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clairelw101

clairelw101
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Member since: 29.05.2001

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      05.01.2014 21:05
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      It's pasta add your sauce to make it yummy not pounds

      Everyone is trying to cut back nowadays and with a new arrival in the house even more so now. My son loves pasta and would probably eat it for every meal if I let him wherein lies my problem we get through bags and bags of the stuff. Although brands and supermarkets own labels aren't that badly priced I was buying more pasta than cat food a month! So a change was needed and after trying other basis label food I decided to give this pasta a whirl.

      Like most basis food the packaging is not going to be winning any awards for innovation or attractiveness nor durability. I find that once opened it needs to go somewhere a jar, pot, box or somewhere. Unlike the more expensive packets there is no resealable sticker so once opened its open.

      The penne once out of the packets looks like........penne pasta surprise surprise and there's no wave a magic wand and spin around dance in one foot jiggery pokery needed just get out the saucepan and add water and salt if that's how you do it or not if you don't and put on the hob. Once you think the waters ready add the required amount of pasta a feat I struggle with I tend to have extra left over portion control is brilliant but for this price that's not an issue and usually means pasta for lunch at work.

      Once cooked it looks and tastes like pasta but then again unless spending a fortune on expensive pasta then you probably won't notice the difference we don't and my cupboard looks tidy with jars in it instead of half used packets.

      If your a food snob avoid if your looking at cost cutting then give it a try and let it become a staple for your cupboard too.

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      • Tesco Value Tea Bags / Tea / 9 Readings / 9 Ratings
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        05.01.2014 20:44
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        Overall don't expect too much but can't go wrong for the price

        I've been trying to cost cut and some of the basis ranges food & drink. I was a bit unsure about buying these tea bag and I will admit that the first couple of cups I was unsure what I thought but although only 27p I was going to drink all 80. Money's money after all & after a couple of cups they get betters drink.

        Like most of the basis range the packaging leaves a lot to be desired. The box is very thin cardboard like most tea boxes with no fancy artwork like you'd expect. Inside the box the tea bags are in a cellophane packet rather than the "foil freshness" that other tea bags come in. The bags themselves are round and functional though the bag itself feels stiffer than other brands. You don't need to do anything magical with them just boil the kettle, hot water on and let it brew. I have found that they need to be left to brew for longer but with a pre-schooler & a baby to look after that's not hard otherwise it's a very pale tea also try to pour the water in the bag itself otherwise you'll be waiting a long time for your water to turn into tea.

        All in all after I got over my tea snobbishness I'm converted and nearly through my second box and will be after a third soon. For 27p for 80 give then a try you might be surprised don't expect twinnings standard and you'll be fine.

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      • dealextreme.com / Online Shop / 62 Readings / 59 Ratings
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        26.11.2009 18:19
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        Cheap goods and you pay in US$

        Dealextreme.com is an internet gadgets and electronics company based in Hong Kong. They sell all their products in US dollars so if you are looking for something that they have on their website it could cost almost 50% less than what you would pay for it in the UK.

        I was recommended this website to be able to buy a "cheap" R4 card for a DS and after looking around they were the cheapest even when I got a 2gb SD card to go with it.

        The website is well laid out and even has a $2 section where you can see some novelty gifts (could be useful for Christmas) and some other items that they sell for less than $2.

        The only issue I had with the site was when I went searching through the pages to look for something specific and had to go through a few pages before I found what I was looking for.

        If you are looking just for the looking then the site is a bit cluttered and has possibly hundreds of pages with 20 items on ,you can't increase this or change the way it is laid out, to go through.

        You can make payments with them through Paypal, which does give you a little more convidence in their ability to provide you with your order as you can use the paypal dispute system should something go wrong.

        I placed my order and 16 days later I have received the SD card as part of my order. I have used the tracking system and the R4 card has been sent seperately and is on its way. According to the site it can take between 12 - 17 days for the order to reach you if the goods are in stock at the time. There is another method of shipment EMS which they say takes 3 - 5 days, if you want something in a hurry and its not too expensive on top of the price of the goods after my experience I would use this.

        When you place the order as well as the e-mail you receive from Paypal you also receive an order confirmation e-mail which has your order reference on it so that you can go back to the website and track your order. Beware though that not all the parcels have tracking numbers on them and they only track them up to the point of leaving Hong Kong, after that its a case of waiting for the items to arrive.

