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For the first couple of weeks after having my daughter I stayed and a size 12-14. She's now just over 3 months old and I'm back down to an 8, unfortunately I still have some droopy saggy bits like my arms, thighs, ect.
Before my pregnancy I used to do a lot of things to stay fit, I've tried various workout dvd's, the wii fit, dancing around to music and yoga. After giving birth I decided to have a couple months chill time and then I would start exercising again. I went on a bit of a hunt for a new dvd that I could try.
I found The Pussycat Dolls Workout on Amazon for £7 with free delivery. I have to admit that what drew me to it most were the 5 incredible dancers bodies on the cover. Obviously the dancers have been doing this for many years so obviously I'm not deluded enough to think that a week of doing the dvd and I'd have the same abs and teeny tiny little waists.
As soon as the dvd came I decided to sit down and watch it through before attempting as dance workouts tend to be quite complicated. After watching it I thought I'd try it. After the warm-up I was exhausted. This may be partly to do with my lack of exercise for the past year. The warm-up compromises of dance moves like rolling the hips and shoulders in a circle, squats, punches, marching and a couple of other bits. Its not very long, probably about 15 minutes but it really does seem to be effective and it's definitely simple enough for even the most un-danciest of people to pick up after a couple of times. I find the warm-up so good that if I don't have much spare time in the day I just go through that and forget about the rest of the dvd and I still feel energised.
The routine for the song Don't Cha takes a few run throughs to pick up and admittedly I did have to stand and watch what the dancers were doing before I could pick it back up. It's very good and although you are not told which part of the body each move will work after doing it you feel as though everything has had a good stretch.
There are 2 more routines to learn, a burlesque dance (you need to do this with a scarf or something) and the Buttons routine. The lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls features in the Buttons routine.
After each practice for the routines there is then a performance of the dance you have just learned. Although when all the sections you have learned are put together its only about 30 seconds but this is done over and over again throughout a song.
I find this DVD really fun, fast-paced, energetic and just complicated enough. I don't feel it is a bad thing that the routines are quite short and that there is only 3 (5 including the warm-up and cool-down) as I can only physically manage the warm-up, one routine and the cool-down each time I use it, I should be able to do more the longer I do it. Also as the routines are short they are very memorable. I've actually put the music onto my phone and whenever I have a spare 2 minutes I play a song and go through the dances a couple of times. Obviously as they are so memorable it may get a little boring after a while but I plan to buy the second dvd when this happens, learn those routines and then alternate between the 2.
I love this DVD and feel that many of the other reviews are quite unfair and unrealistic about it. The only complaints I have seen is that the members of the pop group The Pussycat Dolls are not in the dvd and that people are not seeing a difference in the shape of their bodies.
Not seeing a difference in the body is something I find really silly. It can sometimes take a long time to make a noticeable difference and obviously this is only achieved if combined with a healthy diet and more than just this for exercise each day. I've been doing it for a couple weeks and although I can see no difference I definitely feel much better and healthier. My boyfriend has also made a comment about the fact that although my stomach has not got any smaller it has started getting slightly harder so the toning up is working :)
I also don't understand why people are complaining about the lack of Pussycat Doll in the DVD. The Pussycat Dolls began as a burlesque/dance troupe of women who performed in high-end nightclubs followed by broadway. The group was started by Robin Antin, although she did not put her-self into the pop group or the actual show when it began to get more popular she has remained the choreographer behind every dance. She has not only created all the dances in the workout but she also stars in it. The girls who dance with her are Pussycat dolls they are just not part of the pop group that Robin Antin put together after the success of her shows. Nowhere on the DVD case does it promise that the pop group members will be featured other than the lead singer who appears for a performance of Buttons. The dances are very similar to the actual routines that the dancers use for the songs and people have also moaned about this, however, the same people have said how complicated the workout is. If it featured the actual dances then it would much more complicated and difficult.
The only downside to this DVD that I have found is the fact that until you become fluid and confidant with the routines you do look a bit of a narna with all the hip shaking and grinding. Its also not something I think younger people should watch or attempt as there is a lot of bum spanking and the burlesque routine is quite raunchy.
Also, while I'm thumping around looking a bit of a tit the girls on the DVD are still hair and makeup perfection with the tiniest little outfits and the most amazing bodies so it leaves me feeling more clumsy elephant than sexy pussycat.
I brought the Dettol Anti-Bacterial Surface Cleaner spray for the same reason I'm sure most other people do, this is its claim to kill 99.9% of all bacteria rather than just cover it. It also aparantly kills 90% of all allergens including pollen particles, dust mites and pet deander. I suffer with very bad asthma and my biggest allergies that set me off on an attack is pollen and dust mites so that is important to me. The other reason I brought it was because it is such a reasonable price for such a respected and trusted brand name. I think its on sale at a few places at the moment for about £1 for a 500ml bottle but the most I think I've seen it sold anywhere is for just over £2. There are a many lesser known brands that charge a lot more than this and personally I trust dettol so I'd even be happy to pay a bit more.
I use multi-purpose surface sprays because I don't like having hundreds of jars and bottles in my cleaning cupboard when I could just get one that does it all, I use this spray everywhere. I can clean the bathroom, the kitchen sides, the cabinet doors, all the electrical goods in the kitchen including the toaster and the fryer and I will sometimes spray a little bit onto a cloth and use it to wipe the marks that the boyfriend leaves on the walls when he gets his bike out.
The spray can be brought from pretty much any shop that sells cleaning goods. Asda, Tesco and all those kinds of stores along with a lot of discount and pound shops. I think it can even be brought from some Icelands and they are not really known for household products.
