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I had never previously heard of James Herbert the author of this book and I probably wouldn't have gone out and bought it. I came to read the book as my dad had bought it for my mum for Christmas a few years back and she hadn't got round to reading it yet so she lent me it knowing she would get it back in a few weeks. I read the book in sections when I had time here and there and I found a lot of the time is was easy to put down which for me is quite disappointing as I like to have books which have me engrossed and racing through the pages to see how the story concludes, but overall the book was a pleasant surprise and I did enjoy reading it.
The book is based in a place called Hollow Bay (based on the actual village of Lynmouth, Exeter) which suffered a horrendous flood during the Second World War in which 68 people lost their lives (loosely based on the 1952 flood in Lynmouth). Along with the perished were the children and their guardian August Cribben who inhabited Cricklely hall. The children where orphaned and/or evacuees who were bought to Crickley Hall to escape the war. They were left in the custody of Magda and August Cribben the siblings who were unquestionably inappropriate guardians for these poor children.
Fast forward to 2006 and the Caleigh family moved into Crickley hall while Gabe the husband/father of the family had decided that a break would do the family good after the long disappearance of their only son Cam. They relocated for Gabe's work and brought with them their two daughters Cally and Loren and their dog who immediately took a dislike to Crickley hall.
From night one it is apparent to the family that they are not the only ones there, when they experience supernatural occurancies such as seeing apparitions, hearing small footprints and it finally developing into vivid and living nightmare experiences.
The story is quite slow to begin with and picks up pace towards the middle, it is extremely easy to find your imagination flowing and yourself being transported into the story. At times the story can be quite horrifying especially when it details the way in which the children were treated and I definately wouldn't recommend to anyone with a sensitive nature as I found myself wincing at certain parts and I'm far from sensitive natured. I think being a parent perhaps has brought certain parts out which makes me more able to empathise when children are involved in stories. It does get quick dark in places but the end of the book brings that mood to a head and it leaves you feeling relieved and happy with the ending rather than leaving it on a negative note.
I think the book itself is quite lengthy and it perhaps could have been shortened in places to prevent you from drifting away and become tired with reading. The use of illustrative language throughout is key to this book as you are able to picture the story and create a film like image when reading. I am definately going to try and find the tv program now after reading the book to see if it matches up to my expectations.
Overall, it is a good horror supernatural story and I will definately think twice about visiting spooky houses in the near future, all joking aside I would recommend this to people who like similar books and I look forward to reading another of James Herbert's work in the not so distant future.
The website it's self is generally easy to use, looks smart and is well linked to the relevant categories. However, for me this is where the positive factors pretty much end.
The cards are off a good quality and there is a vast supply but they can get incredibly pricey if you plan on using this service for every birthday, anniversary, Christmas etc. they do have a deal on buy two cards and get free delivery but a lot of my family's occasions are wide spread so this option isn't available for me. For A6 size which is smaller than a normal sized card these are £1.99, A5 £2.99 and A4 £5.99. All of these also cost 60p for delivery. You can personalise the cards and add photographs if you want but you might find that it works better to use a photo printing website as these can be cheaper.
They give you the option to add a box of Thorntons chocolates with every card purchase for £9.99 they are good quality chocolates and I have used this service a couple of times and I have been generally pleased. They also give you the option to add gift cards aswell after you add a card to the basket.
The flowers on the website are the major downfall for the company to say the least. I have two experiences of this, one in which my Dad paid £50 for flowers for my Grans 70th birthday as they live quite a distance away so he thought it would be an ok service to use. The flowers arrived on time and for £50 you would expect a good sized bouquet my dad was none the wiser at what my Gran received until the following day when he asked for a picture. He was embarrassed at what they had sent it was a tiny bouquet which would have cost about £6.99 from a supermarket, he was livid! Not for the fact that it cost him £50 but for the fact that he wanted something special to give to my Gran for her milestone birthday and these just didn't cut it. I've heard that they use local florists to fulfil their orders and they did send my Gran some the next day after a phone call from my dad but it was too late then really as her birthday had been and gone. My second experience was valentines day this year I'm not a big flower fan but my husband ordered me some and little did I know they had come from funky pigeon. Firstly they arrived at 8pm on valentines day, my husband had kept it quiet all day about the surprise and we had to wait in all day which wasn't a good start. Then when the guy delivered them he repeatedly rang the doorbell which meant I spent the next hour getting my 1 year old back to sleep! When my husband and I seen the flowers he was incredibly disappointed not only for the fact that we had waited in all day but the flowers were ridiculous to say the least, what arrived was one rose and 3 pink carnations packed with green foliage for the grand sum of £34.99. I have seen nice bouquets in Tesco, Asda etc for a third of the price.
