Travel Essentials with Chemist Direct

Travel Essentials, Chemist Direct

Toiletries are nearly as important to me as the clothes I take on holiday.  I made the mistake last year of not packing everything I needed during our European driving holiday and ended up spending a fortune on items that were not really compatible with my skin type and I vowed that I wouldn’t make that mistake again.

Travel Essentials

We’re planning a camping holiday in the UK during the summer and another driving holiday around Europe which means that we don’t have any weight or liquid restrictions in our luggage.  The items shown above are my travel essentials and I’m looking forward to packing them in my case.

Faith in Nature Lavender & Geranium Shower Gel (£4.49) this is one of my favourite brands, as a complementary therapist I love products which contain beneficial aromatherapy oils that nourish skin and combat stress, using Natures ingredients while caring for the environment.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Lip Balm (£3.05) is a refreshing and soothing balm to moisten and nourish your lips.

Huggies Pure Baby Wipes (£1.49) does not contain harmful chemicals and additives, and is effectively just like using cotton wool and water. Approved by the British Skin Foundation, Pure Wipes are pH balanced, alcohol and perfume free perfect for even the most sensitive skin.

Malibu Protective Lotion SPF30 (£5.99) helps protect against sunburn and long-term UV-induced skin damage. It offers high protection that is ideal for sun sensitive skin that burns easily.

Sebamed Baby Wash Extra Soft (£4.50) has a very mild wash-active compound offers high skin tolerance for the extra gentle daily cleansing of delicate skin.

Specially designed for the very youngest mouths, Aquafresh Milk Teeth toothpaste (£1.29) has the lowest fluoride content of all the Aquafresh range.

Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Sun Lotion SFP15 (£5.99) Mini Bottle 100ml with advanced UVA & UVB protection is an oil free and non-greasy sun lotion formulated with Vitamins C & E and tropical fragrances that provides the skin a glowing effect whilst protecting it when tanning. Handy travel size that will fit in my handbag.

Piriton Syrup (£3.35) is an antihistamine syrup which is used to treat the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies in children aged 1 year and over.

Hc45 Hydrocortisone Cream (£3.49) effectively treats itchy, irritated or inflamed skin caused by insect bites, mild to moderate eczema and contact or allergic dermatitis. This specially formulated cream has been clinically proven to alter responses to inflammatory reactions and leave your skin feeling calm and soothed.

Kwells Travel Sickness Tablets (£2.00) are something that Lucie needs as she suffers from terrible travel sickness, they are melt in the mouth tablets for prevention and relief of travel sickness.

Salcura Omega Rich Shampoo (£6.99) is a 100% safe and natural shampoo that helps to moisturise the skin and provide the skin with vital nutrients and omegas. Salcura Shampoo helps to support and soothe the scalp skin and is especially useful for dealing with dry skin and flaky skin symptoms in and around the hair line.

Imodium Capsules (£2.63) are always in my holiday bag just in case one of us eats or drinks something that can cause an upset stomach.

Inecto Pure Coconut Oil Moisture Crème (£1.19) has the most amazing scent, it reminds me of holidays.  The crème is great for the hydration and nourishment of dry skin.

The Colgate Extra Clean Toothbrushes Triple Pack (£1.49) and Colgate Twister Toothbrushes (£1.49) are a must have in the holiday bag, I like to make sure I have a medium brush.

Steroplast Holiday First Aid Kit (£4.95)So often overlooked when you’re going on holiday, but so important to have close at hand, you never know when you might need it! Last year I struggled to communicate with the pharmacy staff in France who didn’t speak English making it difficult for me to get the items I needed. This pack fits easily into a case/bag and ensures you are prepared just in case any member of your family has an accident on holiday.

Green People Mint Toothpaste (£2.99) with organic peppermint & myrrh is a natural toothpaste with traditional peppermint flavour. Is a brilliant toothpaste for sensitive teeth and can be used by all the family

All of the Travel Essentials featured above can be purchased from Chemist Direct which offers a great range of products for your holidays.

What are your toiletry travel essentials?

You can see more about the products in more detail in the video below.

*Disclaimer: Chemist Direct provided me with a voucher towards the cost of the items listed above.

