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I have a section of garden dedicated to wildlife and it looks more or less like a native woodland area. One of my plant choices for this section was a Hawthorn bush or hedge because I have seen them so often in native woods and know how important they are to insects and birds. I did have some concerns about how easy the Hawthorn would be to maintain though since they can grow quite large and they have knotted branches with long, stiff spikes which I worried would make pruning and removing any branches rather difficult. It can be one of the more difficult plants to manage in the garden for this reason but with some care it is just about manageable.
The Hawthorn bush is a native plant which is mostly seen growing wild in woodlands and around farms. There are a variety of species which are slightly different to one another. However, due to bad land management and over-development these important areas which provide food and shelter to wildlife are vanishing. Hawthorn can be planted in gardens although I would recommend having a medium to large sized area for a plant like this.
The Hawthorn is classified as a shrub or bush and tends to grow to around 5-15 metres. When mature the bush tends to look quite knotted up and twisted in on itself. I wouldn't say that it's the most attractive bush when not in flower or when it has it's fruit or berries. The flowers are quite pretty and are small and white, appearing in large, thick clusters, with the heads maturing into small red berries which are very attractive to birds such as blackbirds and redwings.
The bush provides particularly good shelter for garden birds too with the spines of the thorns on the bush being a repellent to predators like cats.
I would advise regular yearly pruning of this bush and it is essential to protect your hands with garden gloves when removing any cut branches. I would also advise planting in an area where you are less likely to spend time. I also wouldn't advise planting this if you have younger children.
However, I'm pleased to have this in my wildlife area and I enjoy watching the insects land on it and birds feeding from the fruits. It also gives me a little bit more privacy in the garden due to the size and shape of the bush. I would recommend planting this if you are heavily invested in creating a rich natural environment for wildlife.
A while ago I was having trouble sleeping and also suffering from nervousness during the day too. I actually suffer from social anxiety and I was feeling overwhelmed by various commitments. It was my aunt that actually told me about using Lavender oil as a calming and mental soothing agent and said that it had helped her during stressful periods in her life. I therefore decided to give it a try.
You can buy lavender oil from many stores including online at places like Amazon as well as in chemist chain stores such as Boots, health stores such as Holland And Barratt and cosmetic stores such as Lush. I bought a 10ml bottle from Boots and it cost me £5.49 which I felt was quite expensive but given the fact that the oil is quite powerful you literally only need to use this in drops so it will last a long time and you get your money's worth.
I was advised to do several things with the oil. The first thing was to put a drop on a cloth handkerchief and carry this around with me when I was out and about. Whenever I was stressed I was advised to smell the handkerchief. I actually find this a really helpful and pleasing thing to do. The smell of the lavender oil is so distinctive and beautiful and when I inhale it the aroma seems to clear my nasal passages and open my lungs right up, calming my breathing and stilling my nervous thoughts. The act of smelling the handkerchief makes me stop and be still for a moment. It's an effective way of calming down a little bit.
I was also told to put some oil on my pillow and to also add some to a bowl of water and leave it in my room. This was to aid my sleeping. I found it soothing to smell this very natural and earthy scent as I was falling asleep and it definitely helped. The oil in the water isn't as noticeable for me unless you use just a small amount of water.
You can also use the oil in your bath water to have a soothing bath time. It's also effective if used as a massage agent if added in a small quantity to a base massage oil. You should not apply this neat to the skin.
I would recommend lavender oil to anyone who has a lot of stress and feels like they need to relax.
The Rowan tree, also known as Mountain Ash, is an excellent choice for those with medium to large sized gardens, those who are enjoy visually striking trees and those who like to garden for wildlife.
These trees are grown easily from sapling size or bigger and I have found mine very easy to maintain. Mine also grew quite quickly into a mature sized tree within just a few years. They are a classified as a small tree or a large shrub (reaching a height of around 10-15 metres) but mine has grown to be quite thin (rather than with a wide spread), skyward pointing and tall so I like to prune it back every couple of years to maintain the smaller size.
