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Bailey2011

Bailey2011
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Member since: 29.10.2011

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      19.11.2011 20:05
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      Great basic litter which smells okay and lasts for ages

      Cat litter is the bain of my life at the minute because my kitten is getting to the stage where he is nearly old enough to venture outside. He now tries to dig in everything, especially his litter. After trying anti dust, scented and clumping litters I decided to try wooden litter because I had heard good things about it.

      I tend to visit Pets at Home quite frequently (I love looking at all the hamsters and rabbits) and this is where I noticed their Lightweight Non Clumping Wood Pellet Cat litter (quite a mouthful!) The difference between this and other cat litter is obvious - rather than small grains of litter, the wooden litter comes in small pellets (wooden cylinders) about an inch long each. The wooden litter doesn't clump like standard clay versions but it does break down into tiny grains when wet.

      The litter isn't scented and it doesn't smell as harsh as clay based litters, in fact it actually smells like fresh cut sawdust which isn't too unpleasant. Available in 5, 15 and 30L sizes there is something suitable for most needs. The litter bags are priced very reasonable at £2.69, £5.79 and £9.99 (30L currently on offer at 2 for £18) a little more expensive compared to most brands but you get value in the length of time a bag lasts.

      So how long does a bag last? I typically buy the 15L bag as the 30L is a little too large to store conveniently unless you have a large spare cupboard. The 15L bag lasts about two-three weeks whereas the equivalent in a clay based litter would usually last just over a week before I'd need to dash and buy more.

      I find that with the wooden litter, it lasts nearly twice as long because you don't need to use as much and when you remove any evidence you don't take half as much of the litter with it unlike the clumping litters.

      My kitten prefers the wooden litter too which means he is more willing to use his tray - the more traditional litters used to get stuck in his paws and as a result would be trodden into the carpets or strewn across the wooden floors. The wooden litter is much easier to pick up or sweep away if he does decide to dig around - thank goodness!

      So would you consider any other litter? Well yes I suppose I would but only because Tesco now do a wooden litter in a 10L bag for the same price as the Pets at Home 5L bag. The Pets at Home litter has no additional features that the Tesco one does but I find it convenient to buy when I'm in the shop especially as it is usually on offer.

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      19.11.2011 19:41
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      Scented litter tray liners which really are more hassle than they're worth.

      Until my kitten is old enough and big enough for me to be brave and let him outside, I have been trying allsorts of things to make cleaning his litter tray easier. Litter tray liners seem like the perfect thing just to pick up and get rid of, scented litter tray liners seem even better because then it might not smell quite so offensive!

      I ordered the Armitage Scented Good Girl Litter tray Liners from netpetshop.co.uk when I was ordering some toys and a cat carrier - may aswell get all of the essentials at one - and thought I would give them a go. Currently priced at 54p down from £1.81 they seem like an absolute bargain especially as there are 6 liners in a pack.

      When they arrived I tore them open and hit with an overwhelming smell of babypowder/flowers/perfume and to be honest I found it a little sickening. Luckily once you cover them with the litter, the litter masks the smell and unless you're really close to the tray, you won't have to smell it again until you pull the liner out.

      The idea is that you use it like a carrier bag and just pick the sides up with all the litter and mess then throw it away. If only. What the pack doesn't tell you is that the base of the bag has seams like a standard carrier bag so it is easy for your cat/kitten to get litter under the folds and even better they can tear holes in the liner whilst it's in the tray. Great. When it was time to get rid of the first liner I still had to get a bag out to put everything in so it was firstly not very environmentally friendly but secondly very inconvenient and quite messy (which obviously I hoped we'd got round)

      As I had a pack of 6 I decided to give them another chance and exactly the same thing happened again. Litter under the folds and little kitten claw holes straight through the bag so there might as well not have been anything there.

      At this point the rest of the litter tray liners went in the bag with the dirty litter and I went back to newspaper which I had been using prior to this. It's harder to get claws through and is easier to slide out the tray straight into a bag (and once I've read the paper it's technically free).

      At 54p they would have been a bargain if they had worked but they didn't work at all and the scent was off putting. For that 54p I could have put it towards a paper to read and the use or towards the p&p of my order.

      Will I be buying these again? Not even if you paid me.

