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Asda Little Angels Fragrance Free Cotton Soft Baby Wipes ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Introduction ---------------- With having a 6-month-old daughter I am getting through quite a few baby wipes everyday. I need them for nappy changes but have to use them for the likes of mopping up food from her hands and face and whatever else takes my fancy. The leading brand wipes such as Pampers & Huggies are alright don't get me wrong, but I feel they are excessively overpriced and don't do the job any better than the more budget ranges offered by supermarkets, in fact some of the more expensive leading brands even contain chemicals which as I find have irritated my daughters skin. So, I have been buying Asda wipes since my daughter was about a month old and they haven't failed me yet. They get the job done effectively and quickly, not to mention the fact they are very reasonably priced. Not only do I use them on my daughter but they are also very effective for all the family. I use them to remove my make-up and to freshen up after a long day and my partner finds them handy to keep in his car to quickly clean his hands after touching his engine oil. Range -------- Asda have 3 different types of wipes in their 'Little Angels' range, all of which aren't tested on animals. Here's a bit more information on these 3 types - Fragranced & Fragrance Free - 80 pack: Both the fragranced and fragrance free wipes are available to buy as an 80 pack, these are both dermatologically tested and you will find that each cotton soft wipe is enriched with both aloe vera and baby lotion to care for your baby's skin. The aloe vera is to help care for your little ones skin and the added baby lotion helps to prevent nappy rash. The 'fragrance free' range is also available to buy as a travel pack of 24 wipes that I find are great for carrying in my baby's changing bag or in the car. Eco Wipes - 72 pack: Asda have recently brought in a new addition to their 'Little Angels' range - these wipes are available as a 72 pack, which are biodegradable and are made from sustainable resources. Each cotton enhanced wipe (15% cotton) is again enriched with aloe vera, which is of the 'certified organic' type; each wipe also contains camomile which helps care for the skin. It may also be worth adding that these Eco wipes are also free from harsh irritants that are commonly used in other branded wipes, chemicals such as alcohol, soap, sodium lauryl sulphates and parabens. All 3 types of baby wipes in the 'Little Angels' range are clinically tested and certified as being hypo-allergenic so I use them being assured that they are literally as good if not better than the more expensive bands. I have personally tried all of the wipes in their range and will say that they all do as good a job as each other. I would rate the 'fragrance free' ones the best as they are even less likely to cause irritation to particularly sensitive skin types such as my daughters and my own. Packaging ------------- Each 80 pack of the fragranced and fragrance free range come in a thick plastic sealed bag with a flip open type plastic lid. When new, you have to remove a safety seal which is easily peeled off to reveal an opening where you can them pull the wipes from inside the packet. The plastic lid then re-closes to retain the moisture of the wipes. The 24 travel pack of the fragrance free range come in the same thick plastic bag type packet as the 80 pack but it simply has a re-sealable sticker type seal to reseal the packet keeping the freshness of the wipes. You will find that the fragranced wipes are sold in a pink and white coloured packet with bold pink writing whereas the fragrance free variety is in a white packet with bold green writing (This applies to both the 80 and 24 packs) - so you can't easily be confused between the two types. The Eco wipes are sold in a similar style packet as the fragrance and fragrance free range - a plastic bag with a plastic flip type lid. They have green writing in a bold font and have a picture of a young infant covering the front of the packet. I am assuming that all of the actual packets are non-recyclable as there is nothing stating otherwise on the packaging, so in my opinion it does slightly defeat the point of the 'Eco wipes' being sold as 'eco friendly'. Mind you, I guess what Asda are trying to sell is the fact that the actual wipes in that particular range are biodegradable more so than the packaging itself being eco friendly. Cost ------ The 80 wipes pack of both the fragranced and fragrance free 'Little Angels' wipes are available from as little as £1.00 per pack. However, I frequently find that Asda are running good value deals such as 5 packs for £4 thus making them even better value. The travel pack of fragrance free cotton soft baby wipes are available to buy from 48 pence and as you may know, this is highly competitive compared to the likes of the other 2 major leading brands. The Eco Wipes - 72 pack are available at a slightly higher price of £2.00 a packet, if you like the idea of them being eco-friendly and biodegradable then you will be more than happy to pay slightly extra for these wipes. Summary ------------ I certainly do recommend these wipes to anyone who would use them. I guess you don't even have to have a baby to have some kind of requirement for them. They act as a great alternative to make up wipes and work out a lot cheaper too. As I find with some of the other branded wipes, they tend to be either excessively wet or dry and believe me, this is something which is extremely important as it affects the overall effectiveness of the product. The fact that I haven't had a single Asda wipe in the 'Little Angels' range which is too wet or too dry makes cleaning my little lady as pleasurable as such a tedious job can be and is actually quite refreshing to use on myself. The 'Little Angels' range is a great all round range which offers high quality, effectiveness and isn't overpriced - basically its one of those rare products that actually does exactly what it says on the packaging. © grown_up_girlie, November 2008
HiPP Organic Products ----------------------------- Ordinarily I make my own home-made baby purées as I like to know that my daughter is eating fresh, organic produce and I also rest well in the knowledge of knowing what's going into her mouth i.e. no salt or chemicals. However, what I want and the practicality of life are two entirely different things so it's not always an option to offer her my home-made food for every meal, such as the occasions when we are out. This is where I bring you my review of the 'HiPP Organic' range of baby foods and drinks. What I like most about the range is that it is 100% organic. Organic produce has become more and more popular as we have realised that a lot of produce we have been consuming has been genetically modified and filled/covered with chemicals and packed full of sugar and salts. Like any parent I would only want what's nutritionally best for my child so I believe that for those occasions when I cant offer my homemade food the 'HiPP Organic' range comes as the next best thing. HiPP have been making baby foods for over 50 years and specialise in making foods with the highest quality produce. They have since become one of the top manufacturers of organic baby foods - so much so, they have frequently won awards for their high quality. What makes this high quality is: · They only use certified organic ingredients · They use no harmful pesticides · They use no GM (Genetically Modified) ingredients · They produce good home-cooked tastes · There are no artificial colours or preservatives in any recipe · Only free-range meat is used · There are no antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones in any of their products Each item in the 'HiPP Organic' range is clearly labelled with the weaning stage and age suitability for each individual product along with whether the item is gluten free, suitable for vegetarians, egg free and whether it has no added wheat, soya, nuts or milk products, and if they are suitable for ovo-lacto vegetarians. Convenience & Range --------------------------- I find the convenience of using jars brilliant. The contents of the jars are contained within a clear jar and come with a protective popper type lid which will indicate if the jar has been tampered with any way. The labels guide you as to how to store the food, warm it and there is specific information as to ingredients and nutritional information on every item. Jars, Dried Recipe's & Finger Food Range: The 'HiPP Organic' jars which are available as both sweet and savoury options and are either meat based or vegetarian based, are available in 80g, 125g and 190g jars (Dependent on the child's weaning stage) and can be served at room temperature or warmed up in warm water. The 'purely fruit' pots are available in 4 x 100g individual pots which are sealed with a foil lid for freshness and can be eaten straight from the pot. The dried recipe range comes in 160g packs and can be mixed with either the infants' normal milk or cooled boiled water. The range consists of both deserts and breakfast cereals. The finger food range includes organic biscottes (10 months plus), ruskits (6 months plus) and elephant biscuits (10 months plus) that are available in a foil sealed bag - for freshness, which then is contained in a box. Milks: The HiPP Organic Milk Range consists of 3 infant formulas - one for each stage of your child's development. 1) HiPP Organic Infant Milk - Suitable from birth onwards which is nutritionally complete 2) HiPP Organic Follow On Milk - which is suitable from 6 months onwards and should be used as part of a mixed diet when moving from an infant milk formula. It can be used on its own as a drink, on breakfast cereals or mixed in with solid foods. This milk is available in 27g individual sachets, 900g pouches or as a ready-made 500ml carton. 3) HiPP Organic Good Night Milk Drink - which has been specially formulated as a night milk drink for 6 - 36 month old infants as an alternative to their evening follow-on-milk feed or meal. Drinks: A fennel drink, which is made up with boiled water and cooled then given as a mild and soothing drink in a bottle or beaker - this is ideal for infants over 4 months old. The juice is in actual fact mineral water with a hint of apple juice and is suitable from 4 months onwards. This is available in 2 size bottles and as I find it's suitably thirst quenching for my baby when she doesn't want her milk. Smoothies - there are currently 2 types of smoothies (Apple & Raspberry and Apple & Banana) in this range of drinks, each bottle offers 1 complete portion of fruit, which is perfect for any infant over the age of 10 months old. These smoothies are so good for your infant that the Apple & Raspberry one has been given the 'Soil Association's Organic Food Award 2008'. Cost ------- Seeing as the 'HiPP Organic' products are strictly 'organic' this is reflected in the price thus making it slightly more expensive than the other leading brands. However, you will find that there are constantly special offers on at the local supermarkets and price can start as low as 50p per a single 125g jar. For me I can have peace of mind knowing my daughter is only getting the best nutritionally so to me it's well worth the extra few pence. Stockists ------------ Most supermarkets and chemists stock the 'Hipp Organic' range of baby foods and drinks. You can also purchase 'HiPP Organic' food and non-food products directly from their online shop: www.hipp.co.uk/shop/index.html Need More Information? ------------------------------ If you require more information about the 'Hipp Organic' range then you can visit their website at: www.hipp.co.uk For more information about why to chose organic baby foods please go to: www.hipp.co.uk/organic_quality/why.htm To join the 'HiPP Organic' Baby Club (Vouchers, baby advice etc) then go to: www.hipp.co.uk/register.htm © grown_up_girlie, November 2008
The Introduction ~~~~~~~~~~~ Im 24 years and 5 months old, I am a grown up, so what exactly is it that makes me buy Matey bubble bath. I remember having it poured into my bath as a wee nipper so some may say its got something to do with that and/or I could argue that its the bubbly-tastic fun that I get from a bottle of Matey bubble bath. So climb on in and enjoy my Matey bubble-tastic experience with me .. Please Give a Warm Welcome to . Matey ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Made in the UK and being sold on the shops shelves since 1958, Matey bubble baths have been the No.1 selling bubble bath product for kiddies over 1 year of age. Matey is the name of the product, in the products range of bubble baths there are 4 different characters. So why is the Matey bubble bath range so popular? I feel that not only is it a brand that has been trusted for decades by parents but that its been judged for nearly half a century by the harshest critics of all . children, but not just our children us as children. Over time the Matey bubble bath range has made bath time fun for millions; its been sat at the bath side throughout generations. Its made many fun bath time memories and as I know it, most people have met my mate Matey in one of his 4 bubble bath guises: 1. Sailor He is the Captain of HMS Matey, he wears a blue uniform and a white hat. 2. Mer-Matey She is the beautiful golden haired mermaid who is wears a pink hat. 3. Lucky The only pirate parrot around that wears an eye patch and yellow hat. 4. Doc-topus The colour changing octopus with a blue hat that changes colour when poured into water. Matey have made bath times easier for parents (in general children dont like bathing), they did this by more recently marketing the 4 bubble baths in moulded shaped bottles that suited each individual character, this was to replace the more original skittle shaped bottles. By doing this, its created a very positive reaction in children, giving off that toy appeal. What a perfect marketing tactic by Sara Lee especially when the bottle can then be used as a toy when fully used. Bubbly-tastic Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Creating millions of delicate and softly-fragranced long-lasting bubbles, I just pour 2 - 4 capfuls (as advised) of the goopy liquid under warm running water to create a bubbly-tastic experience that is really soothing yet uplifting and very fun. The scents of all 4 Matey bubble bath characters are mild. As I mentioned earlier the Matey bubble baths are available in 4 characters. Mer-Matey has a more floral based scent so is more marketed towards us girls unlike the Sailor which has a distinct yet mild aftershave scent aimed more at the boys. Both Lucky and Doct-topus are more fresh n fruity and are in my opinion unisex. All 4 scents are comforting though, so much so that I could describe the experience as almost having a hug-like sensation hit my senses perfect for child to adult alike Regardless of which character Im in the mood for I either splash n play or just lay n soak, either way the millions of bubbles stay bubbly for the whole time Im in the tub and of course this is all the whilst getting me squeaky fresh n clean. Some people may also be interested to know that I have had no residue left around my bath tub either - so there's no having to clean it afterwards. All of the 4 characters in the mild and gentle Matey bubble bath range have been specially developed for use on childrens sensitive skin. The Matey bubble bath products are dermatologically tested and approved; pH balanced and have added moisturizers from Seaweed extracts. So as you will agree, all of this makes for an irritation free bubbly-tastic experience. Price & Availability ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Matey bubble baths come in a standard bottle size of 500ml. The bottles blurb says that you can get up to 30 baths from each bottle, Id be more inclined to say 16-20 would be more accurate, however, I still feel this is very modestly priced at approx £1.60 each. The 4 Matey bubble bath characters are available in most supermarkets and in high-street chemists such as Boots and Superdrug, the bottles are very distinctive in comparison to other bubble baths so you shouldnt have any problems finding it on the shelf. Conclusion ~~~~~~ Even though I don't have kids I do buy bottles for my nieces and nephews who are all young - they love it just as much as I did when I was a child, so as you will agree this proves that the essence of 'Matey' bubble bath is still there...... I will without a doubt buy this for my future children and grand-children in many years to come as its a reliable trustworthy product that creates such fun times. For More Matey Products & Matey Fun ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ www.matey.co.uk © grown_up_girlie, February 2007.
