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CoupeQueen
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Member since: 05.11.2007

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    • Truprint / Other Service / 155 Readings / 136 Ratings
      More +
      19.09.2009 12:59
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      14 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Easy way of ordering hard copies of your favourite photographs.

      MY HISTORY WITH TRUPRINT
      I've used truprint to have my photos developed for about 20 years. I remember having my first camera and the excitement I felt when getting my photos through the post along with a free film so I could use my camera straight away. I now use truprint online and have my digital photos developed into gloss prints to add to my photo album. For some reason I like to see them in photo albums - it probably sounds a little old fashioned as most people are probably happy with having them on disc these days.


      CONVENIENCE/EASE OF USE
      Truprint are extremely easy to use. You can either just plug in your camera of memory card and let Truprint do the rest or you can load the photos onto your pc and then log on to the truprint website (www.truprint.co.uk).
      From there you just click on upload photos, then you can either choose an album to upload to or create a new album. You can then name and date the album and you just click on 'upload to this album'.
      This then opens a new window you then click on 'select photos', which automatically takes you to 'my documents' where you just choose the pictures you wish to upload.
      You can then order a few of the photos or the whole album and/or more than one album. There is no limit to how many photos you can order in one go. The system is so easy to use, it's all there in plain English.


      SHARING
      There is a system Truprint have where you can share pictures or albums with friends. There is a tab at the top of the page named 'sharing'. Once you click on this you are taken to a new page. It shows you here how you can share with friends and family via email, share to social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter, share via a link in a chat window, personal chat room or blog and you can also make a 'Snapshow', you can create a sort of slide show by adding songs, themes and titles to you photographs. I don't think you can use your own music, but they do have a list of 34 to choose from including 'Auld Lang Syne' and 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas'. Once you have designed your Snapshow you can then email it to friends and family. I've never used this before but had a go before writing this review, it really is a great idea especially if you have family and friends who live away.


      ITEMS YOU CAN ORDER
      There are many different items you can order ranging from photos to mugs. You can personalise so many items which is great for presents especially if you have awkward relatives like I do.
      You can have posters, mugs, calendars, jigsaws, greetings cards, t-shirts, baby bibs & vests, placemats & coasters, mouse mats, photo books, canvas' and acrylic enlargements, magnets, keyrings, stationary and teddy bears with personalised t-shirts on. They also make your favourite photo into a canvas.
      I think this is a fabulous idea, you could have a photo of the children made into a jigsaw puzzle for grandma , or as I did, a photo of my Dad in his biker gear put onto his birthday card - he loved it! I have recently ordered a collage mouse mat with pictures of my nieces and nephew on for my sister for Christmas.

      You can add special effects to your photographs as well. These include fancy borders to represent special occasions or just plain borders to make the photo look good in a certain frame. You can fix and enhance the photos by reducing the red-eye, crop parts of the photo that you don't want, and you can apply a tint to the photo such as black and white, sepia or pink.


      PRICE
      Standard 6x4" prints cost 9p each, 7x5" prints cost 19p each, 8x10" prints cost £1.20 eacj, 8x6" prints cost 40p each, 12x8" prints cost £1.20 and wallet prints cost 99p.
      There is an offer where you can purchase your prints in advance. It then works out cheaper per print if you pay for 500 6x4" prints it'll cost 5p per print and 250 6x4" prints will cost 7p per print
      150 7x5" prints would cost 18p when paid for in advance and 300 7x5" prints would cost 17p.


      DELIVERY & PACKAGING
      Standard delivery takes 3-5 days and costs 99p, that's for up to 50 prints in one order. 51-500 prints costs £1.49 and 501 + prints cost £1.99.

      There are many other delivery charges for the many different facilities and items you can purchase like photo gifts such as mugs, mouse mats, t-shirts etc prices for these start at £1.99 and then an extra 99p for each additional item.
      I think that the delivery charges are very reasonable, sometimes truprint do special offers such as free delivery, I receive regular emails from them with these offers included.
      The packaging is also very good. My photographs come in a sturdy cardboard envelope, I have also ordered birthday cards and a calendar in the past which also arrived in the same type of packaging. I have never ordered gifts so I cannot comment on the packaging for these items. But am sure they would come in the appropriate packaging for each item.


      TRUPRINT ACCOUNT
      When you first make an order with truprint you have an account. You then have a login name and password to get into that account. All of your photos that you have downloaded onto the site are then kept in your account. You can also check if you photos have been processed and dispatched. The account will also show orders fro the last 30 days and an easy link to previous orders. If you have paid in advance for photos these credits will be shown in this section. Every photograph that you have ordered using the Truprint site is stored in this section unless you wish to delete it, I have found this very useful - my Nan liked a photo of her and my Grandad so it was very easy to just order another copy of it with my next order.


      SPECIAL OFFERS
      Throughout the year truprint have special offers on. Such offers include half price prints, sales on gift items and also opportunities to be entered into prize draws. All special offers are emailed to you so you don't miss out on the great offers. My most recent purchases included free delivery and a half price collage mouse mat which was reduced from £6.99 to £3.49.


      MY OVERALL OPINION OF TRUPRINT
      My overall opinion of truprint is fantastic. It is so simple to use and it stores all my previous photos, so in the future if I want to get copies of my previous prints I can. I can't imagine using any other photo developing company as I have never had any problems with truprint, in fact they have always been outstanding.

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      • Dyson DC19 / Vacuum Cleaner / 233 Readings / 205 Ratings
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        24.03.2009 15:08
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        27 Comments

        Advantages

        • Reliability

        Disadvantages

        A brilliant vacuum cleaner.

        I recently damaged my Dyson DC 04. We had it 8 years and I must admit that I hadn't been very gentle with it. It was quite heavy and used to find it quite difficult carrying it up and down the stairs and often banged it against the wall or the banister. A few bits had broken off it, and, to top it all off I dropped it down the stairs. I did manage to get the hose bit working but unfortunately it wouldn't work when it was upright. So, the time had come to get a new vacuum cleaner. Now, I've only ever owned one so I didn't realise how many vacuums were out there or how difficult it would be to choose one.

        So, I got the Argos catalogue out. Then visited Currys online followed by a few other online stores - I was still none the wiser. I then spoke to my older and wiser sister, she said it might be a good idea to go for a cylinder rather than an upright beings I have laminate and tiled floor downstairs, it would also be easier to clean under the table and chairs etc.

        So, a seed had been planted in my mind. I then looked up different makes and models of cylinder cleaners.
        First I visited VAX, they had many different models and they all looked great.
        Then I visited Dyson, I had a Dyson before and I knew that they were good so I looked at their cylinder models.

        I finally made my mind up after reading a few reviews, looking at power, suction etc. I was going for a Dyson. Then I had to decide which Dyson I wanted. The 'DC 20,21,22 and 23' versions seemed like a lot of hassle, it looked neat and like it was quite compact and easy to store, but, I'd have to unwind the hose and pull out the tubes every time I wanted to use it. So, I was left with the DC 19.
        The best price I found was on Amazon.co.uk, I paid £144.00 for it. I also bought a soft brush attachment and a flexi crevice tool.


        DYSON - HISTORY

        In June 1993 James Dyson set up the Dyson company. But it was in 1978 when he first had the idea for the Dyson vacuum cleaner. He visited a sawmill and had seen sawdust being sucked into a cone using a spinning column of air. He wanted one of these to use in his own factory but wasn't willing to pay the £75,000 to have one. It was then, he decided to make his own.
        The first vacuum cleaner he made was called a G-Force, it was the first one to use cyclone suction technology. It was only sold on the Japanese market as it was licensed to a Japanese company.
        But in 1993 the DC 01 was released and was a best seller in the UK.
        Since then, more than 25 Dyson vacuum cleaner models have been released.

        DC 19

        WHAT'S IN THE BOX

        So, the delivery man delivered my new vacuum cleaner to my boyfriends parents house. I left work at 3.30pm and made my way in anticipation. I sat down, had a cuppa and a chat but couldn't wait to get home to try out my new toy, so, I made my excuses and left.
        I got home, fed the cat, and opened my parcel. Inside I found the DC 19, the main large flat head attachment , a brush attachment, a small flat head attachment a crevice tool and an instruction manual.

        Specifications
        The DC19 is 345 x 282 x 434mm and weighs 8.56kg.
        The suction power is 280 airwatts.
        The bin capacity is 2 litres.
        Cord length is 6.5 metres.


        INSTRUCTION MANUAL

        There were two manuals.
        It came with a 'Quick Start' manual, this gives you the basics in diagram form - assembling the Dyson, using the tools, storing the Dyson, emptying the Dyson and instructions on how to wash the filter. This little booklet is very easy to follow - even my brother could get it started from these instructions!!

        Then there was the main manual. This was also very easy to understand. The instructions are written in 20 different languages. Firstly comes the general safety precautions section. These are written in point form, 26 points in total. I'd say most of these are common sense e.g. Do not handle plug or appliance with wet hands etc. Along the bottom of this page there are 8 safety precaution diagrams with information underneath e.g. Do not use above you on the stairs. All very straight forward.

        The next section is a double page containing easy to follow diagram instructions. These show you how to attach the attachments, how to clean the filter, how to clear any blockages , how to empty the bin and what all the relevant buttons are for.

        Then there is just one more section. This section gives you very clear points in bullet form. There are 5 categories - using your dyson vacuum cleaner, emptying the clear bin, cleaning the clear bin, washing your filter and looking for blockages.
        All in all, very simple and clear.


        USING THE VACUUM CLEANER

        The Dyson is very easy to use. It has a retractable plug which is great, no unwinding just pull it out and press a button to reel it back in again. So you plug in the vacuum cleaner, then there's a big red button which you press to turn the cleaner on - as simple as that!
        You can then choose the relevant attachment for the job you're doing. It's stored with the large flat head already attached so you only need to change it if you are cleaning the stairs or in crevices. You can attach the heads to either the end of the long solid pipe or to the end of the stretchy hose, whatever you think will be best for the job at hand.
        I have laminate flooring in my living/dining room and tiled floor in my kitchen. The vacuum cleaner was great on my hard floor, it picked up every speck, I have ridges in between each laminate board so a brush cannot pick up the dust that land here, the Dyson picked it up no problem. It is much easier than the upright I used to have, I can get the DC19 under my dining table and the very flat attachment fits under my television unit. I also have a rug in my living room and I don't need to change attachment to vacuum this.
        I have carpet on my stairs and in my bedrooms. Using the DC19 on carpet is great, it has amazing suction and even plumps up the pile in the carpet! I use the small flat head attachment when vacuuming the stairs, you can get this right into the edge of each stair.
        Its much lighter than my old upright which makes carrying it up the stairs a lot more effortless.


