With these six tips for getting your sun summer ready you will be happy to wear summer clothes and make the most of the sunshine.

It looks like Spring is finally here. The last few days have been lovely and sunny. Spring flowers are appearing in gardens and the birds are starting to think about building nests. It is lovely to see the sun again. Once the sun starts coming out we start to think about bringing out our summer clothes. Jumpers and boots which were perfect for the winter are too heavy for the sunshine. Lighter clothing means the chance to show off our skin again. Sadly over the winter the skin often gets neglected and it needs a little pampering to get it looking good again. I have put together some tips for getting your skin summer ready. If you start now your skin will be looking good in time for the summer.

Six Tips for getting your skin summer ready.

Follow these six tips for getting your skin summer ready and you will be ready to bare in the summer.

Exfoliate

Wearing layers of clothing over the winter can cause dead skin cells to build up, leaving our skin looking dull and lifeless. Exfoliating regularly will remove the dead skin cells making your skin look fresher and younger. Choosing the right exfoliating scrub is half the battle. I like to use one with natural ingredients like this Crazy Angel Halo Polish Scrub (RRP £10.10). It is infused with Sesame and Bearberry which moisturise your skin.  Soft white pearl beads will  gently remove dead skin cells. It works really well on my skin making it feel softer and smoother giving it the perfect boost for the summer.

 

Crasy Angel Halo Polish Exfloiating Scrub

 

Invest in an exfoliating scrub that uses natural ingredients, like sugar and salt (not beads) and apply all over your face and body while you’re in the shower. Keep in mind that the skin on your face, neck and chest is thinner than the rest of the skin on your body, so use something that’s more gentle in these areas. Pay special attention to dry spots like your elbows and feet. A body brush can really help get these areas looking soft and smooth.

Moisturise

The summer sun acts to dry out skin. Prevent this happening by making sure you moisturise in the morning and evening. This will make your skin look fresher and make your tan last longer. It will also make your skin feel softer. Why not use a moisturiser than also contains self tan to get that golden sunkissed glow without the sun. It will build your tan up gradually without adding extra time to your beauty regime. I have been trying out Crazy Angel Golden Tease Gradual Tan (RRP £11.00).  The mild tanning agents have given my skin a lovely streak free golden glow.   It works really well as a moisturiser as it is enriched with Bearberry, Shea Butter and Vitamin E.  The smell is nice as well, unlike some fake tans.

 Crazy Angel Golden Tease Gradual tan

 

Hydrate

Water is important to your body. Over half your body is made up of water and without it your body can’t function correctly. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and bring on headaches. Lack of water can also leave your skin feeling dry and tight. In the summer your body is losing water as sweat due to the warmer conditions. This needs replacing to keep you looking and feeling your best. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water a day or more if you can manage it. Your skin will thank you for it.

Protect

The ultraviolet rays from the sun can have a harmful effect on the skin. As well as causing sunburn if you stay out too long they also have an ageing effect on the skin. Make sure that you apply sunscreen before you go outside. Don’t forget the ultraviolet rays are still present, even on cloudy days. It is good practice to always apply sunscreen and reapply every two hours if you are outside for a long time.

Apply a tan

Nothing makes you feel like Summer has come more than a tanned skin. Getting a tan naturally can take a while and is not good for your skin. If you don’t have the patience to use a gradual tan why not fake it? Crazy Angel Bronze Instant Airbrush Self Tan (RRP £15.30) is a great way to get an instant bronze glow that develops after two hours into a natural looking tan. It is easy to spray on with the 360° spray allowing you to apply it to difficult to reach areas. As well as tanning agents it contains  Aloe Vera and Vitamin E  to moisturise your skin and produce long lasing results.
 
Crazy Angel Bronze Instant Airbrush Self Tan
 
 

Don’t forget your feet

Feet are on show over the summer when you wear strappy sandals. Often the skin on the feet suffers from being in boots all winter. The result is hard skin patches that look unsightly. Invest in a pedicure or buy a tool to help you remove hard skin from your feet. The Micro Pedi  is one tool that does a good job. Don’t forget to moisturise your feet and invest in a manicure. Coloured nails look really nice with sandals.

If you start practising these six tips for getting your skin summer ready you should have skin to show off once summer comes. Do you have any other tips to add? Let me know below.

Six tips for getting your skin summer ready

 

I was sent some Crazy Angel products to try out at home. I did not have to say anything nice and my opinions are my own.

 

 

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Le Gros Book photo book from Printic is a fun and unique way to display your photos. Every page of the book can be personalised to suit your style.

