Leightons Eye OCT Scan Review

I’ve spent most of the last year focusing on my health and fitness. Just like the rest of the body, eye health is impacted by your lifestyle, eating habits, exercise that kind of thing.  When your vision is not good it will affect your quality of life.  The eyes are the windows to the body or the gateway to our souls as I’ve heard people say many of times. They are the only place where the blood vessels can be viewed in their natural state without a surgical procedure.

I try not to take my sight for granted.  My brother Bakul had a cornea transplant in his late teens and this always made me wary of vision care and paying attention to any changes in my vision. I am now 41 and I know my sight has over the years deteriorated  mainly due to working in offices staring at screens and then screen time at home and lets not talk about the time spent looking at my iphone. Opticians recommend that most people have an eye test at least every 2 years or sooner if concerned about vision.

I was kindly invited by Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care  to have a revolutionary eye test which included retinal photography and an OCT scan. The scan provides 3D views of the retina and the ability to detect eye conditions up to five years earlier than a normal test offered by some opticians. It’s clear that Leightons are passionate about the care of their customers as an independent business which started in 1928 family-owned and family-run. The team I visited at the Sutton Branch in Surrey were very good at explaining the scan which is very much like how an MRI scan would work for the rest of the body. During an OCT scan nothing touches your eye and it is completely painless. The scan literally takes a few seconds and displays 3D scans of at least 6 layers of your retina. The detail is incredible viewing 3D high-definition scans of the front and back of your eyes, a definite first for me. This is one of my eye balls!

I was really impressed with the detail of the images which go far beneath the surface of the retina. The Optical Coherence Tomographer saves the images and these can be compared to future scans  to check if anything has changed. Thankfully my eyes are doing well and currently no concerns which is so reassuring. The 3D imagery that can be used to detect very small changes earlier than using a traditional ophthalmoscope or standard retinal photography.   These ultra-advanced methods of testing helps detect issues like glaucoma, macular degeneration and even diabetes up to 5 years before normal testing.

The OCT screening generates a series of 3D High Definition (HD) scans – just like mine below:


Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care offers a free hearing test at all its branches, I was also offered a test something I used to feel was not necessary as I am not in my later years! but hearing is just as valuable as sight and needs to be monitored even from a young age. Each branch at Leightons will also have a fully  trained Hearing Aid Audiologist which definitely is a good thing and after a short test I was happy to learn all was ok on that front too.

Self-care is so important to me.  I consider taking care of my vision, self-care.  Take the time to make sure you go for routine appointments and I highly recommend having an OCT scan alongside your regular eye test.  Leightons Ultimate Eye Examination costs £69.

I have to admit I wasn’t even aware that such cutting edge photography existed. The choices we make today about our eye care will definitely affect the way we live as we age. Once your vision is gone it is gone forever. Thank you to Polly at 3WhiteHats for arranging this for me and to Michael, Bablu, Julie and Suzanne at the friendly Sutton branch for your useful advice. I had such a lovely morning learning about eye health.

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

 

 

*I was invited to have the Leightons Ultimate Eye Examination free of charge for an honest review.

Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake Review

 


I have spent the most part of a year really honing in on clean eating and fitness goals. I definitely feel much better than I did in my twenties and thirties so maintaining the motivation to keep up a healthy lifestyle is something I am keen to do. I’ve found that building in small key sustainable habits will help reap health benefits, things take time but it’s good to start the day right and that for me involves eating a good breakfast. It’s often described as the most important meal of the day, providing sustenance and energy. I genuinely love Breakfast time and one of my favourite things ever is hotel breakfasts when on holiday – I really need to book a holiday soon!


If you’re a parent like me you’ll know it’s incredibly tricky to sit down and eat when you have the demands of children to attend to. So many people skip or miss breakfast daily because we are in a rush too head out. Lately I have introduced a new product into my diet, something which has helped kick start my metabolism and gives me the energy I  need without feeling the dreaded bloat.

A few week’s ago the fabulous team at Nutribuddy contacted me and kindly let me select a breakfast shake product from their popular range in return for an honest first impressions review.  I had read reviews and thought it was definitely something I wanted to try. The goods arrived in secure packaging, a glass jar, a shaker bottle and a scoop. As far as first impressions go, the moment I unwrapped the glass clip-top jar I was in love! it’s eye catching and I’m obviously a total sucker for packaging. I have no shame in saying that! I’ve had a few friends comment on what’s inside the jar and there begins my explanation.

 

I’ve been drinking the shake now for the past 14 days.  I opted for vanilla because I wanted something with a sweetness to it.  All the products are however gluten-free, sugar free and vegan.  The two other flavours available are Naked and Chocolate.

