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Despite the intended use, I mainly use fabric conditioner to add a nice fragrance to my clothes, the softness is just an added bonus for me! When I saw that Lenor had brought out a new range of scents, I was excited to try them out. I sniffed them all in the supermarket and Gold Orchid was by far my favourite. I can''t say I''ve ever smelled an orchid before, but I don''t think the scent is particularly floral. I would say it''s sweet, like caramel and butterscotch. I''m in love with the smell! I got this from Asda when it was on special offer, I think it was 1.50 GBP for 1 litre, I remember being surprised that it was cheaper than the 750ml. So this was a bargain price compared to similar products as it works out at less than 5p per wash. However, the special offer didn''t last long and the price has been going up and down ever since. As with other liquid fabric conditioners, you measure it out using the lid. There is a faint line halfway up the lid so you can either measure half a lid-full for a light or small wash, or a full lid for a full wash or a more intense fragrance. The bottle is beige in colour, I think it''s meant to represent the gold in the name, but I think it matches well with the caramel/ butterscotch scent so it works in both respects. It claims to have 7x longer lasting freshness. While I''ve never really taken too much notice of the timescale, the fresh scent does seem to last longer than other fabric conditioners I''ve used, with the smell still lingering at the end of the day. With regards to softness, I think towels are the best benchmark to use as they can be very stiff and scratchy if you miss the fabric conditioner out. Using this on towels does really make them nice and soft and not at all scratchy. It''s a pleasure using freshly washed towels and slipping into a clean bed after using this.
I''ve been with Orange for many years and I''ve always been pleased with their service. I have a smartphone and the phone and 3G internet signal are usually very good, I very rarely have a problem. The good thing about Orange is that T-Mobile and EE are all part of the same company so, if you lose your Orange signal, you''ll often find yourself on one of the others. The tariff I''m on lets me have 100 minutes, 300 texts and 500mb of data for 20.50 GBP a month which I think is good value. I rarely go over my limits but, when I do, the prices are quite expensive, at around 35p per minute for a phone call. It would be good if they could let me know when I''m nearing my limit, but of course that would mean less money for them! My favourite thing about being an Orange customer is Orange Wednesdays. Go to a participating cinema on a Wednesday and get two tickets for the price of one. All you have to do is send a text to receive a code, which costs 35p; a bargain price for a cinema ticket! Being film lovers, my boyfriend and I make use of this on a regular basis. I''ve always found the customer service to be top notch. They''re always really helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. Plus they''re based in the UK so you have no problem understanding each other. I had my phone stolen at a festival last week. I couldn''t report it or block the sim until I got home but, by then, someone had already used my handset to make 50 GBP worth of phone calls to Romania. When I called Orange to cancel my sim and order a new one, I asked if I could have the calls refunded. At first they said no, because I didn''t report it within 24 hours. But, after I explained I was camping and had no way of reporting it, they agreed to refund 20 GBP, which is better than nothing. My new sim arrived the very next day and it was really quick and easy to activate it via their automated phone service. I would recommend Orange to anyone and I can''t imagine myself switching to any other network.
The Boots website describes this as "An intensive rescue for unruly, frizz-prone hair. This masque deeply replenishes each strand for unbelievable salon-smoothness."
Boots are currently selling this for £5.50 but I got it in Asda for £2.50 which I think is a bargain. I would probably stock up while it's this price as it must be a special offer.
My hair is long, down to the bottom of my shoulder blades, and naturally straight. I don't do much to it apart from dying it a few times a year. I never use heated appliances (straighteners, curlers, hairdryers) mainly because I'm too lazy...! I'm also too lazy to visit the hairdresser so it's in need of a trim. Hence, I started to get quite a few flyaways and my hair was quite dry. I condition it from the neck down every time I wash it, but it seemed to be in need of some TLC.
So when I heard of this Keratin Smooth masque, I fancied giving it a go, especially as it's the same price as a normal bottle of conditioner. After all, hair is made from keratin so I thought it could only do it some good.
