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I think most of us know the brand Pantene, my favourite type of shampoo from this brand is the smooth and sleek range. As someone with hair that neither curls nor straightens easily I have to work on it to keep it as I style it.
I find it easier to straighten my hair than try and tease the curls out so I have found it is always important to start this with a good base shampoo and conditioner, one of the best brands I have found on the market is the Panetene smooth and sleek range.
The shampoo if I am honest does not stand out much, the bottle is white plastic bottle with a gold push top lid on the top. The front of the item is also a little bland, it has the normal Pantene logo in gold and black.
Under to logo there is the product information, it informs you that it is shampoo then there is a small green square. The Green is the colour of the smooth and sleek range. Every different range has their own colour so that it is easy to pick out the corresponding items from the range on the shelf.
The shampoo itself is also a white colour when squeezed from the bottle, for a shampoo it has a fairly thick consistency but is not too thick to easily spread through the hair. The shampoo lathers well so I find that I only need to use a small amount.
Scent wise it smells the same as all Pantene, fresh but not sure what it is meant to smell of. Its a fairly nice fresh smell though and stays on my hair for around 48 hours which is nice.
My hair is not instantly straightened with this range, however once I have used my straighteners I find that it looks more shiny and healthy that it does with most other brands. My hair straightens easier with this shampoo and holds the straightening longer.
The bottle I use is a 250ml bottle but they do a larger 400ml version. I paid £2.99 for my 250ml bottle from my local supermarket.
Pantene is available from most chemists and supermarkets.
I really like this range, it helps me straighten my unruly hair, gives my hair a nice fresh scent, does not leave any build up and keeps it straighter for longer.
I have loved Kinder Eggs since I was a kid, I am not to sure if its the mix of the white and milk chocolate or the toy.
The Egg ...
A Kinder Egg is an egg shaped chocolate treat, when you open the wrapper you are met by a milk chocolate shaped egg but once you break it open the inside layer is white chocolate.
The egg is fairly thin chocolate so I never really felt like I had eaten too much when I had one as a kid, as an adult it barely touches the side!
Inside the chocolate egg is the surprise, this is encased in a small yellow plastic case that is also egg shaped.
The toy can be anything from a limited edition character from a film to a toy car. Some of the items need to be put together and some are already formed when you open the plastic egg.
This is one of the sad differences from when I was a kid! When I was growing up every single toy that you got inside the eggs you had to build from scratch, they all had moving parts that you pulled out and followed the instructions on the paper to make the item. There was then usually also some stickers to place on it. It was great fun! Some of that is lost now, although I am sure the kids still like getting the toy.
The chocolate mix is absolutely gorgeous, it mostly tastes like you are eating a really really creamy milk chocolate in my opinion. It is a little sweet but there is not much of it so it never gets over powering.
The eggs are 20g each and contain around 110 calories which is not bad for a chocolate treat.
A single egg will set you back around 75p but they are also sold in a multi pack of 3 which I have bought a few times from the £1 stores so much better value but I paid I think around £2 for my last pack from the supermarket.
I have been ill for a few years making flying out of the question, as such I have been trying out a few of the UK seaside resorts for my holidays and this year decided to go to Blackpool. I had not been since I was younger and I will admit on hen nights and party weekends. Before that I had only been with my family as a child to see the illuminations.
My memories of Blackpool was a city very much geared up for families or party people, what I found was a little of that but also a very pretty city currently being modernised slowly with a really pretty coastline.
I stopped in North Beach just next to the Winter Gardens, within view of the tower. The bed and breakfast was so central that I was only 1 minute away from the towns shops, the street was all hotels and bed and breakfasts, there was a lot of visitors about but it was nice and quiet.
I was a little saddened about the state of one of the Piers, it was in a really bad state of repair. In fact a few days later I read in the local paper that someone's leg had gone through one of the boards.
The North Pier was a little manic for me, a lot of rides but all for Kids, not really anything much for me.
As with most UK seaside resorts there is an abundance of Fish and Chip shops, I ate at several and all were really nice.
The beach is lovely, I spent a few of my days there sat on the sand. I was sad about the amount of litter, and did feel that the council could do with someone working the beaches to clean. The donkeys were still on the beach which was fun to watch.
