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sweetiebum
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    • Fox's Golden Crunch Creams / Snacks / 98 Readings / 97 Ratings
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      02.03.2010 21:10
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      A nice change every now and again

      When it comes to biscuits, I normally prefer something smothered in chocolate. However, since these Fox's Golden Crunch Creams were on offer the other day I decided to try these instead. I don't normally like any kind of sandwich style biscuit, as I find the cream too sickly. However, these biscuits may have just changed my mind.

      Packaging:

      Unlike some cheaper versions of biscuits, these ones come wrapped in a really thick and shiny plastic packet. There is the usual red band around the top of the packet which makes it quick and easy to open. However, this also means that the packet opens rather too far and you end up of having no way of attempting to reseal the biscuits. Maybe this is their cunning plan so you eat the whole packet in one sitting to save them going stale, if you don't have any other way of storing them?

      Inside the packaging:

      After opening the packet with ease the biscuits near the top of the packet slide out easily. However, as you get further and further down the packet, it becomes a bit trickier to release them. This is made worse by the fact that they are sandwich style biscuits so the two halves can come apart pretty easily. The packet is so tight that the biscuits sit rigid and do not move an inch, so you have to use your nail on the outside of the packet and try and prise them out. In more cases than not this resulted in the biscuit coming apart. Not really a massive problem, just a bit annoying if you wanted to share them with anybody.

      When you get the biscuit out of the packet, you notice that they are quite thick. This obviously means there are less biscuits per pack, but also means that each biscuit is a decent size and that they haven't skimped on the size of the biscuit or the amount of filling. To be fair to them, each of the three layers looks almost identical in size.

      The Taste Test:

      When you bite into the biscuit, the first thing you notice is how brittle the biscuits are. As they are thick they take a bit of effort to bite into, however after this initial crunch the biscuit breaks easily and makes lots of crumbs. These are definitely not biscuits to eat in bed! The biscuits are very sweet and remind me of a syrupy flavour. I'm not sure whether this is because they are called 'golden' that I seem to have made this inference or not. The cream is also incredibly sweet and thick, however it does compliment the biscuits well.

      If you like to dunk your biscuits in your tea or coffee, these do dunk fairly well. They soak up the tea very quickly though so you do have to be careful not to let it succumb to the bottom of the mug. The biscuits do become very soggy after a quick dunk, but also a lot softer so are easier to eat.

      Summary:

      Overall these biscuits make a nice change to my usual chocolate covered ones. However, they are incredibly sweet and quite sickly if you eat too many of them. I do have to say that the cream is my least favourite part of the biscuit as it tastes very synthetic and fake. Whereas, the actual biscuit part is much more tasty and definitely moreish. If I saw these biscuits on offer I would certainly consider them, although they are not my favourite.

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        01.03.2010 19:08
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        Ok, but could have been better.

        After months of trying to stick to low calorie hot chocolate, I finally succumbed to my cravings and decided to try something just that little bit nicer. In the quest for a more luxurious hot chocolate drink, I decided as usual to turn to Cadbury and try their Instant Hot Chocolate. I remember having Cadbury's hot chocolate when I was younger and always remember it being delicious.

        Packaging:

        Like most Cadbury products, this hot chocolate carries the famous purple branding and logo synonymous with Cadbury. The hot chocolate comes in a large shapely plastic jar, with a purple lid. The design on the label is very simple and consists of a hot chocolate mug in contrasting white and pink. This design is repeated on the front and the back of the jar, so all of the nutritional information and serving instructions are squeezed onto the small areas between these silhouettes.

        Making the Hot Chocolate:

        The hot chocolate is extremely easy to prepare, as unlike some more traditional ones, this version is made with water not milk. The instructions on the side of the jar state to put four heaped teaspoons into a mug add boiling water and stir. These instructions are pretty foolproof, however I do tend to add a little bit more powder if I'm using a particularly large mug, or add less if I'm just using a cup.

        The first time I made this hot chocolate I was surprised that it required four heaped teaspoons, as it did seem quite a lot. In fact I was quite worried that as there was so much powder in the mug, and not much space left for the water. However, as soon as I added the water and started stirring rather quickly the powder all dissolved and the drink looked rather appetising. The drink was fairly thick, which was a contrast to the lower calorie versions I had been used do.

        Taste Test:

        Like most hot chocolates, there is a thicker layer of cream that settles on the top immediately after making the drink. This is a paler brown in comparison and tastes very creamy and smooth. After the top layer has gone, the actual hot chocolate is revealed and is a much deeper colour. It tastes very smooth and definitely tastes chocolately.

        There is a noticeable difference between this and the lower calorie versions I have tried, however it wasn't as luxurious as I was hoping. It was a bit sweeter than what I was used to but it still felt like they were skimping on something. What I did like about this drink was that it was smooth and quite thick. However, in many respects it tasted quite bland and the sweet chocolately hit I was expecting was not quite as strong. Another downside to this drink is that there was quite a lot of residue settling at the bottom of the mug, which had not dissolved. I suppose this is quite inevitable when you have to add so much powder in the first place.

        Summary:

        Overall, I would recommend this product if you do not care about the calories you are consuming. For me, I do not feel the minimal difference in taste is worth the extra calories. I was expecting a lot more from this product which unfortunately it did not deliver. It's not that it tasted bad, because it didn't, but I was just expecting something extra. I think I'll be sticking to Cadbury's Highlights for the time being.

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          22.02.2010 20:50
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          When it comes to peanut butter I'm loyal to Sun Pat

          For me there is something very comforting about peanut butter (in sandwiches to be precise) in fact it is one of my all time favourite comfort foods. I like it so much that I have even been known to eat it straight out of the jar! I realise that for some people this may seem quite disgusting as peanut butter can be a kind of love or hate thing, much like marmite. However, I love it and I always have a jar lurking somewhere in my cupboards. In my eyes there has only ever been one contender when it comes to buying peanut butter and that has to be Sun Pat.

          Packaging:

          What I love about Sun Pat peanut butter is the very distinctive and easily recognisable packaging. Over the years the design may have varied slightly, but the quintessential branding has remained the same. The glass jar with the blue label for smooth peanut butter, the red label for crunchy all topped off with the infamous yellow plastic lid.

          Inside the jar:

          The plastic lid is easy to unscrew, and after opening it for the first time and breaking the paper seal, you are greeted with the lovely smooth peanut butter. What I love most about Sun Pat peanut butter in particular is the fact that you don't ever get that greasy oil floating about on top of the jar, or sometimes at the bottom. Sun Pat always stays perfectly smooth and does not separate like some of the supermarket own brands. Being the first into a jar is always a pleasure as the peanut butter looks so fresh and appetising. It is lovely and smooth and just looks and smells so delicious.

