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One Friday night I had the very rare occurrence of complete ownership of the TV remote, giddy with the feel of freedom, I scanned through all the channels and happened upon a film ~ The Out of Towners ~ starring Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn and John Cleese, my search was complete, feeling in the mood for a laugh this sounded like it suited my needs... The Out of Towners ~ film only review. Rated 12 Henry Clark ~ Steve Martin. Nancy Clark ~ Goldie Hawn. Mr Mersault ~ John Cleese. Director ~ Sam Weisman. Henry Clark has lost his job and wants to find a new one so he doesn't have to explain to his wife Nancy. A family man who has worked hard in advertising, living in Ohio, married for 24 years his children have left home and he fancies a new challenge. When a job comes up in New York, he sets off for an interview, upon boarding the plane Nancy "suprises" him by inviting herself along. Everything that can go wrong in the next 24 hours does starting with the plane being delayed then diverted , lost luggage, they get robbed by an "Andrew Lloyd Webber" impersonater, credit card gets declined and they have a rude hotel manager to contend with, amongst other things... I believe this is a remake of the 1970 film featuring Jack Lemmon and generally people who Loved the original have slated this version, but to me how can you compare Steve Martin and Jack Lemmon? Totally different eras, totally different actors and if you Love a film, chances are in my opinion you probably aren't going to enjoy the remake so it's better not to watch it. I found this incredibly funny, laugh out loud, slapstick comedy. But I Love Martin and Hawn together, they are just so silly and seem to bounce off each other, her with her "doey" eyes and "dizzy" ways and him down to earth, but some what naive and down right silly. I personally find the stupid situations they entangle themselves in quite believable within the film and they had me cringing with embarrassment a few times. They have an ability to detach themselves from any sense of reality giving rise to an air of "anything can happen", the sign of good comedy acting I suppose. As for romance, NO, that doesn't work on any level, can't detect any romantic chemistry between the pair, in saying that, they are a couple who have been married for 24 years, gone through the children stage and are now embarking on the "empty nest syndrome" stage, needing to reconnect with each other and fit back into having more time together alone. Thinking about it, I can't imagine Martin having romantic chemistry with any actress as he is far too busy being silly, I always think of him as a buffoon... I found them being robbed by an Andrew Lloyd Webber impersonater very amusing as they portrayed the innocent, gullible public that were so in awe of who he was or who they thought he was they didn't realise what was happening and the fact he was British and they American just added to their vulnerability. John Cleese almost steals the show with his portrayal of the snooty hotel manager, but who is more qualified as a hotel manager than he? He does as you can probably imagine, revert to a Basil Fawlty type character-ish, not quite as loud and brash but he definitely has an agenda to make Henry and Nancys lifes as difficult as possible. Until Nancy accidently discovers his "little secret" and all of a sudden he can't do enough to help them both... The pace of the film is fairly fast as they trip and stumble from one disaster to another, starving, penniless with nowhere to stay what more can go wrong? Oh lots more I can assure you, including a visit to a "sex addicts" meeting with the promise of a free buffet and a private moment that turns out to be a very public moment... If you enjoy a Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn collaboration (another favourite of mine is Housesitter) chock full of silliness and laugh out loud comedy, this could be a good film for you, a little escapism from reality does help give our minds a "break" and theres nothing too deep to ponder on in this film. The addition of John Cleese only adds to the appeal for me as a massive" Fawlty Towers" fan and he definitely delivers a fabulous riotous performance...
You know when you discover a little "Gem" of a beauty product and it becomes a "must have" in your routine? Well this Rose Water is one such product for me. I store it in the fridge which for me adds another dimension to it's cooling, soothing, toning properties. Not only is it extremely refreshing on a hot, sticky, humid day it also zaps your skin on a cold, crisp, frosty morning awakening your skin and senses alike with it's soft delicate flowery aroma. I particularly favour this Rose Water as it's triple strength but not triple the price, weighing in at a mere £1.99 for 100mls which lasts approx 6 months, a little does truly go along way. It smells divine, an initial hit of lush rose which rapidly fades to a subtle fresh flowery scent. The Company ~ Natures Aid who manufacture it are based in Preston, Lancashire so I can support a small local business which I always endeavour to do. They started out in January 1981 with 3 staff members selling 6 products and now have 70 staff and sell 160 products~ vitamins, minerals etc..which they sell to over 1,200 independent healthfood stores etc. Wherever possible their products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans and they use no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. They have reduced packaging and are working on reducing their carbon footprint all very commendable these days. Any more information ~ www.naturesaid.co.uk I buy mine from a lady who has a stall on Altrincham market, so again I can help someone even more local to me especially as I have all my family and friends addicted to it aswell and I frequently treat them all for Christmas and birthdays. Rose Water~ Rose Water is traditionally made from the Damask Rose as it produces an abundance of fragrant pink petals (usually 30 or more). Initially grown in Iran and Bulgaria but now Spain, France and Italy also. The Middle Eastern countries remain the largest suppliers partly because they use Rose Water frequently in cooking. Uses ~ Cooking and infusing food. Sweets ~ used in Marzipan and Turkish Delight. Religion ~ certain religions use it to cleanse the body before prayer. Skin ~ as a toner or added to creams, cleansers or body lotions. Baths ~ a splash or 2 can soften and fragrance your bath water, in Ancient Rome, they bathed in it ( that would be an expensive bath). Mouthwash ~ can be used as a mouthwash, lovely if you enjoy Turkish Delight. Eyes ~ can be used to reduce puffiness and help relieve dark circles, it's gorgeous to soak cotton wool balls in it and freeze them then lie down with them on your closed eyes for 10 minutes if you can sneak 10 mins peace. Pot Pourri ~ a few drops can refresh you pot pourri. Pulse points ~ in hot weather, I find it refreshing to apply to your pulse points particularly on the wrists, behind the ears and neck, cooling and refreshing especially the frozen cotton wool trick. Packaging~ It comes in a clear plastic 100ml bottle, great so you can see how much you have remaining. It has a white screw top lid and a rose pink and white label which simply states ~ Natures Aid Health Products. Triple Strength Rose Water. Store in a cool place away from sunlight. Ingredients ~ Triple Strength Rose Water. It's completely clear and looks just like water. Gently sweep across your face and neck on cotton wool, then use a seperate piece for each eye, so not to spread any infections / bacteria. Available on line and from independent health food stores. The packaging is simple and understated, who needs "fancy flash" packaging? This product delivers in how it makes your skin / eyes look and feel and for me thats why I buy it and use it every day. I use it first thing in the morning to refresh and tone my skin, awaken my sense of smell with it's lush deep rose fragrance and "depuff" my eyes, I must admit if I can get away with it I do sneak a crafty 10 mins lying on the settee with the frozen cotton wool soothing my tired eyes, but between the dog nudging me and mithering children, it's not always worth the hassle. I also apply it at night after cleansing, I've found with it's anti bacterial and antiseptic properties for me it helps keep my skin relatively grease and blemish free. I decant some in a small spray bottle which I carry in my bag, great to refresh yourself ( even over makeup)whilst out shopping or even at work if you melt under intense lights and fabulous to spritz after a gruelling workout at the gym. I can't comment on culinary use as I haven't cooked with it or used it as a mouthwash but I know a lady who does regularly and Loves it. On shopping trips with "the girls" I end up with a large queue to spritz ranging from 7 year olds to 60 year olds, they don't like to miss out..... So a wonderful pure product, (you can't beat 1 ingredient) for an excellent price with various different uses, I have suffered no adverse reactions in approx 4 years even with applying it to my sensitive eyes, the only negative I can think of is if you don't like the scent of Rose you won't like this.....