        CLEANING THE VACUUM CLEANER

        The DC19 is bagless. The machine needs to switched off before you empty the clear plastic bin. It must be emptied as soon as the dirt reaches the maximum level on the clear bin. To do this, you just press a button and remove the bin section of the vacuum cleaner, you then take it to your outdoor bin, they suggest that if you suffer from allergies to empty it into a bag first.
        The outside of the vacuum can be wiped down with a damp cloth. The clear bin is also cleaned using a damp cloth.
        The filter is washable and needs to be cleaned using only water every six months, it must then be left to dry for 24 hours before refitting into the machine.


        STORING THE VACUUM CLEANER

        Storing the DC19 is not that simple. Even thought it looks small and the base fits into quite a small space, it needs a space high enough to fit in the handle. Luckily I have a space large enough under my stairs. But definitely something to consider if you are thinking of buying a DC19. If you don't have enough space Dyson have models which are much easier to store.


        EXTRAS

        There are many extras you can buy for your Dyson apart from the ones that come with it. The prices range from £11.74 for the mattress tool, to £24.47 for the mini turbine head.

        Hard floor tool - this attachment is better at picking up on hard floors. It has long bristles to prevent scratching or marking on wood or delicate floors.

        Flexi crevice tool - this attachment extends and flexes to clean awkward gaps. The actual attachment is hard but when its extended it has a section which is made of rubber so you can bend it to reach the most difficult of places.

        Soft dusting brush - it has soft bristles to gently dust around the home. Easy to manoeuvre into narrow gaps. Ideal for dusting furniture and flat surfaces. It's great for dusting my Venetian Blinds.

        Mattress tool - this attachment removes dirt and dust mites from mattresses and upholstery. Wide head and lightweight design for easy cleaning around the home.

        Stubborn dirt brush - this one has stiff bristles for dried-in and stubborn dirt. It's quite a small tool so is easy to handle and scrub and loosen stubborn dirt.

        Up top tool - this one twists to give multiple angles for cleaning hard to reach surfaces. Great for on top of wardrobes or cupboards.

        Mini turbine head - this mini turbine head is ideal for removing pet hair and fibres from confined spaces such as upholstery, stairs and the car.

        Car cleaning kit - A car cleaning kit in a handy case. Combined price £39.15 (£50.90 if purchased separately).
        It contains:
        Car turbine head
        Flexi crevice tool
        Stubborn dirt brush

        Home cleaning kit - A home cleaning kit in a handy case. Combined price £29.35 (£41.12 if purchased separately).
        It contains:
        Up top tool
        Soft dusting brush
        Stubborn dirt brush
        I own the soft dusting brush and the flexi crevice tool. I've used the dusting brush on my wooden venetian blinds and it works a treat. I have used the crevice tool in my car and it gets to places I could never reach with the hard plastic tool that come as standard with the Dyson.

        DYSON CUSTOMER CARE

        There are a number of ways to contact Dyson.

        By post -
        Dyson Ltd
        Tetbury Hill
        Malmesbury
        Wiltshire
        SN16 0RP

        By telephone - 0800 298 0298

        By email - service@dyson.co.uk

        The Dyson also comes with a 5 year guarantee which you can register online, by phone or post. The repair or replacement of the machine is covered if it is found to be defective due to faulty materials, workmanship or the function of the machine.


        WEBSITE

        The website is very helpful. Not only does it give you information on the Dyson products and the technology involved but there is also a 'Support' section.
        The support section is divided into the following
        Help with your Dyson
        This section gives you help if you are experiencing problems with your machine, you will find a list of common problems. It also gives advice on using and maintaining your Dyson.
        Online shop
        This section gives you information on buying, returning, placing orders on Dyson and parts and accessories.
        Guarantee and Registration
        You can register your Dyson guarantee here. You can also update your details and read the terms and conditions. It also answers questions such as how your guarantee will be affected if you move abroad.
        Repairs and Servicing
        You can arrange a service or repair in this section. It'll answer questions such as how much it'll cost, when the engineer will arrive and what is involved in a service.
        FAQ's
        Some basic frequently asked questions are answered here. Questions such as, how to assemble the machine, how to clean the filter etc.
        Additional Services
        The additional services include information giving you cleaning tips and information on recycling your old vacuum cleaners.


        OVERALL OPINION

        I am very pleased with my buy. It does exactly what Dyson claims it can do. It has extremely powerful suction, in fact I've stopped using my brush in the kitchen as the Dyson picks up so much more dirt and dust and it is just as easy to get out and use. There's no need to put it together just pull it out and plug it in.
        The flat head not only gets under cupboards but you can get as close as possible to the edge of cupboards and it picks up right to the edge.
        It's light enough to carry up the stairs.
        I find it much easier to use than my old DC04 upright. You can manoeuvre it much easier, under tables and around objects.
        It can be used on any surface without the need for turning brushes on or off. This is especially useful for using upstairs, going from the carpeted landing to the lino flooring I have in my bathroom.
        So, all in all, I love my Dyson and I much prefer vacuuming now than I did before - but don't tell my boyfriend I said that!!

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        • More +
          28.01.2009 18:34
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
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          Disadvantages

          A great concept, bad design.

          TEFAL - A LITTLE HISTORY

          Tefal is a French cookware and small appliance manufacturer owned by Groupe SEB. Groupe SEB is a leading manufacturer in small domestic equipment.

          The name Tefal is short for the combination of the words Teflon and aluminium. In North America, Brazil and Japan, the company's products are sold under the name T-Fal.

          Tefal is known for creating the non-stick cookware category. They invented the first non-stick frying pan in 1954.

          Their mission is to make cooking and ironing easier and faster.


          STEAM CUISINE

          I am reviewing the Tefal Steam Cuisine, which is a food steamer. I had the 1000cl model but it also comes in a 700cl model as well.


          WHAT'S IN THE BOX?

          3 separate food baskets which have removable bases - the baskets and bases are made of plastic. Each basket has its own base which just clips into place. Its is then easily removed by just pushing up the base from underneath.
          I had a problem with the bases, the clips that held them in position broke off very quickly and never actually sat in position correctly often resulting in the base falling through and causing my food to spill everywhere!!
          The baskets and lids are fully dish-washable and are very easily stored away as the 3 baskets sit inside each other in order of size. The baskets are labelled 1,2 and 3. They fit on top of the juice collector in ascending order and then store away in descending order.

          A lid - which fits on top

          Rice bowl - the rice bowl fits inside the steam basket, water and rice go in the bowl and cooked appropriate time.

          Juice collector compartment - this collects all of the juices and water from the food which is being steamed. A lot of people like to use these juices to make gravy. I must admit to have never tried it with this steamer.

          Water tank - the water tank obviously holds the water which is used to steam the food. There is an element in the centre which heats up the water, a turbo ring is place around this element when cooking. On the front on the tank there is a water level indicator which makes it very easy to see if more water is needed when steaming - 1 litre capacity gives 1 hour continuous use, a 60 minute timer and an on/off light. The electric cable comes out of the back of the tank which needs to be plugged into an electrical socket.

          There is a clip-it handle which just clips on to the top of each basket, this makes it easy to lift the baskets out without getting harmed by the very hot steam.

          There is also a built in egg holder in each base, these are just dips in the plastic in which an egg fits.

          A steam cooking recipe book - there are 8 sections in the recipe book, cold starters, hot starters, vegetables, meal and offal, poultry, fish, shellfish and desserts. There are a few recipes in this book which look alright but a lot of recipes which don't look or sound very nice, maybe I'm not very adventurous but rabbit and prune pate doesn't appeal to me at all. I've never tried any recipe in the book and am very unlikely to. The moist chocolate cake sounds nice though.


          USING THE APPLIANCE

          It is very simple to use. I mostly used it for steaming vegetables but quite surprisingly it can be used for so much more - fish, meat, rice, pasta, eggs.
          In the back of the manual there is a list of foods and cooking times. Once you have worked out how long each food is going to take to cook you just place them into the baskets. So, when I steam vegetables I place the carrots in the bottom basket as they take the longest to cook, then I put the broccoli/cauliflower/green beans or whatever veg in the next basket and so on.
          During cooking you just need to check the water level and top it up if needed. I hardly ever had to do this as it holds quite a lot of water.

          The timer makes a 'pinging' noise and automatically turns off when the timer has run down to zero. The on light then goes out.

          The steamer can get very hot during cooking especially when lifting the lid off and placing or removing the baskets - a lot of steam escapes and is extremely hot. The juice collector and tank also need to cool before emptying the contents.


          ADVANTAGES

          It is a fact that when vegetables are steamed, they are less likely to lose nutrients, which is what happens when they are boiled.
          You are less likely to burn food in a steamer.
          You don't need to use oil or fat when cooking food, making it much healthier.
          Meat such as chicken is a lot more moist.


          VERDICT

          In my opinion, vegetables cooked in the steamer taste far better than when they're boiled. I've noticed this especially with carrots, they have a much stronger taste to them.
          The appliance is very easy to use, saves the need for all those saucepans.
          Easy to keep clean, the baskets are dishwasher safe and the water tank just needs a wipe down with a cloth.
          Easy to store, the baskets fit inside each other to help save space.
          The only problem I had with the tefal steamer is the bases that fit into the baskets break very easily, mine broke very early on and then had problems with the base not sitting properly in the basket and causing food to fall out!

          All in all, the concept of cooking food in an electric steamer is brilliant but I doubt I'll ever buy a Tefal steamer again unless they change the design of the basket bases! I currently have a Morphy Richards steamer and the it is designed much better.


          PRICE - Unfortunately, I can't remember how much we paid for the steamer and I've failed to find the price online.

