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I first came across the soap and glory hand cream when my friend bought me a gift set for my birthday, it came in a set with the hand wash and I keep them in my downstairs loo.
The thing that hit me immediately was the wonderful smell. The blurb says "non-greasy hand cream with shea butter, macadamia oil and marshamallow" and to me it is like a perfume (in fact, you can but it as a perfume! that is on my christmas list!).
There are is something I'd like to address though, the claim that the cream is non-greasy. I'm afraid I can't really agree with that. I don't think I put too much on, but after application my hands do feel slightly greasy and slippy, not for too long, but enough to notice it. I've had worse, believe me, but I think this claim is over stating it a little.
I purchased a travel size tube to sit on my desk, it's 50ml and cost £2.50. The large tube has an RRP of £5 for 125ml. So overall, price wise I think this is pretty good value for what is seen to be a premium brand - I'm not sure whether it is or not!
The packaging of all the soap and glory range plays towards the current fashion for "vintage" style. They use black and white pin up style images on many of their products, but this one doesn't seem to have this. Though it is distinctively soap and glory.
Overall it is a product I really like and even though it is a bit greasy, it is a lovely hand cream and makes my hands feel lovely, for many hours as well as smelling FANTASTIC!
Soap and glory sell their products online and in Boots. I believe they are also available elsewhere, including Amazon.
I'm a big fan of nando's, and got very excited when this shop first opened in Norwich some years ago, and to begin with we were quite regular visitors (to our shame!).
Nando's is pretty good value, We get the chicken platter, with 2 sides and 2 refillable drinks, which has now gone up to £19.30, and sometimes the perinaise (piri piri mayonaise which is utterly to die for!), so dinner for the 2 of us is less than £20, which, let's face it is fairly reasonable.
We did find though, after a while, that our visits were not as consistent as they were to begin with, the staff weren't always as friendly (in fact last time I went to Nando's the lady who seated us was quite rude), the food came out a little bit *too* quickly and generally we didn't feel as "welcome", for want of a better word.
The food is always good, well cooked, tasty and piping hot. They coped very well when I decided to have a large birthday lunch, the food was served quick enough for those who had to go back to work, and all together, often in a large group someone always ends up hanging around waiting, but this wasn't an issue here.
I've never had a problem with cleanliness either, the restaurant is clean, the staff are always wiping tables etc, and the floor is clean. The bathrooms also are very pleasant.
Overall, still on our list of places to go, but not as often as before and hopefully, next time we'll have a nicer server!
I was looking for a camera for every day use, you know when you just want to capture a silly moment? And I also fancied having a go at video blogging. I asked for one for christmas, thinking I wanted a flip camera. But my lovely boyfriend did the research and decided to go for a Zi8 instead, and I have to say I'm really very grateful.
The camera is about the size of a blackberry curve, mine has raspberry pink colouring around the edge and on the side where the lens is, the other side is black with a nice big LCD screen, the whole thing is very shiny.
I has a large round button in the centre and then 4 other buttons, its not hugely complex to use. It has a rounded bottom, and a strap can be added for extra safety. It also has the ability to be connected to a tripod for hands free usage, which is great.
It really is super easy to use, literally, point and click. The central button is the start and stop recording button and you can see everything really clearly through the big screen. There is also playback capabilities on the device itself.
It has a built in USB plug so you can plug it straight into your computer and play around with the videos. This also charges the battery (handy if you lend it to a friend and forget to give them the charger!)
It also has an SD card slot so you can choose how much memory it has. I understand that you can connect an external microphone to the device, for awesome audio. This was one of the reasons my boyfriend chose it over the flip, but I've yet to try this out.
The quality of the video produced by my Zi8 is pretty cool. Unfortunately when you film inside, it can seem a bit grainy, but the picture outside is beautifully crisp. I think the indoor quality would be greatly improved with a lot of lights on, but it's not hideous. I'll still be able to use it for video blogging, and am planning a series of tutorials. Even without a microphone the sound quality is lovely on the films and they translate pretty well to our big screen!
Overall, I'm really happy with my little video camera, and would highly recommend it as an every day camera, it fits right in my handbag and means I'm always ready to catch those special moments.
