Smiggle – Where a smile meets a giggle


I was recently contacted by Smiggle about their back to school range and, on reviewing their range, there is so much more to this brand than just school stationery. I want to buy EVERYTHING on their site!

There are products such as funky ride-on suitcases, cool desk fans and fun party bags.

We were kindly sent a selection of these fantastic goodies for my son to try out and oh my was he excited!  

This Smiggle pencil case is ‘awesome’ (in my son’s words) because it has a funky dinosaur pattern on the case together with three separate zip compartments. One with a great selection of colourful felt tip pens, the other with coloured pencils (all branded with the cool the Smiggle logo) and the last compartment has pens, a ruler, rubber and a pencil sharpener – so all your creative requirements are contained in one compact portable case.

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This is great because we have a planned a number of breaks away, which means we can grab some paper, together with this fab case, and my son will easily be entertained on a rainy day – or simply create his own masterpiece at home.

This pen is the envy of lots of my son’s friends. They picked it up and started practising some handwriting with it, not realising that if they pressed the button at the side of the pen the cool basketball head would pop off. This pen/toy is a great crossover for kids of all ages to enjoy.


We were also fortunate enough to receive this great little Smiggle wallet. My son doesn’t own a wallet but as it was his birthday this week, it definitely came in handy! He was given some money from friends and family and was over the moon to take ownership of ‘his pennies’ as he called them. The wallet has a velcro fastener and contains zip compartments for change and built in sleeves for the notes.

I would highly recommend the Smiggle range for whether it’s your kids’ first day back to school or just for having some fun and games at home with their friends. They would also make really fun and practical gifts.

To view the full Smiggle product portfolio, which includes their Back to School range – ‘where school starts, dreams begin’ – then please visit the following site – Smiggle

Disclosure: We were sent the above items for purpose of the review but all views are my own.

Bidvine – Your New Best Friend!

As busy working parents, our greatest dilemma is how to juggle those ongoing chores which need to be undertaken just to make it through the day. Getting your kids clean, clothed, fed and out the door in one piece whilst working full or part time is daunting enough, so when it comes to jobs around the house, or hobbies, planning parties/events etc.. well that list is rarely reviewed because, lets face it, it’s too time consuming!

So when I came across the Bidvine app, I immediately thought, ‘where has this been all my life?’. Bidvine is the easiest way to find and hire local professionals to help accomplish your projects. Learn something new, redecorate your home, feel better, feel fitter, throw a great party – and more.

Let me tell you how this works

Download the Bidvine app to your mobile device or tablet, or alternatively you can access via a PC by following this website link – https://www.bidvine.com/

The Bidvine app display appears, which will then allow you to search for a local professional service in your area.

I opted for a photography service, specifically ‘event photography’  because I wanted to get some prices for a children’s party/event. My son was four in August and the party was held at a farm park, which was hectic to say the least! The demands of the day meant that I wasn’t able to capture all those special moments at the party, so I wanted to gather some quotes – for photographers for future events – to ensure we never miss a moment again.

Once you have selected the service you need, the app requests your postcode to match your location with local businesses. I selected details such as, ‘number of people attending’ and ‘how I’d like the event shooting’ to start the matching service – see full selection available below.

The details are then broken down a little more into budget and duration of the event etc.

You are asked whether there is anything additional you would like to add to your request and you are then prompted for your email address. To submit the project, you need to create an account by entering your name and a password then the app asks if you’re ready to submit your request to local professionals.

Once you submit your details you just wait for the bids to come in. I entered both my telephone and email details which then meant I received quote alerts to both – but you can log into your account and view your ‘project’ and any bids you have received as shown below.

Once the bids have been received, it’s up to you which one you prefer and you can then discuss directly with the provider – it couldn’t be simpler!

Benefits/Key Features:

  • Free app to download
  • Set your own budget
  • 800+ service categories to choose from
  • Great matching service
  • No obligation
  • Quick turnaround from request to bid
  • Easy to use and great user experience
  • Great promotion for local businesses

I hope that you enjoy reading my post and if you would like to download the app for free here , give it a go, I would love to hear what you think!

 Disclaimer: I was contacted by Bidvine to review their service for purpose of this review, all views are my own.

