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About a year ago I moved house and one of the first things I did was call up BT and Tiscali to get my phone and broadband transferred! I am a web developer and I really can't be without the net for long.
I was amazed at what a mess Tiscali made of it. I filled in the online transfer form only to be told when I rang up to see how things were going that the form doesn't actually work and no one checks the responses anyway! So I made the request over the phone and they messed this up too. In the end it took me over two months (which they still charged me for) to get broadband at my new address.
So when i had to move again 6 months ago the first thing I did was cancel Tiscali and tell them what they could do with their 12 month contract. So after paying an eye watering amount to the gangsters know as BT to re connect the phone line (i.e. flicking a switch for £120) I started my hunt for a new supplier.
I had recently got a new phone contract with O2 and I was very impressed with their customer service so I went to have a look on their website. I must say I am not a massive fan of their website and it is a bit of a pain to find things on. However that's not for this review!
O2 offer 3 different broadband packages, standard, premium and pro.
Cost: £7.34 per month for O2 customers or £12.23 per month for all other customers
Speed: up to 8 meg download speed and up to 1.3 meg upload speed (subject to location)
Extras: McAfee security software, 100 free web texts per month and up to 10 email addresses
Cost: £9.79 per month for O2 customers or £14.68 per month for all other customers
Speed: up to 20 meg download speed and up to 1.3 meg upload speed (subject to location)
Extras: McAfee security software, 200 free web texts per month and up to 10 email addresses
Cost: £17.13 per month for O2 customers or £22.02 per month for all other customers
Speed: up to 20 meg download speed and up to 1.3 meg upload speed (subject to location)
Extras: McAfee security software, 500 free web texts per month and up to 10 email addresses, static IP (optional)
All of the accounts are a one year contract have no set up fee and come with a free O2 wireless router. At the moment all new accounts get the first three months free too!
When I eventually found the button to buy the broadband on their website (its at the top of the page on the right) I chose the Premium Package as I couldn't really see the advantage of the Pro package. I then typed in my phone number to check the O2 service was available in my area. You then type in your phone number and it tells you which packages are available for you. Then I filled in a form with my address, bank details etc.
To be honest I was expecting it to be 3 weeks to a month but I was amazed at how quick the whole process was. I received lots of texts telling me what was happening, the line was OK, the router had been dispatched etc, and I was given a date that my broadband would be up and running.
Everything happened on time! Nothing was delayed or late and it was up and running in about 10 days. So far I was impressed!
In the last few months I haven't had a single problem. The router works perfectly and I haven't had any downtime. I have also been surprised by how fast it is. It just shows how rubbish Tiscali are!
I downloaded a file in about 2 minutes when previously something of that size had taken more like an hour and I have been getting a download rate of 998kb a second which is a vast improvement over the 90kb a second I got from Tiscali.
As an O2 customer I pay just £9.79 a month, I got the first 3 months free and as i went to the site via www.topcashback.co.uk I got £50 cash back too!
I really couldn't be happier with O2's broadband. The couple of times I have had to call them to ask a question they have been very helpful and the broadband service they have provided has been excellent.
O2 have also been awarded moneysupermarket's fastest actual speed award and scored 9/10 in their average customer ratings, which I would definitely agree with.
I can't recommend them enough and I've already got 3 of my friends to change to them and they have been very happy with them too.
I bought my wii fit a few months ago now and after a couple of uses put it away and forgot about it. I started doing normal exercise DVDs instead as I thought they would be more beneficial. Sadly my complete lack of will power meant I didn't do the DVDs for long either! Over the last year I have piled the weight on and I must admit I am dreading the summer. I am the largest of all my friends and work colleagues and I am embarrassed about taking part in activities as I am so unfit and self conscious. I have stopped wearing skirts and dresses and now live in the same baggy tops and jeans.
The annoying thing is I know when I put my mind to it I can loose weight and follow an exercise routine. I have done it before and lost over 3 stone. The problem is keeping it off and staying healthy. Also I hurt my knee two years ago on a skiing trip and it still causes me a lot of pain today. After one x-ray my GP has got bored of trying to help so I rely on a large amount of ibuprofen gel/tablets and a knee brace for when it is cold. This doesn't excuse my lack of exercise but it is definitely something that puts me off even trying.
So as I have been racking my brain to think of a new review and I don't want to turn into The Blob I thought why not dig out my wii fit and give it a proper try. It promises to ease you into exercising gently so it may be better for my knee then 40 minutes of squats with a crazed Davina Mccall! So here we go a one month trail of the wii fit.
As I am probably never going to meet any of you I will be big and brave... I am 27, 5 foot 10 and weigh 16 stone 5lbs!!!!! Oh dear I was a size 12 about 4 years ago that's an increase of about a dress size a year as I am now an 18. Bugger.
I will also be trying to eat healthier food so hopefully that will make a difference. No more afternoon choccy for me... bigger bugger.
Right then on to the wii fit.
As you will all know by now the wii fit comes with a balance board (big white plastic thing you stand on so it can tell you how fat you are :D ). This detects even the smallest movement you make while you are standing on it. Throughout the exercises it shows you your centre of gravity so you can check your balance and make sure you are doing it properly. It is also used as a step for doing the step aerobics on.
First you need to select you Mii character and enter in some details about yourself like your height and date of birth. You then have to stand on the balance board to be weighed. It then shows you your BMI and weight against a scale of underweight to obese. It put me at obese and made my Mii character get fat! It was very funny when my mum tried it as she is short and fat so when her Mii became fat it looked so much like her it was scary. She was not amused!
You can set a goal of how much weight you want to lose over what time period and it gives you recommendations of a healthy BMI and a healthy amount of weight to lose a week. It also gives you some balance tests and works out your wii fit age. Mine was 41.
You are given a menu with 4 types of exercise options, yoga, muscle toning, aerobics and balance games. At first you only get a few options in each of these menus and the more you use it the more exercises you unlock. You also only get a few repetitions of each exercise and then as you get better at them you unlock longer versions. The aerobics includes hula hooping, step aerobics, and jogging.