Room 101 ~~~~~~~ Why is it that its the smallest things that annoy the hell out of you? Well its normally these everyday things that get my back up the most. I always watch the TV programme Room 101 and can usually empathise with the mundane things that these Z list celebrities decide to mention, so I have decided that its time to vent my own frustrations . Okay so I have a list that is somewhat endless and some may say that I annoy the hell out of them with my constant whining so this is why I will only share my top 5 things that annoy me the most. No.5 What a Waste! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We (The consumer) are the first to moan about our utility prices going up, but maybe if we were more energy savvy then costs wouldnt go through the roof so much as all round efficiency would be better thus lowering the demand on fuel/water sources! We can make a difference and if I can do it you can too its ignorance if you dont at least try. More can be done by everyone and it annoys me seeing people who dont bother. Its wasting your money, my money and destroying the environment . Fix those leaks and switch those lights off - lets love our planet and our wallets. If you want to know more about becoming more energy efficient then you could log onto: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk No.4 Public Transport Shambles ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rude and incompetent bus drivers I hate them. It amazes me how some of our local drivers have managed to keep their jobs. Having used the local bus network here in Cambridge for 10 years I have witnessed some appalling incidents because of various drivers. One driver actually stopped the bus in morning rush hour, got off and assaulted a cyclist for cycling in a wrong lane, then there are the drivers who pull away from the bus stop before the passengers have sat down and now fair enough, being 23 I can handle being thrown about a bit but the many elderly and disabled people I have seen fall over and get hurt because of this is despicable. Also, dont get me started on the drivers who feel its alright to just drive past you because they are running late - thats if they even bother following the designated bus route at all. But dont forget the government wants us to use public transport more! Sort it out Stagecoach! No.3 You Are Not Worthy Of My Money ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Self service tills why is it that every time you use these tills you always get the one with a faulty scanner and dirty conveyor belt! I recently used one of these tills in Tesco and finally lost my temper because the item/s I was scanning werent scanning properly; so much so, the store assistant indirectly made me feel like I was shop lifting and then the 2 white tops that I had scanned and placed on the conveyor belt to be weighed, got dirty as the belt was covered in chilled food stains! I have used these tills several times and this is not the first problem I have had . A bit more maintenance would go a long way. I am a law abiding citizen whom expects the service I am and do pay for, so why is it that I leave the supermarket feeling like Im being unreasonable and a criminal! All this bother just so Tesco can save a few quid on staff . Pathetic! No.2 Public Space Is No Place ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well this one will be self explanatory really why do people feel the need to urinate in public places? Fair enough they are in a small minority but cmon we live in a modern age where we have toilets toilets that are available to use, almost anywhere you go! What is even more disgusting, is the people that urinate up the side of cars, for this I am sure to have witnessed at least a dozen times! Its gross and totally unhygienic so do not do it there is absolutely no excuse! No.1 A Little Respect! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ People who dont respect my home irritate the hell out of me. Why is it that people presume youre happy with them putting their feet up on your new sofa or youre your happy for them to stand on your white bath mat with their big dirty trainers on; leaving behind dirty foot prints ..? I wouldnt do it so what makes people think that they can! I know that I would never disrespect any other persons home so why do people think they can in mine? Why cant people use their common sense and a few manners when they go into peoples homes, its just damn right rude! Conclusion ~~~~~~~~ Okay, so maybe I need to get out more and learn to relax a bit, but the things listed above really do get my back up, people will not be perfect and nor will life ever be perfect but a little more respect, a few more manners and much more common-sense would certainly make my life better if not yours too! Thank you for listening. © grown_up_girlie, August 2006.
Introduction ~~~~~~~~ We all want something for nothing in this life but we all know that this rarely happens Being quite clued up on freebie sites on the Internet I thought I knew it all thats until I came across www.rpoints.com. What Is Rpoints? ~~~~~~~~~~~ www.rpoints.com, offers cashback on the Internet from 100s of online retailers and also provides you with the chance of earning cashback from signing up to newsletters, free trials and surveys etc. Navigation ~~~~~~~ The site itself is easy to navigate, with a drop-down menu and has member forums where the thousands of members, share their latest finds . These offers vary from the latest freebie available i.e., free stationary to the lowest prices found for a specific product i.e. Sony LCD television. The huge varieties of retailers are placed into categories and then sub-categories making it very easy to navigate through, so for example: Gifts Wedding or Gifts Greeting Cards. The format of the website is quite basic so even the novice can navigate with ease. Seeing, as you have to be a member to sign up, you can then access the member forums, which provide members with some un-missable offers; be it for your utility bills, day trips out or voucher codes for your online shopping. All of this is accessible from a tabbed and clearly labelled homepage. It really is very simple and clear. There are moderators, which monitor the forum boards to ensure that member offers are genuine and to ensure that things are kept specific and to the point on the boards . They also aid any members that may come across any broken links to a specific cashback retailer. They really are a very helpful bunch. The Forums This is the place where you will get a large amount of information be it in the way of physical goods or cashback you can post, reply and follow up to any members posts and can get the information to the hottest deals and freebies on the internet today. There is something in the forum for everyone, be it gambling, money saving or freebies . You would certainly find yourself signing up for some kind of freebie in here; be it a new SIM card, air freshener or toiletry product (All for free). There is a full FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) guide on the site if you have any queries and failing that you could ask in the forums or submit a question to one of the staff members whom reply very promptly. The FAQ is situated within the help tab, which is clearly noted on the main page. Becoming A Member ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Registration - To become a member is very simple, there are 2 methods of doing so, the first being you can be referred by an existing member via an invitation email or you can go directly to the website and click on the Click Here, Join Now button, situated in the top right corner of the homepage. There is currently a free £5 bonus if you sign up and all thats needed is your email address and any chosen password. All name and address information is kept safe, secure and confidential - your email address will not be given out to any person/company unless authorised to do so by you. Cashback ~~~~~~~ The cashback rates on rpoints.com are highly competitive. Its hard to know which cashback site to sign up too as there are so many about but through my recommendation, I can say that you wont be rewarded as much as you do with rpoints.com. You can earn as much as 30% rebate on partner purchases if you click from their site. Whats more is that if someone else clicks to a partner via your referral link you will earn cashback from his or her purchase too this is known as a promoter bonus. It is also a myth that you have to spend to earn cashback I have spent very little but earned over £150.00 in about 10 months all I have done is sign up for a few freebie newsletters and completed daily searches (Over given months) on several sites such as kelkoo, lycos, pricrunner and search anything credit cards. These sites arent the high earners for me as a consumer, but they do all add up and the cashback helps pay my broadband bill every month (£24.99). The whole process for me takes around 5 minutes a day so is certainly worth it in my opinion. There are several members who earn up to £200 a month from rpoints.com by taking up the higher earning offers its simply down to personal preference as to which offers you decide to sign to and purchase. Statements The statements are simple to understand . You have several columns in which specific given information is listed . It will tell you the status of each individual transaction, which is updated throughout the day, every day. Pending credits do take a while to become approved but definitely do and the balance is then redeemable with a minimum payout threshold of £1.00. V.I.P Status you are granted V.I.P status when you have earned a minimum of £50.00 within the last 6 months of being a member of the rpoints.com site (This threshold is easily reached). What is so good about this status is that you automatically have access to the V.I.P section of the forums where members post the best deals available online to specific retailers. You also have access to 100s of voucher codes (Coupons) that entitle you to huge discounts at a lot of the most popular retailers online. A good example of this would be that you could get free delivery and say £15 off you grocery order with tesco.com . Partners the range of partners available to earn from via rpoints.com is vast. It has insurance to food shopping partners to holidays and telecoms it really is always worth checking their search facility for any given online retailer to see if you can earn some cashback before going ahead with a purchasing decision. Rpoints are daily, signing more partners so you will find many high street/leading retailers offering cashback via rpoints. Redemption ~~~~~~~~ Redemption is very simple, all you have to do is ensure that you have minimum of £1.00, which has been awarded, and then you can redeem it for one of the several methods available. These methods are payment via pay pal, cd-wow vouchers, Amazon vouchers, money bookers or BACS. Each method is subject to a minimum value but you get extra discounts on some of the vouchers i.e. Amazon or cd-wow vouchers (this can be as much as 5%). Redemption is easy you simply click on the link for redemption, click on your chosen payment method and wait for the payment to be made. I have found that the payments are paid very quickly normally within 7 days of submitting your request. You can then do as you please with your chosen method/amount. Points to Pounds A single point is the equivalent of 1 penny but it really is astonishing how quickly it adds up. You can earn up to £1.00 a day in the re-occurring earners section and thats simply without having to purchase anything . Just imagine how much potentially can be earned if you were a regular Internet shopper. So Whats Are the Cons? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I wouldnt say there are any major cons to this site but if you are like me and you decide to just do your daily recurring earning offers then you will find that your designated email address becomes a little busy with non related offers. These emails (offers) are an integral part of the whole cashback process if you havent purchased anything, it is this that enables us to earn cashback for nothing. If you have earned your cashback from a purchased offer via rpoints, then you will not receive any non-related email offers from the given online retailer. Recommendation ~~~~~~~~~~~~ So would I recommend www.rpoints.com to anyone the answer is a simple yes! I have actually referred several people to date and for each person have earned an additional £5.00 for doing so. Its simple, easy to understand, brings me great freebies in my morning post and earns me enough to pay my broadband bill each month so as my attitude goes, why not for the sake of a few advertising emails. As far as cashback related sites go, this is the one to be with. It really is a win win win scenario for everyone concerned, if only it worked like this all the time. © grown_up_girlie, August 2006.