The trees have distinctive flat, oval shaped deep green leaves which look symmetrical along each branch. This makes them the tree look somewhat ornamental and very visually stunning. The trees develop bright orangey red fruits or berries which hang in huge grape-like clusters and which are particularly attractive to birds. Blackbirds, redwings, waxwings (if you're lucky) and thrushes find these berries irresistible and nutritious and most years the birds will completely strip my tree of these fruits.
The trees also bring fantastic colour and beauty to the garden during periods when other plants and shrubs are waning. The tree flowers with dense bouquets of delicate white heads which seem attractive to pollinating insects such as bees and wasps. The small berries which develop after the flowering period are particularly eye catching and the leaves of the tree acquire a rusty sheen towards the end of the year and into winter.
I personally am very pleased to have a Rowan tree in my garden and feel that as well as being an attractive feature for me and my family to enjoy it is beneficial to wildlife which is important to me too. I would recommend to gardeners who have the space and time to maintain one of these.
I bought this mower a few years ago. I wanted something light and something inexpensive but good enough quality to be able to cut my medium sized lawn.
The mower is very light in weight and I can lift it with two hands holding the handle. It's quite small in size too with a handle that can move through a large angle so it's also easy to store.
The mower has a rotating core with three small plastic sickle shaped blades attached. These blades tend to snap quite easily if you snag something like a twig or stone but I have found they are quite easy to find and purchase at DIY stores. They are also easy to fit as they simply slip onto a peg on the bottom of the mower.
To start the mower you have to press a large button attached to a section on the handle and then pull a lever below the handle. The lever must be pulled towards yourself at all times to enable the motor to work. This is a great safety feature which means the mower can never run on it's own or keep going when you want it to stop. Simply releasing the lever stops the machine dead.
The instruction leaflet for this mower advised holding the machine at a tilt when first starting it up (not sure why?!) but I find this quite dangerous so I never do it. It starts perfectly regardless without needing to lift it up and expose the spinning blades.
Since the mower is so light it can be pushed around quite easily and it 'slides over the surface of the grass. It is only ever difficult if the surface is not totally level. The mower makes a little bit of noise but it doesn't trouble me. You will probably need an extension cord like me if you have a large lawn.
The mower basically cuts the grass and then spits it back over the surface like a mulch. If you prefer a tidier lawn then this isn't a mower for you. I personally like to leave the grass cuttings as a mulch and nutrient. I would say the mower performs best when grass is not very high and is best cut weekly during the growing season. The grass looks and feels good after using this mower.
I have had a couple of problems with the machine. The motor on the machine has a shield over the top secured by screws and one of the screws came out, causing the shield to wobble until I replaced the screw. Likewise a screw holding the handle came loose and fell out on one side but was replaceable. In terms of maintenance it requires very little. You may need to scrape out grass from the shell of the mower after every cut though to stop the blades clogging and to reduce overall weight.
I thin I paid around £70 for this which I feel is reasonable.
Character-online is a UK based shop online which sells a huge range of popular toys and token items associated with toy brands. Some of the brand names or themed items they offer include My Little Pony, Disney Frozen, Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Doctor Who, Scooby Doo and Postman Pat.
The site tend to sell smaller items such as party bags, mini figures, craft packs and pocket sized items. However, they so also sell some larger items like games, playsets and electronic toys.
Although you can find most of the products at other better known toy retailers the website is good for visiting if you are after something from a particular franchise or you are looking for small gifts or children's collectible items. I personally visited the site to find a number of identical small and cheap toys for a group of children who were coming to a family party. There are lots of items you can get to use in party bags. The site offered me a good quality choice of toy and at a low price.
The individual item pages offer a lot of product information and also provides multiple photos of each item.
The website requires registration before you buy anything and then they accept credit and debit cards as well as Paypal payment which gives total protection over your purchase. I chose to pay this way because I wasn't familiar with the website but I had no problems with the payment or the order in general. The firm are actually quite active on social media pages and you can interact with them via Facebook, Twitter and view their Youtube videos too.
