Win A Neyland Star Tartan Fabric Wingback Tub Chair

Tub chairs are a popular option for alot of people because they fit relatively easily into a room, as far as seating options go. They are a particularly versatile investment because they would work equally as well in a nursery or guest room as they do in the living room.

They can also be moved around easily too to fit in with changing layouts, such as if you decide to rearrange your furniture to create a fresh new look. Or they can even be positioned to create a more social atmosphere in a room when needed, such as having guests over for example. Great for this time of year!

Personally I think there is nothing better than having your own little space to curl up in and read a good book or chill in front of the TV.

Neyland Star Tartan Fabric Wingback Tub Chair in a cosy corner of a living room

They are stylish too; I mentioned in my recent post ‘How To Create A Cosy Winter Home’ that tartan is a great design choice for this season, so the one in this feature is perfect to create the look! Plus you can paint the legs to match your room, and the latest trends, too. There are several other lovely fabric design options too though, so do take a look at their website.

Win A Neyland Star Tartan Fabric Wingback Tub Chair

Better yet, Tub Chairs are giving away one of these awesome chairs in their twitter competition! To be in with a chance of winning a Neyland Star tartan fabric wingback tub chair (worth £245) all you have to do is RT the status below and follow them on twitter at @Tub_Chairs

For further details, as well as T&Cs, go to Sloane & Sons Tub Chair competition page. The competition is open to UK residents only. Ends 31/01/2018. Good luck!

*Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Sloane & Sons.

Name A Star: Review and Giveaway 

Are you looking for a last minute gift idea? Or do you get stuck when looking for presents in general? Or perhaps you are simply on the hunt for something abit different? I love finding thoughtful gifts; something handmade, personal or unique in some way. But sometimes it can be difficult to come up with the perfect idea. Until now…

Naming star, own star, star name registry, gift ideas, outdoors, stargazing

Star Name Registry is the UK’s number one online registry company who offers this unique gift. There are a variety of packages to choose from, with prices ranging from £14.99 for a standard star to £69.99 for a binary star gift set, as well as several other options inbetween. Their gift set version of each package comes with a framed certficate beautifully presented in a silver box, whereas the regular version comes in an envelope. If you need it in a hurry, you can choose to have it sent via email for an extra £4.99 (sent within 12 hours of order received) or £6.99 for next day delivery (paper version). Gift sets can also be sent via next day special delivery for £8.49. So handy to remember as a last minute present too!

I originally found out about naming your very own star with Star Name Registry earlier this year, when I was contacted by their lovely team to review their extra bright star gift set and host a giveaway. It really is such a fab gift idea! It is ideal for the person who has everything, anyone with an interest in stargazing or outdoors in general, or for someone who just likes something that bit different!

This lovely set includes your very own star that you can name, and choose which constellation you would like it to be located in too. It also has an explanation of the star, free download of software, map and framed certificate in a gorgeous silver box. It does make a really unusual and very lovely gift.

Star Naming Registry Uk, name star, own star, gift ideas, outdoors, Living Life Our Way

For my original review, I took quite sometime trying to decide on the name of my star and considered a couple of different options; for example, I thought about naming it after my daughter, or even her nickname ‘Squiggle’. But then I came up with the perfect idea: I chose our family name, because then the star represents all of us together. Wherever any of us are, we can look up at the night sky and see our star, and know we are together. It even includes our furbabies! Perfect.

This time, I didn’t have to think so hard because I knew it would make the perfect gift for a family member! So I named it after them, along with a short personal message to them to show our gratitude for all they do.

But that’s not all… I have another Bright Star gift (enveloped version) to give away! If you would like the chance to win your own star, enter my rafflecopter giveaway below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition closes 7th January 2018. Open to UK residents only. Winner will be able to name their star and will receive Bright Star Naming certificate (enveloped version). Other T&Cs apply.

