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As some of you already know I have a health condition that leads to me partially dislocating joints on a regular basis and one joint that recently joined in the fun is my right shoulder. The way it came out of place was an unremarkable movement where I literally just put my arm behind me then heard a pop and a ping followed by severe pain all along my collarbone and up my neck. My physio checked it out for me and said I'd dislocated the area where the shoulder meets the collarbone so she popped it back into place and instructed me to wear a sling for a week or so. I've got supports for many areas of the body but a sling was something I didn't have. Onto ebay and I found this PhysioRoom sling for £8.99 so ordered one. The sling is measured from the elbow to the middle of the little finger for the sizing which is a bit odd since in the picture above it doesn't reach that far down the model's hand! However I needed a small one and it arrived nice and quickly but unfortunately with no instructions. You'd think a sling would be very straightforward and while it is fairly basic there is still one strap I'm not sure about but more about that later. The part that cradles the arm is a thin soft canvas type of material and the straps are sturdy thick cotton with a padded section to place on the shoulder. The sling is secured by velcro. Figuring out how to put this on with a shoulder I didn't want to move too much proved a puzzle, eventually I laid the cradle section on the table and draped the strap around my neck and round to the front of the sling. That worked ok but it was still a bit difficult to get in it even like that. Then I hit the puzzling strap. At the front of the sling there is a plastic section that the main strap feeds into to bring the two sides together and lift the front of the sling up where it is then velcroed. However on one side of the sling, on the inside, there is a short strap with a loop that doesn't make much sense, the only thing it seems capable of doing is feeding through the plastic sections to bring them together but then if the main strap is fed through the loop it puts a twist in the strap so I really don't know what that strap is for. It seems unnecessary and I never use it but I can only imagine it extends the strap a little bit. The main strap does adjust to a degree like bra straps do but I suppose it's possible some people need an extension. I never use that strap and just tuck it inside the sling. Once on the sling is very supportive and it was bliss taking the weight off my shoulder. It holds the arm snugly and the padded part around my neck is comfortable too. I wore the sling for a week as instructed then washed it on a cool wash and let it air dry. I've needed it again since for another few days and it did the job nicely. It can be worn on either arm and is alot more comfortable than a tradional triangular sling on the neck. Overall I do like this sling and find it very supportive but it can be a struggle getting into it with an injury present plus there's that irritating little strap I can't figure out! Four stars from me though for the comfort, support, easy washing and years of use I'll get out of it.
Not long ago whilst standing in a chemist waiting for a prescription I found myself looking at my very dry hands and consequently the handcream section. Having tried lots of the ones available already with limited success I saw a little 50ml pot of Atrixo and decided to give that a try. Atrixo was a handcream my Mum used when I was a child and I'm pretty sure it had the advert where an autumn leaf was looking very moisturised when it bounced out of someone's clenched hand, anyone else remember that? The 50ml pot was £1.99 and rather than price check all over town I just bought one. The pot is yellow with a light green lid and tells us the cream is enriched with chamomile for soft, smooth hands. On the bottom of the pot is a sticker you peel off to read the ingredients which I won't bore you with and it says to apply to clean hands whenever they feel taut and dry. That's all the information on the pot and I quite like the fact they've kept it simple. The cream is thick and smells a bit floral and a bit herbal so a nice scent that stays on hands after use. I use only a tiny amount on my hands so I don't have lots of excess making my hands greasy or having to be rubbed into my elbows which are a whole other story! The cream sinks in rapidly and leaves my hands looking younger and supple with no greasiness or having to wait around for it to be absorbed. I honestly can't say for sure how long it woulkd work if you didn't wash your hands for a while because I seem to wash mine very regularly throughout the day for one reason or another but most handcreams need applying frequently anyway for that reason. I can say it definitely works and my little pot is usually by my side so I can apply a dab every so often. I'm partial to the scent too because it takes me right back to the 70s! Overall this is a decent handcream that doesn't make your hands greasy but does indeed make them look as supple as that autumn leaf on the old advert! The price was very reasonable seeing as I don't need to use much and the cute little 50ml pot will fit most handbags so it's very handy too. I will certainly buy this again and am impressed with how well it works. A full 5 stars from me.
