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Wee_Jackie_163

Wee_Jackie_163
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Member since: 10.03.2009

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      18.03.2014 15:25
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      Worth paying a bit more for..!

      I regularly use sanitising hand gel products, as I am very prone to catching bugs due to having reduced immunity as a result of several health complaints. In addition, I buy such products when travelling as I am conscious that there may be bugs lurking on aeroplanes, trains and buses and am conscious of my hand hygiene as a result.

      This review will outline my experiences of trying a recent purchase from the "Carex" brand, namely the Carex Sensitive Hand Gel.

      I paid in the region of £1 for my small bottle of Carex Hand Gel from a local independent pharmacy. I thought this price reflected reasonable value for money, but it is worth noting that the bottle is very small, being a neat 50ml in size. This is actually one of the reasons that I purchased this item, however, as I find the smaller bottles are more convenient than larger ones when it comes to taking the product out and about with me; sure, larger bottles of sanitising hand gels are often more economical in terms of their size and purchase price, but this advantage is easily outweighed if the item becomes bulky or heavy for me to carry around.

      The packaging is pretty standard for a product like this one, comprising of a small, upright clear bottle made of robust plastic. I can see the clear-coloured gel inside the bottle, and there is a plastic, 'flip-up' lid on top of the bottle that allows it to be dispensed easily. It may be worth noting that I believe the bottle is available to purchase in a slightly larger size that contains a 'pump' dispenser contained within it, but my own bottle is without this feature.

      To use the Carex Sensitive Hand Gel, I simply need to tip the bottle upside down and squeeze a little of the clear Gel onto my hands. I find that the Gel comes out easily from the bottle, as it is not overly thick. The Gel is easily spread over my hands, coating my skin with a thin layer in just a few seconds. I do have to confess that I find that most Sanitising Hand Gel products that I use these days feel very 'cold' when applied to the skin, and the Carex Sensitive version is no exception to this; there is a definite 'cooling' sensation evident as the product is massaged into the hands, but I have to admit that I don't find that it feels uncomfortable or overly cold. In just a few moments, the cold sensation has dulled completely.

      Another point worth noting, I think, is that I find products like this one often leave a slight residue on the skin after use, but I have never noticed this issue being excessive when using the Carex Sensitive Hand Gel. True, there is a slight 'stickiness' present on the fingers and palm for a few moments as the product dries, but this quickly dies down and skin returns to normal quite quickly. Afterwards, there is no residue or 'tackiness' present at all.

      The Carex Sensitive Hand Gel does have quite a strong aroma, but I don't find that it is as 'harsh' as some of the other Gels that I've purchased recently. Whilst the product's scent is hard to miss, particularly in the early stages of application when it takes on a faintly 'heady' tone, I couldn't say that I found it to be particularly off-putting as I find the scent is vaguely reminiscent of a family soap product. Once the product has dried, I am aware of a fainter, lighter 'tone' of this scent wafting from the skin, but again, I don't feel that this is overly intrusive, and really I find that the scent's strength is on a par with most soap products that I use regularly. The scent is not overly feminine or 'girly' so the Hand Gel does feel suitable for use by the whole family.

      The product claims it has been "expertly developed to cleanse your hands when you are on the go" and I do have to agree with this statement. I have used the product when out and about, just as a follow up to a normal 'soap and water' routine and I do confess that I have felt more reassured about my resistance to bugs and bacteria as a result; there are some occasions where I feel more confident about my hand hygiene after using a Hand Sanitising Gel, particularly when using public restrooms and being in public places. The Carex Sensitive Hand Gel has been the ideal addition to use on such occasions, as it is so 'easygoing' in its approach; it is quick and easy to use, without it causing any interference to my outing or appointment.

      Furthermore, the packaging promises that the product "Kills 99.9% of bacteria in seconds" and this offers me great reassurance when travelling by air, particularly as in times gone by, it was an extremely rare occurrence for me to travel by plane and NOT develop a stinking cold or flu-type bug within a few days; a bit of a bummer (to say the least!) when it happened on my out-bound flights to various holiday destinations; who wants to be suffering from a head cold for the first four days of their holiday? I do confess that since developing my "Cleanliness First!" ritual when boarding aircraft these days that said occurrences are thankfully, much rarer. I believe that this change has come about by the use of using a bacteria-killing sanitising Hand Gel product, such as the one I am reviewing here.

      As the product's name would suggest, the Carex Sensitive Hand Gel is suitable for use on sensitive skin types, and I do have to admit that I have never encountered any irritation or aggravation to my sensitive skin during or after use of the product. Furthermore, I find that the Carex Gel's formulation seems to be slightly 'kinder' to my skin that some of the other Gels that I've purchased before; these can often feel slightly 'drying' on my skin, presumably as a result of the bug-killing chemicals contained within their make-up. The Carex Gel, on the other hand, feels 'milder' than some of these rivals, with the skin on my hands being much less prone to any ill-effects. Based on these results, I do recommend the product as being suitable for those consumers who, like me, suffer with dry and/or sensitive skin.

      Taking everything into account, I do feel that the Carex Sensitive Hand Gel is a worthwhile purchase; the packaging is neat and light, making it a convenient hand sanitizer product to take out and about with me. I do find that the product works well, and have no reason to dispute any of the claims made on the packaging. Taking into account too, the fact that the product works without fuss or inconvenience makes it something of a more 'premium' Hand Gel product, in my opinion.

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        17.03.2014 11:16
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        An excellent face wash product from Olay that I will buy again..!

        I was browsing on www.amazon.co.uk for various items a while ago, as I had a voucher to use up. I ended up buying several skincare items at this time, with this review outlining my experiences of using the "Olay Essentials Refreshing Face Wash."

        I paid in the region of £2 with free postage for the large tube of Face Wash that is 150ml in size. I thought this price reflected excellent value for money, particularly as I consider the Olay brand to be of a high quality. A quick look online tells me that the product can also be purchased from various online retailers, including www.boots.com, where the current price is £2.99 plus postage costs. You can also purchase in store at Boots, alongside some other drugstores such as some branches of Savers.
        (Info correct as @ March 2014).

        The packaging is pretty standard for a product like this one, comprising of a chunky tube that is made of squeezable plastic. There is a plastic 'flip up' cap on the bottom of the tube, so it will stand up easily when required. Underneath the flip up cap is a small hole, through which the product can be dispensed easily. I think it is worth noting that I have encountered no difficulties with using either the product or its attractive packaging, even though I suffer with the strength in my hands as a result of various health complaints.

        The Refreshing Face Wash resembles a sort of 'gel' product, but it is perhaps a bit thinner and more runny than your average gel, although not excessively so as it doesn't spill or drip easily. It is clear in colour and has a lovely consistency I think; it lathers easily, but without an abundance of foam being produced. Instead, it feels light on the skin, and it spreads very easily over the skin's surface.

        I always moisten the face and neck prior to using a product like this one, and in the case of the Olay Face Wash, I find it is beneficial to 'agitate' the product a little in my hand, prior to application. I find that this just allows its lather to 'take hold' as such, rather than spreading the gel over the face in its 'standard' form. This is just my own technique, and of course I'm sure that such things are a matter of personal choice, but I find that obtaining a little lather from the gel prior to application saves a little time and effort on my part which makes this method worthwhile.

        I think it is worth noting too that only a small amount of the product is required with each use; this makes the purchase price feel like excellent value, particularly as the large tube has lasted for quite a long time. Taking this into account, I have no complaints in terms of the product being economical or value for money.

        The Olay Face Wash has a fairly strong scent, and this makes its appearance almost as soon as the clear gel has been dispensed from the tube. I can't say that I find it particularly necessary for products like this one to have a scent at all, so its inclusion is neither here nor there for me personally. To be fair, it does smell quite pleasant, with a vaguely 'fruity' tone being noticeable among the stronger, slightly more clinical scents. I do find that the scent is evident throughout the time the Face Wash is present on my skin, but I can't say that I am aware of it once it has been rinsed off and my face has been dried, which suits me down to the ground.

        I have found that the Olay Face Wash has worked extremely well, and I do have to admit that the product's formulation seems to be entirely suitable for my own troublesome skin type; the product feels as though it has worked 'in harmony' with my skin type, which has made a pleasant change, as my skin has various difficulties to overcome; it is prone to acne and spot outbreaks, and dryness, as well as being extremely sensitive, to the point of 'flaring' aggressively if anything harsh or inferior is used. These issues can make it something of a challenge to find skincare products that can cope; usually, only two out of these three complaints are dealt with effectively.

        The Olay Face Wash, in comparison, has caused no dryness or sensitivity, but neither is its formulation oily, greasy, or too 'rich' for my skin which would no doubt have me grumbling about spot outbreaks. it's very unusual for a product like this to tick every box for me personally, but this one has.

