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rachelew

rachelew
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Member since: 27.05.2009

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      17.07.2009 19:48
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      British to the core.

      It's tricky to know where to start with writing a review about Marks and Spencer. A British Institution, and a place you can almost be 100% certain to find on any major high street.

      I suppose I have a bit of a 'soft spot' for Marks and Spencer, or, 'Marks' my late grandmother always called it. She could call it what she liked really, she worked there for 40 years and was in fact the first ever female manager Marks and Spencer ever had...so that's where I get my soft spot. Rumour has it, at the age of 16, she was supposed to go away to nursing school. Her parents thought she had gone, but instead she got a Christmas job at M & S. They put her on the sweet counter and the first person through the door on her first day was her father. He never spoke to her again, but she went on to do great things.

      Anyway, I digress! I am a Marks and Spencer fan, this wasn't always the case, but it seems to have grown on me since I hit 35! I'm not sure if this is because of my age or the fact that M & S seems to have changed so much in recent years. They sell a wide range of products and services, so I will address each in a list:

      1. Women's Clothing, footwear and accessories.............

      M& S have a fantastic range of women's clothing to suit all styles and tastes. Their Per Una range is their premium range and has some lovely pieces for both every day and special occasion wear. It can be a bit more pricey than you would expect, but they do use some lovely fabrics and if you want something a bit different it is a good place to look. Per Una also have their own shoes and accessories.

      The Autograph range is more classic and has a good range of work wear. It is less expensive than Per Una, and has a lot more mix and match items and staple garments. They often have the same garment in a number of colour ways.

      M & S also sell a range of clothing without a separate label. These are good quality basic items. You can buy everything from a pair of jeans to a tailored jacket in M & S.

      The range of shoes is really good. They used to be quite old fashioned, but now there is a great range of styles to suit everyone. There is a great range of bags, some very reasonably priced, along with a range of colour coordinated fashion jewelry.

      2. Children's clothing..........................

      I don't buy kid's clothes from M & S as I don't have kids! However, I have bought a couple of presents and it seems to be great quality and value. I once bought a dress for a 3 year old in the sale for just 50p and it was lovely!

      3. Men's clothing.................................

      M & S sell a good range of mens clothing and footwear. My experience is a bit limited, but I did help a friend with a 50 inch chest buy a suit and he had no problems finding a really nice suit that fitted well. I have bought shirts from here as presents for my dad and they are some of his favourites. M & S is certainly a lot more on trend in their mens clothing than they once were.

      4. Homeware..............................

      M & S have some lovely homeware. A good range of designs and price ranges to suit your taste and budget. They sell everything for the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom as well as accessories to use throughout your home. They also sell furniture. My friend has a lovely sofa from here. The homeware section is particularly good for buying gifts.

      5. Food.......................................

      M & S food hall is such a temptation! It isn't the cheapest place to buy food, probably similar in pricing to Waitrose, but it has some really nice things and some fantastic ready meals. Go there at your peril! All items are M & S branded, so you won't find any other products. I can honestly say I have never ever been disappointed by a single item I have bought in M & S food hall.

      6. Lingerie...............................

      M & S Lingerie needs a category all of it's own. I'm would be shocked if there was any woman in the country who at some stage hasn't owned a pair of Marks and Spencer knickers or a bra! The lingerie department at my local store is vast and has everything from really basic bras and pants to bridal lingerie and breast enhancers. There are items to suit all sizes and all ages. In my opinion, the lingerie is well designed and really good value. It always seems to fit well and they are constantly bringing in new ranges or updating designs. They offer a bra fitting service so you can be sure to get something that fits you properly.

      7. Other bits and pieces......................

      There are a few other things you will find at M & S (as if that wasn't enough already!)

      Make Up and toiletries - M & S have their own range. It's good value and there are some good products. A favourite shopping destination for Christmas presents!

      Luggage - There is a range of luggage on sale, this is quite limited, but is good quality.

