Champneys Heavenly Days Sleep Kit

Where? Boots.

How much? £12

I bought the temple balm over 2 weeks ago, as I have been having trouble sleeping through the night, and if I don’t get my 8 hours, I’m a crypt-keeper in the mornings. I was struck by how soothing the scent of the temple balm was; a combination of lavender, geranium and other English garden scents. I love the smell. The texture of the balm is smooth and blends into the skin without being sticky, melts easily though so be careful where you store it!

After a week of just using this, I was yet to see the benefits. But was optimistic so, I decided to buy the gift set.

Price point-wise, it was great. I got a massive bottle of pillow mist, the same amount of balm as well as a high-quality eye mask all for this low price (plus my Boots Advantage Card points!)

The Pillow Mist has a slightly different scent but it lingers on the bed linens for a while & I seemed to instantly calm after inhaling it. Right from the first time I used these products, it was obvious to me that it was luxurious and well-thought-out but affordable.

However, is it affective at helping me sleep? Great products, but I am yet to feel the benefit of using them. I think this is more than likely due to my personal circumstances at this time- my head’s a shed & unfortunately there’s not a quick-fix or £12 that can sort my issues.

I must say though; my husband loves this stuff. Each night, I just rub the balm into his pulse points (wrists, neck, temples) and 5 minutes later he’s sock on! And this, my friends, is a beast who has tried sleeping tablets and must take muscle relaxants (as part of a regular medication to ease cluster headaches). Miracle? Well, Champneys must be doing something right!

Have you tried this?

Have you had trouble sleeping? If so, what helped you?





Do I use Coconut oil? Yes!


For the past year or so, there’s been a lot of fussing over coconut oil and how amazeballs it is for your skin, health, food- how you can use it for everything! For the longest time, I tried to resist the urge to buy a jar and jump on the bandwagon but I found some with a great price point, tried it, loved it, so… I’m now a Coconut Oil Convert!

What do I use Coconut Oil for?

  • Use in cooking/baking as an alternative, healthier oil
  • Hair mask
  • Frizz fighter – I use a small amount after styling my hair to calm fly-aways and seal split ends.
  • ‘Herbal’ Rub *cough/wink* penetrates the skin to treat muscle aches, abdo pain. *Inspired by Whoopi & Maya products from the US*
  • As bath oil. Add some to a hot bath, it’s a natural skin moisturiser.
  • Lip balm
  • Make up remove


 Have you tried organic coconut oil?

How did you use the oil?

What did you think?


a Lush night in July

So every month around pay day, I go and treat myself at my local Lush store in Doncaster. I don’t drink, or smoke, or have a crazy hobby so this is how I celebrate the start of a new month.

This month I was really lucky to visit my cousin who lives in Manchester and like a true tourist walked around with my eyes wide and my mouth open, overwhelmed by the busyness of a city (this happens every time I leave the Shire and I should learn to expect this now!)

I was completely unaware there was more than one Lush store in Manchester centre – duh! I ended up in the smaller of the two and left feeling a little bit deflated. But then I had a “A-Ha!” when I Googled it later. Next time!

I bought a Butterball bath bomb – which is one of my Lush Legends – it smells lovely, it makes my skin feel amazing and it’s really gentle on the skin. Absolutely lovely and at an awesome price!


The day after Manchester-gate, I had to do a boring shopping day to get some new school (work) shoes and trousers for my new job (more on this later!). So I hit up Doncaster and it never fails to please me. I bought The Comforter bubble-bar which is also one of my Lush Legends. Each month, I pick one these up. It’s huge and one bar could easily do 3-4 baths, depending how bubbly/pink you prefer it. The aroma is really subtle and calming and who doesn’t just love a bubble bath? It also turns your bath water PINK!


I have tried a Lip Scrub recently as well, the bubblegum flavoured one. This is a really great product to use in your “Going Out-Out” routine. Its great to prep your lips and exfoliate them before applying lipstick. It’s a little pricey for a small tub but a little goes a long way.

bble.pngBeing married to a Yorkshireman, I usually prefer a nice cup of tea in the morning, but lately I have been mad about coffee. And to tie this in with my morning routine, I’ve been waking my face up with the Cup ‘O Coffee face mask. Oh-my-! This brightens and exfoliates and smells like the best cup of java ever. An awesome product that I will buy again and again. It really does do what it says on the pot & all the ladies in the store use it too!


One thing I love about Lush products is that they are made from natural ingredients, which is so good for your skin and they are all animal cruelty free – so my conscious can relax too! I love that there is so much variety available, I’m not someone that can tolerate strong aromas, as they can trigger for a migraine. So it’s great that there are much gentler scents like Rose, Coconut, Lavendar and more. I have linked all the products in this post- so you can have a mooch around the Lush website.

