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Now that the clocks have gone forward and summer is in the air (sort of!) I have come to the realisation that soon I will be peeling off my chunky winter layers and swapping them for strappy tops and bikinis. This can only mean one thing - time to cut back on the chocolate and try and get into shape!
I eat quite healthily but my downfall is most definitely the snacking in between meals! I know that I'm not going to be able to stop especially as I often don't have time for breakfast so I needed to find a healthy solution. When my friend brought a box of Special K Mini Breaks - Chocolate into work, I decided to try a packet and see what I thought.
Special K is a cereal manufactured by Kellogg that's marketed as a low fat dieting aid. They claim that eating two bowls a day (in lieu of two of your regular meals) will help you to lose weight.
The Mini Breaks are marketed as a low fat snack that you can have on the go as opposed to having to be at home to eat a bowl of cereal. They are described as 'crunchy multi-grain cereal bites' and come in 3 flavours - Original, Chocolate and Zesty Lemon. They come in little packets and are sold in boxes of 5. The bites themselves are made out of golden oats, wheat, rice and chocolate.
There are about 20 bites in each bag and each bite measures around an inch by an inch in size. You can visibly see the oats and they are chocolate-y brown in colour. They have that cardboardy cereal smell to them, not very appetising! They were quite crunchy but quite bland in flavour. I expected perhaps a few small chunks of chocolate but there was almost no flavour to them. It was as if they had mixed a bit of brown food colouring in with it and then added a bit of sugar to make it sweet.
They did fill me up for a short while but this might have been due to the fact that I ate them slowly as I found them dry and monotonous to eat - not at all moreish! To me they are little bits of not so special cereal taken out of a box and put in a bag so they can be eaten on the go.
They contain 99 calories per bag and 2.5g of fat (of which 1g is saturated) which sounds good but personally I think they would leave me craving for that sense of satisfaction you get when you eat something tasty. I would rather eat 2 squares of a good quality dark chocolate or something with a few more calories and park my car a little further away from work to burn them off.
I think that too many products are marketed as being low fat and as dieting aids when they would be better off just eating in moderation and snacking on fruit with a few little treats now and then.
If anybody wants to try these they cost £2.29 for a box of 5 bags which works out to be 45p per bag.
I bought my first Mini Maglite 8 years ago as I was about to embark on my gap year which was going to involve 5 weeks of camping and many others having adventures that well, I thought maybe I would need a torch for!
I choose a Mini Maglite for a few reasons - firstly they seemed to be 'the name' when it comes to torches - I had seen lots of positive things said about them, secondly they are very small and light and also somewhat pretty for a torch!
Maglite torches (or flashlight as they are officially known) originate from the USA and have been around since 1979, coming in an amazing eight varieties! My Maglite is the second smallest, the mini AAA version measuring 5 inches in length.
The torch itself is made out of anodized aluminium which means that it's long lasting and resists corrosion which is very important because camping and outdoor use means that it's going to get wet at least a few times. It also means that it feels very nice in your hand. Silly I know, but there is just something solid about having a metal torch in your hand as opposed to a cheap plastic-y one.
Even though it is metal it is surprisingly light! The body is also water and shock resistant.
My first Maglite was black but my current one is a metallic electric blue. (I bought a new one as I decided to lose my first). You can get them in a variety of colours such as pink, red, silver, camouflage, green, purple and possibly many more!
The main body of the torch has scoring on it for grip and the head twists to switch on rather than a button. Twist it to the right and it will emit a wide beam. Twist it a little further and the beam will become more concentrated. This variation in beam is useful as you can use the wide beam when you are exploring a cave and the more concentrated beam when reading a book in a tent.
The end of the torch has a little hole in it so you can thread some material through it to make a wrist strap. Very useful when you are making your way back to the campsite at 2 in the morning very drunk and not wanting to drop your torch. Not that I would know!
This end unscrews and this is where you insert 2 AAA batteries. It is simple enough to change the batteries not very fiddly when you consider how small the torch is. When you buy the torch it comes complete with 2 batteries (not cheap ones either - Duracell) and a spare bulb in the end. I think this is pretty good value!