I like this as it eases you in to learning the movements and it helps to build you up gradually. I also found that I was using it more just to try and unlock extras particularly on the step aerobics and boxing as I really enjoy these. I must admit that after the first time of using it I didn't really feel I had done much but I was a bit achy the next day from doing the hula hoop! It only took me a couple of days to unlock the boxing game and quite a few more yoga and toning movements.
I have done yoga quite a lot by myself but I really find the balance board helpful. For each movement you get a yellow box or circle appear on the screen with a tiny red dot in the middle. If your posture is correct the dot will stay inside the yellow shape and you get points depending on how well you hold the pose. You are also told which body parts the exercise helps and which other ones you should combine it with.
The main annoyance is that you have to select each exercise one at a time and there is no option to build routines. This can add an extra 10-15 minutes on to your work out time. It can also be a bit frustrating having to listen to the trainer say the same things after every exercise, it would be a nice feature if they only said it the first time you do an exercise or if there was a setting to shut them up!
OK end of week one.
I have actually gained a couple of pounds due to the massive amount of alcohol and pizza I consumed on Friday night - shocking lack of will power on my part, do apologise I will try harder. I even went to Asda today to buy salad. I did get my wii fit age down to 40 though, yeah :(
I have managed to unlock most of the yoga and muscle toning exercises though and all of the aerobic ones. There are now a couple of useful versions of the jogging and step routines. you can select how long you want to do them for, 10, 20 or 30 minutes, then once it has started just turn the TV over to any channel you like. You can then do the exercise while watching TV! When you do the step aerobics the wii remote will make a clicking noise every time you need to step so you can keep your rhythm, it will also tell you every time you do a hundred steps how much time you have left. I really like this feature as I found the running a bit dull but now it is easy as i can watch something interesting and still be monitored by the Wii.
Lost 6lbs!!! but before I get too excited that is a total loss of 3lbs as I put on weight during week one. Still its an overall loss so I'm happy. Plus my knee is hurting me a lot less, must be all that yoga! My wii fit age is also down to 32 so that's an improvement of 8 years. Have my doubts about the relevance of the wii fit age though as I certainly don't feel 8 years fitter :D.
Really starting to wish that you could turn off the instructors comments, she/he does bang on a bit. Plus it adds on quite a bit of extra time where you are stood around doing nothing
Still Wii fitting away! Lost another 3lbs but to be honest I am starting to get a bit bored. The pauses between each exercise is getting more annoying and I seem to have unlocked everything already. Its no longer getting any harder so I am not convinced that this will be a good way to lose any serious weight or get that much fitter
Lost another 2lbs to that is an 8lb loss overall. I'm quite happy with that but I can't help thinking it is more to do with the healthier food I have been eating. Still the fairly gentle exercise has done wonders for my knee and I can now get off the sofa without lots of groaning and joint cracking!
I can think of many improvements they could make to the wii fit. The ability to make your own work outs to remove all the stopping and starting would be good and I think the next version (wii fit plus) will do this and have some routines already made for you to do.
Having said that it has got me moving again (quite an achievement in itself!). If things like the balance games and aerobics get kids/adults moving then it can't be a bad thing. The balance board is great and there are now quite a few games that make use of it.
Even if you have no interest in the Wii fit game I would recommend buying it for the balance board alone. If you have kids it encourages them to move whilst having fun and there are now quite a few games that make use of it.
G1 Jockey Wii - will be released with balance board support and you have to crouch down like a jockey and steer your horse to victory
Raving Rabbids TV Party - some of the mini games use the balance board, one you even use your bum and sit on the board to steer!
EA Sports Active - looks a lot more interesting/harder work then the Wii fit and is advertised as a more serious exercise game then the Wii fit. I think this and the new Mario game will be the big Wii releases this year
There are also several ski, snow boarding and skate boarding games and the Don King boxing uses the board in its training exercises though I don't think it is used in actual game play.
The Wii Fit is good fun and if you are looking for something to gently ease you into exercise then this could be for you. It has helped with my knee even if it hasn't been quite the exercise tool I was looking for. If you want to look like Louise Rednap then you will be disappointed!
But the balance games are fun and it is useful to know you are doing the yoga moves correctly. Plus now there are so many fitness games coming out for the Wii it is easy to start with this then build up to something more advanced.
The balance board is great and creates a whole new dimension to gaming and it is also very funny trying to snowboard after a few glasses of wine with your mates. Just remember DON'T jump on it, that would be bad. Although I did once and it lived to tell the tale so it must be quite strong!
I would recommend this to anyone. The new Wii fit plus should be released this year but the balance board will be the same so you can pick one up now and then just buy the new game later if you want. The Wii fit retails for around £70 and as more and more games include balance board support I think it is definitely worth it.
So can getting fit be fun? Yes I think so. Though probably not using this game! I think the best way is to use the balance board with the ski and boxing games and to try out the new EA sports active (which will be my next purchase). You could even buy a bike and leave your living room....
also on ciao as rachael23
Can I just apologise for this being a bit on the long side. This review is about the Lletz procedure but I have also included a bit about the tests you would have before hand as I feel they are all related. However please feel free to skip the first part, I won't be offended honestly!
My family's medical history has never been that good. I have family members who have had strokes, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's, liver failure (but that was due to alcohol abuse), lupus, cancer... this list goes on. Not happy reading for someone like me who is as terrified of being ill, I mean really ill not just getting a cold.
More recently both my aunties, on my mum's side, have had to have hysterectomies due to having cervical/ovarian cancer. This has obviously caused some concern for the remaining female members of the family, me included. Now I am ashamed to admit that despite the nagging form my mum, at the age of 26 I had never had a smear test. Stupid I know.
The problem is that I am a coward. A big one! I faint at needles, blood (mine or anyone else's), if someone describes something particularly graphic to me etc. Frankly it is embarrassing. You have no idea the trauma GCSE biology caused me and the many, many trips to the nurse after I had passed out. I don't think most people can appreciate just how squeamish I actually am. My fear of the medical profession verges on being a serious phobia and I have no idea why. I have never had a bad or painful experience with any doctor, dentist, nurse etc. My family are very practical Yorkshire farmers who have no problem with blood or medical issues. So I am just a coward.
