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madeindevon

madeindevon
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Member since: 28.01.2010

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    • More +
      01.01.2014 21:27
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      I like it, as does my son

      I have to be very careful when I buy hair products, as I have suffered in the past from a couple different scalp problems - this can result in my scalp becoming flakey and very itchy, this is when the problem is mild - at worse it can drive me to distraction and I will itch my scalp all day and all night, waking with dried blood under my finger nails.

      As a very typical woman however I like to colour my hair and I like my hair to look nice, the products on the market that help my scalp condition do not benefit the appearance of my hair, so the compromise I have is that I will use a medicated shampoo for around 70% of the time, but when I know my scalp is in good condition I will allow myself to use a beauty type shampoo for a week or two, or before I go out somewhere nice and want my hair to feel at its best.

      I have recently discovered Herbal Essence Bee Strong Shampoo (and its matching conditioner) Currently this shampoo is on a special offer in Tesco, it is £1.89 for a 400ml bottle.

      What appealed to me about this product in the first place, is that it is not trying to promote itself in a pretty feminine pink bottle, many beauty shampoos (I personally feel) sell themselves as they are marketed towards ladies with pretty bottles and shampoos of pretty colours.

      Bee Strong is part of a range of different fragrances and variants from the Herbal Essence range. I have to admit that I probably chose this variant as it was not typically pink and glamorous, instead it is a clear bottle with the product being a deep English Mustard type colour.

      My first reaction when I used this shampoo, was that it was most certainly a good quality shampoo. I have long hair, and a 50pence size amount of the product squeezed onto the palm of my hand was most certainly enough shampoo to create a decent lather, I worked the shampoo through my hair - trying to avoid rubbing too much of it into my scalp where possible. Shampoo, lather, rinse - then repeat and do the same process all over again.

      I have been using the accompanying conditioner too.

      The product had a nice smell to it, not at all strong or overpowering, but certainly pleasant. After rubbing my hair dry I was able to brush through my hair quite easily, so I would certainly say that it was very good in that respect.

      As a rule I try to let my hair dry naturally, when my hair was dry I was happily aware that I had a nice sheen to my hair and it felt nice.

      So far so good, all in all top marks for this product. I liked it, and continued to use it for a few more washed. My young adult son has come home from university and prides himself on his hair, he too commented on how nice his hair felt - praise indeed - as his hair can be a pain in the wotnot to me sometimes! He is known to grumble about the various products I have bought - and yes, of course, as every good mother does - I end up telling him exactly my thoughts on the matter and he should go off and buy his own if he doesn't like what is in my bathroom!

      so, two positive votes from our household!

      For me however, I have had to stop using the shampoo, as within a week or so of using it daily, my scalp has become mildly itchy and flakey - I cannot blame this shampoo of course, as it is a condition I have lived with for many years now - however I have managed to use other beauty shampoos for longer, before I had to revert back to the medicated products. My son has continued to use it though, with absolutely no complaints.

      Would I recommend this product to others? Absolutely, without a doubt, I would suggest if you suffer from any scalp issues that you keep a close check on your own head, of course this shampoo promises to repair the protective outer layer of each strand of hair to leave it strong against combing damage.- but I do not doubt that there are many people like myself who need to be careful.

      I have looked on the web site about this shampoo, as I assumed that with the title of "Bee Strong" there would be some royal jelly type properties in it, but no - I assume that the "Bee" part comes from the fragrance of Honey and Apricot in it.

      I cannot say that I could smell Honey and Apricot, but certainly the shampoo had a very pleasant fragrance.

      Overall, my hair felt strong and shiny - a very nice product.

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      • More +
        30.12.2013 09:19
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        An indulgent present, which I totally love

        I had a little android phone a while back, but it was very basic and bottom of the range. For the past year I have been using a non-internet mobile phone, but have been aware that I am slipping behind with technology.

        Needs must and it was time for a change!

        When my husband wanted to know what I wanted for a Christmas present, as usual I didn't know - my son however told him that I wanted a Tablet, now although this was perfectly true - I did/do want one, I had managed to convince myself that they were too expensive and too much of a luxury, I didn't need one. I work with a computer all day long and I have a lovely laptop - a Tablet would be a total luxury, an indulgence - but apparently, that is sometimes what Christmas presents are all about, someone buying you something that they know you would really like, but have not bought for yourself.

        So, unbeknown to me, my husband and son went off to John Lewis store and picked me up a Samsung Galaxy Tab, John Lewis is an excellent place to buy such goods from, as they provide (as standard) a two year guarantee, whereas most other stores only provide one year.

        My Tablet is the 7 inch model, I will be honest here and be a bit over enthusiastic, and tell you that this gadget is the most wonderful piece of technology I have ever owned ! I absolutely love it! I keep it in my bedside drawer, for safekeeping, and even when I am not using it, I get it out to lightly buff the screen, or just to look at it! I know it is silly!

        I am not scared of technology, but I am personally wary of using and setting up something that is new to me. I did not need to be however, setting up the tablet was remarkably easy and took all of four or five minutes, if that.

        I am not sure if the Tablet came with any charge on it, as I automatically plugged it in. I pressed the "on" button and within seconds the screen was loaded, I went through the set up menu, which was very clear and easy to do, adding my user details to my email account, the tablet recognised the wi-fi connection and I added my password to it. Within just a few minutes I was up and running.

        Quite obviously, it is going to take me many weeks and hours of using the tablet to be able to use it to its full potential. However 6 days down the line, I am using it without any hiccups. As I said earlier, my knowledge of Android phones and the Android system is quite limited, so I did not have too much of a head start.

        Using the apps and finding the apps required was all very easy, I have downloaded Facebook, Twitter, Quidco and Topcashback already, all of which downloaded and installed themselves onto the Tablet very quickly and easily, pain free one might say!

        Now, this review is not from the point of view of an expert, or someone who "knows their stuff" This review is from me, a forty-something Mum, who often relies on her young adult son when it comes to technology - but as helpful as my son is, I try to cope and use such gadgets without him. So from someone who is far from an expert, and only an average user - my feelings about this tablet are very positive indeed.

        Is the Tablet user friendly? Yes, it is - with just a basic knowledge of the android system I have been able to download apps, take photographs, upload the pictures to social media and to email (as well as delete some decidedly bad Christmas photos!)

        What about the quality of the Tablet? I had been tempted to buy a tablet a couple weeks ago, for around the £50 mark, I was talked out of it, I was told that when it comes to this sort of thing you should really buy a tablet with a brand name, such as a Samsung or a Nexus, for example. I am glad that I did - I cannot compare it to similar models, having never used another brand, but my Samsung looks nice, it feels good, you know it is well made and good quality, and it works! The icons on the screen work when I touch them, the screen lock slider works when I want it to. The tablet does everything it should do, or rather it has done everything I have asked of it so far.