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          • Dolmio Sauces / Sauces / Soups / 155 Readings / 163 Ratings
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            17.08.2008 18:12
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            9 Comments

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            A quick and easy meal.

            I love pasta and I like to try out different sauces. I like to make my own and I also enjoy the bought ones as they are so quick and easy.

            I decided to write about Creamy Tomato Dolmio Pasta Bake after enjoying it for my dinner yesterday. So, I started by doing a bit of research online, looking for the history of the company etc. To my dismay I couldn't find much, only that it is by Al Dolmio and is a brand which is manufactured by Mars, made by Masterfoods.
            Even though Dolmio is a very Italian sounding name it isn't actually sold in Italy.

            So, I am reviewing the Creamy Tomato flavour pasta bake. They do come in other varieties as well, Tomato & Cheese, Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables and Creamy Carbonara.

            Price
            £1.41 in Tesco and Asda.
            Currently any 2 for £2.50 in Asda until December!

            The Jar
            This pasta bake sauce comes in 500g jar. The jar is transparent with a label going around the middle and a green lid. Both the jar's label and the lid have the 'Dolmio' logo on them. There is a picture of a cooked pasta bake (serving suggestion) on the front along with the variety of pasta bake and a sort of stamp which states it has no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
            The back of the jar label gives the cooking instructions, ingredients, nutritional data and the companies information such as address and telephone number.

            Ingredients
            Tomatoes, Fresh Cream, Onions, Sunflower oil, White wine, Tomato paste, Sugar, Modified maize starch, Butteroil, Salt, Cheese, (Parmesan), Basil, Glucose syrup, Lemon Juice, White wine vinegar, Bouillon, Spices, Herbs, Lactose, Milk proteins.
            Allergy information contains celery, lactose & milk proteins

            Nutritional data per 100g
            Energy 447kJ/107kcal
            Fat 7.1g of which saturates 2.7g
            Protein 1.5g
            Carbohydrates 9.1g of which sugars 5.7g
            Fibre 0.5g
            Sodium 0.46g

            Cooking instructions
            To cook a delicious oven baked meal for 4 that everyone will love:
            Cook 250g of pasta and place in an ovenproof dish.
            Brown 250g of diced chicken in a little oil for 4-5 minutes and place on the pasta in the oven dish.
            Pour over the sauce, stir through and sprinkle with grated cheese.
            Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6, for about 20 minutes until cheese has melted.

            If you prefer a lighter meal:
            Cook 375g of pasta and place in an ovenproof dish.
            Pour over sauce, stir through and sprinkle with grated cheese.
            Bake in an oven preheated to 200C/400C/Gas Mark 6, for about 20 minutes until cheese has melted.

            I find this so easy to make. I followed the above instructions (lighter meal) exactly.

            When I opened the jar a lovely tomato smell came drifting out. It was orange in colour with pieces of herbs in it. I then stirred it into the pasta and sprinkled cheddar cheese over, then placed it in the oven. During the cooking process, my boyfriend came home from work and immediately commented on the aroma coming from the kitchen.

            Shortly after, it was time to take it out of the oven to devour.
            It looked delicious, the cheese had melted over the pasta perfectly and once again the smell was lovely.

            So, we dished out and dug in. It had a tasty tomato flavour and I could make out the taste of onion and herbs. It had a creamy consistency and went very well with our accompanying garlic bread and side salad.

            Now, I made the pasta bake according to the instructions but I didn't think there would be enough for a family of 4. Between my boyfriend and I, we nearly polished off the lot. There was enough left for maybe a small child. So, for a family I would suggest you use maybe 2 jars or what I have done in the past is to add a tin of chopped tomatoes.

            We don't have this dish that often, I usually keep it in the cupboard to use on a day where we may have been quite busy and haven't had time to prepare and cook a big meal, or if we're short of ingredients and need to go shopping. It also comes in very handy when my nieces and nephew come to stay - they love it!

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            • General / Discussion / 96 Readings / 97 Ratings
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              06.08.2008 15:27
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              Me.

              A little information about me. Not sure if it's useful or not. Thank you to whoever made this review format. It made me think quite a lot.


              1. Which do you prefer - shower or bath? And why?
              Shower, much more refreshing - don't think I could function without it in the morning.


              2. What do you swear you'll never do?
              I'd never ever cheat on my boyfriend.


              3. What's the most embarrassing thing you ever done?
              I once walked the length of the pub with my skirt tucked in my knickers and a big ladder in my tights!


              4. What is your favourite saying?
              Don't worry, be happy. Wish I could stick to it though.


              5. What was your favourite holiday? And why?
              1995 - Magaluf. I was 18 and 5 of my mates and I went, it was a fab holiday.


              6. What was your favourite childhood toy?
              My fisher price record player.


              7. Do you have any pets?
              Yes. A cat called Abby. I love her to bits, she rules the roost though.


              8. Savoury or sweet?
              Sweet. I love chocolate.


              9. Hot or cold?
              Hot.


              10. What's your favourite drink?
              Alcoholic - white wine. Soft drink - tea.


              11. What's your favourite food?
              That's a difficult one. A roast dinner most probably.


              12. Who do you hate the most?
              People who are cruel to animals.


              13. Do you have a crush on someone? If so, who?
              The Doctor. (sorry Id)


              14. What is your favourite colour?
              Red


              15. What did you do last night?
              Watched a bit of television. Went to bed around 11pm with the feelings of a cold coming on.


              16. What's your favourite thing to do?
              Spending time with my boyfriend.


              17. Favourite movie, T.V Programme, Book?
              Back to the Future, Desperate Housewives, too many to choose from.


              18. Who's your hero?
              My Mother. She's my rock.


              19. Favourite song of all time?
              Read My Mind - The Killers


              20. Have you ever had a supernatural experience?
              No, and I don't want to.


              21. Favourite Sound?
              My cat purring.


              22. Favourite Smell?
              Kenzo Flower.


              23. Favourite place to be?
              Home.


              24. Happiest moment in your life?
              Probably the day I passed my driving test.


              25. Saddest moment in your life so far?
              My Grandmothers funeral.


              26. What is your dream job?
              Owning a cat sanctuary. There are too many stray cats on the
              streets.


              27. What would be your idea of a perfect date?
              A lovely meal in a lovely restaurant. Had a gorgeous meal in 'The Vale of Glamorgan Hotel'.


              28. What's your favourite Newspaper/ Magazine?
              Don't have one.


              29. Which celebrity do you like the most?
              At the moment it's David Tennant.


              30. What religion are you?
              None really but I was christened Roman Catholic.


              31. Do you have any siblings?
              1 brother and 1 sister.


              32. Have you ever been in hospital? If so, why?
              Suspected apendicitis. Had my tonsills out.


              33. Have you ever broken a bone or had stitches?
              Stitches above my left eye when I was around 3 years old, I fell on the stet running in for the Ice-cream van.


              34. Do you believe in Angels/Ghosts/Demons?
              No


              35. Are you superstitious?
              Yes


              36. What colour eyes do you have?
              Green


              37. What colour hair to you have?
              Blonde and brown.


              38. If you could change 1 thing about your appearance, what would it be?
              To lose my belly.


              39. If you could change 1 thing about your personality, what would it be?
              To stop suffering with anxiety.


              40. What is your biggest fear?
              Spiders.


              41. Do you have any regrets? If so, what are they?
              No I don't have any.


              42. Have you ever been in love?
              Yes and still am.


              43. What's the most important thing to you in the world?
              Family, friends and my cat.


              44. What your most treasured possession?
              My house.


              45. What's your job?
              Teacher's Aide.


              46. What's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
              A surprise stay and pamper in a luxurious hotel.


              47. What's the worst thing anyone has done to you?
              An ex-boyfriend cheated on me - but that was 14 years ago!


              48. Dream car?
              Aston Martin DB9


              49. Favourite celebration?
              Christmas.


              50. Where do you hang out?
              I don't really hang out!


              51. What School did you go to?
              Penglais Comprehensive School.


              52. What/ Who annoys you?
              Liars. People who think they are better than you.


              53. Do you recycle?
              Yes.


              54. What's your favourite sport?
              Football.


              55. Who was the last person to upset you?
              My boyfriend.


              56. What are your hobbies?
              Music, reading, films, shopping.


              57. What was the last joke you heard?
              Don't know


              58. What is the best joke you've heard?
              I'm totally useless at remembering jokes.


              59. What's the worst joke you've heard?
              There are so many.


              60. Name 3 places you have been on holiday:-
              Spain, England, Wales.


              61. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
              Still with my man and hopefully with some children.


              62. Favourite Season?
              Summer


              63. What's your favourite website?
              Youtube.


              64. What's your favourite shop?
              Next.


              65. What's your worst habit?
              Biting my nails.


              66. What's your favourite animal?
              Cats of any kind.


              67. What is your ultimate fantasy?
              Now that would be telling.


              68. Can you cook?
              Yes, I wish I had more time to experiment.


              69. What is the last lie you told?
              Can't remember.


              70. Favourite flavour ice-cream?
              Vanilla


              71. Favourite take-away?
              Chinese


              72. What do you hate doing the most?
              Ironing, I really hate ironing. There's a massive pile looking at me right now.


              73. What do you like doing the most?
              Cuddling up on the settee with my boyfriend watching a good film and drinking a glass of wine.


              74. If you were a Super Hero what would your name be?
              CatLady.


              75. What is your porn star name (take the name of your first pet and your mother's maiden name and put them together)
              SheenaOwen


              76. If you were an animal what would you like to be?
              Cat.


              77. What would your animal name be?
              No ida.


              78. If you could go back in time, what time would you go to?
              1995.


              79. Any person alive or dead - who would you meet?
              Brandon Flowers - lead singer of The Killers.


              80. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
              Wales.


              81. Tea or coffee?
              Tea


              82. What was/is your nickname?
              At the moment, it's Aly G. My name is Alyson and my surname starts with G!


              83. Have you been to college?
              Yes, studied childcare.


              84. What is the wildest thing you've ever done?
              I'm not very wild. I love rollercoasters.


              85. Can you play an instrument?
              The triangle.


              86. What's your favourite Disney Character?
              Baloo the bear.


              87. Favourite theme park?
              Alton towers.


              88. What size feet are you?
              5.


              89. If you were King/Queen for a day what 3 changes would you make to the world?
              World Peace, harsher sentences for animal cruelty, big pay increase for Teacher's Aides.