A few years ago when I was seriously ill with ME, I became allergic to virtually everything or should I say, it felt like everything. I was convinced I was going to be living on cardboard and water as I had no allergy to them. I had to search high and low for food I could eat with No ~ Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Lactose, Sugar or Yeast. Have you ever noticed how many foods have sugar in? Virtually everything, I can tell you. I couldn't drink my beloved Tea or Coffee either. At the point of despair a Naturopath I know suggested Sprouted Wheat Bread, ok but surely that contains wheat? Yes but, the wheat is used when it has naturally sprouted, this process uses most of the offending Starch( that causes the allergy) in the sprouting process. I got very excited, the thought of eating bread and not cardboard. This review is totally about my reaction to this particular bread, I have an allergy to wheat I've not got Coeliacs Disease so please take care if you intend to try it, I don't want to make anyone ill. I will try to explain the special process by which it's made ~ Soak the finest specially selected Organic Wheat Kernels in pure filtered water under tightly controlled conditions. Then allow to "Sprout" naturally. Once fully germinated the sprouts are ground (blended with dried fruits for certain varieties) then formed into small loaves and baked slowly and gently at low temperatures. The sprouting process not only decreases the starch but increases the protein, vitamin and enzyme content of the breads. I hope I have explained that adequately, it was explained to me by my Naturopath. Organic Plain Sprouted Wheat Bread ~ Sunnyvale Natural Foods. It comes in a 400g clear plastic pack with a purple and lilac striped label and tells me ~ The way bread was made thousands of years ago.Sprouting of grains is a natural process which makes the product more digestible and increases the nutrition value. A high protein food providing sustained energy. No added Yeast, Fats, Eggs, or Dairy Products. Serve sliced with butter, jam, cheeses etc.. Can also be toasted. Nutritional Information per 100g ~ Energy ~ 187 kcals Protein ~ 10.3g Carbohydrates ~ 47.0g Fat ~ 0.8g Ingredients ~ Sprouted Whole Organic Wheat 100% Best Before Date ~ 23rd April 2010 Use within 3 days of opening. Once opened store in an airtight container. Member of the Organic Food Federation. If you want any more information ~ www.sunnyvaleorganic.com It is available for £1.55 in certain Holland & Barrett stores and independant health food stores or from www.goodhealthnaturally.com ~ I have bought mine from them regularly for years and always recieved excellent service. This review is for the plain variety, they also offer Sprouted Wheat with ~ Fruit & Almonds ~ 4% almonds, 3% dates 7% raisins ~ £1.85 Raisin ~ 13.5% raisins ~ £1.65 Date ~ 13.5% dates ~£1.75 (my favourite) They also offer a selection of Rye and Spelt breads and cakes. This bread is sweet now by sweet, I don't mean you will find it very sweet, it's just amazingly moist with a lovely rich flavour thats not lacking in any way which remembering it's only ingredient is Sprouted Wheat is suprising. It's a very dark brown outside and fairly squidgy when you give it a squish, inside it's light brown, dense, compact and very textured not unlike wholemeal bread. Once sliced it has a fresh almost nutty aroma, unlike anything else I have smelt, definitely unique. I don't like it raw, I prefer to toast it which seems to retain the" nuttiness "and now I Love it with lashings of butter, cheese and Branston Pickle, jam, marmalade, chocolate spread, almond nut butter or sometimes cream cheese and lemon curd, Yummmmm. Of course when I first ate it, I had to have vegan spread, I enjoy it sooo much more now..... You can toast lightly just to warm it through or fully toast which gives a delicious chewy yet still moist texture but it can become quite hard if sliced thinly, so you must keep an eye on it. I find if sealed in a tub or plastic bag and stored in the fridge once opened it does usually last a couple of weeks. I find it filling (I usually devour 4 thin slices, there's approx 14 fairly thin slices per loaf) but it doesn't sit heavily in my tum, I hate that feeling when food seems to sit there for hours and it definitely helps my very low energy levels with it's slow release carbohydrate action. My body never struggles to digest it and thats some feat as I do struggle with my digestion, quite often I feel very cold and sleepy while my digestive system grapples with certain food. Not everyone will enjoy this bread but it's worth knowing about for anyone with allergies or food intolerance or just as a healthy alternative to stodgy ordinary bread, it's versatile, thick, thin, cold, warm, toasted.... For anyone doing a form of detox, it's fabulous as it sustains you for hours and doesn't tax your digestive system. Or similarly it can be used as a healthy alternative to bread but boosted up to "naughtiness " to quell any cravings with chocolate spread. I am very grateful for finding it as it helped me through a "difficult" time in my life and now years later, it's a staple in my fridge and while it won't compare to fresh toasted white bread, I have come to the conclusion for me it's not worth the digestive" toil n trouble" that a couple of slices of white toast create..... I award 5 "sprouted" stars from me.
I have for many years been searching for a strong coconut fragranced perfume as it's one of my favourite scents and immediately transports me in my mind to a sun drenched tropical beach..... Up until recently, I feared I'd never fill that "coconutless" void in my life..... Late July this year, my precious daughter set off on her first holiday abroad with her boyfriend scary time for Mum! Couldn't visit Spain or Greece could she Noooo, had to be Egypt! That was the longest week of my life, I can tell you. Anyways she arrived back safely with my threats still ringing in her ears, "no arguing whilst away, don't fall out" I kept imaging her being sold by her boyfriend for a camel or two, depending on the exchange rate. She floated through the door at 6am, all smiles, glowing and bronzed on a delicious cloud of coconut, my senses went into overdrive, whats the new perfume I asked, she laughed knowing already she would recieve the third degree, of course it was Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers G. Later, off to Boots I trotted to investigate further. It's one of a set of five perfumes and is I was informed a tribute to fashion crazed Japenese girls living in the Harajuku section of Tokyo each refelects individual style and personality. G represents the "Leader of The Scent Pack" being quirky, unique and cool. The other four are ~ Lil Angel, Music, Baby and Love. Upon the insistence of the perfume lady in Boots ( obviously doing her job), I had a quick sniff of all the five then requested a squirt on my wrist of my desired" G," as alot of perfumes don't suit me, they tend to disappear rapidly or after half an hour change to a totally different scent so I must always sample them before purchasing. I set off to Tesco intending on returning to snap up a bottle should it suit me. I bought my 30ml bottle from Boots for £20 with a free key ring advertising the five fragrances. It's the most unusual bottle I have seen, with a tiny bottle of perfume base and a doll made from solid plastic sitting on top, this one I'm told is fashioned on Gwen herself. She has blond hair complete with black hairband and bow, a white strappy top, blue mini skirt and black fishnet stockings to complete the ensemble. For a second I thought, what am I doing buying a fragrance so obviously because of the packaging aimed at young girls, but then I caught a whiff of the lush coconut scent and dashed to the till, who cares what the bottle is like, Im not carrying it round with me, it's going to live in it's black box in my bedroom. Top Notes of Fresh Coconut, Crisp Mandarin and Apple Skin. Middle Notes of Jasmine Sambac, Soft Freesia and Magnolia Vapour. Base Notes of Cotton Woods, Coconut Cream and White Sandalwood. If you want any more information www.harajukulovers.com but be warned it's a lively website with moving features and very bright colours, wouldn't want to set anyone off with a fit. The most potent scent for me is the Coconut, divine, tropical, sunny and rich. I can definitely pick up the heady, warm, exotic spicy aroma of Jasmine and there is a certain crisp citrus edge to it probably the Mandarin, I also think I can detect the soft, floral Freesia as I Love the scent of this flower, it was my Mums favourite too, but who knows really, Im no expert. It's classed as a Modern Gourmand ~ gourmet blend which I find fairly sweet, light and floral cosseted by the lush creamy Coconut and exotic spicy Jasmine, quite a mysterious scent overall. I generally find two applications a day are required to keep the delicious aroma and it compliments one of my favourite body lotions perfectly ~ Burt's Bees Milk & Honey, this also helps the fragrance to linger for that little while longer, due to the layering effect of body lotion and perfume working together on my skin. If you too are a Lover of Coconut, next time you nip into Boots or any perfume shop, stop and have a quick sniff, I don't think you will be disappointed.
