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After trying the Barry M instant nail effects I was told by a friend that Boots No 17 also did a nail effect, so decided to give it a try, which was a little harder than I first thought, as it had sold out in 2 Boots and luckily I managed to get the last one on the shelf in the 3rd Boots I tried and went off home rather pleased with myself to try it out.
No 17 Nail Xtras Crackle Top Coat is made by Boots as part of their No 17 range. The Bottle is 10 ml and the usual clear glass to show the colour of the polish inside and it has a white lid with medium wide brush attached. It costs £3.99 and currently is included in the 3 for 2 promotion (April 2011).
To use the crackle top coat first apply a normal coloured nail polish to your nails, allow to dry then apply one coat of the No 17 Crackle Top coat. The Top coat somehow reacts with the coloured nail varnish and creates a crackled nail effect over the top of the coloured base coat.
The colour of the crackle top coat is a pearly gold/silver colour with the Polish itself being the same consistency as a normal polish not too thick or thin and really does not smell much at all.
The Directions on the back advise that when dry to apply a clear top coat for prolonged wear.
I had used the Barry M Instant nail effects several times and like the effect it gives but did want something a bit lighter so was really looking forward to trying this out.
The colour really is lovely, its a cross between gold and silver I really can't decide which it is more of though. The first thing which surprised me about the No 17 crackle was the consistency. The Barry M can be a bit gloopy to apply and seems to dry on the brush but this is fantastic, It glides on like a nail polish, then its wait and see to find out what it will look like. It doesn't smell strong either which I like as It doesn't take much for me to get a nail polish headache from the fumes. It does take a few minutes to finish cracking and this product is more like a crackle than the huge great chunks which disappear with the Barry M. The main colour you are left with is defiantly this gold/silver top coat and not the polish underneath. I quite like that though, it is definitely more subtle than the other brand. So far I have used it over a red and a dark steel and it looked better over the darker colour in my opinion.
I would advise to put a top coat over the top as I really don't think it would last very well without (my toe nails only lasted a week without a top coat, compared to the near two weeks I can normally get out of them before they look shocking). I did get a good few days out of this with a top coat before the little chips started appearing.
The price is not too bad at £3.99, yes it is the same price as the Barry M, but I can honestly say that I prefer this as it goes on so much easier and nicer. I am really impressed with this product, whilst it is not as dramatic as the effect from the Barry M Instant effects it really does look great.
I would defiantly recommend this to a friend as I really think it gives a unique look to your nails and is really easy to apply and not too expensive.
As you may be aware i am currently growing my nails after many years of biting them. I have developed a bit of an thing for painting them and trying out different brand of polish to see if I can find my perfect polish. I came across this Collection 2000 Hot looks polish on a market stall for £1.00 and had to try it at that price. It retails in the shops for around £1.79.
Collection 2000 Hot looks nail polish states it is a Fast dry nail polish with a high gloss finish. It advises that you apply two coats for the maximum colour intensity. It comes in a clear 8ml glass bottle which shows the chosen colour and has a black lid with a medium sized brush attached. The polish is quite thin but easy to apply. The smell is quite strong but not overpowering. I chose colour number 6, Juicy, which is a bright reddy orange colour. The Hot looks collection has 20 different bright modern shades including a light grey called Wham (No 26), a yellow Sherbet Lemons (No 30) to a deep green Ninja ( No 36).
I haven't bought anything from the collection 2000 range since I was a teenager when that is the only brand we could afford. It was always known for being cheap and cheerful so wasn't really expecting much from this polish. The polish whilst easy to apply went on quite thin and did need a good 2-3 coats before I was happy with the colour. It struck me how even though it is a bright colour it didn't look as shiny or striking as other brands of polish, it does look like a cheaper polish when on. The Hot looks Fast dry is a little debatable too, as in my opinion it drys no quicker than normal polishes.
I applied the polish in the morning and by the evening I had several little chips already, so not very good at all although adding a top coat with help with the longevity of the polish.
The wide range of bright colours is probably the only plus with this brand.
So to sum up, this polish does not offer a long lasting chip resistant finish which will win medals, but it doesn't claim to. I think it is perfect for younger teenagers who want something bright and funky which isn't going to cost all their pocket money. I wouldn't recommend it to my friends for themselves but probably would for their daughters.
Whilst building up my nail polish collection I came across I love Lasting Finish by Rimmel. A friend had recommended this polish and while it currently is included in the 3 for 2 offer in Boots I bought 3 different colours for £5.98 (2.99 each).
