Author Archives: daniellaabraham

Angela Langford – Bloom and Glow

How many skincare brands can you name who’s primary aim is the happiness of customers above all? Angela Langford’s ethos is to make sure that you are happy with the products you receive – and that they are satisfied that the products you receive are right for you and your skin. It’s really rare to find a brand who really do care about what you’re ordering and as someone who spends more money than I would care to mention on skincare it’s refreshing to know that I can spend my money on products that are actually completely suited to my skin rather than the trial and error I’m used to.

Angela Langford Bloom and Glow

When you register on the website, you are asked questions about you and your skin that you wouldn’t normally be asked by other skincare brands. The more information you provide, the better the chance of Angela picking the right products from her range of award winning skincare, first time. Questions about your skin type, your skin condition, any allergies, any other information you think relevant – it is all welcomed by Angela and her team.

My skin has changed a lot in recent years, I no longer suffer from dry skin with outbreaks of eczema, I can now add sensitive and mature skin into the mix.  I have allergies, mainly food allergies but I do have a sensitivity to certain products, changes in the weather etc.

bloom-and-glow

Angela Langford skincare contains no parabens, no petrochemicals, no synthetic fragrances, colours or other skin nasties. When I first started using natural products my skin didn’t react well to it, I had breakouts, dry and red patches and my skin never looked worse but I think this was due to all of the nasties coming out as my skin has now never looked better (although I do admit I have gone back to some of the old brands I was using).

Angela’s natural skin care products are cruelty free – they test on friends, family and of course themselves but never on animals.  As more and more of us are moving over to cruelty free brands, Angela Langford can be added to the list ( there are a lot of vegan options too).

I’m lucky that I studied both complimentary therapy and applied science at university so I have a good understanding of the science behind skincare but even I get bamboozled with some of the claims from skincare companies, Angela Langford doesn’t complicate things or confuse you with miracle claims. Detailed information about each of the ingredients that are in the products and more importantly, an explanation about why Angela has selected each ingredient and what the benefits of each are can be found on the website and it makes really interesting reading.

I’ve been using Angela Langford’s Bloom and Glow (£20.50) for a few weeks now, I like to use skincare for a fair amount of time before giving an opinion on it as I think it takes more than 1 or two weeks to see if a product is having a positive or negative effect.

Taken from Angela’s website:

Natural vitamin E repairs & protects your skin against damage that causes our skin to age prematurely. Q10 is a regenerating antioxidant that is naturally present in our skin, but levels diminish as we get older.  Evening primrosepenetrates into your skin, helping it to retain moisture & increases your skin’s ability to absorb to oxygen.

Chia seed & rosehip contain high levels of healing & repairing omega 3, helping to reduce fine lines, improve your skin’s elasticity & help you look younger. Together with jojoba, they are highly balancing & great for treating unbalanced skin. They are also really soft & smooth so ideal if your skin is sensitive.

Bisabolol is derived from chamomile & is a skin calmer & natural anti-inflammatory that also gives your skin a healthy glow, whilst sea buckthorn is a superfood for your skin! It is repairing, calming, healing, anti-ageing – a real skin multi-tasker & also promotes cell regeneration; as does neroli.

Finally, rose geranium helps balance hormones & clear congested skin – it’s uplifting scent is heavenly to use.

The first thing that you notice about the oil is the rich colour, it’s not pale yellow like a lot of the facial oils on the market, it’s a golden colour bordering on orange and the scent is delicious.  If you are sensitive to scents this oil will not be for you as the floral scent is prominent.  Luckily for me I don’t have sensitivity to scents  and I just adore the smell of this oil.  I use this in the morning before my moisturiser and before bed mixed into a rich night cream.

A small amount of the oil goes a long way, a couple of drops is more than enough for your whole face and neck area each morning, I can see this small bottle lasting at least 3-4 months – maybe more.

Since using this oil I’ve noticed that my once dull skin is a lot more radiant, I purposely didn’t change any of the other products I was using prior or during using this oil so I could give it a fair try.  The redness on my cheeks has eased quite a lot and I don’t seem to need as much foundation anymore to cover it which again can’t be down to anything other than the oil.

I’m such a convert to this skincare brand that I recently ordered the repair & renew and I can see clearly now so I’ll be sure to let you know my thoughts on these once I’ve given them a good try.

Please do let me know if you have tried this brand and what products you recommend.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated.

 



Twycross Zoo

On the border of Warwickshire/Leicestershire you will find Twycross zoo, set in more than 80 acres, it’s a fantastic day out if you happen to be in the area.