              90. What is your favourite Night Club?
              Don't have one.


              91. Name one thing that most people don't know about you?
              Can't think of anything.


              92. When was the last time you cried? And why?
              Can't remember when but it was when watching 'Homeward Bound'.


              93. If you could have 3 wishes, What would they be?
              World Peace, Stop animal cruelty, To never be anxious ever again.


              94. Would you ever have plastic surgery? If so, where?
              No, am too much of a scaredy cat.


              95. What are you most ashamed of?
              Nothing.


              96. Thongs or Knickers/ Boxers/ Pants - on you/ on someone else
              Knickers on me, boxers on my man.


              97. Blondes/ Brunettes or Red heads?
              Don't really mind.


              98. What do you find sexy?
              A really toned, sun-kissed chest.


              99. If you could have a super power/ ability, what would it be?
              To go invisible. I always wanted to be the girl with the purple cloak from Dungeons and Dragons.


              100. Did you enjoy this?
              Yes, some questions were difficult to answer.

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                05.08.2008 16:32
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                A delicious meal for one and all.

                Schwartz History

                The Schwartz brand was established in 1841 by William Schwartz, the son of a German immigrant, in Halifax, Canada.
                William E. Schwartz, the son of the founder, was the first person in Canada to sell pure spices. Formerly only compound spices were sold such as ginger mixed with cornmeal or flour.


                Chargrilled Chicken Pasta
                Now I'd had this in the cupboard for a good few months and it wasn't until I'd had enough of the same old meals that I came across it. I was searching through all the jars and sachets looking for inspiration and wondered how on earth it managed to stay hidden for so long. So, I decided to give it a go.


                What it is

                A garlic and herb sauce mix with a grill flavour to be used with chicken and pasta to make a family meal.


                The packet

                The product comes in a sachet and is quite attractive with the 'Schwartz' logo printed across the top and 'Chargrilled Chicken Pasta' printed underneath. Below that is a picture of the meal, which looks very appetizing.


                Ingredients

                Thickener (Maize Starch), Sugar, Flavourings (contains Barley), Lo Salt (Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride), Wheat Flour, Onion Powder, Skimmed Milk Powder, Dried Garlic (5%), Cream Powder, Cheese Powder (contains Egg), Black Pepper, Basil, Smoked Paprika, Anti-caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Whey Powder, Vegetable Oil, Colour (Carmine), Cayenne Pepper.

                Allergy warning - Contains Wheat, Barley, Egg, Milk

                It states that this meal is not suitable of vegetarians.


                Ingredients needed

                350g (12oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
                1 onion, chopped
                1 red pepper, sliced
                1 packet of Schwartz Chargrilled Chicken Pasta Recipe Mix
                1 tbs oil
                400g tin chopped tomatoes
                50ml (2 fl oz) milk
                275g (10oz) pasta, cooked and drained

                Directions

                1. Place the chicken and the vegetables in a large bowl. Stir in the packet contents.

                2. Heat the oil and fry the chicken and vegetable for 5-6 minutes in a frying pan until browned, stirring occasionally.

                3. Add the tomatoes and milk and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

                4. Stir in the cooked pasta.

                5. Serve with salad and garlic bread.


                It gives you a 'HINT & TIP' at the bottom of the packet which states:

                For Ham & Mushroom Pasta Bake mix the pepper and onion with sliced mushrooms and the packet contents. Fry in oil for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and milk and bring to the boil. Stir in sliced ham and cooked pasta. Transfer to a heatproof dish, top with grated Cheddar cheese and grill until golden.


                I have only tried the Chicken recipe but the ham and mushroom pasta bake does sound scrumptious - definitely on my 'to-do' list.


                Verdict

                When preparing the chicken and vegetables it smelt a little spicy, now I'm not keen on spicy food so I was a bit wary at this point. But, I carried on. As I continued to cook the chicken and veg, the smell became more pleasant. After adding the tomatoes (I used chopped tomatoes with garlic) and the milk it turned a pinky red colour and it looked delicious.

                The big taste test.
                Now, on the packet it states that it includes 4 servings - let's just say, my other half and I must have very big appetites because we managed to polish off the whole lot between us. It tasted divine, the herbs gave it a very tasty flavour but not overpowering. A lot of 'mmmmm's' and 'aaaahh's' were heard from our dining table, and the odd 'this is lovely'!

                I think that this dish would be great if you substituted the pasta with some boiled, mashed or jacket potatoes and maybe some green beans. Another recipe on my 'to-do' list.

                All in all, I found this dish totally delicious and would highly recommend it to one and all. Schwartz do many great sauce mixes and I am always looking for something different to make. On my next trip to Asda, I will probably spend a lot of my time (to my boyfriend's annoyance) looking through the other many Schwartz sachets.

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                • More +
                  26.06.2008 18:21
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                  A really nice conditioner.

                  Pantene is a brand of hair care products owned by Procter & Gamble. It was created in 1947 by the Swiss drug manufacturer Hoffman-LaRoche. It was primarily a European company until it acquired by Richardson-vicks in 1983. They expanded the product line to 100 products which were mainly sold in salons and department stores.

                  I've never really liked Pantene products very much, I've always found my hair gets greasy very quickly after using it. I have very greasy hair anyway and need to wash it everyday to keep the grease at bay.

                  Anyway, it must have been back last year sometime when I received a package in the post containing a small bottle of Patene Pro-v Restoratives Time Renewal shampoo and a small bottle of Panten Pro-V Restoratives Time Renewal conditioner. So I thought it was about time to give this company another go (well, they were free)!

                  I used both products together as I'm sure most people would so I can only give my opinion on the products used in conjunction with each other.


                  The Conditioner

                  The conditioner comes in quite an attractive tube shaped container. It's white in colour with green and gold parts with a dark navy blue lid. It has the pantene logo on the front along with the type of shampoo it is (Time Renewal). The lid is at the bottom of the container which means no problems when you get to the end of the conditioner. It is a flip-top lid and just squirts
                  out into your hand.

                  On the back of the bottle is a little information about the product, directions on how to use it and the ingredients.


                  Information on the bottle

                  It starts by describing you hair as it is at present - for years you blow-dried, styled and coloured your hair, your hair looks fatigued. (Thanks)!
                  It then describes the future of your hair - the beatuy of your hair is restored and renewed. (We'll see)!
                  Followed by - Pantene Pro-V's Next Generation Shampoo and Conditioner system helps fight signs of damage - restoring hairs' sheen and silky feel and targets the problem zone, recapturing the appearance of healthy hair.

                  It then gives you the directions on how to use the product. It
                  says to apply to wet hair after shampooing. Comb through the hair with fingers beginning at the tips where conditioning is most needed and work at the roots aswell. It also promotes its other products by recommending their conditioner and others.


                  Using the product

                  I look forward to trying new hair products out to see if they do what they say they will.
                  So, I'd shampood my hair, opened the conditioner and squirted some into my hand. It was blue in colour and it smelt lovely, very fruity. It had quite thick in consistency.
                  I continued to work the conditioner into my hair and scalp. I then put a comb through my hair as I usually do, followed by my nit comb - I work in a primary school with young children so my chance of getting nits it quite high!

                  After I got out of the shower I did my usual hair drying/styling routine. Firstly, I dry my hair using a hairdryer, then I straighten my hair using straighteners. This routine is quite harsh on my hair and the ends often look dry, I also get flyaway strands on the top of my head which are very stubborn, they just won't flatten!


                  The verdict

                  I was pleased with the results even though the flyaways were still there. My hair actually did feel stronger, and the ends didn't look so dry. My hair didn't get greasy any faster than what it usually does. In fact, I was so pleased with the results that I went out and bought the full sized product.


                  Price

                  £2.83 asda
                  £2.84 tesco (any 2 for £4.00 until 01/07/08)
                  £2.99 boots

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                  • More +
                    17.06.2008 19:08
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                    Pantene Time Renewal Shampoo

                    Pantene is a brand of hair care products owned by Procter & Gamble. It was created in 1947 by the Swiss drug manufacturer Hoffman-LaRoche. It was primarily a European company until it acquired by Richardson-vicks in 1983. They expanded the product line to 100 products which were mainly sold in salons and department stores.

                    I've never really liked Pantene products very much, I've always found my hair gets greasy very quickly after using it. I have very greasy hair anyway and need to wash it everyday to keep the grease at bay.

                    Anyway, it must have been back last year sometime when I received a package in the post containing a small bottle of Patene Pro-v Restoratives Time Renewal shampoo and a small bottle of Panten Pro-V Restoratives Time Renewal conditioner. So I thought it was about time to give this company another go (well, they were free)!

                    I used both products together as I'm sure most people would so I can only give my opinion on the products used in conjunction with each other.


                    The Shampoo
                    The shampoo comes in quite an attractive bottle which is cylindrical in shape. It's white in colour with green and gold parts with a dark navy blue lid. It has the pantene logo on the front along with the type of shampoo it is (Time Renewal). The lid makes it very easy to use this shampoo, you press on one side of the top of the lid and it goes down revealing on the other side, which has popped up, a slot in which the shampoo comes out of.

                    On the back of the bottle is a little information about the product, directions on how to use it and the ingredients.


                    Information on the bottle
                    It starts by describing you hair as it is at present - for years you blow-dried, styled and coloured your hair, your hair looks fatigued. (Thanks)!

                    It then describes the future of your hair - the beatuy of your hair is restored and renewed. (We'll see)!

                    Followed by - Pantene Pro-V's Next Generation Shampoo and Conditioner system helps fight signs of damage - restoring hairs' sheen and silky feel and targets the problem zone, recapturing the appearance of healthy hair.

                    It then gives you the directions on how to use the product which is the same as all other shampoos. Massage onto wet hair, lather and rinse. Repeat if desired etc. It also promotes its other products by recommending their conditioner and others.


                    Using the product
                    I look forward to trying new hair products out to see if they what they say they will.

                    So, I was standing in the shower, opened my shampoo and put the usual amount into my hand, which is probably a bit bigger than the size of a £2 coin. It was blue in colour and it smelt lovely, very fruity. It was quite thick in consistency with a stretchy feel to it. I immediately realised that I'd put too much in my hand.