        The packaging contained the tablet and the charger, it is the sort of charger that can be charged to a main socket, or charged via USB socket to the laptop or PC,

        I am very careful to put the tablet away safely, but do intend to buy a protective case very soon.

        Would I reccomend this tablet to others? Yes, without a doubt - My hubby paid £99 for mine, there are various sales at the moment and you might be able to buy it slightly cheaper elsewhere, however the 2 year guarantee is worth paying a little extra for.

        The specificatons for this tablet are below. To be truthful I do not understand all the specifications personally, but I prefer to review an item honestly and from my own experience - which so far has been brilliant.


        Battery life Information
        Up to 8 hours (Wi-Fi Web browsing)

        Bluetooth Enabled Information
        Yes - 3.0

        Computer Support Helpline Information
        Free 90 day computer support

        Dimensions
        H188 x W111.1 x D9.9 mm

        Ethernet Port Information
        NO

        Finish
        White

        Graphics card type Information
        Shared

        Hard drive Information
        8GB

        Headphone socket
        YES

        Memory (RAM) Information
        1GB

        Memory Card Slot Information
        microSD

        Model name / number
        SM-T2100ZWABTU

        NFC enabled Information
        NO

        Operating system Information
        Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

        Pixels Per Inch (PPI) Information
        169PPI

        Ports Information
        Micro USB

        Processor Information
        Dual-core Marvell PXA986

        Processor speed Information
        1.2GHz

        Screen finish Information
        Gloss

        Screen Resolution Information
        1024 x 600 pixels

        Screen size Information
        7"

        Screen Type
        TFT LCD Display

        Sound
        Built-in speakers

        Touch Screen
        YES

        Voice Recognition
        YES- Google Now

        Webcam (front-facing) Information
        1.3 megapixels

        Webcam (rear-facing) Information
        3 megapixels

        Weight
        0.3kg

        WiDi Information
        NO

        Wireless networking
        Wi-Fi- 802.11a/b/g/n

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        • Asus X502 / Laptop / 50 Readings / 48 Ratings
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          22.11.2013 10:35
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          Very pleased with this purchase,

          Approximately a month ago, my husband's trusty laptop decided it that enough was enough - and fair enough too, it was a bit of a "Trig's broom" with new batteries, new charger, new keys having been replaced over the years - so the quandary of deciding what to replace it with started.

          The most wonderful answer emerged - he would have mine! And I could have a new one! I obviously don't get out much, as this decision was possibly the best conversation I had been involved in for months and to describe myself as excited was possibly an understatement!

          There was a valid reason for this decision however, and that is the uses that my husband has for a laptop are considerably different than what I use mine for, and frankly even though my laptop was only 9 months old, running Windows 8, it wasn't fast enough for me and I needed an upgrade.

          We didn't have an infinite budget for this new laptop, Ideally no more than £300 - so this particular weekend we shopped around for online deals and in-store ones.

          It hadn't occurred to me that it would be difficult to buy a laptop, I had lined up two or three models, from different stores, but both the deals in the local supermarkets were out of stock, what was pointed out to me and I suppose made sense when you think about it, is that we live in a small city, which has a university and halls of residence - I was shopping for this laptop in early-mid September, which is the same time as all the students have just received their university finance - and stock levels locally were low, something that happens most years I am told.

          I decided to buy my laptop, which was in stock fortunately, from Argos. I have to say, that you do need to be aware when shopping in Argos, that you are being sold items by general sales assistants, and not computer experts - obviously as a bonus you may well end up being served by an utter genius when it comes to technology, but you should not expect it. Please do not think I am being rude and unpleasant to the staff in Argos, absolutely far from it - but the young lady that served me, and indeed her manager who was nearby when I was paying for the laptop were not able to answer any specific questions regarding the laptop, as they simply did not know - they were however very helpful and did open the box of the laptop to answer the questions I had, which I am not overly sure that they should have done, as it is factory sealed - however I went on to buy the product, so that was not an issue to me.

          This new laptop totally has my seal of approval. I am not very technical, and can only tell you what I know from my own experience - but as far as I am concerned this lappy is absolutely brilliant.
          Firstly, when I unpacked it I was amazed at how light it actually is only 2kg, and so thin too - even when the lid is closed.

          The casing is lightly glossy, which in my opinion is attractive, but not so glossy as it shows every finger print and mark. Top marks definitely for this laptops appearance.
          The screen size is 15.6 inches, which is a decent size in my opinion, you can get lappies with larger screens, but this one is perfectly good enough for me.

          The laptop feels well-made, particularly in comparison to my last one (that my wonderful hubby now has) I was aware that the last one was a model from a budget range, and although I would say that at £320.00 (now on offer in Argos at £299.99) this model is probably also a budget-type model for its size and spec, it has a feel of considerably more quality than the previous one I was used to.

          The keyboard feels perfect - now I am a full time secretary - and spend a great deal of my day working with computers, and a sticky keyboard or one that does not feel right can be highly irritating, this keyboard however (to me) feels perfect, I am a touch typist and can type very quickly when I need to, and I do find that the keys are not too light, nor too heavy and they are accurate (this may seem a strange thing to say, but I have used laptops in the past where I am merrily typing away, to find I am typing in the wrong place of the document or email, something I can only put down to the keypad being highly sensitive and placing the cursor elsewhere without me realising that I have done so.

          So, once more, top marks for the apparent quality and ease of use with the keyboard.
          I am not a fan, in the slightest, of Windows 8. However if you wish to buy a new laptop you would be hard pushed to find one brand new with a previous version of Windows on it. I am sure I am not the only one who doesn't like change! However this is not a negative comment towards the laptop. I must admit though that setting it up was exceptionally easy.

          I plugged the laptop into the charger, turned it on - and followed the step by step instructions on-screen and within ten minutes I was online and ready to go.

          There are a great many apps pre-installed on this machine, which I have not used really - and there is a link to the store where you can download more.

          Microsoft Office is pre-installed on the laptop, I haven't used this myself, but it is only a free, limited trial - you still have to purchase the code to continue using it. However it is on the machine, something that shouldn't be dismissed.

          The specifications for this machine are as follows:
          * Intel Celeron dual core.
          * 4GB RAM.
          * 500GB hard drive.
          * Intel UMA.
          * 2 USB 2.0 ports.
          * 1 USB 3.0 port.
          * 1 Ethernet port.

          It does not have a CD/DVD drive though, which is a shame. I could add an external drive to it if I want.
          There are higher spec's on the market, but for a more expensive price tag. I personally found that this laptop was a very competitive price and it certainly does everything I need it to, without struggling.

          My hobby involves, sometimes, me having around ten internet, web pages up and a word type document at any given time, as well as my email account running in the background, I often have a USB stick in the port, ready to save any documents. Previously my laptop would not cope with such use, but this one does and with ease. Rarely do I even need to re-start it, I can have a busy evening doing all the things I like to do online, close the lid and not re-open it until the morning - then I usually find that everything is running as quickly as it should, and as it was.

          I would have liked a CD/DVD drive with this laptop, but that is the only negative thing I can find to say about. All in all this is a superb laptop that I would recommend to anyone, available in Argos, both in store and online - but I imagine you would be able to find it in other stores.

          I've tried to resist being "girly" about this, as I honestly did not realise until I opened the box, although it does say in the Argos catalogue - but how wrong am I to admit that this laptop makes me smile every time I pick it up - as it is PURPLE !!! so there you are, I have spent ages telling you about how well it works and how good it is, and now every male that reads this will no longer be interested. One would assume that Asus have equivalent models in more neutral colours, but this is not something I have looked into.

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          • PC World / Misc System / 50 Readings / 50 Ratings
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            23.09.2013 23:59
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            I will not be in a hurry to go back to PCWorld in a while

            This weekend, my husbands laptop finally "gave up the ghost" - Very disappointing certainly, but not altogether unexpected. After around six years fantastic service, it was almost like "Trigg's Broom"so many parts had been replaced, we sadly accepted that it was time for the little netbook to go to the electronic graveyard in the shed.

            We set ourselves a budget for a replacement machine, and spent some hours on the internet over two days working out what would give us the best value for money - PC World, Curry's and Argos all had the exact model at the same price, so on Sunday afternoon, I went off shopping!

            I must add, that before I left the house, I popped onto PC Worlds web site one last time, where I did a "dummy order" and checked that the actual laptop that we wanted was in stock - and it was.

            In the area I chose to shop, there is an out of town retail part (Chichester in West Sussex) where Currys and PC World are adjoining stores.

            I didn't choose the best of days to go shopping personally, as I was feeling rather unwell with a head cold, but I thought I wouldn't be in the store too long so I parked the car and went into the shop.

            I was served quite promptly by a pleasant young man, I was stood next to the exact model of laptop that I wanted, and I explained that after a great deal of research I would like to buy the same model, he checked his computer/till for stock and said that yes, that would be ok as there was one left in stock. As per usual, the sales assistant tried to sell me virus protection. I explained to him that I already had virus protection at home, I had a spare licence to use. I also clearly told him that I was unwell, I did not wish to buy anything else, only the laptop.

            In the space of twenty minutes, the sales assistant tried to sell me two other products, a bundled virus protection and Cloud storage. Again, I firmly told him no. I was aware of the products he was talking about but I did not want to buy anything else - whilst still waiting, he then started to ask me about Microsoft Office and did I have a copy, we discussed the version of Office that I had at home, I explained that if the version I had was not compatible then I would download a free alternative version - and please, I do not wish to buy anything else, only the laptop.

            I have to admit to feeling a little frustrated by this point, the sales assistant certainly was only doing his job and following company policy I assume, but somewhere in the company policy I really wish would be re-iterated is that they should listen to the customer, when the customer is very clearly and plainly saying that they do not wish to buy anything else, only the initial item in question.

            I had been in the store for over twenty minutes when I was told that the laptop in question could not be found in the stock room. The computer said that it should be there, but it was nowhere to be found. I suggested that I would go next door to Currys as they had the identical model there, but I was told that there was no point as they were the same company and the stock was the same.

            I left the store eventually, disappointed and somewhat short of patience. I am not the kind of customer to get cross and make a scene, far from it - but I certainly found that shopping in PC World was not an experience I was in a hurry to repeat in the near future.

            I assume, rightly or wrongly, that the sales staff are instructed to try to sell as many extra products as the possibly can - however they need to listen to their customers - less of the hard-sell please, it is off-putting.

            And please PC World - keep your stock control in check!

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            • More +
              30.07.2013 10:51
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              Really worthwhile kitchen gadget

              Approximately a month ago, Tassimo opened their doors on a regular promotion of theirs, via Facebook. It was for a limited amount of their wonderful coffee machines at a bargain price.

              I do appreciate this sort of promotion isn't for everyone, as many people do not use or prefer not to use Facebook - however I am a regular user, and can only speak for myself - and I was thrilled to be online when this offer came round again.

              I applied for a code, on Tassimo's Facebook site, the code was duly sent to me via email - and with this code I was able to order this Tassimo machine for the absolute bargain price of £30.

              Now, in the past I have bought various kitchen gadgets, that have proven to be a "five minute wonder" and over the years I have trained myself not to buy things unless I have a genuine need for them - My husband was very dubious of this purchase, thinking "here we go again" but I actually could not wait for the machine to arrive.

              What service too - The machine arrived, via courier in 24 hours. (I had it delivered to work, and frankly I could not wait to get home that day and try it out!)

              This machine retails at £90.00 - I would assume that you could shop around and get special offers in various electrical shops and supermarkets. Tassimo machines are really not cheap and the model I have bought I would say is probably the cheaper end of the range.

              The machine was duly unpacked and put in the kitchen ready for use. It was very easy to set up, requiring only to take the plastic wrappings away.

              The first job to do was to flush through the system. The instruction manual, which comes in various languages, was quite straightforward - we filled the water container up with fresh, clean, cold water and literally pressed the button! Within around three minutes the machine made various small noises and the clean water worked its way through the machine into the cup in the front. This process had to be repeated three times. Then the machine was ready to use.

              The coffee discs you need to buy for this machine are not cheap, around £4 for a pack of 16, and you have to buy the Tassimo brand. However, we personally have found that the price is justified.

              To use the machine, you open the compartment at the front, top of the machine and place the disc into place. There is only one way to put the disc in, as it slots perfectly - the disc has a barcode, which the machine reads, so it knows exactly what sort of coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate) is being used, and how much water needs to be sent through the machine.

              You place your cup or mug on the stand below the dispenser, this stand can be adjusted, depending on the size of your cup. A cappuccino coffee disc will only send a smaller amount of coffee through the machine, as you then have to place a milk disc in, which will then go through the system and top up the cup.

              It is very easy to use, you put the disc into the dispenser, you close the lid firmly shut and you press the "on" button. The barcode ensures that the right amount of liquid is sent through - if you require extra liquid then up to 20 seconds after the coffee has finished pouring into the cup, you can press the button again to extend it, this will send more water through - so it is trial and error to find out how much water you would like and how strong you would like your coffee to be.

              The machine itself is black, glossy and very easy to keep clean. I personally flush through the machine with clean water each evening, as I prefer to do so. A damp cloth around the machine is perfectly enough to keep it looking clean. The adjustable stand for the cup is removable and easily washed - but although I have washed it, I have to say that coffee does not get spilt in the pouring process. It is a very clean, compact machine.

              The coffee discs are not cheap, they are stocked in all the supermarket, Ebay and Amazon and all at the same sort of price.

