Sunday 30 October 2011

Di Palomo

When I was asked if I would like to try some items from the Di Palomo White Grape with Aloe range and review them on my blog, I jumped at the chance.

Although I like nice bath products, I never buy them myself but instead, ask for them for presents. I can never justify splashing out on myself when the money could be spent on so many other things, so it was like Christmas when the parcel arrived and I duly unwrapped the items.

Di Palomo is made in England but inspired by Italy.

"Three friends enjoy lunch overlooking the River Dart in Devon on a perfect, English summer's day. A second bottle of Verdicchio is opened as they share vivid recollections of time spent in Italy.....Inspired to capture their memories with fragrance, Di Palomo was born".

Inside the parcel was a Moisturising Bath & Shower Cream and Body Butter. The packaging was just lovely, very understated and classy looking, white with a grape print.

On taking the items out of their boxed packaging, I could see the continuation of the grape print on the items themselves.

The Moisturising Bath & Shower Cream is presented in a pump dispenser which I thought added to the upmarket image. It's also very handy if it's being used in the shower, so much easier to use a pump dispenser than trying to pour from a slippery bottle. The product itself is wonderful to use as a shower cream, it lathers on the body very well, which is something I insist on in a shower cream.

I've also used it in the bath, adding a few pumps under running water and it bubbled up very well.

The smell of the product is just beautiful, very delicate and subtle, though it doesn't particularly remind me of grapes. The scent lingers on the body for a while after leaving the bath or shower, which is good.

The body butter had the same delicate and subtle scent. It rubbed in to the skin easily and was absorbed quickly. After using the product each day for a week, I can say that my skin is noticeably softer.

Eleanor has also tried the items. She uses lots of bath products and often treats herself to different brands out of her pocket money so she is in a good position to compare these. She thinks that Di Palomo is one of the better brands that she's tried.

The Moisturising Bath & Shower Cream retails at £9.00 for 250ml and the Body Butter retails at £15.00 for 200ml. I wouldn't pay this amount myself for the products, but the price is acceptable to ask someone to buy this for me as a present, or for me to buy to give to someone else as a present.

There are other products in the White Grape with Aloe range and also other ranges available from Di Palomo.

I shall certainly bear Di Palomo in mind when buying gifts, and some other products from the range may just sneak on my Christmas list. I particularly fancy trying the White Grape & Aloe Cleansing bars and the White Grape & Aloe Bath Elixir.

I should just mention that the products were sent to me free of charge but I have not been paid for writing this review.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Oakwell Hall

As it's half term, Mick took a couple of days holiday at the start of the week. Looking at the weather today, I think he chose the right days to take off work, it's a really dreary, grey, rainy day today. Monday was much brighter and we decided to have a day out.

We've been meaning to visit Oakwell Hall for some time. It's situated in Birstall which is over the other side of Leeds from us, but still only a twenty minute car journey. Daniel and Eleanor have both visited it in primary school when they were learing about the Tudors, they had to dress up in Tudor outfits and took part in a Tudor day there.

Oakwell hall is an Elizabethan manor house which was built in 1583. Unfortunately, on the day we visited, it was closed due to a heating failure so we didn't get to look around it, but apparently, it's furnished as it would have been in the 1690's when the Batt family resided there. Charlotte Bronte visited the hall in the 19th century and featured it as the home of the heroine in Shirley.

Even the gardens have been restored to to the condition they would have been seen in around 1690, and the plants date from before that time.

There's lots of these living willow structures in the gardens. I'm sure they'll cast a lovely shade and give somewhere cool to sit in sunny weather.

We came across this fellow on the lawn outside the hall. It's a carved stone ram, though it's origins are a mystery. It's not known how he came to be at Oakwell, how old he is or who carved him.

The hall and gardens stand in over 110 acres of country park which has been formed by a mix of woodland, farmland and a reclaimed colliery. in the 1960's, Gomersal Colliery employed over 360 men. The mine closed in 1973. There's some information about Life Dahn t'Pit, or Life Down The Pit for those of you who don't understand the Yorkshire dialect.

There's also a metal sculpture depicting two miners.

The country park is extensive and there is a nature trail which you can follow which takes a figure of eight route. It's good to know that the fields at Oakwell are being managed with wildlife in mind.

