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The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter
I have been a huge fan of The Body Shop for years and years now. In particular I think that the body butters are the best moisturisers out there and I have been using various scented body butters for as long as I can remember. There are a few scents that I love more than others and the Satsuma body butter is certainly one of those!
The first thing you will notice on opening the tub of body butter is the lovely fragrance of the Satsuma butter. Personally, I'm a huge fan I can't get enough of the fruity Satsuma body butter, I have been buying this one for quite a while now, it especially went very well with the lovely summer that we had.
The body butter is really thick, as you might expect and the texture does somewhat resemble butter. It's really easy to apply and I tend to be quite heavy handed when applying it. It's great to use after a bath or shower. In the summer I like to pop the body butter in the fridge, it makes it even nicer to apply to hot skin and stops it from going overly soft in the heat. As I mentioned the body butter is really thick so it can take quite a while to properly sink into your skin so don't apply it if you are in a hurry to get dressed.
Also the Satsuma fragrance is one of the stronger scented body butters available, or at least compared to some of the other shea or nut scents offered from the Body Shop. I do find that after I apply the body butter the smell does linger on my skin for quite a while after it begins to sink in, but the smell does become less noticeable quite quickly. In my experience, the Satsuma butter will leave your skin smelling amazing but it won't clash with any perfume or other fragrances you will be wearing that day.
The Body Shop claim that the body butter provides 24 hour hydration and I would have to agree, I can still feel this moisturiser hours after applying it. I've never quite checked 24 hours exactly but it does keep my skin lovely and soft throughout the day. The Body Shop recommend that the Satsuma body butter is good for very dry skin and although I don't have very dry skin or dry skin the body butter still works wonderfully well.
A whole tub of the body butter can last me a couple of months but with more constant daily use, especially in the summer when I have been in the sun a lot I can use all the body butter up within a month. The tub the Body Shop use is a really great screw top tub that is sturdy enough to be left anywhere without leaking, not that the thick body butter would go anywhere in a hurry.
Unfortunately this moisturiser doesn't come cheap and retails at full price for £12.50. But, I often bulk buy items from The Body Shop when they are in the sale making them far cheaper and more affordable. However, between the lovely scent and the great results I get when using it I believe the Satsuma body butter is worth every penny! And I will be buying it time and time again.
Overall, I really love this product. The body butter is great at keeping my skin moisturised while smelling lovely. I highly recommend The Body Shop's Satsuma body butter, especially if like me you don't mind smelling a bit fruity. I highly recommend trying the Satsuma body butter, or at the very least go and have a sniff the next time you are near a Body Shop store I am sure you won't be disappointed.
Five out of five stars.
George animal print weekend bag
I love bags. I have loads and loads of them but recently after becoming a new mum I realised that the majority of the bags I own are just not suited to the task at hand, I need something with lots of space because with a baby even the shortest of trips outside can require quite a large amount of equipment, from nappies, baby wipes, soothers, toys, changing mat, etc, etc, etc. It was initially the size of the Asda George animal print weekend bag that appealed to me, it is large but it isn't overly bulky - I tend to think of it as a large handbag.
I bought the George animal print weekend bag from my local Asda store for a really very reasonable £5.50 in the sale and so far it has been a great bag for the price. But, there is an element of you get what you pay for with it. The bag itself feels a little flimsy, the material is a little thin and the bag just feels slightly on the cheap side, but then it was only £5.50. I do believe that it originally retailed for £9, so still a bit of a bargain. It is the first bag that I have bought from Asda / George and I would buy more from them in the future.
As I mentioned the bag is a little on the flimsy side and for example, does not really have any structure to it and when you place it down somewhere it will just collapse in on itself if it is empty, which is not necessarily a problem but it just doesn't always look the nicest. However, even despite the material of the bag feeling a little on the thin side it still looks really good with a nice turquoise animal print design with faux leather handles.
So far I have found that the main zipped compartment of the bag holds quite a lot. I regularly fill the bag with all my daily items, i.e., phone, purse, kindle, some make up, a drink, etc, as well as carrying a full supply of baby items. And the bag holds everything well. Admittedly sometimes it might be easier if the bag had some sort of internal separation so everything didn't end up in a jumble but because you can open the bag very widely it is easy to root around and find what you are after. The bag also has a small pocket on the outside side of the bag which is great to hold a baby toy that you might need to get your hands on quickly so they don't go missing in the main compartment.
Overall, I really like the George animal print weekend bag and I would happily recommend the bag to anyone looking for a cheap and cheerful large tote like bag. I would more than happily buy this bag again in the future, but in a different design because so far after months of use it is still going strong and not really showing any real signs of wear and tear despite often being heavily filled and thrown around the bottom of the pram. But I don't use the bag on a really regular basis. I do think that it does look a little cheap, but for the price it is a bright and useful bag with loads of space.
I do notice that the George animal print weekend bag is shelved in the suitcase category on Dooyoo, but I don't think it would hold up to being used for anything more than a night or two worth of items. I do tend to think of it as a large tote like handbag or baby changing bag.
