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My exercise equipment is often bought on impulse and the USA Pro Jump Rope is a typical example. Cost was the factor that attracted me, and at just £4 it certainly appeared to be a bargain. I do enjoy skipping during exercise and it is great for warming up and down with through my exercises. The look is quite similar to the York Skipping Rope I have used, so I thought it would be a pretty decent product to use.
Skipping does offer quite a bit of a workout in itself, requiring concentration, rhythm, co-ordination and endurance. As this is a 'Pro' 'Jump Rope' I did expect it to be of a certain standard and upon opening the packaging I did feel I were getting a good deal. The colouring of the handles is quite neutral and the tough foam wrapped around the black base has a really 'Pro' look to it. Comfort can be an issue with exercise equipment adn you need to get on with the products you work with to ensure only tiredness holds you back! The cord of the rope itself is of a fine and tight weave, giving a really high quality feel and look. As the rope itself is black this works well with the handles and the overall finish is impressive. The rope itself is long enough for me and I am 6'1".
Everything seems to add up. The quality, looks and price, but how is it to use? The short answer would be neither positive or negative, though it is best to go into detail. The positives are obviously the above points, but upon using the 'Jump Rope' I did find a couple of things that annoyed me. To start with there is the weave of the rope, which soon begins to show wear if you insist on not using it on wooden flooring. If you use the rope on a more resistant surface then the rope will soon start to fray and look tatty, this is partly due to the weave and quality of materials I believe. The other point has to be the grip handles. It is great to have foam padding wrapped around the handles, but I can't say I found this particularly comforting after an intense workout lifting weights etc.
I think if the handles were padding more generously then the USA Pro Jump Rope would have scored better, but ultimately the quality of the product doesn't live up to its looks and you will soon notice this once using the rope. The quality of the foam may also lead to other issues, perhaps making the foam smell from the sweat it absorbs. I think the quality of foam is poor and really could do with being replaced by rubber, which is much more effective on these types of product from my experience.
Plasters are a staple item in any First Aid Kit and the Asda Waterproof Plasters are something I purchased recently when I popped into Asda. Priced at under a pound for 40 plasters they are very cheap indeed, though unfortunately this is also reflected in the performance of the product.
There are a variety of sizes in the box and therefore you can select the right size for the cut or graze you are dealing with. Often boxes of plasters just have strip plasters in, so this is a positive having a variety of shapes and sizes in one box. The plasters didn't inspire confidence from the start, as they are very thin and flimsy and although they have a waterproof coating and perforations to allow your skin to breathe I didn't find the experience good at all.
The plasters do appear to stick well once applied to your skin, and they do last for a few hours. Depending on where you position the plaster obviously effects how long it will stay on your skin, but I find the Asda Waterproof Plasters to offer no such resistance to wear and it is only a matter of time before it falls off. This is often unexpected and can mean you losing the plaster without realising for some time. I think the adhesion is something Asda could really work on and therefore have a much better performing plaster.
The other point to note is the waterproof qualities of the Asda Waterproof Plasters. They certainly won't last through having a shower, or doing the washing-up. I have even found that if I am walking outside in the rain, that the plasters can easily fall off in such conditions. The top surface of the plasters are waterproof, but water can easily get into the adhesive layer and overall I am not convinced that these are very waterproof at all. The only circumstances in which I would possibly find them useful is that if you just used them on finger cuts. By wrapping the plaster around on itself the adhesion is much better on itself than your skin, so they do last a lot longer by using them on fingers or toes if you suffer from blisters.
Overall I wouldn't recommend the Asda Waterproof Plasters. There are other similarly priced variety packs of plasters available from other brands and they do perform better than these. I am mose disappointed by the performance and I won't be buying these again.
I go through phases where I am fitness mad, I also do like to be lazy sometimes and not exercise for a few weeks. The Body Sculpture Body Gym is the ideal product for myself as it can be packed away when not in use and it is out of your way. The product name may leave you a bit disappointed after looking at the image of this product. However, I think 'Body Gym' is given as the name as it can help you work a number of areas of your body.