As some of you already know I have Hypermobility Syndrome and suffer alot with trigger points in my muscles that are hanging on for dear life trying to stabilise areas, although I have to put up with alot of my trigger points there are some that make matters worse by pulling joints out of alignment and partially dislocating them so I have all manner of tools and balls to deal with them each day. The latest addition to those is the Pocket Physio. The Pocket Physio is a small solid rubber contraption that was designed by physios to save their thumbs and as I treat my own trigger points it seemed like an excellent idea to save my thumbs too. The Pocket Physio is a triangular shape with a flat bottom that looks a bit like a sheep's hoof and a pointed section that should be similar to the feel of a thumb on top. It's small enough to fit the palm of your hand so you hold it there and not against your fingers for maximum pressure or place it on the floor or against a wall and lean onto it. I mostly use mine on the floor and let my bodyweight do the work rather than struggling with my dodgy arms and shoulders to maintain pressure. I paid £3.50 for mine on ebay and an Amazon seller is selling them for the same price but with £2.70 delivery charge on top. They come in a variety of colours but I didn't get to choose and got sent a bright pink one. You will also receive a leaflet with photos of people using the Pocket Physio so you get an idea of how to use it. The pointed section that is supposed to imitate a thumb can be used in lots of different muscles, I use mine down the front of my thigh and the sides of my thighs and find it excellent at the top of the leg and down near the knee but it doesn't do so well in the centre where there's more padding to get through. I use it daily down either side of my thoracic spine then out along the ribs where I also have problems and it works very well in those areas even though it's not very comfortable to lay on! For my piriformis I move both me and the Pocket Physio around until I can get it in deeply enough to help, on the photos it only shows someone using it right behind the hip but it will do the whole piriformis and other lateral hip rotators with some imagination. I lay on mine sideways to do the lats down the side of the ribs and sit with it under my legs on a chair to do parts of the hamstrings but with the hamstrings it is again better at either end and not so good in the middle. It is very good for the feet too but I doubt I need to tell you it hurts like hell under your feet! You can do your lumbar area by bending your knees up and therefore flattening your back towards the floor but I personally can't do my lumbar area because that's one of my "can't manage without it" areas. To use it in your hand you need to be able to apply pressure firmly for around 90 seconds which I can't do but if you can manage that it could be even more versatile. I suspect people with alot of extra weight on wouldn't be able to get this deep enough to help though. The other ingenious part of the Pocket Physio is the base that looks like a sheep's hoof. It is actually designed like this so you can use it on your neck and the way it's done is by placing it in the palm of your hand and cupping the other hand behind it then laying on it with the cut out section over your actual verterbrae so the points either side dig into the muscles, and I have to say it's excellent for the neck and using it like that would be possible with any size neck. Finding a tool that will help my ultra tight neck and tension headaches is something I've looked for for years so I'm thrilled this has been designed in such a way. So as you can see it's a very handy part of my massage tool kit and although some areas are impossible to hit with this device it does do a large amount of muscles which makes it a bargain too. It's very robust and will stand being thrown around, trod on with shoes and one of my cats has even attempted to chew mine (don't ask!) and it's still without any blemishes or wear and tear marks. I tend to use mine then massage out alot of the areas with a spikey ball afterwards but most people won't have the degree of muscle problems I have so likely it would suffice on its own. I'm very pleased with this Pocket Physio and there's not much in the way of negatives for me; it's versatile, robust, inexpensive, easy to use and effective in lots of different areas so the only downside is it can't do all the muscles but I've yet to discover a tool that can and if you have quite a bit of fat padding it won't help anywhere but your neck. A full 5 stars from me and highly recommended.
Having dry skin can be a bit of a pain - literally. My arms and legs in particular are prone to being very dry, flaky and itchy so I'm always on the lookout for the perfect moisturiser for them. Not long ago whilst shopping in Morrisons I noticed Vaseline Essential Moisture at 99p for a 200ml bottle so after a quick read of the claims decided to try one. Said claims are: it contains pure oat extract, has multi-layer moisture at the top, core and deep down layers of skin absorbing quickly without greasiness. Sounded like just the thing. I must point out nowhere on the bottle does it indicate what type of skin this is aimed at but with those multi-layer moisture claims it made me think dry skin might be the target. The packaging, quickly, is a flat bottle with a flip top lid. It has a flat lid so can be stood on it when you get to the dregs. All the aforementioned claims are written on the front and back and a picture of some oats are on the front as a lure. The cream is white and quite thick and smells kind of sweet and fresh all at the same time. So far so good, onto the actual moisturising. I found it absorbed well and did indeed leave no greasiness in a short space of time but it just wasn't moisturising enough for my arms and legs, it worked fine on all other areas but I still had dry flaky patches on my arms and legs and my shins in particular itched from lack of moisture. Sadly this doesn't perform well on dry areas but as I mentioned before it doesn't actually say it is for dry skin. The areas where it is enough are left smelling of the light scent and feeling silky smooth with not a hint of greasiness so if you had normal skin this would likely suffice all over. For me it's a middle of the road 3 stars for the nice scent, quick absorbing cream and a silky feeling on certain areas but with a "multi-layer moisture" claim all over the bottle I have to deduct stars for not being extremely moisturising on dry areas. For those of you who don't have dry skin this is a cheap and pleasant moisturising body cream so possibly worth a try. I will use the remainder of this product but it isn't one I'll purchase again so you decide!
