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I absolutely cant fault this rucksack, I first had the pink version 30L capacity one from sports direct. At the time it cost £9.99 a few years ago. It was worth £40, but sports direct specialise in cheap Karrimor products. I used it every single day to commute, which involved cycling to the station, a train journey, a tube journey, and then more trains and walking through the day as I worked in multiple schools across london. This was in all weathers, there was times when the whole bag got soaked, snowed on, and hot sun. It kept my belonging mostly dry, was very comfortable to wear because of the padded straps, and in the hot pink colour I looked stylish on my commute. (No suit to wear just normal clothes). I had to carry some heavy books sometimes, and the straps coped well spreading the weight evenly around my shoulders and back, I never had backache, you can adjust the straps to keep it close to your body. It has two mesh pockets on each side that you can keep a water bottle in. It also has some elastic straps along the back, and when I was walking I would often strap my light weight karrimor pink jacket into these so I could either run or walk depending on how late I was running! After two years of the London rush the bag was really dirty and so I decided to put it in the washing machine on a handwash cycle, it got completely ruined and the straps went solid. I had to throw it away. I bought another one in purple as pictured, and also bought my partner the grey style one. They are both exactly the same and I plan to take them to iceland with us as day rucksacks when we go on excursions. Yes you wouldnt be able to climb mount everest with this, but for a daily use bag, that keeps you from back pain and is also roomy enough to be able to wear whilst cycling then this is a great cheap option that will last you. Just dont try to wash it just sponge the dirty bits down.
I usually use blistex for my lips, especially between gigs, but after a while the taste and the smell of it can get to you a bit. For a change I bought one of these body shop lip balms when O2 had their free £5 to spend on my partners phone, I also got a small body lotion with it as the lip balm was only £2 in store. I have the strawberry one, and its in such a small little tub its easy to take around with you. Its applied by your finger tip, and you must take care not to put too much on at once or your lips look very pink and greasy. It doesnt sink in too quickly, so make sure you dont drink/eat straight after applying or you end up eating it all. It has a twist top lid which is easy to remove. It smells delicious, really fruity, I love the smell so much! Its not a sickly fruit smell, just really fresh and organic. Along with using this and the blistex my lips are now fully sorted since having 3 saxophone gigs in a weekend. They are back to looking super healthy and not blistered anymore. They always look like their is lip gloss on with this product as well so it saves me having to buy extra lip gloss and carry that around as well. The body shop sells products that are fair trade, ethically sourced and not tested on animals. If I hadnt had the voucher I probably would have purchased this in the sale.
Leading on from my bumper pack of body shop sale items in this amazing hand cream. It is in the same christmas limited edition range, and comes in a small top down plastic container. It has a lovely dark purple colour to the design, and the product is just as fabulous as the cranberry body butter I reviewed previously. This is a thick and rich cream, you only need to use a very small amount on each hand to ensure that you get the most benefit from this. I use it after washing up, or being outside without gloves on in the cold. It costs £5 but I got it for half price, then used a code to get £40 worth for £20 and quidco cashback, an absolute bargin. The cream doesnt just help your skin it also helps the cuticles to grow healthily, so that it does not become sore and chapped. I find that the quick down the side of my nails is also a bit stronger and doesnt separate. My nails look good and are growing well even with painting them and generally not treating them well otherwise. This cream leaves no grease, or any residue, so once rubbed in, you can go about your daily business. Only problem is if you get your hands wet immediately afterwards then the product can then feel a bit slimey if not completely sunk into your skin and you may loose any good effects of it. I would recommend this at the moment as its on sale, the small and compact container fits neatly in your hand bag, its light, smells really fruity and makes your hands feel nice and soft. It goes well with the body butter so you smell the same and dont have lots of different products wafting away from you.
