- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
It's pay day for us on Monday, which means that it's that time of the month where we search the store cupboards and knock up something with whatever we can find. I found some wholegrain spaghetti, a block of cheese (that was actually in the fridge to be fair ;-)) and this jar of cheese and tomato flavoured Dolmio pasta bake.
I followed the instructions on the jar, boiled up my pasta, drained it, laid it out in an ovenproof dish and stirred the sauce through. I then grated cheese - far, far too much cheese but I'm pregnant - and sprinkled it over the top. I then put it in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes until the cheese was melted. And it was delicious.
250g of pasta made 2 nights worth of dinners for my partner and I. And I must admit, it tasted even better on the second night.
The sauce is very creamy and has some onions and herbs through it. It's not overwhelmingly salty, unlike some pasta sauces on the market. It is not overpoweringly cheesy either. It's quite pale in colour and quite thick in consistency.
As I say, it was languishing at the back of my store cupboard so i can't remember how much it cost unfortunately. I used spaghetti as that was all I had available but you could use any pasta to make this bake. I suppose you could also add tuna and on the back of the jar there was a handy recipe suggestion involving chicken.
I would definitely recommend this sauce to the economically challenged a couple of days before payday for a quick, hearty and filling meal.
Ideally, I would like to review this product in a really positive light. I'm an old skool Super Noodles fan and have been enjoying them for as long as I can remember. I thought that these would taste the same and just be quicker and easier to make. Not the case unfortunately.
The packaging is quite bold and stands out on the shelf. the pot however, does feel a bit flimsy and I was scared of scalding myself as I poured in the boiling water.
You remove the pot's plastic lid, remove the film lid, remove the flavour sachets (Bored yet anyone?), fill with boiling water to fill level, add the flavouring, give it a stir and then replace the plastic lid. Allow to stand for the recommended time then stir well and enjoy.
I would recommend that you are very careful adding the water. the fill level can be hard to see but if too much water is added, these noodles will be even more tasteless then usual.
I thought that these noodles were quite sickly and they really didn't taste very nice. The flavouring sachets were really synthetic tasting and too sweet as well. In future I'll definitely stick to the conventional super noodles. Much tastier.
I received this set as a gift last Christmas and I'm still using it!
The box looks like a book or magazine and has some step-by-step demonstrations and hints to help with the applications.
The set contains 25 coloured eye shadows and 2 small applicator brushes. There is also a clear liquid eyeliner. By brushing the eyeliner across any of the eyeshadows, you have a coloured eyeliner of your choice.
Boots update this product every year and this is the second set which I have had. The variety of eyeshadows are great without being overwhelming or garish and the step-by-step instructions help inspire when coming up with new looks. The small eyeshadow applicators aren't great and don't last long but this kit can be used with any applicators, or your fingers. The colours are modern and the eyeshadows last for hours. They don't sink straight into the crease as soon as you apply them!
I don't really use the liquid eyeliner though. it seems like a great idea in theory but the resulting colour of the liner lacks depth and doesnt last very long at all. It goes on lightly along the top of the eye but underneath or along the water line doesn't stand a chance.
I would definitely recommend this product overall. It makes a great gift and is really good for people who like to change their look regularly.
I really liked my Sony Vaio. Unfortunately, it was involved in a terrible accident with a flight of stairs. I miss it.
I chose my Sony Vaio because I had seen it in a James Bond movie - shallow, I know! It was silver and really slim and ultra-portable. It had a blue-ray player and a copy of Spiderman 3 on blue ray. The graphics were pretty unbeatable and the laptop didn't struggle or overheat during the film.
The operating system was Windows Vista. This took a bit of getting used to at first but is really simple to use. The Pentium Dual Core Processor was speedy.
X-Black technology meant that the screen was really vivid and High Definition - fantastic quality.
The build quality however, wasn't fantastic. All it took was a trip down the stairs and my Vaio was in several pieces. I was gutted. My impressive Vaio was only a lump of plastic when it's true colours were exposed :-( It originally cost me £900 and lasted about 3 years so it had a good innings I suppose.
When my last Laptop packed in unexpectedly I was totally gutted and lost without it. However, I wasn't in a position to rush out and buy an expensive top of the range replacement.
I found my latest laptop, the Compaw Presario, in Comet one Tuesday night. I was more impressed by the price - £250, than anything else. I was having major Facebook withdrawal by this point :-)
The presario, with it's sturdy black casing has a AMD Athlon II Dual-Core P320 processor and 3GB RAM, which is more than enough was daily e-mail checks, social networking etc. I find the 250GB hard drive is plenty to store my photos and documents. At 15.6 inches, the screen is perfectly fine for watching movies etc with my eyesight, which isn't the greatest. The graphics aren't as bold and vivid as other machines I've experienced, but at £250, I'd say that you get what you pay for.
