Holiday Essentials – Part 2

Following on from last weeks holiday essentials post part one, this is my next post looking at the things that will help your holiday go smoothly. These are the things that can help you stay healthy when you’re traveling, help you to find your suitcase amongst a sea of similar looking bags and most importantly, protect your skin when you are away.

Luggage Straps from Able Labels

I have a lovely floral suitcase that I find quite easily when it comes around on the conveyor belt. My hubby and son have grey cases that seem to go around and around as they look very similar to multiple other cases that are also moving around. The personalised luggage straps from Able Labels can help you to spot your case far more easier, and they look great and add another level of security too.

The luggage straps are a great gift idea if you have a friend who loves to travel, and they can be personalised with up to 30 letters and spaces. They come in two colour choices, and Able Labels offers discount on two or more straps.

Varta Power Slim Power Bank

Even on our holidays, we are never far away from our technology, particularly our phones, and we need these to be charged at all times in order to share our latest exploits on Instagram and Facebook. The Varta Slim Power Bank allows us to keep our phones and tablets charged, even as we are lounging by the pool, or waiting around the airport.

The Power bank can charge two devices at a time and also comes with a USB Type C outport to charge the latest smartphones.

Varta say:

The VARTA Slim Power Bank is a smart design, combining sophisticated style with technical precision. It’s packed with enough power to charge a phone two and half times over or one tablet fully.

Find out more information here.

Look after your holiday health

If there is one time of the year that you want to feel your best, it is when you are on holiday. But sometimes a combination of motion sickness when traveling, the germs that can be spread on aircraft and the dreaded bite of the mosquito’s when you arrive at your destination, can all combine to make you feel like taking to your bed,

But there are remedies that can help.

Ginger is well known for being an aid to sickness ( I remember eating ginger biscuits during pregnancy to stop the nausea). Gin Gins Super Ginger Caramel is the latest addition to The Ginger People’s range of ginger foods and sweets and are perfect for those who suffer from motion sickness. They are slightly chewy and  packed with 30% fresh ginger. You can find Gin Gins stocked at

ImmunPro is an infection defence that increases your resistance to viral infections by acting like a shield in your mouth and throat, helping your mucous membranes to fend off viruses.

Aeroplane journeys can often be a breeding ground for viruses due to the air and the confined space, there really is nowhere to escape when the person next to you starts coughing and sneezing. If you do tend to be susceptible to colds and coughs simply suck one tablet when you are at increased risk for two hours’ protection.

ImmunPro are available from Boots


If you are flying long haul, and have a sleep on the plane, you often wake up with less than fresh breath. SWISH TO GO are something that are definitely worth keeping in your hand luggage.

SWISH TO GO is the UK’s first 3-in-1 complete oral care solution that does the job of traditional toothbrush, paste and mouthwash but in a handy waterless, powder-based system that can be used anytime, anywhere.  The quick dissolving, natural powder turns to liquid on the tongue, where it can be swished for 10 seconds then swallowed to deliver cleaner teeth, healthier gums and long-lasting fresh breath wherever you are.This makes them perfect for planes, and also for camping and festivals too.

SWISH TO GO come in cool mint and lemon varieties, and can be found at Boots.

Nivea Sun Products

Of course, you can’t travel to the sun without taking adequate sun protection, and Nivea is one of the best brands if you suffer from sensitive skin, or if you are traveling with children. My favourite products are the sun sprays as these are easy to apply, and if you can also get one that is very water resistant, then you are protecting your child’s skin, even if they are splashing in and out of the pool.

Nivea have a great range of sun protection products for both adults and children, and these come in a range of SPF ranging from Factor 50 down. They also have nourishing and moisturising after sun ranges, as well as specific products for the face.

You can find a good range of Nivea products at Boots by clicking here.

Nail Polish from Cienna Rose

You are literally living in sandals and flip flops, so your toenails and fingernails deserve to be treated to some beautiful Summer colours. The floral inspired colours from Cienna Rose are just perfect for blending in with your holiday wardrobe.

The brand was founded by Carla Opoku, who, after moving to Africa, became interested in creating her own formulations using home blended colours. The Cienna Rose brand contains Pro vitamin B5, Vitamin E and Lemongrass oil helping to nourish your nails.The formulations are also vegan friendly and cruelty free. The colours are beautiful and the bottles are stunning.