I love last finish comes in an 8 ml bottle, and promises long lasting nail colour which is chip resistant. The bottle itself is clear so to show the exact colour of the polish inside with a black lid. I thought the brush was quite wide and very easy to use even for a novice like myself, with the polish being a bit thinner than other brand I have tried. I love lasting finish, it comes in 10 plus different vibrant colours from bright pinks such as 270 Hot Shot to darker blacks such as 080 Black cab. I chose 193 Black cherries, 260 green grass and 198 Azure (bright blue).
Stood at the Rimmel stand in my local boots I was really impressed with the bright vibrant colours included in this range, really modern and eye catching, it was quite difficult choosing just three as I liked them all.
My friend had recommended this product due to ease of applying and she was right, the brush was wide and made easy work of covering my nails in 2-3 swipes, the polish itself whilst being a bit thinner than I has previously used didn't go everywhere and covered well even after just one coat. The smell of the polish isn't too overpowering either which is a good thing as I did notice that it took a long time to dry between coats, I ended up smudging a nail or two even when it had had a good 10 minutes drying time.
Once dry the polish does look amazing, the colour is so vibrant and shiny, I am really really impressed with this aspect.
As with other nail polishes I have reviewed when I have left one nail without a top coat to see how it faired, with this claiming to be a long lasting I left one hand without a top coat just to see. I am on day four now and the hand with the top coat is just starting to show wear at the very tips of the nails. The hand without a top coat and just using the lasting finish didn't fair as good and started chipping on day two, not by a great deal and nothing that can't be mended with a quick touch up. I am quite impressed with it though as have been doing a bit of minor DIY.
Would I call it long lasting? No, I very much doubt even if I were to sit looking pretty all day I would get 5-10 days out of it without a top coat.
To sum up, I wouldn't call it a lasting finish but I would call it a very very nice colour and reasonably cheap, so I would recommend it to a friend.
Being on a reasonably tight budget I tend to look out for the offers and noticed these 'new' crisps on offer at £1 for a pack of six (Sainsburys). I say new as until i came to do this review I thought they were a new Walkers product. Having seen the above old packet picture, I realise they have been re branded with a newer modern style packet.
The product is made by Walkers which was founded by Henry Walker in the 1880's and is now the countrys leading brand name in crisp type snacks.
Sour Cream (and cracked black pepper) flavour Sunbites are a Wholegrain Crispy snack made with 61% wholegrain, which according to the packet makes them irresistibly crispy.
The crisps come in a light lime green matt packets with an orange rainbow style sun at the top, Sunbites, wholegrain crispy snacks underneath. A picture of a white dip bowl with a white dip in and 3 of the crisps next to it, with birds and butterflies flying around. Sour cream (and cracked black pepper flavour) underneath that with the strap line of "Tiny moments of extraordinary pleasure".
Each pack contains 25g of crisps and has 120 calories (6% adults guideline daily amount), 2.1g of sugar (2% AGDA), 5.4g of fat (8% AGDA) 0.6g saturates (3% AGDA) and 0.3g of salt (5% AGDA).
The ingredients include Whole grains (67%) made up of Whole corn, Quaker whole oat flour and whole wheat. Sunflower oil (18%), Rice flour (13%), sugar, sour cream and cracked black pepper flavour (natural flavouring, sour cream powder, sodium diacetate, black pepper) and salt.
It states on the package that the product may contain traces of barley due to the farming practices and that it is suitable for Vegetarians.
I only bought these as they were on offer at £1 for a six pack from Sainsburys. Upon closer inspection I noticed they stated that they were 30% less fat than regular crisps so was happy as they would not totally destroy any hopes I have of loosing weight.
The crisps themselves are rectangular and wavy in shape, they remind me of those old corrugated garage roofs (look wise not taste). The package is right when it states the wholegrain makes them crispy, they are lovely and crisp. I was very impressed with the taste of the crisps, the first flavour which you get when biting into one is the sour cream then a hint of the pepper as an delicate after-taste, really nice.
There is just enough in the bag to fill a hole until lunch or as a bit of a treat later on in the day.
I will definitely be buying these crisps again as both myself and the kids enjoyed them, in fact I will be buying these and trying the other flavours in the range (Onion and Rosemary, Sea Salted and Sweet Chilli) whilst they are on offer at Sainsburys. They really are delicious.
I have recently stopped smoking a couple of months ago which has had such a positive impact on my life and has made me realise just what I can actually do, so much so that I decided another bad habit had to go...biting my nails. I have never really bothered with nail polishes etc as my nails were always bitten to bits. My nails are growing lovely now and I'm investing in various nail products ( you will probably come across several nail related reviews soon) I found this on a local market stall for £1.99 although it retails in the shops for around £5.00.
