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Enliven hand sanitizer, an absolute lifesaver!, I think I paid 17pence for this in my local home and bargains discount store, and Iv'e had this nearly a year now, I bought a couple and they seem to last forever!. As someone that probably takes personal hygiene and care to the elevated levels of a hypochondriac this stuff is fantastic for me, on the front of the bottle it states that it's anti-bacterial (duh) and requires no water and no towels to use, which is great news if you are in a rush and don't want to run a tap everytime you need to wash your hands, it also says that it kills 99.99% of germs instantly, I think I read somewhere that they always say that it kills 99.99% of germs in the very minute possibility that a strain of bacteria has mutated without anyone knowing about it.. don't quote me on that though, rationale isn't my strong point!
I'm a university student so I always carry this with me on my commute to uni and when I'm walking throughout the town and need a quick freshen up, whenever I press the 'doors open' button on the train or use a public toilet this is an absolute must, it's frightening to see how many people use toilets and don't wash their hands afterwards, especially in public, it's extremely worrying, with one of these in your back pocket there really are no excuses.
I can also say that this stuff dries incredibly fast, I mean literally 5 seconds tops and it's all soaked in no mess, voila, it's also made in england which can't be a bad thing! the version of enliven hand sanitizer that I have has a little push cap on it which you simply press down and you can then squeeze it onto your hands precisely and with sufficient force depending on how much of it you require, I have pretty small hands so generally not alot. This stuff also doesn't seem to degrade Iv'e used it for over a year now, the same bottle and although it's starting to get low my hands still feel really clean and soft after I have used it.
This is definetely a product I would recommend to those that need a quick, clean, and mess-free freshen up, definetely for those that take a pride in their personal hygiene, this stuff is brilliant, give it a try, I paid 17p for my bottle I'm sure you can find a similar deal pretty much everywhere seems to stock this stuff where I live, so pop in for a bargain!
Oat's have been a staple breakfast of mine for years now, in fact I quite often fall asleep at night thinking about waking up to a nice bowl of warm porridge and my mandatory black coffee in the morning. Iv'e never been one for fried food or toast in the morning so it's either porridge or muesli for me really.
Quaker Oats are perhaps the most heavily branded of porridge's out there, there are Scots Oat's too but I think Quaker take the prize in the popularity department because of their fancy packaging and brand awareness.
The first impressions I got when I looked at the box on the shelf was how expensive these are, you really do have to pay through your nose for these, which is what your doing as they are £2.28 for ten sachets, i.e. ten breakfast portions, but let's remember, they are just oats, and if anything these do have more sugar than what just plain oat's would normally have. On the back of the box there is some spiel about beta-glucan and the slow release energy providing by the carbohydrates, basically there are carbohydrates that are released quickly, from things like white bread, sugar, refined starches, glucose, and there are the slow release types offered from wholemeal options, quinoa, oats, fruits, lentils etc, now I'm babbling, oops!
Well inside we have, as expected there are individually wrapped packs of oats with some basic instructions on the side, it tells me to cook for 2 minutes in the microwave and conveniently tells me to pour the milk into the sachet up to the filling line, which removes the necessity for any measuring jugs, quite a handy little quirk I thought, but let's be honest, how long would it take just to guesstimate how much milk is needed?
I take one packet eagerly as I hear my belly rumbling and wanting it's morning feed, I pop it in the microwave 2 minutes, and wait.. the smell of porridgy aroma takes over the kitchen as I wait, whilst boiling the kettle to make my morning coffee, who said men couldn't multi-task?. Ping!, it's done, I open the microwave, oh no!! catastrophe!!, the porridge has boiled and spilled over the sides, unknown to me but later I would realise this to be a recurring theme, almost as if to smite me for my base desire for oaty goodness in the morning, this is a problem I manage to fix eventually by toning the time down to 1:50 and using slightly less milk to compensate, but if you are cooking as directed it should come out perfect each time, surely.
It is worth mentioning there are other flavours available too:
+ Mango & Passion fruit
+ Apple & Blueberry
+ Raspberry & Pomegranate
+ Sultana's, Raisin's, Cranberry & Apple
+ Honey & Almond
+ Sweet Cinnamon
+ Variety (a mix of the above flavours)
After cooking my porridge and mixing it up slightly it forms a delicious looking oaty medley and I can smell the golden syrup aroma, the first few spoonfuls are heaven, this stuff is delicious!, as you can probably guess it does not last long and before long the whole bowl is finished, and I feel full, if there is one thing about oat's it is that they are definately filling, these can keep me satisfied for around 3 hours, sometimes more if I am super busy. I am not sure I can justify their extortionate price tags and slightly misguided instructions but I can be quite certain these are the most delicious oat's I have tried, you can even make things more exciting by adding chopped fruit or flaxseeds into the mix to give it a bit of a twist.
