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chrisandmark

chrisandmark
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Member since: 18.08.2003

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    • More +
      21.05.2015 14:01
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Holds my style well"
      • "Doesn't leave residue in my hair"

      Disadvantages

      • "None really"

      Holds my style

      Prior to buying a can of rubbish Bristows hairspray I was using Extra Hold hairspray made by Tresemme, mine was a small handbag sized can but I believe the same hairspray is available in a larger format for people who use it more than I do.

      I don't use a huge amount of hairspray, my reason for buying it is because I'm currently growing my fringe out and am in the inbetween stage of it looking scruffy whatever I do with it - my only option is to pull my hair into a quiff and set it with a combination of clips and hairspray.

      This Tresemme one has been fine for me, it holds my style and keeps it in place throughout the day - any hairs that escape its grip are easily pushed back into place and then the tiniest squirt of hairspray is enough to keep them where they should be. If I'm too heavy handed with spraying I've noticed my hair starts to separate but this is easily avoided and I assume it's due to the fact the hairspray has such a firm hold.

      The hairspray is easily washed out of my hair and I only have to stick to the one shampooing session, sometimes my hair feels a little dried out if I've been using it daily for a week or so but it's not often that happens as if I'm not planning on leaving the house I don't go to the bother of creating the quiff anyway.

      For a couple of quid I think this is excellent hairspray and one I'll continue to buy for as long as I need to.

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      21.05.2015 13:27
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      • "Holds my style well"

      Disadvantages

      • "Makes it look like I have the double whammy of greasy hair and dandruff!"
      • "Separates my hair into stiff strands"
      • "Sticky when first applied"

      The worst hairspray on the planet

      I'm growing out my fringe at the moment and the only way I can get it looking half decent is to sweep it back into a quiff and pin it up on top, this is working well but I am having to use more hairspray than usual (which wouldn't be hard as I barely use any at all most of the time).

      I bought Bristows because I was in the little shop near me and that was all that was available, it cost around £1.69 which I thought was good value for money considering it was double the size of the previous can of hairspray I'd bought and been using.

      I opted for Ultra Hold because I have a few loose hairs in my growing-out fringe that are shorter than the rest, I need whatever hairspray I use to keep those in position despite the clips not really holding them properly.

      This is actually the worst hairspray I've ever used, it does hold my style in place but makes my hair feel absolutely awful. It's sticky when first sprayed on and once it dries it separates my hair into strands which I think looks absolutely dreadful, when I tried to use it on the sides of my hair (to keep some strands flat to my head) the result was two patches of hair which looked horribly greasy compared to my otherwise squeaky clean hair.

      Within, say, six hours I noticed small flakes in my fringe and when I looked closer it was the hairspray that had flaked and left me looking like I have dandruff. It's not even easy to wash out, I'm having to wash twice each time now - although that won't be a problem for long as I intend to buy a new hairspray today and the remainder of this Bristows can go in the bin!

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      • More +
        02.05.2015 20:48
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        2 Comments

        Advantages

        • "Cleans fur well"
        • "Free from chemicals"
        • "Gentle on the skin and fur of dogs"

        Disadvantages

        • "More expensive than other dog shampoos"

        Soft Clean Fur, Without The Chemicals

        I bought this shampoo for my Jack Russell late last year, sadly Jake was put to sleep at fourteen months old as his kidneys failed and yesterday I was sorting out the bathroom and came across a part used bottle. After I'd finished welling up (ha!) I realised what a lovely smelling shampoo it was, the citrus fragrance being natural and absolutely gorgeous - sometimes I smell a pet shampoo and wonder why human shampoos are all so chemical smelling when it obviously is possible to put a more natural fragrance in!

        There are no chemicals in Pet Naturals shampoo, which was the first thing that drew me to this brand if I'm honest - our previous dog had suffered with a very sluggish digestion and if she had anything on her fur which could be licked off this would irritate her delicate stomach. I didn't want this happening to Jake so a natural product seemed perfect, especially as he was a white Jack Russell who had fun by getting dirty so needed bathing regularly!

