- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
I am not brand loyal when it comes to cleaning products and will purchase what is on offer. My local Tesco Express store recently had a stock clearance and one of the products that was reduced was the Cif actifizz multipurpose ocean fragrance spray priced at just 69p for a 700ml bottle, this normally retails at around £2.50 a bottle.
I have use the Cif cream cleaner for years and love the results you get from it so I had quite high hopes for this product. On the front of the bottle it states that it ‘removes daily dirt’ and leaves ‘a sparkling clean home’. On the back of the bottle it gives more information about how the product works stating that it cuts through all daily dirt and has ‘lift action’ technology that fizzes through and removes dirt.
It states that this spray is suitable for the kitchen and the bathroom and to use this cleaning spray you simply need to spray onto the surface, leave for a few seconds and wipe away.
I have used this spray in my kitchen and have been really disappointed with it. Firstly when I sprayed it over my work surfaces there was certainly no fizzing action. There were a few bubbles but the spray appeared more like just plain water, also making it hard to see where I had even sprayed it as I have black work surfaces. I left the spray on for a couple of minutes and some dirt did lift off with a damp cloth but I had to use a bit of elbow grease to remove some other marks that certainly didn’t ‘fizz’ off. I was quite impressed with the fragrance of this spray as it is fresh and light and did not seem to leave any residue behind so meant I could prepare food on my surfaces immediately without it picking up any smells from the cleaner.
Overall this cleaning spray did not live up to its name with there being no fizz at all. In fact I had to work quite hard to remove some marks from my work surfaces. I am therefore very glad that I got this spray for such a bargain price as I would have been further disappointed if I had paid full price for it. 2 stars from me.
I like to spritz a little perfume on every day as not only do I like to smell nice but it also makes me feel good. Although I have few perfumes in my collection some like this Armani Code for women are on the expensive side so for this reason I keep it for a special occasion. It is also quite a heavy scent more suited for evening or occasion wear.
I purchased my Armani code for women on special offer some time ago but it is currently priced at £43.50 for a 30ml bottle in Boots. You can also purchase it in a 50ml or 75ml bottle too.
The perfumes hourglass shaped bottle itself is very chic and glamorous being made from a purple tinted glass which gets darker in colour until it reaches the black plastic lid. On the front of the bottle is a floral ace pattern giving it a pretty but elegant look. Once the cap is removed there is a spray dispenser which ensures you get nice light sprays of the fragrance.
As stated previously this is quite a strong/heavy fragrance being made up of the following scents:
Top Notes – Jasmine, orange
Heart Notes – orange blossom
Base Notes - honey vanilla
It is a fruity fragrance but with the addition of the honey and vanilla adding the sweetness it makes it quite a powerful combination. I would imagine that some people would find this fragrance quite overpowering but I love it. For me it is perfect for wearing in the evening for a special occasion and it is strong but if applied sparingly it smells wonderful. I find that just 2/3 sprays are enough to last a full evening and I enjoy catching wafts of the fruitiness of the orange with the sweetness of the vanilla.
Overall this is an expensive perfume but to me it is worth it as it smells beautiful and lasts a full evening without having to be reapplied. Also if like me you only use it occasionally a bottle will last a long time. 5 stars from me.
I am a huge fan of Apple products and have been an iphone user for around 3 years now. Just over a year ago I upgraded my old iphone 4 for the iphone 5s 32GB in space grey and have been very impressed with it.
My iphone 5s came as part of a contract but it is possible to purchase this phone currently priced at £499 from www.apple.co.uk.
It came securely packaged in a box with power adapter, lightening to USB cable and Apple earpods. Although there is no instruction booklet you are able to find any help you require on the Apple support website.
This phone like any apple product is very stylish being made from glass with a metal casing. It was very easy to set up with step by step on screen instructions but you will need to ensure that you are connected to wifi to do this. As I had had an Apple phone previously I was able to restore all of my apps and settings from the icloud which was a easy and quick process.
I find this phone very easy to use. It is a great size with large and great quality touch screen display. The only buttons on the phone is the home button on the front, the on/off button on the top and volume control buttons on the left hand side. It was the first iphone to come with the finger print ID sensor allowing you to unlock your phone with just the touch of your finger on the home button which I find a brilliant feature. There is also an 8 megapixel camera incorporated into the phone allowing you to take pictures whenever required or to take screen shots of your screen display.
You can install apps from the Apple app store with a huge variety being available. The apps are displayed as tiles on your phone’s homepage and can be grouped into folders if required. I have around 100 apps on my phone and around 4000 photographs but I still have around 10GB of storage available.
I totally love my iphone 5s it looks stylish, is fast and efficient. I can send messages, make calls, check my emails, my diary, play games and browse the internet all on the move. I think the only negative I would have is that the battery life could be better. I do find myself charging my phone twice per day as I do use it quite heavily so I am hoping that my next upgrade has an improved battery. Other than this for me it meets all of my needs and I would certainly recommend this iphone 5s from Apple.
Just before my holiday last year my husband treated me to a couple of new bottles of perfume one of which was the Calvin Klein CKIN2U Her. This was on special offer in Boots for the bargain price of £20.00 for a 150ml bottle.
This eau de toilette comes packaged in a glass bottle which is partially covered in a white plastic sleeve with the Calvin Klein logo on the front. The design of the bottle is quite simple and contemporary but still looks attractive sat on my dressing table. The bottle has a small pull of plastic lid which reveals a pump action spray dispenser.
I love the fragrance of this eau de toilette as it is beautiful and light so is just perfect for everyday wear. I tend to wear this fragrance for work as it is not too overpowering, the notes that make up this fragrance are as follows;
Top note - pink grapefruit, bergamot
Middle note - orchid and white cactus
Base note - red cedar and vanilla
You can pick up the combination of the fruity and floral notes which work perfectly together with the added sweetness of the vanilla which does come through but does not overpower the other fragrances to make it sickly or too sweet which it can sometimes do in other scents.
I have had some lovely comments about this eau de toilette when I have worn it. You do need to apply a few sprays but I have had my bottle for a couple of months now and use it around 2-3 times per week and still have some left so it works out fantastic value especially if purchased on special offer. The scent will also last most of the day meaning you do not have to reapply.
Overall this is a great day time feminine fragrance from Calvin Klein and one which is now a firm favourite with me. I would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a delicate, modern scent. 5 stars
Yesterday I attended a willy wonka themed children’s party. There was a pick and mix sweetie table at the party with lots of ‘wonka’ sweets including boxed of nerds. These sweets were very popular when I was a child and they seemed to have recently made a come back. I couldn’t help but take a box and opted for the ‘so very cherry’ and ‘what-a-melon’ flavour.
Nerds can be purchased in most larger supermarkets and these cherry/watermelon ones are currently priced at £1.00 for a 46.7g box.
These sweets come packaged in small cardboard boxes which are split into two halves with each containing a different flavour, in this case cherry and watermelon. The box opens at the top and allows you to pour out each flavour separately or open both sides to mix. The sweets are described as ‘tiny, tangy, crunchy candy’ and are artificially flavoured.
The nerds themselves are shaped like little misshapen nuggets and are brightly coloured, red for cherry and green for melon. They are a little difficult to eat as they are so tiny to try and gather together in a dignified way to place into your mouth. As for the taste I do love them, they have a crunchy texture and at first a slightly sour zingy taste followed by sweetness. Both the cherry and water melon are very tasty and they also work well when eaten together. The boxes are quite small but you only need to eat a small amount as they do get quite sweet after a few helpings.
Overall these are great sweets, they are tasty and fun. The only downside is that they are full of sugar and contain artificial flavours but they make a fun and tasty occasional treat.
My cat is an indoor cat so I buy her toys frequently to keep her entertained and to prevent her from getting bored. One of the toys she has or should I say had was the Kong straw cone with feathers. I purchased this toy mainly because of the feathers as I thought my cat would enjoy the movement in them and that to her it would look a little like a bird so encourage her to play with it.
I purchased this toy from Amazon where it was priced at £2.99 which I thought was reasonable for a cat toy.
The toy itself is made from a weaved straw cone which contains catnip with feathers sticking out from the point of the cone. The feathers are said to encourage your cats natural instinct to stalk and pounce. Also all the materials used are natural and from renewable sources.
My cat initially seemed very eager to get her claws and teeth into this toy which led me to believe that this would be a success. But after only a few days the feathers had began to fall out and eventually the straw cone was falling to bits too with the bag of catnip inside exposed.