                    I continued to put the shampoo onto my hair and it lathered up quite quickly and it felt like I was using a good quality product. I then rinsed it off and decided that I didn't need to reapply as the first wash was enough.

                    I then went on the use the conditioner.

                    After I got out of the shower I did my usual hair drying/styling routine. Firstly, I dry my hair using a hairdryer, then I straighten my hair using straighteners. This routine is quite harsh on my hair and the ends often look dry, I also get flyaway strands on the top of my head which are very stubborn, they just won't flatten!


                    The verdict
                    I was pleased with the results. My hair actually did feel stronger, and the ends didn't look so dry. My hair didn't get greasy any faster than what it usually does. In fact, I was so pleased with the results that I went out and bought the full sized product. I still use other shampoos but like to use this one every few days.


                    Price
                    £2.83 asda
                    £2.84 tesco (any 2 for £4.00 until 01/07/08)
                    £2.99 boots

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                    • Whiskas Temptations / Cat Food / 93 Readings / 96 Ratings
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                      29.04.2008 17:50
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                      A tasty treat for your cat.

                      Whiskas Temptations


                      History

                      Whiskas products are sold throughout the world. The company is owned my Masterfoods.

                      Whiskas started being produced in 1939 and was known as Kal Kan before it changed to the well known name that we all know and love - Whiskas.

                      It was the first cat food to offer a range of different flavours.
                      These days they produce tinned food, pouches, foil trays, dry food and organic.

                      They also produce a variety of cat treats :- cat milk, whiskas crunch, dentabits, kitbits and temptations, which I am reviewing today.


                      Temptations

                      Temptations come in 60g boxes and in three varietys - 'salmon', 'chicken' and 'cheese and beef'.

                      They should be fed as a treat in moderation even though they are 100% nutritionally complete and apparently have less than 2 calories per treat. They are also free from artificial additives. They are given as a supplement to a balanced diet. Kittens can be given these treats after they've been weaned.

                      They come in a plastic container with a plastic lid. When you remove the lid you need to peel back the foil seal. You can then peel the seal back over and replace the plastic lid to keep the treats fresh.


                      Price

                      I buy these in Asda usually and they cost
                      89p -Beef flavour
                      94p - Salmon
                      95p - Chicken & Cheese

                      They cost the same in Tesco. I don't really know why they cost different prices, my cat seems to enjoy them all equally.

                      They are £1.09 each in Pets at Home


                      Appearance, Texture and Flavour

                      They look like little pillows. The chicken & cheese and salmon flavours are a golden brown in colour. The beef flavour are a darker brown. The inside of the treats are very similar, a light golden colour.

                      They are crunchy on the outside with a deliciously soft centre - for cats! Now I say this because it's not a good idea to eat them yourself. My boyfriend decided that he wanted to try them, and yes, he did! Not sure if you really want to know this but he tried the salmon flavour and is still here to tell the tale. Alright, now I'm not sure if this is beneficial at all in helping you decide whether or not to buy these treats for your cat but here goes his opinion. He told me that the outside was crunchy but tasted a bit like a gone off crisp with the texture of a scampi fry. The inside was soft and he described it as 'disgusting'. He said it seemed to dry out his mouth. He did say that he's sure he would like it if he was a cat.


                      Now the all important cat opinion

                      My feline friend is called Abby. Now, Abby is 'My Little Princess', the 'Boss of the House', 'Lady of the Manor'. Spoilt rotten! She is also a very fussy little cat. When it comes to ordinary cat food, it has to be Felix. She's not very keen on Whiskas or other leading brands.

                      Ok, so we have established that she's a fussy little princess. So, as you can probably guess, she has Christmas presents. Well, these 'Temptations' were in a Whiskas stocking that we bought for her, along with a toy ball and a toy mouse. She didn't take any notice of the ball or the mouse, but the treats, now that's a different story.

                      We firstly took off the plastic lid, then peeled back the film lid underneath. Her nose immediately started twitching and she proceeded to come straight over to find out what this scrumptious smell was. So, we gave her one of the treats. She sniffed it, and then one crunch and it was gone! She then started to smell the box and rub into it. So, we gave her another followed by another. She was purring by this time.

                      Whiskas Temptations were a hit - a big hit!

                      She can't get enough of these treats. I regularly buy them for her, she enjoys all three flavours. All I have to do is give the box a shake and she's over in a flash demanding these heavenly treats.

                      I must admit to having tried to use them as a bribe - unfortunately didn't work. I've tried to teach her tricks by using these as a reward - not interested! I'm sure if I had the patience it would eventually work, but I also don't have the heart to watch her big eyes looking up at me with such anticipation and then saying 'no'!

                      So, for all you cat lovers out there, I would definitely recommend 'Whiskas Temptations'. My cat loves them and I'm sure yours will too.

                      For useful information and these, other Whiskas products and tips on caring for your cat, see www.whiskas.co.uk

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                        06.04.2008 21:01
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                        Stay away from Carcraft Newport!

                        I have recently been looking at buying a new car. I really fancy the Ford Fiesta ST, in black. After searching and searching the internet I found one in Carcraft, Newport.

                        Carcraft was established in 1951 and is an independent used car hypermarket. They have many stores across the country. I went to the Newport branch in South Wales.
                        It is comfortably warm inside has a café and is very welcoming, a bit too welcoming. The sales people don't leave you alone to browse and are constantly pestering you to buy buy buy!
                        The Newport branch is very easy to get to, it's just off the M4.

                        So, off we went (me and my boyfriend).

                        When we walked in we were immediately greeted by a salesperson, we told him exactly what we were looking for and he showed us the ST. He then asked us if we would be wanting finance, which we weren't.

                        After a short while he came with the keys to take us for a test drive. The car wouldn't start, so he went to find a battery pack. He came back with a battery pack which was also flat so he went to get another, which was also flat, he then went to get a mechanic to solve the problem.

                        After around an hour, we finally got to test drive the car. I couldn't quite believe where he took us - up a short industrial estate road, the road had no bends, no junctions. When we got back to Carcraft, he started to pressure us into buying it. What do I have to do to make you buy it today etc? We decided to go for lunch and chat about it, he was none too pleased about our decision. During lunch we decided that it wasn't for us, we thought we could find it cheaper elsewhere.
                        That was that!


                        After a couple of weeks we thought we'd go back and ask to test drive the car on a better road, maybe up the dual carriageway and around the roundabout, round a few good bends etc.
                        We arrived about 2pm and were greeted by another salesman.

                        Salesman: Can I help you Sir, Madam?

                        Us: Yes, we would like to take the black Fiesta ST for a test drive.

                        Salesman: Would you be wanting finance on that?

                        Us: No thank you.

                        Salesman: Are you sure you don't want finance?

                        Us: Yes, quite sure.

                        Salesman: Do you wish to part exchange your car?

                        Us: No thank you.

                        Salesman: What car do you have?

                        Us: A Megane Coupe, but we don't want to part exchange as we think we can get a better price by selling it privately. Can we take the fiesta on a test drive?

                        Salesman: I'll just go and take a look at your car and see if I can give you a good price, I'll be 5 minutes.

                        Us: Umm, ok.

                        Five minutes went by, followed by another five minutes and another. Oh, hang on I think I can see him. Oh, he's gone again. Another ten minutes went by and we decided to leave. As we walked back to our car we saw him coming out of the smoking cabin which they have outside. I was fuming! I can definitely say that I will never ever be going back there again and would not recommend the place to anyone. It's full of pushy salespeople who really don't give a damn!

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                        • Electrolux ESL63010 / Dishwasher / 113 Readings / 108 Ratings
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                          11.03.2008 17:10
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                          An integrated dishwasher.

                          Electrolux ESL 63010 Dishwasher

                          A BRIEF HISTORY
                          Electrolux is a Swedish corporation founded in 1910. The name Electrolux is a combination three separate companies' names - Elektromekaniska, Elektron and Lux. These three companies joined forces in 1919 and came up with the name Elektrolux. It wasn't until 1957 when they decided to change the 'k' to a 'c' and make it Electrolux.
                          Electrolux is now one of the worlds leading electrical appliance companies. It sells over 40 million products each year in 150 countries worldwide.

                          INTRODUCTION
                          Last year we built a new extension onto our house to make our kitchen bigger. We then, had to buy a new kitchen, so off we went to all the places we could think of to pick up brochures. To cut a long story short we decided on one we really liked in Wickes. The next job was to choose the appliances. We bought most of the large appliances in Wickes at the same time we bought our kitchen.
                          I was very excited about getting the dishwasher - we'd never had a dishwasher before as our old kitchen was too small to fit one.
                          We decided that we wanted all of our large appliances integrated so we went for the Electrolux ESL 63010. Here are the results.....

                          LOOKS & DESIGN
                          EXTERIOR
                          There's not a lot I can say about the exterior of the dishwasher. It's integrated so the cupboard door is attached to the dishwasher door. When the dishwasher arrived in the delivery van we noticed that it had a scratch on the side - I phoned up Wickes who offered to either change it or give us a cheque for £75. We decided to take the cheque as you couldn't see the scratch once the dishwasher was fitted into its housing.


                          INTERIOR
                          The inside is no different to other dishwashers I have seen. It has a lower basket and an upper basket.
                          The lower basket is designed for the larger heavy items such as dinner plates, saucepans, salad bowls, casserole dishes etc. the cutlery rack also fits into this part of the dishwasher.
                          The upper basket holds cups, mugs, glasses, plastic bowls, saucers and plates. Any light items must be loaded in this upper basket. The controls and soap dispenser are on the inside of the door. These are very easy to get to and operate.

                          CONTROL PANEL
                          The control panel is on the inside top of the door.
                          On/Off button - self explanatory.
                          Delay Start button - this selection can be used to delay a programme by 3 hours.
                          Programme Selection/Cancel button - this button is used to select the appropriate programme that you want to use, from intensive wash (heavily soiled dishes), normal wash, quick wash, eco wash and a rinse and hold option.
                          Indicator lights - there are three indicator lights, one which shows the end of a programme, one which illuminates when the rinse aid has run out and another for when the salt has run out.
                          Programme lights - each of the types of wash programmes are displayed on the control panel with a picture. A light next to the picture of the wash you are using illuminates when you are using that particular wash.

