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I am currently experimenting with many products from the basic range available at Sainsbury's. The product I am reviewing is Sainsbury's basic frozen sausages. The product is found in the frozen food department and is packaged in a thick plastic bag. The bag is mostly white in colour with a splash of orange in the same style as all of the basics range. There is a photograph of sausages, mash and baked beans on a plate and I am told the the product is 20 thick sausages, although this is an average contents guide. In my packet there was in fact 20 exactly.The product cost me 99p, and at 5p per unit I am very impressed with my purchase. I will not sit and rave that these were the best sausages I ever tasted, but I think they were great value for money. I coupled three of them with three bread rolls also from the basic range and including the rolls I fixed myself a snack for 21p! The package gives me all the information one can expect. I chose to cook them in the oven and so I preheated it to 190 degrees as stated and cooked them for the recommended time of 30minutes. This was sufficient and they were not over cooked. I did notice quite a lot of fat from them but when they were cooked I let them rest on some kitchen towel and when served I did not find them overly greasy.If I was making sausage and mash, I would probably chose a better quality sausage, purely because while they are fine, they are not very interesting and may be a bit bland as the main attraction in a meal! As a snack with bread rolls and ketchup they were just fine and I will be buying them again.
I took up a new hobby last October of cake decorating and found I had a little bit of a flair for it. After a year I have decorated upwards of 25 cakes and this product has become a regular feature.
It comes in a variety of colours and I have used all of them. The colours are:
The product retails between £1.50-£1.70 dependent on where I purchase it (Sainsbury's, Tesco's Co-op) and while I often buy it from Co-op due to its locality to me, it is usually on the upper end of the price bracket there.
It comes in a tube containing 120g of product. The tube is shaped like a toothpaste tube and has the colour of the contained icing used as the theme colour to decorate it. When first opened the top is sealed by soft plastic and needs to be removed by scissors.
Before use, this product must be kneaded in the hands to make it warm. This improved the consistency and makes it easier to work with. This can be time consuming and if I intend to use the whole tube in one go I will pop it in the microwave for about 7 seconds to speed up the process. I would not recommend this if you plan to store it or use it again on the same cake.
If it has been put in the microwave and stored it has a tendency to go very hard when it returns to room temperature and it does not respond to a second blast. Using the microwave to slightly ware the product can also change the colour shade by slightly darkening it for some reason.
Once the product has been warmed slightly and the cap cut off, you have three options of nozzle.
This is a nozzle about 3mm thick which produces straight lines of icing. This is of very acceptable quality, however 3mm is quite thick and for a smaller cake/fine details. The range also has a set of fine wrting pens, but the shading is not always exactly comparable.
As I make novelty cakes this is the nozzle I use the least. The packaging states it is useful for boarders, edging and leaves.
This is a firm favourite. I often go around the bottom of my cakes and seal the icing to my board with a series of small 'flowers'. It is a great tool if you need forgiveness from a less than perfect cutting ot the icing. As an amature I find this extremely helpful!
Finally there is a cap for storage.
As it is a screw cap, it is not possible to attach your own nozzles. I assume you could dispense it into another icing bag, but this would reduce it's convenience.
Once used it takes a few hours to set and develop a skin, however it keeps a soft texture underneath this when it is consumed.
The product is loaded with sugar and very much so for use as a special treat! I have done cake decorating workshops with my students and they were all able to use the product effectively.
It has a good use by date of over a year, and the product does keep well even after the initial opening. It is to be stored in a cool dry place - the fridge with harden the product and make it useless.
Overall this is a very good product. I do hope to start making my own icing to this quality in the future, but for now I will stick with the professionals!
I bought myself a little treat at the weekend! Instead of my regular choice of Sainsbury's shave gel for men (retailing at £1.15 for200 ml) I splurged and spent the extra 21p to purchase this product: Sainsbury's Ladies Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin (with added aloe vera, no less!). The product retails at £1.36 and I have to say as yet I have always avoided this product as I resent paying over 15% more for a product just so as it can sit looking pretty in my bathroom.