        The R4 card part of my order hadn't arrived after nearly 4 weeks so according to their website if you haven't received an item after 14 days of shipping you can raise an enquiry. I did this and input my enquiry on line and it came up with some suggestions like have I checked my adress (the first part of the order came OK so no issues there) and have I checked with the local post office. I sent off the request and a couple of days later when I had not had an email I went and checked the status on the site and a response had come up to say that there had been a delay and that could I wait a few more days for the card to arrive. In all fairness to them the card did arrive the day after the response from them but it did leave me wondering why they had put that it had been shipped against the order.

        As I didn't have to have replacement goods sent out I can't comment on this side of the service.

        I will use this website again but if I need something in a hurry I will be paying that little bit extra for delivery to ensure that I get what I want in plenty of time. Due to the fact of how slow delivery has been I will mark them down to 3/5 and also for saying something had been shipped when it hadn't but the goods did turn up eventually and at least I don't have to re-think a Christmas present now.

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        • More +
          24.11.2009 19:55
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          Page turner that welcomes you into the family

          Home truths is the fourth book by Freya North about the McCabe family. The other books in the series are centered around three sisters Pip, Fen and Cat and the things that they do in their lives as they grow up. Home truths brings these girls back together along with their husbands, partners, children and Uncle Django.

          The McCabe family are not average, the family "motto" is that the girls mother ran off with a cowboy from Denver and left them with their father to bring them up. Their father died not long afterwards and they were brought up by their Uncle Django. Django is a larger than life character who favours colourful clothes and even more colourful cooking.

          Home truths brings the family together for Django's 75th birthday. Now that all of them have grown up and are starting to have families of their own their past comes back to haunt them and they have to all assess their own lives and loves and what they want.

          The book is filled with suprises for all the characters and Freya North is able to paint the picture of this dysfunctional family going through major changes.

          This book is definately a "chick lit" and is good in the fact that you don't have to have read the previous three books to be able to enjoy this but it might be useful if you have to be able to fill in the blanks that are missing from the background.

          This is a very easy read and draws you into this family's life. It almost makes you feel like you are looking through the curtains of someone elses lives. Some of the topics in the book are very sensitive but they are dealt with in a very respectable manner and leave you feeling like part of the family wishing them on or shouting at them no no no.

          It is a good book and doesn't take much concentration to be able to pick it up and put it down and always know where you are with it. Due to the subject matter that is contained in the book it is not as funny as her previous three books in this series or others that she has written but none the less it does keep you gripped to the last page.

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        • More +
          22.11.2009 16:21
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          Good introduction set of pans

          I received a set of Tefal saucepans as a moving in present from my best friend and having been using them regularly for a few months now so thought I should write up what I thought of them.

          The set we have is the Tefal Elegance Stainless Steel 5 piece set (Argos are currently doing this set for £49.99). In the set you get a 16, 18, 20cm saucepan with glass lid, 24cm frying pan and 14cm milkpan. They are all stainless steel and have an "impact bonded base".

          There should be a saucepan here to suit every need you have. They are great and the milkpan even has little indentation on the inside giving you measurement markings, I haven't needed to use this as I normally pour liquids into a jug before putting into a saucepan but I can see this as a helpful feature for someone.

          There are a couple of downsides to these firstly the frying pan isn't non-stick so you do need to make sure you have plenty of oil etc. in the bottom to try and avoid food stuffs sticking to the bottom of it. However, don't be too put off by this as I have found with some fairy and elbow grease the burnt stuff does come off though how burnt it would have to be before this happen I'm not sure.

          The sauacepands do clean the same as any others but I have noticed that the "stainless steel" has marked slightly and isn't as bright and shiny as it was when we first got these. But I'm not too bothered by this as at least it shows we use them and there not dirty just not bright and shiny anymore.

          The only issue I have really is with the glass lids. They fit 4 out of the 5 saucepans as obviously the milkpan doesn't come fitted with one and they have a small steam hole in the top and a metal handle to be able to lift the lid on and off. Its this metal handle I have an issue with, it does get very hot and I have to remember to get a cloth or oven glove first before taking it off the pan. I understand that this is not going to be stone cold the whole time that you are using the pans but I have used other pans before with glass and metal lids where the handles don't get as hot as this.

