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Kittenpeach

Kittenpeach
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Member since: 11.03.2012

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    • Zinc / Vitamins & Minerals / 57 Readings / 57 Ratings
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      03.08.2012 19:32
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      An important mineral to include in your diet if you have problem skin.

      My reason for taking zinc supplements.

      A couple of months ago, I started to notice my skin going downhill. I used to have problem skin during high school, but once I was in my 20's it really started to clear up, so I was annoyed to notice a lot more break outs, mostly occurring on my chin. I decided to do a little research online, and I found a forum where people shared their various 'cures' and zinc seemed to be one of the most talked about subjects. I decided that a zinc supplement would be worth a go, as it isn't overly expensive. I got 180 tablets from Tesco for around £3.00 which I think is very reasonable, you can also get a combination of vitamin c and zinc, which I've started to take as of last week. Each tablet contains 15mg of zinc, which is 150% of the RDA. I would definitely recommend purchasing the vitamic c/zinc effervescing tablets from Tesco, as they actually make a half decent orange flavour drink!

      I would estimate that I took the tablets for around 2 weeks before I started to notice any results. My skin really did improve, and looked much clearer with less red marks. I have continued to take them, and have had no major break-outs in the last couple of months. I have barely had any spots at all to be honest, which is brilliant. I was genuinely surprised that these worked so effectively, as I would fully expecting to be disappointed when I first started taking them. As I'm not a Doctor, I would recommend talking to them if you are having serious skin problems as they would probably be able to prescribe you something else in addition to taking these. I haven't had any undesirable side effects from taking these, but apparently some of the unwanted effects can be fatigue, diarrhoea, and a reduced sense of taste - obviously not very good at all! I think as long as you make sure not to take more than 15mg a day, you shouldn't have any problems.

      Another positive benefit is a boost to the immune system, which is why you often find them combined with vitamin c! I used to be prone to getting lots of nasty colds, and I honestly feel like these have really helped me out. I had a cold a few weeks ago, and I noticed instead of it dragging itself out for weeks like it used to, it lasted just a few days - a considerable improvement for me!

      Overall, I would whole heartedly recommend trying zinc supplements if you are having problems with your skin. Even if they don't work for you, they do have other positive health benefits so you won't be losing out on anything! If you have any other questions feel free to leave me a message.

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      25.07.2012 19:46
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      A lovely dry shampoo - give it a try!

      What is Batiste?

      Well, Batiste is basically a dry shampoo! You can use it to refresh your hair in between washes, to get rid of excess grease and oil, and to basically add some volume to lifeless hair. Batiste comes in a huge range of fragrances, and I have tried quite a few, but as soon as I saw the Cherry version I knew I had to give it a go!

      Batiste comes in a tall cannister style spray, and the bottle for the Cherry variety is particularly appealing! If you are a fan of cute and kitschy things, then this might be the version for you. It really does stand out on the shelf, due primarily to the fact that the bottle is covered in little red cherries. I think it looks absolutely adorable, and would certainly look very good on anyone's dressing table. My only tiny gripe with the bottle would be that the caps can be a little loose, but I suppose that's a fairly minor problem.

      To use the product, you simply hold the can a few inches away from your head and spray. You don't have to be overly generous with the product, as a few short sprays are generally effective enough. At this point you will be left with white hair (as my boyfriend always kindly points out!) so you really do need to give the product a good rub into your hair, particularly around the roots. After you have done this, you can just brush your hair out to get rid of any excess product. It definitely makes a difference to my hair! I like to use it to refresh my fringe in particular, as I find that this area gets greasier faster than the rest of my hair, and it can be extremely annoying! This stuff really does do the job, it's quick and easy to use, and very effective in my opinion. Of course it doesn't make your hair look as amazing as when it is freshly washed with 'real' shampoo, but if you don't have the time, then I think that you will enjoy using this product.

      The Cherry scent is described as being "Fruity and Cheeky", which I suppose is fair enough! I loved the scent to start with, as it is very fruity and girly, and definitely smells like cherries (but it is fairly synthetic smelling). After using the product a fair amount, I think I might go back to using the tropical version, as this is just a touch too sweet for me. I would estimate that the scent only lasts a couple of hours on your hair, after that I find that it starts to wear off.

      The price of Batiste is very reasonable, coming in at £2.99 for a 200ml tin at Boots. You should get a couple of months use out of a tin if you are just using it a couple of times a week.

      If you don't fancy trying the Cherry version, then Batiste is also available in Classic, Tropical, Blush, Diva, Elegant Lace, and Wild.

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    • Nestle Rolo / Chocolate / 59 Readings / 58 Ratings
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      25.06.2012 19:13
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      A lovely packet of chocolates, perfect for any toffee/caramel lover.

      Rolo's are a bit of a classic in my opinion, but until recently I hadn't had any in years! I spied a multi-pack of these in Tesco's and originally thought they might be nice for my boyfriend's packed lunches, but ended up sneakily eating some of them myself! As with most chocolates, I find these pretty addictive, so they don't last very long in my house unfortunately! If you haven't had them before, they are basically just little toffees encased in milk chocolate, and I suppose you get around 10 sweets in a packet.