I therefore wouldn't recommend funky pigeon if you are wanting to send flowers as this has ruined our whole experience with the company.
Slim.Fast comes in a variety of flavours and also comes as powder or premade drinks. I had recently tried a well known protein weight loss drink however it was making me violently sick after drinking it so I had to give up and try another. I was about apprehensive at first when I purchased this drink as I went from a 1kg tub costing £45ish of the other branded product to this product which was half the size but cost a fraction of the price at £2.97 from boots online.
The packaging itself is incredibly simple it's a simple carton with lid and inside you get a scoop to ensure you are using the correct measurements, which for this drink is 2 scoops added to milk. I always use less milk to make it thicker and find it more filling this way. The taste isn't similar to normal strawberry milkshake it can have a bit of a nasty taste if its too thin, I always have to down it because I'm not keen on the taste, I have bought other flavours in the range but I am going to wait until I've finished this tin before trying them.
The shake is for meal replacement and its recommended for weight loss that you take 3 slim fast snacks 2 slim fast shakes and 500cal meal. However being 49kgs I use slim fast once a day for my lunch and I have a healthy breakfast and tea with 2/3 healthy snacks during the day. I find that it does fill me up and it also contains alot of vitamins but I take multivitamins aswell as sometimes I don't always get what my body needs.
I've lost about 3lb in a month which is good for me I'm not using them as a necessary weight loss product but to help me maintain a healthy life style while I am training. I think if you were to do the 3 2 1 diet you could lose quite a bit with exercise.
Something I would recommend though is to make the drinks in shaker bottles to prevent lumps as when I've been in a rush I had made them in a glass and when you get near the end the lumps are pretty disgusting. I don't have this problem if I make it in a shaker bottle.
You are advised to use skimmed milk however I used semi skimmed as I'm not a big fan of skimmed milk and as I'm not using it primarily for weight loss I don't think it is affecting the way it works for me personally. In each tub you get 12 servings so its a bargain for
It is not recommended that diabetics or pregnant women use this unless they have consulted their GP.
The only negative I can think of when I see this product is that it has a larger amount of sugar that you would expect in a weight loss product but as long as you don't eat alot of sugary products during the day then you will not exceed you daily recommended amount.
I have heard mixed reviews regarding the Bumbo seat, so I wouldn't have gone out and bought this product personally, however we received one as a gift so we decided it would be rude not to give it a chance. The daily mail has done an article in the past year over the Bumbo recall in which four million seats were recalled due to reported accidents whilst children had been using the seats. The most severe of these accidents lead to 24 cases of infants suffering with skull fractures. However, this has been confirmed that these are due to people using the seats on raised surfaces. I would have presumed this would have been common sense however, if this was not told in the instruction manual then perhaps it might have needed to have been added. I have heard that these have been used whilst on high surfaces such as kitchen tops and tables, this to means more of a lack of common sense than the product being unsafe. But this is just my personal opinion. Due to this people who had purchased Bumbo seats were then able to contact Bumbo and receive a free restraint pack which could be fitted to the seat to make it safer.
Bumbo is a South African company which is non-profit making in that all profits made go to under privileged children in South Africa, this is not as known as I would have presumed it would have been. Bumbo also sell a variety of other items that follow a similar idea to the Bumbo seat. The Bumbo seat comes in a variety of colours and patterns. The one we have is the blue one we do not have the restraint as we are in Cyprus and I was unaware of these until researching the product for this review. However, we never leave our son out of reach when he is in the seat so for us it is not necessary to have. The Bumbo floor seat is designed for use by infants who are unable to sit unaided; we have been using the chair since my son was 15 weeks so that he was able to hold his head by himself. He fits in the chair snug and still does now at near 6 months. We now use it as a feeding chair (on the floor) until the straps on the high chair fit my son properly. It works incredibly well for this purpose.
The Bumbo website features the following warnings which I will redirect here for your consumer knowledge:
1) Always use with the restraint belt
2) Only use the seat on the floor on a level surface
3) Never used on raised surfaces
4) Always accompany your baby in the seat
5) Never use on chairs, in the bath or to carry your child
6) Never use near water
You can also buy play trays which attach to the chair and allow you to place toys on the tray for the baby to be able to reach for them.
I think the seat is useful but I will not be using it for much longer as at 6 months I feel he is getting to big for this seat now and he is very close to being able to sit unaided anyway. I feel that this seat receives a lot of bad press as when the product is used correctly then the seat is great and a worthwhile piece of equipment. My son enjoys sitting in the chair as he is able to have more independence and he is able to see more then if he was to be laid down on his play mat.