The firm charge a rather high postage charge at £4.99 although you get a professionally packed parcel and delivery service. I got my parcel within about a week of ordering.
I would recommend to individual consumers looking for good quality toys and a no fuss service.
LoudClothing.com is a website that sells a particular range of clothing and accessories. They sell a huge range of T-shirts, hoodies and caps branded with music band logos and popular or cult TV show themes. They also sell related jewelry, wristbands and things like mugs and token glassware. To give you an idea of the kind of things you might see on the site they have a big Star Wars collection with popular bands such as Iron Maiden and Pearl Jam featured heavily. Lots of items on the site generally have a rather cult or quirky design rather than anything in particular.
I personally have an interest in cult and sci-fi television and film so I have quite a large collection of themed items in my home. I did not now about this site until quite recently and when I went onto it I was astonished at how cheap the items were and how big their range is. Their normal prices are quite low but they even have a sales section which have ridiculously low prices. As someone who buys these kind of items elsewhere I can confirm that this site really does have low prices.
The website sells items for both men and women although the sizes are put into general categories like S, M and L and they also have women's fit items so it's helpful to know what your size might be before purchasing. Despite this there is a helpful size guide on every page which shows the general size across the chest.
The site does charge a very small delivery charge but it's only £2 which I feel is a reasonable charge. They allow payment with credit and debit cards and also allow Paypal payments which can make it a lot easier to fulfill the checkout process.
I'm happy with the quality of the products I've bought so far from this site and will gladly purchase items here again. I would recommend it to anyone who loves wearing or collecting clothing with cult designs. It's also a great place for gifts for anyone who is a classic music fan or for those who love sci-fi and cult television.
I used to be addicted to these Cadbury Boost bars as a teenager and eat one everyday on my break time. However, as I grew up I turned away from a lot of sweet shop confectionery and started trying to eat more healthily. I remain a chocoholic, however, and still eat a lot of different chocolate brands. This Boost bar, however, was one I hadn't touched in many years. I had just assumed it would be too rich and gooey for an adult. I only actually tried this again because a loved one bought a bar for me after I started reminiscing about loving them in my childhood! After tasting them again I was literally on the floor crying out in pleasure. They are still absolutely divine and, although they are very rich and obviously not a healthy treat they are so satisfying!
The bars I have was sold individually and contains 48.5g of product. The wrapper looks almost like that of a energy bar sold at gyms. It's rather snazzy and bright with a hi-tech, futuristic look. The wrapper is printed with information about the brand. A small calorific value chart is shown on the front wrapper whilst full ingredients, more detailed nutritional analysis, brand information and other important details are shown on the back of the wrapper. The product is stamped with the 'suitable for vegetarian' logo. A bar provides 250 calories and 14g of fat which is quite a lot so be careful about how many of these you eat!
The bar seems unchanged from the 'olden days' in taste and structure. It's comprised of a soft, slightly powdery chocolate flavoured rolled core which contains small balls of shortbread biscuit. In my youth these were actually called 'Biscuit Boosts' among a range of flavours but now this seems to be the main variety. Around this powdery centre is a layer of soft chewy caramel which is covered with a layer of Cadbury's milk chocolate. The bar is softer and easier to chew than I remember it being in the past so perhaps they have softened the toffee layer a little bit. Other than it is is the same. The textures together feels like eating a very fine pudding. The soft biscuity filling melts in the mouth with the caramel layer feeling gooey whilst the chocolate is creamy and delicious. The flavours are also delicious combined. The whole bar has a unique flavour combining the sweet roasted tones of shortbread with sweet, vanilla caramel and creamy rich milk chocolate.
It's a chocolate bar I'm glad I've rediscovered and I will no doubt be buying this on a regular basis. I would recommend to anyone who likes their sweets and enjoys something a bit chewy and gooey!
DK.com is the website for the book publisher Dorling Kindersley. It's a site that shows you what books the company have available and provides information about these books. However, you can not purchase the books from this site although the website does redirect to other sellers such as Amazon and Waterstones.