I think it is important, however embarrassing, to stress my cowardice for two reasons. The first is so you appreciate how major this was/is for me and the second is that if I can do it anyone can!
So back to the point...
Last year I joined a new doctors practice after moving house. During a routine visit to the family planning nurse she was amazed that I had never had a smear, especially with my family history. So she booked me in for one and wouldn't accept any arguments (formidable lady!). When it came to the appointment I dragged my boyfriend along. He thinks I am totally crazy and a big wimp but be comes along anyway. He couldn't believe how much I was shaking with nerves! I must point out that I knew nothing painful was going to happen and that it was no big deal. I can't explain it myself but just being in a doctors makes me nervous.
After the test I just forgot about it until I received my results in the post. There were some changes in a few cells shown so I would have to go back for a second one. Mild panic started setting in. I talked to my flat mate and she said that she had had the same thing on her last smear but the second one had come back fine. Panic levels reduced. So of to the doctors again (boyfriend in tow) for another test.
A few weeks later another dreaded brown envelope (never trust plain brown envelopes lol). They had found more 'changed cells' and I would have to go for a different test called a Coloscopy at the hospital.
Panic levels definitely increased! The letter said the test involved the consultant putting a chemical around your cervix and looking at the cells through a big magnifying glass thing. Ok I know that's not the most technical of descriptions but that is what they do!
At this point I was getting very scared, not by the test itself but by what it might find. The letter I had about my smear test results didn't tell me anything about what 'changes' in the cells they were talking about. I must say my boyfriend was very good. He doesn't understand why I am so terrified of the medical profession and he finds the fact that I am so squeamish hysterically funny. Git. But when faced with a big teary, snotty, gibbering wreck he was great. He even went out and bought me chocolate then sat hugging me on the sofa all night while I stuffed my face with them :-D
The day of my appointment I was surprised by how calm I felt. I had read up on the test and new that nothing was going to happen except they were going to look at my cervix. I could handle that. Plus it was in the local hospital's (Poole in Dorset) gynaecology unit which is in a small separate building so it feels more like a doctors surgery then a hospital. I definitely do not do well in hospitals!
When I was called through I went into an office with my consultant, who was a very nice woman and she was very understanding about my nerves. First of all she talked through my smear test results with me. She had a diagram with 3 pictures of cells at different stages of change. Cell change abnormalities are measures by the Bethesda system the three levels are minor, moderate and severe changes. Minor cell changes don't require treatment as they usually go away by themselves. Moderate and severe can be precancerous and usually need to be treated
This was really helpful as she explained that my results were only stage 1 so this second test was more of a precaution then something to worry too much about. I wish they had put that diagram in with my results letter instead of letting me spend 6 weeks convincing myself I had cancer!
Then she explained what would happen in the test I was about to have. We then went through into the treatment room and I had to go behind a curtain and strip from the waist down. There was a sheet for me to wrap round myself. I found this a bit silly to be honest. I am about to have to lay on a bed, my legs in the air, everything on show, looked at through a bloody magnifying glass etc, but to get undressed you have a screen and a sheet. I think dignity was out the window by that point so not sure how much a sheet would help lol. Still it did provide the useful function of acting like a wall so I couldn't see what was going on.
They did give me the option to watch on a small TV screen but I declined. During the test my cervix bled a little, which apparently is not that uncommon as it is a very delicate area. The consultant said that she could see some cell changes but that the bleeding was making it a bit tricky to see everything (going a bit dizzy just writing this!). Then she said she was going to take a biopsy. Panic levels shot through the roof! She said it would just feel like a small pinch. Then produced the biggest metal contraption I have ever seen. Ok slight exaggeration but considering where she was about to stick it, it looked pretty big to me!
She told me to cough and as I did I felt something. It felt like someone had flicked me very gently and it didn't hurt at all. Now if I say it didn't hurt then it really can't be that bad. I have fainted from a paper cut before! She said that I may experience a small amount of bleeding/discharge as the area the biopsy was taken from healed but that it wouldn't be very heavy so just to wear a normal towel/panty liner. I was also told not to us tampons or have sex for 3-4 days to give it time to heal. At no point did it cause me any pain and the bleeding was very light and only lasted a couple of days as it was such a small area.
I must admit I was very nervous while waiting for the results. I was also very snappy with my boyfriend, but he just ignored me lol. It took about 7 weeks to get my results back. They said that the biopsy had shown further changes in cells so they were going to remove them using a procedure called Lletz. The appointment was for 4 weeks later.
I was very scared and upset. My boyfriend was very supportive but I know he thought I was over reacting. He asked about all the possible outcomes and we discussed worst case scenarios etc. He is very practical and likes to know all possible outcomes etc. He used to be a royal marine and looks at most things like a military operation. To be honest phrases like, "worst case is you have/it develops in to cancer, it will get treated and if you have to have a hysterectomy we have lots of other options if we decide to start a family", are not that comforting! Still I appreciate him trying, I think lol.
His attitude was that it was a tiny area that I'm not going to miss and it's better to get these things sorted straight away. But he also said that he knew that it scared me so if he thought I was being silly it didn't matter. If I was scared then it was important and I could cry on his shoulder all I liked. Which I did :-D
Before, if they wanted to remove dodgy cells they used a laser and simply burnt them off. Now however they do something called Lletz. This uses a thin wire with an electric current running through it to chop off/remove them. This means they can send the removed cells away to be tested. Lletz stands for 'large loop excision of the transformation zone'.
At the appointment I went into the consultant's office again so she could explain what was going to happen. She said that the biopsy had show some cells at level 2 (moderate changes) so it was best to remove them. She also had a plastic cross section of a womb and cervix which she used to show me where the cells were being removed from. Then we went into the treatment room. It was the same routine as before, behind the curtain to undress and get my sheet, the lay on the bed with legs in stirrup things whilst trying to maintain some dignity. Who am I kidding, by this point dignity was the last thing on my mind!
