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abbadabbado

abbadabbado
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Member since: 26.11.2007

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      17.05.2013 20:03
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      not for me

      My skin feels tight without its daily addition of moisturiser after my morning shower. When my last pot ran out, I was looking around for something on a good offer when I spied the Olay hint of foundation moisturiser. Rather than the recommended retail price of £16.99, I paid £9 for the 50ml bottle.
      The moisturiser is available in fair or medium in accordance with the foundation scale within the product, so I chose the fair option, as my skin is quite a light shade and I didn't want to look too fake when applying foundation.
      Packaged in a nicely designed bottle with a pump action lid, this bottle fits in well with other Olay products I have bought in the past. I like the fact that you can see the product level through the pot on a line at the side of the bottle. This is very handy to work out when you may run out.
      The moisturiser comes out of the bottle in quite a large dose from one press of the pump action lid. I found after the first couple of times that I only needed perhaps half a squeeze on the pump to gain a good coverage.
      Obviously as this product has got foundation included, then this will leave your hands stained if you apply this way, and you will need to remember to wash your hands afterwards.
      The coverage itself feels like it glides on well, and I am never left with any tell-tale foundation marks around my jaw line. I don't feel however that I get very good coverage in terms of foundation through the day and would need to apply an extra foundation if I was a regular make up wearer, so this wouldn't suit people who like to look made up.
      In terms of being a moisturiser, there is nothing that jumps out at making my skin feel amazing. I do feel like my face isn't dry, but what I didn't like is that my skin reacts quickly to this moisturiser with blocked pores, which is something that doesn't happen often when I use two separate products.
      The moisturiser also boasts 7 anti-ageing points including firming around the eyes, reducing the appearance of spots, and more. Sadly my skin and the product didn't work well together with these claims.
      In terms of price, I think this product is priced well in the market, but its out priced for my skin type and value for money for me.
      If you were to try this moisturiser, then I would suggest it would last around two months with daily use, as you don't need a lot in each application.

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        14.05.2013 21:23
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        a good value face mask

        It's not often I get to pamper myself, but lately I have been making more of an effort to take the time out for luxuries such as face masks. My latest purchases have been from Lush, including The Sacred Truth, which is a fresh mask which must be kept in the fridge after purchase.
        Each fresh mask has a creation date on the pot, with a use by date to ensure you are using the mask whilst it's at its best.
        All the packaging for fresh face masks from Lush are the same apart from the labelling. They are in standard black pots, with screw lids. Whilst not amazing or pretty in design, they are uniform to the Lush brand and as a bonus if you take back four empty pots, you receive a free face mask in its place.
        The Sacred Truth looks a bit like guacamole on first glance. A not very attractive green colour that has a very unique aroma attached to it. It's not a girly scent at all, more of a natural one with woody aromas.
        Despite this, the main ingredient in this face mask is papaya, but obviously this isn't a strong scented fruit as I cannot detect anything fruity in this mask.
        The colour definitely appears from the wheatgrass which also features in the ingredient list. There is nothing artificial in the ingredients and they are all natural.
        The Sacred Truth is designed to break down the dead skin cells using the papaya, whilst soothing the skin with the coconut oil and honey ingredients. Lush market this face mask as a serious, complex mask to give maximum benefit to those who need a little extra help to keep their skin at the height of its game.
        To apply, you must remove from the fridge and apply a generous layer to the face (avoiding the eyes) and leave on for five to ten minutes. Bear in mind that this mask will be cold when you remove from the fridge and apply to your skin.
        Apart from looking a little scary when wearing the mask, I didn't find it uncomfortable or overpowering with the mask applied. After ten minutes I did start to feel the mask hardening against the air, so I knew it was time to wash off.
        In the past I have found masks to be sticky or resistant to washing off, but thankfully this one came off really easily. Try not to wipe your face in a light coloured towel if you are unsure of residue as it does leave a grotty looking colour on the towel.

        The after effects of my skin were average. I didn't get the super soft feeling that I have experienced with similar products. My skin did feel really clean, and smooth in a slight way on the cheek and forehead area. My jaw line and nose area felt a little tight after using this mask though.
        The packaging or website doesn't give any recommendation for skin type or frequency to use this mask. I think for the size of the tub and the length of freshness you get when you buy it, then once a week with a generous application would be acceptable and you wouldn't waste any of the product by throwing away at the end. For the price of £5.95 for a 75g pot, this is quite expensive, but I think it's worth the money for the amount of applications you can get from the pot.
        Overall I have been pleased with this mask, and I would consider it again in the future.

