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12jane

12jane
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Member since: 05.07.2010

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      07.12.2013 23:51
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      Lovely coffee!

      While working in a bed and breakfast last summer, I discovered the Tu Plastic 3 cup cafetiere. I had never used filter coffee before, but soon learnt how easy it was to make, and how good it tastes!

      The cafetiere is very simple to use (unlike the word cafetiere is to type!!). Simply place the desired amount of ground coffee in the base, add boiling water and insert the plunger. Push the plunger down and pour the coffee. It is best to allow the plunger to fall down slowly, and use gentle pressure to push it down.

      Do not force the plunger down, or the coffee will flood out and the granules will mix with the filtered coffee, making a mess and undrinkable coffee.

      I find that using this cafetiere makes 2 mugs of coffee so 3 the cups in the name means 3 small cups. It is 17cm high and 11cm in diameter.

      After use, I immediately remove the plunger, and rinse out the coffee grains. These are best thrown on a compost heap or food waste bin, as there is rather a lot to keep throwing them down the drain. I then soak the cafetiere in hot soapy water, which has so far prevented any stains forming.

      The cafetiere is not dishwasher safe, which was a bit of a pain when I worked in the B&B, as everything else was chucked in the dishwasher. I have dropped my cafetiere a few times, and have not caused any cracks, so it is fairy sturdy. It is made of plastic, with the black parts being matt-effect plastic.

      Available to purchase from Sainsburys stores or online for only £6.50! Overall I think that this is a great cafetiere, and for this price I have to give it 5 stars, as it is strong, easy to use, makes delicious coffee and is cheap!!

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      • Cakes / Recipe / 55 Readings / 55 Ratings
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        29.11.2013 21:17
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        A lovely sweet chocolate cake

        For half the year, I live in a student dorm with shared kitchen. We do not have an oven, so use a microwave or hotplate for most of our cooking. As someone with a very sweet tooth, I crave cake a lot, so not having an oven was a big problem at first!

        So over the last 18 months I have tried many different recipes, altering them to my needs. This is the best one that I have found so far. Microwave cakes are not like oven cooked cakes, they will go dry quickly, so are best made 1 or 2 portions at a time and eaten immediately. I prefer to eat mine the a minute or two after it comes out of the microwave, while it is still hot.

        Ingredients:
        1 egg
        1/2 cup flour
        1/4 cup milk
        1/4 cup sugar
        1/4 teaspoon baking powder
        2 tablespoons margarine
        2 tablespoons chocolate powder
        pinch salt

        Method: Mix sugar and margarine, add egg and beat. Add half the flour, then the milk and stir. Add the baking powder, chocolate and salt to the flour, then stir it all into the mix. Beat everything until the mix is smooth. Microwave for 2.40 min to 3 mins depending on how you like it cooked, and your microwave wattage. Enjoy!

        I use Tesco Value Cocoa Powder, or carob if I have any. I also occasionally use water rather than milk, if I am out of milk, which works in desperate times, although the margarine doesn't mix in as well as it should. I use a 5inch plastic microwavable bowl. A smaller bowl would mean a longer cooking time. This is enough cake for either one chocoholic to eat until they almost feel sick, or two people to enjoy as a quick pudding.
        Sometimes I make a chocolate icing and pour this over the top, to make the cake extra sickly!

        5 minutes from start to finish, what more could you ask!!

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          24.11.2013 19:13
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          A good site for taking surveys on!

          www.rewarded-opinions.co.uk

          I signed up to Rewarded Opinions several months ago, doing the odd survey every now and then, and recently cashed out, so thought I would write a review today. After cashing out, I came across the reviews for Rewarded Opinions on here, which worried me as all but one are negative! However I am pleased to announce that I have received my money with no problems.

          The website is a simple design, grey and blue. There is a UK and USA version, so you need to make sure that you are on the correct version before logging in (a mistake I have made a few times!). Signing up to the site is very simple, just fill in your details and you are away. The first 6 short profiling surveys pay £1.05 in total.

