Garmin Nuvi 50 Sat Nav

Thursday, 17 April 2014

I genuinely do not know where I'd be if I had to rely on maps, I've got the worst sense of direction you could possibly imagine and I don't even know where to start with map reading; which way up does it go for a start?! Not only that, trying to navigate using a map while on your own in the car can't be safe at all! So when I was asked to review a sat nav as a safety and security tester for Tesco Compare I couldn't pass it up, because I think that sat navs are one of the best inventions this century.
Some sat navs can be quite confusing in how they work, the screens can be too small and the instructions are sometimes vague meaning that it puts you at risk of being a danger to the road, however Garmin have obviously put safety first with the Nuvi 50 as it has lots of features to making navigating easy. The last thing you want to be doing while driving is squinting to see a tiny map but the extra wide 5 inch touch screen makes seeing the details maps and navigating around the options so easy. Everything is so simple with this sat nav; if you're not sure of a postcode you can find places by street name or by using the 'points of interest' feature which lists hundreds of thousands of different places sorted by type (for example if you were running low on fuel you could find a petrol station by just selecting 'POI near me' and 'fuel' and it would give you a list of petrol stations, nearest first).
Garmin Nuvi 50* £79.00 Amazon
When it comes to complicated junctions and exits the Garmin Nuvi 50 has lane assist which helps guide you into whichever lane you need to be in before it's too late; the screen view changes around a mile before the exit/junction to show you where you need to be in relation to your current position on the road. Another fantastic safety feature on this sat nav is the Cyclops Speed Camera system which shows real time warnings of any upcoming speed cameras as as well as an alert if you tip over the speed limit. It also gives instructions with the street name, so for example instead of it just saying 'turn right' it will say 'turn right down Smith Street' so there's no confusion as to where you're turning if there are several right turns in your vicinity.
Overall the Garmin Nuvi 50 is an excellent safe, user friendly sat nav and at £79.00 it suits lots of budgets. 
You can also buy and download maps for different countries to use on the Garmin Nuvi 50 so I think I'll be downloading one for North America because as you'll probably already know I'm going to Florida next month and a sat nav will be our saving grace when driving round. You can program any points of interest in before you go which is ideal, it takes a little bit of the stress away for when we get there, also the maps are only £34.99 which is only slightly more expensive than hiring a sat nav from eBay. 
Do you use a sat nav?
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Skincare regime for Combination skin

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

It's been a while since I did a skincare regime so I thought I'd do a little update. If you don't already know by now I have combination skin prone to blemishes BUT if you have normal/dry skin please don't let this put your off reading this because some of the products I use are actually for all skin types. 

You'll have seen by my post the other day that I'm really impressed with Lush Ultrabland (£6.95), despite really enjoying micellar water I do really love this for a night cleanse when I have heavier makeup on. I do find that I always have to tone properly with Lush Tea Tree Water (£7.50) otherwise I feel a little bit oily... the tea tree in the water acts a mild astringent but is so gentle and it doesn't smell offensively of tea tree. It's also antibacterial which helps to keep spots at bay without leaving my skin feeling dry as the Sahara (nothing worse than toning with an over-zealous toner if you have problem skin as it can make you over produce oil). I have to say, I'm really really impressed with Lush's skincare range, and it's so affordable! As you can see, the old favourite Heal Gel face (£48.00) is still there, the most expensive of everything but it's lasting me a good while. I now alternate this with Effaclar Duo Plus, I tend to concentrate this on my cheeks where I have the most redness and scarring and it is helping to reduce the mess that years of battling with my skin has caused... as I said in my review of it: I don't expect miracles, baby steps are fine for me. You'll also notice a completely new addition in the form of Melvita Nectar Pur mattifying balancing fluid (£26); I've been using this peppermint scented number to give me just the right amount of moisture whilst stopping my face looking like Shines-ville Tennesee. 

Looking at it, my little 'regime' looks quite elaborate but it doesn't take me long at all to do (trust me, if it did I wouldn't be doing it!). I'm still getting spots, but I've managed to get it down to the odd one or two at the moment which is good compared to 6 months ago. I dare say a better diet will be going a long way towards improving my skin but I reckon skincare contributes a fair bit too!

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Win big with 888 Ladies Millionaire Genie

We all know that online bingo is out there for the taking, and I've been known to have a dabble on a couple of sites myself but if you're not into bingo you might be fooled into thinking that there's nothing out there in the online gambling world for you... and you'd be wrong. The guys at 888 Ladies have just launched a new slots game called 'Millionaire Genie', as with most online gambling games, there's no skill involved you just click 'spin' and hope for the best really.

