Monday 30 November 2020

8 Christmas Decorations I'm Loving This Year

8 Christmas Decorations I Love This Year

*None of the links in this post are affiliate links*

Have you got your Christmas decorations up yet? 

We haven't, we are putting ours up next weekend, but since this weekend was dubbed the most popular weekend to decorate for Christmas, I thought I'd share with you, 8 of my favourite decorations I have found whilst online shopping this year. 

We don't really have a theme as such when it comes to Christmas decor, we have lots of different decorations that I suppose you could say are family decorations, we have things both our daughters like, we have cute things, we have lots of sparkle and we even have a small tree decorated purely with Star Wars decorations, that one is down to my partner, Simon. 

Anyway, I'll stop chattering on and let you know where the decorations I'm loving are from and how much they are, there will be direct links to them all, just click the price to be taken directly to the items. 

1. Polar Bear And Cub - The Range £12.99 - I love this, my eldest adores Polar Bears, she always has, and she will also love this, we have lots of Polar Bear decorations and this will fit in perfectly with them. My daughter is extremely creative and she decorates our house and tree beautifully for Christmas,  so I can imagine she would create a lovely Christmassy scene with this.

2. Christmas Countdown Decoration - Marks & Spencer £12.50 - When I saw this on the M&S website, I thought it was so cute, I love the little Father Christmas and sleigh on the top and it's so cute as the sleigh has little presents in it. A nice ornament for Christmas and nice if you have children too who might like to change the numbers. 

3. Reindeer Storage Bag - Next £12.00 - How cute is this? I don't really have a clue what I'd do with it, but it's cute, right? Maybe I could roll some festive throws up and store them in it? Or I could put Bears toys in it and use it as a Christmas doggy toy box? Or it could just sit there looking cute, who knows? It is really cute though! 

4. Family Word Block - Next £14.00 - I love this so much, we are such a close family and this is perfect for us, we all lovely anything family-related so this is something we'd all really like.

5. Reindeer Baubles (set of 2)  - Next £6.00 - These are just perfect for our tree, fluffy and sparkly, they'll fit in just fine, I love the little red noses and sparkly antlers, super cute and more affordable than I thought they'd be too. 

6. Alphabet Light Up Letter Decoration - Marks & Spencer £4.00 - I really like these and for the last few years I have wanted to get these in our family initials.  I see them every year but as soon as they come online, the Z is out of stock, I wonder if they don't make as many Z's because it perhaps isn't as popular as other letters? It's out of stock again this year sadly, but my parents need to go to M&S once it is open again later in the week, so they are going to look for one for me, so fingers crossed. I don't want to hang them on the tree, I want to use them as ornaments on our sideboard, hopefully, this will be the year I can. 

7. Glitter Polar Bear Family - Next £14.00 - More Polar Bears, these are less cutesy than the other one, but I love it, you may not know this, but Bears are our family thing, they are very important to us and anything Bear related always draws me in, not usually Polar Bears as much,  but because my daughter loves them I am always drawn to them too. Last year my daughter made our lounge windowsill into an arctic theme with the decorations she used, it was beautiful and I think these will be a lovely addition for this year. 

8. Small Pudding Room Decoration - Marks & Spencer £5.00 - This cute little pudding just drew me in, I love it, I have no idea where to put it, but it's so cute that I'm sure there'd be some room for it. There is a larger one if this is a bit small for you, but I liked the smaller one, plus it will be easier to find a space for. 

So there are 8 Christmas decorations I'm loving this year, in all honesty, I could have written a 25 or 50 decorations I'm loving this year post, but I think it may be a tad too much. There are so many nice decorations this year, I have looked on B&M and Home Bargains online too and on their Instagram pages and they have some really nice things too, in fact, our daughter bought a nice room decoration from B&M and some packs of baubles, they have lots of lovely things and are definitely worth a look.  

Hopefully, I will get some of these decorations before ours go up next weekend, I'll be sure to let you know if I do. 

I hope you like the 8 things I chose, which is your favourite? 



Wednesday 25 November 2020

A Great Christmas Gift Idea For Dogs & Humans

My First Christmas Gift Guide 2020 - Neves Bees

*This post contains press samples. Links are not affiliate links*

Today I have my first Christmas gift ideas post, and the gift I am sharing is from a lovely company in the UK, Neves Bees

Who Are Neves Bees?

Neves Bees are a feel-good mother and daughter business, with their products made using natural beeswax from their bees in West Oxfordshire, blended only with sustainably and ethically farmed butters and pure essential oils. They use recyclable tins, card and linen for their packaging and they are currently trialling a 100% biodegradable oil proof label. Neves Bees donate five pence of every order to BBOWT, their local wildlife trust, which is a really lovely thing to do. They also work with charities to help those who are feeling sad or lonely to experience the joy and happiness that being outdoor, and doing things outdoors, brings. 

