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With the other inspirational resolutions for 2013 written by fellow dooyoo members; here I add mine out of motivation from reading the other reviews and in reinforcing the changes I'd like to make in my life. I am always one to "bah" the idea of resolutions with the dismissing swish of a hand -- perhaps that is one contribution to me not having clear-cut goals. In my faith the concept of not wasting time or being lazy is a fairly important one - especially with regards to what we actually occupy our time with; and so it's about time I take time-management and goal-making and achieving more seriously. It's easy for me to write out the goals, but not so easy in achieving them -- consequentially making me feel like somewhat of a loser and a defeatist.
Almost a week into 2013 and I'm still undecided as to what my specific goals should be, but I would like to keep them easy and fairly achievable whilst requiring a reasonable amount of effort. In no particular order of priority, here are my goals for this year so far:
To be slightly creative (before my husband arrives!):
~ Knit up a simple draught excluder for the room (and possibly one for the very draughty windows)
~ Make up some simple but thicker curtains.
Words, Languages & Studies:
~ Complete my dissertation three weeks before the deadline.
~ Spend half an hour a day listening to Spanish radio or watching a Spanish programme/film.
~ Read more novels in Spanish.
~ Translate one untranslated public domain novel from English to Spanish.
~ " " from Spanish to English
~ Read 35 books this year (including text books)
Other things, although no less important:
~ Spend no more than £10 a week until my husband arrives.
~ Call my parents & siblings once a week and contact my husband's parents at least once a month.
~ Make good progress in my goals regarding my faith.
Well, I hope these are not too unachievable, although it is all a bit overwhelming, they are all necessary for me, I feel.
God willing we all have a productive and successful year in bettering ourselves for our sake and for those around us!
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This review is about how I have found using the Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Day Cream by dr.organic. I purchased this day cream in Holland & Barrett's about a month ago for £9.49, and it is still sold for this amount at the time of writing this.
In the Holland & Barrett's shop which I went to, they had a large selection from the dr.organic's Bioactive Skincare range such as; Dead Sea Mineral, Manuka Honey, Vitamin E, Royal Jelly, amongst others. My face and nose had become dry because of blowing my nose and becoming rundown; and was (and still is) particularly dry on one side of my face around my lower cheek and jaw bone. I was specifically after an organic product, and since I had been using an argan oil product for my hair, I hoped that it would work just as well on my face, so I finally settled for this Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Day Cream despite it belonging to one of the more expensive ranges.
~ * ~
The cream and my face:
The container holds 50ml of the warmly-scented, buttery-textured day cream, which is fine to use on your face and body. Personally I have only been using it on my face and neck, and after application rubbing the remainder into my hands -- it's just far too expensive to use on larger areas of skin.
The cream has a thickish, buttery texture, and on application, most of it absorbs within a few seconds after which I am left with what feels like a fine film of oil on my skin, which seems to be absorbed by about half a day later. The cream, does however feel light and moisturising at first. I am disappointed though that it doesn't seem to have a long-lasting moisturising affect on my skin, and after a few days of usage, I reverted back to using body butter on my face to treat my dry skin. I thought that maybe my skin was more sore than dry, so after leaving the cream at home while I stayed with my family over the Christmas period, I returned with slightly less dryer skin and a healed nose area, and applied the cream once again, however after a few hours I felt as though it has dried out my skin again. I have to keep using it though purely because of the price I paid!
Regarding the scent, it took me a good number of sniffs to accustom myself to the smell, since it really wasn't what I was expecting. As mentioned, I have been using a wonderful argan oil hair product which I love the smell of, but this cream smells more of the other ingredients of which it is made up of, I particularly notice the clove oil and the hemp oil. I love the smell of cloves however, and so this has quite an unusual scent for a skincare product. I think the smell of this product is its biggest strength; it has a very rich, warm clove and nutty-type scent which I think is actually the hemp oil. As it is only a cream, the scent is very subtle, and won't last for a long time, but it certainly gives it the quality of a luxury product in my opinion.
