Pairfum Reed Diffuser – Innocent Vanilla

Do you ever think about what goes into your home fragrances, perfumes, beauty products etc.?  Many of us are now looking more at natural products as we learn about the benefits of these and the detrimental effects synthetic products and some natural products can have.  This brings me on to a recent discovery of mine a company called Pairfum London.  These guys are specialists for perfume lovers.  On their site I discovered some gorgeous products including organic skincare, something that I am sure will be of interest to many of you, perfume, room sprays and perfumed botanicals to name just a few.

We are in the process of Spring cleaning.  I have been trying to collect clothes that no longer fit, toys that we no longer use and donating them to charity shops to help others.  By doing this I am hoping to make the house look more inviting and less like a 2.5 year old tornado has just hit (commonly referred to as Mr Squishy.)  In my efforts I am not just looking for a minimalist look I want to create a living area that is inviting, relaxing and beautifully fragranced.  In order to achieve this I knew exactly what to do having seen diffusers on the Pairfum London site.

Diffusers make a lovely gift and when correctly positioned in a home these can create a stunning centre piece to a table or focal point in a room.

Diffusers are NOT all the same and you can include air fresheners in there too.  There are many different scents to state the obvious, they are presented / packaged differently from bottle style to colour but also importantly they have different qualities due to the ingredients.  Not everyone gets on well with diffusers / air fresheners.  The oils / ingredients whether natural or synthetic can irritate those with asthma.  This is due to the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which are found in natural essential oils as well as air fresheners and diffusers in general.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds?

These are organic compounds that can change to gas or vapour form.  This means that at room temperature they can evaporate easily and quickly.  They can occur naturally and can also be man made.  Some VOCs can cause adverse health effects in humans and others can cause damage to the environment.  Not all VOCs are harmful some can help promote health and well being.  You can’t avoid VOCs as anything that has a scent contains them whether it is natural or synthetic.  Many man made VOCs are found in cleaning products, cosmetics, toiletries, paints, carpets, paint, wood, you get the picture they are everywhere.

In this country we spend a fortune on scented candles, air fresheners etc. but evidence is now showing that these can actually be quite detrimental to health.  The rise in sales of these products over that past number of years has also coincided with an increase of respiratory problems.  Formaldehyde for example which is found in products such as disinfectants, building materials, glue and also air fresheners has be linked to certain types of cancer after prolonged exposure, food for thought for when you next reach for that spray or plug in air freshener.  Air fresheners have been shown to trigger and exacerbate allergies and worsen asthma.

The USA has become very strict in regulating VOCs since California’s Proposition 65 (or prop 65) was introduced.  The UK and Europe on the other hand have no restrictions in regards to VOCs in home fragrances even though the research is there to demonstrate that they can cause many health issues, something we in the UK should be concerned about as the treatment of these increases the strain on the failing NHS that bit further.

  For those that want to experience great quality diffusers and have in the past found conditions such as asthma are aggravated by them and also of course for those that are health conscious and want to enjoy having a beautifully scented home without the negative effects to their health then Pairfum London is the company you need.  Not only do they pride themselves in producing fragrances that we will fall in love with they also use their scientific understanding to create more unique products than other brands and also aromas that will last.  Their reed diffusers which look stunning use a highly fragrant and natural non-VOC oil serum (non-toxic).  Now that you are all experts in VOCs having read my above explanation you will understand that this is much healthier for you and your family.  The scent of the diffuser lasts longer than the typical reed diffusers, you get between 6 and 9 months of fragrance.  The large diffuser provides enough fragrance to fill a room and each time you walk into the room you can smell the aroma as it fills the air.

My new Innocent Vanilla bell diffuser now graces our mantle piece and I must say looks stunning and makes the room smell really lovely.

What do you think?

This has had a few compliments already as it looks fantastic and it’s the first thing that catches the eye as you come into the living room.  I love the bell diffuser on it’s own as it looks so pretty and I think that the addition of the Ivy, large dish and pine cones really make this the main focal point in the room.

I love this diffuser and look forward to buying some of the other aromas that I discovered on the site when this one finishes as well as some of the other products I just need to decide what to try next, decisions decisions!

Do you use diffusers or air fresheners in your home?  If so were you are of the health implications?