The masque comes in a red tub with a black screw top lid and gold writing. Unfortunately, our shower cubicle is very small and doesn't have any shelves in it. This makes using this very awkward; I would need one hand to unscrew the lid, one to hold the tub and a third hand to scoop out and apply the product, all while trying not to get any water into the tub. So, for me, this isn't ideal. But the product is very thick, so I suppose it couldn't come in a normal squeezy conditioner bottle as it probably wouldn't come out.
The instructions recommend applying this to your hair and leaving for 3-5 minutes. I use this in the shower after shampooing, scooping out a generous portion with my fingers and applying it from the neck down, combing through my hair with my fingers. It's thicker than normal conditioner and you might need to spend a short time longer making sure it's evenly applied. I don't apply conditioner to my scalp as it's quite greasy.
If you've used Tresemme products before, you'll already be familiar with the smell and it's very distinctive. It's quite floral and fruity. I really like the smell, but it might be too sweet for some people. It's noticeable while using it, but not too strong once it's been washed off.
I then leave the masque on while I go about my other shower activities; exfoliating, body wash, shaving etc. Once I've done this, I rinse. The product rinses out very easily with no problems and feels very smooth right away.
The result is excellent. My hair is definitely a lot smoother and the flyaways are smoothed down. It also feels very soft and I can't stop running my fingers through it! It's very easy to brush right away and right up until the next time I wash my hair. The flyaways do tend to start coming back after about half a day, so maybe leave it as late as possible if it's for a special occasion.
---Would I recommend?---
At £2.50 I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it and I would love to use this every time I wash my hair at that price. If it was £5.50, I think I would save it for using maybe once a month or for special occasions.
I'm having trouble finding these online anywhere, either on the Quorn website or the Asda website, which is where I buy them from. The ingredients list below is from 2010 so I'm not sure how accurate it still is.
Quorn Dippers (79%)[Mycoprotein*, Rehydrated Free Range Egg White, Onion, Flavourings, Textured Wheat Protein (Wheat Protein, Wheat Starch), Milk Proteins, Vegetable Oil, Tapioca Starch, Gelling Agent: Pectin], Batter (Water, Wheat Flour, Maize Flour, Wheat Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Raising Agents: Tetrasodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate; Natural Colour: Curcumin), Vegetable Oil, Rice Flour, *36% of product.
This product contains eggs, gluten, milk and wheat.
It is suitable for vegetarians and is Vegetarian Society Approved.
Quorn is made from mycoprotein, which is a protein rich type of fungus and used as a meat substitute.
---Why I bought these---
As with my review for the Quorn mini Scotch eggs, I want to eat less meat because I don't like the way that intensive factory farmed animals are treated. This is a challenge for me because I've been a meat eater all my life so I'm doing it gradually. I've found Quorn to be a good source for those of us who still like the taste of meat and recipes that usually call for meat as they make an excellent range of meat substitutes.
---Price and Availability---
I buy these from Asda's frozen aisle where they are around £2.00 for a 320g bag. The price can vary depending on whether or not they're on special offer. They are also available from many other supermarkets. I can't remember exactly how many dippers are in one bag but it's in the region of 9-12. When you get them home, store them in the freezer.
I have these as a replacement for chicken dippers, obviously, and normally eat them with something like potato waffles and baked beans or curly fries and veg. They are the same shape and size as chicken dippers; a long thing oval shape about 3 inches long.
They need to be cooked from frozen before eating and this is easily done in about 15 minutes either in the oven or under the grill, in the same way as regular chicken dippers.
Given the quality of mechanically separated, reconstituted chicken meat that's normally available in this type of food, I would say I prefer the Quorn version. They have a nice meaty type of texture, similar in colour to chicken and a very convincing taste. Unlike with the meat version, there are no nasty gristly or chewy pieces. The texture and taste is very consistent and pleasing.
They are coated in breadcrumbs which turn nice and crunchy upon cooking; not too hard and not too soggy.
I usually dip these in mayonnaise but they are probably equally tasty dipped in ketchup, chilli sauce or anything else you would normally use on chicken dippers.
As they contain no meat or anything that an animal had to die for, they are suitable for vegetarians, but the inclusion of eggs means they aren't suitable for vegans. However, the eggs used are free range which is great news.