Parenthood is a film as the title suggests ~ all about parenthood and family life, it's a film I have watched many times and always enjoyed immensely. The fact it's so true to life for me lead me to a little research and it's based upon the experiences of the director Ron Howard and the screen writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, their families and their parenting issues, since they have approx 13 children between them, I guess they have alot to write about. This is a film only review. The film centres around the Buckman family, Mum, Dad, Grandma and the four grown up children ( 2 sons and 2 daughters) and their subsequent families. It stars Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, a young Keanu Reeves and an even younger Joaquin Phoenix, amongst others. We follow the day to day workings of suburban famiy life and how they try to juggle work / life / relationships / children / emotional issues..... We also witness how the four siblings interact with each other and how they agree or disagree with each others parenting methods. It's evident quite early in the film to me their father has been the strongest influence on their ideas of parenthood and they all seem to be trying to avoid his many mistakes in bringing them up. Family life is likened to a "roller coaster" with it's ups and downs, very true I find. The film is almost like a sitcom, touching on teenage pregnancy, emotional illness, sibling rivalry, divorce, parental conflicts.... The comedy moments come as ever from Steve Martin with his neurotic portrayal of a busy father trying desperately not to let his wife / children / work down. Grandma is a fabulous character full of crazy one liners that when you give them a little consideration are very poignant, even if she does get in the neighbours car at one point. The children especially Steve Martins youngest son are highly comical, the scene at the school Christmas play where he takes it upon himself to save his sister and the absolute chaos he causes had me laughing so much, I had tears rolling down my cheeks, even though at the same time I felt so embarrassed for his Mum and Dad. Joaquin Phoenix shines in his portrayal of a deeply disturbed teenager who can't be reached by his Mum, or are his problems much simpler than we are first led to believe? His performance for such a young actor was captivating and I found myself worrying about him and his "issues". Keanu Reeves gives a realistic portrayal of a young red blooded male, a bit of a slacker but when push comes to shove the Love he shares with his girlfriend enables him to make the correct decisions eventually. A couple of scenes are shot in slow motion, packed full of suspense, the impact of these highly emotive issues depicted in slow motion I found were etched inside my head and I found myself considering them long after the film had finished. I find I seem to sit up and take more notice when scenes are depicted in slow motion, almost as if in looking away, Im going to miss something vital, I want to savour every second. In the true spirit of children acting like children, one of the boys sings an amusing little ditty entitled "The Diarrhoea Song", I shall leave the rest to your imagination, but Im told you can listen to it on YouTube if you so wish. In my opinion the word Family means so many different things to so many different people, really it centres around how we were brought up, this gives us" our own personal" meaning of Family. I find lots of people have this idealistic picture of "The Perfect Family" and they seem to think everyone else has a more desirable family life than them, in reality there is no perfect family as non of us are perfect ermmm even though some would dispute this fact with me. I feel this is the message this film, gives coupled with the fact we can't live our childrens lives for them and they must make their own mistakes along the way to learn lifes lessons. As much as most of us would Love to wrap our children in cotton wool and protect them from the world, it's just not plausible and in making an effort to avoid the mistakes our parents made, we often find ourselves sounding just like our parents. If you fancy a good laugh at the roller coaster that is family life depicted through different generations of a family, I think you will enjoy this film, the final scene is both emotional and truly heart warming.
The Raleigh Chopper bike is a 1970's cultural icon and for me no bike since has come anywhere near being as wonderful. I can't express to you how desperate I was to own one, they were are a "must have"! Did I get one? No because my Mum deemed them dangerous, unsafe etc.... Have I ever got over it? No, sad as it may seem, still to this day I have a desperate yearning for a Raleigh Chopper, there is definitely a gaping void in my life that only a Raleigh Chopper can fill..... I never forgave my Mum, especially when she presented me with a Raleigh Shopper, complete with nerdy shopping basket, I set about trying to "lose" it, but alas everytime I left it somewhere, some "kind" person would return it, that flippin shopper haunted me. Eventually I left it in the shed to rust and thank goodness Dad gave it to a lovely little girl who cherished it, as a lesson to ungrateful me Yipeeeee!...... One day I will own a Raleigh Chopper, I have been promised one, probably to stop me plotting to steal the one on the wall in TGI's near us, I wouldn't really, Honest..... History~ The Raleigh Chopper was made suprisingly by Raleigh bikes in Nottingham England and they eventually sold over 2 million. The Raleigh Chopper MK1 was launched in USA in 1968 and had no success so it was launched in UK in 1970 and sold like hot cakes, it was "the must have" for children and it single handedly saved the Raleigh bike company. This lead to smaller versions for younger children being produced Chipper, Tomahawk and Budgie. Right up till 1984 Choppers were snapped up, then BMX and then Mountain bikes took over. The bike was based on the customised Chopper style motor bike and was influenced by films of the time such as "Easy Rider" it was billed as "The Ultimate Bike For Coolness". Style~ With it's high rise (ape hanger) handlebars which you could undo and incline them backwards which rendered it almost unridable a challenge for any child, we never ever participated in this dangerous activity, honest..... The long, high backed black leather padded seat was the ultimate in cool features and also enabled me to ride with my friend, back to back, affectionately known as a "backie" which I might add was much more dangerous than having my own Chopper all to myself..... It featured a 3 speed "Sturmey Archer" gear hub with a frame mounted gear lever ( a stick with a knob on the end, only way to describe it) in the middle of the frame. Sprung suspension at the back and "bobbed mudguards". The wheels were different sizes, the back 20" with a wide tyre and chunky tread, the front 16", both with a red line round the side wall. A hoop above the seat similar to the motorcycle "sissy bar" and a kickstand again modelled on a motorbike were more special features. It came in bright sunny yellow, racing red and glowing orange. Later models came in a vast array of colours black, blue, silver.... All this wonderfulness for the sum of £32 and I got a Raleigh Shopper! Chopper MK2 was launched in 1972 featuring 5 speed derailleur gears with a T-Bar style gear stick. The seat was slightly more forward and the handle bars were welded to stop the shenanigans of turning them backwards ~ spoilsports. Chopper MK3, with a normal seat,( no backrest )and handle bar gears was launched with an alluminium frame to replace the original steel frame, not as good as the original in my opinion.... Why was it deemed dangerous? To be honest in my opinion, the Chopper wasn't designed to ride long distances, but which children want to ride long distances? Bikes for children are for a ride round the block and to their friends house, the park etc. They were tricky to ride with the high handlebars and high back seat, the weight didn't seem to be distributed very well, partly due to the fact it was made of steel and therefore a heavy bike to begin with. This resulted in a "wobbly" ride much of the time but the sheer joy of riding this stylish machine made up for any wobbles a hundredfold. If you fell off on to the original style gear stick, that little knob on the end could really hurt, especially where it hurts if you know what I mean... Im told it was a fabulous design for pulling wheelies with the chunky larger tyre at the back but, of course I can't comment as I never pulled wheelies, Honest.... if you believe that you will believe anything.... To complete the look you could buy "tassles" to hang out of the end of the handles, they really completed the style of ultimate coolness for me as my friend and I took turns to peddle her bright yellow Chopper with the other on the back. When I think how dangerous that was, the 2 of us lived on that bike and I can tell you it was flippin hard work pedalling with the weight of both of us. So there you have a true icon from the 70's and one day just one day, I will have my own but it's got to be a red original the price varies massively depending on the condition, I've seen them for approx £189 and upwards~ 5 stylish stars from me.