      Packaging.

      Rolo's come in a chocolaty brown coloured packet, with the sweets themselves nestled in gold coloured foil, so they are kept nice and fresh. They have some tempting looking pictures of the chocolates on the front, making them hard to resist! All in all, I would say they look very attractive and instantly recognisable.

      The actual chocolate.

      Rolo's combine two of my favourite things - chocolate and toffee! In actuality, I tend to prefer the taste of Cadbury's chocolate, but I think the Nestle's chocolate works really well with these. They aren't encased in a particularly thick layer of chocolate, but I don't think they need to be, because the chocolate is really just there to compliment the toffee, which it does very well! The chocolate is smooth and creamy, and melts in the mouth making these the perfect sweet treat. I love the toffee centre, it's not so hard that it would break your teeth, but it is just chewy enough to be the perfect consistency. The flavour is very tasty, and doesn't taste like cheap caramel. I think I would genuinely prefer a packet of Rolo's to another chocolate bar, such as a Mars bar, as they seem to last a little longer being that they are individual chocolates.

      Price and availability.

      Seeing as Rolo's are so popular, they are widely available from most Supermarket's and Newsagents.
      Tesco has been running a deal for the past couple of weeks on the multi-packs of Rolo's, so you get four packets for just £1.00, which I think is excellent value. I'll definitely be purchasing more of these while they are on offer, as they seem to be very popular with my boyfriend. The normal price is £1.49.

      Nutrition.

      Obviously, these aren't the healthiest snack in the world, but I was never expecting them to be. Five Rolo's contain 127 calories, and 5.4 grams of fat, which isn't the best, but I think this is fine as a treat.

      If you are a fan of Rolo's chocolate, you can also get them in the form of gorgeous yoghurt's, and biscuits, and I would recommend them too!

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      23.06.2012 18:47
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      Lovely, shimmery shadow perfect for a special occasion.

      It seems as if Collection 2000 has recently undergone a bit of a re-brand, and now go by 'Collection Cosmetics' with the tagline 'Work the Colour'. I definitely think this tagline is appropriate when considering the Dazzle Dusts, because they do indeed come in a rainbow of high pigmentation shades. I used to buy these all the time, rather than purchasing the Barry M version, because these are so much cheaper. I think these have unfortunately been discontinued as I can't seem to find them on the website, however they still seem to be widely available online if you are willing to have a quick look.

      I managed to find them on a website called Cheap Smells for just £1.99 per pot, which I think is extremely reasonable considering the large amount of product you get in a pot. They currently have 10 shades available, ranging from hot oranges through to cool blues and greens. There is also a site called Direct Cosmetics who are selling them for as low as 59p, so I would definitely consider snapping up a few of these eye shadows now!

      I have these pots in the shades 'Sugar Plum' and 'Bedazzle' and I find them both to be very wearable for everyday use. Sugar Plum is a nice dusky pink type of colour with some added gold sparkle, so it really does look very multi-tonal on the eyelid. Bedazzle is a lovely pure bright gold, which is very eye-catching and sparkly. In addition to using them as an eye shadow, I have also been trying them out as eye liners, and you can achieve some lovely effects. I have a little eye liner pen from Front Cover cosmetics, and you can basically dip it into any eye shadow to make it into an eye-liner, so I would definitely recommend that too! The pigmentation is amazing, and as you can imagine from the name, they are extremely glittery, and shimmery. My main problem is the huge amount of fall out you can get when applying them, so I would recommend applying your foundation after you apply the shadow! They have fantastic staying power, and essentially last all day, so if you hate re-applying, then these could be perfect for you. I would just like to stress how messy they can be, you do have to be careful when taking the lid off, as the dust tends to go everywhere!

      I do like the little clear plastic pots they come in, you can actually see how much eye shadow you have left so that can be very helpful. They seem fairly sturdy and I've never had any breakages; the lids can be slightly fiddly, but seeing as they are so cheap, I really don't mind this!

      A little bit of powder certainly goes a long way, so they last for absolutely ages!

      I love these little pots, and I can't recommend them enough if you are a fan of sparkly shades. It's a shame if these have been discontinued, but they are definitely readily available from places such as Amazon and Ebay, and most of the shades still seem to be around.

      A great bargain eye shadow.

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        03.06.2012 15:48
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        A really poor product from Max Factor

        I purchased one of these 'eye shadow sticks' quite some time ago, when the product was first released. I had seen all the advertisements for them, and I thought they looked like a fantastic product. I loved the simplistic idea behind them, in that you only have to use one product to get a 'smoky eye effect', which I thought would mean they were going to be quick and easy to use. In a sense, they are quick to use, but I really can't recommend them!

