Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Father's Day Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year again to spoil all the Dad’s in your life and let them know how much they mean to you, just in case you forgot Father's Day is on Sunday June 19th - put it into your calendar and take a look at some really special and thoughtful ideas below to inspire you this year.

Men can be notoriously hard to buy for, I mean come on there are only so many pairs of socks you can buy and I tend to reserve the ‘typical man gifts’ for Christmas time anyway. One of the gift ideas I love to give as a Father’s Day gift is always a personalised gift, it let’s the recipient know that you have put a some love and effort into the gift and my daughters always give something to their dad that is personal to him and he treasures those gifts. 

Father's Day Gift ideas From

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Two Beauty Boxes From LIB To Try This Month

Latest In beauty have kept a large loyal following by keeping their beauty boxes excellent value with up-to-the-minute brands and product launches. I have been a fan of the LIB beauty boxes for the last couple of years and am never left feeling disappointed or underwhelmed by their boxes and here are two that have really wowed me this month for their quality and value for money. It's always hard to choose from the selection at LIB but the Spring Edit caught my eye as it was full of useful goodies to take me into Summer and the Precious Petals box with products from L'Occitane I first heard about on Jane Cunningham/British Beauty Blogger's Periscope, a gorgeous curation of some of the best selling products from the L'Occitane family. 

With so many beauty boxes on offer to buy I find it hard to find a box or brand that delivers on value and quality products every time.  I have found with LIB I don't have that hum-drum factor and underwhelming feeling you can get from a hit and miss beauty box service. It's really about affordable hair and beauty products that beauty lovers want, they do include some full sized items but even the sample sizes are generous enough to give you plenty of use so you can test them out fully and then see if you want to go ahead and purchase the full sizes. 

Two great LIB boxes to buy this month - The Latest In Beauty Precious Petals Beauty Box Review & Glamour Spring Edit Review -  photos by

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Summer Haircare With TimeBomb

I've been following the TimeBomb range for a while now and I've shared how much I loved trying out the TimeBomb Collagen Bomb and just recently the TimeBomb Overnight Peel & Reveal  both have worked so well for my skin which was a surprise for the exfoliant as I have quite sensitive skin that reacts easily. When I saw that TimeBomb have launched a new hair care range I was keen to try them out as the range is perfect for keeping hair looking it's best for Summer. 

I tried the TimeBomb Larger than life Shampoo and Conditioner, Strike A Pose Modelling Hair Spray and  High Profile Thicken & Lift spray and my first impressions of the product packaging was that I liked the understated clear design - easy to read labels with full ingredient list are important to me. The sulphate free formula (of the shampoo) has a lovely fresh Summery scent and the no-fuss flip top's of both the shampoo and conditioner make them quick and easy to use. One of my real bug-bear's with hair care to use in-shower is when they have fiddly openings that are made even more tricky with wet hands! 


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Illness, Exams & Moving To Wordpress

I've been a bit absent from my blog over the last week as my youngest has had a terrible bout of tonsillitis which has seen her off to the doctors twice and we are waiting on a blood test to find out more. She has had a high temperature for over a week and although we are so used to her having tonsillitis as she has suffered with it since she was a baby this time it seems to have really taken it's toll and wiped her out - poor little thing. 

She has had good company though as her faithful friend Toots, our beloved pet cat, has kept her company while she recovers. It's such a sweet sight to see them both curled up together under her blanket and I'm sure it's helping her to recover this horrible illness. Just  a few weeks ago she was celebrating being ten and she was out on her new birthday bike (see the photo below of her pride and joy - her new Frog bike!) full of beans, since then it has been put away in the shed as she has been too ill to ride it. We are back to the doctor's tommorow as she now has a really bad cough as well as a very sore throat and her temperature just won't abate. It's so frustrating as there is little I can do to make her feel better, so we have all been giving her as much TLC as possible.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Ralph Lauren Polo Blue - A Modern Twist To An Old Classic

With so many mens fragrances to choose from it can sometimes be a little overwhelming when it comes to deciding upon that special gift. I tend to stick to the tried and tested favourites when a special occasion pops or I feel the need to spoil my OH with a bottle aftershave, once brand I go back to time and again is Ralph Lauren so I was happy to see that the new fragrance for men was out just in time for Father's Day - and it's available with a gorgeous and practical weekend bag.