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      19.11.2011 19:16
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      A great handy wipe for cat litter trays

      All cat owners will know just how bad a cat litter tray can smell and how much of a pain in can be to clean when your little fluffy bundle of joy is rushing around your feet or trying to use the tray while you clean it (maybe thats just me?!) Anything that makes that task a bit more convenient is welcome into my home and this is where I came across the Pets at Home Antimicrobial Litter Tray wipes.

      By coating the litter tray with Byotrol the wipes promise to destroy bacteria and deodorise the tray. Brilliant but what is Byotrol?? Well, after a bit of research, Byotrol is a combination of biocides and polymers whose structures form in such a way that an invisible film is left behind to reduce.prevent the regrowth of bacteria. If you want to read more please visit the Byotrol website (byotrol.co.uk) but please be warned that it is very scientific and full of jargon - most of which goes well over my head. Please be assured that the wipes are safe to use - Byotrol is used in most industries from hospital cleaning through to bakeries and is certified against the following:

      The products are covered and included in the European BPD & REACH
      EPA and FDA in the United States
      Byotrol formulations have been tested against the most stringent test methodologies including BS:EN 1276 Standard, BS:EN 13697 Standard, BS:EN 1650 Standard, BS:EN 14476 Standard, Residual Abrasion Testing methodologies, alongside many other tests. (like I said jargon!)

      So know that we all know how great Byotrol is, these wipes must be amazing right?

      I'm not entirely convinced. Yes they are great for wiping the litter tray and I have no doubt that they protect against bacteria but as for the deodorising properties I didn't notice any difference at all. I'm sure that as you're reading this you are well aware of the nasty smells that can come from a litter tray - it's definitely going to take more than a wipe to get rid of the smell for my nostrils.

      Each pack of wipes contains 12 wipes which lasted me about 3 weeks (my kitten is currently indoors so I have to clean his tray quite frequently) for outdoor cats you may only need to use 2-3 a week so you could get over a month out of the pack. Each wipe is thick and a large size - about twice as big as a standard baby wipe. This is great because it means you can wipe around the tray quickly without the wipe splitting or heaven forbid your hand making contact with the tray.

      Priced at £1.99 these wipes are an absolute bargain considering the length of time they last, some sprays and equivalents can cost twice as much. As the name suggests, these are only available in Pets at Home but you can reserve them online or order online - there is an unspecified delivery charge but for a £1.99 pack of wipes I wouldn't bother unless it was part of a larger order.

      So would I buy these again? Without a doubt. Even though the wipes don't eliminate the odours like they promise, I still feel that they work at reducing bacteria which is ultimately what I want. An air freshner or scented candle tend to keep my home smelling nice so I'll forgive the wipes.

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    • Archos Clipper 2 GB / MP3 Player / 10 Readings / 8 Ratings
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      18.11.2011 18:54
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      Mini music player for on the go with massive play power!

      It's nearly Christmas and I have been starting to do my shopping. The first present I have bought is an mp3 player for my music mad but not so tech savvy uncle. I can handle looking and operating mp3 players but this year even I was a bit overwhelmed at the choice available to me!

      I'm familiar with the Archos brand because I recently bought the other half the Archos take on an iPod and needless to say I was so impressed I have now bought their take on the shuffle for my uncle.

      Before I get too into the review, I would like to point out that I have gone through the entire set up process, transferred and played music on the player. I haven't tested the battery power in it's entirety but this is something which I rarely do with my mp3 players.

      The player is a small rounded rectangle shape, no bigger than some of the car key fobs you get nowadays and it has 5 buttons on the front - a central play/pause button flanked on the outside by the volume (+ and -) and track skip (>>| and |<<) buttons. The headphone socket is located on the top left corner to the side of the back skip button. The player has a 2gb capacity which is enough for about 1000 standard songs and supports MP3 and WMA formats (usually Windows Media player and downloaded songs come in these formats). There are 2 play modes - standard in the order of the playlist or shuffle mode which is activated when you hold the play button for 2 seconds.

      There is a red led halfway down the left side of the player which blinks quickly when music plays and slowly when music is paused. There is also a lock button on the right hand side of the player to prevent any unwanted mode changes or inner pocket button pressing accidents.

      Installing and using the player couldn't be easier. Forget iTunes and cumbersome discs to install, you can just drag and drop music onto the Clipper through Windows Media Player or straight into the Clipper folder which will appear in "My Computer". The Clipper works with all operating systems from Windows XP,Vista, 2000 or higher and Mac OS X, Linux (with Mass Storage Device Support).

