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Liz Earle’s Naturally Active Skincare is probably a range that many of you have never heard of. This is because the products are not widely available and can only be purchased by mail order or from the satellite shopping channel QVC. Liz Earle herself has written lifestyle books about health and beauty and how to look after your body and developed this skincare range using natural ingredients. I have used most of the products in the range and one of my favourites, and most basic, is her cleanser which is called "Cleanse and Polish". This one of the staple items as it is step one of a good skin care routine. There are many cleansers on the market at the moment aimed at different types of skin and skin conditions but this cleanser is fine to use on all skin types - young or mature, oily or dry. It comes in a 100ml pump action bottle and is priced at around £9.50 although QVC and Liz Earle Mail Order usually have gift sets or duo packs which are good value for money. With the bottle, you also receive two muslin cloths which you use to remove the product from your face. Using these cloths is crucial to the cleanser’s effectiveness as it helps with the "polish" part which I will explain about later. As I have said before, Liz Earle uses natural ingredients in her products and these are of the highest grade. The Cleanse and Polish alone contains: * Chamomile which helps to calm delicate skin * Cocoa butter & almond milk which are good moisturising agents * Rosemary which can help to stimulate the circulation and leave skin feeling brighter * Hops which can help to leave skin feeling soft * Eucalyptus oil which purifies, brightens and soothes skin There are other ingredients included which make up the cream but these six natural agents consist of a high percentage of the final product and are the active ingredients. Using the product is very simple as you just apply it to your face as
you would any other cleanser and gently massage it in. Although Liz Earle has a separate eye make-up remover, I find that this will take off eyeshadow and mascara (including some waterproof ones) and will not sting or irritate your eyes. After you have applied it to your skin, instead of removing it with cotton wool or splashing it off, you use the muslin cloth. Simply dip the cloth in warm water and use it to gently remove all traces of the cleanser and make up. This is the "polish" part because, if you use gentle, circular movements you give your skin a gentle exfoliation as the muslin removes the cream. The cloth is not rough on the skin but the gentle pressure and warm muslin helps to gently remove dead skin cells from the surface leaving your face feeling refreshed and clean. The cleanser itself is quite creamy but doesn’t feel too rich or thick when you apply it to your face. A little goes a long way and it doesn’t leave your skin feeling tight or uncomfortable. I have only been using this for a few months and have actually seen a change in the appearance of my skin. Granted, it is not as dramatic as some QVC presenters make it out to be, but my skin is definitely softer and brighter. I have also found that by using Liz Earle’s general skin care regime, my face is not as dry and, while it hasn’t got rid of the wrinkles and fine lines, no more have appeared - yet! And I’d just like to say that it isn’t just for women as men can use it both to wash their face and for shaving. Although at £9.50 this product may seem expensive, it is actually quite a reasonable price for what I would call a "salon quality" or "premium" product. If you compare the Liz Earle range with some of the ranges you find in department stores (eg. Clarins, Clinique, Elizabeth Arden) then, a lot of the time you may find that Liz Earle’s products are no more expensive. As you are regularly able to get special sets
on QVC then you find that you can save even more in the long run. I can thoroughly recommend this product as I have found that it is easy to use, lasts a long time and leaves my skin looking brighter and feeling refreshed. If you want to find out more about the rest of the range and the prices you can have a look at the website. Alternatively, if you have Sky Digital, she is regularly featured in QVC which is channel 630.
After waiting patiently for the last few weeks, desperate to see this film and with a hubby who hasn’t darkened the door of a cinema for the best part of twenty years, I finally managed to persuade my dooyooing daughter to take me to see Miss Congeniality. The poor girl ends up seeing many films twice (once with me and once with her friends) and was not amused this time as I kept annoying her by pointing out the striking resemblance between her and Ms Bullock. She will also not be very pleased when she finds out that I have beaten her to writing a review of the film first!! But as for the movie itself, for those of you who do not know much about the storyline, basically Bullock plays Gracie Hart, an FBI agent who is definitely one of the lads. She doesn’t own a hairbrush, never mind a dress and make-up is one big mystery. She is probably one of the biggest slobs and unfeminine people that you are ever likely to meet and as a result, the rest of the agents do not see her as a woman and treat her as if she were another man. Things start to change, though, when it is discovered that there is going to be an attack on the Miss America Beauty Pageant and the FBI decide to send an uncover agent to protect the contestants and stop any disruption. No prizes for guessing who is chosen and the FBI have the unenviable task of turning Gracie into a convincing, beautiful contestant in the pageant. It is here that Michael Caine steps in as a beauty pageant expert who attempts to groom her for the competition so that she will blend in as Miss New Jersey and not alert anyone, especially the attacker, to her presence. To say any more would probably spoil the rest of the story for everyone but, although it is quite predictable, I still found it to be very entertaining and hilariously funny. I feel that Bullock is suited to the role perfectly although when playing the ungroomed FBI slob, she still looked more attractive than many wo
men on a good day. I have to say that I have always liked Sandra Bullock as an actress and have seen most of her films from the futuristic "Demolition Man", the touching "While You Were Sleeping" and the somewhat poor "Forces Of Nature". For me, I hoped "Miss Congeniality" would be the film to put Sandy’s career back on track and enable Hollywood to forget about the recent, poorer films that she appeared in. However, this is definitely one of her better efforts and, while the film is not going to win any Oscars, it is certainly one that most people will enjoy as you just sit there and let it wash all over you. It has a 12 certificate thus making it suitable for a younger audience. Except for a shooting scene and bomb threat, violence is kept to a minimum, there are very few swear words and no sexual content whatsoever (unless a brief kiss counts). Thus, when it comes out on video, I feel that it would be suitable for children under twelve years old to watch although I would say that boys would probably not be very interested in it. Grown men, on the other hand, will probably like it due to the fact that it shows Bullock in a bikini but on the whole, I would say that this is definitely a Chick Flick. So if you are planning to go to the cinema in the next few weeks, you could do a lot worse than to check out Miss Congeniality.
