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queeny
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Member since: 24.01.2011

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    • Soups / Recipe / 53 Readings / 52 Ratings
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      20.02.2014 23:42
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      easy to make and delicious

      I love soup and like to make my own, using fresh ingredients. This way I know exactly what is in food I serve up to my family.

      This recipe is a great winter warmer. It is nutritious, low calorie and full of vitamins. It also really fills you up, great if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight or are following a healthy eating plan. As well as this, it is also very cheap to make so would suit families who are on a budget.

      This soup is also suitable for vegetarians.

      Preparation time - 15 mins
      Cooking time - 1 hour on the hob

      serves 4/5

      Ingredients

      2 large sweet potatoes
      1 small onion
      2 large leeks
      3 carrots
      2 parsnips
      1 1/2 pints vegetable stock

      Method

      1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1 cm cubes. Chop the onion and leek into chunky slices. Peel and slice both the parsnips and carrots. Put all the vegetables into a large saucepan.
      2. Boil the kettle and make up a batch of 1 1/2 pints of vegetable stock using the instructions stated on your brand of stock cubes.
      3. Pour over the vegetables making sure that they are fully covered.
      4. Simmer on a low heat for approx 1 hour, until veg is soft and well cooked.
      5. Serve with a warm bread roll

      Variations

      The vegetables in this soup can be altered to suit the season. I have experimented with many different variations but this one remains my favourite. Chicken or beef stock can also be used instead of vegetable stock, depending on your taste and dietry requirements.

      This soup can also be chilled and kept in the fridge for 24 hours. It also freezes well.

      Thank you for reading my recipe. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do.

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      • Rice & Pasta Dishes / Recipe / 54 Readings / 53 Ratings
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        13.02.2014 15:26
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        Delicious AND nutritious

        This recipe is very simple to make. The ingredients I have used are all freshly purchased but this dish is very versatile and ideal for using up left overs from the fridge or store cupboard. My version is also suitable for vegetarians but again this can be altered to suit your taste.

        The frittata can be served hot, delicious with chips and veg, or can be eaten cold. I have worked out that the cost per portion is around 67p, which is great for families on a budget and a lot cheaper than any similar product that can be purchased from a supermarket. The other advantage of making this yourself, is that you can see exactly what has gone into the frittata.

        Ingredients

        Olive oil
        6 eggs, beaten
        6 spring onions, finely chopped
        red and yellow peppers, sliced
        200g sweetcorn kernals, drained
        200g fresh or frozen peas
        4 medium sized mushrooms, chopped
        200g macaroni
        1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

        Method

        1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160 fan/ Gas Mark 4.
        2. Cook the pasta until al dente
        3. Lightly grease a medium-sized, oven proof flan dish with a little olive oil
        4. Place all the ingredients, including the pasta, into a large mixing bowl and mix to combine. Transfer into the dish.
        5. Place in oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the frittata is golden brown. !Always check at this point that the eggs have set fully, right through to the base of the frittata!
        6. Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy

        I have found that the cooking time of this recipe can vary considerably depending on your appliance. It also takes a lot longer to cook in a deeper dish, than in a shallow one. Please bear this in mind before cooking as it is easy to get caught out with this.

        I love the fact that this is cheap to make and simple to prepare and it is enjoyed by all my family.

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        • Vegetarian / Recipe / 46 Readings / 43 Ratings
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          11.02.2014 20:18
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          Delicious!!

          Baked Spinach Cannelloni

          Preparation time 20 minutes
          Cooking time 20-25 minutes

          This recipe is delicious and very easy to make. This is also great for kids to become involved with as there are lots of 'messy jobs' which kids will love.

          Ingredients:

          8 cannelloni tubes
          225g spinach, washed and trimmed
          225g ricotta cheese
          1 egg yolk
          425ml passata
          pinch of sugar
          1 garlic clove, crushed

          Method

          1. To make the filling put the spinach in a saucepan with a small amount of water. Cover and cook for about 7 minutes on a low heat. The leaves should be limp and dark green in colour. Drain well.
          2. Chop the spinach and stir in the crumbled ricotta cheese. Seperate the egg and add the yolk to the mixture. Stir well.
          3. Spoon the filling into each cannelloni tube and arrange them in an oven-proof dish.
          4. Mix the passata, sugar and garlic together and pour over the cannelloni, making sure it is well covered. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 200C/ 180 fan/ gas mark 6 for about 20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.

          This recipe is now a firm family favourite. Delicious served with salad and garlic bread.

          It is also very cheap to make so perfect for a family on a budget.

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          • Andrew James Whole Fruit / Juicer / 52 Readings / 52 Ratings
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            10.02.2014 12:08
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            NIce for the price

            I'd wanted a juicer for a long while and the new year gave me a perfect excuse to indulge myself. After all, it is a well-known fact that fruit and vegetables are very good for you and what better way to get in more of my 'five-a-day' than with a cool glass of fruit juice. I also believed that it may encourage the rest of my family to increase their daily intake too.

