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Pointress

Pointress
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Member since: 06.08.2013

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    • More +
      31.07.2014 16:19
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Delicious

      Disadvantages

      • "May be too small to satisfy"

      Can you stop at one?

      Probably best known for their chocolates, Thornton also produce a range of cakes – birthday cake size, bite size and somewhere in between. I was looking for something a little different to add to a spread for a birthday tea and I spotted these mini caramel shortcakes when I nipped into my local Tesco express to get some lunch. And they really are mini – measuring just one inch square.

      ~~So what they?~~

      Little shortcake squares covered with a caramel layer and then finished off with a layer of milk chocolate.

      ~~ Price~~

      The packaging has been updated since the dooyoo photo and they now come in packets of 10 rather than 12.
      £1.40 for 10 little morsels

      ~~For those who like to know~~

      The ingredients are listed as: Caramel (48%) Sweetened Condensed Milk (Whole Milk, Sugar), Partially Inverted Sugar Syrup, Toffee Sauce (8%) (Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Sweetened Condensed Milk (Whole Milk, Sugar), Double Cream, Butter (with added Salt), Water, Modified Maize Starch, Humec, Biscuit Base (40%) (Wheat Flour, Palm Oil, Wholemeal Wheat Flour, Sugar, Palm Kernel Oil, Coconut Oil, Water, Oat Flour, Partially Inverted Sugar Syrup, Raising Agents (E500, E503), Salt, Rapeseed Oil), Milk Chocolate (12%) Sugar, Dried Whole Milk, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Butteroil, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin)]

      And the nutritional info: Each little square has 69 Calories - Fat: 4.50g, Carbs: 6.60g, and Protein: 0.70g

      Suitable for vegetarians.

      ~~The taste taste~~

      In a word, delicious. As you open the packet the chocolate aroma is very tempting and the taste lives up to expectation. The shortcake base is crumbly with a malty flavour, the caramel thick and sweet, and the thick top layer of chocolate just right.

      As part of a bigger spread, or perhaps as something sweet to have with an after-dinner coffee, I think these are perfect. They provide a quick sugar hit and definitely tickle the taste buds.

      If there are any left in the pack they should be stored in an airtight container.

      ~~Recommended?~~

      A resounding yes! If you want something more substantial, then these bite sized shortcakes aren’t going to do it for you, unless of course you munch your way through the whole packet. However, if you want to satisfy a sweet craving but not overindulge this may do it, assuming course that you have enough willpower to just have one ;).

      5 out of 5.

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    • Candlelit Names - Mum / Homeware / 15 Readings / 15 Ratings
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      25.07.2014 10:40
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      • "Pretty and good value"
      • "Makes a fabulous gift"

      Disadvantages

      • None

      Your name in lights.

      About a year ago I read a review on this site (thank you lak11) about these candlelit names. A name or letter is cut out in a lacework design on an ivory porcelain tealight holder which measures 7cm x 7cm x 7cm. When the tealight is lit, the name or letter is illuminated. The holider is very pretty and when lit up looks really special throwing out a gentle light.
      You can get all sorts of girls’ names as well as letters of the alphabet. They are also holders for teacher, grandma, etc. There’s a wide choice and if they don’t have the name you are looking for you can spell it out in letters.
      I was looking for a christening present recently and remember reading lak11’s review. It was for a christening of a four-year old whom my friend and her husband had recently adopted. The christening was also a way of welcoming Gemma into the family and I was looking for something that she might appreciate.
      I found a nice chest with the slogan ‘What are little girls made of’ and popped in four of the candlelit names spelling out G E M M A. Each holder came with a tealight but I replaced them with battery operated tealights so that they would be safe for Gemma to have in her bedroom. I’m told that she loves them so a great success. It’s such a simple idea but they are very effective and make terrific gifts.
      ***Where to buy***
      Candlelit Names are distributed by an American company, History and Heraldry. I’ve seen them in garden centres but I ordered mine online from Keillers China Shop. You can also find them easily on Amazon and ebay. Keillers charge £3.99 per name. Standard delivery is free. They came very quickly and were well packaged.
      ***Recommended?***
      Definitely. These make a great gift and are very reasonably priced. The full 5 out of 5.