I would actually prefer these to regular chicken dippers as I believe they are healthier. Mass produced boiler chickens are normally pumped full of antibiotics which, obviously, we then inject when we eat the chicken. They are also usually fed steroids to make them grow more quickly. They are also a good source of lean protein and fibre. The non-meat version sounds much more appetising now...
Tasty, filling, healthy and animal friendly. There's no reason not to, really.
---Product information : Taken from www.quorn.co.uk---
Pack sizes:120g / 6 pack (chilled)
240g / 12 pack (chilled)
Per 100g/ Per egg
Energy - kJ/kcal 1075/257 215/51
Protein 15.0g/ 3.0g
Carbohydrate 21.0g/ 4.2g
of which sugars 1.0g/ 0.2g
Fat 11.5g/ 2.3g
of which saturates 1.0g/ 0.2g
Fibre 4.6g/ 0.9g
Sodium 0.7g/ 0.1g
Salt 1.75g/ 0.3g
Mycoprotein (34%), water, onion, sage & onion stuffing (breadcrumb, rusk, dehydrated onion, salt, herbs, onion powder, chives, wheat flour, pepper and sage extracts), textured wheat protein (wheat protein, wheat starch), vegetable oil, flavouring (with colour: iron oxides), egg mayonnaise (16%) [chopped free range egg, mayonnaise (vegetable oil, free range egg yolk, spirit vinegar, sugar, mustard flour)], tapioca starch, dried free range egg white, Cumberland spice seasoning (salt, wheat flour, dextrose, rusk, spice & herb extracts, pepper, thyme, parsley), gelling agent: pectin; batter & breadcrumb (wheat flour, salt, yeast, vegetable oil, colour: paprika extract).
Contains Egg, Mustard & Wheat Gluten. Produced in a factory which handles Milk.
---Why I bought these---
I want to eat less meat because I don't like the way that intensive factory farmed animals are treated. This is a challenge for me because I've been a meat eater all my life so I'm doing it gradually. I've found Quorn to be a good source for those of us who still like the taste of meat and recipes that usually call for meat as they make an excellent range of meat substitutes.
I've always been a fan of Scotch eggs so I thought I'd give these a try. I would be happier if they could make a full sized Scotch egg with a whole egg inside it, but these mini ones are a good enough substitute.
These are currently £1.60 for 12 in Asda which isn't a bad price for a convenience food. I normally have six with a salad which is enough for my lunch. They would also be great for a buffet or a picnic. You can eat them straight out of the packaging and they don't require any preparation. They are designed to be eaten cold and are very tasty; I have no idea if they can be warmed up but I imagine this would also taste quite nice.
The egg mayonnaise is tasty but perhaps a little dry, I would like to see a bit more mayonnaise in there.
The 'meat' part of them is very pleasing. In a normal Scoth egg, you would get sausage meat surrounding the egg. In these, it's Quorn's mycoprotein instead, which is a sort of fungus; the main ingredient in all of Quorn's products. It's a very satisfying taste and texture and very pleasing for those of us who still like the taste of meat. If you gave me these and told me they were normal Scotch eggs, I wouldn't question it.
Surrounding the 'meat' is a layer of breadcrumbs, the same with regular Scotch eggs. The breadcrumbs have a good texture; not too moist, not too dry and just the right amount.
There is a slight taste of spicyness and herbs which adds to the interest and flavour.
As they contain no meat or anything that an animal had to die for, they are suitable for vegetarians, but the inclusion of eggs means they aren't suitable for vegans. However, the eggs used are free range which is great news.
They are a good source of protein for people looking to get theirs from somewhere other than meat and they are healthier than their pork counterparts, with 75% less saturated fat.
I would definitely recommend these for a tasty meat-free snack.
The Dyson DC25 Multi Floor has too many features to list here but I'll try my best to get through them!
Our previous vacuum cleaner had given up the ghost and, after hearing lots of amazing things about Dysons, we decided to give it a go. Sure, they are more expensive than vacuum cleaners of other brands (we paid £219 from Currys) but, from the experience I've had with it so far, it's definitely worth it.
The first time I used it, I couldn't believe how much dust was in the bag! It was disgusting to think that it had all been sitting on our floors and just goes to show how rubbish our previous vacuum cleaner had been.
The Dyson cleans right to the edge of the floor without having to take out the pipe, which is amazing and very convenient.