          Spreading Sun Pat:

          Now, apart from eating it straight from the jar (naughty I know), my favourite way to use peanut butter is in sandwiches. Unless the bread is super fresh, the peanut butter is very easy to spread. It is has a very thick consistency, but because it really is super smooth it glides easily over the bread. I also enjoy this on toast and again it is easy to spread. In many ways it is slightly easier as the toast doesn't break so easily and the heat begins to melt the peanut butter. Whatever way you chose to have your peanut butter, it is easy to get out of the jar and spread.

          The Taste Test:

          The overwhelming taste of Sun Pat, is rather unsurprisingly that of peanuts. It is unmistakeably nutty both in taste and the smell. It does taste rather salty, although I would not describe it as being too salty. It is a very unique and overpowering flavour which just tastes divine, either on its own or in a sandwich. It is thick, and can be a bit difficult to eat if it is spread generously as it can make the bread stick together. However, the taste most definitely makes up for this as in my opinion the ultra smooth texture only compliments the nutty taste. The texture is completely smooth with no hint of pieces of nut, making it especially good if you have teeth that can't deal with crunchy bits.

          Summary:

          Overall I would definitely recommend Sun Pat Peanut Butter to anybody who loves peanut butter. For me it really is the only brand that I will buy as it is consistently a good product so I always know what I am getting. It is also good value for money as the strong flavour means you don't always need to use so much, so a jar can last quite a while.

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            02.12.2009 16:23
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            I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

            For some reason I seem to spend quite a fair bit of my time in the kitchen. I must admit that despite my love of food, I don't really enjoy cooking. Along with washing up, wiping up and cleaning in general it all seems too much of a chore that is never ending. (I realise this makes me sound like a bit of a messy/ lazy bum - really I'm not, I just do not enjoy having to do it.) The only thing that makes my time in the kitchen that little bit more bearable is listening to music. This is why my favourite electrical item in my kitchen has to be without any doubt my beloved Roberts DAB Radio. I had been eying one of these cute radios up for quite some time, and last Christmas I was lucky enough to receive one. After nearly a year's worth of use I feel I am fairly well qualified to review my radio.

            Overall Style:

            This radio initially caught my eye because of its very distinctive style. The radio is inspired by the 1950's and screams retro at the top of its voice. As the styling is so very distinctive, this may not be to everybody's' tastes. Depending on what model you go for, you have a choice between the more traditional leather coated ones' like in the picture, or the more modern plastic coated models which are highly glossed. The model I have has a high gloss piano black finish with a gold coloured grill, knobs and aerial. I was extremely pleased when I received this model as it looks a lot more impressive than the photos I had seen of it. It really is very shiny and still looks as good, even after a year's worth of use. This model fits in well with the fixtures and fitting in my kitchen and is one reason why I wanted this model in particular.

            Design:

            Despite all of these different finishes, each variety is the same size and shape, with the buttons on the top and a large grill on the front covering the speaker. Each radio also has a leather handle, which I have found extremely helpful when it comes to moving the radio. If this handle was not there I'm pretty sure I would have dropped the radio by now as it is fairly chunky and not easy to grip. Although the handle looks like it is for show, it is sufficiently strong and I don't worry about it coming apart when carrying it.

            What gives this retro radio a modern twist is the fact that it has DAB capabilities. This means that it has a digital display. However, as the retro design is so prominent, you probably wouldn't notice the display unless you were looking for it. Unlike some modern radios, where the display is the main feature of the radio, Roberts have cleverly built there display seamlessly into the top of the radio. This is also where the rest of the buttons are located, which means that the front of the radio is simple and sleek to look at.

            Not only this, but Roberts have succeeded in producing a radio with relatively few buttons. In my opinion, unlike a lot of other modern electrical which have far too many unnecessary buttons, every button has a purpose. Another added bonus, for neat freaks like me is that the top of the radio is completely symmetrical. The display is in the middle with four black buttons above it. These are the on/off button, the button to switch between fm/dab, Auto Tune button and a button for information. Either side of these main black buttons are two small grey circular buttons to save your favourite station or preset the radio. There are no other buttons, which is great as it doesn't look cluttered.

            Features:

            Unlike some other models, this radio does not boast a wide range of features. It is a basic radio with DAB capabilities. It does not have a live pause feature, nor an alarm or anything extra like that. However, I do not feel this is necessarily a criticism as it does everything I would expect a radio to do. As I do not use this radio as a bedside radio, I cannot see the need for having an alarm. Also, as I have never had a radio with a live pause button I cannot miss what I have never had. To be truthful, even if it had this feature I really doubt whether I would ever use it.

            Another positive side of this radio is that because it does not have a myriad of confusing features, it is extremely simple to use. You literally press the power button; use the dial to scroll through all of the available stations, and then click down the dial to select that station to listen to. The display lights up and is easy to read. The volume can then be controlled through the second knob/dial, meaning it is easy to adjust. Each button is fairly self-explanatory so is very easy to operate. This makes it an ideal radio for those that want to upgrade to a DAB radio, without losing the simplicity of a traditional radio.

            A second feature that this radio has is the fact that I can plug my iPod into it using the auxiliary in jack. To be honest, although I love my iPod I tend not to use it like this as I find with the variety of stations fulfil my musical needs. On the back of the radio there is also a line out option in case you want to plug it into a stereo system. Again, to be fair I have not used this feature, although my partner has used it just to test out some high powered speakers that he bought.

            Sound Quality:

            Apart from the actual design of the radio, what makes this radio perfect for me is the amazing sound quality. In my opinion this is where the radio comes into its own and justifies the relatively high price. I mostly listen to music on my radio when I am washing up, therefore I usually have the volume quite high. The sound really is very clear and I have never heard it distort, no matter how loud I have it. I would not describe the sound as bassy, although it is definitely not tinny. Considering the size of the radio, the sound produced is very good.

            If you have ever used a Bose sound dock for an iPod, I would say that the sound is of a similar quality to that, although slightly less bassy. Basically, you get what you pay for and Roberts delivers a clear sound that meets all my needs whether listening to music or speech. Although there are no options for adjusting the base as there is only one volume dial, the sound is not compromised.

            Portability:

            In comparison to other portable DAB radios, the Roberts is fairly large and chunky. As I said earlier, without the handle, it is too wide to get a good hold on it easily. Although it is fairly large, it is not overly heavy so it can be moved about easily, whilst still feeling like a good solid piece of equipment. The radio has four sturdy rubber feet, which also make it feel secure on whatever surface you chose to put it. Everything about it really does highlight the high build quality that Roberts are known for.

