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alyson29

alyson29
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Member since: 11.02.2010

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      06.06.2014 20:38
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      Advantages

      • "Beautifully scented"
      • "Highly moisturising"

      Disadvantages

      • Expensive

      Luxurious hands from Crabtree and Evelyn


      Earlier this year Crabtree and Evelyn ran a promotion whereby if customers gave up an old hand cream it would be exchanged for a 100g full size tube from a large selection. Too good an offer to miss I gave them a nearly used tube of my favourite Dove and received a screw top tube of Tarocco Orange, Eucalyptus and Sage Hand Therapy.

      I suffer terribly with the skin on my hands, which is prone to extreme dryness and splitting especially across the knuckles. As a consequence, it is crucial that I apply a quality hand cream several times a day to keep the condition under control.

      Despite the description stating that the product is intensively moisturising due to the inclusion of shea butter and macadamia nut oil, I was sceptical especially as I've used many premium brands over the years in the hope that I would find the perfect one, which I eventually discovered in Dove; one of the more affordable brands.

      The store assistant massaged a small amount of a tester into my hands and I was instantly won over, as my skin felt highly moisturised. In addition, it was the tantalising aroma of Tarocco orange that was a deciding factor for me, as it is extremely authentic. I didn't think I'd be keen on the scent of eucalyptus or sage, but both offered delicate hints and perfectly complimented the zingy freshness of the orange.

      Despite being described as intensive, the cream easily spread over the surface of my skin and was fully absorbed within just a minute or so without leaving any stickiness or residue; something I cannot bear especially on my hands. The cream can be described as luxurious due to the fact that it transforms the surface of the skin into a wonderful velvety texture.

      The orange aroma is considerably intense when the good consistency cream is first applied although it significantly fades after approximately half an hour and this was my only disappointment, as I would have favoured witnessing the scent for longer.

      Unfortunately, due to the amount of times that I need to apply hand cream throughout the day especially after washing my hands, the 100g tube lasted me only a fortnight, which deems it an expensive purchase at 15 GBP. However, I was thrilled to be able to try it for free especially as it kept my hands in a good condition although its abilities were no different to that of the Dove hand cream that I normally use, which is a fraction of its price.

      I made a purchase of the body cream from the same range for my mother for her birthday and it is as equally luxurious, but again pricey at 22 GBP. I cannot see me making a purchase for myself although I would definitely consider purchasing as a gift.

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      06.06.2014 18:11
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      Pain free de-fuzzing

      I cannot get the review to post in full, but I'm working on it!!
      Whilst I can endure the pain when de-fuzzing my legs with my epilator, I am a wimp when it comes to my underarms. Consequently, I use Wilkinson Sword Intuition and since my initial purchase many years ago, the brand has introduced a considerable number of products with this review discussing Sensitive Care.

      Whilst I cannot admit to normally suffering with sensitive skin, my underarms can sometimes become a little sore after shaving, so I was pleased to discover that Sensitive Care has been created with aloe vera, which is known for its healing properties. Wilkinson Sword has also added vitamin E, which can be found in many skin care products due to its ability to heal and repair the skin. The razor, which has a protective cap, has been dermatologically tested, is hypo allergenic and is paraben free.

      Intuition uses 3 pivoted blades, which are surrounded by a caring formulation of soap. As a result, no shaving products are required, as when the razor is glided over dampened skin, the soap transforms into a creamy lather and enables unwanted hair to be gently removed.

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      05.06.2014 20:00
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      Advantages

      • "Can be used on all skin types"
      • "Is suitable for daily use"
      • "Does not contain harsh exfoliating particles"
      • "Delicate apricot fragrance"
      • "Effectively exfoliates skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth"

      Disadvantages

      • None

      An affordable gentle, yet effective facial scrub

      I have followed a strict facial care routine since my early teenage years where I will cleanse, scrub, tone and moisturise. It is important that I use different products as my skin ages because whilst it was once oily, it can now be described as combination where I suffer with oily patches on the T-zone, ie my forehead and nose with dry areas on my cheeks.

      It is necessary for me to use facial scrubs a few times each week in order to remove any dead skin particles, which can look unsightly especially under foundation and powder. A brand that I have been using for the past six months is St Ives especially as I was thrilled with the quality and results of their body scrub.

      The scrub is presented in a 150 ml squeezable tube and is described as gentle due to the inclusion of 95% naturally derived ingredients, which include Swiss glacial water and Swiss botanicals. Whilst I wouldn't describe my skin as being particularly sensitive, I have used many products over the years, which have been too harsh and as a result, my skin has reacted where I have suffered with temporary soreness and redness.

      Only a 5p size amount of the scrub, which offers a subtle apricot scent, is required and it is easily dispensed from the tube. It should be applied to damp skin and gently massaged over the surface. Unlike some brands of scrubs that contain rough particles, the texture is far more delicate although it certainly does its job of exfoliating dead skin cells, which subsequently make way for new healthy growth.

      There is a noticeable different immediately after using, as my skin feels soft and smooth and offers a healthy and natural glow. Whilst the scrub is suitable for daily use, I don't feel this to be necessary for my personal needs, so I use on alternate days. As a result, the 150 ml tube lasts for a good few months, which deems it to be excellent value for money especially as it generally retails at around 4.29 GBP.

      Some brands of scrub can be considerably drying on the skin and whilst I always use a moisturiser to complete my skin care routine, I cannot speak of suffering with any dryness following use of the scrub.

      Due to the reasons discussed above, I can highly recommend this product.

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        08.02.2014 19:25
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        A cute pair of tweezers from The Vintage Cosmetic Company

        As a member of Glossy Box, each month I receive a selection of beauty products; some of which are full sized with the others being either samples or travel size. I cannot admit to being too happy with my January box and the only item that I was really pleased with was a cute tweezers from The Vintage Cosmetics Company.