The handle itself turns into the pipe, which makes for a very neat and tidy machine. It pops out with one easy movement; just pull it upwards and out it pops with a lovely satisfying click. It also makes it easy to manoeuvre as you can hold onto the handle to use the pipe. Added to this, the pipe is telescopic and very long, making it extremely easy to vacuum the stairs without having to try and balance the cleaner on every step. Our house has 13 stairs and I managed to clean 11 of them before I had to take the vacuum cleaner upstairs to do the final two. When you want to replace it, just push it back into position with another satisfying click and you're ready to use as an upright.
It comes with two attachments for the pipe; one is a wide headed sucker and one is a thin pipe with soft bristles attached. You can also buy an array of other attachments for cleaning mattresses, Venetian blinds and one with a 180 degree bend in it for hard to reach places like the tops of doors or ceiling fans.
To use in an upright position, it has two settings; one for carpets and rugs and one for hard floors. When you move from one to the other, just press the button next to the power button and it turns the brushes on or off. (On for carpets, off for hard floors). It sucks up dirt equally easily between the two and leaves the floors spotless.
The bin is very easy to remove and empty. One button to click it out, place it inside your kitchen bin and one button to open the bottom, dumping all the dust safely and neatly in your bin. Then just click it back into place; it takes less than a minute! The only problem I can see is that the max fill level seems to be quite low. Judging from how full it is from just one clean of the house, it would need to be emptied every two or three times we do the whole house. However, this shouldn't be a problem as it's so quick and easy.
The famous Dyson ball makes it easy to manoeuvre around corners and it's quite a bit lighter than other vacuum cleaners so another way to make it easy to move. The fact that it's lightweight also makes it much easier to get up and down stairs.
The filters need to be cleaned every three months to keep it in tip top condition and, if you register it online, they can send you an email as a reminder. I have yet to try this, I've got it on good authority from a friend.
It comes with a five year parts and labour manufacturer's guarantee which is excellent; I've heard of these machines lasting for 10 or 15 years so hopefully this won't be needed.
The whole thing is a fantastically engineered piece of machinery, both in terms of ergonomics and effectiveness. I would definitely recommend investing.
I have to book a lot of travel for my job and booking.com is always our first port of call for many reasons. One reason is that you can almost always guarantee to get the lowest prices. I've often compared booking.com to other sites and even the hotels sites directly and they are always either the same or the lowest. They feature most of the big chains including Premier Inn, Holiday Inn, Hilton etc. as well as a great selection of independents. The only one that doesn't seem to be featured on there is Travelodge, which is quite annoying as they are a decent cheap brand.
On the homepage you can type in a location; either a town, an area or a postcode. It features hotels all over the world so you can always guarantee to find something you want without having to visit websites where you might not be able to speak the language.
You then select your dates and the number of rooms you want. You are then presented with a list of hotels to browse through. At this stage, I always select the option to "Show on map" as, quite often, our hotels have to be close to a certain venue. The map then comes up with markers for all the hotels showing where they are. If you hover over a marker, it brings up a little bit of information about the hotel such as the price, the star rating, customer rating and types of rooms (single, double).
Price can be selected either to be shown in your own currency or the local currency if it's in another country.
If you want, you can filter your search depending on star rating, price, specific chains etc. There are options to suit every budget including cheap hostels right up to five star luxury.
Once you see a hotel you like, click on it and it takes you to a more detailed page including address, detailed room information, price, information on food, parking, location, amenities and customer reviews. Check out the reviews because some people can be very harsh, like marking them way down because they don't like the pictures on the wall or something. But generally, they are a good indicator of what you should expect.
When you've chosen your hotel, you select how many of each type of room you want and pay for it easily in a couple of minutes. Sometimes they take the payment at the time of booking but sometimes you have to pay on arrival. Pay on arrival is a problem for us as we're booking hotels for business purposes and our guests don't normally have access to the card we used to book it.
However, this isn't usually a problem; if we contact the hotel we can request they take payment prior to arrival. The booking process is really quick and easy and you always get a confirmation email right away.