From me the George animal print weekend bag gets four out of five stars and comes highly recommended.
I have been a costumer of Belkin products for years and really they have very rarely let me down, including the pleated Belkin sleeve (as pictured above). The material used in the Belkin sleeve is a very tough and sturdy neoprene type of material and I have been using the sleeve for months now and mine so far doesn't even have a mark on it. The material does provide quite a bit of padding, but I still wouldn't recommend throwing your notebook around. However, for use when carting about in handbags or rucksacks I have had no problems and the Belkin sleeve has keep my notebook safe from minor bumps and scratches.
There is also a decent size pocket at the front of the sleeve which is an ideal size to keep any cables in, or I also tend to leave some change in there or my Starbucks coffee card. When I was at university it also came in handy for holding my student card or a small pen and paper notebook or a small diary, it is just a handy little extra feature.
Personally, I think the hardest choice was not to choose the Belkin sleeve but to pick the colour. I do know that the Belkin pleated sleeve is available in black and plum colours, but I have also seen it less commonly available in pink and / or grey. I own the plum sleeve which is a lovely and dark plum colour that doesn't easily mark or look dirty. I have had on occasion put the sleeve through a light, quick wash and it came out fine and retained its original shape.
I purchased my sleeve from Tesco for £15. Although £15 is a bit pricey for something that doesn't do anything special it does protect a valuable item and it does it well while looking quite stylish. I would buy the Belkin pleated sleeve again and in fact I did buy a smaller version for an older kindle that I owned.
To sum, I really like the Belkin pleated sleeve. It both serves its purpose well and looks great and I leave my notebook in this pleated sleeve whenever I am not using it. It's a sturdy, hard wearing and I completely recommend the Belkin sleeve as it does the job perfectly and looks great all at the same time.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this Belkin sleeve, the cover has lived up to my expectations and it is something that even with almost daily use still looks good (if just a little frayed) and protects my computer while I am on the move.
Four out of five stars.
These pleated Belkin sleeves are available for a whole range of products, including the kindle, the Apple i pad and I'm sure I saw one for larger laptops somewhere.
Next polarised tortoiseshell effect sunglasses
More or less every year I like to treat myself to a new pair of sunglasses, usually because the last pair has been put through their paces. And because I do buy new sunglasses on a somewhat yearly basis I don't want them to be overly pricey, but I do like them to be relatively trendy, comfortable to wear and protective. When I saw the Next polarised tortoiseshell effect sunglasses it was want at first sight.
With the Next polarised tortoiseshell effect sunglasses it was the shape that first caught my attention and the detailing is simple yet decorative enough that the sunglasses aren't too plain. I also really liked the polarised aspect of the sunglasses and after using polarised sunglasses for a while now it is something that I would look for again. The polarised aspect of the sunglasses means that any glare is reduced. I'm not really a hundred percent sure of the science behind polarisation in sunglasses, but it definitely makes the glasses more comfortable to wear in even the brightest of sunny days.
Personally, I like my sunglasses to be quite dark, not ridiculously dark, but I do sometimes suffer from a bit of light sensitivity whenever I have a headache and some of the lighter shading of certain sunglasses just doesn't cut it. If I had to describe the colour of the sunglasses I would say that these are somewhere towards the middle-end of the shade scale, Next refer to them as a dark tint. They are of course UV protected and up to all the usual standards that we would expect of sunglasses bought in the UK.
When I was initially shopping for sunglasses, the main criteria I had (as always) was I wanted something that would suit my face, which is much easier said than done. After trying on what felt like pair after pair I finally found the Next polarised tortoiseshell effect sunglasses had a snug fit and a shape that I felt suited my face. The fit of sunglasses is such a personal thing, but if you like the look of these then I do definitely recommend trying them on for yourself.
The sunglasses did come with a rather cute pink fabric bag like container that I promptly lost. But even with no case I have managed to keep the sunglasses in pretty good condition for a while now.
I have been wearing these sunglasses pretty much constantly (weather permitting) for a couple of months now and they still fit just as well. In fact these sunglasses have actually been used, thrown in a bag and dragged all over the place and they just don't look like it, they still look nearly as good as new - nearly but not quite.
I paid £15 from Next for the polarised tortoiseshell effect sunglasses and I love them and in my opinion they definitely deserve the full five out of five star rating.
Mamas and Papas knitted blanket
When I was pregnant I knew that my baby was due in the winter months and I was worried about her being cold. I ended up buying far too many baby blankets - which I am going to put down to hormone overdrive. But definitely among my favourites was the Mamas and Papas knitted blanket in a lovely striped pastel pattern.
The Mamas and Papas knitted pastel blanket is a beautiful light colour that at least in my opinion it is a fairly gender neutral design, although it does have some baby pink stripes within the pattern. The blanket is also lovely and soft and washes well and is made from 100 % cotton. And importantly it is quite a heavy blanket that does make for a cosy baby. Admittedly, I have hardly used the blanket during the summer months because it really is quite a cosy blanket and it might over heat my daughter when it is warmer out, but it is already getting cooler again and the blanket has been freshened up and looked out once more.