Online shopping? I don’t *do* online shopping. In fact I wouldn’t know the first thing about it as I have always been worried about the security of my details and the threat of credit card fraud. As a result, I have missed out on many internet bargains, exclusive purchases and unusual presents. However, this has all changed a few months ago when I became the proud owner of a £40 Amazon voucher courtesy of a dooyoo competition. Not knowing much about Amazon except that they sold books and CDs, I had a little browse of the site and was quite impressed. I’m sure that many of you have purchased from Amazon but for those that haven’t, I’ll explain briefly what I found on my visit. Firstly the homepage (www.amazon.co.uk) has quite a lot of information on it (a bit like dooyoo’s front page). However, it loads extremely fast which is always good in my book. Across the top there are "tabs" with links to the main departments such as Books, CDs, DVD, gifts, etc. There is also a search bar which you can use to search the whole site from the front page or search in a specific category. If you are a member, the front page has a list of recommendations (which I’ll speak about later). Non-members see a selection of best selling items (Amazon hot 100), latest products on offer and a random selection of items on the site. So far so good - definitely not as scary as I thought it would be. But I had £40 to spend and didn’t have a clue what to buy. I started to generally browse the individual sections and typing in a random name here and there. In fact, I probably spent about an hour looking through the site and taking note of "possible" purchases that I could make. Finally, after grilling my family to see if there was anything in particular that they would like, I set aside some quiet time to make my purchases. My first choice was a CD so I typed in the
artist’s name into the search engine and Amazon quickly gave me a list of all of the CDs that they had in stock relating to this person. I clicked on the one I wanted and saw general information, availability, track listing and several reviews by other Amazon customers. There was also a star rating system based on what others had said about it - a bit like dooyoo really! I clicked the "add to my basket button" and the page quickly changed to show my basket. I had the option of proceeding to the checkout or continuing to shop. As I still had lots more to spend, I continued browsing the site and adding products to my basket. One CD, a video and three books later, I decided that I’d better stop this shopping lark or else I would spend more than the voucher value. So the next time I returned to my basket, I resisted the urge to continue shopping and instead opted for the checkout. As I was a new customer, I had to input my details: name, address, telephone no, email and password. When it came to paying my voucher, I just typed in the claim code and that was it - simple. All of this was done over a secure server and the next page displayed an account summary. The total price was £39.78 including postage and packaging. I had calculated my order to be in the region of £35 and thus allowed for £5 p&p as I had heard that Amazon were pretty steep for postage. The p&p charges for 1st class delivery to the UK (taken directly from the website) are as follows: Books = £2.16 & 59p per item Music = £1.19 & 29p per item VHS = £2.16 & 59p per item DVD = £1.19 & 29p per item Software = £2.16 & 59p per item For mixed orders the highest delivery charge applies plus the equivalent item charge. Eg if you ordered a book and a CD you would pay £2.16 (highest delivery charge) plus 59p (for the book) and 29p (for the CD). On the surface this looks quite expensive and this is indee
d true if you were only getting one item. Eg. I saw a book priced at £10.99 whereas the RRP was £12.99. By the time you add p&p to the price it would be cheaper to go to a high street bookshop to get it. However, the more items you buy, the more economical it is as I bought six items and paid less than £5 p&p. Anyway, once the order went through I was kept up to date on it’s progress by email. I also had the option of going back to Amazon and manually checking on the status of my order by logging on to my account. The next day I received an email saying that the order had been dispatched and two days later a relatively large cardboard box arrived with all of my purchases. I was very impressed by the speed of their service although I was lucky in that all of the items that I chose had an availability time of 24 hours. Some products specify longer (1-2 weeks) and thus it takes a greater amount of time for the goods to arrive. I was also impressed by their packaging as the items arrived in a strong cardboard box and were wrapped tightly in plastic to a sheet of cardboard so that they wouldn’t move around. There was a distinct absence of polystyrene chips (which I hate) and enclosed was a printed receipt detailing the purchasing information. Since making my first online purchase, I have returned to the Amazon site to see if they have anything else that I want. After all, I still have 22p left over from my voucher which is sitting in my account waiting to be spent. However, when I went back to the site I was a little scared as they had picked out some recommendations for me based on what I had bought. I say scared because they were quite accurate as the items they suggested were things that I had already bought or was considering getting for either myself or other members of my family that I had originally bought gifts for. Amazon also have a "wish-list" feature where you can browse th
e site and add things to this list. You can then let your friends and family have a look and thus end all of their problems figuring out what to get you for your next birthday. If you want to buy gift certificates as a present for someone, there is also an option to do this and I found that their Help section was very well laid out - especially for an internet shopping novice like myself. But I suppose the real question is: Would I use them again? And would I trust them with my credit card details? Well, the answer is Yes to both questions as I was highly impressed by their range of products and level of service. Think I’ll be cashing in my dooyoo miles for Amazon vouchers in future!
