The health benefits of quitting smoking for the New Year

If you’re a smoker, you may be considering making quitting smoking your resolution for the new year. If you do decide to quit, not only will you find that you save yourself a great deal of money and enjoy a life of clothes and hair that do not smell of smoke – but you’ll also find that there are a number of health benefits that will leave you feeling more alive and may even prolong your life.

Here are five top health benefits to giving up smoking, and a few tips to help you do so.

1. You’ll prolong your life. Half of all smokers have a reduced life expectancy, dying of illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease. Not only are you likely to prolong your life by quitting, you’re also likely to enjoy an old age that is free from smoking-related diseases. Those who give up at the age of 60 can extend their lives by three years, while men who quit by the age of 30 can add a further 10 years to their life expectancy.

2. You’ll improve fertility. For women, quitting smoking can reduce the risk of miscarriage and improve the chances of having a baby that is healthy, as well as improving the womb’s lining. Men who quit will find that their sperm become more potent.

3. Your skin will look younger. Smokers often have a complexion that is lined and sallow, quitting can reduce this trait. Stopping smoking can also slow how quickly the skin on your face ages, and can delay the appearance of wrinkles.

4. You’ll be able to breathe more easily. Within nine months of quitting smoking, your lung capacity will increase by up to 10%. Lung capacity decreases naturally with age, so stopping smoking early can mean enjoying old age without breathing issues.

5. You’ll boost your immune system. Smoking weakens the immune system, meaning that smokers are more susceptible to coughs, colds and other bugs. By stopping smoking, you’ll improve your immune system and find yourself able to fight off these minor ailments far more quickly and easily.

Stopping smoking, however, isn’t easy: most people will have both the nicotine cravings and the physical addiction to holding a cigarette to contend with. Some swear by going cold turkey, but for those who find this too hard, electronic cigarettes are the current most popular smoking cessation aid. As well as offering the nicotine hit of cigarettes (in doses that can be reduced over time), e-cigarettes also offer the physical sensation of smoking, making it far easier to quit than simply stopping smoking and using no cessation aids.

By |December 17th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

Mummies (And Daddies): Working After Having A Baby

Although not a mother myself both my sisters and brother have young children so I’m always up to date with the latest goings on in the world of parenting. When my brother and his partner found out they were expecting early this year my brother and I got talking about maternity leave and how it would be nice if he could spend some time off with the baby too. That has almost become a reality thanks to a new law, from April 2015 parents will be able to split paternity leave. I think it’s a fantastic step forward as it means both parents can split paternity leave if that’s what they decide to do, even if they choose not to it’s nice to have the option available.

Whether you choose to work or not after a baby is a very personal decision. There will be so many people who seem to want to have their say in the matter, but ultimately, it’s your own choice. Whatever works best for your family might not be what works best for others, and this is an important fact to remember. Indeed, the notion of a stay at home mother is sneered upon by some – but to others it’s either something they feel compelled to do, or even forced. On the other hand, so-called ‘career women’ can also be looked down on – highlighting the sad truth that you can never seem to win. Of course, this is now 2014 – and so, when we talk about raising children, it’s really not always just a conversation about the mothers – or at least, it shouldn’t be. Fortunately, in line with our modern times, the law has been changed to incorporate fathers, when it comes to paternity leave. Both maternity and leave for dads can now be split equally, to suit individual family needs. Taylor Rose have produced a cute infographic, to let you know about the changes you might expect now that the new rules are coming into place. There are some fun facts on there, too!

Taylor-Rose-The-Changes-to-Maternity-and-Paternity-Leave-Infographic

Of course, after having a baby, you may find that your priorities have completely changed – and that’s okay! Some of us who thought we might be straight back into things, might find that actually, they want to take more time out. Conversely, those who thought they were happy to stay at home might want to take a little time developing a project for themselves – such as their careers. If you’re not sure what’s out there and haven’t a lot of time to spare (what new parents do?!), luckily the process of job searching online is super easy so you won’t need to arrange childcare and so on until you’re actually at interview stage. Luckily, as it says in this article, changes to the law also mean after you’ve been there at least 26 weeks, you can much more easily request flexible working hours to work comfortably around your new little family.

