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Dragonfairy

Dragonfairy
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Member since: 30.03.2013

  • Hi I've been with this site for nearly a year, I really enjoy the community aspect and writing the reviews of course.

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    • More +
      02.02.2016 14:14
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "nice smell"

      Disadvantages

      • "made my hair feel oily"

      A nice smelling shampoo, but more for dry hair

      I bought this shampoo with the matching conditioner from Wilkos, as it was on offer for a £1. It's for normal to dry hair. My hair is very fine and tends to be normal to greasy, if not washed every couple of days.

      Shampoo isn't something that I am particularly brand loyal about, although I do find some are better than others.

      This is a pinky red shampoo, with a sweet raspberry smell. It promises to add moisture, and to make your hair smell nice. I used it with the Alberto raspberry conditioner.

      I found the shampoo quite gloopy and used about a 50p sized blob to wash my hair, which is actually a bit bigger than I would normally use. I think it was the gloopier consistency, which made me use more.

      I found it mixed into my hair easily, producing a nice amount of lather, not too much or too little. I like to use any spare lather to give my body an extra wash. (Before the shower gel, there may be a reason my husband complains about how long I'm in the shower for). Anyway back to the shampoo, this rinses out of my hair easily, leaving it feeling clean and well moisturised, in fact with the conditioner I found it too well moisturised, and felt my hair quickly felt greasy.

      This does have a lovely fresh raspberry smell though, and with the added effect of the conditioner I did find that the smell lingered on my hair after.

      Once my hair was conditioned and dry it felt very silky, and a little flatter and heavier than normal. To be honest it wasn't a look or feeling I was particularly going for.

      I don't think I would buy this shampoo again, it just didn't really agree with my hair, in fact I'm starting to feel like Godilocks as I seem to find shampoos too drying or too moisturising. That's not to say I wouldn't recommend it to someone else though, I don't think it's a bad shampoo just not for my hair type.

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    • More +
      30.11.2015 23:54
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • moisturising

      Disadvantages

      • none

      A great moisturiser

      I first purchased the night cream whilst doing some shopping in Aldi, I had previously read good reviews about it, and for a mere £1.99 I thought I would give it a go. This is an Aldi own brand so is pretty much only available from there, although you can probably find it on ebay.

      The night cream comes in a small glass jar, similar to most night creams and moisturisers. The jar is quite heavy with a dark blue lid, and contains 50ml of the cream. The cream itself contains retinol complex, Q10 and has anti wrinkle properties. This is for all skin types and uses the latest scientific technology to care for and to protect the complexion.

      Instructions for use are similar to any face cream, you massage it gently into clean your skin.

      The lid itself unscrews easily, even with my small hands and reveals a thick white cream. This has quite a strong sweet flowery smell. It's quite pleasant although a little strong for my taste.

      I use a small white dollop on my finger and gently massage it in with my finger, usually I do this a few times to completely cover my face.

      It sinks into my skin quite slowly, taking a couple of minutes. My skin initially feels fairly wet, and even after about 5 minutes it feels slightly greasy. I've never found this a problem, it's not uncomfortable, and I think it's possibly part of the design as the cream says it keeps moisturising through the night.

      The next morning my skin is left feeling soft and moisturised. So far I've not suffered with spots or anything else as a result of using this, although I should point out my skin isn't particularly sensitive.

      I have to say I'm quite impressed with this little moisturiser, it makes my skin soft and moisturised, and unlike some more expensive creams I've used hasn't brought me out in spots.

      So would I recommend this? Definitely, I'm only gutted I didn't discover it earlier.

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    • More +
      25.10.2015 13:18
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • works
      • Cheap

      Disadvantages

      • "cheap looking"

