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So I found myself needing a new microwave as the old one had come to the end of its life; I'm not one for the value range machines as I always doubt that they will last longer than five minutes so I decided to have a look in Argos. As I have chrome and black items such as kettle and toaster it had to be a black or silver microwave and this Cookworks one at £46.99 with a four star rating looked like it would do the trick.
The door and the unit is silver in colour and the inside lined with white (showing up the dirt really well especially from exploding beans) with a glass door and glass spinning plate. The unit has 15 buttons and a display which shows the time digitally, the door opens with a handle rather than a push button which some have.
The power of the microwave is 700 watts which is on the lower end of the scale when it comes to cooking food which means that food will need to be in about 10 seconds or more longer. Most times are estimated for 750w 850w etc for burgers and ready meals but common sense usually works unless you are unfamiliar with the microwave.
The microwave has a capacity of 17 litres and as you are all aware all chickens come in litres so you will easily be able to measure this (yeah right). I'd rather the measurements be like anything else in terms of cm for width and height so I know my plates are going to fit in, after all Argos is not the time of place you can just nip down to and pop a plate in for measurements. It is a little awkward for my largest plates as the description in the Argos catalogue does not allow for the larger metal vent inside which reduces the width slightly.
The external measurements are in the usual cm and the diameters are H26 x W43 x D33cm and the turntable is 24.7cm (at least with that knowledge I can ensure my dinner plate is this or smaller for efficient heating).
The machine weighs 10.7kg which is a fair weight if trying to carry the item to the car as the boxes are always really bulky and awkward, however, on the kitchen worktop it doesn't cause me any issues.
Within my kitchen the unit fits in well under my cabinets by the window and blends with the cooker etc. It has a child safety lock which I presume may be good if you have inquisitive minds and wandering hands in your kitchen.
The microwave in total has 5 power levels which go from 20 up to 100 in increments of 20 designed to defrost or cook certain items more delicately. There is a defrost option which is handy when getting the chicken out last minute after being at work or just forgetting. There are also 9 other programmes but if I'm honest I just set a time according to steamed rice packs, burgers or ready meals so have no use for most of it (like the level 5 setting of a toaster).
I would recommend this to anyone needing a microwave to do what a microwave should and that is cooking food whilst not looking too cheap.
I wanted to know what all the fuss was about with Zumba so decided that I would get a game to give it a go as I am very uncoordinated and not in the least bit graceful. I cold not go to a class and attempt to dance in front of them as I would be more than a prat so thought that to try it in my own house would be ideal.
In the main screen there is a pink background and it plays a Spanish type song which really gets you in a funky happy mood. It is great for the beginner, not quite offering step by step instructions which can make it hard to keep up with but at least when alone it doesn't matter how much you stumble.
The game requires the Xbox and the Kinect to be able to play it, there are options to play individual songs of your choosing, have fitness routines and even parties. The fitness routine will plan for you using it regularly throughout the week continuously and build up intensity. Each session is about 20 minutes long and to start off with this is plenty as I find myself out of breath and sweating at times.
So when playing the instructor is dancing along to the music and starts off slowly at first and then begins to build pace. You have to match the moves and when doing so there is a bar that you fill if you match perfectly or nearly, the colours are green for perfect through to orange, yellow and red for a miss. This then allows you to score points and then progress along levels and changing backgrounds. It can be annoying at times as sometimes I feel like I have not got a clue how I can match up and often I find myself only getting reds and I have not achieved the coveted zumba instructor status yet. As usual the Kinect sensor can also be a pain in the backside and misses you off the screen if you move, it's impossible to not move in the game!
So nowadays I think the game is now in the bargain bin as it is a little older but if you like zumba, latin and salsa you'll probably like this. It will also save you money in the long run from not having to attend lots of dance classes.
Recently I was hit with not only the flu for 9 days but then a bout of the dreaded sickness bug that has been going around and I'm normally an eater. I'm not unhealthy though usually with a BM of 23 but this sickness made me not eat for a full 24 hours, then on most food smells have been putting me off, along with the size of food cans etc and the thought of it coming back up as nothing is pleasant the second time around. I have been really struggling with eating even taking 30 minutes to eat three plain biscuits as my stomach is still tender so I had the idea that maybe I should take a supplement in the form of a drink as I have been managing fluids little and often; after some searching through different brands I found Build Up to be the best value.
Build Up is a brand manufactured by Nestle producing soups and shakes in flavours such as tomato, chicken, strawberry and banana designed to provide more nutrition, energy, vitamins and minerals when they are needed most. The advert shows an older couple which suggests that these are aimed at the elderly but I am 26 so it is equally valid for the younger of us who need a boost.
