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We recently bought our first property and it had woodchip wallpaper throughout. Having spent some time at a relatives house helping remove this blight I knew the value of a decent wallpaper steamer. I pretty much just chose the cheapest one as it had the same water capacity as the more expensive models and same reach.
I bought this off of amazon well in advance of when we needed it (Our solicitor took way longer to complete than we anticipated and seemed to be allergic to the telephone and sending e-mails.) it was delivered promptly and apart from a brief stint out of the box while we checked it created steam it stayed in the box for a few weeks.
As soon as I got the keys I got up to the flat and used an orbital scorer to cut through the paper in every room and sprayed t with a water pump The next day I got up early and started stripping the ceilings. Even with the steamer it was pretty hard work but it really was as reliable as clockwork.
It takes about ten minutes to warm up and then gives an hour and a half of constant steam. The hose is long enough to reach high ceilings and did not drip hot water at all. The steam plate creates a decent amount of steam over as large a surface area as it is convenient to work. the trick is to work in a solid pattern, always using one hand to steam the area you want to remove next while you scrape off the paper you just steamed with the other hand
A friend helped remove some woodchip in the hallway and used the more expensive 'Black & Decker Wallpaper Stripper KX3300T' which looked more impressive and while it went from cold to ready in a shorter period had a real tendency to drip from the hose and just wasn't as good.
Being used in a working environment this did get knocked over and take a few bangs which it took in it's stride. The design is really solid and the only way the hose will come off is if you take it off intentionally.
It took me just under a week to remove all the paper. Some rooms were easy and some were really hard, without a steamer it would have taken about a month. I can only compare this to one other model and it was much better but considering the main concern I had when purchasing was cost I am really happy with how well this performed. It is back in the box now and I don't anticipate having to use it until we move but I am confident that it will still work perfectly well.
We had a few of the vTech toot toot vehicles and the 'Drivers Car Carrier' when my son was younger. We were rummaging around in my in-laws loft when my daughter was about 10 months old when we came across them again and decided it was worth seeing if Phia enjoyed playing with them. She absolutely loved them and as an added bonus Lew really enjoyed playing with them with her.
We saw this on sale for just £40 and decided it was a perfect present for her first birthday. Having seen the toot toot cars before we were prepared for just how noisy they are but I would really recommend against pressing the car that you get with the garage while it is in the packaging as it goes of for absolutely ages and can't be turned off. I got some funny looks walking around town that day!
We decided to open the garage up and put it together the night before Phia's birthday so she could play with it as soon as she opened it. My wife thought she might have a go at putting it together while I was at work, this is usually a recipe for disaster but it was apparently very easy to put together and the instructions were even straight forwards.
Phia absolutely loved this as soon as she opened it, both children were playing with this straight away. Lew got so attached to it I had to threaten to give his toys to Phia if he wanted to play with it so much.
There are a few bits on it that interact with the toot toot cars and it even has a different message it plays to each different car. There is a music mode and a learning mode both of them are fun and Phia isn't really bothered which we put it on as they both make lots of noise and have fun flashing lights.
I only have three negative points to make about the garage and these are only minor; it takes three AA batteries which is utterly stupid as no one sells batteries in odd numbers, the 'heliport' is not attached securely to the rest of the garage so you will have to put it back on after each play time, it is really noisy and unlike a lot of toys nowadays there is no quieter setting.
My favourite eye cream is still 'Balance Me Extra Care Wonder Eye Cream' but recently I was unable to get hold of it and was browsing the alternatives in my local boots when I was hit by a sudden bout of frugality. I saw the Boots Gentle Eye Cream for just two pounds fifty and at a saving of £7.50 over my usual product decided to give it a go.
At home I approached the new eye cream with some trepidation, had I just made a massive saving or a huge mistake? Applying the eye cream was easy, it absorbs into the skin well but is slightly thicker than my usual eye cream and I have found that I need to use slightly less of it on each application. Looking in the mirror I could see some improvement on the sad eyed individual who was staring out at me only a few moments ago.
I can't really make any comment on how effective this is as a sun cream as I am quite paranoid about sunburn and have to use at least a factor 30 as I burn really easily. I am sure that if this were the only product you were using around your eyes to protect against the sun and SP15 is suitable for you then it would be fine.
