will be huge factors in your decision in choosing the kind of degree to take.

If you are in doubt, you can seek professional advice from career guidance counsellors, talk with people you know can give you good advice or even look up online opinion of successful people in their chosen careers. Before enrolling in a course, make sure that it is the one that will lead you to achieve your goals.

Have you thought about online learning?

*In Collaboration with MaryJ


Sunday 18 December 2016

Winter Skincare feat. Pebble Grey Mirrors

winter, skincare, beauty, LED mirror, bathroom mirror, Pebble Grey

Hands up who takes their makeup off before bed every single night? 

High five if you do! Your skin will most definitely thank you for it. I can honestly say my skin is in much better condition now, in my thirties, than it was in my early twenties! And that is because back then, I wasn't so great at looking after my skin. I was poor at removing my makeup before bed, I wasn't using the right kind of products and my skincare involved nothing more than a makeup wipe [don't judge me, I was young and naive ;)] and some cheap moisturiser every now and then.

It was only in my mid-late twenties that I began taking more care of my skin. Even on those late, lazy nights where I could think of nothing worse than removing a face full of make up and applying all my evening skincare, I make sure I do. Every. Single. Night.

winter, skincare, beauty, merumaya, garnier, micellar water, kiehls, nip&fab, pixi beauty, sanctuary spa

winter, skincare, beauty, LED mirror, bathroom mirror, Pebble Grey

Winter can be tough on our skin. Freezing cold temperatures, less air humidity, central heating and other factors can really affect the skin, leaving it dehydrated which can lead to dryness, fine lines and dullness. So it's really important to be looking after it and using the right products.

I wanted to share with you the products I've been using for my every day, evening skincare routine throughout Winter time.

Double Cleansing

It's important to cleanse the skin not once but twice. Once to remove the majority of the makeup, and again to cleanse the skin. Pushing makeup and dirt around the face with a wipe isn't going to do the job. Play around with products to see what works for you. I find a melting balm removes my makeup well. I'm currently using Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm*. I apply this with my fingers all over my face and neck, then head to the bathroom to remove by massaging my skin with a hot cloth. I then  do a second cleanse with Garnier Oil-Infused Micellar Water with cotton pads. This is my favourite cleanser, I purchase over and over. It's great for removing my makeup and makes my skin feel super soft.

I then tone my skin with Pixi Glow Tonic which is probably my favourite product I discovered this year, it really is SO good. It firms and tightens the skin and gets rid of dead skin cells. I use this as part of my morning and evening skincare and my skin feels amazing.

winter, skincare, beauty, LED mirror, bathroom mirror, Pebble Grey

winter, skincare, beauty, merumaya, garnier, nip&fab, sanctuary spa, pixi beauty, kiehls

Moisturise Moisturise Moisturise!

Another skin saviour is the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, it is specifically formulated with ingredients to protect the skin in harsh weather conditions, so it's perfect for Winter time. It makes my skin feel so comfortable, it's my favourite part of my skincare routine, I use it morning and night. 

I then moisturise my lips, this is a must all year round to keep them soft. No chapped lips here! I'm currently using a Nip & Fab Lip Butter in Spiced Apple which smells all kinds of festive!

And not forgetting my hands. Our hands are often neglected, which isn't good considering the amount they go through during the day, especially at this time of year. So I make sure to treat my hands to some hand cream at the end of the day. I'm currently using Sanctuary Spa Hand Cream, a cream used in their spa manicures full of shea butter and almond oil to keep them super soft. 

pebble grey, LED mirror, magnifying mirror, vanity mirror

pebble grey, elko led mirror, LED mirror, magnifying mirro, illuminating mirror

If you wear a lot of makeup, you want to make sure you remove every last bit. So a good, magnifying mirror is great for this. This Elko LED Magnifying Vanity Mirror* from Pebble Grey has 3x magnification so is perfect for making sure all my makeup is removed, as well as being great for precise makeup application! 

It also gives a subtle glow using energy efficient LEDS, at the flick of a switch. Great for those darker winter days when you're needing a little extra light!

Finished in high quality polished chrome and frosted acrylic, it looks super stylish on my dressing table and with it's tilt-able mirror face it's becoming a well used accessory on my dressing table.

dressing table, beauty

What skincare products have you been turning to this Winter?

*I received the mirror and cleansing balm free of charge for consideration of review. 
As always, all words and opinions are my own. 


Tuesday 13 December 2016

Tips to help you save time, space & money this Christmas

Christmas is magical, but it can take a lot of work right? All that shopping, wrapping, decorating and not to mention thinking of where the Elf on the Shelf is going to hide every evening! ;) 
I've woken up in the middle of the night on more than one occasion remembering that I forgot to move the Elf! Please tell me I'm not on my own here?!