Overall I was very disappointed with this toy, as it was designed to encourage a cats natural hunting instincts it certainly was not made for it. All in all a total waste of money for a few hours play.
I think my cat was more spoilt than I was at Christmas with one of my friends sending her a Christmas card and fully gift wrapped present. One of the presents was this cat tunnel something I had been meaning to purchase for my cat for some time but had not gotten around too.
This cat tunnel can be purchased online or from most pet supply shops. It currently retails for £6.49 on Amazon with free delivery.
The tunnel is expandable and comes packaged flat with a cardboard sleeve packaging. Once you remove the cardboard sleeve the tunnel simply pulls open a little like a spring. It is pink in colour and made from thin plastic material, it is 540mm long and 270mm in diameter. At one end of the tunnel there are two fluffy pink pom pom’s which dangle down in front of the entrance to the tunnel.
My cat is only a small female so fits through this tunnel with ease, she doesn’t really seem to care about the pom pom’s but loves running through the tunnel at speed or lying it in with her tail sticking out of one end.
I was a little worried that the tunnel was a little flimsy and my cat’s claws would tear the material but so far there doesn’t appear to be any damage. I also use the tunnel to hide my cats treats in as she is an indoor cat so I try and find as many ways as possible to keep her entertained.
Overall this tunnel has been a great addition to my cats toy collection as she loves running though it and seeking out her treats from it. It can also be folded up to store away easily if required and is more durable than it looks. 5 stars from me and Tink
I like to buy my cat the occasional different cat food for a treat and recently my local Tesco express store had trays of Sheba reduced to clear. These trays of wet cat food were priced at just 31p each which was half the normal price. One that I purchased was the select slices in gravy with rabbit.
This cat food comes packaged in a gold foil tray with an easy to remove foil lid. On the back of the tray you can find all the detailed product information including ingredients listing, nutritional information and feeding guidelines.
The recommendation for a 4kg cat is 3 trays of this food per day. My cat weights just under 4kg but I use these trays as an occasional treat to replace her normal pouch of wet food around once per week.
I wouldn’t say this food looked very appealing when I opened it as it consisted of small slices of beige meat in a thick brown gravy. But my cat seemed to get very excited and couldn’t wait for me to put her bowl down for her to start eating it.
My cat loved this Rabbit flavoured food, just like she seems to love all the flavours in the Sheba range. Giving my cat the odd tray of this food works well as it gives her a change without upsetting her stomach. This food can be a little on the expensive side at full price but normally most larger supermarkets have a multi-buy offer on these individual trays which is worth looking out for especially if this is going to be used as the sole diet.
Overall I would purchase this flavour of Sheba again as my cat clearly enjoyed it but I would be looking out for a discounted price.
My cat has a rather delicate stomach so I tend to feed her the same brand and variety of food continuously to prevent her from getting poorly. But like any pet this can get boring so occasionally I will purchase her one of the Sheba individual trays of food to add a little variety into her diet.
My last purchase of Sheba was one of the individual trays of salmon in jelly from my local Tesco Express store where it was priced at just 31p which is around half of the normal cost.
Sheba is known as one of the more luxurious brands of cat food and I think the packaging somewhat reflects this. The salmon meal comes packaged in a small gold foil tray with peel able foil lid. On the lid it states that this food is salmon flavoured and contains ‘tender pieces in jelly’ with a picture of the meal. On the back of the tray you can find all the detailed product information including ingredients listing, nutritional information and feeding guidelines.
If this food was being fed as the only diet the recommendation for a 4kg cat is 3 trays per day. My cat weights just under 4kg but I use these trays as an occasional treat to replace her normal pouch of wet food around once per week.
On opening the tray, I did get a vague smell of salmon and wouldn’t really say it looked appetising being just small cuts of pinkish fish bound in a light brown coloured jelly but my cat seems to love it. In fact I think this meal disappeared in less than a minute of it being placed into her bowl.
I think my only disappointment with this cat food was the fact that on reading the ingredients listings it states that it only contains 4% salmon which I think for the price it could have been a bit higher.
Overall what is most important is that my cat loves these trays of wet cat food and it gives her a little variety in her diet without upsetting her stomach. Although she has tried and seems to like all of the flavours the salmon seems to go down even quicker than the rest.
