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I love Lurpak. I converted myself and my daughter some time ago. my parents are occasional users and I'm always on the lookout for people to bring over to the Lurpak way of thinking. Its a little more expensive than some brands but the taste is second to none. Recently, on a shopping trip alone, my partner commited the cardinal sin of subsituting a regular brand for their lower calorie alternative. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!! You can not compromise on some things, mayonaise and Lurpak are just two in a long list of many.
So here is the deal. He came home with not just a Lurpak Lighter, but a catering size Lurpak Lighter. I hinted that this was not good and he assured me we would not be able to tell the difference. After a week he was ready to ditch the jumbo pack and go out to fetch a regular. This I felt was a little wreckless so I declined and insisted we do our time.
So what's it like. Well like any other low calorie spread its quite yellow and has that texture that allows the knife leave dredge marks in it. Secondly it has that non taste to it, not the rich and creamy taste of regular Lurpak!! Thirdly as with all low fat spreads, it makes your toast soggy, to the point where you would rather have it dry. Then to add insult to injury, on bread it just sort of sat there on the surface all hard and uninviting. The balloons were out when we came to the end of the tub - abou three weeks later, so I suppose it was good value for money, or did we just avoid using it until we were desperate?
Really, if your thinking of your wasteline - have one biccy less and stick with the real deal.
As a keen follower of many a diet, I have found that most of the recipies require chicken breasts. With a recession on at the moment, you will appreciate that supermarket chicken breasts can be a tad on the expensive side, anything from £3 for two to £6 for four fresh ones. Even the smartprice fresh are around a fiver for three.
On one shopping tripo I noticed a 1kg bag of smart price frozen chicken breasts for £2.99, (they are up around the £3.99 mark now). I decided to give them a whirl as they were not going to break the bank.
When I knew I was going to need them I took a couple out of the bag to defrost. Now, what I will say is they are not the biggest and they are not the most attractive, I suppose thats why they are the smart price ones though. There are approx 6-8 in a bag and I usually double up on what I need so they do work out cheaper than the fresh ones. For the main, the recepies I follow require the breasts to be cut in some way, shape or form so their appearence doesn't really matter. When I have left them whole its only to cook for family and they dare not comment!! Whats also positive is there is not much waste. I was expecting to be cutting away stringy bits but this is minimal and all can be used.
I suppose the most important thing though is the taste. I have to admit, cooking meat and following a recepie have never been strong points of mine, so either my cooking is improving or these chicken breasts are good!! Whether it be to fry or oven cook, they are always juicy and tender. As said I usually use in a curry or stirfry so brown first and then leave to simmer. However, I have used them to marinade and cook in the oven as whole breasts and the result has been just as successful.
As with everything they have increased in price and are now around the £4 mark, but still, cheaper than Asda own frozen or fresh. If your not fussy about shape or just want them for a curry, casserole or stirfry I would definaetly give them a go!!
Right then girlies, I can honestly say I have been an avid self tanner for too many years now. I have tried almost every bronzing product there is, some more successful than others. About five years ago I decided to treat myself one Christmass to a St Tropez mini set. I'm not usually the most successful without a guide colour but it did really work. I developed an even colour which was brown like a suntan not orange!!! Now this was at a time when I didn't have lots of spare cash to treat myself regularly so I retreated back to the cheaper tanning mousse I was quite fond of but tended to have that slight orange tint to it.
That was until I discovered the St Tropez self tanning mousse. Wow, time to make funds available to treat myself as there was no way I could go back after this!
The night before a good tanning session, make sure you have shaved and exfoliated.
Right to get going make sure you have invested in a good tanning mit. This will prevent staining and make sure you distribute the tan more evenly. You have to give the can a good shake to make sure the colour is distributed evenly and doesn't just sink to the bottom of the can. Now you are ready to go. The handy thing is the mousse has a guide colour and goes on brown so you know exactly where you are putting the mousse. Take care to ensure areas such as hands, knees, elbows and feet are well moisturised and that you don't use too much tan on these areas.
For best results I do this at night just as I'm ready to put my PJ's on. Don't put a bra on after tanning and don't do anything that will make you sweat! I don't find I have an issue with stained bed sheets as it dries very quickly. By morning the colour may shock at first, remember this is the guide. This disappoints me though, once you shower the guide washes away and you are left with an awesome tan, no streaks and you haven't damaged your skin or health in general!!