For those that are a little pressed for time, space or money at this time of year, it can be difficult. 
So those super clever and ever so helpful people over at Festive Lights have shared a few tips and advice to make things that little bit easier for us this Christmas.

Some great tips, right? I love the 'storing decorations in plastic cups with cotton wool' tip! How many times do you pull the bags out the attic or the shed and realise your baubles have cracked? 
And how cute is that snowman fridge?! ;)

I love a good Christmas hack, anything that makes my life a little easier! :)

Do you have any money, time or space saving 
tips to share this Christmas?

*Collaborative Post


Wednesday 7 December 2016

Santa's Grotto at Intu Derby

Intu Derby, Santa's Grotto, Santa, Christmas, family

This year, things are getting magical now Taylor is of the age to start understanding Christmas a little more. He's super excited about Santa so when we were invited to visit the Santa's Grotto at Intu Derby last weekend, we couldn't wait.

James booked the day off work so we could all go along together. I hadn't been to the centre in a few years, I think it was still a Westfield the last time I went. But I was impressed with the centre itself. It had a great variety of shops, the toilets were modern and quirky and everywhere seemed clean. 

We arrived a little earlier than our booked appointment so we had a little look around. We found a snow garden, full of artificial snow, for children to play in. It was fantastic. Taylor loved throwing the snow around, and other children were making snow angels. It was lovely! A member of staff came over, handed us chocolate coins and gave us the opportunity to write letters to Santa and post them in the special box [unfortunately we forgot to do this!]. A fantastic idea! If you get the chance, take your little ones for some snow fun!

Intu Derby, Santa's Grotto, Santa, Christmas, family

When we eventually found the Grotto [Intu is a great centre, but needs to up their game when it comes to directions and signage! ;)] we headed to the desk where the lady elves handed the boys cardboard reindeer antler hats and showed us to the front of the grotto. I was told I wasn't allowed to take any photos inside. I asked if I was able to take any of the experience itself as long as I didn't get any children or members of the public in but was told no, which was unfortunate as would've been nice to show you a little more inside the grotto. 

Once inside, we found a space amongst the other families while two elves were on stage performing tricks, singing songs and telling jokes. It was a lovely way to keep the children entertained whilst waiting for Santa. I think Taylor was possibly a little young to understand it all, and a little young for all the waiting around so kept himself amused by attempting to hug the Christmas tree, touch all the decorations and run around the room. :)

We were shown through to a back room where Santa was sat in a little white room. He was a great Santa, he looked fantastic and was very chatty with Taylor and even included Bradley too [at 12, he played along well for his little brothers sake ;)]. It was a brief chat with Santa, Taylor was able to choose a Playmobil toy from one of Santa's sacks and we had a family photo taken with him.

Intu Derby, Santa's Grotto, Santa, Christmas, Playmobil

Intu Derby, Santa's Grotto, Santa, Christmas, family

We purchased the photo for £6.00, other photo gifts such as keyrings were available too. 

You can visit Santa's Grotto for £6.50 per child, plus £1.00 per adult, and each child receives a small Playmobil toy.

Have you visited Santa yet this Christmas?

*I was invited along to Intu Derby to experience the Santa's Grotto for the purpose of this review.
I ordered an extra adult ticket for James.
As always, all words are my own and are my 100% honest opinion

Many thanks to Intu Derby for inviting us along.

Linked up to:

Monday 5 December 2016

New Charity Single Launches for UK's Seriously Ill Children

Wellchild, charity, charity single

WellChild is a charity I have supported before. The project aims to raise awareness of the challenges faced by thousands of families across the UK caring for a child or young person at home with serious illness or exceptional health needs.
The charity provides a nationwide network of WellChild's Nurses who work with families to get children and young people out of hospital quicker and for longer. They also enlist the support of volunteers to make homes and gardens safer for children and young people living with exceptional health needs and run numerous services to support families at home. The charity has invested more than £20 million in ground-breaking children's health research projects. 

This month sees the launch of their brand new charity single - an amazing new version of Daniel Powter’s ‘Bad Day’ sung by the WellChild Nurse and Families choir and featuring chart topping band Scouting For Girls and rising X-Factor star Josh Daniel. 

well child, charity, charity single, scouting for girls
Scouting For Girls - image courtesy of WellChild

The single, unveiled for the first time at the WellChild Awards at the Dorchester earlier this month, marks the ten-year anniversary of the first ever WellChild Children’s Nurse in 2006. The network has since grown to more than 30 nurses across the UK providing support to children with exceptional health needs so they can leave hospital to be cared for at home with their families. 

