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I am addicted to Lush. Working in the City Centre of Sheffield is a pain as I have to walk past Lush everyday, twice a day. Several times a month, generally just after pay day, I find my self seduced by the delicious scent wafting down Fargate and think, "I'll just have a look!!". Famous last words. ***First Purchase*** I was actually talked into buying this by one of the sales assistants. I had never tried any of the hair care range that Lush have and was just pottering around that section when the delightful sales assistant asked me to sniff her hair. 'Deary me', I thought. 'This one's coming on a bit strong, perhaps I'd better get a shuffle on and leave'. Well, 5 minutes later I was walking out, slightly dazed I might add, with a bottle of this stuff. "I couldn't help it judge, I swear!! She talked me into it and her hair just smelt so good..." So that was £3.80 of my meagre salary I would never see again, exchanged in a frenzy for 100g of creamy white, delicious smelling hair stuff.... We've all been there sister, uh huh!!! ***The Conditioner*** So Lush claims that this will leave your hair 'soft and strokeable' and smelling of various goodies, including honey, vanilla, strawberry and orange. It apparently makes hair easier to brush through and smooth out so rather than use my regular Tresemme conditioner I decided to give this a go... ***My Hair*** My hair is quite thick and I have lots of it which means it can be quite weighty and difficult to style. It's pretty much straight and doesn't hold curls very well because of it's weight. I tend to have it around shoulder length. ***Using the conditioner*** The product itself is in a clear container which I love as it means I will never be caught out not knowing how much conditioner I have left and when I need to buy some more. It has a flip top and to dispense the conditioner you flip it over and squeeze out. This hasn't been a problem so far but I imagine that when you're left with just a bit in the bottom you might have a bit of trouble getting it out. The consistancy is just a tad thicker than a lotion and spreads very evenly and easily through my hair. As mentioned above I have my hair length at just above the shoulders and I generally use quite a large squirt (about the size of a two pound coin) to coat my hair liberally. I condition every other day, at least and cover my hair from the mid lengths to the tip. So far this has lasted me 2 months and I still have about a third of the bottle left which, for me, is quite good going. After leaving my hair for a few minutes I rinse out the conditioner and I must comment that this rinses out very quickly and easily, due to the fact I think, that it is not too thick. Normally, because I have a lot of very thick hair I find that I'm stuck under the shower head for ages rinsing conditioner out but I do not have that problem with this. The scent of the product is phenomenal, it smells very much like vanilla and honey. I personally cannot detect the strawberry and orange scents but I don't mind, it's probably too subtle for me to notice. The thing that I love about the scent is that it stays on your hair for ages. More than once I have had friends and collegues comment on how nice my hair smells and ask what I use on it. I don't know if this is just me but in the past I've tried products that smell lovely in the bottle but the scent disappears when I rinse it out. ***The Results*** My hair is definately easier to manage when I use this conditioner. It leaves it shiny, smooth and lightweight, without being fly away. The scent lasts for ages, at least a day and I think it is great value for money. What's not to love? I don't think that it would be such great value if I had longer hair, it'd cost me a fortune so I'd most likely have to give up using it but as long as my hair is short this is going to stay as one of my haircare staples.
I hate having wet patches under my arms. It makes me feel uncomfortable and gross, as well as being hugely embarrassing. I find that when I am conscious of being sweaty under my arms I pretty much pin my arms to my sides for the entire day which is hugely uncomfortable and probably makes things worse. This was recommended to me by a friend and I have never looked back. ***Packaging*** The deodarant comes in a small blue and white plastic, roll on bottle. It's quite small and compact but comes in a small box, which I tend to just recycle. It's looks quite clinical and medicinal, not something I would ever pick off up the shelf unless I already knew about it. ***Price and Where to Buy*** I purchased mine from my local Boots store. It is priced at £7.15 for 25ml. It's quite steep when you think of the price of the cans of Anti-Perspirants it's surrounded by on the shelves, but when none of the other ones work for you I would recommend shelling out the extra money. The company website states that it is available in Tesco and Superdrug. I have never purchased it from either of these stores so not sure whether it might be a bit cheaper there. ***About the product*** Obviously the feature that attracted me was that the antiperspirant claims to, '...give you seriouly reliable protection against excessive perspiration and odour. So effective, one application will work for 3-5 days.' It's apparently "clinically proven to provide the best protection from sweat and odour". ***How does it work?*** This comes straight from their website as I am not very good with science. " Perspirex works so effectively thanks to its alcoholbased, aluminium chloride and lactate solution. This reacts with the water in your sweat gland, forming a kind of plug that seals the sweat glands temporarily halting sweat production. And unlike water-based antiperspirants that quickly cease to be effective, the Perspirex formulation ensures it keeps on working. The plug is naturally dispelled over the course of a few days with the natural shedding of dead skin cells." So basically it plugs up your sweat glands... ***Using the product*** The instructions state that for optimum use you should follow the instructions exactly. Three steps to follow: * Apply Perspirex at night just before going to bed. * Apply to completely dry, unbroken skin. * Wash as usual in the morning, but do not reapply. Maintain sweat and odour control by applying Perspirex 2-3 nights per week, or as often as needed. Very easy to do. I have found that you shouldn't apply it for at least 24 hours after shaving under your arms or it will sting like mad and start itching. I'd also recommend keeping your arms up for a while to help the solution dry quicker, either that or blast it with your hairdryer on a cool setting like I do. I tend to use this mainly during the summer months as that is when I sweat more. On first starting to get into the routine of using it I apply it every night for the first 3 nights and then every 3 nights thereafter. I would also suggest wearing loose clothing or sleeveless tops at night when you have the product on. The application is very easy, just roll it on. Be careful about how much you apply though as it does have a tendancy to spread quite thickly which means it takes forever to dry. The smell isn't at all appealing but neither is it horrible. It has a slightly chemically scent but that disappear once it has dried. It is also very easy to wash off in the shower, you don't need to scrub, just wash as you normally would. ***Results*** I cannot praise this product enough. I am the eternal sceptic and was convinced that this one of those 'revolutionary' products that never lives up to it's claims. This actually works. No wetness or odour, exactly like it promises. It is a bit of a pain to put it on every night and wait for it to dry but is totally worth the hassle. It can also irritate your skin if you don't follow the directions properly but, the again, that would be completely your own fault. If you are thinking about buying this and are put off by the price I would recommend you go for it. It'll be the best £7.15's worth of antiperspirant you've ever bought.
