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added to ciao 30/7/15
Yes another peppermint product for my feet. I bought this along with the peppermint foot scrub I have also reviewed on here.
My feet do get quite dry hard skin on them and after either removing it with one of those file things or using the foot scrub from the range they need a little something to help them recover some lost moisture. after trying other products and not been too impressed with them this is my little saviour as it is easy to apply and soaks in quickly and has a mild but pleasant smell.
The foot rescue treatment is more of a type of body butter as it does contain cocoa butter as well as glycerine which both help to soften skin. The cream/butter also contains peppermint oil which gives it a slight minty smell. The mintyness is not overpowering more of a soft mint smell to it rather than an extra strong mint but with a slight note of toothpaste as well. It is a pale pink in colour (or at least it looks that way to me) and it is easily absorbed into my skin leaving no stickyness on my feet which is a big plus. The smell doesn't linger on my skin which is also good for me.
The results are impressive and the areas I use it, on the heals and balls of my feet they feel softer and moisturised. Whilst I only use it about twice a week at the moment the condition of those areas of skin has improved over the few weeks I have been using it. Now I know it isn't really designed for this but after cleaning my bathroom and kitchen I tend to find the skin on my hands becomes quite dry as I don't ware gloves. A small dab of this rubbed over my hands soon takes care of this.
Whilst this is expensive at £9 for a small 100 ml tub you need very little for each aplication so it does work out as good value for an excellent product. The label on the bottom of the pot indicates that this product is good for 12 months after it has first been opened and as with all body shop products it has not been tested on animals and it contains no parabens which I know is a plus for some.
Although I believe this product is suitable for vegetarians it does contains bee's wax so it is not suitable for vegans.
Now these days we have mobile phones that can do almost anything but you don't have to be all that old to remember the days when all they did was allow you to make and receive calls and send very short text messages. Well this phone is a bit of a happy medium between the two.
I got this phone around 2009 and since upgrading to my nokia Lumia I have kept it as my spare but on a PAYG tariff. The phone is quite heavy when compared to modern phones but not overly so. The fact you can answer the phone simply by sliding the phone open is a plus and also end the call by sliding it closed.
Making a call is easy as there is the traditional key pad - no touch screen here and the phone book is quick and easy to set up and use. The earpiece gives a clear sound with no hiss on the line and the microphone also picks up your voice well. The screen is perhaps a little small but it is a colour one and is nice and clear. Texting takes a little longer on this phone as without the QWERTY keyboard that a touch screen smartphone has you have to go back to the old school method of using the phones key pad. The big plus is that you can turn off the predictive text quite easily which drives me nuts. The texts are not stored in conversation mode but as separate messages which may be an advantage for some.
The camera on the phone is 3.2 mp which ok is not the best but it does take reasonable snapshots and you can always edit them later in a photo programme. The 256 mb micro SD card provided in the phone also meant you had a bit more memory available. Ah but what about the internet? Well this is a feature phone and if your contract allowed it would connect to the internet but it is slow and gives a limited usage due to the screen size. It is good enough for going online in an emergency but give it to a teenager and they would probably go into a strop as they won't be able to get onto facebook using it - or if they can it is too slow for them.
The battery had a good long life and I only charged mine every 10 days or so - but then it got very little usage so for others it may have needed charging more. My handset was a bit iffy getting it to charge but I always got there in the end. I feel this would have been my particular handset rather than the phones actual design.
I normally have a jar of this in my cupboard or in the fridge when I have opened it. It is stem ginger which has been preserved in syrup a bit like glace cherries. For me they make a good ingredient to many cakes and biscuits as well as if thinly sliced a few bits stirred into porridge - something my other half does.
My last jar was a 350g one for £2.50 which I think is a reasonable price.