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      • More +
        22.07.2014 10:49
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Helps the appearance of fine lines and dark circles"

        Disadvantages

        • "Contains parabens"

        A little pot of decent eye cream

        According to Boots, Olay Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream ‘is a rich eye cream formulated with a unique blend of 7 vitamins and minerals, including cucumber extract, aloe vera and VitaNiacin, which helps to exfoliate, repair skin’s moisture barrier and maintain skin’s even tone. It contains light-diffusing powders that provide an instant glow to skin all around the eyes, and an enhanced radiance overall’. Sounds good, doesn’t it but does it work?

        Olay advise using morning and night on cleansed skin. Place small dots all around the eye area and smooth in until thoroughly absorbed.

        It comes in a little 15ml pot but I’ve had my pot for what seems absolutely ages. So okay I probably don’t remember it to apply it every day but it does last as you only need a tiny amount. It is the colour of light foundation and feels nice on the skin. It’s quickly absorbed,

        So like most women of a certain age, I am trying to hold back time. Total Effects range is therefore very appealing as it claims to combine 7 anti-ageing skin care therapies into 1 formula for visibly younger-looking skin. In terms of the eye area what I’m particularly after is something that helps reduce puffiness and dark circles.

        So looking at those depressing ageing signs:
        1. look of fine lines and wrinkles: tick. Yes this cream does help. Luckily I’m not too bothered (yet) by Crows'''' feet, those small wrinkles which appear around the eye, but this cream has improved their appearance. The lines I do have haven’t miraculously disappeared but they have do see less obvious since I’ve been using the cream.
        2. rough texture: - not really relevant.
        3. uneven skin tone: tick. Equating this to dark circles, then yes I think the cream does help. Again the darker area under my eyes that sometimes appear when I’m tired, is less obvious when I use the cream.
        4. surface dullness: tick. It must be those light diffusing particles but I do feel the area around my eyes looks more radiant.
        5. appearance of prominent pores: not really relevant.
        6. noticeability of age spots: not really relevant.
        7. dryness: tick. The cream definitely has good moisturising qualities.

        And puffiness? Disappointingly, for me at any rate, this cream hasn’t helped at all with the annoying puffy bags which seem to be developing under my eyes. So that’s one negative. My other negative is the ingredients. It does contain a whole lot of parabens which I try to avoid because recent research indicates that they probably aren’t too good for you over a long period of time.

        Recommended: Well yes. It’s a decent enough cream for the sensitive eye area. 3 seems a bit mean so I’m going with 4.

        Where to buy: Currently available from Boots at 14.99 GBP or 1,499 Advantage points. Also on offer at Superdrug at 9.99 GBP on a save a third on selected Olay products.

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      • More +
        21.07.2014 23:00
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Pleasant fragrance"
        • "Strong lasting hold"

        Disadvantages

        • "Not the cheapest hairspray"

        The nearest to big volume hair that I''m likely to get

        I recently started to use Got2B 2Sexy spray mousse which I absolutely love. I have very fine hair – and not a lot of it – so any product that helps make my hair more manageable and look thicker is a winner in my book. I needed a new hairspray and on a recent trip to Boots, I spotted the Got2Be 2Sexy spray so I thought I would give it a try.

        It promises a lot – ‘the push up or root boost you need to flaunt that sexy, show-stopping big volume hair!’ Well my hair is only going to have show-stopping volume in my dreams but I do think it is a step up from other hairsprays I have used. And so it should at 4.07 GBP for 300 ml which is a lot more than I usually pay for hairspray.

        The directions for use are pretty standard: Hold can 30cm away from head and spray generously for x-tra plumped up styles. Use in short bursts. If sprayer clogs, run under hot water.

        Like the spray mousse, there is a definite whiff of raspberry as you use the spray. It’s not so strong as the mousse and I find the fragrance quite pleasant. More importantly, the hairspray does work. I use fairly sparingly but I find it really helps to hold my style all day. It seems to make my hair look more glossy so it’s almost like a finishing spray.

        I have to admit that I don’t always follow the instructions. For everyday use I tend to spray all over in one long burst after I have completed my styling. This gives a natural looking result. My hair feels quite soft but it does stay in place and the volume I have lovingly created lasts. When I’m going somewhere special and really want to make an effort then I do spray section by section in short bursts. This comes near to getting the effect that previously only my hairdresser can manage which I think it pretty impressive.