        It couldn't have arrived at a better time, as my previous tweezers were beginning to fail and as a result, I was pinching my skin when attempting to work on my eye brows. The tweezers, which are approximately 10 cm in length, are created from stainless steel and are thinly coated with a glossy white plastic to offer a feminine appearance. Whilst the length of the one side displays the name of the manufacturer, the other side offers a colourful floral pattern.

        The tweezers that I previously used were flat edged and through my experience of tweezing my brows for many years, I find that this design worked best. However, the Vintage tweezers offer a slanted edge, which I initially found a little daunting as I anticipated that I would not be able to achieve precision. Throughout my years of practice, I am able to quickly tweeze my brows moving from hair to hair with great speed rather than slowly pulling out each one.

        The tweezers are comfortable to hold with the contact points meeting in the correct place and whilst you may think I'm a little odd mentioning this, I have used tweezers in the past that wouldn't correctly meet and as a result, it was a very difficult process to remove the individual hairs. It took me a few attempts to become accustomed to the slanted design; after which I was able to effectively pluck away any unwanted hairs.

        I like the fact that they were presented with a small opaque plastic covering, which perfectly protects the pointed area, as I was forever stabbing my fingertips in an attempt to locate my tweezers in my make up bag.

        I am really pleased with these tweezers although I'm not sure that I would have forked out £8, which is the asking price on The Vintage Cosmetics Company website. Due to the reasons discussed above, I feel a four star rating to be appropriate.

        I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

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          02.02.2014 10:31
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          A fast acting indigestion and heartburn remedy

          I have suffered with bouts of indigestion and heartburn for a good many years and I had associated it with the food I was eating. Whilst I have never been one to eat anything spicy, I was of the opinion that my symptoms were caused by the acidity in tomatoes; an ingredient that I was using in quite a few of my dishes.

          After considerably reducing my intake of tomatoes, the symptoms weren't as severe, but over the past few months they have returned. A visit to my GP ruled out anything sinister and I was given the diagnosis that my indigestion and heartburn were being caused by stress.

          As I am unable to eliminate the stress in my life due to a demanding job, I was advised to use indigestion remedies as and when the symptoms occur. I had previously been using Tesco Fruit Flavoured Indigestion Tablets, but for some unknown reason our nearest store no longer sells them, so my second choice is their Peppermint Flavoured Indigestion Tablets with this review discussing my experience.

          The tablets are provided in a sturdy brightly coloured cardboard box, which contains 48 tablets and we are advised that they can be used to treat indigestion, heartburn, dyspepsia, acidity and flatulence. The front of the box contains Braille, which I feel is a necessity with this type of product and I am surprised that it isn't a requirement for all manufacturers of medicine.

          As with all types of medication, the accompanying instruction leaflet lists those people for whom the medicine is unsuitable with diabetics and pregnant women being included. Whilst the tablets are available without prescription it is important that the leaflet is fully read prior to using, as there are a number of side effects; one of which I found a little odd with it being heartburn!

          Contained inside the box are four strips, which are protected with a foil covering with the recommended dosage being one to two tablets for those over the age of twelve years and a maximum dosage of sixteen tablets in one twenty four hour period. The tablets are not suitable for children under the age of twelve years.

          The white coloured tablets are easily removed from the foil and despite being large in size (slightly bigger than a 5p coin), they melt quite quickly when placed into the mouth. The mint flavour is nowhere near as strong as that of a Polo, but it is pleasant and you can either suck or chew the tablet. Unlike one of the leading brands that I tried a few years ago, the tablet doesn't transform into goo and subsequently stick onto the teeth, as every last trace disappears as soon as it has been fully chewed or sucked.

          There is no lingering nasty taste and I find that within minutes of taking just one tablet, my symptoms begin to disappear with them being totally gone in around five minutes. It is only on the rare occasion that I need to take an additional tablet, which always does the trick. The active ingredients in each of the tablets are 500 mg of calcium carbonate, sucrose, maize starch, calcium stearate, peppermint oil and sodium saccharin.

          I always ensure that I carry some of these tablets in my handbag, but I have discovered that the foil easily breaks open especially when it has knocked against other items in my bag. As a result, I use a small container and pop a few inside, so they are readily available should the symptoms strike.

          I have looked at the ingredients in some of the products from the leading brands and have learned that they include a higher level of calcium carbonate as well as magnesium carbonate. In addition, their price is well over double the cost of Tesco Peppermint Flavoured Indigestion Tablets, which will set you back just £1.98 for a pack of 48. I'm all for saving money where I can and these certainly eliminate my symptoms and as a result, they receive my highest recommendation together with five stars.

          I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

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            31.01.2014 20:28
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            An excellent and affordable skin primer from Nivea

            As my skin can be described as T-zone where I suffer with oiliness on my forehead and nose with dry patches on my cheeks, shine and breakthrough can be a real issue for me. Whilst I am normally someone who welcomes the challenge of trying and testing out new products especially when it comes to beauty, I was a little sceptical when it came to primers.

            However, over recent months I have been fortunate to obtain a number of free sample sachets and tubes, which has enabled me to try a few different brands without spending any of my hard earned cash. The one that impressed me the most was Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer, which I initially tried in a sachet format and as I was so thrilled with the results I purchased the full size 50 ml jar and this review discusses my thoughts.

            The primer is available in two varieties; one of which is for Dry and Sensitive Skin and is presented in pink packaging and the Normal and Combination that I purchased being in blue packaging. The primer is contained within a sturdy glass jar with a screw top lid and on removal I was pleased to witness a foil seal, so that I had the assurance that no inquisitive shoppers had dipped their fingers into the jar prior to my purchase. The seal was a little problematic to remove despite the small lip, as it was firmly adhered to the top of the jar although after a good few tugs it came away in several pieces.

