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At the back of my garden I have a long row of fir trees, which tend to separate my garden from my neighbours. They are nice to look at and they give us our privacy however over the past few months these trees have become a bit of a problem.
Recently I have noticed a very unpleasant smell whenever I have been in the garden, at first I blamed the dogs but after searching the garden many times I found nothing and put it down to the country air.
We noticed the problem when my husband was trimming back the trees a few weeks ago and local cats had been using the ground underneath the trees as a big litter tray. I cleaned the area only for it fouled in again by the same cats.
This was a problem that was not going away, the cats kept on coming back and nothing I could do seemed to deter them.
After researching I found this Get Off my garden cat and dog repellent, which seems to be doing the trick and we are now mess free in the garden.
VAPET GET OFF MY GARDEN
Get off its basically a garden chemical which is used to discourage cats and dogs from fouling on your paving, concrete, lawns, flower beds and areas which are disguised by trees and plants.
This Get off my garden is a Bright green jelly crystal product, which comes with a very potent smell that is designed to confuse dogs and cats sense of smell, therefore forcing them to go to the toilet elsewhere.
Over a few weeks these bright green jelly crystals will train the cats and dogs and you will be foul free in not time.
I found as soon as I scattered the crystals under the trees, I was hit with a very strong overpowering smell similar to a very strong washing up liquid that even made me want to vacate the area straight away, so I can understand how this repulses the cats and dogs.
I was very worried about using this when I have the two dogs, as I did not want it to harm them in any way when they were actually running around in the garden. This is not harmful to pets so you don't need to worry about them eating the crystals, as the smell that is emitted from the crystals alone keeps any animal away.
HOW TO USE GET OFF
Firstly you need to clean up the area where the cats and dogs have been doing their business, which is not pleasant but if the muck is not removed the crystals will not be as effective and you may find that the animals will continue to foul in that area.
Once you have cleared all of the animal muck away you need to hose down the area, if it is a paved area you can bleach the area. I find that I need it under trees so I don't bleach the area I just soak it down with a hose and then apply the crystals to the area.
For the best results generously scatter the crystals around the most affected areas and surrounding areas, you don't need to completely cover the area in the crystals just place them in tiny little piles around the area. You will find that the small piles will be more than enough to discourage the animals for fouling again.
If you use this on flower beds then do not place the crystals on the flowers as it will kill and discolour them, you can apply them to the flower beds but make sure they do not go in direct contact with the plants and flowers.
These crystals start off like large pieces of jelly, however after a few days they shrink as the sun and ground absorb the moisture in the crystals. You will need to repeat the process every 3-4 days for the first few weeks and then this should be enough time, for the cats and dogs to have found somewhere else to mess.
It is strongly recommended that you wash your hands after use and that this is to be kept away from children, so you need to store it in a cool safe place where kids can't get hold of it.
PRICE / AVAILABILITY
You can buy this in a 225g plastic bottle, which allows you to squeeze out small amounts of the crystals at a time. Each squeeze will give you enough crystals for one small pile.
This bottle says it will cover a 25 square meter area, but I personally feel that you will only cover half of that if you are treating the area for the first time, as you do tend to put down more rather that less of the crystals.
You can by this in Wilkinson's for as little as £4.95, however I managed to get a few bottles in Home bargains last week for 69p a bottle, which is a great saving.
These can look unsightly on flower beds as they look like slimy slug pellets, however I think I would prefer looking at these and not a little present the neighbour's cats have left for me.
I find the smell if very potent and can be stomach turning so I strongly advise that you apply the crystals at night or when you don't intend to use the garden, as you will need to be away from the smell until it soaks into the soil or ground. I find that 8 hours is enough time for the smell to completely go, although they no longer smell after that period they still seem to work effectively.
I am very surprised as these have even stopped my two dogs playing in the trees, which is something they did all the time and it used to annoy the life out of me when I had to go hunting for them, so Get off has also stopped them playing in the trees.
The Get Off my garden crystals come highly recommended by me as it seems to have stopped the neighbouring cats from pooing at the bottom of my garden, so if you have a similar problem then give this a try.
Having five nephews and nieces come to visit at this time of year can be very difficult, as you can't take them all out for the day without taking two cars and if we stay at home all day they get board very easily.
A couple of weeks ago me and my husband decided to do a family barbeque, which resulted is us having all five kids for the weekend, because I am an auntie that seem to be wrapped around their little fingers, I can never say not.
The kids are all aged between four and ten years old, so they can easily be entertained. We decided that the weather was so nice we should buy a paddling pool to keep the kids amused so us adult could have a few drinks and relax.
While looking for a paddling pool, my husband found this multi-purpose sand pit that can be used as a sandpit of a paddling pool, so this is what we decided to go for.
THE SAND PIT
This is a Plum products sandpit, which has a unique octagonal shape and is made using the best quality timber wood. For me wood was a good option as it makes this sandpit very strong and sturdy which is a must when it is being used by my younger nephew and niece.
The octagonal shape is very different compared to the standard square sand pit, it looks very lavish but you do need a good bit of space as the shape of this sand pit, so it limits where you can actually place it in the garden.
The sand pit has rounded corners and consists of four wooden seats around the outer edge, I have to say Plum Products have designed the shape and finish of the sand pit perfectly for the little ones in mind, it is recommended that children over 18 months be allowed to play in the sand pit, but obviously this is down to you if you supervise smaller toddlers, than it should be fine.
For me the best advantage is that this can be used as a paddling pool of ball pit if you wanted, just place a pool liner within the wooden frame and fill it up with either water or balls. The pool liners do not come with the sand pit, but they can be purchased very cheaply at DIY stores.
As a safety precaution it is recommended that you always cover the sand pit once it has been finished with, this way the sand stay dry and you can be sure nothing has got into the pit which may harm your children.
I am sure that the stained wood that makes up this sand pit will become a subject to the winter elements, so I am sure you will need to stain it at least once a year to protect the wood from deteriorating.
This wooden sand pit comes flat packed with all assembly instructions included, the instructions were very clear to understand with step by step instructions and pictures to follow. It is basically made up of four main sections and four smaller sections that are easily fixed together, and then it is just a case of screwing the wooden seats into place, I would say the whole job should take you no longer that fifteen minutes to complete.
The sand pit comes with a protective cover, to protect it from the weather and a ground sheet. The ground sheet is placed inside the main section of the sand pit and it stops weeds from growing up through the sand, it also allows water to drain through it but will not let the sand escape.
Four 15 kilo bags of treated sand are supplied with the sand pit, the sand itself is very pale and fine so building sand castles maybe very difficult for the children but we found a few buckets of water helped the sand stick, so castles could be made.
This wooden sand pit comes with a one year warranty and covers the wood from rot and insect damage, but if you follow the maintenance guidelines of covering the pit and staining it every now and then I am sure you will never need it.
The height of the pit is roughly twenty three centimetres, width one hundred and eight centimetres and the length is one hundred and thirty one centimetres. I have found this to be a perfect size and can take up to four children at a time, but all five of the kids managed to squeeze in at any one time.
PRICE / AVAILABILITY
If you think this Plum Product sand pit is something your children would enjoy, then you can buy it a B&Q for £49.98. We bought it a few weeks ago and got an additional 10% off the price, therefore it cost £44.98.
I have just checked the B&Q web site www.diy.com and you can currently buy this for £42.48 with a discount of 10% on top, so it works out cheaper than buying it in store. You will need to pay a delivery charge on top, but you could reserve and collect the sand pit to avoid a delivery charge.
Buying this in a flat pack worked well as we could take it straight home after buying it and building was a breeze, although I have to give all the credit to my hubby and my two eldest nephews.
The price we paid was very good and I am sure it will be around for years to come, we found that buying this actually encouraged the kids to play outside and not sit in front of the television all day, so even for that is was worth the money.
This appealed to the younger four to six year olds and they sat and played for hours, but the older kids got board after a little while so I would recommend this for the younger kids.
Turning the sand pit into a pool was very easy, we just flattened all of the sand within the pit and then laid a thick liner over the top. I just turned on the hose and the pool was full within ten minutes, so at this point the bigger kids came back out of the house to play.
I love that this is a universal outdoor activity as it keep the kids amused all week end, so I recommend this for all children, but remember the sun cream if the weather in hot as the kids will not want to get out.
After recently buying a trendy multi coloured broom and handle from the Vigar Bandera range, I have been so impressed with the quality and the durability that I have since been and bought the lobby set to compliment my broom.
As many of you know I got the funky brush to use in the salon, which proved to be a big hit and talking point for the customers. The staff were arguing over who was actually going to use it so buying this lobby set was a must as they would actually use it, without being told too.