        Recommended? As you’ve probably guessed, I’m impressed with this hairspray. It gives a great strong lasting holding while still leaving my hair looking natural and shiny. It’s 5 out of 5 from me.

        Where to buy?
        4.07 GBP from Boots or 407 Advantage points. It’s also currently on offer at Superdrug. Usual price 3.99 GBP but there is 2 for £5 deal on selected Schwarzkopf products.

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      • More +
        19.07.2014 23:13
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        1 Comment

        Advantages

        • "A great yarn"
        • "A real page turner"

        Disadvantages

        • "Glamourizes violence"
        • "Bad language"

        Martina Cole is back on form with her latest best seller

        Martina Cole is described as a publishing phenomenon with over 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide. She writes gritty crime fiction describing a violent criminal underworld where the police are bribed to turn a blind eye. Cole churns out her books – almost one a year and each one seems to go straight to the top of the bestseller list. They are not for the faint hearted – the violence is described in graphic detail and her books are peppered with the f and c words. Generally though, she tells a good yarn and by her own admission she says "I know I don''''t write literature"*.

        +++++++
        Cole’s latest offering is Revenge. I’ve enjoyed many of Cole’s books. As she says, they are not great works of literature but the stories are compelling. That said I was disappointed in her previous book ‘The Life’ so my expectations were somewhat muted when I picked this up at the local library. However, Cole is back on from with this one. I couldn’t put it down.

        +++The plot (without giving anything away)+++
        At the beginning of the book, Michael Flynn is looking for his daughter, Jessie, who has been missing for three days. Michael is ‘a face’ – a crime lord at the top of his game. – so it’s unthinkable that someone would have taken Jessie but that’s exactly what has happened. Someone is exacting their revenge but who would dare?
        The book then goes back 31 years to trace the story of Michael’s rise through the criminal ranks, his overwhelming love for the beautiful Josephine Callahan and the arrival of Jessie.

        +++In my opinion+++
        As with her other books, Revenge is really about the women – Michael’s mother , :Josephine and her mother and most importantly Jessie. Jessie goes off the rails as a teenager and becomes totally alienated from her father. It is largely Jessie’s tale. We get to understand what made her the way she is and although she seems to have the support of loving parents and grandparents, they all let her down. None of the characters are really likeable; they are all deeply flawed and it’s hard to feel any sympathy for any of them apart from Jessie.

        Once I started this book, I had to finish it. It really is a page-turner; a great holiday read. The ending wasn’t what I expected at all – so unlike ‘The Life’, I cannot accuse it of being predictable. If you want a good book to take away, like thrillers and aren’t offended by bad language and violence, then this may be up right up your street.

        *http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/martina-cole-i-know-i-dont-write-literature-2369460.html

        +++++++
        Hardback edition:
        ISBN: 978075537561
        Publication date: 24 Oct 2013
        Page count: 560
        19.99 GBP or free from your local lending library
        Also available in paperback and kindle.

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        • More +
          17.07.2014 18:11
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • Delicious
          • "Currently on offer"

          Disadvantages

          • None

          By golly it''s good for you

          For as long as I''''ve know Mr P (and that''''s a long number of years – 31!), he has always insisted on Kellogg''''s Cornflakes for breakfast which, much to my horror, he has then proceeded to load with extra sugar. For once influenced by seeing a doctor on TV extolling the health benefits of cutting down the sugar, Mr P has actually decided to try to cut back. No more sugar in his tea and a sprinkling of my granola or muesli on his morning cereal. Needing to replenish the cupboard and mindful of cost, I spotted Mornflake granola on the shelves at Waitrose. Two things immediately attracted me – the price and the lower cholesterol banner. They are currently on offer for a pound a 500g pack (usual price 2.79 GBP). So I popped a couple in my trolley. On packet of the Nuts and Seeds Oatbran and one with Plums and Almonds.


          ***The Nuts and Seeds Oatbran***
          The Ingredients are: Mornflake Wholegrain Oatflakes (36%), Toasted Oatbran & Oatbran (17%), Mixed nuts (13%) (Flaked Almonds, Roasted Chopped Hazelnuts, Pecan Nuts), Honey (11%), Mixed Seeds (8.5%)(Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Golden Linseeds), Vegetable Oil, Apple Juice Concentrate (3%), Natural Flavouring, Caramelised Sugar Syrup.