As some of you will know I have two young cats, Max and Harry, who need rather alot of entertaining or my wallpaper gets it! I'm often looking for toys for them and on one such occasion I spotted this cute mole. The Trixie Catnip Mole with squeaker looked like just the thing for them, especially Harry because he likes to carry mice toys around the house in his mouth. The mole (as it shall be known from now on) cost me £3.99 from www.zooplus.co.uk, it can be found under the catnip toys section as opposed to mice toys if anyone's looking! The mole is about mouse size but with hardly any tail, it is covered in lovely soft fur and the front legs are in the position you can see in the picture. The eyes and nose, back feet and tail are little bits of material that won't do any harm if they get pulled off and inside the body is one of those items that make toys squeak. In fact the mole is very very squeaky and if you so much as touch it off it goes! When this first arrived I couldn't wait to get it off the card and onto the floor. Both Max and Harry were out of sight at the time so I could test out the squeak and its ability to bring them running. When it first hit the floor and started squeaking they did indeed come running and were both very interested in the sound and the scent so it does smell of catnip initially but not for long, it's the sound that keeps up the interest. Over the next few days the mole was often in use with both of them patting it to make it squeak and running after it when it did. The squeaker inside makes it a bit too firm for Harry to pick up in his mouth but once he discovered he couldn't carry it around he had great fun stuffing it under furniture anyway. If I accidentally tripped over it it would squeak and sometimes I gently kicked it across the room so it would squeak over and over as it rolled which always brought them running! It is almost too cute to hand over to sharp claws though and to kick across the floor! Although we've had this for a few months now it never fails to interest them if it squeaks and it often goes days with no use then gets moved and makes a noise which sets them off again. It's just big enough not to get completely lost under the sofa so it's always rolling around the floor somewhere and if they get the urge they give it a swipe and make it roll and squeak. Unlike a few toys I've bought over the years that claim to squeak but actually cheep instead this has the best squeaking sound so far. Overall this has been a hit, it still squeaks despite plenty of play and is the right size for cats to hit and roll around, it's a safe toy because none of the outer bits would do any damage if they came off but if it's looking a bit ragged I wouldn't let cats play with it because I have no idea what the squeaker inside is like. At £3.99 it's probably a bit steep for what it is but the months of play have made it worth the price for us. I'm going to give it 5 stars because it's cute and interesting and if you buy one you're almost guaranteed to get a few nights of squeaking going on while you're trying to sleep!
As some of you already know a few months ago I took on a couple of young cats, technically still kittens, and needed a wide range of toys to entertain them. Max and Harry were 9 months and 7 months respectively when they arrived and with endless energy to wreck my house I wanted toys that would wear them out a bit! These ping pong balls were something I spotted on www.vetuk.co.uk for £1.98 and I thought they'd be good for my bedrooms upstairs that have laminate flooring. The pack of balls is a 4 pack which makes these very good value for money, each ball is a lightweight ping pong type of material so will bounce a bit on hard floors if thrown in that way. As far as I recall from the few games of ping pong I played in my youth these seem a little bit smaller than an actual ping pong ball but not much smaller. They are all multi-coloured as in the picture above. That's it for details really, they don't have catnip or bells or anything like that but I still thought if they could be rolled across the floor they'd likely get chased. When they arrived I took 2 for upstairs and left 2 for play on the tiled kitchen floor. You can use these on carpets too but they don't roll as quickly. I started off with the upstairs ones to see how they went and found both Max and Harry did indeed like them rolled around on the laminate flooring, they move quickly and give off a light rumbling sound so it draws attention to them. Both Max and Harry could push them along too and on tiled floors a light push is going to move them along swiftly so quite alot of fun was had upstairs with them! The downstairs pair have been used both on the tiled floor and the carpet in the lounge and although they don't roll as fast on the carpet if a cat is interested enough to keep tapping them they do still move and create entertainment. Ours frequently turned up under the kitchen cabinets and the sofa though because Harry is very keen on stuffing things out of reach! Upstairs they both got caught in the corner of the room by the chest of drawers there and I completely forgot about them until today. Once freed again both Max and Harry who are now 1 year old and 10 months immediately chased them around under the bed so they haven't lost their appeal yet! In fact now they like to bounce them down the stairs then chase them around down here too so it maybe helped to lose them for a while and then have them reappear as a seemingly new toy! Overall I'm very pleased with a simple, safe and inexpensive toy that I think will remain interesting for some time. A full 5 stars from me and highly recommended as a fun little gift.