The nurse stuck a big pad to my leg which was wired to the Lletz machine to earth it. The consultant inserts a speculum to hold the cervix open, the same as when you have a smear. They then give you a local anaesthetic. Now my cervix is the last place I wanted to be stabbed with a needle but I can honestly say it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. It was more really uncomfortable then painful but the nurse kept chatting away to me to help distract me. It felt like I had 3 injections but I am not 100% sure and I didn't ask at the time. After the anaesthetic you don't feel anything else, I promise!
A pump/suction device was attached to something down there (again I had declined to watch!) which made quite a lot of noise but in a way it was a nice distraction. I assume it was to remove any blood/fluid. The whole process took about 5-10 minutes. However as I sat up I did go very dizzy. So they made me lay down for a while and gave me a glass of water and a glycerine tablet. Apparently the anaesthetic contains adrenaline which can make you light headed, plus I hadn't eaten anything which didn't help. After about 10 minutes I felt ok again and I got dressed.
The nurse said I would get the results in about 6 weeks and that they would write to me with a follow up appointment in 6 months time. I was also given a piece of paper with some aftercare instructions. It said that after the anaesthetic wore off I would have some period pain like discomfort which I should treat with ibuprofen. It also said I couldn't use tampons for 3-4 weeks but that I should wear panty liners/ pads as I may experience a light water/blood discharge while it was healing. It also said I couldn't have sex for 3-4 weeks. Bugger!
My appointment was at 3:15, at about 4pm I started to get a bit of pain. However this was, like the leaflet had said, just like period pain and wasn't too bad, a couple of Anadin sorted it out. I took another couple at about 9pm as well. After about 9:30 I didn't have any more pain. For the following week I didn't feel any pain/discomfort and any bleeding was minimal. The boyfriend was already sulking about the sex though lol.
I had another 5 weeks to wait for the results. The consultant said that after the Lletz procedure that is usually the end of the matter but I wanted the results in my hand before I relaxed! There aren't really any side affects except that in some cases it may lead to your baby being born slightly early as the cervix is a bit weakened. However, I don't plan on having kids any time soon so that's not an issue for me.
If anyone is reading this that doesn't bother going for smear tests PLEASE go. If I had left it another year or so things could have been much much worse. The statistics for cervical cancer if it is caught late are not good at all. Yes smear tests are unpleasant and a bit embarrassing but they are important. The follow up tests are also not my idea of fun but they are not painful and they are important.
I have written this because I want any fellow wimps or even those who just can't be bothered or put things off to know that the tests are ok. Not painful or scary. Well if you're me they are a bit scary but nothing you can't handle! I apologies for the lack of medical facts/knowledge but there is no way I am reading anymore medical web sites - makes me feel all queasy :-D
I think there are a few things you need to remember if you have to have any of these tests
- they don't hurt!
- they are over quickly
- take your own sanitary towel as theirs are HUGE
- take someone to hold your hand
- they don't hurt!
- try to go in a car with good suspension (bumps are not your friend after this)
- don't drive yourself the adrenalin can make you dizzy
- eat something before hand for the same reason!
- take some ibuprofen with you for later
- they don't hurt!
This was just my experience, and I hope it will help put someone else's mind at ease if they ever have to go through this. I have rated this 5 stars as I think it is so important. If anyone is waiting to have this test please feel free to message me with any questions
I received my results back this week and they are all clear. All the changed cells have been removed. I have a follow up check in January (something to look forward to for the new year!).
I also want to thank my boyfriend who gave me all the support and cuddles I needed XXX
(also on ciao as rachael23)
I have been feeling a little lethargic lately, partly because of my increasingly poor diet. So when I nipped into the shop this morning to buy breakfast I thought I would swap my coffee for something with a vitamin content! I settled on PJ's Apple, Kiwi and lime pure fruit smoothie (even thought it looks vile I thought the flavours sounded nice!)
The drink comes in a small clear plastic bottle so you can see the smoothie, not necessarily a good thing in this case as it is quite a thick olive/snot green colour. It has a beige label with the PJ's logo on the front in green and a black band above it with the price of 99p. To the side of the logo it tells me that this 250ml bottle contains two of my five a day so it must be a good start to my healthy eating. However below this it gives the nutritional information and this tiny bottle contains 32.5g of sugar! Now I know this is just from the fruit but it can't be good for your teeth. It does only contain 143 calories though which I thought was quite good.
The initial taste of the smoothie is very sweet but that is followed be the sharper taste of the lime. It has quite a thick consistency and is not really a refreshing drink, more of a snack! It smells very sweet too but I think that it is the apple juice in it.
I did enjoy this smoothie however I don't think I will be buying it again. This is because it gave me quite bad acid indigestion all morning until I could nip to boots for some Gaviscon! Not pleasant. Although as I enjoyed the taste I think I will try other flavours from the range.
1 crushed and pressed apple (35%)
1 crushed banana
A pressed slice of pineapple
25 pressed white grapes
1/2 a crushed kiwi fruit (13%)
Lime juice (3%)
Nettle and spinach extract
The apple, pineapple, grapes and lime are from concentrate
The smoothies contain no additives or preservatives
As it is fresh fruit these smoothies must be kept in the fridge and consumed within a couple of days.
PJ's were founded by Harry Cragoe after he first tried fruit smoothies during a trip to California. He decided to launch the first fruit smoothies in the UK with the help of his friend, Patrick Folkes. They started the Pete & Johnny brand in October 1994.
More info about the company and a competition to win free smoothies can be found on www.pj-smoothies.co.uk
In my quest for healthy snacks that still make me feel like I have eaten something nice I thought I would try some of the ones from the slim fast range. The first one I tried was the sour cream & chive flavour pretzels.
They come in a small packet and look like a small bag of crisps. Like all the slim fast range the packaging is red and white and it has the slim fast logo across the top. There is a picture of the pretzels and bits of fresh chive on the front and it tells me that the pack contains 96 calories.
