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I am a BuzzAgent (I take part in product trials) and was sent a packet of Dylon Wash & Dye to use and review. The package I received came in the colour Velvet Black; it comes in a 350g pouch and costs £5.50.
Dylon are experts in colour and fabric dyes and has been around since 1946. Dylon Wash & Dye's unique all-in-one formula dyes fabrics as it washes them, so you can achieve a colourful new look or refresh existing colours with minimum effort. As a child I remember my mum dyeing clothes by putting them in a large bucket and stirring it like a cauldron on the stove. Times have changed since then as Dylon Wash & Dye is placed in the washing machine drum.
Apart from black work trousers, the only other black clothes that I wear are 3 pairs of tracksuit bottoms and one long sleeved top, which I wear when I exercise. These clothes get a lot of use and are washed after each use, so over the years they have lost their colour and the bottoms look a little grey around the seams.
*How to use the Dye*
Wearing rubber gloves, empty Wash & Dye powder into your washing machine drum and add dry fabric (to be dyed). The powder granules are black and white, so looks grey in the bottom of the drum. With the powder and clothes in the drum, immediately run a 40ºC cotton cycle without pre-wash or economy setting. Then wait for the machine to finish the cycle.
When the cycle finishes, add normal washing detergent and run another 40ºC cotton cycle to remove excess dye from fabric and to clean the machine. Once finished, dry fabric as normal, away from sunlight and heat.
To achieve the full shade of Black, use up to 500g of fabric (e.g. 1 pair of jeans). The instructions state that a maximum of 1kg can be dyed, to a light shade. I used more than this as I dyed 3 pairs of tracksuit bottoms and one long sleeved top. It's hard to believe that I have had one pair of trousers for around 8 years and even though I used more fabric than was recommended, my clothes still came out very Black in colour and look like new.
As expected, colour matching rules apply when using Wash & Dye, e.g. black dye on red fabric gives burgundy and patterned fabric will often still show through.
As the clothes were washing, Dylon Wash & Dye turned the whole drum black/blue and there was a build-up of granules by the door seal. I was starting to panic at this point that my 3 year old washing machine was going to be ruined. However after a couple of washes, it soon disappeared. I even ran an empty cycle with bleach in it to ensure there was no black residue left in the machine.
I did notice that after dying my clothes, they came out of the machine as stiff as a board. I washed the clothes again, this time using fabric conditioner and my clothes returned to their usual softness. Also, Dylon Wash & Dye does not leave an aroma on the clothes.
It has been just over 3 months since I dyed my clothes and I am very happy with the results. As previously mentioned, I use these clothes when exercising so they get washed a lot. I have not noticed any fading and my black top especially, looks like new and I think I will get a few more years out of it.
Overall, this is a product that I would definitely purchase again and give it 4 stars. It's not cheap but is effective, provides good value for money and restores greying clothes back to their original colour. It loses a star as I had to wash the machine out a few times to ensure there was no dye left in the drum. On the plus side, I am pleased that even after a few months of dyeing my clothes, they still look like new and the dye has not faded.
For further information, please visit: www.dylon.co.uk
Thank you for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
I have a simple beauty regime. I wash with plain soap and water and use a daily moisturiser. I wear little make-up so don't feel the need to cleanse and tone my skin daily with expensive lotions. I do however, like to pamper myself once a fortnight and I do this by using Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in1 Wash & Mask to help keep my skin clear. It costs £3.50 for a 150ml tube, which is good value as it lasts for many months.
I have been using Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash & Mask for a number of years. It has recently been updated and the product now contains a unique formula - Microclear® a patented technology which quickly dissolves and helps to eliminate spot-causing bacteria.
Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash & Mask is a dual action facial product to help remove impurities and clear spots for clear skin. It can be used in two ways: as a facial wash to remove dirt and impurities and as a facial mask to absorb excess oil and unclog pores. Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash & Mask comes in a squeezy plastic bottle. The cream contains a soft clay based formula, has the same consistency of toothpaste and smells of menthol/mint.
To use as a facial wash:
This can be used daily to remove dirt, oil and impurities and helps to reduce and prevent spots. Just squeeze a little into the palm of your hand and rub together (it works better if you wet your hands first). If you expect this facial wash to lather up then you will be disappointed. The water makes the cream dissolve a little and you need to rub it quickly over your face before it disappears. It turns you skin white while you wash with it and you can feel it working straight away, as you get a tingling sensation. All you need to do then is to wash it off. As you pat your skin dry you can feel your face tightening, as if the pores are shrinking. It doesn't feel uncomfortable, nor does it sting or cause any skin irritations.
To use as a face mask:
Smooth a thin layer over your face and leave for 5 minutes. Don't apply too much as it won't dry properly and will be hard to remove. It takes around 10 minutes to fully dry, even though it is recommended that you leave it on for just 5 minutes. Once dry, rinse well with water, removing traces with cotton wool, however I prefer to use a hot flannel as I would imagine that as it contains clay, the mask would stick to cotton wool and leave you with bits of fluff all over your face. Being White in colour, when you apply the cream as a mask, as it dries you can clearly see your blackheads as they become darker against the white mask. It must be the mask absorbing the excess oil and dirt from the blackheads into the mask.
I mainly use Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash & Mask as a face mask as I like the way that it makes my skin feels refreshed and clear. I also feel that using it as a face mask is more pampering than as a facial wash. However when my skin is looking a little dull or I can see some spots coming, I use it a facial wash for a couple of days to try and eliminate the spots before they get bigger/breakout.
I have been using Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in1 Wash & Mask for a number of years and will continue using it as I love the way that it makes my skin feel and it helps to keep it blemish free. I give Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash & Mask 5 stars as it is good value at £3.50 as a tube lasts many months and doesn't dry out. I like the way it makes my skin feel refreshed and I have not experienced any irritations using it as a facial wash or facial mask.
For further information, please visit: www.neutrogena.co.uk/
Thank you for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
This is the first review of this kind that I have written. I have read so many of these over the years, that I thought that it was time that I added my own.