          According to Mornflake, a family firm who have been milling oatbran South Cheshire since 1675, oatbran is proven to help lower cholesterol. It works by absorbing excess cholesterol on its way through your body and is a rich, natural source of beta glucan soluble fibre. The suggested daily intake for oat beta glucan is 3g. By adding just 3 tbsp (40g) of 100% pure Mornflake Oatbran into your daily diet you will be getting approximately 76% of that much needed fibre intake.

          In terms of nutritional value, when compared to cornflakes the granola has more fat (but largely unsaturated), about half the carbs, much less salt and more fibre and protein. To my tastebuds,however, there is no comparison. The granola is delicious and very satisfying particularly when mixed with fresh fruit and yoghurt. It sets me up nicely for the day and easily sees off hunger pains until while past midday. It''''s surprising light whilst being satisfyingly crunchy. In fact, it is delicious.


          ***Recommended***
          Without doubt. This was a real find. Bag yourself a resealable bag of the stuff while it’s still on offer.

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        • More +
          17.07.2014 15:11
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Good value"
          • "Very pretty"

          Disadvantages

          • None

          Be still my beating heart

          A few Christmases ago, a friend gave us this lovely metal heart tealight holder. She''''d been given one by her sister, loved it and knew that we would too.




          The ivory coloured heart heart measures 18 x 20 cm and has a matching ivory metal chain and hook which is about 60 cms long. A pretty lattice design has been cut out on both sides of the metal to let the tealight shine through. The tealight sits in a small dish in the middle of the heart that is accessed by a small heart shaped hatch door on one side of the heart. The door has a little latch which is easy to open and close.



          It looks pretty anyway but when the tealight is lit, it''''s absolutely gorgeous. It sends out such a pretty light.



          You can use it inside or outside. My friend has hers hanging from a curtain pole in her dining room and it looks great. Ours is outside. We have a summer house that we use quite a bit – even in the winter we use it as a nice place to have a cup of coffee or after meal drink. The summer house is built with dark wood so the ivory heart really shows up well. The contrast is quite striking and with the light shining through it looks really lovely. I used to use an normal tealight but now I cheat and have a little electronic tealight which saves having to look for matches everytime I want to use it! Although the heart is sheltered from the elements, it is outside. It hasn''''t rusted at all and still looks the part. Perhaps it helps that it does have a vintage look about it as it still looks as good as when we first put it up.




          It makes a great present. I''''ve gone to buy several hearts for other friends. It makes a great gift for an engagement, wedding, housewarming, anniversary, or come to think of it, any occasion! It''''s worth shopping around. I''''ve seen them on Amazon from 3.99 to 7.79 GBP. The best offer I’ve seen is 6 GBP for 2.

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        • More +
          10.07.2014 12:36
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          2 Comments

          Advantages

          • "Good value"
          • Effective

          Disadvantages

          • "Slow to absorbe"

          Improves the appearance of sad looking feet

          I''m a newcomer to Soap & Glory, a British company that describes itself as A Fun, Fresh, Fearless, Fantastic British Beauty Brand. Their products seem to get universally good reviews and I enjoy their packaging which comes with a sense of humour and usually a couple of dreadful puns.

          ~~So the foot cream~~
          The bluey-grey unctuous cream comes in a pink (not blue as in the dooyoo photo) 125 ml tube with flip lid.
          ~Where to buy it~: Currently stocked by Harvey Nicks and Boots, it costs 5.50 GBP.
          ~What''s in it~: Allantoin, Glycerin, Macadamia Oil, Menthol, Bilberry, Orange and Lemon Fruit Acid Smoothers.
          ~Instructions for use~: Massage a generous layer onto clean feet every night. Slip cotton socks overtop and let it soak in while you sleep.

          ~~My experience~~
          I really don''t like my feet which get more misshapen and gnarled as the years wear on. Some of this damage is of course irreparable but I do try to make the most of these hated but essential appendages, particularly in the summer when there are so many pretty sandals to be worn. So as well as painting toe nails and getting rid of the worst patches of hard skin with a foot file, I do try to regular moisturise them. I''ve tried a number of creams and Heel Genius is definitely one of the better ones. My feet definitely look less unattractive when they are well moisturised.