              After your purchase, you are encouraged to go to the Tassimo web site, and register your machine, with the model/serial number. This is very easy to do and in doing so Tassimo reward you with £20 to be spent on their site, I have ordered various sorts of coffee discs with this discount -although you cannot just spent £20, as there is a minimum order amount of £30. However this is a significant discount off a large amount of coffee discs, which is always good.

              I would thoroughly recommend this machine, it is easy to use, it came at a good price and the coffee is absolutely delicious. On a more negative point, they are quite dear, so keep your eyes peeled for special offers.

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              • More +
                28.06.2013 11:19
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                You would expect this to be a lot dearer

                A year or two ago, there was much talk in everyday womens magazines about certain beauty/face creams, that are available in the high street and are supposed to be wonderful!

                Forget spending a small fortune on the designer brands, it was suggested that Boots sell a face cream containing Q10 for under £5, which was selling out as quickly as it was stocked.. then it was announced that the supermarket Aldi was also stocking the equivalent face cream.

                Happily I went off to Aldi and was absolutely delighted at the prices there - I bought a range of facial creams and products.

                The particular product I am reviewing is the Lacura Q10 Anti-wrinkle face cream. It is in a glass jar and has 50ml of cream - and an amazing cost of £1.99

                When you read good (if not amazing!) reviews on a product and the cost is under £2 then it is great to be able to test it out without breaking the bank.

                This cream is a day cream, it is light and easily absorbed - it does not leave my face feeling greasy as some creams do. The cream contains vitamins C and E and the enzyme Q10 which apparently which mimics the body's ability to protect against premature ageing

                Application of this cream is the same as any other - the cream is white, it does not feel heavy or sticky, you slightly massage it in and it absorbs very quickly - possibly not instantly, but within the next minute or so.

                I can't tell you that any wrinkles I have, since using the cream, have disappeared - because they haven't. But I can tell you that I have been using this cream now for a couple years, I have bought about six tubs of it and I am a big fan and at the price that Aldi charge, I am more than happy to use it liberally, over my neck and arms, as well as my face.

                I am a woman in my mid (ahem!) 40's and am doing my best to keep my skin moisturised and protect it against the weather and elements.

                My summary of this cream is that it comes at an absolutely fantastic price - if you research this particular brand you will see that there are many reviews online singing its praises and I personally endorse that.

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                • More +
                  27.06.2013 13:00
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                  Smells nice, and brings out the best in blonde hair

                  I have to be very careful with shampoos, conditioners and other general hair products as I suffer from a skin condition on my scalp, making it important that I regularly use a medicated shampoo.

                  I am however rather vain sometimes and get caught up in temptation and like to try some of the posh, salon type hair products! If my scalp is not suffering an outbreak and I only use something different once or twice then it generally isn't a problem.

                  I have highlighted hair, so when (on Facebook) a week or so ago I saw a promotion by John Frieda giving away samples of blonde shampoo and conditioner, my little fingers could not resist click-clicking and filling in the form.

                  I was very happy to receive in the post a week or so later two sachets of shampoo and two of conditioner for the John Frieda Everlasting blonde range.

                  If I am truthful, I was not expecting anything special from these products in the slightest, but I have to say I am totally impressed.

                  The shampoo lathered well and felt very luxurious, it rinsed well too and this is something that is very important to me.

                  The conditioner, much the shame, I did think that the sachets were a little stingy, maybe about two fifty pence sized blobs on the palm of my hand - but maybe that just goes to show that I usually use too much conditioner on my hair!

                  After use, my hair felt soft and quite manageable - often I have quite a challenge putting the comb/brush through my hair after it has been towel dried, but after using these products the challenge was considerably less than usual.

                  Now this is the part where I have to admit my daftness! This review is about the shampoo - not the conditioner - and there is a very good reason for this.

                  As I stated earlier, I received two samples of each. However when I used the first sachet and lathered it into my hair, I have to say I was highly disappointed - it didn't lather in the slightest and it felt wrong. That was when I realised that I had actually conditioned my hair and not shampooed it - so after a quick rinse I tried again, I shampooed and then conditioned - obviously though this only left one sachet to use the next time.

                  The next day I used the shampoo again, with a normal mild conditioner afterwards and I have to say that I also have the same positive thoughts about just using the shampoo alone.

                  I was still able to brush my hair without too much of a challenge.

                  Now the important thing to mention here about this product is how my hair felt and looked a couple hours after drying. The colour was actually different! Somehow, this shampoo - obviously aimed at blonde hair, managed to pick up the blonde highlights and emphasise them, and this was noticeable to others as well as to myself.

                  My hair stayed feeling soft and smelling nice throughout the day - on both days of using the products.

                  This shampoo is most definitely worth having. I have checked it out on the Boots web site and at the moment it is £5.89 for 250ml, but on a special offer where you buy one and get another half price. This is still quite expensive, so well worth shopping around. I am tempted to buy a bottle/tube just to use every now and again. I dare not use it regularly, but that I know is now fault of this product, just a fault of me!

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                  • T-Mobile Pulse Mini / Smartphone / 57 Readings / 56 Ratings
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                    24.06.2013 19:37
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                    Cheap starter phone

                    This little phone was bought for me two and a half years ago, the only difference between this new phone and the one I have is the colour.. mine is pink.
                    When I got the phone it was a Mothers Day present from my son (who gets increasingly frustrated with me and my lack of enthusiasm to "move with the times" and embrace new technology) - something I actually disagree with, I am just reluctant to spend money on something that I am going to struggle with and not necessarily understand easily.

                    Anyway - I digress - I used this phone for about six months, until I was given the most detested Blackberry, however as the BB was on contract I had no use for the little PAYG T-mobile phone, so promptly put it to one side and as is very typical of myself, I lost it down the back of the settee and only found it again two days ago!
                    My personal opinion on this phone:

                    When I first got the phone I did not know any better, it was the first time I had used an Android smartphone, so I assumed that this was how phones were supposed to operate.
                    The phone comes with a little stylus about the same size as a matchstick, which slots into the bottom of the phone at the back. To use the phone once it is powered up, you slide the lock icon to one side, this can be done with your thumb and generally works pretty well. After you have the phones home screen up, the icons are all very small and it is not that easy to effectively use your fingers to load an application, or to tap numbers onto the on screen keyboard, so the stylus is quite useful for this.

                    As I gradually understood how to operate Android Smartphones, using this little Pulse became much more straightforward, the phone has a camera built in, which although not of a fantastic high quality, is perfectly acceptable and usable - I learnt to sync my email and Facebook account to the relevant applications that were already installed on the phone. I was able to very simply upload my photo's to wherever I wanted to send them, I learnt how to use the "Apps Store" so that I could download other applications - all in all my opinion of this phone, once I had mastered the art of using this type of phone, my opinion was very high indeed.
                    I changed my browser settings so that when I was at home, I was able to use my home wi-fi internet for all my surfing, browsing and up or downloading - which as this little phone was PAYG was very easy, and the peace of mind of not using up all my phone credit was great.