I have banked with HSBC for just over 2 years now and thought that seen as banks seem to be getting a lot of hammer lately I'd write about my positive dealings with them. At the moment I have a current account, various savings account, a credit card and personal loan with HSBC so I will only be commenting on the products and services I have had direct encounters with. ***Current Accounts*** I have the HSBC Advance account, as it has been recently renamed as. This is a monthly fee based account that offers preferential benefits. It is £12.95 per month and includes: - Preferential rates on savings, mortgages, personal loans. - Fully comprehensive, worldwide family tavel insurance, provided through Aviva. - Roadside breakdown assistance that covers you personally, not the vehicle. - Identity theft assistance. - Free cash withdrawals overseas. - £3,000 of life cover. - UK only call centres. - Leisure benefits. - Preferential service in branch. Those are the main benefits but I'm sure there are more. I've been nothing more than pleased with this account. I don't use all the benefits but I'm quite fickle and only took the account for the black debit card it offered at the time, however, it is quite nice knowing that if I decide to go away for the weekend I am covered by the travel insurance. HSBC also offers several other current accounts including, - Basic bank accounts that provide a cash card only service for people who don't qualify for debit cards or have adverse credit. - Amanah accounts for Islamic banking. - A free bank account with a visa debit card if you don't want to pay for your account, you just need to credit £500 per month. - The Premier service for high value customers. This is a free service and is the next level up from the account I have so has more benefits. - Student account. One of the main reasons I switched to HSBC was that Halifax were slamming me with bank charges for going overdrawn by the smallest amount. I had a student account with them and they once charged me £28 for going over my agreed overdraft limit by 3 pence. Bank charges are a massive pain in the bum for a lot of people but I have found HSBC to have, probably, the fairest fees policy out there compared to other banks. You will not be charged if: - It is the first time you have gone overdrawn in the last 6 months. - You pay funds in to cover the overdrawn balance on the same day. - You go overdrawn by ten pounds or under. They also don't charge you for multiple transactions taking you overdrawn debiting all on the same day. I have heard that they will also be introducing an account in April that does not charge any overdraft fees, you just pay a one off fee of £15 per month and you physically cannot go overdrawn. They will not pay any direct debits or visa transactions if the funds are not in the account. I imagine that if you are paying £150 in charges every month then £15 might be a worthwhile investment. I myself have never had any overdraft fees as I find my accounts easy to monitor and manage through the banks various interactive channels. ***Savings Accounts*** HSBC is not renowned for having the highest interest rates but I think that people deposit their money with them for security. After the recent bashing banks like HBOS have taken lately I feel reassured that HSBC have not had to take a government bail out and am happy to keep my meagre savings with them. They do have a wide variety of savings accounts though so I imagine there will be something suitable for everyone's needs. I have a regular saver which is a 12 month account into which I can pay up to £250 per month. The money is not accesible until the 12 months are up but you can close the account and access the funds if you need them and there are no penalties. This account pays 8% for me as I am an Advance account holder but they do a 4% equivalent for standard account holders. They have a range of ISA's, fixed term deposit accounts and instant access savings to choose from also. They also offer free appointments with Financial Planning Managers or Independant Financial Advisors who can give advice on how to get the most from your money. This service is for everyone but would benefit people who have at least 15k. ***Credit Cards*** I opened a credit card withHSBC to take advantage of their balance transfer offer of 0% for 15 months. The interest rate is pretty standard with a typical APR of 16.9% and the card itself is a MasterCard so is widely accepted all over the world. ***Personal Loan*** I took my loan to consolidate my debts from when I was a student. I managed to get a very competitive rate which in the long run has saved me a heck of a lot of money. You can borrow between 1-25k over a period of 1-8 years, depending on how much you borrow. I found the loan very easy to arrange, I telephoned up and applied and signed the paperwork in my local branch. The money was in my account on the same day. One thing I thought was very impressive was that the staff I spoke to explained they wanted to make sure that the loan they provided me with was affordable and went through my income and outgoings to make sure taking on the loan wouldn't cause me any financial strain. They also offered me an appointment to make sure that if I was unable to work for any reason that I had sufficient income protection. I know a lot of people will just think that this is the opportunity for them to flog me something, which it is really, but the underlying reason behind it would be to protect both the banks and the customers interests. I already have income protection so I declined to have an appointment but if I didn't then it would've been worth it for me to speak to someone and make sure I was sufficiently protected. Reading between the lines of why so many banks are going down the drain is that they were reckless with the mortgages and loans they were providing customers with, clearly they weren't checking that they were affordable and that customer would be protected if they were unable to work. ***Branch Service*** I very rarely go into branches as I prefer to manage my accounts online. I do go in sometimes to use their express paying in machines and occasionally if I want to apply for a loan or similar. I always find the paying in machines easy to use and if I do struggle there are always staff available to assist me. The branches are very smart looking and futuristic. Lots of bright colours and wooden floors. I always find the staff to be very polite, professional and willing to help. ***Internet/Telephone Banking*** I cannot praise the internet banking site enough. It is easy to navigate and it is so simple to move money around, pay bills and check balances. I use the green service so receive all my statements on line, both for my current account and credit card as I can't be doing with bits of paper all over my house (I am not v ery organised). It also makes it easy if I need to look back through my transactions, I think your last 6 years worth of statements are saved. You can also apply for products online and send a secure e-message to a customer service rep if you have a non urgent query and don't want to telephone or visit a branch. I use the telephone service from time to time. It's an automated service so you just enter your account details, date of birth and 3 digits of your security number to access your balance and recent transactions. It's the perfect way to check your balance on the go, if you're out for a day of shopping and want to check how much of a hammering your card has taken. One of the main things that I hear people moan about a lot is that the person they're speaking to on the other end of the phone is in India and that they can't understand them. I have always found that the call centre staff are very efficient but heavily accented and if I ask them to speak a little slower I have no problem understanding them. It's complete double standards, people want 24/7 access but complain when the person they're speaking to doesn't work in a UK postcode. One of the reasons I bank with HSBC is because they have a massive international prescence, I'm sure many people do so far the same reasons. When you want the benefits of banking with such a global giant but don't want to speak to someone in another country then you are being unrealistic and I'm sure you'd probably be better with your local building society. That way you can speak to the same person everytime you want to transfer some money but you'll be stuck in between a rock and a hard place when you loose all your cards and cash on holiday and need to go to the bank. ***Overall*** All large companies have their stumbling blocks and with as many customers as HSBC has there are bound to be some unsatisfied ones. I'm sure the bank does have it's problems but for someone like me it is the perfect bank.