With the recent announcement that Marks and Spencer’s are continually losing money and with their share price taking a tumble, it is no wonder that they are beginning to panic and close some shops down. However, I personally don’t believe that closing down shops is the answer. As someone who is clearly not an expert but who has worked in the retail industry for a few years I think that M&S are perhaps trying too hard to compete with other stores and thus are beginning to lack on basic principles. I have had all of the standard pep talks about customer service and sales targets and, although I do not work for M&S, I know that the staff there have probably had these too. Perhaps, rather than just encouraging the shop floor staff to work harder, the management should be aiming to make the whole "M&S shopping experience" much better to encourage people to visit more often. To give them credit, though, they have made a few changes recently. Over the past year they have been trying very hard to attract new, younger customers whilst still trying to cater for their traditional clientele - the more "mature" women. New ranges of clothes such as Autograph (a designer-type collection) have been brought in to appeal to the younger market but the M&S classic ladies wear still has a distinct presence. Stores seem to be better laid out with more room between racks of clothing, less clutter and sizes clearly marked. This has probably been done in order to offer a more up-to-date, modern and convenient environment to shop in. But whether this will increase sales or not remains to be seen. I do feel, however, that there is one thing that M&S could do to encourage their customers to shop there a little more often. It doesn’t cost anything (in fact it may save both money and staff time) and it could be implemented country-wide first thing tomorrow morning. "What is it?" I hear you all ask.
Well, it is simple - stop moving things around!! Every time I go into my local store, things seem to be in a completely different place than the day before. It used to just happen within the food hall where I would go looking for milk and come across chicken. Now, I’m sure the chicken is very tasty but it wouldn’t really go very well in my tea, would it? But last week I went venturing for a nice bunch of flowers for a friend's birthday and what did I find (no, not more chicken!) but some lovely socks. Pity they were meant for a man but they were quite nice all the same. Now, I know that shops have a habit of moving the shelves around every so often to ensure the customer has to go searching for the basics and find lots and lots of new products that they wouldn’t usually look for. But M&S seems to take it to the extreme as their food hall changes at least on a weekly basis. To be honest, I shop in Tesco and Asda more frequently than in M&S and, apart from a few minor changes, their layout stays pretty much the same from day to day. I am sure that it is not just my local branches (Glasgow City Centre) that are doing it as my daughter who, until recently lived in York, also experienced this "Moveabout Phenomenon". But why do the bosses feel that the layouts have to change so often? Surely it is just more work for the staff in changing the shelves and remembering where everything is from one day to the next and it is just a lot of hassle for the customers too. Other supermarkets rearrange their shelves every few months or so and this not only keeps the customer happy but gives them more time to browse the other aisles. I have found myself attempting to do some shopping at lunchtime and it takes nearly the whole lunch hour by the time I have walked there, found what I am looking for and waited in the queue. The queues are generally quite long but the staff are, on the whole, very c
ompetent and try to get the customers through the tills as quickly as they can. There are always a lot of tills open and most large stores have a special "lunchtime" area with designated tills for sandwiches and drinks. Thankfully the lunchtime area seems to change a lot less frequently than the rest of the food hall so if you are in a rush to get a sandwich then you can be in and out of the store in ten minutes. However, if you are wanting to buy milk, bread and something for tea then it can take considerably longer. Maybe if they left things alone and only rearranged their shelves on a monthly basis, then more people would be willing to search for items and thus sales might improve. But does anyone actually listen to the humble customer?