            The fact that the radio can be powered either by mains adapter or by batteries also makes this radio easy to move around. The mains adapter is not at all cumbersome so that is another bonus. The only downside is that if you are using batteries, it does take up 4 D Cell batteries, which are the large ones. Although this does seem a lot, I have found that they do last ages. I put new rechargeable batteries in it last Christmas and they only began to run out in about October this year. Considering I use the radio most days I was extremely pleased with the battery life. The radio also has a handy indicator that lights up red when the batteries are beginning to run out.

            I have also found that like with digital television the reception changes dependent on where the radio is positioned within my house. The fact that it is easy to move helps to get the best possible signal at the time. Although DAB radio is meant to increase the sound quality to be perfectly frank I have not noticed any difference between fm radio. The only real difference is the fact that I have a much wider choice of station.

            Opinion:

            Overall I am extremely impressed with my Roberts Radio and hope it remains a feature in my kitchen for many years to come. Despite the high price compared to other makes, I would not hesitate to buy another one. I love it so much that I want a second one in a different colour for a different room! Retailing at around £150 dependent on which finish you chose, it costs nearly three times the price of cheaper DAB radios like the Pure range. However, after using the radio for nearly a year with absolutely no problems I would not hesitate to recommend it and believe it is worth the extra money, especially if you fall in love with the design like I did. I would definitely recommend this product, particularly if you want a DAB radio that is simple to use. Although the styling is the main feature of the radio, the sound quality and ease of use does not let the design down.

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            • Tesco Value Clear Honey / Spread / 103 Readings / 102 Ratings
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              29.11.2009 17:42
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              Good value for money, will definitely buy it again.

              I am not a huge fan of honey, but I always have a jar in my cupboard as I use it for cooking now and then, as well as making a nice change from my usual jam on toast. When I was looking for a jar of honey on my last shopping trip, I was really quite bemused by the fact that there seemed to be no middle -priced honey on the shelves. There seemed to be either a lot of very expensive honey, or there was the value honey. As I like to spend as little as humanly possible I decided to give the value honey a try.

              Packaging:

              Tesco Value honey comes in a glass jar with a screw top lid, with the usual vulgar value label around it. The label is large and covers a fair amount of the jar, but you can still see what the honey looks like before you buy it. Tesco currently sell this honey in 340g jars for about 68p so you do get a fair amount of honey for your money!

              Inside the jar:

              The jar is easy enough to unscrew, and once open you immediately get a faint whiff of sweetness. My first impression is that the honey does look incredibly clear with absolutely no bits that have crystallised which I find off putting. It is quite runny which may not be to everybody's taste but I find this very useful for cooking as it is so easy to spoon out of the jar. Unlike with golden syrup which you have to warm the spoon up in order to serve it successfully, with this honey you do not need to do that. It slips off the spoon very easily, without making much of a mess. There is nothing I hate more than when you go to the cupboard to find the jar is all sticky!

              Taste Test:

              As I said earlier I am no honey connoisseur, so I'm not entirely sure what constitutes excellent honey. However, this honey is sweet and has a lovely flavour to it. The honey taste is not particularly strong or overwhelming, but I find the balance is just right. I like the fact that it is not particularly strong as when I cook with it I don't really want the honey to be the main flavour in the meal. Tesco Value honey gives my meals a subtle warm yet sweet flavour which works well. I really don't think a more expensive brand would bring any extra to recipes that I use it for.

              If I'm not cooking with it, I have this spread thinly on toast and again the flavour is sweet and tasty. I also find that a lot really does go a long way, so if you only use it for spreading then a jar will probably last you quite a while. If you only like your honey on bread or toast then I suppose it may be more noticeable that this is a value product, so it may not be for you. However, as I don't have it that often it sufficiently meets all of my needs.

              Summary:

              Overall I think that this honey is very good value for money, particularly if you use it to cook with. I will, without a doubt continue to buy this as it does the job and is one of the cheapest jars you can buy.

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                27.11.2009 18:22
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                Perfect treat now and again.

                Under any normal circumstances I dislike icing, particularly when it is thick, brittle and seems to be more of it than sponge. Therefore in theory, I should not like French Fancies, however being the freak of nature that I am; they are one of my favourite cakes. French Fancies seem to have been around as long as I can remember, but have become more of a feature on supermarket shelves as the Mr. Kipling brand capitalises on each and every seasonal change. First we had the Halloween inspired Fiendish Fancies, then the apt Frosty Fancies that are in the shops this winter. However much I hate this type of marketing, I can't help but fall for it and often end up buying them!

                What exactly are French Fancies?

                Just in case you haven't tried a French Fancy, they are miniature sponge cakes covered in icing, with a small amount of flavoured topping hiding at the top. They are usually sold in packs of eight, coming in three strong colours: pink, yellow and a chocolate brown inspired colour.

                Packaging:

                French Fancies are packaged in a small cardboard box carrying the traditional Mr. Kipling branding. Inside this box, there is then another cardboard tray which is sealed in plastic. For me this is fairly frustrating as I think some of this packaging is unnecessary. At least the outer cardboard box and the inside cardboard tray can be recycled.

                Inside the Box:

                When you initially take the inner cardboard tray out of the box, all eight of the French Fancies are tightly packed two by two in the cardboard sleeve. Each fancy is individually encased in a paper case, so they look very pretty but again I think it is unnecessary. The colours are quite bright and almost clash suggesting a retro 80's vibe. After removing the plastic sleeve the fancies are easy to remove from the box in order to eat.

                The Taste Test:

                After biting into the French Fancy, the most striking thing is the fact that both the icing and the sponge cake beneath it are incredibly soft. The sponge is incredibly moist and with the icing is incredibly sweet. The icing around the sides of the cake is quite thin, but as it is so sweet it really does not need to be any thicker.

                I am quite thankful that each fancy is quite small as if they were any larger, the sweetness would be too overpowering and sickly. There is also no icing on the bottom of the cake, which is good. My favourite part of the cake is the flavoured topping which makes the weird dome shape at the top of the cake. It is a bit like cream and just adds and extra dimension to the flavour.

                Summary:

                Overall, I love indulging in one of these every now and then with a cup of tea. I find this works well as the tea helps to balance the sweetness of the icing. Indulging is definitely the right choice of word to use when eating these, as each small cake has a whopping 106 calories, with 16.6g of that being sugar. This is very scary considering how small each cake is, but for an occasional treat in a balanced diet it makes a nice change. They also look very pretty so are ideal for parties, or failing that they also sell extra large ones as birthday cakes if you are a true French Fancy lover.

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                  22.11.2009 16:13
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                  Not my favourite, but still good wipes.

                  I do not have children, yet I am totally dependent on baby wipes for many aspects of my day to day life. I primarily use them for removing make up as well as mundane things like cleaning, so I do tend to get through a pack quite quickly. I must admit that Johnson's baby wipes are not my brand of preference and would prefer to buy Simple baby wipes. However, Johnson's baby wipes seem to be on offer a lot more than Simple, so it makes financial sense to buy these instead. As I tend to stock up when these are on offer, I use them a lot and have found that they are definitely growing on me!

