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"The land you recognise, the story you don't"
DVD release date June/July 2013.
Available at cinemas now!
**film only review**
My introduction to Oz came with the 1939 The Wizard Of Oz film, obviously (much to my granddaughter's dismay) I was not around for its release but at the age of 9-10 I do remember seeing it. I loved the fantasy, the way the film started in black and white then changes to colour, the characters and the songs. The film was based on the 1901 book The wonderful wizard of Oz and I can hand on heart say I am rather ashamed I have never read the novel; I bet it is a lovely read! There is some relevance to discussing this film because it leads nicely onto the next adventure; Oz
The Great and Powerful. The Wizard of Oz film concerns Dorothy and Toto who end up in a tornado and land in Oz before embarking on an adventure with the Scarecrow, Tin man and Lion. These three lovely characters want to meet the Wizard so he can grant them their wishes with Dorothy's only wish to get back to Kansas. After an adventurous journey, they land at the Emerald City and finally meet the Wizard. The Wizard is exposed as an old man with no magical powers so Dorothy's dream of getting home slips further and further away until she is told by Glinda the good witch; she has the power to take herself back, all she had to realise was,
=="There is no place like home."==
So we have already learnt that the Wizard is fraud; but the mystery of how he ended up in the Emerald city remained. That was, until Oz The Great and Powerful! I was a little unsure about how Disney were going to create this film, but it is truly marvellous and it will go down in history in the same way as the 1939 film; a classic. This film begins as the first does, in black and white and we meet our Wizard played by the very handsome James Franco. He is a magician at a circus that wows and thrills audiences until his integrity is called into question when a little girl in a wheelchair asked him to make her walk again.
The Wizard is a womaniser and he has little jewellery boxes that he gives to all the women he meets, the only woman who he seems to be true to is Annie played by the lovely Michelle Williams. In a big stir, avoiding a strong man who is baying for his blood when he realises Oz has been flirting with his woman, Oz escapes in his hot air balloon with only his briefcase of magic tricks and his trusty top hat to save him. A tornado hits; a similar theme to the first film and he ends up praying for his life, promising that he will do great things if he keeps his life. Oz lands in Oz and his adventure begins. He meets a very cute, and in my opinion the star of the show, winged monkey. His name is Finley and he has some wonderful one liners, "Oh, I see, because I'm a monkey I must love bananas!" "I'm a monkey, of course I love Bananas!" His voice belongs to Zach Braff and he does a very convincing job, the children were most impressed with him and he is certainly the boy's favourite character.
The next leading lady has to be China girl who has such lovely charm and there is a lovely moving scene where Oz glues her leg back on and he does it with such care and trepidation; we were on the edge of our seats watching it! China girl is played by Joey King and it is amazing how far movies have come on, Oz is human and working in such a fantasy world, it is incredible how seamless the scenes are. When he is carrying China girl and Finley is flying with them, the whole scene looks utterly convincing. As their adventure continues, Oz is given the task of defeating the evil witch and we meet all three sisters, Theodor, Evanora and Glinda! From the last film we know Glinda is not the wicked witch but we do not find out whether it is Theodor or Evanora until the end of the film and I will not spoil it for you! Glinda is played by the same actress who plays Annie which is a nice twist! Mila Kunis plays Theodora and I am sure the dads will be impressed; she is very beautiful and prances around Oz in a pair of leather trousers; is this really a children's film?! Evanora is played by Rachel Weisz and both Weisz and Kunis do an excellent job of being deceitful and keep the audience guessing.
Along the journey Oz takes there are many references to the previous film which has really helped bridge the gap for me, for example, the poppy field that puts anyone to sleep when they enters and the evil flying monkeys. There is truly frightening film with these awful creatures that even made me jump let alone the children! It really caught me off guard; the evil monkeys are really horrible. I was disappointed with some aspects of the film as they just seemed to be made for 3D viewing. I did not see the film in 3D at the cinema and only saw it in 2D. There are scenes that linger over flowers and various landscapes and I can imagine that the world comes to life in 3D. For a 2D viewer these are wasted and take away from the action! The film is filled with action as Oz concocts a plan to defeat the evil witch and save Oz and all the inhabitants. He uses his wit and his skills in deception and obviously his new found courage and desire to do something great.
=="Kansas is full of good men. I don't want to be a good man. I want to be a great
I guess the film has been released on the back of Wicked the theatre show which is excellent and features one of all time greatest songs and the mystique and magic surrounding Oz is still flowing. I really enjoyed this film as an adult but I am a big Disney fan! The children who I bought it for, did start to get a little restless towards the end, it is 130 minutes long which is long for a children's film. This is just a personal opinion but I would have liked a few songs in the film, there was nothing memorable in terms of music and this is a letdown as in the 1939 film we had the wonderful, "Somewhere over a Rainbow." I guess the film is focused more on the effects and screen play; I would have loved a good sing-along song though.
As this is a children's film, it is only right that they get their input and they say that they enjoyed the film and loved Finley and China girl but it is scary in places.
This is an epic adventure that has brought the 1939 Wizard of Oz film to life. I loved how they had brought the Oz world into 2013 glamour with bright vivid colours and breathtaking scenes. The characters are superb with James Franco doing a wonderful job; he makes an excellent Oscar Diggs.
"Your magic is the only thing strong enough to save us all."
For those times when you need something a little bit stronger than paracetmol alone, I would recommend these tablets because they really do hit the spot and quickly. The only problem is that the codeine can be addictive in nature and it is best no only take these very rarely. I do not suffer any side effects but I have heard of people who feel lightheaded and sick from the codeine as it is quite strong.
In a packet you get 32 tablets and they cost £1.60.
==What do you get?==
Inside the box there are 32 tablets in plastic packaging with a foil covering. The tablets are easy to pop out of the foil and are smooth with no residue. Each tablet contains 500mg paracetamol and 8mg of codeine phosphate. They are easy to break in half if you only want to take half.
Codeine is a painkiller that works by following the action of naturally occurring pain-reducing chemicals also known as endorphins. Paracetamol is an analgesic drug used to treat moderate pain.
The directions for use for these is 2 ctablets every 4 hours, you should not take any more than 8 in a 24 hour period and should stop taking them altogether after 3 days.