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        13.05.2013 21:27
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        an OK lip balm

        I can guarantee to find at least three lip balms in my bag, and am always buying new ones to try. I cannot resist the lure of a 99p bargain, so when this lip balm appeared on the back of an Avon catalogue for that bargain price, I snapped it up.
        The packaging of the lip balm is very basic and standard in a tube with Avon marketing on the outer case. There is nothing amazing about the design, and the lower 99p price bracket fits well with the image on first impressions. The usual price of this is £2.20.
        Opening the tube, the balm stick appears solid, yet glided onto my lips well. There is no "flavour" with this lip balm, but it does provide quite a slick layer which feels as though you have some coverage, without the feeling of being too heavy or sticky at the same time.
        I did wonder if there would be a slight aroma, and whilst there was a faint aroma when nose went near the stick, there is nothing I could put my finger on.
        Once the lip balm had been on for a while, I discovered that it carried a strange taste to it. I know lip balms are not to be ingested, but who can resist licking lips when they have an extra coating on them.
        The taste, whilst not pungent, or too strong did stay with me for quite some time and put me off re-applying too often. I'm not sure if it was the grape seed ingredient which gave off this taste or not, but there is nothing obvious in the ingredients to suggest anything synthetic would be present.

        There are a couple of positive notes to this product than many others for the same price bracket don't carry. An spf15 is useful when wearing in the sun and the wind which gave me a little more peace of mind that my delicate skin was being protected slightly.
        The tube itself has the potential to last quite a long time, as I didn't feel the need to apply too much in one go. Being a solid consistency, I felt that one sweep over each lip was enough to give good coverage.
        I also found that despite the tube being basic in design, the twist mechanism at the base of the tube was well made and kept the lip balm in place all the time. Often I buy a product and you wind the mechanism up and then it gets stuck and you end up with lip balm mess. Not with this one thankfully.

        Overall, I'm not sure this is a lip balm I would purchase again, but if you catch it on offer, then it's a bargain, and makes a great filler gift.

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          06.01.2013 12:32
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          not worth the money

          Ever since my daughter was small we have used a Vosene shampoo on her hair. As she has quite thick hair that does get long between haircuts, we bought some detangling spray to use after hair washing from the same range to try and reduce the amount of "Ow Mummy that hurts" I was beginning to here too frequently.

          The vosene hair detangler comes in a light green solid bottle that fits in with the remainder of the Vosene range for kids. The design on the bottle also fits in with the range and is bright and colourful. I do think the packaging is aimed at girls rather than being unisex though with the princess image and the "Extra shine" message.
          Finished with a pump action spray lid this looks as though it would be easy to apply when you first look at the bottle.

          To use the detangling spray, the recommended method is to use on damp or dry hair. To add to damp hair then this is a way to finish off the hair washing process and for us was the first method we chose as I struggle to get a brush through after hair drying.
          You can also use on dry hair between washes, but I was initially reluctant to try this as though it would clump the hair together. I was however willing to give it a go, anything that works would be a plus for my stress levels.

          Using on wet hair, I sprayed quite liberally a good distance away from the hair, trying not to over spray in one area.
          The first thing I noticed about the product was the smell. Despite having the same ingredients as the shampoo which are predominately tea tree oil and lemon eucalyptus which are designed to repel head lice, I thought the detangling spray was slightly over powering in terms of the eucalyptus. My daughter wasn't very impressed with the smell herself. We have never noticed this from the shampoo.

          Once applied, I took the hair brush and proceeded to brush through. Unfortunately I was still met with the same protests of "Ow Mummy".
          Hmm, why wasn't this working like I thought it would? After reading the bottle again, I made sure I had applied it correctly and I didn't have to wait for a certain period of time for it to work. Nope it says it should provide instant softness.
          We proceeded gently with the hair brushing and carried on with the hair dryer. Unfortunately I don't think that this made my daughter's hair any shinier or softer, and certainly didn't help to detangle it. So my next choice was to try on dry hair.

          Sadly when we used this on dry hair, I don't think it made that much difference at all to my daughter's hair. Perhaps her hair is just too thick for this product which is shame.

          For the £2 or so you will spend on this, I don't think you'll spend any less time brushing the hair. For this reason I don't recommend this product at all and won't be buying it in the future.

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          02.01.2013 19:12
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          a good children's party gift idea

          Having a little girl means that I often get to play with sparkly art and craft activities. I was quite excited to be able to take part in the Sequin pictures from Galt when we received them as it reminded me of sequin pictures from when I was a child.

          ** In the box **

          Inside the box / packet you receive two thick boards with a plastic layer covering the self-adhesive board. Each board is approximately A4 in size and is made up of two different pictures, which in our case were kittens. These sets can be bought with different themes.
          As they are pre coloured, they are quite attractive to the eye before you have even started, and you can tell that they will look lovely when finished. Inside the picture outlines there are a lot of sequin sized circles which are also pre coloured to match the sequins that are also enclosed in the pack.
          The last addition to the product was a wax crayon which is put in to be able to pick up the sequins. I didn't realise this little trick would work quite so well so it's a nice touch to not have to pick the sequins up with hands and get frustrated when they drop.