Their customer service is excellent. If you have a problem with any of the hotels, booking.com will try their very best to rectify it. One time a hotel had double booked us and didn't actually have a room for us. Booking.com ensured it was cancelled without charge and even offered to help me to find an alternative. I didn't take this offer up as we had already chosen a different so I'm afraid I can't comment on how successful this is.
I would definitely recommend booking.com as a one stop shop for all your hotel needs.
I have been using the same product of concealer for years but now I'm getting to the age where I'm getting tiny wrinkles around my eyes and my concealer was settling into the wrinkles making them more obvious. I can't say I'm best pleased as I also still suffer from acne so I'm getting the worst of all worlds!
So I was on the lookout for a new concealer that wouldn't settle in my wrinkles and spotted this in Boots for £3.99. Using the tester, it seemed harder and less greasy than my previous brand so I thought I'd give it a try.
It's worth noting that the packaging looks different to the photo here. Instead of being transparent, the top (which doubles as the lid) is now very dark brown with "Cover Stick" written on it in capital letters. The whole top part of the packaging comes away as the lid and you screw the bottom clockwise to reveal the product. Once applied, which is done directly from the stick onto the face, you screw it back down and replace the lid, in exactly the same way as a lipstick. Nice simple application and it's easy to see how much of the product you have left.
As I thought, it goes on quite hard and dry which is good for me as I have oily skin. I use it for both under eye shadows (which are sadly a permanent fixture) and also for spots and it's good for both. Under the eyes, it stays on almost all day without settling into wrinkles or disappearing. A quick touch up late in the afternoon might be recommended but isn't completely necessary. For spots, it's still ok but tends to disappear on more oily skin, but I suppose this is my skin's fault really!
Blending is easy with the fingers, using light strokes so as not to wipe it away and it only takes a couple of seconds.
I'm lucky enough in that there is a shade which matches my skin tone perfectly so it's very easy to blend. However, looking on the Boots website I can only see three different shades and they are all VERY pale; no good if you have black, Asian or olive skin, or even if you have a slight tan! I'm so pale I'm almost transparent so it's perfect for me.
I can safely say I'm pleased with this and will continue to buy it. For the price, I can't really fault it.
---Product Information (From Amazon.co.uk)---
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (10 Oct 2013)
Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.4 cm
Currently selling for £9.00 in hardback or £6.99 for the Kindle
John Bishop came to comedy later in life than most comedians. It wasn't until he was in his 40s that he had a spur-of-the-moment go at an open mic night and realised he loved it. Up until then, he'd had what you would call a fairly normal life from a working-class background in Liverpool.
This book is honest, from the heart and some really deeply personal and touching moments in it. From his birth, right up until the present day he shares some of the most intimate moments of his life. Don't read this expecting belly laughs on every page like those we were treated to in Peter Kay's autobiographies, it isn't supposed to be like that. It's just an honest portrayal of a normal man who had to work very hard to get to where he is today.
For me, John Bishop's story is also an inspiration. When he realised his love and talent for comedy, he had to make a very difficult decision. Does he give up his £70k a year corporate job to pursue his dream, or is it all too much of a risk? The very fact that the book exists answers that question. But it's definitely inspiring to hear from someone who got out of the rat race and went for a job he really wanted to do. I'm also considering going self employed, but taking the leap is all very terrifying. Sure, it wasn't easy for him and it took a long time of struggling and hard work, but it eventually paid off. I've heard that his story has inspired lots of people to do the same thing.
If you're interested in normal people's stories, then I would definitely recommend this book. If you're just after celebrity gossip, then this isn't for you; it isn't until a long way into the book that John becomes famous.
**History and info**
Dr. Pepper was first marketed in the USA in 1904 and is now served in many other countries around the world so it's a well established drink and has earned its place in the market.
It is certainly not a healthy drink; one 330ml can provides 38% of your sugar GDA, the ingredients are as follows:
Carbonated water, sugar, colour (caramel E150d), flavourings (including caffeine), phosphoric acid, preservative (E211)
There are many varieties that have been available over the years, however in the UK I can only ever recall seeing regular and diet versions. Some flavours they have manufactured include cherry, cherry vanilla, berries and cream and cherry chocolate.