So, let's started with the bag itself. My main bag which I use for work is years old and cost me £25 from Jane Norman. It is a light tan leather handbag which has a double zip. The double zip is essential for me as I like to have a bag with compartments in it as I can't get to grips with a bucket bag as I can never find what I want/or reach my phone in time when it rings. It also has an internal small zipped pocket to keep my keys separate from the other items and a phone pocket.
I am a little behind with the times when it comes to my phone. It is quite old - a Samsung Tocco Lite and it is in a colourful phone sock so that it doesn't get scratched. I don't use the internet on my phone, as I have a laptop at home to access the internet. All I need is to be able to make calls and text. I need my phone during the day in case: school/nursery phone to say one of the children is ill/had an accident and so that I can phone the AA if my car breaks down.
I have a nice brown leather purse from Next, which is big enough to hold all my cards, notes and coins (not that I carry a lot of cash). It contains my Driver's Licence, Blood Service card, Donor Card, as well as a number of receipts and money-off coupons.
I carry two sets of keys: the main bunch of keys has my house and car keys on them, plus a few keyrings, an AA keycare keyring in case I lose my keys and a shopping trolley coin, as I rarely have a pound coin for the trolley when I need it. I also carry a set of keys for work to access my locked pedestal drawer under my desk and a few other important keys for the office.
I am very organized and I would be lost without my diary. In this, I log the children's school and nursery activities, childcare arrangements, my Husband's work rota as he works shifts so I need this when working out childcare/children's activities/being on-call at work etc.
Not the digital kind but a paper 80 page notebook, which I mostly use to jot down items needed for the weekly food shop, planning what to get for Birthday's, inventories for things to take on holiday etc.
*Pens and Pencils*
I seem to have an obsession with pens. I am always buying new ones as I like fine writing pens. Nothing too expensive, just normal biros and normally in Black as not allowed to use Blue in in work (apparently it doesn't photocopy as well?). I don't tend to use Gel pens as the ink seeps through the pages on my diary and I always end up smudging my writing or getting it all over my fingers. For the past couple of months I have been writing in Pencil on occasions, especially when writing in my Diary and I use a plastic disposable one rather than a traditional wooden leaded pencil. I also have the odd paperclip in there too.
*Small make-up/toiletry bag*
I don't wear a lot of make-up and tend to just wear it on special occasions or on the weekend. So my make-up bag is lacking in products, but does contain a lot of other stuff: impulse antiperspirant spray, lip balm, a pot of moisturiser to keep my hands soft, nail file, a couple of hair bands, comb and sanitary products.
*Mints and toothbrush*
I can't be without a pack of mints in my bag or a toothbrush, especially if I have eaten something strong for my lunch.
*Twig and Pebble*
These are random items to be carrying in a bag I know, but my eldest Son gave me a little twig that he wanted me to keep and our youngest Son gave me a pebble from the beach. They do occasionally ask if I still have them, so I keep them in my bag.
At the weekend, I use one of our Son's 'Deadly 60' Snake rucksack everywhere we go. It is bright Red and big enough to hold a change of clothes for each of the boys (in case of them wetting themselves), nappies, baby wipes, nappy bags, my purse, phone, keys, drinks and fruit.
Thank you for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
Both of my children have eczema/dry skin and luckily our eldest is staring to grow out of it. As the children are young and share a bath, we use Oilatum Bath Emollient every bath time to help soothe their dry skin and to help prevent their skin from drying out too much.
Due to our youngest Son suffering from eczema and having a problem with his lymphatic system meaning that he needs to keep his skin supple, we receive Oilatum Emollient free on Prescription from our GP, however as we use so much of it I only tend to get 2 out of 4 bottles on Prescription and buy the others ourselves. It is not cheap and costs around £9.00 for a 500ml bottle.
Oilatum is a bath emollient containing light liquid paraffin. It has been formulated to treat itchy dry skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis, particularly when they affect large areas of your body. Obviously you can smell the Paraffin, but the bath emollient does not have an unpleasant fragrance.
You use it like you would bubble bath and add it to running bath water. It is clear in colour but when added to water it turns milky white. Oilatum disperses in the water to enhance it's emollient effect and cleans the skin so you don't need to use any additional soap products.
For adults add 1-3 capfuls to an 8 inch bath of water. Bathe for 10-20 minutes and pat your skin dry. Alternatively you can rub a small amount onto wet skin, rinse and pat dry. For use when bathing children the dosage is reduced to ½ to 2 capfuls. A 500ml bottle doesn't last long in our household, even with sticking to the correct dosage so I tend to add just one capful to a shallow bath.
Oilatum emollient should only be used with water. It should not be applied directly to dry skin unlike emollient creams such as Diprobase, Doublebase etc.
When bathing the children, I tend to use a flannel and lightly rub their skin using the bath water. I don't use any soap products and I use no-tears mild shampoo so that it doesn't add harsh soap to the water. I like the way that it makes their skin feel silky soft when in the bath and moisturised once they have been dried. It is also good at cleansing their skin.
We need to massage our youngest Son's feet a few times a day due to the swelling he suffers and we use his Oilatum baths to do this in the evenings. It makes massaging his skin easier as the water is slippery and makes his skin really soft and is more effective than massaging dry skin.
The biggest disadvantage is that I do find that Oilatum alone in the bath is not enough to keep their eczema/dry skin under control. If you have mild dry skin then I think it could be used as a stand-alone product, but we have to apply Emollient creams to their skin after bathing to keep in the moisture.
As light liquid Paraffin is the main active ingredient, Oilatum is a very oily/greasy bath emollient which makes the water and base of the bath slippery, so the children need to be kept sitting, otherwise they will fall back. Having used this when the children were newborn it is quite tricky bathing little ones when using Oilatum as it is so slippery.
Oilatum Emollient leaves a greasy tide mark around the bath and depending on what the children have been up to and how dirty they get, this can sometimes look brown against the white bath. However a squirt of Bathroom Cleaner soon gets rid of this greasy film.
