Readly review 2017

Readly Review

Readly review 2017

Are you a big magazine reader?  Me, not so much.  With some spare time on my hands I could happily flick through a magazine on food or music or interiors, but I’d never go out of my way to buy a magazine.  I have a blog reader set up (Feedly) so that I can catch up with all of my favourite blogs in one place when I get the chance, and that satiates my magazine reading itch.

Also, I don’t find WH Smith a fun place to shop.  I hate being hassled at the checkout to buy their special offer chocolate or bottled water, when I just came in to buy a magazine.  Just me?

My partner, on the other hand, has varied specialist interests.  Some of these include graphic design, photography, drumming, making music, gardening…  I could go on!  Anyway, he would buy a couple of magazines a month, and would have easily bought more but at £5+ a pop, it’s a pricey habit, so always limited himself.

A few months ago we saw an advert on TV for an online magazine service called Readly, a magazine subscription app that sounded too good to be true.  With Readly, you can access thousands of big name (and smaller) magazines from around the world, through your mobile, tablet or computer for a flat monthly fee, allowing you to read as much or as little as you want.  Too good to be true, right?

It sounded like there should be a catch, but we read a bit about Readly, and couldn’t see anything about a catch, so signed up for a free month long trial to try it out.  Here’s my Readly Review:

readly review

Readly Review

After the month long trial, we found we loved Readly so much that we signed up for a subscription.  And a good six or so months on of using Readly we still haven’t found the catch.  We’ve been paying the fixed monthly price of £7.99 a month for unlimited access to over 1900 new magazines (and up to 12 months of their back issues) from all over the world.  I’ve been enjoying flicking through whatever magazine takes my fancy, whenever the mood strikes, and I don’t feel guilty if I’m not paying my full attention to the magazine, or idly skimming through articles.  You can cancel a Readly subscription at any time, so you aren’t locked into any fixed term contracts either.

My partner and I have each set up our own profiles on Readly, which saves all of your favourites and offers recommendations based on what you’ve been reading.  You can save up to five profiles, which is handy for families.   Most magazines are available for reading on the day of publication, and you get a notification from Readly when one of your favourites has published a new issue.  My favourites on Readly include Delicious, Mollie Makes, Olive Magazine, and Veggie magazine, but there are so many different titles and types of magazines on offer (even kids titles) that it’s difficult to list them all here.

You can access Readly through a variety of platforms – from tablets, phones, laptops and desktop computers.  I’ve tried it on a laptop and tablet, but I think it works best on a tablet.  Flicking through a magazine is easy – if you have a tablet it’s simply a case of swiping the page over with your finger, whilst on a laptop it’s a case of clicking through to the next  page.

The magazine streams to your device, rather than being downloaded meaning you can read within seconds of opening up the app.  However you can also download magazines for when you are going to be somewhere without internet access – e.g. a bus or a train, so you can still access magazines on the go.

What I’m not 100% sure of is what the impact on the magazine publishing industry is.  From what I can understand Readly pay publishers based on the number of pages read and the time spent on each page.  So publishers get more money per magazine that is read rather than quickly flicked through.   This data also provides publishers with deep insights into how their content is being consumed, which is useful for deciding which features work and don’t work.

Whether this is a good or a bad thing, all in, I don’t know.  Perhaps for people like me that don’t buy magazines particularly often, then these magazines are gaining readers (and therefore eyes on the advertisements they run) that they wouldn’t normally have then Readly is a good thing for publishers.  What I don’t know is if you replace a magazine subscription for a Readly subscription, what the difference that has for the magazine publishing industry.

What I do is that all in all we’ve really been enjoying using Readly.  It’s saving us a little bit of money a month, has expanded our reading options massively, and means that we’re not using so much paper/resources, which is always a plus point.  And if you have Readly in lieu of a magazine subscription then it saves the magazine being posted in one of those annoying plastic magazine wrappers.

Have you used Readly?  What do you think of it?  And do you understand the magazine publishing industry better than I do?  Is Readly a good or bad thing for the publishing industry?


It goes without saying that I have no affiliation with Readly, I just wanted to share a find that I’ve been enjoying using.  Sponsored posts are always disclosed at the top of each post as such :)  

Homemade Scouring Powder Recipe

citrus scouring powder

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My love of green cleaning is widely known.  But it might surprise you to hear I am not a lover of cleaning or housework.  I like having a clean and tidy house, but the actual cleaning and tidying part?  There’s no love lost.  My household cleaning philosophy is it gets cleaned when it’s dirty, and if we have people coming over I will clean and tidy a bit more than normal, but otherwise I have no cleaning schedule or anything like that apart from hoovering regularly, and tidying things away when it needs it.

My hope is that when my daughters are older they will remember me sitting on the floor building Lego houses with them more than the sparkling clean kitchen sink we always had, or the perfectly clutter free living room.  That’s what I tell myself anyway…

That being said, the kitchen sink does need cleaning sometimes.  We installed a white ceramic kitchen sink when we refurbished our kitchen and it really does show the dirt.  When it does need a good thorough clean I’ve been turning to this homemade scouring powder that I’ve been making for a little while now.

homemade scouring powder recipe

This homemade scouring powder consists of only three simple ingredients but packs a strong punch.  The secret is the citrus peel.  Gently dried and ground finely, it’s packed full of it’s fruit oils, that combined with the abrasiveness of the bicarbonate of soda and salt make light work on dirt and grime.   Beautiful smelling, it’ll leave your sink with a delightful citrus zing.  It’s also a fantastic way of using up citrus peel that might otherwise be binned if you don’t have access to composting facilities.  

I’ve adapted the recipe from Crunchy Betty to give it a bit more scouring power, and boy is it a good one!

It does take a little bit of patience to make but the best things do come to those who wait!

How to Make Homemade Scouring Powder


The peel of one grapefruit or large orange; or two large lemons/limes or clementines.  Whatever you have to hand basically!
2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda* (I buy mine in bulk)
3 tablespoons of coarse salt


Take your citrus fruit peel and tear into small pieces – no larger than the size of a ten pence piece.  Sit the peel on a plate and leave somewhere dry and warm.  My preferred location for the plate at present is on top of the fireguard, beside our wood burning stove.  It’s been drying the peel out really quickly and has the added bonus of sweetly scenting our living room.  Alternatively, place your plate on top of a radiator or on a nice sunny window ledge if you’re somewhere sunny right now (you lucky thing!).

Leave the peel to dry out – turning the peel at least once per day – until the peel is hard and dry.  Depending on where you’re drying your peel, it might take a day to four days.

Place the dry peel in a food processor/blender and blitz until you have a soft, fine powder.

Combine the powdered peel with the bicarbonate of soda and salt and place in a clean dry lidded jar.

Directions For Use

As with any cleaning product, natural or otherwise, always test on an inconspicuous area first.  Once you’re happy you’re good to go:

Sprinkle your scouring powder liberally on to the surface you want to clean.

With a damp cloth simply scrub the area, adding more scrub as you feel is required.

Once finished rinse down the area that you’ve cleaned.

This homemade scouring powder is ideal on ceramic sinks and toilets, but might be too abrasive for acrylic baths/shower trays or some metal sinks.  If you want something a bit gentler you can either omit the salt, use more finely ground salt, or swap the salt for borax substitute*, like in the Crunchy Betty recipe.  If you do use the borax substitute, do make sure you rinse thoroughly once you’re done scrubbing as borax is notoriously difficult to remove once dried!  


Keep your scrub in a clean dry lidded jar.  If you are using salt or borax in your mixture it should keep for around a month, if not it will probably keep for around 2 weeks.  Use your nose and your discretion.

natural sink cleaner