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I have been growing lilies in my garden for several years now.
In my opinion these plants really do give great value because they give such a brilliant show of beautiful ostentatious flowers which last for a long time during the summer season. And they will come back year after year providing colour and beauty to the garden.
Most varieties of lilies are good with frost. They vary as to how low the temperature can actually drop for them to survive but I have varieties that once established can cope with minus five and some with temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees.
Asiatic lilies and Oriental lilies are quite easy to grow and my garden has both of these varieties. They do prefer well drained soil but really don’t need too much attention. Many of my lilies are grown in pots and every so often these will need thinning out. When they are thinned out this is a good opportunity to plant some lilies in the borders.
These lilies grow tall. Their pretty and brightly coloured flowers smell good too. I like to keep my flowers looking pretty in the garden but lilies are good plants to cut if you like to have freshly cut flowers in vases inside the house.
One thing to watch for is the lily beetle or red lily beetle. One year some of my lilies didn’t flower at all because these pests had eaten inside the developing blooms as well as making holes in the foliage. I now treat my plants with a spray especially to destroy these pests which can do great damage to these lovely plants.
I would highly recommend Asiatic and Oriental lilies because they look good grown together and give a beautiful show, mainly during June and July. These plants come in many colours including pink, reds, yellows and orange.
We have been undertaking a great deal of improvement to our garden over the last three years. With the work involved gardening can become both an addictive hobby and an expensive one. We have (myself and my husband) invested in many plants for the garden but we do prefer to mainly invest in plants that have a good spread and/or will last more than one season.
We also have been looking for plants that will improve the appearance of the garden in general, such as covering the more plain spots or unsightly fences and walls. For this purpose we have bought and been given as gifts, several climbing plants. among these we have some jasmine plants.
In my opinion, jasmine is a very useful and attractive addition to any gardens. It is easy to grow as it doesn't need too much care. however, it does need cutting back as it can spread fairly quickly. This is easy enough to do with a pair of secateurs.
We have a jasmine growing in a planter standing against a fence. This was a gift and it is doing well.
We also have other jasmine plants climbing on trellises placed against walls and a fence. One particular plant we have planted to grow between our garden and our neighbour's to provide a little privacy. This jasmine is growing very well in the two or three years since we planted it. It has pretty white flowers on it during spring and summer. Now in August it has stopped flowering but the leaves are turning red and gold which really does make it look so beautiful with its glossy leaves showing varied colours.
A main advantage of the jasmine plant is its strong smell. I love the aroma but it can be too strong for some.
I would definitely recommend a jasmine plant to gardeners because not only is it an attractive and fragrant plant but it is useful to grow against walls and fences for the purpose of screening and privacy. AND it isn't too expensive to purchase.
I have bought this product from Ambre Solaire several times. Garnier Ambre Solaire products are among my favourite sun care items so I do tend to choose this brand quite often.
In the case of using after sun that contains a tan maintainer I tend to be more interested in using them when I have arrived home after my holiday in the sun when I want to keep looking tanned for as long as possible. But I do sill want my sun tan to look natural and therefore I think tan maintainers are a good product to use for this purpose. I think it helps to prevent skin from peeling.
This particular product is very nice to use. It applies smoothly and doesn't take too long to be absorbed into the skin, being non-greasy. Soon after use my skin feels soft but clean and not at all greasy. But I would advise that this after sun is best applied straight after bathing or showering and applying before dressing. This is because it is a tan maintainer as well as an after sun lotion and therefore contains a small amount of a self-tanning ingredient which can stain clothing. Hands should also be washed after using or they will also look discoloured!
This Ambre Solaire after sun contains glycerol and vitamin E. These ingredients will nicely re hydrate one’s skin, to keep it moist, feeling soft and looking good. If using on holiday after a day in the sun it will add moisture to the skin and soothe as well as looking good, giving that boost to your developing sun tan.
It can be used on the body and on the face.
