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Disney’s Cinderella 2015

My daughter is very excited about this and I have to confess I am too! We all know the story but Cinderella 2015 is a live action version repurposed for the screen with a touch of magic that only Disney can provide.

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Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family.

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Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honour her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”

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Of course there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Then there’s the ball she isn’t able to attend. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and – armed with a pumpkin and a few mice – changes Cinderella’s life forever.

Watch the trailer here:

Possibly even more exciting is the news that Frozen is coming back to the big screen! An all-new short “Frozen Fever,” which welcomes Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf back to the big screen, will open in theaters on March 27 2015, in front of Disney’s Cinderella. In “Frozen Fever,” it’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than just the party at risk.

Mark your calendars parents!

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Starbucks’ Packaged Coffee Range

Coffee has long been a staple in the modern world. Many can’t start the day without it. Me included.

A surge in popularity for the dark liquid has seen virtually everyone become a connoisseur. Do you prefer Columbian or Ethiopian? Dark or blonde? Thankfully Starbucks invited us to a coffee and food pairing to give us a helping hand and showcase their packaged range now available in a supermarket near you.

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The range has been rebranded and includes the following:

  • Starbucks House blend – first served in the original Seattle store in 1971. Great with a blueberry muffin.
  • The new addition to the range is the seasonal and highly popular Christmas Blend. Great with mince pies of course.
  • The Espresso Roast – sold whole bean but you can pop into any Starbucks store where they will grind to suit your preferred method of brewing. Great with morning pastries.
  • Columbia – a smooth medium body with the powers to transform milk chocolate in “caramel velvet”. Perfect with pecans and walnuts too.
  • Cafe Verona – made for all the lovers out there. Best paired with sweet foods like chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. Yummy!

All five roasts are available now at Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Nisa and Budgens and are priced at a very pocket friendly £3.49. Even better, take your empty packet into any Starbucks within a month of the use by date to claim a free tall latte!

For all the twitterazzi out there – Starbucks are also running a competition where a hamper full of goodies is up for grabs. Just post a picture enjoying your favourite blend from the range with the hashtag #MyStarbucks to enter. Get snapping.

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Gift Guide for Girls

It isn’t easy choosing gifts for girls but take comfort; the following have been approved by my 8 year old!

Lush Bath Bombs – from £3.50
My daughter loves a bath; she will happily stay in there until she is as wrinkled as a prune and the water is practically cold. She’s outgrown bubble bath (she says) so I’ve moved on to bath bombs and these ones from Lush are really quite festive. Golden Wonder (alcohol free) bath bomb has a soft citrus fragrance and makes the bath water turquoise with little golden stars floating in it. Very Atlantis.

Lush Golden Wonder bath melt

She also likes the Lush Star Light Star Bright bath melt which contains organic shea butter and extra virgin coconut oil to leave her skin feeling soft, but let’s be honest; what she really likes is the turquoise water and the glittery residue left on her skin. Top tip: clean the bath as soon as it empties or you’ll be scrubbing glitter out for days!

Lush Star Light bath bomb

Disney’s Frozen Lip Balms – £2.49 each
Frozen is the gift that keeps giving; we simply can’t ‘Let it Go’ in my house and I’m ok with that. Rather my kids sing that than most of what’s in the Top 40. Keep their lips hydrated in the cold with these delightful balms decorated with the Frozen characters. The boys in your life should feel comfortable using the ones decorated with Olaf or Kristoff while the girls will probably be like Lily and open each one as soon as they arrive! You can buy any of the balms individually for £2.49 each or get all six in a limited edition tin for £10. Available from Claire’s Accessories.

http://www.tonjekornelie.no/

Barbie in Princess Power on DVD or digital download
My six year old niece is obsessed with Barbie so even though this title isn’t out until Feb 2015; I’m advising her mum to get it on pre-order now!

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In this adventure, Barbie stars as Kara, a modern-day princess with an ordinary life. After a magical butterfly kisses her, Kara discovers she has amazing super powers that allow her to transform into Super Sparkle, her secret, alter ego who flies around the kingdom ready to save the day! Soon her jealous cousin catches the butterfly and also transforms – this time into Dark Sparkle, her nemesis. Their rivalry takes to the skies, but when they discover the kingdom’s true enemy, can they put aside their differences to form one super team? Watch it to find out! Spoiler alert; I think they can. From Jan 19 2015 you can find fun activities to print, create and colour in at www.barbie.com/princesspoweruk.

*PR samples*

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Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Care Range

As a parent you are probably always washing hands – yours or someone else’s – it feels like it happens ten times a day!

As the weather gets colder, our hands start to show the first signs of environmental stress with dryness and skin tightness. Crabtree & Evelyn’s hand washes are pH balanced and gentle to the skin; key during the harsher winter months.

At the end of the day I like to cleanse with the Conditioning Hand Wash (£15) , follow with Hand Recovery (£16) which exfoliates and moisturises to rid hands of aged skin cells and enrich newly revealed skin.

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The final step is Hand Therapy (£15) , an intensive conditioning cream that is formulated with shea butter and macadamia nut oil to moisturise and soften hands, along with myrrh to help condition cuticles and nails. It melts into dehydrated skin without leaving a greasy residue and will leave hands lightly scented with your favourite fragrance.

They’d make a great gift!

*PR sample*

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NAIF Baby Care

NAIF is a Dutch baby care brand founded in 2012 by two fathers who, on becoming parents, found the mainstream baby care market filled with products made with cheap, synthetic ingredients like mineral oil, phenoxyethanol, PEGs, synthetic fragrances, SLS and parabens. Most parents try and avoid these on delicate skins as they are widely reported to irritate and potentially harm the skin.

Like all good entrepreneurs, they followed the mantra – if it isn’t out there, I’ll make it myself! Each products was developed and tested by specialist formulators, dermatologists and parents. The range uses skin-nourishing natural ingredients like cottonseed oil, sweet almond oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil and chamomile to help keep your little one clean, happy and healthy.

The range is made up of the following products:

Nourishing Shampoo
Cleansing Wash Gel
Softening Body Lotion
Nurturing Cream
Diaper Cream
Milky Bath Oil
Soothing Massage Oil
Swaddling Cloth
Gift Sets
Sun Care Line (from 2015)

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My kids have very dry skin (blame the hard London water) but the Cleansing Gel allows me to wash them without drying their skin out and the Softening Body Lotion leaves their skin nourished and hydrated.

Prices range from £8 to £12 and are available from Boots (in store and online).

*PR sample*

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