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The Therapeutic Effects of Teddies

Teddies make a wonderful gift for children whether you are buying for them for a birthday, Christmas or an alternative to sweets and chocolate for Easter.

We all love teddies whether we are young or old but eventually we grow out of them or at least we claim too and cuddle our teddies at night when no one can see.

It’s interesting that scientist have actually researched the therapeutic effects of soft toys.  We all know that they are great for children but they are also good for adults too.

They act as a comforter for both young and old and make a wonderful confidant for children as they will never tell anyone their owners secrets.  Adults can feel free to confide in them too although I must admit I’d feel a bit daft talking to a teddy myself but apparently it can actually help.

Teddies are great to hug and interestingly this can reduce stress.  Hugging reduces stress hormones and can also alleviating conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Soft toys are also great for older children and adults by serving as a reminder of childhood and also of the person who bought it.

The appearance, colour of the teddy is irrelevant in terms of their healing benefits it’s all about the attachment formed by the individual to the toy.

Warmies a recent discovery of mine have added an additional benefit to their teddies – heat!

This makes them that bit more cuddly and welcoming.  They also help children / adults feel better when they have tummy aches, cramps caused by wind, menstrual cramps (stating the obvious – in adult females), muscular pains and more.  The application of the warm toy to the area increases the blood flow to that area which can reduce any swelling, relax muscles, reduce / relieve pain, discomfort, stiffness and much more.

Of course in cases where there is a condition aggravated by heat you are best to just use the teddy as a toy.

Warmies have a fabulously large range of these heatable teddies.  Their regular sized toys are just £14.95 which is reasonable for a cute, cuddly toy that can be microwaved.  They are super simple to use you literally pop the whole teddy into the microwave and heat for the time specified on the label attached to the toy, a well thought out toy clearly as the instructions are on the toys and there is no opening of the toys and parts to remove for heating which is a bonus.

My little ones love teddies and we have a mix of cuddly animals, probably enough to open a teddy zoo but their new warmies really did get them very excited.  See what they thought of the teddies here:

Naturally when we got ours that evening they mysteriously developed tummy aches and needed their teddy heated to cuddle in bed.  The teddies themselves are exceptionally soft, cute and very cuddly.  They are easy to use and clean – cleaning involves a quick wipe with a wet wipe or damp sponge.  They smell of French lavender and many of you will be aware that this is a relaxant, has calming properties and can even help gently induce and result in a deeper sleep.  These toys are long lasting so can see your children / you through many years as they can be reheated thousands of times.

Even Mr Squishy wanted one to cuddle as well as mummy to fall asleep (before being transferred into his cot.)

There are so many different teddies to choose from on the Warmies website you are simply spoilt for choice.  They have something for everyone.  I picked out a few that I thought you guys might like too.  These ones are all regular sized but they also have medium which are smaller and will be introducing minis soon too.  There are other heatable soft toys too so make sure you take a look at their website to see the full selection.

(dragon available soon)

Those young at heart or simply young will probably want to get their hands on one of these too so I have teamed up with The Intelex group the company that brought us Warmies and we will be holding a competition for one reader to win a regular soft plush teddy, winners choice (provided there is stock otherwise you might be asked to chose another option).

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

If you would like to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts straight in your inbox once they are live why not subscribe and get to read all my great posts including recipes, reviews, competitions etc. before anyone else. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent for my consideration.







Skinn Collagenesis Collection


IdealWorldtv will be stating their 17th Birthday celebrations on Wednesday the 29th of March this year and they have all sorts of fun things planned.  From super discounts on various products starting on their birthday to a fun twitter party which will also take place on the day at 7:30pm to 8:30pm on their twitter page (@IdealWorldTV).  One of the items that you will be able to purchase for an amazingly discounted price is a skincare set from Skinn.  The Internationally acclaimed cosmetic brand Skinn use natural ingredients in their products with their focus being on what goes into them as well as how they make us look.  Their company motto is “what counts is inside” and with this in mind they combine classic traditions with the most advanced technology making them stand out from the rest.

The Collagenesis range has been designed for use on various skin types from young to old.  Its aim is to help prevent the early signs of ageing and also treat more mature skin by targeting dry dehydrated skin, thinning of the skin and reducing the crepey and wrinkled appearance that appears as the body slows down the production of elastin and collagen.