~ * ~
The sales pitch and the packaging:
The box in which it is packaged does look very appealing to me; especially with a small but pretty islamic-type design on the front which I suppose does the job to reflect that the key feature of this cream is the Moroccan argan oil. There is a lot of text all over the box making numerous claims which I cannot back up unfortunately. The amount of text is slightly overwhelming, and some of the text is fairly small and in an uncomfortable font to the eye.
On the front is a nice photograph of the argan nut for us to see what it looks like, however the photograph makes it seems as though the oil comes immediately from the cracked nut, which I'm sure isn't the case - don't they need to press it or something first? Incorrect information such as this does bother me enough to mention it in my review despite it sounding petty. Additionally on the front it states that it is rich in EFA's (I don't know what they are), provides rich hydration, is pro-collagen and is repairing. Perhaps argan oil does those things, but this cream doesn't since it has many other ingredients, all be them natural and organic. Maybe it is designed for more aging skin than mine, but it doesn't explicitly state that, and so I thought it would just be a good source of hydration for my skin.
It is free from parabens which is what I usually look for in a product, free from SLS (this means nothing to me), artificial colours, fragrances and harsh preservatives.
There is much more text, but far too much for me to put here, and much of the relevant information is listed on the product webpage: http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/product_detail.asp?pid=4641&prodid=5533
Now onto the small cylindrical container, which looks like a piece of art, not that it's got an overly unique design to it, but it's just solid glass I think, besides the lid, allowing you to see the delicious-looking cream inside. The labels seem to be peelable, so I hope to find a good use for this container afterwards. The design of the container also means that when I get towards the end of the product, there should be no problem in using up every last remainder of cream.
~ * ~
I wouldn't recommend this product after my experience, but if you like the smell of cloves and your skin can withstand the strength of all of these natural oils and you don't mind the very fine layer of oil left on your skin, then it makes a different purchase purely because of the smell. It's a shame that it hasn't hydrated my skin because of the price that I paid for it.
This Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz is interesting; at a price of £4.99 (at the moment £3.49) from Boots, I'm sure you are interested in what you are getting in the 150ml spray bottle? You get water (it doesn't say where the water comes from), alcohol denat, glycerin, damask rose flower oil and citronellol. All of which (apart from the citronellol and water) are certified organic ingredients, however the bottle is lacking the Soil Association mark.
I've decided that its not worth buying organic food or products unless the ingredients are farmed in the UK or in Europe, otherwise the transportation defeats the point of it being organic for the sake of the environment. Apparently this product is produced in the UK, so in this case it fits my criteria.
In order to apply, you close your eyes and spray your face, and then wipe away with cotton wool; the spray produces a lovely fine mist, which I imagine would feel even more delightful in the summer, and the rose scent is also delightful although subtle. I also like the idea of using something so simple, with so few ingredients, which I could possibly make myself (removing the alcohol denat and citronellol, and which has been used since Moorish Spain, and most probably before that. The packaging claims to cleanse impurities and freshen your skin; it certainly did freshen up, and remove some dry skin, and over night it also reduced a couple of spots that I had -- perhaps because it slightly dried my skin a bit! I don't wear make-up so I can't comment on how well it removes the remainder of make-up.
All-in-all, it isn't a product which I could use every day because it slightly dries up my skin, and so I wonder if the alcohol denat and the citronellol is to blame for this. However, I love that this product has so few ingredients -- something which is not easy to find. This rosewater toner from the Botanics range is also currently available in a bottle without a sprayer for £2 (although I'm not sure whether the ingredients are exactly the same), and so I might buy a couple of bottles of that to pour into a spray bottle; otherwise I am tempted to make my own, since it is more or less expensive water.
I have been staying at my mum's for the last few days, and in the kitchen (next to the hideous Britney Spear's perfume!) is a 30ml bottle of Week end by Burberry (yes, it does have a space between the words... hmm does that mean its a copy?! Surely not though since my mum only buys from places like Asda or Superdrug...). I have been trying on this perfume for a couple of days now, so feel qualified to comment on it:
It is a small bottle, and quite difficult to spray even though there is still half a cm or so left in the bottle. Around the bottom part of the frosted effect glass bottle is a white hash/check-type design with Week end and Burberry London also printed in white. As you can tell, while it's not an ugly thing, the bottle has nothing special about it, and if I saw it in the shop I would purchase it for myself, but not as a gift.
