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I enjoy shopping in the Body shop although don’t go that often. I have a range of their products including the excellent body butters, bath and shower gels and hand cream. During my last visit I picked up a luxury face flannel as I was in need of as bit of pampering and anything with luxury in the name fitted the bill!
The body shop luxury face flannel is basically a large, white very soft face flannel. It appealed to me as I wanted something to use on my face to remove make up and also to use with my face wash. I prefer using a facial wash as opposed to a cream as it seems to suit my skin better and also helps to wake me up in the morning!
The face cloth is larger than average and is really soft. It is designed to use on the face as it won’t irritate the delicate eye area. Before its first use I washed the flannel in my washing machine. Before use I fill my hand basin and soak the flannel to ensure it is soft. It is lovely to use and is good at removing make up and rinsing off my facial wash. I sometimes use a face mask and find that when it is time to wash it off I need a flannel to ensure it is thoroughly removed. This flannel is perfect for the job and its large size means I can soak it in warm water and apply to my face fully covering it.
I have now washed this flannel numerous times and it has kept its snowy white colour and has no rips. I paid £4.50 from the body shop and it can also be ordered from the body shop web site. This is an expensive flannel but it is lovely and soft and feels like a bit of daily luxury for my skin.
For the past few weeks I have been suffering from a horrible cold. As far as I’m concerned the worst thing about a cold is the blocked nose. Having tried all manor of remedies I decided it was time to talk to the pharmacist in Boots to see if she could recommend anything that would help. She recommend I try Sudafed blocked nose capsules and so I took her advise.
Sudafed blocked nose capsules come in blue and white cardboard box containing 24 capsules. I paid £4.99 for the pack and was keen to start taking them. The capsules contain phenylephrine hydrochloride an effective decongestant. They also contain lactose (worth knowing in case you are intolerant). The information leaflet states that you should take 1 capsule with water up to a maximum of 4 capsules in a 24 hour period. The treatment should not exceed 7 days and if your symptoms persist you should see your GP. The capsules are not recommended for children under 12 or pregnant women.
When I started to take these capsules I had been suffering for about 10 days and so I guess the cold was on its way out. However after a few doses I really did feel better and my nose was noticeably less blocked. I continued taking the capsules for 5 days by which time I was back to normal. I suffered no adverse side effects although there are several possible ones listed such as palpitations, nausea and headaches. The capsules can also cause urine retention in men!
The capsules are non drowsy (although I would have welcomed a drowsy feeling at bedtime!) and can be used to help with nasal congestion caused by hay fever and allergies. Overall I would definitely buy these capsules again should the need arise as they seemed to be very effective with no unwanted side effects.
My hands have to put up with a lot of rough treatment! I love to garden and this dose nothing for the condition of my hands and nails. When not gardening I seem to be constantly cleaning and this involves getting my hands wet and dirty! Not only do my hands suffer but my nails also tend to split and break. I have read that taking care of your cuticles is a good way to help nails to grow and stay strong. Last year my local Waitrose were selling off a range of Burt’s Bees products including the lemon butter cuticle cream. I can’t remember how much I paid but think it was about £1 for a 15 gram tin. As this usually retails for £5.99 I couldn’t resist buying.
Burts bees makes a range of products all with beeswax. The cuticle cream also contains lemon peel oil and sweet almond oil. As I had used the hand salve in the past with good results I had high hopes for this cuticle cream. The small metal tin has one of those annoying twist off lids that I always struggle with so not a good start! However once opened the strong lemon scent is very appealing as far as I am concerned.
The cream itself is actually solid rather than a liquid cream. It is recommended that you rub a little of the cream into your nails and cuticle area; gently pushing the skin around the cuticle down as you do so. The cream is quite greasy and for this reason I like to use the cream last thing at night. It does take a while to absorb but once it has my cuticles feel soft and my nails look shiny. Best of all I can still detect that gorgeous lemon scent for hours after I have used the cream!
Overall I really like this cuticle cream and enjoy using it. I tend to use it a couple of times a week (too lazy!) rather than every night as suggested. However since using it my nails have definitely improved and are less prone to split and break. The skin around my cuticles is softer and looks smoother. The cream also helps to give my nails a good shine. The small tin means it can easily be carried in my handbag. I have also taken it with me on a long haul flight as I like to pack a few skin care treats to help my skin tolerate the dry atmosphere on the plane. I probably wouldn't pay the full asking price for this cuticle cream but I clearly bagged a bargain!