          The surveys are sent by email, sometimes I don't get any for weeks, other times 2-3 in a day. I assume this depends on your demographics, as I am very rarely disqualified from their surveys, unlike other sites. The surveys 27-75 points each, and one point is one pence. The surveys are on a variety of topics, many about shopping (Christmas themed at the moment), and take an average of 5-10 minutes.

          I also like the fact that this site remembers the answers to several questions, the typical ones you get at the start of a survey, such as gender and country, so you don't have to fill it in every time, just to click that everything is correct.

          The cashout threshold is at £20, which is an average limit. I was at £20.15 when I cashed out, and received the full amount 13 days later. It advertises that the payment takes 2-4 weeks to receive so this was earlier than I expected.

          Rewarded Opinions offers a referral programme, which pays a generous £1.50 per person referred (pm if anyone would like my referral code ;) Thanks!)

          Overall a great site, that I would recommend if you want to earn some pocket money, but as with any survey site, its not a get rich quick scheme!

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            09.10.2013 20:37
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            Pink deodorant!

            *Adidas Fruity Rhythm*

            Adidas Fruity Rhythm is a perfumed deodorant for women. It comes in a bright pink aerosol can, in 75ml or 150ml sizes. My review is for the 75ml size, which is a perfect size to keep in your handbag. It is made by Adidas and has the Adidas logo in white on the neck of the canister.

            Adidas Fruity Rhythm is made in Poland and the canister is extremely flammable, so it should be stored out of the sunlight and heat, as with other aerosol cans. It is around 5 inches in height, and comes with a bright pink, plastic, dome shaped lid, which is easy to remove.

            The deodorant is advertised for 24 hour freshness, although I have found that the scent wears off after 4-6 hours, but it does stop me smelling sweaty for a while longer. I always reapply it if I am going out in the evening without showering, to make sure I stay fresh all night long.

            To apply the spray, simply hold the can 6 inches away from the body, and press the top. There is a white area where the spray is dispensed, so a perfect aim is always achieved, There is also a curved top, with a groove to place your finger in to press the spray. The can narrows near the top, making it very easy and comfortable to hold.

            The scent of the spray is a sweet, fruity, slightly floral smell. It is not chemically at all, unlike similar deodorants. I cannot pinpoint what the exact scent is, but it certainly goes with the pink, girly design. I have received several compliments and been asked what my scent is, and surprised replies when I say its an Adidas spray, and not a fancy perfume.

            Ingredients: Butane-Isobutane-Propane, Alcohol Denat., Fragrance (parfum), Propylene Glycol, Triethyl Citrate, Linalool, Farnesol, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Geraniol, Citronellol and Citral.

            I purchased my 75ml can of Fruity Rhythm from my local pound shop, and have seen it in Savers for around a pound. I will definitely repurchase this spray, as well as trying others in the range, and have already recommended it to a friend.

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              23.09.2013 21:47
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              Make a list

              10 things to take on holiday!

              As I live abroad for half the year, I am a frequent flier. Here are the 10 most important items that I take with me everywhere I go.

              1. Passport - I won't get far without my passport.
              2. Money - I always carry some British money for use while travelling (not forgetting I may need some on the journey home) and some of the local currency for my destination. I take a pre-paid currency card with most of my money on, which usually means I get a better exchange rate.
              3. Boarding Pass and other travel documents - I travel to and from the airport by train, so book my trains in advance and print the tickets.
              4. Mobile Phone - To keep in touch with family while I'm travelling. Make sure you set your phone so that it doesn't cost the Earth to use abroad!
              5. My laptop - An easy way of contacting the outside world while I'm away (and of course to do my work on!). Most places now have free wifi cafes etc. to connect.
              6. My Digital Camera - To keep a record of all the wonderful sights and places I visit. Don't forget a memory card as well if you take lots of photos.
              7. Chargers - I need the chargers for my laptop, mobile and camera to keep them alive.
              8. Adaptor plugs - A few of these will mean I can easily charge my electronics at the same time. Make sure you check which type of plug you need for your destination country.
              9. Make up and personal hygiene products - It is not easy to find your favourite items abroad, and they may be more expensive. I take my own with me, although don't forget that liquids must be in containers of 100ml or less to take in the cabin of a plane.
              10. Clothes - Clothes are essential (unless you are going on a nudist holiday.. and even then you need travelling clothes). Take a selection for hot/cold/wet weather, unless you are sure it will be only one type of weather. If you plan to do much walking as opposed to lying on the beach, take a pair or two of comfy walking shoes/boots.