The Vanilla Shake includes:

Ingredients: Organic Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Flaxseeds, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Desiccated Coconut, Stevia, Vanilla Flavouring

The blend of organic oats, seeds and coconut is really nutritious and is only 121 calories per serving so great for people who are also wanting to lose weight too.

  •  Suitable for vegetarians & vegans
  • Gluten-free
  • Lactose-free
  • Soy-free
  • Sugar-free

All you have to do is take 3 scoops of the blend and put into a Nutribuddy shaker.  Add 300-400ml of milk or a milk substitute.  I alternate and use almond milk on one day and then whole milk on another day and shake away.  Inside the bottle is a metal shaker ball to help the mixing process. The shakers are BPA free and dishwasher safe.  You can always add fruit so for example I’ve used my Nutribullet blender and added a few blueberries, raspberries to the mix. Basically anything to make the shake to your liking.  On the mornings that I have more time I pour into a bowl and top with fruit, nuts and seeds.

This is one healthy breakfast option which I genuinely feel will help a lot of people who really want to have something nutritious on the go and trust me it’s quick. Especially convenient for a mum like me as I find time is short in the morning trying to get Jay ready for Pre-school. I really don’t like leaving the house on an empty tummy.

A 14 day supply costs £14.99 and comes in that gorgeous glass jar.  Refill blend packs are available so that you don’t have to buy the jar each time. You also have the option to add a shaker with your order starting from £7.99, these come in pink, red or black. There are subscription deals worth considering if you become a fan of the product.

I do drink protein shakes but this is different of course and really quick to make.  It’s also good at helping to curb my sugar cravings (not to mention my tummy rumbling) so I will definitely be carrying on with using the shakes and very keen to try the other flavours too. A couple of times I’ve gone and had a shake in the evening because they taste really good. I have number of friends who are currently pregnant and also some that are breastfeeding so should mention that this shake is safe to drink as it’s high in fibre and nutrients. I didn’t think I would be into drinking shakes for breakfast but I have surprised myself and really wanted to share this with others in the hope that it will help you too.

Shake up your wake up – time to try something different?

Head over to my Instagram for an exclusive discount code.

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

 

*I was sent the Nutribuddy Breakfast shake and a shaker of my choice for review purposes. All thoughts and words are my own. Contains affiliate links.

 

 

 

Dinner at D.a.s.t.a.a.n

 

Last summer Mr M mentioned he’d seen a small restaurant a short distance from us amongst the parade of small shops in Ewell. The restaurant being Dastaan which opened it’s doors towards the end of 2016 and after a bit of research we realised this relatively new establishment was a local gem that we had somehow missed on our restaurant radar.


I made a booking to celebrate our 7 year wedding anniversary (advisable to book early to avoid disappointment) and I am so glad we did. Ever since moving to Surrey in 2009 I have been a little disappointed with the indian restaurants in our locality that is until now of course. Dastaan is the joint venture for Sanjay Gour and Nand Kishor two internationally acclaimed Chefs who have in my opinion placed Epsom firmly on the map for fantastic cuisine.

Both have glittering CV’s in the culinary trade. Sanjay combines his expertise in desserts with a lighter version of indian sweets and all things spice working at events such as the BAFTA’s and GQ Awards. He worked with Angela Hartnett, as pastry chef at her restaurant, Michelin-starred Murano. Success continued as he worked as Head Chef at one of the most talked about Michelin star Indian restaurant of London Gymkhana. Chef Nand from Mumbai has extensive training in the mixing of spices working in different restaurants, going onto to open Trishna restaurant which received a Michelin star in 2012 and in 2014, and then onto the Gymkhana restaurant as Head Chef.

The moment we walked into the restaurant we could see and feel the ambience, the tables were busy with families, friends couples, a real mix of guests. I liked the warm welcome and we didn’t have to wait long before our drinks arrived. I went for wine. He went for beer. Fortunately my parents came to stay so that we were able to head out sans child. Also managed to get the Taxi of Dad booked for later that evening.

The tables are pretty closely arranged together which I don’t mind as the restaurant isn’t huge, the staff were friendly and were great in advising us about the dishes. I like the fact that the menu wasn’t overwhelmed with dishes. I think sometimes in life we are presented with too much choice and it complicates things!

We went for the following with rice and naan breads.

STARTERS

PaniPuri 

Beetroot Tikki with Tadka Yogurt

Samosa Chaat

MAINS

Methi Chicken Fresh Fenugreek

Pork Vindaloo with Goan Spices


We were sadly too full to order desserts and it was a shame as we were both looking forward to the Pistachio Kulfi.  Something to correct the next time we visit! The standard of food here is exceptionally tasty, non greasy and filling.  I generally can’t  believe our luck having the restaurant on our doorstep. It does get busy and it’s clear to see why as the food really is outstanding. I’ve read reviews comparing this restaurant to Michelin star Jamavar in Mayfair London so you know you won’t be disappointed.

