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If you're a total Harry Potter Geek like me, then you'll love this board game! The one picutred is the American version, but there is an English version of Cluedo available too! The game is suitable for younger Potter fans too - as rather than a character being murdered (like in normal cluedo) they have been 'kidnapped' by death eaters - still not nice, but less scary, and much easier than having to explain to young'uns that Hermionie isn't really dead! Besides, you're going to solve the mystery and rescue Harry's companion anyway! The board shows rooms of Hogwarts and is beautifully presented. All the evil kidnappers are evil characters like Professor Umbridge, Drako Malfoy etc and the 'weapons' are spells, potions and magical objects. It's fun to play, and certainly started a few Potter debates based on the magical objects you can collect to help you throughout the game. Would certainly reccomend to Potter fans everywhere. Crack open the butterbeer, get some friends over and foil the death eaters once again!
Remember the episode of 'The Vicar of Dibley' where the villagers arranged a surprise party for the Vicar, complete with chocolate fountain? She became totally carried away and all but submerged herself in the delicious molten chocolate... well, there isn't enough room in this mini version to stick your face under and drink, but you'll want to! Perfect for delicious and impressive party food - just add a bit of oil to your chocolate (or baileys!!!) to help it flow (as advised in the instructions) and in no time you'll be dipping fruit, mini doughnuts, flapjack, crisps, bodyparts, everything you can find into the glossy brown fountain of temptation! I received mine as a birthday gift, and I learnt about how to clean it the hard way... after enjoying the chocolate fountain with my friends as part of a birthday party, we then headed out to bars and clubs. Of course I turned my fountain off before leaving... In the morning, hungover and rummaging through the debris of the night before, I realised my mistake... the chocolate had solidified in the foutain, including all through the screw that pumps the chocolate up the fountain. It was very hard to get apart (after pouring hot water through it to try to melt the chocolate). So a word from the wise (or rather those who learnt from mistakes) when you turn the fountain off, disassemble it before the chocolate sets!!!
My boyfriend bought one of these when we moved house. We didn't have a tin opener, and I sent him off to fetch one during the middle of cooking a meal (for which I needed to open a tin of tomatoes). I expected him to return with your average, run of the mill, handheld tin opener, but no... being a man, he returned with this, something that would take up space in my already over crowded kitchen. I tolerated this devise for several years before finally deciding that I couldn't cope anymore, and sending it to it's doom (the bin). I found it irritating to use - instead of just grabbing a handheld tin opener from the drawer, I was taking this from the cupboard, plugging it in, attempting to get the device to latch on to the tin... after a while the magnet used to lift the lid from the tin fell off, resulting in me having to dig around in the tin (gaining a few cuts on the way) to fish the tin lid out. Also, as an electronic device, it's not like you can rinse it in the sink - so cleaning was pretty hard to do too, as the device often gets tomato (or whatever) juice on it. If you are able to use a normal hand held tin opener, I would say do it - it's easier, quicker, easier to clean, safer and takes up less valuable kitchen space. I think this device is really more for people who are unable to use the normal handheld version, due to dexterity issues or similar. An easier option may be to just buy tins with ring pulls, as most tinned foods are available in this type of tin now anyway!
As a user of the 'FatGirlSlim' and 'FatGirlSleep' creams, I thought that the 'FatGirlScrub' would be a good addition to my attempt at an extra attack on my wobbly bits! I do have eczema and sensitive skin, however I thought that as the other products are ok, that I would be able to use this. Unfortunately I found the scrub started to sting my skin a few seconds after I had rubbed in on my skin, and stung even worse when I came to wash it off! I also found that it left a greasy residue on my skin, which unfortunately left me itchy, which resulted in a rather sleepless, scratchy night. I'm sure that for people with less sensitve skin, that this product helps their fight against the flab, but I would say to people with eczema or sensitive skin, to steer clear of this product in the 'FatGirl' range - even though they may be ok with the creams. If you want to make a scrub for your sensitive skin, you can't beat a mixture of olive oil and sugar. It is natural, unscented and moisturising. Unfortunately, it won't wage war on your cellulite, so do 20 squats before and after you apply?