I absolutely love the Body Shop, all the products use fairtrade and ethical ingredients that I think help the world from using the wrong materials. I also love how often there are some great codes online so that you can save money. I bought sale products and then used a code to get £20 off £40 spend. So I got loads of goodies. This body butter is a Christmas limited edition pot, so I was lucky to get two in the sale. It has some lovely christmassy decoration on the front, and has a fresh fruity smell without being too overpowering or too sickly. It contains cocoa butter and also shea butter, I usually only buy body moisturisers that contain this because I know that it really does a great job of keeping my skin smooth and soft. I use a lot of products and tend to chop and change, but this body butter has done exactly what I knew it would. Its particularly useful on my knees and elbows that get very dry, and a liberal amount used has helped to stop the winter dry skin on these areas. I moisturise daily and my skin feels great, I have used half a tub in around 4 days on my whole body, which means that the product goes quite far. The texture of the butter is quite hard to look at, but becomes softer when applied by hand, and it melts into your skin when rubbed in. Theres no grease left, just a nice smooth sheen. You will also end up with smooth palms from applying it. Though I do still use a seperate hand cream for the tops of my hands and nails. I would recommend this product to people who love body butter, body shop products and a nice smell and smooth skin. Its £5 in the sale at the moment!
In my line of work I have to use lyrics to read from, now I have been using simple paper and typing out lyrics, turning the pages to go through the set list. However times are changing and I am useless at buying the most recent technology, however I was lucky enough to be given some money for christmas, and decided to buy the most recent Ipad Air, with 32Gb of internal memory. I bought it from John Lewis for £479 which is super expensive, but it came with a 3 year warranty whereas from everywhere else you only get the 1 year. Free delivery and I got cashback from my santander credit card. I figured I would still be using this in 3 years so worth getting it from a reputable shop. The screen is 9.7" and this is plenty big enough to see it, I am long sighted and dont need to wear my glasses when reading through documents. I have downloaded a few books through an app to read and I can also see the print fine, though you can zoom in by pushing two fingers apart on the screen. The retina display makes everything super clear and bright. Its a great quality when watching films on the move. The ipad has a chip called A7 which makes it almost as powerful as a laptop, I already have a laptop and the main reason I bought this was because of the apps available. It works so fast, you can scroll through the menus, watch films and iplayer, basically everything my old iphone 3 s does, but much better. Its really light, they say it only weighs a pound, I believe them! It comes in two colours, space grey, and silver. The front of mine is black and the back silver grey colour. The operating system IOS 7 doesnt mean a lot to me but my partner has the same on iphone 4. I only have the wifi version so cant comment on 3g. One of my favourite things about the ipad is that I can facetime my family abroad for free, and in great quality. Having their faces on a large screen is brilliant and much better than the smaller iphone screen. It came pre loaded with loads of apps, the most useful for me being the imovie and garageband which I probably would have bought anyway. It records video in fab quality, and the camera is a huge improvement on the iphone but with no flash. I havent run the battery down yet even after about 3 days of being on it off and on. You hardly have to stroke the screen for it to do something, its just brilliant and I am so glad I bought the most up to date model, having never done anything like this before!
On my quest for keeping my skin in top shape this winter I have discovered this amazing lip product. I play saxophone and find it really difficult to stop my lips cracking the day after several gigs on the trot. They sometimes crack so badly I cant speak! I was recommended to try Blistex daily lip conditioner as it would prevent rather than having to cure it afterwards. It has a nice tingle when you apply it, you just need a sliver of the product and use your finger tip to apply it. I use it particularly on the corners of my lips and put a bit more on that area. The product goes on clear, and seems to keep my lips feeling a little bit less sore and definately stops the cracking. The product comes in a 12ml tub which is perfect for taking it around in your handbag. It has a screw lid and unlike the vaseline lip tub it doesnt get stuck and have to be wrenched off. The actual balm looks yellow in the tub, but on your finger tip its almost invisible. It does leave a sheen on your lips and if you give someone a peck on the cheek afterwards it will come off! If you are a saxophonist or just have problems with cracked lips during the winter then try this. Its not more than £2, and lasts for such a long time.