So I found myself off to see The Rocky Horror Picture show straight from work the other day, I had brought my clothes with me but forgot all of my skin care stuff. Also finding myself way too close to pay day, I dashed down to Boots to get some face wipes and mosituriser and laid my hands on this. ***Packaging*** The wipes are packaged in a light green round, plastic pot with a screw top lid. The lid is a slightly darker green. The packaging is very sleek and attractive. I find the colour very appealing and the simplicity of the design indicative that the moisturiser isn't all fancy and full of miracle skin boosters. It isn't marketed as being fancy so sets your expectations. ***Price and Where to buy*** A 100ml pot can be purchased from Boots stores for £1.49 so you're getting quite a fair amount for your money. ***My Skin Profile*** I'm in my early twenties and my skin tends to be Normal/Combination and I suffer from quite frequent breakouts mostly around my chin and nose. I tend to have shiny/oily skin in my T-Zone too and I find that my skin has the tendancy to look a little dull from timer to time. ***About the product*** The main feature that attracted me to this particular moisturiser was te cucumber scent. At the time I was flustered, hot and in a flap so I imagine the thought of slathering my face with cool cucumber would have triggered some latent need for this particular moisturiser. The blurb on the back of the pot is as follows, "Contains extract of cucumber to help gently soften and soothe. Enriched with soothing cucumber and vitamins this cream is suitable for day or night use. Contains antioxidants to help protect the skin from environmental damage." The pot also states that it is available for 'all skin types'. ***Using the moisturiser*** To use the moisturiser simply smooth over skin with your fingertips. I found that as the pot is round and quite large it is easier to get the product out. The consistency of the moisturiser is very thick and creamy, not at all something that I would normally use. I prefer slightly thinner, lotion type moisturisers but this was the first thing I laid my hands on. The scent was very light and not at all over powering. Very refreshing and cooling on the skin. The only problem was actually getting it onto the skin... As the consistency is so thick I really struggled to spread the product evenly over my face. I probably ended up using a lot more than I needed to. ***Results*** The only advantage of this product is that it didn't irritate my skin. It was too thick, hard to spread and really unsuitable for my skin type. My skin didn't feel hydrated and moisturised at all and I actually ended up just rinsing it off my face with cold water and not bothering! For the price of £1.49 though I won't complain too much. I'm sure that it would be suitable for someone with less problem skin than mine. It does have that lovely cucumber scent so it's not all bad.
So I found myself off to see The Rocky Horror Picture show straight from work the other day, I had brought my clothes with me but forgot face cleanser with me. Also finding myself way too close to pay day, I dashed down to Boots to get some face wipes and laid my hands on these. ***Packaging*** The wipes are packaged in a light green plastic packet with a sticky resealable tab. I find these sticky tab things abhorrent, they never chuffin' work. I personally would rather pay a bit more and have the wipes packaged with some sort of opening that clicks into place than have to spend another 3 quid on a new pack of wipes when they dry out. The packaging is very sleek and attractive. I find the colour very appealing and the simplicity of the design indicative that the wipes are just your basic, bog standard wipes. They aren't marketed as being fancy so sets your expectations. ***Price and Where to buy*** A pack of 10 wipes can be purchased from Boots stores for 99p. These are also available in a pack of 30 for £2.69. As far as facial wipes go I find this to be a reasonable price for facewipes. I only went for the 10 pack as I only needed them the once. ***My Skin Profile*** I'm in my early twenties and my skin tends to be Normal/Combination and I suffer from quite frequent breakouts mostly around my chin and nose. I tend to have shiny/oily skin in my T-Zone too and I find that my skin has the tendancy to look a little dull from timer to time. ***About the wipes*** The main feature that attracted me to these wipes was that they were cucumber scented. At the time I was flustered, hot and in a flap so I imagine the thought of slathering my face with cool cucumber would have triggered some latent need for these particular wipes. The blurb on the back of the packet is as follows, "Contains extract of cucumber to help gently soften and soothe." "Enriched with soothing cucumber, aloe vera and vitamin E, these gently cleansing wipes work to remove make-up and excess oils, leaving skin clean, soft and smooth." ***Using the wipes*** To use simply remove a wipe from the packet and sweep gently over face and neck. I found the material of the wipes not to be nice and smooth and not at all grainy, as I have found with some other wipes. They were heavily scented with cucumber, I am not really a huge fan of scented products but the cucumber smell is lovely, light and refreshing. Not at all over powering. I don't tend to wear mascara throughout the day so I can't really comment as to weather the wipes are any good on heavier make up but they took off my foundation perfectly fine. I used the wipes on my face and neck and as I was going out straight from work and feeling a bit grubby I used them to cool myself down by wiping them over my arms and chest. Normally I find that cleansing wipes leave a sticky residue on my skin but that wasn't a problem with these wipes. The only slight complaint I would have about them was that they left my skin feeling a little tight. This wasn't really such a big problem that it bothered me but it would put me off buying them again. ***Results*** Overall, the wipes did the job that I bought them for perfectly well. I wouldn't buy them again to incorporate them into my regular skin care routine but perhaps to keep in my bag to wipe sticky hands or cool myself down on a long day.