            I chose the Andrew James juice mainly because of the price. It seemed so much cheaper than the other juicers available, costing only £45.99 from Amazon. I hoped that the price did not reflect on the quality.
            On first inspection the machine seemed rather sturdy. It is made of stainless steel and the top looked good quality, not cheap and flimsy as I'd feared. There is also a decent sized tank for collecting the pulp of the fruit which is very easy and clean to use. The blades also seemed extremely sharp, although I didn't inspect them too closely, and I couldn't wait to put the whole thing together and get making those delicious juice drinks.

            I was also pleased that the instructions were clear and concise and easy to use. The machine has two speed settings. (This is something that these machines often do and something I always find odd. I struggle to understand why anyone would choose the slower setting and want to wait longer for their juice to be ready.) It doesn't take long for each piece of fruit to be 'juiced' and the filter enables you to put the whole fruit in, stalks, pips and all. This makes it even more convenient to use.
            The juicer uses about 3 to four pieces of fruit of vegetables to make a decent sized drink. This may seem like a lot and obviously will work out more expensive than buying a ready-made carton of juice. However, I believe that the nutritional value far out ways this and I like the idea that I can see exactly what has gone into the drink before giving it to my family. I also like the convenience that you only need to drink one of these a day and you have gone a long way to achieving your daily five portions, set out by the government.

            My biggest grumble with this is the level of noise this machine produces. I personally find it very loud and certainly not appealing when juicing first thing in the morning. This is perhaps something that the manufacturers should consider carefully, as a quiet machine is a 'must' for me. It is also quite fiddly to clean. Although it is deemed dishwasher safe, I find that the fiddly bits still need cleaning by hand, as it is more than my dishwasher can handle. However, aside from this it produces delicious tasting drinks and the quality of the machine has not been compromised for the price.

            I was a bit disappointed that my machine did not come with a recipe book. This would have been a nice touch and possibly inspired me to try other fruits and vegetables that I usually wouldn't.

            So do I have a healthier family?? For the first few weeks, yes. Both my husband and daughter were keen to try the juices and inventing new recipes on a daily basis. However, soon the novelty wore off and, with all that washing up, the machine didn't seem quite so 'convenient' anymore. I still have the occasional juice but the machine is now almost redundant. I'm just glad that I didn't pay any more for my juicer.

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              08.02.2014 15:51
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              Better than Starbucks!!!

              I've always been a huge fan of 'proper' coffee and loved the treat of a Costa or Starbucks during a family day out or after a hard day of shopping. This year, my husband provided me with the perfect Christmas present when he bought me my Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee machine and has quickly become one of my most treasured possessions! My coffee is now my daily treat and I look forward to having that 10 minute 'me time' and relaxing with a magazine.

              Receiving this as a gift, I am not sure how much my husband paid for my machine but after doing a bit of research, it is priced at £139.99 in Argos.

              The instructions are very clear and concise and the product very easy to use. Firstly, before using the machine, guidelines are given for its first use which cleans the machine with hot water. This only takes a few minutes and then it can be used straight away. The back of the machine contains a water tank which can be lifted out for ease of use. This is filled to the 'max' line and replaced and then a button is pressed on the base of the machine. The button flashes red for about 20 seconds and then goes green. After choosing which coffee to have, the pod is places in a section at the top of the machine. This is very easy to use. This consists of a lever which lifts up and a drawer pulls out. The pod is placed in the drawer and it is returned to the machine. The coffees which use one pod per cup are relatively straight forward to use. Just turn the dial to 'hot' and the coffee flows into your cup. Some coffees such as Americano need use just one pod per cup and some, such as a Cappuccino, need two. This creates the delicious frothy layers on top of the coffee.

              When using two pods, it is still relatively straight forward, but you have to change the pod to the second one half-way through in order to create the drink. The only drawback with this is that the ratio of how much of each pod to use is indicated by an illustration on top of the pod (for example pod one will show 5 of the 8 bars shaded in and pod two will have 3 of 8 shaded), so a lot of the time it feels like guess work when adding water to each pod. I even re-read the instructions at this point, just to check that is wasn't me just being daft! However, I have to say that even though this is not appear to be an accurate measurement, I don't believe it has any bearing on the taste of the coffee.

              When using the machine the first thing I noticed was the strong, freshly ground, coffee aroma which filled the kitchen. The machine has a very professional quality about it and I was delighted with the look and taste of the coffee I had produced.

              There is also a huge range of coffees available for this machine, to suit every taste, which you can vary to suit your mood, or the time of day and keeps the machine interesting. The machine I received came with a sample pack containing 8 different coffees to try. I have to say I am now hooked on trying different flavours and have yet to find one that I don't like. My personal favourites are Americano -a rich, intense 'wake you up in the morning' coffee; Cappuccino -creamy and indulgent and tastes like its straight from a high end coffee shop; Chococcino -Cappuccino with a hint of chocolate, yum! And Caramel Latte -for those with a sweeter tooth! The range also includes many other varieties such as Café au Lait, Grande Intenso, Lungo Decaf, Mocha, Latte Macchiato, Espresso and many, many more, including the more unusual Marrakech Style Tea and Chai Tea Latte.