        Not only that, but the product seems to be highly effective, allowing its claims that it "lifts away dirt and make-up to effectively cleanse and refresh" to ring true. Indeed, I do find that my skin feels wonderfully refreshed and thoroughly cleansed after use, with all traces of make-up, grease and grime being removed completely. I do have to admit that I do feel there is something of a 'softening' quality to be enjoyed from this particular product too, and whilst this would never be enough of an importance to warrant a purchase based solely on this addition, I do admit to thinking that my skin feels - and looks - refreshed and softened with continued use of this product - a nice bonus, by anyone's standards.

        Based on the excellent results achieved from this product, it is probably unsurprising that it comes with my full recommendation, together with full marks in the rating score.

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        • Matalan Long Sleeve Top / Clothing / 39 Readings / 38 Ratings
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          14.03.2014 11:05
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          An extremely comfortable top from Matalan that offers excellent value..

          Over the past few years, I've become increasingly impressed with the quality of some of the items within my local Matalan store, and have made various purchases as a result, with this review outlining my experiences of the "Matalan Long Sleeve Top."

          I paid £6 for my Long Sleeve Top a few months ago, and I did feel that this price reflected good value for money, particularly as I felt the quality and materials used were far superior to the similar tops I've purchased in the past from rival budget brands such as Tesco's 'budget' range as well as Primark.

          The Long Sleeve Top is available in sizes 8 up to 20, and the price of £6 is the same, irrespective of which size you are buying. At the time of purchase a few months ago, there was only four or so colour choices available in the Long Sleeve Top, although I do believe that this varies as the season's change, so it may well be the case that you will be offered more choice at certain times throughout the year. I purchased the top in black, but I believe it was also available in white, cream and grey.

          The Top, as the name suggests, has long sleeves, and I do find that as usual, Matalan have been rather generous with their sizing as the sleeves fit me really well, without riding up above the wrist which I really don't like. I like too that the top doesn't feel tight in the underarm area, which is a significant issue I've encountered with similar tops I've purchased from other stores in the past; some of these seem to be rather small-made, and although I do have a fairly small frame, I like my tops to feel 'fitting' rather than clingy.

          I have the top in a size 10 and in other aspects of the top too, the sizing is absolutely spot on; I like how the top is fitting around the waist without being clingy or looking tight. I also like how the crew neck is flattering, giving ample coverage at the bust without being too low or tight. In addition, I really like the way the top is slightly longer than some of the others that I own from rival brands; this means that it doesn't ride up when it is worn with jeans or trousers, and I find that its length is perfect for my own tastes; it sits neatly at my hips without hanging down excessively.

          The quality of the material in this particular top is excellent, with it proving to be rather hard-wearing and robust; in actual fact the top has been washed and laundered countless times in the months that I have owned it, and it is showing very little in the way of wear and tear. The seams have all been stitched properly, so no loose threads are exposed, and I do feel that the top's fabric is without excessive 'bobbling' or other damage. I have noticed too that the fabric's black 'hue' has not suffered from any fading; it does not look lacklustre or dull, nor has it taken on that grey-like 'tone' that black clothing will often show. In actual fact, I feel there is still quite a lot of wear left in the top, even though it has been worn and laundered at least once a week for the past four months or so.... That's pretty impressive for the sum of £6, I think.

          The Top's cotton fabric feels warm and snug, and has been perfect to wear under a cardigan on colder days, as it is surprisingly lightweight, keeping me warm and comfortable without feeling 'heavy' as it were. On days that are slightly milder, the top is smart enough to wear with jeans or trousers without being too dressy for more everyday occasions; it is understated in its design, but it is fairly smart when worn with the right accessories, I think. This 'suitable for all occasions' appeal is ideal, as far as I am concerned as it makes the top rather more versatile than some of the others that I own, and I like the way it can be dressed up with attractive jewellery and a pretty cardigan, if I chose to do so.

          The Long Sleeve Top can easily be popped into the washing machine along with other, similar dark clothing and I usually wash it on a 30 or 40 degree cycle. The fabric seems to appreciate this laundering method, as it doesn't crease excessively and usually it is the case that any creases will easily smoothen out as the product dries. I like too how the fabric hasn't been prone to any shrinkage after washing, and it's fit and shape has remained exactly as it should.

          In summary, I do really recommend the Matalan Long Sleeve Top and would definitely purchase it again as I have nothing negative to report, and feel the fabric's quality is far more premium than some of the other, similar tops that I have purchased from rival brands. This makes the purchase price of only £6 feel like excellent value for money considering the top's quality.

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            13.03.2014 15:58
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            Not suitable for dry skin types, so I won't buy it again.

            Recently, I have made a bit of a vow not to purchase any more cosmetics and toiletries until I have used up what I already have; I have a huge stockpile of assorted creams, lotions and potions at home, and whilst I quite like trying out new products, I can't really justify the purchase of any new items when I have so many waiting to be used up at home.

            Among the huge selection of assorted bottles and jars, I unearthed several items from the Boots own-branded "Simply Sensitive" range of skincare products, with this review outlining my experiences of using the "Boots Simply Sensitive Foaming Face Wash."

            I believe I purchased several items from the Boots Simply Sensitive range as part of a 'multi-buy' offer a while back, but a quick look online tells me that the 150ml bottle currently retails for £2.49, which I think is reasonable value. As @ March 2014, there is a promotional offer running on selected skincare items in Boots which allows three products to be purchased for the price of two. You can purchase in store in branches of Boots, or you can buy online at www.boots.com, where postage costs apply.

            The product's packaging is in keeping with the rest of the items within the Boots Simply Sensitive range, as they all carry a simplistic, 'clean' image, thanks to the basic colours of white and green used. I believe that Boots produce this range as their own-branded alternative to the well-known 'Simple' brand, and certainly I feel that the products look quite similar.

            I have found the product's packaging is easy to use, with the robust 'pump' dispenser in the plastic bottle working well without fuss; although it is well-made and sturdy, it is not difficult for me to press on the pump to dispense the liquid within, and I can manage to use it by myself, even though I suffer with the strength in my hands as a result of various health complaints.

            The Simply Sensitive Foaming Face Wash product is just that; a facial cleanser that will 'foam' when it is dispensed from the bottle. I really like using products that are produced in this way as I like the feeling of the foam cleanser on my skin, which is quite sensitive and dry at times; there is often something quite 'soothing' noticeable when using a product like this, I think. Another point noting is the fact that I find a little goes a long way with this cleanser; just one or two pumps on the bottle will dispense an adequate amount of foam to cleanse my face thoroughly, so the bottle is lasting well, and the purchase feels very economical.

            The Simply Sensitive range has, of course, been formulated for those of us who have extremely sensitive skin, and I do have to confess that I find the product feels wonderfully gentle when applied to the skin; there is something vaguely 'nourishing' evident from the product during use, and I am very conscious of the fact that there is no 'tightening' present in the skin during the time the foamy substance is being applied. This is a significant issue that I have with other cleansers and foams in my collection, and I can't say I care for it too much. The absence of this annoying trait is very welcome by me, and in this respect, the Boots Face Wash feels more suited to my own skin type.

            The product is free from any scent, fragrance or colour, which suits me - and my sensitive skin! - down to the ground. I felt somewhat reassured by the claims on the packaging that the product is "Hypo-allergenic" alongside the fact it has been "Dermatologically tested." In addition, I liked the fact that the product contains Aloe Vera, as I have found this ingredient is extremely beneficial for my own skin type, that will 'flare' aggressively if I use products that are too harsh. I did feel that the product had been given careful thought and consideration during its formulation, and felt that it sounded absolutely ideal for my own skin type.

            Alas, this is not strictly true. Sure, the product has caused nothing in the way of irritation or aggravation, and it DOES feel rather well-suited to my skin type in this regard. It is a shame, then, that I find there is something within the formula of the Foaming Face Wash that seems to be quite 'drying' in the case of my own skin, with it accelerating the dryness that is already present on my cheeks and forehead. I couldn't say that it has worsened this complaint excessively, and I will use the remainder of the product up as I hate waste. What it does mean, however, is that I will not purchase the product again in the future, nor can I recommend it to anyone who has a combination or dry skin type.

            This is a bit of a shame, as I do find the Foaming Face Wash works well at keeping skin free from grime, and I find that it even removes make-up, which is a huge bonus. I like the fact that the formulation seems to work well on my sensitive skin type, causing no irritation or a noticeable 'tight' feeling which I find uncomfortable. It is just a shame that it seems to be a bit unsuitable for my combination/dry skin type, as otherwise I couldn't really find fault with it and would've probably repurchased it again.

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              12.03.2014 10:31
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              A beautifully fragranced body spray from The Body Shop that I highly recommend..!

              My husband recently surprised me with a few items from The Body Shop as a gift, one of which was the "Strawberry Body Mist", with this review discussing my experiences and opinion.

              The Body Mist is only available in one size of bottle which is 100ml, and my husband paid £7.50 for this in a local branch of The Body Shop recently. You can also purchase online at www.thebodyshop.co.uk, where postage costs will normally apply.

              There is a small range of strawberry-scented bath and body products available in The Body Shop, many of which I own and love, including the beautifully-scented Body Butter. I thought that the Strawberry Body Mist would make a lovely addition to the selection of products that I already own, and I was looking forward to trying it out.