The Mamas and Papas knitted pastel blanket is classified as a pram blanket (90 cms x 70 cms) because it is not large enough to fit a cot, but it is a good size and I found that I used it mostly in the pram, buggy or car seat anyway. It is a nice and heavy blanket for when you are out and about.
I bought my Mamas and Papas knitted pastel blanket last year in their winter sale for half price so £18 (originally £36). Recently on a yet another trip into Mamas and Papas the same blanket was still available and still in the sale but for £19. Although £18 / £19 may seem a little expensive for a baby blanket, the knitted blanket washes and wears really very well and even with almost constant use in the colder months it still looks in excellent condition, which I definitely can't say about a lot of the items that I initially purchased. The Mamas and Papas knitted pastel blanket is a favourite of mine and I think it would definitely make a nice gift for any new mum.
The Mamas and Papas knitted pastel blanket definitely gets the full five out of five star rating from me and my baby girl and comes highly recommended. I have found a lot of the Mamas and Papas baby items can be a little over priced, but I would certainly buy baby blankets from them again because from my experience so far the knitted blankets have lasted and lasted while looking beautifully inviting, which is something that I can't say about all the blankets that I have purchased.
Spatone apple liquid iron sachets with added vitamin C
When I was pregnant the very first set of blood tests that I had done (around about 16 weeks) showed that I was just sitting on the edge of having the minimum recommended healthy amount of iron in my system, as such the midwife suggested I started taking an iron supplement just to make sure I didn't drop below and have to take the really strong iron tablets. More so because in my case the iron tablets that I have taken in the past have left me with horrible headaches and awful constipation, not what I wanted on top of all the pregnant niggles that I then already suffered from.
I can't remember if it was the midwife or a pharmacist that suggested Spatone apple liquid iron sachets, as until that point I had never heard of Spatone or even that you could get iron supplements in a liquid form. The individual sachets contain a small amount of what essentially looks like apple juice and smells more or less like apple juice, but with a metallic whiff. The supplement is not the nicest drink, but then neither is it all that bad. I ended up mixing mine in with some orange juice to take the iron taste away. I did learn from the pharmacist that sold me the Spatone that it is important to take any iron supplement with a fruit juice or something containing vitamin C as vitamin C aids the absorption of the iron into your system, and I also learned that you should stay away from milk just before and after an iron supplement as it can hamper the absorption.
Nearing the end of my pregnancy my iron count was checked again and I had dropped below the recommended healthy limit, but only just. And I consider that a more or less win from Spatone because I didn't need to go on the nasty tablets but just keep taking the Spatone liquid supplements. I had always expected that I would be on iron tablets throughout my pregnancy because my iron levels always seem to be on the low side anyway and pregnancy really drains those supplies at the best of times.
With the Spatone supplements I didn't feel like I had any of the uncomfortable or horrible side effects that I have had in the past from taking iron supplements. It might have been because the Spatone sachets aren't as strong as some supplements and each sachet only offers 5 mg of iron or 36 % of your daily recommended allowance, but it does deliver a high absorption of the iron. I'm not exactly sure of all of the science behind the sachets, but I did feel like the worked for me.
I purchased the Spatone apple liquid iron sachets with added vitamin C from Boots for around £10.50 for a rather large box of 28 sachets. It recommend that most people take 1 sachet a day, but pregnant women are recommended to take 2 sachets per day, which meant that I went through a box of 28 sachets in no time at all. Just as well Boots always seem to run the 3 for 2 offer on vitamins.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Spatone apple liquid iron sachets with added vitamin C, it would be nice if they were a little cheaper but then isn't that true of loads of products. So overall, I found that the sachets don't taste too bad, they are easy to take and come ready to drink. From me they get the full five out of five star rating, especially considering I didn't notice any negative side effects which can occur when you take an iron supplement.
ASDA High Strength Effervescent Vitamin C & Zinc Orange Flavour Tablets
Whenever I am feeling a little run down or suffering from lingering colds I always reach for some extra vitamin C. At the moment I have a young baby, so I get no sleep, live on coffee and generally I just feel a tad rundown. I do try and remember to take regular vitamins but lately I haven't been all that organised so I decided to try the Asda effervescent vitamin C with added Zinc tablets.
To take the tablet all you have to do is pop it into a glass of water and let it fizz away then drink. The tablets disappear really quickly and I actually quite like the orange taste, it doesn't taste like real oranges but more like some of the orange squash varieties. It is pleasant enough, it just tastes a little on the artificial side. The tablets do also contain sweeteners, which I am not entirely fond of ingesting.
Vitamin C and Zinc are important vitamins for a range of reasons that I am not going to go into depth about all of those, but for anyone interested Asda say:
"Vitamin C and Zinc are sources of antioxidants, help support a healthy immune system, and are essential for normal mental function. Zinc is necessary for the protection of cells, and helps build and maintain healthy bones. Vitamin C is necessary for wound healing and for maintaining healthy gums, cartilage, teeth and bones."