Garnier Ambre Solaire After sun Hydrating Tan Maintainer is readily available from chemists and supermarkets. There are often offers to be found and I would expect to pay around £5 for a 200ml sized tube.
I admit I'm choosy with kettles. This is mainly because there are some very necessary ‘must haves’ for me. And, to be quite honest, I also like to have my household items fairly coordinated.
I didn’t really expect to have to buy a new kettle for a while; I was happy enough with my Russell Hobbs model but a new kettle was needed and I blame my son for this! He remarked that I should buy a new kettle because the filter had gone walkabout! Right after that the kettle lid wouldn't close meaning the kettle wouldn't turn itself off.
I looked at several kettles before making my purchase. I preferred to buy a plastic kettle as these are lighter in weight and therefore easier for me to use. I also wanted a model where I could open the lid easily by depressing a button or switch. I find that I have to place most kettles on a surface before being able to open their lids.
I preferred a kettle in a black or grey colour to match items in my kitchen.
After looking in Currys, Tesco and Sainsbury’s I hadn’t seen anything that impressed me although I did see a lovely kettle in Sainsbury’s, the Village kettle, made by Bosch but unfortunately it was only available in a cream colour which wouldn’t look right in my kitchen. I thought I’d go to the nearby Argos and see if they sold this model in other colours.
I was pleased to see that Argos stocked the kettle in black and as I had already had a good look at this model I purchased it.
3 kw power
1.7 litre capacity
Push button operated lid
Easily removed washable filter
A 360 degree rotation base.
Manufacturer's two year guarantee.
Two clear viewing windows
I really like this kettle. It’s light and very easy to open and close and easy to place on the 360 degree base. I think it looks good. I like the fact that I can boil just one cupful of water which is economical.
The windows are easy to see when filling the kettle and show cups as well as capacity in litres.
I paid £27.99 in Argos for my kettle but it has since been reduced to £22.49.
It is a bit difficult to award hearts for this as I was pleased with it but my husband wasn't at all keen. I think that four dooyoo hearts is probably fair.
Garnier Ambre Solaire is a sun care product that I usually really like so I usually tend to take some products from this range on my holidays in the sun. In the case of after sun products I often use Ambre Solaire but this is the first time that I have used it in the gel form.
The weather while we were in Corfu in July was scorching and we had strong sunshine for the week. We remembered to use our sun screens so we didnt burn much, we were just a little red on a couple of days and had the tight dry feeling that being in the sun gives to one's skin.
I applied this after-sun every evening after I had showered and was preparing to go out for the night.
I found that it was very easy and pleasant to apply. It went onto my skin smoothly and was soon absorbed. I liked the smell of it and found that the ingredient of Aloe Vera cooled my skin down nicely. This gel after sun did a good job of moisturising my skin. My tan has lasted well and this could be due to using this after sun gel.
My husband didnt like this after sun at all. he usually likes Ambre Solaire after sun but didnt like the gel at all, saying he felt as if he was applying glue! But he is a trifle fussy!
I liked the container which is a squeezable tube rather than a bottle. It's light and not too big, therefore it is ideal to take in my suitcase.
I made this purchase from savers on my local high street, along with other sun care products. I am not sure how much I paid but I do remember that it was less than five pounds.
On my last holiday in early July l wasn't sure just how hot it would be in Corfu as I am more used to holidaying a little later in the year. Because of this I took an assortment of sun care products with different factors. I chose to take smaller containers rather than one or two large bottles. One product that I took with me was Piz Buin Ultra Light Sun Spray.
The weather was very hot and it grew hotter as the week went on and a high factor 30 sun screen was necessary.
My opinion on this particular sun spray is that I was a little disappointed. To be fair it did the job of protecting me and my husband from sun burn which is the main thing but there were some negative points to this product, in my opinion.
It was contained in a spray applicator bottle which I didn’t find very easy to use. Granted my manual dexterity isn’t great but this means that I do appreciate a good and easy to use spray. My husband didn’t think this was the best spray to apply either.
