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” Silky-soft fluid formula covers fine lines and built-in serum with SPF 15* helps protect your skin from the sun. *with daily use”. The product is available in six similar warm shades. Max Factor have alienated those with pale or dark skin.
Packaged in eleven centimetre tubular plastic container with black lid/push down dispense, product is supplied in a handy and the pump action also has a base that brings the product upwards in the container so that none is wasted and it is easy to see how much is left through the clear plastic container.
I applied it using my fingertips in an upwards and outwards motion and was pleased enough with the results, my skin felt comfortable and it was easy to blend in so that I could lose the line easily. However, I noticed it did not really work well under my eyes and it seemed to accentuate the slight darkness and bagginess there at the time.
Over time though I grew used to the product and if I noticed my lower eye was crepe or dark I just had to remember to apply a concealer. I also noticed that it would come off of my nose easily if I needed to wipe it or blow it within about the first hour of application.
1. To deliver instant medium to high coverage
2. To improve skin tones
As well as having these attributes: Anti-aging; Brightening; Concealing; Flawless; Natural; Radiant; Day-time; Day-to-night; Natural; Silky (accessed August 2014).
I have to agree that this product does live up to the main claims and would add that it is comfortable and easy to wear, I just set it with a face powder and it is ready to go. My tone whilst wearing the product in the right shade looks good and even, but not overly made up.
I rarely suffer breakouts these days apart from the odd blemish around a certain time of the month and my skin is a healthy “normal”. However, as I stay out of the sun and use high SPF my skin is pale and can also suffer with a bit of dullness when the heating first goes on at work. So I have fairly easy needs for a foundation, but still found some make my skin look like orange peel or give a drawn appearance. Not so this 2in1. I am pleased with how it boost and lifts my skins tone whilst I am wearing it.
The Ageless Elixir is supposed to be a 2in1 foundation/serum product, but I didn’t notice serum advantages, as a foundation it’s a favourite product. Featuring SPF15, always find this an advantage in a facial product. SPF protects against the suns harmful rays and against free radicals, therefore anything that helps my skin battle against the pressures of modern living without harm has to be good.
Creates a nice even finish easily and a natural look. However, friend persuaded to buy the “Natural” shade when preferred “Ivory” out of stock surprised how much darker it made my face, how much more difficult to create an invisible line along my jaw/neckline.
This product stays well all day apart from if I have a cold or under my eyes if I cry or my eyes water for any reason. Removing it using a normal cleanser not always sufficient ending up with some on my towel. I do find that a quick sweep with eye make-up remover or using a toner ensures removal.
The foundation has a really nice fragrance, that boosts confidence after application as it is so pleasing and uplifting. Not only do you look good, but you feel good too.
Priced at around the 12.99 I would suggest that this product represents excellent value for money available from Boots and other MaxFactor outlets.
I have bought this a few times since the initial trial product and I know friends and colleagues who took advantage of their samples ad vouchers were pleased too. Like me, some find that the lightest shade is the best and I know a Spanish colleague found that non she tried on a trip to Boots would work on her skin tone. I have not known anyone who needs other than the “Ivory” or “Natural” shades.
I recommend this MaxFactor 2in1 ageless elixir foundation as a good daily use foundation. I’m not sure about the anti-aging claims, but I have always found it lovely to use as long as I have the right shade. Otherwise, like so many it is unforgiving.
Words by Martin Waddell & Picture by Patrick Benson
Published by Walker Books Ltd
“Because all owls think a lot.” I first came across this picture book by Martin Waddell when I bought a copy for my daughter on or around her first or second birthday. Now she has children of her own and this is a firm favourite bedtime read once again.
The story is about three owl babies Sarah, Percy and Bill who wake up to find their mother gone! The beautiful stunning artwork and wonderful rhythmatic prose ensure that this book soon becomes a firm favourite. Supplied in hardback or glossy covered paperback our versions are both the latter. The book is probably an American quart size, it is squarer and slightly chunkier but not much smaller than A4.
The prose flows with a happy rhythm and the catchphrases are lovely and poignant, smallest baby owl Bill tends to wail “I want my mummy” a lot and of course the wonderful “all owls think a lot”.
A typical page:
‘“Where’s Mummy asked Sarah
“Oh my goodness” said Percy
“I want my mummy” said Bill’
The stunning artwork incorporates many of the subliminal themes present in picture book and graphic art, when the story is scary the colours are dark and foreboding, when the tone is a little brighter such as when Sarah is telling Bill it will be alright, the moon is brighter and there is more green. For example when their owl mother was first gone there is foregrounding of dark branches and leaves and all around their tree is dark. However, as she returns the moon is bright and bold in the background.
