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Morrisons is the fourth largest brand of supermarket in the UK, behind that of Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's. Morrison's was founded by William Morrison, and has been around now for quite some time, beginning it's origins as a small store in 1889. The company has now branched out from the North of the Uk and has 455 stores across England.
I often shop at a Morrison's branch in Newcastle Upon Tyne, which is close to where I live.
The layout of Morrison's stores is very similar to most of the other large leading supermarkets. In my local store there are around 17 cash tills for customers. There are also some self service tills where you can process your own shopping. The tills can get very busy and ques often form, however this is similar to other supermarkets. All of the tills are usually occupied in an attempt to speed up waiting times.
The rest of the store has lots of overhead signage, which tells the customer which aisle holds various products. It is relatively easy to navigate your way around the sections to find what you want.
~Product selection ~
I find that there is a great deal of selection at Morrisons, there are your usual brand named products in addition to many Morrison's own brand and value products. I do find that there is slightly less selection than at my local Tescos store. For instance, Tescos' do their own brand packs of Tuna, which is much cheaper than brand named Tuna. However Morrison's only do small singular tins, otherwise you have to buy very expensive brand packs. Also when I am shopping for gravy granuales, I find that they don't appear to stock many brand names which I like. So it varies. However, the selection at Morrisons is still pretty good overall.
Morrisons offers fresh bakery and deserts, a hot and cold deli counter and fresh meat and fish. I am impressed by the deli which does full quiches that are very tasty, and hot cooked chicken. The bakery products and deserts are also usually delicious.
~Value for money?~
The reason I shop at Morrisons is because I find that I have more products for my money. Believe me, no supermarket is very cheap these days, so I am not going to praise Morrisons too highly. However, I do feel that I get more for my money at Morrisons than at ASDA, Tescos or Coop. I have often wondered why this is, and I think that it is because they have so many special offers on at the store. Some items are reduced in price and you can buy lots of 2 for 1's. Tesco's boast that they have the cheapest products but because they dont do as many discounted special offers, I find I spend a lot more there.
~ Good points~
* You can purchase saver stamps for Christmas *
Being on maternity pay this year, I decided last year to buy £30 of saver stamps from Morrisons each month. I now have about £200 of stamps which I have saved for this christmas. Putting my money into saver stamps means that I didn't spend the money and that it will go directly on groceries. You are given a card and can purchase as many stamps as you like whenever you like all year round. Each stamp is £1. This means that I wont have to worry as much about food and drink expenses in December. Morrisons also give you £6 for every £100 you spend - but the catch is you have to redeem the stamps in November and December to get the £6. However if you miss this date you can still redeem the stamps whenever you like, you just wont get the extra £6.
*Morrisons often have good special offers*
Recently I received a Morrison's card through my door - if I spend £40 per week for 6 weeks up until Christmas and keep my receipts, I can get £25 off a £40 shop. I think that is a good deal. The difficulty is trying not to spend too much each week, as normally I would go once every 2 weeks and I have noticed I am spending more by going each week.
*Morrisons have cheap petrol*
I must state that this applies to where I live. Currently, Morrisons are offering the cheapest petrol around locally, and this has been the case for months. I feel pleased that they are not trying to rip people off like many other petrol stations, and I am surprised that the other brand supermarkets have not lowered their prices too.
Morrisons have a reasonably priced cafe that serves tasty cold and hot food and drinks. Staff are usually friendly and it makes shopping there more enjoyable when you can stop and get a refreshment.
* Slightly less selection than Tescos, but overall there is still a wide ranging selection.
* You can not order food delivery online.
* There is no rewards loyalty card.
I shop reguarly at Morrisons and would definately recommend it as it offers reasonable value for money and is cheaper than Tescos. It would benefit from an online food delivery service and the introduction of a loyalty rewards scheme.
For more information visit www.morrisons.co.uk.
Well, Christmas is looming again already, and as a result the large tins of Quality Street Chocolates are making an appearence on supermarket shelves. In fact, I have already had a tin of these bought for me for my birthday, which was a few weeks ago.
Quality Street are bite sized assorted chocolates, and have been around since 1936 when Nestle began manufacturing them. Today they are a feature of many households, predominately at Christmas, when it appears to be compulsory to have at least one tin!
Over the years, Nestle have experimented with putting in and removing various chocolates from quality street, such as coffee cremes and chocolate eclairs, which seem to have vanished from the tins.
The current tin has the following 10 assorted chocolates in it:
Cadbury dairy milk
hazel in caramel
tangy orange creme
Many of the chocolates contain nuts and soya so beware if you have allergies.
You can usually buy a large tin of quality streets from between £5 - £6.50, depending on the supermarket as many do special offers around christmas. Throughout the rest of the year you can buy quality street in smaller cardboard cartons.
In terms of calories, be aware that just 3 sweets will rack up 132 calories! So try not to eat the whole tin!
Overall, I think that Quality street are a tasty bunch of bite sized chocolates, perfect for sharing at christmas and special occassions. Nobody likes ALL of the sweets in the tin, but you will probably like most of them. My personal favourite is Hazel nut in caramel, or 'the purple one.'
I bought this product on a recommendation from a friend after I strained a muscle in my shoulder. My partner also used the product as he had a bad back which he thought may be muscular in nature.
~ What is Deep Heat? ~
Deep Heat is a topical heat rub, which can be used to treat and provide some relief to rheumatic pain, backache, and muscle sprains.
Deep heat is manufactured by Mentholatum and it is claimed that the spray can be used for the relief of pain in muscles, tendons, joints or bones, lower back and thigh pain, sprains or strains. Many people use Deep Heat before or after exercise, with the aim of preventing pain or straining.