 

Review – Glowing Musical Thomas

My son is a hug fan of Thomas the Tank engine, in particular the whole Thomas and Friends collection, so when we were given the opportunity to review a large glowing musical Thomas from Golden Bear Toys we were delighted.

When the box arrived, my son was trying his best to be patient but then his excitement took over, “come on, Mummy, I want to play with Thomas!!!”. He was SO excited about this toy. Out of all the things my son has been into, Thomas is most definitely his favourite and longest obsession.

My son and I started to squeeze Thomas and push his head and tummy to get the sounds and glowing features to appear then realised in our haste, and not reading the instructions clearly marked on Thomas (rookie error) that we needed to press the black funnel for all Thomas’s fun phrases and then to squeeze the blue dome on top of Thomas to hear the iconic theme tune.

Once we had realised, both Luca and I were giggling and pressing them for what seemed like hours. As the music plays, Thomas’s cheeks softly glow (which I think is a lovely little magical feature), especially as we tested this everywhere with the lights out too. My son absolutely loved seeing Thomas’s cheeks glow in the dark!

The Glowing Musical Thomas is also made with super soft fabric which is perfect for my son to have a good squeeze and cuddle.

The following day, it was time for us to head out to the park and guess who had to join us??! Yes, Luca’s new best friend, Thomas. My son couldn’t wait to show anyone that was walking past his new Musical Glowing Thomas, and so their adventure began….
And yes, my son insisted on pushing Thomas on the swings, much to my amusement.

The RRP for this Large Musical Glowing Thomas is £24.99 which I think is a great, affordable price. This toy is super cute and cuddly but wonderfully magical too! This needs to be added to everyone’s Christmas list.

Approx. size 23cm long and suitable from 10 months+

Batteries are included and can easily be replaced.

Disclosure: We were sent the above product from Golden Bear Toys for purpose of this review, all views are my own.

Review – Messy Goes to Okido

My son is a hug fan of the CBeebies animation, Messy Goes To Okido, so when we were given the opportunity to review a large talking Messy Monster from Golden Bear Toys we were delighted.

The CBeebies programme is aimed at children aged 2-5 years old, but the soft toy is suitable for children from birth to any age Messy Monster fan.

The talking blue Messy Monster has a lovely cuddly body that children of all ages will love squeezing. Messy’s face has cute embroidered features and my son instantly made friends and couldn’t wait to press Messy’s tummy to hear his favourite sounds and popular phrases from the show, such as, “Balabalaboomboom” and “Let’s Okido!”

My son’s love of Messy meant that he took him to school to show his friends. He also played with him on the garden and chuckled, “Messy goes to football”

Along comes Half Term and I decided to take my son to Chatsworth House where they were hosting a Half Term Halloween hoot. He insisted we take Messy along on our day out so our new blue friend went on an adventure with us.

Along with the activities we took part in, the scenery on the grounds were spectacular so we decided to let Messy chill out and take it all in.

Messy wanted to be part of the fun wherever we went. I am guessing this will become a theme now wherever I decide to take my son.

Much to my amazement, my son demoted his ‘snuggie’, which he has slept with since birth, to allow Messy to join in his in bed. How cute is this? Messy is most definitely part of the family!

The RRP for this Large Talking Messy Monster is £14.99 which I think is a great, affordable price. This toy needs to be added to everyone’s Christmas list.

Approx. size 24cm and suitable from birth.

Batteries are included, however the internal sound device is not accessible (for whenever the batteries do run out).

Disclosure: We were sent the above product from Golden Bear Toys for purpose of this review, all views are my own.

Mirai Face Brush and Cleanser – Skincare Review

Are you in desperate need of a new skincare regime? Well I know I was! As a 30-something woman, any product that claims to be ‘anti-ageing’ has got to be given a go. I’m obviously not expecting to look like a fresh-faced 20 year old, but an improvement in fine lines and wrinkles would be fantastic.

With thousands of skincare products on the market, it’s impossible to know which product works and which ones are just an under-delivering gimmick. So for the past month I have been trialling this gorgeous pink, silicone face cleansing brush from The True Company. I was also kindly sent the cleansing cream to be used in conjunction with the brush.


The silicone cleansing brush comes with its own USB charger and a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty, together with an authenticity card from The True Company.