      Cafe/restaurant - According to my Gran, the only place you should ever stop and eat (apart from Little Chef if you were on a long journey!) The cafe at my local M & S is fantastic. It's really well designed with nice leather seating and good lighting. They sell an excellent range of meals and snacks, of course it is all M & S brand food. A great place to stop for a coffee or a bite to eat on your next shopping trip.

      Foreign exchange ( and bikinis) - They have a foreign exchange counter at my local store. I'm not sure how the rates compare with other exchanges, but it is convenient if you need to pick up some currency whilst buying a bikini and a suitcase....did I mention bikinis??? They sell those too! (and sun hats, suncream and beach towels)

      Returns and exchanges - M & S are absolutely fantastic at this...they have a no quibble give you your money back or exchange an item within 28 days. I have returned many, many items without a hitch.

      To conclude......................
      I am sure there are things I have missed, like greetings cards and fresh flowers and financial services, the fact that Twiggy is in the adverts and that their food hall ads make you very, very hungry! I have lived in a country where there was no M & S, and there was nothing that could compare. I love it, it's so British and it's getting better and better. Like the advert says, not bad for somewhere that started out as a penny bazaar!!

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        06.07.2009 16:46
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        Not recommended if your teeth are a bit dodgy!

        At my local Co-Op yesterday I spotted a 200 gram bag of Cadbury Chocolate Eclairs for just £1! I have no idea how much they usually sell for, but this was just too much of a bargain to resist!

        Cadbury Eclairs have been around for as long as I can recall. I have to say though, I do think they have changed! Every confectionary and chocolate review I write seems to start with this, but really, they have! They are smaller, and harder....more of that later.

        Cadbury Eclairs come in a classic 'cadbury purple' bag with a yellow swirl and a picture of a cross section of an eclair on the front. Each eclair is individually wrapped in a matching printed wrapper, a nice touch, but maybe a bit unnecessary on the packaging front. The packaging is recyclable though, so all is not lost.

        Each eclair is about 2 cm long and 1.5 cm in diameter. They are chewy caramel sweets with dairy milk chocolate in the centre. This is where they differ from my memories of them...they are so much harder to chew than I ever remember them (no comments about age please!) and they are so much smaller! I know this is the case with most sweets and chocolates these days, but I thought good old eclairs might escape the shrinker! Despite the shrinkage, they are still delicious. The caramel is really creamy and the chocolate is a nice surprise when you finally chew through to the centre.

        One Cadbury Chocolate Eclair will give you 35 calories and 0.8 grams of saturated fat (1 weight watchers point.) There are loads in a 200gram bag, I'd say around 40 sweets, so they should last a while...great for car journeys. They are very moorish though, so be warned!!

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        • Focus DIY / Highstreet Shopping / 27 Readings / 26 Ratings
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          06.07.2009 14:45
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          Definitely worth a look before you go anywhere else.

          Focus DIY is the closest DIY store to my home so I often pop in there for bits and pieces when we are working on the house...which has been an ongoing project for the last 4 years now! When I go to Focus it is usually because I have become the runner for the day who runs around getting tools from the shed and things from Focus while my husband tries to do the job! In this situation I have been called upon sometimes 6 times a day to visit the Focus store, every time for a different item. Focus and I are quite well aquainted.

          Focus sell all the usual things you would expect to find in a DIY store; paint, wallpaper, lighting, plumbing supplies, timber, etc etc. My local Focus also has a nice garden section with indoor and outdoor plants. At the weekend I bought two beautiful hydrangea plants from there, 2 for £15. Earlier in the day I had seen one for £15 at homebase and there were just as nice. I would have to say that on the whole I have found Focus to be quite a lot cheaper than Homebase.

          Focus have quite a good range of products, but they tend to not sell premium ranges such as Laura Ashley or Farrow and Ball paints and wallpapers. They have recently introduced a range called, 'Payless.' These arre cut price basics. I have used the tile adhesive from this range which was half the price of unibond and it worked perfectly. Most Payless items are around half the price of regular items and are all packaged in green and white so you can spot them easily.