The Body Sculpture Body Gym doesn't look very well made and at first I were a little sceptical as to how it would help me work out and also how it would stand up to the intensity of my workouts. The Body Gym is effectively a steel frame which is actually of a very sturdy construction. Looks are deceptive, as this can take a good deal of weight when attached to your door frame and my dad is 100kg+ and he doesn't have any issues. The frame consists of three steel tubes, two of which are curved and are attached in parallel to each other attached to the main straight tube. Either end of the straight steel tube has rubber stoppers and these are designed to act as feet and prevent the unit slipping whilst you are doing push-ups. There are also a strategically placed foam covering on the steel tubing for comfort and grip. The silver coated steel coupled with the black rubber and foam works well together and overall it does look rather smart.
Priced at around £15 the Body Sculpture Body Gym is well worth the cost. This is more than just a frame to hang on the door for pull-ups and can also be used on the floor to assist you in push-ups aswell. he versatile nature of the Body Gym appealed to me when I saw it, as having different products for each type of exercise is a bit of a waste. I do attach it to the door frame, which is literally done in seconds and relies on your weight to hold it in place. The grip is sturdy and it never moves out of place, so I am confident in its strong hold. I also use it at the base of the door frame and this allows me to do sit-ups as the Body Gym holds my feet to the floor and also assists me in this way. The final exercise I do with the Body Gym is push-ups, where the rubber grips are at their most effective and prevent the product from slipping on my wooden flooring.
The simplicity of the Body Gym is something that appealed to me whilst I were shopping for gym equipment and it has its benefits over my previous workout bar that I owned. The Body Gym is very easy to screw together and literally ook me ten minutes. There is a basic diagram and instructions for putting together the Body Gym, though it is all pretty much self explanatory as you unpackage the various bits and bobs. Build quality isn't something I would mark this product down on, as I havn't had any such issues, the only reservations were before using the Body Gym, as it does require an element of trust when you are hanging from such a lightweight and flimsy looking product from your doorframe!
If you want to get/keep fit then the Body Gym could be the product for you. Its versatility means you can use this one piece of kit for a number of exercises. This also means you can work various areas of your body in just the one item and therefore saves on space. I cannot find any negative points in all honesty and will continue to use the Body Gym in my regime.
When I am out in the countryside or taking pictures outside of groups of people, for example, it can be difficult to find a sturdy surface to rest your camera on. I do often have a shaky hand and this can affect picture quality. Tripods are great for those with timers on their camera as you can simply set the equipment up and get in the picture yourself. The Hama Star 78 Mono is a 'monopod'. Tripods have three legs, so it makes sense that monopods have just the single leg. Obviously there are advantages and disadvantages of each type of 'pod' and it depends what type of images you like to take.
If you are the kind of person that uses a tripod so you can get in on the images yourself then the Hama Star 78 Mono isn't for you for obvious reasons. If you are more interested in taking a walk through the countryside and taking crisp and clean images of rivers or landscapes then there are a few advantages to the monopod. Firstly is cost, the '78' is available for £9.99 on the Amazon website at the moment. Tripods from the same manufacturer cost from around £15, so price is slightly in favour of the monopod. The other reason is weight and size. The Monopod is telescopic to some extent, allowing you to reduce the 178cm maximum height down quite considerably. This is a big plus when you are a fan of long walks as you can just attach it to your rucksack without it getting in the way. Also the weight is very reasonable, weighing under 700grams also benefits those interested in using it on long walks. Another thing to consider is that often level ground cannot be found, so tripods would struggle under these conditions anyway.
The advantages of a monopod are clear to see, but it depends what you wish to use such a product for. The 3D pan head allows you to fully adjust the head of the attachment where the camera sits. There is also a mini spirit level which allows to accurately get a level image. The plate at the top of the monopod has a quick-release system in place which allows you to promptly change cameras quickly and easily. Additional quick-release plates are available seperately, but the mechanism on the supplied plate means you can quickly pack your camera away and move onto the next location.
A carrying bag is included in the package. This is tough and robust and mine has spent a lot of time outside without showing much wear. I havn't had any issues with adjusting the size of the monopod and this can be done by simply twisting knobs. The carrying case is a simple black number, with the '78' made from lightweight aluminium with tough plastic in addition to this. The design is easy to get along with and there are no annoying quirks to contend with compared to other models I own.
Overall I wouldn't like to go over the top with my praise for this product, as monopods do have their disadvantages aswell. For the price it is a decent product, though, and is robust enough to last a good few years in all elements of the British Seasons. On balance it has to be seen in a favourable light and the simple and lightweight construction lends itself very well to my use.
We all have gadgets and kitchen appliances that lay dormant in a cupboard cluttering the place up. Gifts that were recieved and hardly ever used. The juicer is high on such a list of items a lot of us own but which we hardly use. Now and again we have the urge to eat more healthily and the juicer is a great way to help you atowards your five a day. I have owned mine some time now and get fairly regular use from it.
The Philips HR1861 looks the part. The juicer is well made and both feels and looks robust. The brushed stainless steel finish on the main body of the juicer gives a very professional and expensive look, it has to be noted that this isn't a cheap and cheerful machine though. Priced at around £80 online I bought it after a lot of deliberation. Juicers can cost anything from under £20 to over a hundred pounds, so it is always best to work out what your needs are before purchase.
Philips is a well-known brand and is one I can trust for both quality and value for money. The looks are obviously a major selling point as it does look the part. The 700W motor is of a healthy power and has some much needed grunt. There are two speed options. You may think this is disappointing, but I find it adequate and the juicer does handle most things I throw into it. The juicer can handle fairly large chunks of fruit, and nothing I have put down the chute has been a problem for the powerful device. Harder fruits such as apples and pineapple are cut down to size reasonably well and I am most impressed with the juicing power to hand here.
When I first began using the juicer it was very simple to set up and operate. I did look over the instructions to see if there were anything glaringly obvious I had forgotten to do, but setup and operation are a doddle. There is a large jug that comes with the juicer which is ideal as it can hold a good amount of fruit. This is simply put into the front of the juicer. There is then a pulp collector which catches the pulp from the fruit, allowing you to do a lot of juicing before it needs emptying. The pulp collector also ensures that fruit juices are very clean and pulp-free. If you don't like bits in your freshly squeezed fruit juice then the HR1861 could be for you!
Cleaning the juicer is also an important consideration. As the main jug and pulp-collector are easy to access and remove this makes the job much easier, and there are no fiddly areas that are difficult to clean either. The seperate componants are dishwasher safe, so this is another bonus if you have one of these. I often just rinse the various items straight after use, as there is nothing worse than cleaning off dried orange pulp.
Although the price may seem a little bit steep I still think this juicer is worth the money. Juicing is simple and the motor is powerful enough to handle even hard apples and pineapple. The juice extraction is also very efficient, meaning that you get as much juice from the fruit as possible. The design is also very clean and sexy, meaning it could happily sit on your kitchen worksurface without having to hide it away. I award the Philips HR1861 a full 5 Dooyoo stars as it is an excellent all-round juicer.
I were first introduced to Dr Hauschka as a brand through the reviews I had read on Dooyoo. Generally there is a good vibe about Dr Hauschka products and I have used them ever since my first collection of purchases. The Dr Hauschka Lemon Body Oil is packed full of citrusy fragrance and as soo as I opened the bottle I loved the product immediately! The intense scent is due to this Body Oil containing oil which is extracted from the peel of the lemon, aswell as extracts of lemon and also lemongrass to intensify the aroma further.
The packaging is quite typical of Dr Hauschka and gives little away and appears almost as if no imagination was used to produce the label or glass bottle. The 75ml bottle has a gold cap which allows for easy dispensing of the product in small quantities. £19 is quite a steel price to pay in all fairness, but Dr Hauschka products all fall under a similar price range and often you do get what you pay for with this brand.
Application is fairly simple, I just apply the Lemon Body Oil to my skin once I have got out of the bath. I find this the best time as A. I am unclothed and it is a convenient time to apply, and B. The skins pores are open and so absorb the oil easier. The fragrance of the lemongrass and lemon is very invigorating and does make me more alert and sensitive. Although it is obviously reasonably oily due to the organic sunflower seed oil, my hands are not left feeling greasy afterwards - perhaps partly due to the fact my skin absorbs it reasonably quickly. My skin feels much more refreshed and invigorated after using this product, as with most Dr Hauschka products which make me feel much better about myself and wellbeing.
The health benefits (according to Dr Hauschka) are that the 'invigorating oil enhances elasticity and helps to discourage cellulite.' I agree with the first part about it being invigorating, and I can imagine the health benefits including improving elasticity of the skin. Discouraging cellulite is another way of saying this product will improve the health of your skin, but it won't treat cellulite - this is the prevention rather than the cure.
I would recommend the Dr Hauschka Lemon Body Oil to anyone wishing to treat themselves to a refreshing and invigorating sensation after bathing. I am unsure if it would work well with the similar Lemon Bath Oil that Dr Hauschka product, or whether this is designed as an alternative application choice. One thing I am sure of is that the Dr Hauschka Lemon Body Oil comes highly recommended.
If you have read a few of my previous reviews you may well be aware of my use of the Dr Hauschka range of bodycare products. There are a wide range of wierd and wonderful treatments, some are designed to treat certain areas of your body, but their Lemon Bath is designed for the whole of your body.
Lemon Oil will - as far as Dr Hauschka claims, improve circulation, reduce cellulite and generally give you an inspiring experience. I have to agree with the final claim, as I have felt a lot better about things after a bath in the Dr Hauschka Lemon Bath, but I am undecided about the other two points as it is difficult to notice such things over a short period of use of this product.
Dr Hauschka do brand their products a little bit clinical for my liking, though I think this can give confidence to the user as it is quite professional indeed. The small glass vial contains enough product for dozens of baths, the 150ml size being generous enough. Costing £19 for this quantity is a little on the high side, but this is expected of Dr Hauschka products as you are getting a lot more than a run-of-the-mill bubble bath after all!
The Lemon Bath does smell very citrusy and I immediately sensed the zesty lemon as I removed the cap. As this is bath oil then you should not expect any bubbles, but once I get into the bath I notice the presence of the lemon oil straight away on my skin. It doesn't feel oily in a bad way, but it soon smoothes and softens my skin. I like to keep the door and window closed when I use the Lemon Bath, as this intensifies the fragrance of the lemon as I soak. Lemon Oil is suitable for all skin types, so it won't dry out already dry skin.
After the bathing experience in the Lemon Bath I noticed my skin feel softer and I also felt more refreshed and lively afterwards. This product has had a positive effect on me, but I can imagine the same results as I get with Radox, for example. The price is a little bit expensive, and although it is versatile as it can be used to wash your face with (just add a few drops to the sink water) it is still overpriced. Overall I have to award three stars as the product did have a positive effect on me, I just wonder if Dr Hauschka are trying to make this a product to appeal on scent and not results.
A lot of laptops and netbooks come complete with two USB ports, capable of accommodating your mouse, digital camera for image transfer, and the optional USB Mug Warmer(!). Whatever the reason for you running out of USB ports on your computer the solution is right here, the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 4-Port Hub.
I have owned a lot of Belkin computer accessories in the past and continue to find them both affordable and practical. This particular model is compatible with USB 2.0 which is the second generation of USB ports. The benefit of this is a faster transfer of data and overall improved connectivity. As this product has 4 ports it gives you the ability to turn a single USB Port into four ports, instantly quadrupling the capacity.
Installation is very simple, I simply attached the device via an available USB Port and away I went. All I had to do was attach the hub and then connect my various devices to it. I sometimes connect a printer via this hub, also my mouse, digital camera and USB stick. File transfer works exactly the same as with using the original USB ports and there is no noticeable lag in transfer rate due to the hubs intervention.
The hub is self-powered, meaning it draws the required power from its connection to your laptop, for example. This is required to light the various LED's which are in place to indicate there is power to the unit, also to show which ports are in use at any given time. The simplicity of the design is typical of a Belkin product, with no fancy ideas just a simple yet effective end product. The casing of the hub is very durable, giving good protection to the componants within. The Belkin branding is also present on the top of the hub and it is of a good weight and gives me the impression it isn't shoddily knocked together for pennies.
The USB-USB cable is supplied and although it isn't as long I would have hoped, it still is adequate for the job. Longer US-USB cables can be bought, though, with a 5metre cable costing around £4 online. I have seen these hubs for around £12 on Amazon, I think I paid around £20 for mine! I would recommend the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Hub to anyone with an expanding list of computer accessories that they wish to attach via the USB ports.
I have owned a small number of shredders in the past, both manual and electrical ones. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Generally speaking manual shredders are inexpensive, with electronic powered devices often costing more, also with more potential problems! I came across the Tesco Value 7litre Paper Shredder and Bin and I thought it would give me the best of both worlds, with the inexpensive pricetag and the electrical operation!
Priced at around £9 it isn't a very expensive electric powered shredder so I didn't get my hopes up too much with the results. I expected the speed to be a little pedestrian, with sheet quantity to also be limited. This shredder is said to take five sheets at a time, but I find this can be a struggle so I only usually put two or maybe three sheets through it at any one time. One thing I have learned with basic shredders like this is that you should never ask too much of them.
The shredderitself isn't cheap or tacky looking and does look more than £9 worth of gadget. The black plastic 'lid' of the shredder is fairly plain, with just the shredder instruction/warning decals to break the colour up. The 'bin' is also plain black and overall the look is quite smart. Tesco have ensured they keep costs to a minimum as far as looks are concerned, as the opinion will ultimately be formed on the performance of the shredder in action.
As I have briefly covered, this shredder will happily chomp away at two or three sheets of paper at one time. It isn't brisk at such a task, but it does carry it out reasonably efficiently. I have tried feeding the shredder thin strips of cardboard, but this isn't advised and I certainly wouldn't recommend relying on being able to do such a thing.
Operation is very simple. There is an 'On/Off' switch on the shredder which is pretty much self explanatory. All you need to do then is feed the paper you wish to shred gently into the slot at the top of the unit. Shredding commences and the sheets are shredded to 7mm strips - more than adequate for shredding bills and written documents. If a sheet of paper does become stuck in the mechanism you can use the 'reverse' button in order to try and help the shredder out. If the paper still won't budge then I have in the past had to resort to taking the shredder away from the 'bin' and giggling the paper free from the other side. It is advised you switch the power off at this point to avoid any nasty surprises.
Other than the minor issues with paper jams and the fact this isn't a heavy duty unit I am pleasantly surprised with the efficiency of the Tesco Value shredder. The price is certainly something that will attract the eye, though you may then question how good this shredder actually is. The answer is that overall the Tesco Value 7litre Paper Shredder and Bin is well worth the £9 pricetag. Looks are not everything, and with a simple operation and a not too forceful hand, I am sure you will both get along very well.
If you have read some of my past reviews of Blackberry cases you will already know how fussy I am when it comes to the right design and materials, so I won't just settle for a half-hearted attempt to protect my Smartphone - I expect quality and practicality and obviously affordability.
The RIM Blackberry Folding Leather Case is an official RIM (Research In Motion) Blackberry product, so immediately all the benefits of this sping to mind. Official products are generally high quality and very importantly they usually always fit the product they are designed for to perfection. This particular case does fit very well indeed and looks like it was designed for my exact handset, something which isn't always the case.
Priced at around £10 it isn't all that expensive. In the past I have found official accessories to be over-priced, but I don't think RIM wish to take advantage of its customers. Official chargers cost around a fiver, so this clearly isn't a one-off and it is a most pleasant surprise. The clamshell design of the case means that you simply unclip the leather case to access your phone. The benefit of this is not just easy access, it also means that your phone (particularly the screen) is protected from damage. The leather case itself is finished to a high standard and I havn't any problems such as stitching coming loose. The leather case is also very well padded and gives good protection from the odd accidental drop. When I first used the folding case I noticed the strong smell of quality leather, so this is no cheap faux leather plastic.
The jet black colour isn't all that plain due to the branding and detailed stitching which is apparent throughout the entire case. The edges of the folding case carry extra padding for those moments when you drop your phone, and protection overall is very decent. You can attach your phone to the folding case either way up, so you can open the case so that the flap is at the top or the bottom of your phone, so there is some flexibility on that front. I think the way the case has been designed is very respectable, and there is surprisingly nothing that majorly annoys me.
The professional feel and look of the case is a major selling point to me, and is the main reason for actually sticking with this case for a while. I can be very fussy, but this case meets my needs and doesn't hinder the operation of any of the features of my Blackberry Smartphone (other than the camera). Make no compromises with the RIM Blackberry Folding Leather Case.
I wouldn't say I am OCD when it comes to cleanliness, but I like to keep on top of bacteria and have a working environment that both looks and feels clean. Computer equipment can often be neglected with regards to cleaning, it also holds some real breeding grounds when it comes to germs. If there a few people in your household using the same mouse and the same keyboard then such things can get forgotten about and left for someone else to do. Germs can be left on the keyboard, such as if you forget to wash your hands after using the bathroom, or coughing at the desk can spread germs also.
We have established that computer accessories can harbor bacteria and so giving your keyboard a thorough clean now and again is quite important. I always like to keep some of these Lindy Wet Wipes to hand for an occassional wipe down of the keyboard and mouse. These wet wipes are a general use wet wipe and can be used around the house and not just at the computer desk.
The packaging is quite simple, coming in a cylindrical container with a typical flip lid to access the wipes which are dispensed through a narrow space at the top of the container. The label is also quite basic, offering an image of a computer screen to give you an idea of how the wipes can be used, and the Lindy branding and product name also present.
The wipes themselves are of a reasonable size, but there thickness isn't anything to get excited about. I don't find myself putting my fingers through the wipes whilst using them, but they could be a little thicker and stronger. The container houses 100 wipes and costs around £4, so they are not cheap by any means. I think the price is a little on the high side, but this is to be expected. The wipes are not 'too' moist, but they do allow me to tackle stubborn marks on the laptop or PC screen and the end result is always to a high standard. As the wipes are not dripping wet they give me the confidence to use them on all my computer essentials such as mouse and keyboard, as I know they are not going to damage the internals. These wipes produce their best results on monitors, though, as they leave a sparkly clean and smear-free finish.
I much prefer the Lindy Wet Wipes than using a duster or damp cloth to clean my monitor with. Their versatility stretches to the entire laptop housing and also my workspace (desktop, lamp, printer). Their simplicity lends itself well to my lazy nature, and the end result is a clean workstation that is free from potentially harmful bacteria.
Although there isn't a great deal to say about a wet wipe I feel there are a number of positives to take from the purchase of the Lindy Wet Wipes. Firstly, I will definately continue to use these wipes due to their simple use and adequate dampness. Secondly i think the packaging is well designed, with a sealed lid which prevents unused wipes from drying out. Finally I find that the end results are satisfying and make the purchase of the Lindy Wet Wipes a must, especially for those sharing desks either at home or work.
What kid doesn't like chocolate milkshake?! I began drinking Yazoo Chocolate Milkshake a number of years ago now and still drink it to this day. Campina are the brand behind this wonderful drink which is also available in strawberry and banana flavours. The large 500ml bottles are what I usually buy, but they are also available in packs of four smaller bottles which also have a straw attached.
The bottles themselves are fully recyclable as they made from plastic, with a screwcap which protects the foil seal. The foil is easy to peel off and this gives you confidence that the drink hasn't been tampered with, aswell as for freshness. The label is simple and contains all the important information such as ingredients, and the suggestion you should always shake well before drinking. The drink itself is seemingly very healthy, with many positive points to note written on the packaging. Low in fat is one of the 'stats' to note, along with 'no artifical sweeteners or preservatives' and 'less than 5% added sugar'. All of these are sound claims, but there are always questions raised that perhaps they find ways around such details.
The drink tastes great, with not a hint of suggestion that this is indeed long life milk. Sometimes I find milkshakes to be quite thick and very sweet, but I think Yazoo has good balance - neither too thick or too watery. The milkshake does taste very chocolatey and has a rich chocolatey smell aswell. Some milkshakes can taste really very sickly and also be quite heavy on your tummy, something Yazoo avoids by not been packed with fats, sugars and all the other unhealthy ingredients you could imagine to make it taste nicer.
The drink is displayed near the breakfast cereals in the supermarket, so it isn't refrigerated. I don't particularly find it as tasty when it is warm, so I always chill it before consumption. Some of the chilled milkshakes can be quite fattening and contain a good deal more sugar than Yazoo, so in the health stakes I have to favour Yazoo. It has to be kept in the fridge after opening, though the main advantage to it being long life milk is that until it is opened it doesn't need to be chilled.
With the larger bottles costing under a pound I really do prefer Yazoo Chocolate Milkshake to any chilled variety of milkshake. Kids don't particularly like milk and so a compromise with this Yazoo Chocolate Milkshake is worthwhile considering the health benefits of calcium and Vitamin B12 but to name a few.