I can't quite put my finger on what the smell reminds me of, I think because it's quite distinctive; it has a rich, warm scent, however not as strong as I would like. I would say that the richness and the warmth of it makes it more suitable for cooler temperatures rather than summer days. The citrus notes, which can be noticed gives it some hint of freshness which, to me, makes it suitable for during the day, as well as in the evening.
The scent transforms a lot from the first spray, which releases the rich earthy floral and woody scents, and then sweetening with the heat of the skin to give it a feminine punch. This was the disappointment for me, because the scent has a lovely richness, but then the sweetness makes it too sickly and youthful for my liking.
Personally, I would not wear this on hot days because the sweetness and the warmth of it makes it quite stuffy, and in the summer I prefer using jasmine oils which are strong yet refreshing, as well as lasting a long time. Speaking of duration, after a couple of hours I am still perfumed with the Burberry week end, making it a suitable choice for busy days when you might not have the time to freshen up throughout.
For your reference I have included the details taken from the Burberry webpage for the Week end:
* A sheer fragrance with top notes of tangerine, tree sap and Reseda plant
* Delicate floral heart notes of wild rose, peach blossom, iris and hyacinth, invigorated by a subtle splash of nectarine
* The low notes of cedar wood and sandalwood add depth for a relaxed and fresh scent
From about £12.75 in Boots for 30ml, I think it's a pretty decent purchase, since it would last quite a while, and would make a nice addition to your main perfumes just "as something different" which you could use every now and then.
I am writing to let you know my opinions about a facial wash which I have been using for the past few years. I must commence -- lest I should forget to mention it later on -- by supplicating for good health, fulfilment and contentment in your lives during the year forthcoming. Ycham leornung moddern englisc, so I hope you understand me.
Back in the twelve-hundreds, I used to use splash my face with some rose water, however once a year when my merchant returned from his Arabian travels, he would bring me the finest oils, honey and citrus fruits to cleanse my face with, once he even brought me some soap as an unexpected gift. Therefore, I am so pleased to see that this delightful concoction is so much easier to get hold of, and being able to purchase it at about £2, it is a bargain.
This is a gel-like substance, non-perfumed, and clear in colour with Pro-Vitamin B5 to "actively restore, soften and smooth", and no unnecessary or harsh chemicals.
The gel lathers up very well, and you only need to use a small amount, so this tube can last me a good year! It makes my skin feel refreshed, and only slightly tight. It feels like it gives your face a thoroughly good clean, which I love.
I know there are others out there which claim to do magical things to your skin, or which smell nice, but this is Simple, and it does it's job very well!
I do recommend this brilliant product if you have not already tried it, especially if you have flare ups now and again, it helps cleanse your skin well.
Do you remember the plastic spray bottles from the Body Shop? I clearly remember buying a musk body spray when I was a young teenager, thinking that I would like to be more mature and sophisticated, but not liking it at all when I got home.
The Body Shop have since pumped a load of freshness into their body sprays (or more elegantly put: Body Mists), which you will now find in a simple, but more elegant, 100ml glass bottle with a spray pump which is fairly easy to press down. The translucent label displays The Body Shop logo clearly as well as the scent (in this case Pink Grapefruit), and a QR code. The QR code, once scanned, brings you to a mobile webpage with a little bit of information regarding the Pink Grapefruit Body Mist, for example, it states that the alcohol used in this body mist is organically grown in Ecuador, the page also has an unrelated video about Shea Butter and has some other links.
And most importantly, the scent itself!
I have never liked grapefruit, not the smell nor the taste; so I wonder if pink grapefruit is much different? I think it must be, because I really do like the smell of this! My husband was surprised also because he knows how much I dislike grapefruit, so he sprayed it in the shop just to play with me, but it was my favourite out of all the other body mists!