Features & Benefits 

  • Advanced anti-ageing duo
  • Mirai Cleanser formulated for maximum results
  • Silicone bristles compatible for all skin types
  • Immediate results after just a couple of uses
  • One of the most innovative anti-aging tools in the market
  • Reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Unclogs pores, removes oil and makeup
  • Makes skin feel more elastic and healthy
  • Uses the safest silicone which is compliant with all worldwide regulations
  • Rechargeable features. Just charge and go!
  • 5 Year Warranty

 

To charge the Mirai unit you attach the charging cord to the Mirai Face into the jack located at the front of the device (at the bottom). You then attach the plug into the USB port for charging (and the indicator light will flash). Charging is complete when the indicator light glows without flashing. This can take up to an hour.

There are 14 different modes on this unit, starting from the least intensive to the higher intensive setting.

I have created a short video on my YouTube channel so you can see how to use the Mirai Face Unit.

Once I had had a play around with the settings I decided to test the unit, together with the cleansing cream, on my hand first – as my skin can be a little sensitive at times. Personally, I would always recommend completing a skin test with all new skincare products just in case you do have a sensitivity.

I pumped a small amount of the cleanser onto the Mirai Face then increased the intensity setting to high. Using a gentle circular motion, I applied the device to the back of my hand with the smaller set of bristles. I completed this action for approximately 1 minute. Oh my, I was so impressed with how amazing my skin felt just after one treatment. I hadn’t covered the area of the back of my hand so I could honestly feel the difference between the treated and the none treated area – and it smelt divine! My skin felt so silky and soft, almost like I’d had a spa treatment.

 

After giving my skin a rest for an hour, I decided to use the Mirai unit on my face, specifically on my troubled areas; under my eyes, my nose and chin. I removed my makeup with soapy water, left my face a little damp and applied the cleanser to the silicone brush. The cleanser has an amazingly fresh smell, I’d best describe it as vanilla with a hint of fresh mint. I opted to go for the highest intensity setting; if you’re going to test a product then you might as well go for it!

I used the smaller set of bristles to concentrate on my problem areas (as recommended by the guidelines) and then the larger bristles to go over my full face, using a gentle circular motion, I moved the device around my face – the vibrations do make your face tickle and tingle slightly but it’s a pleasant sensation.

For the first week, I completed this routine for 1 minute, twice a day – once in the morning and once before I went to bed, just to see how I adjusted to my new routine. After each treatment I rinsed and dried my face, then cleaned the unit after each use using warm soapy water and allowed to dry.

For the final three weeks, I completed the same routine but this time completing the deep cleansing treatment for 3 minutes in the morning and 3 minutes in the evening to ensure I gained maximum results. My skin felt noticeably soft and supple after the first treatment, and it honestly felt like I had popped into my local beauty spa for a full facial treatment.

After a month of using this deep cleansing treatment system, I could definitely see a difference in my facial pores and the softness of my skin – which also felt tighter.

I was very impressed with this product and I would highly recommend it. Although it is most certainly at the high end (in terms of cost) I definitely think this product is a great investment piece especially with how much healthier my skin looks. If only they did a larger one so I can apply it to the rest of my body!

The RRP for both the Mirai Face Brush and Cleanser is 248 US Dollars / £199.40

Have you have tried any Mirai products? Do you use a cleanser for removing makeup and, if so, have you seen a vast improvement in your skin’s health? Feel free to drop me a message in the comments section as I’d love to hear from you.

 

Disclosure: I was sent all products from The True Company for purpose of this review. All views are my own.

Wicked Uncle Challenge

As a parent you are continuously bombarded with adverts for all of the latest toys, gimics and gadgets to entertain your children (and, let’s face it, some of the older members of your family). There are so many to choose from that it can often feel like a minefield. So when I was contacted by Wicked Uncle and given the opportunity to read about their unique approach to this problem, I was intrigued to find out more.

I promptly loaded up their site and was in awe of what I could see, the selection of toys are unbelievable. I was muttering to myself searching through each category saying, “OMG”, and “wow he’s going to love this”, and “cool, I need one of these in my life!”. The site is extremely user friendly and great to navigate around, with sections that allow you to filter searches  (girls/boys/all), then age ranges, from 3 years old through to teens. Naturally I just selected ‘ALL’ and perused the whole range, thinking I need to order EVERYTHING!!!