The product is made by Sally Hansen which as a brand has been around since the 1950's and is recognised as a trusted name in beauty products, especially in nail care.
Sally Hansen Insta-dri anti-chip top coat comes in a 13.3ml red bottle with a white lid and long medium sized nail brush attached to it. The liquid top coat is clear with a strong varnish chemical smell to it.
The directions are to apply you chosen nail colour, wait two minutes, then apply a coat of Insta-Dri to have touch dry nails in 30 seconds.
I bought this more to use it as an anti-chip top coat than for the Insta-dri technology. I painted my nails and opened the bottle and was immediately hit by the very strong varnish like smell, not very nice at all. It smells like a strong varnish which really got up my nose.
The top coat was easy to apply and did make the nail varnish touch dry after 30 seconds or so. I would recommend leaving longer drying time as several minutes later I knocked a nail and the colour coat and the Insta dri coat seemed to wrinkle and slide off my nail, almost like a peel-able mask. I reapplied the nail but left this one without the SH top coat to see the difference.
I have to say that the Top coat really did make my nails shine and feel hard and smooth, more so than the one I left without top coat. The polish lasted three days without obvious chipping so not too bad at all as I built a swing set in that time (the nail without had chipped within a day). When removing the polish it just peeled off with a little help from the end of a metal nail file.
Would I recommend this to others? Yes if you can find it cheap, as it is great for applying over cheaper nail polish as a anti chip top coat, It seals the polish and makes it very shiny and hard, it does stink though!
I was on the lookout for a new cheap phone on the Virgin network due to the free virgin to Virgin minutes/texts myself and my daughter both have ( an ideal way to keep in touch without it costing a fortune) when I came across this Chrome Pink Virgin VM800 in Tesco for £29.99.
The Phone itself is made by Alcatel (OT-800), although the Alcatel name is not branded anywhere on the phone itself, only on the instructions. The only brand name visible on the phone is the virgin media symbol in silver just below the screen.
The phone itself is 10.7cm long, 5.8cm wide and 1.5cm in depth and weighs 100g. The VM800 has a screen size of 4.6cm long by 3.5cm wide, eith a resolution of 262K, below which is a full Qwerty keyboard.
The VM800 has a 2 MP camera,with a x4 zoom, video capture and video playback.
MMS with predictive text available
Colour menus, screen savers and wallpaper, a picture phone book and both pre-loaded and downloadable images.
It has Bluetooth, a built in FM radio and MP3 player, an expandable memory up to 4GB using a micro SD memory card (not included). It is Tri-band, has GPRS, WAP and an Email client, it contains a facebook short cut in the menu
Contains a calculator, calendar and a clock/alarm.
The VM800 had a talk time of nine hours and a standby time of 450 hours.
In the box with you the phone you get a mini disc with OT-PC suite on it, a pair of white mini earphones, a USB computer cable to attach the phone to the computer, sim card and a set of easy to follow fold-out instructions.
As we all know money is a little tight at the moment so therefore I do not have the spare cash I would of normally spent on a mobile phone for myself but my last smartphone my beloved Nokia N95 8gb was literally falling to pieces. As I stated previously I needed a phone on the virgin network and this phone seemed the perfect price when I noticed it in Tesco (£29.99). I am not not normally one for such bright phones either ( i prefer them black) but thought it looked like a cute pink blackberry so that was what swung it looks wise. It feels sleek and looks it to be honest. My daughter who owns a blackberry was very impressed when I came home from town with it, so it must be alright as you know how hard pre-teens are to please.
On getting my phone home I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was already charged so I could have a play with it straight away.
Most of the phones features are accessed through the phones menu by either clicking on the left top button or on the wheel in the middle (top, right, bottom, left), which is also used to scroll through the menu screen.
The menu includes the headings: Messages, web, Opera (the web browser), directory, calendar, radio, fun (games), camera, profiles, music player, image viewer, video player, file manager, calculator, notes, tasks, clock, converter, menu arrange, bluetooth, Java, call register, services and settings. A rather long list I know but the menu arrange tab allows you to add or remove things you don't want on your menu screen.
Making a call is really simple, just press the numbers and the green dotted key on the far left, with red dotted key for cancel call/put down. The call volume is really good, with it quite loud at full volume. The calls both outward and inward are always easy to hear and the person I am speaking to has no problem with the clarity at their end either.
The use of the qwerty keyboard makes it really easy to type messages or emails as it is the same keyboard on your PC at home. It has a separate key for Caps and a SYM key for the full list of symbols. The Shift key ( arrow pointing upwards) enables you to use numbers when writing text.