          ** How to use **

          Initially I was worried that because the boards had an adhesive layer that they would dry out if the whole picture wasn't completed at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised to see you could peel the backing off in small sections so this made completing this picture much better before we had even started.

          As the sequins are included, and there are plenty for the two pictures, you will need to place them in a storage pot if the picture isn't going to be completed in one sitting. We found it was a good idea to separate the colours as well, as once opened from their plastic packets, you just know they would get lost, dropped etc. easily.

          We found that the sequins didn't stick very well if you placed them on with the dome facing upwards. If you placed the sequin onto the board with the flattest side down then they stuck very well so this was the way forward. With the wax crayon my five year old daughter found this really easy to complete despite the box advising for children aged six and up.

          ** Overall **

          From a parents perspective I thought it was a lovely idea that you could complete in sections, and that when finished it made a nice picture for a bedroom wall. My only negative to this product was that despite the sequins sticking well when applied, some of them did start to drop off after a few days. I also noticed that if you removed the backing paper too quickly on a big area and the dust started to get to the board, then it did start to lose its stickiness a bit quickly.

          Despite this, a pack of two pictures cost in the region of £4.99 which places it right in my bracket for a children's birthday party gift, and it looks like you would pay a lot more, so I think it's worth it's money.

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          29.12.2012 13:00
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          a great buy

          My daughter loves her arts and crafts, so when she was given this jewellery box to make a few weeks before Christmas she was kept busy for ages making it look pretty.

          ** In the box **

          Inside the box you get a string cardboard / paper Mache heart shaped box that is pink in colour on the outside with a massive variety of shapes and numbers positioned on every side except the base. Inside the box is lined with a pink felt material and a small mirror in the lid. Also included are sheets of different coloured and shaped jewels that are self-adhesive.
          The idea of the product is to stick by numbers with the jewels to the box to create a sparkling jewellery box for a little girl's treasure.

          ** Making the box pretty **

          S mentioned you need to take the self-adhesive jewels and stick them to the box in the correct places. There is a sheet of instructions which tell you which jewel relates to which number. We started with number one and worked our way up to the final number twelve.
          I have to admit to helping my daughter with this product, not because she couldn't manage herself but because it was a fun product to make and we had fun completing it together.
          The jewels fit nicely into the clear shapes on the box, so from a parent's perspective I thought this was good for teaching children numbers, shapes and symmetry as the design on the box was symmetrical.
          All in all it took us a couple of hours to complete together, so this would take a child even longer if they were to do themselves.

          ** Suitability **

          The jewellery box is aimed at children age six and over. My daughter is five years old but she managed very well. There were a couple of jewels that were tiny and they probably should have been placed on the box first rather than last. As they were number twelve we had left them to the end and they were quite fiddly to place correctly.

          ** After Making **

          This jewellery box is designed to have a use obviously after making rather than just being a craft product which makes the product better value for money compared to others that don't really have a use after making.

          I did notice there were a couple of design faults on the box which could be improved such as there is nothing to open the box at the front. It could have done with a small ribbon catch for children to be able to open without having to try and find a gap. The box lid also becomes quite heavy when all the jewels have been stuck on and that prevents it from staying open on its own.
          I also think that heavy handed children may break the back reinforced seal easily if they force open too many times.
          Despite all that though it's a very sturdy box and if looked after I think this will last a long time.

          ** Overall **

          This box retails for around the £10 mark which is expensive for a craft project but as it turns into a jewellery box afterwards I think it will make a lovely gift. My daughter has her bits and pieces in it and it's a good size for all jewellery which is another plus point.
          If you're looking for a no mess project that can be completed by children without too much assistance then this would be a good buy.
          If a jewel is placed on the box by accident in the wrong place, I found they could be removed easily without damaging the box. I also found they stayed in place well and we haven't lost a jewel from the box yet and it's carried around quite a lot believe me.

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          27.12.2012 12:10
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          an average foundation

          Ever since the Colour match service arrived at Boots, I had been trying to find the time to pop in and find out the correct shade of foundation for my skin. A month or so before Christmas I finally found the time and after a short, painless twenty seconds, I was presented with a foundation from the Boots N07 range to suit my skin.
          After spending my £16.50, which is more than I would normally spend on a foundation, I left the shop with my 30ml bottle.