The Introduction ~~~~~~~~~~~ Being a gal and all that, of course I love my make-up. I apply a nice amount everyday to enhance my umm natural beauty. A bit of foundation, blusher, bronzer, eye shadow and mascara - a whole 15 minute session to apply it - gawd, the things we have to do as women (Men too, if you are into that sort of thing). My daily application of make-up is pretty easy to do. It's the removing bit I hate the most. Being a mere 23 years old, I have been wearing make-up for about 8 years now and have used, tried and tested so many different methods to get rid of that smudged mascara look at the end of each day before bedtime. The Dilemma ~~~~~~~~~ Years ago, I used to do the whole soap, water and flannel thing over the basin in the bathroom. This is not to mention the fact I would then need to go onto use a separate toner and moisturiser to try maintain my skin condition. With being far too time consuming and with the soap always getting in my eyes when cleansing, I just couldn't keep this routine up. Especially if I had been out for the evening and just wanted to get to bed! What a total nightmare! It wasn't that I was just too lazy to have a wash; I am a very clean person, but as it was a daily thing I got very frustrated and that's not to mention the fact that no matter how much I would scrub my face, the mascara would just not come off completely. What was a girl to do? Every skin specialist would recommend the whole 3-2-1 routine, (For those of you who don't know this, it's cleanse-tone-moisturise). I decided that enough was enough. Not only was soap just too harsh for my sensitive skin, but it wasn't even giving a 'real' result when trying to get rid of my make-up. I then decided to invest in some (very expensive) make up remover for sensitive skin. Yes, at last! Something that did the job! Nice clean skin before bedtime but at a not so nice price of £14.95. I had to be choosy when purchasing a make-up remover as I am allergic to a lot of beauty products on the market. Again yet another dilemma that boiled down to price v's quality. Spreading the Word ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A friend of mine, not long before the end of my 'expensive make-up remover' had run out, told me about these new facial wipes that had come out in Asda. She knew of my facial cleansing dilemma so recommended that I had a look around for a packet next time I went shopping. I thought it was a great idea in principle but I had reservations about what they would be made of and if I would have an adverse reaction. She said that they had been through 'extensive dermatological testing' so I should be fine with them So off I went to Asda in hunt of these wipes! First Impressions ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Standing reading the blurb on the back of the nicely designed matt feel packaging it read: "Specially formulated with proved anti-ageing, Active Sea minerals to preserve the elasticity of the skin and aid skin cell renewal" I wanted to believe what I was reading, but being a cynic, found it hard too. I was still hoping that with these I could be proved wrong and that the wipes would work for me, especially as I didn't want to have to revert back to paying a small fortune just for the removal of smudged make-up. As with all Asda products I already knew that they weren't tested on animals and they fund research into other alternatives so I was happy to potentially waste my money buying another cosmetic product that would just irritate my skin, at least some poor animal hadn't gone through pain for my gain! First Use ~~~~~~ Having bought a packet and returned home, I peeled back the transparent sticky/re-sealable label on the top of the white plastic packet. Lifting the packet to my nose, I had my first sniff of the top 'pH balanced' wipe. It didn't really smell of anything. I am guessing that the 'fragrance free' statement of the front of the packaging could have been a huge giveaway. So here goes, I pull a wipe out and gently start wiping my face. Wow, result! The 'white wipe' had taken some of my foundation off so I continued wiping away. I looked in the mirror and could see that my face looked clean; I touched my skin and knew it felt clean . It hadn't only removed my make up but was removing all traces of dirt and oil. My skin didn't seem to sting or buzz either which is normal if I am to react with a new product. Also, the wipe was still fully intact and had not frayed or ripped from use. You can just tell the product had been made from a stronger type material. Softer than a baby wipe, it was perfect to brush against my skin. I picked up a fresh wipe and continued around my eye area. Wow, result! The wipe had my mascara and eye shadow all over it. It was coming off with the gentle strokes I was using over my eyelid. I opened my eye expecting a sting and nope, nothing, zilch! My skin just felt ever so 'refreshed, clean and soft'. These wipes really were 'mild', I was so chuffed you really have no idea just how happy a simple thing like this has made me. 'Suitable for all skin types', I couldn't believe that it did literally mean that! So here I was with a product that contained 'no soap', 'no alcohol' and 'no strong irritating fragrances'. Each wipe is 'enriched with vitamin E' and 'Pro vitamin B5' to moisturise and condition the skin after use - I just loved that whole freshly cleansed feeling. My skin felt better for using the wipes, better than it had ever done before and particularly after having just removed my make up. The Long Term Test ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Okay, so I put these to the test over a period of time. I stopped using my usual moisturiser. To my shock horror, have I not only, not developed a reaction to these wipes, but I have surprisingly soft, moisturised skin all day and everyday, these 'pH balanced' wipes really are 'non-drying' and 'gentle' to the skin. I also feel as though my skin has more of a natural glow to it since using these wipes. Could this have anything to do with the 'natural protective anti oxidant' that is contained in each of theses softly textured wipes? I like to think so .. Convenience ~~~~~~~~~ These wipes are not only of high quality and great value for money but are very convenient. What used to be a really tedious job - I can now do on the move and in about 90 seconds flat. I don't only use these wipes for removing make-up but just for a quick fresh up as and when needed. What I also find great about them is the fact you can take them anywhere or everywhere with you; in your handbag, briefcase, to the gym, when travelling or just for the sake of it. Being smaller than the size of a CD case they are great to keep in the car or will happily sit in your desk drawer at work. They are soft and squidgy when in the packet. Have no fear though, they are not wet enough to leak liquid anywhere. These are perfect for any skin type, for men & women (yes, my other half uses them now too), great for teenagers to use to freshen up at school/college. These have a good shelf life so you can normally store them for up to 36months from date of purchase. A packet of 25 wipes lasts me about 3/4 weeks which I believe is very economical. The Conclusion ~~~~~~~~~~~ Being soft, gentle, cleansing, moisturising, conditioning, non irritating, well tested, economical and tremendous value for money at 88p a packet, each soft wipe does the job better than any other product I have tried so I am fully recommending this product to you my fellow consumers. © grown_up_girlie, April 2006.
The Introduction ~~~~~~~~~~~ Okay so the Johnson+Johnson disclaimer reads that 8 out of 10 midwives use JOHNSONs baby on their own children, so would that make you trust their brand when it comes to your own child or even yourself? So I dont have children myself but I still think that I am qualified with writing a review when it comes to Johnsons top to toe wash, as I frequently have my six nieces and nephews (all under 10) over to stay and bathe them, very frequently using this mild and gentle wash. The Infant Test ~~~~~~~~~~ So mild is this wash that its claimed to be as soft on your babies eyes and skin as water is. It is dye-free and hypoallergenic making it the perfect product to use even on your newborn baby. When bathing children as young as 6 months to 10 years I can stand proud when saying that all of the above is true. You can lather it up like any ordinary soap based product to cleanse the delicate skin of any child. Its also multi-purpose and can be used to wash your childs hair . I find that it cleans an infants hair as well as any shampoo and leaves it tangle free why pour a chemical ridden product onto your childs very delicate scalp when you can use a single product to do the whole job. One of my nephews suffers from cradle cap so to wash his full head of hair with a shampoo product would naturally irritate this, but again Johnson top-to-toe wash is so mild it does the job without irritating it. Being PH balanced and milder than any baby soap, it is to be applied direct to the skin using 1 or 2 pumps from the pump type dispenser bottle this is enough to give your little angel an all over clean literally from top-to-toe. It rinses off the skin easily and it doesnt leave behind any residual marks. The scent of Johnsons top-to-toe wash is so mild its actually relaxing for both infant and adult alike. Perfect for use before bedtime it wont over stimulate your babies senses to awaken them more than naturally need be. It is perfect for the dry skin that some children suffer from as its non-drying and non-irritating yet will cleanse enough to get rid of the dirt that may cause that irritation in the first place. I have used this product to wash all six of my nieces and nephews sometimes as frequently as on a daily basis, this may not always be from just normal everyday dirt build-up but from those many accidents that children can have and it has never ceased to impress me with its gentle yet effective cleaning power. The Adult Test ~~~~~~~~~~ Maybe its the overuse of perfumes in other products that denies us adults of this strangely comforting scent of Johnsons products but Johnsons baby Top to Toe wash is also excellent for adults. I have very sensitive skin and find that using daily shower gels or bubble baths can irritate what is already very dry skin. I came to the conclusion of what is good enough for a baby is good enough for me. I have my normal showering routine; it normally consists of washing my hair then washing my skin. I like to be thorough when cleansing my body and find that I can use Johnsons baby top-to-toe wash on all of my body parts without causing any irritation whatsoever. I simply squirt 2 or 3 pumps of this wonderfully mild smelling wash into the palm of my hand and then apply it directly to my skin I lather it up and rinse it off, Im then left with squeaky clean, yet irritation free skin, all the whilst it being soft and smelling sensationally comforting. It really does work wonders on both older skin types as well as on infants. I am very surprised that the majority of adults apply chemical ridden shower/bath products to what is their very delicate skin, rather than use these milder products, as like I said before whats good enough for baby is surely good enough for me! I frequently use this product to remove make-up residue after a heavy day, it doesnt dry the skin on my face out unlike most soap-based products do and I find that it cleanses deeply enough to remove all traces of dirt build-up on my skin. Whats even better is that I even have my boyfriend using it now - he is so impeccably impressed with its gently effective cleaning power. If you want to truly care for your own skin as well as your childs, then I really do recommend you at least trying this wash, especially on the more delicate areas of your body, I am sure you will soon have the whole family using it. I mainly use this product when showering but have used it in the bath as well, it offers to be a relaxing experience after a hard days grind. Its soothing scent is relaxing on the mind and helps calm your senses. It is certainly a great alternative to those strong bath products and oils which I have fallen fowl to so many times before. I simply squirt one or two pumps under warm running water and hop in, I find that it foams enough to enjoy a lovely soothing bubble bath. The scent itself is a hard one to describe; it smells sensually soft and has a light comforting aroma to it, it doesnt smell of anything particularly distinctive so unfortunately I cant give you more of an idea, but I do suggest that next time youre in a supermarket, you pick up and unscrew the bottles top to have a sniff of it - I am sure that, that will be enough to lure you into buying it. Product Information ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Johnsons top-to-toe wash is available in a 300ml or 500ml pump dispenser type bottle and is available from most major supermarkets. It is commonly shelved within the baby product department of a store so is easy found in its slightly transparent baby yellow bottle. Prices dont vary massively depending on where you shop, so you are looking at paying around £2.00 for a 300ml bottle or around £3.00 for a 500ml bottle. I have had the same 500ml bottle for 6 weeks now and have used it at least twice daily, so its working out to be very long lasting at a very reasonable cost. The Conclusion ~~~~~~~~~~~ Having used this product on both my brothers and sisters children as well as myself, I will honestly say I have never come across a product on the market which can even remotely compare to this. The simplicity of having an all-in-one product to make bath time for my nieces and nephews more enjoyable and less hassle is itself worth its weight in gold. To also have that added bonus of the product being effective enough to use on myself whilst having fallen very much in love with the sensual aroma and feeling it leaves behind on my skin, is something that I feel cannot be given anything less than a full recommendation of 5 *S*T*A*R*S to you my fellow consumers. © grown_up_girlie, March 2006.