Thought I would share with you another fabulous Aromatherapy product from Tisserands treasure trove of goodies. I happened upon this handwash by accident, whilst about to order my body lotion, I spotted the magic word "SALE" and immediately went to investigate. I had the choice of body lotion £8.50 or body lotion & handwash in gift set £5, handwash full price £5.95, doesn't need much thought does it? About to place the handwash in my "present draw", curiosity got the better of me and I indulged in a crafty sniff. At the side of my kitchen sink it swiftly went and there it's nestled for almost 3 months. Robert Tisserand started a small business from his bedroom in South London in 1974. He did everything himself incuding sending parcels out on Saturday mornings from the Post Office. The next 11 years he struggled on and also managed to write his first book~ The Art Of Aromatherapy published in 1977. In 1985 he launched Tisserand Aromatherapy Products Ltd and to this day is still at the healm whilst continuing to write books. His commitment is to deliver outstanding products based on ethical aromatherapy principles and for me he is doing a mighty fine job. His products are not tested on animals by or for Tisserand, the packaging is recyclable, products are suitable for vegans to use. They are all free from~ Synthetic Fragrances~ SLES~ Soap~ Parabens. Made in England using essential oils and plant extracts which are pure essences from ~ flowers, berries, grasses, roots, seeds, bark, fruits and herbs, extracted mainly by steam or water distillation. They all have unique character, aroma and therapeutic properties and are highly concentrated so a little goes a long way. Used for massage, bathing, vaporisation and inhalation ( towel over your head over a bowl of steaming water with eucalyptus and pine / teatree oils, great for helping clear the sinuses and a quick sniff of lavender oil can help alleviate a headache). Aromatherapy it's said came about almost by accident in July 1910 French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse, whilst working in his laboratory accidently set fire to his hands, after rolling around outside on the grass to extinguish the flames he realised he had "gas gangrene" ( often fatal and lead to many amputations during WW1). He doused his hands in lavender oil which initially induced profuse sweating, as it subsided the healing process began. He was amazed at how his hands had healed with no scarring, this lead to his collaboration with doctors to treat French soldiers for war wounds and generally experimenting with essential oils. There are more "flowery, whimsical" versions of this story but Im lead to believe this is the authentic one. Packaged in a 200ml / 6.6floz clear plastic bottle (always useful to see how much handwash is left) with a pump top ( great for when you have greasy / sticky fingers). It features a lilac and white label with darker lavender flowers pictured, it tells me it's to purify, soothe and hydrate. Warning, due to the content of natural essential oils the colour of the product may change over time, best kept at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. I personally have never seen any change in colour. Main Ingredients ~ Organic Lavender Oil ~ rejuvenating, antiseptic and anti fungal Organic Balm Mint / Peppermint ~ cooling, antibacterial and antifungal Organic Aloe Vera ~ soothing Organic Green Tea ~ antioxidant Sunflower Seed Oil ~ moisturising Vitamin E ~ healing and anti-aging Coco-glucoside ~ a detergent derived from coconut oil. As usual a product packed with luscious ingredients, it's easy to see why it's billed as "non-drying formula" with Aloe Vera and Sunflower Seed Oil included. The bit that confused me is "soap free", hows it going to clean my grubby mitts if it's got no soap? Well let me assure you, the Coco-glucoside does a wonderful job of cleaning any dirt and strong smells ~ fish, garlic etc are cleansed away. I have in the past be able to detect smells lingering on my hands after using other handwashes, but not so with this one. Also Lavender which comes from the Latin word Lavare ~ to wash ~has antiseptic and anti fungal properties. Balm mint or Peppermint as it's more well known is antibacterial and anti fungal and so also aids the cleansing process. It's a transparent liquid with a sunny, golden hue that glows with an almost pearlescent shine, it's runny in consistency which aids in dispensing the handwash via the pump. Half a pump is adequate to produce a rich luscious lather to completely cleanse and refresh your grubby mitts. The aroma is refreshing, the clean, sharp, fresh mint zaps your senses closely followed by the subtle, light, floral scent of lavender, as it's so refreshingly minty, I feel that some people who don't normally enjoy lavender scented products, may like this one. The liquid is cooling to the skin and the delicate aroma lingers for 5 minutes or so. I personally find this handwash is not only non-drying, it's actually moisturising, my hands feel very soft and in the 3 months of use I haven't had the slightest hint of irritation and I have suffered badly in the past with other handwashes.The skin on my hands is very delicate due to me suffering badly with ME, leading to my skin tearing at times and then becoming infected which is very painful. I have noticed a massive improvement in my hands since using this handwash and for this reason, I will definitely buy it again. Available in John Lewis and independant healthfood stores, also on line www.tisserand.com, I have bought from Tisserand and recieved excellent service, tracking my parcel and free p & p, the parcel arrived within 2 days. Price of handwash £5.95. It's expensive especially compared to other handwashes available which vary from 47p, 99p etc. but for me it suits my skin and is worth every penny ( even though really I got this one and a few others ermmmm free well you have to make the most of sales don't you?) There are 2 other flavours available ~ Teatree, Mandarin and Bergamot. Wild Rose and Lemon Leaf. If you fancy a luxurious handwash for a treat or if you suffer with your hands, this may be a good one to try, I Love it, with it's unique blend of fragrance (I didn't fancy mint and lavender together before I smelt it) and soothing, gentle properties, it's a cut above ordinary handwashes and for me it's my 5 star liquid gold. Thanks for reading.
Thought I would take a trip down memory lane and show my age in reviewing my favourite childrens TV programme, Dooyoo took less than 24 hours to get it for me, Thanks Dooyoo. The only disappointment is the picture is the new cartoon series and not the original show. This is a review of the original show first shown on Saturday September 7th 1968 and ran for 31 episodes to Saturday September 5th 1970. It was an hour long and shown on Saturday mornings sponsored by Kelloggs Cereals. When I think back it seemed to always be on the TV , funny how your memory plays tricks. It was the first show that included a mix of live acting and animation that Hanna Barbera produced. The Banana Splits were a "rock band" based loosely or should I say very loosely on The Beatles and The Monkees, they comprised of ~ Fleegle ~ The Dog Drooper ~ The Lion Bingo ~ The Gorilla Snorky ~ The Elephant They were all actors dressed in furry costumes and were classed as "Zany" characters, well this was the late 60s, early 70s and I must admit, they had me in hysterics most of the time, they were very silly and relied upon basic slapstick humour that most kids Love, back to the innocent days when it was alot cheaper to amuse kids generally. The whole show was based around meetings of The Banana Splits Club at The Banana Pad, were Fleegle was the self-imposed "leader" and he did most of the talking. The set was hilarious, very brightly coloured and so obviously made of cardboard, lots of jokes were told and music played, infact the theme tune The Tra La La Song quickly became a classic and Im sure most of you have heard it even if you are not familiar with the show , if you access the BBC NEWS Entertainment website, you can play part of the song, it still makes me smile now, it evokes fun times and happy memories of a care free childhood. Notes were delivered by a "messenger girl" who danced into the Banana Pad wearing a purple minidress, pink tights and black go-go boots, the Splits acted scared and intimidated as the note was from their rival gang(who we never actually saw) ~ The Sour Grape Bunch ~ don't know why the fixation with fruit! It always contained a challenge for the Splits to take up, Part of the show was filmed at an amusement park with the Splits regularly riding Roller Coasters, Log Flume, Bumper Cars and Merry Go Round I wished I was there as a child having a fun day out with them. But my personal favourite was "The Great Banana Splits Buggy Race" they each had their own buggy ( Im told ex military vehicles as they flew over rough terrain) each buggy had a tail corresponding to it's driver. As the title suggests the Splits were racing but of course alot of cheating was always involved, taking short cuts, driving in water and of course Fleegle broke down, Bingo stopped to help repair the buggy while Fleegle stole his buggy and drove off, all silly fun. As a child those buggys looked fabulous fun, I was desperate for a ride in one. I watched this last night on Youtube, it had me laughing so much I got told off as I was interrupting the TV programme my family were watching. The animated part of the show comprised of mainly The Arabian Knights cartoon which I Loved, it featured a little donkey that spun round very fast and a Genie that said "size of ......an Elephant" and turned people into different creatures, if I remember correctly. The Three Musketeers were the other regular cartoon, again very watchable, but not as enjoyable for me personally..... Fan mail was read out, preceded by Goofy Gopher popping up out of a plant, he always had a selection of one liners to raise some laughs. Cuckoo amazingly lived in a Cuckoo Clock, he would appear at regular intervals and Banana Vac the electronic talking moose head played quite a large part in the general shenanigans of the show. One line that became a classic was "Thats an Ouch" this followed Fleegle hitting himself "accidently" over the head with a massive gavel. Lots of pushing, shoving and tripping each other up ensued, it must have been fun for the actors, a release from everyday life. If you watched this show now, for the first time, I think the innocent magic it held for us all those years ago wouldn't be there for you and you would probably think me odd, Loving such a silly basic kind of show, but Im also sure theres lots of you who were as captivated with it as me. Having a good laugh is excellent therapy for everyone and thats what this show was based on, it was billed as "Groovy" what a brilliant word, very under used these days but very popular in the 60s. I remember watching it every week and really looking forward to the tomfoolery with bated breath, Dad always watched it alongside me and seemed to be equally as entranced. I haven't watched the new cartoon version, but I have seen the characters and they don't look a patch on the originals, some shows should be left alone and for me this is a prime example, if I can watch it now over 30 years later and still laugh, they obviously got it right the first time. Im compelled to award 5 shiny stars for an incredibly silly show. Does anyone else Love it as much as me? Comments welcome.....