Over the last couple of weeks of use have been quite happy with the results. There is a visible improvement after using it but it just hasn't got the wow factor that I get when using the Balance me product. I am going to give this product four stars as it just isn't as good as 'Balance Me' but if I hadn't used the balance me product before I probably would have given it a 5. For the price this really is an outstanding product.
Over the last few months I have tried a number of hair products as I have recently started trying to do different things with my hair. Of all the Gels, sprays...etc I have tried this is far and away the best and most reliable. I wasn't expecting much when I bought this as I had tried a different Garnier product that advertised itself as being a four on the gel scale but was pretty poor. The Manga Head Putty really stood out on the shelve as it has a bright vibrant design that is fairly unique. The main reason I bought it was the bargain price, my local Tesco had it reduced to just a quid so I figured it was worth a go.
I got home and decided to try it out as there is nothing worse than trying a product on your hair in the morning to find out that it doesn't work and ending up short of time because you have had to wash it out and start again. There are no instructions on the pack, I suppose it should be pretty straight forwards but some work better on dry hair, some on wet..etc. Staying true to the axiom of better safe than sorry a quick google found me the official Garnier website which gives these instructions "Warm a little of the paste between your palms. Spread your fingers when applying creating spikes. Apply preferably onto dry or slightly damp hair. Tease strands of hair into spikes using your fingers.
I was really happy when I was styling my hair with the putty for the first time. It has a really pleasant smell that isn't overpowering so there is no concern about it overpowering any scent you wear. When you first apply it your hair is very easy to work and it takes a while to set so you have plenty of time to get your hair how you want it. Once the putty does set it really sets. Your hair will feel like it is solid when you put this on and no matter what you do it will stay how you styled it for at least eighteen hours.
I was slightly worried that it would be uncomfortable while I slept or that it would be difficult to wash out in the morning as it was so solid. Both of these fears were unfounded, I didn't have any discomfort during the night and the putty washed out really easily with just one wash. This is now the styling product that I use most often and I would say that it works much better on slightly damp hair.
The only time I make sure I am not wearing this is in the gym as when I exercise I perspire quite heavily and some of the putty mixes in with my sweat and becomes unpleasant, this is a problem I have with all hair styling products and at the end of the day I don't really care what I look like when I am at the gym. When I have my hair longer I apply it as it says in the instructions but when it is shorter i comb it backwards and the mess it up with my fingers.
There are a couple of minor negative points; it does take about half an hour to set so if it is raining you will need a brolley as wearing a hood before your hair has set will mess it up, There is almost no give in it whatsoever so it won't suit everyone.
Until recently I had never used hair gel but a few months ago I decided to start trying to do different things with my hair. After having it cut I decided to pop into my local convenience store and pick up some gel. This was the only one they had in the shop and it cost about three quid. I had seen V05 products advertised on the telly so recognised this as coming from a 'premium' brand.
After getting home and having a shower I applied it to my hair as per the instructions. The first thing I noticed about the gel was that it has quite an unpleasant smell and I found it a bit off putting. My hair is very thick but as I had it very short I didn't think this was going to be a problem. After applying this to my hair it took a fair bit of fussing to get to how I wanted it but it only lasted for a minute till it went flat.
I thought I hadn't applied enough so I went back to the bathroom and put a bit more on but just couldn't get it to stay up. I was really disappointed, I know three pounds isn't that much money but when you spend it on something like this you expect a lot better.
I was going to send it back to 'Alberto' with a letter of complaint but it turns out my mother in law uses this product on a regular basis and is happy with the results. She has medium length hair and uses it to style her hair down rather than up. As my mother in law is happy with it I will give it two stars instead of one but I think a product that says it is firm hold on the front should be better.
Lewis has always enjoyed playing with musical toys and we have always had a keyboard that was suitable for his age (see previous reviews for the 'Laugh And Learn Baby Grand' and 'Sparkling Symphony Gym'). When we went into the big ELC Lewis spent the whole time playing with this one toy so we decided to buy this and the ELC drum kit for a music themed birthday. We were lucky enough to find this on sale as the new model was just about to be released and we also had a five percent off voucher so we picked it up for less than twenty quid.