In February of this year I agreed to take on two young rescue cats, Max and Harry, and I have to admit I'd completely forgotten about the ways of young cats! Max was 9 months old and Harry 7 months old when they arrived and one of the first wake up calls was the chewing. Everything went into their mouths, furniture, shoes, tupperware containers, the door of the carrier, kitchen cupboard handles etc etc, you get the picture! Thinking it would be nice to find them something safe to chew to fulfill that need I had a look on www.vetuk.co.uk to see what I could get. Roll forward the Nobbly Wobbly toy. The Nobbly Wobbly toy is like a ball shape made of tough rubber rings, 6 in total and each one a different colour. The rings aren't smooth circles but kind of like a flower shape, the kind of flower shape we all used to draw as kids that is. In the middle is a bell which helpfully is too large for them to swallow should they chew through a ring and release it. Overall the ball is about 4 cm in diameter so not huge and technically about normal size for a cat ball. The Nobbly Wobbly ball cost me a measly £1.90 which I added to an order where I already had free delivery so very inexpensive. When it arrived I thought it seemed ideal and the rubber doesn't really smell rubbery which I felt made it more acceptable to them. The first time I rolled this across the floor both Max and Harry chased it and had a bit of a paw at it however it is quite heavy and cumbersome due to the shape and material so their attempts to roll it further didn't get them far and they soon lost interest in trying. Over the next few weeks I rolled it in catnip, rolled it across the floor for them and aimed the dot from the laser mouse at this toy but they really couldn't care less! Neither of them have ever chewed it even if they are chewing something they shouldn't and I replace it with this ball, they just have no interest in it at all and it's been sat on the floor doing nothing for the entire duration we've had it. I'm not going to give this toy a very low rating because it's a good idea for chewers, safe and a good tough texture and we all know that what suits one cat another won't touch so if my two had liked this it would have been great. As it is it will likely get lost under the sofa and come to light when I've completely forgotten it exists! A middle of the road 3 stars from me as it would be good if they liked it and it's a nice cheap toy so if it does get chewed and need replacing doesn't cost the earth.
I've always had very sensitive teeth and have used a sensitive toothpaste all my adult life but about a year and a half ago I was given medication from my doctor for pain that left me with a chronically severe dry mouth and that's opened up a dental can of worms. Saliva contains enzymes that fight bacteria and neutralize acid so without saliva your teeth and gums are left wide open to problems. One is more of a tendency to get cavities and the other is enamel loss. It's enamel loss that has happened to my teeth so far and it's left areas of dentine exposed which leads to very sensitive teeth. Before Xmas last year my teeth started hurting all the time and really, really hurting if I ate anything cool, not even cold just cool, or anything sweet. I was already using a sensitive toothpaste but when I saw an advert for Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief I thought I'd give it a go. Colgate Pro-Relief claims to give instant relief, to whiten teeth, to protect against bacteria and has the active ingredient Arginine which makes it work so well. I tried to establish what Arginine is but a search just brought up L-Arginine which is an amino acid which I don't think is the same thing. So I have no clue what the active ingredient actually is but the toothpaste is supposed to block small holes in the enamel that lead to the nerve and therefore stop the pain of sensitive teeth. Pro-Relief also contains fluoride. When I purchased my tube it was on offer and the 75ml cost me £2.50 which is a pound cheaper than it usually costs. The box is typical of Colgate, the tube too, in that it has Colgate in large letters on a red rectangle and then Sensitive Pro-Relief underneath in blue. On the back it says to rub some directly onto the tooth or teeth that are painful with your fingertip once or less a week or to brush with the toothpaste twice a day. Children 6 and younger should be supervised and use only a pea sized amount to minimise swallowing. I think this must contain more fluoride than other toothpastes because it mentions if you have an intake of fluoride from other sources you should consult your dentist or doctor, extra fluoride is the current method to deal with sensitive teeth, I know this because my dentist has prescribed me a toothpaste to use but more about that later. The tube has an irritating screw off lid rather than a flip top which I invariable drop in the sink every day but apart from that it's all very normal. White minty paste that gives no sign it's different to any other toothpaste. I started using the Pro-Relief immediately and brushed thoroughly with it, no instant relief that way for me so I opted for rubbing some directly onto the worst areas and leaving it on to do it's work, it worked a bit using it like this but it wasn't the wonder toothpaste I'd been led to believe it to be . Right through Xmas and New Year I was using both methods and not getting a huge amount of relief so a trip to the dentist was in order of the day the first week of the year. My dentist had a look at the worst teeth which just so happened to be all the ones at the front which get the cold air on them etc. I had some very large areas of enamel loss on all of them but he could only safely fill 3 of them with no infection risk, remember earlier how I said a lack of saliva leaves me open to bacteria? In this case it would be a high risk and I'd likely end up losing a tooth if not 2 and we all like to hang onto those that are visible at the least don't we? So he filled the ones he could which gave me instant relief from pain on those ones but the others not only persisted in hurting but got worse after he pressed on them! I mentioned I was using the Pro-Relief and he said he thought I needed something stronger and prescribed me a high fluoride toothpaste, this is what makes me think it's the fluoride content in Pro-Relief because up to that point I had no clue high fluoride was the current treatment for sensitivity. So I now have a prescription toothpaste to use but I'm finding combining that with rubbing Pro-Relief onto my teeth and leaving it there is helping. My dentist advised I rub toothpaste onto my teeth daily so I ignore the "once a week or less" instruction on the pack. I still have problems with sensitivity but not constant pain so it's helped a bit but in my case I have too much enamel damage for Pro-Relief to be especially helpful on its own. I'm giving it a middle of the road 3 stars because it does help some when I rub it on but it wasn't effective used exclusively. It's got a lovely fresh minty taste and when on offer isn't too expensive but for me it wasn't a case of instant relief. It's definitely worth a try though if you have sensitive teeth that aren't responding to other toothpastes but like me you should go to your dentist if it doesn't resolve.