                  Packaging:

                  Johnson's baby wipes come in a basic pink plastic packet, with a large clear plastic seal that you have to peel away every time you want a wipe. Compared to the Simple wipes which has a plastic lid which you can close properly, the seal on the Johnson's one does have a habit of not resealing particularly well. Instead of the wipes staying fresh, I often find that if I do not make a conscientious effort to reseal the packet then the wipes dry out and become redundant. This isn't a huge problem but is a little bit annoying.

                  Using the wipes:

                  After peeling the plastic seal open the wipes are easy enough to get out of the packet. The hole is sufficiently large enough that you can pinch the wipe with a couple of fingers, making it quite easy compared to some brands. However, I am not going to lie to you and say that the wipes come out one at a time. Quite often, particularly when you get to the end of the packet a whole handful come out at once. This can be quite infuriating mainly because it is difficult to get them back into the pack neatly so they don't get wasted, particularly if you are in a rush. However, as I haven't ever come across a pack of wipes that doesn't do this I'm not inclined to blame Johnson's for this!

                  One of the most noticeable things after taking the wipe out of the packet is the smell. Although they aren't perfumed they still have that typical baby wipe smell. It is quite strong but I find it fairly inoffensive. Another thing that is immediately noticeable is the fact that these wipes are pretty wet. I haven't quite made my mind up about whether I like this or not as you need them to be moist in order to be of any use. Yet, when I use them for removing make up, I don't want them dripping wet so that it goes in my eyes. When this does happen, it does not make my eyes sting but it is annoying none the less. The majority of the wipes seem ok but unlike some wipes, there is not much consistency. Some wipes in a pack can be really too wet, whilst others can be fine.

                  Another difference between these wipes and my normal favourite is the fact that these have a lightly ribbed texture. I don't really find that this adds anything to the way they clean, nor does it irritate my skin. In fact it's quite difficult to even feel the texture when I use it on my face. One advantage that these wipes have over others is that each wipe is fairly large and quite stretchy so you can get your money's worth from each wipe. I have found the wipes are so stretchy it is actually quite difficult to break even though they feel quite thin. This is always good as the last thing you want is to break the wipe and get a finger in your eye by accident.

                  Summary:

                  Overall I find these wipes good value for money when they are on offer. I am not entirely sure I would purchase them at full price unless I was desperate. They are good quality wipes that are effective at both removing make up and cleaning things. Each wipe is soft and does what I need it to do without falling apart. They will never be my favourite brand but they do come a close second, particularly when they are on offer.

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                  • Dairy Crest Clover Spread / Spread / 64 Readings / 64 Ratings
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                    21.11.2009 16:47
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                    Definitely will be buying it again!

                    One of my guilty pleasures is hot toast with plenty of butter. However, we all know that butter isn't very good for us so I am always trying to find something that tastes like butter without the fat content. One of my more recent favourites has been Flora Buttery, however it hasn't been on offer as much as I'd like so I have been trying other brands. One such brand includes Clover, which I was surprised to realise that I have never tried it, especially as I found that I really liked it!

                    Packaging:

                    Unsurprisingly, like a lot of brands of margarine and butter, Clover comes in a yellow plastic carton. The one small difference that makes Clover stand out from its competitors is the shape of the carton, and the lid in particular. Although the design looks quite nice and shapely, I find it is quite impractical as it isn't as easy to match up the lid to the carton as it is on normal rectangular packets. This isn't a huge problem, however there have been a few occasions where I've put the lid back on in a rush and managed to get margarine on the lid and then over the packet as well. The curvature of the lid definitely seems to have an effect on this as this rarely happens with other brands.

                    Inside the Carton:

                    When you take the lid off the butter for the first time there is a protective layer of thin paper. Despite finding it incredibly annoying when certain people in my house decide to use the butter but leave the paper in place, I can see the need for it in the first place. It is a tamper proof device as you can see that nothing untoward has happened to it before you get it.

                    After easily removing this paper, the margarine looks a lovely yellow colour. It is quite deep in colour but not so deep that it looks fake and processed. There isn't much of a smell unless you put your nose right up to the carton and when you do it smells exactly like butter. My packet of Clover was also full right up to the very top of the carton, always a positive as you don't feel like you're being short changed!

                    Spreading the spread:

                    When you attack the spread with a knife, it does seem quite firm. However, it is nowhere near as solid as real butter. It is possible to spread on both toast and bread relatively easily. When you are spreading it on toast it also melts really quickly, which I like as there is nothing I hate more than toast with un-melted butter on it. Once the toast it buttered it looks very rich and buttery compared to some cheaper anaemic looking spreads.

                    The taste test:

                    When I first tasted Clover on my toast I was pleasantly surprised. It really did taste very buttery and I found it more realistic than Flora Buttery. It does taste fairly salty, but not too salty that it leaves you gasping for water for the rest of the day. Out of all the different margarine brands that I have tried, this is most definitely my favourite. It is easily the closest representation of butter that I have ever tasted, and I love it. I have baked with it and it has turned out well, although I can't taste as much as a difference compared to when you have it on toast.

                    Summary:
                    Overall I am extremely satisfied with my purchase of Clover. It is my new favourite and I will undoubtedly be buying it again. Another bonus is the fact that it is suitable for cooking, frying, baking, as well as spreading. The only downside is the fact that it doesn't contain the same heart healthy oils that Flora Buttery does. However, it is still a better option than real butter as it only contains half of the saturated fat that butter does. Despite not being the healthiest option, the taste is enough to make me buy it again.

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                      06.11.2009 13:18
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                      Will be stocking up when it's on offer!

                      I have always loved any product by Nivea, and when I spotted the luxurious sounding Cashmere Moments range of shower gels I knew that I had to try them. The combination of one of my favourite beauty brands with the luxury of cashmere extract sounded like the perfect way to wash! However, with my usual scepticism firmly in place, I diligently waited until it was on offer before making my initial purchase. I'm so glad I did as it made this shower cream so much more of a bargain!

                      Packaging:

                      This product comes in a slim but shapely white plastic bottle with a flip top lid. Everything about this product suggests it is a little more lavish than your average shower gel, including the material of the bottle. This may make me sound a little bit strange, but even the bottle feels silky soft! The metallic touches around the logo and on the word 'cashmere' highlights this even further. The only downside is that the bottle can become difficult to keep hold on to with wet hands. Luckily, the flip top lid is fairly large and easy to open and close, so you don't end up struggling with it for long.