            The first point I noticed when trying out the pearly white coloured primer for the first time was its consistency, which I would describe as similar to that of a lotion. This surprised me especially as the few other brands that I had tried were quick thick and my initial impression was that it would be greasy. In addition, the primer offers a shiny appearance similar to that of glycerine based products and on checking through the list of ingredients, I discovered the ingredient.

            Massaging the primer into the skin after cleansing, toning and moisturising is an effortless task and unlike the thicker brands, which needed to be spread quickly, I am able to take my time with only a small amount being required to fully cover my face. The primer, which offers no stickiness, initially delivers a rather shiny appearance to the skin and the first time I used it I felt very apprehensive indeed, as I was afraid that the glycerine content would exacerbate the oily areas and I was of the opinion that it would take ages to dry. I was surprised to witness a floral aroma, which is quite strong for a product that is intended for the face, but thankfully, it vanishes soon after application.

            The drying process far exceeded my expectations and within just thirty seconds the shininess dispersed with the primer instantly absorbing into my skin to leave a matt appearance. The texture of the surface of my skin is immediately evident following application, as it is smooth to the touch, which provides the perfect base for foundation.

            Whilst some primers can cause the skin to become a tight, I only witnessed this sensation for a few minutes after it had fully absorbed; after which my skin felt comfortable and moisturised. Using a primer directly before applying foundation most definitely makes a difference and improves the complexion, as the foundation easily glides over the surface and does not sink into any of the pores or uneven areas such as fine lines, which subsequently offers a smoother finish. This is due to the fact that the primer has already prepared the ground work with the process being similar to that when using an undercoat when decorating before painting walls in the house.

            I use an oil free mousse foundation, as I steer well clear of using any oils on my skin and whilst my brand of choice is excellent in terms of preventing shine and oil breakthrough, using the primer prolongs this process, so there is no need for me to blot any oily areas or touch up with powder throughout the day. Whilst I always use make up when I'm out of my home, I have used the primer on its own when in the house and the results are just as good.

            I love the matt appearance that the primer delivers to my skin and the fact that it assists me in achieving an airbrushed look. The natural ingredients used by Nivea, which are inspired by nature, do not exacerbate any of the oily areas on my face and I cannot speak of suffering with any dryness when using.

            I am highly impressed with Nivea's Express Hydration Primer and out of all the brands that I have tried this one is the most affordable at just £4.99 for a 50 ml jar with its performance beating the more expensive brands. However, until 3 February 2014 you can make a purchase from Tesco for £3.32. Due to the amount I have already used, I would estimate the jar to last around 6 months in total when using on a daily basis.

            Due to the reasons discussed above, I can award nothing less than five stars.

            I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

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              26.01.2014 13:32
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              An okay loo roll, but not the best

              As far as I am concerned you get what you pay for when it comes to toilet rolls, as in the past I've tried out a few value products, which were of a poor quality. As a consequence, I now only buy those that I know will be gentle on those delicate regions. However, whilst carrying out a shop at Farm Foods a couple of months ago, my husband returned home with four packs of Nicky Elite Toilet Rolls with this review discussing my thoughts.

              Whilst we have used three of the packs, which each contain nine rolls, it was only when I removed the remaining pack from the cupboard in readiness for my review, that I realised that the toilet rolls claim to contain lotion and fragrance. I cannot accept the fact that there is any fragrance, as in addition to not being able to notice any aroma with the rolls that we had already used, I have just placed one underneath my nose that I have literally just removed from the pack and there is absolutely no scent whatsoever.

              The pack has a very girly appeal with its pale pink packaging together with its image of a white bunny rabbit with the reverse advising the consumer that the toilet rolls are made from 100% Virgin pulp with each roll averaging 20 metres in length. The rolls are quite fat, which initially gives the appearance that you are receiving a lot for your money although when squashing against the paper, it quickly flattens, so it hasn't been wound as tightly around the roll as our usual brand.

              I'm not a fan of the colour pink, but rather than the plain white toilet paper that we normally buy, the 3 ply white sheets have been embossed with a delicate pink pattern.
              The paper is correctly wound around the cardboard roll, so when the perforations are torn, you have in your hand all three sheets as opposed to some brands when pieces of the under sheets remain on the roll.

              The sheets can be described as quite thick although not as soft as I would have expected from a loo roll that contains lotion. The ultimate test is during use rather than when touching with my fingertips. The sheets are highly absorbent and both my husband and I found that we were able to use fewer pieces when making a comparison with our usual brand. Whilst the level of softness is acceptable, I wouldn't describe it as being elite, as the product name would suggest although it served its purpose well as far as we are both concerned.

              The sheets easily flush away and whilst you may think I'm odd mentioning such a thing, we used one brand a few years ago where the sheets were far too thick and the paper blocked the loo on a few occasions. Consequently, I used the remainder in place of kitchen roll and we never made a further purchase.

              The Nicky brand works closely with the Woodland Trust who plant 20,000 trees each year and it's good to read on the reverse of the packaging that they donate to the charity at least £80,000 of their sales each year.

              We will use the remaining nine rolls although I cannot see us making a further purchase and due to the reasons discussed above, I feel a three star rating to be appropriate.

              My husband cannot recall the exact price that he paid although he thinks that it may have been £5 for two packs with one pack retailing at £2.99. I looked online to see if any supermarkets sell Nicky, but the only retailer that I found was Amazon, so it clearly isn't a very popular brand.

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                25.01.2014 16:48
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                An affordable dish cloth from the Tesco Everyday Value range

                Whilst I am satisfied with the majority of cleaning products that are available in the supermarkets, I have yet to find the perfect dish cloth. For the past few months I have been using those belonging to the Tesco Value range with this review discussing my experience.

