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I would like to write a short paean to the humble bunny rabbit - specifically the joys of owning a house rabbit. I'd like to promote in people's minds the notion that these pets are more than just slightly disappointing, scratchy and bad tempered fur balls that live outside in an old box and are forgotten for a great deal of the time. This is, in fact, the sad fate of many domestic rabbits - one of the most neglected of pets according the the RSPCA. And having shared a house with a rabbit for the last two years it really distresses me that people should treat rabbits in this way. If they knew their rabbit and shared their living space a whole new picture would emerge.
Rabbits have as much personality as a cat or a dog. They are social, affectionate, hilariously funny and capable of meaning as much to you and your children as any other house bound animal. Let me expand.
Mungo is a Rex rabbit, which means he has proper sticky up ears, not floppy ones. His coat is short and as soft and anything I have ever touched. The breed was discovered and bred for this beautiful velvet like fur, and I can see why. We bought Mungo from a local Pets at Home and he has lived inside with us ever since. I cannot imagine life without him now.
Rabbits make ideal pets because a) they don't smell b) they keep themselves very clean c) they can be house-trained d) they enjoy physical pampering!
Cleaning out Mungo's tray takes less than five minutes a week and is not a disagreeable task. Even my son is happy to help. Mungo grooms his own fur several times a week, but is always appreciative of a good brush which we do in the garden to save fur flying around the room. So he is low maintenance.
In terms of pampering Mungo is somewhat ambivalent. He simply loves to have his head stroked (all rabbits do) and will sit for hours on end having this done. In the evening he will sit on the back of the sofa and watch the television with us. Rabbits like to watch tv and nobody really knows why. So he will sit and watch telly while one of us strokes him. The ambivalence is towards being held or cuddled. All rabbits, unless they have been handled extensively from very small babies, will find this a bit of a problem. It is their instinct and should not be taken personally. In the wild something clasping them would be a predator, so it makes them very frightened. It can be overcome to some extent but it is very difficult to get a bunny to feel completely happy being held unless they have that temperament and you have had them from a baby.
The only downside of rabbits in the house is NIBBLING. They will nibble. Carpets especially. Again, this is instinct, and is why they should always have a constant supply of hay at all times. Rabbits left unsupervised in your home are likely to nibble, so you do need to keep a close eye if your rabbit it prone to this. We have an area (hall, stairs and landing) which he is allowed freedom to explore but there is always someone to keep an eye. But it's lovely to see him bombing up the stairs and jumping in the air with excitement. A real delight. He even knows where the hot pipes are now, and after a good jump around will flop down for a rest. We have a specific time for play like this, several times a week and it's just ten to twenty minutes of keeping an eye out. He will go outside into a run when the weather is good whenever possible. But look out for foxes!
There are some good sites about rabbit owning and house rabbits. The best one is fuzzyrabbit.com which is very, very good and has helped a huge amount. The people are very extremely knowledgeable and friendly and have saved me loads in vets bills. You can just post a question and they will answer it. Also there are tons of articles to help you understand rabbits better.
I would not say rabbits are a perfect pet for children personally - better for older children perhaps. See how they get on with guinea pigs first. Rabbits live longer, are not likely to enjoy being handled, and are just not quite as child-friendly. But for me, with an older son, Mungo is perfect. I love his personality (yes, they can be naughty and attention seeking like children!) and his warmth. He will sometimes just reach over and lick your face, which is such a sign of trust it always moves me.
Oh, how much do I love this product. So much I can barely put pen to paper. Or digits to keyboard.
I love my little green and white tin of Aloe Vera Lip Therapy so much that I have bought three. One for desk at work, one for home, and two in two different handbags. Hang on, that makes four. Never mind, you really cannot have too much of this stuff.
The reason I am so passionate about it is the SMELL. I adore it. It is like fresias; absolutely gorgeous. If I put it on on the train I actually see heads turning. Two people have asked me what I am using. And indeed that is how I discovered this product, from smelling it on someone and simply saying 'What is that lovely smell!!!???'. Delighted it could be in my life for under a pound! They should sell it as a fragrance!
The actual lip salve is wonderful, typical of Vaseline. No gimmicks needed. In fact this is probably their first innovation since records began! It does what you know it will do - protects, softens, heals. Simple. Only now it just smells GORGEOUS too!
I don't think I can say much more about it really. It's just fab. Four tins worth of fab.
I just used this this evening, and I have to admit it has some drawbacks. Firstly the range of colours in the Boot store I was in was very limited - only about seven shades, or maybe even six. I could not really decide which one to pick as nothing really came that close. I am a strawberry blonde and usually go for something like a light brown which covers greys well and just brightens everything up.