-==Nutritional Info (per sachet)==-
The following is per sachet (36g), Golden Syrup flavour:
+ Calories - 137 (7% RDA)
+ Sugar - 8.3g (9% RDA)
+ Fat - 2.2g (3% RDA)
+ Saturates - 0.4g (2% RDA)
+ Salt - 0.2g (3% RDA)
* This product may not be suitable for those with allergies to nuts and those that are lactose intolerant
-==Some final thoughts==-
Quaker Oats are without doubt the tastiest I have tried, the are a good source of slow-release energy and keep me satisfied for hours, the information detailed on the box about the benefits of these oat's is pretty useful to the average consumer who will probably know little about the detailed nutritional information about the product, whilst these are tastier, they do have more sugar than basic oats owing to the golden syrup flavouring, you could probably make it healthier by buying normal oats and adding a bit of honey or a banana, but the difference would be quite minute in the grand scheme of things.
Overall, a convenient product as they are individually wrapped and measured, and with using the sachet as a measuring gauge it removes the requirement of a measuring jug and makes it slightly more convenient, the oats are without question very tasty and do give me a lift in the morning, but the product is still expensive for what it is, and does have more sugar than other generic brands, it is also very easy to overcook even when following the instructions to the letter, it frequently spilled over the edge of my bowl until I used less milk than is required and lowered the cooking times.
Ah.. Whitby, without question my favourite place in the world, my second home situated on isolated north yorkshire coast, completely unaffected by time and miles away from any cities or large towns, the closest being Scarborough, some 20 or so miles south. Whitby is remarkably well preserved and still retains its victorian charm, Whitby is as if frozen in time, it is unchanged, like the land that time forgot, cobbled winding streets that have existed since the days of the romans, ancient fishing boats, the notorious swing bridge which splits the old side of town from the new and remains relatively unchanged since it's inception, and a traditional smokehouse for kippers and bacon, and how could one forget St.Hilda's final resting place, Whitby Abbey?. There is something incredibly romantic, yet frightening about a victorian era fishing town set amongst the backdrop of the ever watchful ascent where Whitby Abbey watches over all it's townsfolk almost as if guarding them from danger! accompanied by the north sea who's waves crash crash and crash against the cliffs, the sound of the waves, the hawk hawk hawk of the seagulls, the finest seafood money can buy, and quaint little century old cottages and pubs offering real ales, food and fantastic accomodation..so am I finished yet? I haven't even started!
-==My first experience of Whitby==-
I first visited Whitby when I was a wee lad of 16, and definately not at the age where I could really appreciate Whitby for just how amazing it is, yet it still manages to evoke fond memories from those years ago. I remember the b&b I stopped in (Argyle House and it's fantastic landlord Ben), the great tasting fish and chips and how we ate in the Trenchers restaraunt, definately a step up from anything else I have had, with quite possibly the cleanest toilets iv'e seen! so kudos to them!
-==Whitby, second time around.==-
I went to whitby again when I was 21, 5 years later and with a new sense of maturity I definately enjoyed it much more then, it was truely perfect, we went in May and the weather was phenomenal, I, and my dog both got buried in the sand!. We stayed in a cottage, self-catering for a week courtesy of Ingrid Flute who offer fantastic cottages are very good prices too, which works out suprisingly cheap actually much cheaper than if you were to stay in a hotel or b&b, you do have to provide your own breakfast, but how much does a bag of muesli cost?, We went to a few different chippies, all of them fantastic but the stand-out one again has to be Trenchers and Mr.Chips, both have my recommendations, we also decided to dissapear up the 199 steps and to the Abbey for the afternoon, it is quite expensive for a ticket but it is more than worth it, it's a strangely serene place for somewhere that has so much history attached to it, you can almost feel it when you stand at the top looking out to the cliffs and the rough waves of the north sea crashing and eroding away.
-==From beginning to end==-
Frankly, Whitby is a place that for me has a touch of everything yet also excels at most things, if your looking for a town like Blackpool, Brighton, or Scarborough you will be dissapointed, but if your looking for a quaint little seaside town that is busy yet retains all of it's edwardian qualities and remains the land that time forget, from it's cobbled winding streets, to it's tudor cottages and gothic buildings, to the finest seafood the north-sea has to offer and the most fantastic pubs offering all the real ales of yorkshire then Whitby should be your one-stop shop.
Ever since when I can remember I have been drinking tea, I have gone through many different stages of tea drinking from having it with milk and sugar in my youth, progressing(I say progressing because I think tea is best served as minimalist as possible to enjoy) to no sugars, and over the past few years to having my tea with no milk.