          Protect and Perfect foundation is available in 14 different shades so there should be one to suit the majority of skin tones. Described as a silky foundation rather than a matt appearance, you will also be protected with spf15 when using this foundation.
          The packaging is a glass bottle with a pump action lid. I have found that the pump action can get stuck when using it which is a slight flaw in the bottle design which is a shame. You have to manually pull it back up to re pump as you need more than one application from the bottle for full face coverage.
          I also think that when the bottle gets empty you will waste a fair bit from the bottom due to the pump action dispense design. However the bottle does look classier than buying a tube of foundation, and when spending a lot on a product, first impressions do need to count.

          I find applying this foundation is best done with your fingertips. Some people prefer to use a sponge but I find there is wastage this way and get better, more even coverage with my fingers. The only downside to this is marking towels when washing hands after applying as there is always some residue left no matter how much soap is used.

          Once applied, I find there is a nice even coverage and I can barely tell I am using foundation which is a good indication that I am using the correct shade.
          The all-important test of fine lines and blemishes being hidden stands up well to this foundation. Protect and Perfect is marketed to soften the appearance of fine lines and blemishes instantly. I can confirm it does hide fine lines and blemishes instantly, but how does it fare as the day goes on?

          Sadly for me I don't find the foundation to continue working at full performance all day. If I apply this in the morning then but mid-afternoon, I really have to wonder if I am wearing foundation. I can still tell in certain areas on my face such as forehead and chin areas, but my cheeks start to show blemishes again.
          What I do like however about this foundation is that it doesn't look caked on despite using two or three pumps per application. There are also no tell tell lines around the jaw area as it blends nicely into my skin. Despite not lasting and showing my blemishes again, I find that it doesn't look patchy which is a really positive point for the foundation. You could get away with a quick touch up, but it's just a shame to have to do so.

          The bottle has the potential to last quite a long time due to not needing to apply too much in one go. The pump action also helps to control usage and prevent waste when compared to using a tube of foundation with free flow.
          Overall, I don't think this is the perfect foundation for me, but I will definitely try a different range within the No7 brand in the same shade to see how that fares against my skin.

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          26.12.2012 14:25
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          a well priced day time perfume

          I was bought Fergie Outspoken Intense as a gift a few months ago when I was searching for some new perfumes to try. Available from Avon on a variety of offers in each campaign brochure, you can expect to pay around the £10 mark for a 50ml bottle.
          This perfume is not to be confused with a similar variety from the same brand which is named Fergie Outspoken.

          ** Packaging **

          The perfume is packaged in a pretty silver bottle which carries a nice design pleasing on the eye. The bottle is similar to a pear shape with a pretty clear lid that is large compared to the neck of the bottle and takes on a pretty diamond shape.
          The nozzle of the bottle is quite small compared to the neck of the bottle and occasionally I have found the design to be clumsy when holding the bottle at the neck rather than the base of the bottle when trying to spray the fragrance.
          As the perfume gets used, the nice thing about this bottle is that you can see the line of remaining perfume. The bottle isn't completely transparent but takes on a nice comparison in shades of silver.

          ** Fragrance **

          Outspoken intense is marketed as having a starfruit and passion flower scent warmed by a musk base.
          On first impressions, the scent is quite sweet but not overpoweringly so. There is a hint of musk that comes through, but I didn't find this lasted long or was too strong as I'm not a fan of musk in perfumes.
          I didn't find the scent to be too feminine like some very sickly sweet fragrances can be. As with many scents this one takes on a slightly different scent when first applied to the scent after it has settled on your skin.
          I prefer this perfume when it has had a chance to settle down when I find it is takes on a subtle fragrance that doesn't appear to be too strong. I prefer this to be a day time perfume due to the subtleness of the scent.

          ** Staying Power **

          Some perfumes will last all day and others I find that I cannot smell them at all after a couple of hours. Outspoken Intense doesn't last all day, but I can still smell it after quite a while. I don't feel it's a perfume you have to douse yourself in to get good staying power. A little does go a long way with this fragrance.

          The bottle itself has the potential to last quite a few months as you really only need a couple of squirts to appreciate the fragrance.

          ** Overall **

          For the money you will spend on this perfume, I think it's worth the money and does make a nice gift. Whilst it's not as strong as other perfumes on the market, I don't think you always need a strong fragrance to create an impression.
          The nice thing about this perfume and buying direct from Avon is that you will always be able to find this on some sort of offer.

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            12.08.2012 13:50
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            a nicely priced gift idea

            Each and every time the advert for Aqua Beads appeared on the TV, my soon to be five year old daughter was begging me for a set. "Look at what I could make" she would cry.
            When my older daughter was young, there was nothing on the market to resemble Aqua Beads. I immediately liked the concept of being able to use water to stick beads together, so we researched the best set to get her started with once her birthday rolled around.
            For £9.99 we bought the starter set which contains over 800 beads. This price is fairly stable wherever you look, but it is usually found in the two for £15 from Argos which makes it slightly better value.