By |December 17th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 | Kids

Oh to be a kid again! There are so many toys I remember playing with in my childhood that are making a comeback and are proving just as popular the second time round. I love having nephews and a niece to buy for, although with so many toys in the market it can be hard to find ones that are suitable in age and that they will play with and not leave to gather dust in a corner (kids will be kids!). I have put together a kids gift guide which includes some top toys for 2014 which will hopefully provide you with some helpful gift inspiration. Most of the gifts are suitable from around 5 years +

kidizoom

Vtech Kidizoom Smart Watch

Vtech are well know and loved by parents and children alike. This year one of Vtech’s top Christmas toys is the Kidizoom Smart Watch which is suitable for ages 5-12. Children will have hours of fun with the 8-in-1 watch which is full of great features. There’s a camera for taking photos and videos, a fun voice recording feature with funny voice changing effects, fun games to play, and your little one can learn to tell the time using the digital or analogue clock. The 128mb of internal memory can store up to 900 photos or 15 minutes of video. The Smart Watch is available in 3 colours, white, blue and pink. Available from all good toy stockists with an RRP of £39.99.

Robofish

Robo Fish Aquarium Limited Edition Play Set

If you haven’t heard of Robo Fish where have you been? Robo Fish took the toy world by storm when they swam into our homes. Lifelike robotic fish which can swim in different directions and are entertaining to watch. This is a limited edition set which includes 1x Robo Fish, a fish bowl, a castle, 2x coral reefs, a fishing net and 6 batteries – the perfect set to introduce your little one to Robo Fish. The fish are water activated so simply fill the bowl with water, drop the fish in and watch them go. The Robo Fish Aquarium Play Set is available from Amazon, currently priced at £12.50 with free delivery.

Hexbugs

Hexbug Nano Hurricane

First there were Hexbugs, amazing little bugs that captured the imagination of children everywhere. NOW, there are Nano V2 bugs which are capable of climbing vertically in their habitat, capable of moving upside down and even travelling around a loop. The Hurricane set lets children customise the design and layout of the multi-level habitat. The Nano V2 Hurricane set is available from Amazon and good toy stockists. The set is currently reduced to £24.99 on  Amazon.

pokemon

Pokemon Battle Ready Pikachu

If you have a Pokemon mad child in your life then the Pokemon Battle Ready Pikachu is guaranteed to put a smile on their face this Christmas. Get ready for battle action! Pikachu fires foam disks up to 10 metres from the floor, a table top or even from sat on the shoulder thanks to the backpack harness. Pikachu also says over 7 fun phrases. Available from all good toy stockists. Pokemon Battle Ready Pikachu has an RRP of £29.99 but is currently available from Amazon for £18.99 with free delivery.

glowbook

Crayola Glow Book

This is perfect for the little artist in your life, let them loose with their creativity with the fun Glow Book from Crayola. Create amazing glowing, moving, animated art with this easy to use book. Includes 6 glow marker pens and 4 removable clear drawing surfaces which wipe clean for never ending creativity. The Crayola Colour Explosion Glow Book has an rrp of 29.99 but is on offer for just £10.41 at Amazon.

peskypirates

Spot the Sillies – Pesky Pirates

Jigsaw puzzles make great gifts and this one has an extra element of fun! Building Jigsaws is great fun especially if it’s a Spot the Silliest jigsaw puzzle, once the puzzle is completed it’s time to Spot the Sillies. Throughout the puzzle there are 10 silly things hiding in the picture, can you spot them? From trainer wearing dinosaurs to parachuting pirates it’s sure to have everyone laughing and seeing who can spot the sillies first. Spot the Sillies – Pesky Pirates has an RRP of £8.99 and is available from good toy stockists nationwide, you can find your local stockist by visiting Gibson Games.

dominoexpress

Domino Express Extreme

The Domino Express Extreme set (pictured) contains 180 dominoes for hours of fun domino action which will let little ones get creative and give them the ability to try different tracks and designs. This set includes 180 dominoes, flip up speed sections, rocket launch tower, marble run steps, plane launcher and an electronic auto dealer domino machine which lines the dominoes up for you. Available from all good toy stockists priced around £29.99.

airhogs

 Air Hogs RC – Zero Gravity Laser

Sure to be a hit this Christmas is the Air Hogs Zero Gravity Laser Car. The car features award-winning Wall Climber technology that allows the car to defy gravity. Shine the laser and watch the car follow closely behind, track the laser up the wall and amazingly the car will climb the wall after the laser, it can even travel upside down – now that’s impressive! Available from all good toy stockists priced around £29.99.