I find the scent extremely refreshing and zangy-tangy, however it is very very light, and does not last long at all, I would say less than half an hour. It lasts slightly longer on clothes, however, and I find it can be used more as a clothes freshener. I like to use it on my scarves so that when I'm on the underground squashed up to smelly people with bad breath or body odour, I pull the material up to my nose and breathe in something a bit more fresher! Because the scent isn't very durable, I prefer to use this for uni; a few spritzes throughout the day will keep you smelling like a fresh grapefruit, nothing too overpowering for your classmates, and nothing too special, just a pleasant, refreshing and quite unusual scent to smell during the day.
Of course, I wouldn't mind if I received it as a gift since it is a nice bottle with a fresh, unusual scent, however I would not purchase this at the current price of £7.50 due to the scent not lasting very long at all. After all, it is just a body mist, and not a perfume.
How many manufacturers are so confident that their product is of such quality that they offer a lifetime guarantee should its quality diminish? Leighton Denny is actually the only one I can think of!
I had never heard of Leighton Denny before my beauty products-conscious step-mum mentioned her nail file when I asked her for advice regarding my nails and I mentioned about how hard it is to find good nail files which don't shred my thin, flimsy nails up. She told me it works wonderfully, that it has a lifetime guarantee, and so although it is pricey, it's worth the investment.
I was intrigued to see the product (plus my nails needed a good file!), so the day after I headed off to Boots to see if they had any in stock; indeed they did! They stocked their own-branded crystal nail file for about £7, but I don't remember if that one had a life-time guarantee, and so I went for the Leighton Denny crystal nail file for about £12 since it clearly stated on the packaging that the product is guaranteed for a lifetime. Leighton Denny also sell a larger crystal nail file for about the £16 mark in Boots.
£12 is a bit pricey for a nail file, but bearing in mind that beforehand I was spending about £3 per month on nail files; I have just about broken even this month!
So what did I get for my £12? I am in possession of an elegant lead crystal file which is fine enough not to catch on any jagged edges or drag my nail tips at all, leaving my nails feeling pleasantly silky smooth and looking super neat. I have never been able to achieve these results with another nail file! Additionally, I now find it a lot quicker when filing my nails than using the usual nail files.
The file which I chose came in an attractive metal casing with a clear plastic cover, and a molded insert to hold the file. This makes it more convenient and safer to bring it in a make-up bag when travelling for example, or just to keep it in your handbag if you wish.
The elegant oblong file measures about 13.5cm in total, and the filing area about 9.5cm; leaving 4cm for holding space. The "holding space" of the file has Leighton Denny printed or engraved discreetly on one side, and the other side has a subtly-sparkling silver/grey coat of paint, which looks effective behind the text since this "holding space" (or handle?) is also made of glass. It is very comfortable to hold, and weighs about the same as a 15cm ruler. The coat of paint which I have just mentioned has faded away along the edges of the file during the four months of being in my possession.
To clean the file, you just soak it in hot water, and that's it! Easy peasy!!
I also use this file with ease for my finger and brittle toe nails (even on my husband's thicker nails!), but some people might find the larger file more comfortable as it has more surface area to file toe nails with.
In conclusion, I really couldn't fault this product, and it would make a high-quality, very long-lasting and a very useful gift for someone, or a perfect treat for yourself!
I must add that the guarantee is invalidated if the file is damaged or abused, so I would recommend buying the file with the case rather than the package with the other nail products.
This delicious Vineyard Peach Body Butter is almost good enough to eat! Although not quite as strong or as long lasting as some of the other butters offered by the Body Shop, it is pleasant to use. It is a fairly new product, and on the day it came out I happened to be passing by the Body Shop where a sales person was inviting the public to try the testers; I was sold by the pleasant-smelling, cool and easily absorbed body butter, and bought one at the special price they were offering that day (£6), but it is currently being sold for £13.
Regarding the packaging; the tub is of the same style as the other Body Shop Body Butters, however the lid design feels a bit amateurish, and I think they could have worked a bit harder on the lid design, which is the main focal point.