            Inside the set as previously mentioned were a large amount of beads all packaged nicely according to their colour. There was a good colour range included. Also in the box was a plastic compartment box with a lid, which although looks quite flimsy has done a good job of housing the beads. A small plastic bottle with nozzle acts as the spray bottle. This could actually double as a small perfume bottle in little girls craft sets, but it's a decent size for an adult to use, but perhaps a little small for children to grip and be able to use properly one handed. The bead tool however is a different story being a nice size to fit smaller hands.

            No craft set would be complete without the standard templates. We were given four different ideas sheets which fit snugly into the bead board. I thought this was a nice idea, as the templates were in full colour and made using the correct size circles to fit the bead size perfectly. So often in sets, templates are an afterthought and don't really fit the set they are packaged with, so a bit plus for Flair, the maker of the set.

            Obviously my daughter was eager to get started so she sectioned off the beads into the plastic compartment box. Immediately I could see the small plastic beads being lost quite quickly, and this would be the one downfall to the set. Like many smaller children, girls especially when they start playing with beads etc., you invariably hear the familiar "ting ting ting" if you have laminate floor as one or three drop from the table to the floor. The hoover will often be heard collecting stray beads from under the front of the sofa or table.

            Once our beads were sorted into colours, we set up the bead board and worked out how the tool worked. The board is made of clear plastic sitting in a pink tray. This is a good fit and there is space to remove the clear board and place a template underneath. A couple of grooves on the templates and plastic board enable everything to stay in place quite nicely.
            The board itself has small bead like grooves which the beads nestle into when they are placed on the board. If you imagine an old fashioned solitaire board with the larger dips, then this is a much smaller version.

            The next step is to use the bead tool which is essentially a fat plastic pen with a hole instead of a nib. The top part of the tool is pink coloured plastic and serves no purpose other than to be held comfortably. The base of the tool is clear and shows when you have managed to place a bead into the hole. This is done by pressing lightly down into the beads until one pops into the tool. It's a very easy process but children do have to remember not to press too hard otherwise the beads tend to splay out everywhere.

            To get the bead from the tool onto the board, there is a small button that acts as a release when the tool is above the board. We learnt very quickly here that the tool has to be quite close to where you want the bead to fall as it can jump into the wrong groove very easily.
            Some practice is needed for first time Aqua Bead users to master the technique, but once mastered, it's a very easy and quick process to create a design.
            The main negative part of the tool is that it will only hold one bead at a time. There are other sets on the market that hold multiple beads, but not the starter set which is a shame.

            Once your design is in place, the time has come for it to be glued together with water. A spray of water will create a sticky substance from the beads which sets the design in place.
            I researched how this happened and essentially the beads are made from PVA based glue that is activated when it comes into contact with water.
            The instructions told us that the design will take approximately an hour to "set" once sprayed. With only one board included in the starter set this meant that once a design was completed the toy had to go away until it was ready to be removed from the board. This was a bit of a disappointment to an excited five year old who wanted to carry on creating.

            After the required time limit we learnt a couple of really valuable lessons. Make sure the water has been sprayed evenly over the beads, and make sure your design is thick enough to withstand someone lifting off the board.
            It would appear that sometimes the designs need longer than the required hour to set. I started encouraging my daughter to leave them overnight to give them a good chance to set properly.

            Overall I think this set is good value for money. It's a good concept that is safe for children. Obviously the beads are minute and need supervision around children. I think the design could do with some tweaks to make it more user friendly and replacement beads and parts should be made more readily available as they aren't at the moment.
            It is however a good present for a crafty child and one that has definitely proved its worth in our house.

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              28.04.2012 12:18
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              a great idea for small spaces

              We don't have a lot of space in our back garden, but both myself and my daughter enjoy planting vegetables each spring, and look forward to watching everything growing. We knew we were going to attempt to grow some potatoes this year and I happened to be in Wilkinson's at the start of the spring planting season and spied their potato growing bags which were the bargain price of £3.28 for two 42 litre bags.
              The bags are made from a tarpaulin material, slightly crinkly to the touch and feel, but appear very strong at first glance. Obviously when you are growing potatoes, there is going to be a lot of compost in these bags so they really do need to be strong if you need to move them about.
              Designed for the patio area or decking, these bags fit perfectly on my patch of decking next to my plastic greenhouse.

              Instantly I noticed that the bags already host drainage holes, so all the hard work is done for me. There are two handles on each bag which make the moving around process easier. I have tried to place my bags in the correct place from the start to avoid having to pull around later.

