BRING A BOOK TO LIFE
Kate Andrews curates book boxes that encourage reading for pleasure for children aged 3-13 years. She started Bring A Book To Life after a 20 year career in primary teaching where she discovered that children often don’t actually enjoy reading.
Knowing just how important reading – and in particular reading for pleasure – is to children’s futures, she set about finding a way to hook them in and came up with her innovative book boxes. Each contains little trinkets associated with the subject matter – so children can fiddle with them while reading, forming an imaginary bridge between themselves and the book. For example, the Platinum Jubilee Bonus Box shown here contains: a signed copy of the book, bookmark, sticker, a Corgi Ty Beanie Boo, Buckingham Palace magnet, a Commonwealth flag, crown cookie cutter with recipe, Coronation chicken recipe and an Earl Grey teabag.
There are four different categories of book boxes: Little Reader, Independent Reader, Confident Reader and one especially for dyslexic readers aged 8 – 12 years.
So, if you’re looking for a fun yet educational gift to give a grandchild, then take a look at the Bring A Book To Life website. £22.95 per box (36 versions to choose from). Also available by annual subscription.
NEED TO KEEP HITCHING YOUR JEANS UP?
Stretch jeans have a tendency to fall down and frequently need to be pulled up at the waist. The solution to this little problem is a no-buckle elastic belt which keeps them in place all day. Various styles/colours are available from £4.99 at Amazon.
Hi Annabel &Grace
I bought this belt following your recommendation. It’s fab really easy to wear and makes wearing a belt a game changer. Hope you are both well, I really enjoy all your advice and tips. Kind regards, Mary Leahy
BRILLIANT VALUE SKINCARE
Recently we wrote an article about Aldi – you can read it here – which focussed on the company background and some of their brilliantly priced products. In that piece we promised to give you our thoughts on the skincare range. So far I’ve tried out the exfoliating glycolic treatment. Glycolic acid is a colorless, odorless alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA) derived from sugarcane. It’s a type of chemical exfoliant that dissolves the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be wiped away easily, revealing smooth, younger skin below. Anyhow, you massage it onto clean skin in the evening two to three times a week, wait a few minutes for it to absorb and then apply some moisturiser. Nice and easy – just how I like it! £5.99 from Aldi.
MAKE UP MADE FOR MIDLIFE AND BEYOND
Violet Jordan is a beauty brand specifically for women in midlife and beyond, “for ladies getting better, not older.” Have tried two products and can happily recommend them both. The Volumizer mascara is easy to apply, is formulated to work with shorter, finer lashes which are more common in midlife. Loving the soft black colour and that it contains coconut oil, aloe vera and Vitamin E which nourishes our lashes. £17. The Deep Clean is a cream cleanser and makeup remover in one, which uses natural oils and does the job gently and efficiently. 100ml costs £16 and includes two muslin cloths. Both products are packaged in bio-plastic tubes.
While I’m mentioning make up made for midlife and beyond, Look Fabulous Forever (another brand whose products are specially formulated for mature skin) has a new hydrating cream that will rescue your hands. This non-greasy formulation is packed with ingredients to condition both your hands and nails – including Vitamin C and retinol to even skin tone, Vitamin E to protect against UV damage and Rock Rose which helps protect your skin from pollution. £17 from Look Fabulous Forever.
VERSO SUPER EYE SERUM
Blended with Verso’s signature Retinol 8 Complex, which boasts eight times the efficacy of traditional forms of retinol, this product helps to plump out the appearance of wrinkles while supporting natural collagen. Annabel has been using it and says “As it has Retinol 8 I only use at night however it is very gentle. I love the creamy texture and I pat it in around my eyes with my ring finger. Have the wrinkles around my eyes disappeared? Of course not, I am 63. However, they are less defined and the skin feels smoother and refreshed by the morning. I would definitely buy again as though expensive it seems to last for a long time.” £36 at Look Fantastic.
JOICO HAIR SHAKE
Shake this and a stainless steel ball inside transforms a new liquid-to-powder texturiser into a micro fine mist that gives your hair a mega volume finish. Annabel has been using it if her hair needs a bit of a ‘schooze’ ie some uplift. Spray onto the roots around the crown of your head and you’ll have volume that lasts for hours. “It makes it look as if I have stepped out of a salon and it gives my style some separation making it a bit more ‘edgy’.” £18.53 from Amazon
Lots more useful new products that we can wholeheartedly recommend can be found here.