The pieces of ginger are a good size and are easy to cut up to the size you need them to be. each piece is between 12-20 g of ginger and there is no sign on the skin on the lumps. the taste if eaten stright from the jar is sweet with a real ginger taste (well what did you expect it to taste of?) but more subtle than fresh root ginger. It keeps well in the fridge and although you are advised to use it within 4 weeks I have kept some for slightly longer (another couple of weeks) and had no ill effects from it nor did the taste deteriorate. Although I wouldn't advise keeping it for too long past the advised date. It is high in sugar but as long as you don't over do it then I doubt you will come to much harm.
I like to use it in my shortbread recipe as this adds a bit of a different twist to this classic biscuit. Also chopped up and added to the ginger cake batter give a bit of a ginger kick as well as a slight texture difference within the cake. Now the syrup may be left over after using the ginger, well this can be added to recipes as well or when you have used all the stem ginger put some of the syrup over ice cream. One of my favourite uses is about half a teaspoon in the bottom of a champagne flute then fill with prosecco (I don't like champagne) and this gives a nice twist to this sparkling wine. For those who don't drink alcohol a similar amount to the glass then fill the flute with tonic, lemonade or sparkling water.
Added to ciao 24/8/15
I bought my bottle of this spray around five weeks ago along with a couple of other products in the range mainly in preparation for summer when being on my feet all day in shoes is not the best thing. You know what I mean you get home sit down take your shoes off and ahhhhh!. Well until you get told your feet smell as you have been in shoes all day.
This little spray is perhaps quite expensive at £6 for 100 ml of the spray but you don’t use much in each spray so not too bad. It contains peppermint oil as well as menthol oil the peppermint oil is community trade oil which is a bonus and as with all body shop products it has not been tested on animals. The spray also contains no parabens which I know is a bonus for a number of people.
The product is a mid-blue colour in the bottle but there is no colour visible on your skin and I haven’t seen it stain anything either. The smell is a sweet peppermint smell a bit like extra strong mints but with and undercurrent of mint mouthwash. As soon as the liquid hits my skin there is a sudden cooling sensation possibly due to the alcohol content in the spray but also the menthol. This cooling lasts only for a few minutes but does take the uncomfortable feeling off your hot feet. With this cooling there is a slight tingle as well this is not unpleasant and only lasts for a few seconds. There is no residue on my skin after it has dried and my feet are not left sticky which is a big plus.
I have to say that I don’t find the intense mint smell lasts that long on my feet but it does help them smell better after all day in the shoes which is a relief for both my partner and myself. The fact the actual mint smell does not linger is a benefit as who wants to have feet that smell like mints and mouthwash?
The bottle size and spray cap means it can easily be taken with you either in a side pocket in a small rucksack or in a hand bag.
Heinz soups were a staple in my family when I was growing up and although it was usually tomato or oxtail I have branched out a bit since then and one of my favourites is this lentil soup. Ok being Heinz it is a bit expensive but I have had other lentil soups from shops own to the cartons and I have not found one which is as good as this one. They cost 95p for a 400 g tin but you can often buy Heinz soups on a multibuy offer.
The can comes with a convenient ring pull so there is no need to play a round of ‘hunt the tin opener’ (why can my other half never put it back in the draw?). Although you can heat it up in a pan on the hob I prefer to put it into my bowl then heat it up in the microwave – well it is quicker and saves on the washing up. In the microwave it takes just under 5 minutes in mine (800 w) stirring half way through.
As it goes into my bowl it is a very thick consistency and has a slightly spicy smell to it but looks like well I won’t type that as it may put you off. After heating the soup is a bit thinner but not watery and it looks very filling. It looks more appetising when heated as the gloopyness and the having to eat it with a knife and fork look has gone. However, it looks quite chunky and the lentils have not all gone to mush and there is plenty of texture to the soup which I do like. The taste is quite peppery with a subtle sweetness to it due to the carrots in it. I find that a tin of this fills me up nicely for a lunch or even as an evening meal. As my dad used to say ‘it clings to your ribs lad’.
