Hello

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

Lucy xx

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Noah Collins will go to America! #HelpNoahWalk

Over the last 8 months the whole of Croxley Green in Hertfordshire, surrounding counties and so many families members in Scotland have been going mental, fundraising for Noah Collins.  A 4 year boy with Cerebral Palsy, who urgently needs a life changing operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).

The operations and after care care costs will be a fortune, the Collins need at least £80.000.  Well, today I am delighted that thanks to everyone's huge efforts, big, small, fun, seriously, silly and crazy, it has paid off.  


has been reached!




St Joan of Arc Rickmansworth had a visit from Noah, his little sister Daisy and their Mum Jeanette.   They made this fantastic video, I wanted to share with you, this lovely little guy in action.

Noahs surgery is due in May, I wish him and his family all my love and happiness for a marvellous future. 

We did it! A huge personal thank you from me, to my online friends and family who tweeted, donated and raised awareness. #HelpNoahWalk 
You have been terrific.

THANK YOU



Chino Latino, London Restaurant; Easter Holidays, Kids Dine for Free Lunch Review



It's the Easter Holidays, Yeah! What do we do?  Where can we take our kids?  The list is endless but no-one wants to be stuck indoors.  I am lover of good food and eating out but the decision becomes harder for me as I have 2 young sons to feed, the school holidays can cost a little fortune. 
 
Dining in Central London always costs so much more too.  If you are a massive foodie, somewhat a connoisseur of fine dining and you are looking for something special, off  the beaten track perhaps?  Try Chino Latino.  Chino Latino is multi-award winning Pan-Asian South Bank London Restaurant which is located at Park Plaza Riverbank London near Vauxhall Station.

Chino Latino a sophisticated twist on the traditional Pan-Asian style of informal eating and drinking.   The menu reaches out with its delicate flavours from China, South East Asia and modern Japan.  

If you like a drink and fresh juices the food is complemented by a wonderful cocktail menu. 

Yesterday, (Tuesday) Myself and my sons, 4 & 6 went for lunch, to preview the “Kids Eat Free” menu which is currently running during the Easter holidays.


We arrived at the Park Plaza and found the Chino Latino located inside, the restaurant is well lit and the staffed welcomed us with opened arms and showed us to a very large round table, it could easily fit 6 adults.  The table had chopsticks, which both kids decided these would be fun to use as drum sticks.  A lovely lady took our drinks order.  My eldest jumped in and asked for Apple juice.  She explained, Chino Latino offers a range of fresh juices, pineapple, mango, lychee juice and apple if they wish.  Big smiles on my son's faces, as they both loves exotic fruit juices.  One had mango and my youngest had the lychee juice.  I myself has asked for a coke and felt sadly disappointing that I wasn't directed to there award-winning cocktail menu. 


The boys were handed a templates and paper for an Origami Hat making.  My youngest just handed it me to make for him.  It would of been nice if we had some colouring pencils or crayons to decorate them, plus this would of kept them entertained while waiting to order our meals. 

The Restaurant, was not overly busy this lunch time.  A mixture of clientele, Corporate guests and families guests alike.  The atmosphere around us both relaxed and friendly.

Chino Latino’s Easter Kids Go Free offer is available now until 27th April, for kids up to 12 years old, this applies to the Chino Latino Chain in Europe, Leeds, London, Nottingham and Cologne in Germany.
The offer of the free children's meal applies to one full paying adult dining from the La Carte menu, spending at least £30 on food and drink.


Both of my sons chose to eat the Grilled Beef Burgers,with tomato and lettuce.  The burgers are served with the largest slice of beef tomato. The burgers come with a big pot french fries. 



Both my sons said the burgers were huge. I had to leave my seat to the cut my eldest's burger.  They mostly enjoyed the fries, I have to agree the portions sizes were big for little hands to hold, my youngest son refuses to have his burger cut.   