This was a favourite book of my little girls that led her to always love owls, now I smile as she reads it to her own children. They love it so much and as they learn the words, they all come back to me too! It is a charming book, teaching young children about prose, poetry, art and birds as well as the main theme of mum being gone. The quality of the artwork is outstanding and can be appreciated by most critical adult. The owls are cute and cuddly and it is cleverly set that Sarah is the biggest, Percy in between and little Bill is much smaller, thus impersonating a realistic family unit.
Owl babies is a perfect choice for children approaching nursery school or even infant school or whose mother is returning to work – because owl mummy comes back and all is well. Designed as suitable for pre-school age children, I am aware that some schools utilise it with low ability children in the lower years of school life.
The paperback version is slightly glossy and maybe it’s because they are so cherished? But our copies have lasted really, really well and my daughters original copy is actually kept away from the children!
Price & Availability:
Owl Babies was first printed in 1975 and is still widely available. A quick look on Amazon shows the paperback at £4.49 and the hardback at £6.89 new. Also available used from Amazon as cheap as £1.75 and from all outlets that stock Walker Books.
In conclusion, I love this book, it is an absolute favourite and I highly recommend it.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed a nostalgic trip or will consider buying a copy if you don’t know the book already.
I remember the launch of the Arabian Glow range and like a lot of other people quickly bought some of the range to try. The first thing I ordered was one each of the multistylo pens. They seemed like a really good idea and a product that would fit in well with my busy outdoor lifestyle.
~ My skin:
Although I am dark haired I do have naturally fair skin and these days I ensure I apply plenty of sun protection and wear hats when out doors for long in the summer months. Having dark brown eyes I tend to wear eye shadows in shades of brown, green and mauve.
~ Initial Use:
The multistylo range is supplied in three colours – Sunny a light tan slightly shimmery colour; Shimmering Bronze a mid brown shade and Deep Bronze a dark red brown.
My initial reaction as why have I bought all three? I soon tried them out individually and found that none suited me for eyes, cheeks and lips at the same time, which was what the range had been designed for. However, I did find that I could use the darkest colour on my lips and with careful blending on my cheeks as well. Whilst the middle colour would work OK on my eyes and lips but somehow was just not right for my cheeks. However, if I had to choose one for all areas it would have to be the middle colour. Sunny the lightest shade worked well for a wide eyed look on my eye lids and could be used on cheeks and lips but was not quite right for either.
The multistylo pens are simply shrink wrapped in a little cellophane and are a plastic pencil shaped item containing the multi-purpose product inside. The product is accessed by pulling off the lid to reveal the creamy textured coloured product and more can be accessed by winding the handle to utilise the twist up and down mechanism. The product is about a centimetre wide and is easy to apply straight onto the lips, cheeks or eyelid.
~ Ongoing Use/Thoughts:
I soon gave up on the darkest shade, however found that both the other two could be used for a quick top up whilst out and about and that the lighter brown when applied over a grey shadow gave a really nice colour for my eyes. Teeming that with the Avon tinted lip salve created a nice instant look and utilising the two colours together with a lipstick or the slave when I had time created the best look.
I still use a multistylo today and like to use it blended well on my eyes and with a green eyeliner. I find as an eye product it lasts really well, blends extremely nicely with powder products and is really nice to use. I have used it on my lips more recently and it is better than nothing if I feel I need a layer there.
However, there are a lot of other things I would put on my lips first to condition and/or achieve the look I want.
To use as an eye shadow: I simply smooth a little across my eyelid and smooth with a brush, if I am out camping or suchlike I can smooth it with a clean finger to achieve a fair result.
To use as a blusher: I apply two stripes across my cheekbones and then blend it in again, this can be done quickly and easily using the tips of my fingers or alternatively a cotton wool pad works well.
To use as a lip product: I simply apply as lipstick, blot, check the corners and ready to go.
These multistylo sticks remove easily with eye make up remover, a foam wash, cleansing wipe or cream cleanser.
I remember finding these especially useful when I was out and about doing active things like hiking and camping and staying away at horse shows and music festivals. One or two of these in the rucksack or in a pocket does not take up much room and can quickly and easily make vast improvements to how I looked.
A quick on-line check shows that these are priced at £7.50 per stick (August 2014). Avon do often have offers on their products, which is just as well as I don’t think this represents very good value for money. Available from Avon on-line and via a Representative.
I did find a use for the multistylo’s and probably out of habit or loyalty still have one or two in my make up collection now, however, unless you need something that is light and easy to carry for outdoor pursuits I don’t really think these represent very good value. The creamy texture is pleasing to use and will work equally well on eyes and lips, however it requires some rubbing to get a twenty first century look on the cheeks and you don’t get much product for your money. Therefore I feel it slightly fails as a 3 in 1 product as I know from talking to other people, I am not alone in needing more than one colour to utilise them sufficiently.
Due to the reasons above I award these Multistylo’s 4 stars.