To begin with, the concept is a little bit weird. I think it's hard to get your head around the fact that you could potentially win more than £450,000 with just one 'lucky' spin. To start playing you need to set your stake with the 'bet' button (you can as little as 15p or up to £2 per spin) and you can also set it to 'autoplay' where it will spin between 10 and 75 times without you even having to click a button. To win, all you need to do is match up winning combinations on the board (you can win multiple times on one board).

This is an example of a winning combination; the 3 books and the 'Mg' symbol; I won 40p on this one. I was only betting 1p on each line so I was never going to get massive returns, obviously the bigger the bet the bigger the return; I'd just rather play for longer even if I win less. There are also 2 kinds of 'bonus' symbols that you can look out for: the girl in the scarf and the 'scatter' symbol. 3 of the girl in the scarf triggers the bonus game (I didn't see this unfortunately) and the 'scatter' symbol gives you a series of free spins (I got this once, won 9 free spins and won another £3 off this!). Then of course there's the jackpot treasure box which the genie is sitting on, this is awarded completely at random no matter how much you have spent on the game.

If you enjoy slots as opposed to more complicated casino style games, or if bingo isn't really your thing then you should give Millionaire Genie a try. How you play the Millionaire Genie is completely up to you, if you prefer big stakes with potentially big returns then you can up your stake accordingly, or if like me you only have a little bit of pocket money for things like this you can bet 15p at a time! Of course if you win you can withdraw your money and put it back into your chosen bank (minimum £10 withdrawal). 
Obviously I must encourage you to gamble responsibly; don't spend money you don't have and only enjoy the games for as long as you can afford to!

Do you have an account with 888 ladies? What's your favourite online game?

You can also vote for Millionaire Genie or your own favourite game in the UK's favourite bingo awards.

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An open letter to my 16 year old self

Monday, 14 April 2014

Dear Jade,

I know it's hard to accept advice at your age but trust me, the older you are the wiser you become; I have more life experience now and trust me you'll thank me for this in the long run, it could save you a lot of worrying and heart ache. 

Don't take your family for granted, don't assume that it'll always be the way it is now. Cherish every possible moment with your Auntie Karina and prepare for some changes in your home life. When your mum leaves your dad just remember that one day you'll have your own life and you won't have to rely on anyone else. The first few years of living with your mum will be hard and you'll feel like you've got nobody to turn to, just go with it and try and enjoy your life as much as possible. Remember that although it might not feel like it, your mum loves you no matter what and even if you feel pushed out it's for the sake of your mums happiness, something which she's wanted for years but daren't go for it. You'll soon be off doing your own thing so a year or so of feeling lonely is just a stepping stone onto bigger and better things. 

Me, when I was 16 ready for the school prom

Secondly, I know you like the idea of going to university and staying in Halls but I can tell you now it'll be the biggest waste of your money. Don't put yourself in thousands of pounds of debt just because you want to try it for 6 months, try and look for a short term rent somewhere in Leeds rather than tying yourself into a 12 month contract. Just take the grants for the first year and don't take out any loans, you don't need them, you can easily get by with the grants if you budget properly.

You've always struggled with your weight, I know you have but please don't let it get out of hand. All that junk food and chocolate really isn't worth feeling ugly, sluggish and miserable for so many years later in life. Try and keep yourself under control and you'll be much happier in the long run; you don't want to get to the point where your weight holds you back; you don't want to look fat on your wedding photos and you certainly wouldn't want your weight to potentially affect your ability to have children, would you?

Finally, take every opportunity that comes your way; become a 'yes' person now, if you fancy doing something don't let anyone or anything hold you back because you'll regret it in the long run... some opportunities don't come around twice and remember that life is for living!!

Lots of Love

Your 23 year old self

This post is also an entry to the Legal and General 'what would you say to your younger self' competition.

Do you have anything you'd say to your younger self?

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Is Garnier Ultimate Blends Dry Shampoo better than Batiste?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

 I love dry shampoo, it's a staple in my little bathroom collection, but there are certain aspects of Batiste shampoo that I'm not really keen on; namely the white powdery scalp and weird feeling hair after using it. If you feel my pain where Batiste is concerned then you'll be pleased to know that I found a little gem in Morrisons in the form of this new Garnier Ultimate Blends 7 in 1 dry shampoo.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Dry Shampoo £3.99