              The pods come in boxes of 16 and currently selling for £3.77 in Tesco and £3.69 in Asda. Some varieties take two pods to create, so you need to take into account that you may be paying nearly four pound for 8 coffees not 16. It may seem that the price of pods is a little expensive, but far less than what you would pay for a Starbucks, and you certainly can't compare the product to an instant coffee.
              There is also a cold water feature for creating Cappuccino Ice, Nestia Peach, and Nestia Lemon. These I have never tried, so I can't really comment on this function. The instruction booklet also features an ice cream dessert which the more adventurous can have a go at, but as this takes 6 coffee pods to create, I decided this is a very expensive dessert and have not attempted it myself.

              My experience has been that all the pods are relatively easy to find and are stocked by most leading supermarkets. They are also available from the Dolce Gusto website - https://www.dolce-gusto.co.uk with free delivery on orders over £25 pounds. The website also provides you with ten pounds to spend on coffee or machine accessories when you register your product using the code provided with the machine. Another added bonus!

              I absolutely adore my Nescafe Dolce Gusto and am giving this product 5 stars. It is quick, convenient and easy to use and the coffee it produces is second to none.

              Pregnant women and those with heart problems should limit the amount of Caffeine taken on a daily basis.

              Thank you for taking the time to read my review.

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                03.02.2014 11:53
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                well worth the money for an indigestion free Christmas!!

                It's not often that I suffer with indigestion but around Christmas time, when I was eating more than I should, I was struck with terrible heartburn which was very uncomfortable to say the least. At a busy time like Christmas, this was the last thing that I wanted to spoil the holiday season.
                I headed straight for my local Nisa shop, which thankfully was open at unsociable hours to find something that may alleviate my discomfort. If I'm honest, I didn't set out purposefully to specifically purchase Setlers, it was just the one that caught my eye. The box is eye-catching and the product promises to provide 'fast-acting relief' from heart burn and indigestion. At £1.79 for 36 tablets and needed no more convincing.

                Upon opening the box I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting the tablets to come in blister packets, rather like Paracetamol. Instead there were three separate tubes which were wrapped more like sweets. This made them appear less 'medical' which has its good points and bad points. The tubes are a handy size to carry in a pocket or handbag, however as with all medication, there are clear guidelines for how many tablets should be taken and when, the side effects and when to seek further advice. Children between 6-12 years are advised to suck one tablet when required and not to exceed the recommended dose of 4 a day. Adults and children over 12 can take a maximum of 16 a day. These should not be used on children under 6 years old. Parents of younger children need to be aware of how 'sweet-like' this medicine looks.

                Upon opening the tube, I noticed the tablets smelt very minty and reminded me of toothpaste. They are very chalky, as you would expect from an indigestion remedy. I found them quite strong in taste and found myself wondering if the strength of minty flavour had any indication on the effectiveness of the tablet.

                The tablet is designed to dissolve slowly in the mouth and I think it took about 10 minutes to disappear completely. It left a fresh taste in my mouth which I quite liked.

                On this occasion, I took three of the tablets before noticing a vast relief in symptoms. Thankfully the indigestion did not return. Whether this was due to the tablets keeping it at bay or co-incidence, I can't say but I do believe that Setlers indigestion remedy was well worth its money and I'm very glad I chose it.
                I will definately buy again in the future.

                The guidelines advise that Setlers should not be used by people who have a sugar intolerance, who are taking glycosides or are on a low phosphate diet. It is also not recommended for people who have kidney problems.

                The side effects of excessive or prolonged usage are that they may cause constipation. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or people on other medications must consult their doctor before starting treatment.

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                02.02.2014 01:07
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                takes me back to my childhood!!

                I first encountered Carex Cola Bottle hand wash in our local shop, where it was spotted my daughter who was very eager to try it. I was rather sceptical at first and was unsure whether it was possible for any company to produce a hand wash with such a unique and specific scent. After all, there is no mistaking the distinct smell of cola bottles and to me, recreating this was going to be a tall order. However, as the product was on offer for two for £2, I decided to give it a shot, along with another Carex hand wash with the equally unique scent of 'Strawberry Laces'.
                I believe the RRP price of this product to be around £1.60 for a 250ml bottle and I have seen it stocked in both Tesco and Morrisons.

                The brand Carex makes me think of good quality so my expectations of this product were quite high and I wasn't disappointed with the hand wash.

                The bottle is easy to use and features the usual pump dispenser top found on most hand wash bottles. The design on the bottle is clear, simple and appealing to children. It gives the impression that this hand wash is very different to any other. The bottle is also transparent so easy to see when the hand wash is running out. The hand wash itself is a creamy brown colour and as soon as I began washing my hands I noticed the sweet Cola smell. I was very impressed how much it really does smell like Cola bottles in a subtle way that is not too over powering, but strong enough to leave the distinctive scent.