                There are five white dish cloths presented in transparent and rather basic looking packaging, which is recyclable. The quality of the cloths is not the best and this is immediately apparent as they are quite thin although I cannot admit to being disappointed especially as they belong to a value range. The dish cloths are of a reasonable size unlike a brand that I purchased earlier last year where the cloths were far too big and as a result, I found them a little difficult to use especially as it would takes ages to rinse away any soap suds.

                I'm unsure why these types of products are named dish cloths, as I cannot see them being suitable for washing dishes especially as they do not contain a rough section for removing food particles. Their purpose in my home is for cleaning the kitchen work surfaces, draining board, cupboards and door handles. The cloths are fairly absorbent and are much better to use than a washing up sponge, as they prevent smears from appearing on my surfaces due to the fact that they do not absorb too much of the cleaning product.

                Due to their sufficient size, they are easy to rinse and any soap suds are quickly removed although I find that after a short period of time the edges begin to fray and small fragments of the dish cloth disperse over my work surfaces. I regularly wash my dish cloths either by leaving them in a sink full of boiling water and bleach or by throwing them in with a washing machine load.

                As they are so reasonably priced at just 75p per pack, I don't feel too guilty about throwing them away after around a fortnight's use as I cannot bear hanging onto cloths for too long especially as they harbour so many germs due to the fact that they are almost constantly damp.

                Whilst these are by no means the perfect dish cloth, they certainly represent good value for money and I feel a three star rating to be appropriate.

                I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

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                  23.01.2014 20:08
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                  A delightful scented candle tart from Yankee Candle

                  I'm a big fan of scented candles and rarely a day goes by during the winter months when I am not burning an offering from Yankee Candle. As I own far too many glass jars and tarts, I banned myself many months ago from making any new purchases until I have exhausted all of my current supply. However, I received a few Yankee Candle tarts for Christmas and was delighted especially as I had not previously been aware of the fragrances with this review discussing Lilac Petals.

                  Yankee Candle tarts offer a weight of 22g and are approximately 5½ cm in diameter and 1½ cm in depth. I love their appearance due to their pretty fluted edges together with the fact that they display a colourful label, which generally depicts the aroma. To mirror the fragrance, the circular wax tart is of a beautiful shade of lilac with the label displaying an image of two stunning lilac blooms.

                  Despite being in the depths of winter, I decided to burn the candle in an attempt to create a summery ambience. The candle is tightly wrapped in transparent packaging, which is easily removed although I needed to use the point of a scissors or knife to pierce the wrapper. The delightful aroma was obvious when tightly packed, but it offered a more intense scent as I lifted away the packaging.

                  In order for my candle tarts to last a little longer I always snap them into two pieces, which is an easy task with the wax breaking with minimal effort. I placed half of the tart into the bowl of a wax burner and lit the tea light, which was positioned below. It took around 10 - 15 minutes for the wax to transform into a glistening pool of liquid during which time the aroma began to waft around my living room.

                  Whilst the scent through the wrapper could be described as being a little similar to sweet pea, the scent of the hot wax reminded me of roses, which perfectly mirrors the blooms of the lilac tree. I'm not generally a fan of rose fragrances when it comes to toiletries, but in a wax format, it is simply beautiful and reminiscent of a warmer summer's day in a garden full of brightly coloured aromatic roses.

                  The scent has a slight sweetness without being cloying, which prevents the rose from being too floral and its level of intensity is spot on. I cannot bear the long dark evenings through the winter as I find them most depressing, so burning a candle is the perfect way for me to unwind and I found Lilac Petals to be extremely uplifting.

                  Whilst many candle brands can deliver an obvious waxy and pitiful aroma, Lilac Petals is extremely authentic due to the use of natural extracts. The aroma travelled well, as my living room is fairly large and in addition, I was able to witness it at the top of my stairs. I found that after I distinguished the tea light I was still able to recognise the gorgeous aroma for a few hours afterwards.

                  Yankee Candle claim that the tart will deliver its scent for approximately eight hours and I would have to agree although as I snapped mine into two pieces, I was able to achieve sixteen hours of continuous fragrancing; after which the pieces of wax need to be discarded.

                  Whilst I enjoyed burning Lilac Petals during the winter, it is one that I will be purchasing for the spring and summer months and it can be obtained from all good Yankee Candle stockists for around £1.25.

                  I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

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                    11.01.2014 20:21
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                    A hilarious and entertaining autobiography from Monkey

                    It's traditional for my husband and I to place our gifts to one another underneath the Christmas tree a couple of weeks before the big day. However, whilst cleaning one day I accidentally touched one of the presents he had bought for me and was intrigued, as I knew it was a book. I'm really fussy when it comes to books and was rather surprised at his choice especially as he has never bought me a book before. On opening the parcel on Christmas Day I was absolutely delighted to discover that he had made the perfect choice with Monkey Hero of Our Time.

                    I'm sure that many of you will have heard of Monkey, but for those of you who haven't I would advise that he is a cute knitted little chimp who advertises PG Tips on our TV screens alongside the hilarious Johnny Vegas. It was only after having a discussion with my sister on Christmas Day that I realised the voice of Monkey belongs to one of my favourite actors, namely Ben Miller. I absolutely adore the series of adverts that are on our television screens, which never fail to raise a smile regardless of the amount of times that I've watched them.

                    The hard covered book, which is A5 in size is presented with a protective cover displaying a cute photo of posing Monkey and promises to have us in stitches and within minutes of opening my parcel on Christmas Day I began to turn the pages. It was on the inside cover that I learned that Monkey was donated to Comic Relief by ITV Digital on its closure and any income raised from Monkey merchandise assists Comic Relief to run itself.