The company produce a plain flavoured variety which comes in a 480g tub which can be added into any drinks or foods for fortification without the altering taste.
I purchased a pack of 15 sachets from Ebay for £9, they usually come in boxes of 4 for around £4 and are 38g each. The sachets are to be made up with a mix of whole milk for maximum nutritional value, semi skimmed milk, water or both and can be enjoyed hot or cold. They should be used in conjunction with meals if they are for someone in real need but in my case it was to help me not lose weight in the first place and to maintain me until I raise my calories in food again so I had it when I could not manage a meal. Although, I do find the shakes to be very heavy and filling when I have them with milk so at the minute I am mixing the milk with water to make them easier on my stomach.
The strawberry is a light fake flavour such as that with a Yazoo milk shake; I like the fact that it is not too strong as it can be off putting especially for people taking these who are struggling with food.
The nutritional information for the strawberry variety is:
Plus 19 vitamins and minerals.
If you are looking for a build up drink or a nutritional support I would recommend this brand for versatility and flavour but seek medical advice if having health troubles.
(may be seen on ciao under the name FrostBit)
So previously we bought a Haus washing machine and this has ended up being too small as the amount of uniform we need to wash each week on top of other clothes meant more washes and wasting water and electric. Not only this but the old washer is well old and has been getting a little clogged up at times causing issues with mini puddles on the floor. As we know from my previous fridge freezer review Hotpoint are a brand I feel to be trustworthy; they have been making products since 1911 including washing machines and driers. Hotpoint are now owned by Indesit an are now making less products within the UK with Indesit being an Italian brand.
The washing machine is kept in our utility room which does not really have a colour scheme to it because its just a utility room and I don't spend a lot of time in there. The walls are magnolia so the graphite colour of the machine fits in anyway. The machine is lighter on the metal main body and the plastic top, door edging and bottom are a darker grey (these are the plastic segments). It has the standard sized door which is attached on the right hand side with the handle on the left (where I have it the side makes no difference). It has a 7kg load capacity which is ideal for washing bedding, towels and more than one load of clothes at a time; for example before I could wash one large dressing gown, one pair of jeans, underwear and a few tops but now at least double that so I'm pleased. The depth of the machine is 56.5cm, 89cm high and width 59.5cm and it fits great under my counter.
As stated the drum is 7kg making more room for work and home clothes as well as the bigger bulkier stuff like towels, bedding, coats and dressing gowns. The door is standard size so large enough to be able to push the king size quilt cover in when rolled up unlike my last machine which made hard work of everything being smaller.
There re only 8 buttons on the front including the on/off button and a dial for the setting which are listed on the drawer for the softeners and detergents. However, I tend not to use the drawer on any machine as I find this becomes very hard to clean and the detergent doesn't effectively get to my clothes. I choose to put the softener in the drum first, then the clothes and then the little lid filled with the liquid detergent that I choose to use.
The machine has a delay start option which I haven't used but I presume is good if you are going out and want it to finish more to the time you're back. There are also functions for water saving and also soaking to prevent the creases and the clothes smelling that damp smell you get if they are in the machine too long after it ends.
The machine has a nice easy to grip and pull handle making the opening and closing much easier than some which often have the tiny little arrow handle which your hands can slip from if damp for example.
The machine has a B rating for spin efficiency and an overall energy efficiency of A++ which is fantastic nowadays when energy prices are soaring and washing clothes is not something I can sacrifice especially being a nurse. Also I find the machine on the cycle I use most often (not sure what its for really) takes about 40 minutes which is brilliant timing for putting on before I go to work as I can get ready in the space of time that it is washing.
All in all the washer does what it says on the tin and washes well, so far I have no quarrels with it and I suppose I won't until it decides to break on me, the door plays up or there is a flood (just the usual top three issues that arise from my experience with the washing machines).
(may be seen on ciao under the name FrostBit)
We moved into our new home last year and in this home was a built in fridge freezer with cupboard doors over the front to hide the fact that it exists. We didn't choose this one but it looked similar to our old one which is now living as a spare in the garage, this Christmas has been the best for food space with three freezers and two fridges. I know Hotpoint to be a trustworthy brand who have been making products since 1911 including washing machines and driers. Hotpoint are now owned by Indesit an are now making less products within the UK with Indesit being an Italian brand.