              These are the 10 most important things I need for a holiday, what are yours?

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              • Onions / Plant / 103 Readings / 102 Ratings
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                15.09.2013 22:56
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                I love onions, do you?

                Owww my eye!!!

                *The onion- Allium Cepa*

                I'm sure we all recognise the onion, a root vegetable with many uses. It is commonly used raw in salads, fried in onion rings, sautéed and boiled, as well as the pickled onion, often seen on the bar in country pubs. Did you know that humans have been eating onions for around 7,000 years? Onions were one of the first plants taken to America by the early settlers.

                Allium Cepa is the latin name for the species we call onion, although there are many different varieties. Other varieties of this species are shallots and potato onions. We know that onions come in red and white colours, but did you know that some onions (Egyptian onions) grow in onion trees?

                With only 40kcal in 100g of onions, and 89% water content, onions are a great food to add flavour without excessive calories to a meal. Chopped very finely, they are barely noticeable when cooked. (A great way to get extra veg into children who say they hate onions!)

                *Owww my eye!*

                Yes chopping onions can make the eyes sting and weep. There are many old wives tale's such as sucking a tea spoon or eating bread, to help prevent this. I find the best way is to chop the onions in a space with plenty of fresh air, so by a breezy door is great, or even outdoors. There is a variety of onions which have recently been genetically modified to silence the gene that irritates the eyes, but that doesn't sit well with me, I want proper onions!

                I learnt that it was best to cut onions in an open, well ventilated space in my summer job, where I often cut 40+ kg of onions every day! I found that the best way to chop an onion was to use a sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom, peel the onion, cut in half, slice one way, without going right to the edge, then slice the other way. This gets you nice small pieces. And do not send onions to the boys to chop or they will get bored and send back massive chunks!

                *Growing*

                Onions are quite an easy vegetable to grow, and my family have grown them for years. We always have a few red onions, for eating raw in salads, and white onions for everything else. I love to add fried onions to stir fries, minced beef and tomato sauces, to add some flavour, bulk and thicken the sauces.

                Onions grow best in well drained, sandy soil, as with carrots. A low sulphur soil helps keep the onions sweet. They can be purchased as seeds or small plants and should be planted in early spring, in rows 9-12" apart with the plants 2-4" apart. Bulbs begin to grow as the days get longer, so a good sunny summer will produce lovely onions. They are harvested in autumn, dried and stored to eat as required.

                *Storage*

                Onions are best stored in a cool, dark, dry place, in a mesh bag that is well ventilated. Damp places will cause the onions to quickly rot, plastic will make them sweat and light will make them start to grow. I once put an onion in the fridge before going away and came back to find an onion with a foot long stalk growing from it! Onions should not be stored close to other foods, as they will absorb the smell.

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                  09.09.2013 17:19
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                  An ok book if used with others.

                  As a student of veterinary science, I rely on a LOT of books in my course. Many are textbooks, costing up to several hundred pounds each. However, there are also cheaper and less comprehensive books I need that are equally useful in my studies. This review is on one of those books, called the Black's Student Veterinary Dictionary, which is edited by Edward Boden.

                  *What is it?*

                  Black's Student Veterinary Dictionary is a 800 page book which contains thousands of entries of various ailments, symptoms and drugs over a whole range of animals, from domestic to farm and wild animals. Like any "normal" dictionary it starts from A-Z starting at Abamectin (an avermectin used in cattle as an ectoparasiticide and endoparaciticide) all the way to Zygote (the body that results from the fertilisation of an egg cell by a sperm). This is obviously the easiest way to find what you're looking for, though it might have been easier to organise sections in groups of drugs, diseases, etc. I prefer it to be alphabetised.

