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IzzyInTheHouse

IzzyInTheHouse
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Member since: 15.04.2012

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    • Sony MDR ZX300 / Headphones / 32 Readings / 32 Ratings
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      14.04.2013 03:42
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      Recommended!

      Sony MDR ZX300

      I do a lot of online gaming and also am a keen music fan, so a pair of headphones are essential to me. The problem is, I don't have the budget to go out and buy a pair of Beats (Dr. Dre) because they are simply too expensive, and the fact is I don't really need something that advanced.

      So, as I was flipping through the Argos book, I came across these. They come in Black, Red and White and I paid £20 for a pair of white ones. I actually wanted red, but they were out of stock so hey ho!

      The headphones are very comfy as on the ear the leather moulds to fit you and also easy to adjust which I need to do quite often. At first I worried that the top of the headphones is just plastic, but I've found I don't even notice to be honest. They also adjust reasonably well to your head size with customizable sides (to make longer or shorter). I can wear them and feel fine, as can my son who's head is bigger than mine.

      The sound quality, while not anything like a pair of Beats etc., is very good, and satisfies my requirements at the very least.

      The wire is reasonably long and can take a fair bit of weight without breaking. Also, the headphones themselves are very robust and don't break too easily. I've sat on mine, and also had the dog grab hold of them one time but they still work perfectly.

      They aren't the most stylish pair I've seen, but they blend in well to an outfit and aren't especially ugly. The brand itself on the headphones is very easy to miss (in my experience).
      Overall, I would recommend anyone who is looking to pick up some headphones, to go for these ones!

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      14.04.2013 03:31
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      Recommended by me!

      The Body Shop Strawberry Shower Gel

      Last Christmas I received this in a box set from my neighbour. The box contained the Body Shop Strawberry collection basically! This shower gel, the soap, the body butter and the body polish. Around 2 months ago I remembered about it (oops... I know!) and decided to dig it out as I was going to an engagement party. Here are my experiences with it:

      The Bottle

      The gel comes in a clear squidgy bottle with the body shop logo and a very appetising picture of some juicy strawberries! I have the 250ml bottle which is a great size for me, but I think there is a smaller bottle as well which I assume is a "tester" like bottle. The bottle is quite short and stocky which is better for me when I am in the shower as I quite often knock over the tall skinny bottles! I think the bottle is actually great at its job though as even with slippery wet hands it is easy to grip and to squeeze.

      The only problem I do have with the bottle is the lid. It is a flip top lid and can be quite fiddly to open at times. It isn't a major problem though and I work through it!

      My Experiences

      So far, I have loved the shower gel. It smells delicious, it can cover my whole body without much being used (it spreads far in other words) and it makes my skin feel refreshed and smooth. The one downside is that the smell doesn't last that long, only for an hour or so after you get out of the bath.shower I find.

      Ingredients

      In case anyone is allergic etc., here are the ingredients from The Body Shop's own website.

      Aqua (Water) (Solvent/Diluent), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (Surfactant), Glycerin (Humectant), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Surfactant), Cocamide DEA (Surfactant), Coco-Glucoside (Surfactant), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (Emulsifier), Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Glycine soja (Soybean Oil) (Emollient/Skin Conditioner), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), Fragaria vesca (Strawberry Juice) (Natural Additive), PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate (Surfactant), Propylene Glycol (Humectant), Benzophenone-4 (Sunscreen), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Cinnamal (Fragrance Ingredient), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Citral (Fragrance Ingredient), CI 17200 (Colour), CI 14700 (Colour).



      Overall, I would say it's worth trying it out, even if it's just for a little treat.

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    • Dove Shampoo Normal Hair / Hair Care / 7 Readings / 7 Ratings
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      14.04.2013 03:21

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      Would certainly recommend!

      Dove Shampoo For Normal Hair

      I don't really have a favourite shampoo or conditioner, usually I pick up what ever they have in the 99p shop at the moment, but I had to grab some from Boots a few weeks ago, so I went with the trusty normal Dove.

      We used to use this a fair few years ago, and I was pleased to see that it's still as good as ever!