I have a gorgeous setter and like to give him the best! About 6 months ago I bought him a new ceramic dog bowl as his old stainless steel one was beginning to look decidedly battered! A trip to my local pet shop later I arrived home with a lovely ceramic bowl made by Mason Cash.
Mason Cash are an English company and have been established since 1800. They not only make pet feeding bowls but also manufacture a range of high quality ceramics including the large mixing bowl I own.
The bowl is a biscuit colour on the outside and royal blue inside. The word * dog* is embossed around the outside of the bowl. The bowl is available in several sizes so would suit any size of dog including puppies. I opted for the medium 7 inch size costing £5. The bowl is quite heavy and feels very robust. It is bite resistant, hygienic and dish washer safe. It is also sturdy and so would be difficult for a dog to tip over when feeding.
I have chosen to use the bowl for food. However this bowl would also make an excellent water bowl as the ceramic keeps water cooler for longer.
I have now had this bowl for some time and it still looks as good as new with no chips.I think the bowl looks like a quality item and hope it will last. Overall I would highly recommend this bowl as although it is more expensive than others on the market it is well made, looks good and my dog seems to approve!
My setter has inflammatory bowel disease which means he has to have a carefully controlled diet. He is allergic to most meats although can tolerate duck. On the recommendation of the vet he is now fed exclusively on Royal Canin Duck and tapioca dry food with the occasional addition of Duck and rice in wet food form. I do buy fresh duck whenever I see it reduced .
Royal canin are a specialist pet food company that produces a range of pet food especially formulated for various dietary needs such as animals with food intolerance. They also produce food for lifestyle, breed and size of animal. The company were the first pet food manufacturer to market a food especially targeted at large puppies for example.
Royal canin is only stocked by Vets and specialist pet retailers. The manufacturers say that this is so pet owners can be given the correct advice to help them choose the right product for their pet. It alos means that Royal canin comes at a premium cost! I pay £2.50 for a 420 gram can from my vet.although I could buy cheaper from the internet if I bought in bulk.
Royal canin duck and rice contains 49% duck meat,rice, minerals,oils and fats. The food looks a lot more solid than cheaper dog meats and it certainly smells a lot better! The can has a handy metal pull to open the lid.
The most important thing for me is how much my fussy dog likes his food. He can be hesitant to eat his dry duck kibble but as soon as I add just a tablespoonful of this wet food he loves it and clears his bowl! Importantly the food has no adverse effect on his tummy.Once opened I cover the tin and keep it in the fridge. As I only use a little for neach feed the can lasts for a few days.
Overall I am happy with this particular wet food although I wish it was stocked by supermarkets so the price could come down a bit!
I take a shower every morning when time is limited but do enjoy a nice long soak in the bath especially during the cold winter months. I also find that having a warm bath before bedtime helps me to sleep. I have a range of bath products and always like to add a good dose to ensure lots of lovely soft bubbles.
The Radox range has been around for as long as I can remember with new additions being added to the range frequently. I often shop in Boots and as Radox is currently on offer at just £1 for a large 500 ml bottle so I picked up a couple the last time I was in the shop. One of my choices was the sleep easy bath therapy which contains lavender, camomile and Jasmine; all ingredients I love.
Radox sleep therapy comes in a plain clear plastic bottle with screw top lid. The clear plastic allows the navy blue liquid to show through. I really don’t think the Radox packaging would win any beauty prizes!
I find the most effective way to ensure plenty of lovely bubbles is to pour a little of the liquid under fast running water. I find a few cap falls is enough to produce plenty of bubbles. The scent of the bath foam is ok, however it isn’t very strong and I was hoping that the lavender scent would be more prominent. It did produce lots of bubbles that remained for the duration of my bath so a better score here!
After my bath my skin felt soft and moisturised. However the lack of scent was a disappointed for me. I am not sure that this particular bath foam helped me to sleep any better than other bath foams I have in m y collection. Would I buy it again? Probably when it’s on offer the answer would be yes. However there are bath foams on the market that smell a lot better than this one although not for that price!
My hair is dry and difficult to manage. In the damp weather my curls become a frizzy mess! I like to colour and highlight my hair and this can cause further damage. My hairdresser recently recommended I try a leave in conditioner from the Aussie range and so I took her advice.
Aussie miracle hair insurance is a lightweight spray conditioner designed to be left on the hair. It comes in a 250ml opaque white plastic bottle with mauve spray pump action nozzle. The nozzle has a small plastic cover to keep it clean. The bottle has embossed kangaroos around it implying that this is an Australian product. In fact a little research uncovers that Aussie is owned by the multi- national American company, proctor and Gambol. The Australian reference is from the ingredients used such as Australian jojoba oil seed. Just to confuse things further the bottle I have states it was made in France! That aside, it’s how well it delivers on its promises that count!