              As you begin to plant the potatoes, I always find it's best to roll down the sides of the bags to ensure the tops don't flop over the soil and the young seed potato inside. Due to the tarpaulin material of the bags, I found this very easy to achieve and the bags appear to have a good solid base to them and they stay in one place when a small amount of compost has been added at the beginning of the process.

              For the size of these bags, I have placed three seed potatoes in each. This will give me a good crop of young baby potatoes once they are ready for harvest, and going on previous years, we should be able to eat for around a week for our family of four from one bag of the potatoes.

              When shopping around for potato bags, I do find the price can vary completely, and this I find depends on what the bags are made of. I think the tarpaulin material is a cheaper version, but due to its strength that I have noticed as the bags have been filled more and more with the compost, then I am very happy to recommend these are being very good value for money if you are limited on space and want to grow some potatoes in your garden.
              As the planting season is progressing, I have noticed that these bags can now be purchased for two packs for just £3 which is even better value for money.

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              08.04.2012 10:26
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              a nice finishing touch to a princess room

              We've recently spent some time decorating our daughter's bedroom. As always the finishing touches seem to include new bedding, so to fit in with the princess theme, we chose a pretty pink Disney princess bedding set.
              After looking around and comparing prices, we chose the bedding set through Amazon for £17.99. Included in the set for this price is a single duvet cover and pillow case.

              First impressions upon opening the packet were that the design was going to fit well with the bedroom theme. The colour scheme of the duvet set is a nice delicate pink with shades of equally pastel shades to fit with the princess's clothes.
              There is nothing worse than having a bright, vibrant colour scheme on a child's bed when you're trying to calm them down at the end of the day.
              The duvet cover is predominately focusing on three princesses, Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. They take up over three quarters of the space on the duvet cover but the design works well.
              The pillow case is slightly more subtle with just wording instead of pictures.

              When you first take the set out of the packaging, it does feel slightly stiff and rigid. I would advise putting through the wash to soften up before the first use. I have found the fabric to settle down slightly after each wash, and it perhaps took around five wash cycles to feel as soft as I would like it to be for my daughter.
              Both items are made from 50% polyester and 50% cotton. They are both averagely thick to the touch and feel good quality.
              The duvet cover opens and closes via poppers which are easier in my opinion when you're in a rush to remove the covers and get other jobs done.

              Once on the bed, I find the duvet cover to sit well against both our thin and thicker duvet. The corners fit well and overall both the duvet cover and the pillow case appear well made.
              After time I always expect colours to fade and look tired, but whether it's due to the fact that the colours on the set are paler anyway or not, but this set still looks as good as new after a few months of use and wash which is a great plus point considering the price of the set.

              Compared to other character duvet sets we have bought in the past, this one is faring well against the others, but isn't standing out any better than others that we have paid lesser money for.
              Overall I think it you're looking for a Disney Princess themed duvet set, then this is a good one to choose. Let's face it you're swamped with design ideas when it comes to choosing from the princess range.

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              • Samsung WF0702WKE / Washing Machine / 46 Readings / 42 Ratings
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                28.03.2012 18:13
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                a great all round washing machine for a great price

                Our old washing machine was on its last legs for quite some time, and we have spent the best part of the last few months looking around to research the best washing machine to suit our needs and budget. Eventually we settled on the Samsung Eco bubble 7kg washing machine in white mainly because the reviews of the machine were standing out above the rest.

                ** What is Eco Bubble? **

                Eco Bubble is a technology that is designed to create bubbles which act as a cushion against your washing and washes it up to forty times faster than just using washing powder even on a cold wash. This will obviously save money per wash and make your washing machine work more efficiently for you in quicker time.
                This sold us the machine as we're all for saving time and money in our busy household.

                ** Appearance of the machine **

                After viewing this machine online, we also made the trip to see the unit in person before making our final decision. I was a little overwhelmed at the size and boldness of the door. Against a white machine, the silver door rim really makes the machine stand out and looks a bit "spacey". My husband thought it looked really nice and whilst I was a little put off, I have to admit this feature has grown on me and it doesn't look any different from any other model and doesn't catch my eye when I walk into the kitchen.

                Once you look past the size of the door, the main features on this machine are all the buttons and panels sitting on the front of the machine. I knew I wanted something with a digital screen if only to tell me the time left on my washing cycle. There is a large screen in the middle where you can select your wash programme and then various buttons to turn the machine on and off, change temperatures, cycles, and more.
                The panels don't look out of place despite there being quite a few of them, and they look modern and fit well with the style of the machine.

                ** Features **

                This machine will do many things apart from washing your clothes including singing to you. There are some great quirky features attached to this machine such as noise alert for beginning and end of washing cycle, the ability to change the set programmes to suit your needs which is something we have taken great advantage of.
                No more do I just twist the dial to thirty degree and press start, walk away and hope for the best. Now I can choose what I am washing which isn't something that makes this machine stand out against others by any means, but I like the fact that if I'm washing cottons for example I can change the amount of spins, the spin speed, temperature of the wash all to suit my time and the clothes I have placed inside the machine.