Some time ago when Morrisons were selling Radox handwash at £1 a bottle I stocked up on a variety of different ones from the range. I only buy big brand handwash when it's on this kind of offer because I find the one Morrisons make is perfectly adequate but sometimes it's just nice to have a change. The Radox clean and nourish was one that caught my eye because it has shea butter in it and as I have very dry hands alot of the time I try to avoid drying hand products. I'm not sure what the usual price for this is but when I paid a pound for it I got a 300ml pump dispenser bottle which was a reasonable bargain. Aside from the shea butter this also contains ginger which I thought might be a bit warming, I also have problems with very cold hands too! Radox handwashes help maintain the skin's proper ph, contain added moisturisers, can be used by all the family, are dermatologically tested and apparently contain "100 years of Radox know-how" which is an odd crowing kind of claim in my opinion! The bottle can be recycled but not the pump part. I had this in the bathroom and the fact it claims to be a natural antibacterial made me even more pleased I'd bought it. That kind of claim tends to appeal to me so I hope it's true! The soap itself is a light pale orange which I suspect is to make us think of ginger, it smells very slightly fruity but is saved by the ginger fragrance for me because I don't like fruity soaps much. The pump is a wide one which is easy to press and open for first use. My first thought when I tried the handwash was the pump dispensed far more than you need for a bog standard wash, I only pressed the pump down halfway from that point on which dispenses a more moderate but still plentiful amount of soap and of course makes it last longer. The ginger smell is lovely when you have the soap out in your hands ready for washing and does remain on the skin for a while afterwards too. I found this lathered up well and rinsed off with no residue left behind which is good because I'm not keen on being able to feel any sort of product on my hands. I didn't find it especially moisturising if I'm honest but nor did it dry my hands out so it should be fine for others with dry hands as long as you realise the need for a hand cream too. The bottle lasted me a few weeks and I had no problems with leaking nozzles or a blocked dispenser so I got exactly what I was after in a handwash that smelt nice and proved to be economical. Overall this smells nice and when on offer is a tempting buy, I do think a half depression of the pump is enough however and also don't expect the shea butter to be evident and moisturising but it's one to try if you like the smell of ginger and just fancy something different. A 4 star rating from me.
For a while now I've been using a Nivea Hydro Care Lip Balm after finding it kicking around in the kitchen drawer. I bought it ages ago and have no idea how much I paid for it but after looking online they seem to sell for around £1.99. Usually I buy 99p Chapsticks so this must have been on offer for me to even consider trying it I think. The lip balm comes in a lipstick kind of tube with a light blue lid designed I suspect to make us think of water. It comes on a piece of card that tells us it has pure water and aloe vera in it, UV protection and that it locks in moisture. It says on the back it helps provide intensive and long lasting moisturisation, is quickly absorbed thanks to its light formula and non-greasy for smooth and soft lips. It is also skin compatibility and dermatologically approved. All sounds good so far for parched lips! I started using mine about a month ago and have to say it doesn't look like I've been using it that long but I do only use it after a bath and before I go to sleep at night. The actual balm twists up and is white with no taste. I suffer from very dry lips and they often get sore and chapped which is why I always have a plentiful supply of lip balms to choose from. The idea of this one containing aloe vera appealed to me alot because it's very good for skin and also is said to help whatever ingredients it's mixed with absorb into the skin so in this instance I was thinking about the water getting into my skin. The balm feels softer than other lip balms and literally melts onto the skin when applied. This doesn't seem to make the product run out faster however and a little goes a long way. Once on it's about as good as other lip balms at staying put and if you were to drink or lick your lips it's gone just as fast. It does however feel very moisturising which I suspect is down to the fact it melts easier than some other brands. As I apply it mostly before bed it stays put for a while longer and if I can't sleep I can feel it on my lips for a couple of hours. As for how well it moisturises lips I'd have to say probably slightly better than other brands, it does feel like it helps add moisture rather than just adding a layer of vaseline type substance on top of the lips. I haven't had such bad dry lips since I've been using it and would happily buy it again. Overall it does seem to do what it claims and of course the UV protection is a bonus. I'd pay £1.99 for another of these as it's not really expensive and it does help moisturise my dry lips. I've also used it at the corner of my eyes when I get watery eyes for reasons known only to my eyes and it helps prevent the skin getting sore from that too. It's one I'd definitely recommend.