        The shampoo lathers nicely but is easy to rinse out, important for me as Jake didn't really enjoy a bath so the easier the products were to use the better - I wanted to be able to clean his fur, quickly rinse him and get him out before he had a panic attack.

        He always looked spotlessly clean after using this shampoo and his fur developed a gorgeous shine which lasted for quite a while afterwards (or until he found another muddy puddle to go and play in...).

        This is one shampoo I really recommend, it caused Jake no irritation whatsoever and left him looking clean and beautifully fluffy - at £12 a bottle it's expensive but if you have a small dog like Jake it's definitely cost effective as a little goes a long way so a bottle will last just about forever.

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        • More +
          02.05.2015 20:38
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "No harshness"
          • "Tastes nice"
          • "Gives my mouth a fresh feeling"
          • "Cheap to buy"

          Disadvantages

          • None

          Fresh and Minty!

          I rarely use mouth wash but some recent dental work has left me with a rather nasty taste in my mouth at times, I've checked with my partner that my breath doesn't smell but it's knocking my confidence slightly as the taste in my mouth keeps making me think I have halitosis or something! Not good!

          My dentist recommended a mouth wash just to remove the taste and explained that it would lessen as the wound in my gum healed, but he said there was no need to go mad buying an expensive medicated mouth wash as a cheap minty version would do the trick just as well - this led me to buy Sainsbury's Fresh Mint mouth wash from their Daily Care range.

          At 65p for a 500ml bottle it's very good value, you're advised to use a capful for each rinse but as it's only me using the mouth wash I just swig it straight from the neck of the bottle (naughty, I know!).

          The taste is very fresh, it's minty but not harsh in the slightest and feels extremely refreshing when swished around my teeth and gums. It has reduced the nasty taste in my mouth (but has not got rid of it entirely) and given me back my confidence that my breath is once again fresh and clean.

          I use my mouth wash after brushing my teeth in the morning and evening, and will have more if I feel like I need it - this is a couple of times a day at the moment as the infection-laced taste is absolutely stomach churning and I like to get rid of it as soon as I notice it.

          I can't recommend this highly enough, the taste is much nicer than the comparable Tesco mouth wash and it does the trick when it comes to nasty tastes in my mouth.

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        • Suttons Rapid Green Lawn Seed / Plant / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
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          02.05.2015 20:29
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Can be used outside the optimum growing time"
          • "Gives an excellent layer of grass"

          Disadvantages

          • "None really"

          Rapid and lush - even at this time of year!

          We had a rather large shed built in the garden a few weeks ago which meant several burly men were milling around all over my nice green lawn for hours - the upshot was after they'd gone I was left with a muddy boggy area where the grass died during the last few nights of frost we experienced in March.

          I wanted the grass back as soon as possible so bought a bag of Suttons Rapid Green Lawn Seed and used that, it's not really the right time of year to be sowing grass seeds but I decided to put the seed down one day when rain was forecast for the next day to bed it in.

          I'm really surprised to report that the grass seed has worked really well, it didn't take many days of spring sunshine for the grass to start coming through and although the effect isn't as full and lush as I'd hoped for it's still pretty chilly at night so I think it's done very well to carpet my garden as well as it has.

          This is slightly more expensive than the grass seed I would usually use but I wanted fast results and as this promised to be a 'rapid' growing grass seed I thought it would be better than using the one I usually use (from my local garden centre).

          The grass has a beautiful deep green colour and it has made me determined to buy more as the summer progresses and keep sowing and adding to the grass which has already grown.

          Highly recommended by me - and also by the kids who don't want to come in in the evening now they have such lovely grass to play on!