As much as I Love my coffee, I do Love my tea too and over the years I've tried sooo many different flavours and brands, what a choice we have these days ~ Black Tea. Green Tea, White Tea. Red Tea ~ Redbush. Herb Tea Flower Tea. Spicy Tea. I do find quality really matters when it comes down to tea, I've tried some horrible flavours, especially amongst the herbal ones, now I have my favourites and tend to stick to them. Yogi teas are my number one and seem to offer the best selection by far. I also experiment by brewing two different bags in the same mug my favourite is Yogi Cinnamon Classic with a Birt&Tang (my second favourite brand) Ginger, the two together brew an extra powerful cuppa that zaps my sluggish digestion into immediate action. So if you want to start drinking say ~ Green Tea and you Love Lemon, brew a bag of each together, I find it gives you so much more flavour. Yogi Teas were first brewed in 1969 by Yogi Bhajan as a part of Ayurveda (which uses nutrition and herbs to help keep the body, mind and spirit healthy) as practised in India, they are said to keep you Vibrant and Alive. He first brewed the tea for his students after yoga and meditation classes and it was Loved so much they decided to share it with the general public. The company started in 1984 and by 1986 were selling 3 flavours nationwide. They were first produced with a blend of 5 spices in one tea, they now offer almost 60 varieties all based around the original 5 spices. As it happens my favourite is the classic blend ~ Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger, Cloves and Black Pepper. All 63 herbs and spices used are grown in controlled organic environments when possible and the company work with the farmers. Most of the packaging is 100% recycled paper and cardboard and all inks used are vegetable based. Packaging~ The teabags come in a reddish brown box with an inviting cup of freshly brewed steaming hot tea pictured on the front in a delicate china cup, for me giving the impression it's a special brew within. It also features the five spices. It states ~ Classic Cinnamon Spice~ Organic ~ Ayurvedic Spice Infusion. It's a 36g box holding 15 teabags. On the side we have the history of the company a little more in depth than the outline I have given you. We also have a simple yoga position pictured to increase vitality, don't attempt this whilst drinking your tea as you may spill it or possibly choke, sorry couldn't resist.... Ingredients ~ Cinnamon 61% Cardamom Ginger Cloves Black Pepper Natural Cinnamon Extract Ginger Oil Cinnamon ~ warms and energises, increase circulation to the joints and kills bacteria and viruses. Cardamom ~ helps digestion and relieves stomach ache. Ginger ~ aids digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Cloves ~ aids circulation in the stomach, helps digestion and is a pain reliever ( not just for toothache). Black Pepper ~ detoxifies and helps relieve sinus congestion and is also an antioxidant. Upon taking off the cellophane wrapper, I can immediately smell the sweet pungent aroma of cinnamon, once the box is opened I recieve the full spicy, warm invigorating blast of these delicious spices, Heaven to a cinnamon Lover like me! Inside we have 15 little paper envelopes each holds a teabag on a string each string has a tag with a saying on it this one is ~ "True wealth is the ability to let go of your possessions", very true, you can't take them with you, can you? Lovely thought for the day. People take issue with the envelopes, but I actually find them helpful, they keep the teabag extra fresh once the box is open as they are sealed and if you take teabags out with you this enables you to transport them individually safe with the knowledge they won't end up shredded at the bottom of your bag or covered in fluff which doesn't enhance your teas flavour in any way. If they are made of recycled paper and are then recycled again which I do, Im personally quite happy with that. Instructions ~ Pour freshly boiled water over the teabag ( in your cup / mug). Allow to infuse for 7 minutes or longer for a stronger flavour ( I leave mine in). Try before you add any sweetner, as I find most of them don't need anything adding, most of this range don't require milk. Available in Sainsburys, Holland and Barrett and independant health food stores, also on line. Price approx £1.89 a box. Lots more info at www.yogitea.nl and www.yogitea.com If Im having cinnamon tea, I want a good strong flavour, I can't stand wishy washy insipid flavours and this tea delivers on all accounts, it's an industrial strength brew and isn't for tha faint hearted. It's has a rich dark caramel hue. You taste the luscious, sweet warmth of cinnamon mixed with the spicy kick of ginger and the cloves seem to add a certain zing to the overall taste. It whizzes through your body warming and stimulating everything in it's path, remember the old Ready Brek advert, with the red glow to your body? Thats the effect this brew gives you. I find it really does aid digestion as my body struggles in this department with my old adversary ME, two mugs a day even in warm weather stimulates and invigorates my system wonderfully, but doesn't make me too hot. In cold weather I have the added bonus of it warming me up, nothing nicer than a steaming mug of cinnamon tea with it's enticing aroma on a cold frosty morning, warms me right through from my head to my toes. They have a wide range of teas available from Green, Chai, Liquorice (lovely) Womens ( helps those dodgy hormones), Lime Mint ( very refreshing), Ginseng, Rose ( a little like turkish delight) and more..... If you fancy a warming, stimulating, spicy 5 star brew, give it a try, it may help your digestion and ease aching joints.
Fargo, was written, directed and produced by Joel and Ethan Coen, known to most as the Coen brothers. It was released in 1996 and in the opening credits states that it's based on a true story, but thats a ploy, it is infact completely fictional as stated in the end credits. The Coens claim that many of the events depicted in the film were based on true events from other cases all thrown together to make one story. Clever but why? Joel Coen said ~ " If an audience believes that something is based on a real event, it gives you permission to do things they might otherwise not accept". In my opinion this is very clever reasoning and very true if Im told a weird and wonderful story, I must admit, I have the "yeah right" attitude, but if Im told it's a true story, I think "you wouldn't believe that could happen, or you couldn't make that up". Oh what trusting creatures we are all we need to hear is it's a true story and we are hooked. This is a film only review that stars ~ William H Macy ~ Jerome (Jerry) Ludegaard. Frances McDormand ~ Police Chief Marge Gunderson. Steve Buscemi ~ Carl Showalter. Rated 18 Running Time approx ~ 94 mins Classed as a Thriller It won 2 Oscars ~ Best Leading Actress and Best Original Screen Play and a host of other awards. The plot centres around Jerry who finds himself knee deep in financial trouble, having a rich father-in-law he hatches a screw ball plan to have his wife kidnapped by two crooks, then father-in-law stumps up the $80,000 ransom money which he then splits with the two crooks. He gets his wife back, pays off his debts and lives happily ever after ~ simple ~ or is it? Problems really start when people start dying, not a common occurrence in the sleepy, snowy Midwest.The day after the kidnap, the town of Fargo, North Dakota wakes up to three murders..... The twists and turns and minor sub plots within this film will have you wanting more, even the ending for me came too soon, I was left thinking.. "But"...... Frances McDormand was truly amazing in my opinion. She played the heavily pregnant Police Chief Marge, leading the hunt for the kidnappers and murderers. She plods heavily through the film, worrying incessantly about her husband, eating continually and gathering evidence. Her take on the local accent which is highly exaggerated adds a hilarious edge to the film and confuses you into thinking she is rather "slow" for want of a better word, you get the impression at first that shes not very good at her job. The repeated "Yah" and "You Betcha" had me sniggering all through this murderous comedy. William H Macy plays the hapless, dopey husband and had me shouting at the tv. Everything he does goes wrong, I wanted to shake him and slap him, so good was his portrayal to stir such emotions in me. Even the dim witted crooks he hired think he is stupid. His father-in-law will not give him the time of day and appears to not take him seriously ever. He leaves you with the feeling he gets what he deserves and I found no sympathy with him whatsoever. Steve Buscemi is fabulous but I am a fan of "google eyes" he always has me in stitches. Throughout this whole film virtually everyone describes him as "Kinda funny looking". Of the two crooks he is the more sensible and comes across increasingly frustrated with his gun happy accomplice. How the two of them ever thought they could get away with their crimes makes me laugh now, thinking about it. I did feel quite sorry for him as he tried to reason with his partner, all he wanted to do was kidnap and collect the money, no complications. The whole film is set in the middle of nowhere in very deep snow, with very stark backgrounds this for me adds to the suspense as it slowly builds throughout the film, any blood looks more red and murder scenes look more horrific against the pure white snow. The bare countryside gave a feeling of isolation and added a "creepy" edge to the proceedings and for me complimented the slow, steady, unfolding of the story. It's almost as if the story is set to the same pace as Marge in her heavily pregnant state and even though it plods along, I never feel bored and always remain totally captivated. It's packed full of dark humour and at times I wonder if I should be laughing or indeed quite shocked, the "wood chipper scene" near the end is a perfect example of what I mean and if you watch this film Im sure it will remain in your memory for a long time..... Sadly in these "credit crunch times" I suppose it's quite apt when we hear the horrendous, unbelievable tales of desperate people faking their own death or burning down their house all because of debts, a story of faked kidnap is probably not as far from a true story as we first think..... If you want a dark thriller/ comedy packed full of humour and suspense with excellent performances from the weary Marge, hapless, wishy washy Jerry and frustrated, dim witted "kinda funny looking" Carl, then watch this film, I don't think you will be disappointed. It's a dead cert for 5 snowy stars from me.