Overall, this is a product that I will definitely carry on using and I give it 4 stars. It is expensive; however it is a must in our house as it helps soothe our children's skin, I like the way that it conditions their dry skin and doesn't irritate. I feel it is not effective as a stand-alone product for eczema prone skin, however used in combination with Emollient Creams it works well. It does make the bath water slippery, but you just need to take extra care that you don't slip.
For those who are interested, Oilatum Bath Emollient contains the following ingredients:
Light liquid Paraffin BP 63.4% w/w, Acetylated Lanolin Alcohols, Isopropyl Palmitate, Macrogol 400 Dilaurate, Macrogol Ester, Fragrance.
For further information, please visit: www.stiefel.com
Thank you for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
I have dark hair and unfortunately have some dark hair on my top lip and on my fingers which I am conscious of. It's not something which is noticed by others, but I know it's there and that's good enough reason to do something about it. It's never a good idea to wax facial hair as the hairs grow back darker and thicker; likewise shaving these areas is out of the question, so I prefer to lighten my hair with a hair lightening cream instead.
Jolen Crème Bleach is a hair lightening crème which lightens dark hair on the face, arms, body and brow. It is packaged in a Green cardboard box. Inside the box you will find: a vial of crème bleach accelerator powder and a jar of mild formula crème. Separated by a cardboard divide there is a plastic mixing tray and spatula. Jolen Crème is sold in most beauty stores such as Boots, Superdrug etc. I purchased Jolen Crème from eBay costing £4.49.
As with most bleach products, it is recommended that you do a preliminary patch test to see if you are allergic to any of the ingredients before using to lighten your hair. You should wait 24 hours before applying the product to ensure that you have not had any adverse reactions to it.
To use Jolene Crème firstly you need to wash the area you intend to bleach with soap and cold water then dry your skin. With the plastic spatula that's provided measure a ¼ teaspoon of accelerator powder and place on the mixing tray. Clean the spatula then measure a ½ teaspoon of crème. Mix the two ingredients together using the spatula until it forms a smooth paste. It is always best to leave the crème on the mixing tray for a few minutes before applying as it tends to thicken and become more effective than applying it straight away.
A little goes a long way with this product, so don't mix too much of the ingredients together at first, otherwise you will end up wasting it, as any unused crème will need to be disposed of as it can't be returned to the jar or vial.
It is recommended that you apply the crème for 10 minutes, covering the hair completely with Jolen Crème. I have dark hair and I find that I need to keep it on for 15 minutes for the hairs to bleach and turn blonde in colour. If I only leave it on for 10 minutes the hair turns light brown, rather than blonde.
When removing, use the spatula to do this. I then wash the areas which have been bleached in cold water to ensure that the product has gone. If the hair is not completely bleached you can reapply for a further 5-10 minutes.
I have not had any irritation using this product; however this is where you do need to read the instructions. Using too much of the bleach accelerator can burn your skin, so don't be tempted to add more than the recommended amount.
I find that I need to re-apply Jolen Crème to my top lip and fingers every 3 weeks or so. You can tell when it needs to be re-applied as you see the root of the hair becomes darker as it grows and/or the hair turns darker as the bleach wears off. Ok, this may seem like a lot of hassle but it's much easier than trying to remove the hair as Jolen leaves skin smooth, hair pale and soft as there is no regrowth.
Overall, I highly recommend Jolen Crème and give it 5 stars. For me it is a good alternative to hair removal and is effective at lightening hair on my top lip and fingers. It is reasonably priced and a box last many months. For me there are no disadvantages to using this product, as long as you follow the instructions you can't go wrong.
Some cautions before use: you should not apply Jolen after a hot bath or in a steam filled room as open pores can create sensitivity; do not apply Jolene to areas which have been in intense or prolonged sunlight for a period of 24 hours after application; do not apply to skin which has cuts or abrasions (as it will burn, trust me); it's not to be used near to your eyes or other sensitive areas and do not return mixed ingredients to jar or vial.
For further information, please visit: http://www.jolencremebleach.com
Thank you for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
I rarely spend a lot of money on shoes, mainly because unfortunately I have sweaty feet, in particular when I wear shoes without any socks/tights such as ballet pump style shoes. I also do a lot of walking as my preferred form of exercise and even with wearing socks, after a few weeks my trainers need to go in the washing machine.
I purchased Super Tuff Odor-Eaters shoe insoles, not because I work in heavy industry or am on my feet all day, but because without odour eating insoles my shoes end up in the bin! I bought the Super Tuff Odor-Eaters from Tesco and they cost £4.41 for a box which includes one pair of shoe insoles.
Super Tuff Odor-Eaters are odour destroying shoe insoles. They are extra durable for work shoes and boots and they destroy odour on contact and absorb sweat. They have been designed for durability with a powerful combination of technologies providing superior odour and wetness control.
The insoles are 'one size fits all' up to a UK size 11. For an exact comfortable fit, you follow the printed guidelines on the underside of the insole and cut (using scissors) to fit men's, women's or children's shoes size. The insoles are Black in colour on the underside and the top has a Blue speckled denim-like style. When new, the insoles measure 4mm in thickness.
Super Tuff Odor-Eaters have a triple odour protection. The activated charcoal locks in and destroys foot odour for months. The insoles contain Insta-Fresh ® which instantly neutralises sweat acids that release odour. Each insole also contains an anti-bacterial agent which fights odour-causing bacteria.
At present I have two sets of odour-eaters on the go. One I wear in my work shoes and the other in my trainers. I love that each insole has comfortable grip foam which makes them really comfortable to wear and even if you cut them too small they don't slip, slide or bunch up in your shoe.
The insoles can be hand or machine washed at 40º and I put them in the washing machine with a dark wash load. The insoles need to be dried flat, but shouldn't be left to dry on radiators or placed in a tumble dryer. I dry mine overnight on the clothes horse.