        The packaging looks fantastic at first glance. I suppose it is a little like a traditional lipstick case, but it is double ended, and you simply twist the eye shadow up to use it. The lids of the eye shadow are clear, so you can see the exact colour inside, which I think looks really effective when you see the product on the shelf. My main gripe with the packaging is that is is incredibly flimsy. Max Factor is not a particularly cheap brand, so it frustrated me that both the lids broke and cracked in rapid succession. I wasn't even particularly heavy handy when using this, they just seemed to break in my make up bag, which I think is very poor. The plastic they used must be incredibly thin and fragile, which isn't something I really appreciate for a product I intended to get a lot of use out of.

        The range of colours are beautiful, and they all seem very wearable. I went for 'Bronze Haze' which includes a nice sheer gold/copper for the eyelid, and a chocolate brown colour for creating definition. I thought the colours looked so wearable in the tube, but I was pretty disappointed with them overall. The colour pay-off is terrible in my opinion, I spent awhile trying to build the colour, but I just couldn't get it to work. Even the brown colour seems to sheer - there was no smokiness going on! I think perhaps it's the cream formula, but it just seems to melt off my eyelid immediately, which is such a shame, because the formula feels so nice as you apply it. It is definitely creamy, and doesn't seem to crease at all, which I suppose is a plus. I think the gold colour could perhaps be used as a highlighter, or if you do like a very sheer and subtle look, then you might enjoy this product. I also found that because it's a cream formula, and the stick is fairly slim, it snaps off easily and melts in warm temperatures - so not a great Summer time product!

        This eye shadow stick is currently being offered at £4.99 from Boots, and it would usually be £7.99. I don't think I would pay either of these prices for another one of these because it's just useless.

        Save your money!

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          26.05.2012 21:56
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          A handy, well thought out chopping board.

          Why did I buy this?

          Well, I was actually given this nifty little chopping board as a Christmas gift from my Mum. She had been in the process of buying a few kitchen accessories for my boyfriend and I's flat, as we don't have a whole lot yet. This was a great addition as we previously only had one small wooden chopping board, which had helpfully snapped in half due to me leaving it in water too often! At least I can't make that mistake with a plastic chopping board! I had previously heard of this brand and this particular chopping board, but due to the cost, I was never tempting to purchase before.

          What's so special about it?

          The great this about this chopping board, is it essentially has two rivets that run down the board, allowing you to bend the edges up, and pour whatever you've been chopping easily into your pans without it going everywhere and making a mess. I think this design is particularly unique and helpful, and I've certainly never seen anything remotely similar. The handle basically has an ergonomic design, which makes it extremely easy to grip, and when you squeeze it, it causes the sides of the board to bend upwards - so simple but effective! I know it might seem like a minor gripe to a lot of people, but sometimes I have real trouble with my ingredients sliding off the board and onto the hob, even when trying to use a cooking spoon to guide them. I have found that this board does get easily scratched up, even after the first use, but I suppose that's the nature of chopping boards! It's not meant to look perfect, it's meant to do the job. My Mum got me the black version of this board which looks very stylish (for a chopping board anyway!), we don't have any particular colour scheme in our kitchen, so I wouldn't have minded any of the other colours. The boards are available in a whole rainbow of colours so I'm sure there would be one to fit any taste. The Joseph Joseph website currently stocks the board in, deep purple, black, white, bright blue, red, pink, and lime green. They definitely have a modern appeal to them, and I think they would be a handy addition to any kitchen.
          I would whole-heartedly recommend this board if you don't like any extra fuss or hassle when you are cooking. It's nice and easy to wash - my one concern would be the longevity of the board, as I know that germs can build up easily, and for the price of the chopping board, I wouldn't want to replace it too frequently.

          Price and availability.

          The regular sized version is currently priced at £13.00 on the Joseph Joseph website, with the large size costing £16.00. You can also find this chopping board on Amazon or at shops such as Lakeland, and House of Fraser. House of Fraser are currently selling the large purple version of this board for just £10.50.
          It seems like these chopping boards are widely available, and I'm sure there are some bargains to be found if you are willing to shop around.

          I'm sure I sound extremely boring reviewing a chopping board, but I think this one is a little different so it's worth mentioning!

          Dimensions.

          Standard (chopping area) 27 x 21 cm.
          Large (chopping area) 36 x 27 cm.

          I find that the standard version provides ample chopping space, so I probably wouldn't be interested in the larger version.

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          25.05.2012 21:54
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          A gorgeous takeaway.

          Shanghai Garden has become a firm favourite of my boyfriend and I since we moved to Sheffield just over a year ago. We were first introduced to it by some friends we were staying with at the time, and now we usually have a takeaway from there every week!

          It is really conveniently located, and I think it delivers to most Sheffield postcodes. We live in the S1 area, and they are usually very speedy in delivering our food - definitely faster than any of the other takeaways we have used. The food arrives piping hot in around 20 minutes from placing the order, which I think is excellent.

          You can order food directly from the Shanghai Garden website, or you can choose to place an order via Just Eat and Hungry House. We always tend to order through Hungry House, and we haven't had any problems so far, so I would definitely recommend using that service! You can pay with cash or card, but I believe you have to pay a surcharge if you do want to pay with a card.