                There are a good variety of standard cycles attached to this machine, but never think it's as simple as turning the machine on and pressing start the first time you use it as it isn't.
                Due to the eco bubble technology you have the option of washing clothes from as low as ten degrees. I rarely go below the thirty degree line, but even this against my old model which was a standard forty degree; it's saving me both time and money.

                ** Ease of Use **

                The first time we used this machine, I'll admit it took us ages to work out the correct cycle to use and we did under wash clothes the first time around. There is a quick wash of just fifteen minutes, but really this isn't suitable for anything other than a quick freshen up.
                In simple terms, you really only need a couple of seconds to select the cycle you want to use, and once the machine is turned on and you know what you want, it's very simple to use.

                To set up your own cycle and change options then this will take slightly longer with more buttons to press and choose from. You do have the option to save your chosen cycle which will make the process a lot quicker on subsequent times using the machine.

                I found the buttons to be average sensitivity which is good when you have children around. I have found on one occasion my daughter pressed the pause button and then the cycle was messed up as we think it was paused for a long time, but there is the option to put child locks on the machine which is handy. We did look at washing machines that only needed to be brushed over where the button was before it was activated. These buttons are a lot sturdier and in my mind better made than those.

                ** Price **

                The average price of this machine is £319 which in comparison to what is on the market currently, this is in the middle range, but for the features you get with this machine then I think the price is very good.

                ** Overall **

                Since using this machine on a daily basis, I have been very pleased with it. I recommend you find the best wash cycle to suit your needs for the daily garments that seem to appear in the wash basket each time the machine is loaded, but for select items such as delicates and bedding etc. then it's great to use a custom setting on the machine.

                I have found the machine to be slightly noisier than I was hoping for but it's by no means loud when spinning, just not super quiet.
                If you're looking for a new machine then I think you could do worse than this one.

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              • More +
                18.03.2012 11:50
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                a well priced cream that lasts for ages

                As my skin matures, I am finding it becomes drier with each year that passes. My face doesn't feel right if I don't apply cream in the mornings after having a shower, so I am usually on the hunt for a good priced anti-ageing product that will suit my skin and won't break the bank at the same time.
                I bought the Garnier Nutritionist Youthful Radiance Daily Moisturiser when I spotted it in the supermarket with a third off the normal price of £9. This brought the price down to a more reasonable cost so I was able to buy both the day and the night cream together.

                This was the first time I have ever bought a Garnier product, so opted for what I hoped would be the safe bet of buying the normal / combination skin variety. You can also buy in other skin combinations however.

                Packaged in a pretty pale green glass pot with a slightly less attractive white plastic lid, this is a nice pot which holds 50ml worth of cream. Inside the pot the cream is a pure white in a good consistency with a lovely sweet smell to it.
                The first time I opened the pot I noticed how inviting the fragrance was, and it's always nice to apply something to my face that teases my senses.

                To apply the cream I find you don't need a lot to get good coverage. My personal way of applying the cream is to scoop a five pence size piece of cream onto a finger and then rub into my hands quickly before applying to my whole face at the same time. This way I find I get a good coverage that doesn't leave dry patches.
                The cream sinks into my skin almost straight away which is a great plus. I cannot bear having something sitting on my skin feeling greasy for ages before it does its magic. This cream feels very light and suitable for day time use. You can apply makeup almost straight away after applying which is a bonus if you're in a hurry.

                The product markets itself to be designed for ladies over thirty to make your skins fine lines reduce over time using this product. It also states that your skin will look brighter when using. Now I use the day cream religiously every morning, but can be lapse on using the night cream each night. I don't think you need to use both day and night to gain the results, but obviously it will always help.
                I have been using the cream for a few weeks now and I haven't even used half the pot which is making this good value for money for me.
                Regarding the results, I cannot honestly say that any fine lines have disappeared, but perhaps my lines were just too fine to start with.

                Overall I am happy with this product, as if it is working without me noticing then hopefully I'm creating a good base for my skin for the future when those bigger lines may start to appear.

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              • More +
                04.03.2012 11:28
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                a cheaper way to decorate a bedroom

                We have recently been decorating our daughter's room. As she chose the predictable pink for her colour scheme she also requested Disney Princesses to be featured in the decoration process. I looked around at various options including branded wallpaper featuring the princesses, and also wall stickers.
                After some price comparison we realised it worked out a lot cheaper to buy some wall stickers, and I happened upon this set of stickarounds from Amazon which contained 60 stickers for under £10. This worked out cheaper than buying other versions of the stickarounds from the larger DIY stores and also this packet contained more stickers as well, albeit smaller decoration stickers.