The Collagenesis skincare collection is beautifully presented and is comprised of 4 products;

Skinn Collagenesis 24 Hour Cream 50ml

This contains plant peptides which perform a variety of functions from healing, maintaining skin tightness, skin renewal and protein synthesis for a younger looking skin.  The cream does not contain any waxes, parabens, petrochemicals or mineral oil and is designed for both day and night use keeping skin feeling softer, evening out the skin tone and firming the skin.  As our skin ages the cell renewal of the top layer decreases giving it a dryer duller appearance.  The naturally derived Capryloyl Salicylic Acid which features in this cream helps with the skin skin cell renewal and helps to improve the appearance of skin.

This is a lovely cream with a rich, thick texture that doesn’t leave a greasy residue after application and it absorbs into the skin well leaving if feeling fabulous.  You don’t need much as a little goes a long way.  Don’t forget to apply to your neck and decolletage.  This is lovely and has a brightening effect on the skin which seems to become apparent quite quickly within the first week or so of use.  The only amendment to this product I would suggest would be to have it in a pump bottle like the rest of the items in the set.

Stem Rejen Face Serum 30ml

This serum contains 3 key ingredients Glacier Water, Snow Algae Powder and Alpine Rose.  Glacier Water found in the glaciers of the Swiss Alps has been preserved for thousands of years keeping its youthful properties and helping to keep skin looking younger by delivering deep, long-lasting hydration.  Snow Algae Powder helps to keep the skin looking smooth and radiant.  Alpine Rose; a powder based from the stem cells of alpine rose leaves.  This helps to enhance skin’s natural vitality and strengthens the skin’s barrier function enabling it to cope better with climate changes.  With a patented technology, these ingredients are encompassed in a multilamellar encapsulation delivery system which adapts to each users skin type including the most sensitive skin.

This comes in a useful pump bottle making it easy to control the amount of product dispensed.  I love the colour which is a pretty shade of pink and that there are so many great ingredients including some particularly strong antioxidants to help prevent against cell damage.  The serum isn’t too thick or heavy and sinks into the skin nicely.

Stem Rejen Eye Serum 15ml

This serum also contains Glacier Water, Snow Algae Powder and Alpine Rose.  In addition it is also formulated with a the resin of the Indian tree (Guggul) that has natural skin plumping properties to give smoother skin.  With it’s wealth of natural ingredients chosen specifically for their various skin improving properties this appears to be a great product for use on the skin under the eyes helping to add moisture from within and helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines..

The eye serum has a slightly thicker consistency than the face serum but it is still very light and again vanishes quickly into the delicate skin under the eye.  You don’t need much and again a little goes a long way.  I found about half a pump was sufficient to use on each application.

Lip Stem Rejen 15ml

Active constituents from sesame seeds are used in this particular formula.  This product has been designed to help reduce the appearance of those dreaded marionette and nasolabial folds that appear as our skin ages.  The aim is for skin to look rejuvenated and to promote a more youthful appearance.  This also includes the three high-performing active ingredients, Glacier Water, Snow Algae Powder and Alpine Rose.

This is an interesting product as you don’t see that many that are actually designed specifically for the lines around the mouth area.  Again you don’t need much as you are not covering a large area so try squeezing out a third to half a pump and you should be covered, excuse the pun!  (I have no control of myself sometimes).  This leaves the skin feeling silky soft with no greasy residue and is fast acting to give a plumper appearance of the skin and reduction in fine lines.

All of these products are best stored in a dark place, a bathroom cupboard will suffice.

Fancy trying these wonderful beauty products?

As part of their birthday celebration IdealWorldtv will be offering these for £39.99 giving you a whooping saving as the normal price is £120 although still a bargain considering the actual products.  So for just £39.99 you can have all 4 items above but that’s not all.  In addition they are also adding in these two extra products for free:


Yes, there is more.  How generous are these guys.

As part of the Birthday Special they will feature super-sized versions of all the products giving you even more reason to want to get your hands on them.

This is a great offer and one that I plan to take full advantage of.

Will you be making the most of the amazing savings that IdealWorldtv will be offering whilst celebrating their birthday?

If you would like to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts straight in your inbox once they are live why not subscribe and get to read all my great posts including recipes, reviews, competitions etc. before anyone else. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent for my consideration.