                      Inside the bottle:

                      After flipping the lid, I must admit that the smell isn't as inviting as I had hoped. It smells quite flowery and reminds me of the scented talcum powder that I normally associate with my Grandma. It shouldn't put you off though, as I find the scent completely changes when you use it in the shower. The product is easy to squeeze out, with just the right amount of control over how much comes out. When dispensed the product is pearlescent and so glistens in the light, which adds to the luxury. The Cashmere Extract and Orchid Blossom variety that I tried was slightly peach in colour, again not exactly what I had expected from looking at the purple tones on the front of the bottle.

                      However, the colour is still quite appealing and the thickness of the gel makes up for this. The shower cream is thick enough so that it sits in the palm of your hand without instantly running trying to run away. To me this is always a positive sign as I find that cheaper shower gels are often too runny to be of any use. This is not like this at all and gives you plenty of time to work the product into a lather.

                      Using the product:

                      After dispensing the product, the main benefit of this product becomes immediately apparent. This is that it is extremely soft and velvety. This is noticeable when you pour it onto your hands and becomes even more so when you rub it in. It really is incredibly luxurious and I was surprised at how enjoyable it was to use. I don't think I have ever encountered real cashmere, so it may be a little hard to compare. However, I can see why it is called 'cashmere moments' as it truly was the silkiest shower gel I have ever used. The only downside to this is that I enjoyed using it so much that I used far more than was really needed each time I showered. This is why I was pleased that I bought it when it was on offer as my bottle didn't really last very long.

                      Aside from the incredible silky soft feeling that this shower cream has, the flowery smell that I disliked to begin with changed. When I lathered it up, it became very feminine and quite sweet. It still had flowery tones but these were not as harsh and nasally as they were when I initially sniffed the bottle. In the shower, the fragrance is quite strong, however I find it disappears quite soon after getting out. I think this is a positive factor as I wouldn't want it to clash with any perfume that I wanted to wear.

                      Another benefit that I have found of using this shower cream is the fact that it seems to keep my skin relatively soft. I occasionally suffer from dry skin that can be made worse by some cheaper brands; however, when I use this my skin seems to be well balanced. I'm not sure I would go as far as saying that this actually moisturises my skin, however it doesn't seem to take anything away from it.

                      Overall opinion:

                      Overall, I was extremely impressed with this shower cream and I will continue to buy it, especially when it is on offer. For the price, it is an affordable luxury that makes the chore of washing that bit more enjoyable. After using it I feel clean and really quite pampered, not bad for a relatively cheap product. The only downside for me is that I use a lot of it and go through the bottle very quickly. I could make it last longer as you don't need very much to wash with, but it's so nice I often end up using more. Despite this fact, I would still recommend this product.

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                        01.10.2009 16:17
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                        One of my favourite value products

                        ** The product I am reviewing here is the Tesco Value Foam Bath for 18p, not the Tesco Bath Creme at 79p. I did try and add it to the system but dooyoo said that this was the correct place to review it. **

                        In attempt to both make and save more money, my partner and I took the big decision to relocate and downsize, one of the reasons for my lack of reviews over the past couple of months! One of the sacrifices that I have had to make in the process was having to make do with a less than perfect shower. In fact to be brutally honest, it's pretty pants. So much so, that I nine times out of ten I always opt to have a bath instead. (I know it's not particularly environmentally friendly to bath but the shower really is that bad!) However, this means that I seem to be going through quite a lot of bubble bath that I just cannot afford. Before moving I used to shower daily and bath occasionally, so the cost of bubble bath was not of major concern. I remember once before trying the Tesco Value Foam Bath and seemed to remember that it wasn't too bad so I decided I should give it another go.

                        Packaging:

                        Tesco Value Foam Bath is, as you would expect packaged very simply. It comes in a tall cylindrical plastic bottle, with the traditional blue and white value label around the middle. The bottle is transparent so you can see the foam bath through it. I have absolutely no issue with the design of the bottle even though it is boring and basic.

                        What I do have a slight issue with however, is the material used for the bottle. The bottle is extremely flimsy and really quite inadequate for the weight of the liquid it holds. These bottles are quite large and they each hold 1 litre of bubble bath. I also have issues with the lid, which although slightly stronger does not always screw onto the bottle particularly well. If you do manage to get the cap to screw on, it never seems enough to stop the product leaking if it happens to fall over. I have had numerous occasions when I have unpacked my shopping to find the bottles are sticky all over as the product has leaked everywhere. I can understand the need to cut corners in order to sell the product as cheaply as they do but I think Tesco's could do better in this instance. However, on the plus side the bottle can be recycled.

                        Using the Foam Bath:

                        The bottle is really easy to unscrew as the cap seems to fit easily in the palm of my hand even though it is a little shallow. However, as I have already mentioned it is not as easy to put back on. Despite this issue, the neck of the bottle is generous enough to let the bubble bath flow out easily without having to exert any pressure on the bottle. However, this also means that you have to be careful and watch the amount you are pouring as you can easily end up tipping the whole bottle in!
                        In comparison to the previous blue version that I had tried, this new peachy coloured one smelt a lot more favourable. I am not sure if it is meant to be peach flavoured as there is no indication of the fragrance on the bottle, however this is what it seems to smell of. Again, compared to the previous version this one smells a lot more feminine. Although I personally see this as a huge improvement, many men may disagree as it smells a lot fruitier than it used to. The scent is noticeable, although is in no way overpowering. It fades quite quickly after getting in and I can't seem to smell it after getting out.

                        As with any foam bath I find the best way to get maximum bubbles is to run it directly under the taps and swirl the water around. After following this process I was pleasantly surprised by just how many bubbles were produced. In comparison to more expensive products I really felt that this fared quite well. I was a little concerned that the second I got in the bath that all of the bubbles would instantaneously disappear into thin air. However, this did not happen and the bubbles stayed put long enough to agree that this product was not bad for 18p. I think it is fair to say that you do have to use slightly more liquid to achieve what I think is a good amount of bubbles. However, at only 18p a bottle I don't mind using a bit more. Each bottle still lasts me a good ten to fifteen baths, which is very good value for money. I have often tried expensive bubble baths that have not performed quite so well.

                        Not only did the bubbles smell pleasant they were also kind to my skin. Now, I don't tend to suffer from particularly sensitive skin so it may not be suitable for everybody. The bubbles did not help moisturise my skin or anything like that - and to be honest I would not expect that from a value range. All I can say is that it did not irritate my skin during my bath and afterwards my skin is left feeling clean and normal.

                        Conclusion:

                        Despite all of my negativity surrounding the packaging, I actually quite like this as a foam bath. For 18p, I suppose I should just accept the flimsy bottle and just be more careful with it! I would definitely recommend this to anybody on a tight budget, or those who just want to try a basic bubble bath that does the job. Until I get a better shower sorted out I will without doubt continue to use this.

