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We gave these pouches to our cats when we ran out of their favourite - budget Aldi pouches. I asked my partner to pick something up and he came home with these as he said they deserved a treat. I was horrified thinking they would get a taste for these expensive delights. The pouches come in a pack of 8 rather than the usual cardboard box of 12, and each pouch is 85g rather than the standard 100g. Everything about the packaging says "premium", as does the price - these were £2.99 for 8!!
Opening the pouches, the impression of quality continued, visible chunks of 'proper' meat, quite different from the usual formed chunks we have become used to. The pieces of meat were like shards, maybe 1.5cm long. The pouches themselves open easily and cleanly (something I've found common to all Whiskas pouches) and the contents slid easily from inside into the bowls. There was no need to mash the food in any way, it just presented itself as a natural meal ready to eat.
However, when it came to the vital test, the cats were spectacularly underwhelmed. They licked the gravy/ jelly off, but that was pretty much it... I was absolutely amazed, but the reaction was the same with all of the flavours. There was just something about these which both my cats took exception to. My partner had bought the meaty version, which contained 2x chicken, 2xbeef, 2xlamb and 2x"poultry".
In the end I didn't even open the second packet and donated it to a local cat charity, it was simply wasted on my two! Maybe my cats are uncultured or something, but I won't be splashing out on these again.
We made the switch to Aldi on our grocery shopping about six months ago, and we thought "why not" when it came to seeing if our cats would follow suit.
We bought this cat food and never looked back, probably saving hundreds of pounds in the process. The food is often on offer for £1.79 for 12 pouches, whereas we were paying £2.50 minimum for 12 of other brands, with varying degrees of indifference from the cats.
We have tried the jelly and gravy varieties, but the gravy variety is the out and out definite favourite. The gravy pack comes with 4 flavours: Chicken, Beef & Turkey, Rabbit and beef & lamb. There are two jelly packs, fish or a mixed one with chicken, beef & turkey, salmon and white fish.
Our cats I think prefer the gravy variety because they don't drink a lot so they enjoy the gravy element and it gives them their hydration. These gravy pouches are much wetter than other brands' gravy pouches we have had in the past. They do still fill the cats up however, and I give both cats two pouches per day, which they supplement with a small amount of dried food.
On occasions that I haven't been able to get to Aldi, I have bought Whiskas and Felix varieties for the cats, but they literally turn their noses up at them, and sulk until they get their Aldi food! My partner even bought Whiskas select cuts on one occasion as he felt bad they didn't have their usual food, and it ended up being donated to the cat's home - mine just refused to eat it!
This food is excellent value, but my only bugbear is that Aldi sell the food from the shelves in mixed cases. So they stock up with cases packed with 1xgravy, 1xjelly, 1xfish, 1xsenior. This means that if someone has been just before you and snapped up the gravy packs, they won't be replenished because the shelves are still full of the other varieties.
This food has been a real money-saving revelation to our family.
I like to give my cats treats every night, and they are naturally fans of this ritual, whatever form the treats take. Without doubt though Felix goodybag is their favourite. They do go crazy for them, and as I like to feed them one at a time they hurriedly crunch them up so they can get another one before their sister gets one!
The treats are smaller than the pocket-style treats such as Whiskas temptations, and they are all different shapes and sizes, not sure if this adds to their enjoyment but it seems like it does. Strangely enough, despite being smaller, I do notice that the cats do usually crunch these up rather than swallowing them whole as is the tendency with others, possibly this is due to the shapes adding that slight element of challenge. They are also slightly different colours, all adding to the 'goodybag' feel. Shapes include lattice squares, ribs, twiglet-type shapes and stars. In terms of flavour, it doesn't say on the packet but they are meaty smells/flavours, and again I suspect there is a variety of flavours in there. The treats have a significant crunch to them, so cats' teeth get a good workout with these treats too.
The pack itself is a plastic pouch which has an easy-to-tear off strip across the top keeping it fresh, and beneath that a resealable feature seal. The contents are only 60g (compared to temptations 100g) but in the shops, the cost of the two are usually comparable. On the packet it advises you can feed up to 40 pieces per day, which is lovely as you feel you are giving the cat a significant treat. Look out for these on offer in the supermarket, and give your cats a treat!
Home made soups are a regular feature for us, but this particular one was a bit of a 'leftovers' discovery on our part. We were planning a simple tomato soup but we had half a chorizo ring left in the fridge and with that addition it became a real hit. The flavours are punchy without being over spicy, and it has a real feel of heartiness about it, I can't wait to make it on cold winter days.
