I'd vaguely heard of Pharmacy2U - somewhere in the back of my mind it was familiar but I am so used to taking my paper prescription or more recently an electronic one being sent to my local pharmacy that I didn't really give it any further thought.
Recently Boots managed to mess up two prescriptions which resulted in my getting very frustrated over them wasting my time.
My time is precious. I lead a busy life and am always running about trying to find the easiest, quickest and most convenient solution to everyday tasks.
My husband laughs at how many packages arrive regularly for me - I love an Amazon order, I no longer need to go from shop to shop to source exactly what I need, I just do a quick online search and Amazon Prime delivers (most things) the next day. Love it or hate it (and let's not get into an environmental debate - this is about time saving) - it is easy.
So when Pharmacy2U contacted me to ask if I'd like to try out their service and blog about it - I thought I'd investigate further and I took them up on their invitation.
The registration process was simple and quick!
Firstly registering with them online was extremely quick and easy. I had one query - my local surgery wasn't showing as issuing electronic prescriptions but I knew they did, so I made a quick call and learnt I had to select the main surgery address (not my village surgery). And while I was checking this with the receptionist my request was received and my surgery now had my electronic prescriptions going through to Pharmacy2U. Easy, so far so good.
The Pharmacy2U service is completely free. No parking to pay. No queuing in the pharmacy. No one telling me my medication isn't in stock and I need to go back the next day - how frustrating is that? And it's free postage!
Now I have successfully registered I will be suggesting my family do the same. My son works full time and needs a regular repeat prescription and will often ask me to pick it up so this will be a very useful service for him.
Next I needed to add my payment card details. I was also able to ask for my medication to be delivered through my letterbox (size allowing) and asked for details of a safe place if this was necessary. I also set a reminder for when I would next need my medication.
A day after setting up my new account I needed to speak to my GP about some repeat medications. She said she would issue a prescription and I said I should now be registered with Pharmacy2U - she checked, I was and she issued the prescription electronically. Within a few hours I had an email confirmation that my order was being processed!
Prompt Delivery via Royal Mail
It arrived two days later. Well packaged and delivered by Royal Mail. Simple and easy, with the minimum of fuss and I didn't have to worry about going to the pharmacy, waiting for 'ten minutes' or remembering to go back to pick the items up.
Coincidentally whilst I was writing this review my phone pinged ... it was a text message from Pharmacy2U ...'you should need to order XXX soon, simply reply 'yes' to confirm you'd like to order this item'. Well what could be easier!?
I replied 'yes' and my repeat medication turned up about three days later.
Pharmacy2U is the UK's largest online pharmacy. I was surprised to learn that it was actually set up nearly 20 years ago in 1999 and was the founding partner, along with the NHS, of the electronic prescription service. We no longer go to our GP and walk out with a slip of paper - our prescription, now it is much easier, quicker and convenient for the prescription to be sent electronically to our chosen pharmacy. For quite a while I was doing this myself and I'd then go to my local pharmacy to pick the medication up. Now my chosen pharmacy is the Pharmacy2U online service, even easier.
Lots of other online services too!
Pharmacy2U also provide lots of other services - they have an online doctor service, the facility to fulfill private prescriptions and a full pharmacy for online ordering and delivery to your door.
So this is another great time-saving service I will be taking full advantage of!
If you already use the service, do let me know what you think or if you are thinking about it, give it a go and let me know!
Disclaimer: this was a paid review in partnership with Pharmacy2U, they asked me to try their service and write about how I got on, the opinions are entirely my own and are an accurate and honest account of my experience.
Photo Credits: Jodie Humphreys
Well this is exciting, it is not long until we go to Sri Lanka! I wanted to pop up and tell you a bit about it and how we ended up choosing Sri Lanka this year.
Our 17 year old daughter Emily has a rather important personal statement to write later in the year for a specific course - a long held dream. My husband has a brother, Mark, who now lives in Sri Lanka with his wife, Samantha. They have for a long time said we must go and visit. They run an animal charity near Negombo. So we put the two together and came up with a family holiday and our daughter choosing to do two weeks volunteer work with their charity, which works to help transform the lives of the street dogs in Sri Lanka and offers an education programme for the children at local schools.
Samantha and Mark's story is truly inspirational and I am very lucky that Samantha has agreed to feature on my Embracing Life (in Midlife) interview series soon. But until then do visit their website and read their story. It is absolute worth a read as Dogstar came abut in the aftermath of the 7/7 london bombings and shows how life can change in an instant.
We are slowly pulling together our final itinerary with the help of D&G Travel in Marlow and Paradiso Travel in Sri Lanka.
It is a departure from our usual lazing on the beach or round the pool type of holiday we have favoured in the last few years. There is so much to see and explore and I have tried to find a balance so that we don't get too worn out.
Our main base will be the Jetwing Beach Hotel in Negombo where we will have down days exploring the local area and relaxing by the pool
We will be going to:
Bentota - a beautiful resort town on the south west coast and an opportunity to relax and try some coral diving maybe.
Galle - a city on the south west coast that is known for it's fort, we will also visit Unawatuna beach which is a boho beach strip with lots of cafes and shops.
Mirissa Beach - this is where we will go whale watching and then spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach (with a cocktail or two I hope).
Udawalawe - one of the national parks and an opportunity to see herds of elephants and other mammals like golden jackal, the sloth bear and maybe a few leopards.
Kandy - this is one of two trips we will take whilst Emily is busy with Dogstar, this is the tea plantation area and Kandy is a large city to explore with botancial gardens and the temple of the tooth.
Nuwara Eliya - we will be travelling from Kandy by train as we heard it is the way to do it, and see the amazing scenery! It has a cooler climate (which might be welcome) and is a quaint old colonial town.
Pedro Tea Factory - we are staying overnight in an old tea factory, The Heritance Tea Factory and then the next day will take a guided tour of a tea factory and learn about the production and cultivation of tea.
Millennium Elephant Foundation - this is an organisation and charity set up to rescue and care for the Asian elephants in Sri Lanka. We will do the elephant walk and get up close and personal with these amazing giants. Very excited about this! Emily will be joining us again! Find out more about the Millennium Elephant Foundation here.
We fly home then our daughter follows alone!
We have started a Just Giving page to do some fundraising for the Dogstar Foundation as part of our daughter's volunteer work - the trip is entirely self-funded though. If you want to take a look or can spare a few pounds then do please go to our page here. Every penny will be hugely appreciated and gratefully received.
Of course right now my priority is what I am packing! What I will be wearing, I need to be prepared for very very hot and I am making sure I have plenty of cotton, lose dresses and comfortable footwear. As we will be moving about a bit I need to be organised. I will also need to make things as easy as possible so I don;t fuss about make-up and hair!
I started researching cotton dresses way back - see this post here. Both me and my daughter have quite curly, frizz-prone hair (Emily has lots of it and curlier) so we are both considering a Brazilian blow dry before we go to keep it as frizz free as we can. I love swimwear and bikini's so making sure I have cotton cover-ups and a new bikini is important. I already have this gorgeous dress from Sister, I have the dusty pink.
Of course I will want to get some great photos of our once in a lifetime (probably) trip so I am planning on taking the big camera to make sure we get some really fab shots that I can share on my blog and make a photo album to treasure forever.
We have already got new BIG suitcases, I never travel light!
Thank you so much for taking an interest in what I am doing and don't forget to follow me on Instagram where I will be posting photos during my trip. My blog will take a holiday too though!
Keep an eye on my planning posts, I will be sharing lots more in the coming weeks.
Just Giving Fundraising Page
The Dogstar Foundation (above) do amazing work with the street dogs in Sri Lanka, their story is truly inspiring - read more about them on their website.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, it is a personal post to tell you about our trip and about the Dogstar Foundation, it does not contain affiliate links.
Hello, I am running a bit late with my blog post this week, on Tuesday morning I was working at my desk and the internet went down. Called BT and logged a fault, then later on found out that the builders working further up our lane had broken the overhead cable with their digger. This did not impress me as you can imagine. So any plans of getting on with my blog writing were rather scuppered - a smart phone is good for lots of things but it does have its limitations. Anyway, all fixed and I am madly trying to catch up!
Red jeans! I had a pair from French Connection a few years ago, loved them, wore them lots and then felt they were a bit tight and got rid of them. Slimmed down and regretted that decision. So when I saw that Mint Velvet had a rather nice pair this season, I decided to give them a go.
The red of the jeans do all the talking so I can keep the outfit quite simple. Of course red will work all seasons not just summer. This pair have a frayed hem and a lovely stretch, they are quite a nice weight too. They are a higher rise - comfortable and flattering! Paxton Red Jeans - £69..
Here I have styled them with a slogan tee - this one is from Whistles 'Merci Beau Coup' and the animal print belt and bag are from Boden - pretty old but similar here - belts - classic belt or cowhide belt and bags - leopard print clutch and camera bag.