                I found that I only needed a small amount of the hand wash to get a good lather. The bottle states that it holds 18 washes, although I suspect that I will get more hand washes than that from it.

                The bottle states that the hand wash kills 99.9% bacteria, which is a must in my opinion for all hand washes. It also claims to contain added moisturisers which make it kinder to skin. Having sensitive skin which is prone to drying out, this protection is very important to me. However, after washing my hands with this product for several days, I noticed that it didn't dry out my skin as much as the other hand washes I have used. This was an added bonus. This product also claims to care for nails. Another unique feature which you don't usually associate with a hand wash.

                My daughter adores this hand wash and at first, was looking for excuses to go and wash her hands. However, I don't think that this will appeal to everyone. Some people may have the belief that soap should smell like soap and might miss that 'clean' smell on their hands after washing. A soap which smells like sweets doesn't really have that same effect. I also think that parents with younger children may need to be aware that this product really does smell good enough to eat! and young children should perhaps be closely supervised when using it.
                The novelty of this product makes it worth its money and is a fun alternative to an everyday scented hand wash.

                Carex hand wash bottle can be recycled.

                Creating Carex Cola Bottle handwash is a totally unique idea and very appealing, particularly to children who perhaps may need more encouragement to wash their hands. It smells delicious and I can't wait to open the Strawberry Laces scented one.

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                  21.08.2011 13:28
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                  worth the money but no sunscreen

                  I first discovered Agatha Ruiz lip balm when on holiday in Spain last year. I love lip balm and hate dry feeling cracked lips and was mortified when I realised that I had forgotten to pack mine. In the hot dry weather we were having at the time, I headed off to the shops in search of something that would keep my lips soft and moisturised.

                  I found Agatha Ruiz lip balm in the local shop for a bargain price of 3.00 Euros and bought some straight away. I chose the cherry lip balm as I thought it sounded refreshing and definitely a favourite of mine when buying lip balm in the U.K.

                  The lip balm comes in a funky designed tin with a pull of lid. These tins are slightly deeper in size than the lip balm tins readily available in the U.K., although after checking the packaging in order to write this review, I am unable to find a weight on it for value purposes. This I find quite strange, but considering only a little is needed for each application one tin does last a long time. The tin is a very handy size, small enough to fit in your handbag without taking up too much room but big enough to be worthwhile.

                  After initially battling the annoying but necessary plastic seal, the lip balm is very easy to open. The lid just twists on and off when needed. One flaw I have previously found with this style of tinned lip balm is the lids can get looser with time. There is nothing worse than 'loose lid syndrome' in your handbag with products spilling out all over the place. Luckily, I have not yet had this happen with these lip balms and the lid has stayed on nice and firmly even after numerous uses. A big bonus in my eyes.

                  Once the lip balm is opened, the first thing I noticed is how strong it smelled. Really fruity and refreshing. The smell of this lip balm is probably the strongest I have smelt with this kind of product. It is so much so that it can even be smelt when worn on the lips. If, like myself, you are a fan of fruity fragrances this can be a real plus but if not, considering your lips are right under your nose (!!) this product is not for you.

                  The cherry flavoured lip balm is deep red in colour. I don't know if this follows through with all flavours as I am yet to try them all. The colour is transferred to the lips with each application giving them a shiny red sheen.

                  The lip balm itself is quite a light smooth consistency which is very easy to apply. The drawback to this is that it is very, very soft. Only a very small amount is needed on the end of your finger before applying. Anymore and you end up in a real mess. For me this took a lot of getting used to as previously i've always had harder lip balms and have been used to firmly dunking my finger in before applying it to my lips. A real no-no with this. On the positive side, the small amount needed for each application means that this lip balm seems to last forever.

                  After spending more time in Spain, I found that these lip balms seemed to be everywhere, reasonably priced between 3.00 and 4.00 Euros depending on the shop. This made me belief that they must be quite a hot product out there and tempted me into buying another flavour.

                  Agatha Ruiz lip balm is available in cherry, raspberry, kiwi, tutti fruity and passionfruit. I decided to buy the raspberry one to bring back home with me.

                  I have to say the biggest flaw with this product is that the lip balm contains no sunscreen. I found it strange that a product that appeared to be so popular in Spain would be designed without an SPF. After noticing this, I decided to purchase a different lip balm to use for the duration of my holiday and save these for when I returned home. I do like these lip balm but was very disappointed by this, which I thought to be quite an obvious necessity.

                  After searching on the internet, these lip balms can be purchased in this country, however I have not personally spotted any whilst out shopping. I still have the raspberry flavour which I bought last year as I said they seem to last a long, long time.

                  I would recommend these lip balms to a younger lady who likes rich fruity smells as they are certainly funky and novel but I would say they are not suitable for hot weather due to their lack of sunscreen and this leaves me unsure of its benefits to the skin. However, it's fun, funky and smells great. Not bad for the price.