Their story is so lovely and really made me smile, you can read all about it on their website here.

And their motto, which I love, is "if you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin" 

Their product range includes lip balms, hand salves, foot balm, solid perfumes and cuticle butters to name a few, and they also have some really lovely gift sets too. 

Aside from lots of lovely products for us humans, they also have products and gift sets for our animals or our fur babies as I like to call them. Pets are our family, after all, right? 

Neves Bees Dog Products Gift Box - £16.00

A Great Christmas Gift Idea For Dogs & Humans

As well as a fantastic range of products for humans, Neves Bees products for dogs are also made with the same ethos and 100% natural ingredients. Neves Bees products are also "lick safe", which for me was really important as I wouldn't want to put anything on my dog that could potentially harm him. 

A Great Christmas Gift Idea For Dogs & Humans

The Dog Products Gift Box contains the Neves Bees Paw Balm and Snout Salve, the packaging is simple but nice and there is no waste which you don't often find with packaging so it's nice to see. Inside the box are the products which come in easy to open tins with paw prints on the labels which are cute. 

A Great Christmas Gift Idea For Dogs & Humans

Neves Bees Snout Salve - £8.50

A Great Christmas Gift Idea For Dogs & Humans

The Snout Salve is a soothing and gentle dog nose balm designed for your pooches dry nose or any patches of skin that might need soothing, it can be used on itchy skin or stings as well as on a dry nose. It is packed with Oxfordshire beeswax and natural oils which traditionally reduce skin irritation and help with the healing process, it is easy to apply and has a really light consistency and it is completely lick safe too so if your dog licks it, they won't come to any harm. 

Each tin contains:

  • Beeswax from bees in West Oxfordshire – helps to naturally seal moisture into the skin
  • Organic Sunflower Oil – high in vitamin E and thought to reduce inflammation
  • Organic Hemp Seed Oil – a rich oil thought to soothe irritated skin
  • Apricot Kernel Oil – quickly absorbed into the skin to help moisturise and nourish
  • Natural Vitamin E – an anti-oxidant and natural preservative
  • Calendula Oil – extracted from Calendula flowers, and traditionally used to promote wound healing
  • Niaouli Oil – traditionally used for skin irritations and insect bites
  • Chamomile Oil – traditionally used to soothe inflamed skin
The Snout Salve smells lovely and I was surprised how light it feels. I was expecting a Vaseline type consistency but it isn't like that at all, it is light and easy to use. Bear, our pooch didn't mind having it applied but he did lick it and with it being lick safe, I didn't have to worry. Being a Poodle, Bear is susceptible to having a dry, cracked nose, which can be common for the breed, and although his nose is fine now he's only young, we can use the Snout Salve regularly to keep his nose nourished and moisturised so that hopefully he won't suffer from a dry nose as he gets older. 

Bear suffers from Hayfever (I know, who knew dogs get Hayfever?) and when dogs itch they often lick their paws, Bear does this when his Hayfever is bad, and often ends up with little pink spots on his paws which look inflamed. It is hard to keep him from licking them (thank goodness for doggy socks) but now we will be able to use the Snout Salve on those little pink spots to help with the irritation and inflammation he gets from licking his paws.

Neves Bees Paw Balm - £8.50

A Great Christmas Gift Idea For Dogs & Humans

I have seen quite a few different products on the market designed for dog paws but I have always been cautious to try them because of the ingredients, so when I saw that the Neves Bees Paw Balm is completely natural, I was so pleased. The Paw Balm is a rich, nourishing paw moisturiser created to care for cracked dog paws, it is 100% lick safe like the Snout Salve and is ideal to help with rough, dry or cracked pads and paws. 

The balm is easy to use and absorbs really well, it is very nourishing and will help paws damaged from the cold, heat or rough ground. Bear being young, doesn't really have an issue with his paws, but they do feel rough from him walking outside in the garden and when he is taken for a walk. He isn't ever taken out for walks in very hot or very cold/frosty or snowy weather because we are very conscious of him hurting his pads. Being a tiny boy, he doesn't have to go for a walk every day as playing fetch indoors is quite enough exercise for him, but he does have to go to the loo in the garden whatever the weather, so it's great to know we can apply the paw balm especially in the summer and winter when his pads are most at risk. 

Each tin contains:

  • Beeswax from bees in West Oxfordshire – helps to naturally seal moisture into the skin
  • Organic Sunflower Oil – rich in vitamin E and thought to reduce inflammation
  • Organic Shea Butter – a great source of vitamins A and E, shea butter is a fab moisturiser providing a boost for dry skin
  • Apricot Kernel Oil – quickly absorbed into the skin to help moisturise and nourish
  • Natural Vitamin E – an anti-oxidant and natural preservative
  • Calendula Oil – extracted from Calendula flowers, and traditionally used to promote wound healing
  • Lavender Oil – traditionally used to soothe skin which is irritated or sore    
Neves Bees products are 100% natural with no paraffin, parabens or other artificial preservatives or emulsifiers, just pure beeswax from West Oxfordshire, natural plant and seed oils and precious essential oils specially selected for pooches. 