Baylis & Harding Linen Rose and Cotton Range

Recently I wrote a post about Baylis & Harding’s Limited Edition Pink Prosecco and Cassis Range.  This range was truly fantastic. I really did love the aroma and it was one that was popular with many of you too.  With that in mind I decided to make sure I featured another product that I discovered that I know you will also love this time from their Linen Rose and Cotton Range.  This range features a lovely mix of products many of which make fantastic gifts although you might decide once you have bought something from this range that you want to keep if for yourself.

The range is nice and varied to cover many tastes and budgets including diffusers, candles, different toiletry sets all of that are beautifully packaged.  I loved the look of the Linen Rose and Cotton Tin which features some lovely large bottles which anyone would be over the moon with once they smell the fabulous fragrance.  This is perfect for a pampering session and includes a 300ml Body Cleanser, 300ml Bath & Shower Crème, 125ml Bath & Shower Gel and 125ml Body Balm.  With Mother’s Day coming up this would make a great gift for mum to thank her for all her hard work this year as let’s face it mums do sooooo much and we can never really say thank you enough.  We must remember mum’s also need a little relaxation and pampering time for themselves and this is perfect for that.  The toiletries come in a pretty tin which will of course come in very useful for mum as it could be used to help store other toiletries when these all empty and would also look great in the kitchen to home jars of herbs and spices and if mum is green fingered she might even like to plant some herbs for the window sill or flowers.  A pretty heart design is displayed on the tin as well as onthe items nestled inside making this the ideal gift for one that you love.

 Now you know me if I can find this on offer for you I will so you will be pleased to know that although the RRP is £30 but, mummy here has gone and found it for the bargain price of (quick sit down!!!!!!!)

£9.99 at Argos.

OMG didn’t I do a great job there.  You will find it at Asda for £15 and Tesco also has it for £15 until the 26th March.

Another of the the products featured in that range that caught my eye was their;

Linen Rose and Cotton Large Wick Candle

How pretty is that in its silver coloured glass jar.  This candle has the same great delicate fragrance as the products in the tin and will help keep a room smelling gorgeous and it also looks great as a centre piece on a table or mantelpiece or even for those like my husband that enjoy taking a bath by candlelight  (you might want to get two or three in that case).  Almost everyone loves candles, there are very few that don’t now days an this is a great one to be given as a gift.  The wax is a baby pink colour and the 180g candle has a total burn time of up to 25 hours.  This has a RRP of £15.00 and can be found at OCADO £7.50 another bargain!!!!

There are many more in this range but I also wanted to include a product from the Pink Prosecco and Cassis range for a two reasons, one that it smells so amazingly fabulous that you should all be aware of it (okay so I’m stating the obvious there) the second reason, well I’m not going to tell you just yet you will need to read on to find out!!!! – Trust me you want too.

Pink Prosecco and Cassis  Diffuser Set

 Not only does this look pretty it gives off a lovely aroma to have any room smelling wonderful.  As with the other products from this range the packaging features the pretty rose gold.  The 200ml diffuser will last for up to 10 weeks.  The RRP is £15.00 but this can be found at Asda for £10.00.  Keep reading, you can win one of these below! (reason two).

What did you think of these super products from Baylis & Harding?

I have always been a fan of the various ranges that have been available and love discovering new ones.  For this reason I want to help one lucky reader discover two of the products / fragrances featured in this post.

Whose interested?

The prize is a lovely one that I would enter for too if I could but that wouldn’t be very fair.  One lucky reader will win a Linen Rose Cotton Large Wick Candle AND a Pink Prosecco and Cassis  Diffuser Set thanks to the lovely guys at Baylis & Harding.

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

If you would like to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts straight in your inbox once they are live why not subscribe and get to read all my great posts including recipes, reviews, competitions etc. before anyone else. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent for my consideration.

Pure Potions, Natural Products for Dry Skin and Skin Conditions

For those that may not be aware, many many many moons ago (not quite at the time of the dinosaurs although it feels like that sometimes) I studied medicine, Phytotherapy to be precise.  I got my degree and became a fully fledged medical herbalist.  As you can imagine with the NHS available many people were unfortunately not prepared to pay for their medicine at the time and I struggled to get my business established.  Over the years I have done other things increasing my knowledge and experience in various areas and also in the background using natural medicine on family and friends.  For this reason when I come across a company that makes lovely natural products using medicinal plants I must admit I get very excited.  Orthodox medicine originates from natural medicine.  Many Orthodox medicines you take originate from nature.  These are generally created by using an active constituent from a plant and synthesising it.  In natural medicine we work differently looking at a more holistic method and not synthesising active chemicals but using them directly from the plant.  Combining a mixture of plants that work in synergy can give great results and so on discovering a company called Pure Potions were looking for bloggers to review their products I knew I was perfect for the job.  How many bloggers are actually qualified medical herbalists?

