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StampedingTurtes

StampedingTurtes
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Member since: 11.08.2009

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      29.07.2012 21:22
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      These homeopathic pills are worth a try

      As a hayfever and allergy sufferer I have tried numerous products to cure, minimise or alleviate my horrible symptoms. These little pills are something which my Gran actually had when I was really young. I have since come across them again in Tesco and have begun to use them to see if they help.

      ~~~ Background ~~~
      New Era is a company specialising in homeopathic remedies. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information out there about the company. However, I can tell you that they are based in Hull in England and that the remedies come from combinations originally made by Dr Schuessler.

      Schuessler was a German medical doctor who endeavoured to find natural cues and remedies for his patients. His research was published in 1873 and led to a list of 12 "Biochemic" cell salts which were taken forward and used in alternative therapies and homeopathy.

      From what I can gather, New Era have been producing these homeopathic pills for a number of years going back to at least the 1960's or before. There does not seem to be a lot of information about them out there.

      ~~~ Combination H Tissue Salts for Allergy ~~~
      The pills come on a rather satisfying white plastic tube like tub with a clip on lid. The tube has the New Era text and logo in blue and contains some information about the pills including dosage instructions.

      The tub tells us that the Biochemic Remedies are "homoeopathically prepared from safe, natural and non-habit forming active ingredients". The back of the tub also contains a warning to visit your doctor if you have major symptoms and that you should check with your doctor if you are already using other medicines.

      These pills claim to reduce the symptoms of hayfever, and allergic rhinitis.

      ~~~ So what are they? ~~~
      I will not claim to know much about what a "tissue salt" is. Apparently, there are 12 salts which need to be in good balance within the cells of the body in order to achieve good health.

      The pills themselves are white and powdery. They are cylindrical in shape and measure about 5mm in diameter and 4mm in height. They feel quite soft although after trying to squash one between my thumb and forefinger I have found that they are pretty solid!

      Adult Dose: 4 tablets
      Child Dose: 2 tables
      3 doses per day or increase if needed.

      The instructions tell you to measure out a dose into the lid of the container. You are not supposed to touch them because touch can taint homeopathic remedies. You then tip the on to your tongue.

      When they are on your tongue you will feel them slowly dissolving and disappearing. It's a weird but rather enjoyable sensation! They don't fizz or anything, just softly dissolve. They taste very subtly sweet and when they dissolve the almost have the consistency of icing sugar. Although they are not ever nearly as sweet as that, I still think of icing sugar every time I take them.

      ~~~ Do they work? ~~~
      The short answer is "I don't know."

      They might well work. I take them in short bursts of a few days but I usually try other things too and something works. I would like to think that they do work, as when I take them I often find that I have less catarrh and my nose doesn't itch quite so much. I really hope they work because it seems like such a beautifully simple concept - balancing the salts in your cells.

      ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
      Whether these salts actually work or not, I will continue to take them. They are not harmful in any way and do not cause any side effects. If they work even a little then they are worth it.

      I also kind of enjoy the melting sensation of them. As soon as the little dry tablet touches the moisture in your mouth it just dissolves and disappears, kind of the way I hope my allergy symptoms will some day!

      I would recommend trying these for the sake of trying something natural and different to alleviate allergy symptoms.

      They cost £3.14 in Tesco when I bought them. They are available through various websites for £3 and a box contains 450 tablets.

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      • Monochrome Across Body Bag / Handbag / 58 Readings / 56 Ratings
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        29.07.2012 14:53
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        A very petty little bag with less than perfect buckle!

        I got this bag just before graduation. I needed a bag in which I could fit a small hairbrush, my phone, concealer, lip-gloss, perfume and some money. So just your general bag contents then. I also needed the bag to be small enough and smart enough to take into the ceremony and leave under my seat while I went up to get hit on the head with a cushion etc.

        ~~~ The Bag ~~~
        This bag has a long adjustable, across body strap with little hooked connectors so that it can be removed. There is also a small handle on top so that you can carry the bag like a little mini suitcase. All of the metal work on the bag is a gold colour. Inside of the bag is plain black and there is a decent sized zip pocket and a little pouch for your mobile phone. The black lining is made of 100% polyester and the outer is made of polyurethane. The outer part of the bag is quite shiny and has a snakeskin type pattern.

        The bag is quite solid and structured. It measures 22cm by 18.5cm and is 7cm deep. It is obviously reinforced and made to maintain its shape. This means that the bag looks really neat and square at all times...but it also means that its nigh on impossible to squeeze any extra items into it!

        ~~~ My Experience ~~~
        Before graduation, I had a little practice putting things in and seeing what would fit. Although the bag is a decent size, due to the rigid shape of it, it does not hold more than the essentials.

        I began to put all of my items in carefully. The fit quite nicely and I managed to buckle the bag using the little push lock buckle at the front. Great, it all fits. Cut to a week later and we are driving up University Avenue. I have taken my hair brush and perfume out of the bag to give my hair a quick once over and get a quick skoosh of perfume. My dad pulls in to the main gate to let me jump out while they find a space. I rush to put my perfume back in my bag and push the buckle down and... aaagh! It broke! Turns out the buckle is attached to the "lid" part of the bag rather precariously! It is attached using two rows of little metal teeth which are obviously clipped through the polyurethane material at the edge of the "lid" using some strong machine or pliers. Do I have pliers with me on graduation day? No! So the lid of the bag is flapping around all over the place and my hairbrush handle is sticking out. Hmm, not a good look for the splendour and glory of Bute Hall. So I had to quickly dump all of my stuff into a spare handbag (old faithful) that was kicking about the back of the car.

        I was pretty saddened to have to leave my very pretty but now unusable bag in the car while I went off to collect my robes and tickets! I promptly forgot about the bag in the hustle and bustle of the day.

        A week or so later I dug out the bag and my dad fixed it using super glue and pliers. I'm now very careful to only put the minimum number of things into the bag. On graduation day I'd had too much in it. It only all fit when it was carefully arranged. The stress of pushing the little buckle though when the bag was overfull was enough to undo the little metal teeth which held the buckle in place.

        ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
        The good things about this bag are numerous. It is comfortable to wear, it swings nicely off the shoulder and you have a handy little handle on top. You have a secure zip pocket for anything valuable and you also have a separate pouch for you mobile. The bag keeps its shape beautifully and looks really pretty for both day and night.

        Yes there are a few negatives - you have to be careful how you fill it before buckling or the buckle can break. It doesn't fit very much into it.

        I think the biggest negative for me was just the buckle going so easily. It wasn't pushed too hard, it was just slightly full and the buckle dropped off. I'm lucky enough to have a dad who can fix just about anything so the buckle on the bag is now about 100 times more secure than it was originally. And yet I'm still wary it will fall off!

        On the whole, I love the look of this bag, it's pretty and smart. I like the way it hangs on my shoulder and it's nice and structured. However, the dodgy buckle does ruin it slightly. So it's a choice... style or functionality.

        This bag cost £12.99 from New Look and it was also available in pink.

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        • Philips SHG5000 / Headphones / 43 Readings / 40 Ratings
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          27.07.2012 18:46
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          A great set of earphones

          I take my iPod everywhere with me, but I just got fed up with the rubbish Apple earphones that fell out of my ears if I moved at all and generally sounded a bit tinny. I have had a couple of sets of Philips earbuds now. These are the ones I have at the moment and they've been going strong for 2 years.

          ~~~ Product Description ~~~
          These earbuds come in a sealed white and clear plastic box which is sort of oblong/oval in shape - kind of looks like a giant pill. The neat, clean packaging was something which attracted me to them in the first place... along with the price. They were on offer at £7.99.