Side effects of these caplets may include dizzyness, sickness, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, sweating, skin rashes and other allergic reactions.
Codeine is known to be addictive so I would always read the packaging or consult the doctor.
These are good quality and the best thing about buying tablets from Boots is that you can discuss them with the pharmacist who is very knowledgeable. The tablets really sort out pain and make things a lot more comfortable. When I had a migraine these really took the stong out of the headache and made me feel much better. I would recommend these tablets to anyone who was looking for a strong painkiller that really worked.
We all need that extra boost to give us that 'get up and go' feeling. I hate the dark night and cold wet mornings and generally feel under the weather during the winter. My husband is a regular vitamin taker but I used to see them as more of a placebo and could do without. However after my last bout of cold featuring achy bones, a runny nose and coughing fits I decided to try something to boost my resistance to bugs and viruses. Berocca has been around since the 1960s when the effervescent tablets were launched in Switzerland and in 1989 it was launched in the UK. Berocca stay sharp is aimed at giving the body that get up and go feeling without using artificial stimulants. I decided to give it a go!
I purchased a packet of Beroca on my husbands recommendation for £2.10 from Asda stores.
==How do they work?==
The tablets come in packets of 15 / 25 / 45 and you can buy them in various flavours. They are all citrus flavour though and I bought the orange ones to try. To take the tablets you dissolve one in water and drink the liquid. The tablets dissolve quickly and easily and form a flavourful (it is certainly not Fanta though!) orange foamy liquid. Once the foaming and fizzing settles down you can drink it down. I would describe the liquid as watery, sweet and faintly citrusy. Berocca is a high dose formulation of B and C vitamins plus other essential minerals. These key nutrients work in synergy to help you to perform at your best and get the most out of your day ahead. As well as helping your body release energy from food, the essential nutrients in Berocca may also help to keep your mind alert to help you concentrate at work
I am no doctor but I do know that vitamin C keeps our immune system topped up. These tablets contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals and are calculated in their amounts so that you only need the one tablet a day.
I prefer the liquid tablets as they are much easier to take. I like the tablets as they make me feel refreshed and full of energy. I have noticed a difference in my health and well being and feel much stronger and healthier. As far as vitamins go, these are expensive as a months supply costs really 5 pounds. They are with it though and I will continue to take them throughout the winter to give a boost.
==Bring on the summer feet!==
As the summer looms and the sun is beginning to shine, it is time to peel off those socks and start getting your feet ready for summer. I enjoy a professional pedicure every now and then in order to give my feet the tlc they deserve. They are constantly under pressure, squeezed into shoes that are far too small, stood on and picked at. Feet deserve a little time out! I have always had dry skin on my feet that looks unsightly but recently it had started to feel uncomfortable. The hard skin was mainly on my heels, ball of foot and at the side of my little toe. The hard skin on the heel was uncomfortable to walk on and lump forming on the side of my little toe felt like a stone in my trainer when I walked. I was contemplating a chiropodist to take the dead skin off as I have never really had much luck with home equipment. Files and pummis stones did not really have much impact and seemed a little too gentle. I have also previously tried a model that has been like a cheese grater on a handle and this took forever to make an impact. The Scoll Pedi express was an absolute godsend as it came at just the right time. As a Bzz agent, you get to sample products and write up your opinions and I was able to try one of these for free. I was so excited about this campaign launch as it was a product I was desperate to try.
==What is this gadget?==
Scoll have been making foot care products for a number of years and I have been impressed with their products previously. They have a high reputation and this is a product that lives up to the expectations from the brand.
This is such a simple concept that I am shocked that no one else has thought of it before. In simple terms this is like a revolving sander that sands your feet so you put minimal effort in for maximum benefits. The device looks like an electric razor at first glace. The handle is long and plastic. It is around 1.5 inch thick and smooth so it fits comfortably into your hand. The handle is slightly at an angle so you can reach your feet at ease. The shaft of the handle has a plastic case where you need to insert two AAA batteries and on the other side a rubberised silver button that turns the machine on. The head of the machine is around three inches long, plastic throughout but with a gap in the middle that holds a reel of sandpaper. This reel is held in the head with two clips and to release the reel, there is a little button at the side that needs pushing. The reel comes out fully and it is this that requires replacing when you find the sandpaper is not as effective as it once was. The reel is around 1 cm by 5 cm long. The sandpaper has a coarse grade to it and it is blue in colour. As you use it, the paper fades and the whiter it becomes, the less effective it is and you may have to replace the head.
==A quick sand==
When you turn the machine off following the quick set up process of removing the packaging and inserting the packaging; you hear a soft whirr as the reel revolves spinning the sandpaper around. The idea is now that you hold the spinning reel against your skin and it files or sands off the offending dead skin. The packet advises that for the device to be most effective, conduct the procedure after a shower or bath as the skin will be softer and easier to work with. I had a shower before trailing the device out and as I fired it up, I must admit I felt a slight bang of nerves as I expected it to hurt! It did not hurt and instead it tickled which was unusual. It is not uncomfortable and it actually feels quite pleasant on some parts of my feet.
I used the machine on one foot first as I wanted to compare the results between the feet. As you use it, you can visibly see the dry skin come away. If you imagine sanding down a bit of wood and all the saw dust particles coming away; this works in a similar fashion and you get little skin particles coming away. I spent about five minutes on one foot for the first time before tackling the other one and the results were amazing. My feet felt reenergised and visibly looked better. The feet had a healthy pink glow rather than the pockets of dead yellow skin that had littered the soles of my feet previously. The foot felt smoother and as I ran my hand over the foot, it felt smooth and sleek. Before using the machine, the skin felt rough and uneven. The device gave me such impressive results and to be honest it is quite addictive. As you can see the skin visibly come off, it makes you want to do it more and more! The only downside to this device is that you have to do it over the bath or over a bin otherwise you will get bits of skin everywhere. It is like dust so it is not overly offensive but you still don't want it all over the house.
In terms of cleaning the device, you will need to pop the reel out of its holder and tap the side of the head in order for the dust to fall out. You could actually do with a little brush to give it a proper clean but a little rub out with some tissue will suffice. The roller needs a quick blow off too and then you can store it away. It does come with a little see through plastic lid that protects the head; this ensures it does not scratch anything when you leave it face down.