          The staff at Focus are always very friendly and helpful and I have returned a few items and never had any problems with their 28 day returns policy. They will exchange or refund any unused item, or faulty used item.

          Fab Focus.

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        • Cadbury Twirl / Chocolate / 22 Readings / 22 Ratings
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          06.07.2009 14:22
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          Lovely twirly loveliness.

          Cadbury's never fail to please...and the Twirl is no exception! I have to say I am always amazed that all Cadbury's bars are made from good old dairy milk chocolate, yet they all taste quite different depeninding on the shape/texture Cadbury's decide to create.

          A twirl consists of two bars in a pack, each bar is a bit like a Cadbury's flake covered in chocolate so you don't make a flaky mess. It's not as flaky as a flake though,the chocolate inside the bar is twirled (hence the name) rather than flaked so it has a more solid texture.

          Cadbury's market the twirl as, 'The Intense Chocolate Hit.' To their credit the texture of the chocolate does give the bar an intense chocolate taste. I don't know the science, but I am guessing that if you have twirled/flaked chocolate it melts more quickly in your mouth thatn a block of chocolate so you get more flavour more quickly. Don't quote me on this, just my theory!

          A Cadbury's Twirl will set you backa round 50p for a 43 gram bar. They are widely available and easily identifyable as a Cadbury bar by the shiny, purple wrapper. The packaging is simple and effective with the Cadbury logo featured and the word, 'Twirl' in twirly yellow lettering.

          One Twirl finger will provide you with 115 calories, 11.9 grams of carbohydrate and 6.6 grams of fat (just eat one finger!!) Twirl bars are suitable for vegetarians.

          Another hit from Cadbury's.

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        • Rice Dream / Soft Drink / 44 Readings / 44 Ratings
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          05.07.2009 10:49
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          A great dairy alternative.

          My husband cannot tolerate dairy products as he has a problem with eczema. He does like to eat a lot of cereal though so we are always looking for dairy milk alternatives to pour over it. Rice Dream is the latest in a long line of milk alternatives to enter our fridge. According to husband, it is the nicest so far.

          I have tried Rice Dream, which is rice based, and would have to say that I do prefer soya based milk alternatives. However, there are health risks reported with too much soya intake so if that is something that concerns you I would say that Rice Dream is one of the best rice milks around, certainly the nicest I have tried.

          The Rice Dream I am reviewing is the Organic Vanilla flavour. The packaging is attractive (very different form the dooyoo picture.) The cardboard carton is custard yellow, pale blue and green. There is something about the combination of colours that make this product look really fresh and appetising. The carton has a clip down plastic pourer, so no dodgy cutting off the corner of the box and spilling it everywhere! The packaging is fully recyclable.

          Rice dream is a dairy milk alternative made from, you guessed it, rice. You can drink it on it's own, use it for cooking and baking or to pour over cereals. If you add it to hot drinks you need to let them cool slightly first or it will curdle. The Vanilla flavour really is lovely to drink. It is smooth and sweet and the vanilla flavour is nice and natural. It is completely different to cow's milk, so you need to bear in mind that it will taste different.

          Rice dream is low in fat, easily digestible, cholesterol free, lactose free and suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. 100ml of the product provides you with 51 calories and 0.1 grams of saturated fat (nice and low.) It will also give you 4.6 grams of sugar, although none of this is added, it is sugar produced during the fermentation of the rice.

          Rice Dream is also available in plain organic, plain with added calcium, chocolate flavour and hazelnut and almond flavour. You can take a look at their range and get more information at www.taste the dream.eu. A 1 litre carton costs around £1.60.

          All in all a really tasty dairy alternative, but please remember it's not supposed to taste like cow's milk!

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        • Maryland Cookies / Snacks / 37 Readings / 33 Ratings
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          04.07.2009 15:11
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          Open a pack at your peril!