                    The charger for this phone is the same as the other smart phones, I used to charge it up overnight each day - however the battery strength was actually very good and would last a few days if the phone was just on standby.
                    To send texts and make or receive calls, I found this phone very easy.

                    To go back however to what I said before - if you didn't know any better, then this phone would be brilliant.
                    In the last year or so of not having or using this phone, both my husband and son have got themselves nice new phones on contract one is an Iphone and the other a Galaxy - I assumed that I would be able to use their phones easily - and I must emphasis on the "easily" I am afraid that with this particular little phone you do get what you pay for. When I use the families other phones, my finger slides across the screen, the apps open and change with easy, when I use the little phone I either have to jab the screen almost with the stylus or I use my finger and end up tapping away and nothing happening, and then when it finally does I realise that I have been tapping slightly off the edge of the app icon and have opened the wrong programme up totally.

                    Obviously at around the £40 mark, this phone is certainly the cheap end of the market, it is exclusive to T-mobile only and personally I am not convinced that their tariff is the most competitive.
                    Now that I have found the phone again (and I do not have anything more than a basic PAYG Nokia these days, with no online access) I have charged the phone and spent a few hours playing with it, updating some apps etc. I spend a lot of time on online shopping sites and forums and have noticed that a lot of companies now offer free apps and I feel I have missed out somewhat - so the phone will stay at home, as a spare and run off Wi-fi only.

                    Would I recommend this phone? Probably not, it may compare averagely with other cheapie smartphones, but it certainly does not compare favourably with the popular models on the market. Having said that though, if you only want a budget phone then I can certainly say that it works ok and seems reliable, just not as smooth as it could be.
                    My phone was £30 from T-Mobile a couple years ago, and Tesco are selling the identical model, but in black, for £40. This is probably a good thing that they have changed the colour, as the pink paint has chipped and flaked and looks very shabby, showing the black casing underneath, so having the phone in black is probably a very good move.

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                  • Eucryl Toothpowder / Oral Care / 67 Readings / 66 Ratings
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                    01.06.2013 23:05
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                    to keep your teeth free of stains

                    I have to confess to being someone who smokes. Therefore as most people are aware, a smoker needs to use a special sort of toothpaste every now and again to keep their teeth looking bright and clean.

                    The product Eucryl seems to have been around forever - and before I wrote this review I decided to have a quick "google" about the product to see what I could find out about it.

                    The web site states that this product has in fact been around since 1900 ! Wow, that is 113 years. What amazes me about this product is that there is not an equal/competitor on the shelves next to it, which is a very unique thing. Certainly you can buy other products that offer to do the same thing, but as a rule they are traditional toothpastes, in tubes, which advertise that they are specifically aimed at smokers, but with most other products you will usually find that other manufacturers make a similar product and also, more often than not the supermarkets themselves will produce an almost identical product. This is not the case with Eurcyl - this is the only product of its kind.

                    Eurcyl is sold in a round plastic tub, about an inch or so deep. I personally prefer the original variety, although in recent years there are different "flavours"

                    Eucryl is a mildly abrasive green powder, the directions for use are that you wet your toothbrush and shake off excessive water, then you dip the toothbrush into the powder and brush your teeth as normal. The abrasive powder contains products that will help keep your teeth free from the stains of nicotine etc.. and to be honest it is very effective. It is recommended that you use this product a couple times a week. Its is not recommended as being suitable for children (but as it is a product for smokers then children would not need to use it)

                    Eucryl can be bought online from Amazon and Lloyds Chemists, and in the high street - in Wilkinsons, Savers and Poundland, it can be bought in Tesco and Morrisons - at between £1 and £2. Surprisingly not every supermarket and shop stocks it and even if they do it is not always in stock.

                    The taste/flavour is not unpleasant, it is a strong mint type flavour, so it is not a problem using this product regularly, particularly as it does work well - and it is not just for smokers, it is also suggested for use for stains of tea/coffee and red wine.

                    A very versatile product and a regular in my bathroom cabinet.

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                    • redspottedhanky.com / Internet Site / 67 Readings / 66 Ratings
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                      01.06.2013 15:57
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                      great site, for discount rail travel

                      www.redspottedhanky.com

                      Redspottedhanky - a rather odd name I would say - is predominantly an internet train ticket service, where you can book tickets for trains up to three months in advance at a discounted price.

                      To book your tickets, you must firstly do an online search on the redspottedhanky account and chose your journey, route and time of travel, when you have made your final decision then you confirm your order and pay for the tickets, you can either make payment via your bank debit card, or if you have any credit on your RSH account, then you can use the vouchers that you have stored.

                      How do you get vouchers for your account? This is where RSH is either absolutely wonderful and amazing, or a total let down. One way, which is totally straightforward and has not been known to let you down, is to transfer your Clubcard vouchers into RSH. This is a brilliant way of using your Tesco Clubcard vouchers - as via the Tesco CC site, you transfer your vouchers form clubcard to RSH, which doubles the value.. so £10 of clubcard vouchers is worth £20 of Redspottedhanky credit. Absolutely brilliant!

                      The Sunday Telegraph is known to release codes for Redspottedhanky too - the newspaper usually announces in advance that on a particular date they will be releasing "x" thousand codes - so on that particular Sunday you dash out quickly and buy the newspaper (or spend a bit of time on the internet googling to see if the code has been posted online) and you enter the details into your account.

                      Certain Facebook sites are also known to release codes for RSH - the most recent one being Travelodge, who like the Telegraph released codes worth £10. You have to be very quick with these codes though, as only a certain amount of thousand credits are available - and as the saying goes - when they're gone, they're gone. Unfortunately though, recently when the Travelodge codes were released, the people that had suceeded in getting ths £10 credit onto their account have all had them removed. This, we are told is due to people abusing the RSH site and opening up multiple accounts for themselves in fraudulent names - it is a shame that there are people out there that have ruined this fantastic giveaway. RSH are looking into it at the moment, and we are hoping that they will investigate the accounts and re-credit the accounts of genuine people.

                      When you have purchased your tickets online, you can either arrange to have the tickets posted to you, by signed for delivery, at a cost of £3.95 or you can state which train station you would like to collect your tickets from, and with the booking reference number you are given, you are able to collect the ticket from the machines at your nominated station.

                      To collect your ticket, you need to put your bank card into the machine (this is to verify your identification) and then tap in your reference details, your tickets are then dispensed.

                      My summary is, if you are an avid code collector, it is quite possible to collect around £50 worth of free travel, with the various codes throughout the year - and as long as the codes are not withdrawn, this is absolutely fantastic.

                      I hope that people do not abuse this site and that RSH find a way of keeping a check on genuine accounts, as frankly I am a big, big fan.

                      My son is at university in London and we live on the South Coast, he has been collecting the RSH codes and has managed to come home on various occasions in the last year at next to no cost at all - he books tickets when they are at their cheapest, at unsociable times, and manages to buy single tickets a couple weeks in advance of travel for as little as £7.50!