The bottle is made from clear plastic, I find this very useful as I can always tell at a glance how much there is still to use or if I need to buy some more. There is a label covering the majority of the front of the bottle with the brand name, logo and a small amount of product information on it. The spray itself is a completley clear, colourless liquid which is still but will bubble if you shake it, this is probably not advised. You can see the tube that the spray travels through and this connects to a large blue plastic lid which is in turn attatched to a small red nozzle. The packaging is very simple but by no means unpleasant.
The bottle does state all the usual information such as its credentials, trusted by doctors, british allergy foundations seal of approval, ect, not to freeze, to keep away from children, its safety around food preperation areas and safety precautions like what to do if it gets in your eyes or you swallow it. The bottle does also say that it contains no bleach, no taint and no odour.
To use the spray you just turn the red nozzle so that it says on and spray a couple of squirts onto a surface. If its just a quick clean then you can wipe it off straight away with kitchen roll or a clean cloth. If its a bit more dirty than that, for example, if I fry food the oil will often spill out and get stuck to the surface, I refuse to clean the kitchen until I've eaten so by the time I get to it its often stuck, just spray the dettol onto it, leave it for a couple of minutes and then wipe away with a cloth. Sometimes you will need to leave the spray on for a bit longer, it really does depend what mess you are trying to clean.
I have absolutly no problems with this spray. Obviously I have no way of proving the 99.9% of bacteria claim but for some reason I do believe that it does this. Its not often that I trust a products claims wholeheartedly but my house always feels much cleaner after using it. This is much more gentle than a lot of other surface cleaners including some others in the dettol range and as it contains no bleach its perfectly safe to use anywhere. When my daughter is born and begins using a highchair I'll have no worries in using in on that.
It can also last ages even though I use it on so much because you don't need much each time to do the job.
My only teeny tiny thing about this product is that if you use enough of it then you will begin to be able to smell it. This isnt a problem for me as I'm a bit of a weirdo and love the smell of bleach and dettol, In my opinion the stronger the smell the better but this would probably make it less safe and children friendly, the smell really is minimal and you do have to use quite a bit and leave it on the surface for a little while but it is there.
I would recommend this to anyone, its safe and gentle enough to be used around children and although I have really sensitive skin on my hands it has never bothered that either. Also, it makes the home just feel cleaner. All of those who like nothing better than a clean home will know what I mean by that :)
Before I moved into my flat with the boyfriend I hated any kind of cleaning at all. Basically because I knew that if I left it long enough then my mum would get fed up and she would clear up all the mess. Now that I have my own home I spend as much time as possible cleaning it, I actually find it really relaxing. Whenever I'm stressed out about something I'll go and scrub the kitchen or something. I'm also really weird and love the smell of hoovered carpets and get really exited when I find a new cleaning product that I have not used before.
The first thing that you notice when you walk into someone else's home is how it smells. It could be the most beautiful, tidy place you've ever been to but if it smells horrible then you just won't want to stay there. For this reason I really like to get products which will give my home a really nice smell.
I saw the 1001 No Vac Carpet and Upholstery Freshner on sale in Wilkinsons. I'm not sure how much the sale price but I have had a look at a couple of websites and it seems that places like Wilkinsons, Asda, Tesco, ect, sell it within the £2.50 to £3 price bracket so have a look around and see where you can get it cheapest.
As far as I know the product comes in 3 fragrences, these are gentle breeze, spring rain and summer flower. There is also a much stronger version of the carpet freshner specifically designed to mask pet smells. This particular review will be about the summer flower fragranced product as it is the one that I always use.
The product comes in a tall white aerosol can, it is on the Asda website for £2.52 for 300ml and this seems to be at the lower end of the price scale. The lid to the can is a deep blue and this looks like it is joining onto the 1001 blue logo that goes vertically down the top part of the can. The 1001 itself is in yellow writing. Underneath this it has the name of the product, the fact it is a carpet and upholstery freshner and then there is a small round picture of a pink flower, the picture is different dependant on the fragrance you have brought. It then says Summer Flower in pink lettering so that you can identify the smell.
The product promises to eliminate trapped odours without needing to hoover. It claims to "target and destroy tough and lingering odours. Treats everyday smells from pets, tobacco and cooking"
This spray is incredibly easy to use, although the product information says that there is no need to hoover I use this a couple of times a week at the end of my cleaning routine. I hoover through and then spray this lightly over each carpet.
The first time I used it I was shocked and horrified looking at my newly white carpet when it had been brown seconds before, this is because the actual cleaning product is quite a thick white foam, you shake the can and point the nozzle bit at the carpet from a standing up position and then spray it evenly over the whole carpet. The sight of so much white really did worry me and I thought that it might stay like that all day. However, within seconds the foam started to dissapear, it had soaked in completely within about a minute leaving no marks and absolutly no sign that anything had even touched the carpet aside from the fact it was a little damp for about 30 minutes. It may take longer to fully dry if you have one of those really nice, thick, fluffy carpets that I can only dream of owning :)
Once all the foam had properly soaked in I had a sniff, the smell from this is lovely and sometimes I'll use it even when I don't need to clean just because I love the smell. Its subtle and realistic enough that I've had guests who have thought that I had just put flowers out in my home rather than just cleaned up. Its really sweet and floral and just lovely. After I had been sat in the room for about 10 minutes I couldnt really smell it anymore and was really dissapointed. However, a couple of hours later when I got up to go to the toilet and then went back into the room the smell hit me as I opened the door so it did last quite a long time, it was just that by nose got used to it fairly quickly :)
I would definetly agree with the claims that the product does make, I can't say if it helps with pet odours as all I have is a hamster but my partner is a smoker, he only smokes in the office as I don't go in this room very often due to having quite bad asthma. Although he will only do it with the window open the door is always shut so the smoke does not filter into the rest of the flat, this means that the whole room can start to smell quite stale after a couple of days so I'll go in and give the carpet a quick hoover and spray, this removes all traces of cigarette smoke and makes the room smell lovely and fresh again.