At last I can share with you my favourite little bag of Californian sunshine or to be more precise Californian raisins plumped full of juiceness and coated in luscious milk chocolate. Yuuuuuuuumy...... Packaging ~ They come in a 50g red bag depicting the SUN.MAID logo of a sun maid (whatever one of those is) and shows lots of raisins scattered around. It states ~ Sun-maid raisins covered in smooth milk chocoate, the perfect combination ~ I can't agree more they are truly delicious. Ingredients ~ Milk Chocolate 60% ( sugar, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, butteroil, lactose, vegetable fat, whey powder, emulsifier, soya lecithin, flavouring) Raisins 39% Glazing agents, modified tapioca starch, gum arabic, shellac. Allergy Advice ~ Contains milk / soya. Not suitable for nut / peanut allergy sufferers. Suitable for vegetarians. No artificial colours or flavourings. 25g serving ( the bag is 50g) ~ Energy ~ 100 kcal Protein ~ 1.1g Carbohydrates ~ 16.1g Of which sugars ~ 15.7g Fat ~ 3.7g Of which saturates ~ 2.2g Fibre ~ 0.7g Sodium ~ Trace They are produced and packed in the UK by Glisten Confectionery, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 3HG ~ www.glistenconfectionery.com ~ for ~ Sun-Maid growers of California. www.sunmaid.com. Availability, I buy mine from a local newsagent who sells them with a short sell buy date, which is no problem as they never last very long once purchased ~ 3 bags for £1.00. We did sell them in the health food store I worked in years ago but to tell the truth they very rarely made it onto the shelf as they were rapidly wolfed down by the staff. I have seen them in various pound shops so keep your eyes peeled. The Sun-Maid packaging really does stand out and I even remember from my child hood seeing the bags of raisins minus the chocolate. They are advertised as "The worlds favourite raisin for generations, now with a generous coating of delicious milk chocolate, a wonderful treat that all the family can enjoy". Upon opening my little red bag, Im greeted with a delicious aroma of chocolate, showing that true to their word, they have indeed coated these juicy little raisins with a decent milk chocolate and not a "cooking grade" alternative. My next observation is the size of these Californian beauties, no teeny weeny offerings here, they are all of generous proportions, some even almost equal in size to a Malteser. Oh yes that Californian sun has worked it's magic, plumping them up to majestic dimensions. The taste does not disappoint either they are juicy, luscious, sumptuous and a joy to eat. The raisins are coated with a thick, rich layer of smooth chocolate that cracks as you bite, opening up to reveal the juicy, ripe raisin nestling within. They really are a divine treat, the quality shines throughout the whole bag with not one scraggy, gritty, little raisin present, not even one lurking in the bottom of the bag. I detest the gritty, shrivelled up raisin variety, I personally hold these responsible for the large amount of people who dislike raisins as Im sure if they had tasted the juicy, plump Californian variety (especially chocolate covered ones) more people would infact Love them. They do produce dinky boxes of naked raisins which are great for children, I Love to see them fiddling with the boxes to get the last raisins out. These are available in most supermarkets. Thank you Sun-Maid for this delectable treat produced to your exacting standards, I just wish these naughty little raisins weren't so high in calories, turn the sun up a tad and zap some extra calories out please. I must award 5 juicy, sun soaked stars to these naughty little raisins, my most favourite treat. Are you a raisin Lover or Hater, naked or chocolate?
Crabtree & Evelyn has always stood out to me as an old fashioned true English brand with old fashioned values, how suprised was I to discover upon a little investigation they are in fact an American company set up in 1973 in Massachusetts. They began as many do a small family run business then spread their wings to be classed as an International company. But I wasn't totally wrong as their "core value is Englishness" interpret that as you will. Over 160 natural botanical ingredients are used in their products and fruit, flower and plant essences always feature. The basic idea behind their products comes from the English "still rooms" of 17th Century when the Lady of the house had a room to distill fresh flowers, herbs and fruits to make flower waters for use in baths and generally on the skin. No traipsing to Boots or Lush then Ladies, forget your "bath bombs and Dove shower gel" get distilling your own, can you imagine having time to to spare? Oh how times have changed..... The name? Evelyn comes from ~ John Evelyn ~ A 17th Century Englishman who was the first person to work on conservation, watching the forests being stripped of wood to make boats for the English Navy, he realised it was wrong and started to make people aware. Crabtree ~ A symbol native to Britain the Crab Apple or Wild Apple is the ancestor to all cultivated apple trees. Can I just point out, it is Cocoa Butter & Cardamon Lip Balm not Ardamon as shown above, Ooops don't know what happened there! Back to the lip balm ~ It comes in a clear plastic tube, modern and clean looking, great to see how much is remaining with a screw off clear lid, the tube features the slanted neck applicator favourite of many lip balms theses days, which I find does ease application. It states ~ Naturals Protective Lip Balm~ spf 8 sunscreen ~ Cocoa Butter & Cardamon. Nourishing balm with reflective mineral oxides provides natural UVA / UVB protection and adds a hint of colour to the lips.It's made in USA. The tube is 15g and costs approx £7.00, I bought mine from a Crabtree & Evelyn shop, but you can buy on line www.crabtree-evelyn.com Ingredients ~ Cocoa Butter ~ Moisturising and lovely chocolate taste / aroma. Olive Oil and Shea Butter ~ Moisturising and soothing. Soybean Oil ~ Soothing and conditioning. Cardamon Seed Extract ~ Antioxidant properties. Zinc Oxide ~ Sun protection UVA / UVB. Reflective Minerals ~ Mica minerals, iron oxide and titanium ~ give a hint of colour and shine. Iron oxide is used frequently as it's resistant to moisture and the colour is non-bleeding, always an asset in lip colour as theres nothing worse than colour that bleeds. Titanium is used as a sunscreen but also a thickener. Mica minerals add the sparkling particles and they really do give a fabulous sparkly effect. Contains no ~ Paraffin, mineral oil, parabens or synthetic colours. The colour is a reddish brown, a gorgeous rich shade with tiny sparkly red particles and it smells divine a luscious chocolate aroma that tastes sweet and delicious, it's very difficult not to keep licking your lips! The texture is very thick, the tube needs a decent squeeze to free the flow of lip balm, again a good feature as you don't lose any when applying. It is quite a heavy feel on the lips which I am still adjusting to and I do find Im constantly aware of it. It takes a little work to spread evenly but is such a lovely shade and really quite glossy in appearance, the true effect of the shine and subtle sparkle can be seen when the light dances on your lips. I find it lasts fairly well even after drinking and eating, it's still evident after approx an hour maybe a little longer so I can't complain about it's "staying power". The colour is described as " a hint of", but I find it stronger than a hint and it really does match lipstick for a good splash of colour and the sparkle under lights rivals any lipsticks I have tried. The tube has lasted me 4 months and I have approx half left, using it every couple of days, it's great for day wear. The only negatives I found are the heavy, slightly greasy feel on the lips but this seems mainly down to the moisturising ingredients and it does leave your lips extremely soft and smooth so maybe it's worth putting up with the feel. It's also a tad sticky, due to the glossy factor but not sticky enough to have your hair stuck to it as I have in the past with other products. The sweet chocolate flavour could have you licking your lips too often. I Love the fact it has sun protection aswell in these times of increasing skin cancer awareness, it can only help in protecting our lips. I wish they had produced a "pink" variety with the same format as this, as I think it would be popular, maybe I will suggest it to them. The only other variety available is ~ Garden Mint ~ A soothing lip balm ~ it doesn't appear to offer any colour to the lips and no sun screen but retails at the same price £7.00. In conclusion it's a delicious lip balm with a splash of colour and sparkle offering a strong moisturising, soothing action with the bonus of sunscreen and the slanted applicator for ease of application. I must take away a star for the heavy slightly greasy feel on the lips, but I will buy it again, I Love the subtle colour and have to admit I am very partial to "sparkle".....