Anyway, I definitely did not want to go darker so I went for the very blonde shade.
I found it as expected in the box - two tubes you mix together, a tube of conditioner, gloves etc. I decided to use the comb attachment as it looked like a good idea.
I can confirm what other women have said - it is quite thin in consistency and it DID DRIP. Not really what you want. Having said that, I did like the comb attachment, which would have worked quite well if the dye had been thicker. I applied it and waited. There is less in the bottle than cheaper versions I think. I did actually finish the bottle, whereas normally I have loads and loads left over. If I had long hair (which I don't) I think it might not have been enough.
Now the thing I did not like about the product. The FUMES. We are all used to the revolting smell of hair dye. But this has fumes which caught in my throat and made me feel quite ill. These seemed to appear when I added water to begin the dye removal process. It is quite the worst fume cloud I have ever experienced and I would have to seriously consider it before buying this product again. Have not seen anyone else mention it, so maybe it's me. But I don't think so. Maybe I just react badly to fumes! I remember thinking that it smelt so toxic I was worried what I was putting on my skin. There's no way anything that chemically can be good for you.
Ok, so I rinsed it out, applied the conditioner and stood back. I had left it in approximately 15 minutes as suggested for covering odd grey hairs.
I am very pleased overall with the colour. It lightened my hair quite a bit, without the need for a pre-lightening product, so that was a pleasant surprise! I look much better a couple of shades lighter.
Hair also feels wonderful, which is the conditioner. No complaints there.
BUT!!! My son inspected my hair and helpfully pointed out that there were 'LOADS OF GREY HAIRS' left at the back of my hair!!! Ok, he's thirteen, so prone to exaggeration. But even so it is disappointing.
I first bought this when it was on special offer at about £4.80 in Boots. Was happy with results, did not notice fumes so much, and it seemed a good deal. Today however, with the fumes and the non-covering of grey AND a hefty £7 price tag I would think twice. It saves time, and the result is reasonably good. But not outstanding - just like all the others. Therefore the price is too steep I think. If you pay £4 for hair dye and it misses a few greys you don't feel cheated. If you pay £7 for a hair dye that gives you the same result you do feel a bit irritated. The price hike is just for the speed, nothing else. You pays your money....
I really enjoyed my stay at the Premier Inn on the Albert Docks. I went earlier this year, and the stay could not have been better. It was supremely good value and I felt I was staying in somewhere really in the heart of historical Liverpool. I became totally fascinated with the history of the Albert Docks after this visit, as the rooms themselves are built into the old dockyard warehouses. Even the pulley's remain, outside your window, which would have hauled sacks and packages up to the upper level of the warehouses.
Cleanliness was high. It's not a five star hotel, and no-one expects that level of luxury. But this seemed to me to be honest value for money, and I left feeling quids in rather than feeling I'd been exploited. The biggest factor in this was perhaps the location - a bit out of the main city, but totally walkable and nice and quiet. The views out onto the Mersey were fabulous. Also you are right on the Albert Docks, which house The Beatles Museum and the Maritime Museum - I went to the Maritime Museum and it was superb (and free). Look out for the old film clips of the Docks in its heyday. Makes you realise the significance of where you are privileged to be staying!
The breakfast was fine, nothing spectacular, but lots and lots of it. Normal fare, and again, did not feel it was bad value at all as you can just help yourself and fill up. Good service too. The reception staff were delightful and very helpful. We left our bags all day after check out, no problem.
Parking is the only downside. There is a car park opposite which I recall being quite expensive. There was no free car parking as I recall. The Convention Centre was a short walk away and it was free to park there as I recall, but you need a ticket from reception. This was the only minor irritation for me, and it was outweighed by the fabulous views of the Mersey, the historical location, the museums, the Albert Docks and Pump House, and the superb welcome we received.
In summary I would definitely stay here again. I am going to Liverpool next week on business again, and staying somewhere posher (will review!) but in all honesty I would rather be staying here.
I am struggling to think of something to say about Jacobs Twiglets that has not already been said by other aficionados. I haven't read other reviews (deliberately) so this is just me 'speaking my brains' (does ANYONE else remember The Day Today where members of the public are asked to 'Speak Your Brains' in a street vox pop? No? Sigh, it's just me then...)
Anyway, to make up for that digression I will jump straight in and off the fence in the process. I LOVE Twiglets, and always have. As they are closely aligned to Marmite I can see how there are not for everyone. However, I would like to urge anyone who does not like Marmite to try these.