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Personalised Animal Name Print

If you have a newborn or young child to buy for then this gorgeous name print from Getting Personal is a lovely gift and keepsake. Each letetr of the name is spelt out using a selection of hand illustrated letters and can also be accompanied by a special message. You can also select a mount colour to suit the area the print will be hung, you can choose from blue, red, green, Cream Dusty pink and purple. I think the fact no two letters in the name will be the same is a lovely touch. The finished product is professionally framed and ready to be hun in a nursery, bedroom or special room. Available from Getting Personal priced at £54.99.

*This post contains PR samples and affiliation links.

By |December 16th, 2014|Categories: Christmas, Gift Guide|Tags: |0 Comments

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 | For Him

I find it difficult choosing presents for people, I want to buy them something they will like and use but I also like surprising them so try not to ask what they would like unless I am completely stuck for ideas. I would say men are harder to choose for than women, there are only so many times you can buy someone socks and aftershave. If you’re in need of some gift inspiration for the men in your life hopefully this gift guide might be just what you’re looking for.

powercard

Monster PowerCard

This is the ultimate present for the gadget mad man in your life or if they are always on the go. Technology now plays a big role in our lives and mobile phones are a part of that, whether it’s checking e-mails on the go, making calls or listening to music. There’s nothing worse than needing your phone and it running out of battery. That’s where the Monster PowerCard come in, it’s small enough to fit into a wallet yet powerful enough to provide a full smartphone charge. Available from www.shopmonsterproducts.co.uk and selected retailers nationwide with an RRP of £34.95.

Turtlewax

Turtle Wax Refine & Shine clay Bar Kit

For the car mad men in your life Turtle Wax have a whole host of products that will make them smile. Firstly the Turtle Wax Refine & Shine Clay Bar Kit is used to refine to surface to make waxing easier and longer lasting. The kit includes a non-abrasive clay bar which safely eradicates difficult to remove surface contaminants. The clay bar is suitable for use on all paintwork, fibreglass, metal surfaces including wheels, rubber and hard plastic. Available from with an RRP of £16.99.

Turtle Wax Black Box Detailing Kit

Did you know black cars are fast becoming the most popular colour choices? That’s why Turtle Wax came up with the Black Box Detailing Kit, ideal to help prevent the build up of surface defects. The it contains 3 products, Black Pre-wax cleaner, Black Carnauba Blend Wax and Black Spray Detailer, the products are designed to maintain a newer black finish. with an RRP of £24.99.

sugru

Sugru

Do you have a Mr fix it in your life? Whether they are an expert or a novice they are sure to love this fantastic product. Sugru has a playdough look and feel but is in fact a mouldable glue which hardens into a rubber. Sugru sticks permanently to a multitude of different surfaces including, ceramics, glass, wood, metal, plastics and fabric. You have 30 minutes to use Sugru to build, seal or fix then simply let it cure for 24 hours and it will turn into a durable flexible silicone rubber that stays stuck (unless you remove it). It is an incredibly versatile product and can handle heat, cold, wet, it’s also okay in sea water. Tthe limited edition festive tins are available from Sugru.com with an RRP of £9.99.

jamheadphones

Jam Transit Bluetooth headphones

If you know someone who loves listening to music then take a look at these fantastic headphones. Not only are they stylish, they deliver excellent sound quality without the hassle of tangled wires. There’s no more being tethered to your sound system, you can move freely from room to room up to 30 feet. Thanks to the integrated microphone you can also take calls on the go, they are compatible with all bluetooth devices including smartphones. The rechargeable batteries allow for up to 6 hours of wireless play. Available in black from HMV with an RRP of £59.99

tmlewin

tm lewin

If you have a fashion conscious man in your life then how about some clothes or accessories from TM Lewin. There are accessories, shirts, suits, everything their heart could desire and at great prices too. There are often offers available which makes it perfect for buying gifts for different people, their 5 shirts for £100 is a really popular offer and with free delivery available from online purchases too. There is a huge range of products available from TM Lewin in store and online at tmlewin.co.uk.