 
Menus: I tried the Thai Penang curry £13, with crinkled vegetables.  The presentation of the food is clearly beautiful, the flavours delicate and delicious, all ingredients fresh with a hint of spice just how I like it, my dish is served with sticky rice.  It was one of the nicest meals I have eaten in a long time, the green beans were so juicy and fresh, the aroma of the food stayed in my nose. 
The crinkled vegetables crunchy and tasted lovely dipped in my curry sauce.


When we finished our main course, I was offered tea or coffee which I turned-down.  The boys should of had 2 scoops of ice-cream, this was not offered, no desserts had been offered to us.  At this point I did feel the new waitress was not as attentive as the other staff members who had welcomed us on our arrival, she cleared our table and showed no eye contact, no smiles. 

 


I can only give 3 out of 5 Chillies to Chino Latino.
The food is amazing
Menu is priced very well
Great price for children to dine free with a paying adult
The venue is fairly out of the way
I personally believe the restaurant is not suitable for younger children
I would return without my children and try some of the cocktails.







This is unsponsor post, as a family we were offered free meals, no-way has this affected my opinion.  All opinions are my own and honest. 

Dont be shy, say Hi!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

LolliBop 2014; The Biggest Bash for Little People, Early bird tickets available NOW!

 
For all the parents not in the know! LolliBop is the biggest children's event hosted in the UK.  This is LolliBops' 5th exciting year!  Its a 3 day event, 15th, 16th and 17th August 2014.  

LolliBop is a huge on family fun, for children and adult to play and enjoy together.  LolliBop is aimed at children under 10... But older kids do enjoy too! 



 
LolliBop is BACK, this year taking over Hertfordshire, Lollibops' home for the event is at Hatfield House, the grounds of this Stately Home are magnificent.   The finally details are still to be confirmed, who will be there, live attractions and entertainment.   



Hatfield House, Hertfordshire. It's situated just off the A1 and right next to Hatfield Train Station.  Everyone travelling to Hatfield Station, the station is a 5 minute friendly walk (pram/buggy stroll) too Hatfield House.

Anyone driving, their is plenty onsite parking, early bird tickets will secure free parking.

Early bird tickets Ticketmaster - Currently from £19.25 including booking fee (Book early to avoid disappointment)
VIP Early bird tickets VIPs Ticket holders will get special meet and greets for the kids alongside some fantastic gifts!
(Make sure you pick the correct day/date when booking)

Big Green Coach is the Official and Exclusive coach travel and ticket partner to Lollibop 2014. Offers direct return coach travel from:
Cambridge
Dartford (Bluewater)
High Wycombe
London (Croydon)
London (Kings Cross)
London (Waterloo)
Luton
Milton Keynes
Northampton
Oxford Romford
They will drop you off right outside the entrance to the festival and depart at 1800 (6pm) You can have an excellent time and not a miss a minute of the excitement.
LolliBop Coaches: Adult and Child fares available!


Last year I took my sons to our first LolliBop and we had a fantastic time.  Our day was filled with fun, activities and surprises, as we wasn't sure what to expect this being our first experience.  We had a lovely time.  I hope  to return this year.  Hatfield House is definitely an up-grade from The Olympic Village, Stratford, we attended last year.  I am so excited. 
My LolliBop 2013 Story






More information will be coming soon, keep your eyes peeled on
Twitter: @lollibopuk - Facebook: LolliBop Festival

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Review & Giveaway; Liz Earle Competition


I haven't reviewed a skincare products in ages... So here is Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Its definitely a brand I have been lusting after for a while.  I first noticed Liz Earle on QVC years ago.  I do like shopping but have never taken the plunge to use shopping channels.  I maybe missing out.  QVC is a mainstream shopping channel now, selling amazing products, not just cosmetics, also electronics, clothes, jewellery, toys.  I could be missing a trick here, thankfully they're products are being sold online too.