The one thing which may not be to all tastes is that the chorizo does end up left in tiny chunks within the soup, but I guess you could blitz it out with a little more patience than we had! The soup is quite thick in consistency, but this just makes it all the more delicious and filling for my tastes. We had this soup with home made crusty bread and it was simply delicious.
Often when we have tomato soup, we use fresh tomatoes but on this occasion we were using passata. This made it all the more quick to make, it was ready within about 40 minutes. Here's the recipe, which made 4 very generous portions (6 standard portions):
1 500ml carton of passata
1/2 chorizo ring
1/2 litre vegetable stock
100ml double cream
pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
Chop the onion and chorizo and sweat in a pan with a knob of butter for approximately 10 minutes on a low heat.
Add the passata and vegetable stock, add pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.
Reduce down for approximately half an hour.
Blitz with a hand blender, add cream and extra seasoning to taste.
Re-heat and enjoy!
This sound dock is a neat looking unit, approx. 40cm long and standing approx. 20cm tall. On the front is a semi circular base with a lightning connector for ipod 5 or later or recent iphone. There is no adapter for the old style ipod/iphone connector, so be sure to check its compatibility. Also, the unit won't house an ipod if it's in a case.
The sound from the unit is brilliant, perfectly adequate in my living room which is about 3mx6m, and it has replaced my old mini system. Its more than good enough for my music needs, however I can imagine for the true music fan, the lack of any controls whatsoever on the unit might be something they would miss. You are reliant entirely on the bass/treble/sound controls on your ipod. The unit has no trouble with volume, it doesn't distort when it goes to maximum volume, although for me, maximum volume is far too loud to listen to anyway. Again, this demonstrates the huge capabilities of this unit.
The unit comes with a small remote control which has minimal functionality, basically skip and volume controls as well as on/off.
When in place, the unit also charges my ipod, which is a great bonus.
The one thing I feel is missing is an on/off switch - although you can switch it on or off using the remote, I don't somehow feel this is enough, as it's always on standby when plugged in. So even when I've turned it off, if I get an email, the ipod springs to life and lights up. I would like to be able to completely power off if I choose to. It is easy to relocate to another room even though it has no option to use batteries, as it's so small and lightweight.
I paid £200 for this, and it is well worth it for me, and a good purchase which feels built to last.
My partner bought these Whiskas crunch by accident, thinking they were cat treats. In fact they are intended to be used as topping for cats' wet food. The tub is identical in shape to Whiskas cat treats, but about twice as deep, containing literally hundreds of the little mini-biscuits. Each one is only about 5mm x 5mm, shaped like a cat head, and there really is very little to them. There is no smell to speak of, but they are supposedly flavoured with chicken, turkey and duck. When I used the topping on my cats food, I didn't notice any significant excitement in the cats or relish from eating their food, in fact at the end, some of the crunch remain, its as if its actually an inconvenience. I do understand that it adds another texture to the cats meals, but I don't entirely understand what the intended benefit is. On the other hand though, they do come to me to have them as treats when its bedtime, and they do seem quite excited by them then. That said, they tend to get swallowed whole, due to their tiny size, so its hard to imagine what the attraction is. I really like the packaging of these Crunch, as I do the Whiskas treats, because they have a proper plastic lid which clips on and off to keep them secure from curious and determined cats if they happen to be left out of the cupboard. The pot also lends itself to pouring the topping onto the food, being large enough to get a good secure hold of. In all, I'd say I'm pretty underwhelmed by this product, and my cats are probably not much more excited than that either. In our case, we are struggling to see the point of them.
I don?t eat a huge quantity of snacks, but when I have a bag of crisps, I always prefer it to be Walkers. The reasons for this are several: Freshness, few crushed crisps, great flavours, few burnt crisps.
The first two of those things are down to the packaging. Walkers must take great care in their packaging, both in design and execution because the crisps always seem to reach the supermarket in great shape, the bags looking pristine despite being packed into boxes and transported however-far. It?s not always the case with other brands, where bags and contents sometimes are ? or look like like they have been - crushed or squashed. This means that most of the time, opening a bag you will be met by mostly complete crisps of varying sizes.
Burnt crisps are a pet hate of mine, they are essentially wasted crisps. With some brands I find you will often get one or two in the packs, and this was also the case with Walkers up until relatively recently, although again this is somethiing which their production and quality control techniques must have addressed because I find that they?re few and far between these days. Mostly the crisps are bright and light in colour to go with the nice crunch from the crisps.