For years I have used tea bags thinking that they were the only thing available to me, that was until I found a few websites online that specialise in the sales of tea, loose-leaf tea in particular and various cool gadgety accessories.
Adagio Teas is one of these websites (https://www.adagio.uk.com/) This fantastic website offers a whole host of tea types and accessories, including a very nifty tea filter system called the 'Ingenuitea' which has definately stood the test of time in my cupboard, although the filter is thoroughly dyed now thanks to the copious amounts of earl grey I consume throughout the day.
Adagio offer many types of tea that I didn't even know existed until I found them, White Tea, Oolong Tea, Green Tea, and finally our favourite, Black Tea. I have tried a few of the teas from there and they have been nothing short of amazing and fresh each time.
Their payment system is quick, secure and safe, and they also offer quick delivery and the opportunity to build points and use them for a discount on your next orders, a very nifty element might I add!
If you want tea, and I mean real tea, not the dust they scoop from the floor that goes into our tea bags, I would definately recommend this website as a starting point, there are more specialist websites out there, but as a starting point, there is no better than Adagio!
Ahhh.. Asda Smart Price, perhaps the first thoughts that come to mind when I think of the brand is - cheap, don't expect too much, bland packaging, lack of ingredients, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth really, Asda Smart Price have an excellent range but it's just a case of finding out what works and what doesn't, and at 63p a pizza, I was determined to find out!
===Pizza, First Contact===
After wandering around aimlessly for a good 10 minutes around my local Asda superstore (I'm a terrible shopper with 0 sense of direction) I finally found the pizza section and spotted the Asda Smart Price Cheese & Tomato Pizza, the packaging is plain which I expected, and has a large image of what I presume the pizza looks like when it is cooked, but images on packaging always looks better than how it actually comes out!
The pizza has sat in my freezer for a few days, it's a friday night, takeaways are too expensive, so I decide to build my own using this pizza as a base, along with the asda smart price mozarella cheese I bought, some chilli olives, and extra chillis and chicken, this is a beast of a pizza that I have produced. Into the oven the pizza goes, and what suprises me most is how quickly it cooks, it is a thin based pizza so they do cook extremely fast, it went into my pre-heated oven and was cooked within 10 minutes and that was with all the toppings which you would of thought would slow the process down, not that I'm complaining, I was starving!
===Taste Test & Overall Thoughts===
I lack a pizza cutter, so this is going to have to be a knife and fork job, no traditional pizza eating for me, I cut the first square out of my pizza and being as ravenous as I am it lasts no more than 5 seconds!, I was pleasantly suprised when this tasted as good, if not better than a takeout pizza, I am certain aswell that some of my local takeout places use these as a base for their own pizzas, judging on how similar they taste.
The tomato was spot on, not too much, and not too little. Asda Smart Price are a little stingy on the cheese, so I would recommend additional cheese to what is allready on there. I would definately recommend this pizza as a base to start with, it does need additional toppings to make it a bit more exciting as I can imagine it to be a bit of a boring pizza on it's own to be honest. The hard crusts that are leftover also make excellent dipping for tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, or just about any other sauce! Overall I would recommend this pizza for a starter base and definately add a few things to it, for 63p you can't really go wrong, slap some mozarella cheese on it and a few toppings and for about 3 quid you'll have yourself a pizza fit for a king or queen!
===Ingredients & Calories===
Wheat Flour, Tomato sauce (26%) [Tomato Purée, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Starches [Wheat Starch, Potato Starch] Wheat Flour, Oregano Pepper], Mozzarella Cheese (14%) (Milk), Water, Vegetable Oil, Yeast, Salt, Sugar.
One half of a oven baked pizza contains:
48.4g carbohydrate (of which 3.4g sugars)
6.8g fat (of which 2.4g saturates)
0.46g sodium (1.2g salt equivalent approximately)
===Where Can I Get It?===
Asda Stores, Smart Price Range - £0.63p.
As someone that has to endure wacky curly bedhead hair syndrome day in day out these are an absolute godsend, where would I be without my trusty ghd's, probably mistaken for someone that has been around way too much static!
I bought these primarily because they were 'narrow-plates' and would suit my medium length hair better than some of the thicker straightener plates out there, truth be told I didn't invest in these until my last cheapo pair broke which went strong for almost five years.
The GHD IV mini style works as amazing as it looks, it's a sleek black design with the familiar 'ghd' brandinging near the clamp of the straighteners, the wiring is also fantastic and swivels so that they don't become entangled and can be moved around easily, useful if your bedroom is a hovel like mine, oops!