I have managed to get my hands on Liz Earle, let my excitement kick-in and my face therapy begin!
 

Liz Earle Cleanser is a very thick plant-based cleanser cream, it comes in a pump action bottle. One pump is enough to cover my face.  I massage the cream in small circular movements up and outwards, over my neck and face, this motion helps the bloody circulations.  The cream covers my face in a nice thick layer, its not heavy nor sticky.  The smell is lovely, the eucalyptus comes through, I can feel the cocoa butter rich and creamy and the light plant oils within the dense cream, it feels good on my face. 

The muslin cloth needs hot water, I soaked it in running hot tap water, squeeze out the excess water. The cloth is hot, I polish the cream off my face. I repeat the soaking and wiping/polishing a few times, until all the cream is gone.
The muslin cloth is a tight woven cotton material, great for polishing my skin, sweeping away the daily dirt.  Afterwards my skins feel, plumper, its gleaming clean, fresh.

The hot cloth automatically opens my skins pores, I splash my face with cold wet to close and tighten my pores.  I also used Liz Earle toner and moisturiser as my daily essentials morning and night.


Prior to using Cleanse and Polish my face felt tired, in the winter months I want to hide indoors. Unfortunately I am not gifted with great looking skin.  I get spots, mostly little ones but they leave marks on my face, I have uneven skin tone, fine lines are creeping up on me .  I guess its the aging process, over recent months I have noticed pores appearing on my cheeks and around my nose. Since I been using Cleanse and Polish (2 months).  My skin has lost its lack-lusting greyness, the elasticity it back, my skin feels happy, looks radiant. 

I am very impressed with Cleanse and Polish, if you are a religious with your skincare regime as I am or fancy a boost.  I would recommend giving it a try.

The price tag is not ridiculous either, affordable, in my opinion highly competitive with leading high street brands in the same price region, plus this is a natural product extra bonus no harsh horribles, clogging my pores - Started kit £14.75 for a 100ml with a muslin cloth.  Please note Liz Earle & QVC do offer great discounts, ensure you look out for them.  

To celebrate feeling good, I have a 50ml Liz Earle Cleanser and Polish Muslin cloth RPP £9.25 for one of my lucky readers. 



T&Cs Starts 9/4/14 Please follow the 6 steps. Leave a comment on my blog, follow my blog by subscribing via email, follow me on GFC & tweet about my giveaway and follow me @LondonBirdLucy & @lizearle
For extra daily entries please tweet and/or leave comments on other blog posts.
Open to UK residence only
Winner announced on Friday, 2nd May 2014
Entries must be 18+ to enter.



Liz Earle have a beautiful website, with a host of marvellous cosmetics, I hope you get a chance to explore and indulge. 


Please note this is an unsponsored, its a lovely product, I wanted to share with you.

Dont be shy, say Hi!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Ravensburger, What if? Puzzles No 6. 1000s Review, Mind boogling fun


The Easter Holidays have began, I have already put together a 1000 piece puzzle (12+)
Ravensburger are famous for their puzzles, they have all shapes and sizes also for all ages.

  

The 'What if?' Puzzle range is fairly new, the outer box tells a story of what life actually is... However whats inside the box is the DREAM situation... 'What?'

I was sent What if? Puzzles No 6. Pamela Pampered Pooch Parlour. 

This is the first adults puzzle I have pieced together in years.  When the box arrived, I left it on the table for show.  Within 10 minutes, I had 2 little curious faces asking me it was for them.  


Being wicked I sad no, its all mine!
All of us very attracted to the animation on the box.


As soon as I put them to bed. I opened up this magnificent box.  I began sorting by colours and pattens.  I cleared my table, as this beautiful puzzle is big (70cm x 50cm). While sorting I starting putting together small parts that I could match, the easy parts, faces, words.
      