I don't think I'm alone when I praise the generous GWP (gift with purchase) and I'm often drawn to stock up on one of my favourite perfumes/aftershaves when I see it has a luxury GWP which I know I will use. House Of Fraser have the stylish limited edition Duffel bag (worth £55) as a GWP when you buy the new Ralph Lauren Polo Blue EDP men's fragrance, and this makes a wonderful extra gift for Father's Day which you could fill with some extra gifts on the day if you are feeling extra generous!

Ralph Lauren Polo Blue & GWP photos by

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Organic Skincare From Inlight

Over the cold Winter months my skin has really suffered with dryness and sensitivity and even though Spring is here it still feels like it needs extra attention to bring it back to it's hydrated self. When this beautiful package arrived from Inlight I was delighted to try the 100% organic products out in a bid to improve my skin. Inlight have the most amazing range of organic skincare with a skincare regime or product for every skin concern and I have been really enjoying trying out two of their most popular products, the Organic Super-Food Face Mask and the Organic Floral Face Tonic. Can I just take a minute to say just how beautifully presented the products arrive! Just look at the pretty little box below, it was a delight to unwrap this on a rainy morning!

"Bringing Beauty To Life"

Inlight Organic Skincare Review by

Amica 9KG Washing Machine Review

With a family of four the weekly laundry pile gets bigger by the day and our 7kg washing machine just wasn't up to the job any longer, so I was thrilled to test out the 9kg washing machine from Amica and it couldn't have come at a better time. It never fails to amaze me just how much laundry I have to go through every week with my brood. Not only am I washing the usual school uniforms, work clothes and weekly bedding but it's all the extras too. The sports kits, after school club kits, mine and my OH's gym kits - not to mention all the cycling gear my OH get's through! It really mounts up and the only way I have found I keep on top of it all is to have a structure to the week and wash every other day. It's so much easier for me to do it this way as otherwise the ironing pile get's bigger and bigger and I would much rather do little and often rather that a huge mountain of ironing in one go!

Amica 9KG Washing Machine Review, photo's by

Friday, 15 April 2016

Easter Fun!

I've had a little time off from my blog over Easter to spend some quality time with my family, and wouldn't you know it we were hit by a sickness bug almost as soon as half term came! Although it was lovely to spend time with the children, a lot of the half term was spent either tending to sick kids or feeling ill myself - how typical! We had a few distractions in the form of some Easter crafts, and Easter eggs were firmly put on hold for a while until everyone felt a little better. We did manage to decorate some eggs by dying them as we do every year, I think the kids would be really horrified if I didn't bother one year to make them look pretty as they love the annual ritual so much - even when they are feeling ill!

We had some distractions (thank you Parragon Books!) in the form of these lovely Art Therapy books, one in Disney Frozen theme and one in Disney Princess theme - both gorgeous and such a godsend this Easter when my daughter was feeling 'bored' for the hundredth time. These Art Therapy books are really great (for any age) and even my teen was caught colouring in a few pages as it is so relaxing to sit and get creative for half an hour. We even sat together and made the cute bunny that Parragon Books kindly included in the delivery, he took pride of place next to our Easter eggs and we named him Hop!


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Giveaway To Win a Y-cam Home Monitor Camera Worth £125.00

If home security is something you are keen to get on top of this year then I have the perfect easy-to-use system which you can win on my great giveaway with Y-cam. For the security conscious individuals such as myself this is a great way to monitor your home whenever you are away, and is the only cloud based security camera system which has no monthly or annual fee attached. Given the honour of winning the Best Buy by the Sunday Times recently the Y-cam Home Monitor is a smart choice to keep your home monitored while you are away, and give you the peace of mind of a secure home.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Time Bomb Throwback Thursday Overnight Peel and Reveal Kit.

Last year I discovered the Time Bomb from Lulu (yes the actual Lulu!) and had real success with the Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue, Hand To Hand Combat Hand Cream and the ultra-moisturising Powerball moisturiser on my parched skin. The whole range concentrates on target areas of particular skin concern and I'm so pleased to say that on the 23rd March QVC are launching their new skincare product Peel & Reveal.