What amazed me the most about these is how quickly they heat up, your talking 15 seconds or so, it is incredible, I was truely shocked the first time I powered these up, 5 months later and they are still going strong and heating up as quick as the first time I bought them!
I am not sure they do a better job of straightening my hair, but the build quality and global reception these straighteners get cannot be ignored, as a brand GHD has stood the test of time for over a decade now, and they continue to be the most popular brand of straighteners available, certified and advocated by many salons across the UK.
The box also came with a official identification number so that you know your getting the genuine article and not some fake copy, they are out there, believe me! so always check up your product code on their official website, it only takes a few minutes but is definately worth it for peace of mind.
Overall these are a great set of mini straighteners for men, are they better than my previous pair? they are certainly more convenient being narrow plated, and they heat up a lot quicker, 5 months in and they are still as good as they were when I first turned them on, my old pair lasted almost 5 years so if these manage it then it can be safe to say these are by far the greatest pair of straighteners I have owned, the perfect solution to those familiar bad hairs days!
Owwww... relief, I need relief! is usually what my brain is telling me after rigorous training sessions on the track, running, or just general wear and tear from day to day living, this is where Bell's Muscle Rub likes to work it's magic.
First impressions of Bell's Muscle Rub is that it definately stands out on the shelves, it can be found in many stores across the UK especially the bargainy type stores that sell just about anything, it is definately one of those one pound products, so it doesn't look too snazzy, it's a red box with yellow writing and the 'Bell's logo in white writing, on the front it claims to alievate pain in joints and muscles, the packaging itself really is nothing special, but I suppose it doesn't have to be really for what it is, Bell's are a renowned brand that have built their reputation by being around for so long and building a reputation off the back of their product.
===Taking a look inside..===
It is a metallic tube which offers one of those convenient lids with a point in it which helps pierce the metal film so that the gooey stuff can come out. Ouch!, I cry after a 10 mile run, I am thoroughly shattered and my calves are killing me!, no problem, I pop some of this one and gently rub for about 15 seconds, it doesn't rub on straight away and has a consistency I can only describe as 'thick and gloopey', it does smell very herbally though and clearly has infused oils which make up the active ingredients that are in the gel which are supposed to help with muscle fatigue, again I cannot be certain of the ingredients efficacy although I do know that my calves feel much better after rubbing some of this stuff in, the smell can be quite strong and may be offputting to some, but it does fade relatively quickly, I have to wash my hands after using this as it can be quite messy and become a sticky mess if you do not rub it in properly.
===Overall thoughts on Bell's Muscle Rub===
I bought this some time ago but I am certain I paid no more than a pound for it, it's one of those inexpensive age-old products that actually work like Sudocrem and Brylcreem they are brands that have survived in britain for decades and everyone is aware of them, I would recommend it to those who take part in regular physical exercise, and whilst I am not certain wether the massaging or the gel or a combination of both is responsible for the relief I am certain that when applied to my calves they feel much much better!, would I recommend this to others? most certainly, are there better products out there?, most probably, but few that are as cheap, renowned, and reliable as Bell's Muscle Rub!
Having become more and more disillusioned with headphones and having that familiar cumbersome weight on my head or moving abruptly only to be followed by a trail of menacing black wires, I decided that I needed to invest in some new speakers, my requirements for these were that they had to be cheap, they had to be decent and a Trustworthy brand, expuse the pun!, my search didn't take long as I walked into the shopping centre and found myself at Wilkinsons which were selling these for £15.99 a pop, not bad for a pair of speakers I thought!
As I said I found these speakers in Wilkinsons in their pc gadgety type section that they have there, to be honest there were only two other competitor brands being sold, but these were the cheapest by about 10 pounds at £15.99. I hadn't really looked anywhere else to do a price comparison on these but I decided to go with them as I thought it was a bargain at that price anyway.
===Specifications & Technical Info===
There isn't alot of information on the box about these specs or sound quality but here are the basics that I found on there:
# 18 watt peak
# 9 watt RMS
# Headphone connection
# Usb powered
===Packaging and what's inside===
There isn't a great deal to say for the box really, as it is just a box. Basic packaging, writing, and the Trust brand emblazoned at various places on it. It does give the specifications I have listed and contained basic instructions which could be useful to those that aren't too familiar with technology and how it works.
The box contained the speakers, wiring, and the user manual, as well as a load of polystyrene which you never really know what to do with!
