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
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
Well we've reached the end of May already and we've enjoyed some amazing weather - including two fantastic bank holiday weekends! I've had a really busy month, I did have a few moments of doubting my ability to blog, the GDPR stuff really overwhelmed me, but I got there and I have realised it is okay to relax a bit about it.
Do you like my new logo? And I have new business cards just arrived too. I am attending a blogging event in London this weekend - #BlogConLDN - which I am very excited about, look out for updates on my Instagram stories.
As we head into June my main objective is to do a bit more planning for our big holiday to Sri Lanka this year! I will do a separate blog post and tell you about it. I'm excited and nervous! My daughter will be staying on a bit longer to do some volunteer work and she will be flying home alone - I will spend those hours a nervous wreck no doubt.
Here is a little round up of what I got up to in May:
Exercising - I tried out nordic walking, I wrote a blog post about it here and I went again so it must have been good! The rest of my exercise routine has been a bit hit and miss though although the steps have been up. Really in reality I do quite a lot - no where near as much as others but 'comparison is the thief of joy' and I do what I can do and what I want to do.
Reading - I've read several books this month. I finished off The Cows by Dawn O'Porter over the first bank holiday weekend as I wanted to move onto reviewing a book I had been gifted No One But You by Tessa Levy, I was taking part in a blog tour and attending the launch party - which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had a day in London, a photo shoot for Fabulous magazine in the afternoon, some shopping in Oxford Street, then the book review at The Arch Hotel. The Cows was very good and I definitely recommend although the subject matter is pretty new territory for a book - let me know what you think! And of course my review of No One But You can be found on this post. I met Tessa and her two daughters at the book launch and they really are lovely people, and publishing a book at 88 years old is certainly inspirational.
Wearing - I've loved having my summer outfits out! It seemed a long time coming and I've had clothes in and out of storage and generally a bit of a 'muddly' wardrobe but it all came together in May. I do have too many summer clothes though, especially tops. They are pretty and easy to buy and as they don't get much wear due to the unpredictable British weather, they never wear out.
I had an amazing day out in Oxford and popped into & Other Stories and found a gorgeous red dress - I have been on the look out for cotton and natural fabrics to take to Sri Lanka so this was a happy find! You can find all the details and the link to the dress on my previous post here.
I wore it on royal wedding day - no reason to dress up but I did anyway! It can be worn lose without the belt or tied with the belt. It looked fabulous with my super comfy Vionic espadrilles. I've ended up with two new straw bags (oops) one was in the sale in the National Trust shop and I've added pom poms and the other was from Pull & Pear - I decided I 'had to' have a round bag and searched for an inexpensive one (and added pom poms)!
Doing - I've had such a busy but fun month - a day out in Oxford to visit Worcester College where my nephew is at university - check the post here as there are discounted tickets for varoius Oxford walking tours.
I did a photoshoot with Jodie Humphries at my home, it was a beautiful sunny day and we managed to get lots of outfit shots and some great images that I wanted to update my website - have a look! I've updated several pages and I am really pleased with how it is looking. Let me know what you think. Then I finally decided on the new logo style - I wanted to keep it simple, improve the strap-line, which now works in with my #beingfiftyandfab regular post and I love the new colour! I will be featuring some of the outfits I wore on my blog over the coming weeks - the first one is about the Zara jacket, read it here.
Oh and what about the royal wedding? Wasn't that just a fantastic backdrop, the stunning blue skies over Windsor, we couldn't have asked for better weather. We really did do it well and showcased Great Britain to the rest of the world. I sat for several hours with my daughter (and my son for slightly less time), we loved watching the guests arrive and choosing our favourite outfits. We loved following Meghan's journey from Cliveden where I have enjoyed lunch on many occasions as it is local to us. She looked so stunning - simple and chic. And her mother did her very proud - she was so dignified and coped so well with what must have been a very overwhelming and surreal experience.
And finally we were at Tom Kerridge's Pub in the Park again this year, we had a warm and sunny day (a bit different to last year when we had sun and heavy rain showers). I was able to wear a dress!
Gosh I think I've chatted on far too long! Lots of information in this months #beingfiftyandfab - I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. I love to read your comments so do comment below or message me via email.
I'll leave you with one final photo of those gorgeous espadrilles. These were gifted to me and can be found on this link, but I do genuinely love them. Vionic shoes really are super comfortable, and they offer a 30 day money back guarantee so if you wear them and can't get on with them, you can return them for a full refund.