Star Naming Registry UK, name star, own star, gift ideas, outdoors

*Disclosure: I was gifted the Extra Bright Star free for the purpose of this review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Best Last Minute Christmas Holiday Destinations

Christmas is edging ever closer, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still time to change your plans! If you fancy doing something a bit more exciting this Christmas, why not book yourself a holiday overseas? There are plenty of last minute deals available, and you are bound to have a Christmas to remember by choosing to take advantage of one of them. So, let’s take a look at some of the best places to visit this Christmas…

Faded Christmas festive background with title 'Best Last Minute Christmas Holiday Destinations'

Tromso

There is only one place to begin, and this is with the most magical place in the world for a Christmas vacation: Tromso. Known as the capital of the Arctic, there is nowhere better to capture the magical festive spirit. Of course, you can see the Northern Lights from Tromso, which is the main attraction, but there is so much to experience in this magical location too. The Polar Museum is a particular highlight. You will find out about the Arctic explorers who have passed through the city. For the ultimate Christmas vacation, there is nowhere better.

Maldives

If your purpose for wanting a Christmas break is because you are in desperate need of some sun (aren’t we all?!), then why not head to the Maldives? The Maldives is drenched in sun at this time of year; there are plenty of resorts that are idyllic and perfect for families. With scrumptious festive packages available, you can embrace the Christmas spirit in a unique environment. Imagine Christmas carols across white sands instead of snow. There are also plenty of themed activities going on too, including festive beachside parties.

A picture of a beautiful empty sandy beach with gorgeous clear blue ocean.

Nuremberg

Nuremberg, in Germany, is a place to behold at Christmas. You will struggle to find somewhere with a better festive spirit. This largely stems from the Christkindlesmarkt, which is known all over the world. This Christmas market sees 180 stalls, so make sure you save a bit of Christmas shopping for when you arrive. You will find everything from gingerbread treats to trinkets and toys.

An image of Christkindlesmarkt
Image from Wikimedia

A bit closer to home

If you don’t want to take a trip abroad, you don’t need to. You can still have a magical Christmas vacation in the UK. There are plenty of stunning places across the country, from Edinburgh to the Cotswolds. No matter where you go, there are bound to be plenty of fun festive places you can visit, many of which are free of charge.

Copenhagen

Finally, we have Denmark’s Copenhagen. This is an affordable and vibrant city, which is small but very welcoming. Pre-Christmas activity is a lot easier to navigate here because people set the pace, rather than cars. The Tivoli Gardens are a highlight, with half a million lights transforming the space.

So there you have it: some of the best places to visit this Christmas if you are planning a last minute trip away. But don’t worry if you can’t book one of these fantastic places this year; there is always next year, and these destinations will be just as fabulous in 2018!

*This is a collaborative post.

How To Live More Sustainably: My Top Tips On Easy Ways To Become More ‘Green’

Would you like to find out more about living a more eco- friendly sustainable lifestyle? Are you looking for tips on Green Living so you can be more environmentally friendly? Then this post is for you! Read about my top tips for green living and overview of different ways you can live more sustainably…

I have talked alot about green living previously and regularly discuss ways that we can all help to protect our environment. But more often I cover specific aspects in-depth, therefore I thought it would be useful to pull it altogether into a post about my top tips for green living. So here is an overview of different ways you can live more sustainably…

Background image of wind turbines with title How To Live More Sustainably: My Top Tips On Easy Ways To Become More 'Green'

Go Electric

Have you thought about buying an electric car? There are many factors when choosing a car generally of course and some specific considerations when it comes to choosing an electric car. One of the biggest concerns – aside from the retail price, which is in the longer term offset by the low running costs and also is dropping dramatically as they become more common anyway – is the availability of chargepoints. However, as electric cars grow hugely in popularity, the distribution of chargepoints has become far more widespread. You can also get a NewMotion chargepoint to charge your vehicle safely at home too.