I always applaud any super charged exfoliation products, as at my age I find my skin needs a little extra help when it comes to refining my skin to get the 'youthful glow' back. Well as youthful as it's going to get anyway! There is much to be said for that dewy radiant skin you can achieve from products such as Time Bomb's Peel & Reveal, as not only can help lift away dead skin cells but also is very time effective as you only need to use it once a week - hence the 'Thowback Thursday'.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Forever Memory Bears - Free £35 Gift Card For All Readers

As the girls have grown up there are always a few items of clothes that I just can’t let go, a few favourites that have a special memory or meaning. But what do you do with them? How do you preserve them so you and your child can treasure them other than keeping them in a memory box which hardly sees the light of day? I had been pondering on this for quite some time until I came across Forever Memory Bears and their genius hand crafted solutions.

Once you have a collection of clothing items you can use the Forever Memory Bears expertise to transform the pieces into the most lovable and permanent reminder of their most favourite treasured clothes. No more stashing them away for safekeeping as they can proudly have their Forever Memory Bear on display to cherish forever with a collection of their most loved clothing on show for all to see.



Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Win With Huggies

HUGGIES® Giveaway

Just three weeks ago one of my friends welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world and since then I have been getting very nostalgic about all things baby! Even though our youngest is nearly ten I still remember getting baby ready with all the paraphernalia you need for a new baby. One of the things we really stocked up on while I was pregnant was nappies and wipes, we really forgot how many you can get through in a day and one feature we looked for was choosing wipes which were suitable for sensitive skin with no parabens or alcohol to aggravate the baby's skin.

When HUGGIES® approached me to offer a giveaway perfect for new parents I was more than happy to as their wipes are just so useful as any parent knows. What I like about the 'on the go wipes' is that they have a re-sealable closure on the pouch, and also the additional strap to attach easily to your buggy means you will always have a wipe handy when you need one, even when you are out and about. I found when my girls were babies we had a pack of wipes everywhere, in the car (in the boot and in the glovebox), in every room of the house and always in my handbag! If you would like to add to your supplies of wipes just scroll down to the Gleam App at the end of this post to enter the giveaway - good luck!

Giveaway with My Family Ties Blog and Huggies to win On The Go Wipes

Monday, 14 March 2016

Getting An Autism Diagnosis - Our Story

When our oldest daughter was born being our first child we had no benchmark to work from, all her firsts were just wonderful to us and we were unaware she had been born with autism. Perhaps it was masked by the fact she had a few other health issues such as profound deafness, and coordination issues. Her severe lack of hearing (although passing three independent hearing tests with flying colours) did get addressed medically by having an operation to insert grommets on two occasions and when she was eight she was diagnosed with dyspraxia.

Getting an autism diagnosis: Our story. 'Autism, Where direction is more important than speed' Our journey as a family in the diagnosis of our daughter's ASD/Autism. Read more at My Family Ties Blog.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Jevelo Bespoke Jewellery Review

Personalised jewelry is something I treasure, wearing a piece of jewellery that has been lovingly created for you with a special memory attached to it turns it from a beautiful piece to a treasured piece. Each time I pick up a necklace or bracelet to wear which has some special meaning to it I am conscious of the love behind it all day, some of my most treasured items are those personalised by my OH and our children and each time I wear them I think of them. So when Jevelo approached me to review a piece of their very unique personalised jewellery I was more than happy to trial the service. It’s quite like no other I have come across as you can have your own image engraved onto a shaped pendant of your choice. 

Jevelo personalised jewellery review photos by My Family Ties Blog

Friday, 26 February 2016

Funky Giraffe Bibs Competition

My friends have just this weekend had a beautiful baby girl and I have been busy putting together a hamper of goodies to welcome the new baby to the world. One essential for any new baby is a supply of bibs - they are so useful and gone are the days of boring white bibs as you can see from Funky Giraffe Bibs you can buy some really bright colourful ones.  

As you can see from the website below you can get bibs, large bibs, personalised bibs and even some accessories and money saving sets too from Funky Giraffe. Their colourful designs and practical features make them the baby items you can really rely on, and also hard to compare for their eye catching look and the high quality of each item. Funky Giraffe have offered a lovely competition for one of my readers to win 10 bibs from their range, all you need to do is enter at the end of this post using the Gleam App. 

Funky Giraffe Bibs Competition My Family Ties Blog

Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Family Book From Illustries Review

Whenever I see a family inspired gift that can get the whole family involved, I always bookmark the page to save for a special occasion gift. Time for me to get happy as this beautifully presented gift idea from Illustries is just the perfect present for Mother's Day. It's one of those jobs that rarely get's completed, a book dedicated to recording memories about everyone in your family. I have pictures, letters and notes all kept safe in a box from both my daughters and I really treasure them. The only problem with them is that they are all loose in the box and I would hate to have them get lost. What I value about The Family Book from Illustries is that you can record all the special things that make your family unique and individual and keep it pride of place and all in one piece.