The torch comes in a black plastic case complete with an attachment to convert it into 'free standing candle mode,' meaning you can stand it up on the table like a candle and a space for 2 spare AAA batteries. I have never used it but it's an innovative idea.
When it comes to performance I just can't fault it. The torch beam is strong, not the strongest I have ever seen but you've got to remember how small this torch is - it really does pack a punch! I have tried it in a variety of different locations and situations; the change in concentration of beams really comes in handy and the size means you can even take it on a night out with you if you know you might need it at one point - it fits perfectly in your jean pockets.
Perhaps it's the size but I did not have to change the batteries once during my 9 months of travelling and I certainly got it out a few times. I have also used it in the rain a few times (one tropical rainstorm comes to mind!) and have had no problems whatsoever.
In conclusion I think this is a great little torch. It is well made, does the job well, is stylish and light and those little touches like decent batteries and a spare bulb included just makes me think it is a quality item well worth recommending.
If all this wasn't enough it also comes with a warranty that the torch will be 'free from defects in parts and workmanship for ten years.' So as long as you haven't dropped it down a cliff face or submerged it in the sea for 20 minutes then you're covered!
The only fault I can find with this torch is that they are so good that when you are travelling they are one of those items that seem to 'disappear,' i.e. get stolen!
The Mini Maglite can be bought around the £10 mark depending on what colour you want from online retailers and probably for a little bit more from camping shops.
I am a big chocolate fan and I love chocolate/mint collaborations - After Eights and Matchmakers are two of my all time favourite chocolates. I also love Cadbury Honeycomb Snaps so when I saw these on offer just before Christmas I happily snapped them up (no pun intended).
Snaps are what can only be called chocolate Pringles. In fact I am somewhat surprised that Pringles don't have some form of copyright on the trademark shape and therefore sued Cadbury! They come in 4 flavours - Mint, Honeycomb, Orange and Original, each snap being made up of Cadbury's chocolate which has been flavoured and tiny 'crispies.'
They come foil packed for freshness in a plastic tray which is in a rectangular cardboard tube. Each boxes contains around 40 snaps. I get the feeling these are aimed at the adult market - they aren't a chocolate bar to be eaten all at once or on the go; they are something that a group of friends might nibble on whilst watching a DVD on a night in. It's like opening a box of chocolates but not so formal!
Each snap is slighter smaller in size a Pringles but they are a little bit thicker, around 2mm. The chocolate is Cadbury's trademark glass and a half creamy milk chocolate which personally goes without saying is delish and within the chocolate are these crispies which are only about 1mm in diameter. There are lots of them in each snap and these add a delicious 'snap' to them when you bite into them.
Now here comes the important part. If I was reviewing snaps in general then yes I love them, 4 star or even 5 star for the Honeycomb. Unfortunately these aren't the honeycomb! They do smell lovely and minty I'll give them that but there is something just not 'right' with the taste. It isn't that fresh minty taste; it's almost bitter. If anybodies ever had a bitter cup of coffee they'll understand when I say it's almost a chemically taste. It's only a hint of flavour so they aren't inedible or horrible, they just don't taste like they should to me.
The only other issue I have with them is that snaps in general are quite addictive, I mean they're only small they can't be that bad can they...until you realise you've been sitting in front of the tea mindlessly putting them in your mouth! This can lead to massive calorie consumption but fair play it is chocolate and if you're sharing between a few people it's not that bad.
Each snap contains:
0.9g of fat, 0.5g of which is saturates.
All in all I think snaps are an ingenious idea and make a change from a bowl of m&m or malteasers but the mint really isn't the flavour to go for. It is a shame because if they did get the mint flavouring right this would be absolutely delicious!
Unfortunately I can't give any pricing as I can't find them in the mainstream online supermarkets at the moment but I think they are £1 - £2 per 117g box.
My mum has a thing for kitchen gadgets, she loves to bake and therefore spends most of her time in the kitchen which must be the reason our kitchen is filled with shiny expensive things like a Kitchenaid mixer & matching blender, Dualit toaster and Magimix food processor.