Overall this is a wonderful little invention that has greatly improved the health of my feet. I love how quickly the skin comes off and the end result is smooth, soft feet. One application is enough to remove most of the dry skin and then you can just touch it up every so often.
The Pedi Express costs £29.99 which I think represents good value for money. The refills are a little overpriced though, you are paying £12.99 for two and they are basically just bobbins covered in sandpaper. I will be buying them though as I will need to keep up to my feet. I hope that they will be on offer too.
When my daughter was pregnant and imminently due, someone told her that she should do three things to get the baby moving. These were: drink raspberry tea, eat curry and go for long walks. To help her along I ended up buying a lot of raspberry tea and drinking it with her! This was my introduction to fruit teas as usually I would go for peppermint or spiced tea as opposed o fruit ones. I was rather taken with the raspberry tea and since first trying it; I have always tended to buy fruit teas as they make a refreshing change to caffeine. It is rather comforting having a warm drink however two much caffeine is not good for you so fruit teas fill the gap during the day. I have tried a number of different brands and flavours and the rosehip and raspberry is a recent selection.
==Wrapped and ready==
What I like about fruit tea is the presentation. All the tea bags are neatly lined up in the packet and each is individually wrapped with a little string attached and tag. You can always tell the difference with cheap fruit tea and the branded ones as these little luxuries are all part of the deal. I like it when my tea comes in a little packet as it keeps it fresher, as soon as you peel off the paper you will smell the delicate fruitiness and see that the herbs within the tea bag are of a reddish colour.
To make the tea, you need to take out on the teabags, undo the paper cover and place it as the bottom of a cup with the tag hanging out of the side. Next, pour boiling water over the bag and fill the cup to around ¾ full. When you pour the water in, constantly aim the water flow at the tea bag as it helps the tea diffuse better. Once full, leave the bag in and give it a gentle stir before letting it brew. I always like to then add a splash of cold water so I can drink the tea a little quicker and then it is personal preference whether you want to remove the tea bag now or later. I like my tea bright and rosy so I tend to leave the bag in as long as possible; I often start to drink it whilst the bag is still in although it does need removing at some point as it can taste quite powdery towards the end.
The tea has a slight sweetness to it but it is not overly sweet and you can taste the berry flavours. The tea smells much more flavoursome than it actually is but you can still identify that the tea is raspberry flavoured. The rosehip gives the tea added berry flavours but in my opinion this tea does not taste overly different to regular raspberry tea. The tea is enjoyable and it has a lovely lightness to it but I do find it has a slight powdery aftertaste; this is not unpleasant but I have managed to find other branded teas that do not taste like this. The colour of the tea is good, deep rose and it is rare that anything escapes from the teabag so you get a lovely clear rosy drink. The tea bags are good quality and allow the tea is diffuse quickly but without letting anything escape from the bag.
Rosehip has a lot of healing benefits. Rosehip comes from wild dog rose. Once all the petals have bloomed and fallen, the hip is left and can be picked. Rosehips contain vitamin A. This vitamin can help to regenerate skin cells, and heal wounds and scars It also helps to keep the skin elastic and nourished. This in turn can help ward off wrinkles and keep the skin looking young. There are also internal benefits to vitamin A such as it can help fight off infections from viruses and bacteria so if you have something wrong then the tea will help boost your immune system. The pectin and fruit acid in the rosehip has diuretic and laxative abilities. In a very mild form but they can help if you are constipated or if you want to keep your kidneys healthy.
Raspberry tea does indeed help pregnant women. It can help alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness (although I find ginger much more successful) and it helps strengthen the uterus. It can also help constipation and as it contains vitamin C it is good for healing and boosting your immune system.
This is not the nicest fruit tea I have had but I like the benefits of the ingredients. It is pleasant to drink and I find a cup of the tea soothing and relaxing. It does not give you a kick but it does make me feel content. Would I buy it again? Yes I would as I like the delicacy of the flavours and benefits; I just do not like the powdery aftertaste.
The tea costs £3.99 for a packet of 25 which is averagely priced for a quality fruit tea. You can buy it from supermarkets and health stores.
This was a sample that I received to try and having never experienced anything from this perfume house before, I was pleasantly surprised. It offers you a delicately floral fragrance that is zesty and floral. The sample I received cam in a cardboard cover with the standard mini plastic spray bottle with a spring loaded nozzle. I read the card and although there was nothing much on it, I had started to build a picture up of the perfume in my mind; it did not disappoint but on the same token, it did not knock me over.
I hope I am not sounding too harsh here however I think this smells remarkably like a perfume in Next. I am not opposed to cheap fashion perfumes as they can offer good value for money and there are a couple in Next that could hold their own against some of the more expensive alternatives. There is a very similar one to this in there and it costs about £10 for a bottle. This perfume costs £47.50 for 50ml and £66.50 for 90ml. So you do the maths!
The flagon for the full sized bottle is tall and elegant, like a long cone. It is delicately pink and from the look of the bottle you can start to guess what it will smell like. The perfume is lightweight, definitely designed for the casual summer day rather than a high impact knock them dead effect for a night out. The perfume begins with bright rosey notes and there is a hint of lily that gives the perfume a nice white flower smell rather than the rose on its own which can be a little dated. These are accompanied by bright zesty mandarin notes that sparkle and give it a gentle sweetness. The heart notes are Rose bud, Spicy notes, Orange blossom so again very similar themes here. The bas is White woods and Musk and these give the perfume a creaminess.
I like the smell, its lovely; very delicate and very pretty. It is suitable for women of any age and it is a timeless fragrance. If you like rose and you like feminine fragrances then you will love this. I think the mandarin blossom and rosebud notes work well and the overall finished effect of a modern revamped rose perfume is achieved. This is so similar to the other Next perfume though! The perfumes lasts averagely in comparison to other fragrances. If you wear if for a full day, you will smell fresh all day but gradually the floral notes will peel away and leave only the muskiness.
I was pleased with the sample, I got about a weeks worth out of it and it was pleasant wearing it. I like delicate and floral perfumes and I was pleased with my introduction to this brand. I am not prepared to buy it at full price though as although it was a pleasant fragrance, it was not knock them dead. Sometimes you want to smell sexy rather than just pleasant.
