Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Kaleidoscope Competition - Round 2 ends 12/11/03

THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED - the winner is Lucy Zelazowski 

A spokesman from Kaleidoscope said " the sparkly necklace set is a great way to add a bit of glamour to your outfit to take it from a casual day look to a night out with the girls look" . I am so sorry there can be only one winner as all the finalists had brilliant entries.

Thank you everyone for entering the competition I am running with Kaleidoscope. I had some great entries and it was very difficult choosing 4 to go through to the final, but I have and one of these will win all the items in my City Break Look including their chosen item. Details of the first round of the competition is here.


My City Break Look

Victoria Welton - Victoria has picked Joe Browns Zip Detail riding boots.


How her look would look 



She says " I have chosen these gorgeous Joe Browns Zip Detail Riding Boot retailing at £55. I've always thought that blue and brown go together well. Not only are these boots flat which will be easy on your feet with all the site-seeing you are bound to do but they are very stylish, will keep your legs warm if it is cold and the brown picks out the bow in the bag you have chosen. As well as all that, they are versatile enough to be worn with trousers, leggings or skinny jeans."

I liked these boots as they look like they would keep your legs warm for a Winter City break. Flat boots are great to stop your feet aching. I also think the brown goes well with navy and as Victoria says it picks out the brown of the bow on the bag and can be worn with different trousers/jeans etc.

Lucy Zelazowski 
Lucy has picked a Three Row Necklace and Bracelet

How her look would look 



She says "I too love low cut v-next & wrap tops, its nice to show-off what mother nature gave me. I have chosen this matching 2 piece necklace & bracelet set. Its pretty and sparkling and bargain for only £35. Not only could I wear it with this outfit for extra glam points but I tend to wear plenty or blues, blacks and denim, it would definitely give me a tinkle effect, I just need lots of mascara & lip gloss now!"

I liked Lucy's choice as I think it's great to dress up an outfit with jewellery. Every girl needs a bit of glam and this set is very pretty. The colour also goes well with the outfit I have picked, and I think the set looks great for the price.

Karen Christmas - Karen has picked this the Joe Browns Ultimate Life and Shape Jeans

How her look would look 




Karen has said  "I would choose a pair of these jeans as they would help keep my wobbly bits in check and give me a nicer silhouette. Jeans are so versatile as they can be glammed up with heels , some jewellery and a smart jacket , worn casually and are so comfy for travelling in . This jeans compare very well on price and with the added lift and shape would be the perfect addition to your selection"

Who doesn't want their wobbly bits to be kept in :) I like the point that Karen makes that these jeans would be comfortable for travelling in and can also be glammed up for night. Another that makes my bottom perkier is certainly a plus point!

Faye Huntingdon - Faye has picked the Lunar Patent Mix Boots

How her look would look 



Faye has said this "I would choose the gorgeous Lunar Patent-Mix Boots to go with the outfit. My reasoning for choosing these boots are because when you're on a short city break, your time is limited and so you aim to do/see as much as possible in the time available to you.. which means a LOT of walking! These flat, comfortable and yet stylish boots enable you to look good whilst walking for hours on end. The design of the boots runs true to the chic, urban feel to the original chosen outfit and continues that trend with ease!"  

I think the black patent of these boots compliments the navy well. Again these boots are flat and comfortable but look supremely stylish. I think this is the trendiest item of the four.

Which person do you think should win? Do you like Lucy's glamorous jewellery or Karen's shapely jeans? Which boots do you prefer. Do you like Victoria's classic riding boots or Faye's stylish patent boots?

Please note this is not a voting competition.

Terms and Conditions

Round 1

1. To enter the competition you must go to the Kaleidoscope website and pick an item under £60 to complete the look. You must post a link to the item and explain why you picked that item in your comment. You must also leave a way of contacting you on my blog.
2. I will pick 4 potential winners to go through to round 2.
3. Judging criteria will be based on best item to fit the theme and the best reason why you chose the item.
4. Entrants with items over £60 will be disqualified.
5. Round 1 closes 27th October 2013.
6. You will be notified within 48 hours if you get through to round 2.