There really is nothing quite like returning home from a day out walking in the cold, to a ready prepared, hearty hot meal - ready and waiting to go, and that is why I recommend that anyone fond of the outdoor pursuits purchases a slow cooker. This one, when used at capacity will make between 4 and 6 servings (depending on how hungry you are). Easy - before you head out, put in stewing steak, veg (carrots, potatoes, leek, onion, parsnip, sweede - you can even buy stew packs of ready chopped veg to save time!) and pour in a bottle of Ale. Switch on, leave for your day out hiking, and return home to a hearty hot stew ready to eat (delicious with crusty bread!). Or, for something a bit more spicy - add chicken, chorizo, chilli, peppers, onions, white wine and mixed beans (soaked overnight if bought dry, or drained if bought tinned) and eat with rice or warm pitta bread. This slowcooker can be cleaned in your dishwasher, so not only is cooking a doddle, but cleaning is too! If you don't have a dishwasher - it's not too hard to wash the removable crock pot in the sink - but can take some effort to hold up to scub if it doesn't fit in the sink. Of course, don't go putting the whole device in water or the dishwasher! Just the removable pot! It's fantastic for cooking for groups, and keeps your food warm, ready for if anyone fancies seconds! Cook big batches and freeze portions, for stress free healthy eating night after night! Your food won't burn or boil over - no stove watching required! Stick the ingredients in, and leave it until you're ready to eat (althouh remember it'll need a few hours to cook at least!).
I often find that if I'm run down, or if I need a new toothbrush, that I start to get mouth ulcers which are painful and mean that I can't eat salty foods without it stinging! If this happens, I use Corsodyl mint mouthwash. Now if you're not using the 'daily' version - i.e. you're using the more potent version which I use intermittently to help my mouth recover from ulcers, then you can't really use this type of Corsodyl every day as it can cause discolouration to your teeth. Also, you should use it at least 10 mins after brushing to avoid discolouration. I must admit, that I find the taste rather strong - and it advises you on the bottle that you can mix it with a little water if you find it a bit too much. It's fine when I'm swilling it around my mouth (which they advise you to do for around a minute) it's just afterwards I feel like my tongue is burning a bit and often have to have a sip of cold water to ease the sensation. The taste is minty and isn't offensive, just very strong! I do find that Corsodyl really helps my mouth to recover from ulcers, and prevents my gums becoming sore when I start using a new toothbrush. I'd recommend to anyone to have a bottle in for incase your mouth becomes sore, as it will mean your ulcers will heal in around half the time (as opposed to if you leave them untreated) - well, this is what I have found anyway.
My Auntie bought me this for Christmas, and I have to say, that I have since bought one for two sets of friends, and now my parents have one too! I must admit, that I use it mostly for impressing my friends the morning after a party, when I manage to produce huge quantities of cooked breakfast, all at the same time, and with only one thing to clean - no filthy frying pans for me, this device wipes clean easily with kitchen towel. If my friend's are feeling a bit worse for wear after the indulgences of the night before, and guilty about the cooked breakfast, I can impress them further by saying their breakfast was cooked with no added oil as no oil is needed for the non-stick surface. Also excellent for cooking things such as Paella and fajitas for large groups, or cooking a large quantity for yourself and freezing several portions. Also and excellent fondue pan for your friends to gather around and dip nibbles into a bubbling vat of moltern cheese! It is rather large, but I store mine hidden away on top of my fridge. The pan has a large lid to stop hot food spitting and perfect for if you are leaving food to simmer. Definately a good investment if you cook large quantities of food often, or if your family is keen on a cooked breakfast!
I've been to Leeds Festival 3 times, although this was now over 10 years ago! I learnt a few things, and now, 10 years older (and hopefully wiser) I'm off to Download this year! My plan is to be prepared, and I would advise everyone else to do the same when approaching festival season. As a person allergic to grass, I will be stockpiling and dosing up on anti-hystamines, and other remedies (and even a scary infra-red device you stick up your nose for 5 mins a day). I will also be puchasing the dreaded 'she-wee' but no doubt it will be preferable to the UTIs of festivals past due to holding it in in the hope that I can manage without visiting the terrible portaloos for 4 days...(also note, I'll be taking cranberry tablets and taking cystitis relief powder with me!). I will also be making sure the tent is tested in adverse weather conditions before having to live in it for almost a week! If anyone has any further tips, I'd be really interested to hear - and I'll keep reading this discussion thread for inspiration!
I visited the Meininger hotel in Hyde Park, London on 4th Feburary with a group of friends. The Hotel is more like a hostel really, but perfect for travelling as a group. We were a group of 5 and shared a dorm for 6 people (2 bunk beds (4) and 2 single beds) with an en suite bathroom. The Hotel is within 5 mins walk from the South Kensington tube station. It was very conveniently placed for our visit (as we were going to see Cirque du Soliel at the Royal Albert Hall) which was about 10 mins walk away. The hotel is right across the road from the Natural History Museum too! The Hotel is shared with the Scout association headquarters entrance, so expect to see groups of teenagers (scouts and school kids) hanging about. If you want towels for your room you have to ask and pay a deposit at the reception desk. You can leave your luggage in their storage room before and after you check into your room. The hotel has a small bar downstairs with a few games (pool etc) and a TV and provides breakfast for £4.50, which consists of cereal, toast, yogurt, fruit, meat, cheese and beans, juice, coffee and tea - it's all you can eat. You can also pay for a later check out time if you wish (usually 10am, can change to 1pm). Expect a hostel, but really you pay hostel prices (we paid £29 each - remember it's in Kensington). The room was clean and had what we needed, the beds comfy and the breakfast filled a hole!. We will certainly return again if we need to stay in the area. The hostel has lift access.