I will come clean here, in making this plea. I did not like Marmite for about 35 years. That's quite a long time not to like something. But I didn't. Found it too strong and salty in flavour. Something changed. So many things change in life as the years pass I don't know why this should be a surprise, but it is. I also now eat cheese and eggs and olives, which I would have placed a large sum of money on not EVER liking. So with this in mind I appeal to the non-Marmite constituency:
Give it a go.
Twiglets have untrumpeted added value. They are (for me) a totally brilliant appetite suppressant. They just kill it stone dead. Whether it is the strength of the flavour I am not sure, but it does work. If I had a choice between a sandwich or a bag of twiglets to stave off hunger it would be the twiglets every time. But this is just a side comment for all you dieters out there. Goodness knows I have been one in my time so this is a top tip! Forget Hoodia!
As for the product itself, well, what can I tell you. They are crunchy so they satisfy the dieters craving for savoury CRUNCHY things that are low in fat and aren't crisps. They are strong in flavour, but way lower in flavour than actual Marmite, so don't be put off. And they go wonderfully with a glass of wine at the end of a long day. They're a staple at Christmas of course (you know it's Christmas when that big family sized tube of Twiglets starts appearing on the shelves). They normally come in useful small bag sizes or mega large sizes. Needless to say the big bag does not last long!
As a diet aid I think it is second to none for me. Haven't exactly compared it to Slim Fast Nibbles or Weight Watchers Crisps but I will do and update with results.
My advice is just try them. I can't imagine life without them myself!
I love my new bookcases!
I can't think of anything more ordinary to review quite frankly. A bookcase from Ikea? But I have so enjoyed the whole Ikea 'thang' that I thought I would let people know why.
I needed bookshelves for my spare bedroom badly. As a book addict things were getting out of control. Cue dash to IKEA for bookshelves, as we are broke at the moment, like most people. I was not expecting much to be honest. I was expecting the type of furniture you used to get in student rented accomodation. Kind of tatty and not up to much.
Not a bit of it! The units we bought were the ones with five shelves. The item off the shelf is big and bulky (very heavy) so make sure your car will take it and that you have a strong person with you. But it was in stock (Yay!) and cheap at £29 per bookcase. We got the white ones. We wanted three extra shelves, but they were out of stock. Our fault for arriving late I suspect.
Got them home, and they were a joy to assemble. Ikea instructions are brilliant. You just have to read them. As soon as we didn't and guessed we came unstuck. STICK TO THE INSTRUCTIONS!
The units went together in about ten to fifteen minutes each with two people. No problems, nothing missing, total flatpack dream. And they are solid and stable too. We put the three together along one wall and to be honest they look like they have been built in. No way do they look cheap and cheerful at all. I just looked on Argos online at bookcases. Someone complains that the shelves there (equivalent unit to IKEA one and also sold by Homebase online) is flimsy and that the shelves bow with weight. I can confirm that there is no such problem with this Ikea number. Solid as a rock. And cheaper than Argos and Homebase too!
It is chipboard covered with white melamine type white covering, which sounds horrible, but really isn't. The only tricky bit was nailing the back board to the shelves accurately. There should be guides provided but there weren't. I fluffed twice, but they will be full of books so no-one will notice.
There are limitations to Ikea. Everything in life has limitations. But to be honest I could not be more delighted with these book shelves. It's not often in life that things exceed our expectations, so I thought it only right to pass this one on.
I can't believe that no-one else has reviewed this excellent product! Ah well, here goes.
First of all, I do have sensitive eyes, so I don't wear eyeliner every day. But when I do this is the best one I have found so far. Problems I have had in the past are with the 'felt-tip' pen type applicator. I used the Colourfast one, which was extremely durable but I just did not find it very easy to apply. I had a No.7 offer and saw this eyeliner and thought I'd give it a go. I actually bought the black and then loved it so much I went and bought the brown one too, for wearing during the day as it is not so harsh.
The eyeliner is a good size - not so small that it gets lost in your handbag, not so big as to be annoying. And the applicator is a brush. I know some people don't get on with brush applicators, but I am a total convert after this. I find the felt tip pen type can be too 'hard' so they leave a harsh line that is hard to get right into the lash line for a natural look. With this brush applicator and the consistency of the eyeliner it just merges naturally with your lash line, which is the aim of the game after all. The eyeliner is a nice lush creamy consistency. It is much more natural looking for me, and easier to get the effect I want. I don't smudge it as such, but at least it does not look like I have actually used a felt tip pen to apply it! T
The staying power of this is really good too. I like make up that stays put! And as for No.7, I totally trust this brand to be medically approved and to do what it says on the tin. They have the best ingredients and it will be non-allergenic. Excellent products. I used to think No.7 was just for older women, but now I am one (ha ha 41!!!) I realise what I didn't realise when I was younger: it costs a little bit more but that's because it's really good! I buy designer make up for some things, but my eyeliner is always going to be No.7 for sheer excellence.