For me, the browner the better, for work and everyday I find one application every 3-4 days with a top up on my face with a St tropez facial tanner. If its a night out I usually start applying two days before both nights for a deep colour. Another positive is the tan wears away evenly so you don't get that freckled look. Its also important to keep your skin moisturised to maintain the tan.
At approx £20 for the smaller tin and £30ish for the bigger, (depends on where you get it), this may sound expensive, but it really does go a long way and Boots and Debenhams have regular offers and I buy then. So shop around, this really is worth an investment
I've owned many a hoover over the past 17 years, I would guess around 8-10 and I have to say, my Henry has been by far the best. I first met Henry when a gas engenieer servicing my heting system used him to clean the fire. My daughter, around three at the time, was spellbound by the smiling vacuum cleaner with big eyes. I thought a hoover with a face was a bit on the tacky side and instead opted for a succession of, some cheap, some more expensive. All in all, I now realise I could have probably have bought about 6 or 7 Henrys!!
Around four years ago my parents invested in a Henry, and raved about how well it worked on both real wood flooring, tiles and carpet. Henry was also a useful part of two home renovation projects, much to my mothers dismay! Henry coped admirably and after a quick wipeover with a damp cloth looked almost as new.
My sister was sold and purhased her own, that just left me. When we decided to buy a new hoover I broached the subject of a Henry. My partner was sceptical, he didn't want to spend £90, (they were on offer), on a cylinder hoover, his mother had always had uprights as she didn't rate cylinders so he felt we had to have an upright, and we did. It lasted about six months before it stopped picking up - not to worry because for our Christmas we were given another upright - this never picked up! Eventually, after much protesting I got my wish and I haven't looked back since.
Henry is easy to manouver thanks to his snazzy wheels and he has a super long cord so I can plug in in one room and drag around the others. Henry came with an array of tools and a handy material bag to keep them in. I don't use all the tools but know they are there if I need them. Henry will pick up anything, and I mean anything, (socks beware!!), and there is no better hoovering feeling than when you hear bits whistling up the pipe, so to speak. He's not the lightest hoover but by no means heavy, a downside is he is a little round and I have to hold him with one hand and the pipe in the other when hoovering the stairs .
As I've mentioned, he is good to go on all types of flooring and can keep up with the fall out from many a DIY job. Henry, at a first glance may appear a little pricey compared to some other cylinders, but honestly he doesn't really have a rival. The best £100 I've ever spent and he came from argos at a time when they were giving out vouchers for spending over £100.
I've had my actifry for just over six months now, (a Christmas gift from my Gran), in fact as a family I think most of us own one, my parents, sister, cousins, aunties, even my gran. One by one we all fell for the advertisers promise of chips that tasted fried with a fraction of the fat.
So does it?
Well I, and my family at that, would have to say yes. The chips really do taste like they have been through the fryer without being over greasy. Each chip is cooked to perfection, skins on or off, chunky or skinny, you just need to adjust the cooking time to suit your chip!
So how does it work? Honest answer is I'm not really sure but I think its something to do with hot air. All I know is this has to be one of the easiest cooking appliences I have ever used. You simply cut your chips to the desired thickness, place in the pan, measure out a spoon, (suppiled) of oil, pour over, set the timer, (as recommended in user manual, mini cookbook), and go. You are then free to go about the many other tasks us mothers have after a busy day at work, emptying washing machine, bathing children, preparing the rest of your meal, while the chips take care of themselves. You will remember its on too because it is quite noisey, like the extractor fan above the hob.
Also great is the lack of a 'frying smell', as there is a limited amount of oil, and the hot air appears to do most of the work, smells are limited! Its also a dream to clean as opposed to draining fat, finding some way of disposing of the fat, wiping out a very greasy chip pan/fryer and then washing. Once you have finished with your actifry you simply remove the pan and wash with the rest of the dinner dishes! Another important fact I've only just discovered after trying to scrup the clear plastic lid is it clips off and can be washed with the pan!
The other really good thing is its not just for chips. The actifry comes with a little cookbook which contains a variety of recepies, even meat based dishes! Its also very good for roasted vegies, my dad even makes roast potatos in his for with his sunday dinner.
When I first received this my partner raised his eyebrows and hinted that it would be another fad, an item we would use over the Christmas holiday that would be banished to the garage by the new year. How wrong he was. Eight months on and the actifry is still going strong, a valuable addition to my kitchen army.
As for value for money, ours was purchased for under £100 pounds from Macro during an offer period and as I mentioned it was a pressie. I do love it and wouldn't be without it now, the question is would I have forked out £170 for it? Knowing what I know now - yes.