Had the fridge freezer been on show the front would be white and it has a white inside with three glass shelves, under the bottom shelve are two plastic drawers and in the drawer three shelves. We also have an extra six egg holder and a little box for extras.
The height is 174cm with a depth of 58cm, 150 litre fridge capacity and 78 litre freezer capacity. The hinge is reversible and we currently have it on the right hand side due to the positioning of the utility room door next to it.
In the main compartment of the fridge I put my sauces and butters on the top shelf as it is quite high to reach so I can't put anything up there that I use a lot, I'm 5'4" but I suppose if you are taller it would be much easier. I use the middle shelf for bread and pudding and the bottom for my meats. There is a box in there with a lid which I like to store my chocolates in as I tend to be a bit addicted and have far too much. There are two drawers which I find handy for a storage for salads and also cheeses.
The door has a cover over the top shelf which I have my six egg holder in to make sure they don't fall out and make a mess, we also use this to store my partners inhalers. The middle shelf is tall enough for mayonnaises, BBQ and tomato sauce plus jars of jellies and chutneys. The bottom shelf has the largest space for bottles of milk or wines.
I do like the size of the fridge and it is supposed to be antibacterial and anti frost however if you put your food too close to the back it freezes and sticks to the back which can be annoying. There is always plenty of room and I generally space my food out so that it doesn't look empty.
The freezer has a quick frost top section with a pull down front and I usually put my meat in here straight from the supermarket to ensure it is frozen promptly. It usually freezes within about 45minutes which I find very effective.
The next two drawers are a good size for about 6 birds eye size boxes and soup to go in, I suppose it depends on what you buy really. Plus the bottom basket I usually use for bags of chips and rice or ice cream and puddings.
My criticism of the freezer is that it decided to randomly defrost itself when we had gone away for a few days so I was not impressed to come back to a pool of water and defrosted food. I'm not sure how to stop this from happening and the freezer cost me a lot of money doing this so I was less than impressed as you can imagine.
So overall I do not have too many complaints, it generally does me well and has plenty of space and is easy to clean. However, be aware of food freezing in the fridge and the random defrosting of the freezer.
I have quite short hair but also my partner has long hair so we have two totally different requirements from straighteners and when I saw these I thought they would be perfect for us both and also maybe for travel. These were £14.92 on Amazon with free postage which is the advantage of being registered with Amazon Prime.
I have heard of Vidal Sassoon before and although I had only bought brushes by the brand before I had no qualms with buying the straighteners as I thought this was a reliable brand. I have previously owned Nicky Clarke straighteners and Lee Stafford ones but these were all a little too bulky around the plate end for my hair and would often leave a kink in my fringe which I didn't want.
The straighteners are both pink on the outside with black on the inside area and come with a straightener case which is black with pink piping. The large straighteners have a 25mm ceramic coated pair of plates for a constant provision of heat with an on/of switch and a maximum temperature of 180C. The area to hold is large enough and prevents burning o your hands as your don't need to touch the plate area. There is no dial to adjust temperature which can be a little annoying and there is no cut out switch for safety and I usually like this feature so I do not have to worry about burning a hole in my carpet or anything.
The mini straighteners are 16cm in length making them nice for travelling as they take up no room in a bag but are lacking in features which isn't good for permanent use. They have 12mm ceramic plates which heat up to 200C and have an on/off switch, this is a little too hot for my hair and I find that it can often smell like burning. Another issue is the length as this ends up burning my hands due to the tiny size with no safety cut out.
Both of the straighteners are mains operated and due to the bulky cords and plugs there is no way for them to both fit into the pouch that comes with them.
The straighteners are described as being able to not lose heat as they have a constant even temperature throughout the plates but without a cut off safety switch they do not provide a safe way to straighten hair; this can lead to burning hands, necks and even your own hair which is not great for 'styling'.
The price for these was a bargain and I think that was the problem as they do not have temperature control. I have decided to get rid of these and look for some in the shops as I only use them for the front of my hair but I do want to keep it.
(may be seen on ciao under the name FrostBit).
Paperchase for me is like a grotto of colourful, beautiful and unusual items. I love all things original, quirky and a bit neon and bright and this place seems to tick all my boxes for stationary and house needs. It's weird as I feel like a kid in a sweet shop when I'm in here and I get excited even at postcards, it's like they put a spell on you as you walk through the door.
Paperchase is a stationary store which has its own chain of just under 100 stores around the UK and has their own online store at www.paperchase.co.uk. They also have little shops in House of Fraser and John Lewis which I get equally excited about.