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        • More +
          02.05.2015 20:13
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "A range of colours available"
          • "Holds my phone safe and secure"
          • "Apple branded"

          Disadvantages

          • "High RRP which the case isn't worth in my opinion"

          Excellent iPhone 4S case

          I bought the official Apple flip case for my iPhone 4S within a few weeks of buying the phone, I have a bit of a 'thing' about customising my phone with a nice case so was happy when I found this one in pink at a very reasonable price during a sale in the Birmingham branch. I can't remember what I paid but it wouldn't have been anything like the full RRP of £15, basically because you can buy non-Apple branded flip cases so much cheaper.

          The case is excellent and is still occasionally in use as although I now have an android phone I passed on my iPhone to my four year old to play You Tube on - a case is a must for him as he's not the most careful child in the world, but even he has a half decent selection of cases and pouches (mainly because I passed them on to him!).

          The case flips from the bottom so the section that covers the screen of the phone hangs down, this can be a bit of a nuisance when you're making a call or trying to text but I suppose if you want to buy a flip case then you would expect that due to the nature of the case.

          It's held closed with a magnetic clasp which is very unobtrusive and not at all in your face, it works a treat and it surprisingly strong - as is the casing which holds your phone inside the case, a rigid plastic band which you push your phone into and it's then held safely and securely. It will never lose my phone and even when the phone has been dropped the case might dent slightly but the phone inside is kept safe and damage free.

          Highly recommended, but don't pay silly prices just because it's made by Apple as really it's no better than a flip case for a third of the price.

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        • White Knight 38AS / Tumble Dryer / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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          02.05.2015 19:58
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Wheels for ease of cleaning"

          Disadvantages

          • Noisy
          • "Gets extremely hot at the sides"
          • "Doesn't dry clothing"

          An unusual White Knight disappointment

          Dreadful is about the only word I can use to describe this tumble dryer, I've used it for a couple of weeks now after my mum loaned it me while I had my own dryer repaired - thank goodness it's now working properly again and I could give this awful White Knight 38AS back as I never want to use it again!

          The dryer has a 3kg capacity, which is small considering there are six of us in this house but really it's big enough for us as I prefer to dry my washing on the line outside (weather permitting).

          It's very slow and doesn't dry certain things at all, jeans and towels you have no chance of getting dried although it can just about cope with smaller items (like a toddler t-shirt and maybe a pair of tights).

          Dreadful.

          This also gets surprisingly hot during use, which isn't good as I have a busy household and really this does get hot enough to burn tender young skin.

          The dryer is on wheels which is handy as my own isn't so when I drop something behind or to the side it's a bit of faffing to shift the dryer to reach what's dropped - and to be honest half the time I just leave whatever it is there until the next time it needs pulling out for cleaning. The 38AS is excellent in this regard as it means I can just wheel it around and pluck up whatever it is I've dropped.

          Still, a more portable dryer doesn't make it any better considering it doesn't do the job of drying my clothes - I'm a bit disorganised with my washing anyway and need an effective dryer, unfortunately this isn't effective in the slightest and I'm so glad to have my own dryer back again.

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        • More +
          01.05.2015 13:34
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "A natural product"
          • "They work really well at lifting the mood in times of stress"

          Disadvantages

          • "Humongous tablets"

          Putting Alice in a 'Good Mood'

          My sixteen year old has been getting a bit stressed with her school and final few weeks before she's due to take her GCSE's - I'd noticed a change in her but it all came to a head a couple of weeks ago when she admitted she was really feeling the pressure, and even the thought of it only being for three more weeks now wasn't getting her through it. I made arrangements with the school for her to go on a part time programme (she's only doing revision in the majority of her subjects now) and also looked to buy her some bits and pieces to help see her through these stressful times.

          I bought a packet of Kira Good Mood tablets from Sainsbury's, where they were priced at £14.50 for 30 tablets.

          These contain St Johns Wort which is proven to lift the mood, they were previously renamed from Low Mood tablets and I think this new name suits them much better. You take one tablet daily, my daughter takes hers in the morning as she's also using Kalms at night and we both thought it was prudent to take them at different times.