The fact that I can transfer songs to this phone really easily using either Bluetooth or the USB cable means I can have any ring tone I like which is a bonus as the ones included on the phone are not that modern to be honest.
The camera is deceptively good for a 2MP and I can take reasonable pictures although not having a flash does let it down a little.
The internet capabilities are really simple to use via Opera. I have bookmarked all my favourite websites and have no trouble accessing them at all.
Virgin offer really good deals on WAP access with 30p a day or depending on how much you top up the previous month free allowances the next month . Top up £15 in a month and get free unlimited texts and 1GB Mobile Web, £10 a month and get 300 free texts, it doesn't have to be topped up all in one go like some providers also. Virgin costs 31p a minute per call and 13p a text standard.
The phone seems to be quite tough as well as i have dropped it and managed to throw it down the stairs on one occasion and apart from a tiny chip in the pink it has not affected it.
So to sum it up I really like this little phone, it was cheap and does everything I need of it. Yes it is bright pink but hell I can handle that!
I first discovered Sudocrem just after my first child was born twelve years ago and I can honestly say that I have always had a tub in since.
In 1931 Professor Thomas Smith developed a antiseptic healing cream for Eczema, nappy sores and other minor skin complaints in the back room of his Dublin pharmacy. The cream was a massive success and by the 1950's is known as Sudocrem. In 1980 Sudocrem was launched nationwide in Great Britain and became a trusted market leader in treating Nappy rash.
Sudocrem is an Antiseptic Healing Cream and suitable for many different uses including nappy rash, Bed sores, Eczema, acne, sunburn, minor burns and surface wounds.
Sudocream works in three ways:
*It contains a water repellent which helps to provide a protective barrier again urine and faeces in a baby's nappy helping to prevent and treat Nappy rash.
*it soothes and softens the irritated skin
*it contains an mild local anaesthetic to help ease the pain.
Sudocrem contains benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate and benzyl cinnamate, zinc oxide and hypoallergenic lanolin which all help to soothe, heal and disinfect the damaged skin.
Sudocrem comes in a grey tub with a push off lid. The name Sudocrem is displayed in its distinctive white on red banner on the front. The tubs are sold in various sizes, ranging from a perfect for a changing bag sized 25ml to the largest 400ml tub and ranging in price from about 60p for the 25ml to around £6 for the large 400g Sudocrem.
Once you open the tub you will see the cream is white and quite a thick cream which you apply using you fingers. The smell lingers a while but is not overpowering or a strong chemical smell.
I love love love sudocrem as it is a one tub does everything type of cream, I have, and now my daughter does use it for slight acne and blemishes, it soothes red skin after a bit too long in the sun a treat and is the only cream which I can honestly say works every time on poorly, sore babies bottoms.
My vet even recommended it to use on both my dog and cat when they had skin complaints. It has all but cured the black spot (cat acne) on my cats chin and saved me a small fortune in expensive medications.
The cream itself is very thick and you only need a thin slaver on the affected area. It does take some rubbing in though and if you don't it will leave a white film for a good while after. A large tub will more than likely last you until the use by date. It seems to be one of those never ending creams as you only need a tiny amount.
To me the smell is lovely and i can always tell if my daughter has used it just from the aroma, not that it is chemically or strong, just very distinct to the product.
To sum up i love Sudocrem and always have a tub in for a multitude of uses.
Kinectimals in a game for the Xbox 360 using its Kinect technology. As I have in previous reviews I will explain a little about the Kinect sensor for those that are nor familiar with it. Kinect it is a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" The Kinect sensor attaches to your Xbox 360 and can be used with any Kinect games. It is sleek black in colour and contains a VGA( Video Graphics Array ) camera with 640x480 pixel resolution @30FPS which allows for facial and body recognition so the sensor can automatically sense which user is playing at any one time. It also include a depth sensor allowing it to see the room in 3D and four microphones allowing you to talk to the sensor.
The Kinect allows the player to be the remote, to change menu screens with one swipe of the hand and to play games effortlessly, using every part of their body in the action.
Kinectimals is a game designed for the kinect system. Kinectimals can be played with up to four players, is voice enabled, meaning you can 'tell' the kinect what you want it to do. Is suitable for HD and non HD TV's and takes up to 6MB to save. The Xbox live feature can be used with this game for any achievements earned. It has a pegi rating of 3. It retails at between £15.99 and £24.99. I paid over £30 when I bought it.
Kinectimals comes in a box with a wooded background with a cute little tiger cubs face smiling in the foreground. The box states that Kinectimals allows you to play with animals in a new way.