                    The inside cover is adorned with numerous colourful photographs of Monkey where he is in various comical poses and wearing a variety of different outfits. The photos had me laughing out loud, as Monkey can be seen dressed as a biker with a long and bushy moustache, another shows him chilling out in a hot tub whilst wearing a witch's hat and another in his keep fit outfit as he works out at the gym where he tones his woolly muscles.

                    The 160 page book begins with Al's (Johnny Vegas) Foreword where he tells of us the tale when he was working as a door to door salesman selling dusters and when knocking on a door one day he met Monkey. The Foreward is accompanied by several images of the adverts that both Al and Monkey appear in; after which point we are taken into Monkey's amazing autobiography.

                    Monkey's style of writing is hilarious and he begins by introducing himself and discusses his various show business pals. He discusses his encounter with Gary Barlow who turns to Monkey for advice and he speaks of his important work with JK Rowling where he proof read her novel entitled Harry Popper and the Philospher's Cheeses.

                    Monkey comes across as a very big headed, but loveable rogue and discusses the reason for writing his autobiography so early in his career. He talks of the dozens of film premiers that he's due to attend and the interviews that he's had with the world's top journalists. The pages are of a good quality and are fairly thick and glossy, which emphasises the many colourful images that can be found dotted throughout the book.

                    Monkey speaks of his fans and his world popularity and informs us of his love for crisp sandwiches. He'd love to tell us of his future projects, but for legal reasons he is unable to do so. There is an adorable photo of him tucked up in bed as he settles down for the night before opening his fan mail in the morning where people want to know how they can become as successful and amazing as Monkey.

                    Monkey speaks of his aspirations to start a family although he realises he needs a wife and he discusses his desire to travel to Mars with the page displaying a gorgeous photo of him in an astronaut's suit. He intends emailing NASA fairly soon so that he can arrange his journey as he wants to be the first woolly character to travel the far reaches of the solar system. Sadly, Monkey has to end his autobiography as he has a pedicure booked although he hints that there may be another in the pipeline.

                    The book took me around 45 minutes to read from start to finish and I found every part hilarious. It is most certainly an uplifting read with much of the text being supported by this gorgeous little knitted chimp. It would appeal to all ages and my husband certainly made a brilliant choice in buying this for me. I found myself likening Monkey's character to Roland Rat, as he shares a very similar mischievous personality and any rat fans will know exactly what I mean!

                    I can highly recommend this book to all Monkey fans and I can assure you that you won't be disappointed. My husband made his purchase from The Works, but he cannot recall how much he paid. However, I've looked on Amazon where you can obtain the Kindle edition for £2.84 and the hardback for £5.75.



                    Published in 2013 by Igloo Books Ltd, Sywell
                    ISBN - 978-1-78197-458-2

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                      11.01.2014 16:39
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                      An affordable way to obtain a constant supply of batteries

                      We go through a considerable amount of batteries, which is probably the situation for many households especially with the mountain of remote controls, cameras, children's toys and various other gadgets. I was fed up with having to repeatedly make purchases with Duracell always being my brand of choice. As a result, my husband and I decided to invest in a battery charger, which would not only cut down on costs, but it would also reduce the amount of used batteries that we would need to discard.

                      Researching such a product was fairly easy as the first one that popped up in my search results was one manufactured by Duracell, namely their Rechargeable CEF22 Multi-Battery Charger. Despite using Duracell batteries for more years than I care to remember, it is only on purchasing the charger that I discovered that the company belongs to Proctor and Gamble.

                      As the majority of the batteries that we use are AA and AAA, the charger perfectly suited our needs as it is suitable for charging both of these types in addition to being suitable for C, D and 9V. We have owned the charger for approximately five months and already it has almost paid for itself with this review discussing my thoughts.


                      THE CHARGER

                      The oblong shaped charger offers measurements of 20 cm in length, 10½ cm in width and 6 cm in depth and is fairly lightweight at 449 grams. It has been constructed from an extremely robust black and pale grey plastic with the familiar Duracell logo being displayed on the slightly curved upper section. I like the fact that the underside of the charger has four rubber feet to prevent it from scratching any surfaces.

                      The charger is accompanied by what Duracell describe as an "instruction manual" although in fact, this is actually a piece of glossy cardboard measuring just 7 cm x 15 cm. However, all the relevant instructions for use are displayed albeit in a very small black on white text and for me, they are impossible to read without glasses, which I discovered I required a few months ago.

                      You should be aware that the charger is solely for the rechargeable variety of batteries; none of which are provided, so they need to be purchased separately and Duracell advise that only their own brand NiMH rechargeable batteries be used. Also contained inside the box is a Duracell AC/DC adaptor and we are strongly advised only to use the one provided due to the associated risk of damaging the charger and batteries


                      USING THE CHARGER

                      The upper section of the charger offers a robust hinged lid and despite opening and closing it on numerous occasions, the hinges remain perfect intact, so it clearly has been manufactured to a high specification. Located inside are eight different sections for recharging batteries and unlike a charger that I owned many years ago, different types of batteries can be charged at the same time. However, I would point out that there is only one slot for a 9 volt battery. The batteries are easily slotted into the corresponding slots where one to four D cell batteries can be charged, one to eight AA or AAA or one to four C cells.

                      Once the DC power cord is connected to the charger at the rear of the unit and the AC adaptor plugged into the mains, the LED indicators at the front of the unit will illuminate red to indicate the fact that the charging process has begun. I favour the fact that there are eight indicators with each corresponding to each individual battery.

                      Once the batteries have reached their full charge, the corresponding red indicator will change to green. There is also a warning sign, which is indicated by the red light flashing red, which alerts the consumer to the fact that there is a problem with the battery. This has not yet occurred in our experience although the directions for use advise that this is the case when the battery reaches the ends of its lifetime.