          Having said all this I think these saucepans are good value for money and I'm sure they can be found elsewhere for less than the £49.99 that Argos are selling them for. There are also similar style pan sets by other manufacturers but the thing I like about these are that they are Tefal and seem very good quality and don't feel like they are going to break or fall apart in 5 minutes like you find with some cheaper alternatives.

          I would buy a set of these myself all I need to remember is the cloth for lids or just to cook without using the lids on the saucepans. There are more expensive sets out there and Tefal do do set which are non-stick rather than stainless steel for a little bit more money which might be worth the investment but for something which does carry the Tefal brand name they are great.

          All I can say to my best friend for getting me these is thank you.

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        • Asda Honey with lemon / Spread / 49 Readings / 49 Ratings
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          20.11.2009 21:46
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          see review

          As I am currently pregnant and coming down with a cold I am unable to take the old lemsips that I would normally have so have had to look to the old fashioned remedies. Honey and lemon with hot water to soothe the throat and give the extra vitamin c.

          So off I nipped to Asda to get myself some honey (something that I don't usually like so didn't have any in the cupboard) and a lemon and came across this Honey with Lemon in it and thought this would be good for work so that I didn't need to take a lemon with me to work.

          The honey is in a squeezable bottle with a lockable lid that you have to untwist to be able to squeeze the honey out and a plastic cap on the top. The lid is very easy to use and all you need to do is give it half a twist and then squeeze the bottle to get the amount of honey out that you need that is alot easier than trying to dig a spoon into a jar of honey and not drip the honey over the side.

          The only downside I have found with this is that as you get towards the end of the bottle you do need to stand it on its lid to get the honey to drop to the twistable lid. The outer lid though does have a flatten off top so it does stand up easily in the cupboard.

          The first time I used this was a but strange the lemon is there but not as strong as I was expecting and I did end up having to use a real lemon in my drinks to get the desired effect. I would imagine on something like pancakes this would be really nice and it was just that I wanted it for a hot drink that it wasn't quite right.

          In Asda this costs £1.49 for a 250g bottle, this has lasted about a month or so of a couple of drinks a day, I would imagine that I have put in 1 or 2 teaspoons of honey in each drink so it does last well.

          Overall I was happy with this but it didn't give me quite what I wanted and I will buy the plain honey in future for drinks but I would imagine on food stuffs that it is really good.

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          • Starbucks Gingerbread Latte / Coffee / 64 Readings / 60 Ratings
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            17.11.2009 17:11
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            Ummm what to try next

            As you may have seen from a previous review I did Starbucks has gone all Christmassy again and brought out some "new" flavours for us to try. Normally I go into Starbucks and order one of two choices, I do vary this occasionally hence why I thought I would give the Christmas choices a go.

            Currently they are doing Toffee Nut Latte (previously reviewed), Gingerbread Latte (this is what I will be reviewing) and a Dark Cherry Mocha (don't like cherries so don't think I'll be trying this one) and an Eggnog Latte (still debating this one). Starbucks do say that these have returned due to customer demand from last year but they are only around for a limited time so I thought why not try them 1 won't hurt.

            They have changed the take away cups for this time of year and instead of the usual white cardboard cups we have now got red cups with white snowflakes, stars and Christmas trees.

            I had already tried (and enjoyed) the toffee nut latte so thought I would give the Gingerbread latte a try. The tall one of these cost £2.85 which is 20/30p more than a tall latte normally costs so was it worth the extra money? (I'm not sure on the prices for the larger versions but I would imagine that they are similarly hiked in price compare to the normal versions)

            As with all coffees from Starbucks you can choose to have full fat, skinny, with whipped cream, without etc. etc. the list is endless. As this is a "treat" for me I might have a Starbucks once or twice a month I decided to just go for the whole effort and had the full fat version with whipped cream. I tried to find the calories on the Starbucks website but unfortunately (not) I couldn't find any information. I would imagine this is down to the amount of variations that each person can do to their drink, however, with full fat milk, syrup and whipped cream its not going to be on the healthy side of the calories or fat content.