The overwhelming fragrance is one of sweet orange (think Spangles/Opal Fruits) rather than the fresh orange.
The roll-on has very little flavour, there is the noticeable orange fragrance to begin with, the flavour, however, is barely discernible and is a slight oily taste, not unpleasant but not anything spectacular either.
Supplied in a simple clear glass container featuring an opaque plastic lid and the whole standing at 85mm, this roll-on is about the size of a lipstick and is applied by utilising the popular metal roller ball as utilised in the caffeine eye roller-ball treatments. The glass is covered with a paper label that is mainly white and features orange slices to tempt you. The text is orange and the instructions are on the side and are simply a diagram of the container being shaken from side to side.
The roll-on offers a lovely shimmery clear gloss and can be used as a lip gloss effectively. The roll on does not bleed or run, but stays put really well/quite well when eating and drinking too. Pleasant and easy to apply.
“Ricinus Communis Seed Oil (Emollient), Glycine Soja Oil (Emollient/Skin Conditioner), Lanolin (Emollient), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (Emollient), Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Emollient), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax (Texture Additive), Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Aroma (Flavour), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Persea Gratissima Oil (Emollient), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Hair & Skin Conditioning Agent), Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract (Flavoring Agent), Citral (Fragrance Ingredient), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Geraniol (Fragrance Ingredient), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster).” (Body Shop accessed August 2014)
The Roll-on offers moisturisation and is effective due to the high seed-oil content that is why I visited the website and copied the ingredients. I was certain by the way this product behaves that it was developed using seed-oil.
The benefit of seed-oil is that the moisturisation (and flavour for that matter) there is intense and more and more manufactures are utilising this part of the plant now.
The Roll-on does not offer the instant softness and gratification of products that contain as shea-butter or honey, but it does seem to effectively condition and improve the lips with on going use.
Usual price is 4.00, this stuff really last well. Moreover, there is a good list of natural ingredients here and equally some ranges would charge considerably more for a similar product. Often featured in the offers that Body Shop run it may be possible to buy for less.
Available from the Body Shop in-store and on-line.
Whilst I am happy to recommend this product there are other lip treatments that I prefer ad would probably buy first. However, it works, looks nice and is long lasting both on the lips and in the time the container lasts. I have been using this for some months now and you can barely detect that the product has gone down.
Thanks for reading
My husband and I both suffer with hayfever, mine is an all year round allergic rhinitis situation that includes the classic hayfever symptoms of runny and itchy eyes and ears, tickly throat and the runny nose and sneezing. Whilst his tends to be much more focused on the nose issues and occasional itchy skin. Histamine is one of the chemicals produced by the body in response to an allergic reaction, the main effect of an anti-histamine drug is to counter the effects of histamine, such as runny nose and sneezing or itchy skin. Cetirizine is one of the main active ingredients in over the counter antihistamine drugs and Cetirizine Hydrochloride is the generic name given to the drug that is best known under the trade name of Zyrtec, being one of the branded antihistamine products. The other most popular antihistamine drugs tend to contain Chlorpheniramine and Loratadine. Chlorpheniramine is the main active ingredient in market leader Piriton. Chlorpheniramine and Cetirizine work in much the same way on the body. Cetirizine does not cause drowsiness and Chlorpheniramine can. Cetirizine has a long lasting action of between 12-24 hours and Chlorpheniramine is expected to last between 6-12 hours. Having experienced drowsiness and poor concentration in the past whilst taking antihistamines I avoid taking them if at all possible. Indeed, I do my best to avoid any medication preferring to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle as a preventative measure. Although this is a generic drug that is not supposed to cause drowsiness (British Medical Association). I do find if I have taken a tablet three days running, towards the end of the third day, I am very sleepy if I sit down in front of the tv or listen to music, I will nod off quite early in the evening. However, I am confident these tablets do not affect my ability to carry out the normal functions of my daily life, whilst some of the alternatives mean I cannot drive. Supplied in a mostly pale blue cardboard outer the tiny tablets are packaged in a blister pack and are easy to access by pushing through from the other side. Each pack contains 7 tablets, designed as one weeks use. The packet carries advice to read the enclosed leaflet and that the tablets are for adults and children over 6 years of age and one tablet a day. Bold and in a box is the warning: ?DO NOT EXCEED THE STATED DOSE?. There are the usual warnings and advice about keeping medicines out of reach of children and not driving if you feel drowsy along with an ingredients list: ?Each film-coated tablet contains 10mg of cetirizine hydrochloride. Also contains Lactose.? The recommended way to use them is to take one tablet at the same time each day. I buy mine in Lidl and stock up out of season when they are often at half price. Usual price is .59p working out at just under 8.5p a tablet and I think that is a bargain to alleviate the discomfort and anti-social symptoms of hayfever. Piriton is currently working out at just over 11p per tablet from Boots (June 2014). I am happy to highly recommend these hayfever and allergy relief tablets, especially as they work well for both my husband and myself, they are fairly quick acting and do not cause drowsiness or lack of concentration which is a side effect my husband has from Piriton meaning that he cannot drive if he takes those.