                      It takes approximately six to eight hours for eight batteries to be charged although this timescale differs dependent upon the type of batteries that are being charged. Batteries can be used over hundred times and they will hold their charge for up to twelve months. However, we tend to leave only eight batteries fully charged at any one time


                      OTHER INFORMATION

                      The battery charger operates with a 15 V input and a 5.6 V output or 550mA per slot in respect of AA, AAA, C or D) and 104V in respect of 9 V. The power supply operates with a 100 - 240 AC input and 15 V output.


                      PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

                      We shopped around for our battery charger with the best price being at Amazon and at the time of writing, it is still the most competitive at £19.99 inclusive of postage and packing.

                      As previously stated, the rechargeable batteries are not supplied and need to be purchased separately with a pack of eight Duracell AA batteries costing £17.98 inclusive of postage and packing and a pack of eight AAA costing £19.99 postage and packing.

                      A reduction can be obtained if you sign up to Amazon's Subscribe and Save service where you can select the interval that you require further supplies. Please be aware that when you purchase Duracell's rechargeable batteries they are sent to you already charged and ready to use.



                      I cannot fault Duracell's Rechargeable CEF22 Multi-Battery Charger, as whilst it is initially a costly outlay, it soon pays for itself especially as we go through so many batteries with the various gadgets throughout our home. Throughout our experience, my husband and I we have found that the batteries last just as long as a normal Duracell battery although this is obviously dependent upon what you are using them for and how often. For any consumer who goes through a lot of batteries I would highly recommend this product, as it's so easy to use and will save you a fortune over the long term. Due to the reasons discussed above, I can award nothing less than five stars.

                      I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

                      Please ignore Dooyoo's Quick Rating criteria, as it doesn't all apply

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                      • LG BP125 / Blu-Ray Player / 59 Readings / 55 Ratings
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                        07.01.2014 18:38
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                        An affordable and high quality blu ray player

                        During the time of the plain old video recorder I felt that I was well informed of the electronics available at that time, as they were easy to understand for a non technical person like me. However, technology has advanced at an alarming rate and I feel totally overwhelmed by the products on offer. My husband and I jumped on the band wagon with a DVD recorder and various DVD players, but we vowed we would not be drawn into purchasing a Blu-Ray player especially as the discs were so expensive when comparing with DVDs.

                        However, after managing quite well without the delights of blu-ray, a couple of months ago my husband declared that we needed to enhance the quality of our viewing despite the fact that I was more than happy with the crisp images offered by our flat screen television.

                        My husband has a frustrating habit of jumping straight in and purchasing whatever catches his eye as opposed to carefully researching new purchases, so I took the liberty of carrying out the appropriate research. As my numerous attempts to persuade him that we didn't need a blu ray fell on deaf ears I suggested LG's Blu-ray Disc/DVD Player, model number BP125, which is region 2. Consequently, our purchase was made with this review discussing my thoughts.


                        What is Blu Ray?

                        This was my burning question, as whilst I had heard that it offered an improved picture when making a comparison with your traditional DVD player, I have to admit that I didn't have a clue. Following my research I discovered that it is the name of a new optical disc format, which was developed by the Blu-Ray Disc Association. I learned that all the big brand names such as Sony, Samsung, LG and Apple are members. In addition to being able to hold a considerably larger capacity than a traditional DVD disc, the use of advanced video offers a far superior high definition experience.

                        I was totally unaware that DVD players and recorders rely on a red laser with blu ray using a blue violet laser. Another question I had whilst carrying out my research was whether our current DVDs would play on a blu ray player, as I had no intention of replacing them especially as we've built up quite a large collection over the years. Thankfully, the answer to this question was yes, as the LG blu ray player promises to enhance the viewing experience and breathe new life into DVDs.


                        Why LG?

                        I must admit that this is our first LG purchase, but the brand frequently scores top marks in many surveys and their products seem to be very affordable. In addition, I learned that the brand is currently listed in Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics.


                        What do you receive for your money?

                        I was pleasantly surprised when we received our purchase, which I ordered online, as despite my research, I didn't even consider looking at the product size, as I presumed it would be similar to that of a standard DVD player. I couldn't have been more wrong, as its size is half that of our DVD player with its measurements of approximately 27 cm in length, 3.9 cm in depth and 19.8 cm in width. In addition, it is extremely lightweight at just 0.95 kg, so I find it easy to lift to dust underneath although my husband wouldn't have a clue about regularly moving it as he prefers to wipe around it on those very few occasions that he decides to pick up a duster!

                        The Blu-ray player has been constructed from a sturdy black coloured plastic and its appearance can be described as modern and sleek. I was a little concerned about it being situated on top of our other electrical gadgets, ie DVD recorder, DVD player and Sky box, as one area of our living room is beginning to give the appearance of an electronics factory. However, due to its small size it is unobtrusive and blends in well.

                        The remote control operates by a single AAA battery, which was included and with its measurements of 4½ cm x 15 cm it is far smaller than I had anticipated although it houses a considerable number of plain grey buttons together with various coloured buttons. Whilst some of the buttons can be described as being fairly small, they are well spaced out, so I do not experience any issues with knocking the wrong buttons although this possibly could be a problem for those consumers who have large fingers. Whilst there is a "simple manual" as described by LG, which is basically a double sided sheet of A2 paper, which is folded into A5 size, the consumer is directed to the internet to download the owner's manual.

                        I find this frustrating as when I make a purchase I expect it to be accompanied with all of the information that I need although this seems to be a common practise these days with many electrical purchases. This would also prove to be a real downside for those consumers who do not have internet access. The final item accompanying the player is an AC adaptor and I would advise that an HDMI cable is required although this is not provided.