            Before you even take a sip of the coffee you can clearly smell the ginger and spices, yum yum. I'm not sure what syrup they use in this drink but would imagine that it is one that is specially created for this time of year. The coffee taste hits you and then this warm spicy/ginger flavour, it's a little bit like the spice mix that goes into mulled wine. The first few sips are fine but after a couple it did start to taste a bit more on the sweet side, I don't know if they had overdone the syrup slightly or if the whipped cream was now mixing in to the coffee and adding some more sweetness. The one thing I did find with the spicy flavour was that it gave you an added warm feeling from drinking it so would be great if it was cold outside.

            I am glad that I only went for the tall version of this as I think anything larger would have been a bit too much and I would have thrown it away, which when you consider the price would have been a waste. Next time I'm in Starbucks I might give the Eggnog a try or have another Toffee Nut version before they stop doing them until "public demand" hits them for next year.

            On the whole this was a nice coffee and made a change from my usual but I'm not sure that I would want to pay the extra for something that I wasn't that keen on. I possibly would have another one but maybe I'd try it without the whipped cream to see if the sweetness could be muted when you get further through the coffee.

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              17.11.2009 13:09
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              Wouldn't pay full price

              As the winter is drawing in and the need for something warm hits me at a lunchtime I know its time to start with soup. Now normally I will make my own soup, as I know whats gone in it and that it last for ages or if I'm feeling really lazy I will grab a tin or two for the cupboard as a standby option.

              But I was in Asda the other day and spotted that they had some of their Extra Special Soups at £1 instead of £1.70 (I have already reviewed the Carrot and Parsnip). I have been to Morcco and loved the food and the smells there so picked up a tub of the Spiced Moroccan Style soup.

              As can be seen from the picture the soup comes in a plastic pot with a purple label printed on it with the Extra Special logo and writing in white. The pot contains 600g of soup and as it is see through you can see all the lentils and chickpeas in the soup and a lovely orange colour to it.

              The description on the pot says that the soup is made of "With Ras El Hanout spices, root vegetables, ripe tomatoes, chick peas and apricots." Ras El Hanout is a moroccan spice mix which depending on where you get it from has various different spices in it and each version is slightly different depending on the family receipe and can be added to kebabs, soups etc. The label on the pot also states that 1/2 the pot contains 2 of your 5 a day so should be a healthy alternative.

              You can cook this soup either straight from the pot in the microwave by breaking the seal on lid and following the relevant cooking guidelines for you microwave or you can put it in a saucepan and cook. Either way will take approximately 5 - 6 minutes.

              When the soup started to cook there were whaffs of spices around the kitchen. If you cook this is the microwave like I did becareful taking the lid of so that the steam doesn't burn you.

              The soup is thick and has plenty of lentils and chickpeas in it and chucks of different vegtables. When you taste the soup it does have a mild spiced flavour to it but the main flavour that hits you is apricots and this gives the soup a sweet taste which I wasn't expecting. Moroccan cooking does have apricots featured in it but these did seem to be the main flavour although it was a bad tasting soup. The soup is suitable for vegetarians but it does warn you that it contains celeriac, celery and sulphur dioxide/sulphites.

              The ingredients are
              Water , Tomatoes (16%) [contains Acidity Regulaor (Citric Acid)] , Red Split Lentils (6.5%) , Chick Peas (6.0%) , Carrots (5.0%) , Onion (5.0%) , Potatoes (4.0%) , Butternut Squash (3.0%) , Celeriac (3.0%) , Parsnips (3.0%) , Chopped Apricots (2.0%) [Dried Apricots, Rice Flour, Preservative (Sulphur Dioxide)] , Rapeseed Oil , Tomato Purée [contains Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)] , Blossom Honey , Cornflour , Lemon Juice , Coriander , Garlic Purée , Parsley , Ras El Hanout Spice Blend [Black Pepper, Ginger, Cardamom, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper , Coriander, Nutmeg, Cumin, Allspice] , Salt .

              Its healthy for you as well with 100g (bear in mind 600g in the pot)
              63 Kcal
              1.3g Fat
              0.1g saturated fat
              0.2g of salt

              Seeing how sweet this soup tasted I'm suprised at how much salt there is in the whole tub, but this is a healthy alternative to my usual sandwich and warmed me up too.