But it soaked into the skin fairly quickly and it did leave my skin feeling dry enough and non-greasy. I felt that it gave an even application but didn’t feel anything special to me.
This spray guards against sun burn and ageing with UVA and UVB protection.
Also this spray did not cause any allergic reactions to our skin and what’s more it did seem to moisturise. We both achieved decent sun tans without burning so I can’t really complain but I thought that this make of spray might has a good reputation and I felt it might be just a little more luxurious.
I think that I got a very good price for my Piz Buin spray. I made my purchase from Saver and I only paid £4.99 for a 200ml plastic container.
I first bought this product a few years ago as I found my all over sun screens felt heavy on my face. I didn’t even know at the time if sun protection creams solely for the face were available but, on looking in Boots, I found the Soltan Protect and Moisturise Face sun care product and thought that I would give it a try.
The cream has since travelled to several places and I have had to purchase another tube.
This product has a UVB of factor 30 and a five star rating for its UVA properties (ant-ageing). I think this offers a good level of protection against the suns harmful rays in terms of both sunburn and the UVA rays.
The 50ml tube is conveniently sized to carry around while you are out and about in the sun and it’s also very light. And although the plastic container is small it really does last a long time as a little of this cream does go a long way.
Manufacturers recommend that the cream should be applied fifteen minutes before going out into the sun. It can then be applied when necessary and should be applied more often if you swim.
I find that this cream does stop my skin from becoming sunburnt.
I like the way it smooths onto the skin and I don’t find it overly greasy or heavy. It absorbs quickly enough too. I would agree with the manufacturer’s claims that it is light, quickly absorbed and does NOT block one’s pores.
*One application allows for up to six hours exposure in the sun and three hours water exposure, and can moisturise for up to eight hours, according to manufacturers.
I find that a sun protection cream for the face is a better option than using an all over sun screen product.
Malibu sun protection cream isn't my very favourite sun protection cream but I do think that it is a good choice of sun protection and value wise it is very good product indeed.
The packaging is good as it looks bright and cheerful and it isn’t too heavy even when full. This is very important if packing sun protection products in a suitcase to take abroad when weight luggage restrictions apply. It is very easy to use as the lid lifts off easily and it replaces well too.
I also like the fact that the instructions are clear to see and to follow. As the plastic bottle is mainly white the lettering stands out well.
Mostly I love the smell of this lotion; it has a lovely clean and coconut aroma to it.
The cream is very easy to apply and I find that it will smooth onto the skin nicely too.
It also is absorbed into one’s skin fairly quickly and once absorbed ones skin is left feeling good, clean and not at all ‘tacky.’
The Malibu sunscreen is what I would refer to as having medium protection qualities and therefore it should be applied frequently and thoroughly to all exposed skin, especially in the case of fair and or young skin.
My skin tends to be rather sensitive and Malibu seems to suit my skin well enough. My husband also finds this cream to be a good choice for his skin.
I find that it protects from the sun as well as any other lotions as long as it is applied thickly enough and often enough as is the case with all sun protection lotions, creams and sprays.
Malibu sun screens are readily available from many stockists. I have purchased this product from both independent and chain chemists and supermarkets.
I usually pay around four pounds for a 100ml container. Prices vary quite a bit but there often seems to be offers on this product.
Just before last Christmas my husband said that he wanted some new headphones. We do have several pairs in the home but he wanted some that weren't too big and were comfortable to wear.
As my children had asked for present ideas I suggested these and they were bought as a part of his present.
They were purchased from Amazon.
My husband often uses the headphones attached to his smartphone to watch football when I, or someone else in the home, might be watching something on the television and we can’t have the volume going on two things at the same time.
These headphones are also good when using the computer or playing our digital piano.
The headphones are comfortable to wear as they are slim and not too heavy. And they are nicely padded around the ear without being too bulky.
I would say that for sound quality they are not going to be the best headphones but then neither are they the most expensive. These are reasonably priced headphones and I think that for their price the sound is probably better than I would have expected. I would say that for cheaper headphones the sound is reasonable.