The next phase of the filtered search (should you be more focused than I was), allows you to select categories such as ‘creativity’ or ‘adventurer’ which I thought was a nice touch as it allows you to be a lot more personal when it comes to choosing a gift.


The premise of the site is to allow the child’s ‘wicked uncle’, which in this case is my cool bro, Craig, to order something as a surprise and see what alternate gift they choose. Wicked Uncle kindly provided me with a voucher to the value of £40 which I forwarded to my brother and waited in anticipation. My brother is in his late 30’s, no kids of his own and wasn’t at all interested in the whole baby stage of my son’s life. Now my son is at an age where he just wants to play and have fun…. well that is where his Uncle Craig steps in! So he was definitely up for the challenge.

A week later and the Wicked Uncle delivery arrived, boxed up, at my door. My son was ridiculously excited and before I had time to get the camera out he was tearing the box open and diving into the surprise packages from Uncle Craig. This video is most definitely typical of all 4 year olds, in that the packaging often holds as much fascination as everything else in life – much to my amusement.

I don’t know who was more excited on opening the box, me or my son! The parcel contained two gifts, one of which was a ‘shining stars projector’ and the other is a ‘my first microscope’; and boy were we not disappointed! The parcel also contained a little gift message to the recipient and a card for your child to write back and give thanks for the gifts, which I also thought was a great addition to the overall experience of the products.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun we have all had with these gifts. It was my son’s birthday just over a week ago so he couldn’t wait to show his friends how these amazing toys work.

My First Microscope

Seeing as though the sun has been very kind to us lately, we have had the pleasure of spending lots of time in the garden. We often go searching for creepy crawlies, (and what boy doesn’t love that?!), and for some reason my son has developed a fascination with leaves. He loves touching them and drawing on them ….and was his immediate go to item for the first thing could he put underneath his microscope.

The microscope comes in a very funky, bright and colourful design. It is very sturdy and easy for little, but heavy-handed, boys. Another great feature of the product is a little light that allows your child to see the item illuminated under the microscope. My son is very stubborn at times and insisted on showing me how it worked – and I wasn’t allowed to do anything until he’d put pretty much everything from the garden, and his toy box, underneath the microscope first. He was fascinated at how he could move the lens up and down to focus and enlarge the subject he was studying.


This toy is lots of fun and very educational. It allows your child to explore their surrounding, nature and all things new to them. I couldn’t have chosen a better gift for him. This takes pride of place in his room and sits very comfortably in the bright surroundings of his room.

Shining Stars Projector

My son has had an absolute ball with this projector. Pretty much every day has been sunny since the product arrived so we have spent most days with him demanding I close the blinds so we can project the stars and planets on to his bedroom wall.

Star Projector

Again, as with the microscope, the funky design, colour and easy use of this toy, together the carry handle, has allowed my son to move it freely around the house, pressing the button and showing everyone who enters the house (and his room) what cool images each of the 3 picture wheels contains.

The pictures include images such as an astronaut, the Earth, the Sun, a comet, stars and more importantly, the projections are a cool, calming light that my son now depends on every night before he goes to sleep. The picture wheels can be changed and slotted into the projector very easily young kids, and as stated previously, because of the design of the product they are very strurdy for heavy-handed children (and adults) – so there is no worry of a part being snapped or broken suddenly.



As with the microscope, this is also very educational and has prompted lots of questions from son regarding space, the Earth and other astrological questions which I don’t know the answers to – but it has been great to engage his little imagination.

The feedback from Uncle Craig is that the site was extremely user friendly, very easy to navigate around and there were no complicated links or unnecessary menu/filters. The fact that the categories are broken down so simply means that whomever was to place an order could do this very quickly and simply. There is both a card transaction payment method together with a PayPal option, should you wish to use it. Uncle Craig used a debit card and the delivery payment was taken promply with an email receipt and order confirmation which followed.