~ Packaging and ingredients ~
Deep Heat spray comes in a simple aerosol can, which is bright red in colour, to represent the logo on the front of the can, which says 'Deep Heat.' The letters are cleverly designed to look like they are melting. The most commonly available can size is 150ml, which costs approximately £4.26.
You can buy Deep Heat from most reputable chemists, such as Boots and Superdrug. In addition you can buy Deep Heat from many leading supermarkets. Deep Heat can also be purhased in patch and gel form.
Active Ingredients are:
~How to use Deep Heat Spray ~
It really is very simple. You shake the can well before use and hold the can over the desired area. Hold the nozzle at least 15 cm away from the area and spray in 2- 3 short bursts, without massaging. You can use the spray up to 3 times per day. You should not spray the facial area and you shoud not inhale. It is recommended that hands are washed after use.
After you use Deep Heat you will notice that the area you have sprayed tingles and changes to a red colour, as if the skin was flushed. You will also feel the heat build up on the area.
You can usually get about 20 applications of use from one 150 ml can, depending on the size of the pain site.
Deep Heat appeared to have some effect on my painful shoulder, however the pain relief for me lasted only about half an hour. My partner said that for him it lasted a little longer.
What I didn't like about Deep Heat was the overpowering smell, of what I can only liken to germoline or similar. It absolutely reeks! Furthermore, the smell seems to hover about, it does not dissapear quickly. It sticks to your clothes and furniture.
In addition I appear to be sensitive to the spray as I turned bright red (I have pale skin) and it felt like I had mild sunburn which was rather uncomfortable. It doesnt affect my partner as badly, but it does make him itch.
So in a nutshell, Deep Heat is effective for short term but immediate pain relief, however it is very smelly and it does not last very long.
The baby Whisperer, by author Tracey Hogg is a parenting book which gives advice and suggestions about how to communicate with your baby and implement routines, from Newborn up to the early toddler years.
~ Why I purchased the book ~
I gave birth to my daughter just 12 weeks ago. Being a first time mother, looking after a newborn came as a bit of a shock to say the least! After a difficult labour, I realised I was now literally left 'holding the baby!' Unfortunately my baby was and still is a bit colicky, which meant that she spent much of her time crying. Much as being a mother is a wonderful feeling, looking after a demanding, constantly crying baby is difficult at the best of times, and in desperation I searched online for a decent baby book that could help guide me to implement routines and to understand my baby's behaviour.
After randomly searching Amazon for various choices of books, I decided to purchase two different books to start with to see if any could help me. One of these happened to be Tracey Hogg's the baby Whisperer.
~ A summary of the book ~
Tracey Hogg's ethos is that you need to show respect to your baby. She suggests talking to and with your baby and telling them what you are going to do before you do it. Some people may find this a little odd, but I think it is a good idea as it promotes language skills and although your baby may not fully understand you, talking to them prepares them for what will happen next. For instance, telling your baby gently that you will be taking off their clothes and nappy engages them and makes this less of a shock for them!
There are a selection of chapters, which enlighten the reader on a variety of issues:
Chapter 1 ~ focuses on the first few days at home with your baby, what to expect and what to be aware of
Chapter 2 ~ Discusses Tracey Hogg's suggested EASY routine, and the importance of structure in a baby's life
Chapter 3 ~ Explains how to respect and understand your baby's feelings and language
Chapter 4 ~ Examines feeding issues relating to breast and bottle
Chapter 5 ~ Explores the baby's day - including changing nappies, dressing. playing, bath time and massage.
Chapter 6 ~ Sleep Patterns and practices
Chapter 7 ~ The importance of parents looking after themselves
Chapter 8 ~ Special circumstances such as surrogacy, adoption and lengthy hospital stays.
Chapter 9 ~ Changing bad parental habbits into better ones
~Key issues and points in the book ~
Rather than repeat the entire book by going through each chapter, I think it would be more useful to emphasise the key points to the book which seperate it from other baby parenting books on the market.
The first thing which is unique to Tracey Hogg's book, is the focus on her E.A.S.Y routine. This is a routine which she suggests all parents try to use with their baby, and it stands for E ~ Eat, A~ Activity, S~ Sleep, and Y - You time.
In a nutshell therefore, over a period of approximately 3 hours, Tracey suggests that you should feed your baby, then have some activity time with them (which could also include things like bathing, dressing, nappy changing, outings, as well as playing), get them to go to sleep, and whilst they are asleep - have some you time.
There is a chapter dedicated to understanding what type of baby you have. There are five types of baby -
a) Angel Baby. This is basically a perfect baby who rarely cries, sleeps easily and without prompting, plays by themself and is no trouble at all!! If only...
b) Textbook baby. Not as content as Angel baby, but still a relatively easy and predictable baby who reaches all his milestones on target
c) Touchy Baby. This baby cries a lot and is a nervous and sensitive type who needs lots of comforting.
d) Spirited baby. This baby is quite demanding and needs a lot of attention.
e) Grumpy baby. A baby who cries constantly and is rarely happy!
The book has a quiz which helps you decide which type of baby you have, and it suggests you and if applicable, your partner take the quiz in order to assertain exactly which type.
There is a section which tells the reader how to interperet baby cries and body language.
Tracey outlines a solution to helping you get your baby to sleep which she says is a better alternative to controlled crying - this is called the 'pick up put down method.'
~My opinion on the book~
Whilst I like the ethos and ideas within the book, in practice I have not found much of it particuarly useful.