          She tells me they have a pleasant taste after she's swallowed them, any kind of taste from a tablet is a bad point for me but I suppose this time I'm not the one who has to take them so I can't really voice an opinion on that.

          She's been taking them daily for 15 days now and I can see a huge difference in her attitude - there's no hint that they're doping her up but she definitely seems to have a healthier outlook now compared to before she started taking them. She's not really one for tablets and these are huge so they don't put her in a good mood when she's trying to swallow them but afterwards the change is definitely noticeable.

          I'll buy another packet as these are due to run out slap bang in the middle of exam season and I do think she's going to need all the help she can get at that time, but afterwards there will be no need to buy them - and thank goodness for that at that price to be honest!

          Comments

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        • Calpol Infant Suspension / Pain Relief / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
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          19.04.2015 01:40
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          1 Comment

          Advantages

          • "Good for pain and temperature issues"
          • "Works quickly and effectively"

          Disadvantages

          • "The risk of overdose if you're not careful"

          Giving My Kids A Helping Hand When They're Sick

          I wouldn't be without a bottle of Calpol in my medicine cabinet, with four children it's safe to say I've been through bottles of the stuff - it's so effective not just for pain but also as a way to reduce the misery of having a temperature. My son used to have febrile convulsions as a baby so it was really important not to let him get too hot if he was poorly and Calpol was one of the things I used religiously to keep his temperature under control.

          Calpol contains paracetamol so obviously you have to be extremely careful about how much you give your child - the advice is no more than a dose every four hours, and the dose depends on the age of the child so do take time to read the instructions before using it.

          The taste is very nice indeed, almost too nice to be medicine really. It's strawberry but of the sweetest and stickiest variety - it's quite strange for a medicine to be so delicious really and I can't say it's a wonderful idea as although it makes it easier to get the medicine into a child it also means they sometimes ask for Calpol when they don't really need it!

          Calpol works amazingly quickly considering how useless adult paracetamol is, a temperature will start to come down a few minutes after administering the dose and the pain of (for example) an earache or tummy bug is lessened pretty quickly too. I've taken Calpol myself when I've had toothache because I find keeping the medicine in my mouth and swishing it around the painful tooth helps more (and more quickly) than taking painkilling pills.

          I'm confident when I use branded Calpol that I'm doing a good thing for my kids when they're ill (the NHS stuff isn't as effective) and will continue to buy it for as long as I need to.

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          • Hauck Condor Buggy / Pushchair & Pram / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
            More +
            19.04.2015 01:28
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            1 Comment

            Advantages

            • "Good safety features"
            • "Comfortable for baby"
            • "Lovely to push"

            Disadvantages

            • "Bulky when folded down"

            A Fantastic Buggy

            I had the Condor buggy when my son was a little younger, made by Hauck I bought it second hand from a friend who had used it for a while for her daughter. I like the Hauck brand and at the time fancied a change from my previous buggy so I thought I'd put it through its paces.

            The only disadvantage is that this buggy is incredibly bulky when folded, at the time I had a seven seater Ford Galaxy and when the back two seats were put in place there was simply no room for it unless I used a seat to put it on!

            The buggy is easy enough to fold, I wouldn't say it was one handed operation but close enough. I could fold and unfold it easily with my son in my arms, unfortunately I had to put him down before lifting it into the car due to the bulky nature of the buggy.

            The brake and five point harness are excellent safety features and I never once thought my son was anything but perfectly safe while riding in this buggy - at the end of the time we were using it the harness became a little snug even on the biggest setting but by that point it wasn't really an issue as we knew he would be coming out of a pram completely by then.

            The Condor is lovely to push, the wheels are extremely smooth and that made for a nice pushing experience for me but also ensured my son was comfortable in the seat. He didn't really sleep in this buggy as by the time I bought it he was too old for a nap while we were out, occasionally he'd nod off in it but that was for short sharp naps and although he didn't look entirely comfortable I wouldn't say he was Uncomfortable either.