I sometimes add a tin of this to a chicken casserole before it goes into the slow cooker to add a bit of body to it which works well and the pepperiness can still be detected and after all lentils are good for you – high in protein and fibre.
Due to how thick it is this soup isn't really suitable for taking anywhere in a vacuum flask far better in a bowl with some crusty white bread or a garlic nan lightly heated.
You don't have to be all that old to remember the advert for this (" you do the shake and vac and put the freshness back....) nor the fact that it was a popular product back in the 80s and early 90s before laminate flooring became all the rage. I know my mum used to have a tube of it but she rarely used it and so each one lasted her many years.
My carpets in my flat are old and I think they have been there since the block was built back in 1990 as the previous owner rented it out. Although we are currently saving to replace them they need freshening up from time to time and it isn't always convenient to get the carpet washer out. I saw this in my local Sainsbury's after thinking 'do they still make this?' I thought I would give it a go. The one I went for was the citrus scented one which was £1.40 for a 500 g tube.
The product is a scented powder which you sprinkle over the carpet then leave it for a while and vacuum up. The holes under the flip cap are not the easiest things to ge the powder out of but I suppose it does prevent too much comming out all at once. After liberally sprinkling the powder over the carpet in the living/dining room the scent was a bit cloying and rather synthetic. The scent was more like cheap citrus flavoured sweets than citrus fruits themselves. After leaving the powder for about 5 minutes I vacuumed it up. The powder was easy to remove from the carpet and it had removed those stale like smells which carpets do tend to trap. The citrus like scent was left in the room but was less powerful. The scent was noticeable when we came into the room for a day or two before it disappeared completely but the carpets stayed fresh for a while afterwords.
I don't use this product every time I vacuum but perhaps once every other month just to keep my carpets fresh. I also only use this in the living room/dining room and not in the bedroom.
added to ciao 27/6/15
I’m on my feet for a lot of the day and walking to work and back home is about 3 miles. Now I know this isn’t very far but I do walk quite heavily on my heels and they and the balls of my feet do suffer from hard skin issues. I try to remove it with pumice stone or one of those file things but as I was in the body shop I saw this and as I have a few other products in this range decided to give it a go as there was an offer of body products at the time I bought it with the intensive foot rescue cream from the same range. By its self this costs £7 for a 100ml pot
On opening you are met with a strong but sweet smell of peppermint my first thought was that it smelt like Kendal mint Cake. It looks like a fairly thick almost colourless gel but with lots of tiny sandy gritty bits. This is the crushed volcanic rock which scrubs off the dead hard skin. You only need a small amount so the cost does not look quite so bad. Applying to the balls or heels of my feet I then use circular scrubbing motions with two fingers and it quickly and effectively exfoliates my feet. The gel has a nice cooling effect which helps to relieve hot tired feet.
The dead skin and the spent product can fall off your feel onto the floor so it is best to do this in the bathroom. After doing this on both feet I give them a quick rinse off using the shower head then pat dry.
My feel are left looking and feeling much better although for serious hard skin problems you may need to use this two or three times a week for a couple of weeks to really get on top of it. I find that twice a week is plenty for my feet. I love the scent of the peppermint when I’m using it but after rinsing very little of the scent is left which may be good for some.
As it is from the body shop it has not been tested on animals, it also does not contain any parabens and has been made with community trade peppermint oil. The pot states it is good for 12 months after first opening but I doubt the pot will last me that long
I have a slightly longer review on ciao
Nick Daniels is a journalist and is interviewing a reclusive former baseball pitcher. He is witness to a gruesome murder. There was something he heard, something which he hardly listened to but knew it was said it would be on his Dictaphone…..
The murder is a mob set up but something isn’t quite right, it was too obviously pointed to one person, something isn’t right can Nick find out what really happened and stay alive……………
In one word – disappointed. Had I paid full price I would have been even more disappointed but it only cost me £4.99 so not too bad.