Twycross zoo

There are around 500 animals at Twycross zoo, many of which are endangered and the zoo’s nature reserve houses many native species – Twycross zoo really is something special.

Bonobo monkey

Founded in 1963 by pet shop owners Molly Badham and Natalie Evans, after the pair’s increasing zoological collection outgrew their three quarter acre site in Hints, Staffordshire. Twycross zoo is now a renowned as a World Primate Centre and has a wide variety of monkeys, apes and the UK’s only group of bonobos which are our closest living relatives, sharing around 98% of our DNA.

babies at twycross

Twycross zoo has breeding groups of many endangered primate species and it was so lovely to see babies and toddlers playing around, unfortunately due condensation on the glass and my camera not being able to cope with going from the winter weather and then going indoors my photographs were not the best when it came to capturing the youngsters.

The animals at Twycross zoo have access to both indoor and outdoor enclosures during the day, it was a very cold and snowy day during our visit and a lot of the animals wanted the warmth of their enclosure and a bit of peace and quiet. We found that if an animal was difficult to spot, popping back after 30 minutes usually meant that we got to see it.

agile gibbon twycross zoo

We probably spent the longest amount of time with the Agile gibbons,  they have distinctive long arms and use a motion called brachiation to swing through the tree-tops.

These animals are fast, so fast that when we spotted one outside I couldn’t get a decent picture in the whole 20 minutes I spent there as my camera shutter speed just couldn’t cope (or my bad photography skills).

 

The main threat facing these gibbons is habitat loss, as wild forest is converted into farmland. On Sumatra, the expansion of oil palm plantations is a particular problem. As the forest shrinks, it has become easier to capture them to sell as pets; agile gibbons are regularly seen in wildlife markets.

Asian Elephant Twycross zoo

I’m so pleased that we got to see Twycross Zoo’s all-female elephant herd before they leave for their new home at Blackpool Zoo so the herd can breed naturally with a bull elephant. This will ensure the long-term survival of this beautiful, endangered species.

Alpaca Twycross zoo

As a social animal, it is necessary to keep alpaca in herds and a herd of 5-10 can be kept on an acre of land. Alpaca were domesticated for their coat. The fibre was used by the Incan royalty due to its quality. It is available worldwide today and considered softer than cashmere but stronger than sheeps wool.

Aldabra Tortoise Twycross zoo

Aldabra tortoise Twycross zoo

The Aldabra tortoise is one of the largest tortoises in the world. They have a thick, domed shell with robust limbs covered in scales.  The tortoises age very slowly and in 2005, an Aldabra tortoise was found dead in India. Its shell was carbon-dated showing it had reached the age of 255 years old.

The Aldabra tortoise is the only African giant tortoise to have survived in the wild. Their population was severely threatened between the 17th and 19th centuries due to hunting for meat. Now they are struggling against habitat destruction and introduced species. These introduced species include predators such as rats and cats that eat their eggs, and competition for grazing with goats. They are now protected and have conservation breeding programs on the island of Mauritius.

Zebra Twycross zoo

Twycross Zoo is home to the Chapman’s zebra, famous for their black and white stripes there are a number of different reasons suggested to explain zebra stripes, including dazzling predators, thermal regulation and stimulating group cohesion.  Arthur was most excited to see the Zebra as he has always missed them on previous zoo visits.

Giraffe Twycross zoo

Did you know that the Giraffe’s long necks contain just seven bones, the same as all other mammals (including humans) but the bones have ball and socket like joints that give them much more flexibility.

Giraffe Twycross zoo

The Giraffes are very sociable animals and we didn’t see any on their own, they were constantly following each other from inside to outside.

giraffe Twycross zoo

The current threats to giraffes are habitat loss through human development and poaching for skins and meat. Traditionally giraffe were hunted just for their tails – used as fly swatters and good luck charms.

Miniature donkey Twycross zoo

The Miniature donkey was probably the cutest animal at Twycross zoo (in my opinion), I was actually surprised that they were not bothered by the super cold snowy weather and we got the chance to watch them for a long time.

leaf cutter ants twycross zoo

The most impressive thing that I saw during my visit at Twycross zoo was the Leaf-cutter ant enclosure (if you can call it that).  Twycross really do use all possible space to display their animals and what better way to display ants than the rope bridge mirror in the toilets.  If you look closely you can see the minors and mediae collecting the leaves.

The ants do not actually eat leaves but cultivate them in a garden to grow a particular species of fungus, the root-like structures of this fungus are their diet. The ants also create multiple antibiotics to prevent the growth of unwanted fungus and will use these antibiotics in a similar way to humans to treat infections – impressive isn’t it.