Electric car at charging station

Home

From a full renovation to simply changing a light bulb, there are lots of ways you can make your home more eco-friendly. Using LED lightbulbs, changing your shower head and toilet flush to low-flow and turning your water temperature down on your boiler are all fairly cheap and easy minor changes you can make. When it comes to buying new appliances, choose environmentally- friendly models with high energy efficiency ratings. Also opt for eco-friendly, ideally natural, products to clean your home so there are no nasty chemicals!

Switch To Clean Energy

I mentioned above switching away from fossil fuels in the context of vehicles; the same applies to your home. Install solar panels if you can or switch your supplier to a green energy company.

Zero Waste: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse (then Recycle)

The term zero waste sounds daunting I admit! But really the aim is simple – to reduce the amount of rubbish you create. Especially waste that ends up in landfill in particular. Key elements for achieving this are actually quite straightforward:

  • Refuse single- use plastics, especially ‘the big four’ (straws, bags, cups and bottles).
  • Reduce your waste by trying to choose items that have less packaging, especially plastic, when shopping generally. Try to reduce your amount of food waste too.
  • Reuse items. Invest in reusable bags, straws, coffee cups and bottles. Use long-lasting reusable containers to store food too.
  • Recycle as much as possible of whatever rubbish you do create. Don’t throw anything into the landfill bin that doesn’t belong there!

And an extra point on this subject…

  • Upcycle and Repair. Try to mend before discarding things. Upcycle old furniture and other items if possible. If you have any household items, toys, clothes etc… that you have finished using yourself, pass them onto someone else to use.

Graphic of bottle, bag, straw and cup with caption 'I will say no to plastic's big 4'

    Slow Fashion

    Fashion has alot to answer for in terms of environmental impact. With ever changing trends, there is a high consumer demand for cheap fashionable clothing. The problem is, this throwaway fast fashion culture has a high price on the environment. Make a capsule wardrobe with high quality pieces made from natural materials your new latest trend instead.

    Reduce Meat Intake

    Whilst not everyone necessarily has any desire to become vegetarian, or vegan, a plant based diet is better for the environment. Even reducing your meat intake by having just one meat-free day per week is a step toward living a more sustainable life.

    Picture of a delicious healthy vegetarian meal.

    What are your top tips for living a more sustainable life?

    *Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

    Carmel Industries Review – Paint Markers, Paint Crayons and Damp Erase Markers

    Carmel Industries got in touch with me to see if I would like to review some of their range of markers. Since we do alot of creative activities at home, I was more than happy to test them out!

    Selection of Carmel Industries Paint Markers, Paint Crayons and Damp Erase Markers.

    Initially I thought these would be child-friendly wipe clean markers that Squiggle could use, that we would be able to use for educational purposes. However, when they arrived, I realised these are not intended for children; they are actually heavy duty industrial ones! So I reviewed them myself from a more general creative perspective. Here is what I thought…

    Faint picture of markers as background to title 'Carmel Industries Review - Paint Markers, Paint Crayons and Damp Erase Markers'

    Paint Markers and Paint Crayons

    These can be used on a range of surfaces. For example metal, wood, MDF, concrete, stone, plastic, rubber, glass, cardboard, canvas etc… They can mark surfaces regardless of whether they are rough, oily, wet, dirty, or rusty, and work on all temperatures too. Both come in a variety of colours.

    The permanent water- based markers are very easy to get started and use. The paint comes out well with a good flow and the colours show up bright. They would be ideal for rock painting! The crayons don’t show up as brightly in comparison to the markers, and the darker colours are far more visible than the light coloured crayons. However, this is the case for crayons vs markers generally so is no surprise!

    Demo of green and red water- based permanent paint markers.

    Wide Tip Wow Markers

    These are large chunky wipe clean markers with a thick marking nib for bold lines. They are intended for glass. They flow easily and show up in beautiful vibrant colours. They wipe off very easily with a damp cloth. They come in a selection of bright colours.

    Demo of Carmel Industries WOW wipe clean chunky markers for use on glass.

    You will need to phone or email Carmel Industries (based in Canada) to find out product prices and make an order.

    *Disclosure: I was sent the items free for review. All opinions are my own.