So I have been taking the Asda effervescent vitamin C with added Zinc tablets on and off for a couple of weeks now and I can say that I'm not sure that I notice a difference. But then isn't that true of most vitamins? I haven't had a cold since I started taking them and I have been feeling much more like my old self, but I think that has more to do with my baby finally sleeping more than just 3 hour stints. If nothing else I am convinced that taking all the extra Vitamin C and Zinc certainly hasn't made me feel any worse.
In a packet of the Asda effervescent vitamin C with added Zinc tablets you only get 20, but for £1.60 they are quite good value for money. I probably will buy these again in the future, but I do think I might branch out and try some of the other brands and see if I can find one that maybe tastes a little less artificial and a little more appealing.
From me the ASDA high strength effervescent Vitamin C & Zinc orange flavour tablets get three out of five stars.
Nutritional values - Vitamin C 1250% and Zinc 100 % of your daily recommended allowance.
The Bugaboo Bag (the latest version as of the date of review)
For various reasons I struggled to find a changing bag that both me and my husband agreed on, I wanted a large tote like handbag while he of course favoured something a little more masculine like a messenger bag. On a bit of an impulse I decided to just buy the Bugaboo bag to match our very lovely bugaboo chameleon buggy.
I opted for the black version of the bag (as pictured above), it is also available in a sand / cream colour with a black bottom). The black version has a lovely and bright red interior. Overall, its a nice looking bag with a rubber bottom.
On paper there is nothing wrong with the bugaboo bag, its functional there is enough space, large pockets and even a separate section at the bottom for soiled clothes or nappies. But, I just didn't like it. I found it cumbersome to carry around, the strap just never seemed to sit well and the bag kept on sitting at the wrong angle on my body. It was just a bit of a disappointment and in my opinion I felt like it was not worth the hefty price tag.
Features of the Bugaboo bag include;
A Flexible size - The top of the bag can and does fold over if the bag isn't stuffed full, making it more like a normal sized messenger bag. The extra space definitely comes in useful for longer trips out or the first few times when we left the house with pretty much everything. Overall the bag is a good size and does easily hold the majority of stuff I require for an afternoon out and that's bearing in mind that I use cloth nappies that do take up more room.
The bugaboo bag has an integrated bottle zipped pocket that is lined with insulating material to keep bottles warm or cool, but I would have much preferred a separate option like the offered in previous versions of the bag. The pocket easily fits one bottle or a couple of yoghurt pots and small spoon, which is what I use it more often for.
The bag is really easy to clean and is easily wipe able. The bag is made from a rather tough polyester material and so far my bag still looks like new, even considering it's been near a rather messy baby. The bottom of the bag is also made from a rubber like material and is easy to give a little wipe over to keep it clean. The insides of the bag are also quite easy to wipe.
One really smart idea of the bag is a separate bottom section of the bag that can be zipped off providing an extra separate area. It is great idea for times when you have to cart soiled cloths or wet nappy bags about, especially if you don't have space at the bottom of the pram or you don't have anywhere else to store them. It is just a nice added extra feature.
I haven't completely relegated this bag to the wardrobe of baby extras or unnecessary baby purchases as we have started using it as a swim bag. And as a swim bag it's really rather good because of the useful added rubber bottom. It's a great little feature that makes the bag ideal for swimming because you can plop it down on a more than likely wet surface without worry.
With the bag there is included a changing mat. The changing mat is pretty decent for a travel mat and folds away nicely, it is a little on the thin and small side but then it is a travel mat and you don't want to carry around something overly bulky. The changing mat is easily wipe able and so far one of the better features of the bag itself. I tend to use the changing mat even when I take a different bag.
The Bugaboo bag is expensive and typically retails for around £89.99 and you can buy it from most stores that sell Bugaboo products like John Lewis or Mothercare.
So OVERALL, the Bugaboo bag is a decent changing bag. It is just bland and rather dull and doesn't have much of the Bugaboo flare. It is not something I love but nor do I dislike it, it just isn't my ideal choice. I am not sure that I would recommend it but I also don't have anything overly negative to say about it. After some consideration I believe that for me a three out of five star rating seems to be fair.
Bugaboo Sun Parasol
I bought the Bugaboo sun parasol back in the winter months when I was hoping that we would have an occasional odd nice day, not the beautiful summer we ended up having. Anyway I was delighted that I bought the Bugaboo sun parasol when I did because I believe a lot of people had to wait after the nice weather hit until they could replenish the stocks of the parasols and get them back in store.
I love my Bugaboo buggy, but it was expensive and sadly that also means that all the additionals or extras are also expensive. I did initially think that I might invest in one of the parasols that are meant to fit a range of buggies but then speaking to a friend that worked in Mothercare I found out that most generic parasols won't fit the bugaboos frame. So I was stuck paying £29.99 for a little sun umbrella that I wasn't sure I would even get to use all that much, because I live in Scotland which is a beautiful country but its certainly not known for its warm balmy days.