Walkers like to be experimental with flavours, as well as constantly supplying their ?staples? ? Ready Salted, Salt n Vinegar, Cheese & Onion ? to a uniform taste and high quality. In the main, I find that they always pack the flavour in, and give a close match to the claimed flavour.
Most of the flavours will give around 170 kcal for a standard sized bag, all the nutritional values are detailed on the back of individial packets. Most of the crisps are suitable for vegans, with the exception ? bizarrely ? of cheese and onion!
I bought these the last time I was stocking up on Rennie, when the range was on offer, and I spotted that they were only 20p more than the standard tablets. As "Extra", shouting that they would be at work within 2 minutes, it seemed a no-brainer. Being a real stickler for value for money, I was horrified when I realised when I got home that the pack contained 12 tablets as opposed to the 20p cheaper standard packs containing 24! Not such a bargain after all.
Suddenly the stakes were much higher the next time these came into action, they needed to be really spectacular - and I am usually more than happy with standard Rennie anyway, so I felt I'd really made a mistake. When the time came to reach for them, I decided I'd take just one - I would normally take two standard ones, so this would really soften the blow if it worked. Sure enough, one tablet had almost instant effect. I probably don't suffer the most severe heartburn attacks, but all the same, I want quick relief - and these undoubtedly gave that.
I read up on the ingredients to see that the "extra" name applied to a third active ingredient over and above the standard range - alginic acid. Apparently, this is a naturally occurring acid which acts to physically prevent reflux by somehow "sealing" the contents of the stomach in so that the burning acid can't flow back up to give the associated pain. This seal physically stays in place for several hours before naturally breaking down, which is proven out by the long-lasting relief I got from the single tablet. I've never taken one of these tablets and needed a follow up dose - again, something that does happen from time to time with the standard ones.
The tablets themselves are the same as many other indigestion tablets - square white tablets about 1.5cm across to suck or chew. The texture is chalky and the taste is fresh mint, which is pretty pleasant.
The fact that there is scientifically an "extra" element to these tablets, as well as the proven speed of effectiveness on half the dosage (for my own needs) this turned out to actually be a very decent purchase and I will certainly buy again.
I have kept a bottle of T-cut in my car-care box for as long as I remember, and although it thankfully doesn't get used very often, it's one of those products that I think it's good to always have to hand. That's because it's the most effective product I've ever found for working out shallow scrapes and scratches from car paintwork.
The product is a runny liquid - a creamy/yellowy colour and it is applied with a damp cloth to an affected area, a small amount at a time, and applied in small circular motions. The liquid quickly dries into a matt finish and it needs to be polished out with a clean cloth, and in my experience this part does require (and benefit from) some serious 'elbow-grease'. The process can be repeated if necessary.
I have had some really good results using T-cut, sometimes fully polishing out minor scratches but always diminishing scratches and as long as there aren't associated dents then careful application of T-cut can genuinely make it so that scratches are unnoticeable.
If you have the time, energy and inclination, T-cutting the whole car after a wash will give the ultimate in show-room shine finish to it, but I've only ever done this once - years ago - and it is a major operation because of needing to work small areas at a time, and the amount of polishing required. Plus, if the liquid is left to dry on the car paintwork for too long it becomes almost impossible to polish off for me personally. I keep it for the "just in case" moments and I have better value waxing products which do that job easier. There is a definite air of long-lasting protection given when this is done, however, and in current winter conditions, with all the road salt and so on around, it would certainly be beneficial - if you could muster the inclination.
My current bottle is a good few years old, and the only problem with it is that the cap is a tight fit and it doesn't close easily now. That said, judging from the image with this product, the design has changed from my flip-top cap version over time, which is testament to how long it's lasted!
This was a Christmas gift which I had seen reviewed on dooyoo and remember thinking "what a great concept", so I was really pleased to receive it.
The idea is that this is a kitchen chopping board which is designed so that when you grab the handle, the sides fold upwards to create a chute to tip the contents of your board into a pot without losing the items over the sides. The board comes in a range of funky colours and made from a rigid tough plastic.
The size of the chopping area on the board is about 22x26cm, which is more than enough for chopping veg. The front edge when the board is in the chute shape is about 12cm wide so it's going to be fine for most saucepans you'd be cooking veg in.
It works very well and is designed well too. There are no ridges on the chopping side - the lines of the folds are still completely smooth, with the scoring of the board to enable the folding being all entirely on the underside. Also underneath is a number of non-slip strips which do their job well whilst you're chopping.