Also, as I do have asthma I can sometimes struggle with products like this because some smells or fumes can be quite strong. With this however I can use it with the windows shut and it doesnt affect me at all which is great.
I would definetly recommend this product to anyone who likes a nice smelling home, its fairly cheap but if like me you use it in every room the can won't last more than a couple of weeks, perhaps a month so its something worth stocking up on if you ever come across it on sale. I love this as it makes such a difference to the home but is so quick and simple to use, you literally stand there for a couple of seconds and shoot foam around.
I used kiddicare.com on Saturday to order a carseat and a changing mat. I was very happy with the prices that I paid for these, the carseat was £59.99 and the changing mat was £9.99. The products seemed to be very well made, we were determined to use an established name for the carseat as this is one of things that needs to keep the baby safe.
The website is very easy to find, just type kiddicare into google and a the first link will be the one for the websites homepage. You can create an account if you wish, this and logging in can be done at the very top of the webpage, the options to do this, track your order, sort returns, connect to a social networking site such as twitter and facebook, search by brand or searching using a key term or item name are on the right of the Kiddicare.com logo inside a darker purple box, to the right of this again is your basket which keeps a running total of items you are purchasing and the overall cost. It also gives you the option to checkout.
It is very easy to find what you are looking for on the website, if you know exactly what it is you want then you can search for it and the site will bring up either that exact product or a number of categories that the product may be in. If you are more interested in browsing the site then this can be done using the drop down menu's underneath the kiddicare.com logo, these are present on every page you go onto so it you don't need to keep going back to the homepage everytime you want to find something new.
The website is split into a lot of categories. For example, to get to the birth to 12 month carseats you will need to use the drop down menu carseats, carriers. You then select birth to 12 month. The page will now display all of the birth to 12 month carseats. Along the left hand side there are advanced search options. You can search by colour, by package, by brand, by price, by customer rating or by sale category. Also along the left hand side they have recommended products in the category you have chosen, I tend to ignore these on the kiddicare website as they are only ever the more expensive items on the site.
At this stage you will see a list of products that match your search options, each of these show a picture, the full name of the product, the age it is suitable for, a sentence of a customer review, overall customer star rating, the option to compare it with others, the price from kiddicare, the RRP, how much you are saving and the option to put it into your basket. Once you have found the product you most like the look of just click on the name and it will open up full product information on a new page.
The product information page is always very extensive on the Kiddicare site. It will tell you literally everything about the product. A brief description, features, specifications, related products and customer reviews.
I think that the customer reviews on this website are one of the best parts of it, they are always well detailed and provide information that the site does not think important enough to put on. For example, I have been told that when my baby is born she is going to be much smaller than average, because of this we were looking for something with a lot of extra support and the car seat we have chosen for her has full body inserts of different sizes starting from very small, we only knew this because of the customer review.
After choosing the items that I wanted to buy I just clicked onto the checkout option, it will then take you to a page to review your basket, when you are sure that everything is correct you can go ahead with the purchase. There are a few different payment options given on the site like paypal, credit or debit card or entering a promotional code, I think that you can also order over the phone. I brought my items using paypal. All I had to do was put in my paypal account details and the delivery and billing address and the payment went right through.
It is roughly £5 to pay for express delivery with the website but I opted out of this and instead just chose the free option, because of this I was not expecting to recieve my order (that I placed on Saturday) for at least a week. I was pleasantly surprised however when I recieved a text message on Sunday night telling me that my order was on its way and I would recieve another text when it was closer. I did not get another text but luckily I was home all day on Monday so I was there when the items were delivered.
After taking them out of the box I am very happy that they look exactly as they did on the website, everything is clean and in perfect condition and the car seat has even come with 2 free sun visors for car windows, I was not expecting these.
Overall I am very happy with the quick and incredibly easy kiddicare.com website and would whole heartedly recommend it to anyone. Take a bit of time to read the customer reviews as you will often get a lot of additional information and don't bother with the express delivery. Mine came just as quickly using the free option.
I find the prices on this website to be incredibly reasonable especially considering the excellent quality of the products.
If I encounter a problem with either of my items I will be contacting kiddicare about it and will update this review accordingly.
Okay so Preparation H gel is actually made to be used to soothe and treat piles or that H word that means the same thing but I can't actually spell :)
I didn't buy mine for this, nor have I ever had piles to use it on although I understand that it is a very common problem. I was actually advised to purchase this by some professionals after I got my first tattoo done, the gel is supposed to moisturise, soothe, cool and hydrate sore and itchy skin which makes it perfect for newly tattooed skin.
I brought a 50g tube of this for £5.61, this is quite expensive but it should last you until the tattoo is fully healed, also, it is much cheaper than specialist creams or gels for tattoos. Please don't be tempted to use savlon, vasaline or any other of these cheaper gels as they can sometimes draw the colour our of the tattoo whilst it is healing leaving it dull and faded. It can be brought from pretty much any health and beauty shop or anywhere like Asda, Tesco and Morrisons so shop around and see where you can find it cheapest.
The tube comes in a small box which contains an instruction manual, obviously this isnt really much good if you are using it for the same purpose I did so I just kind of ignored it. I'm not sure on the exact list of ingrediants but I do know that it contains witch hazel and is suitable for use throughout pregnancy.
