As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I’m off on my jolly holidays next month and I CANNOT wait! Work has been so busy in the last few months, I definitely feel like I need a break.
I was thrilled to come home and find a little package waiting for me the other day from the people at Gandy’s Flip Flops.
f you haven’t heard of Gandy’s Flip Flops before, they’re an amazing brand with an incredible story, albeit a heartbreaking start…
Tragically left orphaned by the Tsunami that struck on Boxing Day 2004, two brothers decided they wanted to turn their horrendous, negative experience into a positive and to channel their energy and experience into helping others.
Having travelled for numerous years, whether alone or as a family, they had always been closely involved with helping children in developing countries, and decided they wanted to give something back.
Whilst at a festival, one of their friends awoke and said he had “a mouth like Gandy’s flip flop” and the spark was ignited in their brains! The brothers decided to start their own company selling flip flops (as they had worn them much of their lives whilst travelling) and that a percentage of the profits would be used to build orphanages in under-priviledged countries, in their parents honour. And thus, Orphans for Orphans was born.
They intend to open their first orphanage in 2014 – the 10th anniversary of the Tsunami that took their parents away from them and changed their lives forever – but in the meantime, they have donated money to buy school equipment for 100 children in Goa and supplied them with a teacher for a year!
So, what about the brand itself? Well, Gandy’s supply flip flops for men, women and children, with the child sizes available in a choice of 13 different colours and costing £16.00.
For men and women, you can choose from either a selection of colour block (£19.99) or various print designs (£22.00) – I have to say, I have a bit of a soft spot for the animal print ones!
The flip flops I received were plain black, but to be honest, that’s perfect for me as it means they will go with pretty much anything I wear and can be used in several outfits!
The quality of the flip flops is great too – the base of them is soft and offers cushioning to your feet and the strap is the perfect balance between rigid and flexible. It doesn’t feel like you’d finish the day in pain, nor that they’d break after a week’s constant use on holiday.
I know some people may be reading this and thinking that £20 is a lot to pay for a pair of flip flops, but having looked at some High Street retailers, I’ve found they’re charging anything from £10-30 for their flip flops and all of that money is going directly in their pockets. When buying a pair of Gandy’s, you’re not breaking the bank and you also get the added feel-good-feeling of knowing that a portion of the money you’ve spent is going to aid those people in the world less fortunate than ourselves, and giving children a chance of having a better future
The brothers story is inspiring and humbling, and I can’t help but be amazed by what these two men have achieved. From something truly awful they have developed something wonderful that will change the lives of so many children. I can’t help but feel that their parents would have been incredibly proud of them.
At the event, they very kindly gave me a few samples of some Dr Renaud UK products to take away and try out. Whereas with beauty products like make-up, they can be reviewed quite quickly (try them out, see what they’re like, write about it), I wanted to make sure that I reviewed these skincare products properly and so I said I would update you in 4-weeks.
Now remember, I’m no beauty expert, I’m just a normal girl, so I can only tell you what I feel and what I see.
Although you can’t really see it in the pictures above due to taking them on my phone, to me, my skin seems brighter, ‘springier’ and looks healthier. A few times I’ve caught sight of myself in the mirror and I’ve thought it’s looked like my skin has been glowing (no, not sweating, definitely glowing in a positive way!)
As well as these products, I was also given a Hydrating Cosmekit which is basically a little facial pack – I used it the other week and it was brilliant!
You start off with exfoliating, then you massage (they show you how to do it in the right way) and then you put the foaming mask on (which you mix up yourself using a sachet provided and water).
You leave it for around 10-minutes to work it’s magic before removing it with the spatula provided (I had my pack on while I was making my sandwiches for the next day at work – multi-tasking at it’s best!)
It felt great on my skin, smelt amazing (raspberry scented) and left my skin feeling really fresh, clean and revitalised. The only downside to it for me was that each Cosmekit only has one use in it, because I would love to use this product every week!