As well as Scouting for Girls and Josh Daniels, the video for 'Bad Day' also features WellChild Patron, Prince Harry.

WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said: “This single captures a unique spirit that we see time and again amongst the growing number of families caring for a child at home with exceptional health needs. Many work 24/7 and face daily battles to keep their children safe. Their enduring resilience and positivity is an inspiration to us all and this is what we are hoping to convey with our first ever charity single. 

The single is currently available to be pre-ordered on iTunes ahead of general release across all platforms on the 11th November. You can pre-order the single priced just 99p and help propel it up the charts ready for its general release. 

To pre-order the single, search ‘WellChild Bad Day’ on iTunes or simply click here

*I was asked if I would share this information on behalf of WellChild.
I received no fee for this post.


Friday 2 December 2016

PizzaExpress Christmas Menu

PizzaExpress, leicester, Christmas

I love pizza. I love Christmas. So when I was invited along for a complimentary meal at one of my local PizzaExpress' which had just recently undergone a refurb, to review the new Christmas menu, I was there with jingle bells on. 

Tucked down a side street, known as Leicester's Professional Quarter, just steps away from the hustle and bustle of the busy town centre, is King Street; home to Leicester's original PizzaExpress. 

After a recent transformation, the intimate restaurant has a brand new look just in time to launch their Christmas menu.

PizzaExpress, leicester, Christmas

It had been a few years since we last visited, but the place looked great, from the outside in! With the eye catching new shop front to the pendant lighting and new stylish artwork inside, the restaurant felt cosy yet vibrant. 

There was a lovely, intimate atmosphere as we arrived and was warmly greeted by a lovely guy [we think his name was Harley] who showed us to our table.

Being such a small venue, the staff were always on hand to make sure we were comfortable and happy. We didn't have to wait long at all to order and the food came out super quick, after watching it being freshly made just feet away in the open kitchen. 

PizzaExpress, leicester, Christmas

PizzaExpress, leicester, Christmas

Of course we started by sharing a plate of dough balls, because HELLO! THE best thing about PizzaExpress, in my opinion, are the dough balls. They are just AH-MAZING! You cannot visit this place and not have a plate of them, with garlic butter. But of course, there are a wide range of other yummy starters to choose from!

If you haven't, you need to! ;)

There are a couple of new 'starter' options available for Christmas, take a look at the menu here. 

PizzaExpress, leicester, Christmas

PizzaExpress, leicester, Christmas, food

Now on to the mains. As we were here to road test the new Christmas menu, it was only fair I tried one of the three new Christmas themed pizzas. The Porchetta Natale contains pulled, seasoned hog roast, soft herb stuffing, pancetta, mozzarella, fresh rosemary, tomato, garlic oil and pine kernels, finished with fresh parsley. 

It tasted as delicious as it sounds. The hog roast most definitely gave it that festive taste. Get ready for the massive cliche, but you may have heard the words 'it tastes like Christmas' leave my mouth! 

I'm usually a simple pepperoni or dare I say it, hawaiian kinda girl when it comes to pizza, but this was really delicious!

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

James ordered the Calzone Classico, a folded pizza with salami, pepperoni, spinach, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil and parsley served with a side salad. He said it tasted great, really fresh ingredients and the salad complimented it well since it was so light. 

We'd have loved some crispy potato fries to accompany our meals, but they only offer traditional Italian alternative, Polenta Chips, which are thick fluffy potato coated in cornmeal [maize flour] and served with a honey and mustard dip. They were nice, but we weren't huge fans.

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

Happy and full after our mains, we were wondering if we could manage to squeeze a dessert in. Ha who am I kidding? Of course there was room for dessert!! It's the best bit, right?

PizzaExpress have the most amazing desserts on offer, there are some great dishes to choose from. But we both decided to choose one of the Christmas Specials.

James went with the Jaffa Profiteroles; chocolate coated and filled with a chocolate cream and orange gel centre. Wow. I'm a huge chocolate orange fan and these tasted SO GOOD! Accompanied by a scoop of vanilla gelato, they've done themselves proud with this one. Now, who's starting the petition to keep these on the menu all year round?

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

I chose the Panettone Cheesecake; chocolate chip and orange marmalade panettone pieces in a creamy vanilla cheesecake on a thick crumbly biscuit base. SOLD. I had mine with a scoop of soft vanilla gelato which accompanied it beautifully. 

It was truly delicious! All the different textures just complimented each other so well, I really enjoyed it. The cheesecake was the perfect consistency, and the bitter chocolate and marmalade finished it off nicely. No leftovers here. If you need me, I'll be in a food coma in the corner...

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

We were well looked after all evening. It was our second visit here and I think we'll definitely be back here more often. I love the new look, the food was fantastic and the staff were really attentive. With an NCP right around the corner, it's an ideal place for date night.