As far as I can tell there are only a few differences in the product. The packaging, the colour, the scent and the price! As I always use shower gel after I have shaved, the scent is not important to me from the male version of the product as it doesn't stick afterwards.
Let's start with the packaging. It comes in a very attractive, if plain, canister in a mint green colour. It is an aerosol, with a press down dispenser and a rounded push on/pull off lid (transparent, in keeping with colour scheme).
When I went to open the product I pulled off the lid and pushed down very hard on the dispenser to break the seal. It went everywhere! Luckily I was in my bathroom but it did go on my carpet and as it expands to become very foamy it was a pain to clean up.
Once the seal was broke I dispensed some into my palm and applied it with the fingers of my other hand. I noticed that it is originally green in colour and then very quickly foamed up once it had hit the air. This process is sped up when the product is massaged into the skin.
The product has good staying power and sticks to the skin until it is shaved of or rinsed with warm water. The smell is very decidedly of aloe vera and this is quite pleasant. I must say I was very pleased with the results from this product and my skin felt moisturised. However I found it neither inferior nor superior to a product that costs 21p less!
I probably would buy it again, but acknowledge that in doing so I am falling victim to consumerism. At £1.36 the product certainly won't break the bank.
I am a huge fan of mozzarella served in a ball - however retailing at around £6.32 per kg for Sainsbury's own brand it is much more expensive treat than a regular feature on my shopping list. Today, Sainsbury's basics Mozzarella Cheese caught my eye on the shelf as it often does. It was retailing at £0.47 for 125g - £3.47/kg... almost half of the price of the own brand!
In the past I have chosen not to try this product. I have tried the basics version of cheddar and was less than impressed. However, today I thought, "why not?!" and I have to say i'm glad I did - I will certainly purchase it again.
It came in a sealed plastic bag in the same colour scheme the whole basics range uses. That is, a white background with some dashes of orange colour. It does look 'basic' but that's fine for me - its only living in my fridge until I consume it! I firmly believe its what is inside that counts.
It has a good 5 days use by date - but I have already ate it all!
So, you open the bag and then you need to dispense that liquid you get around a mozzarella ball. Then it comes out and it is a nice, good consistency. When I cut it I immediately tasted it and it was fabulous! I'd almost go as far as saying more flavoursome than other brands! I'm usually of the opinion that mozzarella is all about the texture, good with some pesto. However, this was great in consistency, and had a great flavour.
I used it on an open chicken sandwich and while making it I polished off the rest of the packet! This was a wonderful product and a surprising credit to the mozzarella family! I would recommend it happily!
The product I am reviewing is Sainsbury's basics Pancakes. There is only one variety, which is available in a packet of 6 units. I bought this packet for 35p, yesterday.
The packaging is presented in the colour scheme used on all of the Sainsbury's basics range, very white with a splash of orange. It has a cellophane wrapper around the product that is stacked in two piles of three on some cardboard. Interestingly, I can't seem to find the product weight printed on the packaging but it does give me nutritional information, ingredients, allergy advice, freezing advice and grilling guidelines. This product is suitable for vegetarians.
The best before date is the 26th July 2009, so the product had a one day shelf life when purchased. I consumed these today.
The product itself is inferior to other brands in texture. When I buttered them, they feel apart under the pressure of the knife. This was somewhat alleviated when I tried toasting them, but not entirely. The flavour is very sweet and I'm told the 4th largest ingredient is sugar syrup. The product does not state in the name that I am buying syrup pancakes, it just says 6 pancakes.
The bottom pancake from each stack of three didn't seem to want to budge from the cardboard base! It fell apart and I ended up just grazing on these instead of buttering them.
Apart from the price I was very disappointed. I should note that I don't think price and quality always correlate, but in this case, I feel it was false economy to try the basic pancakes. A treat should not frustrate me!
I bought this little beauty in Sainsbury's. It caught my eye and against mental protests of "you don't need it!" and "you can buy a comparable product for cheaper!" I spent the £2.93 and am now the proud owner of an 8ml bottle of Rimmel, I <3 lasting finish nail polish in shade 236: green grass.