Heres another "staple" of my "feel good" movies designed to give me a morale boost when the hardships of life are getting a little too much to bear. I've lost count of the amount of times I have turned to Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks to make me smile, it's one of those films that leave you feeling all warm and fluffy inside Aaaaaah. To me this film is a must for all you book lovers, that covers virtually every Dooyoo member I think. The pairing of Meg and Tom is excellent both showing strong screen presence, when they come together we see the disgust and loathing from Meg and the arrogance tinged with a smidgen of guilt from Tom. You've Got Mail ~ a remake of 1940's The Shop Around The Corner. Rated PG Running Time 115 mins Director Nora Ephron (directed Sleepless in Seattle) Meg Ryan ~ Kathleen Kelly. Tom Hanks ~ Joe Fox. Greg Kinnear ~ Frank Navasky DVD released ~ 1999. Genre ~ Drama / Romance. My copy has no extras, so I can't comment. Kathleen Kelly owns a quaint little book store situated in Upper West Side of New York City, that has played a major part in the community for generations of local families, passed on to her after her Mothers death. She like her Mother before her lives and breathes books. She knows everything there is to know about the books she sells and offers "story time" for local children to come and listen to. Service at "The Shop Around The Corner" is second to none and customers are made to feel as special as the books they purchase. What Kathleen doesn't know is her cosy little world is about to be shattered with a brand new modern book superstore "Fox Books" about to open around the corner and Joe is the superstore book chain magnate. Joe inadvertently finds out that Kathleen owns the rival book store when he meets her, but she has no idea who he is and seems quite taken with him until the truth comes out then it's "war"~ they "go to the mattresses". Although Kathleen has a live in partner Frank Navasky ~ (Greg Kinnear )she has met a man she is very "attracted to" in a chat room and can't wait to log on to her computer and see if she has mail in her in-box from her mystery man. In fear of spoiling the film for those who have yet to see it, the plot stops here, all I will say is for a simple " drama /romance" there are a fair few twists and turns which remove any chance of boredom. Who is the mystery man? Will they ever meet in person? Will Fox Books force Kathleen to close down her book store? Why not watch the film and find out? The chemistry between Meg and Tom is superb how sweet and pleasant she is towards him as a customer, totally innocent of who he is and the chaos he is going to cause with his superstore. To the pure hatred she emanates once his cover has been blown not helped by the fact he knew who she was and in effect lied to her, just the fact he breathes turns the mild mannered Kathleen into a raging mad woman. Producing some memorable scenes of Kathleens incoherent "rants" and Joes guilty but decidedly "smug" glances across at her and his apologetic but somewhat glib replies. Kathleens relationship with Frank has lost it's sparkle you can see almost immediately they are "going through the motions" of living together, just the fact she is visiting chat rooms on her computer, something a woman like Kathleen wouldn't normally consider shows cracks in her relationship, coupled with how excited she is to chat to a mystery man, yet more evidence of her discontent. Frank to me comes across as a tad "wishy- washy" character wise, too full of his own self importance and takes himself and his career as a journalist far too seriously whilst almost dismissing Kathleens talents and abilities in running her little book store. I found myself willing Kathleen to leave Frank feeling she would function better on her own allowing her to concentrate solely on preserving her book store which means the world to her. Entering the store is like stepping into another world full of enchantment, it's portrayed as a haven from the busy world outside with handpicked staff members who adore books as much as Kathleen and treat each customer as a guest with extra special emphasis on the children, I would Love to visit a book store with this ethos. In comparison we have the mighty Fox Books portrayed as the cold calculating money grabbers, a massive store with a multitude of staff (not all very knowledgeable about books) with their "special offers" and in store coffee house, as opposed to Kathleens store it couldn't be anymore different. A battle akin to David versus Goliath ensues... As a person who usually supports small business, I am torn in watching this film as I've never experienced the "magic" of a store such as Kathleens all the book stores I visit are of large chains ie Waterstones so I tend to feel an allegiance to the large stores especially now that Waterstones tend to have Costa Coffee in store ~ dream come true coffee and books. I feel guilty when buying a book from Tesco or Sainsburys but when money is an issue some times we don't have any choice... To conclude I Love this film, I do think alot of the magic comes from the fact I empathize with Megs character and her Love of books and the fact the store was her Mothers business, this probably makes me value this film more than other people just watching and enjoying the romance and drama as it unfolds. For anyone it's easy to watch, has you cringing, smiling (there are a few very amusing scenes) and generally just enjoying this engaging tale. I find men enjoy it to a certain degree but I think you will find the girls enjoy it more and will return to it again and again. Available from Amazon approx £3.95 and often in the bargain bins at supermarkets, I bought mine in Tesco for £3.00.