Therefore it was no surprise that when the Breville Brita kettle was brought out she snapped one up super quick. We originally had the one without the lights but that got a bit tired looking after a few years so we replaced it with the new illuminated version.
For those that don't know, this kettles star feature is the fact that it features a Brita water filter. This is a filter that filters your tap water reducing limescale by at least 20% and also removes chlorine and heavy metals such as copper and lead. This means water that it is purer in taste, smell and even appearance. (Less film on your cuppa!) It is especially suited to those living in hard water areas where limescale is more prevalent in the water supply.
The kettle itself has a 1.25 capacity which isn't as much as some other kettles but I can tell you from experience of using it, this translates perfectly into one full teapot!
It has a 360 degree non slip base which sounds a bit waffly but this is actually a fantastic feature for me as I am left handed and my mum is right handed so if my mum has put it on to boil and I pick it up off the boil I don't have to pick it up with my right hand or try and manoeuvre a heavy kettle full of boiling water. One swish and it rotates. It's one of those little touches that you don't appreciate until you have it!
There is an electronic 'memo' on the top which lets you know how long the filter has been in and how long it has left. There are four bars on the top, each represents a week and they disappear after each week ends.
The kettle itself is very aesthetically pleasing and fits in perfectly in a modern kitchen. The bottom half and lid is brushed chrome and the main body is clear plastic. The kettle has an illumination feature which really is fantastic! It lights up red when it's boiling and whilst it's on standby it changes through a spectrum of colours.
To use you simply open the lid and fill up the top reservoir to the max line and let it filter through. Two things I feel I need to point out here. The first is a slight negative which is to fill the kettle to its max capacity you have to fill the top reservoir one and a bit times. I think it's a flaw that they haven't made the top reservoir a little bit bigger so that you only had to fill it once.
The second is that for a long time I would wait for all the water to filter through before switching it on to boil. This was annoying as it was time consuming. Upon actually giving the instructions a proper read through I have discovered that you can switch the kettle on to boil straight away and it will boil whilst it filters. Just a tip for anybody who has one/is thinking of buying one.
When it is actually boiling, aside form the pretty light show, the kettle is quick to boil, quiet as much as a kettle could be and also doesn't rattle around as some others do.
It is hard to tell any difference in taste when you are drinking something flavoured like a cup of tea but I can honestly say that I can tell a slight difference. It just tastes purer. You can also see that there is no film on the tea before you add the milk.
With regards to limescale, there is hardly any in bottom of the kettle, in fact there is none visible to me. This is important as limescale is very damaging to household appliances and it means this kettle will last longer! It also means that you won't get any limescale in your cup of tea. This happened to me once from a kettle that was less than a year old and I can tell you it was not a pleasant experience.
The downside to this kettle is that you have to buy new filters which are costly. One filter lasts 4 weeks and costs £4.75 which is roughly equivalent to £57 a year. You could try and eek each filter out to 5 weeks but I wouldn't recommend this as the more unfiltered water you let through, the more limescale damage you are doing to your kettle.
I can honestly say that I recommend this kettle, it's very stylish and would look good on any work surface and does a great job at making a perfect cuppa!
The Breville Brita Kettle costs £59.95 from John Lewis and comes with a free 1 year guarantee (only from John Lewis).
*I am reviewing the Nourishing Cutex as opposed the the strengthening as it is not listed*
I first discovered Cutex Nail Polish Remover whilst at uni, one of the joys of sharing a bathroom with 5 other girls is that you get introduced to a wide variety of products, some not so good, some which are little gems!
Cutex Nail Polish Remover comes in an tall opaque 200ml bottle. It has a lilac screw top lid and a blue/lilac label stating that it contains vitamins such as B5 to nourish, moisturisers and a nail whitening formula. It also states that it is for weak nails. The liquid itself is white in colour and smells like your typical nail vanish.
I usually use whatever nail polish remover I find, sometimes Tesco/Boots own brand and I find that I have to use a lot as the varnish is quite tough to remove, especially the polishes which are designed to not chip. As I tend to wear darker nail varnish such as black I also find that my nails are left stained.