      The bottle is 250ml and clean looking, not too vibrant. It's a simple flip back lid so easy to open and close. If I remember rightly, I think it was priced at around £1.10 so not too expensive either.

      The shampoo itself is quite thick so doesn't run all over your hand (previous ones have done just that!) and easily spreads into your hair and scalp. It washes out easily and doesn't stick to your roots.

      Another great thing that wins me over with shampoos is that it smells very nice, after all you don't want your hair smelling like a wet dog now do you! It smells sweet and summery, that's probably the best way I can describe it. In fact, people have commented on how nice my hair smells after I started using it.

      I often find it is on special offer in a chemist in town (2 for the price of 1 etc.) which is a huge bonus, as is the fact that being a Dove product, it's pretty widely available

      All in all, I would certainly recommend it and I will try to pick this up more now, even if it means going out of my way!

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    • Cadbury Creme Egg / Chocolate / 5 Readings / 3 Ratings
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      14.04.2013 03:06

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      Just not for me, I suppose!

      Cadburys Creme Egg

      It's a favourite chocolate, incredibly popular at Easter as well. But what do I think of it? Disgusting! It's nothing to do with the quality of the product itself, it's just the taste, I don't like chocolate being mixed with anything creamy!

      However, everyone else in my house loves them (especially my son!) and so I'm quite familiar with the product! They hit the shelves every January and leave soon after Easter.

      The egg itself is smaller than a normal chicken egg and wrapped in foil (which is always coloured the famous red, yellow and purple). Each egg is 180 calories, so not too bad on your waist as long as you are responsible and stick to one!

      The chocolate is like most Cadbury chocolate, creamy and smooth. And inside is white and yellow coloured cream of sorts. To this day, I'm not actually sure what it is, all I know is I don't personally like the taste of it! My son describes it as quite sweet tasting (though of course I disagree!).

      In my local shops they are normally either 2 or 3 for a pound, 50p for 1.

      I would say, if you usually like this kind of chocolate, you will love this. If, however, you are like me and not so fond of it, stay well clear!

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      14.04.2013 02:44
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      It all depends on your taste really!

      After being brought it for Christmas (though I have never really been a huge fan of the show, I watch it occasionally but that's about it!), a few months later I decided to give it a read and see what it was like. Here's my review on it!

      What's the book about?

      It's not what you would expect, as though it is an autobiography, it isn't a book about her life but just certain situations/topics she has picked out. There's not really much information in the book at all, it's mostly just her laughing at life, society and herself.

      Did I enjoy it?

      Yes and no. It is very funny at points, I even laughed out load a fair few times, but to get to the funny parts you have to wade through a lot of waffle, if that makes sense. There are a lot of parts that just really aren't needed or are repeated a lot so you find yourself just skimming past that paragraph.

      It took me several sittings to make my way through it, because I just got bored trying to read a lot all at once. Not like me at all, as once I start a book you normally have to drag me away from it!

      Overall

      It's priced at £9 right now on Amazon, which is pretty cheap for a 'celebrity' autobiography. If you enjoy her show, I would say go for it as you will probably quite enjoy it and relate to her more. If not, then give it a miss.

      Thanks for reading :)

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    • V for Vendetta (DVD) / DVD / 23 Readings / 21 Ratings
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      16.10.2012 18:37
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      Recommended By Me!

      I first watched this a few years ago with my brother, and I remember being very interested by it. Intrigued almost. Now I will admit, I have not read the book (a change for me), so the whole plot was unknown territory. I don't usually watch films like this either, but for this one time, I am glad I did.

      The plot is about a masked man ('V' played by Hugo Weaving) who plans to blow up the Houses Of Parliament. When he meets Evey (Natalie Portman), she is drawn into the plan as well. She become interested in his life and unveils secrets V has not talked about for a long time.

      The whole setting of the film reminds me of what I believe Nazi Germany would be like. Controlled by force.

      The acting in the film does impress me, as I was expecting it to be as good as it was. I thought the star of the show was Hugo Weaving, if I remember correctly, he had hardly any lines to say, and had to wear a Guy Fawkes mask, yet still managed to put across his emotions/feelings extremely well. Natalie Portman did a good job as well, though she was more of a side kick, in a way.