                        Setting up the player

                        Setting up the blu ray was extremely easy and for a non-technical person such as myself, I would describe it as idiot proof. Whilst the directions for set up are included in the rather vague manual, they are displayed by way of a few diagrams with only a small amount of text such as images showing the "HDMI Out" and "HDMI In". The next stage is setting the language to English, which is displayed on the television screen and set by using the appropriate buttons on the remote control. Fortunately, the leaflet displays the required buttons in red, which are also identified on the remote control in the same colour, so I was easily able to follow the simple instructions.


                        Using the blu ray player

                        This process is self-explanatory although identical to that of the set up procedure, the manual displays images together with directions, which are identified in red with the corresponding buttons on the remote control also being displayed in red. The disc drawer is easily opened and closed and is almost silent in operation. I was really intrigued to witness the picture quality offered by blu ray and I cannot say that I was in the least bit disappointed. Whilst our HD flat screen television normally offers imagines that I would describe as crisp and of a high quality, watching in blu ray was a totally new experience for me. The images are far more defined with an improved level of clarity and offer more detail when comparing with a traditional DVD player.


                        Additional features

                        It was when I was researching blu ray players that I learned that this particular model has a USB port and supports JPEG image file formats, so we are able to view our extensive collection of digital photographs on a large screen as opposed to our laptops. As a result, we are able to look at them in a higher level of clarity and crispness.


                        Other information

                        As previously stated, I am no technical expert, so have copied the following information directly from the outer box:- DivX certified to play DivX video up to HD 1080p including premium content, external HDD playback and MKV playback. Whilst this isn't a feature we will ever use, the player offers a parental control, which will no doubt be a necessary feature for a large number of consumers. The player offers advanced audio features of Dolby Digital Plus/Dolby TrueHD. The player is not compatible with 3D, which is not an issue for us as we have no desire to upgrade our television to a 3D model.

                        The player operates from a 12 W power consumption and carries a 12 month guarantee from the date of purchase with LG promising to replace the product free of charge should any components fail within this timescale.


                        Price and availability

                        We originally made our purchase from Currys website where we paid £49.99, which I thought was a fantastic price for a blu ray player especially one from such a well known brand. However, when I discovered that Asda were selling the identical player on Black Monday for just £34 I couldn't resist making a further purchase for our bedroom. I have looked online for the best price and at the time of writing you can make a purchase from Currys for £44.99.


                        I am well impressed with LG's Blu Ray Disc/DVD Player, Model Number BP125, as for the price I feel we are receiving a lot of product for our money. It took me a long time to finally give in to blu ray and I am so glad I did especially as my husband and I prefer to watch films at home rather than pay a fortune visiting the cinema. The only negative is that whilst blu ray discs have drastically reduced in price, they are still more expensive than traditional DVD discs. Consequently, I cannot see me making every new DVD purchase in blu ray unless of course, the price is right. As for rating this blu ray player, I can give nothing less than five stars together with a high recommendation.

                        I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

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                        • More +
                          05.01.2014 17:55
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                          A delightful and luxurious bar of soap

                          I adore beautiful toiletries and I was very fortunate as for Christmas last year I received a number of delightful products; one of which was this triple milled Heather Soap from The Scottish Fine Soaps Company. I have previously used a few products from this brand, which was established in 1974 although I only become aware of them just over a year ago.

                          The 100g bar of soap is presented in an eye catching embossed metal tin, which displays both the brand and product name. The tin offers a beautiful pale shade of purple with lilac and silver lettering and I knew from its luxurious appearance that it would contain a high quality product. A point I favour with the company is that their products are highly aromatic and I knew I was in for a real treat as I easily lifted the lid and the delightful and extremely authentic aroma of heather wafted into the air.

                          Despite the oblong shaped bar of soap, which measures approximately 6½ cm x 6 cm being beautifully wrapped in quality white tissue paper displaying the brand name, the scent was very intense although I imagined nothing less from a brand that I consider to be premium. As I unwrapped the bar of soap, which offers an uplifting shade of purple, I was delighted with its appearance, as it just as attractive as the tin due to the upper section being embossed with the brand name.

                          My first use was during the evening of Christmas Day and it has always been a tradition for me ever since I was a little girl to bathe with some of the toiletries that I have received as gifts. I choose to use net body polishers as opposed to sponges or flannels, as they enable my products to last much longer in addition to gently exfoliating my skin as I wash.

                          After dampening my net body polisher I wiped the soap over its surface and was almost instantly able to witness a soft and fluffy lather, which offered a wonderfully creamy texture. As I applied the lather to my body I loved the fact that the heather aroma significantly intensified and there is nothing more satisfying during my bath or shower time when I am using gorgeous beauty products, as they most certainly give me a real feel good factor. In addition to the extremely uplifting scent, the soap is of a high quality and effectively rid my body of any dirt and grime.

                          Whilst I would describe the skin on my body as normal with the exception of my elbows and knees where I have a few dry patches, some brands of soap can leave my skin feeling a little dry and tight. However, I experienced no such issues when using, as the soap lives up to its claim of being extra moisturising although I must admit to having to apply body cream to my dry patches although this is the case regardless of what brand of shower gel or soap that I am using.

                          I loved the fact that the gorgeous aroma of heather lingered on the surface of my skin for a good few hours following use and as I moved I would occasionally get a delightful waft. Despite regularly using the soap since Christmas Day, the bar has only slightly reduced in size, so it is clearly going to last me a fair amount of time. I cannot speak of the underside of the soap turning mushy although I always ensure that it does not sit in a pool of water in my soap dish.

                          I cannot speak highly enough of this product, which retails at £4.99 on Amazon although the price can be reduced to £5.74 if you choose the Subscribe and Save option, which means you will receive further products at intervals of your choice. I have since made a further purchase for myself and for my mother's birthday next month and I am keen to try out other fragrances in the range.

                          Due to the reasons discussed above, I can award nothing less than five stars together with a high recommendation.