**Introduction** Anytime when purchasing goods on the internet you are in effect giving the named company your trust and thats not to mention your hard earned money. I have purchased a lot of items online to-date and have never experienced as such appalling service from a company quite like the one I am about to review for you. I am writing this review from the perspective of the levels of customer services offered rather than the more practical side of how to use the website. I wish to take you through my 3 week nightmare of dealings and how I was treated as the customer. I am about to move into my own place for the first time and have been saving religiously to buy new appliances. I initially only budgeted £300 for a new cooker, but having fallen in love with one on sale from www.247electrical.co.uk I found the additional £89.99 so that I could have this particular model. **Who are 247 Electrical** '247 electrical'is a UK based, online company that sells allsorts of electrical goods from household appliances to gadgets, tv/audio equipment and lighting. They offer competitive prices online and aim to provide outstanding service to its customers. So with this in mind I went ahead and placed my order for my new cooker. **A Bit About Placing The Order** Placing the order was very simple; its the all so familiar routine of creating an account, adding the goods to your cart then checking out. The full amount of £389.99 was debited from my partners card straight away. All done, all I have to do now is wait for the cooker to arrive. There is a section in your online account where you can check the status of your order, very useful to the buyer so I thought. Now, I wont moan about the website itself as it was very simple to navigate and the goods were displayed in a clear manor. **The Wait** So how long do you give it until you start getting concerned that you may be being taken for a ride ? Well 5 working days went by before I contacted this company. The online status of my order was still sat on processing; this was since the order was placed on the 2nd November 05. Naturally with the biggest purchase I had ever made I was going to contact them to see what was going on and to make sure there were no problems. I sent an email on the 7th November, to the customer service department of 247electrical to ask when I can expect the delivery of my goods. After waiting 24 hours for a reply I got one from a sales member who I will quote as saying Please allow 5 working days from now for delivery. Any further enquiries please do not hesitate to contact me. So going by what the employee of 247 electrical has said, I should have my cooker by the 14th November 05. I waited until Friday 11th November and checked the online status of my order again and it was still showing as being processing so I decided to telephone 247electrical.co.uk to find out what was going on. Phoning a 0700 number I reluctantly sat in a phone queue for 22 minutes before finally being answered. The sales advisor said that apparently it would be dispatched that same afternoon for delivery on Monday 14th. Fair play, so I thought. Monday 14th November 2005 I was excited that I would be getting my first cooker delivered today . I logged onto the website to expect to see my order status as dispatched. How wrong could I have been ..? I got onto that dear 0700 telephone number again at 10am when their lines went live and sat in yet another 20 minute queue. I could feel myself getting very angry but know from having worked in customer service environments that to get mad over the phone will get you nowhere. So I politely asked the sales assistant if I could expect to receive my cooker today or not. Putting me on hold to clearly speak to her supervisor I could literally hear my phone bill ticking as the call went on longer and longer. After sitting on hold for 3 minutes the advisor came back and advised me that my cooker hadnt even been picked up from their warehouse by the courier service and that they couldnt understand why . I then of course politely explained that this is not good enough and quoted their earlier email correspondence. I requested that the advisor find out what is really going on and then call me back to let me know what is happening as I clearly cannot sit around waiting for an order which as far as I was concerned would at this point probably never arrive. . I couldnt understand why I had not been contacted by 247electrical.co.uk earlier; my point is why am I, the consumer chasing them and why have I been told on 3 occasions that the cooker had been dispatched when it clearly had not? Whilst awaiting a phone call back from the sales assistant, I decided to write an email of complaint directly to her manager to voice my dissatisfaction with the level of service I had received. I hoped this email would be read with some priority. After waiting all day for my return call I received one at 5.57pm 3 minutes from closing and quoting the sales advisor I dont know why it wasnt sent out, for some reason Feenix Distribution (The courier service) havent got our dispatch request by this point I was livid so I requested that she put the manager on as I didnt want to be fobbed off again with more lies. The manager initially seemed apologetic and assured me that first thing the next morning she would telephone me with the REAL delivery date of my order, I took her word for it as you would do coming from a manager .. Tuesday 15th November 10 am came, the phone lines have gone live and I am waiting by the telephone for my promised return call from the manager. I waited and waited and waited . The clock went past 2pm and I thought right this IS IT! Again, I got onto that 0700 number (Another 25 minutes wait) to not be fobbed off by anyone . I got through to yet another sales assistant whom didnt have a clue what was happening and tried to tell me that my cooker had been dispatched when I knew it hadnt. To say I was upset is an understatement . This company were now taking liberties out of me and I knew that 12 days from placing my order and now 4 occasions of being told the cooker had been dispatched when it clearly hadnt, that they were obviously completely incompetent and there was a great lack of communication within their company. Having finally got in touch with the manager I clearly expressed my extreme disappointment with 247electrical.co.uk. I asked for some form of compensation for the fact that I had wasted several precious days sat in and thats not mention the huge phone bill that was coming my way from having to chase them. I was then offered a mere £20 discount for all the trouble and was told that it was definitely to be dispatched within 2 days to arrive on the 21st November. As far as I was concerned I took the discount and requested contact information for the managing director of the company so that I could express my concerns and worries about the disgustingly poor level of service I had received, surely he would want to know especially seeing as clearly quoted on the website there a statement that reads Equally as important to us is offering our customers the very highest level of sales support. Our Call Centre and Customer Service teams are dedicated to providing accurate, helpful information on all aspects of our business so as to help you with purchase. I went ahead and emailed the managing director and for the purpose of this review will name as Mr MD. **The Ultimate Insult** I emailed Mr MD a copy of my initial complaint and a copy of the email I had sent the manager of the customer services department. He was very swift in his reply I will say, although the reply was somewhat the biggest insult to date. I was given the sales talk of how many orders the company fulfils per a week and how happy their customers are. I was advised how he cannot deal with verbal discussions made and this is the best quote as from his email From my point of view I need to be able to trust my staff implicitly and rely upon them and on the other hand I could never suggest a customer is not telling the truth. He then went on to insult me further by saying that With regards to compensation we do have a company policy that we pay no compensation whatsoever. Whilst we as a company strive to provide the best levels of service possible, the investment we make is into our training and systems, not in ad hoc compensation payments. *NAMES* (The manager) offer is beyond what I would have authorised. Another point to make is that Mr MD also advised me that this error was due to an internal problem with the product that was largely beyond our control. Unfortunately, however hard we try and however good our systems are these issue do occur and this is unfortunately part of life. Now I dont know about you readers, but as a consumer I would have hoped that it wouldnt have taken several phone calls and emails to find out that there was a problem with getting my cooker dispatched and more to the point why I am having to chase them, surely they have MY money accruing interest in their bank and I have no goods so where is the fact of life part of that. An error is one thing; I understand that delays do happen but to be told incorrect information now on 5 occasions is not a fact of life. It is despicable. So having gone into a coughing fit of sheer shock, my initial reaction to this email is that how can a sales team and company run to the highest possible standard when the Managing Director offers such disgusting customer service himself. Having dealt with many companies online and worked for a leading one myself, I know that this is no way to speak to any customer and to inadvertently call them a liar is beyond belief. His end paragraph advised me as follows It is clear that you have lost confidence in 247electrical.co.uk as your chosen supplier so I would suggest the best course of action would be for us to cancel your order and action an immediate refund to enable you to purchase the item from a supplier that you would be happy with and would have confidence in. I sent a very frank reply stating: I would like an immediate refund please for the full amount of £389.99. I would like you to confirm this has been done this afternoon (Tuesday 15th) via email. I appreciate your comments however due to the lack of knowledge and competency on your companies part I have incurred a financial loss and an official complaint will be made to trading standards. As you say you would never suggest a customer is lying however I have an email from your team of sales staff to confirm my version of events. I look forward to receiving a full refund immediately. Thank you. His again swift reply was that I have passed the action request to our customer services and our internal target is for refunds to be actioned within 4 days. I figured that I would have my money back by the 20th November according to their internal quality targets. **The Refund** I waited the 4 days quoted by this pleasant man himself and still hadnt received my money back. I was very anxious and was starting to feel quite down and stressed by the whole going ons with 247electrical.co.uk. The delay of my refund was preventing me from purchasing a cooker elsewhere and seeing as I was moving soon, time was very important. I decided to contact Trading Standards and Consumer Direct who advised me to contact Mr MD via email explaining that time is of the essence and they took onboard my complaint. It seems that this is not the first time Trading Standards have heard the all so familiar names mentioned. I contacted Mr MD once again, with the above information as advised by Trading Standards and to say I was expecting a rude reply from him, again is an another understatement. I shall leave you dear readers of this review with the reading of his last email: Firstly may I make it very clear that time is not of the essence. Secondly, I would suggest that you go back to whoever it was you spoke to at both Trading Standards & Consumer Direct to remind them of the legal obligations of a retailer, namely that in accordance with the Distance Selling Regulations (DSR), Sales of Goods Act and Supply of Goods or Services to Consumers Act 2002, which we very diligently act within the limitations of, we must action a refund within 30 days of cancellation received in writing. Written cancellation was expressed in your communication of 15th November so we must action the refund by 15th December. However as a customer focussed organisation, and to ensure we more than comply with the above referenced acts, our internal quality targets are 4 days to action a refund, as per my previous email. I waited 9 working days for a full refund it was the 23rd November, 3 weeks from my initial order before I got my money back, they clearly cannot even keep to their internal quality targets as quoted by the managing director himself. **My Overall Opinion** Rude, incompetent, dishonest, patronising In my opinion, this is a company that I shall never shop with again. To say that this was a bad experience for me is very much of an understatement. I would also like to say that this review is not written to be slanderous in any attempt, merely to express my disgust as a consumer with a company with whom I whole heartedly trusted and was as you can see let down by in a huge manor. © grown_up_girlie, December 2005
Introduction ~~~~~~~~ I have always had a keen eye for a bargain and when I do my toiletries shopping I would normally go to Tesco, primarily so I can buy in bulk and take advantage of all those special buy one, get on free offers they are so well renowned for. I would normally buy the proper brand named toiletries such as Elvive, Pantene, Dove, Fructis etc, not so much that I am a snob, but that I have a very sensitive scalp and I seem to develop allergies to the cheaper (supermarket) own brands. I have to say that I have never been particularly impressed with any of the brand names products (Having tried most of them). I am a long-haired, brunette woman whose hair gets very greasy. I have to wash my hair everyday and I feel that the branded products are just too harsh for my very sensitive scalp. These branded products would also leave a greasy residue behind (Yes, I can rinse my hair properly). I was in a non winning situation . The Dilemma ~~~~~~~~~ Supermarket own brands = allergic reaction = dandruff and itchiness. Branded products = too harsh for sensitive scalp = greasy residue = dandruff and itchiness. My Decision ~~~~~~~~ So what was I to do, seeing as I am on a very tight budget and cannot afford that special 'T Gel' shampoo for sensitive scalps and that also smells of Tar. I really had a single option . That was to start all over again! I blanked my memory of every experience I had ever had of all the shampoos on the market - both branded and supermarket own brands. My aim was to simply work through each product, brand by brand, itch after itch, to the point where I would hopefully find one that was affordable and MOST importantly suitable for my sensitive scalp. I knew this would take me a matter of months so was preparing myself mentally and practically for all possible outcomes. I had hats at the ready to cover up any dandruff and grease - I couldn't possibly go out with hair that bad, so would have to cover it up somehow! Purchasing ~~~~~~~ I decided to start with the Asda own brands, seeing as they are the cheapest of the supermarkets. Standing in the shampoo isle, I just didn't know where to start. They had all sorts of shampoos for every hair type. There were shampoos for dry/damaged hair, normal hair, coloured/frizzy hair, sensitive scalps, greasy/fine hair, light hair, dark hair, red hair you name it they had it. My obvious choice was to go with a type of shampoo for dark hair that gets greasy easily. So this narrowed my choice down too 2 types: 1) Asda Shampoo - Anti Dandruff for Normal/Greasy hair. Size: 500ML, Price: 98p, Suitable for frequent use. Not tested on animals. (Supposedly the own brand equivalent of Head and Shoulders). 