Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Air Hogs, Paper Jamz, Lite Sprites and more - Christmas gifts for your little helpers!

Christmas 2011's season of goodwill is nearly upon us, so I have decided to do the hard work for you and feature my favourite children’s gifts currently on the market - sent to me from a number of great PRs. Get some of these stocking fillers for your little treasures now and enjoy the rest of the run up to Christmas Day in relaxation and happiness - result!

Air Hogs Hyper Active 
The new Air Hogs Hyper Active Stunt is one of the fastest remote control cars around. It is capable of doing amazing stunts (well amazing for little boys), 360° spins and jumps, while always landing on its wheels!
Air Hogs Hyper Active Stunt costs £34.99 and is suitable for youngsters aged 8 and over.
Visit http://www.airhogs.com/ for more information.

Air Hogs Vectron Wave
Air Hogs Vectron Wave is the UFO you can control with the palm of your hand. Eliminate the need for a remote with this flyer, as the Vectron Wave uses altitude sensing technology and effortlessly glides over almost anything, using clever obstacle sensors to detect the proximity to the ground. When you’re done, dock it on the launch pad for easy charging.
Air Hogs Vectron Wave costs £24.99.
Visit http://www.airhogs.com/ for more information.

Bakugan Drago
Combine multiple Bakugan and traps to form one massive monster!
For the ultimate battle brawler, build a Dragonoid Colossus with 4 exclusive Bakugan Battle Gear and 1 Bakugan. Each piece fits together to make the most fierce Dragonoid yet and by dropping the final brawler into position, auto-transforms into the ultimate weapon!
Bakugan Drago costs £39.99 and is suitable for children aged 5 and above. Visit http://www.bakugan.com/ for more information.

Fab Effex
Fab Effex is a fabric youngsters can decorate clothes, shoes, hair bands or make rings and dolls clothes with.
The fabric can bend, shape, twist, wrap and stick to items to decorate and design.
It’s re-useable so youngsters can undo and re-make their decorations over and over again.
The Variety Pack offers lots of fabric sheets, pre-cut shapes and all the tools including moulds, key rings, a greetings card and finger rings to make and create. It costs £19.99 and is suitable for girls aged 6 and over. Visit http://www.fabeffex.com/ for more information.

Zoobles are colourful collectible toys which magically transform from tiny balls, into cute creatures when placed in their habitat.
When “petted” the Zoobles react by blinking their eyes, wagging their tails, wiggling their ears and more! There are now over 250 Zoobles to collect from every corner of the Zoobles Isle.
Each quirky character is named and numbered to ensure that keen collectors won’t miss out on any Zoobles.
The Mama and Zoobling Play set, which comes with exclusive twins and all the accessories, includes a highchair, nappy changing area, swing, slide, playpen and pushchair.
It costs £24.99 and is suitable for girls aged 5 and over.Visit http://www.zoobles.com/ for more information.

Pro Microphone from Paper Jamz Pro series
Pro Microphone has perfect pitch vocal-tuning technology and four other voice-enhancing effects to make you sound like a superstar.
Download MP3s to sing to - making it suitable for all musical tastes.
Available in three cool designs for girls and boys, Pro Microphone costs £34.99.
Visit http://www.paperjamzpro.com/ for more information.

Paper Jamz Pro Guitar
Pro Guitar, which features real chords, individual notes, a working ripstrip and a built-in accelerometer, plays like a true instrument.
Download MP3s to the guitar and play along to your favourite hits, switching between notes and chords in three different play modes.
Pro Guitar costs £44.99, and is suitable for youngsters aged 8 and over.
Visit http://www.paperjamzpro.com/ for more information.

Lite Sprites
Lite Sprites are a collection of interactive dolls which use and share colour and light to create a magical playtime for little girls.
There are five dolls available to buy.
The toys, recommended for ages 4 years old and over, cost from £14.99.
To occupy the dolls, why not buy your little one the Tree of Lite Play set where girls can hang the Sprites in the canopy and spin it for colourful lit-up display and sound. The play set costs £39.99. Visit http://www.litesprites.com/ for more information.

Light Strike
A bit like Laser Quest, Light Strike is a brilliant interactive shooting game - a dream present for young boys aged 8 years and above.
The fully customisable weapons come with interactive light and sound affects so youngsters can imagine being in the middle of combat while creating exciting ever-changing battle scenarios.
Youngsters can conquer individual challenges, play one-on-one or create the ultimate team battle with unlimited players.
Strikers start from £29.99 with accessories from £9.99.
Visit http://www.lightstrike.com/ for more information.