Work+Play at Malmaison – A Girly Night In

Last week I was invited to enjoy a girly night of food, pampering and cocktails at the very stylish Malmaison. It was strictly ladies only as we were treated to manicures, blow dries, makeovers and arm massages, whilst the prosecco flowed and food was served in the guise of the new Malmaison menu. If all this wasn’t bliss enough, we also had the chance to create a special cocktail that matched the colour of our nail polish.

Malmaison is home to the lovely La Petit Spa, a haven in the heart of the city where you can enjoy full spa treatments, as well as manicures, pedicures and make overs. On the evening espa were offering hand cocktails that left your skin smelling divine and feeling silky smooth and soft. There was also the opportunity to have a manicure using the new CND Shellac and Vinylux colours, adding a nail colour of your choice. My nails were in particularly bad condition, but they were shaped beautifully and my trademark red shade was added – it proved to be very popular on the evening.

Once the paint on my nails had dried it was time to create a cocktail to match the colour. Thankfully, there were no Bloody Mary’s in sight as I opted for a raspberry martini styled cocktail that contained a lot of vodka, including Absolut Raspberry. It was very sweet, totally delicious and it looked amazing too, although, as a Mojito fan, I did wonder whether I should’ve opted for a green shade, just to create my favourite cocktail of them all.

Cover FX make up, who you can find in both Harvey Nichols and Selfridges in the city, were on hand to find your perfect foundation and also introduce their brand and hero products. I love the fact that their custom enhancing drops can be added to your moisturiser or foundation to create a new dimension to a base product, whether it be to add a metallic glow, a sunkissed look or even to highlight your cheekbones. Custom FX really is a brand of beauty innovation, a brand I was not familiar with, but already love.

With nails and make up sorted, hair was next on the menu, with blow ltd on hand to create the perfect express style look. Blow are sometimes referred to as the Uber of the beauty world, as they will come to your home and sort all your beauty needs. On the evening we were looking at the fast beauty to go menu, and I was so pleased with the beachy waves that I was treated to.


And, of course, there was food. I loved the chargrilled chicken breast and crunchy Thai salad – a perfect summer dish, whilst the desserts were to die for, particularly the fresh red berries and vanilla marscapone (pictured below) and the warm steamed summer pudding. I love a good dessert and these rated really highly on the pudding-o-meter.

I left Malmaison feeling totally relaxed and pampered, with gorgeous hair and shiny nails. It was a wonderful night in a fabulous destination.

*With thanks to Malmaison and East Village PR for the invitation.

The Hand and Foot Spa at Selfridges, Birmingham

An innovative new nail bar has arrived in Selfridges, Birmingham, and I was invited along to try out its service. The Hand and Foot Spa, founded by Donna Haar-Jørgensen, has been well established in London for the past nine years, and is now delighting customers in Birmingham with its unique computer system which allows you to see a nail colour on your nails without actually having to apply it. This, combined with a new level of nail hygiene, is making The Hand and Foot Spa the place to go for beautiful nails.

I was looked after by Michelle, who explained a little about the philosophy behind The Hand and Nail Spa. The idea is that you should receive the same treatment each time you enter the salon, therefore all technicians work to a systematic guide. In addition, hygiene is very important to the spa, so each customer has their own nail kit, complete with files, clippers etc, all hygenically sealed in a bag. This is used once and then discarded – the customer is free to take it home with them if they wish. (Michelle said that is exactly what most customers do, I certainly did.)

I started the talk with a little chat about my nails. They were currently lots of different lengths and quite brittle, working on a computer makes them prone to splitting and breaking, and let’s not even discuss what being a goalkeeper when I play with Joe does to them. Michelle suggested Shellac to make the nail colour last longer and then we discussed colour, which is where the new technology comes in. The computer system takes a photograph of your hand, and then you can click on a colour you would like to see, add it to your photograph of your nails and see if you like it. I think this is great if you are thinking of trying a new colour, or looking for a specific colour to match an outfit. I’m very stuck in my ways when it comes to colour – I basically wear all shades as long as they are red, but I was able to try different shades of red and thought the whole concept was brilliant.

Once I’d chosen a colour, I was treated to a full manicure, although I did have to avoid the wax treatment as I had rings that I just can’t remove. What I love about the treatment is the way the colour is built up, and fixed with a UV lamp. It feels like a pampering treat, and my nails looked and felt so much better after the treatment. I was also really impressed with the Shellac. Almost two weeks after the manicure, my nails are still literally perfect, except for the regrowth.


The Hand and Nail Spa

Selfridges Birmingham, Beauty Floor.

Prices for treatments start at £15 and can be booked via The Beauty Workshop on 0121 600 6718.