The keyboard takes 4 'C' batteries and they last for ages, I would still recommend buying some rechargeable batteries as you will save money in the long term. We set this up the night before his birthday and it was as easy as it could be. The microphone can be unplugged and just goes into a regular audio jack, this is also useful if the microphone gets lost or damaged as it is easy to replace. Once the keyboard was put together we wrapped it and were really looking forwards to seeing his reaction in the morning.
When Lewis woke up he was really excited and his face was a picture when he came into the living room and saw this really big present to open. Lew spent the whole morning playing with this and the drum kit but it was obvious that this was his favourite. Lewis spent the next coujple of weeks playing with the keyboard as his new favourite toy and he still plays with it a lot now so we have definitely got our moneys worth.
The keyboard has five percussion sound effects, eight instrument sounds and eight rythms so each time Lewis is playing with it he can try something different. As Lew has got older he has also learnt to use the record and playback function so he now really enjoys recording a song and then taking the mic off of its stand and having a bit of a dance and sing to the music he has recorded. Because of the music my wife and I are into; metal, punk...etc mixed with the inevitable influence of pop (curse you gangam style.) his musical endeavors are very entertaining. My biggest bugbear with the drum kit was the lack of volume control and thankfully the keyboard does have it.
The stool is very sturdy and as Lew has taken to using the drum stool as his stepping stool the one from the keyboard subs in when he is playing the drums. The Keyboard unclips from the base so if you are going out and your child wants to take it with them then it is a lot easier to transport. Luckily nothing has broken on the keyboard yet so it must be fairly sturdy but I have dealt with ELC before and their customer services department are very good at sending out replacements for broken parts.
I have just started trying to teach Lewis a couple of simple tunes and he is really trying hard to learn how to play it but still just enjoys rocking out to his own compositions most of all. The newest design of the keyboard also has a turntable but really doesn't look as good, if you can find it on Ebay I would go for the older design. It is easily worth twenty quid and my wife agrees that we would have still been happy if we had payed up to forty pounds for it.
I should have probably said we bought this in red rather than pink (Not that Lew would have minded.)
My mum is looking after three foster children at the moment and at Christmas she decided to buy the Leappad 2 for the eldest, Bruce who is seven and the Innotab 2 for the two younger children who were five and three at the time, she also bought the Innotab 2 for my son who is three (If you're reading this thanks again mum it is a great present. X). Mum managed to find both tablets for just under £50.
Bruce was as excited at his Leappad as the younger boys were about their Innotabs, the Leappad looks a lot more like an adult device than the Innotab and is definitely geared up to slightly older children. I was given the enviable task of setting up the tablets. The Leappad only took a minute to set up and once Justin had taken his profile photo and entered a few details he started to get to grips with it while I set up the Innotabs.
The Leappad has a directional button which makes some activities a lot easier such as some of the games which is an improvement on the Innotab but it doesn't have buttons to change the brightness which is unfortunate if you are trying to save energy or letting your child play with it at bed time. The stylus can be attached to the Leappad which is fiddly to do but very handy.
Setting up the Leappad on the computer was very easy as we already had Leapfrog connect installed for 'My Pal Scout', the computer just ran a quick update and we were good to go. the computer interface is very straightforwards and anyone with any computer experience should be able to use it.
The Leappad comes with Pet Pad, LeapFrog Learning Songs, Cartoon Director and Art Studio apps pre-installed, it also has a video recorder/camera that works with front and rear facing cameras and an eBook reader. All of the included apps are great fun and very well made. Cartoon director is probably the app that bruce has enjoyed the most.
Apps vary in cost, from three to twenty pounds, and quality so check out a review of the app before you purchase it. Many of the more expensive apps are also available as cartridges which are often cheaper than the digital copy. You get one free app with the Leappad and Bruce chose Jewel train which is a puzzle game and is great fun.
The cartridges cost around fifteen pounds. Mum bought Bruce the 'Ben 10' game cartridge. All Leapfrog explorer cartridges are also compatible with the Leapster GS and unfortunately that means they are often designed to be used with shoulder buttons. The shoulder buttons are available on the touchscreen interface but it feels a little untidy.