Dr. Pepper is a fizzy soft drink, brown in colour like cola. As you can guess from the ingredients and flavour varieties, it tastes VERY sweet so would probably only appeal if you have a very sweet tooth. It has a very unique taste and even the manufacturers themselves find it difficult to describe. I would say it's derivative of cherry cola but maybe with a slight umami fragrance.
Also like cola, it contains caffeine so might be useful if you want a mid-afternoon energy boost but, like me, you don't like coffee or tea, or if it's a hot day. Personally, I use it as my miracle hangover cure! One or two cans of this when waking up with a sore head and delicate tummy, and I'm right as rain in no time!
I love mixing this with alcoholic spirits and I don't know why it isn't available in the pub as a mixer. My favourite is to mix it with an amaretto drink as the almond flavour of the amaretto perfectly complements the cherry/ umami flavour of the Dr. Pepper. It also goes well with vodka or white rum. I'm not a fan of dark spirits so I can't say if it would mix well with dark rum or whiskey, but give it a try!
Dr. Pepper is widely available in supermarkets and other shops in a variety of sizes including individual 330ml cans, packs of cans and various sized bottles from 500ml to 2l.
It can be a bit expensive but if you look out for special deals, you can sometimes pick up a 2l bottle for £1.
Dr. Pepper is my favourite soft drink. I used to drink a can every day but, because of the high sugar content, I'm trying to cut down and swapping it for Diet Coke a couple of times a week; although Diet Coke is nowhere near as tasty.
I probably wouldn't give this to children because of the high sugar content and also the inclusion of caffeine.
I give this four stars because it's delicious and available in a variety of sizes. However, it loses one star because of the high sugar content and also because I would like to see more different flavours available in the UK.
I'm always amazed by the fact that everyone in the world seems to be in love with onions and I'm always treated like a freak when people find out I don't like them. It's a very strong, pungent taste and I would have thought it would be more of an acquired taste. After all, I love garlic but that's also a strong, pungent taste and there are far more people who hate garlic and yet they don't get treated like a freak!
Onions are the bane of my life. They are in EVERYTHING. I've even bought foods before that didn't previously have onions in them and they change the recipe to include them which can be a very nasty surprise for me. Did the onion lovers miss them that much that they demanded they become included?
Sure, we do cook a lot of our own food from scratch at home so they can easily be excluded but, if I want to buy something ready made; be it a sandwich, salad, sauce, soup, pie, quiche or a whole ready meal, I have to study the ingredients carefully for a long time before I decide if I can eat it or not. Even a tiny presence of these nasty bulbs can ruin the entire experience for me as it's all I can taste.
It's also embarrassing if I go round to someone's house for dinner and the dish includes onions as I really struggle to eat them and my throat actually closes up and won't let me swallow if I taste them. I once went round to someone's house after telling them I didn't like onions, so they presented a mushroom pie. Great, I love mushrooms. Except it wasn't a mushroom pie. It was an onion and mushroom pie. The description on the box said "mushroom pie" but there were definitely a lot more onions than mushrooms. Why didn't it say this in the description?
Even if most people do like them, it annoys me the way they are included in the vast majority of ready made food. I can't think of another single ingredient that's so prevalent in everything.
As you can probably gather, onions make me angry because I hate them so much and they are everywhere. They ruin any and all food they are present in and it makes my life quite difficult.
I've already reviewed 30 Day Shred, Six Week Six Pack is the DVD I'm working with alongside it. I bought a pack of four but two of them seemed more focussed on burning fat, whereas I'm more interested in toning up. I've found 30 Day Shred and Six Week Six Pack include a good combination of both cardio and strength so I decided to stick with these two.
The pack of four I bought off Amazon was about £15 but you can buy this on its own for £6.38 including free delivery.
**Who is she?**
Jillian Michaels was one of the trainers on Biggest Loser and she is VERY pushy. She barks at you in a military style, shouting at you to not give up and keep going. At first, you might find yourself getting annoyed with her, but if you stick with it, it's actually very motivational and you want to keep going to prove that you can.
**How it works**
Start with level one and, when you feel ready, move up to level two. I'm still on level one at the moment because I find it very difficult and I've only actually done it seven times so far.