Regarding the body butter itself; it appears to have no parabens, like all Body Shop products it is not tested on animals, and the peel-back label on the bottom of the tub states which of the ingredients are sourced via fair trade projects; in this case: the shea and cocoa butter from Ghana, beeswax from Cameroon, sesame oil from Nicaragua, and organic Brazil nut oil from Peru. (However transporting all of these ingredients from so many different and far countries cannot be good for the environment). I shall copy to the end of this review the ingredients from the product's webpage for your reference. It is designed for dry skin, and additionally, it states not to apply it to your face... although I do, and nothing bad has happened!
As I mentioned in the beginning, this body butter does not have a very strong scent, although it is a very pleasant one. If I were to buy it again, however, I would look out for a smaller tub (the one I bought was 12m) since I don't find I need to apply a lot, and after having it for about a month, it does not smell as nice. The texture of the butter is wonderful, and it's my favourite quality of this product. It claims to hydrate dry skin for 24 hours and I wouldn't dispute this claim. I find it does moisturise skin very well making it a great choice for dry winter skin - which I haven't experienced so far possibly due to using this body butter. This means however that while it doesn't have a very greasy feel, it wouldn't be suitable for oily skin.
If you enjoy languages like I do, you can be entranced by reading the different languages on the ingredients' label!
In conclusion, I have found this a wonderful purchase, however due to it not smelling quite as nice as when I first opened the tub, I would purchase this in a smaller amount.
Below you can read the ingredients:
Aqua/Water (Solvent/Diluent), Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter/Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter (Emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Skin-Conditioning Agent/Emollient), Glycerin (Humectant), Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), Prunus Persica Kernel Oil/Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Oil (Emollient), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (Emulsifier), Ethylhexyl Palmitate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Cera Alba/Beeswax (Emulsifier/Emollient), Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil/Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil (Emollient), Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), Caprylyl Glycol (Skin Conditioning Agent), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Prunus Persica Extract/Prunus Persica (Peach) Extract (Natural Additive), Sodium Hydroxide (pH Adjuster), Benzyl Alcohol (Preservative), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), CI 14700/Red 4 (Colour), CI 15985/Yellow 6 (Colour).
I have had my Samsung Galaxy SIII for about five months now, and I am still as impressed with it as I was when I was first given it!! Price-wise, I am not in a place to comment on since I received it sim-free as a very special gift, and the buyer bought it in another country where it is sold a lot cheaper than in the UK anyway. Additionally, since I received it without the packaging, headphones and the mains charger (I'm still waiting for my dear "gifter" to post them to me), so I cannot not comment on any accessories that came with the phone, nor on the packaging.
USB, Battery & Size:
What I do have, however, is the usb cable, so I have been charging it via my laptop. I will start with one of the downsides, and that is the battery life, which can drain frustratingly quickly. I have never owned a smartphone before, and so I understand that their main function is the use of applications and the internet, however I always bring the usb cable with me so that I can charge up the phone while I'm at uni to make it last until the end of the day. Another thing to point out for others like me who have never used a smartphone before, is the width (roughly 7cm), which can make it uncomfortable to hold for lengthy periods on the phone (use a headset when calling customer services!).
I was apprehensive about using a touchscreen, since I had tried and failed to even dial numbers from friends' phones, but I find the keypad choices fun and usable. When writing text messages, for example, you can choose to "handwrite" with your finger ([Finger]Tip: join the letters up!), you can use the voice-to-text option, using predictive messaging you can "swipe" the letters (Very useful whilst walking!), or you can turn off predictive messaging and type as with a normal keypad. What I am really impressed with is that when you use some set phrases often, the following word automatically comes up for you to just quickly tap and select and continue typing!
The predictive messaging works wonderfully in Spanish and Arabic, and this is extremely useful for correcting my spelling! After selecting the input languages you with to use, you can switch quickly between your selected languages by just flicking the space bar. I use English, Spanish and sometimes a few words in Arabic, and you can use multiple languages in one text easily.
I would love to show you some of the amazing photos I have taken using this camera!! I've never agreed with phones functioning as "all-in-ones", because you compromise on quality, and being a lover of photography I would never give up on an actual camera. However, being a student strapped for cash, I don't have the means to buy a nice camera, and the camera of the Samsung Galaxy SIII actually beats an actual camera! The macro is excellent; I have taken a beautiful photograph of a bee where you can see all of its hairs! The video quality is even better than the camera! Honestly, it's very impressive for a phone!