Kinectimals is set in a fictional island called Lemuria, and you have a animal sprite called bumble to help you on your way. One of the main control actions you will need in the game is the hand swipe ( move hand from left to right)to manoeuvre your way through the menus and different areas. The player has a choice of five different big cat cubs to start the adventure with. One of the first things you will learn to do is to teach your cub to do tricks by using both hand action such as the roll over ( hold one hand in front of you and then move it in small circles), sit ( squat down and put your hands on your knees)and body movements such as the jump (jump up and down), play dead( lie on the floor with your feet facing forward) and voice commandments such as come here and go to sleep.
Throughout the different mini games such as throw and fetch and teaching new tricks and adventures you can track your progress using the on screen information such as looking in your 'toy box' which contains all the food and toys you have collected for your animals and looking at the discovery bar which shows how many points you have earned and the next environment you will unlock.
The game consists of different elements such as looking after your cub, different challenges, exploring the island, contests, meeting up to 20 different cubs and finding treasure.
My experiences of the game
I bought Kinectimals as my four year old boy after being recommended it by a friend. The games itself is a little sickly sweet and seems to be aimed at the younger end of the market, as to be honest it isn't very demanding or taxing and the mini games such as a throwing the ball to knock down some skittles does get quite boring, very quickly, saying that my son adores this game and quickly got the hang of the swipe action and the different voice commands for the cubs. The graphics are very good and lifelike and the animals do look very cute but looking past that it quickly looses its charm and bores very easily. My four year old is the only one in the house who will ask to play the game as my 12 year old daughter thinks it is just too boring to bother with.
So to sum up, would I go out and pay full price for the game knowing what I know now? No, I don't think I would, I think I'd wait until it was half price or buy it pre-owned. It is alright for the young ones but be prepared to doze off whilst they play.
Dance central in a game for the Xbox 360 using its Kinect technology. If you are not aware of Kinect it is a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" The Kinect sensor attaches to your Xbox 360 and can be used with any Kinect games. It is sleek black in colour and contains a VGA( Video Graphics Array ) camera with 640x480 pixel resolution @30FPS which allows for facial and body recognition so the sensor can automatically sense which user is playing at any one time. It also include a depth sensor allowing it to see the room in 3D and four microphones allowing you to talk to the sensor.
The Kinect allows the player to be the remote, to change menu screens with one swipe of the hand and to play games effortlessly, using every part of their body in the action.
Dance central is one such game to make full use of the kinects capabilities. Dance central is a one to two player game, suitable for normal and HDTV and takes up to 3 MB to save. The Xbox live feature is usable with this game as it includes online leader boards and additional songs and dances are also available to download. It has a pegi rating of 12 as includes mild sexual references and mild bad language.
Dance central comes in box with a couple dancing in what looks like a nightclub on the front, with neon lights and other dancers in the background, Dance Central in white on pink in the top middle.
The game includes 30 plus funk, pop, hip hop and dance hall songs including artists such as Cascada, Lady Gaga, M.I.A and Salt N Pepa..
When it comes to actually playing the game the basics are that each song has three different skill levels (easy, medium and Hard) and the game includes three different modes:
*Break it down, to rehearse a dance by watching a demonstration then copying the move correctly three times before moving on to the next move.
*Perform it. To perform the full dance, with a break in the middle where the camera records then plays back you free-styling. In perform it mode there is also a workout mode which estimates how much energy/calories you have burnt.
*Dance battle, which is the mulitplayer mode and allows players to take it in turns dancing to parts of the song to gain the highest score.
The game includes Limb feedback in all modes which means your legs or arms will either have a green edge (you're doing the moves right) or a red edge ( you are going wrong somewhere) the music and pace will also slow down if you keep going wrong in perform it mode.
My experience of the game
First up I just want to express how much we as a family love this game, it Is fabulous. We have Just dance for the WII and enjoyed that, so when dance central was released we snapped it up. The menu can be a little tricky and long winded if swiping it with your hand but once you get to the actual game it is a laugh a minute. Its not like the WII where you can get away with just moving your arms to dance , with Dance Central you have to dance! The sensors work for both the arms and legs and any slacking will produce the red tinge to you character until the game pace slows then stops. The graphics are bu no means the best that the Xbox can manage but then again that is not really the point of this game, the point is to join in, get up and have fun.
I am no slim Jim yet can quite happily manage to throw some shapes in the easy or medium categorises. My daughter manages the hard ones but then as she is 12 and loves dancing it is to be expected. Every time we play the game we come of it smiling and feeling like we have had a workout.
The freestyle in the middle is a rather fun aspect as the camera records you doing any dance you choose then replays it at speed, so very funny watching my four year old boy dancing at high speed.
To sum up, I love this game. It is helping me to loose weight with a smile on my face and I would happily recommend it to anyone.