          The tube dispenser is easy to use and a gentle squeeze gives the right amount of cream to smooth on to your feet. The fragrance isn''t overpowering but definitely has a minty tang from the menthol. It feels surprisingly light on the skin given that the cream itself is fairly thick. My feet feel instantly moisturised and look refreshed but the cream does take a while to absorb. As the tube clearly says this is a cream for overnight use. That way all the goodness from the cream can soak into your skin and you still feel the benefit in the morning. I don''t bother with cotton socks and only apply every other night (or less) but the cream still has required effect.

          ~~Recommended?~~
          Yes, if you want a moisturising mask to apply to your feet overnight. No, if you want something to rub on quickly before burying your feet in shoes for the day.

          Heel Genius promises to be better than a pedicure. It is? Well probably not quite but it''s certainly a lot better value! 4 out of 5.

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          • Sunshine On Leith (DVD) / DVD / 8 Readings / 6 Ratings
            More +
            08.07.2014 22:39
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • "Great soundtrack"
            • "Solid cast"

            Disadvantages

            • "Misses the mark"

            A self proclaimed musical

            I didn''t know anything about this film until I saw a trailer for it. It looked quite good so I put it on my Lovefilm list and this week it popped through my letterbox.

            The film is a screen version of a musical which was first produced in 2007 and written around 13 songs by the Proclaimers. My knowledge of this Scottish band is limited to I''m Gonna Be (500 Miles) but in fact their second album which featured this well known anthem was called ''Sunshine on Leith''.

            ~ The plot (without giving too much away) ~ Two young squaddies, Davy and Ally return to Edinburgh, after a tour in Afghanistan. This is the story of how they adjust to civilian life and the relationships they strike up. The story line also followDavy''s parents played by Peter Mullan and Jane Horrocks who are about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. However their relationship is rocked by the contents of a letter that arrives informing Davy''s father of the death of an old flame.

            What I thought
            Positives: It''s a good cast who all have pretty good voices. Well okay, Peter Mullan''s voice isn''t that good but his acting is superb. The twin brothers who are the Proclaimers even have a cameo role appearing towards the beginning of the film as Davy and Ally return to the city. The director, Dexter Fletcher, also has a tiny cameo part, staggering out of the lads'' local pub.

            The music is great. I certainly had no idea of the versatility of this Scottish duo.

            Negatives: The plot is somewhat predictable and the tone is overly sentimental . So much more could have been made of some of the characters and the story line. At the beginning Sunshine on Leith shows promise; it looks as if it''s going to tackle the difficulties faced by returning soldiers from the horrors of Afghanistan. It doesn''t in any depth. For example, I wanted to see more of Ronnie (played by Paul Brannigan), the double amputee whose return from Afghanistan is on an altogether different trajectory.

            The film is frequently compared to Mamma Mia but to me it''s completely different. Mamma Mia is pure fantasy and unashamedly a feel good film. Sunshine on Leith doesn''t quite know what it is. It has some great feel good numbers in it but it also has a poignant story to tell. I found myself quite frustrated at times. Whilst I enjoyed the music, it slowed the pace of the film to the point it seemed to drag. It is only 100 minutes long, but for me those minutes could have been put to better use.

            Sorry guys, the Scottish Tourist Board must love this film (there are some wonderful shots of Edinburgh) but it just didn''t do it for me.

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          • More +
            25.06.2014 17:02
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • "Creamy texture"
            • "Efficient pump"
            • "Works well"

            Disadvantages

            • None

            Leaves my face squeaky clean

            Problem: Before I discovered hot cloth cleansers, however well I thought I''d cleansed by face there was always some residue. I''d think I''d done a really good job in removing all traces of make-up before going to bed, but in the morning there would still be telltale traces of mascara giving me that all too familiar panda look.

            The Solution: I''d seen good reviews of hot cloth cleansers and thought I should give the No 7 version a try. I''m a great fan of Boots No 7 anyway particularly when there''s a good offer going. A 200ml pump costs 9.99 GBP and comes with a small muslin cloth.

            My experience: Unless I am only wearing minimum eye make-up, I still use eye make-up remover to tackle the eye area first. I then dispense a generous amount of the cleanser onto my finger tips and then using both hands, massage it into my face including all around the eyes. I think massage is really good for the skin anyway so unless I''m in a real hurry I will spend a minute really working in the cleanser. It''s really thick and creamy and feels very smooth on my skin. The idea is then to polish off the cleanser using the muslin cloth which also dislodges any dead skin cells so effectively gives the skin a gentle exfoliation.