Of course I was overwhelmed with excitement when my package arrived.

The packaging is simple with minimal waste and the box can be reused or recycled.  Pure Potions produce natural creams, ointments and oils.  Their products are designed for those that suffer from dry skin and they use the finest ingredients many of which are organic and locally sourced.  Their products are made in the UK, fragrance free, paraben free and are not tested on animals.  The company was founded by a mother who wanted a safe, effective natural alternative to steroids for her daughter’s dry skin.  This award winning company has been creating fabulous products for 10 years and I really do hope they continue to do so for many more.  Companies such as Boots, Waitrose, QVC, Holland & Barrett have already seen the potential in these products and now stock the range.

I was lucky enough to be sent some of their products for review.

A Little Information on Some of the Herbs Used in These Products;


This lovely gentle herb is used often in skin preparations for it’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic and healing properties.  A clinical trial of humans demonstrated it to be 60% as active as 0.25% hydrocortisone when applied to the skin.  This lovely herb is extremely well suited to those with sensitive skin that is prone to inflammation.


Yes this is the plant that stings you when you touch it but it also has when used correctly fabulous benefits for the skin.  This herb has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, astringent and antioxidant properties and is well suited for skin conditions such as eczema, acne, burns, bites.  This is often used by people like myself for treating patients both internally and externally to attain even better results.


This herb also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.  It is often used for itchy skin and works wonders on a whole range of skin conditions from psoriasis, eczema, acne, burns and rashes.


Commonly known as marigold and a plant that many of you will have seen this has a range of uses one of which is to treat skin conditions.  Calendula has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which make it perfect for topical application.  Calendula has been shown to help reduce dermatitis following skin irradiation for breast cancer indicating how effective this herb is.

Combined these make a powerful and useful natural way to help treat numerous skin conditions.

Now for the Products

Skin Salvation Daily Moisturising Cream (Vegan)

The moisturising day cream is packed full of herbs, vitamins and essential fatty acids that help to keep the skin hydrated and nourished.  Shea butter gives this cream its vegan friendly base.  This is a great base as it has nourishing and healing properties before anything else has even been added and this on it’s own can be used to help conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, sunburn, itching, bites and more.  With the addition of chamomile, nettle, chickweed and calendula herbal tinctures this really does combine well to give an effective yet gentle product.  The cream has a natural aroma from the ingredients it is comprised of, no added nasties here to adjust the smell as these in many cases could cause skin irritation.  The cream is easy to apply as the tube has a pump making control of the amount of product that comes out easy and preventing to much product being provided for each use that way you don’t waste it.  The cream is rich and thick and is absorbed well into the skin leaving it feeling soft and hydrated and not at all greasy which I loved.  This is great for anyone that suffers from acne and any inflammatory condition on the face and body thanks to it’s anti-inflammatory and healing effect on the skin.  Within a few short days you show see an improvement in the skins appearance.

Skin Salvation Intensive Hand Cream (vegan)

As my lifestyle is extremely busy I find I can be running around and doing things non stop until I go to bed so I find that my fluid intake isn’t always sufficient and this sometimes shows on my hands.  The skin can sometimes crack and of course this can be pretty sore.  This hand cream from Pure Potions is the perfect solution combining shea butter, olive oil, sunflower seed oil, sea buckthorn oil, calendula and chamomile.  This again comes in a bottle with a pump dispenser and combines a mix of natural ingredients that again host a range of properties from anti-inflammatory, healing, antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent and antioxidant and more to help reduce pain, redness, itching, irritation etc. from a range of skin conditions.  Like the daily moisture cream this is fragranced by it’s ingredients not any extra additions and absorbs well into the skin without leaving a greasy residue.  It is soothing to the skin and fast acting to help improve the condition of the skin quickly.