    Free Festive Fun: Places To Visit (Hertfordshire and Beyond) 

    We have visited lots of garden centres and a few shopping centres this season to enjoy the festive displays. So I thought I would write a round-up of some free places to visit this season. Ideas range from places to pop to briefly when you are short on time, to places where you could easily spend several hours, or even make it a whole day out… and it won’t cost you a penny! (Except parking in some cases).

    Please note additional activities such as ice skating, grottos etc… mentioned are NOT free, there is generally a charge for these activities.

    So here are our suggestions…

    Christmas display with title 'Free fun festive places to visit (Herts and Beyond)'

    Garden Centres

    Crews Hill, Enfield

    This is a whole row of garden centres, most of which have some festivities. One in particular has a large display, an ice rink, snow globe, grotto with train ride and real reindeer. Crews Hill is somewhere that you can easily spend most of the day if you wanted. You can also soak in the atmosphere in an hour or two though if you are pushed for time.

    An interactive elf display at Springtime Crews Hill

    Christmas lights at Springtime Crews Hill

    A Christmas display at Crews Hill, Enfield

    Van Hage, Great Amwell

    This is another of the larger garden centres. It has an ice rink (bookable in advance), grotto and lots to see generally. It also has an animal garden onsite too.

    Christmas display at Van Hage

    Snowman Christmas display at Van Hage, Great Amwell

    Notcutts, St Albans

    Great for popping into briefly if you are passing or are nearby. The giant snowman is fab! Have tea or breakfast with Santa has a fun alternative to a grotto. (Book in advance, costs apply).

    Notcutts, St Albans, Christmas door display

    Notcutts Christmas section

    World’s End Wyevale, Wendover (Bucks)

    We visited this garden centre for the first time recently. There is a mini funfair and a huge Christmas shop, plus a grotto and winter wonderland (entry charges apply). Even if you don’t pay to go into the wonderland, as we didn’t, it is still worth a visit. It has a nice Christmassy feel generally.

    Worlds End Wyevale Garden Centre Christmas display

    Vanstone Park, Hitchin

    This is a fun place to pop to if you have a short time to spare for a quick whizz around. There is a woodland train ride too.

    Vanstone Park garden centre snowman festive Christmas display

    Burston Garden Centre, St Albans

    We popped here for the first time a couple of days ago. Cute displays, worth a brief visit for a little while.

    Christmas door Burston St Albans

    xmas display at Burston with Christmas trees and seals

    Colourful festive Christmas display Burston Garden Centre St Albans

    Aylett Nurseries, St Albans

    This has lovely displays and some nice little interactive activities too. It is perfect for soaking in the festive atmosphere while on a time limit.

    Aylett Nurseries St Albans xmas display

    Aylett Nurseries festive display

    Aylett Nurseries Christmas small world display

    Aylett garden centre xmas festive small world display

    Shopping Centres

    St Albans

    St Albans centre has a nice little display in Christopher Place, a traditional style Christmas Market in the Vintry Gardens next to Abbey Cathedral (with a timetable of events and activities), and there is a fun Nutcracker Trail across the city too.

    Santa in a sleigh with reindeer and christmas tree in Christopher Place festive display St Albans

    Centre MK, Milton Keynes

    Whilst many of the activities here are at additional cost, such as carousel, train rides, grotto and helter skelter, there are also some pretty displays and a brilliant festive atmosphere generally. Plus a little snow area!

    Centre MK festive display with igloo

    Centre MK festive train ride

    Squiggle playing in fake snow at Centre MK Milton Keynes

    The Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

    I have saved the best until last! This is my top pick this season because I love the theme; Santa’s Waste-Not Workshop focuses on recycling and green living. With awesome displays and cool activities that educate and inspire during what can be a very consumer-based and wasteful time of year, I think this is genius! Squiggle loved lighting up the tree using energy she generated from cycling – such a clever idea. Well done to whoever came up with this, it gets a big thumbs up from us!