This laptop has Windows 7, which is new to me so I'm still getting used to it. The touchpad is also a little on the sensitive side, which also takes a bit of patience while you get used to the fact that it has a life of it's own. However, there is a facility which enables the touchpad to be turned off altogether.
For an amateur or beginner I would say this laptop is perfect. My last Laptop was a Sony Vaio which was pretty High Tec but this Presario ticks all the boxes and does the job, even if it lacks a blue ray player and other new fangled trickery.
Oh the nights are fair drawing in! I like this time of year when it's dark in the morning and even darker at night because it can only mean one thing - HOME MADE SOUP!
My Moulinex "Robo-chef" is my best friend when it comes to making soup. Potato and leek is my favourite. Once the ingredients are all boiled up in the stock, you can either give yourself a sore arm champing them with a potato masher or alternatively, pour them into the food processor and in one turn and about 60 seconds you will have thick, chunky soup.
The Moulinex has a plastic bowl, the lid of which has a spout, ideal for adding liquid without making a mess. Carrots and things can also be chopped through this spout onto the blade, and there is a plastic cup-tool to help push the carrots down, great if you want to avoid grated knuckles - ouch!
The food processor comes with a chopping blade, a slicing blade and agrating blade. The blades slide in and out easily for cleaning, and the plastic bowl and lid are dishwasher safe.
I got my food processor from Argos about 5 years ago. It was £35 and it's still as good as the day I bought it. During the summer I use it to make smoothies and Angel Delight. It's definitely far quicker than manual whisking!
I normally use Veet (See my review) when I use a depilation product. However, I saw a sachet of this in Asda for 99p so decided to give it a go.
It goes on easily, just squeeze it out of the sachet onto the skin and use your hands to smooth it on. The instructions on the packet advise to leave this on for a maximum of 15 minutes but it started to irritate my skin so 10 minutes was enough for me. I also found when I was applying this that the consistency was lumpy. It was as if the cream was full of tiny lumps of powder or something.
It didn't smell too unpleasant and it was thick and creamy and didn't run down my legs when applied. I jumped in the shower and rinsed it off and the hair was gone. My legs stayed smooth and hair free for 5 days, which I thought was quite good. I would buy this again but knowing that it could irritate me I now know not to leave it on for any longer than 10 minutes.
Not one for having anything useful to hand when needed, I bought this at a service station one night when the indicator on my car began playing up and my Dad agreed to have a look at it. Unable to "look" in the pitch dark, I gave him this handy little torch.
He looked at me as if I was mental when I gave him a torch which was about 3cm long but the 9 LED lights give off a surprisingly bright glow! This torch is well worth the money! It's compact enough to store in my glovebox for future emergencies and it's really easy to just click on and off to use. The one I bought was silver but it was available in a couple of other colours. I was really impressed with the torch's brightness and showed my brother, but he, a gadget fan, showed me a similar one which he had got free with a fishing magazine one month. He did however agree that these handy little LED torches are great in emergencies!
This torch takes 2 AA batteries. I only use it occasionally so it is still going strong after 6 months. It cost me £6.99 from the local service station.
I usually use this during the summer as an alternative to shaving.
However, my local Boots had a 2 for 1 deal on so I got some at the beginning of this month. I followed the instructions closely, especially the bit that goes "For coarse hair, leave on for no longer than 10 minutes" and "Use a watch. DO NOT ESTIMATE". However, after 10 minutes I rinsed the product off and also had to scrub a bit with a sponge to get a really smooth finish. This meant my skin got a bit pink.
Then the burning started.
My skin started to get a bit itchy and then started to really burn. I had to hold a cold flannel to my skin to soothe it and get a bit of relief. I noticed my skin was still pink. After about an hour and a half, the discomfort became bearable enough to go to bed and when I woke up the next day, although it was still mildly uncomfortable, it wasn't as painful.
The consistency of this cream is thick and gloopy. It is easy to apply, albeit a little messy and the instructions in themselves are easy enough to follow. They just don't work. If this is hair removal cream for sensitive skin, I'd hate to be presented with an alternative! I've given away the 2nd tube I got in the 2 for 1 offer and in a couple of weeks I'll give this another try and maybe leave it on for a shorter time. I don't think my skin is particularly sensitive but if yours is, I'd definitely steer clear!
I ran out of my regular conditioner so decided to use this product - in the form of a sample sachet which came free in a magazine.
The product is a very rich and creamy intensive conditioner. The packet says this product is for heat damaged hair - ideal for mine as I use my straighteners at least every other day!
However, this product is definitely a teatment and not a substitute for a regular-use conditioner as it is a little heavy!
After I had THOROUGHLY rinsed it out and dried my hair and used my usual heated appliances, my hair was definitely sleeker and smoother. The 3 minute miracle also left my hair soft and shiny and smelling really nice. It was really easy to use as well and 3 minutes isn't long, just slap it on your hair, then wash the rest of yourself, then rinse it out. Make sure you rinse it well though, as it is very rich and creamy. My hair is really thick but I dread to think what would happen if you didn't rinse this thoroughly out of fine hair.
