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I purchased a Hyundai Atoz + last week, and so far have thoroughly enjoyed driving it, although have already had a few niggly problems (which to a degree is to be expected for a 12 year car!). One of the back doors won't open, I had a flat tyre within a couple of days which needed the valve changing, and the passenger electric window wound down but would not then wind back up!
However, despite these slightly annoying experiences, the car itself has run fine and is in very good condition for an S Reg (it has done around 64,000 miles). It was bigger than I expected it to be on viewing (and particularly taller) - I have had a Seicento in the past and wasn't expecting it to be much bigger than this, but it is quite substantially bigger, with plenty of room in the front and back, plus a decent sized boot with it being a hatchback.
It is really easy to drive as well - I hadn't driven for 3 years when I picked it up, but I got back into it quick enough - it is very easy to find the biting point and you can change gears very smoothly. The one thing that confused me at first is that the indicators are on the right hand side of the steering wheel as opposed to the left, needless to say on the couple of journeys the windscreen wipers were being put on far too often! It doesn't take long to get used to this though.
I would definitely recommend this car to anyone looking for a cheap to buy, cheap to insure and cheap to run vehicle. It's just a 1.0L engine so it isn't too steep to fill it up, and it is right at the bottom end for the insurance group. Overall, it's a good little car that will get you from A to B.
I love wearing bright eye make up for nights out, and purchased a trio of these glittery eyeliners from the duty free section of a plane for around £11.50. The colours included in the trio were silver, purple and green, and this was my first experience of using urban Decay products.
I have to say I wasn't overly impressed at the product considering the pretty hefty price tag. I don't find that the colours show up all that much, and you have to use quite a bit to make the glitter noticeable. I have to use other eye products as a base, and the glittery eyeliners as an extra touch to make my eyes stand out.
The glitter is reasonable good at staying put throughout the entire night, but as stated I do also put on an good eyeshadow and a block eyeliner before applying the glitter eyeliner for a more obvious effect. The eyeliner itself is pretty easy to apply, and not particularly fiddly. My favourite of the three is the silver, which is the most eye catching, but I am not a massive fan of the green or purple.
I wouldn't purchase these again at the price I paid for them, although if the silver one was on offer on its own I may use this to finish off my make up - I would not however use it on its own.
The Weight Watchers cake slices are great! I especially love the carrot cake slices, and they are surprisingly low in calories and fat because they are really tasty. The downside is that they are quite small (you could quite comfortably eat one in two bites), but I guess this is one of the ways they make them taste good whilst keeping the calorie content down!
They are made up of two parts - the carrot cake base and the icing style topping. The carrot cake base is very sweet, although it is a little dry. However, the icing topping helps to combat the slight dryness of the cake and makes it just moist enough. At just 90 calories a slice, I didn't expect it to taste great, but it is really flavoursome and despite the small size, it does well to combat the cake craving without making you feel like you are depriving yourself(and saving a good few hundred calories in the meantime!)
I have also tasted the lemon slices, which are very good as well - they are of a similar specification to the carrot cake in that they are maybe slightly dry, but again they do well to combat any cake cravings and are much lower in calories than a typical lemon cake (albeit it in a smaller portion!).
I would recommend these slices to anybody watching their weight, but who doesn't want to completely deprive themselves of tasty snacks!
Personally, I don't follow the Weight Watchers diet plan, but enjoy Weight Watchers ready meals anyway. The lasagne is usually in the region of £1.50 if you buy them individually, but you can often get them on offer for something like 5 for £5, so they work out at around £1 each, which I think is decent value.
The lasagne isn't one of my favourites from the Weight Watchers range. I am a massive fan of lasagne itself, but find that my own homecooked one is usually far better than you would get in a ready meal! However, I tried the lasagne for convenience, and as with other lasagne ready meals, it was a little watery and bland.
The portion size is also pretty small - for lunch, it would be OK, but if you are having this for tea, I'd definitely recommend serving it with a decent portion of side salad both to bulk the dish up and to liven it up a bit. And if you are like me and don't actually follow the diet plan but sometimes eat the meals for convenience, a piece of garlic bread would go down nicely with it!
For a convenient and reasonably cheap (if you get it for £1) freezer filler, this lasagne is OK, but I much prefer the Weight Watchers Chicken Curry for a tasty and convenient snack. I intend to freeze some portions of my own lasagne for future as I struggle to find a decent ready meal of it, although mine will probably not be as low in calories (the WW lasagne is under 300 calories and 4.5 points).