I discovered the joys of quidco about 2 years ago when I started reading the moneysavingexpert forum as a part of my job. I was reading about all of the ways that a person can save money when they shop online, or even make money. Quidco tends to get quite rave reviews across the consumer forums as a great way of cutting the cost of your online shopping.
Little did I know this discovery would lead me to a new obsession... cashback! From a customer perspective, all you need to do is sign up to Quidco, and remember every time you do online shopping to check the website to see if the shop you want to use has a rate of cashback with them. Then click on the link and do your shopping. It is pretty simple.
Quidco are an affiliate, and they get money from companies for driving customers to their website, and in order to get you to do this, Quidco offers you a portion of that money. I believe Quidco offers 100% cashback but I'm not definate about this. Quidco charges each user £5 a year for this service. So anything you make over £5 is yours to keep. You can set a threshold for the payment to be made into your bank account (useful if your saving up for something) and on a monthly basis the money is then put into your bank account.
One of the newer offerings from Quidco is discount codes, they are able to secure discounts for their customers, and preferential rates, so if you know you want to buy something when you check if Quidco offer cashback it is also worth checking if they have a voucher code. It may add a little time onto your shopping, but I honestly think that it is worth it. For me it just makes sense.
Most of the retailers that Quidco work with are pretty reputable and in this time of financial difficulty I think it is a great way of trying to make your money go a bit further, if you were already going to buy the product doesn't it make sense for you to save the most you can on it?
Overall this is a really simple premise and one I hope you can get lots of benefit from using. Good Luck!
Whip It! is a film directed by, and featuring Drew Barrymore and tells the story of Bliss, a 17 year old girl from Texas who is desperate to make some changes in her life. Bliss, played by Ellen Page (Juno) is a bit "alternative" for want of a better word, she works hard at school, works at "The Oink Joint", lives in motorcycle boots and competes in beauty pageants with her sister.
Whilst shopping with her mum in Austin, Bliss finds a poster advertising the local Roller Derby and, as they say, this is where our story starts. Looking for a bit of excitement in her life Bliss and her best friend Pash sneak out to watch the Roller Derby, and Bliss is hooked.
This film was brilliant. I'm a big fan of Drew Barrymore, and Juno was for me the film of 2007 - Ellen Page really made that for me. Bliss is the epitome of small town girl looking for an escape from her humdrum life, and a way to make people sit up and take notice of her. She doesn't fit in the beauty pageant world but she does it to make her mum happy. When she discovers Roller Derby, she discovers so much of herself and she finds something that she is really good at.
One thing I thought was really clever about this film was that it shows that you don't have to fit into a specific mould to be what you want to be, The Derby girls are uncouth, tattooed and loud. But they still demonstrate teamwork, and courage and friendship. It basically tells girls (and boys too I guess) that you can seriously go out and do what you want too do. It sounds twee, but it was great to watch a film with a little bit of something too it - no supernatural beings or cheerleaders. Its a bit of a misfit story I guess.
The soundtrack to this film was pretty spot on, rocky, grungy down and dirty music, I have no idea who most of the bands were, but I do want to go out and get the soundtrack.
Rated a 12A, this is the sort of film I would encourage most teenagers to go and see, and show that they can do whatever they set their minds too, and most parents to show how it could be worse! This is one of the best films I've seen in a long while.
Lush introduced a new range of bath ballistics this summer and they bring a little bit of magic into your bath time. This one, Dragon's Egg is pretty special.
It is quite a bit larger than your standard bath bomb... it looks quite unassuming, but the smell is just amazing and it hints at the gorgeousness inside. As you drop it in the bath it bubbles around filling your bath with lemony scented bubbles with bergamot.
As the white bubbles spread out the bright orange layer plumes out turning your water a gorgeous orange colour and you start hearing the fizzy pop of popping candy. And the confetti litters your bath. The last suprise is in the form of beautiful gold glitter that fills the bath and leaves you sparkling and soft.
This bath just made me so happy. The beautiful citrussy smell was sinshiney and summery. Bergamot is said to have natural antidepressant properties and I think it really did cheer me up.