      A nice cheap kettle


      About three weeks before christmas our kettle decided to break, it stopped switching on. As you can imagine this was a calamity, as a) I like a cup of tea, especially in the morning, and b) money was tight as we were busy spending it on presents.
      I did however have some money on a love 2 shop gift card from Top cashback, and they accept it at Wilkos. So my husband and I went along to our nearest, and had a look at their choice of kettles. Our main priority was buying something cheap which would last us a few months, but would look ok. We had a discussion about their mid range offering, with me wanting a red kettle because it was a nice colour and £2 cheaper than the white, and my husband wanting the white. I wasn’t keen to spend more money just for a white kettle.
      Then on the bottom shelf we noticed Wilko’s basic kettle for only £5, a bargain just before christmas (or at anytime). We compared it to the other kettle to see the difference, and it appeared to be smaller (or had a smaller box), but it held the same amount of water and was cordless. So we bought it.
      **The Kettle**
      This is a small white kettle, it’s pretty basic as you might expect. It holds 1.7 litres the same as most kettles, but when we compared it to our old kettle it is a couple of inches smaller. The difference appears to be they both say they hold a maximum of 1.7 litres, but the new kettle really does only hold that as the line is only maybe half an inch from the top of the kettle, the old kettle would have probably held nearer 2 liters if you filled it past the line.
      It has a small plastic filter, for the water, one of those basic ones which clip in and then fall of, which ours has, it clips back in easily, but is a little fiddly. This is quite lightweight and easy to manage even when full. It only goes back on it’s cordless stand one way. The cord isn’t the longest in the world and is just about 2 foot, but it’s ok for us at it’s quite near to the socket. It’s a plain white kettle, and I would say it does look cheap, but it will go with most kitchens.
      **Making a drink**
      This is easy to fill, and the lid is on a hinge like most jug kettles. It clips back into place easily and with little effort. Filling the kettle up to full always feels to me a bit of an effort, and I think this is because the maximum is so near the top of the kettle. Having just measured it, it takes around 4 minutes to boil, which seems quite a long time to me, but I’ve never measured a kettle before so I’m not sure how it compares
      **Thoughts**
      I think this is a great, cheap little kettle.It may not look fancy, or boil in the quickest time, but it will help you make a cup of tea. I’ve now had it about a month and a half and it does the job, so I’m not planning to replace it anytime soon.
      I would recommend this if you are just looking for a cheap kettle to get you by, or just starting out.
      Also on ciao

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    • More +
      16.09.2015 19:33
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Warming mask"

      Disadvantages

      • "hard to get out of tube"

      An ok warming face mask

      This face mask is one of those tubes which has sat around my dressing table, well in a bag, for a while. I’m now trying to go through the things in the bag and on the dressing table as opposed to buying more.
      About 2 years ago I went through a stage of buying a lot of Body Shop products as I was a member of their loyalty club, and this mask was one of the things I bought. Face masks are something I like to have, and use at least once a month, more if I remember and have time. Face masks help to clean out the impurities in your skin, and to generally improve the skin’s condition.
      This warming mineral face mask promises to self warm, deep clean and is a kaolin clay treatment. It also contains cinnamon and ginger oils and algae, all of which are designed to purify, invigorate and cleanse your skin. This currently retails at £10, and I think I paid around the same price.
      **The Product**
      This comes in a plastic squeezy tube, which stands on it’s lid. It’s quite an attractive tube, in grey and beige colours (not the green as pictured), and contains instructions and information about it. It’s quite a heavy tube, which you might expect for something containing clay. The tube itself is very flexible, meaning it is easy to squeeze, which is a good thing.
      **My use**
      This says to use on clean wet skin, and to leave it on for about 5 minutes. I typically use it in the shower, so I only leave it on for around 3 minutes.
      In the shower this always feels wet on my face, but I still find it does a good job, and is easy to wash of.
      For this review I’ve just put some on, having first cleaned my face. I’m sat on my sofa.
      First impressions are this goes on a lot easier in the shower, when my face is very wet. It is also very hard to get out of the tube, and I find this each time I use it, not because it’s dry from being sat around, the clay is just too dense for the hole it comes out of. In the shower when my face is very wet this slides on easily, but out of it I found it a bit sticky and thick to apply, although it covered my face well.
      This does have a pretty instant and noticeable warming feel. It also quickly starts to dry, although it doesn’t dry rock hard like some face masks. Even after a few minutes it is still flexible enough that you can smile without feeeling like your face is going to crack up.
      It has a slight smell, which to me is slightly sweet but I can also get a subtle smell of clay. The warming sensation continues throughout using this, it’s just slight and I find it quite pleasant now I’m used to it.
      I found this quite hard to wash of at my sink, and I had to grab a spare flannel to scrub it of my face. This isn’t a problem I usually have in the shower
      My face is left feeling soft, if well scrubbed. I can still slightly smell a lingering smell of it on my face.
      **Final Thoughts**
      I think this is an ok face mask. In the month I’ve been using it it has left my face feeling clean, and soft. My skin isn’t particularly sensitive, but is prone to be oily with spots. This has slightly helped, and I’ve always found it gentle on my skin.
      I don’t think I’d buy this again, not because there is anything wrong with it. I just don’t feel that it is special enough compared to other masks of a similar price, plus if it’s this hard to get out of the tube when half full, I can only imagine how hard it will be when nearly empty. I also think I prefer the more fruit based face masks.
      That said if you like warming clay masks, you should give this one a try.
      Also on Ciao