The back of the bag gives an outline of the slim fast diet which shows you are allowed three of their snacks during the day when following their plan. It also tells me that each pack contains 1.1g sugars, 1.9g fat and 0.13g sodium. Each bag weighs 23g. The pretzels are oven baked and made from wheat and potato. They also contain yeast, whey powder and may contain traces of soya for any allergy suffers out there.
When I opened the pack it was quite full and contained lots of little pretzels. Each one had quite a generous coating of the flavouring which has quite a strong taste. In my opinion these didn't taste like a diet or low fat snack. The sour cream and chive flavour was nice but maybe a little strong for some people. The pretzels where nice and crunchy and it was quite a filling snack, much more than a normal bag of crisps.
The only negative I can think of was they left quite a strong garlicky aftertaste which you need a mint or some gum to get rid of.
Overall I liked these and will be buying them again. I'm afraid I have lost the receipt but I think they were about 55p from Superdrug, but I have seen them much cheaper in Asda.
(at the moment all slimfast snacks are 3 for 2 in superdrug)
I seem to lose tubes of hand cream faster than I can buy them! After finally finding one that I really liked I promptly lost it. So I wandered down to Superdrug on my lunch break to pick up another tube of it. However I was seduced by special offers and amazing claims of another product, what a mistake.
As I use hand cream when at work I need something that is going to absorb quickly and not leave my hands greasy. I saw the Norwegian Formula fast absorbing hand cream by Neutrogena, which claimed to moisturise hands immediately and be non greasy. Perfect!
The top half of the tube is a deep royal blue colour with a little Norwegian flag at the top and the bottom half is white with a black stripe telling you it is from Neutrogena. On the back it claims that 'the light non-greasy texture instantly melts into the skin for an immediate feeling of comfort'. It says that it is dermatologist tested and the tube is 75ml.
Right then, does it work. No, not really.
Light texture - feels just like every other hand cream
Absorbs immediately - No. It took about 10-15 minutes to fully absorb
Non-Greasy - No. The first time I used this I ended up going to the bathroom to wipe most of it off as it wouldn't absorb and felt so greasy. I assumed I had simply used too much so next time I used a very very small amount. This time it absorbed a bit quicker but still left a greasy film over my skin. It made me feel like I had sweaty palms all day and was not pleasant at all!
Not sure if there is anything else I can say about this hand cream. It does have a nice smell and reminds me of jasmine but apart from that it is terrible. My hands did feel softer but other creams work just as well without leaving your skin greasy.
Don't buy this. I am using the remainder of the tube to put on my elbows and any dry patches of skin before I go to bed.
Waste of money, unimpressed, going to buy the Vaseline everyday stuff I should have bought in the first place.
I was given this for Christmas by my parents as a joke because I am not allowed pets in my flat.
The initial charge is quite long at 12 hours so if you are giving it to a child I would recommend charging it first as even as an adult it is very frustrating to have a new toy and not be able to play with it until the next day! I think future charges are supposed to take around 90 minutes but I've never timed it.
It took me a while to figure out what I was supposed to do with it and to start with it can get a bit boring following it round making sure it doesn't crash. Plus it makes some very strange noises (not like any guinea pig I have ever heard). When you first take it off charge you have to stroke Gupi until he makes a happy giggling noise, then put it down and it will start to wonder about the room. As Gupi gets close to an object/wall you have to stroke its back before it crashes. This helps train it not to crash into things.
It will also respond if you call it and apparently if you make loud noises or sudden movements it will run away but my Gupi hasn't done that yet. I think it may be concussed from all the walls it has walked into while I haven't been paying attention.
If you put Gupi in the dark it gets scared until you comfort it then he will wonder around quite happily again making its funny little noises. Then you push a button on its head to make it go to sleep and it snores! When it needs charging Gupi stops and shakes its head while making yet more odd noises.
Gupi comes with a small plastic carrot which you can use to guide him around with. You can also put it in his mouth when you are trying to comfort him. The manual says that when two Gupis meet they will giggle and play, a bit like a Furbi, so I may have to buy another one so I can find out!
I think Gupi is quite cute and even as an adult I find it quite entertaining to play with especially as it can be left to just walk around on its own, so you can just play with it when you want. Although don't ignore it for too long as Gupi can become lonely. When this happens he will stop walking or go and hide in a dark place and make sad noises until you go and comfort him.
The manufacturers say it has 30 different noises although I have only counted about 10. However if I am honest it will probably spend most of the time in its box once the novelty has worn off as after you have trained it not to crash I can't see a huge deal you can do with it! Plus it scares mum's dog who just stands and barks at it for the first 20 minutes, then forgets about it as he is a Spaniel and not the sharpest tool in the box!
Not too sure about the claims that it can be a good indicator if you child would care for a real pet properly as you can never simulate the love you feel for an animal, and after all, that's what makes you care for it properly.
I can't really comment on how durable/strong Gupi is as I don't have children who i'm sure will be rougher with it then I am! It feels fairly solid and the fur it is covered with is soft. Also there are no small parts for little people to swallow. On the box it gives the age range as 4+
Gupi - 24 x 12 x 10cm
Carrot - 7.5 x 3cm (diameter)
Still, Gupi is cute and a bit of a giggle for both kids and adults as long as you don't expect too much from it. The more you play with it the more 'affectionate' it will become. Plus at about £30-40 its not too expensive.
The box contains Gupi , Carrot 'food' , A UK adaptor for recharging , and an Instruction booklet.
I have very thick hair which comes down about 3-4 inches below my shoulders. My hair does have a natural wave but not in a nice sexy wavey fashion, more like a dragged through a hedge backwards kind of look!
Usually I straighten my hair but I have always fancied trying something different. I love the idea of having a loose curl or ringlets so I got some curling tongs to see what it would look like. They worked a lot better then I thought they would but took FOREVER to do all of my hair!
As I now knew that my hair looked really nice with a bit of a curl I decided to look for a quicker method. I saw the Remington H2040 Fast Heat Ionic Rollers on amazon and the description said they gave great results and were kind to your hair.
The box said they have a 2 min fast heat up and that they are Ceramic and Tourmaline rollers with a TEFLON® coating. There are 20 rollers in 3 different sizes (small, medium and large).