First of all, the EASY routine. When I initially read this in the book, I thought to myself 'what a cop out!' To me, this is not exactly brain science. Yes, it may be more flexible than a book that outlines a rigid routine, but to be honest, I dont think I needed to buy a book to tell me the basics of allowing my my baby to eat, play and sleep. In addition to this, as with all routines, I find that it is still not that easy. The issue I have, is that my baby does not always go to sleep in that order. I am sure that an 'angel baby' will drift off to sleep right after the 'activity' allowing for 'you time,' but sadly my baby is a cross between spirited, touchy and grumpy baby and fights sleep! Sometimes when I finally get my baby to sleep, she wakes up after half an hour and there is no time for 'me time!' Then my baby gets up and activity time starts which worries me as 'sleep' is supposed to come first, but feeds are every 3-4 hours! So basically, I find it hard to always stick to this and the book does not acknowledge these difficulties, it just expects babies to follow the order of the EASY routine.
Secondly, I did not find the baby types and quiz particuarly helpful. The reason being is that my baby did not fall into just one type, I could not pick which type she is, as she was a strong cross of three types! My partner did the quiz and also said the book was unhelpful due to the same reason.
And as for the baby language section, in theory it sounds useful, but in reality a lot of the pointers were quite obvious to me anyway - hardly a revelation.
As for the sleep method...Tracey recommends that to get your baby to sleep, you should pick them up from their crib when they cry, and put them down when they stop. This should continue until they fall asleep and can take hundreds of times before it works, and can last a week or two in duration. I confess, I started to try it but have not fully perservered yet. Reason being that it is just not practable because when trying it at night it involves so much energy and time if your baby is fiesty and cries a lot (like mine) and it is keeping my partner awake when he needs to get up for work. I may try it again, but to be honest, I think that controlled crying, although harder on the parent may be a better and quicker option. I may therefore do this when my baby is a bit older. I feel that the pick up put down method may be confusing for the baby.
~ would I recommend? ~
I was not overly impressed by this book. I would only really recommend it to first time mothers who have done no other reading as it covers the basics, and if you can, read it along with other books before the baby is born so you can make your own mind up.
I bought two multi-packs of twirls on halloween thinking that we would have lots of trick-or-treaters knocking at the door. Sadly, only two turned up on the night, meaning that for the past week I have been munching my way through the multi-packs! Not good for my figure!!
However, at least now I can give my Verdict on Cadbury's Twirls:
What is it?
Twirl is a chocolate bar made by Cadburys. The bars are layered so that they are flake styled, however the thicker layer of milk chocolate over the top means that it is stronger and not as 'flakey' as Cadbury's flake. It was initially introduced as a single bar in the 1970s, and it was then re-created as a twin bar in 1993. It is currently one of Cadbury's best selling products.
Nutrition and taste
Per standard twin pack, the nutritional statistics are as follows:
Energy (KJ) 955
Energy (KCal) 230
(of which Sugar) 23.9g
Total Fat 13.3g
Twirl bars are suitable for vegitarians but not vegans.
So as you can see the standard bar is quite calorific! However, Twirl bars are in my opinion, absolutely delicious! A cross between cadbury's flake and Cadbury's dairy milk, they make a tasty treat for any chocolate lover. I like to take a small bite and suck it until it melts in the mouth, which does not take long due to the flakey texture.
You can now buy smaller versions of Twirl, such as mini packs, and even Twirl bites.
You can usually buy a standard twin twirl bar from about £50p, from any good newsagent or supermarket.
Cadbury's twirl is a delicious, simple bar of chocolate that hits the spot. I would certainly recommend it as it is one of my favourite chocolate bars!
I purchased this product for a change as it was on special offer at the supermarket. I usually buy Johnson's baby wipes and have in the past used several other brands of baby wipes. As a result I have a good basis to compare Pampers Simply Clean wipes to several other brands. Unfortunately, Pampers baby wipes, in my opinion do not come out as favourably!
Well, how much can you say about a baby wipe? Pampers Simply Clean Wipes are presented in bright orange, attractive packaging, which is what partly caught my eye. The pack has a picture of a smiling baby on it. You can't see the mother's face, probably because she would be scowling after using these wipes on her baby's bottom!!
On the side of the pack, is the word 'value', giving the impression that these wipes are cost effective. Pampers wipes are fragrance, alcohol and soap free, which is good for babies who have sensitive skin (which is most babies!). There are 72 wipes to a pack, and the wipes are dermatologically tested.
These wipes were on special offer when I bought them and cost £1.89. However, prices can vary and the RRP is around £2.25. It's always worth shopping around for the best deal.
I'm afraid I would not recommend these baby wipes after comparing them with similar priced leading brands. The reason is that they are very small in size, and I have to use more baby wipes than other brands. Therefore they are not as good value as they claim to be! In addition, when you pull out a baby wipe, a large amount of wipes come out at once and it is faffy to put them back in when trying to change your baby's nappy. As a result too many baby wipes get wasted. Overall, I have not been impressed and would recommend cheaper brands or other leading brands if you want value for money and product satisfaction. A disappointing offering from Pampers.
Having given birth to my daughter 10 weeks ago, I have recently had a crash course in the world of nappies.
There are a number of different brands out on the supermarket shelves, however I decided to try Pampers first. The reason behind this was that I had heard that Pampers were the leading market brand, and further more their packaging boasted that they were voted 'the leading brand by mums' All very impressive.
I was also drawn to the attractive green packaging which made it clear that ''new baby nappies were available. I was able to choose the right pack by looking at the weight measurments. For a new baby, you can get 3 sizes - 1 (2 - 5 kg) 2 (3 - 6 kg) 3 (4 - 7 kg). This was made clear on the packaging.
The features of Pampers New Baby nappies are numerous.