The website has a number of categories of books which are all general information books rather than fiction or creative writing. The categories include gardening, science, languages, food and drink, hobbies, business etc. They also have a children's book section although again, the books are photographic, illustrated or reference type books or guides.
The site awards you the opportunity to view the inside pages of their publications which is quite handy and the quality of photos on the website is excellent. You can find out which formats the books are published in and this includes information about e-book formats.
As well as this the DK.com website provides information about associated brands. For instance the countdown host Carol Vorderman has a range of math's books published by DK and Mary Berry has a range of cookbooks. This can be helpful if you are interested in a certain subject, brand or celebrity.
The website also has a helpful interactive section where users can find out more information on a number of topics such as Education, art and craft, Lego, Food and Drink, Star wars and more. There are things like in depth articles, activity sheets, advice and instruction, videos and more. All of these things are connected to the idea of purchasing books relating to the content and what is provided on the website is more than enough to convince that the books DK publish are of excellent quality!
This is a well designed website and helpful to visit if you want some ideas about which books might be a good choice for you and your children. I think the website is especially useful for parents of children who are looking for good quality educational books and website content.
I am a real chocoholic and buy lots of different brands to consume. I recently purchased a bar of this Sainsburys Basics White Chocolate. I have tried shop's own or basic brands before but I have to say that I feel of all the different bars I've tried this Sainsbury's white chocolate is by far the best I've tried. It rivals even big brand names like Nestle Milky Bar.
The chocolate comes in a 100g sized bar which only costs 35p at the moment. The wrapper is a plastic one with perforated edges to make opening easier. The wrapper is quite plain in design and it does LOOK like a cheap chocolate bar, but don't let this fool you!
The front of the packaging has a easy to read nutritional chart whilst the back of the packaging shows full ingredients, more detailed nutritional values and specifically calorific values and brand contact information. The product is labelled as suitable for vegetarians and it contains "5 servings" according to the brand. The chocolate is not suitable for anyone with wheat or nut allergies due to the factory conditions during manufacturing.
There are 547 calories per 100g of this chocolate and 31g of fat. Per strip of squares, which is 3 squares, contains 109 calories and 6.2g of fat.
The chocolate is in an almost flat slab with just small indents to break each piece off into a square. Each square is marked with a pattern of lines. What I like about the chocolate is that it feels thick and chunky when you put it in your mouth. It's texture is velvety smooth and it melts into a sweet, dreamy cream. It's very satisfying and delicious. It does not at all taste like a shop's own brand chocolate and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who really loves white chocolate but who wants to save a bit of money too!
You can find this at Sainsburys in the UK in their confectionary aisle. At 35p it is slightly more expensive than Asda, Morrisons and Tesco's own brand white chocolate (5p more!) but it's definitely the best out of all of these brands.
I buy these regularly for my two pet dogs as they thoroughly enjoy eating them as a treat. I actually wasn't sure prior to buying them for the first time that they would like them because of the fact they are dry biscuits but in fact they seem to enjoy both the flavour and the texture. They particularly seem to like the fact that these biscuits have an extra crunchy consistency!
I always purchase these in a small 400g box although I believe you can get these in larger packs if you need them. The 400g sized box is the one sold most often in the stores I visit and it also lasts until y next big shopping trip so it is fine for me.
The box has a perforated corner which you can press in and then tear back to make a dispensing hole. The cardboard can be tucked back under to keep the bones fresh too. The package is well designed and suits the impression I have of the brand, Pedigree. There is lots of product information printed on the box including the benefits of the products to your dogs. This includes the fact that the bones contain omega 3, known to be good for the heart, as well as a host of vitamins and minerals including calcium for strong bones and teeth.
The bones are around a couple of inches long and are coated in a glossy brown substance. They are dry but a warning that even a little bit of moisture can make these sticky. They are not ideal for carrying around in a pocket if it starts to rain outside. They can even turn sticky if your hands are warm! They are best given straight from the box!