There are many features that the phone has which I don't use, and to be honest, it's worth looking up on youtube, for example, about tips for the phone, or even pop into a Samsung shop, I'm sure they would be helpful. It's an Android phone, and there are many applications which you can download from either the Samsung store, or from Google Play. Because of the large screen size, it's good for reading documents, or books on the Kindle App.
The alarm clock is wonderful, and once you set an alarm, it even tells you how long you have until it goes off! I'm pleased by small things!
I would recommend getting a case for the phone, as well as a screen protector, and do ensure that it fits well in the shop before you buy it. I haven't got a case yet, and it does feel fragile when using it in the rain, as there are a few gaps on the top edge where rain water could enter. Also, the blue paint on sides of the phone is easily scratched if you drop it, and I don't think that part can be replaced; when scarred - scarred for life, unfortunately for me.
I think a lot of thought has gone into this phone, and it offers a lot more features than I can put to use, or know how to use! It is overwhelming to step from a black and white, only text and ring-type phone, to this beautiful, elegant model, but well worth it!
How do you fancy a USDA organic snack (certified by MOSA)?
Holland & Barrett is where this "Coconut Bar Original" may be found, for £1.15. Having one of these bars will stop your hunger from coming back any time soon! Harmoniously using our Earth to provide for those who require food which is halal, kosher, vegan, lactose and gluten free, Oskri has created this "Original" bar using only organic coconut and organic rice syrup. Heaven knows what K-Parve means?!
Helping you to tear and open the wrapper with ease are scalloped-type ends on the packaging. Hotchpotched font types and sizes teamed with dull colours do not make for an overly tempting or attractive packaging. House-bound in a hurry, I just picked up two of these bars because it states fairly clearly "Lactose Free" on the front, meaning I wouldn't have to spend time picking up each bar on the shelf to check for ingredients.
Hefty thirteen centimetres-or-so in length of this rather pungent cocoa-butter-coloured bar (53g) means it is quite sickly and filling to eat in one go! However, the texture is lovely and moist but very chewy, giving your jaws a good workout! Held together by rice syrup the tightly-packed unsweetened coconut flakes I find bitter, and I would only really recommend this is you love pungent, unsweetened coconut.
Hatched in the USA - they have mentioned this about five times on the packaging. Higher in calories than I would have expected given the whole "organic is healthy facade", with 264 calories per bar; Hardly helps with the hiplines much if you're on a diet!
Hermits may also like the possibility of purchasing Okri's "Coconut Bar Original" from online shops such as Holland & Barrett's.
Health expert I am not - but I fail to see much value in these bars besides an unenjoyable way of getting 2% daily value of calcium, 6% DV of iron and 1.9g of protein.
Do you have a circus fantasy? Fancy being a clown for the day?
Maybe not the most romantic image to be conjured up by the name of a perfume, but the cheap bottle doesn't invoke a graceful trapeze artist that might be hidden in me; however after a spritz of Britney Spears' Circus Fantasy Eau de Parfum I might be able to swing on a chandelier for a few seconds (if we had one).
Admittedly, I didn't buy this bottle though; I think the youngest in the house did. I always find it sitting in the kitchen, so sometimes I take a quick spray of it. Therefore, I'm afraid I can't give any first hand information regarding the price or the packaging apart from what I can find from the internet: The price I found from Superdrug online is £15.99 for the 30ml, and £8.65 from Amazon.co.uk with free delivery if you choose the Super Saver Delivery option - this is also for the 30ml bottle. You can also find it in 50ml and 100ml bottles for those who like this product a lot.
Due to its garish shimmery blue and red-diamante bottle, it is easy to be found in the kitchen. I think the bottle is made of plastic and a kind of seal is visible going down one side. The neck of the bottle is an extremely tacky plastic in the form of I-don't-know-what; but it is a metallic blue colour with bumps, and it really does not go with the rest of the bottle. The round lid is also plastic, and if you move the bottle back and forth, it distorts the spray top sitting inside; this can be hypnotising if you have nothing else to do, or you just want to go into a trance and procrastinate. Lastly, on the bottle there is a little round sticker with - I'm guessing - information about the manufacturers, but it's so tiny that all I can make out is Britney Spears, Circus Fantasy and 30ml.