      The special effects through the film are amazing as well, really spectacular.

      All in all, I would really recommend seeing this film. It tackles some hard hitting, gritty story lines, but manages to pull them off. 5/5 for me.

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      13.10.2012 17:03
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      When I was on swagbucks a while ago, I saw an offer for money off at the Body Shop, coupled with the fact that I would also earn Swagbucks, I couldn't resist! Over the years, I have brought and used many Body Shop products, so I know that the quality is normally very high. So with that in mind, I decided I would buy whatever I thought sounded nice. And so came my decision, the Body Shop Chocomania Shower Gel. Here are my thoughts:

      Packaging

      The packaging, although nothing to shout home about, is quite attractive, and makes it easy not to confuse with other shower gels. With just one look at it, you can tell it is a chocolate scented shower gel.

      The Shower Gel Itself

      When I first ordered it online, me and my family had a good laugh, because it is actually stated on the website 'Do Not Eat Or Taste The Shower Gel'! Who would try to do that we thought?! But when it finally arrived, I knew what they meant. I won't deny it, I smelt *beautiful!* Quite literally, it did smell extremely nice!

      However, once I had actually used it, I was left dissapointed, to be honest. Though in the shower it smells lovely (it fills the room with the smell of chocolate), the smell simply did not linger. Once I was out of the shower and away from the bathroom, I could not smell it at all. Not one bit. This left me very disappointed to be honest, as I was expecting more.

      Overall

      I would not really recommend this product to anyone. Though it smells lovely, it does not leave any of it's fragrance on your skin, which is a real shame. If anything, I would probably recommend the Butter Cream instead.

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    • Deuter Guide 35+ / Rucksack / 22 Readings / 22 Ratings
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      13.10.2012 00:50
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      I would recommend it if you can afford it.

      As I cycle quite often, and for long distances at times, I was in need of a sturdy, reliable backpack. And after extensive reading on the internet, and asking many friends, I was recommended to use this one, the Deuter Guide 35 + . I had personally never heard of it before, but it was supposed to be very durable, so I went with it and purchased it. It cost me around £100 if I remember right. I might have been able to get it cheaper elsewhere, but I chose Amazon as I had a voucher I had to spend. It arrived about 3 days after, and I got ready to try it out.

      Though I have never used it to go hiking or skiing etc., one of my close friends also owns one (from my own recommendation) and he does use it for these things. He has commented that it does well in tough conditions, and is still in great condition.

      What I found when I used it was that this rucksack is very impressive. It did everything my friends said it would, and more. Not only is it very comfortable (even with a heavy load), it is surprisingly light. This amazed me, as it looks as though all the padding etc. would make it rather heavy, but I was proved wrong. I can't remember the exact amount it holds, as I brought it a while ago, but I believe it was around 8-9kg.

      The rucksack also comes with some attachments which are handy, depending on what kind of activity you are going to use it for. It came with a ski pole attachment (useful for my friend), an place to put an ice axe, as well as many gear loops for other various equipment.

      One useful things is the shape of the rucksack as well, as it is long and straight, it suits taller people. The downside is of course if you are very short it might work as well.

      By far the best feature for me is the hip belt. Not only is it detachable, for if it isn't needed, it also makes the rucksack more stable and easier to balance on your back. I thought it would make the bike ride uncomfortable and it would rub on my body perhaps, but it didn't. I could barely feel it for some of the ride. It has a side zip for easy access to the main compartment of it as well.

      The real downside of the product for me is the price. Though it is a great rucksack, it is very expensive, which rules out several people from buying it. And I know that a lot of rucksacks are pricey, so it isn't that strange, but it is a shame.

      If you need a rucksack, I would recommend this, though only if it would be well used. If you only rarely need to use it then it definitely is not cost effective. However, if it would be used a lot then this is the perfect rucksack for you. I give it 4/5 stars, it would have 5 stars, but the price lets it down for me.

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        13.10.2012 00:05
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        Recommended By Me!