I soon noticed whatever was in the box was very different to the picture.
In the morning, my two sons were eager to see what I had been-up.  Neither that interested anymore in helping me.  My eldest (6+) pointed out to me.  Mummy this is huge, I can't help now, I will later.
My youngest was shocked when he saw a Gorilla.  He just couldn't understand that it had no doggies.  He told me the postman gave us the wrong puzzle, he was cross for a while (He is a dog lover) .

I found their tales very musing.  Myself, I enjoyed this puzzle, it was something very different for me to do on a Sunday, very relaxing and fun, it got us talking. 

The puzzle it self is great quality, thick cushioned pieces with its Premium Puzzle; Softclick Technology the pieces lock together nicely.       

I am happy to say once the puzzle started to look more complete, my little helpers returned to help.  We all really enjoyed it.  I did explain to my youngest (4yo) that the puzzle is the correct one but, he is going to have a word with the postman tomorrow.  This will be a funny conversation.   


I had great fun doing this, remember there is no picture of what the actual puzzle. Its a guessing game, guess what the animals are and where they go but, with patience we did it!

What if? Puzzles have a few different puzzles in the range, look out for them.  Buy one, you may enjoy!
Recommended 12+ or younger children with supervisor

This is unsponsored post, I had been sent this puzzle for an honest review.

Dont be shy, say Hi!

#GETYOURBELLYOUT Crohns and Colitis Awareness campaign



 SUFFERERS BUILD NATIONAL CAMPAIGN THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA TO RAISE AWARENESS OF CROHNS AND COLITIS


#GETYOURBELLYOUT




Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past month, you will have seen the widespread cancer campaign #NoMakeupSelfie which has been covered online, in press and on your TV.  Women have been ‘sharing’ their natural skin selfies, in a bid to raise awareness for Cancer.

The amazing NoMakeUpSelfie campaign raised funds and awareness for Cancer sufferers and their families, it was admirable.   Following in their footsteps, a small team decided to do the same for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), namely Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis - both of these diseases are debilitating, sometimes life-threatening, often humiliating…..and very few people have heard of them or know anything about them.   This was to change with the #GetYourBellyOut social media phenomenon! 

It all began on March 23rd, when Derbyshire based Marketing Manager, Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford decided she needed to do something to raise awareness of IBD, she wanted to make a difference. 

Along with some of the other members of the team working on this campaign, Sahara suffers with Ulcerative Colitis.  This is a relatively unknown and ‘invisible’ chronic condition which affects the colon, the large intestine (bowel) and rectum, which often becomes inflamed, causing severe ulcers on the lining of the colon. It is an auto-immune disease which can trigger complications such as infections and long-term health issues.  Sometimes surgery is the only option, sections of the intestines are often removed, especially in regards to Crohns disease which affects the entire digestive system.  The symptoms are downright nasty.  Someone who has Colitis or Crohns can expect to spend vast amounts of time either searching for or being stuck in, a toilet.  Imagine the nastiest sickness and dihorrhoea bug you've ever had and imagine dealing with that on a permanent basis, with the addition of blood loss so severe it can cause anaemia.  If you're lucky, doctors find medications to manage the disease and the symptoms become controllable - if you're not lucky, the only route available is surgery.  Often the medications have serious side effects that can be as upsetting as the disease itself.

Unfortunately these diseases are often confused with IBS which is a much milder and overall manageable condition. Colitis and Crohns Disease are totally incurable… to date.  Colitis issues can be eased if a colosotomy bag is used to bypass the bowel, although the malfunctioning immune system can still lead to further symptoms such as chronic arthritis, to name just one.

Crohns and Colitis is the UK association for IBD; providing information, support and guidance to sufferers and their families.  They also work hard to raise funds which they hope will eventually lead to a cure for IBD.  The problem is, how to raise funds for, and awareness of, a disease that so few people are willing to talk about because of the horrible nature of IBD and its symptoms.  Early in the campaign, Sahara decided it would need to be a campaign that got as many people as possible involved, and it had to be something that didn't involve financial outlay.  Small enterprises cannot afford huge expensive awareness campaigns.