The headphones swivel and can be turned so that they lay flat and then the cord can be wrapped around them. This is a useful feature for packing the headphones into a bag or case for easy portability. It also means that they can be stored tidily in the home.
Another feature is that of the noise-cancelling. Outside noise is reduced when wearing these.
Prices vary for these headphones but they should cost around £10.
It must have been at least a year ago (probably longer but time flies!) that my small bedroom television set was no longer watch-able.
We don’t HAVE to have a TV in this room but it is handy when I'm getting ready in the morning and want to have the news and weather on. Also, it’s nice to watch TV in bed if you’re feeling unwell.
And I’ll admit there’s times when hubby is sent to watch football upstairs if a rally important programme such as “Poldark” is being shown on the big television set in the living room.
The last TV was one of those very old fashioned bulky TV sets with a Freeview box resting on top. It took up a lot of space.
When it came to choosing a new TV set we decided that we wanted something slimmer and much more up to date looking than the previous set.
We chose a brand that we like and this was Toshiba. Our living room TV is a Toshiba. We purchased this set from a Tesco superstore but I cannot remember how much we paid. It would probably have e been around £140.
A 22 inch screen seemed to be big enough as our last bedroom telly was considerably smaller than this. But if I were to choose right now I might go for a slightly bigger screen size.
This set looks smart with its black surround. We have it fixed to a wall bracket.
It is useful to have the built in DVD player although it isn’t used very often.
The picture is good on this set and I am pleased with the sound quality.
This TV has the usual features plus many desirable ones such as a headphone socket, child lock, alarm and many more. I have listed just a few of many.
1 scart socket
2 USB socket
Full HD (1080p) display resolution
Motion rate 50Hz
Viewing angle 178/178 degrees
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
I have used Alberto Balsam shampoo and the matching conditioner a few times. I like to use the same brand and type of shampoo in the one hair care session and usually manage to do this. Sometimes I run out of conditioner before the shamppoo. I often buy extra conditioners to ake up for this and sometimes I buy a cheap conditioner to use when I have run out of a more favoured brand of conditioner.
I don't really find any versions of Alberto Balsam shampoo and conditioner to be that good personally although it is fair to say that someare better than others.
Regarding Alberto Balsam Mandarin conditioner, I haven't got very many positive things to say about it. But these are a few...It is very cheap. This conditioner mostly can be found on supermarket and chemist shelves for around the one pound mark but it can also be found quite often selling for less than one pound. It can often be seen on a multi buy offer when it can work out considerably less than one pound per bottle.
So it does work out a reasonable buy for those trying to save some money off of their shopping bills.
I think the small of both the shampoo and the conditioner is absolutely lovely.
But I wouldn't really recommend it.
I think because it is cheap and is packaged in a large 400ml container it's easy to use a large amount and feel that its rather luxurious, but I find that a lot HAS to be used to do any good at all on my hair. And if too much is used it tends to make the hair feel on the sticky side and somewhat lank.
My hair brushes out well after using this conditioner but I find that if I use it for several washes then my hair doesn't feel at all well conditioned.
I would say that the best things about this shampoo is:
One, the price and
Two, the scent.
I have quite often bought Alberto Balsam products at times when I have been particularly budget conscious as they are always cheap and the containers are larger than many shampoo bottles so they do last well and work out very cheap. However, for me, Alberto Balsam shampoos do often tend to be a false economy.
This is because in my opinion they just aren’t a very good range of shampoos generally in terms of quality. I would say that for a budget conscious family thee Mandarin shampoo is an okay product to use for a while. I find that I can get away with using this particular e Alberto Balsam shampoo for a week or so on my hair but if I continue to use for much longer than that then my hair does start to suffer.
Granted this shampoos does clean well and I would also say that it lathers nicely and, as I already mentioned, it does also have a nice aroma but when it comes to caring for my hair then I would say that it isn’t that great a hair product.