Until the last couple of years I've never had a urinary tract infection (UTI) in my life and then suddenly they've become a bit of a problem. Everyone who's ever had one will know the awful stinging when you pee, having to go every few minutes and the chills and shivers if it gets out of hand and the other thing that really got me thinking about cranberry was a trip to the out of hours centre at our hospital with a particularly bad one and having to come out of the loo with a paper hat containing a sample right into the busy waiting room! Having no previous experience of UTIs I had no idea if cranberry really worked or if it was just a myth but I was willing to give it a go to stop them in their tracks. I shop online at Holland and Barrett quite a bit as it's one of the shops listed on the cashback site I use so I logged on to see what was available and it turns out not very much. They only have a handful of cranberry products and none of them are especially cheap but the one that caught my eye was a 250 capsule bottle for £14.99 but with a second one for 1p. That offer isn't always on but it's worth stocking up if it is. The capsules each contain 252mg of cranberry plus 60mg of vitamin C and 6mg of vitamin E. Vitamin C is well known to support the immune system and vitamin E is a good antioxidant. The allergy advice is they may contain peanuts, nuts, soya and sulphites which doesn't affect me thankfully. One capsule is to be taken 3 times a day with water preferably with your meals so this bottle should last just under 3 months which makes the initial outlay easier to swallow. It used to be thought that drinking cranberry juice would help ward off UTIs but they since discovered you cannot possibly consume enough this way to be of use. Then they thought perhaps cranberry helped by acidifying the urine and killing bacteria but a bit of testing and head scratching revealed this wasn't the case. They've now discovered cranberries contain proanthocyanidins which can disable some bacteria and prevent it sticking to the bladder wall and the urinary tract so that seems to be the most likely explanation why millions of people, mostly women, take cranberry with some success. I first started taking Holland And Barrett's cranberry capsules months ago after a particularly nasty UTI and a desire to never repeat that and while I couldn't say for sure it was the cranberry helping I didn't get another while I was taking them. Then I got a bit slack, as you do, and didn't buy anymore once I'd reached almost 6 months of taking them. Part of me thought I'd be ok now I'd had a good long run on them and another part was just being tight! A couple of weeks later when cranberry capsules were a distant memory I got yet another UTI so I can conclude it does help to take them. There are lots of reasons why people get UTIs ranging from poor health and being run down to sitting around in a wet bathing suit so if you have obvious risk factors going on it's a good idea to stop those too to help the cranberry do its job. In my case I think it's yet another problem associated with my hypermobile pelvic joints as my pelvic floor has to be in spasm to hold me together and can prevent complete emptying of the bladder so any urine left in there for lengthy peiods of time can cause an infection. My "risk factor" isn't something I can change so cranberry capsules are going to be a long term feature in my supplement regime. I'm back on them now and have been for a while and can happily say I haven't had another UTI so far (touch wood..) and I really do think it's down to the cranberry. The capsules are tiny and dark red, surprisingly I haven't punctured one to see what's inside but I haven't so I don't know! The bottle is also mostly red so very easy to spot in the shop. It is always slightly more cost effective to buy the larger size but I'd say watch out for any offers which take the sting out of the initial £14.99. I can't really fault these, they do help and once you've got over having to pay £14.99 for a bit of fruit they really are worth the trouble if you're prone to UTIs. A full 5 stars from me.