The spray cap is smooth and not too hard to press down on. At first spray, the smell is strong and fruity and reminds me of peach - however after reading up about the notes, it's meant to be of raspberry and apricot. I'm pleased that the scent itself is not quite as chemical as I always expect it to be when I use it, but it does have a more chemical smell as it wears off. After a few minutes the scent fades very fast, and I would say it doesn't last (on my skin at least) for more than an hour, by which time you have to really put your nose up to the skin in order to get a whiff of it. It's quite a warm, sickly, sweet, smell that doesn't feel fresh. After a bit more time it becomes slightly florally and then finally, slightly musky.
Having an initially strong, sweet, sickly smell, I can see why my ickle sister chose it (she probably got it as a reduced tester bottle or something with her pocket money). When I try on a perfume, I have learnt to wait a while and purchase it much later or the next day in order to see how it fares out - and I don't think there are many children who would do this, and I've noticed my little sister puts on a lot of perfume so that it's very noticeable! This is quite good for children like her!
All in all, it's a tacky bottle with a scent that just wouldn't last you while you put on your clown's costume, and much less so whilst you gracefully fly from one trapeze to the next.
Firstly, if you regularly drink Alpro Soya Light and have an ASDA's near you, run there now because at the moment they're selling some Alpro chilled products at a reduced price £1.20 (Always check the best before date, but I find that usally it's good for about a month before opening, so when you find a lower price it's very handy to stock up if you have enough room in your fridge for a few).
If you didn't know, this chilled 1 litre carton can be found just above the normal cow's milk in most shops from which I've purchased chilled soya milk, and although it says to use within 5 days of opening, I usually need a full week to get through it, and it tastes fine still.
I'm currently on my third ever carton of Alpro Soya Light, and when it's available at a reduced price (such as £1.20) I will buy it again. I've started getting this because of the reduced calories, there are 22kcal per 100ml compared to I think about 40kcal per 100ml for the Original Alpro (forgive me if I'm wrong). When revising my weight recently it just came to me that some of the soya milks that I have been using have much more calories than my old favourite (semi-skimmed cow's milk), and so this lower-calorie product is a good idea for those that use soya milk.
The print on the carton is different to the image shown in the review, and I have found that common-sense has gone into the design: It's mostly white and looks very fresh with green sections of colour, clear font types and good type sizes. In my opinion the information on the packaging is well thought-out and is not redundant. No need to search all over for the Best Before - I've always found it on the front at the very top above the cap; and when using the annoying self-scan machines in the shops - the large barcode is on the back. The cap is "NEW easy open". I don't know how hard the older type was, but indeed, it was easy to open without it spilling out.
They've thoughtfully added calcium, and vitamins B2, B12 and D. They state that it is made with ethically sourced, non GM soya beans, it's free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. They also claim that Apro soya drinks use less land and less water, and generate 5 times less C02 than 1 litre of dairy milk - personally, I am not entirely convinced about some of this because I wonder where they ship/fly the soya beans from as compared to milking British Daisy? Anyway, the carton is Tetra Pak and can be recycled.
And finally I get to the drink itself:
The drink is not particularly sweet and although I wouldn't call it creamy exactly, it is slightly thick; they must have added a lot of thickener in it (gellan gum) because only 4% of the drink is soya bean! I don't find it palatable drinking it on its own, but it just tastes like typical soya milk, and is better in tea or coffee. I haven't had to wait for the hot water to cool down before adding it (I've always added my milk last), it hasn't curdled/separated on me, and best of all; it doesn't curdle or separate when I use it in either instant or ground coffee.
I'm giving this a rating of 4 because while it's not common to find a soya milk that doesn't separate with coffee, I think Alpro (along with all soya makes whether chilled or not) takes advantage of people with dairy-intolerance and allergies etc with their prices. I understand that there might not be the demand as there is with milk, and, of course, there is the simple option of just being anti-consumerist and not drinking milk, but this is generally a nation of tea-lovers!