          Inside the box you get the earbuds which are connected by a long and very, very thin cable; 3 sets of rubber ear-bud thingys in 3 sizes and a little rectangular carrying case.

          The earphone bits themselves are black with little silver bits on the outside. The cables are black too and the main length is about 1 metre long which is huge! When I say they are thin, I really mean it. They are about 3mm thick. It feels like they could just snap in your hands. The good thing about them being so fine is that when you have the buds in your ears there is very little weight from the wires.

          ~~~ Using the earphones ~~~
          The earphones connect to your Mp3 player/iPod/laptop etc using a 3.5mm mini stereo jack. This means that they will fit into any device which has a headphone connections.

          On opening the packet I stupidly selected the larges ear buds - my logic was that the bigger they are, the better I can JAM them into my ears so that they don't fall out. Mistake. They were far too big to sit comfortably in my ears. They fell out easily. I changed over to the middle sized ones and these were much better, although I have since used the small ones too and these are great.

          The largest ear buds are just over 1cm in diameter (for the Dumbo and Big Ears amongst you), the middle sized ones are about 7mm (for the average Joe) and the small ones (for dainty little Thumbelina types) are about 5mm approximately.

          To put the bud on to the earphone you simply push it on. The bud is a little rubber cup shape which adheres to the moulded and ridged earphone very easily. To take a bud off and change it you simply pull it off. Easy!

          When you've chosen your preferred size of bud, you just push it on to the earphone, plug the jack into your musical device and you're ready to rock and roll! (cliché I know, I couldn't resist)

          To make sure that you are getting the correct stereo surround effect, Philips have very helpfully put little ridged dots on the phone that goes in your left ear. This means that you can tell which is which without even looking!

          ~~~ My experience ~~~
          I'm no sound expert and there are people who are qualified to judge these things, however, I feel I should discuss the sound quality from my own novice and uninformed perspective. For a start, because the bud goes into your ear, it manages to block out almost all other noise pollution, thus making these a great choice for commuters travelling on busy busses and trains. I myself used them on the horribly busy morning train to uni and I could hear my music perfectly while being completely unaware of the din going on around me!

          The quality of sound you get with these earphones is so much better than the Apple earphones I got with my iPod. Now, these guys are small...tiny infact which means less reverb/quicker vibration, so I didn't expect the bass to be particularly powerful. However, it IS powerful. No it's probably not the absolute best bass sound you can get but for the size of these earphones, it's pretty good.

          The bass sounds rich enough to really pull you into the music - think smooth dark chocolate. The mid-range of these earphones is very good too and they do well in representing the tones and pitches in the music. The treble sounds towards the high end of the spectrum are very good as, I suppose, you can expect from a small earphone. These earphones do well in giving a clear, crackle free sound. The sounds blend really well and at no time has anything sounded tinny or of poor quality. I would say that these earphones really excel in representing the range of sounds realistically. All of my music sounds just as good through these as it does through my (very high quality) speakers. To be honest I don't think you could ask for more in a set of earphones.

          One thing which these earphones lack which some may find off-putting is a volume control. However, it is no real loss because you can simply control the volume using your Mp3 player anyway.

          ~~~ Technical Specifications ~~~
          Although I am not an expert, some real experts might find the technical specs useful.

          From http:// reviews.cnet.com/headphones/ philips-shg5000-headphones/ 1707-7877_7-32340307.html (remove spaces)

          Type Headphones: Binaural
          Headphones Technology: Dynamic
          Connectivity Technology: Wired
          Sound Output Mode: Stereo
          Frequency Response: -23494.0 Hz
          Sensitivity: 102.0 dB
          Impedance: 16.0 Ohm
          Diaphragm Mylar - 0.4 in
          Magnet Material: Neodymium

          ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
          These are the perfect earphones for people on the go, travelling in busy situations etc. The earbuds stay in well when you select the correct size and the earphones produce excellent sound which have greatly exceeded my expectations for these tiny earbuds.

          These are certainly a good purchase and will last a long time as long as you look after the very thin cable!

          Mine cost me £7.99 on offer and they are available online for £14.99.

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          • More +
            26.07.2012 22:02
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            Great, comfortable lenses for astigmatism

            I've had my contact lenses for about two and a half years. When I first went to get contacts about 10 years ago, my only option was the hard kind and I didn't like them so I left it and assumed I would never be a contact lens wearer. Then two and a half years ago I decided to brave it out and try contacts (assuming it would be the hard ones). However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there had been big advances in the soft lens technology and manufacturing process and that they can now make soft toric lenses.

            ~~~ Why toric? ~~~
            Toric lenses are lenses which are not uniform in thickness. They are made so that one side is slightly thicker, and therefore heavier, than the other. This means that when the lens is in the eye, the heavier end positions itself as the bottom of the eye.

            Toric lenses are used for people who have astigmatism.

            (What is a stigmatism???)
            The word is actually astigmatism. A simple explanation is that an astigmatism means that instead of being spherical, the cornea or lens of the eye is rugby ball shaped, this causes blurring and generally diminishes the ability of the eye to focus correctly.

            Most contact lenses move around and turn on the eye throughout the day. People with nice spherical corneas don't notice this and it does not affect their vision. However, if you are unlucky enough to have astigmatism, your contact lens actually needs to contain two different powers across the horizontal and vertical lines of focus. This is why the toric lens is weighted. The thicker end makes the lens always sit in roughly the same position on the eye - thus correcting the vision of your wonkily shaped cornea. If it were to spin and move like non-toric lenses, the wearers vision would be constantly blurred.

            Simply put, toric lenses need to always sit in a specific place in on the eye with very little room for movement.

            ~~~ Description of the lenses and packaging ~~~
            These lenses come in a box which contains 3 little blister packs which are connected with thick foil lids. These little blister type pots each contain one tinted lens in buffered saline. Each box contains lenses of the same strength, so you usually receive them from the optician with a little "R" or "L" on the box so that you know which eye they go in. Many people don't realise that contact lenses need to be tuned very closely to the prescription for each eye, so you would not have good vision of you used two lenses designed for your right eye or vice versa. This is even more important for people with astigmatism as the differences between their right and left eyes are usually more significant.

            Now, I said that the lenses are tinted. They are very slightly blue in colour if you look at them from the side. I assume this vague tint is simply to make them easier to detect when they are floating around in a tub of solution. The colour tint does not interfere with your vision or your eye colour.

            ~~~ My Experience ~~~
            On starting a new pair of lenses, I tea or a "left" pot from one box and a "right" pot from the other box.

            When opening the pots you have to gently peel back the foil top. It is difficult to open them without spilling some of the saline solution; however I have never actually spilled a lens out along with it (although this is always my fear!).

            I take the lens out with my right index finger and thumb. I always put the lens in my left palm and rinse it with Opti-Free lens solution although you don't really need to with a fresh lens.

            When you open a new lens, you will notice that they are really soft and kind of cushiony. They feel fairly thick and I think they must absorb some moisture. I really love opening a fresh pair of lenses! When handling these lenses you can feel quite easily that they are toric and that one side or the lens is thicker.

            As I am use to putting in contacts now, I usually just hold my eye open with my left hand, and with the lens sitting like a little cup on my right index finger, I pop it into my eye at the side - you have fewer nerve endings on the white of your eye so you are less inclined to blink. It takes about 30 seconds. I always position my toric lens so that the thick end will be at the bottom of my eye, however, if I forget, gravity usually sorts it out for me. I can speed the settling process up my blinking and looking up and down and to the sides. You know your toric lenses are perfectly positioned when your vision is clear and sharply focused. If your lens is simply refusing to sit in the correct place, it is possible to move it gently using your finger until you have sharp focus.