Which site is better - ciao or dooyoo? Dooyooers will say dooyoo and ciaoers will vote for Ciao. It’s only natural that each member will vote for their own, but what if you happen to be a member of both? I joined both sites at around the same time last year. However, after posting two opinions on ciao that were never read, I decided to continue with dooyoo and didn’t give "the other site" a second thought. Even when I heard about the improvements, I didn’t bother going back to ciao as I figured that they would have to completely change the whole site to make it as user friendly as dooyoo and worthwhile going back to. Yes, at that time ciao had the better payment rates but I am, and never have been, "in it for the money" so the payment didn’t really matter. However, a few months ago, I ventured back just out of curiosity to see what everyone was talking about. I logged in and found that my two reviews had been read quite a few times. I thought that this was good for someone who has not been an active member and with very poor reviews that had never been edited for typos and spelling mistakes. This new version enabled editing, commenting and the ability to see who rated your opinions. In fact, it was similar to dooyoo and as a result has built up the same kind of "community atmosphere". Obviously there are differences to each site. Dooyoo has some great features and ciao has some good ones too, such as: (1) Recent opinions Ciao’s homepage displays the most recently submitted opinion with a link to see a list of the previous twenty. This is one thing that they have over dooyoo as there is a better chance of having your recently posted review being read. A few times here on dooyoo, I have submitted an op only to find that it didn’t reach the front page because so many people were posting at the same time. With ciao, this is
n’t a problem as your opinion stays in the recent twenty and more people get a chance to read it. (2) Most Wanted This is similar to the Hall Of Fame except that instead of having one member’s profile on display for several days, there is a group of members whose profiles appear randomly every time you visit the front page. This is a good idea as these people get equal exposure on a regular basis. However, although the Most Wanted used to be hand picked by ciao staff and, unlike dooyoo, there was no way of nominating a member, this has now changed as you can now vote for Most Wanted members. The rotation changes each month to give other people a chance of high exposure on the site. Of course there are features which dooyoo has and ciao lacks such as the crown system (which some members like and some do not). Ciao does have a "premium fund" which pays out every month to those with very good opinions. Payments range from £1 to £15 per opinion but Ciao doesn't let you know which review has received a reward as they believe that this will cut down on people trying to scam money from the fund. Dooyoo’s daily emails are, by far, superior to ciao’s which only alert you if a comment has been made. However, these alerts are sent just after a comment has been posted so you know immediately if someone has written something. But which is the best? I have read many reviews on dooyoo about how bad ciao is and how nobody reads your opinions. On the other hand I have logged into ciao to read the scathing reviews about dooyoo being strict about content, deleting ops and members leaving critical comments. For me, I have had always had a good experience with dooyoo and, while ciao used to be less user friendly, recently it has been working hard to improve things and the members are very friendly and helpful. What I have also noticed is that there are reviews
by members of both sites which are edited to say critical things about dooyoo when they write on ciao but when they post on dooyoo they say that ciao is the worst in the world. Maybe this is because they do not want to upset anyone, but it gives a false impression of both sites. We should be thankful that there are two great sites for us to express our opinions. I have to say that, at the moment, dooyoo is my preferred option but I am just getting into the swing of things at ciao and so far everyone has been very welcoming. Ciao isn’t the big, bad site that everyone makes it out to be and, if you don’t believe me, why not take a look for yourself!
Should smoking be banned in public places? Should smoking be banned? Should we smoke? Is smoking evil? These are perhaps just some of the questions that are going through a lot of people’s heads, especially those who go out to the pub for a night out and come home stinking of smoke and with a dry throat. First of all, I think that it is only fair to state that I myself am a non-smoker. Does this automatically make me want to call for a ban on smoking - well, believe it or not, it doesn’t. Smokers are real people, human beings with brains, feelings and probably most already know about the health risks involved. Okay, so they are slowly killing themselves by smoking the evil weed, their clothes smell of stale smoke and they spend a small fortune each week. But who are we to say that they should be banned from smoking in a public place. Whey should they be made to feel like second class citizens? Don’t get me wrong - I agree with the smoking ban on buses and think that there should be separate areas in restaurants for smokers to sit as I personally do not like inhaling smoke when I am eating or when I have children with me. In some places, a smoking ban is justified for safety reasons such as in confined spaces or where flammable material is present. However, banning smoking in the street or in pubs is just taking it a bit far in my opinion. We all enjoy a night out in the pub and coming home with stale smoke on your clothes isn’t very nice and realising that you have inhaled the equivalent of ten cigarettes isn’t too good either but if you don’t want to go then you don’t have to. Sounds a bit harsh, I know, but this society is all about choice - people have the choice to smoke and they should have the choice to smoke in certain places. For all of the non-smokers, they should also have the choice to breathe in clean air and not be forced to take part in p
assive smoking. This is perhaps why some pubs have introduced special "No Smoking" areas in a bid to have a compromise (Some Wetherspoon’s pubs have this policy such as "The Counting House" in Glasgow and "The Standing Order" in Edinburgh). In the majority of places, people have the opportunity to breathe clean air (well, that is if you forget about the pollution from factories and cars). Non-smokers can travel to work on a smoke free bus or train; their work-place will most probably be smoke free as many smokers have to stand on the street outside the office to have a cigarette. They can go for a meal without smoke blowing in their eyes and they can enjoy a night out in the cigarette free cinema. Of course, what they cannot do is go to every pub or club because these are some of the places that still allow smokers to light up. In the future, we may see totally smoke free pubs and clubs or at the very least some publicans may set aside a separate room for non-smokers as seen in the pubs mentioned above. However, I don’t believe that there will ever be a complete public smoking ban as it would mean that the Government would be condemning the tobacco industry and losing out on a lot of revenue. Speaking as a non-smoker, I just wonder will smokers and non-smokers ever be able to live together peacefully with designated areas for those who wish to light up without being made to feel like a second class citizen. Perhaps rather than shouting the odds, we should be willing to help and encourage those who want to quit. And from experience, banning something just makes it more appealing.