==Tommee Tippee Weaning Spoons==
The fun of weaning has started in my house the past month and my son is thoroughly enjoying every moment, I'm not sure my carpet and washing machine is feeling the same enthusiasm but it has been an exciting time in our household. I know Tommee Tippee to be a great brand so I decided to get all of his weaning equipment in this brand to ensure we had great quality for such an important milestone in my baby's first year. I purchased two packs of these as we travel frequently so it makes things easier for us however, you could get away with having just the one packet. Each packet contains 5 spoons and they come in two different colour packs the more male version contains (2 blue, 1 orange and 2 green spoons) and the more feminine version contains (2 purple, 1 blue, 1 green and 1 orange) there isn't much difference in this and I wasn't even aware they did two packs until further research after I purchased the product. These particular ones as the soft top weaning spoons there are others in the product range which features clear spoons.
Upon use these are easy to grip for both myself and my son, they are particularly longer than normal spoons but this helps when you have a fidgety baby and you are dodging flying carrot puree and the likes. They are made like this to make it easier to get into baby jars, but I rarely use these as I am making my own baby food. The spoon head is soft and does not hurt my baby's gums when he chomps down, he quite enjoys chewing them when his gums are bothering him. The spoon head is what I would presume as an average tea spoon size which is bigger than a lot of unbranded weaning spoons that I have seen, this size is perfect for my son as he is a very greedy baby and likes his food fast so the smaller spoons would have been no good for his needs. The base of the spoon is quite shallow so it is therefore easy to get the food into the baby's mouth without loads being left on the spoon. They are suitable for babies 4months plus and this is when we started weaning. The product is also BPA- free which is what we are recommended to use by the midwives (not sure everyone is given this advice).
My one disadvantage to this product is that they easily stain if you are using the spoons in red/orange coloured purees then it is more than guaranteed to stain the spoon, this is more apparent when you are out and cannot completely wash the spoon there and then. The spoons are easy to wash though it is just a pain when they are stained and don't look clean when they are. This is why I am only giving these spoons a four, if I would have known about this problem before I purchased it I would have probably purchased the clear tip spoons instead.
Sudocrem is definitely one for the whole family it is normally associated with nappy rash but can be used for a variety of alignments. The website for Sudocrem tells me that the cream has been on production for 80 years, this therefore shows me it is a reliable cream as it has managed to stay on the market for such a long period of time. The website also boasts that this specific product is the nation's favourite nappy rash cream. Sudocrem has won a variety of awards which also confirms my ideas of it being a great all round cream, the awards which the cream has won are as followed:
Mother and Baby multiple award winner
Prima reader's best buy award 2010
Prima reader's best value award 2010
Practical parenting 2009-2010
Bizziebaby Gold award 2010/2011
I first came across this cream when my husband first joined the army, he was constantly getting chafe on his legs due to getting wet on exercise and having his trousers constantly rubbing against his legs, so we bought this cream to see if would help out and luckily it did. When I was pregnant with my son Jack, we were given a variety of Bounty pregnancy packs, which contained samples, there was a small 10g tub in each and we ended up with four of these pots throughout my pregnancy. We have put a small tub in our changing bag, and both nappy boxes in the house (one upstairs and one downstairs). The cream itself is thick and can be hard to get off the skin, this has both advantages and disadvantages, disadvantage if your child decides it's fun to paint themselves and the walls and carpet with Sudocrem you could find yourself scrubbing your children for hours, however when its used properly this is what sets this cream apart from the others.
My son has recently had nappy rash we were told by the health visitor that it was due to the fact my son was teething (he has his nappy changed regularly so it wasn't because he was sat in urine filled nappies for long periods of time). The nappy rash was only minor but I didn't want it to cause irritation or be uncomfortable for my little one so as soon as I spotted it I applied a good even layer on the affect area and with regular application it had completely gone within a couple of days.
I have also used the cream on minor burns such as catching my hand on the oven, I find that it works quite affective it takes the sting out of the burn and also due to the antiseptic within the product it reduces the chance of infection as well.
The cream can be used on acne and due to my husband's job he also gets quite a few spots on the top of his back and shoulders so I apply the cream to the spots (caused by blocked pores) and it takes the swelling down to the point in which they become unnoticeable. Similarly we live in Cyprus and certain times of year the mosquitoes are out and we both getting eaten alive, I have found that if you apply Sudocrem to the bites it reduces the itch and the swelling as well.