                          OPERATING THE DISHWASHER
                          Before you use the dishwasher for the first time you need to set the water softener, fill the salt container and fill the rinse aid dispenser.
                          Water softener - you first need to find out the hardness of your water. You can do this by contacting your local water authority. You need to set this both manually and electronically. To manually adjust it you need to turn the water hardness dial which you find at the inside bottom of your dishwasher. To electronically set the dishwasher hardness you need to use the controls on the control panel. There are very easy to follow instructions in the manual to do this.
                          Dishwasher salt container - this is located in the inside bottom of the dishwasher. You just open the container, place 1 litre of water inside and then add the salt. You don't usually need to put water in, only for the first time.
                          Rinse aid dispenser - this is located inside the door of the dishwasher. I find this quite tricky to do as I seem to spill such a lot whilst trying to pour the rinse aid into such a small hole.

                          Before loading dishes into the machine you need to remove any left over food and debris. Once loaded the dishwasher is then ready to use. You place the dishwasher tablet or detergent into the compartment. (I have only ever used the tablets, which are extremely simple to use.) All you have to do then is to turn the machine on, choose the relevant wash programme and close the door. It's as simple as that.
                          You can interrupt the dishwasher at any time by just opening the door - this should be done carefully. The programme will then continue once the dishwasher door is closed.

                          WASH PROGRAMMES
                          Intensive - for heavily soiled dishes. This takes 120-130 minutes.
                          Normal - for normal soiled dishes. This takes 105-115 minutes.
                          Quick - normal or light soiled dishes. This takes 30 minutes.
                          ECO - Normal soil. This takes 130-140 minutes. This programme uses a lot less water and energy consumption that the intensive and normal wash.
                          Rinse and hold - any amount of soiling and/or a partial load to be completed later in the day. This takes 12 minutes.
                          I use the quick wash most often and occasionally the normal wash. When I first had this dishwasher I was surprised at the length of the wash cycles, but I believe that most dishwashers are the same.


                          OPERATING SOUNDS
                          It's not a particularly noisy machine, I'd say it sounds very similar to the washing machine but without the spin cycle. It makes a beeping noise when the machine has finished its cycle.

                          MANUAL
                          The manual is very easy to understand. It is split into the following sections:
                          Safety information
                          Product description
                          Control panel
                          First use
                          Daily use
                          Washing programmes
                          Care and cleaning
                          Something not working - this section is always helpful in manuals for various appliances.
                          Technical data
                          Hints for test institutes - not sure what this section is for. Does it really need to be in the manual?
                          Installation - easy to follow, could do with more diagrams.
                          Environment concerns - this section just gives information about packaging and what to do when you no longer need the appliance.

                          My boyfriend installed the machine himself. The only problem that he came across was the amount of space at the back of the machine is very limited - he had to move the water pipes twice to be able to fit the machine into place.

                          CARE & CLEANING
                          There are filters placed in the base of the washing machine. These need to be cleaned from time to time. They are easily removed, they then need to be rinsed under running water. It's recommended that the wash programme for heavily soiled dishes is used every three months and the seals around the door, dispensers and the control panel are wiped down every now and then.

                          COST
                          This dishwasher cost £499.00 at Wickes. I did have a large discount because I spent so much on appliances. Also, when it arrived it was slightly damaged (a scratch on the side) we had a cheque in the post for £75.
                          I have had a look online and have found it for £429.95 at www.currys.co.uk and £349.00 at www.bootskitchenappliances.com


                          OVERALL OPINION
                          I couldn't live without a dishwasher now that I have one. It's brilliant! It's very easy to load, unload and use. Although for some strange reason my boyfriend doesn't like unloading it!!
                          I generally use the 30 minute wash, it's a lot quicker, uses less water and less energy. The only time I use any of the other wash cycles is if I have particularly dirty dishes or if the dishwasher needs a clean.
                          The dishes come out of the machine very clean indeed. The only time I've had to re-wash any is because of the way the item had been placed in the dishwasher - the water was unable to reach all parts of the item.
                          One of the problems with owning a dishwasher is that it makes you extremely lazy, I must admit that I rarely re-use a mug or glass, I tend to put them straight into the dishwasher after I use them and then get a clean one for my next cuppa!! I do actually know someone who went without a cuppa because she didn't have any clean mugs in her cupboard - it didn't even enter her head to get one out of the machine and hand wash it!! Now that is lazy - I'm not that bad....yet!
                          So, I would definitely recommend owing a dishwasher, I would recommend owning this dishwasher but I haven't had a dishwasher before to compare it to. I have used my parents one and it seems very similar indeed. So if any of you out there haven't got a dishwasher, you don't know what you're missing out on!

                          For any more enquiries see
                          www.electrolux.co.uk/

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                          • General / Discussion / 97 Readings / 89 Ratings
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                            26.02.2008 18:19
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                            Not sure if you know me any better!

                            I've quite enjoyed reading other peoples 20 questions on here so I thought I'd give it a go.

                            Here goes, me in 20 questions.



                            1. How long, on average, does it take you to get rid of someone trying to sell you something over the phone?

                            I rarely get these phone calls anymore as I joined the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) online. They somehow stop you from having them and it doesn't cost a thing. www.tpsonline.org.uk
                            If I do get a call I just tell them I am a member of the TPS and they apologise and hang up. So, in answer to the question - 10 seconds.



                            2. What is the most expensive object you have ever broken on purpose? ('when angry' counts as 'on purpose' even if you regretted it soon afterwards)

                            I've sat and thought and thought. I honestly can't think of anything. I have often thought about breaking something purposely when in anger but have never had the guts to do it.
                            My boyfriend does get quite angry with things and has damaged a few things. One story which springs to mind is when I accidentally hurt him in his private parts. He fell to the floor and punched a massive whole in our bath panel! Not that a bath panel is that expensive. He sometimes gets quite frustrated when trying to fix something and loses his rag with it and flings it across the room.



                            3. If you buy something for 99p with a £1 coin, do you really want the 1p back?

                            Not usually, no. It depends on what it is. If it is something that I want the receipt for then I will keep the penny when they give me the receipt, otherwise I place it in the charity box.
                            I have noticed that when we get a Dominos Pizza delivery and it cost something and 99p, they don't even offer you the penny change. A bit cheeky!



                            4. What was the last thing you shouted while alone in a car?

                            Probably, 'AAAAAAHHHHHHH!' I find it very therapeutic, just screaming or shouting at the top of your voice - no-one can hear you and it is a real stress reliever!
                            I do tend to call all sorts of useless drivers various things that I couldn't possibly repeat on here. ;o)



                            5. What is your typical path through a supermarket?

                            Usually, straight up the veg aisle, and then I go up and down the aisles as I come to them, unless I don't need toilet roll, toiletries, then I just miss those out.
                            Occasionally I take a trip upstairs to the clothes department and then along the books and household items aisles.



                            6. Do you lick the underside of the foil top when eating a pot of yoghurt?

                            Yes. I am not a huge yogurt fan, I usually go for the strawberry flavour. Am enjoying the shape longer lasting ones at the moment.
                            My cat likes to lick the yogurt pot after I've finished. Occasionally I let her lick the lid.



                            7. How many greetings cards have you sent in the last 12 months?

                            Not including Christmas cards, I'd say around 35-40. Seems a lot written down like that. It includes birthday cards, new baby cards, sympathy cards.



                            8. A criminal maniac invites you to "Pick a city for destruction, Mr. Bond." Which one do you choose?

                            Don't really have any sort of hatred for any city. Uuuummmm. I'd tell him to get all the useless politicians, politically correct people and do-gooders into whichever city he chooses and bomb that!



                            9. Which font do you use most often?

                            Sassoon Primary Infant. The reason being, I work in a primary school and it is the font in which the letters and numbers are formed correctly.
                            I also like Maiandra GD, Comic Sans, Papyrus, Bradley Hand ITC and Jenkins v2.0.



                            10. If you had the choice between a petrol chainsaw or a bread knife, which would you use for felling a small tree with a 1" diameter trunk?

                            A bread knife. I would really enjoy using a petrol chainsaw but I don't think I'd get the enjoyment out of it by cutting a tree with a 1" diameter trunk. You need a really thick tree trunk for that, or at least 10" diameter!



                            11. On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you know when to use a semicolon?

                            5 - I'm not that confident. It's when you have two sentences that you can't really use a comma for but a full stop is too final.
                            I know that its one of the first eight keys on a typewriter that you learn when you have typing lessons - not that that's any help!



                            12. What proportion of the CDs you own are in their original cases right now?

                            98% The only ones that are out of their cases are the ones in my car's CD multi-changer and I think there's one in the CD player upstairs. I like to have my CD's in order, I hate it when I go to play a CD and its not in the case or even worse a different one has been put in there!!!



                            13. Favourite colour black or white?

                            Black. It goes with anything and it doesn't show up the dirt like white does. My boyfriend is a dirt magnet, can you imagine if I had something white. My car is black, most of my clothes are black, I have a black three-piece suite - yeah, I like black!



                            14. How accurate is the time on your watch?

                            Very accurate, apart from the second hand! I like to be punctual and it drives me nuts if the battery goes in my watch.



                            15. What are you wearing right now?

                            Black trousers, black top, black shoes - kind of goes with the black or white question above! (no. 13)



                            16. Have you ever written to, emailed or telephoned a newspaper, radio station, TV programme etc? If so, what did you say?
                            I emailed ITV once. It was about their biased commentary during a rugby match during the rugby world cup. I had a real whinge and I did get an apology back.


                            17. Do you, in the most fundamental depths of your soul, give a crap about the extinction of the Red Cockaded Woodpecker?

                            Yes I do. I love animals and I think it's sad when any animal faces extinction.



                            18. What is the cheapest thing you've bought with a debit or credit card in the past month?

                            Carton of milk, bread, carrots and an onion. Had no cash and was desperate. I did have cash back in the transaction if that counts.