I have shopped religiously at Debenhams for approximately seven years now, ever since a Desire by Debenhams opened on a local retail park. Where do I begin? Lets start with me, I'm a comfortable size 16, so some shops and girls of a similar build will know the ones I mean, offer clothes up to a size 16 which are more like a 14 elsewhere. I'm always reluctant to come away with a size 18 where offered so will leave disappointed. When I discovered Debenhams I discovered a store where a 16 is a 16. There has been the odd occasion where I have come away with a size 14, (great for a confidence booster). Then there is the style, I can honestly say there is something for everyone, myself, my mother and teenage daughter all shop at the same store. A number of designers provide a range for the store which does make the clothes feel a little more upmarket.
The clothes are also of fabulous quality. I regularly buy for my two year old son at the store and the clothes can be rough and tumbled, washed over and over and still look fab. While the kids clothes may cost more than similar items from the local supermarket they do keep their shape for longer in my opinion. Also, clothes for little ones are guaranteed to be funky, so if you are after something a little bit different, Debenhams is your type of store. Some ranges are a little too expensive for me, but the Blue Zoo label offer fantastic value for money. The only thing I would say is to be careful of the sizes because I have had to buy a size above at times, but hey, thats the only negative comment you'll find in my review, and is it that negative?
Back to adults as I mentioned there are a number of ranges available offering everything from teenagers to ladies of a certain age! Also the style of clothing on offer enables you to find something for almost every occasion. I buy everything from weekend casual clothes, something for the gym, a night out on the town and recently the whole outfit, from underwear to headwear at Debenhams. There is a wide range of footwear available, especially my favourite all time brand Faith - shoes that last almost forever, handbags galore all fab, I think you could be guranteed to find a bag to go with any outfit.
Debenhams also offer a good range of higher end makeup brands with girls on counters who are always eager to advise and suggest the best value and type of makeup for your skintone. I would be lost without its Elizabeth Arden and Clarins counters 20 mins from home and work!
The best, best, best thing though about Debenhams has to be their regular Blue Cross sale. It can be a bit frustrating if you've just made a purchase, however, if you catch them at the right time you will not be disappointed. A recent must have were a pair of knee high black boots for work which were £65 reduced to£19.50!
Debenhams never fails to put a smile on my face I always manage to find something to wear whatever the occasion. Another positive is their online service. This is great for Christmas shopping as there is a good range of merchandise on offer, they even have a dedicated gift section which you can filter for that specific person. Ordering is easy, you can register as a user or make a one off purchase if you are in a rush. Delivery is usually free, (they have regular offers on free delivery) and quick. I usually receive goods within 1-2 working days. I have also found returns hassle free. I love Debenhams a fab store and online experience which caters for the needs of all my family.
As Fireman Sams number one fan, my 2 year old has prided himself on recreating Pontypandy in my living room. This Christmas should see us complete the set with the Boat launch, Toms jeep and the training tower!! Helen Floods ambulance was an Easter gift in place of an egg. It was purchased from Tesco while on offer at approx £6.97. The car came with Helen and her case, there is a handy boot to keep the case in or Norman Price lying down! At a glance it is a good replica of the original, however, upon closer inspection disappointment sets in. Our Ambulance makes no noise at all, and we can't find any buttons to make it do so, (yes of course we disgarded the packaging immediately without looking at it to discover if indeed Helens Ambulance offered a tune!). As the proud owner of nearly all the remaining vehicles, my son was a little gutted! Also, the doors almost always come off when opened which is annoying as they are quite difficult for little fingers to to clip back on, so, when playing otherwise quietly there is a constant cry of 'mam put Helens door back on please!' On a positive, it was only £6.97ish and it did come with the Helen figure and, what self respecting Pontypandy fanatic would be seen without one!
I've never been very good with false lashes unless they are professionally applied and, as a working mother of two, finding time to visit the beautician just doesn't happen! Bad Gal Lash has got to be an all time favourite of mine, and although I might experiment with other brands, there is always one in my make up bag at any one time. I think the secret behind its appeal has to be the wand. It is huge with lots of bristles which manage to give an even coat to all lashes. I find I can wear this mascara for day or night, for night just apply another coat. It does honestly make lashes look longer and thicker. I've also noticed that the wand and product keep their moistness, the wand doesn't collect dry mascara that clumps and makes a mess!! Another bonus is it seems to be ever lasting. I wear eye make up every day and I can honestly say I purchase three each year with the odd cheaper brand here and there. I can't honestly say there are any negatives not even the price, this comes in at under £20, which, when you consider how long it lasts, is a bit of a bargin.
