I was recently contacted by a company called Super Smart who sells a range of supplements including some natural based items suitable for vegans. Perfect! I do take some supplements already such as spirulina, vitamin B12, vitamin D3 and sometimes some for focus such as ashwagandha and rhodiola. I love the amazing health benefits of these supplements and I always choose vegan wholefood supplements. I don’t like artificial products and as much as possible I believe we should get our nutrition and medicine from food sources. In this article I’m going to review the Super Smart Relaxing Oil Blend which is a pack of essential oil soft gel capsules to promote calm, destress, relax the mind and soothe sleep.
I started taking the tablets around nine days ago and I’ve had some evenings taking them before bed and others without taking them. I also tried taking two tablets on one of the evenings and four on the others. I wanted to see if I noticed a difference. I’m always keen for natural remedies to work so I have more of a natural bias towards them, so hopefully my little experiment helps to prove my results.
It was a tricky time for me to review a sleep aid as I recently twisted my sacroiliac joint and my sleeping has been severely affected! Obviously these are an aid to promote better sleep quality and destress, but they are not going to help with my current pain situation, so I can only imagine they will work even better when I’m back to normal. Nevertheless, I’m certain I have seen a drastic improvement in my relaxation the evenings I have taken the tablets.
What do the tablets contain?
Each soft gel contains at least 75 different active molecules and five essential oils:
The blend is a natural alternative to pharmaceutical sleeping tablets and the website says they can be used to act on the following symptoms:
feelings of oppression
agitation or over-stimulation
The tablets arrived very quickly and I was sent two packs. It’s recommended to take 1-4 capsules around half hour before going to bed. I decided to go full steam ahead on my first try and take four capsules! They are soft gel style so easy to swallow. I’ve never struggled to take even large tablets, but even if you do these are so silky smooth they should slip down easily. As they contain actual essential oils I was a bit worried they’d burst in my mouth so swallowed as quickly as possible. Make sure you have water to hand!
I am certain I was more relaxed and content the evenings I took four tablets. I’ve done this for around three or four evenings over the past week with last night being the most successful. I find it difficult to switch off, especially as I work from home. I see emails pinging through to my phone and if I have work to do, which is most days, then I struggle to forget about it and relax. As I’m at home I know I could always be working! I also like to stay on top of things so I can’t rest until I am. I really need to learn to be strict with my working hours and separate my home and work life, but anyone who runs their own business will know how difficult that can be!
Last night I managed to totally switch my thoughts off and happily relax on the sofa for one hour before bed. I went to bed around 40 minutes earlier than usual and I slept right through past my normal waking time, even though my back is as sore as ever. I’m sure the capsules helped with this.
The night’s I have taken four capsules I have noticed it easier to relax and switch off my thoughts. I regularly get a bit anxious in the evenings wondering what the next day will bring and I worry my website will suddenly delete itself or work will dry up. It’s a thought that’s often on my mind and it usually strikes me whilst in bed trying to sleep. Not the most appropriate time! I’ve found myself having these worrying thoughts less whilst taking these tablets and actually focussing on the present moment instead and going to sleep!
The night I took two capsules I did not notice much of a change. For me I do need to take four so they have the desired effect. If you’re worried about taking so many then I suggest starting with one and building up.
It’s only been a short while since I’ve been trying this blend, but I am convinced it has aided a more relaxing evening, switched off my negative thought processes before sleeping and therefore encouraged a better quality of rest. Even with my current twisted pelvis I was still able to notice a difference comparing the evenings I took them and the evenings I did not. I will continue to take these as and when I need them to switch off and get a better night’s kip.
I much prefer to explore natural solutions to any mental problems or sleep disorders before resorting to drugs. I’d only ever choose drugs if I absolutely needed them and all other natural avenues had been explored. For anxiety, sleep issues and stress I’d recommend trying this Relaxing Oil Blend to see if it helps.
I’ve never heard of anyone ingesting essential oils before and I didn’t even know it was possible. I was certain I had sweet citrus flavours coming up to my mouth one evening! Now, do not go and start mixing your own essential oils and drinking them. This can be very dangerous and toxic! Essential oils are not risk free, especially when ingesting them. The dosage in the Relaxing Oil Blend is maximised to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the capsules which has been chosen by leading health professionals.
We recently went on our very first ‘proper’ family beach holiday. By proper, I mean a holiday abroad to sunshine! Ben, my husband, would class a rainy week camping in Wales as a holiday, but a holiday to me is really getting away, far away, to sunshine and a foreign country. We booked a First Choice Premier Family Holiday and stayed at the Club Jandia Princess Hotel in Fuerteventura. The resort is ten minutes from Jandia and the beach we were on was Esquinzo beach. In this blog post I will provide my honest review of the hotel only.
We’re no strangers to flying with the kids. We’ve already been to Germany five times since having the children to visit Ben’s family. Still, those were family visits and not a holiday to me. This time we chose where we were going and picked somewhere warm and sunny of course. We chose a beach location with children’s pools and spoilt ourselves with all inclusive. It had been 6 years since me and Ben went away on holiday together like this, so we booked a year in advance and chose a premium location.
For Ben this was only his second time on a beach package holiday. I’ve been several times with my mum when younger to Greek islands and the Canaries, as well as with ex boyfriends. In total I’ve been on around 10 package beach holidays to European destinations, 4 or 5 camping trips to the south of France, 3 work trips to Italy and Germany, plus I’ve spent 7 weeks across two trips to California. I’m only sharing this information so you can tell I’ve been abroad several times and seen all manner of accommodation from tents and caravans to two, three, four and five star hotels.
Hopefully my experience so far means I can provide a fair review in this blog post and my honest opinion of the good and the not so good.
My review of the Club Jandia Princess resort
My first impressions were it is very beautiful outside. It looked like a well-kept white building with a large clean and attractive entrance.
I know this probably can’t be helped when we all arrive on a transfer coach in one go, but there was a very long wait for check in. Unfortunately we ended up at the back of the queue with two tired restless and hungry kids. This was around 8pm and the children hadn’t eaten a proper meal since 11am at the UK airport so they were starving and bored. We really needed to check in ASAP and get them to the restaurant. The bar staff did serve wine and Fanta to those waiting in the queue. A tray was brought over and drinks were complimentary. This was a nice touch. They must have known we were going to wait for a long time! I don’t drink alcohol or let the children have fizzy drinks, so we didn’t accept any, but a lovely gesture nonetheless.
We finally checked in and found our room easily, but did not find the restaurant easily as not sign posted very well from outside. We did see a sign directing us up some stairs to reception so ignored this, but after some frustrating going around in circles trying to locate the buffet it turned out the restaurant was up the steps we had previously ignored! As soon as we knew where it was we could obviously locate it for the rest of the holiday, but I’m surprised there’s not a sign pointing to the restaurant too for newbies.
We made it just in time for the end of the dinner buffet service, fed the kids and everyone was happy again.
The rooms are in apartment blocks in separate buildings with the family side to the right of the main entrance and the adult only area to the left. There are twisting paths to each block and to get to the pool with white washed walls and lots of palm trees, flowers and cactus to look at. Beautiful lanterns light them up in the dark. It looked very pretty. The hotel and its grounds were very picturesque and perfect with the sea as its backdrop.
The room is lovely and clean with simple modern décor, but very disappointing the kids only get a creaky old uncomfortable sofa bed to share! We did know this before we went so I can’t complain too much, but the children are the same price as the adults, so you’d expect they’d get a bed each or bunk beds. I think if Ben and I had gone by ourselves, without the kids, we would still have had the same size room. Kids should be cheaper if we’re not getting any more space or beds.
Next time we go on holiday I will definitely find somewhere with separate beds for the kids. They wound each other up a treat sharing the same bed! Plus, as the sofa bed was made into a bed the whole time it gave us very little movement space in the room. It was basically a room full of beds. It did have everything you need for a beach holiday and most people would say you’re out all day anyway, but with the little ones we go back to our room quite early to try and get them to bed and it was cramped with four of us in the same space. Others might be fine with this set up, but it will be a requirement for more actual beds or a separate bedroom area or living area for our next holiday, especially if we have to pay adult prices for the children.
The room was cleaned and beds made every day. This is always a lovely touch when on holiday, to get back to a made up room. The towels were changed if we wanted them - just leave the ones on the floor that need changing. The bathroom was spacious and the shower was amazing - a proper power shower that always had pressure and was always hot! I could have stayed in the shower for days…
There were enough towels, plenty of loo rolls, and complimentary soap, shower gel and shampoo if needed.
There was a TV that we couldn’t get to turn on, but we didn’t really need it. We were just trying to put it on to settle the kids during their crazy bedtime hour, but it didn’t work. We didn’t bother saying anything as we didn’t really need to use it for our holiday. I’m sure they’d have fixed it or replaced if we had asked. The reception team were always very friendly and made sure we knew to take any concerns to them.
We had a small balcony that we didn’t really use. It had a table and two chairs. Great for a warm evening if you wanted to sit outside your room. Plenty of storage space and a small safe is in the wardrobe for an additional fee if you need to use one.
We were in the family area so it was pretty quiet at night with regards to other hotel guests. There was something very noisy outside of our room which disturbed me the first night or so, then I must have got used to it. I have no idea what it was, but a smallish building just outside our room with some equipment making a loud extractor fan type noise! The sofa bed was unbelievably uncomfortable – I slept on it with Bella for the first night and did not sleep well at all. Luckily the kids didn’t complain about it for the holiday, but perhaps as they are much smaller than me it wasn’t too bad (they are five and three). The beds were much comfier and I slept a lot better in the actual beds. There are blackout blinds on the sliding balcony doors so the room can be pitch black. You’ll not even know what time it is in the morning as it blocks all daylight! With the blackout shutters, the actual beds and a room away from the noisy thing then getting a good night’s sleep shouldn’t be a problem.
The WiFi was €19 for a week for one login. If you have more than one device then you’ll need to pay per device you want to use WiFi on. The connection was a little temperamental. It seemed to always work, but sometimes was very slow. On these days I linked to a personal hotspot on my phone. Being self-employed and panicking I’d miss out on lots of paid work, I took my laptop and worked one hour most evenings and some mornings. The WiFi even reached the beach! I checked something on my phone one day when we strolled a short distance down the beach and was amazed to see the WiFi connection going strong!
We ate at the buffet restaurant for nearly all three meals each day. I was worried before we went as I eat a vegan diet, Ben is no dairy/meat and the kids are veggie with minimal dairy. Even for me, the fussiest one, there was plenty of different vegetables, salad, fruit and potatoes each day. For meat eaters there is a huge selection. The kids loved pasta and pizza as a treat some days. Of course, there were chips available nearly every day too!
For breakfast there was a good selection of pastries, cooked and cold meats, cheese, fruit, cereal, pancakes, churros and everything to make a good British cooked breakfast! I was able to have mushrooms, grilled aubergine, pepper, tomatoes and courgette most mornings with watermelon and orange juice. There are beans, hash browns, all sorts to keep you full.
The main meals varied each day so there was always something new to try. Orange juice is served at breakfast time only. I’d have liked to have juice at other meal times too. If you drink alcohol you can have it at all three meals! There were some bottles of something at breakfast too!
The staff were always very friendly and efficient in the restaurant. They’d clear our plates away quickly and serve fresh coffee to the tables in the morning and jugs of water (or whatever you ask for) in the evenings.
I never told them my dietary choice so I have no idea if they would cater specifically for a vegan or not. I was pleased to get home and gorge on a vegetable pizza and huge roast dinner, but I’d not let my dietary choice put me off returning there. I ate lots of fresh fruit, veg and salad. For naughty meals I had chips and vegetable spring rolls!
La Choza snack bar
Not far from the pool is La Choza which serves snacks all day as well as breakfast and lunch. It’s a smaller restaurant so there is a smaller choice here, but it makes for a nice change from the buffet restaurant sometimes. They also have an outdoor seating area which looks over the sea, so it’s worth eating here just for this. This is where you come for a beige lunch and snacks! They do have some pre-prepared sandwiches and salads, though most of these have meat in, but at least one was veggie each day. If you’re hungry before 1pm, which is when the buffet restaurant opens, then you can pop here for a starter or a naughtier lunch.
Pizza, burgers, hot dogs, chips, nuggets, veggie spring rolls, mozzarella sticks, fish fingers, sandwiches, pre-packaged salads, a small fruit bar, desserts. This was pretty standard every day. There is not much choice for vegans here, so this was my naughty chips and spring rolls meals. They could do with small salad bar.
A la carte Restaurant El Lagar
I can’t comment on the a la carte restaurant as we didn’t go! There was one meal included in our stay if we wanted to go, but with young kids and having to pre-order and book a time, we decided not to. Plus I thought we’d be pretty tricky to cater for and they might not have anything suitable. We had the family all-inclusive bands (blue), but other band colours allowed more than one visit to this restaurant.
In the family area there were two large family pools which look like one huge pool, but they are separate. These were supposedly heated, but they were freezing! I did go in them on day one and had to keep moving around. Ben said I was probably putting the other guests off getting in as I looked so cold! The kids didn’t seem to notice how cold the pool was! I bet in the summer they will be much warmer and they did warm up slightly as the day went on.
The smaller kids’ pool, which is very shallow, was much better! Like a warm bath! It was so small it heated up quickly and retained the heat. This pool was perfect for my children’s ages, five and three, and we didn’t have to panic about them so much as it’s more of a splash pool. They also had a lifeguard watching pool at nearly all times.
There are a lot of sun loungers and luckily we always managed to find a set as everyone reserves them! The hotel gave us some information when we arrived including a whole page on how not to reserve the loungers and towels may be removed, but no one was enforcing this and everyone just ignored it. So frustrating! We did not reserve ours and just found some each day, but I can imagine this will be harder in the summer months. I sat for three hours at the pool one day before the loungers next to me, which had towels on, became occupied by the towel owners. They’d not been in the pool, oh no, they look like they’d just arrived fully dressed from a day out!
I’m not too sure how the hotel can totally enforce this. We were able to get loungers, but it would have been annoying if we couldn’t!
There are plenty of all day long sunshine spots around the pools, as well as shaded areas covered with canopies. For a fee there are also Balinese Beds which we had a sneak peek at and they looked so comfortable! Like lying on an actual bed looking out to the sea all day long! I’m not sure if these are family friendly as half the hotel is adults only. I believe they have three of their own pools, a gym, spa and more, but we didn’t see this part of the hotel.
I can’t comment on the entertainment as we didn’t use any. There is a full on schedule of daily activities, a kids club and evening entertainment. We were out in the day times or did our own thing and after dinner we went back to our room as tired children and shattered parents! There is also a cute animal petting corner with ducks, rabbits, goat and chickens which we popped into on our last day and the kids loved it! Even Bella, who is usually very wary of animals, went straight in and stroked the rabbits. She’s been mentioning wanting a pet rabbit ever since we returned.
We were really impressed with this hotel. It’s a beautiful looking hotel and I can see why it has a premier status with First Choice who we booked with. There were a few things I would definitely improve to make it a 5* experience, but I think it’s worthy of its 4* status. I wouldn’t return with the same room set up as the children would need their own beds, but otherwise I would return if I were to visit the same place again and we could have proper beds and more space. It would also be great to see it from the other perspective, as adults only, as I expect the adult only rooms, spa and pool are lovely and provide a totally different experience in the same hotel.
You may have seen my post before about free online lotteries, but if not I’m here again to remind you they do exist as a free way to potentially make some extra cash online and I have a new company to share with you today - Free National Lotto! This is a new one to me too and I’ve only just signed up. They run a daily 5-ball draw and a bi-weekly 5-ball draw, that’s a lot of chances to win some free money online!
I signed up yesterday and the bi-weekly Sunday 5-ball jackpot was £1260! If no one wins the prize it rolls over to the next bi-weekly draw. For a few seconds of your time each day to check the results, you could win over a grand. I love free lotteries for the chance of winning even a fiver or tenner, so the chance to win over a grand is even more exciting and definitely worth checking the site each day. Plus, it’s free, so you have nothing to lose!
The daily draw prize pot is £5 and this will also roll over to the next day if it’s not claimed. There’s no limit on the rollover so the jackpot will keep growing until someone claims it.
The best thing is they email you a reminder, so you don’t even have to remember to check the site yourself, they will tell you. I save up all my free lottery emails and check them when I have a spare moment such as waiting for the kettle to boil, being a passenger in a car, waiting for a slow web page to load, or first thing each morning when snoozing the alarm. Just find a few spare minutes in the day, click the links in the emails and check to see if you’re a winner.
If you have won, you’ll see a ‘claim my prize’ button below the draw results, simply click to claim and once the draw closes for that day you’ll get your share of the prize to your PayPal account. Easy.
Signing up is super quick. I selected my 5 lucky numbers by typing them into the coloured balls shown, entered my email and password, then voila. Account set up. Next was my name, surname, DOB and sex, a click on a link in an email to verify I own the email address and within a couple of minutes my account was totally set up and verified.
If you’re wondering how a lotto can be free to enter it’s because they make their revenue from ads, promotions, offers and surveys.
Here are their fabulous (and free) promises:
Free daily 5-ball lotto draws with real guaranteed cash prizes!
Free Twice weekly 5-ball big jackpot draw! Will keep growing until its won!
Absolutely free lotto, free for everyone, free forever!
If you’re looking for a discount code for Create.net then you’re in the right place! Create are the website builders I have used for this blog and shop ever since I set up my first website. Well, I did use another ecommerce platform for one day, but they were useless and I got a refund sharpish. Luckily I somehow discovered Create who had everything I needed to set up my online fashion boutique at the time.
Originally I didn’t even have a blog and just set up a fashion shop. I’d sold items on Facebook and Esty prior to this, but even all those years ago (almost five) Facebook were constantly making changes to their algorithm which was affecting my sales. I knew I had to set up my own online website if I was to continue.
A lot has changed in the five years I’ve had my website and blogging is now my focus. I still have my store and it can be found here if you want a peek as an example of what a Create shop looks like.
Don’t take mine as the only example though! They have so many fully customisable responsive themes to choose from, so you can pick one that suits your brand and tweak it to personalise. I love a minimal clean white look, so this theme works for me. I have changed a couple of fonts and colours. It’s so easy to change the themes and preview before deciding on them to pick the best for you.
There’s a full stock management system and stock control all integrated into an easy to use backend. You can generate sales reports and see everything you need in the dashboard. The customer service team are also brilliant! I think I’ve had around three account managers in the five years I’ve been with Create and they have all been the most helpful people ever. They never make me feel like an idiot, even when I’m asking the most obvious questions. You need no technical experience whatsoever to make a website with Create.
My shop is still there, but I mostly blog now. The blog is great as an addition to your ecommerce store and it still works fine for me as a full time blogger, but it does lack a lot of blog features you’ll get with a dedicated platform such as Wordpress which I use for my second blog. For a simple blog alongside your store or even if you just want a basic blog that’s easy to use with no fuss, then the blog is just fine.
There’s an option to pay monthly or save a bit more if you pay yearly. I pay every January and it’s done and forgotten about for a year. I have two domains, both the .com and .co.uk and they are around £30 each for two years. Create will organise all this for you through your dashboard and send reminders when the payment is due.
If you want to play around there’s a free trial where you can test everything before committing to a contract.
I’m forever changing around our home trying to get the best layout for family life. In particular I keep altering our playroom which is also my office. A strange combination you might think, but originally the entire room was my office. It’s a garage conversion so long and narrow. As the kids grew and their toys multiplied and took over our living space, I decided to divide the room up and have my office at one end, perhaps a quarter of the room and to give the rest of the room to the children as a playroom. The plan was the children can play and be near me whilst I work, however it doesn’t always work like that! Usually they’re too noisy for me to work or they want my attention if they can see me. We may have to eventually change the layout again and create my own separate office elsewhere in the home. This will also give the children their own private space which is useful as they grow and start to have friends over – their very own den/living room, away from us uncool parents!
Spot the new notice boards!
I’d already started shuffling the playroom around and thinking of new ideas when eco-friendly company Sundeala got in touch. They very kindly sent me some of their colourboard notice boards to help with the makeover and they are perfect! We have white walls throughout our home and I’d just been tacking up the kids’ art work, school information and photos. The kids then copied suit and started doing this themselves too, along with lots of scribbles and art work directly onto the walls which I wasn’t so impressed about!
More artwork to come!
My hubby Ben repainted the walls white and I decluttered the toys. We popped some high up shelves for all the toys to try and control the toy chaos that always ensues! We did have cube storage shelves low down, but with Reuben only just turning three he is forever pulling it all out and mixing all the little bits up. I’d had enough of sorting out the playroom toys and reorganising every week, so the toys are now too high for them to reach. We have a new rule where they have a box of toys down each and if they want another then they must first tidy away the box they already have down. Hopefully it will work well and stop me from having to sort the playroom out every week for 1-2 hours! As a parent it’s the one repetitive task that drives me bonkers!
I wasn’t sure what to do with the walls. I love having their colourful artwork on display, but it was looking a tad messy just stuck directly on the wall. I’m so pleased Sundeala got in touch as their eco-friendly notice boards are the perfect solution! I’m also interested in natural nontoxic living and leading a more sustainable lifestyle, so these fit perfectly. I chose unframed boards in three different colours which are environmentally friendly and made from 100% highly compressed recycled paper. They’re also totally reusable and can even be sanded back to ‘new’ after lots of use. They also suit our chemical free home as they’re dyed with natural mineral pigments. Interestingly they are created using wasted newsprint. I love the feel of recycled paper. It’s so soft to run your hand over, like handmade paper.
So how do they look? Just perfect! They are honestly the most perfect addition to the playroom. Picking three different colours has brightened it up in such a fun way for the children. They have a board each for their artwork and one joint board for photos, school information and reward charts. It looks so much tidier than plastering everything all over the walls. Now the walls are hopefully less of a blank canvas white attraction for the children to draw all over too. Though having the pens out of reach on the new shelves should certainly help with that problem too!