      The whole package includes the mp3 player, data cable for transferring your music over and charging, basic earphones (I've bought some seperately) and an extensive user guide including a very detailed, numbered diagram of the player's different buttons and features explaining how they all work.

      I haven't obviously used this apart from to transfer music and test the player for around 30 mintues to ensure it isn't faulty and is of good quality but I am assured that once fully charged it will deliver a mammoth 11 hours of playback time which for something no bigger than a car key is pretty impressive!

      Archos mp3 players are widely available both on the high street and online - I paid £14.99 in Argos for mine but full price they sell it for £19.99. You can buy them at Amazon, direct from Archos or on ebay. The most you should expect to pay is £24.99 for one.

      Based on my experiences with Archos so far, I must admit I am tempted to ditch my iPod and just get one of these for myself. When I'm running it is extremely handy because it is so small and lightweight plus it's not like I stop and look through my tracks when I'm out!

      If you're looking for a gift this Christmas, take a look at Archos - you won't be disappointed.

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      • Skullcandy INK'D / Headphones / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
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        18.11.2011 18:25
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        Great high quality in ear earphones at a reasonable price

        So my latest set of headphones have gone to the big iPhone in the sky...oh woe is me, what is a girl to do?? Fear not! Skullcandy INK'D earphones are here to save the day!!

        I've always been a fan of Skullcandy headphones and earphones because not only are they great quality and value, they are also available in a wide range of colours - so wide there is even an option for Rastafarian fans too.

        The INK'd line is a range of in ear earphones which come with 3 sets of silicon gel ear buds so they are ideal for even the smallest of ears (like mine). They have a 1.3m cable which is more than adequate enough for you to put your mp3 player in a pocket/bag/armband and still have enough cable that you don't pull them out of your ears and not too much cable that you get tangled like some traditional headphones can.

        For those of you familiar with Skullcandy products you will know how good the quality of sound and noise cancelling properties are, for those who arent - they provide the same high quality, crystal clear sound that consumers have come to expect from the brand whilst also minimising the sound from external sources like that annoying person on the bus, your little brother banging on the door or your neighbour watching the soaps.

        There is only one downside to these earphones that hasn't improved since the last time I purchased them. The packaging. In a small plastic packet with a "rivet" style seal along the edge, there are gaps which give the illusion that you can just pop them open. Think again! The rivet style is given by melting points of the seal together so unless you can hack into them with a pair of scissors, you're doing better than me to open them without

        Once you open the packet there is also a small folded info sheet with links to the Skullcandy website which also turns into a novelty skull stencil - ideal if you want to add designs to a skateboard, book or just for doodling.

        Once you have bought these, you are pointed to skullcandy.com/register to join their website and receive exclusive discounts and vouchers like any other site you join however, Skullcandy also offer a lifetime warranty (currently their web page is down so I can't provide specifics) on your head/earphones which not all manufacturers do.

        My INK'D were half price in HMV at £9.49. Usually they are on sale for around £10 but if not and if you can bear to wait, you can get them online starting at about £9 from places such as Amazon and Play.

        Given the choice I would stick to Skullcandy earphones because I know they last and the only reason I have had other brands is because I lost my faithfuls. Even at full price I would buy them.

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        17.11.2011 20:41
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        Okay yoga mat if a bit pricey

        Faddy exercise. I've been there and tried it, if you've read my review on the twist plate you'll start to see that coming through. The wii fit came along and that was it I had to get myself a yoga mat to start toning up and getting fit!

        So what is a yoga mat? Well it's a mat that resembles a roll mat for camping but it's a bit thinner and provides comfort for and floor exercises you may be doing. You can buy loads of colours, brands and even mats with instructions but to be honest you roll it out and hey presto! Whilst shopping in Saindsbury's one day I decided that I had to have their yoga mat right there and then so I could get started so I picked up my yoga mat and dutifully presented my £7.99 at the till. Ouch.

        The yoga mat isn't going to change my world but it did help to make it a little bit more comfortable. It was easier on my back than lying on my hard laminate floor and felt nice under my feet whilst also providing more grip than the laminate would. If you exercie on carpet I wouldn't bother buying one of these because it'll just make your surface uneven and bumpy (even more than it may be) a bit like walking on a sponge.

        The mat is made with foam which has a slightly rubberised texture with a dimpled surface (there's the grip) a bit like the foam on the back of a computer mouse mat. It is 150cm long, 60cm wide and 0.6cm think. This for a yoga mat is okay but for those of you who like me are 5ft 9 will find that if you are doing stretches lying down you may end up half on and off the mat.