                            19. Favourite books?

                            There are loads. As a child I liked 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and 'George's Marvellous Medicine' by Roald Dahl. I also loved Enid Blyton's 'Faraway Tree' books and 'Wishing Chair' books.
                            Now I enjoy Olivia Goldsmith books, Freya North and the occasional trashy Jackie Collins novel amongst others.



                            20. What is your most favourite meal?

                            Sorry, can't just narrow it down to one.
                            Firstly, a good roast - got to be chicken, with all the trimmings (especially pigs in blankets).
                            Secondly, Pizza or Chinese. Can't decide between the two. You can't beat a good take away on a Saturday night whilst watching a good film.

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                            • Morphy Richards 43696 / Kettle / 70 Readings / 65 Ratings
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                              17.02.2008 19:14
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                              A nice looking kettle.

                              MORPHY RICHARDS 43696 KETTLE

                              HISTORY
                              Donal Morphy and Charles Richards worked together at an electric fire company. Morphy was an engineer and Richards was a salesman. In July 1936 they registered their new enterprises as a private company manufacturing and dealing in electrical, gas, radio and television equipment. They set out to produce affordable modern appliances for the mass market. The company is a household name that is still doing extremely well today.

                              I bought this kettle last year when we were building our extension for our new kitchen. I wanted a black theme so was always on the lookout for black appliances. Our old kettle had done us well, but it had started making a funny loud whistling sound when it was being boiled. The noise got louder and louder, I then decided we had to get my new kettle out before the kitchen was complete. I was gutted, I had planned to have everything new, put out into the new kitchen all at the same time. Oh well, I got to try out our new kettle.
                              The reason I chose this kettle was mainly because of the look of it. I liked the shape of it, it was traditional looking.

                              Design
                              Like I just stated, it is traditional looking but in a contemporary way (if that makes sense), with a handle on the top of the kettle. The handle is made of black plastic so therefore heatproof. It is almost triangular in shape. It is black in colour and has a water level indicator up the side. The on switch is just below this indicator. The pouring spout is near the top of the kettle and it has a lift off lid which is quite small on top. The Morphy Richards logo is on the front. There is also a light on the front of the kettle below the logo, this lights up green when the kettle is in use.
                              It is cordless and sits on a 360º connector.

                              Extras
                              It has the option of whether you want it to whistle when it reaches boiling point or not. I am so glad it is an option, because to be quite frank, the whistle is quite annoying. It sounds more like a siren. Sometimes when you for instance refill the kettle and the base moves by accident, it can trigger the switch and unbeknown to you, the siren has been activated. You then have a bit of a shock when the siren rings, especially if it is early morning.
                              It has a 3 kW element for rapid boiling and also something which is called 'quiet boil technology' which reduces noise levels.
                              The element is concealed for easy cleaning and descaling. Where I live we don't have hard water so we have no real need for the descaling.
                              The maximum capacity of the kettle is 1.5 litres.

                              Using the kettle
                              Now, I use my kettle quite a lot. Every morning without fail, usually when I get in from work and then when I'm cooking, the cuppa after having our evening meal and occasionally in winter for a hot chocolate and a hot water bottle.
                              To fill this kettle they state in the manual to fill via the spout, I find this quite odd as if the filter removes any impurities when it is being filled, surely those impurities are being poured back into your tea? Anyway, they are the instructions so that's what I do. I then place the kettle back onto it's connector, then proceed to switch it on. Not very exciting I know. Then you have to wait, even though it is a rapid boil kettle, I suggest you go and do something as a 'watched pot never boils', as my Nan used to say!
                              If full to maximum it takes 3 minutes 16 seconds to boil (yes, I timed it).
                              You then proceed to use your boiling water. In my case a lovely hot cuppa, nice and strong! (I couldn't boil the kettle and not use the hot water now could I?)
                              It is very easy to pour. The only problem I have come across is that you have to wait a couple of seconds after the water has finished boiling as it tends to come out in spurts because the water is still bubbling, you then end up missing the cup and getting hot water everywhere.

                              Cleaning the kettle
                              I find this painted kettle much easier to keep clean that my old stainless steel one. The outside just needs a wipe over with a damp cloth, it doesn't smudge like a stainless steel one. It is fitted with a concealed element and this also makes it easier to clean and to descale, like I said earlier we don't really have problems with limescale as our water is soft.

                              Safety
                              Apart from the water coming out in spurts if just boiled I can see no safety hazards with this kettle. Its just common sense that you don't let children near appliances which they can burn or scald themselves on.
                              The cord of the kettle can be wrapped around the base which the kettle sits on, this prevents overhanging cables which children or pets can pull.

                              Problems
                              I noticed just before writing this review that some of the paint is coming off where the lid fits onto the top of the kettle. I was a bit disappointed as I haven't had the kettle that long and it's in a place which isn't even touched.
                              Also, the water level indicator isn't very good. Sometimes it looks as though the kettle is say, half full, but when you lift it, it is virtually empty. Also as you fill the kettle, it takes time for the water indicator to show that you are filling it and then you tend to overfill it and have to empty some out. This can be a bit annoying.

                              Price
                              I bought this in Argos for £39.99. After Christmas it was reduced - just my luck.
                              After having a look online I've found it at:
                              £47.93 Amazon.co.uk
                              £39.99 Currys & Comet
                              and
                              £37.99 coopelectricalshop.co.uk was the cheapest I could find.

                              Overall, I like this kettle, mainly because of the design. It does the job but has a few flaws which could easily be sorted out by the manufacturer.
                              Will it last? I will just have to wait and see, only time will tell.
                              Would I recommend? A difficult one, it's a nice kettle and if I were to turn back time I would probably still get it.
                              But not as great as I thought it would be.

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                              • More +
                                10.02.2008 13:46
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                                Really nice microwave oven.

                                DAEWOO MICROWAVE OVEN KOR-8A0R

                                A BIT OF HISTORY ABOUT THE COMPANY
                                Daewoo Electronics was established in 1971 and is now a global business in more than 40 countries worldwide. Daewoo Electronics Sales UK was established in November 1993.
                                The company sells a wide range of goods from refrigeration and sound and vision products such as TV's, DVD and VCR players/recorders, as well as vacuum cleaners, washing machines and microwaves of course.

                                HOW MICROWAVES COOK FOOD
                                In a microwave oven, electricity is converted into microwaves by the magnetron. Then they pass through the cooking containers to be absorbed by the water molecules in the food. The microwaves bounce off the metal walls and the metal door screen. The microwaves cause the water molecules to vibrate which causes friction which in turn causes heat. The heat then cooks the food.

                                MY REASON FOR BUYING A MICROWAVE
                                Towards the end of last year I had a new fitted kitchen. It was long awaited as my boyfriend did all the work including building an extension for the new kitchen (he also works full time). Work started in May and finished around October/November time. As he was doing all the grafting, I was looking online, around shops etc, looking for all the lovely new things I could put into my new kitchen. It wasn't until September time that I started thinking about a new microwave. My old one was actually my parents old one and we desperately needed a new one, so I thought I might as well get one to match the new décor. I chose the Daewoo KOR-8A0R, the main reason I chose this one was because of the colour and that it wasn't ridiculously priced like all of the other black microwaves I have seen. I paid £47.99 for it on Amazon.co.uk. I really didn't want anything fancy, just something that would heat and defrost. Is there anyone out there who actually uses the grill options? Well, I never have so I wasn't about to start now. I must admit that I didn't really want to pay as much as £47.99 but it was the cheapest black one around at the time.
                                I have recently looked online at prices and Amazon still works out the cheapest at £47.99 and free p+p. I have also seen this appliance on Empiredirect.co.uk for £55.99 with free p+p and at Asda-electricals.co.uk for £43.94 with £7.99 p+p.

                                SPECIFICATIONS
                                23 litre capacity volume
                                800W microwave output
                                10 power levels
                                59 minutes 99 second cooking timer
                                Weight : 12.5kg
                                Dimensions : 465 x 279 x 366mm
                                Concave reflex syster : a more efficient emission of microwaves ensures food is cooked more quickly and evenly


                                DESIGN
                                It is a really stylish microwave oven. Mine is black but it does come in grey also. It has a glossy sheen to it and does look stunning in the kitchen. It is a 'touch' microwave which means it has various options which can be used at the touch of a button. The door of the microwave has a viewing screen so that you can see the food cooking, which is handy.


                                THE BUTTONS/KNOBS
                                AUTO COOK - used to cook using a program or to reheat. You press this button once to cook fresh vegetables, twice to cook frozen vegetables, 3 times for jacket potatoes, 4 times for rice/pasta and 5 times to reheat pizza. Once you've chosen the option you want, you then have to turn the dial knob to set the weight of the food.

                                AUTO DEFROST - used to defrost foods by weight. You set the weight of the food to be defrosted and the microwave automatically sets the defrosting time and power level. You push the button once for meat, twice for poultry, 3 times for fish and 4 times for bread.

                                Chilled Meal - used to reheat the meal. You press this button followed by the dial knob to set the weight from 300g to 500g every 100g.

                                Micro Power - used to set power level, there are 10 to choose from. These range from P-HI which is 100% of power to P-00 using 0% of power. The power level goes down by 10% each time you press this button. I must admit that I rarely press this button and use the microwave on the highest setting.

                                Frozen Meal - used to reheat the meal. You press this button, followed by the dial knob to set the weight from 300g, 500g every 100g.

                                Soup/Sauce - used to reheat. Once you press this button, you just have to turn the dial knob to set the weight of the food.

                                Quick defrost - used to defrost 500g of minced meat very quickly.

                                Clock - used to set the clock

                                Dial knob - used to set the time and weight

                                START/Express cook - used to start the oven operation and also increase the reheat time by 30 seconds each time you press it.

                                STOP/Clear - used to stop the oven during operation or to erase all entries.
                                You can also stop the oven during operation by opening the microwave door.

                                An alarm sounds at the end of cooking/defrosting time. It also has a clock which can be turned to power saving mode by pressing the STOP/Clear button. The clock is easily set by pressing the clock button once for 12 hour clock and twice for a 24 hour clock. You then use the dial knob button to adjust the time, followed by the clock button once again to set it.

                                The appliance also comes with a Child Safety Lock which prevents unwanted oven operation such as by small children. To set this you just press and hold the STOP/Clear button for 3 seconds, you can cancel this option by doing the same as above. This comes in very handy, as you can imagine, the last thing you want is for a child to open the microwave door and get burnt or scalded.