Race for Life Training Update 4

training Diary

In just over 2 weeks I will be running The Race for Life and I’m so excited about it!  I’ve just ordered a t-shirt each for myself and Lucie from the Race for Life shop and I only need to source some leggings/shorts that we don’t mind getting muddy and we will be ready to go.

Fitbug Orb

I’ve been using the fitbug orb recently and I’ll be doing a full review of the device soon.  It’s basically a fitness tracker and it allows me to monitor how many steps I’ve taken each day so I can meet my daily goals.  The fitbug orb sends data directly to my iPhone which in turn updates the various apps I have on my phone.

kiqplan app

Along side the fitbug orb I’ve also been using the kiqplan app to help with my training for the race for life, I have two different kiqplan apps on my phone but the one I’m currently using is the 5K race for life app which gives you a full training schedule.  Today is one of my Kiqplan workout days which features resistance and flexibility training to make sure my muscles and joints are strong and limber.  I’ll be doing a full review of this app next week.


Finally I had my first Joggbox delivered this week, Joggbox is a subscription service for runners which costs £15 per month.  I’ll be using everything within the box over the next couple of weeks and will do a full review on the product.

I’ve recently signed up to a site called GymCube as I think I’ll be able to follow classes on my laptop easier than on my phone.  If any of my readers are current members I’d love some recommendations for classes.

I’ve added more strength training into my workouts recently and increased my pilates workout which is making me feel so much better about the rubbish I’ve been eating this past week.  I need to work on my fluid consumption as I’ve been suffering from a few headaches recently and I think it’s down to a lack of water.

Volunteering for the NCT

NCT Treasurer

I have been an NCT volunteer now for over two years, a lot of people are often surprised to hear that I had never actually used any of the services offered by NCT before I started volunteering.  I just happened to see a plea post on Facebook that had been shared by a friend that said my local branch were in desperate need of a treasurer and without one it was likely that the branch would have to close.

I spent a couple of hours researching the charity and decided that as I had some spare hours thanks to being a freelance worker I would enquire about the position, the thought of local parents not having access to vital services offered by NCT really hit a nerve with me as a new parent.  I had no financial qualifications and apart from doing my own accounts and tax returns and some basic book keeping for clients I was unsure if I would be qualified for the role.

I quickly found out that the treasurer role didn’t require any former financial knowledge and you didn’t have to be a qualified accountant which quickly put my mind at ease.  You do need to be comfortable with handling figures and money, we pay our nearly new sale sellers with cash on the day of the sale so this requires a lot of counting, checking and double checking of the cash.

Full training is provided by the treasurer who is leaving the role, there are a variety of regional training days offered to volunteers and as branch treasurer you are never alone. There is great regional and national support who I’ve had to contact on a few occasions when I just couldn’t work out how to do something.  There is a fantastic yahoo group where branch treasures can go if they have a question and there are regular Skype sessions offered especially during the year end where a treasurer might need extra support.

The role of Branch Treasurer can sound quite time consuming if you read a list of the tasks and responsibilities but in reality it doesn’t take me more than 2-3 hours per week although it is a little more during a nearly new sale and at the end of a financial quarter  The main tasks you undertake as treasurer are recording all the branch income and expenditure on NCT’s web based financial software so NCT can produce accounts, making sure the bank balance in the black and providing the financial plan for the branch year.

My volunteering experience has been so positive, we have an incredibly supportive local team who go above and beyond to help each other and it’s because of the support I get from my fellow volunteers that I also took on the role as newsletter editor just over a year ago.  I’ve loved every minute of my time as treasurer and I really don’t want to leave my role but as I’m taking the role of Branch Coordinator I unfortunately can’t do both.  The treasurer who takes my place will have my full support, after all I’ve been doing the role for the past two years and I know that it can be quite daunting at first which is why I’m glad I’ll be there to offer them as much help and support as they need in the role.

If you’re interested in volunteering for your local branch, you can find out more information on the NCT website.  If you live in the Warwickshire Central area and would like to volunteer you can contact for more information.