Looking for somewhere different to eat over the festive period? I definitely recommend heading to your local PizzaExpress for something a little different!

PizzaExpress, Leicester, food, Christmas

Are you a fan of PizzaExpress?

*Huge thank you to PizzaExpress, King Street, Leicester 
for inviting me along for a complimentary meal in return for this review.
All words are, as always, my own and 100% honest


Tuesday 29 November 2016

Gizmo Saves Christmas in new Vision Direct Christmas Advert

Twinkly lights, a red cup from a well-known coffee shop, cosy nights in around the tree, family time, gifts...  and of course, it isn't Christmas without a heart-warming festive advert!
Vision Direct, the UK’s largest online only retailer of eye care, including glasses and contact lenses, is excited to release its Christmas campaign for 2016. Produced by Bespoke Film and Communications, Gizmo Saves Christmas plays on the familiar theme of festive neighbourhood rivalry as well as the age old dog vs. cat debate. 

The advert features Vision Direct’s super cute brand mascot, Mr Gizmo the pug, as well as a new character, Cuddles the cat. It follows last year’s Vision Direct Christmas ad, which was extremely successful, amassing over one million views across social media.

I'm going to put it out there, I'm not so much a dog or cat person. Don't hate me. But this advert had me ooh-ing and ahh-ing, smiling, and not to mention gasping! 

Watch it and you'll see what I mean!!

It's super cute and definitely gives that huge department store advert a run for it's money!

I love the play on the rivalry between neighbours, I can see this most definitely happening in the real world! But, of course, in the festive spirit, finishing by showing Gizmo's caring side, looking out for others, a value close to the Vision Direct brand. 

The UK's first and longest running online retailer of contact lenses, Vision Direct have recently introduced their new range of prescription glasses, available from just £19.99 with lenses. 

I'm fortunate enough not to have any problems with my sight, but James is meant to wear them in certain situations, so at this price, this is definitely something we'll look into. 

Now without further a do, I present to you, Gizmo Saves Christmas...

What did you think? The advert will be available to watch over the festive period on their Facebook and YouTube channels. Or you can visit their website, which includes lots of fun games and competitions as part of their countdown to Christmas advent calendar.

Are you a fan of Christmas adverts?

*Collaborative Post


Wednesday 16 November 2016

Nim's Fruit & Vegetable Crisps

food, healthy snack, fruit, vegetables, air dried crisps

Working from home, I find it difficult not to want to snack while I'm sat in front of the computer. I've never really been one for crisps, but recently I've been reaching for them and enjoying every mouthful. My thighs however are not so forgiving ;) 
BUT, I think I may have found a 100% natural, fat, gluten and dairy free option that will fulfil my craving for that tasty crunch!

food, healthy snack, fruit, vegetables, air dried crisps

food, healthy snack, fruit, vegetables, air dried crisps

Nim's Crisps are healthy, delicious, authentic snacks created in the UK using only fruit and vegetables. They are air dried, not fried, with nothing added to it. 
The fruit and vegetables are sliced up in their entirety, skin and pips and all. And air dried, keeping all the goodness within, to create a snack full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. A great way to ensure you're getting your 5 a day, whilst still fulfilling the need for a snack.
We were sent the full range of the fruit and vegetable combinations to try. 

food, healthy snack, fruit, vegetables, air dried crisps

food, healthy snack, fruit, vegetables, air dried crisps

The current range include:
Fruit -
Melon & Orange
Pineapple & Kiwi
Vegetable -
Tomato & Cucumber
Beetroot & Parsnip
Peppers & Courgettes 

We tried them all over the weekend. Our favourites were definitely the fruit ones particularly the Apple Crisps and Pear Crisps. These would make great snacks for our toddler, he loves them.
We weren't fans of the Vegetable versions, as we preferred the ones that tasted a little 'sweeter'. 
I really enjoyed the kiwi crisps, and I love the look of them, complete with seeds and skin!

food, healthy snack, fruit, vegetables, air dried crisps

food, healthy snack, fruit, vegetables, air dried crisps

They make great healthy snacks for picnics, days out, movie nights or simply a quick snack when you're peckish.
The crisps are available to purchase online at £1.25 a packet. 
They are also hoping to launch their Nim's Kid's range very soon - 'a range of Nim’s Fruit & Veg crisps especially for children with portion sizes and packaging specially designed with kids in mind'


The final fruit & veg varieties for Nim’s Kids haven’t yet been decided, what kind of flavours would you and your kids love to see?

*Crisps sent to me for the purpose of this review and post. 
All opinions are our own.

Blog Layout Designed by pipdig