                  Thank you for reading my review.

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                  16.08.2011 22:12
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                  Very Berry but doesn't last long

                  About 6 months ago a friend of mine decided to have a go at selling Avon products in her spare time. To show my support, I offered to have a look through her catalogue and place an order to help get her new venture underway. Being the lover of perfume that I am I couldn't wait to try out all the special 'smelly' pages in the Avon catalogue. This is when i discovered Avon's Secret Fantasy Eau de Toilette and its light fruity scent really appealled to me. This normally retails at around £12 a bottle for 50ml but on this occasion it was on offer at £6. Half of it's usual price. In addition to this, Avon were also offering a small percentage discount on orders over £50. What more reason did I need to buy?

                  The following week my order arrived and I couldn't wait to have a proper 'smell' of my new fragrance which arrived in a very girly pink patterned box and packaging. The bottle is also very girly and is a hot pink colour which looks stylish in a 'young funky' way rather that 'elegantly feminine'. Attached to the bottle is a key on a metal chain. This I found odd at first but when I realised it represented the name'Secret Fantasy' and the penny dropped! My only grumble about this bottle is that it has no lid and to me this makes it look incomplete somehow. Instead there is a turn fastening at the top of the bottle which is very unusual and I think, slightly pointless.

                  Now for the important bit, the fragrance. Initially, I had had a few reservations about this perfume, considering I only paid £6 and was worried that it may smell 'cheap'. I have also had some perfumes from Avon before and to me they had always smelt quite musky. However, it had been a long while since I bought anything from Avon and I was hopeful that there perfumes may have become more contemperary in order to suit a younger generation of customers.

                  After spraying the scent on my wrist once or twice I was over powered by the fruitiness of this fragrance. However I couldn't pick out what the fruits were as they all seemed to blend together at once so i had to cheat and check out the list on the packaging. The box states that Avon Secret Fantasy is made up of Red fruits and pineapple. I find the term 'Red Fruits' to be slightly vague but the scent certainly has a slightly tangy berry feel about it which also gives the fragrance a fresh summery feel. I was very surprised that this contains pineapple as it is the last thing that I would have guessed as I cannot detect it at all! This may be that my nose is not as sensitive as I thought, or perhaps it has just been overpowered by all the berries!

                  The middle notes of this perfume are very subtle. Jasmine and lilac which can be smelt more after the perfume has settled on your wrist for a while. Again I would have never been able to pick them out specifically but I can certainly detect the floral tones, which are fresh and not too heavy.

                  The base notes are sandlewood and white musk which gives the perfume a warmer feel and luckily for me the musk is not heavy or overpowering at all. This I was glad of as heavy musk perfumes are inclined to give me a headache. Not what you need before the start of a night out.

                  So how about it's staying power? Unfortunately this fragrance doesn't last long and after about two hours the initial fruitiness of the fragrance has disappeared. After a further two hours, I couldn't smell this at all. I found this very disappointed as I like my perfume to stay noticable all day long. This may be reflected by the price, after all if Avon can sell this for £6 a bottle the ingredients can't be that expensive! Or maybe it is also because this is an Eau de Toilette rather than a perfume which I find can often lose their scent quicker and can be a lot more subtle than a regular 'perfume'.

                  I would recommend this to a younger person who is looking for a daytime perfume that is not too heavy. It is light, fruity and summery and definately a bargain price. Personally, I wouldn't buy this again simply because of how quickly the scent disappears. I think I would be reapplying this so often that my cheap bottle of perfume would end up becoming false economy!!

                  Thank you for reading. This review may also appear on ciao under the username of Supersweep.

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                    04.08.2011 23:05
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                    Not so spring fresh!

                    I've never been a lover of furniture polish. It's always been the smell that has put me off and kind of reminded me of a musty vinegar which left me wondering what the appeal was. I suppose I also always associated it with being quite an old fashioned product and not a smell that I wanted to encourage around my home. In the past I have always gone for modern products which contain antibacterial agents and up until trying this product, using furniture polish has never entered my head.

                    I first discovered Mr Sheen Springfresh when it was recommended to me by a friend who told me she used it all the time. It came up in conversation after I had my usual moan about the amount of cleaning products I buy, which I used for different chores around the house. My friend told me about Mr Sheen's multi-purpose capability and claimed she used it on most surfaces around her home. This surprised me. I had never noticed her home smelling 'polishy' and this intrigued me to give it a try.

                    I bought my can of Mr Sheen Springfresh from Tesco with 300ml costing £1.49. The can is a simple design with an aerosol dispenser and has the 'Mr Sheen Man' on the front. This variety shows the illustration of Mr Sheen flying his aeroplane leaving a green trail which reads 'Springfresh'. According to the packaging this polish will clean, shine and protect furniture whilst leaving a fresh uplifting aroma.