The tube is sealed with a screw top and some tin foil covering the hole whch must be peirced. You will need to squeeze quite hard to get any out as the gel is very thick although not unpleasant to touch. It is completly clear and has no smell. I always kept this in a drawer so it was at room tempreture but the tube itself kept the gel very cold.
You are supposed to wait a few hours before you remove the clingfilm from a new tattoo and about 12-24 hours before you apply anything. By the time I put it on my skin had tightened, was very itchy and very uncomfortable. It was like an instant relief, as soon as the gel touched my skin it cooled it down and stopped the itching. Also, it didn't feel aywhere near as tight and I was able to sit down comfortably again. As the tattoo is near my hip where the skin creases when you sit I had been finding this akward.
I used the gel every couple of hours but only applied a thin coating. I honestly can't sing its praises enough and it was sometimes hard not to use it too often, I had been advised against this. After a few days the skin began to scab over, I continued to use it when this happened as when the scab began to crack it was quite painful. I actually didnt stop using the gel until there was no uncomfort at all.
I was very very happy with this gel for soothing my skin and stopping the tattoo for itching, I know that this is not the purpose that it is intended for but if it works that well soothing skin on my hip then I can't see why it wouldnt be just as effective elsewhere. It also doesnt even leave marks on clothes let alone stains so you don't need to worry about using this whilst wearing your favourite top.
I would 100% recommend this for healing a tattoo as I have seen friends when they have used products such as Savlon and they have lightened in colour much quicker than mine which is a few years old and still almost as vibrant as when it was first done. I cannot recommend this for use against piles as I have not used it for that but I would say that it is worth a try as the cooling sensation you get as soon as it touches your skin is wonderful.
I'm going to do this review a bit differently, I don't know how its going to be recieved so feel free to let me know :)
I've just used the Silikia Re-Gen oil for the first time so this initial post will be more describing the product ect, then every couple of weeks I'll update to let you know if and how it is actually making any difference. This way I will know exactly how long it takes to start actually making a difference. Its going to be a bit of a diary :)
I'm almost 37 weeks pregnant and the boyfriend pointed out a couple of days ago that I've started to get a few stretch marks on the tops of my thighs, I had a look and realised that although they are quite small they are a very dark purple. I brought the Silkia Re-Gen Oil from Asda for £6.50 for a bottle of 125ml, this does seem a bit expensive as that works out at £5.20 for 100ml, however, bio-oil, which is the most well known of this type of product works out at about £9.92 for 100ml. For this reason I went with the Silkia Re-Gen oil as I think spending £9.92 just 100ml of something when I don't even know if it works is a little extreme.
The Silkia Re-Gen oil comes in sizes of 75ml, which costs £3.76, 125ml, which costs £6.50 and it also comes as a tub of cream, this is £4.97 for 125ml. Of course these prices may vary but thats how much it will cost you if you buy from Asda.
The oil comes in a white box that is big enough to fit the bottle in without any extra room so there is no excess packaging, on the box it claims that the oil is specialist care for stretch marks, scars, dry skin and blemished skin and that it has been dermatalogically tested. It also may be important to you that the product has not been tested on animals. The box does have instructions in it so any queries are probably covered in this.
I will post the list of ingrediants but honestly all I've done is copy and paste it from the website:
Paraffinum Liquidum , Triisononanoin , Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate , Isopropyl Myristate , Retinyl Palmitate , Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil , Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil , Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract , Anthemis Nobilis , Tocopheryl Acetate , Parfum , Linalool , Coumarin , Butylphenyl Methylpropional , Alpha-Methyl Lolone , Limonene , CI 26100 .
I don't usually bother reading lists of ingediants but its there if you want it :)
The only other thing I think that needs mentioning is that it should be kept at room tempreture.
So, I got it out of its box and the bottle itself has the name, a picture of a water drop and what the product is intended to do written on the front in white, on the back it again says what it should do, the list of ingrediants and a small set of instructions, this is also in white.
The liquid is clear and you can look straight this and the clear plastic bottle, however the oil itself does have an orange colouring to it, I could not figure out if it was the bottle of the oil itself that was coloured so I poured a little bit onto a cotton wool pad and it does seem to be the oil, I can't tell yet if it is the bottle aswell as I havn't used enough yet.
When you remove the screw cap you will notice that the top of the bottle has been covered with plastic and only a small hole has been left to let the oil drip out of, this is a brilliant idea as it stops you from using to much. It does have a slight smell but you have to put it right up to your nose and sniff to get it, I actually can't think of what it is it the smells reminds me of but perhaps slightly of a much weaker vix? It really is one of those ones that you can't quite put your finger on although it is not unpleasant or overpowering in the least.
I have decided that I will use this twice a day, when I get dressed and when I go to bed, every day. Aparatly it works best if you use it straight after a bath so I will make sure that one of these times will be then. I am going to use it on the stretch marks that I've found and also on the scar just above my belly button from where my belly bar came through the skin and got infected, this has stretched throughout my pregnancy and is now huge, it has also become quite sore and itchy where the damaged skin has been stretched so although it doesnt claim to help with this if it does then it will be a bonus. Also, by using it on my scar I will trying out two of the manufactures claims and as my pregnancy is still going on I'm not expecting it to much for my strech marks yet.
I poured a small amount of this into my palm and straight away wished that I hadnt, I knew that the product was oil so was expecting that but it really does feel like you're touching pure grease, because of this I will put it on using cotton wool pads as I would rather not touch it.