I love hand creams and until now have sworn by using Vaselines moisturising hand cream. However since O2 did their free £5 off in the Body Shop, I have bought the small 30 ml Absinthe creme mains purifiante. It comes in a silver squeezy tube, and the cream is thick and white. Even though when it comes out it doesnt look too nice as it has a lumpy kind of look, when rubbed into your hands it is really thin and almost melts into your skin. There's no residue, no grease, and you can get on with whatever else your doing without worrying about it leaving a mark. It has a nice 'clean' and green outdoor smell to it, and its very fresh, I have never tried the drink absinthe so cant compare a smell. It doesn't really have an alcohol tinge. It contains shea butter which is in my moisturiser and that works really well. You only need to use a small amount, about a pea size, this will cover both hands and you wont need to reapply for at least a few hours. After using this daily for just over a week, I have noticed that my skin is less dry, and have had no problems with cracked skin. I will continue to buy this from the Body Shop, its £5 for 30ml but it seems like the tube has hardly been used, so a little goes a long way. The only problem with it is that the lid is not flip top, so when you put the lid on again its a bit fiddly to screw back on. However its such a good product that Im not worried about this.
My other half absolutely loves chocolate, and nothing could be better than bringing home a box of 350g of cadburys chocolate heroes. There is not one flavour that we dont like eating, my partner has a mild nut allergy and can eat each one with no problems. The flavours include a creme egg twisted, fudge, plain, eclair, caramel and twirl. They taste exactly the same as their larger counterparts. The best thing about cadburys is their distinctive rich creamy taste, then the added fillings on some of them. If you have your granny round for dinner there are also different textures so she wont have issues with her teeth. This is a big thing as boxes like roses often have toffees so hard that you cant even eat it properly! The chocolates are all individually wrapped which is a bit of a shame for the environment, but it does keep them really fresh and if you can resist it will last in the cupboard a long time. The bad point is that this chocolate is filled with calories, and lots of sugar. I read somewhere though that a little bit of chocolate boots your libido so go for it! The box is recyclable but the wrappers are not. It has a good selection of each flavour, and at the moment is £2 in Tescos instead of £4 so its a bargin. However dont expect them to last until Christmas we have got through two boxes already!
This speaker is just brilliant, I have owned it for almost three years, at the time it costs around £40 online. Now I have been seeing it for around £9.99. I had a voucher for £10 to spend at O2 a while ago through Priority Moments, and bought the version of this that has a sort of cap over the top of the speaker. This keeps it clean when not being used and also keeps the volume down if you want to use it quietly. So I have two of the speakers and the sound quality is fantastic for such a small speaker. You can literally hold it in the palm of your hand, it twists and locks together to store, and then untwists in one movement to show a rubber spring section in the middle. This gives it a good sound quality and allows for reverberation I think. Its very loud, if you have it on full volume with the computer also turned up it is super loud and you can get a great cinematic experience. I have even attached mine together when watching an action film and it was almost like surround sound with one either side of me. They both have a nice shiny red colour on the top, when its turned up you can see that wobbling. It charges via usb to the computer, so its cheap to run when bought. I charge it whilst watching so its always got battery. Its very light and so if your travelling with your laptop and want sound then its easy to transport. You can also plug the usb into your iphone charge plug, but this does not come with the speaker you need to already own a charger. As its so cheap now you cant go wrong owning this, its stylish, has great clear sound quality, and is light and takes up no room at all. Its very easy to use and set up, and I love the way that it turns and locks in one movement in your hand.