I first bought this dye when it was was on offer at £4.99 in Superdrug. I had used the John Frieda brand before and it was a name i trusted. My hair is thick, shoulder length and quite grey at the roots, so I have to dye to regular to stop frightening the kids with the grey regrowth.
The product comes in a sleek box with a black and white shot of a model at the top, the John Frieda name across the middle and the bottom half is a shot of the hair colour of your choice. The front of the box promises Salon quality results with an easy to apply non drip formula. I bought shade 4BG, Dark chocolate brown.
Open the box and you will find the developer in a clear squeezable bottle, a nozzle ( the foamer)which you will eventually screw onto the top of the developer bottle, the colourant, a decent sized conditioner bottle with a screw lid so it can be used again and again, some nice black salon quality gloves and the instructions.
To use it really is as simple as pouring the colourant into the developer bottle then instead of shaking to mix as with normal hair dye, you gently tilt the bottle five times. At this point you will probably look at the amount in the bottle and think that there is no way that this amount will cover all your hair but believe me it will. Next screw the 'foamer' on and don't pump the top as you seem to automatically want to do but squeeze the middle of the bottle and out of nowhere comes this mass of foam. Once you have gotten over how neat this is, cover your hair, start at the roots and then work in like a mouse. I found this really easy to do and didn't make a mess of the bathroom as I normally tend it do. It took less than half the time it normally takes me to dye my hair. As I said before it looks like the amount you have is not enough but I find even with my thick, longish hair I have plenty to really give a good thick coverage all over. It didn't smell awful or strong like some dyes can whilst applying.
Leave on for the 30 minutes which I did with no noticeable running or dripping in the colour, then rinse until it runs clear, which I also found a lot quicker than with normal dyes. Apply the conditioner saving some for re applying once a week and rinse again. Style as normal.
The first time I used this dye in dark chocolate brown, I was thrilled with the whole experience, colouring my hair was easy and the colour was fabulous. It covered my greys no problem at all, was a lovely natural looking even colour. My hair seemed soft for a good while after and looked great, the colour seemed to last and last and not dull like others can.
I was literally raving to my friends about this dye, so much so my mum bought me another as a little treat. My mum made the mistake of buying the next shade lighter in the range, 4N dark natural brown. I wasn't too fussed as I often chop and change brands/colours a shade or 2. When my regrowth of grey needed dying again I used the new dye, and again it was a pleasure and so easy to use. Imagine my surprise when I dried it to find that my regrowth area was a reddy, purple colour. It was very noticeable and looked very daft. I even thought someone had changed bottles in the pack, but no it was the correct colour. Needless to say I recoloured with a different dye a few days later and it has put me off using this foam again.
So to sum it up this foam dye is an absolute pleasure to use, so easy and the colour seems to last, BUT sometimes it may not turn out the colour quite expected!!
After watching the TV adverts promising clean. sparkly kitchen worktops and pristine showers I decided to finally invest in a bottle of Cillit Bang power cleaner. I say invest as at just over £3 in the co-operative for the 750ml bottle it was double the cost of my usual cleaner, never mind I thought it will be worth it.
On closer inspection of the bright purple and orange nozzled bottle i see that it states that 'Cillit Bang Grime and Lime powerfully removes lime scale, soap scum and rust all around your house and makes your daily cleaning easier', by this point I'm getting giddy at the thought of sparkling clean surfaces and bathroom with little effort.
I continue reading the long list of services it is suitable for such as bathtubs, toilets, taps, chrome, ceramic floor and wall times. Next up is the directions which are pretty self explanatory, turn nozzle on, test a small area first and then rinse area after treated.
Then comes the list of what not to use it on which include marble, brass, copper, textiles, carpets wood floors etc. Nope I wouldn't be using it on any of these things great, good to go..
Music turned on, cloth in hand I step into the bathroom ready to transform it into something like the bathrooms i see in the adverts. I turn the nozzle to 'on' and press the trigger......to say what happened next was a bit underwhelming is an understatement. It sort of dripped out in a white foamy splodge, no huge burst of spray like I was expecting, just a rather thick foamy dribble. I checked the nozzle and tried again and got the same (I even changed the nozzle for one i had under the sink and it was the same) This foam splodge was not to bad on flat surfaces I found as it didn't matter about it dropping out rather than spraying out, but on the shower walls I did struggle to get any on the wall oppose to just the floor. I ended up dribbling it onto a cloth. Was I impressed with Cillits cleaning abilities? Not really, I am afraid to say it performed no better than other leading brands, yes it did clean the shower cubicle till it shined and yes it did clean the cooker top brilliantly, but no better than the other products at half the price of this. The smell was rather overpowering perfume type smell and I had to open a window whilst cleaning as it was getting up my nose a bit.