          Maryland Chocolate Chip Cookie's have been around for as long as I can remember. They are made by Burton's and are American style cookies with chocolate chips.

          I hadn't had these cookies in a very long while. I tend not to buy biscuits as I don't seem to be able to stop once the packet is open! I felt I had to buy some biscuits as a plumber was coming round on Saturday morning to do some work. You just can't give someone a cup of tea without biscuits when they are doing a job like that. At my local Somerfield store I spotted Maryland Cookies with 100% extra free! A bargain with 300 grams for the price of 150 grams a meagre 89p.

          Unfortunately, when I returned from the shop husband decided a cup of tea was in order and we managed to devour half the pack there and then. By the time the plumber arrived there were just 7 biscuits left. Oh dear. As you can probably tell they are very moorish and very delicious.

          Maryland choc chip cookies are quite small, maybe 5 cm in diameter, but they are very chunky and thick with loads of milk chocolate chips in them. They have a lovely texture and a buttery flavour. They have more chocolate chips than any other cookie I have encountered. Burton's market them as, 'Cookies baked with lovely stuff.' They certainly taste lovely, and on the list of ingredients I can see they contain golden syrup. They don't contain any nasties the ingredients are non GM, contain no artificial colours or flavours and no hydrogenated fats or oils.

          One Maryland Cookie will provide you with 57 calories and 1.4 grams of saturated fat (just 1 weight watchers point!) They are quite small, and you will definitely eat more than one....more like ten!

          On the whole I think Maryland Cookies are great value and really delicious. A thumbs up for Burton's.

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          • Golden Wonder Golden Lights / Snacks / 35 Readings / 35 Ratings
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            03.07.2009 19:00
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            Thumbs down......

            Yesterday I bought a multi pack of Golden Wonder Golden Lights for the first time. I paid £1.09 for 6 x 21g bags at my local Sainsbury's.

            The multi pack contained 2 of each flavour; sea salt, sour cream and onion and salt and vinegar. I have tried all three flavours. These potato snacks are Golden Wonder's answer to a lower calorie potato snack.

            Firstly, I have to say I wasn't really very drawn to the packaging, I was more drawn to the price which seemed pretty reasonable. I am always on the lookout for lower calorie snack options so I thought I'd give them a go. I'm not sure why, but the packaging just doesn't seem to work for me. Everything from the font they have used to the image just looks wrong! I can't put my finger on it. To be perfectly honest it looks like something someone has designed very badly at home on microsoft office publisher. Anyway, less of that, I bought them didn't I! (incidentally, the design in the dooyoo picture is different to the pack I have and looks a lot nicer)

            The potato snacks themselves are rather like Discos (which I think are made by KP.) They look very similar and are similar in texture, although slightly smaller. If you are not familiar with Discos, they look a little bit like tiny poppadoms! The potato is formed into discs of light potato. They more or less melt on your tongue. Whilst the flavour of these snacks is good, there is a problem, they are just way too salty and it completely overpowers the flavour. I like salty foods and I was almost unable to finish these.

            A pack of Golden Lights will provide you with 94 calories and 0.4 grams of saturated fat (1.5 weight watchers points if that's your thing) They are made with sunflower oil and have 33% less fat than standard Golden Wonder crisps. They contain milk and may contain gluten and soya. These snacks contain MSG and there are a few other undesirables in the ingredient list. Suitable for vegetarians.

            All in all I feel these may be one to avoid. There are lots of really nice low fat crisp type snacks on the market, and although these are a bit less expensive I think it may be best to spend a few extra pennies.

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            • Fat face / Clothing / 34 Readings / 32 Ratings
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              02.07.2009 19:25
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              Get yourself some outdoor living!

              Fat Face was born in 1988 when two friends were living in the French Alps and enjoying the outdoor life. They were running short of money so decided to design sweat shirts and sell them to fund their French Alps adventure. Since then Fat Face has grown rapidly and can now be found on most high streets. They also have a website where you can shop online.