Most people can recognise the distinctive design of a Jean Paul Gaultier perfume bottle. This fragrance combines the iconic Classique bust with a contemporary glass block design. Gaultier is synonymous with loud, ostentatious fashion and he is famous for designing the cone bra for Madonna. His first perfume was launched in 1993 and he currently has over fifty five fragrances in his collection to date. The Classique has always been a point of contention for me as I love the scent and I find it hypnotic. I can remember stopping women in bars and on the bus and asking what their perfume was only to be told it was JPG Classique. I tried the fragrance out on myself and it was vile, so overpowering and sickening and even to others it smelled so different on my skin. It was such a puzzle as I loved the design of the bottle and I really, really wanted to own this prestigious fragrance.
As time went on, I put JPG firmly to the back of my mind and watched as similar scents came out from his brand but I never bothered to try them. Until I saw this for sale in Superdrug for a really good price and I tried it out. I loved it straight away and it suited my skin. I went away and thought about it, letting my friends have a little whiff of my wrist, only to come to same conclusion. I had to have this perfume! I looked online and FeelUnique.com had the 30ml bottle for £25.95 with free delivery, I couldn't believe the price, what an absolute steal. I ordered a bottle and it arrived.
The bottle is beautiful, it us made from a block of glass tinted pink with an engraving of the bust within. The bottle is brilliant; it is about appreciating being a woman and being proud of our bodies. It's playful and fun and I like the way JPG pays homage to his earlier and most famous creation. The bottle is attractive and I love it; it makes me feel young!
The scent is interesting and rather enchanting with its spiced and delicate floral notes. The perfume opens with bright, bold rose notes highlighted with zesty orange that give the perfume a freshness but not a sweetness. The base of the perfume is wooded, providing an earthy solidity to the fragrance with musk and grenadine notes adding another layer to the complex mix. I must say that the rose is the most powerful of the notes and the overall fragrance is floral and inviting.
==Wear and Tear==
The fragrance suits my skin so well with it smelling very similar on my body to how it smells in the bottle. It is an addictive scent that smells young and fresh and I do really like this EDP. The only issue is surrounding how long it lasts; after a few hours the slightly rose aroma can be detected but it is rather faint. I find the perfume does not last very well and it fades too quickly for a designer perfume. This would, perhaps explain the low price as it is very cheap for a designer perfume.
This is a gorgeous perfume with a stunning bottle. It is a bright and confident perfume that will suit many and for those like me who thought they could never own a JPG; this might be the answer to your prayers! I am disappointed that it does not last as well as it should and I do query the quality but on the whole, it's an attractive mix and I would recommend it.
==A love of perfume==
Leaving the house without perfume on, is like leaving the house without a handbag, or shoes. I feel incomplete without it. I am not the sort of woman who has a 'signature scent' and for years one of my favourite presents to receive at Christmas was minute bottles of designer perfume. That way you get to experience the fragrances, the delicacy of the flagon and they were so cute in miniature; much nicer than the freebie samplers you get. Francois Demachy created this exquisite blend of ingredients that uses the original J'adore base but with added ingredients to create different interpretation of this classic Dior fragrance. I am always eager to try a new scent and I love it even more when it is a totally new creation. As I love J'adore, I felt I really had to try this adaption. I find Dior high quality and prestigious fragrances and I am very rarely let down by one of the perfumes. This one is no exception and it upholds the high standards of the label.
==For the love of money==
This is not a limited edition but it seen as a more premium version of the original fragrance. This fragrance uses premium perfume essence that is highly concentrated. The perfume essences are more concentrated than in other fragrances so the result is that you need less perfume and it lasts longer. As the perfume is seen as a more premium version; it carries a more premium price tag. The cost of the bottle for a 40ml version of the EDP is £80 which is over £20 more than the regular J'adore version. I have tried both fragrances and although I do 'adore' this one, I would not advocate spending this much on it; I think the J'adore version is just as pleasant.
==I love patchouli==
The perfume is a delicious blend of floral notes that smell feminine, elegant and sensual. I can remember Marilyn Monroe saying she wore only Chanel No5 and nothing else and J'adore and J'adore L'or are my versions of her no5. I feel complete when I wear this scent, it's attractive, warming and it is sophisticated. The perfume opens with a delicate, complex burst of Rose de Mai and Jasmine. The patchouli and labdanum notes come into play and they give the fragrance a light refreshing bouquet scent. As the perfume settles down you can smell the delicious creaminess of Tonka Bean and vanilla. Tonka bean has a lovely powdery vanilla scent that it isn't sweet. When it is used with vanilla, it blends to become a rich creamy aroma that provides a lovely backbone for the floral notes. The scent is delicious but I do prefer the original. The original perfume is less complex and does not have vanilla element in it which I like. I am not overly fond of vanilla as a rule but here it smells subtle with the delicacy of the Tonka bean taking centre stage.
The flagon is beautiful, long and elegant with glass bottle that is light and feminine. The bottle for the L'or is the same as the original, however the glass is slightly more opaque and the actually liquid inside is lighter. The bottle has a long neck that is finished with a gold trim and a glass stopper. The bottle is distinctive as belonging to the J'adore range. They have the design very simple and it works for both this perfume and the original.
==I love Dior!==
The fragrance opens with a delicate floral bouquet and it is not too heavy. It doesn't smell alcoholic either as some cheaper perfumes can do. I find the perfume to be refreshing and light and the creaminess makes the perfume richer and deeper. I find the perfume quite hypnotic and the scent follows me around all day. I like the delicacy of the fragrance as it can be worn for daytime or evening and it does not have any leaning towards a season. Some perfumes are summer scents whereas this can be used throughout the year.
==A lost love==
I do really like this perfume and it was a nice break for the regular J'adore but I think I will be going back to the original in the future. My daughter likes J'adore and I feel jealous when she wears it because I want it! L'or is nice and it lasts so long. You can squirt on a morning and you will still be able to detect the pleasant aroma for hours afterwards. I like this as it means the bottle lasts forever. You can buy the body lotion and the shower gel to go with this perfume so you can achieve a deeper scent that is layered.