            For me the cloth does have to be rinsed through first with pretty hot water ? it just doesn''t feel so good with cold water which definitely doesn''t leave the skin feeling anyway near so clean. I do splash my face with cold water as soon as I have finished with the warm cloth though, pat my face dry with a towel. The cleanser actually feels quite nourishing and not dehydrating but I always apply moisturiser. It''s all rather reminiscent of the old fashioned method of washing with soap and a good old flannel. A lot of make-up residue comes off on the cloth and I find I have to wash the cloth every time I use it so I alternate with a range of flannels. These seem to work just as well for me but I''m lucky in that my skin is not particularly sensitive; muslin is of course very gentle.

            Another plus point is that the pump works. You don''t have to try to break into the bottle as it gets towards the end in order to extract the last little bit of primer. Most importantly, it works; no more traces of make-up in the morning!

            Recommended?: I love it so as you might guess, I have no hesitation in recommending this cleanser.

            A longer review appears on Ciao under the same user name.

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          • 4imprint / Other Service / 22 Readings / 20 Ratings
            More +
            15.06.2014 22:05
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            1 Comment

            Advantages

            • "Good range of products"
            • " helpful service"
            • Friendly

            Disadvantages

            • None

            Far from a mug's game

            For country dwellers, June is the beginning of village fete season. For my little village, this year will see its 25th Strawberry Fayre. As a member of the fayre committee I suggested we sell a commemorative Strawberry Fayre mug to mark this anniversary. My idea, so therefore my job to organise! After some time researching online I found one company that had what I was looking for at the most reasonable price. They had an online calculator which I used and made a request for the company to contact me by email. They didn''t. I phoned, no reply. I phoned again, managed to speak to someone who promised someone would phone be back. They didn''t. Back to the drawing board and with the date of the fayre drawing ever nearer, I started again. This time I thought I would give 4imprint a try. From the website it looked like a fairly large company offering a wide range of promotional products from icescrapers to suncream and of course a huge selection of mugs. In fact 158 different types. The website allows you to filter your results for example by colour and/or price. I was looking for a red mug for a white strawberry logo. With the Strawberry Fayre at the end of the month, my concern was the lead time on getting a hundred or so mugs printed. From the website it looked as though standard print and delivery time was between 5-10 working days but I fired off an online enquiry form to double check. What a difference with this company. Within half an hour I had a phone call from a sales advisor called Karen. I explained what I wanted and she said she''d take a look to see what the best option would be. She asked that I send over the Fayre''s strawberry logo to give her an idea of what we wanted. I duly did and within an hour she had send a quote through with a great red mug with a white interior ? something I hadn''t spotted on the site but absolutely ideal. We firmed up the details of the order and she said she would get back to me in a couple of days with art work for my approval. Karen sent through the artwork 24 hours later. It wasn''t quite what I wanted - they had followed by instructions exactly but seeing the visuals made me realise it wasn''t quite right. I emailed her back and she phoned me right away to make sure she understood my new instructions. Within a couple of hours the new proof was through and I was able to give it the ok. I found Karen highly professional and helpful. She kept me informed throughout the process, letting me know when the mugs would be delivered and double checking the delivery details. It was great having a single contact to deal with.

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            • More +
              10.06.2014 00:11
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              • "All natural ingredients"
              • "Improves appearance of dry hands"
              • "Nourishes dry skin"

              Disadvantages

              • "Take a while to absorb"
              • Pricey

              Super duper cream for dry hands

              Balance Me has a good reputation so I was delighted to get a tube of their super moisturising hand cream in a package of goodies for my birthday back in February. Balance Me is a good news story - a successful company set up in 2005 by two young sisters who left corporate jobs and retrained in the holistic field in order to get a better work life balance. They now offer a range of face and body products that have won a shed load of awards.

              The Balance Me philosophy is all about natural ingredients and high quality essential oils blends. Their strap line is 'beauty that works naturally' and they take their natural credentials very seriously giving all their products a percentage natural origin rating.

              The hand cream
              ============
              So on to the hand cream. First thing to note is that it's certainly not cheap at 14.50 GPB for 100ml.

              What isn't in it : Parabens, sulphates, DEA, mineral oils, petroleum, silicones, propylene glycol, PEGs, artificial colours and fragrances making it 98.8% natural origin.