                      Long live Redspottedhanky !

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                      • More +
                        22.05.2013 14:39
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                        cheap and cheerful, don't expect anything fantastic, but it "does what it says on the tin!"

                        Sometimes in life, you don't want to spend a lot of money - neither are you looking for something that is cheap and cheerful, but hiding behind a fake, glossy facade!

                        Sometimes, you need a certain item, you don't want to spend a lot of money on it and it is not overly important what it looks like.

                        This was the case for me recently. I work in an office - the office to an engineering factory - what might sound amusing and entertaining for some - believe me, is not - I am the only female in a workforce of around twenty.

                        When it comes to my lunchbreak, I do not want to listen to football talk etc.. I need a bit of "me time" !!

                        In Tesco, (both online and Instore) they sell a small, cheap portable radio. This was exactly what I was looking for, something totally portable and lightweight - to have on quietly in the background during my break times.

                        The RAD 112R is an analogue radio, it only has AM and FM frequencies, in this day and age of DAB radio and listening to the radio on the internet, it is quite "back to basics" in its facilities, but there again, it depends what you want out of a product.

                        The radio is powered by batteries. It uses 2 x AAA batteries, which are not supplied (laughably, a packet of batteries in the shops are almost as much money as the radio itself!)

                        I bought the super-duper, long life batteries, which are still going strong about four weeks after putting them into the radio, and I am using it for a couple hours each day.

                        The radio has a telescopic aerial that also rotates, for you to be able to pick up the best signal in your particular area.

                        The Tuning button is on the top of the radio and is a round dial. next to the tuner is the volume control, also a round dial.

                        The volume control also turns the radio off and on, and the power is indicated by a little red light on the front of the radio.

                        It has the one speaker.

                        The radio itself is absolutely lightweight ,, weighing around 100grammes (!! It probably doubles that when the batteries are added in!) It is 14 ½ cm high, nearly 8cm across and 4 cm deep. There is a socket for headphones, which is a nice little feature, but these are not included in the purchase of the radio.

                        The radio's colour is black, the sound quality isn't too bad at all really. You have to accept that you are buying something very cheap so you are not to have high expectations - however I found that when I tuned the radio in to some of the main channels, with decent signal strength, then the radio holds the signal very well and the sound quality is perfectly good enough.

                        The cost of this little radio is £4.47 - for that price my expectations were not high obviously, however in summary this little radio is very cheap, highly cheerful and works perfectly.. (and also keeps me sane during my working day!)

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                        • More +
                          24.04.2013 20:58
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                          A historical novel - superb

                          Every now and then (but not nearly often enough) you come across a book by a certain author, one of those books that you happen across and take a chance on. You know when you have finished it that the book is finished and didn't have anywhere else to go, but yet you need more - was there a sequel of some sort? A prequel possibly? Then you research the author, at length - you find he/she has written various books, not only has she written these other books, but you realise she has a passion herself for this particular kind of book, she has written a couple books that can be cross referenced with the one you have just finished and the best part is that she is still very, very much alive and still having fantastic books published.

                          When you read the above and are sitting there with a knowing nod or two, that's when you realise that you have become a massive fan of a certain book and even more of a certain author.

                          It was about twelve years ago that I first read this book, and I wouldn't like to count how many times I have re-read it since then.

                          CHILD OF THE PHOENIX, BY BARBARA ERSKINE

                          This book starts with the birth of a Welsh Princess, called Eleyne - the author , Barbara Erskine started this book after within her research she discovered a Welsh Princess who connected with the Scottish nobility and royal family - Barbara Erskine delved a great deal into this research, wondering how the daughter of a Welsh Prince would end up in Scotland in the 13th century, and by Barbara's own admission she did draw some blanks within her research.

                          Taking into account of the above, this book is very much fiction, but if you enjoy Welsh or Scottish history, or general history of the medieval period, then prepare to be totally engrossed - Barbara Erskine believes that she possibly has two different Eleyne's on the go - one in Scotland and one in Wales, but she chose to connect the history of these two ladies and make one character - I would say that you shouldn't expect anything accurate at all to come out of this book, but I think that would be unfair and an injustice to Barbara, who has not only an obvious strong passion for early history and has studied for a degree at Edinburgh University in history - I have also read that she has traced her family history back to this period and her family were documented from this time.

                          Obviously, this book is a novel - when you read just a few pages in, you will see that alongside the historical aspect of Eleyne, there is also another side to her.

                          This book, in my opinion, is absolutely spell-binding - to be a princess in mediaeval times, no matter how much you are wanted and loved by your parents, must have been a frightening time to have lived - dynasties need to continue, good marriages with lands and dowries are important - cruelty within a marriage is possible. If a wife becomes a widow and she is heiress to a title, or of some importance to the King, then it any future marriages and the children she may have already had become of interest to the King. This happened to Eleyne, as we follow her story as she grows up and leaves Wales to get married.

                          We follow Eleyne with her nursemaid - who is devoutly loyal to her, and not always in the most orthodox ways - she believes that Eleyne is very special and follows the old gods and the old ways and encourages Eleyne to do the same, knowing that Eleyne has a special destiny ahead of her.

                          Eleyne is to be the mother of a line of Kings according to the visions in the fire, Eleyne is sometimes able to look back into the past and into the future, but she cannot usually be sure what the signs she sees actually mean or how she is able to help or prevent this visions from coming true.

                          Eleynes life and loves takes her through Wales, England and Scotland - the destiny of a kingdom and the line of Kings she is to be mother to is something that is always ahead of her, and she understands its importance.

                          I could tell you which direction her life travels, where she lives her adult life and her older life, but this book is so colourful and the people she meets, lives with and the men she loves and also loathes are all so important to the fabric of this book that I would just encourage you to read it for yourself!

                          You don't have to be into medieval history to enjoy this book, nor do you have to have a particular interest in Welsh/English or Scottish royalty and nobility - what you do need is an open mind to read about Eleyne and her Nurse, their loyal relationship and Eleyne's destiny.

                          Child of the Phoenix was first published in 1992 and can be bought on Amazon for as little as £3 - it is widely available brand new and second hand.
                          ISBN-10: 0007280793
                          ISBN-13: 978-0007280797

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                            23.04.2013 15:00
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                            Very nice meal.

                            On Good Friday this year we decided to go out for a family meal. Like many other families it can be so awkward choosing what to have and where to go as everyone has different ideas and preferences.
                            My "children" are now in their twenties, so I am pleased to say that the days are gone where to go out for a meal automatically means a Burger or a Pizza - these are tasty and nice, but when you want to sit down together and not eat junk food, but eat something sensible, filling and tasty - quite an easy criteria to fill, but when you want to take the price into account too and have something that is within a budget that will not break the bank then my personal opinion is that you cannot beat a carvery meal.