When you purchase the Bugaboo sun parasol it comes in a rectangular box with a set of instructions and two clips, one to fit the Bugaboo chameleon and one to fit the Bugaboo Donkey and Bee. Initially I was a little confused about fitting the sun parasol as in typical Inchy fashion I stomped on ahead without reading the instructions. My advice to anyone who buys one - read the instructions. It took my literally minutes to have the sun parasol in place after I had finally read the small instruction pamphlet.
The Bugaboo sun parasol is exactly what you would expect, i.e., a small sun umbrella that provides UV protection and keeps the sun out of your baby's eyes. The parasol is a good size and has a lot of flexibility meaning that you can push it about to get the needed coverage, it can be a bit of a pain when you are out for a walk because a lot of readjustment will be needed. However, I used the sun parasol a lot over the summer where all I wanted was to allow my baby a safe area to have an out door nap while I read my book or otherwise sun lounged, which it was perfect for. I would have to say that the sun parasol didn't exceed my expectations but it did do exactly what I wanted it too. It even held up quite well with some light wind.
One of the great things about the Bugaboo in general is that they are keen on providing their customers with quite a large and decent selection of colours and patterns. I know a few people with Bugaboo chameleons and not one looks the same. I opted for the sun parasol in red, to contrast the lovely greeny teal hood of my buggie, I could have chosen the matching colour but I liked the contrast. I was initially a little torn between the red and the orange and the hot pink, but in the end I liked the red that little bit more. And the red is a lovely and strong red colour, it's bold and its noticeable - I love it.
To sum, the Bugaboo sun parasol delivers exactly what you would want - a sun umbrella. It's relatively easy to use, it's easy to attach to the pram and although it can be a pain readjusting it to ensure your baby stays out of the sun I'm not sure there is a sun parasol out there that doesn't have that issue.
Also after a full summer's worth of use my sun parasol still looks like new and I am sure that I will be using it again next year.
Five out of five stars.
Pregnacare conception vitamin tablets - for women
When we first started trying for a baby I just went out and bought a tub of bog standard folic acid tablets believing that they where the most important vitamin supplement to take, and at the time my lifestyle was healthy enough so I didn't worry about getting enough general vitamins. Well that was fine and if I had become pregnant I am sure that I wouldn't have invested so much time and money into vitamins, but it took us years to get pregnant. We tried for more than three years and suffered through a couple of miscarriages before month after month of nothing, which led to lots of medical tests and in the end I was given the very painful diagnosis of undiagnosed infertility. It's a painful diagnosis because there is nothing to work towards or no real hope of getting help and we were left facing IVF treatment. Throughout the years of trying I needed to feel in control of something positive and dosing up on vitamins was one of the small steps I could take, which led me to various supplements before being a regular customer of Pregnacare conception multi-vitamins.
The Pregnacare conception vitamins for women come in packs of 30 tablets, in a fairly standard blister packet. You take one tablet a day, and the tablets although on the large size are relatively easy to swallow and don't taste bad or leave any after taste - or so I have found.
I'm not one for long lists of ingredients but I do feel that it's important in this case. So what you should expect from the Pregnacare conception is a fairly good bundle of vitamins aimed at of course fertility, but they are suitable to continue taking even if you do fall pregnant.
Nutritional Information Average Per Tablet % RDA
L-Arginine 100mg --
Inositol 50 mg --
Betacarotene (Natural Source) 3 mg --
N-Acetyl Cysteine 50 mg --
Vitamin D (as D3 600 I.U.) 15 mcg 300
Vitamin E (Natural Source) 30 mg 300
Vitamin C 90 mg 150
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 8 mg 571
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 5 mg 313
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 20 mg 111
Vitamin B6 10 mg 500
Folic Acid 400 mcg 200
Vitamin B12 20 mcg 2000
Biotin 150 mcg 100
Pantothenic Acid 6 mg 100
Iron Selenium 14 mg 50 mcg 100 --
Magnesium 60 mg 20
Zinc 15 mg 100
Iodine 140 mcg 93
Copper 1000 mcg --
Granted I don't know a lot about the vitamins listed above apart from the obvious folic acid and Vitamin D (which they do now recommend you take at Booking in appointments - or at least they do up here in Scotland). But I do know that vitamin B12 deficiency can have a negative effect on fertility and can be detrimental to the development of a baby in womb, which is why I assume that Pregnacare conception does have a large dose of Vitamin B12 in each tablet.
The only one downside to the Pregnacare conception vitamins, and it isn't really a big negative just perhaps a weird side affect is that when I have taken the tablets sometimes my pee can take on an odd yellow colour. It doesn't last long and I presume it's just the vitamins my body doesn't want passing through but it's odd nonetheless.
Boots are currently selling a packet of 30 vitamins for £8.50 (but they are usually part of their ongoing 2 for 3 offer on a range of vitamins). I have focused on the Pregnacare conception vitamins aimed at women but there is also conception vitamins designed for men.