Aussie miracle insurance is advertised as a saviour for weak distressed hair. It promises to protect and detangle. I find I need to wash my hair every day to enable me to tame it as it is impossible to get a comb through the morning tangles without doing so. This is not great for my hair and strips it of moisture. This spray contains jojoba seed oil something that has been used for centuries as a moisturiser.
The first time I used the spray I decided to give the morning wash a miss. I sprayed a few bursts and massaged through my hair with my fingers. The smell is gorgeous, sweet but not overpowering. The spray is very fine and I found it really easy to use. Best of all I was able to comb through my locks easily with no breakage as often happens. After use my hair feels soft and has a good shine.
The spray can be used on either wet or dry hair and works well either way. I bought my bottle from Boots were the range is on offer at 3 products from the Aussie range for £10. Bought alone the 250ml bottle costs around £4.49. Overall I can highly recommend this spray and will definitely be buying it again!
My setter loves toys that squeak and also enjoys chasing after balls. when I spotted the Kong air squeaker spinner in my local pet shop I knew it would be a winner as far as my pooch was concerned! I have bought several toys made by Kong in the past and they have always been of good quality and lasted well. I can't remember exactly how much I paid but is was around £5.
The toy is basically a boomerang with tennis ball middle. The toy is covered in yellow tennis ball material and so is soft and non abrasive. There is a squeaker embedded inside the toy to add to the fun. There is a violet Kong logo on one of the arms of the toy. The toy is available in 2 sizes; medium and large. I opted for the medium size recommended for dogs from 13-35 pounds in weight.
As I had hoped my dog received his new toy with great excitement. Not only did it squeak when chewed but it could be thrown for a game of catch too. The toy's shape means it has an irregular bounce and my dog loved trying to catch it only to find it would bounce in another direction! The shape of the toy makes it easy for a dog to carry and the soft material won't hurt their mouth.
Unfortunately this toy didn't last long as my dog managed to tear it apart removing most of the yellow tennis ball material. It is important that dogs are supervised with any toy and luckily I was on hand to remove the material from my dogs mouth before it was swallowed .
Overall this is a fun toy and great design idea. However the material is easy for a dog to tear apart and can then become a choking hazard. Unfortunately ,for this reason I cannot recommend this toy.
In a bid to save money I am buying more so called value products. I usually use L'Oreal shampoo but have also tried several other brands with mixed results. However during a recent shopping trip to Tesco I noticed that the Alberto balsam shampoo's were just £1 for a 400ml bottle. At this price I decided it had to be worth trying. There are several variants in this range and I opted for the Mandarin and papaya as I love fruity scents and this one is especially designed for normal to dry hair. My hair is dry and fine.
The shampoo comes in a long plastic bottle with the pale orange shampoo showing through. It has a handy flip top lid and is easy to dispense. I really liked the fruity scent of this shampoo,nothing too overpowering,just a subtle sweet scent. The shampoo has a good consistency,not too runny or thick and lathers well. After washing my hair I always use a conditioner as my hair is dry and would be impossible without!
After using this shampoo I noticed straight away that my hair felt brittle and was difficult to comb through. The manufactures promise that this shampoo will infuse moisture and shine. However in my case it did the opposite! My hair was left looking limp and dull.
Both my boys have now used this shampoo and their verdict was that is was * OK*.At least it won't be wasted! I guess in my case you really do get what you pay for!
I have pale skin that burns easily. This year I had planned a holiday in the sun and didn’t want to bare my white legs on the beach. A friend recommended I try St Tropez bronzing mousse as she promised it would give me a golden tan with no hint of orange! As I have never used a fake before I was a bit nervous, but decided to give it a try.
St Tropez bronzing mousse is widely available and I bought my bottle from Tesco. It is available in several sizes from a small 50ml bottle to the largest 500ml bottle. The smallest bottle costs around £8 and the largest around £30, making it one of the most expensive fake tans products on the shelf.
The pump action plastic bottle comes with full instructions for use. It is strongly recommended that you buy an application mitt at the same time to ensure you get an even, result. St Tropez also makes a mitt costing around £5, but you can get other brands that will do the job for less.
Getting that golden tan
Before using the product you should do is a skin test to ensure you are not going to have an adverse reaction to the mousse. This should be done 24 hours before you plan to use the mousse. Once I had ascertained that I wasn’t going to have any unwanted reaction I was ready to begin.