              The packaging is fairly simple, but I find it works well. The tall, cylindrical bottle is made of clear glass, and so I can see the clear-coloured liquid contained within quite easily. There is a robust 'pump' dispenser on top of the bottle and this works well, providing an ample 'spritz' of product when it is pressed. I can easily remove and replace the bottle's silver lid, and find all aspects of the packaging are easy to use; the only real niggle that I have when considering this aspect of the product is the fact the bottle is made of glass - this is unnecessary in my view, as so many of The Body Shop's other products are provided in plastic packaging. I do have to confess that the glass bottle is slightly inconvenient for me, as it is much heavier than plastic, rendering the product completely unsuitable for popping into my handbag to take out and about, in addition to it being unsuitable to take on trips and holidays.... what a shame.

              The Body Mist liquid is completely clear, and I have found that it has never caused any staining or greasiness on clothing or fabrics, which is a definite plus-point, of course. I find that only two or perhaps three 'presses' on the bottle's pump is quite ample for my own requirements, although this matter is probably down to personal choice, and other consumers may wish to apply a little more. For my own requirements, however, this isn't necessary, and I do have to admit that the bottle is lasting extremely well considering how often the product has been used. This result gives the product a bit of an 'economical' feel, allowing the slightly high purchase price to feel rather justified, as a result.

              When the Body Mist is released from its bottle, it smells wonderful; with a completely refreshing 'feel' to it, the lovely scent of fresh strawberries is unmistakeable. I do have to confess that I was slightly cautious about the product feeling 'sickly' on the skin once it was applied, but thankfully this has never been the case, as the product's scent - whilst undeniably sweet - never takes on the familiar 'heady', sickly edge that some strawberry-scented toiletries will contain. In my experience, cheaper or inferior bath/body care products that are scented with 'fruity' fragrances will often feel sickly when applied - their scents usually contain a strong 'saccharine' tone in their formulation that I find quite off-putting. Experience has taught me that only those fruity-scented toiletries of a slightly more 'premium' quality are worth bothering with.

              I find the scent is bordering on being mouth-watering as it dries on the skin. The refreshing scent feels surprisingly 'light' too, which I think makes it the perfect 'body accessory' for more everyday occasions, when heavier scents and perfumes feel a little much. It struck me too that the Body Mist's fragrance felt quite uplifting which has made it a pleasure to use recently when the days have still felt a little cold and dark. It's refreshing 'edge' is definitely one of the product's best features as far as I am concerned, and I am really looking forward to using the product in the summer when the days are warmer; I do think that the scent will be perfectly suited to these months thanks to its light, 'easy-going' nature.

              There's only one little niggle that springs to mind at this point, and that is concerning the longevity of the scent. I do find that once the product has completely dried on my skin I can really only smell it if I seek it out, which is down to its understated 'body', I think. Whilst this is a definite plus-point when considering the fact the scent never becomes sickly or over-bearing, I do feel that this factor is also responsible for the fact the scent is rather reluctant to hang around too long, which is a bit of a shame. To be completely fair, I do feel that the Strawberry Body Mist performs as well as most other Body Spray/Body Mist products that I own, but considering The Body Shop's price tag for this particular product, I do confess that I feel slightly disappointed at the fact I have to reapply the Mist several times throughout the day in order to enjoy its fruity scent properly. I also feel that there is little - or no! - hope of the scent being detected by another person whilst I am wearing it which is a shame. To reflect my disappointment at this discovery, I feel it necessary to deduct one star in the product rating score.

              As with all products from The Body Shop that I have used before, I have never experienced any irritation or aggravation to my sensitive skin during or after the use of this product. Based on these results, I do recommend the Strawberry Body Mist as being entirely suitable for those consumers who, like me, suffer with sensitive skin issues.

              Taking everything into account, I would definitely buy The Body Shop's Strawberry Body Mist again, particularly in the warmer summer months as I feel its wonderful, refreshing scent will feel particularly pleasant during this time of year. I do feel that the product is worthy of my full recommendation, but I find it is slightly disappointing that the lovely scent doesn't last around too long.

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              • Ikea Knubbig Table Lamp / Lighting / 37 Readings / 37 Ratings
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                11.03.2014 12:42
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                A lovely little table lamp from Ikea.

                When we decorated our bedroom last year, I wanted a few little 'finishing touches' to help achieve the look I wanted. With some of our bedroom furniture being black in colour, I was on the look out for a small silver lamp to add a little contrast to the dark furniture. I stumbled across the perfect accessory in a local branch of Ikea, namely their "Knubbig Table Lamp", with this review outlining my experiences of the product.

                The Knubbig Lamp is available in a choice of colours such as red, purple, silver, gold, and a sort of frosted white colour decorated with a delicate petal design. There are two sizes available, but I believe that not all colour choices are available in the larger size. The size I purchased is the smaller size, and I selected this in the silver colour. This cost me £7 from a local branch of Ikea.

                The packaging for the Knubbig lamp was fairly simple, with the small, circular lamp resting on a 'square' of thick cardboard and being covered in see-through plastic, so I could see the lamp inside before I bought it.

                The lamp's design is quite simple, but I think it is really pretty and unique. With a completely round shape, the lamp is flat on either end, so it sits easily on a flat surface without wobbling. These flat ends are 'open' so the one at the top allows the light to shine through when the lamp is on. I find too that the light shines through the glass shade easily, irrespective of the silver 'foil' design that covers the glass.

                I hadn't realised that the Knubbig Lamps are all completely individual, as each one is made from mouth-blown glass, meaning that no two are the same. This gives a unique appeal, although I did feel that my little lamp already had this appeal as I hadn't come across anything quite like it in any other stores that I'd been searching in.

                The lamp is extremely easy to use with minimum set up required; I simply had to put its bulb in and plug it in at the socket on the wall. To switch it on and off, I simply need to flip the chunky switch that is attached to the Lamp's flex. Whilst I'm on the subject, I have to mention that the Knubbig Table Lamp has an amply-sized flex; it is long enough to reach its required socket easily without feeling cumbersome, and certainly the flex length is on a par with most other lamps that I've purchased in recent times.

                The Knubbig Lamp requires the use of an Ikea light bulb, which unfortunately isn't supplied at the time of purchase. I managed to obtain one quite easily in store, however, although I cannot recall how much I paid for this. I can confirm that the light bulb is extremely economical, as it has not needed me to replace it as yet even though the little light has been used for around a year now.

                The lamp's 'fitting' is inside the circular lamp, of course, and I admit that I do find it a bit 'fiddly' to remove and fit the light bulb due to the Lamp's neat size; it's not impossible, but it does require a little patience as I need to squeeze my hand in the lamp's top opening, which takes a little practice.

                I find that the light from my lamp is quite subtle, so it creates a cosy ambience when I'm reading in bed at night-time, which I am able to do quite easily without straining my eyes. This wasn't really possible with my previous bedside lamp as although it was extremely pretty and gorgeous, it didn't give enough light for me to read comfortably.

                The Knubbig Table Lamp works really well, and at the same time it is gloriously pretty. Whilst being quite feminine in its image, I do think that in the right surroundings, the little lamp could work well in extremely contemporary, minimal surroundings; there is something 'crisp' and 'clean-cut' about the Lamp's design that I think make it quite contemporary, without being 'cold' in the way that some modern designs often are. Instead, the little Knubbig Lamp ticks all the boxes; it is subtle, cosy, modern and chic, with an extremely affordable price tag.

                To clean, I simply use an old-fashioned yellow duster, which the Lamp's glass seems to appreciate; all dust particles are removed easily and quickly, leaving the glass sparkling and shining.

                I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Ikea Knubbig Table Lamps, and would love to have more of them dotted around my home as they are so attractive and cute in their design; even when switched off, my lamp is shiny and pretty and resembles a flat, chunky vase from afar, so it never stands out or looks awkward. It is probably no surprise that this little lamp comes with my full recommendation, together with top marks in the product rating score - I can't praise it enough!

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                  10.03.2014 13:42
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                  A lovely little cat toy that is great value for money.

                  I have always bought Christmas gifts for my pets, and so in the run up to the Festive Season back in December, I was on the look out for some little gifts to place under our tree for our Tabby-cat. I purchased several items, one of which was the "Plush Dangle Mouse" from the well-known 'Armitage Good Girl' range of pet supplies. This review outlines my thoughts and our experiences of this particular cat toy.

                  The toy is a 'dangle' type of toy, with the toy itself being a small, circular mouse in this case. The toy dangles from a piece of stretchy elastic, and can be pulled and, of course, 'dangled' in front of your cat during play. In this case, the little mouse is extremely cute, and looks exactly as shown in the picture at the top of the Dooyoo page here.

                  Before Christmas, I bought my girl's mouse from a local branch of Asda, and paid in the region of £1, which I felt was excellent value considering how much I trust the 'Armitage Good Girl' range; I've bought lots of their products in the past and have always found they are good quality. I'm unsure if Asda are still stocking this particular cat toy, but you can purchase it online from various stockists including www.ebay.co.uk, where prices and stock seem to vary greatly, or you can purchase online at www.vetuk.co.uk, where the current price is only £0.88 plus postage costs.