Round 2 


7. I will showcase the 4 winners from Round 1.

8. Encourage your friends and family to visit the blog page and show their support and say why they think your item is best.
9. I will pick the one winner based on the same criteria as before.
10. The winner will win their complete board including the item they have chosen up to £200 in value.
11. My decision is final. 
12. Round 2 closes 12th November 2013.
14. Winner will be contacted within 48 hours.
15. If I cannot contact a winner within 14 days I reserve the right to pick another winner.
16. If an item is out of stock Kaleidoscope reserve the right to substitute another item up to the same amount in value.
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Monday, 28 October 2013

Rehab London - Tested On Men Not Animals

My husband has found a new natural skincare brand Rehab London. Developed by celebrity make up artist Lisa Hilton who felt there was nothing available for the male stars on set, it's quickly had great media exposure being endorsed by Take That and Simon Cowell amongst others.

What's special about the products is that each natural product is paraben and sulphate free, with uncomplicated instructions but the products really care for male skin. Containing Hawaiian water algae known for its healing properties and suitable for sensitive skin, it has a light fresh smell, and the products glide on and leave the skin feel refreshed and smooth. It also protects skin from UVA and UVB rays providing perfect protection from the sun.




The main products are Men's Morning Glory and Men's No Shine Moisturiser, Men's Scrub Up Daily Detox, Men's Cold Turkey Shaving Gel, Men's Calm Balm and Men's Revive Survive their 'hero' product, the latter is a mens 10 minute make over cream to deal with the signs of fatigue, great for jet lag in particular. 

The first product my husband tested was the Scrub Up Daily Detox. This granular scrub didn't feel harsh on the skin and left his face clean without feeling dry and tight. He thought this was straight forward to use and a great product for smoother clear skin. Then he tried the men's Cold Turkey Shaving Gel. This shaving gel has a mild scent which is not over powering, perfect when you don't want the smell to clash with your aftershave. He thought this low lather product, with the clear gel would be good for definition if you want to precision cut your moustache and side burns.

The last product he tried was the Men's Revive Survive. This smooth light comfort cream rubbed into the skin well, and left his skin feeling rejuvenated Again the extremely light fragrance won't interfere with your aftershave, a great product when you feel your skin needs that little bit of TLC.



Before and After

This Christmas the Ultimate Christmas Shaving Pack is available from John Lewis. A stylish gift for those that like taking care of their skin the pack contains 3 full-size products, essential to achieve the perfect shave. Comprising of Scrub Up Daily Detox (125ml), Men’s Revive Survive (50ml) and Cold Turkey Shaving Gel (125ml), they claim the skin looks rejuvenated and revitalised in just minutes.


You can buy Rehab London at a number of good retailers including John Lewis, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Lloyds Pharmacy or at their online store.

So would he recommend Rehab London? Yes definitely, and my opinion, his skin certainly feels softer when I give him a kiss and that's a plus in my book! 


* I was given a number of products for my husband to try for a honest review
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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hotel Chocolat

I have a confession to make. I haven't got any pictures of the box of chocolates Hotel Chocolat sent me as before I could say WAIT my son and my husband ate the lot...well almost the lot, I did get to try three out of the box of eighteen! That is a testament to the taste, flavour and all round deliciousness of Hotel Chocolat chocolates.


If you haven't heard of the brand or tried their chocolates - where have you been? Hotel Chocolat is a British chocolatier chain with over seventy five stores in the UK and worldwide. British entrepreneurs, Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris embarked upon their Hotel Chocolat journey over 20 years ago, and they are one of only a few chocolate makers in the world to grow cocoa themselves for the very chocolates their customers eat.

They base their brand on three main ingredients, Innovation, Authenticity and Ethics. Their look is influenced by the London fashion scene and their chocolate has an authentic taste "less sugar more cocoa" for that luxurious taste. They also base their business on a strong ethical stance and over the last 8 years have invested in the cocoa communities in Saint Lucia and Ghana.

So onto the chocolates. I've been a fan of Hotel Chocolat since I was lucky enough to visit their stores in Bath and Bristol. What I like about the chocolates is that they really feel luxurious, each box is designed with so much thought and each chocolate does truly taste special. Some of my favourites are the Sleekster boxes and the slabs. The Sleeksters are designed to fit through the letter box so make a perfect gift and the slabs are thick pure chocolate indulgence, perfect for that treat for yourself. 