===How the speakers look and sound===
The speakers do have a glossy black finish to them, with silver domes taking a central position in the speakers, the top one is smaller than the one beneath it, I'm guessing this has something to do with the bass and overall sound quality of the speaker. The speakers also include a port to plug your headphones into, and two buttons on the side, one which controls the volume, and one which activates the headphones port so that you can listen in with your headphones, useful if your neighbours are getting fed up with the sound coming through the walls all the time!, they do have quite a cheap stylish look about them, but for £15.99 what can you expect.
Now, onto the sound, I'm no sound engineer but the quality is pretty good and I haven't noticed any distortions or raspyness in the sound at all, it's pretty crisp and crystal clear for listening to the things I listen to, which is music mostly at medium volume, perhaps if I listened to it on a higher volume I would notice more distortions, but for the casual listener, this should be fine to be honest.
===My thoughts on the product overall===
Would I recommend this to others? Well it depends, if the person is a casual listener like me, then absolutely!, but if your building your own media center and want something with more 'oomf' then no, this wouldn't be the best set of speakers for you. I would say that this is a fantastic set of good value speakers for any casual listener and for £15.99 you can't go far wrong, the speakers do have a bit of a cheap look about them, and they are very light too, which makes them quite easy to move them around which is useful if your like me and always shuffling things about in your room, overall it's a great product that Iv'e had for about four months now and have had no problems with them whatsoever, I would recommend this to casual users such as myself.
Thanks for reading.
Ahh.. Sudocrem, we can always rely on you for a quick fix for spots, minor cuts and abrasions and even as a moisturizer for dry or chapped skin!
Firstly let's take a look at the packaging, to say it is bland is an understatement, it is a basic grey tub with a white label and some red writing, the lid has creases in the side and a small bevelled lid which makes it easier to open, on the front it tells us about the minor conditions it can help you out with, napkin rash, eczema, bed sores, minor burns, acne, sunburn etc.
Sudocrem is definiately renown for helping with nappy rash for babies, but I have no experience of this other than when my Mother used to smear me with it when I was a wee one, and those days are long gone and forgotten!
What's inside, and does it work?
When I open the lid I see before me a chalky white cream, it has quite a thick consistency to it but spreads reasonably well, it requires quite a bit of rubbing in otherwise it just tends to sit on top of your skin, but having rubbed it in properly I can't even feel it's there, I have used this stuff on spots, cuts, minor burns in the past, and it definately helps with the healing process, how much it helps I can not say for certain, but I have noticed that when I don't use it, spots do take a little bit longer to heal, if I have a spot I won't use anything other than this as it really is the bee's knees in that department.
There are numerous ingredients that makeup the magical Sudocrem cream, but the main ones are listed as follows:
I'm not sure what each of these ingredients do but they must all work as Sudocrem is so world renowned these days!
Sudocrem is a fantastic cream that has proved year in year out that it can aid in the rejuvenation and healing process of all kinds of skin ranging from babies to pensioners, this stuff is fantastic and really is the original multi-purpose healing cream, It's also worth mentioning that this stuff lasts forever!, would I recommend this product to people? Definately!
Graze (The functionality of the website, and my own personal ratings of the food I have received so far)
I have only just signed up to Graze, having received one of their 'Receive a free box' vouchers from a friend of mine, my friends enthusiasm alone on graze snack-boxes was enough to persuade me to give it a go, after all, I had nothing to lose, but I don't take much persuading anyway!, the idea and concept of Graze was instantly attractive as I am always looking into the latest healthy and nutritious things out there, the quirkier the better!
Now, let's look at the graze.com website, upon viewing the site I am presented with a very clean, clear and detailed information on what they offer, Graze - "Nature Delivered", with a very clear black text on white background template, as well as various tabs scrolling across the top of the page, such as 'Rate and like'(The ability to rate and bin foods you like or don't like so that graze know which foods to send you and which foods to not send you), a 'feed your friends' tab which allows you to supply your friends with a free snack box(which was how I was made aware of graze.com), 'Gifts' which allow you to purchase gift vouchers for someone to use on graze.com, as well as an FAQ and introduction to graze and a account management tab.
It took very little effort for me to figure out how the website works and I found it to be incredibly functional and very easy to find the information I required, I was prompted to register so I could validate my voucher and receive my free snack box, when going through the registration process I was a little concerned initially as I had to enter my debit card details as part of their registration process, but I'm well acquainted with technology and understand that this is a policy many companies these days have.
I initially registered with the intention of just getting my free box and hightailing it out of there with a box full of healthy snacks under my arm, oh how I was mistaken, a look at their snacks packed full of natural ingredients was more than enough to convince me that at the price (£3.49 per box) for 4 snacks, two of these boxes a day was worth purchasing and that I would still be spending roughly the same, and maybe even a little less than I do for snacks my university campus (I spent £1.10 on ONE almond bar a few days ago), and through graze I would have the added convenience of knowing that I am eating healthy, fresh, and natural snacks delivered straight to my door and not be tempted to reach for crisps and chocolate as is the norm for students such as myself these days!