                  The Dangle Mouse is described on the Vet UK website as being a "plush" cat toy, but I feel this description is perhaps not as accurate as it could be, as I would always think of 'plush' materials as being soft like fabric, felt, or canvas. In this case, the little Plush Dangle Mouse in fact resembles something you might find on a Christmas Tree as his little body is covered in a silvery fabric that reminds me of tinsel! This gives him a very appealing design, I think, but I couldn't say that the word that sprung to mind when looking over this material would ever be 'plush!'

                  The Dangle Mouse is small, being a similar size to a golf ball. His string is made of elastic and is attached to the top of his head. This elastic is very stretchy, so when my cat is playing with the toy she can easily keep hold of him whilst the toy is 'agitated' by me pulling on the stretchy string. The elastic is of an agreeable length, so Tabby-cat has never managed to scratch me during play with this toy - a valid point worth noting, I think. The elastic has a small plastic 'hoop' at one end so you can hook the toy onto your finger and dangle it above your cat's nose to entice play.

                  This particular cat toy is quite appealing in the way it looks which makes a pleasant change; many of our other cat toys at home are rather boring, it has to be said. Not only is the little Plush Dangle Mouse have a lovely 'silvery' body that sparkles in certain light, but his little face is rather cute too, thanks mainly to his large red nose, which is basically a small pompom, made of a sort of red 'felt-like' material. His eyes are just little black felt 'dots' but they seem stuck on very well and are still intact. His ears too, are just felt circles, but are larger than his eyes and stuck on at an angle so they stick up a little. He doesn't have a mouth!

                  His tail is basically another piece of elastic, but it seems to be thicker than that of the 'dangler' on the toy. It is covered in the same 'silvery' substance as his little body, and there is a little bell right on the tail's tip, so the toy jingles when it is shaken or, indeed, dangled. The inclusion of the bell on this toy is neither here nor there for us as my girl is (almost!) completely deaf, but I do think younger cats would enjoy this aspect of the toy very much.

                  My Tabby-cat is EXTREMELY fond of this toy. Now, I do have to stress that my girl is eighteen, so the best of her playful days are behind her now as she much prefers snoozing and napping to engaging in too much play or activity. She still has a playful side, however, and I do encourage a little playtime with her each day as I feel she benefits from the exercise - even if it is quite minor. As my cat is so old, it can be difficult to keep her interest in playtime 'piqued' as such; it doesn't take much to put her off altogether, and see her returning to the rug for (yet!) another nap. The Dangle Mouse helps here, as my girl likes it so much and seems to find it quite hard to resist. She particularly likes it when the mouse is 'dragged' along in front of her, and she will often pounce on it before giving it a 'kick' whilst lying on her side, in that way that cats often do.

                  A point worth mentioning here, I think, is that this toy does really seem best suited to those cats who are a bit older; I would be cautious about giving the toy to kittens in particular as some of the parts are perhaps not as robust as other toys. The toy's bell in particular, seems susceptible to becoming loose and I personally would be worried that this presented a choking hazard for baby kittens. Our toy DOES still have its bell intact... but it is literally hanging by a thread. The other elements of the toy, such as its eyes and ears may well prove to be more robust than I am giving them credit for, but in my experience, baby kittens will often chew the most ridiculous things, so I'd not recommend this toy for them.

                  For my elderly lady, the toy has been surprisingly robust, and the silvery, 'tinsel-like' coating remains intact without much damage being evident. True, after we have played around with this toy, there is often a little 'shedding' evident on the carpet or rug, but I couldn't say it was excessive, and there is still plenty of use left in the toy. I'm rather impressed at this result considering how inexpensive the mouse was, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one again in the future.

                  I do think we've had really good value for money from the Armitage Good Girl Plush Dangle Cat Toy, and I think that it is an extremely worthwhile purchase, but probably only for those cats who are a bit older; younger, more boisterous cats and kittens may well rip the little mouse to shreds in a very short space of time, and I would be slightly cautious about some of the parts coming loose.

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                  • More +
                    06.03.2014 12:03
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                    An excellent Night Lotion from The Body Shop that's very effective to use during spot outbreaks.

                    I would describe my skin as being quite problematic, in that it has several issues to overcome including sensitivity, dryness and spot outbreaks. I have tried out endless products over the years in a bid to overcome these problems, and find that products containing Tea Tree are very effective in helping to combat some of the issues. In particular, I find that Tea Tree - or products containing this helpful ingredient - are very effective in keeping spots at bay.

                    As I am a huge fan of the assortment of products from The Body Shop, I have used a variety of products from their own-branded Tea Tree range over the years. This review will outline my experiences of using "The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion".

                    The current price for the small 30ml bottle of lotion is £9, and you can purchase the item in store from branches of The Body Shop, or online at www.thebodyshop.co.uk, where postage costs usually apply. (Info correct as @ March 2014).

                    The packaging is quite simplistic, but I find it works very well, mainly thanks to the integrated 'pump' dispenser at the top of the cylindrical bottle. The bottle is quite small and neat, so it fits neatly into the palm of my hand without feeling cumbersome. I find that the pump dispenser will easily dispense a small amount of the Lotion product with each press; this prevents unnecessary waste, which I cannot stand, and would be somewhat unforgiveable given the slightly high purchase price of this particular product.

                    The Tea Tree Night Lotion is just that; a lotion product. I do not really think it could be described as a cream as it is not thick enough, although this is not a criticism on my part. I find the Lotion's light and thin texture allows it to be spread easily over the skin's surface, which I think is rather ideal as it means there is very little in the way of effort required to apply it - very convenient, considering the product is designed to be applied after cleansing the face at night time - who can be bothered with fuss or faff at this hour of the day?

                    The Night Lotion has a sort of 'yellowish' tint to it, although I find it is so rapidly absorbed into the skin's surface that it is hard to be sure - it might just be off white. I find that 'dotting' the cream along the cheekbones, and applying a small dab to my chin, forehead and nose is really ample for my own requirements, as the Lotion spreads so easily; using any more than this feels a bit wasteful. I like how the Lotion doesn't leave my skin feeling sticky or with a 'tacky' residue, as I find this a bit off-putting. Instead, my skin feels rather 'cared for' and softened, with no greasiness lurking on the skin.

                    As you would probably expect, there is a strong aroma of Tea Tree evident as the lotion is applied, and I find that this lingers for a short while afterwards; I can't say that this fragrance is particularly invasive, but I am aware of the scent's menthol-like 'breath' whispering from the skin after the lotion has been applied, so if you don't like the scent of Tea Tree I'd advise steering clear of this product altogether as I find it is much stronger than some of the other, similar products that I own from rival brands. Also, I would advise that I find when the product is used alongside some of its 'sister' products from elsewhere in The Body Shop's collection of Tea Tree facial care products, the Night Lotion's scent seems to take on much more 'body' than when it is used alone; presumably, the culmination of the Tea Tree scent from the various products allows it to become much stronger. Again, this isn't a criticism on my part, but I thought it a helpful point to mention within this review.

                    I do find that the Tea Tree Night Lotion works quite well at keeping my skin moisturised; any dryness is easily eliminated, and I have never been aware of any 'tightness' being present in my skin once the product has been applied and absorbed; this is a tell-tale sign that my skin is lacking in moisture, and is a common side-effect of many other Night Cream/Lotion products that I've bought before, so I'm happy with the fact the Tea Tree Lotion seems to be more 'in tune' with my own skin type.

                    Earlier, I touched on the fact that the product was much 'lighter' than most other Night Lotions that I've purchased before, and I do think that this is a contributing factor in the way the product works; it is designed to help "minimise the appearance of post-blemish marks and discolouration." I feel that if the product was thick and creamy, it would simply 'smother' blemish marks in a thick layer of product which is never really going to help them fade, in my view. Thanks to the Tea Tree Lotion's thin texture, it is more easily able to deal with the matter in hand.

                    In actual fact, I do feel the product works, but I do feel that it works best when used as part of a regular skincare routine, and I do have to admit that I feel the product works best when used alongside some of the other products from elsewhere in the same range; I find the product is particularly effective when I first cleanse my face with The Body Shop's Tea Tree Facial Wash, then I apply some (diluted) Tea Tree Oil to any blemishes and spots. Finally, I moisturise my face and neck with The Body Shop Tea Tree Night Lotion and voila! - skin is cared for, and blemishes are treated.

                    The results are evident from following this regular regime; existing spots and blemishes are cared for, and have significantly diminished in their appearance and colouring, thanks to the Tea Tree's healing properties. In addition, however, I do feel that less blemishes and spot outbreaks have occurred overall, which is a result that I can really only attribute to the highly effective spot-busting properties of The Body Shop's marvellous products, with the Night Lotion being among my favourites from the whole range.