                    The can is easy to use with no fiddly open/close features that some cleaning products use. I was glad of this as it make the job of squirting and wiping with a cloth so simple. This product claims to be effective on numerous surfaces including glass, wood, plastic, mirrors, paintwork, tiles, enamel and stainless steel

                    I first tried this on wood and was astounded at how clean and shiny my furniture became. It left the wood a deep rich polished colour which I really liked. After further experiments with my polish I also found that it left paintwork looking clean and vibrant. I also noticed how the polish seemed to leave a professional looking finish to my furniture and how very little polish is needed to create this effect.

                    When sprayed this product leaves a protective guard on furniture which claims to reduce the amount of gathering dust between cleans. However I have to say I have not noticed any difference in my dust levels and didn't realise it was meant to do this until reading the can before writing this review. Needless to say this feature is not glaringly obvious and to me it still needs to prove itself on this score.

                    Another thing that I believe lets this product down is when used on smooth polished surfaces (such as glass, mirrors and ceramics), I found it had a tendency to leave streaky marks and a lot of elbow grease was needed to get rid of these. This left me thinking that Mr Sheen had given me more work to do than before I had started! This was really disappointing. I had hoped I had found a multi-purpose product that could tackle all my cleaning chores and would rid my cupboards of all its different cleaning products. It was sadly not meant to be.

                    Now for the important bit .....the smell....

                    Mr Sheen Springfresh claims to leave an uplifting fragrance in the home when cleaning. I found the initial smell quite pleasant but unfortunately the 'Springfresh' aroma only 'masks' the smell of polish rather than eliminates it. About half an hour after using this product, this aroma had gone leaving my home smelling...well a bit like musty vinegar!!!!
                    Although I liked the way my furniture looked after using it I don't think I'll be replacing this product when empty. However for people who like polish as a product, this one could be a good contender and worth a try for £1.49. Personally I intend to go back to my antibacterial cleaning agents as soon as possible.

                    Thank you for reading. This review may also appear on Ciao under the username of Supersweep.

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                      01.08.2011 23:16
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                      If you can put up with the smell your cats will love you forever

                      My three cats are my babies and as an important part of our family we would do all we can to keep them healthy and happy. Charlie 16, still occasionally active but a bit grey around the whiskers. Molly 5, Miss independent and prestige hunter and Matilda 12 weeks who shows them all who's boss. All three of my cats are what you might call fussy eaters and having tried many different cat foods in many different formats, without a doubt Felix in pouches are their favourite. Myself and my husband have both tried 'conning' the cats into eating tinned food, as it's much better value for money, but they are having none of it.

                      Felix have a range of cat foods specifically formulated to meet the cat's requirements throughout every stage of it's life ranging from Kitten food through to Senior.

                      The problem occurs when our cats like to share each others food. Despite having their own bowls, Charlie will sit happily eating out of Molly's pretty pink bowl and vice versa. This makes it almost impossible to ensure the right cat is eating the right food for it's age. Because of this I always buy bog standard Felix adult pouches for all three of my cats and I have to say it's never done any of my cats any harm.

                      I came across purchasing Felix Senior by accident when I picked up the wrong box in the supermarket. The packaging is very similar to the regular Felix Adult box so it was an easy mistake to make. It was also the same price. £2.85 for a box of 12 pouches. These are available in meaty or fish flavour or a mixture of both. The Senior variety is aimed to be fed to cats aged 7+ as it contains the right nutritional content for a cat of this age. According to the packaging it contains no less than 25% more added vitamins than regular Felix Adult food and balanced minerals to help maintain a healthy body. Obviously I am no expert in cat food but for the same price as regular food this left me wondering why they don't put these added extras in regular cat food.

                      The pouches are very user frindly with a simple 'tear-to-open' top which is easy to tear so no need for scissors. All the pouch needs is a gently squeeze and the food pours out easily. Each pouch contains 100g which doesn't look a lot and my cats soon make short work of it. As I said earlier the cans seem to go a lot further as I with three cats I only get four feeds out of one box.

                      The one very bad point about this cat food is the smell. It is overpowerfully discusting and smells out the whole house. The only way to describe it is like rotten foul meat. The odour is so strong Molly can usually detect it from the bottom of the garden but with a stench like that it makes me wonder what the cats think is so yummy. Unfortunately this is something we have to endure to keep our feline friends happy.

                      I can't really compare this with other leading brands as our cats have never really given them a chance but I can say that our cats have eaten and loved Felix for years, never become fed up of it and all are in tip top condition.

                      After reading of the nutritional health benefits this Senior food can bring I was keen to give Charlie a go to see if it revitalised him with a much need burst of energy but surprisingly it was the kitten, Matilda who loved the senior food. Unfortunately Charlie didn't get much of a look in only ending up with one pouch out of the pack of twelve. Even though this is not how it's meant to be, if it was approved by my fussy cats I think I can give it the thumbs up.

                      It seems for the time being we will have to keep providing Felix pouches for our moggies for the time being and if they are happy then so am I.