          The menu offers up all the traditional Chinese dishes you would expect to find from a good takeaway. They even have a Thai menu to choose from (although we have yet to sample any of these dishes). They have everything from Sweet and Sour Chicken to Chow Meins and Satay Chicken. All in all I think there is something for everyone on the menu, even if there aren't many unusual or unique dishes.
          My boyfriend and I usually opt for the very delicious 'Crispy Shredded Chilli Chicken' which is priced at £4.40, for a very decent portion! It is very spicy, but the chicken is gorgeous and moreish, I'm absolutely addicted to this meal now! We also get a massive portion of Egg Fried Rice for £2.00, which is always cooked to perfection, and it isn't as greasy as the rice that I've tried from other Chinese restaurants. It's so filling, and just a great size for two people to share. We also have a bag of chips, which come in a plentiful portion, and are classic 'chippy' chips, which are always very hot and tasty. I'm sure that there are some other amazing dishes on the menu, but I'm slightly boring, so this has become our staple now! If it's good enough to keep me happy every week, then it must be high quality!

          Any problems?

          The only slight problem we have had is with some of the delivery drivers not being able to find out apartment, despite having delivered to us plenty of times before.
          A few weeks ago, it was slightly ridiculous, as the delivery driver phoned us and said he had arrived, but we couldn't find him. We tried to explain where the apartment was and he said okay, but unfortunately decided to drive all the way back to the takeaway! We rang them, and the lady on the phone said they were on their way back, sure enough around 15 minutes later the driver turned up alone with the manager of the takeaway! They knocked around £5.00 off the order because we had been waiting so long, and they were both very apologetic.
          It does seem to be a trend with their drivers that we have to spend an awful long time on the phone with them trying to describe where we live because they aren't coming to the correct place. It does get a little frustrating after the fifth time! Considering that you have to pay an extra £1.00 for delivery, I would expect them to be able to get it right without such a big fuss on many occasions. I would like to say that the drivers are reasonably friendly when they actually arrive, even if they are a little curt! The manager also seems like a lovely man, so if you did have any problems, I'm sure he would be able to sort it out for you.

          Opening time.

          Shanghai Garden is open every day except Tuesdays from 5.00pm until 00.00pm.

          Offers.

          You get a free bag of prawn crackers for orders over £15.00 - the bag is absolutely massive too! They are always extremely fresh and tasty.
          You also get a free bottle of coke for orders over £25.00.

          Location.
          52 Upperthorpe Road, Upperthorpe, Sheffield S6 3EB.

          A typical meal of 2 x crispy chilli chicken, 2 x egg fried rice, and a bag of chips is £15.00 including delivery. I think this is extremely reasonable as the portion sizes really are very good. I usually can't manage all of mine, so I eat the leftovers the day after, and they are still just as tasty then!

          I would definitely recommend trying this Chinese out if you live in the Sheffield area, and I would have given it 5 stars if not for the delivery problems.

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          22.05.2012 20:18
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          Wonderful!

          As I live close to Sheffield city centre, and since I also have a keen interest in art, I am a regular visit to the Millennium Gallery. The gallery has been open since 2001, and it still looks modern and vibrant today - it definitely brightens up the city centre.

          It is located smack bang in the middle of town on Arundel Gate, so it is just a short walk from Hallam University, as well as the Crucible theatre, and the library. If you are visiting Sheffield by train, you will be pleased to know that the gallery is just a 5 minute walk from the station, and it's really easy to find (unfortunately it's all up hill!). Sheffield is also served by excellent bus links, so you can be sure your journey will be a fairly stress-free one.

          The gallery itself is fairly small, I'm pretty sure you could have a good look around most of it in around an hour, so I wouldn't advise taking a trip here for the gallery alone. I would recommend checking out the Graves Gallery (which is just next door) to get the most out of your day in Sheffield.
          There are a couple of permanent exhibitions in the Millennium Gallery, and I'll give a brief overview about them below.

          The Ruskin Collection.

          This is the first exhibition you will come to if you are entering the gallery via the Winter Garden. It is situated in a fairly small room, but it is jam packed with display cases, and offers lots to look at. John Ruskin himself was a Victorian writer who was clearly interested in nature, and this is shown in the artwork on display. There are plenty of dainty watercolours to look at, and lots of fine detailed work. I'm sure this won't be to everyone's taste, but I actually really enjoyed viewing some of the smaller pieces in this room (especially the little watercolours of Italy).

          Metalwork Collection.

          This is one of the larger rooms in the gallery, and it's dedicated to Sheffield's steel and metalworking heritage. There is certainly lots to look at, and some of it is quite unusual. There is a big collection of Swiss army knives, and some of them are massive, and quite unlike anything I have ever seen before! There is of course, some of the more 'everyday' items such as cutlery, and pans, but the workmanship that has gone into them is really extraordinary. There are also a couple of videos and interactive displays in this gallery, which might be fun for children.