Paperchase stocks loads of stationary items such as notebooks, scrapbooks, files, pens, pencils, sharpeners etc. They have loads of different designs each season including flags, cartoon people, birds, foxes - you name it they will probably have it at some point. Not only is the stationary in this pattern there are photo frames, lunch boxes, bottles and even hot water bottles so you can have multiple matching accessories. I find that having about 20 items per pattern range causes problems for me as I just look at everything, I mean why do I want badge? I don't but I look because everything seems so pretty.
Most items are printed with a pattern if plastic but some woollen feel hot water bottle covers are stitched and some pens have sequins on them.
I buy my diary yearly as it runs for the academic year which I prefer and has 7 days per page with a note page opposite meaning I have plenty of room to write my bits and bobs down. Two years in a row I have bought one with owls on the front as I love owls and it also has a nice little zip folder in the back for keeping important notes safe (I love this feature of their diaries). The bonus is it is only £8 which at first I thought was expensive but actually for a year and with the little features it is a good value. This diary is A5 but they also have the little A6 ones too and there are plenty of designs to choose from.
In the Notts store the whole left side is covered in greetings cards which are cartoon, comedy and available for all occasions. It is a nice place for cards as they are unusual and I don't think your recipients will have received cards like these.
At the back of the Notts store there is a whole load of papers in different colours and thicknesses, card, envelopes and allsorts of art and crafts. I even found some lovely pearlised cards which were great to use as colour swatches for my wedding colour scheme last year. There are also lovely handmade papers which look like newspapers and even patchworks and they feel lovely and have different textures. This shop would be wonderful for someone studying art or who just enjoys it as there are a vast quantity of materials available. They also have 10% off for students with valid cards. The papers are from A1 size down and are from about £1 per sheet up. There are even paper punchers to cut out shapes within the card which would look great as embellishments if you were into card making, also sequins and gems which I find ever so pretty but have no use for.
There are wedding albums, scrapbooks and normal photo albums with different spines and ways to store your cards in them from sticking photos to sliding them in the files.
Now Christmas is the best time of year t go into this store. There were mini baubles, large baubles, stags heads, trees in different colours, cards, individual handmade baubles, wreathes and lights. It is so glittery, colourful, unusual and pretty. I visited the store to get an idea of what I wanted then ordered online. I ordered 100 mini baubles which were glass and hand-blown all having different colours and swirls. There was one missing when they turned up but the online team were fab and sent me an extra 6 to make up for it! My 3ft tree was overflowing!
I got a porcelain stags head for £6 which is still up now and looks lovely in my living room.
Lovely set of 3 tree glass ornaments and 2 snow globe ornaments for £8 each which are very high quality and I really did not want to pack away. These ornaments all got so much attention at Christmas and it made me feel more special that I had treated myself to some better quality ornaments this year.
I would recommend Paperchase to anyone that likes quirky finds and gifts for others. It is a fab shop if you have that excited inner child and you just want to smile for 15 minutes; just be prepared to spend a lot of money!
(review may be seen on ciao under the name FrostBit)
I take a variety of vitamins and minerals daily to help with my nervous system, blood and also to maintain a healthy body as my diet is not always the best.
Vitabiotics created the Jointace range to ensure that cartilage and bone health are kept at a priority for those with an active lifestyle or who are older. This is the original formula but there are other packs which are created for sports players or long distance runners who all have different needs relating to joint impact.
This particular mixture contains chondroitin designed to maintain the integrity of tissues and joint cartilage. Also glucosamine which is a natural building block of cartilage and when used with protein within the body it makes the joint cartilage which we require.
Other minerals contained are copper which is required in low levels by the body to help maintain the connective tissues.
Vitamin D3 and manganese which aid bone density which is good for joints as joints under shock and stress require strength and density. Also zinc good for the nervous system and immunity.
Vitamin C which aids collagen formation needed within the cartilage.
The box is white with some orange detailing as this is the original variety. On the front it has the main ingredients in large (chondroitin and glucosamine) so you clearly know which type it is you are buying. There is the image of a lady holding her elbow. This pack is high strength and contains 30 tablets.
The ingredients are on the back of the box and it is recommended taking two tablets a day so the pack will only last 15 days be aware of this. It is recommended they are taken with a cold drink and are not to be chewed; in all fairness the taste before swallowing on most vitamins is enough to put anyone off chewing so I would not recommend it anyway. I can only presume you take with a cold drink to prevent the tablets melting.