ABOUT CASA VIGAR HOMEWARE
For me Casa Vigar, are a similar company to the well known Alessi brand, they provide us consumers with brightly coloured and funky items for all of your homeware and kitchen needs. Vigar provide you with similar products to Alessi at much cheaper prices, the products are just as durable and desirable as any of the Alessi designs.
Vigar are a Spanish based company, which has been in business since the early 1980's. They cater for all of our cleaning needs by bringing us funky looking, mops, dusters, buckets, washing up bowls, brushes, dust pans and even rubber gloves and aprons.
The company sell themselves by quoting that their consumers need to be brightened up, when it comes to doing their household cleaning chores. I certainly feel that they deliver on this promise as the lobby set and broom I have purchased have certainly brightened the place up.
THE LOBBY SET
The lobby set consist of a dust pan and brush, it is unlike any other dust pan and brush as is supports longer length 90 centimetre handles which are designed to help people with back problems having to bend down or prevent back injuries, when bending down to collect the debris that has been swept up.
The Dust pan is a deep set design with high sides that prevent debris from falling out of the pan, any dirt or hair is easy swept into the pan as it also has a bright red rubber lip on the front, which sticks itself firmly to the ground and therefore stops and dirt getting swept underneath the pan, which was a problem when I used my old dust pan and brush.
The brush also has a long 90 centimetre handle and is finished with a smaller eight inch wide brush, the brush is made up of bright purple bristles which are firm enough to remove and dirt and debris on the floor, however they are not that hard that they scratch the flooring.
I find the brush is an ideal size to get it into corners and under surfaces, which are normally very hard to reach. It will even sweep up wet hair which would normally stick to the floor, but this brush is firm enough to remove it in one sweep.
This Lobby set is the Bandera design which is made up of multi coloured stripes, which work their way up the long handles on the brush and dust pan in one inch sections. The bright Blue, Purple, Red, Green and Yellow colours compliment each other well and stand out making this set look really funky.
This brightly designed lobby set is perfectly finished with bright green and red rubber handles at the top of the long 90 centimetre section, these are a great finishing touch which makes them comfortable to use and the handles fit snugly into your hands.
PRICE / AVAILBILITY
Casa Vigar has many suppliers across the globe and many online retailers that actually sell the kitchen and homeware goods, but I personally bought mine from the online retailer Amazon.
You can purchase this from www.amazon.com for £22.99 with free postage, which is very good as most online shops are charging £15.00 for the set and then expect you to pay a £10.00 delivery charge, so Amazon is the best place to buy this cracking little lobby set.
Vigar do many different designs, so it this Bandera design is not for you, why not check out the different designs and ranges that Vigar cater for at their website www.vigar.com
For me this lobby set was perfect for my cleaning needs in the salon, with all the health and safety laws I have to abide by this worked well, as it comes with long 90 centimetre handles on both the brush and the pan. The longer handles on the brush and pan have prevented myself or the staff injuring our backs when we clear the hair from the floor.
The longer handle also helps when it comes to throwing the hair cuttings away, you just sweep it into the pan and carry the whole thing to the bin, the deep set dust pan stops any hair from falling out and back onto the floor, making it very easy and quick sweep up.
This have proved to be a brilliant buy as it works really well for my needs compared to a regular dust pan and brush, not only does it do a perfect job but it also looks very stylish and funky. Which is exactly what I wanted within the salon.
At work I spend a lot of time sat on the reception desk, greeting the customers, reviewing on here and eating. So as you can imagine the desk and keyboard does become very messy.
I don't really clean it to be perfectly honest, one of the girls usually gives it a wipe over. I didn't really think this was a problem until yesterday when the girls presented me with this Desktop Henry Vacuum Cleaner.
This was there idea of a joke, but basically they were telling me to clean up my own mess. This lightened the blow for me as I adore the Henry Vacuums, I have the same big Henry at the salon and have even bought my nephews and nieces the toy versions in the past.
So when I opened this little gift from the girls at work, I was not insulted as they knew the mini Henry would melt my heart.
THE MINI HENRY VACUUM
This mini Henry Vacuum is basically a scaled down version of the well known Numatic Henry Vacuum's which have been a house hold name for over twenty years. This mini version is a novelty gadget that has been designed as a desktop vacuum.
This is a three inch high and two and a half inch wide plastic Henry that looks and acts like the full scale version. It has a bright Red body section and a Black upper hat section, which screws away from the body to remove and dust and dirt collected. The body section also has the legendary big white eyes and smile, which in my opinion makes the little vacuum look really cute.
The Vacuum has a four inch hose, which to the eye appears to be Henry's nose. This is where this fantastic little gadget gets to work, as you just brush the hose over your desk and keyboard and all the dirt, dust and crumbs are sucked up into the red belly section of the Vacuum.
Henry is powered by 3 x AA batteries, which I may add the girls did not supply. After putting the batteries into the bottom of the Gadget, I powered it on using a little switch underneath. To my surprise the motor was fairly quiet, you could only hear a slight humming coming from the little Vacuum.
The suction was brilliant, as this was so little and just a gimmicky gadget I was very impressed. It managed to suck out all of the dust stuck between my keys on the keyboard making it look very clean and nearly new. This also worked well for crumbs which fell from my lunch time sandwich, but I did find that this would not pick up bigger things for example a piece of lettuce, but I couldn't really expect it to act as a normal Vacuum could I.
Due to the size of this gadget you can keep it on your desk as it is very compact and sits neatly in the corner, however I have found the nose hose does get in the way as this stands out further that the body of the vacuum.
After receiving this as a joke I decided to review it as it has proved to be very handy, I don't know exactly where the girls purchased mine but I have manage to find them on the Amazon web site. www.amazon.co.uk
You can get your very own desktop Henry for as little as £7.97 with free supersaver delivery.
If you want to buy the Pink Hetty version of this Gadget you can also buy this on Amazon, but it doe's cost a little more.
I think this is a brilliant little gadget that actually works, I feel that it would make brilliant stocking filler for your friends of loved ones. As you can buy this in the Red Henry and Pink Hetty, it would make an ideal gift for both men and women.
The girls bought me this as the desk is always messy, but it has now back fired as I have been spending the past two days vacuuming the desk area. Anytime someone puts their bag on the desk Henry comes out to clean the area, so now I am being accused of having OCD and not doing any work.
I am very impressed with the suction and durability of this as I have been playing with it for days and the batteries are still going strong, therefore it has not suffered any loss of suction yet. I am sure it will happen as the batteries run low.
As I have said this will not pick up everything but it is great for getting into tiny tight spaces, which can't be reached for example, I have just vacuumed the back of my PC where dust was collecting in the fan. This has cleared all of the dust and now the fan is running much smoother, so for this alone I recommend this neat little Henry.
As many of you know I have a little hair and beauty salon and I am currently reviewing many of the products that I use within the salon, I am only reviewing the products that seem to work well for both myself and my clients.
Ever since I opened my salon back in 2002 I have been using the NSI nails products, which have been brilliant for but the finished result and client satisfaction. I have never really thought about reviewing Acrylic nail products before, but and nail enhancements seem to be very popular I thought I would give it a try.
Firstly I will let you know about the NSI company as this will be very useful if you are interested in becoming a professional nail technician, this will also be very handy if you fancy undertaking Nail application training for your own nails, because let's face it getting your nails done is not a cheap thing to do all the time.
Anyway NSI are a UK based training school which provides individuals with training to become a professional nail technician, you can attend courses for Basic Manicures, Acrylic Nails, Gel Nails, Sculptured Nails and a wide range of nail art courses, all in all you can chose from over thirty different courses.
The NSI training academy is based in Manchester's city centre, which is very easy to get to as I have recently attended a seminar which was promoting the New NSI product range.
I have a Saturday girl who attended the seminar with a few of us and she bought herself the NSI attraction Acrylic starter pack, she did not have to pay out for additional training courses as me and a few members of staff can give her the training needed to become a professional nail tech, so this in itself will save her hundreds of pounds as the courses can be very expensive.
NSI ATTRACTION KIT
Firstly I must stress that this kit is designed for the professional, however if you like the idea of doing your own nails or you would like to try it before committing to an expensive course, I would recommend you try this starter kit as it is very simple to use.
This attraction nail kit will provide you with enough to complete fifteen full sets, which could be very lucrative it you go on to do nails professionally as you can get up to £30.00 for a full set of Acrylics.
Included within the kit is:
Attraction Acrylic liquid 118ml, this is uses alongside and acrylic powder to form the top layer of your enhancement. The liquid is very strong smelling so it must be used in a well ventilated area as it can be very overpowering, when you are not used to the smell.
Acrylic brush, this is a brush similar to a paint brush. It is made up of Kolinsky hair and is use to apply the acrylic powder / liquid mix. These brushes are very expensive to replace so be sure to clean if correctly after you have finished with it.