The packaging boasted of ' super-absorbent technology.' In real life terms what this means is that pampers nappies have been specifically designed to absorb soft poo instantly, and they claim to be the best on the market at doing this.
Did the nappies work for my baby?
The nappies had adjustable fastenings which stuck down well and kept the nappy securely in place.
In addition they were soft on her skin, and the stretchy sides left room for flexibility.
Pamper's newborn nappies have Allergy UK seal of approval, and are therefore good for sensitive baby skin, and my daughter never had a single nappy rash when using them.
HOWEVER! Unfortunately, these nappies reguarly leaked! I have heard that pampers have attempted of late to make their nappies more slimline and have therefore taken the bulkiness out of them. I found that they got very heavy when my daughter urinated and had to be changed quite often, and if she had a poo, often it would leak through the sides of the nappy and onto her clothes, even if I fastened the nappy securely!
As a result after using several packets of Pampers nappies, I switched brands. So far I have used Huggies and Boots own brand nappies, and I have to say I find these nappies to be less leaky than Pampers. I was surprised by this as I thought that Pampers would have been far superior but it seems not.
Prices vary from store to store from around £5.98 to £7.99 approximately.
Your best bet is to look for special offers in places like Tesco and Boots where they often do 2 for 1 deals.
Would I recommend?
Not particuarly unless your baby has extremely sensitive skin and needs an allergy resistant nappy.
I would instead advise mums to try out a cheaper brand of nappy as they seem to do the same job and have less leakage!
Where to get more information?
I booked this hotel because it was part of the Tesco Clubcard vouchers scheme, a year of buying groceries there and I was finally able to book a 2 night weekend bed and breakfast stay for my partner and I. We love the Lake District, but usually stay in Keswick. However this was the only hotel we could manage to get booked up in via the scheme for the nights we wanted.
Where is it?
We drove from Newcastle and found The Swan Hotel relatively easy to find and a good overall base to visit the Lake District. It is about 20 mins from Keswick and Ambleside by car. A 10 min stroll will also take you to Grasmere Village. The hotel is medium in size and is on a main road, which is not hugely busy. It is surrounded by hills and lovely scenic walks are within a short distance.
Check in was 3pm. Upon entering the room, appearance wise the room looked nice. There was a large double bed, with traditional style pictures on the wall, and bed side tables. There was a television, a vanity chest and mirror, and a large wardrobe. An iron, ironing board and hairdryer were all provided, as were basic tea and coffee facilities.
What let the room down was an immediate and ever present smell of damp. At first, I thought that maybe someone had had a dog staying in the room - it smelled like 'wet dog!' But the bathroom, although fine, had mould in the shower and the smell was always there. We reduced it a little by shutting the bathroom door, but it never went away. This spoilt the stay for us somewhat.
The room was also very hot, and we did not like to open the window too wide during the night since we were on a low level in case someone was able to get in. We slept with the bed covers off as a result!
I have heard that some rooms have great scenic views, sadly we were given a view of the hotel car park. We were not disturbed by any traffic noise however.
Some of the staff were very polite and used terms such as 'sir' and 'madame.' However, we noticed that most of the staff appeared to be of foreign origin (possibly Polish, I am unsure). I have observed this in oher McDonald Hotels I have stayed in. This is not an issue, except that they all seemed miserable! Especially at breakfast time, they did their job but without smiling or making much conversation.
One day we noticed a red stain on our bedspread - we pointed this out to the lady who had just cleaned the room, who said it must have come from us. I'm not sure about that, but either way I couldn't understand why she didn't just change the bedspread cover, considering the cost of the room per night.
We only ate breakfast at the hotel, but it was superb and the best thing about our stay. Lots of choice in the continental breakfast, followed by a brilliant cooked to order full english breakfast. Ours was included in the cost of the room, otherwise it will cost you over £15 a head, which is expensive.
Without our Tesco Vouchers, our two night stay would have cost us £260. This is not cheap! Personally, I don't think that this price can be justified. You might as well stay at a nice bed and breakfast for £60 a night for 2 people. Especially as the rooms need an update and a revamp.
Would I recommend?
Yes as it is not a bad hotel and the food and location are great. But the rooms and bathrooms are old,damp and tired and in my opinion, this makes it unacceptable for them to charge the prices they do.
For more details?
visit the website http://www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/swan
Tel: 0844 879 9120
I was first introduced to Jane Iredale, Pure Pressed Powder based about two years ago, when I visited a local salon and had a facial. I had talked to the beauty therapist about my ongoing problems with acne, and it was recommended that I change to a brand of make up that was more sensitive and kinder to my skin.
****Who is Jane Iredale?****
Jane Iredale is the creator of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics which was founded in 1994. Jane Iredale's background prior to this had been in film, theatre and television. She now owns the leading brand in mineral based cosmetics and has supplied make up to the medical profession as well as the beauty industry. It is reported that this range of make up has been supplied to world - renowned plastic surgeons and dermatologists.
Jane's metholodgy is that true makeup artistry comes from enhancing the wearer's natural beauty and, as a result, allowing her personality to shine. Her make up line further claims to contribute to the lives of women by aiding the health of the skin.
****About the product****
Pure pressed powder, like all of the Iredale makeup range is based on micronized minerals and is made without fillers and binders (such as talc and mineral oil) and without chemical dyes or preservatives.
Plastic Surgeons have recognized the benefits of the line and were confident enough to use it on skin that had just undergone laser resurfacing. It not only effectively and safely covered the redness but also provided essential sun protection. Jane Iredale herself allegedly underwent laser treatment and demonstrated this point by immediately using Pure Pressed Powder on her face.