Humboldt penguins Twycross zoo

The Humboldt penguins are great little characters and we watched them for a long time, swimming underwater and enjoying the audience watching them.

Humbolt Twycross zoo

 

Humboldt penguins can dive to 150m although they usually stay within 60m of the surface.  The penguins are sadly threatened by poaching, over-fishing of their food species and pollution which increases the risk of disease and are therefore classed as Vulnerable.

Butterfly twycross zoo

Don’t forget to visit the impressive tropical Butterfly Forest exhibit, all around you there are butterfly eggs, pupae, caterpillar and of course beautiful butterflies.  Don’t forget to check yourself in the mirror before you leave to make sure none have landed on you, I had one on my back and I didn’t realise until Arthur pointed it out.

snow leopard enclosure

The Himalaya Centre is home to The View restaurant which is open until 9pm on Friday evenings, we had a wonderful lunch there and what made it even better was that the restaurant overlooks the Himalayan themed snow leopard enclosure where I managed to briefly spot them.

The view Twycross zoo

The restaurant is a wonderful light and airy space that really needs to be visited to be appreciated, the staff are really friendly and of course the food which is the most important thing – it’s delicious.  Tables have plenty of space meaning that if you have pushchairs, wheelchairs or prams you will be easily able to fit them in with ease.

Childs pizza Twycross zoo

Arthur had the kids’ margherita pizza (£5.00), children can have a 3 course meal deal for £7 but on this occasion a pizza was enough.  The dough was soft, the sauce tasty and herby and the cheese plentiful.

fish and chips Twycross zoo

I had the beer battered fish which was served with chips, tartare sauce and peas (£10.00).  The batter was light and fluffy and didn’t swap the fish in anyway.  The tartar sauce was absolutely delicious, chunky and tasty, the perfect accompaniment to the light fish.

Adult pizza Twycross zoo

David had the Spicy meat feast pizza which was covered in delicious chorizo, sliced salami, pepperoni, fire roasted peppers, sliced chillies and spinach (£8.50)  Just like Arthur’s pizza, the dough was incredibly light and the pizza had just the right amount of spice to suit David’s love of heat.

It may have been due to the weather or the time of year that we visited but we were so impressed with Twycross zoo, it wasn’t so busy that you were queuing for a long time at the enclosures and we didn’t have to wait at all to see any animal.  We had photo opportunities at each enclosure and it truly was a pleasant experience, so much so that we had no meltdowns or tears at all from a very chilly Arthur.

Twycross zoo can be found on Burton Road, Atherstone, Warwickshire, CV9 3PX and is open every day except Christmas Day, 10am –  5pm in winter and 10am – 6pm from 25th March 2017.

If you’re interested in visiting the zoo yourself you can enter my competition to win a family ticket and meal at the view restaurant.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated.

 



Competition – Win a Twycross Zoo Family Ticket

How would you like to get your hands on a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) for one of the days Santa is at Twycross, and a discounted family dinner in Himalaya on a Friday evening (the restaurant is open until 9pm)?

Santa at Twycross Zoo. Credit Twycross Zoo

From Friday 1 December, Santa himself will be at Twycross, enchanting visitors at his story-telling sessions, which will take place in the Explorer Café at 11:15-11:45am and 3-3:30pm. The stories, specially written for Twycross Zoo, will be about William the Donkey (who visitors can also meet), and wildlife conservation work in the countries Santa visits annually. There are also arts and crafts sessions and festive films in the Study Centre to be enjoyed by all.

New for 2017, Santa’s Key Tree will ensure that all children have their presents delivered on time – chimney or no chimney! Upon arrival, all boys and girls will be presented with a magical key to be placed on the Key Tree. Visitors can watch Santa collecting the keys live on Christmas Eve via Facebook Live.

All visitors will be able to spend time with Santa at multiple occasions throughout their visit, at their own leisure. From a magical photo opportunity on Santa’s sleigh to seeing him feed the penguins, there are many opportunities to capture that special moment. Twycross is also against the 2-minute Santa visit, allowing children to spend as much or a little time with Santa as they wish.

You can read about our visit to the zoo here

Although Twycross Zoo is open to the public from 10.00 to 17.00 daily, the Christmas activities are only available on selected dates, given below. The zoo is closed on Christmas Day.

Twycross zoo

To enter the competition please answer the question below and fill in the Rafflecopter

Humboldt Penguin at Twycross Zoo, UK.

Q: What species of penguin does Twycross Zoo care for?

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions/how to collect your prize

Details of the prize winner will be sent to Twycross zoo who will make contact with the winner to arrange their visit to Twycross. 