We decided on something simple and effective.

Everyone from the IBD community was encouraged to upload a photograph of their ‘belly pics’ alongside the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut onto social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  They were also asked to text and donate IBDA99 to the dedicated number 70070 if they so wished.  The goal was to raise awareness and to support research into finding a cure.  People without IBD who had a passion to help find a cure and to tell other people about it, were also asked to join in.
                                        

A dedicated team of people joined Sahara and we have all worked very hard to co-ordinate this project.  Gemma Willingham, and Lorna Haymes both have Crohn's disease and Victoria Marie and Kay Wilkinson have Ulcerative Colitis. Despite the daily struggles we are all deal with, we have fought on with the #GetYourBellyOut campaign and have helped so many IBD patients come together with a common cause in mind:  A cure for IBD and to tell people about what it's like to have Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Sahara says of the #GetYourBellyOut campaign, which has now gone global “What started out as a campaign to raise awareness of an invisible illness that so many people suffer with in silence – has now become a unifying and inspirational campaign!"

“So far we have raised over £2,000 which will help fund research to find a cure for these debilitating and so far, incurable diseases – Crohns and Colitis – as well as helping the community find a voice!”


You can help raise awareness too by visiting the Just Giving page or text code IBDA99 (Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness) as well as texting donations to 70070!  Here is the Just Giving link: http://www.justgiving.com/teams/IBDAwareness

Please join us in our efforts to raise money to find a cure for IBD and to raise awareness for IBD, upload a belly photo with the hashtag, post a blog, tweet about us, follow us on Twitter @GetYourBellyOut.  

Join us on the #GetYourBellyOut Facebook Forum - Link HERE : https://www.facebook.com/groups/262578540582917/

It's an exciting, innovative campaign that is sweeping through social media and we'd love if if you supported us.  Thanks for reading, Sahara, Gem, Lorna, Victoria and Kay.

Sharing this post for a lovely friend of mine, she is a suffer and I have heard her stories, I that some day a cure will become available.  Hopefully now you are better informed about the awful disease. If possible please donate and make someones life a little better. 

Thank you for reading.   


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Steam cleaning, its all gleaming; H2O X5 review, Steam cleaner 5 in 1 cleaner

I wouldn't say I love cleaning, I don't get excited to slap on the marigolds and be Mrs Mop

However much to my 'JOY' I have been asked to review the H2O X5 Upright Steam Cleaner.  When it arrived I was jumping about like a crazy woman.  I told my boys, lets get dirty!!!
I do have a love for gadgets, all types of gadgets and steam cleaning has become very popular.  The H20 X5 is the first steam cleaner I ever saw advertised, it really ticked my fancy (and my curiosity), looks fantastic with so many functions.

Available in 3 colours, Original Green, White and Red! 





Gone are the days I can clean/hoover once a week, I have a young family, 2 sticky fingered sons, crumbs follow them everywhere, a huge dog, he sheds hair and believes the garden door is designed for him to go in and out all day longs, leaving a trail of paw prints on his return from outside.

What I am trying to say Kids + Pets = Mega Dirt and Mess



Prior to receiving the H2O X5 Upright Steam Cleaner, I had no idea what to really expect, I have never used a steam cleaner before, I have nothing to compare it too.  I hoover 4/5 times a week and mop 1/2 a week, mopping the bathroom almost every day, as my youngest makes messes.

The H2O X5 Upright Steam Cleaner arrived; its known as the 5 in 1; floor steam cleaner, carpet steamer, hand held steamer, window cleaner and garment steamer.


After reading the instructions, the steamer comes in two main parts, it was easy to assemble.  The steamer has a little water tank and a handy jug for refills, I use filtered water, same as I do for a kettle/iron. I am sure tap/table water is perfectly fine thou.