Dorothy Perkins, Dotty P’s or DP, as it is known to it’s regular customers, may soon be shutting their doors but they aren’t going to take it lying down. You see, DP is part of the doomed Arcadia Group (along with Burton, TopShop, Racing Green, Principles and Richards) who announced last year that they would be shutting down a lot of stores as the company isn’t making enough profit. Richards has already disappeared from the high street and, up and down the country, stores like DP are beginning to disappear too. Thankfully, at the moment, Arcadia seem to have taken the decision, in some places, to house two of their stores in one building. So it is not unusual to see Dorothy Perkins on the ground floor with Burton on the first (or vice versa). A compromise, yes, but at least they are still hanging on. Up here in Glasgow, except for the demise of Richards, Arcadia haven’t really changed their stores too much. Okay, one DP/Burton combi store closed in one part of the City Centre but relocated to newer premises about 300 yards down the street. DP wise, in Glasgow city centre alone, there is one stand alone store (it’s lease is up for sale though), one DP/Burton combi store, a DP housed in Debenham’s and a few others in the out of town shopping centres. So for the moment, we can still get our Dotty P clothes up here. But why am I harping on about, what is seen by many to be an un-trendy store? Probably because recently I have started to get the majority of my clothes in there. And I’d just like to point out that the clothes *are* trendy but not in a "teeny-bopper" type way. Yes they do still have the classic suits, shirts and warm jumpers but they also have sparkly tops, tight denims and skirts so short that they should’ve been worn in the 60s. They also have an exclusive range designed by Whistles which mixes classic fashion with contemporary style and their
maternity wear is second to none. A lot of stores still have a selection of nightwear and lingerie, albeit aimed at those who are, well on the slim side, but they still do some good old fashioned XL nightshirts and pyjamas with cute teddy bears on the front. You may also find a limited range of shoes, bags and inexpensive jewellery and accessories. As for sizes, I have always found DP to be one of the retailers who have "generous" sizing. For example, if you are between a size 14 and 16 then you may find that a DP 14 will fit comfortably whereas in other shops it could be a bit snug. They also have a lot of their range in sizes 18-20 and do specially tailored clothes for petite ladies of 5ft 3 and under. The prices are reasonable too and in the past few months I have seen a lot of their prices take a dip by around £5 or so. For example, you can now get a black suit for £40-45 (Jacket £25, Skirt or Trousers £15 each). It isn’t of the highest quality but is machine washable, the skirts and trousers are available in different lengths and it should last quite a while anyway. Sometimes there are offers such as "Buy two tops for £12" where they would usually be £7.99 each. Granted, these tops aren’t going to last forever, but at that price it certainly isn’t too bad. You may also see "save £5" or "save £10" labels on certain things and the displays of clothing change regularly. As for the fitting rooms, I have always found them to be well lit and the cubicles are a decent size with a full length mirror, plenty of space for hangers and usually a stool. The staff are friendly and polite and whenever I have had to return an item for whatever reason, there has never been any problems. Maybe I have just been lucky with the Glasgow stores but I have visited the store in York’s Coney Street (now sadly gone) and one in Leeds City Centre and have found tha
t they were pretty much the same in the way of store cleanliness, staff friendliness and service. If they do disappear from the high street, they will be sadly missed although I believe that their clothing will still be available online from the Dorothy Perkins website (www.dorothyperkins.co.uk). But it’s just not the same ordering clothes online, is it? So go and snap up a bargain before it is too late.
"So where exactly is this dodo place?" I was asked by one of my friends last week. "It is DOOYOO and it’s on the internet," I replied. "Ah, the internet," she said thoughtfully. "So where do I buy one of those?" ~~~~~~~~~~ It is pointless trying to explain the internet, never mind dooyoo addiction to any of my friends as they wouldn’t know one end of a computer from the other. This is probably because, like myself, they are a bit more mature (to put it politely). My addiction started when my dealer, erm my daughter, started to hog the computer every night writing this and reading that. At first she denied that she had a problem but as a mother, I knew there was something wrong. Finally, after she got crowned for the first time, I decided that I had to dive in there myself and help her. But rather than helping her, I found myself getting sucked in too. I started off reading a few opinions each day. Then I got a bit braver and left the odd comment. For no reason other than dooyoo taking over, I found myself actually writing my very first opinion. The range of emotions I felt as I pressed the "doo it" button to post the opinion on the site are undescribable. "Will anyone read it? Will they like it? What if they hate it? Will they tell me? Will they...will they?" (sorry I seem to be getting a bit carried away there). Anyway, my opinion was liked - it was even rated Very Useful and from then on I was what you could call an addict. Now I look at things in terms of VU, U, SU and NU and wonder if I can write an opinion on them. I find myself having dooyoo related conversations with my friends: "No, don’t buy that iron because Ms XXX dooyooer says that it’s rubbish. You should buy this one instead - it got a 5 star rating!" Currently in my household, three out of four of us are dooyooers. My
husband refused to join out of principle but between you and me, he doesn’t know how to switch the computer on and thinks that the internet is what fishermen use to catch tuna. Having three dooyooers under one roof does make it difficult for a hardcore addict but I think that I have the best deal because when the others are at work or university, I can secretly log on during the day for my fix. Then at night, I just check my email, read a few ops and leave those two to fight it out over who gets to log on next. I have read other addiction ops and have come to the conclusion that maybe I am not as big an addict as I had originally thought as some people have it a lot worse than I do. However, I don’t have one of those shiny gold crowns yet and I hear that they increase the addiction four fold as people strive to write better ops and get more and more crowns. Then, I believe, the addiction really takes over as it’s like writing your first opinion all over again. I should know - I have a daughter going cold turkey at the moment as she has an important assignment at work and can’t log on as often. Ah well, more dooyoo time for me. Not that I am really addicted you understand... **UPDATE** Well for some strange reason I managed to get a nice gold hat for this op and, you guessed it, I am officially an addict and can think of nothing else except dooyoo. Maybe my husband knew what he was doing after all...