My boyfriend and I visted Vinopolis for the 'Grapevine tour' the weekend before valentine's day, whilst away for a romantic weekend in London. The tour costs about £24 each, but a little tip... if you go to London on the train, you can use the 241 discount london tourism vouchers available in the 241 booklets kept in the train station entrances, or you can download and print vouchers from their website to present with your train ticket. Half price tour anybody! When the tour starts you are given a ticket with perforrated vouchers for your 'how to taste wine' lesson (a glass to taste included) your 5 glasses of wine (choose from reds and whites from all over the world, a huge selection) and a voucher for your Bombay Saphire Cocktail in the cool Bombay Saphire lounge. The staff are helpful and knowledgable, the setting is relaxing, quiet and calm and the wine delicious. We learnt a lot from the talks and the various videos and museum type displays thoughout the tour. It was quite romantic to sit and see, smell, sip, gulp and slurp wine together and try each other's choices. You are also given a wine tasing book with your ticket which gives a recap of what you learn on your tour so you can continue to taste wine properly, and it has a space to note down the wines you choose to taste. The venue also has a restaurant and an area which serves tapas to accompany your wine (at an extra charge). The venue even does weddings if you're looking for a London venue that's a bit different!
I just had a lovely day out at Paignton Zoo. We stayed in Torquay and the zoo was just an 8 minute drive, easy to find with the Tom Tom and signposted well. There is plently of free parking available. The tickets cost £13.10 for adults and £9.25 for Children (3-15 years old), Children under 3 are free. There is a giftaid ticket option available too. We found some £1 off per adult ticket vouchers in a local free tourist guide, so it might be worth having a look in a few if you are in the area. There is a large gift shop, and places to purchase refreshments throughout the Zoo. I found Paignton Zoo quite different to any zoo I've been to before, as the animals appear to have much more space and freedom, and the visitors are less likely to see 'caged' animals. The animals all seem happy and well looked after. You do have to be prepared to walk though, although there is a small train to help you get around, you are more likely to see everything if you walk, and it can get bit hilly in places! The zoo is divided into zones to guide you around the park, these are Primely, Savannah. Forest, Wetland, Tropical Forest and Desert. We did find it a little difficult to get around the zoo in terms of directions, as we didn't buy a map and some of the signposts are a bit inaccurate/confusing. There are many different types of monkey and loads and loads of birds, giraffes and elephants, rhinos, camels and zebras. The tropical houses have many snakes and lizards, and lots of cute little birds running free, and the new croc house is brilliant, and has loads of information and activities. There are feedings and other activities planned throughout the day, advertised on the noticeboard as you enter the zoo. I have to say that my favourite animals were the Red River Hogs, very cute and friendly and a little different to what you usually see!
I actually came across this amazingly useful face mist in the Body Shop store, where it was offered as a free item if you spent £10 or more! I'd never tried it before but I'm so glad I came across it! As a part of the Vitamin E Range, this mist has a delicate smell and is very good for dry skin and skin which shows signs of redness. As a keen reviewer for Eczema and sensitive skin sufferers out there I can happily say that this range, the mist included is wonderful and soothing to use, and doesn't sting, burn or cause redness or reaction on my very sensitive skin! Not only is this mist fantastic for using for extra moisture, or to cool down a flushed face (try keeping it in the fridge for a cold spritz) it is fantastic for applying over make-up instead of loose powder to fix your make-up in place! If like me you occasionally end up with dry skin shownig through your make-up if you have to wear it all day, this mist will hydrate your skin without you having to remove and reapply, or smudge your make-up. Just spray it on top as and when you need it! (Don't forget to close your eyes when you spray!). Really easy to use and fab for sensitive skin! Of course as with all body shop items, you know that this product was not tested on animals, and is coming from a socially responsible company!