            These lenses remain comfortable and moist all day. Sometimes they lose focus due to the positioning changing but I can usually fix that quickly. Once the lenses are in you can't feel them, but you can see them. If you look at the edge of your iris, you can see the edge of the lens, particularly the thick end of the lens; but you can really only see it if you look for it.

            Once these lenses are in, my vision in clear and sharp and remains so all day. If I am in particularly dry climates or air conditioned or windy areas, they do tend to feel dry towards the end of the day. To give your eyes a rest and to restore moisture to the lens, it is usually helpful to take the lenses out and soak them in solution for a short time. I do this very rarely if I have to. However, usually my eyes feel fine well beyond the 10 hour suggested usage time.

            The only precaution I would give is that if you have had a particularly tiring or straining day and you then have to drive at night, you can sometimes be affected by slight glare or eyestrain which you would not get if you were wearing glasses.

            Taking them out is simple. I hold my eye open with my left hand and I use my thumb and index finger to slide the lens to the outer corner of my eye and "pinch" it. It comes away really easily.

            As with all monthly lenses, you need to clean and store them before and after use. When I take these lenses out one at a time, I clean them by placing the lens in the palm of my hand and pouring a little solution on. I then rub it lightly and place the lens in a lens case which is usually provided by the optician. The lens case is clearly marked so that you know which side is right and which is left (right is usually the coloured side). Once I have deposited my lenses into the correct compartments of the case I fill each compartment with water and put on the lids.

            With these lenses, I find that they stay moist and fresh throughout the month, but that the cushiony thickness that I talked about earlier tends to diminish as time goes on. It is usually pretty easy to tell when you need new lenses.

            I have to admit that I have worn my lenses beyond the recommended 28 days. They are usually ok but they're effectiveness does diminish slightly. However the main reason for NOT wearing them beyond the 28 days is to reduce the risk of eye infections so I really don't recommend wearing them beyond 28 days.

            ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
            These lenses work really well for me. They are very effective in correcting my vision and they are always comfortable and easy to wear. I forget that I have them in and have been guilty of falling asleep wearing them (there is nothing more confusing and uncomfortable as waking up with perfect vision and then realising your eyes feel like they are full of gravel because your lenses have dried out).

            These lenses (and most contacts) are often difficult to put in and take out at first. Because of the different thicknesses in these, it can add to the difficulty by trying to get them in the correct position. However, with practice, they become really simple to put in and even easier to take out. If you ever have that moment of just not being able to get a grip of the lens to remove it I would advise you to stay calm, go and get a cup of tea or take a short walk, come back, try again. Usually problems with contacts come from panic or a mental block, not any real issue with the lens sticking.

            Contact lenses cannot get lost in your eye as the eyeball is surrounded by muscle. They can move up or down but not get lost behind your eye. I have never experienced these lenses sliding too far up or down and I suspect it is because of the toric design. They are designed to stay in place much more than other lenses.

            I have nothing but positive experiences of these lenses and I would highly recommend them for anyone with astigmatism who is tired of wearing glasses. Yes, you need to persevere at first and you will probably have a couple of panic stricken GET THIS THING OUT OF MY EYE NOW!!!!!!!! Moments, but they are all par for the course in trying contacts and in the end, they provide clearer vision than glasses and are unobstructed - you have excellent peripheral vision with contacts.

            These monthly lenses cost about £25 a month from most opticians, however, I use a very good, local, well trusted optician and they are a couple of pounds more expensive from here. Yes the expenses can add up if you have lenses and also have to buy glasses, but it is worth if I feel to have the freedom to move away from glasses if you want to.

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              25.07.2012 22:08
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              A great plug and play hard drive!

              I bought a new laptop a few months ago and I decided to replace my old Western Digital external hardrive with a new, larger capacity one.

              One of the reasons I was draw to this Buffalo one is because it is a "plug and play" type. You don't need to install any software to make it work. This was one of my biggest gripes about the Western Digital one so this one sounded perfect for me.

              ~~~ Product information and technical specifications ~~~
              I am not particularly technically minded but I have an okay understanding so bear with me.

              The Buffalo mini-station was made in China for Buffalo which is part of Melco Holdings Inc.

              The hard-drive measures 10.5cm by 8 cm by 1.5cm so as you can see, it's quite small and neat. It comes with a short USB cable to connect it to your laptop.

              The size of this hard-drive is 1 terabyte - that is 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. In real-speak, the ministration can hold 24,000 songs or 280,000 photos. Basically, it's big enough to back up your laptop and have loads of space left over! The drives uses a USB 2 connection and seems really quite during file transfer.

              As you will be aware, many of the larger external hard-drives require an external power supply from the mains. One of the things I liked about this one is that it does not require extra power; the USB connection does it all.

              The Buffalo MiniStation is compatible with Windows7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Mac OS 10.4 or later.

              Buffalo provides a 2 year warranty for all of its products which gives some peace of mind!

              ~~~ My Experience ~~~
              I ordered the Buffalo hard-drive from Amazon and it arrived in a small, neat box. Inside the box were the hard-drive, USB cable, warranty info and a set-up guide.

              The set-up guide is basic - it basically just says plug the USB into the computer and into the hard-drive. It gives you information about how to get on to the user manual which comes pre-installed on your Buffalo.

              On plugging it in, my laptop installed the device drivers in about 30 seconds and that familiar window popped up asking what I would like to do. I chose "Open Folder to View Files" and found the user manual etc. I was really relived to find that this hard-drive works just like a USB pen drive. You can just click through the contents in the file folder.

              I began to back up my computer. You can run an automatic back-up or you can do it manually. I actually decided to do it manually because it was so easy and gave me greater control of what I was backing up and what I needed to delete.

              To copy a file on to this hard drive you just open the window on your computer and then copy and paste whatever you need into the Buffalo folder. It is ridiculously simple. It also works really quickly. I managed to copy and paste a couple of thousand photos and songs and video files on to my Buffalo in less than 30 minutes. It seems like a really quick, smooth transfer with no glitches of hiccups.

              While the Buffalo is plugged in you will feel the internal mechanism spinning. I am always wary about moving things like this while they are "going". I accidentally knocked my Buffalo while I had files transferring and nothing happened! They just continued to transfer over quickly and smoothly. Perhaps it was just lucky, but on some other hard drives this would have led to an error message!

              Also, while it is plugged in you will see a blue light in the bottom section of the drive. This is quite useful to let you know that the drive is working but it is not entirely necessary and is perhaps there partly to make it look pretty, which it does.

              The drive is almost completely silent while it is running and seems to be entirely unobtrusive. It does not slow my computer down or get in the way, it just sits like a silent sentinel, backing up my important information. So far I have backed up my whole laptop and I have more than 60% of the memory left. The hard-drive still runs quickly and I can access information by simply searching within the hard driver or by actually clicking through folders. It's completely simple to use.

              To disconnect the drive you just do the same as you would with a pen drive and eject it. It ejects quickly and easily. During periods of long use it may become a little bit warm but not to any great degree.

              I like to keep my Mini-station safe in a little specially designed shell type case which I got from Amazon for £7.

              ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
              This is a very simple, efficient and reliable hard drive. It is highly effective for people like me who live with a pen drive attached to them and enjoy the simplicity of "plug and play" technology. It feels like a great, reliable place to store all of my important information and is certainly very handy for backing up files and organising my laptop.

              I highly recommend this External hard drive. It is so easy to use and there are no clunky, extra software programmes to run. You just plug in and use it. Simple, easy, quick. If you are looking for a good external drive, this is definitely one to go for.

              The Buffalo Mini-Station is available on Amazon for £79.99.

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                25.07.2012 14:56
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                Great shoe for general walking etc, not a sports shoe.