It's a lot harder than level one of 30 Day Shred; some days I can't even get all the way through it. I used to feel disheartened with my lack of ability until I looked at the other girls in the video, working behind Jillian, and even they; lean, fit, lithe, young women were out of breath and were making expressions like they were struggling through it. So it made me feel a lot better about myself!
There's a whole combination of moves here and it isn't just 25 minutes of boring crunches. There are regular crunches of course, but they're combined with long level crunches, diagonal crunches, bicycle crunches, push ups, side planks, caterpillars as well as a series of standing crunches with weights to make sure you're also toning up your arms, legs and bottom at the same time.
Each exercise only lasts for a couple of minutes but you don't get a break before moving onto the next one so it's constant, non stop workout for 25 minutes (plus warm up and cool down). The circuit lasts for about 12 minutes and is repeated; the first time through it's quite slow and the second time through she speeds it up, although I would prefer it to be the other way around as I'm getting tired after only 12 minutes of working!
Well I've been doing this one and 30 Day Shred for about four weeks so far. I don't think I'll have a six pack in another two weeks and I only had a small amount of fat to lose, but I think the name holds a little bit of artistic licence. Obviously it depends how much fat is hiding your muscles, how hard you can push yourself and how often you do it. I've been doing it five times a week for four weeks and I can DEFINITELY feel extra definition in my abs, especially when I tense them up so this has motivated me to keep going.
I have eight weeks before I go on holiday and wear my bikini and I'm confident, if I stick with this workout, that I will have a flat, toned tummy in time for that.
***Why I bought it***
I'm going to Florida in October (I know, I can't wait!) and decided I need to get rid of the bulgy tum I have and tone up everywhere. After a bit of research, I decided to go for the Jillian Michaels four DVD box set and '30 Day Shred' was one of the ones in there. I got the set for about £15 from Amazon, or you can buy them individually for about £6 each.
The workouts are split into three difficulty levels, the idea being that you start on level 1 and work your way up when your strength and fitness improves. The first day I tried level one, I thought I was going to die at the end. This is the toughest fitness DVD I've ever tried. I'll be honest, I felt like the weakest and most unfit person on the planet. Jillian is relentless, she doesn't let you rest at all even for a second and, to start with, I hated her.
However, buoyed on by her comments saying that 400lb people can do these regimes, I thought "If they can do it, so can I" so I persisted. After a couple of weeks, I found the regime starting to get easier. Don't get me wrong, I'm still out of breath and tired at the end, but I don't feel like I want to die. This is great as it shows the DVD is really working. Not only am I feeling fitter, but I can definitely see improved muscle tone all over my body.
As I've only done level 1 so far, I can only review this one. It lasts for 27 minutes including warm up and cool down but, believe me, this is all you need because it's so intense.
There are three circuits and each circuit itself is split into three. You do three minutes of strength, two minutes of cardio and one minute of abs. This is perfect because, after three minutes of strength, your muscles are screaming at you for a rest so you move onto high intensity cardio. Again, after two minutes of this, your heart is about to burst so you move onto one minute of abs. When your stomach muscles are on fire, you move back to strength for the next circuit.
This way, it ensures you get a full body workout with all types of exercise but without over-tiring yourself too much which leads to decreased performance.
Do note that you need to provide your own weights for this. I'm using 1.5kg weights (3.3lb) which is quite tough but good for a workout. If you don't have weights, you could use a heavy ornament or a can of beans, although they don't weigh very much so won't provide too much resistance.
If you're a beginner, I can guarantee you will be dying and screaming at the TV the first time you try this but, believe me, if you stick with it, you will notice changes in your fitness and tone in no time.
I've been doing a combination of all four DVDs, four or five times a week and I think I'm just about ready to move onto level 2. I like the fact that there are different levels as it means you can improve your fitness gradually without injuring yourself and it also feels like a ittle victory when you're good enough to move up a level.
I highly recommend this DVD if you're glutton for punishment and you want excellent results in a short time. And considering I effectively paid less than £4 for this one DVD, it's cheaper than one single aerobics class!
I'm 31 and I've heard you're supposed to start with the anti-aging stuff when you hit your 30s, rather depressingly. This is the first time I've used a toner so I can't compare it with anything I've used in the past, only on the experience of using this particular product.