I have a very long list of things that make me happy.... Some of which include: -Perving over shirtless boys who are too young for me, Taylor Lautner anyone? No?!? Then Zac Efron perhaps? -Perving over boys who are the right age for me, preferably shirtless also (Robert Pattinson and Rupert Grint to name a few). -Perving over men who are too old for me. Hugh Laurie , what a dish! -Perving over fictional characters. 'Why Mr. Darcy, of course I would like to go riding with you!' (Horse riding of course, you filthy beasts). ~~~ But it's not all about sins of the flesh I also enjoy simple physical pleasures such as: -Taking your socks off after a long day. -Pulling your hair down after you've had it up in a tight pony tail all day. -Pulling off those blackhead nose strip things and examining the crap that was in my nose. -Hanging one foot out from under the duvet when I get too hot at night. -Having a good scratch. -Laughing until it hurts (or a little bit of wee comes out, whichever comes first). -Feeling the sun on my skin. -Getting caught in the rain when the weather is warm. -Stepping on crunchy looking leaves during Autumn. -Spinning in circles. ~~~ Some of my favourite things that I don't get to do very often: -Travelling to far away places. -Taking long works in the British countryside on sunny days. -Visiting all my friends and just mooching around. -Trips to London to watch a matinee performance. -Trips to the beach. ~~~ Some of the things I am lucky enough to do quite often: -Spending time with my family. -Curry night with the girls. -Random nights out. -Duvet days watching dvd's and reading my favourite books. -Random, spur of the moment trips. -Gossiping on the phone. -Beer garden Sundays. -Listening to music and going to gigs. -Dancing in my bedroom and generally deluding myself into believing I am a pop star. ~~~ Food and drink that makes me happy: -Tea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hot, sweet tea. -Starbucks lattes and a big slab of carrot cake. -Houmous and falafel. -Tapas, Cubana's in Sheffield is the best tapas place I have ever been. -Cheese. -Sailor Jerry's. So that's a fair few of the things that make my happy. I'm off to get caught in the rain whilst eating carrot cake and chasing Rupert Grint with the aim of dry humping him until he bleeds. Loveyoubye...
I have always been Pro-Choice. Thankfully I have never been in a position where I have had to make such a difficult decision but as pregnancy and parenthood are such a life changing events I feel that it is important to give the subject thoughtful consideration. Sadly I have had a few friends who have been in this difficult position and I feel that the best way to support someone is to give them time to come to terms with their own thoughts and consider the consequences of the decision they're making, whatever that decision may be. My personal thoughts on abortion are that women are subject to a kaleidoscope of emotions and can be thought of badly, whatever decision they make. People are so divided and opinionated on the subject that it is impossible to make this decision without someone thinking you have made the wrong one. I myself am the result of an 'accidental' pregnancy. My mum fell pregnant with me at the age of 15 and gave birth shortly after her 16th birthday. She hid her pregnancy from my nannan for several months. I cannot even begin to understand the vast amount of stress and worry my mum must have felt. I am very grateful to be here and my mum has not had the easiest of lifes. I have never met my biological father and have no desire to do so, I know nothing about him and am happy that way. This is not due to any reluctance on my mums part to discuss him, she has expressed that if I want to know anything she would be happy to tell me, I am just not interested. My mum is now happily married and has had 4 more children. I do not feel that my life has been hindered in any way by being brought into a single parent family. I personally feel that seeing the way my mum has gone through life has actually benefited me. I am hugely independant and grateful for it. I have never felt unwanted and would have completely understood my mums decision to terminate, if that had been the decision she had made. I think it is a credit to society that women are able to take control of their lives/bodies and make the decision for themselves without fear of retribution. Every situation is different but if you feel you are too young, irresponsible, not ready to bring a child into the world then going against those feelings can actually make your life worse in the long run, the psychological affect of resenting a child must be on a par, if not worse, than the feelings of guilt women feel after terminations. I think the important thing to remember is that a foetus is not independant to the woman carrying it, it would not survive on it's own. It has no consciousness or feelings about whether it's life will be able to continue or not. Obviously late stage abortions are different. Medical technology now allows massively premature foetuses to survive. My personal opinion is that these medical marvels are simply astounding but just give pro-life campaigners (the extremist ones) another round of ammunition to take a pop at pro-choice women with. I do not feel that abortion should be used as a form of birth control but where do you draw the line? 3 abortions in as many years and you can't have any more? Attitudes like that put women between a rock and a hard place. Our sexual education should be such that women do not think of abortion as birth control but a last resort in a difficult situation. No form of birth control is completely effective. Condoms split, mistakes are made, rape babies are tragic but they happen. The one positive from all of these situations is that we have the choice to take what we are dealt and deal with it in our own way. I am single, 23 and not at all ready to have children. I am still completely undecided as to whether I ever want children. If I had the misfortune to fall pregnant by mistake I think my first instinct would be to terminate. I would not want to have a child that I could possibly resent, I feel I would have to be in a place where I was ready for children and able to make the sacrifices they bring. I couldn't guarantee that I would resent having a child at this stage of my life but I am not willing to take the risk just for the sake of being pro-life.