The Leappad is less battery hungry than the Innotab but when the low battery icon pops up you only have about two minutes as opposed to about quarter of an hour with the Innotab. As with the Innotab I would recommend investing in a set of decent rechargeable batteries.
The biggest negative point I have with the Leappad is that you can't put your own songs, videos or books on it. There is no option to upgrade the limited storage capacity but as you can't put on any of your own content it isn't too much of a problem.
The Leappad is much more of an educational toy than the Innotab, being able to track your childs progress through leapfrog connect is a great touch but would be better if it conformed to the UK key stages. The Leappad has an american accent whereas the Innotab has an English accent, this is something that I have often found slightly annoying about some other Leapfrog products.
The Leappad is advertised as being suitable for 3-9 years but in my opinion is more suited to 5-9. As the Innotab is more appropriate for 3-5 years it isn't really a question of which is better but which is more appropriate for the age of your child. If the Innotab or Leappad had Wifi it would be a major advantage and I would imagine that it would be included in the next generation.
My wife and I had seen this in the ELC in Plymouth a few times and Lew really enjoyed playing with it. Lew tends to enjoy most musical instruments/toys so we got this and the ELC keyboard and stool for a music themed birthday present. We were lucky enough to find both products on sale and had a 5% off voucher so picked up both for £36.
Out of the box the drum seems pretty easy to assemble and only took me a few minutes. Unfortunately it takes three AA batteries which is a real pet peeve of mine, why design anything to take an odd number of batteries? That being said the batteries last for ages and ages. When we had got both toys put together we wrapped them both and were really looking forwards to the morning.
When Lewis woke up he was really enthusiastic about his birthday, he ran into the sitting room and was so excited to see these big presents. Because we are mean my wife and I make him open his cards before his presents and try to get him to open smaller presents and cards (from other family members.) before he gets to his big presents. By the time he got to his big presents he was ready to burst.
Lew opened the presents and was super happy with both of them. He spent the whole morning playing the piano, singing and banging the drums. The first negative point that my wife and I noticed about the drum kit is that it has no volume control. While the drum strike sound effects aren't too bad the pre-programmed music that they play for you to play along with gets quite irritating after just a short time.
The drum sticks that come with the kit are nice and easy for small hands to grip. The drum pedal for the bass drum doesn't connect to the rest of the drum kit very well so every time the drum kit gets moved you have to put the bass pedal back on, however my wife solved this problem with some super glue.
While Lewis does play nicely most of the time accidents can happen and he managed to break the back off of the bass drum really easily. This was fixed with double sided tape but still falls off occasionally. The snare drum has a tendency to get out of alignment with the electric connection that triggers the sound effect and can be really fiddly to put right and is frustrating for both adults trying to fix it and children who want it to just work properly.
The stool that comes with the drum kit is a nice size and Lew has also recently taken to using it as a stepping stool when he can't reach something (often something he isn't allowed to have, the wee beasty). the stool is very sturdy but is also easy to take to pieces and put back together.
Recently my Mum gave us a proper snare drum, cymbal and drum stool and as you can imagine this has fast become much more popular with Lew than the toy one, it also has the added benefit that he can play as loudly as he wants or as quietly as we ask him.
The toy drum kit has been moved into his bedroom and he still plays with it quite often but it is not up to the usual standards you would expect from the ELC and nowhere near as fun as the keyboard. If you can find this for twenty quid it is worth it but don't pay forty which is what ELC are asking for at the moment. If you are torn between the keyboard and the drums definitely go for the keyboard.
I have some really visible pores on my nose but don't suffer from spots too much. I thought this might be worth a go as it was only three quid. My wife does have spots and so I figured if it wasn't useful to me she might like it.
That night I put the gel on as instructed and was looking forwards to seeing the results in the morning. I wasn't expecting it to solve the problem overnight but I also wasn't expecting was to wake up with drier skin than I have had for months. I put some Diprobase on and that seemed to sort it out. I wasn't willing to take the risk of using it again.
