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This watch was given to me by my daughter for a Christmas present in 2010. We have all reduced our spending since the recession began but a few years ago my family decided on a £20 challenge for Christmas and Birthday presents. I believe she bought this stylish watch for £19.99 from M&S. I like small watches but I have to confess that the face is rather too small to tell the time with any degree of accuracy. The face has only two actual numbers, the '12' and the '6'. All the other numbers are represented by glittery dots which in my case does not always mean that I can tell the time exactly. I like the silvery linked bracelet strap but when I had a link removed to make it fit it is still a little too loose. This results in the watch face sometimes slipping around my wrist so that I can't see the face. 'Why not have another link removed?' I hear you cry. If I had another link removed the watch would be too tight because the removable links are rather large. I like the watch and wear it often but for work and everyday use I prefer a watch with numbers and a slightly larger face. I haven't told my daughter this of course!
I don't tan easily and my cheeks tend to have a rosy appearance, especially when I am hot or have been out in the sun. I bought this Olay moisturiser because it promised to give a sun kissed effect to my skin. I thought the price of £17.99 rather expensive but saw an offer at Tesco's for 'buy-one-get-one -half price before Christmas and decided to give it a trial. My intention was to give the other box to my neighbour for a Christmas present.
My face needs regular moisturising because I have dry patches either side of my nose. As a moisturiser this product works well without leaving a sticky residue on the surface of my skin. Over the period of a week it was nice to see that my rosy cheeks had a slight tan. I also had a white area under my chin cause from reading during the summer in the garden with my head down preventing the sun from getting to my neck. This area is now nicely blended without that 'false' tan look. You have to be careful to wash your hands well after use as this moisturiser can stain the skin. Another problem that can occur is if you are over enthusiastic in your application you can end up with suntanned crow's feet. The pump action ensures that every drop is used rather than leaving a little at the bottom of the bottle.
This moisturiser claims to do lots of things including reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I haven't noticed any other effects other than a great moisturiser and a slight facial tan.
I'm afraid I didn't give my neighbour the other box of moisturiser that I bought half price for her Christmas present. She ended up with chocolates and I still use this moisturiser on a daily basis, especially throughout the winter. The slight sun kissed effect means that I don't need to use foundation and it reduces the rosy effect slightly on my cheeks. I do look out for offers at Boots or Superdrug because this moisturiser is rather expensive.
This 30L bin has a touch open lid that is much more hygienic for use in the kitchen because it can be left open when in use. When I am clearing food from plates it is possible to leave the lid open so that you don't have to touch the lid each time.The inside of the bin has a plastic rigid liner that allows for cleaning and for inserting new disposable bags. One of the best things about this kitchen bin is that the plastic bag containing the rubbish is completely hidden from view. The near silent pop-up lid is an additional convenience for which there is a price. I paid £64.99 from Sainsbury's Home section which I thought a little expensive at the time. However, I was persuaded to buy because I had just had a new kitchen fitted and the metallic grey colour and size of the bin was perfect for me and the limited space in my kitchen. The bin is 31cm wide and 72.2 cm high. You don't need to buy the Brabantia 30L refuse bags as other cheaper bags fit the bin without a problem.
On a slightly negative note, food particles, sauces and other debris can get caught around the lid catch preventing the lid from closing properly if not kept scrupulously clean.
I have bought two of the Ikea hanging storage tubes and I love them. I paid £2.99 each and I could have chosen pink or blue at the time. Mine are both blue and come with 6 storage chambers in soft blue polyester netting. The storage tubes can collapse completely if not needed. The diameter of each chamber is 30cm (1ft) and has a circular opening that is 20cm (8inches). The top of each storage tube has a loop that can be hung on the back of a door, inside a wardrobe or in my case on two coat hooks in the children's bedroom. I use one for storing soft toys, little cars and large plastic building blocks. The other hanging storage tube is used for separating small items of children's clothing e.g. socks and pants. I am thinking of purchasing another on to hang on the end of a wardrobe tidy rail in my spare room to store small craft items.
I am recent convert to cleansing wipes and have previously only used cleansing lotions and cotton wool pads to remove makeup or clean my face. I now find that cleansing wipes are a brilliant alternative to using lotions especially when travelling. With all the security restrictions concerning carrying liquids when travelling by air I decided to give them a go. I tried several types of cleansing wipes but ended up using the smaller pack (25) of Tesco's own brand of cucumber wipes that can nicely fit into my hand luggage. They come out of the re-sealable packet easily but if you accidently pull out more than one wipe you can pop them back for later use. The cucumber aroma is pleasant and they do a good job of removing my makeup. For my skin type I definitely have to apply a moisturiser immediately after use as they can leave my skin feeling a little dry. They are also good at removing my waterproof mascara, although I do have to use more than one wipe as the squares are smaller than some other brands. They are inexpensive at 46p to have a packet in my handbag, bathroom and a packet in the glove compartment in my car.