I really hope to return soon for another magnificent feast. There is also a Take away service available which makes this even more of a win win for me. But I’m not the only one winning as Michelin has also included Dastaan in their Bib Gourmands guide to Great Britain and Ireland 2018. It’s one of 27 restaurants to win the accolade which recognises simple yet skillful cooking at a reasonable price.  Congratulations to the team!

Twitter | Facebook |Instagram

Dastaan, 447 Kingston Rd, Epsom, KT19 0DB

e: info@dastaan.co.uk  

 

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

 

Hot Wheels Track Builder Stunt Bridge Review



The new Hot Wheels Track Builder Stunt Bridge kit has been released just in time for Christmas and as usual the Hot Wheels fans at Along Came Jay HQ were eager to review.  Although the actual track and bridge sections are straightforward, this set has a number of bricks that look like lego pieces that does require a bit of concentration to put together. Luckily Jay had mummy to help and we went through the contents of the box and were soon set up and ready.

Unlike the Hot Wheels Roto Revolution which we recently reviewed this set does take up a lot of floor space when fully assembled with over 70 pieces it can be customised to be built in three different ways and we were able to change the configuration easily. It’s fully compatible with other Hot Wheels play sets so it has been great to add to the existing track and add another level of excitement.


Two ‘D’ size batteries and a cross-hair screwdriver is required for the motorised bridge to come alive.  To launch the cars you have to hit the lever at the start of the track.  I noticed that you do have to hit this lever quite hard for the cars to gain enough speed to crosse the bridge but this also brings in an element of competitive fun. I think this toy definitely gets you to focus on timing skills.  Jay’s favourite part of the toy is the motorised bridge arm which forms part of the half bridge that rises up.

 

Construction is something he is really enjoying at the moment and the bricks  that come with the set has been a welcome addition as he enjoys adding them to the bridge creating mini blockades and seeing whether he can successfully get the car across without crashing into them. There are additional cardboard cut out mini trolls for imaginative play which can be placed around the track. As I write this post Jay is lining up a number of cars to launch and I’m certain this set will keep him entertained for quite a while.

My only negative is that I feel this set should possible have two cars instead of the one.  It wasn’t that much of a problem as we were able to use existing hot wheels cars from his growing collection!  The Hot Wheels Track Builder Stunt Bridge Kit is newly launched and would make a great gift this Christmas. It’s suitable for ages 5 and over and priced at £49.99.  It is available from all good toy shops. Another great play set for hot wheels fans young and old!

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

Hot Wheels Roto Revolution Track Set

This week we have been lucky enough to review the latest toys from Hot Wheels which as a brand has had staggering success since 1968. The franchise is hotter than ever and now encompasses high-end collectibles, NASCAR, and Formula One models for adults, as well as high-performance cars, track and play sets for kids of all ages. To give you a little background, last Christmas my husband went slightly OTT with Hot Wheels purchases for Jay and since then both have been hooked and have collected a number of cars which Jay frequently plays with. Fortunately for us Mattel got in contact to see if we would like to review The Hot Wheels Roto Revolution Track Set and The Hot Wheels Track Stunt Bridge. The Stunt Bridge post will be up on the blog next week if you’d like to see that too.


Toy cars have been a favourite with Jay since he was a baby. He has his favourites of course but he usually asks if I can help him set up the Hot Wheels tracks we have previously purchased as he loves watching the cars launch.  I could tell he was eager to try this set the moment he saw the loop pictured on the box.  The aim of the game is to strategically launch a car at the right time into the rotating circle. There is a launcher on either side of the track and once both cars are released, they will then loop at speed around the track until one crashes out, the last car racing is the winner. This toy does require adult assembly and is suitable for ages 5+ as it requires hand and eye coordination. I was stunned by how incredibly fast the cars go once they are in the loop. There is an on/off switch should the cars stop and get stuck inside. The first time I operated the loop I hadn’t secured one of the track pieces and a car flew out which startled me but I realised my error.

Although I set up the toy relatively quickly which I was really  happy about I completely forgot that it takes 4xD size batteries and you’ll need a small cross head screw driver. Luckily I had both but they are needed to operate this toy and one other point I should mention is that I personally thought it was a little noisy once switched on.  Jay didn’t seem to mind the noise and once we started playing with the toy it’s easy to forget as the focus shifts to timing the launch of the cars.  He is able to place the cars ready for launch and does a far better job than me at getting them to whizz inside the loop! The two cars that come with the set are bright and well made.

The RRP for the Hot Wheels Roto Revolution is £49.99 and is available at all good toy stores. Jay enjoys playing with this track set and even Grandad and Grandma joined in as it has that competitive element to it. With only a few weeks left until Christmas this would make a great gift for any Hot Wheels fan.

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

 

*Disclosure: We were sent the above toy for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are my own.