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
I don't love exercise! No secret about that although I do still do it. I do enjoy walking though. But I tend to be a fair weather walker - well rain makes my hair go frizzy and the dogs get so wet and muddy.
But I was recently invited to join a Nordic Walking Class with Claire Winter which also happened to coincide with National Walking Month.
I used to get involved with the Walk to School initiative - many moons ago when my children were at primary school, I was the School Travel Co-Ordinator. It was fun and as we lived a distance away from school, necessitating a car journey, we would 'park and walk' the last bit which was good for us and reduced congestion around the school gates. I was also delighted to help with fundraising and secured the purchase of a wet weather shelter and I loved doing 'scooter training' with the younger years!!
So on Friday I joined Claire and ten other lovely ladies near Pinkney's Green at Maidenhead. The area is stunning - it's National Trust owned and very pretty, there were lots of wild flowers and bluebells. It was easy to get to and easy to park.
What is Nordic Walking - well it is just like normal walking except you use two poles to help propel you along. It is a full body exercise and was originally devised by cross country skiers who used it for their summer training. It can be as gentle or as challenging as you wish.
We started off by doing a quick stretch to warm up. Claire then showed the new ladies how to use the poles, how to hold them and how to walk with them so you get the maximum calorie burn. All very important! Apparently Nordic Walking burns more calories per hour than running and it's low impact. That sold it to me. I really don't 'get' running. I have done it in the past but it just doesn't interest me.
I had to find out more about the benefits of Nordic Walking then. I looked it up on the British Nordic Walking website. Here is what they say about the benefits:
Nordic Walking combines the simplicity and accessibility of walking with simultaneous core and upper body conditioning similar to Nordic skiing. The result is a full body workout, which means that you:
After our warm up and initial instruction we set off properly. It was a beautiful morning and I especially enjoyed meeting the other ladies in the group and chatting as we walked. It makes it seem less like exercise and more like just a nice social thing to do.
And that brings me back to my new interview series - Embracing Life (in Midlife) - there are so many successful, inspirational and amazing women out there. I met two that morning, juggling family life, studying, running businesses etc but doing a fantastic job.
We passed through the bluebell woods, stopped for the all important blog photos and a drink of water. The whole walk took an hour and I did about 7,000 steps!
At the end there is a cool down stretch and that's it. Claire provides the poles but you can buy your own of course. Once you learn how to do Nordic Walking you can practice yourself whenever suits you. I liked joining the class though as it makes you go. It is easy to find an excuse without the accountability of booking in and meeting others.
Claire charges £8 for the one hour class/walk and you can find out more details on her website - Stealth Health, she offers two walks a week, Monday or Friday morning. Or if you do not live near Maidenhead then go to the British Nordic Walking website and you will find a directory of qualified instructors and classes near you.
Let me know if you have ever tried Nordic Walking or if you fancy giving it a go now? I'd love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: Claire did not charge me to attend this trial class but I was under no obligation to write a review, the opinions are entirely my own.
This week marks two years since I started The Body Coach Plan and blogged about my journey to getting leaner, fitter, healthier. My biggest achievement was going skiing and keeping up, not getting out of breath and just generally feeling better - read more about this here.
But where I am now?
It's not always easy. It has to be a lifestyle change but it also has to be sensible, balanced and flexible. I do eat the cake! But as long as I am being mindful of my eating habits then I can relax sometimes and join in with social occasions and rituals, like birthday cake.
I have managed to maintain a healthy weight and size 8-10 clothes and although I am not my smallest I have found a good balance that works for me.
I struggle more with keeping up with the work outs than I do with eating well. I've always been honest on my blog and admitted I don't really like exercise - well I don't like the time it takes which is silly really as once I get started it is only 45 minutes, I enjoy it at the time then it is done and I feel really pleased. But then add in shower and changing etc and I get frustrated as my to list is getting longer and I want to do other stuff (like work on my blog)!
When I was doing The Body Coach I was happy to get up early and get the workouts done but after suffering with a bout of insomnia and menopause problems last year I got out of the habit and have struggled to get back into it. So this is a work in progress to find a better plan - and I do have my 'home gym' all set up in the log cabin so it is pretty poor really.
Mind Body Principles with Floresco Fitness and Fat Loss Coaching
On Sunday I went up to Milton Keynes to attend this seminar that my friend Bev Thorogood was running. The focus was very much on the connection the mind has with our body and fat loss goals. And that fat loss does not have to be complicated, we don't need endless diets or plans that we start and finish, then revert back to old habits and start again .... and so the cycle goes on. We just need the 5 Principles of Fat Loss which Bev took us through - I wrote a bit about my views on this simple approach in a post a few weeks ago - take a look here.