I don't personally follow the Weight Watchers diet plan, but really enjoy some of the Weight Watchers convenience meals anyway. The chicken curries are usually in the region of £1.50 if you buy them individually, but you can often get them on offer for something like 5 for £5, so they work out at around £1 each, which I think is reasonable value.
I usually eat the Weight Watchers curry as a convenient lunch - I personally don't think there is enough in one to fill you up at tea time, although if you were to bulk it up with a Weight Watchers naan or something of the sort it would probably be filling enough. For those who follow the diet plan, the points value is 4 ½, and there is 305 calories and 4.5g of fat in each one, so it is a healthier lunch option than many sandwiches, especially shop bought ones.
The curry is really tasty - it isn't particularly spicy but still has a nice kick to it, and the rice is quite sticky which I enjoy. There isn't a great amount of chicken in it and the chicken that is in the dish doesn't taste particularly great, but at the price, I wouldn't particularly expect there to be much chicken. I would quite happily eat just the sauce and curry as it really is very tasty, although the chicken does add a bit of texture.
This is an enjoyable alternative at lunchtime even if you aren't on Weight Watchers, so I would definitely recommend trying it, especially if you can get one of the offers on the cost of it.
Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion is fab! I use the medium to dark glow one, and have never really had any complaints with it. I am pretty useless at fake tan, and usually have streaks galore with them, but this gradually tanning one is surprisingly good at blending into your skin tone.
I thought that gradually building tan might be even worse for streaks, as you can't tell straight away if you have missed a bit, but I really haven't had any obvious lines at all (sometimes the underside of my arm will look paler, but then this happens when I'm on holiday anyway so it just makes it more realistic!)
I like just being able to use it as a moisturiser, and it also makes me more inclined to use it throughout the week to keep my tan up - with fake tan that shows up straight away, I've only really used it on nights out and would feel a bit daft making the effort just for work, but the Dove glow just becomes part of your showering routine so I can show off my pretend tan at work too!
I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who wants a nice healthy glow - I have friends who have used the fairer glow and have loved that too, so it's a definite winner! Oh and even the smell is OK, which is more than can be said for some fake tan products!
Dairylea Dunkers seem to be aimed at children, so I haven't bought them much in the past - however, they were on offer at £1 for 4 at Morrisons so I thought I'd give them a try! This price was better than half price (I think they are normally in the region of £2.50 for 4, which I think would be relatively expensive for what they are, but at £1 for 4 or 25p each, they are pretty reasonably priced.
One of the best things about them is that they aren't too bad calorie wise - they are around 5g of fat and in the region of 130 calories, which is less than some bags of crisps - considering that they are so much more filling and satisfying than a bag of crisps, they are a great, slightly healthier alternative - plus you also get more nutrition value with the cheese spread!
I've tried the dunkers with Ritz crackers as well, which are also very tasty, and I think Dairylea should advertise more to the older market as well as they go nicely in an adult lunchbox as well as for kids!
I'd definitely buy them again - they are a great little snack in between meals - but I would be more inclined to stock up on them when the offers are on - I wouldn't want to pay more than 50p maximum for one, and 25p is very reasonable.
bought a number of the Two and a Half Men boxsets for my boyfriend at Christmas, and have got into it myself since. If is one of the funniest shows about at the moment, and in my opinion is the best programme to come out of America since Friends!
It features Charlie Sheen, who plays Charlie Harper, who is the ultimate bachelor and makes his money through writing jingles, living in a bachelor pad on the beach in Malibu. His brother Alan, who is played by Jon Cryer, splits up with his wife and moves in with his Charlie, and Alan's son Jake comes to stay with them at weekend and holidays, which makes life interesting considering Charlies love of alcohol and women!
I would recommend this series to anybody who is into American humour. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments throughout most episodes of two and a half men, and although the punch lines are sometimes predicatable, a lot of this is due to the fact that you start to get what the characters are about and really understand them - it is a credit to the writers that they have the characters down to such a tee that you sometimes know what it coming next!
I won't go into too much detail about the episodes as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it before - however watch out for lots of special guests and well known faces along the way! Definitely worth a watch if you haven't done so already, and at the bargain price of under £8 with Amazon, you might as well get the box set for a rainy day!
I've been on Facebook for around 3 years now, and I think it is great! It is a brilliant way to track down old friends and keep in touch with current ones, and it also seems to have diversified over the last year or so, with many more of the older generation signing up to track down their friends and to keep in touch with their younger family.
It is easy to use, and the privacy settings mean you can allow as much or as little as you want to be in the public domain. It is worth being careful about your settings as otherwise strangers can see you profile.