I hoovered for hair and debris, taken everything off the floor. I got steaming for the first time.


Floor Steam Cleaner: 
Using the Mop head & Microfibre Cloth
(My home has)
Living room - Wooden, tiled slats & a wool rug
Kitchen - Laminated square tiles
Bathroom - Solid slab tiles



H2O X5 is very easy to handle, glides over all the floor surfaces, my kitchen has short, sharp cuts/corners on under the units, the steam cleans there with ease.  I have no complaints here, the floors dry quick.
After first use (gross)
Carpet Steam Cleaner: 
Using the Mophead, Microfibre and Glider
I steam cleaned my rug, its looks noticeably cleaner, brighter with no marks. Once steamed and dried it feels harder, so I hoover over it and its springy again, now it looks and feels great.




Before and after


Before, during and after
Jet Nozzle:
This is just the nozzle being used, no other attachments/add-ons. I have a visible rubber water pipe in my bathroom, its runs just above the skirting board. Its an eye sore, dirt, dust, dog hairs gather behind it.  It takes me ages to clean it as the gap is tiny, I have to poke my fingers in with a wet cloth, usually once cleaned its never look like a good job.
I turn-up the steam to setting 4 (max - as has 4 settings) My bathroom becomes filled with stream, the jet blasts out steam direct to where I want it to go, right into this little gap, the dirt flies out of the gap.  Works an absolute dream. 




Before and after








Jet Nozzle and Round Brush (Nylon):
Bathroom tiles grouting, I come with a double verdict.  I have tried, scrubbing, spraying with all manner of cleaning products, mini tiles by my basin and bath, nothing had worked until now.  There are not spotless but they are cleaner. The grouting on the bath tiles came up slightly cleaner but I found using the nozzle only did a better job.  Hard to see the difference but waited for the tiles to dry and could see the difference.


Before, during and after



 

Extension Hose, Window/Garment handle and Super Absorbent Window Cleaning Cloth:

The cloth was a little tricky to put on the handle, also I found the steam unit awkward to hold in upright while steaming. I held the handle sideways too, steaming left to right, water started dripping out. Steaming with up and downward strokes the dripping stopped. much easier to use like this too. My mirror looked cleaner but there were steam print tracks all over it.
I have a little trick for smear free mirrors and windows. Scrunch-up newspaper into a ball and wipe.  My Mirror looked beautifully cleaned afterwards.
Since doing this I have cleaned windows, same method and perfectly clear and clean.

Before and two afters





Extension Hose, Window/Garment handle and Garment Steaming Cloth:
I love this add tool.  As a women I have a stack of silk clothes, stored for special; occasions.  These clothes crease with ease, even thou they have been dry cleaned they will be dry cleaned again before the next time I can wear them.
However this will not be the case anymore. My dress pictured, heavily creased. Using the garment steaming cloth on a low setting, light puffs of steam and the creases just vanished.  I had a feeling it would cost so much to get it dry cleaned, nope just a huge savings.  




I really love this Steam Cleaner
I am giving it 4 out 5 stars
Easy to use
Gentle on surfaces
No chemicals required
4 settings
The attachments can be changed easily
It only uses water
Its blasts away dirt & grime at such a velocity, killing germs in the process
Sanitised, deodorised and spotless

But please note this is not suitable for all surfaces, anything glued will become unstick, if gets in contact.  It also guzzles waters, I keep my water jug near me for top-ups.

This is a  Thane Direct product; Named by Retail Times as Steam product of the year 2014. A huge accomplishment in a massive competitive cleaning industry. Congratulations!

It is available at Argos, Tesco and Robert Dyas to name a couple
The retail price is £99, currently being sold for £79.  Definitely a handy tool to have at home, I hope you grab this bargain and get cleaning.

This is an unsponsored post, I was sent the H20 X5 to review.  All details are current as of 5th April 2014.

Don't be shy, say hi!