              What is in it : Apparently it is formulated with therapeutic benzoin, one of the ingredients used by the Egyptians for embalming! It also has yarrow, to help heal, shea butter, carrageenan gum together with sweet almond and kukui nut oils. Fragrance is provided by patchouli, lavender and bergamot essential oils.

              So do I like it?
              ==========
              I have very dry hands and always like to have hand cream with me so that I can rub some into my hands several times during the day. Although it's a great size for my handbag, this is not a hand cream I take with me. Don't get me wrong, it is super effective. It really nourishes my dry skin like no other hand cream I've used. It also smells lovely - pleasant but therapeutic so you instantly feel that the cream is going to have healing properties.

              My problem with it is that it takes a while to absorb. On the downside, it leaves my hands feeling a little greasy. On the upside, my hands look instantly better when I've used it and I can almost feel the skin re-hydrating. For me, it's a hand cream best used at night or when I don't have to use my hands for a while so that there's plenty of time for it to soak in and work its magic.

              Star rating
              ========
              I do like this hand cream and feel that it lives up to its name by being super moisturising. It does come with what a consider a hefty price tag. I would be delighted to get it as a gift again; I would possibly but it for someone else but I'm very unlikely to fork out that amount of dosh on hand cream for myself. So bearing in mind the price and the fact that for me it's not a cream I can use any time of the day, I'm knocking off one star. So 4/5 it is.

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            • More +
              06.06.2014 23:15
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              • "Some well known songs"
              • "Good selection"

              Disadvantages

              • "Missing the Bermuda Triangle"

              Could it be magic?

              Barry Manilow has written some fantastic songs and at the ripe old age of 70 is currently touring the UK. I recently went to see him at the Wembley Arena - my first Manilow concert although a long term fan.

              Lola (a la Copacabana) may have been a showgirl but Barry Manilow turned out to the ultimate showman. He was witty, highly entertaining and boy can he still belt out a good song. Anyway after the concert, I decided I need to have some Manilow songs in my collection and after a quick browse downloaded this album - 9.99 GBP from iTunes. The Essential Barry Manilow, is a two CD compilation with 38 tracks:.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~
              Tracks on Disc 1 are Mandy, It's a Miracle, Could It Be Magic, I Write the Songs, Bandstand Boogie, Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again, Beautiful Music,This One's for You, Weekend In New England, Jump Shout Boogie, Looks Like We Made It, Daybreak,New York City Rhythm, Can't Smile Without You, Even Now, Copacabana (At the Copa), Ready to Take a Chance Again, Somewhere In the Night, Ships, When I Wanted You

              Tracks on Disc 2 are One Voice, I Don't Want to Walk Without You, I Made It Through the Rain, Lonely Together, The Old Songs, Somewhere Down the Road, Memory, Some Kind of Friend, Read 'Em and Weep, When October Goes (Live), I'm Your Man, Brooklyn Blues (feat. Tom Scott), Hey Mambo (With Kid Creole and the Coconuts), I'd Really Love to See You Tonight, Moments to Remember, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, The Long and Winding Road, Careless Whisper
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Manilow didn't set out to be a singer but a songwriter who came to fame in the early 1970s when he was discovered by Bette Midler. It was in 1974 that he was persuaded to release his own albums and he shot to stardom with Mandy, the first track in the Essential compilation. This actually wasn't a song Manilow wrote. In fact it was first released as ?Brandy' in 1971 but it was Manilow's first number one when he released it in 1974. It's a timeless ballad and hit the number one spot again with Westlife in 2003.

              So starting off with Mandy, the first track on Disc 1, the compilation is an anthology of some of his most enduring songs. The last track on Disc 2 isCareless Whisper, written by George Michael of course, and on Manilow's The Greatest Songs Of The Eighties released in 2008.

              Some of the best songs are the ones written by Manilow himself ? for example ?Even Now' a rather sad ballad. In fact there's a good mix of rather haunting ballads and more up tempo fun songs. Who can't help but toe tap along to Copacabana ? the hottest spot north of Havana? Sadly, The Bermuda Triangle is not on this collection (deduct one star) but otherwise it doesn't disappoint.

              If you see a middle aged woman very happily singing along as she drives, it could well be me. So could it be magic? Yes for Barry Manilow fans and for others, it could well be.