To use the varnish I put a cotton wool pad over the end of the bottle and turned it upside down, there was no need to soak a whole cotton wool ball. I then made sure I held the wet part of the pad over my nail for a few seconds and gave it a few rubs before I removed it. I was amazed to discover that all the varnish came off in one swipe with no staining!
I was even more pleased to discover that I didn't need to repeatedly apply the remover for every nail. Needless to say I am still using the same bottle that I bought in 2005!
I also find that Cutex doesn't leave my nails feeling dry and brittle, it really does feel like they have been moisturised.
A 200ml bottle costs £1.99 and it is well worth it, I can't recommend it enough!
I'm pretty new to the world of primers, I guess I decided to start using one as I thought 'oh maybe this will be the magical thing that will make my make up look perfect.' The first primer I tried was Smashbox Photo Finish which I have also reviewed. It was good but I felt like it didn't live up to the hype.
The only other primer I have heard good things about (i.e. lots of reviews in magazines such as Cosmopolitan) was Laura Mercier Foundation Primer.
I haven't really tried Laura Mercier before, probably because it's a bit out of my price range and it only seems to be sold in places like John Lewis & Selfridges. What I knew about it was that it was French and seemed to have a good reputation so I decided to give it a go!
As I said you can buy it from John Lewis where it costs £27 for a 50ml tube. Strangely enough I ended up buying it from BA's online flight shop as I discovered I could get it for £22 including postage even though I didn't have a flight number!
The primer comes in a pale brown tube and claims that it 'creates a smooth and invisible layer to prepare the skin. Your foundation will stay fresh all day.' It recommends that you apply it over moisturiser before concealer or foundation. This are the directions I followed.
The primer itself is white in colour and has a pleasant flowery smell to it. I expected it to be firm in texture but I found it was quite watery and greasy. Almost like a body lotion. This meant that I only had to squeeze the tube a little and I only needed to apply a little otherwise my skin would end up greasy and 'wet.'
I massaged it in and it was absorbed quickly and well by my skin but a minute or so later my skin didn't feel particularly smoother. There was a little bit of a difference but not enough to justify the price tag.
With regards to making my foundation stay 'fresh all day' I think that my base make up lasted a little bit longer but to be honest this could just be my imagination!
In my opinion this primer was just okay. It did make a little bit of a difference but I think a good quality moisturiser could do the job just as well. In fact I think my Liz Earle moisturiser alone leaves my skin feeling softer and smoother. I will continue to use the rest of the bottle but I will not buy it again as it's not worth the £27 price tag.
The search for a decent primer continues!
Kinder chocolate is very close to my heart as I lived in Germany as a small child so I was proper brought up on the Kinder brand - I have many fond childhood memories of eating Kinder eggs and Kinder Schoko-Bons.
Kinder is originated from Germany in 1967 and is very popular right across Europe. They manufacture a number of different products including Kinder Bueno, Happy Hippos and Country Crisp.
The product I am reviewing is Kinder Chocolate which are little bars of chocolate. They are made up of 5 little rectangles and wrapped in white and orange foil. The bars themselves are made with white milky chocolate (their slogan is 'More Milk, Less Cocoa') which is covered in a very thin layer of milk chocolate. The chocolate is very creamy not at all sickly, I find them a refreshing change from most other chocolate bars!
I also like the fact that they are so small - they only measure around 6cm in length. If you feel you need a bit of a chocolate pick me up halfway through the day you can eat one of these without feeling tempted to eat a whole bar. Of course if you want another one you can always have another one (or 4...).
You can buy the 12.5g bars in packs of 16 for £1.58 from most retailers. I have seen them in packs of 4 but not recently. The only negative thing I have to say about them is the choice of scary looking child that always seems to be on the pack!
Each bar contains:
4.3 grams of fat
Blue Riband is one of those things that I used to eat when I was younger, completely forgot about and have now subsequently rediscovered. They are made by Nestle and have been around since 1936/1937. They went away for a while but were relaunched due to popular demand in 2004.