        As the mat is made with foam it is easy to roll up nice and compact for storage and mine sits behind the tv stand out of sight.

        Priced at £7.99 the mat is somewhat on the pricey side for a supermarket generic yoga mat (Tesco frequently sell theirs for £3) and I wish I hadn't been so impulsive when I bought it. Available in blue thats it as far as choice goes (again tesco has at least 3 colours available).

        Hindsight is a wonderful thing and yes I have my yoga mat but I wish I'd have waited and got the same thing for less than half the price. The mat is ideal if you really need one and have no choice but to go to Sainsbury's. If you do have the choice, make sure you use it because there are far better mats to have.

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        • Pineapple Twist Board / Fitness / 12 Readings / 9 Ratings
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          15.11.2011 21:10
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          Great twist board but not if you want to seriously tone up

          Before I began running I was your typical faddy exerciser and was a sucker for the newest equipment that promised to tone, sculp and shape me fit. The Pineapple Twist Board was one such fad that I decided to visit. Toning and sculpting promised just for twisting, how bad could it be??

          The twist board is a simple idea - 2 plastic discs held together on a pivoting middle with ball bearings to help with a smooth twist, all the user has to do is stand on the two feet areas on the pink top disc and twist their body to make the disc move. The top disc has two marked feet areas with reflexology magnest which are designed to "increase circulation as the massage points release tension from your feet and provide traction". Right. I didn't notice a difference with the magnets, or feel less tense. They actually annoyed me a little bit because they dug into my feet. The board also promises to tone abs and slim hips and thighs. Okay...

          Included in the box is a basic instruction booklet to give you tips on body positioning and the most effective way to use the board. To be honest, as long as your upper half remains facing forward and your lower half from the hips down twists, you should see results.

          I persevered for two weeks and used to do this exercise for 20 minutes each night if I could or 5 minutes if I was pushed for time. It works best on a wooden or hard floor surface so that the movements are smooth and you can balance easier. I didn't get the usual aches associated with doing a new exercise for the first time and stood quite happily watching TV whilst I used it. Once I'd done, I simply popped it under the bed and because of it's small and flat size/shape I could have easily stored it in the wardrobe or in one of the many storage boxes I seem to have.

          Priced at £10, I paid £8.50 after my Debenhams staff discount had been applied. I should point out that I probably only bought it because of the discount I got on it! You can buy identical products in different colours from different suppliers for less than half of the price of this one - even places like Poundstretcher and Home Bargains stock them.

          So I hear you ask, did it work?

          To be blunt - no. I imagine after a few months of doing this daily you might notice a marginal loss of centimetre's or even an inch but there are far more effective ways to tone up - you should try running, I wish I'd done it years ago! This is ideal for people who are perhaps restricted with exercies they can do but isn't something I would bother with if you are seriously looking to tone up and trim down.

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        • Rucanor Fist Runners Bottle / Fitness / 4 Readings / 3 Ratings
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          15.11.2011 20:47
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          Fist Runners Bottle ideal for short runs only

          For those of you who have read my review on the Nike sports bottle, you'll have read that I have tried a couple of other sports/running bottles along the way...this was one of my cast offs.

          When I started running, I'd often see people running along holding their bottle through the middle and I'd decided that this would be the style for me to try as I have a tendency to grip and ungrip my fists when I run - this would let me do it without throwing my bottle down.

          I ordered mine online from a sports shop and I paid £5 (free p+p) for it. When it arrived I was a little bit disappointed at it's size. At 300ml and as a beginner I knew I was bound to need more water than that!! The bottle itself isn't actually a bad design. The handle is narrow enough to grip comfortably and the fist space is large enough that I can get my hand through the middle and not touch the other half of the bottle. Sports cap lids can leak and some don't allow an even flow of liquid through but you can rest assured with Rucanor that their runners bottle will let you get as much water as you can slurp out with minimum fuss. The only flaw in the lid is the fact that it is quite stiff to open mid run with your teeth but if it wasn't it would then leak so it's a catch 22 situation - what would you rather have? If I have an isotonic drink I definitely don't want to be running around with sticky hands!

          The bottle is made using quite a sturdy matt clear plastic with the Rucanor logo in blue down the side (not quite enough to make you a walking advert). Unlike most other running bottles, I've yet to find this bottle in other colours or indeed to pirchase on the high street but that maybe because I don't want to pay the price that some more specialist shops may charge me.