Whilst wearing shoes all day (with the insoles inside) they feet continue to get sweaty, but as this is absorbed into the insole, my feet are not as smelly as they used to be, thanks to the Insta-Fresh ® neutraliser. This is great as it means that the shoe remains sweat-free making them last longer and prevents me from having to throw out my shoes once they become too smelly. The advantage of wearing these insoles in trainers is that it gives my feet some additional cushioning and feels comfortable when walking/jogging.
Super Tuff Odor-Eaters insoles have a guaranteed 4 month long lasting protection. To keep the insoles in good condition I wash them once a week. The insoles that I wear in my work or non-work shoes do tend to last for 4 months as I wear them every day, but my insoles in my trainers last a lot longer as I only wear them around 4 times a week. You will find that after 4-5 washes the fabric on the top layer of the insole starts to fray and the more your wear them the cushion effect of the insoles lessens and they become flat. Having said that, as they do last for many months, it is not too expensive to replace them when they start to thin. In the past I have used 'Comfortable Fit' Odor-Eaters but found that they came apart in the washing machine after a couple washes, so I needed something more durable and these Super Tuff insoles definitely live up to their name.
I have now started to buy more expensive, better quality shoes knowing that they will last longer as the Super Tuff insoles ensure that my shoes remain odour free for longer. Initially I thought that £4.41 was expensive, but they really are worth the money and with some shopping around on the internet, you can get them cheaper.
Overall, I highly recommend Super Tuff Odor-Eaters for work shoes and boots and give them 5 stars. They absorb foot sweat, neutralise sweat acids and help keep my shoes odour free for longer. They are comfortable to wear, wash well in the machine and last for many months. For me there are no disadvantages to using this product as having sweaty feet is something that I will always have, but these insoles mean that my shoes last longer and I feel confident that no one else could smell my shoes when they become sweaty.
For further information, please visit: http://www.odor-eaters.com
Thank you for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
When I saw an Ant crawling along the living room floor I thought nothing of it and assumed it had been brought in on one of our shoes. But then a few days later there were a few crawling around so realised that there was an Ants nest near and they were getting into the house through a crack in the wall.
I popped to my local independent Hardware store and purchased Doff Ant Killer powder for £2.96. It comes in a Black plastic 300g bottle, which unsurprisingly enough has a large picture of a black ant on the front. Not only does Doff Ant Killer kill ants but it is also for the control of cockroaches, earwigs, woodlice and other crawling inspects in the home and garden.
As expected the bottle has a child resistant cap where you need to squeeze the sides whilst turning. Once the cap is removed there is a small hole (puffer) to allow the ant powder to dispense. The hole is in the middle and is around 3mm in circumference. The 300g bottle is not completely full of powder up to the top as air space has been left in the container to enable the puffer to function efficiently.
Doff Ant Killer contains 0.5% w/w permethrin which is a powerful, rapidly acting insecticide which kills insects on contact. Having read the instructions before use as there are many precautions to follow (too many to list here) I then made a start at stopping the ants from coming into my home.
I aimed the puffer along the bottom of the house, and applied the powder in a continuous line around the front of the house and in the cracks between the front of the house and our drive as I saw a few ants marching in that area. Unfortunately the day after I applied the ant powder it rained overnight so when there was a break in the weather I applied the ant powder again.
The Ant Powder is very efficient and worked within a couple of hours and successfully killed the ants. I have also used the ant powder in the back garden, as every year we get a couple of nests. The ants in the back garden are red ants and once again I applied the powder to the nests and the next day the ants had died, making it safer for my children to play in the garden (as the boys have a habit of picking up any bugs/insects they find).
The bottle is large and you will find that even if you have a lot of ants nets and need to reapply due to bad weather, one bottle is more than enough to last the whole of the Summer.
The only disadvantage I have is that when applied to brickwork, along a wall etc the line of ant powder remains on the bricks even after it rains. It is easy to remove as all you need it a bucket of water and a brush to brush it all off.
I store Doff Ant Killer in the garage, in a lockable cupboard so that the children can't get their little hands on it due to it being a dangerous product not only to people but also to the environment.
Overall, I highly recommend this product and give it 4 stars. Costing £2.96 a bottle, Doff Ant Powder is good value for money and is extremely effective at killing ants and stopping them from coming into my home. The only disadvantage is that it will need to be washed off brickwork as it leaves a white residue. This is definitely a product that I will buy again.
For further information, please visit: www.doff.co.uk
Thank you for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
I get on well with my neighbours but I can't say the same for their two Cats. I want to start by saying that I don't dislike Cats or any animals for that matter, but I don't appreciate them using my garden and vegetable patch as their own personal toilet.
I have used a number of cat repellents over the years in the forms of citrus gel, pepper powder, leaving Grapefruit halves dotted around the garden etc. but they seem to work for a couple of weeks and then they lose their effectives. I also keep the lawns short so that it doesn't encourage fouling. Due to having to check both the front and back gardens each time before letting the children go out and play (and having to remove ridiculous amounts of cat poo) I decided that enough was enough.
I headed to my local Wilkinson's (know more commonly known as Wilko) and purchased a 450ml bottle of their own brand Cat Repellent Crystal Gel. This cost £4 and was more expensive than I had expected, but due to running out of options I bought it.
Wilko Cat Repellent Crystal Gel comes in a clear plastic bottle, which looks like a bottle of Tomato sauce. The Cat Repellent Gel is a ready to use treatment containing natural aromatic plant oils to deter cats from digging, scratching and fouling in garden and patio areas. One bottle can treat up to 40 square metres.
The gel is dark Green and even before you flip open the top of the lid, you can smell the gel, and it absolutely stinks! The gel contains garlic extract as well as 0.5% natural aromatic plant oils in an inert carrier, which makes it smell pungent.
As Wilko Cat Repellent is used to deter cats from digging and scratching, I don't have a problem with this as our neighbour's cats make no attempt whatsoever to dig, scratch or hide their fouling, - they just do it.
To use the cat repellent you just scatter evenly over the area where cats are not wanted. I find that my neighbour's cats tend to poo in the same places dotted around the garden, so I use the cat repellent by removing the cat poo and directly applying the gel to that area. One of the cats then started pooing in a new spot in the garden, so again I removed it and scattered the gel in the same place. I tend the squeeze the bottle twice her application, as this makes the bottle go further.