                    In terms of the product's suitability for my sensitive skin type, I would advise that it has never aggravated the skin or caused any dryness or itching. The only point I would mention at this stage is that I have noticed that the Night Lotion will cause a slight 'tingling' in the skin on occasion - not EVERY time, but quite often. This really only seems to affect two areas - the tops of my cheeks, where they meet the bottom of my under-eye area, and the top of my lips, under my nose. For some reason, the product seems to cause a bit of a reaction if it is applied too near to the eyes or mouth, and although I have never applied it directly to the lips or too near the eyes, I confess that the tingling - whilst not painful or harsh - is something that has made me slightly cautious. Other consumers - especially those with skin that is not as sensitive as mine is - may well find that the product causes no sensation whatsoever, but I would suggest perhaps trying it out on a small area first, just to ascertain its suitability for your own skin type before going ahead and smearing it all over your face.

                    This little issue has not put me off from using this fabulous little product, and I confess that I do feel that it is one of the best Night Lotion products that I have ever used, mainly because it just feels so in tune to my own skin type which is dry/combination, whilst being prone to occasional spot outbreaks and blemishes; the fact that it can cope with all these issues, without adding to the problem, or feeling too harsh or rich for my own sensitive skin type make it an absolute winner as far as I am concerned.

                    It is probably no surprise, therefore, that The Body Shop's Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion comes with my full recommendation, together with top marks in the product rating score.

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                    • Pedigree Gravy Bones / Dog Food / 40 Readings / 39 Ratings
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                      05.03.2014 12:14
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                      I will buy them again - dogs love them!

                      I have a good friend living close by to me who owns two small dogs. I will regularly try and help her out by popping into her house to spend a little time with her two doggies and give them some company whilst she is at work, particularly when she has to work longer shifts than usual. In addition, when my ill health allows, I will often take the dogs for a walk around our local park for a bit of a run around, but this is really only possible when I am feeling particularly 'well' as one of the dogs 'Max' is extremely energetic and I find keeping up with him a struggle at times!

                      I will occasionally purchase a toy or some treats to feed my little doggy friends, and the ones I purchased most recently are from the well-known 'Pedigree' brand of dog food and treats, namely the "Gravy Bones", with this review outlining our experiences.

                      I've purchased these treats for my little friends many times, and they are always popular. On this occasion, I purchased a box of the treats from Tesco where I paid in the region of £1.50 for the box which is 400g in size. This is reasonable value, but I think it is worth mentioning that many pet shops sell these particular treats loose or in large, clear bags. I can generally get a large bag of these treats for around £1 from my local pet shop, so it might be worth bearing that in mind if you have an independent pet shop near to where you live.

                      The Gravy Bones are VERY popular with dogs, in my experience. Indeed, I don't recall ever coming across a dog that didn't find their taste and flavour extremely appealing and enticing, and in my years working in a veterinary background, even the most stubborn of hounds could usually be coaxed into whatever reasoning was required with the help of a yummy Gravy Bone... or three.

                      The little bones are just that; little brown biscuits that are shaped like bones. They are quite 'neat' in their size, being around an inch long. They are dark brown in colour and have a notable 'sheen' to their surface which is quite unusual for biscuits like this one, I think, with this being the sort of 'gravy' coating on the outside of the treats. Their texture is quite hard, but I can 'snap' one in two quite easily, which I will often do as one of my friends' dogs has had several teeth removed in the past, so I tend to find that she prefers smaller portions with treats like this one. I would say that the treats can become quite sticky if you hold one in your hand for more than a minute or two - worth bearing in mind if you want to avoid your hands being left with a notable 'meaty' aroma..!

                      The Gravy Bones are quite crunchy, but are not so hard that they pose problems for the dogs when they are chomping them happily. They can crunch them up quite easily - dental problems or not! - and will happily consume every last crumb.

                      I find too that these little Bones are the perfect bribe; Max isn't the best when it comes to his recall; sometimes he responds, and sometimes he doesn't.. BUT I find that letting him know I have a small stash of the Gravy Bones on my person when we are out on our little outings together will get the message home quite nicely; come back to me when I want you to, and you will get a Bone! Most times, it works. This leads me to think that they would be helpful in training puppies and working dogs too.

                      It's worth noting, I think, that the bones are fairly robust, irrespective of their small, neat size; I can carry some of the treats in my pocket without them breaking up into a crumby mess, which makes them ideal to take on our little outings together.

                      Another point to mention, I think, is that the box contains feeding guidelines, so you can judge the amount to feed your dog, based on his size and breed. I do have to be honest, however, and say that the amounts listed on the box seem vaguely excessive, in my view, and I do think that a couple of the treats at one time is more than enough; experience has taught me that feeding dogs - or cats! - too many treats at the one time can occasionally upset the stomach, so I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to treating my furry friends.

                      In terms of the Pedigree Gravy Bones nutritional values, the product claims to contain "Vitamins & Minerals" which I have found is normal practice with a product like this one. In addition, the Gravy Bones contain "Omega 3" and "Calcium" which is known to be beneficial to teeth and bones. Lastly, I like the fact that the Bones are "Free from artificial colours and flavours" as I am mindful of the fact that their intended recipients are not MY dogs, and I don't want to be feeding them anything overly unhealthy - this assurance offers me a little piece of mind that the product is made of quality ingredients.

                      I don't find that the Gravy Bones are particularly susceptible to becoming spoiled in their box once it has been opened, but I tend to keep them in an airtight jar, just in case. I have found that some brands of dog biscuit and treat will occasionally become softened once their packaging has been opened, but I have to say that this doesn't seem to put the dogs off from consuming them! In any event, the Gravy Bones seem to be a bit more robust in this regard, and I don't recall them softening before they were all finished.

                      In summary, both me AND my doggy friends recommend the Pedigree Gravy Bones. They are (apparently) tasty, appetising and delicious, and from a 'human point of view' they are not overly expensive, and work well as a bribe without being harsh on the dogs' stomach, or being overly poor in terms of nutritional value.

                      The Pedigree Gravy Bones are widely available to buy from good supermarkets such as Tesco, in addition to most pet shops and stockists.

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                      • More +
                        04.03.2014 14:23
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                        The Best Vests..!

                        I wear a lot of vest tops during the summer months, and favour those with a broad strap to wear with jeans. I also take such tops abroad on holiday with me, finding them ideal to wear with shorts or skirts, as I find them comfortable and lightweight to wear in a warmer climate. In addition, I wear said vests during the colder winter months under cardigans and jumpers, finding that they work well when 'layered' in this way.

                        For the past few years I have bought several vest tops from Matalan, with this review outlining my experiences of their "Round Neck Rib Vest" which I have purchased several times over the past three years or so. Most recently, I have purchased two of these vests last month from a local branch of Matalan, paying £3 each. You can purchase the vests online at www.matalan.co.uk, but I am unfamiliar with this site, so cannot comment further than this.

                        There is a small range of colours to select from at the present time in my local Matalan store, including grey, white, black, cream and navy. These shades are what I would describe as more 'wardrobe staple' shades, which is presumably down to the store's collection presently being aimed at the winter months. Certainly, during the spring and summer months, I've been able to purchase these vests in other colours including shades of blue and green, for example. My recent purchases were a white and a navy blue vest which I felt were the perfect accompaniment to the navy and white cardigans and shirt that I have been wearing recently.

                        The Ribbed Vests are available in sizes 8 - 20 and the price is the same, irrespective of which size is purchased which is very fair, I think, considering many retailers charge more for larger sizes. I am reasonably slim, and so I've always purchased the size 10 vest which fits me quite well; I do think the sizing is quite accurate for these particular garments, although it is worth mentioning, I think, that there have been occasions where some Matalan clothes have felt a little on the larger size, or certainly they have felt rather less 'fitting' than I would have expected. This hasn't been an issue with the ribbed vests, however, and I have never had an issue where sizing is concerned.

                        Another plus point for me, personally, is that I find the 'sizing' of the Matalan Rib Vests to be absolutely spot on for my own preference; I am in my mid 30's, so the days of showing a little midriff when wearing a top like this one are behind me, I think. I much prefer it when tops like these have a hem that sits easily at my hips, resting just at the waistband of my jeans, rather than hovering above it. This is my own preference, but I do think the 'fit' and sizing of the Matalan Rib Vests are slightly more generous than some of the other vests I own from rival brands that are a bit neater.

                        The Rib Vests are made from 100% cotton, and feel extremely soft to the touch. I particularly like how the material feels quite lightweight, without feeling tight when being worn.

                        In addition, I feel that the quality of the materials and fabric used in these particular vests is rather superior to many of the others in my collection, with it being surprisingly hard-wearing and robust, irrespective of the garments' 'purse-friendly' price tag. In actual fact, I have stopped buying 'budget' vests from brands such as Tesco or Primark, as these generally cost around £2 and are nowhere near the same quality as those from Matalan. True, the Matalan vests cost £1 or £2 more than the Primark ones, but I still feel that this is an extremely good value price considering the vests' quality. I'd rather spend another quid on a top like this one and have it last for several more months than some of those that have proven to be something of a false economy from more budget brands.