I would recommend this to any fan of J'adore. It has the same quality, clarity and richness but with a slightly different scent. I like the delicacy of it and the vanilla and Tonka bean really develop the scent to make it creamy and delicious. I think the price is slightly too inflated for the product and for this reason I will be reverting back to the original J'adore.
Nina Ricci perfumes have really taken off in recent years. My daughter first introduced me to Nina by Nina Ricci a few years ago but I found it slightly too young for my skin. It is so unusual how one perfume can smells so lovely on one person but them completely different on another! Recently, Nina Ricci launched this perfume and this time I loved it. I can remember going into the store and smelling it for the first time; I was surprised at how seductive it smelled and I knew I had to buy it. I find so many perfumes smell so similar with no individuality yet this one surprised me at how alluring it was and how different to many other fragrances around. As much as I thought that Nina was too young for me; this one should have been completely incompatible for me yet I found it worked really well. The packaging and all round image of the perfume is aimed at the younger market; the pink girlie bottle, the 'princess' marketing yet I found that it complemented me so well. Perhaps I am still a youthful 'Princess' and not a tired old Queen after all!
Nina Ricci have stuck to their signature bottle design here and you can identify the branding a mile away. I rather like this and I think that once a designer has found a style that works then they should stick to it. This bottle features the classic apple design but the bottle is made from a delicious pink glass. It is pearlescent dusty pink which is so alluring and pretty. It is very beautiful and to complement it all the more, the bottle has a beautiful set of pearlescent white leaves around the top of the apple to give it the finishing touches. The lettering, Nina Ricci is written on the leaves which make for a very simple and effective design. The top of the bottle has a large circular lid that pulls off to reveal the atomiser spray head. The bottle is certainly not designed for handbags as it takes up far too much room. Luckily, this is a perfume that does not need much reapplication so you should not need to worry about having to take it out with you. Imagine trying to squeeze this into a clutch bag, you would certainly have a job on! The bottle is designed to make your dressing table look pretty.
==AN APPLE A DAY...==
The perfume comes across as a very beautiful, soft and seductive scent. I am not one to like fruity perfume and indeed if anything is the slightest bit sweet I just cannot wear it. This perfume surpsied me as the most detectable note is indeed apple. The beauty of this though is that apple is not overly sweet and rather than smelling fruity and sickly, the scent comes across as really refreshing; like a breath of fresh air but a lot more attractive! The scent opens with citrusy sparkles of orange, mandarin, orange blossom but these are not very powerful and to be honest I cannot even detect the slightest orange scent to the perfume. What I can smell though is a seductive almond smell and for a change; it does not smell like marzipan! It smells warm and inviting and mixes with the glazed apple and gardenia to develop into a very inviting scent. You know you like a perfume when you keep smelling your wrists to ignite your senses once again. Another middle note of the perfume is Hellitrope. These gentle floral scent ground the perfume and stop the fruit scents from taking over. The lovely floral notes are so delicate and fresh that the complex perfume really works together. The bass notes are sandalwood, blond wood, patchouli and vanilla. Luckily, vanilla is not very powerful as I would hate this perfume and it is the sandalwood that carry the perfume and give it a nice wooded finish.
I find the perfume slightly more masculine than the other Nina perfumes and I think this is why I prefer it so much. I really do not like sickly sweet perfumes; this is exactly what I look for in a perfume. I find that as soon as I spray the perfume, the scent is strong but it does not choke me. It smells overwhelmingly of almond and apple and then it settles down to allow the soft floral notes to shine though. As it dries, I find the scent warming and refreshing. The wooded notes hold the scent together and I think this is why it lasts so well. It is not the most powerful of scents but it can be smelled by others at a short distance away. I wear this perfume for many different occasions from daytime lunches, work and I have even worn it on romantic meals as I think that it complements this occasion perfectly. No one wants to be having their meal and smell an overwhelming perfume. This is moreish but subtle and I find it really inviting. I have received complements from my husband when wearing this and indeed, complements from this man are a very rare thing! My daughters have tried this and prefer it on me to any other Nina perfume so I obviously made a good choice. I would certainly recommend you to try this as it I really am a big fan and I would love to share this hidden gem.
This perfume is available in the Eau de toilette version for £37.50 for a 50ml bottle. You may need to liberally apply it but you will not need to re apply it much at all as it has excellent lasting power. I find that if I spray it onto my neck and apply a small amount behind my ears it lasts longer, I have always found this with perfume. I also apply it my wrists but this is not the most successful place to wear it. This perfume was supposed to a limited edition and in the UK it was hard to locate; it now for sale in many places and you can buy such things as lotions and shower gels to accompany it.
Should you love the bottle more than the fragrance? There is obviously a reason perfumeries spend so much time sculpting the right bottle for their scent and La Prairie are no exception. There designs are unusual and ooze sophistication. I was introduced to La Prairie by a friend who raved about their Marine Biology day cream but at £150 pounds for a tub, I thought this brand was way out of my league. La Prairie has been around since 1968 and the brand gained worldwide renown thanks to the work of Professor Paul Niehans who was a pioneer in cellular therapy. Their anti-aging products and cellular rejuvenation products sound amazing but as yet I have not tried them. Searching on eBay one night I came across an auction with a number of samples in. There were twenty mini perfume samples for £14 and bearing in mind that some were Jo Malone, La Prairie, Dior and Bond, these expensive perfumes meant I had stumbled on a bit of a bargain auction.
Each sample was 2ml and I had two little 2ml bottles of La Prairie Midnight Rain. At this point I had never smelled a fragrance from them but I recognised the brand name. The samples arrived and it was clear that this was one of the nicest of the lot and I was thankful for the two bottles. Hinting greatly to my husband and even writing it down for him; I asked for this fragrance in full size as a gift. I found it on the internet and bookmarked the page so he would find the right size and bottle. On sighting the bottle on the webpage I was very excited and very impressed; it was a lovely shape and design but no picture on any of the sites could compare to how the bottle was in real life. I was bought this for our anniversary and it was a lovely present.
The flagon is a masterpiece on its own and it really looks like a piece of fine art. The bottle looks like a teardrop with a pointy end and rounded base with it slightly set on an angle. Half of the tear drop pulls off to reveal the spray dispenser which is easy to spray and hold. The exterior of the bottle is designed to look like a star studded sky and the bottle is covered in silver flecks that catch the light and light up the bottle like a disco ball. You really cannot see its true beauty until you hold the bottle yourself. So in this respect, the bottle gets full marks!