As a cat owner I always have several of the high calorie pastes in the cupboard. I tend to give my lad a bit every day now he's older and regularly hide crushed medication in them too so it's vital to me that he likes them which is why I have so many different ones, he doesn't get bored of them if they are rotated. Calo-Pet is one I bought on a whim when I happened to be looking for a new one and it's served us well. Calo-Pet is for dogs and cats and contains lots of vitamins, oils and fats, cerals and sugar as most of them do. It also contains taurine which is essential for cats. The tube contains 120g of paste and I always purchase ours from www.vetuk.co.uk for £6.74 because I trust them to deliver it promptly. The box is mostly white with a blue and red logo and there really isn't alot of information except the basic ingredients and dosing. Doses for dogs are 1 tablespoon per 10kg of bodyweight per day and for cats 1 teaspoon per 3-5kg of bodyweight per day. That's as a supplement so if your dog or cat won't eat at all those figures can be doubled or tripled to make sure you get some nutrients into them. These types of paste are very good for dogs and cats who are recovering from illness or surgery, have had pups or kittens and are seniors. Anyone who has dogs or cats will know how worrying it is if they won't eat and animals who won't eat do need to see a vet to rule out infections, tooth problems etc but sometimes it's age related or unexplained loss of appetite which is where this also comes into play. Personally I've used this when my lad has been ill and on medication but won't eat much to get some nutrients and calories into him and help him fight the infection and as a daily top up since he reached about 15. Calo-Pet is actually one of my favourite high calorie pastes mainly because of the consistency. If you intend to hide various pills and potions in a paste you want one that isn't going to change too much when mickey finned. This paste has a runnier consistency than all the other ones I've tried and when crushed pills are added it maintains the same consistency, all the other pastes we've used have a tendency to get very stodgy and chewy almost like thick caramel or toffee when powder is added to them and that's not ideal for cats in particular to eat. My boy dislikes when his pastes get chewy so this one is brilliant because it doesn't. The paste is a medium brown colour and smells of malt, much the same as all the pastes I've tried. Sticking to a food theme where the others are all like caramel and if even a small amount of powder is added get chewy like toffee the Calo-Pet has a similar consistency to cream which can take alot more powder before it alters in texture. I sometimes hide several pills crushed up together (if you do this please check with your vet they can all be given at the same time before doing it!) in the Calo-Pet and can get away with alot of powder which makes it excellent for that purpose. Not getting stodgy also means every last bit is consumed and no bits are going to fly off when licked and end up in their bed/their fur/your carpet etc. If my lad is under the weather and doesn't eat alot I like to top up his calories with this paste and will happily double the dose, if he's refusing all food tripling the dose is necessary and often kick starts his system into wanting food. Mostly though I use it daily to give him extra vitamins (if giving other vitamins check the full ingredients as fat soluble vitamins can be toxic in too high doses) and to make some of his pills tasty treats he doesn't really know he's having. Overall me and my boy both love this paste and I prefer it over the others because of the amount of powder we can add, my lad goes through phases of liking different ones and currently this one is the favourite which makes us both happy. It's tasty, cheap and a must for every cat and dog owner's first aid box. A full 5 stars from me and my lad.
Firstly I'd like to say to anyone looking to see how this product performs on babies try a different review, I don't have children and wasn't in the mood to borrow my nephew to use this on so this review will be about using it as an adult. I've got a bit of a thing about aloe vera at the moment and I also like to save lots of time and energy when I get out of the bath using baby oil on wet skin instead of drying then moisturising then waiting for it to sink in etc, so when I saw Johnson's were doing a baby oil with aloe vera and vitamin E added it sounded ideal. I quickly headed to the internet and found a 300ml bottle would cost me about £2.50 so I ordered one. The bottle that arrived is quite compact so a space saver in my opinion rather than having lots of bottles of moisturisers around, it tells us it is good for baby and good for us too and in the baby section of the label says it can be used to massage a baby's dry skin, drop a few drops into bath water for moisturising and that it can be used for cradle cap. On the adult side it advises us to apply on wet skin and pat dry to lock in 10 times more moisture, you could of course drop some into the bath but watch out for super slippery baths if you do. It contains vitamin E which is good for the skin, is clinically tested with dermatologists and colourant and preservative free. The flip lid is green to no doubt make us think of aloe vera. I've been using bog standard baby oil on my skin for years and as well as using it after a bath I also use it to remove waterproof mascara, to rub into my spasmed muscles and trigger points on a regular basis and as a moisturiser on dry skin so I liked the idea of the aloe vera being combined with the oil. I have to admit I don't usually go for Johnson's because I find it overpriced but I haven't seen other less known brands adding aloe vera yet or I'd have ordered that instead. I know from using aloe vera in gel form that it doesn't really smell of anything, nor does vitamin E oil for that matter so there's a hefty amount of perfume in this oil which is worth remembering if you or your baby have very sensitive skin. I have sensitive skin and it's fine on mine however. I say a hefty amount of perfume because this smells very strong, if any of you other ladies used to use Timotei shampoo back in the days when the girl with the very blonde, very long hair was on the advert (1980s I think) you'll recall it smelt heavenly and this oil smells alot like that so the fragrance is gorgeous. It sadly doesn't hang around for long though once you've dried off and the oil is absorbing into the skin but while it's there it is lovely. For anyone using this on wet skin after a bath it's useful to know the label will start to lift off if you repeatedly touch the bottle with oily hands. It's also important to know if you rub dry rather than pat you don't get the benefits of moisturising as you just rub the oil right off onto your towel. The fragrance on the towel isn't the same as it is on the skin and smells a bit odd, slightly sour if that makes sense so you do really need a clean towel after you've patted this dry. As a full body moisturiser though it is so much faster than applying creams and does keep skin soft and supple. It works just fine on waterproof mascara too but again watch for the perfume near your eyes, and as an oil for muscle rubs it's as good as any other oil as it's the rubbing and not the oil that makes a difference. It works just as well as the non-perfumed oil in all areas and it really does seem to be the scent that's the difference which I have to admit makes me think how do I know it contains aloe vera and vitamin E? I don't of course and have to take their word for it. I think this is a nice twist of baby oil but I'm not sure I'd fork out £2.50 plus for a 300ml bottle on a regular basis, I'd be more likely to get unscented oil and add a dash of perfume to it so it's probably a one off for me. It does smell lovely on the skin but not on towels, works as well as baby oil without aloe vera and is readily available both online and offline. I'm going to give it 4 stars as I still think it's expensive for what it is.