Pure pressed Powder base comes in up to 20 shades, to suit all skin colours and types. Therefore, if you are buying the product from a salon I would recommend that you request a tester first, so that you can find your perfect match. The official Jane Iredale website also has images of the different shades so you can pick out your ideal shade. Some of the shades have only subtle differences between them. I am pale and initially picked a 'golden glow' shade. However, I realised that I was omitting an 'orange glow' rather than a golden glow! I now use a natural colour and add a bit of blusher, which looks more natural.
The Pure Pressed base is a 4 in 1 product and the claim is that it can be used as a foundation, concealer, powder and sunscreen (factor 20). For the sunscreen to remain effective the product must be reapplied every four hours. If you are travelling to a hot country, I would still recommend you use a sunscreen rather than relying soley on this product, however for every day use this is a great benefit of the product.
The Micronised minerals which make up the product reflect the light, which leaves the user with a seamless and flawless coverage. It is claimed that celebrities such as Danni Minogue and Nicole Kidman use this product due to the natural coverage it achieves.
Jane Iredale Products are not tested on animals.
****How to apply****
The product comes in a gold compact case, complete with a light sponge which you can use to apply the product to your face. Instructions advise that you can choose to wet the product lightly to ensure the concealer takes full affect. However, I would not recommend this, nor would I recommend using the sponge. The best way to apply the product is to buy a good quality cosmetic facial brush, lightly rotate it in the makeup (dry not wet) and apply to the face in a circular motion until full coverage is achieved. Don't forget to lightly brush over the neck area so as to ensure a seamless finish with no make up lines. You should only need a small amount of makeup when using a brush, as the product sticks to the bristles and permeates the skin. Jane Iredale recommend purchasing the handibrush to go with this product, which can be found on their website and costs approximately £20. This is the one I use, but don't forget to clean it every month or so with a gentle cleaner or shampoo.
So would I recommend this product? In the main, yes. For sensitive and acne prone skin, mineral makeup is a good option, because it is kind to the skin and does not leave unnecessary traces of chemicals or overly block pores. Through a combination of vitimins and good external skin care, I have eliminated my acne over the last year, and I am now just trying to erase the scaring through good skin care and general skin maintenance. I will continue to use Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base because I know it is not damaging my skin or blocking my pores. So although it may not be actively improving my skin, it is certainly not damaging it like many other make up brands were. The sunscreen is also an additional benefit. Someone once told me 'you wear your skin every day, you need to take care of it.' Never has a truer word been spoken.
In terms of coverage, I feel that Pure Pressed base is good, but it could be better. Despite it being a four in one product, I have to wear additional concealer underneath my pure pressed base, in order to hide my scaring. I would say my scaring is light - moderate in visibility. I use Jane Iredale Disappear concealer, and then apply the Pure Pressed base over the top with a brush. When used in combination, I am able to achieve a generally flawless and seamless look which leaves people saying that I have great skin. However, without the seperate concealer, I don't think I could achieve this look with the pure pressed base alone. For a 4 in 1 product, this is not ideal.
The price of this product is what will put a lot of people of buying it. An average price for this product is about £33. However, once you have bought the first product, you can get a refillable version, at approximately £25. You just then insert the powder box into your original compact case. Although I do like the product, I feeel that it is somewhat over-priced. Some people say that the powder lasts for months, hence value for money overall. However, I go through about one compact every 6 weeks or so. Perhaps very little product is needed for people with already perfect and flawless skin, but for those of us with average or problem skin, it simply wont last as long.
One further thing to consider is that you cannot buy this product in high street stores. As an exclusive product, it is only available in certain salons, or on the internet. I would recommed searching around on various internet sites for the best deal, as I was charged nearly £40 at a salon. I can now get the refillable compacts for about £23 - £26 online.
****Would I recommend?****
Yes due to the healthy mineral base and seamless coverage, however I will only give this product 3 / 5 due to the high price and the less than perfect coverage without additional concealer.
http://www.janeiredale.com/ - This site has a mineral makeover 'stay and play' room where you can try out different shades for your skin.
www.MineralBeauty.co.uk - The website I often order my product from which has refillable compacts and delivers the product efficiently.
Thanks for reading!
Broken is an autobiography, written by Shy Keenan in 2008.
You may have heard Shy's name before, as she is the co-founder of the charity Phoenix Survivors. This independent voluntary organisation advocates on behalf of the victims of child sexual abuse, and for the families of children murdered by child molesters. Shy run's this organisation with Sara Payne, mother of Sarah Payne, who was murdered at just 8 years old by a peodophile.
Shy is not the author's original name, rather it is a nickname which she aquired as a young child, due to her apparent shy and quiet nature. Shy's real name in the book is Karen, and she is often referred to as this. The reader is left with the impression that she has adopted the name Shy, as a way of leaving her past experiences behind her, firmly where they belong. Karen is the young troubled girl in the book, whilst Shy is the young woman who tries to look to the future and piece her life back together.
Broken is a truly shocking story, because it is a true account of a young girls horrific experience of sadistic abuse over a lengthy period of time.
Shy Keenan's autobiography is a heart-rending account of her life as a child and young adult, and tells the story of how she managed to overcome physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Shy was born in Birkenhead in the 1970's. She was born to young, wayward parents who were seemingly unwilling and unable to be good parents, having their first child removed by extended family. Shy's very early memories recall a period of neglect and abandonment. When her parents seperated, her mother moved in with her new 'step-father' the peodophile Sidney Claridge. Shy describes her mother as someone who was a manipulative, theiving, lying woman, who's sole purpose in life revolved around shoplifting and scaming the authorities, whilst spending all her free time in the local bingo hall. Nevertheless, Shy's desperation to get her mother to notice and love her throughout the book is apparent. The reader feels a deep empathy with Shy at one point when she describes over hearing her mother tell Sidney that she wishes Shy was dead and that she 'hates her.'