Box of Spiders, Little Bag Of Horrors, The Nutty Collection

For Halloween they have lots of spooktastic goodies from Oozy Eyes to Little Bag of Horrors from Trapdoor Treats to a Box of Spiders. Perfect treats to keep in the cupboard and hand out to those pesky kids when they knock on your door, or to indulge the family.

And onto the Autumn treats they sent me, a box called The Nutty Collection. So over to my son who states that the caramel truffle was " Simply delicious  a thin layer of white chocolate containing a smooth liquid caramel with a hint of rum separated by a lid of mild chocolate containing more of that mouth watering caramel ". It's ok he is 16 but was a little surprised to find the alcohol in the
chocolate. I have to say I did try this delectable chocolate and I can confess I was rather pleased with the hidden alcohol, it certainly wasn't over powering more a hint. The praline filled walnuts I tried next. A chocolate truffle filled the hollow case with a delicious nut top. The other chocolates I was told on good authority were filled with different nuts, smooth and dreamy caramel, and luxurious truffle.


You can find Hotel Chocolat is cities up and down the country and also online.
So if you are looking for an ethical chocolate company where taste really matters and the chocolate really have the WOW factor check out this brand now, you know you want to....
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Friday, 25 October 2013

Review - The Purple Poppadom Cardiff

Have you ever had that smug feeling, that you've found that little gem that none of your friends know about? Well last Wednesday I felt exactly like that. The Purple Poppadom in Cardiff, is marketed as a Nouvelle Indian cuisine restaurant and you can certainly say you won't get your bog standard uninspiring Indian food here - this is Indian food with a touch of class. Since opening two years ago it has been rapidly winning awards aplenty, including Welsh Curry House of the Year 2013 and has gained a place in The Good Food Guide 2013. The Kerala-born chef Anand George is well known for his super skilled and creative cooking being head chef at the Mint and Mustard in Cardiff previously.

Hidden away in the Canton area of Cardiff this unassuming restaurant is a foodies delight. Modern and bright inside with friendly staff it was fairly quiet for a Wednesday but soon filled up as the night went on. The waiter said it gets very busy from Thursday to Sunday so booking ahead is certainly advised. The background music was soft Indian classics and the staff were keen and eager to please. A warm welcome from the restaurant manager Raman ensued which is always a good start and then the food commenced.

I chose from the A La Carte menu but they also have a tasting menu which they pair with a selection of wines.
  

Poppadoms and chutneys, Peli Potsiwar and Chicken Connoisseur

Firstly we started with a selection of poppadoms and chutney. Light 
crispy poppadoms, a lovely mint sauce, date chutney and lime pickle were the perfect nibbles and were devoured in almost seconds.

Onto the starters - I started with Peli Potsiwr. This is an interesting combination of venison scotch egg, rabbit potli, crab cake, potato bonda, and green pea kachori with homemade chutney. My favourite was the green pea kachori and the venison scotch egg, the former was spicy and delicious with the sweetness of the date chutney, the latter meaty with great flavours. My son had the Chicken Connoisseur which is a selection of three types of chicken marinated in various herbs and spices, which he described as 'tasty!" - (he is a 16 year old teenager after all!) and my husband had the Vegetable Variations which he thought had intriguing flavours. As you can see all the starters were beautifully presented and looked amazing.

Next up the mains.

Both my husband and my son had the Malabar Chicken Biryiani. This is my opinion was a stand out dish - I had to have a taste of course! Cooked in the Kerala style the waiter explained how it was made - in layers, with curry sauce, rice and chicken and the pastry lid keeping in the moistness. This was brought to the table and mixed expertly by the waiter, first the pastry lid was cut off, then the biriyani mixed together, then served. The biriyani was moist and delicately flavoured but not over spiced. You could really taste the cardamom with slight hints of saffron, ginger and coriander and the rice was really fragrant. So often in a biryani the meat is dry but not in this one, just deliciously cooked.


Malabar Chicken Biryiani

My option was the Kashmiri Rogon Josh. Sweet chunks of tender meat in a rich gravy it was the perfect foil for the light and fluffy pilau rice.