The board does not sit perfectly flat when placed on the worktop, the sides are very slightly permanently raised, but this doesn't hamper chopping in any way because it's only very slight, and your natural pressing down cutting action does this. The handle is also permanently curved up at the sides which make it easy to pick up and use, and when it is grabbed, it gives a sure one-handed grip and works perfectly to create that great chute effect.
We have used the board most days and there is evidence of chopping as there would be with any such plastic board but it does look and feel very sturdy and like it will last well compared to other plastic chopping boards I've owned. When in use, the non-slip feet work great on my gloss-top work surfaces.
The board is very easy to clean thoroughly and the lack of grooves or ridges on the main surface is pleasing as there is less chance of bits getting stuck there, and germs being harboured.
The only downside of this product really is the price. At around £15, this always needed to be a gift for me, I'd never have paid that much for a chopping board. That said, it is clearly a quality product and if it's in your price range then I would have to say, it's actually probably decent value for money.
After a recent break at a Hilton hotel, I came home with a couple of these conditioners thanks to an over-enthusiastic room service, and I have to say that using this conditioner along with it's counterpart shampoo has been an absolute treat for me and my hair.
The conditioner is a creamy texture, with a cream colour to it. It doesn't really have a strong fragrance, it's simply what I'd describe as a neutral, clean smell. When applied to my hair, there was no immediate feeling of softness which I've experienced with other conditioners, although my usual hair care regime involves a "2 in 1" approach. I massaged the conditioner over my hair, working all over the strands for a couple of minutes the first time, feeling very sceptical, but making the most of the claimed "luxury" toiletries. I then left my hair whilst I took the rest of my shower, before rinsing out, which would be another few minutes. When it came to rinsing out, I really felt the lovely benefit of this conditioner, and immediately I could feel that my hair took on a really gorgeous softness.
Following towel and blow-drying, my hair was amazingly conditioned and truly softer than I can recall any other product making it. I usually apply some wax or gel-type product on my hair for styling, but after using these products, I was reluctant to do so. It just felt like such a waste of such beautifully soft hair to apply anything else to it and whenever I've used it, I've left my hair natural afterwards. Even though it's short, my hair fell really naturally and looked shiny. The feelings of softness have lasted throughout the evenings and the days I've used it.
The retail of this brand is beyond my normal price range for hair care, and honestly it's not likely that I'll buy it at full price, but it has been a great opportunity to use this conditioner alongside the shampoo to see that you do get money's worth when it comes to quality hair care products. A 250ml bottle/tube of this conditioner is around £12 online.
This cute little mushroom brush is used to brush excess dirt off mushrooms if and when it's your preference not to peel them. Personally I prefer not to peel mushrooms as somehow I perceive them to be more flavoursome with the skins on. A gentle but thorough dusting with this brush will remove any excess soil or dirt and leave them ready to use.
The brush is a small coloured plastic dome approximately 3-4 cm diameter (mirroring the cap of the mushroom) with 2cm long nylon bristles underneath mirroring the stalk. The size and shape of the brush makes it easy to hold in the hand and use. It's a funky little design and a neat item. It's well made, the plastic is robust and looks good as new after many years, and all the bristles are still in tact. The bristles are well designed - initially you'd think soft to the touch, but they are stiff enough to remove the dirt without being too stiff as to damage the mushrooms.
The only problem with the brush is that using it on a large quantity of mushrooms at a time the bristles get very dirty and is not easy to clean at all. I just wash it in the washing up bowl with all the other dishes but over time they're no longer back to the true white of when the brush was new.
We eat a lot of mushrooms and use the brush regularly. The only alternative really which we did previously is to try wipe/dust with kitchen towel which can quickly get messy.
Although its one of those "what on earth did you buy that for?" purchases to some people, it's actually a really useful thing to own. I've just seen that these are up to £8 on Amazon, and I couldn't really argue their case at that price, but if you shop around I think we paid around £3 which is about right.
I have tried a variety of heartburn relief over the years, and my preference is usually for Rennie. Once when I was looking to buy some in Tesco, I spotted their own brand version alongside them working out at less than half the cost (these were around £2 for 48, whereas Rennies were more than that for 24 at the time) I thought they had to be worth a try.
The tablets are in blister strips which are easy to pop through and they're white button-shaped tablets, about 1cm across, so very easy to take. The box says that they can be sucked or chewed, but as with all indigestion tablets my preference is just to crunch them up as quickly as possible, as I don't really like the sensation. These do have the familiar chalky texture but they are soon gone and for me, taking indigestion tablets is a necessary evil. The box is clearly labelled as peppermint, which is important for me as I can't stand spearmint, and the flavour is a pleasant fresh mint. The dosage is to take one or two as required, but in the main I always take two.