They are pretty much basic biscuits, nothing special or to sing and dance about - they are made up of a wafers layered with chocolate and then covered in a very thin layer of milk chocolate. Each bar is about 10cm long and 1.5 cm in width/height and is wrapped in it's trademark dark blue wrapper.
They are very light and airy to eat, the chocolate is layered very thinly and the wafers aren't too crunchy. They are the sort of thing that you eat when you want a sweet treat but don't want something too heavy. They go perfect with a cup of tea - try dunking them!
Two reasons why I think Blue Riband are popular are that firstly they are low in calories - at 99 calories per bar they are a dieters chocolate of choice! They are also very cheap, they cost around £1 for a pack of 9 - that works out to around 11p per bar, bargain!
Sat Fat 3.1g
Keep your eye out for the new variety made with dark chocolate, even tastier!
I despise using mouthwash as for some reason I hate the overwhelming taste of mint and also the burning taste it leaves in your mouth! I was introduced to Dentyl pH mouthwash when one of my flatmates started using it at uni - I saw it in the bathroom and thought hmmm, that looks interesting. I didn't pay it any more thought until I got a lip piercing and was told by the person doing the piercing that I needed to use an alcohol free mouth wash. Browsing the shelves in Boots I discovered that Dentyl pH was indeed alcohol free and decided to go for it!
Dentyl pH is different from all other mouthwashes as it is a 'two phase' mouthwash that you shake to activate. I'm a bit of a child and it adds some much needed excitement to my oral hygiene routine! ('Little things please little minds' is the saying I think!).
One layer is made up primarily of oil and the other water, when you shake them it they combine and create a liquid that attracts bacteria and food particles. This liquid is meant to bind them together so that you can see it all when you spit it out in the sink - nice!
I prefer to use the Icy Fresh Mint Exhilaration Triple Defence 'flavour' which is made up of a lighter blue bottom layer and a darker blue top layer. I like this flavour as it's a refreshing mint but not too offensive at all. To use, you just shake well pour into the cap, put it into your mouth and swill it around/gargle it for a few minutes like you would do with a normal mouth wash, then spit it out. Each time you use it you need to shake it again.
The alcohol free factor definitely makes a difference, no stinging or feeling like you have to spit it out after 10 seconds! When you spit it out you certainly do notice the 'bits' of food and bacteria but not as much as I thought there would be. Oddly enough I find this rather disappointing!
It leaves my mouth feeling refreshed, maybe not as minty as other mouthwashes but I don't mind as my mouth isn't left feeling like it's on fire.
The downside to this mouth wash is that it is definitely one of the more expensive mouthwashes on the market costing £3.09 to £4.15 for a 500ml bottle, when you can get a bottle of supermarket own brand for less than £2. It is often on special offer quite often so I pick up a few bottles as it's definitely worth it!
I don't usually wear primer before but during the winter months my skin always feels dry and worn out and I felt that it needed a bit of a treat as I feel there's no point in putting on make up when your skin feels horrible in the first place!
Smashbox was first brought to my attention when I saw it on QVC, I have never seen it sold anywhere on the high street though I have heard it mentioned a few times in magazines and publications like 'The Beauty Bible.'
The Smashbox brand was created by the grandsons of Max Factor the Hollywood cosmetics great. It started off as a photo and film studio and the make up line became a spin off.
The primer claims to 'provide a smooth matte finish all day,' 'minimize the appearance of imperfections' and 'even skin tone for a flawless look.' I have quite visible pores so I was hoping that it would help reduce the appearance of these and also make my make up last longer.
Whenever I have seen pictures of this product I have seen it in a pump but mine was in a 60ml tube (I have now learnt this was a 'limited edition') I was pleased with this as this meant that I could cut the tube open at the end and get out every last drop!
The packaging is simple yet classy. The tube itself is clear with a matte finish and the lid was plain black. The text on the front simply read 'smashbox,' 'Photo Finish' and 'Foundation Primer.'