I did manage to fall pregnant just before we started on an IVF journey, she's my little miracle baby, and I'm not sure how big a part the vitamins played but they made me feel like I was doing something positive and if nothing else they certainly did me no harm and I took the tablets on and off for years.
I am sure that these vitamins are overpriced and not necessarily all that important as long as you are taking a folic acid and vitamin D supplement, but I still swear by them and now that we have started trying again for another little baby I am back taking them. So from me they get the full five out of five star rating. They aren't a miracle vitamin by any means, but they contain all the right doses of the important vitamins and gave me a positive feeling of doing something other than the obvious about trying to conceive.
Bodyform string sanitary towels - pack of 12 medium protection
On occasion I have found myself during my period needing to wear smaller underwear under a dress or under a nice outfit where I didn't want any visible panty lines, which in my opinion is just an added hassle at that time of the month. Give me big pants and comfort any day! Anyway on one such occasion I decided to try the Bodyform string sanitary towels.
Simply, they are a sanitary pad designed for use with thongs. They are shaped a bit like a stretched triangle and come with added wings to help the pad stay firmly in place. I have found that when I have worn these that when the sanitary towel is stuck in position they do stay put, in fact when it comes time to change them I have nearly torn the pad in pieces trying to remove it. The pad itself is also quite streamline and is comfortable enough to wear.
As far as I am aware the Bodyform string sanitary towels only come in a medium protection, which in my experience is fine for lighter days or when you can easily change the pad more frequently. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Bodyform string sanitary pads did perform and they weren't as comfortable as regular shaped sanitary towels, but then I don't find thongs as comfortable as briefs. But for the odd occasion I found them easy enough to use and wear.
But here is my only real complaint with the Bodyform string sanitary towels - why not rather just use a tampon? Personally, I found that when I wore them I spent a lot of the time fretting about whether they where providing enough protection and containing any possible leaks. I didn't feel as confident with the Bodyform string sanitary pads as I normally do with pads. So far I have only used them the one time as pads alone, I have ended up treating the rest of the packet as bulkier panty liners for added protection when I have also been using a tampon. Yes the pads where absorbent, yes they were comfortable, but I just didn't have confidence in them and I felt like the pads where too small to be reliable.
The Bodyform string sanitary towels are available from most supermarkets and chemists, etc, and Boots are currently selling a packet of 12 for £1.
Bodyform string sanitary towels - two out of five stars. They just weren't for me.
Lil-lets non applicator regular tampons
When it is that time of the month I prefer to use a combination of tampons along with pads. I have been buying and using Lil-lets tampons for years, and I know it's such an individual preference but in my opinion Lil-lets tampons are one of the best options available. They are a no fuss, minimal packaging tampon that can be discretely carried around in even the smallest of handbags or pockets.
The main feature of Lil-lets is that they expand widthways to ensure that as little as possible escapes. With the Lil-let tampons begin rather squat and small I can see why some people might be a little dubious about them providing complete protection, but I do find that they are quite a comfortable tampon to wear and do mostly provide good overall protection. Certainly, more so than some of the other leading brand tampons that I have tried.
The Lil-lets regular tampons are recommended for when your flow is light to medium and personally I would and do only use these at the end or very beginning of my period when I don't need something more absorbent. Everyone is of course different, but I wouldn't recommend the regular Lil-let for anything other than light days. Of course Li-lets do offer a range of tampons suited to different needs and I always find that I need to buy a combination of regular and super to get the best protection.
I almost always buy Lil-lets in packets of 32 for around £3.50. For me a huge plus of the Lil-let non applicator tampons is that they are extremely small and easy to cart around in a pocket or bag. They are great for when you want to be discrete. Personally, I don't have a problem with the tampons having no applicator but I do prefer to use these mostly at home or definitely somewhere that I can easily wash my hands before and after use.
Overall, I find that the Lil-et non applicator tampons are easy to use, comfortable enough to wear and provide adequate protection. I have been using them for years and I will continue to do so.
In my opinion the Lil-lets non applicator regular tampons deserve four out of five stars.
Always Ultra night time sanitary pads with wings
When it is that time of the month I prefer to use a combination of tampons along with pads and I almost always prefer to use pads over night. When buying sanitary products I do tend to be quite brand loyal to Always as I have been using various Always sanitary towels for years and I have found them to be reliable time after time, which in my opinion is exactly what you need from any sanitary product.
Personally, I do tend to have periods that are on the heavier side, so at night time I want a long, super absorbent yet comfortable pad to give me that extra peace of mind, which Always Night time delivers. It is one of the longest pads available in their range and it is classified as super absorbent, I think it might be one of the most absorbent sanitary towels that Always offer. They are comfortable to wear and when the pad is in place it's easy to forget about it and just get on with my night time routine and even on my heaviest flow days I always find Always Ultra night time sanitary pads with wings reliable.