They where quite easy to put in and there was enough to do all my hair but only just. The instructions where not very helpful and gave no idea how long to leave them in for so i just left them until they went cold.
Putting them in was also quite easy as they stay cool around the ends and they are covered in felt (or something similar) so your hair doesnt slip and you dont burn yourself! You just wrap a section of hair around the roller and use one of the clips provided to hold it in place. There are either metal clips or plastic U clips. Personally I find the U clips easier to put in.
They did curl my hair really well but i still ended up doing some bits with my tongs just to neaten it up a bit as its quite hard to control the curl with the rollers. My hair also felt better as the rollers are less harsh on it then tongs
I would recommend putting some gel on your hair first just to help hold the curl longer. If I put gel on first, the curl lasts for 2 days with a bit of a touch up with my tongs in the morning.
Also with a bit of practice you can put the rollers in vertically and get really sexy ringlets!
Overall it halved the time it took to curl my hair and it meant i could get dressed and do my makeup whilst the rollers where in so it saved me even more time! I paid about £28 for these but I think you can get them cheaper now
things that make me happy....
1 ) My job
I'm a web developer which for me is the perfect balance between computer programming (i trained as a software engineer) and more artistic design work. I have built sites for everything from financial advisers to sex toys! I am currently starting my own business r-designs.co.uk as my dream is to get enough freelance work that I can travel around the world whilst still being able to pay the bills! (Putting the web address there isn't really a shameless plug as I haven't built the site yet. Still if you want to go look at a blank page feel free! Lol). I am currently working for a great company and have so many different projects to work on that it never gets boring. I actually like getting up in the morning to come to work. Maybe I should put that under reason why I am strange :-D
2) Bubble wrap!
I know it's sad but I get very excited when I get a package delivered that is wrapped in bubble wrap . I usually sit and pop it all before I even look at what it was protecting. I guess I need to make the most of it now that it is starting to be replaced with more eco friendly things
I find working in the garden very relaxing. I live in a ground floor flat that has a huge garden. It takes my nearly an hour to mow the lawn as I have the world's smallest lawn mower! I also have lots of pots in which I grow fruit and vegetables. I love being able to sit out in the sun with the smell of freshly cut grass and look at all my lovely flowers.
I am rubbish at golf, but I don't care. I never take it too seriously and I am definitely not one of those golfers who want to bore the arse of everybody talking about the amazing game they've just had etc. To be honest the worse I play the funnier I find it and if I do have a good shot I have a special little victory dance which really embarrasses the lady I play with. When will she realise that it is because she gets so embarrassed that I do the dance!
5) Painting with oil paints
I find painting very relaxing and a great way to express myself. I like oil paints because I usually end up covered in them and it reminds me of being back at primary school doing finger painting etc. Oh and I like the textures, effects and other serious arty things to do with oil painting honest...
6) My family
I hope they don't take offence at coming after bubble wrap! This is in no particular order honest. I am an only child and am very close to my parents, they are my best friends and I can tell them anything. I am a terrible daddy's girl. I love big family Christmases where we all end up getting drunk and playing cards all night. We always start off playing for pennies but after a few drinks we are taking out loans as we are all sure we have the best hand in the world. Although I did win £170 off my granddad because he insists on playing blind if we play brag, silly man. When will he learn I am good at cards! (don't worry I am not fleecing pensioners for their heating allowance he can afford it, although as a Yorkshire man parting with money always hurts! )
7) My friends
who accept me and love me because of my faults not in spite of them, wouldn't know what to do without ya guys xxx
Now most people think that chocolate is me biggest weakness but they are wrong. The only reason people never see me eating cheese is because once I start I just can't stop! I love the stuff and would eat nothing else but cheese quite happily, the stronger and smellier the better.
I love cooking all sorts of different things. I have cook books from all over the world and most of them have scribbles all over them with my own "improvements". I love having loads of friends over for dinner parties and experimenting on them with my latest creation! During the summer I have loads of BBQs but not a sausage or burger in site, lots of seafood, kebabs etc. I even did a hog roast once!
10) Dental hygiene
Yes I know this is an odd one but there is nothing nicer then a smile. But a smile with yellow manky teeth is not nice! I am a bit obsessed with brushing my teeth and I find something strangely satisfying about flossing. The world needs to smile more
I know most of these things are trivial but with so much doom and gloom in the world does it really hurt to take a little time out to pop some bubbles ....
My friends always laugh at me because of my bag and call me Mary Poppins, so I thought this review would be perfect for me!
To start with I have the normal mundane things
My purse - I love my purse, it is from Accessorize and is made from dark green leather (nearly everything I own is green as it's my favourite colour!). I can't tell you how long I spent searching for a purse that could hold everything without being the size of a brick :-D. I my purse is a credit card, my switch card, several loyalty cards (Boots, Tescos etc) and a few Tescos vouchers. There is also some loose change, sadly not enough for the bus so I will be walking home tonight!
A small pack of tissues
A tin of Aloe Vera Vaseline lip balm - fabulous stuff for keeping your lips soft never leave home without it.
A couple of old bus tickets
My house and car keys
2 pairs of sunglasses
Ibuprofen - my boyfriend gets tooth ache all the time so I usually have a pack with me
A pack of Rennies - I hate acid indigestion!
Sun tan lotion - I sometimes go to the beach during my lunch break (I live in Bournemouth) and I burn really easily
A hair band - so I can put my hair back when I am working (I have a very silly fringe which annoys me!)
A nail file
Plasters of various shapes and sizes - I have over 100 pairs of shoes so none of them are broken in properly
A pair of flip flops - for when the shoes become too uncomfortable!
(A couple of women's things lol)
HRI Water balance tablets - I suffer from quite bad water retention and these are great for stopping you from feeling bloated all day.
My last payslip
My current to do list - I am the queen of lists as I forget everything so I have to write it all down
A pen - for updating the list!