2) Asda Naturals Shampoo - Enhancing Henna and Plum Shampoo for Dark & Colour treated hair. Size: 400ml, Price: 82p (20.5p per 100ml), Suitable for frequent use. Not tested on animals. To help me make my mind up, several factors were to come into this decision. Obvious things like how irritating it would be to my scalp were at the top of my list but there were other things such as smell, consistency, packaging and price. Initial Impressions ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Anti Dandruff shampoo smelt awful, very much like a variety of chemicals, the same smell as toilet bleach - I would not recommend this to anyone! (Shampoo no.1) Smell: For an Asda own brand I was quite shocked at how bad it smelt, their own brand toiletry products are normally nice smelling. Packaging: The white plastic bottle along with the orange coloured label on the packaging just reminded me how cheaply made this shampoo was so back on the shelf it went. Consistency: I could not see how thick the consistency was due to the white plastic bottle. Price: Yes, the price was very fair at 98p for 500ml but I did not want my hair to smell of chemicals and I also think that obviously the more it smells of chemicals then the more it would of course irritate my scalp. (Shampoo no.2) Smell: The Henna and Plum one for dark and colour treated hair, smelt magnificent on first impressions. It reminded me of that tremendous perfume I truly adore Thierry Mugler's - Angel. I also know that Henna is a natural ingredient to enhance your own natural dark hair colouring. Packaging: The packaging was of a transparent bottle with a lovely rich plum coloured label stuck to it. The label reads: Enhances colour & shine, gently cleanses and leaves hair soft & silky. Consistency: The consistency looked nice and thick, and it was the matching colour of the label - that deep rich reddish colour. Price: For a mere 82 pence for 400ml I was just hoping that with the great opinion I had just formed of it, that it would be suitable for my scalp and I would not be forced into wearing a hat for the next 3-5 days! Overall Decision ~~~~~~~~~~~ My mind was made up; I went for shampoo no.2 - Asda's 'Naturals' Range, Enhancing Henna and Plum shampoo for Dark & Colour treated hair, suitable for frequent use. The label also states that it contains a special UV filter to protect against harsh effects of the sun and environment - so with my busy life this would really help maintain the health of my hair. The Wash Test ~~~~~~~~~~ Application: Sitting in the bath, I pour a nice sized amount of the rich, thick consistency liquid 'Henna and Plum Shampoo' into the palm of my hand. I start massaging the shampoo into my wet hair, head and scalp. Foaming up into a rich lather, gently cleansing away - Wow, the smell was sensational! The Rinse: I found it very quick to rinse out of my hair, much quicker than other shampoos I have used. It didn't seem to stick to my scalp. I could already feel a difference with this shampoo as my scalp didn't have that 'thick' feeling I was so used to feeling from all the branded shampoos I had used. Getting whiffs of that beautiful, Thierry Mugler - Angel, smell as it was rinsing out, I was so far, more than happy with this product. The Result: So, my hair had dried and I ran my fingers through it. I was stunned! Too my amazement, it looked like one of those adverts on the TV - each and every strand of my hair had been penetrated with this tremendously fantastic shampoo. It was not tangled or rough, but smooth and silky - the packaging really was right "Leaves hair soft & silky". It certainly enhanced my natural brunette colouring and gave it a lovely shine. Prolonged Use ~~~~~~~~~~ After a few washes - I still have that same amazing feeling of silky smooth hair, it looks, smells and feels so wonderful! My natural colouring has been enhanced, the sheen and silkiness has added new life to what was a nightmare for me, it's full of bounce and life again. There is no greasy residue left behind and I find myself itching considerably less and the dandruff problems I had seemed to have cleared up totally on its own. So to this day I still use this shampoo, on average a 400ml bottle will last me about 10 days and that is with washing my hair everyday. You can also buy the matching conditioner to compliment the shampoo. I have had compliments coming my way from every direction, people tell me how healthy it looks and how my natural colouring has 'really come to life'. I just love this shampoo as it makes my hair not only look stunning but feel stunning. Range ~~~~~ Henna & Plum Conditioner: The shampoo label reads that best results are achieved when used with the Asda, Enhancing Henna and Plum Conditioner for Dark & Colour treated hair. Bottled in the same transparent sized bottle: 400ml, priced at: 82p (20.5p per 100ml), and also suitable for frequent use. Both the shampoo and conditioner have a shelf life of 18 months. Asda actually stock other shampoo/conditioner types in their Natural's range, these other types are for different hair colourings. They stock: Coconut, Camomile, Sea Minerals and Tea Tree, all in 400ml transparent bottles at a cost of 82p each. Where To Purchase ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can buy this shampoo or any of the others I listed, in any Asda store or if you do you shopping online you can add it to your shopping list when ordering online at www.asda.com - product information is also available online. Overall Conclusion ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Silky soft hair which is healthy, radiant, strong, full of volume and vitality and smells just fabulous! Really well priced at 82p a bottle, I would recommend this to any person with brunette hair, especially those that suffer with sensitive scalps. Anyone on a budget who is a brunette would benefit from using this product as well. In fact, any brunette, excuse or no excuse would love this shampoo. You must give it a try. I feel so lucky to have found the right shampoo for me especially after all the troubles I had come across in the past. The fact that I totally started again from scratch and came so lucky to have got it right first time amazes me. © grown_up_girlie, October 2005.
Introduction ~~~~~~~~ Okay, I will confess, I watch that Aussie Soap 'Neighbours'. I have watched it since I was very little and cannot switch BBC1 off at the 5.40pm time slot (Weekdays), when that famous Neighbours theme tune starts to play! I'm addicted to the average acting and weak storylines in portrays. Some people may be eternally grateful to the show as it brought us the likes of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and of course Guy Pearce and now the famous name of Delta Goodrem. Delta Goodrem was thrown to fame by starring as the Aussie schoolgirl Nina Tucker. Part of Nina's character was portrayed as being very musical. Delta - a very talented pianist and vocalist had obviously been in talks with the producers of the famous Aussie soap to help her promote her vocal/musical talent for her real life musical success. Now, although I found the character Nina Tucker to be very cringe worthy to watch, I found her musical talents to be somewhat else. With tracks such as 'Innocent Eyes' and 'Lost Without You' being written into the daily storylines of Neighbours, I found myself becoming very fond of that very softly spoken actress, Delta Goodrem. A few days later, I was listening to Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 1, and realised that she was interviewing an Aussie girl - not Kylie, nope. Delta Goodrem! Wow, I thought, that was a very quick, last month she had just started singing on Neighbours - could a soap really do that for your career and so quickly as well!? Obviously so, as this "Stunningly Beautiful" actress turned musical artist has now got 2 albums under her belt and a very popular DVD album. Learning the piano at 8, recording her first demo at 11 and being signed to Sony records at 15 this is the DVD of this beautifully talented Australian woman - Delta Goodrem. If I was made to classify the music of Delta Goodrem to a particular genre, it would have to be in the slow/love/pop category and would probably be suitable/loved by most young females. What I appreciate the most about Delta Goodrem is her enthusiasm, drive and talent that shows in every piece of music she performs. She portrays herself lyrically which I believe that not many artists can genuinely pull off nowadays. With the, acclaimed CD 'Innocent Eyes' being a sell out in most high street stores I was very excited when the DVD was just about to be released (in the UK) in 2003. Particularly as I knew that some of the names that had been a part of the original CD production and song writing were: Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy. Ric Wake - the same producer that has worked with Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and J Lo. David Nicholas who worked with Elton John, INXS and Boy George and Matthew Gerrard who had worked with Mandy Moore. What I can also really appreciate about Delta is that she is not like most modern day artists. She can actually play an instrument and can sing with a wide range on tones. The sound of every key stroked on the piano as she sings with her highly wide-ranged vocals is to me what an angel should sound like. Her first official UK release 'Born To Try' went to number 1 in the UK charts and also went triple platinum, so I just knew that this was just the beginning of her musical career. Disc Content ~~~~~~~~~ This is a DVD with many great features. It portrays Delta as the 'real' her. Starting with her 'Live' performances, you see her performing in front of a large crowd. A trademark of Delta Goodrems is that she will only ever perform with her shoes' off, I'm not sure why so if anyone can enlighten me please let me know. Performing at the 'Live @ (V) HQ' she plays a continuously stunning performance of her most well known hits from her first album which is titled 'Innocent Eyes'. The tracks she performs are at the V Headquarters are: Will You Fall For Me/Not Me, Not I/ Throw It Away/Predictable/Lost Without You/Innocent Eyes and Butterfly. I love seeing a performance played live as you can really catch the atmosphere within the crowd and to see her playing the piano with her live band all adds to the excitement and passion of her talents. Her next live performance is in the UK, at the 'London Showcase' she performs (Heavily edited clips of) 'Will You Fall For Me, Not Me, Not I and Born To Try' You can really feel her passion as she performs these love songs, the only negative thing is that each song is very short due to heavy editing. Her last live performance of this DVD is: Celebrate - Christmas In The Capital (Australia). She performs that huge hit 'Born To Try'. With an extremely large audience, again you can capture the passion of this song! It has to be one of my favourites. Looking stunningly beautiful, she is playing the piano herself and is mesmerising her audience with her again flawless performance. A great live performer I say! I would love to see her live for myself. Now for the video clips: Born To Try: A very romantic feeling song, full of love and passion. Featuring beautiful scenery, lakes and mountains while the sun is setting. Delta Sings about the passion and love between the featured couple in this video. She is explaining that sometimes you have to sacrifice things in life to try working hard for your loved one. A really heart touching and softly sung song. Lost Without You: This video is set in a large open house. Delta walks in and sits at her grand piano. Taking her shoes off gain, she sits down to sing about the loved one she feels lost without. The video features her friends playing games and having fun. My interpretation of this video is that nothing she does can replace that feeling of emptiness she feels at having lost her loved one. This is a great one to cry to peeps - especially if you have lost a partner recently through a split. A very meaningful song. Innocent Eyes: Another one of my favourites. Singing to a very soft tune, it is a song with a lot of depth. Delta sings passionately about her life when she was a child and how life is very innocent when being looked at through the eyes of a 7 year old. It's amazing how much you can relate to this song. The video features Delta in a theatre dressing room and with her childhood pictures surrounding her it takes you through various clips of her as a child. My portrayal of this song is that it takes you through those younger years in your life and how you portray things so differently and how you must even in adulthood still believe in the things you did as a child/teen to maintain your innocence later in life. This song really shows off Delta's extreme musical talent. Not only lyrically can you appreciate her, but the sound of that angelic voice, the talent of her piano playing, it all adds to this mesmerising performance. Not Me, Not I: This song is about the betrayal of a partner and how you can remain strong without 'that' someone in your life. How a partner cannot always know you as well as they think and that you can live without their lies and deceit, life goes on - there can be a very different ending to a split relationship: as according to this song. Set in a mythical setting again, again, another of my favourites. Delta is positively glowing in this video. A very sad and passionate song, very deep and meaningful, again, musically very well written and composed. A Year Ago Today: Explaining that with every year that goes by you can get wiser. You may be able to move on but not be able to forget about that special person leaving you, even if it was a year ago. Another tremendously deep song with great composition. This is a slower track and the video features clips of Delta learning to live with getting stronger and getting older/wiser on a daily basis. A very hard track to describe you would have to view it for yourself to appreciate the intensity of these lyrics and tune. I Don't Care: A much more upbeat song. Delta sings about her boyfriend being the 'wrong' sort of guy for her according to what everyone else says. She wants to be with him and she doesn't care what everyone else thinks, so long as she feels it in her heart then it is true love - just like Romeo and Juliet's love was! Wow, a lot of info there - but for any Delta fan this DVD is a must. The fun doesn't just stop there .. There is more! Behind The Scenes: Delta will take you behind the scenes of 4 of hits singles. Born To Try/Lost Without you/Innocent Eyes and Not Me, Not I. She shows you the production of all these videos (As performed above) and gives you an insight into how they are made. You see her on location in a variety of beautiful places - I personally love these behind the scene features as you can be nosey and actually see how things are made in good detail. With the whole production crew and make up/wardrobe artists on camera you literally get to see everything that goes on behind the scenes. The behind the scenes feature doesn't only take you behind the making of the 'video clips' but the 'Live' features as well. You follow Delta through London, Europe all the way back again to Australia again. You get to see how a performance is put together and you also get a sneak peek at some of the photo shoots she has done for magazines and for her Albums. Growing Up: This is a different feature that no other Artists (That I have known of) have on their DVD albums. Split into 2 different categories, 'Performing and Sport'. You see 'REAL' footage of Delta Goodrem growing up; you see some of the many things she did as a child to launch her career including auditions. This makes you laugh, you even get a snippet of Rolf Harris in this section - being Aussie and all that. Extras: EMK - this is basically Delta herself narrating her life as a musician and taking you through how it all began. Outtakes - well this is self explanatory and there is also a photo gallery of pretty pictures taken of the fabulously talented woman herself. Where To Buy ~~~~~~~~~~ Price: I got this as a gift so I cannot tell you what I paid for it, however www.play.com stock it for £10.99, and this is for the 1 disc set. You could always do a google search or use the search facility on dooyoo for a competitive price if wanting to purchase online. If you want to buy it on the high street then any DVD retailer such as HMV, Virgin Mega stores or Asda should stock it. If you do buy it on the high street, I would also like to advise you that you may pay a pound or two more than if purchasing online. Only available to buy in the English language. Region 0 which means it is all regions compatible. DVD-9: Dual layer disc. PAL format. Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 - Make sure you have the volume turned up for real appreciation of this fabulous DVD. Further Information ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can find out further info on Delta herself by going to the official Delta Goodrem website. It lists her biography, discography, news, events, music, gallery, a track by track page and there is also a forum for avid fans. You can get access to this information by going to www.deltagoodrem.com and you could always visit www.sonymusic.com as well. If you are unfamiliar with Delta Goodrem then I am sure you will have seen an advertisement on TV which advertises trips to Australia. The music of 'I Can Sing a Rainbow' which is being played to this advert is being sung by Delta Goodrem herself. Conclusion ~~~~~~~~ Beautifully talented artist, with songs that are really well written and composed throughout. A very good music DVD that is exceptional value for money. If you are a Delta fan then you won't be disappointed. © grown_up_girlie, October 2005