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                          29.09.2009 11:31
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                          A great introduction

                          About the Author:

                          Judith Kerr is probably most famous for her children's book 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' and the Mog the cat picture books which she has also illustrated. 'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' is the first book in Kerr's autobiographical trilogy, known collectively as 'Out of the Hitler Time'. The following two stories in the collection are 'Bombs on Aunt Dainty' and 'A Small Person Far Away'. Although Kerr's illustrated books are aimed at younger children, this trilogy is better suited to slightly older children.

                          Exposition:

                          'Out of the Hitler Time' fictionalises Kerr's turbulent childhood through the eyes of a young girl named Anna. All three novels chronicle Anna's transition from childhood through to womanhood against a backdrop of the Second World War. The first novel in the collection chronicles the family's well timed and extremely lucky escape from Berlin, across the border to the relative safety of Switzerland. As political events unfold, Switzerland no longer becomes the safe haven that they had been led to believe. Once again the whole family hastily leave the life they have built up in Switzerland for a new life in Paris.

                          This initial jump into the unknown is the making of the family as they all struggle to come to terms with their new life. Firstly, there is the language barrier to overcome. Both siblings seem understandably daunted by the prospect of having to go to school and be taught in a foreign language. Although Max quickly picks up the language, it takes Anna a lot longer before she feels comfortable. The children's difficulties are compounded by their parent's eternal struggle to make ends meet: Anna's father struggles to earn a living by continuing to write in a language not his own, whilst Anna's mother has to learn to cook and sew, something she has never had to do before now.

                          Life continues as normally as possible considering the circumstances and the family begin to view France as home. However, events once again conspire against the family and they are forced to leave everything they knew behind and once again become refugees in the hope of a better life.

                          Style:

                          'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' is written entirely from Anna's perspective. We see everything through her eyes, thus providing a unique viewpoint on events which seem even incomprehensible to adults today. Remarkably, Kerr manages to successfully depict normal everyday life interspersed with the constant unrelenting fear of the Nazi party catching up with them.

                          One prominent example of this inexorable fear that plagues Anna so much so that it causes her nightmares, is when a price if put on her father's head. Unlike her older brother Max, Anna's immaturity comes to the fore when she takes this literally and has visions of Hitler pouring a thousand Marks over her father's head and hence killing him. Anna's childlike innocence and naiveté emphasises the unnecessary trauma that Anna faced simply because she was Jewish.

                          The fact that Anna has to come to terms with the Nazi party wanting her father dead, at an age when she is too young to understand why, says volumes to me. For me this is a turning point in the novel where her childhood innocence has started to erode. This becomes even more apparent by the end of the novel where she is acutely aware of her family's increasing anxiety. Despite feeling the strain of her parent's worries, both Max and Anna's determination to carry on highlights the resilience that children can show during a time of trauma.

                          A large proportion of the text contains direct speech, a common feature in children's stories. However, this shouldn't put people off as I feel it really adds to the success of the story. It highlights how close their family unit is and sheds light on the how their relationship is forced to change and adapt in order to survive. It also brings the sense of action to the fore and reminds us that Max and Anna are at the end of the day just young children.

                          Before starting to re-read this book I was a little worried that it would feel patronising and simple because it was aimed at children. However, the clarity and depth of feeling that Kerr invokes throughout the novel really does make it suitable for a wide range of audiences. Both the nature of the text and the way Kerr weaves the narrative make suitable for such a wide range of readers, both young and old.

                          My opinion:

                          What makes this novel so interesting is the fact that instead of purely focusing on the war years, Anna's story begins in 1933. For me this is really important as it highlights the struggle that was faced by the Jews in years leading up to the outbreak of war. This is vital as a lot of people know a lot about the actual war years but often forget that Hitler started his campaign against the Jews as soon as he was elected as Chancellor in 1933. By the time war is declared Anna and her family had already been forced out of Germany, Switzerland and later Paris.

                          Although the events of the novel are based on Kerr's own experiences during the Hitler years, this is not a historical novel. As such there is a distinct lack of any formal time markers. It is only at the beginning of the novel that we learn it is 1933 after Anna overhears adults having a conversation that '1933 will be worst of all'. Although this can be slightly frustrating at times, it gives the novel credibility as children are not aware of time and dates in the same way that adults are. As it is not written in a diary format like the famous 'Anne Frank's Diary', it would seem very strange to have exact times and dates running throughout the narrative.

                          Despite the authenticity that this provides, it can be frustrating as an adult reader wanting to compare Anna's experiences to the historical timeframe. For me, this is the only negative of the book and comes about through my own curiosity. I find Anna's story extremely interesting, but this fascination is not quenched by the story. I have a burning desire to find out more, and would like to have known a lot more about her experiences. I think that no matter how much detail was included I would always still want to know more. In many respects you could say that this is a success of the book that it made me want to know more.

                          Summary:

                          Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. It is an excellent introduction for children who are learning about the Second World War, or for an adult interested in reading a child's perspective of the events. Despite my curiosity to know more, I am eternally grateful that she has made the horror of Nazi Germany accessible to a younger audience. If it were not for my experiences reading this book as a teenager, I may not have discovered other heart-rending stories of war-torn lives. I feel strongly that everybody should be made aware of the past to ensure it is never again repeated and Kerr's novel provides the perfect base to explore this vast subject.

                          Title: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
                          Author: Judith Kerr
                          ISBN: 978-0007274772
                          Publisher: Harper Collins
                          Pages: 240

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                            27.09.2009 20:54
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                            Better than I thought it would be

                            Like a lot of people I really struggle with snacking in the evening after my dinner. I was bought up in a household where pudding was a daily occurrence and it's a habit that no matter how hard I try I just cannot shake. Even if I stuff myself to bursting point during dinner I can't resist having a mouthful of something sweet to finish off my dinner. Therefore I am constantly on the lookout for cheap sweet treats to satisfy my cravings. After trying Tesco's Value Mousse and not being too impressed I wasn't too eager to try these. However at only 25p for the four pots I thought it was a worthwhile gamble.

                            Packaging:

                            Like all of the products in the range, these basic mousses carry the same white and orange basics branding. They look extremely basic and boring, but inoffensive none the less. Unlike in the photograph, the pots that I have bought are plain white, with all of the information on the foil lid. The lids carry all of the necessary nutritional information, including the use by date in a fairly large print. I find this handy as it can often be difficult to find the use by date let alone read it as well. Overall, for the price I definitely cannot argue about the packaging, as it does the job it needs to.

                            Getting to the good stuff:

                            The four pots are very easy to snap apart from each other, and so far they have all come apart perfectly. Being a bit of a clumsy person I am always wary that products like these don't snap completely and I'll end up ripping my hands to shreds on the plastic. However, it's safe to say that this has not happened so far with this product.