This list I quite possibly endless for me. I am like a 23 year old, female Victor Meldrew. I shall try and contain this list to just 5 things though. 1. Attention seeking behaviour I have various friends/acquaintences who are never happy unless they are miserable and spend most their days moaning about their boyfriends, weight, jobs, and pretty much anything else that springs to mind. You know the kind of people, the ones who you ask how things are and they reel off a list of greviances in one breath. ***Chuffin' hell, I was only asking to be polite.*** The worst outlet of these people though is Facebook. Statuses such as the following release an uncontrollable rage inside of me. - L***** is breaking inside :-( -L***** .......enough is enough!!!!!!!! make a choice....... All those statuses are there so people will ask them what's wrong and I am bloody sick of it. 2. Dry humping in night clubs I think that is sort of self explanatory. Let's keep our genitalia to ourselves in night clubs, shall we? 3. Rudeness I work in customer service, in a bank of all places, so you can imagine the type of conversations that I have with people. I don't think people realise that if they have a problem with the bank, I am there to help them. Shouting at me and being rude will just make me NOT want to help you. Rude people in general just get my back up. Whether it's the person shouting at me at work or the people who open an umbrella in your face on the street then look at you like it's your fault (this happened to me yesterday). In a world of nearly 7 billion people, you're going to get pissed off from time to time but taking it out on other people is not the right way to go about it. 4. People who talk/make noise in the cinema/when I'm watching a fim/tv programme What person in their right mind would pay 7 quid to go see a movie and then talk all the way through it? I want to punch you square in the face if you do. 5. Snow After decking it several times over the last few months my bottom is not very happy. It's not the falling down that bothers me so much, it's the embarrasment of being seen falling down. Suppose it's quite funny for the spectator though. __________________________________________________________ I could go on all day but I won't bore you. To end on a positive note, here are some things that make me happy. Music Books Good food Micro Pigs Tizer Reading on the toilet Holidays Mini eggs A nice pair of fresh from the radiator pants.
I absolutely adore having vibrant, sleek, pretty nails and have been looking for some new shades for spring. I usually buy Barry M Nail Paint but their range of colours is quite strong and I wanted to try some more delicate colours for spring and the 17 stand in Boots caught my eye. ***First Purchase*** I cannot pretend I bought this nail paint for any other reason than I saw a few different colours that I liked. I have always been vaguely aware of this brand from my many visits to Boots but I tend to stick to the products I know and like, unless I'm looking for something new and different. My impression of the brand is overall quite good although I am not sure whether I would try any of their other products. ***Price and Packaging*** Each shade of Nail Polish is priced at £2.99 for an 8ml bottle in Boots as well as on the website. Each paint is packaged in a glass ciruclar shaped bottle with a rounded black brush applicator. I find the price to be around average and the packaging to be pretty standard, there's nothing too exciting about it except the lush colours inside. They have a 3 for 2 offer on at the moment, making them great value for money if you like to change your nail colour quite a lot like me. ***Application*** The directions on the bottle say to 'Shake well. Appy 2 coats for maximum coverage'. I tend to always apply two coats over a basecoat anyway as I find it looks more vibrant but you definately would need 2 coats as standard any way with this polish. The polish does dry very quickly which is good for me as I am quite impatient. I tend to leave about 90 seconds before applying my second coat, and provided I don't apply too thickly I can be up and out of the house probably about 15 minutes after painting my nails. One thing I do not like about these paints is that the applicator is a little short for my liking. It makes it difficult for me to grip well and keep steady. It's probably not too much of a problem for most people but I sometimes have to redo a nail a few times before I am happy with the finish. The colours goes on really well and really pops. Thefinish is lovely and bold. I particularly like the colours Parma Violet and Mini Skirt. They look great on shorter nails like mine. ***How Long Does It Last?*** The bottle states that the polish gives 'Up to 5 days of lasting colour' and is 'Chip Resistant'. I tend to change my nail colour every 3-4 days or so and find that it does last me without chipping up until then. To be fair I don't work in a job that is particularly hardwearing on my hands, I work in a bank, but it lasts me through work and general household upkeep.
I would like to think my music collection is funky and eclectic but in reality a lot of it is down right cheesy and not at all cool. I'll share with you my top ten most played song, as listed on my iPod, how scientific!! 10. Science of Fear - The Temper Trap If you don't know The Temper Trap are an Australian band and are the best thing to come from Down Under for years. 2009 was a really stand out year for them, with their album, Conditions, storming the charts. This album is one of my favourites from last year with this song being in my top 3 songs from it. I love this fast paced high energy song. It makes me want to dance around my room in my pants. 9. Every You Every Me - Placebo I love Placebo and this track, which is highly recognisable from the film Cruel Intentions, is my all time favourite. Not really one to dance to but maybe singing into the hairbrush would be appropriate. 8. Bet On It - The Cast of High School Musical ***Blushing*** I love HSM and Troy in particular (swoon). It's so ridiculously over dramatic, perfect for a musical detailing the angst of teenage life and dilemmas. 7. Supermassive Black Hole - Muse I love the guitar riff, massive drums and booming bass. Muse have taken the classic rock elements and given it an individual edge that appeals to many. I love practicing my air guitar to this, in my pants of course. 6. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) - Florence + The Machine Another of my favourite albums from 2009, Lungs is definately worth checking out. I love Florence's quirky style and they lyrics to this song have a sort of tribal ritual feel to theme. 5. Do You Love Me - The Contours I love Motown music. I wish I had been alive in those days. The bands were just so cool. Everyone will probably know this song from Dirty Dancing. 4. Beat Again - JLS The less said about this the better, moving swiftly on.... 3. Misery Business - Paramore I love bands with strong female leads and sadly bands like these are quite rare. Paramore have that quirky, alternative vibe and Hayley's vocals are gorgeous. 2. Be Somebody - Kings Of Leon Awesome song, I find it really uplifting and listening to it always puts me in a better mood. Love the drums!!! 1. 15 Step - Radiohead I've always been a massive Radiohead fan and when this album came out I was delighted, some of their best work. 15 Step has a really original sound. Lovely funky, slightly jazz style guitars. Awesome!!! So there are my top ten listened to tracks. Clearly these aren't my top ten of all time but the ones that I have listened to the most recently. Hope you enjoy!!