To review the vitamins properly I would probably need to be in a lab having many physical tests and blood tests etc. to see if they made a difference to my body. I do a lot of training and I do rarely have joint issue, most recently I was suffering from a cold but this is not a function of the tablets. So I could say they work as my joints are okay but then are they okay through strength and genetics? Who knows.
Currently these are £10.15 a pack at Boots but are on the 3 for 2 range of products.
(Reviews may be seen on Ciao under the name FrostBit)
Within the UK it has always been a struggle to find the different types of chocolate, it is all mainly the same orange or mint flavoured. I first tried the Reeses peanut butter varieties when I went to a small independent sweet shop in the city and I never looked back.
Back then I must say the Reeses pieces and cups all had the import tax on them and were at least £1.60 a pack which was quite expensive but I would often treat myself to a pack because the closest I could get in the UK chocolate brands was the Kit Kat Chunky which just does not taste the same. However, about 1 - 2 years ago I got a little bit excited to find out that Asda and Tesco had signed a contract to sell the Reeses peanut butter range and generally Tesco have the products on 3 for 2 which is about £1.20 for 3 items.
Now this review is covering the Reeses peanut butter cups which is a 51g pack holding 3 medium size cups in black cupcake type holders. The cups are approx. 1cm thick and have a generous centre of fondant type peanut butter filling with a thin layer of chocolate all over it. The chocolate is an ideal sweet and smooth covering to contrast the salty and flaky centre. I love to have mine in the fridge to prevent them melting when I eat them as I like to bit small pieces off an savour the flavour; I also find them nice to have with a mouthful of tea to stop the sweetness sticking in my mouth.
I find them very hard to put down. I do not know why but I think I end up getting addicted to a lot of chocolate based things.
The pack is 51g and these can be bought in the supermarkets Tesco and Asda, often there are deals on them being 3 for 2 in Tesco at 60p each which is a lot cheaper than I used to pay.
The pack is the usual orange Reeses colour with the yellow logo and an image of one of the cups with a bite out of it. Inside the pack there is a white cardboard tray with 3 peanut butter cups on it that are in their own black paper cases.
The cups are soft and like biting into a fondant chocolate upon first bite except the outer chocolate is not crisp like some it is actually soft.
The ingredients are on the back and obviously these are not suitable for anyone with peanut allergies.
I give these the full 5 stars for value and taste.
(Similar reviews may be found on ciao under the name FrostBit)
This body butter is one I received for my birthday but have only recently got around to using it as my other butters from Soap & Glory last so long. Unfortunately this was not one in the Yule Monty gift set but as the body wash was in there I thought I would use this cream as they go together nicely, like the lime layered with cream on the pie.
Its amazing when I think back a few years to seeing the body butters being reviewed on one of Gok Wan's shows and it was the original Righteous Butter that ranked top at the mid range £10. At this point I had never heard of Soap & Glory or any of their products and I remember visiting Boots to look at their products and seeing about 5. Now in 2014 they sell out within hours when their big sets are star buy at Boots and their ranges now cover multiple varieties of washes, creams, cleansers, make ups and facial products.
I cannot tell you how much I love the scrubs, butters, washes and moisturisers from Soap & Glory and all my family know this so I get at least 3 sets for Christmas, as well as receiving the 3 individuals for my birthday as often Boots have 3 for 2 deals. As I am lucky enough to have thoughtful family members I never actually have to buy a S&G product for myself! Its a good job we now have 3 bathroom areas as I can spread my products out over the rooms and brighten them all up with the attractive packages.
Another plus with Soap & Glory is the fact it is a company established in the UK in 2006 and I believe in supporting home grown companies.
The Sugar Crush body buttercream (sounds sweet and delectable like a gorgeous cupcake) comes in the 300ml wide tub with screw lid. I like the tubs for the butters as they would be too thick for the pump bottles; also there is a pleasure in scooping a good dollop of the goo like cream with your fingers, it is like a stress reliever. Nothing ever goes to waste with a tub as you can clear out every part with your hands. The tub is the S&G standard issue pink which makes them so well known with a dash of green across the label to make the Sugar Crush Range stand out from the original range. The screw on lid is a slightly deeper pink colour.
The label has Sugar Crush in large letters on the front label with the top half having a green background and describing a sweet lime fragrance. The label states it is a 'body buttercream' which instantly makes me think of key lime pie again as described in the body wash review, I also think of beautiful cupcakes and now I think I am just addicted to food. When reading the description on the front it makes me feel positive towards this product as the ingredients sound natural and skin friendly and slightly exciting and exotic.