Anyone who has previously read my other nail polish reviews knows that anything over about £1.50 for a nail polish is a big spend for me! However I have to say I am very happy with my purchase. The shade was what initially attracted me, it is a lovely green - the shade name does it justice! It is very summer - light and fresh looking.
The product comes in a thick transparent glass bottle and the screw cap lid is shiney black plastic, with the applicator brush attached. I notice the applicator brush is a suitable length for the product bottle and as such I am confident that I will be able to use the whole bottle.
The product itself is of a good consistency. Not to thick so it was easy to apply, not too runny so it dried adequately within about 15minutes - I just watched some TV! The end result is very shiny and once dry very durable.
The product recommends a base coat which I adhered to. I find with better quality nail polishes they tend to have staying power when I want to remove them! Then I applied two coats. The first was very see through but the second brought the colour up to the same shade as is in the bottle. I painted all ten fingers and all ten toes and I have probably used about 1ml of the 8ml contents.
It lasted for about 5 days before chips started appearing. Slightly longer than I am used too, but not long enough for me to give up my love of cheap and cheerful brands! I would certainly recommend it, but as always, encourage people to enjoy many colours regularly for half the price! A good product for saving 20minutes a week though.
I discovered this film about 10 years ago when my friend introduced me to it. It fast became one of my all time favourites and has stayed there ever since. As such, I am happy to call this a timeless classic. The DVD contains no special features but does offer limited subtitles and has a running time of 125 minutes (approximately).
This is a story of two young girls, CC Bloom (Bette Midler) and Hilary Whitney (Barbara Hershey) who are from very different backgrounds. The meet coincidentally while both on holiday in Atlantic City. The friendship is very prematurely torn apart and they communicate for years through letters without actually meeting. After a series of events, the two are reunited and we follow their journey of friendship. You can expect jealousy, rivalry, tears, joy... for anyone who has ever experienced an intense platonic relationship there is plenty to relate to.
The first part of the story is told retrospectively while the latter is told in real time.
Young CC Bloom
Played by Mayim Bailik (does anyone remember the television series "Blossom"?) she gives an energetic performance and effectively portrays the essence of CC's younger self.
Young Hilary Whitney
This part is played by Marcie Leeds, who gives us a believable enactment of a young girl with the need to be a child and the social pressure to be a lady.
Midler gives a show stopping performance with many musical numbers which will have you tapping, humming, crying - lots of nostalgia here!
Hershey's character goes on a remarkable journey of self discovery as she struggles to break free from the constricting life she was born into. She walks us through this journey, giving us a wonderful array of personality changes as she grows as a person and fights the battles life throws at her.
I would recommend this for those who enjoy an emotional journey in their films. Keep a box of tissues handy!
This film is often available in the bargain bins of DVD shops these days - probably available for a price comparible to a new release DVD rental.
The product I am reviewing is ASDA Smoked Bacon, 250g with an average of 8 rashers per packet. I have just used it for a dinner ingredient!
I have used this product on many occasions and been very happy with it.
It comes in a firm moulded plastic container, and seal at the top with a softer cellophane. On the front there is a label in a red theme, informing me of the product's name. I am told it is from Holland. There is a multi buy sticker attached as well and that leads me on to price.
On Asda.com these currently retail at £1.97 and they are on a 3 for £5 multi buy offer. I find this very reasonable and as we have bought these on a regular basis I am confident that this is a fairly regular offer.
The packaging claims the product can be cooked in 4 minutes. It took more than this for me but I do like my bacon crispy!
I am always very pleased with the quality of this product. It has rind (not too much) and once crisped up this it has a very nice flavour. It is made from 87% pork. My packet has without fail always contained the eight rashers and I find this ample to pop in a carbonara for two. It is very flavoursome with that nice subtle salty tone you get from good bacon. There is a smoked flavour but this is not overpowering. I do freeze this product on occasion and it responds well to this. I cannot notice a difference in the end result between frozen and not.
SELL BY/USE BUY
I bought this product on7th July 2009 and it carries a use by of 24th July 2009, with the sell buy two days previous.
Definitely a product worth purchasing and with the long use buy it is a product you can keep in the fridge for a quick meal or a treat of bacon butties for breakfast!