                            We have been to Toby Carveries in the past, but unfortunately where we live we do not have one nice and local to us, in fact I didn't have a clue as to where one was, so we went online and looked it up.


                            The website is www.tobycarvery.co.uk/ and when you go onto their web site you can click on the location finder, where you put your own postcode in and it tells you where your nearest Toby Carvery is, it also has a link to a map where you can get directions to the restaurant.


                            Our nearest one was The George in West Worthing. The web site showed us exactly where the restaurant was and that there was parking available.


                            I don't know about you, but when I go out for a meal I like to try to plan what time I get there and how busy it is likely to be. We aimed to arrive at about 2pm, thinking that as it was a bank holiday the lunch time would probably be very busy, but to go when the lunchtime rush had died down a bit we hoped that there would still be plenty of fresh, hot food being put onto the carvery.


                            When we arrived, we first thought that the parking area was very small and we would not be able to park, but fortunately as well as parking at the front of the restaurant, if you turn to the side of the building there is also parking at the rear. Perfect, no problem, we were able to park. I did notice that the car park was nearly full and when I looked around the area you could see that the restaurant was situated in the middle of a large local shopping area, (Not high street shops but plenty of local shops) and the roads alongside had plenty of cars parked all round - now bearing in mind that the day we visited was a bank holiday - this meant that most of the local shops were closed. I would imagine that on a normal week day, if the car park was full up then it could be a problem trying to park near the restaurant.


                            The car park is flat and there are two different doors to get into the restaurant, I did notice that there were not any steps, so it would be safe to say that you wouldn't have any problems in getting a wheelchair or pushchair in and out of the building.


                            The George obviously used to be a large, local pub that has been converted into a public bar and a restaurant, when you arrive you stand at the entrance to the restaurant to wait to be seated. At the area where you wait there were menu's, so we had a quick glimpse to see what was on offer, (not sure why really though, as we were all thoroughly looking forward to our Roast dinner - I have to admit though that I do like to read a menu - just in case I think I am missing something!)


                            We didn't have to wait more than a minute or two when a nice young lady came and took up to our table, we were guided up a few stairs to a raised seating area, although there were only a few steps, this would not be suitable for disabled guests, although to be fair there was plenty of seating available that was not up the steps.


                            We were shown to a table for four people by the window. My impression of the restaurant at that point was that it was clean and pleasant, although the decor was looking somewhat tired and a little shabby, I would say that The George could probably do with a bit of a makeover/refurbishment.


                            The waitress left us with the menus and took our orders for drinks. My hubby and I each ordered fresh orange juice and our "children" ordered Cokes.


                            We toyed with the idea of having a starter, the prices were very reasonable and ranged from £1.89 to £3.59 - the choices being Cheesy Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad, BBQ Chicken Wings, Prawn Cocktail, Soup of the Day or Caramelised Red Onion and Goat's Cheese Tart. I have to say I was very tempted, particularly as someone on a nearby table was eating the Goats Cheese Tart, but we all decided not to - as we wanted to do justice to the roast.


                            Of course, if you did not fancy the carvery, there were other options to chose from, "handmade" Toby Pies - Turkey and Gammon in white wine sauce pie, Beef and Theakstons Ale Pie or Pork and Honeymustard sauce Pie. (I do find the "handmade" title misleading though, as I am happy to stand corrected, but do not think that the chef in the kitchen of The George has made these pies!


                            The standard price for the Carvery is £5.99, which gives you a choice of Honey and Mustard Glazed Gammon, British or Irish Beef, Turkey of Apple, Honey and Cider glazed Pork. For £5.99 this is a perfect price, the menu tells us that for an extra £1.50 you can upgrade to "king size" and have extra meat, extra Yorkshire pud and two chipolata sausages - I did wonder if my hubby and son would be tempted to upgrade, but they didn't! For vegetarians you can order a met free carvery, an Aubergine Lasagne, Broccoli and Brie parcel, Nut roast, Sage Roasted Squash bake - also available on the menu was a Chicken Caesar Salad or a Salmon fillet.


                            We ordered the Carvery from the waitress and was told that we could go up to the serving counter as soon as we were ready. It was a little busy there at that time, and as we were sat in a spot where we could see the server perfectly we sat back for a little while.


                            It was whilst waiting for the queue to go down that we became more aware of the seating arrangements. Around the edge of this area were the larger tables and in the middle were the smaller tables, suitable for two people.


                            Because this restaurant chain is "family friendly" there were quite a few young families taking up the tables around the edge - now this isn't a criticism of the restaurant, although obviously the seating plan could be a bit more sympathetic, but young children are not always known to be the most careful or considerate... the family sat next to us had two young boys who were up and down from the table constantly for one reason or another, they were not badly behaved, just excited really I think - but I did feel very sorry for the two couples sat at the smaller tables in the middle, as everytime these young lads went past they knocked into their chairs. One of these tables was right by the top of the stairs and as the boys went up and down the poor lady sat there had to move her self to sit at the side of the table. Yes, the parents of these children should have taken a little more control most certainly - but also there is defiantly a problem here in that squeezing in that extra couple tables, to make maximum amount of money is detrimental to the comfort of the guests. I would certainly say that there are about five more tables that should be taken away to give space for people moving around.


                            We joined the queue for our carvery and noted that all the meat looked very fresh, if timing is everything then we had done ourselves proud here! The joints all looked large and hardly cut into, they cannot have been out of the oven for long. I chose Beef, I had Yorkshire Pudding, Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Cauliflour Cheese and some dish that consisted of cooked onions. My husband had the Pork, My son and daughter both chose the Gammon. After helping yourself to all the vegetables you then move over to the other area where there are various sauces, Horseraddish, Mint and Cranberry - and also Gravy, with one of the gravies marked suitable for vegetarians.


                            We had one grumble, and that was the amount of meat that each one of us was served with - it was tiny frankly - and the same sized portions for each of us, so it wasn't relative as to what meat you chose. A gentlemen in the queue ahead of me asked if that was the standard size portion, as he was obviously disappointed too, and he was politely told yes. I can only assume that since the King Size meal has been introduced then the regular size amount of meat has gone down considerably - which is a shame. Other than that I cannot find any fault in the meal whatsoever, everything was piping hot and obviously fresh. The roast was the nicest roast I have eaten out in a very long time, the rest of my family agreed with me too.


                            The pork had nice crackling, the beef was slightly rare and the gammon had a beautiful sticky caramelised edge to it - all were cooked to perfection.


                            The waitress was perfectly charming, the service was great. She offered us the dessert menu and coffee or tea, but to be honest we were full to capacity, which is a shame!


                            The dessert menu looked wonderful, Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream sensation, Honeycomb Sundae, Mint Choc-Chip Sundae, Berry Yoghurt Sundae, just Ice Cream and sharing puddings, apparently enough for four to share, of Chocolate Sponge or Fruit and Lemon Sponge Pudding, the sharing puddings were £7.99 and the Sundaes ranged from £3.79 - I have promised myself one of these next time!