Twix: Right Twix or Left Twix, Left Twix or Right Twix, which is your favourite? Only you can decide. You must have been living in a cave in outer Mongolia to have missed the recent round of Twix advertising, I don''t watch much TV, indeed I am extremely selective, preferring to learn by reading lots of reviews and even writing a few, yet I am familiar with that advert. Twix is a Mars product,first sold in the UK in 1967. That explains why it has always seemed to be around. Simply a crumbly finger sized sweet biscuit covered in a layer of soft, chewy caramel and covered (or smothered) in thick milk chocolate. Each wrapper contains two identical biscuits, making them ideal for sharing. Eating: I used to happily eat a whole Twix and have even been known to consume two. These days, I do still occasionally indulge in a whole one, but fore frequently find them ideal for sharing, either with my husband, daughter or a friend. Either way, it is necessary to bite into the finger through the chocolate and caramel to snap the biscuit and enjoy the mixture of flavours and textures in the mouth, it is almost impossible not to get a bit of caramel stuck on your teeth, however that means you can save that for later and lick it off by working with your tongue and savouring the last sweet morsel. I do find that one finger is sufficient to satisfy my sweet craving, indeed, half a finger will do that, but who''s going to stop at half a finger? Not this self-confessed chocaholic that''s for sure. Actually, what is so nice about Twix is that it is not too sweet, the biscuit is probably two thirds of the thickness of the total bar and the caramel layer is well balanced, so although it is sweet, it is not as sweet as say a Mars bar or a millionaires slice. Buying: Twix are available in several pack sizes: Single 4 pack Mini''s and fun sizes 10 finger family pack For the benefit of this review I am concentrating on the single (twin finger) pack. Twix are identified by their gold wrapper with red text. Nutritional Information: 250 calorie 12g Fat 7g salt 24g sugar Availability: Widely available from anywhere that sells confectionary. I tend to buy the 4x twin packs in supermarkets when they are on offer and there has been a really useful offer recently of 1 pound per pack, so at 25p per unit, excellent value for money. However at the usual single pack price of around .55p and I spotted them today in the petrol station for .75p. I tend to think twice before buying them which is better for the waistline!. Conclusion: Twix has stood the test of time and is a nice simple snack to aleviate that afternoon slump or anytime a sweet snack is required. Suitable for children, teenagers and adults Twix is a versatile tasty treat. 5/5
Bush''s first album The Kick Inside features tracks she wrote when she was just 13 to 16 years old, released when Kate was 19 in February 1978. All tracks written and performed by Kate Bush, the album was recorded over a two year period and used session musicians: ? Ian Bairnson - guitar, backing vocals ? Paul Keogh - guitar ? Alan Parker - guitar ? Paddy Bush - harmonica, mandolin, vocals ? Duncan Mackay - organ, synthesizer, keyboards, electric piano, clarinet ? Andrew Powell - synthesizer, keyboards, electric piano ? Alan Skidmore - saxophone ? David Paton - bass, backing vocals ? Bruce Lynch - bass ? Barry D''Souza - drums ? Stuart Elliott - drums ? Morris Pert - percussion ? David Katz - violin, orchestra conductor The Kick Inside album was produced by Andrew Powell, introduced to Bush by David Gilmour. Gilmour is credited as executive producer on "The Man with the Child in His Eyes" and "The Saxophone Song". Recording engineer was Jon Kelly, Wally Traugott did the Mastering. The Kick Inside made Number three on the UK Album Charts and has gained Platinum status. 1. Moving: Starts with whale music long before it became popular. ?How I move, how you mooove me. A sweet soft vocal ballad. I get goose bumps when I hear the opening whale music, it''s the anticipation that gets me every time. 2. The Saxophone Song: Predictably there is plenty of sax in this track, but not how you''d expect a song dedicated to the saxophone man to sound. ?There''s something special indeed''. Kate showcases her sweet vocals and opens up her range a bit here, this is a class 1970''s album track and there is something about the way she pronounces ?saxophone'' with the accent on the O that is very sexy. 3. Strange Phenomena: A taste of things to come with the vocal style similar to that on Wuthering Heights. Starts, slow and soft and builds a few bars in with the drums and cymbals coming to the fore, but never over the vocal. Nice catchy riff. 4. Kite: Up tempo track that bounces along with power and sense of fun. 5. The Man with the Child in His Eyes: I love this track, it is full of class. Strings are employed here to great effect in this melodic beautiful soft ballad. 6. Wuthering Heights: The track that put Bush on the map. Begins ?Out on the winding windy moor''. A famous track inspired by Emily Bronte''s Gothic novel Wuthering Heights. Centred around the supernatural element of the book. Anyone old enough cannot help but remember the Top of the Pops performance of Bush in her long white flowing dress, wild hair and eyes swooping about the stage as she performed the track which made number 1. 