When I had my new kitchen fitted I splashed out on a new stylish looking kettle. I live in a hard water area and have always had a build up of lime scale in the kettle. By buying the Breville VKJ095 kettle I hoped that it would not only look stylish but cut down on the lime scale. I bought my kettle from Sainsbury's with my nectar points for £29.99.The kettle has an easy to use pop up lid and holds 1L. The kettle has a nice illuminated see- through side panel that looks very modern and indicates the water level. I was impressed by the speed at which the water comes to the boil and like most other kettles it switches off when it reaches temperature. The Breville comes with a Brita Maxtra filter cartridge but I didn't realise that the filters have to be replaced every 3-4 weeks depending on use. The replacement blocks can be expensive at around £14 each. Having said that, I am particularly sensitive to the taste of chlorine in water and this kettle not only makes my tea taste much better, I don't have the scummy film in my tea. The lime scale is definitely a thing of the past.
I try not to eat chips too often because it's not a healthy thing to do, certainly not if they are deep fried. I have never had a chip pan or an electric fryer for this reason. I was persuaded to buy the Tefal Actifry Low Fat Electric Fryer after seeing a cooking demonstration in a shopping mall in Manchester. I couldn't believe that chips could taste so good with just one small spoon of oil. They were new to the market when I bought my Actifry and rather expensive at £149.99.
The fryer hold about 1.5kg of food and you can see it cooking through the clear plastic lid. You get a measuring spoon with it to measure out the oil of your choice. A single spoon is all that is needed if you make your chips from scratch. I actually use Frylite which is an even healthier option. If you buy oven chips from the supermarket they don't need any oil to cook in the Tefal Actifry Low Fat Fryer. Other pre-fried food such as chicken nuggets don't need oil added either. Homemade chips take about 25 minutes to cook which is a little longer than you would expect but definitely worth the wait! It is really simple to use and has a simple on off switch and a digital timer. If you remove the paddle you can cook other food such as chicken, vegetables, fish and meat. There is a useful recipe book and suggested timings for basic recipes included in the box it came in. After use it doesn't leave a nasty smell of fried food in the kitchen but still gives a great fryed flavour to everything I've cooked.
I have a fridge freezer in my kitchen but it only has three small freezer drawers. I decided to buy a Proline PFZ115WA freezer to cope with all the batch cooking that I do. One of the problems I have is space in my kitchen and therefore opted for a freezer that I could keep in the garage next to the kitchen. I don't have too much room in my garage either but this chest freezer is just over 58cm D x 85cm H x 55cm W and fits snugly into the corner. It only has a 4.1 cubic feet freezer capacity but that is sufficient for my husband and I. I was impressed with the price of £ 139.99 from Comet, considering it has an A rating. The freezer is front opening (you can have the door opening to the left or right). It has 4 decent size drawers and a very useful fast freeze function. The thermostat is adjustable. This little freezer is ideal for my purpose and It keeps the running costs down because it is stored in an outside detached garage. You can of course store this freezer in the conventional way under your worktop as it doesn't take up much room.
1 love my fruit just as it comes - straight off the tree but I decided to buy a juicer after I bought a house in France. The garden that I inherited has 4 cherry trees, a large delicious yellow plum tree, 2 peach and 2 apple trees. There are also red and white grape vines, running the length of the garden. The reason I decided to buy a juicer was because of all the windfalls and the quantity of fruit that would go to waste if not eaten or juiced.
I decided to buy the Philips HR1858/97 from Amazon for £34.99 in one of their sales. I had the juicer delivered to my English address partly because of the free delivery and partly because most electrical goods are cheaper in the UK than France.
When the fruit harvested I had a great time collecting the fruit and juicing the ripest or the surplus. There are 2 controls depending on the fruit you are juicing. I invited my French neighbour to watch my juicing and to bring some of her own apples to try. Madame P is in her late 70's but always willing to try get involved in what her new 'anglais' neighbour is doing. She watched on incredulously as I added her chopped apples to the juicing bowl. The jug holds about 1.5L and was soon delivered as gorgeous apple juice into the jug. I have to say the noise was pretty horrendous and the cat hid under the kitchen table. We needed about 50 full bowls of fruit to get 5 litres of juice (Madame P and her neighbours wouldn't consider any type of juicing that was less than 5 litres!). The kitchen was a bit of a mess, our eardrums had taken a bit of a bashing and the cat needed valium, but what the heck, we both had 5 litres of fresh apple juice to show for our efforts! I have to say that the blade part of the juicer was a pain to clean and in the end I left it to soak in a little washing up liquid and used a brush.
I carried Madame P's 5 litres of juice across the road to her house for her. She insisted on showing me her large wooden apple press that she keeps in her barn. She hauled a 25kg bag of her garden apples into the trough, turned the handle a few times and the apples disappeared through the huge wooden cutters. Apple juice gushed out into a vat at the bottom and she proceeded to pour apple juice from the cute little wooden tap into bottles....