5 stars from Tinkerbell (Moggie aged 18 months).
One item any cake maker, hobby or professional has in there cupboard is hundreds and thousands. These tiny coloured sugar balls are fantastic for decorating cakes/biscuits adding a splash of colour and fun to them.
My last purchase of hundreds and thousands was the Dr Oetker brand, 65g tub which I purchased from my local Tesco store for £1.29.
The hundreds and thousands come packaged in a slightly different tub to the one shown above. It is now a clear plastic tube with red screw on cap. Once you remove the cap there is a plastic seal over the top of the tube with small holes in to allow you to sprinkle the hundreds and thousands over your baked goods evenly.
The hundreds and thousands are coloured white, pale pink, dark pink and green and just taste very sweet. I use them to decorate my cakes and have previously used them to sprinkle onto cupcakes covered in butter cream to make them look like 99 ice creams. I have even covered a large cake completely in these to give it a bright and fun look. You can also mix them into a vanilla sponge cake mixture to create a pretty speckled effect in the sponge when cut and use them to top an ice cream sundae.
The only negative is that when using these to decorate cakes they do seem to get everywhere and escape all over my kitchen which also means that you waste large amounts of them too. Therefore when sprinkling over cakes or biscuits I try and place them onto a tray to catch the stray ones which can then be reused.
Overall these little coloured sugar balls make a fun way to decorate cakes and biscuits as well as having other uses. I used to love sprinkling these onto cakes when I was little baking with my mother and I think adults still love these as they add a nice bright finish as well as a little extra sweetness. 5 stars from me.
Paper baking cases are something I use a lot of being a keen baker. Although I usually purchase my cake cases from a specialist baking supply shop I recently wanted some basic cases so popped to my local Tesco store and picked up a tub of the Dr Oetker white baking cases.
These baking cases are quite widely available in supermarkets. They come packaged in a plastic tub containing 100 cases and were priced at just 55p in my local Tesco store.
These baking cases feel quite good quality but they are on the shallow side and designed to make fairy cakes rather than lager cupcakes.
I used these cases to make fairy cakes, placing the cases into a muffin tin before filling them around half full with a sponge mixture. The fairy cases baked well in the cases which didn’t loose there colour or appear greasy at all.
One of my pet hates with paper baking cases is when they start to peel away from the edges of the cake after removing from the oven but this didn’t happen with these. But when they were eaten the cases peeled away with ease and didn’t stick to the cake.
Overall these are great little baking cases for basic baking of fairy cakes or to hold chocolate rice crispy or cornflake cakes. If I am making full sized cupcakes I will opt for bigger and better quality cases but these are fine for children’s baking or home baking and much better value for money.
Harleys block jellies come in a variety of different flavours and one that I really like especially in the summer is Lemon as it is zesty and refreshing. The Hartley’s jellies are widely available in most supermarkets and are currently priced at 54p each in Tesco.
These block jellies come packaged in a simple plastic wrapper with the Lemon one being a bright yellow wrapper to reflect the flavour inside. On the wrapper you can find ingredients listings, nutritional information and directions for use. The jelly is also fat free and contains no artificial colours.
The block of jelly itself is yellow in colour and split into cubes which can be pulled apart. These jellies are really easy to make:
1. Separate the jelly into cubs and place into a jug or bowl.
2. Add half a pint of boiling water and stir until the cubes have dissolved.
3. Add half a pint of cold water, stir and pour into a mould or bowl.
4. Allow to cool then place into the fridge to set.
Although this lemon jelly tastes fantastic on its own and has a lovely zingy flavour one thing my mum used to do is to slice some banana up and place it in the jelly when it is setting. The banana slices float to the top of the jelly making it look quite fun and the combination of the banana and lemon flavours work together brilliantly especially when served with a little vanilla ice cream.
Overall this is another great jelly from Hartleys which makes an easy dessert for children or adults alike. 5 stars from me
One thing that you will always find in my kitchen cupboards is a few packets of Hartley’s block jellies especially the strawberry flavour. These jellies are widely available in most supermarkets and are currently priced at 54p each in Tesco.
These block jellies come packaged in a simple plastic wrapper. On the wrapper you can ingredients listings, nutritional information and directions for use. The jelly is also fat free and contains no artificial colours.