===The first snack box arrives===
I received my first box a little late which is understandable at this time of year due to the Christmas festivities. My first box contained an interesting snack called Yin and Yang (a mix of raisins, cherries, and belgian dark chocolate) which was absolutely mouthwatering, curry flavoured crackers (strange, I haven't tasted these yet but they look delicious), a selection of smoked nuts & seeds, and kalamati olives with herbs which were delicious, and you even get a convenient little woodpick to eat them with, no forks or spoons necessary here!
The boxes themselves are made from 100% recycled cardboard, and include a recycled piece of tissue if your eating something messy, all snacks are vacuum packed and sealed for freshness, and a little leaflet is supplied giving you information on the nutritional value of your food. Another fantastic bonus of these boxes are the sizes, the boxes are small enough to fit through your letterbox, which initially I found worrying as I thought surely if these fit through my letterboxes then they won't have a great amount of food in them, I was wrong, these boxes fit a wealthy amount of food in each little tub much more than I initially thought, it is especially convenient for me as usually nobody is home to sign for orders and deliveries, so this is just added convenience.
=== Conclusion ===
I will definitely carry on ordering my two weekly snackboxes from Graze, I found their email support to be especially helpful when querying my late delivery they gave me a box for half price as compensation as well as an apology and explanation of it being due to the Christmas rush which is understandable.
The snacks themselves are definitely high quality, and it works out just as cheap if not cheaper for me personally to buy these boxes from graze rather than snack on things from the university campus which are nowhere near as tasty or at the quality graze offer.
The boxes are 100% recycled, and the little picks for the olives are made from recycled wood. at £3.49 a box this may be a little expensive for some people, but I can stretch one box for 3-4 days, so two boxes is more than enough for snacks for the entire week, my friends often spend £10 a week on snacks alone, and so did I, which is why im hoping with the addition of the graze snack boxes this is something that I can curb.
I would recommend graze to most people, and the only negative I have so far is the late delivery for which I received compensation, I also think they could perhaps add more recipes and possibly fresh fruit but understand this could be difficult to implement as it adds a whole new dynamic and problem when trying to prepare fresh fruit for delivery to consumers such as myself.
Really you have nothing to lose, if you receive a voucher, try for yourself, get your free box, if your satisfied support this fantastic company and eat healthy, give your friend a voucher let them eat healthy for a week, and see how they feel!, it's a fantastic idea and an opportunity to help kick-start your new year resolution healthy eating plan!
PS: use the code 6R9CQ8Q to try out a free graze box for yourself!
Simple are a well known brand that commit to making products from all-natural ingredients with nothing artificial or any harsh chemicals that are bad for us, they also ensure that none of their products are tested an animals which is another reason why I love the simple brand so much.
The simple brand has been growing continuously since their original formation in the 1960's but they have experienced massive growth as a brand over the past decade, they are well known for catering to those with sensitive skin types but also more recently people with normal/oily skin, I fall into the latter category.
It is worth mentioning that I have used most of Simple's Kind to Skin products and have had no adverse reactions to any of them. Now, enough about me and onto the product, typical of Simples products are the clear white or see-through exterior with pretty plain writing, in fact just like their brand name, it all very simple!. The back of the small tube is laden with information about the ingredients and what they do once they soak into your pores, no nasties and all goodies in this tub says Simple!
Perhaps the strangest thing about many of Simple's products is that there is practically no fragrance to them so I was pleasantly surprised when I got a slight scent of what I could only describe as a very fresh fragrance when I applied this to my face, the consistency was very strange, almost like a very thick moisturizer and it didn't make my skin feel tight at all to my surprise.
The product advises you to leave it on for several minutes I left it on for a bit longer than that expecting for my skin to tighten up and become as dusty as the Gobi desert, alas and not to my surprise considering the texture of the cream this didn't happen. This stuff washes out so easily, just a wet facecloth does it, I feel my skin and it's ridiculously smooth and soft no real oiliness or dryness either my skin just felt incredibly balanced.
I couldn't help but feel slightly dissapointed that it wasn't more like a traditional face mask that tightens and falls off bit by bit but at least this stuff doesn't leave a mess all over your bathroom floor or in the sink!, several hours later and my skin is still incredibly smooth and soft this stuff really is kind to your skin, simple put.. simply amazing!
Ahh.. hair, we all love it. We either want more, want less, want more volume, want it in different places, want less in different pla.. well, you get the picture. :).