So we have a lovely container, but what about the perfume within? Firstly, this is a very intense perfume that is so powerful at first and then it settles down, but initially it is slightly overbearing. The top notes of the scent open with a sparkling collaboration of fruits & freesia and the fruits here are not just your run of the mill apple and berry but a delicious bright guava and mango; a taste of the exotic. This fruitiness is very strong in its initial stages and can be overpowering but as the perfume evaporates and the heart notes take centre stage, warm white floral notes subtly blend with the exotic fruity notes and you are left with a very intense and enchanting scent. The perfume is lovely and the balance of fruit and floral is lovely. The floral notes are white lily, vanilla orchid, plum flower & amber flower. The vanilla orchid and lily are the most notable and smell fresh and bright. The dry down of the base notes leaves a warm glow of musk, patchouli and cashmere wooded. These give the scent a very grown up sophisticated feel and the earthiness makes it a lovely scent that you want to smell more of; a big change to the early strong exotic fruit notes.
==Wearing the perfume and how it lasts==
You only need a few small sprites of this scent to have a long lasting aroma. Only the finest perfume oils are used in La Prairie fragrances and the quality here is insurmountable. It is a rich concoction of delicious notes that are so well balanced to make a beautiful scent. I have tried other complex scents that get the balance of fruit and floral so wrong but this is not one of those and it is a very attractive perfume that lasts for a very long time. This is a scent that is perfect for evening wear and it should be reserved for special occasions. This would be too strong for me to wear during the day. Looking after the grandchildren does not call for an expensive perfume which is powerful in scent so this is one that I keep on my dressing for those special occasions. I have had it for around 17 months now and although I am not sure how long you are allowed to keep open perfumes, this smells exactly the same and just as fresh as when I first opened it!
==Final thoughts and price==
The perfume costs £74 for a 50ml EDP bottle. This was an anniversary present and it is looking like I will still have some for the next anniversary! It is a very classic smelling scent with the patchouli and the lily but the guava makes it fresh and interesting and the quality of the oils makes it very special indeed. I know that it is a pricey one but do what I did and try and find a load of the samples online as you can enjoy lots of different scents and try new ones for a great price. I recommend this perfume; if you don't fall in love with the bottle then you will most certainly love the scent.
It is hard to put your finger on this scent when you first smell it as it smells so different on different people; however this is part of the mystique. I have always admired Boucheron's jewellery and although much of it is wildly out of my price range, their perfume is something I can get my hands on. This fragrance is collaboration between Dominique Ropion (Portrait Of A Lady, Carnal Flower) and Anne Flipo (Iris Pallida and a bunch of other good L'Artisans) so you really do start to expect quite a lot from it before you have even tried it. Launched in 2007 this scent is aimed at the younger audience; the Alice and Wonderland style campaign launch gives this away however I class myself as a mature woman and I still adore this scent. It is alluring, complex and sexy, which is surely what every woman wants from her perfume!
I paid over £70 for this at an airport on our holiday however I have just been scanning the internet and Cheapmells have it reduced from £100 to £37.62 for the 100ml bottle. This is an absolutely amazing price especially for the large bottle. You can also buy the 50ml bottle which is the size I bought for £27.25. I feel royally ripped off, what a great price. One of the disadvantages I was going to put down was that it was expensive but looking at these prices, this disadvantage is completely negated!
Ah the French certainly know how to do it. Boucheron have been designing precious gems, jewellery, watches and perfumes for over 150 years. Their designs and exclusive and for people who love the finer things in life. Art and fashion are at the forefront of their creations and Boucheron pieces hold a lot of prestige in France. Since it was founded in 1858, Boucheron have been pioneers among jewellers and forty years later they became the first jeweller to move to the Place Vendome at number 26 which was once the residence of the Comtesse de Castiglione, a famous seductive beauty of the Second Empire; who infamously stole Napoleon's heart. As the brand grew in popularity they started creating perfumes however these were aimed at the older woman and I find a lot of their fragrances quite mature; they launched one of their first perfumes in 1988 and in 2007, Miss Boucheron was launched.
The flagon is synonymous with the brand and it is ring shaped in bright pink glass. It is heavy and it carries a certain amount of mystique, the bottle is well designed and attractive. The base is flat so it stands tall on the dressing table and the glass bottle is finished with a gold swirl pattern which looks great set against the pink background. The top of the bottle has a lovely gold diffuser and to spray you need to push it down. The bottle features the perfume brand and name and it looks girly and fun. The launch champagne in 2007 was based around Alice and wonderland and the girly, playful side of the perfume was emphasised heavily.
In summary the scent holds the notes of bergamot, pink pepper, pomegranate, cyclamen, violet and rose over a base of white daim, cedar and musk. The perfume is aimed at women aged 25-35 years old, now I fall far out of this window and still find the scent magical and beautiful. It suits my aging skin just as well as the younger women so take this information with a pinch of salt. The scent is rich and gothic like with a powerful dark, smouldering cedar that holds the whole scent together. The delicate fruity notes of pomegranate and pink pepper sparkle on the forefront of the scent and keep you guessing as what the key ingredients are. The fruitiness gives way to a delicate floral bouquet of violet and rose in the heart of the scent. The base is strong and holds the scent together with its creamy musk and boozy undertones. The perfume is complex and rich but this is counterbalanced by the softness of the heart; the rose and violet are so playful and attractive. The scent works well and honestly, it is suitable for women of any age. You cannot put an age on a perfume; wear what you feel comfortable with!
The perfume is one of those that smell strong for a few minutes and then settle into a pleasant magical fragrance that people comment on. I have had people stop me and ask what I am wearing. This is one of those scents that smell very different on different women and on my daughter is smells much darker and boozier which is not at all like how it smells on me. I seem to make the fragrance smell brighter with more emphasis on the floral notes. I can get away with applying this once before an evening soiree and it will stay with me all evening; it is a good quality scent that has been designed with high quality ingredients. I am pleased with how it lasts and you really do not need much to create the allure.