The block of jelly itself is bright red in colour and split into cubes which can be pulled apart. These jellies are really easy to make:
1. Separate the jelly into cubs and place into a jug or bowl.
2. Add half a pint of boiling water and stir until the cubes have dissolved.
3. Add half a pint of cold water, stir and pour into a mould or bowl.
4. Allow to cool then place into the fridge to set.
Although I occasionally use these jellies on there own to make a quick tasty pudding I also use them in other ways. The strawberry jelly tastes fantastic in a trifle where I will replace the half a pint of cold water with the juice of a tin of strawberries to add some extra flavour. I have also added some vodka to this jelly and set in shot glasses which makes a great alcoholic treat for parties.
These jellies also have a great flavour and do not taste overly artificial, the strawberry has a very pleasant taste without being too sweet. Children tend to love jelly so it makes a really cheap and easy dessert especially when a scoop of ice cream is added. Overall a great jelly which is brilliant value, easy to make and tastes great.
I make quite a few celebration cakes most of which I cover in fondant roll out icing. There are so many brands available but one that I purchase fairly frequently is the Dr Oetkor ready to roll regal ice icing. This can be purchased in most large supermarkets in boxes of 500g or 1kg. My last purchase was off a 1kg box from Tesco where it was priced at just £2.18.
The icing comes packaged in a sealed foil wrapper inside a cardboard box for freshness. On the box you can find all the product information including nutritional information, ingredients listings and directions for use. There is a guide on the box which gives you an idea of how much of the icing to use for which sized cake. It also states that the icing is suitable for vegetarians.
To use the icing you simply need to remove it from the packet just before it is needed as once it is open it dries out quickly. You then need to knead the icing to make it soft and pliable before rolling out on a dusted surface, I use corn flour as find this doesn’t have as much of a drying effect as icing sugar. I also dust my rolling pin a little too to prevent it from sticking. Once rolled out to the desired thickness and size you can place it over your cake and smooth into place with your hands or fondant smoothers.
I do find that I need to make sure this icing is kneaded well before rolling out to prevent it from cracking and appear to look dry known as ‘elephant skin’ in the cake decorating world when placed on the cake. The trick is to work quickly and I have had great results with this icing giving a nice even and smooth finish to my cakes. It also tastes good and is not overly sweet or sickly.
It is also easy to model with and if a little tylose powder is added models dry quickly and set into place well.
The only negative I find with this icing is that it does not colour well, even with gel colours it tends to make the icing tear more easily and be more prone to cracking so I will only use it when requiring white icing.
This icing can be stored and kept for quite a long time but you need to ensure that you wrap it up well in cling film and in an air tight container as it dries out quickly.
Overall this is a good average fondant which if prepared well can cover a cake with a great finish and tastes good. It is also great value but if you are wanting a flawless finish every time I would recommend a professional fondant icing but this is great for a hobby baker or occasional use. 3 stars for me.
I am a hobby baker and make lots of celebration cakes and cupcakes, this means I get through a large amount of baking ingredients including icing sugar. One brand of icing sugar that I purchase frequently is Tate & Lyle fair-trade icing sugar which has recently been sold at my Morrison’s local store for just £1.00 for a 1kg bag.
The icing sugar comes packaged in a thick white and pink paper bag. On the back of the bag you can find the directions for use as well as recipes for making glace icing and butter cream. The only negative aspect of the packaging is that is not re-sealable so you do need to make sure you fold the top of the bag over securely or place the icing sugar into another container to prevent it from getting damp.
This icing sugar is very fine and sifts easily as there are usually very few lumps in it when first opened. I use this icing sugar mostly for making butter cream to pipe onto cupcakes or to fill and coat celebrations cakes. To make butter cream I beat 100g of butter until soft and sift in 200g of the icing sugar with a few drops of vanilla extract and beat until smooth. This icing sugar makes fantastically smooth butter cream which tastes fantastic and is easy to work with and pipe. You can also use this icing sugar for just dusting sponge cakes with to add a little sweetness and decoration.
Overall this is a great quality icing sugar which is excellent value if you can find the 1kg bags for £1.00. I would certainly recommend it as I have already used around 10kg this year! 5 stars from me