Attraction Acrylic Powders 40 grams x 2, these are the acrylic powders that are mixed with the acrylic liquid to create the hard surface layer of the acrylic enhancement. You will get a pure white powder for creating white sculpture tips and a sheer pink powder which is used to create the top layer of the acrylic enhancement.
Within the kit you also get samples of acrylic powders in small 7 gram pots, The shades includes are sheer pink, totally clear, pure pink, Pink Masque and extreme pink. These samples are designed to show you what other colours are available, in my opinion the best shade is the extreme pink as it really separates the white tip if you are creating a French look.
Attract primer 7ml, is the most important product used when creating acrylic nails, it is used to dehydrate your natural nail plate, therefore creating the best possible surface for the acrylic to adhere to, giving you enhancements that last. If you forget the primer acrylics will lift and fall off very easily.
Sani pure 59ml, is use to sanitise any tools used while creating the enhancements, this is a spray bottle that squirts out enough spray to sterilise a nail file in one pump. I do recommend that you have a sterilising unit if you are going to do professional nails, but if you just do you own nails this spray should be adequate to sanitise your equipment.
NSI Cleanse 59ml, is also a sanitising product but this is designed for use on the acrylic nail enhancements themselves, this is used to remove product residue and girt from filing from the new nail enhancements. This also prepares the nail for the finishing polish.
Nurture Oil, is basically a cuticle care product that comes in a varnish type bottle. This is applied to the cuticles after the enhancements have been completed and polished.
Glaze and Go, is a clear but very thick top coat that is applied like a nail varnish to the top of your finished nails. This will protect the enhancements and give them and nice glossy shine.
Natural Nail tips x 150 this is enough to create fifteen set of nails, but as you have the white powder you can create more sets by doing sculptured nails. The tips are basically plastic tips with a pre cut well, these are stuck onto the natural nail plate before applying any of the above products.
You will also receive a dampen dish, a tip storage tray, nail glue, Three different sized grit files, buffer block, nail forms for sculptures, nail wipes, brush cleaner and an instruction DVD.
You will receive everything you will need to create perfect Acrylic nails, all of the products come in an NSI branded tote bag, which is ideal for keeping all of you bits together.
You can expect to pay £85.00 plus vat for this acrylic kit, which is very expensive but once you have perfected the process you can charge anything from £30.00 for a set of tips and £50.00 for a set of sculptured nails.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO APPLYING ACRYLICS
STEP 1: Firstly you need to access the client's natural nails for any cuts or contra indications, if the nails are too short and bitten you may not be able to apply a set but this is down to your judgement. If the nails of cuticles are damaged in any way I would never advise you to continue with the service, as this could result in further damage to the client's nails or the tips applied could be very uncomfortable for the client to actually wear.
If you are happy with the client's nails you need to remove the cuticles using the cuticle remover and then gently buff the top of the natural nail place using the fine grit cushioned nail file. This will roughen up the natural nails surface making is much better for the tips to stick.
STEP 2: The tips come in sizes 1 - 10, size ten being the biggest. Select the correct tip to fit each finger nail and then apply a thin line of nail glue to the well section on the tip. Gently press the glued section onto the tip of your natural nail. The tip should only be stuck on my a few millimetres, so you still have most of your natural nail showing.
After repeating this on all ten fingers, you need to trim down the tips to the desired length. This will need to be done with a nail cutter and not a file as it will take you forever to file them all down. Once you are happy with the length you need to file them into shape, this can either be square or rounded.
STEP3: After completing the above steps you clean the tips with cleanse, to remove and grit or dust from the nails. Now apply the primer to your natural nail only, remember be very careful when applying this as it is very strong and can cause skin irritation if it comes in contact with the skin.
Now you have dehydrated the nails you can start applying the acrylic, apply a small amount of acrylic liquid into the dampen dish and open your selected acrylic powder. Submerge your brush into the liquid until it goes moist.
STEP 4: This is the hardest bit and you will certainly get it wrong for the first few attempts as it can be very difficult to perfect, but once you have the technique there will be no stopping you.
Once you brush is dampened with the liquid, gentle place it into the acrylic powder. You should now have a small bead of acrylic on the brush that is then placed onto the nail tip. Repeat this by adding three for four beads for each nail until the plastic tip is completely covered.
The bead need to be the right consistency, because if it is too wet it will end up all over your skin and if it is too dry it will not be able to be manipulated over the enhancement. So it is all down to consistency on the mixture of the liquid and powder, this will take a while to perfect but I will come to you eventually.
PLEASE REMEMBER BE QUICK, you have to work with the damp acrylic very quickly indeed as it sets solid within a minute so you don't have time to play with it. I found when I first started to work with acrylic, taking small amounts at a time worked for me.
STEP 5: Once the acrylic has set one all ten nails you can now file them, start by using the roughest nail file and then finish with the softer file. Pay special attention to the cuticle area as this is where you are likely to get lift and peeling, so filing them correctly is a must.
Once you are happy with the shape to the enhancement you buff the surface with a buffing block and then wash your hands, until you have removed and grit or dust.
STEP 6: To finish the look apply a thick top coat and add some cuticle oil, then your nails are complete.
Remember that you will need to infill your nails every two - three weeks, to keep them looking nice at all times.
For me these products are brilliant for creating professional nail extensions, however with a little bit of practice you can create your own nails easily. The instructions and DVD are very handy if acrylic is something you have never used before, the whole process is very detailed within the DVD and very simple to follow.
Don't be put off if you don't perfect the acrylic application technique at first as it will take you time to get it right, it took me weeks to learn how to apply it correctly. Remember take your time using small amounts, this will take longer but with experience you will learn to apply acrylic in one brush stroke. This will then allow you to complete a full set of nails within half an hour.
There are cheaper nail kits available from places like boots, however in my experience it does pay to buy a profession kit as the products are much better, which helps when you consider the enhancements staying power.
I find since using the attraction acrylic products the customers have been getting longer out of their nails, many manage to go a full three weeks before having to come back for maintenance.
If you fancy trying your hand at acrylic nail applications then this is the starter pack for you, yes it is expensive but worth every penny in my book.
Here I am going to review the brand new limited edition GHD hair straighteners, owning a hair salon has its benefits as I can evaluate and try out new products before I commit myself to buying them.
A few weeks ago my regular GHD representative popped in with yet more limited edition hair straighteners, which at first I was a bit cheesed off with as they seem to bring out different irons every four of so months and it cost a fortune to stock all of the latest products, at all times.
After viewing the new brightly coloured collection, which consisted of Bright Blue, Bright Red, Bright Purple and lastly Bright Green glossy hair straighteners. I was instantly sold on stocking the full collection as they looked so funky.
Within the salon I am currently using the Green Envy hair styler, as this in my opinion was the most appealing and I was sure that using them myself, would encourage my clients to purchase them.
GOOD HAIR DAYS (GHD)
Good hair days, is the correct name given to the legendary company GHD, they are well known for producing top of the range hair styling products and tools.
Many will know that GHD have the monopoly when it comes to hair straighteners as they are very popular for both men and women around the world. These were introduced in early 2000 and since have gone from strength to strength.
Over the years GHD have teamed up with certain charities, such as Breast Cancer Awareness and every year they produce a hairstyle that promotes the charity and with all straighteners sold a percentage goes directly to the charity involved.
THE GREEN ENVY IV STRAIGHTENER
The Green Envy hair straighteners are part of a new promotion by GHD, They are being promoted as the destiny limited edition hair straighteners. This promotion is like nothing that GHD have done before, as the range consists of not one brightly coloured styling iron but in fact four different colours.
Apart from looking totally fantastic in its unique Bright Green glossy casing, this straightening iron holds all of the features and benefits that the original straighteners provide you with.
You can only buy the straighteners as part of a gift set, which will not only provide you with the funky styling irons but you will also get a padded heat resistant green pouch. The pouch is designed so you can either transport your irons without damaging them or you can use it to store your hair products in, as it comes with a zip to hold everything in place.
A black GHD hard case is also given within this gift set, which I found very strange as you get the green case too. I would personally store the irons in the hard case and use the green softer material case to chuck my make-up and bits in.
As with all GHD hair stylers you will also get the instruction DVD and manual, which gives you a detailed account on how to use the hair straighteners, to get poker straight of fuller looking waves.
WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL
Many people feel that the expensive prices that GHD charge are too excessive, and that many are only paying for the name on the straighteners, here I am going to detail what the straighteners are all about so you can appreciate why they are so expensive.
The straighteners are ideal if you travel frequently as they are compatible with both a 240v and a 120v socket. They come with the standard three pin plug for use in the UK, but if you undo the one screw on the plug, this will release a two pin plug which is permanently attached to the electric cord but always disguised buy the three pin plug.
This is ideal as you can take them on holiday, without having to worry about buying travel adaptors. The two prong plug is universal and can be used in any two pin socket, this can be either a flat or a round pin socket. Therefore they can be used anywhere in the world.