        After our toliet started to really get a build-up of limescale, we decieded it was definetly time to change our cleaner, so went out on a hunt. While I was in Tesco, I spotted this and, like just about everyone else that has ever turned a TV on, recognized the packaging. As it was on special offer (just £1!), I decided I would give it a go, and to be honest, am pretty pleased with the results!

        Packaging
        It follows the shape of most toliet cleaner bottles, so I won't spend half the review talking about it, but I will say that for me at times it can be quite hard to get a good grip on. Luckily I havn't dropped it down the toliet yet... but there is still time I guess! Apart from that, it is a black background recycable container with the brand (Harpic) in relitively big letter in the centre. Around that is their advertising words such as the "Max" claim and so on. If you have seen their advert, you would've heard at least one of the claims, I can bet you cold hard cash! Carrying on, as normal on the back are the ingridients and instructions of what to do if it makes contact with your eyes and too keep out of reach of children - once again all the normal stuff. On the shelf, it does stand out considerably, because of the striking black - but I guess it also depends where the cleaner is positioned.

        Performance
        So does it work? Well ... yes! Yes it does. Once you have unscrewed the red, child proof lid, you get a brief smell of the cleaner and it is then time to actually put it where it belongs. Once you squeze the bottle almost immediately a sticky, gel like liquid comes running out pretty strongly. Thankfully it doesn't just dribble out like some that I have tried. Though some cleaners are best left overnight, this is 5x more powerful, so needs much less time - better for a lazy me when I forget! Only a little squirt normally cleans the whole bowl as well, so a bottle goes a long way. I find that it does last longer than bleach, but I tend to clean it out everyday, to stop the limescale building up.

        Overall
        I would say if you are in a bad position with money at the moment, then it isn't really worth it. But if you are not doing too bad money-wise, it is a great product even though it is quite expensive.

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        13.10.2012 00:02
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        Recommended By Me!

        On my way home in the car a few weeks ago I had a slight panic when my other half phoned me and said that we were out of cleaner. The nearest store was Tesco and all that was left was Tesco Value Cream Cleaner - not my first choice but I had no choice.

        The Packaging
        The actual look of the bottle is what you would expect with a Tesco Value line product. It sports their normal red. blue and mainly white choice of colours and does look like quite a cheap product. Not the kind of thing you would want if you are brand concious, more the product you hide at the back of the cupboard if you're that kind of person! It has a flip-top lid, so no child lock on the cap unfourtunatly. Luckily for my family our kids have grown up enough to learn it's not right to drink cleaners and so on. I hope they have anyway! Anyway, if you live in a house with many little children running round, I'm pretty sure this isn't the product for you.

        How to Use It
        Once you have shaken the bottle, squeze the cleaner onto a wet cloth (or just straight onto what you are going to clean) and then wipe over it. As soon as you have finished just wipe over with water (hot water works best for me!).

        Does it work?
        Well, I wasn't ever expecting the best, amazing performance from a very cheap cleaner, but I was pleasently suprised! Though I would say. it does take some elbow grease sometimes. And a little of the 500ml bottle does make average results - not the best but it does last a pretty good time.

        Avalibilty
        As you would probably guess, it is only avalible in Tesco. It is being sold for a very cheap price, just 32p. One of the main reasons I rated it so high!

        Overall
        I would say that it is a great product if you are in a sticky situation with money, but still not the best quality product. Or even if you are in a bit of a jam like me - it is a great solution. That's why I give it 4/5 stars!

        Thanks for reading!

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      • Oust Aeresol Garden Fresh / Homeware / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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        13.10.2012 00:00
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        Recommended By Me!

        When searching for a replacement for our Febreeze which had run out, I came across this for just £1 in Asda and decided to give it a go. I had seen all the adverts about how it actually gets rid of the smell and doesn't cover it up, and decided to give it a shot. After all, even if it doesn't get rid of the smell as it claims - it's worth it for just a pound! I also desperatly needed it because it can get pretty whiffy with our dog Lola around!