This is a seductive, complex scent that is lovely and long lasting. The fruitiness of the scent and the floral bouquet is offset with creamy musk and rich wooden notes. I find this to be one of the nicest scents I have tried for a while and I recommend it to women of all age. It is light enough to wear during the day and rich enough to wear for dates and evenings out. I think the bottle is nice and I love pink things; they are so girly and fun. This perfume is not widely known about in the UK and I like it that is quite rare. My daughters have worn it and they enjoy it too but on the whole, it seems to be quite a new scent and something people ask about when I wear it. Five stars from me, now that you can buy it so cheaply!
We recently converted the cellar into a small utility room and a little bathroom. Until we started looking, we did not realise how easy it was to convert a room into a wet room. We had the rooms converted professionally and we designed the wet room with the facilities we wanted to have in it. The gentleman who came to the house showed us all the options for the room and what we could accommodate down there. In the end, we settled on just a simple W/C and basin. In order to link these up to the household waste pipe we needed a Macerator in order to compact the waste material and propel in down a tube so that eventually it links up with the main household waste system. There is a wide array of Saniflo macerators that are all specially designed with set facilities in mind. If you wanted a bath and shower along with a toilet you would need a more substantial system that could keep up with the heavy duty waste. Our small scale wet room meant we only needed one of the cheaper machines which can cope with two facilities; a basin and a toilet. If you wanted to add facilities at a later date, this is possible but you need to choose one of the bigger machines as this would not be able to cope.
==Installation and description==
When we ordered the new bathroom, we could choose any style or colour of WC suite (as long as it has a BS EN 33 or 37 Horizontal Outlet). The system needs installing by a professional plumber and electrician as it involves connecting in to a mains supply and plumping it in. We were charged £175 for the unit to be installed. Once it is in, when the WC is flushed the unit automatically activates to pump waste horizontally to a remote soil pipe up to 100 metres away. The system will also propel vertically up to 5 metres maximum.
The unit is very ugly, it really is and it measures 465 cm x 320 cm x 130 cm. It is made from white plastic and it has a lid on it that can be removed. You will not like what is inside though! I find the unit to be quite large and it is hard to clean, as someone who hates bathroom cleaning as it is, it is hard to get it fully sanitised all the way around as there are awkward corners. The unit does a great job though as without we would not be able to have a bathroom down there. Once the unit is activated it uses 400 W of power so it does consume power but it is an economical amount considering the amount of work it does.
Once you have completed your business and you flush the handle the machine kicks in and the toilet basin is sucked into the macerator. It then churns it up and compresses it so that it can fit though a very small pipe. The machine then propels it through the tube until it meets the main soil pipe and it then can go into the main sewerage like the rest of the household waste. The machine takes around 20 seconds to get rid of the waste and stop making the horrendous noise. The machine is very noisy; this annoyed us at first as we were told the machine was relatively silent! When you use the basin, sometimes if you only use a small amount of water, the machine does not come on, it just depends how much you are using.
As inexperienced Saniflo users, I made the mistake of flushing baby wipes and sanitary waste; however I soon learnt this was wrong and the only thing you can flush is toilet paper and human waste. You cannot even flush quilted paper as it is too thick for the machine and you can only use 2 ply. After a few months of thick toilet paper and baby wipes the machine started smelling really bad and it kept churning through the night randomly like it was struggling to clear itself. It became much slower when it was flushed and the water level was significantly rising in the bowl. I called out a service man that showed me how to clean it out because we had blocked it. This service cost me £50 and it was not covered by the warranty as it was my own fault! When the poor chap took the lid off the machine, I could see a motor that was wrapped up in wipes so that it could not "blend" in effect. The machine was filled with very smelly produce and it was rather embarrassing. Once he had left, we vowed to take care of our Saniflo in the future. We now never experience it churning during the night and it works just like it did when it was first installed.
The man also fitted a Saniflo SaniAlarm for a fee which warns you if the water in the Macerator rises to an unusually high level. It has a level pressure switch that triggers an alarm fixed on the top of the unit if the volume of water exceeds the maximum allowed level. The alarm emits a continuous loud warning sound, until it is switched off and the problem solved.
In terms of maintenance you need to take great care of your machine as it quite delicate. You cannot flush anything other than 2 ply tissue and human waste. You cannot flush anything else and you cannot use anything like toilet blue blocks or harsh abrasive cleaners. You can only use bleach to clean it or a specially designed Lime scale cleaner direct from Saniflo. The machine is susceptible to lime scale which can stop the machine working so you need to keep on top of it. I dump a lot of bleach down the loo and down a small port hole in the top of the saniflo. Down here, I also pop the Saniflo Limescale remover. I then leave it to work its magic. This ensures it smells fresh and keeps the machine working to its full capacity. If there are any problems the machine is guaranteed for 2 years but anything accidental has to be paid for.
I paid £300 for the system which is one of the cheaper versions. The top whack version costs over a thousand pounds. This is the only way you can have a toilet in the cellar so it is worth the investment. Obviously on top of the system you need to pay for it to be fitted which can vary. I had a plumper that specialised in Saniflo systems which is advisable as not all plumbers understand their limitations and how they work.
==Value for money and final thoughts==
The machine is expensive and it does not perform as well as I thought. I am very limited to what I can put in the toilet in terms of cleaning products and I need a bin in the bathroom for all other waste. I find the machine to be very noisy. When I am watching television upstairs, I can hear the toilet being flushed. It sounds like an aeroplane toilet to some extent. The positives or the system far outweigh the negative though and I enjoy using it and having it for guests rather than having them trail up the stairs. Without this system we would not be able to have the bathroom down here and although it is ugly, strangers do not notice it. I know it's there and I have seen inside it whereas my guests do not even bat an eyelid.
I would recommend it; it does the job, just noisily.
In 2006, the next bond no 9 perfume was released on the market and boy is it lovely. When I retired we went on a holiday to celebrate and I bought a bottle of this perfume to celebrate. Bond no 9 are a New York perfumery and are famous for making exclusive, expensive rich scents. Their perfumes use 18-20% perfume oils rather than the 6%-8% that other perfume houses use. This makes the perfumes obviously more expensive but they last much longer. At the shop in New York they sell delicious candles to go with your scents and lovely body butters. Their ranges are all based around New York names with many being named after streets or places. I really wanted something from bond no9 and I guess if you had to compare it to something, it would be like Jo Malone but instead of the bottles being white and black and dull, they are fun and lively and the whole package sells itself. You get more than a fragrance when you buy from Bond no9, you are getting a little bit of fun. This comes with a price tag though but I went with spending money and I was damned if I came back with any! Retiring is a big move, and although I now have a little part time job, at the time I felt like my life was coming to an end; going to New York and spending my money on nice things made me realise it was just beginning.