My dogs relish these bones. I have a smaller terrier and a large springer spaniel and I often snap a bone in two and give just half to my smaller dog. The bones can be snapped in half without creating any mess. My dogs seem to love the smell, texture and taste of the bones. They do smell very meaty and rich and when they bite down on them they make an incredible crunching sound. I would say that medium to large dogs would be able to cope with these bones but for much smaller dogs with little jaws they might be a bit too crunchy and hard.
However, they make the perfect reward for my own dogs and I will continue to buy them as long as my dogs enjoy them! You can purchase these from many stores including major supermarkets, pet stores like Pets At Home and general stores like Wilkinsons. They cost me around £1.70 up to £2 a box which I believe is a reasonable price.
This Pure Fruit Pineapples, Bananas and Coconuts smoothie blend is my favourite Innocent Smoothie. I first tried it last year during the summer and it's the perfect flavour for a delicious cooling drink in the sun.
Innocent smoothies are fairly expensive especially in comparison to other smoothie brands but I do think they are worth it for the flavour and texture. This particular carton cost me £3 for 750ml. It's a smaller carton size than most other drinks I buy but I would say it's big enough for this drink because it's a drink you probably only want to drink a few times as a treat rather than for everyday.
This particular combination of fruits is quite creamy and thick. It's a pale yellow colour and it has a wonderful aroma of fresh coconut and ripe banana when you pour it out. It's so thick that it coagulates in the dispensing nozzle neck and you may need to scoop out the thickest cream with your finger or the end of a knife.
The flavour is quite mild and I would say that banana is the most obvious flavour. There are hints of pineapple which come through and the coconut milk is detectable in the aftertaste. The drink actually contains a small amount of pressed apple, orange and lemon. There are no other ingredients. The fruits used are shown in photo form on the side of the carton. There is also an easy read nutrtional chart which shows me that the product contains a great deal of vitamin C as well as fibre and protein.
The smoothie is very filling, more so than other fruit drinks probably because of the flesh of the banana is quite bulky and coconut milk is quite heavy too. Therefore this is a drink I often just have on it's own rather than with food. It's delicious and refreshing.
I would definitely purchase this drink again as it's very good quality and has a flavour which I love. It's also unique as I have found no other smoothie blend which uses this particular combination of ingredients. You can find the drink at selected supermarkets in the UK.
This product should be used alongside the Jerome Russell cream peroxide. The two products create a strong bleach formula when mixed which will lighten hair through 6-9 shades. You should be aware that the cream peroxides are sold separately in little 75ml bottles. You can choose to get the 30% volume or 40% volume cream peroxides to use with the high lift powder bleach. I personally have to use the 40% volume because my hair is quite dark.
The product comes in a small cardboard box which has lots of information printed on the sides and back. The brand explain clearly that the contents of the box are simply four sachets of high lift powder bleach and an instruction leaflet. You also get some protective gloves. Everything else you may need such as a mixing bowl and brush you will have to provide yourself. I recommend saving these items from a highlighting kit you may have used in the past.
There is a very helpful chart on the back showing the expected colour the formula might turn your hair. If you have black hair the bleaching process is not recommended! If you have dark hair like me then the colour results given are described as "warm blonde" which I would agree with although the shade on the box is slightly more 'pure' than my actual results.
You get four 25g sachets in the box. They are foil so need to be opened with scissors. I recommend standing back when pouring out the powder as it can be an irritant if you breathe it in. You generally only need one sachet and one bottle per bleaching session unless your hair is really long and you are bleaching for the first time so need to cover root to tip.
I generally find that it works out much cheaper for me to purchase a box of these bleach sachets along with four bottles of cream peroxide than it does for me to buy a highlighting kit from the same brand or from any other brand. I would therefore recommend using this if you regularly highlight or lighten your hair.
The product can be bought at shops like Superdrug and Boots although I personally find Savers to be the cheapest outlet.