I did have a problem with the cats pooing a few times on my vegetable patch (whilst I was turning over the soil and before I planted any plants). Not wanting to place any cat repellent on the vegetable patch itself, I scattered the gel around the borders to stop them if they tried.
You will need to repeat the treatment every 48 hours until cats have deterred. Obviously if it rains you will need to reapply. After a day the gel dissolves so there is not residue or blobs of gel left behind. After a couple of days of treatment the cats had stopped messing in the garden. I am not sure if they stopped because of the smell, because their routine of messing in my garden had changed or if they just found a new garden to foul in!
What I do like about Wilko Cat Repellent Crustal Gel is that it has not affected the rest of my garden as it has not burnt, discoloured any of the surrounding grass or caused any patches. Even though the cats have stopped fouling I routinely scatter a small amount of the gel on the garden every week, to ensure the cats stay away.
I store Wilko Cat Repellent Crystal Gel in my locked cupboard under the sink, so that the children can't get their little hands on it. Also, the UK Health and Safety Executive have confirmed this formulation meets the foodstuff derogation requirements of the biocidal products directive.
Overall, I highly recommend this product. At £4 a bottle it does seem expensive for cat repellent but as it works and had stopped the cats from fouling in the garden I have to give it 5 stars. I can't see any disadvantages to using this product as it is effective. It does have a very strong smell, so much so that anyone passing the garden would smell it within 24 hours of applying, but it needs to be pungent to deter the cats.
For further information, please visit: www.wilkinsonplus.com
Thank you for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
When at home I use cotton wool and water when changing my Son's nappy, partly because it is cheaper and healthier for his bum as he has sensitive skin. However, when at Nursery I provide baby wipes for the staff to use and I use baby wipes when out and about as it is more convenient. I learnt from having our first born Son that paying ridiculous amounts of money for the coolest or 'brands to be seen with' baby wipes is unnecessary and after trying a few brands found that the cheaper brands are just as good.
I don't often shop at Tesco for my weekly food shop, so when I do go to the store I stock up on their Tesco Everyday Value Fragrance Free Baby Wipes, which cost £0.46 for a pack of 72 wipes. The packs are White with Blue baby related pictures on the front.
The Tesco Everyday Value Baby Wipes are resealable and has a resealable plastic label. The baby wipes are very moist; they absorb well and are not sticky. Nor do they leave a film of grease like some baby wipes do which have added ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Shea Butter etc. They are quite strong and are difficult to rip apart, so there is no chance of you accidently getting poo on your fingers when changing your little ones. If you only use baby wipes when changing your little one then you will probably find that you will go through them so quickly that the wipes remain moist. If like me you only use them when out and about, the pack starts to dry out within 3 weeks.
The individual baby wipes measure 18cm x 33cm, they are quite thin and are White with no fancy design or detail. They are not see-through but if you stretch them you will be able to see shadows through them. Being 33cm in length they are quite long for baby wipes and their shape is not perfectly formed as they look uneven when removing from the pack.
I find that that I only need to use a few wipes when changing my Son's nappy - even if it is a messy one. I tend to fold over the wipes as I wipe my Son so that I use less of them. Even though the wipes are thinner than the more expensive brands, any poo/wee doesn't soak through the wipes giving you messy hands.
I always buy the Fragrance Free variety but they also make fragranced wipes. My Son does have sensitive skin and suffers from Eczema and you would be wrong to think that these wipes would cause his Eczema to flare up because they are from the Everyday Value range. Even though the wipes are cheap they are certainly not poor quality. To be honest, having used various brands in the past, the Value ones are the best and do not irritate his skin, unlike the ones containing Aloe Vera.
I like the convenience of using baby wipes and the packs are a nice size and not too bulky to carry around. I always have a pack in the car to wipe the children's runny noses; sticky fingers and use them to clean the steering wheel as it is unbelievable how dirty it can become.
Unfortunately, like most baby wipes these wipes are not biodegradable and need to be thrown in the bin or placed in nappy bags and not flushed down the toilet, as it will cause your toilet/drain to block.
Overall, I give Tesco Everyday Value Fragrance Free Baby Wipes 4 stars. They are cheap at 46p for a pack of 72 Fragrance Free wipes and even though they are part of Tesco's Everyday Value range they are certainly not poor quality. They are convenient to use and come in a resealable pack. They are pleasant to use and do not irritate my Son's skin, so I can't ask for more than that. The only disadvantage and the reason why they lose a star is because the wipes start to dry out within 3 weeks if the pack is not used frequently.
For further information, please visit: www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=260274300
Thank you for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
I rarely wear make-up, only on weekends if I am going somewhere special. I think that because I don't wear make-up a lot, it feels unnatural when I am wearing it so I am keen to wipe it off as soon as I can. I do my weekly food shop at Aldi and purchased a pack of their Lacura 3 in 1 Facial Cleansing Wipes because I had a money-off coupon. A pack of Facial Wipes cost £0.89 and there are 30 wipes in a pack.
Lacura is Aldi's brand of skincare products. Their range includes skin, hair, bath and men's products. Lacura's 3 in 1 Facial Cleansing Wipes are available in 3 varieties, each costing a mere 89p a pack: Normal Skin (which I am reviewing), Sensitive and Vitality for mature skin.
Aldi state that 'Lacura 3 in 1 Facial Cleansing Wipes cleanse, tone and moisturise your face, eye area and neck in one simple step. The soft wipes gently cleanse away make-up, dirt and daily impurities'. These facial wipes are soft and soothing as they contain extracts of Aloe Vera and Allantoin (a natural soothing and anti-irritant natural chemical compound used in many skin care products).
Using the facial wipes is easy. Gently wipe over your face, eyelids and neck to cleanse your skin. The facial cleansing wipes are mildly scented and pleasant to use. I have not found any irritations using the cleansing wipes and they have not caused any spots after use.