As a new member of the Dooyoo community I recently reviewed Red Bull. While it received a VU overall, the breakdown was VU=8, U=3, SU=1... With this in mind I hope to do a better job on this product of a similar ilk.
Kick is available in regular and diet, bottles and cans, with the cans being available in a multipack. The variety of the product I am currently drinking and reviewing is the original Kick, from a bottle containing 1l.
This product is currently retailing at Tesco.com for 86p. This is £2.88 cheaper than it would be to purchase 1l of Red Bull - less than 25% of £3.74 that a 4 x 250ml multipack would cost!
The product is sold in a plastic, screw capped bottle which is silver in colour. The bottle is slightly transparent with a striking blue label wrapped around the middle. The lable bears the brand, product name, a picture of a horse shoe, and information on allergies, cautions, nutrition, ingredients, and storage.
It contains 1l of a carbonated drink with a transparent gold colour - on prolonged inspection it seems to have a slightly green tinge. The colour alone tells me this product is loaded with things that are not good for me, and as it comes in a large bottle and needs to be dispensed to a glass, this is ever more apparent than a can would be! The packet boast that this is a fruit flavoured drink but it taste a little like medicine - I find the flavour quite acceptable given that I am drinking it for an energy boost more than pleasure. Notably while it claims to have a fruit flavour, the only ingredient that comes before Taurine (listed at 0.4% of the ingredients) is Glucouse-Fructose and Citric Acid. Further down the list (i.e. less than 0.4% of the ingredients) I'm told that the fruit and vegetable extract come from apple, carrot, hibiscus, lemon and satflower.
As it comes in a bottle this is a bit more of an issue. It is recommended for consumption within 3 days once opened and during this time should be kept refrigerated. This is a down side in my opinion as I might only drink one or two cans over a three day period and if I finish the bottle within this time I would have doubled my regular consumption. I guess one has to remember that even drink half of this bottle would be a saving on buying two cans of Red Bull.
I feel I must refer again to the caution published on the packaging. It is a pressurised container, which is fairly standard with carbonated drinks. However, it states it is unsuitable for diabetics and children and lists high caffeine content. I feel like a hypocrite to write the following sentence as I regularly use energy drinks, but I would not be surprised if one day they carry a health warning similar to that of cigarettes.
As I write this I am just home from work. I selected it from my cupboard as I have lots to get on with this evening and felt quite tired. I do already feel more awake and alert, so it has done the job. This is to be expected as the Taurine content and Caffeine content are the same in both Red Bull and Kick at 0.4% and 0.3% respectively.
For the mean time I will bury my head in the sand about the obvious unhealthy aspect of this drink, and happily execute an evening of errands!
The product I am reviewing is the Witch Stick. It comes in a tube which resembles a mini glue stick! Its colour is turquoise with the brand emblem printed on the side. It is about 6cm tall and 2cm wide, and fits easily in a make-up bag - 10g.
It has a screw cap and to access the product you push it up from the inside. The inner product is also a turquoise colour, with a crystallised texture. It is loaded with liquid that releases on your skin when you press the stick against it.
As the product is used, the crystallised substance deteriorates and you will find some residue will flake off on your skin. This is not a problem for me as if it is night time I let it stay there, and if I have used it before I go out/apply makeup I just let it dry for a moment and then brush away the residue with my hand.
I find this product very effective and it is a staple in my beauty regime. I find it significantly reduces my problem with spots - if I become lazy with my usage of it I can quickly see the clearness of my skin deteriorate. I have purchased it for a friend in the past who was troubled with very bad skin. While I wouldn't DREAM of attributing his subsequent success in the female department to this product alone, I do think the reduction in his acne problem did boost his confidence!
This product is a pricey one but worth every penny. On Superdrug's website it retails at £2.92, but currently on offer at £1.28 - not surprisingly, this is listed as out of stock. On Boot's website it is currently retailing at £2.98, currently with a 2 for £5.00 offer.