        The Container
        The container looks like most air freshners do, but has a quite different feature colour. The usaul whitey-green and a quite refreshing deep reddy pink. Although it doesn't really suit my house, it stays in the cupboard hidden away, so I don't mind. For the right person though, I think it is quite a nice idea to have a brighter colour. The lid which covers the button you use to spray comes off easy enough for me but I think a weaker old person would struggle a bit. Underneath it hides the usaul spray button, so no suprise there.

        All in all I give the container a 5/5 star rating - it does what it needs to as well as it can.
        The Smell

        A nice refreshing outside smell - just as it claims! I will admit I was suprised because when I brought it for just a pound I wasn't expecting what came out of the container. It does smell like the great outdoors and is really relaxing - not overpowering. It also stays and keeps everything smelling fine and dandy for a good while which is a big plus. It isn't too feminime either as my other half and teenage son like the smell as much as I do. Another big thumbs up!
        Again a 5/5 star rating for a really nice fresh smell which is balanced out really nicely!

        Does it get rid of odours?
        As far as I can say, yes it does! When the naturey scent finally dissapears you're left with a non smelly house! That is quite an achievment as well because when we leave the dog for a few hours and get back... well it isn't nice! So a few sprays of this just helps things along and I am pleased to say - keeps the smells away for at least the next few hours! I can also say that it gets rid of all smells I have ever challenged it with - be it smelly food, puke and many other things that really don't smell very nice!

        5/5 stars because it does what it says!
        Warnings

        Like normal, keep out of reach from children, don't put it near a naked flame and don't keep it in tempretures hotter than 50 celsius. The normal stuff, but I thought I better put it so some idiot doesn't go and blow them selves up!
        Overall

        I would definetly recommend this to you, even if you don't have pets it is still a great thing to have in the cupboard and really does come in useful at times. So yeah, I would recommend!
        5/5 stars for Oust Aerosol Garden Fresh

        Thanks for reading!

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      • Mookie Boules Set / Outdoor Toy / 31 Readings / 29 Ratings
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        28.05.2012 18:31
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        Good quality but not too expensive and a great game to play. Would be recommended by me. You will en

        Mookie 8 Piece Boules Set

        Ok I will admit it, this wasn't brought for the kids! It was a present to us from my neighbour as she thought it would be a laugh and it really was!

        How To Play

        For people who haven't played boules, it is easy to understand and to explain to the kids. You throw the little ball and then each person chooses a colour (red, yellow, green, blue) and try to get as close to it as possible. Not very complicated!

        Experiences

        The game itself comes in a sturdy box which everything fits into perfectly and is also easy to carry around with you. The balls are weighted very well so it isn't to heavy for the children, but not too light for the adults so it goes flying across the garden! The game is a good bit of fun for the whole family, though the kids did get bored of it quite quickly. For that reason I wouldn't recommend it unless you are going to play with them as they will tire of it very quickly. Apart from that, it is a great quality, good wearing game and would be lovely to play in this weather!

        My neighbour picked it up for about £6 online so it isn't too expensive and is an all time classic game. Greatly recommended by my family, you will enjoy it!

        Would I recommend the Mookie 9 Piece Boules Set? Yeah I definitely would. It isn't that much to buy and is a great game to keep in the shed until it comes to summer time!

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        19.05.2012 23:22
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        Recommended by me!

        Intro

        They are basically like a big weetabix, just lots of little ones with choc chips in them.

        What do they taste like?

        Personally, I think they taste great! Although you can eat them with on their own (or many other ways!) I tend to eat them with quite a bit of milk. When you first open the packet, you do get a strong smell of chocolate, which is extremely appealing. And once you pour in the milk, the taste gets stronger and does draw you in. Genuinally, I tend to wait a few moments, so that the milk can mush them a bit. Otherwise they are quite hard to eat, and the wheat can scratch at your throat a bit. But after they have soggyied up a little bit, they are very tasty! They taste of what normal weetabix does (quite wet, but a individual taste) but with the added extra of many little chocolate chip pieces.

        Where can you find them and how much are they?
        I know for a fact that you can find them in: Iceland, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and Sainsburys.

        Prices:

        The prices are never the same of course but these can be anywhere between £1 on sale to £3 somewhere expensive, so not very expensive for some cereal compared to some.