                          I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

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                          • More +
                            04.01.2014 19:39
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                            An essential for any first aid kit

                            I always ensure that I am prepared for every eventuality when it comes to first aid and as a result, I have two well stocked boxes; one of which I keep in the car and the other in the house. An item that I have repeatedly purchased is Tesco's 5 Low Adherent Dressings with this review discussing my thoughts.

                            The image above, which I provided to Dooyoo from the Tesco website differs from the appearance of my box in addition to a slight change in the name. Whilst my purchase describes the products as dressings the Tesco website refers to them as wound pads. However, I am of the opinion that the box I own is the newer and updated version.

                            The box contains five 5 cm x 5 cm dressings, which are described as low allergy, absorbent and cushioned. The dressings are individually packed and hygienically wrapped within sterile packaging; a definite must when it comes to first aid products that will be making contact with an open wound. The reverse of the packaging is of a transparent plastic, which is handy, as when I need to use a dressing I am able to ascertain whether it will sufficiently cover the wound. The white cushioned dressing is easily accessible by gently pulling the top edge of the transparent plastic away from the front section of the packaging.

                            The dressing itself is non stick and despite having used them on cuts and grazes, I have experienced no difficulties with them adhering themselves to the wound, as instead they gently lift away. As their name would suggest, these are dressings as opposed to plasters, so I either use some first aid tape to hold the pad in place or some bandage, which is dependent on the size and extremity of the wound. Another advantage of this type of dressing is that two can be placed side by side for larger wounds.

                            Whilst they may seem a little expensive at 80p per pack, they serve their purpose well, as they prevent any wounds from becoming knocked due to their sufficient level of cushioning. In addition, the packs offer an excellent expiry date with mine being suitable for use until April 2015.

                            Due to the reasons discussed above, I feel a five star rating to be appropriate together with a recommendation.

                            I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

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                            • More +
                              01.01.2014 20:10
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                              A high quality product that leaves stainless steel sparkling

                              Both my built in oven and hob are stainless steel, which is a look I love in the kitchen. However, keeping them free of marks was an absolute nightmare as whilst I would regularly clean them, they would always display unsightly water marks and smears regardless of how much effort I put in to dry the surfaces.

                              I had previously been using an ordinary household multi-purpose cleaner, namely Flash and whilst it is brilliant for removing grease remnants of food, it failed to leave the surfaces of my appliances free of water marks and in an impatient attempt to quickly clean the hob some time ago, I used the rough side of a washing up sponge and as a result, the hob now displays some fine scratches.

                              Determined not to cause any further damage and in an effort to find the perfect cleaning product I scoured the aisles of our local Tesco and whilst there wasn't a huge range from which to choose, I decided upon Cif Stainless Steel Cleaner with this review discussing my experience with using.

                              Whilst Cif seems to be a popular brand, it is not one I would generally choose, but the promise of intensive cleaning, brilliant polishing and being gentle on surfaces ticked every box for me and I was eager to try it out. The product is presented in a grey coloured sturdy plastic bottle where we receive 500 ml for our money. Whilst I presume that the grey packaging is intended to replicate the appearance of stainless steel, I find it a little dowdy and difficult to spot when it is located amongst all of the other cleaning products in the cupboard situated underneath my kitchen sink.

                              Cif claims to contain polishing agents, which gives it that edge over normal household cleaners and whilst I do not normally copy a list of ingredients into my reviews, I feel it appropriate in this case with the cleaner containing <5% anionic surfactants, non-ionic surfactants, phosphates, perfume and benzisothiazoline.

                              My one and only experience of using a stainless steel cleaner was many years ago not long after I first set up home and I can vividly recall it being a fairly thick cream with tiny abrasive particles. Consequently, I was a little apprehensive with using Cif although at the back of my mind I was pretty certain that it wouldn't be harsh and that stainless steel cleaning products had significantly improved over the years.

                              The product is easily dispensed into a fine mist via the trigger mechanism, which needs only a few presses to release a small amount of the clear liquid. I anticipated it to offer a powerful aroma and whilst there was a slight hint of chemicals I cannot admit to it being offensive or overpowering. The directions state to spray directly onto the surface, but I didn't relish the thought of spraying the liquid onto the front of my oven only for it to drip onto the floor, so I sprayed it onto a sheet or kitchen roll and worked it over the surface of the stainless steel. I then used a piece of an old clean tee shirt to wipe the liquid away and thoroughly rinsed the surface using warm water.

                              When I first used the liquid on the surface I was immediately able to witness a grubby sheen on the piece of kitchen roll, which I must admit horrified me especially as I had cleaned the surface only the day before. Clearly, the product has additional abilities when making a comparison with normal household cleaners. I could instantly see the water marks lifting off before my very eyes although the odd mark was being left where I had wiped with the kitchen roll although these were easily removed by wiping again in another direction.

                              However, it was when I rinsed with water that I felt I was defeating the object of using the product and that I would be back to square one although this wasn't the case, as the product had already worked its magic with the water simply removing the excess. I am highly impressed with its cleaning abilities, as in addition to removing any grubbiness and cutting through grease, it leaves stainless steel sparkling and gleaming like new with all signs of water marks being thoroughly removed. Furthermore, it is gentle on surfaces and does not cause any scratches, which was my biggest concern.

                              I favour the fact that using the cleaner is safe and whilst no product of this nature should be inhaled, no vapours found their way into my nasal passages, so it is not necessary to take any additional precautions when using. I cannot speak of suffering any irritation when using although I was careful not to allow the product to make contact with my skin.

                              A bottle of Cif Stainless Steel Cleaner will set you back around £4 and can be purchased from all the main supermarkets, but as it delivers superb results it is worth every penny as far as I am concerned.

                              Due to the reasons discussed above, I feel a five star rating to be appropriate together with a high recommendation.

                              I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.

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