Shy attempts to tell her mother about Sidney's abuse of her, but her mother refuses to believe her and beats her up. Later in the book, it becomes evident that her mother is clearly aware of the sexual abuse which is taking place, but she turns a blind eye. The reader finds it hard to understand how a mother can allow this to happen without concern.
The extent of the abuse Shy suffers is overwhelming. From the age of four years old, shy is raped and sexually abused practically every single day. Although her step father is the main perpetrator, other men also attack her. It later emerges that Sidney is selling her to other men, and she finds herself being gang raped by 'faces' on a regular basis on ships and on people's houses.
I found it particuarly hard to fathom how so many individuals can have such little regard and care for another human being. It is not only the sexual abuse, which is bad enough, it is the lack of consideration for the pain and suffering that Shy goes through, in addition to the mental and emotional abuse that Shy is subjected to. Two shocking incidents stand out for me within the book. The first is when Shy's parents pretend that she has epilepsy which is completely untrue. Gobsmackingly, the health professionals believe this without any tests, and she is locked up as a mental patient and given epileptic drugs to sedate her. Sidney uses this to his full advantage and for months she finds herself permenantly unconcious, often waking up in the middle of being sexually assulted in strange houses.
Another shocking incident takes place on the day of Shy's mother's funeral. Immediately after, Sidney and his friend rape Shy, and his friend assaults her sexually with a bottle. The reader is left with the feeling that these men must surely have a 'missing link' to see Shy as a sexual object, almost as if she has no feelings or thoughts of her own. The story is a worrying insight into the minds of pedophiles and their predatory natures.
At the end of the book, Shy recollects how she becomes concerned for the safety of other children who Sidney and his friends are abusing. Her story makes constant reference to numerous times where she has told professionals and authorities of the abuse, but to no avail. It is particuarly disturbing to see how she is treated by social services at the time, who believe Sidney's version that Shy is making sexual advances towards him, and that he has to fight her off! Even when Sidney is finally convicted he is initially given a lenient sentence and her sister, who he is also abusing, is allowed to stay with him at the home.
In 2002, Sidney and two other's are convicted thanks to an undercover documentary which Shy undertook with Newsnight. This shows Sidney confessing to his crimes, and this time the authorities were forced to act. This brings some relief to the reader and of course to Shy and her family.
The book is written in the first person, and the reader is encouraged to relate to the child who is abused throughout her life, because her story is described through a child's eyes. Shy describes what she sees as opposed to using the correct terminolgy. She describes 'flashing lights' rather than cameras which are being used to film her abuse. She also describes people's faces rather than uses names, which emphasises the fact that so many people are treating her like an object instead of a person. For instance, she talks about 'shiny head' and 'angry face.' The drudgery and misery of her life is played out well, however she does talk about her year's stay at her grandparents house at Patley Bridge which she loves. This also gives the reader a period of respite from the shocking and depressing state of her daily life. The end of the book highlights how Shy has moved on and is providing her support to other victims of abuse. She is keen to describe her adult self as 'loving and loved' by her family, although she states that parts of her soul will always be 'broken' due to the horrific experiences she endured.
I have read a number of real -life autobiographies over the years, however this one really shocked me. I think the reason is because of the level of abuse documented, but also the frequency and duration of it. It really is hard to believe how human beings can treat other's like they do. In the case of Shy's story, multiple people were involved in her abuse, although it was lead by her step father. For the majority of decent people who read this book, it will shock them to the core.
The other issue which is hard to fathom, is how the authorities (Police, social services, health professionals) all ignored all of the warning signs and refused to act.
The only saving grace is that much of the abuse took place in the 70's and 80's. One can only hope that the authorities and systems in place to protect children have substantially moved on and improved today. Nevertheless, when you think that it was only in 2002 when Shy managed to get her abuser to confess after being brushed off by the authorities, it is clear that poor practice is only too recent.
I would certainly recommend this book for a thought provoking and interesting read. I could not put this book down and read it within two days. Yes, it can be a little depressing, however it will make you realise that no matter how unhappy you are your life could have been far worse than it is. It will also make you have a greater sympathy, awareness and understanding of the victims of sexual abuse and why some victims behave in the way that they do as young children and young adults.
I recommend that you purchase this book from somewhere like Amazon.com. It cost me £4 for a brand new copy, which is generally cheaper than in book shops.
Published: 2008 by Hodder and Stoughton
Thanks for reading!
I have tried a number of different hair removal products over the years, however my usual method of removing unwanted hair is to use a razor.
I recently decided to try something different as I felt razors were drying out my skin and causing unsightly red marks.
Upon browsing the shelves at Boots, I came accross Veet Spray. The packaging attracted me, as the product comes in an appealing pink colour. Veet Spray costs £6.99 at Boots for 150ml, however you can sometimes buy it a little cheaper at places like Wilkinsons.
Veet Spray contains key ingredients such as jasmin, vitimin e and aloe vera, which I felt would be good for my skin. The actual product is of a gel -like consistency. This is different from hair removing creams and a bit less messy. One of the advantages of having a spray product is that you can target it to the areas you like, without the mess left by cream based products. I also found that the spray can helped me to cover my legs with the gel evenly so that the product was well distributed.
The instructions for the use of this product are simple to follow and can be found clearly stated on the back of the can. In following these, I sprayed gel evenly over my legs, holding the can an inch away from my skin. The instructions advise that you leave the spray on for 3 minuites. I generally found the product easy to apply.
