- Heather Jeary – Norfolk Women's Institute
- Carol Makins – Norfolk Women's Institute
- Claire Wade – The Clandestine Cake Club & Swallowtails WI
- Jo Christy – Miss Sue Flay (www.misssueflay.com) > that's me, that is!
- Huw Sayer – Writer and blogger, Business Writers Ltd
- Emily Norton – Norton's Dairy
- Sarah Hardy – Sarah Hardy Media
- Rosa McMahon – Eastern Daily Press
- Andy Taylor – Fun Outside Magazine
- Gay Webster – Just Regional
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
So you think you're a master baker? (Careful.... ; ) How about testing that title and entering the UK's only dedicated scone competition (we think!) at Wroxham Barns in Norfolk this coming Sunday 27th September 2015? This competition is in its ninth year and they are proud to be part of Norfolk Food & Drink to raise the profile of Norfolk's incredible food & drink offering - I've already been impressed with "Porkstock" back in the summer, Norfolk is very exciting for food and drink, I can promise you! I've been asked to join the judging panel, "Mary Berry" style, helping to decide which scones have got what it takes to make our beloved afternoon tea table - I'm genuinely excited! Here's the list of judges for this year (gulp!):
If you're anything like me, then we've all tried those little tips and tricks to help get a better sleep, be it a long hot aromatherapy bath or counting those imaginary sheep over that make believe picket fence. For me, I find it very tricky to sleep in my own bed, let alone finding the chance to get a great beauty sleep whilst staying away in a hotel or spa, no matter how hard I try. I'm a night owl through and through, so when I was asked to review the ultimate sleep experience at Hanbury Manor I realised I had nothing to lose and took up the challenge (you can read more about this stay here) to give it a good go. The only problem with this stay was that the Lumie Iris Bodyclock provided within this particular room wasn't set up correctly by the housekeeping team, so we didn't get to try it out properly to wake up to - a real shame, of which I Tweeted about. What I hadn't anticipated was that Lumie would send me a Bodyclock to my own home to try as an apology for missing out on this part of the experience - I couldn't believe my luck and can't thank them enough for this offer. So, what's this Lumie thingamybob I hear you cry? It's a natural alarm clock, along with a normal sounding alarm function, it can be set to wake you with a natural light function, simulating the morning sunrise in place of artificial light. This will work better in the winter I feel, but I love this setting as it does make me aware of the light whilst I'm still in my last moments of snoozing. Not only this, but there's two aromatherapy chambers, of which you can set to mist your room with a relaxing or invigorating scent to help you sleep and to wake up naturally. I adore this setting and love filling my room with a lavender oil. I had actually heard of the Lumie a while back through a friend who swears by it and it has since had a swish little upgrade, so it looks pretty sleek nestled on my bedside table amongst half read books and various lotions & potions. Admittedly, I'm well known for sleeping through thunderstorms, car journeys, my own sleep walking antics and even the odd music festival. So to say I'm a heavy sleeper is a slight understatement. I have set the alarm fairly regularly since using the Lumie and the natural daylight and aromatherapy mist function isn't enough to rely on waking me up. I've had to set the alarm with it, which actually isn't too shrill, as some alarms can be - I just don't trust the natural elements to wake me from my drool-induced slumber. That's no reflection on this product, I simply like my sleep a little too much when I can grab it! What I'm enjoying the most is using the aromatherapy chambers and combining the mist with the natural sunset light option at night before I go to sleep. The smell of lavender as I get into bed helps me to chill out instantly and the slow setting light helps me to read for a while before I switch off. Having the Lumie in my bedroom has actually helped me to switch off my iPad earlier and has encouraged me to read more, I needed this in my life and will continue to use it for help at night for sure. I'll keep trying with the natural wake up call, having filled it with a refreshing lemon scent for the morning, perhaps I need a stronger scent to help me stir - I'll keep playing with that as Autumn creeps in and see how I go. In the meantime. I asked Ruth, the PR manager for Lumie for her top tips on getting a good night's sleep, here's her advice:
- Try to follow a set routine as this helps our poor old body clocks to function better!
- Have a clear wind down from min 30 mins to ideally 1 hr before bedtime (cue relaxing to the sunrise feature with lavender on Iris!)
- Sorry, but definitely no technology from about 8pm ideally as the blue light emitted by electronic devices is alerting
- No caffeine after afternoon tea (and no strong coffee after about 2pm!)
- Best to have your bedroom dedicated to sleep and relaxation – clean and uncluttered and definitely no TV!
- Ideally, you'd have black out blinds/curtains in the room and be woken at the same time year round by your Lumie Bodyclock, again to help your body clock function optimally