Saturday 23 August 2014

M&S Sleepwell Bedding Review

It has to be said I am not the best of sleepers, and often struggle to get a decent nights sleep. A good night for me would be a solid 6 hours sleep on an average night and I can at times wake up tired and unrefreshed. I strive to get a better sleeping pattern and am aware much of my habit revolves around things going over and over in my mind and staying awake when I should be fast asleep. I also have a shoulder complaint so it can get really tricky even getting comfortable. I love to search out products that could better aid my sleep and have used candles, pillow mists and various sleep inducing items along my path to getting better nights kip. I would say the husband is a pretty normal sleeper, whereas I flap around all over the place kicking off covers (and him at times) as I get too warm and stuffy.

I was recently offered the opportunity to review the Keep Cool bedding range from M&S that could hopefully help to create a better sleep environment in which to gain some much needed Zzzz's. I looked forward to trying it out as M&S are well known for producing some great, high quality bed linen and the Sleepwell range is climate controlled so its aim is to keep one nice and comfortably cool, which is great for me as someone who gets very hot and bothered! 

First up I made some simple notes of my sleeping habits a few days before trying out the range. 

 It soon became apparent why I may not be getting the sleep I so wanted...

* I was going to bed far too late - 10.30 - 11pm is my ideal go to bed time.
* Bedroom feels stuffy.
* I was nibbling on foods way past 9pm - not great for digestion.
* Struggled to 'switch off' my mind.
* Shoulder painful and I couldn't seem to get a comfortable position. 

So you can see not great, my plan was to improve these bad habits first before trying out the bedding range, go to bed earlier, maybe read a book. Open a small window, no nibbling after 9pm, and thankfully my shoulder is getting some professional physiotherapy so should be getting better. I have also read a small glass of water before bed can help so tried that too. 

Next it was time to get the bed ready using the Sleepwell bedding. There's something lovely about making a new bed using new and clean sheets and I soon wanted to dive in. One thing I noticed straight away was how silky soft to the touch, the Sleepwell range was.

Time to get the duvet in the cover! 

I was really looking forward to seeing what the sleepwell pillows were like. As well as having the natural fibre Tencel which is cooling, the Tencel mix inside filling is soft and supportive too. 

The pillow cases come in cute little buttoned up bags to keep them in - perfect for taking the pillow cases on holiday when there are hot balmy nights. Loving attention to detail I really liked this touch. 

Once the bedding was all on, which included a fitted sheet, it was time to get the candles out too, I love this Pea Pod scented candle, again from M&S. If you wish you can peel back the sticker to reveal the paint board area underneath to write your own chalk message, I have kept the original sticker on for now. 

Yay!! Time to dive in. I was feeling rather lazy so opted not to wash/iron the bedding before first use, so you can still see the fold marks, however I knew this would not compromise my sleep experience and was too eager to just climb in!  

Hmmmm, I think pretty and twinkling lights are required for this special occasion! 

Once in the bed, I stuck to my new regime and grabbed a little inspiring book I love to read, and soon I was in the land of Zzzzzzz...

So, how did my night go? Well I can happily say I had a really decent nights sleep, and although I am sure the comfortable and cool bed linen helped, not succumbing to my usual bad sleep habits had made a big difference too. I really didn't want to get out of my happy place.

I found the duvet the best I had ever tried and definitely helped to make for a comfy night - I didn't feel hot and bothered as usual which is probably down to the bedding being temperature regulated so kept me cool. With the bedding being white, and the softness, I did feel I was sleeping within a big squishy cloud! Soon it was time to make up the bed and I really looked forward to bed time again!

I'll have to wait and see if the bedding washes well, but I am hoping it is as good as other M&S bedding we have that seems to come out really well and is long lasting. In fact we were given some M&S bedding as a gift many years ago we still use it! 

Hopefully this shall last just as long.


Disclosure: We were provided with items from the M&S Sleepwell bedding range to review for the purposes of this blog post. All words and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday 19 August 2014

MU Cheese at The National Football Museum

After our MU Cheese event that I blogged about here we were given an opportunity to take home some of the MU Cheese that is exclusively available from Tesco and see what we thought. I have to say I am a big cheese fan and there aren't many cheeses I don't like. We were all eager to tuck in and have a taste when we got home!

A favourite with the children was the 100% Medium Cheddar Discs - these are super handy to pop on pizza's, sandwiches etc but my two just liked munching on them as a little snack on the go. 

I loved the MU Mature Cheddar block, and found it perfect for grating on top of pasta dishes and we love it sprinkled on mash. Being a mature cheddar, it definitely adds a little more flavour to the dish, and it's also really convenient that it comes in a resealable pack! 

Of course, if I'm feeling a little lazy I can bring out the MU Grated Cheddar, and again that comes in it's own resealable bag. As we often like to have a little bowl of sprinkled cheese on the table at dinner times, it's so easy to grab a little from the bag, and voila all done! 

I think Mu Cheese is very reasonably priced, and we have picked up more on a recent visit to Tesco. The cheese definitely gets the thumbs up from us all, even the man of the house who isn't really a cheese fan! 

The event was held at the The National Football Museum in Manchester - and I think I would have had a very sad son on my hands if I turned this invitation down, he's just mad about football! OK, so even I was a little excited too. With no big summer holiday planned this summer, days out were always going to be the key with my family and after the cheese tasting and some groovy dancing with George Sampson, we were free to mooch around the museum. It was fabulous!!

With many people on a budget over the summer, it's great that the football museum is free, yes free!! You can experience Football Plus+ and purchase 'credits' that give you the opportunity to play certain football related activities as you walk around. But a little pocket money would definately get you some credits to have fun with. 

We arrived a little early for the event and the children enjoyed a little play time in the football themed park near the venue. 

It certainly got them in the football mood!

The football museum was super fun and I have to say I was intrigued by all the football facts I learnt walking around and even had a go at being a pretend football match commentator (credits required) - the children couldn't contain their laughter watching me really getting involved!

Using up some more credits Master P enjoyed his Penalty Shootout.

And there were games to play that no credits were required for which the children loved.

I would thoroughly recommend the Football Museum, it has much to offer and we look forward to going back.

A great day had by all!!


Disclosure : We received complimentary MU Chesse products to sample for the purposes of this review post. We also received credits to use at The National Football Museum. All words and opinions my own.