    Squiggle cycling to light up clean energy Christmas tree The Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

    Santas Waste-Not Workshop, Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

    Upcycled festive display at Santas Waste- Not Workshop, Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

    Snowman display at Santas Waste- Not Workshop, Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

    Seasons Geetings everyone!

    Where is your favourite festive place to visit?

    The Benefits Of Weekend Trips

    It seems that vacations are far more expensive now than they used to be, but the one thing that we have on our side now is the luxurious weekend trip. And while we would all love to go and travel the world for months on end, it is rarely feasible! So from the perspective of someone who can only get away for a couple of days at a time, why is a weekend break such a perfect choice?

    Image of a map with a pin in. Title 'The Benefits of a Weekend Trip'

    It Feels Like A Longer Vacation

    If you spend three or four days in a different place, you are more likely to fill those days with activities, rather than usually when on vacation, spacing out the activities, and relax a bit more. Instead, you can cram in so much, that it feels a lot longer than it is. It may leave little time for sleep, but sometimes a short trip can be just what you need to feel rejuvenated.

    You Can Have A Few Vacations A Year

    A lot of people take weekend trips because their timetable only allows for a few days at a time. But by going on a few weekends away, you get to see more places every year. This means that you’ll be able to explore different locations and at different times. Plus if you pack in lots of cultural and local experiences while there, you can get a true feeling for somewhere in a quicker space of time.

    The Benefits Of Time Away

    Sometimes, a weekend away is all you need to reset the balance. Just 48 hours in a new city can give you the opportunity to take a look at your life and reflect on what is really important to you. By spending a bit of time in a new place, you truly get to see a different type of life and sample the delights of another country or culture. The benefits of this is that it can deeply inspire you; who knows, you might even think about moving there! If you do consider relocating, there are services like Monaco Relocation Services just as an example, that can help you to realise your dream. So time away isn’t just great for your state of mind, it may actually inspire you to start a whole new life!

    It’s Easier On The Diary

    Depending on your high pressured working environment, you might find it difficult to block book two weeks away, especially if it’s during the height of summer when everybody else wants time off too! But if you book a weekend away, it means that time off is easier to get. Also, it makes issues like pet sitters an easier option too.

    It’s Easier On The Wallet

    The prime benefit of having a weekend break is it will cost a lot less than a major holiday abroad. Of course, there are plenty of weekend packages you can purchase online, meaning that you can take advantage of a last-minute bargain deal, to drop everything for the weekend and get away for a bit.

    We all deserve a rest from time to time, and this is why weekend trips are so useful!

    *Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

    Scuba Diving: The Amazing Benefits & An Inspirational Story From Grace, Junior Master Diver

    Have you ever tried scuba diving? It is a far more accessible and affordable sport than many might think. We have a diving club in our town, as I am sure alot of places do, and much of the equipment can be borrowed on loan. If you are looking to purchase your own essentials too, scuba diving experts Simply Scuba have an excellent range.

    Black and white photo of grace scuba diving with title 'Scuba Diving: The Amazing Benefits & An Inspirational Story From A Young Master Diver'.

    There are many benefits to scuba diving; it provides an excellent physical workout and is great for mental wellbeing too. I have written before about the positive impact on the mind of being in water, so it is a brilliant activity from that perspective. It connects people to our natural environment, which ispires and motivates us to protect it – again something I feel passionate about!

    I got in touch with a young Junior Master Diver to find out more about scuba diving. She has been diving since the age of 10 and now, at the age of 14, she has an incredible 14 certificates related to scuba diving. This is Grace’s inspirational story and what she says about scuba diving…

    A selfie of Grace scuba diving.

    I learnt to dive in Egypt with my dad when I was 10 years old. (That’s the youngest you can do the first course). I did one dive in the sea; I would like to say that I loved the whole dive but I had a bit of a wobble at the beginning. I was so close to not doing it, but I am glad I did because I don’t know what my interests would be now if I haven’t started that dive. After I got used to it, I thought every second was amazing!