So to sum up, yes Cillit Bang cleaned my surfaces and bathroom to a good standard but I would not buy it again as it smelt too strong and the thickness of the foam means it does not spray out properly.
I came across the CSJ brand whilst looking for a reasonably priced dog food which had no additives or preservatives for my very bouncy, energetic Jack Russell. I had recently been reading a lot on various dog forums about the link between bad behaviours and over excitable, hyperactive dogs and the quality of the dog food given, so when the CSJ name kept cropping up, I decided to have a look at their website.
CSJ was founded by Ceri Rundle, after Ceri and her father H.Glyn Jones had spent years searching for a affordable, top quality dog food for the dogs they breed, trained and competed with. CSJ's main ethos is that the food they make contains Real Chicken, Lamb or Salmon and that it contains no GM ingredients, no artificial colours, additives or preservatives. CSJ dog food is made in the UK in DEFRA approved sites which adhere to the most stringent quality control and traceability systems. CSJ provides energy dense nutrition with no smell.
So far so good I thought, I clicked to have a look at the products to find that they do quite a large number of food in different ranges. Before I list the different ranges it is worth mentioning that CSJ is aimed at working dogs but I think that the foods are just as good for non working dogs/breeds. Also worth mentioning is that CSJ comes in 15 kg sacks.
* CSJ Original dog food: which includes 10 different foods, ranging from the Natural Hi lost, for gundogs at £11.65 which contains 20% real chicken to the Natural Hike on, formulated for racing sled dogs so also ideal for hard working dogs, bitches in whelp or puppies at £20.95 with Salmon being the main ingredient. There is also a Natural puppy in this range at £19.05.
*CSJ Champ: CSJ Champ is the value range of dog food they do, but please don't let this put you off as it is real value for money and carries the same high standards as the more expensive foods. The Champ range includes amongst others a Little Champ, puppy pack with Little Champ!(Puppy) food, Dem Bones (25g) and a money-off voucher at £10.00 , A lower protein food called Old Champ! at £13.50, Natural Champ! Adult £10.45 and Sooper Dooper Champ! at £13.50.
*CSJ Command Performance which is the super premium, 'natural' feeds range, and is based on the requirements and feedback from some of the most experienced and successful dog handlers in the UK and overseas. This range includes amongst others CP21(salmon), which is a hypo allergenic dog food for dogs with sensitive tummies or skins at £30.10 and CP18 ( less active), for less active dogs or as part of a calorie controlled diet for overweight dogs.
CSJ also supply a range of herbal supplements for your dog ranging from Billy No Mates natural flea treatment at £13.25 to Stroppy Bitch! a natural product to help bitches with hormonal temperament problems at £13.25.
As I stated previously CSJ comes in 15 kg sacks, which can be quite large if you only have a little dog but I have found the food does last without going stale and can be stored for up to a year unopened without going off. CSJ stockists are growing rapidly so you will more than likely be able to find one not to far away, if not you are able to order from their website, with shipping costs of:
England : Wales : Scottish Lowlands-£6.85
Scottish Highlands and Islands : Northern Ireland : Isle of Man : Scilly Isles -£10.10
It does cost the same to deliver two 15kg sacks as it does one 15kg so is worth stocking up. It states delivery will be 5 working day from order despatch. I received an email telling me my order had been despatched the day after I ordered it, and it arrived 2 days later, so really quick.
I ordered the Adult champ and I have to say within a few weeks I noticed a difference in my dog who seemed a lot calmer, less hyperactive and a charming little boy compared to the hyper terror we had before. I noticed the doggy smell also vanished which I have since found out is also linked to what we feed our dogs. My dogs poops are solid and no problem to pick up at all. My dog looks forward to his meals and wolfs them down.
I cannot rate this dog food highly enough, I think it is fantastic in every aspect from the cost to the nutrition for my dog. I have spoken to several people who use different foods in the CSJ range and we all agree that it is the dogs business. Brilliant!
I found Slow Cooking, Curry and Spice dishes by Carolyn Humphries in a second hand book shop and I am so glad that I did. To say that it has changed my life would be an overstatement but to say it has changed the way I look at my slow cooker is true.
The book is a rather unassuming paperback with no pictures and written on what looks rather cheap paper, non of the glossy wipe able pages of more well known cookbooks...If you get a splash on this it will stain the page. It is written in no nonsense block style. Each page contains a few sentences about the recipe, Title, how many it serves, Ingredients in darker print, and a few straight forward simple instructions.