I did play a few arcades and won a ton of small trinkets from the 2p machines. The arcades were completely manic but well staffed and everyone seemed to be having a really nice time. I did not see any bother at all which was nice. I also felt with the exception of one arcade the machines were fair paying out for what I was playing.
The main streets and the shopping centre were really tidy and well kept. There was a few closed stores but many were full and there was a nice mix of stores.
One thing I noted that was really nice was that there was water out in containers on the streets for dogs throughout the centre.
I have always avoided this hotel, I have always been worried that it would be really noisy due to its location however in February I could not get into my usual Travelodges and this one was available so I decided to give it a try.
The hotel is in a prime location off Drury Lane, this is in between Covent Garden and Holborn. Only a few easy minutes walk to either station and an easy walk to also Leicester Square.
The Hotel ....
The hotel is a little odd, it is actually split over two different buildings, the checkin and reception is in the building on the High Holborn side, I have not been in the other building so can not comment but this side was a mix between clean and tidy and very worn out. Staff were very helpful and assigned me a room fast.
The Room ...
The room was pretty much your standard Travelodge design with the double bed and basic room containing a dressing table with mirror, small coat rack with shelves, TV, tea and coffee and and en suite bath room.
Everything was clean, nothing in the room was worn out and all in al it was very comfortable. I think the most notable thing was the size of the room was really decent for central London. I could have fitted another single bed in there and still not felt crowded.
The other thing that I was pleased to note was that even from second floor the noise levels were not too bad. I did live in London for a few years so street noise is something I am used to but too much does keep me awake. I slept soundly no bother at all! Even nicer was I did not hear a cleaner nor guest which is something I have not been able to say of some of the other central Travelodges.
This hotel is not cheap, if you book well in advance you can sometimes get a night for around £50 but it goes as high as £200 a night in peak times. You can get 4 star hotels for that! I guess if you have a family room it works out cheap enough but as a solo traveller it's a little much.
Decent hotel, amazing location, can walk to most places in central London so saves on transport costs. Nice and clean in the room, just some of the communal areas needed doing up.
I have used the Farringdon Travelodge many times over the years, it's a bit of an odd Travelodge, it is one of the few that Travelodge took over the hotel from another chain but did not bother doing anything with the rooms other than insert their own beds and hang some curtains.
The location ....
The hotel is located on Kings Cross Road around 5 minutes further along the road than their Royal Scott Hotel. It is in a slightly quieter area with less traffic and street noise which is one of the more favourable sides to the hotel. If you are lucky and get a back room you should not hear much street noise.
The hotel however is not in a very good location for any tube stops and is limited even on the bus front, there is a stop directly outside the hotel but I found it easier to taxi when at this location.
The Rooms ....
As previously stated the rooms in this hotel have not been changed since it was taken over, this was at least 15 years ago so the rooms really need to be updated. They are also tiny! Many not much larger than the bed and dresser.
The rooms all have a tiny windowless bathrooms which has a bath, overhead shower and small sink and toilet. These must have been fairly nice at one point but again are worn, mouldy and in need of refurbishment. Another issue I have with them is actually the location, they are right by the entrance door to the room and you can hear everything going on in the communal areas outside even with the door closed.
This noise issue also affects the main room, there simply appears to be no sound proofing at all here, you can hear someone walking outside the room from lying on the bed, if you are unlucky enough to be a light sleeper and its a busy stay then do not expect to get much sleep!
Sadly these rooms are often poorly cleaned and I have had occasions I have moved rooms several times before I have felt the floors were clean enough for me to accept the room.
This hotel does have a small cafe and bar which is actually fairly nice, it serves the usual Travelodge foods and is fairly fast at serving.
I use this hotel often because it is a lot cheaper than the other London travelodges, its is ok for a one night stay but needs major renovations.
I stayed at this Travelodge around 6 months ago, I wanted to be somewhere very central, I had seen that this hotel had awful reviews online and really was not keen to stop here however the cost won me over.
The location is amazing, while it is on a bit of a hill, it's only a very small one. It is literally 1 minute walk from the main shopping streets on a small side street but the side street location allowed for a nice and quiet hotel.
I was partially lucky when I arrived in that the rooms were in the middle of being done out, I was lucky enough to be in one of the freshly done rooms and it was spotless. The downside was there was building work going on and it was a little irritating when I tried to have a lie down and could not because of the noise. I had to complain one morning when they were hammering at 8am in the room next door.