            You can expect to pay around £80 for the Hauck Condor which I think is fantastic value for such a good buggy, I really do wish I'd had one when David was a little younger so I could have used it for longer.

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            • More +
              19.04.2015 00:57
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              • "Comfortable fit"
              • "Sound quality is good"

              Disadvantages

              • "Rubbish noise cancellation"

              iLuv These!

              I don't have much call for earphones and until very recently didn't have a pair at all, with two iPod loving teenagers in the house I didn't need my own as a glance in either of their bedrooms would lead me to spot several sets of earphones (and some even still in the packaging!).

              The earphones are comfortable to wear and stay in my ears well, I've never had them fall out even when exercising (I bought these as my own earphones when I joined the gym and realised I couldn't stand to listen to the dance music they're always pumping out).

              Sound quality is good, the volume can be adjusted using the clicker on the earphone cable but I rarely use this as I'm too much in the habit of using my device to make alterations. There's also a mic built into the cable which is useful if you want to use the earphones with an iPhone instead of an iPad - iLuv designed these especially for use with Apple products and although they'll work as earphones with any make and model the mic and volume control won't necessarily work with, say, LG or Samsung products.

              The earphones have been durable, both are still working and the earphones themselves are still in very good condition with no splitting of the plastic or damage to any part.

              Noise cancellation isn't wonderful - as I found out at the gym when I had to turn my iPad up pretty loud to compete with the dance music racket!

              For six quid I'd say these are a good set of earphones, I may not use them all that much now but when I need them I know they'll be working and will work well for the duration of my work out.

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            • Technika 19" HD Ready LCD TV / LCD TV / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
              More +
              19.04.2015 00:29
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              • "Good picture"

              Disadvantages

              • "Iffy sound"

              A Good Bargain TV

              My Technika 16-912 LCD TV was a rare Ebay bargain which has been a super tele from day one, we bought it to take out in our camper van and it has since been placed in the kids' room while they were ill and now it resides in my bedroom as I've fallen in love with Game of Thrones and want to catch up with the boxsets (my partner hates that sort of stuff so best for me to watch it upstairs than have him moaning all the way through it).

              The television is HD ready and has a built in DVD player which is very simple to use, the only time you need to touch the TV itself is when you change the DVD - everything else can be done with the remote control (which is also very simple in layout and design).

              The picture has always been good on the Technika TV but sound can be iffy - it struggles to keep to the same volume throughout a single programme and can become muffled and tinny at times too. This can be a nuisance as if I'm watching a DVD quite late at night I don't really want the volume bursting out to wake the kids' in the next room.

              I'd recommend this TV if you can get it at a decent price, it has been discontinued now so isn't available new but comes up here and there on Ebay and the Amazon Marketplace. I only paid a few pounds for it but would imagine a comparable television would cost roughly £89, as with most discontinued electrical items however I wouldn't necessarily suggest you hold out for this one even if you like the sound of it as the ones which have been released in the meantime will be just as good (if not better).

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            • More +
              19.04.2015 00:04
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              • "Lasts a good amount of time for an EDT"
              • "A lovely floral fragrance"

              Disadvantages

              • "None reall although it's not a favourite perfume"

              A Pretty Perfume

              I'm not a fan of the Caudalie brand and haven't really used many of their products, I am currently wearing their Des Vignes perfume however after my daughter received it in a beauty box recently and didn't like it.

              I can see why it wasn't to her taste as the perfume is extremely floral, I'm not usually into floral perfumes at all but this one is very manageable and despite being reasonably vibrant it's also very light in tone once the initial strong burst has worn off.

              The most obvious note in Des Vignes (for me at least) is jasmine, the perfumes is nicely blended so that everything is evident at various points but I feel jasmine is the glue that holds the fragrance together - luckily for me as that's my favourite floral fragrance!