The individual wipes measure 19cm x 20cm and they are thick and very moist. They are so thick that they feel spongy between your fingertips. Even though the wipes are wet, they are easy to hold and grip when wiping your face. At first it does make your face feel wet and sticky, but this feeling quickly subsides as it only takes a matter of 30 seconds or so for your skin to dry. As it dries you can feel it's toning qualities as it makes the skin on your face/neck feel a little tighter.
I feel that Lacura 3 in 1 Facial Cleansing Wipes are good at cleansing and toning, however I don't rate it's moisturising properties. It doesn't particularly make my skin feel moisturised after use and doesn't feel overly smooth. I am not too bothered by this as I use a daily facial moisturiser, besides for 89p a pack you can't expect miracles.
My face does feel clean after using the wipes and I don't feel a need to splash my face with water to freshen up, as the wipes don't leave a residue or sticky feeling to your skin.
I find that one wipe is enough to remove light make-up (foundation, mascara and eye shadow). However, for those who wear a lot of make-up more than one wipe will be needed. As I wear little make-up I can get away with folding the wipe a few times as I cleanse my face, which means that I am saving money and wipes at the same time.
I also use the facial cleansing wipes to clean my Son's face, after he has had it painted at a party. I used to use just soap and water and scrub his face with a flannel, but as Spiderman is his favourite character (in terms of face painting) he was always left with a Red tint to his skin. Lacura's 3 in 1 Facial Cleansing Wipes thoroughly cleans away the paint, so that he doesn't end up with a bright Pink/Red face and he doesn't complain of any stinging, even when I use the wipes over his eyelids.
Each pack is resealable and has a resealable label. Bearing in mind that I only use the facial cleansing wipes a few times a month, a pack lasts me a long time and I am pleasantly surprised to find that the wipes remain moist and don't dry out (unlike baby wipes).
It is important to note that these wipes need to be thrown in the bin and not flushed down the toilet, as it will cause your toilet/drain to block.
Overall, this is a product that I will definitely buy again and they get 4 stars from me. Aldi's Lacura 3 in 1 Facial Cleansing Wipes for Normal Skin are gentle to use, they cleanse and tone your skin well, without causing any irritation or spots. They are very good value for money at 89p for a pack of 30 wipes. The packs are resealable, ensuring that the wipes remain moist and don't dry out. The only disadvantage that I have (and the reason they lose a star) is that I don't feel they are as moisturising as I had hoped for, but apart from this, this is a product that I recommend.
For further information, please visit: www.aldi.co.uk
Thanks for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
I have weak nails, which often split and break making it difficult to have nice long nails. It also doesn't help that I don't use gloves when cleaning, washing the dishes or using bleach! I know that I really should do this to protect my hands and nails, but I feel that it inhibits my ability to clean well.
In need of a nail treatment to rescue my chipped nails in time for a family event, I purchased Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails from Tesco and it cost £4.00 for a 13.3ml bottle. Sally Hansen is a well-known brand of nail care products and has been around since 1957. Products in the range include nail strengtheners, nails varnishes and nail files, as well as fake tan for legs. The majority of the nail products are for creating harder, stronger and healthier looking nails.
Sally Hansen's advanced Hard As Nails is an extra-strength nail hardening treatment with Nylon formula which fortifies soft, fragile nails and helps prevent chipping, splitting and peeling. The Retinol and Copper Peptide formula hydrates parched nails and the Omega 3 and Soy formula helps diminish the look of ridges.
Due to the nail treatment containing all of the above formulas you will need to shake the bottle before use. When the bottle has been left standing for a while the ingredients separate from the clear varnish leaving a cloudy residue at the bottom of the bottle, so by shaking the bottle it mixes well.
The nail varnish is clear and it is recommended that you apply 2-3 coats to bare nails, letting each coat to dry before reapplying. The varnish is quite thick and you will need to rub the excess varnish off on the bottle neck before applying directly to your nails. If you don't and it goes on too thickly, it will peel off in one section after the next day.
The application brush isn't too thin (making it ideal for long nails) and I like the way that the varnish glides on easily, so that you get good coverage without streaks. The varnish dries quickly if applied thinly and you only have to wait a couple of minutes to apply a second coat.
The main advantage of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails is that the varnish gives your nails a glossy feel and look and it does appear to diminish the look of ridges. As I have already mentioned, I don't tend to use gloves when washing dishes and cleaning etc. and the varnish usually lasts around 4 days before it starts to chip/peel.
The main disadvantage is that as a nail hardener Hard As Nails, it is not very effective. My nails break easily at the sides and I had hoped that the nail treatment would have strengthened my nails more. Another disappointment for me is that the nail treatment has not improved the overall condition of my nails, despite me wearing it for over 2 months. It hasn't repaired the cracks in my nails making this nail treatment no different from using a cheap clear nail polish.
Overall, this is a product that I am unlikely to buy again. Sally Hansen Hard As Nails is reasonably priced at £4.00 for a bottle as most Sally Hansen nail treatment products are a lot more expensive than this - sometimes double. It did makes my nails look glossy and reduce the appearance of ridges, but it's ability to harden, strengthen and condition my nails leaves a lot to be desired.
For further information, please visit: www.sallyhansen.co.uk
Thanks for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
I have started a new healthy eating and exercise regime for the New Year (as most people do) and have also decided not to buy anymore toiletries until I have used up what I have already. I bought Jergens Naturals Skin Firming body moisturiser from Home Bargains a while ago and it cost £1.99 for a 200ml bottle. This is cheap as Tesco sell it for £5.00.
I am familiar with the Jergens brand as I used Jergens Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning body moisturiser when I was pregnant and I liked the way that it made my skin feel, so bought Jergens Naturals Skin Firming body moisturiser to tone and firm my skin as it is a little saggy in places. The moisturiser comes in a 200ml tube, so the lotion is squeezed from the bottom.
Jergens Naturals Skin Firming Body Moisturiser contains 96% natural ingredients, it claims to firm skin in two weeks, visibly firms' cellulite prone skin and contains Pomegranate extract which is a highly effective anti-oxidant that improves and maintains skin's elasticity. All products in the range have been dermatologically tested.