Introduction ~~~~~~~~~~~ How do you choose which network provider to subscribe with they are all competitive and what one offers another will try to better. I dont know about you but I have tried all the available networks providers that the UK has to offer. I have finally found a network that offers me everything that I need. I know a few people who dont like the O2 network, making claims that they are unreliable and over charge but to be honest I couldnt ask for more. Let me tell you why I chose O2 as my network and why I will be a customer for life. A Bit About O2 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O2 was brought to us, the consumer, by the merging of two networks called, BT Cellnet & Genie. After merging these two companies together they created the now ever popular network provider O2. O2 have had a very large impact on the market of communication by supplying the consumer with both mobile phone handsets and the use of their mobile network. Coverage & Reliability ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So O2 claim to have network coverage of 99% of the United Kingdom, they also claim that no other network provider covers any more than this, so this is definitely a huge selling benefit for O2. I have been in the depths of hilly Scotland and not suffered from any problems with coverage on my phone. The signal strength albeit does weaken when in very remote areas, but from having experienced this issue with all the UK network providers, I know that this is not out of the norm. Signal strength when using the train and being on public transport is strong. No network provider will be perfect and there will be times when you will lose your signal, but so far having experienced been with O2 for a year now, I can say that they only times I have lost the full signal is when going through a tunnel on the train. I know that O2 claim to be developing the network all the time for its customers benefit this includes the coverage of the network in places such as Airports, Shopping centres and minor roads as well as in remote areas. Seeing as I have never had any issues with the coverage in Airports or in shopping centres I like to believe this claim. O2 are so on top of their coverage claims, that they dedicate a Network Services Team to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week where you can call and report any problems. Never needed too personally but its a very good service to offer. Its this same team that also monitors the networks 365 days a year for clarity of speech and reliability so you can rest assured that you will get the best possible service at all times. Pay Monthly Or PrePay ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O2 offer both contract deals and prepay bundled offers. Each is available to purchase either online or in one of their high street stores. I am not going to list the tariff offers that O2 offer as it is regularly being bettered by them. I have never come across a network that offers such substantial offers at such a low cost. This is changing all the time but only for the better as O2 claim to want to be the biggest network provider in the UK. Pay Monthly These are known as contracts, you make payments monthly (Normally by direct debit) or online via your account (If its an online contract), for a minimum term of either 12 or 18 months. If you enter a contract online via the O2 website, you will be eligible for their online tariff rates which are some of the best on the market to-date. You can alternatively go into any O2 shop on the high street and register a contract in-store, again you will be offered competitive rates and bundled offers but not AS good as the online bundles. The pleasure of being on a contract is that you are more likely to be offered a better bundled offer of free calls to other networks and more free text messages. You also have the bonus of never running out of credit unlike being on Pre Pay. Pre Pay Its very simple to become an O2 prepay customer. You can purchase a sim card on their website or in-store, top up £10 a month and take advantage of the many offers/bundles that O2 offer such as the current 300 free texts a month and free WAP access. To top up your credit you can do so via an online account (which you would create and enter your debit/credit card details), or alternatively by using one of their other methods which can be done by either calling a top up number and entering your debit/credit card details, or by using the supplied O2 swipe card at a retailer which offers mobile phone top ups. If you dont wish to tie yourself down to a long term contract then this is certainly the better option for you. Extras & Rewards For Pre Pay Customers ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In addition to the competitive bundled offers that O2 offer, to show their appreciation they are now offering small perks and offers for their customers. Being a pre pay customer, O2 offers you 10% back every quarter on your top-ups. So, for example, if you top up £50 in a quarter, they will give you £5 back in the form of credit. If this isnt enough, they have started a new reward scheme (For members of 6 months or more) to be able to enjoy on a monthly basis; a treat of free call minutes, WAP access or texts . All this is on top of the offers you get from using one of their sim cards anyway, so really you are not going to get a better offer than this. Mobile Phones Handsets ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O2 Handsets As far as I am concerned I believe that this is where O2 is a let down. Their network may be brilliant but their own branded mobile phones leave a lot to be desired. I have had the O2 X2 previously and was really surprised at how badly manufactured it was. The only good thing about this phone in general was the style of it and unfortunately I feel that if O2 are to carry on making phones, they really need to consider better designing and manufacturing. If you are considering purchasing an O2 handset, then if I were you, I would thoroughly research any O2 branded mobile handset before purchasing one; as from my experience they are just not worth the money. Branded Handsets You can purchase other branded mobile phone handsets to work with your O2 contract or prepay sim card. Some of the brands that O2 offer are Nokia and Sony Ericsson. They offer a wide variety of styles and designs both in their online shop or in-store. Please be aware that if you are purchasing a mobile phone with O2, chances are that it will be locked. This means that you can only use an O2 sim card in this handset unless you were to get it un-locked to other networks. Website Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My experience of the O2 website is very pleasurable. It is easily navigated through and is very informative for me as a customer. It has several aspects to the site, first and foremost is the shop area; this is where you can order handsets, sim cards and become an O2 customer. You can create an online account of where you can view and pay your contract bills and top your phone up (if you are pre pay customer). There are step by step guides and instructions along with an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section to help you make a purchase online and to make your whole customer experience more enjoyable. Offering a nice layout and a simple shopping process, it is pretty much fool proof to the user meaning even the novice can buy online. If you really are unsure of buying on their website then you can do it over the phone with one of their customer service representatives. The website doesnt solely offer a shopping area; they offer areas with fun things to do. You can create an email account and check out the latest ringtones/wallpapers. Its been designed as a one stop area for any O2 customer and from my opinion is just that. A Pre Pay Tip: O2 regularly update their online offers and rewards section for Pre Pay customers, so you can keep up-to-date with offers and rewards that are open to you as an O2 customer, this is really beneficial and they explain how you can claim rewards and register for free credits. In-Store Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My experience of shopping in-store has again been pleasurable. I wasnt jumped upon by staff members and havent had any more than is expected in regards to pushing unwanted bolt-ons onto my mobile packages. They staff were well equipped with the necessary knowledge of the products I was enquiring about and nothing seemed too much for them. Further Information ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are several useful sites on the internet for which you can find information out about O2 as a network provider a simple www.google.co.uk search will return these results. www.o2.co.uk is the official online O2 store, you can obtain information such as tariffs, product information and whats hot and whats not in regards to handsets. A must see site for any O2 or potential O2 customer. Where To Buy ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Without stating the obvious you dont have to purchase an O2 Prepay sim card from the O2 store or online from their website. You can log onto www.ebay.co.uk (If you have an eBay account), where they are being sold for about £1 each so it makes it even more cost effective for you. For an O2 contract and/or mobile phone then you will have to purchase one via the O2 store, alternatively there are other high street phone retailers (Phones4U/Carphone warehouse for example) that can connect you to the O2 network. The only alternative to this is to purchase online at www.o2.co.uk or over the telephone. Conclusion ~~~~~~~~~~ O2 as a network is superb; they offer me great deals and are very cost effective for my needs. I top up a mere £10 a month and always have credit remaining with taking advantage of their current 300 free texts offer. 5/5 from me for network performance. In regards to purchasing a handset from O2 if it is a branded model then go for it, you will be very satisfied, however my advice is to avoid their own brand phones as they arent manufactured very well. 3/3 from me for handset production. © grown_up_girlie, October 2005
Introduction ~~~~~~~~ "Its year 2005 and I can honestly say that I don't know a single person above the age of 18 who doesn't own a mobile phone. My boyfriend drives me crazy telling me about the latest mobile technology but to tell you the truth, I just am not interested that much. Now that is not saying that I don't care when it comes down to my own personal phone". When I buy a mobile telephone I look for several things and take a lot into account. First and foremost is price. I normally set myself a budget of £150 for an unlocked and sim free mobile phone. After considering the price margin I take into account the technological features that a particular model has. This brings me to my review of the Samsung - E800 Camera Phone. Design & Operation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Samsung E800 really does look good, it differs a lot in comparison to the average Nokia type mobile phone (Candybar style) as it features a slide up/down front screen which is on a spring loaded mechanism. When opening the sliding front panel it is very quiet and easy to do simply do so by using your finger to push it up. It is a small phone weighing in at only 85 grams and that's including the battery! It sits nice and snug in the palm of your hand and is very stylish to look at. The operation of this phone is very simple, it has the usual green (Answer) and red (Hang up) buttons, and these are situated on the front panel of the phone along with the navigation arrows. It's simply designed and would be perfect for even the mobile novice. Simply push up the slide up front cover with your finger to display the number keypad. It's as simple as that. One thing to note though is that if you have big fingers then this is probably not the phone for you, this is because the keys are small and close together. The phone I have is white and silver in colour but for information purposes I do know that it can be purchased in red and blue as well. It has an internal aerial so there is not a long antenna poking out the top. The reception in general is very strong and clear but again this is also dependant on the network provider. It certainly isn't bulky and will fit very easily into any pocket. The phone itself has been made well; the spring mechanism is very resistant to being pushed about so it doesn't just literally pop open when in transit. Having had this phone for now 6 months, I haven't got any noticeable scratches on the facia, it goes in my handbag with my keys and other objects so am very surprised at how well the casing has withstood general wear, I will give this model 9/10 for robustness as I feel this is very important when making a buying decision. Technological Specifications ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I am not simply going to write a list of what the phone can and can't do; I want to explore in-depth some of the benefits of what this mobile has to offer as far as the technology is concerned". Noise Cancellation Functionality: My favourite thing that this phone offers me is the 'noise cancellation technology' that is embedded within. This proves to make the clarity of the speakers' voice crystal clear for you to hear. It works by cancelling echoes and ambience around the speaker. This is very beneficial to me, as with a lot of mobile phones I have owned it's sometimes difficult to hear the other person. This is