          In addition to the permanent displays, the Millennium Gallery also hosts a good range of temporary exhibitions, which are usually very varied. In the past they have had exhibitions ranging from local street/graffiti artist Kid Acne, to the family in British art - so there is definitely something for everyone!

          The current exhibitions are entitled 'Under the Sea' and 'Little Gems'. Under the Sea focuses on various ocean life forms, and art work that uses sea life as it's inspiration. As you can imagine it is quite a colourful and dreamy exhibition, and I think this is one that children may like. Little Gems is a project based on silver-smithing, which is nice to view some of the modern metalwork happening in the city.

          There are also two cafe venues available on the ground floor of the gallery. There is the coffee cart, which is primarily for quick takeaway snacks, such as cake, biscuits, and hot drinks. The hot drinks are just £1.00 each from the cart, and I would personally recommend the Belgian hot chocolate - very yummy!
          The sit-down cafe offers a lot more variety, and the staff are extremely friendly and helpful. I don't find the cafe to be overly cheap, a cooked breakfast costs around £6.75, and fish and chips will set you back £10.65, but the general quality is high. They also offer a variety of sandwiches, cakes and pastries - so I think there would be something for everyone.

          The toilets are located on the ground floor very close to the coffee cart, and are usually clean and in good order. They are free, but there is a tub if you wanted to make a donation to the gallery.
          There is also disabled access throughout the gallery - although the lift is incredibly slow considering the short distance is has to travel.

          The gallery has it's own gift shop, which stocks a huge variety of cards, jewellery, children's toys, and local memorabilia. As with most shops of this kind, the prices tend to be on the pricey side, but there are a lot of unique things available if you fancied treating yourself to a memento.

          All in all, the gallery is definitely worth a visit if you are in Sheffield for the day.

          The Millennium Gallery is open every day.
          Opening times: Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
          Sunday 11am - 4pm

          The gallery is free, so please check it out if you can!

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            20.05.2012 16:26
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            A good cheap white chocolate bar.

            Why do I buy this?

            In a bid to save a little extra cash, I've been trying out the Tesco Value Chocolate, as I have a serious sweet tooth. I have recently been buying the white chocolate variety, which isn't my usual choice as I know how unhealthy white chocolate can be! I always used to love Milky Bars when I was much younger, so I thought this might be a cheaper alternative.

            The packaging.

            The packaging is a little dull and plain to be honest. It comes in a basic blue wrapper, with a big picture of white chocolate on the front. The photo certainly makes the chocolate look appealing enough, but the overly quality of the packet wouldn't really grab my attention. It looks as though Tesco are re-branding the entire Value range, so the picture on the Tesco's website shows the chocolate as coming in a white wrapper (although the one that I bought in the store wasn't like this).

            The taste.

            I didn't really expect a great deal when I first tried this chocolate - but I was pleasantly surprised! It is really rather tasty. It has a nice creamy consistency, and it pretty much tastes the same as a Milky Bar to me. The blocks can be broken off into bite sized portions, and it's all too easy to eat the entire bar in one sitting! I do find that white chocolate tends to me a little more sickly than plain or milk (this is just my personal preference though) and this bar is no exception. It is quite a sweet chocolate, but it has a nice milky taste - I'm certain that kids will like this bar!

            Price.

            My main reason for wanting to try this out was of course the great price. It costs just 30p a bar - it must be one of the cheapest chocolate bars around nowadays. The size of the block is 100g, so you do get a decent amount of chocolate for the price. I don't think these bars are available in small Tesco's stores such as the Metro branches, and I got this in a larger Tesco's.

            Nutrition.

            This is where this bar falls down slightly! It isn't the healthiest stuff around that's for sure.

            100g contains 535 calories, 28.0g of fat, and 66.0g of sugars - so I think I'll have to re-think eating this all at once! I might have to be forced to share it with my boyfriend!

            I'd recommend trying this if you haven't already, as it is really tasty and cheap.

            The Tesco Value chocolate is also available in Milk, and Plain varieties.

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            17.05.2012 15:36
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            Definitely worth a look!

            What is American Apparel?

            American Apparel is an American clothing company, which in recent years has made the transition to the UK, and really gained in popularity. The store specialises in producing colourful and simple 'basics' which are usually very versatile. Another important aspect about the chain is that all their clothing is made sweatshop free, which I suppose is why the prices are a little higher than most other high street stores. As well as opening plenty of retail stores across the UK, their clothes are also available to buy online.

            Where can I find them?

            Plenty of places! Unfortunately there isn't one in Sheffield just yet but stores can currently be found in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, London, Nottingham, Glasgow, and Birmingham. Hopefully they will continue to expand as I would love to have one here!

            What type of clothes can I find there?

            Well, as I previously mentioned, American Apparel essentially only produces basic items, such as simple t-shirts, jersey skirts, leggings, as well as underwear. They also stock a good range of dresses, which range from 'bodycon' to skater style. Each style of dress usually comes in a whole rainbow of colours, so you are sure to be able to find something you like. My particular favourite is the 'Le Sac' dress, which is a really versatile dress with long straps that can be worn in a variety of ways, from a Grecian style dress, to a little one shouldered number. The price is relatively high for such a simple dress, coming in at £34.00, but because the quality is really very good, and because the dress can be worn in various styles, I think it's a worthy investment piece.