GHD have added a sleep mode to the straighteners, which basically turns off your irons after half an hour if they have been left on and un-used for that period of time. I feel that this has been a welcomed addition to its features as I am sure many have left the house, leaving the straighteners still turned on.
Another of the new features over the last year of so has to be the shiver mode, this is basically a feature that lets you know when your irons are in danger of being damaged. The shiver mode lets out a constant beeping, and will only occur if your hair straighteners are too cold.
According to GHD your straighteners should never get switched on if they are cold, any temperature below eight degrees will activate the shiver mode and stop the components inside getting damaged. Over the first few years many people damaged their irons as they turned them on in cold temperatures so this feature stops the irons from working and prevents them from damage.
All of the straighteners come with solid ceramic plates, which are designed to evenly spread the heat and therefore give you nicely smooth and straight hair. The plates themselves are slightly rounder than the older versions, but this has its advantages as it is very easy to add waves to your hair, saving you a trip to the hairdressers every time you want to add curls.
For me the extra long length cord is a big bonus, as I tend to use these at work I do need to have the room to manoeuvre around the clients, but with my irons at home this also helps as I tend to straighten my hair at the dining room table and the socket it a fair way away from the table.
As with any GHD styling iron you will get a full two years warranty, which covers and internal damage and imperfections, but this does not cover accidental damage so try not to drop them. Although I have know GHD replace broken straighteners to clients in good faith.
PRICE / AVAILABILITY
If you fancy treating yourself to some of these wacky designed hair straighteners you can buy them from many hairdressing salons, who are registered GHD stockists. You will be charged £129.00 for the indulgence.
I personally feel that these hair straighteners are very reasonable, as GHD usually charge you anything from £135.00 - £155.00 for limited edition gift sets.
If you don't have a stockist near you then you can also buy them online, at the official GHD website www.ghdhair.com. Currently you can buy these on the site for the £129.00 as they are offering free delivery at the moment.
If the green straighteners do not appeal, then go and check out the other destiny colours they are all equally as amazing.
I adore these straighteners as they look really funky, it's a shame that I only get to use them at work but in a few months when GHD bring out yet another different straightener, I may be able to take these home. I have managed to get myself the green protective pouch and hard case, which I am currently storing my make up in as this would have just been hanging around the shop for years to come, collecting dust.
Since stocking this destiny range they have flown off the shelves and I can understand why, as they are so unique.
I do have to stress that you are paying for the colour of the straighteners and the added extras, in the protective pouch and hard case, if the colour is not an issue and you don't mind a standard Black iron then go for the normal one as you are paying twenty pounds for the pleasure of a green styling iron.
I strongly recommend that you have a look on the website at the other colours as they are all equally as nice, I find that the Green and the blue ones are the most popular as GHD have never introduced these before.
Over the past year I have been experimenting with different make-up, so that I can apply the perfect day and evening make-up. I was recently recruited as the make-up and hair stylist for a magazine shoot in my area and I had to produce some dramatic looking head shots for the models in question.
To achieve the looks that the photographer was looking for I had to produce some very dramatic and outlandish make-up, so after a few days pondering what make -up brand I should use, I settled for my personal favourite Mac.
I have always been impressed with the vibrant colours within Mac's eye shadow pigment range, but for the job I really needed to take it one step further. I decided to incorporate some of this Mac glitter into the models looks, just to give the look that extra something special and special it certainly was.
MAC GLITTER POTS
These glitter pots were part of an eight shade limited edition product, they were released last season and were designed to compliment other Mac eye shadows and pigments. These glitter pots are lightly pigmented in various colours, ranging from bright green, blue, yellow, pink, browns and neutral shades.
I find the colour range ideal as each and every glitter shade can be complimented perfectly with the standard Mac pigments, I find the pale neutral shades consist of tiny glitter partials and the brighter more vibrant colours consist of bigger glitter partials, which stand out once it is applied to your finished make-up application.
The Mac glitters are designed for use on both your eyes and body, however I only really recommend these for use on and around the eye areas as they can look a bit over the top it you apply them to your body.
These are basically a tinted, yet transparent eye shadow which has been mixed with tiny coloured glitter partials. These can be used alone for a more subtle look of combined with other products to give a high impact look.
As with the normal Mac pigments these glitter pigments give you a fantastic shimmer, that never wears off. I find that if they are applied correctly these can last all day without losing any colour intensity.
The Mac glitter pigments are also made up of a concentrated loose powder, which is designed to help the product adhere to the skin. This for me is a major bonus as I could not stand the glitter speckles dropping down from my eyes, on to my lashes and face.
UNIQUE POT DESIGN
These glitter pigments are packaged in exactly the same way as the original pigments, they come in these unique 4.5 gram pots. The product itself comes in a one inch deep clear cylinder pot, which not only allows you to access the product easily, but also lets you see how much product you have left in the pot.
The pot is like a mini salt shaker as it has half a dozen small holds dotted around the top of the enclosed cylinder. Once you have peeled away the security seal that closes the holes you just give the pot a little shake and the glitter is emitted through the little holes.
Just one light shake will give you enough product to cover both eyes, so this salt shaker design is perfect to prevent waste, which is always a bonus in my book.
Once you have finished with the glitter pigment you can keep it contained by placing the black screw cap back on to the top of the cylinder. This will stop the glitter from escaping and also keep it nice a fresh.
Now the application of these glitter pigments can be very difficult indeed, as you need to make sure it sticks to the eye lids. Otherwise you can end up with glitter all over your face, as the partials are so fine they just fall away from your eye lids very easily.
These are not a product that can be applied with your fingers, the only way to ensure a perfect application is by using a flat sided make-up application brush. Remember that for any make up application, good quality brushes are detrimental for a perfect flawless finish.
If you are using this glitter to enhance a look, then you must apply all of your base coats and consealers before hand. Once you have applied them you need to prime your eyelids, this is done to help the glitter stick to your eye lids.
To prime your eyelids you can buy certain make-up products to do the job, however I find that black gel eyeliner is perfect for darker and vibrant colours and a standard consealer stick can be used for pale neutral colours.
Apply your primer all over your eyelid and then apply your selected coloured eye shadow, once you are happy with the vibrancy of the actual eye shadow you can now add the glitter to enhance your eyes.
To apply the glitter, shake the pot so you get a good helping of glitter within the top of the pot. Now using a flat sided make-up brush scoop the glitter onto one side of the brush and then gently pat it onto your eyelids.
Repeatedly add glitter by patting it onto your lids, until you feel like you have enough to complete the look you are trying to achieve.
To perfect the look line your upper and lower lash lines with a black liquid eyeliner and finish with a set of the Mac false eye lashes. I then add a little more glitter to the inner and outer eye lines to bring out the colour and emphasise the eyes.
PRICE / AVAILABILITY
There were roughly eight in the limited edition range, all of which can be used to compliment almost every eye shadow colour available within the Mac range.
Each glitter pot contains 7.5 grams of glitter pigment, which does not sound a lot but trust me this will go a very long way and will last you years, as it is a product that can only be worn on certain occasions.
You can expect to pay £15.00 for each pot, but unfortunately this can no longer be bought on the Mac web site. These were part of last season's limited editions, but rumour has it that Mac are intending on bringing these back out in the near future, as they proved to be very popular.
If these glitter pigments are something you are looking at buying, then you can get them online at various Mac retailers, but I have checked Ebay and you can currently buy these now of as little as £5.00 a pot.
For me the unique pot design is perfect, I love that the pigments are neatly contained within these little pots and they fit perfectly and compactly into my make-up case, therefore making more room in it so I can take all of my Mac pigments whenever I go out on a job.
I have managed to create some really wild and unique looks and I am confident it is down to these fantastic Mac glitters, the cameras have brought out the colours perfectly and you can even see the glitter shimmering within the photographs.
You really don't need to go over the top with these glitters as I have done for the photo shoot, you can also wear them on a night out and they also look fantastic, without making you look like a drag queen you just apply less glitter.
I am very surprised at the intensity of these glitters as they do not look as bright in the pots, however once they have been added to your previously added eye shadows they just intensify and reflect all of the colour already added to your eyes.
These have really helped me excel in my work, so for that I am extremely happy with the effects they create and therefore I recommend them to every make-up lover. I promise you will not be disappointed with these glitter pigments.
These have been tried and tested on both myself and clients, so I can recommend them for both professional and home use.
While touring Thailand for a few months, me and my husband entertained ourselves by going on many tours and excursions. However this soon took its toll after trailing around Thailand for three months.
Before we headed back to the UK, we visited Kanchanaburi as this was a place that I was itching to see as it is also home to the world famous River Kwai Bridge.