If you do not possess a huge apple or other fruit press I think you could probably get away with a Philips HR1858/97
I bought this Karcher last year from B&Q for £109.99 (supposedly reduced from £149.99). The main reason I bought it was to clean up the front drive and patio flag stones in the back garden. Before I tell you about this product let me give you a word of advice. Don't under any circumstances lend this cleaner to your neighbours because you will have to beg to get it back. I felt awful asking for it back from the last person because they were intent on taking it to their mother's that weekend to clean her drive! My neighbours had not only cleaned their patio with my cleaner but most of their relatives as well.She had kept it for a month already.
Anyway, this is a serious bit of cleaning kit that can easily be lifted by little old girly me. The attachments are for cleaning cars as well as patios but my husband says he will kill me if I even think about cleaning his car with it. The Karcher K 2.65M cleans really well but you do need to go over areas that have persistent dirt e.g. from engine oil. I haven't bothered using the detergent bottle because the pressure from the water seems to do the trick.
I bought this iron in desperation as I have ruined 3 irons in 1 year most likely due to our hard water and because I have ironed motifs on T shirts with an iron temperature was too hot! I decided to buy this iron online from Amazon for £19.99 (free delivery) because I thought buying a more expensive iron would be wasted on me. Much to my surprise the iron has an anti-scale system that prevents the iron from clogging up with lime scale and so far nothing has stuck to the bottom of the iron. The cable swivels around for when you want to iron those awkward shaped bits of clothing. This is an iron with a 2 metre long cable which allows you to plug it into the kitchen worktop sockets and still have enough room to iron without the cable running out of length on your board. I tend to only use a very hot or very cool iron but there are plenty of temperature settings for those of you that can be bothered to read the clothing labels. I store my Iron in the pantry out of the way but it is a nice funky looking purple and white colour if you had to have it on display.
Electric toothbrushes have been around for ages and not a lot has changed since they were invented, except the price has dropped. I have had several electric toothbrushes over the years and this one is by far the cheapest. I bought The Oral-B Sensitive for £19.99 from Superdrug. As a toothbrush it does its job and I was pleased to find that it didn't need recharging as often as I had been used to. A two minute clean twice a day lasts about a week before it needs to be recharged. The toothbrush heads can be expensive to replace but the shop assistant at the counter at Superdrug told me that they sell cheaper replacements in packs of three which is about £2.99 each. The toothbrush gives a good 'just been to the dentist' clean and the brush supplied was soft enough not to cause my gums to bleed but hard enough to give a good clean.
I bought this shredder because the old shredder kept cutting out if I tried to shred more than one sheet at a time. We were about to move house and needed to shred a lot of old bank statements, bills and other documents that contained account numbers and personal details. The shredder is basic but has a 9.5L emptying box capacity, which I thought would be ample for my needs. Initially I was shredding a huge volume of paper due of the house move, and because of this I had to keep emptying the box. Normal every day use would not result in such frequent emptying. For anyone who has done shredding on a large scale because of a house move, you will know how tedious but necessary this job is. I managed to get through a lot of shredding even though it took up most of an afternoon, by shredding multiple sheets at a time. The shredding teeth cuts both ways so the bits are really fine. The shredder can cope with a few more sheets than the recommended 5 and I am pleased to say this basic value shredder bought from Argos was only £14.99 didn't cut out once!
I have always wanted a Bosch dishwasher because of the reputation Bosch have but I have never been able to afford one before. I paid I £374 for my Bosche SMS53A0GB from Curry's and the delivery was free if I was prepared to wait 3 weeks (which I was). I have bought cheaper (Indicit) in the past but overall it is false economy when you have to replace a dishwasher after only two years. There are only two of us now that the kids have flown the nest so we use our dishwasher every other day. The 12 place setting means that if you use it every other day you need enough plates etc. to do this. Although this dishwasher has 5 programmes settings I generally end up using the economy setting which is a cooler wash that takes 30 minutes. You can have hotter settings but as the dishes, glasses, saucepans and cutlery come out really clean I'm keeping to this pattern. A good feature is the hard water protection system which should help with the life of my dishwasher and cut down on the Calgon tablets used. I am impressed with the A+ rating for performance, the delay function and the lovely adjustable racks.
Although I live in England I belong to an art group in the Deux Sévres in France. The art group meet every week in the community hall. There are English and French people attending the group and after the session we usually have a coffee or tea together and a chat. In the past we have used a large saucepan on the stove to heat the water for our coffee. This involved a process of dipping jugs into the boiling water to then pour the water into our cups. Obviously all the English people started muttering about 'Health & Safety' but the French couldn't have cared less about the water boiling system as they had been using this method for years without incident. In the end common sense prevailed and when I came back to England I had a Swan SWU10L urn delivered from Amazon to my English address (cheaper than posting to France). The art group got together to pay for the urn which we thought was a bargain at £56.95 and free delivery. The urns hold 10 litres and heats very quickly. Once the water has reached boiling point it automatically cuts off. As the temperature cools it can be reheated with a reset button. The water is rapidly heated and more importantly, safely dispensed into a cup by a little nozzle. There is a drip tray for spillages. The urn should really be used with one of those ant-scale things in hard water areas to prevent build up of lime scale. The urn is easily emptied after use and we store it in a cupboard. The capacity is slightly large for groups less than 20 but we have since used it with a larger group for our Christmas party.