          Amazon currently have the bottle on sale for £4.87 but Temple Sports - www.templesports.co.uk/item/prod/rucanor-runners-fist-bottle/20/ have them on sale for £2.50 or an even smaller version is available in 130ml size (price not advertised).

          Overall this isn't a bad bottle although I personally think it is more suited for light use in the gym or for those of you who are a bit more experienced and don't need quite as much water when you're out pounding the streets!

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          14.11.2011 22:08
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          Luxury Vanilla and Cocoa Bath Cream for a bargain price

          There's nothing better than hot bubble bath on a cold winters day, well actually there is if I've been for a run it feels so much nicer! Bubble bath is a girls best friend at bath time and Original Source have got it covered in my eyes.

          With their range of shower gels, oils and bath foams, milks and bubble I knew there would be something I'd love. Usually I go for their mint shower gel and just use a couple of squirts but on this particular trip to Asda I noticed some bottles which looked like smoothies and actually turned out to be Bath Cream. After smelling them all (come on I'm not the only one to do this) I settled for the Vanilla and Cocoa scent because it smelt like I'd just walked into a chocolate shop.

          As ever Original Source haven't disappointed with this one. A generous glug into the bath produce almost endless amounts of thick lovely bubbles which not only last for ages (at least 45 minutes) but they also leave your skin feeling soft, moisturised and smelling of chocolate, in a nice way I should add (not like you've smeared yourself in Cadbury's!)

          The Bath Cream comes in two different style of bottle - the one illiustrated above and the bottles which make the cream look almost like smoothies or milkshakes which is what I had. The milkshake style bottle is a 500ml bottle which has lasted me around 2.5 weeks with at least 3 bubbly baths each week and a good generous glug of bath cream in each. The bottle illustrated above is the same size as the Original Source shower gels which are around the 250ml-300ml mark and I've only seen these available online. My bottle is bigger so I'd buy this one anyway if I had the choice.

          In Asda this was on offer at £1.39 reduced from £1.89 which I feel is a complete bargain for such a good Bath Cream, regularly I have considered paying £3 upwards as I only buy this sort of product when it's cold or when I need pampering. Online the 500ml bottle which I have is priced at around £2.20 so it's probably something I wouldn't bother with.

          There are two other scents available in this line and they are Lavender and Habenero Chilli with Black Pepper (sounds a bit like dinner!) I think I'll stick to my chocoloate shop in the bathroom to be honest.

          I definitely recommend this to all of you, once you've tried it you'll wonder where it's been all of your life!

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          • Nike Sports Water Bottle / Fitness / 14 Readings / 13 Ratings
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            13.11.2011 19:13
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            A well designed ergonomic and aesthetic water bottle for fitness

            Before I embarked on my running journey, I needed to buy the right equipment and after my trainers and shorts was my water bottle. Believe it or not there are hundreds of designs, sizes, colours and brands that you are bombarded with when making this decision. Do I want a bottle with a grip through the middle, a standard straight up and down bottle or a flip top lid? Argh!

            Before I bought my Nike bottle, I had tried a bottle with a grip through the middle so I could keep a grip easier, rather than having the whole bottle neck in my hand and running the risk of dropping it. I also had a standard sports cap slazenger bottle which was good but is now used as a back up/mixer bottle for my protein shakes.

            The Nike bottle is slightly different to most water bottles in that it is asymmetrical and the sports cap points to one size. So what? Well this makes it easier to get the water out of the bottle and reduces the effort I have to make opening the cap etc and as a direct result means I can pay more attention to my run. Surprisingly, I find it easier when running now because I used to pay more attention to my water bottle than my breathing/pace and foot work.

            The bottle has a 600ml capacity which is ideal as I find that about lasts me enough for one onf my longer runs and most water bottles tend to be 500ml - that 100ml really makes a huge difference. Previously I found that the 500ml bottle would hold just the right amount of water but on my longer runs I often found that I had ran out of water. With the added volume, you might expect that the bottle be a little bit awkward to carry. Not at all. With it's ergonomic and slightly rubberised grip around the neck and down the bottle, not only is it comfortable to carry, it also feels like a compact and much smaller bottle.

            Sometimes you see a bottle and it's pink (when you were hoping for blue) or it has a huge logo emblazened across it which you don't want either. Nike have got around this by offering the bottle in 6 colours: Blue, Orange, Pink, Red, Clear and Dark Obsidian so there is something to suit everyone (I have clear). As with most Nike products the logo's and branding are discreet but effective and there is a Nike tick at the base of the had grip so you aren't a walking advert for Sports Direct or the latest sports personality to launch a range.