                I feel I should preface this review by saying that my mum has the ladies version, I have the child's version and my fiancée has the male version, these shoes are all the same! It's just the colours and sizes that vary depending on gender, therefore I hope that this review is relevant nonetheless.

                These are my fiancées favourite trainers in the world and I suppose they are mine too. He got a pair about 4 years ago and has had another 2 pairs since. I got a pair not long after him - he was always going on about how comfy they were - and I still have that same pair. The reason I have bought 1 pair and he has had 3 in total? He wears them into the ground. He didn't have them off his feet because they were so comfy! Being a girl, I had a little more to consider than just comfort and therefore my Superstars have not been worn as much as they might have been.

                ~~~ Product Description ~~~
                Adidas Superstar trainers come in a variety of colours but the two most common are white with black detail and black with white detail. Mine are the white with black variety. A really distinguishing feature of Superstars is the "shell toe". This is a hard, round, rubber shell over the toe area. It is usually textured in some way. Mine are textured with hundreds of tiny little criss-crosses which are a pain to clean!

                Superstars have a thick (about an inch), solid rubber sole which is textured and patterned on the bottom. The white outer is made from leather, the shell toe, from rubber while the inner is "textile" which I assume is just man made. The shoes are very lightly padded and the sole is shaped slightly to offer your foot maximum support.

                Adidas offer a very wide range of other colour combinations including white with pink, silver, blue, red or green detail. Red with blue detail; blue with pale blue detail... the list goes on. The detail can also be leather, suede or manmade. Personally I like the suede but that only seems to be available in the adult sizes (and I have child's feet). You can also customise a pair on their website.

                ~~~ My Experience ~~~
                After my boyfriend got his Superstars, my old Converse trainers (not Chucks!) started to fall apart. I liked the look of the Superstars (very Brit-pop) and he was always going on about how comfy they were, so I decided to get a pair myself. Now, being a size 2.5uk is usually a total headache for me when it comes to buying shoes. They never fit, I rarely get nice high heels that fit, I hate it. However, when buying branded trainers, my tiny feet always work to my advantage. I got my children's Superstars for £20 while other people have to pay £45 and above! Children's Superstars are exactly the same as the adult version in terms of shape, materials and general look of the shoe. The only difference is that they have different colour combinations available if you are buying men's, women's or children's Superstars.

                When putting the shoes on I was pleasantly surprised to find that they fit snugly around my heel and ankle - usually all shoes are too wide here. They give excellent support around this part of your foot and feel really secure. The lightly shaped foot bed is excellent for providing support for your arches and generally cradling your foot. Up towards the toe end of the shoe you will find that you have lots of wiggle room for your toes. The rounded shell toe means that there seems to be a lot of space here, but the shoes fit really well and are extremely comfortable.

                Now, as a girl, used to wearing wee flat pumps, Converse and dainty high heels, Superstars can feel a little bit clumpy at times. They are thick, fairly heavy and quite wide around the toe so it takes a little bit of getting used to. However, they are so incredibly comfortable. I can vouch for this because I have nightmare feet. I have skinny, narrow heels and ankles and really narrow feet with high arches. Hardly any shoes are as comfortable as these! They have never given me a blister; they have never given me sore feet. They are always comfy and soft and easy to walk for miles in.

                My fiancée has had the same experience. His Superstars are the most comfortable shoes he owns. He wears them all the time because they are so comfortable. The only problem is that he wears them until they literally fall off of his feet.

                The first two pairs he had fell apart through complete over use. They were hard wearing, tough, been through all sorts of adventures with him and eventually had to be replaced because they were - to use a good Scottish word - manky. They had mud ingrained in them and they were looking basically, a bit over used. However, the third pair he got at Christmas (a present and running joke from yours truly) has actually started to come apart at the soles. This was a complete surprise for us because this has never happened before. Mine are still going strong after 4 years and his very well worn pairs certainly lasted through much more use than most trainers would.

                I am not sure how or why this latest pair have given up the ghost so quickly. The sole was literally flapping off after about 4 months. It looks like bad workmanship on the shoes to be honest. It is disappointing and especially annoying as I did not keep the receipt, such was my faith in the product.

                My mum's Superstars were bought around the same time as mine and again, they are completely fine. We are at a loss as to whether Adidas have perhaps begun to skip on production value or maybe this was a one off fluke. I'm leaning towards the fluke because so many people have had such great wear out of these trainers.

                ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
                These are still my favourite trainers of this kind and I will continue to wear mine. After the falling apart fiasco my fiancée has bought I different style of Adidas trainers which are also very comfortable. I think that these are an excellent, comfortable trainer which are good for general sport/walking etc. They are usually excellent quality and feel really good on.

                The one thing I would say is that if you buy a pair, keep your receipt incase anything happens because although they are a very well trusted, high quality brand, the unexpected can happen due to poor workmanship.

                I was going to give these shoes 5 stars for excellent comfort, value and durability but because of what happened with the latest pair, I am deducting a star.

                Adidas Superstars are available from most sport shops and online. Prices vary according to style, size and whether it is men's, women's or children's. My advice is that if you have up to size 4 feet, check out the children's ones first as they are always cheaper even although they are exactly the same!

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                23.07.2012 15:02
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                A great, multi-use toy

                My lovely little dog is old now and doesn't play quite as much as she used to. A couple of years ago when Bonnie was a little bit younger, we got this for he to play with and we were looking for something that could be thrown and also used in tug games and general rough and tumble.

                ~~~ Information ~~~
                The Trixie Natural Rubber ring that I have measures 15cm in diameter and it is a dark red colour. It's about 3 inches thick and feels really tough. My dog has really sharp teeth and she can chew through just about anything, but she hasn't left anything more than very shallow, vague scratches on this!

                The Trixie Ring is a really basic but versatile dog toy that requires some imagination from the owner. I don't know about you but my dog seems to like the smell of rubber - sniffing car tyres etc. So this ring really interested her from the start.

                ~~~ Games ~~~
                We like to play fetch and this ring is brilliant for that. If you throw the ring so that it lands vertically it bounces very nicely giving your dog a little bit of challenge in catching it. It's also great to throw horizontally like a Frisbee. The dog can run and jump to catch it in her mouth. We didn't often do this as Bonnie is a Sheltie and they are quite small and fine boned wee things. We felt that the ring was too heavy for her to catch in a Frisbee fashion so we mostly threw it so that it would bounce before she caught it.

                As with all games of fetch...sometimes she brought it back...sometime it morphed into another favourite game.

                Chase me!
                Yup, Bonnie would catch the Ring and bound off round the garden, running in huge loops and circles to avoid being caught with her treasure! Eventually she would get fed up and drop the ring for a while and go and sniff around.

                Tug
                Bonnie also liked to chew on the ring and play tugging games. It is a very strong rubber and tugging games do not seem to put any real stress on the rubber. It is flexible and malleable to an extent but afterwards it bounces right back to its original shape.

                Hide the ring
                We got hours of fun from hiding the ring and getting Bonnie to go and look for it. She would sniff around and really use her brain to move things or search in completely random places until she found it. This game always inevitably led to the chasing game for a while!

                ~~~ Convenience ~~~
                This is a really convenient toy to take with you if you go anywhere with your dog because you can play such a variety of games - it's like having a ball, a chew toy and a tug rope all in one. It is great if you are, say, going away for a short break with your dog and have very little room to pack.

                Yes it's not particularly pretty or interesting to look at but dogs couldn't care less, all they want is someone to play with them, so this toy fits the bill nicely as it lets you play a lot of different games with your dog. I guarantee you your dog won't mind that it's the same toy you use for all of the games, dogs just don't think like that!

                The Ring is really easy to clean, we've had it tailed through mud and sand and all sorts but a simple rinse with plain water gets everything off.

                ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
                Overall this was an excellent value purchase which game us hours of fun playing a wide variety of games. The material is tough and safe of dogs, although Bonnie chewed at this; no little pieces came off to choke her. It stayed whole and soft and bouncy.

                I think this is a great toy if you are willing to use your imagination and come up with a variety of games to play with it. It's basic, yes, but your imagination can make it into something really fun and active. Dogs love to use their problem solving skills so playing games where you hide the ring, mixed with games of catch and fetch are not only great fun, but they are really good for your dogs overall wellbeing, and who can argue with that!

                I got our Ring in a local pet shop for about £3.50 but you can get them online for £2.

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                  22.07.2012 17:37
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                  An effective way to help you to cope with stress

                  ~~~ What? ~~~
                  Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic solution which is used to give a feeling of calmness. It comes two types of bottle, a dropper or a spray. This review will cover the spray bottle.

                  Rescue Remedy is used to induce calmness and relieve mild stress and anxiety. The claim is that it can help you to get through stressful situations and nervousness. It is

                  ~~~ A Quick Background ~~~
                  Rescue Remedy was developed in the 1930's by Dr Edward Bach who was a doctor and homeopath. It seems he was dissatisfied with pure medicine and wanted to treat the patient as a whole - physically and emotionally. He eventually moved away from medicine and focused his efforts purely on homeopathy and the power to improve the lives of people.

                  "Every Single person has a life to live, a work to do, a glorious personality, a wonderful individually." (Dr Edward Bach)

                  Sounds like a nice guy!

                  ~~~ How to use ~~~
                  Rescue Spray is simple to use. You simply spray 2 times into your mouth. People use it for different reasons. If you know you have a stressful event coming up (job interview, driving test etc) it is usually helpful to start using Rescue Remedy 3 days in advance. This lets it get into your system and have the maximum effect.

                  If something stressful has happened out of the blue, you can use Rescue Remedy to try to help to calm you.

                  You can use Rescue Remedy as little of as often as you like, it is not harmful and is very gentle - you won't overdose. However if you are going to be driving it is best to stick to the instructions on the bottle (2 sprays) as it contains grape alcohol.

                  My advice would be to use it three or four times each day for a few days leading up to your stressful event.

                  ~~~ Effects of Rescue Remedy ~~~
                  Rescue remedy is a really safe and gentle way to maintain calmness and control anxiety. The product claims to "work on emotional imbalances brought on by everyday stressful situations". Sounds a bit vague, I know, so here are some personal examples.

                  Throughout my course at Uni, we constantly had to deliver presentations and seminars. This was something extremely daunting during the first year or two and someone brought in Rescue Remedy. We were all really nervous about a huge 50 minute presentation we each had to do individually within seminar classes. It was horrific; I wanted to vomit at the thought of it!

                  I thought I would try Rescue Remedy for a couple of days before the presentation. I used it several times a day and on the day of the presentation I think I drank almost a whole bottle! If you think Rescue Remedy will take away all of your nerves and worries you will be disappointed. I was still petrified, however, I went in, delivered the presentation and got and A1 for my troubles! I'm not saying that Rescue Remedy made me feel less nervous, but I think it helped me to control my nerves better in order to do what I had to do.

                  Similarly, my friend and I were down in London recently to interview for jobs. It was a big opportunity - a job in Singapore. We both really wanted it; we were terrified and didn't sleep a wink the night before. We giggled and mumbled and were generally incoherent before our big interviews - genuinely the most nerves I have ever experienced. However, we took our Rescue Remedy faithfully and as if by magic, when I went in to do my lesson demonstration and give my interview, time slowed down. I was able to push my nerves out of my mind and do what I had to do with absolute clarity of thought. Don't get me wrong, there was a technical glitch and I had to SING classical music to them as part of the lesson and it did not all go perfectly, but I managed it. My friend had a similar hiccup involving her PE things but she managed too. Now I'm not saying that we wouldn't have managed without the Rescue Remedy, but if it helped even a little then I am grateful believer in its effects. A month later we both found out that we had got the jobs - perhaps the Rescue Remedy helped just enough to give us a form of calmness and clarity; and therefore, an edge to get the jobs!

                  My Rescue Remedy will be coming with me to Singapore as I embark on this new and frankly terrifying adventure. Maybe it's all placebo, I don't know, but if it works, I'm going to keep using it!

                  ~~~ What is it like? ~~~
                  Rescue Remedy smells rather strongly of alcohol. That's because the solution contains 27% grape alcohol (brandy). It tastes vaguely of alcohol too but kind of... flowery. It is also somehow rather satisfying to spray it into your mouth.

                  The spray bottle is really handy. Just put it in your bag or pocket and it's easy to use too, just spray and go as opposed to the dropper with you need to drop into your mouth or into water and then drink... not so pleasant as it makes the water just taste weird. The spray is fast, clean and convenient.

                  ~~~ But how will I feel when I take it? ~~~
                  You won't feel tired or sluggish as I originally thought. It doesn't make you sleepy, drowsy, dopey or any of the other Dwarves. You do not feel instantly calm or less anxious. It doesn't work like that. It's not a quick fix.

                  My impression from my own experience is that it works without you really knowing it works. It doesn't suddenly make you feel like you can conquer the world, but it very slightly and gradually seems to make things easier to deal with. I was still nervous for my interview, but right at the point of fight or flight, I was able to do exactly what I had to with clarity and confidence. Yes most of this was probably my own preparation, but I suspect the rescue remedy helped me to access my thoughts calmly in some way.

                  It seems to work without really doing much at all, all you see is the end product, after the stress, and you think "I did it!" and that's it. It's basically just a little, gentle, helping hand.

                  ~~~ Ingredients ~~~
                  As I have mentioned, it is a homeopathic remedy and contains alcohol. The ingredients are as follows.

                  5x dilution of flower extracts of Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum in a grape alcohol solution.

                  I can hear you say (or sing) "This means nothing to me(eeeeeeeee OHH VIENNAAA!)" *ahem* sorry, couldn't help myself.

                  So here is a breakdown of what each of the extracts are for.

                  Rock Rose: For terror and panic (like when you go into an interview and have to sing "2001 A Space Odyssey")
                  Impatiens: For irritation and impatience (like when you've explained a new concept 3 million times in 3 million different ways and there's still that one child who goes "What? I wasn't listening")
                  Clematis: for inattentiveness and to counteract faintness (like when you want to pull a Basil Fawlty and just faint to get out of a difficult situation)
                  Star of Bethlehem: For shock (like when you hear that you actually got the job!)
                  Cherry Plum: For irrational thoughts and lack of self control (handy for when you consider running under a bus to get out of doing an interview)

                  Rescue Remedy is made by soaking the flowers (Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry Plum) in water and either boiling or heating the water. The water is then filtered with brandy (to preserve) and this forms a "Mother Tincture". This is then diluted with the grape alcohol to make the final product. Clearly it's a little more involved than my quick description, but this gives an idea of the process.

                  ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
                  I firmly believe that Rescue Remedy has a positive effect in managing mild stress and stressful situations. I have experienced the benefits myself and although I don't know exactly how much may be the placebo effect, I think that if it works, then it's worthwhile, placebo or not! However I do believe that it is much more than just placebo.

                  If you are looking for a mild, non-medicated way to handle mild stress, this is a wonderful thing to try. I highly recommend it.

                  You can buy Rescue Remedy Spray from Lloyds Pharmacy, Boots, Tesco and most big name pharmacies as well as Amazon and from the Bach website.

                  The price is usually around £6.99 for a 20ml bottle. This bottle will last you a year or more with regular use, so it's extremely worthwhile!