Facebook has also become a very popular advertising tool for many businesses, but in particular bars and clubs who can promote nights out through it and offer guestlist offers etc through fan pages and groups.
I use Facebook both personally and for work purposes and find it beneficial on both levels. I have caught up with old friends, and regular update my status, chat to friends and upload photos. My mum and various other family members are also on Facebook now, so they probably know more about me than is strictly necessary!! It does help to integrate different generations into each others lifestyle though, and so I don't necessarily think there is anything wrong with this (and of course if you are not so keen to have your poarents seeing your entire profile, you can limit your privacy settings so they can't really access anything, but won't be offended that you rejected them altogether!)
I would recommend getting a profile to everyone - it is a there tool to be utilised by all ages and cultures.
I am a bit of a sucker for Asda garden gang products despite the fact that they are aimed at children, because I prefer small items of fruit. On the same level, I have also purchased the garden gang fruit packs before, especially the apple and grapes one, mainly because there is an Asda across from where I work and they are great to grab if you have missed breakfast or for a mid morning snack.
I suppose the main disadvantage with these is the cost for what you get - I have had a pack before with as little as 4 grapes in, and what doesn't even seem like a full apple, so for around 35p (If you get them on 3 for £1), this can be seem quite steep - however when you consider the cost of a pack of apples and grapes, you could probably purchase a full bag of say 7 apples for £1 and a pack of grapes for £1.50, which works out at around 35p a portion anyway if you assume you would get 7 portions from this - granted you would probably get more grapes in self made portions.
The quality isn't always that great either the apples are sometimes slightly browned and not as crunchy as I would like, and the grapes can be slightly over-ripe. One of the things that often gets me to buy these products anyway is when they are on a Whoops offer and around 10p a pack, so I can't really complain about this price!
However, when I'm not feeling lazy or looking for something on the go, I find it much more fulfilling to make a homemade fruit salad with a variety of my favourite fruits - this way I can get a bigger portion, bigger variety and more of my 5 a day in one go. The garden gang fruit packs are definitely a recommendation for healthy convenience food on the go though.
There is only so much you can say about a bottle of still water; however I felt the need to write a review due to my recent experiences with them. I have purchased Brecon Carreg a number of times in my local shop as it is the cheapest of the bottled water at 45p for a 500ml bottle.
However, a few weeks ago I purchased a bottle whilst I was at work and as I was drinking it I initially thought that my mouth had a funny taste in it. As I took sip after sip trying to figure out what it was I could taste, I realised quite how bad the taste was and on smelling the water, realised that it was this that tasted completely bad and must be off.
The taste and smell was almost indescribable - it really was horrible and the closest thing to the smell that I can think of is an abattoir! I contacted the 0845 number on the bottle s despite the fact the bottle had only cost me 45p, I thought I should report it as there was clearly something wrong with the water.
This is where good customer service turned my negative experience into more of a positive. The lady on the phone was very polite and asked for my address so she could send out a prepaid jiffy bag for me to send in my water to be tested. Once I had done this, around a week later I received a letter back telling me that the problem with the water is that somewhere along the line it had been stored in temperatures of above 20 C which had led to the bad odour and off taste . There was nothing further wrong with it, and was probably down to the storage in the shop, but they enclosed a £5 voucher and apologised anyway. I found the customer services to be friendly and helpful, and as much as anything, it put my mid at ease to know there was nothing seriously wrong with the water that could have done me damage, so I wouldn't be afraid to buy Brecon Carreg water again now.
I organised a trip to Alton Towers on the Saturday just gone, and took a coach full of over 20 people. Personally I am bit of a wimp when it comes to rides, but as one of my friends came with me, I felt obliged to go on some of the rides! There was a lot of traffic to get into the park in the morning, so we only actually got around 5 hours in the park, although we got tickets for nearly half price so it was only £19.50 each as opposed to £38.
One of the main problems with Alton Towers is the queues to get on the rides. If you want to try out all of the best ones, you will spend most of the day queuing, although you can pay £9 extra for a fastrack tickets - however, this simply lets you go on three of the rides once each (Nemesis, Oblivion and Air), so it still leaves plenty of other rides hat have hefty queues (plus if I had paid the full £38 admission price in, I would have been loathe to pay an additional £9 on top)
I personally didn't purchase the fast track ticket, and so didn't get the opportunity to try out all the best rides. We spent a lot of time queuing for Air - the wait time was supposed to be 60 minutes, but there was an announcement halfway through the queue saying there had been a temporary delay and they couldn't say when it would reopen. This added quite a bit of time to the queue, and we ended up waiting almost 90 minutes for a ride that felt less than 2 minutes! It was a good thrill ride, but as I stated previously I am not the biggest fan of rides and certainly wouldn't wait 90 minutes for it in future.