This cream is a great all-rounder and I would recommend it to anyone.
==Clearblue digital pregnancy test with conception indicator==
When I develop extremely painful breasts and was unable to put my seatbelt on for nearly crying out in pain my friend who was sat next to me (mother of two) she just laughed and said you're pregnant. I didn't think anything of it until I realised I was a couple of days late which was unusual for me, we drove to the shop where I got this specific test and I waited until the next morning to take it. If you wait after your period is due you can take the test at any time but if you want the conception indicator to be at its most accurate it is recommended to use with the first urine of the morning as the hCG levels are at their highest.
When doing the test you remove the cap and the stick is revealed, you then direct the bottom of the stick (downwards) into a stream of urine for 5 seconds, this is incredibly easy to do and much better than the older versions of pregnancy test that use little pots and dip sticks! You then replace the cap onto the stick and leave it to work its magic. To see if the test is working a timer will come up on the left hand side of the screen and start flashing, if this does not happen the test is not working for whatever reason. It will then take up to three minutes for a result, firstly it will state either "pregnant" or "not pregnant" this is much better than trying to make out a second faint line on the dipstick versions. Then shortly afterwards it will give you a week indicator this will be how many weeks since conception this will only go up to 3 plus weeks. I did the test and it worked out that I was 3 plus weeks from conception so therefore 5 plus weeks pregnant, I went to the doctors the next day and they worked it out to be 5 plus 2 so I believe this to be as accurate for me as it could possibly be. However, this is not always the case in other people's pregnancies as it depends on the individual's level of hCG (the pregnancy hormone).
The test proudly boasts a 99% accurate reading, they are unable to confirm 100% success due to the fact that it is possible to get false negatives and false positives for a variety of reasons. This is the only test of its kind which is able to give you a conception indicator. The test allows for you to take it up to four days before your period is due, yet it is recommended that if this is the case you use it first thing in the morning.
This product is more expensive than other pregnancy tests on the market but I definitely feel it is more reliable and you are less likely to do the test wrong or get unclear results. This specific test can be purchased from the following retailers and the cost of the test (accurate on the 07/03/2013):
Boots: Was £12.99 Now £10.39
Superdrug: Was £13.99 Now £12.99
Sainsbury's : £14.00
I would therefore recommend getting this test from ASDA or Boots if you have one nearby as you could save a small fortune!
==Calpol Sugar free infant suspension 2 months plus==
With my son having his jabs recently I decided to purchase some of these Calpol sachets just in case he got a temperature after them, which is a known common side effect which can make the infant grizzly as they feel uncomfortable. About an hour after the jab his temperature raised so I decided to give him the recommended 2.5ml dose for a 3 month old baby to reduce the injection caused fever. Within around 30minutes my son's temperature had returned to a normal level and he was in a much better mood. Calpol should only be used when absolutely necessary, and it is especially great for reducing fevers. For a baby of my son's age (now 4months) it is vital that not more than 1 dose is given in a 24hr period. After working alongside many paramedics and medics whilst volunteering with the St Johns Ambulance, I have heard a variety of stories considering the dangers of Calpol. One upsetting story was that a mother had been giving her child of under 12 months sachets of Calpol like how an adult would take paracetamol with 6 doses in a 24hour period because of a risen temperature, one phone call to the hospital and she could have had her child seen and they would have been able to help, unfortunately my friend had to go and collect the child in the ambulance as the child sadly didn't make it, they passed from a paracetamol overdose. This is rare, I understand but it is also worthwhile knowing the dangers as sometimes Calpol can be highly misleading as I'm sure many of us when we were younger used to more a less drink it when we were poorly. One advantage of today's Calpol is that it does not contain the mild sedative in which it used to contains a couple of decades ago, this was also problematic and thankfully it has now been removed completely from the product.
The Calpol itself has a very sweet strawberry flavour and is easy to get children to take because it practically tastes like liquid sugar even though it claims to be sugar free. I have taken Calpol as an adult when I was pregnant as I am not the biggest fan of the tablet paracetamol and I preferred the smaller doses, it worked just as fine on me as it did on my son. The sachets are a bit of a pain they come in 5ml quantities so if you are using on a baby you have to use a medicine spoon and then waste half of that specific sachet, I find bottles much more convenient at this age. I would highly recommend the use of this when needed and used in the right quantities but if possible like anything try natural methods before resorting to medication, in my personal opinion this is best.