I'm off to start searching swimwear as that is next on my to do list for Sri Lanka and for a blog post!
I have been making a special effort to read more recently. For years I have allowed my smart phone to take over and only read a proper book on holiday. But these last few months I decided to tackle my insomnia, turn off the phone earlier and go to bed with a book! I have been sharing with you some of the books I have enjoyed and I was asked recently to do a review and take part in a book blog tour! Today that book tour comes to Fifty & Fab and I am delighted to be sharing with you my review of the book and a little bit more about the author.
No One But You is the debut novel of Tessa Levy, she is 88 years old and her book is a fictionalised memoir and family saga.
And at 88 years old Tessa is proving that it is never too late to follow your dreams or try something new! Something that Fifty & Fab totally agrees with!
I absolutely loved the book. I enjoyed every page. And there was quite a lot about the story that was similar to some of my own experiences of first love, making it just a little more special and emotional for me. It got me thinking and that to me is a sign of a good book, something that makes you think about your own life, hopes and dreams.
No One But You was inspired by the life of Tessa Levy - she co-wrote the book with her youngest daughter Shelley Cassidy. From war-torn London to the high life of America and back again, this is an enchanting story that portrays a young girl's yearning for adventure, opportunity and ultimately enduring love, on both sides of the Atlantic.
The book is easy to read, with a nod to history and real life. And I always gravitate to a romance, I adore a bit of true love and a happy ending. Triumph over adversity.
Tessa was the youngest child of a large family and had the responsibility of caring for her beloved dying mother at a young age. When her father secretly marries another woman who moves into their family home with her three children, Tessa's world is shattered.
She seeks solace from distant cousins, who she has never met, in America but who she has been secretly writing to for months. When Tessa is forced to reveal the truth, an unexpected twist of fate sees her escaping her tumultuous life in London - aged just 17 - to travel across the Atlantic to stay with her American cousins.
A year and a half later, Tessa returns to England as a glamorous young woman, having fallen in love for the first time and discovered her true identify as a strong, empowered and incredible woman. However, as she crosses the cultural divide and struggles to resettle, despite her family's best efforts, to reintegrate her into their Jewish community in London, Tessa goes through a series of challenges, relationships and roles.
Eventually she meets the man she will marry but suffers another painful, premature, family death. She embarks on motherhood and a career with her trademark resilience. However life continues to challenge her happiness and she finds herself torn between the two loves of her life - one in England, the other in America and both very different.
The underlying theme of the book - is it possible to love two men in one lifetime?
Tessa Levy was born in the East End of London, the youngest of six children in a Jewish family. Like her brothers in the fashion business and her husband in the nightclub trade of Soho, she made a success of her antique business - a truly entrepreneurial woman in an era when business was dominated by men.
Tessa now resides in West London, opposite Hyde Park and maintains one food on either side of the pond.
No One But You is Tessa Levy's first book, based on real events - a family story of displacement, hardship, disease and death but also of inclusion, friendship, love and success.
It crosses the divide not only between two cultural differences but also two faiths and families.
Asked what inspired her to write No One But You, Tessa says ....
No One But You is based on my life story - a story that I've told plenty of people and all of whom said it sounded like a novel. I didn't want it to be a straightforward autobiography though so I worked hard with my daughter Shelley to inject plenty of fictional elements to add even more spice and adventure, heartbreak and tragedy. It's fun to speak to people who have read the book and who are guessing which bits are real and which are fiction!
I am attending the official book launch party in London on Thursday evening and I am really excited about maybe meeting Tessa and her daughter - and yes I have the same question - which bits are fiction and which bits are real!
No One But You by Tessa Levy is due for release on Thursday 24th May and can be pre-ordered on Amazon on the link above..
And readers of Fifty & Fab can enter my giveaway on social media to win a signed copy of the book - please head over to my Instagram page and follow me then look out for my post on Friday 25th May where I will give you all the details!
What a perfect read for your summer holiday!
No One But You by Tessa Levy available from Amazon, paperback or kindle from 24th May.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book to read and review, all the opinions are entirely my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Not Dressed as Lamb
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 on Instagram #beingfiftyandfab
I’d love to see what you are doing and with your permission, share some of your images.
Join my mailing list for regular updates and don’t forget to look at my social media pages too..
Subscribe to receive regular blog updates by email: