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Tresemme Deep Treamtent Mask
~ INTRODUCTION ~
I've never been a fan of Tresemme products (their free shampoo and conditioner samples simply fail to buy me over) but I've recently started taken to trying out their masks. Having previously tried their Tresemme Deep Conditioning Treatment masque (for which I've written another review on), I thought it might be worth giving another of their products a shot.
~ PACKAGING ~
This keratin mask comes in a 300 ml pot, which is definitely much smaller than the other Tresemme mask that I've used. It has a screw-on cap, and being much smaller than the other mask bottle, this is definitely much easier to deal with in the bath.
~ PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF MASK ~
The mask itself is a relatively thick, white paste - just what I would expect of a hair mask. The instructions suggest that you apply mostly on your ends, and spread the rest over nearer the upper parts of your hair. I know this is how hair experts typically advise you to apply mask, but I just apply it all over anyway - my hair is too dry to get really oily from such an application.
The scent for this mask, just like their Deep Conditioning Mask, is a pretty strong floral one. I do like it though, as it leaves my hair smelling really good after my bath and beyond.
~ IS THE MASK ANY GOOD? ~
I typically would leave the mask on for about 5 minutes before rinsing off. It's really easy to get off your hair and it does leave your hair feeling really smooth and nourished after use. I think what I like about this masks vs other masks I've tried is that it actually leaves my hair feeling slightly weighted. I have really thick, frizzy hair which fluffs around quite a bit (very annoying!), and the weight and strength that this mask builds into my hair is just amazing. In terms of its moisturising ability -- I find that it does about the same as any other mask I've tried however.
~ WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN? ~
I first bought this for £5.50 from Boots in store, but Tesco recently had a half-price offer which brought the price down to £2.75 per mask bottle which is a steal. I'd probably say that it's a little on the pricier side at full-price however, and if I had to buy it at full-price I might just try a cheaper alternative. I just finished one (lasted about 2 months, but I use it a couple of times a week) and have two new bottles waiting for me. I would recommend it especially if you see it on offer, or if you really like the weighty feeling that other masks lack.
~ Introduction ~
Skechers originates from the US, and is well-known for their tone-ups and shape-up range (not necessarily always for the good reason). As I have previously bought a pair of trainers from them and found it to be quite comfortable, I was quite keen to try their boots as well since I was looking for a nice snuggly pair to bring me through the winter. Having worn the boots for about 2 months almost everyday, I must say that I am quite happy with my purchase!
~ Physical appearance of boots ~
These boots are marketed as winter boots to keep you warm against freezing temperatures, with its faux fur lining and mid-calf height. There is a three-button design on the outer side of the shoe, which makes it more special than just any other pair of boots. There is also a Skechers label on the back of the boot as well which I personally don't fancy much. The boots are available in four colours: black, charcoal, chocolate and sand. I bought the charcoal one because I wasn't sure how well the chocolate and the sand would fit my clothes, and because black seemed kind of boring. Charcoal seems to go quite well with most clothes for me, being relatively dull (and hence neutral).
When worn, I have to say that these boots do tend to look a little fat. I don't have particularly big calves (on any measure, I probably can be considered to be quite skinny), but these boots do make my calves look bigger than they really should be (even in skinnies!). But I guess that's partially a result of the wonderful lining that keeps your legs warm inside, so I don't really mind the look too much.
~ Sizing ~
I am normally a UK 3.5, but since the sizings only seem to be in the whole numbers, I bought a size 4 which fitted my feet well. I can even wear thick cosy thermal socks and still manage to put my feet in comfortably - although to be honest I haven't really experienced cold feet in these boots even without thermal socks.
~ Comfort level ~
Initially when I started wearing these boots, I did feel quite a bit of discomfort in the foot, but that pretty much disappeared after a week (thankfully!). I wear these boots almost every day because they are awfully comfortable and they really do keep your feet warm. It is really easy to slip your foot into the boots - no zipping or buttoning required, but at the same time your foot doesn't rise out of the boots either while you're walking, unlike some other boots that I've bought. Great design by Skechers on that.
~ Any disadvantages ~
As the outer material is suede, these boots really don't make the cut in wet weather or in wet snow, which is such a pity. The boots can still survive being worn in the snow for about an hour or so, but beyond which the water starts to seep through the outer layer, making your socks and feet really wet. In the rain, these boots are utterly impossible... do not expect to make your way home in the rain with dry feet if you happen to be wearing these.
Another slight issue that I have with these is that they're slightly noisier than other boots! I'm not sure if it's the way I walk, but I can always hear the sound of the boot platform being dragged across the floor as I walk, which can be quite annoying (or people might wonder why you're always shuffling your feet!)
~ Where you can buy from ~
I bought mine from Barratts while they were on offer at about 40 pounds. The RPP is marked as £65.00 on Barratts right now though.
~ Conclusion ~
These are a pair of comfy boots for a reasonable price, given how warm they really keep your feet in the cold. If only these boots are waterproof, then they would be perfect!
This is actually the first heat defence hair product that I've ever used, and I must say that I am incredibly pleased with the result! I started to look for a product like that ever since I found that my hair was starting to really suffer from the frequent blowdrying. With some lifestyle changes, I have ended up washing my hair really late at night recently (really unhealthy too, I know!) and as much as I can, I try to blow-dry my hair so that I won't have to sleep with damp hair. Unfortunately, soon this meant that my already dry hair (as I've rebonded it a few times in the past few years) was starting to look extremely frizzy, dry, and unhealthy. I later found this product under offer in Tesco, and thought that I should try it!
~~ PRODUCT PACKAGING AND USAGE ~~
The picture for the Dooyoo page is a red bottle but the one that I've got is in fact a white bottle, just like how most of the Dove products are packaged. The bottle itself is 150 ml - I've been using this for a couple of weeks by now and it's still reasonably full, so I'm guessing that this bottle would be able to last a couple of months. The shape of the bottle is unfortunately quite queer - it's probably more stylish than practical. I haven't got a clue which way to hold the bottle right, because both ways just don't seem to work sometimes. I find it a little difficult to get a firm grip of the bottle so that I can just press the nozzle - and this is why this product is getting a 4 instead of a 5!
The instructions on the bottle itself suggest different uses depending on whether you are blow-drying or using a straightening/curling iron directly on your hair. In the former case you spray once onto a thick switch of damp hair before blow drying, whereas in the second, you spray twice onto your hair. Since I usually use this product for blow drying, I just do a general spray on my head so that the outer layer that is 'exposed' to the heat is covered by this product. That typically takes me about 3-4 sprays (I have hair that's about 5 inches longer than my shoulder). That would usually be enough for me and I'll start blow drying.
~~ EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PRODUCT ~~
I tend to be especially skeptical about hair products, because most of them just don't seem to work for my unmanageable hair! But this product seems to be one good one. I was initially quite apprehensive about the smell and the texture of the mist, especially since I usually would blow dry my hair before sleeping, but that turned out not to be a problem. It is a very minimalist, refreshing scent that you won't be able to smell on your hair after a few minutes unless you really try. The mist is also incredibly light - I was worried about residues being left on my hair but it turned out that I had nothing to worry about!
The most important thing about this product however is that it actually works. Incorporating this spray into my daily routine of blow drying has helped improve my hair quality (especially the ends, which I tend to 'over'-blow dry) and gone are the days where tugging at a clump of knotted hair is a daily activity. I also find my ends regaining more of my natural hair colour - reversing the trend where my hair was turning browner and browner as it became drier.
~~ WHERE CAN YOU BUY THIS PRODUCT ~~
You can find this product both at Boots and at Tesco, and possibly at other major supermarkets. Boots has a better deal at £2.99 as compared to £3.58 at Tesco, although it is worth mentioning too that this heat mist is currently on a half-priced offer, making it a steal at only £1.79!
~~ VERDICT ~~
I will definitely recommend this product if you tend to blow dry your hair. I can't say for sure for straightening purposes yet, but given the positive effect that it has had on my hair in blow drying, I will definitely use this again as a form of heat protection when I'm straightening or curling my hair.
~~ WHY I BOUGHT THIS ~~
For a very long time I have stuck to my old, trusty favourite haircare brand L'oreal for my shampoo, conditioner, mask, and serums! However, one day I ran out of hair mask and just decided to look at the hair masks offers on Tesco. It happened that there was a great half price offer on this Tresemme mask, making it only £2.40 per 500 ml. I subsequently did a couple of searches online (including on Dooyoo!) regarding the product which all seemed to review it favourably- and voila! I think I've found the solution for my hair.
~~ THE BRAND ~~
Tresemme is a brand of haircut products that focuses on bringing salon-quality hair products to the consumer. After a bad experience with one of their products which left my hair icky and sticky, I've never really had a favourable opinion of them. Nonetheless, this product seems to work wonders!
~~ WHAT THIS PRODUCT IS LIKE ~~
This masque pot comes in a relatively big size at 500 ml, making it seem even more value for money at first sight. It's relatively tall, so when you're nearing the bottom of the pot you really have to dig your fingers into it a little - something I find not so easy to use when you're already fiddling with all that liquidy mask and attempting to put it on your hair.
The mask itself is a white sort of paste which I find relatively fluid as compared to the other masks I've used. I was honestly a little peeved by the texture (it seemed diluted) but effect wise it doesn't seem to be much of a problem. I came to like later how easy it was to apply on your hair - just take some and slap it onto the problem areas, focusing on the mid-lengths towards the ends of your hair where it tends to be most dry. Then massage your hair a little to make sure that it's evenly spread. I started to use a shower cap to hold it all in as my hair is quite long, and I find that this works extremely well so you won't get dripping product off your hair and you can make sure that your hair is getting all the goodness that it should be getting! After that, just rinse it off your hair thoroughly to unravel the effects.
~~ HOW OFTEN TO USE ~~
There are no clear instructions regarding how often to use this masque, but I currently use it everyday (I know, it sounds like an overkill, but my hair is really dry!).
~~ WHAT THIS PRODUCT REALLY DOES ~~
Having rebonded my hair three times in the past three years, my hair (which is already quite dry) started to suffer from split ends and knots when I first started using this product. You can imagine - even the outer layers of my hair and especially the ends have started to turn brown (I've got natural black hair), to the extent that people have asked me whether I have dyed my hair! Clearly not - it's just really unhealthy hair.
I found that this hair mask has made my hair much more silkier than before. I can see the improvement in quality especially when I comb it (no more tangly knots!!). It generally also looks more shinier, healthier than ever before, even when I was using my previous haircare products. What a pleasant surprise indeed.
~~ PRICE AND AVAILABILITY ~~
As I mentioned I bought this at a half-priced offer at £2.40 a pot of 500 ml, which - given what it does - is an absolutely good deal. Even at normal price, Tesco seems to offer one of the best deals around (Superdrug currently does it for £4.99). So far given daily usage it has managed to last me about 1.5 month a pot, which I think is reasonably fair for the price.
~~ RECOMMEND? ~~
Definitely recommend. If you've tried all kinds of hair products that claim to smoothen your unruly hair, and nothing has worked so far, do give this Tresemme Masque a try. I'm so glad that I did.
The Alsatian museum was situated along the Saint-Nicolas quay, a bridge across from the Grande Ile of Strasbourg that is also known to be a UNESCO World Heritage. Easy to get to on foot, this museum is truly a gem that must not be missed when visiting Strasbourg!
~~ THE MUSEUM ~~
Opened in 1907 by Alsatians who wished to preserve their culture, the Alsatian museum showcases several rooms that highlights many different aspects of the Alsatian culture - from the rural life, architecture, religion to toys, furniture, ceramics. There are as many as 30 over rooms in which holds real historical artifacts as well as building reconstructions, neatly presented in a well-organised manner.
~~ MY VISIT ~~
Based on Tripadvisor reviews, I decided to put the Alsatian museum on my itinerary when I visited Strasbourg during the Christmas period of 2012. It happened that the museum was one of the attractions that were open on Boxing Day, which happens to be a public holiday in the Alsace region in France.
The museum offers free audio guides and I got the English audio guide - which turned out to be such a great way to get to know Alsatian life. The guide was highly informative and very useful because any accompanying texts for the exhibits are in French. The audio guide certainly did not cover every item, but there was at least a good explanation of the theme described in every room, allowing you to browse in detail with some background knowledge. There are videos around to explain certain processes such as how the Alsatian people used to make ceramics - and I thought it was pretty cool how the audio guide was able to time the speech at the same time as the video (in French).
I covered all the rooms leisurely and it took me about 2.5 hours, which I would say is a pretty good way to be introduced to the Alsatian culture beyond just the awesome food (tarte flambees and choucroutes) and the stunning half-timbered houses. During the cold wintry months it is also a nice hideout for travellers like me from the strong winds and freezing temperatures out there, albeit just for a few hours.
~~ TICKET PRICES ~~
Admission costs 6 euros for adults and is only 3 euros for reduced pricing i.e. students. Children up to the age of 18 go free!
~~ CONCLUSION ~~
I enjoyed the museum thoroughly and certainly did not expect that the museum would actually be so in-depth and thorough with its English commentary (based on my experience in other museums in bigger French cities..). For me, travelling is not just about seeing attractions or sampling another cuisine, but also getting acquainted with another culture, understanding how the culture has developed and evolved through the years really does make the travel experience tons more meaningful. I would certainly recommend this museum for anyone who shares the same thoughts on travel with me!
Horlicks is a type of malted milk drink that is meant to be drunk hot. Made of malted barley, wheat flour, and milk, it comes in nice neat screw cap bottles in the powdered form. Horlicks is touted to be able to help people sleep better, but I've never tried it for that purpose so I can't comment. I find Horlicks to be a nice drink to have especially during Winter, when I don't feel like having something as decadent as hot chocolate or one of those Starbucks Christmas specials. It is sweet with a malty flavour that makes it quite full-bodied without having all the unhealthy 'goodness' of some other hot drink alternatives.
~~ Types of Horlicks available ~~
Three main types of Horlicks can be typically found in the supermarkets - Horlicks, Horlicks light and Horlicks chocolate light. Personally, my faovurite has got to be Horlicks. Horlicks light, despite its perpetuated less-fat content, tastes a little too thin without the sufficient fat base and thus a little sickly. The rest of my review will largely focus on the normal Horlicks.
~~ Method of preparation ~~
Instructions suggest that you take 3-4 teaspoons of Horlicks, mix it up with a little water to form a paste, and then add in 200 ml of hot milk. Personally, I've never tried that because the way my family has done it all along has been sufficiently yummy for me! What we do is to take about 2 heaped teaspoons of Horlicks, and just add in sufficient hot water to form a cup of Horlicks (I reckon that the cup is about 250 ml). It may seem like it's not going to be milky enough - but I guess it's all about personal taste! I suspect that people who actually find Horlicks quite gross is because they have added milk - so I highly recommend that you try it with just hot water just to see which suits better for you.
~~ Nutrition ~~
A cup of 25 g of Horlicks powder with 200 ml of skimmed milk contains 189 calories, 4.3 g of fat, 27 g of carbs, and 9.6 g of proteins. As it has a relatively high carb content, apparently it is said that Horlicks can help you gain weight (if you need to).. Otherwise, having a cup or so every now and then in moderation is perhaps best for your health!
~~ Where can you buy it ~~
Horlicks can be found in most supermarkets. 500g of the bottle packaging at Tesco costs about £2.69 pounds and I find that a bottle like that typically lasts me about 3 months (I don't drink it everyday!). You can also get the refill pack which is slightly cheaper at £2.29.
~~ Verdict ~~
Try Horlicks traditional with hot water, and you might find it to be the perfect hot drink for this cold winter.. Highly recommended!
I must have bought this on an impulse. I typically buy a certain few brands of nail polishes and I was quite shocked to find that I had this in my collection one day! Furthermore, it was in coral - a bright orangish-pink colour which didn't really seem to be my style. Feeling adventurous one day, I decided to see what it was all about!
-- RIMMEL --
Rimmel is a cosmetic brand founded in London, and they can be widely found in most drugstores around UK. Besides nail polish, they also sell things like make up for the face, lips, and eyes, including foundations, concealers, lipsticks, mascaras, etc. etc. etc.
-- PACKAGING OF THIS PRODUCT --
The product comes in a rather small and cute 8-ml bottle that appears to be smaller/more compact than the other nail polish bottles that I have. It is therefore quite easy to carry around. The handle for the applicator cylindrical in shape, hence it is not as easy to grip as compared to those with a slightly curved handle that fits well with your fingers. According to their website, this product comes in a total of 24 colours.
-- THE NAIL POLISH ITSELF --
The nail polish claims that it is a one-coat nail polish that you can apply using 1 stroke in 1 second, and that it dries in 60 seconds. How much of this is true? I was quite glad to find that the actual colour of the polish was quite close to what I saw from the bottle. Even with one coat, the colour is very vibrant and bright, and unless you personally prefer to, one coat will be enough (I still used two). Application is quite easy and I could easily do each finger with two strokes (one to cover each half of my nail) - but only after some practice. Maybe I'm not so used to fast-drying polishes - but I found it quite difficult to apply the polish if I were a bit 'indecisive' or not so certain in my strokes. Getting a nice sheen on your finger using this polish really requires to 'just do it right at one go ' - or you might get an uneven surface by trying to 'paint on' areas that you have missed out or by trying to even out the polish (ironic, I know!). If you are the kind who prefers to draw your nail polish with a little more hesitance to get the perfect shape, using this might not be so ideal. As for the quick-drying, I found that the polish dried fast enough for me. I could paint one hand, go on to the next, and go back to the first hand to apply my top coat immediately without worrying about the smudges.
The polish seemed to stay on quite well (it survived several days of intense cooking, dishwashing and baking sessions in the kitchen) but I found that when it was to come off, it would flake off in larger bits that I would expect it to be. Usually I could bear with less-than-perfect polish IF the parts that first come out are small, or only at the edges, but with this polish, I had to remove all of my polish once a (large) flake would come off.
-- WHERE TO BUY --
You can buy this from Boots or Superdrugs. It is currently going for £3.69 at Boots which is quite an average price in my opinion.
-- CONCLUSION --
If I'm feeling busy or on-the-go, I think this would be an ideal polish because it's fuss-free, and quite effective. However, on days when I'm feeling more leisurely, and like to do my strokes more slowly, unfortunately this nail polish isn't versatile enough for that use! The fact that it dries faster and is less forgiving towards mistakes or slow strokes does pressurize you to get the polish painted fast but hey, when I want to do my nails, I just want to get them looking right, nice, and perfect and I'm usually feeling more patient than I should be. I'll recommend this if you do want something fast though!
-- INTRODUCTION --
It was a cold Christmas and there was deal for Whittard Hot Chocolate drinks, so we bought the Dark Chocolate with Raspberry, the normal Hot Chocolate and this White Hot Chocolate. I thought it was lovely to have some creamy, steaming hot chocolate during winter to dispel away the wintry blues and the idea did work quite well - at first. Sadly, after a couple of weeks of excitement over these little delights, the tins were rarely again touched and we had to quickly find a way to finish these up before they expired.
-- WHITTARD OF CHELSEA --
Originating in 1886, Whittard of Chelsea is most commonly known for their lovely teas (both the leaves, and instant teas) and their handcrafted ceramic bowls, teapots which beautifully line their shelves in store. I do like Whittard very much because I find their beverages to be very delicately produced, and because of their lovely packagings they make wonderful gifts to anyone who is fond of such beverages. They also produce Hot Chocolate drinks which come in a wide variety of flavours - caramel, strawberry white, rhubarb white, or creme brulee even!
-- WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE: PACKAGING --
Whittard's White Hot Chocolate comes in tins of 400 g. These tins can be stacked with other similar Whittard products - which is what we did when we bought three tins at a go. The tin is covered around the sides with a white foil that says Hot White Chocolate - I believe that the packaging has undergone a revamp recently to look classier. No matter what, these do look quite nice to be placed around your kitchen top as decorations.
I don't find the tins very air-tight however - after about 9 months or so (without expiring) I was shocked to find that the powder has started to clump together, so I had to hammer the clumps back into powder before I could drink this. Thankfully, the clumps were only at the top, so the bottom part (which is the bulk of the powder) could still be easily used.
-- PREPARATION --
The instructions recommend that you scoop 3 heaped teaspoons into a cup and add about 200 ml of heated milk, stirring the mixture thoroughly. You may add whipped cream, marshmallows, or hot chocolate powder to make the drink even more decadent - but I usually just leave it as it is. I would say that the preparation is relatively fuss-free because the powder does dissolves quite readily.
-- TASTE & OPINION --
Whittard's White Hot Chocolate is a refreshing change to the normal kinds of hot chocolate (like Galaxy, or Cadbury) that you can find in the supermarkets. At first taste, it is really very very creamy, very lovely, very white chocolatey. It's the perfect drink to have white snuggling up with a loved one on a couch, watching a romantic movie on a dark, wintry night. That - I do not deny.
However after multiple tries over numerous occasions, I find that this is a drink that I would not be able to have too often. Not even once a week. It's a little too sweet and decadent by itself (without any toppings), and it does fill you up really quickly (you probably won't have any space in your tummy for any food in the next few hours after this). The only time when this might be good is just before you head off to sleep - this will definitely send you into a dreamy doze not too long after (and of course, if done too often - a couple more layers of fat to protect you during winter).
Not surprisingly, I found that I had huge difficulties finishing the 400 g tin. If I'm not wrong, it took almost 1.5 years for my household of 3 to finish up a tin - and not easily even!
-- INGREDIENTS --
According to Whittard, the ingredient list goes:
Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Skimmed Milk Powder, Whey Powder, Dextrose, Salt, Emulsifier, Flavouring. CONTAINS MILK.
Suitable for Vegetarians & Coeliacs. Not suitable for Vegans & those with Lactose intolerance.
-- WHERE CAN YOU BUY THESE? --
These are sold in most Whittard stores, as well as online. Without any discounts they are currently retailed at £5.50. I believe I bought them at a price of 3 for 12 pounds or so, which is quite a good deal for a relatively huge tin of hot chocolate.
-- CONCLUSION --
This is a nice, luxurious hot chocolate to have. I'd only recommend it if you really have a sweet tooth and adore white chocolate for it's absolutely decadent.
-- INTRODUCTION --
Dairylea is a brand of cheese under Kraft Foods, which also produces several other products including cheese singles (both normal and reduced fat), cheese spread, Ritz crackers dippers, and cheese triangles. I'm no stranger to this brand as I am a loyal consumer of their cheese singles (beats supermarket brands any time). I've tried their cheese triangles too as well as their cheese brand (not as good as their singles, unfortunately). But the Dunkers are one yummy and healthy snack to have!
-- PACKAGING --
These dunkers are sold in 4-packs, with each pack intending to be one serving of breadsticks + cheese. It's a nice little snack to be carrying around because it's so small. You can easily tear a pack out by bending it at the edge and pulling it out.
Each individual pack contains a compartment for the cheese spread, and another compartment for the breadsticks. The idea is to take the breadstick and dip it into the adjacent cheese spread compartment, and then slowly munch and savour this little delight! Because these contain fresh cheese, it is recommended that you keep the product in the fridge between 1-5 degrees celsius.
-- DUNKIN' GOODNESS IN EVERY DUNKER! --
The Dairylea spread here, I suspect, is exactly the same thing as their cheese spread. While I find their cheese spread a little too mild when spread on bread (unless you apply loads of it), the spread here goes really well with the crunchy breadsticks. There is more than enough cheese spread here for you to be dipping a relatively huge chunk of spread on every breadstick - and that makes the taste much stronger, creamier and yummier. I can't really remember offhand but I believe that there are about 8 to 10 breadsticks in each pack, which makes one pack a nice decent little snack to fill up your stomach in the afternoon. I also like sharing these Dunkers with my friends - it's fun to gather together and have some dunking fun during breaktime!
Each 47 g tub features 13.5 g of carbohydrates, 3.8 g of fat, 1.0 g of fibre, 0.27 g of fat. It makes for a relatively light and healthy snack (let's not forget the calcium goodness in cheese!) - something to have without giving yourself a blood sugar rush!
These dunkers are available at most supermarkets in the Cheeses section (where you get your cheese slices). It is currently sold at Tesco for £2.20. While this is one yummy snack, I would consider this to be quite expensive since all you're getting is just 4 packs of breadsticks and cheese spread! Once you get the idea, I believe it's so much better to buy your own breadsticks and one pot of Dairylea cheese spread and have as much as you want for a much cheaper price!
I would definitely recommend that you try this, because it's so yummy! It's just a lil' expensive so I would recommend buying breadsticks and cheese spread and doing it yourself instead! But awesome idea from Dairylea!
My fondest memory of Ribena as a kid was having a cup of iced Ribena straight after school. I would be all sweaty, tired and hungry after a day's of hard work (more like play, really!) at school and a wee bit of Ribena would make me really happy! Though I'm much older now, I still love Ribena loads and have it every now and then!
-- THE BRAND --
Ribena is a type of fruit juice manufactured by GSK, and refers to a range of fruit drink concentrates and fruit-based soft drinks. It originated as a blackcurrant squash, but later moved on to incorporate other flavours like Strawberry and Blueberry.
-- PACKAGING --
Ribena comes in various packaging - it might be bottled as concentrate, or bottled as a to-go drink. It might be found as well in small drink cartons that are easily portable as well. All of their drinks have the classic Ribena logo on it and usually has some sort of purple theme to it (especially for the Blackcurrant flavours). The 600 ml concentrate bottle looks somewhat classy like wine with a gold foil at the top, but it is unfortunately made out of plastic (I thought it used to be a glass bottle!), so that's a bit of an environment boo-boo there.
-- THE DRINK ITSELF --
This bottle contains concentrate, so you definitely will need to dilute before consumption. The instructions recommend a dilution of 1 part of ribena, to 4 parts of water. For me, I like to dilute it as recommended and then add ice - thus making the drink less sweet. I guess I'm not someone who is too fond of sugary drinks so enhancing the dilution a little more with ice really makes the drink much more palatable for me.
I have only tried the Blackcurrant flavour, so that's the only one that I shall be commenting on. The Blackcurrant flavour is sweet, yet at the same time you can taste the tangy-ness of blackcurrants, which creates a really refreshing taste in your mouth. I find that Ribena gives a really good energy boost - especially after doing some sports, and of course it quenches your thirst at the same time!
-- NUTRITION --
Looking at the order in Ribena's ingredient list in Ribena, one should not be surprised that Ribena is actually quite high in sugar.
(after dilution): Water, Sugar, Blackcurrant Juice from Concentrate (5%), Citric Acid, Vitamin C, Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulphite), Colour (Anthocyanins). Product before dilution contains 22% juice. Contains no artificial colours, artificial flavours or sweeteners.
Following dilution, the nutrition information reads:
Typical values per 100ml, Energy (kJ) 181, Carbohydrate (g) 10.5 of which sugars (g) 10.5
So if you drink a typical cup size (250 ml), you will be consuming about 25 g of sugars, which is about 2.5 times a serving of typical, sugary cereal. Definitely not the best thing for those sensitive to sugar consumption.
But of course, Ribena sells itself on being high in Vitamin C, since it is, after all, Blackcurrant juice. They apparently have a Ribena PLUS range that gives you lots of Vit A, E and Calcium as well.
-- WHERE CAN YOU BUY THIS --
You can find this at all major supermarkets. It is currently stocked at Tesco for £1.99, which I think is a reasonable for a quality concentrate that will lasts you quite a number of months. I find that I consume Ribena the most during the Summer months and more rarely during the other seasons so one bottle essentially lasts my household of 3 for about 6-9 months.
-- CONCLUSION --
Well, this is a tasty and refreshing drink. The only thing I'll be cautious about is the high sugar content - which you can avoid by diluting the drink further (trust me, it tastes better that way too!) or watch how frequently you drink this.
I'm not someone who's particularly fond of jams. I usually find them a bit too sweet and artificial for my liking - just like some sort of sugary goo used to spread on breads or crackers. But St Dalfour's jams have proven me wrong - and they're the only jam that I enjoy eating.
ST DALFOUR JAMS
St Dalfour is a French brand founded in 1984. Their luscious jams are produced in a facility in the Aquitaine region of Southwest France. The one thing that sets St Dalfour's jams apart from others is that their jams are made from natural fruits and free from any preservative or added sugars - so you are assured that with every scoop of jam that you're having, it's all wholesome, healthy goodness!
All of St Dalfour's jams, regardless of flavor, take on the same packaging - a rather tiny cylindrical bottle made of glass, with an air-tight cap. There's a dark blue sticker that has a very simple and classic design, with the flavor stated clearly with accompanying pictures. The jams commonly come in two sizes - the normal larger 284 g bottle as well as a smaller, travel-sized bottle (not sure what this size is). I really like the glass jars - they do look really classy and you can reuse them later on. The only (and very slight) problem is that these jars have quite a small base so it could get quite difficult to scoop up the jam that is at the base of the container. One way to get around this is to just turn the container around (leaving you with a blop of jam when you open the bottle), although you can struggle using a long dessert spoon to get the remaining jam out as well.
The Strawberry flavor is amongst one of my favourites of the St Dalfour range (I absolutely adore the Blackcurrant one as well). To me, Strawberry is one of the most common but trickiest flavours of jams to get right. Add too much sugar - and it becomes coyingly sweet. Add too little fruit - and it becomes artificial. St Dalfour gets it just right. The jam itself is sweet enough, yes, but you can, at the same time, taste a hint of the original sourness of strawberry. There are also strawberry bits, and you can actually see the 'pores' of the strawberry fruit inside the jam itself - this is real stuff.
This jam is absolutely lovely on a piece of hot, piping croissant and a small slab of butter. On days when I feel less indulgent, I just have this on a normal slice of bread. Sometimes I have jam with crackers and some cheese for a midday snack to boost my energy. There are countless ways to add this jam as a little delight to your food.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY THIS?
This jam is available at most supermarkets for about £1.79, which is a little more expensive than usual. It's also available in a variety of other flavours including Blackcurrant, Raspberry, Thick Apricot and Thick Cut Orange. I definitely recommend that you try the Strawberry jam as well as the others - and see what you might like most!
I don't usually use this brand of mouthwash (I prefer to stick to the Listerine or Oral-B ranges!) but I had no choice but to buy this because I had forgotten to bring some mouthwash along with me when I went travelling.
There are various sizes for this - 500 ml, 250 ml and travel-sized depending on your needs. It looks like any other mouthwash packaging, and it has a white screw cap which you can use to measure out the amount on mouthwash that you are using.
THE MOUTHWASH ITSELF
The liquid mouthwash is of an emerald green colour, which makes me associate with a fresh minty breath. Indeed, the mouthwash tastes quite sweet and minty, and leaves you with a nice lingering taste in your mouth. In fact, if not for the fact that it came from a mouthwash bottle I could have easily mistaken it to be some sort of refreshing drink.. it IS that yummy.
Colgate Plax Soft Mint promises fresh breath for 12 hours, and the instructions recommend that you gurgle 20 ml of mouthwash for about 30 seconds before spitting out - which is pretty much the norm for most mouthwashes. However, much unlike other mouthwashes, I found this one particularly mild, and perhaps, ineffective. Sure, you don't get the burning sensation, and the taste is at least pleasant - but the fresh feeling in my mouth surely didn't stay for very long. Thankfully I use mouthwashes not to eradicate bad breath but just as part of my oral hygiene regime, so it wasn't such a big problem for me.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY THIS
The 500 ml bottle is available at most supermarkets and Superdrug for £3.29 (current price at Boots is more expensive at £3.40).
I wouldn't be sure if I should recommend this product. It is much yummier than any other mouthwash I've tried because it's so mild and minty, but it's exactly because of that reason that I feel that it's probably not so effective as a mouthwash! If you find the other brands of mouthwashes a bit too strong for you, this might be just right.
I had once heard some pretty decent reviews about Karrimor as a brand for outdoor products, which is why, when I had to buy my first rucksack, I decided to get a Karrimor as it was decently priced and quite reputable. My first was an 80-L women's rucksack, which turned out to be much larger than I really needed. I then went to get a smaller one, which is Karrimor Airspace 40+5 Litre Rucksack Director Blue Frost. This review will focus on this particular product.
APPEARANCE AND SIZE
The Karrimor Airspace is one compact rucksack that is highly useful for travel purposes. I use it whenever I go for trips around Europe (max 7 days) because it's so easy to carry around and yet it can carry all the stuffs that I need (and yes, I am quite a heavy packer!). You can definitely bring this up on Ryanair/Easyjet flights so long as you compact it as much as you can (pull the straps). I have never had a problem squeezing this bag into the little basket.
The one I've got is the Blue Frost -- most of the bag is a rather vibrant blue and there are patches that are of a lighter gray. I find the colour scheme quite pleasant as a young lady, and because it's blue I reckon it will be quite suitable for males as well.
The main features of this rucksack includes the following:
Airspace Venting Back System
Hydration System Compatible
Side Compression Straps
Expansion Side Pockets
Mesh Wand Pockets
Top Grab Handle
Walking Pole Loop & Retainer
Weight - 1200g
Let me just briefly describe the features that I find the most useful as a user of this rucksack.
There's a decent number of pockets in this - there's one at the top lid (I use to put things like medicines, my travel pillow - pretty much things that I need to access easily). There's also a laptop-type of pocket at the inner back of the rucksack, in which you can put your documents or laptop. The inner compartment of the rucksack is also divided into two parts - the bottom portion can be separated by closing the zip, so it allows you to form another 'pocket' whereby you can put things like your dirty clothes or shoes or whatsoever separately from the rest of your items. There are also two expandable side pockets, which are really really handy for you to put all your small items (like food, or your electronic appliances/chargers). They can be secured by side compression straps so that your side pockets won't be flopping all around.
2) Padded hipbelt and chest strap
I think this is probably quite a typical feature of rucksacks, but I really do like the hipbelt and the chest strap as it makes it much easier for me to carry the rucksack with the weight well-distributed.
3) Ventilated back system
I really like this system because it prevents you from feeling all hot and sweaty. As I am of quite a petite frame, carrying a rucksack filled with all my travel items is awfully tiring and is indeed quite a workout, so I'm really thankful for this. Unfortunately, because of this system, the back of the rucksack is actually 'hard' (ie you can't compress the rucksack beyond a certain height). Because of the necessary support, I think this also adds on slightly to the weight of the rucksack. Pros and cons to this.
QUALITY OF THE RUCKSACK
The material of the rucksack is quite rugged; mine has gone through quite a lot but I haven't managed to found any holes. It is also relatively waterproof - although there is a rain cover that you can use in case of heavy downpour. Cleaning can be done with a wet cloth - it won't restore your rucksack to a new condition, but it's good enough to clean off some mild stains.
There is, however, a problem with the rucksack. While tightening the hipbelt, I managed to stretch the synthetic material that holds the cloth of the rucksack to the metal bar (supporting the structure of the backpack). Although I've tried several times to put the bar back where it should be, it keeps coming out every now and then and I get a metal bar sticking sideways out from the rucksack - which is, admittedly, quite dangerous. With a faulty support structure, the weight distribution of the bag is not as good as it once was (before the synthetic material gave way). However, I can't be sure if this is a general defect, or if I may have been a bit too rough with tightening the hipbelt.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY THIS
I bought mine from aktive8.com for about 50+ pounds, which was quite a reasonable price when I bought it (I did do some comparisons online).
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS?
This is quite a decent product really, if not for the defect that's posing me quite a lot of problems at the moment, sadly. It's adequate and quite rugged, and fulfils my needs for travel. You might want to give this product a shot if you're looking for a travel rucksack, but do be a little careful with the hipbelt tightening!
Milo is a malted chocolate drink by Nestle, and was first developed in Australia in 1934. It is an extremely popular drink in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, as well as in Australia and Africa. Milo is marketed slightly differently and has some variations in taste depending on the country of origin (i.e. the Malaysian version is slightly sweeter than Singapore's.
APPEARANCE AND PACKAGING
Milo powder comes in various form. The most original is just the milo powder itself, and that is packaged in metal green tins, typically with some picture of a sporting figure typically with the intention of marketing milo as a healthy energy drink. Of course, due to convenience you will also tend to find the 3-in-1 convi-packets that you only need to add hot water too. I think they have started to venture into producing these convi-satchets that don't require your water to be hot - so you can actually add cold water in and make some good ol' milo! I haven't tried those though but will probably do so as I've got a few sitting in my shelves.
Because milo is so popular, it's not surprising too that they have ventured into making other milo products as well such as milo chocolate, cereal, and even ice-cream!
TASTE AND PREPARATION
Although milo is a chocolate beverage, I find it quite unlike hot chocolate which can tend have quite a milky taste! In fact I do prefer it to hot chocolate because of the less over-powering milk taste. I also like the malted taste which is lacking in hot chocolate. It is really quite difficult to describe the taste of milo - you should really try it for yourself!
There are many ways of preparing milo! The most conventional would be to add about 3 tablespoons of powder, a tablespoon of milk and then sufficient hot water to fill a cup (about 250 ml). You could possibly do without the milk if you would like a thinner, but more chocolatey taste. You can use fresh/powdered milk as it doesn't make a significant difference; if you like your milo slightly sweeter you could consider using about 3/4 tablespoon of condensed milk. This hot version goes extremely well with plain crackers - I simply love how my crackers soak up the milo and soften slightly as I dip it in for a few seconds before popping them into my mouth. YUM.
Iced milo is also an extremely popular version of this yummy drink. After adding some hot water to dissolve the powders, add some ice into the cup and let the drink sit for a while before enjoying! You can also make ice-blended milo in the same way that you make other ice-blended drinks. Oh! There's also a version that is really popular in Southeast Asia, known as the Milo dinosaur! Just add a spoonful or two of milo powder atop your drink to create a very yummy chocolatey (and indulgent) drink.
Milo is typically marketed as a nutrition/energy drink, that is especially targeted for active and growing young kids. While the nutritional value of a milo drink will really depend on your powder-to-water ratio, Nestle claims that the drink contains essential nutrients including calcium, iron, vitamin A, B1 and B2, and vitamin C. Indeed I don't doubt their claims but, let's not forget that the drink contains 421 calories in every 100 g of powder (each serving is about 40 g of powder), so it's relatively high in energy content (making it good as a sports drink, but not too good if you're watching your weight). It's also relatively high in its glycemic index indicator, so really it's probably better off as a drink to provide you with the energy you need or as a mid-afternoon drink to refresh yourself.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY MILO
They used to have milo at ASDA but if I'm not wrong, it has unfortunately been discontinued. You can find milo otherwise at most Asian supermarkets as well as on Ebay. Sadly it is currently extremely overpriced in the UK - the cheapest for a tin of 400 g goes for about 3.20 pounds (at a fair), while I've seen the larger 1 kg size go for about 16 pounds in an Asian supermarket. So if you really love this (as I do), and if you're about to go to a country whereby Milo is readily imported, you sure should consider stocking up on milo powder!
This is really one of my favourite drinks because it's SO SO YUMMY and chocolatey but perhaps less unhealthy than hot chocolate! It's always something that I drink when I'm feeling cold, unwell, or when I'm feeling down.. I definitely recommend that you try it for yourself - I think you might just fall in love with it too!
It's quite amazing how versatile some of Ikea's items can be. I've always had this in my house but I never did knew that this was in fact a children's stool, until I took a trip down to Ikea one day... and tadah, that familiar chair that my family has been using for all sort of purposes (except the right one) is in fact a children's stool. Unfortunately my review will therefore not be able how useful this might be for a children's stool.. but still, let me tell you about what else you can use this for!
APPEARANCE OF THE PRODUCT
This is a pretty short stool of a height of about 12 cm. It comes in various colours - white base with blue spots, blue base with green spots, amongst others. There's an antislip protection layer at the top, and the bottom of the stool also has a rubbery part that ensures that the stool doesn't slip. There are also two holes at each side of the stool, so that you can hook it up when you need to store it.
WHAT CAN YOU USE IT FOR
Well, other than being a children's stool, there's so many other things that you can use this for. I find this especially useful when I need to reach slightly higher heights (for example, the top rack of my cupboard). It's also especially good in the bathroom when your feet are wet, because of the anti-slip protection; although I must say that if you are going to be using this in a wet area, please do keep this product dry or mould may easily form, leaving you with unhygienic black patches all over. I've also been using this as a foot stool at my desktop. I'm not sure if any of you might have seen a poster on posture, but apparently it's good for you to be at ninety degrees when you sit at both your knees and your bum. Because my table is slightly higher than it should really be, my chair is at a taller height and so I've been using this foot stool as a platform for my feet so that they won't have to dangle or be inclined to the ground. You can also use this as a foot stool when ironing to maintain a good posture.
Recently I've been quite innovative with this as well - I've been using this as a little step-up device every now and then! It probably isn't the most ideal, but because it's quite sturdy and stable, I do some step-ups occasionally just as some slight exercise without me having to leave my house to get to an actual chair.
Lastly, this is quite an awesome little stool for you yourself to sit on if you're doing something close to the ground! For example, every year when I have to do spring cleaning, I dig out all my items, place them on the ground, sit on this stool and slowly sort through what stays and what goes.
This is of quite a reasonable quality as long as you don't abuse it. I've managed to get the stool cracked at the bottom edge (where it flares out) but that's by quite a lot of rough handling. Other than that the material does feel quite solid, and you probably shouldn't have any fear if you're just using it normally. ;-)
WHERE CAN YOU GET THIS
This is available at IKEA stores at £2.50, which is really cheap for a handy little household item. You can also get it from Amazon at £3.76++ at the moment. I would definitely consider this as something useful to be having around in your house - you never know what you can use this for, and when you might need this!