The can also comes with a plastic pink spatula. This is essential in order to effectively remove the gel and unwanted hair after the allocated time has passed.
**How effective was the product?**
On the plus side, the product was easy to apply and easy to use. However, I was disappointed with the results. After 3 minuites I removed the product with the spatula, and found that although some of my hair had been removed, not all of it had. There were still odd patches of hair on my legs. This meant that I had to shave these parts off.
I was impressed with the smoothness of my legs, which resulted from the aloe vera and vitimin e products found in the gel. If only it had removed all of the hair!
I did use this product again, except this time I left it on for longer - approximately 5 minuites as opposed to the recommended 3. This seemed to work better, however I noticed that my legs began to sting a little.
Overall, I would say that I would not buy this product again. For me there is little point in buying a can of gel which only partially removes hair, when Icould use a razor to remove my hairs in half the time, and more effectively. If it had removed the hair properly as I was led to believe, then I would have bought it again. I advise you to stick to other types of hair removing products.
Gillette have a number of different razors in the 'venus' range, and I have tried several of them. I must say that the Gillette Venus Divine Razor is one of the better ones in the range.
**About the razor**
The Venus Divine razor comes in an attractive blue colour. The main feature of this razor is that it has two moisture strips in between the four blades which it has on the head.
In addition to this, the actual head of the razor tilts to allow for a smoother shave.
The head of the razor is easily removable and needs replacing reguarly. You can buy spare heads from your local chemist or supermarket, which works out cheaper than buying a whole new razor.
**What is good about the product?**
The moisture strips make this product what it is, by minimising dry skin. I use shaving gel when I shave, however, you could get away with using just water because the moisture strips allow for a smooth shave.
When I compare this razor with other versions, I cut my self far less when using the Venus Divine.
Gillette boasts that the Venus Divine has a number of benefits including comfort coated blades, moisture strips to minimise dry skin and enhanced grip and a finger rest to make this razor easy to use.
The razor gives a smooth and clean shave, you will have far less stubble than conventional razors. I recomend moisturising your legsafterwards for the best effect.
It is also to clean excess hair out of the razor blade, due to the blades being spaced apart.
You can buy this razor in most supermarkets and chemists. The average price is around £8 - £9 and you get one spare blade.
I find that I need to replace the razor blades at least once a month to be fully effective, and these do not come cheap.
I also think the cost of this razor is very expensive compared to other cheaper brands, which often puts me off buying it.
Although I think this is a good product and I am impressed by the moisturising effect and close shave, I only buy it occassionally. I think the price is far to high for the value of the product and unless you have cash to spare, I would say stick to the cheaper brands.
I bought this pregnancy test because I had read that it was one of the leading brands.
Initially, I browsed the shelves looking for alternatives, because Clearblue is not exactly the cheapest pregnancy test. I did try a cheaper brand which seemed to work fine, however it was more difficult to predict the result as I had to rely on trying to interpret between two faint lines.
I bought a pack of two Clearblue pregnancy tests for £7.99 from Asda. However it was on special offer. Usually a pack of two would cost you approximately £11.99 from Boots. I always suggest people look on Amazon first as it is often cheaper.
I would also recommend getting two tests just so that you are sure that the result is accurate. So a pack of two is a good idea.
My GP said that pregnancy tests such as clearblue are so accurate now that he felt he did not even need me to produce a urine sample for a formal test!
The good thing about this specific brand is that it offers digital testing with conception indicators.
This means two things: Firstly, you do not have to try to work out the result - if you are pregnant, you will get a clear picture of a smiley face and it will say 'pregnant.' If not, it will say 'not pregnant' on the screen.
Secondly, there is a conception indicator up to 3+ weeks. This equates to 5+ weeks from the date of your first period. No other brand offers this feature.
I would recommend this. It is easy to use, and the results are clear. I loved the conception indicator. However you should know that the conception indicator is slightly less accurate than the pregnancy test itself. Its also a shame it is more expensive, but I would still buy this brand over others just for peace of mind.
I purchased the Clearblue Fertility Monitor because I wanted to get pregnant and had absolutely no idea when I was supposed to be ovulating.
Let me tell you a little bit about my personal circumstances before I move onto explaining more about the monitor. My partner has a high sperm count, but low sperm mortility (low movement) and low sperm morphology (imperfect shape). This was caused due to a vasectomy which he had over 10 years ago. We paid privately for the operation to be reversed, however unfortunately, having a vasectomy can affect the quality of the sperm even if it successfully reversed.
As a result, I have been trying for 3 years to get pregnant with no success. Then against all of the odds, I became pregnant , but unfortunately had a miscarriage 6 months ago. With the realisation that I could become pregnant, after I had all but given up, I decided to start tracking my cycle and ovulation dates properly, to ensure that I at least had the best possible chance of becoming pregnant naturally.
I immediately started to research information about ovulation and what products were available to track it. It emerged that there were a number of different methods, however some sounded unreliable and time consuming.
I therefore decided to purchase some clearblue ovulation sticks. I found these to be expensive but quite reliable. I won't review these on here, please refer to my other review for this product.
Following on from purchasing ovulation sticks for one month this I decided to purchase the Clearblue Fertility Monitor as I felt it would give me a fuller and more concise understanding of my cycle and ovulation dates.
****What is the Clearblue Fertility Monitor?****
The monitor is a small device which is basically a way of tracking a woman's ovulation cycle, which also provides far more detail than could be provided by simple ovulation sticks.
The monitor identifies the two peak fertility days in your cycle (when you are ovulating) and tells you when these are so that you can make love and increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Of course, this is exactly what Ovulation sticks do, however the monitor takes this further by informing you about other peak fertility days leading up to ovulation.