==Bonjela teething gel==
My little boy is growing up extremely fast four months have already past and unfortunately for him he seems to have been teething the past fortnight. It first start with extreme drooling which then led to rosy red cheeks and an irritable mood which he would snap out of. Fortunately for the both of us I have already purchased this item whilst back in the UK, so it was at hand should it be required.
The Bonjela teething packaging is more or less identical to the adults Bonjela, I would therefore suggest storing them away from each other just in case you accidently pick up the wrong one. The tube is in keeping with the blue and white colour scheme of the original Bonjela. The instructions require you to rub a small amount onto the affected area, this can usually be seen on the gum as a red area. However, this is not always the case, so with a clean finger I apply a small amount of gel onto my finger and massage the gum on both the top and bottom gum. The taste is meant to be banana flavoured, I cannot comment on this as I have a food intolerance with bananas which has created paranoia when faced with banana flavoured items which I will not touch. However, I can comment that the smell is quite sweet but it also has a medical fragrance about it as well.
As soon as the gel is on my babies gum he sucks in his bottom lip and has a right good taste of the Bonjela he doesn't seem to be bothered by it and it instantly calms him from his screaming fit to happily sucking his fingers with his newly soothed gums. It is horrible seeing your little ones in pain but as far this teething gel has come up trumps every time. The relief lasts for a long time I would say up to 2 hours perhaps longer I have only had to put this on once in a 24 hour period but it can be put on every 3 hours if necessary.
The teething gel is suitable from 2 months and is also suitable in adults, perhaps this would be useful in the case of wisdom teeth coming through. Mine haven't come through yet so I could not comment on whether it was as affective for adults as it is with my child. The teething gel comes in 15g tubes which seems to be lasting a long time, it has hardly reduced in size in the two weeks my son has been using it. At present this can be purchased from boots.com for £2.60 and a complimentary tube of 10 multivitamin tablets in berry flavour come with this purchase (perhaps not ideal for parents of babies, but they could be used for yourselves, I suppose). Anyway, I would highly recommend this for any teething babies as it has provided instant relief for my son and his tears soon left and was replaced with a lovely gummy smile.
==Confessions of a bad mother==
I came to purchase this book as I took part in an online auction to raise funds for re-homing local dogs which focuses on relocating strays and some of the dogs didn't have the greatest start to life. In the auction I placed a variety of bids on numerous items to help raise funds for the worthy cause and I happened to win this book alongside a few other books. Having just had a baby and wondering how other mother's felt in the first few months I thought it would be good to read a light-hearted honest account of a mother who claimed to be a bad mother, in which her story brings to light that in actual fact there is nothing "bad" about her, she just tells it how it is and doesn't succumb to the usual smug mother's club. I'm sure every mother knows what I mean by this, there is always someone whose child is unnaturally perfect in every given way and they make sure you know of this just to make you feel inadequate whether intentionally or not. Personally I think the majority of the time its intentional!
I managed to read the book in a day, mainly because my husband was off work so I had more time to indulge in this cracking read. The book is wrote in a more professionally worded manner due to the class of the lady who wrote this book she was high in the magazine world being an editor, so she has a naturally intelligent way with words, however this does not detract from the humour and points in which you can clearly empathise with and know exactly what Stephanie (the author) is talking about. The plot divulges information on Stephanie's life from the beginning in which she never wanted children and wanted to run a hundred yards if she was to have a child thrust upon her to look after for merely a second (similar to me), the story then develops to the present in which she is rowing with her two children over who should share their chips in a restaurant (I'm sure my time will come for this eventually, if another little Perry is to come along!).
The book follows a type of opened diary style of writing, with the book beginning in the present and ending in the present, however in between this it follows a strong chronological order and is easy to see where her life is developing as you travel further through the book. There are plenty of points any mother can relate to in some form or another, conflicting views of parenting from the father, television or no television, childcare or not working and plenty of others. Its genius way of writing does make you question your own views on each subject after you see what Stephanie says, she states that she is part of the bad mum club. However in my opinion, I think it should be that she is in the normal mum club. In which I believe most mother's would kindly place themselves and others who know them would agree. Perhaps this is not the case if you are an angel and therefore the world's best mother in every capacity. There are that many things you will read and you will laugh as you think yes that's me!
The book for me was a light-hearted humorous look into life through pregnancy, birth and the childhood years. I defiantly do not believe this book is one to miss, I'm glad I purchased it and even more so that money went to charity in the process. Perhaps I could be in the good mum club now instead!