Illustries Family Book Review photos by My Family Ties Blog

Friday, 19 February 2016

Win A Burt's Bees Collection

When I was approached to be a part of a campaign to talk about the work that Send A Cow are doing for developing communities, I was happy to be a part of spreading the news as they are ethically based and make such a positive impact on families and communities alike. 

Send A Cow are a charity who provide means for communities to grow and educate themselves to sustain a healthy small business, which will give them in turn not only food for their families but also the skills to run their own enterprise and share this knowledge with their communities.  I wanted to be part of this worthwhile campaign and for spreading the information about Send A Cow and for hosting the Burt's Bees competition with Bath & Unwind they are donating a Beehive on my behalf to an African village. 

To us this may seem a small gesture, but in reality this can change a family, change a community, to become a thriving enterprise and a much needed source of nutrition. To get an idea of the essential services which are provided by  Send A Cow charity, take a look below and for more information take a look at their websites. As part of this campaign and to pair with the donation of the Beehive, I also have a great pampering Burt's Bees gift set to give away to one reader from Bath & Unwind, all you need to do is enter following the link to the Rafflecopter competition page. 

Win A Burt's Bees Collection with Triodos Banking Send A Cow & My Family Ties Blog

Competition To Win Pink & Green Skincare

I have a lovely pampering giveaway for one reader to win from Pink & Green skincare to give you a month's supply of pampering for your skin. Pink & Green Skincare are a natural and organic skincare range to cleanse and nourish your skin to help to look your best. Blended with natural essential oils and rich nourishing organic base oils each kit is presented in a diminutive compact box which can easily fit into any letterbox, making this skincare kit an ideal collection to buy month after month. If you are looking to refresh your skincare regime and include some organic natural products this is the perfect set to begin with, to enter the giveaway just use the gleam app at the end of this post - good luck!

Pink & Green Organic Skincare Collection giveaway photos by My Family Ties Blog

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Organic Skincare From Spiezia Organics

Over the last few years I have found that organic natural skincare has much more of a positive difference to my skin so when Spiezia Organics sent me a Facial Discovery Kit to try I was excited to get started and sample the range. What's not to love about this kit! All perfect trial sized products in a pretty and useful fabric make-up bag with a lovely quote on the back of 'Smile Beauty Comes From Within" this would make such a lovely and thoughtful Mother's Day gift idea and the presentation of this is so perfect to gift. The box of five organic products are all housed in the presentation box which has a tied ribbon closure, and it is wrapped carefully with tissue paper in the cosmetic bag, it makes a great gift.

Spiezia Organic Skincare Review photos by My Family Ties Blog

Friday, 12 February 2016

Origami Valentine Hearts

Just a few days ago my youngest daughter and spent a lovely afternoon making lots of pretty origami Valentine hearts to make some cards for the family, I saw the lovely DIY Blonde on This Morning last week and managed to record the segment of her making origami hearts as I thought it would be a fun activity to make with my daughter. 

I'm so glad I did as we had such a lovely afternoon making some pretty hearts and adding them to some cards I had picked up from TK Maxx last week to make some home-made Valentine cards for the family. I am by no means an expert crafter but I love to try out new things and it takes me a while, but I get there in the end! The clear instructions for this cute origami heart are made so easy by Sophie in the videos below, she has a knack for creating crafts which are easy to follow and look really unique and professional. I love the look of these origami hearts and the geometric design gives it a really funky modern twist. 

Origami Valentine Hearts photos by My Family Ties Blog

January Degustabox & £6.00 Discount Voucher

We have been testing out the January Degustabox so I have left this review for a while so we could try out all the contents. Every month once I get the text telling me my box is on it's way and will be delivered within a two hour slot we all get a little excited, as this is a subscription box we can all enjoy and our daughter's love to come home from school and see what tasty goodies are in each box. I thought the January Degustabox was good value for the contents, although some of the items included were from the same brands as previous boxes, it would be great to see some different brands being highlighted in future boxes. 