Noodle Inn is one of my all time favourite restaurants i've discovered in my long career of stuffing my face. Located just within the City Centre of Sheffield on London Road, an area with lots of choice food wise, it is a relatively small place with a very authentic feel. They offer a takeout service and do deliver but only within a couple of miles of the city centre. ~~~The Restaurant~~~ The restaurant can probably seat around 30- 40 people by my reckoning. On entering you immediately notice one large communal table running down the centre with smaller 2 or 4 tops located around the edges. There is a small bar near the entrance and the kitchen is located near the back. The restuarant has a quite modern feel but is very simplistic compared to other chinese restaurants I have eaten in. The tables and chairs are basic but functional, there's no fake waterfall with dry ice as I have experienced in one chinese restaurant before, the Noodle Inn has a very laid back, honest vibe to it. There are various bits on the wall informing customers of the virtues and properties of different types of noodles, which is, of course, what the people go there for. They also have a tv on the wall usually tuned to something like Deal or No Deal which I love. It gives the place a bit of a family feel. ~~~Food~~~ I think a lot of people have become accustomed to the nastiness that is the Chinese Buffet Restaurant, places like Jumbo and Big Wok that allow you to eat as much as you can manage for 6 or 7 quid. While these places don't neccessarily make out to be high quality from the get go I find it difficult to eat in them after experiencing the awesomeness that is Noodle Inn. The first thing that struck me upon eating there is the value for money you get. We usually start off with a 'Big Soup' when we go. This is a large bowl of clear soup with your selection of meat, fish or veg. For just £6 you get a humongous bowl of soup with 3 Roasties (Roast Pork, Duck and Crispy Pork) mixed with fresh vegetables and your choice of either chinese noodles, ramen, vermicelli, udon, rice thread or sweet potato noodles. The meat is always cooked to perfection and is nothing like the cheap gristly meat you would get in a buffet restaurant. The veg are very fresh and crunchy and the noodles firm but not at all soggy. I would suggest going for a thinner noodle like vermicelli so you aren't too full for your main course. We normally share one of these between 2 as we are greedy pigs but I would say that one Big Soup could comfortably serve 3 or 4 as a starter. The friend spare ribs with salt and chilli (£4.50) are another one to try. The meat just falls off the bone and is seasoned to perfection. The spring rolls are massive (£3.50 for 4) and are bursting with crisp vegetables and succulent meat and the prawn toast is delicious, lots of meat and not as greasy as you would get from your local take away. Now if you manage to have some room left after that for a main course I would suggest trying a 'Big Plate' of Wok Fried Noodles. First you choose a type of noodle, either crispy noodles, ramen, vermicelli or udon and then decide what you would like with it. My favourite is the Seafood with XO sauce, usually with ramen or udon noodles. The seafood includes squid (not at all chewy), thick scallops and massive juicy prawns. The sauce is quite thick and brown and from what I can tell is made of chopped seafood, onions, chilli, oil, garlic and soy sauce. It absolutely my favourite chinese dish and is a bargain at £6.20. The plate is of epic proportions, I could never eat one to myself so I recommend you share. It's not too big that a man with a healthy appetite couldn't finish it though so always ask the staff if you're unsure whether you're ordering too much. They'll generally tell you if they think you've ordered too much though. The beef with chinese veg 'Big Plate' (£5.80) is also a good choice, you can tell the beef is good quality and the veg is always well cooked and crispy. If you don't fancy noodles there are 'Big Plates' with rice. Prices are stated for boiled rice but for an extra 50p you can have fried if you prefer. There are also the traditional chinese dishes if you want to get everything separate. A bowl of steamed rice is £1.50 and is good to share between 3 or 4 people as a base. There's a wide selection of beef, chicken, seafood and tofu so something for everyone. As everything is made fresh I'm sure they'd be happy to make you the dishes with slight variations if you ask. There isn't a dessert menu but they do give you a scoop of free vanilla ice cream which is good as you really never have room when you're done. ~~~Drinks~~~ The drinks menu is pretty standard and prices are quite low. A pint of soft drink will set you back £1.50 or so. Beers such as Fosters are available on tap for approximately £2.50 and bottle beers are about £3. ~~~Atmosphere~~~ The restaurant is open 7 days a week, noon til 11pm, and is always busy. About 90% of the customers are chinese which I think is a good measure of how good the place is going to be. With their being a big communal table you share your space with strangers which is nice and gives a family feel to the place. I have been there when the staff have breaks and they sit with you and watch the telly. There's no pretentiousness like you get in some places. The staff are very friendly and although all chinese do speak english very well. I must say that they do laugh at me when I ask for a fork due to my inability to use chopsticks but I don't mind as it's never meant maliciously. ~~~Overall~~~ I love it here. The food is great, the staff are friendly and efficient and the atmosphere is so relaxed. Perfect to get your fix of chinese food at bargain prices for both lunch and dinner. Highly recommended!!!