Delete blood cancer

delete blood cancer

If you follow me on instagram you may have seen me post the photograph pictured above of two swabs.  The swabs have been sent off to determine my tissue type so that my details can be placed anonymously onto the register of potential donors.

Any healthy adult between the ages of 18-55 who lives in the UK can become a potential blood stem cell donor.

There are some exceptions though and it’s worth reading the important exclusion criteria below before applying for a pack.

  • Heart disease (e.g., previous heart attack, coronary heart disease)
  • Lung diseases (i.e. severe bronchial asthma)
  • Diseases of the haematopoietic system
  • Severe kidney diseases
  • Thrombosis
  • Severe illnesses of the central nervous system
  • Cancer
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes)
  • Autoimmune conditions (e.g. rheumatism)
  • Severe infectious diseases (e.g. infectious jaundice, chronic hepatitis B and C)
  • Weight under 7 stone 12 lbs/50 kg
  • Obesity (i.e. body mass index (BMI) > 40)

As a potential stem cell donor, your tissue type will be matched using human leukocyte antigen typing. HLA are proteins or markers found on all cells in your body. These proteins are used by your immune system to recognise which cells belong in your body and which cells do not. If these proteins do not match, the patient’s body would reject the given stem cells of the donor. A close match means that the patient’s immune system would recognise your blood system as its own. With more than 8,500 known characteristics that can occur in millions of combinations, finding a match is extremely rare.

Approximately 70% of patients who need a transplant do not have a suitable donor and rely on the register to find an unrelated donor. In these cases, the patient’s doctor will search for an unrelated adult donor, or alternatively for a cord blood donation. To be considered a match, the patient and donor must have at least 8 out of 10 tissue characteristics in common, but ideally should have 10.

For every donor there is only a 4-5% chance that they will match a patient within the next ten years, so it is a bit like winning the lottery. You will only become part of this figure if your tissue type is very closely matched to a specific patient in need.

Interested in signing up? Register now to help delete blood cancer.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t asked to write this, I feel it is something that needs promoting.

Skinny Jeans 3 ways

Jeans are my wardrobe staple and have been for most of my adult life, as we all know they come in all styles and colours however my jeans of choice have always been skinny fit and blue.

I’ve bought my children clothes from George at Asda in the past but never for myself as I was never really sure how the fit would be.  I’m 5’10 tall and have both long legs and a long body so it can be difficult to find clothes that fit on the top and bottom unless I buy from specific tall ranges.  Everything I’m wearing in the following pictures has been purchased from George at Asda, all shoes shown are a size 8 and clothing is a size 16.

George challenged me to show you how versatile and affordable a capsule wardrobe from can be.  My core item was a pair of lightwash skinny jeans (£10) and I’ve dressed them up to create 3 summer looks for my European summer holiday.

You can see the clothes separately in the video above, it also contains a series of bloopers and the reason you shouldn’t film with children in the room.

Lightwash skinny jeans by George

My first look is something I would wear to catch some sun during a European city break, we tend not to go places that have beaches so any sunbathing is done in parks or on a hotel balcony.  I’ve teamed the jeans with a black vest top, sparkle flips flops, necklace and sunglasses.  The cost of the whole outfit was £20.50 which is incredibly affordable for most budgets.


patterned kimono at george

My second outfit is perfect for sightseeing and is actually adapted from the sunbathing outfit, you only need to change you shoes and throw on a kimono and you have a brand new outfit.  The cost of the whole outfit would have been £35.50 if bought separately, as part of your capsule wardrobe the extras bring the running total to £42.50.


Textured blazer at george

My final look is for something I enjoy more than anything when I’m on holiday – going out for a meal.  The cost of the whole outfit would have been £61.50 if bought separately, as part of your capsule wardrobe the extras bring the running total to £90.50.


George bag

Who needs a suitcase when you can fit your capsule wardrobe into hand luggage.  This Sailor shopping bag (£4) fit all of my items meaning I can pack light for every situation.

So for £94.50 you have 3 individual looks and a bag to put them in, in my opinion this is a perfect capsule wardrobe for the summer as everything can be mixed and matched.

Disclaimer: George at Asda supplied the items featured in this post.  All words, thoughts and opinions are my own.