Whilst the novel isn’t exactly badly written overall the plot is rather thin and any GCSE English literature student could pick holes in the plot line. Most of the characters are far too one dimensional even those who aren’t are at best 1.4 dimensions. With it being written in the first person it is hard to really get an insight into the other characters as it focusses about 85% on the central character in the book. I do feel that if this novel were to be adapted for a film it would be at most 45 minutes long. As with many of Patterson’s books the chapters are very short – about three pages. Now for me this does break up the novels rather limp tension moments with the rest of Nick’s life but it wastes a lot of paper as the next chapter starts half way down the next page. Still the wasting paper is only a minor gripe of mine.
The story in its self is frankly just not believable. From the way the first murder is done and the assassin’s escape (done in the first few pages – so not much of a spoiler) Nick is in it up to his neck with the mob – and not just with one mob boss. However, either Nick has a charmed life or these mobsters are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard. Whilst Nick is clearly able to live on his wits you would thing that one of the attempts on his life – and there are many would be successful. In fact at times I actually found myself wanting him to be killed off if only to be sure they could be no sequel to this as I found him such an unlikeable character. The ending was far from satisfactory in my opinion and it was as if the authors wanted the a typical ‘all American happy family now we have been through this the rest of our life is going to be one long happy ever after holiday’ frankly when I got to this part I started to want something to go seriously wrong to cut through the clotted cream saccharine sweet gooey niceness of it all.
In my search for something to replace my coffee habit with I have come across these. Now I do buy peppermint and liquorice tea quite regularly but the shop was out of my usual brand so I decided to give these a go. They are a bit more expensive than my usual brand but thought it worth giving them a go. They cost me £4.15 for 15 tea bags (or tea temples as they call them). The packaging is quite simple with a cardboard outer with the temples in a cellophane wrapper inside this. I think considering the price they could have individually wrapped the temples but you can't have everything.
The tea temple has a good amount of both liquorice root and peppermint leaves in them and the liquorice root is in quite sizeable chunks which shows the quality of the product. It is caffeine free which is a big bonus for me. The temple is made of a sort of plasticy cloth rather than paper and is in the shape of one of those pyramid bags with a string attached. They do say that this is biodegradable so that is a plus
Dropping one temple into my mug and put the kettle on, when the kettle has boiled let it go off the boil for a minute or two then pout over the bag and allow to brew for around 5 minutes and take the bag out. I find the taste of the peppermint is the first thing I notice then the liquorice comes through but not overpowering the mint. However, the aroma is mainly that of the liquorice. You can add sugar to taste but I would advise tasting it first as the liquorice does add a sweetness to it so adding sugar may make it too sweet.
I would strongly advise not squeezing the tea temple when you take it out as this seems to over extract the liquorice which can then make it taste quite bitter and unpalatable.
Those who suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) should avoid consuming too much liquorice as it can increase the problem.
This is something I tend to always have in my bathroom cupboard as I sometimes suffer from tired eyes especially if I am wearing my contact lenses and my other half suffers for hayfever. I got my last bottle from Sainsbury's for £6 for a 300 ml bottle.
The solution is colourless and clear and you fill an eye bath about a third full then after removing contact lenses if you are wearing them wash the eye with a gentle rocking motion. I tend to do this for about 45 seconds for each eye - with fresh solution for each eye. After use my eyes feel less dry and also less tired so that is a big plus. You shouldn't share eyebaths with anyone and my partner and I have our own (different colours so we don't get them mixed up). The included eye bath is slightly flexible around the edge where it comes into contact with your skin which make it more comfortable to use than the old ridged plastic ones they used to have and there is less leaking of the solution as well. Although you can replace contact lenses about 15 minutes after you have used this I tend to use it in the evening then put my glasses on - as I'd only have to take my lenses back out again before I go to sleep.
Now I have said in the pros that it is easy to use and it is as long as you are used to using an eyebath - which does take a bit of practice at first. However, when you have the knack then it becomes second nature
This isn't something we use every day and you don't need a lot each time. The main drawback is that a month after you first open the bottle you are supposed to dispose of any remaining solution so that can add to the expense.