                  I find that some entries don't have as much detail as I would like, and some that I expect to be in there are missing, such as when I was recently interested in looking up the symptoms of lungworm and was unable to find it. But overall there is usually enough detail to remind me what something is, and to help me understand something. It is not a book to use for revision, but more to use when you hear one or two words while at the vets and aren't sure what they mean. It is a more reliable than the alternative - Google.

                  The dimensions of the book are 4.2 x 14 x 21.6 cm so its a rather bulky book at approx 1kg in weight. It is a paperback book, with green covers, featuring an image of a horse. Inside there is a preface, describing the history of the book, including its many editions since it was first published in 1928. At the back there is a list of useful addresses, such as the RSPCA and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Personally I have never used these addresses, but it's nice to know they are there.

                  *Who for?*

                  As the title states, the dictionary is for veterinary students. As a second year student myself I received this book as a Christmas present. I would recommend this book to vet students and possibly vetinary nurses. It is not for the general public, as it would probably confuse and worry them, in the same way googling your symptoms usually makes you think you have a brain tumour or some other fatal disease!

                  *Where from?*

                  The Black's Student Veterinary Dictionary can be purchased from Amazon for £10.34, reduced from the RRP of £14.99.

                  I award this book 3 stars, as it isn't detailed enough to be used in revision, but is too big and bulky to be a pocket guide. Definitely one for any vet's shelf though!

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                    31.07.2013 22:49
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                    A great cleaning pad!

                    We received a demister pad with our car, from the previous owners as the windscreen mists up easily. When that pad became old and stained, I went to Halfords to purchase a new one and came back with a couple of Halfords natural demister pads in size small.

                    When the temperature inside the car is different to outside, the car windscreen and windows soon mist up. These pads are great at demisting the glass, without leaving streaks. They glide along the glass, absorbing everything and leaving a clean, dry glass.

                    The pads are advertised as being ideal for use in the home, car or boat, and today I tried using one in the home. I was cleaning the ceiling ready for redecorating (awful job!) and after getting arm ache 1/4 of the way, I wondered what else I could use to make the job easier.

                    Out came the demister pad, and wow! It absorbed water easily, and gradually released it on the ceiling without dripping all over me. The pad made cleaning the ceiling a breeze, it removed all the dust and grime from our open fire, without needing much elbow grease! I wiped the ceiling with every side of the pad before rinsing it, saving water and time washing the pad. I am going to get some more of these pads to use to clean the house now.

                    The size of these pads is 4cm x 12cm x 17cm which is a good size to hold in the hand. They are yellow in colour, with a seam on each side. They are soft to the touch, and at £2.99 each they are a bargain.

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                    • Toolbox Super Glue / Homeware / 105 Readings / 104 Ratings
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                      18.07.2013 22:02
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                      Glues everything!

                      *Toolbox Superglue 8 x 3g*

                      This superglue is one I purchased from Poundland. They come in a pack of 8, 3g tubes. The small tubes make them great for using for small jobs, to minimise waste. The packaging is black and yellow, and each tube comes with a screw on nozzle and cap. The cap has a pin which is used to open the seal of the tube. To open, remove the nozzle and cap, then turn the cap upside down and pierce the seal. Replace the nozzle and use.

                      I have used this glue many times, most recently to glue a screw back into the kitchen cupboard hinge, as I had ripped it out by accident the other day. It is now working perfectly, the glue dried quickly and securely. The glue is a clear liquid, that comes out of the tube easily, simply squeeze the end of the tube and it flows out. It can be used on china, wood, metal, rubber, leather, card and most plastics. The glue dries within minutes, so you need to get the surfaces together quickly after applying the glue.

                      I have also used this to glue my sandal back together when the strap started to come apart. I cleaned the shoe, glued both sides, then used a peg to hold the shoe together while it dried. By the next day it was stuck tight and several weeks later I am still wearing my sandals with no problems.

                      The only problem I had was when I opened the first tube, it burst out and exploded all over my hand and jeans. I kept my fingers separate and quickly removed my jeans. The glue began to burn my leg and afterwards I tried to pick the glue off but it left a hole in my jeans! I left it to dry on my hand and picked it off after a few hours, but had I let my fingers touch each other for more than a second, they would have stuck quickly. The other tubes were fine and didn't explode, so I'm not sure what was wrong with the first one.

                      Available from Poundland stores and online for only £1 for 8 tubes.

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                        17.07.2013 19:22
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                        A great paint

                        My Great Aunty recently asked me to do some odd jobs for her, due to her being unable to do them herself as she is waiting for a hip replacement. One of which was painting her garden fence and her paint of choice was the Cuprinol 5 year Ducksback in the Autumn Brown colour.

                        First I scrubbed the fence with sugar soap, removing any spiderwebs, mould and green sludge. Then I rinsed it with clean water and fetched the paint. As it was a hot day, it took no time for the fence to dry. I opened the can of paint by levering a small chisel around the lid. The can and lid are made of plastic, but it took a few goes to get the lid off.

                        I used a 4 inch paint brush to do the majority of the fence, with a 2 inch one to use on the corners and edges as well as the fancy bits on the top of each post. This worked well and meant that I got a good even coverage of paint fairly quickly.

                        Cuprinol say that 5 Liters of this paint covers up to 24m² or 8 fence panels (1 coat), and 9 Liters covers 43m² or 15 fence panels (1 coat). I painted 5 sections of a post and rail fence with about half the 5 litre can, so this seems right. One coat of paint was enough for us, as the paint had been painted in a similar colour in the past.

                        The Cuprinol website says 'Cuprinol 5 Year Ducksback has an advanced, wax enriched and non-drip formulation, that colours and weatherproofs sheds and fences for up to 5 years. Cuprinol 5 year Ducksback is quick drying, low odour and safe to use around plants and pets.' I found that it did drip a little, so after each section I checked and wiped any drips.

                        The paint is supposed to be dry within 2-4 hours and showerproof in an hour. The day I was painting, it was very hot, and the paint was drying almost as fast as I was putting it on! I had to paint each strip/section fairly quickly, to ensure an even coverage, due to this. The paint looked and felt dry within 20 minutes of painting.

                        The paint is quite thick and needed a good stir before starting painting. It is a terracotta colour when wet, which was a surprise, but it soon darkens when it dries, to the Autumn Brown colour on the tin. I did get a few splashes of paint on my hands and clothes. It was simple to wash the paint off my hands with soapy water, but there is a couple of stains on my jeans where the paint was, so it is always best to use old clothes when decorating. The paint was easy to wash off the paint brushes in water.

                        The Cuprinol Ducksback paint is available in the following colours: Autumn Brown, Forest Green, Forest Oak, Harvest Brown, Autumn Gold, Rich Cedar, Woodland Moss and Silver Copse. 5 Liters of the paint costs £15.99 from Homebase.

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                      • Nivea Pure Fine Talc / Body Care / 72 Readings / 71 Ratings
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                        15.07.2013 21:39
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                        A great talcum powder

                        *Nivea Pure Fine Talc*

                        Having suffered from athlete's foot in the past, I always make sure that I dry my feet thoroughly after a bath/shower, and use talcum powder. I buy whatever brand is cheapest, and my most recent purchase was the Nivea Pure Fine Talc.

                        The Talc comes in a white plastic bottle, with a blue plastic lid. The lid is turned anticlockwise to open and clockwise to close, and there are 6 holes located around the lid, which open to release the powder. The powder is white, with a sweet scent, and it makes me think of lemons/ a citrus scent. It is a thick powder, almost like flour in appearance.

                        On the back of the bottle there are directions, which are a simple 'Smooth over the body after a bath or shower'. There is a warning to keep the powder away from children's nose and mouth (although Im not sure adults would like it in their nose/mouth either...). The 300g bottle should be used within 12 months of opening.

                        Nivea Pure Fine Talc is made by Beiersdorf UK, a german company. The ingredients are: Talc, Limonene, Hydroxycitrontellal, Geraniol, Linalool, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Citral, Benzyl Salicylate and Parfum.