Skin Salvation Intensive Lip balm (vegetarian)

Again a low fluid intake can also mean that my lips become dry, cracked and sore.  The intensive lip balm was perfect for this helping make my lips feel soft, nourished and looking so much better.  The addition of the beeswax means it isn’t for vegans but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a superb lip balm.  Aside from the beeswax this also contains, olive oil, safflower seed oil, hemp seed oil, chamomile, nettle, chickweed and calendula extracts.  This is a lovely natural lip balm and one that works very well indeed and is suitable for everyone whether you have sensitive skin, are allergy prone and it can also be used on babies and children and everyone else too.  It is great that this can also be used on dry skin under the eyes, around the nose too whether it is brought on by cold windy weather, central heating or air conditioning.

I really liked the products that were sent over for trial and would recommend them to any that suffer from skin conditions.  The majority of people will find that these products work extremely well and will be more than satisfied with the results.

Do you make a habit of using more natural based products?

If you would like to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts straight in your inbox once they are live why not subscribe and get to read all my great posts including recipes, reviews, competitions etc. before anyone else. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent for my consideration.

These products are for external application only.

Beetroot, Rocket, Avocado and Feta Salad

I love salad.  Salad really doesn’t need to be bland or boring and I hope my recipe for Beetroot, Rocket, Avocado and Feta Salad helps to demonstrate this.  First of all I would like to include a little of the nutritional benefits of one of the ingredients.  Before I do, for those that don’t eat cheese you can simply omit it or exchange it for something else the choice as always with any homemade meal is yours.


This has become one of the newest super foods due to its ability to help boost stamina, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and so much more.  Beetroot contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.  This great root can help in phase 2 detoxification where broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be removed from the body.  They are often used in natural medicine to detoxify the liver and blood.  The juice from beetroot can help improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older people.  Betaine a compound found in beetroot increases the production of serotonin which is the body’s natural mood boosting hormone (a happy hormone) so make sure you eat it regularly as it will keep you feeling happy naturally (betaine is found in some treatments for depression).

Beetroot is fibre rich and contains strong phytonutrients which give it its rich colour and have been shown to reduce multi-organ tumour formations in animals.  Beetroot  is also being is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers let’s hope they make progress with the research into that.  In the mean time I’m trying to eat more of this great root vegetable as it’s not just really good for you it’s tasty too and great in a range of salads.


300g cooked beetroot

1 medium spring onion

75g feta

75g Queen olives

50g baby leaf rocket salad

1 avocado

For the dressing

olive oil

balsamic vinegar


Wash the leaves and drain off excess water.

Chop the beetroot into bite sized pieces.

Slice the spring onion.

Cut the avocado and feta into bite sized pieces.

Throw all of these into a bowl, add in the olives and drizzle over some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.  I used approximately 2tbs of olive oil and around the same amount of vinegar but I would suggest with the vinegar add less, taste and add more if required.

Mix well then serve.


Do you like beetroot?  Will you be trying it now you know how great it is for you?

If you would like to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts straight in your inbox once they are live why not subscribe and get to read all my great posts including recipes, reviews, competitions etc. before anyone else.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.


Germ Scientists Approve 5 Second Food Rule!

Have you heard of the 5 second rule? I think most of us have nowadays and not only that, most have also used it especially on sweets and chocolate.  I mean really that would otherwise be a total waste right?  For those unaware the 5 second rule literally means that food dropped on the floor if picked up straight away (within 5 seconds) is normally safe to eat.

(Pictured above Horseradish, Cheddar and Smoked Salmon Toasted Sandwich)

I’ve generally worked with this of course depending on what and where food is dropped.  Anything dropped in the streets is a no go but in the home especially when I have just cleaned it is generally okay.  It also depends on the food dropped.  Spilt soup or melted chocolate will not be licked off the floor but cleaned and then the floor sprayed with dettol and given a wipe.  We don’t wear shoes in the house which helps keep it that much cleaner thankfully.  My thoughts have always been that a few germs won’t kill you and if anything they will help improve the ability of our immune system.

Today the 5 second rule was given the all clear by scientists.  This is thanks to germ expert Anthony Hilton from Aston University.  Although it can never been entirely risk free as it depends on the floor in many cases and an obviously filthy floor should never been eaten off – basic common sense.  Going with common sense you will of course also check the item you have dropped prior to eating it to make sure there are no obvious signs of dirt.  In many cases it is safe to eat a dropped sweet from a clean floor although it has also been shown that germ transfer can occur within less than 5 seconds.  As a rule I would say only do this in your own home when you know you have cleaned the floor very recently (we only have wooden floors and stone tiled floors which are far easier to clean.).  Do not eat off wet floors as this can speed up germ transfer, this rule also applies to moist foods.  If you have pets it all goes out of the window, don’t eat anything off the floor as they walk inside and outside spreading a large range of bacteria as they go that you really don’t want to welcome any of those into your body to cause havoc.

What do you think?

Have you ever used the 5 second rule?

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7 in 1 Beauty Care Massager

We all need a little help to help us look our best especially as we get older.  There are so many gadgets out there that we can assist to help us look our great and they don’t all need to cost a fortune.  Take the 7 in 1 Beauty Care Massager that I discovered recently.  This super gadget has such a range of functions that it has quickly become a bathroom beauty essential in my eyes.  The massager has 7 different heads that can be swapped around to suit the beauty treatment that you require.  It is claimed to decrease fine lines, exfoliate dead skin and give deep pore cleansing.  This is safe to use with high and low speed options and easily changeable heads. The massager is perfect for use on the face, feet, elbows, knees, basically anywhere that you might get rough skin or where you want the skin looking brighter.

The Heads

As I mentioned there are 7 heads for this device each with its own purpose.

Short & Long Ultra Fine Brushes (1&2)

Both these brushes can be used to clear any dead skin from the surface of the area it is used and exfoliate at the same time.

Pumice Applicator (3)

This head is great for filling down and smoothing rough skin often found on the feet.

Crude Polish Accessory (4)

Perfect for exfoliation of dry and hard skin.  This will rub the dead cells off super fast and reveal the healthy soft skin beneath.  Results are immediate making the skin look healthier.  It also helps increase blood flow to the area used increasing the removal of waste from the area and increasing the nutrients to the skin in that area helping to improve its appearance further.

Rolling Massager (5)

This feels great on the skin and is also quite relaxing.  Its purpose is to stimulate an increase in blood circulation to the skin helping to increase removal of toxins and help oxygen travel better to the skin helping to promote a smoother fresher complexion.

Latex Soft Sponge & Make Up Sponge (6 & 7)

These super soft sponges are perfect for use over the skin to clean and massage.  The sponges gently massage to remove dead skin and also increases the circulation to the area helping to make the skin appear brighter and smoother.  The latex sponge is designed to be used specifically over the delicate eye area and cheeks.

What did I think?

This is super simple to use.

The heads are easy to change they simply slip on and off just make sure that you click them into place when adding them onto the massager.

The massager is a great size so it doesn’t take too much space and isn’t heavy to hold.  It can be easily slipped into a suitcase for your travels.

The device is easy to hold due to its handle design and I love its super feminine colouring.

I also liked the range of heads to allow you to improve the appearance of various parts of the body.

This seemed to do a good job at exfoliating whether I used it on my face or body and I just applied different amounts of pressure depending on the area of use.

How long it will last I don’t know but if you buy it off Amazon for £13.99 and they sell them with a one year guarantee.

The device needs two AA batteries which are not included.

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skinChemists Bee Venom Facial Serum

There are so many beauty products on the market and it can be very overwhelming.  Deciding what to choose can be hard and many of us can be easily influenced by brand names, price and fancy packaging although not all expensive products do what they claim too and many low priced products can be basic and in some cases ineffective.  The use of bee venom in beauty products has become a growing trend.  Yes I am talking about the bee venom secreted by the back end of a bee when it stings you.  Now I know you’re thinking why would anyone in their right mind want to apply products with bee venom to their skin, it is designed to be an irritant causing itching and swelling.  Don’t worry all will be revealed shortly.

The Science Part!

As our skin ages it loses its collagen resulting in the signs of ageing such as sagging skin and wrinkles forming.  By applying a product with bee venom the skin is in a sense tricked into believing it has been stung.  When you are stung the body’s normal response would be to increase the blood circulation to the area in question so application of a product containing bee venom to the face for example (not forgetting the neck and decolletage) will increase the blood flow in that area which will in turn encourage the production of collagen and elastin in the area of application.  The resulting effect is to give the skin a plumper, firmer appearance reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

The company skinChemists sent me some of their best selling Bee Venom Facial Serum for an overview.  This serum is packed with a range of ingredients that are designed to nourish, plump and hydrate the skin and which work together to stimulate the skin to give it a smoother and firmer appearance.