Talika Lipocils Eyelash Conditioning Gel. What can I say. Absolutely storming product gals. I found it quite by chance when in a Paris pharmacy of all places, where it was (annoyingly) much more expensive than it is over here. I was bought it as a birthday present there and then, as I just had a good feeling about it. I think I read the literature quite carefully before buying and it mentioned that it had been developed in collaboration with a Paris eye hospital. Don't quote me on that, you can check on the website. But definitely there was clinical data to back up the effectiveness and there was some medical input in the development.
Anyway, it was one of those 'I don't expect it will work' moments, but I ploughed on. The result? Stunning. Absolutely brilliant! I used it for about a week morning and evening and sort of forgot about checking for progress during that time. By the end of the week it was time to use makeup as I was going out. (I can't wear eye make up every day as my eyes are really sensitive). I went to use my eyelash curlers...and WOW!!!! I knew instantly that the product was working. I know it says 28 days for results, but I swear it was just over a week. Don't ask me how! Lashes much longer. Really.
I also used the product on my eyebrows, which seemed to help too. I had also purchased the eyebrow product, but I will review that elsewhere. As far as I can see the ingredients list for both was identical, but one was cheaper than the other. This could be because on the eyebrow one there is a little mirror on the side of the tube. Interestingly the applicator in the eyebrow one is easier to use on eyelashes than the mascara type brush supplied. The product itself is a clear gel. Nothing more exotic than that.
Disadvantages, and this in no way detracts from the product - it is quite difficult to get the gel onto the brush in sufficient quantity. I have no idea if it is designed this way to make sure that a correct amount is dispensed. But I found it a little frustrating. I did write to Talika about it but sadly they did not reply to my email enquiry.
I was so delighted with the results however that I shall not hold this against them. Again look around for a cheaper source, but get your mitts on some of this. I have bought two more for my mother and sister for Christmas presents (shhhh!) as they were so green with envy. Ebay has a seller who is very cheap and professional.
There was a product developed recently for some kind of eye condition (glaucoma?) which had the effect of lengthening eyelashes and it is being sold commercially (in the States) now by the drug company as a cosmetic for an astronomical £100 or so. Forget that. Try this. And if you're as lucky as me then you will be on your way for a fraction of this price.
No problems with stinging incidentally. And I have incredibly sensitive eyes. This was one thing that concerned me. Just be careful applying it!
Oh just one other thing. I would probably buy the eyebrow version next time for eyelashes, just for the applicator ease. But it may just be me.
Go on. After a month of this product, eyelash curlers, whack some eyelash extension primer on, then mascara....look in the mirror....you're Cheryl Cole!!!
(But in a good way...)
I seem to be only giving reviews for really expensive products on here, which is a bit embarassing! BUT I am now a firm believer in 'you get what you pay for' and so what I do spend my cash on now has to really pay its way. And Elemis really does do that. I can't remember where I heard about it, or how brilliant it is, but it filtered through to me somehow and I was detirmined to try it. I managed to find a good (cheaper) supplier than going to a department store and then I began the acid test.
To start with, it smells gorgeous. Well I think so anyway. I love the smell of it, which is not strong by any means. Just lovely. I apply it whenever I remember, morning and night time. Not sure if it is meant as a night time cream, but I use it then as I know this is the time when your skin is repairing itself at the fastest rate. It is a rich cream, but not heavy at all. It glides on and goes a long way. There is no need to ladle it on as it spreads out so well, which is just as well considering the price.
I have noticed a definite improvement in skin appearance over the months. I find it hard to be specific about how, as I think these things are relative and subjective. I don't scrutinise my lines with a ruler. But I think you just know. Fine lines don't draw your eye so much, people remark how good your skin looks...(it happened today!!) - little things like that which I began to notice.
I have been using it for over a year now and will continue to do so ad infinitum. No need to change, and I have my trusted source. I combine it with a good serum (Protect & Perfect by Boots, or Olay Regenerist) and that's me happy.
If you fancy treating yourself just go for it. It's not one of the most sought after face creams for no reason. It's an expensive habit to acquire however, be warned. But it does last for ages and Baby Spice uses it, so it can't be that bad. She looks amazing.