definitely a good marketing point for Samsung as this is the first phone in the world to have this technology. Background Noise Sensitivity: The E800 also has what they call a 'background noise sensitivity' device fitted so that you can literally stand in a crowded area and still hear the person's voice on the other end - perfect if you are often out and about in pubs and clubs. This is another feature that enhances the overall technological specification for me. TFT Screen: The E800 boasts a 65,536 colour TFT screen which is very impressive especially when in camera mode. When in use, it offers bright colours and bold text and images can be displayed in 'widescreen'. This is where I became extremely impressed with this particular model of phone. The clarity of images and menu's are sharp and distinctive which aids detail and precision when playing games and using the phone in general. VGA Camera: Another major technological point to make about this mobile phone is the superb VGA solution camera that is has. It makes for clear pictures and with the built in digital zoom you can capture anything whilst on the move, I have taken some fabulous shots with my E800 and with the strong flash it has, it just adds to the enjoyment of using it to take my snaps. Now the camera may not be top of the range to date, but for general use or a quick snap it is very handy indeed. The camera mode also offers effects such as night mode and multi-shot action snaps which are also good fun to use. Being Interactive ~~~~~~~~~~~ WAP 2.0: Being able to interact via technological advances such as WAP is very important to a lot of people including me. The E800 offers WAP 2.0 which is fast and offers a strong connection - obviously this is also dependant on the network provider. Accessing WAP is very simple from literally the touch of a single button on the keypad you can be browsing WAP sites and playing online JAVA games with the in-built JAVA applet. You can access allsorts of other valuable information via WAP and you can even download email applications to use on your phone, it's very reliable when checking emails on the move. Infra Red: With the internal infra red port, I normally send my pictures taken on my E800's camera to my computer or I will email them to myself to access on my PC. I also use the infra-red port to transfer images and ringtones to and from other people's mobile phones and devices. It's fast and easy to activate on/off and doesn't use up a lot of the battery power. Power Consumption ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Battery Life: This is an important point of every mobile phone and I can say that to-date I have never been truly impressed with any mobile phone's battery life. Samsung claim that the stand-by time is 130 hours but I would be more inclined to say 96 hours and that's at a push. Talk time is around 2 hours which I think is about average although Samsung again claim that it will last 2.5 hours. I personally don't take this as a disappointment as like I said I have never been impressed with any manufacturers' battery life and I have used Nokia, Sagem and Sony Ericsson phones to name a few. Re-charging: With regards to re-charging the battery of the E800, it is very easy; the phone comes with a standard in-wall charger and takes about 2 hours to charge fully. The charger plugs into the bottom of the phone itself and again is simple to use. Entertainment & Media ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Polyphonic Ringtones: The E800 has very clear polyphonic ringtones which support Midi and SMAF formats. They are available to download directly via WAP or to transfer from your pc via data cable or infra red. The speaker volumes can be altered to a level that's best for you. As I find with a lot of polyphonic ringtones, when in a bag or pocket it can be hard to hear them ring, not with the E800; the ringtones are very easily heard and are very distinguishable from the next persons. Games: With the 6mb of internal memory you can store quite a few games with ease. The phone comes with 2 or 3 as standard but of course with the WAP capabilities you can easily download more. With supporting Java, again this is another superb feature of the E800. Wallpapers, Skins & Screensavers: With support for JPEG, GIF and AGIF picture formats you can customise your phones wallpaper to a picture of your choice. We all fancy a change from time to time so I constantly take pictures with the camera and then set them as my wallpaper or as my screensaver. There are no customisation limits with what you can do with the E800. You can even change the colour of the skins to one of 4 presets. Everything Else ~~~~~~~~~~ "Okay, so the above in-depth points are to me, the best features of this mobile phone. However this is the bit where I fill in the other gaps for your information .." Menus & Operation: The user menu icons are slightly animated but no so much that it becomes annoying. The menus are in my opinion very simple to use and the shortcuts make for easy use. You can customise most of the features on the phone by literally pressing only 2/3 buttons so there is no sifting through menu - submenus. Personal Management: The E800 features personal management functions such as a calendar, scheduler, multiple alarms, a calculator, a phonebook (up to 1000 entries) and currency converter. Call Management: It also features call management functions such as timing the duration of calls and the call costs function is very useful to use if you are using a prepay network. Speakerphone: You can activate the speakerphone which adds to convenience of use by simply pressing a single button on the handset. The flip doesn't even need to be up to use this feature. You may also want to confirm that the E800 is SMS and MMS compatible - its more than compatible, it's very simple to use and you can add audio, text and pictures at the touch of a button. Platforms: For those of you who may be wondering, the E800 is Dual Band (Will work in America and India) and is GPRS (Class 10). In The Box ~~~~~~~~ When purchasing this phone you will be given an in-wall charger, an in-depth user manual and a small lanyard with an attached screen cleaner. It's always worth asking the retailer if they can throw in a hands-free kit for free as well. Where To Buy ~~~~~~~~~~ The Samsung E800 is still a relatively recent release so is available in most high street mobile phone retailers. It will inevitably be cheaper to purchase it online so a search on www.kelkoo.co.uk will return a competitive result. I got mine on special offer for £139.99 so it's worth looking about. This phone is available to buy locked to a network or unlocked/sim free. For the latter expect to pay a bit more. There are various accessories that are available to buy for the Samsung E800; these again will be available on the high street and on the internet. Further Information ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For further information you can visit the Samsung website: www.samsung.com/uk/products/mobilephones Conclusion ~~~~~~~~ If you are looking for a phone that offers class, reliability, robustness yet being able to cope with daily functions then this is, without a doubt, the phone for you. There is only a single complaint I have about this phone and that is that it's not Bluetooth compatible, but seeing as it is infra-red, it still offers no limitations in general daily use for me a moderate mobile phone user. © grown_up_girlie, October 2005.
**Introduction** A few weeks ago I went into town on a Saturday afternoon with my partner. Of course, we went into the highstreet store - Boots. Like most women are prone to doing I walked straight off towards the perfume section of the store and started spraying all those lovely scents on display that they have as testers. I have always been an avid lover of 'Christian Dior' products, so when I clapped my eyes on a bottle of perfume that I had yet to come across I was compelled to have a couple of sprays . Like anyone would do, right? "I was in love with this scent as soon as it landed on my wrist!" I didn't have enough spare money to buy myself a bottle; as I was saving for my holiday to Amsterdam. I dropped a very large hint to my partner (As us women do), telling him that for our anniversary I wouldn't mind a bottle I then left it at that. Fortunately for me; my partner picked up on my previous hint, so while we were out in Holland he bought me a 50ml bottle of the Eau De Parfum Natural Spray. I was wearing the biggest smile for days after getting this perfume... Lucky me! This brings me to my review of this spectacular fragrance .. "Dior Addict - 50ml Eau De Parfum Natural Spray" **Christian Dior - Dior Addict** Christian Dior launched a new line back in 1998 (Released in the UK 2002); called you guessed it, "Dior Addict". Obviously being a new line, it consisted of more than a single product, there were lip liners, lip glosses, lip colours, eye-shadow, eye-liner and matching nail varnishes available and then also 2 fragrances were released: "Dior Addict" - their first floral fragrance and "Dior Addict Eau Fraîche". After realising the success of this line, Christian Dior released additional products to enhance its popularity; the range of "Addict" bath and body products have become a huge hit - a beautiful range of items that I will certainly be trying in the near future. **Packaging** Outer Packaging: Wow, this is just so girly the packaging of this scent is very different from most perfume boxes you see on the perfume counters. The bottle comes packaged in a holographic box, which shines various whites/pinks and purples when in different lights. It stands approximately 4" tall x 2" wide. It hasn't been cluttered with lots of writing - the design is simple and very effective on the buyer the words "Dior Addict" run vertically along the left hand side of the front panel and are deep pink in colour. At the bottom of the front panel, there is an imprint reading "Dior". This is in a matching white font to enhance the holographic effect and then followed underneath is text stating the volume of the bottle and the fragrance type. The front of the box is mirrored on the back of it as well. The outer packaging really will appeal to any girly girl. If you were to describe this scent by designing a box, then Dior have done it just right simple, stylish, sweet, girly, pretty and erotic yet still being simple. Bottle: Standing upright, this simple and yet sophisticated bottle has a square appearance and stands at just over 3.5" in height. The bottle itself is a very deep dark blue and when sitting on a shelf you cannot see through it, yet if you hold it up to the light you can easily see the amount of perfume left inside. The spraying nozzle has been integrated into the upper quarter of the bottle. There isn't a lid to this bottle; instead there is just a very obvious gold protruding round knob which is placed on the top of the bottle. You turn this knob left to right (0-1) to open and close the spray nozzle. To actually spray the perfume you simply press lightly on the protruding knob and the scent simply squirts out. There is only a small amount of text on the bottle which runs up to the top right corner and is gold in colour. It reads "Dior Addict". The bottle sits proudly on my perfume shelf and definitely looks very sophisticated and stylish. **Fragrance** Released in 2002 (Can't believe it took me this long) this fragrance is so very sensual and is perfect for day or evening wear. I find it to be very sultry and sensual so it will certainly make you feel very sexy while wearing it. I also find it to be a very femininely oriental fragrance, which gives you a lovely refreshing energy while wearing it. Its base notes are: vanilla, jasmine, orange blossom, rose and mandarin yet all the while, included are the warming notes of sandalwood and as I believe, the tonka bean as well. I can't really distinguish a particular note from this wildly combined scent when wearing it a lot of perfumes tend to smell more of one note than the other, but this has such a combination that it has resulted in an exhilarating scent with a smell that is tremendously unique. 'Dior Addicts' top notes are blends of the silk tree flower, night queen flower and bourbon vanilla absolute. These top note combinations, combined with the base notes just compliment each other 100%, I cannot enhance the individuality of this scent enough it just rests on your nose all day/evening, allowing you to over-indulge in the moment of femininity and sheer sexiness. These notes have never been combined before which makes this fragrance unique to Christian Dior. The silk flower is very rare to grow and thus resulting in a very individual combination perfect for any Dior lover. Every time I have worn this scent I have had lovely comments from everyone (men as well), they ask me what it is I'm wearing as it smells wonderful and the females ask if they can have a spray. Somehow I feel this 50ml bottle won't be hanging around long as everyone wants to try it although normally a 50ml bottle lasts me about 12 - 18 months. **Linger** As I have the 'Eau De Parfum' of this fragrance I will only comment on the lasting effect of this I find that a spray on each wrist in the morning is still lingering by early evening although it does wear off a bit. If I am going out I tend to re-apply it to my wrists and have a squirt on my neck as well, this way I know I will be feeling and smelling beautiful all evening with this floral and erotic scent. **Availability and Price** As I received this bottle as a gift I am unable to tell you how much I paid for it, however I have done some research for you to give you a good competitive price. Available from www.boots.com these products/prices are available both online and in-store: 20ml EDP - £24.50 50ml EDP - £42.50 100ml EDP - £60.00 You could also try searching a search bot such as www.kelkoo.co.uk or the 'dooyoo' search facility to return a competitive price as I feel you should be able to purchase any of the above 3 bottle volumes at a slightly cheaper price. **Others in Range ** Fragrance (Prices quoted are from Boots): Dior Addict - Extrait de Parfum - £98.00 Dior Addict - Eau Fraîche - £44.00 Dior Addict 2 - Eau de Toilette - £38.00 Bath and Body Products (Prices quoted are from Boots): Crème parfumee pour le Corps - £39.50 Lait Diortendre - £18.00 Gel Diorpur - £13.00 Make-Up: Dior Addict Plastic Gloss - RRP £15.00 each Dior Addict Lip Fluid - RRP £14.50 each Dior Addict Ultra Gloss - RRP £14.00 each Dior Addict Lipstick - RRP £15.00 each Dior Addict Ultra Shine Lipstick - RRP £15.00 each Dior Addict One Coat Speed Dry Nail Colour - RRP £13.00 each All these products are available to buy online or on the highstreet. Prices will vary. **Further Information** For further information you can go to one of these following sites: www.dior-addict.com www.dior.com www.boots.com **Overall Summery** This fragrance is beautiful, sensual, erotic and sexy, light, non greasy, stylish, unique, modern, funky and has certainly been produced to the highest standards. This fragrance just compliments any woman down to the finishing touch for a night out. It will lay on any mans nose for an evening so as I imagine, it would be a great one to wear out a date. **Recommendation** This perfume is definitely one of my favourites to date. I find it to be very aromatic and sensual not to mention super sexy. It is reasonably priced for a 50ml bottle and should last you quite a while. If you like floral or oriental notes then this must be tried. I would recommend you have a spray from a tester bottle first as all perfumes smell different to each individual person. 4 S*T*A*R* rate from me as a bottle can be quite pricey. © Copyright of grown_up_girlie, October 2005.