The solution contains water witch hazel Alcohol, Boric Acid, Glycerine, Sodium Borate and Benzalkonium Chloride.
One minor drawback it that the bottle is glass but there is a good amount of information on the bottle about use etc.
I remember when this first came on sale in the UK under its original name of Bounty. My reaction to the first advert with a coffee spill being stopped from getting onto a suit jacket was one of ‘yeah and I really think it is that good’. Well one day my mum picked it up by mistake in Asda (I was still living with my parents back then) and well my sarcasm was misplaced and it is that good and now it is the only one that we both buy
I know that this is more expensive than most kitchen towels but as you only need to use one sheet where you would use two or three of some of the others it works out no more expensive if not a bit cheaper. The fact I can use it to soak up spills wring it out then use it again and it still doesn’t fall to bits means that this is a regular buy in my household. The towels are a regular two ply towel but they do feel much thicker than most on the market which helps with their strength and absorbency. The fact that the towel stays strong when it is wet is a major plus as cheaper towels just fall to bits far too easily when they get wet. I’m not a big user of kitchen towels and one roll does last a number of weeks but where I do use it for things like soaking up small spills or wiping up cake batter from my worktop it performs well. I also use it to line the bottom of my grill pan then put foil over this. The towels absorb and oil or fat that gets through the foil and so it can be thrown away and makes the cleaning of the grill pan far easier. Again for this job I tend to wet it add some washing up liquid then rub it round with a sheet or two of this then rinse out. It gets the grill pan clean without gunking up my sponge scourer as the kitchen towel can just go in the bin.
There are many designs and pack sizes available but I tend to stick to the plain white two packs as I’ve never liked patterned kitchen towel and I don’t have the storage space for bigger packs. The regular double pack has two rolls each of 50 sheets and my last pack cost £1.75
I'm never without a bottle of this in my kitchen cupboard. I find that it adds a depth of flavour to chilli con carne and spices up so called 'chilli wraps' which are so lacking in chilli that even a chilli wimp would call them mild. I used to add a few drops onto cheese on toast or just onto the cheese but elevated cholesterol put paid to my cheese eating. I find that not only does it help to spice things up a bit but it also adds an unusual sort of smokeyness to the taste.
The sauce has a slightly acidic tang to it then the chilli kicks in if you dab a bit onto your finger and taste it (do not do this if you are a chilliphobe) then the chilli really catches the back of your throat and does go a bit hot hot hot. There is also and underlying saltyness to it but thankfully this isn't too strong as I am not a fan of foods which are overly salty.
The sauce is quite thin in consistency and a mid red colour. The sauce isn't cheap at £2 for a 57 ml bottle but as you only need a splash for it to add flavour it isn't too bad. The bottle has a dropper type opening under the small cap. This does help you have a bit of a control over how much of the sauce you add but at times this can become blocked or stop dripping all together but a quick shake (with the lid on) usually clears this up. The cap is rather small and if you aren't careful can be easy to loose.
As a first aider I believe in keeping my first aid kits stocked up and microporous surgical tape is one of my essential supplies. The last pack i bought was the 2.5 cm width one with 5 m of tape on the reel for £1.99. It is available in different widths but I find this one to be the most useful.
It is used to attach thing like dry dressings to skin where they have none of their own adhesive backing, giving some extra adhesive to plasters on joints when they can come off easily, taping two fingers together in the case of an injury to one to aid support until it can be properly checked out. The tape sticks well but still allows the skin below the tape to breath also I have never known anyone react to it in the same way some people react to regular plasters.
Despite the fact it sticks well enough to hold the dressing in place and still allows some flexibility in the skin if it is stuck close to a joint it is easy to remove and does not feel like you are giving yourself a mini wax as you peel it off. When using this I have not noticed any residue from the adhesive on my skin. Cutting it isn't always easy as it tends to fold over in the scissors to be honest I find that ripping it is more effective and quicker.