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Elemis Little Superstars Top-to-Toe Spa treats - a perfect gift for Christmas

Enjoy a touch of luxury with this sparkling gift set from Elemis.
Beautifully packaged in a chic make-up bag, these face and body treats come in handy travel-sized bottles to use at home or away.
The set contains Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser, Frangipani Monoi Body Oil, Tranquil Touch Creamy Body Wash and Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir.

The aromas are truly delightful and, in my opinion, a great Christmas gift for mums, aunties or sisters.

Elemis Little Superstars Top-to-Toe Spa treats gift set costs £37.50, down from £47. For more information visit http://www.hqhair.com/elemis-little-superstars-top-to-toe-spa-treats/10535748.html

Friday, 2 December 2011

Be the belle of the Christmas ball with treatments from The Chelsea Day Spa

There is almost nothing better than indulging yourself with a set of beauty treatments and relaxing after a hard week’s work.
So, you can imagine my delight when I was invited to road-test the New York manicure and pedicure at The Chelsea Day Spa in London.
I went to the beauty salon after work on a Monday and I was surprised to see it was indeed very busy at 6.30pm.  

The salon itself is cosy enough and decorated nicely but the room where the manicures and pedicures are carried out was tiny.
If it is comfort and relaxation you are looking forward then The Chelsea Day Spa is probably not the place for you. There were six people in the room while I was having my treatments done - three of whom were customers waiting to be seen next!

If, on the other hand, you aren’t fussed about the above, the quality of the manicure and pedicure - which costs a bargain £12.50 and £20 respectively - was second to none.

My nail technician Pinkie Nguyen, who helped me choose a gorgeous dark purple nail varnish, was ever the professional. She soaked, filed and shaped my nails, and sorted my cuticles out - quite a job as it had been two months since my last manicure!
The end result was brilliant - beautifully manicured hands and feet.

To book an appointment at The Chelsea Day Spa call 020 7351 0911. Visit www.thechelseadayspa.co.uk for more information about treatments carried out at the spa.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Give your feet a boost with Pedi Pro Deluxe

The Christmas party season is nearly upon us!
With that in mind its imperative we ladies make sure our feet are in great shape and that cracked heels are not on show, when wearing gorgeous peep-toes shoes.

In just minutes, this can be done with the battery operated Pedi Pro Deluxe.
The bullet shaped gadget uses a rotating disc to remove hard skin, corns and calluses from your feet.
It also comes with buffing pads which can be attached to exfoliate and give your feet a smooth finish.
A pretty pink colour, Pedi Pro Deluxe is easier to use on dry skin before bathing.
I won’t lie to you, my hand did ache after working for a couple of minutes on my first foot but it was very worthwhile in the end for the silky smooth result.

The gadget costs £19.99.
Visit www.jmldirect.com for more information.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2011 awards - and a bit of bitchiness!

Having attended the Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2011 awards last night, at London's Battersea Power Station, there seems to be three hot topics people are talking about today...
  • Kara Tointon's plunging neckline
  • Martine McCutcheon's weight gain
  • The Wanted's "heart throb" and celebrity winner of the Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2011, Max George 
First of all, when in god's name did Max start wearing glasses?!
Second of all, Martine looked great. She isn't a beast, like some tabloids would have you believe.
Thirdly, what's the point in wearing a plunging neckline with no breasts?!

Here's what I enjoyed on the night...
  • The endless supply of champagne
  • Seeing TOWIE's Lauren Pope and Lauren Goodger
  • Speaking to The Apprentice winner Tom Pellereau about his forthcoming wedding and a 3D Printer (seriously!) 
  • My goodie bag
  • Meeting some great journalists
Overall, a good night xxx

Monday, 11 July 2011

Becoming Mrs Smith!

The Smith wedding!
SO we meet again :-)

I'm sure everyone in the universe knows by now but I thought i'd share my news anyway...I have become a MRS!!
Yes I married the man of my dreams and have taken on the rather unoriginal surname of Smith.
I have already experienced the 'are you really Mr and Mrs Smith or is she your mistress' looks while checking into a hotel in Paris for our minimoon! I think I am going to love playing the mistress...

Our big day occurred on July 2 at the magnificent venue of Tatton Hall in Cheshire.
The day was the most amazing I have experienced so far in my life (I like to think there are still good times ahead :-)).

Everyone who knows me knows I am ALWAYS late for everything so my wedding day was no exception. I arrived 35 minutes late! Luckily my other half wasn't too worried about me leaving him at the altar as he knows me so well!
The ceremony was beautiful.
Very intimate, romantic, nerve-wracking and overwhelming.
The harpist was superb.