I have been using Moonpig for over a year now, as I love making photo cards for birthdays. The process is really easy, just make sure your photos that you want to use are already loaded onto your computer. Choose photo card, then upload your preferred pics to the website, it will resize them accordingly and you can choose where to put them on the front, middle or back of the card. I tend to use different photos all over the card, but you can also have like a magazine cover with the persons face photo shopped onto it. Theres also options to just add your message in the middle of the card, and use one of their pre loaded designs. You can change the text on the front so that the birthday boy or girls name is there. This is a nice touch especially for children who may not know how they managed to do that. The photo quality comes out really well when printed on the cards. The cards come in several different sizes, I choose the standard size as it goes through the post easily and means that the postage doesn't cost too much. Its around £3.50 to use the service, but obviously costs more if you choose a bigger size. It takes approximately five minutes to create and pay for a card if you know what you are doing and what you are looking for. They have so many designs to look through that you could be there all day. There really is something for everyone. Its not just birthday cards they have it programmed for all occasions. I can sometimes find a voucher code online but mostly it is the same price. The delivery is quick, so if your forgetful and need to sort a card out quickly but the post office is closed and its late you can still order! I will continue to use Moonpig's services for peoples birthdays as I have had great feedback from the people who receive the cards and its fun to put some silly photos on. Its a card that people want to keep and remember rather than a generic one from a shop.
I have been going on a crazy supplement spree because of having tonsillitis this week. I wanted to try and get my body back to normal as soon as possible. This effervescent tablet from Sainsburys costs £1.60, and you get 20 tablets. When you look at the orange tablet it looks pretty big, however when dropped in a small glass of water it will fizz and disintegrate until its just left as yellowy orange liquid. The liquid has a strange taste to it, I think because of the zinc, its not quite like an orange, it almost has a slight chemical tang to it. I try to drink it all in one so that I dont have the taste in my mouth for too long. Im not sure how its affecting my body inside, but because its a liquid I do get a little sugar boost from it and its great in the morning to have first thing to wake up a bit. Vitamin C is obviously found in fruit which I eat a lot of anyway, but by drinking this supplement I can ensure that Im getting the right amount every day. Zinc and Vitamin C boost your immune system, and also help wounds to heal quicker. I cant say that I watch how quickly a wound heals if I happen to scrape a part of my body. However I recovered from my tonsillitis in about 2 days which is a lot quicker than it has been in the past. So something must be working. Its quite hard to get into the habit of taking it every morning when your in a rush to go to work, but once your body starts feeling healthier you will realise the benefits. It does say on the tube to be taken as part of a balanced diet, so dont use this as a way of replacing any food as its not healthy to do that.
Since I found myself catching colds all the time, I realised I must be having not enough vitamin c in my diet, so I searched for a 'Berocca' style product that didnt cost nearly £5 for 20 capsules. In Tescos for just over £1 you can get a slim tube of 20 effervescent tablets, this means you put one in a small glass of water and it fizzes and bubbles until its completely disintegrated. The tablet is quite big so you know your getting a good amount of vitamin C. It takes around 40 seconds to completely disappear, it turns the water an unappetizing bright orange colour. I find it best to take it with my cod liver oil tablet as it helps that go down. It makes me feel more awake after I have taken it, and I feel since the month I have started taking them I feel stronger and fitter in my body, I have not caught a cold (touch wood) since or even had a hint of a sniffle even with the weather change. You should only take one tablet a day, they make your pee go really orange as well so dont get worried if that starts happening. You should also take it in the morning because if you take it at night I think it would keep you awake and you would miss out on the extra energy/ The tablets soak up moisture in the air as well, as I found out when I left one in a dry glass and in the morning it had gone all solid and flakey. It couldnt be used. Keep them in the container until you need it. The container is plastic, takes up hardly any room in the cupboard, and has a nice orange sticker. It has a sealed lid which you will have to pull off the first time, then it just pops off. Its pretty small child proof. Its better than the chewy tablet version, as it contains 1000mg vitamin c compared to 200 in each small tablet. You get more for your money and its less hassle remembering to just take it once a day rather than throughout. Even if you eat loads of oranges this will perk you up! Also if you find it hard to swallow tablets then this is a lot easier.