zippo

zippo Hand Warmer

It’s bitterly cold outside now so for the gentlemen who work outdoors or who feel the cold the Zippo hand warmer is a great choice. Designed to fit snugly into gloves or a pocket the Zippo Hand Warmer gives consistent heat for up to 12 hours. Guaranteed to be a great present to see the recipient through the cold Winter months, it is refillable so can be used time and time again, year in and year out. The hand warmer is available in black matte or chrome. Available from Zippo.co.uk with an RRP of £20.75.

albumcard

Albumcards

Albumcards are new for Christmas 2014 and are a very welcome addition, helping take the hassle out of Christmas shopping with their personalised greeting card plus music gift in one! It couldn’t be simpler, choose an album you know the recipient will love, add a personalised message and choose what day you would like the gift to arrive, it really is that simple and hassle free. When the recipient receives the albumcard they simply enter the unique reference number on the website and the album can be downloaded to any device. Albumcards are competitively priced at £10 or less and there over 100 titles to choose from. Available from albumcards.com priced at £10 or less per gift.

fishminis

Fish minis

These mini hair products make great stocking fillers. There are three products to choose from, each coming in a handy 25ml size. Fishfingers Shape Defining Wax, FishshapeTexturising Cream and Stonefish Matt Texturising Clay. They are available in Boots with an RRP of £2.99 each.

*This post contains PR samples.

By |December 14th, 2014|Categories: Christmas, Gift Guide|Tags: |4 Comments

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 | For Her

If you’re looking for gift ideas for female family members or friends this Christmas then look no further. The For Her gift guide has a lot of gift ideas which will hopefully help take the hassle out of choosing the perfect present this Christmas. Whether it’s something for the beauty lovers, a practical gift idea or something to help them relax there are some great ideas below that are sure to put a smile on their face.

braunface

Braun Cleansing Brush & Epilator 

New to the market is the world’s first facial cleansing brush and epilator from Braun. One machine, two fantastic functions – first a cleansing brush with micro-oscillation which delivers pore-deep cleansing for luminous skin, switch the attachments and you have a facial epilator that is perfect for maintaining eyebrows, removing hair from the upper lip, chin and forehead. The cleansing brush removes dead skin cells, exfoliates and encourages skin rejuvenation, what’s more it cleanses 6x better than cleansing skin by hand – now that’s something to shout about. This little beauty is perfect for those that lead a busy lifestyle, the epilator is faster and more thorough than using tweezers. The fact it is also waterproof means it is easy to incorporate it into your everyday routine, you can use it in the evening whilst having a bath or in the morning whilst having a shower and it’s suitable for sensitive skin. Available from Boots with an RRP of £69.99

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Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Gift Set

Joining the ever popular Marc Jacobs range is Daisy Dream, a light, floral and fruity scent that’s sure to be a hit this Christmas. With top notes of blackberry, pear and grapefruit, a heart of jasmine, lychee and blue wisteria settled on a base of white wood, coconut water and musk. As with the other Marc Jacob scents Daisy Dream is presented in a gorgeous sky blue bottle with several elegant white daisies and gold detailing. This is fast becoming my favourite Marc Jacob scent with it’s delicate scent, it’s perfect for day or evening wear and is suitable for all ages. The gift set includes a shower gel, a body lotion and a 50ml bottle of Daisy Dream perfume. As well as the gift sets Daisy Dream is available to buy in a variety of sizes, including 30ml, 50ml and 100ml. The gift set is available to buy from Fragrance Direct with an RRP of £46,99. The perfumes are also available from fragrance Direct, 30ml is priced at £32.99, 50ml is priced at £43.99 and 100ml is priced at £58.99.

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Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500 

If you’re looking for a gift that will keep on giving then look no further than the Lumie Bodyclock. The Lumie Iris 500 is the first system to combine light and aromatherapy to help wake you as nature intended. The faded sunset helps you naturally unwind before bed and the sunrise option helps wake you naturally. Thanks to the two chambers you also have the option of having a scent to help you drift off to sleep and one to help you wake up in the morning.  The Iris 500 not only looks good, it can help keep your sleep on track, boosting mood, energy and productivity. You can personalise a lot of the settings to suit your needs, such as whether to also have a beeping alarm, how long to set the sunset and sunrise, whether to use the white noise feature etc, it is a very customisable product. Available to buy from Lumie.com priced at £160.

vaseline

Vaseline

Vaseline is a Winter essential so it’s no wonder it’s found in stockings and under trees across the country. There are some fantastic Vaseline themed gifts available this Christmas which will take the stress out of choosing the perfect present for the ladies in your life, the gifts start from as little as £4.