I love all things glittery, and although my bath was not quite so clean afterwards (the glitter really hangs around!) I felt bright and alert, I smelt lovely and my skin was really soft.
Of course, the name comes from Harry Potter, and the ballistic does conjure up an idea of Dragon eggs, and the fiery orange plumes give an idea of fire. A lovely, citrussy gorgeous bath.
And at £2.95 for 200g, it is a reasonable price for a lovely treat.
Along came a spider is the first novel in James Patterson's Detective Alex Cross series. Alex Cross is not only a detective in the Washington police force, he also has a PhD, so he is a Doctor too, of psycology.
Alex lives in an area of Washington that is a far cry from the Washington we see on the TV and in movies. It is a poor, neglected area and he lives with his "Nana Mama" - his grandmother who raised him after his mother died, and quickly became the most important figure in his life, teaching him he can do whatever he sets his mind too, and his 2 children. Nana Mama helps him look after the children after their mother died.
Doctor/Detective Alex Cross is introduced to us in a horrific murder scene in his area of town, a family have been slaughtered, and Alex, along with his partner Sampson are furious to be taken off the case to investigate the kidnapping of 2 celebrity rich kids from a prestigious private school.
Alex and Sampson quickly put aside their reservations and work hard, alongside Jezzie Flanagan, an high flier in the secret service, and the FBI to chase their kidnapper across the country.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and strugged to put it down. Alex Cross is introduced to us, and we get to like him very much, but the personal stuff does not in anyway detract from the rest of the story. This is the first in a series of books by James Patterson about the cases that Doctor/Detective Alex Cross has to investigate, and I can't wait to read the next one.
I'm a little bit of a magpie for bright colours (as well as shiny things, but that is a whole other review!) and was instantly attracted to the rainbow of colour in the display for Love etc in the body shop.
According to the website:
"The perfume of love as a universal force...the first ever emotion-led fragrance from The Body Shop. A highly addictive, warm and radiant fragrance which embodies the exuberance and personality of our brand and will capture the hearts of our customers."
I'm a bit of a sucker for a decent back story and was completely taken in by everything that Love etc... had to offer, the smell, which reminds me of summer and tropicality. It has top notes of neroli and pear, which combine to invoke a warm, sultry summers evening for me. There is a strong scent of vanilla and jasmine, (jasmine in the heart notes apparently and vanilla in the base). Both of them are scents that make me happy, and help to add to the all round decadance I felt when I wore this perfume.
Sadly, the perfume makes my boyfriend sneeze, so I had to give it up, with a very heavy heart. It is the only perfume I've ever had that made him sneeze, so I'm not sure what it is. Though the smell of the body butter doesn't have the same effect.
The 5oml eau de toilette is £12, which I think is great value for such a decadent smelling scent. It comes in a cuboid bottle and is quite sweetly packaged in the bright white box covered in rainbow hearts. It is quite a sturdy bottle, so will withstand some battering in your handbag, and I think it would make a lovely every day perfume.
I've read reviews that say the smell doesn't hang around for very long, but I don't remember that being an issue. I seem to recall still being able to catch the scent at the end of the day.
Overall I guess this is a bit of a rave review, I truly love this perfume and think it stands up really well, especially for the price you pay. In fact, I've almost convinced myself to go buy some more (and blame the sneezing on his hayfever!).
I've had my iPhone 3gs for about 6 months now and before that I had a
3g for a year or so. In that time I've downloaded close to 100 apps,
if not more. I rarely buy apps, tending instead to get the free ones.
So when someone told me about angry birds I thought I'd try the free
trial version. It has a fraction of the levels and is a taster. Within
minutes I was hooked. Within a couple of days I had completed the
trial. I was going to have to break my no paid apps rule!
The premise of angry birds is deceptively simple. The evil green
piggies have "poached" the eggs from the birds and the birds are,
You take control of the birds launching themselves from a slingshot to
try and destroy the pigs hiding in the various levels.
As you go through the levels different types of birds with different
powers join the crusade to rescue (or avenge) the poached eggs!