7. James and the Cold Gun: The track that the record company wanted as the first single, young Kate put her foot down,thank goodness Wuthering Heights was released. This track begins like ?Smackwater Jack? by Carole King, with its funky lively bass line this is a jolly fast paced track. This is a nice enough track, but single material? I don''t think so either Kate. Thank goodness our young singer songwriter got her way! 8. Feel It: A nice piano groove starts this track. ?Oh I feel it, oh I feel it, feel it my love, feel it see what you''re doing to me''. 9. Oh to be in Love: A nice piano opening again, builds and grows to a catchy chorus: oooh oh oh to be e e in love, ooh oh oh to be e e in love and never get out again (repeat). A nice sound from the mandolin on this track and a deliberate slow bass drum sound, stunning male backing vocals mellow the Bush vocal. 10. L''amour Looks Something Like You: A cleverly produced track, using layering of Bush''s vocals, again the drum is slow and more prominent, this is a ?nice? pop song about being in love. 11. Them Heavy People: ?Rolling the ball, rolling the ball, rolling the ball to me'' starts Them Heavy People, again Bush''s vocal is layered along with the backing vocalists to create a nod at Bohemian Rhapsody style vocal. Another jolly up temp track, The vocals seem to be about psychiatrists and philosophers. However, it also goes a little spiritual with the lines: ?I love the whirling of the Dervishes I love the beauty of rare innocence You don''t need no crystal ball Don''t fall for a magic wand'' 12. Room for the Life: A ?typical? Bush track if there is such a thing, all innocent, uncontrolled sounding vocals and an otherness about it. 13. The Kick Inside: The album title track begins with a lovely clear piano and Bush''s sweetest vocal. Before the strings accompany, a classy track, beautiful strings and piano. Immensely clever 3.34 minutes of sweetness. ?giving it all in a moment or two, giving it all for you''. Combining beautifully tuned piano, drums and guitar as well as string orchestration, the mandolin playing is exquisite,the saxophone seems to only appear on the one track. At times the percussionist has the opportunity to use some of the lesser known percussion instruments, there is a synthesizer credit although little evidence which is fortunate as they can so easily dominate.
Bounty from Mars is one of my favourite sweet treat snacks, basically desiccated coconut bound together and covered in a slim layer of chocolate, creating a coconut bar with just about enough chocolate to taste and enjoy. Along the top of the bar there are three lines of slightly thicker chocolate and these are carried down over the edges, either end is shaped as if the chocolate has slightly overrun and pooled there, however this is the same on every bar I''ve had so is a deliberate design. The confectionary is 57g and in each wrapper there are two small delectable bars to enjoy, each measuring approximately 70mm long x 40mm diameter. We find them ideal for sharing, I can easily eat a whole pack, however as my husband likes to have just one mini bar we usually share when he is around.
I''m sure I read somewhere that Bounty has been on sale in the UK for over 60 years, plain and milk chocolate versions used to be widely available, however, these days I find I do struggle to find the dark chocolate version that I prefer.
Packed in mainlywhite wrapper, featuring a blue sky and palm trees the word Bounty in quite large print and a cracked open coconut. The predominantly available milk chocolate version features blue text and features, whilst the plain version looks the same but the blue is replaced by red.
Made in a factory that uses nuts.
The packet is sealed, so as you tare it open it is possible to inhale the chocolate smell. Taking a small bite, the smell and flavour meld to give a nice hit of sweet coconut and chocolate, although the chocolate content is very low, the mix is just right and each mini bar can be enjoyed in 3 or 4 bites. Although the coconut is sweet and sticky, it is nothing like as sweet as coconut ice. The bar stays together well as you eat and there is very little chance of crumbs being dropped.
I blitz two packs in the Magimix to add to homemade cheesecake, create a yummy cheats cheesecake (bought in plain vanilla sprinkle the bounty chips on top). Bounty is an ideal flavoursome ingredient and the dark chocolate speckles the cheesecake mixture giving an unusual and attractive appearance. Also lovely added to a basic recipe to make coconut and chocolate cupcakes.
Widely available individually and in packs of four. The four pack sells for 1.79 in most stores and 1.00 at Asda (May 2014). Also Funsize10 pack totally 285g at 2.88.
I really like Bounty, I can gladly eat a whole one as a snack or dessert and sharing so that I have half a bar is a nice way to get a sweet chocolate fix and have maybe a few strawberries or blueberries as well. Being coconut based it is one of the healthier chocolate snacks available at 1.00 for four bars we are eating quite a few at the moment.