                  For more information visit: http://www.nelsonsnaturalworld.com/en-gb/uk/our-brands/rescue-remedy/

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                    20.07.2012 22:25
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                    Excellent all round sneaks

                    I got my first Chuck Taylor Hi Tops for going on holiday when I was 16. I've always loved Converse and have had a variety of different Converse shoes over the years. My Chuck Taylors are one of my favourites because I have really small feet so I struggle to make some shoes stay on. These, however, do because they are Hi-Tops.

                    ~~~ Intro ~~~

                    My decision to buy Chucks was because they are made of soft, comfortable and breathable canvas. Ideal for warmer climates. I chose the turquoise colour although I now also have red and purple.

                    Converse Hi-Tops have a very distinctive look. They were originally designed to hook the basketball market so they have become the quintessential basketball shoe. They have the Converse all stars logo on the inside ankle of each shoe and are usually always brightly coloured canvas with white laces, a white toe and sole, although variations are available!

                    ~~~ My Experience ~~~
                    My Chuck Taylors turned out to be one of the best purchases I ever made. I took them on holiday and had them on all day every day. We did a lot of walking around in Barcelona and surrounding areas. It was enough to reduce my mum's feet to blisters. However, my feet were safe and comfy in my Chucks. They were worn on the beach in sand, in the water; walking around dusty streets etc and they were fine! I put them in the washing machine and they came out good as new, no stains, no smell, just perfectly comfortable and fresh shoes!

                    As you will probably know, lots of whiny teenagers decide to wear Converse along with skinny jeans and checked shits. Please don't let this put you off a really great shoe! They were originally an athletic shoe and the comfort and diversity of uses for them just shows that.

                    After my first experience of Converse High tops on holiday, I decided to invest in a second pair, this time in red. One of the things I love about my high tops is that they really "hug" your feet and ankles. Your ankles are lightly supported and feel secure and cared for. I have tiny feet (a uk 2.5) and they are very narrow. I really struggle to find shoes that fit and are comfortable; however, these really do the trick. I usually buy my Converse either 1 size or half a size smaller than my usual size. My Chuck Taylors are a uk 2 and they fit perfectly. I think perhaps Converse make their shoes slightly longer and narrower. This means that as long as I get a smaller size, their fit my feet in length AND width... a rare occurrence.

                    I think it is always wise to try on Converse before you buy them as they are not in the same dimensions as other shoes so you'll need to make sure they fit your own feet well.

                    ~~~ Product info ~~~
                    Chuck Taylor All-stars are made from a canvas outer and a cotton inner - this means that the outside is hard weaning and fairly stain resistant, while the inside is soft, comfortable and breathable. They have a white edged brown rubber sole which has the converse logo on the bottom and provides a 1 inch thick, springy cushion to walk on.

                    Because the shoes are made of canvas they are not waterproof, however you can always spray them with a waterproofing spray which will make them lightly waterproof, however, they hold up really well in wet weather, yes your feet will get wet, but it doesn't ruin the shoes!

                    You can get Converse Chuck Taylor Hi Tops from Amazon UK for between £24 and £70.99. Bizarre price range! You can also get them from places like Sports Direct, Schuh and JJB. I would advise you to check out the website at https://www.converse.co.uk/ for a wide range of Converse shoes.

                    ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
                    They are a great shoe to have in your cupboard for the summer due to their light, breathable material and they are always comfy and dependable. Although I am not big on brands, this is one brand that I will always buy. No other sneakers are as comfortable, well fitting and durable as good old Converse Chuck Taylors. Some lesser brands of Hi Tops can tend to split or come apart at the seams where the ankle bends. They also tend to be made of lower quality material than converse and this can lead to split soles and fraying laces as well as stained fabric. If you are going for Hi Tops, always get Converse!

                    Converse Chuck Taylor Hi Tops are an excellent, high quality basketball shoe or sneaker. They are great for general wear, walking and sports. They do not have the cushioning and impact resistance of other sports trainers but for general sports they are fine. They are also comfortable and stylish to wear with jeans and great all round shoes (I would wear them under my wedding dress if I could get away with it!)

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                      20.07.2012 21:00
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                      Excellent value and good quality!

                      I have had my little wireless mouse from Microsoft for about 3 years now I think! I had a logitek one before this one and it lasted about 6 months before packing in, so I decided to spend a little bit more money and get a decent brand and it has certainly paid off.

                      ~~~ Product description ~~~
                      The mouse comes in a little, compact, pyramid shaped box with the traditional Microsoft logo and branding on it. You do have to kind of gnaw and chew your way through some of the plastic packaging with a pair of scissors (why do they always make things like this impossible to open?) but once you get inside you are rewarded with your cute little compact mouse and a great little tiny compact USB connection.

                      The mouse is just under 5 inches long and 3 inches wide and slightly oval shaped. It is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably into your hand. The top and sides are flat, matt black plastic and the border around the top of the mouse is shiny black plastic. The buttons are incorporated into the mouse so the top is smooth and curved and very neat and tidy. The little roller at the top is grey and works for scrolling and click and dragging. The USB connection is 1cm by 1.5 cm but when plugged into the laptop it only protrudes by less than 1cm. This is really useful for when you are using your laptop on the go as there is no danger of you catching the USB on anything or breaking it as it is so neatly placed.

                      Turning the mouse over, you will see a little flat sliding on/off switch and the laser. There is also a compact little battery compartment for 1 AA battery. The little USB transceiver can be stored inside your mouse in the battery compartment. This mouse is much lighter than most that I have tried and is an excellent portable or permanent mouse for your computer or laptop.

                      ~~~ Usage ~~~
                      The mouse takes 1 AA battery. I always use good quality batteries and 1 battery will last me around 6 months (or more) which is in my opinion, excellent value considering I always forget to switch it off.

                      When you plug it in, the compute makes that reassuring "du-dum" noise and automatically installs the driver software. The software is compatible with Windows 7, Vista and XP and with Mac OS X v10.4x -10.6x.

                      The mouse is an optical mouse with a 2.4 GHz wireless connection. This means that the mouse works from a distance of up to 30 feet. It is best used on a matt mouse-mat designed for this type of mouse as if you use it on a reflective surface or a highly patterned surface it will cause interference. You can see this as your cursor will be less accurate or will move around incrementally on its own.

                      Speaking of cursor accuracy, the tech specs tell me that the cursor accuracy is 1000 DPI which means 1000 dots per inch. My own experience of this excellent mouse tells me that 1000 DPI must be very good, because this is the most accurate and responsive mouse I have ever used. As you move it the cursor respond in perfect synch. It rarely tracks or misses a movement and the buttons are smooth, solid and bouncy enough and they click in a very satisfying manner.

                      I have to admit that this mouse is really easy and quick to install and use, its smooth and simple and comfortable.

                      ~~~ Price and Availability ~~~
                      The Microsoft Wireless Mobile 1000 costs £10.99 on Amazon uk. I got mine for £15.97 in Tesco. It is widely available in electronic shops although Amazon will likely always have the best price.

                      ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
                      This is a great little compact mouse which I use every day. I have had no problems at all with this mouse and would highly recommend it. It has seen me through assignments and dissertations as well as messing around on the internet and it's still going strong. It is solid and reliable and can withstand the normal rigours of daily use.

                      It is comfortable to use and provides smooth and reliable interface with the computer. The long battery life provides good value and the design of the mouse makes it extremely portable for your laptop.

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                        20.07.2012 10:32
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                        Please don't be drawn in by the hype, its a protector, not a healer!

                        I have to admit, I'm always drawn in by the cute little Vaseline Lip Therapy tins. They fool me into thinking I'm not just slicking on a barrier of petrolium Jelly on to my lips... well almost.