Finding a suitable scarf/pashmina to use as a headscarf/hijab is not easy where I live, and so the Tie Rack is on the top of my mind as a last resort when I am looking for something pretty for a special occasion.
The things I look for in a scarf to use as a hijab are coolness and breathability of fabric; that is has a smooth, non-scratchy texture; is not too transparent, and has enough width and length. Usually I have found that the Tie Rack stocks such scarves.
The quality of the scarves are very good, although they are extremely expensive, but I have bought a couple of scarves in the sales from my local Tie Rack within the last couple of years, and they are still in good condition. The sale prices are also expensive for my budget, but considering the good quality, we can't expect things for free! However, I do have to look through and open quite a few of the scarves before I find one with no catches or holes in the fabric as I want the best for what I pay.
In my local shop I don't find the mirrors big enough in order to see how the scarves look with your entire outfit, and getting the scarves off the fiddly hangers and opening them up to have a good look at them can be a hassle.
I would not say the service at my local Tie Rack is particularly warm or polite whenever I have been, and unfortunately, where I live, the main kind of customers that the Tie Rack attracts are unmannerly. But I do not know how this compares to their shops elsewhere.
I'm giving a rating of three because of the prices!
Obviously clothes can't actually make you run faster, but these tracksuit bottoms certainly are comfortable to wear during exercise! (They make me feel like I'm running faster anyway!) I've had a pair of these Adidas women's stinger sports trousers for a couple of months now, they are my only sports bottoms I own, and I wear them almost every day for jogging and general exercise. They are comfortable and lightweight, and I find them fine to wear in the heat also.
I purchased them from a JJB Sports shop at about £24 (not including their student discount). To be honest, I avoid Adidas like the plague, but I was eager to start a jogging routine and was struggling to find bottoms that were light, loose and fairly modest; I found that these were perfect after trying them on in the fitting rooms. Note that I had to get them a size larger, so ask the seller for measurements if you're buying them online. A few various stripe colours are available, my pair have purple stripes & logo, but I have seen them with pink also.
What made them perfect for me when first trying them on?
They are long enough not to give me jack-ups when running, sitting or stretches (I'm about 5'7"). They are loose and modest enough for someone who is dressing for faith reasons or because they feel conscious of flab and bum whilst exercising in public (or both!). (If you are dressing for faith reasons then I still recommend you also finding a loose-fit bum-length top - if at all possible that is!)
The drawstring and slightly elasticated waistband comes up to the belly button, so is plenty of length if you want to roll them as you lose a bit of weight. The high waistband also serves useful if you intend to cover your skin, but can't find a sports top quite long enough to cover your belly when doing arm stretches etc. So I was personally very pleased with the fit and the length, which is why I got them!
Other features that might be of interest:
The ankle is elasticated, but there is a generous zip on each leg if you prefer. There is a pocket on each side of the upper leg; these are fairly deep meaning you can put in your house keys and other bits without them falling out during your run.
They are made of 100% polyester, and the inside of the trousers has a mesh lining. The black colour means that they go with whichever top you choose, and the coloured stripes add a bit of colour and make them look a bit more feminine. A major benefit is that they haven't shrunk in the wash yet! I see them lasting me a good time more!
Buying these trousers has now warmed me a bit to the popular brand to which I've had a strong aversion since my childhood (I can't even remember why now!! Ah, yes, the label states they are made in Cambodia, but I don't know about the conditions of their work).
It's like a pretty little decoration that easily adjusts and perches on your laptop screen or on a flat surface - of course it's prettier if you purchase one of the various colours and designs available. They are available at a reasonable price - and I recommend it because you get your money's worth what with capturing very good colours for a clear video, a good microphone; as well as features that allow it to automatically zoom and follow your face.My husband and I have been using one each since January, and we use it with Skype. The only little niggle I have with it is that sometimes whilst typing using Skype the webcam controller does something (I still don't know what!) that means you have to re-click into the Skype text box otherwise you continue typing ... whilst not actually typing anything, if you catch my drift.