The Book starts with an Introduction about how using your slow cooker means that you can come home to the perfect dish waiting for you to serve with Rice or breads. Curries and Spice dishes from China to Thailand, Africa to South America with the odd British dish are all included in this book.
After six pages of tips on how to use/look after your slow cooker and tips on the recipes and timings, which I found really helpful comes the recipes.
The book is divided into sections, first up being poultry dishes. Includes recipes such as Simple Chinese curry, Tandoori Chicken, Thai rich duck curry, Spicy buffalo wings and a Non-grilled Chicken Tikka Masala. I have to say the simple Chinese Chicken curry is a hit in our house and uses mainly store cupboard ingredients, its great!
Next up is Beef dishes, which include Bangladeshi Beef curry, both a Mexican and traditional chilli con carne, Japanese Beef stew with shredded chillies and Cuban spicy beef which is very good served with rice and peas.
Next is Lamb dishes and this includes a Lamb and coconut biryani, Madras lamb curry, minted lamb tagine with prunes, a fabulous Jamaican curried goat or lamb and the delicious sounding Indian - style slow roast leg of lamb.
Pork dishes include amongst others the Pork Vindaloo, lovely English curried pork chops, Thai chilli ribs, Cajun-spiced pork loin and Szechuan twice cooked pork which really is as good as it sounds.
Fish is next and includes Caribbean prawn curry,squid in chilli sauce, salt cod and pineapple curry and an East African fish stew.
next up are Vegetables and pulses and rice based dishes which I love and include a mixed vegetable curry, Bombay potatoes, mild spinach and potato curry with green pepper, red lentil curry, tofu and egg curry, chilli beans and vegetables and Mexican rice with cheese and crushed guacamole.
I love this book as even though some of the recipes sound like they will be difficult the instructions are really simple and easy to follow. The smell from the slow cooker throughout the day whilst the dishes are cooking is amazing.
One thing I will say is that some of the recipes do require several spices, which can make some of the meals seem really expensive, but once I have bought the spices/herbs once it means they are in the cupboard for next time or another recipe.
A fab little book from which I have made some great dinners.
I decided to buy one of these Pro Fitness Cross Trainers as I need to increase my fitness levels and also loose weight. I had a good look around first at various bits of exercise equipment but settled on this, mainly due to the reasonably cheap cost and had loved using something similar at the gym.
Once I got it home I was quite worried about how I would manage to assemble it on my own but needn't of as it was reasonably easy. I would say to put the handlebars the wrong way around (with the letters L/R pointing outwards) as it is easier to grip and they don't whack you in the chest this way round. I am not the tallest person in the world ( 5ft 3) but with 4 different height settings i found one which suited. The one problem I have notice is the screw handle which keep the bars in place do seem to work there way out a little so need to be tightened (by hand) every so often.
Once set up the cross trainer is easy to use, a simple twist of a knob to change the resistance from easy none at all to a good hard push.
It Does make a little bit of noise but to honest that's to be expected from a belt driven piece of kit, nothing turning the TV up a few notches won't solve.
To sum up It is a lovely cheap bit of kit, easy to use and the results can be seen in no time at all if you put the time in and don't use it as a clothes horse.
I will start by giving you a run down of the spec of this laptop before giving my opinion of it after 2 or so years usage. The laptop has an Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 processor, 2.20GHz, 15.4" TFT-LCD screen (Thin film transistor-Liquid crystal display), 2048MB RAM, 80GB Hard-drive, DVD±RW, Intel GraphicsX3100, Dolby Digital Live surround sound, WiFi, and Vista Home Premium .
The Acer looks good with a sleek black outer case which when opened reveals the 15.4" screen and a light greay keyboard. On the sides are two USB ports on either side, an Ethernet port on the left side as well as a 5 in 1 Card Reader,DVD drive is on the right and the power lead slots into the back of the laptop.
I bought this Acer (my first Acer) about 2 years ago and I have to say it has been a cracking little computer and still serves me well to this day. It gets heavily used and as long as I don't clog up the hard drive it performs as fast as it did when I bought it.
The screen is a good size and resolution, clear and bright, the speakers are not too bad, although can sound tinny when on full volume. More than enough USB ports with the 4 that it has. The Wifi always has a good reception and can use it at the bottom of the garden no problems. The keypad and keys feel well made and sturdy. I mostly use this plugged in now but it still gives me a good hour or so unplugged, and have never had a problem with the charger/cable.
The laptop has no issues doing several tasks at the same time and always seems responsive to whatever i want to do. My daughter uses it for games and has had no issues of it running slow.
I would recommend this laptop to others who want a no frills,cheap and reliable laptop which should last them a few years with no issues.