I rarely pay these prices for the product. As I previously mentioned it is a staple in my beauty regime so when I see it on offer I stock up. Superdrug's offer is very acceptable, other options I have used include buying it in somewhere like Home Bargains, when it retailed at about £3.00 in a box set with a branded face wash included. Also, after Christmas, in places like Boots and Superdrug they sometimes separate gift boxes and sell off the products from the in the reduction bins. I bought three of these earlier this year for 50p each - the only drawback was a big reduction sticker attached!
I can't fault this product - if I get an unwanted visitor on my face on Wednesday I know I can be flawless by the weekend!
OLAY BODY - Fresh Reviving Body Wash, with Ginseng Extract...
I bought this product from a Pound Shop for, you guessed it £1.00! I bought it because of the size, brand and price. I use it to re-stock my mini 100ml refillable bottles and in turn this is used when I am on a weekend away, sleep over at work, or at the swimming baths.
I was not very bothered about the quality of the product as I purchased it with the intent for occasional use. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the results.
It came in a 400ml bottle and is a watery green colour. The bottle is quite tall and thin, which could make it hard to store. The scent is a very clean but non-descript one, I think I would get bored of it with everyday use.
When using this product I find it doesn't lather up well without the use of a wet puff. One a wet puff it is very effective, but in the absence of this aid I find I use a lot more of the product than I would like. It does clean effectively, rinses easily and leaves me smelling fresh. When I towel off my skin feels more moisturised than usual.
It is worth noting that unfortunately there is no mention of Olay's policy on animal testing on the packaging.
To conclude, I was/am very pleased with this product and if I was to discover it for a similar price again I would purchase. I would not spend much more on it, but this is more of a reflection on my refusal to over spend on products if it can be at all avoided!
I am a huge fan of coconut 'flavour' shampoo and conditioner. I usually use the Co-op own brand which retails around 70p per bottle. When I saw this selection at Sainsbury's, retailing at 40p for the conditioner (42p for the shampoo as I recall) I thought it was worth a go. It is the exact same size (300ml) and bottle shape, although the listed ingredients are slightly varied.
The coconut variety of this series is recommended for dry hair which suits me as my hair is quite thick and boisterous. It does seem to help and make a difference. I find that compared with value varieties of conditioner/no conditioner this is definitely superior, whilst compared to much more expensive brands I don't feel it is greatly inferior.
It is effective after 1minute which is helpful in the mornings when I am rushing to leave the house. It is easy to apply and I find giving my hair a splash of water after applied to the roots helps to make the product last longer as I can then working down to the tips without a second portion from the bottle.
The bottle lasts about two weeks for me, and my hair length is as my profile photograph shows (just past shoulder length). It is easy to use the whole product and for the final application from the bottle I pop a little water in and shake it around before application. This does not affect the productivity of the product.
This conditioner is not tested on animals and the packaging states that Sainsbury's fund research into alternative methods of testing. The scent is very 'coconut-ty' and this smell stays on my hair after blow drying and straightening - even with the use of other product. As I find the smell pleasing, for me this is a good thing. People often comment that my hair smells nice!
I'm not sure if it is a flaw of the product, or my dopey morning blur, or the series, but I have one little gripe. Not enough to dissuade my repeat purchase, but I have on a couple of occasions picked it up and used it before my shampoo as I thought it WAS the shampoo. Both shampoo and conditioner are white and the shading is not quite different enough. I now check the words on the bottle before use! Not a big enough problem to cause this product to lose a star though!
I'm going to write this review as I have watched this DVD many times and also choose it to watch with others as I want them to see it. It is rated 15 with a running time of 87minutess (approximate). I have not read the book and as such this is not a comparative piece, but I should mention that it is based on the book by Zoe Heller, of the same name.
I really struggle to write about the plot of a movie without being a plot spoiler so if I tell too much I am truly sorry and please leave a comment to advise how I could improve on this. If I don't tell enough the same principle applies.
Sheba Hart (Blanchett) is an Art teacher, returning to work after years of caring for her son who has Downes Syndrome. She is married to an older man (Nighy), a former tutor of hers from college. She is befriended by an older and weathered teacher Barbara Covett (Dench) who takes her under her wing both inside and outside of the classroom.