==Chicago town takeaway pizza - Pepperoni==
==Reason for purchase==
Me and my husband both love pizza and pasta and although we have pasta a lot during the week, we perhaps have pizza once a fortnight, this is only because my husband has to eat a lot of healthy food to maintain his fitness at work, so we therefore class it as a treat. The local take aways to us do not deliver directly to our door, so when we seen these pizzas in our local supermarket I was willing to give them a go. We have had many of the other Chicago town pizzas before but we have never tried this specific type. The only type in this product range that we are able to purchase is the pepperoni one. There are others such as Cheese and Tomato, New Yorker (ham, bacon, pepperoni and mushroom), Sloppy Joe (spicy beef, green peppers and red onion), Cheese, Chicken and Bacon Melt (chicken, bacon, mozzarella and cheddar). If I was able to get hold of the other pizzas I would definitely try the Sloppy Joe, New Yorker and Chicken and Bacon melt as they all sound delicious. Some of the pizzas in the range come with stuffed crust these are; New Yorker, Pepperoni, Sloppy Joe and Cheese. The other pizzas have traditional crust which is just plain crusts without a filling. The fillings of the crust are all the same it is a rich tomato sauce which nicely fills the crust the whole way round the pizza.
This products packaging covers similar bases as the rest of the Chicago town pizzas and it is easy to distinguish in the freezer aisle at your chosen supermarket. The packaging reflects the size of the pizza brilliantly, there is no shock when you open up the box and get a pizza half the box's size. The company's logo is on the front alongside a picture of a slice of the pizza, this picture is accurate in comparison to some advertising used by other companies, and it shows the filling in the crust as well. On the rear of the box you can find the usual useful information such as: cooking time, ingredients, product description and how to contact the company should you wish too. The pizza itself comes in a protective plastic layer which is easy to open and does not require a knife or scissors to gain entry to the lovely pizza. An excellent addition to the packaging is that the pizza comes on a disposable oven pan that goes straight into the oven. Not only does this minimise washing and keeps your oven clean, it is also recyclable too. The pizza comes with a great amount of cheese and pepperoni, sometimes you may have to rearrange the pepperoni to get even coverage but this is more than likely because it hasn't remain upright all of the time.
==The pizza itself==
The pizza is not precooked and the company proudly boost that it is quickly frozen as soon as it's constructed to allow for the freshest pizza once it's cooked. The pizza is a thin base but still has a nice amount of doughy goodness. Like I previously mentioned there is a good amount of topping and crust filling on the pizza. Once cooked the pizza looks, smells and more importantly tastes delicious. The pepperoni is of good quality alongside the reasonably stringy cheese topping. The tomato crust filling is thick, smooth and incredibly rich. The pizza would easily fill one man or someone with a good appetite or me and my husband will have two slices each and if we are particularly hungry we normally have a side of either fries or onion rings to make a proper meal for two. I personally am full after having the 2 slices as my stomach has somewhat shrunk after having my lovely little boy squish it for more a less my entire pregnancy. I look forward to the days where I can finish off a full pizza on my own even though my body won't thank me for it on the scales!
==Would I purchase this pizza again?==
Definatley, and if the opportunity to try the other flavours pops up I might have to treat us both to them as well. It's an easy meal ideal for the weekend as it takes between 18-30minutes to cook depending on your cooker type and tastes as though it has been freshly made. Yes, it may cost more than your normal frozen pizza but to get a great tasting pizza I think it's well worth the price difference.
==Lynx attract for her==
==How did I come to own this product?==
A family member bought me the Lynx attract set for Christmas it contained one full sized can of spray and one shower gel in the same fragrance. My initial thoughts were good the packaging was smart and good bold colours and lettering on the packaging, I had previously heard a lot about lynx for women but we are unable to purchase it in Cyprus so I didn't think of the product for much longer. However, I was excited to try what everyone at home was talking about. I am a big lover of Lynx men's spray obviously not for myself but when my husband wears it I think there is definitely something sexy about it!
The spay canister is of the normal style Lynx has adopted it is a cylinder shaped can with a twist lid that opens and closes the nozzle. The colours on the can are predominately white and black with the attract logo in pink and also the product description and ingredients also in pink. Even though there is pink writing on the packaging I still think it happens to keep a manly appearance, which is reflected in the scent. The twist top on my can is slightly temperamental, some days it twists with ease other days I have to force it downwards as it won't twist open. However, I think I may have just got a dodgy one as my husband's normal Lynx cans seem to be fine.