                        ~~~ What's it for? ~~~
                        Vaseline Lip Therapy is a little pocket sized tin of Vaseline with added extras (in this case, Aloe Vera among other things) which is handy and convenient for your pocket or handbag.

                        Although it is called Lip Therapy, it's not REALLY especially for your lips and can be used just like normal Vaseline but with the added benefit of soothing Aloe Vera.

                        ~~~ Packaging, Lip Therapy Range and Ingredients ~~~
                        Lip Therapy comes in a little 20g tin and this is really part of the charm. We all love little retro tins of things. The Aloe version comes in a dark green tin with the traditional Vaseline logo on the front. The tin measures about 5cm in diameter and just under 2cm deep. It's the perfect size for jeans pockets or handbag. Even although the tin is fairy compact and cute, there's still more than enough Vaseline to see you through - I don't think I've ever finished a tin...although the Aloe one comes close as it's the most versatile of the Lip Therapy range along with the Original variety. I have used it to protect blisters, to grease my clarinet, to protect my eyebrows while I wax stray hairs...

                        Vaseline Lip Therapy has rather an extensive range of products.

                        Original Petroleum Jelly - Blue tin
                        Contains pure petroleum jelly and acts as a barrier.

                        Rosy Lips - Pink tin
                        Really subtly tints your lips
                        Contains sweet almond oil for a little moisture

                        Cocoa Butter - Brown Tin
                        Contains cocoa butter to condition the skin

                        Sun Protection - Yellow tin
                        Contains SPF 15 for sun protection

                        Creme Brulee - Brown and cream tin
                        Scented to smell like creme bruleé

                        and of course, Aloe Vera - Green tin
                        Ingredients: Petrolatum, aroma, isopropyl myristate, aloe barbadensis, citral, citronellol, eugenol, limonene, linalool.

                        I think it's important to know what you are putting on your lips, so here's a quick breakdown.

                        First of all, you might think "Oh, thats full of chemicals!" and it kind of is... but the main ingredient, petrolatum is the petroleum part, the part that acts as a barrier.
                        The Aroma is to make it smell nice because REAL aloe vera certainly does NOT smell nice.
                        Isopropyl myristate is used to help absorbtion through the skin.
                        Aloe barbadensis is the Aloe component used for soothing and healing.
                        Citral has a lemoy scent and slight lemony taste so this is purely for that.
                        Citronellol comes from citreonella oil.
                        Eugenol has slight antiseptic qualities.
                        Limoneneis, again, a citrussy scent and linalool is also used to scent.

                        As you can see from the list, the main components apart from the petrolatum and aloe are all to do with scent and trying to make this product appealing... so no real benefits for your lips there.

                        The product does smell nice though! It smells slightly citrussy (not surprising if you look at ingredients) and very slightly of Aloe.

                        ~~~ Use and Effectiveness ~~~
                        The Lip Therapy range is marketed as something which is really good for your lips. But it's kind of like the Emperor's New Clothes. Everyone THINKS it's great for their lips, but it really isn't that wonderful. You see, petroleum - Vaseline - is a barrier. It is NOT absorbed into the body. It does not moisturise on it's own. It CAN help to lock moisture in, but there has to be some moisture there in the first place to do that. So putting Vaseline on already dry, cracked and chapped lips won't really do them much good beyond slightly softening the cracks. Vaseline however, is an excellent protector. So if, for example, you are going out in icy wind and snow and you have already healthy lips, then Vaseline is a good thing to put on as a barrier to protect your lips so that they don't become cracked and chapped.

                        This vaseline with Aloe Vera is slightly more beneficial for your lips than plain old Vaseline as Aloe has excellent healing properties, however, it is still not particularly effective for really dry lips. It's fine as something you put on when your lips are already healthy and soft. Then it simply locks in the moisture and gives your lips a little shine.

                        Some people who take Racataine for acne find Vaseline useful for their lips, but I would argue that dry cracked lips really need something much closer to the natural make up of the skin. Something which can be absorbed readily to moisturise and soften. Cocoa butter for example.

                        Having used Aloe Lip Therapy several times, I have to say it is not particularly effective. The jelly is much softer than some other Vaseline forms. Is seems a little bit smoother too and will probably be absorbed slightly better than the other Vaseline Lip products. However, it is still purely a barrier. I have put this on dry cracked lips only to find that they were just as dry and cracked (but with an unpleasant greasy coating) hours later. Basically vaseline just sits on the skin and protects it, but it does not repaire, moisturise or soften particularly effectively.

                        ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
                        Vaseline Lip Thherapy in Aloe Vera smells pleasant and is an excellent protective barrier on the lips. It has slight soothing qualities and slight moisturisation qualities. On the whole it is good for giving lips a slight shine (as long as you don't use too much) and for protecting them in cold weather. It is not a particularly effective moisturiser and to be honest the term "Lip Therapy" can be slightly misleading as many people assume it will cure their chapped lips.

                        It's great as a barrier and also as a small, portable vaseline for people with young children and babies (rashes etc) but it is not the best thing for your lips and a simple lip salve, blistex or even just pure cocoa butter will be more effective in moisturising and restoring cracked, sore lips.

                        Prices vary but it us usually available for between 99p and £1.99 in most pharmacies and supermarkets.

                        Think of Vaseline as the bodyguard to a celebrity. He protects as best he can, but if the celebrity gets injured, he can't heal them, instead he calls Dr Cocoa Butter who comes in and heals the celebrity's wounds!

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                          19.07.2012 14:03
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                          A good basic tissue

                          I have allergies, so I go through tissues pretty fast and have become a connoisseur of the humble tissue.

                          These tissues are a reliable, cheap option for general use, however if you blow your nose as much as I do, you'll want something softer.

                          ~~~ Packaging ~~~
                          Paloma means Dove in Spanish. The implication being that you will be blowing your nose into a nice, soft, fluffy tissue that resembles Dove feathers...eh...right... more on that later.

                          The packaging is bright orange with a little blue bubble containing the name of the product - Paloma. The tissue packets always have a little picture of a wee family of birds at the top and they kindly inform you that the hankies are 3 ply and that you get 10 in the little pack. Theres a useful resealable tab to keep your tissues fresh when they're kicking about the bottom of your handbag/glove compartment/guitar case etc.

                          The packets I have say they are made in Slovenia.

                          ~~~ The tissues ~~~
                          Okay, so the tissues themselves are not in any way luxurious. Yes they are thick enough, but they are pretty rough, similar in texture to toilet roll. This can mean that if you have a bad cold or allergies and you have to use these often, you can end up with a sore, red nose.

                          Each tissue measures roughly 8 inches square and is a soft white colour with a faint dotted pattern around the edges. They are soft enough for occasional use and are compact enough to keep in a handbag.

                          As I have said, if you need a lot of tissues, like during a cold or flu, I would avoid these as they can be a little bit hard on sensitive noses. I'd opt for Kleenex Balsam or something instead. If, on the otherhand, you just want handy tissues for one off occassions (and for wiping sticky mouths, fingers etc) then these are the very chaps!

                          ~~~ Price and Availability ~~~
                          These tissues offer excellent value for money. You can get a 15 pack multipack in Poundland (for £1). You can also buy the little individual packets for about 35p. Obviously this is much cheaper than other brand name tissues and they really are great for general use and if you're not suffering from the lurgy.

                          These tissues are available in most supermarkets and pharmacies as well as in places like Wilkinson, Poundland and PoundStretcher so they are easy to come by and cheap to purchase.

                          ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
                          It was more difficult that I imagined to write a review for these tissues!

                          In my opinion these are good to have around as a back up or as a one off use type of thing. They are neat and tidy and easily transported. They're great for the odd sniffle but perhaps a little bit too rough from sensitive noses or for people cursed with allergies or those suffereng from the cold as frequent rubbing with them will cause a red, raw nose or horrible little sores as the skin around the nose is so delicate and easily irritated.