    I love that when I am diving I can switch off from everything outside, all you can hear is the bubbles you breathe and once you have good buoyancy you feel weightless. Now I have been diving for 4 years I have been able to do all of the main courses I can do for my age; I am now a Junior Master Diver and, as soon as I turn 18, I am hoping to get my Dive Master, which will let me be an instructor later.

    I would like to be able to teach people to dive because I think that more younger people especially need to experience it. A lot of people think that it is too expensive, or they don’t have the opportunity to do it, but if you look, even around London where I live, there are plenty of dive clubs that you can go to that will train you, and you don’t need any of your own equipment. It is only as expensive as you want to make it.

    My best diving moment was probably doing part of my rescue course at night in a cavern in Florida. It was almost pitch black so we were diving with torches. It was only my instructor, my dad and me in the cavern and I have never seen anything like it. The rock illuminated by our lights was just unbelievably stunning, but at the same time it was such a big open place that it was quite eerie. I didn’t know what was coming, but my instructor had told my dad before the dive to go ‘missing’ so I had to deal with it underwater. I found him but when I turned round my instructor had gone ‘missing’ as well. He wasn’t far away but he was pretending to be unconscious (I could tell he wasn’t because of his bubbles).

    I dealt with it how I was taught but as I was bringing him to the surface he started acting like a panicked diver; he was kicking and grabbing at me to see how I would react. At one point he knocked my mask off and pulled off both of my fins (flippers for people that don’t dive). I managed to handle the situation and get him out of the water by literally dragging myself and him across the top of this cavern. It was stressful but I remember having a massive smile on my face because I knew that if something that extreme happened in real life I could deal with it and I had confidence in myself, and my dad, as divers. 

    My best achievement is becoming a Junior Master Diver in 2016. Since I have been diving I have met so many interesting people, and a lot of adults say that diving is sometimes more social because in the end you spend more time out of the water than in it.

    My certifications:

    •PADI Junior Open Water

    •PADI Junior Advanced open water

    •PADI Junior Project Aware

    •NAUI First Aid

    •NASE Drysuit Diver

    •NASE Rescue Diver

    •NASE First aid and CPR

    •NASE Oxygen Provider

    •NASE Night Diver

    •NASE Nitrox 1 Diver

    •NASE Navigation

    •NASE Equipment Specialist

    •NASE Digital Imaging

    •NASE Cavern Diver

    •NASE Wreck Diver

    •NASE Junior master Diver

    I would recommend that people should give diving a go even if it doesn’t appeal to them. I have known people that thought they weren’t that bothered about it, but once they tried it they thought it was awesome. Also, you don’t have to be a good swimmer to learn how to dive, you just have to have confidence in the water. Any age can dive, but in the future it would be great if we could see more younger people taking part in the sport.

    You can find Grace over on Instagram and her photography page for underwater pictures is grace.w.photography. There is also a video clip of Grace’s photography that she took during a dive recently on YouTube too…

    I was interested that Grace mentioned drysuit diving, which is something I hadn’t heard of, so I looked it up to find out more. According to PADI website “A dry suit seals you off from the water and keeps you comfortable, even in surprisingly cold water. There is incredible diving in the world’s cooler regions and in some areas, conditions are even better in colder months. Becoming a dry suit diver allows you to expand your boundaries and dive more places, more often.” So basically, it allows you to dive in colder waters, which sounds great for travelling opportunities and finding new diving experiences. Amazing!

    Scuba diving is something I am yet to try but I am certainly very sold on the benefits! Squiggle will be old enough soon too, and I would definitely give her the opportunity to try it out, if she would like to. Perfect for both body and mind.

    A photo of Grace scuba diving.

    Thanks Grace for sharing your story and inspiring us all!

    *Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

    VonHaus 2 in 1 Stick Vacuum: Review

    I was recently sent a 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum to review. This convenient little budget vacuum is part of the VonHaus range and is available to purchase from Amazon RRP £39.99 (at the time of writing it is currently on sale at £29.99). Manufacturer 2 year warranty is included.