Gamestation receipt and a new game for my Wii - going to practice my golf swing with Tiger Woods, and let's face it I need all the help I can get :-D
Nivea compact deodorant
A comb - well with all the other rubbish I carry I can't fit in a proper brush!
Beclomatasone nasal spray - I have dodgy sinuses and the Dr told me to give this a try even though it is traditionally used for hay fever, it seems to work and I can breathe much easier now. The boyfriend even said it has stopped my snoring (not that I snore, he is making it up I'm sure)
A book - one of Ian Rankins Rebus series which I am slowly working my way through
A cereal bar and a couple of go ahead biscuits in case I get hungry.
An alpro soya dessert - for after my lunch
So there you have it, I am a walking pharmacy! I think the only thing I don't carry around with me is make up as I only wear it if I go out in the evening and for that I have a whole different bag...
In an effort to save money/the planet/lose weight, I have started walking to and from work. After all it's only 20 minutes away and it's not going to kill me!
As the weather has become hotter I have started buying stronger deodorant as I would be very embarrassed if I was all sweaty and smelly at work! Then disaster... I forgot to put my deodorant on one morning and didn't realise until I was sat at my desk. I was so paranoid all morning that I would start to smell as it gets very hot in our office. So at lunch I quickly headed over to the nearby Superdrug.
I wanted something small that I could discreetly keep in my bag, so I was thinking a roll-on would be ok. However I noticed this Nivea spray next to the roll-ons, as I have never really liked roll-on deodorant I thought I would give the Nivea spray a go instead.
It comes in a white card box, which to be honest is a bit of a waste of packaging and it is twice the size of the bottle. The only reason I can think of for having the box is that there is not much room on the spray to put the ingredients etc. Although if they can fit all the info onto a nail varnish tube then I'm sure they could do the same on this.
The left side of the box has a hole cut in the front so you can see the tube, the right side of the box has the blue Nivea logo, underneath that is the product name, Dry confidence Compact. It says that the deodorant gives gentle care and provides 24 hour anti-perspirant protection. It also says that it contains Minerals and is alcohol free. The active ingredient is 13% w/w Aluminium Chlorohydrate.
Nivea claim that this 20ml spray will last as long as a regular 150ml Aerosol, I can't really comment on this as I do not use it as a regular deodorant, but for each application you use very little and I can see this being very useful for holidays.
The directions tell you to use 2-3 squirts under each arm and then let it dry before dressing. I have noticed that this does take a bit longer to dry then my normal aerosol spray and when I did get dressed straight away it left wet marks on my clothes. These marks did not leave any stains though and they dried clear so it wasn't a problem.
The spray has a light sent and smells kind of creamy. That sounds weird I know but I can't think of a better way to describe it! In face it smells a lot like Nivea body lotions.
This is a great deodorant to carry around with you, especially if you go out straight after work, or are in a hot club etc. It protects just as well as my normal deodorants and fits easily into all my bags. The only downside is that it is a bit runny when you apply it and you have to let it dry for a bit longer.
Overall I am really pleased I found this. It is a great addition to my travel wash bag and I'm sure that because it is much smaller it is more eco friendly then buying the full sized aerosols. Highly recommend it.
almost forgot, it costs £2.25 in superdrug
Even though I am nearly 27 (sob) I still suffer from breakouts of spots and can have greasy patched on my face, sounds attractive doesn't it? :-D
A few months ago I started using Boots No7 repair and protect serum which I love as it leaves my skin feeling really soft. So when my normal moisturiser ran out I decided to replace it with something else from the No7 range. Originally I was planning on getting the repair and protect moisturiser cream but it is nearly £20 which I think is a lot for a face cream, especially as I am trying to save.
Next to it on the shelf was No7 Intelligent Balance Day Fluid for oily/combination skin. The bottle said that as well as moisturising your skin it helps to 'mattify' (their word not mine!) and balance the skin. It claimed to absorb excess oil and leave your skin shine free. It is also Hypo-allergenic and Fragrance free. This sounded perfect and at £9.25 for the 100ml bottle it was a reasonable price too.
The bottle has a pump action dispenser so the cream is easy to get out and it is a very pale iridescent green colour. It stands about 4 inches tall. The front has a very simply No7 written in gold with Intelligent Balance Day Fluid written below. On the back it says
'Take a fresh look at moisturising with this clever oil-free fluid, created to balance combination skin without blocking pores. The ultra-light gel-cream hydrates for 12 hours and absorbs excess oil to leave your skin soft, shine free and healthy looking. '
As this is called a fluid I was expecting it to be quite runny as I dispensed some onto my finger tips. However it appeared to be quite thick and stayed in a blob on my finger without running off. The cream is also a pale green colour. It doesn't really smell of anything, and it certainly doesn't smell chemically. If anything I would say it smelt quite fresh and a bit like cucumber, but I could just be imagining that because of the colour!
Even though it looks quite thick on my hand when I put it on my face it smoothes out really easily and I only need to use a small amount to do my face and neck. The cream feels really light and it absorbs very quickly. I must say I was impressed with the results. Previously I have never liked wearing moisturiser on my face as they leave me feeling greasy and they feel heavy on my skin like it is blocking all my pores. Not with this cream though! It feels so light that I forget I have put it on, yet my skin still feels moisturised all day. It hasn't made me break out in any more spots either so it isn't clogging my pores.
But what about the claim that it 'mattifies' the skin, well I think it's true! Don't get me wrong it doesn't make you skin completely matt like using foundation/power but it does remove/help the greasy areas of my face. Normally if I put moisturiser on my face I always have to use a power so I don't look like I've dipped my head in a deep fat fryer! With this I feel more than happy just to put this on without any make up and my skin looks really good.
This is not an anti wrinkle cream so if that is what you need then this is not for you. However if you are just looking for a normal moisturiser that will also help with oily patches then this is brilliant. The first face cream I have ever enjoyed using, I love it!
I was picking up some bits in Holland and Barrett the other day and decided to see what drinks they had. Normally at lunch I go to Costas to buy a coffee but I am trying to lose some weight so I thought I would see what I could get as an alternative. Next to the energy drinks and fruit juices I noticed some cans called 'wellwoman refreshing health & vitality' made by a company called vitabiotics.