Out of sheer laziness I decided to get this ready made carrot and swede mash because I couldn't be bothered peeling veg for hours!
The carrot and swede mash comes in a plastic microwaveable container with a film lid, typical of a ready meal.
This dish can be cooked in the oven for around 25 minutes but, of course, I chose the microwave option.
After 4 and a half minutes of "a la carte ding", my delicious and effortless side dish was ready, which I served with gammon steaks.
This creamy dish consists of mashed potato, carrot and swede. However, it also contains cream. This unfortunately means that 100g of this has 80 calories and 4.1g fat, which is actually quite a lot! However, at £2, the price and convenience over-rides the negatives for me and I really enjoyed this dish. Therefore, I would definitely recommend it if you are in a hurry and not watching your figure.
This portion was more than enough for my partner and I to share. It's a really filling and tasty side dish.
It also makes a tasty snack for one if served on it's own with gravy.
I have visited Pancho Villa's at least 20 times. The reason for my return is simply that you would struggle to find better Mexican fare anywhere. I have never been into Pancho Villa's when it has been anything other than busy and lively. it is certainly a popular restaurant.
On arrival you get complimentary nachos and salsa which are a good snack to eat while you are making your mind up about what to have. The menu is extensive without being overwhelming and there are the usual fajitas and enchiladas to choose from as well as tacos and similar family favourites.
Many dishes are served with a side of re-fried beans and a side of savoury rice, both lovely accompaniments. The meat used in the dishes are excellent quality and extremely tasty. The mexican spices are not too overpowering and there is a really nice smell throughout the restaurant and a really welcoming environment.
The prices are pretty reasonable. Choose from the set menu, a 2 course lunch at £8.50 or a pre-theatre from £12-£14.50. Alternatively, choose a dish from the al a carte menu.
Wash your meal down with an authentic Mexican iced cocktail.
Pancho Villa's NEVER fails to put a smile on my face. I often go with a group of friends and we have yet to be disappointed with the place. I would rate this restaurant 10/10 without a doubt. The service is second to none and the staff are really friendly and welcoming.
Oh, and the last time we were there, we each got a ridiculous sombrero to wear - a bit of light hearted banter if nothing else!
The Apple iPad 2 is really thin and light yet sturdy and by pressing the home button twice you can easily flick between open applications. You don't need to charge it for 3 days- I easily got 3 days battery life out of this. It's a great sleek design and the built quality is excellent.
This tablet has a camera at the front as well as one at the back. I'm also impressed with the fact that you can use your iPhone charger to charge your iPad - handy if you misplace either.
The App store gives access to thousands upon thousands of free or reasonably priced apps. Anything from online banking to watching TV can be done on the light and portable iPad 2.
When not in use, I've found that this device is an excellent digital photo frame! Also, the capacitive touch screen is really responsive without being overly sensitive.
However, if you need to do any extensive typing, this is not the ideal machine! A laptop would be better but the typing itself is fine.
Always on the lookout for a bargain, I tend to buy whatever is on offer in my local Tesco, which led to buying these. However, I think when these run out I will definitely be re-investing as my laundry definitely smells the nicest it has in a long time.
The packaging is attractive and the tabs come in a resealable waterproof box - really handy! The box contains enough capsules for 24 washes which is plenty. The tablets are sturdy and don't feel as if they're about to burst in your hand, unlike other brands. You just pop them straight in the drum and I normally wash at 30 or 40 degrees so i was pleased that the laundry smelled just as good at either temperature.
After I had hung everything up, my boyfriend came into the room and asked "Mmm! What's that nice smell?" so I'll definitely be buying these again if he actually noticed :-)
The liquitabs are handy and easy to use and there's no need for any measuring out, sticky hands or mess. They disintegrate after the wash so there's no hunting around for a net or ball. Really simple! The fabric softener is included too so there's no need for a separate one and my boyfriend often complains of itching and sensitive skin but there have been no complaints whatsoever with these liquitabs. All in all an excellent, pleasant, great value purchase which gets my clothes really clean!
Benefit High Beam is a highlighter. I use it on top of my normal foundation to perk up my skin, especially if I'm feeling particularly lousy. It comes in a little bottle with a brush inside the lid - a bit like a nail polish. You only need a tiny amount and I pop some on my cheek bones, along my brow bones and on my cupid's bow and regularly receive compliments when I use high beam.
It's available in Boots and some department stores and a little really does go a long way. It gives a glossy, healthy look and it is a real brightener! You Tube videos are available online for tips on "Celeb-Style" application - I often like to follow these for special occasions and nights out!
High Beam washes off easily with a normal cleanser and retails in Boots for around £19 - quite expensive but as I say, a little goes a long way. For a glowing complexion, I'd definitely recommend this product!