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    • More +
      30.08.2015 14:48
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "long lasting"
      • "nice smell"

      Disadvantages

      • none

      A nice smelling deodorant

      I'm quite late coming to the female lynx party, and while I know women who will happily wear there partners lynx that was never me. When I first saw that they had brought out a female version, I was curious, but not curious enough to try it with the high price tag. It currently retails for around £3.29 for 150 ml, I'm used to paying more like a pound to two pounds for a deodorant. I bought mine as part of a gift set which had been reduced to around £2 for the deodorant and shower gel.

      Lynx attract for her is a similar size and style to the male version except it's pink. The can is quite short and fat, it has a twist lid instead of a removable top. To use you simply twist the top revealing the spray push button and press it. I have quite small hands, but I still find it easy to use.

      I find the scent quite fresh and feminine, it is quite a sweet slightly flowery smell, but is fresh at the same time. Personally I quite like the scent, it's pleasant without being too strong.

      I use this most days, including at work, which at the moment is a nice toasty 43 degrees upstairs. I find this does a good job of stopping me from sweating too much . I usually spray under my arms a couple of times when I get up, and it's rare I need to worry about it again,

      Would I buy this again, bearing in mind I'm quite fickle when it comes to deodorant brands. Yes I think I would, although it would probably have to be on offer, although that really goes for any deodorant, I am pleasantly surprised by this one though, especially as I didn't initially expect much from it. But I like the smell, and I think it lasts well, meaning it's surprisingly good value.

      Also on ciao

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    • Cadbury Caramel Nibbles / Chocolate / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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      21.08.2015 13:23
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Dairy milk chocolate"
      • "Great Tasting"

      Disadvantages

      • "full of sugar"

      A nice chocolate treat



      Cadbury caramel nibbles are one of my favourite treats. They are available in most shops, and retail for around the two pound mark, although I usually wait until they are on offer for a pound. It cuts back on my chocolate in take, as well as saving me pennies.

      They are a small round chocolate treat which come in a medium sized resealable bag, which is designed for sharing, although like many treats in recent years it has shrunk so you won't be sharing too many. The packaging is easy to recognise as it's bright blue and yellow with the Cadbury's Dairy milk logo, these are part of a range of chocolate sharing products made by cadbury.

      The treats themselves are about the size of a ten pence piece, although they are a little bit thinner, with a little blob of chocolate on top.

      They have dairy milk chocolate on the outside (the real thing it says so on the packet) and caramel on the inside.

      These are one of my favourite chocolate sweets, as I find them a nice size for sharing with my husband. I also think that the blend of chocolate and caramel is just about right, not too chocolatey and not too sweet. I enjoy the taste, and often feel that just a few of these are enough to satisfy me, although I do not have much of a sweet tooth.

      Like most chocolate sweets these are full of fat and sugar, but as an occasional treat I recommend them.

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    • London Film Festival / Archive Movie / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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      27.10.2014 16:55
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      1 Comment

      Advantages

      • "500 words"
      • "Good British festival winner"

      Disadvantages

      • "The end of Blockbusters"

      'Junkhearts' - a worthy winner!

      So, British social realism and urban grit anyone? This winner at the London Film Festival says there is more to come. First time director Tinge Krishan certainly thinks you need some more. We don’t but why not. Middle-class directors love to write and depict East London how they see it and they rarely get it right, even when they come from those streets. Junkhearts tries it best but more of the same, only Eddie Marsan’s lead performance its savior. Actors like Marsan have to give 100% to these projects as they are no leading men and so this type of movie that puts the food on the table.



      ===Plot===

      Ex soldier Frank (Marsan) is haunted by a violent past in Northern Ireland. He lives alone in his East London council flat, only PTSD for company, drowning his nightmares with booze and daytime TV. His successful and attractive single mom daughter Christine (Romola Garai) has disowned him and currently trying to care for her daughter and dyeing mom amongst her chaotic lifestyle of parties, guys and social drugs.