This moisturiser is white and thick in consistency. Jergens claims that the moisturiser absorbs quickly, but I disagree with this statement. This is not one of those moisturiser's for lazy people. You will need to use quite a bit of effort to rub this stuff into your skin as it is thick. Be prepared to take quite a few minutes working this into your skin and waiting for it to dry. Maybe it tones up your skin and firms cellulite because you are rubbing your skin so vigorously, you are dispersing your cellulite around making it less visible!
I don't have sensitive skin, but when applying the cream I notice that my skin briefly turns pink. I am not sure if this is because I am rubbing it in too vigorously, or whether it is the benefits of the Pomegranate extract to improve and maintain the skin's elasticity. It does subside after a minute or so and my skin colour returns to normal.
You can easily tell when you have used too much, because it makes your skin turn white and will leave your skin feeling clammy. Even when the cream has been rubbed in well, you will need to wait around 5 minutes before getting dressed otherwise your clothes will stick to you.
You definitely need to use this product for longer than 2 weeks to get the full benefits; it is only after this period do you start to see the noticeable effects on your skin. It has made my skin feel slightly firmer/tighter and it is a good moisturiser, so your skin will look visibly healthier and will feel smooth.
I don't tend to study my bum, thighs or tops of my legs in the mirror, but I can't deny that I do have some cellulite. Whilst it is hard to tell if the body moisturiser has improved the visibility of my cellulite prone skin, I do feel that the product works as my skin does feel slightly firmer and smoother/softer.
I prefer to use it before going to bed as my skin feels lovely and soft in the morning. Also, when showering and washing the moisturiser off it does make your skin feel smoother.
Jergens Natural Skin Firming is a body moisturiser; however I have used it on my face. Whilst I haven't noticed the skin on my face has become firmer, it has not caused any irritation or spots.
The main disadvantage of the skin firming body moisturiser is the smell. There are many products on the market which contain or smell of Pomegranate, but this smells nothing like Pomegranate and unfortunately even though I am unable to describe the smell, other than to say it is a sickly sweet smell, it is not pleasant.
Overall, Jergens Naturals Skin Firming body moisturiser with Pomegranate extract gets 3 stars from me. It is a good moisturiser which does slightly firm skin and it is a good moisturiser, but like most things it is not a miracle product (if one does exist). The main disadvantage is that I don't like the smell and when I am wearing a moisturiser that lasts all day, I would rather have a nice smelling one. Having said that, I would only buy Jergens Naturals Skin Firming body moisturiser if it was on offer as I don't think that it is worth £5.00 for 200ml tube.
Other products in the Jergens range include:
Original Cherry Almond Body Moisturiser, Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Body Moisturiser, Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Body Moisturiser, Daily Moisture Body Moisturiser (and a fragrance free version) and Daily Moisture Smoothing Hand and Cuticle Cream.
For further information, please visit: www.jergens.co.uk
Thanks for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
I recently bought myself a new laptop and gave my old laptop to my Husband, along with the laptop bag. I searched for a new laptop bag in Comet and PC World, but didn't see any which caught my eye, so headed home and did a search on Amazon. I was swamped with choice and was drawn to the 'Ektor' Laptop/Notebook soft case sleeve.
My new laptop is 13.3 inches, so I purchased a 14 inch (260x360mm) laptop/notebook bag which cost £14.05. The bag is black with brightly coloured fish on the front and has a unique design that makes it stand out. The bag is available in a variety of designs and is available in the following sizes: 10,12,13, 14 and 15 inch bags. Prices (excluding delivery) range from £11.90-£14.90. The bag has a strong carry handle and a removable adjustable shoulder strap.
The laptop/notebook bag is padded and is made from neoprene (synthetic rubber) material; it is very light and can be washed. The neoprene material will protect your laptop/notebook from marks, scratches and light shocks. As it is not a hard case bag, your laptop/notebook won't be protected if you drop the bag or if it gets stood on.
The main pocket has a high quality double zip. The pocket only opens up at the top of the bag (from the middle outwards), leaving enough room to slide your laptop/notebook in, with a few centimetres to spare either side - enough room so that you don't end up scraping the edges of your laptop against the zips when placing in the sleeve.
There is a separate pocket at the front of the bag which has a vertical zip. There is ample room to hold the charger and other accessories such as stationary and CD's, however this makes the bag quite bulky when this pocket is full. Due to the bag only being slightly padded, around 0.5 cm in thickness, I always make sure that the charger plug faces the outside of the bag and not towards to laptop, so that there is more protection in case I accidentally drop the bag.
The laptop/notebook sleeve is made from neoprene material which feels spongy, therefore it doesn't have a solid base, unlike traditional laptop bags, so the bag can't stand up on it's own. I keep my laptop flat in the wardrobe, as it can only be kept upright if it is leaning up against something.
Overall, I give the 'Ektor' Laptop/Notebook soft case sleeve 4 stars out of 5. I love the design as it is very colourful and makes the bag stand out, the neoprene material protects my laptop from marks and scratches and it has a second pocket at the front to hold your charger and other accessories. The only disadvantage is that as the case is soft I am unable to leave it laying around the house as the children would end up standing on it or throwing it.
For further information, please visit: www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008VTRQN6/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00
Thanks for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2013
I rarely eat ready meals as I prefer to cook meals from scratch, but when I am in work until late I occasionally buy myself a ready meal to fill me up, rather than eating a load of rubbish foods to satisfy my hunger. During my weekly food shop at Aldi, I came across Sweet and Sour Chicken steam meal from the 'Simply Bistro' range in the frozen aisle. There are 3 varieties of meals available: Sweet and Sour Chicken (which I am reviewing), Salmon Tagliatelle and Leek and Bacon.
Aldi's 'Simply Bistro' Sweet and Sour Chicken meal contains cooked skinless chicken breast strips with mixed vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce, with cooked basmati rice. Each meal contains 458 calories, 30g of sugar (very high), 1.6g of fat and 3.8g of Salt (very high). Most ready meals are generally high in sugar and salt regardless of the brand, however, as I only eat one of these meals occasionally, it won't harm once in a while, as long as I balance my sugar/salt intake for that day.