Who would have thought that a show with such a simple concept would be such a big success. For those of you who have not been lucky enough to have seen the show, Countdown is a basic letters and numbers game. Introduced by Richard Whitely, it has two contestants fighting it out against the clock to become the champion. There are three different types of rounds in each show, namely: # Letters game: Contestants are invited to pick a selection of nine vowels and consonants and have to make the longest word from them within 30 seconds. The one with the longest word gets the points eg 6 letter word = 6 points, 7 letters = 7 points. If they both have the same length word then they both get the points. # Numbers game: There are two of these rounds in each show and contestants pick a selection of numbers and have to use them to calculate a randomly selected 3 digit number. 10 points are awarded to the person who gets the correct answer and this is the part of the show where Carol Vorderman shows her mathematical ability as she almost always gets the correct answer even when no-one else has. Again this round is against the 30 second clock. # Conundrum: There is only one conundrum on each show and it is always the final round. Basically it is a nine letter anagram which the contestants have to unscramble before the 30 seconds time limit runs out. The first one to buzz in with the correct answer gets the 10 points on offer. Well that is an overview of the show - doesn’t sound very exciting does it? But you have to see it to understand its appeal and I think that one of the best bits about it is that you can play along at home. Many a time I find myself shouting "6, not wait, 7 letters" in respect to the length of word I have made in the letters game. I am totally useless at the numbers game as for some reason I just cannot multiply by 75 or 25 but there are very rare occasions when I can scream &quo
t;Got it!" at the tv. The host, Richard Whitely, is perfect for what is quite an intellectual show as he is always grinning, making daft comments and generally gives the impression that he is useless at playing the games. He has a good rapport with Carol Vorderman who, despite host what seems like every other tv show, has decided to stick with Countdown - the show who gave an unknown maths whizz her tv break. I expect that many others in her position would have abandoned the early evening tv quiz. So now you know what Channel 4’s longest running show is all about, why not watch an episode and play along. It is on Ch4 each weekday at 4:30pm but be warned - you too could be screaming "got it!" or "6 letters" at your tv screen soon.
I haven’t been a member of dooyoo for very long, in fact I have only just figured out how to use the internet but when my daughter introduced me to a site where you could express your opinions on anything, I just had to join. My friends think I am mad and so does my husband for that matter but this is my way of telling everyone what I think. Cliched as it may sound I write, not for the money, but for the sheer pleasure of it. OK, so I’m not very good with my spelling or my grammar but that’s what my daughter is for (thanks BTW). But you do not need a degree in English to write on this site - as long as you can express your thoughts concisely, write your opinions carefully and don’t take everything too seriously, then dooyoo addiction can be a very real thing! As I have said before, I enjoy writing and I tend to stick to things that I know about so that I am able to write an informative and useful opinion. Because of this, I tend to find myself writing in the Lifestyle Category with many of my opinions aimed at the female dooyooers. However, I have dabbled in the music category and may even write a TV or film review at some point. Hey, now that I have figured out how this internet thingy works, I may find myself reviewing websites soon! What is important though, is that there is a category for everyone to share their experiences, thoughts and views. I didn’t think that I would ever find myself writing reviews on the internet especially as I am a bit more mature and a complete computer novice. But the dooyoo site is so easy to use and I have now mastered Microsoft Word and the spell checker so my reviews should be a bit easier to read. For each review, I would love to get a "very useful" but I know VU’s are very hard to come by and I always take on board the ratings and commentaries left on all of my reviews. I always find it helpful when someone has left a
reason as to why they have given me a low rating as it gives me the opportunity to go back and change the spelling, grammar or, in a lot of cases, the content. In this way the review improves and others in the future may find it a bit more useful. I also get a real buzz to know that people are reading my stuff and have taken the time to leave a comment - positive or negative. The dooyoo website is currently my reason for being on the internet as I find myself logging on when the rest of the family are at work - it is the only chance I get with two other dooyooers in the house!! So if you are a non-member reading this review and wondering if you should join then I would advise you to give it a go - after all what have you got to lose. If you are a member who is reading this then I hope you have found it informative and not too personal. This is my review about dooyoo and what it means to me and I’m sure it means different things to other people. I am just glad that someone out there is reading, rating and commenting as the dooyoo site will continue to grow and become a valuable database for the consumer. Hey, I’ve just realised I’ve written my first review of a website. Way-hey!!