                        The talc is said to 'absorb moisture, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth' and I find that it is great at going this. My feet feel nice and soft after use, and stay dry and sweet smelling all day. I have also used this talc as a replacement for dry shampoo in emergencies, (when I oversleep) and sprinkling a small amount on my hairbrush and brushing it through works well to remove the greasy appearance.

                        I purchased this Talc from Savers for £1.29, but saw afterwards that it is sold in Morrisons for only £1. (annoying!)

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                      • Hibiscrub / Hand & Nail Care / 75 Readings / 73 Ratings
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                        14.07.2013 23:09
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                        First aid kit essential!

                        *Hibiscrub*

                        While working in the vets I discovered Hibiscrub. It is a pink liquid used in veterinary practices and hospitals as an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial handwash. Thats a lot of anti- somethings!
                        It is uses to scrub the hands of surgeons before surgery, to 'scrub-up' - clean the hands and prevent microorganisms on the skin from being passed into the patient. It is a disinfectant with the active ingredient being Chlorhexidine Gluconate 4% w/v.

                        Hibiscrub is used to clean wounds and their surrounding area, before and after surgery. It is an essential part of your pet first aid kit. It is commonly kept by horse owners. It can also be used to treat skin conditions and is advertised as being able to kill MRSA. Hibiscrub is used to clean the thermometers and disinfect tables in the veterinary practice.

                        It is a thick liquid, which can be poured onto the hands, or a pump lid can be purchased to insert into the bottle to pump the product out. The scent is sweet, floral, not a bleachy chemical smell and I love it. It reminds me of the vets as soon as I smell it. The colour is a lovely bright pink, and it is quite a shiny liquid.

                        Hibiscrub comes in a plastic bottle,with screw lid, in many sizes including 250ml, 500ml, 1litre and 5litres. It is available to purchase on Amazon, where 500ml costs £6.76 at present with free delivery. Also available to purchase from vet practices, pet shops and Boots and other pharmacies.

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                          14.07.2013 17:10
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                          Great for cleaning grease

                          Living on a farm, we always have a tub of Swarfega in the utility room cabinet, as the men often need it to clean their hands after working with tractors etc. Swarfega is a gel substance, used to remove paint, grease and oil from the skin, making it perfect for mechanics, farmers etc. It has been produced by Deb Limited since 1947.

                          Swarfega works by thinning and separating hydrophobic substances (ones that do not like, and will not dissolve in water, like grease and oil based paint).Thanks to my uncle getting grease and oil all over the spanners which I have just used this morning to fix the toilet (the water wasnt running into the cistern, due to a frog's leg being stuck in a pipe! We have well water and the toilet is the first stop in the house, so that is where any debris that gets through the filter ends up.), I have had to use Swarfega today.

                          It is applied to dry skin, rubbed all over, as you would with soap, until the problem substance is loosened (which doesn't take long at all) and washed off with warm water. Only a small amount of product is needed to clean the hands, so one tub lasts quite a while. I love this product, as it makes cleaning my hands so much easier, and the men in my family love it as it is quick, easy to use, and means that they don't leave the bar of soap filthy!

                          The name Swarfega comes from "swarf", being the old engineering term for oil and grease, and "-ega", as in "eager to clean". It comes in a red plastic tub, with black plastic screw on lid. The product itself is a green gel, and it is easy to scoop a bit out of the tub.

                          Swarfega comes in several sizes, 275ml-priced at £2.86 on Amazon, 500ml priced at £4.45 and 1l at £6.49. Also available to purchase from hardware stores and garages. This is the original classic Swarfega, but there is also a heavy duty version available.

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                          • O'Tom Tick Remover / Dog Accessory / 65 Readings / 63 Ratings
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                            13.07.2013 19:06
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                            Kill those ticks!

                            Living in the country and owning several dogs, ticks are sadly not an uncommon squatter in my house. I have tried many things over the years to remove them, from tweezers, neem oil, vaseline etc. My dogs are treated with Frontline, but they do still get ticks, as the ticks dont die until the dog's blood gets into their system and the Frontline poisons them, taking up to 48 hours.