            I paid £3 in Sports Direct for my bottle but you can buy them online for around £5 from most online sports shops and Amazon.

            Now that I have used this style of bottle I don't think I'll be using any other style!

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            • JML Ped Egg / Beauty Accessories / 12 Readings / 11 Ratings
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              13.11.2011 18:47
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              Great Ped Egg to keep your feet looking tip top!

              Feet aren't great, lets face it and mine? Well they've looked better (read: running has killed my feet!) so I decided to purchase a ped egg to do something about it. Friends and family have had them and I've only heard them rave about it so I figure it can't make my feet any worse!!

              I purchased a ped egg (with handle) from a "book man" at work and paid £6 for it. I know that when the ped egg was fist launched it used to retail at £10 so this was a bargain! The egg looks like a standard ped egg except it has a long curved handle (a bit like a shower brush) to make it easier to rid your feet of the dry skin and make them summer ready.

              My egg came with 2 emery pads to stick in place on the bottom of the egg and then the egg splits in two to reveal a metal grater to get rid of the really tough skin. Any bits that are removed are then stored in the egg lid until you are ready to get rid of it.

              The egg really is effective and just 20 minutes once a week keeps my feet looking flip flop ready all year round. As long as you use it when your skin is really dry you will get the best results from it. When your skin is damp/moisturised, the emery pads and grater tends to get damaged and doesn't really buff away the dry bits as well as you would like.

              Priced currently at around £5 for the egg without handle, you can buy them online from retailers such as amazon and ebay. I've never seen the egg with the handle any where else other than at work but I'm sure they are available online too.

              I would definitely recommend this to everyone, it is gentle on your skin (I've never known of anyone to cut themselves or cause an injury) and as long as you store it somewhere dry you will get months of use from it. You can't buy replacement pads/graters but for the price, it would be cheaper to buy a new egg anyway.

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              12.11.2011 20:48
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              An everyday lipstick which will just about cope with daily life.

              I have just come back from a wedding today and on the way I realised that I hadn't applied any lip gloss/stick so I made a dash into Tesco to remedy this disaster. Opting for a lipstick for a change I headed straight for the Rimmel section as I knew that my old faithul Heather Shimmer lipstick was bound to be there - how right I was.

              Number 066, Heather Shimmer is a subtle mix of chocolate and purple hues (I'm not a red or pink fan) which I find complements my natural colouring and very dark brown (not natural) hair. I have been buying this shade for around 6 years now and it never fails me for a bit of colour but to be honest I don't find it is very long lasting.

              The wedding today started at 12 and finished at around half 6 and within that time and approx an hour before hand I applied my lipstick 3 times. It wears off very quickly, especially if you are eating and drinking although it does leave a subtle tint to your lips (I can't speak for all shades).

              Priced at £4.99 it's by no means the most expensive lipstick but it's also not the cheapest and I'm sure there are longer lasting ones available.

              Rimmel say that the lipstick will lock colour to your lips for 8 hours but if my maths is correct today, I make it around 2.5 hours if I was lucky. The tint like I mentioned does linger slightly but in my eyes that doesnt really count because the colour wasn't enough to make any reall difference anyway.

              Available in 30 shades, there is a colour to suit all skin tones, hair colours and moods. On the Rimmel website there is also a "try it on" option where you can try the different shades on 3 different models to give you a rough idea of how the colour will look.

              Like most Rimmel ranges, the lipstick is widely stocked in supermarkets, Boots, Superdrug and pharmacies where you find their make up concessions.

              This isn't a bad lipstick to use on a daily basis for example if you are at work but if you are looking for something that can't stand up to a bit more of what life can throw at it, then I would spend that little bit more.

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            • Asda XB8313S / Toaster / 9 Readings / 9 Ratings
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              11.11.2011 21:34
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              A bargain basement toaster which could outlats the duracell bunny

              Life is tough when you're a student and if you can save money then you do whatever it takes and that included my wonderful £5 Toaster from Asda. nearly 4 years on I'm still using this little toaster and it is as good now as it ever was.

              £5 for a toaster...must be really bad quality right?

              Wrong. Yes it's basic, it's made out of a grey/silver plastic, has 2 slots, a crumb tray, reheat and defrost settings, a cancel option and a 7 point dial for toast which ranges from warm bread through to burnt to a crisp. It does the job.