For an accompaniment we chose garlic nan - the butter and garlic on the bread made the nan taste delicious, however it was a little thinner than nan bread I have had previously, this is not a criticism as I really enjoyed it, just an observation.
Kashmiri Rogon Josh and Garlic Nan

At this point I was full but I managed to squeeze in a dessert. Myself and my son had the creme brulee. Presented in two little pots, we had a green tea flavoured creme brulee and a rose petal creme brulee. With creme brulee it's all about the crunch, and both of these gave a satisfying crunch when the crispy sugar layer was prodded with a spoon. The green tea was very delicately flavoured and creamy, but the rose petal was my favourite. Not normally a fan of Turkish delight, this was a little piece of heaven, creamy with a distinctive flavour, unfortunately it did over power the delicate flavour of the green tea brulee and although I am no expert I would suggest pairing the rose petal creme brulee with a stronger flavoured brulee such as light chocolate perhaps?


Green Tea Creme Brulee and Rose Petal Creme Brulee

As we made our way out of the restaurant we chatted with the restaurant manager Raman. Pleased to be mentioned in the Good Food Guide he was obviously proud of his restaurant, and so he should be, and on this note we departed with full stomachs and a sense that this restaurant will go far. 

Highly Recommended 

The details:
Address: Purple Poppadom, 185 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF11 9AJ
Telephone: 029 2022 0026
Web: http://purplepoppadom.com/

Facebook Twitter 

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Purple Poppadom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Watch Gallery

I'm rather partial to a luxury watch or two. I particularly adore TAG Heuer watches, Swiss made and renowned for their quality and engineering Tag watches are a world leader in the luxury watch market. They also have a rather easy on the eye actor named Leonardo Di Caprio advertising their brand at the moment, which is another good reason to check out their watch display! 

So when I was introduced to The Watch Gallery, a luxury watch retailer, which stock Tag Heuer as well as brands such as Chanel and Rolex at one end to Seiko at the other end of the price spectrum my eyes lit up.

Rose gold is so on trend at the moment and one of my favourites watches has to be this one below. I love the clean simple lines and the classic styling. What do you think of my choice?
TAG HEUER CARRERA LADIES £6350
The Watch Gallery has produced this interesting Infographic on the evolution of the luxury watch. I didn't know Rolex was the leading luxury watch brand with a revenue of 2.71 billion! 
If you want to find out more about The Watch Gallery you can find their website here.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE LUXURY WATCH

Evolution of the Luxury Watch
FROM: THE WATCH GALLERY

Do you have a favourite watch? What luxury brands do you like?
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Prostate Cancer, Diet and Movember

English: MOUSTACHE by yana segal
English: MOUSTACHE by yana segal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Did you know that women are more likely than men to report any health concerns? UK research in 2010 looked at links between how healthy people thought they were, and their death rate.

They found women were more likely than men to say they were in poor health, but less likely to die over the following 5 years. Men's 'stiff upper lip' or even a general lack of awareness when it comes to health concerns has worried doctors and health campaigners for years.


I have a theory, while us women do like a little moan, and we can worry easily, we are also good at talking about our feelings and emotions. Women are also more likely to come into contact with health professionals due to regular contraceptive prescriptions and three yearly smears. Men do not have these opportunities to talk to a health professional on a regular basis. This is where Movember comes in.

What Is Movember?

Movember's mission is to have an "everlasting impact on men's health". Movember was started in 2004 and was devised to draw attention and greater awareness of men's health by creating a fund raising event that encourages men to grow moustaches. They focus on discussions about men's health in general for a greater understanding and awareness,  and encourage men to take action to remain well and get treatment if they become unwell. 

Movember focuses on three main areas :-

Living with Cancer 
Staying Mentally Well 
and
Research Into Men's Health

One of the areas of cancer they focus on in particular is prostate and testicular cancer. Did you know that 1 in 8 men in the UK will get prostrate cancer at some point in their lives and that rises to 1 in 4 black men? Not a pretty statistic is it?

How Men Can Reduce The Risk Of Prostate Cancer

The benefits of a diet high in fruit and vegetables in widely known, but it is particularly of benefit in the prevention of cancer.



There are also specific foods that may help lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Foods such as green tea, tomatoes, broccoli and soy are all being studied to see if they help prevent cancer.


A study, earlier this year by Professor Robert Thomas of Addenbrooks hospital, involving 203 men with prostate cancer, showed that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels of those who took a capsule containing essence of pomegranate, green tea, turmeric and broccoli were 63% lower than those who did not.