I touched very briefly on this in an earlier blog post, but the week before last I was very lucky to get the opportunity to go to a Dr Renaud UK event. I opted to wear my Hi-Tops of Happiness as I knew I’d be doing a fair bit of walking and wanted to see how comfortable they were.
Skincare is a particular interest of mine as I creep ever closer to the big 3-0 and I’ve started realising that I really need to step up my daily routines in order to keep wrinkles at bay and, like every other woman on the planet, attempt to beat the aging process. So, the invitation to pop along to this event and find out some more about the brand was too good to turn down.
Along with fellow blogger Nicki, I travelled to Soho in London to champagne Kettner’s where the event was being hosted. As neither of us are particularly skilled when it comes to exploring new areas, we were pleased that the venue was very easy to find and within just a few minutes walk of Leicester Square tube station.
As soon as we walked through the door, we were greeted by the lovely girls from Dr Renaud UK and CCDPR (who helped organise the event) and both handed a glass of champagne each. (A definite way to win me over, I do love a glass of champers!)
After our introductions we were taken to one side and shown the products we were there to look at. As mentioned in previous posts, I have a nut allergy so I really struggle to find skincare products that are suitable for me, as a lot of them have nut extracts in them as they’re so good for you (not so much for me though). For me, to find a skincare brand that bases it’s science on natural products and doesn’t contain nuts is like all my Christmases come at once, so the Dr Renaud UK brand sounded brilliant for me.
Now, I’m no scientist so I won’t go into the finer details here (but you can visit the Dr Renaud UK website if you want to find out more) but I will tell you that these particular products all focus on the positives that their natural ingredients offer:
I’m a big advocate for nature being better for us than chemicals, so I found the whole concept really interesting. Plus, the scent of these is amazing – so fresh and fruity and it lasted for hours after I got home, I kept sniffing my hand on the train back to Essex!
After being shown the products, we spent some time talking with their Scientific Director who explained the technical side of things, and then we were taken aside to have a treatment.
As we were both wearing make-up, we decided to have the treatment on our hands and I honestly can’t tell you what a difference it made to my skin – I looked like I had one old haggered hand and one young and glowing hand haha!
We were given samples of products to try at home and I’m really looking forward to seeing what difference they make to my skin, which is naturally quite dry. (The one that looks like a cocktail shaker is the one they did on my hand – their raspberry hydrating programme). The samples also included their 7-in-1 apricot BB cream which I’m very interested to use instead of my usual foundation.
I’m going to use these products for a month or so before I come back and update you as I want to give them a fair shot, but I will let you know how I get on!
I’ve always been pretty unsure about who I am when it comes to fashion. I never knew what to wear and even just popping down the pub was a huge panic for me as I wasn’t sure what I should be wearing – dress up? dress down? skirt? jeans?
These are just a few of the styles available, so I’m sure you can seem what a difficult task it was for me to pick just one pair! However, I did manage to decide in the end, and it’s the pair that caught my eye first of all.
As you can probably tell from looking at them, these Hi-Tops have a wedge heel in them, which is fab for someone like me who is a little on the short side. It now means that I can have added height without having to wear heels and looking too dressy – perfect!
To be honest, since I’ve got these shoes, I’ve worn them A LOT. I’ve done a fair bit of walking in these (to town and back and also around London for an afternoon) and they’re really comfortable which I’m pleased with, as I wasn’t sure how they would fare. The fact they look brilliant too is another definite bonus – I’ve had so many compliments on them and a few of my friends have even gone on to the Barratts website and bought some for themselves!
Barratts currently have a sale on, so prices of their Hi-Tops start at just £5 at the moment! Yes, you read that correctly, FIVE POUNDS! Their most expensive pair are £76. You can also use the discount code ‘FASHION’ at the checkout for an additional 20% off – which means you could pick up a pair of Hi-Tops for just £4! Crazy!
So, if Hi-Tops are your kind of thing, or you want to give them a whirl, I definitely recommend trying out the Barratts range – there’s plenty of different styles, and with a sale AND a discount code available to use together, it’s too good an opportunity to pass up!