The Alberto Balsam Mandarin shampoo is packaged in a plastic bottle holding 400ml of shampoo.
It is widely available and very conveniently so from supermarkets and bargain stores.
Most stores charge around one pound for a bottle but I only buy if they are on a multi buy offer when they work out even cheaper.
This shampoo can often be seen on sale for less than one pound in price.
I have now used several shampoos and conditioners from the well known brand Pantene but I have to say that I really am not at all impressed.
I know that Pantene is a very popular brand and so really for this reason I have tried a few products to give them a fair chance and also to see what all the fuss was about with some of their newer products.
I have been fairly pleased with some of their hair care products but definitely not, as yet, with their shampoos and conditioners.
It may just be that they don't suite my hair type which tends to be oily and is thin and fine.
Some Pantene shampoos tend to disagree with my scalp too.
As my hair is thin and fine and does tend to be on the flat side I thought that I would try the Pantene Pro V Volume and Body Shampoo.
I wash my hair every day and so over a fortnight this shampoo got a good try out with me.
I didn't like it.
My hair felt clean after using it and it smelled okay too but I wasn't that pleased with the results to be honest.
I would say that there wasn't any extra body to be noticed and in fact my hair felt heavy with the feel of this shampoo.
My hair is usually on the shiny and smooth side but I believe it looked duller after a few washes with this shampoo.
Pantene Pro V Volume & Body Shampoo can be purchased from many places such as high street stores and on-line.
I have seen this shampoo in some of the bargain stores too.
I would expect to pay from around £2.00 to £4.00 for this shampoo.
Because I have allowed my hair to grow a little longer recently I find that I am using the hair dryer and also my hot air styling brush more often than I used to do.
But I have always heat styled or dried my hair at times and so I have always had a styling defence spray (or two!) around.
One that I have bought several times for myself and my younger daughter is TRESemmé Heat Defence Spray.
I use quite a few products from the manufacturer Tresemme. This is mainly because they are readily available and they can usually be found selling at a reasonable price.
My daughter used to often use this heat defence spray when she was straightening her hair very often. She still does use it but doesn't tend to straighten her hair quite as often nowadays.
But although I hardly ever use straighteners on my hair I do use other electrical heating products.
I use defence sprays and other protective products on my hair before styling and this is mainly for the protection properties that they afford but it’s also because my hair styles much easier when using a spray prior to styling.
When I use this particular heat protection spray from Tresemme I find that my hair is much easier to style and the style also stays locked in for a fair amount of time.
My hair is less prone to becoming frizzy when I have used this product too.
The only negative that I can think of is that if I use too much this spray does tend to make my hair feel a little sticky therefore I do only use a few light sprays. However, only a little is needed, in my opinion.
This heat defence spray is available from supermarkets and both on-line and high street pharmacy stores.
Prices vary quite a bit but I usually pay around £3 to £3.50.
I don't very often purchase a store’s own brand of toiletries but every now and again I do try to budget just a little and then I add some of these cheaper items to my shopping trolley.
And sometimes a product will just catch my eye or it is on sale at too good a price for me to simply pass by.
In the case of Sainsbury’s White Shower Cream I was feeling fed up with having to keep buying expensive shower products that only have a small amount in the container.
This shower cream was packaged in a large 500ml plastic container and it was very reasonably priced too.
I try to mainly choose the milder type toiletry products for the family and I thought that this shower product would probably fit the bill as the packaging states that it is paraben free as well as being pH balanced.
I thought that this shower cream had a good lather.
It felt nice upon the skin and smelt nice but not at all strong.
After using this shower cream for several showers I found that it treated my skin kindly and I didn’t have any problems at all with dry or irritated skin.
No-on else in the family complained either.
This shower cream is made up of the following ingredients:
Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Glycerin, Parfum, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Benzophenone-4, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, Linalool, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexylene Glycol.
Sainsbury’s White shower Cream is available from Sainsbury’s stores at the evry cheap price of ninety pence for a 500ml container