                                CLEANING THE APPLIANCE
                                The microwave has an acrylic cavity which is easy to clean, durable and rust-proof.
                                To clean the outside of the oven you can use soap and water and then rinse and dried with a soft clean cloth.
                                The inside of the oven should be cleaned on a regular basis. Use a damp cloth with or without a mild detergent to clean splatters or spilled liquids.
                                The removable glass tray (made of heat resistant glass) can be removed and washed with warm soapy water or placed in a dishwasher. (I prefer the latter as I have never had a dishwasher before and I dishwash everything at the moment). I think my human dishwasher (my boyfriend) has been on strike since we've had the dishwasher!

                                USERS MANUAL
                                The users manual is very easy to follow and is set out in step by step form. It gives you examples of the food you want to cook/defrost and what setting it should be on.

                                It includes a utensil guide which tells you what utensils are safe to use inside the microwave;
                                For example
                                They recommend you use aluminium foil, freezer bags and grease-proof paper.
                                They tell you that you can use china and earthenware, disposable polyester and cardboard dishes, polystyrene cups, glassware, paper plates/cups and plastic for limited use.
                                And they say that it is not recommended that you use metal or newspaper.

                                The manual also gives you advice on using your microwave safely, do's and don'ts. A lot of this is common sense.

                                It tells you about cooking techniques, all pretty boring if you ask me, but it's there just in case. It gives you information about cling film, the shape of foods, arranging the food in the microwave and covering certain foods.

                                At the end of the manual they have given a few handy recipes such as Tomato and Orange Soup, Omelettes, Honeyed Chicken and Scrambled Eggs.

                                OPERATING THE MICROWAVE AND MY EXPERIENCE
                                Using the appliance is very simple, you just place food into a suitable container and into the microwave. You then use the 'touch' buttons or the dial knob to operate the correct function. The microwave oven automatically cooks on full power unless set to a lower power level. The appliance can be stopped and the door opened at any time during cooking/defrosting. This makes it easy to check food to see if it's nearly done or to give the container a shake as a lot of ready meals ask you to do this. You then just have to close the door again to continue cooking/defrosting, it then starts automatically so you don't have to press the start button once again.
                                I have used this appliance quite a lot, mainly for heating and cooking. I find it works very well but I can't see any difference between this microwave and my old one. It does exactly what a microwave is supposed to. I've defrosted mince and chicken in it, but find that it slightly cooks the edges, especially of the chicken. When I defrost minced meat in it, I tend to break off the defrosted bits and place them on a different plate. I have had this problem with every microwave I've used and would love to hear from anyone who has not experienced this.
                                I must admit to mainly use the dial knob to time the food myself. I think it's a lot less complicated, and these days most food packets tell you exactly how to cook/re-heat/defrost the food in a microwave, they even tell you different times for different wattages! So, in a way, there is no need for all the extra buttons - in my opinion.
                                I think that this microwave does exactly what I want it to, and it looks good in my kitchen (when it's tidy). I would recommend it unless you want one with more features such as a grill.

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                                • Electrolux ENN26800 / Fridge / 70 Readings / 68 Ratings
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                                  02.02.2008 11:57
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                                  All in all a great fridge freezer!

                                  Electrolux Fridge-Freezer ENN26800 50:50

                                  A BRIEF HISTORY
                                  Electrolux is a Swedish corporation founded in 1910. The name Electrolux is a combination three separate companies' names - Elektromekaniska, Elektron and Lux. These three companies joined forces in 1919 and came up with the name Elektrolux. It wasn't until 1957 when they decided to change the 'k' to a 'c' and make it Electrolux.
                                  Electrolux is now one of the worlds leading electrical appliance companies. It sells over 40 million products each year in 150 countries worldwide.

                                  INTRODUCTION
                                  We recently built a new extension onto our house to make our kitchen bigger. We then, had to buy a new kitchen, so off we went to all the places we could think of to pick up brochures. To cut a long story short we decided on one we really liked in Wickes. The next job was to choose the appliances. We never had a fridge-freezer before, we had separates, so as sad as I am, I was looking forward to having an all in one (if you still live at home with parents, these things will excite you one day).
                                  So, we came across this Electrolux 50:50 integrated one (which is frost free) and here are the results...........

                                  LOOKS & DESIGN
                                  EXTERIOR
                                  Well, what can I say, it's integrated so it doesn't really matter what it looks like from the outside. It fitted nicely into the fridge-freezer housing unit, without a hitch. When it's in, it looks great with the unit doors to match the rest of the kitchen. It's a 50:50 so the fridge and freezer compartments are the same size.

                                  INTERIOR
                                  Fridge
                                  There are two vegetable compartments inside in the shape of drawers, these are positioned at the bottom of the fridge - which is the case in most fridges. There are 3 full depth shelves, one of which sits on top of the veg compartments and 2 half depth shelves, these can be place wherever you want, you don't have to use all shelves if you don't want to.
                                  In the door there is a compartment for milk, drinks etc, a compartment with a lid situated at the top of the door for such things as cheese, this measure the full width of the door, there is also a similar one, without the lid for things like jam, marmalade and you can also place an egg holder in here. There is the option of fitting another smaller compartment which could also hold something like cheese or butter, but I found that this took up too much room and I couldn't fit my all important wine in the fridge door!!

                                  Freezer
                                  The interior of the freezer is much simpler, it has 3 full size drawers and a half size drawer which could contain ice cube trays or flatter things, this compartment is situated at the top of the freezer.

                                  CONTROL PANEL
                                  There is a control panel which is situated above the fridge door, to get to this you must open the fridge. The following buttons are on the panel:
                                  Appliance button on/off - self explanatory
                                  Freezer thermostat knob - used to adjust the temperature of the freezer
                                  Temperature indication button - lets you change the display which shows the temperature of either the fridge or freezer
                                  Function button/reset alarm - this is the button that lets you change modes to either shopping mode or fast freeze mode (I will explain later)
                                  Fridge thermostat knob - used to adjust the temperature of the fridge

                                  It is very simple to set and change the temperatures of both the fridge and freezer compartments. You press the temperature indication button until the correct compartment is shown on the display and then turn the thermostat knob to the desired temperature. Within 5 seconds the current temperature is displayed but the fridge freezer is then working to get to the desired temperature, to which you have set it.

                                  There is also a display on the control panel which lets you know the temperature of the fridge or freezer, whether or not the fast freeze function is on and whether or not the shopping function is on.

                                  Fast freeze function
                                  To use this option you need to press the function button until the correct symbol appears on the display - which is a snowflake. This is recommended if you are freezing fresh food. The freezing process takes 24 hours. The fast freeze function stops automatically after 54 hours but you can do this manually by pressing the function button. I don't completely understand why it lasts for 54 hours when it states that it takes 24 hours for the food to freeze.
                                  They also recommend that this function be used for 24 hours before you first use the freezer.

                                  Shopping function
                                  This function is used if you need to insert a large amount of warm food into the fridge. It helps to chill the products more rapidly, this avoids warming other foods which may already be in the fridge. To use this button you need to press the function button until the symbol of a shopping trolley appears on the display. This function automatically shuts off after 6 hours. You can also deactivate this function at any time by pressing the function button.

                                  Excessive temperature alarm
                                  When for instance there is a power cut and the freezer temperature rises the following happens:
                                  Flashing temperature display
                                  Flashing freezer compartment on the display
                                  Red illumination of display
                                  Sounding of a buzzer
                                  During the above phase, the buzzer can be switched off by pressing the function button on the display panel. The red illumination stays red until normal conditions are restored.

                                  DEFROSTING
                                  The fridge automatically defrosts every time the compressor stops. The water is discharged into a tray located at the back where it evaporates.
                                  The freezer is frost free so there is no need to defrost the appliance. This is a fabulous feature of the fridge freezer. I don't know how long I spent defrosting my old freezer - what a horrible job!

                                  OPERATING SOUNDS
                                  The manual states that you may hear faint gurgling or bubbling sounds, I must admit that these sounds are far from faint, in fact I consider them to be quite loud. But I would not let this fact put off anyone from buying one of these fridge freezers.

                                  MANUAL
                                  The manual is very easy to understand. It is split into the following sections:
                                  Operation
                                  Hints and Tips
                                  Maintenance and Cleaning
                                  Something Not Working
                                  Service and Spare Parts
                                  Customer Care
                                  Guarantee Conditions

                                  There is also a section with instructions for the installer giving technical specification, installation, electrical connection and door reversal. It also tells you how to fit the cupboard doors onto the appliance, which were quite difficult to understand but my boyfriend, being good at diy, managed.
                                  We fitted our own kitchen and the appliances, these instructions were relatively easy to follow, we did come up against a few hiccups due to poor diagrams, though it was set out in easy 1,2,3 step type paragraphs.

                                  Main Specifications
                                  Depth in cm: 55 cm
                                  Energy Consumption per Year in kWh: 335
                                  Energy Efficiency: A
                                  Freezer Stars: 4 stars
                                  Height in cm: 178 cm
                                  Width in cm: 56 cm
                                  Net Capacity Freezer in Litres: 78
                                  Net Capacity Refrigerator in Litres: 162


                                  COST
                                  We paid quite a lot for this fridge freezer, but by doing so, we had a massive discount off out kitchen. So, it was well worth it. We paid £1000 but I know that you can get it for as little as £560 with Asda online. Sounds like a massive difference so it's well worth a shop around.

                                  OVERALL OPINION
                                  I really like this fridge freezer. The fridge keeps the food really fresh and has enough space to fit everything I need.
                                  The freezer also keeps food fresh and also has enough space to fit everything.
                                  I really like the fact that it is frost free and that there is no defrosting to do.
                                  The manual is very easy to follow and the appliance is very simple to use.
                                  The only downfall is the noise that it makes, it makes a loud gurgling sound, luckily this does not affect anything and isn't a major problem. The downstairs in our house is open plan and I don't have a door entering the kitchen, we can only hear it if the television is switched off or the volume is extremely low.
                                  So, all in all, I think this is an excellent product that I would recommend.


                                  www.electrolux.co.uk/

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