I first used this oil approx 10 years ago when my skin decided to become very oily, probably due to crazy hormones after 2 pregnancies. I found that it corrected my skin fairly quickly and I continued to use it for approx 4 years. I have tried various different moisturisers since~ REN, Liz Earle ... all containing natural ingredients and had varying results Recently for some unknown reason the wonderful hormones have kicked in again with avengeance and I had an ever increasing oil slick on my forehead, very attractive! So back to my Normalizing Day Oil I trotted and within 3 days my oil slick had gone, 2 weeks later and my skin is healthy, balanced and glowing not shining. Dr Hauschka ~ Dr Hauschka has led the way in "holistic" skin care ~ Holistic means ~ treating the whole person not just the symptoms, skin problems reflect internal health and emotional well being, it makes sense if you stop and think about it especially as the skin is the largest organ of the body. Not just the approach to skin care is holistic, the whole ethos of the company is ~ from the natural, ethically sourced ingredients and the individual use of each and how they interact with each other right down to the eco friendly packaging. Each element of the business has been meticulously thought out. Launched in Germany in 1967 they have over 40 years of experience, using plant based healing remedies formulated from plant extracts that retain the vital forces of living plants and remain stable without the use of artificial preservatives or alcohol. Every ingredient has an important job to do aswell as supporting the other ingredients they remedy skin problems by "treating like with like", the same principal that homeopathy works on. This is why we treat oily skin with an oil, doesn't seem correct at first, we initially think it will increase our oil production how wrong are we? Healthy skin is clever(seems a crazy sentence), it knows if it's protected and well moisturised and cuts back on producing oil. If it's dry it produces more oil. If treated with "drying products" with strong ingredients to mop up the excess oil the skin feels it's being "dried out" and to balance itself it produces yet more oil and we develop a vicious circle leading to oily, shiny skin usually with enlarged pores. The Normalizing Day Oil provides a light, clean, fresh mix of pure plant oils and botanical extracts that calm and soothe the skin therefore reducing oil production and healing blemishes and irritation. On the same principal dry skin shouldn't be smothered in the richest cream we can find as again it upsets the fine balance and instead a light cream with stimulating ingredients so to encourage the skin to produce more oil and moisturise itself should be gently applied. Packaging ~ It comes in a white box with a stripe of orange stating ~ Normalizing Day Oil ~ normalizes oily skin ~" for use on active, oily, impure or blemished skin, this holistic herbal oil helps diminish the appearance of oily skin and enlarged pores. It calms the skin and offers extra protection." Certified 100% Natural by BDIH Apply a few drops in the morning after cleansing. Inside the box is a sheet explaining a little more about the product and informing us of their other products we can use in conjunction with the oil. The 30ml / 1.0floz clear glass bottle always good so we can see how much is remaining, is topped off with a gold pump, the label just states name make and size. I think it's classy looking with the orange hue of the oil reflecting on the glass off-setting the glow of the gold pump. The oil is a delicate shade of orange and thin in consistency, now the scent is difficult to describe as it's like no other, it's not medicinal, but it's not sweet it's clean, fresh and light. In my opinion you will either like the scent or you won't and I Love it, I find it refreshing and quite invigorating. The main ingredients are ~ Calendula Extract ~ Soothing, astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory Woundwort Extract ~ A wound healer that helps detoxifiy and normalise the skin, stimulating regeneration. Carrot Root Extract ~ Oily yellow extract packed with vitamin A to soften the skin. St Johns Wort ~ Anti-inflammatory properties to soothe sensitive, irritated and allergic skin. Apricot Kernel Oil ~ To replenish the skin and maintain a healthy moisture balance. Sweet Almond Oil ~ Calming, soothing and improves the natural moisture balance of the skin. Peanut Oil ~ Fear not people with peanut allergies, the protein that causes the allergy is steamed out of the oil, but please check with the company first. A complete list of ingredients is available on the box or on the web site www.drhauschka.com if you would like further information. No animal testing involved and packaging recyclable. Expiry Date is 02 /2011. Available in John Lewis and on line. Price £20.98 which I payed from John Lewis. As the oil lasts approx 6 months with daily application this does counterbalance the expensive price tag in my opinion, plus for me it works so well on my skin and with such speed, I feel it's worth every penny. I was instructed by a therapist trained by the company to dot the oil around my face and neck and use a gentle "pressing" action with clean finger tips to nourish my skin rather than the traditional massaging action so as not to over stimulate the skin. I find this definitely works for me. Years ago I used it in conjunction with the cleanser from the same range and they worked very well together, this time Im using it alongside Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and I find the same amazing results, therefore it's not always necessary to buy the corresponding cleanser which again can be expensive, aslong as it's a good natural product it should work just as well. The only disadvantages I can think of are the scent, I have heard people say even though they find it a fabulous product they don't like the scent so have a quick "sniff" before you buy. The feeling of oil on your face is off putting to some, as this oil is so light and absorbs so rapidly, I don't think this will be a problem, that only leaves the price and thats up to the individual what you can afford / or are prepared to pay, as I said earlier it does last approx 6 months used daily. The light oil is absorbed quickly and my skin is ready for whatever makeup I want to wear within approx 5 minutes, so it doesn't slow down any morning routines. I can't believe how quickly this oil balanced my oily skin and returned it's healthy glow. It won't work for everyone as nothing does but I have recommended it to 5 ladies from 22yrs to 65yrs and they all Love it. I personally wouldn't use it on teenage skin and have found Liz Earles Skin Repair Light Moisturiser an excellent alternative producing fabulous results. I have to award 5 matte, non greasy stars for ease of application and speed of excellent results.
I have always Loved ice cream and infact as a little girl my Love of ice cream led to my sister meeting her husband ~ one day after constant mithering she gave in, took me out to the ice cream van, her eyes met the cheeky eyes selling the cornets, a whirlwind romance ensued and now they have been married for approx 39 years with 3 children. Just shows you little sisters can come in useful sometimes! As you can imagine Dad was really impressed with her marrying an ice cream man. Anyway browsing the freezers in Tesco I spotted Cornettos latest offering, as they were on special offer ~ Box of 6 ~ £2.00 instead of £2.98, straight into my basket they went. Packaging ~ A brown and cream box with a delicious looking cornetto on the front, it states ~" NEW ~ Love Chocolate ~ Dark, Milk and White Chocolate." "True Love Exsists "~ I Love ice cream but this is a tad too smarmy for me. Wait the smarm gets worse ~ "Every Cornetto is made with Love and contains..." What? Wonder if they kiss each individually wrapped cone before putting it in the box? Come on Walls get a grip! It's an ice cream cornet. Anyways lets get back to what they have "Lovingly" put in each cornetto Ingredients ~ Reconstituted skimmed milk, sugar, vegetable fat, wheat flour, glucose fructose syrup, fat reduced cocoa powder, white chocolate whey solids, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, milk and dark chocolate, cocoa powder, wheat starch, emulsifiers, soya lecithin natural flavourings, butteroil, fruit and vegetable concentrates(lemon, safflower, carrot), invert sugar, citric acid. 6 cornettos in each box ~ each is ~ 60g/90ml Per Cornetto ~ Energy ~ 190 kcal Protein ~ 2.5g Carbs ~ 20g Sugars ~ 15g Fat ~ 11g Saturates ~ 10g Fibre ~ 1.5g Sodium ~ 0.04g I bought mine as I stated in Tesco for £2.00 per box of 6 full price £2.98. www.LoveIceCream.com will give you any more details you may need. Billed as ~ "A delicious combination of white, milk and dark chocolate ice cream with a unique chocolate wafer cone coated inside with a chocolate flavour layer." Taste ~ Upon unwrapping my cornetto, I was half expecting romantic music to ensue, thank goodness they didn't go that far. Im immediately hit with a delicious chocolate aroma, the ice cream is split into thirds ~ white, milk and dark with tiny chocolate curls in the three corresponding chocolates and dark chocolate dripped over all the icecreams, the cone is very dark brown and I wonder is it going to taste bitter? It tastes divine, absolutely gorgeous! What a fabulous combination, the rich white chocolate ice cream is offset by the almost bitter taste of the dark chocolate ice cream and the milk compliments them both. The cone is very crisp with a strong dark chocolate flavour but again the bitterness is counteracted by the sweeter chocolate coating on the inside, oh yes Walls have thought of every thing. Im very pleased to say they have even included the "solid chocolate tip". So I can indulge in my usual routine of biting the bottom off the cone and scooping the remaining ice cream on top of the solid chocolate tip ~ Hey Presto I've got a teeny weeny Cornetto. I know but it keeps me happy, we all have our little foibles..... The ice cream is definitely of the expensive variety as you would expect to suit the palate of " The Ice Cream Connoisseur" but doesn't appear as rich simply because of the clever combination of the three chocolate varieties and I can honestly say I haven't tasted a cone as delicious as this before, it's lush, but yet still retains it's malty flavour, satisfiying an ice cream craving perfectly, Im not left wanting more even though the cones are smaller than the single cornettos ~ approx 125 ml it's most definitely enough. I can't think of any improvements or disadvantages to these Cornettos except of course eradicating all the fat and calories but I think Im asking too much there. They are awarded an outstanding 5 stars from me, well done Walls you have exceeded yourselves. If you Love chocolate ice cream give them a try I don't think you will be disappointed. I will certainly not hesitate to buy them again even at full price.