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.


Sunday 13 November 2016

Basic Road Safety for Toddlers

road safety, toddlers

It is so important to teach basic road safety to children as soon as they are able to understand. Research shows that an average of six children under the age of five are killed or seriously injured, every week in Britain. 

Taylor is 2 and at that very stubborn, independent stage. He now wants to walk everywhere and he rarely wants to hold my hand. So it's really important for me to teach him some basic road safety so he begins to understand the danger of roads. 
Young children learn from seeing how people around them do things, so it's particularly important to set a good example; don't take risks, cross safely, keep your full attention on the traffic when crossing.

road safety, toddlers

Here are a few tips you can also follow:

   -  Talk about the dangers of roads, when out walking. Reinforcing that we walk on the pavement and the roads are for cars only. Discuss how fast the cars are going. Research shows that very young children struggle to judge how fast transport are travelling or how far away they are, so talk about this.
  -  Don't be afraid to use a harness/reins if you're worried your child may run off. There are some super cute backpack harnesses available.
  -  Introduce the 'green man'. Talk about us only being allowed to cross at the special crossing, when the 'green man' says we can go.
  -  Talk about the different vehicles you can see on the roads; Can you find a lorry? Which is biggest, the bike or the bus? What colour is that car? Learning about the different types of vehicles can make them more aware of what is on the road around them as well as an opportunity to build on their language. 
  -  Always hold hands when crossing the road. Even if they're beginning to get very independent and want to walk on their own on the pavement, make sure it's a rule to hold hands when crossing a road.
  -  Play with small world toys such as cars, roads and people. Model crossing the road safely and cars stopping at traffic lights, etc.
  -  Share simple road safety stories aimed at young children.
  -  Use the STOP, LOOK and LISTEN rule. Always remember to stop at the road, ensuring it is  a safe place to cross [a pedestrian crossing, a zebra crossing, traffic islands, etc], encourage to look both ways to check for traffic, encourage them to listen to see if they can hear any traffic coming and then cross when the green man beeps or when it is safe to cross. 

road safety, toddlers

It is important to constantly teach our children about road safety, as they get older. It is thought that children do not become fully aware of road safety until they reach the age of 11

A great way to do this is through an online road safety game.  Kids love playing games and this fun, interactive game allows children to follow a little boy around town making decisions about road safety. They can either play independently, or with a grown up to discuss the answers with.

Do you have any tips 
for teaching road safety 
to little ones?

*collaborative post


Friday 11 November 2016

A Luxury Roadtrip to Lombardy

road trip, travel, italy

It's on my bucket list, when the kids are older, to go on a road trip, to see more of the world. There are two places I'd love to drive through. One is the USA, how amazing would that be? And the other, Italy. Beautiful, beautiful Italy. My partner is half Italian so I'd love to road trip through Italy together.

Filled with Alpine valleys, mountains and lakes, medieval towns and world class art, the Lombardy region of northern Italy is synonymous with the good things in life. Milan is home to Da Vinci's “Last Supper” and La Scala opera house. It inspires images of fashion week's jet set lifestyle. Exploring the wider area adds breathtaking landscapes and local food to the mix. The region's stunning lakes and cities demand to be discovered in style. For this reason renting a car can be a great idea. You could hire a luxury car like an Audi in Milan, that provides an excellent combination of power grace and comfort, perfect for exploring the Lombardy region.

Not far from Milan is Italy's Lake District. Against the stunning background of the Alps, Lake Maggiore (Lago Maggiore) offers a relaxing contrast to the city. Here you can stroll along the water's edge, surrounded by palms, oleander and camellia, sampling local wine and eating olives. On the western edge of the lake, the Borromean Islands entice visitors with private palaces and shell encrusted grottos. Fishing villages serve fish fresh from the lake. 

After unwinding on the peaceful shores of Maggiore, head towards Lake Como (Lago di Como). Its scenery inspired the poet Shelley to declare, “this lake exceeds anything I ever held in beauty”; Wordsworth claimed it “a treasure which the earth keeps to itself”. Around the lake are the homes of the rich and famous, and villas housing luxurious spas. Lake Como is perfect for sailing and kitesurfing, and nearby are seven golf courses. Refuel on the delicacies of the area: cheese, salami, asparagus and honey.
From Lake Como head towards the largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda (Lago di Garda). Alongside the beautiful landscapes and food expected of Lombardy, it offers wonderful natural thermal spas. Time your trip right, and Lake Garda will wrap you in the scent of citrus from its few remaining lemon gardens. Enjoy the moment as you sip Bardolino, the local red wine.

Whilst exploring Lombardy's Lake District, take time to look out for the regions beautiful handcrafted items. The area specialises in artisan products made from cashmere, silk, wood and marble. Load the Audi with a few samples before heading back to Milan. 

Is there somewhere in the world you'd love to road trip through?

*in collaboration with MaryJ

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Tanning Tips for that Winter Glow

Getting a tan in the winter is not easy because you can’t just lounge outside in the sun on a sandy beach or even in your own backyard to get that bronzed glow that you desire. The days are too short and the temperatures are too low, so you spend most of your time bundled up and indoors to keep warm. So how can you get a tan and a lovely winter glow if you don’t live in a tropical location? 

Use a Self Tanner

A tanning product that you can apply directly to your skin will give you a temporary tan that you will love. While there are many self tanners to choose from, stick with high quality options like Skinny Tan, which promises to give you a healthy looking glow safely, and it will last for about a week. The last thing that you want is for a product to go on your skin unevenly, leaving embarrassing streaks behind, so shop smart. Other products can end up coming off when you are out in the rain or sweating at the gym, so you’ll want to avoid those as well.