Let me explain.
The monitor tracks not one but two hormones which rise on or near ovulation. The first of these is a surge in luteinising hormone (LH) which triggers ovulation, just prior to when your ovaries release an egg. Following the surge of LH ovulation takes place - any time within the next 24 48 hours. This is why the monitor shows 2 peak days. It is best to make love at least once on both of these days just to be sure, as the egg is usually only present for 24 hours, yet the monitor will show the full 48 hours as it can only track the hormone, and not the precise point of ovulation.
When the surge of LH is detected, a circle with an egg in it will appear on the monitor, to tell you that you are due to ovulate. This circle will remain for 48 hours on the screen, and you will see it when you turn it on.
The other hormone detected is estrogen. Estrogen rises in the body prior to ovulation, and several days before the LH hormone rises. Sperm can survive for up to 72 hours in the body, so the logic is that if you have sex up to 72 hours before ovulation, you can potentially increase your chances of conception as there may be sperm waiting in the body for when the egg is released.
The monitor is unique compared to ovulation sticks because it informs you when estrogen is released, meaning that you are due to ovulate, and are especially fertile. The monitor can tell you when estrogen is released anywhere from 1- 5 days before you ovulate. For me I was informed of 2 high fertilty days.
There will be a 3 tier bar on your monitor, when there is no estrogen present, you will see one bar, when you are increasing fertilty, you will see 2 bars, and when you are highly fertile, you will see 3 bars. Shortly after this (within 1-5 days) you may see the round circle which will tell you you are actually ovulating.
The research shows that if you make love on high fertilty days and also ovulation days, you will dramatically increase your chances of conception, up to 89% over the first two cycles.
***How to use the monitor***
Full instructions come with the monitor, and although it initially looks complicated, it actually is quite simple to use.
Firstly, you will need to wait until the first day of your period. You cannot use the monitor half way through a cycle. You will then need to press a small button called the 'm' button, which informs the monitor your cycle has begun.
Turn the monitor on each day in the morning. It will tell you what day of your cycle you are on. Eventually, it will start asking you on the screen to insert a test stick. You will need to have purchased some additional test sticks, which you buy specially for the monitor. You will need to set a testing time window for each day (it gives you six hours in total to allow for flexibility).
You will have to urinate on the stick or place it in a sample of urine, ideally collected first thing that morning so that it is concentrated.
Your fertile status will then be displayed, in terms of 1-3 bars. You do this every day until ovulation. After this point, you no longer need to use any testing sticks until the next cycle.
When your period starts again (should you not have conceived), then you just press the 'm' button on the first day and the process will start again. The monitor can store your cycle information for up to 6 months, and becomes more accurate after each cycle.
I found that I needed to use about 10 sticks per cycle, however some women may need more or less. You can buy the test sticks in packs of 20, so if you use less this can be a bonus as you can use them next month too. Sticks can be an additional expense, costing between £15 - £23 depending on where you buy them.
***Is it for you?***
The monitor is suitable for most women, with the following exceptions:
It may not be useful for women who have cycles shorter than 21 days or longer than 42 days.
If you have recently been pregnant or are taking any hormonal treatments which may affect your cycle, this can impact on the results, as the monitor works by measuring cycles. I waited a month after my miscarriage before using the monitor, but it is recommended you wait for two cycles.
Some medical contitions such as polysistic ovary syrome could impact on the results, so if in doubt talk to your GP. Please refer to the instructions for full details.
Before purchasing the Clearblue fertity monitor, I did lots of research online. I read lots of positive reviews, but did not feel confident it would work for me, as although it increases your chances of conception, it cannot guarantee this. My partner has poor sperm quality, so I felt that even if I pinpointed my fertile days, it may still not be effective. However, I knew it would give me the best possible chance.
Well I have to say, it has worked for me! After two cycles and two attempts using the monitor, I am pregnant. I had my first scan two days ago and am now 13 weeks pregnant! To me this is a fantastic product, and I wish I had used it ages ago. If only I had known about it!
It's not perfect - and the cost for the product is high. It costs £99 in Boots, however I bought it off Amazon for £58. You also have to buy sticks which can be expensive, again, it's cheaper on Amazon. You may have to buy these each month.
However, I think it is money well spent. When I think of how much money I was going to have to spend on IVF, I am glad I used this product first. If it does not work, at least you will know you have done everything you can before looking at other more expensive medical intervention.
Give it a try!!!!!!
I decided to try this product after I noticed a 2 for 1 offer at my local supermarket. I usually go for a supermarket own brand product which is cheaper.
Velvet toilet roll promotes itself as a think, luxurious er, bum wiper.
It comes in a number of different colours, such as white, champagne (!) and pink I quite like fact that you can pick your colour, because I like to have a toilet roll that matches my bathroom colour scheme. I know that is not essential, but hey it's the little things in life that make us happy!
What is unique about Velvet toilet roll is that it has a 3 ply thickness, hence the better quality compared to the cheaper brands. I must admit it does feel very thick and soft, and using Velvet toliet roll was more of a joy than using my cheaper brand. In addition I felt that it lasted longer than the cheaper brand. Velvet has 165 sheets per roll and the thickness meant that more absorbtion took place and less was therefore needed.
However the thickness caused a problem in my en-suite toilet as it became blocked and I had to get the plunger out!!
I don't know about you, but I can never work out why toilet roll has to be so expensive! I cringe when I look at the prices! Velvet toilet roll cost me £4.98 for 9 rolls - but this may vary depending on where you shop.
In conclusion, this is a good product, soft and longer lasting, however it is expensive and may cause blockages! I would probably stick with a slightly cheaper brand.