The tub also has information of how to contact the company and also the all important ingredients list which allows the consumer to see if anything would be damaging to their skin. My skin is often sensitive and can be dried by some creams but I have never had any reactions to the Soap & Glory range luckily enough.
So I use this either on a morning before I get dressed to wake up my skin when it is still dark outside or when I step out of the shower and am in desperate need of some rehydration for my skin. The tub sits nicely on my ensuite window sill and is never any problems to use whenever I need it. However, sometimes I do end up getting a little bit over zealous when scooping out the product and end up being thickly layered in the white cream and vigorously trying to rub it in or finding another body part not smothered.
The product is white in colour which is expected due to the name buttercream and is a nice thick consistency as any good body butter should be. The cream has a nice silky smooth feel and is glossy, the scent is sweet and citrusy which is very fresh and makes me feel nice and clean in scent, it is not too heavy.
At the moment if I use this following a shower I double up on the scent by using the sugar crush body wash and the scent layers well, Soap & Glory just need to make a deodorant and body spray now for us scent addicts.
In Boots this is £10.50 for the 300ml which can last at least 1 month possibly more depending on your own usage. Also Boots tend to have 3 for 2 offers so if your got 3 things at the same price it would be better value at £7.
So all in all I give this a whopping 5 stars for aesthetics, silky feel and the wonderful fresh and fruity scent reminding me of delicious cupcakes and my favourite key lime pie (maybe it will stop me eating them too?)
A lovely gift for the ladies out there.
(similar reviews may also be found on ciao under the name FrostBit)
This Christmas as you may have read on my mascara review I received the Yule Monty Soap & Glory gift set and within this were 9 full sized items so I was very excited. One of these items was the Sugar Crush body wash which looked exciting with the green and pink labelling.
I cannot tell you how much I love the scrubs, butters, washes and moisturisers from Soap & Glory and all my family know this so I get at least 3 sets for Christmas. As I am lucky enough to have thoughtful family members I never actually have to buy a S&G product for myself! Its a good job we now have 3 bathroom areas as I can spread my products out over the rooms and brighten them all up with the attractive packages.
Another plus with Soap & Glory is the fact it is a company established in the UK in 2006 and I believe in supporting home grown companies.
The Sugar Crush body wash comes in the 500ml stand up pump action bottle, I love these as they are much easier to use in a hurry or even in the shower as you don't end up pouring it all over the shower tray and slipping. I find the doses are measured and actually makes the product last longer (my moisturiser comes in the same format and I have used it daily for at least 3 months now!) The bottle is the S&G standard issue pink which makes them so well known with dashes of green across the label to make the Sugar Crush Range stand out from the original range. The pump is an opaque, frosty coloured plastic almost like that of sugar.
The label has Sugar Crush in large letters on the front label and an image of a wedge of lime. The label states it is a 'fresh & foamy body wash' which instantly makes me think of summer and my holiday to Turkey picking the fresh limes from the trees. This is described as having a sweetly squeezed sweet lime fragrance, with lime oil, coolcapsule X, kiwi juice oil and omega rich veggie oil. When reading the description on the front it makes me feel positive towards this product as the ingredients sound natural and skin friendly; however, coolcapsule X did baffle me somewhat and the spellcheck on my computer! Afetr reading their webpage it states this is designed to cool and refresh but is one of those trademarks from brands designed to draw us in I think.
One side of the bottle has a white background with the green word 'zest' standing out and this is in relation to how to use the product. There is a warning not to get the product in your eye and how to remove it (this reminds me of getting Herbal Essences in mine and ending up with an eye blister so be careful!) The product is to be used within 24 months of opening.
The other side has half a citrus fruit image with the recommendation of doing a 2 minute rinse which is a popular item on Soap & Glory's social media pages to get people interacting and also save water. Further information here is the ingredients list (which does contain a lot of words I do not understand and I think I would bore you here if I were to look them all up) and a recommendation to visit their company website.
So I use this is the shower keeping it in the bathroom on the little box shelf by the window as the shower room cubicle is quite small and I would be worried the weight might break the little shelf. The pump action as I have said before works really well and helps regulate the flow of product so it does not end up being wasted and spilled everywhere.
The product comes out white in colour which surprised me because I was expecting a clear gel (maybe something like melted sugar due to the name). The crème is nice and silky with a nice sheen and smells sweet expected of a sugar name and has a lovely hint of limes almost like a key lime pie. In the shower with the steam the product smells quite strong and the citrus scent goes a long way on both my skin and in the rooms upstairs so has a double purpose. When applied to my S&G shower puff it lathers up lovely and feels silky on my skin. The product recommends lathering a small handful over your body giving a really good rub in and then rinsing.