The Ceremony

Afterwards we had our drinks reception in the stunning grounds of Tatton Hall while listening to the sounds of the steel band in the background and sipping on champagne in the sunny picturesque setting.

We then had a three-course wedding breakfast of which I literally ate zero of as my dress was so tight!
Both Andy and I gave a speech.
Mine was off the cuff and very, err, interesting!
Andy's was amazing. He said the nicest things about me, our families, bridesmaids and guests.
A true gentleman and really one of a kind :-)

After our first dance to Al Green's Let's Stay Together, we danced the whole night to our favourite songs (obviously the Jimmy Choos were tossed aside!). The 5ive megamix was one of my favourite parts of the night - brilliant!

Before we knew it it was midnight and time for Andy and I to go back to the hotel, take in the whole day and drink our mega expensive champagne!

Nine days later, I am only just feeling recovered!

Nobody warned me beforehand how hectic your own wedding can be and how every single person would want to spend time with you, leaving you and your husband separated more than you are used too.
I would definitely recommend, to all brides-to-be, to make sure you snatch a few minutes with each other at various intervals throughout the day to take things in.
Andy and I did this and those moments were so precious.

I had an AMAZING wedding day.
Go Team Smith!!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Quadrante by Douwe Egberts - for coffee lovers!

The Quadrante by Douwe Egberts
Now I really like coffee.
I need one every morning to give me the strength to leave the house and battle my way through the commuters in the London Underground.
So, when I was sent The Quadrante - by Douwe Egberts who make the Senseo coffee pod machines in association with Philips - I was delighted.
With its sleek lines and edgy curves, the machine not only looks great in my kitchen but actually makes two coffee specialities in less than a minute.
All you have to do is fill the large eight-cup water tank and then simply pop a Douwe Egberts coffee pod into the tray. Within a minute you will have a quality cup of coffee ready to drink at a good temperature.
There is a wide variety of pods available from the Douwe Egberts Senseo Coffee Pod range.
These include, Moments Morning Americano, Classic Roast, Medium Roast, Dark Roast, Decaffeinated and Brazil.
There are also tea pods and various types of hot chocolate etc available (next on my list to try).
You can buy the pods from Amazon.co.uk
The Quadrante is an ideal gift for busy coffee-loving people.
It is available to buy from Philips.co.uk at a very reasonable price of £99.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The nightmare wedding invite challenge

Now, I never knew making a wedding invite would be so time consuming and so stressful.
After months of researching invites on the internet and being sent dozens of invites from specialist wedding companies, Andy and I decided to go it alone and make our own.
Our reasoning for this was...
a) To save money
b) To make our wedding more personal to us
c) I wasn't 100% happy with ANY of the invites I had researched, most seemed to be plain and dull

So, after much consideration we decided to make scroll invites.
Easy, right?
Er no, it wasn't!
Having an image in my head of what I wanted the invites to look like was a lot easier that actually trying to turn that image into reality.

After buying the scroll postal tubes from a company in Essex we came across our first battle.
We couldn't find the exact paper I wanted to use!
Now most people would think this would've have been easy but by god it wasn't (well to me anyway). We bought loads of different textured paper and I wasn't 100% sure about any of them.
Finally after a good one (or four) months we (Andy) found the paper I was after.

Then came the difficult decision on deciding how the invites would look.
We bought some gold ink for the printer and sat down one evening at the computer and got to work on the design of the invites.
That process can only be described as being a nightmare!

Andy hard at work
The font, the size of the font and the actual information we wanted on the invite was so difficult to decide. We experimented with what seemed like hundreds of different looks (and had quite a few arguments!) until finally I was happy with a design. 

We then had to print each invite out, cut each one into shape and glue ribbon onto them. Again, a nightmare.
Finally we wrapped each invite up, tied ribbon around them and added a few gold heart confetti pieces to each tube.
Then, the real nightmare came.
I decided I DID indeed love one of the sample invites we had made about 10 hours previously on a DIFFERENT textured paper!!
The final design
But by this time it was too late to go and change all the invites and I had to bite the bullet and go with what we had made.

That decision was the best one ever.
I now actually love our invites.
Even though they took so long to make, were more expensive than if we would have bought them, and nearly caused me and Andy to call off the wedding (well that's obviously a joke but at least that gives you some idea of how stressful it all was!!), we have truly unique invites and I wouldn't change them for the world.

So the moral of the story is, go with your heart and not your head and don't bother being practical and making sacrifices. If you have something in your head persist and you will get it.

Goodbye for now! xxx

A pleased and relieved Naiomi

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Marc Jacobs’ summery Daisy Eau So Fresh

Fresh from the Marc Jacobs collection, and the latest take on classic favourite Daisy, is Daisy Eau So Fresh.

