Category Archives: Lifestyle

Swimwear – Speedo review

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I reignited my love of swimming last year, I’m not the best swimmer – I lack style, something I should probably work on. Other people get in the water and look gorgeous, I get in the water and…well, swim. But I’m sure I don’t look as graceful as others! I really do need to work on my front crawl this year!

What I love about swimming

I love swimming as it requires very little equipment, just great your swimming costume and you’re ready to jump in. Although, if I’m swimming in a pool, I also have to have goggles! I have a pair of anti-fog Speedo goggles which fit me well and I find really comfortable.

For me, swimming is a great way to relax, I have to focus on my breathing and every day stresses fade away. Of course, it is a great way to keep fit too, and I am always amazed by how a good swimming session really does work all my muscles!

Swimwear

I have to admit that I like to have different options when it comes to swimwear. Especially if I’m taking part in a water-based sport rather than swimming. Sometimes I need more support – or more flexibility in my swimwear.

I was sent a Speedo Swimming costume to review which is designed for sports use. It has a high neck, and offers great bust support. I was worried about the zip-front but actually I can’t notice it once it is on. The leg is not cut too high, making it comfortable for things like aqua-aerobics too.

The side panel detail makes it a really flattering style, it really helps create a waist.

I was really impressed with this swimming costume, it was comfortable in the water and out too. It is soft to wear, and yet offers great support too. Also, it is also an eco-friendly option! It has been made using recycled abandoned fishing nets.

I teamed it with a pair of Speedo ladies swim short – I love these as they’re perfect for beach days when I am in and out the water! I have to say that they’re quite a generous fit, and they’re not too short! Being tall I often struggle with shorts being a little too short, and these are perfect for me! They have a drawstring waist which helps them to stay perfectly in place! They are also made using recycled polyester – it is great to see companies like Speedo choosing eco-friendly fabric options.

My tips for healthy living

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I am not a health and fitness geek, but I have learnt over the last 12 months that I really need to look after myself!

Keeping Active

Staying active is really important! But, I think it is really important to find something you enjoy doing. I have never enjoyed running, but I kept running to the point where it was bearable. I just don’t love doing it! The truth is, I love the feeling when I stop, and I keep going as I hate not loving it, but I’ve never been a runner. So, I’m trying out different sports to see if there’s something I can love more.

I love the water. So swimming, sailing, kayaking or SUP and I am there! I enjoy walking, and will happily walk miles. I really want to give myself a challenge this year – but more on that another time!

Healthy Diet

My diet declined rapidly around the time I became a Mother. It is something I have to continually work on, or I fall back into bad habits. It’s difficult when you’re tired and there’s a chocolate bar at the checkout calling your name! Strangely I love eating vegetables and fruit, but I am terrible at snacking.

I try to eat quite a balanced diet, avoiding too much meat and dairy. So while I’m not Vegan, I tend to eat quite a lot of Vegan products. I prefer Vegan friendly chocolate, and I read dark chocolate is meant to be good for you too!

Gifts and healthy lifestyle.

I am terrible at asking for specific things when asked what I’d like as a gift. I always feel a bit awkward, having been raised fiercely independent! But I’m learning that it is OK to suggest e.g. vegan gifts. It’s a broad suggestion allowing them plenty of options (and I still get a surprise!).

Vegan Food Hamper

Healthy Living with Children

I have always encouraged the children to keep active. Weekends are spent out and about in woods or beaches – anything to keep them running about! Whether it is the park, swimming, or dancing around the lounge I think it is great to keep us all moving!

We are working on sugar intake, I think I do give them too much sugar at times. So I’ve started to take small steps. I’ve banned squash from the weekly shop and explained why – I think it’s important to explain that I’m not just being dull! Of course I’m not going to ban treats altogether! And with Easter almost upon us I’m well aware they will want chocolate – (so will I!) We were sent some Vegan Easter Eggs from Yumbles and they were popular with all of us! I didn’t even mention they were vegan!

Remember…

I’m the worst at “being too busy…” but I always remember to go for healthcare checks. I don’t think anyone enjoys going, but I see it like an MOT for me. I plan appointments for days when I have childcare, and if I have to cancel, I re-book straight away.