Berol Handwriting Pen
I had no idea these pens even still existed until we had an old retired teacher come to our school to give some students one to one English lessons and she identified that one of them was struggling to hold and use a pen and would benefit from one of these. We started to stock them in the school shop and they sell at just 35p each. Available in black, red or blue as these are aimed at students the school stocks blue and black. I have started to use these when I realised my usual nice writing pen had gone missing and decided to give one of these cheapies a try. They really are very easy to write tidily with and are a nice thickness and texture to hold. The barrel of the pens is red and the lid is colour coded to the colour of the pen as is the end piece. Somewhere between a felt pen and biro, these are not quite the fashionable gel pens we have come to love, these traditional pens are finer than most colouring style felt pens and I used to sometimes buy fine liners from the school shop to use for things like card making and outlining, however these are far superior, despite being 20p per pen cheaper, they actually do a better job for these functions as well as handwriting.
As I am left handed a smudge free pen is essential and I do find that some Gel pens smudge. Not so these little bargain priced beauties. I can read back what I have written and it is smudge free, which is so much easier than having to try and write at odd angles to avoid a smudge.
The only downside that I have found is that the lid does not stay on the end very well and is therefore easy to lose. Without the lid the pen soon dries out and is thrown away. The lid is very basic and quite small so is easily lost. I would also strongly advise keeping these pen lids away from babies, toddlers and young children as I consider them a choke hazard. This is especially a problem when the lid doesn''t stay on the pen in use as it means you need to put it somewhere safe and replace it before putting the pen away somewhere safe out of reach of tiny hands.
Supplied singularly or in packs of ten these pens are available from W H Smith and all good stationery stores.
Thank you for reading
VTec Baby Walker
I bought one of these for my granddaughter a few years ago and fortunately chose the red, blue and yellow colour option as it is now being used by her little brother. Other colour choices are Pink and White, Blue and Blue and I think there is a blue and yellow colour version now as well.
The walker measures approximately 40 x 45 x 15cm and is made almost entirely of plastic, with a large handle to hold onto or for a parent to use and has 4 caster type wheels. The height is not adjustable, but there is room to bend knees as the child gets older and bigger. The design is such that it gives them something to hold onto as they stand on one side and an activity centre on the other.
The activities tray is nice and includes rattles and animal sound buttons. There is a shape sorter incorporated and a lovely telephone. An especially nice touch for my musical daughter is a toy keyboard, so the children can join in whilst mum practices on her Sony. However, it is worth noting that the activity centre requires three AA batteries to work, but they do seem to last quite well and are easy enoug to replace.
My daughter asked me to buy the walker and it is a useful option to help ensure the toddler is occupied and safe whilst learning to stand and walk, they have both loved playing with the various activates and the walker still looks good now being used for the second time.
The negatives are that all the activity rattles and cogs and keys are a bit tricky to clean, however they do come up looking good with a bit of an effort. We tend to clean it with surface wipes. The phone detaches and falls off the table. An adjustable height would be fabulous, although bigger toddlers can and do kneel to play with it.
Marketed at age six months and upwards, I think both of ours started using at about seven to 8 months and my granddaughter carried on until about nineteen months.
A useful feature is that the activity centre clips on and off easily, with a simple clip either side and this means that it can be used in a high chair or whilst sitting on a sofa.
Priced at just 19.99 this walker does represent excellent value for money, although I do sometimes wonder if a more expensive brand might have been a little better. That said it is functional, the kids love it and it''s stood the test of time.
Available from Argos and other outlets at around 24.99 at time of writing (May 20.14).
Thank you for reading
Not just for boys!
I remember back in the day when Yorkie was launched and marketed as a MANS chocolate bar, I don''t really know why, apart from being sweeter than some other versions it is only Nestle Chocolate after all. When they launched the Biscuit and Raisin version I loved it so much I used to buy them by the case load and eat quite a lot too. However, it is the Yorkie Original Milk Chocolate Bar that I am reviewing here and for the sake of this review I am chewing a chunk as I type.
The 55g bar features 4 chunks of creamy sweet milk chocolate. Each chunk is a satisfying full mouthful and as the chocolate wraps itself around my teeth and gums I experience the full benefit of the texture and flavour. The texture is almost flaky, soft and very slightly chewy, the flavour is a full blast of cocoa nicely sweetened to deliver a delicious flavour that entices all the taste buds. The chocolate is smooth and is just the right colour. The four chunks deliver a satisfying snack to keep me going through the rest of the day.
Each bar has 299 Kcals and by reading the packet also has 3.2g of protein, 33.0g of carbohydrates, 32.4g sugar, with 16.8g of fat and small amounts of fibre, sodium and salt.