Within this serum the main active ingredients are:

Bee Venom

As mentioned this increases the blood flow and this in turn increases the flow of nutrients to the multiple layers of the skin resulting in a firmer, plumper appearance and the reduction in the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines.

Hyaluronic Acid

Another fabulous product which is great in making lines look reduced.  This acts by increasing the moisture levels in the skin thus plumping it up.  Imagine the skin is a wrinkly deflated balloon.  As the Hyaluronic acid begins to take effect the moisture levels within the skin increase so in effect the balloon would begin to inflate making those wrinkles less and less visible and the skin looking much firmer as it works.

A Blend of Amino Acids

The amino acids have an important role which is to balance the skin improving its clarity and encouraging a brighter complexion.

Animal Friendly

skinChemists do not harm any animals in the making of their products.  The bee venom used in this product is from a sustainable source which applies to the industry standards of technological extraction.

My Findings

The bee venom facial serum felt very light and absorbed well into the skin and left it feeling velvety soft.  The aroma is nice and not overpowering.  There was no adverse effect on the skin or reddening.  The pump bottle the serum comes in allows for easy dispensing and prevents too much product being used.  The design of the packaging is simple, pretty and effective.

SkinChemist products have had rave reviews from all sorts of celebrities and quite honestly I can now safely say I understand why.  I have something truly shocking I wanted to share.  I have only been using this for 3 days.  That’s 1 application at night and one in the morning over the face, neck and decolletage each day and already my skin looks brighter.  I must admit to about 5 rechecks at least as I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I looked in the mirror this morning and thought my eyes were going funny initially maybe due to water loss overnight but then I looked again in another room.  My skin did look brighter.  This really does give me a great feeling about this products ability and I am hoping soon I will notice a reduction in my wrinkles and fine lines too.

The results speak for themselves with celebrities fashion designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, Stefano Gabbana and model Jourdan Dunn singing their praises.  Camilla (The Duchess of Cornwall) has also confessed to using this fabulous must have beauty secret after which sales of this serum sky rocketed.  With Mother’s Day coming up this youth elixir in a pump action bottle is something that I know any mum would love to get their hands on so why not get mum something she really wants a more youthful complexion and appearance.

Now for the price.  The RRP of the serum is £135 BUT skinChemists have given me a code for my readers to get this serum for the bargain price of £19.99.

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Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent for my consideration.


Horseradish, Cheddar and Smoked Salmon Toasted Sandwich

I’m not really one for sandwiches unless they are homemade and I have packed them full of flavourful ingredients.  Toasted sandwiches are my favourite.  I love when the cheese slowly oozes out and forms strings of cheesy deliciousness as you bite into to the sandwich and pull away.  Toasted sandwiches are really popular and one of my favourites has smoked salmon, mature cheddar and horseradish sauce.  Not only is it full of flavour but, as I use seeded wholemeal bread you get the added goodness of the nutrients from the seeds as well as the fibre from the bread.  The salmon is high in protein and vitamins B and D. Salmon also contains omega 3 fatty acids so has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

There are days that I am rushed off my feet but of course need to eat a healthy and tasty lunch but don’t have much time to prepare one. It’s great to know that in the matter of a few minutes I can have a tasty meal ready to eat.  Here is my quick and simple recipe for my

Horseradish, Cheddar and Smoked Salmon Toasted Sandwich

Serves 1


2 Slices of Wholemeal bread (I used frozen)

2 slices of mature cheddar approx 50g in total

3 slices of smoked salmon

2.5-3 tsp horseradish sauce

A handful of salad leaves as a garnish


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. (Fan oven, 210 degrees for a conventional oven)

Toast the bread at the lowest heat if you are using frozen bread.  If you are using fresh bread skip the toasting part.

Slice the cheese and place this in the centre of the bread.

Fold the salmon slices and place on the bread making sure the whole slice is covered evenly.

Spoon the horseradish sauce onto the slice of bread, spread it evenly and place that slice of the bread sauce down onto the salmon.

Cut the sandwich diagonally and place it onto a foiled baking tray with a space between them to allow the hot air to circulate and the cheese to melt faster.

Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese starts melting and then remove from the oven and serve.

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