 T&Cs – Participants must be aged 18+ and live in the UK.  Participants wishing to enter the competition on behalf of a minor must have permission from the minor’s parent or legal guardian. The winner of the competition will be picked at random via Rafflecopter and the winning participant will be contacted directly via email.  The winning participant will get one free family admission ticket (2 adults, 2 children) to visit Twycross Zoo on any day throughout December 2017. The tickets must be used by 31st December 2017, no travel or accommodation will be included. If the winning participant does not respond to the correspondence within 24 hours, Twycross Zoo reserves the right to select another winner. The prize is non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives. The prize will automatically be void if sold, offered for sale or if any attempt or offer is made to transfer the prize for value.

Closing date: 12th December 2017



Christmas Stocking Fillers for Him and Her

With only a few weeks left until Christmas you will probably have started to think about what to buy friends/family/secret santa recipients.  I’ve got a great range of gift guides for you this year including gifts for her, him, foodies and this one which is for your stocking fillers.

Christmas stocking fillers

Some of the items in this gift guide will have their own review which will be linked within the post.

sugru

Sugru – From £6.99

Sugru has got to be one of my favourite products, it has so many uses and in my opinion would be the perfect present for anyone. Sugru has so many uses from fixing holes in wellington boots, making hooks on your monitor for a headset (my use) protecting the corner of a tablet, making grips on an umbrella (another of my uses) the recipient will love a pack of this.

champagne

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé mini champagne – £12

These mini champagne bottles make the perfect gift not only as a main gift but as part of a hamper or in a stocking.  Why not treat your secret santa with a bottle to start their Christmas with a “pop”

Tech21 phone case

Tech21 Phone Case – From £34.95

I couldn’t wait to open my stocking this year to get my Evo Check phone case which gives me complete piece of mind in case my phone is dropped, it feels great to hold and most importantly it looks great.  A phone case isn’t a typical stocking filler but it will go down so well as soon as the recipient opens their stocking.

Evo Check Evoke Edition for Apple iPhone 7/8 With a bold, confident floral design giving our original Evo Check an evocative twist, the Evoke Edition is designed to seduce the world around you.£39.95

Samsung Galaxy Note8 With translucent materials and a unique check pattern, the Evo Check case plays with light and transparency, adding subtle design detail to your smartphone’s original beauty. £34.95

Reading Glasses

Eyejusters – From £69

These adjustable reading glasses are such a great invention, you turn the dials to focus in making them perfect for people who need to see the small stuff like crosswords, recipes etc. You don’t need to know the wearer’s prescription either so they are suitable for all.

Opies jars

Opies Products  -From £1.40

From cocktails to cheeseboards, there is an opies product for everyone as a stocking filler.  Why not create a cocktail stocking and pop a jar of cocktail cherries in or you could do an ice-cream sundae stocking with wafers, voucher for ice-cream, bowl and some Opies black cherries or what about a cheeseboard stocking with a jar of Opies pickled walnuts, crackers, cheese knife and some strong cheddar.

spectrum noir

Spectrum Noir Colorista – From £4.99

These are the perfect gift for the person who doesn’t like watching TV or reading over the Christmas period and of course for those who want to try something different. The card kits come in high quality card, some with gold foil and the pencils and markers are some of the best I’ve tried, allowing you to blend and shade without any bleeding through the paper.

Yankee Candle wax melt

Yankee Candle wax melts – £1.79

My favourite melt this year has been Crackling wood fire which is smoky with nutmeg and amber and is perfect to melt on an evening whilst sitting by the Christmas tree.  Wax melts are a great affordable stocking filler, you could even buy someone a burner too if they don’t already have one!

copper photo

Solid Copper photo – £19.00

What better way to display a loved photograph of a child/pet/important day than having it displayed in beautiful copper. The metal has a brushed finish which is printed directly onto, so your photos will look great. The prints are waterproof and highly scratch resistant too.

You can add personalised text underneath the image as well as having the option to add a message to the bottom of the product, this is great for gifting occasions or simply adding information about the image.

Pickerings gin baubles

Pickerings Gin Baubles – £30

What better stocking filler than gin-filled Christmas decorations. Each pack contains 6 different coloured plastic baubles filled with 5cl of Pickering’s Gin. You can give the box to one person or split between 6 stockings (or just keep them all for yourself).

Metcalfes skinny popcorn

Metcalfe’s Popcorn – From £1.49

Fill a stocking with a DVD and a couple of bags of Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn (The salted caramel one is delicious) and you have the perfect gift for someone this Christmas.