      Marsan stumbles into the equally chaotic world of Lynette (Candese Reid), a pretty black girl who is everything his daughter isn’t, a young rough sleeper in Soho. Despite Franks misgivings, he offers her a place to stay, which she soon exploits by inviting her Irish boyfriend Danny (Tom Sturridge) around, who is low level drug dealer and hangs with a like wise chavy crowd. He is soon threatening an already vulnerable Frank as the flat becomes a drug den and Lynette starts using again. Frank knows this will only end one way and sets about making that happen, not wanting to lose another sweet girl at heart looking for a father to protect her.


      ===Results===

      It’s not bad but only really watchable for Marsan’s performance, excellent at these types of unbalanced roles. It is a character study and no more. Marsan is not going to be in a romcom any day soon. Let alone a leading man. He was good in Tyrannosaurus with Olivia Colman and Pete Mullen and very funny in Worlds End. But he generally plays serious roles and a haunted moon face made for pathos and loneliness on film, his performance in The Disappearance of Alice Creed his best so far. Young Candese Reid is good alongside and enjoyed sending up the ‘Sarf’ London accent.

      It’s violent at times but the gritty stuff more cartoon than reality. We have seen it all before. It’s a bit of a muddle at times and somewhat ambitious in its attempt to pull so many strings together. We get that he is a soldier suffering post traumatic stress disorder but not quite sure why his daughter and mother would disown him at his time of need. I mean The Troubles was a good thirty years ago and so unlikely he would be still so unstable. I wonder if the Asian British writer and director got too timid and shied away from it being an atrocity in the Iraq War at the last. Saying that it’s plausible and worth a crack at a script on an illness that is believed to hit one-in-four returning troops. In America the military are so ashamed of the high numbers of PTSD that they try to hide it by denying veterans the right treatment. What soldiers hate most of all on the battlefield is seeing crippled and damaged soldiers allowed to return to the combat arena, a reminder what awaits them if they sign up for another tour or two.



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      • Clipper Green with Lemon / Tea / 23 Readings / 22 Ratings
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        05.06.2014 18:49
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        2 Comments

        Advantages

        • "Fair trade"
        • "Good for you"
        • "Nice taste"

        Disadvantages

        • None

        A nice green tea with lemon

        I bought these green tea with lemon tea bags a while ago during one of my many health binges. Green tea is good for you as it contains antioxidants which are good for your body. Clipper promise that their tea is natural, uses un bleached bags and is a fair trade product. These sell currently for around 1.29. They come in a green box and there are 25 tea bags in a box. Inside the box is a foil insert to keep the bags fresh. To use you place the bag in a cup then add boiling water and allow it to infuse for around one to three minutes. I usually leave mine nearer the three minutes, as I think this gives a better taste. This produces quite a nice lemon tea, it is slightly sweet but also slightly tangy if that makes sense. I enjoy drinking this tea as I find it quite refreshing. I also quite like the sweet tangy taste. I also like the fact that the green tea is better for me than black tea. I think this tea has a nicer flavour and better quality than the shops own brand green tea bags that you can buy, I base this on the fact I have tried both types and I prefer the taste of these clipper tea bags. There is not a lot in it, if I am honest just a personal preference for these bags, and a feeling they taste better. In conclusion if you are looking to become healthier I would definitely recommend these bags.

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        • More +
          01.06.2014 18:44
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          • Cheap
          • "Removes nail polish"

          Disadvantages

          • None

          A great cheap nail polish remover

          I have had this nail polish remover for a while now, but have just started using it more as I have been wearing more nail polish. This comes in quite a solid plastic bottle with a screw top lid, and is available to buy from most discount stores for around 80 pence. It has conditioner in to help care for your nails. As you have probably seen in the picture the liquid is purple. The instructions tell you to wet cotton wool with it and then to gently rub across your nails to remove the polish. This has that strong horrible chemical smell which all nail varnish removers do. I have used this on lots if different nail varnishes, from Lycra to magnetic, and the one I have on at the moment a glitter one, as well as the more regular polishes. To use I hold the cotton wool over the open bottle, tip it up and then tip it back before removing the lid. I then rub over my nail, how hard I have to rub usually depends on the nail polish. It usually takes me maybe five to ten minutes of rubbing to remove my polish, although this does depend on the polish. I have to say I am quite impressed with this nail polish remover, it is cheap to buy and does the job of removing my polish quickly and fairly easily. Despite using this around once a week lately I have also had no problems with drying of my nails, fingers or skin, so there must be something in their conditioning claim. One I recommend.