I love taking photographs. The consequence of this is that I have memory cards and hard drives that are full of photographs. When I want to find a specific photo it is not easy. I have great plans to organise the files into a system that makes sense but the reality is that I never find the time. Digital photographs are fine on memory cards for storage but nothing beats having them displayed in a photo book. It is a great way to look back at memories and share them with others. Recently Printic got in touch to tell me about Le Gros Book. This is a new type of photo book which allows you to add a personal touch to each page with stickers, colourful paperclips, felt tip pens and tape.

Le Gros Book Photo Book from Printic

If you want a fun and unique way to display your photos Le Gros Book could be what you are looking for. This DIY photo book is really easy to create. Go to  Printic and choose the Gros Book option. You then get the option to upload the photographs you want to include. The minimum number of pictures is forty and the maximum is fifty. Once the photos are added you can crop and customise them the way you want. Choose from a range of emojs, text or filters to add different effects to each photo.   Finally you can add a frame.  There are three different frames to choose from, vintage, funky and fancy which add different coloured borders.  Once you are happy with your book just order it and wait for it to arrive.

Printic Le Gros Book

A little while later a colourful box arrives with the contents of Le Gros Book. Inside the photos are printed on glossy sheets with colourful borders. The border has holes so you can assemble the book as you wish. There are two thick covers made with thick card which have metal borders and eyelets as well as a selection of cards that you can use to separate your book into sections. The fun part is the selection of pens, stickers, paper clips, tape and other things to allow you to customise the book.

Le Gros Book from Printic

Customising Le Gros Book

Customising my photo book was a lot of fun. First I put all the photos into sections and used the card dividers to separate the sections. I then put the covers on and joined the book together with the rings provided. This made a sturdy book which will fit nicely on the shelf. I then set about adding some customisation. First I added some tape and stickers to the front cover to show exactly what was in the book. I am not the most artistic person in the world but I was happy with the bold statement the cover made.

Le Gros Book from Printic

Inside the photographs are nice quality and really glossy. I could have added stickers to the borders but I thought they looked lovely on their own. The brightly coloured border really sets the photos off.

Let Gros Book from Printic

Where I had the most fun was customising the pages that separate the sections. Using the photo corners, cards, stickers and different styles of paper clip I could make different unique pages for each section. It adds a unique quirky style to the book.

Le Gros book from printic

I am really happy with my Le Gros Book from Printic and at £34 it is a good price as well. If you know someone who loves crafting they would love this as a gift. It is fun creating the book and it is a lovely way to show off your photos.

If you are looking for ways to improve your photography why not check out my photography hints. How do you display your photographs? Do you use photo books or something else? Let me know below.

Discount Code

For a discount of 20% off Le Gros Book use the code: DRAGONSANDFAIRY20 at the checkout. The code is only valid two weeks until the 12th Dec but will give you time to order a photo book for Christmas.

Why not pin for later?

Le Gros Book from Printic is a photo book which you can customise yourself. Add stickers, tape, paper clips and other things to make it your own

I was sent Le Gros Book in return for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

 

 

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If you are a fan of puzzles the Ravensbuger Big Ben Silhouette puzzle will keep you busy for ages. This is a shaped puzzle which features Big Ben and other London landmarks.

Every so often I like to do a jigsaw puzzle. There is something relaxing about having a puzzle on the table and taking the odd few minutes to figure out which pieces go where. I take my time, adding a few pieces each time I pass the puzzle. Eventually the pieces all fall into place and there is a sense of achievement that comes with having finished. Recently I have been trying the Ravensburger Big Ben Silhouette  puzzle. The puzzle is in the shape of Big Ben and features Big Ben along with other famous London landmarks. When complete the puzzle will be a metre high.

 

Ravensburger Big ben Silhouette puzzle

 

Ravensburger Big Ben Silhouette Puzzle

The box is sturdy and contains a bag with the jigsaw pieces and a warranty.  The front of the box shows what the puzzle should look like when complete. As well as Big Ben you can see London Bridge, a telephone box, London taxi and a London bus. These are all iconic landmarks that visitors to London will be familiar with. The back of the box shows the other jigsaws in the silhouette range. The puzzle pieces are well made and sturdy. When joined together the jigsaw is smooth and it could be made into a wall hanging when complete.