There was plenty of space for Archie to have a good run off his lead. It seems that the park is a favourite for dog walkers as we came across a great many of them exercising their dogs on Colliery Field. In one corner of the field is a sculpture, Fiddlehead and Fernblades, which stands over six metres tall.

There's a fabulous playground at Oakwell with lots of play equipment. Daniel and Eleanor may be teenagers but they couldn't resist having a go themselves. There's a cafe with very reasonable prices and also a shop which sells lots of little pocket money priced souvenirs, though I wouldn't like to see the giant rodent which they had in their window in my garden.

It was a lovely day out and another great place which accepts dogs. We'll definitely return, I'd like the chance to have a look around the hall.

Monday 24 October 2011

Charity Show

On Saturday night, we attended a charity show where Eleanor and her drama group were singing some songs from Les Miserables, the show they're rehearsing at the moment ready for performing next month. As well as the drama group performing, there were various dance groups from around our area.

There are lots of fundraising activities happening at the moment, all with the aim of raising as much money as possible in as short a time as possible. An eighteen year old local girl who used to attend Eleanor's drama group and who now attends a local dance college, needs life saving treatment in America. She has a rare form of cancer in her lung which hasn't responded as well as it should to chemotherapy, and surgery isn't an option owing to it's position. Radiotherapy could be used but this would only keep the tumor under control, whereas proton therapy gives a better chance of cure. This comes at a cost of £125,000 so a huge fundraising drive is now in operation.

We had a really good night, and there was another show yesterday so I'm hoping that it raised lots of money towards the appeal. So far, £55,000 has been raised and this weekend's fundraising needs to be added to that total so they're doing very well. I'm sure they'll reach the target soon.

Saturday 22 October 2011

Temple Newsam Again

It's a gorgeous autumn day today so we didn't want to waste it, though we didn't want to go too far as we're going out tonight. You may remember my last post about Temple Newsam back in August. As it's only about a ten minute drive away from where we live, we decided to go there again today.

There weren't many people around the field where Archie has his run.

It was a little breezy and some kite fliers had decided to take advantage of the weather.

Archie found a stick which he took a liking to.

We decided we would take a walk around the lake so headed down that way. There are some gorgeous gardens at Temple Newsam, but I'll show you those in another post as they're not at their best at this time of year. The grounds at Temple Newsam were landscaped by Capability Brown.

Archie had to be put on his lead as he was desperate to jump in and have a swim.

A little wooden bridge takes you to the other side of the lake.

Archie made friends with a sheep from the farm.

We're very lucky that we have such lovely places to visit nearby. There's so much more to Temple Newsam than what I've shown you in two posts, I'll post more soon.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

She'll Never Make A Vampire

When I was a child, I held on to my milk teeth for as long as possible. At one stage I had a second tooth appearing before the first tooth had vacated it's position, making the second tooth grow wonky and leaving me needing a brace to straighten it out.

Both Daniel and Eleanor seem to have inherited the same problem. They were both the last in their class to lose their first tooth, and they've both held on to their milk teeth for longer than normal.

A couple of weeks ago, we had to take Eleanor to see an orthodontist as she has still got her canine milk teeth, the fangs I call them, and the dentist couldn't feel one of the second teeth in her gums. The orthodontist took x rays and discovered that both the second teeth were there, but one still had quite a way to come down. It was decided that they would remove the first teeth to make way for, and help, the second teeth to descend.

We went to the dentist yesterday after school, and Eleanor was a star. It was a little difficult to remove one tooth as it had a rather long root, but it eventually came out. I was terrified of dentists as a child and I vowed that my children wouldn't have the same fear. I used to take them with me as toddlers when I had an appointment and the dentist let them sit in the chair and got them used to the experience from being very young. Daniel especially has had lots of things done at the dentist as he broke his front tooth at school, and has also had to have a tooth removed from inside his gum, but getting them used to the dentist from a very young age certainly paid off as they've never had any fear of anything they've had to have done.

Eleanor was presented with a little box containing her two teeth, though the tooth fairy didn't visit as they weren't placed under her pillow.

Sunday 16 October 2011


I'm still plodding on with my granny square blanket, but I thought it was time that I started blocking the squares in readiness for joining them together. I haven't yet decided whether they'll be sewn together or crocheted, I'll look in to it in a little bit more detail once I'm ready to start, I've still got quite a few squares to crochet before I'm at that point.

I pin the square to a piece of foam before spraying with tepid water and allowing to dry. It helps to define the shape.