I love to wear trainers on down days, well any day really, these Vionic ones are so comfortable (read my full review here) and go with most things - even skirts and dresses, a style I thought I would never embrace.
I wore this outfit for an Instagram networking event in Marlow. The blouse is from Hobbs last summer and I love these pelmet style tops and jackets - did you see my Zara jacket on this post? My open toe espadrilles are from Next and they do similar every season - see here. And my bag is from Karen Millen, a brand I love, especially their dresses - see this years bag here - currently on sale at £70.
There are lots of red jeans on the high street - as well as some other statement colours. Here are a few to have a look at:
Phase Eight Sasha Stud Jeans in sale at £49
Next Soft Touch Skinny Jeans at £28
M&S High Waist Super Skinny Jeans at £19.50
Hope you enjoy reading this post, do let me know if you have red jeans or if you fancy trying some now?
Disclaimer: Some of my links are affiliate links which means that the brand knows you have come to their website from here and I may get a small commission if you buy something and keep it. This small income goes towards the running costs of my blog so I am very thankful for every click.
Not Dressed as Lamb
Welcome to the first in my interview series - meeting lovely ladies who are doing something inspirational and exciting, something new in their 40's and 50's and beyond. My hope is that you will find inspiration either with a new product or service for you or to try or a new direction yourself.
My first interview is with the lovely Karen Rosser who set up a new jewellery range earlier this year - Inspire my Soul is a modular collection of sterling silver initials, symbols and charms which will totally resonate with you, your life and your personality. You select a chain (optional) and then add your chosen charms - as many as you want - start with one or two may be and add more, whenever you want.
I was invited to Karen's pretty cottage in nearby Berkshire to chat to her and see her range of jewellery for myself.
Scroll down for a discount code!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
I am 47 and mum to two feline fur babies Merlot and Tia. I live in Burchetts Green, Berkshire with my hubby Lee.
In 2010 after a 20+ year career in the corporate world, I became very poorly with anxiety and depression. This was a wake up call and one which made me totally reassess my life / work balance. Being creative was something I loved to do, but rarely had time for it. So as part of my recovery I immersed myself in making costume jewellery and painting furniture.
It really was my savior and after some time renting a small space in a craft collective to sell my makes, I got to thinking about my dream. Having my own little gift shop of gorgeousness, this is the dream I used to daydream of when I was sat in yet another long, boring and pointless corporate meeting. After discussing it at length with Lee and my parents, we all agreed that opening a shop would be the very best tonic for me. Something I could really focus on and be the creative me. There was a worry that I might be taking too much on so soon after my illness, but if I didn’t try, then I was never going to know. The reality was that yes it was hard work and it is not easy being self employed, but I was doing what I loved every single day and it wasn’t like going to work. It was like going out to play!
I did this for nearly 5 years and in 2016 the familiar feelings of depression started to surface. This time I had tools at my disposal and quickly recognised the symptoms before they got out of hand. When I looked deep into what might be causing this, I realised that being a shop owner had totally squashed my creativity. Although I loved my little boutique and had fabulous customers, after much soul searching I knew that for my health and my sanity, I had to close the shop. I didn’t want to stop being a business owner and planned to take some time out to decide exactly what direction I wanted to take the business in.
At this stage, I felt very strongly that I needed something that would give me focus and encouragement to follow this new path. I had if you like what I can only describe as a calling, an urge to buy myself a necklace – an everyday piece of jewellery that I could wear to give me inspiration and empowerment – a necklace with symbols and or charms which resonated with me.
I searched the internet and while there were lots and lots of choice, nothing totally stood out as being the perfect piece for me. I started thinking, could this be the direction I moved the business in? Yes, the more I thought about it, the more excited and inspired I became. I knew for sure, that this new journey would need a new business name and after months of thought and deliberation in January 2018, Inspire my Soul was born. Doing what it says on the tin, it inspires each individual, each soul.
What does an average day look like for you?
I am up, showered and ready for my day by 8.30am and not having children, I only have myself to worry about. I make a cuppa and my breakfast and then I spend 10-15 minutes planning my day in my Bullet Journal. This is something I have only recently discovered and it has made an amazing change to my time management. Plus everything, all my notes and to do lists are all in this one place. No more scrappy bits of paper here there and everywhere!