Having looked through my browsing history I am going to reveal my top ten most visited websites, aside from dooyoo of course. Some of these are quite embarrassing but hey ho, here goes!!! 1. Telegraph.co.uk One of only two website's I have access to at work (my internet access was suspended after that red squirrel incident). I spend perhaps 30% of my day on here just reading random funny stories in the weird section and fulfilling my need for celebrity news. The other 70% of my time is spent starring at the wall, arguing with ridiculous customers and browsing site number 2. 2. Wikipedia.org Website number two that I still have access to at work. I'm sure that half the things I read on here are inaccurate but that didn't stop me referring to it whilst I was studying for my degree, might explain why I failed so miserably. 3. Facebook.com Perfect for stalking and having a general nosey. My favourite thing about FB though is the random statuses that people come up with. I'm not really a big fan of all the applications you get on there, they're quite annoying. Some of my most recent statuses include... - Liana Gray is hot in the worm! - Liana Gray hopes you have a sh**ty Christmas and that you get gout... Classic! (Courtesy of a customer we like to call 'Stabby Joe'). 4. Folksy.com One of my favourite sites if I'm picking out a present for friends and family. It's a sort of marketplace where people can sell their handmade crafts including jewellery, clothes, stationary, furniture and more. It's a really good place to buy original pieces of jewellery in particular. I spend hours browsing through the different sellers products. I tend to go on there looking for gifts but end up buying for myself most of the time. 5. NewMoonMovie.org and EclipseMovie.org (This is one of those embarrassing ones) I am a huge Twi-Hard! There, I said it... I love the books, the movies and most of all the hot guys in the films. This site is perfect for a fiend like me. It's regularly updated with pictures, news regarding the movies and gossip in general. 6. Amazon.co.uk I download a lot of music and buy a lot of books. Amazon is always my first port of call if I'm looking for something. I find that mp3 downloads are quite often cheaper than iTunes and the markeplace is always good to find cheap second hand books. I also like to use the wish list facility near my birthday and christmas to make it easier for family to know what to get me. 7. IMDB.com I love this website as I have a horrific memory and quite often watch films and spend the entire time wondering whether a specific actor has been in this or that film. It can be quite distracting so i can just pop on here and find out. 8. YouTube.com Who doesn't love youtube? Crazy cats, people falling over, awesome!!! I especially like all the Twilight parodies on there, very funny! 9. Twitter.com I don't really Twitter very much myself, I find it hard to believe that anyone would want to hear a detailed account of me brushing my teeth or having a good scratch. I just go on it to stalk celebrities. I think it's quite interesting to listen to their thoughts and inner mussings. I especially love Bill Bailey and Simon Pegg's tweets. 10. Google.com Not really a website as such but I have google as my homepage, email provider and on my iPhone. I love to Google!!!
The Old House is located in Sheffield City Centre in the trendy Division Street/Devonshire Green area of town. It used to be The Halcyon Bar but changed over a few years back. It's not really the most blindingly obvious bar on the street so you might need to keep an eye out for it. It's one of my favourite bars so is certainly worth a visit. The interior has a quite continental feel with exposed brickwork, wooden tables and chairs, large rugs and polished wooden floors. The bar isn't huge and tends to be heaving at weekends so don't expect to always be able to get a seat. The type of people you'll generally find in there are students, professionals and people with a slightly alternative edge. Perfect if you don't like the binge drinking, hen/stag crowd found typically on West Street. I tend to go in there to have a few cocktails in the early evening or to drown myself in Jager-bombs before heading to a club. The place is generally thought of to be a 'pub' but I would say it leans slightly towards the bar end of the scale, only without the generic chain feel you get in places like All-Bar One and HaHa! for example. During the day it feels slightly more like a cafe as they also serve food. ~~~Drink~~~ I personally love Old House for cocktails but their range of beer is pretty extensive. They have a great selection of European beers like Staropramen and Frambozen on tap and 63 different bottle beers so I'm sure there's something to tickle most peoples fancy. Beer is priced more toward the 'Swanky Bar' end of the scale with a pint costing between £2.90 and £3.60. The cocktail menu is extensive and absolutely delicious. You can get various Martini's for £4.75 - Fiery Orchid is lovely and refreshing- and Mojitos are priced at £5.25. The Vanilla Spiced Mojito is made with Sailor Jerrys Rum and is my absolute favourite but packs a punch so don't drink too many. There are lots of rum based cocktails as it's one of the pub's favourite spirits as well as in house creations. Apparently the Apple and Rhubard Margarita (£6) is amazing but I can't face it after having a bad experince with tequila on my 19th birthday.... All the drinks are made with great care and the bar staff are happy to recommend drinks if you're dithering/unsure about what to order. They're also happy to mix up something of your own creation if you ask theym nicely enough. Drinks offers are available from time to time but these vary so best to ask the bar staff when you go in. ~~~Food~~~ The food menu is quite small but offers wide variety depending on how hungry you are. Sandwich's and small snack's are priced between £2.95 (Houmous and Pitta) and £4.95 (Hot Beef Sandwich). Main meals are priced between £5.50 (Smoked Bacon and Haddock Chowder) and £7.95 (Haunch of Venison). I've eaten there a couple of times and the food is of great quality and for what you get on the plate is great value for money. I think it's excellent for a quick bite during the day, good if you like something a little different. The braised pork belly and black pudding is gorgeous. ~~~Atmosphere~~~ The Old House always draws a crowd. Great drinks and awesome music always go down well in my opinion. The style of music is slightly alternative, lots of Kings of Leon, Blondie, Dead Kennedys, etc. I would generally class it as more of an indie/rock vibe. You never really have the problem of massive idiots being in Old House or people vomitting in the toilets, even on a busy Saturday night. It's very laid back and more grown up than other bars and I usually find the people to be extremely friendly, including the staff. ~~~Overall~~~ The Old House is a great addition to to Sheffield and offers a different kind of night out. I don't have a bad word to say about it and have had some truly great times in there with friends. If you're visiting Sheffield for the weekend I would say it's one you definately don't want to miss!