I found these tablets to work quickly, taking them for heartburn, but I really noticed a difference from my usual brand in that the heartburn came back. This happened quite often when taking these, and it came back quickly too - within half an hour or so. It's for that reason that I've never tried these again, preferring the added reliability I get from the branded version. By the same token, looking at my analysis of them, for the cost, I guess they would be good to keep to hand for mild symptoms of heartburn or indigestion, but in my personal case it's more of when I get heartburn I get it quite badly and want a more lasting effect.
Tesco have rebranded since the dooyoo image here, they now come in a bright red box with a slight hint of the look of a box Rennie about them!
Looking to summarise, I'd say that I don't feel like I wasted my money, but I won't be buying again.
I've suffered with indigestion fairly regularly for quite a while, and I've tried various off the shelf remedies over the years. My purchase of Bisodol was probably a bit of a strange one, considering the quantity that I ended up investing in. I bought a box of them which contained 5 rolls of the tablets, each roll containing 20! I think I paid around £3 for the pack which compared extremely favourably with Rennies which I usually buy. The pack states that the flavour is peppermint, which I usually like, and the tablets claim to be triple action - "acid indigestion, trapped wind and heartburn".
The tablets are a little bigger than a 5p piece and about twice the thickness. If you're old enough to remember tubes of Refreshers sweets, these tablets are about the same size as those! The texture is chalky, which I'm generally fine with, but there was something about the flavour that really put me off these tablets. It is admittedly a peppermint flavour, which I normally prefer, but I can't put my finger on why these tablets are just unpleasant for me to take. I only got through about 2/3 of one packet before I decided to cut my losses and buy some of my favoured Rennie,
In fairness, the taste does not linger long, and it's certainly a short, sharp, shock approach, soon gone, and most importantly I must admit that the actual result of Bisodol was very effective for my symptoms, which were mainly heartburn symptoms. Relief was quick and with my own symptoms, when I have heartburn, once I get rid of it it's gone for the day, so no repeat dosages were needed. On one occasion I took two of these when I had some symptoms of trapped wind and the burps I generated were nothing short of frighteningly almighty. The trapped wind was well and truly released within about 5 minutes, my neighbours will probably vouch for that! So in terms of effective, these certainly hit the mark.
It's unfortunate that the taste and overall sensation of taking these tablets was something I just couldn't stand because writing this down has reminded me how effective they were, which really should be the main factor. Maybe I'll seek them out of the depths of the cupboard and try them again.
I recently helped my dad to move office, and in the course of the move I rescued a set of these speakers when they were bound for the skip, surplus to requirements. These speakers are great in terms of quality and their look. They are each around 15cm tall and about 8cm wide. On the front of one of the speakers are the controls - a push on-off button and two turn knobs, one for tone and one for volume. The volume range is considerable but in my opinion, the tone knob doesn't have a greatly noticeable effect. The knobs can be quite tricky to turn, even with my small fingers. The speakers are completely black, and they are quite slim (front to back) which is an improvement on previous older PC speakers I've owned.
I don't have an ipod dock at home, but since owning these speakers I have been using my laptop to play my itunes through, and with them attached there is more than enough sound quality for me to really enjoy my music in my living room or kitchen. I was genuinely surprised by how good they were.
The speakers work via USB connection to the laptop and you also need to connect a jack, but there is no other power required. They are compatible with my Acer laptop, and worked as soon as plugged in, so I would imagine that they will work ok with any brand computer.
The one downside of the speakers is that they are quite lightweight - and because they are also fairly slim in design I do knock them over fairly regularly. That said, they are well built and haven't damaged, but it just makes them come across as quite flimsy, which they certainly aren't when it comes to their actual real purpose - the sound.
For me, considering their physical size, these offer amazing sound quality for listening to music on my laptop. I can't use them on full volume as it would be simply too loud! Admittedly, someone seriously into their music quality would probably find them falling a bit short - I can appreciate that the quality is not perfect, but its certainly not tinny and there is no distortion. I'd put it on a par with my old CD player which was a high-end purchase when I bought it (10 years+ ago!) and I'd used in my kitchen for years - I guess it's a case of "depends what you're used to". I don't think these speakers are a "current" model but they are available on Amazon for £12 which is amazing value in my experience.