              Fat Face stores have a very distinctive style, as do the clothes they sell. They sell men's, women's and children's clothes and accessories. They also carry a range of shoes and some camping/outdoor/beach items such as towels, flasks and blankets. Alll items come branded with the Fat Face logo which is a little face with wiggly hair! Don't worry, it's usually very small!

              Fat Face is aimed at individuals who enjoy the great outdoors and an active lifestyle. It doesn't sell outdoor performance gear like you would find in Milletts for example, it is fashion based rather than practicality based. The clothing has a laid back surfy, beachy feel and all items are manufactured from natural materials - a lot of linen and cotton is used. If you can imagine living in a log cabin by the beach, spending the day surfing and cooking on a fire pit every night you would want a wardrobe from Fat Face to complete your look!

              I really like Fat Face's style. Nothing is formal, but some of the items are really pretty and can be dressed up or down. They always have a nice range of prints running throughout their collection, which are different to prints you will find anywhere else. The jewelry is interesting, lots of wooden beads and leather. They sell lovely leather bags and belts too. I can't comment on shoes, although my husband has a pair from there made from recycled tyres which he loves and finds really comfortable.

              Fat face stores are very rustic in style with stripped wood floors and changing rooms made from reclaimed doors and bits of corrugated metal. My local store has the front end of a VW camper at the back of the shop. The staff are always really polite and helpful and will always chat to you.

              Fat Face isn't cheap, and I have sometimes thought that some items are over priced. You can expect to pay between £35 and £40 for a ladies cotton shirt, and around £60 for a pair of jeans. They do have good sales and you can pick up some great bargains.

              Go get some shorts and get out there!

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              • New Look / Highstreet Shopping / 17 Readings / 16 Ratings
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                02.07.2009 18:19
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                Bag a bargain!

                New Look is a store I have used since they first opened their branches. Branches used to be fairly small, but seem to have grown bigger and bigger. They can now also be found on many out of town retail parks as well as on the hight street.

                New Look is a clothing store selling women's men's and teenager's clothing. The women's clothing section takes up most of the store while the men's and teens sections are quite small. The men's section is a fairly new addition to my local New Look, I don't think all stores cater for men especially not the smaller ones.

                I have only ever purchased women's items from New Look, so I'm not really able to review the other sections of the store. I have walked through the men's section though and it looks like they have some nice reasonably priced items.

                New look is a great place to shop if you need some new clothes, but don't have a fortune to spend on them. The clothing is really reasonable; you can expect to pay around £20 for a pair of jeans, £6 for a t-shirt and maybe around £15 for a top for a special occasion.

                I have bought many items from New Look and they have all washed and worn well. They sell a range of clothes in size 6 up to size 16 in the main part of the shop, but they have a section for larger sizes. I don't know what size this goes up to, but they have lovely things. I have often seen things in this section and wanted them to be available in a smaller size, they are often nicer than the things in the rest of the shop. There is a maternity section which looks pretty good, it seems to sell maternity clothes that are actually comfortable, fashionable and attractive. You can buy work wear, casual clothes, clothes for going out, shoes, bags, underwear, nightwear and accessories.

                New Look stock a range of styles, and are always bang up to date with the latest trends. It's hard to put an age on their target market as it's great for teenagers and it's great for me! (I am 38) I have seen people much older than myself shopping there too. There really is something for everyone.

                I particularly like the Organic range at new look. The whole collection is made from organic cotton. The garments are nicely designed and similar in style to those you may find in Fat Face stores if you are familiar with them.

                The customer service I have received at New Look has always been great. I have returned a few items I took home to try on and they have a great returns policy where you have 28 days to return an item and get a full refund. I have used this service and have never had any problems. New Look have a discount scheme for students which is great as they are always on a tight budget.

                A great clothing store in these credit crunch times......

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              • Next / Highstreet Shopping / 30 Readings / 29 Ratings
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                02.07.2009 12:53
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                A good mid-range store.