Easily recognised by the blue wrapper and large YORKIE logo, I bought my most recent acquisition as part of a 4 pack from Morrison''s. They are available singly from just about anywhere that sells confectionary and most supermarkets do multi packs from time to time as well.
I recommend Yorkie to anyone who wants a sweet satisfying chunky chocolate, there is no caramel or anything else in this bar, it is just chocolate to be enjoyed. Four chunks to a bar make it ideal for sharing. However, I would caution against giving this to small children as the chunks are quite large, I would worry about choking hazard. So maybe not just for men, but this is an adult only bar of chocolate.
Last winter despite being lucky enough to miss most of the flooding, we experienced several power cuts, mainly for a few hours at a time in the evenings.
As this meant we needed an alternative light source to electric lighting, we soon powered through our emergency candle stash when I remembered I had a couple of scented candles in a cupboard that I had been given.
One of them was a Yankee Candles Lavender & Lemon, a perfect gift for me as a lover of both fragrances, supplied in a little jar reminiscent of a sweetshop jar, the candle is a pleasing mauve colour and the lavender in particular hits you when the jar is opened. I lit my candle and waited for the light to build and the scent to spread. Designed to give out a fragrance, I was disappointed in the light level from the candle, however I am probably in the minority using it for this purpose and it did bring a nice ambient light to the room.
The candle is actually called Lemon and Lavender, I have deliberately placed the names around the other way because the lavender is the strongest scent and the candle is lavender coloured! I love the smell of real lavender and the fresh clean fragrance of lemons. The lavender fragrance seemed to be sweet as if it were fake in some way and the lemon scent made me think of cleansing. The fragrance is nice, however it seems too clinical for my liking. I use Lemon for cleaning a lot and I do sometimes use a lavender fragranced tin polish and that is what the fragrance reminded me of. Now, I don''t know about you, but I don''t relax to the fragrance of furniture polish and cleaning products.
The strength of the fragrance was impressive though and I have sought out other YC products to try. The fragrance is a good strength and lasts after the candle is extinguished.
We burned the candle for anything from 20 minutes to about 2 hours on several occasions and there is still burn time left now, from a longevity point of view the candle represents good value.
As a gift, this was lovely to receive, the jar is reusable with a good stiff stopper and the candle looks nice and should smell wonderful. However, maybe my love of natural cleaning products is the downfall rather than the Yankee Candle, for me it is too reminiscent of cleaning products to enable me to seriously recommend it or enjoy it myself.
Would I seek this fragrance out to buy? No, however, as mentioned I will be trying some other fragrances and indeed have used 2 others already which I prefer to this version.
Price & Availability: I have seen these priced between 8-12 GBP depending on where you buy. I bought some in Waitrose along with some other candles.
Thank you for reading & I look forward to catching up with reviewing the other fragrances I have too.
I bought this recently to make up the value of an on-line order in order to benefit for a really good offer.
I have been a Body Shop customer for years and remember the Anita Roddick green ethos as something new and interesting. These day''s there are many companies claiming green credentials and I''m sure some are better than others.
The review here is for the Lip Salve from the fairly new Honeymania range and it is absolutely fabulous darling!
The container is circular, brown and looks a bit like a nutshell, although I suspect it is supposed to represent a beehive in some way.
To use the lip salve, I simply hold the little container in one hand and unscrew the lid which is half of the cylinder and represents a little Lucas Mini or Landrover indicator cover when taken off (yes really, I am female!). I dip my finger into the salve and then rub that along my lips. My lips are hydrated and shiny after application.
The shimmer soon fades, but the benefit to my lips remains and I find that as I only apply these type of products when I feel the need, I reapply this a couple of times a day when my lips feel the need for quenching or protection. If I apply in the morning, I do like to apply a second application at lunch time and a third when I am reading and writing reviews in the evening.
I have been using this on a regular basis since February and have barely dented the top of the balm, so I anticipate the balm will last me a good few months yet.
I am really pleased how well this product works. However, during the day I am delighted that this balm works amazingly on my lips, keeping them soft and comfortable and looking good without lipstick.
The fragrance is slight and soft, reminiscent of a slight thyme scent with castor oil and beeswax as you would expect.
Best at the mo:
I tend to always have some type of lip salve or balm with me in case I feel my lips need a little Tlc. I have tried lots, I tend to avoid flavoured products, because then the temptation is to lick it off, which is counterproductive as the licking actually dries out the lips. With the single exception of the Aloe Vera Gel that is in a huge tube and not practical to carry about this is the best product I use at the moment.
The only issues I have noticed with this product is that if you apply it and go outdoors on a windy day, dust sticks to it, which is not a nice look. Also, I don''t actually like having to dip my finger into the pot. I have had this for a few months now and it is only going to get worse as I get through the balm.
Wuthering Heights was published in 1847, the year before Emily Bronte's death at the age of 30.
