Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Safe in the sun with SmartSun

At the beginning of summer I was contacted by Smartsun who kindly sent some of their UV indicator wristbands to try. They arrived just after I got home from our trip to St Andrews which is ironic really since I managed to get burnt while we were away! Smartsun are a Swedish company who are dedicated to helping people stay safe in the sun with the help of their one-use UV indicator wristbands. The wristbands change colour depending on your exposure so if it stays yellow, you are safe to stay in the sun. If the wristband changes to beige it means you need to top up your sun protection and if it turns to pink, it's pretty much an indication that that's the colour your skin will be shortly and it's time to find some shade!

I was sent a few wristbands so decided to use them to see what kind of exposure I got of the UV rays day to day as well as when I'm conscious of being in the sun on my day off etc. It is recommended we always wear sunscreen even when the sun doesn't have his hat on which is the majority of the time in Scotland but I'm quite lazy and don't apply extra sun protector anywhere and rely solely on the SPF in my make up.

To start with, I wore a wristband to work. Although I spend most of my day in the office, I do go out and about for lunch or to meetings and the post office so I was interested to see if this would build up over the course of the day. The wristband itself is really comfortable to wear and I forgot about it as I was working away at my desk. I was out and about for roughly an hour in total but my wristband never changed colour so I definitely missed out on the old vitamin D that day!

Unfortunately we have been having a typical Scottish July which means I haven't had much of an opportunity to see a change in the bands any time I have worn them.

The wristbands are of course not meant as a form of protection against the UV rays but should be used as a reminder and always worn with a high quality suncream. It's not something I tend to think about unless I'm going on holiday and know I'll be exposed to the sun for long periods of time but as the really sunny days are often few and far between, we often forget how much damage the sun can actually do to our skin. Below are a few facts around skin cancer - not to scare you but as a little nudge to keep it in mind:

-Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK
-7 people currently die each day as a result of skin cancer in the UK
-Over 80% of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to the sun and/or sun beds

Although I don't think I would wear one every day, I would definitely buy a pack to take away on holiday where I am likely to forget to reapply sun cream and/or burn. It's a fun way to get kids thinking about being safe in the sun and doing so from an early age gets them into that habit for later life.

The Smartsun wristbands are available in packs of 5 for £4.99 from their website and amazon.
You can find them on facebook, twitter and YouTube.

Would you wear a wristband on holiday?


Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer at St Andrews

I can't believe it's already been over a month since I visited St Andrew's with my boyfriend on a little 4 day trip and took a stroll down memory lane. I have so many cherished family memories from this small town, that is just under two hours drive away, which is the complete opposite to Lee who had never been before but I knew he would love it as much as I do.

We booked relatively last minute so with The Open Championship coming up on the old course, the hotels were pretty pricey. We ended up staying in a cute little apartment called 'The Wee House' that had everything we could have wanted and really felt like a home away from home. With two bedrooms downstairs, upstairs was a bright open plan living/dining/kitchen area which was ideal for us and although it was right next to a main road, being so close to the centre more than made up for it.
The day we arrived was actually our one year anniversary so we went for dinner at The Glass House located just off the main street in St Andrews. Although it doesn't look like much from the outside, the main restaurant upstairs has friendly staff and delicious food - what more can you ask for?

We wandered home for an early night and decided to get up early the next morning to take a walk along the pier, passing St Andrews Cathedral. Thankfully it was sunny and warm the full time we were there which made exploring the little town so much more enjoyable.

After a visit to Bonkers (a teeny shop packed full of hidden gems) we went for lunch at Forgans which is a new addition since I last visited. The d├ęcor was quirky like something straight out of pinterest and the food, made using local produce, was amazing - Lee is still dreaming of the duck shepherds pie! Well worth a visit.

Before a wander along the beach we went to the aquarium which was a highlight of the whole trip. As well as loads of weird and wonderful fish, you will find penguins, seals, meerkats, poisonous frogs, snakes the list goes on. I got to hold a corn snake and swim with nemo (kind of)! I enjoyed it so much more than I remember as a kid and we spent a good two hours discovering lots of creatures!

Probably Lee's highlight of the week was playing mini golf on the old course. I didn't even know you could do this so it was a new experience for both of us and it was so much fun. The course is actually quite challenging and playing along side professional golfers who are only a matter of meters away is bound to make you competitive. There was a fun, relaxed atmosphere on the busy course and I was so relaxed that I let Lee win!

The post is getting a little long so I'll stop here but we crammed so much more in (botanical garden, Janetta's ice cream, tour round the university with my old friend, visiting Anstruther for the famous fish and chips, more visits to the beach) the list goes on but I cannot recommend St Andrew's enough. There's a gorgeous beach, quirky shops and restaurants, plenty of beautiful places to stay and everything is within walking distance. The perfect relaxing 'staycation'.

Well done getting to the end of that long post!