                NEXT is a chain of clothing and homeware stores. Most high streets have a Next branch somewhere along them, but in more recent years Next have moved out of the centre of town to retail parks giving us bigger and better stores.

                Next sell clothing for men, women and children. Most of my experience has been buying women's clothing, but I have occasionally bought items from the men's and children's departments. I am always a little undecided about what I actually think of Next clothing. Sometiimes I go into the store and think it all looks really old fashioned and a bit frumpy. On other occasions I have been in and found things I love and have worn and worn.

                The women's section stocks clothing in size 6 to 18. There is casual wear and jeans, work wear, items for special occasions, jeans, underwear and nightwear. Basic items like t-shirts will come in a range of colours, and these are often a couple of colourways in other items. Jeans are good quality and fit well. My two favourite opairs of jeans are from Next. They have a range of lengths from short to extra long which is great for getting just the right fit.

                As for the 'style' of Next clothing, this is where I'm not sure what to write! They seem to take a bit of everything from everywhere really. I wouldn't say they have a particular style of their own. It's a great place to buy work wear as they have some nice coordinated jackets and trousers which are smart and good value for their quality. You can expect to pay around £35 for a pair of tailored trousers and about £60 for a jacket.

                Next have a good range of shoes, bags, jewellery and accessories for women. It is all nicely coordinated and displayed in different colour sections. I have a pair of leather flip flops from next I have worn every summer for the last 4 years and they are still going strong. They cost £10.

                I have purchased some items from the home section. They sell a range of soft furnishings, bed linen, lighting, some furniture, vases, picture frames and accessories. It's nice quality and aranged in themed sections so it is easy to put together a look for your home.

                On the whole, I think Next is a good mid range clothing and home store. It's good for good quality basics and work wear in particular. They have a good range of styles and sizes.

                Worth a look.

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              • Nimble Wholemeal Bread / Snacks / 32 Readings / 31 Ratings
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                01.07.2009 22:13
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                A good compromise for dieting bread lovers.

                As I follow the Weight Watchers plan I have to be careful with bread as it can really eat into your daily point allowance. A 'normal' piece of medium sliced bread has a value of around 1.5 points. A slice of Nimble Wholemeal only has 0.5 points. I love bread so eating this is a good compromise and helps me keep the points down.

                Nimble wholemeal is a loaf with smaller size slices. The bread itself is much lighter and less dense than most breads you buy. It is similar to Weight Watchers own brand bread. It has the same size slices with a similar texture, but I think Nimble has a much nicer flavour. Nimble is made by Hovis, a name we can all trust when it comes to bread. A 400g loaf of this bread will cost around 70p in your local supermarket.

                The packaging is attractive, it is a clear plastic bread bag with cream, pink and brown print. The Hovis label is a good selling point. The packaging is recyclable.

                A slice of Nimble wholemeal will provide you with just 48 calories, 0.6 grams of fat and 0.5 grams of sugar. So, as you can see a great choice if you are counting the calories but don't want to give bread up completely. It is also high in fibre and wholegrains to help keep your heart healthy. Nimble doesn't contain any artificial preservatives or flavourings and is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

                Nimble seems to keep really well, much better than other breads I have bought. I'm not sure why this is, but I think it may be because of it's light texture. It is far less dense than a lot of breads so maybe it's less likely to start going mouldy. There's nothing worse than biting into your toast and tasting mould!

                I mostly use nimble for making toast, but have used it for sandwiches. The slices are quite small, so i don't cut the sandwiches in half. A good snack if you are on a diet is a couple of slices of nimble and a couple of slices of low fat cheddar under the grill for low fat/calorie cheese on toast.

                A nice light bite.

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                • Thomas Cook / Travel Agent / 23 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                  01.07.2009 19:35
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                  Great face to face service.

                  I went to Thomas Cook today and booked a holiday...so this review is bang up to date!