In the purchased game there are 100s of levels. I'm not even a third
of the way through yet, and I've managed to get stuck a fair few
times. But I find going away and coming back later helps.
There is no time limit, which is good, and the game is simple but
entertaining. It makes great use of the iPhones (or iPod touch) touch
screen. It's also been scaled up for the new ipad. But I've not seen
It costs just 59p from the app store and in my opinion it was 59p well
L'Occitane is a french high end toiletries brand which is available online, in boutiques and at Debenhams. It is possibly available elsewhere but these are the places I am aware of. Founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan, L'Occitane uses beautiful, natural ingredients to create high quality, beautiful, fragrant products that are good for your skin.
Whilst planning a hen weekend for my friend, I decided I wanted to spoil her and the rest of the hens (myself included!) so found myself in the L'Occitane boutique in Norwich. I love this store, the staff are always so friendly and willing to help out, so i knew they'd be able to help me find a treat for the bride to be, especially as she has incredibley delicate skin and a few allergies to fragrance etc.
They helped me find something for the hen, and in the process they also produced a travel set with 8 trial sized products in. This was where I found my cherry blossom shower gel. I chose the cherry set to put in my goodie bag and I'm so glad that I did.
The gel itself is a gorgeous, pale, see through pink and the smell when you flip the lid is a delicate sweet fragrance that makes you think of summer time. Which is exactly what the makers want you to think of.
The 250ml version of this product sells full price for £12.50, which is quite pricey, but it lasts well. You don't need an awful lot of the product to lather well with a body puff and the smell lasts well, especially if you layer it up with body lotion as well.
However, I've yet to try it as a bubble bath, as I am a little bit heavy handed usually. I don't want to overdo it. When I use the shower gel it leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished and smelling fab. The smell lingers for a while too, and its not overpowering.
I'm not sure that I would necessarily pay full price for the shower gel, I'm not sure I'd ever pay £12.50 for any shower gel! But I'll certainly keep an eye out for this to be on sale, and hopefully I'll be able to treat myself!
I'm a bzz agent. This means I get sent products as part of campaigns
to try out and then talk about them. I don't have to only say good
things, or lie, it's all about my honest opinion and sharing it.
The most recent campaign I've taken part in is for splenda. I was sent
splenda minis and sugar substitute to try and so far I have to say i'm
impressed with what I've tasted. I also got sent some samples to share with my colleagues and friends - so they can taste them for themselves.
Like many people I've got a) a bit of a sweet tooth and b) a
perception of sugar substitutes and sweetners as tasting fake and
leaving a nasty aftertaste. I tried the minis in my coffee, not really
expecting great things. But it actually tasted as though I had 2
spoonfuls of sugar in my coffee. It was sweet and didn't give that
chemically taste that I expect from a sweetner tablet.
I'll be honest, in that I've been cutting my sugar intake down, so
actually it felt like a treat to have sweet coffee -but still it
wasn't unpleasant in the way that so many sugar alternatives have been
in the past.
I'm excited to try the granulated sugar replacement in some baking. The bzz pack suggested muffins, which I think is a great idea. Especially as I am dieting but keep getting the urge to bake!
Overall, I'm fairly pleased with the product and the taste, and happy to write a positive review.
I've been suffering with really dry eyes the last few weeks, I'm not sure if it is because of hayfever, or the air conditioning, or staring at a screen all day, but it is making me really uncomfortable. So my friend suggested that i try some eyedrops and I thought I might as well.
I went into Superdrug and the choice was pretty limited (it isn't a very big store) but there were 3 different vital eyes to choose from. I plumped for the moisturising one as it was dry eyes I was having problems with, and at £2.99 I thought it was quite reasonable to part with that to try them out. The bottle is 10ml and it says to through away after 6 months of being open.
I managed to put the drops in eventually (not a fault of the product, but my inability to put the bottle anywhere near my eyes!). And almost imediately my eyes felt less dry, less itchy and actually moisturised. The sensation also lasts, which is really good. I will probably put them in 4 or 5 times a week, depending on what I'm doing and how they are feeling. I carry them in my handbag so that I've always got them to hand.