        Ingriedients

        Wholegrain Wheat (82%), Sugar, Plain Chocolate (12%) (Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin, Flavouring), Salt, Flavouring, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid.

        Another note, it is suitable for vegitarians.
        Some recomendations

        I do recommend that if you are going to eat it with milk, then use green milk, as it does taste much nicer. That is only my opinion though.

        Overall

        These are great little things, weather for breakfast for you kid(s), or just a little snack for you. They are a generous amount in a very nice, unique looking box.
        But one warning ... once you start eating them ... you just can't stop!!!

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        • Asda Teeth Brushes / Sweets / 44 Readings / 43 Ratings
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          18.05.2012 18:56
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          Recommended by me!

          Well here I am again reviewing more sweets ... me thinks I need to cut down a bit lol! Anyway, while on my way to visit my friend I had a bit of a craving for chewing sweets which, if you have read any of my other reviews you will probably have read that I am a bit of a sweety addict! And although I do normally love sour little treats, I do have a soft spot for the odd chewy sweet.
          So, I was searching the shelf and this packet did catch my eye. It is part of the "Chosen By You" range which has been publicised quite a lot, so featured the back bar with 'Asda Chosen by you' clearly marked on it. Underneath that is a really nice dark bluey coloured background. Aswell as a picture of 3 kids on it, it also has a transparent part shaped as a big grin. This is there so you can have a little peep of these beautys! And of course it has all the usaul on the back, Nutrition, Ingridients, Contact details - all the normal stuff really. I would say overall that I really like the package, it's bold and says all it needs to.

          So yes, I saw these and thought they looked rather nice, so decided to give them a go. I have had another version of Teeth and Tooth Brushes before but, as I have seen a lot, two same kind of products can taste completely different. As soon as I opened the packet, a real sweet smell hit me, kind of similar to what you smell with Marshmallows. And after popping one in my mouth (I think it was a tooth brush), I can confirm that the smell didn't get my hopes up! It was once again quite smilar to a marshmallow, but a bit more of a hard chew, and of course they were shaped.
          They look very appealing as well, I have to say. they are a very, very pale pink (lips or brush holder) and a sugary looking white (teeth or the bristles of the brush). Once again, I do think this makes them look a bit like a marshmallowy, but that may be just me. They are also great fun ... I think you spend more time wearing the teeth and brushing them than you do eating them! I think kids enjoy that alot aswell!!!

          These are only 38p or 3 for a quid, which is amazing value when you think about it. They are about half full and the bag is about the size of a packet of crisps. They free from artificial colour and flavourings aswell.
          Stupidly, they have worked out the nutrition values in 100g. Whats wrong with that, you say? Well, pretty much the fact that there is only 70g in a bag. I guess it was a "Duhhhh" day at Asda when they made these lol!

          Cal: 330kCal
          Fat: 0.2g
          Sat Fat: 0.2g
          Sugar: 76.3g
          Salt: Trace
          Not too bad really, though the sugar is pretty high. But correct me if I am wrong, but chewy sweets normally do have high sugar.

          Anyway, they are great little sweets, if it's for a journey in the car, or just a little snack for when your snuggled up on the sofa. And because it is on a 3 for a £1 offer, you could get this and say something chocolate and something like dolly mix. Who knows?! It's all up too you. Anyway I would definatly recommend these!
          Thanks for reading! Please rate and leave a comment =D

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          • Internet Explorer 9 / Communication / 31 Readings / 29 Ratings
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            16.05.2012 22:02
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            They will get there one day!!!