                  Thomas Cook is a large chain of travel agents with branches all around the globe. They are one of the best known and longest established travel agents in the world. They are certainly instantly recognisable on most high streets in the UK.

                  Thomas Cook offer booking services for hotels, flights and package holidays around the world. Summer, winter, skiing and UK holidays are also available. Brochures are free, and you can call in to any branch and pick them up to take home and browse through. They do have a website, but my experience with booking the holiday I booked today is that not every holiday or option is on the website, so it's probably best to go in to the branch and book it there. There are savings to be made booking online if you just want to look for a package holiday somewhere.

                  Thomas Cook also have a Bureau de change where you can purchase your holiday money. I haven't used their services, but have heard they are very good and don't charge commission.

                  So, my experience at the branch today. Firstly, the lady who dealt with my booking was exceptionally friendly, helpful and smartly dressed. I wanted to book a villa in the south of France and book the travel separately by train, so it wasn't a standard package booking. She made numerous calls to get me the best deals and ensured I understood everything. There were no hidden charges, everything was upfront and very simple and straightforward. I've booked my last few holidays via the internet, and although convenient, there was something nice today about going to the travel agents and seeing someone face to face. The service I received was first class.

                  The branch itself was nicely laid out, clean and bright. All the staff were very smartly dressed. Best of all, they had fantastic air conditioning so I was nice and cool on what had to be the hottest day of 2009 so far. I didn't have to wait and there were plenty of staff on hand.

                  My husband and I asked for Thomas Cook vouchers as wedding presents earlier in the year, so we are using these to pay for the holiday. It's a great idea if you are getting married and don't need another toaster or dinner service. Vouchers can be bought online or over the counter at branches of Thomas Cook. They don't have an expiry date and can be redeemed against any holiday, flight, hotel that Thomas Cook sell. We are even able to pay for our Eurostar and train tickets with them. The only thing you can't use them for is to buy currency.

                  My experience booking with Thomas Cook has been relaxed, enjoyable and really easy. I can't recommend them highly enough.

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                • Twix / Chocolate / 20 Readings / 20 Ratings
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                  01.07.2009 18:44
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                  Get down to T Mobile and bag yourself a Twix!

                  I hadn't eaten a Twix for as long as I can remember. On Saturday i was wandering through town and a man outside the T Mobile shop was giving away goodie bags. I took one, being polite more than anything else. A little while later I was sitting waiting for my husband while he tried things on in a shop...and inside my goodie bag I found a free Twix! Hurrah! Not even a fun size one, a big proper 58 gram one! What a result! I love a freebie. Incidentally, I also found other sweets...get yourself along to your local T Mobile shop asap...

                  I had forgotten how lovely these bars are. A Twix contains two long, thin bars in each pack (hence the name.) Each bar has a shortcake biscuit base topped with lovely smooth caramel. The whole thing is encased in milk chocolate. They are absolutely delicious! The combination of the 3 elements in a twix combine really well.

                  Twix are made by the Mars company and have been around for as long as I can remember, and probably a lot longer. I have seen enormous Twix bars at my local petrol station, mini fun size Twix bars at the supermarket, and Twix ice cream bars in the freezer section. Twix are packaged in a shiny gold wrapper and have the original Twix logo printed on them in red. The packaging is recyclable. A standard 58 gram bar costs around 50p (free in goodie bags if you are lucky!)

                  Twix contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. A standard 58 gram bar will provide you with 384 calories and contains 13.8 grams of fat and 38 grams of carbohydrate. Probably one best enjoyd once in a while! They are delicious though and a real treat.

                  I am so pleased to be able to get something free and to earn money writing about it. Happy days!

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                • Rowntree's Tooty Frooties / Sweets / 27 Readings / 27 Ratings
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                  01.07.2009 18:06
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                  Eat them on the hottest day of the year!