When the box was delivered one of the items was damaged and I have to say that this is only the second time this has happened in over a year, and the first time was my very first box. Degustabox are offering a huge £6.00 off your first box if you would like a taster, just use the code at the end of this box when you order. The boxes are £12.99 each and you can cancel any time which is good meaning you are not locked into a long subscription at all.

Degustabox January food subscription box  blog review from My Family Ties Blog

Monday, 8 February 2016

His & Hers Valentine Ideas From Getting Personal

It's nearly that time again to find a special gift for your loved one and this year I have spotted two really lovely ideas for Valentine's Day from Getting Personal for him and for her. It takes a month or two for me to leave some subtle hints to my OH what I may love to receive on February 14th, you know the sort - leaving magazine pages open on a certain item, or leaving the product page open on the PC! I know this may sound a little outrageous of me, but he himself let's me know he is glad of a little gifting guidance when it comes to special occasions, yes he knows all the little things I like after 16 years together, but it's those unusual personalised ideas that he needs a little nudge with. 

I really love a personalised gift from my family, and my favourite gifts have been specially thought out gifts with words or phrases printed on from my loved ones. If you have had a look at the Getting Personal website you will have noticed the huge array of gift ideas for every price point, for young and old alike. There are so many ideas to have your message inscribed on and my two favourite ideas to gift to your Valentine are the Personalised Mini Russian Ring Necklace for her and the Personalised Onyx Men’s Dressing Box for him.

Valentine's Gift Ideas From Getting Personal Photos by My Family Ties Blog

Friday, 5 February 2016

Valentine Gift Ideas

Every Valentine's Day I like to find some practical and useful gifts ideas for my OH and I am really lucky that every year I am treated to some really lovely gifts, the most precious are little things I have seen over the year which he has remembered and gone back to buy. I love the funny and romantic cards my OH buys me and re-reading the sentimental lines he writes in them makes me feel lucky we are still so in love. Anyway enough of the slushy stuff! and on to my top six Valentine gifts for him and for her, notice an absence of chocolates here  - I'm trying to keep on with the healthy eating plan so all calorific treats are off the list! 

Valentine Gift Ideas From My Family Ties Blog

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Win Nelson's Arnicare Bath & Massage Balm

Nothing is more relaxing than a soothing massage and this bath and massage balm from Nelson's is a great start to unwind with either a soak in the bath or to get your loved one to give you a lovely massage to de-stress you. Nelson's have put together a great giveaway for six of my readers to win a bottle of their bath and massage balm to treat themselves or someone else. 

Having a massage has so many therapeutic benefits and as a massage therapist myself, there is nothing better than seeing a client leave my treatment room feeling relaxed and refreshed after a massage treatment. Not only can you relax, reduce stress, improve your skin tone, reduce muscle tension, improve quality of sleep, but after a massage can also help to decrease blood pressure and even help with chronic muscle pain. Everyone has a different reason for booking a massage and the benefits are often surprising, as blood flow and lymph circulation are increased in the body and regular massages can strengthen the immune system greatly. This bath and massage balm from Nelson's Arnicare will be the perfect medium to get your nearest and dearest to give you a therapeutic relaxing massage - just enter at the end of this post.

Win Nelson's Arnicare Bath & Massage Balm With My Family Ties Blog

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Win Penhaligon's Scent Library

I have a lovely competition today to share with the man in your life, a beautifully presented Penhaligon's Scent Library from Qwerkity - or you could just keep them for yourself as the fragrances are just beautiful. Carefully selected from Penhaligon's best selling exotic and sensual fragrances there are 5 scents for women and 5 scents for men all housed in a handbag sized slimline tin, the perfect size for gifting or treating yourself.

Win A Penhaligon's Scent Library With Qwerkity and My Family Ties Blog

ZBOX January Review

I was so thrilled to receive my first ZBOX to review as it is something completely different to trial, and as you know if you read my blog I do love to try out subscription boxes and this box offers something really unique. If you are new to ZBOX it's a monthly 'geek themed' box which is £19.99 for a one month subscription, or if you prefer you can subscribe for 3, 6 and 12 months. Each month your new box will have a particular theme, past boxes have had Star Wars, Back to The Future and Ghouls & Ghosts as the main theme with £35.00 worth of goodies inside. 