This quickly develops into an unhealthy 'obsession' on Barbara's part and the relationship spirals out of control. When Barbara discovers a very new and dark secret of Sheba's the power balance changes and leave Sheba in a very vulnerable position.
The story is narrated in part by Barbara's diary and gives a helpful insight to her delusions...
Blanchett gives an award worthy performance. Playing both the villain and the victim she gives the world of cinema a refreshingly new type of character to enjoy. She plays the role in a way that one can relate to her, even though most would never consider the mistakes she executes. We follow her through a journey of despair hidden behind smiles and an apparent mental demise as the plot evolves.
Dench gives a performance in keeping with what we have come to expect from her over the years. She is very convincing as the sad and contrived Barbara Covett. Notably, hair and makeup have done her character justice and her vanity quite the opposite. A mark of a true actress in my opinion! She plays the character with the capacity to make us dislike her, sympathise with her, and even fear her, all in one sitting!
Nighy has the pleasure of playing a very likable character, which he does with dignity. While his character is not the centre of the story, he contributes in a way that only Nighy can! As always, a wonderful performance, where one can forget he is acting and get swallowed into the plot. Nighy is faced with many moral dilemmas and encounters situations that are completely from his control. A hugely emotional performance, without being cringe-worthy at all!
I have watched all of these, bar the commentary. The special features are as listed below:
-Commentary by director Richard Eyre
-The story of two obsessions featurette
-Behind the scenes featurette
- A conversation with Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy
-In character with Cate Blanchett featurette
(As listed on the back of DVD box)
Unfortunately I am a lover of the special features, and these let me down a little bit. While it doesn't negate the fact that this movie is remarkable, they are very repetitive and use the same clips over and over. After you have watched one you feel as though it is rehashing the same material over and over.
I loved this movie as it makes one really examine where their morals stand on this issue. It takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and dilemmas - and while it is just a movie, I lived the story with the characters. The only reason this DVD missed out on its fifth star is the slap dash special features, but well worth a look for the main feature alone.
I have tried this service on the 14 day free trial. I went to the site through my shopping rewards and earned £2.00 cash back just for trying the service.
It was easy to sign up for and did require a credit card but I find this is fairly standard with a free trial. The claim it is to confirm you are who you say, but they WILL charge this card if you don't cancel your subscription within the 14day period. (I always cancel a few days early because the last day is often too late!)
Once you have signed up you clarify how you want to listen to your audio books and it redirects you to software downloads. I downloaded two free pieces of software.
Then you are free to browse. While there is a wide selection, Harry Potter is not on there and that is what I would have liked. I settled on two Eddie Izzard shows and continued to the checkout where it confirmed I would pay nothing for them.
However at this point I got an error message and when I went back to the checkout the titles where no longer there. I called the 0800 number as by this point I was looking forward to listening to my titles! My call was answered within a few minutes by a man with English as his first language. He was very helpful and clearly instructed me to do a few things. He was friendly and competent and helped me find my titles.
The error was my fault as I had not rebooted my computer since I had downloaded the software.
If I was more 'in to' audio books I would certainly use this site. However, as it is I'm an old fashioned reader at heart and enjoy curling up on the sofa with a dog eared novel! The narrators never read it the way I would have!
A final thought: it might be trendy and clever to use an audiobook as the 'on hold' silence filler, but when the automated messages interupt it, at least ressume from the same point!
I'm currently listening to this as an audio book, but I DO own the DVD and have watched it many times too so let's get the DVD part over with first! Then we'll get to content...
Visually Eddie Izzard is very pleasing with lots of facial expressions. He does this show in drag and is a self proclaimed transvestite. Walking in heels he struggles a little but it this is amusing as he only struggles when he faux runs!
The show runs for 78minutes and every minute holds at least one laugh. It is presented to an American audience in San Francisco. The audience receives him well and mostly follow his British humour.
Izzard covers many areas including his childhood, losing his virginity, his experience of being a transvestite - trying to join the army! He touches on history and politics and always with a very humours slant!
Expect talking squirrels and wonderful ending! As expected, Izzard grants the audience a very commendable encore.