Deciding on a fragrance was easy, it did not come down to name or design but fragrance alone and I found this one was very sensual, uplifting and bright. When I sprayed it, the scent enveloped me and I wanted more. I can always tell if a perfume will suit me straight away and this one ticked the boxes.
This extremely lovely perfume costs £120 with the current exchange rate. What I love about this though is that is quite a hard to acquire perfume and you need to visit New York to be able to buy it, although the internet is making it much easier to buy it. I have only bought this once, but now I am talking about it, I really want to own it again as it really was a wonderful fragrance. I kept the bottle as a souvenir too which is quite sad!
==About the fragrance==
This fragrance was released in 2006 and created by perfumer Michel Almairac of Robertet. The name was taken from the West Side story musical which was of the same name and based on Shakespeares Romeo and Juliette. The story is set in the West 50s and West 60s of the Upper West Side neighbourhood in New York and explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two rival gangs from different backfrounds.
The bottle is bright with a very vivid red finish. The Bond no9 bottles are star shaped
and this is no exception, you really do not get bottles as lovely as this by any other perfumery. The red bottle features a bright treble clef in yellow and blue and the back also features this repeated symbol and it looks brilliant. The bottle is so thick and it stands so tall; any girl would love to have a bottle like this, it really is fun and stylish and even a grown woman like myself enjoys it playfulness. The bottle is rather misleading though and I expected the scent to be too bright, too vivid and too colorful but instead I got a mature, rich and sensual scent.
The notes include rose, ylang ylang, peony, sandalwood, amber, musk and vanilla. The dry down is a complex yet subtle blend of sandalwood, vanilla, musk and amber.
The perfume opens with a delicious floral bouquet with the ylang ylang and peony taking centre stage as the perfume develops vanilla and wooded scents take over and it settles down as refreshing scent with a warm vanilla and muskiness that stays with you a long time. There is nothing overpowering about this scent, there is also nothing spectacular about the ingredients; all have been used before. However, there is something special about this scent and I am not sure if it is because more perfume concentrate has been used which makes each note more detectable, but it works and it smells delicious, very inviting. I would describe this scent as being mature as although I tend to associate vanilla with young women; ylang ylang and peony is quite a mature combination and with the musk it seems to really suit my skin.
I would buy this perfume again so I know that I really like it, it has character but it is subtle enough to wear for day or evening. I love the complexity of the notes, the sweet, the rich, the wooded and the floral and it works so well. I love how long it lasted and this bottle lasted me ages, much longer than any other perfume I have owned. It just goes to show that sometimes things are worth the extra investment. Then we have the lovely bottle to finish with and this is adorable. I know it is expensive and it is par the reason I have not gone online and replaced, I am not made of money but if I was, I would be bathing in this scent, it is fab! I did not get chance to sample the body butter but I bet layering this fragrance with a rich West Side body butter would be amazing!
My husband has leather seats in his car so I bought him a packet of leather wipes to keep his interior clean. It is vary rare that we take the children out in his car but when we do, anyone who has children knows that you need up with stickiness and smears everywhere; even when they do not have anything to eat! The wipes were a bargain from the pound shop and worth the money.
These were a pound from poundland and you can also get them currently on Amazon for £0.99 with a fee of 99p for delivery.
==More than a wipe?==
These wipes have a light lemon scent to them and are 170 cm x 180 cm so they are big enough to do the whole of the interior with if yu juggle the wipe and turn it around and fold away the dirty side. The wipes are designed for leather including sofas, luggage shoes and car seats. We only use them in car as emergency wipes.
I like their promises to clean, repair and protect your leather along with "keep leather as good as new" however they are not a miracle cure. They clean the leather easily and they are at just the right level of moisture to remove sticky marks with ease. They leave the leather shiny and streak free and do seem to have some sort of polish impregnated to keep the leather shiny. They are certainly more than just wipes but they will not protect your leather in the long run and you will need a professional cream for this.
The wipes are good, for a pound you get fifteen and as they only get used once in a blue moon they are getting a bit drier but still can be used. They are handy to have and as it gets warmer we will be doing our interiors and these wipes will be used to give the leather a shine and get rid of the grime. These are cheap for the size and I would recommend them. Just throw them in the dashboard drawer and keep them for when you need them.
I decided to treat myself at the airport when on holiday and bought myself a new pair of sunglasses. I had forgotten my old pair so it was a good excuse to treat myself. I was immediately attracted to these as they were so light and comfortable with a stylish frame. The glasses were for a holiday in Spain where we wanted to do some cycling and sightseeing in the beautiful country side. Obviously, the glasses needed to be comfortable to wear while cycling but I did not want a dedicated cycling pair as I do not do this activity at home. I needed a multi functional pair and these were the ones I chose.
The glasses are unisex with lens width of 67mm and temple length of 125 mm, the bridge over the nose is 16 mm. The glasses I own come in a variety of colours but the ones I have are dark steel grey, close to black but not quite that dark. They have a sheen to them and they are made from acetate. They are flexible and mould to my face shape. The lenses are made from polycarbonate and are slightly grey, they do not scratch easily but either way you get a storage case for them and cleaning cloth.
The glasses were great on the holiday and they did not mark my nose for being too heavy and they did not feel uncomfortable to wear. The glasses are slighty curved at the sides so they are good for protecting your eyes whilst being active as they fit quite snugly. They also protected me from midges as we cycled through the park and by the river.
The glasses are very stylish and I felt younger wearing them, they are a rather androgynous design so men and women can wear them; I like that they are more practical than they are for fashion. The glasses protect your eyes against harmful rays and they have an adequate level of UV protection. I would recommend them; the only downside is the price tag. There are Prada so they are top of the price bracket and cost £170. This is a lot but they are an investment and I find that they are worth the money as they look good and they will last a long time. The style suits me and it is not one that will go out of fashion.