    A picture of the vacuum cleaner with title VonHaus 2-in-1 stick vacuum review.

    This is a 1000W (max) Stick Vacuum Cleaner. It is 2-in-1 because it can be used at full length with its extendable handle, or you can easily remove the handle to convert it into a handheld device. Because of its size and suction, it does feel like it creates a high level of vibration, particularly when using it as a hand held, and it is not the quietest cleaner we have ever had! However, we found it to have very good suction from a small vacuum and it does the job well.

    The vacuum is bagless with a 1.3L transparent container, which is easy to remove and empty the contents straight into the bin. It also features an innovative HEPA filtration and sponge system, which locks in microscopic particles that other vacuums would re-circulate back into the air. This system prevents the spread of bacteria and allergens, leaving cleaner air and a healthier home.

    VonHaus 2-in-1 stick vacuum using handle.

    One of main design features of this vacuum is that it gets in the difficult corners and hard to reach areas. It makes doing the stairs really quick and straightforward, and it is easy to whizz around furniture. It comes with a few attachments, including a useful crevice tool, which is really effective. It also has a 6m quick release power cord, so it is fairly easy to access all areas. It is suitable for most floor types too.

    VonHaus 2-in-1 stick vacuum in handheld mode with crevice attachment.

    Overall, I think this is a good budget vacuum cleaner. It has some minor faults but it also has alot of positives and certainly does the job.

    *Disclosure: I was sent this item free for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Activ8rlives Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Monitor: Review 

    As I recently mentioned in a previous post, I was sent an Activ8rlives heart rate and blood pressure monitor to review. This handy, easy to use device usually retails at £59.99 including free P&P. (Although at the time of writing it is on sale at £49.99). Activ8rlives Blood Pressure2 Monitor is available in two cuff sizes for the upper-arm: Small to Medium (17-32 cm Pink) and Medium to Large (25-48cm Blue).

    Activ8rlives Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Monitor

    Setting Up

    The monitor comes in a compact box and is a single integrated unit. There are no wires (other than the USB charger of course) and no complicated setting up required; it’s really quick and super easy to set up using bluetooth.

    You just download the app, turn on bluetooth on your phone, scan the code (really easy and it tells you exactly what to do anyway) then press a single button on the monitor. It literally could not be more straightforward!

    USB charging of battery takes 120 minutes, with battery lifetime 500 charges. Mine came charged already anyway, so no need to mess around with this when it first arrives.

    A picture of Activ8rlives Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Bluetooth Monitor box and contents.

    How To Use

    You place the monitor on your upper arm as instructed. There are clear, easy to follow, step by step instructions on exactly how to position it correctly. Once it is on, you press the button and it begins taking the measurements. As with all blood pressure monitors, there is a tightening/ squeezing feeling as it takes the reading, then it releases again.

    Screenshot of Activ8rlives app during blood pressure monitoring.

    The Monitor

    The small screen on the actual has a bright-LCD back light that displays green, yellow or red colour depending on where your reading falls in comparison to the WHO blood pressure classification. This makes it easy to see at a glance if your blood pressure is high, low or normal. However, the device also automatically uploads uploads the data to the free app.

    Screenshot of Activ8rlives app showing blood pressure and heart rate results.

    Activ8rlives App

    The app itself has several settings so it can be kept very basic just to record results if you wish, or it can be used on more advanced settings to record a whole variety of things related to health and wellbeing. I love how versatile it is, making it genuinely useful and suited to the individual users needs. The app complies with EU privacy laws, with UK-based secure cloud servers.

    Screenshot of Activ8rlives app dashboard showing weight, BMI, heart rate and blood pressure.

    Summary

    This is a handy device that is quick and easy to set up and simple to use. It is genuinely useful, and is especially good for adults who need to monitor their blood pressure regularly, perhaps due to a previous condition for example. (Please note self- monitoring at home should never replace seeing a professional and seeking medical advice when needed).

    *Disclosure: I was sent this item to review. All opinions are my own.