I have to admit I am finding the Ravensburger Big Ben Silhouette puzzle a bit of a challenge. I am used to doing square or rectangular jigsaws. My usual approach is to complete the outside of the jigsaw and then fill in the middle. With this jigsaw this approach is more difficult. The curved nature of the sides does not make it easy to work out what goes where. The puzzle is also very large and I am going to have to move it off my jigsaw board in the near future as it will not fit. Before you start it would be a good idea to make sure you have a big enough area to assemble it.

curved pieces of Ravensburger silhoutte puzzle

 
I have managed to do some of the edges but have found a better approach is to try and put together some of the areas which have a distinctive pattern. The clock face is one of these areas and I have almost managed to complete this section. The walls of Big Ben are a little bit harder as all the pieces are of a similar colour. It will take me a while to figure this out. There do seem to be lots of areas which have similar colours. There are lots of areas with plenty of red, yellow and blue which makes completing the puzzle a little harder. Searching for the pieces becomes more of a challenge because of this.

Ravensburger big ben silhoutte puzzle

The easiest thing to do is to look for the pieces with detail on and try and fit these together. I had success with the front of the bus for example. It was easy to find pieces with lettering on and fit them together.

Ravensburger big Ben Silhoutte jigsaw

In Summary

I love doing jigsaws and have tried quite a few different ones like the Tower of London jigsaw and the Medieval house 3D jigsaw. The Ravensburger Big Ben Silhouette jigsaw is proving to be more of a challenge, it is a lot harder to do. Having said that I am enjoying the challenge. I will certainly be happy when I finally complete the puzzle. If you know someone who loves jigsaws this would be a perfect gift. Just make sure they have a table big enough to hold it first.

I was sent the puzzle in order to do a review. My opinions are honest and my own.

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Have you ever wondered what to serve the little monster in your life? The Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook provides everyday recipes for the living and the dead. Serve up tasty dishes the next time zombies drop round for tea.

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook

Did you know there is a Monster Supplies shop tucked away on an East London Street? Hoxton Street Monster Supplies has been supplying quality goods for the monster community for hundreds of years. It was set up in 1818 by a refugee monster called Igor, an attempt to ingratiate himself with the local monster community. In reality, inside the doors there is unique and original sweet shop. The shelves are stocked with Fang Floss, Picked Eyeballs and other interesting oddities. A basket contains a purring invisible cat and you might think twice before purchasing anything. 

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is actually part of a project called Ministry of Stories which aims to promote imagination and storytelling among school age children. The store also runs workshops to encourage and mentor young writers. Created in 2010 with the support of Nick Hornby, author of Fever Pitch, the store is a great way to get children thinking up stories. All the profits from the store go to the Ministry of Stories, due it is said to a rather inconvenient curse.

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook

The Hoxton Street Monster Supplies cookbook is a classic cookbook that has been in use by monsters for hundreds of years. It contains everyday recipes for the living, dead and undead. Recently the book has been adapted for use by humans as well as monsters. Now you can cook up treats for every occasion as well as finding hints for monster housekeeping. The 160 page hardback book is worth £13, contains over 70 recipes and is beautifully illustrated.

Inside the  book you will find mix of recipes and general advice and wisdom. It starts with the introduction and some information about the shop. There a very handy guide on the golden rules for entertaining monsters. Did you know dragons and yetis should be seated at opposite ends of the table for temperature control? You should also be aware that zombies take things very slowly so allow plenty of time for the meal.

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies cookbook

The recipes are broken into different sections:

  • Sweets & Pastiles
  • Biscuits & Cookies
  • Cakes & Bakes
  • Jams & Preserves
  • Savoury snacks for entertaining monsters
  • Potions & Poisons

Most of the recipes have strange names like gingerdead men and spiced earwax pie. If you can get past the revolting names and read the list of ingredients you will find the recipes are normal.   The book is full of tasty and original recipes as well as come classics. They are definitely worth cooking up. There is a small introduction to each recipe which are quite funny and some have illustrations as well. Intermixed with the recipes are words of advice and wisdom. These can be labels for buffets or gifts or information on how to carve a human. It makes entertaining reading as well as being a good recipe book.

1000 Year Curse Cookies

I tried out the recipe for 1000 year curse cookies from the book.  These can be used to curse your friends and provide 1000 years of misery per cookie. Luckily there is also a recipe to reverse the curse. Really these are just chocolate chip cookies and very tasty they are. They are also easy to make and children could easily help.

thousand year curse cookies or chocolate chip cookies from Hoxton Street Monster supplies cookbook

Making the biscuits is simple, it is just a case of creaming the butter and sugar the adding eggs, vanilla essence, flour baking powder and chocolate chips to make a dough. It is always a good idea to leave the butter out of the fridge for a while before making the cookies. This softens it and makes it easier to cream. After baking for fifteen minutes you will have delicious cookies that will not last long. Will you be cursed for eating them?