When I first looked at this category, I wasn’t sure how interested I would be in reading about artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and the like but upon further inspection I realised it was about Music artists. So here is my top 10, in no particular order and you may find it a bit suprising as, well, you’ll find out as you read on. 1) First up is The Beatles - well they had to be mentioned so I suppose I better get it over with. The ultimate boy band really do not need much introduction or explanation and I’m sure many of you have at least heard a few songs such as "She Loves You", "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" (just what did those initials stand for!?!) 2) Next up and sticking with boy bands is Boyzone, well Ronan Keating to be exact - isn’t he lovely? You just want to pick him up and give him a big hug! Oh, and he is okay at singing too. I particularly liked Boyzone’s version of Tracy Chapman’s "Baby Can I Hold You" and Ronan’s solo effort of "Life Is A Rollercoaster". The cover of "When The Going Gets Tough" for Children In Need was also very good although I have always wondered why Graham Norton’s face was so red in the video! 3) Sticking with the Irish theme is The Corrs, that lovely family quartet from Dundalk in County Louth. I have liked them ever since I heard their first song "Right Time" played on the radio when I was on holiday in Ireland. Incidentally it was a flop but I liked it anyway. The Corrs’ blend of violin, drums, tin whistle and strong vocals make them a unique group although recent releases have less of the violin or traditional Irish sounds as they have opted for a more upbeat style. 4) Shania Twain - dodgy choice or what! I’d just like to point out that I prefer the dance versions of her songs to the countr
y style ones. I have been told on occasions that "That Don’t Impress Me Much" should be my signature tune. Still trying to figure out why. 5) To redeem myself, my 5th choice has to be Queen - an amazing band. Their style was so diverse and "Bohemian Rhapsody" really is a classic. My other favourites include "Radio Ga Ga", "I Want To Break Free" and "I Want It All" (strangely also suggested as another of my signature tunes). "We Will Rock You" is another of my favourites and this nicely brings me to my 6th choice of: 6) 5ive (or however you spell it). I know, I seem to have a thing about boy bands but Jay and Co. just aren’t as soppy as Westlife and others. They have a pretty upbeat sound and when they joined forces with Brian May to record "We Will Rock You", I was a bit dubious. But it was an interesting cover and turned out a lot better than I originally thought. I don’t actually own any albums by 5ive but like quite a few of their songs such as "Slam Dunk Da Funk", "If You’re Getting Down" and "Don’t Want To Let You Go". 7) Offspring - still a boy band I suppose but with decent music and attitude! "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" has to be my favourite song but other tracks from the Americana album such as "She’s Got Issues" and "Why Don’t You Get A Job" are okay too. I wasn’t too keen on their earlier albums. Probably because they were a bit more punky where as Americana was more mainstream. 8) Um, this is getting more difficult now but I’m sticking with bad boys and my next choice is Eminem. I have been told on several occasions to stop walking around the house singing "I’m slim shady yes I’m the real shady, all you other slim shady...." But from the time "My Name Is" became a hit,
I have been hooked on this white guy’s rappin’. Granted I don’t really pay much attention to the lyrics (so I suppose I am not a serious fan) but his songs are catchy. 9) Had to squeeze Madonna in somewhere so here she is. Since the 80’s she has topped the pop charts and each of her songs remind me of a time or specific event that has happened. I have to say that I prefer quite a few of her earlier songs and proudly own "The Immaculate Collection" which has gems such as "Lucky Star", "Holiday" and "Crazy For You". I also like most of her recent stuff too although I’m not too sure about "American Pie". 10) This is very difficult as I want to do a top 20 list rather than a top 10 one. But just for the sake of it, I’ll add in Bon Jovi because I used to be a big fan. I still am, but I much prefer their earlier albums ("New Jersey" and "Slippery When Wet") as the songs were a lot more guitar based rock rather than rock ballads. In my opinion, after the "Keep The Faith" album, things started to mellow a bit. Nothing can compete with "Living On A Prayer" but I also like songs such as "Bad Medicine" and "You Give Love A Bad Name". So there you have it, my top 10 artists but I could so easily have made it a top 20 list if I had added the likes of Blur, Travis, Steps (I owe it to them for helping me to lose weight by bopping around the living room to "Tragedy" and "Say You’ll Be Mine"), Wham and a few others which I will not mention for fear of more ridicule! Not very surprising was it? Well, to my 23 year old daughter it is as she can’t understand how her dear old mum can be a fan of such modern music and keeps pinching her CD’s. Now all together now "I’m slim shady, yes I’m the real shady...
Is there anyone out there who actually likes painting and decorating? Well, apart from the professionals, I don’t imagine that there are many of you who do. However, I have found that Paint Partner makes painting a lot quicker and easier. I purchased mine a few months ago from QVC but, as far as I know, it is available to buy in some DIY and hardware shops. In my kit there was a paint tray with a roller wheel type contraption. There were also several differently sized sponge pads and red plastic holders. You attach the pads to the holders (make sure they are secure!) and you are ready to go. Basically you put paint in the tray and roll the paint partner over the wheel which loads the pad with a thin layer of paint. Any excess can be wiped on the edge of the tray. You are then ready to paint. The paint glides onto the walls so easily and quickly and leaves no brush marks. As the pad is square, you can also paint in straight lines and get pretty close into the corners and to door frames, etc. To get at those hard to reach parts you could either use the small, toothbrush style accessory or resort to your trusty brush if you wanted to. I used the Paint Partner set quite recently and, along with my daughter, we painted our living room in record time with no mess (as there are no drips!) One tip I do have, though, is to slightly water down the paint as it is much easier to load onto the paint partner and glides on a lot quicker. The only problem with that is if you are painting over a strong colour then you may need an extra coat of paint. However, by the time you have finished one coat, the other coat will be almost dry as, with paint partner, you don’t apply it as thickly and it dries a lot quicker. You also use less paint too!! So for around £14-16 (depending where you get it from), it may be a worthwhile investment, especially if you are left to do the painting on your own!!