Outside of first aid I have used this to temporarily tie together some wires for things like phone line, broadband etc just to stop them trailing everywhere until i got a cable tidy to put on them.
Due to the 500 word limit this is a film only review
The idea behind Fawlty Towers came from a hotel John Cleese and the other Pythons were staying at one time. The owner was apparently so rude to all the customers that all the python team except Cleese left to go to another hotel. Cleese stayed on observing this rudest of all hotel managers and the idea of Fawlty towers was born.
This remastered set is spread over 3 discs and contains all the episodes from the two series and a separate disc of extras. When I bought it it was around £20. The set has a 12 certificate which I think is about right but I doubt younger viewers would find it as funny. It has to be said parts of the humour has dated a bit but the situations Basil finds himself in still have me laughing.
Set in Torquay Basil Fawlty is the manager of a hotel which you would have to be insane to stay in for more than one night. From inedible food to Manuel a waiter who is about as useful as a chocolate fire gaurd - but Basil likes him because he is cheap. Then we have Basil the manager himself who sees the guests as an inconvenience as most of them are (in his opinion) riff raff. Then we have Basil Fawlty's wife who could bring the dead back to life by shrieking at them. Finally comes the long suffering Polly who is supposed to be only helping out but seems to be the only one who knows what she is doing.
Thrown into the mix are the permanent residents, the old Major who is about the only guest Basil tolerates although the Major is shown as slightly senile Basil respects him as he served in the army. However, to the spinsters Miss Gatsby and Miss Tibbs he is incredibly rude to but they just think he is being a bit 'naughty' and giggle it off.
Each episode sees Basil pushed to the edge not only of his patience but also his sanity things just seem to keep going wrong for him and when he tries to put them right things get even worse. Whether it is dealing with a guest who dies in the night or one who is hard of hearing but refuses to use her hearing aid - as it runs the batteries down to having a health inspector in the hotel when Manuel's pet rat gets loose Basil just seems to get more and more stressed and every step of the way he lives in fear of his 'little nest of vipers' aka Cybil.
The writing and acting across the episode is in general excellent the odd weaker performance does come in but only in bit parts rather than a main one.
I bought my flash power mop about 3 years ago as I was sick of putting a cleaner in a buket of water, mopping, rinsing, leaving to dry and then pouring the dirty water away - there had to be an easier way and this is it.
I can't remember what I paid for the mop when I bought it but I saw it recently in my local wilko's for £20 which isn't bad. Also replacement pads for £4.75 for a pack of 12 and a 1.25 litre cleaning solution bottle for £4. Now these may sound a bit expensive but one pad does my kitchen and bathroom (done in that order) and you only need a small amount of the cleaning solution for each clean so it works out quite well.
The 'mop' comes in two parts which are easy to put together and also with a small bottle of cleaning solution and as I remember 3 pads which stick onto the bottom of the mop with the stuck on velcro. This holds the pad secuerly in place. The cleaning solution bottle is fitted into place and after putting the 4 AA batteries (included) into the battery compartment to power the sprayer you are ready to go.
To use simply use the trigger on the handle to spray the cleaning solution through a nozzle on the mop head then wipe back and forth over the floor spraying a bit more as you go. You do need to release the trigger to stop the spray as it is not a dosage spray but a continuous one. The pad lifts the dirt but also traps it holding onto it and so removing it from the floor and also as you are not using much in the way of cleaning product and no water the floors are left almost dry. When you have finished you can simply remove the pad with all the dirt trapped in it and throw it away. so there is no bucket of dirty water to deal with.
You can buy packs of the pads and replacement cleaning solution for the mop at most supermarkets so you can keep it running for many years. The mop came with a lemon scented solution but I can only find a 'sea minerals' one in my local sainsbury's. The sea minerals is a fresh kind of smell but it is not heavy and cloying sort of a bit salty in a way