A Great Christmas Gift Idea For Dogs & Humans


As you can probably already tell from my post, I absolutely love the Neves Bees Dog Products Gift Box, both are lovely, easy to use and Bear doesn't mind having them applied either, which if you're a dog owner, you'll know is a very good sign. They both smell lovely and are completely natural and I love that they are lick safe, it will be brilliant in the summer to be able to use the Snout Salve in particular when Bear suffers from Hayfever and inevitably licks his paws and ends up with little pink inflammation spots.

And if you are like us and you buy your own dog and friends or relations dogs a gift for Christmas, then this gift box or any of the single tins is a great idea and a great alternative from treats and toys. 

If you want to purchase the Neves Bees Dog Products Gift Box, you can find it on their website here or if you don't think you would need both of the balms, then you can buy them separately here

And if you don't have a dog to buy for, don't forget, there are so many incredible products on their website for us humans too, including some lovely gift sets, you can check out all their products here.

Both products are a big paws up from Bear. 

A Great Christmas Gift Idea For Dogs & Humans

Have you tried or heard of Neves Bees? Do you buy your or anyone else's dog a Christmas gift?



Saturday 21 November 2020

Lee Stafford NEW Hair Growth Collection - AD/PR

Lee Stafford NEW Hair Growth Collection

If you have been reading my blog for a long time, you'll know that I am a big fan of the Lee Stafford hair products and hair tools. So a few weeks ago when I received some products from the NEW Hair Growth Collection, I was really looking forward to trying them. 

The two products I received are the Hair Growth Activation Treatment and the Hair Growth Styling Treatment Cream, both are in the Lee Stafford bright pink packaging and both have the Lee Stafford signature scent. When trying products, sometimes I will ask family members to try them too so I can give a perspective of someone else who may have a different skin type as me or face shape etc, or in this case, hair type. And when I received the products, I knew just the person to try them out with me, my eldest daughter. 

We both have different hair types but also have similar hair concerns and issues, so I thought she was the perfect choice to give her opinion on the products too, and she loves trying new things so she was happy to help. 

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Activation Treatment £9.99

Lee Stafford NEW Hair Growth Collection

The original Hair Growth boosting Intensive Treatment with a blend of powerful proteins to lengthen and strengthen hair from within.

Accelerate hair growth

Helps hair grow longer and faster

Vital hair and scalp complex helps reduce hair loss

Improves the condition of hair from root to tip

Repairs and reduces breakage

Healthy scalp

Great fragrance

Lee Stafford NEW Hair Growth Collection

The original Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment is an intensive hair saviour that is full of Pro-Growth complex, which conditions and strengthens from within. The soothing formula reduces irritation and moisturises the scalp, providing the perfect base to help hair grow faster. The new Hair Growth Treatment range has double the amount of Pro-Growth complex and plant-based proteins for longer, stronger hair. The Hair Growth Treatment helps to reduce hair loss by improving follicle health and in turn, increases the ability of the hair to anchor to the scalp. 

Lee Stafford NEW Hair Growth Collection

Both my daughter and I suffer from hair loss and we both have incredibly thin hair, my daughter's hair is bleached, so is on the dryer side but she does get oily roots sometimes too, my hair is dyed but with a tint, I don't have bleach on mine, my hair is very oily and not dry at all.

The Hair Growth Activation Treatment is easy to use after shampooing take an egg-size amount of product and apply to the hair from root to tip and leave for 5 minutes before rinsing. The treatment should be used every time your hair is washed until you see an improvement in the condition, and then once a week to maintain the condition of the hair. 

When we first tried the treatment, in all honesty, we didn't think it would do much, we thought it might be a gimmick, but I should have known better than to doubt a Lee Stafford product. From the first time using the treatment, we could both feel an improvement in our hair, it felt lovely and soft and did feel a little thicker. We continued to use it as advised and it has made such a difference to our hair, my daughter's hair condition has improved, it has grown and feels thicker, my hair feels soft and sleek and feels thicker too, we are both really happy with the result, so much so, we stocked up on some more!