Once my planning is done, my day really gets going. What I do changes from day to day, but in essence it is a mixture of emails, designing, researching suppliers, working on social media content, answering customer enquiries, creating customer orders, taking photos of my products and keeping my website updated and fresh. Then other days I may meet fellow business women for coffee, lunch or brunch. Or perhaps attend a Business Girls Network networking meeting. This is a great virtual support team and a time to feel encouraged by other women in business who knows exactly what you are going through.
My day usually draws to a close around 6.30 when Lee is home from work. My final task is to have a brief 5-10 minute overview of my Bullet Journal and review how my day has gone.
What has been your biggest challenge?
It’s not a term I like very much, but I am a perfectionist. I’m never really happy with the outcome of many things I do and have been known to do and redo something on more than one occasion multiple times. I have recently learnt that there really is no such thing as perfection and that if you take baby steps and progress this approach is much more powerful and effective – that’s my personal challenge.
My business challenge is getting my head round social media. What content to post, when to post and what platforms to post on. I’ve realised that unless you take time out to do this properly, you will always be chasing your tail and not very successfully. I’ve taken the plunge and am working with two amazing ladies who are helping me create the foundations for successful social media planning and content. Sometimes you just have to accept that you can’t do everything on your own!
What advice would you pass on to someone wishing to change career in midlife?
You are never too old to follow your hopes and dreams. If you have a dream and you want it bad enough, it will come to you. That said, nothing is handed out on a plate and it takes hard work and determination. I also believe without a doubt you need someone supporting you emotionally and although not always possible it helps massively to have someone supporting you financially too.
Do you have a signature style, an everyday look that you love?
I guess my signature style would be slouchy, floaty clothing, the kind with dipped and handkerchief hems. I love how they can look fabulous dressed down as well as dressed up. Working from home means there is temptation to chuck on trackie bottoms a t-shirt or sweatshirt, but I do try to make an effort. It makes you feel better too. Interestingly I attended a branding workshop earlier this year and discovered that my personal style is a dramatic creative, which I was thrilled with as this sums me up really, really well.
How do you balance your business with family life?
Honest answer, not very well. I think because Lee and I do not have children, it’s all too easy to just keep tapping away at the laptop or reaching for my mobile or tablet. That said I am very aware of it and that I need to work harder at achieving a better balance. This is something in my plan and the use of my Bullet Journal will keep me on the straight and narrow and help me achieve this.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement without a doubt has to be becoming self employed and opening my bricks and mortar boutique gift shop. I knew nothing about being a retailer or a small business, but I did love to shop for unique and unusual presents for my loved ones. These presents were received with such affection it gave me the confidence to buy loveliness for the shop.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
In five years time, I want to still be doing what I love to do. I want for my jewellery and gift collections to be doing their thing by inspiring, encouraging and empowering women every minute of every day of every week of every month of every year!
How can we get in touch with you and find out more about you or your product?
A visit to my website will tell you all you need to know about my product. You can also find me on the following social media channels.
Thank you so much Karen! I loved meeting Karen and chatting about her journey and her plans, talking about her battle with anxiety and depression really resonated with me and it was inspiring to see how she has managed to overcome this through her business.
Inspire my Soul offers so many gorgeous combinations. Charms can be hand stamped with an initial or symbol. Or combine a symbol charm with an initial charm. Choose charms in silver, rose gold or gold or mix n match. It is totally personal, created to your own specification.
Maybe your children's initials? Or you and your loved one? Or a symbol that represents you and your hopes and dreams and gives you confidence? And if you need some ideas then do speak to Karen direct.
I purchased a necklace for my niece for her birthday. Life is a bit tough right now and I chose a hamsa hand, an angel wing and a star with her initial on it. I then added one of Karen's hand stamped bags. It all arrived beautifully packaged and ready to gift to my niece for her birthday. I particularly love the sheet that comes with each charm and explains what the symbol represents. Such a thoughtful and pretty gift or a treat for yourself.
And I have an exclusive discount to share with you - until 31st July you can get 10% off the entire range, just use the code fiftyandfab10 at checkout.
Photos of Karen: Summers Photography
Disclaimer: I purchased the necklace and charms myself, the star bag was gifted to me.
Not Dressed as Lamb
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog celebrating women. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
Use my hashtag and tag me on Instagram #beingfiftyandfab @fifty_andfab
I’d love to see what you are doing and with your permission, share some of your images.
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I have a Just Giving page to raise funds for Dogstar Foundation and Yawajeewa Community Learning Centre in Sri Lanka - donations can be made here.