This is the big downfall for me, I think the scent smells manly and not in any way feminine, if it wasn't a gift I wouldn't wear it at all. It reminds me of a weakened Lynx Africa. I can't understand where all the rave and hype about this product is coming from. I think this would be ok to accompany you to the gym as it does work as a good deodorant however I wouldn't wear it daily for the fear of someone thinking I had used my husband's deodorant or thinking something else! I never thought I would dislike a Lynx product but this is definitely not for me it doesn't make me feel feminine in the slightest and that doesn't normally bother me with my usual personality and past experiences (amateur boxer etc). The scent isn't exactly subtle either so you wouldn't be able to wear a perfume as well, otherwise it might get quite overpowering! This product just doesn't seem to work in my opinion!
== Extracts Fair-trade Mango Body Butter==
==How did I come to own the product?==
I am normally only purchase The Body Shop body butters, however I was bought a set of the Extracts Fair-trade body butters which were 50ml rather than the normal 200ml in which they are sold separately. I wasn't expecting much from the product to be honest as I have never tried anything other than the ones I have just mentioned. I was a bit hesitant to try them at first as my skin can be sensitive to certain products and it can be quite hit and miss to whether I will have a reaction or not.
The tub is small and similar to the body shop in its design. The tub itself is clear so you can see the bright orangey/ yellow colour of the body butter; the lid is a normal screw one which keeps the product airtight and free from germs. It is also tight enough to reduce the chance of the butter leaking when the product is in a bag or when travelling. The lid also matches the colour of the butter and features a nice and simple sticker which has the company logo on fair-trade logo, picture of mangoes and a small description of the product. Its kept simple as the product itself is simple, there is no need to over complicate and crowd packaging when it doesn't need to me.
I think the scent is lovely I wasn't too sure if I would like the mango scent but I find it refreshing and subtle on the skin. It's almost a summery scent which is a great addition when you're on holiday or you need your mood lifting a bit, its great what a certain fragrance can do for someone's mood. The smell stays for a while after use and then fades gradually during the day. A few people have commented on the scent where many thought it was a fruity perfume which I thought was great from a high street body butter that doesn't cost the earth. The scent is not completely artificial like a lot of similar products, there are derivatives from the mangifera indica fruit, which is described both on the product packaging and on the boots website. More importantly the ingredients which provide the scent and the overall product are Fair-trade and they proudly display the logo on the products lid. I think it is great that more companies are taking the time to source fair-trade products instead of going to well-known companies for products that are not funding more needed causes.
I have normally just stuck to using body butters on my body and have left my face as its normally there where I have allergic reactions. However when my face became dried due to pregnancy hormones I thought I would chance it as the dry skin was not only irritating but looked horrid, I was pleasantly surprised when no reaction occurred and it made my skin immediately feel refreshed and soft. I have used it over the majority of my body and have found the results to be consistent. I have definitely been converted and will be sticking to this brand in future rather than paying double for a product of a similar quality. It is easy to apply you simply use your fingers to scoop out some butter and then massage into the air in which you want it, and your left with silky smooth skin which smells delicious. The 50ml one has lasted me for ages and is therefore even more value for money.
I cannot comment on the price of the 50ml one in which I have been using as it was a gift and I think the gift set in question is only available at Christmas time however, the 200ml one is available now on boots website for £7.95 and on special offer (3 for 2). I definitely think you should try it if you are one for body butters, it definitely is worth the saving of nearly half of what a body shop butter costs for the same size.
One of the first scenes sees a bomb disposal expert lay charges on a large bomb found in the street the specialist equipment fails to work when one of the wheels of the cart fall off, and the member has to put on the bomb suit and head out towards the bomb to hand lay the charge to detonate the bomb as safe as possible, however when the rear party who is keeping watch over their comrade spot a local in a butchers shop with a mobile in his hand, they race over with seconds to spare before he ignites the bomb. Unfortunately they didn't make it in time and their friend as well as comrade is blown into the air alongside shrapnel, grit, gravel and waste which had previously littered the ground. Blood fills the mask of the suit as the man slumps to the ground, Taliban 1- American soldiers 0, will the film continue is this way or will the Americans beat the bomb in other nerve wracking situations.
The loss of their comrade and then another soldier coming in to take his place can have damaging effects on the moral of the rest of the team, with resentment flying towards the new addition for taking over their friend's role, will the professionalism stay or will it be blown like the numerous bombs they disarm daily.