Probably the novel that has received the most attention over the years, after critic after critic have disagreed, been left baffled and marvelled at its power.
There is no doubt that this is a powerful book and compulsive read.
The story begins in 1801 when Mr Lockwood rents a house in Yorkshire rom Mr Heathcliff who lives at a remote Yorkshire moors farmhouse, Wuthering Heights. Lockwood spends his first night at his landlord's house. Lockwood, one of our main narrators, has a disturbed night, was he dreaming or visited by the ghost of Catherine Linton. Lockwood returning to his home exhausted and disturbed, beseeches his housekeeper to tell him the tale of the Lintons, Heathcliffs and Earnshaws. A story that begins some 30 years earlier in 1771. Much of the novel focuses on this back story, mostly narrated by the housekeeper. Thus returning from a trip Mr Earnshaw returns with a raggedy, black haired boy who they call Heathcliff. The arrival of the young boy into the family upsets the status quo with Earnshaw's 14 year old son feeling usurped for his father's affections, meanwhile, Heathcliff strikes up a rapport with the younger sibling Catherine.
A twist of fate sees Hindley returning from college when his father dies, now married and master of Wuthering Heights Hindley takes great delight in making Heathcliff a servant and subjecting him to much cruelty and beatings.
The Linton family lived at the house Lockwood now rents. In a childish prank Catherine and Heathcliff spy on the family in their home. Catherine is mauled by dogs and taken in by the Linton family, Catherine stays for a while and undergoes a transformation, gone is the carefree girl, now in her place is a young lady. Catherine receives attention from Edgar Linton and falls for him. Seeing this Heathcliff runs away. For some reason to return a few years later, to discover Hindley's wife died during childbirth and Catherine now married to Edgar.
Running away was obviously good for Heathcliff as he returns a wealthy and cultured man.
A love triangle type situation ensues as Catherine admits to her maid that her love for Heathcliff is eternal, whilst her love for Edgar is likely to change. Catherine's sister in-law Isabella falls in love with Heathcliff and in revenge Heathcliff marries Isabella setting out to ruin the Lintons and get revenge on Hindley.
Jump forward a few more years and Heathcliff orchestrates the marriage between his son and the Catherines daughter. However, his son is poorly and dies, by now Edgar Linton has also died and it is Heathcliff who becomes master of Thrushcross Grange. Catherine dies at the age of 19 and in an act of cruel role reversal, Hindley's son Hareton is forced to work as a servant for Heathcliff. Featuring a carefully worked out chronological order Wuthering Heights set against the backdrop of the moody Yorkshire moors this tale of revenge captivates.
Science Fiction Young Adult Genre, not usually something I would gravitate towards, however, I finally succumbed a few books ago and thought I''d better write my review. Fast paced dystopian, as is so often the case with this type of book we are led into a future that takes a while to get to grips with. The uncomfortable truth is that all people are born into separate particular groups or factions which are Abnegation selfless Amity peaceful, calm Candor, honesty, Dauntless, for brave Erudite, academics. Then there is the other rare group Divergent. People are born into a group, it''s possible to change groups, this happens at the choosing ceremony, when they are 16 and go through a series of aptitude tests.
The main character is Beatrice or Tris, she tells her story in the first person. Tris grows up with her Abnegation parents. Tris is certain that she does not belong in the Abnegation group with the rest of her family. However, in order to change she has to move away from her family she chooses Dauntless. She then goes through an initiation process; struggles to fit in with her new group.
Roth''s novel is believable fantasy dystopian, capturing the imagination of the reader pulling you into the world, the reader cares about Tris, the characters are believable and touchable, at times there is cruelty; pain and Tris goes through many of the emotions that any teenager goes through.
I am carefully writing this review to tell you enough to entice you to read this fabulous book, yet being careful not to add spoilers, creating a problem for myself.
Basically, Tris discovers something about herself during the aptitude tests that creates further difficulty in her life it will never be the same again. Tris is a likeable character who is honest with the reader about her emotions and her. Another main character Four adds a bit of tension, he is complex and Tris clearly finds him hard at times, there is a relationship there, however like so many teenage romances there are complexities and emotions to overcome. The fast paced novel twists and turns and pulls the reader along at a pace, at times you are not sure what is really going on, only occasionally do you see what''s coming. There is a real dark brooding sense a lot of the time and you feel that Tris is constantly looking over her shoulder, wondering who to trust. This is a clever aspect of the novel.
There are definite hints of religion along with dread of persecution. I feel that Roth must have drawn from stories told by her grandparents, she has certainly evoked the feeling of dread at times and the occasional happiness in the face of adversity comes through too, ensuring that the novel has a realistic feel.
I would highly recommend this to those of you who love dystopian novels, it is fast paced and pulls the reader into Tris'' world.