I am fairly impressed with the product and will gladly keep using them when necessary.
I picked up a copy of this month's Marie Claire for my train ride to London this week and was chuffed to bits to find that I got a free gift of a body butter from the Body Shop, this 50ml size normally retails for £5, and the Love etc fragrance is my absolutr favourite. I bought the perfume but sadly it made my boyfriend sneeze so I had to give it up.
Everything about the pot screams sunshine to me, it is a bright white, with rainbow coloured hearts and bright pink writing. The body butter itself is a pale creamy pink colour and is beautifully thick and luxurious. The smell reminds me of fruity cocktails and fizzy wine. It smells pink to me, that sounds ridiculous but it makes me think if pink had a smell it would smell like this.
The website describes the scents as follows:
Notes of pear, neroli, bergamot - combine to create the fragrant top notes. provide the initial scent of the fragrance.
Notes of jasmine, heliotrope, lily of the valley - combine to create the middle notes that vibrate across the fragrance. are the heart notes of the fragrance.
Notes of vanilla, sandalwood, creamy musk - combine to create the base notes of the fragrance. tend to linger on the skin longer than the other notes.
So you can see where I get the fruity floral sensation from. I adore this scent and am totally gutted that I can't wear it as a perfume, but I can use the body butter to stop my hands and elbows from getting dry and painful, and still get the scent.
The body butter sinks into your skin quite well, and leaves my hands feeling soft, without being greasy. It also helps my elbows not be dry and cracked which is great, especially when I wear long sleeves as they catch and hurt.
Overall I love this product and will probably purchase it again.
After a tiring day in London at the Internet world trade fair I decided to treat myself to some lush bathing products. So at liverpool street station I wandered around and decided on the comforter bubble bar and honey bun ballistic.
The first big pro of the comforter is it's colour, it's a large swirly slice of bubble bar which is PINK! That's pink, in capitals. It is the most amazing vibrant cerise colour and turns the water strawberry milkshake colour.
It is one of the larger bubble bars, so a little more expensive than some of the others at 3.95. But it is big enough for at least 2 baths, if not 3 or 4 (if you are ekeing it out).
The smell is described as being of cassis. And I can see exactly what they mean. It is a sweet fruity smell that hangs around for the whole bath, and beyond. I can definately pick up blackberries.
The water feels soft and moisturising, it makes masses and masses of bubbles and I feel really decadent when I use this bubble bar. It's a lovely treat and makes me feel seriously relaxed. Plus there are no stains on the bath or my skin. I think this has just about become my favourite bubble bar.
I'm one of the many lucky people that has (or will!) won a Benefit lip product in the recent cadbury's flake promotion - chocolate and free benefit make up? What more could a girl ask for!?
I chose to have a lipgloss, as I'm not a lipstick kinda girl. The colour I chose is called "Life on the A List" and I think is the one pictured above. It is a peachy pink colour with a slight shimmer to it.
As ever, with Benefit make up, the fun starts with the packaging. The box picks up the signature retro style and peachy colour. The lipgloss itself is in a heavyweight, luxe looking, and feeling heavy plastic tube, it feels like glass. I feel a little bit guilty having it knocking around in my handbag, I feel like it should be artfully arranged on my dressing table in my boudoir (not that I have a boudoir, but you understand the sentiment!) The bottle carries on the retro feel that the box gives, with swirly decorations in black that accents the colour of the lip gloss.
Unlike many lipglosses, this one has a really solid applicator stick, made of the same material as the outside. The lip applicator itself is very similar to many others I've seen and used, its kind of foamy and shaped to wrap your lip shape.
The colour is fairly pale, and can go a little bit streaky, but after a couple of coats my lips look lovely and shiny, not too heavily coloured and overall I'm quite impressed with the look, and best of all they don't feel overly sticky - that is a massive bonus for me.
Probably my favourite thing though, is the smell. Its really fruity, but not in a "I'm going to spend all day licking my lips" way. I think i smell grapefruit.
Depending where you buy the product from it can range in price from £9 to £14, and I like it, but I'm not sure I'd pay that, but it is a lovely treat.