I just want to highlight the amazing artwork on the inside of the box which will make you want to keep it, as it is so beautifully illustrated with Mad Max graphics and really deserves a mention. My thoughts on the box are that it offers great value for the price and gives you some unique and often limited edition products you would never have been able to source otherwise. The surprise of the contents is the real key here, with current themes and trends catered for as well as some classic items too. The price point being just under £20.00 I think offers value for money considering the contents, and some months will include a t-shirt (you just have to select your size when ordering the boxes) as well as other sought after merchandise. I would certainly subscribe myself after this taster of the ZBOX as my inner geek just can't resist the diverse treats with each surprise box and similarly this really appeals to our teen daughter too. 

January 2016 ZBOX review by My Family Ties Blog

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Win A Pink Laundry Bag From Brabantia

I have been kindly offered some amazing competitions this year to give away to my readers and here is another very useful prize to tidy up your laundry from Brabantia - and it's pink too! This perfectly sized laundry bag from Brabantia is portable, has a large capacity and can be folded flat when not in use as well. In an eye catching pastel pink colour with handle flaps which shut so you can drop your dirty laundry though the circle opening. 

What I really love about this laundry solution is that once you are ready to do your wash you can use the handles to carry it to the washing machine very easily. Being pink is a bonus for me as I love the colour! It is a light pastel pink and really brightens up the house during dreary January. The unfussy modern design fits well into any household and the practical nature of the laundry bag makes this one of my favourite additions to our household this year. 

The laundry bag is very well made and priced at £27.50 which is great value for an item which the whole family uses daily. It doesn't take up much space and is sturdy enough to stay upright ready for use, and it is also very easily collapsable. Once closed the magnetic locks on the handles keep it securely in place until full and you need to carry it to the washing machine, then you just lift up the handles to carry. With a two year guarantee and a huge 55 litre capacity this handy laundry bag will help keep your home organised, and hopefully make a boring household chore a little less dull. My teen has already put her order in with me for the bright red version which she wants for her room, which makes me happy as at least it will transform her 'floordrobe' !! 

Win A Brabantia Pastel Pink Laundry Bag With My Family Ties Blog

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Get Fruity Competition

One thing I am always on the look out for when I do my supermarket shop is a healthy option to add into my trolley for lunch-boxes and to have in my handbag if hunger pangs strike. We all have different tastes in our house so I usually end up buying all sorts of different types of fruit and cereal bars to please everyone! When Get Fruity got in touch to try out their range of British, gluten free fruit and oat bars I was really keen to see if my family would like the new addition, especially as they are made with 100% natural ingredients and not loaded with sugar as so many are. Get Fruity are kindly offering  to give away three mixed Get Fruity boxes to my readers! 

Get Fruity Competition To Win A Box Of Sugar Free, Vegan Bars With My Family Ties Blog

Monday, 25 January 2016

Win A Lumie Bodyclock Iris

I have a fantastic competition in collaboration with Lumie for one of my readers to win a Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500 so you can try out the benefits of this innovation in sleeping and waking with the gradual sunrise/sunset glow of the clock rather than the horrible beep beep beep we are all so used to! Not only does the Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500 gently wake you up with the slow gradual sunset, you can also use it at night to give a gradual sunset and you have the option of adding some relaxing/reviving aromatherapy oils into the aromatherapy chambers to enhance the experience. If this sounds like something you would like to try, all you need to do is enter using the Gleam App below. 

Win a Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500 with My Family Ties Blog

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Rossi Uvema Hydrating Cleansing Oil

Over the Winter my skin has been so very dry so when the hydrating cleanser from Rossi Uvema arrived for me to test I was thrilled to try it out and see if it was suitable for my skin. Boasting 100% natural ingredients, and free from parabens, SLS, SLES, PEG's, petroleum derivatives, fragrances, and colours. The formulation is also Vegan Society registered and naturally hydrating with rice bran oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, borage seed oil, avocado seed oil, plum kernel oil and vitamin e oil (tocopherol) to give the most emollient hydrating face and neck cleanse. 

Rossi hydrating Cleanser Oil  Review  photos by My Family Ties Blog

Friday, 22 January 2016

The Zodiac Legacy:Convergence By Stan Lee & Andie Tong Book Review

When we received last month's book to review from Parragon Books I knew it would be the perfect read for our oldest daughter Siobhan who just loves to read fiction of all kinds, what I wasn't prepared for was how much our youngest Lara (aged nine) really enjoyed the mysterious novel by Stan Lee. She is our little reluctant reader and in a house full of book worms although she loves to be read to, she is a little less keen to read a whole novel herself.