The PSA is a level of the protein produced by the prostate gland which is an indicator of prostate cancer. These groundbreaking findings were presented at a cancer conference in Chicago, after a six month trial. This food supplement Pomi-T which is a completely natural supplement is now available to buy online. 


Although not a substitution for a healthy diet, I would think this is a useful addition to your food intake if you are concerned about your consumption of fruit and vegetables as well as for those men who are at risk of or who have prostate cancer.




green tea, pomegranate, broccoli and turmeric 'superfoods' in the fight with prostate cancer

Of course it's also important that men do report any concerns that they have to their G.P. The benefits of exercise in maintainin
g a healthy weight are also widely known and are of benefit to prevent cancer.

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Say Cheese - Looking After Your Teeth And Gums

A pregnant woman
A pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Did you know about half the population of the UK has some degree of gum problems? It's the major cause of tooth loss in adults - scary isn't it?!

Healthy gums should be pink and stippled, if you get any blood when you brush your teeth you should get it checked out by a dentist just to be on the safe side. It usually means there is inadequate plaque removal at the gum line. A dentist can give your teeth a good clean, check you for tooth decay and advise you on correct brushing methods.

Pregnancy and Dental Care


Many women have problems with their teeth in pregnancy. Luckily in the UK pregnant women get free dental care, and up to 12 months after the baby is born. The hormones in your body can affect your teeth and gums. Some pregnant women get problems relating to their dental hygiene including
  • Tender, swollen or red gums
  • Receding gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth if gum problems progress

It is important to visit your dentist in this situation and use a specialist gum toothpaste like Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Gum Protection twice a day. This toothpaste has been clinically proven to help and prevent gum problems in four weeks. I recently tried this toothpaste as I had been having bleeding gums and I can say that the flavour of this toothpaste is very mild and minty, and after brushing my teeth, they felt really clean and fresh. Only time will tell if it helps improve my gum health but I've taken the right steps.

It's also important for children to learn how to brush their teeth properly from a very early age. A pea sized amount of toothpaste containing fluoride helps strengthen their teeth. Babies can get cavities too so make sure they are registered with a dentist as soon as their teeth start to come through.

My Top Dental Tips For Children



  • Get them to choose their own toothbrush as this encourages brushing.
  • A timer is useful to ensure they know how long they have to brush their teeth for, two minutes twice a day is the correct amount.
  • Disclosing tablets help show children where any areas they are missing when brushing their teeth.
  • Show them how to use a mirror so they can see exactly where to use the brush.
  • Give them fruit juices with a straw. As fruit juice contains sugar and acids, using a straw and only giving fruit juice with meals help to prevent contact with the teeth. Try to encourage them to avoid fizzy drinks where possible.

Your teeth (and gums) are for life - look after them and you will be happily munching apples until your in your 90's!

“This post is an entry for BritMums’ #ORALBLoveYourGums Challenge sponsored by Oral-B, promoting healthy gums – something especially important for pregnant women. Get tips and advice on www.oralb-loveyourgums.com.”

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

I Love My Post #59

I love my post 

Welcome to the I Love My Post blog hop where we invite you to link up your favourite post of the week, to show it off and hopefully receive some love from the others partaking in the hop!
If you are yet to participate in a hop they are really simple to get the hang of all you need to do is 'hop' around, hopefully finding some new great reads!
The Rules are simple! 

Have Fun, click around find some new blogs to read and share the I Love My Post LOVE! And if you fancy being a co-host with us! 
Give Sarah an Email: sarah@lifeinabreakdown.com

Your Host’s this week are: Sarah from Life in a Break Down 
Bex from Futures and our lovely co-hosts are: 
Mellissa from Dairy of a Jewellery Lover  (That's me!)
Laura from Max and Mummy Donah from Sweet Jelly Bean

I would love it if you would tweet, share on facebook or place our button on your blog, the more sharing we can get happening the bigger this hop can become!

Life in a Break Down
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This week's Featured Blog is: The Ruffled Stitch
If you have been featured grab our button!
I Love my Post
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If you fancy being next week’s featured blogger make sure you follow all the rules give you hosts and co-hosts a follow and Sarah could be calling on you next week to come and feature with us.