                  I remember Rowntree's Tooty Frooties from my childhood, although I remember them being somewhat different to the pack I bought the other day. I've written reviews for sweets and chocolates before, and on the whole they all used to be so much bigger! I know there is the argument that I was smaller etc etc...but really, these are much smaller!

                  Rowntree's Tootie Frooties come in a small purple plastic packet. it is about 12cm square, so as you see, quite small. I am sure they used to be in a larger white packet. The packaging is bright and attractive, children would like it. Each packet has a joke on the back, which is a nice touch. It also has a picture of a tootie frootie holding a toothbrush reminding you to clean your teeth. Now, this is where the problem begins...once you have eaten these you may not have any teeth left!

                  These things are HARD!!! They have a hard outer shell, and a supposedly soft centre, but the inside is hard and the outside even harder. I have good teeth, but even I struggle. They get a bit softer in warmer weather, so maybe just have them on summer days! The sweets are small and square with rounded corners and edges. They used to be much bigger, and softer of course! There are purple, orange, pink, yellow and red sweets in the bag in various fruit flavours. Because they are so hard they last a while. A bag contains about 20 sweets and costs around 40p.

                  On a more positive note, they don't contain any artificial colours or flavours and they do contain fruit juice. There is 179 calories in a bag, and 1.9 grams of saturated fat (3 weight watchers points) this is all quite hefty for a tiny bag of sweets.

                  They ain't what they used to be!!

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                  • Tesco / Highstreet Shopping / 27 Readings / 26 Ratings
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                    01.07.2009 13:41
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                    Highly recommended.

                    I don't shop regularly at Tesco as the nearest one to my home is about 9 miles away. I sometimes pop in on my journey home from work though.

                    First of all I just want to tell you about the service I recieved at Tesco recently. Last week I went to Tesco to buy something to make for dinner on Friday night. I wanted to make an Indian dish which involved buying some Paneer (Indian cheese.) After much searching I just couldn't find any anywhere and had really given up hope of finding any. I decided to ask one of the assistants in the store if they knew if they sold it. now, I don't like to be negative, but my general experience of customer service in supermarkets hasn't been that great, so I wasn't expecting too much...how wrong could I be! This particular lady was so helpful, I was bowled over. She made 3 phone calls to three diferent people and eventually we established exactly where we could find the product and she took me to it personally. All of this on a very busy Friday afternoon. I was more than impressed. At the till the operator was exceptionally friendly and helped me to pack my shopping. It's service like this that will make me return to a shop time and time again.

                    On the whole, my local Tesco is a great place to shop. It is well laid out and has a great range of products. I feel it is a little more expensive than my local Morrisons, but less expensive than Waitrose.

                    This store ahas a good range of household items which are well designed and attractive. Their bed linen is particualrly good value and nicely designed. They also sell CDs, DVDs, books, greetings cards and stationery. All of these items are good value, especially the tesco own brand stationery items.

                    The clothing section has saved me a few times! They have a good range of very reasonably priced mens, womens and childrens clothes and accessories. It's particularly good for holiday clothes, bikinis, sarongs, hats etc as it's inexpensive and you probably wont wear it after your holiday.

                    There is an aisle selling electrical items including TVs, radios and electronic kitchen equipment. I haven't purchased any of these items, but they look good quality and very well priced.

                    And....they sell food!! The fresh fruit and veg seems to last quite well. I have had disasters with some supermarkets where it goes off so quickly. Alongside the fruit and veg there is a fresh flower section. They really have some lovely flowers, and it's worth a look if you are buying them for a gift (take note, boys!)

                    I have bought several items from the Tescos value range, all of which have been fine. Tinned tomatoes, kidney beans etc are all great store cupboard staples at half the normal price. I think with these items you need to just try them as sometimes you do get, or not get, what you pay or don't pay for.

                    Tesco sell just about all the items you would expect from a supermarket, and at reasonable prices. They have a club card system where you earn a point for every pound spent. It's great to save these up and use them to do your Christmas shop.

                    All in all a pleasant place to shop and service with a smile!!

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