Kanchanaburi is home to many world war two memorials as well as many national parks, which are home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in the world. As this was the last few days we had left we wanted to take it easy and enjoy the weather.
Me and my husband decided to take advantage of the stunning scenery that surrounds Kanchanaburi, and we found a little place called Hin Dat, which was well know to locals and tourists alike, for their natural hot springs.
What better way to relax on the last few days of our holiday, with a day soaking in these hot springs.
HIN DAT HOT SPRINGS
Hin Dat hot springs is a place that is home to several natural hot water springs, each hot water spring varies in heat. This can be anything from forty five to fifty five degrees Celsius, so as you can imagine they can be very hot.
The hot springs themselves are located next to a cold water river, which in my opinion only adds to the appeal as you can jump in to the river to cool off after you have pruned yourself in the hot springs, but trust me you will scream after going from the hot extreme to the cold one.
The cold water river seemed very popular with many, which I found crazy as it was so cold. On closer inspection I noticed that people who were bathing the in river were getting covered in tiny little fish. These fish turned out to be the legendary Dr fish, which are used to cure skin problems such as Psoriasis however you can benefit from these fish without any skin conditions, as they eat away at the dead skin on your body.
I know this sounds awful, but I sat with just my feet submerged in the water for roughly half an hour and to my surprise when I dried my feet off they were completely free of dead skin cells. This was the best pedicure of my life and for this alone I recommend a visit to the springs.
The hot springs were found by Japanese troops in world war two, and they then erected the massive wells /pools that contain the hot water. I am sure it has had some renovation since world war two, as the pools and shower blocks looked very modern and highly maintained.
At first I thought that the pools were used for a relaxing purpose only, but after talking to an American couple I learned that they are also used regularly by many people who suffer with rheumatism and other joint troubles. As the hot water is believed to have healing properties that help with such problems.
Upon arrival we paid the admission charge of 40 baht, which worked out at 80p and we pointed in the direction of the shower blocks, which were a short walk through the forest and across a large wooden bridge which was suspended high above the hot springs and river below.
Before entering the hot springs you are asked to shower and change into a bathing suit, which for hygiene purposes suited me perfectly. The shower blocks were located in a large stone built building and they were separated into two sections for ladies and gents, and all of the shower cubicles were incased with thick wooden doors so privacy was never an issue.
The one thing that worried me was the fact that you had not where to put your personal possessions, you were expected to throw them down and go off and bath, but we always keep ours close at hand and within easy reach as you do hear horror stories about people being robbed, while on holiday. So for me this place would be a great place for tourists to be targeted.
I started in the hot water spring and then went on to the hotter spring, which took my breath away it was so hot. So I am sure that these are not great for those with heart problems or high blood pressure. If I struggled with the heat I am sure it would have a bad effect on people with such problems.
You can take advantage to the Hin Dat hot springs from 7.30 am - 6.00 pm, the 40 baht entry fee allows you to stay as long as you like, but I am sure a few hours would be enough time to enjoy the springs.
If you are staying in Kanchanaburi, the Hi Dat hot springs are very easy to get to. You just follow the 323 highway to kilometre marker 105 and the hot springs are signposted, so you won't miss them.
If you don't have a car you can either take a taxi from Kanchanaburi, for roughly 300 bart £6.00 and the driver will wait for you to visit the springs and take you back to town for this price. So this is great value for money and very inexpensive to do.
Many people go to the springs as part of an organised tour, which can be arranged at any travel office or hotel for as little at 650 bart £13.00 per person. With this you will also see some of Kanchanburis other memorable sights, however we noticed that the tour groups that visited the springs while we were there only got fifteen minutes in the water before they were getting rushed off for the next attraction.
Kanchanaburi is only 250 kilometres from Bangkok, so you can easily visit within a day as it only takes 2 hours in a taxi from Bangkok, however once you get to kanchanaburi there is plenty to see so I strongly recommend you stay at least one night.
I had a great time at the hot springs, what more could a girl ask for. Large hot water pools lined with natural stone and then a fishy pedicure to boot all for the bargain price of 80p.
I strongly recommend you visit the Hin Dat Hot Springs if you are ever in the area, even if you don't fancy the soaking in the hot tub or freezing your bits of in the cold river full of flesh eating fish then go for the scenery.
After visiting the springs me and my husband actually went for a fish pedicure in Bangkok, before we flew home. I have to admit is was much more pleasurable in the comfortable surroundings of a beauty shop, but I strongly recommend you give it a try, when your finished it feels like you are wearing new shoes.
I actually learned a lot while I was at the springs, the learned the history of the place, about the wildlife and surrounds plus I got to really relax, so overall I had a fantastic time at the springs.
The last thing I ever dreamed of doing was grooming my cat, in all of her fourteen years she has never been groomed as there was never the need. To my surprise this year she had decided to shed her hair like no body's business.
I am not sure if this is down to her age or if she is shedding her winter coat for the first time in fourteen years, but it was driving me mad as she was leaving clumps of hair everywhere and every item of clothing I put on would be covered in her hair.
I was using the dyson and clothing brush daily which stopped me walking around all hairy, but I found the perfect solution while I was shopping for dog shampoo in pets at home.
KONG CAT GROOM
I found this zoom groom for cats, it is produced by the major American pet company Kong, who are very well known for their pet toys and grooming accessories. It is only at this point that I noticed that the company cater for cats and all of their grooming and entertainment needs.
This cat zoom groom is very similar to Kong's doggy version the uni-groom, it is made using the same soft flexible rubber which is designed so that any lose hairs are collected within the firm spikes that are situated in rows all the way through the comb.
The flexibility of the brush is soft enough that the shedding coat is removed and the skin is simulated by a gentle massage, which will help maintain the furs natural oils. In this process the brush moulds itself around the contours of the cat's body and gently rubs the skin while dislodging the loosened hair.
This unique grooming brush is very comfortable to use as it fits into the palm of your hand perfectly, as it is actually shaped like a cat. I tend to cup the body of the zoom groom in my hand and repeatedly groom the cat from head to tail.
I found that you do need to groom the cat in one direction against the hairs growth as this will then be a pleasurable experience for the cat and remove all of the shedding hair. If you use this zoom groom against the hairs growth, for example grooming from tail to head this will pull out the cat's hair and result in the cat becoming fearful of any future grooming sessions.
Once you have finished grooming the cat, you can easily pick the hair from the brush and throw it away, but I did notice that the brush got gunked up very easily. This was down to the soft texture of the brush itself, as it would not only collect hair but also any dead skin that maybe hanging about in the cats fur.
To clean the brush I tend to soak it in boiling hot soapy water, this will not only sanitize the brush it will also remove any dirt and grime embedded within the soft spikes of the brush.
PRICE / AVAILABILITY
You can purchase these cute cat shaped zoom grooms online, at many pet retailers or Amazon for as little as £3.99 plus postage, but I managed to luckily find mine at my local Pets At Home superstore.
I bought mine for the bargain price of £5.29 which in my opinion is money well spent as it has cured the hair problem and the cat actually loves the whole experience.
If you cat tends to sit on your knee, then this will be an ideal opportunity to groom your cat, but beware this will remove all shedding hair so you will get covered in it. I found the cat will stroll up to me without hesitation when she realises I have got the Zoom Groom out, as she finds the whole grooming experience very pleasurable indeed.
The first time I used this I was very impressed at how much hair actually came out of the cat's coat, but even after that first grooming I instantly noticed the difference, in both the amount of cat hair floating around and the cats coat instantly looked 100% smoother and shinier.
I feel this zoom groom is a must for all cat owners as it has cured my un-wanted hair problem, I would also say that this would be ideal for most short haired dogs if they are prone to shedding their hair frequently.
I would not recommend this for longer haired animals as I feel it would pull at their hair if you came across any knots, so for the longer haired animals I suggest you use a brush or comb.
I took a great interest in the Thai- Burma railway construction while I was visiting Thailand on a recent holiday, I have always wanted to see the River Kwai bridge which was not as spectacular as I imagined however it history surrounding it got me hooked.
Me and my husband both decided to visit the Hellfire pass memorial museum so we could get the full picture of what actually happened during the construction of the bridge and the railway during the war.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE BURMA RAILWAY
The construction of the Burma railway was started in 1942, when the Japanese and British were fighting against India during the peak of world war two. To ensure a safe route from Thailand to Burma it was decided that a railway would be constructed so that the armies could ferry supplies and extra man power to fight in the war.
Over 330,000 Prisoners of war (POWS) that were captured by the Japanese, these were made up of Asian, British, Australian, Dutch and American soldiers. After their capture they were used as labourers to build the railway.
The railway itself ran from Ban Pong Thailand and finished 415 kilometres away in Thanbyuzayat Burma, It was erected through thick jungles, rocks and mountains which were all cleared and cut through using basic tools such as Picks, shovels and by hand.