                            After snapping off a single pot or two if you're feeling a little greedy, all you have to do is remove the foil lid to get to the good stuff. The foil lid is very simple to remove, and it has always come off in one whole piece, which is handy if you're in a rush. The only slightly annoying thing that I have noticed is that there is always some residue of the mousse on the underside of the lid.

                            The Taste Test:

                            Unlike some other value mousses that I have tried, this offering from Sainsbury's immediately looks and smells appetising. In my opinion the mousse looks exactly as a mousse should: it looks like it has 'set', there are air bubbles and it looks a lovely rich dark chocolately colour. It may not sound particularly appealing but to me it does look exactly as it should.

                            My favourite way to enjoy these is to take them out of the fridge a couple of minutes before I plan to eat them so that it can come to room temperature. I'm not sure why, but when I eat them straight from the fridge all of the flavour disappears and it just tastes like cold mush. However, when it has warmed up slightly the chocolate flavour really comes through. In general the mousse definitely tastes of chocolate. It is a rich flavour that lingers on the tongue rather than immediately evaporating.

                            What I like most about these mousses apart from the taste is the generous portion. Unlike other value brands which seem quite stingy in their offerings, this is not. If it weren't for the basic packaging I honestly do not know whether I could tell the difference between this and a more premium brand.

                            Summary:

                            Overall, I would definitely recommend these Sainsbury's Mousse's. Unless I manage to kick my sweet tooth out, I am sure these will be a regular feature in my fridge. At 94 calories and 3.8g of fat there are definitely worse treats out there.

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                              25.09.2009 10:12
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                              More than just a shower gel

                              Ever since I first heard about Imperial Leather's Foamburst Shower and Shave I have always been quite desperate to try it. The promised luxury of both the product and its packaging has always appealed to me. However, money or should I say the lack of it has always dictated my choice in shower gel. Despite longingly looking at this product on the shelves for many years I have always felt the price was just too exorbitant for what it was. However my resolve recently crumbled and I decided to splurge out and give it a go.

                              Packaging:

                              Unlike traditional shower gels, this comes in a type of aerosol can. The can is curved and very shapely which adds to the luxurious feel. They are colour co-ordinated to match the aroma of the gel inside. For example, I have the whipped cocoa butter and vanilla variety and the packaging is a creamy vanilla colour. To dispense the product you have to remove a plastic safety mechanism which covers the pump. This is a little bit tricky especially when you have wet hands. In many respects the packaging both looks and feels more like a can of shaving foam rather than a shower gel.

                              Using the product:

                              After the safety device has been removed the product is very easy to dispense. You literally just press down on the top of the plastic part and the product is dispensed out of a small nozzle on the side. At first I was a little unsure as to how much is required to produce the amount of foam that is shown on the advert. This is mainly because the product promises a minimum of 40 washes per unit and each wash effectively producing 'mounds of rich and creamy lather'. As with most products I was incredibly sceptical and thought that this sounded too good to be true, but thankfully I was quite wrong.

                              I very quickly discovered that for just washing only a small amount of the gel was required. I was really quite shocked at how well the product foamed up. When the product is dispensed it does look exactly like shaving gel, but as soon as you rub it between your hands it quickly turns white and begins to foam up. It doesn't magically transform into 'mounds' of foam as the packaging suggests but after working it over the skin the foam does build up and seems to last quite a while. It is thick enough that it does take a while to rinse off. Often with cheaper gels, they very rarely stay on your skin long enough to be rinsed off. I found this a good point as I felt cleaner than if I had of just used a normal shower gel.

                              The fact that the gel is so thick also made it excellent for shaving with as the product suggests. As the product is basically just a scented shaving gel, it is perfect for shaving as it is thick enough to prevent any nicks and cuts from a razor. Since purchasing my can I have frequently used it to shave my legs and have found it equally, if not better to any ladies shaving gel that I have tried before.

                              The packaging also claims that the gel is 'nourishing' for the skin, however this is the one part that I do have an issue with. I would not go as far as saying that this product improved or nourished my skin. Yes, the product was silky smooth and creamy enough that it did not aggravate it at all, however it did not nourish or moisturise. I was also quite pleased with the fragrance of the gel, as it smelt very sweet. As I had opted for the whipped cocoa butter and vanilla I was hoping that it would smell good enough to eat. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it smelt very sweet and not at all chemically. One downside for me is that the scent just does not last long enough. As soon as you get out of the shower, the smell has near enough vanished. This can however, be a good thing if you plan on wearing any other fragrance or perfume after showering.

                              Conclusion:

                              Overall I was very impressed by this product, and am very tempted to try the other varieties that they sell. I still see this as a luxury purchase and don't think it will become a permanent feature in my bathroom. However, I love the fact that it has a dual purpose and can be used for showering and shaving. I was also extremely impressed by how long the product lasted, as my can has lasted well over a month and I use it daily to wash with. My purchase has definitely lived up to the claim of a minimum of 40 washes per can. I would however suggest that if you plan on using it to shave your legs with every day it obviously will not last quite as long. Therefore may not provide quite the same value for money.

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                              • Savlon Antiseptic Cream / First Aid / 67 Readings / 65 Ratings
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                                24.09.2009 10:57
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                                A main stay of my first aid box.

                                As a child I was particularly accident prone, to put it bluntly I was clumsy. In fact if you asked my partner he would say that things haven't changed much today! I'm forever banging into things, stubbing my toes, and being a danger to myself in general. Instead of trying to fix the cause of my clumsiness by paying more attention to what I am doing, I opt to have a well stocked first aid box covering every possible outcome. I like to be prepared and without doubt one of my main stays of my first aid box has to be Savlon Antiseptic Cream.

                                The Packaging:

                                Unlike some products, the Savlon branding and packaging have remained very much the same throughout the years. Savlon still comes in the very distinctive blue box with white writing and looks remarkably like the Savlon that I remember from my childhood. Inside the box the tube of cream fits snugly so there is no other unnecessary packaging. The tube has a screw cap which is fairly easy to unscrew. It is large enough so that if you should need to undo it with only one hand it is possible - I have even had occasion to test this theory out! Therefore if you need to apply this cream to an injury on your hand and no one else is about to help, it is not an impossible task.

                                Inside the Tube:

                                After unscrewing the cap, there is a large nozzle which allows a fair amount of cream to be squeezed out. The body of the tube is made out of a lightweight plastic which again makes the process of squeezing the cream out really easy. It is also easy to control the amount of cream that you require, so no unnecessary wastage. When the cream comes out of the tube it is very white with a slight sheen to it. As the nozzle of the tube is also white it can be difficult to differentiate between the tube and the cream.

                                After just squeezing out a tiny amount of cream the very unique smell can be quite overpowering. The smell is very difficult to describe but does smell antibacterial and quite cleansing. However, as it is quite a pungent smell it may not be for everybody. Personally, I find the smell quite comforting and get a real wave of nostalgia as it really does remind me of when I was a child.