                        I've bought the Matalan Round Neck Rib Vests on and off for about three years now, and I have never felt that quality was compromised; For the purposes of this review, I've inspected some of the Rib Vests that were purchased during the summer months last year, and I can't see any signs of 'bobbling' on the fabric, nor is there any loose threads at the hem or seams. In actual fact, there is nothing that stands out to me as being significant wear and tear, and there is still PLENTY of wear left in these garments. I think that's evidence enough of the standard and quality of these vests, and it is one of the main reasons that I continue to purchase them in various colours and styles each year; you really get value for money here, and there are even occasional promotional offers available in-store for 'multi-buy' deals, making them even more affordable.

                        Caring for the Rib Vests couldn't be easier; I simply pop them in the machine on a 30 degree wash and this seems to suit the Vests' fabric and shape as there has never been any incidents of stretching or fraying, nor have they faded in their respective shades and colourings. These tops don't need ironed either, if they are hung up when damp; they are ready to wear - without creases being evident - as soon as they are dry. This 'fuss-free' approach to laundering makes the Matalan Rib Vests the perfect garments for travelling or holidaying abroad too, as they don't crease easily when packed and always just feel 'ready to wear.'

                        I don't have a single negative grumble to report when considering the Matalan Round Neck Rib Vest, which is probably why I continue to buy a small selection of them at the start of each Spring/Summer season. They are extremely affordable, whilst never compromising on quality or fit, and as such, I feel that top marks in the product rating score are more than justified, on this occasion.

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                        • I Married a Witch (DVD) / DVD / 44 Readings / 42 Ratings
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                          03.03.2014 16:38
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                          Worth a watch.

                          *** FILM ONLY REVIEW ***


                          I Married A Witch is a black and white film produced in 1942. You can currently buy a new copy of the DVD online at www.amazon.co.uk, where the current price is £22.69. There are various imports available, alongside various used copes. (Info correct as @ March 2014).

                          Please note, this is a film only review.


                          ~ The Plot ~

                          It is the year 1672. Jennifer and her father are both accused of being witches, and are subsequently burned by members of the puritan, highly religious, Wooley family. Jennifer, in an act of revenge, places a curse on the Wooley family, promising that all members of the family - including future generations - will be unhappy in love.

                          The ashes of Jennifer and her father are buried in the roots of an old tree on the Wooley family's land, as the belief is that the buried ashes will have their evil contained if they are buried in this way.

                          The film fast forwards to the 20th century, and we get to meet the most recent and up to date descendents of the original Wooley family, including Mr Wallace Wooley, who is engaged to be married to a rather miserable women.

                          During a violent and turbulent storm, a bolt of lightening causes an injury to the large tree that still resides on the Wooleys' land, causing a large branch to fall off and the spirits of Jennifer and her father - who was accused of sorcery whilst his daughter was accused of witchcraft - to have their trapped souls freed from the tree.

                          Seeking revenge for their persecution, Jennifer decides to target Wallace Wooley, and sets out to make him fall in love with her on the day of his wedding, intent on ruining his big day.

                          Will she succeed, and will she come clean to Wallace about her true identity..?



                          ~ My Thoughts ~

                          I quite enjoyed this film, and found it offered something a little different to other black and white films that I have watched recently, as some of these have felt far too 'serious' in their delivery of certain storylines, which can result in a sort of 'stuffy' feel that isn't particularly enjoyable to watch.

                          In contrast, I found that I Married A Witch had a wonderful 'tongue in cheek' feel throughout that seemed to suit the storyline really well.

                          I really liked too the way the 'magic' scenes were portrayed in the film; some of these were extremely cheesy, there's no denying it, but I enjoyed the 'stereotypical' witch references throughout the film, including a cauldron and a flying broom; this gave me a bit of a chuckle.

                          The film also had one or two bleaker moments, which was a bit of a surprise, although I found these never really took on so much darkness that I felt overly sad or moved. There was one scene at the end of the film, following Jennifer's return to the 'haunted' tree that I found evoked a little pang of sorrow for the character, but this was soon put to rest as her wicked side was displayed to the audience (again) shortly afterwards. I did like the end of the film the best, I think, finding the same 'tongue in cheek' humour was portrayed really well, leaving the audience smirking as the final scenes played out.

                          The special effects were a bit cheesy for the most part, but allowances of course must be made given the age of this film. I did think that SOME of the effects were quite clever considering how old the film is, whilst others were undoubtedly lamer. This whole aspect of the film seemed to be a bit 'hit and miss' with no middle ground being observed; the effects were either really good or a bit rubbish. To be quite honest, however, I do think that some things can be forgiven when enjoying a film that is as old as this one; there is a special sort of charm to be witnessed from an old movie, irrespective of the special (or not so special) effects contained within.

                          I thought the actors did a reasonable job in portraying their respective parts, but to me some of the lines were delivered in a rather 'static' fashion, although again, I do feel that this is something that is often the case with films produced in the 40s; it seems to be quite a common trait of actors from this era, I've found. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but notice the beautiful Veronica Lake - who plays Jennifer - did a really excellent job during the scenes that saw her character being mischievous and naughty; she seemed to play the role of a naughty young witch quite well at times, with notable points throughout her performance.

                          I found that the whole film 'flowed' well, which pleased me as I've found that some other black and white films that I've watched recently have felt quite 'bitty' which has resulted in me becoming a bit confused with the plot, resulting in my interest waning. This wasn't the case with I Married A Witch, and I was able to enjoy the whole storyline and plot. I liked too how - in the way that many films of the same era so commonly do - there were helpful 'prompts' displayed on-screen throughout the film, to ensure the audience was able to keep up with the storyline. This was particularly helpful when the film 'jumped' forward in history, allowing us to follow the Wooley family's future descendants through the years; I'm not sure the various costume changes would have been enough for me to keep up with those scenes..!

                          True, I could never say that "I Married A Witch" was the best film I had ever seen, but I found it the perfect accompaniment to a wet and rainy Sunday afternoon recently, and would recommend giving it a watch if you catch it on TV.

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                            01.03.2014 10:56
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                            I do think that they are a worthwhile purchase.

                            I suffer from a health condition that causes dreadful fatigue and tiredness, so it takes very little in the way of exertion from me to leave me feeling completely drained and exhausted. For this reason, I find it quite hard to undertake a lot of tasks and everyday to-ing and fro-ing can often be more difficult for me than it really should, especially considering I am a young woman in my thirties. During times when I am feeling particularly tired but have a string of tasks to carry out- such as shopping in a busy supermarket, I am often left feeling utterly exhausted after a very short period of time.

                            For this reason, I am always on the look-out for products that promise to give a quick burst of energy, and often keep a small packet of Energy Tablets in my handbag, so that I can quickly chew a couple in the hope of obtaining a much-needed boost. The Energy Tablets that I have been using recently are from the well-known Lucozade brand, namely the Lucozade Energy Original Glucose Tablets.

                            I tend to buy my Energy Tablets from Boots, mainly because I find they tend to have the best selection, but also because there are often promotional offers available, with some items even being available to buy in multi-buy packs, which tends to be quite rare with items like this in my experience. You can also find the Lucozade Energy Tablets in some health food shops and chemists, and you can expect to pay anywhere from 75 pence - £1.10 for a pack of the tablets, which contains 14 individual tablets within. I think I recently paid in the region of 80 pence for my pack from a local branch of Boots.

                            The packaging is fairly simple, but easy to manage, comprising of a foil-lined wrapper that can be tore easily to reveal the neatly-stacked tablets inside. This simple design allows the tablets to be stored away in my handbag until required, without any fuss or faff being experienced - a crucial point, when energy and stamina are limited.

                            The Lucozade Energy Original Tablets look rather uninspiring, it has to be said; the tablets are plain-looking, being an oblong shape and plain white in colour. The "Lucozade" brand name appears in a slightly embossed design along one side of the tablet. Their consistency and texture is quite hard, and they are slightly chalky, with a light, 'powdery' residue coming off onto the fingertips when the tablets are handled, although this is very slight, and I don't find a huge mess is created when the tablets are being consumed.

                            Reading the tablets' packet, I can't find any specific dosage instructions or advice, so I can only really assume that the tablets are safe to be consumed in whatever quantity I see fit. Personally, I tend to take two or perhaps three tablets in one sitting, which is mainly down to the fact that the tablets are quite sweet, and this can verge on becoming sickly at times. The tablets can be either sucked or crunched, but I tend to suck one tablet for a while as I like the refreshing flavour, and then when the tablet has shrunk in its size and shape slightly, I crunch it up to finish it off.

                            The Lucozade Original Energy Tablets have a very pleasant flavour. Their flavour is VERY sweet, and quite sugary, with it being vaguely reminiscent of one of the Lucozade Energy Drinks, from what I can remember. To me, the tablets taste vaguely fruity, with a refreshing flavour that is very palatable. I have no issue with taking a couple of these tablets, night or day, as their flavour and taste is so nice.