Lee Stafford Styling Treatment Cream £8.49

Lee Stafford NEW Hair Growth Collection

A multi-tasking Hair Growth Protein Cream that styles whilst repairing hair from the inside out. Grow it Long, Grow it Strong. Created for hair that won’t grow past a certain length. Now with double the amount of PRO-GROWTH™ complex, containing plant-based Lupine Seed Protein, to protect from damage and breakage.                                               
 Lightweight Styling 
Heavyweight Strengthening 
Encourages Growth 

The Hair Growth Styling Treatment Cream is an intensive leave-in treatment that makes hair look better, feel better and grow better, it is a strengthening treatment that also doubles up as a smoothing styler that reduces split ends and smooths hair and calms frizz leaving the hair sleek and hydrated. 

The styling cream is used after the hair has been washed and towel-dried, using a pea-sized amount (or more if you wish) distribute the cream through the hair from the roots to the ends, do not rinse and style as normal. 

The styling cream left both mine and my daughter's hair feeling very soft and looking sleek and shiny, which is nice as blonde hair doesn't always look shiny. Since we've been in lockdown, then local lockdowns, tiers and whatnot, our hair hasn't been cut and coloured as it usually would, mine has been cut once in the last 11 months and my daughters 3 times, and as a result, we both have split ends. The cream definitely makes the split ends look much better, and our hair feels lovely, I don't have those annoying flyaway strands on the top of my head which drive me mad and my daughter's hair feels lovely, not dry at all and no frizz in sight. 

Overall Thoughts.

Lee Stafford NEW Hair Growth Collection

Both my daughter and I thought the packaging of both products was nice, we both love pink so it's a win-win, both products have the Lee Stafford signature scent and are both easy to open and use. 

Our hair definitely feels fuller and my daughter has noticed hers has grown a considerable amount considering the time frame of using the products, I stupidly didn't check where my hair was in terms of length, and 99% of the time I wear my hair up so I can't comment on growth but it is long and my family all say they think it's grown when they dry it for me. 

Both products leave our hair feeling soft and silky and looking smooth, the leave-in treatment really helps with split ends and our hair looks lovely and shiny too. We used the treatment each time we washed our hair at first but now we use it once a week as advised, it feels nice when it's on the hair, and my daughter said it is easy to distribute through the hair and easy to rinse out, and for those who may need someone to wash their hair like I do, she said it is easy to apply, use and rinse out of my hair too. 

We both love both products and they do both do exactly what it says on the tin, the only negative we could find is that if we use both products together, our roots do go oily quickly, mine more so than my daughters. That is something that is easily rectified though and now we don't use the leave-in treatment when we have used the Growth Activation Treatment and we don't have oily roots. Usually, if I use leave-in hair treatments, my hair does go oily quickly, especially at the roots, but it hasn't done with this product and other Lee Stafford leave-in treatments I've used in the past too to be fair. 

Overall we both love both products, both do what they claim and make our pandemic hair look much and feel much better than it did, whats not to like? It's a 10 out of 10 from both of us. 

If you would like to try the Hair Growth Activation Treatment or the Hair Growth Styling Treatment Cream, you can find them, and all the other products in the NEW Hair Growth range on the Lee Stafford website, here.   

Have you tried any of the NEW Lee Stafford Hair Growth product range?
What are your thoughts? 
Links in this post are NOT affiliate links.


Tuesday 17 November 2020

Long Time No See

Where to start?

I never meant to take a break from blogging, it just happened in line with things happening in my life really and before I knew it, months had gone by. I had always planned to come back but with so much going on, it just wasn't the time, but in hindsight, I should have come back a lot sooner, it would have helped. 

My blog has always been an escape for me, an escape from real life, somewhere I can be Zoë and not "poorly Zoë" or someone people feel sorry for, I do have a lot of health problems going on, some extremely serious, all serious and all that have crippling side effects, but I am still me, I'm still in there somewhere and when I'm able, I like to escape, talk to my laptop (I use voice dictation) about things I'm enjoying and take me away from the reality of my life for a little while.  

So I decided now is a good a time as any to come back, and especially after recently and also earlier in the year, having some new diagnosis to deal with that knocked me for six. I thought that since blogging was something I enjoyed, plus I needed that escapism more than ever, so here I am. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been sat wallowing in self-pity for months, but usually, I am quite good at getting on with things, but this year I haven't been the same and things have had an effect on me. But, I'm here now and shall escape and chat to you all once more, and if you are new here, beware, I'm a chatterbox, talking is the one thing I'm good at so apologies in advance for the, shall we say, in-depth blog posts.

I was going to touch on the year so far, but I think we can all agree, 2020 has been downright rubbish, and nobody wants a War & Peace style blog post about what's been happening with me and mine. 

Moving Forward

So, here I am, and now what?

I'm going to carry on blogging as before, and I'm also going to go back to some of my old school blogging days too. 

I will also be sharing some Christmas gift ideas with you, this year I have chosen some new and small businesses to support as well as some established ones.  

To be honest, I'm just pleased to be here, in my escapism, chatting away to my laptop again, and I hope you'll be pleased to see me here too.


Thank you for reading, let's do this.....

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