I have been bleaching my hair for about fifteen years now as I have naturally dark hair which looks very dull and witch-like when it isn't highlighted. I originally started out using highlight kits like the L'oreal kit but after a of couple years of practice I realised I could do this without a kit using only the base bleaching products. Jerome Russell sell the cream peroxide and bleach powder separately. They sell two versions of this cream bleach - one at 30% volume intended for lighter hair and this one at 40% volume which is meant for darker hair and which lightens the hair through more shades.
My hair is dark brown so I always have to use this 40% version. Just a warning that the bottles are very similar to look at and you really have to read the text to ensure you purchase the right one. Most stores that sell this product sell both versions and this 40% volume one is usually slightly more expensive than the 30% volume one.
The bottle contains 75mls or 2.64 fl. oz. of cream peroxide fluid. This should be used with the sachets of Jerome Russell High Lift Powder Bleach which can be bought separately. You get four sachets per box and one sachet is to be used alongside one bottle of this cream peroxide. You need to provide everything else such as mixing trays, cap, brush etc. yourself.
You need to shake this well before opening. I do find that the consistency of the fluid is not always the same. Sometimes it is slightly thicker than at other times - this may be due to how it has been stored previously, I'm not entirely sure. It is quite difficult to pour out due to it's smoothie-like texture though and I often find myself tapping the top of the bottle to dispense the liquid. You have to use this all in one go and can not store anything in the bottle.
When using with the high lift powder bleach this formula will lift hair shades up to 6-9 shades. I find that this makes my hair quite light (from warm brown to bright blonde) and it doesn't go through those unpleasant shades or copper that some bleach mixes can create.
It's basically a lot cheaper to buy this bottle and a box of bleach sachets than a whole highlighting kit so once you know how to bleach your hair yourself I would recommend buying this. A bottle costs around £1.50-1.70 whilst the box of four sachets costs around £4.99 and a box will last me 4-6 months.
These are available to purchase at stores like Superdrug, Boots and Savers.
This review also appears on Ciao!
I recently purchased this for use in my digital camera. I opted to buy this particular card as I needed a good quality branded card with at least 8GB of space to hold a large amount of pictures and video as well as to improve the quality of my photos. It was also one of the cheapest SDHC cards available on Amazon. It was less than £10 on the site and I recommend purchasing here as these types of products are generally cheaper than other stores.
The card is sturdy and marked with it's information on the outer label. It has a lock facility on the side to enable protection of your data. On the back of the card there is some printed information including the fact that it is made in Japan.
I often have issues with cards failing or not responding properly when inserted into a card reader but I've had no problems with this card so far. It feels a bit harder and stiffer than other cards I've had so I think it's slightly better quality material. It enables me to take great quality photographs with my Canon Ixus 165. It is interacting well with other equipment and I believe it is very durable.
I think the Kingston brand is a good bet if you are looking for a great quality card for your equipment. I definitely intend to purchase Kingston brand cards in the future.
I'm reviewing Ariel Excel Gel Actlift vairety. It's a laundry cleaning agent that I purcahsed recently because of it's low price compare to market competitors. It cost me £3 for a bottle which provides up to 16 washes and contains 592ml of gel fluid.
The bottle is small, white plastic and totally recyclable after use. It has a clear strip down one edge so you can see how much product is left. This is helpful when you are nearing the bottom. The bottle sits on it's lid so the fluid is always near the dispensing hole and therefore easy to squeeze out.
There are labels on the bottle which explain a lot about the product. This information includes ingredients and warnings. The product is marked as an irritant so shouldn't be touched for long periods of time with bare skin. As such the gel isn't suitable for hand washing. It's also marked as being unsuitable for wool and pre-washing.
The gel is quite thick and a turquoise green colour. I would describe the fragrance as being soapy and fresh. It is a scent that is suitable for the whole family. A dosing cup is attached to the top of the bottle so measuring out the required amount per wash is very easy.
This gel is suitable for both whites and colours. I actually find it very powerful and I would warn to be careful with items that are prone to losing dye or colour very easily. This gel can fade such items rapidly. However, the strong formula means it cleans well and is especially perfect for whites and for getting rid of tough stains.
I'm happy with my purchase and would buy this again. It is available to buy at major supermarkets.