The Zodiac Legacy by Stan Lee is a fantastic mystery novel suitable from 8+ and the mixture of text combined with beautifully illustrated comic style pages makes this a really compelling read. This book started out with Siobhan (16) reading it from cover to cover in two days, she just couldn't put it down! It was then Lara's turn and it became a new book to read aloud before bed, she enjoyed it so much she has started taking it to school every day to read in class too! What a success and I think the draw for my nine year old was the fact it's a mix of eye catching comic style illustrations and a fantastic mystery which starts with a school trip and unfolds into a really interesting story. 

The Zodiac Legacy:convergence By Stan Lee & Andie Tong Book Review

Time Bomb Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue

Last year I really liked the results of the Time Bomb products on my skin so when I received this tube of Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue I was keen to give it a try on my dry Winter ravaged skin. Having lived in Australia and New Zealand for some years I know first hand the damaging effects the sun can wreak on your skin and to be honest living in such hot sunny countries really changed the way I tackle sun protection and my skin. These days I always use sun protection in my skincare routine without fail, every day. I don't want to take any risks and jeopardise the condition of my skin, and I certainly don't want to start noticing any premature wrinkles either!

Time Bomb Over Exposed Sun Damage Rescue Review  photos by My Family Ties Blog

Win Echo Falls Wine

Just in time for Valentine's Day I have a lovely giveaway in collaboration with Echo Falls to share with your loved one. A perfect gift to give to someone special or for yourself I have two bottles to give away which look suitably pretty to give as they are - no wrapping required! 

The Echo Falls Rose is a limited edition wine with a floral twist, if you have tried and liked their Fruit Fusions range you will love this limited edition bottle which has the subtle addition of roses for a romantic twist. To win one of two bottles of this floral limited edition Echo Falls wine all you need to do is scroll down to the gleam app and enter using the various methods, best of luck!

"‘Cupid’ winemakers at Californian wine brand Echo Falls have been experimenting with innovative flavours to create an Echo Falls Limited Edition Fusion that will perfectly tickle taste buds (and pull heart strings) on the most romantic day of the year."

Echo Falls Rose Limited Edition Valentine Wine Competition On

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

New Children's Glasses From Specsavers

Our youngest Lara has worn glasses ever since she was three and get's regular check ups at our local Specsavers in Daventry. They couldn't be more helpful and any time she has had eye strain or problems with her glasses, I have popped to the store and had excellent service. When I was contacted by a PR from Specsavers to write about their service and of course the glasses themselves from our local opticians, I was more than happy as we have only had positive experiences from Specsavers.

Each time we have visited for a new prescription for Lara, she has longed to progress to the Teen range as they looked so much more grown up to her! None of the glasses have fitted her well in this range as she is only nine however she always wants to try a few out! This time she was torn between the cute Minion range they had in store (see below) and a tortoiseshell (or leopard print as she calls them) pair in the older girls range which she absolutely loved. Being only nine doesn't stop Lara looking for clothes and accessories which are really made for older girls, so she was thrilled to bits when she tried on the pair of tortoiseshell glasses that were the next size up and displayed on the 'Older Girls' stand! 

Review of Specsavers children's tortoiseshell glasses photos by My Family Ties Blog

Friday, 15 January 2016

December Degustabox Review & £6.00 Off Discount Voucher

A new year and my first Degustabox was delivered with great anticipation from the family! At £12.99 per month you will get 9-14 products which are new to the market to try before or as they hit the shops. It's a novel way to discover new brands and re-discover older more established brands at a good price, each months box will give you a generous saving on the actual combined cost of the all the contents. I have found from many of the items included in the Degustabox I have gone on to buy quite a few of the products over the last year. 

January Degustabox Review Photos By My Family Ties Blog

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Paper Planes DVD Giveaway

I have a fantastic DVD giveaway today of the heart-warming Australian movie Paper Planes directed by Robert Connolly, starring Sam Worthington from films such as Avatar and Terminator Salvation and Ed Oxenbould from Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Also starring Australian born David Wenham famous for his starring roles in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, 300: Rise of an Empire and the epic movie Australia. 