              Overall I would be happy to pay the £1 for this but I'm not sure I would stretch to the full price but it certain filled a hole with a warm thick soup for a lunchtime.

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                17.11.2009 12:48
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                Wouldn't recommend

                I'm always on the look out for healthy foods to have as an evening meal as my other half is partial to chips, onion rings etc. Unfortunately unlike him I do have a body that puts on weight so want to have something tasty but healthy for tea. Also I am currently pregnant and there are foods that I can't eat or need to be cooked in a certain way.

                I spotted these on offer for £1 in Farmfoods but the Grassingtons website does say that they can be bought from Asda or Morrisons where I would expect you would pay slightly more (did try to look in Asda but I couldn't find them).

                These chicken style fillets are part of the Grassingtons Gardein range and are made out of a "unique and nourishing blend of farm grown grains and vegetables carefully prepared, cooked and combined to look and taste like premium lean meat." Not tofu like I orginally thought.

                The box is as the picture above and contains two chicken breast shapped pieces covered in a red tomato sauce with green flecks in it, which I would image are the herbs. The box recommends that you cook them for 20 minutes, so no difference to the Chicken fillets that my partner has taken a liking to.

                They seemed to cook really well and when they were removed from the oven the tomato sauce on the fillet had "caught" slightly and caramlised on the baking tray and they did smell herby.

                So for the taste, the tomato and herb marinade (more of a sauce or coating as it was only on the top) tasted really nice but was not very strong. The meat free fillet was bland and the sauce covering it was not enough to make up for this. I have had other vegetarian products before and the coatings/sauces have been wonderful, this one however failed to deliver. It was a strange sensation it was almost like you were putting two things into your mouth as the taste of the sauce seemed completely seperate to the fillet, hence why you could taste the blandness.

                These fillets are healthy and only contain 137 kcal but the taste didn;t make up for it. If I saw these on offer again I would avoid them as I think other products out there on the market are much nicer and just as healthy.

                I have a packet of the peppered steak version sat in the freezer to try as well just hoping when I get round to these that there much nicer but I'm not going to hold my breath.

                My advice if you have these is to have something with a bit of flavour with them even if its just mayo to try and make up for the blandness. These are not something I will rush to buy again and even if I saw them on offer I think they would get left where they were.

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              • 2012 (Blu-ray) / Blu-Ray Movie / 52 Readings / 51 Ratings
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                16.11.2009 12:52
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                158 minutes flys by

                This is a review on the film 2012 not the blu ray disc.

                This is a film that I got talked into seeing by my other half who is interested in the 2012 theory. The 2012 theory for those who don't know is based on the ancient Mayan calendar which predicts that the world will end on 21st December 2012. This is due to an unusal alignment with the planets in our solar system and the sun which only happens every 640,000 years.

                The basis of this film then is that its 2012 and the Mayans were right and the end is coming. The film has got some well know names in it John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover and is directed by Roland Emmerich (Independance Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla).

                Without giving too much away an astrophysicist in India has found information that shows that the radiation from the sun is heating the earth from the inside and that this eventually will cause the crust of the earths surface to move. Meaning the whole world will turn, the land will break up and huge tsunamis will occur all over the world leading to mass destruction of the planet. He passes this information on to a friend, who happens to work for the US Geology Department, who passes this on and ends up presenting this information to the President. This is then passed on to the G8 heads of state and they have to formulate a plan to survive without letting the whole planet know what is going on.

                John Cusack plays Jackson Curtis, an underachieving author whose divorced with 2 kids who takes them on a trip to Yellowstone National Park where he walks (after jumping a fence marked no entry) into the "hot zone" that is being monitored for activity of the planet heating up. After being removed by the US Army he bumps into Charlie (Woody Harrelson) who is comes across as a bit of a mad man with lots of theorys, all of which don't sound plausible.

                When Jackson gets back to the real world he is a driver for a Russian Billionaire who has him collect his kids (spoilt liltte somethings) and take then to the airport who make a passing comment which results in him remembering what Charlie had said. Whilst this is going on the ground under the limo he is driving is cracking from an earthquake! He then storms over to his ex-wife's house and gets his kids, her and her boyfriend and they drive over roads that are becoming huge gapping holes in the ground.