I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this site to any confused Uncle or relative out there (or anyone looking for a special gift) because my whole family and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience together – and will still be playing with these toys for a long time yet. I genuinely intend to use this site on a regular basis for friends and family birthday gifts, purely because the service, quality and variety of wonderful toys and gifts, is exceptional.
*We were given a gift voucher to the value of £40 to spend at Wicked Uncle for purpose of this review. All views and opinions are my own*

Myloview – Children’s Mural Review

Last month, in fact, Christmas Eve to be exact, FedEx knocked at my door with a lovely parcel from a company called, Myloview.

Myloview.com are a contemporary wall art company who specialise in;

The site allows you to browse a huge library of modern and contemporary images which are, quite frankly, stunning! The site is sectioned in room designs so there are lots of images, amazing photography and designs that are available to transform  your home and your business.

After much deliberating, I saught advice from my son, Luca. He opted for the Wall Mural Seamless City Background. I know exactly why he chose this mural; it’s bright, funky and a little bit ‘out there’, which is exactly how his bedroom is. Luca also loved the little cat sat on the chimney as it reminds him of a cat that visits him on our garden.

When placing your mural order, you can choose between different types – we went for a self-adhesive option. You can also choose additional effects and the correct sizing for whichever space you have to fill.  As many of my readers will already know, my other half is useless at DIY and he will openly admit that he would definitely prefer to pay someone to complete jobs around the house. So being given the opportunity to transform a room with an easy-peel mural is exactly what we needed. In fact, I may cover the whole house in these, hah!

My hubby measured the space available on the wall, ready to line up the two sides to the complete mural, and then began to peel the mural away from its backing paper whilst rubbing away any of the bubbles and lines. The only job my hubby had was to measure and what did he do…..yes, the light switch got in the way *apparently* so we just had to cut around this slightly. Although the mural paper is thick and of a very good quality, it was very easy to cut (phew).  We absolutely love this mural, it has made such a difference to my son’s room and he was over the moon with it. Everyone who has visited us or come over to play with Luca have commented on how cool this is and asked where they can get one from.

So in summary, it’s a huge hit! IMG_1632

To view the full range of products then please visit myloview.com. Worldwide shopping is available and is very fast and efficient.

If you hurry, you can receive 30% off your order with the following code: SALE30. This offer ends 18th January 2016.

  

*I was sent this mural for the purpose of this review, all views are my own*

Double, ‘Bubble’, Toil and Trouble – Halloween with Cravendale

Britmums and Cravendale have set the nation a new challenge, a #MilkDrinkersMilk challenge to be exact, and we have gladly accepted.

I wanted to share our milk-drinking experience with you all and what better time to do it than #Halloween.

Since a straw was first placed between my son’s lips, he has always had to the urge to blow bubbles in any drink that would allow it. What kids doesn’t love bubbles, eh? I’m fairly sure every toddler in the world loves bubbles, so why not blow some into a cup of deliciously creamy, calcium-enriched Cravendale? My son calls this, ‘Bubble Milk’. It is his favourite game and he can’t wait to show his friends, and anyone that will watch, his bubble-blowing technique in milk. I have even had reports that his friends at nursery have started to do it too – he’s such a trend setter!

So it’s Halloween, we are carving the pumpkins and my son laughs and says, “hubble, bubble, toy and trouble” very cute and he’d obviously picked this up from a Halloween Peppa Pig or Sponge Bob Squarepants. *corrects child with full witch chant from Macbeth and carries on scoffing whatever I could get my hands on from the trick or treat tub* So I ask my son if he wants a snack or anything, baring in mind he’s been eating sweets, toffee apples and crisps all day, and he asks for milk from his ‘sippy jar’. His sippy is basically Mummy’s ‘sippy jar’ (don’t laugh, I don’t drink a lot). He loves his milk in this jar, whether cold or warm, and he will drink huge amounts of Cravendale in this and blow enormous bubbles.  

  He then proceeded to share this fab game (and my drinking jar) with every trick-or-treater that came to our door! They loved it. Hopefully they didn’t notice the margarita and cocktails references on the jar and they just focused on my sons ‘bubble milk’ face.

Why not try this game with your little one, I’d love to see your child’s ‘bubble milk’ face. Post on social media with the #bubblemilkface or better still #cravendalebubblemilkface

*This post is an entry for Britmums #MilkDrinkersDrink Linky Challenge Sponsored by Cravendale*

The 50 States – Children’s Book Review

As a blogger, I am often very excited when I hear the mail drop through the letter box (or better still a courier delivery), and I often gasp, “oooh, mystery happy post, how exciting!”