The first thing you will need to do is shower and exfoliate. It is recommended that you moisturise any dry areas and for me this meant elbows, hands and feet. Once dome it was time to apply!
Using the mitt I pumped about 3 squirts into my hand and began with long even sweeps to cover my legs and feet. I continued upwards until all my body was covered. There is little mess and hardly any scent from this mousse. The mousse is tinted so it easy to see where you have been.
I was really pleased with how quickly it dried and was soon able to put on my pyjamas. The mousse will take about 6 hours to *take* so applying before bedtime seemed the least inconvenient time.
By morning I was far more aware of that tell tale fake tan aroma and couldn’t wait to shower it off to see the results. Once I had showered I was really surprised at just how natural the results looked! There was no hint of orange but I did have a lovely, golden natural looking tan! I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Overall I would have no hesitation in recommending this fake tan. It lasted for about a week before I needed to reapply and again the results were brilliant. It isn’t something I would use all year as I am happy to be pale during the winter. However it did give me confidence to be able to get out my tanned legs on holiday!
I usually buy whatever shower gels are on offer for everyday use. I do like to have a few special gels that I use, but these are kept away from my boys! During a recent trip to Boots I noticed the Nivea range of shower gels were on a less that half price offer at just 99p. As I also had a money off voucher for a shower gel this made them a real bargain!
I nhave always liked Nivea as the smell reminds me of my childhood. My mum always used Nivea cream as a moisturiser and still swears by it today. Now days the range has increased from the original in the blue bottle. I opted for Nivea happy time shower cream as I love anything with a citrus scent and this fitted the bill.
Nivea happy time shower cream comes in a white plastic bottle with flip up navy blue lid. The bottle is attractively decorated with a sliced orange. The information on the bottle informs me that this shower cream contains bamboo milk and orange blossom. I have to admit I had not heard of bamboo milk before but was willing to try it!
The shower cream is a lovely pale orange colour and is fairly thick and silky in consistency. I use a shower puff as I then need fewer products to create a good lather. I find I need very little of this shower cream to get a decent lather so full marks here! The citrus scent is gorgeous and smells like a far more expensive shower cream in my opinion. It also lasts well and I can still detect it on my skin several hours later. I find this is a refreshing shower cream and it really does help to wake me up in the morning. The scent is not too feminine and is accepted by my boys.
Nivea claim that this is an uplifting shower cream and I certainly would not disagree! Not only does it help to wake me up and smell gorgeous, but it also leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised. I think at 99p for a 250ml bottle I bagged a bargain!
I have a gorgeous setter who has attended several training classes in his time and has the certificates to prove it! Setters, although loving and loyal, can be difficult to train. My dog is usually pretty good at coming back to me when called. However if he spots a game bird that is a different matter and everything seems to go out of his head expect giving chase! It is very important that any dog is always in the owners control and so I have worked hard with him getting him to master the recall in all situations.
The most common way to recall your dog is to whistle. The high pitched sound should attract his attention and get an immediate effect. However I can't whistle! No matter how hard I try the only sound that I can make is a rather pathetic one and certainly not a sound that would attract my dogs attention! The solution was to buy a specially made dog whistle.
The whistle I selected is made by a company called company of animals. The whistle comes on a cardboard backing covered in clear tough plastic. The whistle is made of durable steel and gives a clear,loud whistle when blown. There is a handy ring at the end allowing the whistle to be attached to a key ring.
The whistle is about 17 cm in length so is small enough to fit into my pocket when I am out walking with my dog. Although he is not perfect at coming back when called, using this whistle does get my dogs attention, He quickly learnt to recognise the sound of this whistle and I rewarded him every time he came back to me with a treat.
I bought my whistle from pets at home at a cost of £5. It is well made and easy to use. Overall I think this is an excellent dog whistle.
I enjoy my garden and work hard to keep it looking good. However with two boys plus lively setter that can be hard to achieve! Although I like the garden to look good I also want it to be a place where we can all have fun. A few years I bought a trampoline and although it gets moved around the grass underneath still suffers. Games of football also take their toll on my lawn leaving brown patches where the grass gets worn away around the goal area.
Shopping in Tesco I noticed that gardening products were on promotion including patch magic by miracle gro. I had used miracle gro products in the past and been happy with the results so decided to give patch magic a try.