I was lucky enough to be given this fabulous guitar by my father in law who found it in a skip! I was dubious if it would work or not, so I went to a music shop, they plugged it in, tuned the strings, replaced 1 string, and then played it! They fixed something to do with the action being too high for a beginner. For a free guitar I just payed £20 to have it fixed and the new string. The guitar body is black and quite shiny, though it has a few scratches from being in the skip. The neck is also painted black and feels strong and sturdy. The action points are in cream, as well as the plat to rest your hand on. There are also some volume controls on the front. It is brilliant for beginners as it has these silver round circles on the fret board, this is helping me find out where to put my hands for the chords, and also learning scales. I have bought a tiny guitar amp and the sound that comes out sounds quite jangly, but I do have a distortion button for when I want to go a bit mad and make crazy rock goddess sounds. The tuning pegs seem to be quite stiff so it stays in tune for a good while, they are also silver so it doesnt look cheap. The guitar also sounds good with the amp plugged into headphones. There is no static or buzzing from where the lead plugs in, and its in really good nick from a sound point of view. The guitar is quite heavy so I usually sit down to play, though I am planning to get a strap. Its easy to change the strings, just unwind the tuning peg, then pull out the string from the bottom. Even for a novice like me it is simple. I think if kids were trying to play this standing up they may find it too heavy, but for an adult learning its fine. It makes a nice clean electric guitar sound, and the strings dont feel too sore unless you play it for too long. There is also a switch to change the tone but I have no idea about that part really.
I am on a serious budget at the moment as I have just changed jobs and so pay is out the window. So I have tried to buy my whole weeks shop with the tesco value range, including this rice pudding to give a sweet end to a meal. One tin can feed 4 if you are having a small portion for pudding, although I took some for my lunch to heat up and ended up eating half a can just me. It costs 15p per can, and I think that is an absolute bargin, considering the next tesco brand up costs over 50p. It contains 175 calories per serving so its not really that good for you, and theres quite a lot of added sugar already. I find it not quite sweet enough on its own so add a teaspoon of value jam to make it to my taste. It comes in a tin can, with a very plain label in white and blue of the tesco value brand. It states all the nutritional information, and also a serving suggestion. Once its already opened put the remaining pudding into a non metallic plate and put in the fridge. The consistency is quite thick, but not too gloopy, the sauce is nice and although not hugely sweet it could be enough on its own for some people. The rice is soft and when heated up it tastes just like the next brand up. Why buy a more expensive brand when you can have this one, its filling, really cheap, and although its no replacement for fruit and vege, it fills a sweet craving for those on a real budget.
I applied for a tesco credit card because a form came through the post. It was offering me 1000 clubcard points if I spent a certain amount on it within 3 months. As I was having my eye IOL done at the time, I thought it would be a great way to spread the cost. Also there was no interest charged for 16 months, which meant that I could pay off the minimum £25 a month, and then pay it off or transfer it when it gets to the end of the deal in February 2014. It was easy to apply for, I did it online at tesco bank. They gave me an instant answer that I had been accepted. I filled in all the details and the card arrived within a few days, and the pin came seperately in a secure envelope. I had to call up to register the card. I had a few issues with this, as I could not remember the security answer I had chosen previously. I had to reset it with the person on the phone, and then call back to change it to something else. This took not too long but was annoying on my part! I set up an automatic direct debit from the credit card to my normal account, so that I would not have to remember to pay anything off my credit card, it would just do it itself. Then I was told I was able to use the card, I payed off the remaining balance on my IOL account and this was brilliant as instead of paying £330 a month off the balance, I was paying £25 interest free! The credit card offer came at a perfect time for me, they send me my statement in the post every month, and I have had no issues with them. It just comes out every month, and is no trouble at all. I also hope it is improving my credit rating. The card is silver, with the master card symbol on it. You have to sign the back, and you can link it to your tesco clubcard to get the points when you spend.