                            We left the waitress a tip, as she was very charming and helpful.


                            In summary - would I go again? Yes I would, but I would always be very aware of where I was to be sat - As long as we can be sat, tucked away in the corner, then we will be happy. The food was lovely - even if a little stingy with the meat.



                            We paid our bill and practically "rolled" our way to the car!

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                              22.04.2013 12:53
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                              Summary: Very good value

                              When we moved house, we found ourselves in a situation where we had a great house, that needed a lot of work done to it - with a great garden - that again, needs a lot of work doing to it, but no storage space anywhere.


                              Next to no storage space indoors and no sheds in the garden. Something had to be done about this.
                              We researched thoroughly the size shed that we wanted, and what the shed should be made from and ideally we wanted a nice tough wooden shed, unfortunately the prices for the size shed we were after went through the roof, so we opted for a metal, apex shed. Much cheaper.


                              The particular model shed we bought was from Homebase, at the time (twelve months ago) there was an identical model in Argos too. At todays price the shed is £499.99 (April 2013) but I know that this range of sheds in Homebase have various special offers throughout the year and we paid approximately £150 less - if you are considering buying one of these, then I suggest that you pay a great deal of attention to all the various stockists of these sheds as just shy of £500 is the most expensive I have seen this shed sell for in the last year.


                              We ordered the shed for home delivery and t be honest we were both surprised and disappointed when it first arrived. For a shed as large as it is, it came in three flat pack boxes, that we 6 foot-ish high and surprisingly light.


                              We had already cleared a space in the garden for the shed, we had made a wooden based and concreted it into the ground - we were ready to install it.


                              There is a "novels" worth of instructions supplied with the shed and my husband spent quite a few hours going through all the instructions and paying attention to all the fixings supplied. Now my husband is a carpenter, so more than capable of domestic DIY tasks - but like any other instruction manual you receive when buying this sort of product it can be very confusing, so our advice most defiantly is to read through the instructions very thoroughly before starting work.


                              A very useful (and obvious when you think about it) piece of advice regarding the installation of this shed, is do not attempt to install it when there is any wind in the air whatsoever. This is a fair comment as the metal panels are very flimsy and would very easily bend and buckle, making the shed impossible to fit together.


                              Waiting for a day without wind last summer, was like waiting for the impossible - last summer must have been the dreariest on record, hardly a day went by without wind and/or rain - but we bided our time and eventually there was a decent weekend.


                              Installing this shed is a two man/person job, the panels are tall and flimsy and you need someone to be constantly holding them, whilst the other person drills all the fixings into position. I would say that it took two men all weekend to get the walls and the roof into place. Possibly this could be done in one long day.


                              Once installed, this shed is not nearly as flimsy as you think it is going to be. It has proven to be watertight and has stayed firmly in position. It is very spacious and is rapidly filing up - it would be fair to say that with the double doors on the front it is almost like a small garage.


                              We intend to buy some windows for it, as it is very dark. It is not the most pleasant looking construction, compared to some of the lovely wooden sheds on the market, but it is totally functional and we have planted various plants around the edge, which we hope will grow and take the starkness of the big green shed away!


                              Overall - to coin a phrase, you get what it says on the box - a functional, cheap (ish) shed. Yes, we are pleased with it - a good buy.

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                            • Wella Hair Streaking Kit / Hair Care / 50 Readings / 50 Ratings
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                              21.04.2013 18:07
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                              Affordable highlights

                              I have never been happy with my hair colour, I am now in my mid-40s and have been colouring it in one way or another since my mid teens.

                              Obviously it is nice to go to a hairdressers and have the colour done professionally - but these days it has just so expensive to do so - For a small-ish amount of highlights in a local salon I have been quoted somewhere between £50 and £60 , I hate to think what the cost would be in a high street trendy salon.

                              I know you can go to the local college to have the trainees style and colour your hair, but for me this isn't possible as I work full time and when I finish work I just want to be at home.

                              Around five years ago I decided to buy a home highlighting kit and saw one in Wilkinsons for about £3 - as I am forever the bargain shopper, I took the plunge and bought the kit.

                              It is the only one (then and now) that my local Wilkinsons appeared to stock, which is just as well as I would have been stood at the hair colour isle for hours just working out the difference between each product.

                              That evening I took the plunge - and what's the saying? I haven't looked back since!

                              I have long hair, past my shoulder blades, it is various shades of light brown - I wasn't looking for an all-over blonde colour, I just wanted to lighten my hair up and make it a little bit more interesting.

                              The box contains the instructions, the mixing dish, a crochet hook type applicator, which on the other end is a flat paint brush, a pair of protective gloves, a plastic cap and the chemicals.

                              Reading the instructions is obviously very important and it is recomended that you do a strand test on your hair to make sure that you do not have a reaction.

                              I most certainly did do a strand test as I have problems with my scalp, all was well with me, as I thought it would be - as one of the reasons I prefer highlights rather than a full head of colour is that you do not need to massage the colour into your scalp.

                              To use: There is a packet of blue powder and a small bottle of thick liquid, put the protectve gloves on and mix this peroxide mix together using the brush part of the applicator (provided), the the mixing tray provided. Be very careful here as obviously this is a very strong peroxide and you should avoid getting it onto your skin un-necessarily and most certainly keep away from your eyes. This is obviously a very toxic mix, so keep away from all children and pets and away from your clothes too.


                              The next part - your hair - brush your hair through thoroughly, ideally your hair should be clean and dry and free of chemicals, such as hair mousse, hair spray etc... Put the plastic cap on and tie it firmly under your chin.

                              The next part - wait for various members of your family to wander in and out of the kitchen a and laugh at you - believe me, they cannot help themselves!!!

                              Now, you need some help from someone with a steady hand - I am lucky in that I have two young adult daughters, who are both more than happy to help, but in their absence I have been known to ask my hubby to help instead.

                              The cap is perforated, but the holes are not complete - therefore you gently pierce the cap with the crochet hook and pull the hair through - personally I use approximately one in every three holes for the look I am going for, but others may prefer more, or less, highlights - also I only go down as far as the level
                              that meets the top of my ears, but again, you may prefer to do more.

                              That's that part done! when all the hair is through that you want to colour, lightly brush it through and paint the colour on thoroughly, when all the hair is coloured it will look a strange shade of blue and smell very strongly of peroxide.

                              Check the hair at regular intervals, but for me, around 20 minutes is enough - rinse through with clean water whilst the cap is still on, rinse again with the cap off - shampoo and condition.

                              About six to eight weeks later, repeat the whole process so that you do not have any "dark roots" or re-growth.

                              This Highlighting kit is now around £6 or £7 - I buy it still in Wilkinsons, but it can be bought in other places too.

                              My opinion - ten out of ten - affordable and works well.

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