                          I would advise you to buy them for a back up or for general use but if you are looking for something soft and kind to skin, check out Kleenex Balsam instead.

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                            18.07.2012 19:39
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                            Firm hold for your hair

                            I have really thick, really long hair, so I need a hairspray that is strong enough to hold my hair up at the roots and curl it under at the ends and this guy des the trick.

                            ~~~ Reasons for buying ~~~
                            I am really quite careless about which hairspray I use, as long as it does the trick it doesn't really matter to me. However, I do tend to stick with the Silvikrin firm hold hairspray because it's strong and relyable, but it also brushes out easily and does not leave my hair looking or feeling sticky or funky in any way.

                            As I have said, I have long, thick hair. My hair is kind of heavy, shiny and swingy, which is great if you're going for the sleek, straight look, but sometimes I just want a big, bouffant do! That's where this hairspray works a treat. Also, my hair is blonde and some sprays seem to dull the colour a little bit but this one doesn't... if you're careful.

                            ~~~ Packaging ~~~
                            This Silvikrin comes in the trademark bottle green tin. Each different strength comes with a different coloured flash across the front. There are 4 strengths - natural hold, flexible hold, firm hold and maximum hold. This one, the firm hold, has a bright yellow flash on the front. The maximum hold one which is stronger again, comes with a fuschia pink flash on the front.

                            You can get this hairspray in 3 different sizes - 400ml, 250ml and 75ml. I usually get the 400ml version as it work out better value at about £4.

                            ~~~ Using the product ~~~
                            Silvikrin Firm Hold is a strong hairspray which can be used to achieve a variety of styles. I often spray a small amount into the roots of my hair before blowdrying to give me extra volume. It works really well and does not make my hair sticky or greasy.Nor does it seem to dry my hair out which is good!

                            I have also found this hairspray to be really effective in holding curls in place. I simply curl my hair using the straighteners and then spray on lots of this hairspray. The style then lasts me all evening. Similarly I put my hair up in a big bun (I still maintain I did my hair like this waaay before Adele) and because my hair is so thick, some hairsprays don't hold it well, however this one keeps my bun beautifully in place all day.

                            Basically this hairspray is a great all rounder which can be used for neat, tidy, working hair and also for messy, bouncy, sassy old going out hair.

                            One drawback for this product is the smell, however, no hairspray really smells nice. The smell is quite strong but not unbearable as a little of this goes a long way.

                            A large, 400ml bottle lasts me several months with frequent use.

                            ~~~ Conclusion ~~~
                            This is definately a good quality, good value hairspray which is versatile enough to be used in a variety of situations. I would say that if you have quite fine hair then I would go for a lighter spray as this one is very firm hold and may make finer hair kind of... crispy? But for those of us with thick hair and loads of it, this stuff is great for taming the mane and also for making a statement!

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                            18.07.2012 17:42
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                            A nice minty toothpaste

                            I like the taste of Colgate...there, I've said it!

                            I usually go for a gel toothpaste because they are smoother, fresher and less chalky feeling on my teeth.

                            ~~~ Packaging ~~~
                            The toothpaste comes in a box which is sealed. Just the typical (and comforting) Colgate logo emblazoned on the front with the Blue Minty Gel part off to the side and a picture of a big which, healthy tooth - the kind you will have if you use this toothpaste dontcha know?

                            Inside the box is the tube which is basically just the same look as the box. Now I don't know about you, but I am a bottom up toothpaste squeezer. Other members of this household are, I'm sad to say, middle tube squeezers and cap leaver off-ers.

                            Luckily, the Colgate tubes are made of soft, easy squeeze plastic with the nirvana of toothpaste tube lids...a hinged lid. It doesn't screw off, roll out of sight and disappear leaving it's soft content to solidify in the air. NO! It flips up and down but stays attached. This means that all members of my household eventually put the lid on, keeping the minty blue nice and fresh. This makes me smile.

                            ~~~ Taste, smell, consistency ~~~
                            Colgate Blue Minty Gel tastes quite sweet actually. like most Colgate toothpaste it does not taste strong. Some toothpastes are almost unbearably strong and minty and they make it difficult to keep brushing without constant rinsing to put out the minty fire!

                            Colgate Blue Minty is sweet, minty and mild. It tastes nice and makes my breath fresh. It smells mild too from the tube and after you've brushed your teeth your mouth feels fresh and your breath is subtly minty and clean.

                            As you squeeze the gel on to your brush you will notice that it is a clear, dark blue colour. It's actually quite pretty. However that doesn't last long because it foams up white like all other toothpaste (how great would it be if it was bright blue foam?!) however the gel tends not to produce as much foam as a normal white toothpaste which is nice because it seems smoother and fresher.

                            ~~~ Effectiveness ~~~
                            I think this is a really effective toothpaste. It makes my teeth feel smooth and squeaky clean, it makes my breath fresh and minty, my teeth are shiny and my gums are healthy. The toothpaste claims to prevent cavities which although I can't attest to the science, I do just believe because it's such a trusted brand. The only things I wish this toothpaste did was to have a whitening effect and to treat sensitivity. If it had those it would be the perfect toothpaste.

                            Overall I think this is a good standard toothpaste that tastes and smells good - which is always useful for encouraging children to brush (remember, a pea sized amount kids!). It's a nice standard which I always keep in the bathroom for when my Sensodine runs out.

                            You can usually get this toothpaste for £1 on offer in shops like Superdrug, Lloyds, Savers and Tesco.

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                              18.07.2012 17:21
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                              Sweet, fruity and light anti-persperant

                              I tend not to use deodorant sprays and always opt for the healthier roll on variety, however, I can always make an exception for Dove.

                              Using a Dove product always makes you feel like you're being kinder to your skin... no doubt purely because of their advertising campaign. However, this deodorant spray is light and soft and certainly does feel "kinder" on the skin than some other alernatives.

                              ~~~ Packaging ~~~
                              The spray comes in a can or aerosol and has a larger rubbery button at the top which you press lightly to spray the product. It has a little plastic lid which will inevetably get lost or fall off in bags etc.
                              The decoration is a bright yellow, juicy looking grapefruit which implies that the spray will smell really citrussy.

                              ~~~ Scent and Effectiveness ~~~
                              I HATE grapefruit. I can't stand the taste or the smell. To me, grapefruit tastes like what I imagine sweaty feet would taste like...boak.

                              However, this spray is not citrussy and sour like grapefruit. Instead it smells light and fresh and fruity with a nice sweet lemony fragrace. As with all Dove products theres a slight "powdery" scent too which makes it smell clean and fresh, I really love the scent of this deodorant and I enjoy using it...particularly during the summer when theres a distict lack of sunshine! The scent makes me think of nice sunny days (as opposed to the grim grey reality of summer in Scotland!)

                              The anti-persperant effects of this spray are great. It does not seem to clog the pores or make you feel sticky. Its a very light, dry spray. Even with a fair amout of heat and exercise this spray helps me to feel fresh and dry with no ugly sweat patches (ladies glow, afterall) and definately no nasty B.O. smell. Instead it leaves me smelling all sweet and lemony and lovely!

                              ~~~ Overall ~~~
                              I'd certainly recommend this for normal, daily anti-persperant use. It wouldn't stand up to a long workout in the gym or anything... but then... what kind of bionic, chemical laden poison would you need to slap under your arms to stop you sweating in the gym??? Don't really fancy that myself so I'll stick with the old Dove.

                              I bought my Dove for £1 on offer in a Lloyds Pharmacy. It's usually around £2.50 in most supermarkets or chemists.

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