              Two slots for toast is plenty for me and the other half as we rarely have breakfast at the same time so we don't have to fight for use of equipment in the morning and we can take our time making it. The slots aren't adjustable and there isn't a lift option to help you get those small slices of bread but with a bit of effort, the lever does nudge up a tiny bit which I find is usually enough to get hold of them. The crumb tray is a straight forward metal sheet with a curved, grip shape handle which is sympathetic to the toaster's overall design and it slides out and back in with minimal fuss. The handle is on the right hand side of the toaster bottom.

              How well will my toast cook?

              Well that depends how you like it I suppose! There are 7 settings ranging from a quick one minute up to a mammoth 7 minute toast (I'm about 3 minutes) and the 3 minute setting gives your toast a nice, even golden brown colour to it without cooking the bread in the middle. Inadvertently I have left it on a 7 minute setting and well...the smell of burnt toats took about two days to clear!

              Can I use any bread?

              I wouldn't. The slots of the toaster while being quite wide are only comfortably wide enough for thick sliced bread that you would buy in the supermarket. You can toast waffles, bagels, pop tarts and easily use toaster pockets if required and your food won't get stuck. Sliced bloomer bread may fit but it depends if you want a doorstop slice or not.

              Can I take bread out of the freezer and put it in the toaster?

              Yes you can. I have never had to use this setting my self so I can't guarantee it's reliability but on the front of the toaster to the left of the dial there are 3 buttons and there is a defrost option so you don't need to let your bread defrost all day before you have that toast you're craving.

              Argh my toast is cold, can it reheat without burning?

              Funny you should ask that because there is a reheat button next to the defrost setting that will indeed heat up cold toast (without spreads on of course!) which I have found is ideal if making a larger round of toast so that your butter will melt into it just as it has the last slice you made.

              I've used the wrong setting, what can I do?

              Fear not, the cancel button will save you here. If you are a bit forgetful like me and just pop your bread in and walk of to realise that you didn't adjust the time, just press the cancel button and your toast will pop straight out.

              If the toaster is so cheap, I bet it looks rubbish doesn't it?

              Beauty is in the ey of the beholder and to be honest, I've seen worse toasters that cost ten times what this bad boy does. The top of the toaster is a long rectangle with curved edges that slopes down on the right to allow the lever to blend seamlessly into the toaster's aesthetic. The plastic could look better but in a fairly neutral grey/silver colour it is sympathetic to most kitchen decor and there are matching appliances like the bargain kettle (review to follow).

              So do you think I should get one?

              Absolutely! If you want a toaster that toasts and does it well and if you want a toaster that will last no matter how you decorate or how many times you move then this one is definitely the one for you.

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            • More +
              11.11.2011 20:58
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              A good everyday nail varnish but not a long lasting one by far.

              I love nothing more than sitting and painting my nails, whether it's to go with an outfit before a night out, for work or just because, I love the whole process of choosing a colour and looking after my nails. As of this very moment I have around 100 bottles of nail varnish dotted around the place (a girl needs variety!) but my favourite brand is Rimmel so I was quite excited when I saw their Wear Maxx line.

              With added shock absorbent Lycra and micro minerals, the bottle lid comes adorned with the promise of up to 10 days shine. Yeah right (I'll get onto that in a bit). These bottles of varnish are larger than the standard sized Rimmel lines i.e 60 seconds and I love lasting finish which come in 8 ml sizes, Wear Maxx comes in at a whopping 12 ml size. Priced quite reasonably at around £4, the price isn't too much more than the other Rimmel lines considering you get 1.5 bottles for your money. I bought mine from tesco but they are usually stocked where Rimmel make up concessions are such as Boots and Superdrug, you can even get bottles online for £1 if you look hard enough!

              With a slightly smaller colour range than the other Rimmel lines, I was a little disappointed. There were only 12 colours available when I bought mine. The colours were more subtle and grown up, coming in a range of metallics, beiges, pinks and dusky roses. Definitely the grown up range.

              I bought "Posh Trash" number 378 and it is a light bronze colour. As expected of Rimmel varnishes, the brush is long and fans out enough to cover your nail in 2 strokes although two coats are needed. The varnish takes quite a while to dry if you're used to the 60 seconds range and I usually leave it about ten minutes before the second coat. The varnish glides on effortlessly and provides a great even coverage which again I have come to expect from Rimmel.