The primer itself was clear and thick, almost like a gel although it wasn't at all slimy - it didn't have a 'wet' feel to it. A top tip when applying is that you don't need very much! Obviously this is great for making it last but if you aren't aware and put on too much it sort of sits on your skin and makes your foundation go clumpy.
You just take a small bit on your fingers - a 5p sized blob - and massage it all over your face. It feels very silky on your skin and it feels quite nice to apply! After I applied it my skin felt silky and smooth though not as much as I would have desired.
I did notice a difference when applying my make up, the foundation seemed to glide on more smoothly. The primer is meant to sit in your wrinkles therefore creating a smoother finish and I did feel that it achieved this.
However I don't think it made me make up last any longer and it didn't really reduce the size of my pores.
For what it did it's probably not worth the hefty £25 price tag. I must note here that the 30ml costs £25 I am not aware what my 60ml tube cost as it was a present from my mum.
The 60ml tube did last me 3 month but if 30ml only lasted me a month and a half, I don't think I would want to pay that (plus postage) for something that just made my skin feel smooth.
My verdict? It's a good product but the price tag and the lack of availability lets it down.
Mmm chocolate! Milka Daim bar is another one of the chocolate bars that I got in my stocking at Christmas that I have never had before. To be honest I haven't really had any Milka chocolate before apart from once whilst on holiday in Spain.
Milka Daim comes in 100g bars and is milk chocolate suprisingly enough! It is wrapped in Milka's trademark purple packaging with a picture of the white and purple cow on front.
The chocolate itself is creamy and quite sweet, possibly too much for me but I am probably bias as I am a huge dark chocolate fan. I can tell it's decent quality and it can be compared to Cadbury's, it's just not as creamy. It is divided into flat little rectangles and if you turn it over you can see the daim/dime pieces sticking out.
Daim for those not aware is a crunchy butterery almond like substance that leaves a toffee aftertaste. There were a lot of daim pieces in my bar which was great and they really went well with the Milka chocolate, it was very tasty.
The only downside is that my bar happened to contain an extra big bit of daim that decided to stick its pointy edge right into my gum but I'm sure this was an isolated incident!
Each bar contains 447calories and 21.3g of fat so be sure not to eat a whole one in one go!
It costs 97p for a bar from Tesco's.
Every Christmas it's a tradition to receive an orange in my stocking. Usually it's a real one but in recent years I have been receiving a Terry's Chocolate Orange. Now putting aside the fact that I am 25 years old and still receiving a stocking(!), the 'orange' started off as the classic version but since different types have been brought out I have been receiving these.
I had had dark, white, snowball and minty up until last Christmas, though apparently there have been many varieties such as Easter egg, Carte D'or, Siesta(?) and Lemon. I don't recall any of these so I think these must be American varieties. Fact time! Terry's Chocolate Orange is British and was originally only sold in the UK until being bought out by Kraft food in 1993, the same people who recently bought out Cadbury's. Thought I'd throw that bit of useless information in there!
Terry's newest variety of Chocolate Orange is 'Volcanic' which features pooping candy. Popping Candy is that great stuff that was first marketed as 'Pop Rocks' or 'Space Candy' in the 1970's. It's little pieces of sugary candy that sort of 'pop' and 'explode' in your mouth leaving a tingly feeling on your tongue.
Being a child I was very excited upon receiving this Chocolate Orange and couldn't wait to try it.
The Chocolate Orange is packaged in the usual packaging though it is coloured purple as opposed to blue and features the slogan 'it's sensational!'. The 'orange' itself is wrapped in purple foil and is made up of 20 segments of milk chocolate. You give it a whack and the segments fall apart.
When I peeled back the foil I could immediately smell the orange mixed with chocolate. The segments themselves have a orange peel effect on both the outside and sides of the segments and I could see the little bits of pooping candy sticking out. The chocolate tasted like a normal chocolate orange as in it was creamy but not too sickening and it had tasted like real orange something I find really complements chocolate!
As soon as I put one of the chocolate segments in my mouth the popping candy instantly started to pop in my mouth, making little explosions on my tongue and filling my ears with crackling!