A Guide to Buying a Road Legal Quad Bike for You

This article is published in partnership with Mediabuzzer.

Image Source: Pexels

If you are looking to purchase a road legal quad, there is much to consider. Any quad that is going to be ridden on the UK roads must comply with the stringent rules and regulations, and with so many makes available, it is a good idea to do some online research before making any commitments. The first question that needs to be addressed is what you plan on doing with the quad, as this will help you to determine the make and model that best suits your needs.

Full Car Driving Licence

Some people mistakenly think that you can drive a quad on a motorcycle license, when in fact, you must be in possession of a full car driving licence, which does make sense as the vehicle has four wheels, not two. If the road legal quad for you is purely for recreational purposes, there are specific makes and models that are designed for fun riding, while others are primarily used by farmers as a work horse. Any quad bike that is more than 3 years old will require an MOT, which can be carried out at an approved garage, with the exception of quads that are registered as agricultural vehicles.

Online Suppliers

The best place to begin your quest for the best quad bike is with an online search, which will land you on the website of an established quad bike supplier who would stock a wide range of new and used machines. Buying your quad from an online supplier would likely save you a little money, as the dealer does not need costly retail premises, and the warranty is identical.


Image Source: Unsplash

New or Used?

Some might say you are better off starting with a second-hand quad, at least until you become proficient, while others would recommend hiring a few to get the feel of the different models. If you are sure about which make and model you want, buying a new machine is fine, but do make sure that you have adequate insurance cover if you are planning to ride the quad on the roads. While it is not compulsory to wear a crash helmet in the UK, you are strongly advised to, along with suitable protective clothing, and it is worth noting that riding a Quad in Northern Ireland does require you to wear a crash helmet.

Vehicle Weight

There are three main weight classes, the first being 350kg, which is ideal for the young rider, while the 400kg class is ideal for adult recreational use, and the 550kg quad would be best suited for agricultural work.


Image Source: Pixabay

Engine Capacity

If you are not an experienced rider, you would be best suited with a 450-500cc engine, which is less powerful that the 750-1,000cc bike, and it really does depend on how comfortable you are with riding a powerful machine. It takes a while to be able to control a quad properly, by using a combination of steering and shifting your weight, and you are not advised to go fast until you are a competent rider.

By taking all of the above into account, you should make the right choices when purchasing your very first quad, which will hopefully be the start of a long love affair.

Spring Home Make-over

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Spring is the time when I start to think about all things home. I know lots of people Spring Clean, but I feel as though I almost start nesting in Spring! I think it’s because over the winter months we spend much longer indoors. Things don’t get put away properly, and everything begins to look tired. Our living room needs some serious TLC!

Declutter

Firstly, I need to declutter the entire room! Toys need to be put in a toy box or back into the children’s bedrooms. I think I need to consider if we need as many DVD’s as we currently seem to have accumulated too!

Plan a colour scheme

I really like the grey and yellow colour schemes which have been popular for a while. However, I’m not sure it will really work in my home. Unless I go for a more subtle take on it. My plan is to keep the walls a very neutral cream colour, then add some light grey and mustard yellow accessories. Cushions and throws are relatively inexpensive and I think they’re a great way to quickly try out a colour scheme – without spending a fortune!

One problem with choosing a colour scheme can be getting your flooring to work with the colour scheme! I’m quite lucky that our carpets are a good neutral colour which works with most colour schemes, although I could buy Cheap Carpets if ours needed to be replaced. Another quick fix might be to look at adding a rug in the right colour way.

I like to replace curtains and blinds in Spring too, it’s a lovely way to refresh a room with new colour! I tend to opt for bold coloured curtains which add brightness to the room when they are drawn in the evening. If you’re not replacing them make sure you clean your current curtains or blinds! It really does make a huge difference to have fresh curtains hanging in a room.

Spring Clean!

Before you start, empty out as much of the room as you can and give it a really deep clean. If you need tips there are some great cleaning blogs out there –  like Queen of Clean. If you don’t already get your windows cleaned regularly consider getting them done, or write them onto your calendar to do weekly yourself if you’re able! Another job which is vital to my Spring makeover is cleaning the lampshades! It’s one of those jobs I tend to forget, so they gather dust over the winter, though maybe I should replace them this year?