Like with all these expensive things ask for it for Christmas or Birthday. That way you can enjoy it for nothing and you'll be able to enjoy it guilt free. AND people will see how delighted you are. Everyone wins!
I decided that it was about time I stopped buying useless foundations, and I have been trying better quality ones now for about three years. This and one other Chanel foundation which I will also review, has been by far the best I have come across. I bought it duty free and girls, even if you don't, it IS worth spending a bit more on foundation. If it costs £25 then it's worth every penny. It goes such a long way, and you have a superior product that will probably last you a year. How much is that per week? Not a lot. And you're kinda worth it I think. Which is another good reason for splurging. You not only feel good, and a bit pampered, but you look good too!
I have noticed fine lines and wrinkles appearing (am now 41. Errrk) and this foundation gives me real confidence. I just look more 'rested' somehow. I have difficult skin for foundation - very pale - but it evens everything out a treat, and gives a glow. Small lines seem to disappear. Yay!
One recommendation is that you take your time. Go to a big department store and get one of the girls to make you up. They really enjoy doing it! Or ask if you can apply it yourself. It's the only way to know if you're going to get on with it. I have wasted £20 on a foundation where I did not do this and I won't be doing that again! It may be that this one isn't right for you - there are others in the range for people who like a lighter, or heavier feel. So just try it. For me it is excellent, especially for fine line busting.
Disadvanges: The lid seems to come off quite easily if you have it in your handbag. Bit annoying.
Well, the day arrived. If you're like me with Apple products then the anticipation is a huge part of the experience of buying your longed for new toy. This was a birthday present, and strong hints had been dropped by my son, so I was rubbing hands with anticipation for weeks, scouring the Apps to see what I could do with the Touch.
Did it live up to it? Absolutely. I can honestly say it is the best gadget I have ever come across. It's slim, beautiful and nice to hold and look at. I immediately clad mine in protective wear to keep it pristine. I should review the protection I got elsewhere as the screen protector I bought was expensive (£10 for a bit of plastic) but is absolutely fantastic. I immediately relaxed about scratches.
The iTouch is everything you imagined and more. The Apps you can get really do help you organise your life. And mine is quite disorganised, believe me. But now I have a (free!) calendar, which warns me about upcoming events, when my most fertile day of the month is (eeek!) and when my sister in law's birthday is approaching. I have never felt so in control in my life! I am absolutely serious. It's all there. I have a free tube map, an A to Z map of Central London, a toilet locator, and a live departure board for National Rail. Out and about in town and want to know when your next train leaves? You can find out instantly, AND where the nearest tube station is.
Really, I could go on for ages about the Apps, but you are best off discovering them by yourself. It is a joy, and where else can you find ANYTHING in life for free these days?
Back to the device itself. I subscribe to a lot of podcasts which take a huge amount of space. I also like to keep video content on my iTouch so I can watch things while I commute. Having the larger device means I really don't have to worry about space. It was a (very generous) birthday present from my husband so I am not complaining. I think he was making up for forgetting to buy me anything for my 40th last year!
If I have a criticism of the iTouch it would be that the odd app crashes from time to time, but to be honest this is probably more to do with the App software than the touch. I do miss being able to browse music with one thumb like I did with my ipod Classic too. Having to use the touch screen all the time for everything means you need your hands very free. You can't just click on the right hand section of the click wheel to move onto the next song, which is annoying if you have it in your pocket for example. You have to get it out, look at it and tap the FFW button. I do find that a trifle annoying.
Apart from that I can't fault it. Battery life good, screen brilliant size for watching TV and video on. Just a superb addition to my life! I have even rediscovered Monopoly, as there is a version for this device and it's massively addictive. Great to play with the family.
One thing I do like is voice memo. On the supplied headphones there is a built in microphone, so you can record anything you say very easily. I have replaced the headphones however, for more sound isolating ones. Apple headphones are good, but not outstandingly comfortable. The sound quality is fantastic with new headphones, as with all Apple iPods.
I decided not to wait for the version with a camera which will no doubt be out in a year or more. It is not likely to be great quality. Don't wait, would be my advice.
Internet: If you have wifi at home you will be writing emails in bed in no time. Out and about you have to use BT Openzone or Cloud to buy internet time. I think it can be as low as £5 per month. Have not tried this yet. You can use the internet free in Starbucks and Macdonalds. Download an app called 'Wifi Tracker' which will tell you what is in the area.
Strongly recommend this item. Apple stuff is expensive, annoyingly so. But once you have Apple in your life there is no substitute. Outstanding addition here. Go on. You're worth it.