The only downside is that I think it would have been just that little bit better if they had put more popping candy in each segment but overall I think it's a really good idea and different from the norm of just changing the flavour.
A 175g Chocolate Orange costs around £1 - £2 depending where you buy it from and contains 525 calories and 29g of fat.
I really enjoy drinking hot chocolate as it makes a welcome break from tea and coffee. I usually drink Cadbury's Hot Chocolate at work but this can get a bit sickly after a while as you are meant to make it with milk and it can get a bit boring which is especially annoying as that is why I was drinking it instead of tea or coffee in the first place!
Browsing the hot drinks aisle in Tesco's these little Option sachets caught my eye. I liked the idea of them as they come in lots of different flavour not just plain old boring chocolate and also because they can be made with just hot water which means they are low in both calories and fat.
You can buy Options in little 11g sachets or in 220g jars. I am usually one to buy a bigger tub as this means it is cheaper but I actually prefer the sachets as there is greater variety and you can have a different flavour everyday! Plus the fact that they are only around 25p makes them seem sooo cheap (I know, I know they work out at more than double the price per 100g).
The larger jars are 220g and come in two flavours - Belgian Chocolate and Mint Madness. The sachets are 11g and come in five flavours - Belgian Chocolate, Mint Madness, Cracking Hazelnut, Wicked White Chocolate and Outrageous Orange.
I chose the Outrageous Orange one to try first as I love Terry's Chocolate Orange and was hoping it would taste like that.
Now Options do market these as a low calorie diet hot chocolate so I have to admit I was ever so slightly worried that it wasn't going to live up to my standards. I have had instant hot chocolate drinks that are made with hot water only before and this have always seemed watery and tasteless.
To open the packet there is a little 'tear here' tab which I had to admit I am dreadful with and usually end up resorting to chewing the hell out of the packet before reaching for the scissors but impressively it tore open really easily.
To make you simply empty the contents of the sachet into a mug, add hot water and stir well. You need to make sure you stir well as otherwise you will get horrible powdery lumps in the bottom of the mug and they are not very nice in your mouth.
A word of warning, the packet does tell you to boil water, then to let it cool before adding it. I am impatient and am used to adding boiling water to tea and coffee but if you do this you will either end up waiting for ages for it to cool or run the risk of burning your tongue which really isn't very pleasant, trust me I have done it numerous times! It's best to take the kettle off the boil just before it reaches it and this will make all the difference.
Now comes the taste test and my surprise. Boy does this hot chocolate taste nice. It is thick (for a drink made with water), creamy and full of flavour. The chocolate tastes dark and rich and the orange flavour comes through nicely. You can even smell the scent of orange in the stem. Neither the chocolate or orange overpowered the other, it was the perfect blend! I have since tried the Belgian Chocolate flavour and this is also no ordinary plain chocolate. It really does taste like melted Belgian chocolate in a mug.
The fact that it is low calories really just makes it!
An 11g sachet of the Outrageous Orange flavour contains 40 calories and 1.2 grams of fat.
When I was younger Pink Panther used to be one of my favourites things. I loved eating pink panther ice creams (though I may have dreamed these up as nobody ever seems to know what I'm talking about) and I used to love watching the Pink Panther cartoon on T.V.
Every now and then my Mum would treat me and buy a pack of Pink Panther wafers which I remember I used to get so excited about, probably not about the taste just the fact that they had my beloved Pink Panther plastered all over the packet!
I spotted a pack of them in Home Bargains today for a bargain price of 39p so I decided to pick some up.
The packet is silver with pink trim and features the Pink Panther holding a pink wafer with a cheeky gin on his face. The packet tells us that the wafers are 'Vanilla Flavour Cream Filled Wafers,' and also that they now contain 'Added Vitamins.'
Now I don't know about other people but I never like to be told that something has added vitamins if it isn't something that isn't meant to have any in the first place, i.e. biscuits. I just imagine them tasting really mediciney. If it's meant to be unhealthy, then leave well alone!