I do when available usually opt to buy the sanitary pads with the option of wings, as they just give me that added extra peace of mind that the pad is going to stay in place. I have never had a problem with the Always Ultra night time sanitary pads with wings and I have found that they adhere to most underwear material and when in place don't move around, which really makes them more comfortable and more reliable to wear. Really I can confidently wear the Always night time pads all night without a worry even when I toss and turn quite a bit.
The only thing I don't quite like about the Always Ultra sanitary pad and this probably goes for all the Always products these days is the strange fragrance of pot-pourri you get when you unwrap one of the pads. It's odd. It is also something that I could quite happily live without and go back to the days when there was no included fragrance. And really I don't think I have noticed any additional benefits of the fresher for longer fragrance aspect.
The Always Ultra night time sanitary pads with wings are available from most supermarkets or chemists for around £2 for a packet of 10 or you can buy them in duo packs.
Always Ultra night time sanitary pads with wings - Five out of five stars.
Little Lamb's Organic cotton nappy with cotton insert and fleece liner
I have been using cloth nappies for about 6 months now and I really love them. But I do understand that jumping in and using them might seem a little daunting at first, especially if like me you are a new mum and didn't know anyone in real life that had used them. But when I first started researching the possibility I came across lots of positive reviews and although I didn't know anyone that had used them after having a browse around online I found that those who did use them tended to love them. So I jumped straight in and bought a few different types of nappy not knowing what I would like best or what would suit my little one the best and since then I have never looked back.
However, now after months of use and trying a good few different varieties of nappies there are some I love more than others and I LOVE the Little Lamb's Organic cotton nappy complete with cotton insert and fleecy liner. It has become my go to day time nappy of choice.
---Little Lamb organic cotton nappy with cotton booster---
In my opinion no nappy stash would also be complete without a hefty supply of cotton nappies, in fact I would go as far to say that the organic cotton nappy is probably my favourite day time nappy. It's a great all rounder, because in my experience the cotton nappy is a great nappy at compromise. It is very absorbent, but it is also relatively quick to dry (about 12 hours or so or even sooner if it's sunny or the heating is on). And finding a nappy with a decent absorption to time needed for drying ratio is crucial.
For example my nappy stash is mainly made up of bamboo, cotton and microfiber nappies.
Bamboo nappies are by far the most absorbent nappy I have used and they make a great bedtime nappy, but they take a good full day to dry once washed.Then at the other end of the spectrum is the microfiber nappy which is by far the least absorbent nappy I own and also needs to be changed far more regularly, but it comes out of the washing machine almost dry and is ready to use after no time whatsoever.
The cotton nappies fit somewhere in the middle and that's why I have chosen them as the backbone of my nappy collection or else I would need a lot more nappies than I own. How many you need comes down to a lot of personal factors, I like to have more than enough to make sure that I am never in the situation of panic washing so I probably have about 20 or 25 in each size. And I almost always wait to bulk buy in the sale so my nappy stash is a huge bargain.
The Little Lamb Organic cotton nappies come in a size 1 ( 7lbs - 20lbs (3kgs - 9kgs)), size 2 (20lbs-38lbs (9kgs -17kgs)) and size 3 (fits from 35lbs/16kgs). I found that around about six months old I needed to move up from the size 1 to size 2, but then my daughter is a lovely chubby cutie. The only real difference apart from the obvious increase in size of the nappy is that the size 2 nappy comes with a sewn in booster because when they are little and first in a size 1 nappy it won't always be necessary to boost the nappy. I will explain that better in the next section below.
The nappy itself is a very simple design and are surprisingly easy to use as they are shaped very similarly to a typical disposable nappy but just with Velcro wings (and they do require an additional separate waterproof wrap). Depending upon the deal or special offer available will depend on how many wraps you will get, but if you just want to purchase one Little Lamb organic nappy (for £12) you will get a wrap of your choosing. I'm not going to go into too much detail about the Little Lamb wraps because I do plan on reviewing them separately but they are great and really keep all the liquid and even the poop firmly where it is meant to be. I have never had a poop explosion using one of the Little Lamb wraps and so far I have been really pleased with them and I love the choice of colours available.
The Organic cotton nappy is made from 90 % organic cotton and 10 % microfiber.
Also the nappies have also be designed with laundry Velcro tabs to make sure that when washed the Velcro doesn't pull at the nappy - a clever extra feature.
--- The organic cotton booster ---
With the Size 1 nappy the booster is separate and with size 2 and 3 the booster is sewn in.
So what is a booster? It is essentially just another swatch of organic cotton material that when placed inside the nappy increases the absorption and extends the intervals between requiring changing the nappy. It just means that the nappy is capable of holding more liquid.
Personally, I do like the cotton boosters but I much prefer the bamboo boosters and you can purchase these in large packs separately. I have a heavy wetter and at night time when she isn't moving about I do add in two extra boosters, which gives her a huge bum but then means that her nappy easily lasts her the night without complaint.