My wife had also tried it that night and didn't have the same reaction as me so decided to keep on using it. Within a couple of days my wife's skin also became very dry so she stopped using it as well. We have ended up throwing it away. We both feel disappointed that Boots have released a product that says it is 'Lightly moisturising and caring for your skin' when in our case the opposite is true.
I do have sensitive skin but Meg doesn't so it can't be down to that. I have used products with Tea Tree and/or Witch Hazel in the past with no problems. I will still use Boots products but this is the first time I have been left feeling really let down by one of them.
Lewis, my son is three years old and my mum has three foster kids at the moment, one who is four (but was three at Christmas.) one who is five and the other is seven. Mum had heard good things about the 'tablets' for kids, After having a look at them in 'Toys 'R' Us' she decided to get the Innotab 2 for the three youngest children and the Leappad 2 for the seven year old. Mum spent a bit of time looking online and on the high street for the best deal and managed to find both devices for under £50.
Lew was really excited about the Innotab when he opened it and the other boys were really happy to have their tablets. I was given the job of setting them all up which was really easy. First I set all the boys up on their Innotabs and got them to take pictures of themselves for their profile pictures. We left them all getting to grips with them while I started to set each of the Innotabs up with their SD cards and getting their free apps ( the Innotab 2 comes with 2 free apps).
Setting the Innotab up on the computer is also as easy as it could be. There was a CD in the box and it only took a few minutes to install the software. I let the boys choose their free apps and stuck a couple of movies and songs on for each of them.
I didn't have any trouble putting videos or songs on the Innotab as most of my files are AVI (for video.) or MP3 (for Audio.) but since have found a couple of videos that are either WMV or MP4 which have had to be converted. Free video format conversion tools are available online, just use google to find a program if you need one, but file conversion is a process that takes some time.
The internal storage space on both the Innotab 2 and Leappad 2 is somewhat limited but with the Innotab 2 you have the option of using an SD card to increase the capacity. We bought three 16GB SD cards for £8 each from amazon. I have spoken to some parents at pre-school who resent having to pay extra for additional storage space but I would rather have the option of being able to expand.
I was really surprised by the decent quality of the video playback and if Meg and I fancy watching something on TV while Lew is up and wants to watch a film (rare but it does happen occasionally.) we just stick a film on the Innotab and put the headphones on him. There is a stand on the back of the Innotab and it can be stood up either landscape or portrait. The stand is fairly sturdy but has come off a couple of times, it is easy to reattach and hasn't suffered any permanent damage yet!
As well as the Video and music player the Innotab comes with a games cartridge that has a game, book and activity on it. These are all great fun but Lew has spent a lot more time playing with the Toy story cartridge that another family member bought for him, new cartridges cost around £20.
There are some pre-installed apps on the Innotab other than the music and video player which are; an E-reader, camera, video recorder, calendar, notepad, art studio and calculator. Lew hasn't used the pre-installed apps much but as his reading skills improve I am sure he will as they all seem to work very well. The Camera quality is a little poor for taking photo's and recording video but we weren't expecting it to be super high quality.
Lew chose 'Keyboard Jam' and 'Finger Artist' for his free apps. Keyboard Jam is a fairly simple two octave keyboard with either Piano or Accordion sounds, Lew hasn't used this very much but the other kids enjoy playing with it. Finger Artist lets you colour in and save pictures of different animals and is great fun. Lewis has spent a lot of time playing it and I would recommend it even as a paid for app. New apps cost around three quid which isn't unreasonable but I would try and find a review of them first as the quality can vary from app to app.
The Innotab eats batteries at a fair rate so it is worth getting some rechargeables. Lew's Innotab sometimes has a problem that if it gets knocked the batteries come slightly out of position and have to be taken out and put back in before it will work, I have only seen this happen to Lew's so he may have done something to it. The Innotab came with a spare stylus which is handy as he has lost his first one. You can buy a new stylus online and they don't cost much if you do lose the second one.
The Innotab 2 looks a lot sturdier than the Leappad 2 but it also looks slightly more childish. After having seen both in action I would say that the Innotab is much more suited to younger children (3-5.) and the Leappad slightly older (5-8). Being able to play your own music and video files is a major plus for the Innotab over the Leappad and means that the oldest of mum's foster kids often borrows an Innotab to watch a film.