McDonalds seems to get a lot of bad press about it’s prices and quality of food but is it really as bad as everyone makes out? Surely if it was then why, when you walk by your local McDonalds, are there always people queuing? I have to admit that I have been know to visit McDonalds once in a while. I’m not a big fan of burgers and prefer to go for the McChicken sandwich or the Vegetable Deluxe burger. Both of these are available as part of a meal with a medium fries and medium drink for £2.99. For an extra 20p you can have large fries and large drink. Granted, sometimes the fries are too soggy and a bit salty but, overall, the food is of decent quality even though it is obviously not of restaurant standard. As for fast food? Well, if you are getting standard items from the menu then you get it instantly. If, like me, you are an "awkward" customer and do not like mayo on your McChicken Sandwich or sauce on your burger, then you have to wait at least five minutes or so for it to be prepared. The only advantage with this is that at least you know that your meal has been made fresh and hasn’t been lying on the counter for 20 minutes. For children, you can purchase Happy Meals consisting of small drink, small fries and a choice of hamburger, cheeseburger or chicken nuggets. The meals also come complete with a toy. I personally do not think that children should eat at McDonalds on a regular basis - I prefer to save it for a special treat for them, as a one off visit and consumption of junk food isn’t going to do them much harm. I have found that usually the Happy Meal toys are part of a range of 4 or more to collect and this encourages children and their parents to buy them. However, you can buy the toys separately for around 50p without buying the meal so if your child wanted to collect the whole range, you could buy them individually for them. As for value for money, I supp
ose £2.99 for a meal isn’t too bad. If you were out shopping in town and felt hungry then you would probably pay in excess of this if you were to go for a cup or tea and a cake, a pub lunch or a meal elsewhere. So with McDonalds there are good points and bad but what else would you expect from a large chain of fast food outlets intent on making as much money as possible?
I had heard good reviews about this body wash and decided to give it a try when I saw it on special offer for £2.99 with the special Olay net body puff. I couldn’t wait to give it a go so when I got home from work, I had a shower and took the bottle in with me. What a disappointment! Where was the amazing lather to leave my skin feeling so soft? Yes, it lathered up a bit on my sponge but no where near as well as everyone had said it would! It did leave my skin feeling quite soft, but I felt like I had used half the bottle, never mind a tiny drop like I was supposed to! However, I found out later that I had made a BIG mistake in using it. Rather than using the body puff like it directs, I used it with my trusty sponge as I have quite sensitive skin and didn’t know if the body puff would irritate it or not. It does not lather up very well on the sponge as not enough water is able to mix with it and thus that is why I used so much. The next time that I used it, I took the body puff in with me and put a tiny amount of the wash on it. I couldn’t believe the difference - it lathered up so quickly producing lots of foam. It does leave your skin feeling quite silky but I still found the need to use a body moisturiser as my skin is a bit on the dry side. It has the characteristic "Olay" fragrance - soft, feminine and a bit sweet but fortunately not too sickly. The fragrance doesn't linger on your skin so it will not interfere with any body lotion or perfume that you apply. I have been using it for the past few months now and have been very pleased with it as it is in no way drying on the skin. My daughter, who has a touch of eczema, even gave it a go and it hasn't irritated her at all. So if you are thinking of trying it, yes it is very good but *please* use it with the body puff or else one bottle will last you only a week!!
I always thought that I was a die-hard fan of deodorant sprays such as Soft & Gentle or Sure but after giving Secret Clear Dry Stick a go, I don't know if I'll be using a spray again. Deodorants, by their very nature, are destined to leave white marks on clothes, but this was something I had always managed to avoid as I went through the process of spraying it on, letting it dry and then putting my clothes on. Oh, and also avoiding wearing black tops as much as possible. This rigmarole is all very well and good if you have plenty of time and it isn't too cold to walk around your room waiting for your deodorant to dry in the morning. But things started to go wrong - I started a new job which had a black top as part of the uniform and I was left with the white marks syndrome. I was also having to get up earlier in the mornings and I was less patient in waving my arms around waiting for my usual spray to dry. Then I spied Secret on special offer in my local Boots and decided to give it a go. I wasn't really expecting it to work as I was one of those people who imagined roll-ons left you sticky and didn't stop you from perspiring. But, always one for a bargain, I bought it and used it one morning but had my trusty spray on stand by just in case. After applying it I found that arm waving was not needed and no white marks were visible on my clothes. But would it stand up to me running around mad all day? Well, I have to say that it did as no-one avoided me due to excessive sweating or having BO. So it worked as well (or better?) as my spray but with less time wasted in the morning and an absence of white streaks on my uniform. Although it has been formulated "especially for women" I see no reason why a man shouldn't use it because, even though it has a sweet fragrance, it is quite delicate and definitely not overpowering in any way. And if it keeps sweat at bay, then why shouldn
39;t guys give it a go. If you already use roll-on deodorants then you may just find Secret to be a good purchase. On the other hand if, like me, you thought roll-ons were a waste of time then you may still find the Secret Dry Advance stick to be a worthwhile purchase even if it is just to pop in your bag to take to the gym or on holiday.