I ordered my bottle of Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo.. that's a mouthful, from www.amazon.co.uk it would seem Avalon are based in the US so naturally it is imported from there before being delivered to consumers in the UK.
The delivery was prompt, as to be expected from a retailer of amazons stature. As I ripped at the box like a child eager for his presents at Christmas and after unfurling the bubble wrap I was presented with a medium size bottle of shampoo, not to dissimilar to the photo of it above this review, in fact, remarkably the same!
On the front of the label Avalon kindly tells us what the shampoo is and the ingredients it features. Now, I am not someone that suffers from MPB and I would certainly not recommend it as a solution to those that do, it does not cure baldness and is not intended to, but what it does claim to do is to give you a healthy scalp and therefore improve the health of the hair that you DO have.
I do have a personal interest in all things herbal, nutritional, and I am a bit of a naturalist so the main reason for my purchase of this shampoo was the fact that it contained no harsh chemicals or Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (Something that in small increments is harmless in most shampoos but the fact that it is used to clean drains and sewers isn't exactly riveting).
I first opened the cap to have a quick smell and found it pleasant and not especially overpowering either. Sort of like lemon mixed with a hint of tcp giving it a overall herbal smell. You get a generous 400ML for your hard earned cash, and although this doesn't sound like a lot this stuff will last you ages!.
Now, onto the ingredients on the bottle it claims it is 'fortified with biotin, saw palmetto and wheat protein for a healthy scalp and thicker, fuller hair' I am familiar with all those ingredients.
Biotin is found in many foods including eggs, nuts, and dairy in general and is well known to be good for the hair, skin, and nails, I know little of the effects of Biotin applied topically but can only presume that it will be of some benefit however minor.
Saw Palmetto is thought to help manage DHT (one of the precursors for baldness in men and women) although evidence of it's efficacy is still quite sketchy.
And Wheat Protein presumably is a protein that the hair and follicles can absorb to improve the strength of your hair.
According to Avalon Organics the shampoo can be used to 'Maintain Healthy Scalp', 'Nourish Follicles'. 'Help Restore Thinning Hair' (Not saying it will GROW new hair)
'Strengthen Hair Strands'
'Boost Body and Volume'
The ingredients Avalon included in this shampoo are from my own experience and personal research useful for the things the shampoo claims them to be. However, it would be silly to assume this is somehow a cure for baldness or going to grow new hair for those that are thinning overnight.
======= Now.. onto testing.. =======
Now to the bath, I have suitably wet my hair and prepare to lather the shampoo into my hair.. oops.. I realise this doesn't lather TOO well, I presume that this is due to the lack of SLS which isn't necessarily a bad thing and certainly not something that would dissuade me too much from the shampoo. It sinks into the scalp very well actually and I experienced a slight tingling sensation as I massaged it into my scalp, pretty cool actually!
It rinses out perfectly well and the smell doesn't overpower you either, once my hair had dried I could feel how soft and see how shiny my hair was it looked fantastic, and I was especially happy there were no harsh alcohols that strips your scalp and hair of it's natural oils and this was something that reflected in my hair after I had used Avalon's shampoo.
Overall a great natural and green product, I would recommend it to others but the lack of foaming and herbal smell may be enough to put some people off, it is also quite pricey at around £7 but it lasts absolutely ages so is well worth the money.. I would advise all those looking to improve their routines that have a vested interest in using a more natural range of products to try this out. :)
Ahh.. dark chocolate out of all the chocolates that exist dark chocolate for me trumps them all.
From brand to brand I've tried plenty, Green and Blacks, Moser Roth, Co-operatives own brand, and recently Cadburys Bournville.
From first look of this chocolate you are presented with a bright red packaging with the Cadburys logo and a picture of the dark chocolate which is obviously there to ensure you are as eager as you should be to open up the packet and start munching on this wonderful treat!
According to the packaging there are 125 calories per 4 segments, a modest sum for dark chocolate, I would say 4 segments is equal to my own personal daily portion of chocolate, Moser Roth have approximately 140 calories per similar sized portion but boasts 70% Cocoa, which is frankly one of the main reasons I eat the stuff, Cocoa is incredibly good for you and no chocolate boasts as much of it than dark chocolate does.
The chocolate looks fantastic, a solid dark colour as is to be expected, I eagerly break a chunk off from the bar and pop it in my mouth before it starts to melt in my hand (one of my nuances). I am then greeted with what I can only describe as a slightly milky.. dark chocolate, I would say this is owed to it's lower cocoa content compared to some of the chocolates I'm used to tasting. However, it tastes fantastic and I have to demonstrate a great amount of self-control just to not have another bite at the apple so to speak!.