Patch magic, as the name implies, is designed to treat damaged areas of a lawn, giving new healthy grass. It contains a mixture of grass seed, plant food and coir. Coir is added as it expands when water is added surrounding and protecting the grass seed. Coir is also used in potting composts. The manufactures promise that patch magic will produce grass that is 50% thicker than that produced from using grass seed alone.
Patch magic comes in several sizes including the 1 kg size gold plastic bottle I bought. As a guide 1 kg is enough to treat 13 patches. There are instructions on the bottle that recommend you first remove any dead grass from the area to be treated and then loosen the soil. Shake about 3mm of patch magic over the area and water well. The coir will start to expand, turning brown The colour change shows you that the process is working.
It is important you do not use patch magic if there is any risk of a frost. It is best used in spring until late summer. Patch magic is safe to use around children and pets.
Once you have covered the area you need to protect it. I used bamboo canes to surround the area and then tied string across. Unlike other grass seed this stuff did not seem to appeal to the local bird population!
It is important that you water regularly. The grass seed should start to germinate after about 5-14 days. Don’t be tempted to cut the new grass until it is well established.
Would I recommend?
I would definitely recommend patch magic. I found it really easy to use with no mess; simply unscrew the plastic top and shake the required amount over the area to be treated. It is more expensive than grass seed, but the results are a lot more consistent. The areas I have treated now have thick, lush grass. Patch magic contains no agricultural *rough* grass unlike some grass seeds.
Patch magic is widely available and I paid around £5 for a 1 kg container. The usual RRP would be £8.
I am always very careful to protect my children s skin from the sun. During the warmer months I always made sure my children applied suncream before leaving home in the morning. However one application is simply not enough to ensure they are protected all day long. With this in mind I bought a few bottles of Nivea pocket sized sun protection cream from my local Boots.
The 50ml blue plastic bottle is the perfect size to fit into a school bag without taking up too much room. I also carry a bottle of this in my hand bag as again the small size means it takes up little room and is light to carry. The children s cream has a high factor 50 SPF and the adult variant has a factor 30 SPF. I always buy a high factor to ensure good protection.
The bottle has a twist off yellow plastic lid that can be a bit awkward to remove. However the cream is easy to apply and doesn't feel sticky or greasy on my skin.The cream is water resistant although it will need to be reapplied after swimming. Both my children are happy to apply this cream and are pretty good at doing so without being reminded!
I also like to have a bottle of this sun cream in my pocket when we go hiking. I don't like to have to carry much weight and so this little bottle is perfect. I have used this cream on both my body and face and have suffered no adverse reaction.
Overall this sun cream is easily absorbed,non sticky and a very convenient size to pop into a bag or pocket. Obviously it is no substitute for a full sized bottle and will only give last for a limited time. I seem to remember I paid around £3 when it was on offer in Boots.
Last year during a cold snap my boiler decided to die. I decided it was time to invest in a portable heater. As I needed a heater in a hurry I ventured to my local electrical store and after taking advice opted for a Dimplex Cadiz eco radiator.
The technical stuff.
Initially I had thought that an oil filled radiator was what I needed . However after talking to the salesperson I was persuaded that the Dimplex oil free radiator was not only around 30% more efficient but would also heat up much more quickly and be lighter to move around.
The radiator has a 2 KW heating output capacity, enough to heat a small to medium sized room.
The radiator is made of white metal and weights 8.4 KG . It is measurES 605mm in height x 614 mm in width and 250mm in depth. The size makes it easy to store during warmer months. The castors allow you to move the radiator around .
At each side it has integrated plastic carry handles. The plastic material means the handles (indents really) don’t get hot allowing the radiator to be moved when it’s on.
This model has a dual heating element. This means that you can choose to just heat one side of the radiator saving money. I find this useful if the radiator is against a wall or when I am working at my desk and want to direct heat only to this area.
The digital LCD 24 hour timer allows you to set the time for the radiator to turn on and off. This setting can be cancelled and the temperature set manually to come on immediately via the dial. All the controls are situated neatly at the side including the on/off button.
The 57 inch long cable can be neatly stored away in the integral cable tidy compartment when not in use.
There is safety cut off control that will activate should the radiator overheat. The model comes with a manufactures 5 year warranty.
The radiator heats up within about 10 minutes. I find it excellent to have next to my desk when I am working and usually choose to have just one side of the radiator on.
The castors make the radiator easy to move around and the design and neat size makes it look acceptable in any room.
I paid £101 for this radiator. It is available from both currys and Amazon for £99. Although this is more pricy than an oiled filled model I think its lighter weight and lower running costs make it a good investment.