I bought these headphones for my wife about a year ago as part of her birthday present. We had both been using in ear headphones until then but my wife often complained that she really didn't like the level of sound leakage (amount other people can hear your music when you have headphones on). A friend suggested trying out a pair of over ear headphones.
On my Wife's birthday we went into town to do some birthday shopping for her and decided to go into HMV to look at headphones. We were very happy to find some Hesh headphones for just £30 as they had just released the Hesh 2. Meg chose a pair that look cool with a blue skull design on them.
When we got home my wife couldn't wait to try them out with her MP3 player (Creative Zen X-Fi 2.) but was immediately disappointed. My wife mostly listens to old School metal and at the higher volumes the bass was great but just too high. We tried fiddling around with the levels but whatever we did it just seemed slightly off. The problem of sound leakage was still a major problem to Meg when the volume was high.
Meg decided just to go back to her in ear headphones and upgrade to a better pair at some point in the future so I took over the Hesh headphones. I listen mostly to a mix of rock, rockabilly and punk and don't tend to have my volume as high as meg. I didn't have any problem with the way they sound, they weren't amazing but for the price we paid I didn't expect too much.
I listen to music through headphones either while out and about walking, at the Gym or on the train. I feel like I look like a bit of a plonker walking round with these on and they are useless when exercising (Both more of a general problem with over ear headphones rather than a problem that is exclusive to the Hesh headphones.) but they are perfect for on a train.
If you are wearing them for any length of time they are much more comfortable than any in ear headphones I have used in the past. I also don't have as much of a problem with sound leakage as my wife does, just don't sit in the quiet carriage by accident or you will get some irritated looks from other passengers.
I have suffered with dandruff for many years and although it is not a major problem none of the more famous products (head & shoulders, T Gel...etc) seem to work at all. I have Used Polytar or Alphosyl 2 in 1 for the last 10 years or so. Before finding these fantastic products I had tried a range of different dandruff treatments that promised that they would work but failed to deliver. Some of the once a week products such as Selsun did work but are just too strong as I have sensitive skin.
After a lengthy process of trial and error I found that Alphosyl and Polytar were both products that worked. At first I believed that it was worth changing which product I was using every month but as time went by I realised that Polytar was the product that I enjoyed using the most, whilst it does have a strong fragrance I much prefer it to the smell of Alphosyl. While they both are usually around the same price a bottle of Polytar lasts a little longer.
I know many people who rely on Polytar to control dandruff, psoriasis or eczema and these can all cause people undue embarrassment. I went to boots to purchase some Polytar in December last year but they were out of stock, the were also out of stock of Alphosyl. I wasn't too worried as we have several pharmacists in town but after looking around for it over the week no-one had any in stock. I spoke to someone who works at co-op Pharmacy but she didn't know what was going on with it.
I looked online and nobody seemed to be able to get hold of it. There had been no announcement of a shortage or product removal from GSK who supply both products. After a few weeks with no availability someone online posted that both products had been temporarily removed by GSK. Alphosyl has just come back into Boots and apparently Polytar will be back in the next month or so.
Whilst I am happy that these products are available again I feel badly let down by GSK who have made no official announcement or apology for the lack of availability. As they make both of the only products that really work for me I have no choice but to keep on using their products but if there were a product made by someone else I would change even if it wasn't quite as good.
My wife and I have the original version of the game of life and really enjoy it. I was struggling with ideas for my sisters Christmas present. We are a family that enjoy playing board games especially over Christmas, my sister lives away from us so my wife suggested the game of life. After doing some googling and high street shopping I found out that the game of life costs around £40 new which is above the amount we spend on each of our relatives. I found the adventure edition on Amazon for just £20 and figured it was worth a go.
When my sister unwrapped it she was really happy and we decided to play it for our Christmas evening family board game. I am always given the thankless task of setting up for the first time and reading the instructions and explaining the rules to everyone. The first time set took a bit longer than I was expecting but the rules were very straight forwards and there were a few things that only need to be done when it is first opened.
There are quite a few changes to the original game. The board is split into five sections. All players start in the same place and unlike the original game all players finish at the same time. Before you start you decide how many 'decades' the game will be played for. The aim of the game is still to have accumulated the most money by the end.