Introduction ~~~~~~~~ Wow! What a game this is... It's another great karting experience in the funny world of 'Crash Bandicoot'. First came Crash Team Racing (CTR) and now there is Crash Nitro Kart (CNK). This kart racing game has rivalled any major kart racing game ever seen before on the market such as 'Super Mario Kart'. This new addition is actually developed by a different firm to the 'Naughty Dog' production company that brought us the first Crash Bandicoot game, 'CTR'. With different developers it has brought us the consumer, a whole new gaming experience whilst maintaining the thrill of kart racing. This game has proved so popular with people like me that is has gone platinum. Plot ~~~ Crash Nitro Kart races challenges of a different kind in this high paced karting adventure game. Crash has been kidnapped by the evil Emperor - Velo. He has no choice, other than to race many challenges in Emperor Velo's coliseum, so that he has a chance of saving Earth from complete destruction. In order to complete every challenge, he must successfully race and compete against new and old faces (From CTR) before facing a final challenge against the evil Emperor Velo himself. To get to the end successfully you have to race each track to win trophies, CNK tokens and diamonds to unlock each world/level. Graphics ~~~~~~ Crash Nitro Kart keeps that brightly coloured, cartoon appearance that has been loved throughout all of the 'Crash Bandicoot' games. Bearing in mind, this is for the Playstation 2 - the graphics are somewhat sharper than any of the Playstation 1 games I ever played. The sharper graphics outline and colour each and every level with complete perfection. With a noticed increase in graphics throughout each level, 'Vicarious Visions' have certainly paid great attention to even minor details such as character shadows. You would think that with this huge increase in graphic quality it may cause a slower response rate in game play but again, this is a noticeable improvement over the Playstation1 and is definitely what makes up half of the CNK gaming experience. .. It makes for very smooth play and therefore enhances the fast paced CNK adventure. Sound ~~~~~ Being a cartoon based game, don't expect any smooth backing music to accompany the thrill of racing. Instead you are left with some very strange cartoon noises, music and effects such as the funny phrases 'Yahoo and Grrr, I'll get you for this!" - This all just adds to the joy of your game play. I just love the sound of the power-up meter charging up; it really gets you in the mood for a fast paced race! Regardless of those cartoon sound effects it does feature good sound through a normal TV set. Each sound is clear and distinctive to every individual character and level. Obviously still living up too the standards of 'Sony'. Levels & Game Play ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For up to 8 players you can race against your mates, or race against each character or even race AS each character. You are able to change your character with every race you play so that you can use each of them individually to enhance your racing advantage. The 12 characters each have their own kart design, and the weapons that ensure victories are consistent with the overall feel of the game. Each track you visit is designed differently with bold and chunky style race tracks. Great for both kids and adults! There are over 17 different raceways in the Crash Nitro Kart world. Some of these raceways include secret passage ways so you are forever having to be alert. The worlds are set in jungles, erupting volcanoes, futuristic cities, space stations and battle arenas! In these 4 different worlds 'CNK' will have you entertained for hours as you race to win. Each track is uniquely designed with good style and is equally more challenging that the previous. There are also more individual pursuits such as crystal collection arenas so there is definitely a wide variety to this game. Also available to play is the battle mode, this mode enables you to battle against your opponents in the wide-opened Battle Arenas. There is also a special arena editor function which allows you to create fully customised Battle Arenas for action-packed multiplayer battle. There is tremendous single player action, so that when you are alone you can play one of the terrific adventure, arcade or time trial modes which gives hours of fun to anyone of any age. I sat for hours doing this. It's also good to play in one of these modes to practise and learn some of the skills/features of your chosen character. Boosting is the key to completing the game - you can gain a blast of speed by simply catching air off a ramp, or by mastering the power slide function. Boosting by sliding isn't easy, but becomes the secret key to the finish line. After every task or track you complete there is an animated style head that pops up to advise you on helpful hints (Each tip is also archived in the memory so that you can make reference to it at any stage throughout the game - again I found this really helpful). Karts & Weapons ~~~~~~~~~~~ Each individual kart adapts to their environment with a variety of special weapons, these include mines, missiles, tornado attacks and grenades, I love the 3 missiles that you don't even need to guide, and they will simply knock whoever is in front of you out! There is also a special and very fun time attack feature which helps you take your opponent out so that you can win the race. The famous crash crates that you have to drive into always contain a weapon of some kind for your benefit and to enhance your chances of winning each race. Weapons are also given extra power by collecting 10 'Wumpa Fruit' on from each of the tracks; this is another really beneficial thing to pay attention too. There are some weapons that will cause havoc on your way through the various tracks. The TNT boxes - coming in green and red, I suggest that you master the art of using quick reflex action to ensure you miss each one that's been laid down just after a bend on the race course. These can really get on my nerves. But I suppose it just adds to the whole joy of game play. The straight-up races are the most fun, with a team-up option that uses the R2 button to activate a short-term alliance and with rapid-fire power up access you can literally blast anything and anyone out the way with this useful feature. Its really great fun whizzing through all those fireballs and moving razor blades with the invincibility activated! You really should try it sometime - a great stress reliever! Age & Ease of Use ~~~~~~~~~~~~ This game is suitable for anyone of any age. Kids love it and adults alike. It has had me entertained for hours on end. It becomes highly addictive and you won't want to give up on a particular course or track until you have won that particular race. Some of the tracks are very easily won but don't be fooled, after the first few races you will start to become challenged a lot more. You will learn and develop your karting skills throughout the game and you will hopefully beat that nasty Emperor - Velo! It doesn't take an advanced user to play this game; you will pick up through practise, which button to press to perform each function so is very simple overall. I must say that I got a good 45+ hours from this game so is great value for money in my eyes (See prices below). Technical Specifications ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Region PAL: Will play on UK and European Playstation 2's only. Ages: 3+ Players: 1-8 Publisher: Vivendi Available for other consoles: such as the Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Game Cube and for the N-Gage. Recommended Retail Prices ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Playstation 2 - £19.99 Xbox - £39.99 Game Cube - £39.99 Game Boy Advance - £29.99 N-Gage - £34.99 For all of the above consoles I am sure that if you used the dooyoo search facility or www.google.co.uk you would be able to return a good competitive price from many internet retailers, one good place to try is www.play.com although they do have a tendency to sell out of stock very fast as their prices are very competitive. This game is available to buy on the high street, but do be warned, you will probably pay a few pence more than over the internet. Recommendation ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I would certainly recommend this game to anyone. I think it is a very enjoyable pleasant game to play. You really get wrapped up in the whole thrill of the game and it certainly becomes more exciting as game play progresses. I do think that the 'really advanced' game players of the world would probably not be too satisfied with this game as it really doesn't offer that same high paced thrill as a game such as Gran Turismo 4. But for someone who occasionally gets their console out of the cupboard then this is a must have game to add to the collection. It will give you hours of good fun. Hope you enjoy the game as much as I did. I can't wait for the next new one. 4 S*T*A*R*S from me. © Copyright of grown_up_girlie, October 2005.
***Nestle Aero Bubbles*** Well I have always loved that light bubbly chocolate that Nestle named as Aero. Having different flavours I have tried them all. My ultimate favourite from the start was I have to admit, the Mint Aero. The orange flavoured Aero was just too sickly, the chocolate one was too boring to tantalise my taste buds. I was only a young kid when I tried the Mint one. I have remained so loyal to Nestle over the years and can honestly say that when I am standing in a shop choosing a chocolate bar I find it a nightmare - there is always too much choice available (I am a typical Libran). I would always end up going for what I knew, my Mint Aero. Reliable yet always so satisfying ..! This brings me to my review of the New Nestle Aero Bubbles. I first discovered these strangely enough in WH Smith at the local train station (Cambridge, if you must know). I was miserable at the thought of a 3 hour train journey ahead of me so I thought why not; I may as well try them! Picking up a large re-sealable 147g bag of them I made my way to the counter. I paid about £1.35 for them and made my way out onto the platform to catch my train .. I sat comfortably in my seat on the train and dug about in my carrier bag for these new chocolate bubbles that supposedly would be the same as a Mint Aero, I sat patiently for the train to start moving before I opened them so I stared intently at the packaging, taking in all the blurb that's written over the whole packet . . "Have you ever felt the bubbles melt?" I really paused for a second contemplating what this tagline actually meant? Knowing how a Mint Aero tasted I really wasn't convinced that these would be much different (yes, I was right but we will get to that bit in a second!), maybe smaller but surely they are just in a ball form instead of the normal sectioned pieces of the Mint Aero chocolate bar. I am a fool for trying new things though - I always like to give the benefit of the doubt and seeing as nobody else I knew had tried these then I was up for being the first. Packaging: Okay, so the packaging is a white re-sealable packet. The seal is a sticky label that you simply peel off and fold the top end of the packet over using the label to stick it down. It has the trademark green (Mint colour) bubbles on both the front and back, it also has a milk chocolate brown wispy line that runs down one side of both the front and back of the packet. On the front of the packet there is an image of some of the chocolate balls; it's kind of been blended into the brown wispy line I mentioned. The words "Aero Bubbles" are in large writing scrolled across the front of the packet, the word "Aero" is white in colour and the word "Bubbles" is half mint green/brown in colour. It stands up-right and has the normal "tear here <<<<" marking on the side for easy opening. Nicely designed, sturdy, definitely keeps the contents fresh and being re-sealable it means that if you can't eat them whole bag in 1 go you can store for later on. So far I was relatively impressed. Taste: I went on to opening the packet, being careful not to accidentally spill any on the floor as the packet was satisfyingly full for a bag of chocolate balls! I pulled the first ball out and wow, it was different. It really did look like the picture on the packet. About the size of a Malteser it was distinguishingly different from any other product I had tried. One half of the ball was mint green colour and the other half was milk chocolate brown. It felt really light to hold, in fact lighter than a Malteser - is that really possible, it must be now! I disguised my next action as I was obviously in public and did not wish for any assumptions to be made .. I placed this little ball into the ball of my palm and pretended to touch my face, while I did this I took a little sniff of what I was about to place in my mouth. Mmmm, it had a mild mint scent - just like my favourite chocolate bar! I placed it in my mouth and I could literally have sworn with how the texture made me feel while sucking away. It was soft, smooth and creamy, with a slight flavoured hint of peppermint and no they took no effort whatsoever to eat. It did melt quite quickly but I love it when chocolate does that, don't you? You could feel the tiny little Aerated bubbles with your tongue. Oooh, delicious! You can quite easily break into these little balls of temptation with your teeth but I personally prefer to savour the taste of each individual ball. It really is such a satisfying taste and texture. Certainly one for your taste buds. The mild taste of peppermint and milk chocolate . blimey, I could go on forever about these (But won't). There is a really nice after taste, one that is not sickly, quite refreshing (As it will ever be with chocolate). Shame the packet didn't last me that long as I thought they were that nice! I have a weakness for Mint Aero's and now these new Nestle Aero Balls have me 100% addicted. I haven't had a chance to actually count how many balls you get in a 127g packet but as I said at the beginning of my review, the packet is nicely full unlike a lot of food products nowadays. Nutritional Information per Sweet: Energy: 67KJ/16 kcal Protein: 0.1g Carbohydrate: 1.9g of which sugars: 1.9g Fat: 0.9g of which saturates: 0.6g Fibre: Trace Sodium: Trace Ingredients: "Milk chocolate contains cocoa solids 25% minimum, milk solids 14% minimum and vegetable fat in addition to cocoa butter". Milk chocolate - Sugar, Dried whole milk, Cocoa mass, Cocoa butter, Whey powder, Vegetable fat, Lactose, Butterfat, Emulsifier (Lecithin). Flavouring - Sugar, Vegetable fat, Whey powder, Skimmed milk powder, Cocoa butter, Butterfat, Gum Arabic, Glucose syrup, Emulsifier (Lecithin) Colours - E100, E133, Citric acid, Sorbic acid, Antioxidant (E320). To be stored in a cool dry place (Obviously not your mouth)! Availability: These are now available in most major supermarket and some smaller shops. Nestle Aero Bubbles 127g - £1.24 Website: www.asda.co.uk If you have WH Smith local as well, you could obviously try there too. I am sure they will still stock the larger 127g packets for about £1.30 as I paid for mine. Further Information: You could always try logging onto the Nestle website for further information: www.nestle.co.uk You can also contact them on their free phone number: 00800 63785385 Recommendation: Any mint chocolate lover will get on with these balls just fine. The taste is not an over whelming taste of mint, just a hint and really has done the "Aero" brand justice. Obviously, like any sugar product - excessive consumption may cause a sickly feeling so only eat 1 packet at a time ;-P © Copyright of grown_up_girlie, October 2005.