Released on DVD on 25th January the story follows 11 year old Dylan in Australia whose interest in flight takes him on a fantastic journey to Japan to compete in the Paper Planes championship. The story has many rich characters, and Dylan's journey sees him face hostile bullies and also the emotional bereavement he and his father and are going through after the death of his mother five months prior. A charming Australian film which will captivate your imagination, and take you on a journey with the true story of friendship spanning two countries based around a little boy's love of planes. For your chance to win a DVD so you can see it for yourself just enter below and take a look at the trailer too to get an idea of the film.

Paper Planes DVD Giveaway

Review Of Room The Movie Directed By Lenny Abrahamson

Earlier last month I posted a competition in collaboration with Studio Canal to win a whole host of goodies inspired by the film Room, out this week (January 15th) by the acclaimed director Lenny Abrahamson. I have had an early 'home screening' of the movie and I can tell you it is one to keep you enthralled and there are outstanding performances from Brie Larson who plays Joy and Jacob Tremblay who plays her son Jack. It's an emotional film which takes the viewer on quite a journey and at times I was tearful at the touching performances and script especially Jacob Tremblay, whose outstanding acting make you empathise so much with his character.  I would be very surprised if he didn't win the awards he has been nominated for and he is certainly an actor to watch, at times you forget he was only nine when he made this film.

The story unfolds that Joy has been incarcerated by 'Old Nick' played by Sean Bridgers seven years ago, and has had a child Jack as a result. She was just 17 years old when she was kidnapped by Old Nick and Jack believes that the room they inhabit is all that there is in this world. The dismal and squalid room they live in is just four walls, no windows with one skylight, and although Jack is allowed to watch the TV, Joy (or Ma as Jack calls her) has convinced Jack that it is all magic or make believe and that all that there is in the world is the four walls that protect them and of course Old Nick. 

Room The Movie Review By My Family Ties Blog

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Cohorted December Black Beauty Box Review

I was so busy with the Christmas run-up that I didn't manage to fit in my review of the December Cohorted Beauty Box and with a slight delay on the January box I thought I would share it now before the new box arrives. It was a brilliant collaboration with Michelle from Thou Shall Not Covet so I was confident it would be packed full of quality products perfect for any beauty lover. I always look forward to a carefully curated box from a beauty blogger such as Michelle as we all have our favourite brands and products and it's great to find new ones and even re-discover old favourites too. The cost of the monthly Black Beauty Box edition is £35.00 & P&P and rather than the system they had prior, it is now subscription only. 

Cohorted Beauty Box December Review Photos by My Family Ties Blog

Monday, 11 January 2016

Look Incredible January Beauty Box Review

In November I reviewed the first Look Incredible beauty box and what a great introduction it turned out to be. It was really good to see full sized products included in the new beauty box offering and with a little fine tuning each month, the Look Incredible team are set to deliver better results month on month taking customer feedback into account. With this fine tuning they have changed their name formally called Smarzprice they are now called Look Incredible - Feel Gorgeous ( I can see also they have altered the quality of the box itself, and as a customer I feel this makes all the difference as when I receive a new beauty box, the anticipation of what's inside is high, and a well presented box makes all the difference.

At £18.99 per month for the subscription you really do get value for money and with such a competitive market for beauty boxes, us as consumers have such a great choice out there, and for me finding such great value and with full sized products to boot this beauty box is a real diamond. The total value of January's Look Incredible beauty box is £87.49 and it really doesn't disappoint on quality of product or value in my opinion. 

Look incredible Beauty Box Review January - Photos By My Family Ties Blog

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Competition To Win A Bundle Of Room Movie Goodies From StudioCanal

If you have read the 2010 novel Room by Emma Donoghue you will know what a wonderfully captivating plot line it has, it is a story of emotional discovery and the unbreakable bond between a mother and her five year old son through huge adversity. I have a wonderful competition in collaboration with StudioCanal for one of my readers, in the run up to the release of the Award Winning film on the 15th January 2016 to win a bundle of merchandise from the amazing new movie and also three amazing StudioCanal DVD's to enjoy as well.

"From acclaimed director Lenny Abrahamson and based on the best-selling novel by Emma Donoghue, ROOM stars Brie Larson and a breakout performance from Jacob Tremblay, with three-time Academy Award® nominee Joan Allen. ROOM has just been nominated for 3 Golden Globes - Best Film, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay."

Competition To Win Room Movie Merchandise With StudioCanal and My Family Ties Blog

Giveaway Competition To Win Room By Emma Donoghue Merchandise From The Award Winning Movie Released January 2015, Competition with StudioCanal and My Family Ties Blog