I only put a small amount onto the cotton pad and was expecting to need to use another one and add more but the oil spread very well and covered everywhere I wanted it to go. I'm assuming that based on the small amount I have used today that the bottle should last me a couple of months. However, if I can't see any improvements within a month then I'll start putting on a bit more.
This does leave skin very greasy and I wouldn't recommend getting dressed straight away after use as you may ruin clothes, I'm not sure if it stains. Also, although you are told in the manual that it works if you pour some into your bath this is not something I would advise. It really is very greasy and although some people may like that I would hate it. Even with a cotton pad I somehow still ended up with it on my hands and really needed to wash them straight away, this may not be a problem for some people but I'm really sensitive about things I touch and how they feel, I couldn't put my hands in a bowl of porridge or anything when I was a kid because it made me sick so you probably won't find it as bad as I do. The bottle also seems greasy after I held it to put the lid back on so the oil really does stay on everything it touches.
Anyway, thats all I can think of that needs mentioning now, I will update in a week or two to talk about if there have been any changes, please let me know what you think of me doing it like this :)
I have rated 4 stars for now based on the price, the design and how long it should last, I can't give it 5 because of how greasy and slimy the texture is. My rating will probably change as I see it work or fail to work.
I absolutely love this game. Its such a simple idea but it can create hours of fun.
I brought my uno card from Argos for £5, they are jus the basic ones so I'm assuming that any themed ones would cost a bit extra. My set is slightly larger than a normal pack of playing cards but they come tightly boxed with cellophane wrapping. Each pack contains 108 cards in equal amounts of red, yellow, blue and green. Each colour has the numbers 1-9 twice and one 0 card, there is also two skip, two draw two and two reverse cards for each colour. Finally there are four change colour and four change colour and draw four cards with black backgrounds. There is enough cards in the pack for 2-10 players although it cannot be played alone and it does get quite boring with only 2.
This all makes the game sound very complicated and it can take quite a few times of the game being explained to you to understand everything fully, it would be much easier to sit in on a game of players who know what they are doing and just watch. My stepsister did this and she picked it up quite easily when she was about 8.
The rules say that once the cards are shuffled well each player should be dealt 7 cards, these are placed face down in fron of each person. However, if you get bored of this the game can be just as good using as little as 3 cards or as high a number as you like. A friend brought round a second pack and we used 15 cards each, this game did last a lot longer though.
After the cards have been dealt the other cards are also kept face down and placed in the middle, this is called the draw pile, one card is turned over and will be the beginning of a new pile, this card must be a coloured card. Now you will go around the players clockwise or anti-clockwise, it doesnt really matter and will each place a card face up ontop of the new pile. Now this is the bit that can get quite confusing :)
If the bottom card is a green number 6 then the first person to place down their card must put down any green card or a number 6 card of any colour, say they put down a green 9 then the next person could put down any green card or a 9 of any colour, say a red 9. Any coloured card also includes the reverse, draw two and skip. Say the top card was a yellow 7 you could use the yellow reverse, which means if you were going clockwise you would have to straight away go anti-clockwise, the yellow skip, which means the person who's go it was next loses their turn, or the yellow draw two, this means the person who is next not only loses their turn but also has to pick up the two top cards from the draw pile. The change colour, and change colour and draw 4 cards on the black background can be used at any point in the came as long as it is your turn and the person before you did not put down a coloured skip or coloured draw two. The change colour is obvious, you put it down and choose the colour that you would like the next person to have to put down, the change colour plus 4 is also kind of obvious, you choose a colour but rather than the next person put down that coloured card they have to pick up 4 cards from the draw pile, the person next to them will then begin with the colour that was chosen.
Thats the confusing bit out of the way, the rest of the rules are much more simple :)
If you do not have a card that you can play then you must pick the top one from the draw pile, play this if you can, if not you keep the card and say pass. When you have two cards left and you put one of these down you must say uno, if you don't and the other players pick up on this then you have to pick up the two top cards from the draw pile. If all the cards from that pile have ended up on the pile the players are putting cards on then turn this over so it is face down and use the top card, face up, as the beginning of the new pile.
The winner is the person who gets rid of all their cards first. The game can stop there or carry on until everyone is rid of their cards, its upto you.
I think that once you've got the hang of this it is a brilliant game to play at whatever age. I have played this with my family and also with a group of friends, in fact we did try very hard to make it work as a drinking game but didnt have much luck, nothing quite seemed to work :)
You really can get hours of fun out of this and it can be played anywhere with a floor to put the cards onto or a table, take it with you to keep the kids amused on a train journey or even a long car journey if you have a tray that will stop them slipping everywhere.
I'm sorry if I havnt explained the game very well. It really is one of those that are better learnt when watched but I would recommend this to pretty much anyone. Its something different from sitting in front of the tv playing the wii or xbox but its as much, if not more, fun as it is the perfect chance to sit around the table and actually talk about anything considering not much concentration is actually needed.
We brought this Beko fridgefreezer from Comet for £269.99. I have just had a look on the website and it is actually on sale right now for £249.99 with a years free cover so if you're interested then I would snap it up now :)
I am very happy with this fridgefreezer, it is silver and actually looks really nice on the outside. The outside of it also wipes clean really easily so this is a bonus. When it arrived I was a little dissapointed at how small it was at a width of 54cm, depth of 60cm and height of 152cm but it actually fits in a lot more than we were expecting, we can fill the freezer with enough food to last a couple weeks although as there is only 2 of us it would be unrealistic to say it would do the same for a family. The actual fridge capacity is 4.8.cu.ft which is apparantly 138L gross capacity and 133L net capactiy and the freezer capacity is 2.2.cu.ft, 101L gross capacity and 62L net capacity. There are 3 freezer drawers and 2 fridge shelves. The fridge also has a bottle rack in the door, an egg tray, salad crisper, dairy compartment and adjustable door storage, the freezer has an ice cube tray and an ice bank tray so there is quite a bit of room when you put it all together.