                            Admittedly, the Lucozade Energy Tablets are very slightly chalky in their texture, but this could be said of most other brands that I have purchased in recent times. I do think that some consumers might find this to be slightly off-putting, but I don't find it is too excessive, and I find that the Lucozade Tablets have such a pleasant flavour that I am slightly distracted from their ever-so-slightly chalky texture as I crunch on the tablets.

                            The idea is that the Glucose (Dextrose) contained in the tablets will provide a quick energy boost when it is needed most, and I understand that some athletes use products such as drinks that contain this ingredient as it may help to increase their performance/ability. For me, as a fatigue-laden consumer, I am more interested in whether the product allows me to carry on with whatever energy-draining task I am struggling to complete. I can honestly say that for the most part, I find that yes, I am able to obtain a bit of a 'boost' from taking a couple of the Lucozade Energy Tablets, although my husband cynically insists that the tablets simply offer me a sort of 'placebo' effect when I'm feeling drained, low or tired.

                            Me, on the other hand, I tend to think of the Lucozade Tablets as being in the same vein as some of the glucose-infused energy drinks that are available on the market; sometimes, it IS possible to feel a slight 'pick me up' effect from these products, and other times, when fatigue has stricken a particularly heavy blow, I can obtain little or no relief and need to succumb to my illness, allowing tiredness to overrule once more.

                            If I'm honest, I couldn't claim that the Lucozade Energy Tablets work EVERY time, but there have been lots of times where I have felt a bit more alert and slightly more able to cope with the tasks in hand after taking a couple of the tablets, and to be honest, this result is good enough for me; I'm just happy to obtain ANY relief from the tablets, even if it cannot be guaranteed or expected on each occasion they are consumed.

                            I've never experienced any side effects or ill effects during the time I've taken the Lucozade tablets, although I am mindful of their sugar content, and so am careful to maintain my usual, fairly intensive, oral hygiene routine after I've consumed the tablets, for fear of causing damage to my teeth.

                            Based on my experiences, I do feel that the Lucozade Original Energy Tablets are a worthwhile purchase, and I will definitely buy them again.

                            For me personally, my fatigue and tiredness are so extreme that there are many occasions where these Tablets are simply not enough to cope with my symptoms. On other occasions, however, I am able to obtain a bit of a boost in terms of my energy and stamina, and can cope a little better with being out and about or doing something that feels rather more strenuous than it should.

                            For this reason, I will continue to purchase the Lucozade Original Tablets, finding that even a 'chance' of a boost is enough of a valid selling point for this fatigued consumer, but I do suspect that other, (healthier!) consumers may find that these fall a little flat.

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                              28.02.2014 10:35
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                              I can't say that I would go out of my way to buy it again..

                              I quite like using cosmetics from the well-known Nivea brand, and recently made several purchases from a local (independent) pharmacy. One of the items that I bought at this time was the "Nivea Daily Essentials Light Moisturising Day Cream", with this review outlining my experiences of using the product.

                              I paid in the region of £3 for the small tube of Day Cream, which is 50ml in size. I thought that this price reflected reasonable value for money, particularly as the product contains SPF 15 protection, which I think tends to increase the price of cosmetics like this one.

                              As @ the time of writing, (February 2014) you can purchase the 15ml tube from branches of Boots for the sum of £3.99. You can purchase online at www.boots.com, where postage costs will usually apply.

                              The packaging is fairly simplistic, with the small, white tube being enclosed in an oblong box made of thin cardboard. The tube is made of robust plastic, although I've never found any issue with squeezing the tube to dispense the contents from within. There is a plastic, screw-off lid on the bottom of the tube coloured in pale blue, and again, I find this is easy to use, even though I suffer with limited mobility in my hands.

                              The cream itself is easily dispensed from the tube, mainly because it's texture is quite light. It's not runny, nor does it drip from the skin, but it's light, 'silky' texture is like that of your average lotion product. I find that as soon as the Nivea Day Cream is dispensed, I can easily detect its aroma, as this is quite strong at first. I have to be honest, however, and say that the Day Cream's fragrance is quite pleasant, with it being slightly reminiscent of the 'Nivea Original Cream' that is provided in bright blue tubs, and whilst this fragrance is not unpleasant, I do find that it is rather strong during the application process, which led me to feel slightly cautious at first as I'm not overly-fond of strongly-scented products.

                              Thankfully, the product's scent calms down as the Day Cream is allowed to 'settle' on the skin, and I'm not aware of it once the Cream has been absorbed into the skin.

                              I do find that the Nivea Day Cream's light texture allows it to spread easily over the skin, so very little 'rubbing' is required, allowing the product to feel convenient and without fuss. This is ideal for my own requirements, and I did appreciate this 'easy-going' aspect of the product when I used it during a recent holiday abroad.

                              Similarly, I found that the lighter texture of the Nivea Day Cream allowed it to become rather rapidly absorbed, and I liked this too, as my skin felt moisturised without feeling 'heavy' or slicked with product - a side-effect of many rival moisturising Day Creams that I've used before that I just cannot stand. Based on all of this evidence, my first impressions of the Nivea Daily Essentials Day Cream were very good.

                              Alas, this didn't last, and after repeated use of the product, my opinion changed slightly.

                              Firstly, I have found that my skin appears quite 'shiny' across the nose and forehead area if I have used the Nivea Cream for several days in a row. This isn't the end of the world, but I prefer to use creams and lotions on my face that don't cause this to happen. Likewise, I've found that there is the odd occasion where the shine is still evident underneath my make-up which is a definite bugbear for me. This means that I need to apply more make-up in a bid to control or cover the shine, and as a result, the Nivea Daily Essentials Day Cream is definitely less convenient to use than most of the other moisturising creams in my collection. I will definitely be deducting one mark from the product rating score to reflect my disappointment at this discovery.

                              I do wonder whether perhaps the Nivea Daily Essentials Day Cream is perhaps too rich for my own skin type which is dry/combination, although the Cream's tube informs me it is suitable for "Normal & Combination Skin", so I'm not sure whether this is the case or not, but I do think that the Nivea Day Cream has a formula that is not particularly well-suited to my dry/combination, sensitive skin type, which I felt was a bit of a let-down, especially given the claim on the front of the tube. Another disappointment for me, and another point deducted from the rating score, as a result.

                              In terms of the product's ability to moisturise, I'm relatively pleased, as the patches of dryness that affect my cheeks and chin have been amply smoothed and softened by the continued use of the product. I can't say that it is the best moisturiser that I've ever used, with some particularly stubborn patches of dry skin refusing to become smoothened by the Nivea Cream's lighter-than-average formulation, but I was impressed enough with this aspect of the product to feel it an adequate enough product to take it away on holiday recently.

                              Another plus point for me is the fact that this moisturiser contains SPF 15. This made it a particularly convenient product to take on holiday to a hot, sunny climate recently. I am always mindful to protect my sensitive skin from the sun's harmful rays, but tend to dislike applying sun lotion directly to my face as it can aggravate my sensitive skin and I find that many sun lotion products can have a tendency to cause spot outbreaks when used on the face. For these reasons, I tend to find that using a lighter, more 'everyday' moisturising product such as the Nivea Daily Essentials Day Cream is more preferable for moisturising whilst protecting the skin from the sun. As I touched on earlier, I find this 2-in-1 aspect of the product makes it slightly more convenient for use on holiday.

                              As with all other products that I've used from within the Nivea brand in the past, I have suffered nothing in the way of aggravation or irritation to my sensitive skin, and I do therefore recommend the product as being suitable for use by those consumers who suffer with sensitive skin issues.

                              Taking everything into account, I don't think I would go out of my way to buy the Nivea Daily Essentials Light Moisturising Day Cream again. It is ok, and I am happy to use it up as I hate waste, but I have used other products that have felt more 'in tune' with my own skin type. This particular cream felt rather too rich at times, and I felt that the shiny patches that it created were extremely annoying, and rather inconvenient.

                              Based on these results, I feel a three star rating in the product rating score is appropriate, on this occasion.

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                                27.02.2014 13:27
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                                A few of the things that make me happy..

                                I recently noticed that I was approaching my 1000 review 'landmark' on Dooyoo, and was inspired to write something a little different to mark the occasion, so today I want to discuss some of the things that make me happy.


                                1. Family.

                                My family are very dear to me, and we are very close. Over the years, we have all had our ups and downs, there have even been some falling-outs and arguments, but I do think this is probably quite 'normal' in most families. My parents and I and my husband, and my sister and her family will occasionally go on trips away together, perhaps for a weekend at the seaside to get some fresh air and a change of scene. We all meet up very regularly too, usually congregating at my parents' house for a family meal or a Sunday Roast.

                                We've had a lot to deal with, as a family. I don't want to get into it all here, as this review is supposed to be focusing on things that make me happy, but it's fair to say that we've all had our fair share of heartache over the years, and have lost some (extended) family members that we still miss massively. Over the past three years or so, we've had some extremely tough times to deal with, as my health has declined and I've had to rely on my husband and my parents to help me out. My mum too, has had her own health issues to deal with, as she had to battle Cancer last year. She's not fully recovered yet, but I can see some of the 'old sparkle' returning, now that the worst is (hopefully) behind her.... Small (but positive!) steps.