                                Applying the cream:

                                What I like most, apart from the comforting smell of course is the fact that Savlon can be used for so many different 'minor skin disorders' without forgetting first aid uses as well. According to the box Savlon cream can be used for: cuts and grazes, insect bites and stings, minor burns and scalds, blisters and sores, chapped skin, nappy rash, spots and blackheads and sunburn amongst other ailments. Despite my clumsiness I have not had the opportunity to test out the cream on each and every one of these ailments but I will explain my experiences with the cream.

                                When I was a child my father would always use Savlon on the many cuts and grazes that I accrued whilst growing up. At the time I was always terrified that the cream would sting, and to be fair on some of the more serious cuts, it did initially sting a little. However, this soon passed and the cream actually helped to stop the pain. All of my cuts healed perfectly and I never once got an infection through them. I truly believe that Savlon was beneficial in the healing process.

                                More recently, I have had cause to use Savlon when I badly scalded my hand. I had accidently touched the hot plate on my oven and badly burned the tips of my fingertips. The burn was not serious enough to see a doctor but was serious enough that I had trouble using my hand for a couple of days. After immediately rushing to the sink I ran my hand under the cold tap and then sat with it for about half an hour in a sink full of cold water. This really helped numb the pain whilst my hand was in the water. However the second I took it out the pain became almost unbearable and seemed worse than it had done before I ran it under the tap.

                                As I was not lucky enough to be able to spend all day with my hand in the sink I had to find an alternative. Luckily my boyfriend was on hand and suggested Savlon. After liberally coating my fingers in the cream I could finally breathe a sigh of relief as the pain dulled significantly. Honestly, in this instance without Savlon I would have been in a lot more pain and I do not know how I would have been able to carry on my day. This instance has cemented my belief in the importance of being prepared!

                                Aside from first aid emergencies like this, I regularly use Savlon as a hand cream when I don't have any other to hand. I like how quickly it sinks into the skin and really does soothe it. If my skin is particularly chapped and sore I know I can trust it to not sting or burn when it is applied. The antibacterial properties are also reassuring and give you peace of mind against getting an infection.

                                Conclusion

                                Overall, I would truly recommend Savlon to everybody. I was initially worried that I would not use it all up before the sell by date but the fact that it has so many uses makes it a worthwhile purchase. Savlon is available in three sizes, 15g, 30g and the larger 60g and the prices range accordingly. I usually opt for the 30g which costs around £1.70. For me and the peace of mind I get from having it in the cupboard, the price is very good value for money. After my recent accident I will definitely ensure that I always have some in the house just in case!

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                                  06.04.2009 21:20
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                                  I'll be buying these again.

                                  A couple of years ago I lost quite a serious amount of weight, nearly five stone to be exact. I knew I'd put a lot of it back on but I was always happy with the knowledge that I hadn't put it all back on. Even though I knew I was putting it back on I kept telling myself that it was all ok because I still was not as big as I was back then. I was in serious denial and probably would have carried on with the same bad habits until something serious happened. Part of my denial meant that I avoided looking in full length mirrors and I never weighed myself. However, sometime last week I had the urge to weigh myself out of sheer curiosity. I don't think I have ever been so shocked in my entire life, as I looked down and saw the number I'd been dreading. I had put every single pound that I previously lost back on and some. I could not believe that I had let myself get back into that position and I cried and cried at the thought of me having to go through the difficult and long journey that is losing weight all over again.

                                  After the initial shock, I calmed down and tried to sort my head out so I could prepare myself to start watching what I eat. I decided the only way to keep the weight off for good was to go back to basics and eat as healthily as I could as well as exercising. However, I knew I wouldn't be able to completely change my diet overnight and began looking for healthier snacks to keep me going until I had got my cravings under control and gained some willpower. One of my biggest weaknesses is definitely crisps and chocolate so I began looking for a suitable replacement. Whilst browsing the range of Snack- a -Jack products I came across a multipack of chocolate flavoured popcorn. I was a bit dubious at first as I'd never tried chocolate flavoured popcorn and was not sure if the two would work together. However, I have been rather pleasantly surprised.

                                  The Packaging:

                                  It seems Dooyoo have put the wrong picture up there. The picture shows the flat rice cakes, instead of the popcorn that comes in bags like crisps packets. The individual bags are smaller in size than a normal bag of crisps as they are more of a square shape. I think they look quite cute and dinky! On the front of the bag there is the newish snackajacks logo, which looks a lot more modern than it did when they were first produced. The logo is written in white and contrasts well to the lovely purple background. The background is littered with a flowery design which looks modern and is definitely geared towards a female audience. The back of the packet contains all of the nutritional information and also a section known as the 'Karma Snacker'. This is just a light hearted cartoon showing a different 'position' to enjoy your snack in. Every pack shows a different 'position', with the tagline that it 'may seriously improve your snack life'.

                                  Inside the bag:

                                  Opening the bag is incredibly easy, especially if you're hungry and eager to get in! The bag is made out of foil so the contents are always nice and fresh. When I opened my first bag of this I literally had to do a double take because I was not expecting the popcorn to look the way it did. The actual popcorn looks very pale and almost anaemic looking which contrasts to the darkness of the chocolate covering. I think I should point out that the chocolate does not really look anything like real chocolate and more like chocolate flavoured coating. The bag is more than half full, which looks disappointing at first, yet when you start eating the portion seems quite sufficient. Overall the popcorn looks quite disconcerting at first but you soon get over it once you start eating.

                                  The taste test:

                                  If you can get past the strange look and actually eat some of the popcorn then you will be rewarded with a lovely flavoursome snack. The most overwhelming flavour is definitely chocolate and I was surprised at how strong and tasty it was. On the front of the bag the flavour is described as 'chocolate flavour toffee', however I find it difficult to taste the toffee. It is very chocolately and after not having any chocolate for days it was a welcome snack. The flavour also works well with the texture of the popcorn, which I found to be not too crunchy. There were also very few unpopped bits which I was pleased about as they always get stuck in my teeth. Another minor fault is that every time I get to the end of the packet there are always a lot of small broken bits that are difficult to eat. It suggests that the popcorn can get squashed easily so it's probably best to take care if you're planning on taking a bag with you.

                                  Summary:

                                  Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this snack. I would definitely recommend this product particularly if you are trying to watch your weight. They are slightly more expensive than crisps but well worth the money in my opinion. If you are not so bothered about your weight then I would say that there are better things out there, like real chocolate! My packet of with 23g contains 83 calories and 2.3g of fat. In terms of calories these are very good considering it tastes so good, however it is also has 6.9g of sugar which I feel is very high. However if you're eating a healthy diet this should do no harm as an occasional snack. It is also important to note that the packaging states that it is suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs.

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