Tried and Tested – Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

Christmas is a time for over-indulging in everything except our beauty regime. We burn the candle at both ends, eat too much, drink too much and basically make merry, often falling into bed without any thought for removing all that slap we have been wearing. Is it any wonder that our skin suffers, looking drawn, tired and lacklustre, just as New Year’s Eve hits and we want to usher in 2016 looking our best?

This Christmas, one of my favourite beauty products of all time has been celebrating its 20th birthday with a very special festive edition. Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish is legendary in beauty circles due to its use of natural ingredients, its fuss free approach and its proven great results, and with gorgeous commemorative packaging for the festive season, this is one gift you should treat yourself to as 2016 approaches – start the new year as you mean to go on.

I was so lucky to receive a touch of Liz Earle this Christmas.

I was so lucky to receive a touch of Liz Earle this Christmas.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser was the first and the best of the hot cloth cleansers. It is very easy to use, and this makes it a product that can be applied both morning and evening to get the optimum results. The bottle is pump action, and one or two small pumps is enough per application. You massage the cream into dry skin with your fingertips – it feels lovely and soothing and has a very gentle scent that is due to the Chamomile. Once it is in the skin you then remove the excess with a hot cloth cleanse. This is achieved through a muslin cloth that both removes the excess and polishes the skin at the same time. Your face feels instantly soft and revitalised, so much so that this is one product I use constantly, and also introduced my sister-in-law and best friend to.

Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser from £9.75 click to visit Liz Earle

Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser from £9.75 click to visit Liz Earle

This is a product that is very gentle, and so works for all skin types. If you are looking for some nourishment for tired, winter skin, or are just looking to improve your skin care routine in 2016, I would definitely recommend Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish as your number one purchase.


‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ is a joy at Birmingham Town Hall

If you are looking for some fun, family entertainment for the remainder of the Christmas break, or to take you into January with a bang, then look no further than the festive family fare that is currently delighting younger audiences at Birmingham Town Hall. To put it quite simply ‘we’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, we’re not scared…’Although actually, maybe we are, just a little.

630x44.fitwithoffsetWe’re going on a bear hunt is a children’s classic that celebrated 25 years since publishing in 2014. Written by Michael Rosen and with famous watercolour illustrations by Helen Oxenbury, the story of a family taking a trip through fields, water and snow to try to find an elusive bear has been delighting children of all ages for years, and now it is a delightful play that is perfect for younger audiences, particularly those who may not have seen a show live before.


The actors create the roles beautifully, instantly recognisable to those who love the classic illustrations from the original book.  There are lively, fun songs that the audience are encouraged to join in with, along with scenes that are interactive, like when the splashing through the river sees the audience getting a splashing too (much to the delight of my niece who laughed long and loud when the water pistol was trained on Uncle Peter…). There are plenty of laughs throughout, especially from the muddy interlude, and then, of course, there’s the hero of the piece, the bear. He is cute and huge and literally every child in the Hall was totally enchanted – which is just the way it should be.

‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ lasts around 50 minutes in total, with no intervals, which makes it perfect for younger audiences. We took a 7 year old and a 2 year old and they both loved it.

We’re going on a bear hunt is at Birmingham Town Hall until Wednesday 13 January 2016

Click here for ticket information.

A Christmas Gift From WBA

2015 will be forever remembered as the year Joe Luca discovered football. All previous hobbies and interests took a back seat as the little man put on his football boots and never looked back. His love for his team, West Bromwich Albion has no bounds, he literally lives, eats (Match of the Day repeats with his breakfast anyone?) and sleeps – in a West Brom duvet of course – football. And, as well as loving his team with a unbridled passion that borders on obsession, he also likes to play a little…

Joe has spent the year working with coaches from The Albion Foundation, a brilliant organisation that works in conjunction with West Bromwich Albion to provide sporting and educational activities in schools and the community. These sporting activities and opportunities are for both children and adults, able-bodied and with disabilities.  Joe has been attending two different, weekly coaching sessions with the Foundation, working with lots of different coaches, to develop his football skills, his confidence and his social skills.  He loves the sessions, they are great fun and always have the element of positivity that makes the learning a happy time. And Joe has thrived during this time – he has made great friends, won numerous Star of the Week awards and has been invited to take part in a special match when he played for the Albion Foundation against teams from Shire Oak, and scored a screamer from the half way line.  It has been one hell of a year for a little boy!





And then, last month, West Bromwich Albion and The Albion Foundation proved that sometimes, dreams really can come true. Joe was invited to take part in what he thought was a photograph session with The Albion Foundation. In actual fact, Joe was about to meet his heroes, the West Bromwich Albion team, and was going to be a star of the 2015 Annual Christmas message. He had the most unbelievable day , with the Squad serving up Christmas Dinner to the astonished boys, and then manager Tony Pulis telling them to get themselves ready to train with the team. As a parent, it was wonderful to witness Joe having a day he will never forget.

The video was released last week and has now had more than 53K hits on the West Brom Facebook page. Set to the tale of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’,  it is just lovely, very sweet, very magical and totally ‘Christmas’. It made the front page of local newspapers, and was then shown on the big screen during the West Brom V. AFCB match on Saturday, causing my dad to tell everyone in the seats around his – ‘that’s my grandson – the one who usually sits here…he’s gone to see Star Wars today!)




This post is a thank you to all at West Bromwich Albion for making a little boy’s Christmas, showing him that hard work and perseverance does have its rewards, and that dreams really can come true.  I just want to add a special thanks to the coaches who have helped Joe so much this year from The Albion Foundation – Merry Christmas to all!