The concept of getting a job, partner and kids is still in the game and the possibility of pets has been added. Your car will change into a boat and if you are lucky a plane during the course of the game. Property trading has been added but was probably the least used of the new innovations in the game when I have played it. There are several tiles that change each decade which is a really good idea and is probably the best addition to the game.
Everybody in my family really enjoyed playing it and My sister, wife and I had some friends over for a games night when we played it recently and all of our friends really enjoyed it. Like the original game of life though it is one of those games that you can only play once in an evening without it becoming tired.
Unfortunately when everybody has finished on the starting island there is one island that it makes much more sense to go to above any of the others which means that the idea of making each game follow a different path is destroyed by imbalance. While the travel edition is great fun it just seems to be slightly less enjoyable than the original game.
The travel edition was definitely £20 well spent and I wouldn't spend £40 on the original. If I saw them both for the same price I would go for the original. My wife found our copy of the game of life at a charity shop for £3 and it is one of those things that seems to turn up in charity shops on a regular basis.
I was familiar with Diprobase from my childhood when I was prescribed it to try and sort out a problem with peeling skin on my feet, it didn't work back then (Betnovate eventually did.) so I was sceptical about how successful it would be when my doctor prescribed it for the dry skin on my hands. I had already tried several store bought hand creams and unless I used these every hour my hands were starting to look a bit like they belonged to an old man.
When I first put it on that evening I was a bit put off by just how long it took for this to be absorbed by my skin, Afterwards my hands seemed to have a slightly greasy shine for about fifteen minutes. I was beginning to despair of ever solving the problem. When I woke up the next morning I was really pleasantly surprised , While they still looked dry they were not as itchy as they had been for ages. I applied the Diprobase just before I was about to head into work and realised the mistake I had made before I left my house. I hadn't left enough time for the cream to be absorbed my my skin and was even having trouble turning the key in my lock as my hands were so slippery. Since then I have made sure to apply the Diprobase as soon as I get out of the shower so it has chance to completely rub in.
I have been using the cream for a couple of weeks now and the lingering sense of dryness has almost gone from my hands completely. Once I am happy with them I will probably switch to just using this once a day in the morning instead of morning and evening. I still use a different hand cream during the day as it is more practical not just due to how easily it is absorbed but also as the Diprobase bottle is absolutely massive.
I have friends who suffer with eczma and they couldn't think more highly of this. As it is a prescription item and you get so much it is really worth what you have to pay for it. While it is not the most convenient of options for me it has been by far the most effective, not only moisturising but also going some way to fixing the problem that was behind it.
I have written recently about my quest to find a decent moisturiser for my face but my hands were a far bigger problem. I handle newspapers on a daily basis and some of the ink always rubs off on my hands, over the last year this has caused the skin on my knuckles to become very dry and more recently start to split.
The Neals yard hand cream was probably the least effective of the three that I tried (the other two were Avon Care Dry Skin SOS and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream.) before I went to the Doctor and was prescribed Diprobase. I now use Diprobase in the morning and Evening but use the bee lovely cream during the day after I have had to wash my hands. It might seem odd that I have chosen to use what I described as the least effective of three on a regular basis but it has much to recommend it above the others.
The honey and orange fragerance of the Bee lovely cream is the most pleasant of all of the hand creams that I have tried and isn't so overwhelming that it clings to any food you are eating with your hands. The bee lovely is also the most easily absorbed and does leave your skin looking less dry instantly without being greasy.
According to the blurb Neals Yard give 25p to bee-friendly projects for each bee-lovely product they sell which is as worthy a cause as you are ever going to be able to support by buying moisturiser. Neals Yard are a well respected company and have a similar ethos to the Bodyshop but after a negative reaction to a Bodyshop product some time ago I am always more inclined to go for Neals Yard.
The Bee-Lovely cream is the most expensive of the three hand creams that I tried at £10 for 50ml compared to around £4 for 50ml of the Avon and Neutrogena options however as with the others a little goes a long way. If you have a more persistent problem or aren't prepared to pay this much I would go for the Avon. But if you have normal skin or only need a little over the winter months then this is the one for you.