A number of rides seemed to have technically faults during the day and were closed for up to an hour - this included not just Air, but Oblivion and Thirteen, so we never got to go on these (to my relief!). I did go on Ripsaw, Blade, Submission and Enterprise, which had a more reasonable wait time of 15 minutes, and I probably enjoyed these more than Air - I managed to avoid getting wet on Ripsaw!
I also went on the River Rapids which is a much more chilled out ride for people like me who aren't big into the thrill rides!
Overall, I think we could have done with more time - you could easily have two days there and stop in the hotel as there is that much to get around. It is definitely worth going to for theme park lovers!
I have just signed up with the Toluna survey website, and my first impressions haven't been great mainly because my Inbox has been bombarded with emails from them! On the plus side, some of these were offering points for a variety of surveys, but many of them were emails asking me to complete the same survey, or asking me to complete a survey that wasn't relevant to me.
I also think Toluna looks to be the most complicated survey website I have seen - you have to reach 60,000 points to be able to claim a prize, although I have yet to find somewhere on the website to tell me what exactly I can claim for 60,000 points (I would hazard a guess at a £10 voucher, but don't quote me on that!)
Although this sounds like a lot of points, I have already been invited to complete surveys worth up to 9000 points each (however many are only worth a couple of hundred, and the initial surveys on your profile are only worth 300 points each).
I am going to continue giving Toluna a go to see how long it takes to reach the 60,000 points mark, and will update this review with how I get on, but I will say that despite the email overload, there does appear to be a lot of opportunities to gain points through filling out surveys, and so if the first few days are anything to go by, I will hopefully reach the prize retrieval point in a relatively short space of time.
Valued Opinions is probably one the simplest survey websites when it comes to accruing prizes to payout - all survey are worth a set amount of money (usually around £1.00), and once you accrue £10, you can request a voucher to be sent out. On registration with Valued Opinions, they will ask you what vouchers you would like when you reach the target - there is a choice of a number of stores, but I personally chose Boots vouchers.
I have only been using Valued Opinions for a couple of months, and I have to say it is much quicker to reach the £10 target and retrieve your prize than other survey websites. I have already spent one voucher, am about to claim another and am well on my way to my third voucher! Most surveys are around 10-15 minutes in length (the approximate length of the survey will be advised on the emails you receive from Valued Opinions when there is a survey available), and the minimum survey I have filled out was worth 75p - the most I have receive is £2.50, although I am currently undertaking a survey for coca cola which requires me to send a couple of text messages when I see a coke advert over the next 7 days, and upon completion of this, my account will be credited with £5.00.
The only disadvantage is that it can take up to 28 days for the cash you have accrued to appear on your account - so in effect you can reach your £10 total but have to wait a month to claim it. However, I don't find this much of a problem, and I carry on doing surveys in the time it takes for the previous £10 to accrue - by the time the voucher arrives, I am usually well on my way to my next £10!
I would definitely recommend Valued Opinions if you want a survey website with comparably quick prize payouts.
I started participating in Lightspeed Panel surveys around a year ago. I have so far received one £20 voucher, and am nearly halfway towards the points total for my second. The way Lightspeed Panel works is that it turns points into prizes - this can be a physical item such as a coffee maker (there are a large variety of items on offer), or it can be a voucher or paypal payment. As I do not have a paypal account, I opted for a £20 shopping voucher which can be used at a variety of stores - I used mine in Boots.
The surveys are quite lengthy - on average they take around 15 minutes to complete, although you will receive an email telling you about surveys when they become available which will indicate the approximate length of time that the survey will take.
One thing I have found quite irritating about Lightspeed Panel surveys is that on occasion, you will not be eligible to take part due to the criteria they are looking for - this is fine, but sometimes you will already be well into the survey before it says the target number of participants has been reached or that your not suitable, so ultimately this is a waste of time. You do get 10 entries into the £2000 prize draw when you are not suitable for a survey (you can also accrue entries through mini polls on the site); however I have never won on any of the prize draws.
As with many survey sites, it takes times and patience to reach the point where you can exchange for vouchers, but if you have the time to spend on surveys and enjoy doing them, this is a reasonable site and they send your voucher relatively quickly upon payout.