Garnier claims that their new dry shampoo has '7 actions':
1. Instantly cleanses
2. Absorbs grease at the roots
3. Lightweight feel
4. Hair feels supple to the touch
5. Hair easy to detangle
6. Blissful fragrance
7. Leaves no visible residue
My thoughts: Garnier seem to have reverted back to 80's/90's style packaging, I personally think this can looks like it could be 20 years old with the colour and design... not that it really matters, just an observation. This is applied in pretty much the same way as Batiste, you spray it onto your roots, leave it for a couple of minutes then style your hair as you normally would. The first thing I noticed was the smell; I got one for 'mid to long hair' and it smells of peachy vanilla... I really really like it, it's a lot softer smell than some of the Batiste ones which can be a bit too much. Secondly the spray is so lightweight, as soon as I spray Batiste on my hair I can feel all the little particles on my hair which is what gives the feeling of dry, strawy hair (which I hate), Garnier Ultimate Blends is the total opposite. I actually thought that it wasn't absorbing any oil when I first applied it but after 2 minutes my hair looked far better than it did before but texture wise it didn't feel any different; still soft and touchable. Finally I can confirm 100% that there is no white residue, which of course is a massive plus because Batiste is quite well known for leaving that white powdery look all the way down your scalp if you're not careful! It is slightly more expensive than Batiste at £3.99 a bottle but I for one will definitely be stocking up when I see it on offer.

I would 100% recommend this for you to try if you're looking for a new dry shampoo, I've tried other dry shampoos and until now nothing has come close to Batiste but Garnier have really made an effort with this and I do think it'll be the next best thing in dry shampoo. There is also a dry shampoo for 'normal' hair with Chinese green tea and lemon extracts and of course the Ultimate Blends range extends to shampoo and conditioner for all different hair types.

Do you have a favourite dry shampoo?
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Lust List - Designer Watches

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Believe it or not I've never owned a watch worth more than about £30 and the older I've got the more I've been tempted to buy a bit of a special watch, one for every day wear but something that's classy and nice looking. Obviously Michael Kors seems to be a really popular brand at the moment; probably because they do some of the most gorgeous rose gold watches, however I've chosen a couple of my favourite ones that I found The Watch Hut website from some different brands...
Marc by Marc Jacobs Rock rose gold watch £247.00
Marc by Marc Jacobs Baker watch £165.00
Vivienne Westwood Orb black steel bracelet watch £210.00
DKNY white chronograph bracelet watch £206.00

I've only included watches which I would be prepared to pay for myself, I don't have the bank account to justify spending more than around £250 on a watch so my lust list reflects that! I've also tried to go for timeless designs because I think I would treat any designer piece as a small investment so I'd want to be able to wear it for years to come and not have to worry about fashions. The temptation to include a Disney watch in this lust list was quite great but I figured it didn't really fit with the 'designer watches' title!

Do you own a designer watch or do you stick to more affordable brands?

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What's your Throwback dress?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

I think we've all got that one fail-safe 'Throwback Dress' in our wardrobe, the one we know we can wear no matter what and no matter how old it gets we just can't bare to throw it away. Mine has to be a black swing dress from Matalan, cheap and cheerful at only £12 but it could be worn for so many occasions; whether it's work or play this black swing dress is going to be in my wardrobe for years to come. What I love most about it is that it's smart and sophisticated but it's so comfy so say for example I've been out for a big meal I don't feel like I have to hide my food baby because it just skims all my bumpy bits... I guess it's my perfect little black dress.

But of course there's one season that my long sleeved LBD doesn't really go hand in hand with... summer. My wardrobe is probably around 80% black, brown or grey because before I lost weight I was just so desperate to buy clothes that covered me up as much as possible. Those colours and most of the designs aren't ideal for warmer weather, so I thought it was about time I injected some summer into my wardrobe with this Daisy Print Skater Dress from New Look* (£12.99)...

I honestly never thought I'd post a full length photo of me on my blog... let alone with a dress on and without tights but I couldn't not show this dress of properly because I absolutely love it! The jersey material makes it fit perfectly; hugging my waist and skimming my hips and the print is just gorgeous; I don't think I could have got anymore summery if I tried! I think this is going to be a staple summer dress in my wardrobe for many summer seasons to come because it's just so wearable; I'm around 5ft 5 and as you can see it falls only just above the knee which for me is the perfect length (protecting my modesty but showing just a bit of leg).

I was so unsure of summer dresses because it's been years since I've worn a design like this but I honestly can't wait for the weather to be warm enough for me to get this one out with a pair of strappy sandals and some sunglasses! Floral prints have been in for many summer seasons and I can't see them disappearing any time soon so hopefully this £14.99 little beauty will prove to be an affordable long term resident in my wardrobe! The current collection of New Look dresses on the website is full of floral prints and pretty pastels so no doubt I'll be stocking up for my holiday!

Do you have a 'Throwback Dress' in your wardrobe that you couldn't bare to part with?

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