            A lot of their clothing is known for being really sexy, and almost a little provocative, so it is really up to the individual to style these pieces in their own unique way. I could see how some people would view a couple of the items as a little 'trashy' and I am inclined to agree - the hot pants in particular don't leave much to the imagination!

            I honestly think that the quality of the clothing from American Apparel is generally very high. I've had a number of t-shirts, skirts, and dress from them, and they are still going strong years later. The fabric seems to wash very well, and doesn't get all bobbly which is a pet peeve of mine.

            Ultimately, I think most people would be able to find something they like in AA, even if it is just a good quality pair of leggings.

            What are the stores like?

            I love the visual merchandising in AA, all of the shops I've visited seem really bright and clean inside, and they definitely look a little different to most other shops on the high street. If I had to choose a couple of words to describe the shops, I would say sporty and preppy. Each store I've visited has had a clear layout, and always seems well packed with clothes, so it's easy to find what you're after.
            The staff in AA always seem extremely trendy and cool, so I was a little intimidated to shop there to start with, but they always seem friendly enough so it wouldn't put me off shopping there.

            The prices.

            I think this is the one thing that would put people off shopping at AA. The prices are usually higher than places such as H&M or River Island, and since you are only buying 'basic' items, it seemingly might not be worth the cost. A Unisex V neck t-shirt will set you back around £17.00, and some jersey leggings cost £24.00 - which I think is fairly high. I think one thing you need to take into account when considering the prices, is that all of these items are ethically made in L.A. rather than in a sweatshop. I don't know everything about AA's company policy, but it's nice to know that the workers are at least getting a fair wage for the job they do.

            If you can't make it to an AA store, then I'd recommend shopping online with them. I believe you get 15% off your first online order, which is rather good! Normal shipping is £4.00 for orders under £85.00, over that amount and it's free. They quite often have various offers, and a sale section of the website, so it is possible to pick up a bargain on the odd occasion.

            I'd definitely recommend having a visit to an AA store if you get the chance to, the clothes aren't the cheapest, but they are good quality and ethical, which is reason enough in my opinion.

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            • McCoys Crisps / Snacks / 45 Readings / 41 Ratings
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              16.05.2012 21:30
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              I like the flavours, but I probably wouldn't buy them again as I think they have become overly tight

              Why did I buy these?

              I spotted a 6 bag multi-pack of McCoy's in my local Tesco Express, and seeing as they were on special offer I thought I would pick them up. I used to love McCoy's crisps when I was a little younger, and my boyfriend is fond of them too, so I decided they would make a nice treat.

              The flavours.

              This particular multi-pack contained Bacon Sizzler, Flame Grilled Steak, and Chargrilled Chicken flavours. I hadn't previously tried any of these flavours, but seeing as the Salt and Vinegar flavour always packed a punch, I thought these would be equally as good. I wasn't wrong - the flavours are truly delicious! One of the things I've always liked about McCoy's is that they don't shy away from using strong flavours - and that's what I think makes a good crisp. The Chargrilled Chicken in particular is very tasty, it has a strong savoury flavour of chicken, with a slight smokiness which is nice. If you are fond of meat flavour crisps, then I'm certain that you will love these.
              The ridged texture of these crisps also makes a nice change from the typical Walkers varieties. They have an excellent crunch when you bite into them which is very satisfying.

              Packaging.

              I always remembered the bags of McCoy's being huge, and they seem tiny now! As soon as I opened the individual bag of crisps, I was bitterly disappointed to find that it was barely filled. I would estimate that over half the bag was empty, and I always remembered them being much fuller. If you are looking for a filling bag of crisps, then I would suggest giving these a miss! It's a real shame that most crisps companies are becoming so stingy when it comes to actually filling their bags.

              Price and availability.

              McCoy's are widely available from most good supermarkets, and newsagents. I paid only around 90p for this multi-pack as they were on offer from Tesco's. The normal price from Tesco is £1.88, and there's no way that I would buy these at that price.
              I also spotted them on the Asda website for a mere £1.00, which is pretty decent.

              Nutrition.

              Not a particularly healthy snack, these crisps contain roughly 164 calories, 9.6g of fat, and 0.6g of salt per bag. I think these are okay as a treat, but for the small amount of crisps you actually get in a bag, I think I'd rather have an oat cake or something similar.

              Even though these crisps are absolutely delicious, I don't think I'll be buying one of these multi-packs again. I just cannot believe how few crisps you get in one of the already tiny bags. It's a real shame, but they seem to have gone downhill since I last had them.

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              • More +
                16.05.2012 19:07
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                A good value packet of antibacterial wipes.

                Why did I buy this product?

