Playtex Round the Clock with 24H soft

I was recently contacted to see if I would be interested in taking part in a challenge being organised by Playtex. Entitled ‘Round the Clock with 24H soft’, the challenge was to put the new 24H soft hosiery through its paces, by wearing the tights from morning until night.  I was then asked to blog about my experiences of the tights – it was a challenge I was happy to take part in.

As a person who is always happiest in dresses and skirts, I tend to wear tights quite a bit. But being tall and long-legged, but with a fuller figure, I often struggle to find tights that are long enough, stretchy enough and don’t roll down over my waist. The new Playtex hosiery collection consists of six different ranges, with 24H soft being one of the products in this range. The tights promised to fit like a second skin, and offered ‘all day comfort’. This is due to stretchy, soft-touch fabric and a waistband that holds you in, but without any uncomfortable squeezing. This is a claim I was really interested to try.

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I chose a busy day that consisted school run, some working from home and then a trip to the launch of the Christmas grotto in Birmingham. This meant quite a bit of walking, a trip by train and then by tram, and also, as I was also taking my toddler niece to the grotto, there was also going to be a lot of bending down and sitting at floor level, both of which often play havoc with my tights.

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My first thoughts were that they had a lovely silky feel, but still had a matt appearance – I can’t think of anything worse than glossy looking tights. They were stretchy, and easy enough to get on, and yes, I felt like my tummy was tucked in, even thought I had left the Spanx off. So far, so good. They seemed to be a good fit and didn’t ladder or snag as I put them on – another problem I usually have.

These were 40 dernier opaques so they are perfect for day to night wear. I did the school run in these easily, putting boots over the top. They didn’t wrinkle when I wore the pull on boots over the top – another plus for me.  I was then sitting down for a long period of time, so no real test, but they were comfortable.

Moving onto the grotto was more active. We ran for the train, walked from the train station to the grotto, and then spent a lot of time sitting on the floor whilst the kids chatted with Santa. I also had to bend down to pick my niece up on quite a few occasions, and also posed for some images at floor level. The tights stayed put, they didn’t roll down, or need hitching up at any point, and they remained comfortable – not too tight or hot as to sweat the legs, but I wasn’t cold either.

All in all, I was pretty impressed that the 24H tights live up to their claims pretty well.

You can find Playtex 24 H range at Next.

*I was sent a Playtex gift pack which contained the 24h soft tights and other items in order to do a honest review.

 

Christmas Magic with The Nutcracker

Christmas really came to town in Birmingham on Friday with the opening night of The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s yuletide classic at the Birmingham Hippodrome.  A full house for the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production showed that this evergreen classic shows no sign of losing its ability to enchant, with this particular production stunning in both dance and visually through the incredible sets.

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The Nutcracker tells the story of a wonderful family Christmas Eve, with the initial scenes dominated by a wonderful Christmas tree. This is a picture box Victorian Christmas scene, one that could’ve come from a Christmas card, or the top of a quality street tin, the tableaux is so vivid and beautiful. A young girl, Clara beautifully danced with charm and innocence by Karla Doobar) is gifted a nutcracker doll, one that is then broken by her brother. The doll, however, seems to be a thing of magic, as proved when it is miraculously put back together, and when Clara creeps downstairs that same night to play with her new doll, she is suddenly transported to a world where Nutcracker dolls are real, rats are enormous and a Sugar Plum fairy proves to be the epitome of beauty and grace.

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Visually, this ballet is a feast for the eyes. The end of act 1, where Clara and her handsome Prince travel to the Land of Snow , is one of the most beautiful scenes I have seen in any ballet, with the Birmingham Hippodrome transformed into a winter wonderland with snow falling onto a stage full of silvery dancers and exquisite trees.  The second half starts with Clara flying across the stage on a white swan, a scene that is just magical, particularly for the younger members of the audience.

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The second scene is dominated by the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, with Momoko Hirata just so beautiful in this role. Her dance with the Prince is supremely romantic, and when, at the end of it, Clara finds herself back home, you find yourself wishing she could’ve stayed for just one more dance – you simply don’t want it to end.

Spellbinding magic for all the family. The Nutcracker is at the Birmingham Hippodrome until December 13.

The prettiest Grotto in Birmingham opens at House of Fraser

The most beautiful grotto in the Midands opened today in House of Fraser, Birmingham, promising to bring magic and festive cheer to all who visit. The House of Fraser grotto is run by the Harry Moseley Charity #HHHO (Help Harry Help Others) with all proceeds from admission tickets helping to raise vital funds. We were lucky enough to be invited along on Tuesday for a preview and promptly fell in love with the whole experience.

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The Grotto, which features a very realistic Santa who seems fresh from Miracle on 34th Street, is preceded by a magical Christmas village display, complete with animated penguins and Reindeers. There are house frontages where you can glimpse through the windows and take a look at Santa’s workshop, bedroom, and even the ‘Rackhams’ emporium – a lovely blast from the past for many.

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Photograph credit Jas Sansi

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Friendly elves and pixies chat to the children as they wait to see Santa, also performing tricks and posing for photographs. The mood is perfectly judged for excited children, with things to keep them occupied both before and after seeing the man in red, including grotto will be packed with activities for children to enjoy whilst waiting to meet Santa, including a colouring competition and Santa’s cinema, showing that new festive favourite, Frozen.

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The visit to Santa is just lovely. The elves ensure that Santa knows the names of the children beforehand, so they are greeted personally. The presents are lovely quality, with Joe receiving a dinosaur book that he was really pleased with, and Renee my niece loving her monkey glove puppet. You can also purchase a photographic souvenir too.

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The #HHHO grotto at House of Fraser will be open from 10am – 5pm (Monday – Saturday) and 11am – 4pm on (Sundays) from 29 November – 24 December.  Tickets cost £5 per child and  can be purchased from any of the Homewear and  Childrenswear till points in store.

*With thanks to Kim Stephens from Marketing Birmingham and Georgina Moseley for the lovely invitation.