                He has hired a plane but the pilot is dead so its down to his ex-wife's boyfriend who has had a couple of flying lessons to take charge and get them out of there QUICK.

                Whilst all this is going on the scientists are trying to predict when the various places around the world will be hit and destroyed and get all the people (like the president and head of state) to China to where they have been building the survival ships before they tell the general population that they are doomed. So reasuring to see that the "important people" get saved whilst the rest of population doesn't know whats going on till its too late.

                All the main characters then all converge in China on the ships but one is broken and people will be left behind where the whole subject of humanity and compassion is brought up for debate. Of course with any hollywood blockbuster you need a cliff hanger bit and this is no exception with the stowaways, John Cusack and friends, having damaged a door and a will they won't they be able to fix it.

                The special effects in this film are great and suprisingly for a disaster movie there are some funny bits in it that had the whole cinema laughing. My biggest critism of this film though was the 2012 reference, there is a bit in the film, with Charlie, where they meantion the Mayans and the 2012 theory in an animation but be warned blink and you might miss it.

                I understand that had they explained the theory and gone into lots of detail then it would have been a documentory rather than a film but they could have focused a bit more on this but then again this is hollywood.

                Overall this is a good film and though it runs for 158 minutes you don't feel like you've been in the cinema for that long I just wish they had given some more information on the Mayan calendar than they did.

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                • More +
                  16.11.2009 12:23
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                  Going to buy the blue dragon again

                  As you may have seen from a previous review we had a carpet picnic on saturday night and had been wandering round Asda picking up some nibbles to have and decided to get a couple of dips.

                  I picked up the sour cream one (see previous review) and my partner choose the Asda sweet chilli dipping sauce. This is 88p or 2 £1.50 hence why we chose a dip each.

                  The sauce comes in the packagaing as can be seen in the picture, this one doesn't come with any cardboard sleeve. The tub is plastic and has a film of plastic around the lid that you must remove first before you can open it so you know that no one else has opened it first. The lid is re-sealable so if you don't useit all you can pop the lid back on and put it in the fridge but does say that it must be consumed within 2 days of opening.

                  The tub itself contains 200g of dip so you are getting plenty for your money and contains Glucose Syrup , Sugar , White Wine Vinegar , Red Pepper (5.0%) , Cornstarch , Red Chilli (2.0%) , Garlic Purée (1.8%) , Chilli Paste (1.5%) [Red Chilli, Spirit Vinegar, Rapeseed Oil, Salt, Stabiliser (Guar Gum)] , Salt , Paprika Extract Liquid. It does say that it is suitable for vegetarians but it may contain nuts and or seeds.

                  The sauce itself is a reddy/orange colour and you can clearly see the chilli seeds and flakes inside the sauce. The tub does have 3 chillis on the outside to warn you that this is warm.

                  I dipped some breadsticks into this first and you first get a sweet taste and then yes, it is warm so you do need either some sour cream or something similar or a drink nearby to help cool your mouth down. Be warned it is very sweet and sticky, I got some on my fingers and I needed to go and wash them straight away as they felt very sticky. It was nice but I'm used to Blue Dragon sauce and feel that that is nicer, its not as sticky and the chilli isn't as over powering as this was.

                  I would recommend this but only if the Blue Dragon wasn't avilable as it was a little too sweet for my tastes. Also blue dragon has a slightly longer shelf life than 2 days and it would take longer than 2 days to get through this whole tub unless you were having a big buffett.

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                • Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte / Coffee / 24 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                  16.11.2009 12:12
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                  One once in a while won't hurt

                  You know when Christmas is coming when Starbucks change their take away cups from white to red with snowflakes and Christmas trees on them. This also means that you get a couple of extra additions to the menu for the season.

                  Walking past Starbucks the other day I spotted that not only have the cups changed colour but the menus too have now gone red for Christmas and they had a sign outside saying that the Christmas Coffees were back by popular demand. Normally when I go into Starbucks I'm quite boring and have one of two choices but every year without fail I am tempted by the special ones they do at Christmas.

                  The first special flavour I picked up was the Toffee Nut Latte, tall £2.85 not sure how much the other sizes cost. These special ones are about 20 or 30p more than a normal flavoured coffee but are they worth it?