The room was a little on the small side but had a double bed which was a little hard but comfortable. I was a little let down by the new pillows, they are foam but also very thick, this may sound very un important, however I found one was not thick enough and two was far too high and they were very tough on my neck, did not give at all.
Noise from other guests was minimal, I did get some from outside but not much. Not enough to disturb my rest once asleep.
Not much else to say about the room, other than the new decor they are still basic rooms with a bed, TV, towels, Kettle, Tea and Coffee making facilities, en suite bathroom or shower room and a small desk.
I did not stop for food in the cafe however I did sit in there to use the free wifi, at the time I used it I was let down by the state of the tables and floor. It was not busy but there was left over food on both floor and tables, not very appealing!
The staff were really friendly here which I find is hit and miss with Travelodge's.
I stopped here a while ago, I have to admit I had always written this travelodge off due to the distance back into London, however I was stopping with a few others and they had used this particular Travelodge before and wanted to stop there again.
The travelodge is located not far from the main docklands and literally 2 minutes walk from East India Tube Stop on the Docklands Light Railway line. The area is a little bit more of a business district however it is quiet and a fairly nice area. I think handy to note that this stop is an accessible stop and is serviced by a lift, handy if you have accessibility issues, large cases or buggies with you.
The hotel itself looks very new from the outside and inside was in very good condition, everything was nice and clean.
The room was the standard look Travelodge room and in good condition the same as the entrance and lobby of the hotel.
There was not very much noteworthy to say about the hotel, there was a flatscreen TV, Double bed, Tea and Coffee making facilities, desk with mirror and a double bed. I think the best thing for me about this hotel was the lack of noise! I barely heard another guest inside and even with the windows open it was really nice and quiet, so I slept really well.
Breakfast the next day was a bit of a let down, the beans and eggs were really dried out and in the whole time we were in there we did not see a member of staff to talk to them about it.
I have given it a score on the hotels merit's however due to the distance I do not think I would use it again, we did taxi back one night when we decided to go out in central London and the taxi was around £40. Not to bad when there was a few of us but if there had just been a couple it would have been too much.
I love Barry M make up normally, the products are great value and while they are not always as outstanding in performance as some of the more expensive brands I have usually found them to do a better than satisfactory job. Sadly for Barry M this was one of their few products that let me down.
I was going to a fancy dress night out and needed some pink or red mascara, I was actually passing the reduced section when I spotted this product so grabbed it.
The mascara comes in a coloured tube that lets you know which colour is inside, mine is a pinky colour. I inside the mascara really is nothing impressive, the bristle brush is just a basic style straight one. The mascara itself is quite thick and a rather bright pink colour.
To apply you simply twist the cap and pull the lid out of the tube to reveal the brush loaded with mascara. Then apply to both your top and bottom lashes as required. The mascara is rather clumpy and while rather bright in the tube was a lot less so when I applied it to my lashes.
I found the mascara made my lashes feel very sticky and did not apply the colour as evenly as I hoped. The product claims it is lengthening but I did not find that my lashes looked any longer. The product did stay on for the few hours I was out without running which was about the best part of the product sadly.
Regarding cost, I can not remember what I paid but I think it was around £1.50. I am not sure what the RRP is but they can be bought on Ebay now for around £2.
Personally I was underwhelmed with this product and it has sat in my make up box ever since that one wear and not been used again. Even if the colour was a little more subtle for me to wear for daily wear the other issues would stop me from grabbing it.
I adore the Lush massage bars I have used many of them over the years but the one I have been using most recently is called The Soft Coeur.
I was attracted to the product when I was away recently and had nipped into a Lush store to pick up some travel sized products for the trip. Initially it was the size that interested me, this product is a lot smaller than most of the massage bars and shaped like a heart. It fits really nicely into the palm of a hand.
Upon picking up the product however it soon became the wonderful scent coming from the bar that drew me to it, the product smells just like a wonderful bar of rich chocolate. There is a small vain of honey and cocoa running through the middle of the bar.
What I love about the bars is that they are a natural way of moisturising my skin without rubbing a lot of chemicals into my body. The bar contains Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Almond oil, Orange oil and Bergamot oil.
The bar can be used by simply rubbing it over dry skin, it melts at body temperature so simply melts onto the skin as you rub it. I however find it is a little heavy this way for my skin and use it when I have just stepped out of the bath or shower. I simply grab the bar while my skin is still wet and rub the bar over where ever needs moisturising. I find that when my skin is wet the bar glides faster and leaves less of a coating. This drys into my skin fast and leaves the most delicious all over body scent.