                      Thankyou for reading - queeny, Charlie, Molly and Matilda x

                      This review may also appear on Ciao under the username of Supersweep.

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                        01.08.2011 20:09
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                        Handy gum to stem those cravings

                        This is my third attempt at stopping smoking. Having two failed attempts in the past by going 'cold turkey' I decided to try my local 'stop smoking clinic' to see if they had any advice to encourage me with my third and hopefully final quit attempt. The staff at the clinic have been very helpful and it was them who suggested I try Niquitin gum Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Having never tried anything like this before and perhaps hoping for a miricle cure to stop my cravings I was keen to give it a whirl.

                        Niquitin gum is available in two different strengths. 4mg for people who smoke 20 or more cigerettes a day and 2mg for less heavier smokers. With attending the smoking clinic I recieved a free prescription for this gum but in Boots it retails at £13.99 for 96 pieces. This may sound expensive but compared to the price of cigerettes it is an absolute bargain. I also noticed that it is available in a fruit flavour as well as mint but liking the sound of a fresher taste, I decided to opt for the mint.

                        After tasting this gum for the first time I initially thought it was not for me. It has a very unique taste to say the least, slightly minty but very 'medical'. But not wanting to fall at the first fence and determined to stop smoking I perservered with it for the next few days and gradually I became more tolerant of it's bitter taste and in a funny way became more used to it. Whether my like for this gum developed because it was providing my body with nicotine I cannot really say but I would recommend to anyone to keep going with it as it's taste does become better with time!

                        The gum is packaged within blister pack sheets rather like you'd expect to find tablets. I suppose this is because it is treated as 'medication' rather than gum. There are also instructions which tell you the usual precautions, possible side effects and the technique which the gum should be chewed.

                        The gum is designed to be chewed until the taste becomes strong and then placed at the side of the mouth where nicotine can be absorbed into the body. It took me a long time to get used to this chewing technique and found that if continuously chewed like regular gum, it becomes very strong and almost 'burns' the back of the throat. Needless to say after nearly choking myself one or two times I soon got the hang of the slow chewing then resting technique.

                        A ten a day smoker is recommended to chew between 5-8 peices of gum a day for the first few weeks and gradually reduce this until in time you have eliminated the need for nicotine entirely.

                        Two weeks on from my last cigerette I do believe the gum has helped stem my cravings. There have been times when I could have caved in but after a few minutes with the gum these cravings have passed and I've ploughed on without my once beloved fag.

                        The only negatives I've found with this is with prolonged use I seem to be developing hiccups at least once on a daily basis. This is written within the side effects but seems to have affected me a lot. I don't know if this would be true to anyone else or if it is just a side affect which has become personal to me but it has become an annoyance after a fortnight!

                        Another thing I've noticed is slight jaw ache from the chewing so much every day. I don't suppose it's normal to be chewing 5 -6 pieces of gum every day and my jaw certainly isn't used to it. In addition to this, Niquitin gum isn't the softest gum in the world to be chewing for such a duration and its toughness doesn't help my poor aching jaw.

                        On the upside, chewing gum has certainly stopped me from dipping in the fridge for something to eat every half an hour, something I did continuously on my previous quit attempts.

                        I suppose these are only minor niggles considering the positive benefits of using this gum. It has certainly supported me in my quit attempt and has definately stopped me cracking in them difficult moments.

                        Niquitin also make patches and lozengers as an alternative. These I have never tried but I would imagine would make a more suitable alternative to gum for those people who were dentures or have a dislike of chewing gum.

                        All in all I would recommend Niquitin gum to anyone who is considering stopping smoking. It is not 'perfect' but certainly helps those cravings and a lot better alternative than trying to go it alone. As I begin week 3 of my quit attempt i'm determined to keep going and with Niquitin to keep me going I hope I can finally say goodbye to cigerettes for good.

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                          31.07.2011 21:57
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                          Not just for Kylie fans

                          I first came across this perfume at a friends house when I spotted it in a her bathroom. I know that this may sound narrow minded but I have always associated perfumes that are created by popstars to be aimed at a younger teenage market and was surprised at my thirty year old friend to be owning such a product. But being a lover of perfume I was intrigued and asked my friend if I could try a squirt to satisfy my curiousity. After applying a small amount on my wrist, I was actually surprised at how 'un-girly' this smelt. Not what I was expecting at all. It's richness and depth gives it a sophisticated feel and I was immediately impressed.

                          Two months on I spotted this perfume in Superdrug on special offer at £19.99 for 50ml. This was a bargain compared to it's usual £30 price tag so I couldn't resist in trying some for myself.

                          The packaging is simple but effective. The fragrance comes in a sparkly holographic pink box which looks and feels good quality. The perfume bottle is also a simple design and like most fragrances it is clear to see the pink perfume inside.