The packet contains about 24 wafers which are thin and rectangular in shape and very very pink. They measure up about 1/2 an inch in thickness and 3 inches in length. They are made up of three pink wafers sandwiched with a very thin layer of pink cream.
When you bite into them they are very crunchy and seem to create a lot of crumbs. When you first chew them they are quite crunchy but then become soft and each bite seems to dissolve in your mouth.
I'm not sure how to describe the taste. It's rather cardboardy to be honest and not at all how I remember so I'm quite disappointed. There is the teeniest tiniest hint of vanilla but unfortunately it's not enough to outweigh to blandness of the wafer.
When I examined the nutritional information on the back I originally thought there were an okay choice in the biscuit department as they contained only 80 calories per two biscuits but upon further information they also contain 4.4 grams of fat (of which 1.6 grams is saturated) per two biscuits and 29.3 grams per 100 grams which according to the FSA is high.
If you are worried about what horrible ingredients such a garishly coloured product may contain, the ingredients are as follows -
Vanilla Flavour Cream Filling (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Dextrose, Flavouring, Vitamin C, Niacin, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12), Wafer (Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Emulsifier: Lecithin (E322), Raising Agent: Sodium Bicarbonate, Colour: Allura Red (E129))
Wow they weren't joking about those vitamins! So they contain two E numbers which isn't too bad I guess as junk food goes these days! In fact I found it quite funny that when I came home with these my Mum warned me about 'all those E numbers' and about how I would get high when she was the one buying them all those years ago for a five year old child!
Looking back over this review I think I have come across quite negative but even though I probably wouldn't give them to my children I do love them for their retro/novelty value!
Rivington Pink Panther Wafers currently cost 89p for 200g from Tesco's or 39p for 200g in Home Bargains if you can find them.
What's in my bag? I am going to find this very interesting as I have a bad habit of shoving all my rubbish in my bag and never clearing it out. Also even though I have numerous bags I have been using my current one for both my work and social life so it may have some very random things in it!
1) My black River Island purse full of many, many cards, bank cards, credit cards, my driving license, (never get id' unless I don't have it!) every loyalty card going. If I lost it I would be so lost!
2) My Sony Erricsson mobile phone.
3) My trusty diary, I get a big one every year from Paperchase and use mainly it to write in my hours, tips made and also to pen down any random thoughts I may have.
4) An A5 artists sketchbook. I bought this yesterday as I want to get back into being more creative.
5) My sexy red work tie made out of some lovely nylon like material.
6) Three payslips. I really should put them away!
5) A sketching pencil
6) A Montagne Jeunesse chocolate face mask for dry and T-zone skin. This is amazing and it's like putting real chocolate on your skin. See my review for details!
7) Waiters pad from work informing me that table 19 ordered tonic water, apple juice, a bottle of Rose and three Diet Cokes!
8) A pretty green and black polka dot coin purse from Accessorise that my friend from work bought me at Christmas.
9) A pack of 20 Marlboro Lights containing six cigarettes, a bad habit but I go through about one pack a month.
10) A pink panther lighter nicked off my brother (not sure why decided to choose this lighter in particular!) a blue lighter and a green lighter.
11) An Avon round barrel brush as I have shoulder length flyaway hair that gets knotty really easily.
12) An empty pack of Ibuprofen my painkiller of choice.
13) My keys for work to open up/close - really don't want to be losing these!
14) A business card from a garage for the service for my car that I was meant to get in August.
15) Four money bags from taking my coins to the bank.
16) Receipts for Tesco's, Lush, Sainsbury's and La Tasca.
17) A bottle opener.
18) Two biros
19) Spare contact lenses as I completely blind without them!
20) A Jack Skellington coin purse (I <3 Jack) =D
21) About 20 random foils from wine bottles - I promise you they have fallen out of my work pouch I don't go around drinking wine out of my bag!
22) A collection of tampons that appear to have all fallen out of their wrappers in my side pockets, oops!
23) A chefs button that must have gotten there when I did my management training in....October 2008!
A lot of random little things in reflection but nothing very interesting or personal. No make up or anything girly, I am shocked!