I’m so happy with July’s purchases and the Lush Doncaster staff are uber helpful and their customer service is always spot on. Can’t wait for next month!


A xo

Guest Speaker Report: David Hayward, Peter Kingston, Jeremy Seabrook

David Hayward
When I think of the BBC, I think of the professional corporation that captures the attention of the nation for hours at a time. As a representative for the BBC, David Hayward did not fail to impress. Mr Hayward began his presentation by discussing his love of debates and what he believes the future will hold for journalism in the BBC. He definitely captured the attention of the room like someone who is used to speaking in front of people, he looked comfortable and assured of his abilities. His PowerPoint presentation was professional and full of facts, charts and interesting information, but this would have been nothing without his funny, laidback approach to presenting it.
David talked about the BBC College of Journalism with particular enthusiasm and described the exciting new operation at Salford and the big opportunities it presented for the up and coming journalist. He beguiled his audience on the glamorous side of broadcasting and what is yet to come with regards to the BBC. David’s presentation was very much about entertaining us and motivating us to be the best journalist we could be.
David engaged us with his account of the changing face of journalism and how the heart of journalism has got to be breaking those key stories and holding power to account. Informing us of all the mediums we need to be aware of to help us, as journalists, to tell a story. He stressed importance of social media; how blogging, Twitter, Facebook can all influence the news, allowing viewers to engage and how it makes the life of a journalist easier and connecting to world news more efficient.  
David was able to show the difference between generations and the correlation of news consumption with the help of a line graph. These visual aids helped his presentation along and ensured the understanding of the information he was presenting.
Mr Hayward was able to, indirectly, illuminate aspiring journalists of how important contacts are. His presentation mentioned accounts of high ranking journalists and their experiences. Each account held a different angle that would inspire different types of students.

Peter Kingston
Even though Mr Kingston stopped being a journalist in 2009, he still holds a lot of insight into the ferocious industry that is journalism. He has worked for local and regional newspapers and has written for well-known papers like The Daily Mirror, The Times and The Telegraph. Like little children at story time, we waited eagerly for his account.
A softly spoken man, he spoke of his retirement and how he wanted to do something else in his career and apologised that his presentation wasn’t as polished as he’d like.
Peter then went on to describe his experiences at the beginning of his career in journalism. In 1979 it was such a struggle to get even a foot in the door in the world of media. Becoming a journalist was no easy feat. He spoke about one of his most unpleasant weeks of his life, an amusing tale of his time in Guildford. Peter was given the task of writing about the Guildford Four trial, a very prolific story at that time.
Sitting at the front of the room, he fervently described the classic scene of a 1980’s newsroom, smiling at this. Cigarette smoke, shouting, typewriter tapping, a hive of activity. Peter told us of frustrated mornings spent standing in a phone box, trying relentlessly, to relay a story back to the copytaker. The phone boxes often smelled funny and were surrounded by other competing journalists. He confessed to us the unglamorous, grotty locations, the endless piles of carbon copy paper and of having the exquisite skill to dictate a story straight from the notebook.
Although not as prepared as he should’ve been, Peter still presented an inspiring, eye-opening account of journalism. Peter’s talk gave us an exciting insight into the life of a journalist and gave us a glimpse of what we could expect. And I can guarantee we weren’t expecting some of the things he told us about!
Jeremy Seabrook
Jeremy Seabrook, originally from Northampton, has written more books than you can shake a stick at. He is an articulate, well dressed, older man who shared his memories and experiences of being a writer and being part of the Northampton community. Jeremy was able to give the audience a totally different aspect of their degree. It made us realise there’s a lot more than just reporting and radio, being able to write well is vital also.
He reminisced about the old Northampton, back when it was still known as a shoe and boot town where the people were stingy, grudging and suspicious, but also honest and dependable. He spoke of how Northampton has always been an inspiration for his writing.
Mr Seabrook mentioned that he had written his first few books based on his own life and relationship with his mother. While talking, he was looking away from the audience, smiling, almost as though he was thinking of a secret but not wanting to share it with the audience. This definitely gave Jeremy’s talk a mystical element that helped him capture his audience.
He spoke of a more ethical way of writing. Jeremy is persistent and has continued to commit to the downtrodden and poorer side of society, through to the wider society in the UK and the rest of the world. Stuttering he confesses he tries to always write from the heart.
Jeremy’s highlight in his career was meeting with Prince Charles and Kensington Palace to talk about his article on unemployment in Scunthorpe. His imitation of Prince Charles was charming! He spoke of how rewarding his writing is, both on a personal level and in a professional aspect.
Jeremy Seabrook stood nonchalantly, his hand in his pockets, fully relaxed as he read a snippet from his book. Akin to that of a storyteller, he enchanted the audience with his rendition.
A xo