                I originally bought these wipes for use in my bathroom. I thought they would come in handy between 'big cleans' as a way to freshen up the floor tiles, sink and shower screen. I liked the fact that they contained an anti-bacterial agent as I am becoming a bit of a clean freak. I also thought the price was very reasonable - so I thought it would be worth trying them out.

                The packaging.

                These wipes come in a bright yellow plastic packet - it certainly looked very eye-catching on the shelf. It has a little illustration of lemons on the front which I suppose adds a little more interest to the packaging. You can also see that the packet is indeed resealable, which I find really important with wipes like these to prevent them drying out, as I wouldn't fancy trying to find a container to pop these in.

                Do they work?

                I have found these extremely handy even though I have only been using them in the bathroom. I think they are fairly effective as a stop gap measure (obviously they don't have amazing cleaning power). The wipes themselves are fairly thin, but a couple of wipes are enough to have a quick whiz around the sink and shower, and across the tiled floor. I would say that my bathroom is fairly small, so if you have a large bathroom, these wipes might not be too useful, as you would find yourself using too many of them in one go to be worth the money. You also have to use a little bit of elbow grease with these wipes to get a good result, but that's not really a big deal in my opinion. They have a fairly pleasant citrussy smell, although it is very artificial smelling, it does definitely freshen up my bathroom. I think these wipes would work even better on kitchen counter tops (which I suppose is the intended use for them), but I don't know how effective they would be on really tough stains.

                The price.

                I think the price of these wipes is really fantastic, especially if you are only using them occasionally. They are just so handy to have around the house for cleaning up a mess quickly. These wipes are available from Tesco's for just £1.25 for a pack containing 40 wipes. They also have a 2 for £2.00 offer available at the moment, so I wouldn't hesitate in buying them again.

                Any negative points to consider?

                The only real problem I have encountered is that the resealable opening of these wipes isn't exactly the best one I've seen. I don't know if I have accidentally splashed some water on it, but it isn't as sticky as when I first bought them which is a little disappointing as there are still plenty of wipes left.

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                • Nars Multiple / Make Up / 56 Readings / 54 Ratings
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                  12.05.2012 22:02
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                  A good quality face product, but not one that I'd rush to re-purchase.

                  Why did I buy this product?

                  I bought a couple of these 'Multiples' a couple of years ago, after reading great things about them in magazine and on the internet. I was going through a phase of wanting to try out lots of 'high end' beauty products, and seeing as this one had been particularly hyped up, I thought it would be a great addition to my make-up bag.

                  What is it?

                  Nars describe this product as "the original multifunction colour stick", and it is basically a colour that can be used on cheeks, lips, and eyes. I don't think all the shades would be particularly flattering on the eyes though, most of the shades look like typical blusher colours, which is why I don't think they would be viable for an eye colour. Perhaps I am missing something here? Maybe they could work as a highlighter across the brow bone, but I do think this would look rather strange on most people.

                  The packaging.

                  This product comes in classic Nars packaging - it is very stylish and minimalistic which I think would appeal to a lot of people. It comes in a black tube, similar to a typical lipstick or concealer tube, but it is considerably more chunky and thick. The Nars logo is emblazoned across the side of the tube. All in all, I think this would look classy on anyone's dressing table, and I can't find fault with it. It's very simple to use, you just pop the cap off and twist the product up, and I've found the tube to be very durable as I've had mine for a couple of years.

                  The formula.

                  The formula feels extremely creamy and luxe as you apply it to your face. The shades I chose had a nice shimmery effect, so I found that they add some pretty highlights to my cheeks. It's really easy to blend into your skin, so I would recommend this product if you don't have a lot of time to apply your make-up, as you can't really go wrong with it. It seems to last all day which is really important to me, as I don't like having to re-apply make-up during the day. It's also very buildable, so you can really play around with how sheer or opaque you want the colour to be.
                  My main gripe with this product, is I really don't see how you can use it as a lip or eye colour. When applying this as a lipstick, it seems to lose all of it's creaminess, and feels almost gritty on the lips. It definitely doesn't feel moisturising at all, it just doesn't look flattering. Maybe I just didn't choose the right shades, but I can't make it work as a lip colour at all.

                  The shades.

                  There's quite a good selection of shades to choose from, and as I said most of them look like typical blusher shades. I chose 'Orgasm' which is arguably one of their most popular shades, and is described as a "peachy pink with shimmer", I think this shade is fairly flattering on pale skin tones, and the shimmer really is noticeable, so if you aren't into shimmery colours, then I don't think you would like this at all. The other shade I chose is called 'Portifino' and is described as a "shimmering coral", I'm not as keen on this one, I think it looks more red than coral if I'm being honest, and it does come out looking quite dark. I really do like the names Nars gives to each shade, as most of them seemed to be named after exotic destinations such as 'Palm Beach' and 'St. Barts' - I think this really plays in to the 'luxe' high end image that Nars is shooting for, and it does seem to make them more tempting to buy.

                  Price and availability.