Overall this chocolate is fantastic, however there are better ones available out there.. Moser Roth do a 80% cocoa chocolate in Aldis which is very strong and leaves Cadburys bournvill in the shade in terms of strength of taste. But for milder chocolate enthusiasts I feel that Cadburys bournvill has ALOT to offer in terms of taste and texture.
Would I recommend this chocolate to the everyday consumer? Yes in a heartbeat. Would I recommend it to a seasoned chocolate enthusiast?... probably not.
I made my very first purchase from mandmdirect last week, I ordered a few bits, all good branded clothes to keep me through the winter, as well as a nice pair of Timberland boots. I thought I was getting a good deal, and this was the case for everything except the Timberland boots, so I paid a modest (for what they are) sum of £60.00 RRP apparently £99.99. A brief search for the same boots brought up the official Timberland retail website where the exact same boots were being sold for £61.57 excluding postage and packaging, so I probably saved about a fiver tops, a far cry from the £40 I thought I was saving. It's strange and misleading how they come up with these RRPs as whenever I look elsewhere for the same profit although savings can definitely be made with mandmdirect their RRP's are so much higher than the RRPs I found on their products.
The website itself is very well presented and things are very easy to find and made easier by the filtering of specific categories, only want to view womens accessories? simply select accessories from the womens section and that is all you will get, minimum fuss, no mess, no worries and therefore less confusion. The layout is both clean and tidy which further improves the users experience whilst shopping there.
Another problem that concerns me is the payment, I paid with my debit card which has it's own security features in place to protect your account from theft and fraud, mandmdirect doesn't have this feature on their website, which does concern me slightly, I am not paranoid by any stretch and no harm has come of my account from mandmdirect so I can certainly vouch for their legitimacy however I do think they should include this security feature as it seems pretty mandatory for most online retail sites.
I cannot complain about the quality of the products nor the postage times, both of which we're absolutely fantastic and first class.
To conclude mandmdirect WILL save you money, enough to warrant buying from their stores instead of the direct brand suppliers, and I would recommend them to a friend should they include the debit security feature I previously mentioned. However don't expect to make massive savings because the reality of it is you just won't, all that glistens certainly isn't gold unfortunately.
Where do I start, Whitby has it all. Whitby has been a huge feature in my life since I first went there when I was 16 with my Mum and Dad, I didn't really appreciate it as much as I should of done at the time, so when I went back there as a 20 year old it was safe to say it was then when I discovered just how amazing this place is.
When you first stroll into Whitby you are greeted by the iconic Whitby Abbey that overlooks the entire town like an ever featuring guardian, the Abbey itself dates back to 657AD where St.Hilda made it her sanctuary, the Abbey has survived various hardships including Henry VIII's rampages and the Germans coastal bombardment in the first world war. It is one of the most beautiful and iconic sites that I have been to.
Enough about the Abbey, Whitby has so much more to offer! The restaurants are all top quality as are the B&B's the food is just fantastic, fresh fish caught that very same day are often served up in the restaurants and chippies.
The first time I went I stayed in one of the B&B's for three day's and it was fantastic, I could very well of stayed forever.
The second time I visited we stopped in a self-catering cottage and the experience was just incredible, it was my home away from homes and a sanctuary which I did not want to leave. (I stayed in Harriet Hannah's which is owned by Ingrid Flute who own many self-catering cottages in Whitby).
The locals in Whitby are all very welcoming and friendly and the pubs are fantastic some of which like the Board Inn and the Duke Of York offer harbor views and there's not much better than relaxing with a pint while the sunsets over the harbor.
There are also plenty of cafe's and tearooms in Whitby should you want to pop in for a quick bite to eat and a cuppa, A visit to the Captain Cook's museum was mandatory for us as he has his own history embedded within Whitby's roots.
Whitby also offers those that are brave enough spooky night-time vampire and ghost walks where you are taken around the Gothic settings at night by a tour guide who provides great descriptions of Whitby's past spooks and vampires, (Bram Stoker originally wrote Dracula in Whitby and used it as his initial setting of the story).
Some of the prices are steep but I would gladly pay for them as the quality of the whole experience is just so high, many of the top restaurants in Whitby do offer cheaper take-out services for those that don't necessarily want to eat-in as well, I can vouch for 'Mr.Chips' takeaway service the chips and fish there are just fantastic.
I would recommend the experience to anyone, this is a town that is so self-sufficient and source most things locally which makes me proud to see in a day and age were we are importing so many different things from around the world instead of recognizing our own potential and building on that like we used to. It's an experience unrivaled by anything else in my life and I'm certain that anyone who visits will instantly fall in love with this fantastic tranquil little town.