            Though I am a Mozilla Firefox fan and always use Firefox nowadays, there was a time, back when we brought our first computer (an exciting day!) that we were Internet Explorer users. Though soon enough, we switched to Firefox as it was definitely less laggy and just much easier to use. My whole family found Explorer to be too crowded and confusing, and so we opted for the simpler Firefox. However, I knew that Microsoft had worked hard and had really tried with Internet Explorer 9. And after I heard some pretty good reviews about their newest try, I decided it was worth a go. Here are my experiences with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9:

            Installing It

            The first contact you come into with their new Internet Explorer, so surely they would make the effort to make it as pain free as they possibly could? Unfortunately for them, it wasn't the best start! I'm pretty good with computers and so expected it to be very easy; a few clicks and there you are! Their new browser all up and running, ready for me to use straight away. Maybe I would have to restart but that isn't much of a hardship! However, it was quite a different story!
            Once I arrived at their Bing and Msn plastered automatic homepage, I spied a little link saying "Download IE9 Now" - not hugely advertised and all over the page which is good. Microsoft do have a reputation for advertising their own products quite, well lets say heavily! The link was no't the easiest to find though, I will say! But once you click on it, it brings you to a flashy looking page boasting that the new Explorer is "Fast, trusted and clean". Big promises! It also says that Bing and Msn are built in, not that much of a plus for me to be honest, as I hate Bing! The page is quite dark and looks modern and buisnessy. With all of the different features everywhere it does look like it means buisness! Really and truely, it was so far so good and I was looking forward to a fresh new Internet Explorer. So, as you do, I clicked the "Download Now!" button which was a bright orange and very easy to notice. It came up with the normal things that come with downloading a browser - run, download and all the normal things. I went through all the steps and it started downloading. When it had finished, it just disappeared and I was left there thinking "And now what?!". About two minutes later, I finally had a little notice flash up saying that Internet Explorer 9 was downloaded and ready to use. All I had to do was restart my computer. Following their instructions, that was exactly what I did.

            When my computer had turned on and I had logged in, I immediately noticed a difference with the Internet Explorer icon, its much lighter coloured and looks much more modern. And more luminous looking, instead of the dark blue and gold on the old icon. It certainly did look fresh and I was pleased. Then came a big moment that I had waited a whole five minutes for! Clicking on their new and improved icon and answering the question I had flying about in my head. I had finally managed to install Internet Explorer 9 ... but, of course, was it any good?
            For installing I give it 3/5 stars because it is much harder to install than say Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. I know for certain that some of my friends would not of been able to either. It was made long winded and even when it was installing it was not sure what percentage it was at. It jumped from 2% to 5% and then to 47%! They could have made it much, much more simple and a lot easier to install.

            The Layout

            Another big thing for Explorer. As I mentioned earlier, we have always found their browser just too crowded and busy. But now they have gone completely the other way! Here is just a brief explanation of where things are now. In the top left corner are the page skippers (backwards and forwards arrows); next to them is the search bar, which is actually very small. I don't think that is that bad really though, as Firefox's search bar is waaay too big anyway. Next to the search bar are all of your open tabs, which are also very small. Then at the other side of the page (the top right) is a button shaped as a house (the home page button), a button shaped as a star (which has a drop down menu with favourites, feed and history all in their own mini tabs, if that makes sense. And finally, the last button at the far end of the browser screen is the tools button, which has all of the normal tooly buttons in the drop down menu - print, about Internet Explorer, zoom, safety - the normal things. Their idea was also to make it not so busy near the top of the screen; so it had more of a full screen look about it. And I have to say, they have definitely succeeded. About 90% of the screen is for you and whatever website you are on. It works very well and does actually feel full screen as you have everything in one line at the top of the screen. Unless you want the tabs underneath, which you can do by just right clicking on a blank bit of the screen which you are not using and selecting "Show tabs on separate row".

            So what do I think of the layout? I actually love it! It is incredibly simple and easy to use. Though there are a few things I don't like much. One of my first thoughts after clicking on the icon for the first time and looking at the new layout was "Where is the Google Search bar?!". Sure enough, it was not there. I know why it isn't there as well. It's because Microsoft want you to use Bing, but it really is just a bad rip off of Google in my opinion! Even their maps arn't a touch on Google Maps! Another thing is the fact that your bookmarks - or favourites as Explorer call them - are tucked away in a little star button. When I am on the internet, I'm always checking on this and that and so I much prefer it when I can see the bookmarks all in a line under the search bar. It's much easier than the long winded process of clicking on the star clicking on the favourites tab button and then scrolling through to try and find the one you were looking for. On Firefox I could have just clicked on it straight and I would been on the site much quicker than on Explorer. Apart from the few problems, I think the layout is a huge improvement on Microsofts recent tries that have failed miserably! Coming from Firefox does take a bit of getting use to, but I found that I was soon whizzing around and doing nearly all of my normal things (just a tad slower if I got access to it through the bookmarks though!)
            The Layout gets 4/5 stars for a real good effort. Would have been 5 stars but the lack of a Google search bar and the placing of the bookmarks (or favourites as some know it) lets it down a bit. Apart from the things that I have highlighted above, it is a great improvement and I am really pleased!