I haven't counted how many squares I've crocheted now but I think I'm just over two thirds of the way through.

At the moment I'm concentrating on my knitting more as I'm in the middle of knitting some Christmas presents and I want to make sure that they're completed in good time. There'll be plenty of time for crocheting my blanket when they're finished.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Sad Times

You may remember my post back in March when my dad's eldest brother passed away. We got another upsetting telephone call recently letting us know that his other brother has now also passed away, it's his funeral tomorrow. You may remember my post about his 80th Birthday Celebrations in January. He had such a lovely day, and it means such a lot that all his family came together for him at that time.

It's been a terrible year for my dad's family, both his brothers dying, my dad having his heart attack and his sister has had to be taken in to a nursing home as she is suffering from Alzheimer's as did their dad and my dad's eldest brother.

This is a photo of my dad and his brothers and sister. My dad is the youngest, second from the right. I don't know how old he was in this photo but he can remember that they weren't allowed to wear long trousers until they had left school, which would make his eldest brother fourteen in the photo, and my dad eight, though I think he looks younger than eight. The year would be 1941.

My mum got a phone call a few days after we'd heard about my dad's brother letting her know that her brother has also passed away. They say these things come in threes, I sincerely hope not.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Deposits And Withdrawals At The Charity Shop

I've been tripping over these bags, which were in my bedroom, for weeks whilst they've been waiting to be taken to the charity shop. There were seven bin liners and two carrier bags full. We didn't take them to our nearest charity shop, we've taken things there before and been told they didn't need any donations at that time. Instead, we opted for a charity shop run in aid of a nearby children's hospice, Martin House, and they were very grateful.

I didn't come away empty handed as I spotted a Lilliput Lane ornament. I've been collecting these for years and Clare Cottage is one which I didn't have. It's in perfect condition and only cost £1.50.

I love the detail on these cottages, and each one is based on a real building.

There'll be lots more things to take to the charity shop soon as we've embarked on a major clear out in Eleanor's bedroom. It's already looking much tidier, but there's still all the cupboards to sort out. We popped in to Lidl today and bought some of these storage boxes which Lisa told us about on her Jumble and Jelly blog. I thought they might give Eleanor a bit of an incentive to put things away when she's used them, though I won't hold my breath.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Another Distinction

Eleanor took her grade three singing exam in July and has just received her certificate for it. She's got another distinction, having got distinctions for both her grade one and grade two previously.

Not only that, but her singing teacher is especially pleased with her as she got a total of ninety five marks out of a hundred, she only dropped five marks in the whole exam. Her singing teacher hasn't ever had a student who has achieved as high a mark as this before.

Eleanor loves her singing lessons, and she's just started her music GCSE course at school in which she also gets to sing. I like that through her music lessons, both singing and her school lesson, she gets to learn lots of songs which she wouldn't otherwise know. At the moment she's learning blues at school, and she learns a lot of folk songs and musical theatre songs in her singing lesson.

Grade four beckons, so Eleanor is in the process of choosing which songs she's going to sing for that. We're all very proud of her.

Monday 3 October 2011

The Last Days Of Summer

I've been holding out for an Indian summer, and just when I'd given up all hope, along came a mini heatwave.

The weekend we've just had will probably be the last hot days of the year so we decided to make the most of it and on Saturday, we headed off to one of our favourite places, Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales.

We parked up at the side of the river and ate our picnic. Lots of other people had the same idea as us, it was packed, yet even with all those other people around it still manages to be peaceful somehow. Daniel and Eleanor stripped off to their swimming things and enjoyed cooling off in the river, as did Archie.

We stayed until the sun was setting behind the trees.

It was drizzling when we got up on Sunday, but it didn't last long, and although it wasn't as sunny as it had been on Saturday, it was still very warm. We had a few bits and pieces to do at home so we didn't want to go anywhere too far away so we headed off to Lotherton Hall, which is on our doorstep, for a walk.

There's signs of autumn all around, which is quite odd when the temperature is reaching an all time high for this time of year.

Archie loves running through the wood and enjoys all the smells which are heavenly to dogs.

Gorgeous doorways leading in to other garden rooms.

I don't know what's behind this door, it's a secret.

There's still plenty of colour all around though, I love this trough planted up with ivy and bedding plants.

This weekend was an unexpected treat, one which we all enjoyed very much.