I was a bit frustrated to be 'inside' on the last of day of the sunny weather - the seminar was held at Xscape (the indoor ski run) and I didn't see the sky all day. Incidentally why do people put their ski gear on and wrap up warm and ski inside when the sun is shining outside? Didn't make much sense to me!
As I knew I would be inside all day I wore jeans and a navy and white breton top from Baujken (Zoe Top £69 look out for discount codes though), I have one of these in pink too and I love it's loose fit and lightweight fabric. And of course my current favourite scarf from Sweet Bea.
Anyway, I digress! I really enjoyed the seminar and found it to be a good reminder of the basic principles as well as picking up some new tips and ideas especially how we self-sabotage our efforts with limiting beliefs. Find out more about Bev and the coaching she offers on her website at www.forescofitness.co.uk.
I will be working on my mindset with Bev's support to find a way forward to enable me to fit in a more structured exercise plan. I will update you every month in my regular Being Fifty & Fab post #beingfiftyandfab.
Back in November 2017 I attended a half day workshop with Fearless in the Kitchen - Healthy Eating Main Meals and Snacks and had an amazing day, I learnt new skills, new recipes and picked up some fantastic tips. I wrote about my day here. I then attended another workshop - Wellness in the Menopause - also an amazing, enjoyable and really useful day!! The next one is Friday 20th April if you are interested.
So I was delighted to be invited back recently to do the Healthy Baking half day workshop and what another fabulous day. Okay so the weather let us down but otherwise it was great! Relaxing, a day away from reality, spent with lovely people, learning new skills. What more could I ask for?
Fearless in the Kitchen is run by Jen Roach, an inspirational and passionate cook and gardener. Every workshop is tailored to suit your own health issues and tastes. And Jen is just a really lovely person, a joy to spend time with.
The theme for this day was Easter because it was two days before the Easter weekend!! Which of course meant I had some really delicious and impressive treats to take home for my family. The overall aim though was to demonstrate that it is possible to bake and reduce sugar/calories by including healthier alternatives.
Also attending the day was Jackie who I met through my blog, she found me on Instagram and we have chatted and we met before on the Menopause day.
The recipes Jen had created for us to make that day were:
Hot Cross Buns
Strawberry Custard Tart
Ginger Roots and Nuts Cup Cakes
Poached Fruit and Yoghurt Cake.
Jen has a lovely large, bright kitchen. Her rural cottage is located near Warfield in Berkshire and the four acre garden is beautiful. Jen has an impressive, thriving orchard, organic herb and kitchen garden and if the weather had been better we would have been able to explore a bit more but it was torrential rain! Although it did clear up just before we left and I managed to snap a few photos to share with you.
The day includes morning coffee or tea and a snack as well as lunch - Jen had made us some scones with home made chia seed jam and for lunch we had a salad bowl which I loved and wish I made more effort to do at home. The workshops are relaxed and fun, it is very hands-on and Jen is keen to answer your questions and share ideas for a healthier approach to your diet and family meals.
And here are the results of our hard work! The scones were made with coconut milk, the the hot cross buns had reduced sugar and lots of natural sugar from the fresh fruit, the cupcakes contained parsnips, carrots, beetroot and apple, we decorated them with a traditional icing made with oatly creme fraiche, the poached fruit and yoghurt cake was wheat and gluten free and the custard tart was made with pastry using pea flour (higher in protein) and cocoa powder. The boot of my car was full and my family and visitors over the weekend enjoyed tasting everything. Favourites were the scones and hot cross buns, closely followed by the cup cakes. We had the two desserts with our visiting family on Good Friday and especially enjoyed the Strawberry and Custard Tart.
As we were getting ready to leave the weather did brighten up and I managed to have a quick look in the garden and take a few photos to share with you.
Jen has a number of workshops available to book direct from her website, the day usually runs from 10 am to 2 pm but Jen is very flexible and is able to tailor any of her courses to your own requirements. Maybe get-together with a group of friends? Or you might have a particular diet or concern that you would like help with. Just get in touch with Jen and she will be able to discuss your requirements. The next healthy baking day is on 30th May.
And how about a Field to Fork Cookery Day? Throughout the summer Jen will be offering the opportunity to come along and explore her kitchen garden, pick your vegetables and cook a seasonal recipe then eat lunch on the terrace and take the rest home for dinner! Sounds wonderful! For more details contact Jen direct at email@example.com. What a great way to get-together with friends.
Take a look at Jen's website Fearless in the Kitchen and on this link you can find some recipe ideas to try at home yourself.
I absolutely recommend finding an opportunity to attend one of these workshops though, you won't regret it, now I just need to find some time to try out more of these recipes at home.
Thank you for reading and if you do go along then let me know how you get on!
Jen Roach at Fearless in the Kitchen
Disclaimer: Jen did not charge me to attend this day but I was under no obligation to write a review, the opinions are entirely my own.
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!
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