            Speed

            Not one of pluses at all! In fact, a big minus! Here is why! When I have just one or two tabs running that don't take up too much juice, it is really fast and incredibly quick. The story changes when you have perhaps a game open in one tab, Facebook in the other and another open on Ciao. It really doesn't deal with it to well and starts to lag badly as well as freezing up frequently! It really can get very frustrating as I am a bit of a Facebook Games addict. And when it is just freezing every two seconds every time you try to click on something it becomes pointless even trying. So If you are like me and like to play a time wasting game or two (maybe moreee!) then Internet Explorer probably isn't for you.

            2/5 stars for the speed. A big disappointment when it lags non stop! It only managed to scrape back two stars because it does run pretty well with not much going on in other tabs or in the background. But, listening to a song on Youtube and playing a game on Facebook say at the same time is pretty much impossible. Unless you like lagging I guess! I can also say that it isn't my computer. I have Windows 7 on a computer I got for Christmas - so it definitely isn't. It also always performs really well on Firefox and barely ever lags or crashes.

            Another Little Feature

            It also has a useful feature which is quite similar to a tried and tested Google Chrome favourite. When you click on the little plus at the end of your row of tabs and open a new tab, it will automatically go to a page of 10 boxes. As you use Internet Explorer 9 more, it will slowly fill these boxes with the websites you visit most. So if you are a Facebook addict like me, it will have Facebook in one of the many boxes. Underneath is also a bar which tells you how active you are on this site. I am most active on Facebook, Google and Youtube! If you don't want your family to know what you have been looking at because you have been looking for say a wedding ring and it would give the surprise away, then you can click a little X in the corner of that box. It will automaticly remove it from your Active page. Though I am not sure if it will also delete it again next time, or if you have to do it manually. Quite a nice touch, though I know for a fact it's copied from Google Chrome lol!
            5/5 stars though, because it is still a great feature, even if it isn't completely their own idea...!

            Updates

            So far, there has not actually been an update of any kind as IE9 is still pretty new out. When they do update I really hope they make it work a bit quicker!Without all the lagging it would be a good contender for Firefox and Chrome. Right now it is way behind them in the browser race! I'm pretty sure they will try to make it faster, but then you never know I guess.

            Overall

            I have to say, I am actually writing this very review on Firefox, because I just really don't get on with Internet Explorer and I don't think it is made for me! I use my browser for personal reasons and love surfing the web, going around from one bookmark to another, playing games that take up a lot of juice and just using my browser to the max! Internet Explorer 9 however, just isn't ready for me yet. And unfortunately for them, I'm not actually that different to a lot of people on the web! But the nice little things like the backwards button is bigger than the forwards one because they know that people use the backwards one more, makes for a promising browser. Though Firefox already do this and have done for a while, it shows a turning point for Microsoft as they are finally listening to the average person and centring the browser around them. Also, if you right click on the backwards button, it will show you the last ten pages you visited, making it easier for you to see your history (Firefox also do this though!). Yet they have not actually told people and you have to find out from friends. I think their communication has broken down and got a bit lost in the mad rush to get Internet Explorer 9 out to people before they completely forget about Explorer. I would still say give Exploere a go though as you might like it! Even if you don't like it, it does no harm sitting there, now does it? If you don't use your browser as heavily as me and just use it to do light weight things I think that Explorer will be perfect for you though.

            So 3/5 stars overall. Internet Explorer has great, great potential and one day they will get it right. But today just isn't that day!
            Thanks for reading! Please comment and rate! :) x

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