The bar is a fairly decent price at £4.95 for 30g.
The only problem I have found with this bar is that when I hit the honey & cocoa powder centre it leaves a brown film on my skin, this also sometimes transfers onto any white clothing. I now make sure I simply towel this off but it is something to be wary of.
I love Lush products so have many of them on the go, one product that I use a lot is Lush Tee Tree water.
The product comes in a small black plastic bottle with a spray head. The product is a water containing Tee Tree, Grapefruit and Juniperberry, the ingredients are natural, contain antibacterial, antiseptic properties and are high in vitamins.
The spray can be used in several ways, the first is to simply refresh your skin through the day, this can be onto clean skin or over make up. The second way is that it can be used to help remove traces of make up or cleaners from the skin.
The spray itself really does look like water and has a slight scent of Tea Tree, I can not smell the rest of the ingredients. It is very light when sprayed onto the skin and soaks in almost immediately leaving no residue.
I use my spray in two ways, on days when I am wearing no make up I do tend to build up a residue because my skin is combination. I simply spray the product directly onto my face and wipe it off with a cotton pad.
On a day that I have been wearing make up I use it to actually remove the residue left by my UltraBland cleanser. To do this I spray a little onto my face directly, but I also spray a lot onto the cotton pad so that it is wet through throughly and then wipe my face to remove all traces. I continue this until I cotton pad comes away clear, then allow my face to air dry.
While I don't think this is one of the most important beauty products in my routine I do like how fresh it leaves my skin feeling and do think it helps reduce the amount of spots I suffer from.
The product is really good value at £4.25 for 100g bottle or £7.95 for the 250g bottle. I normally just buy the small bottle which lasts me around 3 months use of on and off use.
I adore lush, I must admit I nearly always leave with something extra when I pop in to buy one of my regular essentials. My Lush bubblegum lip scrub was one of such purchases and I have to be honest while I have been using it, I do not think it is worth what I paid.
I bought the bubblegum one because it was pink in colour and I thought it might also have a slight tint to it, I was however wrong in this assumption.
The product is essentially some sugar with a nice added flavour that you use as an exfoliator for your lips.
The product is really easy to use, you simply put your finger into the glass container and scoop out a small amount the scrub which you then massage into your lips. The sugar scrubs away any dead dry skin and the essential oils help re moisturise the lips leaving them refreshed. It does taste really nice and smells nice too!
One of the downsides to this product is the container is glass and fairly heavy, I had planned to use in my handbag but soon gave in upon this idea.
The product costs £5.50 which is pretty expensive for some sugar in a pot when you think about it. It has not lasted me a massive amount of time either!
It does however do what it says on the tin, which is why I find it hard to score this item. I think perhaps I would be more inclined to give it a better score if the product cost under £4 and came in a lighter container.
On the plus side its natural is better for you than a chemical scrub for your lips.
I personally would not purchase this product again.
I adore Lush solid shampoo bars, I have used many of them over the last few years, my current one is called New.
Lush solid shampoo's resemble a small bar of soap and are used in a similar fashion, you can either rub them between both hands until you have a good lather or you can rub the bar into your hair. I find it best to rub the bar on my scalp until there is a nice lather, then work it through the ends.
I have to admit to start with I found the idea very odd of a solid shampoo, however once I used one I have not looked back. They take up a lot less space than a bottle, they last longer, there is no packing waste and there are a lot less chemicals in them, although they do contain SLS sadly.
The bars contain a large variety of natural ingredients so there is a suitable one for all hair kinds.
I have found that they all leave my hair feeling squeaky clean and leave no residue what so ever on my hair. I think the thing that I like most about them is that they keep my combination hair feeling lovely and fresh even at the roots a second day so I can get away with washing it every other day.
The shampoo's all have wonderful scents that do transfer to the hair, however not so heavily that it over powering.
Lush sells small metal tins that you can use to keep the shampoo's in while at home or travelling. I have found that the tins are a little snug when a shampoo is brand new and also if you do not allow the shampoo to dry before you place it back in the tin it does not dry out well.
The average cost of a dry shampoo from Lush is £5.75 which does sound expensive when you can purchase a bottle of liquid shampoo for around £3. I have however found they last a lot longer than most bottled shampoo's and so I certainly feel I get my moneys worth from them.
