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Sunday 19 February 2017

Anyone Can Make a Beautiful Birthday Card

I love making personalised greetings cards for people but for a long time I held back as I believed it was only a pursuit done by super talented crafters. Sadly, that's not me - I have writing like a 10 year old and quite a limited imagination so I thought I had to hold back for fear of my cards looking like a toddler had made them.

However, I've found a formula that works for me and every person I give one of my home-made cards to always comments about how nice they are. I think people feel a little special is you take the time to make something you know they would like.

I wanted to share with you my card-making formula that can easily be copied by anyone and you always end up with a great looking card. Even my 9 year old's can make good looking cards for their friends.

1. First up, gather together the items you need.
I recommend a trip to The Works (or shop online) as they have a wonderful ever-changing supply of card making materials for really great prices.

You'll need -
Blank cards and envelopes
Patterned paper
Plain coloured card or paper
Double sided tape
Washi tape
Card toppers
Stick on Gems

2.  Choose your patterned paper that will act as a base on your blank card and stick it on with double-sided tape. I find this far less messy than glue and you don't have to wait for it to dry.

3.  Add some Washi Tape. In this design I have put two stripes down the side of the patterned paper and this is good as it covers any uneven edges, on other cards, I might just use one vertical or horizontal stripe or do it across a couple of corners. See some of the designs below.

4.  I used a stick on Happy Birthday Greeting that I had bought in a pack at £1.20 for 30 of them, so they work out at hardly any money each.

5.  Choose your card topper. You can see from the picture below that I tried out the different bird toppers in different places before I choose which one to stick down and how the finished card should look. To keep costs low I normally just try to use one topper per card but I think the one with two does look lovely.

I often use stick-on gems to glitz up the card too, as you can see in a couple of the examples below. These normally cost about 99p for over 100, so they are super cheap. All the card blanks and toppers in these cards I bought from The Works and I hope you'll agree they look effective.

I mentioned earlier that even my little girls an make nice cards for their friends using my easy card making formula and here are a couple of cards Miss E has made recently ready for upcoming birthdays.

If you have any tips of easy card-making then do leave me a comment. Many thanks, Mich x

Monday 13 February 2017

Review: Puressentiel Anti-Lice Treatment and Repellent

I hate head-lice. I'm sure no parent likes them but they have been the bane of my life for about the last four months. Thank the Lord that the kids seem free of them right now, but before Christmas I was spending so much on treatment and all different brands and I'm not sure if the products were not effective or if I had missed just one nit sack or such but basically I just couldn't get them out of one of my daughters hair and seeing as it is waist length, it was one major pain in the bum!

When I saw that the respected French brand Puressentiel had launched an anti-lice treatment and preventative spray, I immediately asked to sample and review the products and I'm pleased to tel you that I like what I see.

Anti-lice treatment -
I actually tried this on myself as whilst I could not find any evidence of a live head louse I have been itching for months and keep getting bumps around my hairline, so I was convinced I must have them and as this product is all natural I decided there really is no harm in my trying.

Unlike some products it had quite a pleasant smell and you can really detect the lavender, which is quite pleasant as it does not straight-away scream head lice like the smell of tea tree oil does. The four essential oils in the product also are soothing to the head and help to alleviate the itching, which was what I needed too.

The 100ml bottle only did one application as my hair is about 4 or 5 inches longer than my shoulders. So the cost of one treatment is £8.66 if you buy it from Amazon which was the best price I found (RRP £12.99). It therefore isn't the cheapest solution on the market but since research is showing that head-lice are mutating and surviving many different chemical insecticide treatments now, it is good to find one that the lice are unable to develop a resistance to and that doesn't have all the nasty side effects of silicone based products.

The solution comes in a bottle like you might get for hair dye and this means it is easy to apply and you don't get too messy. It is an oil based product so is oily on your hands but washes out well with any shampoo. It contains plant oils of coconut, calophyllum, jojoba, sunflower, sweet almond, castor, which act mechanically by obstructing the respiratory openings of the lice, larvae and nits. The lice are unable to develop resistance due to the asphyxiation mechanism.

I really like the fact that the product works in just 10 minutes and left my hair very soft after washing it out. The comb that is included in the pack is probably the best included one I've ever seen. It has fine grooves in each steel tooth, much like a nitty gritty comb and was very effective at combing my hair out.

Puressentiel products contain no dyes, preservatives or synthetic perfumes and are kind to the environment too.

For the record, I didn't actually have head lice and I actually now think maybe I had a sensitivity to a silicon based product that I used about a month ago when I was treating my girls. the redness and flaky, itchy scalp match the description for silicon sensitivity/allergy.

Preventative Spray -
This 75ml aerosol spray has a strong lavender smell and contains Citriodiol® from 100% natural origin (derived from lemon eucalyptus essential oil) whose repellent action has proved itself to be as effective as most synthetic chemicals.

It has been proven to work for 24 hours to repel lice and stop infestations and that makes it perfect for spraying before school. My daughter with shorter hair needs about 6 sprays and the one with waist-length hair about 12 sprays and the smell is quite strong, so it is good to do with a window open or even in the garden!

This handy spray cleanses the scalp and soothes itching using lavender floral water and lavandin, without leaving the hair or scalp feeling greasy or damaged. The spray retails for RRP £9.99 and I didn't manage to find it any cheaper than that.

It has 0% Neurotoxic repellents, is 100% natural in origin (No chemical agent - No silicone - No dimethicone - Preservative-free), is propellant gas-free and synthetic perfume-free.

Both products are suitable for children aged 3 years plus and they are available from Boots, Day Lewis, Lloyds pharmacy, Amazon and selected pharmacies nationwide.

Conclusion -
I am really happy with the Puressentiel products that I have tried out and I'd happily use the anti-lice treatment again and we will keep on using the preventive spray and see how it goes. Lets pray that is the lice infections over for at least 2017 for my family!

Disclosure: I received these products free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.