                  These little sticks certainly don't come cheap, coming in at a whopping £29.00 on the Nars website. I think this is absolutely extortionate to be perfectly frank. Although they have both lasted me a long time, I doubt I would purchase another in the future, as I'm sure I could find a cheaper alternative on the high street. These might be nice as a one off treat of gift for a make-up enthusiast, but they are not really in the price range at the moment!
                  They are available from Nars stores and the Nars website, or department stores such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

                  As nice as this product is, I think it's very overpriced. I'd be happy to pay around £15.00 for it, seeing as I don't think it really works very well as a lip or eye product.

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                  • More +
                    12.05.2012 17:24
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                    A brilliant cheap sauce with a good flavour.

                    Why do I buy this?

                    Like a lot of other people, I have been trying to switch to cheaper alternatives when I am out food shopping. I honestly think I have cut my grocery bill in half by doing this, and most of the products I've tried are just as good as the more expensive option. This sauce is no different, I have found it to be of a really high standard, and the price is a snip. This sauce usually makes it into my shopping basket every week now, and my boyfriend seems to really enjoy it too!

                    Tikka Masala.

                    Tikka Masala must be one of the most popular curries (although some may find it a little boring). I've tried ever so many types of curries, but Tikka Masala will always be one of my favourites as it's the first curry I ever tried. This sauce probably isn't as creamy as a lot of the other Masala sauces I've tried, but it certainly has a very delicious flavour. I would describe this as a mild curry sauce, it definitely won't blow your head off, so I usually add some dried chilli flakes to it to add a little more heat. If you like a very spicy curry, then you might not be overly keen on this one. It actually has quite a tangy and fruity taste - I really like this because it does seem a little different than a normal Masala. It also has a good consistency, I don't find it at all runny or watery like you might get from a cheaper sauce. I simply add a chopped onion, peppers, and a couple of mushrooms, and it makes for a very filling and satisfying meal.
                    I think this sauce could easily serve around 4 people, I just use it for me and my boyfriend, and there is definitely a lot of it.

                    The packaging.

                    The packaging is not so different from most of the other well known brands on the market. It comes in a traditional glass bottle, with a screw lid, and the safety cap as we've come to expect. The Curry Leaf logo is clearly visible on the front, and it looks fairly stylish. I like the purple and orange colours they have used - it helps the sauce to stand out a little more on the shelf.

                    Price and availability.

                    I have only seen this on offer in Tesco supermarket's, so I can't say for certain that it's widely available. The price however, is excellent - coming in at just 79p for a 500g bottle. I will definitely continue to buy this sauce, as it's very tasty, and probably half the price of most other sauces.

                    Nutrition.

                    It's not an overly healthy sauce, but I wasn't expecting it to be! 100g of sauce contains 120 calories, 7.6g of fat, and 0.7g of salt. I usually have this sauce once a week, so I don't think I am being massively unhealthy by doing this.

                    Well worth trying!

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                    • More +
                      12.05.2012 16:10
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                      A good quality shower gel from Radox.

                      Why did I buy this?

                      As I've mentioned in some of my previous reviews, I'm not particularly brand loyal when it comes to buying things like shower gels or shampoo's. I do have a little soft spot for the Radox range though, as it does seem to be much better quality than some of the cheaper brands I've tried. I spied this on offer at Tesco, so I though it would be the perfect chance to try this version out.

                      The packaging.

                      I really like the style of this shower gel, the bottle feels sturdy and comes equipped with a fold out handle, so it's great for hooking up in my shower. The bottle is clear, with a little illustration of some flowers on the front, and overall it looks quite stylish and minimalistic. I'm not usually too fussy when it comes to the packaging, but I really do like this bottle.

                      The formula.

                      I would say this shower gel lives up to it's moisturising claims quite well. The formula feels creamy, and thick (I really dislike shower gels that are overly watery). It's easy to work into a lather, and because it's such good quality, you really only need to use a blob. I can imagine this bottle will last me and my boyfriend quite a while. It leaves me feeling super clean, and it seems to be a little more nourishing than some other brands. Overall, I think the formula is superb, and I couldn't be happier with it. It feels very gentle on my skin, and doesn't cause any adverse reactions (and I am prone to sensitive skin) so it gets the thumbs up on that front.

                      The fragrance.

                      This is really the only thing I wasn't too keen on! I found it to be slightly boring if I'm being honest. I like the scent to be quite strong and unique, and I found this to be a little bland. It is supposed to smell like Chamomile, but I found it a little to subtle for my tastes. I much prefer the African Savannah variety, as I think the aroma is a lot more distinct.

                      Price and availability.

                      Radox products can be found in most supermarkets, and I managed to pick up a bottle of this shower gel for around 90p in Tesco's. The usual price is £1.90, and I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay full price for this product. It's always worth checking in stores like B&M, as they will quite often have some of the more unusual fragrances on offer.

                      I would definitely purchase from the Radox range again (when it is on offer!) but I probably wouldn't choose this particular one, as it's just a little bit too dull. As a moisturising shower gel though, I feel like it does live up to it's claims, so I would still recommend this product.

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