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        • The Lone Ranger (DVD) / DVD / 9 Readings / 7 Ratings
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          24.05.2014 22:15
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          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "The ending"
          • "Jonny Depp"

          Disadvantages

          • "Slow story"
          • "Slow paced"

          An ok film

          Film only review. My latest rental was The Lone Ranger, I chose it as I was aware of the original and I thought it would be a fun film to watch. The Lone Ranger''s (Armie Hammer) story is told by Tonto (played by Jonny Depp) who tells the story of how John Reid first became the Lone Ranger. I found this meant the story was very much from Tonto''s point of view, and to me it almost seemed as if it was the Lone Ranger who was the side kick. For those of you who don''t know the traditional story is that The Lone Ranger is the hero and Tonto helps him! This felt like it was a long film as it is very slow paced, we seemed to wait ages for anything to happen. The best part of the film was the last quarter when the action speeded up, and it became quite funny, but unfortunately it was too little to late. The acting was ok, although the film does not show Jonny Depp at his best, he still played an ok part. The only noticeable music in the film was in the last quarter when they played the Lone Ranger theme tune which did add to the sense of action. The plot was generally ok, there were bad guys and good guys, but for me it was nothing special, and it felt too dragged out. In conclusion as you can probably tell I am not a fan of this film, it is just too slow, I think I should have stuck to the original.

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        • More +
          23.05.2014 12:20
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • Cheap
          • "Nice taste"

          Disadvantages

          • None

          A nice cheap lemon squash

          This squash was actually bought for my husband at the same time as I bought the orange squash for myself from Asda. He chose it as he loves strong tangy flavours, as his taste buds are not great due to his nasal polyps. Having just finished my orange squash I wanted a refreshing drink in the hot weather and thought that as my husband had barely touched this I would give it a try. To be honest I did not really expect to like it, as I thought it would be too sour for me. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find I really like it. It has quite a sweet lemony taste, more like a still lemonade. I only put maybe about a cm of this squash in my glass before adding water, and I find this to be pretty much perfect for me. In appearance this is clear with a slightly cloudy look. It has a sweet lemony smell as you might expect. This is a double concentrated juice and if I am honest I am not sure I am making it to the right strength, but it is perfect to me. I would recommend this squash to anyone who likes slightly sweet lemon flavours, strangely I just asked my husband what he does not like about it, and he said it is too bitter. I got him to try some of mine and he said mine was much weaker, so I guess it can be as strong as you like. I think this is a great cheap squash.

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        • Ariel 3in1 Pods / Household Cleaning / 16 Readings / 16 Ratings
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          11.05.2014 18:47
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          Advantages

          • Clean

          Disadvantages

          • Expensive
          • Feel
          • Smell

          Clean ok, but I don't like the smell

          Laundry products are something that I tend to stock up on when I find them being sold cheap, they are one of the few products where I prefer to go for a known brand so I like to get a bargain. I do not actually remember buying these 3 in 1 pods, but I am guessing that they came from the shop I work in, and were most probably some kind of clearance deal. I am guessing this as I prefer using powder as I feel it normally is better value for money. These pods come in a nice plastic tub, with a flip lid which clicks back in place. They are 3 in 1 in that they clean (always good in a laundry product), lift stains (isn''t that part of cleaning) and brighten. These go straight into the drum of the machine, and you use one per wash or two if your washing is heavily soiled. There are various picture warnings on the box saying not to eat these or put them in your eye, as I was not planning to do either all is good. Using these I take one out and put it in the machine, then add fabric conditioner in the drawer and put the machine on. I usually wash at 40. So what do I think? Well I am not much of a fan to be honest. To start with I hate the feel of them, they are slightly soapy and I really do no not like touching them. Then there is the smell, it is really strong and soapy, and I am not at all keen on it. As for their ability to wash , well they are ok, stains seem to come out and clothes look clean, although if I am honest I do not feel their cleaning power is any better or worse than any other laundry product I have used. A look online suggests these retail at seven pound, which sounds very expensive, and I would only recommend these if you bought them on offer.