Lovetheatre is a really good theatre ticket discount site, they have been around for a long time are are very well known. They offer a variety of reduced price tickets available on their website for shows, these vary all the time.
The site is very easy to use but unlike some sites the discounts displayed are often very limited in availability so you do need to be flexible with your options.
The site makers have really gone to great lengths to help anyone purchasing tickets by giving a lot of useful information about the shows and venues not just a small piece about the actual show. They give information such as run times, venue addresses, show times, captioned performance dates, when anyone famous is due to be on leave is listed to help avoid disappointment, seating plans and even reviews of the show from other customers.
A hidden part of Lovetheatre is their show pairs section, in years gone buy you used to order vouchers in order to be able to purchase the show pair tickets but now you simply need to log in and order them. Show pairs are tickets that can only be bought in pairs, there is usually only 4-6 shows that they offer show pairs for at any one period of time but you basically get 50% off a full price ticket for the show. Over the years we have had some amazing tickets via show pairs and never had a restricted view type seat from this offer.
The Love Theatre website has a brilliant mailing list which is always up to date and lets you know of any flash sales that they have fairly often.
I have also always felt like the company is very open with information, I have never found anything hidden in small print and we have never had any issues at all with our bookings.
I have only once required assistance and it was a while ago when they stopped using the vouchers for the show pair tickets and I could not understand where the link was to buy the vouchers so ended up emailing the company. I had a really speedy and very polite and helpful email response from them which was really reassuring.
I would have no problems recommending the site to anyone!
I have bought from the Works many times, the site is really easily laid out with very clear menu's which help finding items very easy, The Works is a store that sells a huge array of items that change almost daily so for me I find it very important that I can browse easily as I am often browsing for ideas rather than knowing what I am looking for.
I use this site a lot for books and games as gifts or for myself, because I can not easily carry them due to their weight I prefer to have them delivered. What I love about this site is that they offer a huge array of delivery options, from free delivery to next day and all at a very reasonable cost. They also do click and collect if you have a store near you. Delivery is always really fast and I have never had a problem with the parcels being poorly wrapped.
No only does the site have a lot of really good value items, they always have offers on ranging from a reduced items, multi buys, a certain discount or often free delivery even on small orders! What I really find great about this site is that they advertise and show these offers really clearly, they are always highlighted on the home page with clear information about the offer but there is also a special offers section where they are all clearly listed as well, this is really handy if you are looking for items in the same multi buy offers.
Although you never know what you can buy in The Works I find that is half the excitement of shopping on the page, finding what exciting offers I am going to find that day!
I would have no problems recommending this site to anyone, it's very easy to use and all information is really easy to locate and simple to understand. The company has never let me down and items have always been as described.
I have used Travelstay many times over the years, I have spent a lot of time in London over the years and before I got my flat I was always looking for a B&B or somewhere to stop.
I came upon Travelstay during a google search and I have to admit the first time we used them I was a little dubious as their site is very basic looking and a little gaudy design wise. They do however specialise in B&B, college and University lodgings when they are on holidays and hostel type accommodation.
The company focuses on several larger cities rather than a massive countrywide database but they have a massive selection for London, mostly small bed and breakfasts that do not have their own websites and as such use the services or a site like this.
The site is very easy to use, the location, dates and number of people are very clear to locate and fill in, once you have done this it searches the database for matching hotels. The site has a really easy to use but amazing set of filters that you can apply and the thing I like is that it defaults to cheapest rooms rather than recommended. I have no idea when a site knows you are looking for cheap sets to recommended!
The photos and reviews are a little limited on the site, some places have some and others non but so far I have only had one bad room that did not match the description.
The site takes a very small deposit at the time of booking, the rest you have to pay when you get to the accommodation. There are no booking fee's but I have had several incidents where I booked with this site and got to the accommodation to be informed they only took cards and had to pay a booking fee with them which I was not happy about.
I however still use them fairly often and find the university rooms often the best value for London trips when they are on holidays. The ones we use are in Covent Garden and have their own fridge and hob in the room so we can eat in the room which really helps reduce costs further and walk to pretty much everything.
I have never had to cancel so I can not comment how easy their system is to use however I would have no problem suggesting the company to someone trying to locate a good value cheap place to stop.