Friday, 14 July 2017

Savvy summer buys to start the holidays with a smile ! (review roundup)

We're halfway through July which means that pretty much everyone is counting down the days to the summer holidays. (My apologies, and condolences, to anyone who isn't !) Now is definitely the time to stock up on all of those lifesaver products that will help you to see in the summer with a smile.

The first thing on my stress-free summer shopping list is a no-brainer : sun cream. Last weekend, we went for an afternoon at the beach and, while we found a spot to sit and play in the shade, there were so many people in full sun, many of whom were bright red so they'd obviously forgotten the sun cream. I was sickened to see one little baby, who couldn't have been much more than a year old, plonked in the sand in full sun with her back and shoulders red and peeling. How can parents not know about the dangers these days? I'm not perfect, I sometimes get caught out on a cloudy day when it doesn't even feel that hot, but if you're going to the beach on a sunny day, it goes without saying that you'll need sun cream!

Luckily, Garnier Ambre Solaire sent us through a bundle of their sun protection to keep us all safe in the sun, including their top suncare products for children and babies. Ambre Solaire Kids Anti-Sand Spray combines the very high protection (SPF50+) that you'd expect from a top brand with a  non-sticky, moisturising and water resistant formula that is also sand resistant. We tried this on holiday last year and it's brilliant at the beach. Ambre Solaire Kids Very High Protection Spray is my go-to sun cream for the whole family, and it hasn't let us down yet. Baby In The Shade (if I'd had it in my bag, I'd have been so tempted to give it to the family at the beach !) is ultra soft and suitable for babies, while the Trigger Happy Resisto Swim Spray for Speedy Application is perfect for grabbing the kids when they have towelled themselves off after swimming in the sea or pool and don't want to hang around having their sun cream reapplied. Whichever one you choose, don't forget to apply 20-30 minutes before sun exposure and top up just before going outside. (for more info: Garnier Ambre Solaire website )

If you're about to unleash your legs in a pair of shorts for the first time since last year and you need a close shave, the Dorco Classic razor, launched this summer, features a whopping seven precision-aligned blades, making it a world first. It features slimmer, denser, angulated blades to reduce any irritation to the skin, an open structure design to enable easy rinsing, helping to keep blades sharper for longer, a Honeycomb Guard Bar with a soft rubber surface to allow effortless gliding over the skin, adapting to the contours of your face or legs, and an advanced lubricating strip with antioxidants from Argan oil and Calendula extract that helps sooth sensitive and dry skin, as well as heal razor burns. It gives a great, comfortable shave and also looks incredibly stylish on your bathroom shelf. (You can order the Dorco Classic from Dorco’s UK online shop. Prices for Dorco Classic start from £8.74 and there’s even free shipping for orders over £10.)

With a combination of the kids' routine going out of the window and the later bedtimes that are often allowed during the holidays, I find that there is much more grumbling than usual when it's time for the kids to go and brush their teeth and get into pyjamas. Colgate have come to the rescue with their fantastic Minions range, to tie in with the Despicable Me 3 film release. The Colgate Minions Kids Interactive Battery Brush (RRP £11.99, available at Boots and Superdrug) makes brushing great fun because the voice of the Minions instructs you on how to be a better brusher while you brush and congratulates you after you have finished. I think Pierre will wear the enamel off his teeth soon, because he'd happily brush his teeth twenty times a day just to hear it. Never before have I heard myself saying "No, you can't go and brush your teeth" ! To accompany the brushes, there is also a Colgate Minions Mild Bubble Fruit Toothpaste (RRP £1) for kids age 2 and up. The kids love the flavour and the Minions on the tube, I love the flip-top cap which means they actually remember to close the tube after brushing !

The long summer holidays are the perfect time for recharging your batteries, but the first few weeks, when the benefits of those (fingers crossed) long lie-ins and lack of work-related stress haven't kicked in yet, it can be exhausting, running around after the kids and taking them out on endless adventures. A new report from Berocca reveals that tiredness and fatigue have become the number one health concern amongst Brits, with 42% of people admitting that they are missing out on new experiences and 52% claiming that they cancel or avoid social engagements, entirely due to feeling too tired. However, 62% (me included) want an energy solution that is not dependent on caffeine or sugar, so Berocca, the UK’s No.1 energy and vitamin, could be the perfect option. Berocca Energy Tablets are free from caffeine, sugar and artificial stimulants but they are packed full of eight B vitamins, including vitamins B1 and B2, which work with your body to release your natural energy and give you a lift. Simply drop one orange, mango or mixed berry effervescent tablet into water and wait for it to dissolve to make a great tasting and refreshing drink. Berocca is available in tablet packs of 15 for £4.85, 30 for £7.39 or 45 for £12.59.

When we were on holiday in Lanzarote last year, I thought it was hilarious to see holidaymakers arriving in the hotel restaurant clutching a bottle of Heinz ketchup or their favourite UK tea bags. If you like to have your home comforts with you when you are abroad, the English Tea Shop had you in mind when they created their No Brew Like Home box - "your perfect companion, bringing a little taste of home on your next adventure". The traveller packs contain 8 sachets of The English Tea Shop's premium, organic, handpicked teas in a handy travel size. In the pink pack, you get English Breakfast, Detox Tea and Calming Tea, while the blue pack includes Strong Breakfast, Green Tea Honey Mint and Chocolate Rooibos & Vanilla. (RRP £13.04).

Finally, summertime goes (hopefully, depending on the weather !) with al fresco dining, family barbecues and picnics and cocktails at sunset. If you want an alcohol-free drink that will appeal to both adults and children, Shloer is always a great option and they have released a fresh new look and healthier ‘no added sugar’ recipe just in time for summer.  As well as their well-known and loved classic range (Red Grape, White Grape and Rose), they have a new lighter range which offers all the taste with less guilt - the great flavours of White Grape and Red Grape, along with new Crisp Cranberry and Raspberry - as well as some summer-inspired blends (Tropical Mango & Passion Fruit, Orchard Apple & Grape and Wild Elderflower & Grape). For something even more special, pop the cork on the very grown up-looking White Bubbly or Pink Bubbly flavoured sparkling juice drinks this summer!

All that remains is for me to wish you a very happy summer, whatever you have planned !

Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.


  1. We are going on holiday in September so I've got the sun cream in, bought Megan new sunglasses, she left them in our local community centre, we got them back and the next day she took them on a school trip and left them so they need replacing now, I've never tried shloer but it sounds very refreshing and a lovely cold drink for summer days xxx

    1. Shloer always reminds me of Christmas and New Year when I was breastfeeding !


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