I use alot of different handwashes in pump bottles especially in the kitchen as they're easy to use, don't leave any mess and fit nicely at the back of my sink. Recently Morrisons have been selling the Radox ones for £1 each so I've stocked up on different types and this Radox Clean and Protect is the one I'm currently using in the kitchen. The bottle is 300ml so it should last me a while and the soap is a lovely bright blue colour which looks very fetching. It contains Tea Tree and Thyme and is naturally antibacterial. A logo on the front tells us this is "naturally caring for hands" and on the back the claims are it helps maintain the skin's ph, effective and caring for all the family, dermatologically tested and has 100 years of Radox know-how behind it. The pump on the bottle is a nice wide one which makes it easier not to slip off it with wet hands, it also doesn't drip like some other brands so none is wasted and there's zero mess. I was a bit concerned it would smell strongly of Tea Tree but happily it doesn't it smells fresh and mildly medicinal so neither herb can be smelt once it's on your hands. I like the fact it's naturally antibacterial as it's not as harsh as adding antibacterial to it. When using this I find it dispenses rather a lot which most pump bottles do so I only press it halfway down to use a bit less. I still get a good blob of soap which lathers up well and rinses off leaving no residue behind. It does tend to leave my hands a bit dry though although I can't really complain about this as it doesn't have moisturising as one of its claims. It does leave hands feeling very clean and fresh though which is essential the amount of times I wash my hands daily between medications, kitchen tasks, touching bin lids, touching things outside before going back into the kitchen etc so my hands being very clean is incredibly important to me. I'm very happy with this soap, when on offer it's very cheap, it smells nice, cleans my hands well and makes no mess. I would say if you have dry skin on your hands like I do then moisturise often if you use this soap or it will dry them out badly. I'm giving it a full 5 star rating for being very effective and recommending it highly.
I rarely shop at Asda because the nearest one to me is over 30 miles away so when I do it's always online. Having a sprained ankle right now I struggle with the trolley when I go to the supermarket so decided to shop online at Asda instead. Toilet roll isn't something I usually buy cheaper brands on but the Asda Shades toilet roll was on offer of 12 for £4.48 instead of £4.98 so I bought a pack. I have used the Shades toilet roll before years ago and can't remember it being especially nice and it certainly didn't stick in my mind so I wondered if I'd done a bad thing being tempted. When my shopping arrived I noticed the rolls looked narrower than the Andrex I'd been using so they were much more compact in the plastic wrapping. On the front it tells us 3 out of 4 mums prefer it to the number one leading brand although I'm not sure why they chose mums there in particular as everyone needs loo roll whether a parent or not! I did see that claim and think "yeah right" so it didn't really impress me. The pack also says it has easy start rolls so you don't waste the first few sheets and that was something that did impress me, I get really annoyed when I have trouble starting a new roll and end up wasting loads trying to get it right. Upon opening the pack I found the rolls feel completely different to Andrex or other brands. It's like a thick 1 ply that's really soft and almost has a felt feel to it. I was very impressed by the feel of it and it definitely didn't feel like that in years gone by. The easy start claim was true and the first sheet peeled off incredibly well with no waste whatsoever so no irritation for me either! The claim is this toilet paper is softer, thicker and more absorbent and the softer and thicker claims are easy to see and feel straight away. So far I was very pleased with myself. I use toilet paper for more than the obvious and use it to remove make up if I've run out of cotton wool pads, to blow my nose, to dab my eyes that always run at this time of year, to wipe and spills up upstairs, to wipe my lad's (cat) eyes if his run and naturally the obvious. These Shades rolls perform excellently in all those tasks, it was particularly nice on mine and my boy's eyes as it's so soft and it does absorb better as demonstrated by me mopping up some water I spilled on a laminate floor. It doesn't go all soggy and fall to pieces like other brands which is especially good for me as I have a bit of a phobia about soggy loo roll, similar to fingernails on a blackboard! So overall I'm very pleased with this, it is very strong, soft, thicker than other brands and has a unique almost material feel to it. It matters not one bit the rolls aren't quite as tall as other rolls and the easy start bonus is brilliant if you make a mess of other rolls when you first start them. The price is very good at the moment but still cheaper than Andrex at full price so I say give it a try, you won't regret it. I use less because it's thicker and more absorbent on things like spills, noses and eyes so it saves more than you think it will. And it's excellent for the obvious too! A full 5 stars from me and highly recommended.