              A similar review appears on Ciao under the same user name.

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            • More +
              04.06.2014 16:50
              Very helpful
              (Rating)
              2 Comments

              Advantages

              • Tasty

              Disadvantages

              • None

              Makes a good breakfast on the go

              I always try to have a healthy breakfast ? usually either porridge or muesli with yoghurt and fresh fruit. However at least once a week I need to catch an early train for London and I normally don't have time to grab anything. On these days I've got into the not so healthy (and expensive) habit of getting a cappuccino and a muffin at the station. Thinking of both pocket and waistline, when I had to catch an early train earlier this week I took a pack of these bars from the cupboard and popped it in my handbag. I had a stock as I often pop them into the packed lunches that I do for the rest of the family.

              ~~ Taste ~~ For me the taste is near perfect. I do like this sort of thing - be it a flapjack, or an oaty biscuits (Hob Nobs are the best even without chocolate) - and these bars did not disappoint. They are crunchy with a good bite. They hold together well so any mess is minimal, very useful when eating on the go. They are sweet - perhaps too sweet for some - but with a coffee I found they hit the spot. I sat on the station platform happily munching away and sipping at my cappuccino; yes, I still succumbed but one needs a drink in the morning to help get oneself and one's digestive system going! A pretty good combination I would say which set me up really nicely for the day and I didn't have any hunger pangs until lunchtime.

              There are a whole range of flavours - oats and honey, nutty peanut, oats and chocolate, ginger nut, oats and berry, oats and hazelnut, roasted almond, almond, chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, and fruit and nut. Clearly the only thing to do is try them all. Perhaps next time I''ll look out for a variety pack. They come in boxes of five and each pack has two bars.

              ~~ Ingredients ~~ Whole Grain Rolled OATS (59%), Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Canadian Maple Syrup (2%), Honey, Salt, Molasses, Emulsifier: Sunflower Lecithin, Raising Agent: Sodium Bicarbonate, Natural Flavouring, Contains Oat Gluten and may contain Peanut, Tree Nuts and Soy Ingredients.

              ~~ Nutritional info ~~ In two bars (42g) there are 191 calories of which 34% fat, 59% carbs, 7% protein. For those who follow WeighWatchers, a pack comes in a 5 Pro Points which seems pretty good to me.

              ~~Price ~~ I bought mine at Waitrose where they are currently on offer. 2 for 3.50 GBP. Single packs are 2.39 GBP.

              ~~ Recommended ~~ I'd say so. They are on my shopping list! 5 out of 5 dooyoo stars from me.

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              • Ryvita Thins Multiseed / Snacks / 21 Readings / 18 Ratings
                More +
                31.05.2014 23:13
                Very helpful
                (Rating)
                1 Comment

                Advantages

                • Delicious
                • "Great for dips"

                Disadvantages

                • "Seeds can make a mess"

                Not thin on flavour

                ***** Yum! *****
                As a child I remember my mother eating Ryvita crispbreads whenever she was on a diet. To be honest, they weren't very appealing particularly topped with cottage cheese which I loathe. For years I've been under the misapprehension that they were a Scandinavian import. So I am somewhat embarrassed to have only just discovered that Ryvita is a good old British firm established in 1925!
                ***** Ryvita thins. *****
                According to their website, it wasn't until the 1980's that Ryviuta started to produce more than just two types of Crispbread. They really seem to have caught up in recent years offering a some really interesting crispbreads and a range of other products including Ryvita thins. Ryvita thins are crisp wheat and rye flatbreads and they come in a variety of flavours and sizes including multispeed. The come on 125g packets and I guess there are about 20 in a packet.
                ***** INGREDIENTS: Wheat Flour, Mixed Seeds (24%) (Hemp Seed, Brown Linseed, Golden Linseed, Millet Seed), Wholegrain Rye Flour (8%), (sustainable) Palm Oil, Salt. This product contains certified sustainable palm oil.
                ***** Nutritional value per slice: 37 Calories, 0.2g Sugars, 0.9g Fat, 0.2g Saturates, 0.15g Salt
                ***** The taste. *****
                I think they are really delicious. They have a satisfying crisp bite and I love the seeds although they do go everywhere! They are the ideal accompaniment for a dip and you can get a good scoop full with these thins.
                ***** Available at most supermarkets for around 1.89 GBP.

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