This beautifully presented perfume launched at The Perfume Shop on February 27.

It sounds cheesy but when I first opened the box and saw the perfume my first word was wow.

I love the way the bottle has been designed.

It has a very luxurious clear glass shape with a scattering of beautiful pink, yellow and white daisies which appear to bloom from the gold rounded cap.

The scent itself is very alluring, feminine, light, fruity and fresh.

Wearing the perfume makes me feel very girly and it somehow puts me in a good mood as it reminds me of summer!

I would go as far as to say Daisy Eau So Fresh is my second favourite perfume (my first is Chanel No5) and I would definitely recommend this to all my girl mates.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh is available to buy at The Perfume Shop.

It is priced from £47.50.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Spoil your partner this Valentine's Day with these great gifts

Stuck for ideas on what to buy the love of your life on February 14? Worry no more as you can’t go wrong with the below fab gifts – all will go perfectly with the Valentine’s Day basics: cool cards, lush flowers and chocolate treats.


You Frame Photos to Canvas
Treat your good lady to a YouFrame DIY box canvas kit. The kit turns your digital photographs into stunning canvas wall art in minutes. Each Photo to Canvas takes less than 3 minutes to assemble and allows you to create stunning original canvas art from your digital photo library. The kit is a great romantic and thoughtful Valentine’s Day present and is priced very well too.
Cost: £10.49.
Purchase from Dealtastic.co.uk

Chloe Love
Now, this is a perfume I love. The scent is a gorgeous feminine and elegant fragrance that lasts for hours after just one spray. It’s not for everyone as the smell is quite sweet and flowery but it would make a great Valentine’s Day gift for a lot of women. The bottle has a lovely design too.
Cost: £22.50
Purchase from The Perfume Shop

Guylian chocolates
Chocolates! No one can celebrate Valentine’s Day without giving or receiving chocolates! My favourite pick is Guylian 'I love you' hearts chocolates. These are the perfect gift for those with a sweet tooth. They come in a gorgeous red heart shaped gift box and feature the Original chocolate Sea Shells or delicious heart-shaped pralines. I loved them.
Purchase from Guylian

Roses are red; violets are blue, blah blah blah.
Show how much you care with a bunch of lush flowers for your favourite girl. Like chocolates no Valentine’s Day would be complete without a pretty bunch of flowers. Ladies you can also surprise your man with a bunch of flowers. You never know, they might like them…
Cost: as little or as much as you’d like to spend!
Purchase from all good shops…

Now I know the following two gifts, from Nicky Clarke, wouldn’t normally be classed as romantic and especially not for Valentine’s Day but if my man bought me them I would be VERY happy. I love my hair and if that is looking great then the rest of me is feeling great which means my other half gets great Naiomi and will be rewarded for that! Do you understand me men?!

2000W Frizz Control Dryer
The Nicky Clarke Frizz Control Dryer is perfect for creating lots of volume. My hair was left virtually frizz-free after using the stylish chrome powerful 2000W hairdryer. There are 3 speed settings, 2 heat settings and a turbo button which all help you to get more control and a perfect hairstyle. Whatever look you go for, this hairdryer will help you get great results every time. Accessories include a styling concentrator and diffuser. I have nothing but praise to say about this product. You lady should love it.
Cost: £21.99
Purchase from Nicky Clarke

Professional Flexi Stylers
These flexi stylers allow you to create all different types of curls including tight, spiral, large and bouncy curls. There are 18 of them in total – with my hair I reckon I could do with another 5 or so – and they come housed in a heated storage case with a step-by-step guide on how to create a host of different curls and styles. The curls are fabulous. I love the fact the stylers are hassle-free - you can leave them in your hair while you do your make-up and have a drink, then whip them out and have an instant gorgeous hairstyle. A must-buy for women who like to experiment with hairstyles.
Cost: £19.99
Purchase from Nicky Clarke 

Boutique off Shoulder Sweat 
This cute off-the-shoulder sweatshirt comes in a fetching shade of dusky pink. I understand it isn’t what you’d call a “normal” Valentine’s Day gift but it is pink, snuggly and don’t you men like us women dressed in big jumpers doesn’t it make us look sexy?! Anyway, I really like the jumper so would be happy to receive it as a present (with a lot more besides!).
Cost: £27.95
Purchase from Joe Browns