The Vaseline Make Up Bag Collection contains two must have Vaseline products, perfect for pampering on the go. Inside the make up bag you will find Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy  Lips, perfect for keeping lips moisturised throughout Winter. You will also find the perfect hand care product, Vaseline Hand and Nail Lotion which will make sure your hands are always looking and feeling their best this season. Available from supermarkets nationwide price at £6.

The Vaseline Rosy Lip Pouch Gift Pack is a handbag essential. It’s a cute pouch which comes with a tin of Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Tint. Available from supermarkets nationwide priced at £4.

Vaseline Original Lip Tin Gift Pack contains 3 of the most loved lip tints, including, Vaseline Lip Therapy Aloe, Vaseline Lip Therapy Original and Vaseline Lip  Therapy Rosy. This makes a lovely gift and the tin is great for storing items in long after the products have been used. Available from supermarkets nationwide priced at £6.50.

luckforher

Avon Luck for Her Eau de Parfum

Available in a lovely cut glass bottle with gold bow detailing this will look great on a dressing tablet, a real show stopper. with top notes of Sparkling Bergamot Italian Opur and citrus scents. Includes notes of Redcurrant and Red Berry with a heart of Red Rose Petals and Night Blooming Jasmine. The base notes are Vanilla accents and Queen of the Night Scent Trek. Available to buy from avonshop.co.uk priced at £15

anew

ANEW Clinical Gift Set

Avon is great for beauty products, they offer a great range of products at fantastic prices. New for Christmas 2014 is the ANEW Clinical gift set is perfect for the ladies in your life who like to pamper themselves. Included in the gift set is, the award winning PRO Line Corrector Treatment with A-F33, PRO Line Corrector Eye Treatment with A-F33 15ml and PRO Line Corrector Hydrating Cream with A-F33 Trial Size 5ml. Available from avonshop.co.uk priced at £25

headphones

Jam Fusion Wireless Ear Buds

If you know someone who likes listening to music then the Jam Wireless Ear Buds are ideal. The Ear Buds provide superb quality sound while providing comfort, perfect for music on the go. On ear controls allow you to play/pause, change the volume and even take calls. The Ear Buds are sweat resistant which gives a better listening experience and makes them the ideal exercise companion. The headphones connect wirelessly via bluetooth enabled devices including smartphones and thanks to the rechargeable batteries you can have up to four hours of continuous play. Available in blue or black from uk.jamaudio.compriced at £49.99.

scholl2

Scholl Muscle Therapy Massager 

The fantastic 3 in 1 hand held massager from Scholl is the perfect gift for those who lead an active lifestyle but like to relax and unwind. The massager comes with 3 interchangeable modes and is great for sport enthusiasts or anyone who suffers with aching muscles. You can choose from three intensity settings, including, soothing infra-red, relaxing reflexology and intense percussion massage. The massager can be used with or without the handle depending on what are you want to use it for. Available from Debenhams, Argos and Amazon priced at £39.99.

unwindcd

Relaxation Training CD

This gift would be a great stocking filler for people who like to unwind and relax, unlike a lot of the relaxation CDs that are designed to have a short term effect this CD is designed to have a longer lasting effect. The three-step relaxation course teaches listeners to maintain a relaxed state at all times. There is a 10 minute introduction followed by a 20 minute relaxation session, once you are familiar with that session you can move on to the 10 minute sessions. The benefits of relaxation have been well researched and scientifically proven, relaxation is also an important key to health and wellbeing. The CD is available from Alpha Waves, the cd is priced at £10 which includes delivery, the downloadable version is priced at £8.

easylock

The EasyLock

This is a great present for someone who does a lot of travelling. The EasyLock is the first temporary lock that is designed to be portable, easy to use and lightweight. The lock is great for students, rental tenants, or for using when staying in a hotel for added peace of mind. The EasyLock is available from www.the-EasyLock.com and is priced at £24.95 with free postage within Europe and £4 worldwide.

*This post contains PR samples

By |December 11th, 2014|Categories: Christmas, Gift Guide|Tags: |1 Comment