The effects on this film are astonishing the way in which the film is slowed down in crucial parts to show the true extent of the explosion, gravel simply rises from the ground, rust is blown of nearby scrap vehicles and the floor simply flies upwards. The use of slowing down such a naturally fast occurrence allows for the senses to really capture the catastrophe as it unfolds. Would you be able to handle that environment as fast pace in reality, I know I sure couldn't. From scenes of mayhem and chaos emptying the streets in order to disengage the enemy and stop the bomb from causing devastating effects on the area, to moments of uncanny serenity when not a pin can be heard as the soldier picks apart the bomb, his life could be taken at any second. The film definitely allows the senses to flow and creates feelings of tension, sadness, adrenaline and in some parts joy. The colours used are accentuated to create drama and tension, the strong vibrant reds and oranges given off by the explosions in contrast to the blackened cars and the greys of buildings and dust which lines everything in the street.
Sergeant James who can proudly boast of his ability to disarm bombs with his current amount standing at 873 bombs, he shows complete disregard for anything that could threaten his life, it makes you question his sanity or whether he is brave in his methods of madness.
Not only does it cover the deep dark areas of war and how it can be damaging to lives and the environment, it also manages to portray the true friendships that are formed as a result whether that be a strengthening of the unit or the soldiers making friends with local children or alliances with local farmers. However, it also shows the price of which these friendships can cause.
The film is action packed from the opening scene, I am a big fan of military films and have seen most that have been produced I have to say that for a modern film this has to be one of my favourites, I think a lot of the new films are unrealistic and over dramatised but I don't feel this is the case with The Hurt Locker, it contains emotions, yes, but these feel more raw and realistic than put on by the actors in the film. It is believable.
Being part of a military family since birth but not really being brought up to know the ins and outs until I married my husband who I went to school with and has since joined, films like this do bring out emotions in me that perhaps other films would not, because even though we are British and my husband does not do the specific job roles that are witnessed in the film, it still brings home the risks in which my husband is facing whilst on tour. I think the film is highly effective in portraying the majority of aspects included in war rather than just the violence which is seen by the public when it is on the news every week. The film shows that the soldiers are individuals who do have feelings just like an ordinary person, which is not always the case with the news media's portrayal.
I overall, say this is a film for any fan of military/war films however it is perhaps not for people who have serving loved ones who are currently on tour for obvious reasons. The Hurt Locker one epic rollercoaster, of bombs, friendships and losses.
Sangenic nappy wrapper
I first came across this product when I was pregnant with my son Jack who is now 3 months old a friend of mine who has a young child was talking about the Sangenic nappy wrapper and how it was ideal for us as we live in Cyprus. Looking after other friends' kids over the years and smelling nappies put in the normal kitchen bin normally churned my stomach, especially in Cyprus as the heat can accumulate to 40 degrees Celsius in the mist of summer. A lot of families wouldn't see this item as an essential but because of the climate over here I thought it would be more beneficial for us to have this then to put the nappies in the normal waste bin. I therefore thought I better look into this product further, I found the Sangenic starter kit which came with 3 cassettes and I purchased that alongside a further 6 cassettes due to the postal waits being around 6 weeks I thought it would be better to stock up than run out.
The first thing I noticed on the box was a vital piece of information and a great asset of the product; it proudly claims that the bin kills 99.9% of germs on contact. It also boosts of its odour protection, I definitely agree with this we have our nappy changing station down stairs in the living room which is the most convenient for us due to space and where we spend the majority of our time in the house. At first I was a bit dubious to whether or not it would be wise to have the bin in here as well as I automatically presumed you would still get a slight smell from the bin, I was completely wrong! I have never smelt anything in the house and neither have any guests who have been to the house. The temperatures at the moment are in the late teens but I am confident that the result will be the same in summer. The bin itself is plain white with a pop down lid that has a dark silver/grey circle with the brand and product name on. They say that the bin can hold 28 size 3 nappies and I would agree with that or there about, obviously this will change with the size of nappies you are using as well.
The cassettes last longer than the bin takes to fill, however all you do is cut the end with the handy built in cutter tie the top of the nappies in the bin and remove, and then re tie the remaining cassette and lock it into place, it is extremely easy to use and even comes with instructions if you are unsure of what to do. The way in which the wrapper works is that once the cassette is in place and tied off at the end, you simply lift the lid, press the nappy right down into the bins opening or use the plunger which is to the lid and you just have to shut the lid to operate, then you twist the cassette to lock around the nappy and close the lid again and it's done! Simple! When the bin is full and they nappies have been removed they come out all individual wrapped, they look slightly like a off putting string of sausages, ones that you wouldn't want to eat that's for sure, we then place them in a garbage bag and put them straight into the black wheelie bins ready for collection. The cassettes are said to last around 1 month and again this will depend on the frequency in which your baby is having their nappy changed and also the size of the nappies which are being used.
I think this is an essential product to have in any nursery or at your changing station, it keeps smells at bay and leaves your house free from nasty odours!