I love this especially as a cheek tint, its fab! It looks like a nail varnish but once applied and rubbed in provides a natural looking rosey apple tint to the cheek. I love a blush and my good friend always says a girl can never wear too much blusher. While I agree with this, a powder blusher can at times, (i've found through experience), leave tell tale pink highlights through the side of your hair if too much is applied. The benetint is great for the day and while it does give a natural coverage, it is visable. Another difference to a powder blush is, if your skin is prone to being a little dry, powder can at times look a little flakey. With benetint, the liquid is absorbed into your skin rather than just sitting on top. My only issue is, once applied you have to be quick to avoid Adam Ant 'Prince Charming' stripes. It does dry quite quickly, same said for washing hands if you rub in with fingers.
I love Elizabeth Arden products, however, this one didn't quite do it for me. I have sensitive skin which is dry at times but can get a bit greasy when I over moisturise. I tried this particular foundation because it was on offer at my local debenhams. At first I thought it would offer what I usually like - if I wear makeup, I want to look like I'm wearing it I have no time for the natural look. However, this product took me way beyond that! I'm sad to say it caked on my face no matter how little I tried to use and left a streaky finish when I tried to apply liberally. That said, for a night out applied over a few layers of fake tan, it certainly did the job!! I would say, for me and those with skin like me, this is definately a night out foundation which provides a good, lasting finish. Not one for the day job. That said, my teenage daughter who likes to leave the house looking like she is going on a night out, not to school is a big fan!
On my long journey to finding the answer to all womens dreams - youthful, firm skin, I have given this product a try. The first thing that attracted me was the promise to nourish my skin. I have conducted much research into this area and tried many collegen enhancing products. I finally decided the way forward was to ensure my skin was nourished. Garnier body care is well packaged and looks good on the shelf. It smells absolutely amazing, and the smell lasts. The cream isn't too thick so takes some working into the skin which isn't good when you work full time and have two kids to motivate in the morning! However, it did leave my skin feeling nourished as promised, not sure about the seven days. As the cream wasn't too thick I could get dressed quite quickly without my clothes feeling a size too small for me! Well worth a punt if just for the smooth skin and lovely aroma.
I purchased a 2010 1.6 Focus Zetec S last September. I had visited the second hand car dealer looking for a Focus Econetic diesel to help with my 50 mile round trip to work each day. I really wanted the Focus ST to fulfil my rally driver dream! At the showroom, I foolishly let my distaste of the Eco car and my dream of an ST slip to the sales man who assured me he had the perfect solution, the Zetec S, all the body without the insurance grouping. My partner tried to reason with me regarding fuel consumption, however, blinkers on I eagerly awaited the call to say my Panther black beauty was ready. 11 months later I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of my brand new Astra diesel! You see the Focus delivered all I was promised, a beautiful body with a tad of a boy racer look, a stunning drive thanks to the sports suspension and sports seats, a nice interior with loads of handy storage making it a good family car too and, this you may find strange, a really funky and sporty sounding horn!! A big downside has been the lack of power, a 1.6 is too small an engine for this big hunk of car! What I also didn't realise is that I would go from spending £25 per week running my Toyota Yaris to £60 per week, £70 on a busy week in petrol for the focus. This is an expense which I tried to justify and block out at first - always leaving empty for my partner to drive in the hope he would fill it up! As I say, 'sad to say goodbye?' Yes because it looks good and feels good to drive - no to the constant singing of the fill me up tune! I look forward to writing a more positive review of my new car!
After gaing, then losing 4 stone during my last pregnancy, I noticed my skin was sagging and my confidence was dramatically dented! I have tried many products aimed at tightening skin but feel I have finally found something that works for me. I have been using Dove visable effects for about two or three weeks now and have noticed a definate difference. My skin has a glow to it and looks much healthier. I can't truthfully say my skin is any tighter, but, I can confidently say the texture and appearance has improved. I have religiously applied every morning after a shower and my skin remains soft and smooth for the rest of the day. The product itself comes in a squirty bottle and has a pleasent smell. I think the key is less is more as a little appears to go a long way, too much can make the skin feel a little greasy. My only issue is as I've come to the end of the bottle the cream has been a little grainey, however, this was quickly solved with a good shake. I rceived the cream as part of a gift set which also contained a hand cream which I am yet to try. i will definately be investing in another bottle when this one runs out!