                          The following day I squirted a small amount of this perfume to both my wrists. Being a light fragrance, I felt that this was perfect for daytime wear. This is an important factor for me as I find that all too often I buy a fragrance and then decide it is far too heavy to wear generally day to day and end up stacking the bottle in my bathroom cabinet along with my other vast collection of 'special occasion' perfumes. 'Darling' seems to have got this just right. The scent is not too overpowering but after 4 hours of wear it still smelt as nice as when I first applied it. So much so that I felt no need to squirt any more to my wrists at lunch time, a habit I'd become accustomed to with many of my other perfumes. This also means that the bottle will hopefully last a lot longer even with everyday wear.

                          Now for the all important ingredients.....I have to admit that although I know I like the smell, I was unable to pick out any exact aromas with my nose so I cheated and checked the packaging to see what fragrances this perfume contained.

                          The top notes are made up of passion fruit, freesia and lychee. This gives the perfume it's sweetness although not overly sweet or sickly. The middle notes are lily and bonoria. This gives the scent its floral tones and the base notes are sandelwood, amberwood and vanilla. According to the packaging, these base notes give the fragrance a sensual feel which I think is what stops this perfume smelling too 'young'. After reading these ingredients, I can detect the vanilla and the sandalwood a lot more when smelling it. This fragrance certainly seems to have a lot of depth when you pick these aromas out.

                          I would recommend this perfume to anyone who is looking for a light daytime perfume with staying power. I would say it is suitable for all age ranges, not just young teenage girls and I've certainly become more broad minded when choosing scents.

                          Thanks for reading

                          This review may also appear on Ciao with my username as Supersweep

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                            28.07.2011 22:54
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                            quality reflected in the price

                            A friend of mine recently became an avon rep and wishing to be a supportive friend I decided to place an order for a number of different Avon products. Having never tried Avon before, the first thing I noticed was how cheap some of the products were and felt a little unsure if this reflected their quality in any way. I first tried this fragrance by rubbing my wrist across a specially scented page in the Avon catalogue and at the time I couldn't decide if I liked it or not but at just £11 for 50ml I decided to give it a whirl.

                            Just seven days later my perfume arrived. The packaging very simple to say the least, a plain cream box with an equally plain bottle inside. The bottle is a sort of spherical shape and the top half is removed to reveal the dispenser. Unfortunately when removed the cap feels like thin plastic but I suppose I couldn't expect more for this price.

                            After spraying the perfume the first thing I noticed is that it is very heavily floral, not something I noticed when trying the sample in the brochure. Not one to go for heavily floral scents this put me off slightly. However, there is also a slightly fruity edge to this fragrance which I liked but unfortunately seemed to wear off a little too quickly.

                            One thing I found a little odd about this perfume is that no where on the packaging does it say what the product is made up of and just refers to the phrase 'mix of flowers' rather than being more specific. After smelling this perfume before writing this review I am unable to pinpoint any specific aromas within it. Perhaps this vagueness of ingredients is reflected in the price of the perfume.

                            After using this twice, I decided this perfume wasn't for me. It may be suited to a more mature lady or possibly someone who goes for more heavily floral scents.

                            This has also quite a strong scent which makes me think it is more suitable for evening use rather than an everyday perfume as it really is quite heavy. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who may be prone to 'perfume headaches' as this will certainly stay in your nose for a long time to come.

                            On a positive note though, this perfume certainly has staying power and I could smell it on my wrist 6 hours after applying it. I only wish my favourite perfume would last this long.

                            Unfortunately only 2 stars from me.

                            Posted on Ciao with the username of Supersweep.

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                            25.07.2011 20:27
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                            shame about the chewing time

                            I spotted this chewing gum in my local corner shop and although more expensive than regular gum (about 70p a packet) I was very intrigues to try it. The packaging is very different to other chewing gums as each peice is sealed within a 3 x 3 blister back. Although novel, I don't really understand the appeal of this as it gives it a medical feel, more like taking a tablet out of it's packet than relaxing with a peice of gum. This packaging also has the hinderence of needing a larger box. This is a lot less convenient than a stick of gum which can fit handily in a pocket or hanbag.

                            The gum itself is also unusual. The square shaped pieces are quite large and are covered in a crunchy shell coating. Once bitten into the gum contains a liquid centre which contains the strawberry and lime flavouring. This combination of flavours may sound a bit dodgy but surprisingly it works quite well. The gum has a very strong flavour and is very tasty.

                            The gum is a nice consistancy not too hard to chew but enough to keep your jaw busy. It has a refreshing taste which is actually quite uplifting.

                            The most disappointing thing about this gum is the chewing time. Within ten minutes all the flavour has gone leaving it absolutely tasteless. Very frustrating considering how nice it tastes but I think from the price I paid for it I expected a bit more than that. Compared to manufacturers like wrigley who's gum flavouring lasts a lot longer this is very poor.

                            This leaves me with mixed views about the gum. It is definately unique in design and flavour but the major flaw in it's length of use has left me very disappointed. I think from now on I will stick to the handy size wrigley's gum to get me through the day.

                            this review is also posted on Ciao with the username of Supersweep.

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