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Friday, 18 October 2013

Black Dog Delicatessen

The Black Dog Delicatessen is a range of own-label products from FoodHQ, the inspiration for the 'Black Dog' name comes from the company owner pets Labradors Blue and Bailey. Blue and Bailey were rescue dogs from The Labrador Rescue Trust and a percentage of the proceeds from every sale go towards this chosen charity.


The DELICATESSEN range includes Five pasta choices, four risottos, five olive choices, two olive oils and a balsamic vinegar.

But what you don't see in this description in the quality of the products. For example the Balsamic vinegar from Modena in Italy is aged in wooden barrels for ten years according to local traditions. This gives the vinegar a sweet mellow taste and glossy colour. The extra virgin olive oil is made on a family-run olive estate near Palmero in Sicily and is winner of a Great Taste award. The packaging exudes style too and looks lovely on your kitchen shelf.






So you know that they do work for charity and the bottles are beautiful on your shelf - so what about the taste?

Firstly we used the olive oil and balsamic to make a dressing for a salad, then a mix for dipping bread, then the oil oil on bruschetta.

The Sicilian olive oil has a lovely light fresh green taste, so fresh you can almost taste the olives, whilst the balsamic is sweet and dark with a mature kick.

You certainly realise that these products are quality products, it's all in the taste.


We were also sent the Porcini Mushroom Risotto to try. So quick and simple to make in under 20 minutes, the creamy risotto made with Carnaroli rice was lovely topped with parmesan cheese. A great kitchen standby when you have 'nothing' in the cupboard. I served it with a garlic ciabatta and a fresh tomato salad.  

I certainly recommend the products I tried based on taste, design and the charity angle. 

On a final note I will leave you with FoodHQ’s MD, James Tyler who says “We wanted to create a signature brand that people could trust. Black Dog combines authentic provenance at an affordable price. What’s more, given the fact that the British are such a nation of dog lovers, I’m sure the rescue dog element will prove popular too”. 

I can't wait to try the other products. Which would you like to try?
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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Total Media

In this day and age how do you launch and grow a brand? If you haven't got time to plan and manage your own advertising campaign where do you go?

If you are a small, medium or large business media planning is important to publicise your company and be a step ahead of everyone else.

So often PR and Media companies are linked to advertising agencies or have stakeholders at the centre. Being an independent agency Total Media only has your best interests at heart, and no hidden agenda. An independent media agency that specialise in media planning  you know your media campaign will be creative, interesting and ground breaking, making you standout from the competition. They also care about their staff training being Investors in People and employing over 90 people in two offices.



The philosophy of the company is that they know how to launch and grow a business, and with 30 years experience you know they do as well!

With Brand Development their specialists will gain a thorough insight into your business and the type of brand consultancy you require in order to grow your brand. With Direct Response Strategies they look at the whole consumer journey getting new direct customers to your business. They also look at Regional Strategies to focus on local communities and local media groups, to develop a media strategy for your particular catchment area.

Total media are always up to date with the latest developments happening in media and technology and pass their knowledge and skills onto their clients. 

With award winning campaigns for Hotwire.com, the David Bowie exhibition at the V & A museum and Jungle Formula amongst others, they are a media agency I would have no hesitation in recommending on the basis of their awards alone. 

With other services such as social media, paid searches, SEO, and International Campaigns they can look after your every need.

If you need any more information you can contact them on Twitter or Facebook.

*This is a sponsored post
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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Ted Baker at Van Mildert

Can I let you into a little secret? I love Ted Baker. Seriously. I have two Ted Baker purses, a Ted Baker bag, I love Ted Baker shirts on my husband, I love their fit and flare dresses - I just love the brand.

So I have a feast for your eyes today. In fact it's a Ted Baker Fest! Recently I was asked to write an article about Van Mildert, and when I realised they stocked Ted Baker I couldn't wait to get started.




Van Mildert is an award-winning premium fashion retailer stocking designer clothes and accessories. With brands like Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Barbour and Ted Baker you know this designer women and menswear retailer just offers the best in luxury fashion. Established in 1996 in Durham, it has become a Mecca for all the fashionistas in the area, and they now have 7 stores in the north of England. All stores offer a wide variety of collections and are spilt across sections catering for young fashion, branded fashion, concept design, and premium sportswear. If you don't live nearby they also have a cool website, which is easy to order from too.