The fridgefreezer has a few features such as frost free, a single compressor, automatic fridge defrost and reversible doors and I have never seen any evidence of these things not working.
For those worried about their carbon footprints then this has an anergy efficiency grade A, honestly I'm not sure if thats the lowest or highest because I don't take as much interest in those things as I should but the informarion is there if you want it :)
I love this fridgefreezer as it fits perfectly in the space I needed it to and it it works absolutly fine. I have never encountered any problems with it and the drawers and compartments in both the fridge and freezer can be removed in seconds which makes it very very easy to clean.
I Brought this Morphy Richards Comfigrip Steam Iron in white on white but I have also seen it in other colours such as green on white and pink on white. I brought it from Argos for £25 and it came with a water beaker but am assuming that this was the sale price as it is retailed on the Morphy Richards website for £54.99. The price I purchased it for is incedibly good value for money but I would not have been happy paying the full £54.99 so if you can get it for somewhere inbetween that then you've done well :)
The iron is made from a few different materials, the casing is plastic, there is a softer material around the handle (I am unsure what it is actually called) and then there is another plastic for the water level window. The soleplate is ceramic and it obviously will get very hot.
This is not a cordless iron although as the cord is 2m this isnt really a problem. It has a wattage of 2200 and boasts features such as a vertical steam output of 40g per minimum, a tip technology steam shot of 110g maximum (this means the steam can get into any akward spaces) anti-scale technology, No drip technology, an anti-Calc system and variable steam settings.
The iron itself is incredibly easy to use and has a 420ml water tank meaning that you won't be constantly having to refill it. It heats to the tempreture you have set it to in about a minute so it is very fast.
Clothes are always perfectly ironed when I use this, even when I begin to get lazy and put in minimum effort, I can just glide it across the top of clothes and it still works perfectly. The only small criticism I have with it is the fact that if you don't turn it off before you put some more water in the water will begin to come through the holes in the iron which can sometimes make a mess if you are not expecting it.
It really is a very good iron and I will hopefully be able to continue using it for a while yet, this seems likely as even after the couple of years I have had it there still doesnt seem to be a hint of a problem. The iron itself can be wiped clean with a cloth and any limescale or mess on the soleplate can be removed very quickly with a limescale cleaner or sometimes just a cloth although you should obviously wait until it has cooled down before attempting to clean the soleplate :)
I brought the Tesco Value JK07 Jug Kettle a couple of months ago. I was just looking for something cheap as I don't really like hot drinks and my partner rarely bothers to make them, the kettle was more for guests than anything. I brought it from Tesco, obviously, and it cost £4.79. It did not come with any additional guarentee's or warranty although I think that as long as you have the receipt and original packaging and it breaks through no fault of your own then Tesco will replace it, I may be wrong so please don't quote me :)
Anyway, we actually use this a lot more than we intended to and although there isnt any amazing features or anything that makes this kettle any different from other basic ones there isnt actually much wrong with it. It does what it's intended for and it does it correctly so for £4.79 I can't really complain.
It is a white Jug shaped kettle and has a maximum capacity of 1.7 litres, this is about the equivilant to about 6-8 hot drinks. It is made from plastic but doesnt have a cool wall so the outside will get quite hot, its definetly not one for clumsy people like myself as I do forget quite often and go to pick it up by the jug, this can result in quite sore burns so please be careful :) The handle is also plastic and that doesnt get hot so if you have some sense, unlike me, this is very easily avoided.
You can see the water level through the small window going up the side of the kettle, this tells you how many cups of water you are boiling. This window does fog up and has started getting a bit of condensation but it always clears up after a couple of hours and becomes clear again.
The base is also white plastic and this is not very sturdy, the kettle fits onto it perfectly and will go on straight away as long as you line it up properly but it can wobble about a bit once its on. The kettle itself is cordless but there is a cord from the base to the plug that obviously goes into the wall.
The only real feature it has is auto shut of. It has an anticalc filter and is 2200watts of power.
As I've already said there isnt anything to shout from the rooftops about as it really is a very basic kettle, I do have a couple of little criticisms but to be honest for £4.79 they really are small. The first one, which may be a big problem for some people, is that as I live in a flat I can't use this until my partner wakes up as it is very loud when it boils. If you live in a house or have thicker walls than me then this shouldnt be an issue. The only other thing is that it does take a good few minutes to boil so you will need to be patient with it.
It will need to be filled with water and boiled a few times before you should actually use it to make drinks as I forgot to do this to begin with and it did taste awful. The outside casing is very easy to clean exceot from the opening clip which is in the top of the lid as this is set in a dip and is akward to get into even with my tiny fingers. I've used it about 3-4 times a weeks for a couple of months so the inside hasnt needed a proper clean yet, just a complete empty and a wipe but if you're one of those who can't stand the slightest of mess then you'll be wiping it every day because the colour of it shows everything.
It did come with a manual but I have not actually needed to look at it because literally all this kettle requires to work is wacking in some water, sticking it on the stand and pressing the switch down. It is also incredibly easy to open, just press the release button, the only annoying thing is that the lid will not hold itself open so you have to hold it whilst filling.
If you want something low budget that you are not intending to use constantly then I'd recommend this, however if you are in a flat like me and have a baby then its probably not the best of ideas as it does boil loudly enough to wake up light sleepers. This obviously isnt something that is going to last years and years but thats fine with me. If you do want something a bit sturdier or with a few more features then you should probably start looking for something a little more expensive.