The Prisoners were expected to work on the railway for long hours, day and night with very little or no food at all. Many of the prisoner's lives were lost due to malnutrition, The Cholera outbreak, the lack of medical facilities and brutal treatment from the guards and railway supervisors.
Many POWS died during the "Speedo Period" which was the time leading up to the August 1943 completion deadline, the prisoners were made to work through the night on the most torturous part of the railway, using only the light from nearby bonfires. It is here where it was aptly named hellfire pass as so many died during construction.
Once the railway was completed the Prisoners of war were either kept in Thailand or Singapore, but it was not until the war ended that the survivors got proper food and any medical treatment they may have needed.
THE HELL FIRE PASS MUSEUM
The museum is an Australian built museum that is situated at the Konyu Cutting, also known as Hellfire pass. The memorial museum was opened in April 1996, nearly forty three years after the war ended, it has been designed to pay tribute to those who were involved in the railways construction during the war.
The Museum is very light and modern, which is something I didn't expect so I was pleasantly surprised. Within the museum we were allowed to view a limited collection of artifacts and actually read about the true history of the Thai- Burma railway, the history was displayed on large Perspex stands scattered around the left hand side of the Museum, here we learned the truth which seem even more realistic by the added pictures and artifacts surrounding you.
If reading is not your thing then you can stand and watch a six or seven minute video, which also consists of the history, construction of the railways and brief talks from ex- Pows. I strongly advise that you both watch the video and read the displays as I found them both equally as interesting.
If you want to take pictures, this is not allowed within the memorial museum. However they do provide you with a big suspended lookout where you can take in the breath taking views and the railway beneath you.
The museum was built here as it is one of the most impressive sections of the railway, as it is sheer rock which has been cut through. Once you walk through Hellfire pass you truly realise the work that was involved in the railways construction.
You can actually walk down to the railway and actually walk through Hellfire (Konyu Cutting). This can be very difficult for some as you need to walk down over a hundred very steep steps, which is not to bad but the climb back up can be very difficult.
If you can take the steps then it is worth it as you get to walk along the railway, we walked though the cutting which surprised me at how tall and thick the actual rock was. The original sleepers were still in place at certain sections but most had been removed years previously.
We only walk for half an hour to the Kwae Noi lookout, which at the time could not be accessed as they had recently suffered a land slide and it was considered unsafe, however during any other time you can walk the railway for miles. Even though we didn't get to walk the whole railway I was not disappointed with the museum.
We visited the museum as part of an organised tour so we didn't actually pay to visit, but I think this works out at 200 Baht (£4.00) a visit. Which in my opinion is worth, every penny as we got to fully understand what truly happened here.
If you ever decide to visit this outstanding museum then you can visit every day of the week, and it is open from 9am to 4pm.
You are best making your way to Kanchanaburi for either Bangkok's Hulampong or Thornburi train stations, which will only cost you a few pounds. It can be visited within a day but I strongly recommend you stay in Kanchanaburi for a few days as they have so much to see.
If you want to go as part of a tour you can get trip directly from Bangkok and these can be booked from any travel agency within the city.
The memorial museum is located 80 kilometres from kanchanaburi, but if you take the train directly to Nam Tok you only need to travel 18 kilometres, so it all depends on if you are staying in kanchanaburi as to where to dis-mount the train. At both places you can get either buses or taxis very cheaply to the museum.
During my visit at the Hell firs pass museum I could not believe how effected I was by this, It was actually reality and people actually had to endure this brutal treatment. I thought to the survivors of the war and truly sympathised with them as they would never get over this, yes they survived but they had all the mental scars to carry with them for the rest of their lives.
I found the whole day very moving and I strongly advise anyone within the area to take a day to visit the memorial museum, as it really does make you appreciate how lucky we actually are. I got to fully understand the work and loss that occurred during the construction of this railway.
For me it was the walk along the railway that was the most appealing, however if you have bad health or you are disabled in any way this will not be possible for you to do as the path is very uneven and you would find it very difficult to scale the very steep steps leading to and from the museum itself.
The scenery is amazing so if this is something you do decide to see than a camera is defiantly needed as well as mosquito repellent as you will get eaten alive.
I have always been a huge fan of the body shop, however I have not really used their products in that last few months as my secret body shop stash was pushed to the back of the bathroom cabinet, to make way for new products I have purchased over the last year.
After reading a review written by alyson29 on this body shop Satsuma body polish, I headed to my secret stash in the bathroom as I knew I had a brand new un-opened bottle of this body polish.
My skin is feeling very dry and bitty at the moment so after reading her review I thought this would help, so here I am going to review my first experience with this body polish.
ABOUT THE BODY SHOP
The body shop has been around for many years and has become a huge success in my opinion, as they never test their products on animals and they support many fair trade programmes.
These fair trade or community trade programmes are designed so that the Body shop are using the best quality ingredients and the small communities which provide these ingredients, are given a fair price for the product.
For this Satsuma body polish the body shop are using fair trade honey, which is produced in Zambia. The honey has been farmed to the highest standard and the people are paid a fair income to support the community and themselves.
Some may say the body shop are overpriced but when you look at what they give back to these small fair trade communities, then you can understand why the products are a little bit more expensive.
I personally don't mind paying a little bit more for the products if it helps some of the more deprived countries around the world.
THE SATSUMA BODY POLISH
This Body shop Satsuma body polish is designed to exfoliate and cleanse your skin, it can be used either in the bath of in the shower and can be applied on a daily basis if needed.
It is a jelly textured zesty Satsuma scented gel that contains walnut shells which are used to roughen and exfoliate any dead skin cells, which make your skin look dull and dry.
After it has removed the dead skin cells it then moisturises your skin effectively as it also contains the community trade honey, which it well known for its moisturising agents.
This body polish can only be used on your body and you should never
use it as a facial scrub, as I feel it would be far too harsh for the softer areas of your skin and would therefore give you very sore and irritated skin.
I have to say I am very impressed with this body polish so far, it seems to clean exfoliate my skin quickly basically this is a shower gel and body scrub in one. Which seem works perfectly for me as it will save me having to use a body scrub every week, and therefore it will both save me time and money in the long run.
I find the packaging design very good as usually this type of product comes in the round tubs the always collects water in them no matter how hard you try to keep it away from the water. Anyway this comes in a handy transparent tube with a flip top cap that allows you to store it up on its end, so this ensures you actually get to use every last drop of body polish.
For me the smell of this body polish is the best bit, as soon as you open the cap on the bottle you are hit with a very strong zesty orange smell.
This is very strong and can be over powering but fortunately this does not linger on your skin once you have wash the product off, because let's face it who really wants to smell like an orange.
This can either be used in a bath of shower, but I personally feel it works more effectively in the bath after experimenting in both the bath and shower. In the shower I found that I have to give my body a very quick scrub before the product was washed away with the falling water, however in the bath you could take the time to really scrub at the more affected areas of skin.
Instead of applying this directly to my skin, I found that it was much better applying the polish to a bath exfoliate flower and then rubbing it in circular motions all over my body. This was you save on product and the bath flower roughens and removes dead skin which has been loosened by the walnut shells in the polish.
You would think that the little pieces of walnut shell would scratch and irritate your skin as it is being rubbed around, but this is hardly noticeable and does not hurt in anyway. If you have really scrubbed at your skin, it will feel a little bit hot and very red in appearance but this will fade within half an hour.
Once you are happy that you have scrubbed enough of your body, you just rinse the product off with clean water and then dry your body fully before applying moisturiser to prolong the silky smoothness of your skin.
It is a simple as that to get glowing skin that looks and feels silky soft.
PRICE / AVAILABILITY
You can buy this Satsuma body polish from any Body Shop store of online at www.bodyshop.co.uk.
For this 200ml tube you can expect to pay £8.00, which in my opinion is worth every penny as it is a shower gel and body scrub combination. Therefore it will save you money in the long run.
You can also buy this Body polish in a strawberry flavour, which is one I will certainly be trying after this one has run out.
After using this Satsuma body polish for the last few days my skin feels noticeably softer and much smoother to touch, which was only obtainable when I have previously used all over body scrubs. So for me this gets the thumbs up as it works just as effectively as any, body scrub I have used in the past.
I feel the price is very reasonable for what you are actually getting within this body polish as it will save me buying separate, shower gels, moisturisers and lastly body scrubs.
I just want to say thanks to alyson29 for reminding me, that I actually had this little gem hidden in the bathroom and I also have to say that this is highly recommended by me as it seems to have really made a difference in the last few days.
Myself and my Husband have been trying to conceive for the past seven years without any success, those of you who read my IVF review dated 03/06/09 will know the full story however I will give those of you who don't know me a little insight into my story.