Center Parcs is basically a holiday village in the beautiful English forest countryside with self-contained, self-catering villas in a range of sizes and types (including tree houses at Sherwood!). The villages offer a wonderful subtropical swimming paradise filled with slides, rapids and lovely warm water. I have always found the facilities to be clean, the staff to be friendly and the activities to be well organised! I have found the same high standards each time I have visited. I have now visited three out of the four Center Parcs villages in England, so I'll tell you a bit about each one. Sherwood Forest I've only visited Sherwood forest as a child and a teenager with my parents, so it's been a while now, but I have many fond memories of all my trips and there must have been a reason why my parents kept taking me back! The subtropical swimming paradise at Sherwood is actually where I learnt to swim, and I remember really enjoying the pool and cycling around the village. For evening entertainment, I would certainly recommend the medieval 'Sherwood Banquet' which offers delicious food, and fantastic entertainment for all the family! Elveden Forest I visited Elveden about 4 years ago as part of a group of 8 University friends to celebrate finishing our degree. The cost of the villa was around £80 each (for a 5 day break). Whilst we were there we took part in archery, horseriding, swimming, badminton, kayaking and pedalo activities and had a blast! There are many more activities available, ranging from £4 to around £35 depending on what types of activity you choose. We also went to a 'Fondue night' held at the Pancake House, which was fantastic (especially as we got to dip lots of delicious things in cheese!). Longleat Forest I visited Longleat forest a week ago and had a lovely time. 6 of us stayed in a standard villa, and it cost us around £80 each. As well as enjoying the suptropical swimming paradise, pedalos, badminton, and the Aqua Sana Spa, we went to the 'Big Family Quiz' night, which was a fun night out! Whilst at longleat, unfortunately we all ended up with a tummy bug (no fault of Center Parcs), and the guest services team were excellent in assisting us by bringing clean bedding for us and extra towels in the middle of the night!). The park is across the road from Longleat house and Safari Park, which is a lovely day out, and the park itself offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, sports, crafts and lessons, informative woodland walks and watersports. There is a free 'landtrain' to help you to get around the (rather hilly) site, and a range of restaurant, takeaway and cafe options. Center Parcs is excellent for families and for groups of friends. I am certain I will be going back soon, and will continue to lok forward to many a Center Parcs holiday! It doesn't matter what time of year you visit - the water is warm and there are activities a plenty!
I found this product after my trusty old 'normal' hairdryer died on me and I was left with wet hair (not good in winter!). I was totally amazed that I only paid £28 for this amazing product. I was unsure of how it would work, so I admit I was a bit of a geek and watched some instructional videos on youtube (yes they even teach you how to do your hair on there) and decided to give it a try. I was so excited when it arrived that I jumped in the bath straight away and got straight to creating my dream hairdo.... now unfortunately on first attempt at using the spincurl I seperated my shoulder length hair into too many sections and found the 'dreadlocks' it creates hard to seperate (possibily as I used curl product on my hair as advised by the youtube gurus) basically I ended up looking like a cavegirl... only useful for fancy dress... After a few attempts (taking into account that I am usually rubbish at hair) I discovered that the way forward is to not use any product on my hair (but Tony and Guy shampoo and conditioner for curls is good) and to work with larger sections. Make sure your roots are relatively dry first, and the rest of your hair is not sopping wet using the funnel attachement. Then I dry my side fringe with a round brush as it doesn't look right curly as it is too short. I then seperate my hair into two parts (top and bottom) at around eye level. I use the spin curl attachment to create 3 'dreadlocks' in each of the bottom and top sections (6 alltogether) making sure each one is completely dry. Instead of trying to seperate the curls with my fingers, I find the best way to do it is to use the funnel attachment and 'blow' the curls apart and tousle with your fingers so they seperate. I now find it really easy to do this, and finally have the gorgeous curls I have always wanted (and previously forced my mother to spend ages doing for me with a curling iron!). I also have far more volume in my hair, it looks amazing and I don't even have to brush it as much (bonus!). The hairdryer is excellent on it's own, but the spincurl attachment is truely an innovation - I know I'll be keeping mine a secret (I wouldn't want everyone to have hair as good as mine now would I!?).
I bought the gorgeous pewter sequin fitflops for a treat for my feet this summer and boy are they comfortable! All squidgy in the soles and a soft lining on the inside of the upper part of the shoe there is no way these flip flops could ever rub! Even the toe thong part is covered in a lovely soft material and feels so comforatble it's like you have nothing on your feet! They look lovely and shiney, but due to the big squidgy grey sole they can pass as casual flip flops too! They look gorgeous in the sun. I would recommend these shoes to anyone who has had trouble with flip flops in the past as I can walk in them for hours! The first few times I wore them I got tired calves, so you can really feel the extra work they make your legs do! I can't attribute any weight loss to these shoes, or even say if they have definately made a difference to my legs or bum, but they look lovely, and and really comfortable. I can feel that my legs work harder than with normal shoes, so surely every little helps!? Mine cost £50 from Boots.com which seems to be the standard price everywhere (if you buy them at boots.com at least you can earn boots points on your purchase). They arrived really quickly too. They are expensive, but I always make shoes last ages and I think that they are worth it!