I absolutely adore my iPhone and have been looking for a decent speaker dock for a while. I spotted the iPig in HMV and almost bought it there and then, purely because it was so cute. My frenzie to purchase this soon subsided when I realised I could probably get it cheaper from Amazon - so that's what I did, for £49.23 including P&P. ~~~The Pig~~~ The first thing I noticed about the pig is that it is quite weighty so would not be any good for you if you wanted to be able to take the speakers travelling with you or on holiday. I have it on the table next to my bed and find the weight to be a massive advantage as I am frequently reaching over and almost sending it flying in a sleepy, 6am stupor. I have the pink version but it does come in other colours (Black, White and Red). There is also a panda version available. I personally love the design. It might not be to everybody's taste but I like kitch, quirky items. I use the dock for my iPhone as I don't like listening to music from my computer. I also like to listen to my music at night and don't really like to keep my computer on for that sole purpose. The iPig comes complete with several different cradles available to suit the various types of iPod out there so is very versatile. It also has a standard auxillary jack so you can connect the speakers to other mobiles, PDA's, computers, etc. There is also a remote control which is quite handy as there are no controls on the pig itself to skip tracks for instance. There are however touch sensitive ears which I love. These control the volume and are a great little design feature. ~~~Sound~~~ To look at the pig you wouldn't think it would have a high quality sound output, you would, in fact, be wrong for thinking this..... I forgive you though. Such gimicky items don't tend to be very high quality but I am very happy with the pig. It has 4 speakers, including a 4" subwoofer located underneath. I have found the sound to be of very high quality, crystal clear and very powerful. The pig can go up to a suprisingly high volume which is perfect for a party. I also found the sound distribution to be excellent too. Bass and Treble can also be adjusted to your liking but I very rarely use these controls myself. ~~~Using the pig~~~ I am very happy with my iPig and have beeb recommending that all my friends get one but I do have a few tiny niggly problems with it. 1. The mouth of the pig has a green light on whenever the pig is in use. As I keep this next to my bed at night, I do find the light to be annoying and wish there was an option to turn it off. 2. When I dock my iPhone I have to turn it to Airplane Mode which means I am not able to receive any texts or calls whilst I use it. The reason I have to do this is because you get a lot of sound interference. Other than those two niggly little bits I am delighted with my purchase.
I have always believed that good things come in small packages and this is certainly true of Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men'. I studied this text at school and absolutely fell in love with it. Having recently reread it I thought it might be interesting to organise my thoughts and review it. ***Plot*** The story is centred around two migrant ranch works, George Milton and Lennie Small, set in the time of the Great Depression. George, a quick witted man, takes on the role of protector/parent for Lennie, who, despite the surname, is of immense size but limited mental ability. Both men share a dream to one day save up enough money to settle down with their own piece of land. Lennie is particularly intent on this as he wishes to be able to tend to soft rabbits on the farm. Lennie has a certain fixation on touching soft things, this tendancy is harmless but due to Lennie's size can cause trouble for the pair. When we meet George and Lennie they are on the road after Lennie is accused of a crime in the town of Weed where they were working previously. The story evolves on a farm in Soledad, CA where the pair find work "bucking barley". ***Characters*** I small cast of characters surround George and Lennie throughout the story. Steinbeck's placement and development of characters in the story are part of what makes the book such a joy to read. I personally feel that many of them represent some of the main themes that Steinbeck is trying to convey to the reader about that period of time. Candy - An elderly ranch worker who has one hand missing from an accident. This disability means he is becoming less useful on the farm. Curley - Son of the boss, he is disliked by many of the ranch workers. He immediately takes a dislike to Lennie. As a former boxer some of the ranch workers describe him as "handy". He is very jealous and protective of his wife. Curley's wife - Pretty and young, she is mistrusted greatly by her husband and spends her time flirting with the ranch workers. We are never told her name. Slim - One of the senior members of the team. He is a solid man and greatly respected by others. Crook - The only black ranch hand. He is crippled after being kicked by a horse. He sleeps seperately from the rest of the ranch hands. ***Themes*** I felt a lot of characters embodied the main themes I seemed to draw from the book. Steinbeck's writing is concise and well thought out. I found his simplistic style of writing to give the story a very pure, genuine feel. I found it easy to connect with the characters and somewhat identify with the issues they embraced. 1. The American Dream No two characters embody this ideal more than George and Lennie. George in particular craves independence. He wants to own his own land, be his own boss and be 'somebody'. I feel that Steinbeck gives life to George by the fact that he is such a sharp, intelligent man. As a reader I felt that George was so close, the dream was in arms reach, and I was willing him on throughout the book to achieve his dream. Lennie's dream is more simplistic and, I believe, influenced slightly by George. Yes, he wants his independence but does he really know what that means? More than anything Lennie wants to pet small, soft rabbits. This may be different to George's aspirations but I felt that they just wanted different degrees of the same thing - to be able to decide for themselves and not be swept away down a path they never chose purely by circumstance. Some of the smaller characters also embody this dream. Curley's wife for example talks about dreams of being an actress and Crook expresses a wish to feel respected and secure. 2. Loneliness I felt a huge tug of sympathy for Candy whilst reading the book. His missing hand renders him almost useless which is sad enough. He has a dog as a companion that he cares for greatly but the dog is old and lame but it is plain to see his reluctance to accept the dog is coming to the end of his days. More than anyone, his loneliness is palpable. I think this is further confirmed by his eagerness to get in with George and Lennie to buy a piece of land for themselves. He realises that he will not be able to work for much longer and wants to secure himself a comfortable, secure future. The relationship between George and Lennie is to some part George feeling responsbile for Lennie, but I think it is also to stave off the loneliness of their lifestyle. Curley's wife is another character suffering from feeling lonely. She is married to a man she doesn't feel she receives enough attention from so she seeks it by shamelessly flirting with the other ranch hands. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Overall, I thoroughly enjoy stepping into Steinbecks world. The story itself is based largely on his own experiences as a ranch hand. I do believe that Lennie is actually based on a real person that Steinbeck worked with. I cannot remember exactly where I head this but I shall update the review if I can find it. The book is certainly worth reading and if you are interested in seeing the story played out there is a film starring Gary Sinise as George and John Malkovich as Lennie which is very good.