My partner and myself were brought the Argos Value Deep Fat Fryer as a gift when we moved into our home. I have had a look on ebay and it can be purchased for £14.99 and can be purchased with upto 3 years Replacement Product Care for an additional £3.99.
The fryer itself is made from white plastic which does not get hot whilst in use, the top however has burnt my fingers a couple of times when I have closed the lid.
It is 28.3cm in height, 28cm in width and 24.8cm in depth with an oil capacity of 1.5L but only a 0.5kg food capactity. This means that if you are frying something like chips you could probably get 3 average sized portions at one time, possibly 4 at a push.
The fryer is incredibly easy to use, you can change the temperature using the large dial on the front of the fryer, temperature can be taken from 108°C to 210°C. There are some pictures on the front above the dial giving advice on the temperature required to cook some foods. It heats up quite quickly, if I have it at full heat it can take about 15 minutes and when ready a light will come on so I can tell by just a glance. It can be opened with minimal fuss using the large button just below the lid but as I have said previously if you don't get the lid shut quickly then it will burn your fingers. It frys the food perfectly well and due to the cage like basket that is used it frys every part of the food.
It has a safety cut out although I don't really think that this makes any difference to the fryer or its safety they have at least tried. It also has non-slip feet which do work as mine has never moved from where we put it. The only real issue with safety is that you will need your arms covered when putting the food in as the basket comes very close to top and it will spit at you, it is also very noisy for a few minutes whilst spitting.
After use it can take about an hour to cool down the oil with the lid open although I'm sure some people don't bother doing this and will just shut the lid and turn it off. My partner does this when he uses it and its completley safe and will eventually cool down, it just takes a little longer. Once cool it is very easy to clean as the basket can be taken right out the fryer and the oil filter and lid are both removable. The only issue with cleaning is that due to the very white colour if you are one of those people who cannot stand even the slightest bit of muck you'll end up having to wipe down the outside daily whether you've used it or not.
I would recommend this to singletons, couples or families of 3 as any more than this and you won't fit everything in. Its a great price and after having mine for a few months and using it probably once a week I have never encountered any problems, all pictures on the casing have stayed as clear as when we got it and have not even begun to rub off and it is small enough to leave on the counter rather than having to put it away and get it out each time. Definetly worth the money.
My dad brought me the Sony Network Walkman NW-E103 in pink probably about 7 years ago as a christmas present. I have used it on and off since then and it still works perfectly and is in near perfect condition aside from a couple of scratches.
It is only 56.2mm width, 56.2mm height and 19.2 depth and weighs just 26g which makes it perfect for being out and about.
It came in a box with headphones, a manual, the SonicStage 3.0 software disk and a USB cable. Unfortunatly you cannot just plug this into a computer and use it for music as the software must be installed before it can be used, however, I remember setting the software up and transferring songs myself so it cannot have been difficult.
It requires one AAA battery and it is very easy to put one in, there are no screws or akward clips although it is very sturdy as I cannot remember the back ever falling off. A full battery should last about 70 hours of continuous playback although this will obviously vary depending on the quality of battery you are using.
This mp3 player can only be used for music as it only has a small screen big enough to fit the name of a song or an option, when changing settings you will need to scroll through them all as you can only see one at a time, the screen does have a backlight and you can change the colour of this and also the time it will stay on for.
It has ATRAC3 and ATRAC3 plus playback, shuffle, repeat, Group function operation, digital sound preset and data compression. Also, using the computer software you can create playlists, and edit music information. It has a high speed data transfer and the sound quality is incredibly good however memory is small, only 0.25gb and no space for a memory card.
It is unlikely you would want to use this for exercising or anything particularly strenuous as there is no clip or way of attatching it to yourself.
The volume is excellent and can actually be turned up incredibly loudly without altering the sound quality.
This mp3 player is no longer available to buy new anymore but they can be purchased from sites like ebay or amazon, the going price seems to be between £5-£20 which I think is perfect if you are looking for something small, easy to use and lasting or something maybe for a childs present.
I started doing yoga a few years and never planned on using a mat as I was happy to do it on the carpet, however, a couple of months ago I was given the Pineapple Yoga Mat as a gift and am happy to say that I will never go back to doing yoga or any kind of floor exercise without a mat.
I love the colour of this and the thickness is perfect. It is thick enough to make working out so much more comfortable, meaning you can do it for much longer, but thin enough to roll the mat quite small so it can be kept out of the way until required. Also it is not squishy so you can do the poses with stability, the only thing I would say is that it can be slippy with socks on and after using it for a while with bare feet if they begin to sweat this can also make you slide around a bit.
I have only used this mat on carpet and it stays exactly where I put it no matter much I move myself however I am unsure if it is as stable on wooden or laminate flooring.
As this was a gift I was uncomfortable asking about the cost but from looking at other reviews it seems to be available from most department stores for about £10-£15 and I'm guessing it can be found on ebay as products like this usually are.
I don't think I ever would have actually purchased a yoga mat for myself but now I have used one I wouldnt go without again, I've had this for a couple of months and it is still in perfect condition and the Pineapple logo is still as dark and has not faded at all which can sometimes be a problem.
I would reccomend this to anyone starting out with yoga and even those who have been doing it a while as it really does enhance the experience. It is much easier to clear your mind if you are comfortable :)
I brought this phone in pink from carphone warehouse as my contract phone broke and the insurance company refused to replace it. I was looking for something cheap and basic just to get me by for a couple of weeks but I ended up using it for about 8 months. I think that for a £20 phone thats brilliant.