                  When you order you can do the usual skinny, no cream etc. that you can do with the other coffees in th range but as I don't have these very often I went for the full works. I think that along with the whipped cream that gets put on the top its made with full fat milk but I'm not 100% sure, the coffee though is fairtrade.

                  The coffee comes in the usual cardboard cup, though this one is red, which the cardboard sleeve so that you don't burn your fingers. I'm not sure which syrups go into this coffee but I would guess at Hazlenut and Caramel, though they may have a special syrup just for this one. Then you get the coffee and milk and it is topped with whipped cream (you don't have to have this) and sprinkled with some crystalised nut/sugar bits.

                  This was lovely you could really taste the two flavours of the nuts and toffee and was a pleasant change to the normal boring cup I normally have. After talking about this the next time I went in I also got my partner one of these and he's really fussy and said he liked it as well though he wasn't sure he could have anything bigger than a tall as he found it very sweet. It could be a man thing, as he's not a big sweet person, but I did have to agree with him slightly.

                  I'm not sure what the calorie content is on this, I tried to look on the starbucks website but it doesn't give any details. This could be due to the various different ways people could have the coffee prepared.

                  I can see why Starbucks have brought this coffee out but can't see why its only a christmas time one. As a special treat this is great but I would imagine if you had one a day, igoring the possible calories, you might find it a bit too much. I will definately be having another one of these before they take them off the menu and I go back to the normal coffee that I pick up however, as my partner found it a bit sweet for a tall its only going to get 4/5 stars as you might find the 2 bigger sizes a bit too much.

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                    15.11.2009 12:43
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                    Whilst a £1 I will continue to buy it

                    I have already reviewed the Replenishing Shampoo from Neutrogena and bought the conditioner at the same time. If you have read the review for the shampoo you will know that I bought it for a £1 from poundland and I think this is really good value for something that I use every other day on my hair.

                    I have dry hair and I struggle to find products that leave my hair feeling mositurised and not dry after using it and feeling the need to get extra products like leave in conditioner to make my hair feel nice.

                    This conditioner comes in a 300ml plastic bottle which as can be seen from the picture is slightly wider at the top than the bottom and has a push open lid not a screw top so you have to squeeze out the right amount of product. The bottle is see through so you know how much you have left but when you come to the end, like a lot of brands, you have to balance it on the lid to make sure you are getting all the product out.

                    The conditioner itself is a pale pink colour and is thick when it comes out of the bottle. I have found that some conditioners can be a bit on the watery side but this has a good creamy consitency to it.

                    Neutrogena say that it "hydrates and conditions to improve dry, damaged hair, without leaving heavy build up". So whats it like to use.

                    The conditioner does come out of the lid easily despite its thick consistency however, this is a bit of struggle when you come to the end of the bottle so I do find myself unscrewing the lid and shaking the last bits out.

                    I used the normal amount of conditioner on my hair that I use with other brands and found that this was enough to give good coverage. Although it doesn't advise it on the bottle I always leave conditioner on my hair for 2 - 5 minutes, whether this makes a difference or not really I don't know but its something I've always done. Again like the shampoo this has a mild flowery smell to it but this doesn't linger in your hair for very long after it has been dried.

                    The conditioner washes well out of the hair and as they say I didn't feel any build up left behind which I have felt with other brands as thought my hair has been coated with something and needs re-washing. It didn't leave my hair feeling particuarly mositurised after use, it did feel a little but dry especially towards the ends but when I dried my hair with the hair dryer (which I don't do very often) it was suprisingly silky and smooth. Much better than I expected it to be.

                    After using this for a few washes I still don't feel that my hair is left mositurised from washing but when I dry my hair it does feel soft and smooth so it must be doing something.

                    Overall I'm impressed with this product and whilst poundland are doing it for £1 I will continue to use it and if I feel that my hair needs a bit more treatment then I will use an intensive mask to hydrate it hence the 4/5 star rating. However, if it goes up in price or I see a bargin offer in the supermarket I will probably be tempted to use something else.

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                    15.11.2009 12:29
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                    I will be using this more often in future as it seems to go further

                    I recently bought a bottle of the Neutorgeana Clean Replenishing shampoo from Poundland for .......... yes you guessed right a £1. I have noticed that although the supermarkets do seem to have offers on the shampoos and conditioners lately that unless you go early the ones for dry/damaged hair seem to fly off the shelves and are not always as cheap as this.