I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome seven years ago and underwent some drastic weight loss, ovarian drilling operations, Lap and dye tests and took fertility drugs and injections for over a year. After persisting we still had no luck and opted to go down the IVF route.
After thousands of pounds and three failed IVF attempts, we decided that it just was not meant to be and decided to knock it on the head.
This was mainly down to the stress we were both under and the fact that our savings had all ran out, but hey, if life was easy it would not be worth living right.
Anyway after our last attempt we waited six months before contacting my specialist for an appointment, something out of the ordinary was happening I actually started to have monthly's and I started to ovulate with the aid of metformin, clomid and HCG Injections, the specialist was very encouraging and went on to say that we stand a 40% chance on conceiving naturally.
This was something that we thought was never possible, I asked why there was a sudden change in his valuation and he went on to tell me that my body was reacting very well to the drugs, which it never had done before. He then said it happens to many women they go through so much and give up and then your body just kicks in, he said the stress of a the treatment may have resulted in us being unsuccessful.
After the appointment we went home and got to work, my husband has been grinning like a Cheshire cat for the past few months. Although I wasn't the same it felt like a chore having to perform when an ovulation kit told me too.
Doing the deed was so dry, uncomfortable and painful at times that I had to do something, so I went to see the specialist and he suggested we try Preseed.
PRESEED FERTILITY LUBRICANT
Preseed is a PH balanced vaginal lubricant designed to imitate your cervical mucus, allowing the sperms to swim more freely in a hospitable surrounding. I was personally shocked when my specialist recommended this to us as it was always drummed into us never to use a lubricant as they are prone to be hostile and killing off sperm before they even get a head start, however this is designed as a fertility aid and is completely sperm friendly.
Some maybe thinking why use a lubricant, just get on with it and get jiggy. I have to say this is easier said than done, many women experience a vaginal dryness especially when they are having to perform on demand, this can become very uncomfortable and I have to personally say it is a very stressful times and the last thing you want is rumpy pumpy.
After speaking with our specialist regarding the uncomfortable dryness he recommended this preseed lubricant, which I was sceptical about but as he confirmed that it would do no harm and if anything it would help as I would be much more relaxed and therefore be more welcoming to my hubbys little fellas.
PRICE / AVAILABILITY
I bought this Preseed from Amazon www.amazon.co.uk it cost me £18.50 with free delivery.
For the price I got a 40 gram tube of Preseed which indicated I had enough for eight applications, however this seems to have lasted much longer than that.
I did try to find this in the chemist but it was something they didn't stock, so I am confident the only place you can get it is on the internet.
As I said I was very sceptical about this product, not only because I thought it would be hostile towards my hubbys swimmers but I also worried that it was just one of the gimmicks that sucked women in who were desperate for children, by telling them it is was the best product to have to help you conceive.
I am still not decided on the gimmick theory as it has not helped me conceive, however I am confident it is not killing off the little swimmers.
This has certainly done the job for me, doing the deed is no longer dry of painful. This product seems to have put a smile on my face so making the whole experience much more pleasurable.
I feel that it is very expensive and I am not sure I would recommend it, if it was just being used as an extra fertility option that aids the sperms. However if you are trying to conceive and you get sore I strongly recommend it as it is the only sperm friendly lubricant on the market.
As many of you know I have a Hair and Beauty Salon and I am always looking for new and funky ideas to brighten the place up, however I like appealing products that look attractive to the eyes. So with my latest purchase I have followed suit and bought yet another eye catching product.
The broom in the salon had been hanging around for years and started to look worse for wear, so having recently started a compulsive relationship with the Alessi Home wear range I had to see what they offered that was new and funky.
After browsing Amazon I found this funky broom, which to my surprise is made by the Alessi equivalent Casa Vigar and it also proved much cheaper that my usual Alessi option.
ABOUT CASA VIGAR HOMEWARE
Casa Vigar are a Spanish based company, who have been producing a wide range of home wear cleaning goods such as dusters, mops, buckets, brooms, dust pans and brushes and even funky rubber gloves.
The Vigar Company have been established since the 1980's and pride themselves on the bright and colourful designs. They feel that the everyday chores of washing and cleaning should be brightened up and with their designs they certainly do brighten the place up, as well as my mood whenever I go to use the broom.
To get a full idea of the different designs and ranges that Vigar cater for, the visit their website at www.vigar.com
The broom itself is made up of stiff violet / purple bristles, which seem to be hard enough to sweep at any debris scattered across the floor, the main issue for me was sweeping up wet hair as it tends to stick to the floor making it difficult to sweep. However the stiffness of these bristles seem to collect and clear the wet hair from the floor without scratching of scuffing the laminate, which is one thing I worry about when using a stiff brush.
The brush is roughly twenty inches in width and three inches thick, making it ideal for a multi- purpose yard or indoor brush. The bristles span out at an angle from a thick neon green brush head, the angle of the bristles really help you manoeuvre the brush into awkward place when are usually un-reachable with certain brushes.
It comprises of a 130cm long length handle, which for me is the funkiest part of the brush as it is made up or bright red, orange, yellow, green and violet / purple stripes which run up the length of the bush and alternate every half inch.
The brush handle is finished with a neon green handle and red rubber stopper, which makes it comfortable in your hands while you put your back out sweeping. However I find the brush length ideal so that your back does not pinch as much as it would with a standard size brush handle.
For me this Bandera broom is the best design that Vigar have made, as it is very bright and eye catching and makes a great talking point. I know it is stupid but the amount of customers who have commented on the broom have been unreal, even the kids are coming in and asking to sweep the floor so for me this was worth every single penny.
PRICE / AVILABILITY
As I mentioned before Casa Vigar is a much cheaper equivalent to the Alessi Homeware products, so it is significantly cheaper than an Alessi broom.
You can buy this broom from the cleaning product web site www.shinypad.co.uk. I also found these on Amazon however all sellers seemed to be out of stock, so I highly recommend Shinypad as they processed and delivered my order within four working days.
Where ever you buy this you will expect to pay £19.99, you don't have postage charges on Amazon, but with Shinypad you will be expected to pay an extra £3.95 for delivery.
Shinypad also offer this Bandera design in the form of mop buckets, mops, static dusters, dish brushes, aprons, rubber gloves and a dust pan and brush. So this site can cater for all your cleaning needs.
If you fancy a different design, you can also get the cleaning items in animal prints, floral prints, spots, stripes you name it Vigar design it, so check out the Vigar web site www.vigar.com to see the full product range.
So far I am very happy with my funky new brush, I love that it is unique and funky at the same time. It seems to be very hard wearing and robust, so I am sure it will be with me for a few years at least.
I found the slanted angle of the bristles has really helped as I can even get into tight corners and sweep down skirting boards, making my job a whole load easier. Even the hair juniors are willing to sweep the floors without being asked, so it gets the thumbs up for that alone.
This can be washed and cleaned very easily, you just un-screw the handle from the bristle section and soak it in warm soapy water, the bristles will then become grit and dirt free making the brush look as good as new.
In my opinion this has been a welcomed edition to the salon, it fits in perfectly with my style and it is bright and cheerful. So it gets a full five dooyoo stars from me.
Having converted from blonde hair to a brunette hair a year ago has taken its toll on my flowing locks, I now have hair that looks very healthy and shiny although that its only in the appearance as I use products that are designed to give the healthy effect.
Although half of my hairs length is in very good condition the mid length and ends which was home to years and years of bleach abuse, is very dry and has a tendency to snap and break at any opportunity, So I try to take care of it as best as I can with certain hair products.
Being a hair stylist I do get to try many of the latest hair products first hand, so when I recently started to stock the TIGI product range I found the perfect conditioner, which protects the damaged mid lengths and ends of my hair.
TIGI SELF ABSORBED CONDITIONER
This miracle product is made by the well known company TIGI, which is known for its high end shampoos, conditioners, styling products and more recently make up products. It is part of the Bed head range which is also very similar to their other Catwalk brand.
This conditioner is part of the bed head range and is called self absorbed conditioner, which I personally fell it an apt name for the conditioner as it is so thick that it penetrates the hair so deeply that is helps restore and damaged cuticles, which is the hairs outer layer that gets abused by either chemical treatments such as colouring of heat treatments such as straightening and blow drying.
This product contains vitamin A, B C, D and E so all of which are very caring towards damaged and abused hair, this conditioner penetrates the hairs outer layer and even gets absorbed in to the hairs structure, allowing it to care of and sometimes repair dry hair, giving you a stunning healthy shine every time.
The first thing that hit me when I first tried this absorbed conditioner was the thick texture of the conditioner, which gives off a strong peachy smell as soon as you blob it into your palms before application.
I found the thickness of the conditioner was needed so it can penetrate your hair fully, this is a great product, which can be used for deep conditioning treatments as well as the quick two minute conditions.