The instructions advertise following with a body lotion or butter which is a good advertisement for them and I do this as water always makes my skin feel dry regardless of the wash products I use.
So I received this item as part of a 9 full size piece gift set which was £27 on star buy offer in Boots so worked out at a bargain £3 per item. However, in the shops this is £6.50 a bottle which is £1.30 per 100ml, I think this is quite good for the size and time the pump bottles last but some may think this is expensive. Soap & Glory products are available officially from their webpage or from Boots, other items can be found on Ebay or other places being sold on but be aware of prices and values.
So all in all I give this a whopping 5 stars for aesthetics, pump action bottle creating value for money and the wonderful fresh and fruity scent reminding me of gorgeous holidays and desserts (maybe it will stop me eating them too?)
A lovely gift for the ladies out there.
(Reviews may be seen on Ciao under name FrostBit)
For Christmas I received the Yule Monty gift set which was actually a star buy in Boots for £27 (down from £60) and contains 9 full sized items from their range, one of which is this mascara.
The thick and fast super volume mascara is part of the Soap & Glory make up range designed to boost the volume of your natural lashes and keep them fuller for longer. This is achieved by using false lash fillers to give the appearance of darker and thicker lashes which shine amplifiers to give the boost.
The mascara comes in quite a simple black cylinder and has the traditional Soap & Glory pink writing on the main part of the barrel. Company information can be found on the lid label along with the 6M symbol (must be discarded after 6 months of opening due to hygiene reasons). If you peel the label back there is also the ingredients list which is vital if you have any allergies. The top of the lid has a black and pink Soap & Glory logo.
I got this mascara as part of a 9 piece set which was £27 so would have worked out as £3 which is an absolute bargain for this brand (putting the price in the range of Collection 2000 etc.) Soap & Glory retail in Boots officially but also can be seen on Ebay, but singularly in Boots the 10ml tube is £10 or 1000 points.
Now I don't usually use mascara very often as I work as a nurse and make up is not encouraged, also when working 12 hour shifts I find I barely have time for my hair. However, as this is within my kit I thought I would give it a go. After seeing good reviews I was hoping this won't be like my usual mascaras I have tried making my lashes look clumpy and also flakey and make my face look odd with mascara dust under my eyes.
The applicator looks like a bullet in shape and is a medium size with not too much length which can catch in the corner of the eye. The brush has thick bristles which have nice spacing similar to a pipe cleaner or bottle brush line up. As the bristles are not tightly compacted I find they fit between my natural eyelashes and coat them more evenly rather than clumping them together in a big block as some other brands have done. The mascara is quite black so I go light with just one or two sweeps as I have generally light blond lashes and eyebrows but this is just enough to highlight how long my lashes actually are.
One or two coats does give a little boost to the volume but not too much which I am comfortable with, however, I did test extra applications and at about 4 my lashes look heavy and false which is just not for me and my skin tone. Sometimes my eyes are easily irritated but I have not found that this makes my eyes water, also when I accidently touch my eyes it doesn't spread all over my eyes and make me look like a panda.
To remove the mascara I use a make up remover wipe as I have plenty of these in the house. The mascara comes off quite easily but obviously needs a few wipes to remove it all from the lashes.
I was unsure at first as I love Soap & Glory for the wash products and creams but after using this mascara I think I am becoming a make up convert. However, due to the singular £10 price tag I think I may be put off from buying it myself.
(Reviews may be seen on Ciao under name FrostBit)
I was thinking that as I am 26 I need to start looking after my skin more than I do; I do use daily moisturisers, body moisturisers etc. but I needed something a little more nourishing so was shopping the night cream range. As it was Christmas I also thought I would get myself a little treat as I often don't have the spare money for these kinds of things.
Looking around I could see the Simple creams, Oil of Olay and Vaseline but some of these creams appeared quite heavy and although I needed something nourishing I also have an oily face so have to be careful not to exacerbate this.
I saw the Nivea cream and thought that this brand is one that is trusted and my mother has used Nivea for years. The cream comes in a deep blue tub with a screw on lid and is a 50ml size. The jar has the brand name, ingredients, Q10 and that it is a night cream - quite simple but effective.
The smell of the cream is very typical of the Nivea brand smelling fresh and almost like baby powder or sun cream. It is white in colour and the consistency of custard which is thicker than my current day cream but not too thick to make it like a mud pack.