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        • More +
          10.05.2014 18:30
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          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Nice taste "
          • Cheap

          Disadvantages

          • None

          A nice cheap orange squash

          To try to save some pennies, and stop me drinking so much fizzy cherryade, which is clearly bad for me I decided to buy some squash. I had also recently purchased a water filter jug to try to drink more water, and I thought some squash would encourage me. I chose this when I was in Asda as at only 42 pence I thought it was worth a try. Mine is double strength concentrated squash. The instructions on the side of the bottle tell me to shake well before use and to dilute squash with nine parts water. Now I have no real idea how you judge that, but when I make my drink up I usually put about a centermeters worth into my glass and then add water from my trusty water jug. I find this to be about the right flavour for me, but then I do not like my squash too weak or strong I prefer it refreshing. My squash has a pleasant sweet orange taste, which is not too weak but I can still tell that there is water in it. If you are the kind of person who prefers a stronger taste then I am sure this can be achieved by adding more squash. My drink has a slight tangy, rather then orangey smell and an orange cloudy appearance. In fact it looks like squash. So would I recommend this? Yes I think it is a great product, it is cheap enough that you can add as much as you want to suit your taste, and has a nice orangey taste.

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        • Asda Lemon Fruit Infusions Tea / Tea / 10 Readings / 10 Ratings
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          10.05.2014 18:16
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          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • Cheap

          Disadvantages

          • "Cheap ingredients"

          Not chosen by me

          I have a large collection of herbal and fruit teas from various health kicks I have done in the past. One of them is this Asda''s Chosen by you lemon infusion tea. These come in a small cardboard box, similar to most herbal teas, and indeed most teas. A look at the ingredients on the box shows that these only contain one percent of lemon peel, the rest of the ingredients is made up of apple pomace, orange peel, natural flavourings, citric acid, apples, rose hips and sweet blackberry leaves. I can not help feeling they have bulked out the tea with cheaper ingredients, and as such they are not as good for me as the name "lemon infusion" suggests. The instructions on the box tell you to leave the tea bag in the hot water for three minutes, or five minutes for a stronger taste. Once brewed the taste of these lemon tea bags is surprisingly strong, with a lemony taste. It is quite a sharp taste which wasn''t entirely pleasant, but it is ok. The tea also has quite a strong lemony smell, but I am guessing that this is from the natural flavourings rather than the one percent lemon peel. So would I recommend these? Well at only around 79 pence for twenty tea bags these are quite cheap for lemon tea bags, but I can not help feeling that this is because the quality just is not there, so I do not think I will be buying these again, although they are ok for a cheap lemon tea.

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        • More +
          12.03.2014 20:26
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          An interesting book

          When looking through my pile of books to read, I chose this book as it follows "The other Boleyn girl", which I read (and reviewed) a couple of months ago. I had originally bought it as I like historical novels, and Philippa Gregory is one of my favourite authors in this genre.

          **The Story**
          This novel follows the story of Henry the eighth's fourth and fifth wives, the court has become a more dangerous place since the death of Anne Boleyn, and King Henry has become something of a tyrant. At the start of the book Jane Seymour has recently died after giving birth to Prince Edward, and for reasons of state and the need for another son Henry is once again looking for a wife. For political reasons he marries Anne of Cleves, but soon he changes his mind and falls for her young maid in waiting Katherine Howard.

          This book is slightly different to "The Other Boleyn" in that it is told from the point of view of three women, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Jane Boleyn (Anne Boleyne's sister in law). The book starts with the three of them in their respective homes, and then follows their progress to the king's court, and what happens during and after their time there.

          **My thoughts**
          I liked this book, although if I'm honest I found it more interesting than enjoyable. Whilst I knew the basic facts of the two queens, I hadn't really thought about how brief their marriages were, I also had never realised how young Kathryn Howard was, just 15 when she went to the court as the new Queen Anne's maid in waiting. The book shows how both women are pawns of their families, and the king's will. The third character Jane Boleyn also appears in "The Other Boleyn Girl", as she gave evidence against her husband and Anne Boleyn. In this book I found her quite a machiavellian character, who has befriended each of Henry's queens so that she can spy on them and help further the powerful Howard families' interests.

          I found the novel interesting as Philippa Gregory managed to portray each of the women, in a way that showed they had little choice in what they did, and were just doing the best they could in the circumstances. The main parts of the novel are based on fact, although the way the women thought about what they did, and the friendship between Anne and Katherine is of course fiction. I think that like all historical fiction, there is a mixture of the truth with fiction, and I found this to be enjoyable. I didn't find this novel as enjoyable as some of the others written by Philippa Gregory, as whilst even the character of Jane Boleyn is sympathetically done, I found the subject matter quite uncomfortable as Philippa Gregory portrayed them living on egg shells for much of the time.

          At the end of the novel there is a useful list of Philippa Gregory's sources, with a description of why she chose some of the plot twists that she did.

          In conclusion four stars for a book that's good, but isn't one I'd rush to read again.

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