Use a Bronzer

If you don’t want to use a self tanner, you can instead stick with applying a bronzer to your skin. This product will wash away the next time that you take a bath or a shower, so it is a perfect way to get a sun-kissed look for a special winter occasion without having to commit to a full on tan. You can use a bronzer just on your face or you can wear it on your arms and legs if you are going to be wearing a dress to a formal event. Either way, stick with products that have natural ingredients and that are appropriate for your skin type so you can achieve a natural look that others will envy.

Get a Spray Tan

Another way to get a tan during the winter, without ever having to set foot in a harmful sunbed, is by getting a spray tan. You will need to go to a spray tan salon in order to have this done, and you will need to tell the therapist just how dark you want your tan to be. But within a few minutes, your entire body will be tanned perfectly and evenly, so this is definitely a great way to achieve the tan that you want, even in the middle of winter. Also, you will need to wait a few hours after getting a spray tan before you can take a shower, but you can expect that your spray tan will last a week or more before it fades naturally.
These are just a few of the top tanning tips for those who want to achieve a tan, sexy glow even during the winter. Whether you choose a spray tan, bronzer, or self tanning product, just be sure to follow the directions closely to achieve the best and longest lasting results.

Do you enjoy being tanned all year round?

*collaborative post


Sunday 6 November 2016

Cosy Club - a review

cosy club, food, drink, review

Nowadays you're spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat in Leicester. In the past few years we have seen numerous new bars and restaurants opening in the city centre. Whatever ambience, tastes or theme you're looking for, you're most likely to find it here!

So you fancy something a bit cute and quirky? Somewhere with high ceilings, eccentric decor, and big comfy sofas? Something... *ahem* cosy?

Cosy Club on Leicester's Highcross Street has recently celebrated their 2nd birthday, opening in a former knitwear factory in 2014. The building still has the industrial factory feel, with ceiling high windows, factory lighting and steel girders. Throw in some quirky decor, unusual paintings on the wall and clashing furniture and you have the Cosy Club. 

cosy club, leicester, food, drink, review

cosy club, leicester, food, drink, review

I've visited a couple of times before, once for dinner with some fellow local blogger ladies, and once for a Sunday morning brunch with a friend. So when I was invited to try out their new menu, the babysitter was booked and I was dragging the Mr into town before you could say 'pass me the cocktail menu!'

It was a Thursday night and pretty busy, the bar area is huge with comfy sofas, tables and bar stools to enjoy a few cocktails. And the main restaurant area is full of quirky dressed tables and chairs, with low hanging lighting. 

cosy club, leicester, food, drink, review

cosy club, leicester, food, drink, review

cosy club, leicester, new menu, food, drink, review

The staff were friendly and attentive, considering it got quite busy, we were well looked after throughout the whole evening and never had to wait very long for anything. And their outfits were super cute!!

But onto the food and drink...

I started the evening with a cheeky little cocktail, the aptly named Cherry Bakewell (£7.95) was right up my street. A sweet mix of cherries, almond liqueur, rum and caramel, it was definitely my kind of cocktail. 

cosy club, cocktails

cosy club, cocktails

We're a '2 course' kinda couple. I can't manage a full 3 courses, I usually fill myself up on the starter and leave no room for a dessert, and well, we can't be having that can we? 

So main courses. I'm a huge meat fan and love a good steak. I ordered the Black Angus 8oz Sirloin Steak (£15.95) which was served with thick cut chips and a parmesan salad. It came served medium rare, as requested and was cooked perfectly. It was juicy, tender, seasoned beautifully and had minimal amount of fat, which is a big plus for me when it comes to steak. The chips were hot, floury and soft on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside. I'm not usually a huge salad fan as a side with a main meal, I'll pick at it a little but prefer some veg. BUT I loved this, soaked in melted parmesan cheese it was the perfect accompaniment to the steak. It really was delicious!

cosy club, food, drink, sirloin steak, review

sirloin steak, cosy club, review

cosy club, sirloin steak, review

James went for The Empire Curry (£13.95). He orders a curry at every opportunity when we're out, since I don't like them so don't cook them at home. Bad housewife! Separate dishes of tandoori chicken with vegetable curry underneath, fragrant rice complete with naan bread, popadom and mango chutney were served in traditional Indian bowls and trays, to create your own plate of food however you wish. He said it was really nice and full of flavour!

curry, cosy club, review

curry, cosy club, review

cosy club, curry, review

Of course we found a little room for dessert, there's a second stomach just for pudding of course. ;) Whilst James went for the Warm Chocolate Brownie (£5.95) with chocolate sauce and clotted cream ice cream. I ordered a little lighter with the Marshfield Farm Sorbet (£3.95). James couldn't quite finish his as it was a bit sickly and heavy after his curry. Eyes bigger than his belly. But it was super yummy, soft and oozed chocolate-y goodness - perfect for those chocolate fans!
Mine however, was the perfect light refreshment after my meal.

brownie, cosy club, review

sorbet, cosy club, review

We couldn't fault the food, the service or the atmosphere at Cosy Club. We both really enjoyed our meals and we'll definitely be back for date night soon.

sorbet, cosy club, review

*Many thanks to Cosy Club for inviting me along to sample the new menu.
All words and images are my own.

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