                            My Springer Spaniel recently had a large tick on her. This tick was in her armpit, and I noticed she was scratching, had a look and found the blighter. I smothered it with Vaseline, and waited for it to die. But when it died I had trouble getting it out, and had a grumpy dog at the end of 10 minutes of carefully prizing the dead tick out of her skin, as his head was embedded quite deep. This worried me that bacteria could have been pushed into my dog's skin. So I decided there must be another way to remove ticks, and hunted online.

                            Ta-da! On Amazon I discovered the O'Tom Tick twisters, which come in a pack of two, and are advertised to 'Enable painless, quick, and complete removal of ticks from your animal's skin.' At only £3.80, I decided that it was worth trying, so purchased a pair. One thing to note, is that on Amazon, these are an add-on item, so can not be purchased alone. (I treated myself to a new pair of garden shears at the same time, so that my order would go over £10 and qualify me to purchase the tick removers as well, and get free delivery.)

                            Today we went for a walk in the woods, and my Golden Retriever came back with a tick on her face, where she had been nosing around in bracken, on the scent of something. I was annoyed to see a tick on her, but excited to try out my new gadgets! I went to fetch the packet and read the instructions.

                            The tick twisters are made of green plastic, are lightweight at only 9g and approx 2 inches long. They are dishwasher safe. They have a handle which is easy to hold, then a thinner section, followed by the hook at the bottom to remove the tick. There is a slit where the tick goes (as seen in the picture above).

                            Using the tick twisters is very simple. Simply select the size of tick twister (there are two sizes in a pack, so small or large ticks), slide it along under the tick's body, so that it is in the slit, and twist. I was amazed when I lifted the tick remover, and away came the tick. No pain, no effort, no upset. Then it was time to kill the tick, and I happily squashed the thing. Problem Solved!

                            If your pet ever gets ticks, then make sure you have a pack of these!!

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                            • Fallen - Lauren Kate / Fiction Book / 61 Readings / 60 Ratings
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                              11.07.2013 20:08
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                              *Fallen by Lauren Kate*

                              When looking for an English book to read in a Slovakian book shop, I came across Fallen by Lauren Kate. I chose it as I am one of the girls who fell in love with the supernatural after reading Twilight, (and went on to read lots of much better vampire fiction!). Although there are no vampires in Fallen, it does have an angel as one of the main characters.

                              The main character in Fallen is Lucinda Price, Luce to her friends, who is a seventeen year old girl, sent to reform school after the mysterious death of her friend Trevor.

                              At Sword and Cross School, in Georgia, Luce soon makes a few friends, admirers and enemies! There is a boy called Cam who takes an instant like to Luce, but can he be trusted? It is not Cam that Luce thinks about though, but Daniel, the strange (and gorgeous!) boy who avoids Luce, is rude and generally unlikable. Yet for some reason, he is never far from her thoughts.

                              Luce is sure she has met Daniel in the past, was it in a mall? At a party? Or.....? Soon she is dreaming about him, and when somebody saves her from another mysterious accident, who can it be?

                              Who can be trusted at Swords and Cross, and who should be avoided? Can anybody be trusted? Even her parents, who have left her at this place, where mobile phones are banned, and CCTV cameras watch your every move.

                              I loved reading this book, and will be buying the sequel 'Torment' when I have an Amazon voucher to use. At the end of Fallen, there is an extract from Torment to tempt you to purchase it. Fallen is the first in a quartet of books following the life of Luce.

                              The information from Amazon is as follows:
                              Paperback: 480 pages
                              Publisher: Corgi Childrens (1 July 2010)
                              Language: English
                              ISBN-10: 0552561738
                              ISBN-13: 978-0552561730
                              Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
                              RRP: £6.99
                              Price: £3.85 new, used from £0.01 plus P&P


                              At 450 pages, Fallen is a long book, and it is full of description, which to be honest by the last few chapters I skipped a lot, reading only the dialogue to find out what happened in the end.

                              I award 4 stars to Fallen, as it is a good read for those interested in the supernatural, although I feel that the end was quite drawn out. Unlike many books in this genre, it is also suitable for younger readers in my opinion, as there are no sex scenes, swearing etc. and although there are a couple of violent scenes, they are not too descriptive.

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