Finishing Touches

Finishing touches to a room for me are a beautiful bunch of spring blooms in a tall vase. I also like to choose a candle with a “summery” fragrance – a move away from the spicy fragrances I’ve used all winter! These finishing touches are a really important part of a Spring makeover to me, they are such a simple addition to a room, but do make it feel “finished”.

Korres Greek Olive Collection Review

Have you seen the beautiful new range from Korres? Korres Greek range looks so pretty, and just makes me think of warm summer holidays!

A couple of weeks ago I made an impulse purchase, I needed a bar of soap, but wanted a nice bar. I was standing in Waitrose and spotted they had a “new in store” range from Korres. I couldn’t resist, and the decision to purchase the soap was made.

I posted an image of the soap on Instagram, and Korres got in touch to say that the soap didn’t look quite right.

That layer of white? It shouldn’t be there. They sent me some other bits from their range as they couldn’t replace the soap, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the range.

Initially I have to be honest, I was disappointed as one of the reasons I bought the soap was to create less plastic. The items which they have sent out come entirely in plastic bottles, with plastic lids. Not ideal, in truth quite frustrating.

Let’s talk about the items though!

Anti-Ageing Body Oil Honey.

This is an easy to spray on oil, I do like a body oil as it is quick to rub on after a shower and instantly gives my skin a glow. (I also imagine I am on some exotic holiday rubbing in sun oil, while I’m actually standing in my freezing cold bathroom in the UK…just me?!) The honey scent is subtle, but comforting. Oil is great for my dry skin, and I really like this!

Shower Gel Honey

The shower gel pours out nicely, and looks rather like runny honey! The recommended way to use this is to apply to a sponge or flannel to get a good lather. I have to admit I agree, and it also helps me not use it too liberally! The lather is quite silky, it doesn’t foam too much and instead you feel like the gel is actually cleansing your skin.

Body Milk Honey

I tend to avoid body milk, as I worry that they won’t be nourishing enough. This comes out of the tube like a lotion, it doesn’t pour out so it’s easy to get exactly the amount you want.

It absorbs really quickly and easily leaving skin soft and smooth. No sticky feeling after applying! I really like it, and it has made me re think body milks now!

Korres is great at using natural ingredients and avoiding parabens and SLS. This range is suitable for vegans.

I really like the new Greek range, definitely one to keep in mind when I’m next shopping! Especially if they opt to go plastic free at a later date.

A Guide to Choosing Your Very First Fishing Rod

This article is published in partnership with Mediabuzzer.

Image Source: Pixabay

Fishing is a very addictive pastime, and most who take it up will continue to fish for the remainder of their life, and who could blame them? There’s something magical about being surrounded by nature, and if you have been coaxed by a friend to take up fishing, here are some important things to consider when buying your very first fishing rod.

  • What Species of Fish Are you Trying to Catch? – It is essential to know the species of fish you are targeting and in the event you haven’t a preference, think about the fishing environment. Will you be fishing in salt or freshwater? What species are commonly found there? The answers to both these questions will enable you to narrow your rod choices down somewhat.
  • Avoid Expensive Rods – Like most sports, the beginner does not need anything high end, as you first have to master using a rod, so stick with a mid-range rod for your first purchase. While you don’t need the very latest advances, you should buy from a known manufacturer, which will ensure the rod is of good quality. Check out the Zenaq Fishing Rods Australia hobbyists can get from Fish Head, one of the leading tackle suppliers at lower than retail prices.