Melvita Petal Soft Skin Gift Set
Now every lady loves to be pampered and this scented collection, containing three beauty treats, is a great gift.
There is the Rose Shower Cream - leaves your skin feeling soft, silky and smelling divine - Moisturising Body Lotion - absorbed in nourishing Rosehip Seed Oil and Olive Squalane leaving your skin feeling smooth and radiant - and Rose Raspberry Soap Bar - a velvety soap that leaves skin clean and soft and is gentle enough for sensitive skin like mine.
Cost: £25
Purchase from Melvita

Little Messages' Love Message Cards
Surprise your valentine where she least expects it with these Little Messages’ credit card sized Love Message Cards. There are 8 cards in the pack featuring messages such as 'Hey Sexy', ‘I Love You’and We're Great Together'. To be honest the cards are pretty cheesy but if you're a chessy person they will be great for you! I personally like my unique messages left in places around the house by my other half on simple post it notes. ,uch more personal to me. There are lots of gifts available from Little Messages so the website is definitely worth a visit.
Cost: £2.50
Purchase from Carteblanchegreetings.com

LOVEheart pendant
The LOVEheart pendant is the ideal main gift for your Valentine this Monday. The quirky pendant, which is set in silver and diamond, has the word 'love' and heart entwined together and is highlighted by a solitaire 0.10ct diamond.
The large pendant is 37mm in length and is supplied on a 45cm silver chain. The brilliant-cut diamond set in silver is available from £195.
The pendant is also available in a blue or pink sapphire set in silver for £145. If you are loaded and feel like splashing out treat your lady to an 18ct white, yellow or rose gold heart set with 0.10ct diamond for £750.
Purchase from David M Robinson


BOSS Orange for Men
This scent is both uplifting and energizing. It smells like vanilla but with a masculine blend of crisp apple.
It is apparently “a relaxed and sociable character; just like the BOSS Orange man himself.”
Cost: from £24.50.
Purchase from The Perfume Shop

52 Weeks of Naughty Nights
This game is supposed to be full of surprises, sensual thrills, kinky surprises, expressions of love and playful games of seduction.
It contains a year's supply of scratch and win cards with naughty I.O.U.'s, suggestions, coupons, roll plays, gestures and more...
Now I’m yet to test this but it does sound good and I’m sure our guys would quite like it!
Cost: £9.99
Purchase from Treathim.com

Personalised Champagne And Gift Box 
Now as my other half is a wine connoisseur it’s so difficult for me to know exactly what wine/champagne will make a good present for him – so I tend to stay clear from that!
But for men who may lack an extensive knowledge of fine wine and champagne this Veuve Hennerick Brut Champagne could be a brilliant gift for him. Not only will he have something nice to drink he will also get some delicious Belgian chocolates as they come with the alcohol luxuriously presented in a satin-lined box with a pull-out tray. Kills two birds with one stone!
Cost: £45
Purchase from Marks and Spencer

Emporio Armani watch
I bought a watch similar to this for my other half one Christmas and he hardly takes it off!
Lovely design, Amber Dial with Roman Numeral, Stainless Steel Case, Brown Leather Strap and Quartz Movement.
Cost: £179
Purchase from Goldsmiths

So there it is - some perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day.
If you’re like me - a Valentine’s Day cynic who loves her fiancĂ© spoiling her every day apart from February 14 - you’ll be pleased to see most of the above presents are great for any day of the year. Plus most of the gifts are great for singletons so get treating yourself!


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Happy New Year - finally!

Hi everyone

It has been a while and for that I am sorry. Oh yes and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I hope you all have had a great start to the year so far.

AS IF I am getting married this year! Haha!
So, Andy and I went home to Manchester for Christmas and New Year to spend with the family. It was a brilliant Christmas, full of presents (woo!), happiness and surrounded by my favourite people. Obviously no Christmas would be the same without an argument and mine had one of those too but that is all just part of the fun!

A small selection of the Madden family!

Armed with my bridesmaids on New Year's Eve I headed into town (Manchester) to find their dresses for the big day. This was at 10am.
By 10.50am I had found my dream wedding dress, tried it on (and a few others to be extra certain) and had paid for it!!!
I obviously can't reveal too much about the dress as we don't want the other half finding out but it is definitely my dream dress. I can't wait to wear it!
Hmm and we never did find the bridesmaid dresses :-)

Anyway, I do love the start of a New Year. I just love getting a new diary (or five this year - don't ask!) and filling it in with exciting plans for the next few months. It makes me feel like I'm important and wanted! Also, I love the start of a New Year because my birthday is in January. And yes that means more PRESENTS!!

I hope you have all got your diaries (or you can have one of mine) and have started making plans for this year. What else is better than planning lots of fun things to do - holidays, weekends away, parties and shopping trips - while you're skint and waiting for your January payslip?
I would say not much!

Have a brilliant New Year!

Love Naiomi xxx