1000 Year Curse Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 25g 4oz butter
  2. 175g 6oz light soft brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tbsp milk
  6. 200g 7oz plain flour
  7. 1 tsp baking powder
  8. 100g plain dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 18oC (350 F) Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  3. Add the vanilla extract. Beat the egg and add it a little bit at a time mixing well after each addition
  4. Stir in the milk and then sift in the flour and baking powder. Fold it in and finally add the chocolate chips
  5. Place 16 spoonfuls of the mixture on the baking tray and press down with a fork
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
thousand year curse cookies aka chocolate chip cookies from Hoxton Monster Supplies Cookbook

Check out these videos which show more recipes from the book.

 

 Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook Giveaway

I have some copies of the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook to give away to three of my readers. It would make a great gift or a good addition to your cookbook shelf. It is really easy to enter. Just leave a comment below letting me know which type of  monster you would like to entertain at a dinner party and why. When you have done that go back and fill in the rafflecopter widget so your entry is registered. There are other entries for subscribing by email, following on twitter, visiting facebook and tweeting about the giveaway but these are optional. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Rules

  • There are  three prizes of a box of a Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookery book – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
  • Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees and relatives of Dragons and Fairy Dust and Hoxton Monster Supplies
  • Closing date for entries is on 11:59pm GMT on 24th Nov  2016
  • Only one entry per person
  • Entrants must log into rafflecopter and leave a comment on the blog answering the question.
  • Optional entry methods are to follow on twitter, visit facebook, tweet on twitter and subscribe by email.
  • The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
  • Automated entries will be disqualified.
  • The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 14 days or a new winner will be chosen.
  • The winner’s name will be available on request.
  • Hoxton Monster Supplies is responsible for prize fulfilment. The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address.
  • This is a joint promotion between Dragons and Fairy Dust and Hoxton Monster Supplies
  • Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions

 
Giveaway to win one of three Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbooks

 
I was sent a copy of the book in return for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

 

 

 
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Why not create a personalised cushion from Mr Nutcase? Turn a treasured photograph into cushion to make a lovely and unusual centrepiece for your sofa. Different sizes and shapes are available.

Isn’t it amazing the way that digital photographs can be turned into all sorts of different items. It is a really lovely way to get creative with your photos. You can create statement pieces for your home or beautiful gifts that others will treasure. I remember the days when film was inside the camera and had to be developed. You didn’t know what the photography was like until it was developed. Now the process is much easier and you can edit your photos before you print them.

Recently Mr Nutcase got in touch and asked me if I would like to review one of their personalised cushions. I was more than happy to do so. I have lots of lovely photographs of my dog, Eddie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and thought this would be a great way to show them off.

Personalised cushion from Mr Nutcase

Personalised Cushion from Mr Nutcase

I chose a large 22″x 22″ cushion in swede with a photograph of my dog on one side. I am really pleased with it, the quality of the photograph is excellent. A couple of times I have thought that Eddie was really sitting there, until I looked again. You can see how true to life it is when you see him sitting next to it.

Personalised cushion from Mr Nutcase

A few days after I got the cushion Eddie was taken ill. He was yelping in pain when he moved and just lying around looking sorry for himself. When I took him to the vet they found out he had pancreatitis and he had to be hospitalised for treatment. It was so strange not having him in the house but having a personalised cushion with his picture on was a great comfort.  He is back with us now and making a slow recovery. Hopefully he will be back to normal soon. Eddie loves the cushion and has taken to sitting next to it on the sofa.

Back of the cushion

The cushion is made from swede and is very soft to the touch. The back shows how well it has been made, even the zip has been hidden in the fabric.

Creating my personalised cushion

It was really easy to create my personalised cushion, the only hard part was choosing which photo to use. Once I chose I just had to choose the size and style of the cushion I wanted. The material can be either linen or swede and the cushion can be rectangular or square. The square ones are in different sizes, the smallest is 12″x 12″ and the largest 22″x22″. Once you decide which you want then you can upload your photo to the site. The photos can come from your computer, facebook or instagram. You can then design your cushion.

Personalised cushion from Mr Nutcase

There are options to add text and clipart to the cushion and you can also add a background colour to the cushion. I just used the photo. Once this has been done it is easy to make an order. Just log into the site and fill in your details and payment details. Delivery was really fast, I had the cushion within a few days. Information about the progress of the order was sent via email so I knew when it had been dispatched. Making a personalised cushion from Mr Nutcase was very simple and the final result is stunning. These cushions would make an ideal gift.

If you are looking for other gift ideas then why not have a look at Toxic Fox who have a great range of gifts for ladies.

Have you ever created a personalised cushion? What photo would you use if you did? Let me know below.

A personlised cushion from Mr Nutcase. These cushions are a great gift idea. Choose your photo and the cushion is created from it

I was sent a cushion in return for a review but my opinions are my own. I was not obliged to say anything nice.

 

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