Image Source: Pixabay

  • Understand Rod Action – The way a fishing rod responds to line pressure is called rod action, and the species of fish you are hoping to catch is a big factor. For a novice, a medium action is preferred over a slow or fast action, unless you are fishing for a species that demands a specific rod action, with a fast action having less bend, while a slow action will allow the rod to bend from close to the handle. If you have no idea of the species of fish to focus on, what kind of fishing environment are you looking at? This could be anything from fishing in the ocean from a boat to sitting on the banks of a river and to a large degree, this will help you with your rod selection. There is also a great video that simply explains rod action which you should check out.
  • The Power of the Rod – The power is determined by the amount of pressure it takes to bend the rod when line is pulled. Heavy, medium and light are the main choices, with a heavy powered rod preferable for big fish, while a light action rod would be more suitable for fish under 10kg.
  • Go With a Well Known Manufacturer – A quality fishing rod should last a lifetime if it is cared for properly, and while you shouldn’t be looking at the top end of the price range, you do want a quality rod, which would likely be in the mid-price range. Zenaq have rods of all types and at affordable prices, especially if you buy from an online supplier, and with such a well-known brand, you can’t really go wrong.

Image Source: Pixabay

You can make good use of the Internet in your quest for a suitable fishing rod, as there are many online resources with very specific information on all aspects of fishing, and when you are ready to buy, a Google search will take you to the best deal.

My Grief is like the Ocean.

Someone asked me how I felt. They were being kind. Actually, they were kinder than they realise as it made me think, how do I feel? It’s the first time I have sat and thought about it. I shan’t lie, it took several attempts to write this, and many tears.

Grief

I have tried many times to explain the emotion, and faltered. It’s such a personal emotion. I am not an expert, not a counsellor, just a thirty-something who is grieving. This is the only way I can describe my own feelings.

calm seas view of the Isle of Wight
Calm Solent Sea

My grief is like the ocean.

My grief is like the ocean, it is always here.

It is great and changeable.

Some days, it rolls in and out and merely laps at my toes. Those days I smile, as I remember happy times and though you are gone, I almost still feel you are here.

Then there are the days when the waves of grief roll in violently, knocking me off my feet.

I am hauled into the ocean, out of my depth, out of breath, struggling against a barrage of waves. I try to swim back to the shore, away from the turbulence of this grieving sea, I am weak. I struggle, scrambling in the shallows, my fingers clawing at the shingle. I feel so lost, so sad that you are gone. Angry that you left. We should have been old together, drinking tea with blue tints in our hair.

Then suddenly the calm comes again.

I am standing on the beach. Watching those waves of grief as they recede. The sun is shinning, I feel the warmth on my face. A gentle reminder, that you are gone, but I am here.

V.

Tea and Biscuits

My experience of grief is that there are good days and bad days. I often remind myself that life is short. She would want me to live as exciting a life as I can, and toast her with tea and biscuits with a blue rinse in my hair if I am lucky enough to grow old where she did not.

Bereavement Help

If you have been bereaved, charities like CRUSE can offer help and advice.

Coffee, why filter coffee should be on your shopping list! #Review

I don’t mind confessing that I adore a good cup of coffee! Actually I struggle without my cup of coffee at about 11am each day. It has become a routine to stop and have coffee at 11am each day. I find I feel so much more productive afterwards!

I always try to choose coffees which are ethically produced, and I look to minimise waste. This means always packing a reusable cup if I’m ou and about. But also choosing coffee which is in minimal packaging. Ideally packaging which can be recycled.

Continue reading Coffee, why filter coffee should be on your shopping list! #Review

Going Green One Step At a Time.

With so many people wanting to go Plastic Free or make more eco-friendly it’s now really the time to make small changes to your lifestyle. Being green is cool. But, I also think there’s a danger of being exactly the opposite as people race to go green by replacing perfectly functional things with greener options. It’s not very green to throw away your re-usable plastic drinks bottle just to replace it with a stainless steel one! Continue reading Going Green One Step At a Time.

Nutreelife Superfood Bars Review

Getting fit and training for sports events means looking carefully at what you’re eating. I’m not a nutritionist, but using a well known app which allows me to track my food, I’ve noticed I don’t tend to consume enough protein.

As a busy parent, I find an easy way to supplement my protein is with a protein bar. Usually after exercise, although sometimes when I’m on a late school run pre evening run!

I was sent a box of Nutreelife Live Well Superfood bars to try. I’d never heard of Nutreelife before, but this is what they say about themselves:

 

We want to challenge this perception that protein is just for body-building, but more for the everyday; those who want to be healthy, those who lead an active lifestyle, or those who just simply want to up their protein intake.

Continue reading Nutreelife Superfood Bars Review