Nelsons & Rescue plus – From £3.99

This time of year is when a lot of us are prone to colds/flu/sore throats, we overdo it on the food and drink so to open your stocking and get something to allow you to relax and unwind like the Nelsons arnicare bath & massage balm or take a moment to unwind and enjoy the festivities with Rescue chewing gum with a liquid flower essences centre or my personal favourite, the Rescue plus Lozenge which has a soothing orange and elderflower liquid centre and contains pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) which helps support normal mental performance.  Any of these would make a great stocking filler this year.

Milk & More gifts – From £2.99

Who doesn’t like to get something to eat as a stocking filler? These beautifully packaged items would be welcomed by anyone and I personally can’t wait to get stuck into the Rhubarb and Custard boiled sweets this Christmas.

Glen Scotia whisky

Glen Scotia Whisky – £19.99

You can buy this set of three 5cl tasters of the distillery’s finest whisky, The Double Cask (46%) , 15 Year Old (46%) and Victoriana (51.5%) for yourself or split the pack and create 3 stocking fillers – I’ll have the Victoriana please, it’s deliciously musky with hints of vanilla – perfect.

Sonic powered toothbrush

Sonic Toothbrush – £19.99

This is the perfect stocking filler for someone to keep in their handbag whether travelling, on a night out or at the gym. The precision head helps get to those hard-to-reach areas and features a blue strip across the bristles which fades as the head needs replacing. It’s designed with two speed settings and a two minute timer to signal what the ideal brushing time is.

Angela Langford Bloom and Glow

Angela Langford Bloom and Glow – £20.50

I’ve been using this product for a few days now and it’s so beautiful I had to include it in this guide as it will make the perfect stocking filler for someone who’s skin needs a bit of TLC.  It contains lovely ingredients like natural vitamin E ,Q10, evening primrose, chia seed & rosehip, bisabolol, sea buckthorn, neroli and rose geranium. Heavenly.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated.


Christmas Gift Guide For Him

With only a few weeks left until Christmas you will probably have started to think about what to buy friends/family/secret santa recipients.  I’ve got a great range of gift guides for you this year including gifts for her, him, foodies and stocking fillers.

Some of the items in this gift guide will have their own review which will be linked within the post.

gift guide for him

Chocolate sprouts

Chocolate Sprouts – £9.99

Handmade from solid white chocolate, These sprout chocolates look exactly like the real vegetable and will make a great gift this Christmas although your recipient may be a little shocked at first as these are so lifelike.

bluebeards revenge

Bluebeards Revenge kit – £18.99

This Bluebeards Revenge Shaving Cream and Post-Shave Balm Kit is the essential package for men looking to tackle stubborn stubble and avoid uncomfortable razor rash. The kit features a rich barbershop-quality shaving cream that promises a luxurious shave and a soothing post-shave balm that reduces the effects of razor burn, while leaving the skin smelling manly.

 

Tony Dury Novella

Novella Nostalgia Series by Tony Dury – £5.99 each

Who doesn’t love a gift of books? The Novella Nostalgia series by author, Tony Drury is the perfect gift for those literary lovers.  Forever On Thursdays is the latest story to be published as part of Tony Drury’s enticing Novella Nostalgia series which links iconic cinema classics with modern stories.

sugru

Sugru – From £6.99

Sugru has got to be one of my favourite products, it has so many uses and in my opinion would be the perfect present for anyone. With so many uses like making a tablet stand, customising ear buds and adding hooks to a barbecue the recipient will love a pack of this.

Reading Glasses

Eyejusters – From £69

These adjustable reading glasses are such a great invention, you turn the dials to focus in making them perfect for people who need to see the small stuff like crosswords, recipes etc. You don’t need to know the wearer’s prescription either so they are suitable for all.

dobell socks

Dobell Socks – £2.99

Who doesn’t love socks at Christmas? These cosy light blue and royal blue striped socks are perfect for wearing with formal or casual shoes and they come in two size ranges: 6-9, or 9-12.

echo dot

Amazon Echo Dot – £49.99

The Amazon Echo Dot is a brilliant device which will go down a storm with the recipient and will make for a fun Christmas day.  It’s a voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms and more.

Chilli advent

Chilli Advent Calendar – £35.00

The Big Chilli Advent calendar isn’t just for advent, the recipient will love this at anytime during the Christmas period.

The 24 chilli will take you on a world tour of heat with the smoky Mexican chipotle, fiery Indian bhut jolokhia, and sweet prik chee fah from Thailand – without even leaving your kitchen.You’ll experience a range of heat levels. From mild to lip-tingling, right through to volcanic, each day brings a new experience making this the perfect gift for chilli lovers.

ipad

iPad – From £419

Perfect for travelling or commuting, an iPad will keep the recipient organised and entertained.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated.