Sunday, 5 October 2014

Low Cholesterol Granola Breakfast Foods Low Cholesterol Breakfast Ideas
October is National Cholesterol Month for HEARTUK, the Cholesterol Charity. They have launched their Great Cholesterol Challenge, where they want you to treat your heart by pledging to adopt a new healthy habit, and raise funds for HEART UK at the same time! It's very easy to get involved, there are lots more details here.

There are all sorts of healthy habits that you can adopt and they don’t have to be hard.  My friend Milly White, who written an excellent cookbook on low cholesterol diets, has suggested a super easy one – why not swap your regular morning breakfast to a delicious Homemade Healthy Heart Granolapacked full of cholesterol-lowering superfoods? It's Suitable for Vegetarians, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and can be made Vegan too.  You can find her low cholesterol recipe hereit makes 31 servings - enough for breakfast daily during HEARTUK's October's National Cholesterol Month.  Pop over to here blog and have a look, it is very yummy!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Cholesterol - The Silent Killer

How much do you know about cholesterol?  Perhaps not a great deal, which is why cholesterol is known as the silent killer, as it often presents no symptons until quite a lot of damage has been done.  It can affect young and old, fat and thin.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a sticky fat needed by our body to make cells, hormones and vitamins.You have probably heard that many people need to lower their cholesterol but you may be surprised to learn that we actually need cholesterol! However, before you disregard this as nonsense, I will clarify that what I mean is there is “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol, and we need the good but not the bad. By itself, cholesterol can’t circulate in our blood. It is carried around the body in something called lipoproteins. This is where the good vs bad comes into play. There are two main types of lipoproteins in the body:
“Good” cholesterol comes in the form of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). HDL removes cholesterol from the body by taking it to the liver where it can be recycled or broken down
“bad” cholesterol comes in the form of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is produced by the liver and supplies cholesterol to help repair old cells and build new ones. However, too much LDL cholesterol can stick to the inside of blood vessels, and, over time, this can build-up causing our blood vessels to narrow and restricting blood flow to the heart.

What Can Cause a Build-up of “Bad” cholesterol?

  • Smoking
  • Being inactive
  • Eating too much saturated fat
  • What we eat and drink
  • Being overweight, especially if you are “apple-shaped” and carry excess fat around your waist
  • A family history of high cholesterol, as this can be inherited from our parents 

Know Your Number

It’s important to get your cholesterol checked by a qualified health professional such as your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. The table below provides some general guidance on recommended blood cholesterol levels, but discuss your target number with your health professional when having your blood cholesterol tested:
recommended blood cholesterol levels

Managing Your Total Fat & Lowering Your Saturated Fat Intake

Research has shown that reducing saturated fat intake can bring about a reduction in harmful LDL-cholesterol. Guidance in the UK & USA recommends lowering saturated fat intake to less than 10% of energy intake. 

Cholesterol-Busting Super Foods

Plant based foods such as vegetables, oat cereals, beans and legumes, soya foods and drinks, nuts and seeds do not contain cholesterol and are usually low in saturated fat. So these are foods that should feature regularly in a diet to lower cholesterol.  In addition, there are 6 group foods, often called Superfoods, that can actively help to lower cholesterol levels. 

Cooking & Eating to Help Lower Cholesterol

If you are would like lots more information on how you can easily adjust your diet to support cholesterol-lowering goals, I can thoroughly recommend the latest cookbook by Milly White. Her new Mediterranean Diet, Low-Fat and Low-Cholesterol Cookbook contains over 100 delicious heart-healthy recipes based around cholesterol-lowering superfoods.

If you think that eating this way will be difficult or leave you feeling unsatisfied or deprived, think again. There are tempting and delicious recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner along with mouth-watering Desserts and scrumptious Bakes & Cakes, proving that you can have your cake and eat it when the cake in question is Lemon & Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes!

Available for Kindle on here ohere.

Wantable Personalised Beauty Box Subscription Review

Last month, I had the opportunity to try out the premium, personalised Beauty Box subscription provided by and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

In my post Beauty All Boxed Up - The 8 Best UK Beauty Box Subscriptions, I advise that should be your choice if you want high levels of personalisation and full sizes.  So how did my experience match up to expectations?

Personalised Profile

In terms of personalisation, I enjoyed completing my profile online.  You are asked lots and lots of questions about your preferences which you rank in terms or Love, Like or Dislike.  Wantable guarantee that you will not be sent something that you have marked as a dislike and you are most likely to receive something you have marked as Love.

Below is a quick recap of what I selected (but I can remember answering many more questions than the choices below indicate such as contemporary vs classis in nail polish colours):

Love: Fair, Cool, Brows, Eye Shadow, Lash Product, Lip Colour, Nail Polish
Like: Complexion Products, Eyeliner, Highlighter, Blush
Dislike: Warm, Bronzer, Tools

What Was in My Box?

I received 4 full size products:

  • Vincent Longo Pressed Face Powder in Golden Banana, Full size, Boxed, (RRP $28)
  • Tarina Taratino Dollskin Cream Blush Duo in Coral Cameo, Full size, Boxed, (RRP $28) 
  • Gleam Body Radiance Highligher by Melanie Mills in Rose Gold, 59ml Full size, (RRP $30)
  • Olfa Universal Eyebrow Pencil Liner, Full size, (RRP $10).
Vincent Longo Pressed Face Powder in Golden Banana
I have been looking for a compact to pop into my handbag for touch-ups during the heat of the summer and was pleased to receive this.  It is described as a soft, lightweight powder and it is that.  With the colour described as Golden Banana, I was fearful that it would be too yellow and too golden for my fair, cool-toned skin.  It is more yellow than I would choose as a foundation or even as my main finishing powder, but I will use this for what I want, a touch-up compact whilst out and about.

Tarina Taratino Dollskin Cream Blush Duo in Coral Cameo
I have to confess, I am not a great fan of blushers.  I suffer from high colouring and am normally trying to tone down my naturally very rosy cheeks.  However, I do think that one of the most positive features of a monthly subscription box is that they do introduce to new products that you may not normally buy.  So I resisted the tempation to assign Blusher to dislike in my preferences, although I did only rate it as Like.  

The product packaging is very stylish.  However, my big issue here is that Wantable and I obviously have very different ideas about what constitutes a warm shade and what constitiutes a bronzer (both on my dislikes).  On the Tarina Taratino website, the shade I was sent (Coral Cameo) is described as a peachy pink blush with bronze sparklicity.  In other words a Warm blusher with Bronzer.  Hmm.

Gleam Body Radiance Highligher by Melanie Mills
This is a make-up, moisturizer, and glow all in one and, apparently, there is a shade for every skin tone but every skin tone can use each shade for a different end result.  I was sent Rose Gold (shade pictured left).  Again, another case of myself and Wantable a having very different ideas about what constitutes a warm shade.    I will never, ever use this shade and it is just the sort of shade I had wanted to avoid by specifically excluding Warm shades.
Olfa Universal Eyebrow Pencil Liner
I tend to avoid "universal" shades as I really don't see how there can be such a thing.  This pencil has not changed my mind about universal shades, and it is a little darker than I would normally choose, but with a light touch, it will be useable.

How Much Does A Wantable Box Cost?

For delivery to the UK, a one-off purchase of a Wantable Box $54 (c£32) or a monthly subscription works out at $49.20 (c£29).  This includes UK delivery and all import duties.
I was sent this box to review by Wantable free of charge. 

Would I recommend?

I do very much like the concept of Wantable, I enjoyed the personalisation process. My parcel arrived quickly and I was kept informed of its journey all of the way.

Personally, I would rather pay more for a subscription box and receive good sized, great quality products, rather than a much lower price but then receive very small samples of products that have no appeal or are not beauty related.  I do think that Wantable delivered on this.  

I also was very, very keen on the level of personalisation offered.  However, I do not feel that Wantable delivered on this and that I was sent shades for two out of my four products that actually fell into my Dislike category.  However, Wantable do offer a satisfaction guarantee and if this had been a purchase, I would have been able to return these.

My recommendation would be to try this as a one-off subscription before signing up for the monthly service, you can find the details here. 

And Finally

This review has focused on Wantable's Beauty Box, but they do also offer an Accessories Box or a Intimates Box, and you can swap between categories if you have a monthly sub.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Sneak Peek - QVC TSVs 23 June - 29 June

Let's take a look at next week's Beauty TSVs on and with TSVs from Leighton Denny and in both the US and UK, Perricone MD

Leighton Denny 8 Piece Collection TSV 26 June

  • 4 Colour Polishes (4 x 12ml)
  • Crystal Finish (12ml)
  • Best Defense Hand and Nail Cream
  • Remove and Go Polish Remover (60ml) 
  • Correct & Perfect On The Go in 3 options
Item number 205455

Perricone MD 4 Piece Advanced Anti Ageing Collection 27 June

  • Photo Plasma 59ml 
  • Nutritive Cleanser177ml 
  • Blue Plasma Orbital 15ml 
  • Cold Plasma 30ml 

Item number 205391

Over in US on, there is also a different Perricone TSV this coming week: 

Perricone MD Supersize Neuropeptide Firming System for Face TSV 28 June

Supersize Neuropeptide Firming Moisturizer 4 fl oz)
Neuropeptide Facial Cream 2.5 fl oz

Item No A252421 $199.86 +  $9.72 S+H, auto-delivery Item No A259300 with Bonus 1-oz Neuropeptide Night Cream

Advance notification of QVC UK item numbers and some of the details courtesy of Ian Burkitt, with permission

Friday, 13 June 2014

Sneak Peeks - QVC TSVs 16 June - 22 June 2014

Let's have a sneak peek of next week's TSV on and

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Duo TSV 17 June

  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer 1 Litre 
  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer 150ml

Item number 204914

L'Occitane 5 Piece Almond TSV 22 June

  • Almond Shower Oil 500ml 
  • Almond Eco Shower Oil Refill 500ml 
  • Almond Milk Veil 250ml
  • Almond Hand Cream 30ml
  • Almond Soap 50g

Over on next week, there are 

Peter Thomas Roth 16 June

IT Cosmetics It's All About You - 5 Piece Customer Favorites TSV 21 June

  • Brow Power Universal Eye Pencil 0.0056-oz 
  • Silverplush Heavenly Luxe Dual-Ended Complexion Perfection Brush
  • CC+ Radiance Palette 0.66-oz  containing Radiant Light brightening powder, matte Blush in love, matte Bronzer in warmth
  • Anti-Ageing Celebration Foundation 0.30-oz 
  • Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Concealer 0.28 fl-oz 
In choice of foundation colours Fair (Light concealer), Light, Medium (Medium concealer), Tan (Medium concealer), or Rich (Deep concealer)
Item No A255578  $59.96 + $7.22 (S+H), auto-delivery Item No A259059 $59.96 + $7.22 (S+H), but future shipments will not have brush

Advance notification of QVC UK item numbers and some of the details courtesy of Ian Burkitt, with permission

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sneak Peeks - QVC TSVs 9 June - 15 June 2014

Let's have a sneak peek of next week's TSV on

Ultrasun 4 Piece Glimmer & Glow Collection

  • Ultrasun Face SPF 30 50ml
  • Ultrasun Daily UV Hair Protector 150ml
  • Ultrasun Glimmer SPF 20 100ml
  • Ultrasun Aftersun 125ml

Item Number 204898, TSV Price £27.98 + £4.95 P&P, available at the TSV price on 11th June

Decleor Hydrating & Quenching 5 Piece Face & Body Collection

  • 2-in-1 Dark Circle & Eye Wrinkle Eraser 15ml 
  • System Corps Gradual Glow Hydrating Body Milk 250ml
  • Aromessence Neroli 15ml
  • Hydra Floral 24hr Moisture Activator Light Cream
  • System Corps Moisturising Body Milk 250ml

Item number 205515, available at the TSV price on 15th June.

Advance notification of QVC UK item numbers and some of the details courtesy of Ian Burkitt, with permission

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Far Too Faux - Bare Minerals Faux Tan Body Review

Are you of the same age as me, old enough to remember the awful early days of fake tan?  I can clearly remember in my early teens in the early '80s, and a school friend turned up for swimming looking like an orange zebra.  Things are meant to have moved on since then but ......
The product claims:
  • Look like you've spent a day at the beach without exposure to the sun's harmful rays. A mineral copper complex prolongs the tanning effects, while aloe vera and vegetable-derived emollients provide hydration so skin feels soft and smooth.
  • Say goodbye to streaks: you see the colour as you're applying it, so you'll know exactly where to put more or if you've missed a spot
  • Natural-based formula moisturises, hydrates and defends skin with aloe vera and emollients
  • Doesn't clog the pores or irritate skin
  • Want to look like you've basked in the sun longer? Build a deeper tan by reapplying.
I must declare upfront that I am very fair, my arms and legs in particular are blue-white in skin tone.  My preference for my colouring is therefore a very light, golden tan colour with definitely no orange.  

How was it for me?

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Weekend News Digest - 31 May 2014

Goodness me, where has the year gone already, it's June tomorrow!  In the meantime, let's have a lazy weekend stroll through this week's main beauty news, with colour launches from MAC (Pedro Lourenço) and Urban Decay, a whisper from Gucci, more devine scents from the lovely Jo Malone and plenty of polish ....

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Sneak Peeks - QVC TSVs 2 June - 8 June 2014

Let's have a sneak peek of next week's TSV on and

In the US, there will be a Philosophy Supersize TSV

Philosophy TSV - 3-piece Super-size Cream Favorites TSV 7 June

This set contains:
  • Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bubble Bath Supersize 64-fl-oz 
  • Body Lotion Supersize 32-fl-oz 
  • Body Spritz Supersize 16-fl-oz 
Available in a choice of fragrences: Fresh Cream, Raspberries and Cream, or Apricots and Cream
Item No A254737, $78.00 + $8.97 S&H on 4 easypays, or auto delivery Item No A256607, $78.00 + $8.97

In the UK, Sunday 8th June sees to a Judith Williams Phytomineral 5 Piece Hydrating Skincare Collection TSV 

  • Phytomineral Neck and Décolletage Moisture Treatment 75ml
  • Intensive Hand Cream 150ml
  • All In One Day And Night Cream 150ml
  • Intensive Eye Cream 15ml 
  • 7 Night Wonder Serum In Oil 50ml

Item No 205265, £31.56 + £4.95 P&P