So onto Ted Baker. Did you know Ted Baker launched in Glasgow. From humble beginnings they have grown to ‘No Ordinary Designer Label’. with a focus on quality, attention to detail and with a quirky sense of humour. That shop in Glasgow offered a laundry service to make it stand out from the rest and so Ted Baker was born.

Ted Baker always thinks out of the box and so their approach to marketing has never been conventional. What other brand would give away a packet of Paxo stuffing at Christmas....?

But I digress, I'm getting lost in the brand - for me the clothes, the bags and the purses are king.

It's all in the detail - shirts with different linings, cuffs with floral details, purses made in patent leather with the signature floral lining, the bow and bobble clasps, the butterfly prints. Beautifully made clothes and accessories with stunning design features that make loyal Ted Baker fans come back for more, time and time again, that and the emphasis on Britishness.

So what pieces do I adore from the Autumn/Winter collection?


Ted Baker Madigan coat £299

This stunning vibrant colour and soft classical design drew me to this coat, and it has contrasted printed lining.




Ted Baker Bakula Jumper £139

I am also loving this women's Bakula jumper. The chiffon sleeves and embellished detail make it perfect for Christmas drinks with friends.




Oil Painting Matinee Purse £99

How about this chic floral matinee purse to add a splash of colour to your handbag. The iconic crystal bow clasp is so pretty. Perfect for girlie girls.

So what do you think of my fashion choices? Do you like vivid colours in the Winter or are you a pastel girl? Do you have any Ted Baker items? Let me into your wardrobe secrets!

* This is a PR Collaboration
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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

At First I Was Afraid - Coping with Coeliac's Disease

A guest post by Erika

Hello there, I’m Erika from Eclectic Enchantments and am very excited to be able to guest post for Mellissa!  When I knew I could write about food, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk to you about.

About two and a half years ago I was diagnosed with having Coeliac’s Disease.  If you haven’t heard of it before, it is an auto immune disease, meaning that eating anything containing wheat, barely, rye and gluten will cause my body to attack itself.  There isn’t a cure, the only way to treat the illness is to have a completely gluten free diet.  The consequences of not following a strict regime of no gluten are unpleasant to say the least and the long term implications are rather frightening.  So being told I had this illness was not just scary, it was terrifying.

After my initial shock and learn what was involved in having a gluten free diet, I didn’t really feel any better.  Everything seemed to have gluten in it, bread, biscuits, pasta, crackers, pastry, cake, most sauces, dressings, in fact you name it, unless it was grown, there was gluten present.  I tried a few gluten free brands, but found the food lack luster and inedible.  The only thing for it was to discover how to make tasty food, that is gluten free for myself.  

My first challenge was bread.  I am a massive bread lover, I could literally eat a loaf of bread, sliced and buttered and I would be happy!  Gluten free bread was, in my opinion, not very nice.  It has taken me two and a half years, the help of some very kind people and the most amazing bread machine, but I have found a a recipe that works for me.  




I’m hungry just looking at the pictures.  You can not believe the elation I felt discovering a recipe that actually tasted like ‘normal’ bread.  Light, fluffy and even smells like bread! 

The second challenge and possibly the most difficult to over come was pastry.  Again, like bread I was a big pastry fan, liking pies especially.  The reason that pastry is so difficult to make gluten free, is that the gluten is what holds it together, the bonding agent if you will.  Therefore I set about learning what I could use to replace the gluten.  I ended up needing to use a combination of glycerin (the secret ingredient), extra butter and xantham gum.


Over time I managed to find ways to cook almost anything gluten free and now, providing I have the energy, I can have a delicious and varied menu.  It is of course a huge adjustment, but the point of writing this post is to say to people that it’s not the end of the world, it does seem that way, but it isn’t.  Everything you can eat normally, can be made to be tasty and gluten free, with a bit of effort and patience.

Fish and chips! 




Yorkshire puddings.  These are great and freezable! 



Pancakes



Last but by no means least my favourite thing to bake, cupcakes!!




Mellissa - I don't know about you but I think Erika has coped admirably with this condition and a change in her diet. Have you been diagnosed with Coeliac's disease or do you have dietary needs that can be difficult to cater for?
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