the Irish Show.. analysis & evaluation

The ‘Irish Show’ is broadcasted on Tuesday evenings 6pm until 8pm on Inspiration FM (107.8). Its main audience is the Irish community in the Northampton area but it also provides entertainment for those interested in rock, folk and country music genres. The presenters on this show are called John Connor and Joe Strong.
The radio station has been running since 18th November 1996 and the Irish Show
A large section of the listeners are from the Irish community based in Northampton, however due to the presentation of the show it draws a large audience from other segments of the population. An interesting factor of the show is that the presenters are not actually Irish, even though the show is called the ‘Irish Show’. This could have been set up purposefully so that other communities wouldn’t feel disconnected and will tune in.
Idents were played between the introduction to the show and adverts. It was also played between songs. This is an effective way to remind listeners of which show/radio station they are tuned into. The presenters played a trailer of the ‘Drive Time’ show and spoke about what happened on the show, which informs listeners of other shows they might like, widening their audience numbers. By talking about their new Facebook page, the presenters try to involve the audience.
The links in the show are not scripted. This can be seen in the overlap between links and the audio (song). For example, there is a section when John makes a comment that he thought appropriate whilst the introduction to the song was being played. This wouldn’t happen if the link was scripted. This ensures that different segments of the show link together successfully.
Due to it being an Irish show, and that’s the way it is advertised, it has a policy to play music that hold Irish roots. However, this can be in the form of rock, folk, country and live tracks. The show plays a mixture of live and pre-recorded tracks, most of which are from the folk/country genre. This gives the audience a variety of qualities to listen to. The presenters continue to introduce the song/talk about it while the song is starting to play. Otherwise, there is no music bed while the presenters are speaking.
After each song (or songs) is played, the presenters have a short discussion about it or the artist, including a short story. This provides the audience with a small amount of background which allows them to find out more if they want to.
The music that is played on the Irish Show is mainly from previous years, it is not a show to play new music or upcoming bands. This could restrict the number of listeners as they may have heard all the music previously. “The unique blend of cultures and music and interviews & information will give listeners a new choice of station to listen too.” Inspiration FM holds a 70% music 30% speech policy during daytime shows. I think this is definitely represented accurately during the Irish Show.
The Irish Show seemed to have unstructured scripting. It was evident that the presenters were given set items to include, like advertisements and the ‘100 hits & legends’ section. The presenters introduce the show and then begin with talking about the weather. This something the audience can relate to.
The sections of the show which were spoken seemed unrehearsed and were relaxed. This allowed for easy listening, which would be appealing to audiences at that time of day. They speak of personal experiences and what is happening in their lives (colds, “man-flu”, and wife’s kitchen).
The way in which the radio show is delivered has a conversational tone, it’s very relaxed and flows nicely from one piece of music to the next with regular speech interludes. The show is humorous and relaxed and shows that the presenters have a good working relationship, which encourages the audience to listen.
Ways to contact the show was mentioned in detail, this is a good way to involve listeners and get them to participate in the show.
The presenters continually talk about Irish artists, those that are playing locally or that they’ve seen live. This involves the audience and makes them want to know more.
They mention local establishments such as O’Neill’s or the Swan & Helmet in Northampton. By mentioning these and talking about the previous Saturday night in a positive light, it is good advertising for the companies and encourages the audience to get involved and visit these places. It is a good marketing scheme for Northampton communities. The presenters also mentioned a teaser about an event (11th February), which would be explained later. This urges the audience to keep listening in order to find out more about this event.
In the last 12 minutes, the presenters discuss the statistics of last week’s show. This positive reference to the growing number of listeners encourages the audience to continue to listen and tune in again next week.
As the presenters are local to Northampton they offer an in depth and personal perspective on the town. They appear keen to promote the town and its features. 
It is very unusual for a radio show not to include any news included. For the first hour of this show no news or bulletins were broadcasted. However, there was a short news package before the show started which included all the main headlines. This was also repeated after the first hour of the show, but was not introduced.
The news bulletin that was played before and after the first hour of the show contained news headlines and stories from all over the nation, even though it is a community radio station. The news bulletin lasted for only 01m: 30s which is short enough that listeners do not get distracted or miss any of the Irish Show, but long enough to include the important news headlines.
Overall, Inspiration FM offers listeners hourly news features of 3-5 minutes long, interviews with councillors representing different topics and interviews with a variety of voluntary and community organisations. 
Inspiration FM is a community radio station Broadcasting 24/7 with a mix of music to suit all tastes. It provides interviews, phone-ins, news, traffic reports, and discussions of topics that really matter to the people of Northampton town and county. The slogan for the station is “Putting unity back in the community”. This is a positive motto that invites listeners and gives them a sense of involvement, just by tuning in.
Another of the station’s aims is to promote the views and opinions of others and to involve as many cultures and age groups within the audience as possible in the planning, sound and style of broadcasting. I think this is accomplished by Inspiration FM as it has established an excellent report with its audience and continues to introduce new shows aimed at a variety of the population.
At the start of show, it is obvious that the volume levels of the presenter’s microphones are different. The difference between them is huge and affects the quality of the sound. The quality of the music played in the broadcast was excellent as they were pre-recorded tracks and pre-recorded “live” tracks. However, the speech audio was of less quality as there seemed to be a problem with the microphones and their settings.
The show sounds fairly professional. However, it is difficult to put across how professional the show is as it is delivered in a relaxed, conversational manner. Many of the people involved in community radio shows are volunteers, this could mean that they have little or no experience in presenting/producing a successful show. In my opinion, I believe that the ‘Irish Show’ is delivered in a similar manner to many of the shows on Radio 1 and therefore it can be considered very professional, as they have a reputation to be so.