              As this is an EDT I would only expect it to last for a reasonably short time, this one does linger for quite a bit longer than expected but it's by no means a miracle perfume and you'll find yourself having to top up a few times a day. I'd use it as a daytime perfume for the simple reason that it doesn't have enough punch for evening/night wear and personally I like to wear something stronger if I'm going out.

              The full size bottle is lovely and can be seen in Dooyoo's photo, I have a small trial size bottle which is a stunning shade of pink - I'd love a big bottle to go on my dressing table as I think it would look super next to the rest of my perfume bottles but really I'm not sure if I like the perfume enough to spend £25 on a 50ml bottle as I can't see myself wearing it all that much.

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            • More +
              15.04.2015 14:52
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              • "Makes my hair soft after use"

              Disadvantages

              • "Doesn't really do anything..."
              • "Give my hair a lank and greasy feeling"

              Not Entirely Sure What It's For...

              I received a tube of this in a beauty advent calendar, I'm absolutely not interested in my hair as long as it's clean and brushed so I've only just used it (and only then as I'm desperately trying to get the level of toiletries scattered around the house down).

              I've used the full tube now and am not really sure what I'm supposed to think. It's time consuming as you have to apply it before shampooing and leave it in your hair for 25 minutes, as a mum who struggles to time the school run properly even after fifteen years of doing that's far too much time - I just don't have a spare 25 minutes in my morning before I have to set off to school and as that's when I shower and wash my hair this is a bit of an awkward product really.

              I've managed to get the applications in over the Easter holiday and really the best thing about using it is that I've managed to get rid of a tube out of the bathroom. It doesn't do very much at all for my hair other than make it feel softer after washing, I still have to use conditioner every time as my hair is as knotty as ever while being dried but the Elasticizer definitely has a slight conditioning effect.

              It also has a lankening effect, although this is only mild, but my hair is definitely weighed down by it despite the fact I used it only on the length of my hair and nowhere near my scalp (as recommended by Philip Kingsley for finer than average hair).

              After using the Elasticizer my hair felt greasy, it didn't look it and actually had a rather nice shine but I didn't like the slightly dirty feeling left on my hair afterwards.

              £27 a pot is a ridiculous price for something that doesn't really do anything other than add extra time to my already rushed morning routine. Available in Selfridges and places like that, where the ladies of leisure shop...

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            • More +
              15.04.2015 13:52
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              • "Seems to be lasting forever"
              • "Soft and smooth against my phone"
              • "Comfortable to handle"
              • "Looks really good"

              Disadvantages

              • "My phone never felt really secure"

              Put a sock in it!

              I bought this phone sock not long after replacing my iPhone 4 (with another iPhone 4), I'd actually lost my phone so obviously the case I was using was also lost and I didn't really want to put my new replacement phone into one of the old battered cases we have knocking around the house. It was an Amazon purchase as I had a voucher qualifying me for free next day delivery so by the time my phone was charged and up and running the sock was there ready.

              The one I chose was similar in design to the sock pictured, the stripes were thicker and alternated in an overall darker colourway - it was still mainly purple but had black and navy blue stripes amongst the shades of purple, the effect was more block colour but not at all gothy!

              My iPhone 4 fit in the sock with a bit of room to spare, it wasn't ideal as I was always concerned the phone was going to work its way out - as far as I remember this didn't happen but the sock just didn't feel as secure as I thought a knitted sleeve would. It also made my hair go static sometimes if I pulled the phone out of the sock quickly, I have enough hair issues without another phone related one and the amusement of that very quickly wore off.

              The sock lasted well and we still have it now, although it's use isn't for a phone these days but for Hollie's various 'cards' that she picks up (you know, facts about Frozen on a playing card and the like). One of the bottom corners looks like it's about to fray or do something bad soon but really for the length of time I've had it and the reasonably low price tag of £10 I can't complain - and I'm sure Hollie with neither notice nor care...

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