                                Over the past four years, my sister and her husband have added to our little family unit by the addition of my two glorious nephews. I am particularly close to my eldest nephew who is only four years old, as I used to babysit for him every week when he was growing up, so we formed a special bond in these early years. He's at nursery now, so I don't get to see him as often as I used to, but he never fails to lift my spirits. He's a big boy, he's loud and he's full of fun and mischief... he often has me in stitches at his antics and is like a breath of fresh air to me at times, especially when life can feel a little bleak. I adore him and his brother, and cherish them always.


                                2. Marriage.

                                I know it's a cliché, but I was extremely lucky, and married my best friend.

                                What else is there to say? Our partnership is just that; an equal partnership, where I always feel loved, cherished and respected. I'm a very lucky girl.


                                3. Pets/Animals

                                I've loved animals since I was a little girl; my mum has several stories about me being a small toddler in a buggy, trying to escape to chase after some cat or dog or pigeon! I have always had pets... and probably always will. In actual fact, for me, the addition of pets is what makes my house a 'home'.

                                I know that a lot of people feel differently, and have no desire to keep animals at home and of course I respect this opinion - but for me, I just can't stand to live in a house that has no animal 'company' in it.

                                There are some sacrifices to be made in our home, in order that I can keep my animals, but I never grumble or complain as they are part of my family. My elderly cat (who was put to sleep at my request in October of last year) suffered with ill health for the last four years or so of her life. In that time, she had major surgery, regular blood tests and monthly check-ups and prescriptions at our local Vets to be paid for each month... I really shudder at the thought of how much we actually spent on my old cat, and I have no doubt that we spent several thousand pounds on her, but my old darling Tiger Cub was truly, truly, worth every single penny. We had eleven wonderful years together and I still miss her every day, and probably always will.

                                Yes, there is really no doubt that my pets make me happy and I love them. I'm one of those people who always has a stray cat hair lurking on my jumper, whose house has several tell tale signs of being a house with some much-loved pets within it; it contains a 'sprinkling' of hair/fur on the floors and carpets, irrespective of how often they are cleaned. Also, there are various bowls of water and little furry beds dotted around, and you have VERY little hope of entering my house without my furry friend running to greet you at the door.

                                True, my house would probably be a bit cleaner, and my purse would certainly be a bit fuller if I had no pets sharing my home, but I have no doubt that my heart would feel heavier, and my days would be emptier.


                                4. Holidays

                                My husband and I are quite lucky, in that we are able to have at least two holidays throughout the year. We usually go abroad in January/February and around October, with perhaps a couple of breaks or long weekends away within the UK in between. We need to be mindful of our budget, as we have a limit on how much we can afford to spend on our breaks away together, but this doesn't stop us, and we've bagged some excellent 'last minute' deals over the years. We can often have a week abroad for only £50 or so more than what we would spend on a few days in the UK... crazy!

                                I really look forward to our breaks together, and we are lucky to have had some really special holidays together and been to some amazing places. We had a luxury cruise for our honeymoon back in 2010, which was just fantastic, and something that we'd both love to do again some day. We've also been to Las Vegas, Florida, Mexico and Los Angeles, as well as other places closer to home, mainly in Spain.

                                Holidaying together is something that both my husband and I really enjoy doing, and going on holiday really makes me happy as I feel so relaxed. We have holidayed with my parents, as well as with my sister and her family and we do enjoy going away in a small party like this. I can't really imagine not going on trips or holidays if I'm honest as we both enjoy it so much!


                                5. Surprises.

                                It's true - I LOVE surprises! Only nice ones of course.

                                Sometimes, my husband will present me with a small - but thoughtful - gift. This is often some of my favourite chocolate, or a bunch of cream-coloured roses. At other times, he will have purchased something from The Body Shop or bought me a scented candle. These little gifts are rather thoughtful, I think, and are purchased for no reason at all, other than the fact I've obviously been in my husband's thoughts when he's seen something he thought I would like.

                                Another example is when I receive something unexpected through the post. This can be a postcard, letter or small gift from a friend or loved one, and in actual fact I recently received a lovely gift from an online friend that was very much appreciated as I had been rather down in the dumps about health concerns and stresses. For me, it's not about what something cost or where it was purchased from - I'm just chuffed that somebody has cared enough to remind me that I'm in their thoughts. This is true too of emails, and even the shortest message from a dear friend can be enough to brighten my mood on a dark day.

                                There have been many occasions too when I've received a delivery of some lovely flowers from a friend or family member, and this is just such a lovely surprise that it instantly lifts the spirits. My friend sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers a few months ago and it meant the world to me at a difficult time, which is something I'll always appreciate and never forget.

                                I do really love surprises, and they definitely make me happy, but of course, only if they are the nice kind!.. I can't say that the surprise of our recent (huge) energy bill was particularly welcome!


                                So there you have it; these are some of the things that make me happy, and although I could easily list a couple more, the first three on my list are the most important to me.

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                                  14.02.2014 17:00
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                                  I think I would buy it again.

                                  I recently got the chance to try out the Compressed Anti-Perspirant Deodorant from the well-known 'Dove' brand as I am a Bzz Agent, and was selected to try out this product as part of their recent campaign.

                                  I was delighted to receive two full-sized canisters from the Dove Compressed range, each being 125ml in size. True, the canisters are much smaller than most other full-sized deodorant sprays that I buy regularly, but that is the whole point of this product as the Compressed canister claims to "last just as long" as your regular-sized sprays.

                                  As @ the time of writing, the Dove Compressed canisters are available to purchase from good drugstores such as Boots, where you can buy online at www.boots.com, where you can expect to pay in the region of £3.50 per can, exclusive of postage costs.

                                  As part of my trial as a Bzz Agent, I was given one Dove 'Original' spray, and one Dove 'Go Fresh' spray. The packaging is fairly simplistic, but attractive enough, with the Go Fresh spray having pink-coloured detail on its white can, and being complete with a pink lid, and the Original spray having blue-coloured detail and a blue lid.

                                  I found the appearance of the Dove sprays to be quite simple, but there was a notable contemporary design to be enjoyed, I think. I did like the small and more-petite-than-usual size and design of the Compressed canisters, feeling that they would be ideal to take on my next holiday as they take up considerably less space than most other deodorant sprays that I buy regularly. In actual fact, the size of the Dove Compressed Deodorants is on a par with your average body spray product, rather than the larger, chunkier Deodorants that we are all familiar with.

                                  Using the sprays is very easy to do, and I just need to remove the plastic lid which reveals a plastic 'nozzle' contained within the metal canister. Pressing on this nozzle will dispense a fine spray of the Dove Compressed Deodorant and I liked how the amount dispensed didn't feel any less than what I am used to, but neither did it 'swamp' my underarm area with a thick coating of product; a fine mist was dispensed, and this felt more than ample for my requirements. I liked too how the product didn't feel sticky or tacky during application.

                                  In terms of the products' scents, I felt these were quite understated, which is my preference with products like this one as I am not too fond of strongly-scented products that feel over-bearing. In the case of the Go Fresh spray, the scent is quite fruity which I thought allowed it to feel quite summery and quietly refreshing. In the case of the Dove Original spray, the scent was more feminine, reminding me of a 'powdery' scent that is along the same lines as a baby lotion product, or perhaps a talcum powder. Both scents are very pleasant, and neither felt 'heady' or sickly during the time the products were being worn.

                                  I did feel that the Dove Compressed Deodorant sprays worked well at keeping me dry and fresh in the underarm area, and certainly I felt that they worked as well as my usual product. Although I always apply my Anti-Perspirant Deodorant in the morning after showering, I do usually have a 'touch up' application of deodorant at some point in the late afternoon, and this practice was still carried out during the time I used the Dove sprays. This re-application is probably more down to my own habits than actual requirements, and certainly I was never aware of a 'need' to re-apply due to odour or wetness; this is just my preference, and my normal routine.

                                  I liked how 'gentle' the Dove Compressed Deodorants are; I have never experienced any dryness or irritation in my underarm area, which is extremely prone to sensitivity and will 'flare' aggressively if I use products which are inferior or overly harsh. Based on these results, I do feel that the Dove Compressed Deodorants are products of a very high quality. Additionally, I feel that the products are suitable for those consumers who, like me, suffer with sensitive skin issues as they have never caused any irritation, irrespective of their noticeable scents.

                                  In terms of the product being economical, I do feel that the canister has lasted for as long as my usual product, which is housed in a canister much bigger than the Dove Compressed, of course. This result means that I do feel that the product's claims about it lasting for a long time are completely justified.

                                  I was pleased to be asked to try out the Dove Compressed Deodorants as a Bzz Agent, and I do feel that I would buy the sprays in the future, particularly the Go Fresh variety, as I felt this would be a lovely product to use in the warmer summer months, thanks to its uplifting fruity aroma.

                                  I do feel that the normal purchase price is slightly high, but as the canister has lasted for quite a long time, this is perhaps slightly more justified than I originally thought.

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