So a when the latest mysterious box arrived via courier (cue happy squeal), I tore open the package to then have the book immediately snatched away from me by my toddler. He proceeded to thumb through the pages, pointing gleefully at all the colourful illustrations.

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The 50 States, written by Gabrielle Balkin and beautifully illustrated by Sol Linero, is a large, hard-backed book that allows you to explore 50 fact-filled, simplified state maps which are peppered with beautiful images of local momuments and wildlife; and have key facts and moments of history and culture that capture the essence of each state.


The contents page is a great start as the first map documents each state with reference to the page numbers in the book. The back of the book also beautifully illustrates each state flag which was great for my son, he definitely loves to ‘visually learn’ and this book certainly delivers when it comes to ‘visual learning’.

As a starting point, we decided to concentrate on the state of Pennsylvania, and in particular one of the largest cities in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. This was because we had recently had a visit from a friend who lives in Philadelphia, and being able to explain to my son that, “this is where Kristen is from”, and the key facts, history etc really enabled my son to relate to the information on the page.

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The moments to remember and key facts, in particular, “Philly food” were great to read and discuss and it helped us to reference conversations we had had with our friend regarding the famous, ‘hoagies’ and ‘cheesesteaks’ which they are so fond of in Philly.

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There are also lovely little images of famous people, such as Billie Holiday – who was born in Philly-  and Taylor Swift, who sang at the Philly 76ers game at the age of 12. These little additions bring a lot of fun and very up-to-date referencing to each state.

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We then moved onto a number of different states, each detailing the key facts, moments to remember and lots more descriptive and engaging introductions to each one.

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The 50 States will take pride of place on our coffee table, so my son and/or any guests can peruse this at any time (which they already have might I add!). This book definitely sparks the imagination but also sparks great conversation.

My son is 3 and 1/2 years old, so whilst I feel this book is a little too advanced for him at the moment, over time I know he will grow with this book – as will his knowledge of the 50 US states.

I would love to see a UK version with the same concept; maps, facts, moments to remember etc as I’m sure my friend in Philly would like to gain a little more knowledge of the UK, in the same way we as a family are learning about America.

Disclaimer: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review. All opinions and views are my own. 

Scholl Foot Products Review – Happy Feet

Yes, I have to admit it, we are family who neglect our feet and I for one am the world’s worst. I have worn high (6inch) heels for as long as I can remember so my feet are not in a good way. They are continually achy and sore and I often have to deal with dry and cracked heels, so when we were offered some quality footcare products from Scholl, a brand in which I trust, we jumped at the chance.

Scholl Fresh Step Shoe Spray

My hubby’s gym bag and in particular, his gym shoes, smell utterly horrendous when he returns from the gym. They usually get thrown in the washing machine but soon after a gym session they stink the house out again – so this spray is CERTAINLY a welcome addition to his gym bag!

 This product is very easy to use, just spray directly into the shoe to eliminate the odour. You can spray this product before or after wear but you must leave to dry a little,  which should keep your shoe odourless for 24 hours.

 I didn’t intend to use this on my toddler’s trainers, but unfortunately we had a potty training incident which meant my son’s trainers had to go in the washing machine. When they dried, they still had a slight odour, so I sprayed a little of this into his trainers. The smell of this spray is very pleasant, subtle and not too overbearing.

Scholl Dry Skin Instant Recovery Cream

I am in desperate need of a pedicure so the foot model on this occasion was my hubby – ha ha. Once again the smell of this product was very fresh and not overpowering at all.

My hubby recently re-joined the gym so his feet have been in need of some moisture and hydration too. The cream was very rich but soon sinks into your skin leaving them very soft and smooth. I would love this cream for my hands too as I can smell it on my feet now and love it!

As a family, we need to keep our feet happy and healthy so I am delighted to say these products have helped make this happen!

For more information about  Dry Feet or any of the products featured then please visit, Scholl.

If you would like the chance to #WIN both products featured within this review then please comment ‘Scholl’ below. Best of luck!

*I was sent all Scholl products for purpose of this review, all views are my own*