The Future of Radio
Competition from other technologies is growing as people are now listening to radio through other devices. These devices include mobile phones, laptops, games consoles, social networking etc. These other types of medium allow radio to be easily accessed. I believe that this is widening the audience towards the younger generations. Even though competition is high, it is evident that listeners still value information provided through local and commercial radio. Additionally, social media and the rapid growth of new technology have resulted in non-professional individuals shaping the content being created for broadcast media.
“Traditionally radio reaches a higher proportion of young adults than the population as a whole, but this difference is beginning to disappear.16-24 year olds listen to less radio per week than the population as a whole. The future of listening by this key group as they get older is difficult to predict.” (Ofcom, November 2006) By working with the new types of media available, it will be easy to target younger generations to try and increase this declining audience.
In the future, with the increasing technology, it may be possible to convert analogue radio to digital radio. This will make the spectrum more flexible and free-up some of that spectrum to establish a higher number of radio stations/shows; thus increasing audience numbers. This ‘digital change-over’ will create easily accessible, widely varied radio.
In regards to community radio, I believe that there will be an increase in community radio stations across the UK, as the public are becoming more aware of how they can have a positive effect in their community. However, as many community radio stations rely on funds from advertisements it may prove difficult to find the money to run the station as now businesses are more likely to advertise online as it is cheaper. Due to this increase in community radio stations and the idea that radio stations are easily set up, it is likely that an increase in college/university radio stations across the UK could also occur.
Satellite radio and its market have already grown enormously. Sirius XM provides a satellite radio service and claims over 20 million subscribers. It has had great success in in-car receivers and it is likely that car manufacturers will start to include this feature in their designs. Therefore, satellite radio could affect the market of analogue and digital radio in the future.
Since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was put into effect, the consolidation of the industry has created a homogeneous and in my opinion, a far less creative industry.  Innovation and new talent simply are not being drawn to the industry. This could be due to radio not being represented enough in media forums and being presented in a negative way. If radio was to support new topics and have a more varied disposition, this would reflect in the increase of listeners and more people would want to get involved.
In regards to my chosen radio station and show, Inspiration FM will look to produce a 24 hours broadcasting service seven days per week in the future.

A xo

Teething problems

It’s been a long time coming but i’ve had to organise my ranty, outraged thoughts and put them into understandable sentences.

So far, our student house has had little upsets. It was all quiet on Newington Rd, until late October.
An 18 year old girl has such little consideration for 3rd year students. She invites people over to stay for days on end, they help themselves to gas, electric, food, showers, everything — i mean.. the bills add up ya know?!

Next, some random guy turns up at gone midnight and she doesnt even understand why i’d have a problem with this!

Following this, I thought it would be constructive to have a house meeting….which turned into a 20 minute rant towards me about ‘mothering’ her……. er i dont think so!

A week later (after we thought things were all sorted) a girl turns up at our door with a suitcase. Housemate turns her ‘attitude mode’ on full and expresses that we shouldnt have to be told and we shouldnt have a problem with it. Really?!

Now…after we the incidents have occurred, it has been overheard that the reason we have a problem with all these unexpected visits is due to race. She could not be more wrong.

Surely, the next logical step would  be to inform the landlady of the problems we have been having. We have a lack of response and she just down-play our problems, like you would a child’s falling out.

And so..understandably, things are a little tense in this house but hopefully things will turn out all right in the end.

Watch this space. A xo