The following information is from the Olay website:
Olay Anti-Wrinkle Toner is your multiple age-defying solution for younger-looking skin. It provides multiple age-defying benefits in one essential product that is specially designed to gently cleanse your skin while beginning to fight signs of ageing.
For younger-looking skin, use daily in the mornings and evenings. Apply generously to cotton wool and sweep gently over face and neck, taking special care on ageing- prone areas. For optimal results, use after Olay Age-Defying Anti-Wrinkle Milk and follow with a day or night moisturiser from the Olay Anti-Wrinkle range. This product can also be used to refresh your skin during the day.
Aqua, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hamamelis Virginiana, Chamomilla Recutita, Potassium Phosphate, PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Isoceteth-20, Salicylic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Pentylene Glycol, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Propylparaben, Sodium Methylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Parfum, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, CI 14700, CI 19140.
OK, back to me now! I bought this for £4.99 from Boots after reading the claims on the bottle. I've always had problem skin; spots, large pores, greasy patches, dry patches, dark circles under my eyes. You name it, I've had it! I've spent years trying out different products and my skin is always very sensitive to change so I was excited, but also a bit worried about trying this.
The bottle has a flip lid with a small hole in the top through which you drip the toner onto a cotton wool ball. I do find you have to be careful as a little too much can gush out if you tip it up too far.
You then wipe the cotton wool ball with the toner over your face and neck and that's it! It has a pleasant scent, not too overpowering and dries quickly, within a few seconds. I then follow it up with my normal moisturiser.
I've only been using it once a day in the evening rather than the twice a day which is recommended. After only a week of using it I definitely noticed a difference in my skin. It felt a lot firmer and smoother to the touch and my pores look a lot smaller. The best thing for me, though, was that I had no spot break outs at all! I've been using it for six weeks so far and I've used about 1/3 of the bottle so it should last me 4-5 months. If I use it twice a day, as recommended, it would obviously last half that, I think that's great value for money for £4.99.
Olay is owned by P&G, which I used to avoid as they were renowned for testing on animals, but these days they are claiming that 99% of their products and ingredients are not tested on animals and they're working on the other 1%. This is great news for me and makes me very pleased to carry on using Olay and other P&G products.
I'm a big fan and advocate of Soap and Glory and have always been very pleased with their products. They don't test on animals which is a major selling point for me. I normally use their Flake Away body scrub but, after spotting this in my friend's bathroom and having a sniff, it smelled so divine I just had to try it out for myself.
The price is £8 for a 300ml tub from Boots.
Their claim is "Oat, shea butter and sugar body smoother. Exfoliator with organic cupuacu bio scrubs, bananas, almond and honey extracts. Features a great new maple fragrance." When you take off the lid, the maple is the most overwhelming scent of them all with banana making a slight appearance. I couldn't really detect the almond.
The product comes in a round tub with a screw off lid. When I was in the shower, I could not get the lid off for love nor money because of the round shape of the tub and the slippery plastic, I couldn't get a grip when it was wet. I had to get out of the shower and dry both the tub and my hands before I could get the lid off. The design of the packaging really means you need three hands; one to take hold the pot, one to take the lid off and put it back on and one to scoop out the product. It's quite awkward.
The texture is grainy, which is expected, and quite sticky, presumably because of the honey and maple syrup. It feels grainy when being rubbed on the skin, which is a good sign, and it feels like it's doing a good job of rubbing away any dead skin.
**Does it work?**
I have always used the Flake Away on the backs of my arms and my thighs as I have a very slight case of keratosis pliaris (the appearance of rough, slightly red, bumps on the skin.) and the Flake Away always smooths it out with the first use. Breakfast Scrub, however, didn't make any difference whatsoever, my skin still feels and looks exactly the same.
The scent does not last at all. As soon as I was out of the shower and dry, there was no trace of the scent whatsoever, even when sniffing my skin really closely!
I'm quite surprised that this product has received so many five star reviews and wondering if I was doing something wrong as it really did not work for me. I'm very sad to be giving a Soap and Glory product such a low rating because I'm a huge fan. I'll still use the rest of the tub because I'm not one for wasting money and the smell is actually really delicious while in use. I just think it's a waste of time.