If you're looking for a phone that does anything other than send messages and make phone calls then this is definetly not for you. It is 88mm in height, 20mm depth and 44mm width and weighs only 73kg so it fits nicely inside pretty much anywhere, I used to put mine in my purse when I didnt want to carry around a bag. It's flip up and feels quite flimsy but as I have already mentioned I had mine for about 8 months and am incredibly clumsy, the poor thing ended up on the floor so many times I lost count, but aside from a couple of scratches it worked perfectly. My younger sister also tried to flush it down the toilet but after I took it apart and left it in a bag of rice over night to get rid of the moisture there still wasnt any problems.
The screen is a good size and the buttons, which are not set in a QWERTY format (I'm not sure of the proper name for this) are quite big although even if you have the phone on silent so there is no tone you can still hear a loud clicking when you use the buttons which is quite annoying.
The phone comes with a battery, charger and a sim card, everything was present and working but I spent a while trying to figure out if the USB lead was missing before realising that this phone will not connect to a computer, as there is no bluetooth this means that you can have no pictures or music on your phone, also it doesnt have a camera so you can't take any.
It would take a few hours to charge up completley but I used to be able to ages out of a full battery, I went on holiday for a week, forgot my charger and even after using my phone as much as I usually would it only actually died on the way home.
The screen is full colour and there are a few customisation options such as menu layout ect and the pictures that the phone comes with are actually quite pretty :)
It does have a couple of features such as 4 preloaded games which are quite good fun, handsfree and a personal organiser. It also has an alarm which can be turned up very loud, its the only one I've found that was actually loud enough to wake up my partner :) However, the tones you are given for recieving a text are so short that I often didn't know I had a text until I actually looked at my phone, also, if I would recieve an important message whilst sleeping it wouldnt wake me up.
This would be a perfect phone for children as I don't personally believe that a 10 year old really needs a smartphone. Obviously this cannot compare to a smartphone but then anyone looking at phones in this price range obviously doesnt want one. I liked mine so much that I've kept it for a spare as I would have no problems returning to it if my current one encounters problems.
I have owned the Blackberry Curve 8520 in black for a couple of months now and am very happy with it. It cost £120 from T-mobile, I previously had a Samsung on a T-mobile contract and didnt want to change my number so I brought the blackberry and then altered my contract so it included blackberry services.
It came with a 2GB memory card, a seperate sim, USB lead, charger, battery, a software disk, maunals on various different aspects of usage and standard blackberry headphones. Everything was present inside the box but I would reccomend buying a silicone case for it which costs around £5 from T-mobile and some screen protectors from ebay which I think are about £3 for 10 as they do chip very easily.
I have insurance for both the phone and the contract combined and it is £20 for the year which is a good price but it can only be used once in a year so you would then have to pay another £20 for another year.
The phone itself is a good size, 60mm across, 14mm width, 109mm height and 106g in weight so it fits easily into a pocket or a small bag, my friend actually carries hers in her bra. The QWERTY keyboard is perfect for me as I have small fingers but I do know people who have had to get rid of the phone as they struggle with typing due to the small size of the buttons.
You'll need to begin charging the phone before it can be used which takes a couple of hours and I can usually get about 24 hours out of my phone before it needs rechharging but I use my internet and blackberry messenger a lot so if you don't use your phone as much it will probably last a lot longer.
It does take quite a long time to turn on because of updates but once I had got mine started and had set the clock ect I had instant access to blackberry messenger and all services including the internet although this may have something to do with mine being a contract sim as my cousin has had her blackberry on pay-as-you-go for a few weeks and still cannot get them to work so it is worth making sure you ask about things when you are buying the phone.
The phone has quite a lot of features including; internet, GPRS, bluetooth, mp3 and video players with quite a load volume, handsfree, voice dialling and Java along with some other things. It comes with 4 games preloaded onto the phone and is very easy to connect to your email or facebook accounts.
It is very easy to customise things on the phone and I spent a good couple of hours changing the settings on when I wanted to be notified with new messages ect, ring tone volumes, menu, font size and type and many other aspects. You really can change pretty much anything. I leave mine open but my cousin has hers set up with a password so everytime it locks you need to enter it, it also needs to be entered to view messages or pictures so this is good if you need the extra privacy. I have only just realised that to change the shortcuts on the home screen you just need to go onto the menu and move the shortcuts you want onto the top line of the menu.
The email feature is very good and if I open or delete an email from my phone it will mirror this on the computer, the only thing would be to not connect any email account that recieves a lot of junk mail as you recieve everything to your phone.
My only criticism with this phone is that the camera is not very good, it is 2megapixels and has a standard zoom but no flash and pictures will be fuzzy unless the subject of them is absolutly still. Also, if you like using your phone to take funny pictures then this is not for you as the only camera options are black and white, sepia or normal. There is a picture editor but it doesnt do much other than zoom, rotate and crop. However, when you take pictures it is very simple to upload them onto a computer, send them with mms or blackberry messenger or just upload them onto them internet straight from the phone.
I have not personally encountered any problems at all with my phone and am very happy with it, I love the maps feauture as although it is not as detailed or quick as a sat nav I have used it a few times whilst out to find my way.
The user manuals are easy to read, understand and it is easy to find the answers or solutions you require because of the layout although you probably won't need to refer to them very often as the phone itself is very very simple to use.
I would reccomend this phone if you are looking for a basic blackberry, I think it is brilliant but someone who may want something slightly faster or more technical would be better off with one of the newer or more expensive models.
Comments on how to improve my reviews would be appreciated, thanks :)