                    The bottle itself is slightly tappered at the bottom compared to the top as can be seen in the picture and has a push open lid not a screw top so you have to squeeze the amount of shampoo out that you want. The only downside to this, as well as other shampoos is that the bottle is upright so when it comes to then end you need to try and balance it on the lid to make sure you get all of it out. The bottle is clear plastic so you get to see exactly how much is left in the bottle which is useful when you are nearing the end.

                    Neutrogena say that it "gently cleanses and provide added mositure to improve dry and damaged hair". So what's it like to use. I put the normal amount of shampoo on my hair that I use with other brands (this will vary for each person depending on how much hair you have got) and found that it latherd up really well, a bit too well so I find I don't need to use as much as I would with other brands. The shampoo left my hair squeeky clean, which I always find reassuring as I feel like it is properly clean then and it does rinse out really well once you've got rid of all the bubbles.

                    It left my hair clean and it did feel reasonably mositurised which I have found with other brands for dry and damaged hair to not be the case and have left my hair feeling drier than before I started.

                    The shampoo has a mild smell of flowers but this doesn't seem to stay around for long after you have used the conditioner and dried your hair. (I will be reviewing this seperatley)

                    Overall I'm really impressed by this, the price was good and with needing to use less to get the same results as other brands will mean that I can go for longer before needing to buy more. It doesn't have a strong smell that stays in your hair for long but I'm not keen on shampoos and conditioners that have strong fragrances to them. I would recommend this to try it certainly (with conditioner use) left my hair feeling soft and not "dry" as other brands have.

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                    15.11.2009 11:51
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                    I will be buying these again

                    I know that everyone keeps harping on about the recession and the need to save a few pennies here and there but I have been doing this for years as I don't see the point in paying an extra £1 or more for packaging when some of the shops own products are just as nice or if not nicer in some cases.

                    I usually have a packet of crisps with my sandwich at lunch but recently have noticed that this is costing me more and more money so decided to see what I could have that was a little bit cheaper.

                    I already buy the ready salted version of these crisps for my partner but I'm not keen on ready salted crisps so picked up a pack of these for 47p, though the bag itself does say 58p so a bit confusing.

                    The picture above is slightly old as Asda's smart range is now green and white but that's about it. Inside you find 12 bags of crisps, 4 packs of cheese puffs, 4 packs of onion rings and 4 packs of salt and vinger sticks.

                    The bags themselves are slightly smaller than your average packet of walkers and for some reason each flavour has a different size packet. The salt and vinegar sticks are 22g, the onion rings are 16g and the cheese puffs are 18g but you get more than enough contents to not feel like you want to open a second bag straight after.

                    Salt and Vinegar Sticks

                    When you open the packet you do get the smell of salt and vinegar and the sticks are a very yellow colour and about 3 inches long each (as long as they haven't broken). They taste very much like the salt and vinegar sticks I remember having as a child and are very vineagry which might be off putting to people who aren't that keen on this flavour.

                    Onion Rings

                    When you open the pack you get a vague smell of onions (not to be confused with a pickled onion smell) and you see some round rings about 3 inches in circumfrence and bright orange. I'm not quite sure where the bright orange colour comes from as I don't remember seeing any orange onions lately. The packets do say no artifical colours or flavourings so not sure where it comes from. They do have a mild taste of onion but its not overpowering.

                    Cheese puffs

                    When you open the pack you do get a mild smell of cheese and these reminded me very much of Wotsits. They are about 3 inches long and do also look like wotsits. They are a pale yellow colour. They have a nice mild taste of cheese so if your not keen on strong cheese taste will be ideal.

                    These crisps do remind of me of being a child and buying 10p packets of crisps from the local shop there not the best quality crisps but certainly not bad in anyway.

                    Overall I'm impressed by these from a value range and even if you did eat 2 packets a day (not very healthy but nevermind) it wouldn't break the bank as 2 bags of these would still be cheaper than a 6 pack of Walkers. I do mix some Walker's in with these as they are a cheaper crisp but for the money get value and something I will be buying regularly.

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