It was described as a low calorie still drink with pomegranate & cranberry juice. I love both these flavours so I thought I would give it a try and added 4 cans to my basket. They are 74p each in Holland and Barrett. According to their website it is also available from Waitrose and Asda. They can also be bought directly from the company website in packs of 24 for £21.60 and they currently have a buy 2 get 1 free offer available
The can is fairly thin, the same shape as cans of red bull/most energy drinks! Most of the can is a bright metallic pink but the front section is white with a picture of half a pomegranate and some cranberries. Around the top of the can is a green strip with a list of flavours/ingredients. It says it contains 'Elderberry, Green Tea, Grape Seed, Artichoke Extract and Essential Nutirents'.
To be honest the can is not exactly the most attractive thing I have ever seen! The drink itself is not exactly pretty either as it is a darkish, slightly murky red colour.
The taste is quite an equal balance of the pomegranate and cranberry, I was a pleasantly surprised as I expected the cranberry to be the more dominant flavour. I couldn't taste the elderflower though. The drink didn't taste too sweet however there was quite a strong aftertaste of sweetener (it uses sucralose). It does leave your mouth with the slightly dry feeling that cranberry juice can give.
Each 250ml can contains only 13.3 calories! It also provides 80mg of guarana, 80mg of green tea extract, 50mg of artichoke extract, 50mg of grape seed extract and 50mg of elderberry concentrate. Oh and it is suitable for vegetarians.
The blurb on the can say's that the drink delivers nutrients for energy release. The grape seed extract and elderberry juice provides antioxidants and the artichoke extract may aid digestive health.
Overall I quite like this drink. I think it is a great healthier alternative to energy drinks and it is certainly better for you if you are watching your weight. Most importantly it tasted nice and is not too expensive. I think I may have found a healthier alternative to my afternoon coffee afterall!
A really tasty and easy dish to cook
1 chicken breast
2 rashers bacon (smoked or un-smoked) chopped in to strips
Fresh pasta shapes (can also use dried)
Cook the chicken and bacon however you wish, oven, grill, fry etc. Personally I cook them in the microwave if its just for myself, as it is much quicker and saves on the washing up! If you do cook the bacon in the microwave remember to drain the liquid off the plates half way through or it won't crisp up. However if you cook/poach the chicken in the oven it is very nice and moist.
While the meat is cooking heat up the pasta, or cook it if you are using dried. When you drain the pasta you need to do it quickly, just tip the contents of the pan into a colander then straight back into the pan. This keeps a small amount of the water to help make your sauce a bit runnier.
Then slice the chicken breast and add it, along with the bacon to the pan. Stir in a teaspoon of pesto and about a dessert spoon of mayonnaise. This may sound a bit odd but it does give a lovely creamy sauce. If you make your own pesto and/or mayonnaise it tastes even better but then it would take a bit longer to make.
I sometimes make this the day after cooking a roast chicken with the leftover meat, it also works well with the pre-cooked chicken breast you can buy making it even easier/quicker! It only takes 5-10 minutes to make and it tastes delicious!
Served warm on a bed of lettuce it makes a lovely simple summer meal.
If you do want to make your own pesto/mayonnaise....
1 bunch fresh basil
1-2 cloves garlic
Remove the stems from the basil leaves. Throw it all in a blender and gradually add the oil until you have the consistency you want.
2 medium egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon mustard
300ml light olive oil
Good squeeze fresh lemon juice
Put the egg yolks into a bowl with the mustard and a little seasoning and whisk well until smooth.
Gradually add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking all the time. You should have a smooth, quite thick mayonnaise that stands in peaks. You can also make this in a food processor, adding the oil through the feeder tube
Add lemon juice to taste and briefly whisk
It will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.
I nipped into Marks & Spencers on my lunch break to pick up some veg for tea. While I waw there I thought I'd get myself a little treat to eat after my sandwhich. While browsing the dessert aisle I noticed their count on us chocolate overload. It looked very nice and was much healthier then the chocolate dessert I was originally going to get.
So after lunch I reached into my bag for my dessert. The description on label said
'chocolate and vanilla mousse with chocolate sauce, chocolate sponge and white chocolate chunks with suger and sweetner
...what a delicious way to diet!'
So I took off the lid and tucked in.
At the bottom of the tub is a thin layer of chocolate sauce. you don't get very much of this but it is incredibly sweet so any more of it would be too much.
Then there is the layer of vanilla mousse, this makes up most of the dessert. It is a very light mousse and has a really nice texture. This is also fairly sweet but not too much and it has a nice delicate vanilla flavour. then there is a layer of chocolate mousse, this also has a light texture though not quite as light as the vanilla layer. It tastes very nice and chocolatey but isn't very rich, more like cocoa powder then milk chocolate.
on top of the mousse was six small white chocolate chunks and a piece of chocolate sponge. The sponge piece is about an inch and a half long (about the size of a domino!) and was a little bit soggy. It did have a nice chocolate taste though.
This dessert did taste nice although it was a bit too sweet. Unlike a lot of chocolate desserts it did not leave me feeling sick, which in an odd way made me feel a little cheated! I don't think you can call something a chocolate overload if it doesn't leave you feeling slightly ill after eating it, but then again I am a little odd :-D
Plus I think a 165 cals is a little high for a diet snack. I could have had a kit kat and saved 65 cals, '...what a delicious way to diet!' - i'd rather have had the Kit Kat!
On the side of the tub it has the phrase 'isn't dieting easy?', but I was still hungry after eating this so I went to find something else to eat.
Personally I find that when I am dieting it is easier to cut out chocolate altogether. All desserts like this do is remind me that I want to eat proper chocolate. Still if you have more will power then me and want something to satisfy a sugar craving then this could be the thing for you.
--- Info ---
Each pot contains 165 cals and 2.9g fat.
It has no artifical colours, floavouring or preservatives.
It is made in a factory which contains nuts
It contains cow's milk, eggs, soya, wheat and gluten
sweetened using sucrose
Each tub costs £1.49