The down side of this being so thick is the fact that it does not a lot as long as runnier conditioners, however this is a product that does not need to be used every time you wash your hair, once a week or fortnight should be adequate for dry and damages hair types.
Firstly you need to cleanse your hair clean using your normal shampoo, it is recommended that you use the Tigi absorbed shampoo alongside this conditioner, but this is not really needed as you can use any shampoo you want to.
Once you have washed you hair, apply this absorbed conditioner to your mid lengths and ends and pull the conditioner down through your hair with your fingers. Once you have covered all of your hairs length, gently massage your hands through your roots area and lightly condition this with any remaining conditioner you may have left on your hands.
Never apply the conditioner directly to your roots as it is too thick and it will cause your hair to go greasy and lifeless as it will be over conditioned.
For a quick treatment just rinse it off to leave your hair manageable, however I recommend you use this conditioner for the purpose it was intended, and go for the full treatment.
To get all the benefits from the vitamins contained in this conditioner you should leave it on your hair for roughly five minutes before rinsing it out, this will give you a deep conditioning treatment at the faction of the price it would cost you in a salon.
After the conditioner has been left for the correct period of time, you should rinse it out and style your hair as usual.
PRICE / AVAILABILITY
This Tigi absorbed conditioner can be purchased in many different sizes, for example:
A 250ml bottle comes in a sports type of bottle, with a pull up cap which allows you to squeeze out small amounts on conditioner at a time. The bottle is clear in colour and allows you to see the thick peach coloured conditioner contain within it. For this 250ml size bottle you can expect to pay £6.50 a bottle.
A 400ml bottle comes with its own pump, which allows you to pump out the conditioner as a when you need it. This too comes with a clear plastic bottle which is fully recyclable and allows you to see the product inside. You can expect to pay £ 8.50 for this size.
Lastly a 750ml salon size bottle is also available at certain places, this is packaged in the same way as the 400ml but you can expect to pay £14.50 for this size.
The prices quoted here are what you would certainly pay within and Tigi approved hair salon, however I am sure you can find the same product online at places such as Amazon for a much cheaper price.
As I said I have thick and very dry damaged hair and this conditioner has truly transformed my locks, turning them from dull and drab to soft and shiny with a healthy overall look to it. It only took me two applications to really notice the difference, but this is one product that will always be in my bathroom.
If you have really dry damaged blonde hair of dull and limp brunette hair then this conditioner is one for you, as it gives you hair all the nutrients it needs to become healthy and in exceptionally good condition.
I strongly recommend that you don't use this every time you wash your hair as you will only get eight of nine deep conditions out of a small 250ml bottle, but this will depend on you hairs length. I have hair that sits half way down my back so if you have shorter hair this will last longer.
The thing I love about this is that you only need to use it once a week, and just use a normal conditioner when you don't use this and your hair will still reap all of the benefits.
This comes highly recommended by me, for all of you who abuse your hair.
Many of you are going to need a strong stomach to continue to read this review, as it is not for the faint hearted. So please read on if you dare.
Here I am reviewing a fish, which has become very well known for its healing and pampering capabilities. I first became aware of these Dr Fish, while I was on holiday in Thailand a few years ago when I decided to have a fish pedicure.
After overcoming the shock of what the fish do, I was amazed at how good the whole experience was so over the last few years I have researched the Dr Fish, now I am seriously considering going into business, by offering the Dr fish as a spa treatment and skin condition therapy centre, as there is only one place in the united kingdom that currently offers them as a service.
WHAT ARE DR FISH
Doctor Fish are more commonly known as Garra Rufa fish, but they are also known as Nibble Fish and little dermatologists. They are aptly named as they help heal certain skin conditions such as Psoriasis and eczema.
The little fish act like little suckers which comb over any dead skin cells, and remove and dry, flaky, scaly and thickened areas of skin. They automatically home in of the dead skin and leave any good living tissue alone, so they do just eat the dead skin.
The fish were originally bred in outdoor pools and spas across hot areas of the world, as they need warmer water temperatures to survive, however over the years these have been bred to a standard that they can now survive in heated tanks and pools across the world.
Dr Fish are not a fish that can be kept easily, they seem to be very high maintenance and can die very easily if they do not have the right living conditions and the right food supplements. The fish mainly live off of dead skin cells, however they can also be fed certain fish foods which provide them with the nutrients they need.
DR FISH PEDICURE / TREATMENT
By far the best pedicure I have had in my live was performed by these little Dr Fish, I had my first experience in Thailand many years ago and have never looked back. I found it to be a very relaxing experience, which became very costly when I had to go to Thailand for a pedicure.
After a while I realised there was a gap in the market for this unique way of pampering yourself. I found a spa in Hayscastle which offers the Dr Fish treatments, so myself and my husband decided to make a weekend out of it, to see if it is something that could be offered elsewhere in the country.
A thirty minute session with the Dr Fish is all you need to feel rejuvenated, your feet feel like they are new for days. After my Dr Fish sessions if felt like I was wearing brand new trainers, all soft and cushioned for days on end.
For the pedicure itself you need to get your feet and legs scrubbed with a very hard brush and un scented soap, this is firstly done so that you skin is cleaned and un tainted by moisturisers or creams as this will kill any fish that nibble on you. Secondly this is done to help roughen up any dead skin you may have on your feet, making the skin easier for the fish to penetrate and clear it all within the thirty minutes.
Once you have cleaned and roughened your feet you then need to emerge your feet and legs into the large warm water tanks that are home to the Dr Fish and let them get to work.
This is an experience which I will never forget as I was expecting the little fish to actually nip and bite at my feet, however it was nothing like I expected and tickled more than anything. I am very ticklish so this did take a few minutes to immune myself to them, but after them first few minutes I forgot where I was and relaxed with a hot lemon tea.
If you are brave enough to undertake this pedicure, hundreds of hungry fish will swarm over your feet and legs for the full thirty minutes eating your dead skin, once your half an hour is up you will leave the spa feeling very refreshed and glowing.
For me there is no other way to get a perfect and very relaxing pedicure, this is an experience I never dreamed I would enjoy but I am that taken with it that I could not recommend it highly enough.
You can expect to pay £25.00 for a thirty minute session, which is actually cheaper than a normal full pedicure and in my opinion much nicer than a normal pedicure.
DR FISH SKIN THERAPY
Dr Fish have come on leaps and bounds over the years and now they are being used to help people with certain skin difficulties, such as Psoriasis and Eczema.
They are not used to completely cure the conditions although it has been reported in the past that they little fish have managed to cure the skin conditions completely, the fish are being used for these conditions to help sufferers cope with the dry cracked skin conditions that can impair there day to day lives.
As the Fish thrive of thick dry skin, people with skin conditions could not be a better candidates for these little skin feeders. It is recommend that people with certain complaints have longer sessions and more often to improve the skins condition.
The treatment is the same as the pedicure, however you may need bigger tanks of fish. Many people with bad skin conditions simply lay in the tanks so the fish can penetrate every single area.
Depending on your complaint and the size of you tank you need the prices do vary, you will more than likely be sold a bulk package with will give you hours and hours worth of treatment, so prices can change a lot.
Even Doctors are recommending the Dr Fish to skin compliant sufferers as it has been proven that the fish do in fact remove the dead skin cells, which seem to give sufferers lack of confidence and pain in many as the skin gets sore, cracks and bleeds causing discomfort, so for that aspect they remove the skin making it look healthy.
However if you do not continue with the Dr Fish treatment you are more than likely going to get the thickened skin back, but a full treatment is known to last up to five months so you will only need two treatments a year.
WHERE TO HAVE A TREATMENT
You can have the Dr Fish treatments as many places across the world, but unfortunately there is only one place in the United Kingdom offering the service at the moment.
The Skin Therapy Centre,
Tel: 01246 439111
The main thing for me was the hygiene factor as I don't have a skin complaint I didn't really want these little fish, which have been chomping away on people with skin conditions to really be let loose on me.
However I didn't need to worry as the tanks were cleaned after every single use, so at least the hygiene side of things kept me at ease.
The major hurdle for me was actually getting into the tank full of fish, but after I over came that fear I noticed that the fish were not at all aggressive and they didn't bite me, However coping with the tickling sensation as a different matter all together.
For me exfoliation in routine for me so now I have discovered the Dr Fish pedicure I will never have to buy foot scrubs and lotions for my feet ever again, I found that my pedicure stayed lovely for three to four months so for me the £25.00 price tag attached to this treatment is a brilliant bargain as far as I am concerned.
I can't really believe that immersing yourself in a tank full of ravenous fish, can really feel as pleasant as I have reviewed it to be, but I can assure you it is very relaxing and the after effects are unbelievable.
This is a procedure you will either love or hate, I personally love it and everyone I have persuaded to try it have loved it too, so I have no doubt in my mind it you could be persuaded you would love it too.