              Now for the bad news...

              Forget 10 days of no/little maintenance because that has never ever happened for as long as I've used this varnish. After a couple of hours you get chips in it or even little dents where the varnish is quite soft (definitely not shockproof) and to be honest after a day at work I usually have to take it off and reapply if I want to keep the same colour on.

              If I wear the varnish at work I have also noticed that the colour transfers from my nails to any paperwork which I might handle and that can be quite annoying if you're about to post something to a customer!!

              Looking for a long lasting nail varnish? I wouldn't recommend this one personally but if you are looking for one just to wear on odd days here or there then I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

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            • Anthology - Bryan Adams / Music Album / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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              10.11.2011 21:40
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              Bryan Adams through the passage of time at a bargain price!

              I. Love. Bryan Adams. I'm not ashamed to admit it although most 23 year olds might be. Concerts, CD's, DVD's - I've been, listened and watched them all but the Anthology album sumps it all up in a double whammy Bryan fest.

              The Anthology Album is a two disc bonanza of songs which were produced and span 27 years worth of hits. Starting in 1978 and finishing in 2005, it has Bryan Adam's hits for all generations of fans. The songs are in chronological order of the year they were released starting with "Remember" on disc one and finishing with "I'm not the man you think I am" on disc two. Released on the 18th of October 2005, I was 17 and really found my appreciation for Bryan's music.

              I have quite an eclectic taste in music and some of you may ask why I love or how I came to love Bryan but I'll be honest and thank my mum. Many an hour was spent just driving, blasting music and having a good old sing along together to get rid of stress, pass time stuck in traffic or just to spend some mother/daughter time together. His husky voice and wide array of song styles mean that there is something suitable for any mood I'm in and ahead of his upcoming tour, it keeps me sane going too and from work.

              The playlist:
              1. "Remember"
              2. "Lonely Nights"
              3. "Straight from the Heart"
              4. "Cuts Like a Knife"
              5. "This Time"
              6. "Run to You"
              7. "Somebody"
              8. "Heaven"
              9. "Summer of '69"
              10. "One Night Love Affair"
              11. "It's Only Love" (with Tina Turner)
              12. "Heat of the Night"
              13. "Hearts on Fire"
              14. "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You"
              15. "Can't Stop This Thing We Started"
              16. "There Will Never Be Another Tonight"
              17. "Thought I'd Died and Gone to Heaven"
              18. "All I Want Is You"

              Disc two
              1. "Please Forgive Me"
              2. "All for Love" (with Rod Stewart and Sting)
              3. "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"
              4. "Rock Steady" (with Bonnie Raitt) (Live))
              5. "The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You"
              6. "Let's Make a Night to Remember"
              7. "Star"
              8. "Back to You" (Live)
              9. "I'm Ready" (Live)
              10. "On a Day Like Today"
              11. "When You're Gone" (featuring Melanie C)
              12. "Cloud Number Nine"
              13. "The Best of Me"
              14. "Don't Give Up"
              15. "Here I Am"
              16. "Open Road"
              17. "18 'Til I Die" (Live)
              18. "So Far So Good"
              19. "I'm Not the Man You Think I Am"


              Admittedly when I bought this album, I didn't know all of the songs especially as some of them were written 10 years before I came along but it only took a week or so before I was tapping and singing along to them. The music is catchy in the tracks which are up tempo and the ballads are deep and meaningful and I defy you to find any Bryan Adams fan who doesn't sing along regardless of the song or their mood.

              I bought my 2nd copy of the album recently as my first copy was damaged in a house move and I paid the princely sum of £5 (2 for £10 in HMV) along with a Kings of Leon CD although this was over a year ago and now you can but them online for a couple of pounds from sites like Amazon and Play. If you prefer to go into a shop and pick up that shiny case so you can start rocking out straight away, it will set you back marginally more at around £4-£5 as there is only really HMV that would stock it new but CEX may have the odd second hand copy available if you really do struggle to find it.

              This is by far not the best CD that Bryan Adams has released but I suppose thats more because the songs are a range of older and newer - I prefer "The Best of Me" album as most of my favourites are on there and is a best of album rather than a chronological record of Bryan's work (Bryan, I feel like I'm talking about him as if he's my best friend!)

              If you haven't got this album I'd definitely suggest buying a copy to complete your collection if anything else. Some of the oldies are the goodies and I wouldn't have discovered them as soon had I not have bought the album.

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