The meal costs £1.49 for 400g and comes in a hard plastic tub - similar to an oval ice cream tub. Cooking instruction are on the cardboard sleeve. As expected, the steam fresh meal is frozen and fills around ¼ of the tub. Cooking the meal is simple - all you need is a microwave, so perfect for me when I am in work.
There is no need to stab the plastic film with a knife (unlike the majority of ready meals) as the film lid is perforated, just place the meal in the microwave for the recommended cooking time. When using a 750W microwave, it is recommended that you cook the meal for 9 minutes; however I have found that this is too long. I cook the meal for 8 minutes so that the chicken stays moist and the meal doesn't become too dry. Leave the meal to stand for a couple of minutes, give it a good stir and tuck in (you will need to take care when peeling back the film lid, as it can be easy to burn yourself on the escaping steam if you don't let the meal stand).
In my meal I had seven big chunks of Chicken. To my delight the Chicken looked real - it didn't look regurgitated and it tasted like Chicken should - it was moist and not overcooked. Apart from the main ingredient of Chicken, the meal also contains slices of carrot, red peppers, onions, bamboo shoots, garlic shoots and Mu-Err mushrooms. To my surprise the vegetables taste and look like they should, cut into thin crunchy strips, so you don't need to try and guess what vegetables you are eating.
The sweet and sour sauce was rich and thick, but not too gooey. There was also just enough sauce, so you could taste the vegetables without them swimming in sauce. The sauce did have a slight tangy taste and this is down to Cayenne Pepper and Chilli.
Being a sweet and sour meal, it comes with rice, however for some reason Aldi seems to think that Basmati rice goes well with this meal. I am not a food expert, but I associate Basmati rice with Indian cuisine and curries and have never eaten it with Sweet and Sour chicken before. Basmati rice is fragrant which does make the meal smell a little like curry and whilst it is not unpleasant, I would rather that long grain white rice was used instead. The amount of rice in the meal was just the right amount and combined with the chicken and lots of vegetables, it made a very filling meal.
Overall, Aldi's 'Simply Bistro' Sweet and Sour Chicken steam meal was tasty and filling so gets 3 stars from me. It contains tasty chunks of skinless chicken breast, mixed vegetables and a sweet and sour sauce which is not too thick. I have yet to eat a Chinese ready meal that tastes like the meals you get in a Chinese restaurant, however this wasn't a bad meal and now that I have gotten over Aldi using Basmati rice instead of white rice, it is a meal that I would buy again, despite it being high in sugar and salt as moderation is the key.
For further information, please visit: www.aldi.com
Thanks for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2012
In my quest to find a hair care product that requires minimal effort to tame and define my curly locks, I purchased Leo Bancroft 'Simply Tousled beach wave spray' from Tesco, costing £4.00 for a 150 ml bottle.
Leo Bancroft is an award-winning celebrity hairdresser, who won Channel 4's 'The Salon' reality show and is regularly seen on ITV's 'This Morning' as their resident hair stylist. Leo Bancroft has teamed up with Tesco to provide a range of hair care products, exclusively sold by Tesco. This range includes: Instantly Sleek hair serum, Totally Protected Heat Defence Spray, Glamorously Curly Control & Shine Cream and Rapidly Revived Dry Shampoo (to name a few).
Simply Tousled beach wave spray comes in a Silver plastic spray bottle. It is a clear spray and has a strong 'hairspray' like smell to it, which is not unpleasant, but is quite strong. To use Simply Tousled beach wave spray you flip your head forward and spray liberally, scrunching as you go. Flip hair back and repeat, focusing on the front. To dry your hair you can either gently blow dry with a diffuser or leave the dry naturally.
I have applied this product in many ways: straight to damp hair, with and without hair serum applied first, left to dry naturally and with a hairdryer. You are probably wondering why I have added this information, but I think it is important as Simply Tousled beach wave spray affects my hair differently depending on how I style it.
I find that if I blow dry my hair (using a diffuser) after applying Simply Tousled, my hair becomes extremely thick. Normally when tying my hair in a ponytail I wrap the band around 3 times, but after blow drying using beach wave spray my hair becomes so thick that the band just about goes around twice. I know that this is because my hair is coated in product, making it thicker. Once thing for sure, is that once dried I cannot get a brush through my hair, I could try but I would end up getting the brush tangled up.
The next morning after sleeping on my hair, my hair was sticking up and looked like it had been back-combed. My hair resembled matted dog hair, rather than surf hair! The wave surf spray didn't make my hair greasy and the next day - as long as I wear my hair up in a ponytail - it is fine.
The best way to use Simply Tousled beach wave spray is to apply to damp hair, after using a smoothing hair serum first. I towel dry my hair then spray the product all over. I then leave my hair to dry naturally and every so often scrunch my hair by hand. This gives my hair a scrunched, matte effect, surf hair. My curly hair becomes more defined and natural looking. If I do see strands of hair sticking up at the top of my head, I just smooth down using some matte hair styling cream.
My hair is between chin and shoulder length and I tend to use around 10 sprays per application. 5 sprays with my head turned upside down, so that the underside is coated and then 5 sprays with my head up. It takes a while to judge how much product to use and of course it is dependent on your hair length and type. However it is easy to know when you have used too much because your hair becomes sticky, as if you have sprayed your hair all over with hairspray.
Needless to say, this product is good at creating a matte, surf effect to your hair, however I won't be rushing out to buy this again in a hurry. I give it 3 stars as it's not as simple as just spraying on your hair and leaving it. It does take a lot of effort to get that 'surf/just out of bed look' as you will need to scrunch your hair every so often when drying naturally, so that you get a more defined look. The main disadvantages are that it can make your hair sticky if you use too much and don't attempt to use a brush, as you won't get a brush through your matted hair as it will become entangled if you try.
For further information, please visit: www.leobancroft.com
Thanks for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2012