I like the idea of the Q10 as this is supposed to diminish the appearance of wrinkles, I don't really have many yet but I am hoping this prevents them. It contains the Q10 and creatine to support your own body's skin structures. I can't say that I have noticed any improvements in my skin but it hasn't got any worse, also I don't think my differing shift patterns help much either for the generally tired look on my face.
This is supposed to be £10.19 for the 50ml jar but I got this on offer for £7.99 which is not bad for using it once a day face and neck. The amount needed is not much and does go a long way. All in all a good cream but as said before I don't know what miracles it may work.
(Reviews may be seen on Ciao under name FrostBit)
I had been adapting my fitness routines last year to liven things up in an attempt to motivate myself and this year one of these new routines is the Men's Health V8 challenge. I looked them up online and saw that Argos had some but they weren't necessarily good value for money so took myself off to Sports Direct and found two balls in stock - one 3kg and one 5kg. After picking the boxes up and getting a feel for the weights I decided the 5kg ball would be a better investment for myself as I do try to push myself.
This particular medicine ball is the Reebok type which is very similar to a basketball but weighted inside making this one 5kg. However, please do not use this like a basketball as someone or yourselves may end up getting hurt; one useful method of throwing the ball is in a large area to build shoulder strength like a large shot putt. The medicine ball has a history of being used by recovering patients in hospital hence the name and builds up core strength and stability. If you Google the 'medicine ball workout' there are some really good ideas to get the best use out of it such as low squats or sit ups with the ball.
The ball has two colours, my particular one is part black and part yellow with the weight and brand name written on it in different sections. The ball looks very much like a basketball and has the outer rubbery feel and grip which helps when using the ball for exercise. There are little nodule type indentations on the ball which helps to increase the surface area and provide extra grip when you are sweating for example. With the ball being rubber it also does not affect use in either the cold or the heat as it is not a conductor (I fend my metal kettlebells end up freezing my hands in the winter). The ball is actually nice to look at and brightens up my gym/ garage. The fact that the different weights come in different colours is a good idea as they would be able to be told apart very easily if you were to have more than one or if they were in a gym.
I expected that the outer surfaces may end up giving over time under its own weight but it is clearly solidly built and still looks like a well pumped up basketball. Also the rubber is coloured so that the colour does not end up flaking or being scratched off which sometimes happens with cheaper or inferior products. Another plus is that despite being used on my concrete garage floor the ball has retained its grip texture and has not become worn down.
This ball was in Sports Direct apparently down from £39.99 to £19.99 and regardless of original price I think that the £19.99 price tag is a very good investment. However, I have seen other balls and brands in various retailers for double the price so make sure you shop around as they all do the same job!
There are different models of the balls with some having handles but I find that this would get in the way of the dynamic exercises and maybe a kettlebell would be more suitable if handles were needed.
So to review I do not actually have a bad word to say about the item, I think it does a fab job being dynamic, attractive and has the super grip for when the workout gets faster. If your new years resolution is to get fit then why not invest in your home gym equipment?
(Reviews may be seen on Ciao under name FrostBit)
Girls with attitude is a UK based company launched in 2006 as an edgy urban brand to be at the forefront of consumer need supplying ladies with luscious lashes, amazing falsies and creating an instant impact. The items can be found on the high street in places such as Boots and Superdrug but also online on their page girlswithattitude.co.uk .
I was looking for some false lashes as I was getting married in June so wanted to make sure I looked my best for the photos as these go out to all of the family and are in our albums for a lifetime. So as I had my nails done a lady recommended these girls with attitude lashes saying they were easy to apply and I thought I would look at the website which has many types including feathery and flutterby.
I opted for the enchanted which I think are the ones in this photo as they have the green banner across the front of the box. The box is simple cardboard with a black and pink contemporary design with flowers, swirls and dots. There is a window on the front of the pack which shows what the lashes look like making a decision easier.
The enchanted variety I chose looked like genuine delicate eyelashes in black and a little longer than my own designed to extend and exaggerate own lashes. They were easy to apply with a small amount of lash glue and once they had been on for a few minutes I forgot they were there (which is always my problem as often I smudge things). I had eyeliner and mascara applied to these and my own lashes which helped them to blend in and not once did anyone ask me about my fake lashes until I said I was wearing some. Nobody could believe they looked so realistic.
Upon removal they came off easily even though I was a little drunk I just pulled from one side and they came straight off.
The lashes may seem expensive at £5 but they do the job well and imitate eyelashes better than some I have seen before. These come highly recommended.
(Reviews may be seen on Ciao under name FrostBit)