                The set of stickers are packaged in the horrible and dangerous thick plastic casing that requires scissors to be cut open. I think it would have been more cost effective to place in less rigid packaging, but we didn't buy for the packaging and more what was inside it.
                As the packet described the 60 stickers, we opened to find there were six sheets of stickers. The variety of designs spanned over three sheets and then was repeated for the last three sheets. I thought this was quite a good idea as we have two main walls we wanted to decorate in the bedroom, so for us this meant we had a good even spread of design across each wall.

                The stickers themselves vary in size and shape. There are four large princesses which cover the design range, including Belle, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. Each of these stickers is approximately 25cm in length which is a nice size for a wall to ensure they stand out against the smaller stickers.
                From the four princesses, the stickers all get slightly smaller with the smallest being approx 2.5cm diameter showing hearts. These really are filler stickers, and I would suggest it's a good idea to try and plan your wall decoration before starting to place stickers randomly on the wall.

                There is a good variety of choice from the large princesses, hearts, crowns, carriages etc, all in good colour match shades of pinks, purples and creams. These fit well against the Disney Princess theme.

                The stickers themselves are a little different from other brands of stickarounds I have bought in the past. They all have a clear background and are designed to be removed from the wall as required. The last set of stickarounds I bought were edges with white plastic coating that seemed to ensure they stuck to the wall and whilst I remember being able to remove them, there was always the fear of them ripping during the process.

                Due to the fact that these stickers can be removed, I was worried that they wouldn't stick properly in the first place.
                Removing each one from the sheet, I didn't find that there was a huge amount of stickiness to them, but they have settled really well on the wall. The idea is to place them on the wall and wipe over with a clean cloth to smooth them out.

                Invariable as I was letting my four year old help me, we ended up with stickers that were upside down and some were positioned too close to each other, so I found myself going behind her and adjusting a couple of them to make the room look more even.
                I learnt then that the stickers were indeed easy to remove without any worry of them ripping or appearing crumpled when adjusted. The next test would be to see if they stayed in one place.

                The stickers have been up on the wall for a few weeks now and I can happily report that not one of them has even come loose by a corner. They all look perfect and are enhancing the room very well. For me this is money well spent, and my only criticism would be that if you have a larger room then you may need more than one pack to make it look like you have enough stickers.

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                • More +
                  26.02.2012 12:22
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                  a great well priced chair if you're on a budget

                  When we upgraded our computer last year, we realised we were going to need a proper computer chair for the desk rather than using the dining room chairs all the time. After browsing for a while we settled on this chair from Staples. The price was reasonable at just under £30 yet it looked a lot more expensive than some of the similar priced chair on display.

                  On first impressions, the chair matched up well in appearance to many of the more expensive models. With a leather exterior rather than the fabric covering, and a decent height to the back of the chair, it looked like you could sit comfortably at your desk in this chair. It also had arm rests either side which a lot of the cheaper looking models didn't have.

                  The chair comes flat packed as it were in a box when you take it away from the shop, so the task fell to me to put it together. There weren't many pieces to have to struggle with and I found the task an easy one. The majority of the chair pieced together with screws, so it was reassuring to think you weren't going to fall out of it if it were to pop apart.
                  The wheel castors were the main thing I struggled with. They did literally pop into place and I was worried that if I didn't do it correctly to begin with someone may end up on the floor. Thankfully that has never happened in over a year.

                  Sitting in the chair, I found the base to be well padded and provide some nice support to your body. The back line is more than high enough for me and I feel I can gain good posture when sitting in this chair.

                  As it has arm supports, the chair also gives a good space feeling to it but also manages to make you feel secure in the chair at the same time.

                  My one gripe with the chair it it's height level. The lowest level on the chair is very low and wouldn't never be considered by anyone using the chair to work at a desk. The highest position is where we have placed our setting the whole time we have been using the chair, and it's enough for me, but I think a tall person may struggle with leg space.

                  Over time we have found that despite us not being an overly large family in weight terms, the chair has withstood us all using it on a daily basis, and just recently we have noticed that the support against the height leverage arm underneath is starting to lose it's momentum and grip. Occasionally we find as we sit in it we sink to the lowest height position. This is slightly annoying although was funny the first time it happened to my husband.

                  I have found that the chair has been easy to keep clean with a damp cloth over time, and so far it hasn't come up against any major or minor tears or rips etc., so the fabric covering is lasting well for the price.

                  Despite not having a high price tag and it's very minor flaw I think this chair is great value for money. It may not have many of the luxuries that higher priced chairs come with, but it certainly stands out against it's similar priced peers.

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