--- Fleecy liner ---
So far every nappy that I have received from Little Lamb (despite the size) comes with its own separate fleece liner. And they are great. Initially when my little one seemed to be pooping around the clock and almost hourly (maybe a slight exaggeration) I wanted to use paper liners that I could just throw down the toilet making less fuss. But now that she only poops once or twice a day and usually around the same time I only use the occasional paper liner and the fleece liners the rest of the time. The fleece liner is exactly what it sounds like a small insert of thin, soft fleece that catches any solids while allowing liquid to pass through to be absorbed by the nappy. It also stops any bum creams or nappy rash creams from clogging up the nappy material.
I have bought quite a few of the Little Lamb fleece liners to be used as makeshift bum wipes (along with my own lovely lavender and tea tree infused water) and also to use as bath flannels. The fleece liners really make great bath flannels and because they aren't overly heavy even when wet they are ideal for my little one to play around with. I just make sure I keep my bath fleece liners separate from the bum ones.
--- If you do decide to use cloth nappies here are just a few extra tips ---
1) Buy and use some tea tree oil when washing the nappies. All I do is add a few drops of tea tree oil in with the washing powder and the nappies come out smelling fresh and really nice. Also tea tree has some natural anti-bacterial properties. I also add some tea tree to my nappy buckets to keep them smelling fresher and cleaner, especially with the weather getting warmer. You also don't need to wash the nappies any higher than 40 degrees, but I do give my nappies the occasional hotter wash.
2) Buy a nappy bucket and more importantly a mesh laundry bag that fits inside it - all I do is then take the mesh laundry bag from the bucket and put the whole thing in the washing machine it means that you don't have to touch the individual nappies. The nappies also don't need to be soaked when dirty, just leave them to accumulate until you have enough for a full load then wash.
3) Wash all the nappies at least three or four times before you use them to help get their absorbency up, but you don't need to dry them in between, just throw them all in and keep rewashing them time after time. Personally, I have found that my nappies did take about 6 or so washes before they started being at their peak. If you do notice that they aren't as absorbent as they once where it is worth doing a strip wash, which just entails washing the nappies in water alone to remove any detergent build up.
4) As much as possible hang up your nappies (inside or out) in direct sunlight. I was amazed by how much the sun can bleach any poop stains from even the whitest of nappies. You would be amazed that from my stash of nappies how few of them look like they have any sort of stain and they have to deal daily with a breastfed babies korma like poop - hopefully no-one's currently tucking into a lovely curry korma delight right now.
I have recently put away my size 1 nappies that where used on a daily basis for 6 months and they are still in excellent condition, I completely see why people believe that they would easily get four or more babies all nappied with one good set of cloth.
Also pre- loved nappies have quite a good resale value or you can donate them to a nappy library or charity after you've finished with them for the benefit of others.
--- Overall ---
If I am honest, in my experience of using cloth nappies the hardest aspect has to be the negative comments from other people who don't use them. Well before my baby was here I was so sick of hearing how much more difficult the reusable nappies where going to be, how much more work and washing I would have to do, etc, etc. I really haven't found that the case, they are simple, straightforward and I never worry about running out and really I only do around three extra loads of washing a week. So far I have found that I tend to wash nappies every second or third day at 40 degrees, I hang them up to dry beside a radiator if it's miserable out or out on the line if the sun is shining. Plus personally, I just feel better about using something soft and natural next to my baby's bum and not adding years worth of disposable nappies to the landfill is yet just another bonus. Also I would like to have more children in the future and the nappies should be fine to reuse with another baby so that means any additional Inchy babies should be nappied for a much reduced cost.
I really like the Little Lamb Organic cotton nappies and from me they get the full five out of five stars and come highly recommend for anyone thinking of starting using cloth or anyone who may need a good all round day time nappy.
Always Ultra normal with wings
When it is that time of the month I prefer to use a combination of tampons along with pads and when buying sanitary products I do tend to be quite brand loyal to Always. I have been using various Always sanitary towels for years and I have found them to be reliable time after time, which in my opinion is exactly what you need from any sanitary product.
Personally, I tend to have periods that are on the heavier side so I don't always use the Always Ultra normal with wings, but instead opt for one of their other longer and more absorbent pads. But at the beginning or end of my period I prefer to use the Always Ultra normal sanitary towel with wings, they are just a smaller and less noticeable pad. They are comfortable to wear and when the pad is in place it's easy to forget about it and just get on with your day.
I do when available usually opt to buy the sanitary pads with the option of wings, as they just give me that added extra peace of mind that the pad is going to stay in place. I have never had a problem with the Always Ultra normal pad with wings and I have found that they adhere to most underwear material and when in place don't move around, which really makes them more comfortable and more reliable to wear.
The only thing I don't quite like about the Always Ultra sanitary pad and this probably goes for all the Always products these days is the strange fragrance of pot-pourri you get when you unwrap one of the pads. It's odd. It is also something that I could quite happily live without and go back to the days when there was no included fragrance. And really I don't think I have noticed any additional benefits of the fresher for longer fragrance aspect.
The Always Ultra normal sanitary pads with wings are available from most supermarkets or chemists for around £2 for a packet of 14 or you can buy them in duo packs.
Always Ultra normal with wings - Four out of five stars.